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mmmcannibalism last won the day on January 5 2014

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  1. Why are you even debating that question? Defenses of abortion shouldn't be based on claiming a fetus is 'part of someone's body' because its merely inside someone's body. Defend the right of bodily autonomy and argue against the notion of fetus rights.
  2. Since Rearden metal seems to mirror mithril in terms of legendary metal properties, I'd look into what color scheme is supposed to be associated with that.
  3. There is a flawed premise that its easy to set up a situation where an animal will be in this state "Two equally desirable choices, that will remain equally desirable until death by starvation". If that is possible, its going to be far more involved then just sitting two piles of hay equidistant.
  4. I'd actually say the key thing seperating the two cartoons is that this latter one is actually making a (small) intellectual point. Suppose you were a hermit who lived in the mountains who only picks up 'current' events a few times a year. At the very least, this does provide you some actual information that you can begin to evaluate based on. "I think X is punching America" doesn't encourage rational analysis.
  5. I agree, what could possibly go wrong if Americans just start casually flinging around nuclear weapons to prove we are the good guys. Its not like declaring our casual willingness to slaughter millions of people will cause any sort of long term problems.
  6. The 'ultimate' laws of nature are just the facts about how the world works that aren't further reducible. The relevant question is whether a certain 'law' is the sort of thing that is capable of changing. For instance, gravity could become stronger per mass if the thing that causes gravity is able to change in a way that it creates a higher value for gravity. As an analogy. If we lived on a planet with an almostly perfectly constant temperature (a bit silly example), then encountering temperature would lead to us thinking the laws of nature changed. However, what really happened is that we discovered our theories weren't incorporating something. Likewise, gravity strength can't change if the strength of gravity is just a basic fact about matter. But gravity can change if its really a fact about how some variable thing is 'sitting' in relation to matter.
  7. I think this is a disagreement about focus. Depending on context, it changes whether you should stress the existence of alternatives or the fact that its still causal. The way it was asked, I think stressing that its actually free was important.
  8. 5. Rand's argument for IP law isn't based on appeal to social utility and isn't about "pragmatism" in the sense you used it 7. Ayn Rand believed in free will, in what is close to the "metaphysical libertarian" sense. Of note, she believed in free will and didn't believe that future events were 'set in stone' when they involved things like humans that have free will; which makes her not a compatibalist. 8. There's two things to split off here. First, there's a difference between something being possible (in essence not being a contradiction) and us having reason to believe something. Unless you have reason to believe in those things (which would win you a nobel or two) its contrary to Objectivism to think they are true. Secondly, Objectivism rejecting God is based on a particular concept of God that comes from one segment of the Judeo-Christian tradition and has contradictory or impossible properties ascribed to her. Objectivism doesn't have an objection beyond "there is no evidence so don't believe it" to things like Zeus.
  9. You have to give Hitler some credit, he did contribute to the destruction of a ridiculous style of facial hair.
  10. You can't be unintentionally choosing to do something wrong while not intending to do so. The only thing of moral relevance is how you acted prior to and upon finding out you made that sort of mistake. There could be an error such as not handling a known problem with forgetfullness or a problem after such as not being appropriately apologetic, but you can't be acting immorally while not acting consciously.
  11. I doubt its conceptual theft. But the reason it sounds similar is that (see my other post), the notion of privilige is more reasonable then people who dismiss it want to admit. The notion that people are often uninformed on an issue via lack of personal experience with it is pretty obviously a reflection of reality. The problem comes when people overreach the information aspect of privilige and start claiming that tribal membership grants tribal knowledge.
  12. Its a package deal that groups together A. the reasonable claim that life experiences often provide important perspective on various issues. B. the appeal to tribal knowledge that is based on group membership.
  13. There's a tendency to package deal "has self esteem" with "incapable of empathy"
  14. Intoxication isn't a singular type of thing such that you can say all intoxication is equally (im)moral
  15. I'm less perturbed by her improvement compared to previous scores and moreso by the shattering of a world record. The idea that someone vastly improved themselves is easy to believe, the idea that someone was able to personally make that much physical progress compared to other professional athletes is rather strange.
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