Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Capitalism Forever

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Capitalism Forever

  1. Suppose a corporation wants to build a bridge over a river but a number of people object because it would mean displacing a colony of beavers who have built a dam at the proposed site. They argue that the beavers have a rightful claim on that section of the river because they have improved it by constructing the dam, and the fact that they were able to build a dam is evidence that they possess a rational faculty. Is this a valid argument?
  2. I already addressed the issue of language and the same thing applies to the tools. And even if they had a rational faculty, that does not change the fact that they refused to use it. --- Let me ask a question to all those saying that the Na'vi had rights: In what way were the Na'vi different from the Indian tribes inhabiting the American continent?
  3. And that's exactly what I was thinking. You are contradicting yourself when you say on the one hand that it was a product of natural evolution and on the other hand you call it a technology. Technology is all that which men develop using their rational faculty, above and beyond what nature has given them. The Na'vi did not seem to be using their rational faculty for anything, and frankly, they did not show many signs of even having any.
  4. What do you mean by "evolutionary design" ?
  5. Exactly. But isn't it obvious that Cameron was trying to do that? The Na'vi were meant to be a concretization of the viro dream come true, of men that have abdicated reason and "rejoined nature."
  6. He was promised an operation to fix his leg back home, so no, he didn't have to go native for a healthy body. Rejecting life qua man was his SOLE reason for going native. You first need to show that the Na'vi had rights in the first place. In our present context here on Earth, we say that rights apply to man, since they are derived from man's defining characteristic: the fact of reason being his primary means of survival. If at some point we discover another species that shares this essential characteristic, then we will extend the scope of rights to include individuals of that species--but if we discover a new species that is only similar to man in other, non-essential characteristics, then it would be a mistake to apply rights to that species. There was no evidence in the movie of the Na'vi using reason as their primary means of survival; in fact, their fundamental distinction from man was that they survived by "connecting" with lower animals and NOT by reason. It has been mentioned that they were able to speak, which was supposedly indicative of their possessing a conceptual faculty--but in reality as opposed to fiction, a species would not evolve the ability to use language unless it needed it for its survival; if a species like the Na'vi could speak a language, it would only be an indication that they once used to be rational animals and still retain their linguistic faculty as a vestige. They would in effect be what the viros would like man to become: an ex-rational animal that has stopped using reason as its way of survival. It is in our rational self-interest to recognize the rights of other rational beings because dealing with them as traders promotes our lives while dealing with them by force would risk our destruction. It is not in our rational self-interest to attribute rights to beings that we cannot deal with as traders, either because they have no rational faculty or because they refuse to use it. To do so would be to sacrifice our values to a floating abstraction. The fact that he switched into a different body was a required part of the plot but not an essential part of the message. The movie is themed around what I would call environmental theology: it attempts to suggest that the mystical elements of the environmentalist ideology have a basis in reality, and that, even though irrationalism is obviously powerless against those acting rationally, Eywa Gaia will eventually come to the rescue. It is anti-mind not only at the level of ethics, but right down to metaphysics.
  7. He has a right to lunch for as long as he pleases!
  8. Anything taught in "public" schools is inherently politicized. It is the owner of the school that gets to decide what to teach and how, and the owner in this case is a political entity. The arguments in these debates are typically based on the implicit premise that there is a "right" or "just" way to form a public school curriculum--but there is no right or just way to practice tyranny. Whatever you are being taught, a class in a public school is the government's way of telling you what it wants you to believe, and an exam in a public school is the government's way of enforcing what it wants you to believe.
  9. I can't even imagine what "acting outside yourself" would mean--it's clearly a contradiction in terms. Free will does not imply acting outside yourself, only acting independent of external factors, "inside" yourself. And that is something your friend clearly can, and by his nature must do--as natdavi pointed out, in his very act of pondering this issue, he is trying to decide what position to accept and is finding that he is not predestined to believe one way or the other by outside forces but has to make the decision himself.
  10. There is nothing inherently unconditional or collectivist about the word agape, any more than there is about the English word love. On Greek TV, the phrase "I love you" is commonly subtitled as "Σ'αγαπώ." To attribute any "unselfish," non-objective meaning to this term is to pervert it the same way as the English word "love" is often perverted. The existence of several concepts referring to positive emotions towards others is not in any way unique to the Greek language. In English, too, we have several ways of saying that we "love" a person: I like you You're one of my best friends You matter to me You turn me on I'm in love with you I want you etc. A particular concrete emotional response may be subsumed under any number of these concepts--usually more than one. For example, your evaluation of the chef at your favorite restaurant may fall under "like" and "love," but probably not under "turn me on" or "want you." The hot chick you saw at the mall would get a "like" and a "turn me on," but not (yet) an "in love." Your wife would, in an ideal case, get all six of the above, and more. And so on--the point being that, just as it is the case with entities, it is only individual concrete emotions that exist, and words are our means of grouping them based on their similarities--and there are overlaps and hierarchical relationships between the groups, so it's usually not a case of "either-or." The debate mentioned in the OP is in effect asking, "Which will lead an individual to living a happier life, being in love with someone or wanting someone?"--which is a bit like, "Which is likelier to get you from point A to point B, driving or stepping on the gas?" I mean, doesn't the one usually involve the other?
  11. LOL, yeah, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight....Even Joe Stalin was more pro-man, more pro-life, and more pro-reason than Jake Sully. But no, we're not going to think of the Soviet Union as "kinda like his Galt's Gulch."
  12. I'm sure you'll guess it if you give it a little think. There are seven of them, and I said "vices," not "sins" ... what is "vice" the antonym of?
  13. The seven vices: irrationality second-handedness pragmatism dishonesty injustice unproductiveness humility
  14. Considering the massive amount of oil that has been lost, it is more imperative than ever to drill for more.
  15. I think that ALL the variants depicted in that diagram share a common error: they all consider "the mind" and "the body" as two separate entities. The correct view is that there is only one entity--say, a man--and "the mind" and "the body" are merely different aspects of that entity. They can only be separated from the man as abstractions, just like "the redness" can only be separated from an apple as an abstract concept for the purposes of reasoning. It would make no sense to draw diagrams of how an entity known as the apple's "redness" is related to another entity that is the apple's "fruitness."
  16. Well, since materialism holds that consciousness does not exist, at least not in any metaphysically relevant sense, a materialist will certainly not accept the notion of consciousness having causal efficacy.
  17. Jerk, asshole, bastard ... there are many more like these, take your pick. Or if you are looking for a more formal-sounding term, I think "liberal" would capture it well. It's sad to see a word that originally meant "an advocate of liberty" become so badly corrupted, but I think most people today will have no trouble guessing what you mean when you say "Did you see how that guy took all the chips for himself? What a liberal!"
  18. Reading some of the posts there is almost like an esthetic experience. Things as they could be and should be!
  19. To be intrinsically good means to be a value without reference to any valuer. That is, not good for somebody, but simply good, period. Which makes it an invalid concept, of course. Life is indeed a goal that is inherent in the nature of every living organism, but this does not make it intrinsic: it is still the organism that values its own life. Thus, you could say that life qua man is a natural value to all men to whom it is possible (noting that it is still up to each man to choose to pursue this natural value, or some other values that conflict with their nature, or perhaps no value at all).
  20. You mean, perform the experiment several times in the exact same circumstances? But you cannot have the exact same circumstances more than once. If the sun is at an angle of 46.78 degrees the first time you do the experiment, it is going to be at an angle of 46.74 degrees the second time you do it--ergo, different set of circumstances! And how many times would you have to perform the experiment in order to accept causality as true? 4 times? 5 times? 6 times? 5000 times? Why not more, and why not less? And once you've accepted the law of causality for your baseball, will you also accept it for my tennis ball, or will you have to perform the same kind of experiments with it as well? The law of causality does not say, "Similar circumstances, similar action." What is says is: "Place an entity into a given set of circumstances; the action it will take in these circumstances is then up to the entity's nature." Even if the circumstances leave more than one action possible, the entity can only take one action, so it somehow has to "pick" one among the actions open to it--and this is precisely the role played by what we call the entity's nature. The action the entity "picks" depends on what kind of entity it is, i.e. on its attributes--i.e., on its nature. To exist is to exist as something (this is what the law of identity says) and to exist as something means to act in these and these ways when faced with these and these circumstances (this is what the law of causality says). The latter is a corollary of the former.
  21. Yup, there is definitely an intellectual revolution going on that, if it succeeds, will be the making of the Second Renaissance. But we cannot take success for granted yet; it is up to us to make this work.
  • Create New...