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Everything posted by icosahedron

  1. I don't see why you label that which you don't understand to be "pretentious", as rationalization for not taking the time to understand it (hey, it probably isn't worth your time anyhow). On the other hand, if by "pretentious" you mean "characterized by assumption of dignity or importance", well then, yes, thank you very much. I DO consider myself important, and assume a corresponding air. Why not? I am a selfish objectivist, after all. - ico
  2. I am aware of the concept "partnership", which to me means "agreement to act in concert to mutual benefit, with certain limitations, and etc. -- ideally, written and objectively constituted.". I am also aware of the concept "ownership", which to me means "having right to use and/or dispose of". As with any/all rights, the right of ownership, i.e., the right to property, accrues to individuals, not collectives. At most, individuals can timeshare the right to property. But, if two people have say over something, then, in effect, neither does. Joint ownership translates to "neither party owns it", because ownership is individual in principle and right, and cannot be simultaneous across two parties. Now, today, the legal notion of corporation in any form is perverted by granting legal status/rights to legally manufactured "entities". Only individuals have rights. Back the notion of partnership up to where it ought to stop, legally, and you are left with my original defintion: a friggin' credit agreement. That is all the currency we have in reality. Yeah? - ico - ico
  3. Just to add some perspective here, can I throw out some more candidates? Hamilton, Wilson, Truman, Kennedy, Carter are some of my least favs. Esp. Hamilton. Can the federal reserve just die already? - ico
  4. Exactly. The great philosophical divide: those who choose to open their eyes, and everyone else.
  5. Well, no. I think each party needs to think ahead, long term. As Ayn points out, homemaker is a perfectly good profession, but the person choosing it ought to also look to their long term viability. So, what I think is the problem here is, fundamentally, the notion of joint ownership (an oxymoron when closely examined). If there were no such think as joint ownership then division of assets would be trivial and maintenance moot. Basically, the homemaker needs to get the breadwinner to put some bread in the homemaker's account -- or else, maybe, stop doing the homemaker job, like any rational employee might? - ico
  6. Well, this has gotten too hypothetical even for me. I will retreat to the tried and true: whatever two consenting, non-criminally motivated adults do in private is none of my business, up to and including any commercial arrangements. They can judge for themselves whether whatever trade they are doing is fair to them. But, to maybe take this thread back up a more titillating track, how about this hypothetical situation often explored in literature, where the john falls for the professional? How does one argue, ex post facto, that the commercial act which initiated their relationship was somehow immoral, if/when their relationship might be perfectly proper? - ico
  7. Who wins an argument between food, and poison? Certainly not the consumer.
  8. Correct. I admire their achievements, and the morally "white" aspects of their souls which led to those achievements; but I do not extend my admiration whole hog, as I have never met any of them, so really cannot comment on whether I'd admire them or not. - ico
  9. I see. So the persecution of Galileo made no difference to his productivity?
  10. The law of identity is consistent with uncertainty in predicting the future. Said another way, the fact that the past is determined does not, in my observational experience, contradict the fact that the future is only partially predictable. Or even: the Law of Entropy does not contradict the Law of Identity. Determinism in any form attempts to deny uncertainty, and remove the possibility of the future begin malleable. This leads to a contradiction of the law of identity, as it attempts to metaphysically divorces consciousness from one of its proper precursors: eventual uncertainty. Without uncertainty, there would be no need to discover anything, and volition would be redundant/non-existent. Choose well: what you take as your basic premise with respect to whether free will within a limited context is in the nature of man -- or not -- will substantially shape your world view and sense of life going forward. Relevant quote from OPAR, pp. 25, second paragraph (a direct quote from Ayn, indented as such): (creativity is the power) "to rearrange the combinations of natural elements ... Creation does not (and metaphysically cannot) mean the power to bring something into existence out of nothing. Creation means the power to bring into existence an arrangement (or combination or integration) of natural elements that had not existed before ..." Making new arrangements is still making SOMETHING new: a new pattern. And it is the patterns of information that make up reality, after all -- given the building blocks that can be rearranged, and enough knowledge/time/leverage to rearrange them to my heart's content, I can create patterns tailored to my needs/desires. But make no mistake: something NEW is made in the process, it just doesn't entail altering the essential constituents beyond which matter cannot be coherently broken down in my experience. By analogy, I can use 26 letters to generate hundreds of thousands of English words by various rearrangements, without altering the letters themselves, but with each rearrangement invoking a different meaning. And, meaning flows from meaning. So, is English deterministic? - ico
  11. I don't see why I should allow physics to dominate the conceptual field. After all, physics is just one of the special sciences, and like all the rest of them is based on and conceptually subordinate to metaphysics and epistemology. For my purposes, pp. 5 of OPAR nutshells the my perspective. In the first full paragraph on the page, second sentence, LP notes, in referring to the concept of existence, that: "The concept does not specify that a physical world exists." And, further on down the same page, third paragraph starts out: "The fact of consciousness is also a fundamental starting point. Even if biologists or physicists were someday to give us a scientific analysis of the conditions of consciousness (in terms of physical structures or energy quanta or something now unknown), this would not alter the fact that consciousness is an axiom. Before one can raise any questions pertaining to knowledge, whether of content or of method (including the question of the conditions of consciousness), one must first BE conscious of something and recognize that one is." Swap out the word "volition" for "consciousness" and the same paragraph can be used to describe volition just as well (and it is essentially the same style of argument for the self-evidence of axioms that gets applied over and over again in OPAR). - ico
  12. Nope. If you can't parse the English I write, then don't pretend to guess what it means. Or, if you aren't guessing, then I guess I have communicated so why obliquely malign my usage? Not sure what you are asking in the second sentence. I THINK you are asking if I must analyze experience into related subsets in each and every exercise of focus, to which a reasonable answer is "Sure ... why not?". - ico
  13. Well, A is A, so at least this fact is "indicative" of itself ...
  14. Well, I don't know about completely different. Prostitution means the rental of one's time, attention, and body to another to use (more or less) for their sensual/sexual pleasure. To behave as a mercenary means the rental of one's time, attention, and body to another to use (more or less) as a means to kill a third party or few. In either case, one is renting out one's time, attention, body; renting oneself out to the purpose of another; allowing, for the space of time paid for, another to determine one's choices. So I am becoming convinced that BOTH are immoral in the absence of extenuation, because both behaviors involve ceding one's decision-making process to another -- sex is for celebration, war is for defense, and if used for other purposes, both become vehicles for cultural perversion. Now, if a person simply enjoys sex, and also sees how to make money at it (if such a one exists, truly), then more power to 'em, I say! - ico
  15. If you can stomach it, read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights After reading, tell me what you think of FDR. If you STILL embrace him (as Obama does) then fie on you! - ico
  16. No, that is sloppy thinking. Here is how it works: the body and every part of it is in motion, and the motions form patterns that regenerate periodically to form durable parts, such as your head or hands. You are a verb, an incredibly high-frequency buzzing equilibrium, in terms of the information that your pattern reflects during any given (finite but tiny) period of time -- and you are, if alive, near and tending to move towards (and through and back towards) equilibrium. When you are stressed away from your natural equilibrium, you resist. Your body resists automatically any push away from equilibrium, but if the push is consistent, then the body adapts. If a chemical push, such as nicotine, is applied consistently over a long period of time, it will cause the body to adjust. Then, if the push is abruptly removed, the body will take some time to re-establish its prior equilibrium. That is the sole source of any physiological feelings associated with chemical withdrawal (assuming no permanent damage from the ingestion, i.e., assuming full recovery is possible). The rest is psychological. -ico
  17. I happen to have stopped smoking, too, and have found the physical aspect minimal. It is the ASSOCIATION of certain physical states/sensations/settings with the smoking that is the hard part. It is the HABIT that is hard to break, long term. The chemical effects pretty much go away after a month or so, but how many folk restart past 6 weeks? Hmmm? I say, it's mostly SPIRITUAL, as in, your conscious choices and subconscious summations are at odds, and guess who wins? Labeling even smoking as primarily physical addiction just makes it easier for smoker's to rationalize the fact that they DON'T REALLY WANT TO STOP! If anecdotal evidence counts, then here's mine: the day I realized that, net net, smoking was costing me noticeably more than I gained from doing it (which is not the null set, as so many evangelists would claim), based on my own experience and not what I was told, I quit. Simple. - ico
  18. Full-blown mind/body dichotomization, dude. Get a grip! BTW, I think you need to update your definition of "science". As I understand AR+LP, "science" simply means "consistent application of the law of identity across a given/chosen domain of objective reality". Maybe some other object-head has a better one, but in essence, that's it: if you are applying the methods of a rational epistemology to study a domain of reality, then you are a scientist, doing science. Just as, if you are creating artifacts to remind yourself what is important, you are an artist, doing art. My rational basis is that of artist/scientist, as these two are really two sides of the same coin, which is: consistent application of the law of identity. If you mean, can scientists and theologians live in the same civil society without getting at one another's throats? Sure, just so long as the theologians keep their hands off of my stuff -- including my throat. That is the problem. Theologians rationalize taking my stuff. And your stuff. For God's sake! Triple sheesh. - ico
  19. Of course not. Knowledge is by nature scientific, when considered objectively and within a consistent epistemological framework such as AR+LP present. That is, belief is NOT knowledge, and neither is any conclusion reached from starting with faith. Using faith as a logical basis leads to false conclusions -- EVEN IF THE CONTENT OF THE CONCLUSIONS IS CORRECT!!! Because, how does one KNOW that the conclusions are correct without a rational epistemology? And thus the rub: even in cases where faith-based decision making pans out, you can't assume it will the next time, because you can't identify the causal relationships past the point where you disconnected them from existence (by relying on unverifiable premises). However, if a Catholic monk or any other individual starts with facts of reality, inductively guesses how they might be related, devises an objective experiment that distinguishes the truth or falsity of his model; and then, does the experiment and shows that his model is (or can easily be adjusted to be) correct; why, then it's science, truly! - ico
  20. Don't know if he can, but to my mind some examples come: Albert Einstein (writing letter to assist in political kickoff of Manhattan project), Alfred Nobel (thought the explosive power of dynamite would make war obsolete, in rationalizing his "gifting" of the knowledge to posterity); Werner Heisenberg assisting the NAZI bomb program; various well-knowns advocating various forms of population control, up to and including euthanasia; i think I should stop listing now. - ico
  21. Belief does not become a better basis of science simply because it is held longer. Tradition smadition. Many scientists have had syphilis; many have been corpulent; some have died in duels; they have all had mothers; so what? Correlation does not prove causality. Can anyone can show me a single historical instance where belief in God and consequential inconsistencies has led to BETTER science, net net, than would have been obtained without basing deductions on religious fundamentals? If not, then please understand there is no basis for compromise on principles, so if you can't show examples of the objective value, all in, of religious doctrines, then they are worthless to me, and should be to you. If you are a scientist in the sense I would admire/sanction. Cheers. - ico
  22. Nice spin. Sorry Sophia, kudos to you for clarifying. Paying for "friends" ... how about paying for soldiers? Is paying/taking money to fight to the death any less heinous than paying/taking money to spend friendly time with another person? Okay, so both prostitutes and mercenaries have been maligned traditionally; but at least, I can't see how these two differ morally, and are like many other professions, and maybe MOST if the "paying/taking money to do something you'd rather not do" is the basis of judgment. Is that all there is to it? - ico
  23. I think the suggested "peaceful coexistence" of: a parasite -- religious doctrine and its proponents, jointly and severally, who take belief as an epistemological primary and its host -- scientific method and its proponents, jointly and severally, who base knowledge on observable reproducible communicable perceptual experiences is not possible because only the parasite wants to coexist, whilst the host would just as soon help the parasite to die quickly -- for the parasite, coexistence==life, whilst for the host, coexistence==death. If the parasite and host each chooses its own life as the standard of value, then their goals will be contradictory in reality, and they cannot coexist ... furthermore, the only future in which EITHER can exist is when the parasite dies/reforms, i.e., ceases to be (a parasite) -- because if the host is wiped out (or refuses to play ball, as in Atlas Shrugged), then the parasite loses its gravy train. Put another way, I don't think that what religionistas do is "study" spirituality, because an irrational epistemology is not really an epistemology at all, is it? What they do is invent the logical implications of more or less inconsistent yet traditional fiats -- deduction, induction, fantasy, whatever -- GIGO!!! - ico
  24. Good call, softwareNerd. It is not really "sex trade", but "love trade". And that refocuses the discussion, morally speaking, perhaps? - ico
  25. I agree with Hotu Matua that there is nothing intrinsically bad in any sexual act, that morality comes in with the reasons for each participant to perform the act, and if it is done voluntarily then, like any other free trade, it is morally correct per se (albeit, as usual with fallible beings, either party may misjudge the value of the trade!). The fact that sex is (generally) pleasurable does not necessarily justify doing it, btw -- like all acts, the long term consequences must be estimated and assessed, and as with any pleasurable act, care must be taken not to become overly indulgent and/or fixated. I think Ayn Rand glorified sex because she experienced the heights of ecstasy available to a woman who found good reasons to have great sex with men she admired -- as compared with the alternative, at least in theory! Lucky girl. - ico
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