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ObjectivistMathematician last won the day on July 10 2011

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About ObjectivistMathematician

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  1. Morals are basically ''conditional'' statements, and there are no ''duties'' which apply automatically to all people. The goal of morality is not to perform your ''duties,'' but to gain rational values. "We have a duty not to leave our kids with a massive debt" If you care about your kids, and you value their welfare, you wouldn't want to leave them with debt. Plus, these debts (I'm assuming you're speaking of government debt) are often a result of very expensive and improper government programs, such as social security; I do not think I need to go in-depth on why such programs are wro
  2. Well, no, because free will doesn't imply that one's decisions are arbitrary. If someone is a fully rational person, you should have no problem predicting his behavior, other than certain errors of knowledge the two of you might have.
  3. Or maybe SN doesn't feel that it is okay to share private messages (emphasis on ''private'') publicly?
  4. Personally, I like this proof for Euler's formula better: So, both of those functions solve the differential equation y' - iy = 0, and they both equal 1 at x = 0. Therefore, they are equal. Then you just plug in pi for x, and you have e^(pi*i) = -1.
  5. 1) I highly doubt anyone would want to use money that isn't backed up by anything. It couldn't possibly even function as money, since it's not actually worth anything; it's just paper. People would be free to print paper and call it money, but that would be a useless endeavor. Just a side note: the standard would not necessarily be gold, it could be anything which the market decides. There would be no government-mandated gold standard. 2) Objectivism is not a religion. It is based off of reason. By virtue of being an Objectivist, one already knows why altruism and socialism ar
  6. Your parents caused your existence, and lumberjacks caused the existence of your house. Your parents are separate and distinct from you, and lumberjacks are separate and distinct from your house. Saying ''X is caused'' presumes the existence of something separate from itself. This does not work with existence as a whole; there is nothing distinct or separate from existence.
  7. Existence did not cause itself to exist. It just exists. Maybe if you take ''existence causes itself to exist'' to mean ''things existed, and it is in their nature to continue existing, therefore they exist now,'' then maybe that makes sense. But saying that ''existence caused itself to exist'' in the sense that existence was caused by something external to itself, is still a contradiction; existence is not external to itself. As for what you brought up about the laws of thermodynamics: no one is trying to say that time is infinite. ''Existence is eternal'' does not mean that time is infin
  8. Aliva, the reason why it's invalid to ask, ''what caused existence?'' is because this question presumes the existence of some entity separate from existence (in order to ''cause existence''), i.e. something existing outside of existence. This is a contradiction. The only boundaries outside of which Trebor wasn't thinking was the axiom of existence and the law of non-contradiction. To what other boundaries do you think he was ''limiting'' himself?
  9. When people hunt, they usually do it for sport, for the same reason someone would do any other kind of sport. If someone gets pleasure from torturing an animal, it would be because they value the animal being in pain for the sake of it being in pain, which is throughly irrational. Of course people have the right, but that doesn't make it moral; people have the right to get addicted to harmful drugs, too, but that's certainly not moral.
  10. Animals don't have rights, and you can kill them for food and whatnot. As for the morality of torturing animals for fun, I wouldn't say that that's immoral because it's destructive to the animal's welfare, but doing something like that could be a sign on deeper psychological issues. EDIT- Unless you're referring to things like hunting (killing animals for sport/pleasure), which would probably not be a sign of psychological problems, then there is no problem with that.
  11. After I finished reading Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology and Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, my thinking skills were noticeably improved. If your goal is to convey your thought simply and clearly, Rand's book The Art of Nonfiction seems to be ideal for that, but I cannot recommend it, as I have not read it yet.
  12. I've conversed with someone who is familiar with Indian philosophy, and depending on what schools you are referring to, karma can mean anything from the colloquial notion where how you act (morally) determines your destiny, to just causality.
  13. Does anyone else think this type of article is something you'd find on Maddox's site (''The Best Page in the Universe'')? It's just filled with stawmen, blatantly false statements about Objectivism, and mondless insults. So, apparently this is Sam's logic: people own what they produce, and they should be allowed to keep all of it. However, since they're doing something I don't like with their money, they don't get to keep it. People can keep their money and spend it voluntarily, just as long as they voluntarily do what I want with it. I don't even understand this statement. Is he sa
  14. Keynseian: ''The market sometimes fails.'' Me: ''Just because it fails in some short-term scenarios, does not mean that it isn't the best choice in the long run.'' Keynseian: ''In the long run, we're dead.'' Man, I've never been this good at rationalizing false ethics. Bravo.

  15. Fantastic show; easily my favorite drama series of all time. Sadly, I've heard that the next season (Season 5) will be its last. As for the philosophical question, I see nothing inherently immoral about manufacturing addictive drugs. Methamphetamine is a product which was in demand, people wanted it, and he could provide people with a better product. No one's rights are violated in the process (there are crimes involved in the drug dealing business, but I'm not referring to those), and everything is done voluntarily and honestly on Walter's part. The only thing immoral about it I can think
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