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Everything posted by Zoid

  1. Really? Off the top of my head, I came up with Up Ratatouille The Incredibles The three Toy Story movies The Avengers The first three Star Wars movies The first three Indiana Jones movies Shawshank Redemption When Harry Met Sally Superman Superman II Iron Man That's eighteen movies, and I could easily find more if I checked IMDb.
  2. Fair enough, but the original poster wasn't talking about individual Objectivists; he was talking about Rand's writing. He said he was having trouble taking the ideas seriously because "faith has never been [his] thing." This amounts to a passive-aggressive way of saying that Rand's ideas have no rational basis. A person is welcome to believe that, but using it as a basis for asserting that Objectivism endorses faith is dishonest.
  3. The options are not "deal only with specific empirical data" and "appeal to an abstract model in your head." (Religious principles, having no factual basis, are an example of the latter method.) The proper approach is to observe reality and use reason to form principles on the basis of one's observations, so that the empirical and the theoretical work together. Given Christianity's track record of spreading misery and death throughout the world, this is a curious attempt at a counterexample to the survival value of truth. Also, propogating one's alleles has nothing to do with the Objectivist ethics, which is an abstract toolkit for living one's own life, not creating new ones. It's worth noting that in asking for evidence that knowing the truth is in one's self-interest, you're conceding that the truth should be the arbiter of your beliefs. More importantly, though, a moral commitment to truth is a consequence of a more fundamental principle in Objectivism: reason is man's means of survival. Notice that our tools of survival - clothing, shelter, medicine, technology, etc. - came from the human capacity for thinking. Adhering to a falsehood drives a wedge in this kind of thinking and places a person at odds with reality. You can't cure polio if you think that bloodletting is the proper way to treat illnesses. Objectivism rejects faith, so I'm not sure what you mean by this.
  4. "The one minute case against 'special interests' as the cause of corruption in politics." Click "View the full post" at the bottom.
  5. I think you forgot to add the 1990-1995 option.
  6. Just as the science of medicine is based on the premise that a healthy body is a desirable goal, the science of ethics is based on the assumption that one wishes to live. Objectivism doesn't say "here's why you should live." It says "if you want to live, here are some principles you need to live by."
  7. Why would any of your posts be trolling attempts? Trolling shows a pretty fundamental lack of respect for the members of a community.
  8. Also, the blog post is tagged with the words "satire" and "snark", so yes, it was definitely intended as a joke.
  9. This bears all the stylistic hallmarks of satire. Notice the focus on Rand's well known traits, such as the fact that she smoked.
  10. I never said she was only referring to those things. I just used them as examples. Either way, I'm certain she wasn't referring to the process of deciding whether a defendant is legally guilty of a crime. Such decisions are necessary in a free society.
  11. When Ayn Rand said that individual rights should not be subject to public vote, she meant that rights-violating government policies like welfare programs and socialized medicine should be banned no matter how many people support them. Criminal trials arise from the need to protect individual rights. A jury deliberating on a verdict is not voting on whether individual rights should be protected, but on what decision best protects those rights. This is the case even if the jurors make a mistake.
  12. Oops. Yes, my mistake. Sorry about that.
  13. RationalBiker's answer wasn't simplistic. He listed five reasons children get cancer, all of which are extremely complex scientifically and depend themselves on a number of factors. Belief in causality is not a belief in some sort of cosmic scale of justice. It's not a choice between "there is a mystical force of justice that gives meaning to every accident in human life" and "reality is random." Causality is nothing more or less than the principle that all entities act according to their natures. It's not a guarantee that everyone who suffers somehow deserves it.
  14. I disagree that this is a necessary tenet of atheism. In fact, for exactly the reasons Dante has given, I think existence itself is an example of something without a cause.
  15. Again, where are you getting this idea that I'm claiming Rand never underwent intellectual development? If Alice says "Bob would never advocate the initiation of force" and Carol counters with "Not true; Bob started a fight when he was in the third grade," then Carol is missing the point entirely. I meant that "Ayn Rand as a mature philosophic thinker would never have deemed sociopathy a gift."
  16. I'm well aware of this, but we don't hold somebody to what they write in a private journal in the same way we do for published works. Also, I said that she was discussing her personal feelings rather than reasoning about the concepts involved, so the term "mistake" is not really applicable. I said nothing about what "an Objectivist" thinks; I merely pointed out that the view that sociopathy is a gift is utterly inconsistent with Rand's written philosophy. Nowhere did I imply that Rand didn't undergo intellectual development throughout her life.
  17. Given that the context in which she was writing was a private journal and was talking about her personal feelings rather than about formal philosophy, it's not really appropriate to call what she wrote about Hickman a "mistake." In any case, since sociopathy is characterized by a habitual disregard for the rights of others, and since rights are central to Rand's philosophic thought, it's clear that she would never have deemed such psychological illness "a gift."
  18. Could you clarify what you mean here? I think long term, but I also believe that when a person dies, his life stops entirely - cognition and emotional experiences cease to exist.
  19. Nothing like taking the time to register on a public forum and writing a long-winded, narcissistic post for an entire community to show how much you don't need people.
  20. It's possible to inductively validate a virtue without studying an entire philosophical system.
  21. It can certainly be moral for a person not to volunteer. Only the individual knows whether he can best protect his values by serving in the military or remaining at home. It depends on his context, skills, weaknesses, and value hierarchy.
  22. Okay, but you would need consciousness to be independent of matter to successfully argue for reincarnation. And even then, it wouldn't be enough. Objectivism says that mind and body are integrated. Of course there is space for cognitive choice. A biological explanation of volition wouldn't suddenly render volition nonexistent.
  23. On the contrary, neurology has definitively linked thought processes to brain processes, so there's good reason to believe the mind arises from physical actions. Even if consciousness were somehow matter-independent, that wouldn't prove the existence of reincarnation. And the soul, if it existed, could not be reincarnated from a previous lifetime ad infinitum because there are only finitely many generations of humans - we evolved from simpler organisms.
  24. This isn't a point in supernaturalism's favor. Our ignorance of a natural process doesn't mean we're entitled to assume a mystical explanation. And a full explanation of a phenomenon isn't necessary to conclude that said phenomenon is naturalistic. Huh? The tragic death of loved ones has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not life can emerge from physical processes.
  25. I'm not talking about dreaming; I'm talking about the abnormal neurological activity that can result when the brain is drugged or under stress. Additionally, even when sedated or dying the brain can respond to stimuli like sounds or movement. There are also cases of machines failing to detect brain activity in supposedly brain dead patients. Add to this the anecdotal nature of most documented near-death experiences, and there is again no reason to postulate the supernatural.
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