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Welcome To Reality - new show on YouTube

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MisterSwig
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Eiuol (Lev) and I (William) have created a new show on Youtube called Welcome To Reality! It is devoted to respectful debate and discussion. We will cover various topics that interest us and try to apply our understanding of Objectivism to moral and political action. The first episode is on the use and morality of recreational drugs, such as alcohol and psychedelics. We hope you'll check out the program and subscribe to our channel. Thanks!

https://youtu.be/aDWd-b2xEB0 

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In our second episode we talk about video games and making value judgments while playing them. The conversation relates gaming to Ayn Rand's concept of metaphysical value judgments. We also discuss the purpose and moral status of roleplaying villains and heroes in games like Grand Theft Auto and Megaman.

 

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In this fourth episode we talk about Buddhism and meditation. We ask if there is value to be had from studying Buddhism and practicing meditation. I tell a couple stories about Buddha and Pindola, and Eiuol discusses the epistemological aspects to Buddhist thought and a meditative practice called Satipatthana that focuses on mindfulness.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

We have seven episodes up now. The latest, topical subject is impeachment. We discuss the U.S. Constitution and the impeachment power given to Congress. In general, when should we impeach a President? In addition to legal violations, what sort of moral transgressions might be grounds for  removal? And specifically, should we impeach Trump? I think Eiuol will agree that this is a tough question. He leaned towards impeachment, whereas I lean towards not impeaching.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Episode 8 covers the China-Hong Kong situation. We discuss protesting or boycotting companies that do business in China, such as the NBA and Blizzard Activision, which made headlines recently for seemingly supporting China over the protesters in Hong Kong.

 

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On 8/6/2020 at 3:37 PM, merjet said:

You guys talked about the philosophical motivations of the protesters. This article is about that. It is written by one of the authors of the soon-to-be-released book Critical Theories.

There is another pretty good article on New Discourses. No, the Woke Won’t Debate You. Here’s Why.  Much of it is about the philosophical mindset of a typical "Woke" person. It includes the Woke view of racism, oppression, and truth.

Edited by merjet
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Lived experience makes enough sense because all people have specific individual experiences that cannot be collectivized. If people develop knowledge through looking at, observing, and thinking about the world around them, then the knowledge someone holds has a lot to do with the experiences they have lived through. I would imagine that anyone who disagrees that "objectivity" means "from an omniscient perspective" would find this outlook appealing, including anyone who adopts Rand's sense of objectivity.

The problem comes in when, as far as I can tell, when people say that there are some things you can never know, but that they know. And not even just that they know, but that a lived experience provides necessarily valid knowledge. So what happens is, if you question what they know (at least when it comes to race or any kind of identity), then this means that you are questioning their lived experience, effectively "not believing" them. I'd have to trust them, because there would be no way for me to know the answer even if they explained it to me. That can include if I ever ask "I'm not sure I see it, can you explain to me how that person was being racist?" A fair question, especially if you want to understand them better. I asked that sort of question once online, but they got all combative, especially when I told them I wanted to understand them better. 

"How do you know?" shouldn't even be seen as a hostile question! 

Edited by Eiuol
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16 hours ago, merjet said:

There is another pretty good article on New Discourses. No, the Woke Won’t Debate You. Here’s Why.  Much of it is about the philosophical mindset of a typical "Woke" person. It includes the Woke view of racism, oppression, and truth.

A good essay. Makes it plain that the Critical Social "Wokes", need to pick the lowest hanging - and rottenest - fruit in order to have any arguments, and call that indicative of the whole tree. Feelings are their absolute, therefore reason, the white man's invention, has to be dispatched and avoided. You don't automatically sense this - so you won't ever understand - sort of thing.

And "lived experience" is a means of knowledge, either objectively and rigorously attained or subjectively just accepted.

Edited by whYNOT
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22 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Lived experience makes enough sense because all people have specific individual experiences that cannot be collectivized. If people develop knowledge through looking at, observing, and thinking about the world around them, then the knowledge someone holds has a lot to do with the experiences they have lived through. I would imagine that anyone who disagrees that "objectivity" means "from an omniscient perspective" would find this outlook appealing, including anyone who adopts Rand's sense of objectivity.

My problem with "lived experience" is that it smells fishy, like someone's corrupted grasp of the concept of "personal experience."

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  • 1 month later...

Our new episode covers the controversy over the NY Times' 1619 Project versus Trump's push for patriotic education, when it comes to teaching history. We also get pretty deep into the principles and design of the correct curriculum.

 

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Of the two voices, lower pitch and higher one, which of you is which?

Slavery was brought to the Spanish colony of Florida in 1526. There is much New England hegemony in telling the history of this country. When in grade school, we were taught that the Pilgrims were about religious freedom. (Ha!) Nothing about the fact that it was a commercial enterprise. Nothing about the fact that it was through the charter for the Carolinas enterprise that the assertion and rationale for religious freedom (put in there by John Locke) entered the colonial scene. Slaves were imported through Charleston on the one hand (BTW, some were skilled in growing rice in Africa; it was a was a crop in the Charleston region), but on the other hand, many of the persecuted people who had fled to Amsterdam came to reside in Charleston. Catholics were excluded due to English conflict with Spain and France. But Jews and Huguenots and Congregationalists and Quakers, not only Church of England, settled there. Commerce brought not only slavery, but a significant degree of religious freedom.

I've gotten a wonderful book on the shift to Independence and the slavery debates at the Founding:

No Property in Man by Sean Wilentz

Edited by Boydstun
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6 hours ago, Boydstun said:

Of the two voices, lower pitch and higher one, which of you is which?

I have the lower pitch. Lev/Eiuol is the one who introduces the episode this time. Thanks for the historical information and book recommendation.

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