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Earth 2020: three outcomes to global warming

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DavidV
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By David from Truth, Justice, and the American Way,cross-posted by MetaBlog

Let’s assume that “global warming” is the hoax that I think it is. What happens when, sometime around 2020, no evidence of global warming (as a historically unique trend) is found? The following scenarios are three plausible outcomes to the “global warming” crisis.

A.) The Fraud Discredited

Politicians and the scientific community admit their error. Environmentalist regulations and environmental agencies are cut back or eliminated. The hundreds of think-tanks, non-profits, and lobbying agencies that survive on the profits from the environmentalist hysteria voluntarily disband.

B.) A disaster narrowly averted

Continual improvements in solar power or another renewable technology make it more cost efficient than fossil-fuel based power. The market gradually changes until solar power is dominant.

Politicians proclaim victory, and praise the regulatory state and state-coerced green energy. They stress the need for continual vigilance as they look around for a new crisis to bankroll their campaigns.

C.) A self-fulfilling prophecy

Faced with a lack of evidence for global warming, environmentalists focus instead on random climate variation and natural disasters under the banner of “climate change,” which can conveniently be blamed for heat waves, cold fronts, hurricanes, and even tsunamis. The draconian regulatory state gradually erodes the wealth producing capacity of industry, thus destroying the only tool man has to deal with nature’s fury. The EPA/ /DOJ wrecks the economy, FDA causes plagues, and the FCC makes sure the party line gets coverage. The Son of Kyoto shifts energy production and industry from relatively clean, developed nations to environmentally irresponsible developing ones. Innovations in energy production/consumption become prohibitively expensive to get past the regulatory state.

By 2020, nature is unpredictable as ever, but our ability to deal with it is crippled by the state. Politicians seize upon the global havoc they unleashed as proof of the need for further regulation.

Which outcome is most likely? Very likely, it will be a combination of all three. Which one is pre-eminent depends on your estimate of the world’s sanity.

http://ObjectivismOnline.com/blog/archives/002153.html

Edited by GreedyCapitalist
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A) The Fraud Discredited

Politicians and the scientific community admit their error. Environmentalist regulations and environmental agencies are cut back or eliminated. The hundreds of think-tanks, non-profits, and lobbying agencies that survive on the profits from the environmentalist hysteria voluntarily disband.

It will never happen. That same crowd sure as heck did not admit that they were wrong when it happened last time around - i.e. when they could not longer push Communism and be taken seriously. So they just swapped one set of evil nonsense for another and became watermelons - green on the outside, red on the inside. As soon as their latest fraud is discredited, I am sure they will find some other rationalization for seeking to enslave us.

B) A disaster narrowly averted

Continual improvements in solar power or another renewable technology make it more cost efficient than fossil-fuel based power. The market gradually changes until solar power is dominant.

Politicians proclaim victory, and praise the regulatory state and state-coerced green energy.

I am sure they will find grounds to oppose solar power if it ever caught on just as they are against wind energy now that technology is starting to be profitable in a marginal sort of way. They will say that the reflection from the solar panels disorients and disrupts flight patters of migratory birds and that the heat from the panels fries certain endangered insets as well as common insects that endangered birds consume. They will say solar energy is unfair to "sun poor" regions of the world that experience lots of cloud cover. They will "discover" some horrible alleged health dangers caused by whatever material the storage cells that make the solar power possible are made of. Leftists lie. They always have and they always will. If solar becomes successful, they will lie about that. And if given enough power they will censor (as they are trying to do now with the "global warming deniers"), intimidate, bully, arrest or even liquidate those who attempt to expose their lies. These people never change.

Hopefully a fourth possibility occurs: such people will be as hesitant to show their faces in public as they were in the weeks immediately following 9-11 because fools like Algore are recognized as the total laughing stocks they are and the rest are held in widespread contempt because they are recognized as the neo-Stalinist thugs that they are. Until then, may such people's dreams be filled every night with vivid images of Nancy Pelosi, Cindy Sheehan and Ted Kennedy naked.

Edited by Dismuke
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It's ruled out by reality, not by assumption.

Actually, it is not ruled out by reality. Whether or not you think global warming currently is occurring there seems to be nothing in the nature of reality or physical nature of the Earth which prohibits humans causing catastrophic climate change. As such, the debate shifts to whether or not proponents of global warming have proved that it is occurring and that we are the cause, and I think it is perfectly reasonable to say that they have not.

This is different from ruling out the idea of global warming/climate change/pollution on a metaphysical level. We are essentially talking about a factual issue here, not a philosophic one.

Which is, by the way, one reason I personally am suspicious of the bias of both "sides" in the global warming debate. The environmentalists/leftists certainly have ideological reasons for a bias in saying that global warming exists and that humans are the cause. But the libertarians/objectivists/republicans also have ideological reasons for a bias in saying that global warming doesn't (or in even can never) exist and that human action is irrelevant in climate change.

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We are essentially talking about a factual issue here, not a philosophic one.
Actually, no, this is a purely philosophical issue. The reality is that there is no evidence of global warming caused by man's actions. The eco-freak reaction is that the putative risks are so great that reality does not matter, but in reality, the risks are negligible. It is perfectly obvious that Objectivists do in fact allow the possibility that may can control nature and raise or lower the Earth's temperature, so you've misrepresented Objectivism (libertarians are nuts, they can fend for themselves). So you cannot say that we have a priori, by assumption, ruled out the possibility of man, some time in the future, causing the temperature to go up. It just has not happened. The freaks, OTOH, have indeed ruled out the possibility that there has been no global warming (as we have seen, i.e. the scare is a hoax).
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Actually, no, this is a purely philosophical issue.

I still don't see how it is a philosophical issue. Philosophy isn't in the business of deciding factual disputes, that just isn't its purpose. Philosophy can give guidance on epistemological methods as applied to scientific discovery, or to the implications of scientific facts to philosophic issues. But Objectivism, nor any philosophy can't go "mano a mano" with scientists over an issue like global warming.

Obviously there are environmentalists out there who want to control society regardless of facts. However, most of the scientists I have met personally don't operate with this point of view. They try to determine the facts, and then draw conclusions from them. To say global warming is a hoax is to say all of this class of scientist is either delusional or else incompetent. This may be true or not, but even this determination seems beyond the scope of philosophy and of Objectivism in particular, except to the extent that Objectivists are also scientists.

Again, I am not a proponent of the (human) global warming theory. I simply think this is an issue which Objectivism as a philosophy is unable to address as a philosophy. Objectivists can certainly have a position on it, but the validity of their position would seem to track their ability to evaluate scientific data and methods (ie their scientific knowledge) rather than their knowledge of Objectivism.

Edited by Vladimir Berkov
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I simply think this is an issue which Objectivism as a philosophy is unable to address as a philosophy.
Are you familiar with Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, as a starting point? And are you familiar with The Philosophy of Physical Science? Then putting these two together, you ought to be able to see that this is almost exclusively a philosophical question. Factual matters cannot be resolved without having a philosophy that tells you what "fact" and "resolved" refer to. Philosophy even has Latin names for the logical fallacy they you engaged in, claiming that you only know virtuous scientists who authoritatively declare that there is man-made global warming. Argumentum ad Verecundiam. There are miles to go before any experimental evidence becomes even remotely relevant.

If you have factual evidence to support the claim of man-made global warming, bring it out and we will evaluate it. If you have any evidence that Objectivism has an a priori position on the physical possibility of man-made global warming, bring it out and we will evaluate it. Otherwise, please stick to the supportable.

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Are you familiar with Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, as a starting point? And are you familiar with The Philosophy of Physical Science? Then putting these two together, you ought to be able to see that this is almost exclusively a philosophical question. Factual matters cannot be resolved without having a philosophy that tells you what "fact" and "resolved" refer to. Philosophy even has Latin names for the logical fallacy they you engaged in, claiming that you only know virtuous scientists who authoritatively declare that there is man-made global warming. Argumentum ad Verecundiam. There are miles to go before any experimental evidence becomes even remotely relevant.

As I said above, philosophy can provide guidance on epistemology, and to a lesser extent scientific methods. But what philosophy cannot do is engage in analysis of scientific data to arrive at conclusions. At best, a philosopher can try to analyze the relative validity of two scientific conclusions, although to do so the philosopher must also have a good knowledge of the data and methods (IE be a scientist). Nothing prohibits Objectivists from doing this, but in doing so their conclusions on global warming cannot be an explicit position of the Objectivist philosophy. They are simply conclusions of individuals.

If you have factual evidence to support the claim of man-made global warming, bring it out and we will evaluate it. If you have any evidence that Objectivism has an a priori position on the physical possibility of man-made global warming, bring it out and we will evaluate it. Otherwise, please stick to the supportable.

I will have to find the blog discussion that was posted earlier (I think by GreedyCapitalist) which contained a good reference to a supposedly-objectivist position. As to my personal view, I do think that there is warming/climate change but I don't think there has yet been good evidence that mankind is responsible for it.

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As I said above, philosophy can provide guidance on epistemology, and to a lesser extent scientific methods. But what philosophy cannot do is engage in analysis of scientific data to arrive at conclusions.
Can you give a reason to support this claim? I will state that in my opinion and based on an integration of everything that I have observed in my life, this is false. However, if you have a compelling argument to the contrary, I am willing to evaluate that argument. However, please do not engage in metaphors that go any deeper that what you have already uttered. As you know, or should know, neither science not philosophy can "engage" or "analyze". These are cognitive activities carried out by men, and science and philosophy are cognitive activities carried out by men. But a cognitive activity cannot then carry out a cognitive activity -- only a man is capable of carrying out a cognitive activity. I am surprised, and frankly a little shocked, that you were unaware of that fact.

I will leave the remainder of your post until later, when you have adequately addressed this problem, which is a fundamental problem that impedes any further discussion. Who is it that cannot engage in analysis of scientific data to arrive at conclusions, and why do they lack that capacity.

And what size net? Either you know, or you don't know.

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I will leave the remainder of your post until later, when you have adequately addressed this problem, which is a fundamental problem that impedes any further discussion. Who is it that cannot engage in analysis of scientific data to arrive at conclusions, and why do they lack that capacity.

The reason they lack that capacity is because they lack scientific training and knowledge. Philosophy has applicability to all other branches of knowledge, however philosophy cannot do the job of all those branches of knowledge either. For example, you can't expect a philosopher to be able to do the job of a medical doctor, or an engineer, or an economist, or an accountant, or a lawyer, or a scientist. Philosophers lack the specialized training. Philosophers can provide guidance and input to these fields as this guidance pertains to philosophy. However, they cannot usurp the different field's own expertise.

This is why Objectivism has a valid opinion on global warming only to the extent that the individual Objectivist in question has scientific knowledge. Only such a person can adequately evaluate competing theories, analyze different fact-patterns, and draw the proper conclusions.

This doesn't mean that non-scientists can't have opinions about science. However their opinions are only valid to either the extent of their own knowledge or their reliance on a more knowledgable source.

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The reason they lack that capacity is because they lack scientific training and knowledge.
In using the pronoun "they", you mean philosophers, not philosophy. I am a philosopher and a scientist (as was Eddington). Please discuss my lack of scientific knowledge and training, before you move on to the utter ignorance of all other Objectivists. Be especially prepared to defend your concept of what scientific training is. And at all times, ground your discussion in ITOE. Please do not bother to post even one sentence further on the topic until you can at least show the most trivial level of competence in Objectivism 101: specifically, show why an Objectivist is incapable of judging the facts of reality, if that is your contention. Finally, produce one example of an empirical argument based on specialised knowledge that is beyond the competence of a philosophically-ept person to handle.

I furthermore insist that you stop talking about Objectivism "having an opinion" about global warming until you prove that whatever it is you think constitutes "the Objectivist position" is indeed, by definition, Objectivism.

As one of those despicable Objectivist creators of knowledge, I am tired of your slander, so I want you to put your money where your mouth is.

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I predict that by 2020, environmentalists will have extended their forcasts of catastrophic change twenty years further into the future. The end.

It doesn't sound as excitingly dystopic as scenarios B and C, but it follows the path of least resistance.

Edited by The Passion of the Koresh
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As one of those despicable Objectivist creators of knowledge, I am tired of your slander, so I want you to put your money where your mouth is.

Please take a deep breath, David.

Vladimir is simply saying that the mere fact that someone is an Objectivist does not alone qualify them to hold views on narrow, non-philosophical subjects when one is not educated in that particular specialty. That is all he is saying here. In and of itself, that position is undeniably true. Vladimir's mistake here is that he thinks that global warming is a strictly scientific issue. It is not. It is primarily an ideologically motivated issue.

Vladimir being mistaken on that is NOT an example of "slander." Now it is very true that Vladimir has been taken to task elsewhere on this forum recently for making uninformed remarks about what the Objectivist position is and is not in such a way that a reasonable person could be offended and regard them as slander or disrespectful. In other words, he has already been taken to task on this. And, while I haven't had time to follow all of his postings since and I happen to know he did not even see the postings where I and others took him to task for almost 24 hours (during which time he put up additional postings), at least in this thread I see no evidence he is guilty of any particular disrespect or slander. You may dislike Vladimir and hope that he goes away - but, it is not just to keep beating him over the head with a stick that has already been used.

Having a false view of what is a scientific verses philosophical issue is NOT slander or insulting unless one chooses to be offended by it.

Edited by Dismuke
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Vladimir is simply saying that the mere fact that someone is an Objectivist does not alone qualify them to hold views on narrow, non-philosophical subjects when one is not educated in that particular specialty.
Well, first, Berkov should say clearly and overtly what he really meant to say. I don't have any reason to believe that this is what he wished that he had said, and I do not see a compelling argument that that has to be what he intended by his words. If he wishes to retract or clarify, that is an excellent way of sorting out his intentions (at least his present intensions).
In and of itself, that position is undeniably true. Vladimir's mistake here is that he thinks that global warming is a strictly scientific issue.
I'm leaving out the political question since I think it's not relevant, i.e. IMO it's established what the motivation of the quack scienntists is. So, these two sentences present an interesting paradox. To wit: an ostensively scientific question is never a strictly scientific question. Every scientific issue is deeply embedded in a philosophical framework -- an epistemological framework. No scientific questions at all can be answered without having a valid philosophical framework for giving specific meaning to the foundational methods of investigation. The idea that you can "just look" in some kind of primitive, pre-conceptual way, and have scientific fact revealed to you is highly mistaken. "Global warming" is a fundamentally philosophical question exactly because the "science" surrounding it is not philosophically sound. Just as predominant views of sociology, anthropology, political science and history are philosophically wrong (being based on fundamentally false presumptions), I am arguing that "global warming science" is pseudo-science. As always, I await factually-grounded demonstration that global warming is in fact founded on something more solid than quicksand.
Having a false view of what is a scientific verses philosophical issue is NOT slander or offensive unless one chooses to be offended by it.
I assume that you understand how you made an error there (especially since I'm pointing it out). The slander lies in the implication that I am incompetent to judge scientific fact, which would be analogous to a per se defamation of Berkov as a would-be lawyer (w.r.t. to his professional competence). Whether or not he choses to be offended by a slander that I might emit, I still may not declare that he is a legal quack. As he very well knows, truth is an absolute defense against the charge of defamation. So I want him to back up his accusation of incompetence. I think this is an embarassingly simple matter: bring out the evidence, period.
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Well, first, Berkov should say clearly and overtly what he really meant to say.

By virtue of the fact that they have mistaken premises, people are sometimes not able to do that. It is very common and normal. And, for that reason, those who do have the correct premises need to be aware of this fact and have a certain amount of patience.

To wit: an ostensively scientific question is never a strictly scientific question. Every scientific issue is deeply embedded in a philosophical framework -- an epistemological framework. No scientific questions at all can be answered without having a valid philosophical framework for giving specific meaning to the foundational methods of investigation.

That's certainly true. But that is quite a lot of information to shove down someone's throat and then essentially demand that they grasp and understand it or else you will throw even more at them to understand. Do you really expect Vladimir or anyone else who is confused on the issue to absorb all that merely from a discussion board posting? I understand it is tempting to feel that you want to "knock some sense" into somebody - and I have felt that way a time or two myself in discussions with Vladimir. But I am afraid it cannot be done. And repeatedly demanding a person to "back up" a point that you know is already flawed is an open invitation for them to bring forth additional flawed points. Clearly, if someone makes an outrightly offensive statement that one morally should not dignify with a rebuttal, one should ask for it to be backed up. And there are cases when doing so can be helpful in informing the other person. But beyond a certain point - well, it is not productive for either party and, if taken to the extreme, could be a form of browbeating.

The slander lies in the implication that I am incompetent to judge scientific fact,
Nowhere does he assert YOU are incompetent. You are turning this into something personal when it is not.

As for "implications" - well, ANY flawed premise is going to have some pretty horrible implications if one follows them through long enough. Taking personal offense to them when none was intended is, in my view, not a particularly productive way to go about one's life and certainly not condusive to being very persuasive in debates. Furthermore, you, me, or anyone else, is incompetent to judge something, if they do not have not been educated in the available facts that are necessary in order to make that judgement. That applies to scientific facts or any other kind of facts. It is not an insult to say that Dismuke is not qualified to judge a matter of scientific fact with regard to nuclear physics. I am not - and my epistemology is pretty sound if I do say so myself.

which would be analogous to a per se defamation of Berkov as a would-be lawyer (w.r.t. to his professional competence). Whether or not he choses to be offended by a slander that I might emit, I still may not declare that he is a legal quack.

Someone having a flawed (and in this case, honest) misunderstanding about the nature and scope of the legal profession is NOT a slander of Vladimir and if he were to regard it as an example of someone calling him a quack - well, I would say that he is either looking to be offended or is finding an excuse to pick a fight.

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In using the pronoun "they", you mean philosophers, not philosophy. I am a philosopher and a scientist (as was Eddington). Please discuss my lack of scientific knowledge and training, before you move on to the utter ignorance of all other Objectivists. Be especially prepared to defend your concept of what scientific training is. And at all times, ground your discussion in ITOE.

My post was never a personal attack on your scientific knowledge, I honestly don't understand why you think it was. My point was simple; that Objectivism as a philosophy cannot take a position on the underlying factual and scientific basis for global warming, however individual Objectivists CAN have a valid position to the extent they have knowledge and understanding of the scientific data, analysis and conclusions. Thus if you, for example, as an Objectivist have scientific training to the extent you can analyze and compare different scientific conclusions on global warming, that is perfectly fine. It would be incorrect, however, to say that your personal opinion on the relative validity of those theories is somehow an opinion embedded in Objectivism as a philosophy.

Please do not bother to post even one sentence further on the topic until you can at least show the most trivial level of competence in Objectivism 101: specifically, show why an Objectivist is incapable of judging the facts of reality, if that is your contention. Finally, produce one example of an empirical argument based on specialised knowledge that is beyond the competence of a philosophically-ept person to handle.
I never said Objectivists are incapable of judging the facts of reality. My point was that Objectivists qua Objectivists do not have the specialized knowledge required for analysis of specialized data, specifically scientific data. The same is true of all fields. For instance, I could present you (presumibly a non-lawyer) with a legal question which you lack the knowledge the analyze properly. You may, over time, and through research gain enough knowledge to answer it properly. But simple knowledge of Objectivist principles will itself be unable to solve the problem.

I furthermore insist that you stop talking about Objectivism "having an opinion" about global warming until you prove that whatever it is you think constitutes "the Objectivist position" is indeed, by definition, Objectivism.

My point is exactly that Objectivism qua Objectivism CAN'T have an opinion on the scientific basis of global warming.

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My point is exactly that Objectivism qua Objectivism CAN'T have an opinion on the scientific basis of global warming.

Change that to "scientific explanations of climate change" and I will agree with you. "Global warming" involves more than mere scientific study of what the climate, is, in fact doing and why. It is an ideological agenda. The mere use of the term "global warming" in today's context automatically assumes the premise that it is caused by capitalism and that the warming is necessarily a bad thing.

The climate is changing. It always has changed. That is why we have had ice ages and periods when the climate has been much warmer than it is today - and all of this happned before the "evil" Industrial Revolution came along. What causes the climate to change and what forces are in play when it does? That is a strictly scientific question and requires lots of specialized knowledge. However, when it comes to evaluating the validity of various scientific theories that may be put forth to explain it - there is indeed a philosophical aspect to the issue. The philosophy of science is a very valid and specialized field of study. Objectivism has no opinion at all on the various specialized issues within the philosophy of science as Ayn Rand was not a scientist and never addressed such issues. However, it is mandatory that a proper philosophy of science be based on a proper metaphysics, epistemology and perhaps even ethics as well - and in that respect Objectivism has a great deal to say and offer.

Edited by Dismuke
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I predict that by the time 2020 comes around, option E would have happen:

E: The earth would be engulf in fire by 2040.

Why? Because Environmentalism is a religion. It follows the story of Christianity very closely, except to replace "God" with "Earth" and "Hell" with "Global Warming".

According to Environmentalism, the Earth was perfect, until Men came along to ruin it. (just like how Man got kicked out of the Garden of Eden). However, just like Christianity, there is still time to be saved before the rapture comes and engulfs us in Hell. And just like (early) Christianity, the rapture will come soon, in 20 years!

So all this talk about science and politics, its just masking the real truth about Global Warming - that its nothing more then a religion.

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Dismuke (and Vladimir),

First of all, I do see what Vladimir was saying and agree with your assessment of what he intended by it. Of course, his position does in a backhanded sort of manner imply what David is saying, but I wouldn't have thought to look at it that way. Now, as of this post, he has clarified it to definitely be the former.

Do you really expect Vladimir or anyone else who is confused on the issue to absorb all that merely from a discussion board posting?

No, but that is not what has happened here.

First, he does not just have the basis of a single posting. He has read all of OPAR and a few other Objectivist texts, if I recall correctly. It is in there so he does not have a very good excuse at this point. (If he needed to read it again, he really doesn't have an excuse for not doing that, either, since anyone who has read OPAR should be able to grasp its profound importance.)

Second, he is not merely failing to absorb the truth in question (about Global Warming being an ideological/philosophical issue); he is utterly ignoring that point. He has been told at least five times in this thread that it is, and he hasn't really responded to that point at all. It's like he's just ignoring it. If he doesn't agree or understand, he should at least address the crux of the argument, instead of just repeating his own point.

I understand it is tempting to feel that you want to "knock some sense" into somebody

I am afraid that he leaves us little recourse. It is fairly clear at this point that he isn't really listening; not to us, and not to any of the Objectivist texts that he has supposedly read. (really, was it a number of years ago? Did he just skim them? Or was he reading them with the same inactive-minded attitude that he displays here?)

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My post was never a personal attack on your scientific knowledge, I honestly don't understand why you think it was.
I reached that conclusion based on your statement "The reason they lack that capacity is because they lack scientific training and knowledge." As one of "them", an Objectivist, that refers to me. Do you now repudiate the claim that Objectivists lack scientific training and knowledge?
My point is exactly that Objectivism qua Objectivism CAN'T have an opinion on the scientific basis of global warming.
What does it means for Objectivism to "have an opinion"? Can Objectivism write a book, buy a car, or wear a dress? The only way I can make any sense of your claim is to restate is as a claim about Objectivists and not Objectivism. Then your point should also be that scientists qua scientists can't have a valid opinion on the scientific basis of global warming (I'm leaving out the invalid personal opinion that some scientists have injected into the debate, which is based on a political theory). Please surprise me and say that you understand why this latter point is so. The notion of "Objectivist qua Objectivist" or "scientist qua scientist" is ridiculous, and I don't understand how you as a former philosophy student could fail to get this. Valid scientific methods do not just magically appear on the blackboard. They require a valid philosophy at all steps along the way, and specifically a philosophy which holds existence to be primary.

An important problem with your point is that in asking about the contribution of Objectivism to understanding the scientific basis of global warming, you are presupposing that there is so-called global warming, and this has not been establshed as an objective fact. In addition, Objectivist metaphysics does have something to say about physics, which is foundational for studies of weather. Objectivist epistemology contributes huge amounts to the validation of scientific methods upon which to base conclusions as to whether there is a meaningful warming trend and what causes it.

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Of course, his position does in a backhanded sort of manner imply what David is saying, but I wouldn't have thought to look at it that way.

Exactly - in a backhanded sort of manner. That was the point of my posting.

One can take darn near any false premise or imprecise statement and, if one takes it far enough, one can infer all sorts of horrible implications from it. Because the universe is a whole and is interconnected, that is the nature of a falsehood - it is rarely self contained. And, as you said: "but I wouldn't have thought to look at it that way." Precisely. And neither would I. And neither would most people. So the question is: why did David choose to take it that way? More important - why did David choose to regard it as an insult to himself personally when there was zero evidence that Vladimir had such intentions?

It is fairly clear at this point that Vladimir isn't really listening; not to us, and not to any of the Objectivist texts that he has supposedly read. (really, was it a number of years ago? Did he just skim them? Or was he reading them with the same inactive-minded attitude that he displays here?)

Ho-hummm. You said the same thing just the other night. Guess what? I said it too. And now you and I are repeating ourselves. And exactly why are we repeating ourselves? Because David chose to deduce in a "backhanded" sort of way certain implications that he decided to take personal offense to, he was able to find a platform in which to write the following:

I furthermore insist that you stop talking about Objectivism "having an opinion" about global warming until you prove that whatever it is you think constitutes "the Objectivist position" is indeed, by definition, Objectivism.

As one of those despicable Objectivist creators of knowledge, I am tired of your slander, so I want you to put your money where your mouth is.

Amazing how similar that is to what we were saying just the other night. And yet there is nothing in this thread by Vladimir that warrants him being subjected to a rerun of what you and I dished out to him a few evenings ago. Vladimir did NOT misrepresent "the Objectivist position." His point was about the scope of philosophical verses scientific inquiry. The only way Objectivism per se was involved was simply due to the fact that it is an instance of a philosophy and, thus, is limited in scope to whatever valid limitations any philosophy is properly limited to. One may agree or disagree with Vladimir's point here - but it simply is NOT an example of the sort of Objectivist bashing that David is trying to make it out to be. Furthermore, there was NOTHING in the thread to indicate that Vladimir regards Objectivists as "despicable" and nothing that he said which even remotely approaches "slander." (If anyone is being slandered here, there is a much stronger case to suggest that it is Vladimir as he is the one being jumped on for stuff he did not say). Of course, all of this is very conveniently reminiscent of what you and I were talking about the other night, isn't it? Except that the other night, what we were saying was deserved. In this instance, it isn't. So why did David choose to bring all this up?

I am sorry, but I am not a clueless newbie and I did not fall off a turnip truck yesterday. I recognize GRANDSTANDING when I see it.

Second, he is not merely failing to absorb the truth in question (about Global Warming being an ideological/philosophical issue); he is utterly ignoring that point. He has been told at least five times in this thread that it is, and he hasn't really responded to that point at all. It's like he's just ignoring it.

Well... have you ever considered that maybe part of the reason might be that he feels that nobody has grasped HIS essential point which was the difference in the nature and scope of scientific and philosophical inquiry? There is a legitimate difference between the two.

I will be the first to admit that Vladimir (and a great many other people as well) needs to spend more time studying and reading and less time arguing. But any form of communication is a two way street. It is a fact of human psychology that a person is not going to do a good job of listening when he is focused on trying to get the other person to at least recognize his context and accurately understand his point. One also has to keep in mind that it is very difficult for a person to learn and grasp basic points when he has multiple people throwing out assorted Objectivist "factoids" at once - and that is assuming a best case scenario where all of the multiple people actually know what they are talking about and are able to present that information in a non-confusing, non-hostile manner. Bottom line is what I always tell newbies: there is no substitute for studying the source material and the odds of someone new learning something about the philosophy from a message board are slim to none and more likely will result in confusion and an inacurrate impression of what the philosophy stands for. I have learned a lot from message boards such as this - but that is because I have studied the philosophy for years and have the context needed to recognize which postings contain valuable information.

First, he does not just have the basis of a single posting. He has read all of OPAR and a few other Objectivist texts, if I recall correctly. It is in there so he does not have a very good excuse at this point. (If he needed to read it again, he really doesn't have an excuse for not doing that, either, since anyone who has read OPAR should be able to grasp its profound importance.)

Again, we covered this the other night - and I resent the fact that it has been opened up and is being rehashed because of how David choose make "backhanded" inferences in such a way as to conveniently bring it back up.

Furthermore, what you are saying is NOT applicable to David's approach in making his points to Vladimir. What David does in response to any unclear or inaccurate thought expressed by Vladimir is rip what he says apart and innundates him with a flood of points from the Objectivist literature followed by what amounts to a demand Vladimir to grasp and agree with him - and if he doesn't, Vladmir's next response will be subjected to more of the same. Even if one assumes that David's points are 100% valid and are consistent with the Objectivist position, Vladimir, nor anyone else, can be expected to grasp anything from such an approach on grounds of crow epistemology.

Here is an example of the sort of heavy handedness I am talking about:

Be especially prepared to defend your concept of what scientific training is. And at all times, ground your discussion in ITOE. Please do not bother to post even one sentence further on the topic until you can at least show the most trivial level of competence in Objectivism 101: specifically, show why an Objectivist is incapable of judging the facts of reality, if that is your contention. Finally, produce one example of an empirical argument based on specialised knowledge that is beyond the competence of a philosophically-ept person to handle.

Keep in mind that he is demanding that Vladimir jump through all of these hoops just so that he can defend his point that there is a difference in the nature and proper scope of science verses philosophy.

How much time do you suppose someone knowledgable about Objectivism would have to spend in order to comply with such demands by presenting the Objectivist postion on these matters - and explicitly tying everything back to ITOE? And how long would such a posting be? And, even if it was posted, who would bother to read it besides David who would undoubtely use it as a basis for demanding even more of the same? Such demands are simply NOT reasonable or justified.

Furthermore, one does NOT need to be an Objectivist or have ever read ITOE in order to make the point that there is a difference between science and philosophy.

I am sorry, but the fact that Vladimire does not and cannot comply with such demands is NOT a valid example of what Inspector and I were taking Vladimir to task for when it comes to not being familiar with the Objectivist literature. Like I said, I know grandstanding when I see it.

Furthemore, the purpose of argument is to inform and persuade. One does NOT do either by overwhelming one's opponant with and burying him under one's superior knowledge of the subject matter. That accomplishes nothing other than silencing one's opponant and perhaps convincing oneself that he has achieved some sort of "victory" over the other guy. At best one might be able to intimidate one's opponant into compliance and submission - but the person sure as heck will not have any actual understanding. A rational discussion has to be a dialogue with both parties making an effort to understand the other's context.

I am the very last person in the world who will apologize for or make excuses for inappropriate behavior on the part of Vladimir. He is a very good friend of mine and I wish nothing but wonderful things for him. I would not be doing him any favors by sanctioning inappropriate behavior on his part and by keeping silent when I see it. The fact that he is my friend does not exempt him from the facts of reality. Vladimir does need to spend more time reading the literature and less time trying to argue with people here. But I will be damned if I sit back and watch someone who, for whatever reason, has chosen to have some sort of personal animosity towards Vladimir twist his words so as to create a platform to drag up points that I had no choice but to state in public about my friend so that they could be used to beat him over the head again. Vladimir needs to be held to the same standards of behavior that the rest of us do - and I agree with RationalBiker that the moderators have been VERY good about giving him the benefit of the doubt in a number of instances, which, as his friend, I very much appreciate. I know others do not share the same context that I have by virtue of knowing him in person - but he is worthy of the benefit of the doubt that has been shown.

My advice to people in general after a number of years participation in various boards is this: Heated debate is fine and wonderful if both parties benefit from it. But the very minute that you sense someone is out to defeat you - back off and do not respond to that person at all. You have nothing to gain from such a person. Of course, you have to make sure that your own behavior is appropriate, not only because it should be appropriate, but somewhere down the line, you will run into someone who, for whatever reason, takes a personal dislike towards you and will attempt to drag your previous behavior back up and use it against you. I have seen it happen over and over again.

Edited by Dismuke
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I reached that conclusion based on your statement "The reason they lack that capacity is because they lack scientific training and knowledge." As one of "them", an Objectivist, that refers to me. Do you now repudiate the claim that Objectivists lack scientific training and knowledge?

Well, I happen to be "one of them, an Objectivist" so that "refers to me" as well. And I do "lack scientific training and knowledge." I am utterly clueless on the subject and have had no formal training on it since my very mediocre high school education. Clearly all Objectivists do NOT have scientific training and knowledge. So, do you now repudiate your bizarre inferences? If not, why not? Oh, and be sure to tie back your answer to ITOE quoting exact passages.

What does it means for Objectivism to "have an opinion"? Can Objectivism write a book, buy a car, or wear a dress? The only way I can make any sense of your claim is to restate is as a claim about Objectivists and not Objectivism.

Hmmm. For some reason, I didn't think Objectivism was one of those philosophies which required people to parse words and sentences with a fine tooth comb in order to extract "meaning." I was under the impression that Objectivism held words and sentences to be a means toward the end of expressing ideas. I was also under the impression that Objectivism held that ideas - good ideas and bad ideas - arise from and are held in a specific context.

I was also under the impression from Dr. Peikoff's Objective Communication course that one of the essential requirements of engaging in an argument (assuming that one's motive for doing so is to understand and to persuade) is to make an effort to understand what the other person (not just his mere words) actually means and the specific context from which he is coming. Somehow I don't see you doing that. No effort to understand Vladimir's ideas or to explain why they are false while making reference to Vladimir's context. I just see nitpicking of his words and sentences along with assertions backed up by your context, which, as ought to be obvious to anyone, is very different than his.

So perhaps you ought to address the relationship between words and sentences and ideas - explicitly tying everything back to ITOE, of course. And what is the Objectivist position towards ideas which are false? Does it draw any distinction between ideas which are false because of lack of knowledge or confusion? Why or why not - and make sure your answer is backed up by OPAR. And do you understand the Objectivist position regarding context? If so, please demonstrate that you do - tying it back to both ITOE and OPAR. Finally, show the philosophical ramifications that the interrelationship of words and sentences with ideas has on the issue of context and the status of individuals who hold false ideas based on faulty contexts - and please prove that your position is consistent with the views of Ayn Rand and Dr. Peikoff and that you have communicated it objectively as defined by the principles referenced in Dr. Peikoff's Objective Communication course.

Of course, if you do answer those questions, I will just tear the sentences apart and take offense at various implications that you may or may not have meant. Then I will make a whole bunch of other assertions and ask you a new round of questions. And when you reply, I will do the same thing over and over again. And if you have the mindset of a clueless newbie, you will act like a sucker and take the bait and keep posting replies so that I can keep it up. And if I tried this with someone whose knowledge of Objectivism is still limited and he was foolish enough to take my bait, I could sit back and watch him continue to keep digging himself deeper and deeper into the hole in his misguided attempts to actually answer me seriously.

And if you do not answer the questions - well, I could then point to it and try to create the impression that you are being evasive and are not prepared to back up what you say.

So perhaps, David, you should not even bother to answer my little line of questioning in the first place. Because, if you do - well, it will be heads you lose and tails you lose. You would probably be wise to see if for what it is and to ignore it.

I have the same advice for Vladimir.

I just figure that since Vladimir's posting style has (legitimately) been questioned recently on this board, and since David was the one who chose to use this thread as a means of bringing that subject back up, I thought that I would take the opportunity to use it to point out that Vladimir is not the only person whose posting style leaves much to be desired.

Edited by Dismuke
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