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Everything posted by ADS

  1. Justification

    I should offer a few clarifications, so this discussion does not go too far afield. 1) I do not deny, and have no problem saying, that people have a "moral right" to take certain actions outside of civil society. But this only means that such actions are absolutely morally right, not that one has a political right to perform them (since politics hasn't arisen yet). 2) Perhaps one could argue that it is a metaphysically given fact that one has a moral (not political) right to take certain actions in certain contexts (although even here I'm not sure). But, regardless, it would beg the question to assert that emergencies like the one(s) we are talking about fall within that context. The very question at issue is whether the relevant rights apply in the case of such emergencies. 3) When I say that the starving man does not violate the homeowner's rights, I'm talking about both political rights and moral rights. My present position is that the homeowner cannot claim a political or moral right to his food in this kind of (very extraordinary) situation. It is, again, just like a lifeboat situation: you do not have a political or moral right to your life if you and a group of people are trapped in a lifeboat and everyone is going to starve unless someone is killed and eaten. All moral claims against someone harming you are, in my view, out the window.
  2. The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics

    Shoshana Milgram and Shoshana Knapp are the same person, and it is this person that I'm sure Gideon was referring to.
  3. The Nature of the Universe

    For those who are unaware, the essay that Amse is referring to can be found here: Oh, yes; the universe is eternal. But the point is that "eternal" does not mean "infinite in time": it means "out of time."
  4. The Nature of the Universe

    Well, I wish it wasn't so difficult for you to decipher! While I do have other essays, none of them are of the same caliber as the one you read (which is why I don't have them available online). To be honest, I think you would be better served (re-)reading other things.
  5. How does consciousness arise?

    Perhaps I am misunderstanding both Duane and JRoberts, but aren't these statements a bit too strong? Man is both mind and body, and neither is identical with nor reducible to the other. We are not just "blood and bones and synapses..."; there is also our consciousness, which is metaphysically distinct from our brain and body and such. Did you mean to deny this, or am I misinterpreting what you wrote?
  6. How does consciousness arise?

    I understood the context; it's just that you seemed to be going beyond making the basic point that consciousness cannot float around unconnected to a body. But, anyway, thanks for the clarification.
  7. GRE success

    Whoops, I didn't mean Rand's Razor, but the principle that concepts shouldn't be multiplied beyond necessity (which I think is different from Rand's Razor).
  8. What is Idealism?

    Clearly, idealism does not do a body good!
  9. Happy Birthday to JMR

    52nd floor -- you just made it. Good thing, too, because I was looking forward to not gypping you on your birthday.
  10. The Morality of Monogamy

    That should say: "something" relatively superficial. I apologize for the numerous typos I have made in my posts in this thread. I'm apparently not that good at proofreading when I'm very "into" a debate. But, I will say, with all due respect to everyone here, that I would really like out of this debate, because I don't see a point in continuing this any further. Respond to me as much as you like, of course, but please try to refrain from asking me any more questions: I've done more than I ever intended to in this thread.
  11. The Morality of Monogamy

    Then I should say that I do not see any such parallel, but I understand why you would, given that you hold my views to be moralistic.
  12. The Morality of Monogamy

    No one has said that one needs total certainty that the person mirrors your top values. I have continually stated that one must simply have a some real idea this person is such a mirror, and I have continually asked if people are disagreeing with this idea (which no one, that I can see, has directly answered). Note that Miss Rand also said that you must be in a "very serious relationship" in order for sex to be proper. I must ask: do people here really think that I am putting forth a view distinct from what Miss Rand advocated? Did people object as vehemently as they are now when they first read the Playboy Interview? Or Atlas Shrugged, for that matter? Frankly, I cannot participate in a debate where no one will a) define this non-promiscuous, non-highest-values-one-can-find standard by which one chooses to have sex, or provide a justification for the (supposed) pleasure that will result from this sex to begin with. Or, to combine these questions into one: how do you condemn promiscuity but accept this view of sex? I'm open to the possibility that this can be done, but simply saying that it is enjoyable and fulfills one's urges is very unconvincing. It's fine and well to denouce my view as a religious dogma, but it is another thing entirely to justify such a denounciation.
  13. "What do you believe is true..."

    I'm glad, because I don't want to lose sight of the issue of proof, either. In the end, I think certainty does imply proof, but again, we are either very much having trouble understanding each other or we just disagree on a deep point.
  14. "What do you believe is true..."

    Of course, I meant to say, "about the Earth going around the sun..." I knew I was going to make that mistake at some point!
  15. Sorry, but you can't decide what anything means "in isolation" (i.e, out of context). My essay makes clear my view that the universe is not a quantity, and that the question of whether the universe has a finite or infinite number of entities is a false dichotomy.
  16. While I did write my essay for an Objectivist audience (and therefore did not go into a detailed explanation of the contradiction of infinity), I most certainly do not simply "assume" an understanding all the while. Indeed, I go through great pains in my essay to explain why the universe, although lacking spatial boundaries, is not infinite in any respect (whether in terms of an "infinite size" or an "infinite number of entities"). This speaks directly to your claim that "there could be and probably is an infinite amount of space containing an infinite amount of matter."
  17. Dead Poets Society

    This is interesting, because I regard the ending to be the best part of the movie. I suspect that what you are regarding as "the ending" is not the very ending, but a part before that -- a part that the very ending is meant to resolve. Since explaining myself any further would give away the movie, I will only encourage you to watch it again when you get the chance, as I bet you may have a different opinion of it if you do so.
  18. Teleportation?

    That should be: "without ever entering a laboratory" (emphasis added) That's what I get for posting in haste...
  19. Happy Birthday to Sarah

    Indeed! And, might I add, she deserves every day to be wonderful. Happy Birthday, Sarah!
  20. Moral Dilemma #2

    To be clear, my position is not that non-answers always give away the correct answer, but only that they do so in certain contexts. So any successful "poker face" is not relevant to refuting what I'm saying, especially since poker -- which takes as its premise the idea that everyone is going to try to prevent everyone from knowing what their cards are -- is fundamentally different from the kind of context I've been creating for my own examples.
  21. Happy Birthday to ADS

    Wow! Thanks, Stephen! That's such a thoughtful gesture. 23 quotes sure beat 23 candles on a birthday cake. Personally, my favorite is from that Stephen Spinoza fellow. (Inside joke; those of you who were on Harry Binswanger's List about a year ago may get it, though.) Thanks again!
  22. Musical Timbre

    I was speaking in terms of the various timbres I've heard from both instruments.
  23. The Nature of the Universe

    The spell-checker doesn't seem to like a lot of words, such as "teleportation" (which I used earlier tonight in this thread).
  24. Subscribe/Unsubscribe topics

    Right; you check off whatever topics you want to unsubscribe from, you make sure it says "Unsubscribe" in the drop down box, and then you click the "with selected" button right next to the aforementioned drop down box. (I.e., whatever it says in the drop down box is the setting that will be enacted for the topics that you have checked off, once you click the "with selected" button.) Does that help?