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Everything posted by Arnold

  1. Initiation of Force: When is it permissible?

    As long as you can make a rational decision which allows you to select your values according to normal ethics, then that is what applies. Normal ethics does not involve denying another his rights. If you dream up a situation where this is not possible, how can you expect an answer other than to do what you can live or not live with. IOW there is a difference between the options of a "normal" emergency, and a situation where death is the only option.
  2. Initiation of Force: When is it permissible?

    Well, what about it? If your reason tells you that if you don't, you will suffer for it, then you do it. You would have weighed up that you were under threat, and what steps to take to reduce that threat. I don't see what this has to do with the original scenario, which placed one in a position where normal morality could not apply and then expect normal morality to supply an answer.
  3. Quantity and Cognition

    If a thing exists, it has a nature. If it has a nature, it is measurable.There are measurable things we can't measure.
  4. Basing one's ideas on principles is one thing, in fact a good thing. It is therefore vitally important that those principles are valid in the face of evidence. Otherwise, it won't just be one thing one gets wrong, but it undercuts all one's judgements. It seems it is very difficult not to embrace rationalization in the face of evidence conflicting an accepted principle.
  5. Initiation of Force: When is it permissible?

    Cannot apply because the requirements are not there. No normal options exist.
  6. Initiation of Force: When is it permissible?

    That is because as long as options exist, a reasoned ethics exists.
  7. Initiation of Force: When is it permissible?

    I think it is good to deal with these questions to make it clear what ethics entails. I tried to answer that by showing where ethics has or has not relevance. Of course one uses reason when all hell is breaking around one in a life and death situation. That is because as long as options exist, a reasoned ethics exists. His question bypassed all the options where reason could apply, and I then made the point that once that happened, ethics was impossible to formulate. All that was left was how you could live with your decision.
  8. Initiation of Force: When is it permissible?

    Saying the world is not flat would fall into that category then. After all, one can never be certain when one will be proved wrong?
  9. Initiation of Force: When is it permissible?

    By definition I would say. Morals are the code we use to decide our life choices in normal circumstances, where we are free to consider options that are beneficial to life. Such options do NOT involve harming others. Life is the basis for morals and are not a detached code of commandments. Thus, if life is your standard, then in order to survive in an emergency, it would be moral to steal food, say from an empty holiday home. Once one has a situation where one cannot make a choice without causing another harm, you have left the realm where normal ethics can function. You have only to decide if you can live with whatever limited "choice" you make. In your example, the other party may be your child, and you decide you wouldn't care to live with her death. In that case your standard is still your life and what it would mean to your life. Whatever your "choice", morality is not involved here. The choice of death had been made by someone else, your decision could not be made by normal ethics, but what you could salvage from the situation. It is not a moral choice because there are no rules possible when the option of survival is to cause harm.
  10. Initiation of Force: When is it permissible?

    But you disagreed with me on that, and you said that normal ethics does apply in non normal situations (where options have been removed). If reason is non functional how do you have normal ethics? Could you clarify just what you disagree with then?
  11. Initiation of Force: When is it permissible?

    The context for a moral code is a normal life where options are available to interact with others without the use of force. The scenario you put forward removes those options, and the situation is one of emergency. Normal ethics cannot apply to non normal situations, that is emergency situations. What does one do then? What standard does one make decisions by in that non-normal context? My answer: the one you can live with, which is judged by the sum of your values..
  12. Progressive Exercise

    If you lived closer, you would have another customer Ray.
  13. Reason and logic

    Adding to what Paul said, Logic works on the basis of the law of (non) contradiction. Without grasping that aspect of reality, (A is A) there can be no logic forthcoming and hence no reasoning.
  14. Second Career

    Wonderful to see the enthusiasm. Well done.
  15. O'Reilly and Faith

    You are right in that people associate ideas with culture. There cannot be a culture of atheism, because as you say, it is a negative. What upsets many about the Gay culture is it's negative aspects. It wants to succeed by destroying cherished values. It embraces nihilism to shock the established. They do themselves no favours this way, because they offer nothing. If they fought for an individuals right to live his life his own way, that would be more constructive.
  16. O'Reilly and Faith

    I think it is fear. After all, when the your entire life's values are based on a foundation of faith, you don't want check how the foundation is holding up. To a man of faith, it is not just correcting one error of thinking, it is a change to ALL his thinking. Few have the courage or integrity for that. In short, they don't want to go there.
  17. Another Greenspan nugget

    Wealth has to be produced. It cannot be brought into being by "clicks". Leftists gall me, but feminist leftists are a particularly nasty mutation.
  18. This is what the Tea Party people need to grasp. What to be FOR.
  19. Black Hole Factory

    Gravity faster than light?
  20. Communication can be stimulating or it can be boring. As someone once put it: Many talk about others (people), some talk about events and a very few talk about ideas. If the latter encounters the first, he will not be too interested in 'communication'.
  21. New State-Limitation Technology Needed

    As you know, a revolution needs to involve an idea - like the D. of I. Otherwise we end up with unorganized "Tea Parties" who have no grounding in the principles at stake. Guns will solve nothing until the population as a whole understands what is at stake; the alternative is chaotic civil war. Education is the best weapon to get the masses on side. It will take time, but the ARI is right to aim at the young.
  22. Steve Jobs is gone. Age 56

    No one gets to heights without an almost obsessive outlook in relation to his particular interest. From sports to invention, a singular focus is what leads to achievement. This perfectionism can be a bit much for the people he interacts with, if they don't share his obsession. Of course, such eccentricity does make one "different" from the "norm".
  23. Proving a negative

    1) So, an able natural being. That is not the definition of a God. You need to use a word like Alien intelligence then. 2) A single best, implies lesser Gods. We are able beings, so are we lesser Gods? 3) A being is not a God. You are playing with meanings here. Your thoughts can be no more precise than you definitions. 4) By not considering (the unreasonableness of) the origins of the original creator you ignore the foundation you have built your beliefs on. 5) On what grounds is a certain mental ability limited to nature, and above that only the prerogative of a being that arrived without being created itself?