ewv

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Everything posted by ewv

  1. Free will--another axiom?

    The previous discussion was not a "canned" answer, and neither did your post add anything new. The question was answered and discussed, with reference to previous explanations, before your post, so no you don't have "provide the whole answer" and no one asked for that. jacassidy2 didn't say the topic is "cryptic or rationalistic"; he was referring to your previous post.
  2. Bill and those of us who have supported him here have not been advocating specializing in violence. That is not the point of the thread.
  3. Population and resources

    You are still ignoring Simon; sarcastic, dismissive repetition is non-responsive. If you want to discuss it, learn about the role of the human mind in creating resources and the failure of Malthusian predictions.
  4. You saw what and what is "silly"? Sarcastic comments about a lack of water not causing dehydration and 2+2≠4 because you shout that someone "wants" it are irrelevant, rude, and not related to what anyone has said. You are impugning other people as being 'obviously' wrong "on the face of it", with no argument, no discussion, false analogies, and no understanding shown beyond common misanthropic slogans which you take as "obvious" -- all on a topic that has nothing to do with this thread and does not belong in it at all.
  5. Roy Childs recanted his own arguments for anarchy.
  6. Implicit Concepts and Units

    Did you find what you need?
  7. Yaron Brook and Steven Simpson have posted an excellent article "‘You didn’t build that,’ conservative style" on the Daily Caller in which they politely exposed and analyzed an explicitly anti-individualism speech by Sen. Mike Lee in a conservative Heritage Foundation "Anti-Poverty Forum" last month. Lee misrepresented the American history of individualism and dismissed Ayn Rand, both in favor of a moral duty for service, as a religious conservative 'answer' to Obama's "you didn't build that". It is important that Tea Party supporters follow this discussion and that principled individualists support it with comments and assessment. My main comment posted there, in addition to several responses to other comments, was
  8. The Consequences of Socialized Medicine

    Yes, it's bad in Canada. The point is that there are people in what is left of that health care industry who are at least more or less trying under the limitations imposed to provide some semblance of health care even while it inevitably hurts people through the fallacies of socialism and bureaucratic power seeking. This is in comparison with Obamacare that is intended to wreck what we have (now had) for the purpose of furthering the agenda to a socialist takeover that they don't dare openly advertise (but see the recent article by Herr Reich). They are blaming the wreckage they are causing on greedy insurance companies with the expectation that they can get a terrorized populace to demand a complete government takeover which "has to be" better and simpler than this mess. This strategy is intentionally nihilistic.
  9. The Consequences of Socialized Medicine

    How do you "poison" something that is already a deadly poison? The left is now starting to come out of the closet with its 1930s overt totalitarian collectivism. The mask is slipping as they thrash in the face of the Obamacare disaster, but it's our minds that they're after in arguments that "me-too-but-slower" Republicans don't dare challenge:
  10. Implicit Concepts and Units

    The meaning of "implicit concepts" in Ayn Rand's epistemology was further discussed and explained at the workshops. Look for it in the appendix to IOE, then come back to discuss it further if you need to.
  11. Ayn Rand's philosophy and method of logical thinking are antithetical to rationalism in any form. You can't convert her philosophy into an academically rationalistic form and still be talking about the same thing. When Leonard Peikoff presented her philosophy in his own systematic and comprehensive form in OPAR, building it up from the metaphysics in a hierarchy, he was not trying to convert it into a rationalistic series of deductions, which would have been hopeless. You cannot deduce the ethics from Ayn Rand's axioms. The axioms identify and systematize certain basic general principles about reality and how you have to conform to it in your thinking: See the chapter on axiomatic concepts in IOE. To develop the ethics requires conceptually identifying the necessary facts in an inductive process -- "inductive" meaning generalization both in the concept formation and in the formulation and validation of the general principles. The axioms do not contain the content waiting to be drawn out of them in the way that one makes deductions in mathematics after you already understand what you are trying to formally prove. An attempt to do so to try to put it into a form familiar to academic rationalists would necessarily be fallacious and have nothing to do with Objectivism in either content or method. You would end up with something as bizarre as Nozick's infamous "On the Randian Argument". It would make no more sense than trying to convince a religious person by couching your arguments in terms of faith and mysticism rather than appeal to whatever common sense he may have. Even an attempt to refer to the axioms as "axioms" in a typical brief forum post aimed at academic rationalists would be hopeless because they have a completely different understanding of what "axiom" means and would not understand what you are talking about. You would, in their context of knowledge, be dealing in floating abstractions and they would immediately see that you aren't "deducing" anything from "axioms".
  12. He was factually wrong, but he didn't ask a question about the content of Ayn Rand's statements, "legitimate" or not, and was not right about the paragraph he quoted. He categorically accused her of "a couple of disconnected assertions and observations, followed by an unsupported assertion", then with that as his premise only 'asked' rhetorically, "Are you able to discern anything in the speech that a logician would recognize as a valid argument, that supports that assertion?". He claimed to have "identif[ied] another example of assertion without substantiation", and challenged her advocates for "any way to substantiate it", as if the article he quoted from did not already do so and as if she had written nothing else in what he called her "attempt to dismiss Hume's is/ought problem". (That "dismissal" was a side issue and a consequence of her own approach to the development and validation of ethics, which he ignored.) The "speech" he referred to was the very article Betsy would recommend to him: The paragraph he quoted was taken, out of context, from "The Objectivist Ethics", the first chapter of VOS and which she had first delivered in a talk at the 1961 University of Wisconsin Symposium on “Ethics in Our Time” which he had presumably already read because he knew it was a "speech". Referring to the full context of the article from which he quoted, perhaps giving him the benefit of the doubt, would be a good start, but it's not enough for someone who categorically denies that what Ayn Rand wrote is "logical". You always have to argue on two levels, the content and the methods of thinking and argumentation employed, especially when an antagonist is employing fallacious means. This case is an illustration of how the goal is not just to accurately represent what Ayn Rand thought and defended, but how it requires a radically different way of thinking than the prevailing academic style of rationalism. Notice how he demands the sentences in the paragraph he quoted to stand on their own without regard to context -- the context of the rest of the article and what she was talking about -- and follow one after another as if "logical" thought could only be rationalistic deduction from one out of context utterance to the next. Ayn Rand was arguing on principle from the bottom up: what are the facts of reality that give rise to the concepts of ethics and why is it needed, as explained in the article (and also the Introduction of VOS). Logic as the art or science of non-contradictory identification is not what a rationalist means by insisting on what a "logician" would "recognize as a valid argument", typically meaning deductive and rationalistic. (Robert Nozick's "On the Randian Argument" trying to represent Ayn Rand's derivation of her ethics in the form of a bizarre sequence of syllogisms then denounced as nonsequiturs is another jaw dropping example of an analytic philosopher's inability to comprehend what she was doing.) The problem is not just a misunderstanding of Ayn Rands derivation of ethics, but a more fundamental confusion over the nature of logical thought and the role of the meaning of concepts and context. In this sense, the example is very much related to the fallacies in the analytic synthetic dichotomy, but attempting to explain that, as a principle, to him, especially in a short post in a forum, would be hopelessly over his head. The philosophers' "problem" of getting "ought" from "is" is based on a subjective, impossible demand for magically "deducing" the results rationalistically, without conceptual identification of relevant facts, identify, and causality. To us, the conceptual argument for ethics based on the latter is clear; to rationalists seeking magical 'deductions' in their perpetual quandary in the name of "logic" without reality-based concepts, it is hopelessly empty and disconnected, which the Andrew creature illustrates in spades. They are in deep and literally cannot grasp a different way of approaching the problem, dismissed by them as not "logical" while not comprehending it because their ingrained method of 'academic' thinking is so corrupt. Perhaps the best way to answer the Andrew argument in a short post is to simply briefly describe Ayn Rand's approach as looking at the facts of reality that give rise to ethics to determine what it should be, as opposed to rationalistically deducing it in a string of floating abstractions. That would probably not persuade a creature whose thought processes are hopelessly and inherently rationalistic, but it would at least show others reading it who may have more common sense that there is a sensible answer, and point the way to reading the required explanation of the ethics in the article by Ayn Rand that was left unacknowledged.
  13. Induction

    Ayn Rand discussed the problem of induction at the workshops on epistemology, where she explained that concept formation is an inductive process, but is not the same inductive process as formulating and validating general propositions. She emphatically rejected the idea that her theory of concept formation solves the 'problem of induction' for general propositions, heading off a fallacy that arose decades ago and which has resurfaced several times since, including as an element in Leonard Peikoff's claimed solution to the problem of induction a few year ago and re-published in David Harriman's The Logical Leap (which despite that and some other problems, is a valuable work). This topic has been discussed extensively in previous threads on the Forum, although there is more to say. (In my case I didn't have the time to complete and submit every post I began working on, partly because of diversions over alternate theories such as claims by one Forum member that concepts are evolutionary, in contrast to Ayn Rand's epistemology.)
  14. If every action has some risk and so does loaning money. It the borrower can't pay it back then he can't pay and that is a fact of reality. If there is no fraud involved so there is no crime, then the situation is dealt with as objectively as possible under bankruptcy law. Before it reaches that stage, the debtor can try to come up with voluntary arrangements for delayed or partial payments. If at a later time the borrower can afford it, he may continue to repay even though the law does not require it.
  15. Starting around 4:15AM EDT (9/25/13)Sen. Ted Cruz said in his filibuster against funding Obama health control that Atlas Shrugged is one of his favorite books, enthusiastically urged everyone to go out and buy it, and read from Galt's speech emphasizing the section on "what is morality".
  16. Fox News report: "Sen. Ted Cruz Pulls All-Nighter Over Obamacare, With Help From 'Duck Dynasty' & 'Dr. Seuss'"
  17. For reference, here are the details on the Atlas Shrugged quotes. Sen Cruz started the segment on Atlas Shrugged at 4:13 AM (13:58 in the c-span video) : Omitted was the leading sentence in that paragraph "But to win it requires your total dedication and a total break with the world of your past, with the doctrine that man is a sacrificial animal who exists for the pleasure of others", and the final sentence with Galt's oath. Instead (14:13:22) he followed with (after a pause and looking up so it was clear he was no longer reading) "God has created men and women to be free creatures." By 5:30 AM he was reading "stop this fatal tendency to plunder" in a segment from Bastiat's The Law. Before starting on Bastiat (at 15:03:20) he referred back to his reading from Ayn Rand again, stating that Bastiat was a much earlier writer.
  18. Judge my Answer

    It's hard to follow, especially not knowing the context of the person it is addressed to. There is no such thing as a "primacy of analytic truth" so to tell someone how to get one is hopeless from the start. There is only truth as correspondence between statements and reality. The first thing I would have done is to recommend Leonard Peikoff's article on the fallacy of the analytic synthetic dichotomy, in IOE, with a few comments to tie it to what he had written rather than try to condense a full explanation that would most likely be floating abstractions for someone not already familiar with the process. Explanation is integration with what someone already knows. If the ASD article is too much, he can go back and read about concepts first, which is probably what he needs. ------- The formatting by the forum software has a 'mind' of it's own trying to force formatting you don't want. Try toggling the upper left format icon for BB code mode to get more control. Experiment with the other formatting icons such as those controlling 'font' and 'size' to see what codes they correspond to. Sometimes to skip a line you have to use blank spaces, and inserting a LF in the 'wrong' place can have drastic effects that are unrecoverable in WYSIWYG mode. You have to toggle to BB code mode and correct the directives. .
  19. Popular Mechanics: 10 car options the law won't let you have
  20. I did respond to the question you raised. Leaving aside the ambiguity in your sentence, Ayn Rand did not believe that pre-modern philosophers were wrong because they did not have modern science or understand what little science existed then, and she did not believe that only pre-modern philosophers were wrong or that more modern philosophers were wrong because of not understanding modern science. She rejected the idea that general philosophy depends on the special sciences. To see how wrong post modern philosophers have been, and why, listen to the second and the last part of the first part of the Leonard Peikoff lecture series on the history of western philosophy referred to above. Descartes and Hume could not be saved by Newton -- and Kant, Hegel, the positivists, pragmatists, existentialists and analysts could not be saved by Newton or anything since in science. Many modern philosophers, especially among positivists, analysts and pragmatists do understand modern physics, if not properly conceptually, in terms of its analysis and facts. The positivist movement in particular was promoted by both philosophers and physicists at the time (starting with Mach). Bohm became an Hegelian in the middle of his career as a physicist and ended his life as an eastern mystic, as did others in the "New Age" "Tao of Physics" movement. Their success in physics didn't help them.
  21. Ayn Rand did not "get it mostly wrong" and "modern science" has nothing to do with it. Ayn Rand explicitly stated that her philosophy is understandable and validated with general knowledge accessible to everyone, and that is what she practiced. It does not require the special sciences and she did not speculate about them. She did not engage in the philosophy of the special sciences at all. The special sciences presuppose the basic knowledge that preceded them. If you want to understand the relation of her philosophy to the historical evolution of western philosophy listen to Leonard Peikoff's lecture series on the history of western philosophy. He explains for each stage in its development of the major branches of philosophy how each philosopher was reacting to, building on, and/or opposing his predecessors; what the major trends have been; and Ayn Rand's answer to the major positions and problems of philosophy. Understanding quantum mechanical states of electrons has nothing to do with it. Pre-modern science philosophers were not trying to interpret science that did not exit, they were dealing with basic questions, with some diversions into speculations on what should have been science (like ancient Greek atomists) as they struggled to identify the basic nature of the world in terms of unifying principles. Founders of Western Philosophy: Thales to Hume (MP3 download) $10.99 https://estore.aynrand.org/p/95/founders-of-western-philosophy-thales-to-hume-mp3-download Modern Philosophy: Kant to the Present (MP3 download) $10.99 https://estore.aynrand.org/p/96/modern-philosophy-kant-to-the-present-mp3-download
  22. Edward Snowden

    Dr. Stadler tries to stop Project X? -- The US government has betrayed the internet. We need to take it back
  23. Edward Snowden

    How NSA access was built into Windows -- an article from 1999 when we were still being told that NSA was not allowed to operate inside the US.
  24. Edward Snowden

    Foreign governments with the capability of it mostly have it because of NSA. NSA has is the one that has forced private companies to become a "partner" and weakened security under the guise of national defense. Every war has left the government with more power over citizens who are then less secure -- there is no security under statism. The 'war on terror' is no exception.