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  2. Mark, Very good article. I have one disagreement, but I'm not so sure it can be called that because there is no way to verify it. You said something to the effect that people at the top of Scientology (including Barney) are in on the scam. In my own research into cults and my own introspection, I don't believe this is true for all high-level people in cults, not even for the majority. Based on what I have seen so far, only a minority see it for the scam it is. The others truly believe they are doing the Good Work, even if they make money at it. (Their primary stakes are their "Immortal Souls.") So I think it is entirely plausible that Barney was a con outside the cult, meaning he was aware of the student-loan-backed-by-government scam, but, as to the religion and mind-control on the inside, he sounds to me like he was a true believer, even during the years he had Scientology franchises. Those TR's (Training Routines) are brutal, not to mention the audits. He was not immune from going through them, nor from doing penance and suffering punishments for screwing up or sporadically falling out of favor. In the history of Scientology, most all franchises (or missions or whatever one wants to call them) were simply confiscated in 1982--and confiscated is the correct word after all the verbiage is boiled down to the essentials. Hubbard at that time had only four years left to live, so I think he was already starting to go ga-ga from drugs (according to different bios, he took quite a few as he grew older and ended in a terrible mental state right before he died). I don't know what his fight with Barney was over before he threw Barney out of Scientology, you probably know more about that than I do, but it's easy to infer that Hubbard saw how easy it was to simply confiscate franchises after he put Barney's in receivership in 1979. (Notice that just a little while later, in 1982, after perfecting his own scheme and process, which is a hallmark of Hubbard's way of doing things, he confiscated everyone's.) I think only a true believer--meaning Barney--would have allowed that 1979 confiscation to happen. (Was Barney ever in the Sea Org?) It didn't do him any good, either, because he still got declared a Supressive Person (damned and kicked out). If he had not been a true believer, I think he would have fought it a lot harder, or at least fought for a large settlement, created a scandal or something. Other than that difference in perspective, I repeat, you wrote a very good article. Now I'm just musing, but it's hard for me to speculate about Barney's later motivation with Objectivism without including the true believer type of mind. I lean toward thinking he has just as much true believer in him as insider con (essentially using government handouts at a distance--the student loan racket--as his business model). In other words, I bet he venerates Rand in a general, but still true believer way, while understanding Objectivism about as thoroughly as a Sunday-only Protestant understands Christianity. I might be wrong, but that's my impression so far. Michael
  3. Nobody rises to the top echelons in these elite gangs, as he did, without first compromising themselves, acceding to blackmail by those at the top of the pyramid by committing heinous acts. Nothing can stop the disclosures that are coming. The old guard, that is to say, the previously perpetually untouchable above the law ruling elite worldwide, lost the quiet war against their Trump-lead adversary and they're all utterly fucked now. It is now only a matter of dismantling it all strategically, sequentially, with the least impact to serenity and order. The public is not prepared to absorb the truth. The People needed gradual conditioning to the idea that unspeakable evil rules at the top of everything everywhere. So ... Weinstein and sex favors for millions $ and leading roles, and other (now seemingly mild!!) nastiness. Then NXIVM, and then, the day after the NXIVM convictions, this announcement below. This cult's takedown is after NXIVM in the sequence because the public is conditioned now, by the truth of a massive cult of previously untouchable elites that branded women sex slaves and made millions trafficking sex slaves. People are ready now, or as ready as they will ever be, to learn about the next level of evil ... “A team of eight victims' rights attorneys on Tuesday filed the first of what they promise will be a series of lawsuits against the Church of Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige, on behalf of defectors who say they suffered a range of exploitation from child abuse, human trafficking and forced labor to revenge tactics related to the church's Fair Game policy. “This isn't going to be the last of the lawsuits being filed,” Philadelphia-based attorney Brian Kent told the Tampa Bay Times, declining to say how many more are forthcoming. “We've seen what can happen when there is truth exposed in terms of child abuse within organizations. You've seen it with the Catholic Church, you're seeing it with the Southern Baptist Convention now. We're hoping for meaningful change.” “The Church of Scientology presents a façade to the outside world to disguise what in reality is nothing more than a cult built on mind control and destruction of the independence and self-control of those drawn into its sphere,” the lawsuit states. “Members are isolated from the outside world, their access to information is heavily monitored and controlled, and they are subject to physical, verbal, psychological, emotional and/or sexual abuse and/or assault."
  4. Today
  5. Bravo, Mark!! Excellent piece. Man, there is so much shit everywhere! Barney is trash in need incineration, I can't wait for reports of his arrest.
  6. That is so bizarre it sounded like a comedic sketch. Scientology? Mental disorders? Yikes. I read the first couple of pages or enough to know, I would be leery of Barney. I imagine him sounding like a retarded, grifter. Is he still rich and powerful? I better be quiet or they may come to take me away. Advertisement for the retreat called, "Cuckoo's Nest." If you still enjoy talking like Gomer Pyle, L. Ron Hubbard, Forrest Gump, or the Dustin Hoffman character in “Rain Man” is it a sign of a mental disorder? What would the disorder be called? I can’t remember the last time a female played a “slow” person. That may qualify as discrimination under the Americans without disabilities act, subsection, Screen Guild. Is *believing in* Scientology any crazier than believing in the major religions? Come to "The Nest" and we will certify your "level" of competence, for a small fee.
  7. The editor of The Objective Standard, a magazine affiliated with the Ayn Rand Institute, has finally responded to the revelations in ARI Watch’s exposé “Who is Carl Barney?" about ARI’s largest donor. ARI Watch reviews that response in a new article Barney Tells His Story. You can understand it by itself because it quotes the TOS article.
  8. I suppose preschool teaching and at-home parenting are generally not mainstream manly, no. I was also the at-home with my two daughters. Their mother went back to work after three months leave and I stayed home. I was certainly aware it was not mainstream, though I never worried about the pressure I may feel from society or what anyone would think about it. I suppose I could wish for society to change, but I didn't need the world to change for me so I guess I just never thought of it. The genders are different and 50/50 is forced and artificial and its achievement would require deviations from freedom.
  9. Peter

    Rep. Ilhan Omar

    We will never have true equality until 50% of the winners of arm wrestling competitions are women. An interesting phenomenon I have noticed is that there are more "weather ladies" who have a degree in meteorology, and in national sports more females are covering things like football, though there have been complaints about women in the locker rooms. The "hey, look at my thingy" craze has abated.
  10. It is 96 degrees Fahrenheit here around 1pm. I think South Africa is in its winter period but how cool does it get in the winter? Do you call it winter? NB: "Freedom does not mean causelessness; this point must be stressed. A volitional choice is not causeless. It is caused by the person who makes the choice, and the choice entails an enormity of issues". Luckily for us wizards we automatically do mundane chores. I rarely need to weigh the issues involved because I am almost sure of what I am going to do as soon as I discover a dilemma. But philosophy must stand up to consistency in words, not deeds at first, until it is put to the test by all of its adherents. This is not about me and may be a bit obscure or trivial, but one of those local, moral tests I am reading about now is what if you have a fire while using propane gas and the propane does not have a safety valve that shuts off, causing total destruction of the house, rather than just some damage? Do you then sue the gas company because you neglected to include the safety valve in the contract? The people lost the case because they could not fnd an “expert” who could prove negligence on the part of the gas company. The fire marshal testified against the gas company but that was not sufficient. The moral dilemma is, do you sue just to see if you can get some money for damages? Now all the propane tanks have that shut off valve but back then they did not. So, what is morally right for the gas company and the homeowner?
  11. Americans say the nation’s political debate has grown more toxic and ‘heated’ rhetoric could lead to violence
  12. The genders are equal, although biologically not the same. Teachers are, indeed, to be admired. It's not a job I could do. We can agree to disagree re: gender freedom. If speaking from a purely legal perspective, sure, but I sincerely doubt that "precisely the number of men who wanted to be nurses... are now nurses." There is just too much societal pressure for men to be manly, and nursing (or speech therapy, or preschool teaching or GASP! stay at home parenting) is just not mainstream manly. Nursing is becoming more so, though. How that relates to The Squad is just that it's a very typical thing I often see in the workplace. A woman wants to be equal, and yet she calls herself (and her colleagues) out as part of an exclusive group. In this case, she chose an unfortunate pop culture reference that puts her in the emotional league of high school girls. How that relates to the original post is that there are many many women out there who want it all without acknowledging that something must be conceded. "We will never have true equality until 50% of organizations are run by women and 50% of homes are run by men." Paraphrasing Sheryl Sandberg.
  13. I like Branden's comprehensive approach. He penetrates the whole free will enchilada, philosophical, epistemological, psychological, subconscious - integrated, as background for his specific purpose, self-esteem. "To focus", by Rand, is an insufficient explanation, alone, of volition, it can seem. In a footnote to his explanation of free will, NB says: ["It is closest to the concept of volition proposed by Ayn Rand but differs from hers in that Rand identifies the choice to focus exclusively with the choice to think, to engage in a process of explicit reasoning, whereas ... my own view of the choice to focus is considerably broader"] A few more snips: "Freedom does not mean causelessness; this point must be stressed. A volitional choice is not causeless. It is caused by the person who makes the choice, and the choice entails an enormity of issues". [...] "Our freedom is neither absolute nor unlimited, however. There are many factors that can make the appropriate exercise of our consciousness easier or harder. Some of these factors may be genetic, biological. Others are developmental. The environment can support and encourage the healthy assertion of consciousness, or it can oppose and undermine it. [...] Clearly, the desire to be more aware does not guarantee that the results of our efforts will be successful. We are free to try; there is never a guarantee of success. If there were ..fewer people would avoid the responsibility of thinking. Uncertainty is built into the very essence of our existence, and it is this uncertainty and freedom that create the need for self-esteem". Honoring the Self, p18-19. Peter, "soft" determinism I'm thinking could be considered as 'the given' - ultimately not even determinist, but *seeming* so, just enough to confuse the issue. Obviously -- each one of us has to come from "somewhere", some environment, some upbringing, with certain genetic traits, and from some period of time. Add ~many~ prior experiences. All of these give one an inescapable metaphysical base, above and beyond which, one is free "to choose". Within bounds of reality, one can see the range of choices of thought and action are endless, each one branching to others. The experience from the inside of being the free chooser, aware of the capacity to change one's mind at any instant, or continue, is the closest to proof we may ever find. That, and observing the physical results of choices others have made, the effects that untold millions have caused. The ostensive - "all of that!" (sweeping an arm around at everything man-made in existence). Tell me "that" was inevitable - "predetermined"!
  14. Here's a grassroots campaign the Dems are organizing to take out Trump. Michael
  15. Lesson of the day kids! If you are bullied just remember and repeat after Grandpa Jon. “You deserve it!”
  16. 😆 I too noticed Billy's very early, somewhat hysteria-tinged attacks on Q. I'm not saying he has ever received the same 4am memo the mainstream media receives, but by 5 or 6am anyone can put together what that day's memo said to do and billy is always on it, pumping that day's bullshit for his masters. He doesn't have the brainpower to detect that Q is real and that told me they knew Q was real and bad for them. It was a big boost to my confidence in Q.
  17. A.L. Anno Lucis Keeping in mind their 10,000 year old universe beliefs, Lucifer was much earlier than Christ. 4,000 years earlier.
  18. This document has been hosted on a CIA website for years ... Select quotes follow, link at the bottom. By 1788, Astor was a master of masonic lodge#8. Lucis Trust [as in Lucy in the Sky ... , as in Lucent Technologies, as in Lucifer] Astor was also on good relations with the politicians of the day, perhaps because most of them were Freemasons too. The Rockefeller Bloodline One of the 13 Satanic bloodlines that rule the world is the Rockefeller bloodline. Today, there are around 190 members of this family with the Rockefeller name and of course some others by other last names. This article is to explore further for those who investigate the Illuminati, how the Rockefeller bloodline is involved in the promotion of the occult and Satanism, and how they are involved in the control of the Christian denominations. This article keys in on just one family, the Rockefellers. To understand the full extent of the Illuminati’s control of religion, including Christendom, would require perhaps several books. The Illuminati itself draws its lifeblood from around 500 very powerful families worldwide. This article will not attempt to explain their networks and the many organizations of the Illuminati. It will not even try to do this for the Rockefellers. In fact, no one knows how many trusts and foundations the Rockefellers have. They have hidden trusts within secret trusts within secret trusts. It is estimated that they have between 200 and several thousand trusts and foundations. The finances of the Rockefellers are so well covered that Nelson Rockefeller did not pay one cent in income taxes in 1970, yet he was perhaps the richest man in the U.S. The Rockefellers exert enormous influence over religion in this nation in the following ways: 1. They provide a large share of the money that Seminaries in the United States need to operate. 2. They provide a large share of the money that universities need to operate. Education influences the religious values of our people. 3. They provide large grants to various religious organizations. 4. Their influence and control helps determine who will get publicity in the major news magazines, and on television. 5. Their influence has contributed to various anti-Christian organizations being set up. 6. They directly help control certain religious groups such as Lucis Trust. ... The Collins family hasn’t received much attention. Who do you think of when you think of the Collins? Joan Collins? She was a beautiful, Jewish Hollywood actress from England. Joan’s grandmother lived at Brighton, England. (Joan mentions her father being a jew on pg. 13 of her autobiography Joan Collins Past Imperfect.) Her father Joe Collins and his friend Lord Lew Grade had an acting company. Joe Collin’s father Will Collins and his wife a can-can dancer Henrietta Collins were also into acting. In the l970s she was in several horror movies and picked up the title "Queen of the Horror Films" (p. 271). In 1977 and 1978 Joan was nude in two sexy films (not her first) which were expected to do better at the box office than they did, neither of the titles of these films bear repeating. One was based on a sexy book Joan’s sister wrote that was a best-seller in England. Joan was the first "old" woman to be in the buff in Playboy (the Dec '83 Playboy). The issue is a collector’s item. In her 40s, she was still posing in the buff. Which according to her autobiography she feels comfortable doing. (I wonder if being exceptionaly beautiful and a sex idol for millions makes it easier to pose nude.) For those who watch Dynasty, you’li likely remember her. For those who watched Hansel and Gretel, Joan was the witch. She was the woman in film The Devil Within Her. In Dec., 1982 Joan was asked to be the mistress of ceremonies at Prince Albert Hall before the Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Phillips. Besides knowing that she is into astrology, after looking at her autobiography I don’t pick up a hint of any religiousness. Besides her amazing beauty, her lack of morals made her a perfect fit for Hollywood. Among her many friends, she had Sammy Davis, Jr. (p. 332) and Jayne Mansfield as friends or acquaintances, both of whom are publicly known to he Satanists. She rubbed shoulders with Henry Kissinger (p.3454 of Autobio.) Joan Collins vacationed in the winter at St. Moritz, which is an exclusive ski resort of the international set where Joan rubbed shoulders with Niarchos and Aristotle Onassis. (These - are Kings within the Illuminati.) Joan Collins spent time with Edgar Bronfman. The Bronfman family are the Jewish Illuminati family that runs Canada. (p. 281-282) Joan Collins may not he part of the Illuminati Collins family, but if she isn’t she has at least associated with some of the top Illuminati. Joan was married several times but obviously preferred her maiden name. Another famous Collins is Michael Collins who was one of the three astronauts on the Apollo II. Apollo 11 was the first officially announced visit by man to the moon. For those who have read Be Wise As Serpents you are aware that the first flag on the moon was the Scottish Rite’s flag. ... Chapter 1: THE ASTOR FAMILY The original founder of the Astor fortune was John Jacob Astor (1763-1884). John Jacob Astor was born in Walldorf, Duchy of Baden (Germany) from a Jewish bloodline. The Jewish origins have been hidden, and quite a number of various ideas of the Astor’s heritage have been put into circulation by the Astors. John Jacob Astor was a butcher in Walldorf. In 1784, he came to America after a stop over in London, England. Although the story is that he came to America penniless--and that may be true--he soon joined the Masonic Lodge, and within 2-3 years had become the Master of the Holland Lodge No. 8 in N.Y. City. (This Holland Lodge is a prominent lodge in that many of its members have good connections to the Illuminati elite. An example of just one Lodge #8 member is Archibald Russell, 1811 - 1871, whose father was President of a real hotbed of Illuminati action for many years: The Royal Society of Edinburgh). By 1788, Astor was a master of masonic lodge#8. This is rather interesting considering Astor could not speak Englishwhen he arrived in America, and supposedly was very poor. John Jacob Astor was always very famous for being coldhearted, anti-social, “a man who didn’t have charm, wit or grace.” (This quote comes even from a relative of the DuPont family who wrote a sympathetic Biography entitled The Astor Family.) If this man lacked social graces and was so cold, and was so poor during his first years in the U.S., why did he rise to such prominence in Freemasonry? Certainly not because of his social graces. For instance, one time later in life at a meal given for elites, when his hands got dirty at the table he reached over and used the shirt of the man beside him to wipe his hands. The original financial break came by carrying out a series of shady and crooked real estate deals in the N.Y. city area. The next breakcame when two men who are now known to have been in the Illuminati gave John Jacob Astor a special government privilege. The two men were Pres. Jefferson and Secretary Gallatin--both Illuminati members. The United States government had placed an embargo on all U.S. ships from sailing with goods in 1807. But Astor got special permission from these two men for his ship to sail with its cargo. His ship sailed and made close to a $200,000 profit in that day’s money. Astor strangely profited greatly from the War of 1812, which crippled almost all the other American shippers. Astor also worked together with George Clinton, another member of the Illuminati, on land deals. Even at that period in history, British intelligence worked for the Committee of 300 and for the Thirteen Top Families, it is interesting then, that John Coleman who had access as an intelligence agent to secret documents, discovered that the original John Jacob Astor was also a British secret agent. The Thirteen Families have very intimate roles with the American and British intelligence cults. Prior to 1817, John Jacob Astor entered into the fur trade and remained the biggest player in the fur trade until he got out of it in 1834. Over the years, he had managed to build up a monopoly. How he managed to push everyone else out is a good question. Bear in mind, white people had been trapping furs in the New World for several centuries, and the Indians for who knows how long. Then this guy Astor comes along and in a few years totally owns the whole industry! Again this could only have happened, because the occult power of this Astor family gave them the right. Obviously, others in the Committee of 300 had to step aside, if his position in the hierarchy had not given Astor the right, believe me the other families that originally controlled the fur trade would have gotten rid of Astor. One result of his fur company, was that Astoria, OR was created. Today, perhaps in honor of the family that originally took interest in it, Astoria is a real hot-bed for the secret Satanic covens in Oregon. John Jacob Astor did have a few helpful connections. Three of his relatives were captains on clipper ships. He had connections in London to the Backhouse family. He married a Todd, a family frequently associated with Satanism. His wife, a Todd, was also connected to the influential Brevoort family. And finally for some reason, John Jacob Astor was also on good relations with the politicians of the day, perhaps because most of them were Freemasons too. For a few years John Jacob Astor had participated in the opium trade, but in 1818-he publicly quit running opium to China.
  19. Harvard Trilateral Commission Council on Foreign Relations Rockefeller Kissinger Astor
  20. Trying to explain the Trump wins in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan through national sample polls is conceptually close to vacant. Pay attention to the full campaigns in those three must-win states, and remember All Polls Are Wrong. Except perhaps the outliers in 2018 that predicted a forty-seat loss for the GOP in the House.
  21. I think the following has been covered but it would be nice to reconsider thinks (joke,) for 2020. Doris Day sang about the 2016 polls: Que Sera, Sera, What will be, will be, will be, The future's not ours, to see, Que Sera, Sera Of course we speculate what the future will be in the next second, hour, year, decade or millennium but only know the truth with perhaps . . . 50 percent accuracy and NO certainty? Does anyone on OL bet? Do you read and accept polling data? How wrong did they get it before the 2016 Presidential election? Until 2016 I used to rely on Larry Sabato at U.V.A. but he was dead wrong. Real Clear Politics is just an averaging of polls and what? They predicted an Old Hickory win? The worst predictors? From the web in 2016 and 2017. A survey from the Princeton Election Consortium has found that Hillary Clinton has a 99 per cent chance of winning the election over Donald Trump. The HuffPost presidential forecast model gives Democrat Hillary Clinton a 98.2 percent chance of winning the presidency. LA Times: Clinton 352, Trump 186. However, The contrary Californian USC/LA Times tracking poll, notable for interviewing the same 3,200 respondents over a period of several months, gave Trump a 3.2-percentage point lead the day before the election. Since it premiered in early July, the poll results were about six percentage points more favorable to the real estate mogul than the national average. "To be honest, I was surprised," University of Southern California economist Arie Kapteyn, who developed the poll, told the Los Angeles Times. "I thought Clinton would win. But that shouldn’t change the numbers." From another source or should I say sorcery site on the web, In the cornucopia of pro-Clinton polling that preceded the 2016 presidential election, two polls stood out as outliers: the USC/LA Times tracking poll and the Investor's Business Daily/TIPP tracking poll. "As far as I was concerned, I was anticipating a Trump win," said Raghavan Mayur, President of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, which conducts the IBD/TIPP poll. The final poll, released on Election Day, showed Trump with a two-percentage point lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton. Peter
  22. Good discussion. Let me see if I can dumb it down enough for Forrest Gump. I predict Artificial Intelligence will reach a milestone when HE, SHE, IT can laugh believably. Kind of slur the capitalized letters. Michael Marotta wrote about Rand in 2011: She maintained later, as the ARI does now, that . . . Objectivism is a seamless robe; that Objectivism has no inner contradictions; and by "Objectivism" she meant . . . (the) . . . sum total of Ayn Rand's published works. end quote I see similarities between Michael’s seamless robe which I will call, “infallible Objectivism” and soft determinism. By “infallible Objectivism” I mean logical and syllogistic structures that are internally true but lack contextualism, and scientific verification, and unfortunately they possess an eventual inability to break or *reduce* the string of logic down to its perceptual and conceptual roots. Just don’t ask me to prove it. In the opposite direction you would need to start with A is A and build from there but of course by the time Rand formulated her more “official philosophy” she had experienced and tested HER thoughts throughout her life time. And at that point, she put it on paper. No one can go back and deconstruct their thought processes but if they say they can? They are fabricating unless they are knitting or doing math. Once again, prove it. Peter Notes. Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, page 28: The process of forming and applying concepts contains the essential pattern of two fundamental methods of cognition: induction and deduction. The process of observing the facts of reality and of integrating them into concepts is, in essence, a process of induction. The process of subsuming new instances under a known concept is, in essence, a process of deduction. end quote Roger Bissell in his “Problems with Putnam's Externalism” originally written in 1996 for David Kelley's cyber seminar in Objectivist epistemology wrote: “. . . Rather than claiming that our minds are in the world rather than "in our heads," it seems more reasonable to me to say that our mind (as a capacity) is our "head's" (brain's) ability to cognitively grasp the world and (as an action) its act of cognitively grasping the world . . . Before we speculate about where the mind ~might~ be, it would help to clarify what category of existent the mind belongs to. Unless Putnam et al are advocating some form of substance dualism, the mind can't be an entity, other than the human organism or one of its parts (viz., the brain and nervous system). Granted, we (as organisms) -- who are the entities doing the knowing, after all -- are "in the world," but WE ARE ~WHERE~ WE ARE, not out somewhere else, where the thing is that we are knowing. And if mind is an attribute or an action, it has no location other than our organism that has the attribute or carries out the action. And if mind is a relation between our organism and the world, it must be located (if it can be said to have a location) where the causal/cognitive interaction between our organism and the world takes place. E.g., for perception, that would be in the sensory systems and the portions of the brain that integrate sensory data, which are certainly "in the head" (allowing that tactile perception is "in the body," also).” end quote From: PaleoObjectivist To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: RE: Rodin and Rand Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 18:06:13 EDT. Bill Dwyer wrote: >John Hospers says that when you were a guest in Rand's home discussing philosophy with her, you had to be very careful how you expressed your disagreement. You couldn't come right out and disagree. You had to couch your dissent in the form of a very respectful question. He said that if you offered an opinion that contradicted Rand's, she would sometimes become so upset that she would leave the room, until she cooled down. Then she'd come back and continue the discussion. In this regard, it's fascinating to read John Hospers' account of the discussions he had with Ayn Rand back in the early 1960s. This first appeared in ~Full Context~, and is now posted on the Internet at Memories_of_Ayn_Rand.htm Here is an excerpt, relating to the issue of free will vs. determinism, which I think does a nice job both of revealing the style of their interaction and some subtleties of the issue itself: "I understand that you’re a determinist," she said to me once, apparently having been told this by a student who had read my essay on the subject in an anthology. "Well," I said, "like most words ending in -ism, that depends on what you mean. If you mean that everything you do is controlled by God or some inscrutable fate who "gets into your head" and determines what you do next, that, as far as I know, is not true. Determinism isn’t fatalism. If it means that our every action depends for its occurrence on certain causal factors, in the absence of which it wouldn’t have occurred, then that may well be true, but I doubt that we could ever know this because of the number and complexity of the causal factors: how can we know that if conditions were the same you’d do the same thing again, when in fact the conditions never are the same? (They’re at least different the second time, in that you remember the first time.) And if the event wasn’t the same the second time, we’d say that the conditions were different this time, whether we knew it or not, wouldn’t we?" I tried to introduce her to a whole epistemological tangle here, and referred her to my book Introduction to Philosophical Analysis. "As to freedom," I said, "of course we’re free in a perfectly ordinary sense; we’re not chained, we’re not coerced; we do X because we decide to do it. If I decide to leave the room, I can do so, and if I don’t decide to, I don’t; that’s my freedom, and what other freedom could one want? It’s up to me which alternative I choose; isn’t that enough? If I decided to do X and found myself doing Y instead, or if my decision resulted in nothing whatever, then I wouldn’t be free with regard to X; but I am! If you then say that my deciding to do X depends on certain causal conditions, well, I suppose it does — I don’t know that anything is exempt from the Law of Causality. And if it were uncaused if it just happened, with nothing bringing it about that wouldn’t be freedom at all, would it? To train children or educate our students is to bring about (cause) certain changes in them; if our educative actions caused nothing in them, why try to educate them?" We went on with this for a long time. There were many complications and subtleties (the issue has been discussed for many generations). Ayn suggested that human acts are caused but self-caused (cause sui). I objected to the idea of something causing itself (an earlier state causing a later state is O.K.)—again, with many complexities in the discussion. Always, I wasn’t so concerned with what conclusion we ended up with, as with the route by which we got there: no circularity of reasoning, no begging the question, no smuggling in a premise under another name, and so on. Best 2 all, Roger Bissell Not exactly, nearly, or an atom or a bit, does that describe determinism. What made me say that? Peter again. Ray Bradbury: “We are an impossibility in an impossible universe.” Arthur C. Clarke: “The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.” Norman Vincent Peale: “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” Aristotle asks: "Do we deliberate about everything, and is everything a possible subject of deliberation, or is deliberation impossible about some things?" From: "George H. Smith" Reply To: "*Atlantis" Subject: ATL: Re: Aristotle on choice Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2003 17:21:29 -0600 Regarding my summary of "Aristotle on choice," Peter Taylor wrote: "George, I know we are delving into the realm of psychology and psychologizing but what would Aristotle say about the consequences of thinking of oneself as a determined being? I try to imagine myself in that bizarre position and I can only imagine acting in a nihilistic manner, coming to a crossroads, and going whichever way "seems" right for me. The alternative is paranoia and waiting for the decision to be made by antecedent causality." Aristotle doesn't discuss the free-will/determinism controversy explicitly (at least not in his extant texts). He seems to consider the power to choose freely to be an obvious characteristic of rational and purposeful human beings, one that is clearly revealed through introspection. And I think he would further maintain that a consistent empiricist should take introspective evidence as seriously as he takes extrospective evidence, especially since knowledge based on the latter *depends* on the reliability of the former. In short, if we cannot trust our internal experiences, then we have no foundation on which to base objective knowledge of anything, including the external world. . In his classic book, *Outlines of Greek Philosophy,* Eduard Zeller writes: "Aristotle presupposes quite arbitrarily the freedom of the will and attempts to prove it by the fact that virtue is voluntary and that we are universally held accountable for our actions" (Dover, 1980). Although I wouldn't put it this way -- for one thing, I think "arbitrarily" is an inaccurate characterization -- it is certainly correct to say that Aristotle's stresses the inextricable relationship between free choice and moral phenomena. It is scarcely coincidental that Aristotle discusses "choice" in his work on ethics, where he repeatedly emphasizes that moral judgments apply *only* to actions that lie within our power to do or to forbear. According to Aristotle, "where it is in our power to act, it is also in our power not to act, and vice versa." This power of choice originates in reason. Choice is the "efficient cause" of an action, but the cause of choice is "desire and reasoning with view to an end." This latter is deliberation, which is a function of practical (as opposed to theoretic, or speculative) reason. Depending on the context, Aristotle also describes this fusion of reason and desire as "desiderative reason" and "ratiocinative desire." Here is a summary from Mortimer J. Adler's magnum opus, *The Idea of Freedom* (vol. I, p 469): "Beyond desiderative and practical reason, as the power by which man deliberates and chooses, there is no efficient cause of the choices he makes. When Aristotle, referring to desiderative reason, says that 'such an *origin* of action is a man,' he is attributing to a human being the power of *initiating* his own actions by virtue of his practical reason as a first or active moving principle. Just as in the speculative order (i.e., the sphere of knowing) Aristotle posits the *agent*-intellect which acts without being acted upon, so in the practical order (i.e., the sphere of doing or making) he treats practical reason as an *active* power and a *first* cause -- a first cause, that is, with respect to man's own acts, not with respect to the cosmos." This is background information. I have yet directly to address Peter's question, viz: "what would Aristotle say about the consequences of thinking of oneself as a determined being?" I suspect he would maintain that determinism in any form flatly contradicts introspective evidence, and that it would make nonsense of our subjective experiences. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most obvious is our need for deliberation. We deliberate *only* because we believe that two or more alternatives are possible, and that it within our to choose among these alternatives. For Aristotle (as I noted above) choice presupposes "the power to act" or "not to act" in regard to particular means. . This raises the interesting question of how Aristotle would argue against determinism. I suspect his argument would resemble his argument (in the *Metaphysics*) against a person who claims to deny the Law of Non-Contradiction (e.g., a person who claims that the same proposition can be both true and false at the same time and in the same respect). Aristotle contends that not all knowledge is strictly demonstrable, because we will ultimately encounter premises and axioms that cannot themselves be proven. Nevertheless, there is a kind of argument – which he calls "dialectical" -- that can be used here. Unlike a demonstrative argument, which begins with "first principles," a dialectical argument begins with the *opinions* that men hold about a certain subject. The purpose of a dialectical argument is to back one's adversary into an untenable corner by showing that his opinion carries implications that even he would be unwilling to accept. As Zeller indicates, Aristotle would claim that a consistent determinist would be logically required to expunge all normative terms from his language and way of thinking, which is clearly impossible. It is also likely (though I am obviously speculating here) that Aristotle would argue against the determinist by pointing out that deliberation itself presupposes free choice. We do not deliberate about things which we believe to be impossible. Deliberation *begins* at the point where we believe that various means are possible* for us. Hence if we truly believed that only *one* action is possible, there would be nothing to deliberate *about.* We *stop* our investigation of means *precisely* at the point where we become convinced that something is *impossible.* Hence to deliberate between different means, X and Y, presupposes that we believe that we have the power to choose *either* X or Y. Therefore, just as Aristotle claims that a person who denies the Law of Non-Contradiction reduces himself to the intellectual status of a vegetable, so he would probably maintain that the person who implicitly repudiates the function of deliberative reason, which chooses between *possible* means in pursuit of a goal, reduces himself to the status of a lower animal or automaton, in effect, by failing to understand the proper role of reason as an efficient cause (a fundamental explanatory principle) of human action. Ghs From: PinkCrash7 To: atlantis Subject: ATL: RE: Aristotle on choice Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2003 20:15:56 EST Bill Dwyer wrote: "To say that one's choice is the ~result~ of one's deliberation is simply another way of saying that one's deliberation is the ~cause~ of one's choice." No, it's not. To make a free choice as a result of deliberation does not mean that the process of deliberation necessitated that that choice be made. That is where you are making the big leap, Superman. The reasons for making a particular decision are not internally experienced as causally sufficient conditions for that decision to be made. The individual still retains power and control; the choice is his alone -- not "caused" by the process that is under his own volitional control. Likewise, once a decision is made, that decision does not "cause" an intentional action; the individual still has freedom and control over what he does. Debbie
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