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Posts posted by BaalChatzaf

  1. 8 hours ago, jts said:

    If it is proved by the scientific method in peer reviewed journals that man has rights, then rights will get promoted from philosophy to science.

    Roughly speaking, perhaps oversimplified:

    Science is knowledge supported by reason.


    Don't hold your breath waiting for morality to follow from physical law.  If you do you will burn blue and faint.

    There are two elements of faith (a very reasonable kind of faith)  that are  embedded in science -- 1. The external world we perceive and use as the raw feed stock of science is really real,  and not the result of an hallucination   and  2.  the laws of physics  we  derive from a combination of experience and reason  are uniform in space and time.  If we did not assume 2, then we could not use astronomical observation to verify that or  or lead to local hypothesis we consider to be true. Every astronomical observation is a view of the past because light has a finite speed of propagation and a view of things far, far away from us, sometimes (as Carl Sagan might have said)  billyuns and billyuns of light years away  and before now. 


  2. 2 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

    Morality--actually philosophy--is a fact. It derives from the nature of a free-willed organism--man. Philosophy is basically what not to do respecting man qua man. Off that it can suggest better if not best choices. What you are saying is you cannot objectify either philosophy or morality. This is contra Objectivism. If you wish to take on Objectivism you need more than to keep repeating your one sentence anti-Objectivism (objectivism) mantras. You're insulting the host. This site is not Subjectivism Living. Or didn't you notice?


    Deduce from physical law a moral principle of you choice.  Let us see how well you do.


  3. 12 hours ago, jts said:

    Here is another one that could be published in a scientific journal -- "A neurophyiological hypothesis explaining why people believe the earth is flat". This would be a study of psychology, not a study of whether the earth is flat. To make ethics scientific you need a scientific study showing why murder is morally wrong, not why people believe murder is morally wrong.

    When this is done then science has a chance of taking over morality from religion. Until this is done we will have religion.


    You got my "joke".  Thank you, sir.  I was asserting that morality, qua morality, has no scientific or mathematical import.  There are no moral facts.  The laws of nature has no moral content. Morality is a human artifact from start to finish,  from top to bottom.   One could find moral "aspects"  in the way science is practiced.  For example emphasis on factual truth,  openness in the way one reaches conclusions.  Science  when properly practices  has virtues and aspects resembling morally  admirable qualities. 


  4. On 2/6/2018 at 7:51 PM, jts said:


    My guess:  Science does not yet do very well on the subject of morality.  And neither does philosophy. It is the famous is / ought question.

    When you can have a peer reviewed scientific study published in a scientific journal showing by the scientific method that murder is morally wrong, then science will start to take over morality, and religion will start to be not necessary.

    Here is what could be published in a scientific journal  --" A neurophysiological hypothesis explaining why people believe murder is morally wrong ".

  5. 9 hours ago, Nerian said:

    The significance of AlphaGo is how it achieved its narrow intelligence. The algorithm that produced AlphaGo is general purpose, and it computes using principles inspired by how the brain works.

    It's not AlphaGo, but the algorithms that produce AlphaGo that are astounding.

    These algorithms are building blocks on the road to general intelligence. They are just using games as a way to test their technology.

    Believed when seen.  I worked in the field of AI  from 1960 to 1965.  When I went on to do other things I became quite skeptical of the possibilities. 

  6. 7 hours ago, RidleyReport said:



    Should did not say "your are not allowed to film me" in the final and absolute sense.  She said you are not allowed to film me until I am in public session.  Which means until she functions publicly she has the right to privacy,  just like all the non-government peasants have the right to privacy.   Half quotes  are just as likely to be false or misleading as outright lies.


  7. 20 hours ago, Peter said:


    9. Human Progress While Star Trek's futuristic technology draws a lot of attention, the biggest improvement isn't in our machines. It's in ourselves. No, I don't mean in our basic physical or mental capabilities--and maybe that's part of the reason Star Trek doesn't embrace genetic engineering and cyborgs. The franchise tends to be more interested in the progress of our minds and character. The future envisioned in Star Trek is a better place because we are better people. At root, Star Trek is a vision of the eventual triumph of humanistic values. This triumph is portrayed as hard-won, with humanity having suffered through a period of warfare and chaos, a kind of mini dark age. The beginning of this dark age keeps getting pushed back as we keep catching up to it in real life (though sometimes in this election cycle I've thought we might finally be getting there). But we have come through that and emerged into a very hopeful future. One of the things that was shocking and refreshing in the original series is how it showed all of mankind united and at peace, including a ship with black and white crew members and Americans and Russians working together. It was certainly a contrast to the real world circa 1968. This triumph of humanism is occasionally tied in with a certain degree of smug, conventional liberalism. But I can assure you that the show has plenty of fans on the right, too. After all, it would be the ultimate in smug liberalism to assume that only the left cares about a world without racism, poverty, war, and oppression. Star Trek is a little vague about the details of how we achieve this humanistic progress, but there is one aspect it repeatedly dramatizes: the importance of reason, science, and technology. The activities of scientific exploration and technological problem-solving are made into the central plotlines of whole episodes, and these are regarded as a Star Trek crew's most important activities. This is the root of the technological optimism of the series. Not that our machines were automatically going to make the future better, but that we are going to have to be better people--and clearer thinkers--in order to get to the point where we could build that amazing future. When it comes to technology, we're moving along toward the future anticipated by Star Trek at a pace that keeps us right on schedule. I hope we will be reminded to put the same degree of effort into the progress of our souls.

    The further we get away from the zero sum game the better off we will be and the better we will bay.  When everyone can have what they need without imposing a burden on others, then we can finally rid ourselves of the fear  the emerges from scarcity.   Once we get rid of the fear we can get along will with each other. 

  8. 6 hours ago, Peter said:

    What are the potential benefits of living in space or on a surface with lesser gravity? The evidence suggests longevity, once the downsides are worked out, and increased height, if that matters to anyone. Mars may not be tomorrow’s wonderland but it will supply gravity, water, and minerals. A recent article on The Mars Rover showed a new photograph of perhaps billions of gallons of water suspended in the rock face of a cliff and that was just one location. Of course there is always the species benefit inherent in the dispersal of human entities: no catastrophe in one location can wipe humanity out. For instance, we know North Korea is developing biological weapons that may destroy them and the rest of humanity. What would happen if only two percent of humanity was left on earth? In contradiction to that threat, two percent of humanity living on Mars, is sensible: letters and packages from home, delayed videos, and TV shows for the people left on earth, and the great adventure for the people on Mars. What could beat that?


    Humans cannot live a health life in zero g or weak micro gravity.  The lack of gravitational stress leads to the decomposition of bone material.  Exercise is not sufficient to prevent this.  The human body evolved in a one g environment.   In zero g  the human body no longer functions well.  See what happened to Mike Kelly one of the identical twin astronauts who spent a year on ISS.  The effects on his body have not been happy.  Please see:

    With current propulsion technology a trip to mars will take ten months  in deep space with no protection against cosmic rays except the vessel itself.  It is ten months in 0 g since no of our vessels are constructed to spin and provide centrifugal forces as a surrogate to gravitation.  The return trip will also take 10 months. Mars will provide 3/10 g gravitational acceleration so a round trip to mars is at least 2.5 years of living in reduced gravitation and with mostly no protection against cosmic rays.   It is not a happy prospect.  The astronauts will return to earth after 2.5 years with their bodies aged 10 years in that interval (figuring in bone loss and exposure to radiation).  They will have an increased chance of getting cancer even after to returning to earth.  Their immune systems will be compromised.  

  9. On 7/20/2013 at 1:07 PM, Ed Hudgins said:

    Actually, the reason the U.S. government took up the mission of going to the Moon was a three-fer.

    First, it was to demonstrate to non-aligned countries as well as some of America’s allies that our open and generally free system was technologically superior to the Soviets. They should hitch their wagons to America. It was for prestige.

    Second, while the Moon missions were civilian activities, the U.S. was developing a capacity to dominate the High Frontier for defense purposes, if needed, and developing a lot of duel-use technologies.

    Third, going to the Moon was an important scientific endeavor. It was something that a private consortium of universities, National Geographic, and others might have done if they had the money.

    As to Baal’s remarks about Mars, I might suggest looking at the scientific information coming from the probes above and on the planet in recent years showing the abundance of water in the regolith. I might suggest looking at the knowledge coming out of those probes that brings us closer to answering one of the greatest scientific questions of all time: whether life arose on a planet other than Earth. I might suggest considering the Inspiration Mars project paper on the habitat issues involved with traveling 500 days to and from the planet. I might suggest looking at the new work done by the Mars One folks—building on Zubrin’s work in The Case for Mars—on settling Mars as the goal, not only doing missions with a return to Earth. I might suggest we should take seriously the fact that Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin as well as a lot of folks with money—Musk, Tito—see Mars as most important target for human attention.

    Or I might just say, stop being on old, curmudgeonly grumpy-stomp!

    We will get to mars and settle there when we have proper propulsion systems   Burn and Coast is no good for long term manned missions.  The passengers and crew will be done to a turn by cosmic radiation before they ever make planet-fall.   As it is, look at the condition of the twin brother who lived on ISS for a year (on alpha shitcan I, overpriced and less useful than it should be).  That poor suffering bastard is a physical wreck.  See please:  If you still have the stomach to see what happened to Scott Kelley then please read:

    And this was while Kelley was still in the protection of the van Allen Belts.  Think of what would happen in Deep Space where there is nothing between the passengers and cosmic rays  by a few inches of metal.


  10. On 7/18/2013 at 3:13 PM, Ed Hudgins said:

    From Apollo 11 to Martian Missions

    By Edward Hudgins

    On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made those historic first footprints on the Moon. But the ensuing decades have been frustrating to those who assumed that Apollo 11 would lead to permanent lunar bases and colonies on Mars.

    NASA, a government agency, could not bring down the costs of spaceflight, ensuring that such visionary goals would be multibillion dollar boondoggles.

    But today those who want to see Mars become a future human habitat might have their aspirations realized.

    The Buzz about Mars

    Aldrin’s new book, Mission to Mars, with journalist Leonard David, argues for the Red Planet as the principal target for future explorers. Aldrin, with an astronautics Ph.D. from MIT, has designed an interplanetary “cycler” system. (Aldrin published a first description of the system in my book Space: The Free-Market Frontier.)

    A spacecraft would be launched to Mars on a trajectory that would use that planet’s gravity to fling the craft back toward Earth, where it would use Earth’s gravity to fling it back to Mars in a never-ending cycle. (A similar system could be set up with the Moon.) Aldrin still needs to work out how astronauts get on and off the speeding ship at their planet of choice. But hey, he’s a rocket scientist!

    Flyby and one-way

    Dennis Tito, the first individual to pay for a trip to the International Space Station, founded and is helping to finance Inspiration Mars, a private effort to send a man and a woman on a 501-day flyby mission to the Red Planet, similar to Aldrin’s cycler but with the craft landing back on Earth. To hit the planetary alignments right, the mission must be launched in January 2018.

    Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp has founded Mars One with a plan to send humans on one-way missions to begin colonizing Mars, with the first mission in 2023. He will finance the project in large part as a "global media spectacle."

    Making it real

    In the past such missions would have been impossible dreams since cost-effective technologies were unavailable. But today private space entrepreneurs are stepping in to make such dreams come true.

    For example, Elon Musk’s company SpaceX has already launched three private rockets to berth with the ISS for a fraction of the cost of the NASA Shuttle. He is testing larger rockets that could travel to the planets. Musk’s ultimate goal is Mars and he says he wants to die on the Red Planet—but not on landing!

    Robert Bigelow’s company has developed innovative, low-cost inflatable habitat modules that he wants to put into orbit. Bigelow already has launched two one-third size prototypes and NASA will test a full-size module at the ISS in 2015. These modules could serve as habitats for bases on the Moon or Mars.

    These are just a few examples of entrepreneurs, inspired by Apollo 11, putting their money and their minds toward other space achievements that will inspire future generations and make us a spacefaring civilization!
    Hudgins is director of advocacy for The Atlas Society.

    For further information:

    *Edward Hudgins and William R Thomas, Video: “Crony Capitalism in Space?” June 19, 2013.

    *Edward Hudgins, "Neil Armstrong, America Hero.” August 27, 2012.

    *Edward Hudgins, “SpaceX’s Entrepreneurial Triumph.” May 25, 2012.

    *Edward Hudgins, “When We Walked on the Moon.” July 17, 2009.

    *Edward Hudgins, “The Spiritual Significance of Mars.” August 12, 2003.

    Mars is a shithole.  We would be much better off learning how to live on the Moon (as a kind of Antarctica  240,000 miles from the surface).  On the Moon we can learn survival, spacefaring and build the best telescopes (of all kinds including gravitational interferometers) that mankind is capable of building.   Mars, at this stage, is a futile quest and a waste of resources.  We need proper long term propulsion like ion drives and fusion ramjets  so we we could build ships that make gravity by acceleration  (not coasting after a burn)  and ships that could carry proper shielding against cosmic rays, 

    Then when we are properly equipped (which is not now at present) we can set  up on mars HQ  for asteroid mining enterprises.  I can see that in about 200 years if we start to work on it now instead of fiddling around.  Eventually we will need a real honest to goodness manned program,  not that pissing contest we had with the Soviet Union in the last century.

  11. 3 hours ago, syrakusos said:

    If one person can change the world, four might do 16 times as much. The Philosophical Breakfast Club: Four Remarkable Friends Who Transformed Science and Changed the World by Laura J. Snyder (Broadway, 2011) is the story of Charles Babbage, William Herschel, William Whewell, and Richard Jones. They met at Cambridge about 1810. By 1860, through their hard work and consistent focus, modern science acquired the inductive method and public involvement (and government funding), that resulted in science evolving from a hobby to a profession.

    Snyder writes well. The book is engaging, compelling, sometimes challenging. We accept that science proceeds by paradigm shifts, but the advent of modern science was itself a radical redefinition. At the start of the 19th century, what we call “science” was “natural philosophy” and its practitioners were philosophers. It was at the first meeting of the British Association of the Advancement of Science on June 24, 1833, that William Whewell answered a challenge from Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and spontaneously offered the word “scientist.” 
    More to the point, natural philosophy was pursued by people of leisure, most often men, of course, but also the exceptional woman. No university offered a doctorate in science – only the doctor of philosophy. Though they demanded knowledge of mathematics, baccalaureate examinations did not test for science. By 1860, that changed. These four men made that happen. This is their story. 

    They all endorsed the inductive method of Francis Bacon. This was not the so-called "strong induction" of Karl Popper and the problem of the black swan which holds that final truth is always elusive because some new discovery will invalidate all we know. Rather, they wrote books and articles about an objective scientific method that begins with observations. Observations become inductive generalities. Those broad descriptions must be fit to a natural law, a deductive truth. However, knowledge does not proceed from pure deduction independent of experience.

    Charles Babbage launched the first assault, making his work a personal crusade against the establishment. Reflections on the Decline of Science in England (1830) severely criticized the Royal Society in general and its leaders in particular for creating a social environment inhospitable to professional science, Richard Jones began by addressing economics with An Essay on the Distribution of Wealth, and on the Source of Taxes (1831). It was necessary to begin there because economics in particular was mired in error through rationistic, deductive theories from Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo. Jones demonstrated with statistics - also a new development - that life was getting better, not worse, even for the poorest. Whewell wrote History of the Inductive Sciences (1837) and Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences (1840). Herschel's Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy (1840) was the introductory volume of Dionysius Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopoedia. His 1859 work, Physical Geography, was part of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
    Only because The Philosophical Breakfast Club is praiseworthy do a couple of egregious errors stand out. Discussing the grief of William Whewell at the passing of his wife, Cordelia, Snyder identifies the elegiac as “a classical form of funereal verse famously employed by Ovid in the seventh century BCE.” (page 311) The elegiac may have its roots in archaic Greek culture, but Ovid (Publius Ovidius Nasso) lived some 600 years later. An editor should have caught that. An editor was probably responsible for the horrendous typographical error giving the speed of light as 310,740,000 miles per second rather than meters per second. (page 364)
    Less tractable as an oversight, Snyder accepts our capitalist society (and its abundance), but she does not tie capitalism to the rise of science. Taken at face value, these four savants could have brought science to almost any century, surely any period after the Renaissance. Snyder does point out that people limited the size of their families in order to be able to afford the many new consumer goods, the inexpensive luxuries of mass production. But any medieval fair offered such vanities. Snyder also does identify the fundamental errors in the dire predictions of Malthus and Ricardo. What she misses is that public lectures and demonstrations became commercial ventures (as did symphony concerts). It was no longer necessary to be wealthy (or to have a wealthy patron). Unlike “natural philosophy” science was delivered as a service to consumers by competing providers serving mass markets.
    Snyder proves her point first by telling of Darwin, who spent many hours in the company of Babbage. She reinforces the lesson with an introduction to the work of James Clerk Maxwell whose equations about electro-magnetism opened the door to the theory of relativity, which Einstein called “the electrodynamics of moving bodies.”

    Many other pleasant suprises are here as well, such as Babbage's attack on the Vigenere Cipher. And if you want to raise a toast to science, you can do it with Booth's gin.

    I got though reading it last december.  It is a very good book.  Whewell is the man who gave the name "scientist"  to natural philosophers.


  12. On 1/1/2018 at 8:39 PM, RohinGupta said:

    I will start working on my debut book this year.


    Many or all of you are connected to the domain of the planned book. Urging you to leave relevant comments here.

    Mission statement is as follows


    Industrial Sociology” is a branch of Sociology. Sociology being its Genus that is. Sociology studies various human relationships in society by organizing them. “Industrial Sociology” in turn studies human relationships in Industrial setting. (Or in contemporary terminology, Corporate setting). Range from family or friends to National-Global citizens being different type of social relationships. And different relationships between corporate workers, or customer-supplier relationships, or government-industry relationships being examples of “Industrial Sociology”.
    Coming to why Objectivism needs to work on “Industrial Sociology” at this stage of its development (Objectivism’s development). Before that, let’s look at where we are in the development of Objectivism. Apart from foundation work from Metaphysics-Epistemology to Art-Politics in non-fiction, Ayn Rand’s novels deeply concretize and also publicize many of her ideas. Books likeObjectivism:Philosophy of Ayn Rand and The Ominous Parallels by Dr. Peikoff look into same ideas from different perspective. Books like How We Know, DIM Hypothesis, and Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics dig deep into various aspects of Objectivism. Clarifying things that many of us find ambiguous. If we add work of Yaron Brook, Alex Epstein, Burgess Laughlin, Elan Journo, and other such writers, the connecting links between Ivory Tower of Objectivism and Man in street grow stronger by the day, despite the movement being in nascent stage.
    Coming to the fields involving social relationships, following thought I think offers the foundation bed rock on how Objectivism should proceed.
    The symbol of all relationships among [rational] men, the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trader. We, who live by values, not by loot, are traders, both in matter and in spirit. A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. A trader does not ask to be paid for his failures, nor does he ask to be loved for his flaws. A trader does not squander his body as fodder or his soul as alms. Just as he does not give his work except in trade of material values, so he does not give the values in his spirit – his love, his friendship, his esteem – except in payment and in trade for human virtues, in payment for his selfish pleasure, which he receives from a man he can respect. The mystic parasites who have, throughout the ages, reviled the traders and held him in contempt, while honoring the beggars and the looters, have known the secret motive of their sneers: a trader is the entity they dread – a man of justice.
    Galt’s Speech,
    For the New Intellectual, 133
    The thought has been called “trader principle”. Going into this thought, and other similar thoughts, there are two aspects to these. There is the negative aspect, where the irrational relationships cannibalize rational men. Artistically, for this aspect we can recall Hank Rearden from Atlas Shrugged. In Industrial context, an example of this are taxes for altruistic reasons (You are your Brother’s keeper). And using those taxes to fund people who strangle your business through arbitrary regulations like Anti-Trust laws. Objectivist Politics, work in the field of “Individual Rights” and “Nature of Government” specifically, focuses primarily on this aspect of “Trader Principle”. Protecting the rational man from Initiation of Force by other members in society.
    Here however I focus on other aspect of trader principle. How can rational man, or rational aspect of any person, benefit from other rational people in society? The field that I think can cover this is“Organizational Ethics”. Specifically, this would mean extrapolating Objectivist virtues to social, Industrial setting in particular. In Corporate setting (I use Industrial and Corporate interchangeably), Honesty for e.g. can be Data based decision making, and Integrity can become Policy based decision making. Just as science is related to “Applied Science” and Technology. Similarly, Ethics will be connected to “Organizational Ethics”. Before making this connection however, I think we need to classify relationships in an Industrial setting. And this is where “Industrial Sociology” comes into picture.
    So these relations can be intra-company or inter company. Customer-Supplier being the example of latter. Apart from Objectivism, I think society as a whole badly needs Industrial Sociology and Organizational Ethics. Even the best of companies are struggling because of the lack of proper intellectual base in these fields. Implosion of Uber due to various allegations, firing of young employee from Google for raising genuine policy concerns, conflict between CEO-Promoter inInfosys and Tata are few of the examples.
    Many of the innovations these days happen in startups. Whether Uber or Facebook or Dropbox, ultimately however, every small successful company becomes a big business. And howsoever frustrating many corporate interactions may be; from “Power Corporations” to “Internet Service Providers” and Big Factories in China and all over the world. Fact is that Big Business is indispensable for most of us. And long term survival of humanity depends on building strong foundations for Industrial relations – developing fields of Organizational Ethics and Industrial Sociology that is.
    To illustrate the idea, here I take Agile Model being followed in Software Development. Industrial Sociology, various relationships that is, in this model will center around Scrum Team. Scrum Team consists of Developers, Testers, Scrum Master, and Product Owner. Scrum Master and Product Owner often being part time roles of Developer or Tester. Product Owner bringing in features or bugs to be fixed by the team. Scrum Master ensuring that activities of each member are tracked every day to the nearest hour (by member himself). Both these roles also facilitating planning, review, and retrospect every few weeks, known as Sprint activities. People Managers, Product Managers, Program Managers etc. form next layer around many such Scrum Teams. Involving themselves more deeply in the time of crisis. Marketing and Sales, and further Administration teams also come into wider picture.
    Coming to Organizational Ethics part of Scrum Team, there are specific ways in which various Individual Ethics can be extrapolated in these relationships. Using past data for estimating activities (Honesty). Or splitting complicated activity (an Epic) into smaller stories, an example of Rationality. Various Sprint activities act as input for Objectives assessment by Manager, the Organizational application of the Virtue of Justice. “Idea to Product” and “Product to Market”; Productivity in a nutshell being central driving force of Scrum Team and surrounding ecosystem.
    When we think of Superhuman, Superman or Spiderman come into mind. This is good for artistic presentation. In reality however it’s the Big Business, people who are its “Prime Movers” to be more precise. It’s this association of “Prime Movers” that is a Real Superhuman. Due to leftist bent of mainstream intellectuals, the superhuman is struggling, and is not completely healthy. Let’s take the pointers of Ayn Rand and Objectivism to re-energize this Atlas.
    Rohin Gupta
    28th December, 2017


    your goal is worthy.   Go forth and do well.   Live Long and Prosper  \\//

  13. 1 hour ago, Jonathan said:

    Today the media are "fact checking" whether or not Trump has a button, or was lying about it.

    They've determined that he doesn't really have a button, and that he was therefore lying.

    Many of these same media people, and their fans who are applauding them for straightening out this dishonesty of Trump's, have expressed in the past their discomfort with the idea of a man like Trump having his finger on the button.


    There is an airforce officer who carries the current launch codes. In order for the President to authorize the launch of weapons of mass destruction he must first obtain the code from the officer, then while the officer watches he must enter the launch authorization code using a special terminal.  The officer then verifies that the code has been entered by the president and the officer enables the authorization order to be issue.  The rest is all done by computer.  The ESM authorizations are sent to nuclear armed submarines if such launches were authorized. Authorization messages are sent to any airborne craft with the assigned launch capability.  The crews in the ground launching stations are alerted and their consoles are enabled.  Finally an officer must order these crews to execute. It takes two crew members each with a launch key to send a nuclear armed missile on its way.  At any time the launching operation can be aborted.  Now if the President in a moment of madness demands that the officer with the launch codes turn the  codes over to the President that officer may and would most likely refuse to do so.  There has to be a consensus between the military and congress before the codes will be turned over to the President.  So there is no Red Button on Donald Trump's desk.  Launching mass destruction is complicated and deliberately so.


  14. 10 minutes ago, anthony said:

    DID you notice I was discussing 'abstract art' - and only 'abstract art'? What in hell do you think I meant by "blurred hodgepodge image" (and what followed)?

    Claimants who "perceive" intelligibility in unintelligible art forms, should, indeed, prove their claims, or keep silent. The onus is on those who make irrational, indefensible claims. I would dearly like to see them put to the scientific test.

    In the meantime, objectivity needs no scientific "proof". A contradiction in terms.

    You got it wrong, are scraping the barrel to find an argument and owe me an apology. 

    There is no scientific test for intelligibility in art.  

  15. On 12/30/2017 at 4:12 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:


    I agree with this (and the rest of your post). You focused on ethics, though. I was thinking more in terms of metaphysics.

    Hebrew God: "I am that I am."
    Ayn Rand on existence: "Existence exists."

    There are other similarities, too. For example, humans are encompassed by God/existence, God/existence always was and always will be, God/existence is the source of everything, there is only one God/existence, etc.

    When one asks, "Where did God come from?", this is very similar to asking, "Where did existence come from?"

    Like I said, take away the stories and personification and this is the kind of stuff that remains.


    In is interesting to not that G-D's name is YHWH (pronounced Yah-Weh)*  which is the hebrew verb meaning  "he is"  So that in effect Jews worshipped a god  whose name is "existence"  So you are quite correct in what you said.  So Ayn Rand's  motto  Existence exists  is cognate to God is God   or God is Existence or Existence is God.  The generic term for god in Hebrew is El, a title,   and in the plural Elohim.  In the Arabic it is Allah which is a title,  not a name.  So it looks like the founders of Judaism and by association, Islam,  connected with the metaphysics of existence.   For the Christians, the main concept was not  existence, but Logos  which is Greek for Word or Idea.  So for Jews , God is Being and for Christians God is Idea.  Much different. 

    *From YHWH  it  morphs  to YHVH.  change the Y to J  and you have Jehova which is a mispronouncing of G-D's name.  


  16. 21 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:


    I agree with this (and the rest of your post). You focused on ethics, though. I was thinking more in terms of metaphysics.

    Hebrew God: "I am that I am."
    Ayn Rand on existence: "Existence exists."

    There are other similarities, too. For example, humans are encompassed by God/existence, God/existence always was and always will be, God/existence is the source of everything, there is only one God/existence, etc.

    When one asks, "Where did God come from?", this is very similar to asking, "Where did existence come from?"

    Like I said, take away the stories and personification and this is the kind of stuff that remains.


    It turns out that the Atheist Rand was Jewish down to her toenails.  Didn't some one write a book about Rand and Objectivism shown the correspondence between Talmudic Judaism and Rand's thinking?


  17. 11 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

    Incidentally, if you take out the stories and personification, Rand's notion of existence is very similar to the Hebrew God.

    Rand's  ethics and metaphysics  has Jewish DNA, notwithstanding the fact that Rand was an atheist.  Jewish atheists almost always remain Jewish at the core. It turns out that the Jewish people partially by luck and  mostly because of their historical experience developed one of the most thorough "conditioning"  programs for bringing up the young.  If a Jewish child is Jewish up to his/her 13 th year (year or bar mitzvah/bat mitzvah)  the person will retain a Jewish outlook and a Jewish sensibility  his/her entire life  whether or not that person rejects the ritual and theology..  This was certainly true in Rand's case. Also notice that the First Generation Objectivists were almost all brought up Jewish even though they rejected the ritual and the synagogue. This Jewish imprint shows up most strongly in the domain of ethics. Also note that Judaism is the least  altruistic  of the Abrahamic  religions.  

    I have given up mostly on the literal existence  of  G-D as that G-D is portrayed in the Jewish holy books and rabbinic commentary (scripture, talmud, commentaries etc)   but  I am Jewish down to the molecular level  in terms of my ethics, my sense of right and wrong and my "sense of life".  Furthermore I have seen this again and again in hundreds (perhaps thousands) of Jews I have encountered in my life (going for 82, G-D willing and the bridge don't collapse).  Along with the ethics  is a strong love of life.  How many people do you know  who have a toast "to life"  (l''hayim).  Even our Muslim enemies, the Jihadis mock us for our love of human life and existence and consider it our weakness.