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Everything posted by anthony

  1. Sneaky deceptions about assisting a future rival. Or believing the advice of a future rival. As if, either knows certainly that they will be rivals one day. They could not, and so what if they could. Would it have been good advice? Was it true advice? then it is good. Can and should any advice one receives always be checked and understood independently? Of course. Even Rand's 'advice' for the necessity of an independent mind must be corroborated ... independently. ;) Through one's own experience and thinking. Independence - not "intellectual" btw - is always a virtue, right. You don't drop it when you feel like it. Looks as though you're quite trivializing the virtue's essence with this chess scenario, integrity, truth and honesty to reality are components of independence. "...his edicts as middle-man between your consciousness and your existence". Keep in mind: One holds a virtue selfishly for one's own sake.
  2. You can get knowledge from anywhere/anyone. You test its validity ("this move is wrong") by what you know, or as said in O'ism: it can be "integrated" without contradiction into the sum of your existing knowledge. So Kasparov worked out the moves for himself and saw his teacher was right. But this isn't simply "intellectual" independence I think Rand was onto. Her "responsibility of judgment" is - moral independence. To judge for yourself the good/bad, (not only the true/false) of the facts. Not accepting others' moral judgments at face value.
  3. Hi Jon, would you give a link to the black support figure? I was asked for it on another forum. ;) Thx.
  4. Michael, Ghate is not stupid, true. What's been irritating to me is that while ARI authors show their expertise when they mostly stick with pure Objectivist theories, and finding new ways to re-present them - they are singularly poor at applying theory to reality (or, as you say, applying reality to the ideas, rationalistically). And to top it off, prescribing their own judgments to other O'ists with Randian authority. Surely: Identify the entire situation as it is as a conceptual whole. While also keeping high standards in mind, not what it ~should be~ in an imagined, future perfect world. Where's context? What is the hierarchy of values here? Do actions and positive results matter less than airy words, style or sweet delivery? (Kant's - the noble intention, above all - comes to mind) What is the moral character emerging under pressure (and not the conventionally conformist 'character' - the public and media persona) of the actor(s)? This is after all, raw politics, and as it's been turning out, at its low-down dirtiest, anyone in and out of the US can see. One sees a sort of naivete when ARI Objectivists, going back to Peikoff, come down to the real world, so I'm not so certain there're other motives like financial gain/power involved. Maybe. But they do sound sincere. Perhaps it is all about making Objectivism "relevant". When you've ( I think it was Elan Journo, also generally a good thinker) predicted "a Trump dictatorship" - when hardly had he entered Office - and you now see you were wrong, damn, have the grace to admit your bad judgment and personal dislike in another article.
  5. And btw, I was interested to learn that 'the privacy factor' (of a pregnant woman) was instrumental in Roe v. Wade.
  6. Yes, this is tricky, Michael. But by comparison, how much can a clearly, physically abusive mother hold sovereignty over her children? You gotta oppose on principle state interference and social workers entering her and their lives, but only libertarians ( I think) will maintain that she may do whatever she wants with her child, nobody's business.
  7. What else is irrationality but ignoring and contravening reality? What one *knows*? Here's a mature fetus which has visibly expanding physical presence (anyone can see) moves and responds (the mother knows) has brain activity (her fetologist-doctor scans and knows) -- but somehow is not autonomous, actual, human life? Until that magical moment of birth ... somehow. Well, why the actual, natural, birth? Everybody knows by now that a birth date and time is often flexible, by necessity or choice. Is it because the baby has detached/emerged in one's plain view for the first time? That's primitive dogma. (i.e. an entity does not exist until it can be seen and touched in the flesh). And as if the fetus' environment, inside/outside, is the deciding factor of its status. By those criteria and the identity of life itself, the mother and doctor who evasively leave things to the last moment to perform a last-minute abortion, without due cause ( i.e. medical emergency) are objectively irrational and immoral. Not to add the barbarity of the procedure, which is on record from doctors themselves. Acting against the pregnant woman's rights - and illegalizing such procedures - is harder to answer (and implement). But look at it this way: A minute after birth, a baby's rights are protected; to kill him would be criminal. A day before, is euphemistically, "late-term abortion", and laudable. How much did he change in that time to merit his right to life? At least the medic should be struck off for unethical behavior. Abortion rights are consolidated in the West, and a very good thing. In a once socially repressive country I saw and heard of the shame and misery when girls and young women had little choice or recourse - such as, not often recalled from those ignorant times in pro-abortion debates, submitting themselves to arranged, shotgun marriages and certain unhappiness for her and him; apart from risking their bodies with underground abortionists. What she does with her body, mistakes included, should not be open to public judgment. So the subject would be redundant for me if not for those horrible bureaucrats and other (mostly) men who - get this - have been pushing for late-term abortion. No reason. Just because, um, "we can". Notice the pandering of male politicians displaying their hardcore-feminist sympathies. Even leftist women in the great majority, are too sensible of the value and responsibility of carrying and giving birth to actively follow them in practice. Very, very few actually need and do it. (Going by stats). I am more incensed by ARI writers who, by some twisting of her statements on rights and when life begins, try to conclude Rand would have positively approved of all abortion including late-term, therefore advocating irrational behavior under the authority of Objectivism. AND - one writer encourages, the woman should self-aggrandizingly join the Shout Out Your Abortion group of activists. Suspect that, how often where there's a Leftist cause, ARI is close behind.
  8. Life precedes and is the precondition for rights. Properly, you know, individual rights protect one's right to life, the freedom of action one needs. First, the mother's. That is inarguable. Then the fetus. "When" IS the burning question. When else but when the fetus has achieved that basic consciously-aware growth stage, when it has become de facto human life not only biological human - and is "man"? Here and then, one would think he/she should have the right to future freedom of action. (Not of course that it can 'act' freely - neither can an infant for several years - "action" for that period is more metaphysical-biological than volitional).
  9. If at conception, then taking "the morning after" pill is (possibly)to commit murder? I argue that the right to life (her freedom to act; individual rights) stays with the mother. Until her unborn is an actual, biological, pre-cognitive human who can live apart from her. I think that serves precisely to avoid dogma and faith, either from "an embryo with built-in soul" intrinsicists or "I can do what I feel like and when I want", subjectivists.
  10. Human life begins with sentience (measurable by brain activity). Sensations experienced in utero, if only touch, warmth, vibrations at first, are the start and signs of man's independent cognition. Before the unborn is at the point of feeling sensation - and at the point medical care is capable of its sustainable parturition - there - should be the cut-off point for legal abortion . Using Rand's terms, I say it's clear a fetus past this stage is "an actuality" - no longer a potential. Possibly why she was hesitant to consider the morality of late term abortion ("the essential issue concerns only the first three months...") and only mentions the "embryo". And her "a human being's life begins at birth" is wrong or badly informed. Why birth? When we know how arbitrary or voluntary the moment of birth can be? Give or take hours or days. Awareness of its surroundings evidently begins earlier, and surely Rand would agree that that first awareness of reality by a mind is what counts. Biological facts (like any facts) can't ever be separated from their objective value-importance, in a rational ethics.
  11. Big Other is watching, hey? Yes, their methods have improved dramatically, recently. I take it all as a necessary hassle for going online, but admit I can't stand being tracked (stalked) and analysed (even if it's only by a dumb algorithm). An incessant flood of items and services I `might` need, according to my interest profile, actually has had the opposite effect. I don't recall ever buying anything I saw in those ads, mostly photographic goods, and perhaps there are many others who are also stubbornly resistant to the charms. People are odd about being constantly hard-selled, to do with their freedom of choice ultimately. Something like those plentiful ad hoardings on the freeway, you don't look at them after a while and may put you off the product. Is this modern capitalism, proportionately as much money being earned by mass-marketing a product, as maybe the sales of the product itself?
  12. The inherent problem lies in (not) connecting idealism to reality. Reality doesn't accede to one's (often) rationalistic ideals one finds, so one either re-thinks and reconnects, or likely collapses into subjectivity and skepticism.That's the inevitable route to ex-Objectivist. For a philosophy entirely constructed out of reality and the mind, no one can blame the philosophy, rather accept upon oneself the fault and lack of rigorous thought. Testing times. I believe there's frustrated disillusionment within Objectivist circles for not having made enough inroads to strongly influence politics and voters. Which shows signs of intrinsicism, as if expecting the great majority of people to accede to 'revealed knowledge'. Anti-real, also. Times (in politics) we have to make the best out of the material we've got, knowing there's far worse alternatives.
  13. Yes, the collective appeals to and is uplifted by - the collective. More: sacrifices and guilty self-sacrifice must be made in the name of religious AGW, which, therefore, is tailor made for control of minds. (Punishment too of those minds which drove human progress through industry). Good ole fashioned altruism-collectivism features strongly in their agenda, underneath any ~true~ concerns for the planet and life. The telling question I've found to ask first, of AGW alarmists, is don't you then think, seeing you believe the future is so dire or apocalyptic, that nuclear energy (along with hydro-electric dams) HAS to be the main way forward? About nine out of ten reject that option, strangely. So how concerned are you ...really? (and how hypocritical). When the clean, economical and efficient and much-safer energy source is available, you'd rather make human sacrifices. Wind and solar "renewables" , not going to satisfy our increasing needs, is the Utopian, back to nature, fantasy.
  14. A good discussion. Stefan is great in social and gender matters, gets plenty of mileage from the non-aggression principle
  15. At least he had only one thing right. "...came to us through the filter"...etc - is well said. There's that narrative around Objectivism circles of clear-cut division: that one era ended, then, and instantly the next began - and - as if the average westerner had to make a clear selection between his J_C values and the classical or Western ones. O'ists point to the peaks (the intellectual greats who wrote the scholarly works) and forget the ~many~ who heard from them and adopted their values, integrating them quite well, esp. in America. There just weren't that many secularists around then, so pray tell who could take those ideas into the mainstream? He is a good novelist, I think I've read one or two.
  16. Hi. Do you want to leap straight into "wisdom" - by by-passing "knowledge"? That's the lazy way many take. One may join a religion, a sorta "wisdom" will be given to one without effort. But then how does one know it IS "wisdom"? By what and by whose, standards? How can it be tested and validated? There, one is blindly accepting on faith, revelation, imitating previous' thoughts and beliefs of others. Very close by, are the irreligious beliefs many pick up from general "society", the "collective" who - numerically - MUST know better ... surely? Or else, the hard and only worthwhile path: there is the individual's knowledge of reality. Which you have to undertake all alone by yourself through direct contact - perceptions, building into ever deepening-broadening concepts (i.e. reasoning). It may be best not at first trying to grasp Ayn Rand, in your casual reading of her "some good points"/ "many bad points" - (by whose, or by what, standards?) - see if you are able to identify, evaluate and encapsulate all that there is in existence, including yourself and "man". Without an objective method of cognition founded on objective reality, few if any will succeed. Could be at some point you'll begin to appreciate O'ism, but only if reality/existence matters to you above esoteric wisdom. Perhaps -- I don't know, not being wise enough - "wisdom" is the consequence, when a mind has integrated a total sum of the universe. Wisdom, as such, is not promised or explicitly professed, in Objectivism. Non-contradictory knowledge is, with effort.
  17. Interesting, to be a deist and secularist. I don't know enough about Thomas Jefferson to estimate how he carried that off, it seems as if he mentally bridged the gap from old 'order' into the new. That took great prowess. Neither set of values, certainly, is a "preferable alternative". But...immediately, and foreseeably, the "mystics of muscle" are the bigger danger, as I see this. Statism appears to be the established norm for all in the mainstream, while the US Conservatives at least in theory, speak of reducing it. I dug this up, worth a re-read. On topic I believe. One way or other, most boils down to mysticism. "As products of the split between man’s soul and body, there are two kinds of teachers of the Morality of Death: the mystics of spirit and the mystics of muscle, whom you call the spiritualists and the materialists, those who believe in consciousness without existence and those who believe in existence without consciousness. Both demand the surrender of your mind, one to their revelations, the other to their reflexes. No matter how loudly they posture in the roles of irreconcilable antagonists, their moral codes are alike, and so are their aims: in matter—the enslavement of man’s body, in spirit—the destruction of his mind. The good, say the mystics of spirit, is God, a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man’s power to conceive—a definition that invalidates man’s consciousness and nullifies his concepts of existence. The good, say the mystics of muscle, is Society—a thing which they define as an organism that possesses no physical form, a super-being embodied in no one in particular and everyone in general except yourself. Man’s mind, say the mystics of spirit, must be subordinated to the will of God. Man’s mind, say the mystics of muscle, must be subordinated to the will of Society. Man’s standard of value, say the mystics of spirit, is the pleasure of God, whose standards are beyond man’s power of comprehension and must be accepted on faith. Man’s standard of value, say the mystics of muscle, is the pleasure of Society, whose standards are beyond man’s right of judgment and must be obeyed as a primary absolute." [Galt's Speech] ---- Personally, the "mystics of spirit" (/mind) never had (when I was young) and can't have any sway over me. Where I think, however, and Rand above made succinct, the people whose minds can't be gotten are constantly vulnerable, is by threats to and force over their physical selves, values, etc. - in the name of "Society". The materialists can get at one where the spiritualists can't gain purchase. Then, causally, one's 'spirit" could also and equally be harmed by the mystics of muscle, by their indirect means.
  18. Really good few paragraphs. "...illustrate how the freedoms of religion, conscience, speech and press are intertwined". Reads like the antidote to theocracy to me. Have the post-liberal (yup, non-Objectivist) secularists come up with anything as good? "And Christians/Evangelicals never appealed to the State to enshrine their values?" Yes, they have. But the Left would take over the State to "enshrine" their nihilist dis-values.
  19. May be a misunderstanding. I was on about an Objectivist who in fact isn't a "centrist", but evidently pro-left, on balance. Especially considering how almost all of the craziness comes from the left, one can't morally equivocate. More and worse, when Brook disdains Objectivists who don't see politics and politicians today his way. Notice here how Amy Peikoff rather enjoys the term "Obleftivist", if only ironically acknowledging it, she implicitly accepts it.
  20. Seriously? Are they unaware? Unsurprising really, when an Objectivist, Yaron, has lost his rational perspective so completely, why would one expect that the "left wing" hadn't lost any sense of proportion?
  21. That old question - replied to by your objective solution - has always looked to be question begging - i.e. What is "good"? For whom? I think it must be rephrased and fleshed out in terms most secular humanists tacitly mean it, but seldom say outright: "How can people be made to hold other people as their moral standard--without God and the immortal soul?" The secularists have not succeeded and will not, as long as "the good" equates with "the other". Seeing that even the brightest skeptical intellectuals accept without question the altruist ethics, and worse (as with Sam Harris), have argued to dispose of free will and the "self" (with the 'Soul') -- "moral truths" will NOT "be learned through reason" by them. We have to query what "reason" is for them. What next was left for the secularists is find the substitute for "God" . Political power, force, and social 'judgment', their solution.
  22. I've watched a few episodes, not bad. But it is the old false alternative at work - the authoritarianism/illogic of the Church -- or of the Left? take your pick. With too many of these shows, I find I'm always remarking on the anti-conservative, pro-Left bias. ("The Good Fight" - ?) Often subtlely done, too often to be imagining it. ,
  23. I see them (and others, like Sam Harris) more as stand-alones, 'preaching' to their choirs, and while they have numbers of followers, are not really representative of the modern secular humanists, as a whole. I have definite disagreements with some - e.g. Harris, on free will - but fully appreciate their output. Over all, there's a deafening silence from the Left about Islam. Ali, Hitchens etc. are some of the few who have the intellectualism/independence to speak up forthrightly. Otherwise, from the very mainstream of people who should - at least, equally - be most critical of Shariahism (etc.) as they blatantly demonstrate against Christians, only comes political-correctness, hypocrisy and apologism. I am looking. ;) Just, not only at the main figures. I am not content only to hear what ideas the leading-lights state, to my mind It's what effects and response they have on large numbers that helps to signify the thinking of masses of people and the political future. I usually search for comments accompanying articles and Youtubes etc. from Christian/conservatives and I conclude there's much more simple good sense and decent character shown, and liberty and individualism espoused, than from the secularists. Keep in mind what I'm claiming is all comparative, not absolute. Plainly, leftists around the world understand the need of total dominance in order to meet their goals, and one can't say the same for most Christians, as annoyingly interfering as they can be in some issues. The progressive-left, by contrast, ultimately want *everything* controlled. As long as we're agreed that rationality is not necessarily the preserve of all atheists, sometimes anyone but.