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Everything posted by john42t

  1. john42t


    I've given my opinion about schools more than once already, so I'm rather with you guys here. I don't find Carol's argument about all teaching being an enabling of auto-didactics convincing. In my book, auto-didactics means voluntary, self-driven learning with a self-chosen curiculum. Nothing kills curiosity more than a curriculum one hasn't chosen and one isn't interested in at the time when it's being chosen. The majority can only learn that way, so they advocate that system for everyone. "All stones are cobblestones to you." (Kira in We, the living.) They don't care about about the injustice this implies. I don't hate any particular teacher of mine any more and I didn't know my hatred to be just when I still did. Today, I blame the masses who are advocating government in education and since that's nearly everyone, I can't practically point a finger to anybody. People, including many of those who embrace the label of Objectivism, are sometimes referring to "common decency" or that there are some things so unjust that everyone "just knows" it to be wrong. I'm sometimes accused of being heartless for not sympathizing then. But it's really very simple. We live in a world in which almost all people advocate a school system that sacrifices a few children that they usually don't know. At least they won't know who those children are. They do that because they know that school was good for themselves - they wouldn't have been auto-didactic. Also, advocating public schooling in particular makes them feel warm and altruist - it's not their money, after all. There is no "common decency". Indecency is the common case. There's "common good manners", and I try hard to comply to them. I know what's good for me. And there's kindness and love to people one knows to be worthy and that can always only be an exception. I'm not a Randroid in the sense that I run around and spit in people's faces. But it's still necessary to spell things out every once in a while to keep good manners from descending into the betrayal of one's values.
  2. Few people call mothers who care for their young altruistic, which would be the human case of the kin selection you're referring to. So no, I can't see that term to be particularly fudgy. The altruist Zeitgeist that was particularly strong in the social structures I was raised in. Moderatly satisfied for a short while. Like a fraud today.
  3. You hammer on uncertainty except for a theory that seemingly undermines certainty - even though I don't think it even does. Clearly it's impossible to "calculate" the future with certainty out of sheer complexity, Rand knew that as much as any 5 year old. It's only special classes of events that are predictable, such as planetary orbits. I can't see what difference quantum mechanics adds to this. I'm not in opposition to most of the facts you present, I'm suspicious of the way you emphasize things and thus your motives. It might be that you're just playing the devil's advocate here and somewhat trolling around. Fair enough. But I'm curious, are you conscious about where the opposition (such as Michael's) is coming from?
  4. Which premise would that be in Ayn's case? All of her applied political premises. The most important political premise would be that capitalism is the only moral political system. More specifically the importance of individual rights, especially property rights, to man's proper functioning and the necessity of strong legal system and government to ensure those against foreign and domestic threats. I know you don't disagree with this, so maybe it's in the word "applied". But what's an applied premise?
  5. He was much more consistent in advocating big government across ideological borders.
  6. Altruism. Altruism in the "Objectivist" sense? Is there another? I did it out of a belief that my purpose was to make the world better / help others / etc. I thought it would make me a good person.
  7. Just saying that Rand must have been very lonely.
  8. There are people who see the doubt on the side of nature though, and those are what I would call the scepticists. The above statement is what I call absolutism.
  9. In the sense that perihelion rotation "refutes" Newton? Yes, but that's not the kind of "refutation" I was talking about. Newton's mechanics will be just as useful as they are now in all millenias to come. They will not suddendly stop working (because the laws of physics change). They don't change. Reality is knowable.
  10. Yes I know. I was referring to the video style in general and the curious fact that Ron should approve of it.
  11. Thank you. I thought of them all by myself!
  12. That's not the definition you are using, see below. You are telling me that you are able to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings of many people simultaneously, people you don't know, people you have never met? In no case this is empathy, which would require direct contact to a human being who provides the feelings to recognize. I donated to flood victims once, empathy had nothing to do with it.
  13. (Note from MSK: This topic was started by splitting off some posts on another thread that had drifted. Bob, i.e., Ba'al Chatzaf, requested the split and the present title and it's a good one.) Personally, I don't believe it is. I have no doubt that the fundamental theorem of algebra is correct now and for all times. I would say I believe in it's absolutism as much as a religionist in the existence of God, although maybe for slightly different reasons. A bit, although not much, weaker, is my faith in the correctness of Newton's gravity laws. It would surprise me to say the least to find that they are grossly mistaken and that in fact planetary orbits follow completely different rules. You could say my faith again rivals that of religionists in that regard. I know what you're going to argue: Their faith doesn't rest on reason. Well, I'm sure they will tell you something else. They will tell you that if they only had reason to believe there was no God, they would "revise" their stance, "recontextualize" and "correct" it. But so far everything, so they would say, points to the existence of God.
  14. "I'm Ron Paul and I approve this message." That is so funny, given that he has such a considerate style himself.
  15. Her "flaws" are a consequence of her genius. I'm sure she would have had more long-lasting friendships if only her expectations had been lower.
  16. Hi QuestEon, thank you for your detailed response. Your stance on Molyneux remains difficult for me to judge, which only means that you could well be both honest as well as correct. This was also the impression I got a year ago when I was briefly scanning over your site. You write things such as "I see your points and I think to some degree you may be suggesting that I'm stacking the deck or misrepresenting some critics." And you're right - the fact that you still answer me in a way that doesn't suggest any resentment on you part means more in my book than any of the actual arguments. It's a rare quality and I very much appreciate it. My main cause of defence (or rather suspicion of ulterior motives in critics) is my extremely excentric view on the intellectual world. I disagree with Molyneux on most issues. I'm sure he'd call me a statist (or even a fascist) but I relate with him in terms of his antagonism towards "the experts" in the fields of philosophy and psychology. I see something of a parallel to the hostility Rand evoked in those. It doesn't matter so much whether you're right or wrong to draw that hostility on you - it's enough to have a strong, unusual opinion and to be successful in some sense. The only two cases in which I've come to appreciate insights of psychologists are Nathaniel Branden's self-esteem wave and the ADD wave by Hallowell and Ratey. Both waves have evoked antagonism from a majority of established psychologists, further strengthening my suspicion that there is something terribly wrong with that profession. With philosophers I'm even more critical. You write "Serious philosophers don't think he's worth the time." which implies that there is such a thing. I believe that all serious philosophers should be in harsh opposition to virtually all philosophers in human history, just like Rand was (and Molyneux is). In my book, it's not that difficult to be a decent philosopher since the whole profession is rotten. There is one more point I want to raise which is rather important. You criticize his whole aim of addressing adolescents talking about their family relationships and his profit motive. I believe this is going to be a business model with quite a futue. Although I don't think nearly all parents are bad, I do believe that a lot are. There certainly is demand for the service Molyneux aims to offer. It is exactly this demand that is at the core of his success. One comment before yours Michael talked about "teenage angst" you grow out of. Where does this angst come from? Has this angst always been there or is it a result of the developments of the last two centuries, in particular (public) schooling and collectivism? I believe that there is quite a significant amount of psychologically damaging treatment of children by both parents and educators that is covered up. The reason for the cover-up is evasion: people want to belong, so they try hard to see agreement with the majority when little is warranted. When I look at my problems with my own parents, it's rather simply that my parents were not on my side. To a large extent, they were on the side of society and aimed to meet the demands that they perceived society expects of them. I have no reason to believe that my parents were particularly unusualy in that regard. So if the rest of your criticism of Molyneux is valid, and I'm inclined to believe it is, that still makes me wish there was another guy like him with the same business model but more honest, less rigorous and less culty.
  17. Really? If there's one sinlge piece of information I drew from Objectivism about how people are in a way I did never anticipate, then this. It surprises me that you should say this. You're the one who said that for Objectivists, honesty firstly means "honesty to oneself". Aahh, I think I get it: For you, "the brain" isn't actually the thing that makes the choices, right? We tripped over that one more than once already. That's exactly why I call it a lie: Because even the sub-conscious variant is "other-people targeted". Human beings lie to oneself, but only because it has an advantage in dealings with others. To put it differently: The capacity of human beings to fool themselves exists to the end of fooling others in the same way that eyesight exists to the end of seeing. The driving engine that causes this purpose is natural selection. I know you're not going to agree with me on this, but anyway, that's my theory of subcoscious lies - my next video will be about this, called: evolution, a theory for conservatives.
  18. The worst form is: I realize that my beliefs contradict each other, but I don't want to give up either because each is important to my ego. So I decide that I'm fine with that, it's probably nothing serious. If this is a form of what you call "control over our beliefs", then we're on the same page.
  19. What you can avoid is evading contradictory information. For example, you discover something about yourself that contradicts your self-image and evade it (good or bad, both happens). Or you figure something about someone else that doesn't fit your image about him and evade it (again, good or bad). Those things are possible to avoid. Once you evaded, you will "honestly" claim what you believe to be true, so after the evasion the chance for honesty has passed. I would still consider it to be a lie. When I say "God is a lie." I'm talking about a subconscious lie.
  20. Yes it is. A lie can be subconscious. If you restrict the definition of the word lie to the conscious plane, you lack a word for the subconscious variant. Also, there would be few liars left - most people are deluded rather than conscious liars. Therefore, I must apply the word to both.