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Everything posted by SoAMadDeathWish

  1. Your conclusion doesn't follow from your premises. Reality, being neither deterministic nor indeterministic, is not in a "third way" between the two. It just doesn't make any sense to ask whether reality is determinstic or not and to what degree, just as it doesn't make any sense to ask how furiously a colorless green idea sleeps.
  2. Part 6 is finally up. The reason it took so long is because a) I've been busy, and b) it took me quite a while to think of an approach that would explain the core concepts of SR while sidestepping all of the rather unnecessary usual algebraic baggage.
  3. Doesn't that statement contradict itself? If it is possible to ignore what is actually going on, then choice is possible. But if choice is possible, then things are non deterministic. Darrell That depends on how you define "choice". For me, there is no conflict whatsoever between the possibility of choice and determinism, as long as by "choice" we mean a decision arising from the beliefs, preferences, values, and deliberations of an individual. Reality in and of itself is neither deterministic nor indeterministic. I think I've said that already. Rationalism, in the O'ist sense, is when you try to figure out the facts of reality from a priori reasoning alone. However, such reasoning is not by itself rationalism. For example, mathematics is entirely a priori reasoning, but it does not make any claims about the real world, so it's not rationalism.
  4. I thought he was on your ignore list.
  5. Veteran's benefits don't cover treatment at non-VA facilities, so the reason they don't go anywhere else is that they can't afford to.
  6. Specifically, which issue? Not getting or waiting long time for medical care from the government.
  7. Curious that congressmen never have this issue. Hmmm.... gets you thinkin'....
  8. This is rationalism, i.e., what is in the mind trumps observed reality. This is not law of identity, which weds observation to what is in the mind. Rationalism is a form of dogma. Michael No it isn't. Then what is it? --Brant I don't know. Rand and Peikoff like to call it "Objectivism".
  9. This is rationalism, i.e., what is in the mind trumps observed reality. This is not law of identity, which weds observation to what is in the mind. Rationalism is a form of dogma. Michael No it isn't.
  10. Determinism is not an explanation of how things work. Like I said before, it's a property of explanations.
  11. What are you talking about? "A is A" is a tautology.
  13. This is about as close to a perfect example of a tautology as I can imagine. Michael Just to clarify, since it is like a trap (which I believe makes it close to perfect), according to this way of arguing, if you observe indeterminacy, like parts of free will, and call them that, you are ignoring "what is actually going on," i.e., determinacy. But if you can't observe the determinacy in the indeterminate part, and can only observe the indeterminacy, you are still wrong if you call it indeterminate because you are "ignoring the determinacy." The determinacy is always valid because it is determinate. It does not need to be observed and can't be in many cases. So why then is it determinate? Because it is not indeterminate. And why cannot it be indeterminate? Because it is determinate. Tautology. Hidden, but still tautology. This happens when rationalization--meaning here the rationale divorced from observation--is used as the fundamental standard of truth. Michael Is the tautologous fact that one can never observe a contradiction (that A is A) also a rationalization?
  14. So... nothing? Do stars cease to shine when you've explained how they work?
  15. There is no such thing as "indeterminacy" in reality. Things are only ever "indeterministic" to the extent that we choose to ignore what is actually going on. In principle, it is possible to predict completely the near particular future, so in that sense, Hitler was inevitable. Determinism is not a theory about how things are. It is a property of certain explanations. It cannot be said to be falsifiable or unfalsifiable. Consciousness is reducible to nothing more than physical processes in the brain. It is not something that acts "above" those processes. It is those processes.
  16. No difference, other than how they are put together.
  17. At least yours are--we can start from there (and build?). How did you deterministically determine this? You didn't of course; those damn "laws" did. What I can't determine is how you determined--how you are the passive voice of truth. Couldn't those laws have made you into a liar? No--for if you can lie you can tell the truth and know the difference. Enter, moral agency. Exit you--that's your choice, right? The outcome of the deterministic laws that govern one's brain do not come in and supersede on a pre-existing "free will". There is no "me" that makes choices independently of my brain and the laws of reality. Rather, the outcome of those deterministic processes is one's "free will" to choose. People are nothing more and nothing less than atoms put together a certain way. Because they aren't arbitrary.
  18. Rubbish. Subjects were free to glance left or right after stimulus. They could have used dogs or mice and got the same results. Off you go, in disgrace, to the Ignore list. Dun. Dun. Dun. Another one bites the dust. Dun. Dun. Dun. Another one bites the dust.
  19. What the scientists actually said: Not sure how you managed to get the title of this thread from this. And, strictly speaking, choice is an illusion, since all thoughts are the outcome of purely deterministic physical laws.
  20. I'm just gonna leave this here:
  21. If the US decided to put a swastika on its flag, would you find that acceptable? After all, what damage would be done to any Jew when people wave a swastika around, or salute a swastika, or send their kids to schools where they pledge allegiance to a swastika, or go to a football game where the mascot of the team they cheer for is a racist caricature of Jews? If the name of a football team was offensive to any other racial or ethnic group, you wouldn't be caught dead making this argument. Why? Because: Which is exactly the problem. In the schools and the media, the history of racism and genocide against Native Americans is either whitewashed or ignored. Ignorance of history then leads to people thinking that using terms like "redskin" or portraying Native Americans as savages is no big deal. Then when the ugly truth comes to light, even otherwise intelligent people like Rand start rationalizing the worst possible horrors, because anti-native attitudes and beliefs have been instilled in them their whole lives. How about we just forget that slavery and the holocaust ever happened, too? That way white people can use the word "nigger" and wave swastikas around without feeling uncomfortable. Would you call that progress?
  22. I don't know of a single person who uses the term in this manner or who even believes this. Michael That's because they're ignorant about a lot of American history. They don't know what the term represents, and have never been faced with such discrimination, so to them "redskin" is "just a word". If they did understand what the term "redskin" meant to Native Americans, only the really crazy ones would continue to use it. There are many people in other countries who depict black people by having actors dress up in blackface. They don't know anything about the history of racism in America that that represents, so they see nothing wrong with it and continue to do it. Would you ever appear on American television dressed up in blackface? If not, then you understand why the Washington Redskins should change their name. I also don't think that the enjoyment that Redskins fans derive from watching football justifies anything at all. The fans of any other team enjoy football just as much without having a racist mascot.
  23. The point of not being a racist is not to avoid giving offense to anybody, it's about treating people with human dignity and respect. The reason that the term "redskin" is so offensive is because it is a dehumanizing term that represents a bloody history of genocide and racism. When you call someone a "redskin", you're effectively saying that the things that their ancestors suffered through were insignificant or justified or both because only humans can have rights, not "redskins" or "niggers" or "untermenschen". Before you start thinking that these terms have no relevance to the modern day because those injustices are "in the past", here is Ayn Rand spewing the usual bigotry about how Native Americans have no rights because they are "savages":