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Everything posted by Eudaimonist

  1. But is it an initiation of force, rather than retaliatory force? I realize that Roy Childs, as an advocate of anarchocapitalism, may believe that the government initiates force on rival private protection agencies, but it is not clear to me that establishing a "legal territory" for a government isn't actually a retaliatory use of force.
  2. I believe in equal pay for equal work... ...but not payment in terms of money, which should be set by the agreements employees and employers set in a free market. Rather, I believe that people should be payed equally in terms of respect for their earned accomplishments. It is spiritual payments that should be equal.
  3. There are some message boards where one can't even mention the name "Ayn Rand" without several posters foaming at the mouth and launching into attacks. Ayn Rand could be very harsh in her condemnation of people she disagreed with, so maybe it's to be expected. It's not worth getting worked up about.
  4. Hello. Are you an Extropian transhumanist? I was a member of that group in its early days.
  5. I'm back! And after five years. I have no idea why I had wandered away. Maybe I had switched computers and had lost the link. In any case, I'm back now.

  6. I haven't posted here for a few years. I have no recollection why I had left. Maybe I had started to post elsewhere. I'm back now.
  7. Dreadful? The Fellowship of the Ring movie was excellent. Just because a portion of the novel was cut out doesn't mean that the movie was bad. Peter Jackson cut out that portion of the novel that didn't move the main plot forward. Tom Bombadil and the Barrow Wights had virtually nothing to do with Sauron and the Ring. This is fine. At most, Frodo would have appeared 30 years old to us (in "human years"). Frodo was of a believable age.
  8. Your artwork is beautiful, Jonathan! I'm impressed. My favorite is "Resolve".
  9. My online interaction with Nathan Hawking was brief -- all too brief given the quality of his mind and the civil way he treated myself and others. While I didn't always agree with him on philosophical matters, I always respected him enormously. He will be missed.
  10. Thanks for getting OL back on its feet. Great job!
  11. A few of mine: La Strada The Seventh Seal (Det Sjunde inseglet) 2001: A Space Odyssey Nineteen Eighty-Four Metropolis A Clockwork Orange Lord of the Rings (Peter Jackson) Empire Strikes Back Raiders of the Lost Ark Excalibur Amadeus Dead Poet's Society Meet Joe Black The Matrix Singing in the Rain Groundhog Day Zoolander And, yes, The Fountainhead, though I never did like the "rape by engraved invitation" scene.
  12. Am I the only one who likes them all as they are? They all look great to me.
  13. Exactly! I can relate to this struggle with Rand's vision (I had my own), and fortunately my authentic self won as well. Have you ever read the book Personal Destinies: A Philosophy of Ethical Individualism, by David Norton? He argues brilliantly for personal authenticity in the rational life, and I think that every Objectivist who is interested in the question of "why choose my authentic self over programming myself with Objectivism?" should read this book (at least the first chapter). I regard personal authenticity as one of the basic virtues.
  14. That's a great photo, Kat! Thanks for posting.
  15. I think an interesting question is: what precisely is an "innate notion"? Is the aversion to incest, for instance, at root a concept, or it is it an aversion first (hypothetically non-conceptual, though perhaps activated in response to other conceptual knowledge, such as knowledge of sex and family relations), and only a concept afterwards (once we conceptualize the aversion)? I totally agree.
  16. I wasn't talking about conscious thought, but about the distinction between natural capacity and what we acquire through its use. (By "a process of thought", I am implicitly including any brain processes of which we are not consciously aware.) I like your quotes, btw, but they don't really address my point. I totally agree that human identity is not entirely a matter of nurture. You'll get no argument from me there. Our natural mental capacities -- what we have first nature -- play an important role in our development. I'm simply questioning whether or not this really challenges the idea that we start off tabula rasa, at least as Ayn Rand and some other philosophers meant the term.
  17. Perhaps this discussion should have a topic of its own, but doesn't the idea of tabula rasa really mean that we are born without conceptual knowledge (based on the view that all concepts must be formed through a process of thought), not a lack of "hard-wiring" that allows one to learn languages, for instance. Our natural ability to quickly pick up languages when we are young isn't a form of conceptual knowledge -- it's a "first nature" ability, where the language is something we acquire "second nature". Conceptual knowledge is also something acquired "second nature".
  18. Perhaps several of them are correct, and several are incorrect. I don't see why there shouldn't be such a thing as an incorrect definition. That depends. Has it been proven? I will let a mathematician answer that one. What I do know is that it can't simply be "defined" as true. I define myself as Creator of the universe. Did I create the universe?
  19. Eudaimonist: Is there such a thing as an "analytic truth"? It seems to me that all truths are "empirical" in that they are true of entities, not definitions. Dragonfly: Well, that's a matter of definition of course. Why is this a matter of definition? Does the concept of "truth" describe something about the real world, or not? Are there right and wrong understandings of what a truth is, or not? I was hasty and should have written that truths are true of entities and their relations. Truth is a relation. It seems to me that I'm not merely creating an arbitrary definition, but am describing an empirical truth about human beings and their ability of cognition. If we want to know what truths are, this is where we must look.
  20. Is there such a thing as an "analytic truth"? It seems to me that all truths are "empirical" in that they are true of entities, not definitions. I live in Sweden, and there is plenty of what I call "ice" (Swedes would say "is") outside my home. When I point to that white powdery stuff and seek to distinguish it with a definition from salt, sugar, and other perceptually similar, but chemically different, entities, the fact that the stuff I'm pointing to is the solid form of water is an empirical truth. The statement "ice is solid" could be false if I were to learn that ice isn't actually a true solid at all, but some other phase of matter. It would make little sense to say that the stuff I was pointing to really is a solid because it is "definitionally true", when it isn't "empirically true".
  21. I agree that all three are involved in a full, healthy life, though I tend to call this full, healthy life "flourishing". Flourishing is a synonym for eudaimonia, which is the complete life of the individual. At least, this is the way I usually see the word used. I was unaware that the word was also used specifically to target the concept of "growth" or "augementation" without regard to generativity. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I wonder if these components of life are reflected in Ayn Rand's cardinal virtues -- rationality (survival?), productivity (generation?), and pride or "moral ambitiousness" (augmentation?) Or am I reaching too far here? Honestly, I don't understand what it means to create a value "outside of oneself". It seems to me all acts of valuation are relational and spring from one's own activity. Anything external to one's physical body is nevertheless involved in the activity of one's life, and is thus "internal" to one's life, in a sense. The distinction you are drawing sounds a little artificial to me. I'm partial to "creativity". Thanks for the article! I enjoyed it immensely.
  22. That is a reasonable view. It seems that wisdom viewed in this way could be considered both a virtue and a value. Interesting.
  23. It certainly could be viewed that way, and I agree that the ancients did so. Of course, I was thinking about wisdom as a body of knowledge, not as the disposition of the wise person to act wisely, but your point is well taken. This is a good example for why I viewed wisdom, in one sense at least, as a body of knowledge, and therefore a value. The rational person aims at growing in wisdom (acquiring knowledge learned from experience), and so to be progressively more able to act wisely. We may, of course, view the disposition to act wisely the virtue of wisdom, but this would make for a double-meaning.
  24. This certainly fits into the genre of Romantic Realism. Absolutely lovely.