How do you know murder is wrong?


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4 hours ago, jts said:

A case in point is in the military, when the commanding officer gave the order to fire, only 15% of the soldiers pulled the trigger. The reason was most people have an aversion, perhaps biological, to do violence to other people. This was unacceptable and they had to go thru training to make killers out of them.

WTF are you talking about?

Flesh this out or take it back.

--Brant

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35 minutes ago, Brant Gaede said:

WTF are you talking about?

Flesh this out or take it back.

--Brant

Maybe it's not typical but it's one story. Only 15% of the soldiers pulled the trigger. After psychological training 85% pulled the trigger.

I heard that in ww2, they got them drunk so they could kill. In Viet Nam it was drugs. Maybe not typical. These are stories I heard.

The point is simply most people are not natural killers. This doesn't mean they can't be trained to kill.

 

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1 hour ago, Brant Gaede said:

Stop thinking to consider your thinking. Epistemologically this is a contradiction. Your Zen state is, if valid, a difficult acquisition. Nature didn't consider it necessary or provide it. Why? What you are actually asking for is a second opinion. You might ask your significant other or best friends. Or write a short essay.

--Brant

try logic; try reason

Yes, It is contradictory because it is impossible to resolve from within thought. Like trying to lift a bucket off of the floor while standing in it. Pull the handle all you want... and you will never move. Now, from outside thought and emotion quietly and calmly observing them as if you are someone else, you can move the bucket as you see fit.

There's no need to seek external approval, for anyone can become aware of this just from sitting still. And although it's both fleeting and elusive, once you taste it you always know what it is, and you can grow to love it. From then on you can use the experience as a reliable accurate yardstick with which to measure all others.

Here is a simple direct question to ask yourself, Brant.

Are you the master of thought and emotion?...

...or are you their slave?

Choose.

 

Greg

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5 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

 The great apes (including humans)...

Bob, only you would include yourself among the apes because that's all you could ever be... a government trained monkey.

 

Greg

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6 hours ago, jts said:

The way Kasparov describes intuition and the way Ayn Rand describes mysticism are so different that it is obvious they are not 2 words for the same thing. I think Peikoff is ignorant about intuition.

 

Thanks for clarifying your view, Jerry.

Greg

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13 hours ago, jts said:

That may be. I don't know what Kasparov would say to that.

There is such a thing as induction in chess. Steinitz's theory of chess strategy was based on the scientific method, at least according to Kasparov. Tarrasch and his emphasis on mobility. Nimzovich's "My System". And many other chess philosophers.

There is even such a thing in chess as inductive reasoning within a single move. Capablanca did a huge mass of calculations and concluded inductively that that his bishop was doing little and his opponent's knight was doing much, hence the exchange of bishop for knight.

Kasparov considered a sacrifice of a queen and found that he had a surprising amount of positional compensation for the queen, tho not enough. He based this evaluation, not on point count but on inductive reasoning based on calculation. Then -after- he asked himself where this positional strength is coming from. Then he concluded that the same could be accomplished by sacrificing the rook instead of the queen. Here again we have the theme of evaluating a position based on inductive reasoning based on calculation.

 

If there's "such a thing as induction in chess" - I didn't know that, and didn't know of "chess philosophers"** - that's it then, conflict resolved. It is not intuition, loosely mis-applied to many activities, it's induction (and concept-formation). Kasparov couldn't be expected to know the difference when many others have equivocated about "intuition". So Kasporov is right and Peikoff is right. A grandmaster is quite like the artist who is commended for his "intuitive" work; if he knows what that means he should feel insulted - no mystical powers involved, the observations and insights of his mind created the art.

I asked what came first, and you didn't answer: the thought-concept or the man-made word? If there's confusion about definitions (some of which have gradually leant to connotations instead of their original denotation) it's a good idea to look for the facts which originated the concept. Otherwise we get lost in the connotations and accept a quasi-mystical authority for the word-definition, above its reality. "Selfish" is another case, much argued over in these circles.

"Defintions", ITOE: "When in doubt about the meaning or defintion of a concept, the best method of clarification is to look for its referents--i.e., to ask oneself: What fact or facts of reality gave rise to this concept? what distinguishes it from all other concepts?"

**(And why not, philosophers of chess? Unsurprising too that chess philosophy had adopted a successful objective epistemology).

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While I do have lots of fun playing chess, it's just an amoral game. However, it does contain a metaphorical reference to life in that it has fixed objective rules which make playing the game possible. So does life, for it has fixed moral laws which make living a good life possible... and not just existing by cheating others.

People can freely choose to subjectively uphold or to violate objective moral laws... but they can never change those laws. This is because objective moral law is of a higher order than human.

Morality has to be objective... or it's not morality.

 

Greg

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Jts wrote: I heard that in ww2, they got them drunk so they could kill. In Viet Nam it was drugs. Maybe not typical. These are stories I heard. end quote

You may want to do more research or just ask someone who was fighting for the U.S. in WWII, Nam, Korea, or more recently, the Middle East. Some of us here on OL are veterans and what you say you “heard” seems very wrong to me. You could be falling for a deliberately conceived “thought” that is not based in reality, but in ideology, confusing the decoy for the duck. Say after me, "I am not a duck."

Peter

From: Ellen Moore To: Atlantis Subject: ATL: Re: thinking like an animal – Merlin Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2002 14:20:01 -0600. Merlin wrote, " George [Smith] thinks ducks perceive "similarities" between ducks and decoys."

George is wrong.

Merlin adds, "I agree with George. If EM thinks that ducks do not perceive the decoy as similar to a real duck, then why does she believe the duck is fooled by the decoy? As I have had to point out to EM already, similarity is not merely a matter of volitional, conceptual thought. Like Ayn Rand said, "similarity is grasped perceptually." Detecting similarity does not require volitional consciousness."

Yes, it does!

Ducks! Shmucks! If Merlin and George were flying 200 feet in the air they, presumably with human perception, would also "perceive" [and think] that the decoys were ducks - and he would be fooled as easily as ducks are. Rand said that "similarity is grasped perceptually". She also said that "similarity reduces to measurement omission". Both statements refer to the perceptual level of cognition. There is automatic physical perception within a limited perceptual consciousness, and then there is automatic physical perception within a volitional consciousness. That's the great difference.

Rand's opening line in epistemology is, "Consciousness, as a state of awareness, is not a passive state, but an active process that consists of two essentials: differentiation and integration." ... "epistemologically, the base of all of man's knowledge is the *perceptual* stage."

Differentiation is perceptually "given" because each perception is of *differences*.  Similarity reduces to measurement omission means that similarity requires the prior effort/actions of *doing* "measurement omission".  MO is a far more complex mental achievement than the physical "givens" of perceptual differences.  All one has to consider is what steps are essential for measurement omission to be undertaken, achieved, and grasped mentally.  MO is not "given" by perception alone. One has to make the effort, and do the work of measurement omission, in order to grasp similarity.  Try it and you'll see.  Rand described it in detail in ITOE.

~~~~~~~

Perception is composed of all different characteristics or qualities of entities. One must isolate and think to grasp and consider their perceptual differences. MO means this process: One must isolate a distinctive perceptual characteristic - retain it in mind - while omitting its specific measurements.  This process means setting aside its differences in measurements while isolating and retaining the characteristic [and while setting aside all its other characteristics] so the mental actions retain the omitted measurements while identifying their perceptual "similarity".  I declare this complex process cannot be achieved automatically by physical perception alone.  It's a process that requires human volitional consciousness.

~~~~~~~

All the ducks in the pond, real and decoy, are *perceived* initially by ducks as "ducks".   Eventually the ducks, on close perceptual acquaintance, will perceive that decoys are not real live ducks. The initial question of duck/decoy "similarity" arises only when humans perceive, and learns to identify, that some are real ducks and some are decoy ducks [humans make decoy ducks].  Ducks will never grasp the concept of "similarity" - their perceptual cognition goes no further with their automatic perceptions which must be repeated perceptually at and during each instance.  Humans only can learn to differentiate conceptually the differences between "real versus decoy" and "different versus similar".  Ducks cannot conceive of "decoy" or "similar".  Human perception with volitional consciousness may, with the proper effort, grasp similarity of characteristics.  Animals and birds don't – each perception  is linked only repetitively by automatic associations programmed into the perceptual mechanism. Why is this process Rand outlines so difficult to understand? Lack of thinking, I presume.

Ellen Moore

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11 minutes ago, Peter said:

Jts wrote: I heard that in ww2, they got them drunk so they could kill. In Viet Nam it was drugs. Maybe not typical. These are stories I heard. end quote

You may want to do more research or just ask someone who was fighting for the U.S. in WWII, Nam...

I was in Vietnam...

The Southern boys drank. The Californians smoked pot. The blacks did coke. Each had their own way of coping with the stress...

...however poorly.

Many of the problems Vets experience as civilians are from bringing their own addictions back home with them.

Greg

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Respectfully, how did you “cope,” Greg? I was in Korea when the north was massing on the border and since I had access to info coming in instantly from the intel “trailer” it scared the crap out of me. (Not literally, but I remember saying goodbye in my mind.) We knew the Dictator’s troops had us ‘zeroed in on’ with some damn big artillery pieces.)

 

To be fair I will also reprint Ghs’s rebuttal to Ellen Moore. Ouch.

Peter

 

From: "George H. Smith" Reply- To: "*Atlantis" Subject: ATL: Re: George failing to think

Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2002 17:10:35 -0600. I wrote: "All we [he and Merlin] said was that ducks can perceive similarities. This is entirely consistent with Rand's epistemology."

Ellen Moore replied: "No, it's not true, nor is it consistent with Rand's epistemology. Ducks cannot *perceive* 'similarities' because "similarity reduces to measurement omission.... Too bad George will not study and understand what Rand wrote."

For those who wish to see what Rand actually had to say about this subject, see her remarks in the "Appendix" to ITOE, pp. 139 ff. Under the section titled" Similarity and Measurement Omission," Rand refers to the "metaphysical base of similarity *and* the fact that it is GRASPED PERCEPTUALLY."

Rand goes on to say that "similarity is PERCEPTUALLY GIVEN, but the UNDERSTANDING of what similarity MEANS  has to be arrived at philosophically."

Lastly, Rand says that "similarity, WHEN ANALYZED, amounts to: measurements omitted."

See the rest of this discussion as well, as when Rand replies "That's right" to Prof.. B's observation that a child "PERCEIVES similarities AND differences DIRECTLY." [All the above caps are mine] What part of phrases like "grasped perceptually," "perceptually given," and "when analyzed,"  does Ellen Moore not understand?

I can't imagine how Rand could be any more clear than this. I should have known better than to involve myself in discussing yet another one of Ellen Moore's absurd Talmudic interpretations of Ayn Rand. I momentarily forgot  that Ellen's problems go far beyond failing to distinguish concepts from their referents. Far more serious is the fact that this dope cannot understand simple English prose.

Ghs

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3 hours ago, Peter said:

Respectfully, how did you “cope,” Greg?

I meditated... no alcohol, no pot, no coke. That's how I returned to civilian life intact. Any problem a Vet ever had over there... could only be the very same problem they'd have right here.

"No matter where you go... there you are." nodder.gif

 

Greg

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Whew! No dope. I know you are from Kalifornication, the most decadent state in the Union, so I was worried that you obliterated your mind over there, though you seem to have “come to” a few weeks ago. Care to share what eureka moment heightened your intelligence and communication skills ? But no alcohol? Aarrgh~ it’s good for you in lesser batches with some days between consumption. On the down side, if you are watching your weight I know of nothing else that can pile on the pounds, quicker. Sugar is not so good either, but you need to digest solid food and even a milk shake should be in moderation . . . but who can drink two milk shakes, or eat two bowls of ice cream with chocolate syrup on top? I can’t nor would I want to. Beer is the drink of champions, but champions should never buy more than what should be consumed in one day . . . hence the Nobel Prize winning invention of the six pack.

Peter

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2 hours ago, Peter said:

Whew! No dope. I know you are from Kalifornication, the most decadent state in the Union, so I was worried that you obliterated your mind over there, though you seem to have “come to” a few weeks ago. Care to share what eureka moment heightened your intelligence and communication skills ? But no alcohol? Aarrgh~ it’s good for you in lesser batches with some days between consumption. On the down side, if you are watching your weight I know of nothing else that can pile on the pounds, quicker. Sugar is not so good either, but you need to digest solid food and even a milk shake should be in moderation . . . but who can drink two milk shakes, or eat two bowls of ice cream with chocolate syrup on top? I can’t nor would I want to. Beer is the drink of champions, but champions should never buy more than what should be consumed in one day . . . hence the Nobel Prize winning invention of the six pack.

Peter

Just because the environment around me is a certain way doesn't mean I have to be the same way. I'm a 69 year old 5'5" 135 pound vegetarian who has never had a prescription drug in his life. However, I do watch my weight because metabolism slows down as you get older.

Anyways, I create my own environment instead of becoming like the world around me...

IMG_0528_zpsifiefgje.jpg

(trees in foreground left to right: Peach, Cherry, Orange, Orange, Almond)

 

Greg

 

 

 

 

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Greg, we have had similar experiences around the same times. Ft. Bragg, Fort Dix, and Gordon for training. What was your MOS (job description in Army lingo: 05C20) and did you see any action? My first summer in northern, South Korea, it was machine guns, artillery and small arms fire keeping me up at night, but the second year wasn’t half bad except for one invasion that killed two cooks I knew. And twice North Korean commandos dug holes about 100 feet from my radio hootch on top of a hill. I called the base security the first time and they watched with binoculars and said I was dreaming it up. I saw the bastard every time he stuck his head up, so I let loose with the machine gun we kept in the door. Then the federales came running and shot the bastard. The second time I called a month or so later they reacted and shot the next one after launching a grenade at him. And once a polite young Korean gentleman was ambling by me as I came back from the village and he said hello, with a small bow, and reached into his jacket, but did not shoot me. The gate guard asked me about him and then the security squad went after him. He was no skinny guy, but muscular and fit, which fooled me. Those infiltrators all came across the border expecting to die.

And as I have also mentioned, I knew someone who was a draftsman in the Army in Saigon. He worked in a large factory building in the center of town working under a sky light. What are the odds? A mortar shell came through the skylight killing him. And a childhood friend went to OCS and was traveling in a jeep into the country during his first week in Nam and he was killed. So long, Tommy.    

Well I am not a vegetarian, marathon runner, but I do OK, with an aspirin a day, blood pressure medicine, and I “take it easy” mentally/emotionally, though Trump occasionally pisses me off. I walked two miles today in 58 degree temperatures.

Your yard is beautiful. Around here we see something similar from May till September and sometimes the tulips bloom in February. I am even considering a small garden this year and if not that, then a few tomato plants.

Peter

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1 hour ago, Peter said:

Greg, we have had similar experiences around the same times. Ft. Bragg, Fort Dix, and Gordon for training. What was your MOS (job description in Army lingo: 05C20) and did you see any action? My first summer in northern, South Korea, it was machine guns, artillery and small arms fire keeping me up at night, but the second year wasn’t half bad except for one invasion that killed two cooks I knew. And twice North Korean commandos dug holes about 100 feet from my radio hootch on top of a hill. I called the base security the first time and they watched with binoculars and said I was dreaming it up. I saw the bastard every time he stuck his head up, so I let loose with the machine gun we kept in the door. Then the federales came running and shot the bastard. The second time I called a month or so later they reacted and shot the next one after launching a grenade at him. And once a polite young Korean gentleman was ambling by me as I came back from the village and he said hello, with a small bow, and reached into his jacket, but did not shoot me. The gate guard asked me about him and then the security squad went after him. He was no skinny guy, but muscular and fit, which fooled me. Those infiltrators all came across the border expecting to die.

And as I have also mentioned, I knew someone who was a draftsman in the Army in Saigon. He worked in a large factory building in the center of town working under a sky light. What are the odds? A mortar shell came through the skylight killing him. And a childhood friend went to OCS and was traveling in a jeep into the country during his first week in Nam and he was killed. So long, Tommy.    

Well I am not a vegetarian, marathon runner, but I do OK, with an aspirin a day, blood pressure medicine, and I “take it easy” mentally/emotionally, though Trump occasionally pisses me off. I walked two miles today in 58 degree temperatures.

Your yard is beautiful. Around here we see something similar from May till September and sometimes the tulips bloom in February. I am even considering a small garden this year and if not that, then a few tomato plants.

Peter

I was at Fort Ord, and then went to Fort Rucker where I got training as a 67U20. A friend who went through basic just before me told me to do my very best on the tests in the first few days, because they determined what job I'd get for the rest of my time in the service. I scored in the top one percentile so I got to be a helocopter mechanic working on CH47 Chinooks.

One of the most dangerous things to happen to me when I was a short timer with only three days left in-country. I was pulling guard duty on the flightline when we got rocketed. Ii was so ironic to almost be out and yet crawling like a lizard for the nearest reventment!

My wife has a genetic tendency to high blood pressure. She had a stroke and was put on two blood pressure medications. But she didn't like the way they made her feel weak and sluggish, so she quit them and fasted to give her body time to eliminate the drugs and reset itself. Now her blood pressure is normal with no medications at all. 

 

Well... I could never run a marathon! I do bicycle instead because I've seen way too many runners wearing out the cartilage in their knees and having to get their joints replaced.

The yard: Thanks! That's just one little section of it. We have two dozen fruit and nut trees, and a dozen grape vines. Everything is irrigated with reclaimed water we extract and process from our household sewage, as a literal expression of the ideal of self reliance in Galt's Gulch. 

This is our raw sewage straight from the toilets sinks showers and laundry. Aeration is magic. It doesn't even smell and I just keep open wire safety grids on the risers so no one falls in.

IMG_0105_zpshhptijy0.jpg

 

 

Greg

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On 2017/04/01 at 8:12 PM, william.scherk said:

Are you saying there is no data that supports your statements -- the statements I had questions about?

 

Please give those questions a once-over, if you would.  I was asking for data in the sense of identification. Who, how, who, which, which ...

1. Who is a 'skeptical secularist' in your view?
2. How  do you learn and demonstrate a person has a 'personal vacuum' where faith used to be?
3. Who are these 'secularists' in numbers?  
4. Which of them have supplied scorn for strong convictions, which have been 'soft' and which (in particular) European nations have been damaged (by them)?
5. Which countries with large formations of 'skeptical secularists' are the ones we will be discussing, Tony?

The underlying issue is interesting to me, since the 'data' may very well support your points. I am also interested in Good Arguments, the Principle of Charity, and working to expand a shared knowledge base.  

Or, how to better engage with my peers here. 

William, I'll ask you a question or two.

Isn't it crystal clear to you that the present and future of Europe (in general) is and will be suffering uneasy times and prospective turmoil?

If so:

What do you think is the cause/causes? Is it politics alone? Is it simply demographics? Is it perhaps not enough humanitarianism? Does it boil down to 'bad' emotions vs. 'good' emotions?

To give a clue of my understanding, and I'd have thought I have been clear, I believe "the migrant/refugee crisis" was mostly a symptom of pre-existing, underlying faultlines of erroneous thinking - and consequent false morality - growing in Europe for decades. Arriving Muslims and those present, were not the cause of the problem, they have only exposed Europe's covert problem for all to see.

Although this might look off-topic, and I emphasize this is not about the usual Islam-bashing - there are good, objective reasons for it to be topical: "how do you know...murder is wrong?" How do you know - what is immoral, what is moral? How do YOU know, William?

 

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To me William, the word “skeptical” is a bit difficult to quantify, and more contradictory data to the initial skepticism can create a state of non-skeptical consciousness. I wonder if that mental shift can be viewed on a fMRI?

Peter

From “How We Know,” by Harry Binswanger, page 42: Like existence, consciousness is an irreducible primary. One can subdivide conscious actions, separating different kinds: seeing for example, is one kind of conscious activity and hearing is another. Analogously, one can subdivide existents – e.g., into living and non-living things. But just as one cannot go beneath the fundamental fact of existence, so one cannot get beneath the fundamental fact of consciousness. One cannot reduce conscious action, qua conscious, to something else. To ask: “What kind of action is consciousness?” is to ask: “What do all conscious processes have in common that makes them actions of consciousness rather than physical actions?” The only answer is: all these actions are actions of consciousness; they all involve awareness of something. And “awareness” is a synonym for “consciousness” . . . . “Irreducible” here means “cannot be analyzed.” If you try to analyze what it is to be aware, you will soon discover that no analysis is possible . . . . So, what makes something a ‘conscious’ causal response? Consciousness. That’s all we can say. There is no further analysis.

end quote

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On ‎4‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 11:12 AM, william.scherk said:

Are you saying there is no data that supports your statements...

Data is the god of bureaucrats...

...there is no greater god.

 

Greg

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2 minutes ago, Peter said:

Do you mean "statistics?"

I think so.  Data is also the god of engineers  and astronauts.  Statistics can be conjured with,  by way of inference and hypothesis testing. 

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On 4/1/2017 at 9:37 PM, jts said:

Maybe it's not typical but it's one story. Only 15% of the soldiers pulled the trigger. After psychological training 85% pulled the trigger.

I heard that in ww2, they got them drunk so they could kill. In Viet Nam it was drugs. Maybe not typical. These are stories I heard.

The point is simply most people are not natural killers. This doesn't mean they can't be trained to kill.

 

Sorry, but I used to be in the killing business. Training killers is easy. The younger the easier, down to about ten. At your command they'll kill everybody you tell them to--men, women, children and babies. 

--Brant

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3 hours ago, anthony said:

What existing data is there to show murder is evil?

I don't know about evil.  I do know legal and illegal.  The laws are clear on murder.  It is illegal and punishable.  

evil is another word for something you disapprove of....

good is another word for something the pleases you or of which you approve...

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2 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

I don't know about evil.  I do know legal and illegal.  The laws are clear on murder.  It is illegal and punishable.  

evil is another word for something you disapprove of....

good is another word for something the pleases you or of which you approve...

I disapprove of Jews*. They are evil**. The Holocaust was good--according to the Nazis.

--Brant

*no I don't

**no they aren't

you can't think your way out of a wet paper bag

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1 hour ago, BaalChatzaf said:

I don't know about evil. 

No truer words have ever been written by you, Bob. You know absolutely nothing about evil which would make you an excellent kapo.

 

Greg

 

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