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AceofKY

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Everything posted by AceofKY

  1. AceofKY

    Are the proletariat ready to take power?

    I'm not sure I'm following your thinking here (is happiness the end or not?) You could be right that it is a paradox, although someone like Nietzsche would disagree with you, I think. In his scheme, he believes that choosing happiness as an end necessarily leads to bad consequences, so it is not rational for him to choose happiness as an end. (I'm not agreeing with Nietzsche here, but I'm not convinced that it's a paradox either.) Your reply (of course) is that he rejects happiness because he will be happier if he does so. But this is a contradiction also. Let's take an easier example. A person decides to smoke crack cocaine because it is very pleasurable, although he is very aware that it could lead to loss of job, family, health, and long-term happiness. Are you saying that he at least believes he will be happier if he gets the pleasure hit now and takes his chances on the rest? My own opinion is that his desire, his will for happiness, has been overcome by the passion for pleasure and he is therefore acting contrary to reason. His end is no longer happiness; it is pleasure, and he knows this and is very aware that he is putting his happiness at risk.
  2. AceofKY

    Are the proletariat ready to take power?

    Empirical experience is just that - experience and sense data. To get to "knowledge" one must supply understanding (insight) and judgment with their mind. Lonergan has forever demolished empiricism. It is impossible to refute him on this, because to do so involves making insights and judgments. C.F. Insight: A Study of Human Understanding by Bernard Lonergan
  3. AceofKY

    Are the proletariat ready to take power?

    A worthy goal - and one that I agree with and think can form the basis of a public morality. However, you can't get happiness out of physics (unless you accept a teleological physics like Aristotle & Aquinas). The moderns rejected eudaimonism in no small part because it doesn't square with modern physics. If we are merely composed of mechanical atoms (or quarks, or whatever microentity you wish to propose) spinning and bouncing in space, there is no logical reason that one should choose happiness as an end. Aquinas too believed that happiness is our natural end. However, he also believed that we were soul/body unities (same as the greeks.) I assume you do not believe in the soul (correct me if I'm wrong, please), so you are left with proposing another explanation for how one can choose happiness as an end and expect others to respect that. Please direct me to the relevant podcast, as they are numerous and don't seem to be logically arranged.
  4. AceofKY

    Are the proletariat ready to take power?

    All of our sciences are undertaken for some purpose - some end (even if that end is just increasing knowledge; c.f. Plato.) Psychology - seeks to understand the human mind. In practice, this usually means helping someone achieve freedom (i.e. - freedom from addictions, psychosis, phobias, etc.) Engineering - seeks to understand the physical properties of the world and apply them for beneficial human purposes Medicine - seeks to understand the human body and in practice uses the knowledge to cure diseases, repair damaged limbs, etc. I could go on but I think you get my point. There is no reason that the science of economics shouldn't have a purpose also. In my opinion, a good purpose for economists would be advancing the common good of human persons in community.
  5. AceofKY

    Are the proletariat ready to take power?

    What is clear is that our governments artificially force the interest rates below where they would be if they were not interfering in the markets. This reduces the cost of borrowing, thus encouraging the populace to borrow more than they otherwise would have. That being said, it is difficult to quantify the extent. I think we are looking at a combination of all of the above: interest rate intervention, imperfect information due to falsification, greed/consumerism, etc.
  6. AceofKY

    Are the proletariat ready to take power?

    Sorry, but I disagree (and plead guilty to being confused at times.) Empirical observation has its role and is valuable, but just like any other science many of the main discoveries and laws are discovered via reason, deduction, induction, etc. and then tested empirically to verify. An economics that is purely empirical observation would be nothing more than history.
  7. AceofKY

    Victory Nickel

    Xstrata has announced a friendly takeover offer for Jubilee Mines. Subtracting out Jubilee's cash position, the offer amounts to about US$2.47/lb of in situ nickel resource. Using this metric applied to Victory Nickel's resource, and subtracting out about $300MM necessary for construction costs, yields a share price of $7.70. Victory can be purchased right now for about Cdn$0.64/share. The comparison is not apples-to-apples as Jubilee probably has better exploration potential and lower cash costs. I think, however, it demonstrates that Victory is significantly undervalued. I also like Crowflight Minerals.
  8. AceofKY

    Victory Nickel

    Better volume for NI also. Is this due to RTP's statement that they are looking to acquire nickel assets? I would think NI is too small for RTP. VICTORY NICKEL INC COM NPV(Toronto: NI.TO) Last Trade: 0.17 Trade Time: 3:59PM ET Change: 0.01 (6.25%) Volume: 600,500 Avg Vol (3m): 143,047
  9. AceofKY

    crowflight

    Finally a nice high volume day for Crowflight: CROWFLIGHT MINERALS INC. (Tier2(CDNX: CML.V) Last Trade: 0.2150 Trade Time: 3:59PM ET Change: 0.0550 (34.37%) Volume: 2,159,355 Avg Vol (3m): 524,542 It has been a long ride down with this one. Glad they have those hedges in place as it looks like nickel is going to sit at marginal cost for a while. Sep 24/08 Sep 24/08 Humphrey, Raymond Bruce Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 300,000 $0.195 Sep 24/08 Sep 10/07 Humphrey, Raymond Bruce Direct Ownership Common Shares 00 - Opening Balance-Initial SEDI Report Aug 01/08 Aug 01/08 Ladd, Anna Man-Yue Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 4,000 $0.345 Aug 01/08 Aug 01/08 Ladd, Anna Man-Yue Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 16,000 $0.340 Aug 01/08 May 26/08 Ladd, Anna Man-Yue Indirect Ownership Common Shares 00 - Opening Balance-Initial SEDI Report Aug 01/08 Aug 01/08 Hoffman, Michael Indirect Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 300,000 $0.330 Jul 03/08 Jul 03/08 Collins, Gregory Direct Ownership Common Shares 10 - Acquisition in the public market 40,000 $0.480
  10. AceofKY

    Are the proletariat ready to take power?

    Exactly. Economics qua economics is a science. We must look elsewhere for the ends and obligations. This is interesting. Are you proposing a morality based on physics? Where do you propose to find the end that you have referenced in the following:
  11. AceofKY

    We know you are out there...

    The conspiracy theory for the new world order has long been advanced by certain groups here in the U.S. - notably the John Birch Society (of which I was once a member - but eventually became disillusioned with and left.) Their claims are looking much more plausible these days with the massive power grab proposed by the Fed chief, Secretary of the Treasury, and president. We also have this quote on the back of our fiat paper.
  12. AceofKY

    Are the proletariat ready to take power?

    This, of course, depends on which economist you choose to listen to. Many (if not most) economists would disagree with you here. Very good. Compunction is a feeling of shame or regret. I would have substituted the word obligation, but I see exactly what you are saying. Since we have rejected obligations, we no longer feel shame or regret for not meeting these obligations. Excellent, but you have to remember that much of our post-modern society has rejected any ends that reduce to something other other than "my immediate desire for pleasure." Ultimately, you are describing a moral problem here, and I agree with you completely. Economics, as a science, can give us a pretty good idea that y is going to happen if we do x. But it cannot, as a mere science, tell us whether we should do x, or whether we should seek y. When we recognize that we, as persons and as a community of persons, have an end or a goal that we should be seeking (such as the common good) then that immediately implies obligations and the moral duty to fulfill those obligations. And I'm not talking about a mere morality of obligations here; we seek the common good because it is intimately linked to our happiness. Whatever happened to Sir Humphrey? I appreciated his keen insight on these matters, even if we didn't see eye to eye many times.
  13. Well, in the Thomistic/Aristotelian anthropology, man can only will the good. So we give up our Saturday because we recognize that it is good that we do so, and even in a sense makes us a better person for doing it. That doesn't change the fact that most of us were really wishing we were fishing, golfing, etc. rather than working for no immediate benefit. It is an explicit decision to put someone else's immediate wellbeing above your own. I think Injin is working out of a Hobbesian mindset, however, in which man's actions are always selfish. There's no altruism in Hobbes, as I recall.
  14. The banks and deadbeats are most culpable. But to suggest that the majority of people haven't been guilty of a little envy and greed here is naive, I think. Have you been to the U.S. lately? Everyone has a plasma TV, Ipod, Blackberry/iPhone, fancy car (or two), big house, cable TV, multiple credit cards, etc, etc. When we bought our home in 03, we had the choice of a traditional fixed mortgage or adjustable rate. We chose the former even though the latter would have let us purchase a nicer home. And yes, I hear complaints from my wife about this on a regular basis. The risks of ARMs were well known even in the early part of this decade; many people just chose to take those risks rather than scaling back their desires. Greed is not rational; if it is then you have no means by which to criticize the bankers either. The average person is not as dumb as you seem to think they are. Knowledge of the details of the banking system are largely irrelevant. The person in the market has the choice of settling for a little now and saving/investing for the future, or buying and borrowing BIG now and putting themselves in a very precarious financial situation. Everyone understands this choice. This is very sad. Many in my community just gave up their Saturday to work at a fundraiser for St. Jude's children's cancer research charity. I am glad I do not live where you do. A rejection of greed and selfishness is what is needed to change our economy for the better. As I have said many times, we Americans primarily have a moral and spiritual problem on our hands - not an economic one.
  15. I watched most of the debate before falling asleep. I didn't discern any significant difference between them. It is amazing that everyone is getting so worked up over a choice that is not really a choice.
  16. You are correct that ignorance can reduce moral culpability, but a person also has a responsibility to not remain in a state of ignorance. There is still moral culpability there. The scenario you are describing here is not one of ignorance. You say that John Deadbeat is making a rational decision here because it is a win-win decision for himself and the nitwit banker (or the investor he sells the debt to) will bear the potential consequences. I would submit that selfishness is not always the rational choice. In this scenario as you have presented it, I believe John Deadbeat bears a significant amount of moral culpability for his action.
  17. I wonder if the experience of your grandfather isn't evidence that there are major problems with the business & finance curricula of our universities. Anyone who can add and subtract can figure out personal finance. The ivy league geniuses (sorry Bubb) are the ones bankrupting companies and imploding hedge funds right now.
  18. Bumper sticker I saw today: "McCain / Milf - 2008"
  19. My wife teaches at a public high school, and attended a public high school herself in the 90s. When I complain about Dewey's influence on our educational system, she says she doesn't know what I'm talking about because she never teaches anything from Dewey. She doesn't realize that she, and all our other educators, have become Dewey. His ideas have been incorporated so thoroughly into our educational system that the educators don't even realize what they're doing.
  20. AceofKY

    Silver Wheaton

    I like Silverstone (SST). They have the same business model as SLW but a much cheaper valuation.
  21. Apparently Biden screwed up on national TV badly enough that the USCCB had to respond (this is pretty rare for the USCCB to get involved like this in the heat of a political race.) Here is the text. It is pretty short and to the point. Those who desire a more comprehensive explanation should look to Evangelium Vitae: http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2008/08-129.shtml Bishops Respond To Senator Biden’s Statements Regarding Church Teaching On Abortion WASHINGTON—Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William E. Lori, chairman, U.S. Bishops Committee on Doctrine, issued the following statement: Recently we had a duty to clarify the Catholic Church’s constant teaching against abortion, to correct misrepresentations of that teaching by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on “Meet the Press” (see www.usccb.org/prolife/whatsnew.shtml). On September 7, again on “Meet the Press,” Senator Joseph Biden made some statements about that teaching that also deserve a response. Senator Biden did not claim that Catholic teaching allows or has ever allowed abortion. He said rightly that human life begins “at the moment of conception,” and that Catholics and others who recognize this should not be required by others to pay for abortions with their taxes. However, the Senator’s claim that the beginning of human life is a “personal and private” matter of religious faith, one which cannot be “imposed” on others, does not reflect the truth of the matter. The Church recognizes that the obligation to protect unborn human life rests on the answer to two questions, neither of which is private or specifically religious. The first is a biological question: When does a new human life begin? When is there a new living organism of the human species, distinct from mother and father and ready to develop and mature if given a nurturing environment? While ancient thinkers had little verifiable knowledge to help them answer this question, today embryology textbooks confirm that a new human life begins at conception (see www.usccb.org/prolife/issues/bioethic/fact298.shtml). The Catholic Church does not teach this as a matter of faith; it acknowledges it as a matter of objective fact. The second is a moral question, with legal and political consequences: Which living members of the human species should be seen as having fundamental human rights, such as a right not to be killed? The Catholic Church’s answer is: Everybody. No human being should be treated as lacking human rights, and we have no business dividing humanity into those who are valuable enough to warrant protection and those who are not. This is not solely a Catholic teaching, but a principle of natural law accessible to all people of good will. The framers of the Declaration of Independence pointed to the same basic truth by speaking of inalienable rights, bestowed on all members of the human race not by any human power, but by their Creator. Those who hold a narrower and more exclusionary view have the burden of explaining why we should divide humanity into those who have moral value and those who do not and why their particular choice of where to draw that line can be sustained in a pluralistic society. Such views pose a serious threat to the dignity and rights of other poor and vulnerable members of the human family who need and deserve our respect and protection. While in past centuries biological knowledge was often inaccurate, modern science leaves no excuse for anyone to deny the humanity of the unborn child. Protection of innocent human life is not an imposition of personal religious conviction but a demand of justice.
  22. Agreed. But the question is: what are these other grounds? You have proposed empathy/sympathy as grounds for our morality. Why, I ask, should I need to be sympathetic to the plight of my neighbor? Please give an answer without any reference to values, as you are proposing sympathy as the source of all value judgments. Very good. The soul is not a deduction based on natural law. It is a proposed explanation of the human person that helps account for the presence of the moral compass we have along with the free will to reject that moral compass - something which many of us believe is not explainable via physical matter and science. I don't even think it's mentioned in Scripture (especially not the OT as the Jews were thorough materialists.) The soul is more of an induction using the data that we can observe. I was not resting my argument against abortion on the existence of a spiritual soul. Rather, the argument against abortion rests on the fact that the fetus is a developing human person if one has a coherent reasonable understanding of what a human person is. In other words, I do not find your arguments convincing that a fetus, because it may be unconscious and unable to feel pain at an early age, is not a person. With our current biological knowledge, we know that the "internal" factors, the genetic codes, etc. that make up a person's individuality are supplied at the time of conception (or within a few hours thereof). After that, the embryo is a developing organism that receives nourishment and protection necessary for its development similar to any other organism. This view is shared by many atheists. If you google "atheists for life" or similar you will find their websites and arguments. You must decide what is right, using your conscience and reason to the best of your abilities. If I didn't think that my value system is the most rational one, why wouldn't I change it? The only reason I can think of is if one doesn't believe reason is capable of discerning what is right and wrong. Thus, you have fundamentalists who reject reason and substitute fideism. I suspect many of the persons with absolute moral values that you are referring to are not attempting to identify those values with reason - they take them on faith from their teachers. This is the case with certain types of protestants in the US; they believe in moral absolutes but believe that their nature is such that they cannot identify these absolutes via reason and must accept them on faith. Same goes for radical Islamists. This is all contrary to the long-taught tradition of the Church, and Scripture too. I agree with them that it was wrong for the lady to leave her husband (assuming she wasn't being abused or was forced to marry against her will, etc.), and I agree that there should be a punishment for this (and also vice versa if a husband leaves his wife.) But the Haredi Jews' reasoning is way wrong if they think justice is served by assaulting this lady, especially in the cruel manner that they did. In fact, I don't think they reasoned through their action at all. Besides, private persons do not (should not) have the authority to enforce public morals. That is not justice - it is vigilanteism. The enforcement of law should be carried out by the legitimate public authority. How do I make this judgment? I used my intellect to question whether beating someone into the concrete is a morally good action or not. This would not even be acceptable for an animal, much less a person. No, I do not think these men were acting according to reason. I think their reason was overcome with anger. It's not so much a case of their reasoning being wrong as it is a case of their reasoning not being used at all. It is likely too, I would add, that their dislike of divorce is based on fideism too rather than right reason.
  23. Persons certainly make moral judgments under moral relativism; I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. They just have no basis to proclaim that their judgments are any better than any others. A moral relativist, for example, has no basis to criticize those Jewish extremists for assaulting the Jewish lady who didn't conform to their beliefs. Why? Because their idea of morality is just as valid as any one else’s since there is no absolute basis on which to believe that one is better than the other. If, in fact (as I suspect) you are not really a moral relativist but really have a system of morality based on toleration and empathy/sympathy, then you are proclaiming that your moral system is better than others. In other words, you are doing the same thing as me without realizing it. Correct, Nieztsche really just constructs another system of morality - one that is based on evolutionary theory/science rather than natural law and doctrine. I had thought at first, when you said that you thought laws and ethics should be based on science, were working out of a Nietzschean mindset. I see now that I was wrong. You are simply explaining an alternative moral system based on empathy/sympathy rather than natural law and doctrine (which is of course not based on science at all.) Good luck. For one thing, you would have difficulty convincing Christians that empathy/sympathy should be the basis rather than love. So do I, and I don't think they can hold this and be rationally coherent either. This is, I agree, a common danger, especially since our reason is so prone to being overwhelmed by concupiscence and other passions. I think that ethical analysis is a little flawed, so I will try to explain a little more clearly my position here. The first part you have correct: Murder is wrong. Everywhere, absolutely, at all times, and in all cultures. But just like the definition of a human person is important, so the definition of murder is important also. Murder is the intentional unjustified homicide of a human person (in other words - murder is our term for "bad" or unjustified homicide.) Self defense that results in a homicide is not, and has never been (to my knowledge) considered to be murder. One has a natural right to protect one's own life. So a homicide committed in the act of self-defense is just. I know KY positive law states this specifically. Torture, however, is what we would call “intrinsically evil.” That is, the very act of torture - of mutilating a person’s body or psyche - is contrary to nature and right reason. It is never justified regardless of intention or circumstance. Killing/homicide, in contrast, is not in and of itself contrary to nature (we see it all the time in nature with animals), but when we are dealing with human persons it is only justifiable in very limited circumstances and only with the right intentions. This is somewhat hard to consider, but try using your “internal moral compass” as a guide. Certainly most people don’t consider the killing of animals as contrary to nature. Most of us eat the flesh of animals on a regular basis. But have you ever heard anyone make a case that the torture of an animal is justified? Of course not. Only medical testing even comes close, and the intention there is not to torture the animal although it might happen inadvertently. The consideration of humans is similar, but with additional restrictions due to our nature as intelligent, rational beings with free-will. So, to summarize, the ancient maxim “the end does not justify the means” holds. It is always morally evil to engage in torture, regardless of intention or circumstance, as you have noted. I do not see how reason could lead one to believe otherwise if they are starting from an absolute moral system based on natural law. Yes, everyone who can exercise their capacity for rational thought can discern the natural law. This is what I have been defending. The argument I have made against direct abortion is based on natural law - not on revelation. I could make one based on the latter but it wouldn’t be helpful here since Magpie is an atheist and doesn’t accept divine revelation. Yes, but the same thing applies for Obama in a different way. Our executive branch (and the entire federal government in general) has way too much power. Yes, they are quite clearly moral absolutists. The fact that one has an absolute moral system doesn’t make it a good moral system. And even if one lives under a good moral system, they are still free to reject the dictates of morality in their individual actions. None of this makes moral relativism somehow a better system, however.
  24. Nietzsche had very keen insights on this matter. When God is dead (i.e. when one stops believing in God) life can't just go on like normal. Nietzche would agree with me, I think, that Magpie's moral relativism has no basis. That's why Nietzsche did away with morality, or at least tried to implement a new morality with a different basis. So I would agree with you that the philosophical argument for nihilism is much more coherent than that for moral relativism. I think nihilism is mistaken (a thought process or conclusion can be coherent but still incorrect), but that is an argument for another time as I don't think any of our presidential candidates are nihilists.
  25. That's easy. Torture is wrong and those who practise it or order it to happen have committed a grave evil action and deserve punishment. What makes you think that Bush is an exception to this? My friend, you are simply not being rationally coherent when, in one paragraph you proclaim that all of our standards of right and wrong are merely products of thought which can vary amongst peoples and then in the next paragraph you are saying that Bush's actions are "utterly, horrifically indefensible." They are quite defensible if moral relativism is correct. They are indefensible if one believes, as I do, that torture is absolutely evil. I'm not trying to proclaim that my morals are somehow "purer" than yours. I'm trying to get you to think critically about the source of your morals. Are they merely a product of your rational mind, subject to change based on time, location, and circumstance? Or are they somehow deeper - based in the nature of the human person and the world - and discernable via the rational mind?
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