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Western Civilization’s Last Stand

The Art of The Argument

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  1. Hi all, I am looking for links to the actual research that Stef eludes to regarding immigration. I am aware of his data driven presentations on it, but he does not provide all the links to back all those charts that he made. I believe him, I just wish he would cite his sources better. Screenshots of graphs from his presentation are worthless in debates.
  2. soared4truth

    Rebuttal to 557 regarding the legitimacy of "the golden rule"

    Okay, so while ordinary people take the golden rule literally, Christians seem to understand it just fine. Sure, it is badly worded, which is why I changed the wording and created "the platinum rule." Again, the point is not to do things to others that you take selfish pleasure in, but to treat them how you think they want to be treated, or how you would want to be treated were you in their shoes. BTW, has anyone here ever met a masochist? Gauging by the responses, I would say no. Masochists do not want random people mistreating them any more than anyone else does. Rather, they get high off pain, and want pain in a private, safe, and consensual setting. They don't get high off people randomly mistreating or degrading them. They get high off very intense pain and degradation with someone whom they trust in private. I have heard a group of masochists complaining about headaches and exchanging aspirin if that tells you anything. Pain is just another annoyance in their lives just like anyone else unless they happen to be having a session where they are getting worked over by a skilled Dominant. Even then, "aftercare" is almost always part of the equation where the Dominant treats them well, massages them, rubs soft fur on their wounds, feeds them chocolate to further stimulate the endorphins, etc. So, I don't think that even a masochist would go around hurting people, even if they were practicing the golden rule literally. Now, in the podcast, Stef actually makes better examples which is what I was responding to. He makes the example of a strong armed man wanting to settle every dispute with an arm wrestling contest. That is a much better example, but still misses the point. I am sure there are some strong Christian men out there who practice the golden rule but do not go around challenging old ladies to arm wrestling contests. I presume that Stef probably agrees with me on this issue now, since he is now full fledged backing Christians and their philosophy now anyway. He appears to have gone pragmatist on us, but I am fine with that because pragmatism gets stuff done. Idealism to the point of non-strategizing is a loser's gambit.
  3. soared4truth

    Rebuttal to claim made by Stefan in FDR3077

    Yeah, and most people are intellectually lazy, unfortunately. I see it all the time. Three word posts on Facebook get a million responses while elegantly written and content rich several paragraph posts get ignored. Either people tend to prefer quantity over quality or they are just lazy. Another example, someone posts a well written article on Facebook and rather than commenting on the article, people prefer to comment on the headlines.
  4. soared4truth


    I live in San Antonio... For now.
  5. Hello everyone, my name is Benjamin. I currently reside in San Antonio, TX. I found Stef early last year on youtube and I have grown to like his work more and more to the point where I now very strongly admire the work that Stefan does. Recently, I read universally preferable behavior and I was elated! I am a philosopher myself and I have been attempting to develop an entirely objective moral philosophy for some years now, so the discovery that Stef did a lot of the heavy lifting for me already was amazing! I am a hardcore critical thinker, logician, and empiricist, so I am going through and listening to all the old podcasts right now and posting rebuttals for claims that I find to be false or invalid that Stef makes in those podcasts. That is why it has taken me a while to come around to the point where I am at now, where I am 100% behind Stef in his efforts and agree with the majority of the things he says. Stef is one of the few people who can effectively appeal to me to force me to amend my position because he uses only logic, reasoning, and evidence to make his claims. I hope to start a dialogue between him from philosopher to philosopher at some point in the future, but I am sure that I have a lot of proving my worth to do first in order to accomplish that goal. I have already posted several rebuttals in this forum to some of Stef's claims. I want to use this place as a socratic seminar and also to meet some cool new rational friends that share a lot of the same philosophy and ideas that I do. Really looking forward to engaging you all more in discussion, Ben.
  6. So, I don't know if anyone has already done this or not, but I thought it would be very useful to organize the UPB framework into a concise series of criteria tests much like is done with the scientific method. This has helped me use UPB to either validate or invalidate a moral claim. Please look it over and let me know if I have forgotten anything: Criteria for a UPB proposition to be valid: 1. Cannot be proactively positive. 2. Must be universal across space, time, and conditional scenarios. 3. Must not simply be a description, but must be a valid negative obligation that one can put into practice. 4. Must pass the common sense test (the rape test et al). 5. Must negate the morality of a positive action that one is reasonably able to avoid doing. 6. The morally negated action must create a negative outcome for another party simply by the act of committing it. [Side note: We could objectively prove this as a necessary criterion by saying that the morally negated action must create karmic debt for the actor] 7. The morally negated action must not be reasonably avoidable by the victim of the action otherwise it is an aesthetically preferable behavior. 8. Positive net benefits of compliance to the moral rule must be verified empirically once put into practice.
  7. In FDR557 Stefan makes the claim that “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is an invalid moral rule. I have heard him make this same claim in other podcasts, and I am choosing to address it now. I am addressing Stef directly in this post, but anyone who wants to respond, please feel free to do so. I actually include a slight variation of the golden rule in my own moral philosophy that I am currently writing. The problem you are experiencing with it is that you are taking it too literally. First of all, it is not a moral rule, rather it is a strategy for dealing with the law of karma. One of the main premises of the law of karma basically states that if I do something nasty or unpleasant to you (not even necessarily immoral), then you in turn will have a desire to do the same thing back to me. We call this a desire for revenge, but where does this desire come from? It is not rational as if you pull a prank on me and shave my cat’s butt, for example, then me going and shaving your cat’s butt to get even does not actually benefit me in any logical manner. In fact, it takes extra effort out of my time and day to repay the favor, so I am actually accruing more damages as a result of my action than I otherwise would by doing nothing. The only real possible benefit is that it may deter you from doing the same thing in the future. However, people take revenge even in situations where it is either highly unlikely that the perpetrator of the crime will ever repeat the crime or even if it is effectively impossible for him to do so. For instance, if you shoot someone’s mother and then get hit by a car and either die or become a quadraplegic as a result, that does not necessarily satisfy the aggrieved party’s need for revenge. They may even go as far as to shoot your mother, who is a helpless bystander that had nothing to do with your crime, in an attempt to exact revenge. From this, we can come to the conclusion that revenge is just as immoral as the original act by the perpetrator which is why most libertarians tend to agree that restitution rather than punishment is the way to deal with criminals. We can see the immorality of revenge in action by observing the law of karma in effect in revenge scenarios. Let’s take the famous feud of the Hatfields and McCoy’s as a perfect example. The feud all started over a single murder. A Hatfield shot a McCoy for trespassing on their property which the McCoy’s saw as an injustice because it was a disproportionate use of force (citation needed). The law of karma tends to agree as disproportionate return force leaves an imbalance. We can see that happened as the result was that a McCoy decided to take revenge on another Hatfield. This did not stop there though as the Hatfields then wanted revenge on the McCoys and a huge and bloody family feud started that killed off a great number of both Hatfields and McCoys as the need for revenge and lust for violence kept escalating and escalating until it turned into an all out blood bath. So, now that we have that out of the way, let’s assume for a second that the law of karma does exist and is valid as I do not have the time to go into the rigor of empirically proving it. The law of karma exists, and in my moral philosophy I use three examples to describe it. The first is Newton’s third law of motion. Even matter is subject to the same law as for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If one atom pushes on another atom, the other atom pushes back with the exact same force. This is a well known and well proven concept in physics. So, we have example one, Newton’s third law of motion, which is actually the cause of the law of karma. Now, my second example is an example of actual instances of the law of karma in action as it deals with morality. That is the “eye for an eye” principle/law. An eye for an eye is actually not rational as it is just a codified description of the law of karma in action in a moral sense. That is why an eye for an eye is no longer considered a valid moral rule as it just results in the further proliferation of blindness in general and has no measurable benefit for the victim. The third example I mention is the golden rule, and I mention it as an example of a real strategy for dealing with the law of karma. Now, when I cite the golden rule I make the claim that it is valid if the original intent of the rule is taken into consideration. The writer may have failed to articulate it properly or failed to consider the fact that people have varying preferences, but his intent was of writing it was obviously not that people force their preferences onto others, but that they act unto others in a manner that is generally accepted as being virtuous and considerate. As such, all we need to do to formulate this into a valid strategy for dealing with the law of karma is to reword it slightly as such: “Do unto others within reason that which you would have them do unto you if you were in their shoes.” So, the proper way to practice this is to put yourself into the other person’s shoes and say “if I were them, how would I want to be treated by others?,” and if the acts that you come up with are reasonable, possible, and coincide with one’s own rational self-interest, then you should do perform those acts onto the person when dealing with them. I like to call this the platimum rule since it is an upgrade from the golden rule. Even though I presume that this was actually the original author’s intent in writing the rule, I like to reserve the phrase “the golden rule” to describe a different phenomenon which is “whoever has the gold makes the rules.” Hence, I think you are wrong about do unto others because you are taking it too literally rather than trying to interpret the original author’s intent in writing the rule. This is a fallacy somewhat akin to equivocation that has yet to be formally recognized or labeled. Now, I want to quickly take my remaining time here to talk to you about the benefits of recognizing the law of karma as a valid natural law of the universe: 1. It is empirically provable and has a basis in physics, is universal, and is therefore objective. 2. It can be used to enhance UPB to further determine the merit of a moral proposition by running the moral proposition through the platinum rule. 3. It explains an awful lot of natural and moral phenomena in the universe. 4. It gives support for the idea of perfect balance within the universe which can be observed in all disciplines of science from physics and chemistry to biology and economics (why not ethics as well?). 5. It is a rational, empirically provable, and universally consistent justification for restitution as a strategy for dealing with crime. Unless we just flat out assume that moral actions require balance in order to be made right, then we cannot justify restitution. If we assume it, then we are simply putting forth an argument by assertion fallacy in order to justify something that “just feels right.” For instance, if someone steals $50 from you, spends it, either earns or steals another $50, and you steal the new$50 back, then we have to have a justification for your actions in order to not make you equally guilty of the same crime. If we are to make the moral argument that if someone violates your property rights, then you are then justified in violating theirs, we have to come up with some way to justify this. We can’t use self defense because the aggressor is no longer aggressing against you. Since we cannot justify taking the money back ourselves, nor can we justify hiring another person or group to do it for us as we cannot confer a right that we do not have onto another person or group. In order for restitution to be a valid moral action, we MUST recognize the law of karma as both a physical and metaphysical law of the universe. Finally, I would just like to say that the value of the platinum rule is as a strategy for keeping yourself out of karmic debt. That is why I like it and why I use it. It is not perfect. What if you don’t know the person at all? Well, then you should follow general guidelines of how people generally like to be treated. What if you get it wrong and offend them anyway? That is always a possibility, even without the platinum rule, but the platinum rule mitigates that possibility. That seems valuable to me, and if we observe the actions of Christians while they are practicing this rule, we can conclude that the rule seems to work as Christians who do practice this rule tend to be some of the nicest and most pleasant people you will meet (it helps that they are professionals at not taking the bible literally). That is empirical evidence that the rule has merit. It does require positive action which is why it IS NOT a moral rule, but rather simply a strategy for dealing with the law of karma. Let’s go ahead and call it an aesthetically preferable behavior that, by its practice, generally improves the quality and happiness of our lives.
  8. In FDR3077 Stefan makes the claim: If there were cases of actual wrong doing by the police where the police are exonerated for killing someone due to racism, then these cases would be front and center rather than the false stories that they are choosing to report on instead. Would they? I believe I have heard Stefan make this claim in other places as well. Stefan is now speculating as to the motives of the media for reporting falsehoods. Since we are speculating about motives, I have an alternative theory: Suppose the motive of these false reports were divide and conquer. Would it make sense to report obviously true stories of police racism? If you report the true story, then everyone rational is going to agree that racism is a problem and there will be unity. However, if you trump up a false story, the rational people are going to oppose such a story and be lumped in with racists. So, reporting a true story about racism is uniting. We can see this with the civil rights movement starting in the 1950’s. Television showed what racism really looks like and rather than dividing, it united whites with blacks because they were both abhorred by what was actually going on. Now, suppose instead of showing blacks sprayed with firehoses for protesting or being arrested for trying to eat at a restaurant, the media showed false examples of racism and then tried to hold them up as true examples of racism while intentionally ignoring or even burying the true examples? Would that divide or unite people? My point here is that maybe rational people are being manipulated more than we think. Maybe there really are plenty of true examples of police racism but they are not being reported because the media has a divide and conquer agenda and reporting true examples of police racism would unite people rather than divide them. Any thoughts?
  9. soared4truth

    Rebuttal to FDR802:

    Rebuttal to FDR802: On the subject of Buddhism, Stefan makes a number of claims that come from his lack of understanding of Buddhism. I would like to address these claims and would also like to request a response from Stefan himself although all responses are welcome. Disclaimer: I am not a Buddhist. I have my own philosophy, but I do use some of their methodologies as discussed below, and have a very good understanding of the philosophy. First claim: Buddhists are hypocrites: If a Buddhist invalidates someone’s argument rather than the person, they are not guilty of hypocrisy since they are addressing the argument and not the character of the individual. Stefan is falsely accusing them of ad hominem. An attack on someone’s argument says nothing about their character. Next, I disagree with the statement you read from “John the Buddhist” about Buddhism. The mythology is relevant and many people interpret it literally. There is a standard of determining whether something is true or false in Buddhism but it is introspective rather than extrospective and thus results in subjective proof rather than objective proof. In other words, you prove it to yourself. Some Buddhists are now willing rely on the scientific method in order to prove it to other people. I also disagree that the ideas have been distorted. Rather, you spoke to individuals that have a very poor take on Buddhism and they do not represent Buddhism as a whole. Now, when “John the Buddhist” started accusing you of not understanding and being non compassionate he did cross the line into hyprocrisy. To judge Buddhism by the actions of one man who claims to be a Buddhist is collectivism, and a hasty generalization which is irrational. Next, you said that you did not understand what “the craving of things causes one to be reborn” means. Let me explain that statement to you. They mean it quite literally. The action of having expectations and craving things is commonly referred to as “grasping the web [of karma]” Buddhists believe that such grasping creates karmic bonds that hold you to this existence so that when you die, you are reincarnated again. They refer to this process as the wheel of life and death. However, if one were to completely sever all karmic bonds, then one would be able to ascend to a higher plane of existence with the Gods. It is the Buddhist version of going to heaven. However, it can be interpreted in many ways. Have you ever watched the Stargate SG-1 television series? In that series, they portray ascendance as becoming a consciousness that is made out of pure energy that exists on another plane. That is one of many interpretations of ascension that could be applied to Buddhism. Toothache scenario: According to both Buddhist philosophy and Chinese Medicine, which is based on Buddhist philosophy, the toothache is caused by a blockage in your Qi energy through one of your chakras or meridians. That blockage is in turn caused by your grasping to the web. In theory, if you did not ever grasp the web then you would never have any blockage and be in perfect health so long as you ate a clean, natural, healthy vegetarian diet and ate in moderation. There are several ways to treat a chakra or meridian blockage, one of the most well known being acupuncture which has been proven effective at reducing or eliminating pain at the hands of a skilled acupuncturist. Qi gong is an example of a less well known method. Kundalini and Reiki are somewhere in the middle between those two in terms of general public recognition. Refrain from killing anything living: You are taking this too literally. What is meant by this is to not kill anything living unnecessarily. Remember, this is a moral rule, so it is subject to UPB. Let’s evaluate it using the UPB framework: The proposition is “You should only kill that which you have to in order to subsist naturally on this planet.” Is there choice or personal responsibility involved with not killing anything more than you require to subsist? Yes, one can choose to kill the exact number of organisms required to subsist or they could choose not to. No person or circumstance dictates that they must do it or that they must do otherwise. Avoidance: Can one avoid being responsible for killing more organisms than necessary to subsist? Yes, but only by practicing the moral rule, and by not practicing the moral rule you are subjecting more organisms to untimely death. We can argue over whether that matters or not as they are a different species, but the fact remains that the situation is unavoidable for them just like rape and murder are unavoidable for the victims. The organisms may have a chance to get away in some scenarios which is why I would consider hunting more moral than buying meat that came from a slaughterhouse. Initiation: Do the organisms you are killing consent to being killed to help you subsist? No. Can two men in a room together only kill that which is necessary for them to subsist? Yes. Does initiating force against lower life forms in order for you to subsist violate the non initiation of force rule? Yes, so long as we consider initiating force against lower life forms to be an NAP violation. Do lifeboat scenarios apply? Yes, you need to kill some organisms simply in order to subsist and killing microbes is unintentional. That is why killing that level of organisms is considered moral whereas killing more than you need to subsist is considered immoral. You have no control over the fact that you need to kill other organisms to subsist nor any control over accidental killing of organisms. Interestingly, there is a sect of Hinduism (which is incredibly similar to Buddhism philosophically) called Jainism and Jainists go as far as to wear respirators so as not to accidentally inhale microbes and kill them with their immune systems. However, I would argue that they are not drinking the water because it cannot be perfectly pure. Should you still accept punishment for killing organisms that you are compelled to kill in order to subsist? Yes. We must accept that we are imperfect beings and know that there may be a karmic thread attached to our actions even if we are compelled to perform those actions in order to survive. This is why asceticism used to be popular during the time of Shakyamuni or “Siddhartha Gautama.” It is still practiced by many Hindus to this day. Can it be applied at all times in all places by all men universally? Yes, and as a matter of fact it would have the side benefit of conserving resources like crazy if practiced by all men simultaneously. Can you not kill anything more than is necessary for your subsistence in a coma? Yes, as a matter of fact, you would be doing this by default in a coma. Is the opposite of the moral rule a vice rather than a virtue? Yes, and the opposite is killing organisms in excess of what one needs to subsist. Are we able to determine an objective standard for the amount of organisms one needs to kill to subsist? Yes, there are science based means of determining one’s minimum nutritional needs. Do insurmountable logical problems arise from the opposite propositon? Yes. Killing organisms in excess of what one needs to subsist is universally preferable leads to contradictions because it is a positive requirement. Do all men have the capacity to follow this moral rule? Yes, as long as they have the minimal amount of brain function necessary to make a rational determination of what the minimum nutritional intake one needs in order to flourish and subsist. Okay, valid moral rule. Anyone disagree? Next up, why do Buddhists not use logic, reasoning, and evidence to prove their moral rules? Two reasons: 1. They are unaware that a methodology exists to do so like I have just done above. 2. They prove it to themselves subjectively via various specialized methodologies of introspection. Claim: The law of karma is based on mysticism. Rebuttal: Only if you consider gleaning wisdom from the universe via specialized methodologies of introspection to be mystical. I don’t believe it is. Let’s take meditation for example. How do you glean wisdom from meditation? You still the mind and thoughts and in doing so can perceive things that would otherwise be unable to be perceived with all the background noise going on in your head. In other words, you allow the universe itself to talk to you, but it only whispers very quietly so you have to tame your mind in order to hear it. Buddhists make the analogy of a muddy river where the current keeps churning up mud. If we still the water, then the mud settles and the water is now clear and one can see all the way to the bottom of the river, whereas before one could only see the surface of the muddy water. Claim: You can’t describe the essence of Buddhism in three pages or less. Rebuttal: I just did (total length 2.5 pages) and addressed your arguments against it at the same time. Not everyone has the same natural ability of articulation. I happen to be one of the people who does have that. Claim: There are no hidden gems of wisdom in Buddhism. Rebuttal: Yes there are, but they are hidden; therefore, you can’t see them. You can find them by practicing specialized introspective methodologies and it takes a fairly good bit of practice to master. There is a famous saying in Buddhism and eastern thought that goes something like “He who speaks knows not.” The meaning of this statement is that the deep wisdoms revealed only through introspection cannot be communicated because they are entirely subjective in nature. That principle is one of the main reasons why Buddhists are unwilling to engage you in rational debate on these issues. It literally goes against what used to be, and for many still is, a main principle of Buddhism, but it rightly should no longer be considered such due to the inventions of both the scientific method and UPB. Luckily, I am not a Buddhist, so I am not hindered by their limitations. I do use some Buddhist specialized introspective methodologies though, so I know what they are talking about.
  10. Awesome! Thanks a bunch. Google seems to have its algorithms geared towards open borders because practically no matter what I search, only information that is pro open borders rather than against open borders comes up. I am about to comb through this and go back to thread I was arguing in well armed.
  11. I have heard Stefan talk about this topic often, and I agree with him on this matter. I was just wondering where he is getting his data from. I am arguing with a bunch of open borders type libertarians and I could use some good sources for the debates. If anyone has some links to solid data, that would be much appreciated. I have looked on google, but nothing terribly solid jumps out for data.
  12. That is silly. You think the state actually cares whether you vote or not? They do the same evil crap to you regardless. Do you think they will leave you alone because you don't vote? I don't agree with voting, as it is an act of aggression. However, if people are using this act of aggression against me, I have a right to proportional force as a means of self-defense. Voting is the only proportional response I can think of. How else am I supposed to defend myself, go on a shooting rampage? I have voted only one time in my life until now. I only vote when I think it might do something positive. I look at it as fighting fire with fire. If there is a raging fire coming toward your house, it makes sense to light a small controlled fire in order to burn out all the fuel before it arrives and the flames consume your house. I won't tell you or anyone else to vote, but I will do so in self-defense when I feel it is necessary, and I have every right under NAP. Basically though, by not voting out of self-defense you are voluntarily limiting your options for self-defense, and you aren't going to get any special treatment from the state from abstaining from such, and nobody but you and a handful of anarchists that might high five you actully care. Let me address this with a hypothetical scenario. Let's say there is a tall building somewhere, and for whatever reason it is considered moral to be at the top of the building, and immoral to be below that, and the further down you are the more immoral it is. Right now, you and I are on the street in front of the building. We want to get to the top to be moral. I suggest "hey let's go take the stairs and get to the top." You reply "Pfffffft, the stairs are still immoral, the only thing that isn't immoral is the top of the building, so we should just jump." This is analogous to what you are proposing. Incrementalism got us here, and incrementalism is what is going to get us back out. It isn't going to happen over night. It may still be immoral to be at the stairs on the second floor, but that isn't what matters. What matters is that we are moving closer to our goal by taking the stairs, however immoral it may be, and that we simply cannot get to the top by jumping. Sorry, that was a sort of wild hypothetical, but I think it got the point across. lol. Voting for Trump would be a waste of a vote because I live in Texas. Trump is going to win Texas anyway. I don't give a crap about Johnson's politics since he isn't going to be elected anyway. All I care about is giving the LP a chance to get a candidate into the presidential debates in 2020. It might not even be Johnson if the LP nominates someone different. Vote smart, not hard lol.
  13. Very good point, and thank you. I think that answered my question perfectly. I loathe that we have to engage in hypocrisy for self-defense, but as you eluded to, it is kind of them or us. Also, I am kind of glad that Stefan stepped into the world of politics. We, as anarchists need to start thinking more strategically. It is kind of like war. Very few people actually want war, but when you are attacked on your home soil, you have to do whatever you can to fend off the invaders even if it means engaging in war and destruction which are unethical in any other circumstance. With limited government, at least we have a chance. Imagine if it was the U.S. from the 1800s, for example with its much smaller government. We could go engage in anarchy right now in the wild west under those circumstances and there wouldn't be enough government presence to find us, hunt us down, and stop us. I am actually considering doing something similar in Wyoming, since it is very pro-business, low taxes, low population, cheap land, and plentiful resources. I have been researching businesses for sale there, and they are very cheap and have much higher positive cash flows than similar businesses for sale here in Texas where I live, and Texas is also considered pro-business and low taxes.

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