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  2. Nope. Not by Rand's definition. The book can be about extremely evil people, and nothing else, and it would still be Romantic Realism.
  3. Today
  4. I think I understand now, but please realize that you really need to work on your writing style. When you don't write well, people will misunderstand you. Maybe Grames understood, but he asked for examples, and if you gave some, that would have helped a lot. So, you can ignore the parts where I speak of a dichotomy. In my second response, it looks like I misread something, you just wanted to say that holding one's life is the highest value is probably impossible if one's own life is held as the standard of value. But then the proceeding conversation became even more confusing because of very strange sentences like this: "And - then - if one *also* considers one's life as the highest value (true, and recognized by every O'ist)) this will clash with one's life as the standard of value." You make it sound like holding one's life as the highest value is also a problem. Yeah, your individual life is not the proper standard of value. Swig said originally that your reasoning about it was backwards (rationalism), even if the conclusion was correct. So in a way, it's not that what you said is wrong, but your reasoning about it isn't very clear so it sounds like you're arguing something that you aren't actually trying to argue.
  5. This is bald assertion... not an argument. You do not understand what the word “objective” means.
  6. cachi, I have to admit you've presented a challenge. I would recommend you investigate the history of the Great Northern Railroad, funded entirely by private entrepreneurs at a time when most railroads exploited government subsidies, and still failed. While this is not an example of a person, there are examples of many people of extraordinary ability, such as Nikola Tesla. While not very business savvy, Tesla had a scientific mind that may have inspired a John Galt. If there is one man I think deserves recognition as a "man of the mind," it is Robert Green Ingersoll, an orator and lawyer, who best represented the Free Thought movement of the 19th century. If it were possible to combine the best characteristics of these examples, you would have your Objectivist champion. Perhaps the Randian heroic caricatures are pure fiction. Or perhaps they've merely avoided celebrity in favor of focusing on their discoveries or other endeavors. There may be a great many such heroes we've never heard of for this reason. My best wishes are for all to strive to be one's own Objectivist hero. And welcome to the forum.
  7. Yesterday
  8. "Before the reader encounters him" - is fair criticism. The process of creating virtue has already occurred, one is not (explicitly) privy to earlier effort, and now we see him/her cashing in on it. But the struggles remain through the plot, and we can see their rational virtues being sorely tried and tested, toward ultimate success. Even a staunchly virtuous individual can falter (and recover). In the final analysis, romantic art depicts man as he could be/should be. Yes, more or less in their completed state (like a statue). For us readers at the time and in later recall, it provides "spiritual fuel" for our own struggles. Important, this: NOT to "mold" oneself into a Randian-hero perfection; instead to take the essentials of her characters away for ourselves.
  9. Good one. I brought that into the abortion topic since I think that extreme term abortion is a rationally-moral, not a rights, concern. Can it be "right and proper" - by the standard of man's life, qua man - for an individual to abort an already living entity, able to survive independently? So, not by the fetus' standard of life, by "man's life" standard of value.
  10. An apple tree has an objective *identity*. Its only objective *value* is one given to it by a VALUER.
  11. Why is this so hard to understand? OK, once more. No straw man. *I* identified what's clearly a subjective 'standard' assumed by some O'ists I read and heard. Man's life is the standard of value. (Agreed?) As I've related in Rand's view, that was for her, an objective standard. Which is why we have an *objective* and rational ethics. (One isn't an egoist because one merely *feels* like being one). IF, however, you take *a* man's life, an individual's, or one's own life - to be the *standard* of value, this 'standard' is no longer objective. You've now defeated the purpose of and negated an "objective standard".
  12. This is a double standard and a straw man. No one said anything about a “subjective standard”. Your life is no less objective than the life, survival, and flourishing of an apple tree.
  13. I'm curious: how does all this relate to your stance on abortion? You have said that a viable fetus is a distinct life. Does that mean that its standard of value is man's life or its own, particular life as a fetus?
  14. Whew. You can do better. I said several times, the attempt at holding both "one's life, one's highest value" AND one's life the "standard of value" creates a conflict. (mental and external) How can one continue to hold the highest objective value in one's life - by a subjective standard of value? Impossible.
  15. You are incoherent. You said this creates a conflict. Now you say it doesn't. You don't make any sense. Nothing you write makes any sense. I don't mean I disagree, I mean it literally doesn't make sense.
  16. [Dichotomy: Division into two; binary classification; repeated bifurcation.] I reject the mistaken premise: "One's life, the standard of value." This "option" is an unintelligible non-option. I uphold the principle: "one's life one's supreme value". Therefore, I maintain the two cannot even be considered in unity, as some would have it. No dichotomy and no "division into two", but a contradiction in terms.
  17. Yes, ascribing and arrogating to one's own life the abstraction, "the standard of value", could well be an outcome of rationalism.
  18. A dichotomy means that you set it up so there are two distinct options that can't be unified. It doesn't mean both options are valid. So... Yeah, you set up a dichotomy.
  19. I've repeated, one's life can NOT be the "standard of value". That's the preserve of "man's life". So, no dichotomy - it is a false notion in every way. And - then - if one *also* considers one's life as the highest value (true, and recognized by every O'ist)) this will clash with one's life as the standard of value. No dichotomy, a contradiction. "Standard" ( in my own life) -contra- "highest" (my own life). One is true, the other false, and trying to hold both together, an impossible feat in the end, is self-defeating (and harmful). "Highest value" - must be objectively be met with: by what standard? If one believes the standard is oneself or one's own life, this nullifies an objective "standard", and the result would negate one's objective conviction, "highest value", too, and one will likely end up with neither. Just because men exist does not automatically, from Nature, entitle us to being granted value as a species, as mankind nor as an individual. We lack any 'instincts' and built-in tools for the simplest survival-value, and especially for knowing and asserting one's self-value. Nature and the universe doesn't know mankind and individuals exist, nor care. And there's no god who knows and cares either. These realizations eliminate man's intrinsic value (which seems to hang around, even with Objectivists). But man has consciousness and it is by that mind that one comprehends the need for objective value in one's own life, in order to live and live well ... through one's mind. This is what is man's metaphysical nature (and a man's single advantage, if he knows and applies it). Conclusion: an individual's standard of value is ~man's life~ i.e. living in accordance with the above and dedicated to his unique purpose and his specific values.
  20. Attention intruders Nobody asks Bernie Sanders these questions
  21. Yeah, that's why I mentioned Rearden, Mallory and Dominique. This might be Rand's major aesthetic shortcoming: to think that depicting the final outcome in a character is better than depicting the process. To depict the "perfect hero" as being in a state where he has already gone through the volitional internal mental processes and struggles, before the reader encounters him... I think that's an aesthetic error, and the main non-Romantic Realist aspect of her fiction. I don't see him as being more aesthetically perfect even compared to Francisco -- who is portrayed as pretty damned flawless.
  22. If they must conflict, then you set up a dichotomy. If they oppose each other, then they are separate and distinct things. They don't actually conflict, they are just different aspects of the same question ("how do we measure value objectively?"). You can't really separate life (the particular life you lead) from life (the thing all people do). If you turn it around, that would be rationalism. But what you described isn't turned around... So I don't know what you're talking about.
  23. "Northern Lights" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8o7VM_ApTc&feature=youtu.be
  24. Last week
  25. What is it about the apple tree example which scares you? If I err, why not show how I would be wrong in that case?
  26. The FDA depends on scientific research to make legal determinations, but the FDA is incapable of conducting the necessary research. This is generally the situation with government and science – Congress empowers some agency to regulate interstate commerce and articulates some incredibly vague standard of interest, then leaves it up to the agency to write rules. The system places the burden of proof on the individual wishing to market a regulated product. Academic researchers are often willing to subcontract with producers to address the science, or basically anybody who has a wad of cash to support their work. There has always been a basic tension between the anti-progress Luddites and more rational men, where the Luddites use the courts or the administrative review process to object to progress. Rational men must then anticipate the argument likely to be addressed by the Luddites, and nip it in the bud. Unfortunately, that is not always possible (and is irrelevant when the attack is through the courts). In addition, Luddite ideologues have infested academe and administration, meaning that factual determinations are not always based solely on facts. I think the degree of cooperation that exists doesn’t constitute “support”, it constitutes “recognition of fact”. E.g. it’s recognition of fact when you pay your taxes.
  27. Right, setting the "order" is critical. "Man's life" is a metaphysical abstract, one's life is the solid, "concrete" purpose. Ie.: Which specific values? (Goals, etc.) The hierarchy needs to be observed conceptually and acted upon, personally in one's real life. What's problematic, I clearly stated, is presuming on one's own life "the standard of value". In which case the hierarchy breaks down. Anyone who prefers to think I made a dichotomy will have to re-read what I said.
  28. "Man's life is the standard of morality, but your own life is its purpose." Is the objective to set man's life as the consideration for both or your own life in as the consideration for both? A code of values sets the code of morality. From the values that are eligible to be part of the code of morality, it is your own life to which you must set purpose. Rand set order to her own mind before she asked others to consider the selective content she poured out onto paper.
  29. S'nerd, I agree. I like your "animals"reminder. One correction, there are certainly some characters in Rand's fiction who were initially "flawed" but realized 'the error of their ways' and changed their minds and subsequent acts. This capability, too, is the epitome of a volitional consciousness. So I don't think her writing misses that. That free will concept is the essence of Romantic Realism in art, as you know, and it must mean that 'Naturalist' acts have to be minimized and human flaws to not be the defining feature of men . In especially TF, where the greater emphasis is placed upon Roark's character virtues (shown in his action, mostly). But he's not "perfect". While implicitly, the reader should know he is human, has human emotions and does human things - making them descriptively explicit to the reader is less "important". Overmuch, intricately detailed description, is one aspect of determinist/naturalist art, which makes for dull reading anyway. Purposeful actions speak louder. The one "perfect" man in her writing is John Galt.
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