Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Leaderboard


Popular Content

Showing most liked content since 10/23/17 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    For one, that's the liberal left. The Communist left does not like identity politics and engages in class warfare. For the sake of identifying threats properly, you need to know who you're arguing against - we don't want to fight Communism by fighting liberals. The racial stuff is mostly liberal, filled with contradictions. The more important thing to do, at least when making arguments, is to state the position rationally. It would be better to dismantle an ideology alongside an alternative, rather than only point out stupid ideas. If people don't engage you, that's their problem. By doing that, you attract persuadable individuals. Yes, they exist. There's no need to say you'd need a therapist to do that. Appeals to rationality are appeals to people who might care, even the minority of good people who in fact will make a difference. Appeals with memes attracts the lowest common denominator, the people who don't care to think deeply. Sure, they are amusing sometimes, maybe even correct. The issue is that they are still shallow. This is what propaganda relies on, hoping you don't care where it came from, getting you to think the issue is as simple as the image. This is fine to a small degree as motivation where an issue really is that simple. Except, Nazis get that the issue is complex. So they simplify. Make it sound benign. Let people who don't know better keep saying IOTBW, they won't know the point is to slowly make white identity seem important and dominate the race war. No, most people who say IOTBW aren't neo-Nazis. That's the point. It hides the fact that neo-Nazis are running that dialogue. It makes the phrase defendable. An important thesis of Objectivism is that philosophy drives the course of history. It matters where ideas come from. It matters that IOTBW is from neo-Nazis. For this reason, we need a better strategy than to regurgitate a neo-Nazi phrase. The worst reply would be to say you don't care where IOTBW came from. You'd be saying origins of ideas don't matter.
  2. 3 points
    A man from deserts afar wrote this as he gazed to the stars: "There is no greater love than that which comes from god above. Pray the Lord your soul to keep do not thine understanding seek." A boy from Georgia read that book but never took a deeper look. If God's love was real inside this boy, Then why did it seem to steal his joy? He could not feel this god above. He did not know the truth of love. Was lost as those around him said, "You'll find your heaven in the end." For years he searched, blind and sad. Was love in this world not to be had? A woman from tundra afar wrote this as she gazed to the stars: "There is no greater love than what a man for himself does. Pull pride and reason off the shelf and let your guidance be yourself." The lost boy, then a man become Knew that his search was now done. He felt the love inside his soul; for his own sake, he was made whole. For the first time since his birth, he could have heaven here on earth. No waiting on a realm unseen, when this world can fulfill man's dreams. There is no greater love than this: to live life here in selfish bliss.
  3. 3 points
    I don't think philosophy is all that dissimilar to other ideas through history: man made flight, electricity, combustion engine etc., etc. All these ideas became popular because they resulted in worthwhile concretes. They weren't ideas the general public could've successfully been presented with, in theory alone. There was a need for concrete achievements, to go along with the ideas themselves. So that's the key: to go along with all the activism, people who like the ideas should live good lives, and that achievement will cause interest in the ideas that shaped that life. That doesn't mean activism is useless, but activists need to be conscious of the full range of their communication: both the intended and the unintended messages. For instance, an Oist activist focused on pointing out the flaws of the political system may think he's just communicating political ideas, but, in reality, to the average person, he projects a sense of isolation and even fatalism (us vs. them, as SN put it). When there's a contradiction between a more concrete and a more abstract message, people (rightfully) give more weight to the former. So that activist is hurting more than he's helping. To effectively control the message, and only communicate what he intends to, an activist needs to be well versed in communication and dedicated to the work full time. Even if you're naturally charismatic and an effective leader in your day job, it's not enough. Your message, no matter how convincing, can still be presented selectively, or misrepresented, by others (both in the traditional media and on social media). So you still have to be deliberate about everything you do and discerning about who you talk to...and that takes a lot of expertise and tedious research. Just to be clear: you don't have to be "fun", charming, or even nice and friendly, to be an effective communicator. Trump's an effective communicator...I doubt even his minions would ever accuse him of any of those four things. But you need to be aware of the times when you might be perceived as unhappy or a pessimist (as well as of the many other unintended messages we send out on a daily basis).
  4. 2 points
    StrictlyLogical

    Truth as Disvalue

    Truth as Disvalue Truth as disvalue, evasion as value, a belief system which maximizes life’s value. I have heard it said that nothing which is untrue can ultimately be of value to a rational person and that knowledge of the truth is always a value. When dealing with statements of these kinds, of course one must keep in mind what one means by value, we know for example that truth does not have intrinsic value, as there is no such thing as intrinsic value. So investigating the claim that truth is always a value necessitates an evaluation according to a particular chosen standard of value. Is it true that truth is always a value? Can it ever be a disvalue? I will herein below show that according to certain classes of standards of value, truth can be a disvalue. Moreover, I will illustrate how, in that context, evasion can in fact be a value. I then proceed to show how one can proceed successfully (according to that standard of value) to adopt a belief system which maximizes values according to that standard, and in fact that such a belief system is entailed and required by such a standard. The One Truth Knowledge of reality is incredibly powerful. It is indispensable to action, allows prediction of nature, is the foundation of science, invention, agriculture, architecture, medicine, art, literally everything we know which sustains us and enables happiness is in some way tied with knowledge and rationality. None of these truths which prove useful are to be abandoned or contradicted as they are invaluable. They form a wholeness of knowledge which is at one with the blinding Truth of existence. In this the wholeness though lurks but one black hole… one truth in which sits the opposite of the whole of truth’s promise for life, the very fact of Death itself. After decades of accepting as true, complete oblivion, as the state succeeding life on Earth, I have come to the realization that it is an ugly life draining truth which brings me nothing but horror, fear, and sadness. Resignation to its truth has not assuaged the extreme aversion to physical risk, the morbid thoughts, the nagging sense of death being around every corner, on every highway, hidden in every airplane booking. The reflection that all those living, family and friends will end in the same zero… and that all the daughters and sons of my sons and daughters will, finally, amount to more than the dead matter from which they sprung for their brief lives, ripples unceasingly in my mind. When I was a Deist and believed in an afterlife, I of course did my best to avoid death, I did not entertain unduly risky behavior, because after all, I enjoyed and cherished my life, my family and friends and what I could achieve over my life span, but death itself was seen only as a bump in the road, another transformation, that once traversed, would seem almost inconsequential. Upon death, Life would become some nostalgic memory, no more disturbing than the memories of an adult fondly recalling some childhood haunt or cherished toy. We throw off the trappings of our former selves to become that which we are meant to be, and death was only one step of growth in an existence beyond this one. But the final and true death, of non-being, non-existence, of oblivion, is the black maw of the worst possible monster, literally, as nothing could be worse for me than the negation and destruction of absolutely everything of value to me. It pesters my mind and my soul like some incessant midge from the underworld, and no matter how much I swat at it in a futile attempt to live my life in peace, it always harries me time and again. According to a standard of value which belongs to a class in which the standard of value to the life of man qua man comprises a combination of survival, pleasure, and happiness, the one truth of death IS and always will be a disvalue to me. This I know of myself with unshakable certainty. When I compare my happiness, and daily pleasure at the wonders around me, as they are experienced now, with that ever present darkness in the sky, with my happiness and daily pleasure as one who believed in an afterlife, as I had in the past, I am certain, absolutely certain, that the truth negates a great deal of happiness, pleasure, and peace in my life. As such, according to those certain classes of standards of value, the one truth of death, IS a disvalue to me. Truth indeed can be a disvalue. [For simplicity, “value” hereafter means “value” according to those classes of standard of value to the life of man qua man comprising a combination of survival, pleasure, and happiness] The One Evasion As a Deist, I believed that nature and the beyond (the supernatural) were distinct and sundered. I faithfully held that there was absolutely no connection between them except the traversal (and one way only) upon death. The dead cannot reach the living nor the living reach the dead, and no God nor Omnipotency could affect the natural world of reality. There was only existence, and nothing supernatural there, until death, after which there was nothing but that realm beyond. Maintaining such an evasion was not uncommon to me, nor even unique to my life as a Deist. My former self as a traditional Christian, was very interested in science was very adept at the necessary evasions. Compartmentalization is no mystery to me, and I am all too familiar with it and evasion. I am very cognizant that these are “skills” which I used often and relentlessly. As a person very interested in science, and even after having gone through a few degrees in science, I was capable of all kinds of evasions, but then I did not have the motivation any more. At one point I decided that the truth was more important that what I wanted to believe, more important that the comfort or pleasure I might obtain from a falsehood. According to what standard? Why? At this point, not having been exposed to Objectivism, I really did not have any well-reasoned basis, I simply took for granted that what is true is the Truth and that the Truth was more “important” than any falsehood, that indeed Truth was a kind of “intrinsic” good. So over time I was able to escape the trap of mysticism, because of my motivation for truth, and nothing more. I escaped all forms of mysticism and embraced the absolute of reality and Objectivism. As an Objectivist, I understood the vast majority of truths for what they are, a great value to life. Woven into a web of integrated understanding of reality and man, they are the basis for living. Seeing this I dropped evasion as a disvalue. And in all things other than the single dark truth, evasion indeed would be a disvalue. Because all of reality is interconnected no evasion about any single existent which by necessity is related to any and thus every other thing in existence, could be held without some fact of reality being sullied, warped, held in error. Therefor evasion in this regard is inevitably a disvalue and leads to the corruption of the whole. Only now, armed with a proper understanding of the standard of value is it possible to see that blind pursuit of truth is not necessarily a value. Value is defined by and depends upon a standard. A truth which is sad and painful and brings no happiness and which never could be but a stain upon existence and happiness, cannot be a value. Such a truth is clearly a disvalue. But what of the interconnectedness of truths, what of the disvalue of evasion? There is one evasion which does not encounter this problem if surrounded by judiciously held supporting evasions. Clearly a religious person (as I was) is able to hold evasions able to withstand a great deal of reality thrown against it. Using compartmentalization and ignorance and avoidance, I could simultaneously hold truths about reality while believing in the miraculous. But miracles, and intervention by God poses a real problem, the evidence such would leave behind, the absence of which we clearly note. Of course once I became a Deist no such lack of evidence was logically entailed. The belief of that sort of Deism was in an afterlife wholly separate and sundered from reality and for which there would and could be no evidence until death. The One evasion, that there is an afterlife, of a completely unconnected supernatural and everlasting afterlife, although arbitrary is not disproven by the evidence of the senses. Such to be sure is an arbitrary assertion, a groundless maybe…. Not even worth the label “possible”. The onus is on he who asserts the positive… but what reason, by what standard would I hold myself to that onus? The subsidiary evasion then would be the permission of arbitrary assertions… no… the permission of ONE arbitrary assertion. I know I am capable of evasion, I have done so throughout my life, why not employ these evasions, to permit a single arbitrary assertion, and to believe that arbitrary assertion in absence of any evidence? Clearly, Truth in and of itself is not automatically a value. This is clear from the above. Second, the problem of accepting the arbitrary would only be a threat if it invaded into all aspects of knowledge of reality, I am considering to allow it for only one aspect of reality which is (arbitrarily) wholly disconnected from all of existence. Moreover, if I am required to permit the arbitrary and the belief in one single truth through evasion in order to regain the value of life without the constant fear and darkness and morbidity, then by what standard am I to give up the evasions which permits it? Evasion in these aspects only, to permit the arbitrary belief in an afterlife, are a value. The Objectivist Deism Plan In order to maximize my life according to the standard of value I need only engage in minimal evasion to permit a belief of a single falsehood and deny a single truth. With practice and effort I will come to believe it with all my being, because I know it is a value to believe it. I am motivated by my very life to do so. I will not fail in my minimal evasions for the sake of my very life. I will permit myself that one evasion, supported by the subsidiary evasion (from the fact that the arbitrary should be dismissed), in only this one single instance, the one evasion permitting the belief that there is an afterlife. Such brings about a belief system I call Objectivist Deism. Reality is as it is, A is A, but there is another reality, a super-reality for which there is no evidence, and into which I will have an afterlife. This sole major evasion, that I will not die the true and unending dark death, with its subsidiary evasion permitting the acceptance in only a single arbitrary assertion, is my choice, precisely BECAUSE it is of value and my life will be better for it. I will still understand reality as it is with all the rigor of Objectivism and science, but I will live my life, essentially better than I would have, with the added pleasures, and happiness, and the flourishing which accompanies it, with the knowledge that I will not truly die. I will not be JUST AS successful as I would have been but for the evasion, in fact, because of my added pleasure and happiness and zest for life, I will flourish more, I will have lived more, I will have lived a life of more value than I otherwise would have lived. As such, it is not merely an option open to me, it is necessary for me to follow this path. According to the standard of value it IS the moral course of action, I must and will take it and I will benefit all the more throughout my entire life because of it.
  5. 2 points
    MisterSwig

    A Complex Standard of Value

    There has been some great discussion about values lately, and so I'd like to present a brief case for my notion of a complex standard of value. Any feedback or criticism would be appreciated. This is only the beginning of a work in progress. I start with the idea that humans have three basic aspects: the physical, the mental, and the biological. Also, for each aspect we can hold a separate standard of value. For the physical it's pleasure over pain; for the mental, it's knowledge over ignorance; and for the biological, it's health over sickness. Next, many people seem to believe that man is primarily one of these aspects, while the others are secondary. They argue for what I call a simple standard of value. If man is primarily physical, then his standard of value is pleasure. If he's primarily mental, then his standard is knowledge. And if man is primarily biological, then the standard is health. I call such positions the Simple Man Fallacy. It means taking the standard of value for one aspect of man and applying it to the whole person. I suppose it's an example of the fallacy of composition. I believe it is critical that we form a complex standard of value which integrates the three standards of man's existence: pleasure, knowledge, and health. Rand of course argued for the standard of value being man's life. But there is much confusion over what that means precisely. She said it means: "that which is required for man's survival qua man." And what does that mean? She explained: This is a complex answer that is difficult to digest. For example, how do we figure out which terms, methods, conditions and goals are required for our survival as a rational being? Well, to answer that question, I suggest we consider in equal measure the three basic aspects of our existence: the physical, the mental, and the biological. We should formulate a complex standard of value which integrates our critical needs for pleasure, knowledge, and health.
  6. 2 points
    Nicky

    What are you listening at the moment?

    I've been into Johnny Cash' American Recordings, the last few weeks. Especially "Help Me", off his final album. It's a very religious collection of songs, this one especially...but just so ridiculously, brilliantly touching, from a man mourning his soulmate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv4i4t2hj2I It's one of his many Kris Kristofferson covers. I think Kris wrote most of his truly great songs. But John made them eternal...especially this song would've been totally forgotten.
  7. 2 points
    KyaryPamyu

    Two Philosophers

    "Imagine the whole of Nature stretched blooming at my feet; a line of blue, misty hills encompassed the horizon in the east; the sun was sinking in the west; all Nature's temple lay before our enchanted eyes. Like Thetis, I could have flown down, and sunk into those flowery rivers. [...] At length, when the sun had just set, a mass of blossoming spring roses came floating up out of the dying rays - the tops of the mountains glowing, the woods all aflame - and illimitable Nature melted into soft rosy tints; and as I was gazing into this ocean of purple, [...] all stood enchanted before me, and sweetly smiled at me." — Robert Schumann, from a letter to a friend, dated Aug. 29, 1827 If all life were to disappear off the face of the earth, would beauty still exist? Obviously not. Beauty is an evaluation, made by a mind whose nature allows it to experience the phenomenon of beauty. Thus, one philosopher concludes: "beauty does not actually exist in the world. When the Poet says that roses are beautiful, he is not referring to something that exists out there. He describes a subjective mental construct. To him, either beauty exists out there in the world, just like trees and stars do, or it only exists in man's mind. Only non-mental things are real, and to be of a mental nature automatically means to not have reality or substance. But all mental experiences - whether we refer to sensory form, beauty, intuition, freedom, the grasp of poetic allegory - are real, as real as trees and mountains and stars. Man comes to know them through the ostensive process that stands at the base of all knowledge: direct experience. While his consciousness provides him with valid information about the world, he cannot ever step outside of consciousness. Every experience that he goes through during the span of his life is an experience of consciousness, but for some reason, that dimension has no reality for the philosopher. And nothing is more dangerous for a man's proper functioning than to doubt or deny the validity of his own consciousness. According to our philosopher, only descriptive statements, such as "Today is raining", can be factual. As soon as we enter the realm of consciousness, we aren't talking about reality anymore - we venture into the world of subjective experience. But man's mental faculties are not separate from nature, they are as much a part of it as everything else. The Poet, then, is right. When the Poet's consciousness encounters roses, a real and distinct phenomenon of consciousness occurs. The rose, as perceived and evaluated by a particular man, is beautiful. Or, certain types of daffodils, as perceived by a specific kind of consciousness, are yellow. And further, if life has identity, then its chemical origin and mechanism must be similar on every planet that can give rise to life. And if there are life forms on other planets, their emotions (or equivalent faculties) probably pertain to the exact same categories as earth's animals possess: fear of threats, desire for values, pain, pleasure and so on. If existence is identity, evaluations are not arbitrary. Our philosopher prides himself in doing whatever he can to perceive reality as it really is, without tainting it with his own mental nature. And in doing so, he's willfully suffocating his consciousness. He represses his spontaneous emotional reactions, intuitions and connotative associations. He struggles to express himself in the driest, most 'objective' way possible - after all, he equates the evaluative with the unreal. For each category of value, there are countless options that are just as good as the others - in fact, some tastes and preferences might be randomly shaped by childhood experiences or determined by genetic differences. And this makes the philosopher feel that his personal infrastructure of chosen values is a subjective construct. Feeling emotionally invested into any such infrastructure would mean non-objectivity, an evasion of the arbitrary nature of his choices. Consequently, life to him is just a play, a pretense. In his attempts at making objective choices, he is not aware that objectivity encompasses the entire context - including his psychological makeup and what is possible to him in a world that has identity. When our philosopher discovered that volition can shape man's character and psychology, he formed the unchecked premise that his mind and subconscious do not have a specific nature at all - that they are identity-less and entirely shaped by the self (or the environment). He thinks that there is no need to pay much attention to his own consciousness, because going through a series of proper conceptual and physical motions will eventually culminate in involuntary happiness and conscious-subconscious harmony. In doing so, he misses heaps of important and ostensively available details about himself, information that can be known only by direct introspection. One of the philosopher's contemporaries and friends is a German Idealist. His eccentric and poetically-minded friend believes that reality is a mental construct. To him, Nature's objects, the mind’s abstractions and his evaluative emotional experiences are all equally real and spring from the same source: a supernal productive imagination. Though his philosophy is factually wrong, he is much happier than the first philosopher, as his characteristic way of facing life seems to suggest. So, is it true that ignorance is bliss? If there is no God, immortality or primacy of consciousness, doesn't that make reality... stale? A pointless cycle of survival and reproduction? Our first philosopher objects: you can have all of these things without indulging in mystic fantasies. But in truth, deep down he doesn't feel that this is true. He does feel that his existence is a bit dry and pointless. A man's beliefs about the world shape the way he perceives his environment. His philosophy doesn't affect the raw sensory data, but it does control how he relates to it, what he experiences in his mind's eye. It's not a surprise, then, that when the two philosophers took a stroll through a nearby forest and discussed metaphysics at length, they saw the forest in completely different ways - even though their eyes and minds took in the same sensory data. If we tried to illustrate what went on in their mind's eye, the result would probably look something like this: The first philosopher saw a lifeless chunk of matter. The second philosopher saw Poetry made visible. Their subconsciously integrated and automated philosophy has stylized their consciousness, imbuing objects with connotative meaning, giving Nature beauty and staleness; it made the two men focus on certain aspects that affirmed their own worldview, while ignoring the aspects that seemed to contradict it. The two quintessential preconditions of human happiness are a world that is auspicious to joy, and an exalted view of man's nature. And for some reason, our first philosopher feels that the world is stale and pointless, while the second philosopher is intoxicated by it. Philosophy and religion are important and invaluable sources of information about human psychology. A lot of philosophical systems distort the truth not because man is blind to ostensively self-evident axioms; in truth, a lot of people are afraid that they'll end up like our first philosopher. They create systems that rationalize what they want to be true, worlds in which they intuitively feel they would be happy in. The proper attitude is not to shun those philosophies - but to study them, and learn which human needs are so compelling that they end up tempting people to discard the 'unpleasant truth'. A German Idealist proposes an organic system of Nature, where everything (including inanimate matter) is alive, and all concrete existence is an expression of Self's productive imagination. Why is that appealing to him? Because if everything is a part of him, he is not a tiny little man anymore - he is an all-powerful creative intelligence striving for self-awareness by objectifying himself to himself. This prospect makes his own self-esteem and view of man go up. If what he previously thought of as dead matter is actually organic in some way, he acquires a feeling of kinship between him and the entire Universe. If everything in existence strives for the same goal, the universe ceases to appear frightening or alien to him - it takes on the mantle of a benevolent and even exotic or elevated realm. If pleasure has a forbidden quality to it, values seem to become more tantalizing than if no mind-body breach existed. If the entirety of the universe and human life can be rationalistically deduced and contained by a crow-friendly system, he is at an advantage - because reason is his means of knowledge, and he longs for that type of crystal-clear and unshakably certain conceptual guidance - his need of self-esteem is again peeking through the curtain. What about religion? Man's nature as an integrator pushes him to unify his life into infrastructures such as culture, subculture and religion, infrastructures that integrate most or all aspects of his life (including ethics and very identifiable ways of dressing and behaving) into single, coherent systems. And the prevailing epistemological errors? Some philosophers intuitively feel that a world in which concepts merely classify the world - instead of shaping it – would mean that the nature of the external world is sharply different from the way their own consciousness is naturally built. They perceive a threat to the potency of their consciousness - to their self-esteem. And wouldn't it be nicer if Nature actually was as we perceived it, if sensory form was a myth? That would certainly give objective validity to what goes on in one's inner eye. Man would never have to doubt the metaphysical validity of his richly evaluative experience. A wrong system of philosophy can comfort man in the short-term, but will ultimately lead to existential and psychological turmoil. And a largely correct system of philosophy that was not properly integrated into his mind, can lead to worldly success, but also to the inability to enjoy that success. As man's nature dictates, if he implicitly believes and feels that the truth clashes with the requirements of his life or consciousness, truth will become his enemy. The solution is to identify and correct those faulty integrations, the ones that made the first philosopher discard, among others, the realm of poetry and emotional investment. In poetry, metaphor does not equal non-objectivity - poetic language describes facts of reality, as grasped by a human mind that relates everything to his own life, a consciousness that needs to clarify meaning by comparisons to other objects to which he attaches symbolic meaning. A proper human consciousness is staunchly anthropocentric. In the case of emotional investment, optionality does not equal the arbitrary. The nature of man and the universe dictates that he must achieve and settle for what is, to his current knowledge, the absolute best he can get. If he believes that 'everything could have been different', he is factually wrong - he can only live one life, not an unspecified number of parallel existences. And he is weakening his will to live, because he can't wantonly dive into the pond of Life while not being fully convinced that his particular values allow him to actually make the most out of his existence. Equally important is the issue of human greatness. Does he think it actually exists in reality? Or are humans just cavemen with high pretensions? The truth-loving philosopher does not need to make peace with the staleness of the world. After all, he lives in the exact same universe as his life-loving friend, and if the German Idealist can be happy, he can be happier than him. To unlock the beauty of the world, he must award the same reality to his own inner world as he does to the external world. He must give free reign to the natural realm of his emotions, inclinations, fears, desires, intuitions, yearnings. In every moment and issue of his life, he must be focused not only on growing and optimizing his practical excellence, but also on making the most out of his inner experience. After a full system of philosophy, psychology is the most crucial science that man must develop and master if he is to be fully guided in his life. He must understand the psychological causes of joy in all of its myriad forms: love, excitement, importance, luxury, humor, the Sublime, affection, curiosity, the exotic, the unusual, the cool, the beautiful, the idealized - as well as the nature of personal taste. In doing so, he will eventually tie them back to the two fundamental preconditions of happiness: the feeling that the universe is auspicious, and that man is an exalted being. "Miss Rand used to be a strong advocate of what she called 'the pleasure-purpose principle.' She meant the idea that on any level, whether we're talking about thought or action, you cannot function without a purpose that brings you pleasure, something you want to achieve, that you enjoy achieving. You can see this in an everyday example in the contrast between getting up on a day when there's something that you like [...] as against that kind of gray, dragging yourself through some dutiful routine, which can only go on for a limited period of time, after which you either end up giving up action and giving up generally, or else you say, 'I can't stand philosophy,' and you become an emotionalist. The point here is that pleasure - and we mean here personal pleasure, personal interests, your likes and dislikes - is essential to your functioning, in action and in thought". — Leonard Peikoff, Understanding Objectivism: Lecture Ten "Learn to be at home and well acquainted - I would almost say, be on intimate terms with your emotions. [...] After you've become acquainted with yourself emotionally, when you no longer have any great mysteries to yourself, then you can start to identify your sense of life. And the best - perhaps the only way to identify it - is by observing your own reactions to art." — Ayn Rand, 1974 Q&A session "How comes it that, to every tolerably cultivated taste, imitations of the so-called Actual, even though carried to deception, appear in the last degree untrue - nay, produce the impression of spectres; whilst a work in which the idea is predominant strikes us with the full force of truth, conveying us then only to the genuinely actual world?" — F. W. J. Schelling - On the Relation of the Plastic Arts to Nature (speech on the celebration of the 12th October, 1807, as the Name-Day of the King of Bavaria) The most important insight that a rational philosophy can give you is this: the profound efficacy of consciousness. Here, I am not confining myself to the ability to acquire objective knowledge. I am referring to the whole of human consciousness, including, among others, the perceptual, conceptual, subconscious, evaluative and emotional levels. Life is not a series of empty abstractions and standards of value. Abstractions stand for a rich symphony of specific values and content. Man's god is set by his nature: Joy - or survival, which cannot be legitimately sundered from Joy. His Religion is his particular value infrastructure, his love for everything that he strives to live here on earth. And his philosophy and heroes are the signposts that guide his footsteps.
  8. 2 points
    Although I believe we have self proclaimed objectivists who are apparently ready to abandon reason by embracing studies that fail to adhere to basic methodological and scholarly standards, ready to abandon individualism by drawing invalid inferences about people based on these studies, and ready to abandon liberty by supporting deportation of those individuals that don't have the culture they want them to have, however I want to discuss is the original topic. The basic contention to me is within two opposing theses. On the one hand we have the "pro meme" thesis, which holds that the only conceptual content that matters is whatever you want it to mean (e.g., "ill say whatever I want to," "I'll take from the package whatever I want to,") and one can ignore the rest. On the other hand we have the "anti meme" thesis, which contends that the former is guilty of context dropping and that the origin, agenda, and background intent of a meme have consequences for the implicit meaning of that slogan. Consider that the meme was posted on a section of forums frequented by white nationalists claiming that spreading the message would feed social unrest and sway people to embrace white nationalism. The poster claimed that normal Americans would see that news outlets and leftists hate whites and then these would "convert to the white nationalist, alt-right side." White supremacists and neo-Nazis have believed for a long time in the strategy of the "white victim" as a means to gain more adherents. They also discuss watering down the message and removing references to other races in order to make it more palatable to normal white Americans to participate in their advert campaign. White nationalists and alt-right groups are also making efforts to "clean up" their image from the tattooed, cross burning skinhead, and taking their newly watered down message to campuses. They also are attempting to exploit social media and meme warfare. This is a young, hip, tech-savvy white supremacist movement, and they want to bait new believers and adherents by using social media to play off "leftist anti-white bias" (which certainly does exist on the leftist fringe) and portray campus diversity as inherently anti-white. By using a grain (a very small grain) of truth and a watered down message of triviality, they succeeded in getting "the normies," and apparently some self-proclaimed objectivists, to dance on a string. Although Grames claims I don't understand how memes work, I contend I perhaps understand it better than him, and I wholeheartedly reject it. As an individualist, I would rip one of those papers off and throw it in the dirt, happily. No alliance with fascists, no alliance with white supremacists, and objectivists cannot put enough daylight between themselves and these alt-right groups. We know how spontaneous orders work in economics, but there are also negative spontaneous orders that serve to sustain statism. We know that Republicans, right wingers often times hijack the rhetoric of capitalism and free markets to defend and advance statism. Just look at Rand's comments on Regan. She was an individualist of the old school, having been influenced by Rose Wilder Lane and Isabelle Patterson. The conservatives have been doing it for decades and now alt-right white nationalists and neo-Nazis are joining in. They are openly trying to water down their racism and cloak it under the guise of scientific studies, and wrap it in libertarian and free-market packaging. I hope my fellow individualists and objectivist friends are not so easily deceived.
  9. 2 points
    Speak for yourself. I don't follow white nationalists in any way and imagine their agendas must be as dumb as they come, but I think "It's OK to be white" all the time to myself when I read the moronic public, racist displays of "black lives," "mormon lives," "women lives," or whatever else.
  10. 2 points
    "It's ok to be white" does not mean "the white race is the finest race". What this White Supremacist Church believes isn't my problem and it isn't yours either. Like I said, if you encounter a group of neo nazis, tell them where they can go. Use concepts honestly. You know what the word "selfish" actually means. Do you dispense with the term "selfish" because the broader culture takes it to be synonymous with evil?
  11. 2 points
    DonAthos

    How Do You Achieve Bliss?

    There's a lot of conversation in this thread, and I might not have time for it all, at present, but I wanted to pull this out for response. I find it fascinating. The question of desert, I think, can be evaluated in two different ways: 1) Relating to cause and effect. We may say of a person that, if he has not done the things which in reality will lead to happiness, he does not "deserve" to be happy. And this sense is true enough; a person who does not "deserve happiness," because he has not done the things which his nature requires to achieve happiness, will not experience it (even if he has convinced himself that some other, ersatz emotion is "happiness"). 2) The second is something else. It is ostensibly an appeal to morality -- but which morality, and according to whose standard? If a man has done the things which his nature requires to achieve happiness, in reality, and thus experiences happiness... on what grounds could we say that he does not "deserve" it? Because perhaps he has done something bad in his past? Perhaps. But then, how could a man redeem himself sufficiently to be able to experience happiness thereafter; to what possible standard and judge could he appeal, apart from himself and his own natural capacity for happiness? Should a man, in any event, be capable of experiencing happiness... but tell himself, "I don't deserve this"? On what grounds? And what would that serve? I would say, rather, that every person in the world "deserves happiness," of their nature, of their capacity for happiness. And then it remains to discover the requirements of our nature, and to understand our context, such that we can achieve happiness for ourselves (in the "cause and effect" sense of desert described above). We require no further sanction than this, that we are ends in ourselves, and that our highest purpose is our own happiness.
  12. 2 points
    I did my bit for perspective and sanity, and I have nothing material to add. As for this terrorist, I prefer Roark's answer to Toohey: "But I don't think of you." Evil is not important, not unless it happens to significantly affect my life, and neither this scum nor his brothers-in-murder are likely to affect my life even a little. Unless, of course, public hysteria about terrorism is used as an excuse to tighten up the American police state. But whose fault would that be? All of which is a long-winded way of saying, "I'm outta here". I need to return my attention to where it belongs, on ways of making a better future.
  13. 2 points
    DonAthos

    Truth as Disvalue

    This is a breathtaking post. I've been struggling with how to respond to it appropriately, because I think that there is something in its self-reflective honesty and genuineness that should be more applauded than questioned or argued with. I think the sum of it argues for the great value of truth, even while proclaiming that there are truths which are a disvalue (or a single one), and if this is where Objectivist dialogue were headed -- with greater introspection, discussion and reporting of inner struggle (even, or especially, when it fails to present us as faultless paragons of reason) -- I believe that the community would benefit, as a whole, and each of us individually. As to the specific suggestion of Objectivist Deism, I don't know that I would be critical of the adoption of the single belief in an afterlife, as such -- if I thought it could be accomplished without doing greater overall damage to one's beliefs. Because it seems to me that the single belief will need something like a support structure, if it is truly to be integrated (such that one could say, in anything like an "honest" manner, "I believe this"). Though I believe myself capable of evasion (as humans are, of their nature), I don't believe myself capable of willing myself to a particular evasion; or if I'm capable of that, I don't know how to achieve it, and again, I don't know how I could achieve it in reality without doing greater damage overall to my capacity to think in an honest manner. Otherwise, it occurs to me that the atheist's longing for an afterlife, or other form of immorality, is sometimes addressed by "scientific" fantasies (to some greater or lesser extent), such as To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, or a terrific episode of Black Mirror (which shall remain nameless out of fear of spoiling the reader; and go watch Black Mirror, if you haven't already done). Personally, when I refer to myself as an atheist, I continue to mean what I did before reading Rand -- which is that I hold no proof for any sort of divinity or afterlife or etc., and consequently no belief in any such thing. I draw a distinction between this and holding proof positive that such things cannot exist; and while I have ruled out the "supernatural" as a category, there are any number of things which would be naturally plausible (if arbitrary for me to suppose, at present) which could serve nearly any function of what we typically expect out of such entities, including the creation of an "afterlife." If I were to be one day "resurrected" into some highly advanced alien's world, I should count myself surprised... but not for too long. And yet, I must report that my current happiness does not seem to depend upon such admittedly remote possibilities. I was never taught to dread death by my parents, thankfully, and it isn't the dread of death which motivates me now. There are some things which I consider to be "worse than death," and this includes living a life rendered sub-par through the dread of death, and some of the subsidiary effects you've mentioned (aversion to risk, etc). In some respects, the truth about death -- insofar as I can understand it -- has led me to want to embrace not just survival, not just life, but a "human life," with all that entails (including the fact of death; and in this context, it occurs to me to recommend Neil Gaiman's Sandman series). I have no plans to resent my condition when I'm 80 or 90 (and the nano-tech to keep me going indefinitely has not yet been approved by the FDA, lol). Rather, I expect to be buoyed by my memories of a life well lived, and the knowledge that I did the best that I could, given the circumstances I was in. When I die, I don't want to have "lost" in some struggle, in my final moments, but I hope to be able to view it (honestly) as a kind of summation. I wish to die well (and I do not hold this to be a contradiction). Sometimes I think that the Objectivist Ethics can lead one to see everything in terms of a progression: we accomplish A so that we may accomplish B, and B so that we may accomplish C, and so forth. Given that this ends in death -- in "zero" -- there is the danger for this recognition to retroactively rob every previous step along the way of its meaning. But the meaning is not to be found in the end. Insofar as "meaning" exists, it is in the moments along the way. And when I stress the role of "pleasure" in life, it is this: that a life is not merely a destination (always in the distance, always fleeting, and finally, suddenly over), but it is the sum total of the moments along the way. My living happily right now is value. That one day I will cease to be, and I will have no memory of this moment (that there will be no "I" at all to remember) does not change the meaning and the value of this singular moment. That it existed is enough, is everything.
  14. 2 points
    I would argue that satisfaction, for a rational person, comes from living a good life. Just to explain what it is I'm nitpicking about: "being successful" implies the achievement of a final, set benchmark (or at least crossing a set threshold). Living a good life implies continuity. You can only derive so much satisfaction from "being successful". But you can derive endless satisfaction from continuously living well. And you don't have to wait before you're satisfied. You can be satisfied with what you did today, even if you're not yet "successful".
  15. 2 points
    I think there are two separate streams of ideas here: Should Objectivists be having lots of fun? Can Objectivism be popularized without compromising objectivity, truth and the good? On Fun: No, definitely not. We should struggle stoically. Life is a challenge. LOL, just kidding! Of course, Objectivists should have as much fun as they can. However, fun is really not a great word to describe all the ways of enjoying being alive. You could use it that way, but many people do not: so there could be an issue in communication. As an example: I've occasionally worked with people -- just regular middle-class colleagues -- who consider the jobs they do to be more than drudgery. They think of their jobs as draining their souls. Then, there is the larger set who "like their jobs", because the pay meets their expectations and their colleagues are fun to hang out with, but when it comes to the job itself they do it competently enough but do not seem to have much zest to improve or to change. And, finally, one has the third set -- not insubstantial -- who seem to find a degree of purpose in their work, and try to improve how they do things, and to put in their best. People spend almost all their adult lives working. SO, the key to long term happiness is to be working somewhere and on something that gives you some degree of enjoyment. A 2 week vacation to Florida isn't going to do it. Westerners advise their kids to "follow their passion", whereas your traditional Easterner tells their kid that they should get a well-paying career and that money will bring them the happiness they need. None of them are talking about fun in its narrower sense. They would all advise fun. Even most Christians and a church social have lots of fun, in the narrower sense. But, the broader idea is: enjoy life. That's a place where Objectivist-inspired authors still have a role to play. Candidly, I wouldn't find it weird is people at a Christian social are having more "fun" in the narrower sense than folks at an Objectivist social. I would find it depressing if those Christians understand the broader value of seeking a purpose (and diving into that purpose, and feeling rewarded by achieving that purpose) better than Objectivists. That would be a true wake-up call. History: I think the history of Objectivism does support some of Cart's critique, but it's "so 1990s". Again though, the problem is not that fun was undervalued. More importantly, the focus was on politics; and the psychological feel was one of us-vs-them; never healthy. From me, this is a critique, and not criticism. I think the movement through a learning process where everyone, from Rand down to new readers had to digest what it all meant, in all sorts of aspects of life. As it grew, the many new people in the movement questioned some false assumptions and I think the late 1990s might have been a time -- the internet did it -- when the majority discarded various concrete-bound false ideas around the whole idea of fun. However, I think too many Objectivists continued to be more outward-focused rather than focused on their values. That appears to have changed in the last decade or so. It has probably been a combination of on-going learning and maturity of the movement, and also the ability of the internet to allow people to come together, but also to selectively meet-up in real life and do things that have little to do with philosophy. Job #1 is to maximize happiness: Still, this last bit is where more "work" is needed. It has to be done primarily by each Objectivist individually: turning a focus inward, understanding that some things outside are unlikely to change, and figuring out how to make the most of one's own life anyway. If one is living in the U.S., and most western countries, there's seldom an external excuse for not having a good, enjoyable life. There are exceptions of course. Some people fall afoul of "the system" and it chews them up. For others, it may be too late. And, for still others, reality might have dealt them a really bad hand: a debilitating disease, for instance. So, I'm talking about the typical Objectivist here. Spreading the philosophy: I'd start with asking: "why?" and, even more importantly, "are you going to focus on that at the cost of your happiness, or as something that would bring you great happiness under realistic assumptions about what you can achieve?" If the things you think you can achieve, and the process you have to go through to achieve them, will not bring you happiness, then why would you waste your time doing them? This is not to diss those who spend their time doing this. For instance, the Institute of Justice fights cases that take a small bar-grade ice-pick to an ice-berg. But, I think this could be enjoyable and purposeful and some lawyers could have a lot of fun (that word again) doing it. If they can put food on their table in the process, more power to them! Similarly, if someone makes it his mission to get a few thousand additional kids to read The Fountainhead each year, and they enjoy this, and can make a living doing this, I wish them well. In the end though, most people have other career goals, and since work is such a large part of life, that's where they have to seek fun and fulfillment. The Objectivist youth organization that began as a campus newsletter, changed its focus. They figured out that their members could do more with their lives if they know a little less about Kant and Plato, and a little more about more immediate ways to make one's life a success, or if they had a way to network while looking for work, etc. In terms of spreading the philosophy, I think it will take something similar. It won't take people having more fun as narrowly defined. It's more likely to take someone who can craft a coherent message that gives great advice about how to live one's life to the fullest. it would take someone who understand the best ideas of modern motivational speakers, evangelists and self-help writers. Someone who can throw out the bad, and keep the nuggets that make sense. Someone who can craft that into a coherent whole, and can do so consistently with Objectivist Ethics. That could be a a game-changer. Meanwhile, if you're not that person, I'd fall back to: get a life... where you can find the maximum happiness for yourself, and feel a sense of purpose.
  16. 2 points
    2046

    Donald Trump

    If you get between me and an immigrant/foreigner who I want to trade/associate with on my property, you can just plain fuck off. I don't care what philosophy or "objectivism" you think you've modeled, your "right" to force me can go to hell.
  17. 2 points
    Harrison Danneskjold

    Pleasure and Value

    Because it doesn't have to be rare or ephemeral. As @DonAthos observed, although you may or may not be able to find happiness in the next few hours or days, in the long run your overall quality of life (the quantity of joy you can experience) is in your own hands. That's exactly what the purpose of Egoism is; for you to learn how to correctly apply your brain and your hands to the pursuit of consistently-experienced happiness. For example, I'm at work right now (on my lunch break). I've been working 10 hours a day, five or six days a week, and frankly it sucks. As much as it truly sucks right now, though, I know it'll be worth it on payday; it'll result in a net gain of my own happiness. This is exactly analogous to your working out in order to pick up hot chicks. The trick to doing it correctly is to understand which desires are worth pursuing (will lead to happiness) and which aren't, and that's where Egoism comes in. Whether it's worth it to pursue your own happiness, in the first place, is something you have to judge for yourself. All I can try to give you is hope.
  18. 2 points
    DonAthos

    Pleasure and Value

    I want to tread lightly here, because personal advice is often not so great (especially in a forum like this, between two people who don't really know one another) -- and also because, it sounds like you might be going through something. Depression is serious business. Many people require professional help to break through the negative thought/emotion cycle that depression represents. I have no idea whether that applies to you, but if it does, don't be afraid or too proud to seek it out. To be honest, my experience is 1) happiness is not "rare" and 2) I don't experience much "mental suffering." Were it otherwise, I would look to make some changes in my life. Instead, happiness is a (mostly) persistent state for me. Recently, I was involved in a small auto accident. It sucked. But even then, I didn't really experience what I could describe as "mental suffering," and it was not long after the accident that I was again enjoying my life in a characteristic fashion. Earlier this year, I went through some severe medical problems. It sucked. A lot. And I suffered a lot, too. But my "mental suffering" was mostly confined to finding some way out of my physical distress, and when I finally managed that, things quickly got back on track for me. There have been other challenges, of course; life is full of them, and some can be very tough to deal with. Some days, I'm not particularly happy; but when that happens, I rest assured that whatever mood or funk will soon pass, like the rain. But I am fortunate to have been able to surround myself with things that, on a day to day basis, provide me with enjoyment, such that I can weather these storms. These include my work, my environment, my daily routines and hobbies, and (powerfully) my family. I've worked hard to make each of these contribute in a positive fashion to my life, as best as I know how, and I think that they give me support against most of the shocks of daily life. Now, all that said, there has been a period in my life where it was mostly mental suffering, and not so much enjoyment... many, many years ago, I suffered a bout of severe depression. At the time I did not, but if I thought something like that were threatening me today, I would strongly consider going to a therapist for assistance; it was the worst part of my life, and nothing I intend to revisit. In the event that you do not consider yourself to be so depressed that you need such assistance (or you are set against the idea, for whatever reason, though I would advise you to reconsider if so), and if you're in the market for advice (keeping my caveats in mind), I would recommend that you investigate the possibility of making some changes for yourself. Try to adjust the ratio of enjoyment to suffering. This may require big changes and/or small alterations to what you already do and experience. (Probably you should not make big changes to your life without due consideration.) Some concretes that you could look at immediately are: are you getting enough sleep? Are you getting daily exercise (even as little as a 10 minute walk)? Are you eating healthfully/well? Getting enough sunshine/vitamin D? After that (or maybe before), I'd wonder if the mental suffering you're experiencing is attributable to anything specific and correctable. If you have a thorn in your paw, best to pull it out. Then, I would probably look at career/school. Does your vocation excite you? Is it something that you're passionate about? Or if it's not, is there something out there you've discovered that would excite you, and inspire your efforts daily? (And if you haven't found something like that, can you take steps to continue to look?) What is the mountain that you yearn to climb? What steps can you take in the near future, or today, to put you on the path to climbing it? Maybe you're already on such a path, but you dislike the grind required to get you to where you want to be. In my experience, we must all of us spend some time in the quarry. If so, be on the look out for all of the small things you can do -- the small rewards and treats you can provide yourself -- to lighten the load. Once upon a time, I had a two hour commute; four hours daily, in Los Angeles traffic. That was... not pleasant. So I subscribed to an audiobook service, and managed to change my commute into something I could (at least somewhat) look forward to. There were times when it was the best part of my day. I could go on in this fashion (and if you would like more suggestions, let me know), but the overall point is that... a good life has to be worked for, and achieved, step-by-step. It's not enough to learn that A=A; you don't just wake up the next day with a smile on your face (though the thrill of that initial discovery is pretty majestic). It takes a lot of work (and thought, and time) to create the kind of life that will provide you with a happiness that is more substantial and enduring than "a rare ephemeral scrap of mental enjoyment." But in my experience, it is worth it.
  19. 2 points
    softwareNerd

    Donald Trump

    Donald Trump has now made life more difficult for H1-B holders. These are people who earn a minimum of $60,000 a year, and typically closer to $80K. https://scroll.in/latest/855424/policy-change-makes-it-harder-to-renew-us-non-immigrant-visa-including-h-1b The irony is that the anti-immigrant voter is also protectionist about "sending jobs to India". They do not understand the causal link between the lowered H1-B quotas and the rise of India's software-export industry. And this one-level-removed complexity is too much for Trump to grasp. Despite this, America is still a huge draw. While Trump supporters are the cry-babies who think they have fewer opportunities with each generation; but immigrants see America through selfish eyes that is closer to the mythology of the American dreamer. Lots of people try for the lottery repeatedly, putting their lives on hold for years. The majority of H1-B folk then work in the U.S. at jobs they did not really like...sometimes for 7 or 8 years while they await the rest of the process. They hold the American dream in a way that Trump supporters definitely do not. There is so much opportunity in this country. Yes, there are many Americans who fall foul of the system, and whose lives become nightmares when the government machine chews on them. But, the vast majority have ample opportunities to make their lives happy and successful. Blaming immigrants for their lack of success and happiness is an understandable but sad psychological defense mechanism. Not every potential immigrant attempts the process though. Given that China and India and a few other such countries do have some decent opportunities, many very competent people figure they'll stay there for good...often "taking 2 or 3 American jobs" for every one they'd have "taken" if they'd immigrated. Often, they end up creating hundreds of jobs in India which they would otherwise have created in the US. All while Trump gathers up the votes of American cry-babies.
  20. 2 points
    Regi F.

    What is Subjectivity?

    The question of, "What is Subjectivity?," has two answers, because the same word, "subjective," refers to two different things. The first refers to the nature of consciousness itself. Every conscious experience is subjective in the sense that it cannot be known to anyone except the individual having the conscious experience. Whatever one consciously perceives by seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or feeling it, or their perception of their own body by interoception, or their consciousness of their own thinking and feelings, are subjective experiences, because they cannot be known or examined or detected by anyone else. Every individual consciousness, in that sense, is totally subjective and private and beyond the ability of anyone else to perceive or know it. The other meaning of subjective pertains to how one thinks and makes their choices and is based on the difference between objective and subjective. The objective refers to the reality all conscious individuals perceive, however they perceive it. It is called objective reality because it exists and has the nature it has independently of anyone's consciousness or knowledge of it. It is that objective reality that determines what is true and not true. Objective, in contrast to subjective, means allowing nothing but one's knowledge of objective reality to be one's guide in all one's thinking and choices. Subjective, in that sense, means allowing one's own subjective experiences, their whims, their feelings, their desires, prejudices or sentiments to influence or determine what they think, believe, and choose, in defiance or ignorance of objective truth. Randy
  21. 1 point
    I'll denounce white supremacy until it goes away but what do I after that? The left is not going to believe me and they will call me a racist because I'm not one of them.
  22. 1 point
  23. 1 point
    In the battle for the mind, how does "groupthink" factor in? Each individual mind needs to do the work independently to arrive at a valid conclusion. The exchange of ideas can help to reduce the amount of time to discover valid conclusions, or conversely it can hinder reaching a valid conclusion. In order to streamline the process, those committed to such a task need establish the veracity of their idea(s) prior bringing them to the table. When a valid conclusion is served properly, it can then be consumed on the basis of its own merits.
  24. 1 point
    Even if a source of "groupthink" were hijacked, that in itself would not alter a general tendency for "groupthink." A far better course would be to identify the thinkers and gravitate towards the opportunities that offers.
  25. 1 point
    Eiuol

    How Do You Achieve Bliss?

    My thinking is that it often reflects an insecurity to tell oneself "I'm great" as a form of meditation is going as far as to say emotions may be willed. What I tried to say earlier is that this isn't so good, and I say so from a point of view where I'm in a state where I feel balanced and successful.
  26. 1 point
    epistemologue

    The Audit

    here you agreed with my characterization of you as a "positive utilitarian", despite having just said I don't anymore think that position is correct
  27. 1 point
    Attention is the act of focusing your consciousness on sensory experience. It happens most dramatically when you wake up from sleeping or snap out of a "daydreaming" episode. Attention is valuable in relation to your particular needs. If you need sleep, then attention is not so valuable. If you need to escape from a burning building, then it's very valuable. You can also broaden or narrow your attention--expand or concentrate your focus. If you're guarding a fortress, you should probably keep your eyes and ears open at all times. If you're trying to learn a melody, you might want to close your eyes and put down the sandwich. Part of volition is your ability to choose where and how to place your attention.
  28. 1 point
    volco

    Sanity, or The Human Evasion

    According to Ayn Rand admirer, psychologist Celia Green, If I had to bluntly assign those broad characteristics to two groups in relation to Objectivism I'd describe the ones who do think about what they don't yet understand as the creators, and those pathologically interested in other people as the altruists (by def.) and the second handlers. But that's me, what do you make of the above quote?
  29. 1 point
    MisterSwig

    Truth as Disvalue

    How does that statement relate to this one in the OP? The only factor I see considered here is whether the truth is displeasing to you. There's no mention of whether it's important information to know.
  30. 1 point
    MisterSwig

    Truth as Disvalue

    Nearly every moralist considers survival, but not their personal, earthly survival. They act instead for the survival of the tribe or the group, or the survival of their eternal soul in the afterlife. Survival is continued existence. If people don't have an objective grasp of existence, then they won't pick an objective standard of value. They'll think of the tribe or the eternal soul as an existent that survives forever and is thus most worthy of being the standard of value.
  31. 1 point
    Nicky

    Is there ever an excuse for rudeness?

    You don't have to. Words come with definitions. It's kind of a package deal: Rudeness is a display of disrespect by not complying with the social norms or etiquette of a group or culture. These norms have been established as the essential boundaries of normally accepted behaviour. Rudeness has nothing to do with being abusive towards a person. There's a great movie quote by Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter, to his tied up, disfigured victim: " Now you're being rude, and I hate rude people." I think it really helps illuminate what the word means: killing and eating people alive isn't rude...the victim using bad words, as it's happening, is. So it's not so much a question of "is there an excuse to be rude?", as it is "is there a need for an excuse to be rude?". Is being rude a bad thing? Or should rudeness be your default setting, and restraint/polite behavior the setting you need a special reason for? Personally, I think it's the latter: if you're looking to fit in with a group, especially in a very serious professional setting, you should probably follow etiquette. For the most part. On the other hand, if you're looking to challenge, surprise, amuse, intrigue, etc. a person or a group of people...breaking with social norms is not a bad way to do that. It's why most comedians say shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits a lot (hm... light bulb just went on: maybe I should highlight these...bet more people will read my post...which in turn will make my point...clicks on edit...how do you make something red? I don't think I ever used this feature before ). It's probably also why a certain politician (who already has way too many threads about him, so let's not get into it here too) is so rude, though of course he's doing it in what should be that serious professional setting I mentioned earlier. P.S. Even in a professional setting, you probably don't want to be 100% compliant with etiquette. You ARE still allowed to be a non-conformist, you just have to be more cognizant of the effect it has on others, because, unlike in your private life or at a comedy show, they're not hanging out with you by choice. If you make them uncomfortable, they can't just leave. That's when it goes from being rude and crosses into being abusive. Rudeness is not just for professional comedians, either. I would hate to have friends who are always polite. It's boring and dishonest. And I find that most people feel the same way. They might not want to have to deal with "too much personality" from co-workers or clients they can't shut out if it's not to their taste, but outside the workplace, compliance with most etiquette becomes and obstacle to efficient communication. And it's not by accident, either: most etiquette is designed to stop people from easily finding sex partners. That's why so much of it is about regulating men's behavior "especially when ladies are present", and vice-versa. It also extends to family: I will teach my children to be polite, of course (in the presence of my own parents, for instance, because that's how I was raised, and why stir that hornet's nest...and, of course, at school), but I will not require them to be polite in my presence. Wanna be the cutest five year old ever? Go ahead and swear to your heart's delight. Fart too. Eat with your hands, and talk with your mouth full. Do all four at the same time.
  32. 1 point
    Harrison Danneskjold

    Truth as Disvalue

    Perhaps you're right. If it's ruthlessness you seek then I think I can oblige. That's partly true. If the consideration of some truth caused oneself to suffer, yet we could act to change it (such as one's being diagnosed with some treatable disease), then the consideration of that truth would still be of value - as the necessary precondition for any possible solution. You can't schedule an appointment for your cure if you lack the balls to know about your disease in the first place. If at any point there was nothing to be done about it (no solution and no reason to update either one's knowledge about or plans which incorporate it) then to cause oneself pointless suffering by dwelling on it would be immoral. Remember Rearden's response to the Equalization of Opportunity bill. The purpose of knowledge is action. However, ignoring an irrelevant issue is not the same as active evasion (provided one pays it due attention whenever it is relevant); that's one of the things that "thinking in essentials" demands. If I responded to the OP with some remark on how Trump should deal with North Korea, for you to ignore me would not be an evasion (and to give me a serious response would be fallacious). Finally (although you must judge the relevance of this) I emphatically disagree with the equation of flourishing with "bliss". "Bliss" connotes a certain passivity (the thought that comes to mind is relaxing into a food coma after Thanksgiving dinner) which -while not necessarily a bad thing- is completely different from the emotional quality that drives a Roark or a Galt. The type of "happiness" distinctive to Egoism is fiercely active to the core (the very possibility of its experience requiring that we first push ourselves beyond our limits). It's neither compatible nor with a food-coma type of "bliss" nor with the cowardice it takes to evade a fact of reality. I don't believe it can be gotten that way. You know that scene where he's standing over everyone else's bodies, pulling their plugs one-by-one? You do realize that he was signing himself up to live with exactly the same vulnerability, to strike him down (with neither warning nor any possibility of action) at any moment? Signing up for that is not a recipe for flourishing - nor is the mindset it'd take to want it, in the first place. 'True terror is being delivered to destruction blindfolded with one's hands tied behind one's back' (AS). Cypher was the moron who thought he could be happy (whether in the Matrix or out) regardless of his physical survival. Honestly, the thing I find most amazing about that allegory is that the Wachowski brothers wrote it into their own damn movie and apparently have yet to think too deeply about its meaning. I suggest you think twice. I am sorry if my earlier post ("if you do it in the same manner you wrote the OP") seems to contradict this, but I didn't believe you could in fact do such a thing. Nobody can. I kept it to myself out of something like compassion (you sounded so depressed already and you're one of the only people I actually like to talk to) but if it's ruthlessness you seek... Cognitively, in the long run you never could've kept your one evasion separate from the rest of your thoughts because all knowledge is interconnected - and if you choose not to consciously accept this then your subconscious would've done it for you. If one science had contradicted your evasion then you would've started subconsciously looking for reasons to reject it; if another had supported it then you would've started looking for reasons to support it; to consciously suppress either (reminding yourself of your "one evasion" -like in the OP- and choosing not to let it proliferate) would constitute the kind of evasion which wouldn't permit you to forget its nature - and consequently wouldn't do jack shit for your emotional state (and consequently you wouldn't be able to do it for long). -Mental Health versus Mysticism and Self-Sacrifice by Nathaniel Branden Emotionally, the idea that your lifespan is infinite is not compatible with the constant, overarching sense of urgency in everything done by each of Rand's heroes (again, 'I only have, say, sixty more years to live'). You simply cannot budget the time that's yours to spend if you think it's infinite; you can take my word on that point because that's the single biggest thing I'm still struggling to "get" to this very day (specifically because I was raised with such a belief). I don't know if it's because the Mysticism of your type of "deism" was so minimal or because of rationalization or what, but you seem to be having significant trouble with projecting the psychological state of a mystic. So let me indicate one possible example: "If I had a voice I'd sing" - but I don't. If I had a mouth I'd scream. Evasion is very bad for your psychology.
  33. 1 point
    Also if one wishes to fight against leftist anti-white biases then one should actually attack that directly instead of joining in Nazi campaigns. This philosophy stems from the Marxist wing of postmodernist philosophy, a derivation of the Frankfurt School of social thought. They saw that classical socialism was failing and losing traction became disillusioned. They sought to update it to the modern age and mixed it with Freudian psychoanalysis and existentialism. The main inspirations are from the philosophers Faucault, Derrida, and Marcuse. The result is oppression theory or social dominance theory. If you want to defeat anti white leftism, you need to defeat this argumentation. Helping white nationalist flier posting campaigns will only tarnish yourself by serving as conflation of resistance to leftist racial collectivism with support for rightwing racial collectivism. The proper individualist response is "a pox on both your houses." And also, I forgot to add: there's plenty of good free online content from Profs. Steven Hicks and Jordan Peterson on postmodernism if anyone is interested.
  34. 1 point
    MisterSwig

    Truth as Disvalue

    1 & 2 - These are sound statements. The errors are in how you apply them non-objectively. A slave answering his master honestly could be a disvalue. And tuning out a babbling bum could be a value. 3 - This position, in and of itself, I would consider irrational. It assumes that pleasure is the proper standard of value. So, essentially it's hedonistic, and you'll remain at the pain-pleasure level of morality until you reject it for something else. The next time you feel displeasure with reality, your self-delusion about the afterlife won't help you, because it has nothing to do with this world. You'll probably find some pleasurable activity to help evade your depression. I doubt you'll return to an objective standard of value, because you never really had one. An objective standard of value doesn't permit self-delusion. Honesty is a virtue because man must know reality in order to survive. But honesty doesn't mean always telling the truth to others. It means always telling the truth to yourself. To consciously lie to yourself and attempt to brainwash yourself into believing a falsehood, that is the opposite of recognizing reality, it is the pursuit of self-destruction. The same force that snapped you out of mysticism in the first place will hound your compartmentalized mind until the day you die. And that force is reality. You will never escape it. And it will always remind you that you're lying to yourself. Because you are. And reality is reality.
  35. 1 point
    Nature did that, not me. If I say, "aquamarine is a pretty color," that doesn't by itself imply that I've assessed any of the other colors. "Divisive" is an anti-concept just like the word "polarizing." Capitalism is divisive. Doesn't mean that we shouldn't advocate for it. No, all that will take is an end to Israel-worshiping. We can start with Yaron Brook and his "Israel-first" mentality.
  36. 1 point
    CartsBeforeHorses

    Donald Trump

    Alright, I'm going to riff this piece, Mystery Science Theater 3000 style. The piece is enough of a joke, might as well joke about it. Except for Odd Thomas, and the ARI. lol Well obviously, Trump loves Russia and Rand was from Russia. Makes total sense to the fake news mindset. Whole, as in "all." Quite a wager considering that Trump agrees with Objectivism on quite a few key political goals... preserving the 2A, repealing regulations, repealing Obamacare, standing up to the Global Warming fraud, destroying radical Islam instead of making excuses for it, etc. So what does our prophetess have to say exactly, Mr. Ghate? She obviously didn't foresee the rise of the Internet. Except for Ron Paul, a far more intellectual and principled candidate than Trump, which the ARI opposed because... uh, why exactly? A limit which apparently led for her to vote for Nixon, a far worse candidate than Trump, over McGovern, a far better candidate than Hillary. and who channel a dead woman... oh wait, that's the ARI. Yes, the first candidate in 30 years to not thank God in his acceptance speech, and who says that he has "nothing to be forgiven for" is a "mystic." He might as well be a closet atheist who pays lip-service to religion because politics and votes. No, what's illuminating is your attempt to fit a square peg into a round hole. You mean like government-sanctioned torture, or the Waco raid? That sort of justice? None of which are evident in Trump's decades of honest business dealings, Mr. Ghate would assert. If he had been a Madoff-like crook, surely evidence for it would have arisen by now. Apparently calling out fake news represents "disdain for the truth." Ah, Anderson Cooper, a bastion of journalistic integrity. Because he's not a liar. Apparently YouTube viewers don't count. Apparently respect for women involves denying one's own sexuality and the beauty of the female form. Ghate would have us equate spur-of-the-moment tweets with Trump's considered opinion. No, it's because none of the things you just mentioned were lies. Actually it captures basic marketing principles. The defenders of capitalism sure don't know much about how business works. Says the ARI, an organization which hired Carl Barney, former Scientology church owner and current college swindler, and takes his dirty money. Obviously they would assert that they only hired him because people can change. Well then, we had objective evidence that Trump no longer desired to be part of the swamp and only had to be in order to run his business effectively. Apparently concepts like slogans and the process for choosing them to reach mass appeal are alien to the ARI. No wonder there are so few objectivists. And apparently unless you constantly repeat those things, your own inherent goodness means nothing. "It's true because I want it to be true" actually perfectly captures the tone of this hit piece. I'd rather have a man who acts moral but never talks about it, than a man who never acts moral but preaches how moral he is. Fine people want to preserve their history for the sake of remembering, not tear it down for the sake of nothing. Not every person defending the confederate statue at that rally was a neo-Nazi. No other president actually stood up to North Korea and forced China to play nice. I'd call that quite an accomplishment. In addition to the hundreds of regulations that Trump has repealed. If Ghate and Brook had their way, Hillary would be president and these would still be on the books. Don't forget about Jesus and Buddha while you're making your fake list of people who Trump never said that he's better than. Or, you know, it was a joke. Yes, how dare he be loyal to America first instead of globalists. I guess that Trump's business achievements count for nothing. As opposed to the objective thing to do, which would be to hire men who would betray him. As it should be, given Comey's lack of fidelity to justice in the case of Clinton. What you're hearing is patriotism towards America, not tribalism. I know, it's hard to recognize for a member of an organization like the ARI that puts Israel above America. And Hillary apparently would've played no part in this drift. Political hucksters rely on strawmen, such as saying that Trump blamed "all" the country's problems on any particular group. By this logic we should never elect a county sheriff who pledges to crack down on criminals. That would be tribalism, apparently. You mean like Hillary calling half the country "deplorables?" Oh look, a nugget of truth! You're forgetting some qualifying adjectives. Illegal immigrants, dishonest journalists, globalist "free" traders, and corrupt elites. Trump opposed none of those things intrinsically. Sales should be soaring, but the ARI fails at marketing so they're not. With funny names like Floyd Ferris, Wesely Mouch, and Onkar Ghate. You mean like how Leonard Peikoff squandered Ayn Rand's intellectual heritage? That sort of progeny? I'd trust a snake oil salesman like Alex Jones before I'd trust Anderson Cooper or wherever Mr. Ghate gets his "news." And by letting in the entire Third World into America all at once. She also advocated that, apparently. America to Israel, America to globalists... just kidding, he doesn't say that. So this is what makes you happy? Writing baseless schlock about the president? What about the Convention of States? Oh wait, the ARI hates states' rights. I mean, I think that she would have said that too, but not in the way that you mean. After all that bloviating, this is the best you could come up with that Rand might have said?
  37. 1 point
    I never said that I was. It's okay to be white. And it's okay for me to say so.
  38. 1 point
    softwareNerd

    Donald Trump

    ARI published an anti-Trump opinion, FWIW.
  39. 1 point
    This is "race realism," yes? (Or as Wiki has it, "scientific racism.") I'm not the person to go into IQ studies, lacking both the expertise and knowledge to discuss them fairly; if I recall correctly, Stephen Jay Gould didn't put much stock into this sort of thing, and thus far in my life, that's good enough for me. While I'd agree that many people in the world have not been educated well on this subject, or many others, I reject utterly the notion that Africans (of their nature) are unable to grasp concepts like Capitalism. You're making a ton of claims, and a serious undertaking of any of them would probably be its own thread. I don't want to get bogged down in the economic histories of Japan or Russia, for instance (though if we were to consider them, I guess we would have to wonder, if capitalism is plainly superior to alternatives, why Japan persisted in its "tribalist" ways until being forced to change... and why Russia kept its serfs for so long, and then instituted Bolshevism; these particular histories seem to account to far more than some simple notion of racial IQ). Though I alluded to it earlier, I'd again like to mention Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel as being a very well-researched and intelligent presentation as to why Africa (and elsewhere) had generally different rates of development as against Europe. We don't need to resort to dividing people up by race to explain the current problems in Africa -- and problems in understanding and implementing Capitalism are thus far ubiquitous. But just so we're clear -- and not to use this as a weapon, or to shut down anyone's arguments, just as a matter of identification -- you realize that you're advocating for racism, right?
  40. 1 point
    Yes like that notorious leftist Rose Wilder Lane when she apologized on behalf of whites in her Pittsburgh Courier column and claimed anyone who doesn't renounce their race is a traitor to the cause of natural rights and laissez-faire. How about us individualists go back to being radical anti-racists? Of course white guilt is wrong, but if you think these dumb-dumbs are promoting white pride memes out of a principled rejection of postmodernism, and see literally no problem with "spreading the message" then you are actively an idiot, and I am in no way in the same movement as y'all. 🖕🏿
  41. 1 point
    Harrison Danneskjold

    Truth as Disvalue

    This reminds me of the scene in AS where Dagny, while begging D'anconia to invest in the John Galt line, describes her own request as 'crawling on her belly to ask for money - just like Jim'. If you try to do it in the same manner you wrote that post then in my opinion (much like Fransisco's response to Dagny) it won't actually be self degradation; you'll be doing it wrong. I felt the same way for a few months after I'd discovered O'ism. To this day I still feel it, whenever I stop to ponder it. But why should we ponder it? The purpose of knowledge is action; until we can solve mortality, how is it relevant to any issue but one (the critical one)? Hank Rearden wasn't evading the Equalization of Opportunity bill, when he chose not to think about it, because there was absolutely nothing he could do about it. To the best of my knowledge there is exactly one way in which it is vitally relevant. The total amount of time you get to spend makes a difference in how you ought to spend any portion of it. If I believe that 'I have, say, sixty years to live' (to paraphrase Roark) and that my enjoyment of them is nobody's responsibility but mine then for me to spend one nanosecond on any unnecessary or purposeless drudgery would be outrageous; if my time is infinite then who cares? It's been a long time since the after-death (the idea of that eternal oblivion which used to horrify me and which I'll never actually have to experience) has crossed my mind. The inevitability of death is something I've considered frequently, of late, in order to better budget my life's time (which is the only currency that matters). I value my knowledge of my own mortality because whenever I remember it I lose any desire to procrastinate; it makes me want to go climb a mountain, slay a dragon or conquer the world at the instant it enters my head (which is how I usually should feel). P.S: You really should watch this one. Avicii said it better than I can.
  42. 1 point
    . Thanks for the topic and the example, William. Here are some related ruminations. Learning is defined in my 1976 AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY, as a noun, as “acquired wisdom, knowledge, or skill” and, as a verb, as “gaining knowledge, comprehension, or mastery of through experience or study.” In PRINCIPLES OF NEURAL SCIENCE (2013, 5th edition, Kandel et al., editors), we have, consistently with the dictionary, but going beyond it: “Learning refers to a change in behavior that results from acquiring knowledge about the world, and memory is the process by which that knowledge is encoded, stored, and later retrieved.” (1441) In this encyclopedic authoritative reference, the types of memory and what is known of their neural bases is presented. There is a section “Long-Term Memory Can Be Classified as Explicit or Implicit.” Implicit memory sections following that one often sound like stolen-concept talk. “Implicit memory stores forms of information acquired without conscious effort and which guide behavior unconsciously. Priming is a type of implicit memory . . . . Two types of priming have been proposed [conceptual priming and perceptual priming, with much evidence]” (1452) Implicit memory is detailed further throughout the next Chapter titled “Cellular Mechanisms of Implicit Memory Storage and the Biological Basis of Individuality.” On the face of it, there appears to be a stolen concept fallacy in that these tremendous advances are talked of as implicit memory when one is reporting physical and chemical changes in neurons in the nervous systems of animals not possessing consciousness. Memory would seem to be something that entails consciousness in our first conception of memory, yet today we talk of memory in such a thing as a snail. (Rand assumed that even insects have consciousness, but that is incorrect by our present lights, and I set it aside.) In the April 1968 issue of THE OBJECTIVIST the brain researcher Robert Efron wrote: “The concept ‘memory’ depends upon and presupposes the concept of consciousness, cannot be formed or grasped in the absence of this concept and represents, within wider or narrower limits, a specific type or state of conscious activity.” (This paper was reprinted, with adaptations, from one Dr. Efron had presented at a conference in philosophy of science the preceding year at Univ. of Pitt.) Efron argued that in the preceding 50 years, experimental psychologists had destroyed the concept of memory. Similarly for the concept of learning. Many of the instances of talk of memory at the time of his paper remain junk talk today, or rather, junk if taken literally. However, since that time, it looks to me that the extensions of the concept of memory down into the neural processes of even animals not featuring any consciousness is not really a stolen concept. The loop back to the concept with consciousness in it is very long, setting our conscious brain within its developmental story, evolutionary story, and dependencies of specific conscious processes on specific unconscious processes, all among the neuronal activities. It seems to me this best, fullest story can be told without slipping into eliminative reductionism, and is not a stolen-concept fallacy regarding memory or learning.
  43. 1 point
    It think its normal to be much more alert to risks that are caused by the malicious intent of others. Drunk drivers probably kill many more people each year than terrorist drivers do, but the difference is culpable-negligence vs. malafide intent. And, I wouldn't be surprised if bad drivers kill even more than drunk ones. Even in that type of negligence, I suspect that negligence caused by acts of omission cause less anger than those caused by positive acts of commission. Does it make sense to use this range: acts of nature that we have not being able to predict on one extreme, and malafide human actors at the other extreme? Does it make sense for some purposes, but not for others?
  44. 1 point
    DonAthos

    Donald Trump

    Yeah. One of the things I don't understand about the idea that we can restrict immigration (which is travel) on the basis of "cultural differences" is: what would the response be if the next proposal is that we have the right to kick people out of the country (born here, let's say), on the basis of their not sharing the same beliefs or culture? Telling two people that that they cannot do business with each other is the initiation of the use of force. We can dress it up however we'd like, but if the Mexican government told me that I could not go work in Mexico (for someone else who agrees to hire me; to live on a property that I purchase; etc.), then they are violating my individual rights to that extent. They have no moral authority to do such a thing. No right to do it. That said. If the proposal was something along the lines of, citizenship (including the right to vote) should be more strictly limited -- perhaps to those who demonstrate sufficient understanding of and commitment to the principles of liberty -- then I think we'd have a conversation.
  45. 1 point
    StrictlyLogical

    All About Evasion

    I believe that the particular psychological defence mechanism you have identified exists. I also am quite sure of its effects as well. I am equally certain of the existence of the psychological defence mechanisms I have identified and their attendant effects. What is to be sure, is that all of them enable a person psychologically to hold a disconnect with reality in the form of some contradiction, that disconnect "allows" them to "get away with it" psychologically... ie evade the issue. What of all of this we call True evasion, and whatever species or type (eg conscious or subconscious) we are particularly interested in, it's clear as the authorities of Objectivism say (and independently I agree) that these are at the root of almost all vices plaguing a struggling mentality in the world today.
  46. 1 point
    Easy Truth

    All About Evasion

    There is a paradox about (internal) evasion that makes the process of dealing with it very hard. It is at the core of the philosophical question "How can a person lie to themselves?". How does a consciousness prevent consciousness of what it is conscious of?
  47. 1 point
    softwareNerd

    Donald Trump

    Not really. Since it's an immigrant's baby, it's gotta be a socialist Seriously though, too many people refuse to acknowledge that the average American bears all the responsibility for what the country is today. For instance, people will tell us how FDR made the country so much more statist. Firstly, they don't come much more White-and-Waspy than FDR. And, yes, he might have been the worst President in American history. Nevertheless, the underlying feeling in popular American thought pre-dated him: as evidenced by the success of the Progressive party. Think Donald Trump leading average, good, working-class (white) Americans and promising to get them their dues. Americans have always been suspicious of big-business, often for good reason, and the average American has only a vague idea about the role of individual rights. So, when he feels oppressed, he reacts by wanting his own "dear leader" to form a group or union that can then be a player in the politics where each group fights for a slice of the pie.
  48. 1 point
    I notice that morality can be seen as the code that guides you vs. a the attribute of "right" vs. "wrong". One can separate "right" vs. "wrong" from life. A missile can hit the target in many right ways and fail in many wrong ways. When a person realizes that "I could die if I do life the wrong way", it can have a powerful emotional response in the listener. I have noticed that that the (life and death) argument is weak (unimpactful) when arguing the morality of rights. But it has a strong emotional impact when used in personal morality context. Personal morality is what seems to be unfamiliar to people. I noticed it recently, having a discussion with a progressive, I said: "Do you realize that chopping your hand off is immoral?" He said, why would that mean immoral, morality is always about the other guy. It is only relevant is a social context". Bottom line, I think that morality is usually not discussed in life an death terms and I think that is what is missing.
  49. 1 point
    The reason I'm stressing outcomes and consequentialism is because that's exactly what you're suppporting. Look at the things you're saying and tell me this is not an outcome-based, consequentialist ethics: "If a moral principle (not stealing) leads to you dying...the principle doesn't apply" "If an action causes you to die, it's immoral." "If an action causes you to live and flourish, it's moral." "we want to bring about flourishing, We're able to measure flourishing by the effects it has on one's life concretely" "the value of habits and virtues is from their consequences" "outcomes are how to measure if something is part of [morality]" You can recognize virtue by the values it produces in reality. Everything of value produced by man depended on his acting virtuously. But the issue of having virtue is distinct from the fruits of virtue. You can have virtue and act virtuously while losing everything. Roark cared more about his integrity than he did about any concrete value. He didn't measure his integrity by the concrete results, he measured it according to the standards of rational, moral principle. Refusing the commission because he wouldn't compromise his standards was an act of integrity without any concrete results. He wasn't just trying to produce the "best" concrete results that he could, he was trying to produce results that were good, according to his standards. The value he cared about wasn't in the buildings (the concrete results), it was in buildings done his way, in the integrity of their design, and in his integrity as a designer. Roark: Dominique: Quotes from Atlas: To answer your last point, I no longer support utilitarianism as a moral philosophy*. It is inconsistent with Objectivism. Intentionally killing an innocent person is morally unjustifiable - i.e. murder - regardless of the circumstances. * See my post in the metaphysics of death thread for some discussion of that:
  50. 1 point
    JMeganSnow

    Million Dollar Baby

    I checked but I didn't find a thread on this movie yet. I just saw it tonight, and I think it was probably the best movie I've seen in years. The heroine was completely human and yet larger-than-life, much like John Galt is in Atlas Shrugged. She lives on her terms, and that's it. "All fighters are pigheaded about something . . . there's always one thing that you can't beat out of them no matter how much you try, even if they know it'll be the ruin of them. But then, if you could beat it out of them, they wouldn't be fighters at all." Wonderfully selfish art. Extremely romantic. I cried for an hour and a half. Spoiler alert The best part of the movie, I think, is when she throws her family out of her hospital room and refuses to sign her money over to them.
×