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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/21/13 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    Fixed. Time for a little science. Please, sit back and observe as I put this little hypothesis of yours to the test: God Damn Jehovah Jesus God Damn Bloody Christ Virgin Mother Damn. I also worship the false Hindu Goddess Lakshmi, and I'm as we speak coveting my neighbor's wife, manservant and ass, all three at the same time. And, four days ago, I photo-shopped an erect penis into Jesus's right hand. Wasn't his, either, it was a different color. And yes, your math is correct, four days ago does in fact fall on, oh noes, the holy day of the Sabbath. That's gotta be at least a dozen violations of your imaginary God's imaginary moral laws. So where are all the consequences I supposedly set in motion? Anything? Anyone? Bolt of lightning? Satan with a pitchfork behind me? Nope, nothing's happening. My neighbor's ass has a worried look on his face, but other than that, everything is exactly the way it was before the experiment begun.
  2. 1 point
    Just a small point. In existence argument, he who asserts the existence of X, has the burden to produce evidence for X. He who disbelieves the existence of X or is not convinced of the existence of X is in the clear. No one is required to believe anything if there is no evidence to support the "anything" in question. Skepticism of the mild, careful variety is always permitted, until evidence indicates otherwise. ruveyn1
  3. 1 point
    I'd say productivity in an Objectivist context has to have a physical element. The idea that productivity is a virtue comes from the fact that, in a general sense, human survival depends on physical results. Knowledge by itself is pointless. Now, in a division of labor society, some can do the less physical aspects and let others take it from there - for instance, discovering knowledge, publishing it (the physical aspect), then letting others find ways to use it. I'd say one criteria for a productive purpose is: can this activity support my life in the environment I live in. This is my understanding of how Ayn Rand became a writer: Imagining fictional stories was a great pleasure to her. She decided to become a writer when she found out that is basically what a writer does. So she found an activity she enjoyed then a way to support her life that integrated this activity. So in your case, if you really enjoy learning languages, you just have to find an activity that both integrates learning languages and provides some product or service. I'd say you have to be capable of achieving values that are both personally meaningful and supportive of your life.
  4. 1 point

    Roark the dynamiter

    Consider the question of why Steven Mallory tries to kill Toohey, or why Rearden feels a desire to kill the past teachers of the Wet Nurse. You ask, well why don't they just feel the urge to speak out against these people, rather than kill them; wouldn't that be a more rational and appropriate reaction? The faulty assumption is that every action or thought by a Rand character 'should' represent a well-reasoned and philosophically consistent Objectivist statement. Without this assumption, these things aren't confusing; Toohey and the teachers were doing something bad, and Rand's characters wanted to punish them and stop them from doing it again. Or consider Roark's dynamiting of Cortlandt, or Galt's statements about his 'highest moral feeling' being to kill the man who would ask Galt to live for him, or Dominique's statements about hating the rest of the world. It's not hard to understand these as literary devices intended to convey particular points to the reader; it's only when you try to integrate every action and every word of each of these characters, taken literally, into a mature, consistent, reasoned philosophy that you get the troubles you've run into. The key to all these questions is: it's a novel. It's not a philosophical treatise. It has imagery, metaphor, character progression. Some of these characters are still undergoing character development. Some are facing contexts fundamentally different from contemporary American life. Some are acting on emotion alone. Some are making philosophical points through their actions that are more complex than "this exact thing would also be okay to do in real life."
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