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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/09/17 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    Okay so regarding DonAthos's example, are you saying that the Potential Astronaut has to know his nature first to make an ethical choice? Or that depending on his being good or bad (his nature) he will choose something? Don, are you also Stipulating that this person's passion is so strong that it is NOT malleable? Such an integrity of thoughts that he will not change his mind when it gets really hard? Would that mean that the highest ethical question/task be to "know thyself"? (know thy nature, who you really are)
  2. 1 point

    Donald Trump

    At the onset of the 2016 primary season, I would not have believed it possible for Donald Trump to win the nomination. How wrong I was! There are two rhetorical questions to consider when forming an opinion about Trump: 1) Is Trump the most qualified individual for holding the office he now holds?; 2) What has happened to the nation that made his success in politics possible? Is Trump qualified? He meets all of the legal requirements. The legitimacy of his election remains a legal matter to be settled. Was he unlawfully assisted by Russian confederates, or not? I think he stands a good chance of surviving this problem. As others have noted, he gives the appearance of a petulant anti-intellectual bully. If anyone can offer up proof that Trump's threats have actually caused a chilling effect on the press, or direct harm to any American individual or corporation, I'd be willing to look at the evidence. But as far as I can see, he has stayed within the limits of the law in carrying out his agenda. The big question is, just what is Trump's agenda? Is he actually seeking to establish needed reforms, possibly raising his persona to one of a great American historical leader, in his words, "Make America Great Again?" If that is the case, he needs to more clearly define what is the standard of "American Greatness." Is his objective to further enrich himself, and his special friends? Donald Trump is a schemer; there is method to his madness. At this point, Trump has already shown that he never had any principled plan for the economy, but only a plan to seize more control of the economy. His support for minimum wage and trade protection may prove to be smart political moves aimed at assuaging the fears of those in lower wage jobs. More likely, if his policies pass, they will result in greater opportunities to the largest companies, while the smaller competitors struggle even harder, or fold. Many of the Trump supporters I've talked to were totally unaware of the billions of dollars which he had at the start of his enterprises, his abuse of eminent domain, and the allegations of his cheating workers out of their wages. On all of this, I believe Donald Trump's only principle is: WINNING! (with an arm pump.) Were there more qualified candidates? Perhaps. But there is an overwhelming number of Americans who hate anyone who has any association with DC policy-making. Many of these people never vote, and for that very reason. But in 2016, many of them did get out the vote, because they approved of Trump's language, incoherent as it may be. And he could get away with saying these things because he has held no previous office, inside or outside of DC. I believe this was one of the qualifications his blue-collar supporters find most appealing. In a similar way, Barak Obama appealed to many who never voted before, merely because his complexion more closely matches their demographic. This leads to the second rhetorical question: What has happened to the United States, the nation that once led the world in the pursuit of individual liberty and industrial innovation? How could so many voters support a leader who makes no apologies, who openly brags of aspiring to become a strong-man dictator? (I suppose the short answer might be that fewer wished to see a strong-woman dictator. If identity-politics was the only controlling force, 50 percent of the voters would have turned out for Hillary Clinton.) To fully answer this important question, I would encourage you to read, Ominous Parallels, by Leonard Peikoff. I'm reading it for the second time. While the US economy has a long way to go before it hits the depth of Germany's in the 1920s, the breakdown of politics is quickly taking the shape of that of the Weimar Republic. While I do not agree with those who claim that Donald Trump is a Nazi, not even a racist, I would contend that his election is proof that a significant number of Americans would favor a dictatorship, provided that that dictatorship enabled them to oppress those of the opposite ideological and/or racial camp. Doctor Peikoff wrote this book 35 years ago, and it has never been so relevant as in our present times. I believe we are on the road to tribalism. I can live with being wrong, but I hope I'm dead before that ever happens. I hold onto the hope that the checks and balances of the US Constitution will prevent this from happening. If not, I believe Ayn Rand would say: "Brother, you asked for it."
  3. 1 point
    No. First, I want to know the truth about reality, i.e. to hold the correct philosophy. Secondarily, I would want others to also know the truth about reality and hold the correct philosophy (it would make life better for me). Merely having "an impact" of any kind as such has no value... it is only the particular kind of impact that might result which matters. If everyone already knew the truth and had the correct philosophy I would not be pining and wishing to have an impact on someone. You imply by your OP and other posts that either A) the philosophy is incorrect/erroneous, or that B ) the philosophy is correct but people are inherently flawed and cannot accept it. You then admonish us to action of one sort or another, which make little sense. An individual surely must seek out the truth and on the evidence he/she should accept a correct philosophy and reject a false one, and insofar as possible and when it is in his self interest to do so, to teach what he knows to others, thereby increasing their potential spiritual and economic value to him. If A) is the case, then only by evidence and reason can a person be shown that A) is the case. If B ) is the case, then a person who knows the truth can either try to convince others, or simply refrain from doing so. Since you seem to indicate that people just don't accept it, you imply it is futile to attempt to convince others. I see you are already trying to show why A) is the case (in other threads). If you are implying the philosophy is wrong, I take it you are proceeding in the attempt to show that. If B ) is the case, then logic would dictate from your premises, that since it is futile, one should not try to convince others. Which is odd, because at the same time you state we should "want" to convince others. All I can think is that maybe B ) is that case, but not all people are impervious to the truth (after all there are people who have heard the evidence and accepted the philosophy) and hence attempting to convince others, although difficult, is not futile. The point of your OP and your ensuing argument, if there is one, is elusive. Please be more succinct if you would like a direct answer.
  4. 1 point
    During one of Harry Binswanger's lectures, he relates a story about providing a young lady student with a copy of The Fountainhead. Some time later, he asked her what she thought of it. She responded with something about it being boring. Using a more direct question, he asked her about what she thought of difference between Howard Roark and Peter Keeting. Her response was that Howard Roark was a genius, but Peter Keeting wasn't that bright. Judging from the package deal Steven creates around capitalism, just reading Ayn Rand is no guarantee of knowing it. Rand even says to her readers in Galt's Speech: "Some of you will never know who is John Galt." I thought that was an odd way to word a statement. My initial thought was it ought read "Some of you will never know who John Galt is."
  5. 1 point

    Emotions and symbols

    LoBagola Words in and of themselves do not elicit emotions generally primarily because a contextless word is nearly meaningless. "Anger" could mean your anger towards abuse of power or a child's anger towards a square peg not fitting in a round hole. Without the context you do not and cannot know whether to fume or to laugh. Statements however and conceptualization are not merely word play or games of the mind they are in reference to reality. Being a fully integrated and alive person means that your concepts and your thinking are not divorced from reality, they are connected to it, and more importantly to your own personal life. Concretization is an important part of chewing on any concept or idea or chain of thinking. If you get in the exercise of making it real (as to opposed to disconnected by way of some false dichotomy) your emotions and your intelligence will be more in synch and integrated. There is no abstract thought "If I get in a terrible accident and lose both arms" as apart from the concrete realization from b4lls to bone of what it would be like and how you would feel to experience that accident and also live the rest of your life. The mere "fact" of losing the arms is necessarily tied by causation to how it would affect you and to "think" about the fact while ignoring causal consequences, the real personal ones, is some kind of failure of integration and concretization. So if you have the inclination, try to indulge in fully concretizing ideas when you can.