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  1. 4 points
    2046

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    I do happen to believe they are the same, morally speaking. I had some experience with some Antifa groups, both online and at some protests. I naively thought they could be open to libertarian and individualist ideas, much in the way that objectivists hoped to influence the tea party groups in this way. After my interactions with them, I find them very similar to neo-Nazi types. Let me first explain a bit of history. Antifa, at least in so far as they claim, has its history in the KDP, the communist party of Germany during the Weimar years. Most of you are probably familiar with the stories of red shirts fighting brown shirts in the streets, which originated as the Sparticist Leage, and is basically a Bolshevik group that wants a communist dictatorship. The party is banned in Germany to this day. This is the intellectual heritage they claim and logos they use. It was resurrected in the 1980s by punk rock types and leftist agitators to fight against anything right wing using violence. It is not a singular organized group with a single goal or philosophy, much like the occupy movement, but are a disparate group of loosely networking individuals that get together for protests. I was drawn to them for the protest aspect. Many objectivists, I find, either put too much stock in voting and democratic politics, or are just too intellectual to be involved in practical action. I am interested in agorism and building alternative institutions, so naturally a group claiming to be about anti fascist action sounded promising. Objectivists, I still do believe, should be the real Antifa. They are also anti racism, anti sexism, anti bigotry, what are we if not all of those things? So I thought they were about using private, voluntary, and non-state means to fight these things through protests, boycotts, social pressure, doxing, etc, which sounded great. I thought, like many left-liberals dissatisfied with the Democratic Party establishment, they would be young, intellectual, and interested in fighting oppression and injustice, and I could influence them towards liberty and individualism. I knew many of them were left-libertarians or left-anarchists, but I had success in the past interacting with them. What I found was a group of extreme, violent anti-liberal racial collectivists who are basically social misfits and losers. Many of them are, in fact, extremely racists, much like the BLM folks I interacted with. Events such as "white people stay home day" on campus were endorsed. Yaron mentions this in his podcast, and I can confirm, yes violent leftist agitators were roaming around looking for white people to club. During a protest in California, there was a targeting of anyone who was white in a certain area because it was assumed they were pro-Trump. Many of them believe in some sort of reparation scheme, whereby all whites, regardless of their position in society, must be expropriated to repay for historical oppression. And, this is anecdotal, but I was interacting with an Antifa member who felt comfortable confiding in me, lamentably, that they couldn't openly support extermination of whites. When pushed on this, he circled and said he meant through promoting interracial marriage (except not marriage cause that's oppressive), which is a common thing you hear, that all whites would be technically gone and that would be a good thing. They are also virulently anti-Israel, and to such a point that they want to see it destroyed, and it's not hard to see how that turns into a general hatred of Jews. I think there's also a psychological aspect here and the analysis isn't complete without that. As many have pointed out, the type of person drawn to violent political extremism tends to be someone who is an outcast, is socially awkward or ignored in some way, people who just enjoy being edgy and contrarian, thumb their noses at established norms, and people who have psychopathic personality types. We can probably understand how easy it is, for some young people to be disasstisfied with mainstream conservatism, for example, and join the alt right or patriot type movements, only to be disgusted with them, then read Richard Spencer or something and become a full blown Nazi. Without a principled philosophy, this person is just drifting toward a cult or gang like group until they are embraced by the worst. The same thing happens on the left. Many were disgusted at the betrayal of the Bernie Sanders movement and looked for a better home that would embrace their psychopathic and nihilistic personalities. And the types I found numerous times. I saw a young girl pepper spray an elderly woman who she supposed was a Trump supporter. I saw kids, disabled people, women, moms and dads, random bystanders, etc. attacked with batons or sticks, or hit with projectiles. When I asked her if this was morally okay to her, I got the usual anti-conceptual "revolution isn't pretty" type response and was told this many times. "Break some eggs, if you want to make an omelette" slogan was repeated to me. I saw the group full of these punk rocker types and various social misfits that had no problem hitting women or elderly people. To the extent that I found anyone receptive to ethical egoism, I only found support of the egoism of Max Stirner, who believed that morality and law were artificial and limiting constructs, and supported a subjectivist and emotionalist type of egoism. But in generally, I found them to be anti-intellectual and not interested in ideas. Evaluation of whether something is threatening to me isn't a numerical comparison of sins, such that I would go "Antifa: socialists, Nazis: socialists + racists" that's two sins versus one, so Nazis are more immoral. Based on the foregoing, I do put Antifa in the same category as the Klan or Nazi type groups. Both involve bringing in people with nutjob views, dysfunctional personality types, social awkwardness, etc into the cultlike embrace of the group, and derive enjoyment from transgressing established norms of society. Both are racialist and both want socialist dictatorships. Both are perfectly fine with using violence to achieve that goal. Both are, in my view, one step removed from being domestic terrorist groups. Both are a danger to themselves and to me and to society as a whole. Im not sure how much political power they have, but Hilary Clinton was opposed by the Sanders movement, incredibly popular with young people. Many of those people moved on to Antifa and BLM groups. They have a way of infiltrating any leftist gathering and scouting for new recruits. I believe they are Soros funded and their actions whitewashed by the media. That's how we see things like mainstream liberal types who just think we need more peace and love protesting right next to a hardened left agitator with a hammer and sickle flag and nobody questions it. But everyone immediately knows Nazis are bad. One thing is certain, don't let your kids or friends join these groups, and don't go to these protests. Just stay away.
  2. 3 points
    softwareNerd

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    There's a meta aspect to this White Supremacist vs. BLM argument, which one sees repeatedly in similar fights across time and geography: Protestant vs. Catholic in Ireland, Hindu vs. Muslim along the Indo-Pakistan border, and many other such conflicts. The aspect is this: the more extreme elements are a small minority around which there is a larger set of people who identify with them to some extent. If one considers the larger group, people on both sides have different ideas, but would likely move closer toward each other's position if they would talk, would probably be willing to talk, and would likely be able to find a workable solution even while disagreeing. However, the extremes are the loudest voices, and this keeps the (larger) group around them polarized, rather than listening and attempting to understand the situation rationally. Often, there will be some specific issue that the larger groups disagree on: it could be confederacy statues in this case, it could be cows and pigs in another case, it could be religious affirmative action in another. The more extreme elements will take an all-or-nothing position, and that's the loudest position. If members of the larger group around them say anything else, they're branded as traitors to the cause. On top of this, the extreme elements on both sides will try to provoke physical violations: perhaps using police to enforce what they want, perhaps using private thugs, or perhaps using violence against members of the "enemy" group. This is further polarizing. Once the battle reaches a certain point where people think dialog isn't going to get them anywhere -- because the opposition will use violence in response -- then they do the "rational thing" by cheering on when their own side uses violence. From one perspective, white supremacists almost do not exist; from another, millions of white supremacists are out there. If we're speaking of people who want to get rid of blacks, they're a tiny minority. If we threw them all in jail, we'd still have disproportionately more black folk in jails. However, if we expand the definition to include people who think there's probably something biological/genetic about black people that makes them inferior, we now have a slightly bigger set. If we expand this further to include people who think there's probably something cultural about many black people that makes them inferior (in effect, even if not inevitably), then we have a pretty big set: many millions across all states. Similarly, the set of people who think these statues should stay up is far larger than the racist hard-core. If nobody addresses their views and their arguments with words, it is no surprise they will give a secret, guilty thumbs up to the thugs enforcing their wishes with force. It is also no surprise that they will point to the thugs on the other side as their primary argument.
  3. 3 points
    I haven't seen any evidence that North Korea has the ability to deliver nuclear warheads with any accuracy. There are also several missile defense systems in the area, that further reduce the success rate of NK missiles. The US is in the process of deploying THAAD missile defense to South Korea, Japan has the ship and air based AEGIS missile defense system, and I'm guessing US bases in the region are protected by both. So, to me at least, North Korea's ability to inflict massive casualties on either SK or Japan is being exaggerated in the media. If they attack with conventional weapons, they would have a few days at most before their offensive capabilities are fully destroyed. If they try to attack with nukes, I'm guessing they would have one try, before the US responds with tactical nukes against their launch sites. That's one of the few good things about Trump: he is unlikely to hold back the US military from using appropriate force. And that's IF Un even has the power to start a suicidal war. Seems like a tall order for an unpopular, unproven leader to get his military to march into certain death...no matter how ruthless and scary he is.
  4. 3 points
    . The strings of the harp return to silence. That is so not only for each individual, but for the species, and eventually for all life in the solar system, and eventually farther, for all life-organization and intelligence-organization in the universe. Stardust to stardust. “When we are here, death is not come. When death is come, we are not here.” –Lucretius Taking a third-person perspective on oneself, one can be in advance conscious of one’s death, one’s full stop. In the first-person perspective, full ending of any object of consciousness whatsoever is collapse of both together, conscious process and object. I like better the third-person perspective, which is the only perspective with real interest for one's endpoint. Value is here on this earth beyond one's own life. Look to here and to the tomorrows of here all through one’s own last look at all.
  5. 2 points
    Eiuol

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    As suggested in the Yaron Brook video that 2046 linked, the monuments are artwork, not just artifacts of history like finding Machu Pichu or Auschwitz. Even more, since the 1920s (when the Robert E. Lee statue was built) aren't so long ago, we know why these monuments were built: to glorify or celebrate Confederate soldiers (who fought in large part for the "right" to own slaves). They are not built to be reminders of history. They are not Civil War era artifacts even. Rather, they are state-sanctioned pieces of artwork that are intended to honor Confederates and to intimidate those who see Confederate soldiers as evil or unAmerican. Don't forget that the most prominent defenders are literal Nazis and white supremacists. That they are the MOST worried is a sign of what these statues mean. The Unite the Right rally was using a symbol for racist ends to support a racist agenda. Those who attended, given that unification was the intent, endorsed or apologized for the supremacists who went. If there were those who attended and rejected, explicitly, the supremacists, I'd like to see it.
  6. 2 points
    2046

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    YARON SMASH 😤
  7. 2 points
    I find Objectivism to be right -- and convincing and persuasive. Actually, it is hard for me to see any true divide between these things. But I also know that some people are bound to be reached in different ways: some through direct argumentation (often most peoples' psychological defenses are found here) and some through other means. An example of this is art, and Rand wrote her novels before she wrote her non-fiction. I think her novels generally reach more people than do her non-fiction arguments, though I can't say much more about that, or what the resultant difference might be. That said, I would not hide any aspect of Objectivism from view, or prevaricate, because what does one "win" if one finds converts under false pretenses? If one seeks to spread Objectivism (and I think this is a value of great merit, generally), then surely it should be in a way consistent with the philosophy we mean to spread. We must proselytize with integrity and honesty. With respect to some of the specific issues raised here, in actual conversations with non-Objectivists, I typically try to stress that my main objection to "forced charity" is not the "charity" part. Indeed, ARI runs on contributions and donates books to schools, gratis; there is no inherent conflict between charitable giving and Objectivism, and should people find it in their self-interest to contribute voluntarily to some pool for a program like Medicare, then they should consider themselves fully empowered to do so. Also, with forced contributions cut across the board, it is likely that many people would find themselves with greater resources with which they can pick and choose their causes -- how they would like to invest their time, money and energy -- whether the self, the family, or the community. I do not expect, in any event, that a program like Medicare would disappear without forced contributions. I cannot predict such possible futures, and I do not know what they would look like to any great degree, but if people value such programs (and clearly they do), then if they were free to run and maintain and fund them, I would expect that they would continue to do so. Charity on the whole may even be stronger and more robust in an "Objectivist society"; or at least, I can report that as an Objectivist, I believe myself to be a more generous, giving human being than when I was a liberal. The difference in the main is that when I act now, it is not out of any sense of obligation or guilt, but because I am selfishly committed to making the world the way I want it to be.
  8. 2 points
    qpwoeiru

    Novels to read before you die

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm starting with the hunchback of Notre Dame.
  9. 2 points
    softwareNerd

    Is art better than sports?

    Don't want to take the discussion away from sport, but Reality TV might be more Romanticism than many other average TV shows. If you take someones real life, and select only those times when they are consciously pursuing some value, or trying to deal with some situation/problem that has arisen, then you see people as volitional actors...not as pawns of reality. This aspect: humans as volitional beings, is the crucial razor in Rand's concept of Romanticism. Reality TV puts this on steroids. Even if we might pooh-pooh the particular values being pursued, we are seeing volitional beings pursuing values. Not always, and not all the "actors"... but that variety of good and bad is also an element of good drama. I suspect that is why reality-TV is so popular: because it is a sneak Romanticism genre that upended more boring manufactured narratives. Rather than art, I would relate it to dance. Here's Rand, on dance, which Rand says "... presents a stylized version of man's body in action". Rand ("Romantic Manifesto, Ch-4, Art and Cognition): "Every strong emotion has a kinesthetic element, experienced as an impulse to leap or cringe or stamp one's foot, etc. Just as a man's sense of life is part of all his emotions, so it is part of all his movements and determines his manner of using his body: his posture, his gestures, his way of walking, etc. We can observe a different sense of life in a man who characteristically stands straight, walks fast, gestures decisively—and in a man who characteristically slumps, shuffles heavily, gestures limply. This particular element—the overall manner of moving-constitutes the material, the special province of the dance. The dance stylizes it into a system of motion expressing a metaphysical view of man." Sport is pretty similar. Traditionally it has been male and could be thought of as symbolic physical battles, reenacting the essence of an aspect of physically-manifested heroism that was an important value for centuries. While retaining that element, some forms -- like beach volleyball -- stress human beauty too. And, as one gets to Gymnastics or Synchronized Swimming or could even debate if those are on the borderline between the two sub-genres of art: sport and dance.
  10. 2 points
    I can't tell if you are 1) suggesting a method of persuasion, or if you are 2) suggesting abandoning principles, or if you are 3) proposing convincing people to use one moral code while you use another. 1 isn't a matter of the facts per se. That's not a criticism of the philosophy, only the particular methods some people use to persuade. 2 would not be actually superior or lead anywhere good. The system I'd get isn't one I'd like in the first place. If I'm as right as I think I am, watering down my beliefs isn't going to help me reach my goal. But if you mean going slow and convincing people one small idea at a time in terms they are able to understand, that's not turning moderate. 3 is saying that some people lack any potential to become their best, so you resign yourself to say some people are too stupid to "get it". For them, reason is impotent. If you truly thought that, well, you would think Objectivism is fundamentally wrong about human nature. That's rejecting Objectivism, not turning moderate.
  11. 2 points
    Why are you convinced that the approach I've described isn't used "in matters of morality"? Suppose, just for a moment, that the approach I've described is compatible with scenarios such as theft (and that deciding whether or not to eat a donut is equally a "matter of morality"). Where would that leave us? Let's leave "rights" out of it at present, which leads us towards politics; let's stick with ethics for the moment. In terms of ethics, in terms of morality, why should an Objectivist say that a person ought not be a thief? Why say that a person ought not eat a donut, or a dozen in a sitting, or say contrarily that a person can morally eat a donut from time to time? Beyond the specific answer we reach, what's the purpose of asking and answering such questions at all? What's the point? Though there is disagreement among Objectivists about certain matters with regards to the core of the Objectivist Ethics (and you can find copious discussion of the same on this board), broadly speaking the purpose of morality -- and the reason why we should have an ethical code at all -- is so that we can enjoy our lives. So that we can "flourish." Accordingly, when we describe something as being "immoral," it is something like a shorthand for saying that it works against an individual's efforts to flourish. This is important to understand, especially for discussions like the one we're engaged in, and it's sometimes tricky to apply because it runs contrary to what I would say is the world's pervasive understanding of morality. I find that even many Objectivists often have an askew understanding on this point. Sitting and devoting all of one's time to eating donuts is immoral, not because it arbitrarily runs afoul of certain dogma, not because Ayn Rand wouldn't agree, not because some remote or personal deity has pronounced it so, but because there is a reality to the situation: the person who acts in this fashion will not flourish. He will not enjoy his life, but rather will suffer and die. Now perhaps you could posit a person who believes (even sincerely) that devoting all of his time to eating donuts will be for the best. And that's fine. I've no reason to tell such a person not to do so, except for all of the reasons why I would not act likewise: the host of potential health complications, opportunity costs, etc., etc., etc. But ultimately the individual has to assess these matters for himself, weighing evidence, reasoning and so on, and at the end of such a process, if a person truly believes that eating donuts is his path to a flourishing life (or if he rejects a flourishing life as a thing of value, though that's a separate but interesting discussion in its own right), well, then, there's nothing left to say to stop him. Of course, he may be mistaken. He may dive deep into his donut obsession only to find his health failing, his loved ones abandoning him, his bank account depleted, his face covered in maple glaze, and he might regret any number of his choices. But this is always the risk inherent in pursing our ends. Thievery, qua morality, is not different. It is immoral (to the extent that we can agree that it is), not because it violates some strictures or social norms, but because it is destructive to the individual who pursues it. What wealth the thief pursues through his actions is minor, and fleeting, compared to the wealth of fundamental harms he does to himself, in reality. And you might disagree with that: you might believe that a thief can steal and get away with it, not just in terms of avoiding criminal justice, but in a much more profound sense. Yet that's the case Rand made. Objectivists believe that those who survive by preying on others do inestimable harm to themselves, psychologically and otherwise, and that if you want to enjoy your life and flourish you should not steal values, but produce and trade them. Objectivists therefore would not say that such thievery is "an irrational act of self-interest." Rather, we would say that in order to act in one's self-interest, one must first commit himself to reason -- for how else may he reliably determine that which is in his interest? And in reason, actions such as theft (very generally speaking) are not in one's self-interest, but are self-destructive. That's why we call them "immoral."
  12. 2 points
    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.
  13. 2 points
    Briefly, an organism that is in perfect physical health, but miserable on the emotional level, is not flourishing. Any such inbalance takes its toll on its entire existence. Your concept of flourishing does not reflect reality. Perfect flourishing is not possible because people are confronted with limited time, energy and resources. As a result, they need to make their values play well togheter. For example, you might have to cut your workout time in half so that you have enough time to devote to composing music. It's a question of scale: If you're talking about a 'somewhat longer and healthier life' - 100% health vs 94% health - then it's a reasonable compromise. However, a compromise must be defensible. If your compromise literally makes you sick and miserable, then it is not an objective compromise, but self-immolation. You could argue that you can switch to a Paleo diet, which will not only stop the donut craving, but also allegedly make donuts taste unappealing. But you could equaly argue that donuts are delicious, and that it would be ridiculous to deprive yourself of this experience in the name of pristine (but joyless) health. When you're stealing, you're not sacrificing a lower value to a higher one; you're gaining a value at the price of bringing havoc into your life. Figuring out a flourishing strategy requires that you take in consideration your entire hierarchy of values, your natural abilities, your circumstances and countless other factors. If you can grasp this principle, the answer to your donut question will become obvious.
  14. 2 points
    There are so many good quotes on the CD containing "self-evident." Here's one selected from The Art of Nonfiction, 3. Judging One's Audience (pg. 21): An important principle here is that man is born tabula rasa. Writers often assume something is self-evident, since they themselves now take it for granted, when in fact it is complex. Nothing is self-evident except the evidence of your senses. Therefore, when you write, assume nothing is self-evident but logic. (Logic is actually not self-evident, but in order to communicate, you must assume a person knows how to make logical connections.) For the rest, since no knowledge exists at birth, you must judge what acquired knowledge is necessary to make your point understandable—and then you must communicate it. The evidence of the senses, properly identified, is comprised of both existence and consciousness in every moment of awareness. The concepts of existence, consciousness, identity, are only derived from the self-evident much later.
  15. 2 points
    . The transcription of Rand’s epistemology seminars (1969–71) included in the second edition of ITOE, contain some deep exchanges between Rand and Gotthelf (Prof. B ) and Peikoff (Prof. E). Outside those, the most sustained dialogues (in the transcription) are the penetrating exchanges between Rand and John O. Nelson (Prof. D).* Prof. Nelson had contributed an article on matters political to Rand’s The Objectivist in 1969. A note listing therewith some glimpse of Nelson’s academic stature included: “Professor Nelson agrees with the basic principles of Objectivism in ethics and politics.” That expresses perhaps too much concord even in those areas, but anyway, that statement rightly indicated that Nelson was of another perspective in areas of theoretical philosophy. Jeff Broome, an acquaintance of John O. Nelson (1917–2005), writes in the Preface to a couple of Nelson studies on Hume: “It wasn’t just Wittgenstein who was impressed by John’s penetrating philosophical mind. Ayn Rand would also become friends with John and Edna, inviting them to her Manhatten apartment for weekend exchanges of philosophical ideas. John was impressed with the depth of Ayn’s intellect, especially her ability to talk in depth about nearly countless topics and ideas. John proved her equal in conversations, a rarity among Rand’s inner circle of close friends.” (2010)
  16. 2 points
    And yet, you expend a great deal your creative energy (and time) making a pointless argument. Obviously, you hold metaphysical convictions that conflict with Objectivism. Ayn Rand did not contradict herself. If you watch the Tom Snyder interview to the end, she uses a religious reference in closing: "God bless America." Immediately prior to that statement, she clarifies her use of the term, God, as meaning: all that is good. Clearly, she did not always express herself literally, although she seems to be very conscientious of her choice of words. There is no "perhaps" in regard to Ayn Rand's convictions. As a person of independent thought, you may interpret information, perceptions, sensations, or the random fulfillment of wishes any way you so desire, but that does not make your interpretations matters of fact. Selling a house or making a financial contract may very well be creative, but it is not art. Not by Objectivist definition. You could say that there is an art to installing PVC piping, or landing an airplane, or folding your laundry. You could say that there is an art to picking pockets, or picking up a one-night-stand date, or stacking a deck of cards. The creative process is certainly applied to all of these examples. Some require human intuition. But it's not art. And you can say that it is, just as you could say: A is non-A. But merely saying so doesn't make it a matter of fact. So, in response to your statement: "you do not perceive creating and reality the same way I do," you are certainly correct. Objectivists require facts and evidence to support their interpretations. The distinction between your perception of reality, from the Objectivist understanding of reality, is defined as: the Primacy of Consciousness, versus, the Primacy of Existence. If you have any further interest in the works of Ayn Rand, you may do your own research. But it seems to me that that would be as much a waste of your time, as you have stated that you believe in a multitude of "existences" and that all metaphysical interpretations are mere speculation. Score one for Immanuel Kant.
  17. 1 point
    The Trump Administration effectively backed China into a corner over North Korea - and this was months in the planning. If fighting had broken out against NK - and China stood by and did nothing to prevent it - then leveling retaliatory sanctions against China would have been seen as both palatable and just. It would have exposed them for what they still are - a power-hungry dictatorship willing use puppet regimes like North Korea to advance their economic agenda. Now, to be fair, President Xi Jinping is probably a fairly good person interesting in reforms, but he doesn't necessarily have complete control over the Chinese military or foreign policy. There are still many of the "old guard" in China who are reluctant to cede power -- which is why, after all these years, it is still a brutally repressive regime. For all we know, XI may have planned this with Trump, knowing what the Administration was doing all along. We have tremendous economic power that we can bring to bear against China to achieve peace and stability in SE Asia - if we are willing to use it. Trump's "buy American and hire American" policy terrifies China. So too do the NAFTA renegotiations, since China dump products in Mexico in violation of NAFTA trade agreements (it has to do with the certification of point-of-origin wrt products used in assembly plants in Mexico). China needs us far more than we need them. But Trump's slogan it is largely a bargaining chip. He has no interest in isolationism or protectionist trade policies. As with all thing Trump, you have to read between the lines. Everything is a negotiation tool with him. If you are chasing the shiny object, then you are doing exactly what he wants you to do.
  18. 1 point
    I posted this last Saturday. It was an announced on Friday that a review of trade violations against China would (and did) start on (this last) Monday. Here is a link to the Friday news story about the trade investigations. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/11/trumps-china-trade-crackdown-coming-monday-241558 On Monday, North Korea announced that maybe they won't be launching missiles at Guam after all . Remember, citizens born on Guam are US citizens - launching missiles at Guam is no different than launching missiles at Hawaii or Los Angeles (or Portland, OR). It was not just a coincidence that NOKO's announcement just happened to occur three days after the trade sanction investigations against China were announced. It also has to be remembered that, last April, when Trump launched the 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Syrian airbase (after Syria used chemical weapons) the Chinese President Xi Jinping learned about the attack over dinner at Mara Lago, where he was dining with Trump. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/10/syria-strikes-were-aimed-at-china-control-risks.html For those of you on this forum too young to remember Reagan (I was 13 when he was inaugurated), the Left was pissing themselves over the belief that "Mad Ronnie" was going to start a war with the Soviet Union. The Soviets also believed it. He stood up to them and eventually the Soviet Union collapsed. After 8 years of Obama's "strategic patience" which allowed NOKO to develop nuclear weapons and will soon result in Iran having them as well, it's good to see that we finally have a President who understands how to use "strategic impatience."
  19. 1 point
    Nicky

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    I won't waste my time challenging this statement. It should be clear to every Objectivist why it's monstrous in its dogmatic dismissal of rationality and individual moral responsibility.
  20. 1 point
    Am I supposed to be impressed by your wit? You have stated a position that you are completely unable to back up. I'd be embarrassed to do so.
  21. 1 point
    DonAthos

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    Insofar as those flags, parks and monuments are sympathetic to the Confederacy, and by extension to what the Confederacy stood for, I think in this case the "cultural left" has a point. All right. I think it's fine that monuments to the Confederacy don't bother you; but can you understand why they might bother others? As to the idea that this is "southern whites' history," well, in a sense it is all of our history, is it not? I don't know that the Civil War belongs exclusively to the south, or more to southern whites than to southern blacks, for instance. I'm a west coaster, but I still consider the Civil War part of my heritage as an American. (But then, I consider all of history part of my heritage as a human being, so... I guess I'm suspect of one group "owning" some particular history, just as I am suspect of ideas of cultural appropriation, etc. Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.) Besides, if we were discussing, oh, erecting laudatory statues to Hitler, Goering, et al., in modern-day Germany, do you think it would excuse the project to say, "well, it's their history"? We have lots of awful things in our (i.e. the world's) history. Lots of great things, too. But it says something about us which parts of our history we admire and aspire to (commemorating with a flag, park or monument, for instance) and which we condemn and repudiate. Let's say he wasn't. Regardless, that's not why that statue was erected. He stands as a representative of the Confederacy, which was a country created specifically to preserve the institution of actual human slavery (and for which Lee, "not that bad a guy," served). Statues like these went up in the 1920s, as Eiuol noted, as part of a rising tide of racism, which coincided with a resurgence in the KKK and etc. The timing (and intention) was not accidental. And the majority of the people defending these statues and symbols today -- though they might sometimes claim otherwise -- do not do so out of some pure historical interest. If the Spanish Steps were, today, an ongoing source of inspiration for modern Romans seeking to oppress the Gauls and Moors and so forth, then I'd entertain an argument that they ought to be paved over. I wasn't there at the time, but I imagine that the Romans themselves would have been on board, in a sense; when Caligula was (rightly) assassinated, how many of his statues do you suppose survived the week? They understood the importance of symbolism. Nazis and Confederates today (or however we want to term these groups, "neo-" whatevers, "alt-right," white nationalists, etc.) want to preserve these sorts of monuments because they have not given up the essential fight of the Confederacy. They are, as they always were, enemies of liberty and of the republic.
  22. 1 point
    dream_weaver

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    Just following orders, Sir! (Couldn't resist.)
  23. 1 point
    Grames

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    It is disgusting and baseless lie that Trump had anything to do with what happened. What in fact did happen was an orchestated news event in which the Governor of Virginia deliberately had the protestors driven into the counterprotestors to create headline grabbing violence which would then be blamed on "Trump supporters" by the overwhelmingly Democratic party voting mass media. I and my entire family are Trump supporters and have nothing to do with neo-Nazis or the KKK. Its all propaganda and lies. I am a straight white male of a certain age and unsympathetic to socialism or identity politics. For this I am hated, as are my instruments and representives in Congress and the Presidency. Neither Trump nor I have a single act or act of omission to be ashamed of. Anyone who claims otherwise can fuck right off.
  24. 1 point
    Nicky

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    On a separate note, it also strikes me as extremely stupid to drive dangerous ideologies underground. That's when they turn from obnoxious loudmouths into violent insurgents. And this bunch might just prove better equipped for mass killing than the Islamists. So I really wouldn't poke the bear. The guy who drove his car into the lefty agitators was just some idiot who flunked basic training. Someone who didn't would go about mass murder a lot more efficiently. Just leave them alone, let them protest and march, expose and shame politicians like Trump who show any sympathy for their cause, and that will be that.
  25. 1 point
    2046

    White Supremacist Protest Violence

    It does appear, at least from a cursory glance at accounts, that this is a somewhat correct sequence of events: 1. VA government wants to take down government statue of government employee in government park. 2. Nazis organize to protest, apply for necessary permits to do so. 3. Permits are rejected, Nazis, with help of ACLU take government to court and win. 4. Nazis march along preplanned route to park. 5. Counter protests organized with mostly angry normal people with a healthy contingent of Commies (BLM, Antifa, etc.) 6. Commies confront Nazis along their route, trying to physically block them, disrupt them, fight them ("punch a nazi"), pepper spray them, throw things, etc. and tried to block them from rallying around the statue, as they were legally permitted to do, and violence ensues. Again, we must also mention the Nazi motorist that appears to have intentionally ran over a bunch of Commies. Even if BLM and Antifa are at fault for the street fights, and the Nazis wanted a peaceful protest, they still do want to kill all the Jews and for the government to forcefully remove all non-whites. In the words of Ludwig von Mises, "You're all a bunch of socialists."
  26. 1 point
    That progression is what I meant when I said that if I were a juror, I'd want to roll back a minute or so before the penetration, to understand what happened. When I read the original example, the thing that immediately struck me as inexplicable is the sudden appearance of the penis in the vagina. What! where did that come from? That's not this works. In the movies, the guy will work wonders. He'll throw the woman here of there, sometimes lifted up and against a wall, like one of those virtuouso well-built porn starts, and hit is target spot on. Real life doesn't work that way. There's so much more groping and positioning, and most of the time, the woman has to help the guy or he has to probe like he has feelers. If a lawyer were to question the witness, I'd expect to find details such as: he'd got her underwear off with help from her. that he'd stimulated her, that he had repositioned his body in a way that made it possible to enter her, that he has using his penis to probe around her vagina... the details would vary but there would almost certainly be some such lead up, lasting some length of time. I'd be open to testimony that said otherwise, but I'd want to hear it specifically. The second thing I'd question is that she could not simply tut-tut him. Saying no is in pretty integral to couples who have not yet decided how far they want to go. For instance, a girl might tell a boy that she's okay only kissing him. They're kissing and he places his hand on the narrow of her waist and starts to caress her, moving it toward her breast. This probably happens a million times all around the world. It is not the act of some weirdo, but the method but which consent is probed. Heck, she may not even say she's okay being kissed. He might move in and she might allow it. A small twitch in this direction or the other is usually sufficient. Millions of women do this, even if it is their first time. Or maybe she allows his hands on her breast through her clothes, and then his lips go down to her neck. Again, no explicit permission was requested. He might progress lower moving from neck in the direction of her breasts. And so on... none of this is sexual assault as such. For it to be sexual assault, we'd need something more than the progression. We'd need some indication -- however small -- that the woman did not want this. And, importantly, in the progression above, we'd want this indication to be external. We'll agree that it is not sufficient to say that she was moaning with pleasure while being disgusted with herself. But, similarly, we can't take her unexpressed shyness or other internal state of mind as enough to make this sexual assault. We know that Sally had no problem talking about sex and limits. To me, as a juror, it does not sound plausible that she suddenly loses all agency and does not do what is so routine that it is almost second nature. These are the things I meant when I said that one has to make the concept concrete. One cannot simply scan for one aspect. Also, rape is mot just consent. Nor it is just sexual assault. Another way of answering "what is rape" is not to start with concretes first, but to ask why we need this concept. We're talking of a concept that is primarily a legal concept. Just as we have misdemeanors and felonies, to distinguish degrees to crime, we distinguish between rape and sexual-assault. Attorney's ill go further and may have multiple "degrees" of sexual assault. Rape comes beyond all that. So, when we ask "is this rape", we're asking "is this an extremely serious sexual assault that has gone beyond other types of sexual assault". But, there's more... if we keep the concept real, we understand that the whole idea of such concepts is to indicate the penalties. If we are in the U.S., the average sentence for rape is over 9 years, with the criminals ending up actually serving over 5 years. So, when we ask: "is this rape", we're asking "is this a sexual assault that is serious enough to send a person to jail for 5 years or so". One might reject this by saying that that is a different issue. Why talk about sentences? Well, take a rape where a taxi driver veers into a dark alley, holds his passenger down, tears off her clothes, and ignoring her screams and fists, violates her. Perhaps he is strong enough that he does not do her much lasting bodily harm. The bruises might heal in a few weeks, but we all understand that the trauma will be there for ages, perhaps forever. We understand that this goes beyond sexual assault where someone feels up a girl in a crowd. We understand that we want to get the perpetrator off the streets for a long time. All this is the reason we need a separate concept in the first place. So, when one thinks of concepts, one cannot divorce this from the need for the concept and all the concretes around that need. We need the concept of rape to describe serious sexual assault for which we're happy to deliver at least some serious jail time. All this is part of how one thinks about concrete instances. That's what I meant when I said that it goes beyond scanning words in an example.
  27. 1 point
    Nicky

    Are We Going to Go to War with North Korea?

    A good relationship with China is far more important than anything we could possibly hope to gain by threatening them. And the only way we can maintain what is currently a good relationship is by leaving the balance of power that has been established in Asia alone. This is not Russia. They're not invading their neighbors, they're not going around grabbing back territories they agreed to give up, they're not even interfering in western elections. They're not perfect, but they're trying to get along with us. We already help Taiwan a lot more than they're helping North Korea. China didn't arm North Korea with nukes (Pakistan did). We DO arm Taiwan with sophisticated weaponry. So, if I were in the US government, I'd stay as far away from the subject of Taiwan as I can through all this. Treat it as an entirely separate issue, and be thankful that the Chinese are willing to do that too. We should stick with economic pressure. And even that, lightly. China is powerful and confident, and we're lucky they're trying to be somewhat nice. For what purpose? Who would Taiwan use them on? Invading Chinese troops, on Taiwanese soil? Or Chinese cities? The Taiwanese and Chinese are the same ethnic group. They're not trying to annihilate each other, they're having a political disagreement. Imo, the main thing that move would achieve is that, after the PLA strolls in (in a war that would be both a given and very brief), China would have some US nukes in its arsenal. And the US would have an adversarial China to deal with, for the next few decades.
  28. 1 point
    "Perhaps a massive cyberattack can essentially shut down all of NK. Or an endorsement of China to use those." I literally laughed out loud when I read this. NK has nothing to be attacked that way except their hacking and crime bureau which may have been involved in some bank robberies. Or persuade Chinese officials to adopt an alliance with NK so that Un at least will cool it on the threats. China are already providing protection to NK via threats to the US if we act, thats how we got here. Maybe even simply say "we've got food if you stop!" rather than say "we'll take away your food until you stop". Comply with extortion? Yeah fuck that, that is both the status quo and an act of war in itself. Thats what was going on when Bill Clinton gave NK 2 nuclear reactors and food in exchange for peace. Clinton was an idiot. You don't want to be like an idiot do you?
  29. 1 point
    The worst that could happen IMHO is that enough signals, pressure, or other political/military/diplomatic events occur that leads Un to believe he no longer will be able to hold onto power, i.e. that there is an unavoidable imminent threat to his rule/dynasty. Putting him this far into a corner I think would be "suicidally" unacceptable to him... Ever wonder what level of insanity drives people to committing "murder-suicide"? It's the same kind of insanity a tyrant raised as a tyrant would be subject too if he thought he would lose everything he was rightfully entitled to and all that mattered to him... at that point, and to that crazed mind, there is nothing to lose... might as well go out with a bang and take millions with him... Perhaps having a psychotic with a loaded gun in your apartment building who habitually waves his gun around and calls threatens you as his enemy, is not actually something you could or should tolerate. Perhaps the moral action is a surprise pre-emptive strike... if the risk of death to you is less than the risk you take everyday just looking over your shoulder hoping the psychotic will leave you alone.
  30. 1 point
    Nicky

    Are We Going to Go to War with North Korea?

    Just to further elaborate on the options North Koreans have: in case of any conflict or instability, they have the option to surrender to China, rather than the US. That would be something the US side would not just accept, but welcome, because it would solve almost everybody's problems without bloodshed: China would keep its buffer, the US, Japan and SK would no longer have to worry about a rogue regime in the area, and the transition to a more open NK society wouldn't be the US' problem. So the North Korean elites wouldn't just be choosing between surrender/reunification (which would mean being held responsible for their crimes) and war. They have a path towards keeping their status/wealth while at the same time getting rid of the frightened, paranoid manchild who's terrorizing them. That is a very strong incentive to avoid a war, as the US (to me at least, seems like consciously, and as part of a well thought out plan) is ratcheting up tensions.
  31. 1 point
    softwareNerd

    A solution to the lack of diversity

    Supposedly, software engineers are predominantly male. Let's assume that's true, for the sake of this thread. A lot of people want this rectified by having companies to make a special effort to recruit women. Similarly, many people claim that women are paid less than men for the same job. This may be unfounded, but let's assume it is true -- for the moment. The solution, we're told, is to pay women more. So, here's a thought: a company (say Google) announces that it will pay a bonus to all women and to anyone identifying as a woman. Tell HR that you're a woman, and you can get the bonus. Google can keep raising the bonus until they have enough "women", and until they're being paid the same. [For a million in Google stock I might go as "Softer-wareNerdie", but name-changes should not be necessary... since all these things are supposed to be conventions, just in the mind.] What would be the objection to this, from supporters of women's equality? Would it be that the men are lying about thinking they're women, merely to get the bonus? Would it be okay with the egalitarians if the men genuinely identified as women?
  32. 1 point
    Not reliably dependent. The elements of an invalid concept or an anti-concept are integrated by a non-essential. Quoting Rand "...a 'package-deal' whose (approximately) defining characteristic is always a non-essential. This last is the essence of the trick." (Which implies that the elements of an anti-concept need not be contradictory, merely incongruous or incommensurate.) Remember that the entire point to thinking in concepts is to use the property of universality (as in the 'problem of universals, "All men are mortal"). An invalid or anti-concept won't have the property of universality, which makes using them in logical structures such as a syllogism impossible because logical necessity does not exist without universality. So what happens in debate is that if you pin down an advocate for an anti-concept by attacking a particular element then that element is simply omitted from the anti-concept (it was nonessential after all). True socialism has never been tried.
  33. 1 point
    JASKN

    A solution to the lack of diversity

    The general populace validates transgenderism using the same gender constructs that feed the disorder. The transgendered have an idea of "man" and "woman" that they use to satiate whatever mental issue is confounding them, and the populace judges the result by the same gender standards. The goal is to conform to and enforce the standard gender stereotypes. Running culturally parallel is the opposite: Straights and gays who identify physiologically as "man" or "woman," but not necessarily in line with the gender stereotypes. Their goal is to normalize in their own minds a version of their physiological gender that does not enforce the stereotypes. Right now, these opposite goals are conflated culturally. A company would need to decide which standard they will use to identify "woman": how a person feels, or a person's physiology. Maybe some companies would be brave enough to use physiology, but I think people would try to appease social equalitists and default to using gender norms. If a stereotypical man called himself a woman but put forth no effort to look like a stereotypical woman, or worse still flagrantly so, everyone would think about how a transgendered person would feel about it, and then they would make judgements using the transgendered gender standards which also exist in their own minds. There would be some awkward, accusatory, defensive, "This man is disgusting for disrespecting the transgendered like this!" with an implicit, "He isn't even trying to adhere to women-gender stereotypes!"
  34. 1 point
    Benjamin Franklin wanted to achieve moral perfection so he wrote in a journal and marked in his journal everytime he violated one of his virtues... I believe this is one of the reasons he achieved such great success. I want to do something similar but with the Objectivist virtues and instead of using a journal I will be using Habitica.com. I need more examples of instances in which I can mark when I have practiced a virtue and instances I can mark when I have violated a virtue... Can you think of anymore? Here is the list I have so far: Productivity/Purposefulness Doing items on my to-do list Going to work Going to work on time Violations of Productivity/Purposefulness Spending more than 30 minutes pottering around when I have better things to do Not working on a project for more than 3 days in a row because it didn't excite me as much as it did at the beginning. Honesty Telling the truth when it's hard Violations of Honesty Lying Justice Listening to people who deserve it Apologizing when I have done someone wrong in some way Disagreeing with someone who disparages views that I agree with Violations of Justice Remaining silent when someone disparages my views Independence Paying my bills Looking at my bank account Violations of independence Buying something I can't afford __________________________________________ I can't think of any unique example for rationality and integrity, since rationality and integrity encompasses every example I just listed. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!
  35. 1 point
    Integrate everything you do into a seamless whole. David Allen's GTD methodology is a great way to do this. Amy Peikoff did an interview with Dave Allen, if you're interested you can listen to it here. Always set specific work goals, such as: 'I want to find out how to do X in less time and with better results'. Not lying to yourself about where you are in relation to your goals. If applicable, don't be afraid to say 'I'm not where I want to be', or 'I have a long way to go'. Don't pretend to like things that you don't. For example, if a friend wants to discuss a movie you dislike, simply tell him that it's not your kind of thing, and change the topic. Strive to achieve a real understanding of the principles that you practice regularly, even if they were learned from other people. You can't make full use of a piece of information unless you know exactly what it refers to and why it's true. Form principles for your work, your romantic life, your thinking etc. and follow them. This virtue refers to all principles, not just moral ones. Check this post to learn how to form good principles. Stick to rational principles, even when it's hard. Weakness of will is weakness of vision; if you don't feel like respecting a principle that you know is true, remind yourself of the consequences that will follow if you break it. "I'm not brave enough to be a coward" - Ayn Rand Pride Don't create unearned guilt by blaming yourself for unintentional mistakes. Learn from them & move on. The Ben Franklin exercise that you mentioned. Seek the best in anything. Make a list of values (work, love, art, food, health etc.) and go over it daily/weekly. As yourself, 'how can I improve the quality of this area?'. In art, it might mean creating a reading list or a watchlist. In love, picking out some special lingerie for your kindred soul. In health, choosing to use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  36. 1 point
    New Buddha

    Is art better than sports?

    There is an interesting quote from Peikoff, 1991: Ayn Rand regarded her theory of concepts as proved, but not as completed. There are, she thought, important similarities between concepts and mathematics still to be identified; and there is much to be learned about man’s mind by a proper study of man’s brain and nervous system. In her last years, Miss Rand was interested in following up on these ideas—in relating the field of conceptualization to two others: higher mathematics and neurology. Her ultimate goal was to integrate in one theory the branch of philosophy that studies man’s cognitive faculty with the science that reveals its essential method and the science that studies its physical organs. This is pretty much the current program of today's field, Cognitive Science. It's also important to realize that Rand developed her ideas at a time when linguistic analysis in philosophy and behaviorism in psychology were dominate. But the science behind the operation of sense organs, childhood development, etc. played a large role in helping her to develop the ideas in ITOE. Rand also says of Aesthetics: The esthetic principles which apply to all art, regardless of an individual artist’s philosophy, and which must guide an objective evaluation . . . are defined by the science of esthetics—a task at which modern philosophy has failed dismally. A "science of aesthetics" would be every bit as comprehensive as the "science of epistemology " as developed in the ITOE. She considers epistemology to be a science (and she's not just using the term "science" metaphorically): Epistemology is a science devoted to the discovery of the proper methods of acquiring and validating knowledge. There would also be a significant overlap and interdependency between the sciences of epistemology and aesthetics - they are not mutually exclusive.
  37. 1 point
    My senses do not "tell me" that the sun revolves around the earth, though they do provide the material by which I may come to that conclusion. If this conclusion is in error, then it will also be my senses which provide the material by which I can come to recognize and rectify it.
  38. 1 point
    So I find it useful. Where is the like button now?
  39. 1 point
    Is there a word for someone who fears other people weighing evidence and coming to their own conclusions? Sometimes, I think there should be, and if there were, it would apply to the angry leftist who recently threw up a post titled, "For The Ayn Rand Person In Your Life Ask This Question." "EisenBolan, SJW" asks a snide version of the very question Rand actually pretty ably answers in a video clip. But he does this before posting the clip. The real question is really a two-parter, which I'd put this way: "Should the government force people to pay for other people's education and, given that it currently does, how best would that money be spent?" Let's set aside the fact that, while he was writing, this admitted "social" "justice" "warrior" was (by his professed standards) failing to seek out and save random drowning strangers. The fact that he isn't content to let the alleged horrors of this video stand on their own is pretty typical of the smallness of the opposition to Rand and her ideas I have witnessed during my life: He feels the need to bias or turn away potential viewers by equating (his caricature) of selfishness to "letting people drown" and claiming that Rand "rails against money used to educate" handicapped children. In doing the latter, he omits the fact that Rand is against the twin injustices of money being taken by force (as it is to finance government schools) and then squandering that money in a way that harms everyone. In case this "warrior" doesn't realize it, "everyone" includes, yes, those who don't need help, but also those who need help the most. And in even greater context, Rand fought her whole life for capitalism, the economic system best suited to giving everyone the opportunity to live the most fulfilling life possible. The only question that really needs raising here is this one, and it isn't I who needs to answer it: Why? Why is someone else's misfortune supposedly the proper focus of my life and my effort? That's what petulant people like this are trying to hide with "questions" that are really their own underhanded way of putting words into our mouths. But such behavior is self-limiting: If anything, that kind of question will serve to motivate people to learn more about Ayn Rand. I do, after all, have a similar rant to thank for doing exactly this, decades ago. Whether they rate a special term or not, it makes me smile to know that such people sometimes serve as the unwitting Johnny Appleseeds of the Objectivist movement. -- CAV Link to Original
  40. 1 point
    This level of context-dropping is near impossible to believe. I will simply assume you are a troll and move on.
  41. 1 point
    This is not usually the sort of discussion I try to get involved in -- for a variety of reasons. But in this case, I wonder what you mean that "propositions are only self evident in a derivative sense, for Rand," when it seems to me that Rand is stating directly that propositions are not self evident: "Nothing is self-evident except the material of sensory perception." and "Nothing is self-evident except the evidence of your senses." Perhaps there's some other quote which speaks to this directly that I'm missing? But otherwise, and bearing the above in mind, what is the "derivative sense" you're preserving for the self evidence of propositions?
  42. 1 point
    dream_weaver

    Is art better than sports?

    Now I can't shake the images of the athletes/r.s. tv actors 'dancing' on the field/tv screen.
  43. 1 point
    Regarding the claim that 20% of Objectivism be removed, wouldn't that completely gut Objectivism if carried out consistently? For example, if Objectivism made some allowance for forcible taxation in order to help the poor, we would have to give up the non-initiation of force principle and the trader principle. Further, the non-initiation of force principle and the trader principle are based on the Objectivist ethics, so we would have to give up the Objectivist ethics. Rand regarded Objectivism as an integrated system. It is not a bunch of independent parts with no connection to each other that you can freely tinker with.
  44. 1 point
    Well now there is nothing to buy... here. Morality according to any philosophy has some standard (even if its irrational or subjective) which one uses within that philosophy to determine whether an action is moral or not. If your question is about "the good", "right" and "wrong", "ethics", i.e. morality according to Objectivism, then you must remember that according to that philosophy, "life" (in a full robust flourishing sense) of the individual actor is the standard of morality. The moral actor is the proper beneficiary of his adopted code. IF you reject that standard, that would be one thing, that would be asserting Objectivist ethics is simply wrong. IF you are talking about what is "immoral" according to Objectivism, it is not possible for you not to "buy" that according to Objectivism self-DESCTRUCTIVE actions are "by definition" immoral. Unless, that is, you have a different meaning for "self" and/or "destructive". This is absolutely central to Objectivist ethics. As you can gauge from the discussion so far determining just what IS self-destructive in the context of the particular person and situation can be complicated and nuanced. Do not be tempted to make ethical judgment without a lot of thought, over simplification leads to error. e.g. it is morally good to take water into your system when you are thirsty, it would be morally wrong for you to do so, if you are in the process of drowning in a lake reaching for a life preserver... "drinking water" as such is neither universally "good" nor universally "bad" I get a nice psychological reward, mental and spiritual (pertaining to the mind) fuel when I eat a donut one in a while, in my context it IS morally good to my flourishing, which is why I do it. Eating 1000 donuts a week... in my context would surely be disastrous.
  45. 1 point
    Iatan Petru

    Socially competitive subtleties

    So I've noticed that Objectivism has changed my life for the better during the few months since when I got into it. Always pursuing my rational self-interest has been very beneficial for me from many points of view. Socially speaking, I've made a lot more friends and became more confident. There's one aspect I can't seem to be able to get around though. How do I act in a subtly competitive social scenario? For example, when you're with your buddies and some hot girls are around and all of you wanna be that manly dominant guy who bosses the others around. Or generally speaking when you compete with others in a subtle way for being the most alpha person in that situation. I say 'subtle' because you're not really in a position of adversity towards the other people so you can't start a fight, you just gotta know what attitude to have and kinda talk your way to the top. I already appear to be an outgoing person, but I want to be the 'leader', as cheesy as that may sound. So what's the way to do that and what would Objectivism have to say about the mental state you should adopt in these situations?
  46. 1 point
    1. Don't care so much about what others think or do. 2. Understand and own yourself and know your boundaries. Unless the person says something about you, and not just about himself, you are completely free to let him pretend any fiction he cares to. Choose not be bossed around.. you don't need to boss anyone else around. 3. Gain some self esteem so that you don't feel that you "wanna be the manly dominant guy". Wanting to be that sort of person reveals errors in judgment and a severe lack of self-esteem. (these are linked also to various irrationalities and a malformed ethics) a. ask yourself if you are really impressed with bossy people like that b. ask yourself if you really respect and admire other people who are primarily impressed with people like that c. ask yourself if you really want to form friendships and relationships with those other people 4. That's not luck. You need to be confident, not in a brash disconnected from reality way, but in a true unshakable understanding of reality way. If you can beat the guy 8 out of ten times, you know you are "better". If another guy can beat you 8 out of 10 times you know that another guy is better. You should be confident in the first case you will win and equally confident in the second case you will lose. Be proud of what you can do, what you have accomplished, but seek to do better. Fight the second guy more often than the first, you gain nothing from fighting the first, you will learn and get better from fighting the second. 5. Being bossy is not being a better man, its just being bossy. If someone says to you "Go get me a beer" you can either get pissy and "Go fck yrself" or you can shrug it off, smile say "nope" or say nothing. He has no business telling you what to do. When you are in a crowd of adult children (as if seems to be the case of the crowd you are running with) be the better man not just another one of the children. Really self-esteem, maturity, and objectivity are the answers to all your "problems"... and perhaps finding and choosing good people to be your friends.
  47. 1 point
    From p. 191 of ITOE: AR: What is the distinction between the practical and the theoretical? That's a distinction which I do not recognize. "Practical" means acting in this world, in reality. If what we do works, how is that possible if it does not correspond to reality? Truth is the identification of a fact of reality. How can something be true and not be a fact of reality? How can something be a fact of reality and not be true?
  48. 1 point
    What makes life worth living is not living life. Life for its own sake is tedious, boring, dutiful, meaningless. What makes life living is the concrete experiences one enjoys within it. The pleasures one derives from things. Satisfying one's desires. Pre-rational, visceral, gut-level enjoyment. Withouth rhyme or reason, you just like it. And then life has value as a means to those experiences. Life is not the end, it's a means to an end. Strikingly opposite to Objectivist thought. In my direct experience that is the case. All the Objectivist virtue and ethics couldn't make me happy or make me want to live. It's when I started listening to my own desires and pleasures, and enjoying things for their own intrinsic pleasure that life started to have value and happiness seemed possible. When you're depressed, the only thing that matters is how you feel. That life is a value has no power to shake them from their depression, because it's not true for them. Life is only a value if your specific life is a value to you for other things. Many Objectivists will shift gears and agree that's what they meant all along but they are doing a bait and switch with the meaning of the term life, and it contradicts the fine print of the ethics.
  49. 1 point
    New Buddha

    Newton & Leibniz : Hume & Kant

    Since Ilya is here, I thought I would bump this and also thank Boydstun. He has a wonderful paper on Kant, with the link above. He greatly anticipated the direction I was taking this post.
  50. 1 point
    No. Rand's point is that the self, the 'I', stops existing at death. We never actually experience death, because death is the end of all experience. And because of that, one can equally validly look at death as the end of the world -- the end as far as the self is concerned. Rand's view here is essentially the same as the ancient philosopher Epicurus, who famously stated his view as "Where death is not, I am; where death is, I am not." In 1974, interviewer James Day asked Rand "How do you, as an Objectivist, feel about death?" Rand's reply was "It doesn't concern me in the least, because I won't be here to know it. The worst thing about death, and what I regard as the most horrible human tragedy, is to lose someone you love. That is terribly hard. But your own death? If you're finished, you're finished. My purpose is not to worry about death but to live life now, here on earth."
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