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  1. 1 point

    Abstract Surrealism

    Veering slightly to the side of the topic... "Life imitating Art" is a concept whose existence illustrates a very sad state of things. Life is not an imitation of anything. Art, by definition, is manmade and derivative of his concepts and experiences, which only can originate by virtue of his living. Of Life and Art clearly Art is derivative and Life foundational. The sad fact which the statement "Life Imitating Art" represents is a paucity of selfhood and experience. We've all heard it said as though a truism, and by very intelligent and influential people, sentiments to the effect that "Life is like a play" "Life is poem" Life is wonderful story", it has its ups and down but it has to be that way ... a drama isn't drama without conflict etc. Joseph Campbell once said that Life is a "wonderful opera", "it hurts" but we should "participate in it". [The sentiments I here am identifying here exclude the opposite type of pronouncements by insipid and pompous people in the art community that have lost all grasp of reality] These heartfelt sentiments of Life and Art are proffered as inspiration and I do not doubt the earnestness with which they are stated... but they suffer from the most tragic of observations mixed with a false premise. The tragic observation is that many people do not engage with life, are not fully alive but instead are going through the motions, in a confused fog of learned helplessness and despair. Not knowing what life is, they aspire to a representation of life, Art, and the device used, is to imagine themselves in a story, or that the life that they could and should be leading is like a story. The false premise is that it is possible for life to be derivative of art, and that art is in any sense primary to life. Art can show what life is and some art can show what life can and ought to be. In that sense a real Life can draw inspiration from Art, and Art is crucial to man's mental well being, but in the end Life imitates Life, and Art is but a mediator. As Joseph Campbell once said, "A vital life vitalizes". Note: I have made reference to Jo a few times because he was a scholar of Story, of Myth, and its origins and relationship to Man and his Life throughout history and around the world.
  2. 1 point
    You are attempting to criticize the ethical component of Objectivism because you are saying it is anti-family. However, first you really need to define what constitutes family and why it would be bad to be anti-family. Family is just a genetic fact. Objectivism is not against recognizing the existence of a basic fact like like that. Objectivism also isn't looking to eradicate humanity. We supporters of the philosophy like humanity's potential even I'd say. So Objectivism isn't anti-family in the sense of wanting to end all genetic connections. It takes you a little time to get to it, but it seems what you are really concerned about is Objectivism seeming to reject treating family as a source of some particular unchosen obligations as it is currently treated in human societies. You seem to believe that these unchosen obligations are necessary to the species surviving. Why? You never answer that. You just say basically, "People try harder to keep contact with family." What makes this extra contact effort crucial to the species surviving? Aside from that argument you needed to make, but didn't, which I thus far consequently can't address, I think a lot of people, Objectivists included, would be able to tell you though that getting a lot of knowledge, shared experiences, and just time in general with somebody increases your investment with them and makes them something of a unique value there versus if it was the same person, but you had little to no history with them. Family, in the way that most people grow up around them in practice today, has that element built into it going for it to make people willing to put more effort into preserving the relationships. This is, however, also possible to do with non-family members too, to just spend a lot of time together until you get a lot of knowledge and shared experiences, so even if one didn't have it with family, it isn't something of a form of connection that is completely lost. For most people though, it is a little harder to get that built up knowledge and experience going all the way back to people sharing in your formative years growing up with people other than relatives. So, there's some unique value in there, something many people would consider to be worth putting a little more effort into preserving. On the other hand, it's also not something anybody would be unable to function without in their lives, that history going back to childhood, especially if we're talking about people who have already had a stable time growing up and are just moving on as adults, not people who are getting bounced around chaotically throughout their childhood. "Moreover, the incentive to have children in the first place would also be greatly diminished by eradicating the duty to pass on the genes or carry on the family name." Anybody parenting for that reason, a sense of obligation and a name as opposed to liking children and teaching and stuff like that, is probably going to be a bad parent anyway who is going to raise a kid with a lot of problems. The species is in no way threatened by the loss of bad parents. We're not on the brink of extinction in numbers either to the point that we can't afford to try to be a little more selective in who we have raising kids. I dare say we'd be better off having quality parents only. (Not that I'm advocating here forcefully preventing anybody from raising kids solely due to speculation that their motives will make them harmful to the kids. I'm just talking about speculation, that if people who would have done it only or primarily out of obligation and a name chose not to have kids instead I think this would be a good thing. In practice I think we should still wait until we've got actual evidence of abuse or neglect or imminent threat of such before forcefully taking kids away.) "Is it not obvious to Objectivists that human beings have and always will place greater irrational obligation on their most inner circle starting with the family, extending out to the community and the nation state?" Nope, it's not. Don't try to hide behind "it's obvious" as an excuse to not justify a claim as being the case and/or why something is best being a certain way. Actually go on and state your logic and evidence. There's also the issue that you haven't clarified how any of the logical arguments in Objectivism are incorrect. You've said why you think you would want them to be incorrect, but not why they are incorrect. It's kind of like if you were to say some asteroid's path looks like it's got potential to do major damage and decided to say, "Nuh-uh, the asteroid is wrong," as if that changes anything, as if that made the asteroid cease to exist or move or not be an asteroid or whatever.
  3. 1 point
    Objectivism only rejects the "traditional" definition of family values to the extent that they impose rights violating and/or self interest violating obligations on individuals. A good example of a family value Oism rejects, and the most common family value in human history, in my evaluation at least, is the moral obligation of a girl to wed according to her father's wishes, and then serve and obey her husband faithfully for the rest of her life. Objectivism rejects this value both in cases when the girl is physically forced into such a marriage, as well as when she is merely psychologically pressured into it. Do you agree or disagree with that position, and why or why not? As for the family values Objectivism doesn't reject, that would be ALL the mutually beneficial bonds within a family that there are. Every last one of them. You name 'em, Objectivism likes 'em. Only time Objectivism has an issue with "family values" is when something like what I described in the first example happens: someone is sacrificed to further the interests of the dominant member of the family.
  4. 1 point
    I am an Objectivist. I love my family, they are my highest values, as though they are my very life and being. If I lost them I would lose myself... in that way we are in spirit, inseparable. I do not flinch at the sky, or look over my shoulder, or worry about Big Brother, God or Gods or my neighbour when I think, feel, and act in relation to my family. Neither does something intrinsic in the Universe vibrate to impinge upon my will. The is no Duty anywhere, only free will, and my choice to live as great and flourishing a life as I can, and that means MY values, MY Life, MY family. Anyone who acted obediently to Duty but in contradiction with their values, their life, their loves, to do anything for the welfare of a family member they "really" would rather not have done would have NO place telling an egoist what family is about. It surely is NOT duty. A mother who declares it is a "sacrifice" to forego buying a hat to buy food for her child, is confessing that she values the hat more than the child's welfare, and rather than being praised for her sense of duty (or guilt) she should be condemned for her lack of humanity, her superficiality, and ignorance of the true value of family to flourishing. A mother who loves her child less than a hat clearly has issues. She should do some soul searching or seek some major therapy... and if she continues to literally love a hat, a HAT, more than her child (after years of what should have been love filled, close, high quality bonding for both her and her child) it would likely be best for them both if she gave up the child for adoption. True family, true love of any kind requires true egoism and quite the opposite of any belief in some kind of Duty... which in any case, whether supernatural or intrinsic, would purely be an illusion. Unfortunately it takes an Egoist, a fully rational, valuing, and feeling Egoist to understand this.