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     Objectivism Is the Everyman's Philosophy

    In the universe, what you see is what you get,

    figuring it out for yourself is the way to happiness,

    and each person's independence is respected by all

  • Rand's Philosophy in Her Own Words

    • "Metaphysics: Objective Reality"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed/Wishing won’t make it so." "The universe exists independent of consciousness"
    • "Epistemology: Reason" "You can’t eat your cake and have it, too." "Thinking is man’s only basic virtue"
    • "Ethics: Self-interest" "Man is an end in himself." "Man must act for his own rational self-interest" "The purpose of morality is to teach you[...] to enjoy yourself and live"
    • "Politics: Capitalism" "Give me liberty or give me death." "If life on earth is [a man's] purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being"

    Episteology Inside Metaphysics?

    jacassidy2
    By jacassidy2,
    Hey Thinkers I hope the small handful of thinkers that remember my presence and posts about a year ago - people who seemed to appreciate my take on ideas in metaphysics and epistemology - ideas strongly influenced by Ms. Rand and Mr. Peikoff - will comment, and perhaps criticize the following ultra-basic observation that may have implications for the debate over the primacy of existence over consciousness.  People like Boystan, Jankns, SoftwareNerd, Eiuol, Nicky and others (my memory of the spelling may be wrong).  OR, I may have failed - this may just be a cute observation that is a play on words in the false name of concepts I have confused. This occurred to me while thinking about a more concrete issue while I was trying to fall asleep.  I was thinking about the Aristotelian axioms in metaphysics as examined by Ms. Rand and Mr. Peikoff - existence, consciousness, and identity.  I always struggle with whether the order should be existence, identity, and consciousness in the context of the historic underlying argument in western philosophy (often not identified explicitly by philosophers, but there none the less) between the primacy of existence vs. consciousness. If the last sentence was not familiar to you, be careful before you post in this thread because its subject is a most fundamental issue in Objectivism. Here is my most basic, Chardonnay inspired, thought.  Isn't the entire study of epistemology a study of the identity (characteristics/attributes/functioning/cause and effect consequences) of consciousness - outside of that part of the identity of consciousness that is solely the realm of physics and medical neurology?  I hope this last distinction keeps me from falling into the mind-body dichotomy pit, but am I falling into the common mind-body dichotomy by even asking this question?  Falling for or recognizing he historical silliness of categorizing identity into levels of importance based on perception vs. reality - primary being things like extension/space and density/mass versus things only perceivable without historically current measurement like taste and color, making a false distinction in perception? If so, how does one Objectively recognize the difference between the underlying neuro-physicality (organs and their support) and the consequence of senses, perception, and reason that we recognize as human consciousness? Should epistemology be the study of that link or only its consequence in awareness and its consequence in reasoning?  I feel like a freshman in asking this question, but I seem to have phrased it in a way that debate and tearing apart can help clear up some of languages shortcomings .  I consider myself, in avocation at least, a Rand scholar after 38 years of off and on study.  Please help me discover the obvious connections I've identified and, if necessary, point out the flaws I have noticed in these relationships of ideas.  Thanks, Jack

    Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    Three Things

    1. If only more parents and economists in the Unites States understood what many parents in the poorest parts of the world do regarding markets and education:The above comes from the pamphlet, Freedom of Education I mentionedhere recently, specifically from C. Bradley Thompson's essay, "Education in a Free Society." Let me reiterate that I highly recommend this pamphlet.

    2. I agree with the first commenter on this post by a popular security expert: Don't mess with Texas Brian Krebs.

    3. Accordingto tech writer, David Pogue, thanks to the new USB-C standard and chargers like the one he reviews, the power-adapter drawer will soon be extinct.

    Weekend Reading

    "More than the conclusions themselves, I like to look for the method by which people draw conclusions." -- Michael Hurd, in "The Art of Disagreement" at The Delaware Wave

    "How in the world is somebody supposed to appreciate something when it's handed to them unconditionally?" -- Michael Hurd, in "Teach Your Children Money" at The Delaware Coast Press

    "If you can get people to own their responsibilities, then reporting to you is a cooperative venture, not a command-and-control venture." -- Scott Holleran, in "Jim Brown, new Ayn Rand Institute CEO: 'Culture and society out there can look pretty irrational. Just look at the last election'(Interview)" at The Los Angeles Times

    -- CAV Link to Original

    Reblogged:Powerball and Other Life Lessons

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    24/7 Wall Street has run a pieceon twelve things not to do if you win the now $403 million Powerball Lottery. I recommend reading the article, not only for the fun it might bring by helping you imagine what life with these millions would be like, but also for the practical advice.

    Much of the advice applies to everyone, such as the following:
    That reminds me of a time, way back in college, when a friend bought a new car and offered frugal, car-less me his old beater for free. It took me only a short time to consider what it might cost to own a car vs. my income to turn him down. Sure, the car might have solved a few problems I knew I had, but it would have created others I could easily imagine, and maybe a few I couldn't. (Insurance didn't even cross my young, inexperienced mind, right then, for example. That thought came to me in the form of added relief a few days later.)

    It is likewise with gobs of money out of the blue. This is a worthwhile article because it repeatedly shows these things: (1) Life is not fundamentally different for the wealthy, and (2) any situation, no matter how apparently good, requires knowledge you may need to acquire to face properly. And so it is that, for much of the advice, there is food for thought for the non-lottery winners:
    Your circumstances have just changed radically, and you will have enough to think about without having to factor in what everyone you know or even random strangers might do with this information. The huge amount of money here merely underscores the value of managing what other people know, when possible. It can thus be a useful thought exercise to see how being careful about other, less earth-shattering information can give oneself more control over his own life. If you have ever been burned by someone with loose lips, maybe you don't need this one, but the article has plenty of other good advice.

    Read it all for fun and profit.

    -- CAV Link to Original

    Taxation is not theft

    epistemologue
    By epistemologue,
    The normal, dictionary definition of "taxation" is "the practice of a government collecting money from its citizens to pay for public services." "compulsory" is not in the definition. There's absolutely no necessity for it to be compulsory, in fact it should not be, as that contradicts the entire concept of a government based on the consent of the governed. Taxation is, properly, a contractual payment due. A proper government should have an explicit contract with its citizens, and allow them to leave the contract at any time. In the case of a rights-respecting government, the payment that is "demanded" by the government is demanded contractually. The contract between citizens and government is special for a lot of reasons, that's why we have a special word for the collecting of funds. The term only applies to the funds collected by the government from its citizens, and can only take a certain form. Donations or lotteries are not a tax, and it's not just a generic "fee" of any kind. Taxation is legally defined policy of government funding that you agree to pay on an ongoing basis. Of course a voluntary contract can be revoked at any time, when the citizen terminates their agreement with the government that's called renouncing one's citizenship, and no further taxes are due. "citizenship" is a term indicating the special relationship between the citizen and the government, which properly should be a voluntary one, based on contract. It is not an arbitrary designation. In the US you are opted-in automatically by birth, and there are fees and restrictions associated with renouncing one's citizenship. I disagree with these policies, I think they are improper, and to some extent definitely unjust. Citizenship should be a written contract that every individual has to qualify for and agree to in writing, and someone should be able to leave at any time without onerous fees or restrictions. But that doesn't change the fact that the US is essentially a government based on the consent of the governed, despite its flaws. One can condemn the individual instances of injustice and work to resolve any ongoing issues within the system without having to "surmise that America is currently in a state of anarchy", or "dedicate one's life to abolishing our wicked 'government' and to exposing those Satanic politicians". In summary, compulsion is not essential to the definition of taxation; there can be such a thing as a government based on the consent of the governed, where citizens are citizens of the government by voluntary, contractual agreement, and the taxes that the government levies (and the penalties applied for not paying them), are agreed to in advance by the citizen, who can terminate the contract at any time. Taxation is not theft, it is consensual. If Netflix is charging your credit card every month and you want them to stop, you can't just declare "I don't consent!", you have to actually go in and unsubscribe. Netflix will stop charging your credit card, and you will no longer be a member who has access to their services. The same principle applies here. If you don't want to pay taxes then renounce your citizenship, and you will no longer be protected by the government. Nobody is forcing you to be a citizen.

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