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"
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In a field of interest to me, it's common for people make arguments like "the empirical evidence shows such and such" and proceed to ascribe their uncontrolled observations to whatever cause they want. Isn't all evidence based on observation, and aren't uncontrolled observations not really evidence at all? I read a question on Quora today that asks what would happen if children were raised with "empirical science" instead of religion. I was going to answer by saying that all science is empirical, but then it hit me that philosophy isn't—is it? So while all physical science is empirical, the statement I was going to make would not be true. Correct?
By Michael J. Hurd Ph.D.,
Nearly seven in 10 Americans say President-elect Donald Trump’s use of Twitter is a bad idea, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll reveals. Here are the poll highlights: 69 percent agreed that his use of Twitter is bad because “in an instant, messages can have unintended major implications without careful review.” 26 percent agreed Trump’s tweeting was good because “it allows a president to directly communicate to people immediately.” Bear in mind that this is the same poll that had Hillary Clinton winning the election in a landslide. But even if the poll is accurate, the 26 percent are right, and the 69 percent are wrong. If Barack Obama had used Twitter as regularly as Trump, it wouldn’t be controversial. Obama would tweet things like the need for curtailing energy consumption, raising taxes, and cherishing Islam. Media elites share these views and attitudes, and they have no problem when those attitudes are expressed in any kind of format. The objection to Trump’s tweets does not involve method, but content. People in the government, media and academic establishment don’t like it when anyone questions their sacred cows. When Trump tweets that Meryl Streep is an overrated actress who has no basis for attacking him personally, it makes them angry. Similarly, when Trump called Rep. John Lewis a do-nothing Congressman (which he is) after Lewis called Trump an illegitimate president, it was Trump who got the criticism for name-calling, not John Lewis. That’s media bias. If Barack Obama went on Twitter and raved about Meryl Streep, you wouldn’t hear a peep from the people who word these polls in such a way as to get the answers they want. Twitter and social media are not the problem here; dissenting opinion is. Twitter should never replace such contexts as formal speeches and reasonable press conferences as a means for a president to convey ideas to the public. But in a world where nearly everybody now uses social media to express any number of ideas, it’s a perfectly legitimate, if not necessary, means of getting ideas across. Keep in mind that Trump’s ideas and attitudes often clash with those of the ruling establishment. If he tried to express these ideas to an overtly hostile media gang populated by the likes of CNN, MSNBC and the Huffington Post — not to mention Fox News half the time — then he’d be met with jeers and sneers, not unlike those of Hillary Clinton and her comrades during those absurd “debates” last fall. Remember that biased journalists can utilize headlines, sound bites and talking points in any way they wish. Twitter and other social media usurp this process, and it makes them feel even less important and relevant than they already are. The last president who consistently held ideas at odds with the mainstream and establishment was Ronald Reagan. There was no Internet or social media during his time. Television was still relatively new as a political medium in the early 1980s, and Reagan effectively used television as a means of going over the heads of the establishment in the media and Congress and talking directly to the American people. That’s what Trump needs to do, as would any president who doesn’t subscribe to the hardened Democratic socialist leftist orthodoxy that currently passes as the ideal of civilized thinking. As for Twitter messages having implications without time for a major review — this would be the fault of the listener, not the messenger. If the rulers of China or Russia read Twitter — and only Twitter — as a means for deciding matters of life or death importance, then we’ve got much bigger problems than Donald Trump using Twitter. As for ordinary citizens, if you’re too mentally lazy or uninterested in learning more about a president’s views from the extensive press releases and documents unleashed on a daily basis in this age of information, then the fault is yours, not the fact that the president uses Twitter to get the gist of his points across. I hope Donald Trump continues to use Twitter as a means to convey views that our arrogant and biased media would never permit him to otherwise do. While I don’t always agree with Donald Trump’s statements and positions, I’d much rather read his tweets than the pretentious garbage that passes for intellectual sophistication in the Newspeak of our Imperial City. Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1 Check out Dr. Hurd’s latest Newsmax Insider column here! Dr. Hurd’s writings read on the air by Rush Limbaugh! Read more HERE. The post Is It Wrong for a U.S. President to Tweet? appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center. View the full article @ www.DrHurd.com
In the Spring of 2016, we launched our first campus writing initiative, #CapitalistAndProud. With the successful conclusion of #CapitalistAndProud in December 2016, we’re proud to announce our latest initiative: #SelfishAndHappy. In partnership with STRIVE, we’re calling on our readers everywhere to write to The Undercurrent to explain their answers to the question: How has reading Ayn Rand benefited your life? Ayn Rand’s revolutionary morality of selfishness has impacted the lives of countless individuals since she first published The Fountainhead in 1943 and Atlas Shrugged in 1957. We’re hoping that you have a story to tell about reading Ayn Rand and how being exposed to the morality of selfishness changed your life. To encourage submission, we’ll publish well-written pieces on our blog, which will make them eligible to win a cash prize of $100. Pieces should be between 650-750 words in length and be your original work. All submissions for the writing contest should be sent to [email protected] Concurrently, our partner organization, STRIVE, will be running a social media contest. Those interested should submit a short video between one to five minutes in length explaining their answer to the same question used in the writing contest. Videos will be shared on social media and STRIVE will select one winner to receive a prize of $100. Submissions for the social media contest should be sent to [email protected] Visit STRIVE’s Facebook page to learn more. Don’t forget to chime in on our Facebook page and tweet us @tundercurrent. Creative commons-licensed image courtesy of Flickr user Elvert Barnes. The post Announcing #SelfishAndHappy: A New Campus Writing Initiative appeared first on The Undercurrent. Link to Original
By Michael J. Hurd Ph.D.,
A Delaware Coast Press reader writes that a long-time acquaintance recently passed away. The upshot is that most of the people she knew didn’t like the woman who died. She was obnoxious, and spread bad rumors about everyone. The reader writes that those who knew the woman are now “walking on eggshells,” desperately searching for something good to say. Nobody liked her, but they’re all too guilty to admit it! My reader asks if it’s OK to feel that way, and should it change the way she and her friends remember her? It’s amazing how the natural process of death is somehow supposed to change our appraisal of a person’s life. We’ve all heard the saying, “when bad things happen to good people.” But what about when bad things happen to people who hurt us? You can recognize and acknowledge that fact, but you’re not obligated to suddenly pretend you liked her. It would be insulting to any redeeming qualities she might have otherwise possessed. You need to get past the assumption that it’s “wrong” to feel this way. There are no morally wrong or “bad” feelings. Sometimes feelings are illogical or inaccurate, but this doesn’t make them bad. It simply makes them faulty. Feelings can sometimes give us less than a 20/20 view of the truth, and in this situation, what you see isn’t pretty. She just wasn’t likable, and you’re trying to pretend that all that has changed. You don’t have to say anything negative to anybody who actually cared for her, but at the same time you don’t have to make up nice things to say. Just be sorry for their loss, and leave it at that. You say that there are people who feel the same way about her and face the same dilemma as yourself. They’re sad she suffered, but they don’t like her any better than they did before. Don’t be afraid to open up about this. This is part of the grief process! I once heard an adult son at a funeral speak of his father who was a really difficult person. In his brief eulogy, he talked about the difficulty of being his father’s son but how he still loved him. I thought this was remarkably honest, and everybody admired the son for his frankness. Likewise, an old friend of mine commented on the terminal illness of a mutual acquaintance who had done some terrible things to others. He stuck to the truth: “Just because he’s sick doesn’t mean I have to like him!” Is it more important to insulate ourselves (and others) from the truth, or is it more important to not be a hypocrite? I vote for not being a hypocrite. Make-believe doesn’t change the truth. It doesn’t relieve anyone’s suffering, and it doesn’t make a nasty person nice. You don’t do anyone any favors by lying, and you hurt your own self-respect in the process. You don’t have to go out of your way to be hurtful to those who are grieving; simply acknowledge their loss without pretending that you suffered a great one. In cases like this, I’ll sometimes ask, “Were you in touch with the person who died?” If the answer is, “No, not for years,” doesn’t that tell you something? There’s a reason you didn’t spend a lot of time with her, and that’s fine. And it’s equally OK not to pretend that you wanted to. There are humane but still honest things to say, like, “I found her difficult, and that’s why I stopped staying in touch with her. It’s too bad she got sick and died; she certainly didn’t deserve that.” Who’s going to argue with this? Shakespeare had it right: “This above all: To thine own self be true….” If more people lived by this there would be fewer people NOT to miss when they passed from this life. Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1 The post To Thine Own Self … (DE Coast Press) appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center. View the full article @ www.DrHurd.com