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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Brian Leiter, a philosophy and law professor at the University of Texas at Austin (and a leftist), has published on his blog Amy and Leonard Peikoff's "GOP Converntion Program." Worth a look. http://webapp.utexas.edu/blogs/bleiter/
Does anyone have any comments on Tara Smith's taped lecture series called Rationality and Objectivity or, more generally, what differences, if any, exist between rationality and objectivity? Her conclusion was that the two are not exactly interchangeable and that rationality was the broader term. I agree, but perhaps for slightly different reasons. Her view was that rationality tells you what to do, and objectivity (as described in Chapter 4 of OPAR) gives you more specific advice on how to do it. My view is that objectivity is the intellectual component of rationality, which also has an existential component.
By Old Geezer,
I have been reading in my paper today about how large amounts of cash has reportedly been tried to help dissuade some Najaf "insurgents" from fighting. This tactic was heavily used during the war in Afghanistan, and was wondering how y'all have responded to this???
Hi About two months ago, an unregistered user posted a message on the Ben Gurion University students' web site. He called out to all "caring" students and urged them to protest by not showing up on the first day of the spring semester. Protest against what, you ask? Well, against the scandalous "increase in the price of bread." I don't know what it's like in the rest of the world, but here in Israel the price of bread and several other food products are artifically fixed by the government. The reason is obvious: every man has a RIGHT to (reasonably priced) bread. But I digress. A friend of mine immediately responded, saying that bread did not grow on trees, and that since bread could not be baked by throwing communist poetry and socialist mantras into the oven, it had to be BOUGHT and paid for with money; if price controls made bread baking unprofitable, then bakeries would stop producing it. Bread baking had indeed become unprofitable here, because the price of wheat flour (also controlled by the government) was increased 14% a year ago. So an increase of the price of bread was inevitable. My friend's response attracted many a socialist and irrationalist, and they all took part in what has grown to a 13-page philosophical debate (I use that word in the loosest sense because the discussion was mainly a flame war, abundant in logical fallacies, incosistencies and self contradictions - not on our part of course...), going through all levels and subfields of philosophy. In the process my friend and I, advocating the Objectivist position, have weeded out all the non-thinkers, and are now left with one Buddhist who thinks "all property is an illusion," but is willing to listen and to argue, even logically to an extent I might add. (There is also a socialist who likes to add a bit of white noise occasionaly, but he is all but ignored - in a most condescending, pleasing way nah, I am kidding) My friend likes formalism, so everything is clearly defined, and every proposition is proved. We have hit a brick wall trying to define "ownership." My friend defined ownership as a mathematical object, a binary relation between man and an entity. The Buddhist, testing our consistency, asked "under this definition, what makes it an impossibility of a man to be owned by another?" The Objectivist Front's reply was that adistinction is made between men who are capable of rational thought and infants who only have the potential to become rational, which means they are not men, and can therefore be considered property of their parents (who created them). The Buddhist asked what was the difference between an irrational infant and an irrational 50 year old man, and, using an equivocation, proceeded to conclude that according to us, since socialists were irrational, they could be considered property. So basically the question is: can a human being, specifically newborn infants who are incapable of rationality, be the property of another? What is the Objectivist position regarding babies? If I understand correctly, the concept of 'right' comes from viewing man as a rational being whose consciousness is volitional, and is only applicable in the context of men. This means that if a baby turns out to be incapable of rationality, perhaps because of brain damage, he has no 'right' to life, or any 'rights' at all for that matter. Your thoughts on the matter are appreciated. - Ori