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Objectivism Online Forum
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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"
  • Objectivism Online Chat

    Happy Birthday Ash!

    DavidV
    By DavidV,
    I hope you're having a great one

    Delegating the right of self-defence

    Godless Capitalist
    By Godless Capitalist,
    In Rand's essay "The Nature of Government" she explains why people should not be able to enforce laws themselves: "There is only one basic principle to which an individual must consent if he wishes to live in a free civilized society: the principle of renouncing the use of physicial force and delegating to the government his right of physical self-defense, for the purpose of an orderly, objective, legally defined enforcement.” It seems odd to me to say first that a person has a right to physical self-defense, then to say they MUST delegate it to other people. As a practical matter Rand’s position makes sense, but strictly speaking I don’t see why someone could not decide to keep that power for themselves. If such a person used that power arbitrarily they could still be arrested and punished just as anyone else could be. To look at the issue a little more widely, Rand approvingly quotes the Declaration of Independence saying that “governments derive their ... powers from the consent of the governed” What if the governed refuse to give that consent? As far as I can see they would be within their rights to do so, even though I will readily admit the results might not be pleasant.

    Mathematics and Physics

    Alex
    By Alex,
    Is there any objectivist literature about mathematics or physics? I'm really curious about what they have to say about the fields. About what is incorect and what can be left to discover using a truly logical method.

    What is the difference between fact and opinion?

    DavidV
    By DavidV,
    This came up on another forum, and I'm really not sure of the answer. Here is my best shot: A fact is a falsifiable (non-arbitrary) statement that describes some aspect of reality. An opinion is either a potential fact or an arbitrary statement. A fact may be true or false: the statements “the earth is flat” and “the earth is round” are both facts, but only the second it true. A rational method of inquiry can prove an opinion to be a fact. For example, “that girl is good-looking” is an opinion if it not based on an objective evaluation of her traits in comparison to the average, and a fact if a rational process is used to objectively evaluate her traits. If we come across a box and say (without any idea of what the box contains), “that box is empty” – that is an opinion, even if it is true, because we did not reach that conclusion by any rational means. However if we look inside or have some basis to believe that that box is empty, then that statement is a fact – though it may still be false if we misinterpret the evidence. Finally, “If unicorns existed, then their horns would be sharp” is an opinion but not a potential fact because it is an arbitrary claim lacking a truth value.

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