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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

    Contracts and government controls

    NIJamesHughes
    By NIJamesHughes,
    As a door to door salesperson, I deal with contracts on a daily basis. One of the most annoying aspects of the process is dealing with what is called "buyers remorse." Buyers remorse itself isn't that bad, what is devastating is that the government requires a three day cancelation period for products above a certain price (i don't know what the price is, but the Kirby, costing $1895 is in that range). Now what happens is our salespeople demonstrate these home care systems in the buyers home which takes an average of 1 and a half hours (plus gas and giftcards and carpet shampoo) and the people decide to buy, the contract is signed, we leave a machine with them and then leave. What happens is sometimes people "buy" the thing and clean like hell with it for three days and then because of regulations the can legally forfeit the payments of have their money returned, and we get back a used dirty machine. Contracts should be final. If there is a cancelation period it should be at the producers will, not the governments.

    The Ecosystem

    RationalEgoistSG
    By RationalEgoistSG,
    In my experience in having discussions with environmentalists, the argument that is usually put forth is that man's excessive intrusion into the environment causes a discord in the "ecosystem." Since the ecosystem is so delicate, the environmentalists claim, it is very important that human beings do not do anything to upset it. I can attack such an argument from a moral standpoint (that environmentalism and the "ecosystem" argument attack the value of man and the very fact that he must produce in order to live). However, I am wondering how much scientific merit, if any, there is to the notion of an "ecosystem." Is there any reason to conclude that the concept of an ecosystem is flawed in some way? Thanks.

    Hello from wine country

    Marc K.
    By Marc K.,
    Hello from wine country -- the Finger Lakes region of upstate NY, My name is Marc (the energy and imagination employed in deriving a screen name was incredible). I had already made a few posts when I noticed the introduction topic. So here goes -- first things last: Only in the last two years have I gotten heavy into Ayn Rand. I read “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged” many years ago, mostly at the behest of my father (an avid objectivist). That was difficult reading for me. I knew there was a philosophy involved and I tried to absorb it while simultaneously attempting to process the story and enjoy the writing (big mistake). I struggled. Her novels are probably best read four or five times and like a detailed, foreshadowed movie, you garner something new each time. I felt satisfied upon finishing AS but I was not inspired to study Rand more. Years passed. Then came a turning point -- 9/11. One of my friends was in the first tower, he survived, but I was MAD. Those FUCKERS !!!! (I hope I’m not offending anybody but I can feel my blood boiling right now). A PC crowd would frown upon this next, but I think a group of objectivists will understand when I say: I wanted to kill as many terrorists as possible. So I tried to join the Army and was rejected. I even wrote my Congressman; no go. I’m too old; no one over 35. Still, I wanted to help my country defeat this scourge. And after months of listening to moral-relativists, patriotic-America-haters, anti-war-anarchists and violent-pascifists spew their blame-America-first rhetoric, I knew what I had to do: fight irrationality. Fortunately I knew just where to go to train myself. I have degrees in Geology and Engineering so I have a scientific, reasoning mind (though you’d be surprised how many irrational people infest these fields also; many engineers refute evolution and many geologists decry capitalism). Geology impressed upon me the scale of geologic time and grounded me firmly in the reality of earth’s history and the fact of life’s evolution. By considering the vastness of geologic time I was able to understand how such large scale change is possible via seemingly imperceptible steps. It also provided a base of knowledge fixed in the scientific method which was reinforced by my training in engineering. Engineering, like objectivist philosophy, showed me that everything is linked together. Mass and velocity, voltage and current, pressure and flow are all just different manifestations of the same forces. That most engineering problems can be solved by equating everything to energy and applying the law of conservation of energy reminds me of the irreducible objectivist axioms and their application in the refutation of most irrational arguments. As training to fight irrationality I have in the past two years read “The Ominous Parallels”, “The Voice of Reason” and “Fact and Value” and many of the essays on ARI. I have also gotten through most of ITOE and OPAR though I am still trying to integrate them fully. I refer to them constantly and have begun highlighting certain passages. I’m sure I’ll have to read them several more times. Courses and lectures from ARI have helped immensely. Now, how to fight irrationality? I thought a good place to start would be to address current issues from an objectivist viewpoint by writing essays for publication. So I trained myself to write by reading “The Art of Nonfiction” by AR (an excellently delimited, perfectly rational instruction) and “Writing a Convincing Editorial” by Robert Tracinski. I have written several essays on reinstating the draft, freedom in China, evolution vs. creationism, etc. (which I would love to have some of you vet) but I have found it difficult to get them published. I could fight irrationality’s violent agents directly by joining the Army (which failed) or perhaps the CIA, which I am giving serious consideration to. I am now joining the fight on a much more fundamental level: teaching earth science and math (the state bureaucracies are making this very difficult also without a certification). But I have been substituting and the schools are as bad as you have heard -- teachers, students, textbooks, the whole system needs to be overhauled, it desperately needs competition to evolve. Whew!!!!!!!!!!! So that’s where I am now. Struggling a bit but trying to fight. Thanks for listening, Marc

    Profile pics

    RadCap
    By RadCap,
    I know how to change the avatar image. However, I note when viewing some individual's profiles there is a larger image sometimes in the upper left of the window. How/where does one add this image?

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