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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

    Kant's Impression on Science

    By RationalBeing,
    I've recently been seriously contemplating the following passage stated by Albert Einstein: "Man tries to make for himself in the fasion that suits him best a simplified and intelligible picture of the world. He then tries to some extnt to substitute this cosmos of his for the world of experience, and thus to overcome it. . .He makes this cosmos and its construction the pivot of his emotional life in order to find in this way the peace and serenity which he cannont find in the narrow whirlpool of personal experience. . . The supreme task . . . is to arrive at those universal elementary laws from which the cosmos can be built up by pure deduction. There is no logical path to these laws; only intuition, resing on sympathetic understanding of experience, can reach them. . ." I think it is interesting to contemplate how this relates to modern day science. Einstein stated here obviously that intuition and sympathy are the only path to universal laws. Consider this concept: Some scientific truths have lasted centuries , while others last not a year, especially modern day quantum mechanic theory, et al. Consider that scientific truth is not dogmatic, good for eternity, but a temporal quantitative entity that can be studied and changed over time. Of course, how this relates to the concept of objectivity and an objective universe (one independent of man's mind) is rather interesting. If man's ability to conceive of an objective universe (as interpreted by math and physics) that is forever changing over time (temporal dynamics), is Kant's position on reason the only RATIONAL position to have? What do you think? PS: I'm aware of a movement in objectivism of a return to Newtonian Physics but please don't rebut with that... Thanks

    Monopolies and Antitrust

    By RationalEgoistSG,
    Last night, at the weekly meeting of my university's philosophical society of which I am the vice-president, we discussed the issue of antitrust law and monopolies. Our reading for the meeting was Alan Greenspan's Antitrust from Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (I am in charge of choosing the readings for the meetings, hehe). An interesting question came up that I am struggling to find a proper answer for. In the meeting, I clearly made the case that in a capitalist system, there would be no overlap of economic power and political power, and that a coercive monopoly can only exist by government force. I specifically stressed the definitions of economic power and political power and how they are separate in capitalism by definition; the distinction between coercive monopolies and non-coercive monopolies; and most importantly, that a non-coercive monopoly, no matter how much economic power it may have at a given time, can not set its prices independently of the market. Through Greenspan's article as well as my own arguments, I convinced everyone there that under capitalism, coercive monopolies could not exist. However, a problem arose that I was not able to answer fully. The objection was essentially that a company could amass so much economic power that it could maintain control of the market at a low quality product and a high price. That is not to say that such a company could FORBID the possibility of future competition, but rather that a given company would have so much economic power that it would be close to impossible for any company to successfully defeat that strong company in competition. The result of this, according to the objection, would be a drastic decrease in efficiency in that given market; efficiency being a steady increase in product quality and decrease in product price. In response to this objection, I maintained that even such a company would not be able to set its prices independently of the market. If they charged too much for their products at too low of a quality based on the demand of the consumers, they would begin to lose revenue and would have to act accordingly to increase their quality and lower their prices if they wanted to maintain their success. Regardless of how much economic power a given company has therefore, they still have to answer to the conditions of the market. However, it still seems that a company with a large amount of economic power (examples given were Microsoft and DeBeers), would be much more resistant to the conditions of the market than a much smaller company would. Essentially, it was concluded that while I had given an excellent moral justification for capitalism (based on the conception of rights that I gave, etc.), I had not demonstrated that the free market is the most efficient economic system. While I believe that history clearly demonstrates the efficiency of the free market, I am struggling to give an adequate answer to the charge that a large amount of economic power centered in one company drastically decreases the efficiency of a market. Any ideas would be appreciated!

    Can one return to free-will after anihilating it?

    By Gabriel,
    Hello! I was absent for a while. I took a few weeks of vacation from any other intellectual endeavors to focus on several issues I was particularly interested in, mostly related to my 2 previous threads here, the ones that generated quite an upheaval. I would like to share with you, in a few words, the results of my quest, and the questions still unanswered. My field of inquiry was man's mind, an issue of primary philosophical importance. 1) on emotions Unlike my previous post here claimed, I am now convinced, both intellectualy and emotionally, that emotional change IS possible. There IS a degree of control over one's own emotions. The conclusion that I've reached is that emotional change comes from action. Therefore, only thinking about emotional change won't enact it. On the other hand, compensating and modifying self-destructive behaviour does indeed directly improve the emotional state. What IS left for debate is the range of change possible. Can one act himself into fully proper living DESPITE a self-destructive emotional background? 2) on free will The conclusion I've reached is that free will exists but its application is not automatic. IF, and only if, one thinkm focuses, reasons about a certain choice, then he acted freely, according to his own will. On the other hand, if one acts unconsciously, mecanically, dogmatically, or otherwise unfocus, one "disabled" his own free will and invites determinism to set in. My question is... Once one has anihilated one's free will, one's mind, but a consistent commitment to the irrational, thus inviting social determinism, can one return to a state of free will? What are your oppinions on emotions and free will?

    Necessary Environmentalism?

    By Dan9999999,
    It seems that while most, if not all, government interference in business is wrong one environmental protection always seemed to me to be needed. While it is easy enough to assess whose land a business my be polluting the question of the air seems much more complicated. Since air moves and polluting the air can have lasting consequences, though exactly how much is questionable, isn't it necessary to have the government force companies to clean up, or simply not pollute, the air, as air cannot be practically owned.

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