Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
  • °

    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

    My Verses

    Boydstun
    By Boydstun,
    . These Words These words we read from some desire . . that someone live . . the this entire. Read is our reach, . . our grasp, our be . . life that is know . . wings that are free.   Copyright Stephen C. Boydstun 2016    

    Reblogged:Schultz's Blanket Solution?

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    Altruism.

    Over at Jewish World Review appears a short editorial by none other than former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who is testing the waters for an independent presidential candidacy. Within, Schultz engagingly tells of an encounter with a frail-looking rabbi who puts a whole room of businessmen (Schultz included) on the spot by asking them about the meaning of the Holocaust. After dismissing a couple of answers from his unprepared guests, the rabbi lays the groundwork for his answer as follows:
    I have no idea what I would do in that situation (and hope I never do). But giving the blanket away seems like the only way left one could have defied one's captors or affirmed a love of life. That said, I can't accept the rabbi's lesson:
    At best, this is an admonition to remember the best within oneself, but couched in altruism, the ethical code of every religion and our cultural default. So this might sound good to most people, but where is the actual guidance? At worst, it is an attempt to make the dangerous idea of self-sacrifice seem like an ideal.

    The businessmen who answered before the rabbi were actually closer to the truth: Never forget this atrocity, and do what one can to ensure that nothing like it ever happens again.

    Why do I say this? Because the holocaust was not a normal situation, and it is a grave (but extremely common) error to treat emergency situations like a normal framework for thinking about ethics.

    Novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand, known for upholding egoism, considers the error in part as follows:
    To be clear, I am hardly equating the atrocity that was the Holocaust with a natural emergency. It was, for its victims, a man-made emergency. This means that we can, unlike an for earthquake, do something to prevent another. But this requires careful thinking. While we can admire or even find inspiration in the actions of its victims, this makes understanding how its perpetrators came to power of vital importance. Indeed, as Leonard Peikoff comprehensively demonstrates in The Ominous Parallels, the Nazis came to power via popular vote motivated by the ideas of altruism and collectivism. This rabbi, as well as Howard Schultz, however laudable their intent might be, are giving altruism an undeserved respectability. They might plead that self-sacrifice is somehow better than sacrificing others, but I disagree. There is a real alternative to human sacrifice of every kind, but it lies in another quotation, also from Ayn Rand: "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

    -- CAV Link to Original

    Reblogged:How They Did It

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    After reading this analysis in the Guardian, I was confident of a New England victory in yesterday's Super Bowl. The below encapsulates why Bill Belichick has been successful for so long in general, and hints at how the game was going to play out:
    That said, I was hardly expecting the defensive masterpiece on display, which one of Belichick's assistants delivered. I figured on a close game, possibly with the Rams leading early, but getting worn down over the course of the game. Instead, we got this:
    Today, Flores will deservedly move on to a head coaching job in Miami. As for Belichick and the Patriots, it will be interesting to see what they come up with next.

    -- CAV Link to Original

    Which Eternity?

    Boydstun
    By Boydstun,
    Which Eternity? Rand held her axiom Existence exists to include that the universe as a whole “cannot be created or annihilated, that it cannot come into or go out of existence” (1973, 25).[1] One would naturally suppose Rand was thinking that immunity from creation or annihilation means the universe has existed an endless time in the past and will exist an endless time in the future. Plausible as that picture appears, might the axiom Existence exists not strictly entail the endless duration of Existence? Might it entail only that at no time was there nothing at all or that at no time was there no time, yet not also entail that the duration of the existence of Existence extends into a past that is infinite?[2] Might the boundary of the past be finite, and at the first, the universe have its present mass-energy (as in classical GR back to the Initial Singularity) and be passing time, yet since it was the first of time, there be no "before" that first, and it simply not be sensible to talk of a "becoming" from a "before" the first? In our philosophical reflection, should we prejudge the physics of whether the universe of mass-energy and its spacetime extend into an infinite or only a finite past? Should that issue be left to scientific cosmology to settle? Nearby issues such as whether time, space, or spacetime in any way have causal powers and whether there are more primitive physical elements from which spacetime arises should not be prejudged by philosophy, I say. Rather, those issues should be left open for scientific cosmology to settle. I think, however, that philosophy can and should go beyond observing that there was no time and will be no time at which there was nothing, go on to the conclusion that Existence is eternal, meaning endless in past and future. If no Existence at all, then no character-identity at all. Had Existence come into existence, it would have to do so in a specific way, yet that way would be some character-identity, which requires some existents and is an existent, and by hypothesis there were no existents. Coming to be without a way, as Parmenides realized, is nothing.[3] Moreover: Coming to be is itself an existent. Coming to be of the all that is Existence would be coming to be of any coming-to-be at all. That cannot be sensible unless there were some background existence lacking any coming-to-be. But by hypothesis there was no existent of any sort—thence no existent lacking coming-to-be—before the coming into existence of Existence.[4] Therefore, Existence has no beginning. Then too, absent power of coming-to-be of its entire self, Existence cannot come to be not. That is, Existence has no end.  Rand did not accept the idea that the universe as a whole is in time. She thought that time was one of those things applying to things within the universe but not on up to the entire universe itself. One might sensibly say, in Rand’s view: Existence, the entirety of all existents, is eternal in the sense that it is outside of time, but not in the sense that it exists endlessly.[5] That is erroneous. As my life advanced in time, so did the Milky Way advance in time, Andromeda too and on up to the whole universe. That is how our modern physics has it also. The universe has a certain age since such-and-such event, most importantly, since the event of the Initial Singularity (or Planck-scale of the spacetime around that classically projected event). Existence as a whole endures through definite time, and that is not to say that time or alteration can exist without other sorts of existents. Notes [1] Cf. Aristotle, Cael. 279b4–84b5; Broadie 2009; Sorabji 1983, 205–9, 245–49. [2] Cf. Lennox 1985, 68. [3] “What coming to be of it will you seek? / In what way, whence, did [it] grow? Neither from what-is-not shall I allow / You to say or think; for it is not to be said or thought / That [it] is not. And what need could have impelled it to grow / Later or sooner, if it began from nothing?” Gallop 1984, Fragment 8, lines 6–10. [4] Matter is mass-energy having nonzero rest mass. Only matter and its changes can be a clock. Were the universe to contain no matter, only pure energy, there would be nothing registering the advance of time. So far as I know from modern physics, time would yet advance while a pure-, all-energy of the universe and its changes (say, internal propagations at vacuum light speed) existed. A universe purely energy, of course, would be an existent. The current picture from scientific cosmology is that the quantity of mass-energy in the universe today is the same there has been all the way back to the Initial Singularity. Particles of ordinary matter, the neutrinos (they have nonzero rest mass), emerged after the first ten-thousandths of a second following the onset of expansion of the universe from the Initial Singularity. Dark matter, having rest mass, may have been present before the neutrinos. I gather that at the present state of scientific knowledge the remote future (years from now about 10 to the 100th power, whereas the present day is only about 10 to the 9th power from the Initial Singularity) of our ever-expanding universe will contain only or very nearly only massless particles such as photons and gravitons (Penrose 2011, 139–49). [5] Branden 1962; c. 1968, 82­–83, 101–2; Rand 1990 App. 273; Binswanger 2014, 26. Cf. Peikoff 1991, 16; Gotthelf 2000, 48. References Anagnostopoulos, G., editor, 2009. A Companion to Aristotle. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. Aristotle c.348–322. B.C. The Complete Works of Aristotle. J. Barnes, editor (1984). Princeton: Princeton University Press. Branden, N. 1962. The “First Cause” Argument. The Objectivist Newsletter 1(5):19. ——. c.1968. The Basic Principles of Objectivism. In The Vision of Ayn Rand 2009. Gilbert: Cobden Press. Binswanger, H. 2014. How We Know. New York: TOF Publications. Broadie, S. 2009. Heavenly Bodies and First Causes. In Anagnostopoulous 2009. Gallop, D. 1984. Parmenides of Elea – Fragments. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Gotthelf, A., editor, 1985. Aristotle on Nature and Living Things. Pittsburgh: Mathesis. Gotthelf, A. 2000. On Ayn Rand. Belmont: Wadsworth. Lennox, J. G. 1985. Are Aristotelian Species Eternal? In Gotthelf 1985. Peikoff, L. 1991. Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. New York: Dutton. Penrose, R. 2011. Cycles of Time. New York: Knopf. Rand, A. 1973. The Metaphysical versus the Man-Made. In Philosophy: Who Needs It. New York: Signet. ——1990. Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. Expanded 2nd ed. H. Binswanger and L. Peikoff, editors. New York: Meridian. Sorabji, R. 1983. Time, Creation, and the Continuum. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Portal by DevFuse · Based on IP.Board Portal by IPS
×