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human_murda

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  1. The question itself is wrong. Sexuality isn't decided at a single point. It involves your entire sense of life, all the decisions you made after birth, including your choice to have fantasies to develop and automatize your desires.
  2. I'm not going to defend claims I didn't make.
  3. @Nicky Why do I have to defend the claim that homosexuals are irrational? Why did you assume that was my position? I have little to no interest in the "morality" of gays/lesbians because of their sexual orientation.
  4. I'll just say that no causal relation between any human trait/tendency/desire and cellular properties at conception have ever been discovered (including alcoholism, addiction, sexuality: all correlations discovered are less that 99.99%). And as an additional note, if the only choice humans have is between repression and appeasement ("Whether or not you act on a desire is a choice"), then that directly disproves Objectivism (that man is an integrated being). Of course, you can escape this conclusion by saying no impulses should be repressed/appeased. But that is just whim-worship. Besides, I've never felt a desire I can't trace back to my values (i.e., my values and desires are always consistent, whether I feel a conscious sense of choice or not), so I think it's pointless for me to continue this discussion. Let the people who have phantom desires discuss this. Everybody keeps talking about inborn desires. I have no idea what it is. My desires and values are consistent, and my values are chosen (inasmuch as I chose to think). What is the only conclusion you can derive from this? Try introspecting your own psychology and try to see if there is any inconsistency. And as many times as gay people repeat that they would never choose to be gay in a homophobic society, is there any actual inconsistency between their values and their desires? Don't they love their partners? Or are they claiming that they value their partners so little that they would ditch their partners at the slightest touch of social pressure? I don't find any inconsistency between their values and their desires. As much as they say they have no choice in the matter, I've never heard anyone say they hate who they're attracted to. They might hate the attraction, but they still value who they're attracted to. I don't see any inconsistency. It takes a lot of introspection to see that there is no contradiction between your values and your desires, that your desires are just what you would expect given what you truly value (despite superficial protests).
  5. The classification of species depends on how distinguishable the different species are. Recently, giraffes have been claimed to be four species, not one. Now if you're talking about time scales, the question of which species an animal belongs to has a discreet answer. So you may say that from 0-4999yrs you have species 1 and from 5000-10000yrs you have species 2, leaving out a year inbetween for distinguishability. Of course, the real point is that species do not "turn into" another. This is merely an epistemological device used at the concrete level. At the level of molecules and mutations, entities retain their nature even when species "change" from one into the other.
  6. I agree with the essence of your argument. I think this fact leads to the hierarchical nature of knowledge.
  7. I made a mistake in these statements. It should start as: ""Homosexuality is not a choice. It...". These are fallacious arguments. I believe that all desires are a choice, that all desires are the psychological manifestations of your values and that your values are not genetic. Of course, you can't 'will' your sexual desire but that's just the law of identity in action and doesn't disprove the fact that your sexuality is ultimately a choice. The fact that you can't will it merely means that it's an entity of specific nature. You can't will yourself into loving mathematics or physics. That doesn't mean there is no choice involved. Values have to be discovered first (and values can't be willed). It ultimately comes down to your choice to think and find out.
  8. If you want to consider it in terms of psychology, which I'm sure everybody thinks about daily, consider a fundamental issue (fundamental because everybody either falls on one side or the other): appeasement. Appeasement is derived from a belief in the primacy of consciousness (and therefore rejects the law of identity). Fundamentally, because you are a living organism, you can either possess a virtue or try to appease the need for it. For example: With regards to the virtue of having a purpose: you can either have a genuine purpose in life or try to appease your own psychology (i.e., your need for a purpose) by wagering a belief in God, who would help in faking your purpose. The cause of this is the belief in your ability to appease your own psychology as though it has no identity, i.e., as though a genuine purpose is equivalent to a fake one as far as your need for a purpose is concerned. This proceeds from a belief in primacy of consciousness, of an infinite power over your own psychology. In self-esteem people try to appease that need by seeking an automatic claim to it (racial/familial/cultural). Then they act as though this pretension is equivalent to a real one, wondering why they need constant approval from others and defending irrational racial claims as though they need it like air. This is again an attempt to subvert reality by attempting to appease it. Sensing a need for reasons for their beliefs, they attempt to cheat it using rationalizations, as though reality can be cheated, i.e., as though the law of identity can be cheated. They ignore the fact that pretending won't change reality. Using the same reasons, other people cannot be, ultimately, appeased since they exist and follow the law of identity. Then there is the "scientific" claim by psychologists: that your unconscious manufactures a need for you (and these needs are determined by your genes). Since it is a manufactured need, most people believe that this unconscious monster can be appeased through sheer will. These manufactured needs of the unconscious directly gives "scientific" support to the necessity of the primacy of consciousness (you need to appease your pedophilic urges don't you, through porn or whatever means?). People think they actually need to appease some unconscious monster, which is further disregard for the law of identity. Appeasement, ultimately, is the belief that the law of identity can be bent to your will. (Of course, emotions are manufactured by your subconscious, but not by your genes. The constant use of emotions as a scapegoat makes their arguments seem semiplausible, but it isn't so). These manufactured genetic need also includes the supposed genetic need to merge with a collective (and you would be unhappy if you don't appease this need). Of course all talk of manufactured needs is destroyed by the fact that your needs are determined by the law of identity applied to your faculties and cannot be manufactured. All needs proceed from the relation of your existence to reality (and these needs can't be manufactured). Your brain can't manufacture a need that doesn't exist in reality (i.e., your brain can't create a need that doesn't proceed from the law of identity applied to a particular faculty. It cannot create any and all "needs" without a corresponding faculty for it). There is nothing in your brain that creates a need to merge with the collective (self, ego, sex have nothing to do with collectivism). Love for others is an emotion (and not an unconscious, manufactured need that needs to be appeased as many altruists want you to believe. It is a response to values). The need for reason, purpose and self-esteem proceed from the fact that you are a being of volitional consciousness. They can't be manufactured (by your brain without possessing volition) or appeased, by the law of identity.
  9. This was the argument I meant: "Homosexuality is a choice. It would be convenient if the above was true (politically, because you can't be held responsible for something you did not directly or indirectly choose). Therefore you must believe that homosexuality is a choice if you support gay rights." - this is an appeal to consequences. If it went like: "Homosexuality is a choice. It would be convenient if the above was true (politically, because you can't be held responsible for something you did not directly or indirectly choose). Anyone who doesn't believe that homosexuality is a choice is a bigot and must be prosecuted somehow." - this is an ad baculum fallacy.
  10. I would say self-esteem enters much earlier than this. How did he conclude that the highest "sheer joy" he can find involved driving a stolen car? He believes that life itself (his own life primarily) has nothing else to offer him. His standard is death. It is a problem of self-esteem (it is a compromise between life and death: he has chosen life [as in, to exist] but has never dared to live it). He seems to face no moral struggle in stealing someone else's car initially. The standard he has accepted is altruism (and hence, he finds no value in his own life). Self-esteem is too deep. It exists in every human (i.e., self-initiated) action, from combing your hair to eating your food. It's too bad that humanities has been reduced to social and cultural "studies", instead of man's nature and what it requires.
  11. Being 'Selfish' essentially means 'concerned with oneself'. This is the essential definition which Objectivism shares with the way most people use it. You need to consider its relation to other concepts to further analyze it: First consider the relationship between metaphysics and morality: In a Universe where God exists (and revelations and miracles exist), those who rally against God are immoral. Now, consider the premise that the Universe is incomprehensible (what Ayn Rand would call Malevolent Universe premise'). In such a Universe, no personal morality or philosophy is possible. For anybody who believes in it, the only reality that can be salvaged is their psycho-epistemology (which they believe to be the author of the plot of their lives). For them, everything is 'my emotions' vs 'your emotions'. "Real world" means the irrationlity of other people. According to them, reality is incomprehensible, but you're free to manipulate the emotions ("the only reality") of other people. For them, emotional manipulation is their only weapon of survival in an incomprehensible Universe. If they manipulate their employer, they get a job. People are rich or poor according to chance/fate. Either way, they are not the authors of their lives. Thus the rich should share their lucky fortunes with others... A special form of selfishness arises from this. They believe the malevolent universe premise but protect emotions only for themselves. They also self-righteously defend their hateful actions (because 'such is life'). These "selfish" people believe that they trampled over other people's emotions and lives to get where they are (I don't doubt it) and that anyone who refuses to do the same don't know how life works. If you're not willing to manipulate, you're not worthy of existence (of living in the "real world"). These are the manipulators or "wolves". The drama of their lives consists of their contempt for sheep who won't make it (anyone with an ounce of self-esteem will be sheep in this world view). These are also the fashionable nonconformists. An altruist's world view presents this as the only alternatives for living on Earth: sheep or wolf; victim or predator; sacrificial victim or moral cannibal. Anyone with some self-esteem will choose to be the victim and expect rewards in some other Universe (afterlife, respect from posterity). [AR: "No value is higher than self-esteem, but you’ve invested it in counterfeit securities—and now your morality has caught you in a trap where you are forced to protect your self-esteem by fighting for the creed of self-destruction."] Malevolent Universe premise must be "preserved" to justify the morality of altruism. Philosophers of altruism must destroy man's reason... This false dichotomy between wolf and sheep is the reason why anyone who hurts another's emotions is considered selfish. This is the reason why committing suicide out of spite is considered selfish (despite how stupid that sounds)... Both Objectivism and people who have never heard of Objectivism use the same essential meaning of selfishness: 'concerned with oneself'. They refer to the same aspect of reality (and therefore, the same concept). Where they differ in is its logical relation to other concepts (based on their metaphysical premises). Rational selfishness means selfishness that is consistent with its own world-view (comprehensible Universe). Rational means ‘consistent with reality’. P.S.:- This is also the reason why discussions involving imaginary scenarios (life boat situations) where egoism is not possible gives rise to altruistic solutions to the problem. Egoism is not possible in an incomprehensible/malevolent Universe (I don't want to discuss more about this. Precise discussion needs more rigorous concepts and logic).
  12. True. When I said compromise, I meant making compromises in your life (like the summary of the musical suggested: they were certainly not talking about Call of Duty when they said "play the game"). However, I think the question of which meaning I'm referring to (concrete or abstract) should be evident from the context. I also disagree that the way most people use the word "selfishness" does not convey its "primary meaning" (although I used to have a different opinion about this). Self-esteem is not a question of making mistakes. It's a question of irrationality (AR: "Self-esteem is reliance on one’s power to think."). You cannot have authentic self-confidence while being irrational. You're confusing self-esteem with self-confidence. Self-confidence doesn't "cause" anything. It is the result: estimate of your own abilities (and should not be built on irrationality). It was, apparently, an irrational estimate of your own ability that made your pursuit a failure. It was "reality" that failed you (much like the Peter Pan example). Self-esteem is the estimate of your worth: here is where "compromise" comes in and it is, psychologically, the root of all rationality or irrationality, depending on what standard you use to estimate it (self or other, i.e., self-interest or self-sacrifice; life or death) [AR: "No value is higher than self-esteem, but you’ve invested it in counterfeit securities—and now your morality has caught you in a trap where you are forced to protect your self-esteem by fighting for the creed of self-destruction."]. Yes The so-called "play the game" success may give someone a boost in their self-confidence (depending on their psychology). The thing that is destroyed, as also the central issue of this thread, is self-esteem.
  13. All instances of compromise are a matter of self-esteem. Self-esteem is the central issue in all cases where 'ends' appear to contradict the 'means'.. End does not justify the means: neither with regard to yourself (not making compromises to achieve "happiness" or money) nor with regard to others (not using force on others. This is the way self-esteem enters the realm of politics). They're both fundamentally the same issue. Morally, rights are an issue of self-esteem. Nobody who fundamentally believes in making compromises for themselves to become rich (or for any other ends) has any business in advocating capitalism (or happiness). You can't do good by using force (i.e., you can't make someone happy at the cost of their self-esteem). This is the meaning of "man is an end in himself". Both socially (as capitalism) and personally. The ends and means are, respectively, happiness and self-esteem (socially, non-initiation of force). Happiness cannot contradict self-esteem. Nobody "wins" in attempting such a contradiction. Man is an end in himself.
  14. It's too imprecise to say "it's really bad for one's happiness". Non-achievement of happiness can be said to be what is wrong with every moral failure (since happiness is the goal of everything), but it's too vague. The issue specific to the problem raised here is self-esteem.
  15. Now, if you want further elaboration or are going to say: "compromise is necessary", consider this: Capitalism is the only political system where compromise (on principles) is unnecessary. It is the only political system consistent with man's self esteem, i.e., man's nature. Whenever you see a "necessary" compromise, the action you need to pursue is the political establishment of capitalism... Also, consider this Rand quote: i.e., it is the only political system consistent with man's right to exist as man: without compromises and with self-esteem.