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  1. Objective career advice needed

    Thank you everyone for the advice. I really appreciate it.
  2. Objective career advice needed

    Not necessarily running a business, but making money.
  3. I'll try to make this as short as possible. I'll give some details about myself that would be helpful for someone willing to give some good objective advice. I'm 22 years old, currently halfway through my business major in college. I am from a family of businessmen, and didn't give much thought to my choice of major (it felt natural to choose business, not because I loved it, but because I never had a strong desire to do anything else, and I was very curious about it). I'm from a very wealthy family, and there was always an expectation from others that my brothers and I would eventually run the family business. In my first year in college I discovered Objectivism after reading Atlas Shrugged, and fell in love with it. It was the sum of everything I unconsciously believed, and it answered important questions for me. In the following months I read all of Rand's fictional books and some of her non-fictional. During these months, I was very happy with the knowledge I was acquiring, but eventually I started feeling a little depressed (where I am now), let me tell you why. Now, at 22 years old, I don't have any passion. In my childhood I was always very creative and loved to draw (had what people call a "gift"), and tell stories. But I don't necessarily love drawing or writing today. During my teen years, all I did was read self development, success and business books. And guess what? I`m also not very enthusiastic about my business classes either (i find them boring, despite of giving me useful skills to manage my money and raise my financial IQ which is fine). I have no interest in sciences, medicine or law. After a very long introspection, I figured that I would love to work in a creative job that is dynamic and creates something meaningful and beautiful. I thought maybe, just MAYBE, I may be interested in architecture (or civil engineering), screenwriting, and painting (given my interests during childhood). However, I am more than halfway through my business degree and in less than 2 years I will have finished it. I think that giving up the degree in order to try the other things would be stupid, since I`ve come this far already. What is your opinion? Should I quit the business school immediately and search for a true passion? Also, what is the best way to figure out what I really like? For instance, how will I decide between the 4 possible options I found above? I don`t want to waste more years in college just to find out that it isn`t for me. How can I experience a little from each, without wasting that much time and money? Thank you for reading, I appreciate it. (Note: my university only offers business classes - I don`t live in the US, where most universities offer a broad range of classes).
  4. All objectivists should watch this movie

    Hello everyone! I am the one always asking questions, so now it's time for some contribution! I definitely recommend for all objectivists to watch a movie called "Locke" starring Tom Hardy. The whole movie happens inside a car, where a man has to make crucial decisions over the phone regarding his profession and personal life. I would guess the screenplay was written by an objectivist. Its definitely one of the best movies I've seen recently. Its beautiful. Have fun.
  5. Hello everyone, (Note to readers: if you are in a hurry, just skip to the questions in bold) Let me start by saying why I am bringing up this topic. I was watching True Detective (season 1) and was intrigued by the views the main character had on life. He seemed to have a very pessimist view of existence, something opposed to the "benevolent universe" idea. After searching the internet, I found that the character`s views were based on a book called "The Conspiracy Against the Human Race" by Thomas Ligotti. The idea of the book is basically that evolution has granted men with consciousness, which makes us aware of the certainty that we are going to die. According to Ligotti, consciousness produce a sense of "cosmic panic", as men comes to understand that he is just a physical being, that his own existence is linked to the survival of that organism, and that this organism is slowly deteriorating itself and coming closer to death. He goes on saying that men, specially children and young adults, have the illusion that they are immortal, and that as they get older, inevitable suffering awaits them as they approach the inevitable end of their lives. Additionally, Ligotti believes that its cruel to reproduce and put children into this world, because of the reasons stated above. I am still young, and have never felt any suffering from the knowledge that I am going to die. But when I think about it, however, it makes me sad. My grandfather is currently struggling with cancer at 81 years old, and I can see from his face that he is desperate and afraid to die. All his friends died during the last decade, slowly one by one. So, the question actually is: Is it moral to decide to end one`s life (commit suicide) in order to prevent the inevitable suffering that comes as you get older, with the knowledge that you, and people you care about, are going to die? Now, please read this excerpt from OPAR, by Leonard Peikoff, in order to better understand my next question: Life has ups and downs. Some people suffer more than others. I am not from the United States, and I have seen what life is like for the great majority of people in third world countries. Most live in great proverty and life is a struggle just to remain alive. On that basis, I don`t see why the option to decide to end one`s life in order to prevent suffering or avoid the struggle, is not moral. What are your views on this? PS. Just to clarify, I am very happy and NOT considering suicide. I just want to understand these issues better.
  6. Is remaining alive the goal of all values?

    Repairman, I am perfectly healthy. I just wanted to really "chew" the ideas so they become clear to me.
  7. Is remaining alive the goal of all values?

    I think that my misunderstanding was that I interpreted Dr. Peikoff's words too literally (or maybe he didn't explain it well in OPAR). He said that "remaining alive is the goal of values and all proper action". In other words, he stated that the ultimate value (which all lesser values are means to) is LIFE, or, to be alive. The problem is that I thought he meant only a man's physical survival. That is the cause of all the misunderstanding and discussion I was having in this thread. After reading Rand's essay on ethics (thanks for the link, Nicky), I came across the following explanation: Emphasis on the words "fulfill" and "enjoy". You see... I thought Dr. Peikoff was referring only to the mere act of physical survival, of only achieving and maintaining one's life. That is where the contradiction rested: If man's ultimate value is to only be physically alive, then, as long as he is alive and healthy, no additional values are necessary (romantic love, art, material goods, etc). However, If a man's ultimate value is to achieve, maintain, fulfill and enjoy his own life, than all kinds of values are possible to the individual, and all these values would be only means to the first. Now it seems much clearer to me. Thanks for everyone who contributed to our discussion.
  8. Is remaining alive the goal of all values?

    Thanks everyone for your thoughts on the subject. I think that this statement basically solves out debate: "May I guess that Dr Peikoff is including all that life has to offer as the essence of being alive." (thanks Repairman).
  9. Is remaining alive the goal of all values?

    whYNOT, can you elaborate more on this?
  10. Is remaining alive the goal of all values?

    Life makes all the other goals possible but its not the end of other goals. You don't have sex because you want to live longer. You don't read a great novel because it will extend your life. You do the things you do because they are pleasurable, they make you happy. Of course life makes all goals possible. If you are dead you cant achieve values. But LIFE, as in remaining alive (and by that I mean that your heart and mind are functioning), cannot be the ultimate goal. Its a prerequisite. Does anybody see that too? Let me try to explain using logic. Premise 1: Objectivism says that "remaining alive is the goal of all values", therefore the ultimate goal (OPAR chapter 6). Premise 2: I am alive, eating my food, sleeping well, drinking water and exercising regularly. Conclusion: therefore I have reached the ultimate goal, I just need to keep doing the above and thats it. Why would I pursue other values if I have reached the ultimate goal? The problem with the above is that just doing the few actions required to remain alive does not mean that the person will be happy. And if the person is not happy, why bother to be alive?
  11. Is remaining alive the goal of all values?

    Well, not according to Dr. Peikoff. He says "Objectivism says that remaining alive is the goal of values and of all proper action." You see, I agree with you Repairman. I just want to understand the reasons behind Peikoff's view.
  12. Is remaining alive the goal of all values?

    Yes, a person who has low self esteem, and who is having difficulty obtaining her values will probably lack the will to keep track of their healthy habits. That is correct. I understand that these fundamental necessities aren't a given, they are values one has to gain/keep if they want to remain alive. My point is that THESE are the values that directly affect one's survival. The "end" of other values (such as a career, romantic love, luxuries) is not to remain alive but to derive pleasure/happiness from it. If I ask you "why did you eat that dessert?" or "why did you attend that play?", you will not answer: "I did it in order to remain alive", but rather: "because It allows me to enjoy my life more". Every time I discuss and think about this issue, it gets more and more clear to me that the ultimate goal (which all other lesser goals are means to) is not merely to remain alive but to enjoy your time alive and be happy. Obviously remaining alive is a precondition, but merely remaining alive is not the ultimate goal. Repairman, I actually agreed to everything you said but you kind of drifted away from the initial point. What should be the ultimate goal, merely remaining alive, or, being happy while you are alive? OPAR is Dr. Peikoff's book "Objectivism the Philosophy of Ayn Rand".
  13. Hello everyone! I am currently studying objectivism and trying to validate its ideas on my own. At the moment I am reading OPAR and taking the time to chew the ideas and to really understand the key concepts behind Rand's philosophy. I'm done with metaphysics and epistemology, but I'm having some difficulty trying to understand the beginning of ethics. I would appreciate if someone could clarify a few things for me... In OPAR, Leonard Peikoff says the following: "An organism's life is the standard of value: that which furthers its life is the good, that which threatens it is the evil." "Objectivism says that remaining alive is the goal of values and of all proper action." But I don't see how remaining alive is the goal of values. It makes more sense to me the fact that remaining alive is the precondition to all other values, but not their goal. I understand that some values are means to remain alive, but only some. I eat in order to stay alive, I get that. And in order to get food I need to work, I get that. But I don't work only to buy food in order to stay alive, I work because it makes me feel good, because I love it, because it allows me to buy things that, not only allow me to stay alive (such as food, shelter, doctor consultations, etc), but things that give me pleasure. Sex is a value to me, and I don't do it because I want to remain alive, I do it because I derive pleasure from it. Traveling the world is a value to me, and yet I don't do it in order to stay alive, but because I like to. Driving a nice car, listening to good music, watching good movies, appreciating good art - none of these values are means to remaining alive. One will not die if he refrained from these values. The only values that a man needs to be alive are nutritious food, water, shelter, sleep and some exercise. Metaphysically speaking a man can remain alive for a lifetime by keeping only these values. So It makes more sense to me that happiness and pleasure should be the goal of all values. Does anyone also thinks like this? For instance, I would rather live 30 years HAPPY (pursuing my values and deriving rational pleasure from them) than 100 years practicing only the few actions that will make me remain alive (eating, exercising regularly, sleeping, etc). By this sentence: "...that which furthers its life is the good, that which threatens it is the evil", it seems like the important thing is not the quality of a mans life (how happy he is while he is alive) but rather how long he remains alive. So lying in a hospital bed being fed by intravenous juices would be the climax of the morally good if it makes me live 100 years? I would really appreciate different views on this subject. I am curious to know what everyone here thinks about this.
  14. Atlas Shrugged cast

    Russell Crowe as John Galt Daniel Craig as Hank Rearden Leonardo DiCaprio as Ragnar Danneskjold Robert Downey Jr as Francisco D'Anconia Phillip Seumour Hoffman as Wesley Mouch and Jodie Foster as Dagny.