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  1. Like
    Repairman reacted to dream_weaver in Can’t find a way to take a decision using just objective criteria)))   
    Delving a bit deeper into Objectivity in this 121st post, a definition which was requested and provided as the 41st post in this thread, a complimentary passage can be found in Who Is The Final Authority In Ethics.
    It is obvious that the root of such questions ["Is it intellectual plagiarism to accept and even to use philosophical principles and values discovered by someone else?"] is a certain kind of conceptual vacuum: the absence of the concept of objectivity in the questioner's mind.
    Objectivity is both a metaphysical and an epistemological concept. It pertains to the relationship of consciousness to existence. Metaphysically, it is the recognition of the fact that reality exists independent of any perceiver's consciousness. Epistemologically, it is the recognition of the fact that a perceiver's (man's) consciousness must acquire knowledge of reality by certain means (reason) in accordance with certain rules (logic). This means that although reality is immutable and, in any given context, only one answer is true, the truth is not automatically available to a human consciousness and can be obtained only by a certain mental process which is required of every man who seeks knowledge—that there is no substitute for this process, no escape from the responsibility for it, no shortcuts, no special revelations to privileged observers—and that there can be no such thing as a final "authority" in matters pertaining to human knowledge. Metaphysically, the only authority is reality; epistemologically—one's own mind. The first is the ultimate arbiter of the second.
    The concept of objectivity contains the reason why the question "Who decides what is right or wrong?" is wrong. Nobody "decides." Nature does not decide—it merely is; man does not decide, in issues of knowledge, he merely observes that which is. When it comes to applying his knowledge, man decides what he chooses to do, according to what he has learned, remembering that the basic principle of rational action in all aspects of human existence, is: "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed." This means that man does not create reality and can achieve his values only by making his decisions consonant with the facts of reality.
    This provides some rationale why volitional adherence to reality is prudent. It does not cover the fact that spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean or of the Rocky Mountains exist. It does point out that in any given context, only one answer is true, thus trying to decide in a vacuum, i.e., trying to make a contextless decision, would be a departure from objectivity.
    If you do lift the corner of the aforementioned rug, could you check to see if this was inadvertently swept under it as well?
    "Do you cry that you find no answers? By what means did you hope to find them? You reject your tool of perception—your mind—then complain that the universe is a mystery. You discard your key, then wail that all doors are locked against you. You start out in pursuit of the irrational, then damn existence for making no sense.
    — This is John Galt Speaking
  2. Like
    Repairman reacted to dream_weaver in Can’t find a way to take a decision using just objective criteria)))   
    Most returns on the quote as cited point to Friedrich Nietzsche —"One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil."
    Sensei used to say something along the lines "One learns more as a teacher than as a student." That  doesn't get nearly as many Google nibbles.
  3. Like
    Repairman reacted to MisterSwig in Can’t find a way to take a decision using just objective criteria)))   
    I don't know what you believe. That's why I asked you. Anyway, take care. I'm gonna climb into the peanut gallery for the rest of the show. 
  4. Like
    Repairman reacted to dream_weaver in Can’t find a way to take a decision using just objective criteria)))   
    When the pupil is ready, the teacher appears.
  5. Like
    Repairman got a reaction from dream_weaver in Can’t find a way to take a decision using just objective criteria)))   
    Jose,  judging by your responses to this exchange, it appears that you're somehow determined to demonstrate that objectivity can't exist. Am I wrong?
    I can't help noticing that you spell, "Subjective," as if it were related somehow to a specific religion or philosophical school of thought. And yet, in the following sentence, the word, "objective," is not capitalized, suggesting that we're not discussing Objectivism as all. But to address your reply to my comment: No, there is no objectivity necessary when making a subjective decision. Is going a restaurant an objective choice? Yes, if you wish it to be. However, wishing is a subjective practice. You may choose to overwhelm yourself with internal conflict over where to conduct your dining.  But, anyone who complicates their life with such indecision is loosing the opportunity to live freely. You are a slave to indecision. You are not pursuing Objectivist standards. If you wish to make an objective decision, make clear your criterion with regard to your intended end result before deciding o your conclusion.
    I clearly did not say that "all choices are subjective." You took that portion of words out of context from the entire statement. Was that intentional? Are we discussing Objectivism, or are you merely trolling?
  6. Like
    Repairman got a reaction from Yes in Technology changing the models of doing business   
    Sonic & Knuckles,
    You're covering a lot of topics; you might consider breaking it down a little, or searching for threads related to each of these areas of discussion. Nonetheless, I'll take a few of your questions and try to answer briefly.
    work is generally being replaced by machines. Yes, labor intense work is often replaced by machines. Machines increase productivity. Increased productivity results in greater output at a lower cost. Net result: More people will be able to afford the goods and services that, at present, only the higher income market can afford. Services made more efficient through high-speed communications are another improvement.
    So many jobs are going to be gone in the next decade. I think this is going to make the distortions and socio-economic gaps we already have in society much worse. What you are describing has been a concern since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, especially in mass manufacturing. The blacksmiths and candlestick makers were taking a terrible beating back then, but it certainly wasn't the end of the world. You are right to be concerned about being "left behind." I think every young person, (and for that matter, middle-aged people stuck in jobs of the aging industries) ought to seriously plan for the reality of mechanization in the Digital-Age. Objectivist ethics requires one to face the facts, and to deal with them accordingly. As for society getting worse, I think the worst will affect those at the economic bottom, as it always has.
    The changing ways of doing business like watching a movie or shopping, and the effects of business like concentration of ownership of media with newspapers and (formerly) locally-managed TV/radio stations is creating a scenario in the private market that can be analogous to centralization or Communism in many ways. If the media outlets are privately owned, it certainly wouldn't qualify as Communism, which means that the media are a monopoly owned and operated by the government; so long as the internet stays relatively unregulated, centralization of information is unlikely. I would say the greater problem is the reaction of the general public to hysteria inflamed by the media. As long as there is a market for entertainment and information products, be they physical or digital on-demand, those products will be produced. Ask anyone with a vinyl record collection.
    As for your neurological condition, I have no comments. I hope the best for your improvement, and by all means, spend some time reading some of the works of Ayn Rand.
  7. Like
    Repairman reacted to KevinD in Grieving the loss of God   
    I was raised with religion. Over time, as I developed and become more intellectually independent, I outgrew it.
    For me, there has been no grief, only relief.
    I'm tempted to say the grief happened when I believed. Life as an atheist is considerably more laid-back and enjoyable.
  8. Like
    Repairman reacted to StrictlyLogical in The family cannot survive without duty.   
    I am an Objectivist.  I love my family, they are my highest values, as though they are my very life and being.  If I lost them I would lose myself... in that way we are in spirit, inseparable.
    I do not flinch at the sky, or look over my shoulder, or worry about Big Brother, God or Gods or my neighbour when I think, feel, and act in relation to my family.  Neither does something intrinsic in the Universe vibrate to impinge upon my will.  The is no Duty anywhere, only free will, and my choice to live as great and flourishing a life as I can, and that means MY values, MY Life, MY family.
    Anyone who acted obediently to Duty but in contradiction with their values, their life, their loves, to do anything for the welfare of a family member they "really" would rather not have done would have NO place telling an egoist what family is about.  It surely is NOT duty.
    A mother who declares it is a "sacrifice" to forego buying a hat to buy food for her child, is confessing that she values the hat more than the child's welfare, and rather than being praised for her sense of duty (or guilt) she should be condemned for her lack of humanity, her superficiality, and ignorance of the true value of family to flourishing. A mother who loves her child less than a hat clearly has issues.  She should do some soul searching or seek some major therapy... and if she continues to literally love a hat, a HAT, more than her child (after years of what should have been love filled, close, high quality bonding for both her and her child) it would likely be best for them both if she gave up the child for adoption.
    True family, true love of any kind requires true egoism and quite the opposite of any belief in some kind of Duty... which in any case, whether supernatural or intrinsic, would purely be an illusion.  
    Unfortunately it takes an Egoist, a fully rational, valuing, and feeling Egoist to understand this.
  9. Thanks
    Repairman got a reaction from Easy Truth in Heirs to dictatorships   
    I suppose you could say we're bothered by the same hazardous economic and social trends. I would point out that the power is not at present concentrate under the seat of any singular authority. Individual rights are under attack, but not as of yet subdued.
    I would check the credibility of anyone claiming to be both an Objectivist and supporter of Pinochet. In any case, we're not there yet, but the institutions of liberty in the USA make the Road to Serfdom a much longer trek. As a matter of agreement, I have express my concerns of a dystopian outcome:
    American citizens being treated as children by their government? Of course, most of them always have been. But I often see signs of rationality among a minority of "commoners," giving me cause for optimism. I don't think you can make a case at this time that America is a dictatorship, but check back in another decade.
  10. Like
    Repairman reacted to Nicky in Quick Question: What time period was America at it's Best?   
    Nonsense. The US has a long history of being a force for good in the world, and it's in its self interest to continue to be that. It may not always be done out of well articulated rational selfishness, but that doesn't change the fact that US foreign policy is contributing to a more free and more prosperous world, and that is to the benefit of the American people.
    Trump doesn't get that, because he doesn't understand what "good" even is. He has no principles. His idea of good leadership is what thugs like Putin are doing: a cynical, nationalistic drive to raise your country over others, without any regard to principles or decency. That's why he has expressed admiration for Putin.
  11. Like
    Repairman got a reaction from softwareNerd in Quick Question: What time period was America at it's Best?   
    The answer to your question would need to be qualified, of course, by a specific standard of "good." Using the early 1960s as a standard is reasonable, based on domestic conditions, but on the international scene, there were problems most people would choose to ignore. The economy was flourishing and it was very common for any white man who was willing to get a job could easily find one, and that job would allow him to support a family of two or more children, while the wife managed the household without going out to work. Idealizing the 1950s/1960s, of the  "Leave It to Beaver", "Mayberry," and "Camelot" facade, often overlooks the tragic shortcomings of a society unwilling to shed its racist and sexist norms. Less obvious were the costs of the Cold War, the secret international adventurism of the Cold War, conscription into military service, and all of the rest of the anxiety caused by the Cold War.
    I'm inclined to agree with JASKN. It seems so easy to see only the problems in the present, and to romanticize the past. History ranks among my favorite interests. I'm rarely surprised to find the grim truth about the past, no matter how the popular legend portrays it.
  12. Like
    Repairman reacted to JASKN in Quick Question: What time period was America at it's Best?   
    NOW, obviously. Lifespans are the longest ever, people are more civilized, every single life is a zillion times wealthier, leisure time abounds, knowledge only goes up because all past knowledge is instant and free, ice cream only gets more popular so we have like 500 more choices than ever before, and humanity still has its built-in bullshit meter intact.
    Now, a lot of people just need to realize it's this good not because it always was.
  13. Like
    Repairman reacted to Tenderlysharp in Elon Musk   
    I saw an interview where Musk is talking about this.  They try to discourage him, saying we have enough problems here on earth.  He mentioned some ancient wonders that we forgot how to build.  The way space travel has been gaining inertia since the 60's.  Knowledge and progress are not automatic.  It takes a lot of work by a lot of people to get us to another planet.  
    I sometimes wonder if Objectivism has the vital vigor it had when Ayn Rand was alive?  
    I like that his companies have a "No Assholes Policy".  
  14. Like
    Repairman got a reaction from Tenderlysharp in Elon Musk   
    It is because of individuals, such as Elon Musk, that I remain an optimist, albeit a cautious optimist. The innovations of today are the conventional and common-place of tomorrow. Modern marvels, such as the 3D printer and genomic mapping, might be enough to persuade any skeptic as to the possibilities of a world such as envisioned in The Jetsons and Star Trek. The fantastic doesn't seem so much like fantasy anymore. Nonetheless, it would only take a misguided movement, or even one psychotic individual to take humanity in the wrong philosophical/ideological direction, and into reverse rather than real progress. One day, there may be more humans living in outer-Terrestrial habitats than on Earth, or the human race could revert to a new dark age, and once again on the verge of extinction.
    "If men grasp the source of their destruction-if they dedicate themselves to the greatest of all crusades: a crusade for the absolutism of reason-the twenty-first century will have a chance once more."--Ayn Rand from Philosophy: Who Needs It. (p. 111).
  15. Like
    Repairman reacted to StrictlyLogical in Veganism under Objectivism   
    A morality which is defined as self-interest, and as everything in existence, restricted to adhere to the facts of reality, it necessarily will guide humans to:
    1.  form societies in which politically, humans are granted rights; and
    2.   raise, eat, and use (for research or whatever purpose) animals and plants
    This is inescapable from the philosophy of self-interest and the facts of reality.
  16. Like
    Repairman reacted to Eiuol in Veganism under Objectivism   
    To add one last thing. Babies are human and have a capacity to use reason that will fully develop. Animals can't and don't fully develop it at any point or ever.
  17. Like
    Repairman reacted to 2046 in Antifa fascists attack Yaron Brook and Sargon of Akkad   
    Hot off the presses, boys. Yaron's forum talk with the liberal YouTuber Sargon of Akkad at the King's Libertarian Society, when ironically they were literally in the middle of denouncing the Alt Right and discussing the objectivist critique of fascism, the thugs burst in the room to shut down the forbidden wrongthink.
    Looks like they were more interested in Sargon than Yaron, but they seem to have held their own against the masked effeminate commies, even though security was rather inept at removing them. Yaron posted a follow up video afterwards.
    Some good comments on there. Yaron heroically stomping on the captured Antifa flag, just warms my heart. ❤️
  18. Like
    Repairman reacted to Capitalist Chris in Avoiding the pitfalls in learning philosophy   
    Thanks for the recommendations StrictlyLogical and Repairman. It has been recommended to me a few times now to go through Peikoff's History of Philosophy. I've heard nothing, but good things.
    Repairman, that books sounds like a really good one for me. A good overview of all that is out there. I don't need (or expect) to be an expert in everything, but I think it's valuable for me to have a decent understanding of what is out there. I also hear you with regards to physical books, especially when I was moving (they're heavy), it's one of the reasons I purchased a Kindle. I'll add the book to my on going list.
    'For the New Intellectual' and 'The Voice of Reason' are both on the list still. Plus I want to go through Peikoff's OPAR. This is the problem with only 24 hours in a day, I can't consume them all.
    Thanks again.
  19. Like
    Repairman reacted to Invictus2017 in How much danger are we in? What can we do?   
    Russia is our enemy, just as it is to any semi-rational people. But, unless Russia starts throwing around nukes, they are not a danger anywhere near that of our own government, enabled by a populace that values what it imagines as security over actual freedom.

    If anything, Russia might have done us a favor in their efforts to get Trump elected -- there is always the chance that Trump's awfulness will serve as a dash of cold water in the face of the American electorate.

    (OK, you can call me Pollyanna now. :))
  20. Like
    Repairman got a reaction from softwareNerd in Political Factions-The Good, The Bad And The Ugly   
    Factions are a reality of politics, as you have pointed out. I would not entirely with your statement that factions are a define threat to our Republic. In general, I agree with the intent of this statement, but the threat is not the divisions in civic leadership. Rather, it is the ideological or philosophical influences most widely accepted in our society. Factions have existed within every society, from the tribal, to the superstate. In the case of our present day democracy, it is the people, the majority, who decide the persons in leadership. But if they choose between one statist over another, they will only wind up with another statist. If your vote goes for the candidate(s) that will fix your street, the guy on the other street has equal justification for outrage. Rather than entangle this message with alternatives to democracy, I believe there are other ways to vote, such as with one's wallet or one's feet. If Americans were to embrace a more laissez faire political system, a more just system of public appropriation and expenditure might emerge. While this would certainly be a hard sell in these times, advocacy of individualism, capitalism, reason, and Objectivism would be the best way to begin the long journey of reaching the desired goal of a more just social order.
  21. Like
    Repairman reacted to Nicky in Is there ever an excuse for rudeness?   
    You don't have to. Words come with definitions. It's kind of a package deal:
    Rudeness is a display of disrespect by not complying with the social norms or etiquette of a group or culture. These norms have been established as the essential boundaries of normally accepted behaviour.
    Rudeness has nothing to do with being abusive towards a person. There's a great movie quote by Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter, to his tied up, disfigured victim: " Now you're being rude, and I hate rude people." I think it really helps illuminate what the word means: killing and eating people alive isn't rude...the victim using bad words, as it's happening, is.
    So it's not so much a question of "is there an excuse to be rude?", as it is "is there a need for an excuse to be rude?". Is being rude a bad thing? Or should rudeness be your default setting, and restraint/polite behavior the setting you need a special reason for?
    Personally, I think it's the latter: if you're looking to fit in with a group, especially in a very serious professional setting, you should probably follow etiquette. For the most part. On the other hand, if you're looking to challenge, surprise, amuse, intrigue, etc. a person or a group of people...breaking with social norms is not a bad way to do that. It's why most comedians say shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits a lot (hm... light bulb just went on: maybe I should highlight these...bet more people will read my post...which in turn will make my point...clicks on edit...how do you make something red? I don't think I ever used this feature before ).
    It's probably also why a certain politician (who already has way too many threads about him, so let's not get into it here too) is so rude, though of course he's doing it in what should be that serious professional setting I mentioned earlier.
    P.S. Even in a professional setting, you probably don't want to be 100% compliant with etiquette. You ARE still allowed to be a non-conformist, you just have to be more cognizant of the effect it has on others, because, unlike in your private life or at a comedy show, they're not hanging out with you by choice. If you make them uncomfortable, they can't just leave. That's when it goes from being rude and crosses into being abusive.
    Rudeness is not just for professional comedians, either. I would hate to have friends who are always polite. It's boring and dishonest. And I find that most people feel the same way. They might not want to have to deal with "too much personality" from co-workers or clients they can't shut out if it's not to their taste, but outside the workplace, compliance with most etiquette becomes and obstacle to efficient communication. And it's not by accident, either: most etiquette is designed to stop people from easily finding sex partners. That's why so much of it is about regulating men's behavior "especially when ladies are present", and vice-versa.
    It also extends to family: I will teach my children to be polite, of course (in the presence of my own parents, for instance, because that's how I was raised, and why stir that hornet's nest...and, of course, at school), but I will not require them to be polite in my presence. Wanna be the cutest five year old ever? Go ahead and swear to your heart's delight. Fart too. Eat with your hands, and talk with your mouth full. Do all four at the same time.
  22. Like
    Repairman reacted to CartsBeforeHorses in Poem: There Is No Greater Love   
    A man from deserts afar
    wrote this as he gazed to the stars:
    "There is no greater love
    than that which comes from god above.
    Pray the Lord your soul to keep
    do not thine understanding seek."
    A boy from Georgia read that book
    but never took a deeper look.
    If God's love was real inside this boy,
    Then why did it seem to steal his joy?
    He could not feel this god above.
    He did not know the truth of love.
    Was lost as those around him said,
    "You'll find your heaven in the end."
    For years he searched, blind and sad.
    Was love in this world not to be had?
    A woman from tundra afar
    wrote this as she gazed to the stars:
    "There is no greater love
    than what a man for himself does.
    Pull pride and reason off the shelf
    and let your guidance be yourself."
    The lost boy, then a man become
    Knew that his search was now done.
    He felt the love inside his soul;
    for his own sake, he was made whole.
    For the first time since his birth,
    he could have heaven here on earth.
    No waiting on a realm unseen,
    when this world can fulfill man's dreams.
    There is no greater love than this:
    to live life here in selfish bliss.
  23. Like
    Repairman reacted to Invictus2017 in Uzbek national kills 8 in NYC, shouts "Allahu Akbar"   
    I did my bit for perspective and sanity, and I have nothing material to add.
    As for this terrorist, I prefer Roark's answer to Toohey:  "But I don't think of you."  Evil is not important, not unless it happens to significantly affect my life, and neither this scum nor his brothers-in-murder are likely to affect my life even a little.  Unless, of course, public hysteria about terrorism is used as an excuse to tighten up the American police state.  But whose fault would that be?
    All of which is a long-winded way of saying, "I'm outta here".  I need to return my attention to where it belongs, on ways of making a better future.
  24. Like
    Repairman reacted to softwareNerd in Uzbek national kills 8 in NYC, shouts "Allahu Akbar"   
    It think its normal to be much more alert to risks that are caused by the malicious intent of others. Drunk drivers probably kill many more people each year than terrorist drivers do, but the difference is culpable-negligence vs. malafide intent. And, I wouldn't be surprised if bad drivers kill even more than drunk ones. Even in that type of negligence, I suspect that negligence caused by acts of omission cause less anger than those caused by positive acts of commission. Does it make sense to use this range: acts of nature that we have not being able to predict on one extreme, and malafide human actors at the other extreme? Does it make sense for some purposes, but not for others?
  25. Like
    Repairman got a reaction from dream_weaver in Popularizing Objectivism: Is it possible without compromising objectivity, truth and the good?   
    So far, this is the strongest and most simplified argument for NOT proselytizing Objectivism to anyone other than your children. Why bother trying to change the minds of those unwilling to embrace the fundamentals of Objectivism. Why bother probing the minds of people who likely would not be good company. The connection between fun and popularity needs little explanation. But satisfaction does not come from being popular; satisfaction comes from being successful. One can easily attract all the friends one needs after one has achieved success, and it's entirely possible that one, two, or more of your friends will activate their minds enough to reconsidering their views. They might even become Objectivists. But if they don't, there's no reason they couldn't remain one's friends, as long as one wishes them to be.
    If one is striving for success, I have found that it is of little benefit to strive for fun or popularity, when one's time could be better spent reaching one's next goal.
    The greatest impediment to Objectivism's popularity is the atheist component. From personal experience, sharing Objectivism with people who plan to retire for eternity with their good buddy, Jesus, is a bad idea. I don't expect such people to be receptive to reason, nor would I expect them to have much in common with me. And while I realize that this is not at all an either-or-proposition, I'd rather be right than popular. No one proselytized to me. I had to discover the works of Ayn Rand after many years almost entirely at random. While I suppose it's better late than never, I am hopeful, that is, I am still able to rise to a higher level of personal success. I am hopeful that one day a franchise of secular private elementary schools may make The Fountainhead part of its required literary studies. I am hopeful that just such an effective learning environment could discover new ways to make philosophy fun, and thereby more popular. Maybe someone will invent a popular video game that promotes reality-based morality. I will leave that task to much younger innovators. Persuasion can yield results, but early indoctrination would work much better. Just look at the results early indoctrination as had for the government and parochial schools.
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