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Severinian

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Severinian last won the day on September 30 2013

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About Severinian

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  1. Heirs to dictatorships

    I originally posted this as a question to Leonard Peikoff for his podcast, but he never got to it before his podcast ended. I want to know what you think. What if someone with the moral character of John Galt was the heir to a dictatorship? What would he do? Would he just leave the country, or would he take the position as dictator and try to subtly govern the country towards a more Western society, or at least prevent it from getting even worse?
  2. Did anyone save this? The link is broken.
  3. In this podcast, Peikoff says that animals in slaughterhouse should be treated as humane as is economically viable: Doesn't this imply that it's irrational to care about the suffering of others, unless preventing it is a means to another end? (A premise I don't agree with) What if it's more economically feasible to slaughter them in painful ways, but you don't want to inflict such suffering on others, so you're willing to go home with a slightly lower paycheck? I don't see anything irrational about that.
  4. Are all powerlusters nihilists?

    That's the way in which some people use the term nihilist, but as far as I understand, Rand (and others, like Dostoyevsky and Nietzsche) used it to mean hatred of the good for being the good. I.e. the mentality of a drunk obese man who beats his wife into a pulp if she's laughing.
  5. In The Fountainhead, I got the impression that Gail was supposed to be a semi-good, life-loving person who simply made a philosophical mistake, and this made him crave power. However, in Galt's speech, it seemed like Rand's position was that all powerlust came from subconscious nihilism? (I.e. hatred of the good for being the good)
  6. I'm currently living in a condo in an urban area, but I fantasize about living "off the grid" when the time comes for upgrading to my own house. By that, I don't mean living in a primitive house with no electricity like a hippie, but just a house without reliance on public piping, electric cables, etc. Also, no immediate neighbours. Maybe even a spot where it's possible to grow food, even though I might not do that, so long as I can buy it from the grocery store. Now, of course, this is a bit unpractical, since it will be more expensive and one can't have shops, malls and so on in the immediate vicinity, so I'm wondering what the psychological cause of this desire is? Do you have any ideas? Is it irrational? When reading The Fountainhead, I got the feeling that there were some clues about this, with Dominique and Wynand both desiring places where Roark or Wynand's house could be untouched by the world, etc.
  7. Wynand's murders

    "A fire broke out in a sweatshop employing thirty young girls. Two of them perished in the disaster. Mary Watson, one of the survivors, gave the Banner an exclusive story about the exploitation they had suffered. It led to a crusade against sweatshops, headed by the best women of the city. The origin of the fire was never discovered. It was whispered that Mary Watson had once been Evelyn Drake who wrote for the Banner. It could not be proven." This is after many such instances of things that "could never be proven" are listed. Page 425.
  8. Wynand's murders

    Maybe Roark didn't know since he wasn't so interested in what was going on in the world, except for architecture, etc, but still, Rand should have addressed this, don't you think? Wouldn't a person like Dominique ever mention it?
  9. Wynand's murders

    Wouldn't Roark inquire Wynand about the murders before he became his friend? Early in the section about Gail Wynand and his career, it said, when all the shady bribery and crimes of Wynand's early career was listed: (paraphrasing) "Noone could prove that the Wynand Papers were behind the fire that burned down the clothing store and killed 3 young women."
  10. "Time marches on"

    What exactly happened to Toohey at the end of The Fountainhead? He's in an interview for a position in a new newspaper, and tries to find out about the owner's weakness, and the paragraph ends with "In the radio room across the hall somebody was twisting a dial. 'Time,' blared a solemn voice, 'marches on!' " I don't understand the significance of that last part. Is it simply saying that Toohey will just go on as he always does?
  11. Tears of joy

    Ayn Rand had an interesting hypothesis as to why people cry of joy. She said that it's actually a sadness over the fact that such beautiful moments are such a rare exception in life. In other words, it comes from philosophy and experience, and it's not the joy per se that makes you cry, but the grief that it's rare. It has the ring of truth to it, after all, you don't see children cry of joy that often. But what do we make of this video, of a mother singing to her baby, which is crying silently? Are we simply "projecting" and assuming that it's crying "of joy" like an adult person, when in reality, it might cry because of something else?
  12. Preemptive war and innocent casualties

    I might be wrong on this, but I think the NAP comes from libertarians, and not from Rand. If she coined it, it's certainly meant as a guideline, something to draw wisdom from in 99,9% of situations. If you predate on others, they will do the same to you. But it's not unethical to break into someone's house in a snowstorm. Regardless, if innocents are killed in a war, the war was still initiated by their host country, not the defenders. So it doesn't violate the NAP, as far as I understand the principle, but obviously, some libertarians disagree. It's irrational to hold NAP as the fundamental, unbreachable premise instead of egoism.
  13. Exposed to indifferent eyes

    It was Howard Roark, so I doubt it's due to a lack of self-esteem. Regarding nude art, I must have remembered wrongly what Peikoff said in this answer, I guess he's talking about the act of masturbating here: http://www.peikoff.com/2014/03/24/i-am-dating-a-girl-that-is-an-internet-cam-girl-meaning-she-strips-and-masturbates-via-web-chat-for-money-i-like-the-fact-that-she-fakes-having-a-good-time-with-other-men-but-is-really-attracted-on/ Still, I don't understand why Roark, as a rational man, should feel ashamed, why should he care whether irrational people can't appreciate his work any more than if a dog didn't?
  14. Exposed to indifferent eyes

    "Sometimes, he was asked to show his sketches; he extended them across a desk, feeling a contraction of shame in the muscles of his hand; it was like having the clothes torn off his body, and the shame was not that his body was exposed, but that it was exposed to indifferent eyes." What do you make of this line? Why should being exposed naked to indifferent eyes matter to a rational person? If he or she had self-esteem, it shouldn't matter that some people won't see beauty in it. Just like you wouldn't feel ashamed if an animal saw you naked. I have a feeling that the answer to this explains why Objectivism is also against nude photography, which I've never quite understood.
  15. Some people welcome oblivion

    I don't think it's irrational to be motivated by fear. Fear, if it's based on something rational, is telling you something important, for example that you might die if you don't do anything about it. Schopenhauer was motivated by pain only, but I'd say a truly rational person is both motivated by fear/pain/etc and also the good things in life. The attitude of the people I'm talking about seems to be of the latter, "I don't care, it's gonna happen anyway, my death won't make that much of a difference, I don't mind the idea of oblivion", etc. That sounds very Schopenhauerish to me.
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