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About Nerian

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  1. Hell yes. I care not for Objectivism. I care for truth. In my estimation, there's a great deal of truth in Objectivism. I can hear Peikoff yelling in the distance, "if you reject any part, you must reject the whole for it is an integrated system!!!" lol I wanted to say this because it's the most salient thing that jumped out at me, but I want to go to the gym very soon, so that I may pursue the value of an aesthetic physique, so I may attract the women that I arbitrarily find sexually attractive due to my monkey brain wiring, so that I may satisfy my arbitrary monkey drives, and thereby experience pleasure, which is the only reason to live, but I was told to reply to everything in one post, rather than making several consecutive posts, but maybe moderators can understand that to do that I would have to type up everything all at once, read everything, formulate all my responses to everything into one large post, and then post it, or else I'm not allowed to respond to that which I have not responded yet, and I don't have the patience nor the stretches of time to sit here and respond to everything all at once. Is there any way I can get a pass for responding in dribs and drabs? Pleeeeeeaaaase. Or shall I just construct a gigantic response in a word document over a period of time and dump it all at once? Is this the fate to which I am cast? Grand overlords?
  2. If I'm saying we do not choose our values, and that they are innate, then I guess I'm arguing against Objectivism proper.
  3. Why do you enjoy laughing? Is it really because you sat down and decided life is your standard of value and then determined these things serve your life so I better damn well feel good when I do them? I simply do not think it works that way, and we all know damn well we enjoyed laughing with friends long before we learned of Objectivism.
  4. Around the 35:00 mark he says BOOM. Game. Set. Match. He just admitted it. They mean the joy, the positive emotional experience, that is what gives it the value, that's why you choose it as a value. But he then glosses over this as if he didn't just admit it was the joy, the feeling, that gives it meaning. But then what is it? Do these values make you feel joy because you achieve them? Or do you achieve them because they give you joy? I think they have it backwards. How could anyone choose them? Oh yeah, you really sat down and decided that logically friendship is good for you objectively, so therefore you are going to enjoy spending time with friends? Yeah, no. It doesn’t work that way! You enjoy their company and then you go, "god damn I like having friends!" and so friends are a value to you.
  5. A hilarious quote with a kernel of truth to it Albert Camus said the fundamental question of philosophy is whether or not you should commit suicide. Not sure I agree, but isn't it a legitimate question? Why live at all? I find your arguments convincing but I'm still on the fence if it's amoral. I have heard Kelly's explanation in his lectures 'Choosing life' but I can't remember what his conclusion was. I do remember he pointed out the absurdity of trying to condemn a man morally for not wanting to live. For someone who doesn't want to live, he says really the thing to do is to get them to connect with values. In other words, to get them to do things they enjoy... and we come full circle back to pleasure being the whole point - could one even say that it's the only reason anyone would choose to live. For anyone interested in these lectures they are on YouTube: I am listening to this lecture again, and it is very interesting. It has so much more meaning in the context of my recent questions about value and pleasure. Have a coffee... or suicide?
  6. There is a movie that really drove home the importance of emotions and pleasure to me. It actually really helped me recognize how much everything we do comes down to feelings. Logic and reason is the means to get what we want, but what we desire is the positive feelings we get from certain experiences: be it the experience of dancing, or something more abstract like the experience of beholding one's hard earned achievement. In either case, without the psychological rewarding feeling, the meaning would be stripped. Imagine life without feelings, positive or negative. Even negative feelings are important. They lets us experience the reality of losses. It makes our values mean so much more. Sometimes we need some valleys to get to higher peaks, I think. That is better than flattening out the graph. Never caring enough about anything. Here are two clips from the movie Equilibrium that were very powerful moments for me. The premise of the movie is human emotions are stripped with a drug, positive and negative, so that society can be peaceful. But in doing so, they lose the whole purpose of being alive. "It's circular. You exist to continue your existence. What's the point?" Exactly. "It's as vital breath. Without it, without love, without anger, without sorrow, breath is just a clock, ticking." Amazing. Art is banned in this society and Preston here stumbled upon hidden art contraband. You can see all this stuff in this room, the art, the pictures, the Newton's craddle, all this stuff some people often think of as trivial, is not trivial at all, it's rhyme and reason is how it makes us feel, and how things make us feel is not only not trivial, it's the most profound thing there is. For me, a very technical minded person, this realization has opened up a flourishing in my appreciation for art, music, everything. I no longer poo poo it all like I used to and I've already felt so much richer for it. Embracing my feelings, and now trying to learn to embrace my desires.
  7. Agreed, but I think it is possible to experience 'pain' or 'discomfort' with a positive emotional veneer. When I'm lifting weights, the pain definitely accompanied with a positive emotional response It feels pretty awesome to feel the burn. When I'm on the bike, I embrace the burn in my legs, I feel a sense of power when I'm pushing hard, and the 'discomfort' has a positive veneer. It is possible to psychologically embrace the suck, so to speak.
  8. Exactly! This reminds me of a short recording of Rand. And I'll amend that life is experience through consciousness and value in consciousness is experienced through pleasure. Pleasure is the purpose pleasure! There are some constaints about our nature that we must abide by to maximize 'the area under the curve' as Softwarenerd so elegantly explained, but god damn it, the only bloody justification for maximizing the area under the curve is the experience of it! This would appear to be a contradiction because Rand's ethics is supposed to prescribe to us what will make us happy, right? In the full sense, she never meant to tell us what we should pursue concretely. Ethics is just the ground rules. Since material and spiritual functioning rely on certain factors, we cannot ignore those factors if we wish to pursue pleasure (Psychological pleasure AND physical pleasure). It's the meta-values that allow us to maximize the area under the curve by not setting our bliss against our well-being. When she says "and can prove to yourself rationally". I don't think she meant that you can prove that the cheesecake is rational to eat, but that you can prove rationally that your meta-values are set in accordance with your nature and not against it. If you set the meta-values against your nature qua man, you will necessarily not be maximizing the area under the curve. If life-as-survival were the standard, then suicide would never be permissable, and we know Rand expressed the view that when 'life proper to man' were impossible suicide is justifiable. She clearly doesn't mean life-as-survival. I think the following is also illuminating... I distinguished between psychological and physical pleasure. I think Rand made the same distinction but called it positive-negative emotion and pleasure-pain. But I disagree here somewhat. Some things give me positive emotions, and I have no idea why, and it has nothing to do with life as my standard of value. I enjoy music. I enjoy dancing. Some people do not. I enjoy the sound of the French language, and I dislike the sound of Chinese. Some people experience the opposite. I like skinny girls, some people like plump girls. Whence come such emotional responses? Values. Whence come those values??? If they are not chosen, they are either random, conditioned by environment or innate, but in every case where such values are unchosen they are pretty arbitrary. I think many such values are innate. I know this goes against Objectivist doctrine. And after years of self doubt, repression and wondering how I can justify what I want, I feel like I'm coming round to embracing the absurdity of the arbitrary desires I have. "Screw it. It gives me joy. What more justification do I need?"
  9. Step back for a moment and really think about this... We are trying to justify enjoying ourselves for the sake of enjoying ourselves. I think therein lies an obvious absurdity.
  10. Rand said man's purpose is happiness. Productive work is a means to happiness. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/happiness.html
  11. Wow! I will write a full response later, but I want to first say that this is so strange because your thoughts are along the lines of what I have been thinking. I want to show you a chat thread I had just yesterday with a philosopher friend. He said to me that Rand said 'life' as a euphemism for as 'experential consciousness'. It struck a chord with me because it gets to the root of it in my mind. Here is the conversation thread: I think you're on to something.