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About Szalapski

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    Junior Member

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  • Website URL http://objectionstoobjectivism.blogspot.com/

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Minnesota

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  • Country United States
  • State (US/Canadian) Minnesota
  • Relationship status Married
  • Copyright Must Attribute
  • Biography/Intro Host of Objections to Objectivism podcast
  • Experience with Objectivism Not enough. Read Atlas, Fountainhead, TVoS, Anthem, listened to Piekoff. Still have a lot to learn.
  • School or University University of Minnesota
  • Occupation I make software
  1. I'm not so sure Rand's writings are as clear, easy to follow, or as comprehensive as you say. Could you at least point me to the chapter in TVoS that addresses this question that I might reread it and ponder?
  2. I am not sure how life can give values meaning or morality. I'll start with an Objectivist example as follows. I value eating lots of doughnuts, but pursuit of this value is unhealthy and therefore contradictory to having a flourishing life. I also value eating lots of lean protein, and pursuit of this value is healthy and generally contributes to a flourishing life. That much is clear. However, I am having trouble moving from "is" to "ought". What if I want to indulge the unhealthy value? What if I decide that my short-term enjoyment is better--the emotions and the sensations I get from frequent doughnut treats is worth whatever unknown distant health drawback that might occur? What makes the pursuit of this value immoral? Is it only that I am doing something that is contradictory to my life? If so, does not subjectivism creep in? After all, I cannot hope to judge that which is contradictory to my life, but only to judge my own compromised, biased, flawed understanding of what is contradictory to my life.
  3. Just start merging several forums as an experiment, and see how you like it. I think it will be better to have fewer to keep track of. The only reason to have separate subforums is when they get too active to keep track of, so that visitors can focus on the subforums they care about the most. However, having a subforum for aesthetics and a subforum for literature and arts. I understand the differences between the two, but niether one is popular enough to stand on its own. See also: https://blog.codinghorror.com/dont-make-me-think-second-edition/ We want to make the users think about Objectivism, not about the forum nuances.
  4. I posted this in a longer thread, but I thought I would bring it up here for further discussion in its own right. Suppose I try to start with basic priniciples and work my way to more integrated ones through sound reason and small steps in logic. Informally, my line of thinking is the following. Is this Objectivism rightly understood? - Things exist. A is A. - Living things exist and act in order to live. Their life is their existence - People exist and act on the basis of thoughts according to their free will. Their thinking and their life are their existence, their identity. - A person will make choices that enhance or detract from that person's life. - A person's values are the objects of his actions--what a person acts to gain or keep. - Values would be meaningless without life, but life gives values meaning. - Values are moral if they are in line with life--if they are consistent with existence, with reality. - Some people may have immoral values: values that contradict life. - Since people are only individuals, this judgment applies to individuals. - The individual's own life is his own ultimate value. - Achieving one's values is the way to happiness. - Humans must use volitional and abstract thinking to survive. - Observation is required, gaining knowledge, in order to survive. - The individual must integrate our observation into concepts, generalizations, and principles that correspond to reality so that we can act in order to survive. - Only physical force (including fraud) from others can prevent such action and cause us to act otherwise, to act in bondage. A human life is a life guided by the judgment of one's mind. - Government should exist to prevent such force and not to initiate such force itself.
  5. As a newcomer, it strikes me that there are too many subforums. Would you consider combining some?
  6. I consider the core to be that an individual's life is the standard of morality, and the most moral person is the one who uses reason to enhance that life, to live out his or her own purpose, and who has the self-esteem to continue to do so, and who seeks to live in non-contradiction with the objective reality that exists--and that all other concerns from himself and others must be secondary to these. How's that for a paraphrase? No doubt you will scrutinize that as well. What is extreme? To advocate no government except police, courts, and military is extreme. No taxation is extreme. No consideration of the common good is extreme. Labeling religious believers as blanket unreasoning mystics and looters and moochers of the spirit is extreme. Labeling altruists and collectivists as effectively non-living is extreme. Being uncompromising is extreme. Again, extreme doesn't mean incorrect--but I like to acknowledge that these positions are extreme.
  7. Hmm, you are branching off into many topics. I'll just respond to some. I meant "extreme" in that it is beyond the range of reasonable possibility for many to consider. I think we need to be pulled toward Rand's positions; it would do many a lot of good to get one step closer to Rand, even if they are unwilling to get any closer than that. In short, I agree that we need some at the extremes so that, even if nothing else, the non-extreme may seem more reasonable. To use examples from American politics: we needed Goldwater to get Reagan, and we needed Ron Paul to get Rand Paul. I suppose that's a risky topic to bring up right there--I hope you interpret it as I intended. [Here's a hint: It is not a blanket endorsement of Rand Paul's or Ronald Reagan's positions.] As for "more conservational crowd," I meant "conversational". Just a mobile phone typo there.
  8. Just watched an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine that has strikingly Objectivist themes. Check it out; it is season 3 episode 18 entitled "Distant Voices"; if you have Netflix, it is at https://www.netflix.com/watch/70205869 . In it, Dr. Bashir (the space station's medical officer) is confronted with his own thoughts and motives...I won't spoil it right away, but if anyone watches it and wants to comment here, I'll have more comments later.
  9. I am glad you agree with the label "extreme", and I also agree that I mean "extreme" while I withhold judgment as to whether it is substantially right or wrong. However, I do mean that I personally hold it to be extreme in my opinion, and as such, would require extra scrutiny for me to accept it, as against a non-extreme philosophy, which might be easier to accept. However, I also think it merits this scrutiny and consideration, and so here we are.
  10. Thanks for listening, and I hope you will continue to listen and respond however you see fit. I will try to post some objections (or antiobjections) in forum format to encourage written dialog. One motive for this podcast is that I think Rand's ideas need to be considered more seriously among the less philosophical, more conservational crowd. To many of my friends and deeper thinking acquaintances never have considered anything other than conservatism, leftism, Christianity, or centrism. As such, although I am not an objectivist, I am not anti objectivist. I think we need more Rand in the discussion, but so many are opposed to her extremism that they won't consider the core of her argument. I fully expect that I have many red herrings or straw men mixed in with good objections, so maybe I can get to a better place after several episodes more.
  11. Why is it strictly either-or on this one? Why can't I "cater" (I might say "defer") to others to a limited extent. When I am most uncertain of my own position, when their influence is weighty and proper, when "I need it most"--presuming that I think critically about their influence and question it and attempt to judge it as I go?
  12. So if Zach or myself were more Objectivist than 99% of the population, the remaining impurity you would emphasize and argue against?
  13. Thanks for the encouragement. I will try to work in at least a note on the Pyramid of Ability in a future episode.
  14. I did not really follow where you were going with the rest of that post, but I will respond to this. In its barest strict form, I'd presently, tentatively agree that "I cannot fully know my own self" and "I can better know my own self with the help of others than I can without." I do not think Zach was claiming that one ought to substantially subvert most of one's own ambitions or judgments and substitute others. To speak for myself, I wonder if it would be wise, not to try to be 100% Roark and 0% Keating, but instead 90% Roark and 10% Keating. It strikes me as extreme and foolhardy to trust one's own judgments so much that one would never deign to let anyone else overrule unless you can first admit inferiority in that area.