Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by StrictlyLogical

  1. What do you mean by "create" a philosophy? If the correct philosophy already exists, and one identifies that it is correct, it would be decidedly irrational to set oneself to the task of "creating" a new one. I think the answer you seek, to the question you almost asked, is tied to the concept of "independence" and in particular the independence of judgment and thought (as opposed to second-handedness). As worded, the claim is incorrect and any so-called objectivist making such a claim is making an error.
  2. This is a projection of your aesthetic, overly narrow, and pseudo religious whims on a reality which quite frankly does not give a damn about what you think. IMHO. Do us a favor and stop feeding the trolls and stop claiming to be an Objectivist.
  3. You are correct. The science is incomplete. Most aspects/characteristics of humans have both a genetic and an environmental component. The genetics limit what is possible so to speak, while environment affects which eventuality obtains within those possibilities. e.g. height is limited by genetics but malnutrition (twin studies) can lead to stunted growth. In the absence of perfect knowledge, it is safe to say, that at any point in time, you are what you are, but whether or not you can or cannot change something about yourself might not be known (missing science) and hence there is a huge risk factor for any effort, money, life changes which you will go through... it might not work out. Conversely, if the change you desire is of great value then missing the possibility (if it indeed possible) because of risk aversion would be tragic. That said, anecdotal and first person evidence suggests that it is impossible to "change" orientation, and people are naturally either attracted to everyone, persons of the opposite sex or persons of the same sex. It is common for some people (sufficiently oppressed/suppressed) only to discover their actual orientation later in life as their self esteem develops fully. I think the proportion is probably the same as for non-objectivists. Conversion therapy, as I understand it, is not therapy. It is indoctrination or conditioning, a form of coercion whose aim is obedience and conformity. Proper Therapy usually is aimed at self-actualization of the patient, not conversion to some institutional norm which seems to be the aim of conversion. Yes, it is very much a religious based "endeavor". This is an unknown because of the missing science, but based on anecdotal and also first person evidence, it is probably unlikely. Do you know of any other "gay persons" who changed orientation, either purposefully or naturally/spontaneously? Also, be careful not to use concepts which are contradictory. When you say "a gay person" what do you mean? Do you mean someone genetically predestined only to be sexually attracted to persons of the same sex? If so, your question is as valid as asking "how likely is it that rock might choose to talk?" IF what you mean by "a gay person" is simply someone who is attracted to persons of the same sex and who is not genetically bound to be sexually attracted to persons of the same sex, then really this likelihood is determined by factors which are currently unknown. Assuming genetics plays some role in those people, how much of a role? Are most people with the genetics of your defined "gay person" really amenable to attraction to both sexes? Do past relationships, friendships, maternal or paternal bonds play a role? Currently the question is more or less scientifically unanswerable. Either it simply is impossible (genetics) OR it is impossible for some people but possible for some people (genetics for some, genetics plus environment for others), or it is possible for all (genetics is not determinative). From the science, we simply do not have a definitive answer. Observe however that there exists common anecdotal evidence of humans routinely changing things like politics, beliefs on religion, taste in music, taste in food, interests in hobbies and activities, but most anecdotal evidence suggests people's sexual orientation, Men only, Women only, either men or women, does not freely drift over time. We often DO hear of people who have been pressured and indoctrinated to believe they have a particular orientation (usually straight) but who, once they build enough of a sense of self, and self-esteem (over many years) come to realize and (in some cases announce) they in fact have a different orientation and have had it all along. In the final analysis then, I would suggest that changing orientation is unlikely. That said, it MIGHT be the case ( as I mentioned above) that a particular person has misidentified his/her own orientation. So, coming to discover one's true orientation is possible. Is it possible you have actually been attracted to men and women all along? If so, you have all the opportunity in the world to be intensely attracted to the person you love, no matter what their sex. Don't. It's not likely possible. Observe that changing a sexual orientation might not be a rational goal even IF it were possible. Do you want to be sexually attracted to someone -> SO that you might fall in love with them and have a meaningful lasting relationship? OR Do you want to intensely love someone -> and also be attracted to and in love with them? Query what does love mean to you? Is it the response to the highest moral characteristics you value in another? What are your values? Who are you and what do you want in life? Careful. By stating "as a lesbian" do you mean you ARE something which metaphysically is unchangeable (e.g. you ARE a human), if so preferring to be something you can never be is irrational. "As a human, I admittedly would prefer to be a dolphin" (an error made by a Southpark character) is a hugely misguided and powerless wish. IF you assume being attracted to a woman is something that can change like, changing taste in music and food, then that is a different story. IF you think you might be incorrect about your orientation, that too, is a different story. It might be more useful to simply accept yourself for who you are. Being attracted to persons of specific gender is not an achievement to strive for, as if liking lobster bisque rather than pizza makes you a better person. Let yourself love the people whom you find the most admirable and valuable in character, your highest values in another, and allow yourself to the possibility of being physically attracted to them. It either happens or it doesn't. Keep looking for the PERSON (not the gender) who you can be with. This is best addressed with true therapy, NOT the homosexual inclinations (which might be perfectly natural), but the difficult childhood and relationship with your mother. Your mental health (not your physical attraction) might benefit from working through these issues to the extent they adversely affect you. These assumptions are dangerous and prejudicial. You yourself are a self-admitted "gay woman" whom you are now characterizing as being a certain way. You are broadly applying invalid stereotypes to a whole group of people, when in fact you yourself are an example that the stereotype is flawed. Statistics are not a substitute for actually meeting and getting to know someone. Give individuals the benefit of a doubt. Do not prejudge a person before you get to know him or her. Seek to find a relationship with a PERSON, not attraction to a gender. Accept yourself and good luck!
  4. hmm I think Robin Field even mentions Reid in his opening number!
  5. lol almost sounds like Yogi Berra!
  6. Rand was a student of reality and a master of identification and conceptualization. Knowing nothing of Reid myself, it does stand to reason that IF Reid were also a student of reality and a master of identification and conceptualization, I would expect that he and her would have had much the same to say, especially given that there is but a single reality.
  7. Questions about Free Will and Morality

    Grandpa? so very tepid and underwhelming... I would have expected something more witty or even better visceral... but no matter, please feel free to continue to evade the central item of discussion which you evidently are quite happy to evade indefinitely.
  8. Questions about Free Will and Morality

    When it is irrelevant it is an attack. I think William O has been too patient with the both of you and he deserves better. Taking a swipe at me or my style as some kind of diversion in your inept response to him is just sad. 2046's and your unwillingness, in your conversation with William O, to DIRECTLY address the basic essential tenet of the OBJECTIVIST conception of free will, namely, that a man "could have chosen otherwise" IS cowardly. and THAT, my friend, is not a personal attack.
  9. Questions about Free Will and Morality

    Fact of the matter is 2046 has NOT given William O a straight answer and rather than admit he simply disagrees with Rand he tries to warp Objectivism into a form he likes better. It is acceptable to have views which conflict with Objectivism, it is not acceptable to pretend you are talking about Objectivism when you are actually mischaracterizing it, and talking about your own reworked philosophy which you wish Objectivism was. The above is a pointless non sequitur.... laced with a personal attack like the following. Feel free to disagree with what I have said with rational argument, or resort to your usual infantile personal attacks, if that makes you feel better about yourself.
  10. Questions about Free Will and Morality

    2046 Is it your position that men exhibit "free will" in their choices, such that: "In regard to any man-made fact, it is valid to claim that man has chosen thus, but it was not inherent in the nature of existence for him to have done so: he could have chosen otherwise" -Ayn Rand (“The Metaphysical and the Man-Made,” Philosophy: Who Needs It, 31) ??
  11. Questions about Free Will and Morality

    Some people need a bit more courage to admit, rather than evade or deny, that they simply disagree with Rand.
  12. How do I live in a country this over the top in its evil?

    independent individuals of self esteem gain nothing from fraud of ANY kind or magnitude. But what constitutes enough of a lie so that a transaction based on morphs from a trade to indirect force...ie theft? Certainly knowing what you say is likely to mislead is a form of deception. Knowing some people might misunderstand or are incapable of understanding is not deception. It is not someone's responsibility to ensure rational decisions by others but some responsibility is taken to make a rational decision at least possible. Something similar applies to the spectrum of persuasion - manipulation. Persuasion appeals to a person's reason encouraging the kind of thinking required for a rational decision, whereas manipulation appeals to a person's fears, emotions, unreason and is decidedly meant to discourage rational decisions by encouraging acceptance of erroneous premises (about reality, the person, the person's desires and interests). To the extent the imposter of a trader knows that her purposeful actions have subverted the ability of the other party to make a rational decision due to the falsehoods she has planted in the mind that party, she is engaged in a deception. This although subtle is also a form of fraud. The fact that people should know better is no excuse exonerating that fraud. but if trader uses persuasion and the irrational are simply manipulated by those ideas because of their limited mentality, such is not the responsibility of the persuader. if reason is encouraged but a kind of fear and blind obedience results, the trader did not intend it and usually has no way of knowing it.
  13. In reply to the OP, I have seen alleged reconciliation by defining free will to not be free (the person could not have chosen differently) which negates free will, and I have seen alleged reconciliation by invoking a pseudomystic supernature such as dualism or strong emergence which negates reality's reconciliation. The problem is that individual non conscious systems are known to either be deterministic or if you take QM seriously in some cases purely probabilistic. At a high level what needs to be reconciled are the abstract ideas of "choosiness", determined, and random, and coming to terms with the fact that according to science a single whole complex system exhibiting choosiness can be composed or integrated from a set of smaller random and determined processes. I think this is perfectly reasonable but I have not seen a formal presentation of it. I have my own musings but that is not what the OP asks.
  14. How do I live in a country this over the top in its evil?

    Initially, I was not going to respond. This is beside the point and sidesteps an honest inquiry. The way the world is poses no barrier to rationally conceiving of how the world should be. Anyone who has read all of Ayn Rand's books should know that, she is the perfect exemplar of just such an exercise. The very act of perceiving society as deficient, that there is a possible better society, presupposes a concept of society as it should be, and an identification that the reality of society does not match. Not knowing how to get to society as it should be is certainly a difficulty all Objectivists recognize, but to accept for a moment that we do not or cannot know what that society can be and ought to be would be disastrous. No steps whatever, however small, could be taken to change the current situation, without the knowledge of which direction to go, and you cant know which direction to go if you don't know where you are going. In fact, you cannot rationally know that society is wrong without the certainty of knowing what would constitute a society which was proper. it is not that one then is confused about which direction to step in, one is confused about whether one should bother to any take step at all and why. Rand's entire philosophy is about that proper, just, rational, and moral desirable destination, and this is what motivates and grounds (in reason) every criticism she has ever levied against the immoral philosophies, religions, and societies of the world. Every time she said something is wrong, it was not with a shrug of ignorance of why it is wrong or confusion about what would be right, it was done in clear sight of it. I realize we here are all fallible and our ideas and musings quite simply do not compare to the titanic importance of Rand's genius, but many here are motivated to make clear in our minds the correct conclusions regarding metaphysics, ethics, and politics. What is morality, what is the proper society, politics, governmental system etc. If we have no idea what our ideal is we are truly lost.
  15. How do I live in a country this over the top in its evil?

    although your post is generally good, this is not entirely accurate. neither party can know with omniscience the outcome of an endeavour, nor even all of the variables involved at the start, there is no reason why a perfectly reasonable contract representing a meeting of minds perfectly in agreement cannot be executed. when i contract with a wood craftsperson to make me a candle holder according to my requirements neither of us knows exactly how every atom, grain of wood, knot, face, or cut of the holder will be but that does not in any way mean we do not understand what we have agreed to. a definition, a requirement, a term can be broad in scope without being indefinite or vague. for example if i ask him to make me ANY kind of candlestick that would fit in a foot sized box i would know it would fit in a foot sized box but I have no idea about what characteristics it will have (which i have not specified) but i know exactly what i have agreed to.
  16. How do I live in a country this over the top in its evil?

    David: Nothing specific you have stated is spurring this... and perhaps this is a wider integration that has been simmering for some time... it occurs to me that the nanny state and regressive idea of universal healthcare have turned perception of the "issue" on its head. In today's nanny state influenced society we mostly hear talk of healthcare as if the goal were to keep someone alive, as if man had a right enforceable against reality itself to continue to exist .. somehow... and the problems of the system include: costs, timely access to service, and negligence/malpractice. The default assumption here is that a person is simply supposed to live and be healthy because - modern medical miracles. The biggest sentiment is fear and suspicion, the system is gaming you or will "kill you". With this attitude Doctors are swindlers at best, killers at worst. Back during the enlightenment and prior to the poison of socialism, the goal of a person providing healthcare was to save a person's life and/or remedy a disease, the problem was the disease, or the life threatening injury, or the fact that absent intervention a person was simply going to die. Here the healthcare provider was the solution to the problem. The default assumption then was that when bad stuff happens and you are going to die, go to someone who can intervene and avert the calamity, save the life which otherwise and but for their heroic intervention would be lost. The biggest sentiment for healthcare during the enlightenment then was appreciation and thanks for a life saved a calamity averted. Here Doctors were seen as heroes and lifesavers. It's a difference of night and day. The difference between mentalities living in a prison of slaves and a those living in a community of free people. Collective sentiments reveal so much of the magnitude and speed of the decline of civilization...
  17. How do I live in a country this over the top in its evil?

    You speak of the failings of an improper and immoral society, some of which would likely be attempted by individuals even in a proper society. I sense you do not have a clear and solid idea of, or have not yet made up your mind about, just what constitutes a proper society and just what would exemplify a proper trade occurring within it, or perhaps a hesitation to share such. Sensing you are not disposed to offer a full answer, would you offer an inkling ? Not of what is wrong.. but of what you think may perchance be right?
  18. How do I live in a country this over the top in its evil?

    It is hard to say what natural and just values would obtain in a proper society without government interference (which generally inflate prices), but it is not difficult to see how and why the market is not flooded with an over-supply of doctors given how complex humans are, nor is it surprising people highly value their health. The value of that demanded is high and there is no over supply (and given the bell curves of required aptitudes to provide the supply, I would assume there would always be an undersupply in any population when compared to, for example, the percentage of any population capable of sweeping a hallway).
  19. How do I live in a country this over the top in its evil?

    I am not proposing a solution, per se, only that there are fundamental conceptual requirements to consider what is fair and just. Price: The price is fair when it is accepted by both parties. Sellers know there will be no sale if they price themselves out of an exchange, buyers know if they are not willing to pay they wont get the product or service. Only when the buyer values the good or service more than the money he/she is parting with, AND the seller values the money more than the goods/services represent to him/her will there be a trade. Simply put, either there will be or will not be a trade. Honesty: In any deal justice demands exchange of knowledge. I think honesty, full honesty rather than dishonesty is required in any deal including one with medical/health goods and services. In that way a fair trade involves honesty. What does honestly include in such a transaction? A doctor cannot transfer all of her knowledge to a patient, but she can give her assessment of her application of that knowledge of the patent and the possible treatments. She is not infallible nor omniscient, therefore, her assessments must honestly come with caveats, probabilities, likelihoods, even at the most granular level of "It is my opinion that it is more likely than not that you have condition X" in other cases when it is true a doctor would say " I am almost certain you have condition X" in other cases lack of knowledge is the appropriate honest reply. When it comes to various treatments, risks must be assessed and honestly conveyed. If something is risky that information should be conveyed objectively. There is no place for fear mongering. The doctor is also not there to counsel on what level of risks a patient should be comfortable with, she is there to relay what the risks actually are. There also is no place in a fair deal for fraud, puffery and the like. If a doctor has reason to be objectively confident she should be able to rationally convey that, if the doctor is not confident, lacks the skill or experience to be competent, she should relay those concerns to the patient and possibly recommend a different doctor if appropriate. All side effects, risks, efficacy studies should be available and or summarized. In cases where there is little evidence of effectiveness the customer should be warned. If the drug was never actually tested, the customer should be informed of this. For the deal to be fair, everything should be on the table so that an informed exchange can be made. Voluntary: For any trade to be fair it must be voluntary. Free from external force, coercion etc. of any kind, including that of government. Having all the information both parties to the transaction can determine the value to each of that is being traded and a fair trade at a mutually agreeable price can be conducted voluntarily. Note: the above is illustrative and not exhaustive of everything that goes into a fair trade
  20. How do I live in a country this over the top in its evil?

    Yes, certainly in our complicated and immoral mixed economy driven State/society it is hard to pick the villains from the heroes. Certainly the concretes of individuals are also complex, but the abstract concepts surrounding a trade are not. Knowledge, skill, risk, effort, time, cost, value, life, etc. My question was about the simpler more fundamental issue of what fairness actually consists of. In a proper society with a proper laissez-faire government, what do you see as a fair trade between an individual customer for medical/health goods and services and an individual producer?
  21. How do I live in a country this over the top in its evil?

    I know you are replying to Nicky but I am curious about what you think. As someone familiar with Objectivism what do you think constitutes a "fair trade" in the realm of health/medicine goods and services industry? i.e. given all the various trades what distinguishes between those which are unfair and those which are fair?
  22. Race Realism

    This is non starter. This amounts to the same quality and amount of evidence I have seen presented for Bigfoot and the Lochness Monster as well as conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of JFK and landing men on the moon (allegedly fake). I will not waste another second here. I would say good luck to you but that would be disingenuous of me.
  23. Race Realism

    Like color of skin?
  24. Sex and Trade

    A man who values himself, includes in what it means to have sex, his partner's desire for him. A man with self-esteem selfishly wants, as a value to himself, as reward and pride and affirmation, the desire of a woman. Such a man would no more want to have sex with a wife who is not "in the mood", than a truly proud man would hire an actor to utter false flatteries at him... Only a man severely lacking in self esteem would hire such an actor, or believe that sex with anyone (even his wife) who is "not into it" would be of any value whatever to him. To answer the question about what is "wrong", your scenario depicts a man of low self-esteem, and is pitifully low on what he should want for himself in his relationship with his wife and what he should want in having sex with her. The undeveloped man is "wrong", in himself, and his low expectations.
  25. Avoiding the pitfalls in learning philosophy

    Be forewarned, you will be astonished at the insanity. It also might help to keep solid principles in mind so that you don't get lured into following the erroneous paths... it's easier never to break your mind than to break it and then attempt to fix it.