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KevinD

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KevinD last won the day on August 11

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  1. I'm going to limit myself to a single idea, which I suggest you repeat over and over to yourself like a mantra: If you don't get this area of your life handled, sorted, managed and mastered, you are in for a very unhappy life. You'll not only make yourself miserable, but crazy as well. From what you've written here, it seems like you're well on the way. You talk about driving past this girl's house to check on the cars parked outside? I don't know if that's immoral per se, but it sure is loony as hell. You come across in your posts as very young, totally inexperienced (you admit as much), and utterly, absolutely naïve about women and relationships. This is not a crime, but also it's not a state you want to remain in for long. While you're crushing on and obsessing over this one particular girl, the reality is she is of no significance whatsoever. You think (or rather, you feel) that she is someone extremely important, when in fact she is nobody, irrelevant to the big picture. The important person here is YOU. You need to focus on improving yourself, bettering yourself, and above all gaining a mature sense of emotional perspective, particularly where sexual emotions are involved. In short, you need to make yourself into the kind of man who doesn't get irrationally obsessed with girls like this. Now that I've beaten you up, let me say there isn't a man reading your posts who can't sympathize with you, at least a little. Fortunately for some of us, your story serves as a reminder of our distant past. For others, the pain you describe is like an experience out of the movie Groundhog Day, something to be revisited and re-encountered again and again. The unfortunate reality is that most men never get this area of their lives handled, sorted, managed and mastered. They never really figure out sex. To the average man, sex — and its attendant features, such as attraction, masculinity and femininity, etc. — is always a bit of a mystery, which is why so many men make such humiliating wrecks of their sexual lives.
  2. KevinD

    Veganism under Objectivism

    If you want to argue that animals are essentially like children, and therefore have the "right" to be protected, I say — protected from what, exactly? From nature? From each other? If animals can act as predators toward one another, and this is considered perfectly natural, why is it unnatural and wrong for humans to prey on animals? Animals kill and eat other animals, why can't we? Why do humans not possess the same "rights" that animals do?
  3. KevinD

    Veganism under Objectivism

    There is no such thing as a species that possesses rights, that has no means of exercising or implementing its rights. My response to those who argue in favor of "animal rights" is always: If animals possess rights, then why is it only humans who are able to violate an animal's rights? If you're going to argue that animals have rights, with all that the concept means and entails, then you'd better be prepared to hold them accountable whenever they initiate force against another animal (or a human being). And if we're to hold them morally accountable, must we not also hold them legally accountable? Are animals properly subject to arrest and prosecution? Do they have the "right" to a fair trial, by a jury of their peers? How would an animal be made to pay restitution to someone who has been damaged as a result of its actions? Naturally, all of this is absurd. Animals have no abstract understanding of the rightness or wrongness of their behavior. As far as they're concerned, the entire subject of morality is nonexistent — and rights, a moral concept, is likewise entirely inapplicable to them.
  4. KevinD

    How (And Why) To Fantasize

    I'm all for developing and using one's imaginative powers, but what you've described here seems rather pointless. I might have fantasized about myself flying through the air as a very young child, but as an adult I don't find it appealing. Using my mind toward an actual, creative goal gives me great pleasure. This sort of fantasy strikes me at best as a waste of time, at worst a dubious use of one's mental faculties.
  5. Strictly speaking, this is a contradiction in terms. If you were fully aware of what you were doing, you weren't evading per se. It might surprise you to know that many men who hire "escorts" have similar experiences to yours, even if they have never heard of Objectivism. Ongoing sexual loneliness can be terribly painful. If you've never experienced sex, you can feel like you're missing out on an essential part of life. (You are.) Under such circumstances, the idea of paying for sex — if only to see what it's like — can seem alluring. I don't think what you did is immoral, but I'm not surprised that it made you feel the way it did. You may think you wasted your money, but actually you didn't. You learned a valuable lesson that you should never forget. It's easy to think of sex as a physical experience with a strong spiritual component. In fact, the inverse is true. Sex minus any spiritual aspect — sex which is the result of a commercial transaction and is divorced from any larger relationship — is unsatisfying because it's essentially meaningless. We think we want the physical elements of sex, and we do, to a degree, but what we really want is the spiritual meaning that those physical elements convey and represent.
  6. KevinD

    Abstractions as such do not exist?

    It's just a matter of time before a post such as the following appears on Objectivism Online: I was listening to a lecture Ayn Rand gave at the Ford Hall Forum, and at one point she said: "Two plus two equals four." Huh? I can't for the life of me understand what she could have meant by this. If you have two … and two … I'm sorry, where do you get "four" from that? If anything, you have 22. Someone please explain this to me as I am utterly confounded by this bizarre statement.
  7. KevinD

    Ayn Rand's official public notice

    It should be noted that there are two fairly obvious edits in this portion of the recording. In that section, AR was reading from her Los Angeles Times column from August 26, 1962. Here is how the published column read: In The Ayn Rand Column book published by Second Renaissance Books, this section is omitted entirely, and replaced by a bracketed summary.
  8. I'm selling two limited-edition framed & matted giclee prints by Nicholas Gaetano of cover art for AR books: The Virtue of Selfishness Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
  9. Skeptic: My senses deceive me and cannot be trusted. This stick appears bent in water, but in reality it is straight. Objectivist: How do you know that the stick is not actually bent? Skeptic: [Pulls stick out of water] LOOK!
  10. KevinD

    What would you do in this situation?

    You write like someone who is absolutely naive about the realities of business, money, and life.
  11. KevinD

    Does aesthetics really belong in philosophy?

    I would say that, to the extent that one intends to live an interesting and fulfilling life, he should develop within himself the soul of an artist. Indulge greedily in works of art, yes — but more broadly, cultivate your personal values (what you like, enjoy, appreciate, etc.), and curate your life in such a way so that your daily existence reflects and embodies that which matters most to you.
  12. To "achieve immortality" is an unreal concept. Scientific advancements may aid greatly in the extension of life and the improvement of physical health. But it's really not conceivable that you'll ever see the day when your continued survival has been rendered so absolutely inevitable that you cannot die. It's inherent in the nature of life that some effort, some struggle is necessary for its maintenance. This struggle in the face of alternatives gives rise to the issue of values — and values, not death or mortality per se, are what make life meaningful and enjoyable. Countless human values don't directly contribute to man's survival and physical well-being, but this doesn't mean they don't have significant "survival value" — particularly when one understands that man is a conceptual being, with needs of the mind and spirit as well as the body.
  13. Clearly not, since the beginning of the development of psychology as a science predates the "full development of an objective, reality-based and fully integrated philosophical system." Here's a more fascinating question: Is such a philosophic system possible without at least some knowledge of man's psychological nature — e.g., that he is a conscious being who possesses volition and who experiences emotions? I say no. To arrive at valid philosophic insights, let alone a complete, integrated system, one must first have at least a general idea of whom he is philosophizing for & about. Put another way: You can't induce valid philosophic principles so long as you believe that it's possible, however remotely, that man might be an unconscious automaton. The entire field of philosophy rests on the idea that man possesses a psychological nature; a psychological dimension. To assert otherwise is to be guilty of the Stolen Concept.
  14. KevinD

    Does aesthetics really belong in philosophy?

    Esthetics concerns itself with two issues which are essential to a fully integrated philosophic perspective: metaphysical value judgments and sense of life. Qua branch of philosophy, esthetics studies the nature of art; its meaning and the role it plays in man's life. Esthetic principles, however, have application well beyond the evaluation of art works. Properly understood, they can shed enormous light on the way a man experiences himself, and how he sees himself in relation to the universe. Esthetics represents "the soul of philosophy." A person could conceivably attain a high level of awareness of Objectivist metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and politics, but lacking a clear grasp of its esthetics, he is unlikely to make Objectivism his way of life. Philosophy will seem somewhat distant to him — somewhat removed from his moment-to-moment existence. Ayn Rand was an artist, and in a sense she had to be. While you can learn a lot from her nonfiction (as well as Peikoff's OPAR and other works), if you haven't read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, you haven't yet experienced the full impact of the Objectivist vision. These novels are literary and philosophic powerhouses; they make their ideas real to the reader in a way no treatise or series of lectures ever could.
  15. My writings on romance have nothing to do with "traditional gender roles."
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