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KevinD

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Everything posted by KevinD

  1. KevinD

    Grieving the loss of God

    I was raised with religion. Over time, as I developed and become more intellectually independent, I outgrew it. For me, there has been no grief, only relief. I'm tempted to say the grief happened when I believed. Life as an atheist is considerably more laid-back and enjoyable.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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!
  11. KevinD

    What would you do in this situation?

    You write like someone who is absolutely naive about the realities of business, money, and life.
  12. 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.
  13. (This is an article I wrote for my romantic advice blog for men, The Leading Man.) In her book The Passion of Ayn Rand, Barbara Branden quotes from interviews she recorded with Rand about her life and career. Talking about her years as a teenager in Soviet Russia, Rand spoke of walking with a young man who made an indelible impression on her: "I don't remember the conversation on the way home, we just talked, nothing romantic. But he had a manner of projecting that he's a man and you're a woman and he's aware of it." "By the time I arrived home," Rand said, "I was madly and desperately in love."* (Years later, Rand would name one of the main characters of her novel We the Living — Leo — after him.) If there is a single idea which a man must grasp and master if he is to build a powerful romantic relationship with a woman, it's polarity. Polarity is the recognition of the fact that romance — at least heterosexual romance — is predicated on the existence of two sexes; there is male and female, man and woman, masculine/feminine. To a Leading Man, the fact of sex, and therefore of sexual differences, is an enormously good thing. We do all that we can to positively stress and to celebrate that women and men are not exactly identical in every way. Unfortunately, many men ignore, minimize or attempt to downplay sex differences. In their efforts to be respectful and "modern," they treat a woman they are romantically interested in as a buddy or pal. Instead of torrid passion, these men often find themselves caught in a tepid friendship. Polarity is essential to forming a deeply erotic connection with a woman. In romance, a woman wants & needs to be seen and experienced by a man as a woman — not merely as a person, and definitely not as a sexless neuter. To fall in love with a woman means falling in love with her feminine essence. It means being turned on by the challenge that her femininity poses to you. When polarity weakens in a relationship, things get boring. When it isn't there from the beginning, relationships often don't get off the ground. A sophisticated man is not threatened by sexual differences. He embraces, enjoys and appreciates them. To the man who understands romance, "I'm a man, you're a woman" isn't a put-down, nor does it represent an attempt to return to caveman days. It's a basic fact of reality, one which underlies and makes possible the most exciting kind of relationship between two human beings. *I have a number of misgivings about Ms. Branden, and I do not generally endorse her biography of Ayn Rand. However I have no reason to believe that this quotation is inaccurate. © 2013 Kevin Delaney
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. (This is an article I wrote for my romantic advice blog for men — The Leading Man.) When I was a teenager, my driver's ed teacher taught me how to properly jump-start a car. Most people do it wrong, he explained. They connect both cable clips to the dead battery. Watch a professional do it. The pro connects the red (positive) cable to the battery, the other to an unpainted piece of metal under the hood. The way the majority of people do it does often result in a successfully started engine. But it can also create sparks, which might cause the battery to explode. The odds of this happening are relatively small, but a pro doesn't take chances. Professionals do it the right way. Part of being a professional lies in knowing what not to do. When you understand romance, you notice all sorts of things that guys do which indicate that they have not attained a high degree of mastery in this area. They make mistakes — some huge, many sloppy and small. I was in a restaurant the other day, and saw a guy come in with a young woman. Over the course of ten minutes, I witnessed: 1. She opened the door when they entered. 2. As they stood inside waiting for the hostess to come over to them, he put his hand on the back of her neck and began rubbing it. 3. When the hostess said, "You can sit wherever you like," the guy turned to his girl and asked, "Where do you want to sit?" 4. Once at the table, he talked excessively. He complained. He swore. 5. When their food arrived, he mostly looked down at his plate and concentrated on feeding his face, barely making eye contact with the woman. One might argue that these are minor issues. They are. But romance is very much about "little things" — details that demonstrate that a man is aware, that he is sophisticated and mature, and that he knows what he's doing. Romance isn't friendship. It's not enough for a woman to think you're a cool guy with an interesting personality. It's not enough for her merely to like you; she has to admire you, and experience you emotionally as her protector. A high-quality woman wants to sense that you are a cut above the masses of men. She needs to feel that you're special and different. At best, every error that a guy makes in romance represents a missed opportunity — a moment when he could have made a positive impression, but didn't. There's no better way to come across as "different" in a woman's eyes than to study romance, internalize its principles, and put yourself across at all times in a professional manner! P.S.: 1. A professional man opens the door for a woman. 2. A professional man does not put his hands on a woman in public. 3. A professional man selects the table in a restaurant. 4. A professional man doesn't talk too much; he keeps his conversation polite and positive. 5. A professional man makes relaxed, easygoing eye contact with a woman, casting her in the spotlight of his awareness. He makes her feel seen, heard, acknowledged and important. © 2013 Kevin Delaney
  17. 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.
  18. My writings on romance have nothing to do with "traditional gender roles."
  19. A man and a woman who are sexually intimate agree that, should the woman become pregnant, she will have an abortion. The woman becomes pregnant. She decides to bear the child and raise it. Question: Does the father have a moral obligation to provide for / support / care for the child? I'll post my own thoughts on this later. First I'd like to hear from others. (Does anyone know if this particular issue has been addressed in any Objectivist literature or recordings?)
  20. (This is an article I wrote for my romantic advice blog for men, The Leading Man.) In 1981, The Pointer Sisters released a song called "Slow Hand." I strongly suggest you familiarize yourself with its lyrics: I want a man with a slow hand
 I want a lover with an easy touch
 I want somebody who will spend some time 
Not come and go in a heated rush You might have noticed that virtually every "pick-up artist" selling a course on the Internet emphasizes the importance of speed. Years ago, one of the first prominent gurus in this area had a program called Speed Seduction. A related online newsgroup became the virtual birthplace of the modern PUA movement: alt.seduction.fast. (I recently saw a website for a program called "Same Night Seduction" — presumably if you follow its instructions, you can meet a woman, take her back to your place, and have sex with her the very same night!) Why this near-obsession with things happening quickly? Because that's what guys want — particularly young, underdeveloped, immature guys. Young guys are horny. They're self-absorbed, obsessed with sex, and they want it now. The PUA gurus are selling, for the most part, to men's weaknesses. They tell guys what they want to hear, not what they need to understand. Sexy, seductive, romantic men take it slow. We've cultivated that "slow hand" that a woman craves. We're willing to "spend some time," as the song says. We're not in a "heated rush," unlike the crazy horn dogs! Of course, our goal is to form a meaningful, deeply erotic relationship with a woman — we want lasting connection. PUA's generally have one thing on their minds: "getting laid." Leading Men create a gourmet meal in romance and sex, not cheap fast food. If I had one specifically sexual piece of advice to share, it would be to embed the chorus of the Pointer Sisters' song in your memory, and mentally play it on a loop whenever you are looking to create an intimate experience. Slow the experience way, way down. Tune in to the woman you are with. Focus on creating pleasure for her; learn to enjoy immensely your power to make her feel good. If you are young & horny, this will undoubtably require some discipline on your part. But then, all of growing into maturity does. Being an adult in any area of life requires that you develop the ability to move beyond the gratification of the moment, and discover what will lead to long-lasting fulfillment and enjoyment. © 2013 Kevin Delaney
  21. Every one of us us "allowed" to ignore anyone we choose. I choose to ignore you. You are thoroughly dishonest, and you contribute nothing of substance to these discussions.
  22. What the hell are you talking about?? Ask me a sensible, non-hostile, non-dishonest question which pertains to the article I have written, and I'm more than happy to respond to it. Otherwise, I have no problem allowing my critics to have the last word in a discussion.
  23. That some people are gay (or bisexual, or transsexual, or asexual) is irrelevant to the meaning of my article, and to my broader ideas on heterosexual relationships. The only wrench being thrown is by those whose mission it is to make these fairly simple issues seem confusing.
  24. Join me on Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. Pacific / 8 p.m. Central / 9 p.m. Eastern for a free, live & interactive Webinar, held in conjunction with my blog The Leading Man. I'll discuss seven key principles of romantic/sexual seduction for men! RSVP now, and get instant access to a 3-page PDF of notes for the Webinar. Some of what we'll cover: ▪ The importance of a guiltless attitude toward sex. Why doubts, insecurities & hang-ups can be a man's worst enemies in seduction. ▪ Being a "sexual giver" — why you must focus on creating an outstanding feeling experience for a woman, not your own immediate gratification. ▪ The role of time in seduction. Seduction as a process which cannot be rushed. ▪ A quotation from a famous female author which reveals a profound longing shared by many women. ▪ The "abundance mindset" — and how to handle rejection with aplomb! This program is free to attend, however you must RSVP. As soon as you do, you'll be able to download the PDF. Go here to RSVP: http://www.LeadingManBlog.com/Webinar I look forward to talking with you on Sunday! Please note: Although this program is directed primarily toward men, women are highly encouraged to attend & participate.
  25. Here are the seven principles I'll be discussing at today's free Webinar: 1. A Master Seducer moves guiltlessly in the area of sex; he has no qualms whatsoever about seduction. 2. A Master Seducer is confident in his own sexual value. 3. A Master Seducer understands the role that fantasy plays in a woman's life — particularly her sexual life. 4. A Master Seducer is a sexual giver. 5. A Master Seducer sees seduction as a process. A Master Seducer takes his time. 6. A Master Seducer educates himself about a woman's nature, and her uniquely feminine needs. 7. A Master Seducer recognizes that Earth overflows with highly seducible women.
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