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whYNOT

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  1. whYNOT

    Why follow reason?

    To "have no sense of reality" ... not within them, but somewhere in that space which divides one human body from another" - might be taken metaphorically, until one finds that such people actually exist. I've had the feeling of someone who is 'there', but not "there", who functions superficially as, and says and does all the normal, human things, but displays a hollowness, I take as a lack of self. This is the person I think who is often a-conceptual ("anti-conceptual"). What Rand doesn't indicate here about second-handers, is their absence of "self-value", which he has dissipated into others, along with reality. The (volitional conceptual/reasoning consciousness, then, evidently from Rand, is the absolute prerequisite for rational selfishness. One is "centred" by one's conceptual formation, while equally being "grounded" in reality (when one's concepts are). In short, the second-hander hasn't a "sense of reality", by his failure to conceptualize reality, and he hasn't a valued 'centre', as result. There is also the second-hander's link to altruism. "Somewhere in that space between..." could be prescient about cyberspace, concerning internet communication and information - 'reality', being 'out there', in amongst 'the mass consciousness', or "collective mind". An absorbing question for me, is if the power of Internet, requiring people's integration, evaluation and conceptualism more than ever before - is also furthering second-handers/altruists/collectivists at a higher rate?
  2. whYNOT

    Why follow reason?

    Definitely. The means exist - the O'ist epistemology - the (rewarding)work needs to follow. When one succeeds in creating concepts "from scratch" from one's senses, after to become comfortable applying/implementing the resulting principles back to real things, then one fully owns them and has earned them. This is not a philosophy to learn by rote, nor exclusively by theory, I think.
  3. whYNOT

    Here I Stand

    What an outstanding, deep article by Ghate, Stephen. Yes, individual existence: the ultimate value. Each, the capability to find value and to create value (and to be valued) - by reasoned choice, not command. Each a single state to and from whom all blessings arrive and flow. For all their mysticism, God worship, obedience, dualist-conflict - and periods of brutality or interference, I am unsure if secularists (often, 'neo-mystics')will hold civilisation together as long as did the religious who at least placed absolute worth in the Immortal Soul of an individual. When the bother of the Soul was dispensed with by reductive materialists - severing it along with the conscious mind, the "self" - I ask, wasn't it one step forward and half a step backwards for man?
  4. Right. I getcha. You mean the common or garden 'selfish' cynic, who in our terms is subjectivist, egotistical, predatory. And sure, valueless. One way I have of seeing "the Donald" is of the poacher turned gamekeeper. On balance, I'd say, good -- while a-principled. Again, he openly admitted to "being part of the problem", so I view that as honesty. I didn't believe he originated the phrase, btw. Add: I looked it up in my ancient Concise Oxford: 1. Of, characteristic of, the Cynic philosophers; 2. philosopher of sect founded by Antisthenes, marked by ostentatious contempt for pleasure; 3. Sneering fault finder. Interesting how the word has completely been adapted into a modern connotation. I'll still go with the insight of Oscar Wilde...
  5. Hi DA, That's not a definition of cynicism I know of (or understand), much better is the account of a cynic in Wilde's words: a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Rational "self-interest" or rational selfishness, has everything to do with (objective) value, of course, so I don't get the connection. I'm more in favour of the "draining the swamp" metaphor for your president's actions.
  6. Keith, I am a little confused about which paragraph of mine you meant to highlight and discuss...? Individual rights not requiring an Objectivist society - or the qualities needed, or not, from a leader? The position I maintain, simply, is that a leader is the result of millions of value-choices by individual people, their implicit or explicit identifications, self-identities and evaluations - which means a huge aggregate of mixed people's beliefs, morals, aspirations and purposes, (etc.) right down to their personal fears and hopes. A good leader today may identify and purportedly try to answer to some of that, but he is ultimately the elected official. AR: "To be free, a man must be free from his brother" (all they who 'democratically' elect a particular Party and a leader, so dictating everyone's futures). Democracy per se, "rule by the majority", is inherently flawed because a majority are often wrong; it generalizes ('averages out') into a mass that which is individual, and will favor some groups over others. The best that I think can be said for democracy is - Presidents come and Presidents and parties go. Of course, Rand's individual rights and the view of mankind by the Framers of the US Constitution transcends the flaws. Who the President would be under a future dispensation, declines altogether in significance; then, the individual thinks for himself and looks for his own just desserts according to his rationality and efforts. Saying that, and what you already you know about the faults of democracy, how possibly could the "Constitutional Republic" have devolved to "a Democracy" for many Americans, and further descend to a "Social Democracy", the goal for some of them? Reminded here by what I read of Barack Obama's speech he made yesterday at some function. Very correctly he bemoaned "values ... not being upheld". Rightfully he pointed to "facts" avoided. Sounds good. But which "values" can he mean - and what "facts" ... when he referred a couple of times to the USA as "our democracy"? That's "a fact" I object to, especially by an ex-president. I've often taken exception to anyone forgetting or degrading the USA's identity of Constitutional Republic, equating it with every pretender to "Democracy" in the world. Finding common ground, one remark of yours took me aback. President Trump , "a national-socialist"?! A Nazi, you say?! Surely not...
  7. Indeed, "President Galt", at a time the American people are ready for - and deserving - of him, will exist and he'll step forward for the job. Cause and effect must be observed. The dog wags his tail, horse draws the cart, etc., and Americans who by vast majority demand their individual self-responsibility, neither desiring to 'own' other people's bodies -nor their minds, and blocking government interference in their lives, can bring about reduced government, individual rights, and so on. I keep emphasizing self-responsibility, since this quality alone is well-known to Americans and already acceptable and necessary to many, as the pathway to that end and I theorize, its fastest means of implementation. A simple but critical point to clear up for newer O'ists - I think - an Objectivist society, as such, will not have to be the prerequisite for that outcome. While of course it will be Influenced strongly by Objectivist ideas. Clearly all through Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal, a general society, not exclusively Objectivist, was envisaged by Rand I concede that an exceptional leader has some power to change opinion within a populace, but I think the most objectively principled president, who ~somehow~manages to come to power in today's climate, still can't lead where his supporters and opponents won't follow. Your thoughts of world "emulation" are true, but it carries both the bad - and the good. One needs to see and know 'concrete' moral exemplars of e.g. freedom, individualism, reason - if one is rational. But too, I am seeing here, in RSA, the vaguely-held, notional ideologies of Socialism and neo-Marxism on the rise, fed by power hungry politicians, miscomprehending average people - and the immoral intellectuals (who do understand the ideas). Those essential altruists, who blindly and dependently copycat social -economic, and political trends in Europe, Africa or Latin America, have to be shown (yet again) how they don't work, but spell disaster for people and nations. Beating back the bad ideas in western nations might change the perceptions in other countries. In this important respect you there are an example to us. If the section - mainly represented by 18 - 30 year olds, I read somewhere - which is the extreme Socialist Left in the US gradually gains ground, that will sanction Leftism in many other places. Sort of, "America(!) condones this, why can't we?"
  8. whYNOT

    Jumping into the fray

    Tenderlysharp, Quite a journey. I concur with Ninth, you have a special writing/thinking expressiveness which (I think) you should keep building upon. I experience too that mind-shift from verbalizing to visualizing when I take up the camera after a while, it feels like almost a physical effort at first, before engaging that important visual clarity and fluidity again. (As aside, you must know of the neuroscience findings of "neuroplasticity", a brain self-consciously directing, establishing, re-establishing - and creating - new neural pathways, which bears out our minds' volition, the "self-made soul" . The scientists have lately begun to catch up with the philosopher and the artist-creator who has always known or sensed this phenomenon...!) May I add: I realize you must satisfy your own standards, but you don't need to be too unforgiving on yourself. It may not be so clear at the time, but one develops even in 'failure', as one pushes at the boundaries of existence and one's mind to bring them together.
  9. Yes, but my problem is that Obama did recognize a principle, the principle of American exceptionalism - it is just that in the same breath he praised other countries' 'exceptionalism', too! In other words, he negated the concept. Not everyone can be equally exceptionalist, by definition. In that, he exposed his basic relativist, egalitarian principles, I think. Whereas, Trump (by intuition, some might say) does have a clear idea of what exceptionalism looks like, or has looked like. Not trying to be too down on Obama - except for his terrible foreign policies - in retrospect it is too easy to criticize a presidency and I was fairly favorable to him in the beginning. But I was puzzled back then by the "Yes, we can!" slogan. We can --what? I believe it has emerged that means "we can ... be just like everyone else". (i.e. Europeans, and so on). This narrative is what the Obama supporters responded to. We Americans aren't so special, after all. To some, anything but.
  10. Eioul, In reply to your last, I won't attempt an answer. On US history where my knowledge is sketchy, I'll be better informed by well-versed opinions from you and others. (I should explain, my partial understanding of 'things American' has been from about 50 years of "cultural" intake - in all fields: its popular culture, scientific, business, politics, arts, etc. etc. and knowing some Americans, - and by reading at least a thousand American novels, in every variety - any good or great fiction is a useful inductive source of material I feel, about the places, activities, prominent ideas, events, conflicts, types of people and created individuals. Capped of course, from Rand where I learned comprehensively to appreciate the abstract guiding principles of the US). Clearly, in this discussion it emerges that I have a lower expectation from leaders than do others here. I am opposed to and wary of "leaders" anyway, intellectual or not, and think their Executive powers, everywhere in the world are excessive. (Even in the USA and its superior system of government). My low expectation is best summed up by that adage that the right man/woman for the job of President wouldn't want or take it. (Being a little facetious, can you imagine a President Galt...?) While I'm exploring pure theory for a moment, I'll take the opportunity to insert a reminder of Rand's words which struck me very early on: "Under a proper social system, a private individual is legally free to take any action he pleases (so long as does not violate the rights of others), while a government official is bound by law in his every official act. A private individual may do anything except that which is legally *forbidden*; a government official may do nothing except that which is legally *permitted*." (CUI: Appendix) Back in reality, you are nowhere near there yet, and I'm never going to see it here. However, that statement is the standard to hold in mind, I think, of what a severely delimited government actually is. In it the president is not required to be "intellectual", as such, in fact that could be a detraction from his job. His task as chief Civil Servant is simply protectionist of the rights of all the citizens of a country.
  11. "Principles". Well, call me crazy, but I prefer a president who implicitly recognizes: "You did build that!" That is principled. I was early in naming Trump a pragmatist, but have been rethinking this - he shows an inconsistency about ideas, admittedly. I am well aware of the nature of cynics, as leaders or otherwise, and I have yet to notice a Putinish level of cynicism in Trump, regarding the USA, anyway. He displays a grasp of values ("American exceptionalism", barely understood by Barack Obama, going on his remarks). Perhaps call him a "seat-of-his-pants", and even a "sense of life" president - just save me from leader-"intellectuals" of a certain sort. "Principles" are properly the preserve of free citizens, less of their leaders. I really don't believe you have seen how the USA has lately slipped in many outsiders' perceptions. (Not the Left, obviously). It makes sense to me, if you view that building it back to its former status, peacefully making its moral presence known to the world again, is "raising your country over others". Besides, I take it you are for rational selfishness.
  12. Reasoner, Well said, especially on Mystics/neo mystics. From my following and understanding of the USA (and Europe) I believe you are largely right. While I think Peikoff's book is otherwise very good, he (and Yaron's comment, lately, which I hadn't heard) has got Christianity/the religious right all wrong - it is mostly in disarray, while the extreme right is relatively minor, "impotent", as you say, but always gaining excessive media attention (of course). What I've noticed growing over decades, and to me the imminent danger to America, is the Left, known variously as postmodernism, cultural Marxism, Progressivism. This movement is a complex ball of wax to unwind, and none better in my reading than the Objectivist philosopher, Prof. Stephen Hicks, to place it in philosophical, moral, historical and political context with his in-depth and sweeping book 'Understanding Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault'. The usual suspects, Kant, Marx etc., with special attention to the mid-20c French philosophers who were greatly influential in the US, are all in there. He uncovers and forsees the ultimate nihilism of this "pomo" movement. I recommend his website highly: stephenhicks.org What was it Rand wrote about (roughly) the religious wanting your bodies but the Left wanting your minds? I've observed this principle broadly apply multiple times and places. I always say, with the separation of Church/State generally established I don't fear inroads from Christianity; however, there was no such careful separation made for the secular Left -- as we know, the State IS their Church...
  13. Economic policies and individual rights -- yes, but are they in any worse shape than with previous incumbents? Not so I've noticed, Nicky. How about returning to the fundamental approach? Proper rights, capitalism, politics can only be consequences of a sea-change in a culture's ethics. Never possibly by unilateral implementation by any president. Trump apparently refers more to and holds in esteem the model of your Constitution - and further - is effectively, in deed and word, announcing that it is right and good for America and Americans to place her and their own self-interests above whoever makes claim upon them. He doesn't have to be an intellectual to see what has worked best, i.e. individual self-responsibility. If he did no more than bring his influence to bear on this, it would be plenty, and a move to individual rights, etc.. Trump's resistance against the seeping Progressivism presuming upon the US's sacrifice and duty, which other countries (and some American citizens) have long taken for granted, comes in the nick of time. A tipping point is arriving, I think. I hope I'm not being overdramatic in my opinion that the semi-free world depends on what happens there within a short time span. Although not enjoying the lack of independent standards by other countries, too reliant on the USA, as you may be too. (You could be wishing like me that everyone minded their own business, but that ship has sailed). But every supporter or opponent of freedom knows, at least tacitly, that the USA and its vast successes are uniquely the product of moral ideas. Many governments and intellectuals will be given a boost to see those ideas appear to fail, and are gloating at your divisions.
  14. A most cynical summation. For all his faults of method, is this how Trump's purpose and goals are seen? It has been clearly the sidelined ordinary American whom your President has recognised and upheld over the Leftist intellectual elitists, or 'the powerful". Are Objectivists moving to the skeptical Left?
  15. When it's only "non-initiation of force" that prevents one from stopping, say, a pedestrian walking in front of a car - or someone leaping off a bridge - then I have a strong objection to this injunction. This is where applying IOF becomes out-of-context, and as I said, "a stretch". I have heard the arguments from a libertarian, and he finally came around to agreeing that the fundamental behind NIOF is: the principle of freedom of action. For the pedestrian, the simpler scenario is that he's unaware of danger--so you aren't diverting him from his chosen actions. But it's crazy to envisage oneself as going through a mental conflict first about having to use "force" to stop a man, woman or child from unintended harm - just because it would require your force/restraint. That's when some libertarians look quite irrationally dogmatic, by taking a derivative principle concerning force-to-others as their rigid guide to action, i.e., as a morality. What not to do, rather than "what to do" will tend to stifling and limiting one's free action which will be against moral self-interest . I'd not ever wish to have to make the decision to not interfere with an adult (as distinct from a minor, who should be prevented) and his choice to take his life. Who can tell, it may yet happen, with anyone , a stranger or a very sick friend. However, I think the abiding principle is - only - that person's freedom of action, free mind and choice, and you, the onlooker's recognition/respect for his freedom. That would decide me to hold off. Not the fear of initiating force.
  16. You're going to get us lost in minor examples and counterexamples when you come at it this way. For this reason it's necessary to first think in principles: why men in society need rights in the first place. Societies are complex, but the individual is indivisible, and we know there are a multitude of - potentially -competing ideas and beliefs, moralities and ambitions and types of behavior among several million citizens. Objectivist theory starts with "man" who has the right to life, which by his nature absolutely requires his (thinking and) actions - and so Rand logically derived man's freedom to act - the base of all rights, like property (a type of action) rights, and so on. Objectively, rights don't demand and specify a single 'right' or 'perfect' way for an individual to think and choose his actions. But what individual rights do implicitly contain, is a principle that each person is effectively the master of his destiny, so to speak. Following that, which moral path he chooses and so what he chooses to do and therefore any just consequences from reality he gains (or at times, fails in, but that's another story) must not be interrupted or interfered with by another individual. His levels of rationality or irrationality at this stage, are less relevant--again, as long as he does not physically impose his irrational thinking or behavior or wishes on anyone else. "Man's" indisputable right to freedom of action is the starting place, comprehended by each individual as his own essential freedom - as it is everyone else's. This acknowledgment of freedom by most people in a society totally over-rides "tolerance", to my mind, and makes it superfluous. (Could be, precisely when individual rights are scarce and lose ground to Government-implemented 'group rights' and people's 'rights to getting things' and 'public property' - a contradiction pointed out above - and similar aberrations, that "toleration" becomes more highly pressured as a "virtue" on societies, as we're seeing). In a free society it comes down to: you do what you want - and if they are "irrational" actions ~and~ physically affecting other's life-acts - which will usually reduce to one and the same thing - you only then run afoul of the law/government (which should exist only to defend rights and contracts. If you see now that with the basic principles established you can then approach any competing or conflicting real-life scenario, no matter how trivial. (I think the nudity thing and public/private property has been taken care of by David Odden.). Mostly, in a high proportion of situations, it seems to my experience that many individuals are sensible and/or, rational - enough to a). anticipate in advance what behavior can be hurtful or damaging to others, and if they judge it to be gratuitous and inessential behavior, will do otherwise. b). observe results and change their acts during their commission c). respond helpfully to a complainant (neighbor, especially) when the offence has been brought to their attention. and d). If an occurrence on someone's property - just don't look at it. (Constant and repeated intrusions on the other senses, noxious smells and loud noise, are rather different and more serious). Left alone to work things out, people often do fine. Or have the option to disassociate themselves. When problems are insoluble, and a person is impervious to rational argument comes the time to invoke one's rights and bring in the law. I see some jeopardy to the minimalist government we want, when individuals call the cops at every perceived infringement of rights, thereby bringing about larger police forces and more governance. (My position is that the freedom to act by a (predominantly) rational individual who understands how the principle arises should be primary - i.e., not be curtailed and narrowed by concerns about others' rights and a possible initiation of force. If one is rational, one acts rationally, and therefore *cannot* by his nature, harm, defraud or coerce others. "I eat what I like and let my neighbor eat what he likes" (RubalSher). All my explanation is a long way round to validating your simple percept. While I'll claim that you are not in fact displaying "tolerance", as you believe - but recognition for "freedom" of action - you said it. The Objectivist position on rights and society is absolutely true to man and in fact, a "radical" one, recalling your early criticism of it not being radical enough for you. Radical: "of the roots".
  17. whYNOT

    Why follow reason?

    Ha, the true skeptic. Requiring a "link" instead of considering a reasoned argument, on its own merits. Maybe you haven't read Rand too well. What do you call "reason"? Why wouldn't you "follow" it?
  18. whYNOT

    Why follow reason?

    You got a reasoned explanation for "why follow reason" (based on Rand) but no reply. . This has been an exercise in skepticism and sophistry from you, more like Hume's empirical anti-conceptualism (therefore, anti-reason). Often the cause is a dismissal of consciousness possessing identity, by denying metaphysics. If you've come to produce a better argument than those here, or Rand, for your query, let's hear. Naysaying becomes boring.
  19. Well, wearing clothes IS non-offensive isn't it (to nudists)? Being naked -can- be offensive to many, but to go further we'd have to dig into the evolution of clothing and its practicality, religious mores, status display - etc., etc. - and for me, a little more important, the value of privacy, mine and others. As well as the fact that the human body is not always attractive. I'm more interested in why you think tolerance should be desired in people, at large. (And if and how being naked would accomplish such). Tolerance/toleration is defined roughly as forbearance, enduring others and their beliefs, unjudgmentally. Hasn't it become clear that after decades of heavily advocated "toleration", people everywhere are no more accepting of others than before, but only worse? All it's achieved is growing public resentment and divisions, much less respect, and a greater hypocrisy from people burying their honest thoughts. Objectivists, to whom tolerance is a zero standard for human contact, I think - and who will be explicit in justly assessing other individuals' character, ideas, philosophy, actions, (Etc.) - could have predicted the apposite consequences. I believe I'm correct that toleration is an "anti-concept" in Objectivism, countered by benevolence. Then as to helping others to tolerance, there is a degree of altruism in such a 'moral' duty to anyone and everyone. It has the presumption that you know better than others, what's good for them.
  20. whYNOT

    Why follow reason?

    Sjw, I'm thinking you are flippant about reason as if there are alternatives to reason for the life of man and individuals. There are none, except an existential or spiritual death - when one defaults to a bare existence improper to man, i.e., submits oneself to dependence on others' minds and living off their rationality and values . Since you seem to know all about Objectivism, you will know that reasoning is the volitional and continuous act of conceptualization: perceiving, identifying, integrating and evaluating. For that I think the saying "take what you want and pay for it", is apt. You brought it in, but misinterpreted it as depraved. Rather, "what you want" implies an identification and evaluation of particular/general existents in reality - and that one's own life has a supreme value, which further values enhance - and one's mind also has, like everything in reality, a specific identity which can't be escaped - implies also, that the world is full of benefits (natural and man-made) to man's living which can only be 'taken' - earned - in a (non-sacrificial) trade by way of payment -- of one's reason, virtues and physical and material resources.
  21. whYNOT

    Why follow reason?

    Yes, as 2046 above, sjw. You seem to have overlooked "and pay for it". Everything has its price and must be earned, if it's of objective good. If subjective i.e., a disvalue, (like predation on others, or hedonist pleasure) a person will "pay" the price in another way. After one has done understanding what is payment, next is knowing what "I" (the valuer) is - and next, is what it means objectively and morally to "want"(value).
  22. "There needs to be a separating line..." For sure. While I know little about Kelley's conferences, apart from an invite occasionally as I will receive sometimes from ARI, I would think that all attendees well know tacitly about his Society's Objectivist core. May it be that this obvious fact doesn't have to be re-stated at every conference, nor the basic differences with libertarianism? Only asking, I don't know. On more general lines, I'm strongly in favor of speaking with any and all in one's individual capacity. Assuming one makes oneself and ideas clear from early on, and while finding some common ground (as can happen often) would stay firm to the fundamentals or derivative principles of Objectivism. Actually, in opposing collectivism and group labels, all exchanges of ideas, "official" and not, always involve an individual and individual minds to an Objectivist- in a small group, large conference or one-on-one chats. Without intrinsic insight into whom is listening or debating with you, you initially (or ever) won't know enough to judge others' convictions, the strength of - or the depths of force -and evil- they'd be willing to go to to implement them: therefore, if and when to reject their ideas with clear disagreement, and in justice, remove yourself. Mostly unknowing too, of those minds whom your argument has impressed, stuck, and might have benefit to much later on in their future. With the many types and mixes of people and philosophical doctrines carried by others which we meet through life, the assertion that one is "sanctioning evil" by talking with and even befriending "Christians", "libertarians", etc. etc., is wrong-headed--and self-sacrificial. It will be a dull and unchallenging existence to not engage energetically with other disparate individuals who show interest, as one finds them. Any of them can be a source of value and knowledge and at least, of mental stimulus.
  23. A debate that comes to an abrupt halt again. What did I say? Hah! To round up I have noticed that not all instances or scenarios can be resolved by raising "non-initiation of force". There is a vast range of human interactions which fall beneath that radar. When attempted, such an argument often seems to be quite a stretch to involve "force". Non-initiation of force is after all a low bar of expectation for men (but an important one, nonetheless) more suited to libertarians (for whom, I may be wrong, it seems to be elevated to the status of a morality...). Objectivists conversely are intimately aware of the reasoned derivation, from the metaphysics to ethics, which leads up to this final principle - and therefore hardly ever to need to be reminded of the immorality of force by them to others. And also in the mix, there are many areas of conduct we observe in which it's fully within one's rights to act in a certain way, but would be irrational and self-less, or just malicious or mean to do so. Rights are a moral concept, but cannot be 'a moral code', per se. One is not ever guided by what one ~should~ do by individual rights, and certainly not by NIOF. One's rational morality remains central and predominant. ""Rights" are a moral concept--the concept that provides a logical transition from the principles guiding an individual's actions to the principles guiding his relationship with others--the concept that preserves and protects individual morality in a social context--the link between the moral code of a man and the legal code of a society, between ethics and politics". [Man's Rights, CUI]
  24. Hi Rubal Sher, The society you indicate presupposes a majority of people who have desired freedom and know the nature of freedom - objectively - or, how and why it is rooted in the nature of man -- so, Objectivists who understand as did Aristotle: "I have gained this from philosophy: that I do [and don't do] without being commanded, what others do only from fear of the law". [my insert] The individual's conviction that the freedom to act is the absolute necessity for all men, precedes, but of course doesn't preclude, individual rights and non-initiating of force. The latter are justified by and reinforce that reasoned conviction, to my mind. It's one's rational selfish morality which is the primary. There's no "thou shalt" and shalt not, but an "if" - if you want that, do this. Being rationally selfish means being in the knowledge of what "that" (entity) and "this" (action) entails and of its objective 'good' for one. As a behavior, say you want to take your clothes off in public, well, your choice: who'd stop you in such a free society? Being Objectivist doesn't specify one's private and public behavior in 'liberal-permissive'/Puritanical-conservative 'moral' terms. But almost like having the right to freedom of speech - and while equally a rational person does not deliberately set out to offend others gratuitously or nastily, under that right - why would you want to? Although I think the act is not initiating force, what does it gain you to possibly offend someone by being -perhaps- self-indulgent in that manner? Do you see my meaning?
  25. It does point to changing times and evolving minds and new political realities and possible political alliances. This visit of Brook displays the criticality of context wrt principles. At one level, with benefit of hindsight, it shows how unnecessary and quite silly was the spat that helped lead to a schism in Objectivism. But outcomes alone can't prove right from wrong (that would be consequentialist). The principles invoked on both sides in that bitter debate were central, and still are. It seems to me that a little less intrinsicism presumed on other individuals' minds (a gathering of libertarians, in that case) - and placing confidence in the independent judgment of another (and expert) Objectivist - would have headed off the storm. If there's anything to take out, retrospectively, it is how possible it is for even the most rational thinkers, when it comes to applying or implementing the philosophy to practical, temporal 'issues', to take a fixed (and sometimes mistaken) moral stance, so bringing about superfluous rifts and O'ist 'camps'. I believe something to beware of in the future.
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