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SapereAude

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  1. Like
    SapereAude reacted to Nicky in The Butler   
    I don't like it. And, if electing a racist, after decades of non-racist Presidents, counts as progress in so called civil rights, then I don't like civil rights either.
     
    What I do like is individual rights, and equality of rights. What I also like is a country that votes on the merits of candidates policies, and congratulates itself not when they manage to elect a person of a certain skin color, but when they elect someone with rational views on race.
     
    I think that, as far as the issue of race goes, electing Obama was not an achievement at all. Electing the first President who wasn't a racist (probably Eisenhower, if not then JFK) was the achievement. Going back to electing a racist is the undoing of that achievement.
  2. Like
    SapereAude got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Objectivism and homosexuality?   
    Here's the problem with your argument, Jonathan13:
    When she adjusted her views to state that it was immoral she qualified it with *why* it was immoral. Rand, like anyone, had to some extent to rely on what was "known" at the time. Most respected psychiatrists, psychologists and medical doctors at the time were in agreement that homosexuality was a mental disorder. When Rand made this statement homosexuality had recently, as a whole, been labelled as such by the DSM-II in 1968. (It was also listed as a deviation in DSM I). Rand, not being omnipotent was relying on the widely accepted science of her time. This science claimed (somewhat contradictory) that homosexuality was not only a mental disorder but also a choice.

    From Atlas Shrugged " "a sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality" (938)".

    Rand always maintained that morality presupposed choice. It was only reasonable and consistent for her to change her view to call homosexuality immoral given what data she had to work with.

    That she viewed homosexuality as disgusting I take no issue with. Most people find something someone else does sexually offputting or disgusting. That is a matter of taste.

    As to her finding it immoral based on what was known at the time I have no issue with either. We can only conjecture what she would have said if presented with what we know now about human sexuality. If one believes that Rand was most often internally consistent and rational one would tend to think that she would probably still find the idea offputting but- by her own definition of morality- change her mind on the morality issue. If one believes that Rand was often contradictory and inconsistent you'll probably choose to believe the worst.

    Edited to add: that said, as far as "choice" comes in to play. One would have to also define what is being discussed. How do we know for sure if she was talking about homosexuality-as far as a person's innate tendencies or homosexuality-the physical acts? To me, the distinction would seem of some importance.
  3. Like
    SapereAude reacted to Eiuol in The Great Gatsby   
    It's a great book, one of my favorites. The message is a lot to do with how money *alone* won't make you happy. It's not a happy book to be sure, but overall it is told from the perspective of Gatsby's friend showing how Gatsby ultimately ruined himself. If you live like Gatsby does, no, nothing good will last.
  4. Like
    SapereAude got a reaction from utabintarbo in Man praised for sacrificing his athletic career for stranger   
    Nicky, I agree that the way you describe is ideal and is how it should be.
    However, that way is currently illegal and these two men are not hypotheticals.

    Under the current flaws and immoral laws that we have I would be willing to donate to someone because I would want the same available should a loved one of mine require it.
    And I would understand why someone would choose otherwise. We all react as rationally as we can within our characters to this unjust situation (government controlled bodyparts)

    I agree the current state of the laws forces us into impossible and immoral situations.
  5. Like
    SapereAude got a reaction from utabintarbo in Man praised for sacrificing his athletic career for stranger   
    Your emphasis is pretty selective though.

    Looking at the entire quote: (I have underlined what I consider to be the most important parts)
     
    Lyle of Plaistow, N.H., said he had been told there was a one in five million chance for a non-family match.
    "It was kind of a no-brainer for a decent human," Lyle said. "I couldn't imagine just waiting. He could have been waiting for years for a match. I'd hope that someone would donate to me if I needed it."


    I see no problem with his choice. His use of "I" statements are correct.
    He wouldn't want to wait, knowing he would die for lack of a donor. Because he would not want that to happen to him it is rational self interest to go through with the donation.

    And lets really look at it... it isn't as though he is giving up a career. Unless something went terribly wrong he will get back to normal and could eventually compete again.
    Perhaps he would give more pause if he were staring down the barrel of losing a multi-million dollar football position.

    I don't consider myself an altruist and I would likely make the same choice, under the same conditions.
  6. Like
    SapereAude reacted to JASKN in Boston Marathon Explosions   
    I think this is much worse. An entire city is shut down -- don't you think an entire city could manage to apprehend a 19-year-old kid with homemade explosives? No one has a nuclear bomb here. I think the city was too quick to boss people around with no explanation given to anyone, and I think the people were too quick to comply.
  7. Like
    SapereAude reacted to softwareNerd in Gold gets slaughtered   
    Rationalism what? Do you seriously think that gold bugs listen to Krugman. Do you seriously think that a significant percentage of other investors who have bought gold over the last few years read what Krugman says as investment advice!
    Krugman is primarily a political hack, but that is incidental to the mistake you're making here: he has almost no impact on the typical gold-buyer. I can see people taking Goldman's view into account. Even if they disagree on fundamentals, one has to take Goldman's views into account.

    Finally, the idea that "gold is being slaughtered" is analogous the the way AAPL was just slaughtered. Look at a 5 or 10 year chart. Then ask yourself what your time-horizon is. People who predict what the prices of financial assets are going to be within the next year are largely hacks.
  8. Like
    SapereAude reacted to Nicky in South Dakota to let teachers be armed   
    You're not giving anyone anything. Self defense is a right, not something for you to give or take.
  9. Like
    SapereAude reacted to Nicky in Violence by proxy   
    P.S. If we defined a crime as "initiation of force", then you would in fact be right. Person A in your example would be innocent. (so would Hitler, obviously, and for the same reason).
     
    But we don't, we define a crime as "the violation of someone's rights" (by we, I mean Objectivists). That's because we're not Libertarians, we studied Rand's philosophy rather than just steal a slogan or two.
  10. Like
    SapereAude got a reaction from secondhander in Objectivism and homosexuality?   
    Here's the problem with your argument, Jonathan13:
    When she adjusted her views to state that it was immoral she qualified it with *why* it was immoral. Rand, like anyone, had to some extent to rely on what was "known" at the time. Most respected psychiatrists, psychologists and medical doctors at the time were in agreement that homosexuality was a mental disorder. When Rand made this statement homosexuality had recently, as a whole, been labelled as such by the DSM-II in 1968. (It was also listed as a deviation in DSM I). Rand, not being omnipotent was relying on the widely accepted science of her time. This science claimed (somewhat contradictory) that homosexuality was not only a mental disorder but also a choice.

    From Atlas Shrugged " "a sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality" (938)".

    Rand always maintained that morality presupposed choice. It was only reasonable and consistent for her to change her view to call homosexuality immoral given what data she had to work with.

    That she viewed homosexuality as disgusting I take no issue with. Most people find something someone else does sexually offputting or disgusting. That is a matter of taste.

    As to her finding it immoral based on what was known at the time I have no issue with either. We can only conjecture what she would have said if presented with what we know now about human sexuality. If one believes that Rand was most often internally consistent and rational one would tend to think that she would probably still find the idea offputting but- by her own definition of morality- change her mind on the morality issue. If one believes that Rand was often contradictory and inconsistent you'll probably choose to believe the worst.

    Edited to add: that said, as far as "choice" comes in to play. One would have to also define what is being discussed. How do we know for sure if she was talking about homosexuality-as far as a person's innate tendencies or homosexuality-the physical acts? To me, the distinction would seem of some importance.
  11. Like
    SapereAude reacted to Dante in Roark the dynamiter   
    Consider the question of why Steven Mallory tries to kill Toohey, or why Rearden feels a desire to kill the past teachers of the Wet Nurse. You ask, well why don't they just feel the urge to speak out against these people, rather than kill them; wouldn't that be a more rational and appropriate reaction?

    The faulty assumption is that every action or thought by a Rand character 'should' represent a well-reasoned and philosophically consistent Objectivist statement. Without this assumption, these things aren't confusing; Toohey and the teachers were doing something bad, and Rand's characters wanted to punish them and stop them from doing it again.

    Or consider Roark's dynamiting of Cortlandt, or Galt's statements about his 'highest moral feeling' being to kill the man who would ask Galt to live for him, or Dominique's statements about hating the rest of the world. It's not hard to understand these as literary devices intended to convey particular points to the reader; it's only when you try to integrate every action and every word of each of these characters, taken literally, into a mature, consistent, reasoned philosophy that you get the troubles you've run into.

    The key to all these questions is: it's a novel. It's not a philosophical treatise. It has imagery, metaphor, character progression. Some of these characters are still undergoing character development. Some are facing contexts fundamentally different from contemporary American life. Some are acting on emotion alone. Some are making philosophical points through their actions that are more complex than "this exact thing would also be okay to do in real life."
  12. Like
    SapereAude got a reaction from tadmjones in Tragic and self explanatory (Gun Control)   
    Now I see a major flaw here. You have an incorrect understanding of "defense" and "retaliation"

    Retaliation is defined as paying kind for kind, seeking revenge, or to repay for a thing done.
    If a man is in the process of assaulting me and I shoot him I am doing none of the above. I am taking an action against a real physical attack against my right to life that is in progress. That is what makes defense different from retaliation.

    Retaliation would be if I seek out someone who assaulted me in the past and shot him. Or even if I shot him in the back as he was fleeing from an attempt to assault me.

    You could say that if someone attacks me with violence and I respond with violence I am repaying kind for kind but this would still be inaccurate.. there is a vast real, moral and legal difference between the initiation of force (breaking into my house and assaulting me) and my use of force to counter that force (me refusing to be assaulted, using what tools I have at hand).

    There is a world of difference in the meanings of these words.
  13. Like
    SapereAude reacted to Jam Man in Ragnar's lesson   
    Every post you've made in any of these inter-connecting threads is based on the premise that it is immoral to break the bonds that tie the abuser and the abused; that one adversary doesn't have the right to withdrawl from the other, but instead must continue taking abuse in order to teach the other why abuse is wrong. Especially if breaking those bonds would cause harm to the abuser.

    Consider that a kid at school takes my lunch money every day. According to you, I would not only have to continue to let him take it, but take the trouble to explain to him why it's wrong for him to take it -- the lesson being delivered, presumeably, through a bloody nose. Well look, it's not like my missing lunch money is breaking me; and I still continue to study and excel at my main goal, which is keeping up with my scholastics; and in fact when I leave school for the day I don't have him to worry about, and all in all life is pretty damn good. You would tell me: "Suck it up. You know how to live, he doesn't. Teach him, even as he pummels you."

    You also teach me that I am in fact responsible for the consequences of his own actions. What happens if I leave that school, and without my lunch money he starves to death? Or is malnourished to the point that his success is impossible? You would say "He needed your lunch money and you knew it: you starved him." What if I went further, and rallied my classmates to oppose bullying? Or if I went further still, and built my own school where there would be no bullies allowed? Then you would say I was purging the world of bullies, that I was a murderer and responsible for all the things that the bullies ought to have known, even as I taught them and they rejected the lesson.
  14. Like
    SapereAude reacted to Devil's Advocate in Christianity and Objectivism. Are these compatible in America?   
    I believe it's more accurate to say Ayn Rand identified herself as an atheist, but not a militant one, and she certainly wasn't 100% against Saint Thomas Aquinas. Likewise there are many who identify themselves as Christian, but not militantly Christian. There's also a distinction to be made between the philosophic aspects of religion, and revealed religion, which has more to do with ones sense of personal responsibility for their beliefs and actions as opposed to the blind acceptance of someone else's. In that respect, Objectivism has its share of faithful followers too.
  15. Like
    SapereAude got a reaction from Dante in Was the strike, a purge?   
    I didn't know this forum was the right place to post speculative fan-fic.
  16. Like
    SapereAude got a reaction from dream_weaver in Christianity and Objectivism. Are these compatible in America?   
    Again, shallow understanding. You conveniently left out the part where his disciples questioned him about it and he responded:
    ""If you stand by the side of men, and see it as men see it, it appears impossible; but stand by God's side, see it by His side, and all things, even the salvation of both rich and poor, becomes possible".

    Jesus also states many times how difficult it is for anyone to get to Heaven, rich or poor: This translation from Aramaic to English:
    "How narrow is the gate and strict the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it!"

    It helps not to have just read only the most glib and common quotes.
    Malachi also offers many justifications for prosperity ministry.

    I'm not arguing for Christianity here. But what I am saying is that many Objectivists use arguments against Christianity that are just as misinformed and uneducated as the arguments people use against Objectivism.

    edit typos
  17. Like
    SapereAude reacted to Dante in Christianity and Objectivism. Are these compatible in America?   
    Relevant quote from Ayn Rand on how the two interact politically in America, from her Q&A:


  18. Like
    SapereAude got a reaction from dream_weaver in Was the strike, a purge?   
    Intellectual Ammo, let me ask you a question.

    If I decide that I either can't or don't want to grow my own food and I seize you and force you to plant, sow and reap crops and raise livestock to feed me.
    If you see a way to escape the bondage I have kept you in must you ignore the opportunity and instead try to debate me on the ethics of slavery? Give up your chance to escape to freedom to convince me to be more just?
    And if you do escape from the slavery I have kept you in, and take all my other slaves with you, and I refuse to start trading value for value and I refuse to raise my crops myself are you then guilty of murder when I starve to death?

    Could it be said you "purged" me?

    Edit:typo
  19. Like
    SapereAude got a reaction from DonAthos in Was the strike, a purge?   
    I did no such thing, you are attemtping to change the meaning of the entire book.
    He and his friends retired to a small bit of private property and yes, only certain people were allowed to enter their private property.
    They left the outside world to the looters. If the looters had changed their ways and become rational and productive they would not have destroyed themselves.

    And one of the biggest points you seem to be willfully ignoring- John Galt did not "come back to take over"
    He stayed in the outside world to watch over and protect the woman he loved.
    The looters who you think he should have sacrificed himself to save
    stalked and followed Galt out
    assaulted and kidnapped Galt
    imprisoned and tortured Galt
    attempted to enslave Galt
    and in fact, tried to force Galt to take over

    This is why none of what you are saying makes sense. He tried to avoid them. They came to get him.
  20. Like
    SapereAude reacted to DonAthos in Does Libertarianism have a Philosophy?   
    I'm not here to speak about "libertarianism," but what you've said here reminds me of my own introduction to Rand. She was being name dropped and dismissed among certain of my acquaintances as being brilliant-but-wrong with outrageous claims. I decided that I should investigate her claims, and her reasoning, for myself by going to the source.

    I didn't respect those people who, at the time, were content to dismiss her without first seriously considering her ideas (or honestly even understanding her ideas), nor did I take it seriously when they would claim to understand her ideas without needing to read her presentation of them. I still don't.
  21. Like
    SapereAude reacted to Ninth Doctor in David Mamet on Gun Control   
    Worthwhile? What an understatement. After reading this, even though I live in an urban area, I'm feeling some visceral drive to go kill a bear.


  22. Like
    SapereAude reacted to Nicky in "Ayn Rand is for Children" from Salon.com   
    Brilliant. Singapore is one of the most prosperous countries in the world (more prosperous than the United States or almost any country in Europe, more prosperous than Japan).

    The reason why they even have a lower class is because they allow people from surrounding countries to live and work on their island. Or rather, the reason why more "enlightened" countries in Europe don't officially have this lower class is because they declared their very existence an illegal act, and regularly deport them back to their deaths in the hellholes they desperately tried to escape from.

    If enlightened socialist paradises did not have the policy of casting out "illegal immigrants" wholesale, to a fate much worse than having to work the night shift in Singapore, their welfare systems would crumble much faster than it is crumbling now, and expose the underbelly of their beliefs. The only thing protecting the illusion of a "happy for all society" in Europe is the incredible cruelty with which they deal with poor immigrants.

    And yet, this moron has the gall to assign blame for foreign transient workers' poverty to the one country in Asia that has allowed more prosperity to be earned than any other one.
  23. Like
    SapereAude got a reaction from moralist in On Akstons reason to strike   
    Vigilantism can only exist where one is under the protection of a lawful system of justice.
    There was no lawful justice to be had, making vigilantism a non-issue.
  24. Like
    SapereAude reacted to Jam Man in On Akstons reason to strike   
    Ragnar recovered stolen money. The stolen money, before it was repatriated, was being shipped off to prop-up Peope's States across the globe... states who have already drained themselves of resources and capital and who were now looking at the US as the last apple on the tree. Yes, Ragnar took money that was to keep it all from falling apart, thus allowing it to fall apart. What you fail to recognize is that he didn't steal the money in the first place, he was recovering it for its rightful owners; he didn't promise the citizens of the People's States stolen wealth from abroad, the leaders of those states did; he didn't organize the collapse of those states, the states' leaders did when they erected their society upon the moral foundation of a tapeworm.

    Ragnar destroyed nothing except a criminal enterprise. I'm sure there are innocent benefactors of the mafia who suffer when a local don is gunned down or arrested. Giving to the poor is an effective and popular method of maintaining favorability within a community, particularly when you want the community to turn a blind eye to some of your less-moral endeavors. That an entire continent was dependant upon criminals to steal and extort money from productive men for their survival was a non-issue for our just pirate Ragnar. The criminals -- the leaders, the politicians, the dictators -- were dooming themselves and their people when they began to rely upon force for their livelihood.
  25. Like
    SapereAude got a reaction from moralist in Was the strike, a purge?   
    The problem is that you are pretending that all this happened in a vacuum.
    Several references are made in AS to human history. To the fact that The USA was the first real attempt to have a rational and moral society.
    What he saw was not a people that had no opportunity to know what he knew.
    He was watching them willfully destroy what was good and right. The company he walked out of was not an isolated incident.
    It was made clear in the book that that was the direction the world and now the USA had taken, with the voters' tacit consent.
    They made clear their allegiance to the code of looting and pillaging with their vote that night.

    He did not destroy their world, they did.
    He did not *steal* the other producers from the world of the looters- he gave them refuge.
    He did not "create a gas chamber and lock them in"- he left the gas chamber they created and saved everyone he was sure wouldn't attempt to drag him back. Then he left them to their own creation.

    If you throw yourself off a building I am not murdering you by refusing to use my body to block your fall.
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