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WorthyLoverOfExistence

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About WorthyLoverOfExistence

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  • Birthday 02/29/1956

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    Tom Hall
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  1. Thanks for the tip, Cogito. I've been using this for about a year now and it's a fine search engine. It's gone down a couple times so I just use another one when that happens. It gives me a cookie, so the browser remembers that my selected "charity" (I prefer to think of it as a small investment) is "Ayn Rand Institute the Center for the Advancement of Objectivism - ARI (Irvine, CA) ID: 43242". So far GoodSearch.com users have raised: 2006: $67.67 2007: $264.95 2008: $15.04 Total: (Since Inception 27514 searches) $348.04 for ARI.
  2. I just read/skimmed this entire thread and I must say it's the most useful thing I've read for assessing Ron Paul. Thanks everyone. I estimate about 40% of the posters support him and about 60% oppose him; if I weigh this by my (purely subjective) sense of the posters' "philosophic expertise" however, I think the support goes down to around 10-20% (no offense to anyone). It's too soon to decide who to vote for, but I must say I enjoy having Ron Paul in the race. It makes the debates, polls and stuff a lot more interesting, and I agree with Clawq's point that his campaign has "'healed' some of the political apathy people had" (though I think what most people refer to as "apathy" is really mental paralysis from poor epistemology and it's subsequent confusion).
  3. OK. I'll bite. How is suggesting that Objectivists with the stomach for it consider infiltrating religions and advocate reason directly to religion's victims an attempt to hijack Objectivism ?
  4. Her Ford Hall Forum talk, "Of Living Death", is printed in three parts of "The Objectivist" - September, October, and November of 1968, starting on p. 513 of the bound edition. This explores the implication of a Catholic publication ("encyclical") regarding sexuality, including basic ideas on abortion. The encyclical she analyzes, "HUMANAE VITAE", is now available on-line at the vatican website. Comparing her analysis to the encyclical seems like an excellent opportunity to see how she extracts the essence if the matter. Also, having the encyclical in an electronic form allows you to search for key words so you won't have to read the whole thing. Another article that gets into the abortion issue, and why "Not every wrong idea is an indication of a fundamental philosophical evil in a person's convictions; the anti-abortion stand is such an indication", is "A Last Survey" from November-December 1975 issue of "The Ayn Rand Letter", p. 383 in the bound edition.
  5. Well, I'm sure her brother, and all the parasites at TT would agree with you. They'd have considered her having Galt's child to be an incredibly selfish thing to do. With the business falling apart, she'd "owe" it to them to get an abortion. They would consider it to be her "duty". I don't think she would. I don't think she'd destroy the most obvious, natural, and real expression of her love for Galt. It would have been her perfect "out"; but it wouldn't have fit Rand's theme. My point is that the morality and responsibility of having sex is obviously related to the morality and responsibility of choosing to give birth to a child. It's the first choice in the process. It's the human means of creating children. The reason I proposed a hypothetical example from Atlas, was to help visualize how the abortion issue would be viewed by ideal characters who take their actions and responsibilities seriously. A child, like any other existent, does not come into existence from a vacuum. I'm trying to broaden the context of this discussion. Most anti-abortionist try to make the case that abortion is a form of murder, and a violation of the "rights" of the fetus. I view abortion as a form of homicide, but one that has a lot more in common with suicide than murder. The life and values being destroyed exist primarily in the minds of the potential parents, and only potentially in the fetus. Laws banning abortion are barbaric, as are laws banning suicide. All they do is add more pain and suffering to a situation that is already grim. But I view promiscuous abortion as tragic, and as a symptom and evidence of a really sick and dying, anti-life culture. I can't take credit for the "rational religionists" theme - that's George Santayana's. But I appreciate the compliment.
  6. Isn't there also some degree of this responsibility incurred by consenting adults engaging in sexual relations ? If it wasn't intentional; if the parties involved use contraceptive devices to prevent the pregnancy, but these failed, this doesn't change the morality of the act nor the responsibilities it incurs. If Galt had impregnated Dagny in their encounter on the broken sandbags in the granite vault of the Taggart terminal, do people think Dagny would have had an abortion ?
  7. It might be interesting to argue whether the John Galt I know is the same as the one you know, but if you truly think he exists, then I see not point in arguing about it...but could you ask him how the heck he got that motor to work ?
  8. I think I got it. Aristotle named the principle when he talked about literature being in some sense more important than history. The values we derive from reading about Galt are not from Galt, they are the potentialities of actual reality. Galt, being unreal, can have no value, but because he was created by Rand as man "can be and ought to be", he represents and brings to mind real possibilities, which do have value. Krishna, on the other hand, or trolls or most fantasy creations, represent more of a "mystical invention", as opposed to things as they "could be and ought to be". What they bring to mind is an escape from the potentialities of reality, not a focus on them. So Galt as a fictional character only gets indirect admiration. Rand gets the admiration for her skill in creating him as she did. The honest way to derive value from Galt is to allow his story to help one to be aware of how one's life, friends, and self approach it as an ideal, and motivates one to see to it that they do. The dishonest way would be to continuously condemn one's life, friends, and self for "not living up" to that ideal, and to use this as an "excuse" to demotivate one from doing anything about it. It's easier for Galt to serve the honest role than the dishonest one ; it's easier for fantasy to serve the dishonest role than the honest one, but both can be (mis)used in either way, depending on one's intent - to focus on reality, or to escape from it. Galt is like a telescope, that we use to bring positive aspects of reality more into focus; Krishna is like a kaleidescope that we use to distract us from reality as such, both the positive and the negative aspects. Neither device is the (dis)value itself.
  9. That's my question. If I understand what dougclayton is saying, I'm not equivocating, I'm refusing to equivocate when I really "ought to".
  10. I'm trying to focus on the nature of the mental action involved when we engage in fantasy or fiction, and how it is that the subjects of it can be sources of (dis)value, when they don't even exist. Is this not a form of dishonesty; of denying that the unreal is unreal ?
  11. I wouldn't consider the specific speechs or actions of the two to be a fundamental distiction in the context of this discussion of their (un)reality, and the appropriateness of using them as sources of value.
  12. Right. So how is a rational Objectivist's admiration for John Galt fundamentally different from a rational Hindu's admiration for Krishna ?
  13. I agree that fictional characters offer plenty of value, but I don't agree that they are real; hence the adjective "fictional". Why do you classify "fantasy" as unreal, but "fiction" as real ? Isn't engaging in the enjoyment of either a form of self-deception ?
  14. Could you please tell me which word or concept I'm equivocating on ? Another way of stating the issue I'm interested in might be "when is self-deception not dishonesty" ?
  15. I consider his unreality to be pretty obvious. There is no such person, there is no evidence of his having actually existed. I think asserting that he is real is the positive assertion, so the onus would be on you to prove it.
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