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ernie

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  1. I would have to agree. They describe relationships. Certain mathematical principles may turn out to be absolute, but only in relation to other principles which exist in the same system.
  2. that seems more like an argument that free will does exist. If we choose it, it exists, regardless of whether or not we make the choice consistently.
  3. According to the Objectivist perspective, would it be immoral to advocate or accept government grants for college-education? I'm talking mainly about need based financial aid, rather than loans or scholarships. These loans aren't given for academic performance, but strictly based on income.
  4. Why can paying taxes not be morally judged? To the true objectivist, it would be immoral. Ragner Daneskjold considered it immoral, and refunded each of Atlas Shrugged's main characters what they had paid. It should be judged, as should everything.
  5. ernie

    What is the proper way to establish a government?

    I can't remember exactly where I read it, but Ayn Rand believes government should function only to protect individuals from harm. From reading The Virtue of Selfishness, Rand wrote an essay stating any group has the right to overthrow a government when its citizens are treated unjustly or they are being forced to comply with its political system against their will.
  6. ernie

    Real people in the real world

    I've been talking back and forth with one of my professors about my philosophy and how it's been influenced by Ayn Rand's novels. We started talking about the criteria we use to decide who we want to interact with or form relationships with. I stated that I do not desire the underserved and that I only consider friendship valid when each party values the other for the best within them - the strongest part of their character. She replied that although one intitially values others for the best within them, these relationships cannot be sustained without relaxing this standard at some point. Ayn Rand's characters never yield. They always hold themselves to the highest standard. Is it reasonable to expect this from people in the real world?
  7. ernie

    Rwanda

    After reading The Virtue of Selfishness, I'm pretty sure I undersand Ayn Rand's position on military intervention in foreign affairs. She basically says the right to intervene exists when a foreign nation is violating the rights of its citizens. Between April and June, 1994, an estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed in 100 days. Yes, the united nations did intervene, but they pulled out long before the genocide was over. When an event this evil takes place; when nearly 1 million people are brutally murdered, how can the motivation for sending troops be anything other than altruism? My primary purpose on this earth is to live the greatest life possible, on my terms and for my own purpose. At the same time, however, I would absolutely risk my own life to save another's, even someone I did not know, if they were the victim of injustice. Does this make me not an Objectivist?
  8. ernie

    Contradiction?

    Ayn Rand states that one should never initiate force for any reason. But in Atlas Shrugged, when Dagny, Francisco, and Hank go to rescue John Galt, she shoots and kills the guard. The other three characters tie their opponents and throw them into the bushes. She tells the guard to consider his options and make a choice. Dagny's motivation for shooting the guard seems to have been her anger at his refusal to choose. Doesn't this decision show a moment of weakness for Dagny Taggart? Or was she somehow justified? My second question is about Ayn Rand herself. She gave a statement in response to the House Un-American Activities Committee investigation on the infiltration of Communist ideals in the Hollywood film industry. She seemed to fully support the investigation, and in no way questioned attempts to blacklist these individuals from the industry. According to Objectivism, doesn't every individual have the responsibility of arriving at their own conclusions, based only on their own analysis of the world? Was Ayn Rand supporting a movement which refused the individual's right to choose? Isn't truth the best defense against an unjust system? In the words of John Milton "Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple: who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter."-Areopagitica (I am in no way supporting a Socialist, Communist, or Marxist philosophy, governmental structure, or economic system)
  9. ernie

    Research

    I'm doing a little research, and was hoping you guys could answer a question for me. Feel free to say whatever comes to mind, or not respond at all. I won't use your responses for any specific purpose. It's just to help me understand a few things. In Atlas Shrugged, John Galt asks Dagny about the feeling she had when The John Galt Line made its first run. He says it's that feeling he chose to accept as the norm in his life, the greatest sense of accomplishment. Each of Ayn Rand's characters has a similar pursuit, the only difference being the profession they choose. Is this your motivation? Is this the reason you were initially attracted to Ayn Rand's philosophy? And finally, what gives you that feeling? What's your ultimate goal?
  10. ernie

    Hello

    Hello everyone! I'm glad I finally found an active objectivist forum online. Just to introduce myself, my name is eric (though my log-in name is ernie, you can call me either), and I'm a senior at Colorado State University. I'll be graduating in December, and I've never been so excited for a new beginning. I love "Atlas Shrugged", although I'm not a huge fan of "The Fountainhead". I've read a few of Ayn Rand's essays here and there, but nothing comes close to Atlas. I really don't find it necessary to discuss Objectivism's principles, only to live by my own standard partially inspired by "Atlas Shrugged". But I do look forward to meeting others who accept no limits to individual achievment. Feel free to respond anytime. Eric
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