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OK, we all know that there's a lot in the world we don't like. But what are some reasons that keep you going, things that you're optimistic about? I can start: * I'm thankful there's so many smart people in today's world. Jeff Bezos is working on space, and so is Elon Musk. * There's greater opportunity than ever before to design our lives as we wish. * There are a lot of smart people working on crypto currencies, and they are going to dramatically change the power of governments. * There are more books than ever. Almost any subject I can just search for it, then I can learn from world experts on the subject. * There is less violence in the world than ever before. * The project Mindshore is inspiring me very much, what if it works, and what if we can build something unimaginably beautiful? * International air tickets are cheap, making travel more accessible than ever. * Software is impacting more and more areas of life, making things more convenient and faster. What are things you're grateful for?
I am quite confused at this point in my life. I several roads I could possible travel, although two appeal to me more then the others. I am fascinated by so many things in life, and my current belief system tells me I only get one chance to live, and that's it. So I have about 60 years to cover as much as possible. I am currently on the road to pursue a career in neurotechnology. I am quite convinced that this will be a very viable field over the next couple decades. I have seen numerous research that is telling me we will soon have direct human/computer interfaces, and I am very interested in pursuing an electrical engineering/ neuroscience degree. Now here is the other side: I love making music. I admire skill more than anything, and I love seeing myself progress day by day with each practice session. My music teacher is fully convinced if I went to school for music composition I would do incredibaly well. I know I won't make anywhere near as much money as I would creating a neurotechnology company, but my life will be as fufilling, if not more. I can't really decide which would make me more happier, as I am so fascinated by both domains. Our attention is limited and I want to give the domain I pick 100% of my attention. I want to spend all day every day pursuing both domains, but I obviously can't. So tell me, how does an Objectivist pick a career?
To give the question context I will say that as a 21 year old I am lucky enough to not yet have any children of my own. How does rational egoism view parental love? For example if your child represented everything you held to be immoral (lazy, entitled, etc,) then surely if follows that such a relationship would be unhealthy and should be ended but what if the pull of parental love and the feeling of guilt was too much to end the relationship. The relationship itself makes you unhappy but the idea of ending it makes you even less happy. What do you do? On a side to this question I wonder if the love I have with my younger brother is healthy according to Rand. As he is too young (11) to have a full set of morals and virtues that make the men and women in my life that I do love on what basis can I say my love for him is true spiritual love? I would go as far as to say that I would even defend his life at the expense of, say, my best friend who I love and admire for his strengths and virtues as in individual man.
Life is not an end in itself. The reason people choose to live is for experiences and pleasure, the central tenants of hedonism. The reasons people choose to live long is either a) fear of death or maximization of pleasure According to hedonism, pleasure (this includes the abstraction "happiness") is the only intrinsic good. This means that are actions are mere means to an end. Not an end in themselves. Not means to some over-rationalistic "survival" end. We survive "because" we want to feel good. Some people, for example, may choose to live 30 years in a succession of intensely happy and pleasurable moments and end it because they want to and feel they have nothing else to live for. With no "long term" purposes intended. Others (with the help of technology) may choose to live 1000 years. Its always their choice and its not "moral" choice or the domain of judgement. An ethics of hedonism is perfectly rational and perfectly justifiable. Our lives are short and we only live once. We should dedicate as much of our lives as possible in the (shameless) pursuit of pleasure and great experiences (however we define it) without of course, harming others in any way in the process. In fact, we should include and share others in our pursuits whenever possible as this increases our happiness and pleasure. Living life on some sort of non-scientific, personal intellectual quest, (such as "struggling" to "integrate" Objectivism and is contents) , is ultimately pointless, (and probably dying as some sort of lonely martyr) as you'll die anyway and with nothing to show for it "long-term". It's a vain, pointless (and painful) process. Its painful because it causes both undue mental strain and social isolation. Hedonism is the only truly "self-evident" philosophy. Practically every sane person practices it in some capacity. However variants of Hedonism (do what you want at the cost of others) can take things in the wrong direction and cause conflicts and suffering. NOTE: For those who would like to know, and for future reference, my philosophical system is organized as follows: Metaphysics/Epistemology: Empiricism Ethics: Hedonism (self), Utilitarianism (others) Politics: Libertarianism (non agression) Aesthetics: Romanticism (shameless worship of human values) Discuss!