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  1. Yesterday
  2. "Anyone who follows Ayn Rand slavishly or sets her up as a goddess is being a very bad Objectivist." Yes. That is all I am saying. As with any search for truth, we should be prepared to change and grow. "Just what does this mean?" If one is a democrat before being an objectivist (or any other philosophy), then all well and good. If one seeks to install their philosophy at any cost (at whichever extreme), it is a problem - and necessitates the bypassing of democracy. There may come a time when objectivism is central and generally accepted, but (in my humble opinion) there are too many problems for this ever to become likely. It looks very much to me that there are philosophies on the left and on the right which are self-contained and true within their own truths and axioms. They can never meet each other in the middle, and are irresolvable (even nonsensical) when imported into each others' frames of reference. I also wonder how those without land or capital can gain access to these, under a strictly objectivist regime. I also wonder how power can be controlled without democratic oversight. Power doesn't vanish, it moves, whack-a-mole style, so instead of the state (the electors within a democracy) holding the power, power makes its move into the hands of those with wealth. And (to me) very importantly, how can those who want all learners to have access to all ideas in order to arrive at their own conclusions be sure that they can - in particular within the state-run education system (or whatever should come to succeed it)?
  3. Anyone who follows Ayn Rand slavishly or sets her up as a goddess is being a very bad Objectivist. Ayn Rand's thinking and contributions go much deeper than politics. The world is dominated by very fundamental philosophical errors that lead most people astray on multiple levels. We have to fight this. Just what does this mean? I think a system in which political power derives from elections with a broadly based electorate is less dangerous than any alternative. I think we should keep the bill of rights and add additional protection to it. I think most Objectivists would be in essential agreement with me on this.
  4. Last week
  5. Andrew Bernstein and Dave Goodman joined us for this episode on Kyle Rittenhouse and the left's attacks on private property and self-defense rights. Check it out!
  6. As a fellow NZer I would say don't go following any one school of thought slavishly or go acquiring new gods or goddesses for yourself - read and listen to everything and everyone across the spectrum, and form your own ideas and critiques of all you hear. Personally I have tarried with Ayn Rand-type ideas (especially in the 90s during the Douglas/Richardson era as finance ministers), but they don't really gel with me now - in particular their implications for/with democracy. I have (I suppose) moved in towards the left and find agonism is what makes the most sense to me for the time being.
  7. Published works by Merlin Jetton in the vicinity of topics in this thread: Egoism and/or Altruism (2013) The Beneficiary Statement and Beyond (2017) -see also Roger Bissell (2020) Egoism and Others (2018) Selfish versus Selfish (2021)
  8. Two books pertinent to this thread are: Sacrifice Regained: Morality and Self-Interest in British Moral Philosophy from Hobbes to Bentham Underivative Duty: British Moral Philosophers from Sidgwick to Ewing I have lately been studying the latter's chapter 7, titled The Birth of Deontology. I have needed to learn more about noted ethical theory, from the time of Kant, in Britain and in America. This by way of completing my study Dewey and Peikoff on Kant's Responsibility. I'll have that study completed and posted in that thread pretty soon. Then I'll turn to completing the two thread in which I'm comprehending the differences and commonalities between Dewey and Rand/Peikoff in perception, conception, foundationalism, and logic. Other threads here at Objectivism Online related to this present thread are: Aristotle on Selfishness Spinoza and Rand
  9. "He should read a book or watch some tasteful pornography to learn what to do with a girl. " lol, I'll know tasteful when I see it.
  10. There is an exquisite entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for ALTRUISM. Its author is Richard Kraut. ALTRUISM 1. What is altruism? 1.1 Mixed motives and pure altruism 1.2 Self-sacrifice, strong and weak altruism 1.3 Moral motives and altruistic motives 1.4 Well-Being and perfection 2. Does altruism exist? 2.1 Psychological egoism: strong and weak versions 2.2 An empirical argument for psychological egoism 2.3 An a priori argument for psychological egoism 2.4 Hunger and desire 2.5 Desire and motivation 2.6 Pure altruism and self-sacrifice 2.7 Does egoism exist? 3. Self and others: some radical metaphysical alternatives 4. Why care about others? 4.1 Eudaimonism 4.2 Impartial Reason 4.3 Nagel and the impersonal standpoint 4.4 Sentimentalism and fellow feeling 5. Kant on sympathy and duty 6. Sentimentalism revisited 7. Conclusion
  11. Doug I'm not sure, here are several articles that seem to challenge that idea. https://www.medicalauthoritarianism.com/index.php/category/unvaccinated/
  12. LOL. I actually agree with your post, but I would say going to the gym and working out may do you more good in this realm. It's not the "Objectivist correct" thing to say, but that is my experience.
  13. I'm sure they are relatively vague and indefinable, but hard-core neoliberalism would be one aspect Neoliberalism - Wikipedia Not logically connected (though you might understand how they evolved a hand-in-hand 'pairing-off') is social conservatism. I'm pretty sure we would agree that certain baggage often (though not exclusively) associated with right wing parties, such as conservatism on social issues (religion, sexuality, etc), is not desirable. Education and awareness tends to exorcise that kind of busy-bodying from the wider community, and indeed from people who are otherwise bent on 'freedoms' - as it takes their fancy to be. One issue that I think is rather ridiculous but seems to emanate from one element of the political right wing is on gender - that science (suddenly!) dictates how we must present ourselves socially. Now, suddenly, if I have male genitalia or even if I'm chromosomally male, I cannot put on make up or wear a dress and be a woman, if I chose to. Not that I have an inclination to do this, but I just cannot understand why anyone would be so hung up on anyone else's freedom to do so - unless, of course, they had an agenda to push. Personally, I find it kind of sexy when people enjoy being who they truly feel they are on the inside - which would be the nearest thing to an agenda I would have on this issue.
  14. "I mean what would you mean somewhat specifically for outcomes to count as improvements?" I think that the more politically aware and engaged folk are the better it is for democracy. Irrespective of their political views - and how they might transform. I also think that the interplay between education and democracy across the centuries (particularly in Europe) seems to show that. With reference to more recent events, when people's noses are kept pushed into the grindstone, they barely have time for anything else, including the deeper reflection (education by any other name) needed to be politically engaged in a meaningful way (and instead bringing about manipulative and unsavory characters like Trump and Boris Johnson). I'm pretty much centre-left in my views, and would want neither the hard right or the hard left in either extreme manifestation to be in power. However I am a democrat way before I am a socialist. I also think multi-party electoral systems are preferable (such as New Zealand or Germany). I don't think of an improvement as being an approach toward the pure right (or necessarily, for that matter, toward the pure left). I think of an improvement as when people have a better picture of what they are voting for or against, and the electoral outcome is a reflection of this. Part of the problem is that (with the loss of jobs - due to AI among other factors) the political centre is moving leftward, and classic right-wing parties (Republicans in the US and Conservatives in the UK) are resisting the leftward shuffle by manipulating those who Hilary Clinton might have referred to as 'the deplorables', and manufacturing a distorted world view for them to buy into. Just my take on things.
  15. Tuning True Places Home Five Poems
  16. Boydstun

    Ballet

    CARAVAGGIO Music: Bruno Moretti after Claudio Monteverdi Choreography: Mauro Bigonzetti Dancers: Vladimir Malakhov and Mikhail Kaniskin https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=2963852373853645&set=a.2562699263968960
  17. In this episode Scott interviews me. It was recorded last year, before we started doing the podcast together. We talk about my background coming out of a Protestant worldview and becoming an atheist and Objectivist. Scott also asks me about his favorite subject, life extension.
  18. Agreed. The crucial need is for enough people to understand and accept the relevant principles, which Ayn Rand has defined. As long as this is not case, any system will give at best mixed results, and the bad will eventually overwhelm the good if it has enough time. Once enough people to understand and accept the relevant principles, democracy will give good results, although it will take time for this to be fully effective.
  19. Earlier
  20. Com, Rand's views (post-1957) aside and the views of "Old Soul" (14 years ago) aside, what do you have in mind by "in order for democratic outcomes to improve"? I mean what would you mean somewhat specifically for outcomes to count as improvements? Democratic and Republican persons elected to Congress seem overwhelmingly highly educated, and I'm not sure of what the two sides can agree to as being better outcomes. The voters to either Party whom I've known, my age (70s) or younger, all have at least a high school diploma, and pairwise we can agree on much that would be a better outcome. But what can be agreed on as a better outcome changes as we pair up an individual of one Party with each of fifteen members of the other Party. So although we are all pretty educated, it seems that in the end there is little a member of one Party can agree with the other Party collectively (and really only somewhat more in one's own Party) concerning what is a better outcome. As a gay person watching the social and legal changes concerning gays and lesbians across my decades, I really don't see the improvements (improvements by my lights) as resulting from higher levels of general education in the population, but resulting from a collective action in which more and more persons came out and showed more and more of the population who we were in day-to-day real life, working right next to them.
  21. "I do understand that man's destiny and fate are to be ruled by nothing but his own choices" The difficulty with this brand of thinking is that there is a lot in a person's life that is not chosen. "the cruel reality is that the "rule of the majority" has proved overwhelmingly irrational and immoral throughout the ages. Reality and reason are not the standards of the democratic political system." There seems to be a relationship between education and reason - and the downstream effect on democracy. People need to become better educated in order for democratic outcomes to improve. Access to education, thus, is is key. "Truth, in the democratic sense, is discovered by the number of men in support, and when has Rand ever believed morality to be something as subjective as that?" Democracy doesn't presume to invariably deliver upon cast-iron truths. Rather, within the sovereign framework that must persist, it delivers the outcome that best approximates the collective (summated) wills of individuals. Hence, they need for citizens to be highly educated and no all the 'on this hand but on the other hand' aspects of every issue as they cast their ballot. "Following the democratic train of logic, why don't all citizens vote on all court cases? Forget an intelligent, rational judge needed to interpret and decide justice." So long as the democracy is at the very top of the chain, the framework of every level of decision-making all the way down from there at any number of points (or indeed all) do not need to be democratic, but does need to be justifiable. A qualified judge being given the responsibility to discover truth is justifiable. "Why are the leaders of a country in charge of executing these laws subjected to the whims and demands of the majority? Is that objective? Is that rational? Is that right?" It isn't perfect but it is the least undesirable. The electoral system has a large part to play. A parliamentary majority is required to install a government and un-install one. From election to election the majority coalition will change and shift. Better the whims of an (educated) majority than a self-appointed clique of people who think they know best. As Joe Stalin might know now, this only invites dissent. You might guess, I'm no fan of Ayn Rand.
  22. Your link indicates that excess deaths are somewhat lower this year than last, and they aren't sure why the difference isn't greater.
  23. There have been 2,929,862 infections and 89,574 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country since the pandemic began. There have been 16,800 infections and 34 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country since the pandemic began. That is from your links. The percentage of the peak is higher in Iceland because the peak itself is significantly lower than it is in South Africa. All you did is show that you don't know how to interpret data.
  24. whYNOT ignores this excerpt from the article he linked. Yes, the unvaccinated are the primary drivers of the surge.
  25. Sounds like when the effects of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines wane, they still reduce the probability of spread. Do these statistics take into account the reduced chance of getting infected in the first place? These data also support the need for boosters.
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