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Damis

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    Relatively new and learning. I have read "The Virtue of Selfishness" and I am in the process of reading "Capitalism: The unknown Ideal"
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  1. If I am right in my understanding that Objectivism holds morality to be inherent in the external reality around us, and therefore a person is able to interact with the environment and make decisions through the use of reason. The question I have found myself asking is: If a person sets their principles, values and morality through said rationality, would this not lead everyone to the same moral conclusions? If the values and principles a person adopts therefore differ from those of another, is this then explained by the circumstance in which the individual was a part of at the time he or she rationally formed the values in question? If a person is guided solely by the objective values or situation, then to me it would seem that the function of individuality and free will is to make decisions. If an individual is to make all their decisions and form their thoughts based upon what is rational, then does this not indirectly infer that they are not individuals in the sense of forming their own unique identities, but more like a canvas to be written on only by the external environment. Therefore whilst being individual in how they conduct their relation to reality, there seems to be a possible implication for individual identity. Thanks
  2. So essentially the thinking involved is that there would be a trickle down effect that improves the general level education, much like how workers wages are said to improve through producer competition in obtaining their labour power. The end result being a higher standard that cannot be achieved through other none competition based systems?
  3. Whilst reading 'Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal', I found that throughout the course of one particular essay, one question kept recurring frequently in my mind. The essay in question is titled 'Common Fallacies About Capitalism' by Nathaniel Branden, sub section 'Concerning Public Education'. Please note that I do not pose this question with the intention of casting a moral (in a mainstream/altruistic sense) judgement upon the answer, I simply wish to gain an understanding of the case he is making. Branden makes an argument in favour of a private market orientated education system free from compulsory public taxation and state control of the content taught. His argument seems to rest upon the premise that through a competitive market orientated approach, standards will rise and the content taught will improve through the freedom thus granted. He also places the benefit of the producer in a sense (the teacher whom is the producer or provider of knowledge to the buyer, i.e the student) inside his argument for the market system, citing prospective greater wage returns for their labour. However in the course of this section of the essay, I could not find any case addressing the party buying the product of education. In particular it seemed that a discussion addressing the issues or exact effects this would have on the buyer, was totally absent. Therefore my question is, if the market view espoused by Branden is taken as the Objectivist view on education, then what are the implications for families and students in the face of this system. Specifically the following- If a market system is in place, each establishment naturally wishes to increase their reputation in order to attract buyers, and will set prices according to quality and of course theoretically in competition to those closest to them in terms of quality/reputation, if these prices are therefore higher, and the price of lower ranking schools is therefore lower then it would stand to reason that families of lower financial capacity will be limited in the places they may afford to send their child, this would mean that an inherent disadvantage in regards to opportunity is present that is linked directly to the financial good fortune of the individual in need of education. Is this inherent inequity of opportunity seen as a problem, if so then how would it be compensated?
  4. If to identify as a Satanist it requires me to be in agreement with all or the vast majority of what constitutes Satanic philosophy then I would say that I would be a Satanist. However the reason that I stop short and say that I probably approximate it is due to the rather subjective dimension that it has once you get past the foundation. Outside the core text the "Satanic Bible" a person is required to learn the rest through subjective introspection. Although this is intended to allow the personal flexibility which Satanism embraces, it seems to me that such an ambiguous stance is just a way of filling in any blanks that may be left. This leads to a lot of debate over what makes a person a Satanist, one particular debate is a 'born vs made', an adoptable philosophy or an innate state of being (which sounds a little mystical). I myself came to the conclusion looking at the objective evidence that what Satanism is when you strip away the subjective elements i.e what people claim from experience with Satanism, and instead looking at just what is written in the Satanic Bible is that you find a personality type and a mode of conduct which is compatible with it. For these reasons I have never been too hasty in putting myself formally into that category, since whilst I agree with the premises and argument the reliance upon subjectivity and by inference the element of relativity raises a red flag or two, if I remember correctly Rand criticizes Nietzsche for his subjectivity. As for how I stumbled upon Ayn Rand's work, her name amongst others often comes up in attribution to the intellectual make up of Satanism, however what really prompted me to look into her work was her focus upon rationality. I therefore did some preliminary research into her in order to get a rough idea of what she was about and where to start, "The Virtue of Selfishness" was advised as good step in the door.
  5. I am in the process of reading Ayn Rand and her colleague's writings on the Objectivist philosophy therefore I thought it a wise move to seek out an establishment that is inhabited by those who are knowledgeable on the subject. My motive for joining this forum therefore is to hopefully gain a proper understanding of the Objectivist philosophy and the issues it covers through discussion and question with said knowledgeable individuals. My knowledge of Objectivism as it stands currently is rather basic. My first contact with Ayn Rand and her associates was "The Virtue of Selfishness", I am currently reading "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal" I find Ayn Rand's writing style to be very concise which is a trait that I find to be an asset particularly in academic fields. Concerning myself, I was born in 1991 in England, I have lived a considerable portion of my life (all of my conscious memory in fact) under a Statist/moderate Socialist government and our current economic condition is a testament to their rule. As of present I would not profess myself as an Objectivist however. My personal philosophy as it stands sways closer to what is commonly called Satanism, however Satanism in itself embraces a great number of components from Objectivism, particularly rational self interest and personal freedom. Politically I could be best described as a Libertarian in the classical sense. I favour deregulated economies and I regard a person's liberty as their most important asset, I see the individual as sovereign. My academic interests are mainly history and philosophy. I am of the Empiricist persuasion as of the present. I favour the objective evidence approach to analysis of the past. Observable evidence as the key to objective reality. I distrust theory which is not grounded on said empirical foundations, I believe that purely abstract theoretical approaches such as Marxism distort the picture by applying theory before evidence and in the case of Post-Modernism, to be outright nonsense that attempts to remove the need for evidence from objective reality, leading to absolute relativism which is useless. Thank you for reading my introductory post, I hope my presence here will be a productive.
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