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Everything posted by Avila

  1. "There is no other way to read what you wrote here." Yes, there is, for the mind that has not been closed by dogma. Here's just a few possibilties that come to mind: 1. - Nature doesn't "forbid" irrationality; 2.- Religious belief is not irrational (perhaps non-rational as opposed to irrational?); 3. - Religious belief is beneficial (this is what you ascribe to me); 4. - Religious belief within cultures is too varied to be generalized, and so every belief system within a given culture needs to be judged on its own; 5. - Religious belief is a neutral factor, having neither positive or neg
  2. "A sacrifice is: giving up something of greater value for something of lesser or no value. So, properly understood, most parents do NOT sacrifice for their children, they value them." Are you a parent, Marc? I'm guessing not.....because though what you say is broadly true, I can't think of any parents who don't self-sacrifice to some degree. In healthy families, these constitute fairly minor matters. In unhealthy families, these sacrifices might be quite large and are based on the hope of better outcomes, as remote and as unlikely as that hope might be. Parental love is an incredibly strong
  3. "gets angry and shouts at people when they do not reward his altruism with respect and an exchange of labour or love". If true altruism is doing some act with no expectation of recompense, then he's not acting altruistically at all, as he clearly wants his actions to be rewarded and is angry or disappointed when it isn't forthcoming. I would call that being manipulative, not altruistic. "He is incredibly self sacrificial" That comes with the turf of being a parent -- don't be too hard on him for that, as I don't know any parent who isn't self-sacrificial to some extent. "I cannot q
  4. "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." Gee, I didn't realize having or not having kids was a matter of "luck" and not sexual intercourse.... "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." I would wonder why, if one valued work, industriousness, etc., those values weren
  5. "2. Age difference only matters to the extent you can find commonality. Someone 30 years older than me probably doesn't like similar music, and has considerably different life experiences. But that isn't to say the relationship is inappropriate. Can you give some reasons why it might be inappropriate?" I agree with Euiol here.....commonality is key, and some of this is not age-related. For example, I like the same music as my spouse, despite our age difference, because our tastes in music (classical, Gaelic, bluegrass) is not so tied to a particular age group. Other commonalities such as
  6. "The implication being that religion has some survival value. Of course the correlation you use to make this conclusion is as good as saying that the rooster crowing causes the sun to rise." Being an ex-atheist, of course I'll defend some religions if they are being mis-characterized or historical errors are being promoted. That is not, however, the point of my posts here, which was in reaction to someone stating that "nature forbids him (man) the irrational". It's been a while since I've read "Atlas Shrugged" and so I did not know that that was from Rand via Galt. I accept the explanation
  7. "Unfortunately we are used to you defending religion but it is a nice change to hear you compare it to theft and tyranny no matter how wrong you are about irrationality being a rational method of survival." I have neither defended religion in this thread or stated that irrationality is a rational method of survival (though I did state that it is not always and everywhere disastrous, as there are certainly individuals who have survived and thrived despite acting in a way that you and I would agree is not desirable -- Kim Jong il comes to mind: a brutal despot who died quietly and peacefully)
  8. "Nature forbids man to be irrational with impunity-and this is a real meaning of the quote." Collectively, yes -- but nature does not forbid all individuals from successfully acting in a way that Objectivists would consider irrational. I had tried to explain this in an earlier post, but that was apparently forbidden....
  9. "Okay, but you shouldn't have implied that the consequence is always death." How else does nature prohibit anything? By eliminating individuals who exhibit self-destructive characteristics and behaviours from the gene pool, evolution proceeds.
  10. "To say that something is forbidden is not to say it is impossible. It is to say that it will have consequences if ignored." Dictionary definition of forbidden: "not allowed; prohibited" . I wouldn't have a problem if the original quote in question stated that "nature discourages irrationality", or some such phrasing, which would then allow for the interpretation that you want, which is that an irrational act has undesirable consequences. I would qualify that further and say that it often, or usually, has undesirable consequences. My point is that it does not absolutely, always, and ev
  11. "If you choose to live in an area where there are taxes, you chose to be taxed. Now replace area where there are taxes with area where there are rapes.Your claim that a choice of a geographic area implies a choice of things that are forced on people, in that area, still would mean that rape's a choice. No, my friend, that makes no sense. A choice is something that presupposes freedom from force." If one has the freedom to move in or out of geographical areas where one knows that force (however manifested) is going to be applied, then yes, you have chosen to be forced. Freedom doesn't mean
  12. "It is possible to survive by theft because their are productive men who make things that can be stolen. Let him survive by theft when he's alone on a desert island. He'll die pretty quickly." You and I don't disagree. However, I'm interested in reality, not in fictional desert-island scenarios. My point is that, whether we approve of it or not, individuals sometimes can and do survive despite acting irrationally. Nature does not forbid them by striking them down when they act so.
  13. "The point of the quote is that irrationality does not work." Which is not the same thing as saying that nature forbids irrationality. The implication of the latter is that a man does something irrational, and -- boom! -- he dies because nature will not let him survive the irrational act. But that's not reality -- reality demonstrates that individuals can act irrationally and survive. There are people who commit criminal, irrational acts -- and they get away with it. For some, theft is a means of survival. You and I would agree that acting rationally is in an individual's best interest.
  14. "So, how do you read that quote?" Just so we're on the same page -- which quote do you have in mind? I had quoted a previous poster, who wrote: "If life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being: nature forbids him the irrational." However, when I went to look for the poster's name, I see that the post is no longer there or at least that part has been edited out of it, so I can no longer tell you who provided that statement.
  15. "So, you are arguing that irrationality can be efficacious in some small degree?" No. I am disputing the claim made here that nature forbids man the irrational.
  16. "You would not be able to afford college because it would be too expensive without -federal- financial aid." Not at all. I know many people who worked to pay their way through college, or had private financial loans -- all without the federal government's help. " You would not be able to afford gasoline because you would have to pay the real price without government subsidies on various other things that make our price what it is." Are you sure about that? Much of the price on a gallon of gas is TAX. "You would not be able to drive on roads because those are funded by wrongfully co
  17. "Man is not prevented from being irrational but he does pay a price in doing so." Which is a long way away from the quote I was disputing: "nature forbids him the irrational". I think you and I would agree, then, that nature does no such thing. Nor do I think it is absolutely true that man will always and everywhere pay a price: as I mentioned, history has examples of people who lied, cheated, and stole their way to success, or who brutalized others to gain power, who died quiet, peaceful deaths in their old age. Of course many others ended up deposed, imprisoned, or dead, but my point i
  18. "If life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being: nature forbids him the irrational." The problem is that I don't see nature forbidding any such thing. For example, the vast majority of people who ever lived on this planet have beeen theists of one kind or another (and the vast majority still are today). This, according to Objectivism, is highly irrational, yet man has survived. If nature really did forbid the irrational, then the human race would have died out long ago. It might be considered irrational to hold that "might makes right", but history shows that qu
  19. "I might not be a doctor nor play one on TV, but I do know a women when I see it." Actually, you are only responding, on a very basic, instinctual level, to some common and superficial characteristics of the female human: slim waist and limbs, large mammary glands, etc. (tastes in these particular characteristics being largely determined by the prevailing cultural preferences). On the evolutionary progression, your attraction to this man would be sterile (and thus useless) as no amount of body alteration makes a man a woman or a woman a man, and natural selection is only interested in the s
  20. "Human nature is perfectable--in individual cases, by the person themselves. Not for the population at-large and not via some kind of outside imposition." Wow -- that is quite a statement. Maybe you are tuned into whole groups of people that I, for whatever reason, am not, but I have not seen ANY indication that human nature has perfected itself, either in an individual or in groups. I've been around for a long, long time, but have yet to meet any perfect individual or group. Nor do I see any indication that "enlightened" individuals such as yourself are in any better shape: You have str
  21. "Was I wrong in assuming that the drug war accounted for the source of a lot of prisoners? Was I also wrong that the drug war is also responsible for creating situations in which violent crimes are committed?" Of course the failed war on drugs has provided a source for many prisoners. That goes without saying. However, human nature isn't going to magically change if (just as magically) an Objectivist society were to prevail: Do you think rapists are suddenly going to have a "V-8 moment", strike their foreheads, and say, "AH! I don't have to force this woman to have sex with me after all!" A
  22. "An Objectivist society wouldn't have that many prisons anyways." That's a breathtakingly naive statement. While it's true that there are some acts and transactions that are now deigned illegal that would be de-criminalized, Objectivism is not going to change human nature. Rapists, murderers, thieves, muggers, burglers, traffickers in child porn and sex slavery, reckless and drunken drivers -- they're not going to magically go away.
  23. "Now, if Objectivism does establish Lily Potter's sacrifice as evil, at least we'll have more grounds for saying that the two philosophies [Rand's and Rowling's] are different." Of course they are different. Rowling is a Christian, and, though not explicit, Christian themes of self-sacrifice, immortality, souls, spirits, etc. run throughout. She's not as profoundly Christian as was Tolkien, so I don't think the series is as heavily Christian as was "The Lord of the Rings", but those themes are still there (Ari Armstrong's apologia for the Potter series isn't very convincing).
  24. "Well, it's commission-only sales..." If you have, as you said, personal problems that wreak havoc in your life and you are not in control of, then commission-only sales might not be a good choice for you at all. Maybe, at some level, you recognize this, hence your anxiety and indecision. If you have serious out-of-control personal problems, then a steady (albeit perhaps boring) job that does not involve such a high degree of pressure would be a much better choice.
  25. "It is certainly not impossible - people assert contradictory views all the time. However it is compartmentalization, and will have negative consequences on your life in some form." I disagree that some views are necessarily contradictory. Some clearly are, but not others. For example, I wholeheartedly agree with Rand's diagnosis of the evils of collectivism, in particular the government's compulsory taking from productive citizens and giving to people leeching off of government programs. That, for example, would not be in conflict with Ryan's Catholicism, as the bible does say that "those
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