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Everything posted by Avila

  1. " The Objectivists here have patiently (and impressively) made the case for rational morality." I've seen very little "case-making" going on in this thread. About the only person who has been able to have a rational discussion with me, where we are both honestly trying to understand the other's position (even if we ultimately disagree), is Eiuol. You might be impressing yourself, but I suspect that's easy to do. "To give it one more chance for an honest discussion, I repeat my question: Does your worship of God take precedence over your family?" If you asked the question before, I d
  2. "I don't think I saw this earlier and I think I was misunderstood. Part of my point in what you were responding to was that interpersonal relationships in general often do have impact on a person's career in a positive way, even if not directly. The reason for that is how relationships really are for improving your life." We agree that relationships can have a positive affect on a person's career. What I was reacting to was this statement of yours (my emphasis in bold): "Other people should be a benefit for those goals, and integrated in such a way that the reason those people are even v
  3. "It's not that she has never been wrong but that her philosophy has never been proved wrong." Really??? I think there are serious problems with some of her basic premises. I'm sure I'm not alone -- you can easily find articles (and even at least one book) that dispute aspects of her philosophy.
  4. "or that Ayn Rand was wrong about something, an assertion I've never seen proof of." What a true believer you are, so dear to the hearts of your fellow believers (and a very religious lot you are, to be sure). God bless you all..... Well, it's late and I can't spend a whole lot of time on this, but a few things come to mind: Rand refused to believe that smoking was bad for one's health, despite the scientific data that was coming out in her time. So -- was she wrong about that? She described homosexual acts as "disgusting" -- was she wrong about that? What I see is the fairly large pr
  5. "As for what you go on to say, that one is getting more happiness from thing one than thing two is not proof in itself that therefore putting thing one above thing to must be moral." I would agree -- the morality depends upon what "thing one" and "thing two" are. But I disagree with Rand that work should be primary. It's her OPINION, not some fact that she has established, fer Pete's sake. Not everyone values things the exact way Rand did. I think there's lots of room for differing individuals having differing value systems.
  6. "He was locked away for daring to claim basic scientific facts." No, he wasn't. Copernicus, a monk, had proposed heliocentrism earlier than Galileo, and he was commended by the church.
  7. "The graph is not based on any data. It is simply a symbolic way in which the author is trying to capture the slowdown in progress over the dark-ages." Or rather, his non-fact-based version of it. It helps to define, then, just what the "Dark Ages" were. From Wikipedia: The "Dark Ages" is a historical periodization emphasizing the cultural and economic deterioration that occurred in Europe following the decline of the Roman Empire. The period is characterized by a scarcity of historical and other written records at least for some areas of Europe, rendering it obscure to historians. T
  8. "What matters is not the source of the quotation, but its content." True...I should have been more specific. What I had in mind was the treating of characters as if they were real people instead of characters in a work of fiction.
  9. Software Nerd, What data is your graph based on? So much for your church/science conflict: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_Catholic_cleric%E2%80%93scientists As with Marc K, if you want to continue blasting my religion, do so in a private message. I'd rather not waste my time on this thread arguing about the church.
  10. "I suppose the Crusades and the Inquisition were made up too." They are certainly the subject of a lot of myths. Here are a couple of articles by a historian trying to set the record straight: http://www.ignatiusi...ades_print.html http://www.nationalr...thomas-f-madden Again, if you want to continue the discussion, send me a private message.
  11. Marc K, The answers to your questions would take a while to answer, and my value system is not the subject of this thread. If you want to continue the conversation, you can do so in a private message.
  12. "In the Objectivist sense it is stated simply as to always follow reason to the best of one's ability within any given context. This is easily achievable and is not a symtom in any way of cult-like behavior, but instead is exactly it's opposite." I think some Objectivists, especially the newbie, passionate ones, can sometimes act in ways that would invite the "cultist" label. What I have in mind is the automatic, seemingly sheep-like following of Rand's preferences -- favorite architect? Frank Lloyd Wright, of course! Favorite non-Rand novel? Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables", of course!! That
  13. "I put it to you that you have no grasp of either Catholicism or Objectivism. You seem to be quite comfortable in holding contradictory views, so I must encourage your to recognize that A=A. Or am I taking you too seriously?" I'm an ex-atheist, now a devout Catholic. I understand what John David Antesberger III is saying.....I think. There are aspects of Objectivism that I like (it's opposition to state collectivism, its work ethic, some of Rand's aesthetic principles) that are not in conflict with my value system. However, one cannot be both a practicing Catholic and a dedicated Objectivis
  14. "Starting with the Holy Roman Empire moving forward to the Enlightenment, and even attempted today, Christianity was imposed by being a State Religion." Nonsense. The Edict of MIlan in 312 legalized Christianity, not imposed it. Missionaries were the primary means of spreading Christianity. As for the entirely predictable trotting out of Galileo, you might want to examine your history: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/jun/14/science-religion-coyne At any rate, this is off topic, and you can either send me a private message if you want to continue the discussion, or
  15. "But that's okay. You shouldn't not use them, as long as you aren't inadequately careful." Hah!! Excellent....
  16. "Though I think letting your family dictate your career to you would be one way for valuing family over career to play out, I don't think it is the only way." You're probably right. Any other examples come to mind? "It also doesn't apply only to one's birth family (note how Hank's wife in Atlas Shrugged is part of the family that thinks they should be more important than work.)" That's a work of fiction -- Hank and his wife don't exist. Do you have some real-life examples to offer? "As for family qua career, I admittedly have not had much chance to seriously examine this idea ye
  17. "If we are O'ists how do we even discover the need to defend ourselves against MarcT? Dagny Taggart never defended Rearden Metal in a debate with Scudder; she didn't HAVE to!" Dagny Taggart is a fictional character.
  18. "I'd be surprised to learn that this experience of Objectivists is much more than confirmation bias, and whats more, i don't believe that the essence of the response is entirely inappropriate." Would you tell me what is meant by "confirmation bias"? And tell me just how, in plain but specific language, you see enough merit to deem that you don't believe that "the essence of the response is entirely inappropriate."
  19. "Often times, if I know I’ve cornered the Objectivist, they will resort to ad hominem and then tell me to come back when I understand Objectivism better/have read more Objectivist books. I have a problem with this because, even if they mean this sincerely and not as a way to dodge a question, it isn’t at all convincing." I have encountered this many, many, many times. Inherent in this, I believe, is the assumption that those who read and understand Rand and her philosophy are obviously going to see that it's true. If you don't come to that conclusion, or if you struggle with certain concept
  20. "for most of its history used force to spread itself" ......?? Spiral Architect, there's no need to spread myths here. Peaceful conversion was the norm for the millions of people who converted to Christianity over the centuries. It is a modern conceit that people MUST be forced to accept it, and to focus on the exceptions. Just be accurate.
  21. "You also underestimate the power of connections, either personal or the way your work connects with others." I don't undersetimate it -- it's sometimes HUGE. I simply wasn't making an extensive list of factors, that's all.
  22. "No, we're not all going to be railroad owners, but we all should strive to be the best possible." We completely agree on this. Being a painter, I rely on selling my work to people who have discretionary income. I could be affected by a poor economy and the "eat the rich" attitudes of those who want to punish those who make more than they do. If I was ever forced, by economic circumstances, to get a job flipping burgers or bagging groceries, I would do the very best job possible. Taking a dull job in order to pursue presumably a family is exactly what I meant by "filling a hole". I th
  23. The problems I and other encounter with Rand's definitions of terms is the topic for another thread. I'll look at past threads here to come up with examples where, in response to someone, it was said "You need to know what Rand meant by the term ____ ", or "You are using the term differently than Rand did", and so on. There's no need to be so defensive, Jaskn. If you read what I wrote, you'll notice that I said "when I'm feeling rather cynical" -- I don't actually know why Rand used different definitions for philosophical terms than what is commonly used. It might be that she was not well-s
  24. "Here is where the problem of propagation arises: people drawn to O'ism, are the ones who will not compromise truth and their minds, for any easy 'happiness'. And they are the minority, apparently." Well, that's a handy explanation, isn't it? Right in the same category as attributing ignorance or evasion to those who question O'ist concepts and assertions. Makes you feel really good and superior, and does away with having to deal with answering questions. I too have problems with some the original poster's assertions, but this is not the way to deal with them.
  25. "Grammar is an essential thing to understand. The same with arithmetic. To put it bluntly, it is silly to think that you can get by in life without being able to write at least decently. Coding may be an essential skill for you to have, but what will you do if you need to write a resume? A business proposal for a loan? A document explaining to others a goal of yours that requires a team effort? Writing ability is a necessary skill to have these days. No one inherently lacks the ability to maintain great grammar. You might need lots of practice, maybe you need to change how you approach lear
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