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Everything posted by Avila

  1. "I think part of the problem is that Rand didn't often explain what she meant by career. People often take that to mean some father staying at work late at night, willfully neglecting family at every turn." I certainly don't think that's what she meant, and I doubt many people do: that would be an extreme caricature. "Some people *really do* end up in a conflict between what's better for their family, and what's best for them, but never bother to figure out that family does not have to be a hindrance towards pursuing their own goals." I agree with you, though one can certainly think o
  2. "I'm afraid we disagree there. She did not create new definitions out of thin air. What she did was remove all contradictions and ambiguities taking things down to their essentials." Yes, we will have to disagree on that. But tell me, is she using her definitions or common definitions in the Playboy interview? Here it is again: PLAYBOY: According to your philosophy, work and achievement are the highest goals of life. Do you regard as immoral those who find greater fulfillment in the warmth of friendship and family ties? RAND: If they place such things as friendship and family ties above
  3. "I think a large problem here is that you are using an understanding of some terms in a different manner than Objectivists would." This has been a consistent problem on this forum, both for me and for others whom I see struggling with some Objectivist concepts: Rand created her own definitions of terms. I wonder, sometimes when I'm feeling rather cynical, if this was meant as a kind of protection, to keep her philosophy from being easily questioned. It certainly creates a morass of side distractions. The question I would have for you, then, is what defintion of terms was Rand using whe
  4. ""This particular Oist principle of work being primary over family" as you put it, is a fallacy,and strawman." PLAYBOY: According to your philosophy, work and achievement are the highest goals of life. Do you regard as immoral those who find greater fulfillment in the warmth of friendship and family ties? RAND: If they place such things as friendship and family ties above their own productive work, yes, then they are immoral." If it isn't an Objectivist principle, then why does she call it "immoral", as opposed to "ill-advised", or "not my cup of tea"?
  5. "In which case you have accepted that it would be immoral to make family primary. Discussion over." I said that I would "mostly" agree with your approach. It is one aspect, the putting of work over family, that I disagree with. And it would be nice if you could give me actual evidence that this works in the real world, as opposed to working in fiction. I have already given myself as an example of a happy, productive person who puts family first, and can give you many real-world examples from my own experience, and probably most adults here could think of happy marriages wherein the spouses
  6. "The Objectivist's approach is to get his or her "ducks in a row", so to speak: Self - as first and last value, and productive work that makes all other values possible (and utilizes all one's virtues); then romantic love which consciously recognizes those virtues in each other; and then the concrete affirmation of that love in a child. With its own value of love and nurture." That is NOT a "radical departure" from the norm -- I would mostly agree with the approach you outline, and I'm not an Objectivist.
  7. "You never heard about people who create family because their religion, tradition, cultural pressure demand it? You never heard about arranged or even forced marriage? Then you are out touch with reality." In parts of the world, yes -- but I assume we're mostly discussing life here in the United States, where such marriages are few.
  8. "At some point I have to ask you Avila, how much of Rand you have actually read in full and how much you are taking from second hand and third hand sources. because you don't seem to have a grasp on any of the contexts in which Rand said things and keep clinging to soundbites that aren't even direct quotes." I've read Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, The Virtue of Selfishness, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemolgy, Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, the Romantic manifesto. If you look at the earlier posts on this thread, you will see that I am NOT relying on second or third-hand sources,
  9. "That is- you must possess and maintain a distinct intact personhood of your own before being able to have healthy relationships with other people. Anything else turns co-dependant and parasitic." I agree, as it is impossible to love others if one despises oneself. "Since I believe I recall your mentioning of being Catholic somewhere down the line I will remind you that many highly respected theologians and religious scholars actually agreed with Rand on this point." And again -- I agree. After all, the call to "love one another as you love yourself" presumes a healthy self-love.
  10. "The value of a family is precisely the value it provides you as an individual." I agree with that. I simply do not agree, though, that it is necessarily immoral to value it above a career, which Rand appears to do. "In that sense, career can only properly be "above" family. Another way to phrase that might be that career is a root value, which is what is meant by primary. Your own self-esteem makes it possible to having healthy relationships." We're probably just arguing over small points, while agreeing, more or less, on the larger points. I think that self-esteem comes primarily f
  11. "Surely the Jesuits taught you better." I think this might be the second time you have referenced my "Jesuit" connections. I don't know why you're doing this, as I have never been taught by Jesuits, if that's what you're thinking. Or are you some conspiracy believer? Do you believe that Jesuits are behind all evil, and that people who disagree with you are obviously under their mind control? At any rate, you can't seem to keep from being snide, so I'm not going to take you seriously.
  12. "From your remarks, I take it you don't approve of rational selfishness, right?" Wrong. "Rand's statement is clear; although I don't think anyone here has ascertained whether she meant one's birth family - or one's chosen/created one. Important distinction." I agree -- it is a very important distinction. "Having read an off-the-cuff remark she made about the serious responsibilties of having children, I'd say 10 to one she meant the former." I would hope so. "But I'd still like to hear why family should take priority." As I mentioned before, love, which is essential for
  13. "A man and woman create a family and rise children not because they want to do that or enjoy the happiness which family life and children could give them, but simply because their tradition demands it." Wow.....do you actually believe this? This is an amzing statement. You are out of touch with reality.
  14. Sorry, I had problems with the response (the text field was not cooperative!) so I'm sorry if my reply to you was hard to read. I simply wasn't able to edit properly, and at some point it wouldn't allow me to type anything at all. But it seems to have been straightened out... "You argued family can be good because it can be a creative pursuit. You also argued that family was good because it helped one to be productive. By doing so, you are conceding that creative work is primary." Not at all. I simply gave those arguments for those who would argue that creative work is primary. Personall
  15. "I assume you are conceding that the particular arguments you made -- both of them -- were clearly assuming that family was good because it was serving the primary value (i.e. primary as assumed by your argument) of creative/productive work. If so, that's all I was pointing out (i.e. that -- in those two arguments -- you were hoisting yourself by your own petard.)" No, I'm not conceding that at all. Though others here have been quick to point out that equality in values is possible; that no dichotomy is necessary, (and I agree entirely with that) I am going by Rand's own words, in which she do
  16. "I wonder if you recognize the irony here. In both the examples you are making an argument for family by using the premise that they could be a form of creative work, or that they can help in performing such creative work. In other words, you are justifying family by an appeal to creative-work and productivity. In other words, this particular argument implies that family is secondary and only a mean to an end, or a concrete form of a particular end." No, that's not what I am doing. I can make other arguments for family being a primary value, but in this case I was pointing out that dysfunct
  17. "The sad reality is that I fully expect Obama to become like Jimmy Carter once he is out of office. Even then we will not be rid of him. He will still be meddling and telling the world what it should do for years to come unfortunately." Oh man oh man, I'm afraid you are right. I hadn't thought about it until you pointed it out -- dammit, you've just ruined my next few decades!!
  18. "as Rand conceives it, one has to have some sort of purpose or career or consciously chosen pursuit for oneself as the main activity that you spend most of your time doing, a certain goal integrating your course or progress through life, as opposed to just sort of taking life moment to moment." And I agree entirely with that. To not have any purpose is to drift aimlessly, and since I think it is man's nature to have purpose, I don't think happiness can be achieved without it. I think my problem here is that she posits a dichotomy where I don't think one need be. When she says that "frien
  19. "Note that the quote never mentioned anything about the reverse - creative work ahead of family. I can't ask Rand to clarify and neither can you, so it would be wrong to project on what I think she meant. I can only talk about what she did say, which is that putting other people above oneself is immoral." Here's the exact question and answer from the Playboy interview: PLAYBOY: According to your philosophy, work and achievement are the highest goals of life. Do you regard as immoral those who find greater fulfillment in the warmth of friendship and family ties? RAND: If they place suc
  20. "You know, it's possible to have values that are equal. I'm perplexed at how people consistently interpret "ahead" in that quote to mean that family (the chosen kind) cannot be just as important as a career. Putting others *above* oneself is different than putting other people who provide value as essential to one's life as about equal. Sort of like that line where you can't say "I love you" without "I"." That's about as favorable an interpretation one can put on what Rand said, and it's reasonable, though it is just as reasonable to take Rand at her word -- and "immoral" is pretty strong lang
  21. "There may or may not be more or less consistent than the other groups on specific niggling points of doctrine" I think you're losing the point here. You stated that Christian Dominionists were the most "consistent" -- and hence the most to be feared. In your own words: "we all know who will win in a battle between the inconsistent and the consistent. The Christian dominionist is a huge potential danger..." I was merely pointing out that Catholics and the Orthodox are certainly more consistent in their doctrines than any fringe group of Protestants (which is what Christian Domionists are),
  22. "Rand did value her family, which is apparent in most biographies about her that I've heard of. All she ever really said is that family is not intrinsically a value, probably taking the approach that family consists of people you choose and cultivating values." Her expression of family that I have in mind is from an interview wherein she stated that those who put family ahead of creative work were immoral. Personally, I think THAT idea is immoral!
  23. "No pretense needed, I've had it said to my face. I've even had well-meaning more tolerant Xians send me such stuff wanting to know what I thought of it. If I had to guess I'd say it's somewhere between 10-20 percent of the population." This is merely anecdotal, as it is for me to say I have never heard it said. I don't doubt you, but it simply doesn't prove anything, nor can it serve as the basis of estimating how much of the population has that attitude. "I do know that atheists are the one group of people that most people would refuse to vote for. Gays and even Muslims (yes, even post
  24. "I would imagine there are more Christian dominionists than there are Objectivsts." No doubt, though that's not saying very much. And, frankly, neither are ever going to be any kind of significant influence on our culture. "Furthermore, the Christian dominionist is the most consistent sort of Christian--at least amongst those Christians who accept the bible as an unquestionable authority." This would be news to Catholics and Orthodox all over the world, who together make up the majority of Christianity. "Christian Dominionists" are simply a fringe Protestant group, one among many Prot
  25. "As for manger scenes, etc., on public property, it's a similar issue to "In God We Trust" and "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance. These are relatively recent add-ons from the 1950s (IGWT started appearing on coins in 1864, but didn't hit paper money until the 1950s). Unfortunately now, Xians use them as evidence that this is a "Christian Nation," which doesn't just mean a nation with a Christian majority but rather, a nation that is _explicitly_ Christian in form. This is a VERY dangerous meme to have people believe, as it helps those who want to turn this into a theocracy (e.g., the Chr
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