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Gwen

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  1. From my understanding of Objectivism there is no such thing as valuing or loving something "unconditionally". Perhaps you mean that you value a virtue so much you would put up with smaller inconveniences or faults? Could you clarify what you mean in this case?
  2. The passage that Ayn Rand wrote that I was referring to is from "Philosophy: Who Needs it" page 111, 1st paragraph: Observe that Mr. Cohen's (and the egalitarians') view of man is literally the view of a children's fairy tale - the notion that man, before birth, is some sort of indeterminate thing, an entity without identity, something like a shapeless chunk of human clay, and that fairy godmothers proceed to grant or deny him various attributes ("favors"): intelligence, talent, beauty, rich parents, etc. These attributes are handed out "arbitrarily" (this is a "lottery" among pre-embryonic n
  3. I am a relatively new admirer of Ayn Rand, so forgive me if what confuses me is actually something very obvious. I read this website http://armageddonconspiracy.co.uk/ and it talks about "Meritocracy" where everyone is stripped of any inheritance from one's forefathers and start at the same "line". It seems to make sense, as in that people should rise solely on their hard work and not what was given to them before they put in the hard work. This also leads me to wonder about how people being born with different levels of intelligence seem to be an unfair metaphysical fact. I think Ms Rand m
  4. Is context necessary for all instances of conceptual understanding? Why or why not? Is context necessary at the sensation or perceptual level? Why or Why not?
  5. Basically I am also asking: Why should I respect the rights of others when doing so would conflict with my self-interest?
  6. Am I right to say that while we recognize "objectively"(whatever this means) that say, people should love themselves, it does not mean that others should love them? Or that people are worthy to themselves, but not necessarily have worth to others? Or does it mean that in principle everyone has worth, so one should treat everyone as worthy to oneself?
  7. Which is more fundamental, being objective or being selfish?
  8. Is this a case of pleasing others so that they will please you? Wouldn't this be a case of enslaving self to others and others to self? What is the criteria to decide when to consider others or not? Does showing consideration mean that say, for example, someone wants to do or say something that you don't want to but you still go along? Wouldn't that be a lack of assertiveness? Perhaps this quote from "Honoring the Self" by Nathaniel Branden may be relevant (pg 159): "Sometimes I may defer to others, giving their feelings priority, or recognizing that their rights in a particular situatio
  9. I am referring to "Honoring the Self", page 204, 3rd last paragraph. Is it alright for me to reproduce this paragraph on this post?
  10. Commonly, when introduced to the idea of 'selfishness' people talk about things like cutting queue, not giving way to other pedestrians, eating all of your favourite food during dinner not caring if others get to eat some or not, not giving up your seat on public transport to the elderly or needy. Are these actions rational and selfish, or are these kinds of 'petty' selfishness irrational? Why? Nathaniel Branden also talks about people being selfish over trivia (if I remember his words correctly). Shouldn't we also be selfish over trivia as a result of applying principles consistently? Is my u
  11. Am I right to say that people have the right to do what they want on their property even if it disturbs other people? Like cooking foods with pungent smells and playing music loudly at night? Is consideration for others a virtue?
  12. It seems that Objectivism does not consider differences in intelligence or economic background (consequently having more resources to education and good nutrition such that the person can develop more fully) as unfairness to the less intelligent or the poor. A person who is more intelligent will be able to achieve more than a person who is less so and potentially earn more respect/money. Shouldn't people be only judged or rewarded for the things they have control over? Since the intelligence or the economic background of a person is not something they choose, and yet these affect the potential
  13. In my country smoking is banned in many public places by the government. This leads me to wonder if there is such a thing as "a right to fresh air and not to suffer from the consequences of second hand smoke". If this is a valid right, then does this not conflict with the right of some others to smoke in public? If it is right to ban smoking, isn't the government doing something for the greater good and isn't it based on a collectivist premise? Can it be also viewed that giving man freedom is also for the ''greater good'' as this promotes affluence and optimal functioning for many people? Am I
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