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    Reading the fountainhead. Read Objectivism the Philisophy of Ayn Rand.

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  1. @ 2046 Can you disprove it or not? There is an in itself: pleasure. Ask yourself this question: If you were not living for the attainment of pleasure of some sort, what, ultimately, would you be living for? Remember "happiness" is a form of pleasure.
  2. Hedonism (rational variants) is not about the pursuit of pleasure without considering consequences, but the "maximization" of pleasure, whenever and wherever possible. Psychologically, this means seeking out pleasurable activities and goals and maintaining a pleasurable state of mind. And "long term" and "short-term" are not moral considerations, as I stated above, so long as they do not hurt others. If a person chooses to live an intensely happy 30 years and then end his life, can you "judge" him for doing so? Is it your right to do so? Will it even make a difference what you think? Moral judgement regarding short or long term actions are based upon your goals and subjective to the person. Pleasure contributes to happiness. Happiness is complex phenomenon and its not even entirely understood. We do know, however, that experiences lead to more happiness than money: http://comp9.psych.c...1/VB_&_Gilo.pdf The empirical research, supports hedonism (experience) and suggests that the accumulation of money and material things (something extolled in Objectivism) do not lead to happiness. A hard day's labor is still *doable*, so its a bad example. My point, as I made in numerous other threads, is that the evidence is leading to the fact that Objectivism is not. That said, I support the "Open Objectivist" movement which is taking steps to re-vise and rectify some of the structural problems Objectivism has. Perhaps they can make it into a viable philosophy.
  3. Taken from your source: The problem, is that in Brazil, the lines between "black" and "white" is heavily blurred, (unlike in America) and so its not entirely clear how "white" the white people are or how "black" the black people are. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Brazilian IN America, the lines the "racial" lines are strictly drawn (and rarely passed) in Brazil, they are more fluid and more likely to be passed. Not to say race is'nt still a problem, but much less of one. At least when it comes to relationships.
  4. Yes. There is a phenomenon (as mentioned in my other thread) called "depressive realism", whereby people who have a more "realistic" view on life are more likely to be depressed. Psychology is only just beggining to shed some light on why this is. A recent Psychology Today article on this subject says the follows: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201110/optimism?page=2 The point is that "realism" is not enough. We, psychologically speaking, need something more to stay mentally motivated. In the strict sense, its not entirely "rational" bit it still aids our survival. Its a type of coping mechanism, to have hope in the future. Also, It's important to distinguish atheists (you could say normal atheists) from Objectivists. (normal) Atheists tend to be humanists or naturalistic pantheists or materialists. Objectivists are in a different category values-wise. And because of their strictly realistic viewpoint on life, are probably more likely to be depressed. Several online topics were brought up recently on this (peculiar) issue: http://www.reddit.com/r/philosophy/comments/etw2f/im_an_unhappy_objectivist/ http://willwilkinson.net/flybottle/2006/08/16/should-objectivists-become-mormons/
  5. Have you noticed that openly pleasure-seeking societies (such as Brazil) are less racist and more open to interracial relationships than more puritan societies (such as the USA and Japan)? The Brazilian love of pleasure and the "good life" leads to less of a concern over petty differences in physical features between human groups. In contrast, America is a pro-immigration country, but heavily self-segregated and still has low rates of interracial marriage and a contemptible history in race relations. Open hatred and derailment of blacks and other racial minority groups was encouraged. People who married across color lines lived in terror for their lives at one point. Both countries practiced slavery (making the "legacy of slavery" argument null), but went in two completely different directions. Hedonistic societies are happier and simply don't care about "race" in any meaningful, day to day sense. This is why sex (short term) is usually less discriminating than marriage (long term). If you were in the throes of intense pleasure and happiness, would you "care" about some such trivial non-sense as whether someone was "black" or "asian" or whatever? Would it cause you to abruptly stop your experience?
  6. Life is not an end in itself. The reason people choose to live is for experiences and pleasure, the central tenants of hedonism. The reasons people choose to live long is either a) fear of death or maximization of pleasure According to hedonism, pleasure (this includes the abstraction "happiness") is the only intrinsic good. This means that are actions are mere means to an end. Not an end in themselves. Not means to some over-rationalistic "survival" end. We survive "because" we want to feel good. Some people, for example, may choose to live 30 years in a succession of intensely happy and pleasurable moments and end it because they want to and feel they have nothing else to live for. With no "long term" purposes intended. Others (with the help of technology) may choose to live 1000 years. Its always their choice and its not "moral" choice or the domain of judgement. An ethics of hedonism is perfectly rational and perfectly justifiable. Our lives are short and we only live once. We should dedicate as much of our lives as possible in the (shameless) pursuit of pleasure and great experiences (however we define it) without of course, harming others in any way in the process. In fact, we should include and share others in our pursuits whenever possible as this increases our happiness and pleasure. Living life on some sort of non-scientific, personal intellectual quest, (such as "struggling" to "integrate" Objectivism and is contents) , is ultimately pointless, (and probably dying as some sort of lonely martyr) as you'll die anyway and with nothing to show for it "long-term". It's a vain, pointless (and painful) process. Its painful because it causes both undue mental strain and social isolation. Hedonism is the only truly "self-evident" philosophy. Practically every sane person practices it in some capacity. However variants of Hedonism (do what you want at the cost of others) can take things in the wrong direction and cause conflicts and suffering. NOTE: For those who would like to know, and for future reference, my philosophical system is organized as follows: Metaphysics/Epistemology: Empiricism Ethics: Hedonism (self), Utilitarianism (others) Politics: Libertarianism (non agression) Aesthetics: Romanticism (shameless worship of human values) Discuss!
  7. If Rand was actually feeling "happiness" and "self-esteem" consistently, it wouldn't be a veneer would it? Your missing the point.
  8. I rely upon my own independent thought + scientific education for guidance. And what this shows is a failure of Objectivism to "lead by example". After all, if your ideas work, why could'nt your main proponent practice them consistently? Thats why it gives most folks pause. It would have had much more of a powerful effect on humanity than all of her books and movies combined ( and multiplied times 100). People want to see a philosophy or religious system in action, by a real person. Not an abstraction. Not a set of complex intellectual theories. The funny thing is Christians do, (and have for hundreds of years) understood this principle and its another reason why Christianity is successful. Objectvist's don't. Which is part of the reason why Objectivism is not successful. It's not "appeal to authority" it's simple common sense. It's saying "I'll believe it when I see it". NOTE: I am not Christian nor do I endorse Christianity.
  9. If you read Objectivist literature, your lead to believe the is something inherently wrong with persuing "concrete bound" (a fancy name for short term) actions. Emphasis is given on the pursuit of "long range" actions i.e. by the maintenance of principles such as honesty, productiveness etc. What Objectivism fails to recognize is that this same "instant gratification" mentality is and has been one of the strongest drivers of technological advances and continues to exert a hugely beneficial effect on our lives. Ordering books on Amazon.com, for example, has rendered trips to the bookstore obsolete (bad example though as I love bookstores and the bookstore experience). It can be done in mere minutes and I can continue on with my day. The "long term" benefits of rapid technological progress are obvious, yet it is hugely driven by "short term", "concrete-bound" behavior. People seek "instant" solutions to the their problems and its this central motivator that is responsible for much of the progress we are seeing in our day and age. Again how is this a bad thing?
  10. I also heard she was largely unhappy in the last 25 year of her life. One would give pause to a philosophy, to where even its creator and greatest proponent, can't consistently practice it or reach happiness.
  11. Did I write anything in contradiction to this? If so, please point it out so I can correct it.
  12. @ Spiral Architect No. This was a specific case mentioned in OPAR regarding rich people. OPAR said that even wealthy folks such as rich heirs must maintain the principle of "productivity" which precludes travel, games etc, which it deems non-work. I said that was non-sense. They don't realistically have to work in any capacity and can pursue a life of productive "play" and any challenging activity. But realistically, even a multi-millionaire does'nt really have work either. They can live off of bank interest, investments etc. I think it depends on how you define "productivity". Notice I did not mention the average person. If referring to the average person its largely correct. But you have to keep in mind context. Obviously it doesn't apply in the same way to billionaires. The richer you are, the weaker the argument for "productivity" becomes. Actually a billionaire could live comfortably for the rest of his life without doing *anything* with his money. He could spend spend 2 million dollars a year and still never run out of money for the duration of his lifetime, having plenty to leave over to his heirs. He could even litterally stuff it all in mattresses rather than banks and proceed live off it comfortably. He doesn't *have" to do anything. That's my point. We are living in the digital age. Information spreads quickly. Millions of Ayn Rands books have been sold. Yet few people become Objectivists. Few people even see any benefit to seriously considering her ideas. You can't use the "we have'nt had enough time" argument as I stated earlier. Other philosophies and religions have track records of spreading much faster than Objectivism in the same amount of time. Hell, It can be argued that Christianity has spread more further, faster and has far more of a "transformative" effect on far more people than Objectivism, even in its early days. I already posted the link showing the rapid spread of Christianity in the early days of its formation. What causes something to be "in demand"? Does demand occur in a vacuum? Could it be that there are "reasons" for something being "demanded"? People find celebrity personalities (such as "snookie" or charlie sheen) to be entertaining and engaging. Which is why there is "demand" for them. Likewise philosophies which are efficacious, likely to produce happiness, etc are also in demand, and can be ranked by relative effectiveness and popularity. But Objectivism is nowhere near the top of this list. Probably the most popular Philosophy implicitly or explicity, today, is Pragmatism. I'm not saying happiness is self-delusion. I'm saying we use self-delusion as a tool (sometimes unknowingly) to increase our happiness. We do it because it works. Because being hyper-rational can actually be counter-productive and cause depression. This is a psychological fact.
  13. @ Mike I meant logic is a mental construct we use to help make the universe intelligible and achieve a degree of consistency in our thought. Logic makes generalizations ("all men are mortal") that are accurate until we discover some fact or detail that would force us to revise our initial premise (eternal life serum). But logic cannot "see details" and there is no way logic can "tell you" there is a eternal life serum in existence and that some man, somewhere is actually immortal. Someone who has "observed" and "verified" his immortality does, and thus, has *more* knowledge than the person who made the initial premise. Only an empirical observation (i.e. first hand experience) can discover that there is in fact a serum that allows men to be immortal, in the end it would render our initial syllogism false. It's the rigidity of logic that gives us a good guidepost but not precise details. But as we all know, the devil is often in the details. Logic is a useful epistemological tool but not superior to empirical observation. Doesn't mean logic itself, is invalid, just imprecise.
  14. @ dream weaver Not sure what your point is here. I can't see the correlation of this with what I said. Logic is a mental construct that is *used* as essentially a rough estimate when it makes logical statements such as "all men are mortal". "Mental construct" denotes what it is. "Rough estimate" is what it does. lol no I didn't "violate" the law of identity. Sure, like any prolonged period of strenuous exercise, the over-use of your brain can cause pain. Its taxing and does require energy. The brain has limits.
  15. Yes. In what way is my statement using stolen concepts? We *use* it every day. Its a basic human cognitive bias we are mostly not aware of. My point is that you can use it, against itself, to achieve "good" and "beneficial" ends. Its not a "contradiction" at all because it happens, whether I say it does or not. What I am describing is empirically demonstrated and a *regular* feature of human cognitive function. Your playing too much with abstractions. You obviously then, know very little about human psychology. We can cause ourselves to forget or ignore things. Thus, using self-delusion to our benefit. For example you can *ignore* pain and eventually it will lessen. That's an example of using self-delusion to achieve a beneficial (less pain) result. It does'nt take away from the knowledge that you know something caused that pain, or even that it needs to be attended to. It just lessen the undesirable (pain) result.
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