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$Rational-EGOIST$

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  1. That was not only an unnecessary thing to say, but it calls only for confusion. First of all, one should NEVER “follow one’s feelings” as they are not tools of cognition; they are neither means of perception, nor of conception, nor are they irreducible primaries; they are only the means of reacting to, or evaluating one’s perceptions—and conceptions (and they don’t say anything about the validity of those evaluations). Which means that they are always secondary, not primary. One should always follow one’s rationally formed convictions—especially in the field of romantic love; feelings are only our means of enjoying existence. This is not all however. One implicit premise in that quoted paragraph is that cognition is possible without evaluation--a false premise. You are certainly right—(or “half-right”, if one may say such a thing)—in saying that “we don’t fall in love by [direct] conscious decision or evaluation”, but that is true not only of love, but of all emotions—as they are automatic, i.e.: not under our conscious control—they are automatic reactions to conceptions or perceived existents. Now you go on to say: “no matter how much you may intellectually assess a person as noble or attractive or desirable—no matter how closely they match a literal inventory or virtues and values—if it isn’t felt, it isn’t love.” That would be true, if such a thing were possible, but it is NOT. There is no cognition-evaluation dichotomy. You simply cannot intellectually assess a person as being noble, attractive, desirable, BECAUSE they possess a literal inventory of [your] virtues and values without evaluating that person according to your accepted standard of value, i.e.: without feeling it. An evaluation would necessarily and automatically follow—as that is the way of human nature. One may ignore that feeling, or refuse to act on it, but that would only be repression as the feeling wouldn’t disappear. No one has access to “instant knowledge”. Or are women mystical creatures of some sort?
  2. Has anyone here noticed that the term “to overcome human nature” is pretty much a contradiction in terms? If Marxists—or any other altruists out there—were really convinced that human beings were innately selfish, then shouldn’t they know that if humans ceased to be selfish they wouldn’t be human anymore?—A is A. Or is it possible that the kind of society that Marxists long for is not a society of human beings?
  3. Daniel, could you please clarify, or expand on that?
  4. Which means that the act of bank robbing is done consciously and volitionaly--the actor knowing the nature of his action and its full consequences. Now for my purpose, I want to note that 'to rob' means to deprive someone illegally of his personal property by the use, and initiation of force. You are aware of the Objectivist position on the initiation of force, aren't you? How and why are bank robbers not 'necessarily' evil? Or are they evil, but only contingently? You say that Bank robbery is immoral, but you refuse to pass judgement on persons who perform the act--why? Isn't a immoral/evil person one who performs immoral/evil actions? How are people to be judged if not by their actions?
  5. Ok, first of all, How much context dropping did you have to go through in order to find similarities between Objectivism and Marxism? If we go by non-essentials, and context dropping, then we can make all the philosophies of the world appear the same--after all, the are all 'philosophies'--which makes them all similar. Anyway, I am new to Objectivism too, but from the little reading I have done, I have to disagree with that satement. In Objectivism, rights to property do not come from labor as such--Fundamentally there is only one right (right to life), from which all others follow. The right to property exists as a necessary, and logical implementation of the right to life. Ayn Rand defines Life as "a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action", therefore the right to life translates into an individual's freedom to take all actions necessary for the achievement, sustenance and futhereance of his life and happiness. And as a human being's life has to be sustained by values, which have to be achieved by his own effort, therefore the right to life cannot be divorced from the right to property, i.e.; the freedom to gain, keep and dispose of the products of one's labor. My point is: the right to property is a logical, necessary derivative of the right to life--not of labor as such.
  6. Rex, here are some things Objectivism says about self-esteem, con men and dishonesty. ----------------------------------------------------- Self-esteem is reliance on one’s power to think. It cannot be replaced by one’s power to deceive. The self-confidence of a scientist and the self-confidence of a con man are not interchangeable states, and do not come from the same psychological universe. The success of a man who deals with reality augments his self-confidence. The success of a con man augments his panic. The intellectual con man has only one defense against panic: the momentary relief he finds by succeeding at further and further frauds. Ayn Rand, “The Age of Envy”. ----------------------------------------------------- Why, [they ask], should a man not execute a well-planed swindle—sell stock in a false gold mine, say—then, ill-gotten cash in hand, take off for parts unknown, free to enjoy all the advantages of money without the need to work? Well, why not? Let us begin by concretizing the dishonesty this behavior would involve. The con man in our example has to lie about the location of the mine (to avoid detection, he places, let us suppose, in a distant country). He has to lie about such things as the number of workers, the scale of operations, the quality of the mine’s output. His ‘proof’ that the mine been properly registered, and the ore properly assayed is a lie (does he fabricate documents from real agencies, or fabricate the agencies?). So is his ‘proof’ that the foreign government involved is favorable to the enterprise. His crowning lie, of course, pertains to the killing that his investors can expect to make, judging by the current market conditions and the best economic forecasts. There is more. If asked, he would likely have to lie about the identity of his partners or his other investors; lie about his background and qualifications (does he use confederates to vouch for him and lie to them also, being afraid fully to trust them?); lie to his banker when he deposits the victims’ huge checks; lie to his friends before he disappears, so that he cannot be traced—and then having started his new life, lie to any new acquaintances about where he used to live, what he used to do, how he got his money (or lie to conceal the fact that he has money). Each of the con man’s lies clashes with one or more facts and, therefore, creates a risk of his detection and exposure by anyone with access to the facts. Anyone who knows something—about mining, the distribution of gold ore, or the science of geology, or the country claimed as the site, or the policies of its government, or the agencies of assay, or economic forecasting; or about con men in general, or about this one in particular, about his associates, haunts, accent, spending habits, or MO—becomes a threat, to be dealt with by further lies; lies designed to cash in on one person’s special ignorance, contradictory lies to stay clear of another person’s special knowledge. In the end, if we suppose that the loot runs out and the liar has not been caught, the very premises that led him to carry out the scheme—successfully as he thinks—will most likely prompt him to embark on another one, involving a new pack of lies. The above are details, all of which may be inapplicable in a particular case. Theoretical discussion cannot tell us which falsehoods an individual will spread, how many, how skillfully he will do it, or how rapidly the lies will escalate. Philosophy can only tell us this much: reality is a unity; to depart from it at a single point, therefore, is to depart from it in principle and thus to play with a lighted fuse. The bomb may not go off. The liar may blank out the power of his nemesis: that which is, and may get away with any scheme; he may win the battle. But if such are the battles he is fighting, he has to lose the war The first thing he loses in the process of turning irrational is his independence. The man who wages war against reality is by definition defying all the rules of proper epistemology. Like the man who evades in private, without social purpose, he thus subverts at the root the cognitive power of his consciousness. The con man, however, makes no pretense of counting on cognition in order to prosper; he counts on his ability to manipulate others. PEOPLE become to him more real than the fragments of reality he still recognizes. People become his means of survival, but in a form worse that that of the typical second-hander. The liar is a parasite not on people as such, but on people who are deludable—people qua ignorant, blind, gullible. What such people believe and expect—what they expect falsely, thanks to him—this is the power he must deal with and pander to. The liar he has turned others into his puppets, but his course makes him their pawn. It makes him a dependent of the lowest kind: a dependent not merely on the consciousness of other, which is bad enough, but on their unconsciousness. Leonard Peikoff, Objectivism. (270-272) ---------------------------------------------------- In case, I'm not allowed to quote this much, please let me know--and I'll delete the post.
  7. I believe Mr. Friedman is a willful evader, and his purpose is the rationalization of his wish to live as a parasite. Just look at what Ayn Rand says right after his ‘quote’—which, somehow, he just forgot to mention. "An animal is equipped for sustaining its life; its senses provide it with an automatic code of action, an automatic knowledge of what is good for it or evil. It has no power to extend its knowledge or to evade it. In conditions where its knowledge proves inadequate, it dies. But so long as it lives, it acts on its knowledge, with automatic safety and no power of choice, it is unable to ignore its own good, unable to decide to choose the evil and act as its own destroyer." That underlined sentence applies exactly to the case of the Mantis. Well…so much for that straw man.
  8. Here's another article on the real causes of the Great Depression. Great Myths of the Great Depression, by Lawrence W. Reed.
  9. May God/Allah/Buddha/Brahma/Zeus--if they exist--save us from those who believe in them, because I find all this somewhat frightening. You'd think this were 2005 and people should be thinking like 21st century humans, not mindless Ice-Age brutes. The world really is in danger if these trends don't change. PS: Thanks for the link Edison.
  10. I just ran into this article from BBC NEWS, where we have alleged justifications of the recent Tsunami Disaster in Asia. Quite interesting. The following are the "official" statements issued from the so called major faiths in the UK: These are the statements of the laymen: Frankly, I find these arguments/explanations/justifications incredibly pathetic. It's almost frightening; the amount of rationalization and evasions which people will deliberately resort to in order to maintain their crusading irrationalism, and avoid what is self-evident. Almost 160,000 people have been killed, millions more are homeless and vulnerable to diseases, and god knows how many more will die. All those freakinkg religionists can do is tell people to "pray" and "thank their almighty and omnibenevolent cosmic bureaucrat". What's more insulting is that innocent humans are blamed again--as they always are--because they are free will possessing low-lives. I wonder what it is those Environmentalists think now of their all-loving and conscious "Mother Nature" which they wish everyone to worship... And what would happen if there weren't industrialized nations like the U.S to provide aid for all those people who were being destroyed by "Mother Nature"? What if there weren't fuel consuming ships, airplanes, and helicopters to help with transportation? What if there weren't any medcine to help save the sick and dying?????? But I guess these question are not to be asked, let alone be answered. These damn irrationalists are so inconsistent. They claim to hate money and Capitalism but they were the ones screaming at the U.S government to provide more money for the victims of the disaster...as if money, medcine, ships and planes were grown from trees by "Mother Nature".
  11. This is an example of one man initiating force against others, and this practice is always wrong...probably one of the major "sins" according to the Objectivist Ethics. His need to save his son is certainly not a rightfull claim to the services of the doctors. He[the father] is violating the doctor's right to the use of their mind, and the right to a payment for their services.....well, he's really violating every fundamental right here. He could've found other ways to save his son [such as making sure that you can support your children BEFORE you have them], and even if he couldn't find any help, his actions are still wrong. And I also think it's a mistake to suppose that he can only find his "self-interest" in violating the rights of others. He may get away with it for a while, but certainly not in the long run.
  12. Hello guys, My name is Alpha, I'm 18 yrs old; I live in New york City where I attend the City University. My intended major is Computer Science. I ran into this forum a couple of days ago through a link from "Capitalism Magazine". I've been reading up, and so far, all seems great. It's truly refreshing to see the high level of rationality from lots of people here, and for a moment it almost made me feel as if most of my fellow humans were sane. It's really great to see some like-minded individuals to whom I don't have to explain that A is really A, and round squares just cannot exist. Keep up the good work. As for my familiarity with Objectivism--in relation to most of you--it's rather brief: approximately 7-8 months. I "stumbled" into this philosophy at a time when I probably needed it most. I had just recently been acquainted with atheism [well...more like being able to express it explicitly, and being able to hold my ground in the face of the linguistic acrobatics of the theologians], and I was---so to speak---hunting for a rational world view. I almost began to fall into the hands of the wrong kind of atheists: the so-called Secular 'Humanists', but I was lucky enough to run into "The Virtue of Selfishness" in my local library. The title was...let's say...inviting. I read Ayn Rand's Introduction and I simply couldn't put the book down. The levels of clarity and rationality of the author were almost hypnotizing; and this is how my initiation begun. Since then I've been reading up a lot--trying to rectify the horrifying errors of the past 17 years--and I'm pretty much familiar with the basics now. I've read most of the introductory works [AS, TF, VS, OPAR, PWNI, FNI, ARL, etc...], and this is what has saved me from those mischievous little socialist of professors that I have. However there's still a lot that I have and want to do. Anyway, I might as well stop for now, and I hope this will be a rewarding experience for us all. Have a great New Year everybody.
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