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Everything posted by moralist

  1. While society as a whole can only be as ethical as how the majority are living their own lives, each of us is responsible for setting the ethical tone within the sphere of our own personal influence. That's true. "There are only two races... the decent and the indecent." --Viktor Frankl
  2. Yes. Pursuing what you love in itself is amoral. What you pursue makes it moral or immoral. Some people choose to love what is right enough to do it because it is in their own rational selfish best interest... ...while others choose to love what self destructively makes them less of a decent human being.
  3. You make selfishness immoral or moral by your own actions. Selfishly acting to get what makes you less of a decent human being is immoral. Selfishly acting in your own best interest to be a better human being is moral. So you see selfishness is amoral. You make it moral or immoral by that which you choose to be selfish about.
  4. Just as a side note... I'll add the opinion that selfishness itself is amoral, and is determined by what you do: The rational selfishness of doing what makes you a better person... ...or the irrational selfishness of doing what makes you less of a decent human being.
  5. It can only be as grand as people are... no more and no less. I can only recommend a personal alternative... I have no power to affect public policy because I belong to the rapidly dwindling Capitalist minority. The size and nature of government is already being determined by the political majority. My recommendation is to save yourself from becoming collatoral damage of the stupidity of others. You can establish that in your own life by working to earn your own merit. That prediction will come true as long as people continue to morally devolve. That tree is dying.
  6. Decent people. As I see it, the size and nature of government is a literal expression of how the majority are living their own lives. And the government will never change for the better until enough people first change their own lives for the better. It is impossible to have a decent minimal government in a nation of predominantly rotten people.
  7. You're right. The political majority is getting exactly the government they demanded, and it's exactly the government they deserve. A peculiarity of the American system of government is that it only works for decent people. The size of government is directly proportional to the number of indecent people who fail to govern themselves. Once a critical mass of indecent people has been reached, the American system fails, and the only possible consequence is tyrrany.
  8. Your ability to inspire others will be directly proportional to your ability to become like what has inspired you.
  9. Business is not like sports which are zero sum games where one can only win if another loses. Your own ability to create wealth does not deprive any one else from also creating wealth because there is an unlimited amount of wealth. Only business failures believe the lie that Capitalism is a zero sum game... and it is precisely that belief in what is false which has caused them to fail.
  10. No. It only proves that the jailed and the dead chose to impulsively and indiscriminately act on their thoughts without the tempered rationality of self reflection.
  11. (I had previously commented on this topic, but one of the moderators removed it because it did not comform to the orthodoxy of Objectivism. I was told by the moderator that it is only permissible for me to ask questions so that is what I will do.) Isn't the proof that you have free will simple and easy to verify by your own personal experience? Do you act on every thought you think and every emotion which arises from every thought you think? Can't you choose to act contrary to your thoughts and emotions as long as you are aware that you are objectively and dispassionately observing them as if you were another person without being immersed within them? Isn't it impossible to choose to act contrary to your thoughts as long as you believe that all there is is you thinking them? For how could you possibly act contrary to yourself if all there is is just you thinking and and acting compulsively on every thought that runs through your head? If you did not have free choice, and acted on every thought in your head... wouldn't you either be in jail or dead by now? Isn't the fact that you are not in jail or dead proof that you have free will? Is it not true that if there is no free will there is no morality of good or evil?
  12. The Atlas Shrugged movies suffer from what I call the "Dune Syndrome". You have a fabulous novel (or series of books) with the insurmountable obstacle of encapsulating so much rich detail and deep meaning.
  13. What did you expect from a thread called "Jesus tax"? Reading and posting in one thread does nothing to interfere with the free choice to start, read, or post in any of the other threads. Forums are not zero sum. And the discussion was only about gasoline tax for roads. Not about how taxes in general are "moral". There are certainly other immoral taxes. Absolutely nothing is preventing you from doing that.
  14. He truly acted as if everything depended on him... and it did.
  15. I couldn't care less about the government because I've already secured a safe haven. To the degree that you can render the government irrelevant to your own quality of life, that is the degree you can enjoy the freedom for which you earned the right to deserve. Yes it is... and you can make government fall in your own life simply by not needing it to give you things at the expense of others. I think its fun to muse about possibilities. And it's true... the people who secure their freedom, you will never see on TV network news. They are private American citizens operating within the Capitalist private sector. Galt already knows.
  16. That's quite a creative stretch of the imagination. Could you please explain how you are a helpless victim who is coerced to give me money when you buy gasoline? Well, that's where we each differ in our view of Capitalism. In my view, Capitalism only works for people who are decent, responsible, productive, solvent and frugal. It requires a moral code of behavior similar to Democracy, which also only works when people govern themselves. The reason Democracy and Capitalism are both failing today is not because because they are flawed... it is simply because people have failed them by failing to govern themselves. That's not my concern whether or not I conform to orthodoxy. My concern is doing honest work to earn an honest dollar. No one can ever truly enjoy the freedom of America without first earning their own economic freedom.
  17. Yes. Exactly. I am completely pragmatic within the boundaries of morality. I do what works because doing what does not work is a useless waste of time. My business is doing things that work. If I do things that don't work, I don't make any money because no one pays for what does not work. But when you do things that work, people throw money at you because you make their lives better. Yes. No one who fails to live a life deserving of freedom will ever live to enjoy freedom... but the failure of others does not preclude my own enjoyment of the freedom I deserve. The only purpose of a real world "Galt's Gulch" is to protect me and my loved ones from becoming collatoral damage from the evil that others do. I don't live for the sake of "bad people". I'm not their savior. They're adults who have stubbornly made their own choice and get what they deserve. My only responsibility is to be off a safe distance away when their chickens come home to roost. Think of this as is you were living in a terrorist state. Do you live in a neighborhood among terrorists who use you as fodder to protect them from military attacks? No. You get out of there quick, and go live where the good people are. It's one's own fault how they respond to anything negative that happens.
  18. Yes, of course. I totally agree. Each of us has a personal sphere of influence, and that's the best anyone can do is attend to what is within their own control and to that for which they are personally responsible. The behavior of large mobs is predictable... however, it is impossible to predict the behavior of an individual who thinks and acts for themselves. A personal revolution is already taking place in America, but it is a silent one because it is not bound by the predictable dynamics of group behavior. It is independent individual Americans acting in their own best interest, and what is in their own best interest is also in the best interest of other Americans who share their moral values. Quite correct. Ayn Rand rocked my world. I believe that Ayn Rand has moved enough people to be significant... but those differences will never be seen on television network news or any other public media any more than Galt's Gulch could be seen by the world, because they take place in the minds and hearts of individuals who take autonomous spontaneous action as individuals. I'm even more optimistic. I see one of the end products as being government itself... but that will only come to pass when enough Americans are living lives deserving of freedom... and only after the present system collapses of its own unproductive dead weight so as to make the way open for a better one to come.
  19. When people have become so irresponsible that they forfeit the last of their freedoms to the government... it would already be too late to create a Galt's Gulch. You want to build an ark is while the Sun is still shining and not when the rain falls. Yes. No flood is permanent. The waters will always eventually recede. Concerning collapse, there is another aspect as well as social... economic. For that, preparing a financial Galt's Gulch in advance could be prudent action to take. Good point... and one form of spontaneous creativity is to adapt something to an unintended purpose through thinking and acting "outside the box". In the long run it's not a bad idea to learn how to live "outside the box" while it's easy to do. In the throes of a crisis is too late.
  20. That's quite right. What I do is only relevant to me, because I'm the one who gets the consequences of my own actions. My point was not for anyone to answer the question, because I already know that you're just as totally powerless to change governmental policy as anyone else is. Just as Ayn Rand predicted in Atlas Shrugged, the moochers and the looters are running the show now. They're already the political majority. They already voted for a government that will give them things. And they're already getting exactly the government they deserve. The only thing to do is to stand clear while they get it. ...and no one has the power to change that. No one. Because there simply are not enough American Capitalist producers left in America to make a political majority. And that will never change... until the government defaults. That's correct. The only difference between us is how I respond to it.
  21. I was. And it was a direct response to Leonid's comments about government taxed public roads as being unjust, and my own approach to personally resolve (just for me, and for no one else) resolve an issue for which I have absolutely no power to change. Ok. I'll cede you the same point as with Leonid. So what is your own response to this injustice? What are you doing about it? Then doesn't it follow that everyone should rightfully pay for their proportional share of their use of those roads? Oh wait, they already do... through gasoline tax. Ok. How are you improving the bad parts? Maximizing profits is a fundamental principle of Capitalism... and my business is making things better. Great. How are you doing that? I agree. Of course they're not. So how are you "fighting for a just government"? I'll tell you how I "fight for a just government"... by being just. I have no power to set public policy because that has already been set by the political majority. However, I do have the power to set my own policy, and so that is exactly what I do, and setting my own policy beneficially affects everyone who is within my personal sphere of influence. Everything else which is outside my own direct personal sphere of influence is within the personal sphere of influence of others, and is their personal responsibility to set their own policies. Well, that's where we differ in views. I don't regard paying for the roads I use as being wrong and destructive. Clearly there are other taxes which are wrong and destructive, but this discussion was specifically about public roads which are literally one of the few constructive services the government happens to do at least half way decently. If you'd like to discuss other forms of taxation besides roads, I think you'd find that we'd have much more common ground. Ok. What do you do to fight on that most fundamental level? For the subject matter you raised, I highly recommend the book "Man's Search for Meaning" by the psychologist, Viktor Frankl. It's about his personal experience in the concentration camps. It's about how he "made lemonade". How you respond to it is. Again... my own attitude has absolutely no power to set government policy. That has already been determined by the political majority. I only have power of choosing how I respond to it. Life is far too short to be bitter and angry and about things which are completely beyond my power to change... ...but it's never too short to turn a liability into a personal asset.
  22. Because no one here can read everything written by others, your response indicates that you've not read my numerous moral condemnations of the corrupt economically toxic third party payer system of government, law, credit, insurance, education, healthcare, debt, and unions... and why it's prudent to take the necessary actions to avoid becoming contaminated. But understand this... neither yours or my "moral objections" has one whit of power to set taxation policies. This is because the tax policy has already been determined by the political majority who happen to be parasites... and until there are more producers in America than there are moochers and public union looters who service the moocher's demands... ...that public policy of taxation will not change.
  23. I've not argued against this point because it's true, Leonid. However, I have clearly described my own response to taxed public roads and explained specifically how it is different from your own. So instead of impotent complaints about being a victim of the government, I chose to turn exactly the same situation you face to my own advantage through being productive. The real problem is not the government. The government is not the enemy. The real problem is a personal failure to be productive. And it is precisely that failure which grants the government sanction to make people its victims. You'll remain a victim until you realize that you are only doing it to yourself. You've made it clear that you have already made your choice, just as I have made mine. And we are each getting exactly the consequences we deserve.
  24. It can be... when doing what's morally right makes you happy because your actions are motivated by your love of goodness. Doing good is the ultimate selfish act because it makes you a better person, and there is nothing that works out more in favor of your own self interest than that.
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