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Everything posted by Axmann8

  1. That's not what I was referring to when I meant the "best result". I wasn't saying "help the children" in a specific sense, as in some sort of financial benefit. I was speaking in a general term, in that men and women tend to differ psychologically (though neither is superior to the other), but there are also hormones in play and such, such as oxytocin, a natural "bonding" drug possessed by the mother. Also beneficial is the father's potential role in being a "male influence" and whatnot. These subjects really delve more into psychology and sociology (the latter of which I am not a fan of). I was more positing that "these are likely the reasons ascribed to, and used to "justify", the marriage benefit. As I said before, I'm not advocating the position that heterosexuals (or homosexuals) should have marriage benefits. In fact, I believe that neither should Government should get nowhere near relationships between individuals.
  2. Take it however you want. I'm giving you the same answer Rand gave to Donahue. You're trying to set up an argument on impossible terms, and that shows you're scared to have to have this discussion. Throw in some context-cannibalism, fact-twisting, and a few red herrings and we've got an first-rate intellectual over here!
  3. "You are never called upon to prove a negative. That's a law of logic." —Ayn Rand Prove that gay marriage is a right. Either that, or stop referring to it as as such.
  4. Interesting, because not only am I not a conservative (and certainly not a liberal), but I came to that conclusion myself. Why are you asking me if I'm unaware of that? Did I give any indication I was? Testifying against one's partner is not testifying aginst oneself, so what's your point?
  5. What are you asking me to say? That gay marriage is a super-important, fundamental, natural rights issue and we should have the government sanction homosexual marriages right away, lest we be unfair and hateful? I will not say it, because I do not believe it. I do not believe that it is a fundamental issue. I want government to do less, not more. I want government to get the hell out of all relationships, and stay out. What we SHOULD be criticizing is the fact that government impedes ANYONE's ability to enter into, and uphold contracts. Instead, we seem to be focusing on ONLY homosexuals. What we SHOULD be criticizing is the fact that government sanctions, prevents, or has any position whatsoever on any kind of relationship people wish to enter. What we SHOULD be criticizing is the fact that government locks people away in prison for non-violent crime, effectively removing all of their rights for no reason whatsoever. But no; we're here talking about how government should sanction gay marriage and that will fix it all, right? Let's allow them into our personal lives just a tiny bit more, and then we'll have a better world, right? "Just one more welfare program and the world will be a better place, right?"
  6. This is where the mistake occurs in pro-gay marriage arguments. You confuse a benefit with a right. Because a subset of the population receives certain extra benefits IN ADDITION to the rights that every man already enjoys, you say that it's a "right", and people are being denied a "right". "Well, if that man gets it, I want it too." Being denied a privilege is not the same as being denied a right. Say someone is awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor. Is having the Presidential Medal of Honor bestowed upon you a "right" because someone else was, and you're being denied that "right"? This argument about "being denied a right", which is not a right, is the very heart of communism: give everyone everything, no matter the reason or principles behind it. Legal marriage has no foundation in any sort of natural right. These "benefits", at least in part, arise from the fact that mother-father child rearing is biologically natural, and tends to ultimately result in the best result for a child. Homosexuals have no ability to reproduce, so why should these benefits be bestowed them? Homosexual unions provide nothing for society, therefore these benefits provide nothing. Do NOT read the preceding as "I don't think homosexuals should get tax benefits because this takes away from society" or "I think heterosexuals should should receive these benefits because they produce something for society". I believe neither. I do not believe in forced taxation, period. What makes a heterosexual couple different from a homosexual one? The answer is their ability to reproduce. What makes a heterosexual couple different from an individual? Its ability to reproduce. Now, what makes homosexual couples different from individuals? If your answer is the magical force known as "love" (not Randian love), then that's whim-worship and mysticism. The real answer is: nothing. “To say ‘I love you’ one must know first how to say the ‘I'. If homosexuals couples are worthy enough to bestowed extra benefits, but I am, first and foremost, the most important end in myself, why can't I be given these benefits, simply because I love myself? What gives homosexuals more of a right than me to receive these special privileges? Am I being denied a right, too? Let me ask you a question: should these "rights" be granted to polygamous couples as well? And what prevents people from setting up "marriage services", wherein people can sign up to get married in name solely for the purpose of these benefits? It would certainly seem to satisfy the trader principle. Is it, as before, the magical force of "love" that makes a difference? Again, that's mysticism.
  7. Getting Rand's books in the right format (i.e. non-mass market paperbacks) on Amazon is a headache. Currently I have these in a suitable format: Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, Anthem, Ayn Rand Answers, ITOE, PWNI, and The Ayn Rand Lexicon. I have TVOS and FTNI, but they are in mass market paperback form, and I despise MMPs. I'm trying to find some sort of detailed publication history about all the formats these two and others (such as Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal and The Romantic Manifesto) are available in. Are non-MMP copies of TVOS, FTNI, TRM, and C:TUI available?
  8. If one doesn't follow their religious text, what makes them a part of that religion? Just curious. All faith is the antithesis of reason, but is virulently clear that Islam is a far greater danger. Why, you ask? Because its religious text directly promotes violence against others. Jihad is a part of the Qu'ran. A Muslim cannot separate that aspect of their religious text from themselves, or they have, by rational thinking and principles, determined it to be immoral. Those who have rejected jihad have escaped the dangers of all-consuming faith and mysticism that come to those who refuse to make a single exception to the tenants of their religion. The difference with Christianity is that nowhere in the book that Christians follow (the New Testament), does it condone harming gay people (or anyone else, for that matter) for any reason. Many people quote the Old Testament, but the whole point of "Jesus dying on the cross", according to Christians, was to absolve humanity of having to suffer from the dogmatism of the "old laws". It's these "old laws" that promoted stoning, etc., not the New Testament. Does the New Testament condemn homosexuality as a sin? Yes: 1 Corinthians 6:9. But it also does it in the same breath as condemning drunks and people who use foul language. Furthermore, "that one believes homosexuality is a sin" (or "that one believes drunkenness or using foul language is a sin") does not mean that they want to harm gay people (or drunks, or people who use foul language).
  9. The title says "objectivism and homosexuality", but you keep referring to "homosexual marriage". As others have said, and as I believe as a homosexual objectivist (and follower of Rand, even knowing her personal view on the subject), homosexual marriage is a non-issue because not being able to get married affects no individual's rights. Furthermore, even I believe that "gay culture" is morally bankrupt with its collectivist "gay pride" parades and the almost-constant tendency of homosexuals to think about nothing other than "being gay" and "supporting gay 'rights'" (even though marriage couldn't possibly a "right"). Rand personally viewed homosexuality as immoral (although I don't think concrete evidence of this has ever been provided, only secondhand accounts), but that's Rand. She never professed to be perfect or infallible, nor did she expect every objectivist to think using her brain instead of their own. An important point is that, in Rand's time, homosexuality viewed as a choice with no biological aspect. Modern research shows that this could very well be incorrect. Rand wrote the following in Atlas Shrugged: "A sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality." If Rand was presented with evidence that sexual orientation is determined biologically, I think that she surely would've believed that while being homosexual had nothing to do with morality initially, attempting to live against one's own nature and happiness (i.e. if a gay man attempted to turn himself straight) would've been viciously immoral. Unfortunately, as she was never presented with this evidence, and because such evidence would've predated her time, her personal view shouldn't apply as far as the philosophy of objectivism is concerned. If there is a biological component to homosexuality, Rand's comments on racism are very worthy of note. Just replace "racism" with "homosexuality" and it fits: "Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors." If there was anything relating to the topic Rand would call immoral today, it would probably be the fact that some homosexuals obsess over their collective status as "homosexuals" (i.e. branding oneself "QueerCapitalist"), rather than by simply identifying themselves, if asked or discussing the issue, as one. This article gives an excellent rundown of the issue.
  10. Any way that won't put me out thousands? I want to research, not collect. Her manuscripts are viewable at the Library of Congress, but alas I don't live in DC either.
  11. If this is in the wrong section, feel free to move it, but I didn't know where else it might fit. I'm fascinated by Ayn Rand's penmanship. I'm not sure why hers in particular (It's probably because she's an idol of mine), but I've always been interested in penmanship in general as well. A couple questions: 1. Aside from the manuscript included in Anthem (which is small and some of the markup comments are difficult to read), where can I find samples of Rand's writing? 2. What kind of pen, paper, and typewriter did Rand use?
  12. Might I add another thing, from Ayn Rand and the World She Made: "She was on the phone with Paterson, expressing her frustration with slow sales and inane reviewes. Paterson pointed out that readers might be confused by encountering serious ideas in a novel, and why didn't she write a nonfiction book explaining her individualist philosophy? 'No!' she said. 'I've presented my case in The Fountainhead. .... If [readers] don't respond, why should I wish to enlighten or help them further? I'm not an altruist.'" This was actually the exchange that gave her the idea for Atlas Shrugged, therefore the exchange was profoundly important to Rand.
  13. You could't possibly be saying that Rand never repeated herself, and that something materially new was presented every time she did? It was well-known, even to herself, that she had difficulties knowing when a point was complete. The problem of density and/or repetition is one that Ayn addressed with Peikoff. She was aware that her writing style wasn't perfect. I am currently speaking exclusively about For the New Intellectual. As I've said, I enjoyed a lot of Philosophy: Who Needs It, and also reading her introductions to some of her novels. It may even be that I enjoy the rest of her non-fiction. I can point out some repetition in FTNI, in which no new concepts are presented: let's start with Atilla. "Atilla, the man who rules by brute force, at the whim and mercy of the moment" "Atilla—the type of man who long to... act on the whim and range of the moment" "The physical conquest of men is Attila's method of survival." "If Atilla's method of survival is the conquest of those who conquer nature..." Referring to Atilla: "The man who lives by brute force..." "Atilla ... the man of force" "An Atilla never thinks of creating, only of taking over." "Atilla ... feels confident only when he smells fear in his opponents." "Atilla's blank check on brute force" "[Atilla] approaches men as a beast of prey" "Atilla extorts [men's] obedience by means of a club" "[Atilla's] only skill and purpose, that of material extortion" "Atilla rules the realm of men's physical existence" "Atilla conquers empires." "Atilla loots and plunders" "Attila... the looter of wealth" "Atilla... the looter" "Atilla slaughters." "Atilla rules by means of fear" Or the relationship of Atilla and the Witch Doctor: "Thus they come to need each other." "Thus Atilla and the Witch Doctor form an alliance" "Just as the Witch Doctor is impotent without Attila, so Atilla is impotent without the Witch Doctor" "...The Witch Doctor, in a firm, if mutually jealous, alliance with Attila" "Atilla and the Witch Doctor and to their primordial existential relationshp" This goes on for nearly 30 pages. I both appreciate and understand the allegory Rand employs. What is not necessary here is the need to describe what Atilla represents everytime he name is brought up. One or even a couple of characterizations of Atilla were perfectly sufficient. Even the Witch Doctor doesn't get as much attention as Atilla, and when he does, usually new information about him is presented. Much of the space used to re-confirm Atilla, the brute and the looter, as the brute and the looter [Atilla is the brute and the looter] could've been used to explain concepts relating to them.
  14. So far, the only Rand I've read all the way through is Anthem. I'm starting on Atlas and the Fountainhead now. I thoroughly enjoyed Anthem and what I have read in Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, as well as some of her speeches I have read in Philosophy: Who Needs It, and while I have always considered myself a freedom-orientated libertarian, I would now consider myself an objectivist neophyte. Reading Anthem truly (and not in the "look at me!" way) changed my life and my way of thinking, even though I already [or so I had thought] accepted Rand's philosophy. I've watched Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged and begun reading Ayn Rand and the World She Made and think she's a fascinating person as well, and I wished I could've met her just once. The problem, not with ideas, but style, came when I began reading the opening section in "For the New Intellectual" (the part that isn't excerpts from her fiction). As an aside, in the Introduction to Anthem, it says that Ayn rand once told Peikoff that at times she was uncertain when "a point (or an emotion) had been communicated fully and objectively)". We also learn in The Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged that Rand was, at times, wary of nonfiction. At least in For the New Intellectual, these uncertainties become realized. The allegory of Atilla and the Witch Doctor goes on for so long and the point is so drilled in to the point where I want to put the book (but not the concepts and ideas) down. She also revisits Kant and Aristotle again, a recurring topic in her other nonfiction as well. In Rand's fiction, I've noticed that she likes to restate concepts there, but the reason I think it works there is because we get the opportunity to envision these in the context of her characters, and the point becomes played out in practice. My question: what do others think about this? Does all of her nonfiction tend to explain in multiple pages what can be explained just as fully, sufficiently, and beautifully in a few paragraphs? Do others experience an exhaustion with her nonfiction that doesn't seem to be present in her fiction?
  15. Perhaps a better phrasing would be, "According to the principles of Objectivism, what should one do, if anything?
  16. You're walking on the sidewalk. No people or houses are near, but there is a police station within reasonable walking distance. You find a $20 dollar bill lying on the ground. Two questions: 1. What would you personally do, if anything, and why? 2. What does Objectivism say one should do in this situation?
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