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Everything posted by Skylab72

  1. From Original Post: Objectivists do not see themselves in the statement "Man must…" simply because that form of the statement is far too open ended, or unconstrained. The object of the living, given as some arbitrary state, is a thing to be avoided. The old Soviet Union is an excellent case study of why. IF however one constrains "the state" to being one bound to and limited by several Objectivist principles, there may be several, if not a significant fraction, of Objectivists willing to "live for that specific state", yet without any particular compunction or feeling that they 'must'. Those principles are primarily that the only reason for the existence of the state is to provide: 1. Recourse for disputes involving the use of force, and fraud, between citizens. and 2. Recourse in case of, and reasonable protection from, the initiation of force from outside the territory administered by said state. Those principles would secondarily demand that any other 'services' provided by the state, be provided in accord with a strict interpretation of social contract theory of government and require the funding of these ancillary services be entirely by the citizens who choose to 'opt in' for any given service. As to the three 'varieties' of the statement, I would suggest three is an incomplete list. I would also suggest that such a list is moot anyway, because the opening statement, "Man must live for himself." is a truism. If one does not live for oneself, one is by definition against oneself, which I would assert, is the immoral (and self destructive) position. Therefore one must (in order to be a moral person) be for oneself. I do not assert that the USA as it exists is an 'ideal' state. No Russians I have ever met face to face have ever claimed that, for either the USSR, or Russia today. This is not a USA vs Russia issue, this is an issue with ALL states that have yet to exist. NONE of them have been executed from a consistently moral foundation.
  2. Relative to the 'fruits of Objectivism', I suspect this tendency to settle into routine and ruts is indicative of an evolutionary preference for perceived efficiency, an 'I found an efficient (easy) way to do this i am going to stick with it.' attitude. Objectivism, as an ethical guide for behaviour, on the other hand, is demanding. It pushes for reevaluation of facts for every decision. Almost no one is up for that. Thus pragmatic (little 'p') compromises abound. edit sl72 spell correct
  3. Right you are, it is not. It is however a named paradox (Russell's) in the mathematical canon of set theory. It is a little absurd, even for 'pure math'. That is why I like to poke fun at it by mixing in theoretical physics from the era when realists began becoming uneasy with theoretical physics. I thought 'quantum set' was quite descriptive.
  4. The pace at which ideas spread is also a topic of some academic discussion, "Meem Theory" for starters.
  5. No paradoxes? O.K. then SL riddle me this. Does the set of all sets that do NOT contain themselves, contain itself? I might suggest that set is a quantum set and it does not resolve until you look at it, like Schrodinger's cat.
  6. Mushroom, I have similar concerns, but I hope sharing a computer science view-point, might clarify some of the issues. In computer science there is a concept named meta. The idea is 'about'. For example with the idea that 'keys' on a keyboard invoke either a symbol, such as the letter 'A', or the execution of a 'function', such as 'un-do what I just did'. People use this concept daily without specifically thinking about it. But there are other keys on the keyboard that do nothing. Nothing that is, until they are pressed before or in conjunction with, one of the regular keys. At which time, this next class of keys modify the result from the depression of the regular key. The function invocation might become the 'do it again' function instead of the undo, while perhaps the transmission of the symbol 'A' becomes the execution of an 'Action' presented on the screen. Those keys then are keys whose use is 'about' other keys, or meta-keys. Similarly, assume I have a database that contains the names, addresses, and purchases of my business's customers. Those names and addresses are data. The fact, also recorded in the database, that there are 10,000 name, and 11,000 address records in this database, is meta-data. Or data about the data. In this paradigm Physics is meta-reality, not reality. Metaphysics is a discussion about the nature and extent of what we can know. One might say meta-meta-reality. From this perspective, I object to the intellectuals naming the distinction between information and the subject of the information, anti-subject. Anti-realism should be a negation of realism NOT the gathering of useful models ABOUT that which is real. …for all the good it will do me. Ever since Maxwell Planck discussed uncertainty, I think I see a deterioration in the rigor of naming of concepts in theoretical physics. But they are canon now, I get no say.
  7. Good question. I must admit I have never considered them a religion, in spite of their tax status. Rather more of an elaborate con-job. Oh, wait, there is my error, that pretty much defines organized religion as well, so maybe they do fit in. They just have yet to do their killing spree, or they are real good at hiding it...
  8. Thank you for the clarification. With the Merriam Webster definition of subjective, the insistence of the value of 'solitude' is a subjective one. Whereas, the potential for objective value brought by another human to the issue of survival on a deserted island, far out weighs the subjective preference for solitude. Surviving alone anywhere is not a matter of leisurely solitude, it is a matter of continual choices about the details of possible objective actions that may or may not promote your continued survival. Consider also the mitigation of risk the presence of another human brings to the islanders situation. Another human is more likely to enable a few moments of leisure in which you may enjoy your solitude, regardless of the fact you have no solitude while interacting with them. The objective additive value of the this persons potential trumps the islanders desire for immediate gratification of a subjective desire for solitude. QED: killing the hapless victim is immoral. It is precisely on a deserted island where Objectivist ethics are most valuable.
  9. Maybe she did not, I have no hard evidence. But you've made me curious. Whenever I see/hear one of her interviews, I will be listening for it. What I can say is, she did not shrink from having the word applied to her. Resume? I have no idea. Speaking bio? The phrase I recall is "Author of the Philosophical Novel 'Atlas Shrugged' ", but I think Random House provided that. I did not become aware of her until after the first printing of AS. Anyway, statements like, "I am challenging the philosophical dogma of the last hundred and fifty years.", certainly would give the impression she considered herself a philosopher. But back to your central question, I wonder if 'people' ever will. I suspect, 'adoption' of an Objectivist ethic is spotty at best. It's 'fruits' therefore may be difficult to identify. I have heard it expressed, that one might assert significant components of the Objectivist ethic, actually predating the philosophy's elucidation and naming, were what drew her to the USA in the first place (an opinion piece, called 'Rand bootstrapped by American Revolution', that naturally included a generous helping of Rand quotes). Looking at post-Rand notables among stand-out business persons is frustrating at best. I have read enough bio's of such people that, had they been chosen at random, could make a statistically significant sample, but none of them ever mentioned any Rand influence. Does this mean no influence? Or perhaps a few were influenced, just unwilling to mention her? No, I do not anticipate some notable turning point, where 'people take a serious look'. I think it will be a long slow infusing of ideas, until there comes an evolutionary tipping point, after which it will still be difficult to attribute specifics, but for complementary (in the math sense) reasons. Mankind is simultaneously approaching another evolutionary tipping point, when there comes a critical mass of human population living off earth. When that happens, various "disenfranchised" groups, perhaps including one or more philosophically motivated, may take that opportunity to 'fork' civilization, not unlike some Europeans did going to the Americas during the 1700s. It is fun to speculate.
  10. Sure, conspiracy requires collusion, I read in those remarks more a 'preponderance of resistance'.
  11. I fear jaskn, we may be quibbling over semantics. But before I go into that allow me to apologize for the most amusing spell check error I have ever had. "strong anthropomorphic principle" above should be "strong anthropic principle". I wonder what letters my fingers fumbled over to get that close and be so far. I would suggest, deduction of the general statement " your views aren't consistent with Objectivism" is not warranted, even stipulating all you have said. My belief set is demonstrably far more consistent with Objectivism than, for example, the general population. I refrain from making -general- statements about your belief set, when I detect, what I think are specific errors, in your thinking. As a nominal leader on this forum it would behove you to take a similar approach, but If you must express the general statement, accompany it with some qualification, the most honest would be the qualification that the statement is your opinion. Further I have consistently stipulated there are errors in my belief set, I recognize my fallibility, and my participation in this forum should be taken as evidence of good a good faith (damn there is that word you hate so much) effort, to root out errors. This important because if one expresses oneself as though one were infallible it becomes more difficult to remain civil. The "men of faith" thread will get additional posts. I will not however, add to it until I have time to express selected concepts with the rigor previous discussion demanded. I refuse to be goaded into any other approach. Moreover it remains my opinion that your reference to it here has been done in poor taste, given your position. You continue to reinforce that opinion.
  12. I get more of a -This is not a problem, but it could be. BTW it is not regulated.- The 7000X heat transfer efficiency grabbed my attention. Could PFTBA be a super efficient refrigerant? Paragraph 12, maybe it should, My Journalism teacher would have thought so.
  13. It is not even that easy just because it is on land. The resources underground tend to pool in formations that are hard to accurately map and never follow manmade boundaries. It really is the same problem, land or sea.
  14. At least now there are coming to be, formal college classes on Rand, her philosophy and her literature. I credit Dr Peikoff for a great deal of the improvement in the academic legitimacy of Objectivism.
  15. I don't know. There is some of what you say, but I have found that in academia, the philosophers (the authors of some if not most of the books on philosophy) seem to look down on Rand because she dared to proclaim herself a "philosopher" with no academic credentials. Of course the whole 'everything you have been taught is poppycock', thing really does turn off anyone with a 'vested interest'.
  16. I can read "Rand believed Sanction of the Victim to be an explanation for the prevalence of coercion and other manifestations of opposition to Objectivism" and lift out the phrase, "the prevalence of coercion and other manifestations of" to get, "Rand believed Sanction of the Victim to be an explanation opposition to Objectivism". And I would agree, she was very distressed how many people who heard her message would respond by attacking her when she would have preferred to be their liberator, their John Galt. It was horribly frustrating for her. Now for the removed phrase. Forgive me, but try as I may, I keep getting a null from "other manifestations of" in front of "opposition". So having spoken to the opposition, allow me to respond to "Rand believed Sanction of the Victim to be an explanation for the prevalence of coercion." I take the context here to be relative to one or more 'victims' and here she had some difficulty. Not intellectually with understanding a phenomenon she herself identified, but rather with how many people could "pervert themselves" (as the phrase I recall her using in this context) to enabling their own coercion. She had a view of mankind as heroic, and that set up some significant cognitive dissonance, when faced with large numbers of people behaving irrationally. In short these are not things she cared to discuss at length, to a degree for the factors discussed above, but mostly because she thought her writings had already covered the matter substantively. As for the concept's usefulness relative to slavery, I am a skeptic. Simply because there are so many other factors, and the phenomenon has such a long and varied history. There is just too much else going on, for this one concept to provide much contrast detectable in all the other patterns of behaviour.
  17. I would hope the purpose of this forum is to be a honey-pot for intellectually and/or philosophically frustrated individuals to learn about the 'joys of Objectivism'. I would hope my time here would rewarded with stimulating discussion and opportunity for exchanging ideas. If I contributed to your frustration with the forum HD, I apologise. I offer best wishes.
  18. Precisely, which is why I reworded the raskn quote... There is however great profit to be had in removing ons sanction, by joining the underground economy.
  19. Oh no. I apologise, I do not mean to give the impression I think "sanction of the victim" was 'nothing more' than an artistic turn of phrase. I would rather assert it describes a very real and active phenomenon in human behaviour. I would further assert the only true solution could never be political, in the sense of the actions of a group of people, but rather must be an epiphany in the mind of a given 'victim' wherein they realize an Objectivist truth. From a clinical point of view 'sanction of the victim' has been described in psychological literature ranging from discussions of the "Stockholm Syndrome" to identifying "codependent behaviours". And yes Ms Rand was horrified the behaviour seemed so common.
  20. I am sorry but you present a characterization of my views that is inaccurate. I agree Rand's entire philosophy is based on verifying reality with reason. My entire philosophy is based on verifying reality with reason. I do not 'believe in faith' I have faith. I have faith in the scientific method. I have faith in mathematics, the language we use to describe reality. I have faith the 'big picture' of reality is complete, consistent, and ultimately logical. I also believe in the strong anthropomorphic principle, but I approach it with caution. I also have high confidence in my agreement with Rand's ideas. It may not be obvious to you, but over the last fifty some odd years I have read almost everything she ever wrote, and in that process, at no point did I find anything I had any particular disagreement with. The character assassination is claiming my characterization of myself "contradicts all the principles of Objectivism". I find gross generalizations less than useful in civilized discussion, and your "I'm a better Objectivest than you are attitude" specifically counter productive in promoting Ms Rand's IDEAS, which are significantly more numerous and profound than those I have yet found authored by you.
  21. Say what you will Jaskn, Ms Rand was not a militant atheist, she simply was of the opinion that the world's religions have done immeasurable damage to philosophical thought, an opinion I share. I would describe her position as one of pragmatic atheism. I on the other hand describe myself as a pragmatic theist because Reality is my 'God'. I neither wish to sell the idea to you nor will I indulge in character assassination because you do not share the attitude. I do find it disappointing that a 'Senior Member' would. A mind is like a parachute, it is most useful when it is open.
  22. lepetitcadien bare with us, Objectivists do have differing opinions. Your concerns about corporations are well founded, the oil industry being an excellent example, but do not assume corporatism as it exists today is actually capitalism much less laissez-faire. It is better described as an oligarchy of competing power groups. Capitalism is an unknown ideal. It has never existed, and is very unlikely to, in our lifetimes. I personally fear corporatism, is doing more damage to the image of capitalism than any of capitalism's real detractors ever have.
  23. Wow, you really think corporations have never run amuck? I would suggest that they do it all the time, and the reason they can and do is because governments created them in the first place. Corporatism is NOT laissez-faire capitalism. It is just another group think institution based on a false premise.
  24. BTW TJF this is it. I shall post no more on your threads, until I see meaningful dialog from you.
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