theestevearnold got a reaction from Eponine in Objectivism, Preferences, and Happiness
This was old draft I started before I read all the posts and realized there was nothing I could add. You and You, etc. had said it all. But maybe my concrete ending might be of value to this great thread.
If a type of food is delicious, it's a value to me. If that food is healthy it's a greater value. If it's unhealthy, it's a lesser value. If it's so unhealthy that the pleasure of eating it is outweighed by the physical harm, then, overall, it becomes a non-value. [i'm not sure if "non-value" in the Objectivist lexicon was the right word; I pawned my Lexicon for rent money...I give the lefty book buyer credit for allowing it onto their shelves. Maybe Capitalism is stronger nowadays than I thought,
My point is that even the things that can lead to an earlier death (than would've been had I not done them) can still be a value, because they make my lifetime greater. Though maybe shorter. Example: My dad was a great man who fought in the Korean War off air craft carriers as a lieutenant commander and was then one of the world's best interior designers since 1967 where he founded his business in Waikiki (knowing there was gonna be a boom there) and did hotels--all around the world-- a cruise ship, and an airplane until the day he died suddenly of a rare disease. He love to drink. He was an alcoholic but not in the "our lives had become unmanageable" doctrine of the flawed AA; he "Walked the Line" like the Johnny Cash movie I quoted meant. What I mean to say is that when I saw his medical records, my dad was given a year to live due to scirrocis (sorry no spell check) of the liver attributable to alcohol abuse since his days in the Navy till the morning he was taken to the emergency room for Hemachromatosis.
Here's my point: We can die tomorrow on our way to work, in a car crash. My dad's liver held all the way to his "car crash." So the physical damage I do to my body, might not even matter if I never make it that far, so the enjoyment of life must be weighed with the prolongment.
Tying it back to the ultimate end: a full life specific to man is NOT me on life-support. If that's all it is, with nurses wiping my ass, I'll pull the plugs outta my arms like my dad did when he came to in the hospital. That's not what Miss Rand meant when she referred to Life. Though I'm sure she wasn't saying that if you're an old folk in a hospice you should kill yourself; please don't get me wrong.....there are still things worth living for when the pain is unbearable. Music. Film. Literature. Sex (Cialis can wake the dead).
theestevearnold got a reaction from viewing in Slapping N. Branden
The slap might've been initiation, & therefore a moment of moral imperfection. I know she was a passionate woman because I've read her sex scenes, & maybe she didn't check her emotions before acting.
But....maybe it was retaliation. I have been lied to before. It can be a form of indirect use of force. And in some instances, calling the cops or filing a civil suit is inappropriate.
REASONABLE DOUBT: Branden might've promised her that he would be monogamous, to gain a value from her that he wouldn't have received otherwise (nookie).
Miss Rand might've given Branden some nookie, based on the lie.
This type of fraud reminds of that great forum about lies on this site, & how certain types of fraud victims aren't protected by criminal or civil law, yet are still victims of an indirect use-of-force.
Maybe Miss Rand was retaliating for getting defrauded out of nookie.
I don't wanna make it a non-issue, but dude, if you think a slap from a chick, in that context, qualifies as initiation of force, you're a pussy.
theestevearnold reacted to Repairman in New Libertarians: New Promoters of a Welfare State
Give me one example of when this actually happened?
theestevearnold reacted to Nicky in Examples of Arguments Lacking Horizontal Integration
For both of these, the context change doesn't just falsify the conclusion, it also falsifies the premise, making the deduction faulty. They're not examples of reaching a false conclusion from a true premise, they're examples of two separate attempts at deduction, in two separate contexts: first deduction correct, second faulty.
In the first context, Socrates is dead, therefor the deduction is correct. In the second one, he's alive, therefor the premise is false. Same with thenelli's example: in the first context, we're talking about a world where there are no work obligations, so the premise and conclusion are both true. In the second context, the premise is false because sometimes you should respond with friendliness to someone who yells at you.
Deductions can only be made in a specific context. What is true in one context may not be true in another, so of course anything deduced from it might be false as well. Of course if you change the context, you can reach false conclusions. But you do so by making the premise false, not deduction itself.
theestevearnold reacted to Repairman in Integrating Objectivism and Marxism
I am neither an expert on Scientology nor Faith-Logic, neither would I wish to be. Both are reject objective reality.
But the very idea of considering either intellectual would comparable to accepting an invitation to have tea with the Mad Hatter.
I accept your gracious compliment for my writing, however, I will continue my attempts to thwart you until you provide a clear and comprehensive argument. So far, this has proved to be farce on an infinite scale. If in fact you understand my view, you find I have no conflict. Only conflict with you. My argument is merely commentary on what I view as unmitigated fraud. When one has a conflicted argument, when one uses subjectivity as argument, when one faces a conundrum, one's premises are in error. Check your premises.
Indeed, the "Mad Russian" comment was a bit over-the-top. I will try to refrain myself in the future. But you do seem to boast quite a bit about the achievements of the Soviet Union, and Russians in general, as if you had something to do with their accomplishments by virtue of "being Russian." No one will blame you personally for atrocities committed by Russians, as long as you likewise don't try to take credit for their achievements.
So, integrate what ever you can. Don't let me stop you. But remember: you can ignore reality, but you can't ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.
theestevearnold got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in How Do Men of Faith, Who Consider Themselves Objectivists, Reconcile t
I'm an atheist (though I am not affiliated with any atheist organization and I often find myself rooting for men of faith against some of the more militant atheist groups).
I've noticed men of faith on this site and I'd like to confirm who you are and also, if you consider yourself an Objectivist, give you a chance to explain how faith and Objectivism are compatible.
theestevearnold reacted to Repairman in Living for the state
My goal, for the moment, is clarifying any misconceptions you, or anyone reading this, may have regarding my outlook on globalization. I have no other goal.
An individual is the ultimate minority. Groups of individuals form markets, whether they identify themselves as such or not. They buy things. They buy things, because they need and want things. When more things are available to more markets, life is better for those people in those markets. If they are not a market of traders, voluntarily buying and selling, they become an angry mob of looters, forcing possessions from their rightful owners, until their is nothing left. You may choose a society governed by the rules of voluntary trade, (laissez-faire capitalism); you may choose a mixed economy, wherein the appointed government administrators are allowed to interfere with markets, or taken to the extreme, you may have the ludicrous command economy, wherein government administrators assume total control of production and distribution. Many people believe that the latter two options are the most fair to all people. Whether or not this could possibly be so is historically rendered a "no-brainer." The most famous example of the dangers of command economies is the brief history of the Soviet Union. The forced labor and the forced starvation made prisoners of otherwise lawful citizens, millions received death-sentences. The legacy is a society that has no respect for their authorities, only fear.
Individuals have natural rights. Among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I believe a man has the right to possess that which he earned, that which he paid for through his efforts and ingenuity. He has a right to negotiate for his pay. He has a right to negotiate the price of his services and wares. Most of us know this as free-enterprise, market or laissez-faire capitalism. It has its flaws. It is not perfect. It does not promise Utopia. But dare you believe the criminals who promise Utopia?
Addendum: There is another option for free-market societies: primitive, or subsistence societies. Would you care to try living in one?
theestevearnold got a reaction from JASKN in Animal rights
Good questions. I can't answer them because there is no rational answer.
I'd like to add to question one: Rights is a Man-Made concept, as opposed to the Metaphysical. Life shouldn't be the fundamental dictate; the Man-Made (conceptual--volitional--consciousness) should be. The actions of the rocks and boulders you mentioned are, in this context, equivalent to animals' actions.
Question two highlights the inapplicability of using life as the fundamental dictate. Plants are alive, so killing the bugs would be protecting a plant's "right" to live, but killing the bugs would be unfair to their "right" to live because the bugs can't understand the concept of the plants' "right" to live, so they wouldn't know they were violating plants' "rights". And if a bugs' "rights" activist got legislation to prevent the use of pesticides, it would violate the farmer's right to property; he would be unable to do what he wants with his crop.
theestevearnold reacted to Leonid in Animal rights
Rights is freedom of action in social context. It presupposes existence of free will and conceptual mind. Advocates of animal rights see no difference between animals and people. Since they cannot bring up animals to the level of people, they effectively degrade people to the level of animals. The notion of animal rights is another assault on mind.
theestevearnold reacted to rowsdower in How Do Men of Faith, Who Consider Themselves Objectivists, Reconcile t
I'm afraid that your posts must be treated as if nothing is said, as without a 'greater semantic set' your outlook can not be treated as a proposition, and being inherently mathematical, it it can't be treated as anything else.
This requires more psychological distinctions of 'belief'. We can supposedly do all of these separately:
1) say something is true
2) act as if something is true
3) think something is true
4) pretend something is true (for drama, gaming...), but not really act as if it was true (you can pause)
5) consider a hypothetical (or listen to a story)
But you can't fully think something is true and at the same time fully think it isn't true, so I think this would be #4. You probably root for the Lakers for the same reason you root for fictional characters.
theestevearnold reacted to Repairman in How Could a Government, Without Force, Earn Revenue?
Government most definitely has a purpose: 1) To protect its borders from threats of invasion; 2) To secure the physical and property rights of its citizens through a code of moral laws; 3) To provide a court of justice to interpret and enforce that code of moral laws. This is clearly expressed in the writings of Ayn Rand. I may have taken liberties with the wording, and the of course there are details she clearly expressed.
theestevearnold reacted to whYNOT in How Do Men of Faith, Who Consider Themselves Objectivists, Reconcile t
The consciousness of god (or not) is of far less importance as compared with the 'consciousness-infiltration' to a man's mind - of the god concept.
theestevearnold got a reaction from Skylab72 in How Do Men of Faith, Who Consider Themselves Objectivists, Reconcile t
Dearest Devil's Ad,
AR's ethics is a practical theory. It's not either or. Only irrational theories can't be applied to reality.
And without a way to validate the rights you call fairly straight forward, they can crumble to the first evil philosophy to proclaim the morality of rights baseless. What happens when a dictator insists that all property should belong to the state? Do you have an argument reducible to the axioms? Or do you say, "Everybody knows it's wrong to have to give your property to serve the "greater good."?
The "self-evident truths" of the Declaration are still in dispute, & losing ground, because they never did the work needed to prove why rights are right. Those great men left the concept of rights undefended, because they failed to validate it.
Miss Rand did.
theestevearnold got a reaction from dream_weaver in How Do Men of Faith, Who Consider Themselves Objectivists, Reconcile t
Dearest SLab, thanks to you and Devil's Ad, for "coming out" on this forum. You both made a superb effort to defend faith.
God is a specific concept. Men throughout history have been able to smuggle in to the realm of ideas, invalid (arbitrary) concepts, by use of the stolen-concept. This includes defining it by non-essentials or redefining it without explicitly dropping the essentials.
You said you believe in God, but you had to redefine it. That's not fair to your concept or to people who take definitions seriously.
Pick a new name for It.
AR wanted to call her philosophy Existentialism, but it was taken.
theestevearnold reacted to JASKN in How Do Men of Faith, Who Consider Themselves Objectivists, Reconcile t
Without the supernatural element there isn't much point to bother with a god at all.
theestevearnold reacted to Repairman in The Broad Relevance Of Ayn Rand In Today's Society
Neil Peart and Penn Jillette are well-known celebrities, but not as well-know for their appreciation of Ayn Rand. Rand remains largely unknown in most circles, unless you hang with an exclusive and intellectual society. This is the challenge of our time. In the article presented in the preceding Dormin111 post, the writer disparaged Rand, and referred to those advocating her ideas as, Rand-worshippers. I recall casually mentioning Objectivism to an attending member of the audience at a recent Rush concert, and she was oblivious to any such philosophical continuity in the lyrics of their music, and seemed a bit put-off by it. As for media perceptions, terms like, Rand-worship or any such reference denoting her cult-like approach to her personal and social life often obscure any serious inquiry into the principles of her writings. These references often accompany articles using her name, whereas little other reference explains the logic of her ideas. Enlightening others to the logic of her ideas may be one of my favorite hobbies. I hope it becomes one of yours.
As Peart and Jillette are the only two well-known celebrities who speak well, albeit cautiously, of Rand, (and Paul Ryan doesn't count), I can only hope that more are on their way. Ayn Rand remains a great unknown quantity in the future of our world in transition.
I wanted to add that the recent Atlas Shrugged films are helpful for stimulating conversation, even if they are poor entertainment.
theestevearnold reacted to Dormin111 in The Broad Relevance Of Ayn Rand In Today's Society
Although the title of the article is misleading, Neil Peart isn't an Objectivist, only influenced by Ayn Rand's literature.
Jimmy Whales, the founder of wikipedia is an Objectivist though.
theestevearnold reacted to Repairman in GOPers: Let go of Rand?
Crow, I disagree with your assertion to simply support "an issue." Often that issue is the property, not solely own, but nonetheless the property of the Republican or Democratic Parties. If I recognized only, for example, federal spending as the issue, I would be committed to support the Republican candidate; if abortion was the only issue, the Democrats would be my choice. One is bound to support either the candidate that wants the Bible taught in public schools, or the party of government overreach. I think I understand your intent, that is, to support your favorite issue in conversation, or to develop a strong argument in the event you are required to make that argument. This has been my habit for a long time. But if the policy-maker that supports that issue is an irrational hack, demigod, basically blathering for big bucks, one either votes for him/her, or you allow his/her equally corrupt opponent to receive that vote. I do approve of your suggestion that the amplification of a key issue could make a difference, but only if there were some way to associate that issue with a specific candidate or party; the approach you described in the preceding post is that of the Canadian, Paul McKeever.
In general, most people vote against the candidate they most disapprove of, rather than cast a vote in favor. Most of us here agree that Democrats and Republicans, regardless of their original intentions, are corrupted at some point as they advance up the hierarchy of positions. Yet, most of us want to participate in the electoral system. And we don't want "throw away our vote," on a third-party candidate. I, for one, have no problem voting for the third-party. It establishes the fact that people are coming to the polls, but the candidates of the mainstream are not worthy.
Could the one issue most needed be ballot reform, an initiative to advance more political diversity. To clarify, what I'm suggesting is a way to introduce new and diverse parties that adopt a specific issue on national, state, local election ballots?
theestevearnold got a reaction from whYNOT in Distinction between lying and fraud
I can't answer your question because I don't accept your premises.
My premise is: ANYthing I do to a man who initiated the act of trying to kill me, as long as it's directed towards him, in the immediate moment and in defense of my life, is a moral act. It's the context of the situation that decides the morality, not a one-size-fits-all platonist dictate such as "killing and lying are always immoral."
Tell that to a woman who never hurt a soul until one day she was almost murdered in an alley, but thank goodness she had a gun and killed the would-be killer.
Tell her she commited an immoral act by defending theevalue, her life.
And tell her that lying would also have been immoral in that context.
Back to killing (cause it covers both): Tell her that after she had spent her life always choosing moral actions, at the moment before she killed in self-defense, she, in effect, chose: Life...or a Completely Moral Existence? She couldn't have had both, according to you. I've seen ethical codes that say you can't have both. That was all I saw.
Then I discovered Rational Selfishness.
Now I can have both.
theestevearnold reacted to softwareNerd in Objectivist Living Site: What's Your Opinion?
I'm closing this topic, and pointing to two others that came up via search:
This topic "Objectivism: Closed system " seems to be the longest thread on the topic, though I'm sure one will find related discussion all over the place.
In addition, there is this series of 5 posts by one member, forming a position-paper of sorts, title "Closed System vs. Open System"
The first one would probably be the appropriate place for an ongoing discussion on the topic.
theestevearnold reacted to whYNOT in Why do good things happen to bad people?
Turn it round, why do bad things happen to good people? Or, why do good things happen to good people? Or bad things to bad people?
The questions presuppose that everyone always gets his justice in reality - or, is rewarded/punished by some mystical Being (which can be safely dismissed in this company.) But being "good" in Objectivist terms, while no guarantee of only good things, in the short run - sets one up to withstand the bad things: supporting one's values by dint of rational selfishness and one's virtues.
A "bad" person by any definition, is always one who exists (in one way, or other) through, or by, other people - is therefore, self-sacrificial - therefore, altruistic. When he gains anything "good" by immoral means, he cannot take pride in their possession. When the bad things come along as they will (and victims withdrawing their sanction is only one possibility) he has nothing left, existentially, because he has already surrendered his self.
theestevearnold reacted to softwareNerd in Recent Romantic-Realist Movies?
Clearly, it can be romantic, so I guess you're wondering about the "realism" part. I'd say "yes". I would classify Atlas, Fountainhead and even Grapes of Wrath as realism in the Rand's sense. She did not expound too much on the "realism" aspect, since her stress was on the "romantic" part.
Interesting quote from Ms. Rand's intro to Night of Jan 16th: