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Peter Morris

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Peter Morris last won the day on October 26 2015

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    Broadly, foreign languages, science, philosophy, computers. Health, lifting weights, and nutrition. Future technologies and science fiction. Learning new and interesting things. Fun with friends. Discussion. Money.

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  • Biography/Intro
    I study science at university. My interests are diverse. I day dream about being some kind of entrepreneur billionaire inventor.
  • Experience with Objectivism
    Self study. I've read intro to objectivist epistemology, philosophy who needs it, logical leap and atlas. I've listened to lots of and on Ayn Rand on YouTube and lectures from the Ayn Rand estore.
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  1. I literally chuckled. Haha. Yes, I realize the irony. And yeah, I have stopped frequenting and relying on these forums myself. Most of us are not even really Objectivists. *gasp* I said it.
  2. Honestly, my first thought is that she probably gave it little thought. To Rand, death was the basically equivalent to the world ending. "I will not die, it is the world that will end." I've been an Atheist my whole life, and I always figured I would get buried. This is the first I've even heard of burial having any mystical significance.
  3. No. You have a very wrong idea about Rand's philosophy. It absolutely is not. If you think this has anything to do with Objectivism then you are completely mistaken. And I mean in a very deep way. No where in Rand's writing did she even come close to calling less skilled workers useless moochers. Rand's fiction focuses on great men. Her philosophy and morality, on the other hand, is for everyone of any ability. Her fiction also does not cast people of lesser ability as unworthy, immoral moochers. In Atlas Shrugged, there are passages such as this: 'He saw a bus turning a corner, expertly steered. He wondered why he felt reassured' This is a nod to the skill involved in driving a bus. If that is what you have chosen to do, and you do it well, then you are entirely moral. The same goes for electricians, plumbers, and all other trades. They are all moral, rational careers for people. They are skills, and they take a thinking mind when done right. Important to whom? To society? To themselves? And what does rich and powerful have to do with anything? Rand's heroes are not the rich and powerful, but the rational, skilled and highly capable. I don't know how this can be missed in Atlas Shrugged without reading the book and deliberately ignoring anything to the contrary. If you cannot see this, simply recall that James Taggart is rich and powerful and is in fact the president of the rail road, (Dagny Taggart is vice president) and he is a major villain. John Galt, the ideal man, the major hero, does not have much money at all. It is not in Rand's morality to judge things by social usefulness. However, if you were to do so, the people of greater ability - especially businessmen - are more important and lift everyone up higher than otherwise possible without them. Of course, without electricians there would be no lights on, but without the businessmen and scientists who run the businesses, the electricians would have nothing to do, and would not be able to perform the same task. Atlas Shrugged shows exactly what would happen if the men of great ability went on strike. Eddie Willers is left to wander the train track as a symbol of what happens to moral, good men without the men of greatest ability. But this is irrelevant to morality. Each individual's life is their own greatest and most important value. Whether you are a genius or below average, you can be morally perfect within your own sphere of ability. Moochers are people who do not rely on the efforts of their own mind, but rely on other minds. It has nothing to do with ability. By the questions you ask and the misunderstandings you show, I have to assume you are new to Objectivism, and that you have gleamed a few basic things by have not done any real deep investigation as to what it's all about. You may have also taken in false ideas propagated by enemy's of the philosophy. I would suggest reading Atlas Shrugged and reading a few Objectivist texts. I suggest Objectivism: the philosophy of Ayn Rand by Peikoff, and also audio lectures available at the aynrand estore. Also, try not to get too much information from forums like this, but instead from actual source texts by Objectivists like Rand, Peikoff, etc. (http://www.peikoff.com/tag/miscellaneous/page/427/#list) Once you've done some reading and/or listening you will have quality questions to ask that are based on a more accurate, developed idea of Objectivism, and not based on (what seems to me) a caricatured, misrepresented idea of Objectivism.
  4. When we call something a fact is different from whether it actually is a fact. Hopefully if we did everything correctly, what we call facts actually are facts, and we have methods to check. But sometimes we fail. But if you have the right method and logic, errors make themselves known because contradictions arise. When some proposition is actually a fact, and someone thinks it's a fact, then they actually know the fact. But if you can't go around thinking, 'but how do you know that you know that you know that you know.... (that you know) ad infinitum ... that it's a fact. Like Newtons laws of motion. In the context they were discovered, are facts. Now when I say, 'They are facts.' I'm making the claim that they are facts. I think they are, but me saying so doesn't make it so. And there were people who disagreed! Who thought that they weren't facts. So it's not subjective, but each person has their own set of beliefs about what are facts. You can know a fact, and you can think you know a fact. Only you don't know when you hold a false fact to be a fact that it is not a fact. If you did, you wouldn't hold it any more. A fact is an objective thing in reality. The belief is in the mind of each individual. Thinking something is a fact doesn't make it a fact so it's not subjective. Being certain doesn't make something a fact either. It's irrelevant. You're muddling people's beliefs with what facts are. You're muddling calling something a fact with it actually being a fact. Those are separate things.
  5. You're imagining that the universe itself exists within a universe where time exists. The universe itself doesn't have the attributes of the things within it such as time and space. It's hard, but try to only ever think oft he universe from within the universe, you cannot imagine it as this ball of galaxies with you standing outside of it looking in. It's important to note that Ayn Rand, as far as I know, thought that the universe was an eternal, finite plenum. That there was no part of the universe where nothing was (true metaphysically empty space - void of any physical existence - does not exist, because where there isn't anything, there isn't anything, so it's nothing, and nothing does not exist), and that it had always been. Honestly, it used to bother me, until I realized it doesn't matter. I'd rather focus on my career and life. This stuff is fun to speculate about but it's not really important. The important thing philosophically is that you know existence exists, and you know that time exists, you know that within the universe things have a beginning and an end, and that A is A meaning things are what they are and have definite existence, within the universe. Your understanding of reality, your metaphysics, is sufficient to live. If you'd like to learn more about the philosophy of physics though, I'd highly recommend listening to David Harriman. He helped clarify a lot in my mind on questions of space and time. Here is a taste.
  6. That has nothing to do with Objectivism, so I don't know why you'd call it Neo-Objectivism. The ideas themselves are just assertions. "inborn inner pressure to do what is right." No such thing exists, and if it does, prove it. And if you can prove it, having an 'inner pressure' to do something does not mean one ought to do it. The Christians have a history of trying to integrate good and rational philosophy with their mystic philosophy. But of course, such a thing cannot be done.
  7. If you figure this out, please let me know! What is needed is practical step by step advice. All I've gotten is 'think about what you like and then try things out'. It's not very useful.
  8. What are the arguments for intrinsic value? You don't prove a negative. You disprove the positive arguments for a proposition. Value is objective. It's neither in the thing itself nor in the eye of the beholder. It's both. It's the objective nature of the thing being valued in relation to the objective nature of the living thing that values it for its survival.
  9. I'm friends with a philosophy PhD student who holds opposite views to me on many philosophical questions. We talk and discuss different ideas. I don't see why he can't be my friend even though his views are so different from mine. We share an interest in ideas and philosophy. We also talk about girls, lifting weights, life in general. Extract value from people where you can. Sharing a common explicit philosophy is not the only reason to be friends with someone, and it's a poor reason in itself. Just avoid friendships with people who are clearly irrational and nutty. Most of my friends have no idea about my interest in philosophy, and I don't talk to them about it. Philosophy is for me.
  10. All wealth is achieved that way, not necessarily all money. Ayn Rand distinguished between the money maker and the money appropriator. http://aynrandlexicon.com/ayn-rand-works/money-making.html (I've listened to this probably 10 times. I highly recommend it.)
  11. Welcome to the adventure. I suggest you read with an active mind all the basic Objectivist literature, and also get some recordings from http://estore.aynrand.org/. For purpose, I highly recommend 'The Value of Purpose' by Tara Smith from that site. (but that lecture may be beyond you at this stage, it might require more an advanced understanding to grasp it properly.) I also highly recommend Nathaniel Branden's work on self esteem. This stuff goes deep, deeper than you may realize, and it is enormously powerful to improve your experience of life. Whatever philosophical ideas you end up adopting, they are powerful and necessary, it's not about Objectivism per se, but about gaining an accurate understanding of reality on which to base your values, the guidance of your thinking, and the course of your life.
  12. Of course, it's impossible for people to privately coordinate large projects for profit...
  13. No way. It may actually be the most perfect introduction to physics ever written. Harriman explains all the details, and there is very little mathematics involved. I felt for the first time I could actually understand physics, not only what it was, but the actual physics, and I also felt a true appreciation for what the early physicists had done. The history of science is actually like a fascinating mystery story, but academia manages to make it into a dry process of boring calculations and memorization. Just to name a few things, I understood for the first time in my life what a vector was and why it was important, why it had to be invented, and why a circling body is actually accelerating. I finally understood what F = ma actually means. I grasped the non-intuitive nature of 'mass' and why it had to be invented as a concept distinct from weight or 'heaviness'. None of that ever made any sense to me in high school or later. It was so simple and actually ridiculously interesting.
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