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Objectivism Online Forum


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About DerickAlsept

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    United States
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  • Real Name
    Derick Alsept
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  • Experience with Objectivism
    I have read all of Ayn Rand's major fiction works, but my favorite is Anthem. I am delving further into Objectivisim, and this site is a gateway for that.
  • Occupation
    Vended Laundry
  1. JASKN, I have been questioning the arbitrary age limitations our society places on any number of activities for years, now. They confuse me. Was I somehow more capable of making good decisions on my 18th birthday than on my 17 years, 364th day? I have had people say "you have to draw the line somewhere," but I think that that line is poppycock. As you note, sexuality between sexually functional adolescents is "ok" (excepting the objections of religious belief), and so much so that there are many states with so-called "Romeo and Juliet" laws that protect a partner who has reached the age of majority before the other reaches the arbitrarily defined age of consent. Should 40-year-olds attempt to woo 13-year-olds, or 18-year-olds? Likely not, but not because it's somehow immoral or harmful. It seems to me that a well-adjusted 40-year-old would prefer someone of comparable age, because sexuality should require admiration. How does a 40-year-old admire a 13-year-old? The same considerations extend to arbitrary lines for contracts and for drinking and for voting. I dislike the arbitrary. Does anyone have a well-reasoned argument for "age of consent" and "age of majority" statutes?
  2. I agree with Boydstun. I don't recall the details of "The Passion of Ayn Rand," either, but I was (and am) quite taken with Helen Mirren.
  3. This conversation is John saying he's going out to be there for when Dagny quits for real. Midas doesn't know that, so he's not sure why John would go. John is avoiding saying he's going for Dagny.
  4. If you have a story to tell, tell it. Ms. Rand once said that it is impossible to relate a new idea in an old way, but when it comes to writing, I believe that she was mistaken. I think that the high fantasy genre is a great place to display Objectivist thinking. Since the writer is in control of the world, the writer can make sure that that world is consistent and operates under objective rules.
  5. Since motive is requisite for proof of guilt, it stands to reason that someone who breaks an objective law without motive (or by accident) is criminally not-guilty. However being not-guilty of a crime does not eliminate responsibility for the consequences of the action.
  6. Having never played the game, I'd like to key on one point: Since art is the objective representation of the creator's philosophy, one need not have art exist within the real world and its rules. Indeed, to the contrary, I think that the art best exists in the space where an artist creates his own world with which he illustrates the philosophy he espouses. As a non-objectivist example, The Matrix creates a world wherein men are slaves to machines. So long as the rules of the created world are consistent within themselves (think like a mathematical ring), the artist may use the created world to tell a story, to illustrate a truth, or to work out a problem for himself. While I love the Matrix films, there are quite a few moments internally that are inconsistent with the rules presented to the viewer. A better example of using a false reality to tell stories that are uplifting is the Sword of Truth series. The first few novels are run-of-the-mill epic fantasy, but Goodkind eventually develops his storyline into a much keener interpretation of Objectivist ethics than I have otherwise seen in fiction (excepting Rand's own, of course). It takes a while for the story to get there, but Goodkind eventually uses the epic fantasy world to present an objectivist world-view, not through Romantic Realism like Rand, but rather through Romantic Fantasy. So I said all that to say this: When operating in ficticious landscapes, judge your principles within the confines of the created world.
  7. "Honesty is the recognition of the fact that the unreal is unreal and can have no value, that neither love nor fame nor cash is a value if obtained by fraud--that an attempt to gain a value by deceiving the mind of others is an act of raising your victims to a position higher than reality, where you become a pawn of their blindness, a slave of their non-thinking and their evasions, while their intelligence, their rationality, become the enemies you have to dread and flee ... ." Have you lied to your parents? I think it would be safe to say that each of us had a time when we were young when we attempted to mold reality to our parents expectations by lying. Your lie may have been a simple one ("Yes, I did turn in my homework.") or a complex one ("I'm going to spend the night at Jimmy's house."). In the end, your lies to your parents placed you in the exact position Rand describes: you sacrificed your reality to the whim of another. In order to maintain your life, you had to continually fabricate your reality (i.e., lie some more) to match the demands of the perception of your victim (your parents). Ultimately, your lies were discovered and you met the consequences of that choice (justice). Grown, well-adjusted humans stop lying precisely because they recognize (even if only subconsiously) that the process of lying is more trouble than its worth. Extended to other frauds, it becomes quickly apparent that in any fraud you must maintain your deceptions to your victims; subsequently, you are their slave. You are unable to act according to your own judgment because you must maintain the false reality that you have presented to them. The values that Rand speaks of are values only to those who can recognize them as values, as something earned. A thief does not earn, and while he may enjoy the spoils of his "success" in the short term, he has to constantly live with the knowledge that he has not earned and that the only way for him to "succeed" again is to defraud reality. Honesty is fundamental to ethics, because A is A.
  8. I really like your question, A is not B, and I think that you are looking for a sanction. As a rational human, if you enjoy an activity, that is reason enough to justify your action. If you are not harming anyone, and if you are not substituting another individual's thought for your own, then your enjoyment is the very purpose of your life. In the context of a life-goal, being a trainer is no different from any other occupation you could take up. If being a trainer has the benefit of supporting your life along with the bonus of your actual enjoyment, then be the best trainer you can be and charge as much as you can for it!
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