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Adrian Roberts

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Adrian Roberts last won the day on February 12 2017

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About Adrian Roberts

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    Junior Member

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    Public Domain
  • Biography/Intro
    My first post will explain
  • Experience with Objectivism
    Recently discovered. Read: Voice of Reason; Romantic Manifesto
  • School or University
    I will explain in my first post.
  • Occupation
    Community Psychiatric Nurse

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    London/Kent, England

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  1. If taxation was voluntary, hardly anyone would pay any taxes! People might think they should be able to not contribute to healthcare if they use private healthcare, or education if they have no children. But everyone needs the Police, the armed forces, and the infrastructure of roads, bridges etc. To try to administer selective opt-outs would need another army of government employees. And the PC brigade would want to opt out of their taxes being used for the nuclear deterrent. It would be much simpler to for the media to keep debating about how taxes should be spent, rather than abou
  2. Repairman - Probably that is the problem; not necessarily that the government blatantly grabs power, but that the people - or more accurately the media - expect the government to "do something", and the government wants to win the next election so it puts more rules and control in place. I'm not well-informed on the interactions between business and government, but in the NHS and social services it is very evident. Child Abuse is something which has always gone on and is devastating in its consequences - some of my clients are victims so I know this is not about being PC - but now there is an
  3. ATLAS SHRUGGED: a First Time Reader’s Thoughts. WARNING – CONTAINS SPOILERS! I joined this forum in late 2015, having become intrigued by Ayn Rand from what I read on the internet, and then reading “The Voice of Reason” and “The Romantic Manifesto”. I then tackled “Atlas Shrugged”, and with all the other things in my life it took nearly a year to read it. To clarify my perspective: I am not your typical “Atlas Shrugged” reader. I am an Englishman in my late 50s; I work for the National Health Service [NHS], the ultimate in socialised medicine, and for muc
  4. Jon's list of reasons for Leaving is more thoughtful than many. I am noticing that if you ask British people which way they will vote, the answer is either: "Definitely Leave, we will definitely be freer and better-off", or "I'm not really sure but I guess probably Remain I suppose". People, including me, are trying to balance the arguments for not trusting the EU as in Jon's list, with the risk that if we leave it will cause financial and legislative chaos, with the hope of an eventual improvement not being a foregone conclusion. In many ways, the stated benefits of Leaving appeal t
  5. Well, certainly the Leave people such as Condell are more passionate than the Stay campaigners. The question is, where does Reason take us?
  6. It is certainly true that most of the Leave faction want to have their cake and eat it. It is often said that if we vote to leave, the negotiations are likely to be protracted and messy, and leave us in limbo for a long time, probably years, which won't be great for the economy, especially investment and therefore employment. Even if ultimately we can do better out of the EU, the effects of the change will be very long-lasting. In terms of immigration: I don't think too many people have a problem with French or Polish people coming over here to work, especially as an equal number of Brits
  7. What do Objectivists on this forum think about the EU Referendum? Should the UK leave or remain in the European Union? I am especially interested to hear what other British forum members think, but Americans or members of any other nationality are welcome to give their perspective; Undoubtedly, the European Union is bureaucratic, controlling; clearly a statist organisation. But it was intended to be an organisation to break down national boundaries and allow freedom of trade and business. It was intended to facilitate Capitalism; contrary to the some of it’s opponents
  8. In the UK, religion doesn't have the same influence as in the USA, though when people reject organised religion they tend to take refuge in some kind of vague spirituality. They will say "my dead relative is now an angel in heaven", which isn't even Christian theology, but avoids the reasonable but unpalatable conclusion that there is no afterlife. And the politically correct brigade seek to impose a new kind of puritanism on us, and of course its fine to criticise Christianity but we must never criticise Islam. As you say, people are not demanding a laissez-faire economy. To be fair, I d
  9. I didn't realise that marijuana was now legal in the USA; is it just in some states? Over here, on the whole consumption of hard drugs such has heroin has declined, though cocaine use has risen. I do think that on the whole, young people take life and their career more seriously than we did in the 1970s. Perhaps having to pay for university tuition fees is creating a sense of ownership! Certainly it is not "cool" among youngsters to have no ambition or purpose in life, so maybe things have improved since the 60s. I said on another thread that Margaret Thatcher introduced ideals in the 198
  10. You would have thought this would be self-evident, but sadly not. As Richard Feynman said when asked (in the 60s) why he didn't experiment with drugs "I don't like to mess with the machine" [his mind]. Sadly, there were plenty of pseudo-intellectuals at the time, the Timothy Learys of this world, who were only too willing to do so. And sadly, experimenting with drugs has become a rite of passage for young people which leads some into addiction. I would like to be able to say that if it is "only cannabis" it is less of a problem than alcohol, but unfortunately the latest, stronger varieties, ca
  11. That makes sense; so it is the Anarchist element of Libertarianism that is the problem; Anarchy will inevitably lead to a statist government emerging out of the strongest gangs in a lawless environment; and Objectivism is much better defined and thought-through than Libertarianism. Going back to "Defending the Undefendable": I'm going to have to think through the implications. I don't see a problem with prostitution being legal, so long as the sex workers concerned have chosen this role voluntarily, i.e are not victims of trafficking. But when it comes to drugs: some of the clients that I
  12. Once more, Objectivism is challenging my thinking in areas that I had not been open about before. I became interested in Objectivism because I had always admired individualism, heroism and achievement, but had balked at some of the implications - such as those I cited above. But now I can see that this was based on assumptions that I had never questioned, but that are very deeply ingrained (perhaps more so in Europe where I come from, than in the USA). I read the Amazon review that Reidy posted a link to, of Block's Defending the Undefendible. There is a quote from the forward by Hayek th
  13. The heroes that Ayn Rand writes about have achieved great things, and made their fortunes, by producing goods, often of their own invention or design, and selling to a market that didn't need to be created. They work very hard at this and risk their own money and careers. So far so good, and there are many real-life entrepreneurs who have done the same: e.g Mark Zuckerberg may not have created a physical product but he certainly came up with an idea for a product that people want. But what about the Financial Traders, who do not produce anything but move other people's money between diffe
  14. Thanks for the comments. I've been debating on other forums with people who believe that our genes mean there is no such thing as free will. Not unexpectedly, these people would label themselves as left-wing. Objectivism's emphasis on volition may not be totally attainable, but it is still a higher ideal to aim for. The point is to make the best of whatever opportunities we do have, and break out of constraints that may be imaginary.
  15. Ayn Rand believed strongly that we make our own choices and are responsible for them. She believed we are free agents who use Volition in deciding on our life choices, and rejected any kind of Determinism. Probably that is what attracted most of us to her philosophy. However, since she was writing, psychology and neurology have moved on considerably. I am not claiming to be expert enough to go into details of the proof of this, but it seems that the current scientific understanding is that people's character traits depend on how their brains work, at least to some extent. How their brains
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