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Jason Hunter

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  1. Just to make things clear i dug up a few Rand quotes: "In love the currency is virtue. You love people not for what you do for them or what they do for you, you love them for their values, their virtues, which they have achieved in their own character." - Youtube - interview - "Ayn Rand on happiness, Self-Esteem and Love" "What you fall in love with is the same values which you choose embodied in another person. That's romantic love, now any lesser form of love such as friendship, affection [notice how she didn't mention family], is the same thing in effect. You grant a feeling
  2. So do you subscribe to the blank slate view of man? One conclusion would be man has no pre-existing knowledge. But you'd have to expand on what you've said to gain a better understanding of your conception of human nature. Does reason have limitations? Can it be used to fully comprehend the laws of nature? Does man have any inherent limitations or can the contents of his mind be completely determined by reason? (blank slate view). (There's a actually a book by Steven Pinker called The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature which is an argument against the tabula rasa
  3. I said virtues in the post you replied to before but you replied as if I had said value despite my quote right above your sentence. The one you are replying to here I have since edited as I noticed my mistake. Rand in her quote uses Virtue. But its a rather technical distinction between the two. They are very similar and both come together to roughly mean the way someone thinks and acts, their attitudes/beliefs and their behaviour. So the value you gain, spiritually speaking, is purely down to who they are as a person, nothing more. It is this that determines whether you love someone, co
  4. One or the other, or both. It doesn't matter. The blank slate view is that man has no inherent limits holding him back. I don't know what your criteria is to be called an "Enlightenment philosophy" but that is irrelevant. Objectivism shares some fundamental views of man with the era as articulated by Peikoff and that's the point. It would not have been out of place had it been conceived during that time. Trying to distance Objectivism from the enlightenment is absurd. Even Rand had high praise for the era. And Peikoff describes Arsitotle as the father of that era, the same father of O
  5. I've discussed this earlier in the thread. Perhaps a society can flourish without the family. No society ever has but I don't completely rule it out. With developments in bio-engineering and AI, who knows. But all of that is entering the realm of science fiction. At present, the family is a vital social institution for a number of reasons. This is widely accepted. It is even acknowledged in the Atlas Society link in my original post. But it's good that you're asking that because Objectivists should to start thinking in that direction or find a way to include reproduction and the fa
  6. Sorry I didn't reply. There's so many I lose track. My answer here applies to both of you. Rand: "In spiritual issues—(by “spiritual” I mean: “pertaining to man’s consciousness”)—the currency or medium of exchange is different, but the principle is the same. Love, friendship, respect, admiration are the emotional response of one man to the virtues of another, the spiritual payment given in exchange for the personal, selfish pleasure which one man derives from the virtues of another man’s character." Its important not to confuse positive externalities as a reason for doing somet
  7. The point is that ones view of human nature leads to very different conclusions and this is at the heart of the conflict. My criticism is not with reason helping mankind but with everything having to pass the bar of reason, or at least articulated reason. The problem with this is that it destroys social institutions and traditions; the very things which have evolved over a long time to deal with human nature and they contain far more knowledge and wisdom than a single person can rationally articulate. In much the same way, the widespread dispersal of knowledge in the free market is far
  8. Of course, this is what I've been saying; the blank slate view of human nature. Man has no inherent flaws. This is a fundamental premise shared with the enlightenment era. It is a romantic view of man because it sets no limits. (Read Paine and tell me he doesn't have a romantic view of man and society) Peikoff's words on the era: "Just as there are no limits to man’s knowledge, many [Enlightenment era] thinkers held, so there are no limits to man’s moral improvement. If man is not yet perfect, they held, he is at least perfectible." (Thus, no inherent flaws). "Whatever the vac
  9. This is bordering on pure semantics. Rand says most people are like mindless zombies caught up in a whirlwind of confusion and contradiction. They behave irrationally guided by their "whims". She recommends her philosophy as the antidote. To solve their problems they must first think. They must reason. They must reconsider their premises and use reason to extrapolate the correct conclusions. This requires real work and mental effort. In doing this, they will see the absurdity of lying, stealing, killing etc. Reason will show them it is against their own interest and they will not w
  10. I already have identified it. To fill in your sentence: "The family needs unchosen obligations" A conception of the family which only consists of value calculation is not sustainable. The duty is usually derived from blood (whether this is rational or not is a separate matter). This is just how humans behave and have always behaved. At the very least, I'll put it this way: The family needs an element of mysticism. The key point here is that value calculation alone is not enough. There must be a special meaning placed in blood, in helping blood relative
  11. Again, you're asking for a rational justification for the source of duty. This is not what this thread is about and I have never made that argument. I am saying the family needs it whether it is a delusion or a truth. (And not just the family but society as a whole - extending up to duty to country).
  12. You again. What on earth do you want from me? I've already answered your question when i replied to your previous outburst. And in my original post I said "My argument is as follows:" and I have used the words "I argue" many times in this thread. Besides, it was StrictlyLogical who said "your argument is a non-argument" and I was replying to that. I also found his approach to be rather aggressive with all the unnecessary caps. Your behaviour is embarrassing - personally attacking me, refusing to debate (fair enough) but then coming back to "crash" the thread declaring it's no
  13. That's not an argument. How is it false? If we were all Objectivists, society would be in peace and harmony. No lying, stealing, killing etc. The trader principle would reign in both economic and spiritual relationships. There would be no conflicts of interest or contradictions among rational men in a free society either, according to Rand. When you start saying "If you knew anything about Objectivism you would know that" you're losing the argument. What alternatives are you referring to? I have been clear. Duty is an unchosen obligation separate from any value calculat
  14. Thank you for the correction. I haven't read "Philosophy, who needs it?" but I can't can see Rand has an essay called "Causality vs duty" and ive just read sections of it available on the lexicon and it basically explains in more detail what you've said there. I am suggesting if one were to start trying to rationally justify duty, they might start with the fact that we are reproductive beings. I currently do not have the knowledge to get into that and you're best off seeking out the best arguments already out there to justify duty as I will do. My focus in this thread is ab
  15. If one has the opportinity to steal but the likelihood of getting caught is very high and the punishment severe then one can reason the risk outweighs the benefit. In this sense reason has a clear role to play. But the idea that without this deterrent, humans could rely on reason alone to deter themselves is absurd and flies in the face of history. Only a tiny minority could ever live that way. (And it probably wouldn't last). In an objectivist world, if the deterrent has any role to play in why one acts morally, then reason is failing to the extent to which the deterrent is working
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