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About TomL

  • Birthday 08/18/1970

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  1. Gold star The standard for morality is not whether or not you harm other people, it is your OWN life. If an action benefits your life it is moral; if it detracts from it it is immoral. By the nature of acting in a social context, when you harm other people you can and will harm yourself -- the responsibility for the use of retaliatory force lies with the initiator of force, not the one retaliating. The question of degree ($1 vs $1 billion) is irrelevant and doesn't change anything. Even long time Objectivists have a hard time giving up the idea that the standard of morality is what you do to others. It isn't. What you do to others is the standard used in politics, not in ethics. Ethical questions do not concern other people, they concern you and you alone. Simply stating "because its a principle" is something one would hear in church. :/ It is unfortunate to hear it here.
  2. Almost all romantic relationships that end, do so in similar way. There must have been _some_ shared values, or you wouldn't have been together in the first place. But as you learned more about her, you realized that there was more to her character than the traits you were initially attracted to. It's easy not to think of someone as the target of your sexual desire if you don't drop the context of what it is you discovered later. I have also found, in my own recent experiences, that you really don't know someone completely until you see how they handle a crisis, especially if they caused the crisis themselves. Also, some things are much harder to see and detect than others. Some things take years of context to be able to figure out, especially if the other person is evading it as hard as they can.
  3. I appreciate that. I tried my best to get those right, its a very important topic to me. At the time I wrote it, no one else had really approached the subject but I believe Dr. Locke is doing that now.
  4. What I meant by "philosophic error," is the error a true first-hander makes in not having something integrated, as opposed to truly believing that something is right and choosing to do the wrong thing anyway (evasion). Surely evasion is a philosophic error as well, but I didn't mean to include it.
  5. Hello all. It has been a long time since I have been here. First I need to start off with an apology to Felipe, GreedyCapitalist, and anyone else I have offended in the past. I was making some errors while trying to figure things out, and I realize now that I was projecting a lot of things. I thought I was trying to identify principles, but in many cases what I did was look for and assume moral corruptness, rather than the correct approach which is to assume philosophic error first, and then wait for the individual to admit they knew what they were doing was wrong and did it anyway. I hope that those of you whom I've offended can forgive me and will give me a chance to show that I've changed. If anyone wishes to discuss any of those old specific topics and see how my positions have changed, please feel free. Otherwise, I hope to have a fresh start and get to know you all over again. With the best intentions, Tom Lahti
  6. Split from another thread. (2) This forum will not tolerate posts which contain personal insults or are otherwise devoid of intellectual content. Examples of personal insults include: (a) sarcastic comments directed at a particular person's character, and ( accusations of irrationality or immorality. I guess the rules don't apply anymore? Or just not to Diana? Seems that the moderators and admins have tolerated this particular instance for a great deal longer than they should have. I shouldn't even have to bring it up.
  7. Mince words all you like, and try to speak for Burgess all you like, but there is no other context in which the existence OO.net and the current discussion could exist. As for misrepsenting, how about deleting posts containing facts related to events on the site, rather than posting replies and attempting to refute them? I'll assume because you know it can't be done, because you know I'm right, and the only way you and the site can come out looking clean is by pretending the whole thing isn't happening and hope no one finds out about it. If you're all so sure you're right, why are you afraid that people here will find out?
  8. For myself, I whole-mindedly agree with everything Burgess has said about how an Objectivist forum should be run.
  9. You need to reconsider what the concept "friend" means, and stop using it to refer to this individual. He isn't your friend.
  10. An attempt at "prayer" or "talking to god(s)" is really an attempt at introspection. The only one who can answer their questions in their minds is themselves. Bold Standard had this one right. The answers they get come from their own subconscious mind, which usually means their emotions. Unfortunately, its a poor substitute for real introspection, because it implicitly assumes that the contents of one's subconscious is correct, and that the appropriate emotion will result from asking the question (of oneself). The "answer" one gets is merely how one feels about the question, assuming all of one's automatized premises. Unless you know epistemology, you won't know where this "answer" came from, and you might think it was something "out there" (although I personally never went that far). How do I know this so assuredly? I've done it, when I was a wee little pup, long before I found the path of Objectivism. This identification is first-hand, through my own introspection of myself -- it is what I did when I was "praying" (except that I never thought the answer came from somewhere other than myself -- I knew that I didn't know the source).
  11. Let me add my resounding "Me too!" A lot of the confusion in this issue comes from the fact that the word "life" has many definitions, which leads to ambiguity in questions about its value. When someone asks something like "If life is of value, then isn't X of value?" its ambiguous. If whose life is of value? Of value to whom? "Life" can mean: animation; functioning biologically (as applied to a biological organism); the process of living as man; someone else's life; your past life; someone else's past life; etc; etc. And for each definition of "life", the answer to the question will most likely change. Once again, accuracy is needed to convey meaning since the word can mean many different things. It is up to the author (i.e. the original thread question writer) to ensure that the intending meaning is clear. Typically, when Objectivists speak of "life" in a philosophic context we mean the process of living as man; or man qua man, and being egoists we generally refer to the value that one holds for one's own life. It is possible that a person can value life as man qua man (as such, as a process, for its aesthetic properties) and not value the continuation of one's own existence. This is the idea someone has when they say (either explicitly or through their actions) "Man is great; he has the potential to and has achieved many great things and happiness -- but I am ready to die." Now, that all I said: there is a causal relationship between unfitness (i.e. fat people) and a decrease in longevity, by way of cardiac muscle damage. One could say that these people enjoy their lifestyle such that reducing caloric intake/exercise would take all the fun out of living for them. These people must perform a cost/benefit analysis and decide which they prefer, because obesity does increase the liklihood of an early demise. Sure, there are plenty of old, fat people -- I'm generalizing. But since one cannot know in advance whether one will be a "lucky" fat person or not (and live to a ripe old age anyway), then one can't count on it (i.e. use that fact) in their thinking about what to do. If one wanted to choose being an old, fat person -- that option is not open to their choice. The only choices are: exercise, or take your chances, and despite my respect of the volition for those who choose to take their chances, I reserve the right to judge unfavorably anyone who uses dice in decisions about their life plan, where the dice are optional.
  12. And nowhere have I disagreed with that. They are of value only to those individuals who require it in order to obtain some other value. In other words -- they are a means to an end, on an individual basis. In the case where a person requires exercise in order to continue living due to some medical/physical condition, and they value being alive, then nothing is rightfully a higher value or priority. They cannot have any other values without being alive. If they require the exercise and they no longer value being alive -- for whatever reason -- then couch-potato on! No one still living (its unfortunate that emphasis is equired here) will care. We aren't talking about about someone who values life as such, apart from their own lives. If that's what you meant, then I have no idea why you brought it up in the first place. It isn't relevant. If you're talking about people who value the memory of living and refer to their past lives, then they should say that. Accuracy is everything, and woefully absent everywhere I look. If they say they value continuing their own lives but do nothing to continue it, then they are liars. End of story.
  13. I love red Why PT Cruiser? I have two big dogs and the back seats come out (Not just fold up, they come out) and its got more cargo space than my old Toyota 4Runner, and with better gas mileage, parkability in the city, and creature comforts like the heated seats. I can still tow the CBR1100XX behind it if I need to (and have, to OCON 2002). My license plate frame on the Cruiser: "Thought first, emotions second". On the CBR: "Head first, heart second".
  14. You've got to keep the whole of your life in mind with any decision you make that can alter it, and evaluate its effects. You are in college. You are not yet in a career, you don't yet know what sort of person you will be as an adult. You think you do, but you don't. What sort of career will make you wake up in the morning and say "Hot damn, I get to go to work today!" What sort of house do you want? Do you want kids? Where in the world do you want to live? Will you still answer the same way when you're 30? How do you know? Until you know what your life is going to be like, its impossible for you to guarantee any sort of romantic stability to any relationship. There is value in dating and learning, and thinking about relationships that you can take forward with you when you will be ready for a permanent one. But introspect on it and you will know that any relationship you start now will only be permanent by coincidence or evasion, and then start focusing the majority of your energy on what you're in college for: getting your career picked out and on track. Date if you like, but don't spend so much effort on it that it will have long-term affects on your education and your career. Self-identify what you are honestly, and act accordingly. If you do that, relationship bliss will come, but it won't be soon.
  15. So, be prepared next time. Planning is a good thing, but it doesn't always help if you don't plan for the worst case scenario. When people show up in big groups, don't panic. Just deal with them one at a time. There is no rush -- remember, they are asking something of you, and you can deal it out on whatever terms you wish. Take your time and enjoy the costumes.
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