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Jonathan Weissberg

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Everything posted by Jonathan Weissberg

  1. For anyone following this and helping me grapple with some of my reading. I've just posted an outline of this entire essay here: I'm currently reading OPAR and realized that I'm better off approaching studying Rand's works while keeping more of the context in mind. This essay was just a brief outline of the ethics, so getting deep into related questions was not the most productive. Looking forward to further discussions.
  2. An outline of the essay from 'Virtue of Selfishness.' Morality or ethics is a code of values to guide man's choices and actions (these determine the purpose and course of his life). Ethics (as a science) deals with discovering and defining this code. Prerequisite: why does man need a code of values? History of Ethics Historically moralists have regarded ethics as the province of feeling: (1) the traditional mystic, religious morality where the "will of God" is the standard of value and validation
  3. Now that many countries are locked down there are numerous options of zoom-based meetups you can find on meetup.com Simply search for terms of interest using 'groups' and set 'within distance' to 'any.' There's some good London-based meetups and discussion often featuring guests & some study groups scattered throughout the US too.
  4. Sounds interesting but I'm not really following what this distinction captures. Do you mean intention to be good? OK I think I'm following now, so you are talking about the intention or motivation of someone to be good. And when you say that the motivation "cannot be absolutely paramount" I think you mean if we evaluate an act from the perspective of flourishing and put aside motivation? But I don't really follow what good is thinking that way - to split the act from the motivation? Is it simply to be sure that one can act well by studying morality? I followed what you're sayi
  5. This is pretty interesting. I understand what you're saying and it squares with what I'm trying to get my head around now re: free will. So the basic choice is to focus or not, but then there are countless choices one makes that are derivatives of that basic choice and this situation you're describing would be one, right? I think often one way this would be described by others (and myself previously) might be an "arbitrary choice", i.e., subjective and without basis other than random feeling. If both choices are essentially similar and one has to chose between two how would you desc
  6. Some more nice quotes to add on the topic of habit: "“He who cannot obey himself will be commanded. That is the nature of living creatures.” - Nietzsche "Practice makes perfect, so be careful what you practice." - William Channing
  7. Got it, makes sense re: the gradations. Thank you. Some actions are not as significant. Where I was confused was the point at which the moral or immoral becomes amoral and what the gradation looks like, if significance in relation to a flourishing life is the measure. Some good examples. I understand re: the complexities. In some way I'm seeking to reduce those complex causal relationships down to something I can validate and so when tempted to make decisions that may be bad, I have clear, logical, reasoning to keep me centered and acting in accordance with a goal. It's easy to ratio
  8. Stephen was saying: i.e., one criterion of morality (apart from being chosen values) is that the chosen value in question be "required for the survival of a rational being through the whole of his lifespan," and Stephen is saying some choices are insignificant when viewed through this lens. @BoydstunI read your example of the gradation of values but it was abstract & difficult for me to get through and piece together, so I'm going to leave it for now while I work through some more basics from the essay. Thank you for your responses.
  9. What I got from this is that one aspect of thinking about my values "in the context and terms of a lifetime" includes explicit recognition of my mortality. Interesting conversation, some of it getting at other questions I had. From what I've understood there are primarily three issues being discussed: (1) One criterion of morality (apart from being chosen values) is that the chosen value in question be "required for the survival of a rational being through the whole of his lifespan," and whether or not "lifespan" refers to a specific time-frame. (2) The source of em
  10. Ok, got it. Thank you for added context. Some questions (not all are exactly completely on topic, so not holding you to a reply): (1) What is it that distinguishes a "whole" life from a non-whole life? (2) In what way do moral values affect the "course of one's whole life" that is different from values affecting the course of one's life? (3) If I understand correctly, you've said that what differentiates moral values from values is the level of abstract, i.e., non-moral values are "more immediately graspable and shorter time-framed"? (4) What did you mean by "fuller fo
  11. Great, thanks. That's great for me if they want to spend an hour replying to 20 of my questions on one essay for free, but if they don't then they should know I'm willing to pay on an hourly basis to speak with them because that'd be great for me too.
  12. Thank you for the reply, Stephen! Ok, that makes sense—code as an explicit set, e.g., a set of religious commandments, or a set of principles, and not necessarily systematically related. That's an interesting quote, so another ancient testament for moral codes. When you're citing these as possible examples of being at odds with longevity, like cigarettes or cake, do you mean in the abstract that one my run out of money and not afford food, or be unable to afford medical care? Because when I read these examples I just thought from one angle only which is that there's a less
  13. (2) Mental Health versus Mysticism and Self-Sacrifice Demonstrates the incompatibility of mysticism and self-sacrifice with mental health.
  14. (1) The Objectivist Ethics In barest essentials outlines the nature and validation of a rational morality, a morality of life, as against the three other major schools of ethical theories.
  15. I'm currently working through this booklet and so here I'll share a structural outline of the book & then a brief summation of what each essay is about. Structural Outline: (1) The Objectivist Ethics (2) Mental Health versus Mysticism and Self-Sacrifice (3) The Ethics of Emergencies (4) The "Conflicts" of Men's Interests (5) Isn't Everyone Selfish? (6) The Psychology of Pleasure (7) Doesn't Life Require Compromise (8) How Does One Lead a Rational Life in an Irrational Society (9) The Cult of Moral Grayness (10) Collectivized Ethics (11) The Monument Builders (1
  16. These are questions I had after reading the essay in 'Virtue of Selfishness' entitled 'The Objectivist Ethics.' Does the word 'code' imply a systematic relationship between the values? As opposed to saying something like 'Morality or ethics determine the values that guide man's actions'? An organism's life would include things that provide it physical pleasure even if they do not necessarily enhance biological life from a lifespan perspective, right? for example, surfing, skydiving or sex. These are exercise in some form, but my point is they're not necessarily being
  17. Hi, I'm joining because I'm started to read through lots of Ayn Rand's works. My interest is primarily in the use of philosophy for self-improvement, i.e., reducing mental conflicts, reducing inefficient thinking, increasing intellect, ability to formulate plans and principles for good decision making at work, relationships and in life. I'm starting to see that if I'm competent philosophically, i.e., have abstract frames for viewing life and the things that happen to me day-to-day, I'm more in control of who I become rather than being a product of my environment. I am starting to see phil
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