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  1. David's right. I believe Ayn Rand once spoke to this directly, saying something to the effect of "proponents of public schooling have no right to use it. Those who oppose it, have." The same applies to government grants, as well.
  2. Oh yes, if a person had done this in the actual world, he would have been its greatest genius ever, I'm sure. It took one of history's greatest thinkers (Newton) to discover differential equations as an adult. So with respect to the actual world, it's tough to say that anyone is Francisco's superior. The reasons that I regard Galt as superior are that Galt's invention of the engine was the greatest productive achievement in the book, and Galt was the first one to realize that they (the creators) were being choked out by the mindless mob, and, more importantly, how to win (strike)!
  3. I believe this point was addressed in Ayn Rand's Journals in the 'To Lorne Dieterling' notes section. She points out that John Galt, Francisco d'Anconia, Hank Rearden, and Howard Roark were all variants on an ideal man. Their differences were either things that they could not control (i.e. Galt was arguably the most intelligent of the four) or they were simply optional personality variations. However, when Dagny opts for Galt as opposed to Francisco or Rearden, this was because, while Jon Galt was morally identical to the other two, he was better in uncontrollable ways (his intelligence,
  4. No, I do not believe that I am mistaken. However, if I did make a mistake, I do not wish that to be a reflection of Ayn Rand, and I do not feel qualified to be her spokesperson . It wasn't intended to reflect insecurity, just my profound respect for her and her ideas. Thanks!
  5. I did not say that he did not have 'some control,' I said he did not 'ultimately'. You would be happy if you failed in your life's goal because you didn't get anything undeservedly? I would think that would be a very miserable outcome. Would you care to explain what you mean, because I'm not sure that you wrote what you meant.
  6. First of all, you necessarily desire to achieve a goal before you actually achieve it, or else you would not have taken the actions required to achieve that particular goal. Yes, you can desire specific things, but you must take them in context. In other words, you may like a Farrari, but you may not think that it is a greater value than $200,000. Therefore, you would not rationally desire it. That is to say, that when one has a desire, a practical, rational man finds out how he can acquire it. Desires are dependent on that which is required to fulfill them. When taken out of context,
  7. Firstly, I disagree that either man A or man B should properly desire to be 'the best man,' as they have ultimately, no control over this. A rational man places all of his desires in the context of reality, and his desires are things that he can attain through his own effort. That is, a man can only control how good he is at a certain task, but not how good the competing men are. To base one's desires on something that is relative is like basing one's desires on a coin flip (the person does not have ultimate control). Clearly, in the coin flip case, the man would be fraught with disappoint
  8. The center of this argument is the phrase 'interests'. Now, if someone were incompetent, or simply less competent, is it really in his (or anyone else's) best interests that he is chosen to do a job? And, if he is given a job over someone who is more competent, what has he really won? Two rational men have the same interests when entering applying for a job (or competing in any way): That the best man win. If he does not, then winning and losing no longer have meaning, and no one gains in the sense that no one can feel proud about their work or secure in their abilities. The wrongful los
  9. The values which Ayn Rand referred to were not fictional. Because Romeo and Juliet are fictional characters, does that imply that love is not 'observable in real life'? The reason that people respond so strongly to such characters is because those values are so evident in real life. Likewise, the reason that people respond so strongly to Rand's characters is because of those value's existence 'in reality'. No one has ever committed suicide to protect ones they love? There have been countless stories from the battlefield in which one person will dive on a grenade to save his pl
  10. This post seems to suggest that no one can morally use their own life (even if it ends in death) for the protection of one's own values. Objectivism uniquivocally disagrees with this premise, however. This suggests that one must maintain one's own life for some superficial reason ('God' is typically used here) even after it is no longer enjoyable to live. If living without rights (here, the right to one's own property) is not worth living (as in Soviet Russia, for instance), then one may morally spend one's life in defiance of this tyranny. The only difference is that in this case, there i
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