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  1. This topic may one day be the most important subject of debate in human society. What will Objectivism have to say about it? It seems wrong to conclude that because life is the standard of value, an indefinite lifespan is necessarily desirable. For all living organisms life is the standard of value. Humans are the one living organism that can reflect on this fact, and thus the one living organism that must be given a reason to live in order to want to continue to live. For us, that reason is the capacity for enjoyment. If enjoyment was not possible, I and I think most would choose to die. Therefore the argument for us as beings who can reflect on the quality of life is, would an indefinitely long life be a better life than what we have now? I think there are very strong arguments that it would not. I also think there are very strong arguments that the ever-increasing growth of technology does not inherently have a positive effect on the enjoyability of human life. This view seems cynical no doubt, and the knee-jerk reaction as Objectivists might be to reject it outright, citing a formula such as "life is the standard of value, technological advancement is good by that standard, therefore technological advancement is desirable." But what if, for example, somehow one day something was invented that facilitated the choice 'to think,' that made humans choose to think automatically? (This is totally hypothetical obviously, whether such an invention is possible or not I do not know). Such an invention would be good by the standard of life, but it would in my opinion remove all of the exciting, heroic elements from life, removing everything that we as Objectivists love and admire about human life. With respect to the current subject, knowing I have 600 years to live would certainly make each day much less exciting. In aggregate terms, it is hard to say which type of life would be more desirable. Absolutely everything would be revolutionized by such an invention (e.g., the structure of the family, of long-term romantic relationships--could you be with the same person for 200 years?--of schooling and careers and professional sports and politics and what planet people live on and population size and everything else). It is hard for us to even conceive of what it would mean psychologically to live in such a world. My concluding thoughts are these: (1) This subject requires much more thought than merely citing a principle of Objectivism that seems to apply and leaving it at that. (2) It is possible that although technological advancement by nature seems to be positive by the standard of life, it is not necessarily inherently positive with respect to the enjoyability of life (it is possible that the enjoyability of life could peak at a certain stage of technological advancement and then begin to decline with increasing advancement). (3) This subject makes it clear that such a drastic change in the structure of human society raises a whole slough of new issues for philosophy. I ask that you please think about this stuff before rejecting it all off hand, that's all.
  2. How about Friedrich or Immanuel? Just Joshin. Hey, how bout Josh?
  3. Ouch. Yeah, it's definitely hard to be as cool as Roark in real life.
  4. I don't really agree. I think they can relate to (or at least admire) Roark so much because he is the ideal man of The Fountainhead, and in that novel there's really only one. He is the first hero many Objectivists encounter in literature. Also, unlike the heroes in Atlas, we follow Roark through his entire journey to greatness, which is very inspiring. There are so many heroes in Atlas that none stand out quite the way Roark does.
  5. Yeah, but even addiction is overplayed. As human beings, we have the power of free will, and it is in our power to not buy or indulge in anything.
  6. I don't know, but that is absolutely amazing. How could these monks remain so calm and still while burning to death?
  7. I'm just interested to hear what your favorite novels not written by Ayn Rand are. Right now, mine is Catcher in the Rye. I think many Objectivists would be able to relate to it in some ways. If Dominique is Ayn Rand in a bad mood, Holden Caufield is Dominique in a bad mood.
  8. It will be interesting to see the results.
  9. I think the defense of benevolence is simple. You will create a better environment for yourself to live in. This does not mean go out of your way, or make any sacrifices. It simply means, when you do deal with people, it is wise to generally be kind, unless you make judgments on the person that tell you otherwise. If you don't believe this, give it a try. Be a dick and see how many oppurtunities open up for you, see how many valuable people you get to know, etc.
  10. I made no such reference, I merely referred to a claim of yours Not true. My eyes sense that something looks the way it does. Getting to know them does not change that, it merely changes my overall value of that person. What does a school teacher look like? I'm sorry I don't even understand your sarcasm or what you're trying to say here.
  11. I'm sure she emphasized it as much as she meant to, my stance is that that wasn't enough. Positive energy is just a phrase I used to describe the attitude of those around you if you act benevolently as opposed to how it will be if you act like a dick. I certaintly am not implying any type of mystical force or anything like that, lol. I agree. However, as long as this independent man lives in a society where there are other people, it is in his own self-interest to be in a positive atmosphere, and therefore he ought to be concerned with it. This does not mean that he should go against his judgment or interact with people whom he thinks are scum, but it means that it is rational for him to treat people in general well. He is not dependent on them for happiness, but they do exist and every is implies an ought. He ought to deal with the reality of people in the best way possible to achieve his own happiness. Hahaha. Good line bro.
  12. Tom Man, I really think you're misguided on this one. If beauty is merely a projection of practical value, then I would find a twenty dollar bill to be more beautiful than a sunset. Beauty in itself is a value. PHYSICAL beauty. Looking at something beautiful gives you pleasure. And it is ridiculous to pretend that the way someone looks is defined by their character. The way you look, other than things like weight, hairstyle and hygiene is as much beyond your control as your ethnicity is, and it is similar to racism to say that you can judge a person's character by merely looking at them. The fact is, if I did what you suggested and thought of all the character values that I seek in a woman and then pictured what she would look like, my estimate of her appearance is based on nothing more than arbitrary imaginations, and the real woman with that character that I seek could turn out to look any way.
  13. If something is harmful to your life, and you know it's harmful, yet you do it anyway, I don't see how this can be moral when your life is the standard of value. Here's what it appears was the case. Ayn Rand started smoking when she did not know it was harmful to her health. When she found out, she committed an immoral act by denying the facts, then later she finally corrected herself and stopped smoking. I think anyone who starts smoking in this day and age is an idiot who has little value for his or her life.
  14. That's not what this thread was about and that's not what you were saying initially. The thread is about "physical attraction", and you said earlier that you should never think someone looks beautiful without knowing their character traits. Now, in an attempt to save your argument which has holes that have been exposed, you are switching your stance to be something like "just because a person is physically attractive does not mean they have admirable character," which no one has asserted and no one here would argue is the case.
  15. I think Rand may have actually come up a little short in emphasizing the importance of general benevolence. If the purpose of your life is the achievement of happiness, generating positive energy with those around you should be a virtue. If you put out negativity, you will find that it comes back to you and is detrimental to a happy existence. I think Rand would agree; however I think she might underestimate the importance of this. Nau ashley, why do you find it necessary to put scare quotes around friends who are not Objectivists. My best friend is not intellectual at all--he's smart, but unfortunately is not particularly interested in ideas. However, I get plenty of value out of our friendship and think it would be flat out dirty to mock him by calling him a "friend."
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