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About AwakeAndFree

  • Birthday 04/06/1980

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    Fiction Writing<br />The Arts<br />History<br />Objectivism<br />Philosophy<br />Information Technology<br />Physics

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  1. Welcome, Sev. Your name is oddly familiar. :-P
  2. Well yes, "real politeness" as opposed to dogmatic etiquette upheld for its own sake. By saying "Impersonal relations" I meant to stress that politeness should not apply in close relationships - not with lovers, friends, or even close family members. The reason is that once in those relationships, a person has a specific understanding of the person he's dealing with, and can taylor his behavior rather than stick to general guidelines. As to applying justice to new relationships - this is exactly what politeness is: You don't know the person very well yet, so you treat him with a certain amount of respect; saying in effect: I will hold you worthy of respect until proven otherwise. This is different from "having good manners" which does not entail respect at all. Francisco D'Anconia and Rhett Butler are two very good example of this kind of well bred insolence. When the situation called for it, they were often good mannered, without being polite.
  3. I see real politeness as the application of justice to the realm of impersonal relations. It consists of respecting a fellow human being's independence (in both action and thought) and rights. Some people make the mistake of confusing respect for a person's intellectual independence with not judging - but of course those are completely different in nature.
  4. If you want to see a truly amazing keyboard, check this out - www.datahand.com
  5. I already posted this somewhere else, but here I go again: What current hit TV drama features a genius hero that follows his own judgment even in cases where his career, romantic love, and very life are at stake? On what show's recent episode did that same hero speak the sentence: "It's dangerous to ever assume that my actions are not rationally based"? What show stresses the importance of reason above all else, and of both the inductive and deductive methods' importance to human life? And what show dramatizes the fact that a man's single-minded dedication to his work is what makes him great? The show is House, and the entire first season will re-run every Tuesday, 9:00 PM Eastern, on Fox. Politically incorrect, rational, charming, and witty - Dr. Gregory House (played by the incredible Hugh Laurie) is a rare occurrence in television history. House's obsession with his job is not the result of altruism: he became a doctor for the enjoyment of solving medical puzzles. He often rejects severe cases that don't hold any interest for him, sending patients to lesser physicians. The show opens as Dr. House is hiring a new team of young experts for his department, and throughout the series his team is coming to admire him despite of his arrogant, bluntly individualistic behavior. The show is not perfect, but it comes closer than any TV drama I have ever seen. I'll give you just two House quotes that reveal the essence of his character (His quotes are a goldmine; fans of the show already collect these "Housisms"): "Like I always say, there's no 'I' in team. There’s a 'me,' though, if you jumble it up." And another: "Treating illness is why we became doctors. Treating patients is actually what makes most doctors miserable." To those of you who are Sherlock Holmes fans, I would add that Dr. Gregory House is most a modern adaptation of that immortal character, as acknowledged by the creator in interviews. I would love to hear more people's impressions of the show. From my understanding it was a great hit, and is therefore expected to continue with all new episodes in the fall.
  6. Not exactly. A lot of scientists believe that in order for a theory to be scientific, there has to be some kind of test that will determine whether it's true or false. In essence, they are trying to deny God and other arbitrary theories the claim of being "scientific". Unfortunately, this is a very primitive and inexact way of distinguishing science from non-science. It's a vague, failed attempt to identify the arbitrary as arbitrary. Ayn Rand, in my view, did a far better job in stating that anything that is unsupported AND unrefuted by our current state of knowledge, has nothing to do with our knowledge, and is therefore ARBITRARY. What Rei Chi calls "unfalsified", we would supposedly be calling arbitrary. And both of us, supposedly, are treating it the same way: by ignoring it.
  7. Tikkun Olam (world fixing) is a very religious term. It means your moral obligation to make the world a better place, to "fix" it. There is a relevant quote from one of the big Rabbis if I recall correctly, saying: "If you believe that you can break it, you must believe that you can fix it." It's a worldy and pro-free will view, on the one hand. On the other it does rely on God's will, and moral duty. And the things one is supposed to fix is probably human greed, poverty, stuff like that.
  8. Are you kidding? I used to have lapses of bitterness, cynicism, and frustration before I found Objectivism. Not to mention a desolate feeling of lonelyness whenever I was baffled at the irrationality of the world. I was resigned to serving as a slave of my country (through the Israeli draft), and was about to give up on my dream - which was fiction writing. Objectivism gave me the moral backbone to resist slavery, pursue my dreams, embrace my values and enjoy life to the fullest. Without Objectivism I would be a bitter computer engineer in Tel-Aviv, rather than an aspiring fiction writer in New York City. The difference between my life before and after Objectivism is like the difference between these two cities. Asking Nathaniel Branden if Objectivism makes people happy is kind of like asking Judas if Christianity made him happy. No wonder he was astonished. It couldn't make him happy since he came to reject it, and was rejected by it. Makes sense?
  9. Sure, he does create a value: the value of being safe from attack. He creates an environment where one is free to pursue his values. That's the whole purpose of government: to use force against the initiators of force in order to allow a free society to exist. Is there a greater value than being free from attacks against your life, property, and freedom? Yes, the mugger abdicates his rights the moment he tries to violate someone else's rights. In a lawful society - his rights are going to be stripped from him by the legal system (police, courts). In an unlawful society, he knows he might be dealt justice by a just outlaw, or as you call it a "warrior". The same moral principle applies to government justice and to "street" justice - in case there is no efficient government to protect rights.
  10. Welcome, Kat! Objectivism has nothing to do with the rationalist idiots you meet now and then who call themselves Objectivists. It has everything to do with the philosophy Ayn Rand herself created and presented in her novels and other writings. Yes, Ayn Rand made some very good points in Meta-ethics, and it is surprising to find out that almost nobody bothered to ask those crucial questions for thousands of years!
  11. This is the real problem, not the actual music. You are emotionally unbalanced and seem to use this music as a way to avoid dealing with it on the fundamental level. Would you still listen to this kind of music if you were a truly happy man, with no hidden anger or stress waiting to be unleashed?
  12. A dogmatic person can't be a real Objectivist, since Objectivism upholds individual thought and judgement above all. However, there are dogmatists (and other psychos) who borrow some of their dogmas from Objectivism, and even call themselves Objectivist. Also, there are a lot of Objectivists, especially young people new to Objectivism, who haven't fully grasped Objectivism and hold some sort of rationalistic super-structure instead of well defined principles. You can identify these people easily - when they start treating the silliest things as immoral (like altruistically-themed computer games, or writing Objectivism with a lowercase o).
  13. I'm not going to discuss this, except to say that with this kind of thinking you will never be rich.
  14. A society where government is not necessary, is a society where no violence exists. Given that man has free will and is free to choose to do evil by his very nature - violence would always exist, or at least always potentially threaten individual rights. So what's the point of having this sort of ideal? Free-will is such a basic truth that it is retained even in the most extraordinary fantasy tales. An ideal based on humans always choosing to do right is farther removed from reality than Tolkein's Middle Earth. Humans are not machines that can be programmed with the right morality and never sin again. Nor should they be.
  15. Anarcho-capitalists believe capitalism can exist in an anarchic system - where even governments, courts, and security forces "compete" in the free market. That's a ridiculous concept, as there is no objective law and the result will doubtless be gang warfare of the worst kind. The difference between anarcho-capitalism and laissez-faire capitalism is that the second supports a monopoly on the use of force, granted to one government per country, charged with protecting individual rights. In the first, every court and every government can have its own laws, and the individual decides which ones he wants to accept. Many people are attracted to this or that form of anarchism out of an unstated, groping attempt to defend individual rights. These people realize, at some point, that anarchism would not lead to individual rights, if ever practiced. I doubt that ann r kay is truly an anarcho-capitalist in the full meaning of the term.
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