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Everything posted by IAmMetaphysical

  1. What you advocate, if applied consistently, would mean the abolition of all religions.
  2. If it were a sport the bull would win more often.
  3. How much does "psychological damage" depend on the person/psychology in question? What kind of standard could ever be used to determine if a thing is "psychologically damaging" if a big factor is the psychological context/health of the viewer.
  4. My defense of the value of physical attractiveness is not a defense IN OPPOSITION to spiritual values, but as their concrete symbols. It should not be assumed that since I place physical attractiveness high on my list of traits desired in a partner that that means that I do not put things like honesty, integrity, and pride up there as well. Its an unfortunate symptom of the world we live in that most people do not measure up well on either the spiritual realm or the physical, and tend to choose (if they do choose to develop themselves) only one or the other. So you end up with airheads and jocks on one side, and nerds and geeks on the other, i.e. rationalists and empiricists, mystics of spirit and muscle, advocates of the value of the mind as independent of the body and advocates for the reciprocal. Man does not live outside of a body. He is not a floating will that chooses virtue or vice, never having to relate his choices to material matters. Neither is he simply the material application of floating and disconnected virtues of health and hygiene. He is an integrated whole of matter and spirit where both realms are equally as important, and equally as meaningless without the other.
  5. The concept of good is ultimately a relational one, meaning that to say that something is good is to say that it is good FOR something, in order TO ACHIEVE something. The fundamental something to be achieved is life; it is the most basic alternative that exists. The ultimate good therefore is that which achieves life.
  6. Eiuol: I think physical attractiveness has a lot to do with a sense of proportion and integration, especially as it relates to symmetry and to physical features that show vitality and youth. I don't think a certain type of nose is "better" so to speak, but I do think what makes a face attractive is that the proportion among and the relationships between a person's nose, eyes, chin, and so forth can be "better" or worse. They can speak of a certain continuity or integration that is pleasing. Symmetry appears orderly, the ugly is chaotic, without a unifying theme. Things like weight and fat distribution, scars, pimples, bagginess, slackness of skin, dull complexion, etc are outward signs of disease and unhealthiness. Radiant and smooth skin, supple lips and hair are signs of health and flourishing. Toned muscles are a sign of strength and ability. Put simply: Beauty is a concrete expression of vitality, a representation of virtue, a symbol for all that is pro-man.
  7. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having high physical standards. The contemplation of physical beauty is an immense psychological value, and physical excellence, taken as a concrete symbol for human greatness is a goal every man and woman should strive for in their own lives. "Average," "Normal," and other such words are smokescreens for physical mediocrity, a way for people who discount the value of material brilliance to pretend that all that matters to a man's life is the spiritual, and that bodies are simply warehouses for the will, ultimately interchangeable little nothings. This couldn't be further from the truth. Man is a being of matter and spirit, of conceptual thinking and concrete experience. Man must think to live, but he must live in a material world, and he must be able to relate his most important concepts, his principles and widest abstractions, to the daily task of engaging with reality; and he engages with reality on the concrete level. This ability: relating his concepts to his percepts; relating his principles, his values, his entire conceptual hierarchy--to the occurrences of his every day life is an indispensable capacity, it is the capacity of concretization. In no other aspect of human life is concretization more vital and important than in romance. Romance is not a way of rewarding those that you deem to be moral. It is not a way to say "Hey, I think you live a good life therefore I will reward you with sex." Romance is profoundly self-centered. It is a reward for oneself, a way to gaze upon one's own personally important values exemplified and embodied in the actions, convictions, AND appearance of another person. The only thing more damagingly hypocritical than demanding an intensely attractive mate while not being intensely attractive oneself, is to be intensely attractive yet regard it is unimportant or valueless, to profess a love for human greatness yet snide at its physical manifestation, to profess to love the exceptional yet hold the "average" to be "normal." That is why "mere looks" are so important, because that's the whole point of the thing; you're romantic partner should be a concrete symbol for your own love for your own sense of life and of values. If they don't "look the part" they can hardly adequately serve that purpose, at least not consistently and without contradiction. Does that mean that only people who look like "Maxim" models are suitable romantic partners? Absolutely not, though they probably make the best candidates all other things being equal. Good romantic partners must fit within one's own hierarchy of values, and they must reflect as much of the top ones as possible. The more values they embody the better they are, but if they lack even just one of those that occupies the top few spots they fail at their purpose which is to concretize THE MOST IMPORTANT personal values. To get more to the topic at hand: Don't feel guilty for not being sexually attracted to someone you love, and love deeply. That is the difference between platonic and romantic love; its not a matter of degree, but of type. You can love your platonic friends immensely and that is such a valuable thing without the introduction of sex. Sex is not necessary in order to get the most value out of a particular relationship. The question then becomes: can this woman take any action to make herself a more fitting romantic partner for you? If she can and its a matter of her taking steps to show she values her body as much you do yours, then its up to you to try to convince her that her body is that valuable and that taking those steps would be an added value to her life. It wont work if she does it simply for you. If not, then you must face the inevitable and state clearly that a platonic relationship is all that you can have with this woman, hopefully that can still include the exchange of affections you enjoy to partake in, I suspect it wouldn't.
  8. Bluecherry, your posts and arguments are excellent, I appreciate your defense of a lifestyle that means a lot to me. Michael
  9. MKE, first of all I applaud you for bringing this up, it deserves attention. I am currently in an open relationship myself, and have been for the past five years. My GF and I have not had many other lovers in our lives because we haven't found many people who are good enough. There are many issues that arise out of a polyamorous relationship (just like a monogamous one) and the ways to combat those issues are the same as with any other realtionship. It seems like you already know the value of honesty and that is the biggest thing. If you have any more questions please send me a personal message as I am no longer participating on this forum, I only posted this to get your attention. If you do not have any questions then let me just say that I wish you the best in your quest for love and if this relationship fails it says nothing about polyamory as such, just as a monogamous relationship failing says nothing about monogamy. Michael EDIT: I would just like to add my disgust at the post by GRAMES who, when discovering someone else's trouble, laughed and ridiculed them. That is not productive at all, you should be ashamed of yourself.
  10. Ifat, I must say that your posts in this thread and in the other one regarding this issue have been superb, I just wanted to drop by and give you some praise for them, you have helped me understand the issue at the heart of a lot of these debates. Thank you. I value you. Michael
  11. Yep, 5 stars from me as well. You deserve it. Mainly because of your independent thinking and desire to integrate knowledge. Job well done.

  12. I haven't posted on this forum in a long time, but I couldn't let this go past without comment. This is a great analysis and wonderful identification. Great work! Michael
  13. Then Objectivism be damned, I will have no part in it.
  14. In regards to the "pearls before swine" thing I think that if one's purpose necessitates an audience then one should consider the audience, but if one's actions concern oneself, the audience doesn't matter, they change not the reality of your actions, their significance or their virtue. As an example: on the nude beach there were a number of people walking from the clothed area in full clothing and my gf heard one of them say "This nude beach sucks, its judt a bunch of weiners!" Obviously these people were there to gawk at naked chicks and perhaps attain some sort of sexual excitement or masturbatory fodder. Their subjective assessment of the situation did not turn the actual situation into a sexual one, nor did it make my gf's and my nudity any less of a value to us. We were enjoying the sun and the wind, not the assessments of others, so their assessments did not matter. In the same way, if you write a novel and someone assesses it incorrectly or negatively, that does not mean that one should not write books for the audience you do want(In response to your comments on porn actors.) Just because someone might get an irrational enjoyment out of a picture of your body, doesn't mean you should preclude yourself from making yourself available to an audience that would gain a rational enjoyment out of it. I think if you want to get into a discussion of the rationality of pornography we should create another thread.
  15. WOW! Inspector was that directed at me???? I would have never thought we would agree on something like this! Your contention though raises this issue: why are the eys of stanger one's main concern?
  16. This may be where some of the confusion lies. Being nude around others is not necessarily an instance of "showing" your genitals to others. Yes, your genitals are exposed and others have the opportunity to see them, but the concept of "show" implies that the person showing is doing so because their purpose is to be seen. This is a small point, but that is not always the case. When I walk down the street my purposes can be to get somewhere, e.g. the store, or to take a leisurely walk. Some people's purpose might be to be seen by others(if they are second-handed) but this is not the necessary (or rational) motivation for being nude "in public" (or in places where one may be seen by others.) Being nude is a great pleasure (when the weather permits and it wouldn't involve physical discomfort on the part of the nudist) because the body is a great pleasure, i.e. existing in a physical form is something to be exhalted. Our bodies are sensuous, which lies at the base of all of our experience, all of our knowledge, all of our values. "A mind without a body is a ghost," stresses the fact that our minds are disconnected from reality without our senses, "a body without a mind is a corpse," stresses the fact that our bodies are useless as anything other than a conduit for our experience. The key for both these statements is that one cannot sever the mind from the body, and the link between the two are the senses, it is our senses that allow us to apprehend the physical world, to apprehend existence. Our physical bodies, our physical life is the base of all the rest of our existence and as such should be valued as highly as anything else. What being nude means (especially outside) in light of this, is the value of experience, the value of the openess of one's largest sense organ to the environment without impediment. This of course is not a contextless value or pleasure. The pleasure involved in this experience is the pleasure of experience, it is a celebration of the body as such, at the fact of having a body and of having senses. Sensation as such is a value, but not all sensation is a value; pain for example is the sensation that one is experiencing a disvalue, it is a warning that one's body is in danger. The distinction here is that while it is a value to be able to sense danger and thus feel pain, the experience of pain is not a value, i.e. is not something that should be acted toward to gain or keep. In the same respect pleasure as such is a value, but it is not (always) a value. Pleasure is not contextless, the value of it depends on how it allows the organism involved to pursue its life. This is why hedonism and nudism are not one in the same, enjoying one's apparatus for pleasure and sense and enjoying pleasure and sense as an end in itself are two different things. Rational nudism is a celebration of life, not a celebration of sex or pleasure, but the celebration of existing in a physical body, which for man means: existing. (it is my contention that the enjoyment of sex should have this same attitude, and I do not think that enagaging in and seeking pleasure is necessarily a vice, my previous statments should not taken to mean that I think pleasure is a disvalue, i only wish to highlight the heiarchical nature of the value of pleasure and that it must be subserviant to an organism's life) In a big way, the enjoyment of being nude is an expression of the benevolent universe premise. When you open yourself up physically to the metaphysically given in this way you are expressing your confidence in the strength of your body, expressing in a positive light your attitude toward your body's relationship with the rest of existence. You are expressing your attitude about the metaphysically given and its congruence with the functions of your experience and life. Of course one's body and environment do come at odds with each other from time to time, and clothing and shelter is absolutley necessary, but to make clothing a mainstay of human existence is to say that man's existence (his body) and his environment are continually and necessarily at odds with each other(this is true for eskimos, so they get a pass). Man does survive by adapting his environment to himself, but this does not mean that it is always necessary(there are times when the metaphysically given does not represent a danger to man's life), nor that it is wrong to enjoy the times when such an adaptation is not necessary. Remeber though that one is not celebrating the un-necessity to create values when one is nude, one is celebrating a universe in which man is safe; safe to create the values he needs, safe to enjoy them, and safe from the probability that one's values and one's life are on the brink of destruction as a metaphysical fact.
  17. Thats a HUGE package deal. Kinda sounds a little bit like the social contract that one agrees to involving the right of a "commons" which the gov't has the right to control. Keep it up Mrock, I am behind you on this one! As you should already know anyway. Well, I went to the nude beach yesterday, so there goes your theory.
  18. I hope not, I'm going to the nude beach today, that would be totally inappropriate and embarrassing.
  19. One thing I got out of reading Tara Smith's book "Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics" is a small sentence that stuck with me regarding this issue, and it may sound like mere semantics but I think its illuminating. I am not going to go look for the sentence so I will summarize(with elaboration). Living, for any organism, means taking those actions conducive to its life, whether that means building a dam for a beaver, a nest for a bird, or a nuclear reactor for man. An organism furthers its life by taking life affirming actions, that is, taking those actions set down by its nature in order to sustain itself. For man, since his nature does not allow him to be a scavenger, the actions that further his life are those of using his mind to create the values needed to sustain his life. Now, a particular man CAN feed himself and sustain his life functions temporarily by stealing and leeching off the production of others, but in as much as he takes these actions--since these actions qua actions are not life sustaining actions, not even for himself as he is not using HIS mind to sustain himself, but the minds of others--he is in the process of dying, not of living, as those actions are life damaging actions. Just as a lion can sustain itself temporarily by eating carrion and not hunting for itself, it is not living, but slowly dying, as "dying" is not always instantaneous. The appropriate "oxymoron" is "living death." Note: the above was a lot of elaboration.
  20. The Gov't taxed it! Those bastards! Pmed you the real answer.
  21. Pretty cool idea, I look forward to more of them...
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