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  1. I also nominate The Fountainhead. I have given away three copies of TF over the last year.
  2. B. Royce- I liked the poem you posted by Angela Morgan and googled for more of her work. I found a lot of it was very pleasing; if only she didn't attribute man's goodness to God every time she extolled it. Here's one of her's I liked; In Spite of War By Angela Morgan 1873-1957 In spite of war, in spite of death, In spite of all man's sufferings, Something within me laughs and sings And I must praise with all my breath. In spite of war, in spite of hate Lilacs are blooming at my gate, Tulips are tripping down the path In spite of war, in spite of wrath. "Courage!" the morning-glory saith; "Rejoice!" the daisy murmureth, And just to live is so divine When pansies lift their eyes to mine. The clouds are romping with the sea, And flashing waves call back to me That naught is real but what is fair, That everywhere and everywhere A glory liveth through despair. Though guns may roar and cannon boom, Roses are born and gardens bloom; My spirit still may light its flame At that same torch whence poppies came. Where morning's altar whitely burns Lilies may lift their silver urns In spite of war, in spite of shame. And in my ear a whispering breath, "Wake from the nightmare! Look and see That life is naught but ecstasy In spite of war, in spite of death!" This is a poem by Victor Hugo I read only recently (I have only started reading any Victor Hugo at all recently); GENIUS. Woe unto him! the child of this sad earth, Who, in a troubled world, unjust and blind, Bears Genius--treasure of celestial birth, Within his solitary soul enshrined. Woe unto him! for Envy's pangs impure, Like the undying vultures', will be driven Into his noble heart, that must endure Pangs for each triumph; and, still unforgiven, Suffer Prometheus' doom, who ravished fire from Heaven. Still though his destiny on earth may be Grief and injustice; who would not endure With joyful calm, each proffered agony; Could he the prize of Genius thus ensure? What mortal feeling kindled in his soul That clear celestial flame, so pure and high, O'er which nor time nor death can have control, Would in inglorious pleasures basely fly From sufferings whose reward is Immortality? No! though the clamors of the envious crowd Pursue the son of Genius, he will rise From the dull clod, borne by an effort proud Beyond the reach of vulgar enmities. 'Tis thus the eagle, with his pinions spread, Reposing o'er the tempest, from that height Sees the clouds reel and roll above our head, While he, rejoicing in his tranquil flight, More upward soars sublime in heaven's eternal light. Now, perhaps someone here can help me- I'm looking for a poem for someone; I want something that describes a sort of Jane Austen type heroine with a fierce yet femenine witt and decided independance of character (sometimes to the point of stubborness). Does anyone know of a poem that would fit?
  3. You give me too little credit Cap'n Regex. I summized your hypothetical as "...what one person can do to convince another of his claim without providing any evidence." The claim you want to convince others of is that your conclusion follows your premises. However you have told me that these premises cannot be shared; "He observed the evidence for himself, but he does not have the ability to show that evidence to another." So you are asking what can you do to show that your acceptance of a conclusion is rational without being able to share the premises by which you reached the conclusion. The answer is still that you cannot do anything to prove to a rational person that your conclusion follows your premises if you do not share your premises. Your reluctance to show your hand indicates to me that you have been bluffing. What are the premises that lead you to conclude that God exists? Time to show your hand.
  4. I understand what the question is, and we need not even relate your hypothetical situation to God. You are asking me what one person can do to convince another of his claim without providing any evidence. Assuming the person to be convinced is a rational individual then your convincer will fail. But I don't see the point of this hypothetical, I asked you why it was that you believed in God. If you believe in God and your belief is rational then why not just tell us why rather than construct hypotheticals. If someone came to me not believing that I had hair on my head, nor that such a belief was rational I wouldn't bother giving them hypotheticals and trying to make the case for the rationality of believing that I had hair on my head, I'd just take off my hat. I have to wonder why, if you are so sure your belief is rational, you have not yet told us the details of your belief- surely when one has a case to make one simply makes it. So, why don't you tell us what it is that has you convinced?
  5. Well Cap'n Regex, hypothetically if you have a one on one with God and God presents suffiecient evidence to you that he is in fact God then all you would have to do to convince others is show them the evidence which was shown to you. However this is hypothetical, you personally believe in God and appear to be contending that this belief is rational. So, what is it that actually leads you to believe in God.
  6. Hi Cap'n Regex, I do not find your line of argument here to be wholly genuine. Those here who have argued against God belief because it requires faith are arguing against the acceptance of a conclusion without adequate premises to support it or in the face of premises which support an alternative conclusion. You have then responded by arguing that the definition of faith they have offered you is inadequate because it does not include an alternative definition for faith, that being the one for which the word can be used to describe confidence in one's own actions. or choices. But these are two separate definitions, they may be the same word but they are being used with two distinct meanings. Your tactic has been to shift between meanings; while your opponents argued against the defintion of faith you would use to describe belief in God, you have responded by trying to defend confidence in one's actions. This is known as equivocation. However no one I've seen respond to you has been fooled, it has quickly been pointed out that the definitions are different and yet your immediate response to such posts has been to evade the point raised against you. So, for the sake of not wasting your time further- No one here is arguing against having confidence in one's actions or choices. No one here is arguing against taking calculated risks such as you did when you drove your damaged vehicle home. So your defence of faith based on a definition that would cover confidence in one's actions or taking calculated risks is entirely moot. What is being argued by the objectivists here is that faith when used to describe the acceptance of a conclusion with inadequite premises to support it is the contradistinction to reason. Belief in God, belief that you can flab your arms and fly, belief that your first born son will be entirely made of gold are all examples of this kind of faith. Less extreame examples of this kind of faith would include believing you can get to work on time when you know it takes you half an hour to get there and you know you only have ten minutes, or belief that you can bench press a weight you know to be twice that of the maximum weight you could lift the week before. I think the debate here will proceed far more productively if you limit your defence of faith to that definition which applies to a belief in God such as that held by a Mormon rather than arguing against a straw man as you are by defending faith in your actions. I do not think they have been ignored, but it is typically safe to assume that the believer does not have rational belief, because I (and I think most here) have never encountered one who does. If you have evidence, then it's time for you to share it.
  7. Hi Free Capitalist, You explain above that you have read and studied Rand's writings, but do not consider yourself an expert (I wouldn't consider myself an expert either). So I'll assume from this that while you may not know the ins-and-outs of objectivism you are at least aware of the objectivist axioms and understand why we are justified in starting from these axioms. The topic of metaphysical primacy is in essence a look at the relationship between these axioms (a "chicken or the egg" type of problem). Objectivism accepts the primacy of existence as the correct relationship between the axioms. God belief, any God belief at all, accepts the primacy of conciousness. Anton thorn is an objectivist who has a website with multiple articles explaining this issue very specifically, you can read them here. This is why Ayn Rand was an atheist, and this is why objectivists disagree with you and your forum's take on objectivism. The Christian doctrines clash with objectivism in many other areas of philosophy, but the first and most fundamental clash occurs right from the offset- the moment we recognise the objectivist axioms we are forced to recognise the relationship between these axioms, and at that moment we find that Christianity (or any other theism) is not true.
  8. Thanks for the responses. A lot of your suggestions are things I have been trying to do or address in the letter already, so it's reassuring to know that some of you would take a similar approach. In the letter I have primarilly addressed my own feelings, motivations and values. As theJohnGaltLine suggested I have avoided attempting to encourage her to love me- if she loved me because I told her to it would hardly be worth while. I have described how I feel about myself, and why it is that I love her. I have explained why I value this relationship, and I know that many of the reasons I value it are the same as hers, so I hope this speaks loudly to her. I was flicking through The Virtue of Selfishness last night to help me find words that will boost her appreciation of herself. I gave her a copy of The Fountainhead a few weeks ago. She hasn't had much time to read, but has started. SoftwareNerd's suggestion of simply allowing thoughts to flow onto the page has certainly been helpful; now I just need to refine what I put down into a more logical and precise statement. The finished product should now read as a description of how I feel about myself and what my values are, followed by an explanation of why I love her (which doubles as a sort of creedo on why she should love hersef), then of what I value about the relationship between us. I finish with a short paragraph reflecting on a couple of our most romantic experiences together. It needs a lot of editing, but I think I have something which will in the end express what I desire to express to her fairly exactly. JMeganSnow: You have really hit the nail on the head, over the past few weeks her behavior has been very much in response to those around her, rather than in pursuit of her own values. I think the hiking trip is exactly what she needs though. Even if it doesn't solve the tendancy to allow others to influence her, it will provide her with some time away from destructive influences and much needed time for personal reflection. And the volume of exercise should help her as well.
  9. My girlfriend and I have had an extreamly messy relationship recently. We've both been hurt, and she has exhibited some very self-destructive behavior patterns. There are reasons for her behavior, and it is something I want to help her through. She is leaving in January for three weeks. I think we both need some time to gather our thoughts and I'm very glad to see her taking some time away from certain influences in her life, even though it means she will be away from me as well. She is going on a hiking trip and won't have a phone or access to one, and the trip organisers limit her to taking only one letter with her- the point of the enterprise is to get people away from their environment and back in touch with their own lives. I want to send her away with a letter to let her know how strongly I feel about each of us, and why I feel this way. As an objectivist it is important to me to show her that my love has reasons, and is not just some feeling beyond explanation- I'm finidng this difficult, when I put my reasons into words it makes my love sound trivial and this is obviously not what I want to express. I also want to be able to inspire her to greater self-confidence, I want her to believe that she deserves a good relationship and a loving boyfriend. Again this is something that I'm struggling to find adequite words for. I know it's difficult for those who do not know me, my girlfriend, or the details of our relationship to comment or help write this letter, but I'd appreciate comments none the less. There are some things that other objectivists will be able to describe even without knowing the situation, such as the nature of love and the objectivist ideal of self-reverence or pride. Thank you.
  10. Does anyone else find that a lot of old soviet monuments ironically remind them of capitalism? I guess a lot of them are in the romantic style, but have a look at these and tell me you don't think of capitalism, or at least objectivist aesthetic principles when you see them:
  11. I have only just started, but I am already thankful for having read The Fountainhead first. I will
  12. Hello objectivists. My name is Will, I'm 20, I live in Brisbane Australia. I've had a lot of trouble dealing with philosophy in my life. I've always needed a system of thought to fall back on but I could never find anything solid. Subjectivist and religious philosophies are so popular in the world that I only heard of Rand a few months ago. I actually came to learn about objectivism through my atheism. I have spent some time entertaining myself this year by debating with theists and this introduced me to logic and all the common kinds of atheistic and theistic arguments. I discovered that a lot of people who were writing some really compelling arguments for atheism were also something called "objectivists". I have read The Fountainhead and it liberated me. Most of my life I have felt a little meaningless because I wasn't doing enough for others, I wasn't working for the greater good etc. Now I know that I can live for my own sake and my life has completely changed direction. I have started (just) reading Atlas Shrugged. I don't know that I would call myself an objectivist yet, but so far it seems like the only really solid philosophy around. I look forward to participating in the community.
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