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DonAthos

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DonAthos last won the day on January 28

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  1. Naturally it is the very thing that I say I don't want to develop into a major digression that you respond to, at length. All right, then. Objectivists are supposed to care about reality. We are also supposed to be pro-individual rights, which I take to be "anti-slavery." Slavery was a large-scale institution in the United States from before its inception until it was ended in a Civil War. This institution had deep and pervasive influence in many aspects of American life, particularly in the South, and after it ended that influence lingered, most visibly in ongoing efforts to maintain leg
  2. When I read oblique, obscured stuff like this, I always find myself wondering... By "imperfections," are you referring to... slavery? Or something else? It's a touch too far for this thread, even for me who has never seen a tangent he didn't like, a rabbit hole he didn't instantly plummet down, but an institution of enslaving human beings over hundreds of years (if that is, indeed, the hinted reference) is much more than an "imperfection." I don't agree with the response generally, let alone every specific, but that sort of thing does justify some kind of a moral reckoning. Right.
  3. I'm not certain what you're asking about collectivism being more or less dangerous/harmful than individualism. I don't see individualism as being dangerous or harmful at all. If it were a question about collectivism versus individualism, I can't imagine anyone here siding with collectivism. As to which ideology one should give one's moral support to? How is the answer not Objectivism? It sure as hell is not Christianity: Christianity does not deserve moral support, but condemnation. This is not to say that we must therefore condemn all Christians; there are plenty of great people in the w
  4. Is this the Objectivist version of "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" Look, we can say regarding breaches with reality that something more fundamental is "worse" in some sense than something less fundamental. An Objectivist who breaks with Rand on aesthetics is to be preferred over an altruist who yet accepts the existence of reality, who is to be preferred over a solipsist who denies that there is any such thing at all, all else being equal. Insofar as a collectivist diverges with respect to politics, and potentially (though not necessarily) an underlying ethics, it i
  5. There's a world between starting armed conflict and Trump's actual relationship with not only Kim Jong Un, but Modi, Erdogan, etc., etc. Trump had clear admiration for "strong men" and the liberation that tyranny affords a leader, and this had practical influence on his foreign agenda. But honestly, I wouldn't care so much about his relationship with North Korea if Trump were not so damaging to democracy in America.
  6. This is a disappointing and dispiriting response. I'd hoped you could be better. I think your expectations are unrealistic. Philosophy (that is, good philosophy) is neither simple nor easy, and application of the same can be supremely complex. Ayn Rand was an extraordinary genius, but the people who have followed in her wake are... not necessarily of the same caliber, and Objectivism specifically has not yet been fully "fleshed out." It makes sense that various people trying to apply her philosophy, mere years after her passing, or otherwise lead their best lives, struggle in applicati
  7. All right. I'm not Doug Morris. I well understand the difficulties in holding apart various lines of argument in forum conversations such as these, but I do want to stipulate that his arguments are not necessarily my own (nor do I mean here to disparage them; and in fact, I just now see where he has disavowed your paraphrase of his argument). Further, I don't tend to like to operate by "suggestion" and "implication": I much prefer to try to make arguments as clear and as explicit as I can, and deal with them directly. With all that said, I'm happy to reject the notion that fear is itself
  8. I agree that "fear is an emotional reaction." So what? If someone pulls a gun on another person, the person so assaulted must make a decision (with regards to self defense; a potentially life-or-death decision) in that context and no other. We can describe it, or "frame" it, as you suggest: that the person concludes "he intends to shoot me." But I don't think that does justice to the situation, to how human beings actually operate, in reality. You're pulling our conversation to the abstract; I'd rather make things more concrete. A man pulls out a gun and points it at a police officer. The
  9. You're aware that it's Toohey who says this, right? Not everything Rand wrote out of her characters' mouths, let alone her villains', is meant to be reflective of her own beliefs. In her non-fiction writings, after all, Rand spent a lot of time and ink questioning various follies. But even if Rand had said such a thing in a straightforward fashion somewhere, it would be a mistaken sentiment. Understanding generally, and the nature of the mistakes people sometimes make specifically, is a good thing. Sometimes through our greater understanding we even discover that what we had once considered a
  10. If it were reasonable to fear someone pulling out a weapon in the manner you suggest, such that a person might abandon his property in the name of self defense (or suffer some other, worse fate), then it would also be reasonable to "regulate" the pulling out of weapons in such manner -- by which I mean to regard it as the initiation of force. If I drive my car swerving down the road, and people leap out of the way or swerve their own cars to avoid collision, and injure themselves, I am responsible for their injuries. This is true even if I have no intent to harm them or even scare them (p
  11. If there were a more serious plague going around, and someone you didn't know approached you in a fashion that they could pass the plague on to you, if they were a carrier (let's say it's not obvious), I expect most here would recognize the justification for taking steps to defend yourself against the real possibility of harm their encroachment entails.
  12. It seems to me that this kind of thing gets said regularly around here without proper challenge. The idea of "left" versus "right" is mostly a fiction. It's not a distinction that has much real meaning. It's "traditionally right" (in America) to be hostile to certain social freedoms (e.g. abortion, sex, drugs) and "traditionally left" to be hostile to business freedoms, but what they both have in common is that they are both unprincipled and generally destructive to freedom. (I say "traditionally" because, being unprincipled, these things can quickly and easily flip from one side to the other,
  13. Truly, as soon as you say such things as "capable of shame," "remorse," "soul-searching," and so forth, my mind goes to Donald Trump and his sons, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Alex Jones, Ann Coulter, Rudy Giuliani, Bill O'Reilly, etc., etc. These are the folks who "go high." The deep introspectors. So you're lending support (however you want to cast that support) to an assault on the Capitol, against the results of a democratic election, by a frothing, conspiracy-fueled mob, because... you have concerns about mail-in ballots. There is no way for me to respond to that appropriatel
  14. If there's any one thing Rand would've supported, I'm sure it's mob violence in the name of lies at the behest of an authoritarian against democracy...
  15. Some congressmen (which is inclusive of senators: Congress is comprised of senators and representatives) continued down that path, despite the insurrectionists' egregious acts, others did not. The reason why many of them agreed to challenge the election originally is because they were under political pressure to do so, by Trump and his supporters. They are deeply concerned with their continued ability to fundraise and be elected to office, and sought to appease these radical elements. In this way, they were not "risking their future political careers" so much as doing what they thought best at
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