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    DonAthos reacted to JASKN in Objectively at odds with myself.   
    (Disclaimer: I only know what I've read in your post, so maybe my conclusions aren't accurate in one way or another.)
    Sounds like you need a "market correction" of life. You've been over-spending (parents' money), under-doing (haven't gotten the degree/learned all that much in school), and have unrealistic expectations (a desired "lifestyle" with no plan to support it).

    You talk about a standard of living you want to maintain, but you don't want to attain it through traditional scholastic means, and you don't have many interests otherwise (such as entrepreneurial, or musician, or whatever). How, in real, planned-out terms, are you going to achieve that? Maybe Eiuol's suggestion is something you could do, computer work without schooling. But if the answer is, "I don't know," you at least have to allow that you won't have that standard of living while you figure it out; you can't expect your parents to keep paying for you to live up to their standards, which have been built over decades of work and savings. You also shouldn't expect yourself to be where your parents are at without putting in the decades of work yourself.

    Another unrealistic expectation is that your get-by job in the meantime is going to be 100% wonderful, up to all of your highest standard of hopes to get out of working in life. Fact is, you don't run the business, and businesses will have problems. Those two things mean you will likely be frustrated sometimes. The important thing is to do a good job by your own standard, try to please the employer, and make money so that you can keep working toward whatever new aspirations you develop.

    You've gotta reset your standards of what it means for you to live as a good person in your current life's reality. It seems like you're thinking ahead of your achievements. Try to re-evaluate your standards for yourself, and also everyone else and how they relate to you. It's a huge, horrible, monumental task, if indeed you've been judging everything in your life in unrealistic ways, but it has to be done to move forward on to actually achieving something. Your starting point has to be realistic for you to then build on that. "Focus on reality." You'll start feeling a little better about yourself and everything after doing this just one time. When it becomes a new habitual way of thinking and evaluating, and when you accomplish things that you think are good and realistic, you'll feel even better -- it will build on itself, and you'll no longer have that awful feeling of ennui. The hardest point is just starting out, as you feel worse now than any other time during the re-evaluating.
  2. Like
    DonAthos reacted to softwareNerd in Intellectual heir?   
    **MOD NOTE** To be clear, I did not start discussion on this inane "inside baseball" topic. it was split from this thread: http://forum.objecti...showtopic=22166 (-sN)

    An "intellectual heir" is not the same category as a "legal heir". A "legal heir" is a designation. A person can designate one or more other people as being their legal heirs. An "intellectual heir" is an evaluation. An intellectual can evaluate one or more people as being their legal heirs. By doing so, all they would be saying is that -- in their evaluation -- those people understand their ideas and use their ideas as a starting point in their own intellectual work.

    If Plato says "Aristotle is my intellectual heir", it is completely legitimate for someone else to question that evaluation. Plato knows his own philosophy, but may be misunderstanding Aristotle. Also, Aristotle may be Plato's intellectual heir at the point Plato made the evaluation, but he may later cease to be. (In fact, the term "intellectual heir" is so loose that one might say that Aristotle can reject some of Plato's ideas and still be Plato's intellectual heir if he builds on other ideas of Plato.) Centuries later, one might say St. Paul is Plato's intellectual heir, even though Plato never knew him, nor is there any chain of persons making such evaluations, from Plato down to St. Paul.

    The phrase "legal and intellectual heir" is a neat marketing line, because it reinforces the evaluation, giving it the connotation of a designation. Unfortunately, too many people seem to read too much into this. All said and done, calling someone the intellectual heir of another person is just an evaluation.
  3. Like
    DonAthos reacted to volco in More annoying questions   
    what is an objectivist state? a state staffed by students of objectivism or objectivists? should we call the canadian state a relativistic state and the saudi state a mystic one? well i guess, but my point is that objectivism is not a political movement, but a cultural one - the political ramifications of that are just as important in shaping how we live as other ramifications, like aesthetics, or more importantly metaphysics.

    ayn rand wrote extensive warnings about the ethics of emergencies not to be confused with the ethics or every day life, and you can search for that.
    as for regional disasters and how would be handled, she said that the government is there to provide security, I assume part of that security can be against the elements.

    humans are able to organize ourselves in many ways and different cultures deal with disasters different ways. You may remember haiti and its dependence on foreign aid and the local population making things worse. You may also remember Japan, more recently, and how criminal organizations openly, spontaneously, collaborated with other civilians and with government agencies to bring relief. as in a spontaneous unspoken agreement in which every party would be better off.

    In new orleans, city government prevented reconstruction because of too much french red tape, while there are cases of americans driving by the city and voluntarily helping locals rebuild without regulations or organization (there's a penn and teller episode showing jsut a case)

    in an objectivist culture, people would act according to individual, unforced, value judgments, I can assume that such a culture wouldn't allow much value to be lost.

    Objectivism doesn't strive for world dominance, it does for cultural change, at first within the United states and western culture (of course it's not exclusive, atlas shrugged has just been recently translated to mandarin). That said, you are pretty much correct in your assumption of an industrial, technological and cultural renaissance but terribly wrong about the "sudden" part.

    If you take a look back the last 500 years out of the last 5,000 years of human history you'll be able to see by yourself how drastic and utterly unexpected changes have been. no hunter gatherer expected or could conceive the agricultural revolution, and to this day there are semi/contacted tribes in the amazon, new guinea and most interestingly in the andaman islands, that reject it. Try and extrapolate that change of the way people live to a next stage.
    Unrestricted mutually beneficial individual achievement and heroism (for lack of a better antonym to fear and submission) for anyone who cares to is just as unthinkable for most of the world population as it was growing your own food instead of gathering it.

    Just see how long (and well) people live now, 50 years ago, 500 years ago and before the agricultural revolution.
  4. Like
    DonAthos reacted to Dante in Objectivism and homosexuality dont mix   
    The evidence on the subject available at the time was a bit lacking, certainly compared to what it is today. Today, we know that this claim is wrong. Google is a wonderful tool.

    Simply labeling disagreement with you 'the *insert unsavory word to Objectivists* approach' is not a valid argument or defense of your viewpoint, no matter how much you seem to enjoy doing it.
  5. Like
    DonAthos reacted to Dante in Objectivism and homosexuality dont mix   
    Except that each person's highest value is his or her own life. Attempting to claim that the highest value is some abstract "life" and therefore homosexuality, because it does not result in children, 'does not value life' is rationalistic, and a confusion of what is meant by valuing life for the Objectivist. Objectivism as an ethical code is always a guide for the individual valuer, who should always be focusing on his particular life. Valuing one's own life and therefore being true to oneself could certainly result for some people in a homosexual lifestyle, and everyone engaging in homosexuality for these reasons is operating on the premise of life: their own individual life, not some nebulous, abstract, 'furtherance of the species' conception of life, which by design refers to no life in particular.
  6. Like
    DonAthos reacted to 2046 in Why is force the negation of the mind?   
    Well you kind of have epistemology and ethics confused together.

    Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature and means of human knowledge, e.g. how do we acquire it, how do we perceive reality, how do we judge the truth or falsehood of conclusions, etc.

    You have recognized in the first sentence the metaphysical base of Rand's epistemology, that since reality exists independent of consciousness, existence sets the terms of cognition, and thus if we want to gain knowledge, we must adhere to the standards reality sets. Then, after we are done figuring out what those standards are, and fleshing out the details of the theory of knowledge, we move on to ethics. Ethics is where we run into the problem of an ultimate end, a final goal that acts as a criterion to judge all values. Rand attacks this problem by questioning the nature of values and why they arise in human existence in the first place, and thus discovers that there are inexorably linked to the phenomenon of life. So her ethics are biocentric, as the life of the organism must be its ultimate end. It is then that she examines the nature of man, that it is through the use of his reason that he survives and functions, and so forth. The issue of force only comes into the picture when we look at social ethics and politics as we think about what should be the principles of interpersonal relations.

    About the principle of the initiation of force as evil, it's very easy to understand. Think of it this way: you would have done something different if you were not forced. That's the whole point of forcing you to do something, i.e. to get you to do something that you wouldn't otherwise have done, or to get you not to do something that you would have done. In this way, force is aimed at the rational judgment of another person, to force them to act against their own mind. But as we have seen in the Objectivist ethics, we need the judgment of our reason to select the values we pursue. If force interrupts this, then it keeps us from acting according to our judgment, and thwarts our ability to achieve our values.

    Here are two good threads on force:
    Induction of "the initiation of force is evil"
    Reduction of "the initiation of force is evil"

    On the connection between egoism and self-interest, there's not like one case to be made for egoism then a separate case to be made for self-interest, to pursue your rational self-interest is what an egoist ethics mandates. Pursuit of your rational self-interest, pursuing what is beneficial for you, must be the egoist's "policy" so to speak (obviously, the opposite would be pursuing what is detrimental to you.) So, in this way, egoism is infused with the very nature of a rational morality, in the earlier concepts of life and values that Rand explored. We saw that, if a man wishes to live, his own life must be the ultimate end. The end tells you the standard by which you judge the various means. The standard tells you what "policy" you must take in regards to achieving the end. So if the end is my survival and well-being, then I should work to achieve my survival and well-being, and I should not sacrifice my survival or well-being to the demands of others.

    So holding a man's life as the standard of value necessarily means egoism, because who is the one doing the living in each case? Individual humans, right? In this way, self-interest follows directly from the ultimate end. We can see it makes sense that way, because the ultimate end gives us the standard of value (man's life qua man), but man's life qua man is an abstraction that applies to all men as the standard. But the purpose of acting according to that standard is each person's life, life being the attribute of individual acting men. Each individual's life is the basic unit of morality, each individual's life is what mandated the necessity of value achievement in the first place, thus requires a policy of rational selfishness.
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