Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


About miseleigh

  • Birthday 03/29/1985

Contact Methods

  • AIM
  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Interests
    Things I like: reading, writing, music, programming, beading (making jewelry), movies, drawing, philosophy, DDR, ultimate frisbee, ballroom dancing, apple (the company), photoshop, biking, this forum, google<br /><br /><br />Since it's somewhat cryptic, and because I've been asked, but mostly just because I want to, I'm going to explain my username.<br />Pronounciation: miss*ee*lee<br />Origin: I never had a nickname, while most of my friends did. One friend suggested creating one for myself. He also suggested trying to give it a hip-hop sound, since it was one of my favorite genres of music at the time. From that I got Missy Leigh (Leigh is my middle name) which I then contracted, and now use everywhere as my online name (except on deviantArt).

Previous Fields

  • Country
    United States
  • State (US/Canadian)
  • Real Name
    Megan Reichlen
  • Copyright

Recent Profile Visitors

2693 profile views

miseleigh's Achievements


Member (4/7)



  1. Greebo and Leonid, while my employer is required by law to provide some maternity leave, they voluntarily provide more than what is required by law. Thus, if I decide to return, I would have no qualms about accepting paid leave. They have many employee benefits above and beyond what is required, and I assume that these benefits are offered for the same reasons they pay a salary. Many women would not want to work for a company that had no provisions for maternity leave. (I do not think the gov't should force an employer to provide it, however. I'm not new here, although I haven't posted in a very long time ) SoftwareNerd and Khaight, thank you. Although simply letting my boss know that I am undecided wouldn't resolve the issue for me (since he can't legally fire me, even if he thinks that's best), perhaps I have more options than simply returning to my job vs. quitting entirely. Part of why I might be struggling with this is I had been thinking about maternity leave as something that my employer offers as a method of employee retention after the fact, but it's also something they offer as an attraction. Part of the reason I took this job was knowing that, when the time came, I'd be able to spend more time with my baby than I would working for many other employers. It seems much less like being a moocher that way, even if I do quit after taking leave, since part of the reason they offered it to begin with was to make the job more attractive to begin with. Another part that makes it difficult though is that my department is already short-staffed. Should I eventually decide to quit, those two months could make a big difference for them in hiring a replacement and getting them trained. (This is a concern mostly because my husband works in the same department - his workload will increase as well.)
  2. Hi Ben. I just found this thread. I'm interested in hearing how you're doing now, especially since I've been dealing with something that sounds very similar to the depression cycles you've had. How's the job search going?
  3. Hermes, you're setting up a false dichotomy. I believe that Objectivists frequently do both.
  4. Well, the title pretty much says it all. I have been with my company for a year and a half, and in 2 months I will either take (paid) maternity leave upon the birth of my daughter, or I may quit entirely. Part of the difficulty in this decision is that my husband and I are not yet certain that we will be financially stable without me working (that is the goal - my children will be my career) and so I may need to continue working here for some time anyway. But if we determine that I do not need to continue working, is it ethical to quit after taking my maternity leave? Financially, it means two months of pay. However, I feel like it is a form of fraud to take so much paid leave from a job that I do not intend to resume, although it is something the company has agreed to provide. Maternity is fundamentally different from PTO in that PTO is something I earn along the way; maternity is something I am simply given, with no effort of my own, simply because I had a baby. Do the ethical considerations change if I am still undecided whether to quit or not when the time comes? I could use some help sorting this out.
  5. L-C, I'm pretty sure I was good starting material, despite the faith I had when younger. I'm sure I'm not the only one on this forum who was raised in a religious family. What do you think 'starting material' is? If they're already completely rational, then they're not starting down that road, are they? And if you won't argue with religious people about the existence of a god, then whom would you argue with?
  6. If all three of you consider this relationship a positive, I personally don't see anything wrong (self-destructive) with it. As for 'others' who disapprove, it might help if you, your wife, and your third keep in mind that others will be uncomfortable with the situation, and it is none of their business, so keeping it as quiet as possible may be of value; also, I recommend discussing those issues between the three of you as soon as they arise, rather than letting any negative comments fester. The negative opinions of others shouldn't (rationally) affect your relationship in any way. above all the three of you should remain united against others if you really are committed to making your relationship work. People who are friends of yours will probably need time to adjust, but once they get used to the idea they will probably be happy for the three of you. It may also help to keep in mind that others will view your situation as three separate relationships rather than one, and that too could cause misunderstanding. Other than that, communication and trust are key in any relationship, and I suspect that is doubly true in yours. Both of your partners should feel equally loved, unless there is some other arrangement that is understood by all involved; this goes for you, as well. One thing that may help with this is go out on dates as a threesome and also as pairs, so that the three of you have time together and also have time with each of the two people who are special to you. Alternatively, if you think jealousy amongst yourselves may become a problem, doing everything as a group would probably stem that. If the relationship becomes truly committed, one way to go about 'marrying' the three of you together could be a legal name change. While you and your wife would remain legally married, having the same last name among the three of you could solidify the relationship further, and be a symbolic commitment in the same way marriage is. It may also reduce the number of questions asked. Please note that I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, and have never been in a three-person relationship. All I know comes from my two-person analogue
  7. Actually I thought the movie did fairly well with the relationships. Ginny was portrayed as a much more efficacious person in the movie than in the book, I thought, since the book focused more on Harry's emotions, while the movie also showed some of the reasons for those emotions. I disagree that this relationship was silly; I also disagree that the relationship between Ron and Hermione was silly, as it showed the importance of introspection - recognizing you're in love with someone before learning it through pain, and doing something about that love once you do recognize it. I agree with the potions book discussion though - the sense of 'honor' portrayed would have been much better served through a short discussion about not trying spells on people when you don't know what they do, and it should have been fairly easy to add enough suspicion from Snape about Harry having the book to necessitate hiding it. I am so very glad they're making two movies out of Deathly Hallows. This one could have been two as well, but they did a pretty good job making one movie that kept the important elements.
  8. My sister has used a similar statement when arguing with socialists in the US: if you don't like it, go elsewhere. The main problem I see is the implications: it's not ok to do that here, but it's ok if you do it elsewhere. Any crime with jail time as a punishment (except the drug-related ones) is not ok elsewhere, either: so why hint that it is? It seems counter-productive. You may achieve the short-term goal of a society that respects the law, but you will not achieve one that respects individual rights, nor will you achieve a rights-respecting global society even if other countries participate.
  9. I wasn't trying to say there is a conflict between what is good and what is moral. All I'm saying is that you determine the morality of an action by determining whether it's good, not the other way around; yet you're asking us if we think it is moral for you to continue a relationship, rather than asking for help in determining whether it will be good for you in the long run. As for the advice you're looking for, all I can do is tell you what I would do, and why. I would continue the relationship, because I prefer to have someone I care about around and see him get hurt sometimes and hopefully help, rather than not have him around, know that he's still hurting himself sometimes, and be unable to do anything about it. I would rather spend my life with people I love, even when I see them hurting themselves, because the value they bring to my life is far greater than the pain. But like I said, that is me, personally; it sounds like you might be more sensitive to that kind of pain than I am. Why do you think your relationship with him would be a disvalue? I still don't understand that part. I recognize that he doesn't explicitly hold an objective philosophy, but it would be helpful if you could clarify why that bothers you. If he sometimes causes himself pain because of that, then those times are starting points to work towards a more clearly-held philosophy. As for the thing he is hiding from you - it is his choice if there are some secrets he prefers to keep to himself, but it may help to gently remind him that there is never a 'good' time to discuss painful subjects, and that choices he's made in the past are choices that can be different in the future. Also, you've mentioned several times that he's comfortable with reading some of Ayn Rand's work - what's been preventing this?
  10. Personally, I would never put philosophy as a thing in itself ahead of the life I'm trying to live. It sounds to me like you're living your life in order to be in line with Objectivism, rather than following Objectivism with the goal of making your life better. The question, in your relationship, should not be 'is he Objectivist?' but rather something closer to 'will he make my life better in the long term?' There are many things besides philosophy that affect the answer to that question, and personally, I consider a person's explicit philosophy (if they have one) to be pretty low priority on that list. It almost seems like you're putting the idea of morality ahead of it's purpose. Remember that the goal of your life is *not* to be moral - it's to live your life. Yes, morality is extremely important in achieving that goal, but don't let the question 'is it moral' become a substitute for 'is it in my best interest,' because it's the other way around. Nobody here knows enough about you, your partner, or your situation to tell you what decision is the 'correct' one. That has to be your decision, and you should make it by determining what course of action will make you happier. I'm wondering though, why can't you love someone unless they are explicitly Objectivist? Would you love this man if he was?
  11. Part of the point of having a relationship, rather than getting married right away and promising to spend your entire life with someone, is to learn more about that person. Some couples learn enough about each other to make that major commitment in only a few months, others take many years. One can remain in the learning stage while still maintaining a healthy relationship, and if you are honest with your partner I don't see any harm in that. (Although others may disagree with me here.) I have never been able to love someone without trying the 'friends' stage first, and then dating for a while. I have been in love with three people overall, and the first two relationships were broken off amicably and for good reasons. I was friends with my current boyfriend for several months before we dated, and we dated for several months before I realized I loved him. Besides that, one can never learn everything about one's partner; you will constantly learn more about him. Also, I'd like to echo JMeganSnow here: his implicitly-held philosophy matters far more than his explicitly-held one. He could, for example, read all the right books with you, agree with everything, and say he's Objectivist, but without holding that philosophy implicitly as well, it means nothing. You said he agrees with you on important issues, and that for two and a half years you apparently haven't found much disagreement between his implicitly held views and your own. Perhaps he already is an Objectivist without having read the literature. Take my fiance, for example: he doesn't like to read, and so I do not expect him to *ever* read Atlas, much less any of Ayn Rand's nonfiction. However, he is capitalist, intelligent (and rational!), hard working, ambitious, honest, and a myriad of other virtues I value. I don't need to make him read Atlas to know that I love him, and trying to push him to do so would probably drive him away, since by not respecting his personal choices I would show that I don't respect him. It's his choice to read it or not, and it's my choice to stay with him or not. We're both happy where we are now.
  12. miseleigh

    Unwanted gifts

    This is the way I would resolve the situation: take down the eBay page, and tell your ex-friend you've decided not to sell it. Create a new eBay account and sell it, put it on craigslist or amazon, or take out ads in the local paper, or post fliers. The item is yours, do what you like with it; dealing with harassment is not something you should put up with. Perhaps ask another friend to sell it for you if necessary to avoid harassment. It may help end the harassment if you say something like 'you're right, you gave me this item as a gift for me personally, and not for others to use/have/enjoy. I will respect that and treat it as such.' Most people will not recognize that selling it falls under that statement, and so your ex-friend should stop harassing you about it. If that's not enough, this is a situation where I think it's perfectly acceptable to lie to protect yourself from harassment and protect your property rights.
  13. I really liked 'the girl who owned a city' when I was younger. A virus runs through the population that kills everyone over 15(ish), and for a while the kids riot and form gangs until one girl finds a fortress-like city and recruits other good kids who can be productive. They even get the power running again. I don't remember much more than that, but as I recall it had some good messages regarding productivity, self-defense, and rationality, among others.
  14. I hope it's ok for me to use this forum subset for this. I am somewhat proud of how I have been affecting those around me, and would like to share that pride with people I respect. (that would be others on this forum ) While there are several people in this world I truly love, there are four in particular who are around often enough for me to affect them, and for them to affect me. My parents, my sister, and my boyfriend. I shall start by describing the effects I've had on my parents' ways of thinking, then my sister's, and then my boyfriend's, since that's the order in which they personally affect me, from least to most. My mother is usually fairly quiet when it comes to philosophical discussions, since it is my father who is the dominant personality in that relationship, and I rarely talk with one without the other present. However, I do know she is semi-religious, having been brought up in a Protestant family, and having been active in a church for most of her life. I strongly believe that my influence in her life has brought her closer to being agnostic than truly Christian. As a direct result of my influence, she is most of the way through Atlas, although she is reading it slowly. I have hopes for the future that she will drop her involvement with a church entirely, and perhaps decide children can be raised morally without a god, when I undertake that particular goal. Morality has, I think, been her sticking-point for believing in God. My father, raised Catholic, has directly admitted that he is, at most, agnostic, and is involved with church mostly for a sense of community at this point, and also because he likes being involved with the youth group there. (Where, by the way, he uses his influence to suggest that the entire Bible is supposed to be a moral guide, a fable, instead of God's word.) While I have failed in getting him to read Atlas (he's not much of a reader) I have brought him back to reality on multiple occasions where his envy of those richer than him directs his thinking. I have also helped him change his method of arguing, by pointing out that he intentionally hurts those he loves when he is upset, and that he takes out his anger at one person on others. He understands that these actions are detrimental to his life and now tries to avoid them, and sincerely apologizes when he does not. My greatest influence on him has been his focus. I have helped him realize that it is not only o.k. to be selfish, but that it is often a good thing. He still balks at calling selfishness 'moral', however, although I think he considers that true and simply has trouble admitting it to himself. My sister has been the hardest one of those close to me to affect in a positive way. While she and I differ vastly in philosophy, we align closely with the results, and as we live together and generally enjoy each others company I do what I can to help her find a more rational basis for her ideas, as this would make my own life a great deal more pleasant. Just recently she declared herself a subjectivist, claiming that since we cannot perceive the world as others do, we each live in a different version of reality and therefore cannot determine a true right or wrong. During the ensuing argument I discovered that she determines what she should do based on whether it is functional in her life or not; I also got her to admit that she does consider some things wrong, by using slavery as an example. Immediately after I brought up the slavery example, she said she thought it might be right for some people if the master treated his slaves well; when I responded that what I thought was wrong was the lack of choice on the slaves' part, she thought about it and agreed. I hope to use this example again as something that is true no matter what perception you are coming from, since there can be no case in which it is right for the slave to not have a choice. I have a long way to go to persuade her to even listen closely to what I have to say, but I have at least done something. My boyfriend has also been a challenge. I love him and intend to marry him, but although he is capitalist, individualist, and atheist, it is partially for pragmatic reasons. Recently, though, he has taken to arguing with a few avowed socialists online, and this has given me many opportunities to help him discover why the things he holds true are so. Arguing about the difference between a right and a privilege does wonders for discovering why one believes as one does, and for converting a mere belief into solid knowledge. He knows of my slow study of philosophy, and so he comes to me when his own arguments fail. I know that I will always be more passionate about protecting my freedom than he will be about protecting his, but I hope to help him understand that he ought to have the right to something even if he never intends to exercise it. I think, as a result of respecting me and what I say, he is now more principled in his defense of capitalism than he was before he and I began dating, as well as more sure of his position regarding religion. As for myself and my own sense of philosophy, I owe much to the people in this forum. Since I am more interested in reading fiction novels, I have not yet read Ayn Rand's nonfiction thoroughly, although I own many of the works; and much of what I understand of Objectivism has been a direct result of the forum topics here, and the responses to them. I first read Atlas Shrugged in early 2004, and it was two years after that before I read it again and truly understood the ideas in the novel. I have been shaping myself into a happier person over the past three years with the help of this forum and the willingness of those here to discuss the ideas and applications of Objectivism. Now that I am closer to the person I want (and ought) to be, I can help others find the same path, making my own life better as a result. I am proud of myself for the positive changes I have made in my life and in the lives of those close to me, and I thank everyone here for their role in my own growth. I would like to note that I do not preach (or at least I try not to, I'm sure I do sometimes) and that the influences I've described are from times when my opinions are asked for and expected. My family makes it known if they think I am pushing a viewpoint on them (one of many reasons why I respect them.) Instead I simply try to show why reality and human nature implies certain principles, and most of the time I get that right. I would enjoy hearing stories from others, about how you've affected those around you, or made your life better by finding like-minded people to surround yourselves with, or tips on being more effective in my discussions with family, or any other comments, if you care to post.
  15. One of the qualities I look for in my friends is the ability to have heated discussions over controversial topics, with neither person having to 'lose face'. One can only lose face in such a discussion if one's goal is something other than to learn the truth, and I have great difficulty retaining friendships with people if that isn't one of their goals. Partially because of this, I have few close friends. Not many people understand the difference between 'argue' and 'discuss' or 'debate'. One of my closest friends is an evangelical christian; when we argue, it is almost always a religious discussion, since that's the only area we disagree with each other. My goal in those discussions is to learn where my arguments fall apart, and his is similar, since by now we both realize neither of us has enough information to change the other's mind. Because of that arguments are not personal, and therefore cannot affect our friendship unless we make it personal. Arguing with my sister is quite different, but the key is the same: listen honestly to the other person's opinions, and give your own honestly when they ask for it. My sister recently declared herself a subjectivist (awful, I know, but I used to think she was a nihilist - this is better) and it took a good deal of honest curiosity on my part to get her to admit to herself that she does, in fact, think there is a right and wrong in some situations. The bigger problem there was that I could not hide my horror at her position and had trouble explaining my horror - and she was offended that I would morally judge her personal philosophy. As for online arguments, it is important to realize that you are not arguing in order to convince the other person, because that may well be impossible. If the argument holds no value for you, leave it; if you consider convincing those who read it a value, as I do, it's easiest to find where the essential difference lies in your position and your opponent's, and try to find the truth starting from there. It's key to thoroughly read and understand your opponent's position, use proper grammar and spelling whenever possible, and use research to back up your position. Also, be very careful about how you word things, so that you really do say exactly what you mean; and if you are ceding a point, make that clear: "Oh, I hadn't thought of that. That's a good point." That isn't losing face; that is recognizing that your opponent is a rational animal, thereby saving face. As JMeganSnow pointed out, the goal of an argument is not 'win'. For me, the goals are to: 1) deepen my understanding of my own position, 2) learn where my arguments fail to explain it properly, 3) help those I argue with and those on the outside to understand my position, 4) understand where my opponents fail in either their perception or interpretation of reality, and 5) help them recognize and perhaps correct that same failure. In that order. Which means, if I 'lose' the argument, it is because I held some flaw in my own understanding, and have achieved the first two goals, thereby also 'winning'. If we come to a friendly impasse, I have achieved the first three goals, perhaps four; and if I 'win', I have achieved all of them. In any case, I learn. However, it's an entirely different scenario when arguing with somebody you love about something you both consider important to your relationship and lives. I haven't yet figured out how to do that without hurting one or both of us.
  • Create New...