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Everything posted by Brian

  1. Hello, I'm looking for a friend of mine who lives in Wakefield, MA. He is an Objectivist Philosophy Major at UMass Boston. His name is Alex and I do not know his last name. He is a friend of Andrew Bernstein and attends an Objectivist Club in his area, possibly at his college. Is anyone from the Boston area that would know this person? Or a local paper from that area? He has been an invaluable help to me, and I have not heard from him in the past 6 months. This is a shot in the dark. Thank you, Brian p.s., he is also known online as Galtruism
  2. If we were to be consistent, then we would invade each and every communist nation and 'free' the people who are there - there would be no middleground of political status. Are you sure that Cuba is the 'prison' that everyone makes it out to be? because most of the folks who live there support the regime, the same as in Iraq. If we are not going to invade Cuba and free the people, then we cannot pretend to be doing other things which would undermine their sovereignty. remember the Civil War? It wasn't enough to continue the abolition movement and the Underground Railroad and all that. Lincoln decided that if we were really going to free the Slaves, then we were going to force the South to respect the Emancipation Proclamation. Elian's father and Cuban family wanted him back. His mother was dead. And do we need to ignore what Castro would have done to Elian's family back in Cuba were he to stay here? If we're to really believe that Elian should be freed, then the only course of action, as I see it, is to invade Cuba and free him, not play games like using him as a symbol for Castro's oppression. I say send him back, or invade Cuba. Or at least do something so that the regime may crumble.
  3. What if you had a son under the age of 18, who escaped with your wife to a communist country (hypothetically), the wife died in the process (as Elian's mother did), and the communist country thus refused to send him back on the grounds that he'd be better off in their communist state rather than in the capitalist state? When you want him back you'll come to realize that no personal family values have any significance in this? What is the point in having custody over your child, then?
  4. You've chosen a very complex issue which is easy to argue a number of different approaches, but the strongest argument is: the personal values of the major players in that situation are all that count. We don't have a right to decide for others what their values are. Elian's father and family could face horrific consequences in Cuba had the US not complied with his request to send Elian back. I wanted to see the U.S. send him back - but this is my humble opinion and I can't say 'right' or 'wrong' because it is mostly an issue of the choices that the family wanted to make, not us on the outside. However, I'd rather see them both wanting freedom in America. Their choice, not mine. They'll live with the consequences as they so choose.
  5. "If he who 'lives by the sword dies by the sword' then Jesus came to his end properly, didn't he? After all, he was a carpenter and then nailed to a cross."
  6. Well, if you want to delve deeper into the issue, it could be done. I do not know what kind of person would start a chain letter....they're probably curious as to how far it will get. And everyone that receieves it is mainly driven by *fear* of the content of the post (meaning, they seriously think they will die if they don't send it), or they are sending it just to find some sense of humour, however disgusting. When I was little, 10 or so, I sent a couple online because it guaranteed happiness with a loved one. If I didn't send it, it said I would be unhappy in relationships for 15 years! very intriguinng for a youngster! At current time, I find them rather annoying.
  7. Ok, I understand what you mean. And I agree. I suppose I am too used to attacks on Ayn Rand and merely tend to ignore them. I'll open up various window browsers on this forum, and if it's appealing I read it, and if it's not, I exit out. I don't generally have the time and I find myself not knowledgeable to refute a lot of peoples' statements. And I'm sure you have more value in this forum than I do. I liked your argument. --Brian
  8. What'd be the benefit in having people on your ignore list? What if you are reading something, and all of a sudden you read someone's response to someone you ignored. You'll have no way of knowing what the 'ignored user' initially said.
  9. 1. Yes. Being new to Objectivism forbids me to say she is the greatest philosopher since Aristotle as of yet, but yes I do value her work and person. 2. Depends on how much I value the person making the statements. I do not bother myself with people that attack her on the internet, I simply do not care. Why bother refuting their statements? Why bother spending my precious time reading what they have to say? If they are my friend and are concerned, that is different. However, if they present at least a logical argument on a serious issue, I am not offended, I welcome their ideas. Why do you take it personal and bother yourself with them? --Brian
  10. Was this in the postal mail or e-mail? Either way I can't imagine it being a serious threat. Throw it out, delete it, and move on. Frankly, I think this topic itself is making a big deal out of nothing
  11. Looks like a lot of memebers will be banned. I am not personally offended when a person attacks Ayn Rand. I merely ignore the statement if I do not see a point in it. I can tolerate opposing views, so long as the person is not ridiculing and thus trying to bring me down. Let it be said that nothing bad comes out of a civil argument - you either correct yourself, or you strengthen your own belief. Listening to what other people have to say is a key element in understanding them. I find it foolish to ban a communist for simply being a communist. If someone says, "I am a communist" are you going to ban them? Is this considered promoting communism? What is considered as 'promoting'? Hereby disgusted, Brian
  12. To answer your question: they're very popular. Mainly among teenage internet users.
  13. Yes, that's pretty much what I'm saying.. However, I only do this in certain situations. For instance when I am jealous of a girl I have designs on that is talking to another guy, I try to stay confident and show it, and I don't let her know that I'm jealous. Everyime I have tried to express my concern on such issues it has ended in disaster and to no avail. However, I think a girl can sense this by my actions - even though I have a confident smile when I see her talking to other guys. She knows I'm jealous, but respects that I keep a confident smile on -rather than taking it personally. However, I am usually jealous only when I do not know the girl. (I don't get jealous over my good friends). I tend not to let people whom I am trying to develop a relationship with know my deep personal complex psychological issues. It is not like lying, per se, they just would not merely understand the conext, so therefore I cannot explain the full extent of it. I care about them. Besides, they'll get to know my psychological issues deeper if the relationship improves over the years. Is there something wrong with this? Edit: Note: I am sure as my confidence increases as I get older, that the feelings of jealousy will eventually disappear.
  14. I was only able to read one post on this topic, due to lack of time, so I am very very sorry if my reply seems out of place. Encountering feelings of jealousy has been very hard for me in the past. However, I have learned to develop confidence. I always give the girl I have designs on freedom in her choice of dating. I'm sure they respect that. And when her friends see that I'm confident and don't look down and that I don't get angry or pissed (which I am by the way), they will respect that. I think of Francisco d'Anconia in regards to this situation. An attractive, quiet, confident smile. There is nothing too deep or complex to understand. It's merely a matter of taking control of your own emotions. Your wife thinks other men as attractive...don't become upset over this fact, for you think other women are attractive as well, yes? I've always thought that if I expressed my jealousy over a girl's action that that would portray me as having a lack of selfconfidence. Lack of confidence in the situation, lack of confidence in being able to obtain the girl, etc. Stay confident. For me, getting upset over situations that have made me jealous has only led me to become depressed. Whenver I'm confident I always win. If not, I move on.
  15. Try 'Rush'. They dedicated their album 2112 to Ayn Rand... look for their older music. Their current music isn't that great, and they've probably drifted away from Rand now. But 2112, Hemispheres, and much of the older stuff is SUPERB.
  16. Right. That's why I've been fond of the educational system of the ancient greeks and romans...everything they learned was packaged in philosophy wrappers. Philosophy is always great of course. But is there a moral obligation to the study of Objectivism? Philosophy merely means 'love of knowledge.'
  17. Is one considered an 'ex-objectivist' if they merely do not want to study the philosophy any longer? I'm 16 and I've been studying Objectivism for the past 4 years. And I haven't had an interested in studying Objetivism for the past 5 months...as well as all philosophy in general. Now, I can't say this is necessarily wrong... I still live by the same principles, and I'm still a happy person. (In fact, I am more happy since I'm not as dogmatic as I used to be). What if someone has other things on their minds other than philosophy? I don't want to think that studying the philosophy indepth the rest of your life is the only way to live a happy moral life. Thoughts?
  18. I was reading some philosophy in German when I came across this: http://www.objektivismus.de/ This shows that Objectivism is at least gaining a foothold in Germany and among German speakers. Objektivismus....sounds much more cooler than Objectivism...doesn't it? :-D take care & best premises, Brian
  19. Besides, "In God We Trust" is very poetic if you think about it. Even if you do not believe in God.
  20. "...[H]e can no longer be hurt. The world has no painful surprise for him...Indifference and an infinite, calm contempt is all he feels for the world and for other men who are not like him...Being thoroughly a 'reason unto himself,' he does not long for other of his kind [!], for companionship and understanding." Tell me what is wrong with seeking out people that are like one’s self. I think to do so would not even contradict that one is one’s own purpose. It would only be wrong if you cause yourself serious problems along the way. To me it is a perfectly natural pursuit, as well as trying to reach out to others who are NOT like me. In fact, allow me to quote Ayn Rand from the Ayn Rand Lexicon: “The thinking child is not antisocial (he is, in fact, the only type of child fit for social relationships). When he develops his first values and conscious convictions, particularly as he approaches adolescence, he feels an intense desire to share them with a friend who would understand him; if frustrated, he feels an acute sense of loneliness. (Loneliness is specifically the experience of this type of child – or adult; it is the experience of those who have something to offer. The emotion that drives conformists to “belong,” is not loneliness, but fear – that fear of intellectual independence and responsibility. The thinking child seeks equals; the conformist seeks protectors.)” Here, one’s ‘purpose’ is to find people like one’s self. I believe Rand is right in the Lexicon, but I do not see how it psychologically possible for Roark not to long for others of his own kind, for companionship and understanding.
  21. Could you elaborate this and tell me everything that is implied, so that I will not be confused? And let me ask you a personal question: Do you long for others like yourself? For Objectivists, for that matter? Does ‘longing’ for them imply that that you are searching for them? --Let’s say you are in a completely controlled society where happiness is not possible, since there is no freedom. Wouldn’t you long for your values? Your happiness, freedom, and everything that is subsequent are of value. Is this situation completely different in regards to human interaction? I understand, and I agree. But my point is that I think a human being needs interaction...that one could not be happy being stranded on a desert island. Howard Roark couldn’t have had friends based on this quote: “"He is in conflict with the world in every possible way...And his chief difference from the rest of the world is that he was born without the ability to consider others. As a matter of form and necessity on the way, as one meets fellow travelers - yes. As a matter of basic, primary consideration - no." A friend is a matter of basic, primary consideration, as I see it. I hope that the “a matter of basic, primary consideration” part was meant to talk about the people that Roark was in conflict with; not the people that he was not in conflict with. If he doesn’t consider his friends, I would find that immoral. If he doesn’t consider his enemies that he is in conflict with, I would find that moral. But, if Rand were only referring to the enemies of Roark, why would she say that he was in conflict with the world in EVERY possible way? And that he was born without the ability to consider others? I don’t think that could refer to the people that he values. Is it possible that Roark could not care if Mike the Electrician were hit by a bus on his way out of the pub? Because we established that Roark was indifferent to pain, and that he does not have the ability to consider others. Remember: “"...[T]here is no danger of suffering. He does not suffer, because he does not believe in suffering. Defeat or disappointment are merely a part of the battle [!]. Nothing can really touch him. He is concerned only with what he does. Not how he feels...The world becomes merely a place to act in. But not to feel in." Mike’s death (or anyone else’s for that matter) would be a disappointment. It says that nothing could really touch him, as well. He is not concerned with how he feels, because he sees the world as a place not to feel in, only to act. But then again, Rand’s quotes would seem contradictory because Howard Roark said he would risk his life in order to save Gail Wynand because he values him. Am I missing something? Also, you said that Howard Roark was his own purpose. I can understand that he is not supposed to have any purposes for anyone else, be it God or some other human being. You said his purpose does not involve others in any way whatever. But what if he creates his own purpose to value other human beings like himself? Or, if something tragic were about to happen to someone he values, he could say, “At this moment I am making it my purpose to try and save you.” This would involve others (By the way, during every second I write my posts I am scared to death that you or anyone else will think that I am trying to attack Rand or Objectivism – which I am not. I have merely noticed these things from Rand’s quotes and became confused, so I am hoping to get them clarified) "If he could not have her, it would not break him or affect him very deeply. He might suffer - in his own indifferent way[!]..." If Rand could not have her husband it would affect her very deeply – as you said, she said that she would commit suicide were her husband to die. But why is it that Roark could not be affected deeply if he could not have Dominique? If it is because of Dominique’s psychology and not necessarily what Roark would feel for any lover, then I don’t know how it can be seen as the ideal. You admitted that you did not know why Roark would feel this way, so I wonder if there’s anyone else out there that knows the answer to this? True. P.S. could any administrator or monitor delete the two posts before this one that discuss how to quote? They are compeltely unnecessary and inconvenient. One was made by myself, and the other by Bryan.
  22. I don't know how to make more than one quote. I can only make one at the top and write below it.
  23. Source said: “Happiness is all about excluding others from your work. Just switch them off and do what you do, the way you want to do it, not the way others would like it. Then your work becomes an expression of yourself, and an image of your soul. Have it any other way and the "you" becomes just a tiny voice in your mind screaming "I want out! I want to be noticed!" And what "I" it speaks of is not known." That is true. I do accomplish the things that I want to accomplish, and I specifically noted that I would have it no other way. I only switch off the people that do not deserve to be recognized. And they have no influence on me. Let me make it clear that no one has any influence on my actions, that I can decide things for myself. But, with this given, I still expect attention from those that understand me. Didn’t Dagny Taggart long for someone that was holding the two rails at the end of the horizon? Didn’t she WANT to find Galt, when she did not know who he was, because he was the genius that created the motor? Didn’t she want someone that understands her to lean against? I say it is moral to want these things, and that they don’t contradict individualism. I’m sure you agree, but I am merely making clear what I think. Evangelical Capitalist said: “The best way I can think of to put this, and it applies to your other questions as well, is that Roark's values are self-contained. Note that he does not eschew friendships altogether. In fact he carries on several friendships: with Austen Heller, Mike the Electrician, Steven Mallory and Gail Wynand. He enjoys these kind of friendships because they are like himself (possessed of a "self-sufficient ego" in Roark's words,) but he doesn't seek out people like himself; he doesn't make finding them his purpose. He is his own purpose. Such a purpose doesn't involve others in any way whatever.” If Roark did not long for others of his kind he would not be a friend with those people. It is true that he did not seek out these people. If he wanted to seek out people, it would show a lack of self-confidence. But, however, Rand said that he does not long for others of his kind, for companionship, or understanding. The fact that he is his own purpose is why he can develop friendships with those that feel the same way. If it is immoral to long for others of our kind, then what are we all doing here on this forum? If we’re not supposed to long for others, why do any of us have any relationships? These relationships exist only because we make it clear that we are our own purpose, that are values are self-contained. Let me tell you this: That I want to develop friendships with Objectivists here on this forum, or anyone that is like-minded to myself. But that does not mean that I could not carry on without them -- and I think that was what Rand was trying to say; that we do not need others in this regard. But, then again, I am not familiar with the subject of psychology. I do not know how I would feel without all the relationships that I currently have; wouldn’t I be pretty lonely if I was stranded on a desert island? Evangelical Capitalist said: “Pain is a reality. Rand never denies that. But for Roark, all pain is merely superficial. It was "suffering that went down only to a certain point." The reason for this is how Roark regards pain vs. pleasure. Both are real, but only pleasure has significance in itself. Pain, as you point out, is a means to an end, not an end in itself. If one regards pain as significant in itself, then there's no limit to the depth of suffering one may feel. But if the pain is merely part of the battle to achieve one's values, then it becomes a superficial obstacle to conquered, part of the price of achievement.” True. I believe it is true that one should not have to bear more pain than they are supposed to – that one is not supposed to dwell in sorrow. But then why did Rand explicitly say that Roark does not suffer whatsoever because he does not believe in suffering? I would imagine she meant that Roark does not believe suffering to be of any value…that it is not a virtue of some sorts (I hope I am saying this right.) But if Roark did make mistakes and didn’t learn from them, if he was immoral, (and this applies to every person), then that person is expected to suffer. You can’t disregard the suffering in this context. Evangelical Capitalist said: “Again, this is a question of what is primary. The benefit of others, even of his friends, is not of primary value to Roark. His primary value is his own life, and it is to that end that his productive effort is focused. The benefit of others, whether of clients or of friends, is incidental, merely a means to an end. Yes, you're correct: it's a trade. But the trade is not the end, it's the means.” Since Roark represented what Rand thought of as ideal, and so did John Galt, then let me talk about Galt for a moment. Do you remember the part in A.S. where John Galt said he would end his life if the looters used him in order to reach Dagny? What is primary to Galt here: the life of himself, or the well being of Dagny Taggart? Evangelical Capitalist said: “This reinforces what I've been saying above. It's not a question of not considering others. It's not considering others as primary. That they or their values are not, in themselves, apart from one's own values, the goal of one's actions.” Look to what I said above. Isn’t Galt considering Dagny as primary? Isn’t it true that if Galt ended his life he would not have any more goals? (I know that we were talking about Roark, but I am more interested in what is morally correct; not discussing the exact way Roark acted. I don’t want to discuss people’s characters; I want to discuss what is right.) Of course Dagny is not a value apart from Galt’s own values, because he values her, but it is a question of what is primary. -Okay, I understand what is meant by Dominique’s psychology when Roark raped her. But to digress, I did have a quote above that said: “"If he could not have her, it would not break him or affect him very deeply. He might suffer - in his own indifferent way[!]..."” (If he couldn't be affected deeply because he couldn't not have her, then why would he resort to the rape of her?) How many people here would feel deeply if one of your loved ones were to die? Now, don’t get me wrong, but I am not really interested in showing people here that they would be affected very deeply if someone close to them has died, or has suffered from a traumatic experience. I am interested in finding out if it is okay to be affected deeply if one could not have another – in any sense. Yet, Rand said that Roark would not be affected much were he to lose Dominique. Or is this just irrelevant because that is a situation in a certain context? If it were, then it would not be ideal. DPW said: “You have to distinguish between Rand's notes on characterization, and her philosophical statements. Furthermore, you have to keep in mind the theme of The Fountainhead: independence. Because Rand was stressing Roark's independence, she could not give him traits that in other men would be perfectly okay, such as an interest in how his friends thought of him.” Since Rand presented her moral characters as the ideal, I would imagine them to embody what she held philosophically. I understand that Rand was stressing his independence, but I do not believe that a truly independent person would be able to live without others, at least not happily. If one were able to live without others, then one would be perfectly fine on a desert island. Actually, they would be better off, since every immoral person on earth would be an inconvenience. On a different note (not necessarily addressed to DPW): is it wrong to have an interest in what your friends think of you? If a conflict were to arise between someone I value and myself I would want it figured out and settled. One must understand that there is a COMPLETE difference in seeking attention from friends, lovers, etc., because of a lack of self-esteem versus having relationships with those that embody what one holds philosophically. Or versus, to be more exact, a relationship between two confident, independent, and moral people. One is ideal and the other isn’t: but they both care what their friends think of him, right? Now, if a friend of mine did think of me as evil and gave preposterous reasons, then I probably would not be a friend with that person anymore. But for my friends that I value, I care what they think of me…because I want to improve. And I would accept constructive criticism from them. If someone I valued expressed great concern for my actions and didn’t think my actions wise I would not say, “Screw you, I am independent.” --Brian
  24. [Mod's note: Merged with an earlier thread. sN] Before I ask questions, let me quote what Rand wrote in her journals about Howard Roark from the book The Fountainhead: "...[H]e can no longer be hurt. The world has no painful surprise for him...Indifference and an infinite, calm contempt is all he feels for the world and for other men who are not like him...Being thoroughly a 'reason unto himself,' he does not long for other of his kind [!], for companionship and understanding." Howard Roark does not long for others of his kind? I do. I admire people and I want to be admired - it is my version of a trade. But, however, I will not achieve what others view as greatness in order to be admired. Another quote (of howard roark): "...[T]here is no danger of suffering. He does not suffer, because he does not believe in suffering. Defeat or disappointment are merely a part of the battle [!]. Nothing can really touch him. He is concerned only with what he does. Not how he feels...The world becomes merely a place to act in. But not to feel in." When one is alive in this world, you must choose. If one makes a wrong choice, you suffer, or in other words, you live with the consequences, and thus, one prospers from one’s mistakes. If one did not suffer from mistakes, there would be no learning from anything. I think suffering is something very valuable to the survival and happiness of our species. You have to KNOW or FEEL your suffering from wrong decisions to know that they were indeed wrong. Another quote (of Howard Roark): "...He does not consider his work as concerned with the benefit and convenience of others. They are merely a convenience for his work. He does not build for people; people live in his buildings. He does not expect or wish admiration: he merely expects a humble bow to his superior spirit[!] and its creation..." If I were at the age of being able to get a job, I would have to be concerned with the benefit and convenience of others. First of all, I want to see humanity prosper, I want to see my friends prosper, and I want to be able to prosper from their achievements as well as my own….I can’t build a space station in order to merely express my genius and creation…the thing that defines one’s work, I think, is of what value it has. A space station would help others solve other mysteries of planets, the universe, and whatever else I cannot think of…but I would want the knowledge of their discoveries as well. I do not view it as altruism; I view it as a trade. For it to be altruism, I would have to want to build this space station for others with no benefit for myself. In this case, I would have all the benefit...and part of my benefit is seeing the people I value benefit. Another quote: "He is in conflict with the world in every possible way...And his chief difference from the rest of the world is that he was born without the ability to consider others. As a matter of form and necessity on the way, as one meets fellow travelers - yes. As a matter of basic, primary consideration - no." I consider the ‘others’ of whom I value. Another: "...[N]ot greatly interested in the subject [sex]. Can never lose himself in love. Even his great and only love - Dominique Wynand - is not an all-absorbing, selfless passion. It is merely the pride of a possessor." "If he could not have her, it would not break him or affect him very deeply. He might suffer - in his own indifferent way[!]..." "Were it necessary, he [Roark] could rape her [Dominique] and feel perfectly justified." Roark isn’t greatly interested in the subject of sex? Personally, I am greatly interested. It is something beautiful that expresses the love of another human being…if I could not have it, it would affect me very deeply. I would not be indifferent. I just want it the right way, not meaningless. Now I want to ask those of you who are knowledgeable on Objectivism to tell me if this is what the views of Objectivism are. If it is, I don’t know if I can be a part of this aspect of it…I was very surprised to even find these quotes. I truly hope they are out of context, false, or that I am at least wrong in this regard!…because Roark was a character that I admired, and based on these quotes, I can’t admire him anymore. Sorry if I’m letting any Objectivists down, but I still believe in the rest of the philosophy, from what I know of it. Counting on everyone's intellectual honesty, Brian
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