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Everything posted by backformystuff

  1. I agree with this statement and it is true...and this is the method of CBT. The problem is that it's easy to say "be rational", and a lot of people attempt to do it, but for various reasons-- the way we grew up, the way we were taught, etc., a lot of people have no idea where to begin. CBT fills this gap and teaches you to correct your thinking and gives you strategies on how to think rationally in a *consistent* manner.
  2. I bought this book upon the recommendation of my therapist (CBT) and it's really got a lot of good stuff in it. Really, this stuff should be taught in school. Don't be fooled by just the title; it also addresses self-esteem and its nexus with stress and anxiety: http://www.amazon.com/Relaxation-Reduction...7230&sr=8-1
  3. There are some good recommendations for this if you look into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). You don't need to get too deep into the weeds, but relaxation and stress reduction measures contribute greatly to overall satisfaction with yourself. CBT emphasizes changing your negative thinking using simple logic; it's kind of like hitting the "reset" button on how you process and perceive external and internal stressors.
  4. Thanks for sharing this link. On a related note, the sole reason why I purchased a Nintendo DS was to play the Brain Age game, which is great if you like this type of thing.
  5. So when I signed up a few years ago, I picked out a unique login name that did not include my real name (Peter). Somehow, either through fault of my own or something else, my alias was changed to "Peter". Is there a way to change this to my original log-in name? Thanks.
  6. It is worth it to ask myself whether I wish to engage in that type of discussion with someone to begin with. If I don't think the conversation is going to be productive, why waste the effort of explaining Objectivism and capitalism?
  7. When people ask me what my political beliefs are, I usually just reply with a simplistic "I'm a libertarian". Of course, as an Objectivist, there is much I disagree with the libertarian movement on, and, specifically, the Libertarian Party-- the least of which is the tolerance of so-called "anarcho-capitalists" and those who believe government is a "necessary evil" (if it's necessary, then it's not evil). Unlike other Objectivists, I do not have a problem with libertarianism as a *political* movement. I do, however, take issue with those more philosophical libertarians who put forth the proposition that the "non-aggression" principle is a self-evident axiom.
  8. Well, first of all, I have invited him to read any (and all) of my collection of Objectivist books. Secondly, he had seen Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life and enjoyed it. I doubt that he is interesting in pursuing the matter. But I wouldn't call it a "rejection" of Objectivism. Perhaps a lack of interest in it. Objectivism isn't for everyone, and as I said before, people don't have to be out and out O'ists to have an appreciation for aspects of it.
  9. Well, first of all, I don't like the "one size fits all" diagnosis you proffer with regards to dating. The mechanics of a relationship and personal judgment are so contextual, I doubt that anyone should be making blanket judgments regarding the success of such things. Second, I have no expectation that my significant other-- despite being rational-- will become an Objectivist. I think he has an appreciation for Rand, but no more so than Objectivists appreciate Thomas Aquinas. He's certainly not an enemy of Objectivism and I certainly would not entertain the idea of dating anyone who was.
  10. Being a gay Objectivist presents sort of a double-whammy: in addition to living in an irrational society, a gay person is usually subject to the irrationality of the gay sub-culture as well. Fortunately, I have found a rational, intelligent (although not Objectivist) guy, whom I've been dating for about 7 months now. I think if you find and admire genuine values in another person, they needn't be an Objectivist for you to have a romantic relationship with them.
  11. Midas Mulligan indeed owned the land, but even he didn't create it. He was, essentially, the government who collected the ground-rents from his tenants to provide for a common defense. To this extent, he was abiding by the Lockean principle (which was supported by many other Enlightenment thinkers) of private property. But who really can lay claim to land? It isn't *yours*, since didn't create it (as opposed to one of Roark's building designs or Galt's generator, which are very clearly theirs). Nor can the government lay a natural claim to the land, since the government is simply composed of the same people that occupy it. Now-- I should preface this next statement with saying that I am not an advocate of the tax I speak of. I'm merely exploring its philosophical implications-- thinking out-loud. But, since land itself is the product of no individual's labor and is a finite resource, who has the right to lay claim to it? Men. Which men? What if some mean cannot afford to acquire it or have no desire to? If you consider the possibility that land itself was nature's "gift" to the whole of mankind, and, is the physical entity upon which any exercise of liberty takes place (with liberty being the right of every man), then what we're talking about here really isn't a "tax" at all, but a rent due to the rightful owners-- mankind in general.
  12. You can, particularly if the land-owners perform their own valuations. Rand seemed to allude to this in her distinction of land from the other forms of capital. I'm talking about a tax on land as the fact it exists, regardless of the improvements made upon it. Then again, I suppose you would run into a metaphysical problem, in the sense of ascribing an intrinsic value to something, which of course Rand rejected. But also consider how the residents of Galt's Gulch financed their "government": essentially, through ground rents which were collected by Midas Mulligan. Hmmm....
  13. Well, notice I did not specify taxes on labor or profit. What about a tax on the one factor of production that is not the product of anyone's labor? Land. Ok, injunctions would seem plausible, but that still wouldn't address the potentially massive caseloads that would likely necessitate the creation of a new division of courts to deal solely with environmental litigation. And, without some objective standard (or court precedent), each plaintiff would have to (re) establish, in each case, the scientific, chemical or biological damage done to his property. Ah, thanks for that answer, and I concur. I was just looking for some clarification on that.
  14. (Re) reading through the Virtue Selfishness (Rand's essay on compromise), she clearly stated that "to accept just a 'few controls' is to surrender the principle of inalienable individual rights and to substitute for it the principle of the government's unlimited arbitrary power..." I'm curious as to other Objectivists' interpretation of this statement. Obviously, even in a capitalistic political system, some taxes (or tariffs, etc.) would be necessary to fund a constitutional government. What about on the local level? Take zoning, for instance. What if a slaughterhouse wanted to open up shop next to my house? Would not the noise, smell and activity be an infringement on my property rights and my right to pursue happiness? Or individuals and corporations that pollute the environment to the detriment of peoples' health. Would not some reasonable level of regulation be acceptable if it could be scientifically proven that x level of a chemical is damaging to a person's health, and thereby violating a person's individual rights? And I've heard the legal argument about taking polluters to court many times, but it doesn't make practical sense. If there were no regulations, think of the massive amount of litigation that would arise from multiple landowners suing other landowners, and appeal after appeal that would delay any kind of legal decision for potentially years, all whilst the polluter continued to pollute. Thoughts??
  15. After doing a little research, there apparently is not an active Objectivist society in the city of San Francisco that isn't geared toward students (SFSU...you guys have a great website, btw). So, if anyone is interested in helping me to get a general Objectivist club for the city going, please feel free to contact me.
  16. Howdy folks, I'm Peter Krembs, and although I've been an Objectivist for a number of years, I've recently been out of the loop philosophically since moving to the West Coast last year, and am now just starting in on my Objectivist readings again. I'm also looking to start or join an Objectivist club in the city of San Francisco (sort of working on that right now). Anyway, I'm happy to have found this place and look forward to some stimulating discussions! Cheers, Peter
  17. Raised in a liberal (but church-attending) household. Still hold respect for Catholicism as a philosophical institution.
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