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About Tabitha

  • Birthday 12/31/1979

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  1. No. A person "shouldn't" have to do anything, just because they can. I "can" take up ceramics, afford to donate 20% of my income to a third world country, and adopt 4 more cats. But I don't want to do any of these things. Why should I if I don't want to? "Can" does not imply "should." I never understood this, either. Nor do I understand it when people say they want part of themselves to "live on." The harsh reality is that no one cares and life is going to go on without you once you're gone (as it should). Quick! Name all 8 of your great-grandparents. Most people can't even get that far down the ancestral line. Also, from an Objectivist POV, this mindset really doesn't make sense. We only have one life, and should be making the most of it. Having children can be rationally selfish and virtuous, insofar as doing so enhances your life.
  2. True, but one could just as well argue that spending time parenting is highly unproductive. Changing diapers, wasting hours in the car driving people to and fro, not to mention all the extra cleaning and laundry, don't exactly scream "productivity" to me. I'm not saying that parenting isn't a virtue. In fact, I think nurturing another life is a wonderful thing, and if more parents were Objectivists, we would all be better off. I just have a hard time seeing link between parenting and "productivity." Or, maybe I'm just operating on a different definition of productivity. Obviously people with Objectivists leanings tend to have kids for good reasons; unfortunately they are the minority of parents out there. I'm just looking around and seeing that 90% of people I come into contact seem to be having kids for the wrong reasons. Like they're doing it out of boredom, or because it's easier "start over" and focus on a new life than it is to further develop their own skills and lives.
  3. I am a licensed social worker. I came to Objectivism in my mid-20s, which was after I had already completed my degree and was working for some time. Had I been exposed to Objectivism at a younger age, I can't say I would have made the same decision. Up until recently, this contradiction I'm living with bothered me. How can someone as pro-capitalist as I am be in one of the most altruistic fields imaginable?! I have come to decide that what I do does not conflict with Objectivism in the slightest. I'm one the "direct service" end of social work, which means I provide straight counseling. (As opposed to advocating for "welfare rights" and the like.) I work with people to understand the link between thoughts and feelings; a lot of cognitive-behavioral stuff. I'm adding rationality to the world (at least I try to!), not fighthing against it. But most importantly, I do what I do because *I* like it, not because I'm "giving back to society," as most people assume. *I* enjoy what I do and find it a challenge. I don't belong to my professional organization (which seeks to expand government), nor do I give them any money. Yes, Objectivist social workers are rare... but possible. Don't lose hope just yet. Also, consider that in graduate school, she was likely spoonfed TONS of altruistic propoganda. For myself, it took a few years and a great amount of exposure to writers like Rand and Peikoff undo all this. ETA: It is true that Rand did not hold a high opinion of social workers. However, consider that in Rand's time, social work = government expansion. Today, the two are not necessarily related (as I just described).
  4. Tabitha


    Over the years I've become less and less hung up on who's an Objectivist and who isn't. My friendships for the most part are based on passion for life (I would say "sense of life, but I'm not sure it would be accurate to apply that term here). I have several friends who are as leftist as they come, but if they are out and doing things and living life to the fullest, that's enough for me. One friend in particular describes herself as a feminist and is philosophically different from me in other ways, but she's not sitting at home obsessing over these matters. She's excited to get up everyday, for her research, for her music, for her life. (This of course is barring activities that involve expanding the state or otherwise eroding the individual -- that I have a problem with.) On the flip side, I know some Objectivists who seem to live for little more than hanging out online and policing people in their personal lives. These people I could take or leave as potential friends. Mind you, these people I describe are not close friends. But they're friends, nonetheless. Sure, I would rather climb a mountain or pursue another stimulating activity with a fellow Objectivist (it would make for much deeper conversation, in my opinion) -- but there are so few of us out there. But, I would take a non-Objectivist with a good sense of humor and who's out there "doing stuff" over an anxious, less passionate Objectivist any day.
  5. My main gripe with feminism, aside from the collectivism which you pointed out, is that it dismisses the reality that women are agents who choose to act. Feminists gripe about women being treated as sex objects and not earning as much as men... yet, women are choosing to put themselves in positions to be viewed as sex objects. (Not all women all the time, obviously - I'm referring to strippers, women who dress and act in certain ways, etc.). Women who stay at home with their children are choosing to do so. Talking to some feminists, you'd think they believe that men plant some type of microchip into women's brains that makes us unable to think. As a woman myself, I can't think of anything more infantalizing than feminism. But, yes, I would have to say the collectivism aspect of it bothers me a great deal. I want nothing to do with many women (just as I want nothing to do with many men, or people who fit into other "groups), but feminism assumes I do, "just because."
  6. Thank you all so much for the suggestions! I will check each of these out. Regarding these two, do you know if/when they'll be available on itunes?
  7. I commute several hours a week to work and have recently taken up listening to podcasts to pass the time. There are two great ones out there - Peikoff's questions and answers and one called "Talk Objectivism" - but I'm looking for more. They don't have to be Objectivst per se, but recommendations having to do with philosophy / critical thinking would be greatly appreciated. What do you listen to?
  8. This was my status update yesterday: "No one should die because of zombies if they cannot afford a shotgun, or even just a machete, and no one should be turned into a vampire if they get bit by one--or a werewolf for that matter. If you agree, post this as your status for the rest of the day." I didn't make that up myself (I copied and reposted it from another friend). Not sure if I'd consider it the most Objectivist/philosophical response, but it's a response nonetheless....
  9. I LIVE in Taxachusetts, and I actually know people who went to his wake! One person said, "I waited in line for only 3 1/2 hours." All I could think of is, well, that's 3 1/2 hours of your life that you'll never get back.... I once saw a bumper sticker that said, "my gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car."
  10. Rand's characters can better be described as "asocial," not "anti-social." If you're anti-social, you've got some real problems, as being anti-social involves doing heinous things and feeling no remorse. Murderers are anti-social. Roark and other characters are asocial, or indifferent to others when it comes to "being social" for the sake of being social because it's the "nice thing to do." The two are totally different concepts. The first one is deplorable, the second is a value.
  11. Yeah... those are all good points. If their multiples "just happened," that's a different story. Though it is a shame many of them were born at low weights with poor vision, it's not the parents' fault; especially if aborting was not a safe medical option. It's just odd to me that this culture reveres multiple births the way it does (given the number of shows there are).
  12. But that's just it. Have you seen the show? Everyone is just so miserable. This isn't to say their physical needs aren't being met, but the more "tuplets" one has, the less likely everyone is getting what they need. Or if they are getting their physical needs met, there's no energy leftover for the emotional. Yes, each child gets a "special day" with the parents once every other month or whatever it is... but so what? Seven "turns" at this later, the kid is all but back to the drawing board with the parent. In the meantime he's living the horrors of forced sharing and other nightmares of collectivist child-rearing. It's not so much about "undivided attention" as it is having adequate physical and emotional reserve to get to know this new being you brought into the world... not to mention protecting him from a flood of constant irrationality. The problem with this family is that the 6 children are the same age. Children of toddler age need exposure to adults and older children to help guide them. Being surrounded by other screaming babies just as confused and developing as they are does nothing for their cognitive development. They might as well be living in a day care 24/7 with no escape. This sort of reminds me of "A Brave New World" in a creepy way. I dunno, maybe I'd think differently if the family (ie: the KIDS) wasn't so miserable the majority of the time. One starts screaming, they all start screaming... and the cycle continues. How is this healthy?
  13. I don't agree that the current children need to give consent, necessarily. If a set of parents wants a couple of children spaced by two years, a two year old cannot "consent" to his parents having more children. Nor should he be asked. It's up to the adults to have enough sense to not have and raise a bunch of children in a self-sacrificial heap, which you so aptly describe. I'm reminded of Montessori's description of the problem with modern education. But can you honestly argue that it isn't significantly more ideal to be a "set" of one or two? The pregnancy itself happened through in vitro, but they still chose to bring them into the world. At least these other large families have enough sense to space their children apart. Octomom didn't plan for 8 kids, either. (Or did she? My facts might be rusty on that one.) Regardless, the difference between Jon & Kate and Octomom is that the former got lucky and got a reality show. Without that, where would they be and how would they be living? I'm not saying they would most definitely end up on welfare, but those kids wouldn't be living without some strain, to say the least. Yes... stress she put on herself.
  14. I agree that the Duggars seem to be the most solid of the bunch. The kids come off as grounded / calm in a sense, and I'm a fan of home schooling. However, I chalk their relative centered-ness up to their lack of television and video games (which I think is great), as opposed to their 'moral' upbringing. My gripe with the Duggars in particular is that I have a huge problem with children being forced into caregiving roles that go beyond the occasional babysitting. My observation of the Duggars is that the older ones are expected to all but rear the younger ones. I mean, they didn't ask for that. Teenagers should be encouraged to develop themselves through productive work that benefits them... not spend much of their day "counting the troops" and preparing meals for legions. To me, this reaks of collectivism, and I don't think it's healthy for their developing psyches. It's one thing to expect children to clean up after themselves and pitch in with reasonable tasks, but there's a line between giving children simple, age-appropriate chores... and expecting children to bathe, feed, and clothe other children on a daily basis. YOU (parents) chose to bring all these kids into the world, YOU raise them yourselves. As for expecting others to pay, to my knowledge none of these families do. They get so much money through their TV show, which in the Duggars' case is hypocrasy because they're supposidely against capitalism / marketing / media.
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