RationalBiker got a reaction from Qqx Adrian in Is Objectivism too difficult to follow?
Yes, it can be, IF it doesn't conflict with your higher values. In my case, it is conflicting with a higher value, the desire to be lighter and healthier. Being lighter and healthier will afford me a better opportunity to enjoy other things I like more than eating (like motorcycle riding) for a longer period of time.
I dont' think that Objectivism ever tells you that can't so I'm not sure why you think this. All that Objectivism assumes is that your life is your highest value, and if you accept that, then there are facts of reality that dictate some other values which are necessary to allow you to live the flourishing life of a man (versus the mere physical existence of an animal). You can choose all the values you want, the question is, are they serving your highest value or are they destroying it.
The most common mistake I see with this statement is an equivocation of the word "subjective", or at least a variation in the way it is used by Objectivists. When an Objectivist uses the word "subjective", they typically mean "without reason, based on whim." The word subjective in your statement refers to its meaning "personal, or unique to an individual." There is no reason why personal values cannot be derived from objective facts contextual to each individual's life. I enjoy riding motorcycles for several valid reasons, but you may not. Because we all live lives in different situations and environments, there is no perfect one size fits all approach to life, but there are general principles that fit all, at least all who value their life as their highest value. Objectivism tells you what those principles are, and sometimes Ayn Rand breaks down into concretes the application of those principles with regards to particular subjects. Am I clear on how the word subjective is being used two different ways (which appears to create a conflict between terms that is not actually there)? One need not live the life of a robot to live a full, flourishing, individual life of a man.
The other concept you appear to have already gotten your head around is how Objectivists use the term "life". "Life" to an Objectivist does not simply refer to physical existence. The proper view of taking action to further your life does not consist of doing only those things necessary to "avoid the morgue". Rather, to a large degree what you also have to consider is what things make our lives worth living to begin with. The existence of a robot would be dull and unsatisfying though it may physically outlive us by say, a hundred years. Would you personally prefer a longer existence at the expense of actually enjoying your time here?
So doing things that give fulfillment to our lives (or pehaps add value to our lives) quite often means that sometimes we choose to do things which may shorten our physical life span to some degree (as well as having an impact on some or all of our other values), but they increase the quality of the time we have here. The difficulty occurs in deciding how much of the length of your life you wish to sacrifice for the other value you wish to pursue. For instance, is the relatively short term dangerous high of crack cocaine worth pursuing at the cost shortening your lifespan and placing your ability to function as a productive human being is substantial jeopardy? I would say no. However, does the occasional extra slice of chocolate cheesecake have that same negative impact versus the enjoyment you will recieve from eating it?
I would highly recommend the book Viable Values by Tara Smith for a more detailed explanation of what I touch on above.
Precisely!!! Objectivism does not tell you otherwise.
I hope after reading what I wrote above, you realize that this is a false alternative. Again, consider reading Viable Values, I think it will help you understand this a whole lot better.
I welcome critique or clarification about how I presented this from the members who may be more knowledgeable about Objectivism than myself.
RationalBiker got a reaction from dream_weaver in This picture is depressing.
Not me. Its just reason #3256 why I stopped consuming alcohol many years ago. Don't let their foolish pursuits taint your rational pursuits.
With my son heading off to college in less than a month, I'm think that honesty and example setting (on both parents part) will mean he won't be one of the guys in some other picture like this next month, next year, etc.
RationalBiker reacted to Grames in Capitalism and the Proper Role of Government
Requiring compliance from someone who is not giving it willingly requires nonviolent threats of violence or actual violence. Only violence is violent, but both involve making someone act without his consent. Compelling someone to act without his consent is the definition of force. Enforcement necessarily implies force.
RationalBiker reacted to aequalsa in How to deal with blatant racism against my ethnic group?
Please tell me that you realize the irony of judging the whole group of South Africans as one unit, in light of the title of this thread?
RationalBiker got a reaction from brian0918 in Argument for the existence of God
Why is it important to get a nod that rain is good? You sound like you are taking something personally when all we (or perhaps I should just stick with I) are trying to do is put something into an objective perspective. Hurricanes and flooding resulting in death and property loss occur several times every year, so cases of rain threatening property and life are not so "extreme". Evaluating whether or not something is good or bad requires a context. Though you seem to keep resisting that idea, you keep providing a context every time you explain why rain is good to you. Rain is rain. Sometimes it is good for some people, sometimes it is bad for some people. Why is that idea so offensive to you?
RationalBiker reacted to volco in Objectivism and homosexuality dont mix
We are living in that interesting time when a (historically) recently deceased "prophet" begins the transformation towards immortality.
By that I mean that some people are now still alive when Ayn Rand was writing her last novel and have read Objectivism during its historical context.
Most people from "now" on will be reading Objectivism in a very different World. That is one of the reasons why homosexuality is so relevant to O'ists and Ayn Rand fans; gender roles seems to be the first issue that is beginning to be re-thought in the following manner
amen to that
RationalBiker reacted to JASKN in Objectivism and homosexuality dont mix
Concerning Rand, I haven't looked into her infamous-ish homo views in a while, but I seem to remember Harry Binswanger describing somewhere on the 'net how Rand significantly changed her opinion of gays later in her life, around when he was spending a lot of time with her. I'm not going to try to dig it up again now, because I don't see much relevance for this reason: thanks to Rand's other great ideas, we can evaluate by ourselves whether her original comments hold any merit. In fact, this is what we should be doing all along.
Contrast that to EC's rationalist approach, where instead of deducing from reality, he deduces from deductions -- even more confusing when he uses Rand's own deductions, since part of what we're trying to do is see if reality holds up to Rand's deductions! This approach is confounding even for discussing metaphysics (the more easily checked against reality of the philosophic branches), much less ethics and human sexuality, which are complicated even when you're sure of all the variables.
Now to the homo ideas themselves. My own ideas are a mix of anecdotes and common sense. I don't know a lot of science behind the human mind, but in this case it doesn't bother me much. As a homo myself, I can more easily check whether an idea about homosexuality is true or false by honestly checking it against my own personal experience. Of course, if I'm severely psychologically damaged, that would skew the check -- but, I judge myself not to be, obviously.
I think masculinity/femininity is a mix of physiological influence and cultural influence, and essentially boils down to personality style. It isn't part of a rational faculty, but it will influence rational thought, as any part of a person which influences his values will do. Part of it is either set more-or-less permanently before a child fully develops his ability to reason (just like personality), whether inherent in his genes or just deeply ingrained, and part of it changes as a person changes, influenced by the factors of the world, just like the rest of his person.
I do think sex involves evaluating your partner, but I think that evaluation is flexible person-to-person, scenario-to-scenario. I don't think there is anything mysterious about it, and I do not buy into this "hero-worship" nonsense -- although the concept may apply in certain instances, which just means a different kind of sex. If you value more about your sexual partner, the sex you have with them will include this evaluation in the back of your mind ("hero-worship" included). I think there is a base-level evaluation that must be made before sexual lust is even possible, such as, "This is a reasonably-adjusted person who is physically attractive to me, who is without disease, etc., etc." Beyond that, it's all relative to what you expect out of the relationship, which is itself is also influenced by your evaluation.
When considering the ethics of sexuality, both the metaphysically-given and his choices based upon that, in relation to the rest of his life, must all be considered. Granting that a child doesn't really choose his sexuality in any normal sense as by using his conscious, rational faculty, sexuality as such isn't part of ethics. So, what must be judged ethically is the kinds of partners he chooses, why he makes those choices, if he is achieving the values he aims for, and whether those values are good for him. Is he having short flings but expecting them to be lasting relationships? Is he in a "lasting relationship" but longing for short flings? Does he have sex while willfully ignoring the basic criteria of "safe sex"? And so on.
When considering the ethics of masculinity and femininity, similar judgements are made based on similar assumptions. I don't think the sex of the person matters after the person is an adult, as it was just another factor in molding a person's sexuality pre-rational faculty.
I'm sure science will refine knowledge on this subject as time goes by. In the meantime, everything I've said is consistent with my own experience. It really irks me when Objectivists try to use Rand's own words to warp the correct method of reaching conclusions: observe then figure out. NOT figure out then observe (that is, try to rationalize pre-conceived notions into fitting with actual reality).
RationalBiker got a reaction from freestyle in Galaxy S vs i Phone 4S
My experience with SIRI thus far is that this is unequivocally untrue. There are quite a few things that are MUCH easier to perform with SIRI. Setting reminders, alarms, timers, notes, meetings, basic web searches, texting, searches for the type of data on wolfram alpha, searching for nearby locations .... ALL easier with SIRI. SIRI has changed the way I use my iPhone in a very practical sense and I expect it will only improve.
RationalBiker got a reaction from chuff in Conversations With God
The Giant Purple Space Goat just spoke to me and he wants me to express his displeasure at all this heretic talk about the Goddess Pippi. Thou shalt put no gods (or goats) before the GPSG. Lest he punish us all, you should know that the power of his flatulence is great and it's spread is mighty!
So please spare us this unpleasant consequence and yield to the intenstinal power of the GPSG!!!
RationalBiker got a reaction from Grames in Ideas for increasing participation in ObjectivismOnline
This has been seen on here before though. Some folks come here wishing to discuss things outside of the scope on which this board focuses. The way I usually put it; they want to buy hammers at a shoe store. This site has a particular and defined focus on the discussion and advocacy of the philosophy of Objectivism. When people are not allowed to take it beyond that, they tend to get upset. They seem to think that they should be allowed to discuss whatever they want here, regardless of the focus of this site, and when denied they typically make accusations that the forum is incestuous and narrow minded in nature. They are oblivious to the fact that MANY participants here also use other forums for broader discussion, but come here for more focused discussion. There are many avenues on the internet which any forum member can use outside of this forum to discuss whatever it is they want to discuss without requiring or demanding that this forum dilute the focus it is intended to have. Until they understand that, they will be frustrated at being reigned in when they go off course. That people left this board in a huff is not necessarily an indication of failure on the part of the forum or the moderation; it is more likely a failure on their part to grasp the focus and purpose of this board. The moral of the story; don't go to a shoe store and get pissed off when they won't sell you a screwdriver.
So the idea is not to simply increase popularity or membership of the board by any means, it is to increase popularity or membership within the bounds of the purpose of the forum. I'm sure we could have membership swell to great bounds if we, for example, decided to open it up for the discussion and advocacy of Libertarianism or Communism.
RationalBiker reacted to Trebor in Argument for the existence of God
If I were to say, as you quoted Aquinas as having said, that all of our knowledge originates from the sense, however..., my "however" implies some exception.
Or, to put it symbolically, if I were to say, "All X is Y, however...," again, that "however" implies an exception, a contradiction to that "All."
So when you stated, 'To use Thomas Aquinas again: ""Now it is natural to man to attain to intellectual truths through sensible objects, because all of our knowledge originates from the sense." However, we possess a natural ability to abstract ideas," your "However" implies some exception.
That's why I asked. The implication is obvious with your use of "However." So, I asked my questions to understand whether or not you do agree with Aquinas' statement, or if you hold that our "natural ability to abstract ideas" is an exception.
Given your reply, I am still not certain, as I do not think that you addressed the point of my question, your use of that "however" as you did and the implication (whether you meant that there is some exception or if you merely stated your meaning incorrectly).
All that is to your comment: "An "exception"? I don't see that at all."
As to your example of footprints in the sand:
Certainly, if you notice some evidence of the existence of some animal (footprints in the sand), it is logical to conclude that they were caused by some animal. But even then, to have concluded that what you have seen are footprints brings other, previously acquired knowledge to bear on the evidence. By identifying the observed markings as footprints, you've already drawn some conclusions, correctly or not on the markings, relating the new evidence to what you have already learned. And, if the footprints are familiar, you may correctly conclude what kind of animal made them.
If you are not yet certain what animal made the footprints, then if, on gathering more information, say by following the footprints to locate the animal that created them, you actually see the animal that created the footprints, then you, having new evidence of the sense, can then confirm your hypothesis as to what animal made the footprints or actually identify the animal even if you had no hypothesis.
Regardless, your conclusion, on the basis of observing the footprints, that something caused the footprints, is but the application of your understanding of causality, that for there to be footprints, some animal had to have caused them.
But if you are trying to use the footprints in the sand as an analogy, claiming that just as the footprints are evidence for the animal that caused them, so too is all of existence evidence for a being (a God which exists prior to existence) which caused (created) all of existence (out of non-existence), then you are using the concept of causality invalidly, outside of its context of meaning. The concept of causality presupposes existence; or, causality exists within the universe; the universe does not exist within causality.
To identify some effect that exists (footprints) as having been caused by some entity that exists (the animal that caused the footprints) is not analogous to claiming that all of existence is evidence for some cause of existence. On the face of it, that is a contradiction.
The question, "what caused existence?," is invalid. The question assumes that existence as such requires some causal explanation. What caused that which has no cause? Existence has no cause. It just is. That is what it means to grasp that "Existence exists."
RationalBiker reacted to Wotan in 10th Anniversary of 9/11
For almost all Americans, 9/11 is a day of sadness, remembrance, and unity. It isn't one of horror, outrage, and fury. Evidently, proper behavior demands that everyone should weep, reflect, and sing Kumbaya.
Following this logic, maybe September 11th should also be a day of tolerance, acceptance, and forgiveness of the jihadis. Perhaps everybody should honor and celebrate the lives -- and lament the untimely deaths -- of the nineteen airplane hijackers.
In reality, of course, 9/11 should be a day of rage. It should be a day of learning about, seeking vengeance against, and triumphing over, the enemy jihadis.
And everyone who calls these jihadi monsters by the ambiguous term "terrorists" is morally sanctioning their past evils -- and actively promoting their future ones. This last, as everybody knows, includes simultaneous suitcase nuclear devices for New York City and Washington DC.
Anyone who is so PC and MC as to call these miserable, mutant, Muslim monkeys "extremists" or "terrorists" is an enabler and a major problem. Such dishonest and cowardly euphemisms are the source of much of the Muslim activists' strength and destructive power.
Such false, misleading, and counterproductive terms morally sanction the jihadi enemy by refusing to accurately identify him. And by denying reality, a new reality is created: that of the morally-uncondemned monster. Now Mohammed is free to go forth and commit new atrocities. By declining to call these guys jihadis, Americans are permitting and encouraging Muslims to do what they do best: slaughter the innocent.
Ultimately, September 11th should be a day of rage against all of religion and the Judeo-Christian ethic. Contrary to what practically everyone today thinks and says, these two are not forces for good. 9/11 was their handiwork!
People who love "god" ultimately hate man -- and they destroy him. People who practice religious-type self-sacrifice ultimately sacrifice their fellow man too -- and in droves.
Religion and "god" are 100% false and 100% evil -- and everybody knows it. But the worst religion by far is that of Islam. That's what 9/11 should be about: remembering the spectacularly loathsome evil of the genocidal Muslims -- and then fervently swearing a holy oath that in future the good guys of this earth will successfully avoid it, neutralize it, and defeat it.
Sooner rather than later, the jihad-based philosophy of Islam needs to be brutally crushed. And every jihadi on earth needs to be summarily annihilated.
RationalBiker reacted to Erik Christensen in Objectivism and homosexuality dont mix
If homosexuality is permissible then why not relations with animals?-or machines?-or plastic yard flamingos? Ayn Rand was against the moral anarchy of anything goes relationships. She understood that rational/moral happiness based upon objective criteria, and it's biological function (ie law of identity), were essential to rational happiness in an objectivist context. Sure, people can choose to live all sorts of lifestyles that they think can make them happy, but rational happiness must be defined within the context of reason or else you end up with hedonism and/or nihilism, which is prevelant in the libertarian/anarchist circles.
RationalBiker got a reaction from softwareNerd in Lacey Act
To the tune of "I Hung my Head" by Sting.
Early one morning, with money to kill
The Wildlife Service, sat up on The Hill
They eyed guitar makers, who plying their trade
Had ebony wood, so they planned a raid
Quickly the rushed in, and grabbed all the goods
"You cannot make guitars, from all these dark woods"
So Gibson they handcuffed, and charges they read,
I hung my head, I hung my head.
RationalBiker got a reaction from samr in Death
I would suggest in turn that you think of a set of conditions in which continued physical existence would be intolerable. Think about the mental and emotional consequences of the choice you are positing here as they are very much as metaphysically real as the physical existence that you are referring to as if it were in a vacuum. "Life", "man's life" specifically, is more than simply avoiding death.
RationalBiker reacted to Dreamspirit in What would be Ayn Rand's position on Psychiatry?
If I were going to take time out of my busy day to multi quote for a person who simply doesn't pay attention carefully to what I'm saying, I would have already done it. No one is forcing you to read it, so either read it or don't.
You say that I need to provide evidence for my CLAIMS? I did not claim anything that isn't already obvious, such as that the existance of mental illnesses have not been proven yet. I suppose you would have to disagree with Rand on that one. My opinions do not have to have evidence, because they are just my opinions and I would never state an opinion of mine (or of anyone else's for that matter) like it was a fact. If you want to investigate my thoughts on a particular subject, YOU NEED TO DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. There is no law against making claims without evidence anyway. I can tell you I have not said anything out of thin air that I didn't have some kind of specific, factual reason for saying. You ask me how I can be an objectivist and make claims without evidence but how can you possibly be an objectivist and believe that insanity is proven to be a sickness in the body?
A good example of careless diagnosing of patients is in a documentary called "The Medicated Child." You can look it up on youtube. There are some examples of it in there, but not all are particularely careless. IMO, the psychiatric method of diagnosing a person is in itself devoid of rationality for many reasons, but mostly because it closes people up. If you don't understand the causes for something, you can't possibly know whether what you are doing to a person is helpful or hurtful. For example, if a supposed "schizophrenic" hears voices in their head that tell them negative things about themselves and they were actually just hearing their own thoughts, telling them they are schizophrenic and that they can't help it might actually reinforce the problem.
RationalBiker got a reaction from chuff in A question about violence and the initiation of force.
Next time you get robbed, ignore them and keep walking to the bank to make the deposit as you had reasoned and previously acted upon.
RationalBiker got a reaction from ttime in A question about violence and the initiation of force.
Next time you get robbed, ignore them and keep walking to the bank to make the deposit as you had reasoned and previously acted upon.
RationalBiker reacted to SapereAude in A question about violence and the initiation of force.
I don't know whether to be horrified at the ignorance of this statement or to congratulate you on having managed to live a life that has left you unaware of what physical agony is like.