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DPW last won the day on September 2 2015

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About DPW

  • Birthday 04/28/1982

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    Clifton, Virginia
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    Psychology, philosophy, sex & romance, humor

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    Don Watkins
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  1. DPW


    Conventional studies don't distinguish between genuine self-esteem and pseudo self-esteem. This is an example of that.
  2. First of all, thank you to everyone who has subscribed so far. The response in this regard has been pretty overwhelming. Keep in mind, however, that the lifeblood of an Objectivist magazine is the articles, and that means we are always looking for writers. If you would be interested in writing for Axiomatic, please feel free to email me at [email protected] Now to the issue... Issue 3 of Axiomatic is now available. Inside this issue: The Rationalist Corruption of Sex by Don Watkins III Some people use sex in an attempt to gain, rather than express, self-esteem. They view it as a test of their worth: they are good if they get the girl; if they don’t, they’re not. Sadly, a variant of this attitude is widespread among a certain class of Objectivists. These individuals also view sex, not as an expression of self-esteem, but as its test. Only their standard isn’t whether they get the girl (or guy): it’s which guy or girl they choose to sleep with. Einstein’s Contribution to Quantum Theory — Part 3 of 3 by Travis Norsen Understanding Einstein’s objections to the orthodox quantum theory — and the details of his attempts to construct a reasonable alternative — is a necessary first step toward untangling the quantum mess and constructing a fully rational theory. Ayn Rand vs. Hollywood’s Self-Censorship — Part 2 of 3 by David P. Hayes David Hayes chronicles Ayn Rand’s experiences with Hollywood self-censorship during her years as a screenwriter. The Axiomatic Interview with Diana Mertz Hsieh Diana Hsieh discusses her break with The Objectivist Center, the errors in David Kelley’s philosophy, and Objectivism’s status as a closed system.
  3. Well, just wait until the remedy: if she wins, the doctor has to kill her!
  4. Axiomatic - Volume I, Issue 2 is available at http://www.axiomaticmagazine.com. Inside this issue: Ayn Rand vs. Hollywood’s Self-Censorship – Part 1 of 3 by David P. Hayes David Hayes chronicles Ayn Rand's experiences with Hollywood self-censorship during her years as a screenwriter. Embracing Existence by Don Watkins III While Ayn Rand said that morality begins with the choice to live, she spent virtually no time discussing what that choice consists of. Yet this is not a question we can gloss over. Merely to say, “We should do X if we choose to live,” fails to appreciate the importance of that choice, what it is we’re really choosing, and how we go about making it. To grasp the basis for the Objectivist ethics, answering those questions is essential. Einstein’s Contribution to Quantum Theory – Part 2 of 3 by Travis Norsen Understanding Einstein’s objections to the orthodox quantum theory — and the details of his attempts to construct a reasonable alternative — is a necessary first step toward untangling the quantum mess and constructing a fully rational theory. The Frenzied Fans of Serenity by Daniel Schwartz Serenity’s heroes are ideals that we can look up to. But unlike the quixotic heroes presented in such films as The Passion of the Christ or Spiderman, these people actually belong here beside us. They can and do exist — and succeed. The Axiomatic Interview with James Valliant James Valliant discusses the response to his very important and very controversial book, The Passion of Ayn Rand’s Critics: The Case Against The Brandens. For more information, visit http://www.axiomaticmagazine.com Thanks, Don Watkins, Publisher
  5. For the record, I agree completely with everything Dave just wrote.
  6. There are a couple issues here. Yes, epistemologically, the choice is to think or not, and to evaluate we first have to identify. But the question is, why do all that? Why think in the first place? The only reason to do it is in order to achieve values. Knowledge is not inherently good -- it's good because we need it in order to live. But this is an issue of perspective. Hierarchically, epistemology precedes ethics. Knowing how to think precedes knowing how to live (it precedes knowing that "how to live" is moral standard). Developmentally, neither of these is completely accurate. As children, we don't think in order to live. We don't even think in order to gain other values: we do it because it's pleasurable. All other things being equal, children enjoy using their minds and gaining knowledge. It's only later, as adults, that we can identify the vital importance of this process and see that the reason thinking is so pleasurable is because it serves our total well-being -- and if this is the standard we embrace, then thinking is essential. Psychologically, on the other hand, there is no clear distinction between the choice to think and the choice to live -- for more on this point, see my article, "Embracing Existence," in the forthcoming issue of Axiomatic. So what's more fundamental? It depends!
  7. As stated, that's absolutely wrong. The only reason one should be rational is because one wants to live. There is nothing in reality that demands objectivity except the choice to remain in reality. Outside the context of ethics, outside of the context of life or death, there are no "shoulds." The implicit implication is that man has a duty to gain knowledge, above and beyond his survival needs. He doesn't. But this does not mean that people walk around being irrational until Objectivism tells them morality demands thought. A conceptual being cannot escape the knowledge that reason is his means of gaining knowledge, and he cannot escape the knowledge, in some terms, he needs knowledge in order to live. So while there is no reason to be rational except the choice to live, not knowing Rand's ethical argument is not a license to be irrational.
  8. Thanks for that link. It's great to know that all Booknotes interviews are available online...for free! (Even Nathaniel Branden's...Heaven help us.)
  9. Favorite TV shows: Family Guy (most laughs per minute), The Simpsons (most consistently funny show ever), South Park (the greatest modern satire), Seinfeld (no show is more clever). Favorite movies: Mr. Deeds (extremely benevolent humor), Happy Gilmore (one of the few comedies that I've seen a million times and which still makes me laugh), Naked Gun (the only funny slapstick...well, besides Airplane), American Pie (what can I say...even toilet humor works once in a while), The Postman (not technically a comedy, but so bad it's funny), Dumb and Dumber (didn't like it at first, but it turns out that it gets funnier every time you see it). Favorite comedians: Ellen Degeneris (very funny...and benevolent), Mitch Hedberg (my personal favorite...although I'm still mad at him for dying of a drug overdose), Chris Rock (the only person I can stand who does racial humor).
  10. True enough, but grasping which philosophical errors Rand was responding to in certain passages sheds a lot of light on your understanding of Objectivism.
  11. Look at it another way: the claim that a thought is merely a biochemical process makes exactly as much sense as the claim that a biochemical process is merely a thought.
  12. The Lord Radburn writes: That's true. But you should check your premises. Our thoughts are not "simply chemical interactions in our brain." They are our thoughts. They may have a physical component, but that doesn't mean they are reducible to that physical component. In fact, volition is self-evident. As I pointed out earlier in this thread, you can't use complex scientific discoveries, such as the existence of neuro-chemicals, to undercut the self-evident fact of volition. What you are doing is re-writing reality, or trying to. A scientific theory that contradicted the evidence of the senses is obviously invalid, right? That's because evidence of the senses is self-evident. It's the material we use to test scientific theories and reach scientific truths. Well, any scientific theory that denies volition is in the same position as a scientific theory that conflicts with observations: it is contradicting a self-evident fact. The question is not, does volition conflict with scientific laws? If it did, then we'd have to reject the scientific law. The question iinstead is, what scientific laws explain volition? But we need not be able to answer that question in order to know we have volition, any more than cavemen had to understand how sense perception worked in order to know that they should run away at the sight of a sabertooth tiger.
  13. Donnywithana -- I'm not sure why, if you really didn't think that on some level your escapades would impress us, you would go into such detail on a public board. Let me say that they don't and that I highly discourage anyone else from doing the same. Besides, do you think any of these girls would appreciate you describing your encounters with them in such terms? On the Internet? You made some valid points, but you could have done so without the level of detail you subjected us to. The only reason I'm saying this publicly rather than by PM, by the way, is because you're not the first one to do this. A few months back, we actually endured the spectacle of two guys vying for the title of "biggest pimp" while simultaneously condemning their earlier promiscuity. You might also note that I have been very vocal in my opposition to the Puritanical streak a lot of people on this board have, so this is not me being prude or repressed. Rather, it's that while I'm happy you want to contribute your thoughts to this discussion, I don't want to picture you naked. Sorry.
  14. That's a good point. That statement is imprecise. I believe it was intended to mean, "Necessary for your career goals." But strictly speaking, no knowledge is useless. It depends on what goal you have in obtaining it.
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