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knast last won the day on February 3 2012

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About knast

  • Birthday 09/09/1983

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    Carl Svanberg
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  1. I would recommend three books: Economics in one lesson by Henry Hazlitt How an economy grows and why it crashed by Peter Schiff & Andrew Schiff Economic policy by Ludwig von Mises These will cover A LOT of ground, from so many different angles.
  2. It's fairly easy to see why murder is wrong. You don't have to be an Objectivist to know it. Murdering amounts to the destruction of massive actual and/or potential values. Other people are actually or potentially of a great value to us. This is something we know from direct experience in everyday life. That's why you don't have to be an Objectivist to be horrified and disgusted by the very thought of murder, or feel sorrow when reading about it, or feeling for the victim's family, etc. As for the second question, it is in our interest to let the strongest survive, but survival doesn't men thriving at the expense of the weaker by murdering or enslaving them. It means the intellectually strong being free to flourish in a free society through the production and trade of values. It means the flourishing of the intellectually strong such as Henry Ford or Steve Jobs. Notice that their rise is in the interest of everyone, including everyone above and below them intellectually speaking. We all benefit.
  3. Hi Clive, You are not alone. ITOE can be quite hard to understand. Could you perhaps be more specific. What is it that you have a hard time understanding? Because, depending on what it is, I might be able to recommend different types of courses. Salmieri's course might be helpful to you, but its focus is to give you an overview of the Objectivist epistemology, not a detailed chewing of concept-formation. Carl
  4. Peikoff says a lot of stuff in OTI which one should know when you're reducing and inducing on your own. For example, why the inductive hierarchy is different from the hierarchy in OPAR. So, while Inductive Quest's (more or less) transcript can be helpful, I just want to emphasize that there's a lot of valuable information and advice in that course, which isn't mentioned elsewhere. At least not to my knowledge.
  5. "The Inductive Quest" is more or less a complete _copy_ of what Peikoff is doing in OTI.
  6. An Objectivist is a person who is rationally convinced that the philosophy of Ayn Rand, Objectivism, is true and good - and who, therefore, consistently applies in his life.
  7. What is the Objectivist position on homosexuality? The answer is: at the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether it's a matter or choice or not, it's still not irrational or immoral. Let me just deal with some *myths* (based on ignorance and/or groundless speculation): Ayn Rand was *not* a "homophobe". She didn't held any irrational fear of homosexuals or homosexuality. People should not use words, if they do not know the meaning of them. Ayn Rand's views were not based on ignorance or the science of her time. It was based on her own observations of the psychological differences between men and women; a differences which are, at least in part, based on physical differences between men and women. (Her views were, as a result, non-philosophical. They are not part of Objectivism. They are not even based on Objectivist principles, more than very indirectly: she reached them by making observations and applying logic. They are, if anything, part of psychology.) I will not repeat her argument here, because it takes too long, and it is beside the point of me posting this. I might do it later, if I feel like it. Let me just note that nobody has, to my knowledge, been able to refute it. Nobody has even attempted to refute it, because they have not made any serious attempts to familiar themselves with the argument. Being "deep thinkers", they just guess and speculate that Ayn Rand was "ignorant". (Those who are interested in taking part of Ayn Rand's view can, as one possible source, listen to Leonard Peikoff's short lecture "Love, Sex and Romance". It *might* still be available here: http://www.aynrandbookstore2.com/prodinfo.asp?number=LP51C ) What, then, about Leonard Peikoff's views? I am not able or willing to repeat them all here. Let me just state that whatever his views, they too are only part of psychology, not philosophy. For what's it's worth, you can listen to his podcasts and see, clearly, that he's not "homophobic". He's does not think that homosexuals are immoral or anything like that. Let me just clarify one thing though: Even if you share the view that homosexuality was, ultimately, an irrational choice, it does not follow that it's immoral. Why? Because the choice was made and then so strongly automatized, so early on, that there's virtually nothing you can do about it. Therefore, it would be irrational and immoral to attempt to "change" your sexuality as an adolescent or adult. It would, likewise, be irrational and immoral to hate yourself or to give up sex, on the misguided premise that it would be wrong to indulge in sexual desires that *may* rest on a series of generalizations you made and have automatized when you were growing up.
  8. knast

    Objectivist Music

    For more information, read The Art of Non-Fiction edited by Robert Mayhew, where Ayn Rand elaborates on the distinction between a principle and a concrete, and how people who fail to make this distinction turn Objectivism into a religion.
  9. knast

    Objectivist Music

    I agree, "quibbling" over semantics is a waste of time. But it's NOT a matter of "semantics". It's a real philosophical point. Art is not (philosophical) propaganda. There is no such thing as Objectivist paintings or Objectivist music or Objectivist physics or Objectivist food. Etc. There is good and bad art, true and false scientific theories, etc., as evaluated by a philosophy. If you fail to make this distinction, you are slowly turning Objectivism into a religion. (But you apparently failed to grasp the point here.)
  10. 1. I take your question to be: "What if a majority turn into drug addicts, can't function in society, and society totally collapses?" First of all: How realistic is this? Has this ever happened in reality? I don't think so. If it happens, then it's a damn shame and you should, of course, move away from that society as soon as possible. It's not in your rational self-interest to live in such a society. You still have no right to stop people from destroying their own lives, as long as they don't violate the rights of others. You can start a campaign against drug use or you can move. At best, you could argue that many people are violating the rights of others if they fail to live up to their own contractual agreements with others. That is and should, of course, be illegal and you should suffer legal consequences from breaking such contractual/implicit agreements. One example are parents who are neglecting their children, because of their drug use. They should not only lose their children, they should also be put in jail. 2. "How can you protect animals from vicious people who abuse them?" Animals don't have any rights, so there is legally speaking nothing you can and should be able to do to stop people from abusing animals. I am sorry. What you can do, is that you can campaign against it, and you can engage in ostracism (as I described in my previous answer to you). Let me also say that I don't think there is anything morally wrong with killing animals for their fur. I do think, however, that you are evil if you torture and kill animals "for kicks". I would never associate myself with such people, because it makes me wonder what else they are capable of. 3. "I dont know if it's "real" or "unreal", but if it is, it has some weird implications." I've already answered this: one could maybe argue that people who get fooled or confused or manipulated by these people are the victims of fraud. 4. "I dont want women to not get jobs or build careers because they are carrying 'our' babies..." As I told you in my previous answer, the main reason this is a problem is because of government interventions which makes it potentially very risky and expensive for hire women. Get rid of these government interventions and many more businesses would stop discriminate against women, because of the fear that they might decide to become mothers. As for irrational discrimination in general, I've also answered you here: there is nothing you can do, legally, except let these irrational people suffer from their own irrationality by boycotting their businesses, them and the people they associate with. Discriminate them, morally condemn them in public, refuse to make business with them, etc. Make it hurt their bottom line. 5. "second hand smoking effects. If there is conclusive evidence that second hand smoking is a definite harm for any individual who absorbs it. What is the role of goverment there?" The government should, in that case, prohibit smoking in government buildings. But the owners of private buildings and establishments should be free to have their own policies. If you own a bar, you should be free to decide whether people can smoke there or not and if you are not willing to take the risk that second-hand smoking entails, then you are free to entertain yourself elsewhere. If most people don't want to expose themselves to second-hand smoking, then most bars would be smoke-free. The smokers would be among themselves. Simple as that. As for being exposed of second-hand smoke in general, it's the same principle as with pollution: you have to prove that a certain source is dangerous and/or that you have been harmed by a certain source. When people smoke outside, it's not dangerous for other people because they are barely exposed at all. It would be impossible to prove any harm.
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