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Everything posted by Tenderlysharp

  1. 2012 Looks like I missed you by a few years...
  2. A little conviction: I posted this in the music section, thought I would put it on a Ron Paul thread too.
  3. Here is a music video celebrating The Constitution.
  4. Ayn Rand had a better relationship with her father, more of her friends were men, she said she was a male chauvinist, housewives bored her.. I think her 'off the cuff' comment was an emotional reaction to the prospect of trading the men she loved for women, when she had no female equivalents in her life who could compare. She liked being a woman but she was a man worshiper. It seems like at the time she viewed lesbianism as a rejection of men, and she couldn't see herself doing that. There are collectivist groups who focus excessively on Ayn Rand's anti-gay statement without the context of her life at the time. The negative focus distracts people away from the power that defending individual rights has to remove government intervention from their lives. Would Objectivism have developed the same if she had been a lesbian? How would her philosophy be consistent if she said she worshiped man, yet found him sexually repulsive/uninteresting? If gay people are engaging in a collectivist kind of rejection against the opposite sex, it seems like it would be negative toward half of human life. If on the other hand it is chosen out of a strong connection with a particular person it doesn't have anything to do with anyone but the two people involved. Society and the government have no business in the bedroom of two adults... two 'consenting' adults. The only time it should matter is when you are looking for a partner, and desiring someone of your preference to prefer you. When I meet someone their sexuality is not my first concern, I am more interested in their ideas. Each person has different comfort zones when talking about sex, with varying levels of discretion on how soon into a friendship it seems like the topic is approachable. Flirtation is an aspect of friendship I enjoy, and my level of flirtation depends on each individual involved. I admire men and women, both straight and gay. I am a woman who has chosen a man as my partner, he is a unique irreplaceable element in defining my sexuality. Positive gay role models, (hero worship) will do more than anything in shaping public opinion about the issue. Objectivism is very good for inspiring each individual to confidently strive toward his or her potential.
  5. The idea of egoism brings to my mind a parallel with the open ended nature of knowledge. What is the definition of a "pure" egoist? Someone living on a desert island perhaps? Would Ayn Rand define herself as an egoist or a pure egoist? Existence/Identity/Consciousness is a trinity. It is as inherent in man as it is in the way he gains knowledge. An egoist makes the best choice he can within the context of what he knows at the time he is making the choice. An egoist develops self confidence in his choices. When a man gives something to someone he loves he does it because he values the person. To say he can't be a pure egoist seems to mean that on some level he can't value his loved one enough to make the gift genuine.
  6. Yes pragmatism has had a strong pervading influence on the entire culture. Most people seem to be afraid of taking a firm and certain stand on anything because of how certainty has been manipulated and abused by mysticism. Ayn Rand said once "They will scatter like rats at the first sound of a human step" This gives me a sense that a willing mind that is right will triumph no matter how big and menacing the opposition seems to be.
  7. Epistemologically one can mentally isolate the attribute red in order to define it, but the ability to do so depends on first observing it while it is attached to objects.
  8. I am not sure I understand you, can you clarify your context?
  9. The self is an entity. There are no choices without an entity to choose them. Just as there is no color red floating in a vacuum without the surface it is attached to. Try removing all of the words he, his, you, your, I, my, from your vocabulary.... You have to use self in the attempt to invalidate self. Your nature determines that you will make choices. You determine the choices you make. It is your moral responsibility to think about each choice you make. Morality only exists where there is a choice. The rock in your illustration has no choice about its nature, morality does not apply to the rock. Your value of your self-esteem will guide your choices. How can he be held accountable if his actions are not chosen by him? Consistency is necessary for self esteem. It retains its usefulness when a man has to weigh all of the evidence available to defend himself, and to choose whom he associates with in love and business. We are all under the threat of a car crash every time we enter traffic, but if traffic was chaos we would not be able to drive. Eliminating a concept such as car from the equation does not seem productive. In Objectivism Man is defined as a "Rational Animal." Extrospectively Man means all men who have ever lived and will ever live, and everything that applies to the survival of his mind and body. Introspectively Man means your self and everything that applies to keep your mind and body alive. Man is constantly facing motivating reasons that outweigh positive experience. Choices that seem to be in conflict, like cooking deliciously unhealthy food on that stove. In these cases the rational and the animal have been pitted against one another. When a man's rational nature is in line through his self esteem to his animal nature based on an understanding of long range happiness he makes better choices. And learns how to cook healthier food that is also tasty. There is a distinction between fundamental nature which is volition which is an axiom that is self evident in every choice we make. A man determines the nature of his character with each choice he makes. If you believed a prophesy foretells of a hero named Jo who saves a girl named Mary, and then Jo saves Mary. Jo had no choice in the matter. You can not say that Jo saved Mary, it was the prophesy that saved Mary, Jo doesn't exist as a volitional entity, he is merely the pawn of the prophesy. If on the other hand there is no prophesy and Jo loves Mary so much that he would do anything to save her, and circumstances come to where he has to choose to save her, he takes the dangerous risk of losing and is worthy of the reward. The difference it makes is: If a man comes to understand his mistakes are not from some innate flaw determined to remain consistent by his nature,(which many men use to evade responsibility) he has the choice to learn from his mistake and make better choices in the future. If his past mistakes were bad enough to place him in prison, he may remain there until he dies, but he still has the choice of how he is going to live with himself in prison. Will he evade and live as a zombie?, or will he face it full on do what ever he can do in the confines of what he has left, to make his world a place worthy of a rational mind to live in.
  10. Elitism is used as an anti-concept. It insinuates that striving to be the best one can be is somehow condescending. It is a word used by those below to tear down those above so they don't have to go to the trouble of competing. Which may be why it took over 2000 years to for it to be better understood. But eventually it was understood in the practical application of the Declaration of Independence. This implies an equivalent. As though Objectivism and Christianity are interchangeable. A reason Atlas Shrugged may be so much more popular than Ayn Rand's non-fiction work is because abstract principles are applied to down to earth scenarios. A man who can't understand basic axioms is still using them as he stands there talking to you. An honest man who doesn't understand all of the implications of where altruism came from still doesn't like being stolen from. This is not so in my experience. It is a deterministic way of looking at humanity that drops the context of what a Man "Is". Because his rational faculty is essential in the very action of forming his mouth into a word while knowing its meaning. He is a rational being even if he swims in irrational thoughts. The rational part of his nature will surface if you use the right bait, and calm yourself so you don't startle him away. There are approaches to take with each person, an approach that begins with what you and your opposition have in common. When someone asked “What ought to be done about the poor?” the reply was “Don't be one of them.” Objectivism requires a man to be what he is, conscious, volitional, rational... There are contradictions in being blindly conscious, blindly volitional, blindly rational. Will the rational men in the future have no arguments to raise? The difference between Objectivism and all of these other movements is that Objectivism is the only one based on self-defense. In a world where Objectivism protects individual rights, ignorant people will only be able to hurt themselves. Trying to somehow control their thinking would go against the foundation of Objectivism. It is futile to try force the irrational to be rational. This would take specific scenarios to address. The question seems to me like a parent saying he doesn't know how to deal with his child. There are irrational people in the world now, there will probably be irrational people in the world in the future: Is this a deterministic view or is it based on the nature of choice? An objectivist forum is probably a good testing ground for what life would be like in an Objective world. Why does the question need to be projected into a future scenario? The problem exists now, it is better to deal with it now. Is there some social stigma in criticizing an Objectivist who's tactics you don't like. Is risking the discernment of each others reputation worth the investment of understanding?
  11. I should have put the 'think for yourself' comment in better context. I meant that the cynicism of parasites finding a way to get their parasitic way, is deterministic.
  12. Emotions are not tools of cognition they are a reaction to cognition. It is important to investigate your emotions in order to learn how to bring your emotions into harmony with your cognition. The more you practice this the less at odds with your emotions you will become. A feeling of dissatisfaction could be misinterpreted as a lack of self esteem when actually your cognitive abilities are restless for more knowledge to tackle greater challenges. Maybe goals need to be reorganized and prioritized.
  13. Above all Objectivism requires you to think for yourself. If your interest in economics rates high on the hierarchy of your plans for your future, you will learn all you can about it. The more you know, the more empowered you will become to see where breakthroughs can be made in human understanding. The parasites only win by default when there is no conscious man to lead toward a better way.
  14. It is better to ask if I am married or have a family before jumping to conclusions. I have been with my husband for 17 years, and we have a three year old son. When we decided to to conceive we did it with the conscious awareness of all of the responsibilities that come with caring for a human being for 18 years of his life. I am a thousand times more generous to my son than my mother was. To my mother everything was a sacrifice; I was constantly resented as a burden. Nothing I ever give to anyone I love will be tainted with a trace of regret in the thought that the money could have been spent elsewhere. I weigh all of my options and make the better choice. There are no sacrifices of any kind. There are only choices, and the choice I make is infused with a conscious conviction to be better than the choice I leave behind. Life is full of difficult choices, but the choice I make ought to be the better choice to the best of my knowledge within the context of the long term of my life. No pencil I will ever buy for my son will be seen by me as a sacrifice, because he is the better choice. Sacrifice is a debt that can only be paid with more sacrifice. I refuse to impose obligation for him to love me because I sacrificed for him. If he chooses to love me it will be because we respect, admire, and inspire one another. To assume that a man would naturally make the wrong choice (so he has to “sacrifice” to achieve good choices), is an attack on his self worth and the dignity of his discerning mind. But altruism is not asking a man to sacrifice his evil, it is asking him to sacrifice his good. Why does altruism believe sacrifice is necessary? Why are the reason's a man does not want to sacrifice evaded? Why is he accused of heartlessness, while the parasites who require his sacrifice are not? The "psychological disorder" you speculated on is prevalent in anyone to the extent that they see human sacrifice as a good thing. Objectivism is mathematical, it is not opposed to charity, it is opposed to bad investments. If a charity demonstrates that the money invested fuels a program that redoubles the productive output of participants, maintains itself, and repays the initial investor, no sacrifice is necessary and it will be praised by Objectivists. In most forms of charity the people getting the help have no money. The helpers can not make money by giving them help. The helpers have to get their money from someone who is doing something else... does the research show who that person is? Does the research show if he gave his money voluntarily? Or was it extorted out of him? Does the research include the people he could have given productive jobs to if he hadn't been forced to give it to charity? Could the charity recipients have gained some self respect by working those jobs rather than being condescended to by the charity workers and administrators (who also took their cut from the donations.) Looters look really happy when they are running off with a stolen television, but how do they feel a month later when all of the businesses and jobs are gone? Objectivists actually will not try to control someone who refuses to agree with them, as long as individual rights are not being infringed. Altruists collect in large enough groups to vote rights away from the individual, this is why distinctions are being argued over. Objectivism always acts from a position of self-defense. Ayn Rand said she never advocated an Objectivist Utopia. Volition (the necessity of choice) is central to Objectivist ethics. There is no choice without options. There is no choice to be rational without the option to be irrational, no choice to be atheist without the option to believe in God, no choice to give to charity without the option to decline. Objectivists are merely working to garner enough support to ensure a majority vote to protect individual rights.
  15. Sacrifice is a bitter poison to any relationship great or small. Only a cannibal would appreciate a few drops of your blood in every piece of cake you offer. Everyone who sacrifices puts the beneficiaries in a spiritual debt. Obedience and passing on the 'favor' is expected, the bond that cements a relationship in guilt. You had better be a good person because someone sacrificed for you, not because you ought to want to be a good person. Human relationships are wallowed through begrudgingly. People are bound by obligation rather than striving to earn esteem with each new day. Do-gooders go around looking for someone's need to feed on. They tell the needy that it isn't their fault, that God has a plan, and he is showing his love through them. Why not be a parasite if it makes someone feel so good to help? They go around shoving that misery in everyone's face in order to guilt some money out of a selfless pocket. How can money be of value if the substance emanating from yourself is treated like shameful leftover trash that is so easily disposed of? Filling the needs of bodies with nothing left for any mind. It is better to be honest about it; If I give you something I am not sacrificing for you, I am making an investment in you. Here is what I will give, and here is what I expect in return. Hear are your virtues that I want to see developed. If I pay for my child's education I expect good grades. If I give my brother a loan I expect it to be paid back. I don't loan to those who have defaulted in matter or in spirit. I don't give blank checks. I don't loan to strangers whom I have never seen and will never see again. Why should they mean more to me than I mean to them? There are better men to loan to. Accountability will keep my wealth from disintegrating. If you don't accept my stipulations then don't take my money. If it is your value it is not a sacrifice. Anyone who speaks of giving as self sacrifice is accusing the self of being incapable of giving. Generosity and sacrifice are contradicting terms.
  16. I am paraphrasing a speech Ayn Rand made, sorry I don't remember the exact information, she was comparing Christianity to Fascism I think. She said: "Christianity would have you love your neighbor as yourself, thats not quite right, but at least it doesn't forbid a man from loving himself." She was talking about Christianity as a milder state of altruism, and the significance of it is that you can't fight a strong altruism with a milder altruism. I think the Modern American version of Christianity has been greatly influenced by the founding principles of this country. Modern American Christians are no longer burning witches for instance. Christianity has a tendency to absorb the cultures around it, as Christmas and Easter traditions such as the yule log and the Easter bunny have roots in pagan rituals. It may even eventually go so far as to claim God was speaking through Ayn Rand because that is how God intended us to experience this world otherwise he would have revealed himself to us. But, as I watched an evangelist recently they are already appropriating some of Rand's ideas without giving her credit. I am seeing my own Christian upbringing as a kind of dream state, where nothing makes much sense, you can't be sure of anything, there are ups and downs, but no one seems to know why anything happens, and band-aids are the best they can do for the problems that keep reproducing themselves. Do the jobless people expect to become happy as they prey for the economy(they have no understanding of) to get better? Is a person really "Happy" when they are only dreaming of happiness? How many people who think they are happy have ever formed a solid definition of what happiness is, and know what effort is necessary to achieve it, and actually put that effort into practice?
  17. The sum I get is the focus of what a man "IS". Man is an entity with a volitional consciousness, his choices depend on the effort he has invested into understanding his world.
  18. The choice to think, to focus, to weigh the choice in the context of all his other knowledge is more difficult than to evade such effort. If he knows that his choices belong to him, he will not treat his wrong choices as though they were out of his control. Only by recognizing his ownership of his wrong choices can he proceed to right them. The same is true of all mankind's history. A man does not have to accept tradition only because one's ancestors did, without question. It is a premise Rand had to make in order to challenge the world with her new philosophy. Rand requires the same scrutiny by students of Objectivism to be applied to her philosophy as well. I am a person of self made soul, each decision I make becomes a part of who I am. Even if I make a certain choice consistently, I still understand the consequences of making a different choice. Being aware that the wrong choice is still possible helps to keep me alert, and gives the right choice more value. Even if it is in one's nature to act in a way that is perceived as shy, it is in the nature of human volition for that person to choose to learn how to overcome his shyness. A person is not determined before his choices. If he consistently chooses to be shy, you might say he was determined to be shy, but if he overcomes his shyness you might say he was determined to overcome his shyness. “Determined” can only be speculated after the fact. Believing in determinism is a handicap to the development of a volitional consciousness. The way to gauge the value of a man is through his reputation. If you know him well and he is consistent you have a higher probability of being able to trust him. But man is not omniscient, nor infallible. A man making a mistake is not as big a problem as a man consistently evading the effort of recognizing his volition in the matter.
  19. The problem with Altruism is that it uses the best in man against himself. Of course men derive pleasure from generosity and benevolence to others, but that isn't altruism. In Objectivism: Altruism = Self Sacrifice Self Sacrifice = Suicide Suicide = death. On the other hand Happiness = Life Life = Self protection Self Protection = Volition Volition = Choice And Choice is not allowed in dictatorships that have manipulated mans desire to be kind by calling it Altruism and in the name of Altruism they to come into absolute power. They don't hesitate to sacrifice entire nations. Altruism is their most powerful weapon. So... to the extent that a man can be happy he is not currently killing himself. The defiance of Altruism is to protect the goodness in man that Altruism pretends and betrays. Buddhism suggests to those who are unhappy, to just try to be happy settling for less. This notion may offer relief from the misery of sleeping on the dirt by saying at least it isn't a hill of fire ants, but it isn't real happiness. Why are they not allowed to want more from life? Why do communist governments depend on censorship? Because they condescendingly do not trust a man to think for himself. Many of these old philosophies and religions were designed as a form of population control, when farming wasn't able to sustain human reproduction rates. Those who could not settle for less were despised by those who could. Those who could not conform to unlivable standards were picked off one by one by the mob. This is one reason altruists shun money as materialistic, and treat it as something corrupt and dirty, so they don't have to feel bad about taking it. Another reason is that if the owner of the money sees it as something bad he won't have such a problem giving it up.
  20. I am still interested in the question about the Grandma because of the power she has over the majority vote. She is the carrot on a stick that the bureaucracy dangles in order to take an inordinate amount of money they shovel into their bottomless hole. Reducing and removing social security was not high on Ayn Rand's list of priorities. Political action was premature during Ayn Rand's lifetime. It is not possible before people are ready to understand why certain courses of action are necessary. If Grandma wants to remain irrational, Objectivism holds that it is not a virtue to continue attempting to convince her. It is better to leave her to her own devices and let nature take its course. It is more productive to look for rational people who will be more receptive to rational ideas i.e. women who are not yet Grandmas, and who don't want to end up as helpless victims of fate. “Grandma” is more than a person, it is a concept. She is a parent's mother, she is of a certain age range, she shares a similar cultural history with the women around her, and she shares a certain universal similarity to all Grandmas who have ever lived, who are living now, and who will ever live. There are women who achieve excellence in grandmotherhood. Certain circumstances are changing, and unique to this century, women are no longer at the mercy of men. Helplessness is not an essential human state, a person ought to do everything to ensure she experiences as little helplessness as possible, enslaving others to this purpose will only expand helplessness to her victim and waste two lives. Life is about more than barely scraping by. Each Grandmother has her own potential to strive for, higher and nobler than the afflictions of a mindless hoard. Her dead weight is not a justification for taking anything from anyone else. If she values rationality and wants something from another person she ought to look for any possible way to generate something of value to trade. It is to her self interest to inspire herself over the long range course of her life so that she neither wants nor needs someone's pity or hand outs. If she came to see such offerings as offensive to her own sense of self respect she would have more focus toward long range choices. The influence she can have on her offspring is immense. If she inspires her children to work hard, to think, and to strive the be the best they can be, they will have a better chance of being successful, and they will be more willing to repay her for her investment in them. If her children do not love her it is because she hasn't done anything to earn or inspire their admiration. If her own children have nothing to repay why should a stranger value her?
  21. It is good to consider targeting your audience to give you the most return on your investment. What is your goal when approaching your opposition? What steps are necessary to get the response you desire? What do you want him to do? Do you want feedback from him? What are his intentions? What does he want? The more you know about a subject the better your case. Develop your message, say it in the most concise way possible. On a short attention span media like youtube it is more productive to make one good precise point illustrated in a creative way. Perhaps you are attracted to the argument because you want clarity on the issues of no conflicts of interest in Objectivism. How do you gauge the long range success of your actions?
  22. Answer's reveal a person's priorities. I am usually more interested in having discussions about Ayn Rand with people on this forum, or with those whom I know personally. Be aware that he is setting you up for a "gotcha", he already believes anyone who responds is only responding mindlessly from the "cult". This paradigm he has already created is a sign that he may not respond favorably, but he is not essential. The essential you are aiming for is anyone in your audience who might be rational. You don't have to overtly tell the antagonist that he is not essential, but keep it in mind when forming your argument. Building a common premise gives more of a foundation to stand on. Ask questions at first, questions that relate to something the two of you may already have in common. Rather than jumping out of the gate in opposition, appeal to what ever rational faculty he may have. For instance, he does not like cults. Figure out what can be construed as cult like behavior. Then, Illustrate how Ayn Rand is in opposition to cults? What about Objectivism seems like a cult? Being sure, having convictions, a superior attitude, being closed minded... all make people afraid of cults. Pragmatism is a rebellion against absolute certainty, it has also been used as a self defense against various cults that have risen up throughout history. I would say: "What is wrong with freedom of speech, independence, self respect, reason, rationality, focus, the necessity of choice, volition? A cult is diametrically opposed to all of these. Cults thrive on selfless, defenseless, irrational, dazed people who never made or wanted to make an important choice in their lives, and they give that choice over to the power of the cult. Ayn Rand was opposed to cult like behavior. She valued argument, and questioning. She wanted fully conscious, focused, thoughtful people in her life. She wasn't opposed to charity or benevolence, she simply meant it is impossible to give genuinely if one is forced to give at the point of a gun. Because when generosity is forced, expected, and unappreciated it naturally turns into resentment. No one's life is yours to waste. I don't expect you to believe anything I say without thinking about it." I have been thinking it is "self defense" that those opposed to Objectivism seem to feel so threatened by. Delve deeply into many of these random online conversations and you will see how controlling the antagonist usually is, how he projects his own control issues onto Objectivism. I have observed that he becomes insecure when his usual emotional manipulation tactics don't work against Objectivists. He uses emotion as a tool of cognition and so his attacks intensify in search of an emotional response. Being a closed system doesn't mean mankind can't gain new knowledge, it means that Ayn Rand is no longer here to defend herself, nor to admit where she might have been wrong. There were times when she admitted she was wrong while she was alive, and amended her position.
  23. Why did Ayn Rand believe that certain types of modern art, certain types of modern dance, certain types of modern music have a disintegrating effect on consciousness? Why is integration/“dis”integration important enough for her to refrain from giving work she perceived as disintegrating the title “Art”? Integration is a key concept in the formation of Existence/Identity/Consciousness. Non-objective art seems to project a world that does not exist, void of anything that could be construed as existing in reality. How does existence integrate/disintegrate when viewing non-objective art? What is the significance of purposefully barring the inclusion of an entity, an identity, from non-objective art? How does Identity integrate/disintegrate when viewing non-objective art? How is the mind to concretize broad abstractions based on context of what is in their perception when viewing non-objective art? How does Consciousness integrate/disintegrate when viewing non-objective art? If non-objective art seems to be what ever the viewer wants it to be, how does this concept apply to the rest of the viewers existence?
  24. Are Major Objectivists considered to be celebrities? The owners and/or members of online forums could provide some incentive, or structured event to attract them. Was Ayn Rand reimbursed for her time during her speeches at the Ford Hall Forums? Did she see a considerable increase in book sales after the event? Were tickets sold for entry? Paid entry significantly raises the quality of participants. A questionnaire for participants to fill out will also raise the quality participants. A previous submission of questions could be organized in a way to prioritize the time. Would there be enough members here willing to participate in order to make it a viable event? Are Major Objectivists rewarded for their participation in the annual Objectivist Summer Conferences? Are the owners of Online forums treating their cyber-space as a charity or as a business? An Objectivist Summer Conference seems to cost about $2,000. Are the owners of online forums willing to spend that in order to make connections with dedicated Objectivists who would make this a more attractive environment?
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