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About drsm

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    Steve McBride
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  1. Allow me to suggest another possibility: perhaps pornography is not a valid concept at all. Maybe "erotica" is sufficient to cover all that we are calling pornography, the latter term only being used to imply a negative view of it, and provide a basis for censorship. This would be, in a sense, like the concept of art. There is good art and bad art, or objective and non-objective art, but it is all art. Perhaps erotica can similarly be described.
  2. I like the use of the word "media" to encompass writing, photography, film, etc. "Erotica" may actually be a better choice for the genus, if erotica is defined as "media intended to arouse sexual interest." If that were the case, pornography might be differentiated by its malevolent or dehumanizing nature. This would distinguish it from media that celebrates the human body and/or sex (in a benevolent fashion).
  3. I thought about "art," but given that pornography is usually found as writing, photography or movies, and photography is generally not considered art in Objectivist literature, I dropped the idea. I wasn't entirely comfortable with calling it art either, but haven't thought of another concept that encompasses writing, photography and movies.
  4. The previous definition supplied was: I think this fails to differentiate pornography from milder forms of eroticism (Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, for example). Perhaps adding the differentia, "containing graphic displays of sexual behavior," would help clarify it. Material designed for educational purposes would already be distinguished from pornography by not belonging to the genus "entertainment."
  5. Remember, as Ayn Rand defined them, rights are moral principles defining and sanctioning a man's freedom of action in a social context. Government is not necessary for the existence of rights. They apply anytime two or more individuals get together. They are the moral principles defining what those individuals may or may not do in context with one another.
  6. I went to the University of Notre Dame for my undergraduate degree in biology. I found the atmosphere to be very academic oriented with no real pressure to be religious. Certainly, there is always a background of Catholicism, but it was in no way a problem.
  7. Felipe, Congratulations on the new puppy. I'm sorry to be late to this discussion, but I want to add a few points from a veterinarian's perspective. First, please be aware that Boxers are probably the number one breed for neoplasia. Make sure you have a veterinarian who is interested in preventive medicine and never treat any lump or bump casually. Boxers also have a high incidence of cardiac disease, so make certain cardiac evaluation is part of your preventive plan. On the positive side, they are great dogs! Most are quite playful and social--I enjoy seeing them come in my office. From
  8. I think you are on the right track with the answer of philosophy and the "great man" hypothesis. It is individuals that come up with new ideas and philosophies, but they do not do so in a vacuum. Ayn Rand noted that she could not have developed her philosophy of Objectivism without the Industrial Revolution. It is a whole sequence of individuals (or many sequences concurrently) that combine to form a dominant philosophy. I think Peikoff does a good job of demonstrating this on a smaller scale in his Ominous Parallels.
  9. I'm a veterinarian, concentrating primarily in small animal surgery and advanced diagnostics (ultrasound, endoscopy, etc.). I'm also a business owner, running a six-veterinarian practice with my business partner (not an Objectivist). We employ approximately 45-50 people.
  10. Thank you, Elle. I enjoyed that. I'm curious as to which musical artists inspire you--who do you enjoy?
  11. drsm

    Evolution Of Rights

    Brian, I think you are thinking along the correct lines. I got a little confused when you started to include morality. As Ayn Rand identified, the concept of rights bridges morality and politics. The ultimate choice is to live or not live. To live, at least as man, a human being, is to live according to the use of your mind. That is the very nature of man--we are conceptual beings. It follows, then, that a man must be free, not only to think, but to act according to his thoughts, if he is to live. Morality is "how should one act". Rights are the conditions that must exist to permit those
  12. drsm

    Evolution Of Rights

    Thanks, Americo, for the many leads. That was what I was seeking. I think I may have had my focus a little off initially, thinking I could pursue the intellectual development of the idea of rights from, say, Aristotle on through Rand. But Ayn Rand wrote the following in one of the sources Tom Rexton suggested, "Man's Rights" in the Virtue of Selfishness: Although I am fully aware that the United States is the first country to have been founded on the philosophical basis of individual rights, it just didn't hit home to me how recent a development that concept is. It will be interesting
  13. I am interested in the evolution of the concept of rights. Does anyone know of a good link or book describing this? I haven't found anything in the core Objectivist literature. I'm interested in the past, not the current mutilation of the concept. For example, where did Locke get his ideas for a natural basis for individual rights? Thanks in advance, Steve
  14. Just a quick note of greeting. I just found this forum and website, and it looks very promising. It appears to have a good deal of activity and is nicely put together. I'm a veterinarian in Michigan who has been interested in Objectivism since 1987. I've read all the standard literature, fiction and nonfiction. I enjoy a membership on HBL, and hope to enjoy a less formal, more interactive membership here. Steve (drsm)
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