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Lorenzo de' Medici

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About Lorenzo de' Medici

  • Birthday 05/25/1910

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  1. To be judged as a virtuous person, it is not enough to just hold the right ideas, or to think or dream about being productive. A person has to transform his good ideas into actions. The same is true for vice. It is not enough to hold false or wrong ideas. To be judged as a vicious or evil person, false or wrong ideas have to be transformed into actions. Consider the following: - Objectivism in one lesion, Chapter Two, p.13, Andrew Bernstein
  2. How can a person know that ideas are good or evil without a relation to reality i.e., to actions? Every idea comes from an integration of experiences and logical extensions of those experiences. This is why many theories usually have to be tested to know if they are true or false, good or bad. Often, the effects of ideas are not so obviously clear from the theory itself. Theories are validated by actions, actions are not validated with theories. When judging the general character of a man there are only three options: A. A man's ideas have a greater moral significance than his actions. (Words speak louder than actions) B. A man's ideas have an equal moral significance when compared to his actions. (Actions and words are equal) C. A man's actions have a greater moral significance than his ideas. (Actions speak louder than words) A. is clearly false. A person can obviously be disintegrated. He can think that force is the only possible way people can deal with each other, yet not live what he preaches. A man can think that God created the universe, and that all people should go to church, yet never initiate physical force. B. also seems problematic. What idea could a person possibly think is true (that in fact is false) that would be as evil as initiating force? What fantasy could a person believe in that would make him the moral equal of a murderer of children? C. is obviously how most people judge, and rightly so. I'm far more concerned with knowing if a person is going to act with civility around me than if he agrees with Objectivist ideas or pays lip-service to Objectivism but does not live it. I think option C is supported by these quotes: Also consider this quote: . And finally consider this quote from the Ray Newman interview with Ayn Rand: None of this means the refusal to judge a person for his ideas. There may be plenty of contexts where the content of a person's beliefs are so obviously false and evil, that it reflects very heavily on the psycho-epistemology of that individual and in that case, how the person acts is relatively insignificant and one ought to properly discontinue the relationship. Assume that you have the option to choose a business partner between two people of equally decent character, however, one is an Objectivist the other is a Christian. There is no reason to select the Christian over the Objectivist. A person who is integrated can be the most evil or the most good, depending on the ideas he integrates into actions. Between disintegrated individuals, it is the actions of a person that are the most important to consider. This is why when it comes to moral judgement, actions are more important than words.
  3. Cute, too bad it has nothing to do with the thread, since it has already been established long ago that David Kelley agrees that ideas can be judged morally and on epistemological grounds. When someone states that an idea is good or evil, one must be willing and able to prove it. Ideas are fundamentally epistemological, ignore this and you step into intrincisism which is the mind-body dichotomy. Do you seriously believe that B. is supposed to be a representative of those who agree with David Kelley? I could make an equally irrelevant mockery and smear of the overbearing moralizers that exist throughout the Objectivist movement. Are you acting with objectivity in this debate?
  4. A good presentation of how one differentiates between errors of knowledge and evil is necessary here.
  5. I agree that it is valuable to study other philosophies to a point. However, one really needs only to understand the most essential principles of a philosophy before assessing how much time and attention they deserve. It is valuable to be knowledgeable regarding todays predominant philosophies, mostly because we are fighting a war against those ideas and we know how dangerous most of these ideas are. It is through abstractions and principles that a person is able to perceive and integrate an idea as: true or false, right or wrong, valid or invalid, good or evil. Consider the following: "In your own profession, in military science, you know the importance of keeping track of the enemy's weapons, strategy and tactics- and of being prepared to counter them. The same is true in philosophy: you have to understand the enemy's ideas and be prepared to refute them, you have to know his basic arguments and be able to blast them." - Philosophy: Who Needs It, p.11 It is not possible to understand opposing ideas without studying, reading and perhaps even attending lectures and classes.
  6. Rationality is not contextual, it is methodological. Knowledge is contextual, but the method for man to acquire knowledge is not. How else does one arrive at honesty as a virtue without rationality? When the link between epistemology and ethics is broken or ignored, rationalism is the only result. When one assess a value, he has to ask of value to whom and for what purpose, in relation to life and happiness. Life as the standard refers to the metaphysical, happiness refers to the spiritual to your consciousness. To ignore either happiness or life means to enter the mind-body dichotomy. There can be no compromise, no conflict between happiness and life. This is why rationality must be the standard of our actions. Morality is primarily focused on actions which is why actions speak louder than words. You can use deductive reasoning to hypothesize a person's motives from their actions, but you have to be very aware that this is not absolute.
  7. There are several issues in regard to drinking that I would like to mention and address. Drinking is sometimes a difficult subject because we are dealing with range, measurement, degree, and the psychological reasons and motives involved. Health: Do I drink in a range that will benefit my health, harm it, or have little or no effect? Do I value the health of my body and my mind? To what degree should I allow myself to become influenced by the effects of alcohol? Personal pleasure: Do I enjoy drinking? Do I enjoy becoming incapacitated by the effects of alcohol, or am I looking to relax socially? Does only one or two drinks have any effect on my mind at all? Do I enjoy the tastes, the aroma, the flavors, and at what expense? Context: Is it appropriate to be drinking or would it be reckless? Should I drink when I drive? How much can I drink if I need to drive? Should I drink when I'm working or when I need my mind the most? Perhaps the world is ending, and in this case perhaps a drunken state might be better. Responsibility, results, effects, consequences: What is my behavior like when I drink? How much can I drink before my judgment becomes too impaired, and becomes poor? Should I desire to be in such a sate? Am I aware that I will be held responsible for my actions regardless of how much I end up drinking? Will the effects of my drinking over time, harm me, or benefit me? Purpose: What is my short term and long term purpose in drinking? Am I drinking to escape from reality, to evade my problems, or to lighten myself up? Am I celebrating a victory or drowning myself to escape from pain? How one answers the preceding questions will resolve the issue of morality and rationality.
  8. So, what role does philosophy play in the minds of those that choose to come out or not?
  9. I've never met any Gay people that fit in this category, in the nine years that I have been out. That doesn't mean they do not exist, but I think on the whole they are rare. I have met some people that seem to be confused about their orientation, and in general these people tend to be unique, or struggling to build their self-esteem to the point where they feel comfortable to come out, they may feel conflicted, or embarrassed. I'm not willing to say, they have displayed any acts of individualism one way or the other. I can only think of one or two people that I know of that might fit the "uncertainty" mold, and no I do not think they would be easy to convert. Attempting to understand the " sexually uncertain" could be more psychological than philosophical. I'm looking for good targets, easy conversions, I think my premise is strong considering my personal experience and at least in the sense that some groups should be more open to Objectivism over others. Ayn Rand chose to come to America because she believed that this country was/is the most consistent with her principles. I think she was correct. America has the greatest number of Objectivists as far as I know.
  10. I'd say Gays are stereotyped though the media, and they portray activist homosexuals as liberal collectivists. That diverts us from the topic I'm interested in though. I am more focused on the act of "coming out" per se. I think its more significant than just saying I like to color my hair bright purple, or other conflicts. I look for areas to find common ground, and work from there because I am interested in spreading Objectivism to as many people as I can.
  11. "My only personal experience on this matter is at a student club fair. A few individuals who were affiliated with the homosexual student group made a few critical remarks of Ayn Rand. I assume they disliked her because of her controversial remarks on homosexuality. Unfortunately, neither of the two individuals seemed interested in having the matter clarified. Evidently they have already made up their minds, possibly because of their disagreements with her political philosophy as well." Most Gay kids aren't educated about Ayn Rand, they go off of what they have heard. They probably jump the gun, without even reading anything she has ever written, just like many people do in regard to Rand. That doesn't mean that they would not consider it, if they are challenged. There are very few Gay people going to churches that declare that homosexually is evil and a sin. They instead go to churches that are more tolerant or embrace homosexuality.
  12. Well, I can say I've had success with three of my Gay friends and, I have been working on a few others. Gay's value their sexual orientation, they want to justify living for their own happiness, this contradicts religion, and altruism, which would ask them to conform to collective standards.
  13. The issue of stating one's orientation is different than looking to date or meet. I want to be able to say I am Gay, but If or when I'm no longer single that is not going to change my orientation. I would in that case probably like to change my profile dating status to "in a relationship." I would still like to be able to find other Gay friends though, that are Objectivists.
  14. If you are a human being and you want to live you must use reason, but that does not mean you are always rational, that goes for any individual. As a group, are homosexuals more likely to be individualistic and therefore could they be more open to the ideas of Ayn Rand? I would ask, what is the root of individualism, does this not stem from ethics and epistemology? I do not think that just because someone states they recognize the importance of individualism vs. collectivism, to whatever degree they (homosexuals) do understand this, that means they will be rationally integrated. I might say the same thing about atheists. Hopefully I assume someone chooses to be an atheist, due to some rational reason, not because they have faith that there is no God. I would consider atheists, generally speaking as better targets for conversion to Objectivism over religious fanatics. I would consider them a better use of my time. Personally, since I've gone through "coming out" and I am Gay, I feel comfortable in talking to Gay people about the benefits of Objectivism as a philosophy for living on Earth. I see so many people that, have struggled with their identity, be kicked out of their families and homes even at a young age, it's not uncommon for them to turn to drinking and drugs, and become focused on all the wrong things. It takes effort to study Objectivism, to work on yourself, to learn to live more rationally. I think it's exciting to see the same positive changes occur in others, to see them become excited about Ayn Rand. And say, yes! This is how I want to live, how I should be living!
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