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Lorenzo de' Medici

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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!
  15. David, I would still prefer to have a more clear declaration of sexual orientation. I think Tom is right. It's better than nothing, but still too vague. I'd rather the profile questioner say something like: I identify myself as: 1. Straight 2. Gay / Lesbian 3. Bisexual 4. Unsure or Other Interested in meeting / dating: 1. Men 2. Women 3. Both
  16. Hi -archimedes- I don't think Objectivism was formulated for Homosexuals, just Man qua Man. Objectivism is the best philosophy for people, who want to live a rational life, thus to live in general. The point ultimately of my post is to discuss if "coming out" implies a higher level of individualism than resolving other personal conflicts. I had a chat with another OO member, and I have posted a few quotes from our conversation. He never really provided examples other than "coming out" as an atheist, which I agree can be difficult, and I would also agree that if someone makes such a conclusion on their own, that they probably are more open to Objectivism. Initially my statement was, I believe that Gay people can make an easier conversion to Objectivism especially if they have some guidance.
  17. Not understanding rights, and accepting collectivism to some degree is a basic crime committed by most non-Objectivists and Americans. What I think is interesting in particular about Gays as a group is that they usually have to "come out." Why? Why stand up and say this is who I am? Sometimes in the face of hostility they still stand up and show the world that they are not afraid, that they will not accept the doctrine that others should have a claim on their existence, or their happiness. This does not mean that Gays are automatically free from the possibility that they may or will not have contradictions in their reasoning. Declaring that one is homosexual does not automatically integrate the mind. However, when questioned they usually have to admit the value of their personal stance. They identify that they are different from most people that surround them, they identify the atmosphere around them, and they must choose to whom they feel it is necessary or important to share this information with. Many Gay people have never heard of Objectivism or Ayn Rand, but I do think there are groups of people, or nations that are more open to her ideas than others.
  18. My point in this chat was primarily that I believe many Gay people are at least somewhat more likely to be open to learning about Objectivism than other groups because they have already declared their individuality as important, consciously or subconsciously. They are showing in their action of “coming out” that their own selfish happiness is valuable enough for them to risk their relationships with their friends, family, co-workers, employers, and church or religious institution. Since, “out” Gay people recognize their personal happiness as important, and are often rejected by religion, I consider many of them to be potentially open to what Objectivism has to offer. I consider many of them to be more open than other groups of individuals, such as the religious, or the declared collectivists.
  19. I recently had a discussion with a friend online, that “coming out” in action is a declaration of individualism. We had a disagreement. The question essentially is: Is there is a philosophic difference between the struggle of 'coming out', and others. This was my initial statement: “Gays are already declaring they subconsciously or consciously are individualistic.” (By coming out). Here are some quotes from my opponent in our chat: “Some groups would indeed be less open than others. but this would primarily be an ideological concern. I.e. is one a catholic, an atheist, a Marxist, etc? this is the more important question than factors of empiricism, like sexual orientation or nationality” “Well, that's it precisely. if I was trying to make objectivism appeal to others, I wouldn't target any group in particular. Not gays, not artists. I don't think there's sense in it, when Objectivism is a philosophy for individuals, not individuals with a particular empirical disposition” “your problem is you're trying to group them, identify them all as one type or another. as in 'coming out' vs 'coming out atheist' vs 'coming out with your favorite pizza topping'. can you really not imagine difficult conflicts that are completely particular, unique to the context and only experienced by one person? I would say that the majority of conflicts are of this type” “I'm saying there are conflicts which can be difficult in the same way that 'coming out' can be, and that 'coming out' in itself isn't a uniformly difficult conflict, with oneself or others. there is nothing more philosophically significant about 'coming out' than there is with other personal conflicts” “there's nothing that philosophically separates 'coming out' as gay from other struggles one may endure” “ones independence does not rely entirely on the choice to explain to others the nature of one's life” “can you explain why, in temrs of philosophy, 'coming out' is necessarily more independently virtuous than any other personal conflict? or do you only have more anecdotal evidence?” “it doesn't really matter how tough it is. it being 'very difficult' does not make it true that others cannot endure similar challenges” “yes, it is a choice to live for ones own happiness. but coming out is not necessarily a stronger test of independence than other conflicts” “I announced that I was an atheist to my mother and my brother. if not as difficult, it's similar” “it just is. coming out is a declaration of that. it doesn't require independence, per se, but strength” “having their sense of individualism depend on their sexual preference would imply that it's something they can choose”
  20. I don't think its a problem if you don't want to fill out those fields or participate per se (straight or Gay isn't really the issue). Perhaps you can set your parameter to married. I know that some married couples would like to find other married couples just as friends. This can also give families the chance to find each other more easily. My brother has been looking to find couples that have kids, so that his kids can have Objectivists friends. As for me, it would be too impractical to not be able to search for members information when they are offline. The Gay Objectivists population is way too small and the chance of me finding anyone (that just happens to also be online) would really impact the relevance of making this change. I'm sure it's not easy for straight people to find interesting people to date as well, limiting their chances by only making dating information accessible when someone is online would devastate their chances also. The great benefit of the internet and the potential of Objectivism Online can be reached, by reaching out to people that are primarily interested in Objectivism and secondarily wish to find friends or romance along the way. Thank you,
  21. I think it would be awesome to offer this feature! This will help anyone regardless of their sexual orientation, who would like to narrow down their romantic or friendship search. Hopefully, by doing this more people will want to participate on Objectivism Online. Thank you!!
  22. Hello, I read though as many posts as I could to try to catch up with what has been said. I unfortunately think that Ayn Rand did not fully develop Objectivism in regards to this/these issues. There are multiple issues to consider in regards to casual sex and morality. From what I understand the question is: Is it immoral to have casual sex? I want to start with some of my own definitions: Romantic Love: The highest form of Physical, sexual, mental, psychological integration between partners. Meaning the sexual partners see each other in this way. They see each other as reciprocally paramount in terms of value. Casual sex: A sexual encounter/intimacy without true romantic love as the justification for the act. Promiscuity: indiscriminate sexual behavior Now I think we face a continuum: On the left we can place Promiscuity and on the right we can place Romantic love making with the ideal person, an expression, glorification of the highest level of physical, biological, emotional and psychological pleasure. Paralleled to the continuum of Romantic Love and Promiscuity we can create of continuum of moral judgment. On one side Immoral the other side Moral. Comparing these continuums simultaneously and in relation to each other would be one way of establishing an objective means of evaluation in regards to sexual behavior. There are many things to consider in regards to sexuality in general and people have to conclude on their own judgment if their actions/values are rational, consistent and conducive to achieving their goals, contextually. Thus, a generalization about sexual behavior may not apply to a specific case and vice versa. Consider these abstractions: - A person that never has sex because no one meets the standard of true romantic love - A person that falls in love with everyone and therefore will have sex with whomever, whenever possible - A person that chooses to engage in sexual encounters with prostitutes - A person that has sex with someone he dislikes - A person that has sex with someone that he hardly knows - A person that waits to evaluate the character of the considered partner - A person that attempts to evaluate and consider rationally the many values and factors involved before engaging in a particular sexual activity or encounter Love vs. Sex: We can evaluate these on a continuum scale: Love on one side, disgust on the other. Parallel to this continuum: Would not want to be in the same room together, would love to sleep with this person. Elements/factors that affect someone’s sex life and choices: Hormones – pheromones Biological Romantic Physical attraction Mental attraction Emotional attraction Social acceptance – social status Context Value judgments Morality Consequences: Risk – health and pregnancy Honesty and agreement Multiple partners Self-esteem and pride Psychology Experience – exploration, experimentation Maturity Time spent with the person Clear intentions The type of sexual/intimate encounter (what sexual acts of intimacy are committed) All of these elements have an effect on what a man or woman’s sexual experience and life is like. And, we asses our partners and determine our actions either consciously or unconsciously. People vary in their ability to make these judgments. Some may not even consider all these factors before they decide to have a sexual encounter. As a principle of Objectivism we seek out rational pleasure, rational self interest. I think it’s difficult to just formulate a blanket rule or judgment of how or why someone chooses or should choose to have sex with someone else. That is why I think Ayn Rand later made the statement to be cautious when judging the relationships of others. In most cases we are dealing with continuums like the examples I have given. This is why we see subjectivity and diverse opinions and abstractions between each other. To conclude I would not categorize casual sexual encounters as immoral generally speaking. Sexual encounters I think can be enjoyable and moral without requiring that the act is solely justified by love, because there are more things to consider than just love.
  23. Yes I totally agree, I can't stand the confusion that is involved in the employment process of most companies! In my experience, it seems like the recruiter and the applicants have no idea what to expect from each other. The would be employee has no idea of what the job is like or what will be required of them. The Employer does not explicitly state or perhaps even know what they need from their employees. I got my most recent employment by going to a University Job fair and with the assistance of a University Adviser. However, the resume that I used at that time to obtain my current employment is totally different than the resume/format I have now. And, to be honest if I were to look for internal jobs I think my current resume is more suited than if I were to search for employment outside of my current company. To simplify the process I think it's best to use a service, a head hunter or meet with your Collage Adviser. Your University can assign you someone to work with that can really help in the process. They already have established relationships with company recruiters and can give you an idea of what companies are looking for in regards to your major and your resume. The University adviser will help you format your resume for each particular industry and companies. They can even help with you with what to expect in an interview. The hiring process is so complicated and so different from company to company I just think it's better to to go to someone that's an expert in the area of helping you get the job you are looking for, and they will help you market yourself. As to whether we agree on what they should value or care about in a resume, well that might be a good indicator of if you want to even seek out employment with the company. I probably would not want to even apply for a job with a company that is interested in if I go to church, or how many charitable organizations I have belonged to.
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