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Lorenzo de' Medici (old)

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  1. I have scheduled The Culture of Reason Center's Calendar up until May 22nd. I will be offering an admission package price of $75.00 for students/members that wish to gain access to all 15 of these lecture events at a discount (offer valid until February 27th). If you prefer to pay as you go, the admission price is $7.00 per lecture. I will be posting further details soon! Culture of Reason Center's Ayn Rand Ford Hall Syllabus: This course will run weekly on Friday evenings at 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. January 30th The Intellectual Bankruptcy of Our Age, with Q & A (1961) February 6th America's Persecuted Minority: Big Business, with Q & A (1961) February 13th Is Atlas Shrugging? (1964) February 20th The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus (1965) February 27th Our Cultural Value-Deprivation (1966) **March 6th No Class (Austin Trip)** March 13th What Is Capitalism? (1967) **March 20th Spring Break** March 27th The Wreckage of Consensus (1967) April 3rd Of living Death with Q & A (1968) April 10th Apollo and Dionysus (1969) April 17th The Moratorium on Brains (1971) April 24th A Nation's Unity (1972) May 1st Censorship: Local and Express (1973) May 8th Egalitarianism and Inflation (1974) May 15th The Moral Factor (1976) May 22nd Global Balkanization (1977) For location address and or any further questions, please call 214-263-2002 or Email:[email protected] - Permission to host these lectures has been given from Second Renaissance, Inc. - The Culture of Reason Center (CRC) does not necessarily endorse the content of any lectures and courses which are offered. - CRC is an independent entity and is not affiliated with ARI, TAS or any other organization. - CRC has the right to refuse any person access to these events for any reason at any time. - Payment is required upfront, before or on the day of the lecture attended. - All payments are final, no refunds will be given. - In the event of inclement weather or an emergency, we reserve the right to cancel or reschedule. - Lectures are for adults only. Children are not permitted on the premises. Participants are expected to make childcare arrangements. Thank you. - If you would like to RSVP please join the CRC facebook group: CRC FACEBOOK www.thecultureofreasoncenter.com
  2. The Culture of Reason Center (CRC) 2008 Achievements CRC offered its first course, The Basic Principles of Objectivism, on January 8th 2008. The Basic Principles of Objectivism by Nathaniel Branden was endorsed by Ayn Rand and was the first formal lecture series developed to teach her philosophy. January 8th The Role of Philosophy Part 1 and 2 January 15th What is Reason? / Logic and Mysticism January 22nd The Concept of God Part 1 January 29th The Concept of God Part 2 February 5th Free Will Part 1 February 12th Free Will Part 2 February 19th Efficient Thinking Part 1 February 26th Efficient Thinking Part 2 March 4th Self-Esteem March 11th The Psychology of Dependence Part 1 March 25th The Psychology of Dependence Part 2 April 1st The Psychology of Sex April 8th The Objectivist Ethics Part 1 April 15th The Objectivist Ethics Part 2 April 22nd Reason and Virtue April 29th Justice vs. Mercy May 6th The Evil of Self-Sacrifice Part 1 May 13th The Evil of Self-Sacrifice Part 2 May 20th Government and the Individual May 27th The Economics of a Free Society June 3rd Fallacies About Capitalism Part 1 June 10th Common Fallacies About Capitalism Part 2 June 17th Romanticism, Naturalism, and the Novels of Ayn Rand Part 1 June 24th Romanticism, Naturalism, and the Novels of Ayn Rand Part 2 July 1st The Nature of Evil July 8th The Benevolent Sense of Life On January 19th 2008 we offered Villainy: The Nature of Evil by Andrew Bernstein. On February 12th 2009 we offered Reason and Emotion by Edwin Locke. In August we began listening to Barbara Branden's Principles Efficient Thinking series which complements The Basic Principles of Objectivism course. August 22nd An Introduction to Thinking (50:15) August 29th An Introduction to Thinking Part 2 (50:54) September 5th Focusing and Problem Solving (49:30) September 12th Focusing and Problem Solving Part 2(45:50) September 19th Automatic Mind Functions (49:50) September 26th Automatic Mind Functions Part 2 (46:50) October 3rd Conceptual Level of Consciousness (47:09) October 10th Conceptual Level of Consciousness Part 2 (46:15) October 17th Conceptual Level of Consciousness Part 3 (49:10) October 24th Conceptual Level of Consciousness Part 4 (48:00) November 7th Emotions As Tools of Cognition (50:50) November 14th Emotions As Tools of Cognition Part 2 (49:58) November 21st Language and Definitions (50:00) December 5th Language and Definitions Part 2 (46:20) December 12th Common Aberrations in Thinking (50:07) December 19th Common Aberrations in Thinking Part 2 (45:35) – In addition to the lecture, we hosted a pizza party and played ping pong to celebrate our achievements and intellectual growth. Due to the length of this course, it will not be completed until January 23rd 2009. We have offered 42 audio-lecture events in 2008. Our largest participation was on January 8th The Role of Philosophy Part: I & II with 16 participants, and on April 1st The Psychology of Sex attracted 14 participants. CRC began its website in February, 2008 offering free samples of audio-lectures. The website expanded offering a small bookstore and vitamin sales later that month. CRC has an email list contact list of 47. In October, CRC started a facebook group which has grown to 54 members in 85 days. Students that participated this year have helped fund the expansion of CRC. In 2009, we plan on offering a wide variety of audio-lectures and products that further the growth of our local community and provide invaluable insights to understanding the philosophy of Objectivism and a personal foundation for living. CRC is committed to aiding the preservation of historical materials relevant to the study of Objectivism. We provide an environment hospitable to learning and discussion. Thank you for choosing CRC as your local resource for studying Objectivism. Happy New Year!
  3. The Culture of Reason Center now has a facebook group. If you live in the DFW area and would like to keep up with our most current events and study sessions please feel free to join: CRC Facebook
  4. The Rattigan Society has a facebook. Since their main website does not seem to be working still, I would suggest showing support through this avenue. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=10975568156
  5. It almost sounds like you are conceding that Objectivism is to be nothing other than quotations from Miss. Rand. The alternative would be to look to reality just as Miss. Rand did herself. To act in full dedication to reason, truth and reality, to act on one's own judgment is not, in contradiction with living the principles of Objectivism. To be an Objectivist on faith is worse than a contradiction in terms.
  6. Hi David, Thanks for your input. I'm sorry for the lack of clarity. I was not referring to the quiet and private type of brothel, but the exact opposite kind i.e. a brothel building made of glass next to a school. Or in the case of a homeowner, who keeps his window shades open during his weekly orgy events and is right next to a school . I am in principle opposed to anyone telling someone else how to dispose of their property. However, I think it is important to not drop context, and commit an accident fallacy, i.e. applying a principle to a situation it was not meant to cover. Rational laws are meant to respect individual rights. To the degree that you purchase property with stipulations is to the degree that you do not fully own that property. A clear example would be: buying a book versus buying the copyright (the intellectual ownership) of that book. At the base of this discussion, I think the issue is: what are legitimate claims of property and how does the formation of a government and its social contract affect these issues. It is interesting to read Ayn Rand's article on Patents and Copyrights and then revisit this discussion. We read the article last night in our discussion group, here in Dallas. I am going to reread it again.
  7. Hi Tabitha, Thank you for your input. You said everything that I was going to say. I think part of the reason why some Objectivists still use the term "Homosexual" is because they are of another generation. Many first generation Objectivists grew up in the Rand era. Such people generally think saying "Homosexual" is more elevated and or proper as apposed to the language of the general population. I prefer Gay over Homosexual too, but I usually do not take offense over it. I think as we see more younger Objectivists appear, this minor issue will fade.
  8. Does anyone know what is going on with the Rattigan Society? Their site has been down for months. There used to be a number to call to get an account set up. I do not have the number anymore and I think the owner is looking for a webmaster. http://www.rattigan.net/
  9. Did Ayn Rand write or talk about the issue of zoning at all? I thought she was not opposed to zoning laws per se, so long as the laws are rational and objective. In general the principle of rights is this: Your rights end where mine begin. I think that if a person were to open a brothel next to a school, that could be considered an infringement of property rights because such an action would be objectively harmful to the school owner. I am not sure if an ideal government would or should have zoning laws as we are familiar with them. I am not apposed to someone attempting at his own risk to open a school next to a brothel in that order. It would be irrational to do so and I could not imagine how a school owner could be successful next to a brothel. However, since the brothel was there first, I do not see how someone who opens a school next to a brothel could demand that the brothel close. Objectively, I cannot see how someone could complain if the actions of a neighbor were to increase ones property value. It seems that these issues only come up when there is a negative impact to property value. All of these instances are demonstrable, I don't see why courts should not be able to deal with such issues. Objective laws should simplify these problems. I am totally opposed to irrational laws which say: you cannot have a pink sink in your home or have two kitchens. I am not sure that expecting developers to be the answer to the problem is satisfactory either. Assume that developer A, says you can have a brothel next to a school and developer B says you cannot. At some point as these 2 developers expand and begin to collide I think we will be back at square one. I also see an issue with stating that the original owner has some form of super rights to stipulate how land will be used. This assumes that such a contract will be enforced by rational laws. What gives a person the right to build a home and then say that nobody can ever paint this house pink or tear it down? It almost seems like such a stipulation contradicts the concept of property rights. Land ownership is not the same as an intellectual license agreement which is acceptable when buying a book, computer software or using any other copy-written material.
  10. Samples of Barbara Branden's Efficient Thinking lecture series are now available on the CRC website. Barbara Branden has given me written permission to host samples. Please enjoy! www.thecultureofreasoncenter.com/
  11. I just saw a late showing of the film. I have been a general fan of the Batman movies and cartoons since my teens. I found this film to be philosophically simple and it's message morally depraved. The movie's underling premise is that there is a higher good. That the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few; that a true hero is and should be, willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good. The message of this film is not justice. Secondarily, the movie was focused on a typical philosophical paradox: What to do in the face of a prisoners dilemma? I find this to be a rather boring and uninteresting issue to wrestle with. Another repeating sub-premise of the film and of its villains was to offer an incentive to Batman or the general population to be evil to avoid a greater catastrophe, mass death, or a greater evil. And, in thus doing so, the villains attempt to demonstrate that everyone is morally corrupt. I agree with the assessment that Batman was unclear in his moral self-assessment. Batman consistently offers mercy to evil as a moral message of nobility.
  12. Proof of misrepresentation: David Kelley Robert W. Tracinski http://www.lyceum.dk/tracinski.html
  13. I am moving this week, so it will be awhile until I can add more to this subject. I have been reading everyone's posts and it looks like I will have a lot to say. AMirvish, Don't throw in the towel! I commend you for your efforts. Regards, Donovan
  14. It is also relevant to note this: Libertarianism was the topic of debate which lead to the split between ARI and Kelley. Quotes are from ON MORAL SANCTIONS by Peter Schwartz. I find the whole paper to be disturbing! (This is written as an addendum to [Fact and Value], in order to amplify some points about the principle of not sanctioning evil.) http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pag...ivism_sanctions How is one supposed to live this? Republicans and Democrats do not do this? I guess we should try to somehow change people's ideas and the culture. This makes no sense to me. This does not happen on Fox News with Yaron Brook?
  15. The reason why it's being brought up is because I am questioning how some Objectivists are justifying their practices of tolerance, which is the subject of discussion here. But, I agree, there is no need to continue pointing to this person as an example. My apologies, Donovan
  16. I think you are mistaken in your analyses, because you are refusing to accept the context in which that was written. You have suspended a moral judgment (pronouncement) of the waitress' total character, because you don't have enough facts to make a judgment (conclusion) one way or another based on only knowing that she is a Democrat. Our Grandmother was a Democrat, but I don't think she was immoral because of it. And I certainly practiced tolerance, it would have been wonderful if Grandma had been an Objectivist. Toad please answer these 2 questions: "… tolerance … means suspending judgment when we lack sufficient evidence" 1. What type of judgment is Kelley talking about? A. Moral Judgment B. Epistemological Judgment (True/False) C. Judgment of one's Character in toto D. Political judgement (criminal judgment) E. All of the above 2. What "sufficient evidence" do you think Kelley is talking about? A. The actions one has taken (past actions) B. The person's intentions (malice or benevolent) & context of knowledge C. Potential actions (possible future actions) D. All of the above This discussion is reminding me more and more of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwGLNbiw1gk...ature=rec-fresh
  17. Here you go: http://www.noblesoul.com/orc/bio/biofaq.html#Q5.2.6
  18. Brandon, Why bother with differentiating between epistemology and ethics at all then? Does every fact hold a moral significance? And, since you have declared that EC is immoral, have you decided what to do about it? Is there a spectrum when it comes to morality or is he just as bad as a killer? I am also wondering, since you think that all irrational ideas automatically manifest into evil actions, why advocate a free society? Why not punish people for their ideas? As soon as you hear EC say "Gays are immoral," you believe you can infer that he must be an evader, he must have the intention to do harm, he is evil. Why not persecute him? Even in Dante's Inferno there was acknowledgment of degree and measurement. Sounds like Peikoff's version of hell would be even worse than the Inferno! And, I thought the Christian hell was packed full of souls! Compare these statements: - Who is Ayn Rand? by Nathaniel Branden, 1962 - David Kelley, Page 15 - The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand - David Kelley, Page 20 - The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand To read a full version of Kelley's paper use this link: http://www.objectivistcenter.org/David%20K...0Toleration.pdf
  19. Toad, I do not see how putting up with someone that says things you know are incorrect, is not tolerance. I think I am being tolerant in having this discussion. If I were being intolerant I would have condemned everyone I disagree with, removed my sanction and I would not even bother to deal with people at all. The reason why I am being tolerant in this conversation is because I have not seen evidence that anyone here has malevolent intentions and I do not assume that because others have a different view that I always know their intentions. Degree and measurement matters in morality. I think you are very confused between the concept of moral relativism and tolerance. I think you are also being unfair to Kelley because you are taking his quote to mean suspending all judgment as apposed to not judging someone's character automatically based on their ideas or actions (because we lack evidence). For anyone that is interested in knowing a little about how these two concepts differ, consider these links: Moral relativism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_relativism Toleration: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolerance Intentions and degree matter in morality: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder#Common_law
  20. You know better than to say that I just found Ayn Rand yesterday, a few months ago, or even a few years ago. This is below you Tom. Kelley does say that ideas can have moral significance. He says that the essential property of an idea is epistemological. Those who distort Kelley's view to be that one should be tolerant of evil and that no moral judgment of ideas is possible are mistaken and perhaps even dishonest. No, I am not intimidated by you or even a group of 1,000 people like you. I have stood my ground in the face of wider opposition, as any man of integrity and independence should be willing to do. Your answer on this point is weak at best. You have not addressed that Peikoff did not have to sell all rights to the script and you omit the fact Peikoff could have produced the script himself. I highly doubt that Ayn Rand would have been willing to just have Peikoff find a producer and let him produce it.
  21. Hi Tom, I would like you to define what you mean when you describe me as "new to Objectivism." If you look at the About Me on my profile, I have written a summary of my studies on Objectivism and philosophy. I find your statement to be nothing more than an Argument of Intimidation that implies if you disagree with Peikoff then surely you cannot be an Objectivist. By the way, you never did respond to my point regarding Peikoff's sale of all the rights to produce an Atlas Shrugged movie. I cannot imagine Ayn Rand approving of or sanctioning that action.
  22. Hey Toad, The relationship between ideas and motives is what is in question here. Can you always know someone's motives based on the ideas they hold? How one deals with others is the essential difference between Peikoff and Kelley. TOLERANCE IS NOT A REFUSAL TO JUDGE. In fact, tolerance is an approach that is taken AFTER one determines that there is not enough evidence that a person is immoral (willfully evading). It is an approach that one takes when one has evaluated something as not a big deal or when one has concluded that someone is sincerely mistaken. Actually, it appears many Objectivists do, in fact, suspend judgment when it comes to judging their parents, in-laws, childhood friends, etc. who are not Objectivists and are often guilty of willful evasion. -Toad Quotes Kelley Kelley means we suspend a moral judgment of the person's character when we lack evidence of malicious intent. In a criminal judgment, evidence is gathered, the validity of the evidence is weighed, and then the defendant is either pronounced guilty or innocent. Example where tolerance does not apply: You drive to work one day and a policeman pulls you over. He gives you a ticket and you go to court. The evidence is strong that you committed the offense and you did. You are pronounced guilty. Tolerance would not be an issue here. Example where tolerance does apply: You encounter a nice waitress at a restaurant and somehow she ends up telling you that she is a Democrat. In learning this, you ask yourself what is the probability that this person has been educated in Ayn Rand's philosophy on the subject of politics, etc. If you conclude that based on her context and the fact that her error is common; that she just has not seen or heard objective reasons why it's irrational to be a Democrat, then you can say her ideas are just false. Her motive and intention is probably not to destroy the United States or to vote the country into dictatorship/communism. You can practice tolerance in this case because you ARE in disagreement with her ideas and you have judged that she is not likely to fit the profile of one who "should have known what the function of government ought to be." In this situation, it is acceptable to have a civil attitude and it is not necessary to boycott the waitress or the restaurant. In conclusion: When there is agreement, however, tolerance is not an issue. But, when it comes to a person that is capable of reasoning and he demonstrates consistent evasion, lacks civility, or is physically threatening, it is not appropriate to be tolerant. According to Kelley: "THE PRINCIPLES OF JUSTICE ALSO DETERMINE THE LIMITS OF TOLERATION." Kelley also states that when the action is very horrendous, you do not have to, nor should you, concern yourself about motives at all. Cold blooded murder is his example. Tolerance in the realm of ideas is giving someone the benefit of the doubt until he demonstrates he does not deserve that benefit. Benevolence in the realm of actions is giving someone the benefit of the doubt until he demonstrates he does not deserve that benefit.
  23. Hey Tom, Are you in agreement with what EC is saying is consistent with Objectivism? That homosexuality is immoral! If so, then I wonder how you or he can claim any right to be here. As for my support of the Branden's, I support the works that they produced with Ayn Rand, the ideas that she endorsed. I am also aware that you had planned on attending The Basic Principles of Objectivism audio -lectures which were hosted by Nikki Allen. So I don't see what your point is, unless you wish to condemn your prior intentions. I also have skimmed over a copy of a paper you wrote in college in reference to David Kelley's The Evidence of the Senses . You wrote a note to Harry Binswanger stating that you found no errors in his book. I find so much of David Kelley's work to be fascinating and there are many of his views that I agree with. If you honestly believe that my arguments are worthless, my convictions irrational, then there should be nothing to fear in having a discussion or a debate with me, regardless of what that might mean to Objectivism. Thanks for stopping by, Donovan
  24. Awesome, Which particular issue between Peikoff and Kelley would you like to debate? 1. Open vs. Closed System 2. Judging ideas vs. actions 3. Tolerance 4. Libertarians 5. Sanction 6. Error vs. Evil I have to admit, I am unfamiliar with how to start or accept participation in a one-on-one debate forum. Let me know.
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