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Everything posted by JJJJ

  1. Yeah. And in general i really hate people that try and convey a vague, totally "mudded" message, where you cant by any logic understand what excactly they are trying to say. I mean, here is a part of the lyrics of that song: What does this mean? How does the fact that there are people "making too many problems" and that there isnt "much love to go around" mean that "this is a land of confusion"? This chorus on the other hand would fit perfectly in an objectivist song. This is the world we live in = urging people to understand the nature of reality And these are the hands we're given = urging people to understand who and what they are Use them and let's start trying = urging people to understand that by making choices/actions based on reality they can change their situation To make it a place worth living in = urging people to understand that their own happiness is the purpose of these actions And i didnt even need to force those meanings in those lyrics, they fit quite well..... I liked the voice of that singer though......
  2. Overall i think many objectivists are spending too much time reading up on what Ayn Rand thought about every single topic in the world. It seems like many people here are constantly making questions like "what did Ayn Rand say about this? what did Ayn Rand say about that?", as if they cant think for themselves, and decide that they are going to let Ayn Rand decide what they are going to think. The value in objectivism lies in its foundation, not in Ayn Rands own conclusions or thoughts about every imaginable topic. Even if you understand the foundation, you can still make bad conclusions that are not compatible with that said foundation. Im not going to list whether Rand was wrong in her conclusions, but its really worrysome that there are so many people on this forum that pretty much state: "Im confused....lets ask the forum what Ayn Rand said about this subject, and then i dont have to think about this anymore....." If Ayn Rand had lived and wrote her work in a much earlier time, she would most likely had supported the view that the Earth was flat, or slightly later, that our solar system was the only one. That would not have changed the validity of her philosophy, not one bit. Sometimes i think that there would be people on this board that would support the "Flat Earth" theory just because Ayn Rand happened to make a short irrelevant reference in one of journals about the earth being flat.
  3. Man i hate that show.....Just when it seems like there is some story developing in the episode, they insert a totally arbitrary "flashback", and it drives me crazy. And more often than not, the flashbacks arent even too relevant to the overall storyline. Its like the writers are thinking: "i have all these arbitrary funny ideas, lets try and insert some sort of storyline that is even remotely relevant to those random cutaways". Its the best "ADD-simulator" ever created, and i feel dizzy after watching an episode, and in the end i have really no idea what i just watched.
  4. Laughter does not equate that someone is "humoured". I remember when i was younger and i did something wrong and my parents were "lecturing" me, that i started laughing, as that was the worst thing that could happen. That didnt mean i was amused, or i was enjoying their lecture. I was ashamed when they lectured me(for right reasons), still i started laughing, or more exaclty, smiling. Its the same reaction if you hear someone speaking in a weird high-pitched voice. Your laughter is just a "reflex", and im not at all amused in those situations. Real humour is more of a thing of the mind, when you get enjoyment from something that humours you. I actually dont even really laugh when im really humoured, but that doesnt mean i aint. I laugh at uncomfortable situations, and at those times i am not at all humoured.
  5. I know this answer hasnt got anything to do with objectivism, but you know you are happy, when the underlying feeling when you wake up in the morning is "its great to be awake". Yeah, sure, you may sometimes feel like you could have slept an additional 30 minutes, or may feel annoyed that the neighbor kept you up all night with his loud music, but the underlying sensation even in these times is, "its great to be awake/alive".
  6. Yeah, id definitely continue discussing with that guy, as he clearly says what he thinks, and is clearly someone who seems interested in good/evil. He seems quite civil, and id definitely challenge him further.....
  7. I have found myself "respecting"(disrespecting less) christians more than about 99% of the atheists i meet. Yes, christians and other religious people are clearly wrong about what is good/evil, right/wrong, but it at least "soothes" me somewhat that they are interested in the subject of good/evil. On the other hand, most atheists you meet are relativists/subjectivists/nihilists and in my book they are the lowest of the low, and rank far below most religious people. It is of no use that they correctly claim that god does not exist, if they at the same time make this a basis to that there is no good/evil, right/wrong, or that they claim that good/evil is subjective. I never call myself an atheist anywhere when im discussing with people i dont know, becuase i dont want that people put me in the same category with these idiots. Even though im obviously an atheist, i refuse to call myself one, at least without an explanation. Its not like i respect either, but are there any others who "rank" regular christians higher than they do most of the atheists?
  8. I think what puts the US down on that list is the human rights violations(Guantanamo etc.) + the fact that economically the US does have a lot of public spending and quite a lot of trade protectionism as well. But all in all, i think its the massive human rights violations that the US governent does around the world that brings them down on the lis However, the US is "by far" the freest country in the world "ideologically", iow. americans value freedom, happiness and success way more than in most other countries. So, for a rational individual, the US is still "the place to be" in todays world, if you want to be happy and succeed, even though the economic policies of some other countries may be more in alignment with "freedom". Ireland is a really conservative, catholic country, and even though they have made massive economic reforms, id guess Ireland is not the place to go if you value freedom. You will not find people who live in a way that is consistant with what their economic policies are, and as most non-US countries in the world, success and individualism ranks really low on the scale of good/evil. Estonia is a young market-economy, and has done some massive economic reforms. They are suffering from a very common post-soviet syndrome, where the people dont really seem to grasp why individualism is good. Its like they have turned into the caricatyre-like "capitalist pigs" that the soviet propaganda accused the western world of being, instead of really grasping why communism was bad and what individualism really means. Ireland and Estonia are actually good examples of what is so bad about libertarianism. They have just "inserted" the policies, without understanding why the policies are good, and the people of those countries do not live in a way that is consistant with what would lead people to support those new economic reforms Therefore, id rather live in the US(and may move there once i graduate), where i am surrounded by (more or less) rational, individualistic people than in a country with better policies but a population who does not understand them or live in a way where i can strive and succeed. Its much more important what the people in a country are like, than the slight differences in policies. After a while, if the people are rational, perfectly rational policies will also strive, but there is very little value in living in a country with "good" policies but an irrational population
  9. The problem with spanking is that even though you may get them to "act the right way", they are not acting in the right way because they understand why it is right, but because of fear of pain. In situations where your kid pulls his pants down in a public place over and over again, or where he beats up the neighbor kid, it is okay to give him some sort of physical punishment if he is of the age where you cant reason with him completely. But it is very important, that you constantly explain to your child, why the thing he/she did was wrong, and that you dont leave it just because he stopped doing it because he feared your punishment. It is possible to get children to act in a right way, but it is of no long term value to you or the child, if he does not understand himself why it is right to act in that way. You can get your child to work hard at school by giving him money or candy when he gets good grades, but this does not mean that he will learn why it is good for himself to work hard at school and learn new things if you dont try and explain it to him in any other way than just "bribing" him. The effects of this will be apparent later on, and in high school/college he may not value education because he has a part-time job, and dont need your bribes any more.
  10. Maybe, but i feel like everytime libertarianism pops up on this, and other O'ist forums, it always becomes a discussion about anarchy. But yeah, even the minarchists tend to be quite anti-government, but just Yeah. I was a "libertarian", and i understood that objectivist principles are good for my life, but for some reason i wasnt willing to make the logical step, and admit that objectivism is best for all people. So, i was a libertarian, that supported freedom because "it just felt right", while at the same time understanding what is good for my life. Its tough to try and understand my own reasoning before i became an objectivist, as it feels completely insane for me to think about why i wasnt able to make that logical step. The libertarians i hung around were a quite colorful bunch. Some were former leftists that now where some sort of libertarian utilitarians, while others were some sort of hedonistic egoistic elitists. And we all hung around with each other in complete harmony, never caring about the fact that we lacked any sort of philosophy or moral code to explain why the freedom we supported, was actually good.
  11. I think the gay-debate is one that separates the so called Rand-cultists from the "true" Objectivists. The thing that Objectivists get from Rand, is the core of the philosophy, the values and the principles, but that does not equate that everything Rand uttered on every subject were correct. The "cultists" on the other cant get over the fact that every observation Rand made wasnt true. Rand understood THAT things "are what they are" and that is what makes Objectivism what it is, but that does not mean that she had complete knowledge about WHAT every thing in the universe is.
  12. I used to be a libertarian, and ive wondered why so many objectivists always use the anarchy vs. government argument when discussing libertarianism. Obviously, libertarianism is a bunch of crap, but of the 10-15 people i know/knew that call themselves libertarians/classical liberals, maybe 2 are anarchists. Most of them are some sort of utilitarian minarchists, or egoistical/hedonistic minarchists. So why is it that the anarchy argument is always brought up when objectivists discuss libertarianism, as i have found it really rare that libertarians are anarchists? The arguments brought up against anarchy are obviously correct, but why is libertarianism=anarchy for most objectivists, when clearly that isnt the case?
  13. I really, really, wouldnt want to disrespect "The Great One", as he was an amazing player and clearly the best ever on a "long period" of time, but he did get more protection than anyone else in the league. In his last years there was almost a "gentlemans agreement" that noone should hit Gretzky. This probably really sounds like im knocking on Gretzky, but as there are probably people here not that familiar with hockey statistics, it has to be said that the game of hockey has really changed since Gretzky played. His 215(or whatever it was) point season is amazing, and was that in his time as well, but id say a 160 point, 60 goal season is comparable with a 215 point, 90 goal season from the 80's and there are two guys on the horizon who i could see doing that in the coming years. Also, Gretzky did have a nice supporting cast as well, and despite many people that played on his line being accused of "living off Wayne", they showed that they could rack up as good or better stats once Wayne left for LA, and win more Stanley Cups without Wayne than Wayne could without them. True, but that doesnt have really anything to do with my point. My point being, that Tiger has shown(publicly, we dont really know him), to be a more rational and goal-oriented person, and who has consistantly acted in his own best interest while Gretzky seems more like the "im great, whatever" type of guy, that so many team sport athletes are. He sure did have an amazing career, and is the best there ever was for such a long period, but for me Tiger is just in a league of his own when considering which athlete is a "hero" and which athlete is "just another amazingly talented athlete". Gretzky was in a league of his own, but not compared to Tiger. Golf is a sport that didnt have a "dominator" in 30 years, and is almost impossible to dominate in, and then along comes a guy that just demolishes the opposition, and that has shown a degree of stability and extraordinary greatness more times than anyone else in the game before. I can imagine there being another Gretzky, but i cant see anyone getting near the dominance of Tiger for a long long time. Hopefully im wrong, as Golf is a total snooze-fest once Tiger isnt playing, as all i can ever think about is that "Tiger would have beaten you"..... If i had a child, and had to show them one athlete, who they should look up to and try to learn from, it would be Tiger.
  14. Not to knock on gretzky, but he had his own goons making sure that the opposing goons dont touch him, and that is one major reason why he could skate rings around goons and never resorted to violence. He didnt have to, as he had other people doing it for him. Therefore, Gretzky is in my opinion not even remotely comparable to Tiger, who seems to be an amazing human being, and has to do everything he achieves himself. So many atlethes with talent just "wing it" and "hope for the best", but Tiger is one who 1) seems to be very goal-oriented and have a clear vision of what he wants to achieve, 2) he goes after his goals with the use of his mind, and seemingly enjoying every moment in the process and 3) he does not apologize for being great, is neither humble nor arrogant, and does not seem to play for the sake of having some imaginary "duty" to someone, or for the sake of sacrifice. Not saying that the likes of Gretzky or Jordan just "winged" it, but all in all, Tiger seems like a extremely special individual, and i would not rank 99 and MJ in the same category.
  15. Well, i think we have already established that it is a complete stranger we are talking about. And i dont get how it matters whether the other guy may work out a universal cancer cure? And yes, this has ZERO to do with objectivism, as KendallJ said. Still, i find it baffling why you would rather see the other person live, than yourself.
  16. But dont you get it, that there are three alternatives: You live, he dies He lives, you die You both die Howcome you dont choose the first one? How can you claim that his life is of equal value to you than your own? What good does it do to you, that you die and he lives?
  17. Your options are - kill the other guy and live - be killed by the other guy and die - die alongside the other guy - 50+% chance of death, 50- % chance of life, as you draw straws How the hell arent you gonna choose "kill the other guy and live"? You say you value your own survival, but still you would choose an action that is detrimental to your survival? If you, and another person "have the misfortune" of being trapped in a disabled sub, then why the hell would you value his life as much as your own? Actually you value the other persons life more than your own, as you have no way of knowing if he will kill you, but you know you wont kill him. Yes, the fact that you killed the other guy may leave psychological scars and you may need some time to get over it, as killing another man is not something that a man does normally, but at least you would live.
  18. No it doesnt. Reason is a "tool" to achieve values, of which your own life is the highest. You should always act in a way that promotes your own life, and to sacrifice your own life when you have the option not to, is irrational and stupid. Tell me, why should you care about this stranger, if this strangers existence, and your killing him, does not harm your life one bit.
  19. But you have to understand that "respecting other peoples rights" has no value to you in this situation. The reason we respect other peoples rights in every day life, is that it is of value to us. It is of value to me that you are a rational productive man, and the reason i respect your rights is so i can live in peace and without fear of you not respecting my rights. Respecting someones rights is good, not by itself, but because it is of value to a rational man and promotes his life. In the situation in the opening post, there exists no reason why i should respect the other persons life, quite the opposite. It is detrimental to my life, to put myself in a situation where im in 50% danger(actually more, as the other guy might just kill me despite the result of the lottery) of losing my life. Respecting other peoples rights is good only because it is of value to your life. It is not valuable "in itself" Umm, so to you, my life(a complete stranger to you) is of equal value to you as your OWN life? I'll be calling you when im in need of a kidney.....
  20. Thats pretty much nailed it on the head. At the improbable scenario where this would be reality, and both parties knew 100% that only one could live, then obviously i would kill that other person as quickly as possible. A lottery would be absolutely irrational for both persons, and the rational thing would be to just kill the other person as quickly as possible. - Hoping for a miracle -> i die certainly - Voluntarily letting the other person kill me -> i die certainly - Taking part in a lottery - > i die with a 50% certainty - I kill the other person -> i live certainly(as long as i am succesful) How the hell wouldnt a rational person select killing the other person in this situation?
  21. JJJJ


    Both are demanding in the sense, that they require amazing "bursts" of athleticism, but they lack in the aspect of stamina, as they have line-changes in hockey, and they only play(usually) on one side of the ball in football, in addition to loads of stoppage in the play. Id say, that Rugby has to be quite close to being the toughest, as you have to have the same stamina thats required in soccer, but also the same athleticism and toughness as in hockey/football.
  22. JJJJ


    Just did a quick google search for "unselfish player", and surprise surprise, all of them are absolutely wrong. There is the example of Brian Westbrook, who kneeled down just before the endzone instead of scoring, as he wanted to run the clock out, rather than give the Cowboys more time to make a comeback in the last minutes of the 4th quarter. How the hell is that unselfish? That would imply that Westbrook valued scoring a touchdown more than he wanted to win the game, but for some reason decided to sacrifice his own values for someone elses? I just dont get it? If it had been Week 17, with the Eagles being 0-15, and down 34-0 in the game with 20 seconds remaining, and Westbrook would have needed just one touchdown to pass the single-season rushing TD record, then i could have dubbed it as unselfish and irrational for him to have kneeled down before the endzone. I would also have dubbed it stupid. Another thing about sports: I just read a book that some cricket player wrote, and he said something along the lines of: "In baseball it is better for a batter to trust his instincts than try to be so rational and scientific about the art of hitting". Ummm....the instincts he is referring to arent instincts but reflexes that the batter has learned to master during rigorous training through his whole life. So if the batter wants to hit the ball, and he knows that the best way for him to hit it, is to try and let his reflexes "take over" during his at bat, then how is this not being rational and "scientific"? If he acts in a way, that in reality allows him to achieve what he has set out to do, then how is this not rational, just because he isnt over-analyzing all his muscle-movements during his at bat? Also, i love american sports, but why does every athlete have to be so damn religious or superstitious. Obviously superstitions can be different, and some superstitions may be good. It is debatable whether they are superstitions though. Take tennis for example. Most players have a set routine they do before they serve, and they bounce the ball on the ground in the same manner every time. The will not serve if they accidentally bounce the ball 5 times instead of 4, and start their routine again. However, this is not a superstition, and more about rhythm that allows you to serve better, so i would not class this in the same category as having some lucky necklace or something. Also, the "thanking god" thing is really lame, and id love it if someone said something like "I was in the zone, i had open looks all night, and i shot the ball perfectly, but you know, god just didnt allow them to go in."
  23. Im fairly into sports, and i feel that by watching sports you can really see what is great about using your mind. And for some reason, even the more irrational of people do appreciate human achievement and greatness when it comes to sport, but for some reason denounce it in all other aspects of life. If Michael Jordan, in his prime, played a one-on-one game against an obese lazy bastard that has never seen a basketball, the result would be an absolute blowout by Jordan. The lazy bastard would die of a heart-attack if they kept going long enough, while Jordan would have barely broken a sweat. A prime example of how your own actions, and not just "any actions", but specific actions based on reality, have made you(Jordan), so much better than the slob that did not take any of the actions required. Both members of the same species, but the other one, in reality, soooo much better than the other. In sports it is also really easy to watch at statistics where you can rank the players based on what they have achieved. If player A is batting .212 for his 10-year career in the minors, and player B is batting .334 for 15 years in the majors, then player B is better at hitting(at least contact) than player A. And all people understand this. They do not say that it is "in the eye of the beholder" whether B is better than A, and understand that it is an objective fact that it is so. An aspiring baseball player can look up to the great contact hitter, and try to take him as an example of what he needs to do in order to achieve similar greatness. It is sad that such easily accessible statistics do not exist in other aspects of life, or when they exist, people dont apply the same logic they use while comparing and judging athletes. Somehow, it becomes subjective who you should be inspired by, and somehow "everyone is as important" and "there is no right or wrong". I gues i should be happy for the fact that there exists at least one part of human life, sports, where people around the world generally do admire greatness and achievement. Though, it has to be said, that sports are not perfect either. In america its a bit better, but here in Finland, it is so annoying that people who have success constantly disregard their own achievements and just talk about how "i was fortunate" or something. Also, in team sports, it is really annoying when clearly the greatest players on the team do not themselves acknowledge the fact, and they spout stuff like "im no more important to winning, than the rest of the team" or something like that. Basketball is a nice exception to this rule, it has to be said. Also, the words selfishness and sacrifice are constantly used in the wrong way in sports. A person who passes the ball more than he shoots, whatever the sport, is always dubbed us un-selfish and the ones that are willing to endure some pain in order to achieve their goals, whatever the sport, are always said to "be willing to sacrifice themselves for the team". In reality, it would be unselfish if a person who valued the scoring championship more than the team championship would still act in a way that would be in contradiction to winning the scoring championship. And it would be sacrifice, if the player would value "being totally pain free" more than winning the championship. However, the ones that are dubbed as unselfish and are accused of sacrifice, are usually in reality the most selfish players on the team. They understand what it takes in order to achieve their goals, and they are willing to substitute a lesser goal for a higher one.
  24. Thats like saying that a christian preacher is moral, because his customers would turn to some other religion if he stopped preaching christianity as truth. And for the sake of argument we can even imagine that the christian preacher would himself not believe in god, and would be a rational human being. Do you feel that him teaching lies to irrational losers is moral and rational on his part? And im generous that i did not stretch my analogy to initiation of force. I could have as easily said that its okay to kill an irrational person, as not killing him would not have made him any more rational. Prescription being the key word. Yes, a pharmacist should be legally allowed to sell whatever he wants even without a prescription, but certainly the prescription part is key to his actions being moral or immoral in the case of selling cocaine. Reasonable being the key word. However, you are arguing that it does not matter to the pharmacist if the customer is reasonable or not, in the case of the pharmacists actions being moral or immoral. As i said before, i agree on the legal part, but as you know, legal and moral is not the same thing. According to your logic, it would be moral for a history professor to teach "the words of Jesus" as truth to his irrational religious students, if he spent the majority of his time teaching religious history in a scientific way to his rational students. Christianity has a place in our classrooms, if its done in a rational way, i.o.w teaching the students about the history of religion and the irrationality and immorality of it. This is comparable to selling cocaine to a person that actually achieves a value from it. However, teaching christian dogma as truth is comparable to selling cocaine to a junkie. And once again, i am not promoting altruism or "good of the many"-type things here, so if it is clearly impossible for a business to make distinctions effectively between their rational and irrational customers without it harming their business, then they absolutely have no duty to do so. But, if the business actually has a possibility to easily diagnose who is irrational, then they should in their own self interest refrain from doing business with such a person. And obviously, the same goes without saying to people who actively seek to make business with irrational people.
  25. Indeed. Thats pretty much what i do, and the little bit of money is there just to add a bit of interest Indeed. Therfore anyone who gambles in "no-skill" or "low-skill" games for the sake of trying to make money, is irrational, and immoral. That is pretty much the distinction i have been trying to make here all thread long. And, at least the way i have figured it, it is also immoral to base your business on catering to the needs of these irrational people. Obviously, as i have tried to explain before, the business owner cant be expected to try and make distinctions between his rational and irrational customers, as that would be too difficult to do in practice. But if you base your business model on getting people to irrationally spend their money on your products, then you are not moral. Not because you have a duty to prevent others from being irrational, but because you yourself benefit from other people being rational as well. An example of this kind of irrational business ventures is all these sunday morning TV-preachers that i have understood are quite common in the US. They make their living by lying to people, and urging them to be irrational. His product is lies, and his customers are gullible idiots with no self-esteem. But, it is also important to notice, that the preacher, even though he wouldnt even himself believe in the bs he's preaching about, is immoral, as he is undermining his own interests, by keeping people irrational and immoral, as he is playing a part in preventing himself of enjoying new improvements to his life these irrational people could create if they were rational. Yes, and thats what i have been talking about here. I dont condemn gambling in itself, or the casino owner as such. I just make a distinction between rational gambling and irrational gambling. Just like i make between rational alcohol-consumption and irrational alcohol-consumption.
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