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gerrymanderer

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  1. I have searched and found contradictory views on "automatic values". While AR said man has no "automatic values", I have heard biological necessities (e.g. breathing for animals, sunlight for plants) talked about as "automatic values"--those based on the nature of the organism. My question is not whether man has biological necessities (e.g. sleep), but rather whether these may be classified as "automatic values" which AR said man cannot have. And if these are not "automatic values" per se, then what are they? I am trying to apply this distinction to a moral discussion. Science shows that moral principles are to some extent genetically inherited. I was wondering, with the distinction between man's values and an animal's values, whether I could relegate inborn "moral principles" to the level of sleep, blinking, and so on: those things he, by his nature, acts to gain and keep. Another way I have considered to resolve the incongruity between inborn moral principles and the Objectivist ethic is by undermining the possibility of automatic knowledge itself (instinct), considering the fact that all values emerge from knowledge. If I redefine the concept of "instinct", from "automatic knowledge", to something like "knowledge present in every specimen of a particular species, that is innate, and that cannot be overridden", could that eliminate the problem of inborn moral principles? Instinct would be incompatible with volition and thus eliminable.
  2. My simple question regarding the ITOE today deals with a statement, two full paragraphs down from the top on page 66: "From a savage's knowledge of man, which was not much greater than a child's, to the present level... the concept "man" has not changed: it refers to the same kind of entities." The simple question is this: where does this line of thought sit in the entire Objectivist epistemology? Is it a crucial premise, or an implication of objectivity or some self-evident corollary?
  3. Thank you Ms. Oliver. To answer your question, remember that A is A, Objectivism is Rand, and what would Rand think of these bands? She would probably condemn them as "modern art": "If [screaming] does not present an intelligible subject, it ceases to be art."
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