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Everything posted by Jackethan

  1. No problem Superman123. It's all part of the process of learning about Rand's philosophy, it's a really exciting time because people learn so much about themselves that they didn't know before. Let me know if I can be of further help.
  2. So much for not getting pulled into this again, eh EC? Even if homosexuality is a choice, and I believe it is, and I'm also homosexual, you have not proven your reasoning behind the idea that this choice should be judged as morally wrong. Further, this thread has gone entirely off topic from its origin, as these threads normally do. To the OP, I would like to say welcome to OO.net. Objectivism and homosexuality are mutually compatible, there are many gay Objectivists. If you have any questions about the philosophy as you continue to learn please don't hesitate to ask, I'm sure someone will answer. I would like to point out, Superman123, it would probably behoove you to approach learning Objectivism from the perspective of learning the principles and reasoning of the philosophy. I noticed that your post and your original opinion seemed to focus on what "Objectivists" think about homosexuality, christianity, capitalism, etc. What Objectivists think should be totally irrelevant to your study of Objectivism, which is a philosophy, not a religion. It is much better to learn what you can about the actual philosophy and then judge for yourself whether the Objectivists you come across are applying it appropriately. Regards, Tom
  3. I think there's a pretty common trend among people in chat to label someone a troll for some very minor comment, the labeling is automatically taken as true, and then the people in chat all become antagonizing to the supposed "Troll", creating a situation where there was none. If we're going to be kicking people for being a "Troll" then the standard of what a troll is will have to be much more than "Somebody saying stuff that I don't want to talk about right now."
  4. I'm sure I don't have the post count or steady activity to be considered for a moderator position, but since David asked for fresh ideas for the direction of the forum I thought I'd post. Hopefully some eager mod or future mod will take this to heart. About a year and a half ago ObjectivismOnline.net became my first Objectivist community. It was here that I began to make friends and acquaintances that are Objectivists. I began to notice two phenomena as I looked through the posts. First, that there are eager trolls going around starting posts on subjects they know will quickly rouse posters on here into a heated argument over nothing, and second that there are many learned Objectivist minds on here who enjoy pouncing on these trolls, but sometimes also mistake a new person with a genuinely innocent question for a troll, and subsequently will scare them away quickly. In one of his podcasts Peikoff is asked a question about whether he thinks the internet is a good place to learn Objectivism or not. The question excited me, because even though I have read a bit of Rand's fiction and non-fiction, I consider myself 'internet trained' in Objectivism. By this I mean, I learned most of the technical stuff I know from other people from this site. In his answer Peikoff said that he doesn't think the internet is a very good place to learn about Objectivism, and two reasons were laid out. In an internet discussion one follows a train of thought, maybe looks it over for spelling and grammatical errors, and then posts it. This is a far cry from a formal debate of any kind, where speakers will always educate themselves thoroughly on the topic before even coming, form their arguments with much consideration and have a plan laid out for what valid arguments the opposition will have and how to refute them. It is also important to note that in real debate, as in any public speaking, the speakers are always respectful and professional when addressing the opposing speaker. On the second reason, Peikoff got some help from Yaron Brook. Brook said that further, when on a blog or a forum online, one is rarely sure whether a person one is 'learning' from actually should be considered an authority on the topic they're speaking on. Just anybody can get a forum account and talk authoritatively about what Ayn Rand said, what Atlas Shrugged means, or just about anything. I think these are both valuable points to remember when considering what direction a forum like this should go. I think ObjectivismOnline.net could be a place where new students of Objectivism could get real, thoughtful, and encouraging help with their questions about the philosophy. There are several practical incarnations this idea could take. There could be a separate forum section for new people to ask questions, and a list of forum members who are given a particular rank or role to respond to newbie questions. Other people would not necessarily be banned from responding, but the newbie helpers would have the authority to be in control of the topic. Newbie helpers would have to be people who are interested in responding to the same questions over and over and patient enough not to become angry if the person to get nowhere. This means more than simply teaching, some people who are new to Objectivism are not new to philosophy and can bring up pretty sticky questions. Newbie helpers need to be able to deal with those questions calmly, and also openly admit when they really have no idea how to answer a question, and be able to provide other resources for resolving it. This separate forum would also definitely have to be troll free, however the moderators of this forum also have to be adept at identifying when a person is a troll, who will really never learn anything about Ayn Rand, and when they are a newbie genuinely asking troll-ish questions. Perhaps some sort of quiz or questionnaire could be developed to help determine who is trolling and who isn't, and also would be able to help identify what sorts of help a new person might need. Also, I think in general, in both chat and the forum, a better system of identifying who is trolling is needed. Also a clear definition of what constitutes a troll would be helpful. Is this a forum that considers itself aligned with the ARI, TAS or neither? Are libertarians and religious conservatives the kind of people we want on here? If so, what can we do to ensure that they are not taken to be any kind of authority on Objectivism while still allowing for their personal credibility as posters to be maintained? These are the types of answers that will help reduce the amount of grousing by regular members, since we'll have clearly defined rules in these areas. If anyone else has suggestions on how to achieve these goals, I think it's important that we talk about them. Ultimately I think this forum needs a facelift. New students of Objectivism and regular member Objectivists deserve a community with a friendly atmosphere. EDIT: I think it's TAS, I wrote TAC.
  5. Yeah, Wikileaks is mostly doing what it's supposed to do in this case. I have more of a problem with the soldier, and the idea that what he did was totally alright. I don't think the fact that the military is inept mitigates his blame in this case. EDIT: I definitely agree though, it's absurd that the military didn't stop this guy, and the Ft. Hood guy.
  6. http://www.dailytech.com/Taliban+Murders+Afghan+Elder+Thanks+Wikileaks+for+Revealing+Spies/article19250.htm ...Yep.
  7. Most ships have crews to keep them afloat. All ships need a captain to set the heading.
  8. I love it. I'm already a fan of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica show it is based on and this feels like just more awesomeness for a fan. I wonder how people who didn't watch BSG are enjoying it though. It has a good cast and very interesting characters.
  9. I think that soy milk is probably worse for you than any candy wrappers that probably have 0 effect on the contents of cow's milk.
  10. House is a Straw Vulcan: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StrawVulcan He may be likable to us, and is probably meant to be a generally likable and fun Straw Vulcan, but at the end of the show the writer intends the viewer to say, "Well it all works well for House because he knows everything, but in the real world we have to make due with trusting our intuition/emotions over being constantly logical."
  11. I just wrote a post for the Modern Paleo blog about just your question in fact. Here you go! And the blogs I've linked and this Modern Paleo blog are really good blogs for you to read if you're interested in the paleo diet. Modern Paleo is specifically run by Objectivists who eat this diet and they've done a great job so far.
  12. Would you read a book simply because one of your friends told you it has Objectivist values? What kinds of things do you look for when considering a book for reading? How often do you venture outside of your preferred genres? Would the recommendation of a good friend cause you to read something outside your genre? Or do you completely disregard the recommendations of your friends?
  13. Of the Objectivists I know who follow the paleo diet, I have met none who made the decision to eat this way unconsciously. Other than those Objectivists, I know of none who vocally advocate eating organic foods or grass fed beef or raw milk. I also don't know any Objectivists who agree with the Environmentalist movement or any of its subsets. So if your post is not directed at Paleo Objectivists, I do not know of any Objectivists to whom it could be directed to. Perhaps you could give an example of persons or stances you've seen previously which led you to believe there are Objectivists being unwittingly influenced by the Environmentalist movement.
  14. The Paleo Diet movement in Objectivism is wholly separate from the Environmentalist movement. In fact, most of the people in this thread who say they prefer raw milk enjoy eating the flesh of furry creatures for health and pleasure. As one of these supposedly "Environmentalist" Objectivists, I can tell you that I hold no such principle as: "Natural = good, artificial = bad." I follow science. I have read a great deal of well founded research on why the current pasteurization processes (which use chemicals, not heat radiation like Louis Pasteur) make milk less nutritious and sponsor allergies to casein and lactose. As far as organic vegetables free of pesticides, I don't eat them. I haven't seen any convincing evidence against "non-organic" fruits and vegetables. But my judgement of whether or not to eat them is not a philosophic one, it is unrelated to the principles of human progress and technology. In fact I believe if I understand your point correctly, Tonix, you are attempting to make a scientific issue into a philosophical one, for the purposes of condemning those who don't eat the same foods as you. Let's go into the facts here: Fact: Pasteurized and ultra pasteurized milk creates milk allergies. Unpasteurized milk is antibiotic and healthy. Fact: Food grains contain poisonous antinutrients which block the absorption of minerals and clog the function of the body's organs. Fact: Grains and sugars can cause many of the modern diseases which plague our life expectancy, including heart disease, cancer, obesity, and some mental disorders. Sources: here, here, here, and here. Scientifically backed, and thus by nature not an issue of philosophical principle. I do not recycle, I do not cry for polar bears, I support drilling for oil, and for the advancement of human progress into new technologies at whatever speed we can. I will, however, eat what I think is healthiest for me, be it something humans have eaten since we evolved from apes, or something invented recently by the power of modern men's minds.
  15. Ayn Rand approved of McCarthyism insomuch as it was a movement by the government designed to root out members of the Communist Party of America which had by that time already sabotaged the security of the country. It was a matter of national security to discover its members and investigate them. Is Islam much different? Can you stop the Muslims from building or expanding their mosque right next to the WTC? No. What can you do? Post your disgust about it on the internet. Amaroq did not say 'We should go out and protest this' or anything of that kind, all he did was voice his disgust at the idea. If you think Islam is just like any other religion today and it deserves no worse treatment than Christianity or Buddhism then you're dropping the context of a holy book which advocates violence and its followers who do not adhere to the typical Christian 'We don't follow it that closely' mentality. It is the foulest breed of multiculturalism to say that a culture spawned from countries so mired in the dark ages deserves as much respect and credibility as any other. I'm not saying the government should stop this, I'm not saying I'm going to go out and protest this, all I'm saying is it's in poor taste for the Muslims to keep that temple near the site of this disaster and I wish the muslim religion would just disappear from this world, that the people involved in it would finally be free to advance to the next stage of civilization. Call me Rush Limbaugh if you wish, I'm personally so detached and so vehemently in disagreement with the man and most of what he stands for that I consider the comparison too ridiculous to imagine in earnest.
  16. Cuba needs to start its own revolution, not be handed one by bored Americans. Since the government of a country must depend entirely on the philosophy held by its culture, and since Cuba is definitely not near holding any kind of rational individualistic and rights respecting philosophy, to go and fight in a war against the government of it, or create such a war, would only serve to end lives needlessly and wouldn't bring any kind of good republic to the country. South American countries have revolted against communist dictatorships before, and have gotten worse ones in response. Find a less destructive hobby.
  17. Tonix: The problems Branden and David Kelley have with Objectivism are problems of their own creation. Peikoff and the ARI are quite 'hip' enough to bring true actual Objectivism to the masses without compromising the essence of the philosophy to do it, like Branden and Kelley advocate. David Kelley is shining a laser pointer on Leonard Peikoff and you're chasing it down like a cat. Peikoff already opposes "Orthodox" and "Dogmatist" Objectivism and Objectivists and frequently points out what he dislikes about "Orthodox" Objectivists in his podcasts, which could all actually be described as Leonard Peikoff going on new "frontiers" of philosophy by answering the questions of laymen. Objectivism is full and complete essentially, and one only needs to understand the essence of a philosophical system in order to apply it consistently in one's life, and that applies in 1850, now, and will apply in 2150. Instead of getting distracted by the 'Closed system, open system' debate, which is only there as an inflammatory distraction set up by David Kelley to win more people to his "side" of Objectivism, why not study what Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff have written and judge them in their own light, without the criticisms of Kelley and Branden, and decide for yourself what you agree with and disagree with, and upon learning the latter, discuss those particulars with fellow Objectivists, read Tara Smith and other Objectivist writers, and find if the answer hasn't already been figured out. Otherwise I'm afraid you will be far away from any "Frontiers" in Objectivism, but will find yourself following a course designed and laid out to keep you from fully developing. As far as Skipyrite goes: I'm almost positive he's some form of Yudkowskyite rationalist. Skipyrite: You allude to some bright future of benevolence like future circumstances will change the fundamental nature of human psychology. It's very simple: When people, just like ducks you feed bread to, get stuff they didn't earn...they like it, and they look for more of it. They keep coming back to see if you'll give them anymore, sometimes even to the detriment of their daily work, which while it could guarantee them a meal if they just work hard for a day, they would rather try their luck and see if you will give them one they just have to wait for. That will not change, no matter how far into the future you get.
  18. To Lasse: I loved the movie, I thought it was even better than the first one. On the subject of needing to look to comic books for industrial heroes, how is that different from looking to science fiction novels for them? Fiction has always been a source for spiritual fuel in the form of heroes that will always stand the test of time. If you found a hero in Tiger Woods, you were probably disappointed. John Galt will never disappoint you.
  19. I'm glad you've recovered from veganism. I agree that you should definitely check out Modern Paleo, I've been eating the paleo diet for a year or so now and have lost over 60 lbs and feel better than I ever have. Never feel guilty for eating meat, lions sure don't. EDIT: To avoid redundancy I also wanted to add This site and This one Hope you enjoy.
  20. Self-centered, Twit, Prat, Lame, Idiot, Dickhead, or my personal favorite, "Hey come back here with the chips!"
  21. Phone up the NY Times and tell them to stop using so many periods so less people will die.
  22. I would not care if the same amount of rapes would occur in a free market. Perhaps a prison where rape goes on is a good incentive not to commit crimes.
  23. I would define masculinity and femininity as outward social mores, personality traits and aesthetic ideals assigned to you by your parents and communicated to you from infancy. From the very first time your parents buy you a 'blue' jumper instead of a pink one, you begin to observe that there are two types of humans and that one of them shares similar characteristics with you and so you begin to act like them. I do not believe any part of a person's personality or psychology is deterministically (as in, unchangeably) decided by the genetic code. So yes, I think they are exclusive to outward behavior and appearance. I have met many 'masculine' women and many 'effeminate' men and all kinds in between. How then do I create my standards for what is attractive to me or not? I begin with virtue, is he/she virtuous. Then I examine him or her as a person and judge the whole, aesthetically, emotionally (sense of life), idiosyncrasy etc. The only time gender comes into my judgement is completely prior to meeting the person, when deciding what gender I will 'focus' on, as in, what gender would I primarily look for if I were to sign up for a dating site? What gender will I imagine myself being with at an old age. I make that decision off of my judgements of masculinity and femininity, which in my definition could also be described 'generalizations about men and women that I have observed.' So in this case my method of getting at what masculinity and femininity are are the same as yours, I observe. However my observations enter into my standards only insomuch as I recognize them for what they are, an informally gathered statistic. As Peikoff quoted Ayn Rand saying: Statistics are only useful when you necessarily must decide without the necessary information to be sure. Once I have actually met a person and am getting to know them, my definitions of masculine and feminine (statistical data) is moot, I need no longer assume this person will act a certain way based on my observations of others of his type, I can simply watch him and judge his actions on their own.
  24. You are already making generalizations and assumptions and hiding them under the word 'psychology.' What specific effects does homosexuality have on the psychology of a person? Are you assuming the person is going to be effeminate in some way? As far as I know homosexuality has no causal relationship between my subconscious and my personality. I do not believe I was 'wired' to be gay and that my brain is 'just different' than straight people. I chose to be homosexual based on value judgements made over a long span of time during my youth. Most people make those judgements earlier and more automatically than I did, and thus come to believe they were simply 'born that way' however a gay man does not have to act with any sort of personality or psychological defect anymore than a person who likes video games has to be a nerd or a person who watches NASCAR has to be a redneck. I am not trying to insinuate that you're being insulting, and I'm not offended by your stance, I'm trying to find the root of it and show you a different perspective on your problem. I think your definition of masculinity which includes the desire to be with a woman isn't a proper definition of masculinity, and I think your conclusion that homosexual people all have an identical psychological trend is a generalization.
  25. Intrinsic non-value of homosexuality is arbitrary. Homosexuality is not a floating concept. What if you met a man who has a girlfriend and loves her and has a healthy relationship with her but then tells you privately that he is homosexual, or that he used to be homosexual and only got with this girl because she is a special case? Would he immediately turn you off? Or is it the act of having a girlfriend/heterosexual thoughts that turns you on? What if a person strives to appear attractive -to people- who see him? Why does the particular audience bother you? Furthermore why is it more important to look good 'for someone' and not just to look good for onesself? Personally I dress nicely, cut my nails, wear cologne, and do my hair to look good for myself, so that when I look in the mirror I can admire how nicely I present myself which gives me confidence in general. The particular tastes (or gender) of a person seeing me does not enter into my fashion or external personality tastes. I act how I want to act, and dress how I want to, and so far nobody I've known ever has guessed that I'm gay or might be gay. People are always shocked when I tell them. Would you be attracted to a man whom nobody could tell was gay unless he told them? Or does just the fact that he likes the idea of sleeping with a man turn you off? Having a warped view of masculinity is a very common problem in today's world. Where today masculinity is defined by body hair, flatulence, liking of beer, enduring pain for no reason, and enjoying sports, in older times masculinity was defined as virtue, in fact the word Virtue comes from latin roots meaning 'Being a man'. The word Arete from greek implies acting in a manly fashion, which Aristotle defined as Eudaimonia, or action in accordance with excellence. Virtue (and manliness) in the ancient world does not imply chasing skirts at all. Defining it as such only gives it unnecessary second handedness. If you've automatized a warped view of masculinity or sexual identity then I do suggest introspection and attempting to change it. It is definitely possible to do so, and simply practicing Radical Acceptance as your psychologist suggests is, as you have noted yourself, just a band-aid.
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