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Everything posted by ian

  1. Well now the leader of the house in the greatest democracy in the world is... Nancy Pelosi. LOL. I hope those of you who voted Democrat are proud of yourselves.
  2. You're right. I always thought it (happiness) was just a side effect of/psychological reward for being moral. But is it also a requirement of life because miserable people won't want to do any work, and may even end their own life. I guess that's why Ayn Rand listed pride as a virtue alongside rationality, productivity etc. It's a recognition that there are physical *and* psychological needs that must be met.
  3. 10000000 people on life extending machines? I don't know that world, what their principles would be and what it would cause them to doubt. Since it's your fantasy, you will have to tell us.
  4. But you would never be faced with that decision: there's no way to see the future and know when you'll die. And because we can't see the future, we must decide on principle. And in principle, the best life for a human being is productivity, rationality etc.
  5. Why do you think it's absurd? When you die, reality disappears for you. So by using your literal existence as the standard, you are using reality (as a whole) as the standard, which is objective. What would be absurd would be using the bible or personal feelings.
  6. Yep, the human has many different requirements, from many different aspects or quas. But the thing that makes it objectively good to fulfil those requrirements is the fact that physical death or not corresponds to existence or non-existence. That is the fundamental alternative that makes it good to look out for your other non-physical health requirements.
  7. But how do you know you always will? Maybe you'll lose everything in a stock market crash. Maybe your accountant will run off to Mexico with your wife and your entire fortune. Maybe you'll drive in to someone and they will sue you for all you've got. On the other hand, maybe you invest in the next Microsoft and make even more money. The point is that you simply don't know, you can't see the future. All you know are the present (though direct perception) and your principles (be productive, be rational, ...). Since that's all you know for sure, that's all you can rationally act on.
  8. I really think there needs to be more evidence for the position that the Republican party are M2. What has been provided would not get a verdict of guilty in a court of law.
  9. I would say life qua man is the standard: the abstract set of principles you measure your actions against. But the concrete you are trying to preserve is your own continued physical existence. (see your tagline)
  10. She just means physical life, but a psychological side-effect of following the physical life values is happiness.
  11. Even a billionaire still has values, he's not an indestructable robot. At the very least he has to exercise and keep healthy...
  12. That's right. It's possible there are Objectivists who believe the DIM hypothesis, and agree you should vote for a D1 over an M2, but who simply don't agree the Republican Party are M2. That's not immoral, and it's not a question of not understanding the practical role of philosophy, it's just a question of quantity of evidence.
  13. He gives some evidence for the growth of Christian fundamentalism about 26min in to session 15.
  14. Those who think the Republicans deserve a vote for their efforts in the War on Terror should check out Yaron Brook's new video on aynrand.org. He really takes apart their strategy... It's called "Democracy vs. Victory."
  15. Well... there are virtues: rationality, productivity etc, but they are not valuable in themselves, they are valuable for the consequence to your life. So I guess it would have to be consequentialist. (?)
  16. I don't think this is fair. He's not saying you're not "one of us" if you don't agree, he's just saying you have made a misunderstanding. I think we have to give maximum deferrence to someone like Dr. Peikoff and understand that maybe after many years of strictly logical thinking he can see a bit further than the rest of us. I have his DIM tapes and he is not losing his faculties. Like I said earlier, it's more likely he is making so integration that the rest of us aren't seeing. That said, I think he is coming from a point of view that says ideas are the sole cause of history. Given the nature of man as a conceptual being, that is correct, but I also think different peoples of the world have different temperament. Whereas the Germans might go nuts if they have a religious party in power, the Americans and English are a more mild people. They won't let it get out of hand. If the Republicans push it they will be kicked out.
  17. I'm more worried he's seen a trend the rest of us have not, than that he is losing grip. He's at that age in his life where is able to perform very wide integrations.
  18. Another point is that even though socialism has been discredited, environmentalism has not. So maybe the left do have some intact philosophical base.
  19. Yup, I did forget those. I didn't include things like the last one because I wanted it to be a concrete list. Just wanted to concretize what we're talking about, because the conservative policies of today and not the same as putting people's heads on pikes and what not from 1000 years ago. Though if they hold the same principles, then I guess in the long run it will be the same. I am in favor of a Democratic congress proposing big spending and having it vetoed by a Republican president, as against a Republican congress proposing big spending and having it waved through by a Republican prez. So maybe it would be ok the Dems won back congress.
  20. What if conservatives got everything they wanted? - No gambling - No drinking - No pornography - No blasphemy - No abortions - No contraception - Prayer in schools It wouldn't be great, but it wouldn't be the end of the world.
  21. Happiness comes from your subconscious, and the subconsciousness just adopts whatever you repeatedly do on the conscious level. So to become happy you have to consciously think a certain way. The way to think is rationally. If you are rational you will avoid logical contradictions, so everything that filters in to your subconscious will be consistent and you won't experience mixed emotions, you won't be an "emotional wreck." Also, if you are rational you will be successful in reality (since reason is the way to make things work in reality). So this success and non-mixed signals should result, over time, in a constant background feeling of contentness or happiness. Now the way life as the standard fits in to this is that setting your life as ultimate goal is a part of being rational: it's using reality as the standard of the true and the good. So it is necessary to follow the proper morality to be happy, but you don't aim directly at the happiness, you aim at being moral, and then your subconcious eventually obliges and makes you happy.
  22. When AR says all the functions of a living organism are directed towards the maintenance of the organism's life, she's not saying they don't act to reproduce. She is dispelling the idea that the animate is basically the same as the inanimate except for one added thing: the spark of life. No. The animate is different in every way. Every part of it, from the most basic systems up, is goal directed. But why bother to emphasize this? Because it explains the sense in which the animate faces the alternative of existence or non-existence but the inanimate does not. And therefore it is the animate that allow us to form the concept "value."
  23. Ask him if he thinks it is objective to use reality as the standard of truth. Probably he will agree. Similarly, when you die, reality disappears for you. So using your own life as the standard of the good is the same as using reality as the standard, which is objective.
  24. I don't think people who go to strip clubs should be judged too harshly. Part of it is that a lot of people have their ambitions frustrated in life, and have boring office jobs, and these places let them feel like a king for a while.
  25. I saw a documentary once where a croc expert puts his cane next to a croc and it does nothing. He says "watch this" and moves it half an inch closer and the croc lunges. I think they are almost as predictable as billiard balls. They don't believe they're magically protected, they just know the cause and effect.
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