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Posts posted by L-C

  1. I wonder, do O'ists need to do missionary works? Like, for starters, making sure that more than just Ayn's two big novels are translated into all the living languages spoken on Earth?

    - ico

    IMO, better then to teach English. I went through TF and AS without any problems. I might've looked up a dozen words in total, probably less than I would need to for Swedish books written in '43 and '57.

  2. I don't see the incipient rationalization. Do explain.

    -- Mindy

    It was meant as an addendum to your post, not an implication that you were rationalizing. That is, people should examine their attraction toward someone and the reasons thereof, as you said, but they should be careful not to rationalize. It would be a handy "defense mechanism" in such an unfortunate situation.

    Is it evasion if one chooses not to recollect bad memories and experiences like the ones I have had?

    One can learn from bad memories and bad experiences, and to refuse to might be a bad idea. But dwelling on them is a waste. I treat old, bad memories as tasks to be done and done away with (to the extent I'm able to do so). I keep my old, good memories closer than that.

  3. I root for the team whose play I respect the most, meaning individual skill, strategy, teamwork (another type of skill) and sportsmanship. I prefer sports where people compete as individuals though, but although I only watch world championship-type games (Olympics, World Cup etc) it's still offputting to me that athletes are must compete as part of a country in order to be eligible.

    An Olympic Games without flags, just individual names performing for themselves would be awesome.

  4. I agree with Rand, the issue is complex but you have to make sure that people can't have the ability to kill people at whim.

    That will always be possible, and disarming victims will only increase violence against innocents, and will make sure that "killing people at whim" is a privilege enjoyed exclusively by criminals who are then free to employ it much more effectively and safely against their victims. It is a fact that permitting CCW's decreases violent crime.

    But the moral argument for gun ownership is the right to life, which means the right to defend it by the means one judges to be the most effective. Anything less would be (and is in Europe) self-sacrifice for the sake of criminals. I will not use my fists to defend my life, health and property. I will not use a knife. I will use a Glock 20, a 12 gauge semi-auto shotgun and if I ever get to live on a large piece of land with a big house/mansion, a medium machine gun. I will not compromise on my life and safety. When it comes to those things, only the best is good enough.

    Machine guns give the ability to kill many people at whim; that is their only function. On that basis alone their use should be restricted to the police and military.

    That is not their only function. Its basic property is as a firearm, and firearms can and are used for defense. People don't live by permission. It is an individual's right to judge a machine gun as being the best tool for his defense of life and property.

  5. I am very passionate about gun ownership, and it is one of the primary reasons for my moving to the US when it becomes possible for me to do so. You have to live in Sweden to truly appreciate how grotesque the sacrifice of innocent to the guilty is. The right to self defense is almost nonexistant here, with regular cases of charges being pressed against victims who used "excessive" force even if the prevention of murder, permanent injury or rape was a direct consequence of that force. It's god damn insane.

    A government that bans private ownership of firearms is an illegitimate one.

    Peikoff dealt with this issue in one of his podcasts but used fuzzy terminology when trying to distinguish between "reasonable" and "unreasonable" weapons, such as calling an Uzi a "heavy machine gun", when it is in fact a submachine gun. Big difference. I can't think of any justification for arbitrarily banning certain classes of firearms whether it's fully automatic ones, submachine guns, heavy machine guns etc. People do not live by permission. "I can't think of a legitimate use for heavy machine guns" is not a proper criterion for a legal ban of an item or class of items.

    I submit that the primary and only general-class weapon bans would be ABC weapons, that is atomic (i.e. fission/fusion bombs), biological (e.g. Anthrax or other bacteria/viruses) and chemical (e.g. dirty bombs or sarin gas), that is weapons of mass destruction that downright cannot be legitimately used by a private individual (something even a 20mm Gatling gun could if you're defending a ranch/mansion from invaders...) and that constitute a passive threat by their mere storage within the area of effect of other people.

    More specific rules might apply to storage of conventional explosives (or equivalent) that, while not banned as a substance, may endanger others by virtue of its sheer amount and/or proximity.

  6. When the contradiction between their active values and their religious belief is openly acknowledged, at that point where they say they just "do," the fundamental difference becomes almost palpable--a silence that creates a distance between us--there is nothing to say, nothing to be done. It is unworkable. It isn't reason if it pertains only up to a point. It will be feelings or Biblical sayings or altruism, or fear of God's wrath that takes over at that point. Reason that gives way to anything else, from the beginning, or only at a certain point, is not any kind of discipline at all. If you value reason, truth, facts, science, etc., at all, you value them all the way.

    There's a reason that discussions about religion become heated. The differences matter. So I recommend you two have that conversation asap, and the atheist tries to determine how far the anti-intellectualism, atruism, supernatural tendencies, and failure to rely on reason goes in the believer. It really is a simple issue--do you accept reason or not.

    If you take yourselves seriously, you need to work this out before making a commitment. I wish you the very best of luck, but I fear the worst.

    Very well put, Mindy, especially the first paragraph. I could never proceed into a relationship after encountering such a dead-end. If there is even a hint of faith (but then, how could any presence of faith be just a "hint"?), how are things reasoned into? I don't mean to say that there are only religious morons on the one hand and Objectivists on the other; clearly there are people who are rational to a significant degree but continue to cling to faith. But as far as I'm concerned, such people are to be traded with as customers, business associates and possibly friends. Definately not as romantic life partners. The latter requires too much of a total devotion to the other person's character to permit such breaches of reason.

  7. Having good people like you for your virtues is a value. The relationship between Keating and another person isn't that of two rational people who share value and friendship - and thus tend to have relevant viewpoints and perhaps advice to share - but between a shell of a person who lives through, and by, others and likely (and ironically) another such specimen.

    As for comparing your work to that of another: professionally, if you have value to trade, it's valuable. A software developer doesn't need to be Bill Gates. An author doesn't need to be Ayn Rand. Striving to become better while being inspired and perhaps taught by others is a good thing, but net value is net value.

    As a person you are more than your rank-wise professional standing. A sense of life is like a fingerprint: there's one for every person. That's why a woman may not necessarily fall in love with "the guy who seemingly has everything you have but is a more accomplished *insert your line of work*". You're not a closed laundry list of brown hair, fit body, nice attitude and 1 to 10 points for where you stand among your peers in your profession, with the "winner" to be determined by the latter.

  8. Absolute morality usually means something along the christian/kantian morality, thou shalt not steal, never lie, etc. No context is given, and they would consider it noble if you followed these rules to absurdity.

    It doesn't stop there...

    You shall not kill, if you are not a murderer. You shall not steal, if you are not a thief. You shall not lie, if you are not a politician.

  9. You should attend Harvard for what you can learn there, and not for the favors it will get you from others. That places your life in a secondary position to the values of others. What did Howard Roark do when he was told that accepting a commission from the Manhattan Bank company would make him famous, on the condition that he compromise his values? He said of course...not.

    Yes, but Roark exists in a novel (one which I happen like a lot), which means that his course of events are orchestrated. In real life, Roark's unwillingness to work just for money so he could then finance his real products might have prevented him from ever getting his break. That'd be a bummer.

  10. One reason why hypotheticals are so loathsome in ethics is that they seem trivial to construct and yet they fail logically because they don't control important facts (such as ultimate culpability).

    Typically they teleport those involved into some manufactured arena of trials straight out of a fantasy novel, without regard for the entire chain of events.

  11. Am I mistaken or did you not ask, "Could a person that has been sedated (unconscionable experiment, but for the sake of argument) all their life and never recieved sensory input have the ability to dream?" Does this not imply that a person who never had sensory input might have the ability to dream?

    It was an attempt to illustrate the view that a consciousness can be conscious of nothing but itself. I think we've shown that to be false.

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