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bluecherry last won the day on February 5 2017

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  1. "Regarding the survival of the species, I quoted the Objectivist from the article that admits the family is a vital social institution. Would you agree?" Maybe once upon a time? Now, not really. I think we'd be fine treating genetic relations as nothing special beyond a medical context and even when it comes to something like adoption where one is raised in a stable, but not genetics-based environment, I think everybody would manage fine as adults even if they didn't go out of their way to maintain contact with people they lived with growing up. This isn't to say that anybody necessarily must go out of their way NOT to maintain contact though if the people they grew up with weren't bad people. "The claim that Objectivists can place value in a human relationship purely based on the long history of that relationship is false. The length of a relationship is of absolutely no relevance to an Objectivist, only the values of the person. " There's the person themselves, but there's also the person's relation to you. Time alone isn't necessarily going to create any value and it DEFINITELY wouldn't trump them being a really shitty person if they were in fact a shitty person, but given enough time together people tend to get to know each other fairly well, have shared knowledge and experiences, get to understand each other in ways that maybe you couldn't get with somebody you just met, especially when we're talking about somebody who knew you all throughout the time you were growing up, something unique that nobody could quite get meeting somebody as an adult. That's not a crucial value to anybody's life to have those kinds of relations to other people maintained, but it's also not nothing. I think plenty of people would find that worth preserving as long as those people from their childhood were decent, though not everybody would find it worthwhile, especially depending on the specific people and life circumstances involved. "After all, how common is it for old school friends who grew up together to lose contact? Very common indeed. " The interwebs has gone a long way to change that lately. Aside from that though, school friends also don't have the same degree of contact involved as people you actually live with, especially all the way from the time you're a baby. "Stable families make for stable societies (stable progression, not stagnant)." What's your basis for this claim? Especially what's your basis for it needing to be possibly genetics-based families and that the ties need to last throughout ones entire life and come with obligations one wouldn't take on were it not for a simple commandment of having to do it just because? I'm not sure how government thievery programs necessarily undercut family anyway. (Not that Objectivism supports such programs regardless.) I don't see there being some huge societal crisis we're in in regard to family right now even either. I think we're pretty laughably far from the notion of family obligations and the necessity to stay close to one's family dying out. "I would be surprised if you would deny that the sense of duty in having children is by far the largest reason for why humans have done and still do have children. If you were to ask a random stranger why they had children, you may get responses like 'carrying on the family name' 'it's what we're supposed to do' 'we're wired that way' 'to carry on the family tradition' 'to pass on the business and keep it in the family' etc. It all revolves around an appeal to continuity from generation to generation. " And notice how screwed up people and the world are? (Although, still, as much as I believe there's WAAAAAAY too many people having kids solely or at least mostly for these reasons, even I doubt that's anywhere near the majority of people's top reasons and otherwise they wouldn't be doing it.) I'm saying, now and in my previous post, we'd be better off having children raised by people who were NOT doing it primarily for that reason. Might we get less people put on earth this way? I'm sure that's the case, at least initially. However, 1) humans are very far from threatened to go extinct any time soon. 2) If we WERE threatened to go extinct from low population, I think just not wanting the species to die out and wanting there to be more people to interact with and do things and create values in the world would drive more people to produce and/or raise more humans who otherwise would not have. I think that motive of valuing humanity and what humanity has to offer oneself is a much better, more benevolent and less troublesome motive still than an unfounded, "You just have to, period". "My evidence is the whole of history. The explanation is the Adam Smith quote in my original post. " Still not cutting it. You need to get into specifics. The Adam Smith quote just says people have cause to pay more attention and put more investment in things which they are more immediately and strongly impacted by basically. I don't think I would dispute that. That's a long way though from saying what you said, ". . . human beings have and always will place greater irrational obligation on their most inner circle starting with the family, extending out to the community and the nation state." "I have explained that Objectivism's conception of the family (or lack of) is counter to how humans actually behave. Whether one can rationally justify this behaviour is a separate issue. But what use is rational justification if it leads to death? " How humans actually behave isn't necessarily how humans SHOULD behave. Slavery was and to this day in some places is a thing, but that doesn't make slavery right/best/proper for human beings. You have yet to show that the loss of family treated as a source of causeless duty would result in such death and rationality is crucial to living, to NOT dying anyway.
  2. You are attempting to criticize the ethical component of Objectivism because you are saying it is anti-family. However, first you really need to define what constitutes family and why it would be bad to be anti-family. Family is just a genetic fact. Objectivism is not against recognizing the existence of a basic fact like like that. Objectivism also isn't looking to eradicate humanity. We supporters of the philosophy like humanity's potential even I'd say. So Objectivism isn't anti-family in the sense of wanting to end all genetic connections. It takes you a little time to get to it, but it seems what you are really concerned about is Objectivism seeming to reject treating family as a source of some particular unchosen obligations as it is currently treated in human societies. You seem to believe that these unchosen obligations are necessary to the species surviving. Why? You never answer that. You just say basically, "People try harder to keep contact with family." What makes this extra contact effort crucial to the species surviving? Aside from that argument you needed to make, but didn't, which I thus far consequently can't address, I think a lot of people, Objectivists included, would be able to tell you though that getting a lot of knowledge, shared experiences, and just time in general with somebody increases your investment with them and makes them something of a unique value there versus if it was the same person, but you had little to no history with them. Family, in the way that most people grow up around them in practice today, has that element built into it going for it to make people willing to put more effort into preserving the relationships. This is, however, also possible to do with non-family members too, to just spend a lot of time together until you get a lot of knowledge and shared experiences, so even if one didn't have it with family, it isn't something of a form of connection that is completely lost. For most people though, it is a little harder to get that built up knowledge and experience going all the way back to people sharing in your formative years growing up with people other than relatives. So, there's some unique value in there, something many people would consider to be worth putting a little more effort into preserving. On the other hand, it's also not something anybody would be unable to function without in their lives, that history going back to childhood, especially if we're talking about people who have already had a stable time growing up and are just moving on as adults, not people who are getting bounced around chaotically throughout their childhood. "Moreover, the incentive to have children in the first place would also be greatly diminished by eradicating the duty to pass on the genes or carry on the family name." Anybody parenting for that reason, a sense of obligation and a name as opposed to liking children and teaching and stuff like that, is probably going to be a bad parent anyway who is going to raise a kid with a lot of problems. The species is in no way threatened by the loss of bad parents. We're not on the brink of extinction in numbers either to the point that we can't afford to try to be a little more selective in who we have raising kids. I dare say we'd be better off having quality parents only. (Not that I'm advocating here forcefully preventing anybody from raising kids solely due to speculation that their motives will make them harmful to the kids. I'm just talking about speculation, that if people who would have done it only or primarily out of obligation and a name chose not to have kids instead I think this would be a good thing. In practice I think we should still wait until we've got actual evidence of abuse or neglect or imminent threat of such before forcefully taking kids away.) "Is it not obvious to Objectivists that human beings have and always will place greater irrational obligation on their most inner circle starting with the family, extending out to the community and the nation state?" Nope, it's not. Don't try to hide behind "it's obvious" as an excuse to not justify a claim as being the case and/or why something is best being a certain way. Actually go on and state your logic and evidence. There's also the issue that you haven't clarified how any of the logical arguments in Objectivism are incorrect. You've said why you think you would want them to be incorrect, but not why they are incorrect. It's kind of like if you were to say some asteroid's path looks like it's got potential to do major damage and decided to say, "Nuh-uh, the asteroid is wrong," as if that changes anything, as if that made the asteroid cease to exist or move or not be an asteroid or whatever.
  3. Nobody being honest ever restates things? I restate things often because either 1) I'm showing exactly what it is I'm responding to in particular 2) I may be rewording things in an attempt specifically to make sure that it is clear what is being said, either that I have gotten what somebody meant correctly or that somebody else sees what is entailed by what they said exactly as they said it and then they can either embrace and defend this entailed stuff or reword and clarify what they actually meant if this entailed stuff is a result of not wording things well.
  4. A very good question. You seemed to believe I was making stuff up though rather than looking right back at your post. Maybe the fact that I was not making stuff up means it could actually merit an attempt at addressing the contents perhaps, hmm?
  5. This isn't finding out what you believe from a stranger, it's what you said yourself. "While females learn how to dress and make up, which is not a particularly useful skill in the workplace, males practice leadership and team work through sports, learn musical instruments, work on buying and maintaining their first car, learn how to use and program computers, etc., etc., " I wasn't speculating.
  6. You, Nicky, have a hilarious misconception of time usage. You believe that females are not doing things like sports, instruments, work, etc because they are just TOO BUSY getting their hair and make up and clothes and such done. I'll put aside the fact that females definitely do these things. While it may be rather time consuming getting something done like hair and makeup for some fancy Hollywood party perhaps, the vast majority of occasions one does not spend much more time on getting dressed fairly nicely than boringly or sloppily, as was Nerian's point. Furthermore, you are very much mistaken if you believe that all this time spent getting dressed and doing one's hair and such could somehow be condensed into a big block of time where one could actually make meaningful progress on any of these things that you listed. The time spent on getting dressed is generally small, scattered bits that you can't move your whole schedule around to try to push together. Rather, this is the kind of time that likely otherwise would just end up getting spent maybe sleeping a few minutes longer or screwing around checking e-mail or something.
  7. That's a whoooooole lot of assertions you've got going on there and squat for any reasoning or evidence given to back it up. I suggest you at least attempt to remedy that. As for that aesthetic realism thing in the post above, what, if anything, is the evidence of success you claim they've had? I saw the link mentioning one guy as an example, but even if we take at face value his claim to previous attraction to males and later attraction to at least one female, that doesn't rule out bisexuality all along and, importantly, doesn't clearly show in the slightest how and why attraction to somebody of the same sex as oneself would necessarily, always, stem from a malevolent world view and furthermore, later be alterable to a complete switch by way of just adopting a benevolent world view. To address the first post, although it looks like the thread creator never came back after they made the thread: First, I think if there was any serious, major, definitive, non-dubious way to do what you've asked it would be major news and you would have heard of it already by now. Second, I would like to inquire why you think heterosexuality and not even bisexuality either is both a solution to your problems and the best solution to them. You mention that highly incompatible political and social views are absolutely rampant among the non-heterosexual populace and I agree with you there in my personal observations. However, it's not 100% the case with all of them (see, for example, that there are non-heterosexual members here). It's also the case that this is very much true of the large majority of even the heterosexual populace under a certain age. (Or at least, it sure seems that way with everybody I have encountered, including the depressingly overwhelming majority of dating site profiles I come across no matter how I change filters.) Furthermore, the vast majority of the people you come across that aren't these super leftists . . . are just going to be obnoxious political right in their social and political views anyway. The pickin's, friend, are not rosy on the social/political/cultural front for people with views like those around these parts no matter what one's sexual orientation is. If anything, I think the safest option would be to hedge one's bets and just be open to anybody regardless of sex if one were to make a choice here. You did also mention children, but there's the possibility you could be infertile or your partner could be infertile even if they were male and you didn't wish for the ability to cease attraction to anybody you found out was infertile, which as long as we're talking about doing things that don't have some strong established track record for, you may as well have included in your list of sexual desire change abilities if it was actually that big a deal to biologically produce children with somebody you were with. Furthermore though, you could still have children via sperm donation or you could adopt. Is it really worth going through that much trouble to try to change your sexuality, something which has proven to be, if nothing else, at least a damn near Herculean task if it is possible at all, just so that you can make a kid with half your DNA and half that other person's DNA instead of only half your DNA or just taking in a kid that's already here and in need of a good home and somebody to love them? Third, are you sure "polyamory" is really the word you're looking for there? I'm aware that having a lot of non-romantic sexual involvement with many various people is much more common among a lot of the non-heterosexual populace (maybe even more than among the overall younger population segment, among whom it is already much more common than among older people, or at least, both these statements of what I'm aware of are what I've heard and the impression I've gotten, I admit I'm not looking at any iron clad statistics here proving it), but that is definitely not the same as polyamory which is having multiple, simultaneous, openly acknowledged and consented to full romantic relationships. If then you did actually mean polyamory, I'd have to say that though polyamory may perhaps be a little more common among non-heterosexual people, it is actually still very much a minority position and not something you would need to abandon an entire sexuality to have much hope of escaping. Additionally, there are polyamorous people who at times may be willing to have a monogamous relationship anyway for a partner who requires it. Also, you seem to cite polyamory like it's something distasteful and I'd ask why that is so if polyamory really was the word you were looking for. Now, as for the question about altering sexuality, I'm a little unusual there. Once upon a time, as a young teen, back before I'd ever been romantically or sexually attracted to anybody, either specifically or in the abstract even, I had started to see potential value in the concept of things like romance and sexuality and essentially one day sat down and kind of asked myself what I should do in regards to who I might get romantically and sexually involved with. I asked myself if there was anything seriously better about males or females, in general or in the specific capacity of romantic partner or in the specific capacity of what they could do with me romantically and sexually. I couldn't come up with anything that wasn't ultimately peanuts, especially weighed in the face of everything else about somebody as a person. I also figured, running the numbers, I had the best bet of finding compatible people if I wasn't ruling out anybody on the basis of their sex. So, I reasoned it out, went from having not experienced any attraction to determining it made the most sense to be attracted to people in general, male, female, what have you. It stuck. I created a framework that made sense as far as I could see and my feelings very much followed along these lines subsequently. A person's sex is just not something that's on my mind when I'm thinking of them romantically or feeling sexual desire. I went from nothing to deciding on a sexuality that made sense to me to experiencing romantic and sexual attraction working in accordance with that conclusion I'd made. If there's any possibility to choose, to change, to set one's own course, as far as sexuality goes, if it doesn't strictly come down to genes and womb chemicals and whatever other biological determination et cetera et cetera et cetera which would require some serious medical advances and interventions to alter, then I did it and the process involved doesn't and seems it can't lead to where you want it to go with an end result of heterosexuality.
  8. "It has never been especially popular at OO.com" Hey now, that's not true. D: It was really popular early on in my time here. There were times so many of us were in there at once that we crashed the program. I hope the chat gets restored somehow. I haven't used it much lately mostly because there just wasn't much of anybody else around.
  9. I can think of a couple possible rational reasons to look into it. The first reason is medical. Do you have an elevated risk of certain diseases? Having relatives with a history of certain diseases is often indicative that you are more likely to get it. If we count relatives still alive that maybe you just don't know, they may be better options to look into in case you need a transplant of an organ or tissue that can be given by a living donor. The second reason is if something has gone really wrong in your family, it may be gratifying to be able to go back and figure out exactly when and how things got started, how they got to where they are. Maybe that kind of information could help make some sense out of the seemingly senseless and provide some ideas on how to deal with it. Third is when it comes to legal questions of inheritance in some cases when somebody dies without a will and they don't have obvious next of kin.
  10. Might I suggest that the issues of context and hierarchy of values are coming into play possibly? Also, I do believe Tara Smith, who generally seems to be a pretty competent person in her writings, has written some potentially relevant things on the rule of law. Does anybody around here happen to have said stuff she's written on the subject? It may prove helpful here in facilitating the discussion to get some input from a clear writer who has already put a lot of thought and effort into the subject.
  11. "bluecherry, I just showed how Peikoff's argument *is* a proof. Since you are already pre-committed to reality in the very act of debating the issue, any conclusion which goes against that is self-contradictory, and therefore cannot be morally or rationally justified. So choosing not to live is immoral, and choosing to live, and all of the moral commitments that come with that choice, is moral." It's true that you can't prove you shouldn't seek to remain in existence. However, it's not for the reasons you say. All that having an argument about the subject proves is that somebody DOES care about reason and therefore DOES care about staying in existence (since reason is moot if you don't exist.) That doesn't prove anything about what one morally ought to do, unless you want to try to go down a very different moral path and start arguing there's inherent merits of hedonism, that you are morally obligated to do whatever the hell you want just because you want it. "Here's my answer to the 'is-ought' problem more generally: moral claims of 'you ought to do X' must be claims that you ought to act according to your nature." That's your position. You've given no reason for why. Objectivism's answer is "IF you want to live, THEN you out to because that's how you survive and thrive." If somebody isn't seeking to live, then those considerations of survival and thriving are irrelevant to them. What do you have to offer somebody as cause to give a damn about acting according to their nature, their nature including being a reasoning being, when they already don't care to stay alive?
  12. Premise: ". . . life is the ultimate value, to which all others are means, the choice to commit one's self to that ultimate value is the most basic decision, from which all other moral decisions should follow." Conclusion: "Choosing to live is the most fundamental good choice that you can make, choosing not to live is the most fundamental bad choice that you can make." That conclusion you've drawn is a nonsequitar from the premise. There's a difference between a choice related to the issue of that which is good and a choice which is itself good. As for a commitment to being in reality, we had no choice in getting here and just getting here in the first place doesn't prove one should stay here. The most that can be proven by somebody asking why they should remain in existence is that they do in fact have at least some degree of care about existing already (since reasons only matter within existence). That they do already care, however, is still not proof that they *should* care.
  13. Ok, yeah, you are definitely operating on an entirely different moral system as your basic premise here. Here's a quick primer on the philosophy this forum is about as it seems you may have come across this forum unaware of what Objectivism (the capital "O" matters here, it's the name of a specific philosophy as opposed to a lower case "o" objectivism which may be used to refer to other, very different ideas) is. Link
  14. Just checking, but Floyd Yeung, are you familiar with what the philosophy of Objectivism is about? I ask because, in addition to this being your very first post here, the idea that "wasting food is immoral" is actually more of a belief of people from a very different set of ideas than the ones this forum is dedicated to, at least when it comes to what people usually mean by "wasting" food. Usually, when people talk about "wasting food" they mean any time food is thrown away that hasn't spoiled. They seem to be under some belief that it's like some sign that you are "ungrateful" for your mere "luck" that you have food while others don't that you would just throw out food that is still edible rather than force yourself to eat it or find some way, no matter how ridiculous, to give it to somebody else who doesn't have food. They seem to have some special hang up about disposing of food especially, I suspect due to their myopic focus on bare survival needs. Objectivism would instead say you were "wasting" food only in the same way we might label anything else being "wasted", saying something would only be "wasted" if you had had acted sacrificially in getting rid of it. Whether it is sacrificial to get rid of something in any given situation is heavily dependent upon specifics of the context. (I linked the word "sacrificial" to an explanation by Rand of what she means by that term in case you are unfamiliar with how that term is used among Objectivists as opposed to how it is used by the general population.) Rediy, I have no idea from where you pulled your notions of anybody being unable to figure out what to do about a subject that wasn't explicitly spoken about by Rand and Peikoff and company. We talk about stuff around here all the time just fine that they haven't addressed specifically. Objectivism involves concepts and logical frame works that one can apply to just about anything in a methodical manner. Also, I don't even get why you would think those are the only two options and why one of them is the righteous answer and the other is a brute's answer.
  15. Dustin, I wasn't asking if any of your questions/objections in this thread alone you considered to be answered/resolved, I was asking about if you considered that to be the case of *any* of your questions/objections you have raised on this forum in general. Also, you have in your post there stated your position, but you have not addressed anything any of us have already said to you here about why we contend such a position is incorrect. You didn't answer my question either about what sources, aside from this forum, you have on Objectivism, or even point me to a place where you already answered that question (which also would have been perfectly acceptable). When I said, "You've made lots of threads here based on questions/objections to Objectivism " - I didn't mean that as an accusation, like it was an inherently bad thing that just should not be done. I was stating it because it was relevant to my later question, asking what, if any, sources you had aside from this forum on Objectivism. Asking this many questions isn't a bad thing necessarily, but it does makes me suspect that you may be attempting to approach learning about or "challenging" this philosophy very badly. You may be jumping into the middle of this philosophy and going about it all higgledy piggledy, not looking into the well made primary or even secondary sources on it that answer the whats and whys pretty thoroughly and systematically. You may instead be asking people to not just reinvent the wheel for you, but reinvent the rocket ship, knowing almost nothing about rockets already yourself, and that they do so random piece by piece with you showing little interest in actually seeing how the pieces fit together and why, or maybe even seeing all the pieces, just seeing how these individual parts aren't making sense to you at first glance and on their own and then saying "This makes no sense! It's all bullshit! No way this thing gets off the ground." This seems like a bad way for you to learn about Objectivism and an even worse way to try to convince anybody who knows Objectivism well that it is incorrect. It's also hugely inefficient on time involved doing it the messy way versus going to the primary or even secondary sources. As for "echo chambers" and "safe spaces" -- you realize, don't you, that with Objectivists being such a teeny, tiny percentage of the population, we all spend our lives immersed constantly in people and products of contrary beliefs, right? This forum is just one of the few places where we come together with people that DO share our support of this philosophy so that we can actually get some where furthering our discussions of the subject beyond constantly just going over the basics with people who think the philosophy is flat out incorrect, just endlessly rehashing the same basic issues over and over that are already old hat to us, never touching any further or new material. We don't need to have this forum bombarded with people who disagree with us in order to be exposed to other beliefs and the possibility that we are wrong because we already inevitably face those things all the time everywhere else we go pretty much. Our goal here on this forum isn't to *never* be exposed to contrary ideas(something the forum couldn't possibly achieve anyway), its to just have somewhere that actually is about our ideas in the midst of aaaaaaaaaaaaaall the rest that we are exposed to which isn't. And we already do believe in reexaming our own beliefs if ever we come across something which seems to flout them anyway. Having this forum to discuss Objectivism with mostly people who support it is like having a forum for fans of bag pipe music in a world where pretty much everybody hates bag pipe music.
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