0096 2251 2110 8105 reacted to brian0918 in Updating Objectivism
1. "Tabula rasa" refers to the knowledge/value content of the brain, not to one's genetic tendencies, so you are misusing the term.
2. See Rand's discussion on emotions. Nowhere does she claim that the internal functioning of one's emotional system does not play a factor in determining one's emotional responses.
3. What is the relevance of this? Our bodies are hard-wired to do many things that may be contrary to our goals - e.g. allergic reactions, programmed cell death, etc. That does not change how we *should* act. The fact that we have a lot of evolutionary baggage does not mean that baggage takes precedence, nor implies what goals we should aim for.
4. Natural selection does not have a plan, and thus there is no goal to be "hindered" by modern medicine.
5. See 2.
7. I don't see how your "conclusions" follow from the statements preceding them. And regarding those conclusions:
A - Nobody is claiming to "deny" that we have different tendencies which we must consider when striving to be rational in determining our values and the proper course of action to further those values. It is not Objectivist philosophy that must be adapted to each individual - it is each individual who must adapt to Objectivist philosophy. For example, a person with a tendency to alcoholism must recognize that that tendency is due to an inherent trait which is self-destructive, and that he must learn to continually fight that trait in order to act rationally.
B - ???
C - ???
0096 2251 2110 8105 reacted to tripod fish in Does Objectivism recognize value in surreal art?
The meaning she found would then be like the meaning people get out of seeing Jesus in a piece of toast. It was never intended, and thus it's not art in my opinion.
As for the paintings you posted, I consider all of them non-art.
0096 2251 2110 8105 reacted to Eiuol in Humour
I disagree. How do you explain puns and wordplay, then? Have you never found a pun to be funny only after analyzing the content of the joke? That happens to me relatively regularly.
To use an example, tell me your thought process with this:
My point is really that humor is heavily reliant on analysis, the most fulfilling kind of humor to me being the kind that is the most complex. I see humor as merely a *style* rather than an art form in itself.
0096 2251 2110 8105 reacted to Tenderlysharp in Non Objective art
Why did Ayn Rand believe that certain types of modern art, certain types of modern dance, certain types of modern music have a disintegrating effect on consciousness?
Why is integration/“dis”integration important enough for her to refrain from giving work she perceived as disintegrating the title “Art”?
Integration is a key concept in the formation of Existence/Identity/Consciousness.
Non-objective art seems to project a world that does not exist, void of anything that could be construed as existing in reality. How does existence integrate/disintegrate when viewing non-objective art?
What is the significance of purposefully barring the inclusion of an entity, an identity, from non-objective art? How does Identity integrate/disintegrate when viewing non-objective art?
How is the mind to concretize broad abstractions based on context of what is in their perception when viewing non-objective art? How does Consciousness integrate/disintegrate when viewing non-objective art?
If non-objective art seems to be what ever the viewer wants it to be, how does this concept apply to the rest of the viewers existence?
0096 2251 2110 8105 reacted to JASKN in Online dating sites
I sympathize with your dating efforts, not having been my favorite life activity either.
But, you've got the opposite attitude necessary to date successfully. That is, you're looking at everything from the negative. Yes, some of those questions are a little silly, but since you've taken the $30 (and all-around dating) plunge, why not make the most of them? Your goal is to meet a nice girl, right? So, for example, the influential person question is obviously just a conversation-starter, not something to be philosophically contemplated! The prostitute answer couldn't have been much worse on your end. Pets and kids are serious elements to consider in any relationship, as they take tons of time and money, and can be deal breakers. Etc.!
When I tried it, I had no success with dating sites. I never met someone I liked. BUT, I tried from the wrong approach. I was hoping the site would figure everything out for me, and I'd go on a date with someone expecting everything to be worked out already. In reality, the best you can hope for on a dating site is to get some of the very basic preliminaries out of the way: available, doesn't want kids, is attractive based on pictures online, and so forth. What you can't hope for is knowing how all of the subtleties that happen between two people will work out: oh, you love X musician AND have a recommendation I turned out to like, too? Oh, you smile more beautifully in person than I thought? Oh, you have a dry wit that didn't come across online, which I love? And so on. These and other things you can only find out in person. If the first date doesn't bring these things, no big deal. Get a new date! At least you don't need to get lunch or dinner that day anymore. No big loss.
0096 2251 2110 8105 reacted to Nigel in Online dating sites
I find the questions asked on online dating sites so absurd, and the answers even worse. Taking them seriously seems impossible. When I look at these sites, I often think to myself, would I date anyone who bothers to to try to answer these questions.
Questions and my answers:
Q: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
A: If I wanted to change something about myself, I would have changed it.
Q: What sign are you?
A: Umm, I don't speak sign language.
Q: What languages do you speak?
A: Last I checked, I speak English fairly fluently and since we live in America, I guess that is a good thing. If you want to speak in broken high school french or spanish, I am cool with that.
Q: What is you ideal first date?
A: I thought I was here to find a person, not a place. I can go to my favorite restaurant in little italy anytime, who cares about where, the bigger question is with who. As long as I am not an idiot and take you to Uncle Joe's Chicken Farm where you can slaughter your own bird and then pluck the feathers right there, what does it matter.
Q: Who has been the most influential person in your life?
A: I am pretty sure myself. You see, I work to buy myself the things that I want. I also by myself food and then eat it to keep myself alive. In addition, I make all my choices for myself and decide what I do. Finally, I also chose what to do with my free time to increase my happiness. You see, if it were not for me, I would be homeless, dead, unable to make choices, and much less happy. Therefore, I think I have been more influential in my life than grandma Easter who passed away when I was eight.
Q: If you could meet any person (alive or dead) who would it be?
A: I am sorry, I have been too busy living my life to sit down and think about this. Surely, I need to schedule time to consider impracticalities and unfulfillable desires.
Q: How would your friends describe you?
A: The same way that I described me, this is called integrity.
Q: What is your occupation?
A: I am confused, does it matter what one does as long as they value their work? Am I trying to date a person or a doctor? True story, when I was younger, I was probably in high school, I was told that it is just as easy to fall in love with a rich person as a poor person--this was a woman in her late 30s working as a waitress who told me this. Honestly, I am having enough trouble finding just one person to actually truly love.
Q: How do you spend your leisure time?
A: One of my favorite things to do on Friday nights is work, seriously. Its often quite quiet on Friday night and everything from the week is still fresh in my mind. I find that I get some of my best work accomplished on Friday nights. As a side note, I am yet to see any females jump at this response, but answered honestly.
Q: What pets do you have?
A: I have a dog, if you are cat person, please move along to the next profile. Hairballs gross me out, and both my dog and I detest cats. However, if you are a dog person, my dog is very cute and also single if your interested. I know that all good relationships are based on types of pets, I am very thankful that I paid $30 a month to answer this question.
Q: Do you want kids? How many?
A: Well, seeing as I am in my 20s and the economy ain't too great, having kids is a matter of economics. You see, if I have kids, I want them to have the best life possible, Frankly, I want to be able to afford that before considering having them. As to the second part of the question, three an a half is my favorite number. Does that work for you?
Q: Do you have kids?
A: I am still waiting to read the answer that says: "yes, I made a poor choice, but don't worry I collect an ample amount in child support." Lets be honest, if you have a kid and are working your way through school, you are not exactly responsible. You cannot provide the attention that a chid deserves if you are working full time and taking classes on the side. Yeah daycare may be great, but its not a substitute.
Q: What type of relationship are you looking for?
A: I thought this was a dating site? If not, I will take a prostitute for $50 an hour.
My favorite aspect of dating sites is the ready made matches when they try to point you in the "right direction". A real example:
Blank sparked your interest!
Like you, she's a dog lover.
You both enjoy watching a good sports game.
Like you, she's never been married.
Wow, this is dream girl. We both like dogs and watch sports (though I rarely actually watch sports for more than 5 minutes before becoming bored). And to put the icing on the cake, we have both never been married. Thank you website for coming up with such valuable similarities to make this evaluation. Surely with shared interests like these a marriage is looming.
Sorry for my rant, but is it really that hard to include something meaningful on these sites?
*I apologize for my sarcasm, but most of the time I am being serious.
0096 2251 2110 8105 reacted to whYNOT in People who are sexually promiscuous make me mad
Yes, lots of easy sex that doesn't hurt anybody, and is so cool.
Been there, done that, ... and wish to this day I hadn't.
A couple of my quick thoughts on a very deep and wide subject:
The previous posters were right in questioning your 'madness' at promiscuous people; rather aim for a quiet confidence and certainty in your morally independent self discipline about sex.
Mostly these people have very low self-esteem, which requires constant validation from a string of sexual conquests - they are not as happy as you think.
There is nothing like the power of sexual intimacy to set one on a slippery slope that leads to full-blown hedonism - about as anti-Objectivist as one can go.
The resulting entanglements from what seems a 'harmless' affair, can haunt you for years later.
Sex (and love) are like a currency - the more partners one has, the more one devalues that currency.
To stand alone against the collectivist customs of your time, is one of the hardest things a young man or woman can do - but it is rewarding, now, and in the long haul.
"We are living in a time of terrible emotional shallowness. There is a lack of depth and passion in young people." Dr. Nathaniel Branden. His books on self-esteem and romantic love, are a must for any young(ish) Objectivists. I believe.
0096 2251 2110 8105 reacted to LovesLife in Starvation
This gets into the whole "ethics of emergencies" thing.
Basically the answer is yes, steal if you have to in order to survive -- but there are many, many things that one should be able to do before getting to that point.
In addition, it's a mistake to base your moral code on situations like this. Morality is there to help us with day-to-day living. The unusual corner cases (most of which seem to focus around death in some form) are not the drivers.
0096 2251 2110 8105 reacted to TheEgoist in Kant's analytic–synthetic distinction
You're pretty much positing the analytic-synthetic distinction, dude.
The truth of a claim is necessary because of its correspondence to reality, not because of the meaning of the terms. Consider that we could simply be mistaken categorically about number terms. For some reason, when we add 1 and 1 we always get 3. We would come to think, that's the order of things.
Patently absurd with such elementary arithmetic, but some higher maths posit things that can be absolutely, deductively valid but we realize "Oh wait, we didn't compute the constituents right.".
That's the real distinction you're looking for, though: 1 + 1 = 2 is deductive. It is, however, not more true or more obviously necessary, even if we perceive it to be that way.
0096 2251 2110 8105 reacted to Mnrchst in Why should there be patents and copyrights?
I have a few problems with the idea of patents and copyrights. I'm hoping someone can explain a rationale for them that's a little clearer than Rand's in her essay on the subject.
1. Rand said that patents and copyrights are a recognition of the idea that people have the right to the product of their own mind. Ignoring exceptions Rand did or would've made to this (children, mathematical discoveries, or a laser which is our only hope of saving the Earth from a giant asteroid on a collision course with our planet) doesn't this just mean that it should be illegal for someone to read your mind and use one of your ideas (which no one else knows) without your permission?
2. How is telling someone they can't use an invention someone else came up with not an initiation of force if the person who invented it willingly told other people about it? I don't see how you're being harmed by people using an idea you came up with if you voluntarily tell them about it. Someone might argue that without the inventor, the idea couldn't be used by the society at large. However, the other element is them telling people about it, which is a choice.
Furthermore, couldn't someone invent a new type of metal and sell it without telling anyone how it works and make a lot of money off of it before it gets reverse-engineered? It seemed to work for Henry Rearden (until he gave it away). I have no problem with a person inventing something, not telling anyone how it works, and selling it to people (unless there's a plausible national security risk involved in our not understanding it, like if it's a cold fusion reactor instead of a metal or a faster processor), but it's not like the moment you invent something it automatically becomes known to the general public.
What about someone getting donations for inventing something? There's no reason why they necessarily would make less money off their invention if there's no patents or copyrights. If everyone could use the a machine which improves economies of scale, there would be the potential for a greater increase in productivity than if it's use is limited. If everyone who could implement the new technology did, and everyone who would've paid the inventor's asking price if s/he held a patent and set a price still did despite the lacks of patents, and someone else who used the invention donated something (however small), the inventor would make more money because s/he didn't/couldn't set a price to keep people from using the invention.
3. Rand said a mathematical or philosophical discovery is about the nature of reality, but a new machine isn't. Therefore, mathematical and philosophical discoveries aren't copyright-worthy, but machines are patent-worthy. But doesn't the machine also concern the nature of reality (i.e. if you put these things in this arrangement you get this result)? I'm not sure how we draw the line between what's copyright/patent-worthy and what isn't. Is a new style of clothing copyright-worthy? If not, how is it fundamentally different from a song?
4. Even if patents are legitimate, I'm not sure how copyrights could possibly be legitimate because there's no way (I can think of) where you can demonstrate a copyright violation. At what point does the new song/book/screenplay become similar enough that there's a violation? By what standard? What about "fair use"? How can we draw the line between satire and non-satire? I think it's ridiculous to say "Oh, well that's not an issue for philosophy. There's some line somewhere, and we'll just let the courts figure it out." Can't philosophy at least provide us with some guidelines on this issue? And, if so, what are those guidelines?
Since antitrust is illegitimate because there's no way anyone can know when they're violating the "law", do I really have to go through every copyrighted book where it's plausible that there could be a copyright violation before I try to release a new book? What if (by a dramatic coincidence) there's a number of similarities with some book written 20 years ago? How am I supposed to avoid this? Maybe no one figures this out until a few months after it's released and I get sued big time. Is that really fair?
* * *
Just in case it gets made if I don't already respond to it, I want to address a utilitarian argument I often hear on this subject (I'm guessing it wouldn't, but I still want to cover this just in case).
"But people won't be motivated to invent without patents and copyrights"
Wouldn't it make just as much sense to say "But people won't voluntarily donate to the government without taxes"? I'd say that if people are self-interested, they'll donate to inventors/artists. As far as the "free-rider problem" goes with respect to taxes, I suppose most Objectivists would argue (and I agree with them) that you shouldn't trade/hire/work for the non-totally broke people who don't donate to the government. I apply the same argument to the non-totally broke people who don't donate to inventors/artists.
* * *
Finally, while this is a bit off-topic, since all property is fundamentally intellectual, isn't the term "intellectual property" a redundancy (like "rational self-interest" or "ethical egoism" or "individual rights" or "laissez-faire capitalism")? Shouldn't we just say something like "ideas property"?
0096 2251 2110 8105 reacted to Eiuol in Are contrary arguments against forum rules?
Understanding requires more than just reading. Information doesn't merely get absorbed and you get it, with any misunderstanding being evasion. It has to be processed, integrated with existing knowledge; it's a whole big process. Reading anything Rand wrote only means you know what she said, not that you truly understand what she wrote.
It's fine to present arguments about the existence of god and ask about an Objectivist-type response. Since ctrl_y is talking about an argument in favor of the existence to god as opposed to merely wondering what an Objectivist response would be, the debate forum is best. The debate forum can be a bit of a hassle if it's supposed to be open for anyone to reply, though. Anyway, if a disclaimer is given about what is intended, other subforums are fine to use. A disclaimer is fine for borderline cases, but cases of "extreme" proselytizing like "Christianity is the One and only True way, and I want to convert you" wouldn't be okay even with a disclaimer. As far as I can tell, ctrl_y primarily wants to know an Objectivist-type response and not much else.
0096 2251 2110 8105 reacted to philosopher in Mises Institute Course on Ayn Rand & Objectivism
Good find. But the thing about Objectivism is that once you understand it, you realise it's not just an opinion, it's actually true - something she discovered.
But on that page he says he is not an Objectivist. So assuming he values truth, he mustn't have understood it yet. So he is teaching a course on something he doesn't understand.
0096 2251 2110 8105 reacted to Zip in 91 year old prosecuted for Nazi camp deaths
Excuse me but this piece of human filth is an accomplice to the murder of thousands. Every single man in that Camp (in any of the camps) knew exactly what was going on in them and was there because he could be trusted to go along with the wholesale slaughter of human beings.
Soldiers (although I'm loathe to apply that word to this class of vermin) have not been able to claim that they were "just following orders" or "just doing their duty" for a long long time now, and that is as it should be. Men do not surrender their morality or their humanity when they don a uniform, and they MUST be held to account for their actions.
I'm disgusted that the sentence for this waste of skin wasn't life, or better yet, a one way trip to the shower.
0096 2251 2110 8105 reacted to CapitalistSwine in The Experience of Trying Marijuana
I have used MJ on a weekly basis for the last 3 years (though I don't dress with/actively associate with stoner culture, for some reason people like to believe use and that culture are inextricably and eternally connected)I had never drank (like party-level drinking) or smoke marijuana until my Freshman year at College. I had a few vomiting sessions as I adjusted to the college party life and built up tolerance. I would also like to mention that bad trips are VERY uncommon, usually only occur for newcomers, and it is usually because they don't have much experience with anything other than caffeine and alcohol and they don't realize how much mindset can effect the psychological experience.
Also, I have never ever had an "urge" to smoke. Sometimes I have felt it would be nice to smoke at the given time, or that I had marijuana that I could smoke when I didn't, but it was usually just a passing thought and I carried on with my day. It's addiction rating is lower than caffeine if I remember correctly. There have been weeks where I have smoked an hour or 3 before bed almost every day that week. There have been times where I took 2 months off cold turkey because I was either out, or because I wanted to rebuild my tolerance, or some other reason. I used all throughout Sophomore year of University, and then I decided to take summer classes there as well. That summer I just went cold turkey and didn't smoke the entire time. I had it pass by as a thought once in awhile when I felt it would be nice to get to relax extra, but that's about it.
What happens when you smoke too much?
99% of the time: you get really drowsy and you just fall asleep. No harm done. As tolerance builds this will happen less and less, for some people it just doesn't happen, and so on. I used to have this happen a lot when I first was smoking and was doing it in groups where we smoked a decent bit and I was still new to it so it happened every 1 times out of 10 where I would get pretty drowsy for a half hour and catch myself from nodding off, and once or twice I actually did. People don't mess with you however, like is often the case when ur drunk passed out, as they realize this just happens sometimes. It's probably been 2 years since that has happened to me. I have gotten drowsy sometimes but thats mostly because it was amplifying my already being tired.
In my experience those people will often just get paranoid/sketchy/uncomfortable feeling I have never had this "i am dying call an ambulance!" situation Drew refers to. Not that it can't happen, but it is very unlikely and I have introduced a lot of people to it, or friends I have smoked with have with me there. Best thing to do if that happens is to get them to lay down and calm down, hospital won't be able to do anything and that feeling will likely last an hour tops. One of two things usually happens when someone smokes first time and has a bad trip. 1) They swear off of it forever 2) They realize this can happen and will try it again, they never have a bad trip again or it was simply because they smoked too much and was essentially their own fault. Usually once you get that you just have to relax and let it do it's thing and not focus on it, you will be good to go, and you will essentially just get further relaxed by the effects of the marijuana.
I always though drinking was "alright". My first experience actually getting high off of Marijuana (wasn't until the 2nd time) one of the first thoughts that came into my mind was very much like what Gary Johnson has stated, "The government has been lying to us". I knew this was true beforehand, but I never understood fully how MUCH they were lying. The effects of marijuana are so light in comparison to so much else it's comical, and I would say that if you have good company or good entertainment of some sort it can easily be just as if not more enjoyable in the recreational sense in comparison to alcohol. I also have never had bad experiences being high. One of the first few times I got a bit nauseous for a minute but that subsided.
I have also gotten *too* high (as in, uncomfortably so, where my mind was unable to focus easily on specific thoughts and sometimes roamed about into unpleasant areas, etc.) but both instances were EASILY avoidable and it was because I had eaten edibles which take longer to react and so it's easier to take more (get more high) than you intend. When you smoke or vaporize marijuana you can get some of the effect pretty much immediately, and then it gears up to your full high over the course of about 30 mins on average but it doesn't gear up much so you can do a pretty good job getting an idea of how high you will be and stop when you want. With edibles, it can take up to 2 hours before the full effect hits you and you likely won't feel anything but placebo effects for the first half hour minimum. Now, what happened both of those times is I basically laid in my bed and went to sleep because it was around 8 or 9pm both times.
Felt good as new like nothing had happened the next day. There can be marijuana "hangovers" the next day but this is usually because you went to sleep high and it doesn't amount to anything more than perhaps forgetting where you put something like your cell phone and maybe a bit of a light haziness to your thinking/general feeling that wears off within the hour if not sooner. THC also acts against what induces vomiting so it is very unlikely you will vomit from marijuana and it is one reason why it's beneficial to cancer patients. If you have any specific questions I would be glad to answer them, since others seem to have given you a general idea. I do have to question why you would think Objectivists would be the only source for a reliable answer however.
I would also highly recommend a website called Erowid, this link will explain why it is a good site:
It explains everything from dosage levels to chemical components to common side-effects and dangers and the like. There are also, for many of them, short and also lengthy explanations/journals by people that have used these drugs themselves in an attempt to explain them to others.
I also took a Drugs, Psychology, and the Brain class at University this last semester. We went through all the major drugs and even some consumer drugs like caffeine etc. as well as many uncommon ones. This was primarily a science class that psychologist and neuroscientist/neurobiology inclined majors were taken, and it was taught by a Neuroscientist, so I am well aware of how many of these drugs effect your brain, serotonin levels, and all of that fun stuff as a result. I mostly took it because it would be interesting and because it fulfilled a credit requirement.
Now some fun stuff:
Carl Sagan once wrote a very lengthy report on his experiences using Marijuana, I will say however that his experiences do not match mine or well..normal experiences at all, but it is an interesting read:
I will say that the EXPERIENCE as well as the HEALTH effects of marijuana are noticeably less than that of Alcohol, and I, as well as the majority of people I know, would much rather use marijuana than drink alcohol if they have to choose between the two. A lot of ill-side effects often come, and almost are mandatory, with alcohol use.
This is not necessarily the case with marijuana, and besides memory, reaction time, etc. you can still operate pretty damn effectively while high, whilst this is usually not the case when properly drunk, and if you have smoked enough to not get the giggles in public on incident, it can be very hard to tell that someone is high when they are as long as they aren't being stupid about it. Notable effects can last anywhere from a half hour to several hours depending on tolerance and dosage. Average time it will stay in your system re: drug testing is 2 weeks for the average/light user. It can go all the way up to 4-6 weeks depending on how heavily ur using etc. There are things one can do to cut down the time a bit.
Also, I wrote a paper for that class I was speaking about earlier, on the medical side of things, which either you or others that come across this thread might want to read, I have no idea, but here it is:
The Effects of Cannabinoids on Cancerous Cells