Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by whYNOT

  1. If one can name the emotion, say embarrassment, ascertain that it is appropriate to a circumstance, say somebody says something about you or reveals some personal information, can connect your emotion to a value-judgment and objective value, say your self-esteem or valued privacy - that embarrassment is then an objective and rational emotional response. Not unfailingly, and least for everybody who believe in the subjectivity and absolute, quasi-mystical insights of their emotions, and who'll identify by way of their emotions, completely - but the aim of having "objective" emotions is achievabl
  2. What Rand shows, here and elsewhere, is required - presupposed - of one, is to be able to comprehend the chain between man and an individual, also, between standard and purpose. Or else, either one may soar into a free-floating abstraction in which man/standard is the ethical ideal, unattainable in practice by each man - or, into solid empiricism, by which man-individual, standard-purpose are identical concretes with no conceptual distinctions. The one route likely resulting from rationalism, the other method leading to moral subjectivity. Conversely: what is "proper to man", the standard
  3. [By Barbara Branden; thanks to Peter Taylor] From: BBfromM To: atlantis Subject: what's wrong with 'solipsistic' egoism? Date: Sun, 4 Feb 2001 09:14:22 EST. Luka wrote: "What is wrong, logically, with the claim that the standard of value for any given person is the type of life that he wants for himself? For those of you who disagree with this claim, I'd like to hear a non-duty based reason to reject that standard". A lot is wrong with the idea that the standard of value for any given person is the type of life that he
  4. I suggest to read what's in front of you in the book to understand better; I asked where you see "MY life is my standard of value ..." Can you? Otherwise mere repetitions of the error get you nowhere.
  5. What looks minor, even semantical quibbles over phrasing, is like setting off on a boat voyage with a faulty compass bearing. The further you progress the farther off course you go - you aimed for Ireland and ended up in Portugal.
  6. Why it must be stated so David, is that Rand traces the ethics from its metaphysical base, i.e. from existence and consciousness, the nature of all life and man's nature. "Radical", in short. The O'ist principle stated by Rand is the essence of all that, as you know from Rand's comprehensive preamble in VOS. What value one places in another man is of course by one's own standards (virtues) one derived from the *standard* of value, man's life.
  7. Consider what Rand did NOT write: 1. Life is the standard of value. 2. A man's (or woman's) life is THE value. 3. The individual's life is his OWN standard of value. They are each erroneous and misleading or insufficient: and arbitrary, intrinsicist, or subjective, I maintain. Rather, she expanded upon and substantiated this precise version: "The Objectivist ethics holds man's life as the *standard* of value - and *his own life* as the ethical purpose of every individual man". [- and woman, I'd suggest, to be painstakingly clear]. So, this bears little relati
  8. Miss of the point, Luke77. It's your rendition which will turn to subjectivity, I have said, not Rand's. You've made a misinterpretation of Rand, replacing or conflating man's life with "my" life. And - mistaken the metaphysical abstraction for a concrete. Read that section in VoS again and show where she wrote "...one's own life as the standard of value..." I think it could be put that man's life is the bedrock of value - "the source of and capacity to value" - from which each individual's value-in-himself is derived and gauged by. Without that metaphysical foundation yo
  9. Do you require an objective base for the ethics? Simple as that. How do you know that the "criteria of valuing oneself" and pursuing happiness is objectively good, or just what one feels like, subjectively? Is it revealed - intrinsic - knowledge? Or informed by one's instincts? On whose authority? The proposition of rational egoism must be justified exhaustively, and that Rand did. Concluding: "The Objectivist ethics holds man's life as the ~standard~ of value -- and ~his own life~ as the ethical ~purpose~ of every individual man". If you see the distinction between "
  10. Hi Luke77: If "your life is your standard"[of value] ... by what standard is that to be held, by an individual? Do you see that this rendition becomes circular and/or subjective? I.e. My own life is the standard of my own standard of value ... ? Which in itself does not preclude e.g. hedonism or trampling on others. One first requires an abstract standard by which to judge and choose *which* are one's own standards and *why*.. "Man's life" - living as "man" and all that entails - provides that standard (or "gauge") of value for each of us. Now we have an obj
  11. As best I can tell, the morality of capitalism stems from the morality of the individual's freedom to act. Therefore, the freedom to produce, to create, to own, to trade - with others, with that same freedom. In this formulation (positive) individual rights leads the way and capitalism the direct offshoot. While neither is an ethical code per se, I think these moral systems would in practice be highly discouraging of prejudices like racism (already evident in the reduced Capitalism, as we know it) but a govt. would not and could not ban and censor the voiced articulation of them. (Until interf
  12. If they are both the same, flip a coin. To repeat the obvious, this is not one public persona against another persona, this is ideological war and we all are involved. If no more that the GOP and conservatives represent a temporary block against what will be an inevitable surge to the far Left by Democrats, until such time as the latter regain some sanity. Perhaps. When/if they lose and break up into constituent, political sections now glued together by "beat Trump", at all costs. The players, Biden, Harris, are rehearsed in their parts, they personally don't count for much in the greater
  13. "The power to unite people" (Mandela) that sport has, can be turned to the power to divide. And by the very individual sportsmen, no less, who most benefited from that good-willed unity.
  14. SL. Good line of thought. I hadn't thought of nominating emergent to this individual level. But, yes - why not borrow the term? That "a volitional consciousness" is personally "emergent" by the effort and for the purpose of each individual, (his concepts, rational virtue, etc.) is what Rand must have meant by "the self-makers of our own souls". And observably and empirically so, with a brain's constantly newly-forming neural pathways, as the neuroscientists testify. For emergent properties, argued and debated in the original, classic, biological sense (most importantly to us, one of
  15. If one defined subjective as "of and due to and dependent upon the perceiving subject's consciousness", does that hold? Naturally there are physical, biological differences among all brains as among all bodies, but consciousness is consciousness. If "subjective" were accepted in the colloquial meaning (as it usually is): loosely as "variably specific to each person" - I'd agree. The proper one - opposed to objectivity - has to be maintained by O'ists, though. Therefore the careful distinction between "personal" and subjective (that Rand made some times). Otherwise, great. There is an identifia
  16. Not to get hung up on ice cream flavors or other sense-perception tastes, but having such preferences for this over that (or that, not at all) has an objective base when one pays it mind, I think. Saying this, because many a time we hear that these are "subjective" tastes and values. One finds out from experience that strawberry is tastier for you than chocolate, or 'agrees' with you better. This might be a minor variation in the arrangement of taste buds specific to you or a digestive system that reacts to chocolate, for all I can tell. (Then if strawberry isn't available, your taste hierarch
  17. Correction, My earlier figures (for the African continent) were wrong, sorry - 1.2 million is the case number in Africa. The most recent figures, the deaths total ~ 30,000. And here's Bill's dire warning for Africa back in Feb: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/02/15/coronovirus-bill-gates-warns-10-million-deaths-virus-spreads/ The epidemiologists have a useful term for their own inflated predictions: "severity bias". Yeah, that helps a lot, thanks. Then the WHO and the UN. Original African estimate 3.3 million, later down-rated to 190,000 - and still way off. https://
  18. Values, proportionate to time - a life's duration (i.e. "long term"): "Since a value is that which one acts to gain and/or keep, and the amount of possible action is limited by the duration of one’s lifespan, it is a part of one’s life that one invests in everything one values. The years, months, days or hours of thought, of interest, of action devoted to a value are the currency with which one pays for the enjoyment one receives from it". “Concepts of Consciousness", AR
  19. Small things matter, too: "Values are the motivating power of man’s actions and a necessity of his survival, psychologically as well as physically. Man’s values control his subconscious emotional mechanism that functions like a computer adding up his desires, his experiences, his fulfillments and frustrations—like a sensitive guardian watching and constantly assessing his relationship to reality. The key question which this computer is programmed to answer, is: What is possible to me? There is a certain similarity between the issue of sensory perception and the issue of values.
  20. "...damned lies and statistics". Carefully picked to herd people into compliance. Has anyone correlated factors like 1. the freedom vs. nanny statism of various nations? The greater the control over a (obedient) populace the more effective - we'd assume for now - would be the lockdown. Or 2. the relative wealth of nations - which will bear on the higher longevity of richer populations and a higher obesity rate? Both advanced age and weight are significant in Covid deaths. What was 'predicted' for Africa by WHO was something like 100 millions of deaths. But for mixed reasons many Africans
  21. Jonathan, A hierarchy of values you've seen indicates that many objective values are of lower/higher value "significance" in the greater scheme of things to one (for whom his/her life and its entirety is the supreme, objective-value significance). Why then to declare a cut-off point, between: this is a moral choice, that is non-moral? I can see no advantage and only downsides. These minimally important things are what sometimes give our simplest rewards in anticipation, enjoyment, a sense of well -being. We could see this input as the maintenance and sustenance of a huge range of material val
  22. Ah yes. The magic bullet. A vaccine or prophylactic against the virus. When they arrive, great, but most of the damage has already been done - and not all from corona, but more, I and many argue, from the inessential total isolation which has wrecked or transformed many more lives than the virus is claiming. I scanned through the ARI discussion and it's not bad; but one thing I thought was that Bayer and Journo over-relied on the skepticism of scientific expertise. That's for me quite secondary. Coronavirus was largely treated very seriously by most people (if not further magnified out of prop
  23. I guess this is based on events ( I can't open the discussion, for some reason). If only one thing that this pandemic and lockdowns have shown is: Question Authority. The experts, so-called, were all over the place in their identification of the virus and extravagant prognoses and predictions (fed by the media) and their suggested, draconian measures, and we the dumb obedient public have paid for it. Basically the experts were mostly wrong, scientifically and medically and morally, and should be called to task. How disingenuous or inept is hard to know. If there were not covert political motiv
  24. A leader is only as good as the dominant philosophy of those who elect him/her. In that sense, he's as much the follower. He can't move far from his mandate. Who needs leaders anyway? Excepting periods of (objectively defined) national crisis, not individualists in a free society who think and act for themselves, know their own paths and won't tolerate inroads on their self-responsibility and -reliance. Trouble is that everywhere is so long inured to statist controls that the State and 'leadership' have become the norm; because most people are scared of freedom or lazy, need constant reassuran
  25. Good thought, EC. Isn't it funny how anti-Trumpers in the GOP and in the Democrats are sounding more alike? I guess that's what's meant by the Deep State. As moral grayness and nihilism descends over the world, many Americans want to give up their independent spark to be just the same as other people in other places. Go ahead and try it Mr. Wehner.
  • Create New...