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Everything posted by Amaroq

  1. I'm pretty sure I know exactly what you're talking about, OP. I feel the same thing. Not to the degree you do, but what I read from you is familiar to me. I've searched and formulated my own problems with working in much the same way as you. But I've essentialized it further. It seems that in order to attain the values we require, we must also suffer. Suffering and pain are each signals that we are dying. So the essential formulation of this problem is: Life seems to require death. I can think of two problems that are causing this feeling: 1. Your work doesn't serve a good purpose to you, or you have lost sight of the purpose of your work. 2. Your work is torturous work in and of itself. So even if your work is serving purposes for you, the work itself is still killing you. The solution for 1 is to make sure that your work is serving your purposes, and that you don't lose sight of the purpose your work serves. The solution for 2 is fairly obvious: To choose work that doesn't torture you when you perform it. To concretize, I'll show examples from my own life. (Since I don't know anything about yours.) When I first got into my own apartment, I didn't have my computer. My new apartment was in Minnesota and my computer was in Washington. I had nothing to my name and I was going to be getting welfare to sustain myself. (Unemployment for rent. Foodstamps for food.) My computer and my internet are some of the highest values in my life. I really, really needed my computer back. So I really really needed a source of income so I could get my computer back. I normally dread the idea of work, and I would have been tempted to stay on the doll. But because I wanted my computer so badly, I applied for work and I got a job as a dishwasher. It didn't feel like torturous work then. It felt like every day I worked was a day closer to having my computer and internet again. I had my sights set on a goal, and my work was not just work; it was what I had to do to attain my goal. Nowadays though, I feel much like you do. Partially because I've lost sight of why I work. It has become a duty that I have to do every day. A duty to get up in the morning and drag myself to work, and to wash dishes, and then go home again. I get my paycheck still, but while I'm at work, I don't mentally associate the work with the money. This breach between the work and the reward in my mind could be one cause of the feeling that work is suffering; that life is death. The other problem is, of course, that the work itself is torturous. There's only so far you can make it on keeping your eyes on the prize. If the work kills you inside, you're still going to start feeling like work is suffering, no matter what rewards you get for your work. You ask what it's like for work to be life rather than to be pain? Here's another example, again from my personal life. I'm a self-taught web programmer who codes in php. Back in the day, when I used to actively code, I would code because I had amazing ideas that I wanted to bring to life. Ideas that I daydreamed about and then eventually set about coding. Once I started coding, I couldn't stop. The only thing on my mind was the idea that I was bringing to life. I was unable to resist, because the idea I was creating was so important to me that it was an end in itself to me. I would work 8+ hours a day, in my own free time, perfecting my code, so the entire program perfectly revolved around my idea for it. This is work that feels like life, as opposed to work that feels like death. Think back to your past. Have you ever performed a productive hobby where you enjoyed the thing you were doing, as if it were an end in itself? That is what Ayn Rand means when she says that work is life. So as far as I can tell, your answer is two-fold. 1. Find work that serves your purposes and never lose sight of the connection between your work and your purposes. And, 2. Find work that is an end in itself to you. Work that you can't resist doing. This way, you can serve the other purposes in your life with work that feels like life as well. You should be able to truly live if you can do these two things.
  2. Update: Some more damning evidence has come out about this guy from other Objectivists who are aware of him or have had dealings with him in the past. A link to some of Dean West's police reports. https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B1-3Sd8I_V7BVnBDOFA2TEVTeUtKa29XMmxBRzNRZw&usp=drive_web An audio recording of him verbally abusing a victim. The same victim who posted that blog I linked to. Both her youtube channel and her blog are dedicated to trying to get Dean locked up and trying to warn others before he victimizes them too.
  3. It's been a while since I've been here. But I decided to come back with a warning, for any students of Objectivism or any fans of Ayn Rand venturing out into the world. Any experienced Objectivists may want to take heed as well. There is a facebook group called Ayn Rand International. At least one of its administrators is a dangerous person who goes by many names on facebook. Right now, it's Juan Gallardo. But a friend of mine on facebook suspects he has also gone by the names Dean West, Phil Ophie, and Adam Smith. Here's the story of my recent experience with this guy. I'm a member of a facebook group called For New Intellectuals, run by an acquaintance named Anoop Verma. He allows people of any ideology into his group, but he doesn't allow vulgar language or a denial of property rights. Some anarchist or other was opposing Israel's right to exist, and angering many of the Objectivists in the group, so Anoop deleted it and removed that member from the group. That member either is, or has ties with, the above-mentioned Juan Gallardo, whoever he is. And in response, this Juan Gallardo person threatened to wage a libel campaign against Anoop in which he would make facebook pages to publicly accuse Anoop of child molestation. Anoop has a chat log of the threat. I'm attaching a screenshot of some of that conversation here that Anoop provided for me. In addition to that threat, Juan used his administrator position on a 12,000 member Ayn Rand group to attack Anoop, pinning these kinds of gems to the top of that page. (It's unknown whether Blaize Jarecki is a separate individual or another alternate account of Juan.) I started a campaign on facebook to raise awareness about this injustice being perpetrated against an innocent Objectivist. But this is apparently only the most recent transgression this Juan Gallardo/Dean West/Phil Ophie/Adam Smith person has perpetrated against innocent people. A quick google search for "Ayn Rand International" turns up this blog entry by a woman who was apparently victimized by this person in the past. http://www.themyriafoundation.org/2012/12/ayn-rand-international-on-facebook-and.html If this woman's claims are true, then either the same guy, or someone else in that group, has been victimizing people in the past using that group. This blog entry claims that there have been beatings and rapes of innocent women who have been lured in by this guy. The Ayn Rand International group is being run by what seems to be an arch-anarchist. Not just an innocent anarchist who may or may not be confusing force and production. But a real, malevolent subjectivist whose own whims trump the rights of others. It's no wonder he's an anarchist rather than an objectivist; a society with objective law and due process would prevent him from doing anything he wants to anyone he wants to do it to. Any Objectivists out there, steer clear of the Ayn Rand International facebook group and anyone by the above names. If you know people in that group, spread awareness of this incident to them and steer them clear of it. It's being run by a dangerous anarchist who will inflict actual harm on your life or on your reputation if you let him. I've made a post on my own facebook account to spread awareness of this. Here is a permalink to that post. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154210407205074&l=21ff425f13 Good luck and good premises everyone. EDIT: An additional piece of supporting evidence. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/78801895/post%20in%20ar%20international.pdf Anoop made this PDF when the first harrassing post on Ayn Rand International was posted. His PDF shows, among other things, that that post by Blaize Jarecki was pinned to the top of that group, just like the post by Juan himself. This establishes the likelihood of some kind of link between the two people. It may support the conclusion that Blaize is another alternate account of this guy.
  4. http://www.ussc.gov/ This is happening. Right. Now! (Any techies who download those files, be sure to remove the "&& rm -rf /" from the end of that command at the bottom of the page. It deletes your whole system.) http://mashable.com/2013/01/26/anonymous-hack-government-website-declares-war/
  5. In the comments of the pjmedia article, someone made a mention of a news article that once upon a time mentioned that Obama was born in Kenya. I searched for this article, and found this. http://www.infowars....ma-kenyan-born/ That infowars article links to an archived article from 2004 showing that the Associate Press mentioned Obama being Kenyan-born when he was running for the Illinois Senate. And just in case something happens to the archive, they've posted a screenshot of the article. The archived article: http://web.archive.o...ews26060403.htm Apparently during a debate (Obama vs Keyes in October 2004) Obama admitted to being born in Kenya, saying that he's running for Senator, not President. I can't find that though. The video of the debate I watched was missing a part and I'm too tired to spend more time on it now.
  6. If I surgically alter a cat to have the appearance and biological functions of a dog, is it now a dog? I don't think so. It's a cat altered to seem like a dog. The meaning of a concept is its referents, not its definition. The definition is there to tell you what is being referred to by telling you the genus and differentia of the referents. I should probably rephrase. Deep down inside, I'll always know they were a male. I've only ever had long distance relationships or dated over the internet. Not that that's relevant here. I just don't like to give false impressions of myself, like that I've dated a transgender in "real life". I tried to make it work (online) with a male-to-female transgender once. But I was living a lie. It required me to evade the knowledge that the "woman" I was dating is a man. I'm straight. I'm not attracted to guys. I'm not interested in guys romantically. It's just too awkward and gross for me. And a transgender, pre-op or post-op, in my eyes, is just a guy trying to pass off as a woman. Probably to fulfill some fantasy of theirs of being one. They can do whatever they want to themselves. But I'm not going to to pretend that they're the gender I find physically and spiritually attractive when they're not. If one fools me into thinking they're a woman and I find out later, that's even worse. Because at that point, it's a man who falsely lead me to believe he's a woman in order to trick me into taking a romantic interest in him. It's always deeply disappointing when you're really into someone and you find out something about them that renders them unattractive to you. Finding out that a woman I'm interested in was once a man would render her kind of repulsive to me, and thus be heartbreaking to me.
  7. Heya OP. Is the friend you're debating with a male-to-female transgender or friends with one? Stuff like this tells me that the person in question just wants to have their irrational wish (in this case to be the opposite sex/gender that they already are) and they're willing to obliterate legitimate concepts that show them their contradiction. Though I suppose that doesn't have to be the case. This message that gender identification has nothing to do with genitals is being spread with an air of moral righteousness by people who think that love is pure and spiritual and physical sex involving genitals and pleasure is dirty and lowly. Or at least this is influenced by those people. I think. It makes sense that these people or people influenced by these ideas would want to detach their gender roles from their bodies. They would posture indignantly about how barbaric you are for thinking (correctly) that their genitals are an important part of their identity when it comes to considering them as relationship material. Take everything I've said with a grain of salt though. I've just said what makes intuitive sense to me. I'm not sure if what I've said has merit. I'm still thinking about this and it's hard to be certain of any one position on this topic. I like the things that intellectual ammo has been saying though. But part of me thinks it sounds a lot like the Christian idea that we are created by God to procreate with each other, and thus sex is only allowed if you're married and you're only allowed to do it missionary position with the man on top and the woman on the bottom. But there is something to this. It doesn't matter how much a male-to-female transgender mutilates themselves and fills their bodies with hormones. They'll always be a male to me, deep inside. No amount of alteration, no matter how convincing, will make me forget that they're a man. Or were a man. Or whatever. And if I were romantically interested in a "woman" who turned out to have once been a man, it would be an issue that would forever haunt me for as long as I tried to maintain any sort of a romantic relationship with that person. Whatever this "woman" has done to "her"self, she's still a man. I'm still trying to figure out what defining characteristic makes this so though. Maybe it's just that our gender is essential to our identity as a person. Essential to our character in some way. And a person who changes their gender will always be someone who was once said gender and is now the other. (I use sex and gender interchangeably. While I think I see how gender can refer more to the spiritual aspect of gender than the physical, I just can't understand how this word can be used apart from the person's physical identity. How someone can be physically a man and spiritually a woman.)
  8. There actually already is a Philosoraptor similar to one of those. If money is the root of all evil Why do they ask for it in church?
  9. Ah, I should've been more clear. I was speaking legally, not logically. The way our court system is set up, if Obama is charged with fraud or something, the accusers would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, wouldn't they? Though rationally the burden of proof should really be on Obama. Thank you for standing up for what's right and true Thomas. Although doing it on this forum is only going to bring you suffering in the end. You can only talk to a wall so much before you get fed up with it not listening or thinking, and making snide remarks about your positions.
  10. A while back, I remember hearing that there was a political ad going around in his state basically saying that he has to choose between Ayn Rand and Jesus. He can't have both. Looks like he made his choice.
  11. Well, now that I have more context, I take back what I said. It probably still is just a redneck conspiracy theory. And the redneck investigators with little technical knowledge producing the "proof" that they are is just going to make everyone with a rational beef with Obama look like fools. The burden of proof -is- kind of on the people who think Obama's certificate was faked. Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. He and/or his lawyer(s) can skirt the issue as much as they want, and it's still up to the opposition to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Whatever the effect on his public relations.
  12. Hmm. I suppose I stand corrected on the birth certificate. At least on the white halo. But how does an entire stamp and signature, etc get lifted onto its own layer? Does OCR software or some fancy optimization software lift stuff like that and put it on layers as one coherent piece? Does OCR detecting normal letters but not signatures explain the fact that most of the characters looked smooth, but the signatures looked pixellated? I should've known this was too stupid to be true. I don't really buy what you said about the stamp though. So what if it's possible to just manufacture a new stamp. That doesn't really explain why the year is in two digits when all post offices were supposed to be using four digits. The fact that you can make a good forgery doesn't explain why it looks like a bad one.
  13. http://www.westernfr...vice-documents/ Here, have an actual analysis of both the birth certificate and the selective service card. (Skip the first video on that page. It's just an introduction.) I originally distanced myself from this whole birth certificate issue for the same reasons you guys are: Because I thought it was a redneck conspiracy theory. But this analysis shows the digital copy of the birth certificate to be very suspicious, and the selective service card to be an outright fake. And such a bad fake that a kindergartener could've made it. I don't know if I accept their dumbed down analysis of the certificate itself as proof. But it definitely seems suspicious. But keeping in mind that the selective service card is a blatant fake, this context makes the certificate seem all the more suspicious to me. EDIT: Actually, this youtube video has the presentations themselves without all the talking. But you can still watch the video in the above link to get more context. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93cullaHRQc
  14. Actually, I think that being consistent Objectivists tends to give rise to verbal aggression like what we've seen in controversial topics. When fact and value are integrated, truth and falsehood is closely integrated with good and evil. If someone is horribly wrong about an idea/topic/whatever that really matters to you, you'll tend to think badly of them. At least once they've burned through any benefit of the doubt you give them. (Observe that the words "wrong" and "right" elegantly integrate a truth-false judgment and a value-judgment together in the same pronouncement.) When a bunch of individualists disagree on a huge issue, you're going to get heated, strongly-opinionated discussion. (Whichever side is in error.)
  15. I always return my carts to the nearest place meant for carts to go. And I even sometimes push all of the carts together so they're one neat row of carts. Just because I like to be neat and orderly about that. It makes things more efficient, and also it makes the cart pusher's job a bit easier at pretty much no cost to me. So in that sense, putting the cart where it belongs is kind of like holding the door open for someone behind me as I go through. Just being benevolent. It doesn't hurt me any to be nice to people in everyday situations like that.
  16. Snerd: Hmm. I think it depends on the context. If you can tell that she's one of those types that wants to resist and have her resistance overcome, then it can be okay. I think it can also be okay if she's unsure of herself like I mentioned before. She could want it, but could be evasive about it, not letting herself know. If you can tell that she's one of these types, I think it could be okay to firmly push for it, and even restrain her if that could be the point where she gives in to her desire. Either way, her resistance would probably be weak. She wouldn't be fully sure that she wanted you to stop. You're taking a huge risk though. If you're wrong, you're attempting to rape her, and you'll be able to tell that you've gone too far. Her resistance will be fierce and righteous. She may show signs of disgust with you. Or she will just seem absolutely sure that she doesn't want it. But otherwise, I'd say no, it's not morally or legally acceptable. Not 100% sure of myself on this, but I'm fairly confident.
  17. I'm sorry Scarlett. I should not have gotten snippy with you. I didn't know that you were misinterpreting me. I get angry when I see threads like this and I feel like if nobody else is going to stand up for what's right, then I will. So I get "Fired up" so to speak in debates like this where it's the world against Peikoff for what I see as no good reason. SNerd, I personally would simply say "That's alright." And she'd be free to go. Maybe I'd grin and say "Aw..." before doing so to wittily express continued desire. Maybe I'd ask her why. Though she did get my hopes up by getting undressed and getting into bed with me. So I'd be disappointed, and rightly so. So I'd think it was immoral of her to let it get that far if she was just going to change her mind. If I value her though, I think personally that I'd give her the benefit of the doubt. I focused on the woman because everyone was so busy focusing on the man. I wondered why only the man is culpable for fraud in a sexual scenario. For some reason, we as a culture tend to place 100% of all sexual blame on the man in every scenario, and that seemed wrong to me. They do that because the man's desire for sex is "selfish", and the man is generally considered the "stronger" of the two sexes. The woman is always considered an innocent victim of the man's selfishness in every scenario where a man desired her and had his way with her, due to hatred of the good for being the good, regardless of the context. I couldn't be sure that there wasn't such a cultural influence at play here, so I wanted to look at the "other side" of the issue. I think the difference between what you're doing and what I'm doing is that I'm trying to discover what Peikoff could be thinking that resulted in him saying that. Whereas you guys are focusing literally on what he said. Maybe I can conclude that he could phrase it better. But there's no way he actually meant that a man is good to go and force himself on a woman. But depending on the context, it could be okay. She could be one of those types that wants to be taken and wants to offer resistance, and the man may have identified this in her. It's risky, and the price of being mistaken can be high. Ninth Doctor, I'm getting sick of you. It isn't an argument from authority. An argument from authority would have been if I'd simply said "Peikoff says this, and he's an authority, therefore it's right." Citing Peikoff's intellectual achievements as evidence that his judgment is sound is just referring to the facts of reality. Plus I offered an argument in support of what he said. Someone who has created such huge amounts of value for us Objectivists deserves at minimum the benefit of the doubt. But you have a track record of jumping on the anti-Peikoff bandwagon every time he says something controversial. I've seen you do it over and over again. So excuse me for trusting his judgment over yours. He's earned it at least. He has never demonstrated to me that his judgment can't be trusted, like you have. And you know damned well what I meant by "masters of this field." Or at least you should. I think you pointing to Kant as a "master" is a way to evade what I was pointing out. "Just because he's been in the field a lot longer than me doesn't mean that he's better than me. Just look at Kant! His ideas were dominant for much longer!" You (should) know damned well I was talking about good philosophers, consistent Objectivists, when I said that.
  18. I was actually already thinking of this. I'd say the authorization comes with implicit expectations. The woman wants to receive satisfaction, so the consent should still imply reasonable limits. If the guy takes a dump on her chest for example, authorization is obviously legitimately out the window, because he's doing something that is just, absolutely not a part of the deal. Unless she's into that sort of thing.. What I'm referring to is a woman who, say, wants sex from the man. But she's evasive. She doesn't let herself know that that's what she wants. She flirts, sends all the signals, goes up with him to his room, all the time telling herself that it's just innocent fun, that it won't lead to anything, but secretly wanting it to lead to something. And then when it inevitably does lead to something, she finally has to face what she's been evading. Can she then, morally speaking, "get out of it"? I don't think any rational woman would find herself faced with this kind of situation, because she'd probably be aware of what she's doing. But keep in mind my first paragraph about there being reasonable expectations. I think there are to be reasonable expectations whether or not a woman is fully conscious of her consent. I was referring to people like you. Concrete-bound "Objectivists" who shallowly apply a single context-less principle to a single context-less concrete and then think they're smarter than Peikoff based on their shallow interpretations of a single concrete thing that he says. It's a perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. Peikoff has been studying, integrating, applying Objectivism since before I was born. I'd never be pompous enough to unquestioningly think that I'm right and Peikoff is wrong when me and him come to such incredibly opposing and contradictory conclusions. I would try to understand his reasoning first before I conclude that he's a depraved lunatic and that my reasoning is superior to his. And so far I have agreed with his reasoning on all of these huge controversies. Because I reference reality, and search for the principles, facts and context that give rise to the controversial things he and Rand have said, while everyone else is screaming about how horrible he must be because he said something that's too selfish for them to feel comfortable with. You should already be doing this when you study any written work of Rand's or Peikoff's. Why don't you do this when you hear something you don't like on his podcast? Granted I don't always do so. But whenever I am eventually exposed to the full context, whether by someone else exposing me to it or me finding it myself, I find that Peikoff was taking the fullest, broadest context and body of knowledge into account in his conclusions. People acting like he's a moron for these stunningly shallow reasons is a perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. A student in a high school small engines class would never be pompous enough to think he knows how to build an engine better than his teacher who has been building engines his whole life. So why does this shit still fly in philosophy? Do you not know that ideas have just as absolute of an identity as engine parts do? Do you have no respect for people who have been masters of this field for longer than you've known it existed? Sorry, I was being sarcastic, if you couldn't tell. I'm aware that it's a work of fiction. A work of romantic realism. A dramatization. But the reason Roark did not rape Dominique was not just "because Ayn Rand said so". The full context of the chapter established that she wanted Roark badly, but she was evading her desire. Roark knew this fully, so he knew he was not raping her. The reason not to act this scenario out literally in real life is not because Ayn Rand isn't a real god to say that it isn't rape. It's because you can't know the other woman's intentions for sure as well as Roark knew Dominique's.
  19. While she's at it, she would admit to the whole world that Roark really did rape Dominique. Because after all, Rand is human and therefore fallible and capable of errors and contradictions. Never mind how rigorous and integrated her thought processes were, or how many years she spent perfecting her ideas. (If anything, she should know better!) Dominique struggled, therefore it is rape. The full context of the chapter gave Roark no excuse to use force against Dominique! I see it so clearly now! How could I have ever thought that Rand or Peikoff or any consistent Objectivist who has been thinking deeply about and applying this philosophy for decades, how could I have ever thought that my context-dropping interpretation deserved any less consideration than their well-reasoned positions? (This isn't focused on you Jonathan13, don't worry. I'm not singling you out.) I think there ought to be a special Dunning-Kruger award. I seriously have no idea how I would narrow down the nominations though. Think about the context of sex itself. When it comes to sex, the man is generally the initiator, and the woman generally lures the man into initiating. Now what does the sex act itself involve? At minimum, the man generally has his arms wrapped firmly around the woman, and generally keeps hold of her while penetrating her. Sex is a very physical act. I'm still thinking about this, but I think as of now that a woman sending signals of consent to a man and then withdrawing them once the man begins to initiate is just as fraudulant as a man sending signals that he loves her when he doesn't to get her consent. There are two reasons I can see behind this. One, if the man had known this would be the result, he would not have committed to initiating anything. Two, due to the physical nature of the sex act, a woman consenting is implicitly authorizing the man to get physical with her. Can such an authorization be withdrawn once it has been given and once the man has initiated based on that authorization? If you don't drop context, maybe Peikoff's position won't seem so ridiculous. Maybe you'll see that there's something to it. Maybe Peikoff is a deep thinker after all! He ought to be after thirty-plus years of studying under Rand herself and having a lifelong carreer as an intellectual beyond that. I've only read Atlas Shrugged five years ago, and even I can see that there's something to this. Seriously guys. A lot of you have been part of this site longer than I have and have probably read more of Rand's works than me more times than me. How can you be so incredibly wrong about Peikoff's judgment?
  20. The website doesn't look like it was created to make a personal attack on you. It seems to be made to address splits and schisms in Objectivism by providing links to the disagreement and then to the more consistent position. (I'm aware that this is an automatic cross-post.) As to the rest of the wall of text here, I think I can address the essence behind it all with a simple statement. Recognition of the fact that we are human and therefore fallible is not a blank check to believe anything you want. Just because Objectivism doesn't contain a stance on a certain issue doesn't mean that there isn't a proper application of Objectivist principles (and their full context) to (the full context of) that issue. This contradicts the rest of your post I think. We're supposed to refrain from passing moral judgment on people who are wrong on serious issues, even after having considered our arguments, as a means to the end of fostering toleration and discussion of opposing views. (That's the essence I see behind the rest of your post.) And yet we're not supposed to eschew moral judgment?
  21. Hmm. Maybe I misjudged you at first. This makes me think that you simply hold the analytic-synthetic dichotomy. Take two statements. A: Ice is solid water. B: Ice floats on water. Do you believe that A is a necessary truth, and that B is only a coincidentally true observation? In other words: Do you believe that A will always be true universally? Can you never be sure that unobserved instances of B will be true? If so, you have accepted the analytic-synthetic dichotomy. You're working with a theory of concepts where the meaning of a concept is its definition. You think A is universally true because it's true by definition, and B is always uncertain because it only happens to be true by the observation of the moment. The reason A is certain is because being solid water is in the definition of "ice". The reason B is uncertain is because floating on water isn't in the definition of "ice". If so, the cure is Ayn Rand's theory of concepts, where the meaning of a concept is its referents. When the meaning of a concept is what it refers to, then being solid water and floating on water are both necessary properties of "ice", and you can be absolutely certain that all instances of "ice" will both be solid water and will float on water.
  22. Also, being rude was kind of intended. I was, after all, emphasizing how ridiculous your position is. But I find it interesting that you think of my comments as arrogant and ignorant. I've recently discovered, in a first-handed way, the phenomenon of people making out their own inferiorities to be superiorities and their weaknesses to be strengths, simultaneously implying that my strengths, and the things about me that make me better than them, are really things that make me inferior to them. Ever since I discovered this, I've been seeing it everywhere. Christians telling me that my reliance on reason means I can't "think outside of the box" about the "bigger picture". Altruists telling me that being self-interested means I'm "incapable of thinking outside of myself." Any number of people telling me that my well-thought out, well-articulated positions tell them "how little know". Your claim that I'm arrogant and ignorant amuses me greatly, because now that I've identified this principle, I see you doing the same thing that I see all these other irrational people doing. I have the correct position, and you have the ridiculous position, and I'm willing to say so without apologizing. I didn't apologize for having the right answer and I didn't apologize for being confident in my answer. And in your eyes, that makes me "arrogant" and "ignorant". In other words, the very things that make me better than you, actually make me inferior to you in your eyes. Or rather, you want it to make me inferior to you in my eyes. But I reject that notion and laugh at it.
  23. I've re-read the posts you mentioned. Post #15 being a quote of Post #1. You can't really validate an axiom, since the axioms are the basis of all validation. But this doesn't mean the entire system of Objectivism is arbitrary. Objectivism, including its axioms, is grounded in observation of reality at every step of the way. Rand didn't just sit in an armchair and pull Objectivism out of her ass. She induced the whole system. It only appears to have been deduced because she integrated her knowledge of reality so tightly that it can be easily traversed logically. Objectivist epistemology can't undermine the law of non-contradiction. Objectivist epistemology is explicitly and implicitly the only way you could ever grasp the law of non-contradiction (in reality itself, not just in logical systems of thought). I made fun of you because I don't take your position seriously. You basically think that Objectivist epistemology undermines one of its own axioms somehow. (The Law of Non-Contradiction is basically the Law of Identity.) People who don't understand Objectivism and how it was derived from reality and then claim that they have a false/contradictory position that is superior to the (true, consistent) Objectivist position don't really deserve to be taken seriously. Especially when they vaguely misrepresent the Objectivist position and never reveal their own. If you want us to explain to you how Objectivist epistemology supports the Law of Non-Contradiction (Identity, which is, you know, an axiom of Objectivism), you should explain to us what you think is wrong with it and how you think it should be done. Then we'll correct you. Since you support the Law of Non-Contradiction by some means other than observation, why don't you explain to us how you've done it. What is this superior method of knowing the Law of Non-Contradiction (Identity) that you have discovered? In addition to this post, I would like to direct your attention to #108, #109, #113, and to the world around you. EDIT: I should correct myself. An epistemology can neither support nor undermine the Law of Identity/Non-Contradiction. Reality has primacy over consciousness, therefore the Law of Identity is true whether your epistemology is true or not. Your epistemology is simply your means of knowing the Law of Identity. Objectivist Epistemology supports the Law of Identity insofar as it allows you to identify it.
  24. And thus the cat is out of the bag. You're just a skepticist who believes that we can't be absolutely certain about anything. Either that or you're incapable of applying the knowledge you've gained about the world so far. If I shove you off a cliff, how can you be certain you'll die?? After all, you haven't perceived your death yet!
  25. You form concepts based on what you perceive, and as you perceive more referents of your concepts, you learn that the things you learned before apply to new things. As you explore the world, you find that the world is bigger than you thought it was when you only knew the inside of your house. And you find that certain things you've learned apply to everything you've seen so far. Implicitly, at first. Then explicitly if/when you develop a conscious recognition of it. It all exists. (Existence.) Everything is something specific. (Identity.) You know of these things by perceiving them. (Consciousness is to be conscious of something.) But it was there before you perceived it, it remains there when you're not perceiving it, and you can't affect it unless you act on it physically. (Primacy of Existence.) Applying what you've learned about the world so far, you can conclude that those three axioms apply to everything that exists, even if you haven't perceived it yet. Everything that exists, exists. Everything that exists, is something specific. And in order to know about anything, you have to be conscious of it. Everything you've ever encountered in your life was there. It existed. Even when you weren't looking at it, it was still there acting according to its nature. Everything you've ever encountered in your life was something specific. It had certain properties. It had an identity. Everything you've ever (truly) known, had to be justified by perception at some point. Anything not conceptually traceable back to perception is a floating abstraction with no connection to reality. Is it really that difficult to understand? Or are you going to continue to complain about the law of identity and the contextual nature of knowledge applying to your senses/mind because you can't know the whole universe?
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