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Vigilantys

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  1. George, to boil all this down, as I see it, you want to improve Objectivism and make it more "mainstream" by coining a new term "selfish-altruism" and using that to convince the laymen that Objectivism is great and without sacrifice of the other to ones self. Well before I go on, you clearly need to come up with a new term for "sacrifice" then no? Else you'll be stuck explaining sacrifice as you're stuck explaining "selfishness" now. However that does seem like a grand waste of time as those that are interested in Objectivism became so for far broader reasons than the definitions of a couple words. I will also point out that there's no such thing as a selfish sacrifice of the self to others or vise-versa. If you sacrifice anything to anything that implies a greater value lost for a lesser value which is not selfish in the least. On the other hand you cannot "remove" sacrifice out of the meaning of altruism without creating this new "selfish-altruism" that you are fighting for... And I completely fail to see whom it is you're trying to fool with this contradictory arrangement? Reason for edit: Spelling correction.
  2. Sorry if my question offended you but I felt I needed some clarity on your stand point as I am new here and do not know your convictions at length. The way you worded the post you refer to above, as I understood, you implied that "humanity", "life", "safety" and "living in a world where people appreciate life enough to value it in each other" are abstract values and not the Objectivist quid pro quo values that they are. I also deduced that you implied that benevolence is not a selfish tenet. I think it is better that I clarify that for myself than go on assuming something that is false about you.
  3. My friend, while most things that you write I cannot even pretend to understand I think you are misusing the words "real" and "true". Fascism and communism are most certainly real but are very wrong. I don’t think the word “true” applies here. And reality has no contradictions; only men’s thinking can be contradictory. Hope that helps.
  4. Just curious... Is there a part in your morality that implies you ought to help the above mentioned child or does any aid you might render simply comes from "benevolence" and sidesteps your morality? Is helping others always a trivial matter?
  5. I was simply referring to you comment about nit-picking. Nit-picking or not it got me to get a more clear idea about your perspective. There's nothing wrong with being good to others, I agree. But that does not make it altruistic. Ayn Rand did not state that everyone ought to be selfish, she vividly showed that everyone is selfish. And, more importantly, she showed that it is the sole mode of thought that is acceptable to a modern man, to realize that everything you do must be to the benefit of your self. She did not and never meant to define all possible forms of benefit and I don't think that is possible as it is subjective. Neither did she redefine "selfishness" but removed the need for apology for being ones self and she also removed the ambiguous negative connotation that a "moocher" attributes to being selfish. More, to the point though... do you not think it is hypocritical to claim you do anything solely for the sake of another when it makes you feel good doing it? Is it not the epitome of evasiveness to give a penny to a pauper and then brag about how generous you are for doing so and how everyone should be just like you? Altruism and selfishness are mutually exclusive and you cannot be both at the same time as that defeats the point of having either term. You are either selfish or altruistic and the only reason you’d state to be a bit of both is out of the unnamed guilt for living for your own sake. But you can dismiss me as being confused again, nothing I can do about that. You still seem to think that if I give an apple to a hungry man on the street I have sacrificed the apple. That is neither the definition nor the meaning Rand implied. One basic example of sacrifice is if you were to trade a $10 bill for a $5 bill on the street to a man whose reasoning was that "it is the right thing to do" and "that is how everyone does it and it is your duty". If you clearly understood that you'd be loosing $5 but believed the man's reasoning to be valid and did as told you'd be sacrificing the money. There's no such thing as duty before my fellow man as defined by anyone other than myself. You decide what an acceptable action is keeping in mind that every action you make grants the right to others to act in the same manner towards you. That is the epitome of civil conduct. We act civil because we desire others around us to be civil and not because there's some greater unnamed duty we all must adhere to. You keep going back to what you think an altruist would do versus what an Objectivist would do but the point is they would more often than not do the same thing but for different self stated reasons. First of all I know what "kin-altruism" is and believe that is a deliberate obfuscation of both altruism and the importance of ones family to ones self. Maybe I should have stated that but I assumed you'd understand based upon the statement I made about saving your own child... You seem wordy there about altruism and sacrifice and not for the sake of clarity. However I do understand and have encountered on a number of occasions the difficulty of explaining to others the meaning of selfishness. This is because most people automatically and falsely attribute greed and inconsideration to selfishness. And if you point that out and the discussion is in good faith then the issue is quickly settled. There's no clear negative connotation to selfishness. I also do not think you need to speak about “people’s feelings” in such mystic terms, it’s all pretty clear cut and dry there.
  6. I partially disagree with this statement. Communism does not evade the fact that men are not equal in their achievements, it simply states that men can receive equal reward for unequal contributions. From each according to ability to each based upon need. Ultimately, the utopian idea is that men can live without any form of trade while producing at their maximum and taking (without any controls in place) solely what they need. Now both Marx and Lenin, at least in their writings, believed the proletariat would embrace this idea and never actually evaded the fact that all would receive the same portions while performing different tasks. They may or may not have been "evaders" as to how they wished to achieve Communism but it does not appear they felt the whole thing was a power-grab scheme from the get-go as say Christianity became when Emperor Constantine and his scribes had their go at the bible.
  7. I actually think Jeff has been rather successful in slowly extracting a more precise definition from you on your morality. You claimed to be a bit of an altruist and a bit of an Objectivist yet clearly that is not the case as that makes as much sense as a wet fire. Your flaw is that you try to misrepresent your own interest with altruism simply due to societal compulsions imposed on you through the same ambiguously suggestive means as you now use. You might, or might not, save the child depending on the spur of the moment decisions but if you do, you'd clearly do it for the selfish regard of self as otherwise the non-action would torture you. Yet, it also makes you feel more justified to insist you'd do it for some greater good and not for a selfish reason. But surely you must understand that any action you do to make yourself feel better about yourself based upon your own morality is a selfish action. However it would certainly be altruistic and sacrificial to save the child if you did it for concern as to what the bystanders might think of you later if you did not save the child. Note however then that in such a case your overall morality is altruistic and sacrificial as external compulsions and not internal convictions make you act. And I wonder... why does it have to be specifically a child that must be rescued why not just a human being? Are you trying to appeal to my parental instinct and hence make me feel guilty for valuing my own life over the child’s with such formulation? Well I choose to be a rational human being and I reject all instincts to the utmost possible. If my instincts happen to coincide with that which is rational then great! But if not then I must learn to disregard my instincts. All life is of equal value when you subtract personal knowledge about the given life. If my grandmother was drowning beside the now proverbial kid I'd save my grandma and feel fine about it later as the kid is just another human being in a world of close to 7 billion of us already. If the child meant more to me than being just another young human then it might be different. You mentioned "kin-altruism" earlier... what the hell is that? Are you saying that it is "altruistic" to save the life of your own child? Altruism explicitly implies an action that is not in your self interest. As in- acting based upon societal compulsions and restraints when they violate your own welfare. Yes, that is my own definition but I do not believe it violates the established one. Now by welfare I mean what you, solely, see as good for you and not based on any other standard.
  8. There is no proof of any kind in the scientific world for any kind of a beginning to the Universe or whatever, they have claims... theories, but that doesn't mean I cannot refer to the Big Bang as the dominant modern theory in regards to creation and then refute it. Now you really need to familiarize yourself with the Big Bang theory, you seem to know Newtonian physics (I suppose you reject Relativity altogether considering your attitude towards the Big Bang). But please read carefully I am not speaking about the Big Bang itself but the primal amount of energy that caused the Big Bang which is claimed to have come from vacuum fluctuations. What is it with you on and on about the moon and the fish, some personal occultist fascination thing? And excuse me but when has the theory (note the working word here- "theory") of evolution has been proven? You argue my right to use the Big Bang theory as an argument and then here comes the irrefutable theory of evolution... Where did I state that energy disappeared? Like WTF!!? If you cannot understand what I say do not respond but why put words into my mouth and then insult me as though I said them? I said If you need to melt a piece of steel some energy will be lost as heat energy while you achieve the effect of melting... etc. You don't know this? Yes, energy cannot be created or destroyed; you did go to grade 7... I am glad, but Big Bang was in grade eleven, did you skip that? Snapping at random people for saying things you do not understand is a mental illness and that is a fact.
  9. A very interesting response, if nothing else, I enjoyed reading... A=a; A-a=0. You are right, or I agree, about there never being an absolute zero and truly empty space... radiation is always present. But Big Bang does imply a "nothing" as a speck of energy could not have existed ad infinitum and then exploded all of the sudden, it came from vacuum fluctuations as grade 11 physics states. I do not believe in the theory of evolution (at least in the Darwinist sense) but that does not mean I am a creationist that believes there's a divide between the soul (and therefore the religious concept of one) and the body. However the concept of consciousness is something I think (a hence try to deduce) is intrinsic to existence as a whole. I am not convinced it could have evolved (among other things there's too great a gap between us and everything else that exists) and a universal consciousness does appear more logical.
  10. I agree. God serves no purpose other than in psychological sense (as you mentioned later) and being the origin... a faze, long past. However the logical deduction of a god to exist offers further implications for morality, philosophy and historical value of religion. Morality is imposed upon us by reality in the need to coexist and progress but philosophically, if god exists, then morality precedes reality. I personally hold deductive logic in greater esteem than you do but I see your point. However I think we can trace back, logically, to the point where the origin of reality possesses intellect and consciousness. This has no practical purpose that I can see outright but adds a philosophical dimension and another vector for reasoning and what is philosophy but a way to think? Agreed again, God is a psychological comfort point however if philosophy would integrate god than in my opinion the implications of such a philosophy would be universal as opposed to selecting a way of thinking based on ones ambitions in life. After all, Mother Teresa was clearly an altruist but she was hardly Ellsworth Toohey. A=a is the first, original mathematical formula stated by Aristotle as formulation of a concept that is monumental to all further reasoning. Most feel some of the things that Ayn Rand formulates but she chisels them out in stone and by her own admission her philosophy originates from the concept that what IS, IS and that observed reality need not be doubted. A=a is a mathematical manifestation of that and obviously I suggest that that one of the "As" is God or A=God=a.
  11. I don't think you understood... I'll attempt one more time... The process in the Universe is not "creation" but synthesis of that which already exists. One of the axioms is that you cannot gain a greater value from a lesser value and before anything can be synthesized the potential for that must already exists. For intellect to exist, just as with any form of energy where it must be derived from other forms of energy usually in greater quantity, intellect and consciousness must form from existing consciousness and intellect and they cannot magically manifest into being from the absence thereof. Mathematic formulation of A is A in A=a portrays cause and effect in its simplest most effective terms in my opinion... But at least your comments made more sense then the previous one.
  12. First and foremost I do not understand why I would need to regurgitate the words of some great authority here for you to take me seriously. That seems to go against the very essence of Objectivism. Second, if you do not know that every algebraic formula inherently implies a zero... fine, but surely you must have seen a number line at least once before. Why I need to state that on this board is completely beyond me and is very disappointing. Third, if for some ungodly reason (pardon the pun) you do need someone else's theory to be present in my writing then you must have noticed such words as "Big" and "Bang"... Look these two up on Wikipedia if you need to. However that is not the point of my thesis. The point is that cause and effect implies an equivalent or greater amount of energy required to cause an effect and to state it in even more basic terms (I thought I was as basic as possible) the existence of intellect and consciousness imply that and equivalent but most likely a far greater intellect and consciousness are required for human intellect and consciousness to exist.
  13. God- the creator of the Universe and of all its laws, necessarily possessing, among whatever other qualities- the qualities of energy, matter, life, intellect and consciousness. It has been said that it is the modern day scientists that will prove, beyond shadow of a doubt, the existence of “God” and that it is the scientific method that is “divine”. Such an idea appears rather farfetched today, now that man has gone to the Moon and all… However, if we consider one of the origins of scientific thought, the great Aristotelian “A=a”, we can clearly observe the mathematical manifestation of the prime concept in physics: cause and effect. We can also conclude, if we prove that “A=a”, that the magic concept of “A=O”, or that a “nothing” could be moving, causing, inventing or creating a “something” – is not possible. Thus, at this point in man’s history, it is safe to argue that the plethora of ways which science has used to gradually prove the phenomenon of cause and effect makes that concept “observed” and therefore, from the standpoint of the scientific method, beyond the shadow of a doubt. So strongly is the concept ingrained in sciences, that if it were rendered untrue, it would render all science invalid. As such, consider how science perceives the very existence of energy and of forces and of existence as a whole. Science argues that a “nothing” or vacuum fluctuations etc…, are the cause of energy and of the forces that guide it and consequently all other that exists. The argument is that energy and the forces, or the non-matter, then formed matter. Further, matter, or the non-life, has begotten life. And then animal life, or the unconscious, has begotten man, who is conscious and intelligent. It is interesting to observe then, how the modern scientist assumes that cause and effect violates the concept of “God” perceiving God as the conceptual “0”, or the immaterial nothing, and hence that it would violate the very axiom of cause and effect and that of God being the origin of all existence. One could argue, on behalf of science, that since energy is matter and matter is life and life is man and the fact of the observed progression, or evolution, from energy to matter to Man is subjective and does not indicate a greater value gained from a lesser value then it is, in fact, a “something” that is causing the other “something”. It is however a tough sell to argue that no greater value is gained from vacuum fluctuations to a conscious man but that is not the crux of my argument. There’s greater and obvious flaw in the stated origin of energy and therefore of matter, life, and Man. It is implied in mathematic calculations in physics that as the state of absolute zero receded the fist spec of energy (later to cause the Big Bang) formed. Also, mathematics implies the existence of two very hypothetical concepts of a 0 and of a true random value to be valid. So is this not the very contradiction of sciences own fundamental axiom, that A cannot equal 0, that less cannot be more, that “nothing” cannot beget “something” and the basic philosophic argument as to the non-existence of God? The law of causality, or cause and effect, cannot be argued for it can be observed in all things. However, if one truly examines the claim of science, its ideas on its own origins and of origins of all existence, it is the origins of magic, of hocus-pocus manifestation, of an “A=0” that modern science describes. On the other hand, the claim that “God” operates on those very mystic basis seems unfounded since there surely is no evidence to man of how “God” would accomplish anything. Thus, at this point, I will make a claim that that which has begotten a reality where a conscious and intelligent man could exist must, by virtue of cause and effect possess the very same qualities of energy, matter, life, consciousness and intellect. These may or may not be the sole qualities of the origins of our reality but are those that presently matter to us. Therefore, if the single, original entity did posses among other things consciousness and intellect it is fair to state that Man`s modern monotheistic concept of God is valid. Disclaimer: The above is not written to validate or to invalidate any form of morality or religion as the reality of existence of God is surely independent of Man’s politics. It is also fair to note that the above idea of God is a logical extrapolation done throughout all religions beginning with Animism on through Polytheism and to Monotheism. It is easily seen that Animism invalidated itself as worship of that which is inferior to Man. Polytheism invalidates itself through the inevitable and illogical struggle between “Gods”, best observed in Greek Mythology, and the contradictory laws they set which are never observed in nature. Monotheism, which was arrived at through the reasoning of Zoroaster and, biblically, that of Abraham has partially invalidated itself due to the preached dichotomy of spirit and body, mainly for political reasons. However none of that invalidates the existence of a single God.
  14. While a "perfect" altruist would assume anyone speaking any form of truth to be "arrogant" I do not believe this is the matter at hand. The key to deeming one to be arrogant is not in the context but in the presentation. Arrogance is a psychological concept, not a practical or an objective one. The difference in speaking the truth arrogantly or not is whenever the other party is offended. This is subjective and hence cannot be systemized but one can be deemed arrogant in any mode of morality. Being unyielding about an objective fact is not arrogant but making someone feel ignorant, deliberately, for not knowing what you may deem as common knowledge is arrogant.
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