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eetest01's Achievements


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  1. Thanks for the suggestions guys. Bowzer, what would you then recommend? It sounds as though you think I might be lead astray.
  2. Having read OPAR and ITOE, I'd like some recommedations (books, web site links, scientific publications, etc.) for further study of epistemology, philosophy of mind and concept formation. I'm looking for philosophical as well as psychological sources. Thanks.
  3. It sounds to me like what you guys are saying is that life is the standard of good and life is the standard of evil. The measure of evil is how far it is from the ideal. As Capitalism Forever said, "The worst evil, then, is life qua UN-man." Making death the standard of evil would be a mistake. It would mean death is the highest evil, of which one invalid consequence is that there could be no rational justification for suicide. This is clearly incorrect as pointed out by DavidOdden's example. I should have thought of The Great Escape, it's one of my favorite movies. Thanks for helping me clear that up.
  4. eetest01

    The Worst Evil

    "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." -- General John Stark Cox and Forkum (www.coxandforkum.com) I saw the above cartoon by Cox and Forkum and began to wonder about the worst of evils. If life is the standard value, and that which promotes it is good while that which detracts is evil, then is death the standard of evil? If so, is there anything more evil than death? Irrationality is evil because it can ultimately lead to death (at the very least unhappiness). Irrationality is sufficient for death, but it is not necessary. Irrationality is evil because a consequence of it is death. Is death more evil than irrationality since irrationality is subordinate to death? Am I making too much of death by calling it the standard of evil? What is an evil worse than death and why is it so?
  5. During the Q & A of Peikoff's Ford Hall Forum talk, "The One in the Many: How to Create It and Why," he spoke very highly of a movie, but I missed the title of it. Can anyone help?
  6. For what it's worth, Peikoff said something interesting about this during a Q & A in one of the "Objective Communications" lectures. "It's philosophy that got us into this mess and it's philosophy that will get us out." He also talked about one's moral obligation to voice disagreement when in earshot of irrationality. One is not obligated to argue, simply state your disagreement. I agree with BreathofLife, the way to act now is through study and refutation. I think it is also important to support ARI in changing college campus culture.
  7. It seems to me you are making some unwarranted assumptions about human nature. 1. That man is in such a state as to possess a "void" by his nature. 2. That man must fill his life with objects that distract him from being conscious of the void, in other words, he must reject the reality of the human condition. Man's nature is such that he must use reason to select and pusue his goals. If he adheres to reason he will be productive and lead a fullfilling life. This is the condition which is most appropriately his natural state. You are right that can people become bored with their possessions, but this does not mean they lead dissatified lives. Things may bring momentary pleasure, but to achieve happiness one must lead a virtuous life - one in pursuit of reason and all the virtues arising from it. There is a distinction between pleasure and hapiness that you are not making in your argument. Can pursuit of material wealth bring happiness? Only if it is achieved rationally.
  8. I approached "Atlas Shrugged" from a communist point of view 15 years ago. I considered it a good opportunity to get to know the enemy. By the time I finished it my whole world had been turned upside-down. If you're like me, initially you'll find her ideas about economics very interesting. I recommend "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal" and "The Virtue of Selfishness." Many people, including the official Objectivist organization, ARI, recommend her fiction to begin with. But, if you are philosophically advanced, beginning with Peikoff's "Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand" is not a bad way to go. If you approach Rand's books with intellectual honesty (being open to a rational argument) then I guarantee you will find in her philosophy a challenge to everything you currently believe in. You will have to discover for yourself whether Marx has an answer for her. Joe C.
  9. I'm glad to see others have left that behind. My political values, hence my ethics, were heavily influenced by The Dead Kennedys. I accepted altruism without question and blamed man for not living up to a standard that I did not know was impossible to practice. I found myself becoming so cynical that I wrote-off humanity as a lost cause. Those were dark days indeed.
  10. I'm orginally from River Rouge, but live in Wyandotte now.
  11. Well, it was written by Kubrick, but Peter Sellers really makes the film fantastic; I honestly think "Dr. Strangelove" beats anything previously mentioned. Best double-feature I ever saw: First feature: Fail-Safe Second feature: Dr. Strangelove
  12. I found this forum through Google Groups. Good thing too. I've been in a state of confusion about several issues and hope to find some answers, at the very least some leads to follow. It happened quite by chance that I came accross "Atlas Shrugged" when I did. I was in desperate need of a philosohical house-cleaning. Until that point I had been heavily influenced by the 80s punk/goth scene and heading straight toward an explicit and active nihilism. I beagn "Atlas" with the thought, "know thy ememy" and emerged thoroughly suspicious of my ideas. Now that I am an Objectivist, I'm looking to clarify my understanding, deepen it and expand my knowledge of philosophy in general--perhaps even contribute. Joe C.
  13. Colonel Rebel: I don't think that procreation is inherently altruistic or rationally selfish; it depends on the values of the parents. If the parents want a child for the joy of it, then it is purely in their own interest regardless of any benefit to the child. If the parents procreated out of a sense of duty, despite their wishes to the contrary or inability to care for the child, then this would be a case of altruistic procreation. They would be sacrificing a value (a life unfettered by responsibilities they neither want nor can fullfill) for a lesser value or no value. Notice, that if you are going to judge the act of procreation as altruistic or rational, then you must make that judgement on the values (or non-values) of those people committing the act. The child's state of being is irrelevent in this judgement.
  14. I've had some time to reflect on this issue. A basic level concept is a mental integration of observed existence. I perceive this leafy thing growing out of the ground with this particular shape, and I notice another similar one, and another. I also note their difference from other things that grow from the ground that are not similar in shape. I mentally integrate the similar objects, ignoring their measurements, and come up with the concept I name 'tree'. This process is a combination of consciousness and reality, thus its product, a concept, is. If concepts were the result of consciousness alone, then they would be subjective. If concepts had there own metaphysical existence (tree-ness exists in the tree alone) apart from consciousness, then we have intrinsicism. A concept must be a combination of reality and consciousness. The universe cannot be observed as a whole, so it is not a base level concept - one based on perceptions of entities. If it is not derived from direct observation it must be an abstaction from abstractions. Which abstractions? Since we define 'universe' as the sum of all existence, then 'existence' must be one of the subordinate concepts. It's no great leap for a mind to consider all existents as related by the fact of their existence, therefore, 'universe' is a self-evident implication of the existence axiom - it is a corollary. I think my confusion has been in trying to reduce 'universe' directly to perception - to units. The universe is singlular, it has no units to integrate into a concept. If you mean that every 'now' is a separate instance of the universe, then I disagree. The universe is not subject to time. Joe C.
  15. Lacrosse University - unaccredited online university http://www.lacrosseuniversity.com/
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