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The Individual

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  1. I'm not looking for a long discussion. I just want to know the Objectivist's rebuttal to the paradox of Schrödinger's cat.
  2. Of course there are other values more important than physical beauty. I was just wondering whether physical beauty is a value.
  3. Can a person's physical beauty be a value in love? Can a man love a woman because he values her physical beauty?
  4. I don't know how to answer this when a friend asked me. Is it moral for someone to steal from a provision store to feed his hungry family? Since stealing is a breach of individual rights.
  5. There are only this year's (2009) issues of Impact available on the ARI website. Where can I find past years' issues?
  6. I was thinking along the same line too. Why didn't Rand gave her brand of Romanticism another name? And I was thinking of "Rational Romanticist" too.
  7. Sorry about the bad reply. Still new and learning about Objectivism.
  8. I don't get what you mean. What is "a higher existence that everyone perceives differently?" An absolute and objective reality means that reality is not subjected to wishes, whims, prayers, or miracles. If you want to change the world, you must act according to reality. Nothing else will affect reality. If you evade this fact, your actions will most likely not have their desired effects such as praying a bar of gold will drop from the sky.
  9. Reality is absolute because the primacy of existence states the irrefutable truth that existence is primary and consciousness is secondary. Existence is independent of Consciousness.
  10. I get it. I just wasn't sure "Meta" meant metaphysical. Thanks.
  11. From the Ayn Rand lexicon, "Romanticism is the conceptual school of art. It deals, not with the random trivia of the day, but with the timeless, fundamental, universal problems and values of human existence. It does not record or photograph; it creates and projects. It is concerned—in the words of Aristotle—not with things as they are, but with things as they might be and ought to be." "What the Romanticists brought to art was the primacy of values, an element that had been missing in the stale, arid, third- and fourth-hand (and rate) repetitions of the Classicists’ formula-copying. Values (and value-judgments) are the source of emotions; a great deal of emotional intensity was projected in the work of the Romanticists and in the reactions of their audiences, as well as a great deal of color, imagination, originality, excitement and all the other consequences of a value-oriented view of life. This emotional element was the most easily perceivable characteristic of the new movement and it was taken as its defining characteristic, without deeper inquiry. Such issues as the fact that the primacy of values in human life is not an irreducible primary, that it rests on man’s faculty of volition, and, therefore, that the Romanticists, philosophically, were the champions of volition (which is the root of values) and not of emotions (which are merely the consequences)—were issues to be defined by philosophers, who defaulted in regard to aesthetics as they did in regard to every other crucial aspect of the nineteenth century. The still deeper issue, the fact that the faculty of reason is the faculty of volition, was not known at the time, and the various theories of free will were for the most part of an anti-rational character, thus reinforcing the association of volition with mysticism." As far as I know, Romanticism stressed strong emotion as a source of aesthetic experience. Romanticism is meant to reach beyond the rational into emotional isn't it? And therefore it can come across as unrealistic which is what the Realists opposed.
  12. So we are "certain" God doesn't exist because there has been no conclusive evidence to the contrary?
  13. I am still confused about Certainty. I keep re-reading the definition of it in the Lexicon. “Certain” represents an assessment of the evidence for a conclusion; it is usually contrasted with two other broad types of assessment: “possible” and “probable.” Idea X is “certain” if, in a given context of knowledge, the evidence for X is conclusive. In such a context, all the evidence supports X and there is no evidence to support any alternative. You cannot challenge a claim to certainty by means of an arbitrary declaration of a counter-possibility, you cannot manufacture possibilities without evidence. All the main attacks on certainty depend on evading its contextual character. (Ayn Rand lexicon) I don't understand the the two terms "probable" and "possible". What is the difference? And what does "evidence for X is conclusive" mean? How conclusive must "conclusive" be? Does it mean if all evidence points to the penguins being flightless, it is certain (or probable/possible) then that penguins cannot fly?
  14. "During the Industrial Revolution, an intellectual and artistic hostility towards the new industrialization developed. This was known as the Romantic movement. Its major exponents in English included the artist and poet William Blake and poets William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley. The movement stressed the importance of "nature" in art and language, in contrast to "monstrous" machines and factories; the "Dark satanic mills" of Blake's poem." "It was partly a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature, and was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature." "Many intellectual historians have seen Romanticism as a key movement in the Counter-Enlightenment, a reaction against the Age of Enlightenment. Whereas the thinkers of the Enlightenment emphasized the primacy of deductive reason, Romanticism emphasized intuition, imagination, and feeling, to a point that has led to some Romantic thinkers being accused of irrationalism." And Ayn Rand held Romanticism as the highest school of art despite all these? Can anyone explain why? Additionally, "The confines of the Industrial Revolution also had their influence on Romanticism, which was in part an escape from modern realities; indeed, in the second half of the 19th century, "Realism" was offered as a polarized opposite to Romanticism." "The term "romanticism", however, is often affiliated with emotionalism, to which Objectivism is completely opposed. Historically, many romantic artists were philosophically subjectivist. Most Objectivists who are also artists subscribe to what they call romantic realism, which is how Ayn Rand labeled her own work." (Wikipedia) Aren't Romanticism and Realism opposites?
  15. How do we know that the attribute or cause applies universally to all penguins? If it is the penguin's wing structure that is the cause of its flightlessness, how do we know all penguins have that particular wing structure? So we do not actually know whether all penguins are flightless but we do know that under certain conditions (i.e. the penguin possessing some particular attribute) the penguin is flightless.
  16. If a penguin cannot fly, it doesn't mean all penguin cannot fly right? But I have seen thousands of penguins and they all cannot fly, it doesn't mean all penguins cannot fly but in such a context, it is reasonable to assume - to be certain - all penguins cannot fly until I have been proven otherwise. Is that the correct way of thinking about Certainty?
  17. The Certainty Concept is new to me and I'm trying to comprehend it. Take a pregnant woman for instance. According to the Certainty Concept, it would be reasonable if the woman expected her child would be born with two eyes, two ears, a nose, a mouth, etc. But there have been occasions when a child is born with six fingers on a hand instead of five. What does that mean? Can one still be certain that a child is going to be born with two eyes, two ears, etc? As for the God argument, God doesn't exists because there has been consistently no proof about him and therefore we can be certain (or just about almost certain?) that God doesn't exist. Is that the correct train of thought? Dawkins doesn't help the Atheist movement? I have to disagree. I think Dawkins tipped more people into Atheism than Objectivism did, albeit using the wrong method I suppose. Isn't it taught in Science that nothing is absolute and therefore we have to be skeptical and question everything?
  18. My question is, since mentally disabled people are not free to exercise their rights, when they are violated, a party (legal guardian) should be exercising their rights on their behalf and confront the aggressor right?
  19. Since mentally retarded people cannot exercise their rights rationally and properly, like children, a legal guardian must act for them?
  20. Do mentally disabled people have rights?
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