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Everything posted by freestyle

  1. Also, oppressor and/or oppression is another English word for this concept which is not inherent to selfishness.
  2. Is that really all that would be overlapping? Hmmm... I'd have to think about that for a while... I think there is a big distinction on the timeframe and whether or not something LEGITIMATELY is beneficial to individual. Mainstream probably actually thinks being selfish is bad for the self.... i think...
  3. That is kinda like "compassionate" conservative... And you're right that it sends the wrong message. I think it is more about communicating as clearly as possible that selfishness is not the equivalent to the disregarding of rights. People tend to assume selfishness must include a victim. It does not. In future discussions, I'll try using something along the following lines when somebody uses an improper example of selfishness: "No, that's not a selfish person, that's a victimizer. I'm just as much anti-victimization as I am pro-selfishness." We'll see how that goes... 🧐
  4. Yes. To put a finer point on it, I'm looking to identify the concept being packaged with selfishness which contradicts and/or confuses. I want to extricate it so that those non-related packaged associations have their proper place. I continue to find it hard to accept that those things (like indifference, negligence and malice towards others) are not already contained in a well established concept. (And especially a commonly understood word or concept) If not, it would be quite telling that those behaviors are only packaged in a way that includes an assumed un-earned benefit only to the self. Tricky! While looking at some other threads about this... I saw a post where @Grames mentioned these types of things as "a kind of metaphysical solipsism in practical everyday action." With the given examples, yes, that would apply. But it still packages the negative actions in service of the self... This thread has helped me refine my focus to the willingness to "sacrifice others" through "indifference, negligence, or malice," but REGARDLESS and INDEPENDENT of who benefits.
  5. Another reason I like this so much is that it takes the focus OFF of the self, while also illustrating sacrifice as a negative. That helps unpackage it from selfishness very nicely and in line with Rand's philosophy. And you did it in two words... good stuff! Rand, of course, used this phrase often but usually related to the sacrificing to one's self. But in fact, this negative behavior that people generally lump together with "selfishness" is not necessarily always to service one's self (whether rationally or irrationally). Think of the do-gooder who is ok sacrificing others for "the good of society." This makes me think there is another possible strong contender for the word... although I'm not sure yet whether this also comes with baggage. What about: Victimizer Victimization I can imagine it being a cleaner and a more clear explanation to say something along the lines of, "Yes, I'm always in favor of selfishness, but I'm never in favor of victimization." ...still trying to figure this out...
  6. Yeah, it feels like that... but I am still convinced that it must be out there. 🤔
  7. That's pretty great! Is there a word that means "sacrificing others"? I did a quick google search and saw a suggestion of "utilitarian"... But I'm certain the Utilitarian would disagree. 🙂
  8. Well this is the crux of my post-- I'm not satisfied that the concept does not exist in the English language. My sense is that it must, I (we) just haven't discovered or identified it... yet. I may have "buried the lede" to some degree in my initial post. Indeed I have come up with two working terms that I feel do a better (but not completely satisfactory job) of communicating the concept that relates to the specific part of selfishness that Objectivists do not consider as selfish (but so many others do, and even may consider it the primary type of example). My best working terms are: Self-Absorption Self-Obsession Both of these terms seem to satisfy as descriptors for the examples of behaviors in my original post (chicken wing guy and make-up lady). However, I'm still not completely comfortable using those terms because, "obsession" and "absorption," while typically associated with negatives, may be a "package-deal," similar to the trick used by those who exploit the words "extreme" or "extremism." (See Extremism: Or The Art of Smearing - A.R.) I'd prefer not to further muddy the concept if possible. Perhaps obsession with or absorption in "the good," isn't bad. This is why I do not think it suffices and why I'm seeking a definition. We (Objectivists, rational thinkers, etc...) will continually endeavor to educate that the type of examples commonly held by so many about this term are not truly examples of selfishness. As the title of this post states, this only gets us half way... We must be able to explain what that distinction is, and DEFINE it in a clear way that shows it is NOT "subsumed" under the single concept of "selfishness." Yes, I can do this with a lot of words.... But I want to do it with the overarching concept. This distinction is important. A rational person knows those behaviors are negative, yet we have not unentangled them from the word "selfish," and as long as those examples are packaged with selfishness, it will continually be difficult to communicate selfishness as a virtue. Those types of examples require a new home. You are correct, and I assume most of us who understand Rand and Objectivism concur. But again, it doesn't identify and define this greater concept (that I'm looking for). Those terms, "social unawareness" or "social blindness," would surely soften the negativity and destructive nature (to one's self). They make it seem like an oversight or an accident. Whereas, in truth, those behaviors are more than "not selfish", they are, in the long term, self-destructive. True. And you can get very specific (and that's what we usually do) for any of these typical misunderstandings of "selfishness." As I typed it above, I thought, "self-destructive" is another term that seems to work for this entire category/concept of behaviors incorrectly described as selfish. But it does not define a single concept OUTSIDE of selfishness that distinguishes itself. It would be too broad to simply say that it is the "opposite" of selfish, because that would place it in the category of altruism, which isn't not where it belongs either.
  9. I just came across the below video… Why Use the Word “Selfishness”? YouTube TheObjectivistStandard C. Biddle And this is something I’ve been kicking around for about 12 years now… and I still don’t have a good answer. Biddle does a solid job of explaining and reiterating what Rand said at the start of TVOS. While understanding that is important, there is a very important aspect of the question that the explanation misses. I have found that most people (even altruists) understand this relatively easily as a “different definition of selfishness” than they typically perceive (whether in whole or in part). I have been looking for the word that describes the negative/destructive conception of the “selfish” that they continue to conceive even after understanding why we use that word. The guy who pushes past a buffet line and takes ALL the chicken wings for himself leaving none for others. The woman who holds up traffic at a green light because her makeup isn’t finished and she has an important meeting. We would explain by using additional descriptions to explain this is not “rational” or “long term” selfishness. Or redefine (in thier opinion) to say that this is not actually in one’s self interest so therefore it isn’t selfishness as we are defining it. But then what is the broad concept or word for those behaviors? (The broadest word to define the concept) I’m not looking for the specific word to define those specific examples. I’m suggesting that many hold those examples as their primary conception of the word selfish. And all we do is tell them, no, that’s not selfish, that is… [what]?
  10. That's the very straightforward Objectivist way of answering the question. Another is dream_weaver's logical point... i.e. If we're in a simulation, then what is the "thing" running the simulation? @dream_weaver I remember Ayn Rand said this in some form (maybe in a Q&A), do you remember the source? I think it was in the context of showing that even if we were in a simulation, it wouldn't disprove existence because a computer would have to be running the simulation.
  11. This is not the basis for an Objectivist's defense of property rights. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/property_rights.html Your productive effort is what sustains your life. Your rights to the products of your efforts are essentially the right to your own life. "Commercial" use of the idea is the issue.
  12. I've been thinking about this a lot. For this example, I think "self-entitled" is the accurate derogatory term. "Entitled" can imply that there is an element of expecting the "unearned". Here I would go with "self-absorbed" (while self-entitled still works too). "Absorbed" here can imply a short-sighted individual who is what Rand might call a whim worshiper, as opposed to a "self-interested" person who is rationally concerned with themselves in a wider, full context, long-term view.
  13. I've read it once and listened to the audio book once. Coincidentally, I also just purchased this book over the weekend: Who is John Galt?: A Navigational Guide to Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged I had seen a lot of the source material for this book in searching online. It started from a book-club reading that launched a long forum discussion and then the authors turned it into a book. So far it is an interesting read-- seems well researched... Kinda like an extreme version of "Cliff Notes" but with more detail, discussion and depth... (so far).
  14. Thanks... I found that same site after I posted. Not sure what to make of it, but it doesn't appear crashed.
  15. Very prescient! It seems there is now an opportunity to validate this prediction. Where can you check the "price" (over time) of Bitcoins?
  16. I missed the LP reference to "plenum" (if it was there in those links), and I definitely did not take away from those discussions that he is saying the world is literally "filled" with matter (or, "existents") and, further, that voids in space are impossible. This is just to say that I still don't understand the source of this "plenum" question. But, if I am correct,you are disputing a supposed claim that says, (paraphrasing), "No measurable or definable aspect of the universe is without some entity." Perhaps this is both a physics and philosophical question. Best way I can say it is going back to my two hands analogy: If you wish to discount distance as an existent, then how would you answer the following question: If "nothing" exists between my two hands, then why aren't they touching each other?
  17. I was, yes, for the purpose of illustrating something. When I say to imagine nothingness not being, it should be read as an obvious contradiction. While it doesn't make sense, it does (for me) make it very clear that I cannot have an "edge of," or the "outside of," the universe. That is also a contradiction. The plenum argument, as I think you're representing it, would take into account your hands (ie. the entities that allow you to identify the measurement of "the" space) and therefore would account for the existents you mention. But I was most definitely not affirming that non-existence exists. The opposite is true. Existence existes. But just to be clear: When you say, "I don't understand, however, why the universe has to be a plenum", can you point to exactly where you got that from (if I missed it above). I'd like to read it in full context.
  18. I think of it by imagining myself floating in outer space and holding my hands about a foot apart from each other. Looking at the "space" in-between my hands, I try to imagine what it would mean for that space not to exist (or not to be possible, if you prefer). As you mentioned, the "empty space" does not exist as an entity. Its identity is a relational measurement. So, for as many events that are known, you have a definite (not infinite) size of the universe. So, perhaps the answer to you would be that the "infinite amount of events" you mentioned is simply a contradiction in terms because an "amount" is, by definition, finite. You could also flip it and go the other way (kinda like your example of scaling the universe down). Take a grain of sand and you can measure distances smaller and smaller across that grain for as long as you have decimal points. In that case you're measuring an actual entity the whole time... and you can still measure forever. *Disclaimer on above: I think. :-) Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but there was a lot of discussion around this subject in this thread: The Potential Infinity Contradiction
  19. Mackey said, "Parents routinely sacrifice their own self-interests for the sake of their children." This strikes me as odd since, if he has read Rand, he would have known very specifically the Objectivist view on sacrifice. If he doesn't accept the context in which Rand explains selfishness and sacrifice, then what is the point of the debate? From Galt's Speech:
  20. It does if determinism defines choice as an illusion. It clearly shows the infinite regress of that thinking. If something is "determined" to happen, then it must happen. If something is (supposedly) "determined" and a human choice can alter that, then it proves free will. If determinism stands on the principle that no matter what choice you make it will always (retroactivley) have been determined AND there is no way to prove it by allowing for an experiment in human choice that can be validated, then the concept is meaningless.
  21. No. But (as far as I'm concerned) the following disproves determinism: Consider someone being told in advance what trivial choice they are about to make. Consider the fact that they would be told in advance was also known. Now try to imagine a human being unable to go against what was "predetermined." (If one defines determinism without the "pre" aspect, then they are really only saying that things cause other things.)
  22. freestyle

    Animal rights

    Wouldn't that be like saying you have a right to swing a baseball bat? But since you swung it at random person's head, you'll be held responsible? The essence of my question is whether or not it waters down the Objectivist definition of rights to include "anything" outside of infringing on other's rights. Perhaps some of these things are simply free actions one can take, but not "rights".
  23. freestyle

    Animal rights

    I am questioning whether or not it is correct to call certain things "rights" as Objectivism defines rights. Rand states that there is only one fundamental right (the right to life) and that other "rights" are corollaries. How do we delineate which corollaries to that fundamental right are valid? Given that, it seems that you could say: The only right you have is your right to life. It is the "source" of all rights. Then you could follow: You have a right to your property because it is an implementation of your right to life. (easily shown) But I cannot see how I could make this one work: "You have a "right" (as defined in Objectivism) to torture animals as an implementation of your right to life." softwareNerd: Given Rand's theory of rights, and what you posted, aren't you bound to agree with the statement in bold? But you don't have a right to free speech (outside of the constitutional right). And even that is limited. That one is famously batted down by the example of yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. Your right to free speech is not absolute. In the famous example, you can use your free speech to cause direct physical harm to people. Your right to your own life is absolute.
  24. One idea is a widget or rss feed of all news articles that mention Objectivism or Any Rand. I like to check these a lot and sometimes like to comment on the particularly vicious or erroneous ones. (and there are good / positive occurrences too)
  25. Yes. Great work. The dates are definitely more readable now when using the Statue of Liberty background image. And, going to .net now redirects to .com and shows me as logged in. Well done!
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