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Posts posted by Fbones24

  1. I think it’s good to have friends with opposing viewpoints, and since consistent communists are atheists, you’re not going to run into that brick wall called faith. This relationship ought to give you an opportunity to deepen your own understanding of philosophy; one can learn a lot through teaching and the back and forth of debate.

    This of course assumes that he doesn't steal from you, then justify himself as P.G. Wodehouse's Psmith does:

    "Merely practical Socialism. Other people are content to talk about the Redistribution of Property. I go out and do it."

    I am not sure what is worse though....that brick wall called "faith" or that infinite pool called "spirituality" which he definitely subscribes to.

  2. I recently reconnected with an old friend after not having seen him for about twenty years. We are both in our early thirties and were best friends growing up as children. We led very different lives up to this point, but our background is really irrelevant.

    When we got together for dinner and drinks, I felt a tighter connection with this person than I do with some other friends that I have been friends with for over twenty years. He challenged me intellectually and our conversation was deep and engaging. We talked about our families, our jobs, our passions our dreams and our futures. Since our reconnection, I have found myself going to him for advice and we have developed our childhood bond all over again. This new friendship feels like something that I have been missing for so long. A real friend who understands me, challenges me and will be there for me if and when I needed him.

    So, the problem is that this friend is a true and hardened communist. As expected, Fidel and Che are his heroes. Mind you, he uses an iPhone and wears Nikes (two beautiful symbols of capitalism) in typical contradictory leftist fashion. Anyway, I don't want to pass judgment on him in this thread. That is not what this is about.

    My question is simple: Is it possible for me to maintain this friendship given our opposing views on morality? I would certainly appreciate other people's thoughts.

  3. "Promentory" and "Kiss" off of the "Last of the Mohicans" soundtrack are truly inspiring songs.

    I wouldn't call it my anthem, but another song that portrays a subtle message of individualism that I listen to all the time is "Bros" by Panda Bear. I especially love the first line of the song:

    "Hey man, what's your problem? Don't you know that I don't belong to you."


  4. But you are using roads that were paid for with the money that the government used. You are using the roads for free. And there are several non government funded options for you to use to get to work. The only money that went into those roads of yours or your taxes. Are you going to keep using the roads? Or are you going to stop using the roads altogether until the government sells them to a private constructor?

    I am having a hard time rationalizing the "use of roads" other than they are completely necessary for me to live my life. I have paid my taxes so I am "entitled" to use the roads to get to work to be productive and support myself. Welfare, Food Stamps and Unemployment are never completely necessary. There are other options. I do not have any other way to get to work. In addition, I do not think using roads is actually asking anyone else to sacrifice for my needs.

  5. You aren't asking others to sacrifice for your need.

    If a robber took 50 bucks from you, and the robber went on to rob 10 other people of 50 bucks each, if you had the chance to take get back your 50 bucks from the guy, you would not be taking it from the 10 other people he robbed. You would be taking back what he took from you.

    This point makes sense, in a closed environment. If the robber is the equivalent of the Government, then as soon as the money is stolen, it is out the door. Assuming that is not the case, if someone robs money from you, you call the police and/or sue that person civilly for the return of your property. I don't believe in vigilanteism.

    What if the robber has already used some of the money that was stolen? Lets say he has only $200 of the original stolen $500 left on him. If I take back my $50, the other 10 people cannot recover their $50. I know this is a silly example, but I just don't think accepting entitlement money is as simple as "taking back" what was taken from you.

  6. What if what I have taken in government handouts amounts to exactly, if not less than what I've contributed to it for all of these years? Am I still taking from others?

    What if I join the military? Am I asking others to live for me because I'm living on money and benefits that the government has extorted from others?

    What if I drive a car on the roads? Am I asking others to live for me because I chose not to walk, bike, or take a helicopter to work?

    I do not think the amount of the Government handout matters. I still believe that it is "taking from others" if you accept government handouts in the form of an entitlement program. I put myself in the position the OP describes. If I was faced with the loss of a job, illness or poverty I would turn to family, friends and charity in that order. I guess if I was faced with life or death, one could justify taking a handout from the Government.

    If you join the Military, you are actually working for me so it is not a complete sacrifice. You are getting paid from the money that was stolen from me, but you are essentially working for me and defending my freedom.

    Driving on roads is the same as walking or biking so I'm not sure what the mode of transportation has to do with it. Using roads, through any form of transportation is necessary to live your life. Unless we find some way to teleport from place to place, I have no problem using roads to get to and from work, the store and anywhere else I need to go.

  7. You are not taking from others, Government is taking from others, as they have taken from you. Government is going to take that money whether you make use of it or not, just as they took it from you.

    I don't think the fact that the Government, acting as the middle man, changes the fact that you are asking other people to sacrifice for your need.

  8. One can look at this two ways:

    1) as an Objectivist you believe these institutions shouldn't exist but when you are pressed you go ahead and use them.. this could indeed be seen as hypocritical

    2) as someone who has paid taxes for many years it could be said that by taking govt money you are simply retrieving some of what was stolen from you. For example, if you have had an average of 33% of your earnings stripped from you involuntarily for 15 years it could easily be said that had you been allowed to keep that money you would not be in the unfortunate position you are at the moment of "needing" assistance.

    I believe that this is hypocritical and that point 1 is the only way to look at this particular situation. Point #2 would require that you ask other human beings to sacrifice for your need. Just because someone (The U.S. Government) has confiscated a percentage of your property, does not give you the right to take it back from others. Wouldn't this mean that if my car was stolen tonight, I would have the right to go steal someone else's car because of the unfortunate position I am in at that moment? I have been struggling with this exact question regarding the health care issue. Maybe I am interpreting it wrong.

  9. Based on all you say, I believe it possible that you are misreading her altruism as well as her faking.

    Or to put it another way: if you give her the benefit of the doubt, her "altruism" may be merely a sincere caring for others and a generosity with others, but not sacrifice. Be careful to distinguish between those; you would not want to have her change what could be a great sense of life that has probably already attracted you.

    I think what you say is right about misreading her "altruism." I will definitely keep an eye on that the next time we get into a discussion. I guess what confuses me is how she can share the same political/social/economic views with her colleagues at work. I guess it is possible that she cares strongly about her individuality and the philosophical side of her existence, but does not feel strongly enough about political/social/economic issues to put that philosophy to work.

  10. This is an interesting topic. I have been dating my girlfriend for 1 1/2 years. She is a NYC school teacher, so as you can imagine, she is surrounded by left wing collectivists all day every day. The things I hear about her colleagues and the curriculum are disturbing to say the least.

    Anyway, in getting to know her over the past 1 1/2 years, I have concluded that she is one of the most rational people I know. She rarely makes decisions based on her feelings. Judging by her actions alone, and not what she says, she acts like an Objectivist. However, in our discussions, her political/social views are always altruistic in nature. I am trying to rationalize this and point out to her that her actions contradict her stated views, but I am having a hard time showing her. I read to her from "The Virtue of Selfishness" and she basically agreed with everything she heard.

    So, this is probably the opposite of the OP's situation. I do not think my girlfriend is faking her individualism....I believe she is faking her collectivism.

  11. Is it wrong to accept assistance via government programs? I have been grappling with this question now for a while and have had this discussion with many people. I believe it is wrong as I would be asking people to live and work for my benefit and accepting public assistance would make me a hypocrite. Is there any way to justify benefiting from any government program (ie: unemployment, Social Security, etc.)? I think I too would feel very dirty.

  12. Ok moving on. So does anyone have a suggestion of what FONT type would be best for the John Galt oath as a black tattoo? i.e. "I swear by my life and my love of it...etc"

    In response to this question only, I have a tattoo on my inner bicep from Anthem. It reads, "I am the warrant and the sanction." I too was trying to figure out what font would be best for a plain text/quote tattoo. I decided to let the tattoo artist write it out in his own handwriting. I thought this was the best way to express my ideas on individualism.

  13. I am new to the forum and objectivism but thought I would "share my flair."

    I have a quote from Anthem tattooed on the inside of my bicep. I put it there so that it is personal to me and serves as a reminder of who I am.

    It says "I am the warrant and the sanction" in the tattoo artists handwriting. I didn't want computer generated font or pre-printed font. The fact that I put my trust in the artist to write the quote for me exemplified my ideas on individualism.

  14. The best thing you can get from such discussions is insight into what aspects you are unable to explain clearly enough and fundamentally enough. Parents are special though. I think Rand's advice about not trying to convert one's parent's is spot on for many parent-child relationships, even where the child is 40.

    It isn't so much that I would like to convert my parents. It is more that I would love to be able to have a rational discussion. Whenever we discuss a topic where we are not in agreement, they become emotional and enraged and the conversation hits a wall usually leaving everyone in a bad place.

    I guess I could follow advice from "The Virtue of Selfishness" and just calmly say "I don't agree" and leave it at that. That way I will stay true to myself while not causing strain on my relationship with my parents.

  15. Thank you for all of the advice! It would be hard to walk away from these discussions as the "people" I was referring to are actually my parents. They both identify as being "conservatives" and claim that they are proponents of individualism, but in reality, they are not. I guess the best thing I could do it avoid these types of discussions with them as it always seems to end with them being frustrated and arguing from emotion. I find discussion with the "liberals" I know even more of a dead end, but I will leave it at that. Thanks you for the advice/suggestions.

  16. I would like to say hello to everyone on this forum. I am a 32 year old attorney from New York and I am relatively new to Objectivism and Ayn Rand's philosophy. I have read all of her fiction and The Virtue of Selfishness within the past year and my eyes and mind have been opened. Many of the principles that I tried to live by prior to discovering Objectivism were suddenly clarified for me. From as far back as I can remember, I was always questioning the accepted rules and trying to understand things in my own way. My newly discovered belief in this philosophy has pointed me in the right direction and helped me to understand that my happiness is the ultimate goal and not something I need to feel guilty about.

    In addition, I would like some advice as someone new to Objectivism. I always find myself in discussion with so called "liberals" and "conservatives" and I find that people are never open to discussion on things they feel passionate about. My question is what is the best way of approaching an argument/discussion on a topic with somebody who is not willing to accept facts and have a rational discourse.

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