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Dormin111 last won the day on March 11 2015

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  1. A few days before Halloween, the Dean of Yale University sent out an email to the student body cautioning students to not wear culturally disrespectful costumes, complete with a series of pictures of acceptable and unacceptable costumes, and the signatures of a eleven other high ranking Yale officials. Here is the full email (it's short and what you would expect): https://www.thefire.org/email-from-intercultural-affairs/ A few days later, Erica Christakis, the wife of another school admin sent a reply email which challenged the first email on the grounds of the generally harmful nature of "s
  2. A big factor which prevents me from often publicly declaring myself to be an Objectivist is that the idea of a person having a non-religious personal philosophy, especially one attached to an individual, is pretty crazy to most people. Many people even associate all such adherence to cultish behavior. Consider the last time you ever heard someone say "I am an Aristotelian/Kantian/Hagelian" outside of maybe a philosophy department (though even that is pretty rare). The closest we get to that these days is "I'm a humanist" or "I'm a secular progressive," but these views tend to be vague, lefti
  3. I think it's both, but the larger force is the tarnished name of Objectivism. The vast majority of people I've spoken to about Objectivism who reject it, do not do so on the basis of a deep or even surface reading of the philosophy, they do it based on no reading because they've heard so many bad things about it. And yeah, I do think part of the reputation problem stems from Rand's own actions and those of her successors, but misrepresentation of her ideas and character is a bigger problem. The average intelligent person hears the philosophy and its creator's reputation and forms a negative as
  4. "I like discussion, debate, and reasoned criticism. But a lot of arguments aren’t any of those things. They’re the style I describe as ethnic tension, where you try to associate something you don’t like with negative affect so that other people have an instinctive disgust reaction to it. There are endless sources of negative affect you can use. You can accuse them of being “arrogant”, “fanatical”, “hateful”, “cultish” or “refusing to tolerate alternative opinions”. You can accuse them of condoning terrorism, or bullying, or violence, or rape. You can call them racist or sexist, you can cal
  5. I am really surprised by the reposes. The author is making descriptive claims, not prescriptive ones. He is not saying it is right that intellectuals avoid Objectivism because it's unpopular, he is saying that is an incentive which does in reality affect whether or not people ever take the time to learn or stick with the philosophy.
  6. I saw Locke recently, it's brilliant. I would describe the plot as "what if Howard Rourke made one huge mistake?"
  7. http://slatestarcodex.com/2015/08/15/my-id-on-defensiveness/ This post by Scott Alexander gives the best description of why Objectivism is unpopular I have ever seen. Though it is not specifically about Objectivism, he does mention it about three quarters of the way in. 'It is really easy for me to see the path where rationalists and effective altruists become a punch line and a punching bag. It starts with having a whole bunch of well-publicized widely shared posts calling them “crackpots” and “abusive” and “autistic white men” without anybody countering them, until finally we end up
  8. I read the first two books and watched the first movie. The premise for the series is actually fairly interesting as far as these things go. It asks the question: which virtue is the most important/moral in society? The five factions in the book base their work, families, friends, and pretty much all of their lives around adherence to the virtue they believe to be the most significant (bravery, selflessness, peace, thirst for knowledge, and honesty). The first book hooked me early on when the protagonist lives with "Abnegation," the faction which values selflessness, and describes a misera
  9. It is interesting that in today's political climate, saying anything negative about poor people (ie. should spend money better, are historically and geographically extremely well off) is a level of taboo on par with that of racism and anti-democracy.
  10. Interesting question. "Human nature" is an ill-defined concept. By my best understanding, it can be thought of as a collection of psychological and physiological attributes of human beings which exist prior to any sort of social conditioning. The problem is that separating nature from conditioning is extremely difficult. Although I have little confidence in this answer, my first assertion is that human beings are naturally somewhat selfish in an Objectivist sense. We naturally seek out values which further our own existence at a basic biological level like nutrition, pleasure, and
  11. I'm not too familiar with Rand's biography, I was referring to 20 ' s claim that she stressed the importance of women's rights at certain time more than others. Women's rights doesn't have to refer to feminism. I suppose my use of "gender egalitarianism" was a bit vague and can be misconstrued.
  12. Acceptable by the standards of lying within the boundaries of Objectivism.
  13. I admit I loled at Nicky ' s comment, but 20 ' post raises some really interesting questions. To what extent is there an acceptable level of variance in the motivation for a given rational position? All Objectivist agree on probably 99% of political policies. I'm not talking about the 1% we disagree on but how much variance there is in the 99%. For instance, in the libertarian movement, which is far broader than Objectivism, there is generally a right and left wing dichotomy. Both sides support free markets and for most of the same reasons but for with differences in the impirtance of va
  14. Relevant - http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/11/25/race-and-justice-much-more-than-you-wanted-to-know/ This is an extensive meta-analysis of data on racial discrimination in the US judicial system. The author's conclusions: "There seems to be a strong racial bias in capital punishment and a moderate racial bias in sentence length and decision to jail. There is ambiguity over the level of racial bias, depending on whose studies you want to believe and how strictly you define “racial bias”, in police stops, police shootings in certain jurisdictions, and arrests for minor drug offense
  15. There is a fascinating conflict in the Mass Effect series which concerns numerous philosophical concepts, including: just war, interspecies rights, the rights of primitive cultures, nature vs. nurture, collateral damage, and biological warfare. I'll give as brief a summary as I possibly can of the conflict, though if people need clarifications or expansions, I can provide them. Key Players and Terms: · Turians – Human-like alien species with advanced conventional military technology. Used the Genophage on the Krogans. · Krogans – Uncivilized alien species with extreme ph
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