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Lone Wolf

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  1. I am not a regular, and I usually just drop by occasionally to read what appear to be the most provocative threads; this qualified. Being a young, hormone-addled adolescent, I felt the need to throw in my 2 cents. I am still studying life; I am still studying Rand. However, I see the value of my life and the independent nature of existence as intellectual primaries, foundations that are urgently required for any man that has chosen to stay on this earth and fight. I am a man of self-esteem, and while young, and capable of stumbling and falling on occasion, I have always found the wisdom, and thus the strength necessary, to rise from my scrapes and laugh at the insignificance of my previous vulnerabilities. I am a romantic realist in the epistemological sense of the term: I accept what is as an urgent prerequisite in my progress as a human being to making my existence tolerable, enjoyable, euphoric, and I refuse to tolerate that which is opposed to the joy of life on earth. I realize this doesn't make me an Objectivist. I never said I was one. Like I said, I am still studying, studying in so many facets of life that the word designated for the activity of study usually only implies. Now, however, you get an idea of where I am coming from. I have had my share of "romantic" relationships, but I have yet to find that special person. I long for that day; there are moments that my heart aches for that moment, and the strength to achieve for one more 24-hour cycle is made real only by the thought that, somehow, I will make that person real, in my life... someday, and I best be ready to be a man capable of honoring her. In the meantime, however, between working 30 hours a week at Tiger Direct Computers, studying to maintain my 4.0 GPA, writing essays and assembling the required material to apply for scholarships to 4-year Universities, training three times a week to improve my physical capacities, and trying to complete, in reading and in understanding, the requisite works for the Ayn Rand Institute's Academic Center , I do not have the luxury of searching for the actual fulfillment of my fundamental romantic needs as a being that must guide his existence with values, every moment I feel the need for simple sexual satisfaction. I do not see anything about pornography as necessarily evil or anti-life. I do not see it as a substitute for human relationships, romantic love, or as an escape for an evalution of myself or my life. I see it as a tool, an implement, a toy, a temporary substitute. Like an imprisoned man that might read Mickey Spillane or Stephen King, I utilize the imagination when reality. If I could read The Man Who Laughs while I suffered in a wasteland, I would; but for a man living in a wasteland of values in terms of romance, any diversion with even an approximate facsimile of honesty and intimacy will do. Our culture has gone far from Marilyn Monroe, and that esthetic element to sexual fantasy will probably not see a return to the public consciousness for a long time. But if a man without love can find a trivial, mildly alleviating satisfaction in the examination of a mindless bimbo, and he recognizes the relative triviality of such an exchange, and allows it its proper place in the context of a life oriented by its proper values, there is certainly nothing immoral about it. That this idea has been perverted by the bad ideas surrounding love and man in general in our culture, does not indict the idea as such. For an example of an indictable idea, observe virtually any gentlemen’s club, and the lies and self-destructive fantasies within. I have never, and will never enter one. They are dishonest, and hope to destroy the spirit of man by suggesting that _this_ is every man’s desire, in its totality: the gyrations of a mindless bimbo. That is what is wrong and deserving of disapproval; not a temporary substitute for man who has no alternative at the moment. I have befriended an "exotic dancer" who is a person of absolute integrity, and would startle many readers on this board. She understands the value of what she offers, and puts it in its proper context; no lies, no fallacies, no context dropping. She is happy to alleviate, in part, the sexual frustration of many decent men that, while honorable and ambitious, are, for whatever reason, unable to find physical companionship of any spiritual substance. She cannot be an adequate replacement, but she can provide an adequate substitute, a mildly alleviating fantasy, for a short time. Again, while this simple, ethical ideal has been perverted in actuality, it does not follow that a man that views pornography is immoral, nor does it indicate psychological flaws on his part.
  2. No. His half-war is infinitely more disgraceful. http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=3982
  3. Bush is keeping people in the military after their contract has expired. However, any standard contract (excluding the two year deal that the Army now offers) stipulates that four years must be spent in the reserves following four years of active duty.
  4. Very good questions. I think the (correct) answers aptly demonstrate the lack of a real choice in this election.
  5. Which is why one should not vote for Bush, Kerry, or any other candidate that that doesn't see such transgressions as a breach of individual rights.
  6. There is a non-religous aspect to some of the GOPS FOLLOWERS, but very, very few of its leaders are not religous. Otherwise, the second part if the quote is ABSOLUTELY right. The only way the Republican party can change is if it realizes that it can only hold onto power by advocating Capitalism. Continually voting for candidates that are not the best advocates of Capitalism (until we can get a Republican candidate who is an advocate of Capitalism) is a SELF-DEFEATING proposition. Under the system we have now, your vote is your message, and if you believe in Capitalism, you are only throwing it away if you vote for its destroyers! Just as you would not write a letter asking a store to stop selling horrible products and continue to buy from that store, hoping that the store will see your ideological point in its long-term self-interest, you cannot hope to change the GOP without changing your vote. Register as a Republican and try to get the best candidate to the front. Work with and donate to ARI, do what you can on your own, then vote Libertarian, until the GOP produces a candidate that sends the right message.
  7. I know this topic was dead and buried, but I felt the need to resurrect it. I agree with Betsy... in the long run. But the Socialist third parties did get somewhere. Through their growth and influence in elections, they became better enabled to infiltrate the Democratic Party, whose rising dominance led to the socialization of the Republicans. I would never "support" or donate to any ideological/political group today other than ARI. I will, and recommend to others that they also, vote for the libertarian candidate. He is BY far the lesser of the three evils, and OPENLY supports restoring our government to its Constitutional limits. In the long run, the Republican party must be taken over... but the only way that can happen is if 1) Betsy's approach is taken, and Objectivist ideas continue to be spread and 2) The Republican party realizes it cannot be elected without remaining consistent to the right ideas and policies. Nader knows what he is doing; he is just doing it for the wrong reasons (socialism). Voting for the GOP and keeping them in office will do NOTHING to change the party, no matter how many times Rush quotes Ayn Rand on the air. It is only when they see that they must advocate Capitalism and the Constitution in order to remain in office that they will begin to change, and voting for the leftist candidate only emboldens the GOP to move to the left. Yes, the libertarian camp is filled with wackos. So are the other two parties; it is irrelevant. If you are voting for a party based on what percentage of its followers are wackos, the GOP is AT LEAST tied with the LP. Many LP voters read Atlas Shrugged every year; conversely, many Republicans will watch Passion of the Christ every Easter. The LP serves as a VERY useful political utility when it comes to VOTING, regardless of its lack of an ideological consensus. A short analogy: The two most popular Operating Systems are Windows and Macintosh. It would be better for the world if everyone used Linux, and a small group of computer geeks knows it (go with it, I use Windows and Linux and have no ideological stake in the concretes of this analogy; it is just an example). In the long term, the ideal is a complete conversion to a Unix-based system. How can they best achieve this goal? By continuing to buy MAC systems and writing letters to Mac developers and publishing in Computer magazines articles that demonstrate the superiority of the Unix model? Yes, that would be very helpful. But as long as the Mac can keep or advance its share of the market by catering to Mac devotees, and those who use both Windows and Mac computers, it will continue to move towards the Windows and undecided computer buyers until it can see, in CLEAR, OBJECTIVE terms, that they could have better increased profits by catering to the Linux users. So while ideologically, the battle must be fought among the right computer geeks against the wrong computer geeks, and the long-term hope is to alter Macs into a Unix-based system by showing them that it would make their computers BETTER, in the short term the most powerful message can be sent by BUYING and USING Linux computers, i.e. by showing Mac producers that their is actually a BUYING demographic that WANTS and is willing to PAY FOR a Unix system. This analogy is only exacerbated by the nature of the United State’s winner-take-all electoral system. Like it or not, this is the nature of the nearly unbridled Democracy we live in. As far as the "Badnarik is a pacifist!" argument, let us look at the whole context here. 1) Badnarik has no chance of winning 2) Yaron Brook is ABSOLUTELY correct in identifying that no candidate on the ballot will truly fight this war or keep America safe, or holds the moral principles to do so; therefore, this issue, as the basis for voting for a particular candidate, is forfeit 3) Nader is also pacifistic, and thus the message sent by a vote for Badnarik is one based on what differentiates Badnarik from Nader: his vocal advocacy of the Constitution. If you are an advocate of Objectivism, there is absolutely NO JUSTIFIABLE REASON to vote for Kerry. I can see why a reasonable person such as Betsy could decide to vote for Bush, although I STRONGLY disagree, but voting for Kerry sends no message to either political party other than a VERY, VERY bad one. Voting for the LP's candidate sends the best message currently possible: we want a candidate that believes in the Constitution. The LP candidate’s SOLE distinction from the Republican, Democratic, and Green Party is his strong, vocal advocacy of the Constitution. His whole campaign is centered on it. There will NEVER be a Libertarian president. However, by costing the GOP the election, the LP can, over time, and with the help of a strong ideological movement such as the one Betsy describes, move the Republicans towards an advocacy of Capitalism. Therefore, if you are one those that believe that "something is better than nothing" as far as the War on Terror goes, and will thus vote for Bush, I will simply disagree with you. For those of you who do not agree, the best possible message you can send is the one you send by voting for Badnarik. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/21/...ain619019.shtml http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20...15705-2949r.htm Ask yourself why Bill O'Reilly doesn't want Badnarik’s name even mentioned on his show, but brings up Nader himself: Vocally advocate the right ideas, and send a message to the GOP. Vote for the best and most consistent candidate, and send a message to the GOP. As an aside, I too am a fan of Larry Elder, and he made the right move by publicly renouncing his registration as a Libertarian, but notice he NEVER calls himself a Conservative or a Republican. What DOES he call himself? A Republitarian. He also lists Atlas Shrugged on his list of "Must Reads", with only his own two books coming before it. The Fountainhead is also on the list. He has the right idea, and since Peikoff and Lewis have gotten off the air, he is the single best radio personality on the airwaves. Rush does not come close, and he is filled to the brim with dangerous rhetoric; I agree with all of the criticisms that the Hard-line Peikoff followers (in terms of who to vote for this year) have laid on Rush. To be frank, I think it is pretty clear that if Rush felt he could say whatever he wanted without having to worry about keeping his large audience, God would play an IMMENSE role in every single show. If Larry Elder felt he had the same freedom, I would bet my life that he would not play Bush's cheerleader, or be as uncritical of Bush's "War On Terror" as he has been. I, and many other callers to his show, have called him on this, and he immediately denounces the Republican Party as it stands when we do so. He has long been a rational, educated advocate for voting Libertarian; I think that changed, as far as his on air polemics, because of 9/11 and he figures that if he keeps asking people to vote for anti-war candidates, he will be cancelled. Just read Elder's books, then read Rush's books. They both show the shades of their true colors; Rush's are frightening, Elder's are heartening. In both of Elder's books, he strongly advocates votes for the LP, and for the right reasons. Ideologically, however, he recognizes that it is the Republican party that the fight must be taken to. See: http://www.kabc.com/viewentry.asp?id=26439...d%20information
  8. Superman could still desire Lois Lane and the pursuit of a Romantic relationship, even if he knew he would live forever; the alternative then would be an eternity with a value or an eternity without it. I think it is apparent that some values are not dismissed merely by the absence of a ticking clock; Superman could still enjoy eating hamburgers because they taste good and provide him with comfort, even if he didn't need them to live. That taste buds are ostensibly the product of natural selection and a guide to "survival" is not what is essential or relevant; that it brings him comfort and satisfaction, in terms of a pleasurable taste and texture, is, even if "survival" in the absolute sense is not a concern for him. Whatever the basis for our desires, they can be destructive or beneficial; thus our passions must be tempered by a rational mind in order to determine what actions will truly be to our benefit. Thus, it is the capacity for happiness that determines the potentiality for the pursuit of values, not simply death. Mortality may provide urgency to those values, but they are not the source of values. Even if one could scientifically extrapolate the link between mortality, natural selection, and desires, such a discovery would be a physiological one, and philosophically inconsequential. To paraphrase Andrew Lewis (from when he was on the Radio): " I don't even need to know why I want to eat the candy bar, I can simply look at the result that the consumption of the candy bar has on my life and make the decision." Thus, if a being is rational, it must take into account all other facets of its nature and come to a determination as to what it must pursue for its long term well-being. If the robot has been programmed with feelings, or lets say it has the brain of a man but it is still immortal and invincible, it can still pursue values, so long as it has the capacity for happiness. Its means can only be determined by introspection and scientific study, but that it can is irrefutable if one is adhering to Rand’s definition. After all, what would be the purpose of living for a rational being if it did not have the capacity for happiness? Such an animal would be the Houyhnhnms of Gulliver's Travels, pursuing reason for reasons sake. In short: It is the possibility of a positive and a negative in any action, and the faculty of volition that necessitates purposeful action, that gives rise to values; not simply "death".
  9. Or maybe you could do better than that. It was acknowledged above that Rand indicated not only survival, but the enjoyment and fulfillment of ones life as the standard of value. Is the standard of all value contingent upon the ability of humans to die? Are all of our feelings the result of our destructibility? I don't think it takes a Psyche degree to see the issue from a lens encompassing the many facets of man. Even an immortal human faces an alternative: a life of joy, or a life of monotony or despair. Why does he face the potentiality of monotony and despair, despite his being immortal? Why did Rand say that a rational man requires romantic love to survive? Perhaps you could enlighten us all and elucidate exactly what it is regarding human nature that gives rise to values, as you still haven't answered GC's question.
  10. Talk about missing the point. Fine, lets throw out any hypothetical alterations to our modern concept of a robot for the sake of illustrating a philosophic principle; obviously, thats too much to ask for. How about Superman? Lets say there is no kryptonite left in the universe, and no being powerful enough to destroy him. He is basically immortal, but still possesses a rational faculty and the ability to feel pleasure. He is simply far too powerful to experience physical pain in his environment. Now can you address ethics in regard to this being? It is a simple question; I don't see why we have to quibble over the definition of what a robot really is. Just because no action can diminish its existence, why does it automatically follow that no action can enhance its existence? I agree in essence with the positions offered earlier, but the arguments are insubstantial. They just like to throw "life" as the standard of value because that is the word used in Rands writing, without elaborating upon the concept for the benefit of a greater understanding. The possibility of death cannot be the only aspect of existence that gives life value; life, even in Rands definition, means far more than "survival," which is what I believe Godless Capitalist was trying to get at. Simply deconstructing the definition of robot has not furthered anyones understanding of the Objectivist ethics. Yes, I am aware that the possibility of death is the fundamental alternative that a human faces; but even if that threat were removed through medicine, the objectivist ethics would still be immutable. Now how about someone actually answer GC's question?
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