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ALS's Achievements


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  1. The only fiction that I have read, apart from whilest at school, are those written by Ayn Rand. I found The Fountainhead most enjoyable. So what are the recommendations to read considering I don't usually read fiction? also, considering some people have issues with translations, when recommending books please state the best translation as I may go out and buy them . Oh and state them in order if that is required, in the sense of difficulty...least difficult first please
  2. I wonder if anyone else shares a similar experience to mine that occurs very frequently and leaves me with frustration. Sometimes I am merely walking around on my lunch break and all of a sudden a thought enters my awareness but pretty quickly fades away, leaving me unable to grasp the thought and seek clarity, suddenly something else pops into my awareness and the cycle repeats. I try hard to focus and concentrate on these thoughts, to take them to their conclusion, but they progressively diminish and I am left with no benefit of this process. When I sit down in a quiet room without any distractions and set myself a goal to understand a book I am reading or merely to introspect, I can follow my thoughts easier and focus. It seems that most of the time I am not fully focused on what I am thinking or feeling because I get easily distracted by what is in my perceptual awareness, noises, and because I feel tired quite often. If you have experienced this and overcome it, what was it that you did?
  3. I think I'll give these excercises a go and see for myself if they are beneficial. I am aware of Ellen Keller, although I have not listened to her radio show, I have visited her site and read some articles, but there is not much reading material on her site. I know Dr Hurd is another Objectivist psychologist but I have found that many of his daily articles pertain to politics, they seem less personal. Anyway thanks for your feedback on the effectiveness of sentence completion exercises.
  4. I've just finished reading The Psychology of Self Esteem and wonder if anyone has tried the excercises from the last chapter. If so: 1. Did you do them the next day or re-read the book and study it, making notes etc? 2. Were they helpful? 3. How quickly did you notice your self esteem improve if it did so? I also own Mind over Mood by Dennis Greenberger and Christine Padesky, and found it very useful in identifying my emotions and understanding them. The problem is that I am very private and have not carried out the exercises for quite a while, I fear people (family) will see them and I don't want them to know how I feel. Through the book I identified that I suffer from anxiety (I actually experienced it today and had no idea why), guilt, shame and have suffered depression. My self esteem has always been low, while growing up as a child I never felt competent in my thinking and always felt nervous when handing school work in, never being sure I was right. Even now I am not always 100% certain in my thoughts, even in basic every day use. Through Branden's book mentioned above, I identified that I do evade and rationalize my thoughts, I may repress also but I am not sure as I did not study the book, I just read it and intended to re-read and study it later. I recently purchased An Introduction to Logic by Lionel Ruby and have found it very clear and understandable, by carrying out the excercises at the end of and throughout each chapter I have applied what I have learned, it raises my self esteem to a certain degree as I know that I am certain I am right.
  5. It is possible to be selfish and receive approval, though not because you live for the approval of others. In the first sense you use the term to mean duty to others (their is no reception of a positive evaluation), in the second sense you use it to mean receiving compliments/admiration (receiving a positive evaluation)
  6. I think it's a bit hasty to say that a woman cannot give birth to an 80 year old man...maybe in the future it is possible, or when we discover more about our universe. Heck, when this 80 year old baby turns up at your door and is born right infront of your eyes, what are you going to say, "This is not possible"?
  7. I always thought that those that don't want to engage in conversation with others, with the absence of fear, are known as introverts. They prefer ideas to people, of thinking rather than talking.
  8. I am not a psychologist, nor have I studied it, my post was based upon my own experience growing up as a shy child. An emotion is an automatic response to an object perceived or imagined, based upon one's subconscious operative value judgements. It is an automatic evaluation of whether something is good for you or bad for you, for you or against you, but the evaluation itself was programmed consciously, or at least semi-consciously. With that in mind, applied to shyness, you can see that there is an automatic response to people one is not familiar with, the emotion is fear and in written form it is saying "this person is against me" or at least potentially against me. An emotion does not exist by itself, it includes a physical response, for me this was an increased heart beat, tense muscles, shaking and increased temperature resulting in a red face. In addition there is a behaviour associated with this, it is avoidance behaviour, the avoidance of being emotionally hurt. The mind operates like this to protect you, whether it is a rational or irrational fear. In order to consider another person's view of yourself as important to you, or more important than your own, that is, any other person, you have to have low self esteem. This would mean not being confident in using your own mind, and replacing whatever self evaluation you had with an evaluation by someone else. The fear of being humiliated or rejected may be based upon one's own view of self, one avoids others for the fear of them knowing what you know to be your own weakness, and then trying to exploit it. Basically, everyone is out to get you, the malevolent universe premise. I remember as a child while eating lunch when one "friend" made fun out of me for the way I ate. I had never thought about it before, but from then on I used to avoid eating in public places, for the fear of someone noticing that I ate funny (according to him), and then proceeding to humiliate me. Now I was shy beforehand, but didn't mind eating around others, this made me more shy. Negative life experiences such as this, in addition to low self esteem, were the reasons for my shyness.
  9. Shyness is a fear of other people. It is a fear of being rejected or humiliated and that other people will not like you. The problem is treating other people's opinions of you as important, especially in regard to people you do not know or even value, or do not offer rational reasons for disliking you.
  10. I have been advised by my doctor (whom I saw about my knee injury) to increase the strength in my legs by resistance cycling and taking protein shakes. I tried this for a few days but must have pushed too hard as my knee became painful once more after months of no excercise and pain relief tablets. I know that to strengthen my knees I must strengthen my legs, but the best leg strengthening techniques such as squatting and the machine leg press are not suitable due to my injury. Does anyone know if Electronic Muscle Stimulation works? or any resources for leg strengthening cycle routines?
  11. Thanks all for the suggestions. The reason I asked was because I was not sure of the intended audience of these lectures in terms of required context of knowledge and also purpose, specifically Psycho-Epis I+II . I think I'll go for The Psychology of Self-Esteem and the two lectures by Locke on setting goals. The lectures by Peikoff are pretty expensive but vast in quantity (The Art of Thinking contains 15 CDs and is 14 hours hours) and I assume rich in quality as I have listened to various short lectures by him online. Now I must find the thread that discusses the best sequence of Peikoff lectures. Thanks again.
  12. I have been studying Objectivism for a few years now and have read the main Objectivist literature including but not limited to OPAR, ITOE, and The Virtue of Selfishness. My aim is to improve my thinking and understand my emotions, therefore I was intrigued by many lecture CDs over at http://www.aynrandbookstore2.com/, but could not decide which CD was right for me. Harry Binswanger has many interesting lectures including: -Abstraction From Abstractions (CD) -Emotions (CD) -Logical Thinking (CD) -Psycho-Epistemology I (CD) and Psycho-Epistemology II (CD) Then there are those by Edwin A. Locke: -Reason and Emotion (Audio CD) -Setting Goals to Improve Your Life and Happiness (Audio) -Setting Goals to Improve Your Life & Happiness-Part2 (Audio) -Stress and Coping: An Inductive Approach (Audio) Finally by Leonard Peikoff: -The Art of Thinking (CD) -Introduction to Logic (CD) -Objectivism Through Induction (CD) -Understanding Objectivism (CD) I would like to purchase all, however I don't have enough money to do so. Any advice appreciated.
  13. ALS

    Child Abuse

    Sorry, I made the mistake of equating immoral action with illegal action.
  14. ALS

    Child Abuse

    When 2 people decide to have a child they are responsible for both their actions and the child's. The purpose of the parent is to guide the child in his thought and action, to help develop his rational faculty so he eventually becomes an independent being relying on only his own thinking to guide his action. If parents do this then they have succeeded in their guidance, their child is now a man, an independent individual that is fit for existence and has developed the rational tool required for his survival. This tool can help him discover the values he needs to guide his choices and actions, the choices and actions that determine the purpose and course of his life. If however the parents have brought the child up in a religious way, they have taught him to be irrational, to negate is mind and rely on his emotions to guide his action. The child does not become fit for existence and has to rely not only his emotions, but he must be dependent upon others for his survival. Dependent either intellectually, or materially or both. In the second instance the parents have abused the child and acted immorally, by man's nature he has to survive by his own reason, the parents therefore have abused him by telling him to negate his reason, to act not as man but as an animal. In today’s society the parent would not be accused of child abuse, but in an objectivist society with objective laws and limited government, then the parent should be punished for child abuse. Do you agree? Would this be seen as an initiation of force? in the sense that the child was forced to negate his rational faculty, he was free in the sense that he could discover his rational faculty, but in the other sense he wasn't because he did not know that to use one's mind was right or how to use it.
  15. You have to think about the current political environment, do you want to risk your life fighting on behalf of some Kosovans? becuase there is a possibility you would be sent to a conflict which is not in your self interest. There's also the risk of being imprisoned for killing someone in a war zone, or risking your life becuase some authority told you to be restraintful, to protect civilians from being killed, at your expense. Currently in Britian a soldier is going through this process after killing an Iraqi civilian, the army back him but he must be tried not by the military courts but by domestic courts.
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