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Zoid last won the day on July 19 2012

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About Zoid

  • Birthday 01/06/1989

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    Bay Area

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    United States
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  • Real Name
    Robert Sanders
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  • Biography/Intro
    I was born and raised in the Bay Area; in 2011 I graduated from UCLA with a degree in mathematics. I've since returned to the Bay Area for graduate work. In philosophy, my main areas of interest are epistemology, ethics, and the aesthetics of popular fiction. In my spare time, I'm a (primarily console) gamer.
  • Experience with Objectivism
    My first exposure to Objectivism was reading Anthem as a summer assignment in my junior year of high school. I read The Fountainhead the following year and Atlas Shrugged when I entered college. I've also read most of Ayn Rand's nonfiction and spent the last two years on the board of directors of LOGIC, the UCLA Objectivist club.
  • School or University
    San Jose State University
  • Occupation
    Graduate Student (Mathematics)

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  1. Really? Off the top of my head, I came up with Up Ratatouille The Incredibles The three Toy Story movies The Avengers The first three Star Wars movies The first three Indiana Jones movies Shawshank Redemption When Harry Met Sally Superman Superman II Iron Man That's eighteen movies, and I could easily find more if I checked IMDb.
  2. Fair enough, but the original poster wasn't talking about individual Objectivists; he was talking about Rand's writing. He said he was having trouble taking the ideas seriously because "faith has never been [his] thing." This amounts to a passive-aggressive way of saying that Rand's ideas have no rational basis. A person is welcome to believe that, but using it as a basis for asserting that Objectivism endorses faith is dishonest.
  3. The options are not "deal only with specific empirical data" and "appeal to an abstract model in your head." (Religious principles, having no factual basis, are an example of the latter method.) The proper approach is to observe reality and use reason to form principles on the basis of one's observations, so that the empirical and the theoretical work together. Given Christianity's track record of spreading misery and death throughout the world, this is a curious attempt at a counterexample to the survival value of truth. Also, propogating one's alleles has nothing to do with the Objectivist ethics, which is an abstract toolkit for living one's own life, not creating new ones. It's worth noting that in asking for evidence that knowing the truth is in one's self-interest, you're conceding that the truth should be the arbiter of your beliefs. More importantly, though, a moral commitment to truth is a consequence of a more fundamental principle in Objectivism: reason is man's means of survival. Notice that our tools of survival - clothing, shelter, medicine, technology, etc. - came from the human capacity for thinking. Adhering to a falsehood drives a wedge in this kind of thinking and places a person at odds with reality. You can't cure polio if you think that bloodletting is the proper way to treat illnesses. Objectivism rejects faith, so I'm not sure what you mean by this.
  4. "The one minute case against 'special interests' as the cause of corruption in politics." Click "View the full post" at the bottom.
  5. I think you forgot to add the 1990-1995 option.
  6. Just as the science of medicine is based on the premise that a healthy body is a desirable goal, the science of ethics is based on the assumption that one wishes to live. Objectivism doesn't say "here's why you should live." It says "if you want to live, here are some principles you need to live by."
  7. Why would any of your posts be trolling attempts? Trolling shows a pretty fundamental lack of respect for the members of a community.
  8. Also, the blog post is tagged with the words "satire" and "snark", so yes, it was definitely intended as a joke.
  9. This bears all the stylistic hallmarks of satire. Notice the focus on Rand's well known traits, such as the fact that she smoked.
  10. I never said she was only referring to those things. I just used them as examples. Either way, I'm certain she wasn't referring to the process of deciding whether a defendant is legally guilty of a crime. Such decisions are necessary in a free society.
  11. When Ayn Rand said that individual rights should not be subject to public vote, she meant that rights-violating government policies like welfare programs and socialized medicine should be banned no matter how many people support them. Criminal trials arise from the need to protect individual rights. A jury deliberating on a verdict is not voting on whether individual rights should be protected, but on what decision best protects those rights. This is the case even if the jurors make a mistake.
  12. Oops. Yes, my mistake. Sorry about that.
  13. RationalBiker's answer wasn't simplistic. He listed five reasons children get cancer, all of which are extremely complex scientifically and depend themselves on a number of factors. Belief in causality is not a belief in some sort of cosmic scale of justice. It's not a choice between "there is a mystical force of justice that gives meaning to every accident in human life" and "reality is random." Causality is nothing more or less than the principle that all entities act according to their natures. It's not a guarantee that everyone who suffers somehow deserves it.
  14. I disagree that this is a necessary tenet of atheism. In fact, for exactly the reasons Dante has given, I think existence itself is an example of something without a cause.
  15. Again, where are you getting this idea that I'm claiming Rand never underwent intellectual development? If Alice says "Bob would never advocate the initiation of force" and Carol counters with "Not true; Bob started a fight when he was in the third grade," then Carol is missing the point entirely. I meant that "Ayn Rand as a mature philosophic thinker would never have deemed sociopathy a gift."
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