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Applications of Philosophy Objectivism in one’s daily life By Thomas M. Miovas, Jr. 04/27/2012 There is a disturbing trend among the younger generation of those interested in Objectivism, and that is to reject some of the applications of philosophy in Dr. Peikoff’s podcasts on the grounds that Objectivism – and philosophy in general – ought not to have anything to say about certain topics. Among those topics discussed have been whether or not the New York City Mosque ought to be built after the atrocities of 911, transgenderism and whether or not a sex change is moral, and the best way of fighting terrorism, among others. I don’t know where these disagreements are coming from. I don’t know if it is from Diana Hsieh, the Kelleyites, or some other influence, but it does seem to be widespread considering the conflicts I have had with quite a few people on forum.objectivismonline.net forums. Some would say just to leave them alone and find a better forum, but I don’t think it is just that forum as the attitude also extends to some of my FaceBook friends and a general hatred of checkingpremises.org. A few have gone so far as to imply that Dr. Peikoff “has lost it”, or that he is being dishonest in applying Objectivism to areas where it shouldn’t have anything to say about a topic, or that he is an Objectivist in name only because they disagree with him. Philosophy is a wide set of integrated principles guiding a man’s thoughts about the nature of existence and man’s place in it. As such, it gives a man a special intellectual frame-work with which to guide his thinking. For many philosophies, a practical guide to living on earth is not given. These philosophies give wide principles or pseudo-principles in a mind / body dichotomy way – philosophy is for intellectualizing divorced from living one’s life practically. But Objectivism is certainly different. Ayn Rand identified Objectivism as a philosophy of living on earth; which means that it gives more practical guidance explicitly versus most any other philosophy. And since Objectivism is based on the facts of reality in a wider and wider integration of those facts, applications based on Objectivism can get down to many more specific areas than most any other philosophy. Basically, anytime there is a need for broad principles to guide one’s thoughts and actions, an Objectivist philosopher or even a long-term Objectivist can give one the principles to guide one in how to think about the facts prevalent to the more specific issues. Philosophy as such cannot tell you what to have for breakfast, but it can tell you that given the nature of man and the fact that he needs to eat certain things in order to remain alive, that one ought to have a nutritious meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Similarly, given the nature of egoism – the morality of Objectivism -- philosophy can tell you that when you are confronted by an enemy who seeks to destroy you and your country that you ought to defend yourself in the most efficient manner possible. It cannot tell you to use either guns or knives or karate to defend yourself in those specifics, but it can tell you that egoism requires also acknowledging the necessity of self-defense if one values one’s own life. So, in broad principles, it can tell you to destroy the enemy – no holds barred. Similarly, since morality stems from a rational understanding of the nature of man and the requirements of sustaining one’s own life, that certain medical procedures that go to the root of what it is to be that particular individual ought to be avoided. For example, a frontal lobotomy might make you more manageable, but it is not recommended as this would take away one’s ability to reason and possibly one’s free will. Since one’s sex or gender is fully integrated down to the individual cells and molecular structure of one’s body, then just making a physical change to one’s genitals is not recommended, since such a change would not be integrated into the rest of one’s body – at least not with modern technology. So, a sex change is not recommended, and is certainly immoral if one claims to want one with no reason behind it and just going by one’s will and introspection as to one’s gender. I’m not here trying to imply that if you disagree with Dr. Peikoff on a particular topic, that he is necessarily right because he is a long-term Objectivist and an Objectivist philosopher. The issue is not agreement or disagreement, but rather following the proper objective methodology and applying broad philosophical principles to one’s daily life and the issues confronting oneself. If you can show that you can apply objectivity to the issues and come up with a better solution, that’s great, and I encourage you to think it through. But if a man has shown himself to be a great philosopher in his own right, in his lectures and books based on Objectivism, then I think one ought to really think it through before stating that he has lost it or that he doesn’t know what he is talking about.