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These posts were split from the "fiancee trouble" thread, as they deal with the more abstract issue of having a relationship with a non-Objectivist.--JMeganSnow

How can you ask for no lectures when what your dealing with is the irrational, have you not before mentioned that she is a religious person? ASSUMING you are an Objectivist, what youve done is compromised your values in ever thinking of persuing a relationship with someone that holds the idea that her purpose in life is beyond her but coming from a mystical 'god'. What makes you think things like this wouldn't happen in the future, after you were married? If someone isn't integrated enough in their personal philosophy what can be built on it? Certainly not a marriage, there is no foundation.

But your not looking for reason, your looking for someone to pat you on the back and give you some idea of how to rationalize this all out in your mind and make it go away. To forever evade realities which youve pushed to the back of your mind thinking they are unimportant.

Reality is the final arbiter. Evade at your own risk.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Well, that doesn't prevent me from responding to him.

Miedra, don't be a jerk. Frankly if you think an Objectivist having a relationship with someone that isn't an Objectivist is insane, I don't see how any female Objectivist would have you.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: if you approach the relationship in a rational manner, taking the time to think out the ramifications and decide what they mean in respect to your life, there's no reason why you can't have a romantic relationship with a religious person.

But for pity's sake don't lie to them about it. :D

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Frankly if you think an Objectivist having a relationship with someone that isn't an Objectivist is insane, I don't see how any female Objectivist would have you.

1) I think that an "Objectivist having a relationship with someone that isn't an Objectivist is insane," when the context is the later stages of a romantic relationship.

2) My wife is a female Objectivist.

So you'd better alter what you "don't see," Jennifer.

(I mean I hope it works out for you, Moose, I really do. But I'm not confident there's anything but pain in your future. Not unless she has a big change in her beliefs.)

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I don't know this girl, Moose, nor have I heard her described, beyond what's in this post. But I strongly disagree with the idea that you should "cut your losses now instead of later," just because she's not Objectivist. Even in the later stages of romance.

But I'm not confident there's anything but pain in your future. Not unless she has a big change in her beliefs.

Bah :D what's the basis for that?

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I don't know this girl, Moose, nor have I heard her described, beyond what's in this post. But I strongly disagree with the idea that you should "cut your losses now instead of later," just because she's not Objectivist. Even in the later stages of romance.

Bah :D what's the basis for that?

]

After reading this thread, I will agree with Mr Mario Avatar (Hunterrose) on this one. Although I think it is unlikely that I would ever find myself in a romantic relationship with a religous person (or in a position where it seems attractive), I think that if such a thing did happen, then it would be because I share enough of their values too be so attracted to them. It is [remotely ] conceivable that I might share enough key values with someone religous.

Someone might be religous, but that does not mean they might not share many of my key values foremost, life for instance. I mean, perhaps she is a brillant academic or something, maybe besides the religous beleifs, she is reasonably rational.

What I mean by my example is that, it is not neccessary a bad thing for an Objectivist to have a romantic relationship with a religous person. It might be, it might not be. It depends on the situation and the people. If overall you find that you have enough in common with this person, that you can respect who she is and her acheivements, then quite possibly the relationship still has life left in it.

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if you approach the relationship in a rational manner, taking the time to think out the ramifications and decide what they mean in respect to your life, there's no reason why you can't have a romantic relationship with a religious person. 

Jennifer, I'd love to hear you elaborate. I don't have much experience with dating and I haven't thought much about what to do about value conflicts. I'd like to work on this, and I think this forum is a great place from which to learn. So, as you wish to, feel free to flood this thread with your answer. :D I think your comments would help Moose's situation with a religious person, and myself and others resolving fundamentally identical issues.

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Bah :D what's the basis for that?

How familiar with Objectivism are you? Specifically, with the Epistemology chapters of OPAR? More specifically, what he had to say about integration?

No one seeks to evade the total of reality. Evaders believe that the practice is safe because they feel they can localize it. Ultimately, however, they cannot.

The reason is that everything in reality is interconnected. In logic, therefore, to sustain an evasion on any single point, one would be forced gradually to expand and to keep expanding the scope of one's blindness. For example, suppose that you decide to evade only in regard to the issue of God's existence, which you want to accept without evidence; in regard to everything else, you say, you will follow reason. What, in pattern, will happen to your mental processes thereafter? Can you remain rational in dealing with the rest of metaphysics, including such topics as the eternity of the universe, the absolutism of Identity, and the impossibility of miracles? Any of these topics, squarely faced, threatens to expose and upset your evasion. What about your thinking in regard to epistemology, including your view of the arbitrary and the issue of faith versus reason? What about ethics and God's supposed moral commandments? What about God's reputed political views--e.g. on pornography, prayer in the schools, abortion? What about the clash between Genesis and the theory of evolution? If you tried consistently to protect only your single starting evasion, turning aside methodically from everything that might threaten it, directly or indirectly, that single evasion would lead you step by step to one ultimate result: total nonperception."

He goes on to say that as a result of this problem, such a person could not actually exist. Instead,

"An evader is not concerned with consistency; he does not seek to protect his evasion by identifying conscientiously the implications of new cognitive material; if that were his policy, he would not be evading. The evader's method is not to follow his evasion logically, wherever it leads, but to ignore logical relationships. His method is to deal with facts piecemeal, accepting or rejecting disconnected bits of content at random, by reference to feeling...

A man in this condition no longer has the means to determine consistency or contradiction, truth or falsehood. In his consciousness, all conceptual content is reduced to the capricious, the baseless, the arbitrary; no conclusion qualifies as knowledge in a mind that rejects the requirements of cognition. Thus the real evader, like the hypothetical one I mentioned first, reaches only one end and one kind of "safety": all-encompassing blindness...

The mind can no more tolerate "a little irrationality" than the body can tolerate "a little malignancy." Both evils, once introduced, start to consume any healthier elements."

In essence, the infection of bad ideas progresses like a disease. If the host refuses to reject the false ideas, he must shut down and disintegrate his consciousness to prevent a "critical mass" of poison from destroying his consciousness. Such a person's mind is a ticking time-bomb to which new knowledge is a constant threat: threatening because any bit of information threatens to integrate the poisonous ideas and reveal their full, sweeping consequences. Such a person is constantly on the run from those consequences. The best example of such a person is James Taggart, and what happened to him at the end is the fate from which they run.

Now, it is possible to find a person in the early stages, who has kept their bad ideas relatively contained. Since they cannot integrate their knowledge or use reason to determine truth or falsehood, they rely on their sense-of-life to make decisions. Before the poison has had a change to grow and corrupt their sense-of-life, they might appear rational. They may make good decisions and live happy lives, for a time. One of them might even appear, to the untrained observer, as a good choice of a spouse.

But without that rock-solid foundation of reason, such a person is still a time-bomb.

Now, in Moose's case, there is a further cause for worry: she has been exposed, to a certain degree, to the unadulterated truth... and yet she continues to call herself a Catholic. Moose's task at this point is to carefully test just how far she is willing to evade in order to cling to this belief. He must judge whether there is hope for her to be rational. If so, they have hope for a relationship. If not, they don't.

The "insane" part is that he has stated the desire to continue the relationship to marriage, children, and all of his life, WHETHER OR NOT she remains Catholic. He is treating this belief as if it were harmless, isolated, and nonessential in his choice of a mate. It is most emphatically NOT.

"To deny the absolutism of reason is not a harmless indulgence, like having chocolates on a diet. It is more like taking arsenic three times a day as the essence of nutrition."
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How familiar with Objectivism are you? ...

Hey, this is not fair. He posted it on this forum and he said it clearly: He didn't want lectures. So please stop it. If you are down because you have problems with your financee, you are not in the state where you want wild philosophical debates.

And accusing his fiancee just because she's catholic doesn't make it better, really.

Peikoff quotes telling him she is irrational! He's down already, don't you think.

If you feel no empathy, at least don't post.

Here's a quote:

Above all, do not harm.

This really was out of place. You should have known better.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Hey, this is not fair. He posted it on this forum and he said it clearly: He didn't want lectures. So please stop it. If you are down because you have problems with your financee, you are not in the state where you want wild philosophical debates.

And accusing his fiancee just because she's catholic doesn't make it better, really.

Peikoff quotes telling him she is irrational! He's down already, don't you think.

If you feel no empathy, at least don't post.

Here's a quote:

Above all, do not harm.

This really was out of place. You should have known better.

In the face of lies, not speaking can be the greatest harm you can do to those seeking truth. I HAVE BEEN in his situation. I would agree with Peikoff's observations. However harsh the truth may be, the effects of denying it are far harsher.

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In the face of lies, not speaking can be the greatest harm you can do to those seeking truth.  I HAVE BEEN in his situation. I would agree with Peikoff's observations. However harsh the truth may be, the effects of denying it are far harsher.

I still maintain my position that this was just disrespectful.

You can discuss Peikoff when he has overcome the emotional part of the issue. As far as I can see it, the best advice still came from JSnow. She really tried to help him (which was what he wanted), not teach him (which was what he explicitly not wanted).

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I knew that there would be philosophical lectures in here.

First of all, she is religious in name only. She was raised Catholic, so she calls herself Catholic when, in reality, she knows next to nothing about her religion. She believes there is a God, but that's about as far as it goes. From what I can tell, she believes in secularism: she's pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, etc...positions which a typical Catholic would not hold.

Felix is right. I specifically asked that there be no philosophical lectures and I consider it disrespectful to post them. If you wish to talk to me about the philosophical principles of my problem, then please either PM or start a new thread. This thread is for advice on what I should/should not do in order to remedy the situation and about how to cope with what I am feeling right now.

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I still maintain my position that this was just disrespectful.

You can discuss Peikoff when he has overcome the emotional part of the issue. As far as I can see it, the best advice still came from JSnow. She really tried to help him (which was what he wanted), not teach him (which was what he explicitly not wanted).

Her first advice was quite good. It's all a good idea. But the question would remain - Why is it a good idea? The rational mind is the only thing able to overcome emotional fallacies, I have found.

(Note, this is a ref to original thread, from which this one was split. - softwareNerd)

Edited by softwareNerd
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Also some good advice, Colin. (Link - to ref. in original thread, from which this was split.)

For those sanctimonious jerks out there (and Matt, who asked, and is not a jerk):

It is quite possible to have a relationship, even a romantic one, with someone that is not integrated. Why? Because it has no reflection on you. Even in a romantic relationship you remain SEPARATE INDIVIDUALS. Another person's quirks, failures, neuroses, what have you are NO CONCERN OF YOURS. The only thing you can ever know about another person is what they do, and what they say. You are not privy to their mental processes and, unless you are their personal psychologist, you should NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT those mental processes when dealing with that person. (Read "The Psychology of Psychologizing" reprinted in The Voice of Reason) You should only take into account (gasp) WHAT THEY DO AND WHAT THEY SAY.

Even a lover is not somehow an extension of you. They are a completely different person that has decided to grant you their time, admiration, love, in exchange for yours. All romantic relationships are different, just as all people are different: they fill slightly different roles in people's lives, they take place in different settings, under different conditions, and with different functions.

Approaching a romantic relationship (or any relationship) rationally means that you have to not fake reality. If you realize the other person is not integrated, you have to accept that. You have to establish that the possible damage that can come from this issue is less important to you than spending time with that individual. You have to accept that you CANNOT CHANGE another person, and not base the relationship on what you hope they WILL be in the future. Even if they are SOMETIMES inconsistent in their behavior, this does not mean that they aren't a worthy subject of a relationship. You simply have to form a picture of HOW consistent they are, HOW to minimize running up against their inconsistencies, etc.

Dr. Peikoff's statements on evasion etc. apply to YOU, not to how you deal with other people. They are an explanation for why you should want to integrate your OWN mind, not systematically reject the good in anyone else who has not managed to do so.

Using an example from my own life: I'm currently involved in an online romance with a gentleman whose true love died some time ago. He does not love me as much as he loved her. Nor is he an Objectivist: prior to meeting me, he had never heard of Objectivism. I sent him some books, but he has little time to read, and not a fantastic depth of interest. If he never reads them, oh well. I really don't care. We haven't met in person yet, and although I would like to, I don't really care if it turns out we never can, either.

The point is that having this relationship with him makes me happy: it is a kind of spiritual fuel and reward, combined. It is based on mutual honesty about our interests, our capabilities, and our lives. Even contemplating its probable end in the future doesn't really bother me; the pain will not last and I will have had the enviable experience of loving this individual. I consider that I will have come out ahead, regardless.

Why aren't I pursuing a "better" romantic relationship than this one? Going out and trying to meet people, etc. etc. ad nauseum? Because I have a life, and work, and that is my main focus. A romantic relationship of any kind is simply a compliment to that, really, and I don't enjoy "meeting people" for it's own sake. Romance isn't necessary for me to be happy: it's a bonus. (Except when I'm having a maudlin moment and I forget that it's not some kind of reflection on my character that I have not yet attracted a mate. But I digress.) So, in accordance with my hierarchy of values, I don't devote much time to it, preferring to spend my time on things that ARE vital to my happiness, such as my job, my writing, some R&R when I need that, etc.

Yes, this is a long post. But I'm really getting fed up with this issue, and especially with people that try to denounce the love lives of people they've never met and probably never will. Have the grace to keep your lip buttoned unless you are asked for your opinion.

Edited by softwareNerd
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One more thing:

Do not judge any person or relationship in comparison to some theoretical concretized "ideal" person or relationship. Judge them in comparison to your principles. The "ideal" person or relationship may not exist, and you have NO CONTROL over whether they do or not. None. Zip. Why? Because other people have volition.

There is no reason that you have to condemn yourself to not experiencing the best of what DOES exist. The first policy leads to rejection of all humanity on principle, and the vicious injustice of treating any flaw as a fatal flaw. The second leads to an embrace of what IS good and what IS pro-life, and a rational picture of how severe different flaws are.

Inspector likes to whine that accepting any flaw means you won't achieve "perfect" happiness. There is no such thing as "perfect" happiness. Why? Because there is no upper limit to how happy you can be. Just as the problem of living cannot be "solved" for once and for all, just as there is no life that is long enough, good enough, rich enough.

If, in your rational, principle-focused judgement, a relationship with a person will leave you better off than you are now (and you must take into account things like the fact that relationships can end, and messily), you would be immoral NOT to pursue that relationship; just as, if someone offers you a better job than you have now (taking into account all the possible context) you would be a fool NOT to take it.

In other words, paraphrasing: "It is not pain that we wish to avoid, but joy that we wish to achieve."

Edited at Admin's request to remove extraneous pointless reference to another member--JMeganSnow

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In the face of lies, not speaking can be the greatest harm you can do to those seeking truth.  I HAVE BEEN in his situation. I would agree with Peikoff's observations. However harsh the truth may be, the effects of denying it are far harsher.

See? The truth is harsh, but it is less harsh than the consequences of continued falsehoods.

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Have the grace to keep your lip buttoned unless you are asked for your opinion.

Moderators, I am reporting the quoted post.

You...

Have the grace of realizing that YOU started this.

I didn't start this. YOU did. Re-read it. Right HERE:

Frankly if you think an Objectivist having a relationship with someone that isn't an Objectivist is insane, I don't see how any female Objectivist would have you.

Ah, but you didn't just start it. YOU escalated it with your name-calling childishness.

I Haven't called you any names. Yet, strangely, you have attacked my character, with the vague, non-specific kind of veiled attack ("to the jerks") that is specifically forbidden by past moderation precedent.

Do you think it's polite to not name me in your attacks? I don't: I think it's condescending and MORE insulting.

Also, you've misidentified what I've said. It most emphatically ISN'T psychologizing. It is a philosophic principle that I identified and it is a philosophic approach that I spoke of. NOT a psychological one.

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People seem to be under the mistaken impression that she doesn't still love me.  She does.  She's just confused and doesn't know if she's ready to be married.

Don't waste your time telling that to us, because some will never get it :dough:

And just because you may perceive her as being the loser doesn't mean that I can't be crushed too.

Anyone who'd imply such about a girl they didn't know would be a loser themselves.

I'm considerably more optimistic than I have been the past couple of days.  I even ate an actual meal a little while ago.

Good for you :lol:

...bit manic tonight, aren't we, Inspector :wacko:

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Anyone who'd imply such about a girl they didn't know would be a loser themselves.

...bit manic tonight, aren't we, Inspector :dough:

Wow, you totally, completely, didn't read what I wrote, did you? You're going to be embarassed about this when you do... I never used the word "loser," and that's not how Moose meant the word when he used it to describe what I had said.

Edited by Inspector
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Nowhere did I say that, unless you meant "people" other than me. It certainly isn't my position.

And "fast" is a relative term. In this case "fast" is simply faster than your actual philosophic closeness deserves.

I also think it's fallacious to assume that 2 people should be philosophically close in order to have a happy relationship. I know plenty of people who are far more different than my fiance and I who are perfectly happy...some of whom have been married in excess of 20 years.

I am not an Objectivist. I think Objectivism is an interesting philosophy and I agree with much of it, but I am not comfortable with all of it. One thing I've noticed is that younger Objectivists, like miedra, tend to be overly zealous and think that all non-Objectivists are evil, horrible people. Well, I certainly don't see things that way. I believe that religious people can be, and quite often are, very good people, who just don't want to part with their upbringing. My fiancee certainly falls under this category. While we may differ on a few philosophical principles, the positives of our relationship have far outweighed the negatives.

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I also think it's fallacious to assume that 2 people should be philosophically close in order to have a happy relationship.

I think that 2 people have to be philosophically close, but exactly what "close" is is up to the individuals. You seem capable of making that decision :wacko:

I never used the word "loser"

Then why assume I was referring to you :dough:

Manic was just in reference to posting five consecutive times in an hour...

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I also think it's fallacious to assume that 2 people should be philosophically close in order to have a happy relationship.

That depends on what you mean by "close." So long as their beliefs don't fundamentally differ, they won't threaten each other. That's not to say that two people who mutually reject reality aren't in other kinds of trouble...

My advice applies to an Objectivist pursuing a relationship. It's the right way to do it. The complexity of what makes Objectivism necessary to be accepted COMPLETELY and not piecemeal is quite frankly too much to get into here. You're not paying me enough to do it.

If you want my opinion, I don't think a non-Objectivist is ready for any kind of relationship at all. The more difficult the task, the more philosophic skill is required. Romance isn't child's play. You have to be very much in recognition of reality or you'll screw it up.

But now that you've introduced TWO variables into this equation: HER deviation from reality and YOUR deviation from reality, it's just way too much now for me to be able to say anything at all.

On a differant subject, what part of Objectivism DON'T you accept?

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