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That is weird. I don't need any such background.

No, you didn't read it correctly. I was saying it in a wondering tone (like asking myself just where exactly in the background does it exist, if at all), and not as a decisive conclusion.

Today I realized that my need for people who can appreciate my work exists only after it is finished. I don't think about anyone else as I create something, because while I create, something springs from within me that takes up all of my resources, my whole being. But after it's finished, and I look at it and think "OMG this is beautiful", then I also get pleasure from thinking that somewhere someone must exist that can appreciate it the same way I do.

I don't know how it would affect my motivation to paint if I knew for certain that no human would ever see my stuff, but I've been drawing since I was a child, and at the age of 12 I don't remember such question occurring to me and I was still happy drawing.

I've been running different scenarios through my head and realized the answer would be different if I knew for example, that the world if full of people I can only despise, or if I live on a desert island, but somewhere, people of worth exist.

This is closer to what I meant. I would only correct that I would the phrase the second quote of yours as: "Nothing can even remotely come to disturb what makes me as happy as this thing (creative work) can."

Ok, so the source that allows you to be happy by doing creative work cannot be disturbed by anyone's actions. Fine. But we were talking about the overall level of happiness that someone experiences. The overall level of happiness should be affected by loss/gain of values, even if the source remains intact.

It is not possible, for someone who is capable of passionately valuing, to remain indifferent to loss of values, or to absence of great values from one's life.

Once a person has a value - it is natural to feel pain from loosing this value. If one is immune to pain from the loss of a value - it must mean that they either evade reality, that the value was not very important to them to begin with, or that something is screwed up with their hardware.

Having a relationship with someone I love can definitely affect my degree of happiness. If my lover gets hurt, or does something that offends me, or something that suggests that I might loose him (or cause me to think less of him) that will be a source of emotional pain.

If it wouldn't - I would be alarmed by it. I know that my ability to experience happiness comes from the same source as my ability to experience pain.

If someone tries to destroy their ability to feel emotional pain - the result will be indifference.

As for values that I don't have but would like to have: I do wait for them, eagerly. This does not mean that I am not happy as long as I don't have them, or that I spend my life being upset over not having what I want, but the need for someone perfect, even if just a glance at it, is great. And sometimes feeling bad over not having it, is the payment for who I am and what I am capable of experiencing. I consider the payment fully worth what I have. This is the only way it can be, so I accept it.

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Ifat, that is beautifully said. It's a high value to read such a thing. The knowledge that someone who thinks like you do might enjoy my poetry means more to me than if no such people existed, although I don't write FOR other people.

That was well written. Very nice, Ifat. But, in Olex's defense, he originally referred to a relationship as a secondary value. This would mean it is still a value, just dependent on the primary ones. So the lack of this value could not damge his primary value, but would still have a negative overall impact on his life. At least, that is how I undertood him.

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The knowledge that someone who thinks like you do might enjoy my poetry means more to me than if no such people existed...

Well thanks, the knowldge that you exist means more to me than if no one existed at all too... :lol:

Maybe I just didn't understand the compliment, but it seems funny the way you wrote it!

That was well written. Very nice, Ifat. But, in Olex's defense...

Defense? I was not attacking Olex. You got the wrong impression. I was just raising some points for discussion.

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Ifat, that is beautifully said. It's a high value to read such a thing. The knowledge that someone who thinks like you do might enjoy my poetry means more to me than if no such people existed, although I don't write FOR other people.

My relationship to my writing and people was something I discovered when I was eight years old.

I had written my first poem. It rhymed, it was musical, with a cheerful, delightful meaning. I walked around outside the house for about an hour reciting it; the poem and I were ends in ourselves. Then I thought that I would I would recite it to my family. I did so, but, to my puzzlement, instead of delight being expressed for the poem, attention was directed at me. As in, "Oh how wonderful YOU are for having written a poem". Neither of my parents sought to say the poem themselves, or even asked to hear it again. Their focus was on me, for having written it, not on the thing itself. From then on I never shared my poems, for attention to me was not my aim, and would have felt like a sacrilege to seek it.

I would add that my parents' attention to me was a selfless one, instead of a selfish concern with their own delight and enjoyment. Of course, I did not make these identifications till years later.

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Well thanks, the knowldge that you exist means more to me than if no one existed at all too... B)

Maybe I just didn't understand the compliment, but it seems funny the way you wrote it!

Defense? I was not attacking Olex. You got the wrong impression. I was just raising some points for discussion.

Laugh away, then :D Consider it a Christmas gift. :lol:

I didn't think you were attacking Olex, either. (Either? Just like you didn't think you were? Time for more laughs?) Ho, Ho, Ho! Merry Christmas!

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Thanks, guys, for all your input. It's helped me out tremendously. What some of you said...about giving people a chance to figure out what they believe....is a good idea. I have been told by my friends that sometimes I can be intimidating when someone doesn't believe something exactly the way I do. I immediately start telling them all the reasons why I am right and they are wrong. But I should let people figure it out for themselves, and in the mean time, value you them for all the things that we do agree upon. Just because I've figured it out already doesn't mean everyone has...and it doesn't mean that people won't figure it out in due time.

So I think I'm going to try that tactic from now on. I have another tactic, too...which makes me smile when I think of it. On my backpack I've attached a pin that says "What Would John Galt Do?" Naturally almost everyone asks me what that means. I don't always tell them, however. I'm waiting for the day when someone comes up to me and answers the question themself. And I know that that may not happen any time soon, but I think it will definitely happen someday. That's the day I'm waiting for! When I have to stop explaining...and be with someone who truly understands.

As for the Objectivist clubs some of you mentioned, that is a splendid idea. I'm definitely going to look into some of the local ones soon. Hopefully the college I attend next year will have an Objectivist club already, so then it won't be a problem. If not, then I'll have to start one myself.

And Olex, as you said that relationships are a secondary value, I agree. I don't need anyone to make me feel my worth. I can live without other people if need be. It's just that I don't want to! :lol:

Edited by Mimpy
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That's the day I'm waiting for! When I have to stop explaining...and be with someone who truly understands.

It's great. But you don't get to stop explaining; instead, you find more and more things to explain to each other. I think I understand what you meant, though. You want to stop explaining the basics. And you don't always want to be the teacher or explainer. You want someone else to bring something new to you, too. :)

--Schefflera

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So what do you do?

You take advantage of the distinctive cover art on Ayn Rand's books. It can be spotted from half a mile away. Sit in the park, or on the quad, or the lunchroom, and read Atlas Shrugged.

I know someone who got a girlfriend that way, and it was not even intentional on his part. He was reading AS on break at work. "So," said a voice, "is this the first time you read that?" It was. The voice belonged to the attractive co-worker he'd noticed a few days before.

Chance favors the prepared mind.

--Schefflera

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It's great. But you don't get to stop explaining; instead, you find more and more things to explain to each other. I think I understand what you meant, though. You want to stop explaining the basics. And you don't always want to be the teacher or explainer. You want someone else to bring something new to you, too. :(

--Schefflera

I agree, I think my girlfriend particularly appreciates this aspect of me. She is used to having to make quick, superficial explanations when she talks of her "selfishness" so that she doesn't get side-tracked in conversation. And talk about literature, ethics, politics, and all that has always depended on certain maxims that she rarely has the time to explain. With me, there's no need--all the underlying maxims are understood.

At the same time, yesterday we got into a somewhat heated argument of superficiality and learned from each other.

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I agree, I think my girlfriend particularly appreciates this aspect of me. She is used to having to make quick, superficial explanations when she talks of her "selfishness" so that she doesn't get side-tracked in conversation. And talk about literature, ethics, politics, and all that has always depended on certain maxims that she rarely has the time to explain. With me, there's no need--all the underlying maxims are understood.

At the same time, yesterday we got into a somewhat heated argument of superficiality and learned from each other.

You can also sometimes find good people in surprising places. When I met her, my wife considered herself to be a Rosicrucian. (A member of an organization called the Ancient Mystical Order Roase Crucis; they've got a long history and a lengthy set of teachings.) She explicitly claimed she was a mystic. Doesn't sound promising, does it? But when I probed her understanding of the relevant concepts, it turned out that she denied the existence of the supernatural, required that knowledge be justified by reference to logic and factual evidence, and viewed 'karma' as simply the operation of the law of cause and effect. That plus a healthy positive value orientation was a solid enough foundation for a relationship that turned into a marriage which has lasted ten years and is still going strong.

I guess the moral of the story is that people these days are sometimes so philosophically confused that they will use very corrupt terminology to conceptualize healthy thinking and value processes. Because of that, you can sometimes find diamonds by digging beneath the surface vocabulary.

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You can also sometimes find good people in surprising places. When I met her, my wife considered herself to be a Rosicrucian. (A member of an organization called the Ancient Mystical Order Roase Crucis; they've got a long history and a lengthy set of teachings.) She explicitly claimed she was a mystic. Doesn't sound promising, does it? But when I probed her understanding of the relevant concepts, it turned out that she denied the existence of the supernatural, required that knowledge be justified by reference to logic and factual evidence, and viewed 'karma' as simply the operation of the law of cause and effect. That plus a healthy positive value orientation was a solid enough foundation for a relationship that turned into a marriage which has lasted ten years and is still going strong.

I guess the moral of the story is that people these days are sometimes so philosophically confused that they will use very corrupt terminology to conceptualize healthy thinking and value processes. Because of that, you can sometimes find diamonds by digging beneath the surface vocabulary.

That's a very good observation, Khaight. I have met a number of decent people that way, though had not conecptualized it as you did. When I meet someone that describes themselves in a certain way, say, a communist, the first thing I do is ask, "What do you mean by that?". My experiences confirm what you say, that most people do not know or understand the implications attached to many words. Thanks for the integration.

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You can also sometimes find good people in surprising places. When I met her, my wife considered herself to be a Rosicrucian. (A member of an organization called the Ancient Mystical Order Roase Crucis; they've got a long history and a lengthy set of teachings.) She explicitly claimed she was a mystic. Doesn't sound promising, does it? But when I probed her understanding of the relevant concepts, it turned out that she denied the existence of the supernatural, required that knowledge be justified by reference to logic and factual evidence, and viewed 'karma' as simply the operation of the law of cause and effect. That plus a healthy positive value orientation was a solid enough foundation for a relationship that turned into a marriage which has lasted ten years and is still going strong.

I guess the moral of the story is that people these days are sometimes so philosophically confused that they will use very corrupt terminology to conceptualize healthy thinking and value processes. Because of that, you can sometimes find diamonds by digging beneath the surface vocabulary.

I thoroughly agree with this. While plenty of people hold incorrect premises, it's impossible to live without accepting, at least subconsciously, *some* correct principles about how to deal with reality. Thus we see productive men who believe in God and go to church, but who depend on only their own effort and mind when it comes to bringing home the bacon. They *think* their earnings are a gift from God, but at some level they know they have to go out and work, that help will not just fall from the sky. The extent to which a professing non-Objectivist *actually* accepts and practices good principles can determine whether he or she shares enough in common with you to establish a friendship (or even a romance), and who knows? The discussions you have may even lead to that person consciously adopting the principles they've been practicing all along.

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I thoroughly agree with this. While plenty of people hold incorrect premises, it's impossible to live without accepting, at least subconsciously, *some* correct principles about how to deal with reality. Thus we see productive men who believe in God and go to church, but who depend on only their own effort and mind when it comes to bringing home the bacon. They *think* their earnings are a gift from God, but at some level they know they have to go out and work, that help will not just fall from the sky. The extent to which a professing non-Objectivist *actually* accepts and practices good principles can determine whether he or she shares enough in common with you to establish a friendship (or even a romance), and who knows? The discussions you have may even lead to that person consciously adopting the principles they've been practicing all along.

Thanks for that stellavision and khaight. You've helped me to better identify one of the reasons certain people rub me the wrong way. There's a big difference between a Christian who knows they have to work for a living and actively makes life happen by setting goals and working rationally to accomplish those goals, and a Christian who blames every misfortune on God ("I guess He's trying to teach me something...") and expects to be spoon fed their destiny. The former agrees with me on the nature of reality, at least on a subconscious level, while the latter I could never tolerate. I used to think it was just a matter of how religious a person is, but I see that my compatibility with people is more dependent on their acceptance or rejection of reality as demonstrated by their approach to life.

It's sad that the type of person who rejects reality as in the example above is praised in Christian circles as the one with the most faith.

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Thanks for that stellavision and khaight. You've helped me to better identify one of the reasons certain people rub me the wrong way. There's a big difference between a Christian who knows they have to work for a living and actively makes life happen by setting goals and working rationally to accomplish those goals, and a Christian who blames every misfortune on God ("I guess He's trying to teach me something...") and expects to be spoon fed their destiny. The former agrees with me on the nature of reality, at least on a subconscious level, while the latter I could never tolerate. I used to think it was just a matter of how religious a person is, but I see that my compatibility with people is more dependent on their acceptance or rejection of reality as demonstrated by their approach to life.

It annoys me, though, when a person who "actively makes life happen by setting goals and working rationally to accomplish those goals" says that they are Christian. I don't know why those people never stop to analyze their values and develop a concise and logical moral doctrine. Don't they realize the contradiction in their own beliefs? I can't imagine a person just doesn't realize....which makes me think that maybe they do realize but choose not to do anything about it, which is just more awful.

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It annoys me, though, when a person who "actively makes life happen by setting goals and working rationally to accomplish those goals" says that they are Christian. I don't know why those people never stop to analyze their values and develop a concise and logical moral doctrine. Don't they realize the contradiction in their own beliefs? I can't imagine a person just doesn't realize....which makes me think that maybe they do realize but choose not to do anything about it, which is just more awful.

Conventional wisdom is, that if you don't understand something, it is because it is above you, not because there is anything wrong with the idea in question (god,etc) Accepting the inefficacy of your mind with regard to some issue makes evading the subject very easy in the future. "Doesn't make sense to me, but what do I know?" encapsulates the issue.

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It's sad that the type of person who rejects reality as in the example above is praised in Christian circles as the one with the most faith.

Why? As far as I can tell, it's an entirely accurate assessment. The person who more completely rejects reality is the one with the most (or strongest) faith.

The problem is that in Christian circles faith is considered a good thing, instead of the epistemological vice it actually is.

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It annoys me, though, when a person who "actively makes life happen by setting goals and working rationally to accomplish those goals" says that they are Christian. I don't know why those people never stop to analyze their values and develop a concise and logical moral doctrine. Don't they realize the contradiction in their own beliefs? I can't imagine a person just doesn't realize....which makes me think that maybe they do realize but choose not to do anything about it, which is just more awful.

What contradictions are you talking about? I mainly see lack of evidence (for the existence of god).

But... you know, I thought about it this last week, and I think I can see why someone would start believing in god, and it would make perfect sense to them, assuming they are rational people.

Here it is: when you look at nature, at rocks, water, wind, etc', they never seem to organize themselves into an organized shape, or something complex like a living entity. On the other hand, the products created by man (and animals) are more sophisticated, more organized, purposeful (like a nest, an egg, a computer, etc'). So I guess those people tell themselves (and I actually heard this reason many times from believers): that it's "impossible that all of this has been created by itself". From their observation, the only thing that creates complex, organized objects is something alive, something with a mind, so the only explanation they can come up with for the existence of the world is some entity with a consciousness and ability to create, only they upgraded it to a level above man (since it created man).

But the funny thing is that even though I know this, I still find belief in god repelling. Especially because of the humility involved.

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Here it is: when you look at nature, at rocks, water, wind, etc', they never seem to organize themselves into an organized shape, or something complex like a living entity. On the other hand, the products created by man (and animals) are more sophisticated, more organized, purposeful (like a nest, an egg, a computer, etc').
The formal name of this argument for the existence of God is "the argument from design." I agree with you that created things are more "purposeful" than merely existential things, since only living things are capable of purposeful behavior, and arranging things according to a teleological end. But I don't see in what way created things are more "organized."

It seems to me that the molecular structures of inanimate objects, for instance, are as fantastically well organized as just about anything created by living things (maybe more so). And the same goes for other natural phenomena--celestial formations, topographic evolution, chemical reactions, etc.

Edited by Bold Standard
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