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Everything posted by Oleksandr

  1. What is Justice

    That's what my question is about. If that's justice then can one say that it's also unjust when an artist wasn't properly recognized in his time? Since what he would "deserve" would be proper recognition? How about getting the salary one deserves? Or getting the treatment one deserves? It seems like that kind of 'justice' doesn't take into account that there is a relationship between men. Because if the other man doesn't have the knowledge, then does it mean that Francisco was unjustly slapped by Rearden? Or was it just based on the choices and plan of Francisco? This kind of justice would essentially mean "good men should good treatment." If that's justice then what is the reason for this "should"?
  2. What is Justice

    Here's a question to clarify something. You said "that a person gets what they deserve," but who is giving this? Do you mean that justice is when it turns out that the liar doesn't gain anything even though nobody noticed his lie? (If this is so, wouldn't reality always "give" them what they deserve?) Or do you mean that other people who know he lied (to continue my example) give him only what he deserves? I think this context must be cleared before moving forward with the topic.
  3. I'm going to wake up this thread with some additional thoughts and excerpts from Atlas Shrugged. I was shown a thread from another forum made by Betsy where she asked interesting questions. One of them caught my eye: from http://forum.objectivismonline.net/index.p...amp;#entry57254 Underline is mine.The last sentence is very strong, especially with the use of word 'chastity' (sexual abstinence, which I take to mean in this sentence as loosing all sexual desire during the moment of that thought of a "contact with the minds") in the context of the moment of the book (of sexual relationship between Dagny and Francisco). P.S. Incidentally, the last quote also answers Betsy's question.
  4. I have noticed that when it comes to relationships people have different approaches to how they handle the information about their relationship with other people. So far I see two major groups of thought and action. One is "Keeping It Private." In this case, a person sees practically everything about the relationship as highly private and has problem sharing any part of information. One may still share it but only if one loses more by not sharing the information. For example, hugging in public would generally be a problem, but when this becomes a limitation that takes away possible pleasure, one would choose otherwise. Another example is that telling somebody the name of the significant other for the first time would be a serious challenge. It would take serious emotional effort to "pull" the answer out, with all accompanying "funny feelings" in the stomach and so forth. This problem would even persist with good or great friends. For example, if the relationship is not known to those friends yet, it would take serious effort to say something about it (assuming it was needed for some reason). Another different approach is "Being Proudly Open." A person of this method holds the relationship private of course, but has no problems telling or answering others about the relationship (to a certain degree, of course). For example, such person wouldn't even twitch when saying the name of the other person out loud to a friend for the first time. One interesting observation is that a "private" person would not mind going to a public place that is full of strangers, and yet a simple presence of some person there whom one knows would cause some uncomfort. It seems that the cause of this is a thought of somebody else knowing that you and this other person are romantically linked. This sometimes changes over time with the help of similar encounters (kind of like getting accustomed to it). It may even approach the other "open" method at times, but still the basic principles and how one got there are very different in both methods. As I look at it, I can't say that one method is better than the other one, or even that one method is "just not right". And yet, personally, I cannot bring myself to follow the "open" method. Does anybody have more thoughts on the matter? I'm interested in some generic input to bring more light into these methods and the reasoning behind choosing one over another.
  5. Government Financing

    My question is essentially moral, but belongs to the field of politics. In a case of a country that is implemented correctly based on Objectivist principles, is it morally OK for the government to use its funds to invest into business? (Assume that initial funds were gained in a morally good way - donations, national lotteries, etc.) Essentially the question is: Is it morally OK for the government to enter true free market as a business entity (with no extra privileges from mixed economies)? From Ayn Rand articles, I recall her offering a possibility of using national lotteries for government funding. (I don't have a book at hand, so can't quote directly yet.) If this is OK, there is still a difference between a new business and an investment. Investment is something more competitive, and thus more "intrusive" into free market. Technically, any business would be complete with somebody else, including other lotteries. But then there is a potential problem with checking that no government business uses government monopoly of force. Are there any articles or books on this matter? I didn't find anything relative to my question on THE FORUMS either. But if I missed something, I'd like a note or a link. Thanks.
  6. A question relating to politics in a rational culture

    Government's job is to only protect individual rights, and these rights can be broken by physical force only. So, parents teaching certain ideas does not constitute breaking somebody else's rights. Even indirect force, fraud, doesn't apply here. So, government can't and shouldn't do anything here. That said, there is a way to apply your own individual rights to battle such cases. Usual social methods should work here: as in being openly negative about such view, not doing any business with those parents, etc. Also, the only way to prevent the child from talking to other people other parents is to restrict his physical freedom, and lock him in the basement without windows. This become child abuse and use of physical force, and that's when government can step in.
  7. Government Financing

    That was my thought. Currently I ponder of the moral/legal side of it.
  8. Government Financing

    Yes, I do mean setting up some sort of business. It's true there is no legal structure for it. I'm asking for a moral justification if there is one. For example, currently, government has a business of national lottery. I don't know of details, but I would imagine that government owns it in some form or another. And this business is used to finance the government. Is such activity good? Should such activity be granted to the government? P.S. This question is part of another larger question: how to finance the government, but I'm not interested in the answer to that in this thread.
  9. The choice to live

    Ah, that's good. I was combining standard and goal into one indivisible part. I knew something was wrong with happiness as the standard but had problem separating it correctly from the goal. Thanks for the correction, I agree.
  10. The choice to live

    This isn't right. One ought not choose to live for emotional reward (i.e. for feelings) but for fulfillment of your one's goals, which produces the emotional rewards. So living for emotional reward skips through an important step. Also it does become hedonistic - "I live to feel emotional good" - achieving goals or failing them becomes secondary. Not to mention that happiness mechanism can be broken down and even reversed. Also, note that (quoting Ayn Rand) "his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life" doesn't mean the feeling is the moral purpose. "Happiness" according to Ayn Rand is "that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values." So, the feeling isn't primary here. Its cause is important, thus not any emotional reward is good.
  11. Question about Anthem

    Thanks for the posts, everyone. I'll ponder on this again later. I'm not quite fully satisfied yet with the answer.
  12. Darn. I loved documentary about SpaceShipOne. I'm sure it won't be the last positive documentary about their achievements.
  13. Ratatouille (2007)

    That's quite some work to write down all those things. Good memory, too. (P.S. I heard "bravo team" not "delta team." ) I'll add things I found funny or good as well: Funny as burst-out-laughing-before-I-can-control-it: - the truly ingenious setup for brother of the little chef who ate a lot of grapes, fell onto the floor, and lunched all the grapes at boy's head. (to a small degree) - Little Chef: "Do you ever think about what you put into mouth?" His I-eat-anything brother: "Every day." Funny as ok-this-is-kind-of-funny-now: - brother (lover of all that can be chewed) of the little chef checking out his belly after being stroke by a lightning and falling to a ground. "Man, that was rough.... How is my tummy? [While his mouth looks like he's testing his tongue.] Still operational? OK, good." - Little Chef to his brother: "What are eating there?" "Hmm, I don't know. I think it was ... something." Of course, that didn't stop brother from eating the rest. - Little Chef to his brother while teaching him about tastes:"Take a bite. No! Don't [pig out? - can't recall the verb] on the whole thing. Just take a small bite." Now, brother's face looks real funny as if he's thinking: "I'm sorry I took I giant bite, I couldn't help it. When I eat, I eat in largest chunks that fit into my mouth." Good Stuff: - Hmm, I thought I saw the quote before somewhere, but can't recall where: "Where are you going?" "With some luck, forward." Granted "luck" is not a good option here, but given the mood of the moment during the movie, it was good enough anyway. - L.Chef: "Why do I have to pretend?" Figment of imagination: "You don't. You never had to." --------- One part I did not like was that "But they are family, stealing for them isn't stealing, it's ... Oh, it complicated!" (paraphrase) was not properly resolved. I would have preferred some small comment where this family-value is clarified by saying that stealing is stealing regardless. Otherwise, the movie was great. I really enjoyed it.
  14. Hmm, my "filter" is looking for an environment that I can enjoy. The ideas from others as such don't have an influence on my opinion, but they may affect how much I can enjoy a moment. I would generally look to remove or get away from things that cause decrease in enjoyment. Even simple non-romantic cases like reading a book have the same influence. If I go to a library or a book store where I am around people who are there to read books for knowledge or pleasure, the atmosphere is great and reading the book is more enjoyable, unlike the same situation but around people who maybe quiet but do not project any knowledge-seeking.
  15. I agree with that. It definitely has an effect but I don't think it should come to the point of humiliation, though. But it could feel like like standing in a gutter while holding something preciously beautiful in your hand. Such setting can hardly be a good one. There are lesser variation of this (lesser in how bad others' view is), but in general it isn't pleasant for the same reason as it's not pleasant to see dumb views spoken in the world (just even more unpleasant b/c of the personal topic). So, I can't imagine how one can completely separate the internal world of the relationship and external settings. However, I have one idea. I came to the conclusion that different relationships can be tolerable at different levels of privacy. The cause of such difference is the nature of the connection between people in the relationship. By 'connection' here I mean the logic behind choosing to like the person. For the purpose of a clarity, a useful metaphor is a connection between two spheres, where connections could be made between two centers (highly private ones) and connections made on the surface (far less private ones). I think such difference in anchoring the connections depend on the person's understanding of his own choice of his partner and understanding of himself. The last part is especially important. Without really knowing who he is, he couldn't make a private connection. Whereas knowing precisely who he is, who the partner is, and what he is looking for and wants and why from the romantic partner, leads to making a really private connection. This also has to be a requirement for the quality of a romantic relationship. The Fountainhead has a really nice quote to go with this, but I'll paraphrase it as well: "One has to be able to first say 'I' before being able to say 'I love you.' " (I'll just add that one has to also know who is 'you'.) The "depth" of connections changes how much one is willing to talk about it with other people. For example, describing why you picked your shirt isn't as personal as talking in details why you picked your romantic partner. So, it's quite possible to have different choices about privacy with different romantic relationships. Another great point from TF is the reflection on Dominique's face of what she felt for Roark as seen by the Toohey. The point in the book afterwards was that seeing one's romantic partner tells a ton about the person himself. So in a way, telling somebody "this is my [g/f, etc.]" is saying "here's a mirror to my deepest virtues and thoughts." ----- In reply to Alann, I can't see how one would go about separating the relationship into two parts (public and private). The relationship has got to be consistent and whole. Switching "modes" on different occasions sounds like a hell of a work to do. The only way to actually have two states that I can see is by having on/off switch.
  16. Another BB+T Grant to Study Ayn Rand

    Awesome, BB&T rocks the house again.
  17. Happy Birthday to Oleksandr

    Oh, man, I don't know where you got that magazine but it looks awesome. Thanks
  18. Pieces

    . . . He does not see people around him. He sees pieces of what Man can be. His analytical faculty identifies among many components of a person the pieces that matter, that are right, that are good. But men have a low quality; they don't take care of themselves. They lay like a stone on a sand, never touched by the sea, never brushed by the water, never smoothened by the particles of salt. They lay on the sand, a few feet away from the ever-changing waterline. They corrode under the blazing sun, weakened by the shifting wind, scarfed by all into a thing that never was and never will be. He glances at a girl as she goes by. He does so in a quest to find a full being. One that is not stitched, but is self-built, where pieces are not assembled by a random event, but a product of a concrete goal set forth by a conscious mind aware of its action and its product. He looks for a few moments longer. He does not like her, but he sees a part of her that is close to an image he has in his mind, the perfect woman, the equal. He judges, he pays attention, but not to her. Instead, he studies a quality that he has chosen. He ponders and plays with a concept, fitting it into his knowledge, taking it apart and combining again, validating and checking. Once more, an image appears before his eyes, a description of someone he's looking for, a template he automatically applies to women he sees and hears about. Most don't pass even a shape test of their minds. He has found that is the way - most are of no value and no concern. He is astonished again by their being. His eyes drop back to the book. He knows the one exists. He's sure of it. He can see himself gravitating along a path that brings him closer to his ideal, his equal, but for now he turns back to his thoughts - much to think about, much to do. The person he's looking for must be earned, must be matched, must be awaited. . . .
  19. Ayaan Hirsi Ali on "The Colbert Report"

    I have the same doubt, I've seen the audience cheer over national medical insurance with the same vigor as they did in this episode.
  20. Daylight Savings

    Because it is NOT government's business to increase efficiency.If a company wishes to increase their efficiency, they can do that without DST.
  21. Was it Just to let Rearden think that Dagny was killed?

    Here, I am not fully certain. Here, the reason isn't protection of the valley, but the justice of having Rearden face the consequences of his own actions. I do not full see that. His actions are not the only ones that led to him thinking that Dagny is dead.
  22. Hype for the movie "300"

    Yes, I find that awesome. In my area, even IMAX has been fully sold out for first 2 days. I hope this is because regular people have more in them of good philosophy then intellectuals.
  23. Hype for the movie "300"

    FYI: the line is in this movie as well: http://movies.go.com/trailer?cid=854153&vid=866040 and on the right side you will find a clip with a name of "Then We Will Fight in the Shade."
  24. Atlas Shrugged as a Spark

    Yes, I did find her right on all her points. What made this more impressive are the choice of topics that she made. Those choices were of hard philosophical question that are usually evaded by "the common folk."So, instead of "She's right here as well," it became "Holy, she's about to talk about topic X (and I know she'll have an immense insight into it)."