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we know more now about fetal development
so Rand was wrong on a few things
does not invalidated most of her work
Geez, you go a day without reading The Gulch and am now regulated as "imperfect".
Signed: A Genius
And anyone who disagrees with me is to be henceforth automatically cancelled as a racist filled with other socially unacceptable phobias of every shape and form.
If someone bet a million dollars that I could not name all the deities on Mount Olympus by both their Greek and Roman names, I'd be a millionaire.
Most of the answers to such questions here seem to be from those who were forced to believe that they are dependent for a god making them who they are rather than being in charge of creating their own selves as they mature after birth.
I am not aware of a study that incorporates the idea that there is a life force other than just the chemical reactions and electrical discharges sustaining life and enabling reason. I think there is more to life that just a biological function. What this is (religion likes to refer to it as a soul) is not understood. When does this life force enter the new being? I have no idea.
Interesting that under the law if a woman wants the child and is murdered then it is two counts of murder. If the woman does not want the child it is okay to kill it. No discussion that this is another person not just a collection of cells.
Difficult questions. Since the fetus resists the dismemberment and destruction is it self aware?
To a reductionist mindset, we are all just a clump of something, whether it be chemicals or cells. Myself, I cannot reconcile an objective formulation of individual human rights with a notion that an entire class of persons, easily the most vulnerable persons among the family of all humans, has their very right to any recognition being entirely dependent upon the whims of one female individual. We recoil in horror when a woman murders her child or allows them to suffer and die from neglect or from the violence of her boyfriend, but we shrug when she aborts a child because carrying a child to term would be inconvenient. I understand the rationale for the difference in reaction, but I do not agree with it.
What Ayn Rand clearly wasn't in favor of is something a famous trader calls "Govopoly". Atlas Shrugged is all about that. I'm not in favor of the social media government complex. It's terrible. As is the pharma-government complex. These things aren't legit business. There corrupt and destructive. One has to be able to differentiate between these and legit capitalism.
I liked her ability to reason but had trouble with her personality, in particular with her drug usage. I could not see how she would be able to have nearly cultish followers in the 'collective'.
I think the whole act of selfish has been redefined by the left and most religions to be a bad thing. We are conditioned from grade school to “give back.” I haven’t taken anything I didn’t work for -unless it was a ridiculous government handout like Covid money. I took it and pretended I was Ragnar.
I believe the gulch leans slightly to the right because the lefts main issue seems to be redistribution of wealth. A mortal sin in my book. 20th Century Motors would be a good case study. I am equally against crony capitalism which is an oxy moron. It’s my money ( money= my talent, my work, my time, my best self) taken by looters and given to moochers. By force. (Pay taxes or be destroyed).
Given all of the conditioning surrounding our every move we must always ask ourselves is my action benevolent, altruistic, forced. I’m benevolent. I am not altruistic. I’ll help my neighbor. I will not put my neighbor above self or my family. Selfish?
Altruism is the ally of the left and religion.
Ms Rand was atheist. There are a lot of believers in the gulch that want left alone in their belief, not get raped in their take home pay, and want to produce for the joy of producing. I’m a non believer. I’m pro life by choice. ( Ironic).
Also, I have read in The Ayn Rand Letter (a periodical she sent out for a while in the '70's), "one may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months." (That's a memory quote on my part).
I read a book once containing her "off-the-cuff" remarks, and one person asked her about that issue, and, as I recall, she waffled a bit, agreeing at one point that at a certain point that "it would be wrong to kill it"(the questioner's words), but after some discussion, she said it should be permitted up until birth. So it seems that she didn't say the same thing every time.
I don't know just what she would say now, but I know what I think about the issue.
The problem with Rand's reasoning behind her abortion position is that it could easily be extended until a person was capable of taking care of himself/herself (at least up into the teenage years).
The ugly truth is Planned Parenthood is a non-profit enterprise (an oxymoron) that was formed with a hidden agenda of eugenics. Margaret Sanger was a racist and saw abortion as a way of controlling the black population. Try to square that with a compass… This should not be in anyone’s rational self-interest, unless you just hate people, including yourself.
Going through something like that puts a little perspective on the issue.
All of those deceased ancestors spent at least 20 years in the hometown of Dow Chemical.
She had already survived a previous stroke.
“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”
Typically, selfish people are not concerned with how one's actions affect others.
Also, the 25 year age difference is actually immaterial. She was married. He was married. They each should have ended their own marriages first, then had their affair for as long as they both wished to. I also read that the affair dragged on a lot longer than he wanted. I do know he won't speak about it now, because I actually heard him say that in person.
I haven't found the kind of robust, intellectual debate anywhere else I can get on this forum. It doesn't matter whether I agree with the other viewpoint or not, the individuals on this forum are generally respectful in presenting their diverging opinions and back them up with with their best arguments rather than simply repeating tropes and talking points like elsewhere on the web.
As to the selfishness thing, that, too, has been debated on this forum. Personally, I think Rand used "selfishness" to drum up attention and to directly pick a fight with Christianity - which she had a decidedly negative view of. (Just an aside, but I really can't blame Rand for her negative view of the Russian Orthodox Church given its ostentatious displays of wealth and involvement with the Russian mafia who run the country.) Her definition for selfishness has also been called self-interest which is a fairly descriptive word for the attitude she wanted to focus on.
I think selfishness has two definitions. People commonly use “selfish” to mean dishonest. If you purposely trick an employee into providing something and you don’t pay him or if the employee takes the pay but doesn’t provide the work as agreed, people might call that “selfish”. That is not what Rand means, as least by my reading of it. I think she’s would call it selfish (in a good way) to fire an employee you don’t need anymore or for an employee to quit a job because he found a better one. The alternative to this selfishness is for the employer or employee to stay together because one feels sorry for the other, because they think it’s a virtue to be selfless, or because people with guns will come and take their stuff in the act of enforcing laws based on selflessness. People are motivated to create things either because it’s what is best for themselves or because they think it’s best for others. Working for your own interests is like working for money while working for others is a form of slavery. The Francisco d’Anconia money speech explains it way better.
I think Rand intentionally used a word that commonly means dishonest because she really believed in living for herself and she was not willing to surrender a word that starts with “self” to mean something opposite of what she believes in.
People don’t want a customer, employer, romantic interest, etc to stay with them out of pity. They want selfish (in Rand’s sense) arrangements that work for both parties.
I found the book Virtue of Selfishness easy to read, and I recommend it if you haven’t already gotten to it.
“I was really just kind of curious what draws people here when they don't seem to agree with her ideas.”
I have no idea. The vocal fans of Rand seem to interpret it exactly the opposite of my reading of Rand in almost every way, from the obsession with reactions from others, focus on politics, focus on groups over individuals, fantastical conspiratorial thinking, mean-spiritedness, to the rejection of facts and reason. I think it would do a lot of good for the world if somehow people could be introduced to the books without knowing about the nasty fanbase associated with them.
I agree. I dove into them mostly because one or another of them was on a list of distopian literature. I also ran across an article that said that a lot of conservative politicians who claim to be fans either have never read what she wrote or clearly didn't understand it.
I tend to read books the way I see movies. I ignore reviews if the summary of the contents sounds interesting to me.
Also, I'll have to say that I was very disappointed in the way Francisco's speech was handled in the movie series (barely at all), and I was not thrilled with the actors chosen to portray Francisco, either, among others. This is one of the downsides of reading a book and then watching a movie. It definitely did not fit with the movie already running in my head.
One of the most jarring aspects was that the characters were not consistent through the three episodes. That's because, of course, the producers and financiers simply couldn't commit to the expense of hiring all those actors for three movies, and the actors couldn't wait around, hoping to pick up the next gig, mainly because they couldn't be sure there'd even BE a next gig.
If you have Amazon Prime, the three movies are free to watch there. I saw them in the movie theatre, but I think you can get a real sense of them by watching them online or on your TV.
I agree Objectivists do not have a political party. Nor should they. Most just want to be left alone to pursue their rational self interest. I, myself, have "gone Galt" and have mostly disappeared. I choose with whom I discuss debateable subjects. I rarely comment. From what I can see here everyone is civil and can agree to disagree.
I'm personally not anti-big business. Am anti-abortion, and don't believe she had things right on religion either.
However, I believe we can agree to disagree.
I think a rational observer finds varied rational conclusions depending on the evidence and varied experiences.
Anti-corruption, pro individual liberty, pro free markets are a common thread, imo.
I've read several of Rand's works but by no means consider myself an authority.
Rand's philosophy is a life/living ideology. Once Mitosis occurs within the female it is no longer the host genetically and has its own existence (it own unique DNA). Murder being force....
At this juncture we're not splitting hairs over preserving natural rights. That other side gets both barrels should they "choose" to come.
If the SCOTUS do reverse Roe v Wade, it will only return the control of the issue to the states and the people, as the US Constitution intended.
With respect, I do understand your concerns.
All governments pursue power and individuals must act to limit that power. The more powerful the government, the greater the danger. No government can be trusted to keep you safe.
Don't let the media stoke your fears. You are a rational thinking person who must not be manipulated by fear into actually giving away your freedom for false political promises.
The “Right” used to be about imposing morality on people. Remember the “Moral Majority”?
The “Left” was about staying in your own lane. And freedom of choice.
The corporatists are playing both ends against the middle as they always have. But the middle is shrinking. Like a funnel. They’re going to have to pick a side sooner or later.
The parties have swapped ends. I can see it in the clueless gerontocracy (boomers) that sees the WOKE morality being imposed and they don’t realize that THEY VOTED THAT IN.
I too have been watching this happen.
Rand should have known better, Unless confronted with physical harmful intent, one does not have the right to kill another...can't get any simpler than that.
I have "chewed," understand, and for many years agreed with, the Objectivist position on abortion, but in recent years I've come to the conclusion - a conclusion possibly in error philosophically but which I believe is a line of thinking we must explore in any case - that Rand herself and all of the Objectivist community have made and are making a catastrophic error on abortion. I say "catastrophic" because if we've been wrong, we've been condoning murder on a massive scale. To put it in less inflammatory terms: We had better be right on this because human lives are literally hanging in the balance.
I won't try to present a thesis or treatise here - I would definitely hit the character-limit for this form 1/10 of the way in and I simply don't have the time or the formal expertise. But as briefly as possible, I think it's an error on two elements of metaphysics: causality and the nature of man.
In a nutshell, or the "standing on one foot" version:
Along with its epistemology, Objectivism correctly derives from the metaphysical fact of existence (reality) as an absolute, and of man's nature (as rational and individual,) as an absolute as well. All subsequent branches in philosophy's hierarchical structure - ethics, politics, aesthetics - stand atop that foundation and depend on it. In this particular context the relevant point is: man's individuality.
I submit that pregnancy, though a temporary condition, comprises a secondary metaphysical state of man that is utterly separate from, but no less factual than, individuality. It is a condition in which man becomes - again temporarily, but literally and factually - a duality rather than an individual; the only condition (aside from permanently-conjoined twins,) in which two human beings are physically part of one another, albeit briefly. The issue of the rights of mother vs. embryo must therefore be formulated not on the basis of individuality but rather on the metaphysical fact of duality.
So moving into ethics (and acknowledging the need for a lot of intermediate material to hash out 'twixt the two areas): As a duality, neither of the two has a right to kill the other for any reason (not that the issue of that decision ever comes up for the embryo, except for Embryo Chuck Norris,) any more than any individual has the right to kill any other individual.
The related, supporting metaphysical position (within Objectivism,) that "a potentiality is not an actuality and therefore cannot possess rights in any degree" I think is an error on causality.
The first analogy I thought about is that if someone is holding a ball made of chalk and drops it, by the laws of physics the ball will certainly hit the ground at some point; the fact that someone could take a bat, strike the ball halfway to the ground and disintegrate it into a cloud of dust that dissipates in the wind in a million different directions, does not invalidate the fact of the ball's initial existence or of gravity or of the laws of physics. It's not a perfect analogy, so another: If there's a nest of utterly helpless and defenseless baby birds screeching for food, and I capture the chicks' parents and lock them in a cage until the chicks die, it doesn't invalidate the fact that the chicks were, in fact, birds that would eventually have grown, learned to fly, and become 100% self-sufficient. To bring it to the physical connection element: If I remove an egg from a bird and cook it up for breakfast, does it somehow obliterate the egg's factual nature as a bird, albeit a bird at a very early step in its development?
The fact that an embryo is "a mass of protoplasm" that is "a potentiality" does not alter the biological fact that the nature of those protoplasmic cells is, in fact, that of human embryo cells right down to their DNA, or that those cells, invariably and inevitably, will in fact grow to a fully-formed human being - as a natural, causal process under normative conditions. The fact that that process is not complete and can be forcibly interrupted, cannot just magically wipe out - "Nothing to see here folks, move right along" fashion - the very nature of the entity itself. Or obliterate the causal fact of its ultimate development - or the fact that its nature remains its nature, A is A fashion, regardless of at which point in that process the entity happens to be sitting while being evaluated by others.
To put it a little more concisely, I do not agree with the idea that the mere fact of an entity - which exists and which has a particular, factual nature - being situated at a very early stage in its development, can thereby negate that entity's factual nature altogether. A thing is what it is, by its factual nature, no matter where it sits on the timeline of its existence.
Almost everyone discounts this essay as the primary for understanding. Try not to get dragged down in the vocabulary.
The Return of the Native
Philosophy, who needs it
Capitalism, an Unknown Ideal.
We the Living
The Virtues of Selfishness (clears the air on altruism)
The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged is so close to today's reality, I almost consider them non-fiction
More books for my TBR.
Yes, but what is the proper choice?
The proper choice is to protect your body from an unwanted pregnancy!
Make that choice before you take your clothes off!
To fail to make that proper choice is to be personally, grossly irresponsible!
Exceptions apply when the pregnancy is due to rape or incest and, in those
cases, earnest attempts should be made to achieve an embryo transfer or
an adoption to a woman seeking a child. Another exception would be in the
case where the embryo is not viable.
Abortion - times have changed, as has birth control (e.g. morning after pill). Abortion to 8 months and 29 days (or post birth, just letting the infant die, as was recently de-criminalized in MA) is extreme. Contrast that to abortion in the first trimester.
The former is probably abhorrent to most here, while the latter is probably palatable to most here (my assumptions).
Again - MY assumptions / attempt to frame the question/response - I'm not a very "frequent flyer" here.
While I agree with quite a lot of her positions, I do not agree with her completely and I personally believe that she would have approved of this position. I don't think anyone should slavishly agree with anyone.
As to big business, I believe that the Government should mostly stay out of the way and only interfere rarely and then with great reluctance.
As to abortion, I abhor it; yet, I believe that it is better for it to be legal than illegal, as this is a service that some desire.
We know the fetus becomes viable before full term birth because we have healthy premature births. So using purely Rand's logic, the date of acceptable choice for abortion moves to earlier date anyway, and will change with technological developments.
Personally I would want to see the limiting acceptable date much earlier than "viability" anyway. But fully banning abortions has no more reasonable logic than todays proposals (eg. Maryland) to allow "abortion" up to 28 days after birth. At least Rand had reason on her side, even if you don't agree with her conclusion.
Regarding Big businesses my take is that with lobbying and large cash donations from big business , regulations are used as a weapons to be used to stifle competition and hurt small business ability to exist. For a few decades at least the US has become fascist. Big business partnering with the Con-gress has enabled the
ceo’s To make absolute fortunes on the back of the laborers. Many CEOs had nothing to do with starting the co.s that they run and now more than ever they partner with Government to the detriment of the citizens. It’s often a good old boy network attempting to rip off the shareholders and exploit the work force. I think all here respect any whale who built a business and thrived. Regarding the abortion issue ,I was surprised that Ayn Rand did not put a bit more responsibility to the pregnancy on the copulaters.
Anyways, we, as society wrapped rules around this crap. Our rules are half-baked and full of superstition. But also designed to ensure the largest group of people survive into the future.
And that is the fundamental difference between the 2 sides in my opinion. The left believe we have too many people, and too few resources, and we should give to people based on their NEED. The more enlightened realize that EVERY PERSON on the earth today could easily fit in a 3ft square in Texas alone. Let that image sink in. The vast majority of this country and most countries are open land. A handful of cities hold the majority of our population. Their cognitive bias is skewed. And manipulated.
People today will answer this question: "Where does Electricity Come From?"
With: "The Wall and/or The Electric Company" (and thus missing the point that we CREATE it with Energy/Fuel)
Dob, I COMPLETELY agree that the Large Companies use the law as a barrier to entry for their competition.
The FDA shouldn't APPROVE drugs the way they do (and then go to work for those companies), despite the science.
I would be happy with the FDA being reduced to LABELLING.
- This is DANGEROUS/ADDICTIVE
- This May work for Pain
- This drug requires 1,000 people to take it for 1 person to get the benefit
Imagine... Meanwhile, let me harp on Vitamin C. We are told that High Dose Vitamin C does nothing to help colds, etc.
YET, Linus Pauling had plenty of evidence to the contrary... They REFUTED his studies by using PALTRY amounts of Vitamin C, but others later showed EVEN AT those amounts there was an OBVIOUS BENEFIT. Of the 2 sets of studies, which one do you think they published? Yep. The one that WRONGLY refuted Pauling (a 2 times Nobel Laureate).
Furthermore, there are a ton of Claims that High Dose Vitamin C was used to defeat Viral infections like Polio and Cancer. This was REALLY high dose stuff, given as an IV... Which allows 200 times the blood concentration (in line with what animals who produce their own C will produce).
Don't worry. That study was REFUTED with High Dose ORAL vitamin C. 30 years AFTER it was known that Oral Vitamin, regardless of the dose, can only raise the blood levels to a specific (200 times LOWER) range.
As an ENGINEER who wears a CGM. I took 6G of Vitamin C for a virus recently, and it spiked my glucose for 85 to 145. [This is FALSE. Vitamin C and Glucose are SO SIMILAR, that the CGM confuses one for the other! The MFG warns you of this]. Keep in mind that my actual Glucose (as measured with a blood stick) did not move.
Using this knowledge. Would a better study not consider using the Delta in the CGM value as a way to measure how much vitamin C was stored interstitually? (Which, FWIW, becomes a CONTINUOUS Source to replace the Vitamin C in the blood), and as my glucose dropped back down to NORMAL on the CGM... I could TELL I needed another Vitamin C dose.
Maybe it's just me. But I feel 80% of the problems we face are simply so easy to fix. It's not that we don't understand how to fix them. It is simply TOO PROFITABLE for a few, to payoff our "RULERS" to not let us get this level of information/education out to the people.
Our "Rulers" are captured by $ and re-election and corruption. The Captors are the biggest/wealthiest groups in the world.
And then there is us... We The Living... That are left... Depressingly so...
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