You are alive, reading English, at Objectivist Living, a forum. Valid. Well done.
This has nothing to do with the question I asked, which was based on the level of validity of our senses, or at least Rands ideas of them. Well done.
If I let my child die, say for instance abandoned her and ran away to save my own skin instead of fighting off robbers, or made no effort to rescue her from a burning building, or delegated her education to church and state instead of answering her questions honestly -- the life being betrayed is my own. There is no pride or joy in cowardice.
This is also completely off the point. Where was anything
said about pride, joy or cowardice?
Either your life is your highest value, or it is not. It is my understanding that Rand holds that it is. If this is incorrect, I'd like to know. Id it is correct, then why can't a rational person hold some others life as a higher value than their own.
Solar volition? Lunar? Do rocks or mushrooms choose their fate? Yet all of them cause man plenty of problems, or rather opportunity to study, think, experiment, take purposeful action (build a roof, make a calendar, melt iron ore and forge tools, use bleach and sunlight to control fungi). As Miss Rand used to say, there is only one choice: to think or evade the responsibility of thinking. That's the extent of your volition. To be or not to be.
Again, this is off the point of my question completely. I don;t really know what to say to you about this one.
1. "Rand seems to hold that our perception of reality is objective reality. Is this so?"
She holds that what we perceive with our senses is objective reality, a different claim altogether.
I think this is pretty much the same statement structured differently, if you disagree could you point out why?
Our perception of reality is what we perceive with our senses. What we perceive with out senses is of reality.
2. "Objectivism seems to hold that a person's life should be [his] highest value. I see no reason why a rational person could not hold something else, e.g. [his] child's life to be of greater value than [his] own."
You might, in extreme circumstances, willingly risk or forfeit your life for a loved one or for a cause (as in a war). Galt's radio speech talks about this, and Branden has an entry in VoS on the topic. This could be a rational act because that these values matter as much as life to you and you wouldn't want to live without them. Thus the fact that you value your life is the reason why you'd do this, more explanatorily powerful and more fundamental than these particular values. Another reason valuing your life is of higher priority is that you will make a lot of choices and pursue a lot of goals that aren't related to your concern for your child; valuing your life will explain these, too.
But if your life is your highest value, if you are "To hold one’s own life as one’s ultimate value" by very definition you cannot hold any other value to matter as much as your own life. Is this not a contradiction?
3. Here you have simply stated your opinion. You'll have to give reasons if this is to be philosophically interesting.
This isn't my opinion at all, it is what I have heard numerous times in defense of Objectivisms satance on free will.
"Choice, however, is not chance. Volition is not an exception to the Law of Causality; it is a type of causation."
Leonard Peikoff “The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy
So, I take it from this and most of my other readings that volition is a causa sui, a logical impossibility as I am sure you are aware.