Don E.

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    Don Erbe
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  1. Don E.

    Galt's Oath

    The context I'm referring to is a.) the surrounding text, which, as you have acknowledged, contains more explanation of the beneficiary statement, b.) The rest of VOS, and c.) The rest of Ayn Rand's writing. Using all this context, I think it's easy to understand what she meant by the beneficiary/breach stuff. And clearly you do understand what she meant. And that's really my only goal when reading VOS, or any of her books - to understand her ideas. But it seems like you're interested in something more than that. You agreed that you are demanding more precision from her writing than I am. Can
  2. Michael, I want you to know that I've re-read your post here several times: http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?/topic/16120-galts-oath/&do=findComment&comment=258448 It's rare in life that I encounter any real wisdom. Are you a psychologist? Because this is great stuff. I got a big dose of wisdom 20 years ago when I first read Ayn Rand. But other than that, it's been pretty rare. And as a kid growing up there was nobody around me dispensing wisdom - just religious people telling me what to think, and getting annoyed with me for asking too many questions. So it
  3. It's true that there is a lot of irrationality and dishonesty in the world. But are any of those dishonest people you mentioned anywhere you want to be? Would you really want a job in a corrupt, dishonest government? Do you want to be a filthy rich thug? This country is still free enough where you can make an honest living for yourself, and achieve a good level of success, without compromising your honesty or rationality. It's nowhere near the ideal of Galt's Gulch, of course. But be glad you don't live in a truly irrational time or place, where you would be killed for having rational thoughts
  4. The only ones I know are from the band Rush. Geddy Lee's real name is "Gary Lee Weinrib". His friends called him Geddy because when his mother, a Holocaust survivor from Poland with a thick accent, said "Gary", it sounded like "Geddy". Alex Lifeson's real name is Alexandar Zivojinovich. "Lifeson" is a translation of his actual Serbian last name, which means "son of life".
  5. Don E.

    Galt's Oath

    Haha, sounds good. I've always been interested to hear rational people with reasonable arguments against Rand's ideas. Every criticism I've ever seen of her before has either misinterpreted her ideas, or been based on uninformed hearsay (i.e. people who have never even read her work, just heard that "it's all about selfishness"), or criticized her style rather than the substance, or attacked her as a person for insignificant things. And I've also heard the criticism that "you fall in love with Ayn Rand in high school, but then when you get into the real world, you grow out of her". And I've ne
  6. Don E.

    Galt's Oath

    Haha, ok, thanks for clarifying. And thanks for the compliment. I did look up "bottom" before I questioned you, because you seemed to be using it in a way unfamiliar to me, and I already "gaffed" on your "guffaw" earlier. But the only definitions I found were "the lowest part", "the buttocks", and also a rather untoward definition on urbandictionary.com: <link>. So it sounded like you were calling me some kind of lowly person, some kind of ass, or something else entirely (not that there's anything wrong with that). I'm glad you had another definition in mind. I've never heard "bottom" a
  7. Don E.

    Galt's Oath

    What's that supposed to mean? I get the impression that you're repeatedly going out of your way to hurl insults at me, and I'm not sure why.
  8. Don E.

    Galt's Oath

    merjet, thanks for elaborating. I do now see that your position is sincere, and I can sort of see where you're coming from, so I apologize for taking an accusatory tone earlier. But I still disagree with you. We may just have to agree to disagree. But I'll try to argue my side again. So the statement we're talking about (out of context) is: "The Objectivist ethics holds that the actor must always be the beneficiary of his action..." I agree that IF you interpret that literally, out of context, it presents a false dichotomy as you've pointed out, because it implies one beneficiary. Whic
  9. Don E.

    Galt's Oath

    No, I think you must be confusing me with someone else. I am new to this forum, but not new to Objectivism. I first read Atlas Shrugged 20 years ago, and soon after that I read all her fiction and non-fiction, and I've continued to read a lot of the other Objectivist literature as well. So I'm well-versed in Objectivism, and I do consider myself an Objectivist. Thanks, that's good to know.
  10. Don E.

    Galt's Oath

    You're right. I thought "guffaw" meant "mistake". My mistake. I must have been thinking of "gaffe". I suppose that was another guffaw for you. Well, I think an honest debate is one in which you consider each and every point your opponent raises, and try to address it with your own reasoning and evidence, and elaborate as much as possible to make your meaning clear. As opposed to just making unsupported claims, or ignoring your opponent's points. As I said, communication involves both understanding and being understood, and both parts are the responsibility of both participants. So I
  11. Don E.

    Galt's Oath

    I disagree that these were "guffaws". The first was just modesty, and I don't know of any Objectivist principle that prohibits modesty. I do believe I am 100% honest. But saying it that way makes me sound like an asshole. And believe it or not, I do make an effort to not be an asshole. (You seem to be doing the opposite.) So that's why I phrased it as "I try" to be honest; I allow others to decide for themselves whether I am or not, even though I know I am, and I don't really care whether they know it or not. My honest actions and honest debates and honest reasoning will speak louder than any
  12. Don E.

    Galt's Oath

    Michael, thank you very much for that thoughtful reply. Very interesting and enlightening, and wise. I'm glad you appreciate that I'm not trying to be offensive, because that's not my goal. I will try to be more tactful, and think about framing. And I think you nailed my perspective exactly, so I'm glad you see where I'm coming from. But, I'm still not sure I understand what merjet's frame is. I tried to be clear that I don't want to believe that merjet is dishonest, but I did want to make it clear that that's the impression I was getting, and that I couldn't come up with any other expla
  13. Don E.

    Galt's Oath

    If violence is the best argument you can come up with, you're not a very reasonable person. Sorry if I used the word "honest" too much for you, but it's one of the most important virtues - not just to Objectivists, but to any decent human being.
  14. What was wrong with it? You guys are just making bald assertions, that he's "clueless", and "hard to watch", without providing any reasoning or evidence. If you read the first page (8 paragraphs or so) of the Introduction to VOS, Ayn Rand answers that exact question herself - why she chose to use the word "selfish" - and Yaron's answer sounded perfectly consistent with her answer, to me. Can you elaborate on your viewpoint?
  15. Don E.

    Galt's Oath

    merjet, I joined this forum to meet like-minded people, not to offend people. So I'm sorry that it's come to that. I admit I have been offensive to you, but it's only because, so far, based on your interpretation of the beneficiary-breach statement, my impression has been that you're dishonest, and dishonesty offends me. This impression could be mistaken, and I hope it is. So far I've been unable to read between the lines of your terse responses to determine the mindset and motivation behind them. So I asked you those direct questions in order to give you the opportunity to describe you