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Dragonfly,

I spoke not of her adult state, but of her childhood, in which one's predispositions are revealed, for they have not yet been influenced by reasoning discourse with fellows who think differently. One who is taciturn through to his teenage years, who was not subjected to an unusual amount of terror or suffering in his environment, and hasn't any speech or linguistic impediments, is likely taciturn because his ego has never grown enough to give him confidence in what he thinks, in the light of what others think. He may also wish to please others by listening to what they have to say.

Now ye may say, "Roark is taciturn." But Roark wishes to listen to the fools around him because he knows that that is the quickest way to have them leave him alone, and furthermore, nothing he says can affect them any more than their words affected him. For the same reason, he does not start up many conversations. Indeed, silence often says enough between heroes.

The bottom line is that I had all sorts of fruitless but informative discussions with this taciturn, selfless girl, and she told me how pointedly she has always believed in selflessness. I know her circumstances; the description about the weak ego above is applicable to her, if not to everyone. She can never become an objectivist because she will never read Rand's works.

Brant,

As you can see from the above paragraph, I cannot be distorting my view of her, because I have heard explicit affirmations of her greatest conviction, which is the virtue of selflessness (and her unawareness of her aforementioned hypocritical selfish selflessness).

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Brant,

As you can see from the above paragraph, I cannot be distorting my view of her, because I have heard explicit affirmations of her greatest conviction, which is the virtue of selflessness (and her unawareness of her aforementioned hypocritical selfish selflessness).

Peter,

Are you sure she isn't straight-arming you? <_<

--Brant

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Brant,

As you can see from the above paragraph, I cannot be distorting my view of her, because I have heard explicit affirmations of her greatest conviction, which is the virtue of selflessness (and her unawareness of her aforementioned hypocritical selfish selflessness).

Peter,

Are you sure she isn't straight-arming you? <_<

--Brant

I didn't mean to say that she ever became aware of her "selfish selfishness;" sorry if it was unclear.

Nah, we were young non-objectivists: we hadn't developed tastes for deceit. We never conversed but frankly, for we hoped to gain philosophical understanding by mutual self-analysis. But being postmodernists at heart, like the "wet nurse" of Atlas Shrugged, we learned a sum of nothing. There is no Hugh Akston to teach us; we are receiving postmodernist education. Too bad she didn't have an employer to educate her. I am lucky that mine lent me Atlas Shrugged. Anyway, I went through this whole course with her over the last two years. Having put off reading Rand because she was apparently aligned with the conservatives, I at last wished to escape all the nonsense. Having little else to do this summer but to read less interesting science textbooks, I latched desperately onto the profundity that I had seen upon a glance at the book last summer. I did not see right away how objectivism could be the one right philosophy, but I latched further onto it because it posited an alternative to this girl's contagious selflessness. Alas, it is too late in her life to show it to her: not because her convictions are any stronger with age, but simply because she will never take the time to read the requisite epic, since she will spend her time either studying socialism or enjoying her life by getting away via mindless and occasionally drunken diversion from the focus of her life: political and/or economic socialism (a.k.a. social democracy and The Green Revolution).

So I know absolutely that she has this strong selflessless and that she thinks that she finds her prospective profession virtuous because it is socialistic.

Don't feel obliged to devise a way of convincing her of anything. I told her a month ago that I wanted no more words with her. She admits that political science readings are amounting to little substance, and given this environment in which proper moral instruction comes by the chance of having a wise employer, she has been cast into the pool of no substance, and only John Galt himself might get her out.

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Brant,

As you can see from the above paragraph, I cannot be distorting my view of her, because I have heard explicit affirmations of her greatest conviction, which is the virtue of selflessness (and her unawareness of her aforementioned hypocritical selfish selflessness).

Peter,

Are you sure she isn't straight-arming you? <_<

--Brant

I didn't mean to say that she ever became aware of her "selfish selfishness;" sorry if it was unclear.

Nah, we were young non-objectivists: we hadn't developed tastes for deceit. We never conversed but frankly, for we hoped to gain philosophical understanding by mutual self-analysis. But being postmodernists at heart, like the "wet nurse" of Atlas Shrugged, we learned a sum of nothing. There is no Hugh Akston to teach us; we are receiving postmodernist education. Too bad she didn't have an employer to educate her. I am lucky that mine lent me Atlas Shrugged. Anyway, I went through this whole course with her over the last two years. Having put off reading Rand because she was apparently aligned with the conservatives, I at last wished to escape all the nonsense. Having little else to do this summer but to read less interesting science textbooks, I latched desperately onto the profundity that I had seen upon a glance at the book last summer. I did not see right away how objectivism could be the one right philosophy, but I latched further onto it because it posited an alternative to this girl's contagious selflessness. Alas, it is too late in her life to show it to her: not because her convictions are any stronger with age, but simply because she will never take the time to read the requisite epic, since she will spend her time either studying socialism or enjoying her life by getting away via mindless and occasionally drunken diversion from the focus of her life: political and/or economic socialism (a.k.a. social democracy and The Green Revolution).

So I know absolutely that she has this strong selflessless and that she thinks that she finds her prospective profession virtuous because it is socialistic.

Don't feel obliged to devise a way of convincing her of anything. I told her a month ago that I wanted no more words with her. She admits that political science readings are amounting to little substance, and given this environment in which proper moral instruction comes by the chance of having a wise employer, she has been cast into the pool of no substance, and only John Galt himself might get her out.

Peter,

She straight-armed you. Good luck with the next one. I'm 63 struggling with Objectivism since 1963. Considering the effect it has had on you at your tender age I suspect you won't be coming up for (non-Objectivist) air for at least 20 years. You need to learn the difference between Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand and Objectivism. Your intelligence has run away with your imagination leaving you in a prison of faith--but--HOWEVER--at the age of 19 you should concern yourself with you, not her. Consider my thesis: Ayn Rand in many ways never grew up. She remained an adolescent all the rest of her actual post-adolescent life. Without saying that that was good or bad (for her), I would like to suggest that a philosophy of "selfishness" is appropriate more to a child or an adolescent than an adult. This is really not philosophy, it's psychology. "Objectivism" is honoring the child within us. You've done that. Time to move on. Such is the way you honor yourself today, not tomorrow. But first, indulge yourself; it's wonderful!

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede
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Brant,

Will I come up for air in twenty years because I will not find a woman who believes in Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand? If that is the issue, it may be different now because of the Internet and particularly this forum here. Objectivists believe that the world only gets better, in general, with technological progress. This Internet is a product of the current greatest Age (as all Ages are the greatest ones yet). So in this greatest Age I may be supplied with the sort of woman that might not even step foot upon a university or workplace of mine.

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His findings, published in a book, The God Gene: How Faith Is

Hard-Wired Into Our Genes, were greeted sceptically by many in the

religious establishment.

Faith in what? Einstein's spiritual inclinations (for example) did not take him into conventional religious belief. Einstein believed in a basic Order in the Cosmos. He believed that things did not happen willy-nilly. He sometimes articulated this belief in terms of God, but Einstein's God is not the same as Rabbi Hillel's God or St. Augustine's God

The Rev Dr John Polkinghorne, a fellow of the Royal Society and a Canon

Theologian at Liverpool Cathedral, said: "The idea of a god gene goes

against all my personal theological convictions. You can't cut faith

down to the lowest common denominator of genetic survival. It shows the

poverty of reductionist thinking."

The Rev Dr Walter Houston, the chaplain of Mansfield College, Oxford,

and a fellow in theology, said: "Religious belief is not just related

to a person's constitution; it's related to society, tradition,

character - everything's involved. Having a gene that could do all that

seems pretty unlikely to me."

Bingo! Genes may regulate how -well- our brains work. They do not determine the content of our knowledge.

The specific data and hypotheses we carry around (in encoded form in our brains) is a product of experience which is dependent on both choice and chance.

I get very annoyed when people read Religion into or out of science. Science is about the way the (phenomenal) world -is-, not how we wish it to be. My objection is the inverse of Polkinhorne's. Polkinhorne does not want spirituality polluted by reductionism. I do not want reductionism polluted by spirituality.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf
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Science is about the way the (phenomenal) world -is

Yer Kantian underpants are showing.

Not at all. The pheonomena are all we get. What we see (perceive) is what we get :WWSIWWG. I do not share Kant's assertion that necessary synthetic a priori judgements exist. All synthetic statements (statements about the world) are a posteriori. The only necessary universal truth I hold is the principle of non-contradiction. Everything else is either inference or observations of particulars.

Science is about the way the world is, as given to us through our senses which is the only way we get the world. The theories we construct are high grade guesswork constrained by empirical testing.

You may call me an empiricist, a pragmatist, an instrumentalist but kindly do not call me a Kantian. I oppose Kant's philosophy as he expresses it in -Critique of Pure Reason- quite strenuously. I am more on the same page with Hume and Hobbes.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I spoke not of her adult state, but of her childhood, in which one's predispositions are revealed, for they have not yet been influenced by reasoning discourse with fellows who think differently. One who is taciturn through to his teenage years, who was not subjected to an unusual amount of terror or suffering in his environment, and hasn't any speech or linguistic impediments, is likely taciturn because his ego has never grown enough to give him confidence in what he thinks, in the light of what others think. He may also wish to please others by listening to what they have to say.

That is amateur psychology. Such an explanation might be possible in some cases (as in your particular example), but there isn't any evidence that this is generally true. I am myself (and have always been) a very taciturn person. In my youth that gave me even the nickname "Willem de Zwijger" ("William the Silent", nickname of Willem van Oranje). That has nothing to do with the confidence in what I think, it's probably a genetic trait. I'm just more a thinker than a talker. That reminds me of something: a few years ago I had after some fifty years again contact with one of my classmates from the elementary school (thanks to the Internet!). We told each other what we had done those years, and one of his remarks was: "you were always a thinker", so it seems that it had been a character trait from the beginning.

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  • 6 months later...

About the earlier comment that we cannot learn about human psychology by reference to Randian archetypes:

I think this is partly true since most people are mixed characters. I very, very rarely run into Tooheys or Roarks. However, I think that the Randian archetypes are valid in the sense that people's psychologies are made up of mixtures of these ingredients. Rand identified the ingredients pretty well, but she glossed over the fact that the vast majority of people are mixtures.

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