Sexual Ethics


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2 hours ago, moralist said:

Those who deny the existence of Conscience have robbed themselves of moral choice, and have sentenced themselves to compulsively and indiscriminately act on their every thought and emotion. For they have affirmed the lie that they are nothing more than what they subjectively think and feel.

You seem to believe thought is something that happens to you nonvolitionally, that you cannot direct your thoughts, that you have no choice in your thought process.

For me, thinking is (at least to a large degree) a choice.

Take smoking as an example. I have often wondered why intelligent people take up smoking when the evils of smoking are common knowledge. The answer seems to be that it is not enough to be intelligent; intelligence must be applied by an act of volition. How many people would smoke that first cigarette if before doing so they sat themselves down and made a list of positives and a list of negatives and arrived at the decision by a process of reason, as carefully and thoroughly as they might do for a career choice or which house to buy? Probably not one smoker in a thousand started smoking this way. Why? Because it would require an act of volition. No matter how high their IQ is, they must perform this act of volition if they are to use their intelligence.

Both Aristotle and Ayn Rand defined man as the animal with the faculty of reason. (Rational animal is misleading.) But the faculty of reason is volitional like arms and legs, not automatic like heart and stomach. Perhaps some of both like lungs. Having the faculty of reason does not imply using it. It is possible to have a faculty of reason and not use it, as in the case of a very intelligent person taking up a poison habit. To live rationally requires choosing to use the faculty of reason in decision making, repeatedly as a way of life.

To me, "moral choice" means performing the act of volition to use the faculty of reason to make decisions. Those who do not perform this act of volition sentence themselves to live compulsively and indiscriminately.

 

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Okay, you forced my hand. Sex has nothing to do with children or evolution. I've created a lot of fictional characters over the years, many of whom I liked and respected. A few were modeled on pe

4 hours ago, jts said:

You seem to believe thought is something that happens to you nonvolitionally, that you cannot direct your thoughts, that you have no choice in your thought process.

For me, thinking is (at least to a large degree) a choice.

I'll remind you that you clearly stated your opinion that no moral choice exists outside of thought and emotion. And that you are the sum total of what you think and feel and nothing more. You're standing in the bucket of thought and emotion and no matter how hard you pull on the handle, you are totally powerless to lift it off the ground. You are not the master of thought and emotion. They are the masters of you and you are their victim. You can only compulsively act on them in the belief that you are the sole originator of thought and emotion. So in your approach, it is impossible to act against your own self, for that is all you are and nothing else.

In my view, my volition lies in my choice of how I relate to thought and emotion. I am free to observe them as if they are not me... and from this vantage point I am free to choose whether or not to act on them, or simply to let them pass by unresponded. By my approach, I am the master of thought and emotion. They have no power over me that I don't first freely choose to give to them.

 

These two are completely different approaches to living... and each sets into motion completely different just and deserved consequences.

 

Greg

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1 hour ago, moralist said:

I'll remind you that you clearly stated your opinion that no moral choice exists outside of thought and emotion. And that you are the sum total of what you think and feel and nothing more. You're standing in the bucket of thought and emotion and no matter how hard you pull on the handle, you are totally powerless to lift it off the ground. You are not the master of thought and emotion. They are the masters of you and you are their victim. You can only compulsively act on them in the belief that you are the sole originator of thought and emotion. So in your approach, it is impossible to act against your own self, for that is all you are and nothing else.

In my view, my volition lies in my choice of how I relate to thought and emotion. I am free to observe them as if they are not me... and from this vantage point I am free to choose whether or not to act on them, or simply to let them pass by unresponded. By my approach, I am the master of thought and emotion. They have no power over me that I don't first freely choose to give to them.

These two are completely different approaches to living... and each sets into motion completely different just and deserved consequences.

Greg

If you don't know what thinking is you can write this stuff. Observation without thinking reminds me of pot smokers enjoying their weed.

--Brant

thinking about what you are thinking (and feeling) to a conclusion is how you lift that bucket

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1 hour ago, moralist said:

I'll remind you that you clearly stated your opinion that no moral choice exists outside of thought and emotion. And that you are the sum total of what you think and feel and nothing more. You're standing in the bucket of thought and emotion and no matter how hard you pull on the handle, you are totally powerless to lift it off the ground. You are not the master of thought and emotion. They are the masters of you and you are their victim. You can only compulsively act on them in the belief that you are the sole originator of thought and emotion. So in your approach, it is impossible to act against your own self, for that is all you are and nothing else.

In my view, my volition lies in my choice of how I relate to thought and emotion. I am free to observe them as if they are not me... and from this vantage point I am free to choose whether or not to act on them, or simply to let them pass by unresponded. By my approach, I am the master of thought and emotion. They have no power over me that I don't first freely choose to give to them.

If I understand you right, you don't think. Thinking is not something you do; it is something you observe. You have no control over your thought process.

But you are master of your thought process, your mastery consisting of the choice to act on it or not. I have that option too. But to me, acting contrary to my thinking would be what I would call acting contrary to reason. So I choose to act according to reason. But acting according to reason is acting compulsively, you say. Bad!

I can understand how a religious person might take your view of thinking. If you are taught from earliest childhood that there is a God and the Bible is the infallible word of God, and then you run into some questions about the existence of God and about the infallibleness of the Bible, you might be terrified by the direction your thought process is going because it would weaken your faith and you might say "get thee behind me Satan" and you might choose to act contrary to your thought process. So I can understand how you might have developed your relationship between yourself and your thinking.

 

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9 hours ago, jts said:

If I understand you right, you don't think. Thinking is not something you do; it is something you observe. You have no control over your thought process.

But you are master of your thought process, your mastery consisting of the choice to act on it or not. I have that option too. But to me, acting contrary to my thinking would be what I would call acting contrary to reason. So I choose to act according to reason. But acting according to reason is acting compulsively, you say. Bad!

I have seen myself think using PET scan and MRI machines.  There is a lot going on under the hood,  but much of it I cannot experience in a conscious manner. 

"

"I can understand how a religious person might take your view of thinking. If you are taught from earliest childhood that there is a God and the Bible is the infallible word of God, and then you run into some questions about the existence of God and about the infallibleness of the Bible,...."

I have come to the opinion that the Bible (and other "holy books")  are a children's version of the cosmos,  formulated at a time before empirical science was well developed.  We have gotten into the scientific mode  only in the last 500 years or so.  For the 15,000 years that humans have been civilized  we operated mostly by crude empirical data  and  superstitious fear.   What one does not understand, one may become afraid of....

At best the Bible presents a cartoon version of God.  If there is a Real God   It is nothing  or very little like the  dreadful  thing  told about in the Bible and the other Holy Books.   

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11 hours ago, jts said:

 

 

11 hours ago, jts said:

If I understand you right, you don't think. Thinking is not something you do; it is something you observe.

Yes, I am not the thinker. I am the observer. It's from the vantage point as if I'm someone else looking at myself. in this manner it is possible to be calm and objective self aware observer rather than a powerless compulsive victim of emotional upset.

I observe thought and I observe my emotional reactions to thought. With this approach I have the choice of whether or not to act on thought and emotion. I don't try to control thought and emotion. But rather the control I have is the free choice of what I DO or DON'T DO about thought and emotion.

This makes for a happy productive meaningful life. Anyone who becomes the master of their thoughts and emotions rather than their slave will live a good life.

 

Greg

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44 minutes ago, moralist said:

 

Yes, I am not the thinker. I am the observer. It's from the vantage point as if I'm someone else looking at myself. in this manner it is possible to be calm and objective self aware observer rather than a powerless compulsive victim of emotional upset.

I observe thought and I observe my emotional reactions to thought. With this approach I have the choice of whether or not to act on thought and emotion. I don't try to control thought and emotion. But rather the control I have is the free choice of what I DO or DON'T DO about thought and emotion.

This makes for a happy productive meaningful life. Anyone who becomes the master of their thoughts and emotions rather than their slave will live a good life.

 

Greg

Hey Greg! Not for the first time has it been pointed out that you do an awful lot of thinking for someone who's not a thinker!.

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1 hour ago, anthony said:

Hey Greg! Not for the first time has it been pointed out that you do an awful lot of thinking for someone who's not a thinker!.

I do observe a lot of thoughts, Tony! :lol:

And it is this act of observation which gives rise to other thoughts which would not have occurred had the observation not taken place.

This is nothing new, but is simply the natural process which unfolds from cultivating self awareness.

 

There are two ways to relate to thought.

One is like being in a movie theater forgetting yourself by becoming immersed in emoting to the drama of the movie as if it's you in the movie.

While the other is watching the movie while being aware that it's just a movie and you are the calm emotionally uninvolved observer sitting in the theater.

 

Guess which approach yields finer quality responses to the world. nodder.gif

 

Greg

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42 minutes ago, moralist said:

There are two ways to relate to thought.

One is like being in a movie theater forgetting yourself by becoming immersed in emoting to the drama of the movie as if it's you in the movie.

While the other is watching the movie while being aware that it's just a movie and you are the calm emotionally uninvolved observer sitting in the theater.

In the 1960s, many years ago, when I was ignorant and didn't know better, I took a prescription drug from a doctor, something I never did before or since. I took as prescribed 2 or 3 times, disliked the effect and then quit. It caused my mind to be out of control. I could not control my thinking. I do not believe this is a good way to be.

If you want to watch a movie where you have control of the movie, you might want 0ad. You can install this game for free using the synaptic package manager in ubuntu or whatever way you install stuff with the operating system you are using.

https://play0ad.com/

 

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7 minutes ago, moralist said:

Your description is wrong Brant. It's observing thought and emotion.

 

Greg

You can observe thought with thinking or without thinking.

To illustrate there is a form of chess called 'advanced chess'. This is human and machine versus human and machine. You get to observe the chess engine's 'thoughts'. If it is like chessbomb it will give you the top 4 moves, analysis of each, evaluation of each. You can observe the engine's thinking with or without thought. If without thought, you probably will pick the top move every time and there will be no difference between the human-machine team and the machine by itself. If with thought, you might differentiate between 2 equal moves, one with high probability of a draw, one with low probability of a draw, the former favoring the weaker team, the latter favoring the stronger team.

 

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22 minutes ago, jts said:

You can observe thought with thinking or without thinking.

There will be thoughts about the thoughts that you observe, and you can also observe those thoughts as well...  even as there are more thoughts as the result of the thoughts you observed.

From the two ways to relate to thought and emotion... there are two courses of action.

1. Compusively acting on every thought and emotion.

2. Consciously choosing to act only on the thought and emotion you see is morally right to do in the moment.

Number one is where you believe thought and emotion is the totality of your being... and nothing else.

Number two is where you see that you are not thought or emotion, but rather the being who observes thought and emotion.

Everyone chooses between these two states and gets exactly what they deserve as the result of their choice.

 

Greg

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6 hours ago, jts said:

If you want to watch a movie where you have control of the movie, you might want 0ad. You can install this game for free using the synaptic package manager in ubuntu or whatever way you install stuff with the operating system you are using.

https://play0ad.com/

 

I'm not into sims. I like real life better where I actually build real things in the real world.

 

Greg

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13 minutes ago, moralist said:

I'm not into sims. I like real life better where I actually build real things in the real world.

Greg

I don't think some of us are physically up to that.

I believe the Boeing 287 was first built on a computer with no prototype though the first plane was donated to a museum.

Of course I'm not talking about Sims but real life too. Sims seem gamey to me. I remember "Sim City" from the early 1990s. I got so bored so fast.

--Brant

it's hard to improve on Monopoly--try to get all the orange properties (I'm told)

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4 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

I don't think some of us are physically up to that.

That's a personal choice based on an individual situation. I also play casual virtual games like solitaire, but I really enjoy being outside gardening because it's real.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/23/2017 at 6:03 PM, Brant Gaede said:

I don't think some of us are physically up to that.

I believe the Boeing 287 was first built on a computer with no prototype though the first plane was donated to a museum.

Of course I'm not talking about Sims but real life too. Sims seem gamey to me. I remember "Sim City" from the early 1990s. I got so bored so fast.

--Brant

it's hard to improve on Monopoly--try to get all the orange properties (I'm told)

That should be Boeing 787.

--Brant

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I'll come back and edit this post after reading all the posts int.  Although I stand by my original post I'm a hypocrite.  It occurred to me, if you desire a certain individual, it is because they have value, a person who has value can either act as a destroyer or a creator.  Sex shows who a person really is.  The following is mystical: you can show someone to live by how you have sex-perhaps infusing them with confidence forever.  Is it possible that a prime mover can do what Roark does for the child in the first section of "Howard Roark" in "The Fountainhead", by selectively having sex?

Neverless, I view sex as evil out of love.  To make it less evil-you must rationally cover all the bases: make sure there is birth control involved.  You must be ready to, at that moment, be a parent, though you must verbalize that you don't want to & why you don't.  Don't accept my moral commandments unless they are correct for you.

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Atlas head wrote: Never(the)less, I view sex as evil out of love. end quote

Not it is not! We are programed to find the other sex attractive. After the visual attraction which is genetic and cultural, (weight, ratio of hip to waist to bosom, symmetric-ality of face, ?eye make up and dress?) we want to push, slide, and ejaculate because that is life itself. It is part of who we are. The universe and its natural processes are not evil and we cannot escape them.

And even gay people are *natural.* Why do gay people continue to pop up in the population if they do not reproduce? Because their brothers and sisters reproduce and in a clan or cave environment  that means the gays possess one more set of hands and eyes to care for the young. And a gay man is not in competition to *score* with the available females. It’s a win, win situation . So the gene line continues and prospers.

Peter         

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9 hours ago, Peter said:

Atlas head wrote: Never(the)less, I view sex as evil out of love. end quote

Not it is not! We are programed to find the other sex attractive. After the visual attraction which is genetic and cultural, (weight, ratio of hip to waist to bosom, symmetric-ality of face, ?eye make up and dress?) we want to push, slide, and ejaculate because that is life itself. It is part of who we are. The universe and its natural processes are not evil and we cannot escape them.

And even gay people are *natural.* Why do gay people continue to pop up in the population if they do not reproduce? Because their brothers and sisters reproduce and in a clan or cave environment  that means the gays possess one more set of hands and eyes to care for the young. And a gay man is not in competition to *score* with the available females. It’s a win, win situation . So the gene line continues and prospers.

Peter         

Three cheers for Lust!

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Ba’al wrote. “Three cheers for Lust!”

That works for the hormone driven, but it needs to be scientifically explored. Three cheers for evolution. Three cheers for survival. Three cheers for sentient beings. Three (3) cheers for the universe!

Peter

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8 hours ago, Peter said:

Ba’al wrote. “Three cheers for Lust!”

That works for the hormone driven, but it needs to be scientifically explored. Three cheers for evolution. Three cheers for survival. Three cheers for sentient beings. Three (3) cheers for the universe!

Peter

Okay, you forced my hand. Sex has nothing to do with children or evolution.

I've created a lot of fictional characters over the years, many of whom I liked and respected. A few were modeled on people I knew, supporting characters whose personalities were frozen -- well, that's a bit harsh, let's say inflexible, unable to transform. It happens in life to most people. Their formative battles were fought long ago, and it shaped how they think and live. All of them deserve honorable mention to acknowledge their strengths and sorrows.

It's important always to treat a character with respect, even the tawdry ones, the bit players and stock figures -- tailors, waiters, uniformed cops, cab drivers. Little glimpses need to be three-dimensional and real. It's never wrong to be honest about where they are in life, how they move, talk, think, hide themselves from others.

Characters who transform, undertake challenges and put their future at risk, are "principal players." There is no story without such people. Some of them are heroic men and women, some are dangerous villains. It's possible to see virtue in a villain, no different than a hero with inner conflicts and limitations. I'm speaking mostly of male characters. Women seldom deliberately do wrong, although it's good to see the extreme and exceptional. One of my favorites was a film star -- Ophilia Opfir -- always outrageous, mercurial, a comic figure. Now that I think of it, all of my women were wonderfully complicated. The Good Walk Alone had several female characters, no two alike, vital to the story line. In Mars Shall Thunder, Wendy and Emma Churchill played pivotal supporting roles, far more important than the men.

Leading ladies are important to me. Sorry, that's an understatement. The Good Walk Alone is Janet DiMarco's story. Mars Shall Thunder is Laura Oak's story. Chris is nothing until he meets Peachy in A Portrait of Valor.

Chris and Peachy are the subject of this essay. For the rest of my remaining days as a writer, I will author stories about them, as they mature in life as a married couple. It's interesting how they emerged in a tutorial of screenwriting on Zoetrope, to explain a method of organizing and creating scenes. Movies usually have 40 scenes. It's not important to start at Scene #1. Scenes can be written out of sequence, if you have a good outline, each scene with a unique dramatic action, no two scenes alike. The method of organizing a movie using Scene Cards is something that I was blessed to get from a profoundly talented mentor a long time ago. It's explained in Screenwriting Form & Structure, and there's a video on Vimeo that shows how Scene Cards are useful in story rewrite, to identify and resolve problems.

To demonstrate Scene Card logic, I offered to write a screenplay out of sequence. Members of my private office at Zoetrope could pick a number, any number, from 1 to 40 in a story outline, and I'd write that scene to a budget of pages for that particular scene. Some were simple and quick, others were long dialogue scenes, or tense action, or lonely monologue. No two scenes alike, remember? The result was a completed screenplay called The Case of The Empty Case, and it introduced Chris Cable, private detective, and Mary Blount, Ph.D., a spectacularly stunning babe he orders to scram, go away, while he's dealing with a suitcase bomb parked in front of his office door. He doesn't know her name, calls her Peachy.

It wasn't supposed to be a good story. It was a practical demonstration of a movie structure, how to conceive and execute individual scenes. Years later, at a watershed moment in my writing career, I thought of Chris and Peachy again. They deserved a series of novels. I risked everything to do it -- personally, financially, artistically. I don't regret it, although I doubt that Chris and Peachy will be well received by readers. I'm writing purely for myself, something I felt drawn to do after 30 years of storytelling, some of which was work for hire, a polite term for prostitution. It became important to give Chris and Peachy a voice of their own, in honor of their exceptional lives and exceptional challenges.

A narrative novel is supremely expressive. Every word matters. I cringe whenever a typo or an ill-chosen word appears in print, self-published. It's humiliating to be self-published; I do it to archive the work. Others can make Kindle or POD successful. I can't. Please don't offer suggestions about marketing, or writing popular material in well-grooved genres. Chris and Peachy matter more than money.

Christopher Cable, P.I., is a better man than I am, far more complex, far more courageous. He was an only child born into a military family. His birth took his mother's life. His father was a stern naval officer who became a powerful member of the Deep State, if you know what that is. Chris was raised by colored servants, if you know what that is. He went to Ivy League prep school, a sprig of privilege. He spent summers in New York with show people, his mother's clan of Broadway actors, dancers, musicians. When he was 18 years old, he was accepted in Marine Corps Officer Candidate School to honor his father and follow in his footsteps.

Combat changes people, always, and Chris fought with courage that could not erase sorrow and guilt and revulsion. He hated killing. As an officer, his duty was ever-present and clear, ordering men to their death and dismemberment. Rising to the rank of Captain, partly on merit, partly because his father pulled strings, Chris couldn't continue. He resigned, changed his name, and fled to Los Angeles -- a disgraced black sheep who abandoned his duty and his father's iron sphere of influence and expectations.

Ex-military is where most of our cops come from, and Chris had friends in L.A., ex-Marines who went into law enforcement, well-paid private surveillance, and medicine. None of those jobs were right for him. Chris couldn't deal with fussy paperwork or take orders, especially an order to do nothing, to drop a case, let the guilty skate because they had political pull.

When the story opens in A Portrait of Valor, he's alone, lonely, miserable, age 38, jailed for killing a man, which he regrets but was compelled to do, to save a crowd of laughing drunks and doped-up chicks at a Hollywood nightclub. Terrible karma. The man who hates killing, forced to kill as a licensed private eye, working alone, financially strapped, hardened to life, expecting nothing but trouble. Not handsome, covered in battle scars, Chris cleans up every night and tries to be cheerful, drinks in nice nightclubs and dinner joints, hoping to meet a single woman his own age or thereabouts. He's ignored, night after night, year after year.

Enter Peachy.

I don't think I want to talk about her, a truly exceptional woman among women, beautiful, brilliant, elder daughter of a billionaire nuclear physicist (a horrible father), turned her back on wealth and made her own way in the world, a Stanford Ph.D. plugged into Silicon Valley.

Wonderful couple who saved themselves for each other, wouldn't settle for less than ideal romance, astounding sexual chemistry, risking their lives for each other repeatedly. This is the glory of heroic fiction, to paint the beautiful.

What other people write doesn't matter.

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

It's my conviction that, if a man engages with sexual intercourse with a woman, he need support her, in any way she desires, until he knows she is not pregnant.

Edit: One must never give up their opinions or their desires.  Sometimes they will conflict.  Remember that sexual attraction is solely based on a person's character; if Dominique Francon was a burn victim she would still be among the most desirable woman on earth.  This is the great egoism & egotism (in the opposite order).  Reach out, grasp it, it is your's.

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1 hour ago, atlashead said:

It's my conviction that, if a man engages with sexual intercourse with a woman, he need support her, in any way she desires, until he knows she is not pregnant.

One of the most peculiar things I've ever heard, for several reasons. An hourly laborer obliged to support Dominique the chatelaine? -- or later when Roark can't rub two cents together as a struggling architect destined to infamy and penury with the Stoddard Temple disaster?

Teenage Francisco obligated to teenage Dagny?

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