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Richard Winkler's Comments

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huffingtonpost entry

Materialism: A Failure of Imagination?

Commented Apr 4, 2013 at 05:21:56 in Religion

“The answer to your question lies in the definition of the term you are seeking to understand, Consciousness is a process of awareness. Awareness of what? Of the material world. Consciousness without matter to perceive is an impossibility, what would you be conscious of?

Once you understand that then what is the point of positing a consciousness independent of material existence of which you have not an iota of evidence, and which is based on religious mysticism.”

OtayPanky on Apr 4, 2013 at 11:09:57

“Who am I to argue with your religious convictions?”
huffingtonpost entry

Materialism: A Failure of Imagination?

Commented Apr 4, 2013 at 02:05:12 in Religion

“Neurology is not psychology and matter is not consciousness. Consciousness is not material, nor spatial, nor observable by the senses. A thought is not made of wood or any other material, an emotion has no length and one cannot "see" a sense perception.

Consciousness is the faculty of awareness.

One cannot apply the characteristics of the observed to that with which one observes. Matter does not "see" the bird fly, and consciousness does not fly through space.
But that does not make consciousness "transcendant" or mystical. It simply means that reality is composed of both matter and consciousness - both equally of this world.

If you doubt that consciousness is real and effects the material world then shut your eyes stop thinking and see how long your body lives.

To begin to understand consciousness apply reason to your mental states, i.e. introspect.

Ayn Rand wrote the pathbreaking book on consciousness based on her formidable powers of introspection: "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology". Just one of the conclusions in that work is that the two essentials of any psychological process are content - what we are aware of - and intensity. This as a teaser for those of you really interested in a scientific outlook on consciousness, in contrast to the embarrassing psycho-babble of many of the posts in this discussion and much if the literature on it.”
huffingtonpost entry

Materialism: A Failure of Imagination?

Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 02:11:45 in Religion

“Ayn Rand is not a materialist

Materialism and mysticism are both wrong explanations of the world. Man is both a spiritual and a material being, but his spiritual side is his consciousness - reason, judgement, valuing, emotion - which is not reducible to matter. Reason and science are not limited to the material world, consciousness is also open to rational understanding.

The fact that morality can be given a rational basis does not make it any less wondrous or remove the need for imagination.

Altruism is not synonymous with morality, it is one type of morality. Ayn Rand developed a morality of rational egoism which is not survival of the fittest, but survival and flourishing for each individual who chooses to live by reason and not practice the primordial rituals of sacrifice. Altruism is a morality of death. It reveres the sacrifice of the able to the unable. Sacrifice is its badge of merit. Reason and life are the badge of merit of the egoist.”

Albert Forcier on Apr 3, 2013 at 16:41:47

“Richard, a few thoughts.

What if all that exists, everywhere, was simply "substance"?. Including consciousness and imagination?

Altruism is the transmitting of one's life substance into another form, into another being. By which we consider that we are not only giving but also gaining extra helpings of "life".

As to Ayn Rand egotism: in "We The Living"she writes: "It's a rare gift, you know, to feel reverence for your own life and want the best, the the greatest, the highest possible, here, now, for your very own." This was preceded by.. "You see God... is one's conception of the highest possible. And whoever places the highest conception above his own possibility thinks very little of himself and his life.”
Paul Ryan's Budget, Ayn Rand's Dream

Paul Ryan's Budget, Ayn Rand's Dream

Commented Mar 20, 2013 at 11:45:34 in Politics

“Imagine all the envious
living instead for themselves.
You may play the victim endlessly
But you're not the only one
Someday I hope you all turn productive
And the world will be truly fun....”
Paul Ryan's Budget, Ayn Rand's Dream

Paul Ryan's Budget, Ayn Rand's Dream

Commented Mar 20, 2013 at 11:27:46 in Politics

“Ayn Rand was a novelist who discovered a correct system of philosophy in order to support her vision of the ideal man portrayed in her novels. Quite an impressive accomplishment . By the way in case you haven't heard of her non-fiction:
Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology - a new theory of concepts, the central issue in philosophy.
The virtue of selfishness - a new morality. The first objective - proved - morality in history.
Capitalism the Unknown Ideal - she elaborates the proper basis of a peaceful, rational society: that government's only legitimate purpose is to prevent the initiation of force, otherwise citizens should be free to interact voluntarily in whatever way they please.”
Paul Ryan's Budget, Ayn Rand's Dream

Paul Ryan's Budget, Ayn Rand's Dream

Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 13:43:22 in Politics

“A little refresher on Rand's morality to counter the authors superficial understanding it:

Rand did not consider helping others to be a measure of moral worth. She is an ethical egoist, believing that moral worth is a measure, not of some relationship between people, but the relationship one has with oneself.

This follows from the fact that nature imposes a supreme value on all living things - their own life, i.e. survival; making it the proper end of all lesser values. As a consequence of this, the maintenance of his life is the proper moral purpose of each man. This is the essence of Rand's radically new and objective definition of "selfishness": to be selfish is to hold one's life including both of its components: physical and spiritual (one's inner mental/emotional state) as supreme. See "the Virtue of Selfishness" for the full argument.

Since life belongs to individuals and can only be lived by individuals, altruism is wrong - it is impossible to live another's life, and any attempt to do so is bound to end in failure. This can be better appreciated if one remembers the spiritual component in man's life: welfare states always fail - not primarily because they cannot provide the material requirements of life but because they separate the individual from the source and motivation for action - the necessity to maintain his life - they make him irresponsible for his own life. ****They take the meaning out of life****”
America's Trickle

America's Trickle "Up" Economy and the Rationalization of Inequality

Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 02:41:20 in Business

“What am I confused about?”
America's Trickle

America's Trickle "Up" Economy and the Rationalization of Inequality

Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 18:54:59 in Business

“I use the term "crony socialism" because by its nature socialism is cronyism - everything depends on what group you belong to. Pure capitalism depends on what you produce. Cronyism means some free market combined with political patronage.

But I am glad to hear you approve of pure capitalism. It's true that "pure" capitalism doesn't happen in the real world but it is illuminating to realize that there is a direct causal connection between the degree of human material progress and the extent of capitalism in a society. Read any objective account of the period between 1870 and 1913 - it was the ea of the fastest economic growth in world history, it occurred in a U.S. with the purest form of capitalism to date, and at a time when millions of the worlds most destitute people were immigrating here seeking a better life.

Since it is the only system that is fair - in that it rewards the producer - shouldn't you take a more serious look at it?

There are some good proposals out there for moving towards capitalism. It will be extremely difficult, but it sounds like the alternatives you are proposing involve government coercion over producers that make the problem worse.

Two books to start with are "The Financial Crises and the Free Market Cure" subtitled "Why Pure Capitalism is the world economy's only hope" by John Allison; and "Free Market Revolution" subtitled "How Ayn Rand's Ideas can End Big Government" by Yaron Brook and Don”

Repo 105 on Dec 10, 2012 at 05:04:29

“1870-1913 also had 2 depressions and several recessions and corporate employees were virtual slaves. It also was not pure capitalism by any stretch, it was pure crony capitalism (but that will happen 100% of the time when you try pure capitalism). Government was wholly owned by business during that time. If the term Corportism had been invented yet, that time period would have been the best example of it. I'd do a little more research into the harsh realities of that time.”
America's Trickle

America's Trickle "Up" Economy and the Rationalization of Inequality

Commented Dec 8, 2012 at 16:30:04 in Business

“How was the oil found and extracted? Does it grow on trees like a fruit and we just need to pick it? Shale-oil was made possible by those exploitive capitalists. Oil is the difference between your relatively easy life and the life of drudgery of pre-capitalist days. Be careful you may get what you are wishing for.”

TruelyFedUp on Dec 8, 2012 at 20:52:54

“Sure, just ignore the death & wars part as if they simply don't matter. If you'd care to watch the International Climate Change Conference in Doha you would be feeling nervous about the fact that we splash oil around like cheap cologne. It could kill us all, and Americans keep on demanding this "relatively easy life" while using 25% of the world's resources and while blocking every attempt by other countries to moderate the rising temperatures of the planet that might end all life on earth by the end of the century.”
America's Trickle

America's Trickle "Up" Economy and the Rationalization of Inequality

Commented Dec 8, 2012 at 16:23:51 in Business

“Participate in power? Do you mean physical power over other men, or the power of your mind to create the values you need? You can produce what you need or steal it from other men - which type of power are you referring to?

You say your birthright should be land, natural resources, and a home. Provided by whom? Is it then the provider's birthright to be your slave?

If you mean you should have a right to go get those things for yourself, you still can in this country. Corporations are merely groups of individuals who have successfully worked to create wealth. You don't have to beg them for a job, but you must work if you want to sustain yourself, as the men in the corporations do - don't you agree?

Freedom means the right to pursue your happiness free from physical force. The proper purpose of government is to prevent men from using force (coercion) to get what they want.”

katiec1963 on Dec 9, 2012 at 17:59:35

“Oh, lord.”

TruelyFedUp on Dec 9, 2012 at 09:43:21

“Yeah, happiness free from physical force. Tell that to the millions of Americans that have depended on jobs for their survival and are trying to make their happiness on $300 per week before taxes, and tell it to the millions of homeless that live in their cars, or in tents in illegal tent cities. Try to simply carve your life out of the land and natural resources without paying dues to the rich and men with guns will quickly arrive to force you to move along. I worked my whole life for bosses who had no concern whatsoever about my happiness but cared deeply about exploiting me for theirs. THAT is what our culture has become - it's not about freedom and personal power - only land reform will give us that.”
America's Trickle

America's Trickle "Up" Economy and the Rationalization of Inequality

Commented Dec 8, 2012 at 16:04:17 in Business

“The positive gains are due to capitalism i.e. free markets, the lopsided results are due to India's legacy of crony socialism. What's needed is not "blind" capitalism, whatever that means, but "pure" capitalism.

Pure capitalism is complete separation of economy and state, which means no crony socialism that allows the politically connected to steal wealth.”

hp blogger Sanjay Sanghoee on Dec 8, 2012 at 20:06:40

“Seriously, Richard? The lopsidedness is not because of crony socialism - it's because of crony capitalism. Pure capitalism is not evil, but it only works when everyone plays fair, which doesn't happen in the real world. Not in India and not in America.”
America's Trickle

America's Trickle "Up" Economy and the Rationalization of Inequality

Commented Dec 8, 2012 at 14:07:25 in Business

“American companies go to India to create businesses that make a profit - If Indian workers were incompetent why would they be hired? Most of the Indians I work with have an excellent work ethic - they take the American dream seriously.

If a company makes profits it means it is producing more wealth than it is consuming. The difference is due to its ingenuity and drive in creating, for example, that recliner you may be sitting in right now (that they produced and you were not able to) while you type out your sonnets to the evil of capitalism on your IPad which that evil capitalist Steve Jobs invented just so that he could steal all the wealth that you did not produce.

This is explained very well in "Free Market Revolution". Also, the book "The Financial Crises and The Free Market Cure" by John Allison is the fascinating inside story of the causes of the Great Recession. John Allison was the CEO of BB&T, one of the largest banks in the country, and one of the few that came out of the Great Recession in good shape. Why did BB&T succeed while most banks suffered staggering losses? Because he understood that government policy is the driving force behind our economic crises. He identifies those policies, show exactly how they led to the crises, and proposes the proper cure.”

JPHR on Dec 9, 2012 at 09:32:13

“A society with a capitalist economic system requires competitive markets and will have define and maintain the economic framework accordingly. Free markets will inevitably evolve into oligopolies either through collusion or abuse of market power and as such free markets are an ideological fallacy and evolve over time into an oxymoron.”

robin6h on Dec 8, 2012 at 17:18:17

“to be frank, i had a whole answer for you and lost it on my computer: a dell.

i think the issue is with globilization and now, the awakening of american labor and some business people, how do we manage industrialization and agriculture on a global basis so that there is equity. in other words, there has to be room for everyone but the competition has to be equitable and support a standard of living for all or protectionism will rear its head.

perhaps labor is pleased with their wages and benefits in india. perhaps not. my primary experience with indian management and labor has been with dell which went from #1 to #8 in sales so perhaps india still has things to learn as does the american business community.

you sound very sure of yourself. i think our confidence level is rising too.”
America's Trickle

America's Trickle "Up" Economy and the Rationalization of Inequality

Commented Dec 8, 2012 at 00:16:55 in Business

“Based on the knowledge of business demonstrated in your article I don't think one of those Directors or CEO's would trust you with the job of janitor. You should spend less time with your buddy Karl Marx and his thoroughly discredited ideas and read "Free Market Revolution" by Yaron Brook and Don Watkins.

Forget about trickle-down, under capitalism the rewards go up as you ascend the pyramid of ability (think businessman: Steve Jobs). What really galls you is that this is justice - people of ability and drive earn their wealth.

Instead of making the poor feel like victims you should try and understand capitalism, it's the system that in under 200 years has lifted mankind out of centuries of miserable poverty. But I no longer believe that your kind has any notion of helping the poor. If you did you would not continue to ignore the evidence of capitalism screaming at you. Look at India which in under 30 years has produced a miracle since turning towards capitalism.

Why do you persist in your fantasy ideas? it's your moral code mister - read "Free Market Revolution".”

mamacita on Dec 9, 2012 at 04:54:53

“The definition of capitalism is the privately owned means of production used to produce goods to be sold for private profit. Under that definition, we are not practicing capitalism.

First of all, the infrastructure that supports the means of production is not privately owned, but funded by public tax money, which many businesses have avoided paying for while retaining the full benefit of use.

Secondly, business has moved away from actually producing goods as the primary source of producing profit, choosing instead to extract profits from worker wages and the company itself. This is destructive to the business and the general economy because they need each other for both to survive.

There is a price to the "Free" Market, but the ones at the top of the pyramid extracting the profits aren't paying it...yet.”

Wayne Caswell on Dec 8, 2012 at 15:08:28

“Free market capitalism can be a driving force, but not unless there's a level playing field where all play by the same rules. Ideally, the more your study and harder you work and more you're willing to risk, they more money you'll make. But the point of this article is that profits from increased productivity flows to the top much more than the ones whose productivity increased.

Why are there such obscene differences at the top? A lot has to do with how their compensation plans are set. They sit on the Board of Directors of each other's companies and participate in a practice called Interlocking Directorates. That allows them to vote for each other's compensation package. But it also shields them from new ideas and causes them to "follow the herd." So if one company sees short-term benefits from outsourcing offshore, others soon follow. I'd like to see interlocking directorates outlawed.”

codycap on Dec 8, 2012 at 14:50:46

“"Labor Creates all Wealth"

If you look at a graph of worker productivity and wages, the lines run on the exact same path for decades, until around 1980 when productivity kept going in the same upward trajectory and wages split away—and they've stayed flat for the past 30+ years, which means that 100 percent of the billions in profits workers helped generate in this country over the decades has gone only to the wealthy owners, CEOs, and shareholders.

We don't grudge anyone their own wealth, but we've earned a share of the profits through greater productivity, so that's what President Obama means when he says we need to "share the wealth" differently—have a fair distribution of wealth in this country.”

TruelyFedUp on Dec 8, 2012 at 13:04:32

“What crap propaganda. The exploitation of oil lifted all boats, not exploitative capitalism, and both helped create massive death through wars and theft by force. Watch what happens when the oil runs out. There will be no more capitalist La La land but more likely a return to feudalism and slavery.”

robin6h on Dec 8, 2012 at 04:31:58

“to my limited knowledge many american corporations went to india had americans train them for jobs that in my humble opinion they were and are not good at and were protected by top ranking executives. please tell me i am wrong.”
huffingtonpost entry

Paul Ryan's Trojan Horse: How to Gut Social Security

Commented Nov 15, 2012 at 10:43:09 in Politics

“It is not charity to widows and orphans that is pushing us over the fiscal cliff. It is the entitlement mentality bred by the middle class's acceptance of the morality of altruism which enables them to see nothing wrong with claiming a "right" to the fruit of another man's effort.

To see how ingrained this corruption is consider this from Mr Bigg's article:
"...the private accounts would increase the overall size of Social Security by creating a new major entitlement, an "estate" benefit for workers who participate in the system but die early, leaving no dependent spouses or children."

An "entitlement" is a government guarantee of certain benefits to a segment of the population. Under a system of private accounts your benefits are entirely based on what you put in - you are morally entitled to that money - it is not an entitlement.

It is the fact that private accounts are government mandated savings that permits Mr Biggs to get away with it. Social security should be abolished entirely and individuals left to be responsible for their own retirement. Widows and orphans and those who are truly needy can be adequately cared for by private charity.

But first the vast middle class will have to throw off the shackles of the entitlement mentality.”
huffingtonpost entry

Paul Ryan's Trojan Horse: How to Gut Social Security

Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 12:12:33 in Politics

“The author argues for progressive social security without acknowledging the Trojan horse in his own premise: the moral ideal that that we are our brothers keeper

American was founded on a different principle-the right of each woman to pursue her own happiness, not sacrifice it to a monarchy at the price of being taken care of - and they found the courage to fight for it.

Today we are taxed and regulated to provide for the needs of others, as the price of being taken care of by a paternal government.

"For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors—between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it." - Ayn Rand (http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/good,_the.html)

There is a more rational and benevolent vision of life on earth - one that does not involve sacrifice. Please read "Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand's Ideas Can End Big Government" by Yaron Brook and Don Watkins for a concise and lucid bluprint for the ideal of selfishness.”
Ayn Rand and Modern Politics

Ayn Rand and Modern Politics

Commented Sep 9, 2012 at 15:01:05 in Politics

“Continuing my post:

Mr. Sloan has no right - in logic - to deny the fundamentals differentiating Rand from religion by equating rational philosophic axioms with dogmatism.  

Ms. Rand's absolutism with respect to reason - her claim that it is the only means to knowledge - is a consequence of the absolutism of reality. Existence is eternal - nothing "existed" prior to existence to create it, and therefore it was not and cannot be invented, but must be discovered ("obeyed") by the mind.  

Religionist's absolutism is a projection of consciousness over reality - God is the eternal, uncreated, and all-powerful that must be obeyed.  Freed from any obligation to focus on reality, they then re-invent reality, man, and morality according to the emotion-driven twists and turns of their undirected minds.

Ms. Rand's absolutism in ethics consists in acknowledging that man, like all of existence, has a specific nature that must be understood before an ethics, or even the need for one, can be identified.  "Selfishness", on her definition, is based on the fact that each man's life is finite and he must choose - and choose correctly - to sustain it if he wishes to remain in existence.   Objective values are broad principles of the proper means of sustaining a human form of life. They are necessarily selfish because life, the choice to reason about it, and the desire to remain within it lie entirely within a self.

See: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/absolutes.html
Also: axiom, selfishness, primacy_of_existence_vs_primacy_of_consciousness.”
Ayn Rand and Modern Politics

Ayn Rand and Modern Politics

Commented Sep 9, 2012 at 14:55:47 in Politics

“Not true, she wrote original works in epistemology "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology", ethics: "the virtue of selfishness" politics/economics: Capitalism the unknown ideal". Here are a few of her original ideas: new theory of concepts and of knowledge in general, new ethics: Rational Selfishness, new interpretation of individual rights: anchored on the non-initiation of physical force.”

itcounts on Sep 9, 2012 at 23:33:32

“I had read all of her fiction at an early age starting with Anthem and will certainly give her some credit for my stead fast individualism that has served and hindered my life.. She certainly advanced my moral consideration at an early age. After seeing and reading many of her interviews through the years I was never much interested in her non fiction or theory's..

After studying her I had decided that what she preached was not necessarily what she believed. A bit of a disappointment at the time. I believe she learned that the more bizarre she could present her idea's to be, the more attention she got.

Greenspan, Cavett, Gore Vidal and several others gave some interesting thoughts to her idea's but I found them theoretical and lacking in basics of the human condition and what society can accustom it's self to not to mention naive on many levels.

As a life long business owner I must admit that one of my best days was in 2008 when Greenspan stood in front of congress and stated "we were wrong about self regulating free market ideas". Better late than never I suppose. Many of us criticized Reagan/Reagan/ Greenspan economics from the beginning and unfortunately were proven correct.

Our capitalist system has some major flaws, and we repeat them every few years causing a great deal of unnecessary pain.”
Ayn Rand and Modern Politics

Ayn Rand and Modern Politics

Commented Sep 9, 2012 at 11:18:59 in Politics

“Continuing my post:

Mr. Sloan has no right - in logic - to deny the fundamentals differentiating Rand from religion by equating rational philosophic axioms with dogmatism.  

Ms. Rand's absolutism with respect to reason - her claim that it is the only means to knowledge - is a consequence of the absolutism of reality. Existence is eternal - nothing "existed" prior to existence to create it, and therefore it was not and cannot be invented, but must be discovered ("obeyed") by the mind.  

Religionist's absolutism springs from the projection of consciousness over reality - God is the eternal, uncreated, and all-powerful that must be obeyed.  Freed from any obligation to focus on reality, they then re-invent reality, man, and morality according to the emotion-driven twists and turns of their undirected minds.

Ms. Rand's absolutism in ethics consists in acknowledging that man, like all of existence, has a specific nature that must be understood before an ethics, or even the need for one, can be identified.  "Selfishness", on her definition, is based on the fact that each man's life is finite and he must choose - and choose correctly - to sustain it in order to remain in existence.   Objective values are broad principles of the proper means of sustaining a human form of life. They are necessarily selfish because life, the choice to reason about it, and the desire to remain within it lie entirely within a self.

See: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/absolutes.html
Also: axiom, selfishness, primacy_of_existence_vs_primacy_of_consciousness.”
Ayn Rand and Modern Politics

Ayn Rand and Modern Politics

Commented Sep 9, 2012 at 02:51:28 in Politics

“If you don't think you are legally disarmed then next time someone insults you try punching them in the nose and see if you don't get slapped with a lawsuit.

Galt's Gulch was not her portrayal of the ideal society, but simply the form of a rebellion against an unjust one. She believed government was very important; so important, in fact, that she put some thought into defining its proper fumction as the protection of individual rights - with the police to protect men against criminals, the military to protect them against foreign criminals, and the courts to adjudicate disputes.”
Ayn Rand and Modern Politics

Ayn Rand and Modern Politics

Commented Sep 9, 2012 at 02:20:03 in Politics

“Wow, your in-depth analysis truly radiates, you must really be proud of yourself. Such a convincing argument.”

itcounts on Sep 9, 2012 at 12:46:33

“Concise trumps blunder every time. She was a fiction writer.”
Ayn Rand and Modern Politics

Ayn Rand and Modern Politics

Commented Sep 8, 2012 at 23:15:22 in Politics

“A rationally selfish man neither sacrifices himself to others, nor others to himself - he takes pride in knowing he has worked for and earned what he gets.  He holds his own happiness as his highest goal, and his means to it - reason - as his only absolute.   Religionists hold faith - unreasoning belief - as their absolute, and a fantasy as their goal.

The content of Ms. Rand's philosophy is a result of the ruthless application of reason.  The content of religion is an accidental by-product of their method of non-thinking: faith.  Mr Sloan by means of his simplistic squares has lumped Ms. Rand with religionists by means of a non-essential: their absolutism.”

Richard Winkler on Sep 9, 2012 at 15:01:05

“Continuing my post:

Mr. Sloan has no right - in logic - to deny the fundamentals differentiating Rand from religion by equating rational philosophic axioms with dogmatism.  

Ms. Rand's absolutism with respect to reason - her claim that it is the only means to knowledge - is a consequence of the absolutism of reality. Existence is eternal - nothing "existed" prior to existence to create it, and therefore it was not and cannot be invented, but must be discovered ("obeyed") by the mind.  

Religionist's absolutism is a projection of consciousness over reality - God is the eternal, uncreated, and all-powerful that must be obeyed.  Freed from any obligation to focus on reality, they then re-invent reality, man, and morality according to the emotion-driven twists and turns of their undirected minds.

Ms. Rand's absolutism in ethics consists in acknowledging that man, like all of existence, has a specific nature that must be understood before an ethics, or even the need for one, can be identified.  "Selfishness", on her definition, is based on the fact that each man's life is finite and he must choose - and choose correctly - to sustain it if he wishes to remain in existence.   Objective values are broad principles of the proper means of sustaining a human form of life. They are necessarily selfish because life, the choice to reason about it, and the desire to remain within it lie entirely within a self.

See: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/absolutes.html
Also: axiom, selfishness, primacy_of_existence_vs_primacy_of_consciousness.”

Richard Winkler on Sep 9, 2012 at 11:18:59

“Continuing my post:

Mr. Sloan has no right - in logic - to deny the fundamentals differentiating Rand from religion by equating rational philosophic axioms with dogmatism.  

Ms. Rand's absolutism with respect to reason - her claim that it is the only means to knowledge - is a consequence of the absolutism of reality. Existence is eternal - nothing "existed" prior to existence to create it, and therefore it was not and cannot be invented, but must be discovered ("obeyed") by the mind.  

Religionist's absolutism springs from the projection of consciousness over reality - God is the eternal, uncreated, and all-powerful that must be obeyed.  Freed from any obligation to focus on reality, they then re-invent reality, man, and morality according to the emotion-driven twists and turns of their undirected minds.

Ms. Rand's absolutism in ethics consists in acknowledging that man, like all of existence, has a specific nature that must be understood before an ethics, or even the need for one, can be identified.  "Selfishness", on her definition, is based on the fact that each man's life is finite and he must choose - and choose correctly - to sustain it in order to remain in existence.   Objective values are broad principles of the proper means of sustaining a human form of life. They are necessarily selfish because life, the choice to reason about it, and the desire to remain within it lie entirely within a self.

See: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/absolutes.html
Also: axiom, selfishness, primacy_of_existence_vs_primacy_of_consciousness.”