Thursday, October 13, 2011

Objectivist Round Up #222

Welcome to the 222nd edition of the Objectivist Round Up! 222--that's pretty awesome.

Part of the reason I blog about Objectivism and organize this blog carnival is so that I can practice keeping the principles of Objectivism at the forefront of my mind; to remember to live the virtues as well as talk and write about them; to celebrate my life on earth.

From Galt's Speech (via the online Ayn Rand Lexicon, emphasis added):

There is only one fundamental alternative in the universe: existence or non-existence—and it pertains to a single class of entities: to living organisms. The existence of inanimate matter is unconditional, the existence of life is not: it depends on a specific course of action. Matter is indestructible, it changes its forms, but it cannot cease to exist. It is only a living organism that faces a constant alternative: the issue of life or death. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action. If an organism fails in that action, it dies; its chemical elements remain, but its life goes out of existence. It is only the concept of “Life” that makes the concept of “Value” possible. It is only to a living entity that things can be good or evil.

Steve Jobs, one of my heroes, said something along these lines that I (and I imagine many others, too) have been thinking about ever since he died:

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."


And on to the Round Up! Read. Think. Enjoy. And don't keep it a secret!

Burgess Laughlin presents The Most Important Books in My Life posted at Making Progress, saying, "From the Introduction: "At 67, I am beginning the last phase of my life. I am looking back, and one pattern I see is the role of books in my life. They awakened in me the possibility of a life worth living; they helped me solve personal problems that threatened my progress; and they provided the particular information I needed to achieve my four highest personal values: my work, my free-range lifestyle, my friendships, and my favorite leisure activity, reading fiction for happy endings.""

Kate Yoak presents Patience and kindness posted at Parenting is..., saying, "Respectful parenting is all about patience and kindness. I have set out to teach my five-year-old to apply the same to his little sister, thereby trying out my job for size."

Rational Jenn presents Journey Through the Week posted at Rational Jenn, saying, "Recently, my first grader and I created a weekly homeschool schedule for her, at her request and with my guidance. I describe the process we used and share the results in this post."

John Drake presents Crash Proof 2.0 review posted at Try Reason!, saying, "A review of the book Crash Proof 2.0, by Peter Schiff."

Santiago and Kelly Valenzuela presents Quotes About Alabama's New Immigration Law posted at Mother of Exiles, saying, "In this post I feature an article with quotes about Alabama's new immigration law. Most of the quotes link out to other interesting and related news sources. Not only is this Alabama law unjust and immoral, it's disastrous for our already troubled economy."

Scott Lee presents How Freedom, Free Will, and Liberty Tie Into Long Term Survival posted at Scott Free Thinking.

Sean Saulsbury presents The Letter Netflix Should Have Written posted at, saying, "The letter Netflix SHOULD have written to its customers, and an argument that Netflix did NOT increase their prices."

Jason Stotts presents Dan Savage on STI’s posted at Erosophia, saying, "Are STI's a moral issue or a medical one?"

Diana Hsieh presents Two Paleo Cookbooks: Paleo Comfort Foods and Make it Paleo posted at NoodleFood, saying, "I review two new paleo cookbooks: "Paleo Comfort Foods" and "Make It Paleo.""

Gene Palmisano presents Misnomer of the Day posted at The Metaphysical Lunch, saying, "Lies, Damn Lies, andDangerous Lies"

Blazing Truth presents Top 9 Austrian Ways to Boost the Economy posted at Blazing Truth, saying, "I feel that Austrian Economics has the greatest potential for fixing our economy, what do Objectivists think about this?"

Ari Armstrong presents The Great Fair Tax Debate posted at Free Colorado.

That concludes this edition. Thanks for reading, and be sure to pass this link along to your friends! If you like the work we're doing, be sure to 'Like' us on Facebook, too.

Next week's edition will be at 3 Ring Binder! Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Objectivist Round Up using our carnival submission form.

Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Technorati tags:

, .

1 comment:

John Aronson said...

Nice stuff. I found you when I was trying decide what to do about the ACS. You made resistance easy. I see you are something of a libertarian and rationalist. You gave me a gift and so I will offer you two. First, “Free-Born John: the Biography of John Lilburne” by Pauline Gregg (Phoenix Press, 2000). Second: “Epictetus,” by A.A. Long (Oxford University Press, 2002).

“Free-Born John” is out of print but I got a used copy in very good condition through Amazon. Lilburne was a Leveller in the 1630s and 40s and very much a proto-Lockean. I suspect either John Locke or his father was very much influenced by John Lilburne. He was a pamphleteer during the English Civil Wars and at one time or another he was tried by the Crown in the Star Chamber, by Parliament and by the Protectorate and thrown into the tower. Once he was even flogged through the streets of London on his way to the Tower.

His issues were individual liberty, free speech, due process and a written constitution (for Lilburne, the “social contract” had to be reduced to a written document that could not “evolve” but could only be amended by the vote of the people). His key idea was that no government is legitimate unless it has been freely assented to by the people who are being governed. His signature quote is: “I neither love a slave nor fear a tyrant.”

I suggest Epictetus simply because he identifies the essence of happiness for a rationalist. A rational individual is happy when he or she is free to affirm what is true and deny what is false. Epictetus was a Greek slave in 1st Century Rome and he taught that in all circumstances we retain the liberty to affirm what we think is true and therefore good, and deny what is false and therefore evil. His philosophy is not complicated. Its chief assumptions are that God (Divine Providence) loves us and wants us to be happy; that we are happy when we affirm what is good and deny what is evil; that we become one with God for eternity when we die; and that life is God’s way of challenging us to be happy in difficult circumstances. Epictetus assumes one will decide for oneself what is true and therefore good by arguing from a set of axioms that have been agreed to by both parties to the discussion.