|Philosophers and sundry pseudo-intellectual academics, psychologists, religionists, and mystics can tell you with absolute certainty that certain knowledge is not possible. Human beings cannot do anything they must do to live without knowledge. If knowledge is not possible, human life is not possible.
|Just as politicians, who have never produced a product or performed a medical procedure, believe they should determine how business is done and what good medical practices are, philosophers, who have never made a single scientific discover or produced a technological improvement are certain they know how those things should be done.
Independence—Better Than Morality
|Individualism is often contrasted with collectivism and those who are opposed to collectivism are often called individualists. This is unfortunate, because the true nature of individual independence is not an, "-ism," not an ideology, and not political. Individual independence is a, "moral," or, "ethical," view of life chosen by those who regard their own life as their ultimate value.
What's Wrong With Objectivism: Turpitude
|If Ayn Rand considered the moral state of the world a, "crisis," in 1966, she would no doubt consider the moral state of the world today a hopeless disaster. The moral state of society and culture is more corrupt and decadent than ever before in history.
Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs
|I have actually written about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, and about the whole humanistic psychology theory espoused by Maslow, but I unfortunately did not have a link to any of that, and chose to provide a brief explanation instead. This is an expanded version of that explanation.
The Strange Case Of Max
|When the police came to the Remi's home to arrest Barbara's husband Brad, in front of their two children in the middle of their favorite TV program, she became hysterical and a female officer had to restrain her until her husband had been taken and placed in the police car.
Dr. Edith Packer's, Lectures on Psychology: The "Subconscious" Fallacy
This is review of Dr. Edith Packer's, Lectures on Psychology. It is not about the author and only addresses the ideas found in the book.
Religion's Fault: Moral Failure
|I've written before that I do not have any argument with religion or those who choose to embrace one, nor do I have any desire to change what others believe. There is one claim, however, that the religious make, that is not only wrong, but very dangerous, and in this age, very destructive. That is the claim that religion is the source and basis of moral principles and values.
Nyranda Adventures: Contents And Notes
|The notes are at the end of the table of contents. Read the entire story here.
Ordinary And Extrodinary
|In much of today's world of technology and wealth anyone who is moderately ambitious and willing to make an effort to achieve something of value can enjoy a life of luxury and convenience only dreamed of by ancient kings.
What Are You Living For?
|The question this article asks is not hypothetical. It is a question every living human being answers by living, implicitly if not explicitly. The purpose of this article is to discover the explicit answers to the question, "why live?"
Living Morally: The Practical Application Of Moral Principles: Self Defense
|Morally, you must defend yourself against all possible threats to your person, your loved ones, and your wealth against those who would threaten them. The only question is, what is the morally right way for you to defend yourself.
Living Morally: The Practical Application Of Moral Principles: Mind Own Business
|Every individual is different from every other individual. No individual can know what is right or good for any other individual. Any attempt to interfere in the life of any other individual to influence his thoughts or choices, by any means except reason, is wrong.
Living Morally: The Practical Application Of Moral Principles: Right Relationships
|The principles article says, "The only moral relationship between individuals is reason." It is true that reason is the moral way for human beings to relate to one another, but what that means is not obvious.
Nyranda: Contents And Notes
|The notes are at the end of the table of contents. Read the entire story here.
Living Morally: The Practical Application Of Moral Principles: Be Free
|Freedom is a moral requirement for all individuals. Every individual must seek to be as free as possible, free to use their minds to think whatever they choose, free to make any choices they judge to be right, and free to work and produce in any way they choose.
Living Morally: The Practical Application Of Moral Principles: Must Work
|Living, for a human being, means producing all that one's nature requires to survive and prosper.
Living Morally: The Practical Application Of Moral Principles: Be One's Best
|Why would anyone want to be anything other than the best they can be?
Feelings And Emotions: Their Nature, Significance, And Importance
|If our feelings are going to be a means of enjoying life we need to understand exactly what they are, what causes them, and what we can do to ensure we have feelings appropriate to a life of success and happiness.
Living Morally: The Practical Application Of Moral Principles: Must Think
|Every individual has the ability to think and reason well enough to make right choices about everything they do. Every individual must use their ability to reason about everything they believe, think, choose, and do ....
Living Morally: The Practical Application Of Moral Principles: Must Learn
|Human life is impossible without knowledge. There is not one thing a human being must do, even to survive, that is possible without knowledge. But knowledge is necessary for much more than simply surviving.
Habituation: Developed Patterns Of Behavior
|The advantage of instinct is that nothing comes between an animal's awareness of its environment and its own internal states and the animal's behavior. To whatever it is currently experiencing instinct instantly provides the animal the appropriate response, without the animal having to think about it.
Living Morally: The Practical Application Of Moral Principles: Own Mind
|Minds are distributed one to an individual. As explained in the article, "Mind," human consciousness has three distinct charateristics that no other creatures have, the ability and necessity to consciously choose all they do, the ability and necessity to learn, and the ability and necessity to think.
New Stories: For Your Reading Pleasure
|These stories have only one purpose to be enjoyed as an experience of life at its best. There is no moral or other purpose.
Living Morally: The Practical Application Of Moral Principles: Must Choose
|This article is the first in a series that discusses the practical application of those moral principles to every day life and describes the benefits of living morally.
Morality Mistakes: Seven Wrong Views Of Ethics
|The purpose of living a moral life is to live a successful, fulfilled, and happy life. A moral life is one guided by ethical principles.
What And How To Learn
|In the article, The Only Path To Success And Happiness I explained why knowledge and work are the two fundamentals of human success and happiness. The pursuit of knowledge is a lifetime pursuit and this article will suggest what kind of knowledge one ought to seek and suggest the best methods of pursuing that knowledge.
The Only Path To Success And Happiness
|Success and happiness are possible to anyone willing to do what is required to achieve that kind of life, but it takes a lifetime of effort and dedication to the most important thing in life, making one's life the best it can possibly be.
There Are No Shortcuts: On The Path To Success and Happiness
|The purpose of your life is to enjoy it! Whenever I say that, someone always asks, "how do you know that is the purpose of your life?"
|It is very important to understand that there is nothing injecting thoughts into our minds, especially not some absurd idea of some consciousness we are not conscious of.
Magic Thinking: Disastrous Substitutes For Correct Thinking
|Some criticism of the article, "Correct Thinking: Basic Principles Of Clear Reasoning," reminded me of one danger anyone seeking to think correctly will be faced with. I call it, "magic thinking," which is any of a multitude of things people believe or teach as substitutes for clear correct thinking.
Correct Thinking: Basic Principles Of Clear Reasoning
|Your life is yours to live as you choose to live it. Assuming you don't want to live a life of misery and failure, you must choose to live your life in a way that will achieve success and happiness. To do that, however, you have to know how to live that kind of life and how to choose to do what is necessary to achieve that success.
Two Moral Principles: Knowledge and Reason
|Since the purpose of moral principles, or ethics, is to guide human choice and behavior that will lead to success and happiness, rather than human failure and misery, it is important to understand why such principles are needed and the foundation of such principles.
|Ayn Rand made two lists of virtues, one published in The Virtue of Selfishness, the other unpublished in her Journal, in a section called, "The Moral Basis Of Individualism."
Changes To The Moral Individual
|A number of changes have come to The Moral Individual.
|Jamaica had just run out of her house to keep from crying, and she would have cried if she hadn't done it. She hated to cry. She ran to the little park and into the woods at the end of it and had almost reached the log she usually sat on when she saw someone was already sitting there. It was a boy and he was reading a book and didn't even notice when Jamaica appeared.
|All religion is absurd and much of it is dangerous. An honest and clear-headed examination of any religion demonstrates that whatever aspects of it depend exclusively on its teachings have no rational basis and fly in the face of all reason and evidence.
Miss Libertarian's Pets
|She kept spotted platitudes for pets,|
As many people do,
'Cause they're easier to keep and feed,
Than ideas of what is true.
She had great multitudes of beasts,
Of every stripe and hue,
There were adages, and quips galore,
As well as maxims blue.
She had proverbs and aphorisms, though pests,
And a bromide or twain,
Even memes and dictums both pithy and witty,
All vacuous and inane.
She was proud of her menagerie,
Though borrowed by the ton,
She showed them off as trophies, though,
She never, herself, caught one.
An Atheist's Defence of Christianity
|I seldom read book reviews, and would not have read the one entitled, "Suicide of the West," if it had been written by anyone other than Theodore Dalrymple.
Hated—The Individualist In a Collectivist World
|If you choose to live your life as an independent individualist, holding your life and your love of it as your highest purpose, desiring and seeking nothing but the best in all things, unwilling to sacrifice any good to any evil, which means, unwilling to subordinate any aspect of your life to any other or any aspect of another's life to yours, you will find yourself an alien in this world.
|Economics is not philosophy and it is certainly not science. What exactly economics studies is a good question, but there are plenty of academics and professors who provide magnificently turgid explanations of exactly what it might be.
Banality Verses Romanticism
|By banality I mean that view of life dominated by the prosaic and mundane, the view that sees life itself as a "problem" to be solved.
|NAP is not a moral principle. NAP is a social/political concept that has no practical application.
|I do not like to coin new words, but the temptation is very great when the words available for identifying the concept one wishes to address are so corrupt. The corrupt words I mean here are, "ethics," and, "morality," which both are supposed to identify principles by which one ought to live.
|When someone asks a question like, "Are Humans More Valuable Than Animals?" it is obvious the one asking the question has no idea what values are.
Morality and Freedom
|Only a moral society is a free society.
|It is not the common, "just like everyone else," average members of society or, "the community," that are significant in this world, and no scheme of education, social programming, community organization, empathy, teamwork, or politics will ever produce the only thing of true importance in this world, the exceptional individual.
NIP verses NAP
|I have no desire to coin a new term, as so many political theorists and activists do. My use of the acronym, NIP, is only a rhetorical device to contrast the true moral relationship between individuals to the very narrow and morally baseless concept libertarians call NAP.
Controllers, Meddlers and Individualists
|You may think of this as a manifesto, A Declaration of Independence of Free Individuals from All Controllers and Meddlers. But do not worry, the free have no interest in interfering in your lives or activities, our only relationship to you is defensive. Individualists will never attempt to upset your schemes or interfere in your plans. This is a declaration of independence, not a declaration of war.
Egoists and Anti-egoists
|Here is a recent quote I found on a site promoting liberty:|
"Definition: the State is government that has been corrupted and taken over by the ego-driven."
NO. The state is government and all governments consist of ego-haters, and all ego-haters are corrupt.
The Sociable Animal
|I recently discovered this quote: "Humans are social beings and discovered long ago that social cooperation is the greatest means for attaining human needs and aspirations."
The Lowest Animal
|I have been scientifically studying the traits and dispositions of the "lower animals" (so-called), and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man.
|Academia, politics, and the horde of pseudo-intellectuals that dominate the media, the arts, and religion are always at war with reason, the intellect, and truth.
The Stuff of Life
|Ray and Christy showed up just before eleven Friday morning. After my hug and kiss, Christy went to join Julie in the kitchen. Ray and I went out to the patio.
Nature of Consciousness
|I never did learn how Julie managed to be at Ray and Christy's yesterday. She didn't drive herself, because she accepted a ride home with me.
|The following is a response I received to my recent article, "What Is an Individualist."
The Taste of Cinnamon
|It had been almost a month since I last saw or even heard from the LePages, so was pleased when Julie brought the phone and announced, as she handed it to me, "it's Mr. LePage."
Conversations With Raymond: Irony
|It had been a couple of months since Raymond and Christy had last visited. I was delighted when Julie announced I had a call from Mr. LePage.
|I was once asked what I thought the difference between knowledge and wisdom is. At the time, I declined to answer. I know what knowledge is, but "wisdom" means so many different things to so many I was not sure the word could be adequately defined. I'm still of the opinion the word, as generally used, is mostly ambiguous.
Libertarianism, Economics, and Other Absurdities
|It is not generally very useful in philosophy to address every wrong or mistaken view of various philosophers that have gained acceptance or popularity, especially among those who style themselves intellectuals or academics. From the beginning, with the exception of a few bursts of brilliance, the history of philosophy has been plagued with sophism, mysticism, and baseless rationalism. It would take a lifetime to even begin to address all that has been wrong with philosophy.
|I don't make predictions, because no one can know the future, though the world is full of authorities and experts who are sure they do know it.
The Nature of Consciousness
|By consciousness I mean perception, which is the only kind of consciousness we or any creature has. Physical existence is that existence we are directly conscious of, the world we see, hear, feel, smell, and taste. By perception, I mean the seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting as well as interoception (the direct perception of internal states).
The Nature of Life
|At the physical level, life is manifest as a process. Every action of the purely physical (non-living) must be started and stopped in relationship to other physical existents (including internal components of machines, for example). The life process differentiates living organisms from the merely physical, because it is self-generated and self-sustained, that is, nothing outside the life process itself starts it or or sustains it.
What Is Freedom
|I have for a long time been convinced, though most people claim to embrace and desire freedom, they do not really know what freedom is, and mean something different by it than I mean, or America's founding father's, meant by it.
|Knowledge begins with consciousness. I do not mean that consciousness is itself knowledge, but that if we are to know anything we must first be conscious of it. It is not enough just to be conscious, however, if it is to be capable of providing us knowledge. If what we are conscious of is not totally reliable and valid, no knowledge is possible.
Ontology—A Brief Introduction
|Ontology is the branch of metaphysics which deals specifically with the nature of material existence. Ontology is foundational to both the nature of consciousness (perception) as that which consciousness is conscious of and epistemology as describing the fundamental nature of that which all knowledge is knowledge of.
To My Skeptical Friends
|In my previous article, "Gullibility and Skepticism," I wrote: "Most knowledge is simple and absolute. The cat is either in the closet or it isn't. Looking in the closet provides absolute knowledge of which it is. It was this kind of idea that Da Vinci probably had in mind when he said, 'to see is to know.'"
Gullibility and Skepticism
|I have to admit I am a bit disappointed that more skeptics did not respond to my article, which is really research on the question of why so many people hold what seems to me to be an extreme skeptical or cynical view, to the extent that they say, "nothing can be known for certain," or, "nothing can be proved true."
|Most people who accept the evolutionary hypothesis do so because they rightly reject any mystic explanation for life and its species (e.g. creation or intelligent design) and evolution is the only other plausible explanation to the question of where life and the species came from they can imagine.
|By science I mean what is generally meant by, natural science, which includes physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, and medicine, and only includes those aspects of those sciences which are rigorously and definitely established without possible controversy. I identify these as true science.
| There is no such thing as a priori knowledge.
The term, "a priori," supposedly refers to knowledge that can be derived by reason alone without reference to any evidence. It is used in contrast to, "a posteriori," which is knowledge derived by reason from actual evidence. It is usually assumed that, "a priori," is inborn, either explicitly or latently.
|The purpose of this article is to provide a somewhat fuller introduction to the nature of knowledge. It may be thought of as an introduction to epistemology.
|One of the least well understood aspects of human nature are the emotions, yet the feelings are terribly important. The confusion about what the emotions are, why we have them, and how they are to be understood and dealt with is due in no small measure to the pseudo-science, "psychology," (not to be confused with neurology, which is a real science).
|The human mind is that aspect of human consciousness unique to humans and no other organism. All animal behavior is determined by instinct, all human behavior is determined by the human mind.
|Instinct is the automatic pattern of behavior with which all animals are endowed except human beings.
Objective Ethics for Freedom and Happiness
|There is not much point in being free if one has no idea how to live successfully. I think freedom would terrify most people. It is not necessarily their fault. Most people have lived their entire lives within societies dominated by oppressive governments and have no experience with true freedom.
What Will You Do With Freedom?
|Almost none of the liberty-minded people I talk to actually intend or expect to be free during their life-time. They argue about what freedom means, what rights are, and what kind of society a free society ought to be. They debate economics, ethics, and politics. They have a million schemes for, "promoting freedom," and clamor to be part of every liberty-oriented program, seminar, rally, retreat, meeting, and movement. They know that none of these schemes are going to work; they don't expect them to actually make them free. If they really expected to be free, if they thought freedom was imminent they'd spend their efforts deciding what to do once they were free.
A Superficial Choice
|We all know politics is mostly superficial. Since we are going to be saddled with one brand of superficiality or another, and, like it or not, will not be able escape it short of becoming hermits, I thought it would be interesting to know which brand of superficiality people preferred.
Decent People Matter
|Although there are more decent people than any other kind, they are seldom recognized and one seldom hears about them. It is because decent people are not featured in main stream media news. They do not cause trouble, do not commit crimes, and seldom do anything that would call attention to themselves.
Art, Censorship, and Morality
|The main point of Wendy McElroy's recent article, "Freedom of Art Is a Prerequisite of Morality," is in opposition to censorship of art.
Moral Defense And The Use Of Force
|Presuming one has made oneself into a being worth defending and has produced something of value to prevent loosing, of course defense and protection are real values; but defense and protection do not equal the use of force, and in most cases do not require the use of force.
What's Wrong With NAP
|What's wrong with NAP? The same thing that is wrong with the Ten Commandments.
Gullible II—Critical Thinking
|This article deals with only one concept by which, not only the freedom-oriented, but almost everyone who is interested in what is true and right, has been taken in—the so-called concept of, "critical thinking."
|One of the most baffling phenomena in the modern world is the gullibility of that small class of people who regard themselves as "freedom-oriented:" the libertarians, the Objectivists, the various flavors of self-styled anarchists, the anti-staters, the egoists, and voluntaryists.
Reality—An Introduction to Philosophy
|Everyone has a philosophy. Most could not identify their philosophy or explain what it is. One's philosophy is all one believes about the nature of reality, what one assumes life is, the value they put on knowledge and the ability to reason and what they think knowledge is and how they believe they ought to relate to others, and most of all, what they think the purpose of their life is and what they are living for.
Religion And Freedom
|H.L. Mencken said: "I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind—that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking."
Untrue Things People Believe: Science
|Science is the objective study of physical existence. About one tenth of one percent of what is called science is actually science.
|The man was acting very peculiarly. He looked peculiar too. He was not tall, perhaps five seven, and had on a brown suit, brown soft hat, brown shoes and a striped green and yellow tie. He would have looked like a typical well-dressed businessman—if it had been 1955.
Real Freedom Fighters
|I am coming 'round to the idea that real fighters for liberty do not cluster, do not congregate, do not organize, do not form groups, do not muster their numbers, do not fight against the collective, and do not rally to make themselves count. Exceptionally, they come to the support of one another in unequivocal battles in defense of individual freedom. As a matter of course, they defend themselves, upon their own responsibility, from the aggressions of the collective.
Who Can Be Free?
|Wendy McElroy has posted a comment from one of her readers on her blog concerning the impossibility of fixing government tyranny by passing more laws. On that point the writer is correct.|
Libertarians Verses Everyone Else—Numbers
|Sometimes it is good, merely for the sake of perspective, to stand back and see where one's own views and positions stand in relation to society as a whole. The following statistics have been gleaned from several sources and are not meant to be authoritative, but only to provide a general picture of where libertarian views stand in relation to others in the United States.|
Psychological Flaws, Corruptions, Errors, and Wrong Premises
|Unfortunately, almost all that goes by the name Objectivism today embraces, in some form or another, both hedonism and subjectivism which contradict all of Objectivist ethics.