|This is the first in a series of posts on this subject. I will eventually have it to a major article size. To be found in the header under "My Philosophy." |
The reason I have a problem with a lot people is because almost everything they believe is wrong.
Telling them this only upsets them. Where does their misunderstanding spring from? From misunderstanding of the the three basic questions of life. Rand did a wonderful job of explaining them.
Where am I?
How do I know it?
What should I do?
Where am I is called, in Philosophy, METAPHYSICS. The study of the fundamental nature of the universe. Is this the real world or is there one beyond it? I agree with Aristotle in believing this is the real world.
How do I know it is called, in Philosophy, EPISTEMOLOGY. The study of the nature and scope of knowledge. Aristotle believed in the use of reason. Plato believed the Universe was beyond reason. I am a follower of Aristotle.
What should I do is called, in Philosophy, ETHICS. The study of a system of moral principles by which to live. It involves systematizing concepts of right and wrong conduct. Here Socrates and Aristotle defined it as self-realization, the awareness of one's nature and the development of one's talents, as the surest path to happiness. How should you live if you were alone on an island?
I consider those three principals to be the foundation of Western Civilization. It's also why I consider Aristotle to be the most important man who ever lived. Because he found and expounded those ideas. If you wonder why the people who grow up in Islamic and Asian cultures are so different from us, start with the fact that their cultures are not based on those three ideas.
This leads to dealing with others. Here most will immediately jump to the State. But I look upon it as:
How should I deal with other people? By the use of:
POLITICS. The study of the use of ethical behavior in dealing with others. What I use here is definition of property as "a person's life, and all non-procreative derivatives of it." You own yourself, your ideas and what you morally acquire. PROPERTY works the same way in politics that ENERGY works in physics. It's the basis for all discussion.
A moral action is one that does not interfere with anyone else's property.
I will continue from this point later.