Archive for May, 2011

Prostitution

by Jason Stotts

Someone asked me at ATLOSCon what I thought about prostitution and I’m glad that I didn’t get asked the question during my lecture.  I think I gave a pretty good answer to their question, but it’s one of those questions that I have not spent enough time thinking about to give a really satisfactory answer.  I am thinking about the question and I do intend to write on it at some point soon.

As part of my initial research, I wanted to look in to how common prostitution was in the world and found the following website that lists the legality of prostitution in 100 different countries.

According to their data, prostitution is legal in more countries than it is illegal. Now, obviously the legality and morality of prostitution are two very different questions, but I find it very interesting that prostitution is legal in far more places than I would have expected.  Frankly, I think the legal question of prostitution isn’t even worth discussing, as people should have a right to consensually do together what they want, even if it is immoral.

Look for an essay on prostitution in the coming weeks.

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ATLOSCon Speech

by Jason Stotts

I want to thank everyone who attended my lecture this morning.  I hope that everyone found it interesting and engaging.  If you’re interested in further readings, I recommend starting with the following:

1. “Of Living Death,” The Objectivist.  Especially 530-531. (Or: The Voice of Reason, 46-63.)

2. “Francisco’s Sex Speech,” from Atlas Shrugged, 453-455 (Or: For The New Intellectual, 98-101.)

3. Playboy Interview (Pamphlet).

4. “Philosophy and Sense of Life,” The Romantic Manifesto.

I also want to thank those of you who helped to sponsor my trip to Atlanta by pre-ordering a copy of my speech.  I’ll be e-mailing, or mailing (as the case may), the copies out to those who prepaid shortly.

For anyone else who wants a copy of the speech, it will be available  in a couple of days.   This extended version will be significantly longer than the version I read, which was about 13 pages.   Right now, the extended version is about 25 pages, so there is a lot of material that you will find new, even if you took the class.  There are two options to get a copy of the speech:

$12.50 for a PDF version.

$23.50 for a signed hard copy mailed to you.

Anyone who actually attended the class can take 10% off the price.

The speech should be completely done in just a couple of days, so feel free to order your copy now and I’ll send it out as soon as it’s done.  It’d be done already, but I’m being rather perfectionist about it and just can’t quite let it go yet.  The easiest way to order is via PayPal, by sending a payment to Jason(at)JasonStotts.com.  For other options, just e-mail me at the same address.

Additionally, anyone who was at the conference and would like to ask follow-up questions, or who had questions that they didn’t get to ask, can also e-mail me and I’ll still answer your questions.

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Sex Tips #8: Enthusiasm

by Jason Stotts

There are few qualities relating to sex that are as attractive as enthusiasm.  Indeed, enthusiasm can make up for a quite a bit in other departments and it’s lack can seriously undermine even the best of other qualities.  Enthusiasm can turn what would have been a mediocre sexual encounter into an exceptional one and it’s lack can sour even the most skilled sexual session.  Basically, enthusiasm is like the trump card of sex.

Especially for people who are in a long term relationship, a little enthusiasm can help remind your partner how much you value them and can make your sex life much more exciting for the both of you.  I highly encourage people to show your enthusiasm to your partner and let them see how excited you are and how excited your partner makes you.  I guarantee that it will make sure sex life better.

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ATLOSCon 2011

by Jason Stotts

Kelly Elmore has a very kind piece up on her blog Reepicheep’s Coracle about my talk at ATLOSCon, called “Sex at ATLOSCon.”  Now, before you get the wrong idea, I’m not going to be having sex with anyone at ATLOSCon (they’re not paying me enough for that!).  The piece contains some very nice things people have said about Erosophia and my writings and I’m honored to see such nice things said by good people.

I look forward to meeting some of my readers at ATLOSCon and I welcome you to come up and say hi if you see me there.

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Secularism and Sex Survey Update

by Jason Stotts

Some of you may recall that I posted a call for my readers to go and participate in the “Sex and Secularism Survey” that Dr. Darrel Ray (of The God Virus fame) put out in January.  The results of the survey are now available on his website http://ipcpress.com/ (you have to register for the site to download the results).  I recommend taking a look at the results as there is some fascinating stuff there.  From the paper:

Purpose of the Study: For thousands of years, religion has involved itself in sex and sexuality. Guilt plays a major role in religion and sex. This paper tests hypotheses related to the impact of religion and religious guilt on sexual behavior. Over 14,500 people participated in an internet-based survey with over 9500 finishing the survey during two weeks in January 2011. Six hypotheses are considered: 1. Religions’ use of sexual guilt is measurably greater in conservative religions and less in liberal ones. 2. People feel the sexual guilt taught by their religion but sexual behavior shows no difference from those with less guilt. 3. Religiously conservative parents will be less effective at teaching their children about sex than more secular parents. 4. Children raised in highly religious homes will receive poorer sexual education. 5. Leaving religion has a positive impact on sexual satisfaction. 6. Religion has continuing negative consequences on individuals after they leave.

Results: Strong evidence for five of the six hypotheses were found. Respondents reported higher levels of sexual satisfaction after leaving religion, depending on how conservative their religious upbringing. There was little if any reported difference in the onset of a variety of sexual behaviors between religious and non-religiously raised children. Religiously conservative parents were perceived to be less effective at teaching sex education to the respondents. The children of religious homes perceived their sexual education to be inferior. Once people left religion, over 50% saw an improvement in their sex life, 29.6% saw no change, and 2.2% thought it was worse. Finally, few people reported continuing problems after leaving religion. It appears that the effects of religion are more easily eliminated than predicted.

Apparently Dr. Ray is going to be turning this into a new book and I’ll definitely be interested in reading it when it comes out.  I applaud him for taking a closer look at religion’s impact on sexuality and I hope that this data may influence people away from religion.

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Big Brother Warning: If you click on the Amazon link and purchase The God Virus, then I will be monetarily compensated.  So, help me out and if you’re going to buy it, use the link.

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Are Your Genitals Normal?

by Jason Stotts

Realistically, the question of whether your genitals are normal is fundamentally flawed. It’s more important whether they function correctly than whether they look like everyone else’s genitals.  Regardless, though, it’s important to like your genitals for what they are, as there is very little you can do to change them.  This video by Planned Parenthood is a fun little reminder that all of our genitals are different and that’s part of the beauty of them.

 

 

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Objectivist Blog Carnival #200

Welcome to the May 12, 2011 edition of the Objectivist Round Up!

This is the 200th edition of the Carnival and is also the second annual Birthday Carnival for me, although last year it was actually on my birthday and this year it’s the day before.

Today’s quote is from the Virtue of Selfishness:

The virtue of Pride can best be described by the term: “moral ambitiousness.” It means that one must earn the right to hold oneself as one’s own highest value by achieving one’s own moral perfection. ~ Ayn Rand

Let us all be morally ambitious in our days and always work towards perfection.

Enjoy the Carnival!

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Diana Hsieh presents Speaking for Free Speech: My Testimony posted at NoodleFood, saying, “I recently spoke at a hearing on Colorado’s campaign finance regulations, and here’s my report on that event, including my written testimony detailing my experience with these regulations.”

Burgess Laughlin presents What does “sacred” mean? posted at Making Progress, saying, “This post — the second in a series of three on democratic, sacred, and profane culture — briefly identifies the nature of the sacred, both in a religious context and in the context of a philosophy of reason.”

Benjamin Skipper presents So Why Aren’t We Talking About the Coming Economic Collapse? posted at Musing Aloud, saying, “Yes, it’s a scary and depressing subject to talk about, but desperately important. We may very well be witnessing the window of opportunity for cultural change coming to a close, marked by the probable upcoming hyperinflation. We *need* to take this into account *now* or we may lose America.”

Joseph Kellard presents 9/11 Mother Welcomes News of Bin Laden’s Death – Long Beach, NY Patch posted at Long Beach Patch: Latest Articles, saying, “My story on a 9/11 mother hours after she learned that the murderer of her firefighter son was shot dead in Pakistan.”

C.W. presents A China Update posted at Krazy Economy, saying, “Instead of getting better, the Chinese economy is seeing faster price rises and more activity by the Chinese central bank. The time that its real problems present themselves is getting nearer. Then capitalism will be blamed again!”

Opus Dei presents A Million Stars, Some Big, Some Small posted at Ayn and Self…, saying, “This is Opus Dei’s tribute to the Men who made New York and its skyscrapers possible…one of the greatest achievements by Man that brought down stars from the sky…”

Opus Dei presents No Matter Who Makes the Claim… posted at Ayn and Self…, saying, “Howard Roark in his courtroom speech pronounced these words: ‘no matter who makes the claim’. I fell in love with them all over again. So, I wrote this!”

DBKenner presents Burn Those Nuclear Witches! posted at Don Kenner laughed, saying, “I love the objectivist blog carnival. I hope this posting meets your standards.”

Ari Armstrong presents CO Campaign Laws Chill Speech posted at Free Colorado, saying, “Ari Armstrong and Diana Hsieh testified at a Secretary of State meeting that Colorado’s campaign laws chill free speech.”

Francis Luong (Franco) presents Giving Too Much Credit to W posted at Just Add Rationality, saying, “”Much as I prefer Osama Bin Laden dead, neither Obama nor his predecessor have made significant progress to end the War on Terror. And the main reason they can’t is because the War on Terror is an anti-concept devised to evade the fact that it is Islam’s most consistent exponents which have declared war on the USA and both of them refuse to identify this fact.””

Roberto Sarrionandia presents Overvaluing Decadence posted at Roberto Sarrionandia, saying, “British universities have become expensive excuses for a lifestyle of decadence. Can we afford to continue overvaluing higher education?”

Edward Cline presents Judgment at Amsterdam posted at The Rule of Reason, saying, “Imagine, if you will, that the U.S. was able to recover Hitler’s body from the Berlin bunker in April 1945. Would our government have mandated a burial in conformance with German tradition and with full honors accorded a head of state, including a casket draped with the Nazi flag?”

Jared Rhoads presents How long until the Physician Mandate? posted at The Lucidicus Project, saying, “On Monday, the Massachusetts Medical Society released new data showing increased wait times and fewer physicians accepting new patients (especially for patients on government plans). Will this spur the call for a physician mandate?”

Scott Connery presents The Objectivist Position on Gun Control posted at Rational Public Radio, saying, “The Objectivist position on gun rights and gun control is a subject that is strangely quiet. Rand herself said virtually nothing on the issue. Very few of the prominent Objectivists that have followed her have ventured to add much either. I find this to be a puzzling state of affairs. I personally know many Objectivists are gun owners, and think the issue is important. Indeed most people opposed to tyrannical governments, regardless of their philosophy, view gun ownership as an important right.”

Kelly Elmore presents ATLOSCon 2011: Bringing You a New Enjoyment of the Visual Arts posted at Reepicheep’s Coracle, saying, “We are happy to announce that Luc Travers will be coming all the way from California, where he teaches at the VanDamme Academy, to give an art appreciation lecture, lead a guided visit to the High Museum, and sign copies of his book, Touching the Art, at ATLOSCon! Luc himself is a not-to-be-missed feature of our conference, and his new techniques for getting more out of the visual arts have gotten rave reviews.”

Martin Lindeskog presents EGO: ANNUAL BLOG REPORT IX posted at EGO, saying, “I have now been blogging for nine years. Please send me suggestions on how I should celebrate my 10th blogiversary in 2012! As I wrote in my post, ANNUAL BLOG REPORT VIII, the main focus for the future will be my EGO podcast on BlogTalkRadio.”

Martin Lindeskog presents EGO: TWO SHOTS AND A SPLASH IN PAKISTAN posted at EGO, saying, “How did you find out about Osama bin Laden’s death? From traditional mainstream media or new media?”

Roderick Fitts presents Induction of “Reason is Man’s Only Means of Gaining Knowledge” posted at Inductive Quest, saying, “My series of inductions to show that reason is the only way to gain knowledge, and not instinct, feelings, ESP, faith, revelation, or whatever else people can think up.”

Roderick Fitts presents Induction and Reduction of “Sex is Metaphysical” posted at Inductive Quest, saying, “One of my best posts about how sex is a celebration of the total you, in the world as a total. Enjoy!!”

Roderick Fitts presents Induction of Objectivity (Aristotle) posted at Inductive Quest, saying, “Another great essay on the kinds of issues Aristotle had to confront before reaching his idea of logic and objectivity!”

Roderick Fitts presents Induction of Objectivity (Ayn Rand) posted at Inductive Quest, saying, “A follow-up showing how Rand’s ideas about human consciousness led to her new theory of concepts as well as a reformulation of Aristotle’s logic.”

David C Lewis, RFA presents Life Settlements | Twin Tier Financial posted at A Revolution In Financial Planning, saying, “Investing in your death! How government encourages investing in the death of other people through coercive life insurance regulation.”

Rational Jenn presents Five Star Challenge posted at Rational Jenn, saying, “The latest way I’ve been fighting the Perfectionism Monster–going through a mental exercise that helped me get back on track mentally.”

Scott Connery presents Promoting an Objectivist Blog posted at Rational Public Radio, saying, “I’ve had several people asking about what I do to promote my blog online. Come check out my system (it’s free I promise!) and see if you think it could help you generate more traffic.”

Julia Campbell presents fennel and zucchini soup posted at the crankin’ kitchen!, saying, “An easy spring soup featuring the crisp taste of fennel, topped with a warm tomato garnish.”

Rachel Miner presents 5 Star Challenge posted at The Playful Spirit, saying, “Participating in this mellow fun of focusing on good things :)”

Benjamin Skipper presents The Fear of Telling the Good They’re Good? posted at Musing Aloud, saying, “I understand that some people may refrain from explicitly condemning someone for fear of hostility, but what gives rise to the fear of telling the good they’re good?”

Benjamin Skipper presents Don’t Treat Your Friends Like Rubberducks posted at Musing Aloud, saying, “It might make someone feel good to have someone to listen to them, but a friendship too one-sided isn’t a friendship at all.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Objectivist Round Up using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Technorati tags: objectivist round up, blog carnival.

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ATLOSCon Flyer

by Jason Stotts

So, as many of you know, I’m going to be speaking this summer at ATLOSCon.  I’m supposed to make a flyer to help promote my blog there and I definitely want to do that to help bring in new readers.  The problem is that I’m not that into designing and I don’t have any standard images for Erosophia or logos.  So, in making a flyer, I had a hard time trying to figure out what to put on it.  I’ve made a first draft flyer and I’d like to solicit feedback on it.  I need the feedback quickly, as I need to get this flyer done and back to the organizers so they can get ready for the conference.

ATLOSCon Flyer 1-2

(Note: I did this in Word, then converted to PDF, but I have no idea how to make it an image file from there to show correctly here. Advice appreciated.)

Update:

Here’s a new version of the flyer:  ATLOSCon Flyer 3

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