The purpose of this page is not to create a new dictionary or to redefine any particular concept. It is to state clearly the definition of a word/concept that I use here on the lawfulrebel.com website so that you can know what I mean.
Language is primarily a means of labelling concepts, with communication being a secondary function. It enables us to organise our knowledge of reality and communicate it with others. If precise thinking is our goal, the concepts we use must have precise definitions so as to preserve precise meaning.
Dictionary definitions these days are vague and imprecise – sometimes just wrong! The Webster online dictionary, for example, offers a definition of human rights, as “The rights of the individual to cultural, social, economic, and educational opportunities as provided by society, e.g., right to work, right to education, and right to social security.” But this definition is incorrect. How can anyone have a right to opportunities provided by society without addressing the question ‘At who’s expense?’ The implication is, at the expense of those others who constitute society. But this is not right because it requires the resources of others to be expropriated to pay for the ‘so-called’ rights of others. But no one can claim the right to a good or service which someone else has to produce. Such a so-called right would then enslave another to produce it. There is no such thing as the right to enslave someone else.
This is why we must define our terms. Where I borrow from a particular dictionary it is credited. Some definitions are my own, others are credited to the author. Many of the definitions here are those of Ayn Rand.
Remember there is no great big dictionary in the sky with all the ‘correct’ definitions in it. The important thing about defintions is to know what yours is and to know the definition of anyone else you are in discussion with – so as to check if you are talking about precisely the same thing.
What do you mean by that?
Axioms: An axiom is a statement that identifies the base of knowledge and of any further statement pertaining to that knowledge, a statement necessarily contained in all others, whether any particular speaker chooses to identify it or not. An axiom is a proposition that defeats its opponents by the fact that they have to accept it and use it in the process of any attempt to deny it. [Ayn Rand – For The New Intellectual]
Behaviourism: Behaviourism aims to control behaviour by rewarding the desired action and punishing the undesired, essentially harnessing the pain-pleasure spectrum to influence choices. It assumes that all behaviors are either reflexes produced by a response to certain stimuli in the environment or are a consequence of that individual’s history. Most of all behaviourism seeks to control behaviour and is a form of training similar to that used on animals.
Believe: To accept something as true, usually but not necessarily with some supporting evidence
Capitalism: is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights including property rights in which all property is privately owned. It is a system based on the private ownership of the means of production in which men freely exchange goods and services unregulated by any governmental (coercive) intervention.
Concept: A concept is a mental integration of 2 or more units possessing the same distinguishing characteristic(s) with their particular measurements omitted. They are isolated by a process of abstraction and united by a specific definition. [Ayn Rand]
Consciousness: The faculty of identifying that which exists.
Definition: A statement that identifies the essential characteristics of the particular aspect of reality that a concept denotes.
Denote: to serve as an indication of, to serve as an arbitrary mark for (Miriam Websters)
Climate Change: This is a meaningless slogan that replaced “Global Warming” because it was found that the planet had in fact stopped warming. The climate changes, that is what it does. It has been much hotter in the past, and there has been much more CO2 in the atmosphere in the past. There is nothing to worry about.
Connote: The implication or suggestion of an idea or feeling by a word, in addition to its primary meaning. What a word connotes is what feeling it triggers in you. [Nigel Howitt]
Economics: The study of the principles of human behaviour concerning the exchange of values, and the conditions required for the creation of wealth. (Nigel Howitt). Adam Smith (1776) defined it as “an inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations”. Alfred Marshall (1890) defined it as “a study of man in the ordinary business of life. It enquires into how he gets his income and how he uses it. Thus, it is on the one side, the study of wealth and on the other and more important side, a part of the study of man.”
Education: A self-generated process of acquiring the cognitive means to gain knowledge, and then of gaining specific knowledge of reality, with the purpose of living a life on earth. [LR]
Fact: A self-evident or proven proposition. [LR]
Faculty: Ability to act or perform, capacity for any natural function, [Websters] One of the inherent cognitive or perceptual powers of the mind [Wordnet] An inherent mental or physical power [Dictionary v2.2.1]
Faith: The acceptance of an idea without evidence or proof, without sensory evidence or rational demonstration. [Nathaniel Branden]
Global Warming: The planet has been warming and cooling as we pass in and out of ice-ages for millions of years. It is nonsense to get alarmist because the average global temperatures increase.
Government: A social agency/institution that performs the task of formulating and enforcing the laws of a country.
Greed: overconsumption due to artificial circumstances of excess availability.
Happiness: Happiness is the state of consciousness that arises from the achievement of one’s own rational values.
Home Education: Facilitating the self-education of young people primarily in the real-life home environment. [LR]
Honesty: The refusal to fake reality.
Intellectual Sovereignty: Trust in one’s own mental process and judgment, being guided by and being confident in one’s own intellectual authority. Taking the trouble to inform one’s self, and taking responsibility for all one’s own decisions irrespective of (and if necessary contrary to) popular opinion.
Knowledge: Awareness of some specific fact(s) of reality in conceptual form.
Life: A process of self-generated self-sustaining action (towards a goal).
Logic: The art of non-contradictory identification. [Ayn Rand]
Love: To love is to value [AR] to hold as very important; love is an involuntary emotional response to perceived value. [LR]
The Matrix: The matrix is a metaphor. It is not real. Using it as a metaphor it refers to the mass semi-conscious dependency culture; the result of un-thinking and irrationality on a cultural scale; a society of programmed people unaware of the many guiding assumptions and philosophical convictions they absorb by osmosis from the media, from propaganda, from the herd of sheeple around them.
Being in the Matrix: Habitually making lifestyle-critical choices based upon the judgment of others, often in disregard of empirical evidence to the contrary. To be in the Matrix is to be guided by principles and convictions that one is not aware that one holds. [Nigel Howitt]
Living outside the Matrix: Habitually making considered lifestyle-critical choices based exclusively upon one’s own rational judgment having examined the empirical evidence. [Nigel Howitt]
Morality: A code of values to guide mans choices and actions that determine the purpose and course of his life. [Ayn Rand]
Mysticism: The acceptance of ideas without any supporting evidence in reality; the claim to another reality which we have no ability to perceive using our human senses; the claim to knowledge acquired by revelation, intuition or just ‘knowing’, in the absence of proof and even in defiance of proof; the claim to some other reality other than the one in which we live. [Nigel Howitt]
Parenting: According to wikipedia “parenting (or child rearing) is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Parenting refers to the aspects of raising a child aside from the biological relationship.”
I add that parenting has to be about adequately preparing young people for life by enabling their functional literacy. Meaning fully able to live a life and take responsibility for one’s self, to be healthy, run a home and run a corporation if desired, to manage relationships effectively to learn develop ones dreams and achieve happiness.
Peace: A lack of disturbance; A stress free state of mind; An absence of hostilities between tribes or governments; An absence of violence, force or coercion.
Rational: In accordance with reason, logical.
Reality: Reality is that which exists, the unreal does not exist.
Reason: Is the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by mans senses, thinking is the process, logic is the method. [Ayn Rand]
(Individual) Rights: “Rights” are a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context.
There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries), a man’s right to his own life. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action. The right to life means the right engage in self-sustaining and self-regulated action – which means; the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support and furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life.
The concept of a ‘right’ pertains only to action – specifically to freedom of action. It means freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men. Thus for every individual , a right is the moral sanction of a positive – of his freedom to act on his own judgment, for his own goals, on his own voluntary un-coerced choice. As to his neighbours, his rights pose no obligations on them except of a negative kind – to abstain from violating his rights.
The right to life is the source of all rights – and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product is a slave. Bear in mind that the right to property is a right to action, like all the others: it is not the right to an object, but to the action and the consequences of producing or earning that object. It is not a guarantee that a man will earn any property, but only a guarantee that he will own it if he earns it. It is the right to gain, keep, to use and to dispose of material values. [Ayn Rand – The Virtue of Selfishness]
Modern Government Schooling: An institution in which children are detained in buildings, usually made of concrete and glass, with no pleasing aesthetic features, adorned with CCTV cameras and with a high perimeter fence. Between specific hours attendance of classes is compulsory as part of a structured framework of study with a prescribed curriculum. The intended goal is claimed to be that the children achieve an education. [Nigel Howitt]
Myth: A widely held but false belief or idea. [Oxford English Dictionary]
Soul: The concept of soul represents mans consciousness, his means of perceiving reality.
Spirit/Spirituality: The terms soul, spirit and spirituality rationally refer to mans consciousness. This is in contrast to the mystical meaning of something non-material, or a disembodied consciousness (a contradiction in terms). The mystical definition does not refer to spirit as being consciousness. It is defined as being something other worldly and unknowable rather than the self evident given that consciousness is.
Thinking: is the deliberate and intentional mental process of reasoning with the acquisition of knowledge as its goal.
Metaphysical Truth: That which accords with reality.
Linguistic truth: A statement or proposition that corresponds to reality.
The Universe: All that exists.
Wealth: is the accumulation of material values, that which man needs to faciliate his life and it’s enjoyment.