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Top 10 Reasons Ayn Rand was Dead Wrong

Posted by Mitch 3 years, 3 months ago to Politics
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I happened across this by accident, fairly recent too… Someone is upset at the Objectivist philosophy, I started to read the reasons and was angry after reading the first but broke into laughter on the second reason when the author truly tried to convince the reader that “Reason has real-world limitations”. Then it goes into a hit piece on Ayn Rand personal life. My favorite reason is number 9, “Reading Rand creates instant jackasses”. Read the comments below, the author is lambasted…

Your truly, Jackass
SOURCE URL: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/top-10-reasons-ayn-rand-was-dead-wrong/


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  • Posted by jameyosteen 3 years, 3 months ago
    My Mom said it best. "People are entitled to their opinions. When you have someone who is "so very wrong" don't try to argue with them. They cannot be swayed far enough for you to agree with them. Just say "Bless Your Heart" and keep walking." We know that trouble is coming. Be prepared & keep your powder dry.
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    • Posted by Gilles 3 years, 3 months ago
      You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not reasoned themselves into.
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      • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 3 months ago
        However they got themselves into a position and it doesn't necessarily take reason. Propaganda will work - witness the collectives of the left wing - just as well. You are correct in stating the difficulty in reasoning some one out of that state. You speaking generally can assist by pointing out different ways of thinking or perhaps false premises as a clue. The individual him or herself is the only one that can flip the switch to start really thinking and is the only one responsibile for that act and what follows., The I was only following orders excuse is not an excuse but, if given, an admission or acknowledgement of guilt by their own reasoning and a plea for clemency is the classic example.So no don't blame Soros or Lakoff look in the mirror for the ultimate culprit or ultimate jury. The rest of us can only applaud or pity according our individual position. and our responsibility.

        The only flaw I would contest is did the individuals in question reason themselves into the situation or were they conned? Either way their choice their responsibility. Thumb up for the comment Gilles
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 years, 3 months ago
    This is a good summary of what we are up against.
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    • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 3 months ago
      We are up against a vacuum. it is not a contest. I have been at this for 50 years. We have been very successful, and will continue to be.

      Besides, who reads CBS Money? Old people. Objectivism has always been for the young. I recommend time and again that you goto the Ayn Rand Institute essay contests and see the winners from Catholic high schools. We are in our third generation.
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 years, 3 months ago
        "Objectivism has always been for the young". Other than one high schooler, is there any regular contributor in the Gulch under 40? I would guess that the average age of those in this forum is 60.
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        • Posted by  $  blarman 3 years, 3 months ago
          What's the old saying? "If you're not a liberal when in college you have no heart. If you're not a conservative when you're older you have no brain."

          I look at all the Bernie Sanders supporters and this statement just flashes at me like a neon sign on the Strip in Las Vegas.
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          • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 years, 3 months ago
            The life I lived kinda blends in with that saying. I was a college student who was against Vietnam War and resented the draft that did indeed tag me.
            Back then you would not believe how many Marines thought, as did I, that socialism was a good idea and that ":the man" sucked.
            Later my brain grew up in time to vote for Ronald Reagan twice.
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        • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 3 months ago
          The Gulch is a special case in the evolution of Objectivism within society because of the Atlas Shrugged * movies. The films attracted conservatives. The Gulch actually has very few Objectivists. It has few who are seeking new ideas. Overwhelmingly, Gulchers have their minds made up. As noted in the comments following, they became conservatives when they got old. Remember that Ayn Rand defined the movement as explicitly not "conservative." *We are radicals for capitalism," she said. Radicalism does not appeal to old people.

          How many people here finally got over believing in God because of the works of Ayn Rand? We have atheists, but they came here that way.

          With young people, they struggle with new ideas, explore new concepts, grapple with challenges.

          We do not get that here much.
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          • Posted by 3 years, 3 months ago
            But why?

            I would agree that most everyone here already is dead set in the beliefs; if you change your belief in a god due to a philosophy, it just illustrate the fact your original choice was faulty and your ability to make rational decisions is also questionable. If you hold a belief in a god, I would never expect to change that belief.

            Don’t misunderstand me ether, I think that atheists are also dead wrong for their stanch, unyielding stance that god doesn’t exist. Any rational person will tell you that you can’t disprove a negative.

            I believe that as a person grounded in reality, that I know that I don’t know everything and that I truly believe in questioning and discovery, I have to leave the possibility open of a higher being. I think it is extremely unlikely but still the same, on pure objective reasons, you cannot disprove a negative.
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            • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 3 months ago
              Mitch, you made several basic errors in those three paragraphs; and they may be due more to the problems in communicating via comments, versus laying out a complete essay. I just want to make sure.

              You wrote:"if you change your belief in a god due to a philosophy, it just illustrate the fact your original choice was faulty and your ability to make rational decisions is also questionable."

              What you said means that whatever you believe first must always be your conviction. Your statement means that improvement is not possible. Ultimately, it says that we must be infallible or else incapable of making any decision.

              Few people come to a belief in god from a rational decision. Mostly, we grow up with it; and accept it as given. Then, we find justifications for it. At least most people around me in America seem to have.

              You also said (twice) " you cannot disprove a negative. You mean that it is impossible to prove a negative. It is easy to disprove a negative: just provide a positive example. Foxhole Atheists is a club for soldiers with non-traditional religious beliefs. Most are atheists; many other are just uncommitted. "There are no atheists in the foxholes" is a negative statement that has been disproved.

              As I recall, in the Basic Principles of Objectivism class, Nathaniel Branden offered this example.
              A: "The far side of the Moon has rose gardens with Coca-Cola vending machines."
              B: That's ridiculous.
              A: "Prove that it is not true!"

              The implication is that just because we have not found them, does not mean that they are not there. Disproof is impossible.

              Karl Popper set falsifiability as a requirement in science because, as he put it, both Freudian psychology and astrology have great explanatory powers. You can explain anything and everything. Every challenge is met with more explanation. But they set no standards for disproof.
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              • Posted by 3 years, 3 months ago
                Mike,

                I meant what I said, let me elaborate for you on this:

                Let me first state that we are only arguing semantics… I’m an engineer first and a word smith somewhere around my ability to tie my shoes. I’m okay with that…

                The first error is not an error at all and should have been very easy for you to understand. My point is exactly how its worded and exactly what that the sentence says. Making a basic switch in your belief system due to word of man from the word of god is a monumental shift. For this to occur, the person would have to rationally realize the previous belief systems was faulty. My point is that if you make a fundamental shift like this, you must also admit that your previous decision was void of logic and though extension you “new” choice must also be in question. Seems clear to me… I grew up in a religious family, I have always asked why, including a god.

                Again, I mean exactly what I said, the argument here is disproving a negative.

                The negative of your argument is the absents of god, you can say that god doesn’t exist because god hasn’t spoken to you. But maybe that’s because god thinks you’re an asshole and he/she simply wishes not to speak with you? This argument is fundamentally different from the religious person’s point of view, which is god exists because the bible says so (for illustration) or something else like that. This argument points to proof, rather true or not as evidence to the decision. Whereas your argument is being made on a lack of proof ether way. The flaw in your argument is that you wish me to say, you’re right, I don’t hear god ether; me must have never existed.

                Argument from self-knowing (auto-epistemic)
                1. If P were true then I would know it; in fact I do not know it; therefore P cannot be true.
                2. If P were false then I would know it; in fact I do not know it; therefore P cannot be false.

                In practice these arguments are often fallacious and rely on the veracity of the supporting premise.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumen...

                My point is that both sides of the argument is wrong…

                Another way… “The patent is free from cancer because I looked for malignant cells and found none.” This argument is a fallacy in itself. Better said that: “The patent appears to be free from cancer as I’m unable to find any additional malignant cells.” The argument leaves wiggle room in an argument where you will never be 100% positive of the results. Errors in tests, wasn’t looking in the right place, the list goes on and on.

                I don’t see god, therefore he doesn’t exist is the negative and your argument is “prove me wrong” … This is a fallacy because I can’t disprove a negative.

                Mitch
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                • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 3 months ago
                  I'm going to interject something in the way of semantics. Instead of saying found the original system to be false or wrong perhaps try ' room for improvement.' Thanks for the space. I'm back to reading a great discussion
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          • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 years, 3 months ago
            +1
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            • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 3 months ago
              You brushed by but missed the point of objectivism and it's partner moral philosophy. That is exactly what they are for. I don't view them as a belief system but a way of verifying and existing system. It either strengthens through objective analysis or it shows flaws and points to ways of correcting them or it does away with it completely. The trick is it's your investigation and your honesty with yourself. So in the end it comes out right. but only for you.

              of course if you are trying to disprove a block of cement dropped on your head from 10 ' or won't hurt...LMAO
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              • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 years, 3 months ago
                I certainly don't consider myself a conservative. I did not miss the point of Objectivism. I disagree with one of its premises.
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                • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 3 months ago
                  which one?

                  You exist or you don't

                  You are aware of the nature of things around you or you aren't and can test them for usefulness or set them aside until later.

                  You are able to formulate a moral ethic for yourself or you can't or won't which becomes your moral ethic.

                  Even the emotional side can be judged objectively.....
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                  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 years, 3 months ago
                    I am a libertarian, and proud of it. There are some distinctions between Objectivism and libertarianism. I have a moral ethic that I am self-consistent with. It is objective, but not the same as Objectivism. I test everything as best I can, and set that which I cannot test yet aside for later. I am sure if you read many of my threads from last year which premise of Objectivism I do not accept, and have argued about it ad nauseum.
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                    • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 3 months ago
                      Having stated the three laws of Objectivism I'm at a loss to imagine what part you rejected. Even what most think of as emotion and try to reserve to a subjective only procedure is covered in detail objectivism. In any case I don't find your comments flawed in that they they satisfy the three laws insofar as I can tell. We have some who are not but claim to be and others like myself who are still acolytes. I think you sell yourself short unless I missed a great deal somehow.
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                      • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 3 months ago
                        Just to add Libertarianism is a political system Objectivism is a system for testing, if you will, any belief system. To find it's strong and weak points to validate or invalidate. have you not done exactly that?

                        To be a good Libertarian....must be more than just I'm for legalized marijuana because it feels good. Yet many view it from the outside as exactly that. They fail to see the strong points one of which revolves around the liberties afford by a strong economically capitalist based system of government called constitutionalism. I don't see how validating a belief system is being at odds with the validation system.

                        If you apply objectivism as you have are you not an objectivist. If the system tested successfully by your own conscious reasoning and ethical standards is libertarianism are you not a libertarian? Where in lies the disconnect?

                        Easy to see with some who have no belief system nor belief in themselves. In this case... difficult or impossible to see.

                        Therefore having seen the good in Libertarian what about the not so good? Someone else at odds for whatever reason who bristles at the words Cato Institute might want to take a stab at that one.

                        Being a humble acolyte I fail to see more than a few minor points of disagree all constantly under review.
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  • Posted by Zenphamy 3 years, 3 months ago
    OK, I just read the referenced article and all of the posted comments and replies and I can only say it's at least disappointing that so many continue to misunderstand Objectivism, if not purposely misstate it's principles and life applications. It is rewarding to see such an effort made by so many, which directly implies that the gaining interest in Objectivism is making an impact on the world around us. The democrat socialist progressives, the neo-cons, theists, and statists of all stripes are finally beginning to admit outside of their inner circles that the push-back against not only their stated policies, but also their world views of equality in outcomes for the common man regardless of individual differences and efforts, against all reason are gaining serious momentum.

    It's as well interesting to me that the poster chose to place his post and comment in politics rather than in philosophy, where it more appropriately belongs. Many will ask 'Why is that interesting', and my response lies in AR's commentary on the necessity of addressing the intellectual education in philosophy of the American citizen in order to alter political outcomes, rather than addressing their political beliefs. Beliefs, whether political, theism, or any other description are equally tepid when examined under the light of objective reality. The revolution and founding of this country was based on the philosophy of individual rights, not political beliefs and arguments.

    It can and should be argued and recognized that the dangers faced by this nation today are the direct results of the loss of intellectual support of individual rights and freedom and why it's essential to,understand the philosophical underpinnings, as well as the manipulation of political beliefs. Just liking the highlights and catch phrases of Objectivism that happen to align with some part of one's current political belief system without taking the time and effort to understand why, and why some aspects don't align with one's belief system will not generate significant individual liberty. Political beliefs will always be subject to manipulation and exaggerations, where the principles of Objectivism will hold firm against any attempt to manipulate or subject one's self to the short lived populism and entertainment value of political belief.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 3 months ago
      Great post but don’t read too much into the decision to post this under politics, it was the fact that the author framed his/her arguments in political emotions and it was found on a network news site.
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  • Posted by Kittyhawk 3 years, 3 months ago
    I found it particularly amusing and appalling that the author is a salesperson, and was attempting to state why Objectivism was not an appropriate moral guide for those in sales. With his #7 "Facts do NOT trump feelings, wishes, hopes, and fears," he comments, "Emotion trumps reason every time..." All I can think of is the stereotypical used car salesman taking advantage of customers by preying on their "feelings, wishes, hopes and fears" rather than giving them the FACTS about the car they're considering buying. I'm currently rereading AS (sixth time? seventh?) and was struck by this passage in Galt's speech: "I do not surrender my reason or deal with men who surrender theirs. I have nothing to gain from fools or cowards; I have no benefits to seek from human vices: from stupidity, dishonesty or fear." What a contrast in perspective. Would you rather buy a used car from John Galt or the author of that article?
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    • Posted by AMeador1 3 years, 3 months ago
      Excellent quote! The in-depth insight in Galt's speech is amazing. I think Rand wrote this first and then created the storyline around it. I swear nearly every sentence in that speech has deep meaning that too many skim over and don't delve into to get the full meaning. And even if you do, after an additional reading - more is gleaned from it. Rand was so very precise with her words.
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    • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 3 months ago
      Retailer might be more appropriate or 'is in sales.' To include all phases and types at all levels and escape the inevitable charge of sexism. But the comment of escaping the loss of dealing with such people is to the point. John Galt would sell a used or second hand car and not one that is termed as suggested as 'preowned.' With those slight suggestions Kittyhawk stated the cogent issues with the article and relegated it to, at best, an ill written hit piece. three points.
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  • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 3 years, 3 months ago
    Hello Mitch,
    I always wonder whether these hit pieces are simply misguided emotional outbursts or if there is some ulterior motive.
    The article is rubbish, but the comments are priceless.
    Respectfully,
    O.A.
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    • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 3 months ago
      They are too carefully worded to be misguided one time through readers. the parts come from too many sources.Just like the hit piece on her lying to immigration. Every so called source went nowhere except to two hit piece writers in some rag called Reason. I think it was a copy cat of another one. but didn't bother pursuing any further. Both the writers promised the sun, stars and mooon and came up with less than zero.It's like that 14th amendment group that lleads only to some website that has nothing but send money send money send money. It's a useful exercise in how to untwist and undefine and unframe the left Must really scare them to go to that much trouble. Writing skill was far above the crap George Lakoff writes. Or wit was done by a group of professors who each ontributed one area. We're not talking X+Y=Z Millennial Minimals here they don't have the skill.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 3 months ago
    Over the years, I have read similar junk. It is usually written by persons who have the bejeezus scared out of them by Objectivism. It points out all of the guilt, fears and evil that they've been covering up and suppressing for their entire lives. They realize that if Objectivism is real, they are nothing more than a twisted ogre percolating in their own slime.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 3 years, 3 months ago
    While most of these are complete junk, I think there is a point to be made with #7. You show me the perfectly logical Objectivist and you can show me where #7 doesn't apply. I am not arguing that reason isn't the ideal, only that if any of us think we can reach that we're delusional. Our feelings always impact our thought processes: the trick is in recognizing our own personal biases and being willing to honestly admit we have them.

    In general, I think that the author epitomizes #7, as this article is clearly an emotional rant - not a reasoned critique. I was turned off not only by its style, but its condescending attitude.
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    • Posted by strugatsky 3 years, 3 months ago
      Here's an example of reason vs feelings. You may have read that recently the court in Italy declared that a poor person stealing a small amount of food is quite alright and does not constitute a crime. After all, the person was hungry. Talking about this to my somewhat socialist-inclined sister, who is an artist and believes that others needs to support her, she immediately responded that, sure, if the person is hungry, he needs some minimum support from the government. So I asked her to picture a homeless person, who happens to be in front of her house and who happens to be hungry, walking into her house and in a friendly, polite, non-threatening way helping himself to her refrigerator. At that point, subjective feelings left her and objective reasoning took over...
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    • Posted by AMeador1 3 years, 3 months ago
      I agree that this can be an issue - people are not perfect - even the Vulcans struggled with their emotions ;) (Maybe this was Rodenberry's attempt to attack this fundamental premise of Rand). However, also keep in mind that Rand made the point that the only way for a person to have a good ability to truly live Objectively required being taught to be objective in their life from a very early age. Of course not everyone will have the same experiences - but if they are taught to look at those experiences objectively from the beginning - it also becomes that basis on their emotional responses. If your emotional responses are in line with a clearly practiced and thought out approach to how you think about things, it gets easier to practice. A self feeding cycle per se. But look at Rand herself - she messed up and fell prey to emotions that did not meet objectivist analysis, at least from my perspective. But everyone makes mistakes. Her flaws do not justify a "throwing the baby out with the bath water" line of thinking. Her philosophy is very well thought out and makes sense. Her mistakes in life or her own practical application of it are somewhat irrelevant. Einstein's theory's would still have been just as valuable - whether he was a wonderful person or a full scale wacko. Just my two cents.
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      • Posted by  $  blarman 3 years, 3 months ago
        You illustrate my point to perfection.
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        • Posted by AMeador1 3 years, 3 months ago
          This issue is the issue of every system. Christianity (or any other religion), political systems, philosophies, etc... None will ever have perfect and complete application. But they can strive for it.

          Shoot, even if you have perfect application - even under Objectivism, you will still have people that believe different things. If they were perfectly logical all the time, their own personal experience would give them rational reason to have varying knowledge about things. One person could have a good experience with item X and another person could have a bad experience with item X. They would have different views about item X - and if they never met each other to discuss their views about item X (in an objective fashion of course) - one may be correct and one may be wrong - and Objectivism would not have solved to problem.

          But, so long as they are willing to consider new information to reevaluate their positions - they are still properly practicing Objectivism. Rand never claimed it would create a utopia - it is an excellent system to strive towards though - IMHO.
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          • Posted by LibertyBelle 3 years, 3 months ago
            In Atlas Shrugged, Dagny and Francisco differed
            with each other through most of the novel, but it
            was an honest difference of opinion about what the
            results would be of certain actions. When Dagny
            realized her mistake, she joined Francisco, Galt,
            and the other strikers.
            Rearden and Francisco were at odds, tempor-
            arily; both were good; eventually Rearden joined
            Francisco and the strike.
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    • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 years, 3 months ago
      Agree with you there, Blarman.

      I am ok with setting aside reason in certain cases, and accepting that we have human limitations. For example, I like beer and wine. There is little really good derived from them, but I like them, and will allow this vice within reasoned limits.

      This in until I pass the the Vulcan Kolinahr ritual!
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      • Posted by editormichael 3 years, 3 months ago
        NEVER "set aside reason."
        Liking beer and wine is perfectly reasonable, or at least not unreasonable (I don't like them but know it is an opinion) and as long as you don't harm yourself or others, and as long as you don't damage your brain and thinking process, there is no, uh, reason not to drink it. IF you like it.
        But NEVER "set aside reason." Please.
        (And now I see AMeador1 has said something similar.)
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      • Posted by AMeador1 3 years, 3 months ago
        I'm never ok with setting aside reason - why would you be? You even show reason in your beer example. If you like it and drink it within reason, then why does this show you are putting reason aside. In reasonable quantities - there is nothing wrong with beer. If you like it and place a particular value on the pleasure you get from it, and believe it outweighs the minor potential negatives there may be from drinking it, then you are doing what Rand says - valuing things and deciding what to do based on your valuation system. Higher values over lower values.

        If you decide to drink excessively so that you can no longer think rationally - then I would say that is too far - especially if driving, watching the kids, working on heavy equipment, etc... I have never been drunk. I have been very wary of alcohol as I do not want to drink it to the point that my reasoning skills are not at a higher level than my emotional responses. I have felt this way long before reading Rand.
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        • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 years, 3 months ago
          Seems like I'd be in better shape, faster for soccer and live longer if I went to a single glass of wine and stopped beer. Perhaps the pleasure outweighs the negatives. I still think the pleasure and weights are a limitation of my human form, and a more reasoned person would have more will power to resist the short term pleasure for more long term pleasure/benefit.

          It is an interesting point. I think we agree in the outcome and are arguing a fine point of reasoning...which is of some value. I have argued in your camp before regarding putting one's self in danger to save another. I claim I get pleasure from it, and consider this a reason. If this satisfies the same argument as beer drinking, then we agree.
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          • Posted by AMeador1 3 years, 3 months ago
            I think we agree. A human life is valuable - depending on who and what they are to you, you may value them enough to kill yourself to save them. Rand even agreed with this on the basis that you may not value your life without that person and are therefore willing to give your life for them. But, would you place a value on a stranger above your own life? I would not. That doesn't mean I wouldn't try to save them, the particulars of the circumstance and the level of danger I would be willing to put myself in would be a factor in deciding what I would be willing to do verses not saving them. If I were going to have to jump in a lake and damage items in my pockets to save someone from a submerging car - I'd be fine with that. If I had to let someone shoot me to save a stranger - much harder decision - I probably would not do it.

            Drinking within reason is hard. How do you clearly decide? There are pros and cons for reasonable drinking for the average person. You might gain some weight, maybe be at higher risk for kidney stones, possible liver damage - but all these are minimized or eliminated with limited use. But, there are also advantages - like relaxing, anti-oxidants, possible effects on your arteries/heart/etc... Who knows. Then there are always studies telling us it's good and others telling us it's evil. It becomes a personal decision based on your personal experience with it.

            But, drinking to the point of putting aside rational reason is inherently dangerous to yourself and others around you. Drinking too much can effect finances, family, etc... Again - all have to be weighed and valued - rationally by the individual making the choice.
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            • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 years, 3 months ago
              I look at it a little like risks and opportunities on development programs. Relative value (cost) * likelihood = factored value (cost). Factored cost is compared to the value. A quantitative example of a qualitative analysis might be: [cost = my life] * [likelihood = 10 %] = [factored value = 10% of a valuable life] compared against a 100% chance of another's life lost.

              How's that for a Vulcan take from someone who frets about the rationality of drinking beer?
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      • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 3 months ago
        If you arrive at facts through reason. You either need more facts or the problem is not the Second Law but the third L:aw where in you apply your own moral system and code of ethics.

        I know it's not good but I'm going to do it anyway.. Which means you are 2/3rds objectivist but 1/3rd subjectivist and therefore not truly and objectivist.

        However if in Step Two you determine Wine and Beer are good within certain tested limits you are not violating any part of your personal moral values Unless you get drunk.

        I remember court cases where I sat on the jury and the defendant used the excuse of 'being drunk' for committing some crime. And was a habitual offender. The excuse was neither reasonable nor acceptable.
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      • Posted by jdg 3 years, 3 months ago
        There's nothing wrong with drink or even drugs, within safety limits. Just be responsible about them, and don't make important decisions while drunk or high.

        Reason is a great and unmatched tool. But it doesn't need to be the only one in people's toolboxes.
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        • Posted by AMeador1 3 years, 3 months ago
          As an Objectivist position - reason is required for basic human survival. When you remove reason by screwing with your brains capacity to make rational reasonable decisions - how do you know you will not make what should be important decisions? You are inherently unable to make reasoned decisions. That's why people drive drunk, abuse their kids, cheat on spouses, etc... Drunk or high should be the essence of what an Objectivist would not want - as it taints real reason and that is very against the idea of Objectivism. I would not be inclined to tell someone they cannot partake in alcohol or even mild drugs - so long as it is not to the point of hindering the normal ability to reason. For heavier drugs that are highly addictive and almost certainly cause lack of ability to reason properly, a rational reasonable person should not take them in the first place.
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    • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 3 months ago
      Blarman, your statements about reason and emotion were kind of sketchy. It is not enough to recognize that your emotional assumptions color your ideas. Ayn Rand pointed out that as we grow, age, and mature from infancy through childhood into adolescence and adulthood, our ideas define our emotions.

      Concept formation quickly becomes the human mode of knowledge. What you choose to believe defines how you react to the world around you. Ultimately, what you believe about yourself determines how you carry on your life.

      Its failure, by repression, creates unresolved - and unresolvable - internal conflicts. Compartmentalization is one way that people get by: never letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing. The consequences of that are all around us. Just for one: engineers at General Motors "rationally" decided that it was cheaper to pay the victims than to redesign the product. That moral failure came from irrationality, not reason. Ayn Rand wrote on open letter to Boris Spassky about the compartmentalization of the rationality of chess apart from the irrationality of communism.

      Another example of that seems to come from your statement: "I am not arguing that reason isn't the ideal, only that if any of us think we can reach that we're delusional." In other words, you appear to claim that ideals cannot be achieved, that failure is inevitable and normal. Perhaps you mean that no one can be completely rational; and that anyone who thinks that he is perfectly rational is deluding himself. Either assertion is wrong because it confuses rationality with knowledge. You can be "perfectly rational" and still be wrong about a great many things. Knowledge depends on experience. With finite experience, we draw incomplete conclusions. The path from Galileo to Newton to Einstein may be a paradigm for that. But they were not irrational or delusional.

      Mountains of misunderstanding can grow from our molehills of paragraphs. It is not always easy (or necessary) to dash off a reply that conveys all of your ideas on a subject.
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      • Posted by  $  blarman 3 years, 3 months ago
        I have to disagree with Rand about how our ideas define our emotions. I don't believe that to be the case at all. We have to consciously choose to recognize and control our emotions, but it isn't the physical maturation process which leads to that control, but the mental/emotional maturation process, which is guided by the ideals we are taught. But it isn't that we are defining the emotions at all - we merely choose to recognize and channel them productively. To assert that we somehow generate emotions as an act of will is an idea I simply don't agree with one bit.

        I'm a Scoutmaster dealing with 11-, 12-, and 13-year old boys 2-3 times a week. And I can tell you that the maturation processes are very different in the dozen+ boys I am responsible for. I have one 12-year old Patrol Leader with four older brothers who is very mature and responsible. I have another who is older by six months with one older brother who is incredibly immature both emotionally and psychologically. My Senior Patrol Leader (13) has more emotional maturity than many high school seniors I've met. I don't equate age with maturity one bit.

        "In other words, you appear to claim that ideals cannot be achieved, that failure is inevitable and normal. Perhaps you mean that no one can be completely rational; and that anyone who thinks that he is perfectly rational is deluding himself. Either assertion is wrong because it confuses rationality with knowledge."

        Actually, in order to be perfectly rational, you have to be able to see reality for what it really is - not merely for what you think it is. Our own ignorance is a huge barrier in many ways to this. We can make rational decisions that still turn out to be completely fallacious - and why? Because our reasoning is built on unsound principles and bad premises.

        "With finite experience, we draw incomplete conclusions."

        YES! Failures are not necessarily irrational. Failures may result either from a willful choice in departure of what we know or a choice which runs contrary to reality despite our ignorance. I acknowledge that no human being is going to achieve perfect knowledge, and that as such, we are all going to make decisions that at some point run contrary to reality. Does that mean we should not strive to make perfectly rational decisions? No. What we need to be willing to do is to act according to what we know and accept correction when appropriate.
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        • Posted by AMeador1 3 years, 3 months ago
          If you have studied Rand - then I think you have misinterpreted her or missed some of her writings. She doesn't imply that we "generate emotions as an act of will" but that your morality and beliefs determine your emotional responses.

          If you believe you will be shocked when a button is pressed (because that has been your experience in life) - you will learn that and have an emotional response that is based on this "knowledge". So when someone who goes to press a button which makes you get scared and stressed - that is your emotional response. Others who have not had this experience in life will not have this response. The response is based on what you know and believe.

          Rand pointed out that if people are raised from a young age with a rational approach to reason and taught how to use their experiences and knowledge to form their opinions and morality, that their emotional responses will be based on their particular experiences and how they have incorporated them into their knowledge base and morality (their particular valuation system).

          When things happen that are positive to their morality, they will have a positive emotional response, and equally have a negative emotional response to things that are opposed to their value system. Your emotional responses thus, if raised objectivist - should result in rational emotional responses verses irrational responses such as when the moral/value system is based on a philosophical system such as Kant's.

          If you have appropriate emotional responses due to a rational thinking - why should they then be "controlled" or held at bay? If someone has irrational emotional responses - their family, friends, parents, etc... need to help them review their beliefs and re-evaluate their premises and adjust accordingly. Even the "shocked" person can learn after experiencing buttons being pushed and not being shocked, that having buttons pushed doesn't equal pain - and their emotional response will change with confidence in their new found knowledge that button pushes do not in fact equal shocks.
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          • Posted by  $  blarman 3 years, 3 months ago
            While I appreciate your response, I do fundamentally disagree with Rand on this issue. She takes the stance that emotions are an outgrowth of logic and development. I differ - and strongly. I believe that emotions are inherent: we do not choose to get angry or not to get angry, for example. What we can do is channel our responses to these emotions into appropriate outlets.

            I take the example of the 2-3-yr-old child. I've been around my fair share of these and though the basic emotions are all there, the actual responses differ signficantly. In the households where parents have taught self-discipline, even 2-3-yr-olds can show restraint from hitting (anger), taking others' toys (jealousy), hugs (love), etc., but this is by no means a determinant as I have seen siblings with exactly the same upbringing react completely different because their personalities are completely different. Do these children really "reason" about what anger or jealousy are? Not even remotely. All the parent can do is help the child isolate and identify what they are feeling and then help them practice appropriate responses.

            "If you have appropriate emotional responses due to a rational thinking"

            One does not generate emotional responses as a product of internal thinking, however. Emotions are generated by external stimuli acting on us. They are instinctual - not driven by the logical thought process. The "fight or flight" response is one such reaction: wholly ungoverned by and non-susceptible to rational thought processes. The adrenal glands kick in and the cognitive portion of our brain actually shuts down in favor of the instinctual portion. In combat training for soldiers, much of what they are drilled on repeatedly is reconditioning their reactions to the fight-or-flight response to channel their heightened senses and reaction times into pre-arranged response patterns - not because there is cognition or reason available but precisely because it is not. They also do it so as to improve their bodies' ability to revert back from a chemically-induced instinctive mode to a logically-controllable mode.

            A second example stems from the old "count to ten" rule for dealing with anger. This is nothing more than a conditioned response which gives the cognitive portion of our brains time to re-engage after the initial emotional rush of chemicals hits us.

            Now you do bring up the interesting example of a conditioned response due to shock therapy. What one is focusing on in such a scenario is first and foremost conditioning a response. What is further to be considered, however, is that the conditions are largely artificial as well and that one is not generating the emotion, but instead the circumstances in which an emotion may evince itself. In this case, the brain automatically recognizes the false nature of the situation and instinctively blocks the reaction and recovers more quickly than when a real threat evinces itself.

            To conclude, my own empirical observation rejects the notion that logic drives emotion. All logic can help us do is understand what actions are appropriate and assist us in conditioning our responses.
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            • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 3 months ago
              I would add that it's habit. Bad habits lead to instant and often regretted reactions. I burn my eggs again so in a fit of pique I threw the frying pan. and then in a follow fit of rage finished breaking the window. ....and never once took the blame. Which is the learning to count to ten.

              The adrenaline rush or chemically induced and how to use it not abuse it is also part of training. Instant response learned as and individual and as a team without and our greatest fear was some newbie would fly off the handle and do something stupid.

              When you say they speaking of combat training I say We. We wouldn't allow the use of the word flight or anything else that negative. Move to a position offering the best cover, concealment and set up a hasty ambush it was always combat positive. Most of those responses were the result of unceasing drills Of course our unit was a touch above the others be it actual,A field exercises or even computer simulation probably why we enjoyed a high survival ratio. All members could do the job of the other members no natter how different the skills and alll could take over and lead. We also had zero draftees and zero with low intelligence scores. While I'm thinking back the deck was stacked in our favor. But now I now how to deacribe what we were doing except instinctive mode. which doesn't exist in humans supercharged thinking mode is a better choice.

              The other dude died for his country or whatever.. we just hit the showers That and a paycheck took care of the why? The rest didn't mean a thing.
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              • Posted by  $  blarman 3 years, 3 months ago
                Thanks for your service!
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                • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 3 months ago
                  Are you the Constitution? You should read our oath of offfice with more care. In 24 years wearing the uniform I never served the country nor the people or the moonshine stewn corn fields of Iowa or Mom's apple p

                  "I, _, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

                  We served the Constitution and only the Constitution. The Constitiution served the nation until the people's elected delegates saw fit to sit it aside time after time by open vote and presidential signature.

                  We were not relieved of our sworn duty. to support and defend , not to the best of our ability, but without purposes of evasion which is not listed in the above quote.

                  We were also taught any President who becomes an enemy of or turns against the Constitution was not exempt.

                  There was at tone time a move to make officers appointed over read 'uniformed officers.' Thus exempting the Service Secretaries from the Chain of Command which goes from Commander In Chief to the Commander US Military (Chairman of Join Chiefs) and the Commanders of the separate branches or Departments of the Military Chiefs of Staff. We just took it to mean by never asking officially it meant uniformed officers. not civilian officials.

                  Still. people, country, etc. are not mentioned. Now we serve a Constitution that has no country. The Country and the Citizens shit canned it without word or whimper on multiple occasions.

                  But the sentiment of Blarman was well intended and well received Your welcome. Some of us will continue to do so. while others hide behind closed forums. .
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  • Posted by  $  SarahMontalbano 3 years, 3 months ago
    I accidentally read this in class and busted up laughing, hard. When I showed my classmate, he looked at me as he thought it was true. Alas! The plight of the ignorant intelligent!
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  • Posted by BlakeAndrews 3 years, 3 months ago
    I'm pretty sure the only thing that Ayn Rand ever got wrong was that "cigarettes aren't harmful". That's the only thing I can find. Objectivism is sound and valid, always will be. I almost read this article but then I realized there was no point. I've already logically validated Rand. There is no argument that can refute what I know to be true.
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  • Posted by  $  Stormi 3 years, 3 months ago
    I knew the article was in trouble when I was CBS, they never understand anything! Then as I read each point, I saw a poor little guy who is defeated before he even tries to approach the grown up world of Rand. He does not begin to understand the philosophy nor business. In logic =, we were taught that you do not attack the one who delivers the message, that is an error of its own. OK, Rand was not perfect, but that does not discredit her philosophy. Marx was far from perfect, but this guy likely would likelystand up for Marxism. Being true to the self, what is it that people cannot undertand about that. When you do what is best for you, if it truly is, then it is also best for others, if you act according to the principals of Objectivism. It was clear this guy was raised on the, "There is no I in team" garbage, stay true to peers, and what, you end up a dope head! If everyone agreed with what he says, business would soon cease to be mutually beneficial to all, in fact, it would cease to function at all. Grernspan was early on a disciple of Rand, but he did not stay true to her principals nearly as much as he did to the FED and the CFR. This guy needs to be tutored by Thomas Sowell.
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    • Posted by  $  Dobrien 3 years, 3 months ago
      Greenspan turned his back on reason and objectivity to be famously rewarded by the looters and the leftists. His principals compromised by his pact with the illuminati.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 3 years, 3 months ago
    4 Not everyone makes use of the luck he gets;
    under the laissez-faire system she advocated,
    an untalented person, or one who did not make
    proper use of his inheritance, would lose his money;
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  • Posted by term2 3 years, 3 months ago
    I am so tired of the pundits and intellectuals. I just dont listen to them. Its such a waste of time. BUT, that said, they have to be opposed or they win.
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    • Posted by  $  BeenThere 3 years, 3 months ago
      We can only "lose" by default..................should we fail, reality/existence will extract the price............."if
      one tries to wipe out reality, reality will wipe out the wiper". We are making progress, but philosophical change is slow...........the more Objectivism penetrates the culture, the more screams, rants, crying tantrums, etc. we will hear.............even this kind of article may spark some to investigate and discover Objectivism.
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      • Posted by term2 3 years, 3 months ago
        I happen to think that one thing that we can do is point out the failures of socialist programs. They get a free ride on failures all the time, blaming them on not enough money. We should bring the failures to light. I HOPE that Trump will assist in this by saying what he thinks and not letting people muzzle him with political correctness.
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  • Posted by  $  Temlakos 3 years, 3 months ago
    All right. Herewith an "objective" critique.

    "Reasons" 3 and 9 are argumenta ad hominem.

    "Reason" 1 lies at the core of this person's objection. He plumps for a command economy, or at least an economy with "command" elements.

    "Reason" 7 ignores the very basis for law. Which is why those having the "thief mentality" never want to argue facts, because they know they'll always lose.

    "Reason" 10 is false. Do you know why? Because all too many CEOs are Orren Boyles. You have only to observe their conduct.

    "Reason" 6 is a matter of opinion, not objective, verifiable fact.

    "Reason" 4 is an excuse for theft. It also ignores Henry Rearden's ringing defense of free enterprise. Remember: "the voluntary consent of every man I dealt with."

    The rest of his "reasons" are scarcely worth considering.
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    • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 3 months ago
      Command Economy AKA State Economics AKA Fascist Economics AKA Marxist Leninist Economics with a thin veneer of Capitalism just to define where the rest of the writing is coming from.
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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 3 months ago
    You see this tirades in mainstream media like CBS Money, MSNBC, or Huffington Post. No one decries the personal lives of John Maynard Keynes or Ludwig Wittgenstein. No one waves a red flag over Dale Carnegie or Napoleon HIll, both of whom continue to sell well. Here in Austin (for one), the Church of Scientology is accepted as a volunteer agency in disaster relief, along with the Buddhists and Baptists. So, people seem to have gotten past L. Ron Hubbard's personality. And, of course, it would be odd, you know, for MSNBC or CBS Money to carry an opinion piece on why Christianity is a crock.

    So, rants like that just continue to advertise the product, really. It is nearly impossible to kill an idea, least of all a good one.
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  • Posted by Danno 3 years, 3 months ago
    So according to the writer an Objectivist is free of conflict of any kind. And the writer seems to know intimate details of Ayn Rand to make such authoritative statements. As Socrates said: Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people. So to conclude: the writer is of weak mind.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 years, 3 months ago
    If he is talking about a leftest acting out rand...then it's believable...

    Speaking of the left...#7 is perfect for today...feelings, emotions, have "trumped" Facts, reason, logic or what is truly good for the country.

    At the same time, I'm reading this and listening to Ted Cruz's concern about the vast divide in the country, the emotionally vicious non factual, lies expounded by the rest prohibits an awakening and a return to the principles. 1/2 the country is not, can not...listen to reason.

    Maybe we have fallen over the edge and the idea of a Republic is dead.

    What we have witnessed is exactly what happened at the fall of Babylon...The writings on the wall..."Your days are numbered"
    Not knowing history prevents one from knowing from where you come and therefore prevents one from knowing to where you are going.
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    • Posted by AMeador1 3 years, 3 months ago
      I totally agree. I say the Communists from Russia, Sal Alinsky, and the like have accomplished their goals. They have infiltrated the education system K-College, media, politics, etc...

      Limit real education and critical thinking skills, make the idea of moral judgment or the idea of right and wrong a moral relativism based on Kantian philosophy where anything goes, etc... and society will go in whatever direction the mystics direct them to.

      The idea that the majority of the country is "feelings" based is clear. It is opening the doors to uneducated, non-thinking people to think the idea of socialism is a good thing - that big government is the answer - that free is cool. So like early stages of Atlas Shrugged.

      Rand needed to come along in the late 1800's so Progressivism could have been combated early on before the is had a foothold.

      If we have any hope, it is in getting control back of the same areas they took over - education, media, Hollywood, politics, etc... We have to educate and teach our young to be Objectivist in their approach to life. Right now all they're hearing is twisted versions of history, reality, socialism/communism, relativism, etc... Rational, critical thinking is a thing of the past.
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  • Posted by wiggys 3 years, 3 months ago
    All I had to do is read the first paragraph to know not to read any further.
    It would be in the best interest of this forum to delete the totality of the post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  • Posted by Gilles 3 years, 3 months ago
    The aspect that has has the strongest attraction to me, are the arguments and descriptions for Objective Morality that Objectivism advocates. Everything else, other than the metaphysics and epistomology that form the basis of those ethics seems either just a detail or a consequence. The fact that everything we should do, should be driven by considerations that enhance our life and/or existence, makes Objectivism a topic of which I intend to remain a student of, in spite of my middle age.
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  • Posted by evlwhtguy 3 years, 3 months ago
    Far from getting upset with the first point I was amused because the author also reveals himself as a nitwit...he states...... "Just like Marxism, in the real world, produced the Soviet system in Russia, the real world implementation of laissez-faire capitalism, led by Rand-disciple Greenspan, produced the great recession" .......I don't know about the rest of you but I'd take the Great Recession over 75 years of destitution oppression an outright murder under communism in the Soviet Union any day of the week. In point of fact the Great Recession was caused by government intervention into laissez-faire capitalism. To equate the two is completely ridiculous.
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