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My Enemies’ Enemy is not Necessarily My Friend in Philosophy

Posted by dbhalling 3 years, 10 months ago to Philosophy
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My Enemies’ Enemy is not Necessarily My Friend in Philosophy. It is this idea (my enemies enemy is my friend) that turns people into useful idiots – think Animal Farm. Just because conservatives and the religious right are against liberals (socialists) does not mean they are my friends. Just because the ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment opposed Marism, does not make them my friend. Just because Austrian Economics opposes Keynesian economics, does not make them my friend.


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  • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 3 years, 10 months ago
    Hello dbhalling,
    Poking the hornets' nest, are we? :)
    So it is that we all search for the perfect philosophy- one that satisfies our understanding of the world as seen through our individual prisms.
    There are philosophies I do not share that I can coexist with, yet hope may evolve into something more palatable. There are also some that I cannot live alongside of as they present an existential threat.
    Is not an hierarchy useful? When one's house is on fire, he cares not of the squeaky hinge...
    Regards,
    O.A.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 10 months ago
      There are not two answers to the same question in science. The wrong answer leads you towards more mistakes. The same is true with philosophy.
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      • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 3 years, 10 months ago
        Hello dbhalling,
        Indeed. Perhaps it is different for you, but I am mostly surrounded by people with the wrong philosophy and answers... By my estimation, people are wrong about a great many things. Out of necessity I tolerate quite a bit, and where possible I try to persuade. Some of these wrong philosophies and answers are harmless to me, while others present a danger to my ability to freely practice my own philosophy. This is why I have a hierarchy. I focus my attention on those philosophies/answers on my list based on their capacity to impede me. In my field and throughout my life, I have always had to approach problems methodically, assessing, prioritizing the most urgent problems and tackling them first.

        An Austrian economist with power may present an obstacle, but a Keynesian in a similar position could make my economic outlook impossible. For example: I place Rand/Objectivism's capitalism at the top of my hierarchy in the field of economic philosophy and Marx and Engels near the bottom. In between are various threat levels.

        Faced with a multitude of enemies and being a fearless defender of what I believe in, I prioritize my foes and attack Goliath first! I will attend to his minions similarly. :) Should we not cut off the head of the snake? Some will not learn and must be defeated, while others, watching on the sidelines may learn from the spectacle.
        To my way of thinking this is the most efficacious way of surviving to teach and hopefully persuade another day.

        Regards,
        O.A.
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        • Posted by LibertyBelle 3 years, 10 months ago
          That seems a pretty practical way of operating. I
          think that where one may differ philosophically, it
          is sometimes all right to form at least a temporary
          alliance politically; for instance, although I oppose religion
          philosophically, I believe that Catholic hospitals, being private, have the right to refuse to pre-
          scribe birth control pills or abortions. It's their
          hospital.--And if they are not allowed property rights, who's next?
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      • Posted by lrshultis 3 years, 10 months ago
        And sometimes what appears to be the right answer again leads one down the wrong path. Sometimes, at least in theoretical science, there are more than one path to go which each satisfies the data but years or decades later turn out to be the same theory after new mathematical connections are developed. Correct answers in many cases need to be modified later. In most cases of measurement close is good enough, so one sets acceptable tolerances for answers. If you mean that nature in no case under the same state will give different outcomes, notwithstanding quantum physics which has inserted probabilities into measurements, you are most likely correct.

        In philosophy, even ideas that appear correct will, with the finding of definitions being found full of floating abstractions or even platonic ideals, need to be rethought.
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  • Posted by philosophercat 3 years, 10 months ago
    The friend of an Objectivist in Philosophy is an advocate of reason. The good news about the Scottish Enlightenment is William Small came to the US to teach Thomas Jefferson about Locke and Hume died in 1776. The bad news is Hume's anti reason skepticism gave a wake up call to Kant. Reid opposed Hume but defended God while Smith supported Hume and defended God. It was God not reason that was the driver of common sense. Between Aristotle and Rand the advocates of reason, damn few, all believed reason was God given. Only Locke held the proof of God had to be empirical and held God to it. So the only friend of Objectivists is Locke and he must be recognized as having Christian ethics. But the USA would not have existed without him and the Magna Carta. An atheist Locke was not possible in the 1650's. We have almost no friends in philosophy which is why we have lots of work to do.
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  • Posted by $ mminnick 3 years, 10 months ago
    A prime example from history is The USA/Great Britain relationship with Soviet Union and Germany. Russian was Germany's enemy but certainly not a friend of the English or the Americans. Similar with the Japanese, the Russians and the US.
    In both cases we worked together to defeat a common enemy, but were also antagonistic toward each other, but not to the point of open violence.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 10 months ago
      Yes excellent point. That compromise lead to the cold war. On a short term basis it seemed to be a good idea, but in the long term it is hard to say it was not disaster. The 3/5ths compromise in the constitution lead directly to the Civil War.


      On a short term political basis you may work with enemies, but you can never forget that they are not your friends.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 years, 10 months ago
    What most political figures, columnists, and talk show hosts seem unable to comprehend is that humans are as unique as their individual fingerprints. Herding people into philosophical, political, cultural, or racial boxes denies the essence of what makes us who we are.

    Our success as a species is not tied to some rigid, immutable set of rules, even if religious institutions do their best to pound this notion into our heads. We are in a constant state of decision making that involves our own personal ideas of ethics and morality. Compromise out of necessity doesn't mean an unbreakable alliance, and close agreement doesn't always mean concurrence on every detail.

    We are expert survivors (well, most of us, anyway), and as such live in our own very unique, personal existence, which is necessarily dynamic.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 10 months ago
      Really. You think that if humans did not follow the rules of thought (logic) they can be successful?
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      • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 years, 10 months ago
        Rules established by institutions are not always logical. Even people who act in a seemingly illogical way can, on occasion, be successful, either because they're entertaining, or because they've discovered new facts that defy accepted rules of logic. Many scientific discoveries have faced an uphill battle against a community that believed such things impossible. Risk takers are often the most frowned upon members of society, despite the evidence that tells us they are the agents of change and innovation.
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      • Posted by lrshultis 3 years, 10 months ago
        Hardly anyone uses explicit rules of thought and humans have been quite successful though might be much more successful should they all be educated in methods of thinking.

        Most thought is done at the subconscious level and most people do not monitor the results of that thought. The brain will just use whatever premises happen to be accepted by the thinker and automatically use logical mental processes to produce conscious thoughts. The process of checking premises is what is missing in most people but if the thinking is not too far from rational, then humans can thrive due to, possibly, riding the shirt sleeves of those who are better at thinking. They may not be successful in happiness but will continue their lives. It all depends on what is considered successful. Humans have been most successful in reproduction which takes little rules of thought.
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  • Posted by $ Abaco 3 years, 10 months ago
    Yes. Reminds me of something a good friend of mine mentioned long before I really got into philosophy. He pointed out that the American mind is molded into this behavior of "good or evil". He had many examples and I'll never forget it. Something to be said for hanging out with intelligent people... Your use of "useful idiots" is perfect, db...
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  • Posted by salta 3 years, 10 months ago
    If we hold a hill on a philosophical battlefield, and our true enemies (say marxists and keynsians) are holding two nearby hills. I'm not sure its a good idea to treat anyone in the valleys as enemies also. If they have intermediate ideas, then they are nearer to sharing ours. What do we gain by driving them away as if on a real battlefield? Using the language of "enemy" sounds like we are trying to protect our ideals from new believers.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 10 months ago
      There are not two answers to the same question in science. The wrong answer leads you towards more mistakes. The same is true with philosophy.
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      • Posted by salta 3 years, 10 months ago
        I agree with you about science, because it is the study of the world external to ourselves. No two different answers can both be correct.
        In philosophy we are dealing with morals and values which are all internal to our minds. The marxists and keynsians believe they are correct just as strongly as we do.
        In my opinion, the polarizing stance that others have to agree 100% or else they are the enemy does not serve any purpose except isolation.
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 3 years, 10 months ago
    We see this more on the left side. Progressives, communists, marxist, every tyrant and fascist, racist, muslim and if we dig far enough, I am sure there are some cannibals in the mix too!..all gathered against reason, reality and consciousness.

    It was speculated, wondered about, as to what would happen if any of these idiots won the day...the answer of course...the war would continue because as you say...they are not friends.
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  • Posted by chad 3 years, 10 months ago
    I only choose friends who have the ideal of Objectivism. I have many acquaintances with whom I interact and trust to a certain level to accomplish tasks assigned to them. I know few people who would hesitate to take advantage of me when it comes to using the 'law' to steal from me or imprison me if they have the opportunity.
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    • Posted by LibertyBelle 3 years, 10 months ago
      I have good friends who are certainly not Objectivists. I can't say that I would marry somebody who did not accept Objectivist principles, but the requirements are not the same for a friend. And somebody who externally believes some false doctrines will not necessarily carry them to their ultimate conclusion. (Also, not everybody who claims to
      be an Objectivist really is one).
      .
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      • Posted by chad 3 years, 10 months ago
        I have friends who are not Objectivists and I know that there will be places where out friendship is limited and know that most people given the opportunity will not rob an individual and almost all who are given the opportunity will loot through the process known as 'law'.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 10 months ago
      My point is not about casual friends, my point is about the science of philosophy. Most people do not care enough about philosophy to spend a lot of time on that with them. They still might be great friends to play golf with or work with or many other things
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 3 years, 10 months ago
    Being a gun owner is about being an individual. Every gun owner has firearms that is different as the next and we have have strong opinions regarding them. Even at the range some are firing 45 and higher calibers, and myself firing my Ruger Mark lll with a 2# trigger sending 10 22ca. rounds into a target in a matter of a few seconds. Then the competition erupts.
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  • Posted by fosterj717 3 years, 10 months ago
    Then who is your "Friend" in relationship to those characteristics you named. If you mean that just because you have certain beliefs that you share, you are only entwined on those issue and not others that you may not subscribe to? Unfortunately, power clings to power and is self organizing in this day and age, hence you end up with a monolithic organization such as the Democrat party whereas the party marches lockstep on all issues. The diversity of beliefs are lost to the collective nature of that party. That is power and you can only have that type of power by organizing as such. Pick and choose leaves the body politik weakened when facing a monolithic organization of diverse interests, all tied together in the aggregate. So, I understand your perspective however is it really dealing from strength or only the "purity" of the individual belief?
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    • Posted by philosophercat 3 years, 10 months ago
      Spoken like a true Post-truth advocate. As the philosopher Sisela Bok concluded in her book "Lying" no lies can be good. You offer the truth to the people in the valley and they can choose to climb to truth or to the other hills of lies but not both. Do not compromise truth to accommodate the feelings of the confused and bewildered.
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      • Posted by fosterj717 3 years, 10 months ago
        You misread my thoughts on this issue. I was merely stating an "unfortunate" paradox. Purity for purity's sake is all well and good if you do not care about attaining your goals and Truths, whatever they may be.

        Unfortunately, we do not live in that "perfect" world whereas we can be purists and still attain the Truths that we believe are immutable. Compromise and negotiations on some issues may be the only viable way of attaining our Truths and goals.
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        • Posted by philosophercat 3 years, 10 months ago
          I did not misread your words and I have no clue as to your thoughts if they are not your words: post-truth divorces words and thoughts: not recommended for negotiations. where people tend to rely on words.
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          • Posted by fosterj717 3 years, 10 months ago
            Since you did not "misread" my words, I have to ask which ivory tower do you live in? Since perfection only exists in theory (and academia), I suspect that is where your thoughts lie. I for one choose to deal from reality tempered with idealism however I will not let the theoretical rule my life. Your judgemental style is "interesting" if not realistic...
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            • Posted by philosophercat 3 years, 10 months ago
              If you understand what the word "idealism" means in philosophy then you realize that your statement is false. Let me know how you decide what is "real" and what is "ideal" in your epistemology.
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              • Posted by fosterj717 3 years, 10 months ago
                My my! You do sound lie an effete and condescending person! Are all of you "Soft" scientists that belligerent and arrogant and making judgements on so little empirical data?

                Since you seem to be the expert on "Idealism" and who is and who is not an idealist by some measure that only you "guardians" of knowledge seem to control, perhaps you can tell me more about my "humble" and totally uneducated self?!

                I love having people who like to feel superior rail at everyone who does not subscribe to their obviously successful "indoctrination". How much did that indoctrination cost you or your parents?

                I also strongly suggest that you be a little more humble and introspective when trying to lecture to people about something that when you think about it, has no right or wrong answer to it!

                You do understand don't you that philosophy is not something that lends itself well to testing one's rhetoric unless the debate ground rules have be carefully defined and understood by all.

                Your "shoot from the hip" sophistry relating to my understanding of the word "idealism" and my usage being false is almost laughable coming from someone who fancies themselves as being so "enlightened".

                After all, wasn't it you "soft" science types that gave the world the idiocy of "Political Correctness"? Look at how that has turned out!!
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