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Jason Brennan Joins the Brigade of People Misrepresenting Ayn Rand’s Views

Posted by Zenphamy 6 years, 8 months ago to Philosophy
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" blog post by Jason Brennan of Bleeding Heart Libertarians, in which Brennan claims (among other things) that Rand and Objectivists are, according to the implications of ethical egoism, “committed to the view that you should rape, dismember, and murder others when it serves your interests.” Of course, Brennan does not and cannot quote Rand saying or implying this or anything of the sort. Nor does he or can he get around the fact that the implications of Rand’s ethics are precisely the opposite of what he claims them to be—as Rand herself made clear."

Is this going to be Objectivists battle for ever? Or is it a major indicator of the successes of AR's philosophy?
SOURCE URL: http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/2014/07/jason-brennan-joins-brigade-people-misrepresenting-ayn-rands-views/?utm_source=TOS+Commentary+%26+Announcements&utm_campaign=d07b3992ce-July_28_2014_Blog_Commentary7_28_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6e1a126b97-d07b3992ce-317566077


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  • 15
    Posted by Timelord 6 years, 8 months ago
    As so many have already mentioned, virtually every comment I read about Ayn Rand or Objectivism describes the opposite of what she really said (except here, of course).

    Even on this site, on the topic of a solar storm, "flanap" declares that an earth-destroying storm can't happen until "Jesus Christ returns." What is this person doing hanging around an Objectivist forum? We all know that it is impossible to be an objectivist without being an atheist.

    BLEEDING HEART LIBERTARIANISM is a false concept. It simply does not exist...

    I was curious what a bleeding heart libertarian was. Wikipedia describes 3 types.

    Weak/contingent BHLs: This is just your standard libertarian. There isn't any reason for this category to exist or for a person that would fall into this category to call himself a BHL; the benefits of social justice are a consequence of what they already believe.

    Anarchist Left-BHLs: This is just your average anarchist/minarchist libertarian. I don't consider these people to be libertarians, really, because libertarians believe that the state has a valid but limited role in society. In any case this is also not any kind of BHL because the benefits of social justice are a consequence of what they already believe.

    Strong BHLs: Jason Brennan is specifically mentioned as being an example of a strong BHL. "Strong BHLs believe that libertarianism is justified insofar and to the extent that [libertarian institutions] are compatible with the requirements of social justice. Insofar as certain elements of standard libertarianism are found to be incompatible with the requirements of social justice, Strong BHLs hold that those elements should be abandoned. Thus some Strong BHLs argue that the state might be justified in providing a universal basic income."

    In other words, the only reason to call oneself a Bleeding Heart Libertarian is if you're a Strong BHL. The other two categories are meaningless because the benefits of social justice are just a consequence of what they already believe.

    However, there is absolutely no such thing as a Strong BHL because their beliefs are completely incompatible with libertarianism. Those people are simply collectivists. Libertarianism shares beliefs with conservatives and collectivists, such as no social welfare and no corporate welfare, respectively. I used those two examples on purpose because Libertarians believe in *both* of those while conservatives and collectivists each abhor one or the other.

    Therefore, since neither of the terms weak BHL nor anarchist left BHL differentiates the members of those two "groups" from others that share their beliefs the terms are without meaning. And since the term strong BHL describes a person who holds many beliefs that are at complete odds with libertarianism, the Libertarian part of "Bleeding Heart Libertarian" is a complete falsehood.

    Types 1 and 2 are meaningless and type 3 is a lie, so Bleeding Heart Libertarian is a false concept.

    It makes one yearn for a world where a declaration like that could be reflected in reality.

    Jason Brennan: "I am a Bleeding Heart Libertarian."

    The Universe: "Ooops, Jason just vanished into nothingness because he declared that he does not exist."

    Alas, we're stuck with a reality in which we have to try to cope with people who declare "1 = 2" and demand that we believe it.
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
      I'm with you except for the part about libertarianism being in sync with conservatism. Conservatism advocates free-market capitalism, but limits on social policy - marriage, drug control, etc. The economic freedom is more important, as without it the rest is moot, but the social restrictions are far from libertarian.
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      • Posted by Timelord 6 years, 8 months ago
        "I'm with you except for the part about libertarianism being in sync with conservatism."

        Good, because I wouldn't be with me on that, either! I never said that libertarianism is in sync with conservatism. I did say this, "Libertarianism shares beliefs with conservatives and collectivists ..."

        You should read more carefully.
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        • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
          I stand corrected.

          However, you also state that Libertarians support both social and corporate welfare. I hope that is in reference to the Libertarian party, and not to libertarianism as a political theory. The party may support various positions that have nothing to do with actual political theory.
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          • Posted by Timelord 6 years, 8 months ago
            You're going to have to stand corrected one more time. I wrote, " Libertarianism shares beliefs with conservatives and collectivists, such as no social welfare and no corporate welfare, respectively."
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            • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
              I stand corrected, again. Though I'm not so sure that collectivists are against corporate welfare, per se. They want all to be on the common dole.
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              • Posted by Timelord 6 years, 8 months ago
                Yes, you're right on that one and it can probably be said that collectivists and conservatives are two sides of the same coin just like we say that about the Democrats and Republicans. The biggest problem is that "collectivist" is a very large group. My statement would have been more accurate if I had compared progressives and conservatives.

                Unfortunately, these days the lines between those two groups is beginning to blur.
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                • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
                  Actually, Dems/Repubs USED to merely be labels. There were conservative and liberal in both parties (unfortunately, the progressives have invaded both). But yes, the only difference that I see today is to whom they genuflect.
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  • 14
    Posted by salta 6 years, 8 months ago
    The problem with Rand's critics is they mostly read other critics, instead of Rand's own work. This problem could be expected to be worse in the modern "blogging" culture than in the days when people had to get their opinions into printed hard copy.
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    • Posted by 6 years, 8 months ago
      Excellent! But imagine the degree of hate to cause in all that reading. Why?
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      • Posted by $ winterwind 6 years, 8 months ago
        Steve said it shorter, but the hate is a direct result of coming face to face with another human who says "I matter. My life matters, and I value it. I refuse to surrender."
        And that absolute is SO TERRIFYING that their only response can be hate. *say this part very softly: "but whom do they really hate?"
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        • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 8 months ago
          "I matter. My life matters, and I value it. I refuse to surrender."
          It's amazing how these same people are very comfortable saying other people are important and matter. But of other people says it themselves, it's terrifying to them.
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  • 11
    Posted by johnmahler 6 years, 8 months ago
    Jason Brennan is a polymythofrenic You won't find this in any dictionary or medical dictionary. About 30 years ago, my wife took a medical terminology class and had to learn medical names of body parts, orientation, and diseases, not to mention the pharmaceutical preparations for treatment. In this quest, we had to break down disease names into prefix, word, suffix. It was hilarious and we spent lots of time with flash cards making up disease names, drugs to treat, and anatomy names. I came up with this:
    Poly (many) Mytho (fiction,lie) Frenia (manic compulsion) When words fail you, make them up.
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    • Posted by $ Snezzy 6 years, 8 months ago
      Polymythofrenic is an excellent word. My wife, who is educated in the sciences but has No Latin and Even Less Greek, was able to deduce its meaning with only the slightest of hints. She just told me that Alinsky recommends the technique--lie about your enemies, ascribing to them your own vices which they oppose.
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  • 10
    Posted by MikeRael101 6 years, 8 months ago
    The two parts of her novels which suggest that Rand was OK with rape or murder are:
    1.The rape scene in the Fountainhead and
    2.The train scene where folks get killed because of their wrong beliefs.
    Objectivists can point out that this was all fiction. That the rape scene was Rand's fantasy, not a real life sanction of rape. That the train scene was simply about her point that ideas have consequences.
    The opposition will reply that such negative scenes in her book indicate *something* was wrong with Rand and/or her philosophy.
    I suspect that many of the opposition like Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings." Yet they are never accused of criticizing Tolkien for liking battles too much because there are battles in the book.
    Fiction is fiction. This includes fiction that makes philosophical points!
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    • Posted by amhunt 6 years, 8 months ago
      Interesting points. My thoughts are:
      "rape scene" Perhaps I misunderstood it (although I do not think so). To me it is the most powerful statements of love I have ever read.
      "train scene" I agree with you and find it to be a wonderfully explicit statement connecting consequence with beliefs as well as actions.
      And your Tolkien comments are spot on.
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  • Posted by wiggys 6 years, 8 months ago
    The fact that Ayn Rand is being recognized is an indication of how important she is to her critics. It makes no difference what is said about you so long as you are the one being talked about. Her influence is contagious and this government school educated dunce will not do her any harm, but probably give some cause to find out about Ayn Rand which will be in their best interest.
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    • Posted by amhunt 6 years, 8 months ago
      "It makes no difference what is said about you so long as you are the one being talked about."
      Why is this statement so often quoted? It seems to me that it always matters.

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  • Posted by teri-amborn 6 years, 8 months ago
    Ayn Rand stated that Objectivism takes a long period of study to internalize.
    I think that there are too many "add water and stir" "objectivist observers"...and this writer, Jason Brennan, is one of them.
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    • Comment deleted.
      • Posted by teri-amborn 6 years, 8 months ago
        You are reading too much into what I wrote.
        She said a long study period is necessary to properly grasp all the details so that you have a proper internalized thought process about Objectivism in order to make the proper stand for reality and reason.
        I've read her writings extensively over the last 20+ years and it took perhaps 5 years before I could watch a news story on TV and pick it apart philosophically.
        If you are fortunate enough to have been introduced to her thoughts early in life, you probably are ahead of the game. Good for you!
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  • Posted by Herb7734 6 years, 8 months ago
    When a person cannot counter the truth, he/she can either agree or lie. To agree would mean the dissolution of everything they believe and their entire philosophy crumbles into dust. To lie, scars that persons persona to the point of psychosis. I can pity them...but only very briefly, and not very much.
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    • Posted by amhunt 6 years, 8 months ago
      I take it that you mean they know the truth. Then indeed they have only the choices you stated. I have run across those that cannot counter the truth but still refuse to agree (usually stating that they "feel somehow" that their position is the right one.) Sometimes I think this behavior is worse than a lie.
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      • Posted by Herb7734 6 years, 8 months ago
        Those that "feel somehow" may be delusional, but if not, then I think you're right, they are the worse because they are consciously defending something they know to be a lie.
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  • Posted by $ Temlakos 6 years, 8 months ago
    I suspect students of Objectivism will fight this battle forever. This is a prize example of Josef Goebbels' Big Lie.

    When my eyes first struck the verbs "rape, dismember and murder," I thought the object of those three verbs would be "the earth." Then he revealed his true object: "others." In other words, those who will not let a gang with guns take their substance to buy the votes of those others with it, have rapacious, violent and murderous intent toward anyone but themselves.

    That we are seeing this more often today, s a major indicator of the *failure* of the collectivist governing philosophy, and the urgent *search* by average human beings for an *alternative.* Objectivism is one alternative, and one of the most explicit alternatives advocating liberty. The collectivists know this. They also caught it when the first Tea Party demonstrators, five years ago, started carrying posters vaguely threatening a true-to-life enactment of the Strike of the Men of the Mind.
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  • Posted by $ arthuroslund 6 years, 8 months ago
    I have been hearing that kind of crap since the 1960's. I have read just about everything Ayn Rand has written including most of her news letters that I subscribed to at the time. I have even heard this kind of junk from people who call themselves libertarians. One college professor "libertarian" at a meeting of libertarians actually said that no one could read all of John Galt's radio speech. One "conservative" radio talk show host said that Ayn Rand was "ok" until she was proven to be a fraud. Of course he never said why but the implication was that she accepted Medicare when she was dying from lung cancer. There is nothing inconsistent with that and the Objectivist Philosophy she advocated. Of course she paid for her Medicare benefits through taxes but aside from that she advocated self-preservation not suicide. I am 72 and collect Railroad Retirement, Medicare and unemployment compensation until I get a job or it runs out. I would vote against all of them but am not going to deny them to myself when I am entitled to it because I paid for them through taxes in one way or another. Critics forget that we are forced at the barrel of a gun to participate and contribute.
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    • Posted by wiggys 6 years, 8 months ago
      Sir you still pay the premium every month when it is taken out of the "federal benefit credit" you receive every month. a lot on this site probably do not know that the words "social security" were changed. nice to know of someone who has done as I have read almost all of her articles etc. I too am 72.
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      • Posted by RevJay4 6 years, 8 months ago
        At one time wasn't Social Security know as a compulsory old age insurance program? As a 72er also, I proudly collect my dividends which I paid for since 1955. And, yes, the wording was changed on the checks to reflect it being an entitlement. No doubt to make it easier for the government to claim it as such to decrease it when it pleases them.
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  • Posted by 6 years, 8 months ago in reply to this comment.
    But how does that deal with your problem of: "that if only EVERYONE would obey the tenets of the philosophy it would work." Replace philosophy with religion and you have exactly the same difficulty. Do you wish for some method or means to 'make' EVERYONE obey Christianity's tenets?

    Or is your real difference with Objectivism that it doesn't require a god, but relies instead on rational reasoning to reach similar property rights recognition and enforcement?
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
      Because, as a theist, I am not limited to this life alone, and the greater life is yet to come but is based on my actions in this life. You cannot understand this fundamental point, because you limit yourself to this life.

      Now, your response is going to be nobody can prove that there is an afterlife, which is true (although I can point to, what I consider, insurmountable circumstantial evidence that is sufficient for me and billions of others to come to that conclusion). And I will grant you that. But here is what I have that you do not - I have a philosophy that says those who behave morally will be rewarded, and those that do not will be punished, perhaps not in this life, but in the next. And thus, even those who choose not to stand up for their rights (due to their human nature) can be comforted that living morally themselves they will be rewarded.

      Now, AR found this to be a flaw in theist philosophy, particularly Christianity. I find it to be its greatest asset, as it addresses the nature of humanity.

      By your reasoning those who "choose" to live in oppression by refusing to stand up to their oppressors deserve what they get. By my reasoning, they can at least take comfort that their morality in other aspects of their lives results in reward.

      The flaw that AR has with Christianity in particular is to see it as slavery to a master when there is nothing further from the truth. One has free will to choose to live however they desire - Christianity (and most theist philosophies for that matter) merely says that there are consequences for your choices. And as you and Conscious have said, O has no consequences, thus, no penalty for being an oppressor.
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      • Posted by shivas 6 years, 8 months ago
        Unfortunately, all through history, "God is watching over you", has been used to subvert free will as well as keep other theists supporting a doctrine that delves way deeper than just right and wrong.
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        • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
          You'll need to explain your statement further. How does "God is watching over you" subvert free-will? If you are saying that things like the 10 Commandments prohibit the exercise of free-will, the ability of an individual to kill another for example, then yes, I guess it does. But isn't that merely a moral tenet of a civilized society?

          Now, you might take exception to committing adultery - and that one we can have a discussion about. That is a prohibition on conduct which some societies prohibit and others accept and even encourage (not adultery per se, but plural marriage or consensual sex regardless of pairing status).

          The rest protect private property or other needs for a civilized society (or are benign as far as free will is concerned - for example, how does keeping the Sabbath holy or honoring your parents subverting free will?)

          Please elaborate.
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          • Posted by shivas 6 years, 8 months ago
            How about masturbation, homosexuality, pornography...there are a host of things that that citation was used for that are arguably not immoral, but it's intention was to subvert free will. None of those things are force against another, yet they were things that the religious leader intended to stop.

            I do not mean to diminish the fact that the fear of God over your shoulder does stop some from committing acts that are force against others, nor do I want to impugn your own convictions, only to point out that there are other perspectives that have validity.
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            • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
              I guess when I saw you state "subvert free-will" that you meant that you were not able to make those decisions. Nothing that you state is subverting free-will. I'll only speak for Christianity but I think that this applies to most other religions (with the exception of Islam - that one has some really strange and strict teaching), you are free to do whatever you want to, you merely need to realize that actions have consequences.

              What your statement seems to imply is that you want to have consequence free decisions. That is not reality.

              Let's look at a couple of your issues - masturbation. The Bible teaches that "spilling the seed on the ground" is not proper. This was to foster childbirth, a necessity to perpetuate the species. If all humans only masturbated, we would die out. Likewise, homosexuality has the same issue, perpetuation of the species.

              Pornography really isn't spoken of per se as the concept was not known, but there are prohibitions on coveting your neighbor's wife. That is about maintaining social order as much as it is a sexual thing. In ancient times, wives were akin to property (actually in some cultures it continues to this day). Thus, coveting another man's wife is similar to stealing his property and leads to societal problems.

              All that said, the Bible recognizes that people will fail in their objective to choose wisely and provides for means of repentance and reconciliation.

              Finally, yes, there have been humans that have taken the Bible and twisted it to their own meaning and objectives. That should not be used as a condemnation of the teaching of the theology itself. Some humans have always, and will always, subvert anything around them to their advantage in oppressing their fellow human.
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      • Posted by 6 years, 8 months ago
        Robbie; The first difference I have with your description is that you're conflating religion with philosophy. There is no similarity or comparison between the two other than some moral guidelines that come from the two that bear some resemblance to each other. A religion is not a philosophy.

        You try to explain with : "I have a philosophy that says those who behave morally will be rewarded, and those that do not will be punished, perhaps not in this life, but in the next. And thus, even those who choose not to stand up for their rights (due to their human nature) can be comforted that living morally themselves they will be rewarded."
        You with your religion advocate accepting slavery, abuse, and a life of suffering in this life because if you maintain your belief and get some water sprinkled on your head and then confess all your supposed 'sins' even at the moment of death, then you can go on to some supposed 'heaven' and live forever. And martyrs, given sainthood by some group of church elders even excuses that punishment and mistreatment beyond what normal humans have to endure. That's not a philosophy, it's an excuse for the torture or murder you experience in this life. It just makes no sense.

        What happens if you're wrong? My life will be lived not permitting anybody or system to treat me in such a manner. I have the rights of my existence and my life to reject anyone or thing that tries to beat me down, and then to pursue those things and goals that make my existence tolerable, even enjoyable and worthwhile, and furthers the life I have. And if I live by my philosophy, and I'm wrong about the existence of some magical being setting all the rules, I've lived my life in a very similar manner. So if I lived my life with all the 'Shalt nots' of the bible even though they derived from my own rational reasoning, why shouldn't I be provided the same afterlife.

        How do you excuse the concept of original sin that damns a baby born, that dies before receiving the Babtismal then being consigned to the void forever? That is a precept of Christianity. That's evil and wrong.

        As to the penalties for the oppressor, they exist in this life. Imagine living a life continually looking over your shoulder looking for the stronger or meaner to come after you and take from you. And it will happen, if that's the guide of your life, to use force to gain what you want from others. It is a life of misery, blood, slavery, and death worship.

        I respect your right to believe and practice whatever you want, just do that and leave my alone, I'm happy with my existence and don't give you access to try to proselytize me. There have been more humans murdered in the name of religion than any other cause in the history of humankind. Live your life as you want and let me live mine as I want. I won't intrude into your life and try to convince you that my view is the only thing that's right to believe. Is that so hard to grasp?

        KYFHO
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        • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
          1. My religion includes a philosophy.
          2. You may not allow such treatment, but many will, history is replete with such. To ignore the history of humankind is foolish.
          3. My personal belief is that if you lived your life in a moral fashion within the tenets of the teaching of Christ, you have in fact "accepted Christ" and will be raised up (similarly will those who never had been exposed to Christ).
          4. I do not accept your definition of original sin (although I will grant that there are sects of Christianity, including my own Roman Catholic, which may teach something similar. I do not have to accept as truth something that is conveyed by some man in a mitre - I do have my own rational mind).
          5. Many tyrants seem to have lived very satisfied and often long lives under those "grueling" penalties you identify.
          6. Why the hate? I did not proselytize, you requested an answer and I provided it - I even warned you that you didn't want the answer, but you persisted. Where have I ever requested you to believe as I do or that you must live as I do? Examine this thread and you will see that I have never said that others must follow my way, only that I see it as the true way.

          Oh, and my hands have never been on, so again, why the hate?

          -1 for insisting on a response, then replying with such a hateful diatribe to the response requested.
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          • Posted by 6 years, 8 months ago
            Sorry if you perceive anything in my comment implying hate. There was none intended. And I do thank you for finally expressing what you believe rather than just the negatives against Objectivism -- it clarifies much that's arisen in our comments with each other. Thanks for the correction of deist v. theist. I continually mix those two, unintentionally.

            KYFHO is a euphinism coined by a favorite author of mine, F. Paul Wilson in the 70's referring to two issues, that of the rejection of force and to support a laissez faire free market. And I consider it appropriate in relation to your comments on this thread. It appears to me (and I may be in error) that your attempts to criticize Objectivism as non-worrkable have been a misdirection on your part, rather than the dealing with issue of the post and the questions asked.

            So I suspect we'll leave it here, hopefully.

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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 8 months ago
    "Every so often, people hostile to Ayn Rand’s ideas try to attack them by saying that Rand said or implied something she never said or implied"
    The only thing I disagree with is it's not every so often, it's all the time.

    Outside a pro-Rand article/forum, I almost NEVER have heard someone mention Rand w/o getting something radically wrong.

    People say Ayn Rand's heroes are rich and famous, never people (like Roark) struggling to pay rent because they put their principles ahead of profits.

    If you come to a forum like this, I'd guess roughly half the posts get it wrong (compared to my interpretation of the two books I read): valuing normal over exceptional; opposing helping people categorically; fear of outsiders; putting politics ahead of hard work; opposing some mutually-agreed trades; denying science; blaming failures on others.
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    • Posted by khalling 6 years, 8 months ago
      "valuing normal over exceptional; opposing helping people categorically; fear of outsiders; putting politics ahead of hard work; opposing some mutually-agreed trades; denying science; blaming failures on others."
      wow, pretty damning there to "half of the forum" without any evidence
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    • -4
      Posted by Maphesdus 6 years, 8 months ago
      Regarding the point about denying science, Ayn Rand did seem to have very big objections to quantum physics, as the entire field does call into question Aristotle's famous Law of Identity (A = A), which states that "the same attribute cannot at the same time belong and not belong to the same subject in the same respect." Ayn Rand was very fond of this principle, and it obviously forms one of the central pillar of her ideology. Unfortunately, Aristotle's axiom — like the equations of Issac Newton — was only correct within the physical scale of normal, everyday human experience. It utterly failed to accurately describe the physics and behavior of things that are very, very small (atoms and quarks), and also things that are very, very large (planets, solar systems, and galaxies).

      When people accuse Ayn Rand of denying science, what they mean is that she clung desperately to classical Newtonian mechanics, completely rejecting quantum mechanics. Now of course Newtonian mechanics is obviously a legitimate field of science, which is why Objectivsts are technically correct in their claim that Ayn Rand did not reject science. However, to continually hold on to the old theories and the old equations, even when they can no longer accurately describe the observed phenomena of the atomic universe, well, that's not the path to scientific progress. In fact, it's the exact opposite of progress. It's the path to intellectual damnation. It's closing the door on new knowledge.

      There's an excellent book about quantum mechanics which I believe everyone here should read, titled "The God Problem: How a Godless Cosmos Creates," by Howard Bloom:
      http://www.amazon.com/The-God-Problem-Go...

      And yes, Howard Bloom does specifically mention Ayn Rand in that book, and directly addresses her theories. Anyone who considers themselves a serious student of Objectivist philosophy should read this book.

      On top of that, Ayn Rand also opposed government funding of scientific research, believing that if such research were supported with government funds, it would progress at a slower rate than if it were privately funded. Not only does that line of reasoning not make any logical sense, it doesn't even have any proof to support it. In fact, all historical evidence points to the exact opposite: that the biggest scientific advancements and technological breakthroughs have always come out of government-funded laboratories. Here's an article with just a few examples:

      7 great government-backed inventions:
      http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/tech...

      Now consider the following two quotes. The first is an excerpt from Atlas Shrugged, while the second is a quote from Neil DeGrasse Tyson:
      ____________________________________
      "I’ll tell you, if you wish. It’s the truth that you want, isn’t it? Dr. Ferris cannot help it, if the morons who vote the funds for this Institute insist on what they call results. They are incapable of conceiving of such a thing as abstract science. They can judge it only in terms of the latest gadget it has produced for them. [...] People have been criticizing the Institute, because, they say, we have not produced enough. The public has been demanding economy. In times like these, when their fat little comforts are threatened, you may be sure that science is the first thing man will sacrifice. There are practically no private research foundations any longer. [...]
      If you consider that for thirteen years this Institute has had a department of metallurgical research, which has cost over twenty million dollars and has produced nothing but a new silver polish and a new anti-corrosive preparation which, I believe, is not so good as the old ones – you can imagine what the public reaction will be if some private individual comes out with a product that revolutionizes the entire science of metallurgy and proves to be sensationally successful!"
      — Dr. Robert Stadler, "Atlas Shrugged," part I, chapter VII, p.180

      ____________________________________
      "Also in that decade [the 1920s], quantum mechanics, quantum physics, was discovered. That is the science of the small. The science of electrons, protons, neutrons, particles, nuclei. At the time you'd say, 'This is just physicists burning tax money. Cuz' who cares about the atom? I got my horse to feed. I got kids. I got... you know, you got issues in society.' Yet it's quantum mechanics that is the entire foundation of our technological revolution. There would be no computers, there would be no... there would be none of what you take for granted, your iPod, your iPhone, cell phones, the space program, without our understanding of the laws of physics as they operate on that atomic, molecular, and nuclear level. And so the chemist has no understanding of the periodic table of elements without quantum mechanics. To them it's just a list of elements. Quantum mechanics tells you why this column is there, and that's there, why this mates with that, and why that makes a molecule with that. That's quantum mechanics, and it's unheralded. You ask me if there's any discovery that has changed how we live, it is quantum mechanics. And I make... I make this point, because I'm ready to... [stomps foot]. Today you hear people say 'Why are we spending money up there when we've got problems on Earth?' And people don't CONNECT the time delay between the frontier of scientific research and how that's gonna transform your life later down the line. All they want is a quarterly report that shows a product that comes out of it. That is so short sighted, that that's the beginning of the end of your culture."
      — Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Interview with Stephen Colbert at Montclair Kimberley Academy, Jan. 29, 2010

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXh9RQCv...
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      • Posted by ewv 6 years, 8 months ago
        The law of identity is presupposed by all science and all knowledge, including quantum mechanics. Ayn Rand did not reject quantum mechanics, she rejected nihilists like Maphesdus who try to steal science to undermine rational thought by employing false philosophical interpretations; and she did not "desperately cling" to Newtonian physics -- she did not engage in scientific disputes at all, let alone phony popularizations such as pitting Newtonian physics against more recent discoveries expanding our knowledge.

        Maphesdus constantly makes things up in the repeated misrepresentations of his agenda to trash Ayn Rand. He obsessively grasps at anything he can find to cite "refutations" -- that is, anything he can find except reading and understanding what Ayn Rand actually thought and why, or accurately and honestly portraying it as what it is.

        This latest example invokes Bloom -- a previously very good chemist who at the age of 80 tried to dabble in philosophy by publishing a very bad book repeating time-worn philosophical fallacies to a wished for popular audience. Contrary to Maphesdus it is not "about quantum mechanics", not that Maphesdus could know enough about either philosophy or quantum mechanics to know the difference.

        Neither does it, contrary to Maphesdus, "directly address Ayn Rand's theories". He quotes from Atlas Shrugged on "A is A" (and nothing else) without understanding what she is talking about and proceeds to confuse it with mathematical equality, followed by other philosophical fallacies that are as old as Heraclitus. He "directly addresses" Objectivism in the following polemical way (with nothing else on her "theories"): "One of the strangest uses of A = A is in pop philosophy. The followers of Russian American novelist and philosophical thinker Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, have adopted A=A as their slogan. These 'objectivists' chant 'A is A' like a mantra to ward off evil thoughts." And that's it. Maphesdus is dishonest.

        This is the kind of crap that Maphesdus relies on as a substitute for reading Ayn Rand and peddles in the name of "refutations" "directly addressing" Ayn Rand as he dishonestly trashes her for being against "science" and claims that "anyone who considers themselves a serious student of Objectivist philosophy should read this book". And no, the book isn't any good for understanding "quantum mechanics", either, which would require reading the standard reputable texts and histories of the subject, which are all over his head.

        Maphesdus is perversely, intransigently ignorant, not very brights, intellectually dishonest, and has a bizarre psycho agenda obsessed with trashing
        Ayn Rand. He has no credibility, is malevolently motivated, and does not belong here.
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        • Posted by 6 years, 8 months ago
          Golly, I hope you can get over that 'holding back' difficulty and let us know how you really feel someday.
          Seriously, I think you've hit the proverbial nail on the head. Definitely +1
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        • -4
          Posted by Maphesdus 6 years, 8 months ago
          Quote from ewv:
          ----------------------------
          "Neither does it, contrary to Maphesdus, "directly address Ayn Rand's theories". He quotes from Atlas Shrugged on "A is A" (and nothing else) without understanding what she is talking about and proceeds to confuse it with mathematical equality, followed by other philosophical fallacies that are as old as Heraclitus. He "directly addresses" Objectivism in the following polemical way (with nothing else on her "theories"): "One of the strangest uses of A = A is in pop philosophy. The followers of Russian American novelist and philosophical thinker Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, have adopted A=A as their slogan. These 'objectivists' chant 'A is A' like a mantra to ward off evil thoughts." And that's it. Maphesdus is dishonest."
          ----------------------------
          Bloom does more than just that. He devotes an entire section to the debate between Aristotle and Heraclitus, pointing out that Ayn Rand simply sided with Aristotle, who was opposed to Heraclitus. Therefore, if we can prove that Heraclitus actually had a legitimate argument, and that Aristotle's own ideas were not the whole truth, then Ayn Rand is at least partially wrong by default, because she sided with Aristotle, and Aristotle was partially wrong.
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          • Posted by ewv 6 years, 8 months ago
            Bloom promoted a lot of "mainstream" philosophical fallacies, not restricted to Heraclitus, without ever explaining what he thought it had to do with Ayn Rand's actual ideas, which he did not address, made no attempt to articulat, and showed no understanding of in his brief anti-intellectual smear or anywhere else. If Maphesdus does not understand something as simple as why the existence of change does not contradict the law of identity he doesn't understand either and has his own problems. But we already know that. He is a willing sucker for sophistry and gleefully spreads it in his nihilism. It does not mean that the law of identity is wrong.
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            • -4
              Posted by Maphesdus 6 years, 8 months ago
              Perhaps you've written your own book about Aristotle's Law of Identity and explained how it doesn't contradict Heraclitus' philosophy of change? If you have written such a book, please share.
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              • Posted by ewv 6 years, 8 months ago
                It doesn't require a "book" to explain that change does not contradict existence and identity. Normal people know that a river has water flowing through it, which is required by the concept and does not contradict it. They understand perfectly well that they can and do can step into the same river twice, and don't go into an intellectual frenzy over it, let alone concoct an irrational philosophy like a Hegel denying identity.

                Several books have of course already been written about it. For those interested in the progression of ideas and fallacies in philosophy, and how Ayn Rand answered it, see Leonard Peikoff's lecture series on the history of western philosophy. It is now very inexpensive to download the whole series.

                https://estore.aynrand.org/p/95/founders...

                https://estore.aynrand.org/p/96/modern-p...
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                • -2
                  Posted by Maphesdus 6 years, 8 months ago
                  Peikoff? Please, I try not to read anything written by that brainwashed dolt. Do you know of any books written by non-Objectivist authors who would say anything similar? If not, you have no argument.
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      • Posted by $ jlc 6 years, 8 months ago
        Science is not a particular theorem. Science is a process by which a hypothesis is tested and found/not found applicable to a stated set of conditions. Ayn Rand is a proponent of science because she is of the opinion that a rational approach to the universe is the best way of functioning. In the universe-we-can-bite that is Newtonian physics...but the Really Big nor the Really Small universe obey different rules. Each of the theories is applicable to its stated set of circumstances.

        Science is rationality and impartial testing of evidence. Ayn Rand is a proponent of that, to the best of my knowledge.

        Jan
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      • Posted by Solver 6 years, 8 months ago
        So summarizing everything above he claims,,
        That the basic axiom, "A is A" (or a thing is itself) is wrong because of some discovery's in quantum science.
        Government (forced) science "progresses" better than non-government (voluntary) science.

        And these prove Objectivism needs to be misrepresented by any means necessary.
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        • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 8 months ago
          I think that what Maph is getting at is that under the laws of Quantum physics, many of the traditional (i.e. Newtonian) models break down. A sub-atomic particle can be in two places at the same time, or exhibit two other such contrary attributes - confusing the notion of identity.

          What he overlooks is that these do not happen (as far as we know) on a macro level, where A = A actually matters.
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          • Posted by Solver 6 years, 8 months ago
            I suspect as time goes by and technology improves we will figure out more and more about why tiny things appear to do what they do as we do in non-quantum physics.
            We don't say that because a solid stick appears to bend in water that physics is wrong or that a stick is a straight stick and a non-straight stick at the exact same time. No, we scientifically figure out why the stick “appears” to bend.
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          • Posted by $ jbrenner 6 years, 8 months ago
            That is what Maphesdus is driving at, and on the one point that Newtonian models of physics break down at the quantum level, he is correct.

            The problem that AR had a hard time grasping (and I do to some extent as well) is something called superposition. Read the section on bits vs. qubits in

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_com...

            AR would have appreciated quantum physics much better after seeing a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) image, but she died too soon.
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            • Posted by ewv 6 years, 8 months ago
              Ayn Rand did not write about quantum physics at all. She knew she was not a physicist and did not confuse it with general philosophy, which does not require specialized scientific knowledge not accessible to everyone. Maphesdus, as usual, isn't correct about any of it.
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            • Posted by IndianaGary 6 years, 8 months ago
              The major problem with quantum mechanics is the influence of Bohr, Schrodinger, and the "Copenhagen" interpretation. These people were ardent determinists and nihilists. Q.V David Bohm who, in the 1950s, was able to counter much of their determinism with an alternate interpretation. His findings have been regaining credence recently.
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            • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 8 months ago
              From what I could grasp (theoretical mathematics NOT being my forte), it looks like you are performing mathematics using vectors as the primary unit of computation rather than discrete numbers. I am only guessing, but it appears that whereas in a digital computer, you must represent magnitude and direction in two separate quantities (and therefore two separate attributes of the same element), in quantum physics this may be rendered as a single element composing the actual identity of that vector (definitional). What it would allow for is the elimination of all the linking steps being performed in a binary computer that involve tracking and maintaining the two elements of the identity, resulting in significant reduction in overhead. Of course the practicality of such would be restricted to the sphere in which the computations involved required vector analysis.
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              • Posted by ewv 6 years, 8 months ago
                You shouldn't guessing and speculating.
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                • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 8 months ago
                  Isn't legitimate scientific inquiry built on formulation of hypothesis and confirmation/rejection of such?

                  If you know how a quantum computer operates and wish to explain, please do. That in and of itself would be confirmation/rejection of my hypotheses - well-reasoned or ill-informed as they may be.
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                  • Posted by ewv 6 years, 8 months ago
                    Legitimate scientific inquiry by scientists has nothing to do with speculative guessing about a subject you don't know in a comment helping to lend any credibility to Maphesdus poison. This has nothing to do with quantum computers, which is a topic far over his head. His interest is to trash Ayn Rand, which he repeatedly does through misrepresentation and hysterical pronouncements. Don't look for excuses.
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                    • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 8 months ago
                      Since you obviously didn't bother to read my comments and jumped right into disparagement and ad hominem attacks, I'll disregard your statements as such. My inquiries regarding quantum computing were for my own sake - not to either disparage Rand or to "prop" up any other post - which I do with voting.

                      You may not approve of Maphaesdus and his views in general, but even Barack Obama doesn't get it wrong 100% of the time (he did finally off Bin Laden). Doing so is prejudicial per se and unacceptable to the Objectivist or any other seeker of truth. Treat each question as a legitimate inquiry and set about to either sustain or disprove it with logical hypothesis. You certainly aren't going to persuade anyone of anything by calling them names.

                      Like him(or her) or not, Maph put forth a legitimate conflict: that quantum mechanics do indeed cause problems for the law of identity on a sub-atomic scale - so far as we know - because sub-atomic particles have been observed being in two places at the same time or having two conflicting qualities - phenomenae that with our current understanding we can not explain in harmony with A=A.

                      Does that mean Rand was an idiot? I certainly never contended any such thing. I will not speak for Maph. But using an emotional response instead of an intellectual one only highlights the deficiency in such a response - it does nothing to promote a logical debate or outcome on the matter. And neither does criticizing someone else's inquiry into the matter.
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                      • Posted by ewv 6 years, 8 months ago
                        Your comment is asinine. I did read what you wrote and responded to it, so drop the explosions of personal insults. Maphesdus is wrong as usual, and so are you in asserting that quantum mechanics "do [sic] cause problems for the law of identity". If you "disregard" the explanations given, you will never understand it. Any "science", and any pundit, that claims the law of identity is not valid literally has nothing to talk about.
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                        • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 8 months ago
                          The only attempted explanations or explanatory materials I saw came from a link by jbrenner. If you have an understanding of quantum mechanics and wish to enlighten us (or to resolve the seeming inconsistency), PLEASE DO.

                          It is a fact that science currently lacks the ability to explain or reconcile the observed behaviors of sub-atomic particles which prima faciae contradict A=A. In this instance and lacking the conciliatory knowledge to preserve A=A in the face of real and observed phenomenae, I must challenge the theory insofar as it is presently constituted and conclude that the inconsistency does indeed pose problems of a real, and not an epistemiological nature. It is not unlike challenging the Theory of Relativity in the face of the discovery of strings or challenging Bohr's model of the atom once examining more complex elements. One must be willing to challenge what they thought they knew in the face of new evidence or one invalidates the scientific process, corrupting it through confirmation bias.

                          If you aren't versed in quantum mechanics or have no desire to explore the topic, that's fine. I, myself, am only the casual student of theoretical physics, but asserting that everyone arguing against your point of view are idiots is hardly the scientific approach to resolving the matter. We welcome your assistance in resolving this seeming inconsistency, but there is no shame in being stymied with the rest of us while we wait for a breakthrough on the topic.
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                    • Posted by Maphesdus 6 years, 8 months ago
                      Actually, speculation is a huge part of science. No scientific inquiry can be preformed without speculation, nor can we make new discoveries without first forming hypothesis about those aspects of the universe which we do not yet understand.

                      You seem to have anger management problems, and you're letting that blind you to rational thinking.
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                      • Posted by ewv 6 years, 8 months ago
                        Scientists do not "speculate" about a "subject they do not know". As usual, Maphesdus ignores everything said in response to him, replacing it with his imaginations of "anger" as he dodges and weaves in yet another personal attack. He does not belong here.
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      • Posted by amhunt 6 years, 8 months ago
        Where do quantum mechanical principles contradict "A is A"? Perhaps the "wave" / "particle" phenomena?
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        • Posted by ewv 6 years, 8 months ago
          QM doesn't contradict the law of identity. Any attempted principles contradicting identity as such literally say nothing. Unexpected results discovered in science are not contradictions in reality. The "contradictions" of QM are in the interpretations of those who gravitate towards the mysterious as an end in itself and who seek to spread their own confusions to undermine the possibility of rational thought.
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          • -1
            Posted by Maphesdus 6 years, 8 months ago
            How do you know what quantum mechanics does or doesn't contradict? What makes you such an expert? Are you a quantum physicist? If so, could you show us your Ph.D?
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            • Posted by ewv 6 years, 8 months ago
              I could answer that I do know quantum mechanics, having studied it through the graduate level and since then, even though I did not choose it as my specialty. But more fundamentally, _no_ valid science inherently contradicts either reality or itself. One does not have to know quantum mechanics to understand that much, without or without a "PhD".
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            • Posted by amhunt 6 years, 8 months ago
              I was hoping that you would point me to the "contradiction". It is easier to test a supposed contradiction" than it it is to prove or disprove ewv's assertion "QM doesn't contradict the law of identity." I think ewv is correct because to violate the law of identity is to undermine the very logic we use to discover what is and is not.
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  • Posted by conscious1978 6 years, 8 months ago in reply to this comment.
    Your error is to assert that O _requires or expects_ everyone to act according to O principles. That's inaccurate. Your error is compounded in the assertion that just because some individuals choose to live in oppression, that somehow proves that O is flawed. There isn't any logical progression to your conclusion.

    Objectivism recognizes man is a rational animal with a volitional consciousness. That means there are no 'guarantees' he will always make choices that improve or further his life. Sometimes individuals are going to make poor choices and live with the consequences.
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    • Posted by 6 years, 8 months ago
      conscious; I think Robbie's error is more fundamental than that. His arguments all seem to focus on the unworkability of the non-aggression principle (which he defines as a fundamental principle of Objectivism). And further, that not all humans will follow that NAP and that Objectivism doesn't provide a method to force uniformity of that principle within the entire society.

      But rather than a fundamental principle, respect for other's property rights (which Robbie confuses with the NAP which is really not a part of Objectivism) is a secondary result of the principle of individual property rights. That secondary principle results from the primary principle of the individual owning himself and the fruits of his work to further his own life, and that if the individual wishes to have those property rights, then by logic, others have those identical rights.

      Recognizing that others (moochers and looters) may not be willing to respect those property rights, Objectivism as an extension of the secondary rights of property, then allows the individual to respond with necessary force if there exists or arises an attack on or endangerment of those property rights. If a sufficient society exists, the Objectivists may form a government and give that government the authority to provide that response of force for the protection of property.

      As a result of his wrong assumption that the NAP is a principle of Obj., he misses that all that is required for the Objectivist philosophy to thrive is simply a system in which the individual's property rights are recognized and enforced. In such a system, it doesn't matter what others agree to or don't.
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      • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
        I own myself - agreed. Because I own myself, I own the fruits of my mind and my labor - agreed. If everyone follows such a principle, then all is well and good. If one does not, and chooses instead to steal my property, I should have the right to defend such property by force - fine, agreed. We have a society whereby all injustices will even themselves out. IF humans actually live by those codes. HOWEVER, it can be demonstrated through a review of history that this is not the case - it is the norm that many humans will not choose to stand up for their property or for their freedom, even in the case where in aggregate they are much more powerful than the few oppressors. This human nature necessarily results in the failure of Objectivism as a philosophy.

        You are blinded to the reality of human nature due to your wish that mankind be something that it is not. You can argue for something that is akin to Utopia as long as you like, but until you can overcome the fundamental nature of humanity in this regard, you are believing in a pipe dream.

        I think that O fundamentally has merit as a more moral philosophy than most, particularly Communism, Socialism, Collectivism. But it is no more the final answer than any of those, as one could make a perfectly rational argument that any of those were perfectly moral IF they were adhered to perfectly. What could be more moral than for me to work and be as productive as I can be (isn't that what O advocates?), and that I receive all that I need to be satisfied? EXCEPT that the nature of man is to be lazy, that if someone else is providing then I don't have to work as hard or at all. And the nature of man is to be greedy, to want more and more even past the point of satiation. This results in failure of these types of collective based philosophies.

        I do not merely have a superficial understanding based on some misinterpretation of the NAP. I merely use NAP as the most easily condensed way of encapsulating the issue that is more fundamental, but manifests itself in the form of the NAP.
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        • Posted by 6 years, 8 months ago
          Robbie: "We have a society whereby all injustices will even themselves out. IF humans actually live by those codes" Where in Christianity or Hell did you ever get that idea? Life is not fair. It simply is. Existence is existence. A=A.

          I refuse to accept that people neglecting their individual property rights deserve any excuse for their ignorance or stupidity. The sooner the race lets those humans loose out in the genetic survival contest, the better for the race.
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          • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
            IF everyone stands up for themselves, injustices will be righted. And I'm no Pollyanna - I too believe that life is not fair. But it should be just.

            You can refuse all you want. It has occurred for time immemorial, and as such, I consider to be part of human nature. Thus, it will always be (and certainly will be for as long as it is going to matter to me). And they will not "lose out in the genetic survival contest" as they are required for the oppressors to rule, thus those oppressors have an inherent interest in keeping them around, just not powerful enough to be any threat.
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    • -1
      Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
      So you accept Marxism as well?
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      • Posted by khalling 6 years, 8 months ago
        No. Stop that. You know that Obj. support property rights. You come off like a troll when you do that.
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        • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
          Conscious seems to believe that observable immorality of the consequence of the implementation of a philosophy should not fundamentally negate the philosophy itself. If true, then show me the immorality of Marxism.

          From Conscious: "Your error is compounded in the assertion that just because some individuals choose to live in oppression, that somehow proves that O is flawed."
          So, if some individuals "choose to live" by not overthrowing their rulers - say as the soviets did for nearly a century - then that would not discount the philosophy of Marx? Despite the clear observation that it was immoral.
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          • Posted by conscious1978 6 years, 8 months ago
            Robbie, I really am struggling to understand how you 'grade' a philosophy. In the narrowest sense, a philosophy is not necessarily flawed because of the perceived flaws one sees in the behavior of any given 'follower'. The principles of a philosophy are what can be assessed. Objectivism is not flawed because someone judges my behavior negatively. It stands or fails based on the validity of its principles.

            I judge the failure of Marxism based on its flawed principles, not by waiting for a Marxist to "implement" it in their behavior. If you have an issue with a principle of Objectivism that you think is flawed, then that is open to discussion. But, just saying it's flawed because people don't 'follow' it (for whatever reason), or it's flawed because there is no universal punishment of evil, or it's flawed because large groups of people live their lives in a destructive manner...isn't logical.

            If the flaw you see in Objectivism is that its principles are counter to your religious views, or it is not _structured_ like Christianity, then just use your religious views as your defense. I can understand and respect *that* as a defense better than the illogical assertion that Objectivism is flawed because it doesn't take into account human nature.
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            • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
              I see it as flawed as it does not account for basic human nature. There are those who will not stand up for themselves, and thus will be oppressed. If the basic tenet of Objectivism is self-ownership (which then derives liberty and property rights) but does not account for the fact that the mechanism for such to be enacted isn't part of basic human nature, then it is flawed as a philosophy, in my opinion.

              As I've said, there are many societal systems (don't want to get into a definition squabble as to whether something is technically a philosophy, merely an economic system, etc.) that if applied and faithfully, would be satisfactory - heck, even socialism or communism could be acceptable. But they fail because they also violate basic human nature - in that case, that people will contribute at their ability and only take according to their needs.

              Objectivism would also likely work if applied faithfully, but as I've said, it fails due to basic human nature.

              I'm not going to go into why my philosophy overcomes those issues, as there are those here who take such discussion as mere proselytizing, not argument.
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              • Posted by conscious1978 6 years, 8 months ago
                "Self-ownership" is not something that has "to be enacted". It just is. It's not a psychological exercise. No one else owns you. You're not inherently born as a slave or flawed.
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                • -1
                  Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
                  OK. Prove it.
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                  • Posted by conscious1978 6 years, 8 months ago
                    I cannot say it any better that A.R. in her essay, Man's Rights: "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 to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action—which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.)"

                    If "self-sustaining and self-generated action" was not part of our "basic human nature", then our species would have faded into the paleontological record long ago. We have survived by our own effort, not a series of accidents.

                    I'll refer you again to Galt's speech:

                    "No, you do not have to live; it is your basic act of choice; but if you choose to live, you must live as a man—by the work and the judgment of your mind.

                    "No, you do not have to live as a man; it is an act of moral choice. But you cannot live as anything else—and the alternative is that state of living death which you now see within you and around you, the state of a thing unfit for existence, no longer human and less than animal, a thing that knows nothing but pain and drags itself through its span of years in the agony of unthinking self-destruction."
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                      Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
                      That's pontificating, not proof. How can I replicate any of that?

                      I will prove the contrary - Jews in Egypt about 5000 years ago, ancient Greece and Rome, The Celts and Vikings, Muslims of the Dark Ages, Mongols, Africans, Americans prior to the Civil War, and others too numerous to mention.

                      Slavery is replicated time and time again throughout history. Even those not technically enslaved have owed "allegiance" and required to pay taxes to oppressors across time and across the globe. Freedom, on the contrary, is the exception, not the rule.

                      From where does that "fundamental right" emanate? It clearly is not axiomatic, as it has been violated repeatedly throughout history (and is even today).
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                      • Posted by conscious1978 6 years, 8 months ago
                        Pontification was not my objective, as I'm sure projection was not yours.

                        The "fundamental right" emanates from the nature of life itself. It requires "self-sustaining and self-generated action".
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                          Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
                          Yet, as I point out, that has not been the case, certainly as long as there has been recorded history, and likely even before then.

                          So, if it is so fundamental, why doesn't it occur "naturally?"

                          Again, I would ask for your proof that it is fundamental. As I say, it is not axiomatic.

                          At the risk of being accused, once again, of proselytizing, I'll quote the Declaration of Independence - "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The founders recognized that self-ownership is not inherent, it was given as a free and natural right of humanity. And just as assuredly, compromised such natural right for many residents, so even they could not be pure.
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                          • Posted by conscious1978 6 years, 8 months ago
                            I've offered you that "proof" twice. Now, a third time: man's life requires the "self-sustaining and self-generated action" of a human that wants to live as a human. On the whole, if we humans didn't do that "naturally", we would be extinct. To the degree any individual tries to live live contrary to this fundamental concept, they compromise their existence.

                            It appears you are just 'begging the question'. Or, you think the right to your own life was "given" to you; in which case, your existence is a gift and not your own. Either way, I think I've answered you as best I can.
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                            • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
                              OK. This started as a statement by you that self-ownership isn't something that has to be enacted and I've cited numerous historical examples which undercut that assertion. You merely pontificate. Again, that's not proof. You can believe it if you like, but it is no more solid than my belief that my life is a gift that I received as a child of God.

                              That is not "begging the question." It is a sincere effort to get you to examine your own philosophical foundation. Self-ownership has not been the norm throughout history, regardless of our desire for it to be. Oppression, slavery, serfdom has been the norm and seems to be a consequence of human nature. Heck, just look at great swaths of those in the US today. They willingly enslave themselves to a nanny gov't that takes care of them in return for their fealty in keeping the masters in charge.

                              My only hope is that you examine history and re-examine your thoughts on your philosophy and whether it truly jibes with reality.
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              • Posted by 6 years, 8 months ago
                No Robbie; I for one would be very interested in your reasoning and rational logic that would overcome those issues, particularly in comparison to the same issues addressed by AR in her writings and records of her presentations and discussions.

                I don't make this statement in any effort to belittle you or your religious beliefs. I'm simply interested in how you make the determinations you've voiced in this post.
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          • Posted by 6 years, 8 months ago
            And it failed, did it not? Galt let the system fail instead of overthrowing it. Marx didn't have a philosophy, he had a collectivist politics and economic system.
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            • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago
              From Wikipedia (so take with a grain of salt): Marxist philosophy is not a strictly defined sub-field of philosophy, because the diverse influence of Marxist theory has extended into fields as varied as aesthetics, ethics, ontology, epistemology, theoretical psychology and philosophy of science, as well as its obvious influence on political philosophy and the philosophy of history. The key characteristics of Marxism in philosophy are its materialism and its commitment to political practice as the end goal of all thought.

              Marxist theorist Louis Althusser, for example, defined philosophy as "class struggle in theory".

              We don't have to split the hairs so finely.
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          • Posted by Hiraghm 6 years, 8 months ago
            “In the four thousand years since the brilliant genius Walter S. DeLany invented the vibration process that made the weapon shops possible, and laid down the first principles of weapon shop political philosophy, we have watched the tide of government swing backward and forward between democracy under a limited monarchy to complete tyranny. And we have discovered one thing:
            “People always have the kind of government they want. When they want change, they must change it"

            - A. E. Van Vogt, "The Weapon Shops of Isher"



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        Posted by Maphesdus 6 years, 8 months ago
        Fun fact: Karl Marx and Frederic Engels actually believed that the ideal form of government was a democratic republic, such as the one described in the U.S. constitution. Unfortunately, Vladimir Lennin took Marx's ideas and twisted them around to make it sound like Marx was advocating dictatorship, when in actuality Marx had always been an opponent of dictatorship. And then Lennin's twisted, tyrannical misinterpretation of Marx became the blueprint for every Communist nation from that point forward. It's one of the great tragedies of history.

        True Marxist Communism, which was supposed to be democratic, has never been tried. What we have witnessed in every Communist nation has only ever been the authoritarian dictatorship of Lenninist Communism, which is obviously very tyrannical and horribly oppressive. But then, dictatorships are always horribly oppressive, regardless of what sort of principles they're founded on. That's why it's so vitally important to ensure that government remains beholden to the people through a system of democracy.
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  • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 8 months ago in reply to this comment.
    Since Objectivists and libertarians in general, do not seek to impose their beliefs on others, they permit the environment where those who do seek to impose their beliefs (collectivists/socialists/progressives) to gain positions of power. Those who refused to vote or vote for Gary Johnson or some other candidate with absolutely no hope of winning, only empower the collectivists that they say they abhor. Had they held their nose and voted for Romney, perhaps some of the current atrocities could have been avoided or even reversed. Instead, things have spiraled downward even faster.

    Too many Objectivists seem to think that a Gulch is a solution, it is not. It was a plot device for a novel - it cannot work in reality. That is not an accomodationist perspective, it is a pragmatic one.
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  • Posted by m082844 6 years, 8 months ago
    One should act in their interests, so the slanderer is correct here, but he is likely dropping the context of short vs. long term self interest. Any respectable Objectivist knows a long term interest is what one seeks to achieve.

    Additionally the slanderer betrays his own evil slant. Notice that he gives the impression that murder, rape, and dismemberment is something that is commonly in one's self interest in a civil society. It would be interesting to me for him to explain why he thinks so.

    Now the context of long term self-interest and in a civil society it would be very rare indeed, if at all, that rape, murder and dismemberment would be considered in one's long term self interest but with some imagination I can think of some instances where these activities may be appropriate.

    For rape, consider the situation in the Fountainhead. Roark had the fantastic ability to understand people and their values, no matter how screwed up they were. He understood Dominique's twisted value system of seeking debasement. It technically is rape as Dominique called it, but how does one go about seeking to get raped when consensual would not make it rape? In full context it wasn't rape. So out of context it was rape. Either way it served Roark's and Dominique's long term self interests as they eventually got married after she failed to destroy Roark.

    For murder, I can think if a situation where someone whispers in your ear (no one else can hear) that he's going to kill you and everyone you hold most dear. You noticed that people (and their loved ones) had disappeared who disagreed with this person, and it's beginning to make sense. There are additional grounds for you to take him seriously. So you kill this person later that night in an attempt to change your fate. In full context, and assuming all the other particulars line up, this is self defense and not murder, but out of context and also likely legally you've committed murder.

    As far as dismemberment, I'm assuming the dismembered person will remain alive or it would just be a form of killing. My imagination is good but I cannot think of any concrete situation where this is appropriate. The person would have to be an irredeemable enemy who is trying to kill you. Killing this enemy must be warranted, but some longer range value would have to be served by dismemberment more than just killing him, such as to scare others who are part of the enemy group. These are the principles, but no concrete example comes to mind.

    So I would, in an out of context sense, condone rape, murder, and dismemberment if it served a long term interest (without frustrating a longer term and greater interest) and the force exerted was either consensual (for case of rape) or in retaliation of force (or in retaliation of threat of force) exerted against you (for the cases of murder or dismemberment). This would certainly not be the norm in a civil society as the slanderer suggests.
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  • Posted by scottgdvm 6 years, 8 months ago
    Perhaps the better question is to ask if there is anything to be gained engaging with someone who is clearly attempting to mask his real political affiliation :)
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    • Posted by Timelord 6 years, 8 months ago
      Only two things might be gained that I can think of.

      1) It might amuse me, for a time, to engage this person. I admit that such amusement might derive from a character flaw :)

      2) It is possible that others will realize the absurdity of the other person's position and join you in appreciating reality - or at least become curious enough to dig further.

      Other than the above I can't think of any benefit of such an engagement.
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      • Posted by mccannon01 6 years, 8 months ago
        Timelord, I believe I may suffer the same character flaw you allude to in #1. That is, from time to time, I have fenced with fools just for the sport of it! Time consuming amusement until I get bored, then I try to get them to stomp off in a name-calling huff just to end the exchange. :-)
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        • Posted by Timelord 6 years, 8 months ago
          I usually just stop replying and let them rant in my absence as they see fit. Once I've had my fun further manipulation doesn't warrant the effort. They just fall off the bottom of my hierarchical list of values!
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  • Posted by mjsmolens 6 years, 8 months ago
    I think we are still in a cultural where any mention of Rand's name is good news. The expression of the views you show are so outlandish that thinking people would just be more intrigued and seek out the facts.
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  • Posted by flanap 6 years, 8 months ago
    Although Ms. Rand's philosophy has some problems, any philosophy suffers from this phenomenon where the commentators develop opinions which are then attacked by those who never take the chance to read what the commentators were commenting on.

    Objectivism is "Johnny come lately" compared to the Bible.
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    • Posted by Solver 6 years, 8 months ago
      Like the idea of individual rights is a "Johnny come lately" to royal or supernatural rulership.
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      • Posted by Kittyhawk 6 years, 8 months ago
        Actually, Ayn Rand wrote that Christ was one of the first figures in human history to advocate the value of the individual. http://thechristianegoist.wordpress.com/...
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        • Posted by Solver 6 years, 8 months ago
          The Bible quotes Jesus speaking of a parable that does recognize the necessity of personal property ownership. That is a huge part of Individualism and a no-no to collectivists.
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          • Posted by Kittyhawk 6 years, 8 months ago
            There are different translations and interpretations of the New Testament. Do you recall any more details about the parable against private property, to clarify which one?

            One that I think demonstrates Jesus' views on personal property and altruism is the story about a follower who applied expensive perfume on Jesus. One or more of the disciples said it would be better if the oil was sold, and the money used for the poor. Jesus said no. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anointing_o...

            If you click through to read the linked articles http://thechristianegoist.wordpress.com/... , you'll see Rand believed Christianity contained a contradiction: that while it recognized the value of the individual, it simultaneously called for altruism. But she did clearly state that Jesus preceded her in acknowledging the worth of the individual.
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            • Posted by Solver 6 years, 8 months ago
              It was not from a parable that was against private property ownership, but for it,
              "...The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not OWN the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep..."
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    • Posted by Timelord 6 years, 8 months ago
      Maybe now we'll see if @scottgdvm's question will be answered. Does anyone want to bother engaging this person that bases his or her life on myth and superstition?

      Yes, Objectivism came after the Bible. So did virtually all of modern science and human knowledge. The understanding of electromagnetism and the harnessing of electricity also came after the Bible, so what does that prove? Fortunately for mankind there have been many advances in science and philosophy in last 2000 years so we can abandon all that which we have learned is false.

      My engagement is now terminated.
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