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BigDaddySexMachine

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  1. All actions have consequences and when America does something it shouldn't -- like morally sanction or diplomatically recognize horrific dictatorships -- there are inevitably bad results. One shouldn't assume that the moslems are wholly irrational, or immune to reasonable and moral behavior from America. In my experience, underneath all their depressing, menacing, childish verbiage there always is a hint of truth-telling and truth-seeking. If America behaved better vis-a-vis propping up dictatorships, then the victims of these dictatorships would be impacted and their hatred towards, and destructiveness of, America would be genuinely less.
  2. You make some valid points -- especially about their theft of our oil. But America gave a lot of money to the Taliban over the years, including about 150 million dollars just before 9/11. So too with a great many dictatorships. Currently the US gives about 3 billion a year to Eqypt. But maybe the more important point here is moral sanction. I think it would mean a lot to the enslaved peoples of the planet if we withdrew diplomatic recognition and offered up high publicity moral condemnation. Rand said as much. I think that America very quietly has huge power here. At the very least America could break relations with China and recognize Tiawan -- and state clearly why we're doing this. The apology doesn't have to be abject. It should be based on the merits with an eye toward real justice. We can and should identify and blame their own lack of love of liberty as the main problem. But even a small voice telling the truth and doing what's right has great significance, in my view. And America has much more than a small voice.
  3. McGroarty very patiently writes: <<An appeal to what you feel is common sense is a problem, however. <<I'm going to assume you agree with these points. Please tell me if you don't: <<1. There is only one reality. Existence doesn't change from person to person. <<2. The purpose of Objectivism is to derive an accurate understanding of existence. <<3. When objectively deriving information, 1 and 2 don't allow the possibility of different results between us. Since we share the same existence, there can be only one correct representation.>> So far, so good! <<Now, the non-Kelley Objectivism is fully derived from only a few uncontestable facts about consciousness and existence. There isn't a single element of a subjective hunch or an appeal to popular common sense. Any appeal to common sense or pragmatism in a modification of Objectivism would represent the first element of that kind. <<Why is this so important? <<This is important because Objectivism, when objectively derived as it stands, leaves no room for conflict among facts. It is an accurate reflection of existence as it is. This is its entire value. <<When you introduce a personal valuation as fact without having methodically derived it from other facts, you allow for conflict. If you go on your gut, your evalutation of what you believe is potentially different from mine, is it not? There is no guarantee at all that every person will share your common sense belief. Therefore, to use this valuation to modify Objectivism is to destroy Objectivism's ability to produce a single outcome. This necessarily means that Objectivism itself has been destroyed, if we agreed to its purpose as providing a single true analysis of reality.>> I'm a little lost here. I used "common sense" in a different manner. Your whole approach to this vexed question is vastly divergent from my own. Not worse, but certainly divergent. You don't seem to be addressing or contesting my points. Any differetiation on fine points of doctrice or any quibbles over metaphysical esoterica doesn't seem to justify creating a whole new word for the Kelleys and Brandens of the world. Nor does this proposed new term seem useful -- just the opposite. Perhaps the point I'm missing here is that Kelley is guilty of some seemingly tiny but actually huge error. Maybe it's a secretly diabolically fatal flaw. I'm not really sure... <<If you understand and agree to all of the above, then we can't agree to modify Objectivism without taking the time to objectively derive facts. I understand that it is tedious, but this is why Objectivists enjoy an advantage over lazy minds, isn't it? <<Most of your points are subjective. There is one that stands out as thoughtful but problematic, however. When you talk about the different kinds of communists debating who is correct, and whether they are all still communists in the end, they do share one factor: They all have errors in their thinking. Do you agree? This means conflict isn't important, because there are an infinite number of potential falsehoods for every truth.>> I think Objectivist philosophy describes reality far and away the best, but it isn't necessarily perfect. But invariably different views are at a different remove from truth and this amount is important. So too the type and nature of the belief. I still think that people which share a vast commonality of beliefs, especially the fundamental premises, deserve to be called the same name. Such accurate terminolgy benefits all. Although...perhaps it's possible to call Kelley a perverto-Objectivist or demento-Objectivist or some such? Not sure... <<It's possible to debate back and forth with two viewpoints and assign them equal merit and put them under the same classification if they are both incorrect. I might argue that granite rocks are the best magnet, and you might argue that granite pebbles are the better attractor. We are both wrong, though others might still call us both Busted Granite Magnetists because of all the assumptions we share. Here, we are defined by common error. <<On the other hand, when we debate back and forth with two viewpoints, can we assign them equal merit if one viewpoint is true and the other is different? <<If you argue that square pegs best fit square holes, can I be correct if I contradict you by holding the circle peg square hole position? We might agree that pegs go in holes, that the peg doesn't go in sideways, that pegs can't be carved from balloons, and a million other things. Only one position can be correct when we're dealing with a complete set of truths however. This is true no matter how much I'd like my round peg square hole philosophy to be included in Peggingist beliefs. Common sense says if you hit it hard enough...>> I really appreciate the effort level here. You certainly strike me as an honest, benevolent, fair-minded debater. But most of these points still seem aschew to the issue at hand. <<Similarly if Objectivism is a means for deriving reality, there can't be two Objectivisms that differ on true reality, can there be? Only one can be Objectivism. On the other hand, if Errorism was a philosophy designed to produce errors, we could have an infinite number of different systems all producing different outputs, all called Errorism. <<I've tried to be very basic, honest, and civil. Please let me know if you see a problem in anything I have so far said. <<If you would like me to point you at a couple books that would be useful in learning to derive your own fully objective position on Kelley, I can point to where to begin. You might find you learn something, or you might find a way to prove us all wrong.>> Certainly I'd be interested in the books. Anything that cuts to the chase. But short articles would be better to start off with. I believe in living life -- not pouring over obscure epistemic texts. I'm eager to know Kelley's three or so most important errors and I'd like to know them quickly and clearly. I'd also like to hear his view on all this. Giving both sides equal time is important here. Ultimately, I tend to regard Objectivists as people who agree with that famous Ayn Rand statement on the websites of ARI and TOC: "...with reason as his only absolute." So too those who agree with Rand as she presented her philosophy "while standing on one foot." Am I wrong or naive to do this? At the very least, I agree with every single word of these two. (But so does Kelley and Branden, maybe. Hmmm.) What a shame, by the way, that the respective antagonists won't hold a debate on all this! Both strike me as dishonest, cowardly, and evading. One side "has better things to do" while the other doesn't want to "sanction" evil. To my mind, both are traitors to the phenomenon of open honest discussion, rational discourse, and true philosophy. At the very least, the lesser acolytes should agree to a full fair debate, with the video then made public to all. So too Objectivists vs. libertarians. What are they all afraid of? If they're all so right in their views then a challenge of this type should be welcome -- a golden opportunity to establish their truth and virtue once and for all.
  4. AisA writes: This is a good point. Maybe I should have been more clear in my commentary. But I'm curious... Don't you think that some kind of formal and fairly significant apology is owed? Wouldn't it be the right thing to do? Wouldn't it, naturally, generate a world of good will and give us a fresh start with the the quasi-innocent, quasi-victimized moslem nation -- as well as with all people of good will? Wouldn't this statement in favor of morality and justice also impact upon our people and leaders so as to stop propping up dictatorships in future?
  5. This post promoted patently false statements concerning Ayn Rand's position on drug use. NIJamesHughes
  6. That parenthetical remark was a joke. Obviously. I'm amazed you draw such an extensive and damning portrait of my character based on a throw-away line. And your speculation on how I behave at bars is hardly appropriate or accurate.
  7. Speicher excels at invective, sarcasm, and ad hominem attack. He's rather less impressive at rationality and actually making an argument -- even a lame one. He also seems to have appointed himself my special critic. I would politely suggest that he's in over his head here. I can't be moved by intellectual intimidation, and he doesn't seem to have much to offer in the way of reasoning or logic on any topic you can name.
  8. Megan Robinson writes: <<...hedonism and reason do not go together...>> This is a loose statement not really supported by the facts. <<Ayn Rand call sex outside of this context a mere "wriggiling of meat". Having careless sex with people to "sow your oats" or "feel good" is immoral.>> Rand's imagery is unpleasant. I don't exactly know what her logic is here, but it doesn't sound right to me... <<Once again...but this time in Peikoff's words...no love without sex, no sex without love.>> Is he telling me how I should live my life? As long as you like a person a bit or have a small commonality of values, sex can be very enjoyable -- at least in the short run. Often this is all someone wants or needs. Rand admitted as much to Peikoff himself(!). The implicit puritanism of Megan strikes me as unrealistic and somewhat sterile. Maybe she's overthinking this issue... <<On to drugs...I don't care where they come from, metaphysically given or not, drugs are bad. They hinder sensory perception which is the basis for all proper epistemology. To impair your senses is to impair the very base of objectivity. how can you make proper desicions in an impaired reality? You can't.>> No one is advocating becoming a wastoid or stoner. Certainly I'm not. As long as you employ some intelligence or planning, drugs are not a problem in life. Indeed, life is rather empty without them. Where's the fun or visceral celebration? Everyone also needs to bear in mind here that such recreational substances as coke and weed take effect and wear off relatively quickly with few or no ill effects. They aren't like alcohol. And they don't have long-term consequences like cigarettes. Again, the key point here is to have self-discipline and use drugs to suppliment/compliment rational activity and the rest of life -- not to substitute for rationality and productive achievement. <<Pleasure is good in the proper context, but to seek pleasure and deny reason is immoral.>> This is a straw man.
  9. GoodOrigamiMan writes: <<Rationality is a fundamental Objectivist virtue... not pleasure. Earlier in your post you implied that you were for life, well SexMachine that same attitude is why Objectivists choose reason over pleasure when making decisions. A rational person is someone who makes choices using on a set of hierarchical principles and values. A hedonist is someone who makes choices based on their pleasure pain mechanism.>> Actually, there's no conflict between reason and pleasure: they work in harmony and reinforce one another. Hedonists and everyone else who's remotely sensible make choices based on the pleasure/pain mechanism. <<It is fundamentally irrational to guide your life hedonistically. You cannot use reason to effectively pursue your life by subverting it to your pleasure pain mechanism.>> Who says I subvert it? Reason is always my fundamental guide and base. <<You are neither a consistent rational person nor a consistent hedonist - you are some boring compromise between the two.>> I sincerely doubt this. The great error here is supposing hedonism and reasonism conflict. Do eudaemonism and rationality conflict as well?
  10. I don't seem to be following along very well here. I thought my observation was non-controversial and obvious. Sex and drugs and even violence (if you find the right bastard! ) are all pleasures and joys. They help us celebrate life -- and are an inherent goodness themselves. Sex and drugs should be indulged in and engaged in as much as possible. Of course, they are properly a suppliment and compliment to life, and shouldn't be allowed to take over or become central. They are, as it were, forever on the side. That said, folks, there're absolutely GREAT!
  11. Big Daddy recently educated the hoi polloi thus: "Drugs are good. Sex is good. 'Just say no' to life and pleasure is evil." Hedonistic I'll grant you. Irrational I'll fight you. What, pray tell, are you even talking about?
  12. Big Man McG writes: My approach here may be more simplistic and common sensical than is to your taste. I agree with your general characterizations of Objectivism but Kelley seems to fall well within them. (1) For me, 99% of humanity is ignorant of Rand and Objectivism. 99% of the rest is highly indifferent or hostile. Rand, Branden, Peikoff, Kelley, etc. seem to reside inside that tiny isolated minority which isn't. All seem overwhelmingly influenced by Randianism -- even to the point of radical personal revolution. For me (and probably all outside observers and unbiased analysts) this makes them all Objectivsts....And let's not forget that hilariously unfair and extremist quote from Robert Tracinski which started this whole brouhaha! (2) Another issue is that of the philosophical alternatives. The rest of the planet -- to the extent that they truly have philosophies at all -- seems to mainly consist of monotheists and socialists and altruists. All four thinkers above reject these three summarily and for almost exactly the same reasons. So again, one could logically conclude they have a great commonality of belief i.e. the same philosophy. Especially when you consider how much the Objectivist and non-Objectivist believers hate, revile, and reject each other. (3) Whenever doctrinaire marxist college students argue deep into the night over esoteric points of doctrine regarding trotskyite vs. socialist labor vs. orthodox marxism vs. eucumenical communism vs. marxist-leninism vs. maoism etc. it is understood by all that, deep down, these guys actually share a philosophy. This is so even though any two might well loathe each other personally and claim that the other is a total incompetent, fraud, traitor, enemy, and verily worse than Satan himself. Still, everyone of decent intellectual honesty gets that both are marxists. (4) Saying that someone somewhere somehow has conclusively overwhelmingly proven that someone else is wrong in their beliefs is very unconvincing to me. I call this the Appeal to Obscure Authority. The person with the wild claim is liberated from actually making his argument and stating his reasons. Many a moslem fanatic looks earnestly into the camera and says that slaughtering Western multitudes is good based on the authority of Iman Abu A-hole or some such. Then he confidently and beguilingly appeals to us to read the proper highly boring paper. I don't buy this. (5) I find 'Fact and Value' unpersuasive. So too 'To Whom It May Concern.' (6) If Kelley et al are so wrong then it should be easy to state the reasons in quick, clear, emphatic, undeniable form. There isn't any need to take tiny segments of isolated sentences and torture them into strange meanings. It should be easy to find paragraph after paragraph of writing from Kelley which is obviously untrue and evil, and which blatantly contradicts similar paragraphs by Rand. (7) And more. Well, then! This is my basic approach and thinking on the subject, McG. I don't claim it's perfect. But it has to be better than appeals to faith, appeals to authority, intellectual intimidation, personal bullying, ad hominem attacks, name calling, moralizing, psychologizing, abuse, gross disrespect, rank incivility, and the like.
  13. AisA writes: American virtue and friendliness/neighborliness in standing up for moslems, as stated eloquently above, is nothing short of remarkable. It's also stunningly under-appreciated and virtually unknown. Still... All that gov't charity basically goes to funding the dictators and oppressing the people. We diplomatically recognize these "slave pens" (as Rand once memorably put it), and morally sanction them with a power and authority only we possess. And this just devastates the semi-innocent moslems. Moreover the West allowed various "tribal savages" (also Rand ) to "nationalize" our oil which essentially means we funded these miserable destroyers of humanity with trillions in cash. The fact that we also suffered here via the theft is largely irrelevant. Meanwhile, something beautiful happened in the world back when the Russians apologized to the planet for Soviet evil back in 1987 or so. So too when Germany did the same for nazi atrocities in the 1970s or so. By taking formal responsibility for their actions (or those of their ancestors) they rather cleansed the planet and washed away many sins and hard feelings. In turn, the fact that Japan even today refuses to apologize to the requisite parties for their WWII shenanigans is a great evil. So, YES, America needs to apologize to the moslem nation.
  14. The consensus opinion in America today -- by that of the right and the left -- is that which is articulated by high-quality thinker/writer Mid-East expert Daniel Pipes: islam is not a problem but radical islam is. I beg to differ. Still, I don't favor the Peikoff/Brook doctrine of leveling whole cities and nations if there's even a half-way decent alternative here. Admittedly, my view is rather contradictory... Of one thing I feel sure: George Bush and Tony Blair are lying and badly hurting us when they say islam is a "religion of peace" and a normal type religion, philosophy, and way of life. Islam was created in the Dark Ages and never had a Reformation. Thus it's two giant levels of evil worse than our christian and jewish based Western culture. And because almost all moslems live in dicatorships, these folks are a whopping three orders of magnitude lower in civilization. That's a lot! In many ways, they're wild animals worthy of extinction. They're simply too dangerous to try to deal with rationally. So our conduct in future towards these "innocent civilians" can rightly be rather rough. This is the moral and practical foreign policy.
  15. The above is called psychological projection. What I said is that Kelley is (obviously) an Objectivist. If you or Stephen choose to evade or lie about this that's your problem.
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