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Found 27 results

  1. Try as I might, I still do not know what laws and theorems in formal logic such as "A is A" have to do with government. To me, it makes as much sense if she started talking about dinosaurs and tried to connect that to how the government should be run. The two seem to have nothing to do with each other.
  2. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Ayn Rand made no real effort to engage with those whom she labeled "mystics" and "Subjectivists". I have read her notes, and although I have read records of her visiting places like steel mills to try to make that side of her Magnum Opus (Atlas Shrugged) sound more realistic, there are no records in her notes of her ever visiting "the mystics" or "the subjectivists" in order to truly understand the people she was criticizing. Yes, she grew up in Soviet Russia, but that was a regime that claimed the mantle of "logic" and "reason" and "objectivity" every bit as fervently as she. Now you or them or anyone else can argue as to who was the proper heir of that mantle, but the fact is that the Soviets claimed that mantle with equal fervor as she. There is no record within her notes of her delving into the world of people who were more or less self-proclaimed "mystics" and "subjectivists". If I had to guess, it's because she simply saw it as "beneath her". With other high-profile Objectivists it seems to be the exact same story. As far as I can tell, Objectivists don't really have a handle on "the other side"; they fire off criticisms of "mystics" without really knowing what "mystics" are saying.
  3. An oft-cited Objectivist mantra is "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.' It was recently stated, and confirmed by the fact-checking organization PolitiFact, that the six Wal-Mart heirs own more wealth between just the six of them than the wealth owned by the entire bottom 40% of America (~128,000,000 people) How are minimum-wage Wal-Mart workers (oh excuse me, "associates") who are just barely scraping together enough scraps from their meager paychecks to survive not living for the sake of these wealthy Wal-Mart heirs?
  4. Guys, please help me with this quote from Atlas Shrugged. It may be at the very core of Objectivism. "She had thought that industrial production was a value not to be questioned by anyone; she had thought that these men's urge to expropriate the factories of others was their acknowledgment of the factories value. She, born of the industrial revolution, had not held as conceivable, had forgotten along with the tales of astrology and alchemy, what these men knew in their secret, furtive souls, knew not by means of thought, but by means of that nameless muck which they called their instincts and emotions: that so long as men struggle to stay alive, they'll never produce so little but that the man with the club won't be able to seize it and leave them still less, provided millions of them are willing to submit—that the harder their work and the less their gain, the more submissive the fiber of their spirit—that men who live by pulling levers at an electric switchboard, are not easily ruled, but men who live by digging the soil with their naked fingers, are—that the feudal baron did not need electronic factories in order to drink his brains away out of jeweled goblets, and neither did the rajahs of the People's State of India." This is the opposite of what we often hear. We often hear that civilized men are docile and tame, so they are easily ruled by a tyrant, whereas "wilder", primitive men are harder to control. This is often given as the reason for the rise of the Totalitarian States of the previous century. What Rand is saying in this section of Atlas (if I have interpreted it correctly) is the complete opposite of what we so often hear. Please help me with this quote.
  5. For most of human history, "absolute truth" was the province of a select caste of priest-kings who claimed divine and exclusive knowledge of absolute truth, and the rest of society just went along with it. Now, for around the past 3-400 years or so, extremely recently wrt the whole of human history, absolute truth is said no longer to be the exclusive province of priests and kings claiming to have special dealings with the Gods, but is said to be accessible to every man, supposedly by means of things like logical syllogisms. The problem as I see it is that even honest and earnest men have always disagreed to a greater or lesser degree on what is and is not part of "absolute truth". Firstly, this is very odd if it is supposed to be "absolute" and accessible to all men. Secondly, and probably more importantly: In the modern age, now that mankind no longer believes in the claims of priests that God provides their caste with privileged knowledge of absolute truth, sheer naked force has replaced claims of divine revelation to enforce one class's or leader's version of "absolute truth" upon the rest of his fellow men, given that individual men have never voluntarily agreed on what "absolute truth" consists of . The most infamous example is Communism, where millions were sent to gulags for thoughtcrimes such as "deviationism" from Stalin's version of "absolute truth". According to all of us here Communism was "irrational", but according to itself, its leaders, and the thousands of speeches they made, Communism was a rational system of objective truth.
  6. Future of Objectivism

    I am genuinely interested to know what your views are on the future of Objectivism. There are different ways you could go about answering this; as long as it is constructive you can answer it how you choose. For some examples, your focus might be the practical application of the philosophy to how you live your life. It might be more to do with expanding the influence of Objectivism. It might be creating a new community. To what extent do you think its possible in your lifetime?
  7. In Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, in John Galt's Speech, there is a quote that seems to be central to the Objectivist worldview, but yet seems to be completely self-contradictory. "Man must obtain his knowledge and choose his actions by a process of thinking, which nature will not force him to perform. Man has the power to act as his own destroyer - and that is the way he has acted for most of his history. A living entity that regarded its means of survival as evil, would not survive. A plant that struggled to mangle its roots, a bird that fought to break its wings would not remain for long in the existence they affronted. But the history of man has been a struggle to deny and destroy his mind." Clearly according to Ayn Rand, man has done the opposite of what Objectivism says to do, for "most of his history". He has acted "as his own destroyer [...] through most of his history". He has been "a living entity that regarded its means of survival as evil". The next three words in the quote are "would not survive". But wait a minute! We're still here. Not only just man as a species, but Subjectivists and Subjectivism, are still here. Birds that "fought to break [their] wings" and plants "that struggled to mangle [their] roots" died out a long time ago. But Subjectivist human beings are still here. Indeed, the vast majority of human beings are Subjectivists, according to Objectivist philosophers. Assuming that Objectivism is true, how could this be?
  8. "Thinking is not a mechanical process", Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, John Galt's Speech But if atheism is true and man is a biological machine lacking what theists would call a soul, then how is "thinking not a mechanical process"?
  9. Really the full title of this message should be "If God Doesn't Exist, Then "Objective Reality" Is Really Nothing More Than a Cosmic Fart, So Why Do Objectivists Have Such Deep Reverence for It?" But that would be too long for the forum system. Getting down to brass tacks though, at the end of Atlas Shrugged, after the blowout of Project F, James Taggart, one of the villains, his brain just basically "snaps" and he sits down on the floor of the Project F room and he becomes basically this empty blubbering shell of a man, he reaches this dejected low point that is as abjectly low as a man can go. And this isn't because of sorrow at moral evil (moral evil according to the conventional non-objectivist definition that most people go by), it's because of his supposed inability to accept objective reality, his supposed incompatability with objective reality. Objectivism's atheism seems incompatable with Objectivism's deep reverence for "objective reality". Jim Taggart's downfall, in which he becomes this blubbering empty shell of a man, would be understandable if he were a character in a theist novel who discovered that he had been dissing God this whole time by dissing God's Creation, God's Reality. If he became this blubbering "repentant sinner" down on the floor at that point, in a theist novel, that would be understandable. But in an atheist framework, I just don't see it. At best, Objectivists are telling people to "love the one they're stuck with" even though it's admittedly no more than a cosmic fart that is no more deserving of any reverence than a fantasy world that somebody has built inside their head. Thoughts?
  10. It seems to be implied in Objectivism that there is going to be this giant catastrophe like in Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged that is going to force human society to go from Subjectivism to Objectivism. I can personally remember during the Great Recession, whose worst years were approximately from 2008-10, at least some Objectivists saying "this is it! this is Atlas shrugging!" But that didn't happen. Here we are in 2016, the world got back on its feet and "Subjectivism" has kept on rolling. Also, the "doers" and "makers" according to Objectivism, such as Bill Gates, are not "Going Galt". I cannot even think of one single major entrepreneur who has "Gone Galt" because they're fed up with the "Subjectivist society" (please correct me if I'm wrong). So my question is what happens if this big catastrophe that is supposed to force society to become Objectivist never indeed happens?
  11. I was having a conversation with an Objectivist lately about the tenets of Objectivism, and I was directed toward this forum section to try to get answers. Part of Objectivist philosophy is egoism, but as far as I can see, egoism leads to socialism when it is adopted on a societal scale. Here is how I see it: Egotistical people, almost by definition, care greatly about "getting theirs". When there is a critical mass of egotistical people in any society and they aren't "getting theirs", they band together and begin using socialism to take from "the rich" who "already have theirs". And that's how they "get theirs". This is especially true when said society is an electoral democracy where the masses of people, for better or worse, have the authority to choose who governs on the basis of the greatest number of votes. In other words, they clearly turn to socialism as a mechanism to service their egoism. To use an Atlas Shrugged example: Fred Kinnan is an apt example of what most people would consider an egoist. He's a fatcat union boss who blatantly leverages socialism in the service of his egoism. The vast majority of socialists are just like Fred Kinnan. They hate it when they are called on that, but that's what they are.
  12. Hypothetical: A very wealthy individual has built an extension on her home which houses an automated factory for the production of flour. The automated factory includes facilities for accepting wheat, grinding it up, doing all the necessary processing and generating flour. Intelligently the factory is arranged so that gasoline, propane, oil, natural gas, or portable electric power, may be supplied to the factory to make it work, and that oil, water, and cleaning supplies may be easily provided to it to ensure proper operation of flour production and self-maintenance and self-cleaning operations. Ingeniously, the premises housing the factory also includes a foundry and various molds, for accepting raw metals and manufacturing of parts, wire, PCBs, computer chips, etc. which form part of the factory which makes the flour. The wealthy individual decides that this automated factory is to be open for business to anyone in her village who wants to produce flour for a fee. The arrangement is first come first serve and the contract involves in exchange for the use of the factory, payment of money and conditions of use: users must supply their own wheat meeting certain conditions to ensure working order of the factory, users must supply the power (gasoline, propane, oil, etc.) required to operate the factory, and other raw operating material such as oils, water, cleaning agents, according to specifications, so that proper self-automated maintenance and cleaning operations may be performed. Part of the deal includes a small deposit of raw materials for part production by the foundry, in anticipation of the need for part replacement, such as iron for main parts, copper for wires, etc. The amount of materials deposited accumulate slowly at a rate designed to cover any replacements for failures of the parts and components of the factory. The deal also requires the user to promise that if something in the factory has broken down, that he is to use the foundry facilities to fashion replacement parts and repair the factory, and to clean up and otherwise put the foundry back to its ready to use state. Replacement instructions and access to broken parts is arranged ingeniously so that no one ever has full access to how the entire flour factory works and the contract prohibits disassembly otherwise. As it turns out the village is full of mechanics working at a nearby (unrelated) aviation factory. Anyone who would be expected to use the flour making facility would likely know someone capable of or be able himself to operate the foundry and take care of the needed repairs to the flour factory. None of the villagers has the knowledge required to build a flour factory, nor are they interested in obtaining it, primarily because, fortunately for all, the price of using the factory to make flour, and all the conditions included, are such that a great many of the villagers voluntarily decide to use the factory rather than buy flour from someone else (its cheaper) and rather than make their own factory. They decide that all things considered it IS in their interest to make flour there. The factory is so well made and automated that the entrance to the facility (which is very well secured) has a computer system for users to obtain information about availability, make reservations, and read and sign any and all contractual agreements. The electronic system is recognized as solemnizing a deal with the wealthy individual (she has "pre-signed"... if you will)... all that is required is agreement by each user to abide by the terms. After 20 years in operation (the factory having paid for itself in the first 3 years), with the wealthy individual only setting foot at the facility a handful of times, very few episodes of down time, only a few attempted security breaches requiring the police, and only two law suits (instituted by the wealthy individual on the basis of breach of terms), a Marxist-Communist and an Objectivist-Capitalist come out of the facility after having gone on a free tour put on by the owner, who happens to love heated philosophical exchanges. The owner looks to both of them and asks with a grin, "What do you think?" Please start the dialogue either as the Marxist-Communist or the Objectivist-Capitalist, stating what you think. Please choose the view which most closely parallels your own view in THIS CONTEXT, and identify yourself as the Marxist-Communist or the Objectivist-Capitalist, and voice your outrage or approval with fervor.
  13. I have put a lot of effort into this blog over the last few years: Objectivism for Intellectuals | Exploring the depths of Ayn Rand's revolutionary philosophy. I always strive toward intellectual rigor and creating an understanding of principles' contexts in the reader. Sometimes this means that the writing doesn't flow as smoothly as it might if I were to write in a more casual style. But I hope that intelligent and thoughtful people will appreciate the rigor and perhaps gain some insight from it.
  14. The vitriol that I encounter bogels the mind. People who are otherwise pretty level headed will straight up say: "I hate Ayn Rand." While I do not consider myself an Objectivist I am always happy to defend Ayn Rand against the most common objections. But rarely do I get a serious debate. The hatred of Rand seems almost visceral. Why? What it is about Rand that so offends? What makes her taboo among intellectuals? I'll offer what I suspect is a partial answer: There is a long tradition, tracing back at least to Plato, that practical concerns are vulgar and unworthy of serious thought and discussion. Rand stood that on its head validating the pragmatic concerns of ordinary life over the moral preening of those who claim a higher calling. Perhaps that is unforgivable. What is your assessment? What explanations have you heard for hatred of Ayn Rand?
  15. I owe everyone on this forum an apology. I hope you will consider forgiving me for a mistake I made. I failed to fully appreciate the fact that you are all here- or claim to be here- to discuss Objectivism which is quite admirable. I am very happy that this forum exists not only because it is devoted to discussing logical principles, but because also, there is far, far too little discussion of logical principles and philosophy elsewhere in the universe today. (I say Universe because people live on the International Space Station [i.S.S.] and their premises in fact are quite illogical since the context in which the I.S.S. presently exists is illogical; communistic ((you may refer to my essay "On The Official Establishment of U.S. Space Territory" if you want a further explanation of that assertion))) This forum is very valuable and expressing that judgement should have been in my first post, not my sixth! I am sorry. Now, because I failed to explicitly identify my value-judgement of this forum my first post "A Letter To Readers" was presented to you out of context, and it was in fact, an implicit insult to you. I shall explain what I mean by "implicit insult". I wrote "A Letter To Readers" to everyone who reads at present and anyone who ever will in the future. Most readers however are neither Objectivist nor advocates of any particular, fundamental principle of Objectivism. The implicit insult here is that I implied, when I posted "A Letter To Readers" here, that you ought to be regarded as just "anyone who reads" since you absolutely are not! As I said, this is a very valuable forum and thus it should be treated as such. I should have expressed my appreciation for this forum, properly introduced myself to you, and told you what I hoped to achieve here, at which point it would then have been logical to share "A Letter To Readers With You". Again, I am very sorry and I most certainly hope you will forgive me. With that now on record, I would like to formally introduce myself to you. My name is Sean O'Connor. I am a 26 year old philosopher and writer. (I write mostly essays, and on occasion I write a story). I have five priorities as a philosopher: 1) To discover as much as possible about meaning in general and the meaning of essential particulars. 2) To improve and clarify as many definitions as possible 3) To discover as much about the optimal navigation of the mind as possible 4) To present philosophy as a field of science and change the way it is taught, understood, and applied 5) To be one of the best essayists in history I have been writing since I was eight or nine. I have been studying literature (poetry, prose, and philosophical essays) since I was 18. I self published a book of short stories and word collages (that I now condemn) when I was 23. Last April I wrote the first essay I was proud of. It is called "In Condemnation of Apathy". After writing five essays I took a break and kept a study journal. (That didn't last long). I then began blogging and strictly on politics, and considered running for political office. I was not satisfied with the idea of being confined to potlics and experimented with photography and film. That didn't last long however. I then kept a daily philosophical video blog entitled "Thrive!". I didn't like blogging every day as I wanted more time to prepare my thoughts and visions and present them as clearly and thouroughly as possible so I began outling ideas, and taking my time. I wrote two short stories and then I began writing a third however I got an idea for an essay! That idea was unfortunately interuppted when I realized that I needed to find a new room to live in as the lease for the one I am currently living in has expired. Since I was low on cash, and was worried that I might not find a room, I decided to ask readers for help- specifically readership and promotion. (It is true that I said I was "open to donations or sponsorship" but readership matters to me much more than money and the fundamental task of the essay was not to raise money, but rather to discuss the issue of poverty, the relationship between ideology, psychology and circumstances how the relationship between those three concepts relates to our present economic disaster, to promote the ideals of independence, capitalism, responsibility, rationality, to discuss self investment, present my philosophical discoveries, and explain my literature). There are five things I want to achieve on this forum. 1) I want to share my discoveries and ideas with you. 2) I want to help you understand my discoveries and ideas and indeed inspire discussion/debate. (You might think I have contradicted myself somewhere and if you do, that's okay. To quote my hero, Dr. Nathaniel Branden, "I'm open to learning. But let's be clear about what I have said and not said" (I am presently completing an epistle to Dr. Branden which I shall share with you very soon). The only thing I don't tolerate, or entertain is an insult. 3) I want more and more people to appreciate philosophy in general- to think about it, and talk about it. I will, from time to time, promote discussions here on Facebook as part of an effort to achieve this goal. 4) I want to build an audience; I want to get enough people reading and talking about what I have written as to have evidence for an ambitious, virtuous book publisher to know for certain that my literature is marketable. 5) I want to convince you that my assertions and judgements are logical. I shall tell you a little more about myself because learning about someone's personality enhances our idea of him or her; it adds meaning to everything else he or she tells us. I live in East Windsor, New Jersey. I hate living here and for two reasons: the geography does not match my sense of life. (The tropics do) 2)Despite a "Republican" governnor, NJ is heavily Socialist and it is quite depressing. I want to live instead, on the U.S. Virgin Island: St. John- because I love the Caribbean and it is a politically free (or semi-free) American Island. Regarding my education: I have decided to write an essay on it because I take a lot of pride in it so I shall confine myself here to writers and philosophers I have studied (some in greater depth than others) in chronological order, as to provide you with a bit more context; an idea of "where I am coming from" so to speak; an indication, based on my interests and decisions of who I studied, of how I have evolved ideologically and what I have learned. I have studied The Bee Gees (yes I studied them) and other pop-music lyricists (They're not worth naming here) Charles Bukowski, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, Nietzsche, Hume, William James, John Dewey, Bertrand Russell, Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell, Schopenhauer, Dostoevsky, Fitzsgerald, Hemmingway, Henry Miller, The Bible, Kant, Napoleon Hill (and other writers on "The Law of Attraction"), James Joyce, Ayn Rand, Aristotle, Leonard Peikoff, Karl Marx, Obama, Hitler, and Nathanial Branden. (my education does extend beyond literature but I shall discuss that in my essay) I am still educating myself. My top hobby is watching movies and television shows. My favorite movies are "Atlas Shrugged Part 2", "Die Another Day" , "Atlas Shrugged Part 1", "Moonraker", "Phenomenon", and "Limitless". My favorite television programs are "Star Trek", "The West Wing" (not for its politics, but for its glimpse inside the West Wing, as I am interested in politics and how the government functions in general) and "The Glenn Beck Program" (despite his metaphysical and epistemological mistakes). My favorite musicians are "Vivaldi" and "Bach". Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, for taking the time to read my introduction. I look foreword to having valuable discussions with you and I wish you achieved ideals, Sean O'Connor
  16. On the next episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I will answer questions on the good in American culture, romance between an atheist and a believer, the limits of humor, and more. This episode of internet radio airs on Sunday morning, 30 December 2012, at 8 PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can listen to the podcast later. This week's questions are: Question 1: The Good in American Culture: How is American culture better today better than people think? I've heard lots of depressing claims about the abysmal state of American culture lately, particularly since Obama won the election. You've disputed that, arguing that America is better in its fundamentals that many people think. What are some of those overlooked but positive American values? How can they be leveraged for cultural and political change? Question 2: Romance Between an Atheist and a Believer: Can a romance between an atheist and a religious believer work? What are the major obstacles? Should the atheist attend church or church socials with his spouse? Should they have a religious wedding ceremony? Should they send their children to religious schools? Do the particular beliefs – or strength of beliefs – of the religious person matter? Question 3: The Limits of Humor: When does humor work against my values? Sometimes I wonder whether my jokes work against what I value. (For example, what's the most selfish sea creature? An Objectifish!) How do I draw the line? After that, we'll tackle some impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions." To join the live broadcast and its chat, just point your browser to Philosophy in Action's Live Studio a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. By listening live, you can share your thoughts with other listeners and ask us follow-up questions in the text chat. Again, if you miss the live broadcast, you'll find the audio podcast from the episode posted in the archive: Radio Archive: 30 December 2012. Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives. Be sure to follow Philosopy in Action via our blog, RSS feeds, and Facebook too. P.S. I've started a new thread because the old thread had "webcast" in the title, but I'm now purely on radio.
  17. Hello everyone, I've been thinking about a project for some time and I think I'm about ready to put in on paper. In short, it's a bedtime story (mainly for my little ones but I'd love to publish it, even self-publish if that's the only option). Here's why I think this important: First, Objectivism is an incredibly important philosophy. Obviously that's the reason most of us are here, not to pick fights but to understand and discuss the ideas of Ayn Rand. I don't think it's represented in media nearly enough. Second, other things are represented far too often. I have to deal with religion, liberalism, the media, and many other influences. I don't want my kids to be ignorant of these things (know thy enemy, you might say) but I want to introduce them to an opposing way of thinking. The real problem I think I'm going to have is trying to present this complex system of ethics and morality to children in a way they'll understand. I can simplify it as much as possible but I don't want to gloss over anything that's too important. In other words, I know it's pointless to explain calculus to a child who's just learning addition. Over the course of the next few weeks, I'm going to post character profiles, plot points, and maybe some sketches (I plan on illustrating this myself). What I'm looking for is criticism. If there's one group of people I know won't spare my feelings, it's my fellow Objectivists. And of course, there's nothing more important than the voluntary exchange of effort or worth. I will reciprocate any time you'd like an objective, honest opinion. I can't expect my young children to understand The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged when I read it to them, and Mrs. Rand didn't (to my knowledge) produce anything like a primer for children. If I don't want my daughters to idolize Snookie and that sort of lifestyle, I have to give them something else to look up to. There's no better gift I could give them than alternative ideas to promote critical thinking. Thanks, R. Ellis Novak
  18. I've decided to start my own local Objectivist oriented study group and perhaps get involved in intellectual activism, but mostly to meet local Ayn Rand enthusiasts. Pittsburgh Ayn Rand Society I may permit non-locals to participate on the Meetup forum for the group, depending on how it goes; but mostly looking for local participation. I do have to wonder, though, if I can use the title that I have chosen. There is an Ayn Rand Society centered in the Pittsburgh area run by Dr. Allan Gotthelf, but it is a professional organization connected with various universities (which we would not be associated with). Also, I realize "Ayn Rand" is a registered trade mark of ARI, so I'm not sure I can use that name or not in the title of my organization. I guess I will find out if I get any feedback from them saying I can't use it.
  19. moral justification for corporations

    Corporations are entities with rights normally only humans can possess. These rights are given to them by the state. They are not natural rights. Is there or can there be any justification for such rights? P.S.: I also feel that with corporations shifting the responsibility from leadership to the shareholders often causes people to make risky deals they would have not made otherwise.
  20. I spent several years reading about Objectivism and using it in my everyday life to pull myself out of a vicious downward spiral that was going to lead me to eiher death or prison. I felt like I had things pretty under control but the past year or so I have felt like I haven't been in control. The slightest things will set me off and I feel myself get very violent and agressive. There have been a few times in the past year that I have let it get the best of me and hurt people and I know I shouldn't do that. The best way I can describe it is the term "seeing red" and then when its over I feel like I wasn't in control and I regret that I lost it. I'm not sure how to get a grip. Anyone have some constructive advice?
  21. Checking Premises . ORG Statements and My Position By Thomas M. Miovas, Jr. 02/04/2012 I seem to be getting quite a few friendship requests after taking a stance against certain aspects of the checkingpremises.org essays and statements as presented on their website -- especially after posting the following to several friend's wall posts: "I think you guys [Chip Joyce et al] have a ways to go to present your case. Yes, there are people who claim all sorts of nonsense is compatible with Objectivism, but when I asked you via FaceBook to give three examples of what you were referring to -- no one came up with three examples. You didn't even point to Libertarianism, Kelley, and Brandon and what they say that is contrary to Objectivism, and hence a mere "belief" in the words of Chip Joyce's "Subjectivist Objectivists." That essay needs to be fleshed out more if you expect the rational student of Objectivism enquirer to understand what your point is -- especially if you are trying to reach the modern day Objectivist student who may do an internet search and come across CP. I mean, there are copious examples out there, such as anarcho-capitalism, the Christian-Objectivist, the determinist-Objectivist, etc...but you would have to show how holding onto these ideas is a form of subjectivism. You didn't even state what subjectivism is and why a belief without facts is a form of subjectivism, nor how a rationalist method and conclusion can lead to a type of subjectivism. John Kagebein's more recent essay is much better in that he referred to specific facts about DH that lead him to his conclusion that she is incompetent to present Objectivism." So, I think I need to clarify my position, least it seems that I am for what he claims to be against. I think he is on to something in his identification of the "subjectivist objectivist" -- only, I wouldn't call it that, as it is a contradiction in terms, and I would have made the case clearer as to what I was actually against. Yes, insofar as there are people out there who seem to cherry pick their ideas from Objectivism on a personal like basis -- i.e. I like Ayn Rand's views on capitalism, but insofar as she disregards God, I cannot be for Objectivism as she presented it, so I am a Christian-Objectivist -- this is an act of subjectivism; of making a decision based on emotions, rather than reason. There is more to subjectivism than that as a methodology, but I am trying to keep this brief. I am definitely and wholeheartedly against those types of people. The problem is that Chip is claiming that the Libertarians, David Kelley, Nathaniel Brandon, and Diana Hseih are acting in a similar manner with regard to "applications of Objectivism that Miss Rand never talked about." But he didn't make his case. He presented no evidence from which he drew his supposed inductive generalization in his essay. Yes, they tend to pick and choose among Objectivist principles -- applying them in a hash-hazard way -- but does this make them subjectivists? Are they doing this based on their emotional reactions to statements that Miss Rand and Dr. Peikoff have made? Not in my experience of dealing with their issues and having discussions and arguments with their followers. I see their primary problem as a lack of Objectivity and integration, and making arguments based on arguments, based on arguments, but never touching the ground in the process. In other words, a form of rationalism. Now, if one holds onto a rationalistic argument that can be shown to be unconnected to reality and therefore not true based upon an emotional attachment to one's mis-generated ideas, then yes, this would be a form of subjectivism. In that regard, Chip is on to something. But he would have to demonstrate this by a reference to the facts instead of merely asserting it. So, while I think I agree with him, after thinking it through a bit with some help from John K on FaceBook, he didn't present the issue very well. So, I am not against the idea (aside from it being presented in a contradiction in terms), just the execution. So, be forewarned if you are friending me because you think I am for what Chip is against, because you would be friending me on the wrong terms.
  22. Every Objectivist I've met in real life has been rather homophobic. I was just wondering what (if anything) Ayn Rand said about homosexuality. What is Objectivism's views on gays/gay rights in general?
  23. I know of Tara Smith from her book Viable Values but where could I find a (complete) list of university professors who are openly Objectivist or at least lean in that direction?
  24. According to ARI's latest issue of Impact, Michael Berliner has a new book coming out in March 2012. It's based upon Leonard Peikoff's online video course Understanding Objectivism. The Understanding Objectivism course is $150 on the AynRandBookstore site while this upcoming book is $18. Seems like a great alternative for those of us who can't afford the full blown course. It can be pre-ordered already on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Objectivism-Guide-Learning-Philosophy/dp/0451236297/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323454858&sr=8-1
  25. A major criticism of Objectivism is that Rand talks a lot about the objective value life, yet fails to recognize (or intentionally leaves out) that production and creation do not follow from this value of "life." Do men need reason to survive? Yes. But if it's necessary to use Rand's philosophy to survive, this premise begs the question of how men survived before Rand came along. I think this argument is flawed in many ways, but it does point to a flaw I feel is in Objectivism. Yes- we need reason to survive. But how does it follow production is a moral virtue? Rand defines virtue as how one acts to attain a value. A value is that which one acts to gain and/or keep. If building skyscrapers is something to be admired- why? Why is the person who builds a skyscraper more virtuous than a Transcendentalist who goes to live in a shack in the woods? The problem here, I believe, is the failure of Objectivism to explicitly state a "lemon test" on how and why a certain value would be objective instead of mindlessly self-indulgent. If I wanted money, would this be a legitimate value or not? Would it virtuous for me to become a porn director? What if I value lying in the sun instead of making steel? Why is the Objectivist hero the man that moves the world? What if I feel my happiness can be better served doing nothing? I'm assuming Objectivism's answer to this is that life must be furthered. Just as a lion does not have the leg of a deer and say "I'm done", as a tree doesn't grow 4 feet tall and die, man too must further his life and survival. Steel mills, smokestacks, industry, and skyscrapers are all examples of this. The critic could ask that life would be furthered in what way? How has Objectivism come to the conclusion that the furtherment of life entails industry? Again the question must be asked whether these other things would be valued by Objectivists. It is because man survived by adjusting his background to himself that industry is desirable? What of the men before technology? -- While you're contemplating your answer to that question, I would like to talk about this in terms of the whole Mises economic theory. If I understand it correctly, (Which may or may not be true) Mises held that values were ultimately subjective- that what they value today they may or may not value tomorrow. Additionally, how they act and what they buy today may or may not be the same as tomorrow, and even if they were consistent in simple situations, that does not mean they will be consistent in complex situations. Thus his support for "a-priori" knowledge and opposition to empirical evidence. I'm not exactly sure what the Objectivist take on this would be. Do the values that Mises talks about mean economic values (i.e. Pepsi or Coke), whereas Rand is referring more to abstract, philosophical values? Can they co-exist? Are they in complete opposition? What is the Objectivist view of Emprical Evidence in economics? I know there were *some* threads about this, but none really made sense to me. When talking about the last part, please try to dumb it down please and thanks.
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