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Found 5 results

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. When trying to describe, define, explain, analyze, and evaluate a foreign society, culture, or civilization the desideratum is to be completely objective and neutral. To be fully accurate and just. To see, understand, tell, and explicate the real truth or true truth. And to be wholly and infinitely rational and scientific as you do it. But everyone is morally imperfect. We all naturally have moral failings, as do our societies. We're born biologically defective, and we acquire errors along the way, both of which are exacerbated by our flawed personal and social background and envirornment. Or own weak society, culture, or civilization makes it hard for us to accurately and justly define and evaluate other such alien collectives and societies. The reality is all individuals -- all observers and judges -- are are at least somewhat biased and warped. Thus Marx is slightly right when he says: "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it." [emphasis added] And the postmodernists are slightly right when they say: All descriptions and analyses of culture are merely "text", based on a biased and warped individual's interpretation of his and others' societies. [emphasis added] Even feminism and Orientalism -- such false, evil, and prejudical belief-systems, generally -- have a bit of truth to them. The fact is that even an objective and neutral viewpoint -- a strictly rational and scientific one -- is a personal and subjective viewpoint of sorts. It's derived from, and reflects, a kind of bias and warp -- a sort of individual prejudice. However, this is emphatically the best bias to have. It's the one most likely to yield and encompass real truth or true truth about how 1) reality and 2) various individuals and 3) different social groups and institutions actually are. It is, at least potentially, fully accurate and just. And the best bias of all -- the most unbiased bias -- is the Western liberal one, which aims at reason, individualism, liberty, justice, goodness, greatness, beauty, happiness, etc.: all perfect things of infinite value which all proper, healthy, and ideal individuals and societies aspire to.
  4. Virtually everyone today considers himself to be rational. Reason was discovered and invented by the Greeks 2600 years ago, and few serious thinkers -- historically and currently -- reject reason to any considerable degree. But just because essentially everybody fancies himself to possess rational beliefs, and to manifest rational behaviors, doesn't make it so. Irrationality is rife throughout human society, culture, history, and philosophy. A person isn't rational if he holds a profound or wide-ranging skepticism about the power of the human mind to comprehend reality, or to generate a meaningful, worthwhile, successful life. This type of fundamental Skepticism is massively irrational and the root of all evil. Doubting or disbelieving in the practicality, efficacy, and authority of reason is, by defintion, irrational. So too is rejecting the evidence of the senses, and of personal experience, in one's lifestyle -- and then declining to apply logic to it. People are irrational who are a relativist/subjectivist or a dogmatist/faithist in their epistemology or reasoning. Truth-seeking and problem-solving requires reason uncorrupted by emotion, intuition, drives, instincts, revelation, and authority. To be solidly rational, complicated, contradictory, nonsensical claims and propositions can't be a significant part of one's thoughts, words, and deeds. And mystical, superstitious ideas, along with mythical, supernatural beings, can't be a significant part of one's life.
  5. 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.