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DiscoveryJoy

Resolving seeming contradictions in Objectivism

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Okay, let's start with the first.

It is my understanding that Rand considered men and woman equal in intellectual capability. And that all humans are capable of moral perfection. But then a horror-strickenly uttered sentence I heard from Rand herself in one of Donahue's shows rings in my ear. It was about the idea of a female US president and went something like:

"A woman as a head of command of the armed forces?! Are you kidding me?"

How does this fit together? If a woman really was to be considered incapable of pulling the trigger if necessary, wouldn't this mean she is also incapable of moral perfection?

Edited by DiscoveryJoy

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Another one:

It is said that you shouldn't be guided by your emotions but that emotions are what you should live for. Seems to me like a contradiction by itself. To aim at something (an emotion) is to be guided by that goal, or is it not? Even if it is the prospect of a future emotion grasped only cognitively now, you are still using that emotion as a guiding argument, therefore "being guided by your emotion".

 

Put another way:

It is said that acting rationally is fundamentally different to acting on your desires.

But if after the end of all thinking and extrapolating all the effects of your possible choices to your lifespan, isn't it necessarily a "feeling" that tells you whether you still desire something or not? Starting already with the feeling that you "like to live at all" or not?

 

Why isn't it more proper to say that acting rationally means acting on the broadest perspective on your desires?

Or that you shouldn't be guided by your inconsiderate emotions, but very well by you your considerate ones?

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3 hours ago, DiscoveryJoy said:

If a woman really was to be considered incapable of pulling the trigger if necessary, wouldn't this mean she is also incapable of moral perfection?

This topic comes up a lot because most Objectivists disagree with Rand's view on a woman being president. Search for "woman president" and you'll get a lot list of threads.

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19 hours ago, DiscoveryJoy said:

Okay, let's start with the first.

It is my understanding that Rand considered men and woman equal in intellectual capability. And that all humans are capable of moral perfection. But then a horror-strickenly uttered sentence I heard from Rand herself in one of Donahue's shows rings in my ear. It was about the idea of a female US president and went something like:

"A woman as a head of command of the armed forces?! Are you kidding me?"

How does this fit together? If a woman really was to be considered incapable of pulling the trigger if necessary, wouldn't this mean she is also incapable of moral perfection?

Yeah, sure, that's a contradiction. Not much we can do to resolve it, either. It just is.

But it's not really a contradiction "within Objectivism". Not everything Rand ever said on TV is "Objectivism". Objectivism is the name of her published philosophy, not of her ad-lib opinions on trending topics.

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On 4/11/2016 at 1:56 PM, DiscoveryJoy said:

How does this fit together? If a woman really was to be considered incapable of pulling the trigger if necessary, wouldn't this mean she is also incapable of moral perfection?

 

In one of her articles (I believe it was titled "a woman president") she explained that any Egoistic woman would find it intolerable to be the boss of every man around her. She went on to explain that this was properly a man's role.

However, as a man, I feel the same way. Just as she explained why no woman should want to be a matriarch, I don't believe any self-respecting man should want to be a patriarch.

 

 

This ties directly into my own belief that governance, itself, is misguided. That is to say:

I don't believe we should have a woman president because I don't believe we should have a president.

 

"Mankind will be free when the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."

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On 4/11/2016 at 2:31 PM, DiscoveryJoy said:

Why isn't it more proper to say that acting rationally means acting on the broadest perspective on your desires?

It is.

 

Ayn Rand described "whim-worship" as acting on urges and feelings, without knowing their cause. And that can be very destructive (such as in substance addiction).

However, if I eat some Cheetos, I do so because I want to. Why? Because I enjoy them. Why? ...

 

I've come to the conclusion that certain evaluations are self-evident; physical pleasure and pain. And trying to psychoanalyze the roots of such feelings does no more good than questioning our senses, themselves.

 

So, just as every concept is ultimately rooted in perceptions, I believe that so is every desire. Which isn't to say that you should do whatever the Hell you feel like and anything goes - only that it isn't necessary to try to dissect exactly why you might happen to like Cheetos.

 

Edit:

 

So, yes, I think the "broadest perspective" definition is absolutely right.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
Conclusion

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On 4/11/2016 at 0:38 AM, softwareNerd said:

This topic comes up a lot because most Objectivists disagree with Rand's view on a woman being president. Search for "woman president" and you'll get a lot list of threads.

I see. Seems to have more to do with the gender roles Ayn Rand expects in romantic love due to physical differences in strength among the sexes, and therefore perhaps some esthetic disharmony that Rand would ascribe to a woman being on top of all the men around her.

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On 4/12/2016 at 5:00 PM, Nicky said:

Yeah, sure, that's a contradiction. Not much we can do to resolve it, either. It just is.

But it's not really a contradiction "within Objectivism". Not everything Rand ever said on TV is "Objectivism". Objectivism is the name of her published philosophy, not of her ad-lib opinions on trending topics.

I see. See also my reply to softwareNerd.

Edited by DiscoveryJoy

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On 4/13/2016 at 5:19 AM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

 

In one of her articles (I believe it was titled "a woman president") she explained that any Egoistic woman would find it intolerable to be the boss of every man around her. She went on to explain that this was properly a man's role.

I see. Fits to what I discovered in my reply to softwareNerd.

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1. I don't see a contradiction here. Strictly speaking a contradiction is a statement and its negation. What's the statement in this case?

2. Rand would never say that a people is at fault. She said repeatedly that choice, thought, virtue, vice and other predicates of conscious activity apply only to individuals.

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