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Harrison Danneskjold

Ted Cruz and Objectivist Ethics

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17 posts in this topic

21 hours ago, epistemologue said:

In what way does Cruz act like her ethics didn't matter?

 

I attended one of his rallies a few months ago (I was feeling overly optimistic) in which he gave a speech to the effect that we can save America through the virtues of faith, self-sacrifice and humility.

Ayn Rand's ethics was precisely the opposite, in almost every way. She also made it clear that "faith, self-sacrifice and humility" are the causes of our biggest problems, today.

 

Where do you think suicide bombers come from?

 

19 hours ago, Dustin86 said:

There are billions of people who have had experiences with gods, angels, and the spirit world.

Occam's Razor.

 

If I take LSD and see God, while the case could be made that there might actually be such a thing, a much better case could be made for -well- LSD.

 

Although, in my experience, most mystics aren't schizophrenic. They have their beliefs and we have ours, and nobody's are any better than anyone else's. :mellow:

 

My father, for example, is a devout Christian. He's reached the point where, whenever I mention Christianity, he reminds me that he believes it because he wants to; "right" and "wrong" have nothing to do with it. I've reached the point where, whenever he wails that "Communism is wrong", I ask what "right" and "wrong" have to do with it.

The thing about saying that everybody's opinions are all valid is that sometimes those opinions have consequences on other people (where do you think suicide bombers come from?). If you care about your own life then you should care about ideas, which means that you should care about logic.

 

Also:

19 hours ago, Dustin86 said:

There are billions of people who have had experiences with gods, angels, and the spirit world.

 

That doesn't make it right.

 

If truth doesn't matter then neither do people.

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3 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

he gave a speech to the effect that we can save America through the virtues of faith, self-sacrifice and humility

Do you have a reference for this? I've never heard a speech by him to that effect before.

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What most people consider to be "supernatural experiences" are introspective observations. They talk about "promptings", "revelations", "visions", "intuitions" and whatever realm or instinct they think morality comes from - all of which are functions of their own subconscious minds.

 

The key is to identify the true relatio  between "existence" and "consciousness".

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37 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

I just watched this... I didn't hear Cruz ever mention "the virtues of faith, self-sacrifice and humility". That isn't a message I've ever heard from him that I can recall.

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19 hours ago, epistemologue said:

I just watched this... I didn't hear Cruz ever mention "the virtues of faith, self-sacrifice and humility".

He didn't use those exact words.

 

You didn't catch the "seven points" bit, where he enumerated seven criteria by which to measure any given candidate? Three of the seven were completely valid (such as lowering taxes and pulling out Iran's teeth), three were issues of "freeom of religion - not freedom from religion" (such as abortion and gay marriage) and the seventh was illegal immigration.

Glenn Beck also gave a speech about the values of "faith, hope, charity" (and he did use those exact words) and some apparently-famous minister talked about Cruz's faith before leading everyone in prayer. When Cruz finally came on stage, one of the first statements he made was an affirmation of what the other two had said about him.

 

Anyway. I'm really not interested in dissecting this again; it was depressing enough, the first time; draw your own conclusions.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
Made one of my inferences explicit

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3 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

He didn't use those exact words.

 

You didn't catch the "seven points" bit, where he enumerated seven criteria by which to measure any given candidate? Three of the seven were completely valid (such as lowering taxes and pulling out Iran's teeth), three were issues of "freeom of religion - not freedom from religion" (such as abortion and gay marriage) and the seventh was illegal immigration.

Glenn Beck also gave a speech about the values of "faith, hope, charity" (and he did use those exact words) and some apparently-famous minister talked about Cruz's faith before leading everyone in prayer. When Cruz finally came on stage, one of the first statements he made was an affirmation of what the other two had said about him.

 

Anyway. I'm really not interested in dissecting this again; it was depressing enough, the first time; draw your own conclusions.

He didn't specifically use those words or anything like them. Maybe you're thinking of something else? I think you guys are giving him a lot of undeserved blame.

"When Cruz finally came on stage, one of the first statements he made was an affirmation of what the other two had said about him." - he specifically praised Glenn Beck for being a principled constitutionalist, which is true and praiseworthy.

I don't see how his positions on religious freedom, abortion, gay marriage, or illegal immigration are somehow contrary to Rand's ethics. I know he has a different opinion on abortion than Rand, but I don't see that as an ethical difference specifically.

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On 4/11/2016 at 5:33 PM, epistemologue said:

I don't see how his positions on religious freedom, abortion, gay marriage, or illegal immigration are somehow contrary to Rand's ethics.

OK.

 

He believes abortion is evil because the Bible says so. Rand believed that abortion could be right or wrong, depending on each individual's circumstances, and that taking that choice away from a woman is a violation of her rights. Cruz doesn't want to outlaw abortion; only prevent the government from funding it, and on this point we agree. However, it is particularly its moral component in which his views are diametrically opposed to Rand's.

He's also made a big fuss over Planned Parenthood selling the body parts of aborted fetuses and - for the record - you cannot violate the rights of a corpse. I mean, Jesus; the black market for human body parts is already out-of-control because we've made it illegal to sell them outright, and he's more than happy to take it right along in the same direction.

 

Marriage is a contract between consenting adults (like any other kind of contract). The emotional and valuative nature of that contract doesn't change the fact that it is a contract, which the government has no business dictating.

Gay marriage should be legal for all of the reasons that there shouldn't be any minimum wage or national interest rates.

 

Illegal immigration is completely irrelevant. That's the point; it's just one more distraction.

 

He wants to protect some freedoms while taking others away. Ultimately, it's because his concept of "good" and "evil" consists of whatever he happens to hear on any given Sunday.

 

"A leash is just a rope with a noose at both ends."

 

P.S.

 

At one point, someone asked Cruz why an atheist should vote for him. He said that they shouldn't; that such views are misguided and unfortunate, but that if they feel that way then he has nothing to offer them.

 

I respect that sort of response. I give him brownie points for it (and, in all honesty, he seems like a decent human being).

However, he is correct.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
PostScript

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13 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

At one point, someone asked Cruz why an atheist should vote for him. He said that they shouldn't; that such views are misguided and unfortunate, but that if they feel that way then he has nothing to offer them.

I'm surprised a campaigning presidential candidate would say that. Do you have a source?

I've seen a video where Cruz responded to a similar question, and he didn't say outright that an atheist shouldn't vote for him in that particular video. However, he did dodge the question and use it as an opportunity to pander to his Christian voter base about how atheists should hope their president has Christian values. Is that what you're referring to?

Edited by William O
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50 minutes ago, Plasmatic said:

That looks like a well selected sound-byte for hitting the Cruiz control button.

Plasmatic likes this

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I thought I'd tell a personal anecdote. I went to Cruz sign holders on the day of the local voting recently to do a "interview" of sorts. I had just listened to Yaron Brook talk about how he thought Cruz was wasting an opportunity against Trump by thumping the evangelical drum. Yaron suggested that Cruz should be focusing on constitutional issues and not worry about pandering to the evangelical because Romney etc. showed you don't need that to get the nomination. So I wanted to ask motivated Cruz supporters what they thought was the #1 thing that differentiated Cruz from Trump. To my surprise both immediately said "the support of the constitution"! One even said that she thought "we can win the legal battle without the moral battle".  I wish I had recorded the whole conversation.

The very next day I was sent this video by a Cuban friend describing how the constitutional issue is a matter of our "rights coming from God":

 

 

Edited by Plasmatic

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This whole thread seems like quibbling over minutiae--about issues that cannot in any way affect me. Cruz supports getting the government out of our business and keeping to a limited view of government's role in our lives. Compare that to Hillary Clinton, a statist, who believes in the intrinsic right of government to interfere in every aspect of your life. What about Trump, a narcissist, who is governed by whim? You can expect him to do random acts of horrible governance.

 

The point is, you can look at each of the candidates and conclude that their ideas are at variance with your own. What really matters is, who is most likely to "Get the Hell out of my way!"? I believe that Cruz is the only candidate that qualifies. Even with respect to abortion, he is most likely to say that it is a matter for the States and not for the Federal Government. Corrupticrat Clinton, Whim worshipping Trump, or principled Cruz--I take Cruz.

Edited by aleph_1

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If you actually believe any of that, I have some fog to sell you in San Francisco.

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I'm always incredibly skeptical when any politician (Paul Ryan, Ronald Reagan (check page 282) Gary Johnson or any number of others) claims to support Objectivism or Ayn Rand. Typically (in fact, I can't think of a single time this has happened) they are not channeling her philosophy, but either a misunderstanding of it, have deep contradictions in their positions     (being a devout Christian like Ted Cruz or anti-freedom in any number of ways), or are simply saying it as a "catchphrase" to attract people to their position. As far as I know, there are no major elected officials who are Objectivists or are even remotely consistent with the positions of Objectivism, so I am always weary when I hear of another who professes to be.

 

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