Welcome to Objectivism Online Forum

Welcome to Objectivism Online, a forum for discussing the philosophy of Ayn Rand. For full access, register via Facebook or email.

Szalapski

I have made "Objections to Objectivism", a podcast that examines problems with Objectivism, as a way myself to learn it. Would love feedback.

Rate this topic

54 posts in this topic

On 5/1/2017 at 7:30 PM, Szalapski said:

 I think we need more Rand in the discussion, but so many are opposed to her extremism that they won't consider the core of her argument.

Szalapski,

by your estimates, what would you say is the core of Ayn Rand's argument? Understanding that Objectivism is an uncompromising collection of convictions, what is it that you find extreme? On what point should one moderate?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Repairman said:

I my estimates, this statement presents an adequate opportunity to address an authentic exchange of ideas. Let's take the adjective: "extreme." For many folks, to use the term "extreme" is interpreted as pejorative, much the way "radical," or "polarizing" might be interpreted, and for the same reason. These adjectives have no meaning whatsoever, unless understood within the context in which they are used. Extreme as compared to what...However, the lives of those who are more philosophical would improve greatly through the study of Objectivism. In addition, it is quite possible that a popular trend in extreme reason just might improve the lives of the less philosophical. But don't take my word for it. Make your own study of it and judge for yourself, for your own sake.

Hmm, you are branching off into many topics.  I'll just respond to some.  I meant "extreme" in that it is beyond the range of reasonable possibility for many to consider.  I think we need to be pulled toward Rand's positions; it would do many a lot of good to get one step closer to Rand, even if they are unwilling to get any closer than that.  In short, I agree that we need some at the extremes so that, even if nothing else, the non-extreme may seem more reasonable.  To use examples from American politics: we needed Goldwater to get Reagan, and we needed Ron Paul to get Rand Paul.  I suppose that's a risky topic to bring up right there--I hope you interpret it as I intended.  [Here's a hint: It is not a blanket endorsement of Rand Paul's or Ronald Reagan's positions.]

As for "more conservational crowd," I meant "conversational".  Just a mobile phone typo there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Repairman said:

Szalapski,

by your estimates, what would you say is the core of Ayn Rand's argument? Understanding that Objectivism is an uncompromising collection of convictions, what is it that you find extreme? On what point should one moderate?

I consider the core to be that an individual's life is the standard of morality, and the most moral person is the one who uses reason to enhance that life, to live out his or her own purpose, and who has the self-esteem to continue to do so, and who seeks to live in non-contradiction with the objective reality that exists--and that all other concerns from himself and others must be secondary to these.  How's that for a paraphrase? No doubt you will scrutinize that as well.

What is extreme? To advocate no government except police, courts, and military is extreme.  No taxation is extreme.  No consideration of the common good is extreme. Labeling religious believers as blanket unreasoning mystics and looters and moochers of the spirit is extreme.  Labeling altruists and collectivists as effectively non-living is extreme.  Being uncompromising is extreme.  Again, extreme doesn't mean incorrect--but I like to acknowledge that these positions are extreme. 

Edited by Szalapski

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Szalapski,

13 hours ago, Szalapski said:

Hmm, you are branching off into many topics.  I'll just respond to some. 

I suppose I was raising too many topics. I'll try to stay on point. It should be pointed out that we would be covering too much ground if we were to broaden the conversation to include government. I would not recommend that we attempt to work out the details of a reduced federal government, but it has been a very popular idea. It would not be poorly received by the many.

13 hours ago, Szalapski said:

 I meant "extreme" in that it is beyond the range of reasonable possibility for many to consider. 

If we look at this: "...extreme, in that it is beyond the range of reasonable possibility for many to consider." Have you ever considered the monumental changes that have come about as a result of a few great minds devoted to a just cause? The fact that Objectivism is a philosophy accepted by only a few is not sufficient reason to destroy the core tenets. Societal change happens as a result of changing attitudes toward justice. Historic change, changes in laws, or even the very concept of government does not simply happen in one single moment. It requires years, generations, possibly centuries to popularize an idea and establish that once unthinkable idea as an institution. I could list too many historical examples supporting this.

13 hours ago, Szalapski said:

  I think we need to be pulled toward Rand's positions; it would do many a lot of good to get one step closer to Rand, even if they are unwilling to get any closer than that.  In short, I agree that we need some at the extremes so that, even if nothing else, the non-extreme may seem more reasonable.  To use examples from American politics: we needed Goldwater to get Reagan, and we needed Ron Paul to get Rand Paul.

As I've said, I'll stay on point, rather than deviate to detailing my historic examples. However you did mention some past figures in recent American politics, all mentioned carried a message of reduced government. Reduced government is an ideal, but one we may discuss on a separate thread. Drawing the intellectual conversation toward Ayn Rand is an end in itself. The notion that it is some sort of dangerous extreme to be viewed from a safe distance is a notion I find repugnant. You are compromising with evil, and evil in the end will win.

13 hours ago, Szalapski said:

I consider the core to be that an individual's life is the standard of morality, and the most moral person is the one who uses reason to enhance that life, to live out his or her own purpose, and who has the self-esteem to continue to do so, and who seeks to live in non-contradiction with the objective reality that exists--and that all other concerns from himself and others must be secondary to these.  

The examples of Objectivist core values are acceptable, lifted directly from the Ayn Rand Lexicon. And I understand you've read The Virtue of Selfishness. If you have given any thought to Ayn Rand's historical view, you must be aware of the consequences of placing God at the center of one's life, or the good of the many over the good of the few or the one. Philosophy is the critical driver of history. If that which seems extreme today were to gradually take hold of our culture, it would shape our future. Those extremes, the good and the evil, are waiting on time to work in their favor.

13 hours ago, Szalapski said:

 Labeling religious believers as blanket unreasoning mystics and looters and moochers of the spirit is extreme.  Labeling altruists and collectivists as effectively non-living is extreme.  Being uncompromising is extreme.  Again, extreme doesn't mean incorrect--but I like to acknowledge that these positions are extreme. 

These altruists, collectivists and temple priests have had their time to prove the "extreme virtuosity" of their beliefs. The results were the Dark Ages, the Inquisition, slavery, the Soviet Union, and the Nazi Third Reich. As for the American conservative movement, we could include Prohibition, McCarthyism, and an assault of the firewall separating church and state. The New Left makes every attempt to gag free expression when it does not meet with their approval. It may not necessarily happen in a year or a generation from now. But if you cherish the idea that freedom is man's natural right, such notions may one day be considered dangerous offenses, punishable under the law. If it matters to you, you may want to arm yourself with the best possible argument against those seeking "God's Kingdom on Earth," and a "Brotherhood of Man." Consider this while there is still time. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.