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sjw

Why follow reason?

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8 hours ago, sjw said:

Don't be ridiculous. They have nukes.

What does that have to do with choosing to be rational, or man's nature?

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5 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

What does that have to do with choosing to be rational, or man's nature?

Why do you ask?

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The discussion is why be rational, so I was saying that there is no "why" or "should" because the answer to that question is just that it's in man's nature, as in its necessary for his flourishing. I have no idea what nukes have to do with that.

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11 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

The discussion is why be rational, so I was saying that there is no "why" or "should" because the answer to that question is just that it's in man's nature, as in its necessary for his flourishing. I have no idea what nukes have to do with that.

This is a tangent related to your claim that "Rand didn't care if most people were consistently rational or not" and "What the majority do is beside the point", it's not relevant to the main point.

The main point is more in the area of whether Rand thought rationality was a virtue. I.e. *consistently* being rational. She most certainly did think that, but you seem to dispute it. Go read OPAR if you disagree.

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I don't know why you interpreted what I wrote as she didn't care about being choosing to be consistently rational. I said she didn't care if the majority of other people are consistently rational. (I don't need to keep saying consistently, because to be a certain trait is to be that trait consistently.) She cared about being rational, she didn't care how many other people are rational, because it doesn't change the nature of man. 

Maybe you misinterpreted what I wrote, thinking that I meant Rand didn't care about being consistently rational in her moral theory. For one, I elaborated specifically that being rational is the standard to judge right or wrong. 

But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. I attribute it to you thinking that when I said "people", you thought I was referring to what all people ought to do. But that's not what I mean. I was referring to the idea that observing how many people are rational doesn't matter. Rand would probably say it doesn't matter if -most- people are rational for determining the means of survival; what matters is the characteristics -all- people have, namely, the capacity of reason. To say man is the rational animal is not to say that all people will always be rational, only that as a general category, man's proper nature is to be rational. It's an ideal and end you must work towards. 

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8 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

I said she didn't care if the majority of other people are consistently rational.

To which I replied "They have nukes." Of course we should care about widespread irrationality.

Perhaps you want to rephrase this?

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6 hours ago, sjw said:

To which I replied "They have nukes." Of course we should care about widespread irrationality.

Perhaps you want to rephrase this?

She identified rationality as the primary virtue, the one virtue that keeps men alive.  Her concern was not to describe what men actually choose but what they can and SHOULD choose.    

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55 minutes ago, Craig24 said:

She identified rationality as the primary virtue, the one virtue that keeps men alive.  Her concern was not to describe what men actually choose but what they can and SHOULD choose.    

OK, but that's just elementary philosophy, it doesn't need to be stated here.

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On 4/7/2018 at 11:36 AM, sjw said:

Rand also wrote:

Quote

[My] metaphysical attitude and guiding moral principle can best be summed up by an old Spanish proverb: “God said: ‘Take what you want and pay for it.’”

 

To my metaethical ear, this is pretty depraved. It gives moral license to all kinds of wicked behavior, so long as it's what someone really "wants."

 

Your metaethical ear is conditioned by Christianity and Kant. This is just another way of saying "without God, everything is permissible."

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Sjw,  I'm thinking you are flippant about reason as if there are alternatives to reason for the life of man and individuals. There are none, except an existential or spiritual death - when one defaults to a bare existence improper to man, i.e., submits oneself to dependence on others' minds and living off their rationality and values . Since you seem to know all about Objectivism, you will know that reasoning is the volitional and continuous act of conceptualization: perceiving, identifying, integrating and evaluating. For that I think the saying "take what you want and pay for it", is apt. You brought it in, but misinterpreted it as depraved. Rather, "what you want" implies an identification and evaluation of particular/general existents in reality - and that one's own life has a supreme value, which further values enhance - and one's mind also has, like everything in reality, a specific identity which can't be escaped - implies also, that the world is full of benefits (natural and man-made) to man's living which can only be 'taken' - earned - in a (non-sacrificial) trade by way of payment -- of one's reason, virtues and physical and material resources. 

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At the start of this thread I think I got some decent answers. None of these later posts are answering the original question and they are misconstruing the intent. Just because I disagree that the argument for a given conclusion is full of holes, doesn't mean I disagree with the conclusion. Is the hole a hole or not? That's the question. Attacking me or telling me how wonderful the conclusion is doesn't speak to the holes.

If Ayn Rand had claimed to have solved a great math problem, but where she got the right answer but made mistakes in how she computed it, should that matter? (This oversimplifies, since many of her conclusions are also wrong, but that's beside the point.)

 

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1 hour ago, sjw said:

At the start of this thread I think I got some decent answers. None of these later posts are answering the original question and they are misconstruing the intent. Just because I disagree that the argument for a given conclusion is full of holes, doesn't mean I disagree with the conclusion. Is the hole a hole or not? That's the question. Attacking me or telling me how wonderful the conclusion is doesn't speak to the holes.

 

 

2

You got a reasoned explanation for "why follow reason" (based on Rand) but no reply.

. This has been an exercise in skepticism and sophistry from you, more like Hume's empirical anti-conceptualism (therefore, anti-reason). Often the cause is a dismissal of consciousness possessing identity, by denying metaphysics.

If you've come to produce a better argument than those here, or Rand, for your query, let's hear. Naysaying becomes boring.

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23 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

You got a reasoned explanation for "why follow reason" (based on Rand) but no reply.

Link?

I don't take your other remarks seriously, you're just projecting. Put up or shut up.

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Ha, the true skeptic. Requiring a "link" instead of considering a reasoned argument, on its own merits. 

Maybe you haven't read Rand too well.

What do you call "reason"? Why wouldn't you "follow" it?

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8 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

Ha, the true skeptic. Requiring a "link" instead of considering a reasoned argument, on its own merits.

Sigh... You claimed I got a reasoned explanation but I ignored it, I was simply asking for what particular argument here you were referring to, there have been many posts. It's not my intention to ignore reasoned arguments. More likely you thought something was a great argument while in reality it sucked. But who knows when you don't specify what you're referring to.

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On 4/8/2018 at 6:48 PM, sjw said:
On 4/8/2018 at 5:55 PM, dream_weaver said:

@sjw,

What, if anything, would you propose using in lieu of reason?

Nothing, I'm pro-reason.

"[R]eason", according to Ayn Rand, "is not an axiomatic, but a complex, derivative concept". In the same paragraph she heeds against inquiring about a stand on the validity of reason. (Last paragraph of chapter 6 in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.)

If the objective is to assess the rationality of Objectivism or of Ayn Rand, examine them for cracks in their foundation.

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11 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

"[R]eason", according to Ayn Rand, "is not an axiomatic, but a complex, derivative concept". In the same paragraph she heeds against inquiring about a stand on the validity of reason. (Last paragraph of chapter 6 in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.)

If the objective is to assess the rationality of Objectivism or of Ayn Rand, examine them for cracks in their foundation.

That paragraph isn't relevant unless you're trying for a cheap insult. Was that what you were aiming at?

Are there Objectivist forums out there that have competent students of Objectivism, or is this the best there is? You guys are pretty awful, frankly. I'd ask the official scholars these questions but they only engage with critics when doing so translates to cash in their pocket, which is somewhat ironic given the subject here. (I fully expect the irony to go completely over your heads.)

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3 minutes ago, DavidOdden said:

I'm a little puzzled that anyone is still bothering to interact with the troll.

Yeah, it would be the guy who has no thoughts of his own but can only quote Ayn Rand who'd pull the "critic is a troll" gambit. Pathetic.

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21 hours ago, sjw said:

To which I replied "They have nukes." Of course we should care about widespread irrationality.

Perhaps you want to rephrase this?

This is completely changing the topic... You didn't ask about how to deal with irrational people. You asked why one should be rational. 

7 hours ago, sjw said:

Link?

My first two posts, for two. You responded to one part, but it was more a misunderstanding of what I meant (which is now transformed into a strange literal reading that "Rand didn't care that most people are rational" had to do with contexts besides "why be rational"). You made some strong claims that Rand is a hedonist in metaethical terms, but you still do follow-up to my questions and reasoning as to why she isn't being hedonistic. I have nothing else to add other than this discussion has become pedantic rather than interesting. 

Your last post or any real effort was to say that the nature of man is to be rational where it suits him. That is, his nature is not to be rational - for if it were his nature, he would be consistently rational. But this is a surface level misunderstanding of Rand. She repeatedly spoke about reason is the means of survival, and that's what she means by the nature of man. If you're getting frustrated with people, it sounds like you are very unsatisfied by an explanation of why reason is the means of survival, but I haven't yet seen in arguments from you to show that Rand failed to justify reason as the means of survival. Instead, I've seen you latching onto how you want people to address that most people don't try to be rational, and no one is trying to answer that. If you think that question is important, you need to prove it, because most people here would think of it as a degree of moral failure rather than evidence against man as the "rational animal". 

The (attainable) ideal is to be rational, and it is critical to flourishing. 

 

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3 hours ago, sjw said:

Yeah, it would be the guy who has no thoughts of his own but can only quote Ayn Rand who'd pull the "critic is a troll" gambit. Pathetic.

You asked a one line (ish) question, didn't elaborate your position, and didn't mention anything about what you already know. All signs pointed to you knowing very little.

The quality of your question affects the quality of the answers you receive.

Edited by Eiuol

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Take what you want and pay for it.

The phrase isn’t “steal what you want”, but ‘steal’ is a connotation.  If I want to steal I pay by being caught and having my hand chopped off, or by living with the self hatred of knowing I have betrayed reality.  I pay for it with fear, with evasion with a loss of efficacy. I pay for it by not being able to look someone squarely in the eye.

She could never take anything without paying for it.

Take what you want is a challenge Ayn Rand made to her potential.  Rand is giving herself a powerful abstraction that propels her toward the immense task of philosophically taking on the entire world.  Taking on the dangerous challenge of defying mysticism, where many great minds have succumbed to tragedy.

It gave her the fuel to reach for the culmination of every aspiration she valued, and she paid for it with endless hours of hard work, she paid for it by pushing herself to do better, to go deeper, to make things more clear, more concise.  She paid for it with the pain of leaving her family to die in Russia.  With every rise and fall she paid.

She took what she wanted from life, she told herself she could, she challenged herself to it.  And if she ever wanted to give up she knew she would pay for that also.

You are in a grocery store you want an apple and some water, you take it to the counter and pay for it.  To let the phrase be even that simple. It has a calming effect over fear, and doubt.   

Taking this all together as a broad abstraction has a focusing effect on the mind.

She didn’t say it for you or me anyone else.   Volition is an act of choice with knowledge of as many possible alternatives as one can hold in context and integrate.  For 8 words to mean this much and more. 

Want one interpretation and pay for it with the loss of perspective on all others.

Affected by a phrase that covers so much ground.  A phrase that leaves room for each person to choose what they will attempt to see in it.

A consistently rational person ought to be able to explore all of the possibilities of what something could mean and then choose from there.

 

Sleeping with Nathaniel

Love is the most personal, dangerous, and tragic… sometimes rewarding… experience anyone can engage in.  It takes a great deal of courage.  Do you care to share the tragedies of your love life with the public?  Yes a price she definitely gets charged for.

 

Forcing others is going against their volition, and they will irrationally rebel from a forced rationality.  The only way to rationality is through volition.  Why create a philosophy that forces people to be rational?  Would it work?  Knowing that people can be irrational, it seems rational to be as rational as you can without hitting them over the head.  Especially when mystics are just waiting for any sign of aggression to give them an excuse to attack.

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