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Azrael Rand

The Case for Open Objectivism

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44 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

In any event, are you saying that a theory of induction is not philosophy, per se?

The problem of induction is in no way a primary. First, the fundamentals must be discovered: the validity of sense perception, concept-formation, the hierarchical and contextual structure of knowledge, the open-endedness of concepts. The fundamentals are non-deductive; they are arrived at by induction. So you can't actually solve the problem of induction until you have performed valid inductions in the areas upon which discovering the solution depends. Peikoff's 'solution' is that there is no problem of induction at all, just like there is no problem of deduction. The real issue is knowing how to perform the induction correctly, i.e. by not dropping the principles of objectivist epistemology. You could write volumes about proper induction, but you would still be merely working out the implications of the basic principles. This is what I meant by 'encyclopedia', a philosophical encyclopedia that fully explains all of those derrivative issues.

1 hour ago, DonAthos said:

But who judges when a person has a "true understanding of the principles" as opposed to "acceptance based on how reasonable they sound"?

It's not as much an issue of judgement, but of objective fact. If somebody believes that he practices Objectivism but, without knowing, he is actually largely misinterpreting Objectivism, he is not factually an Objectivist. Sure, he is free to label himself as he wishes, but his belief will not turn his 'version' of Objectivism into the real thing. Now, if he later realizes that he understood the philosophy all wrong and eventually comes to truly understand it, his claims will no longer clash with the facts of reality.

2 hours ago, DonAthos said:

But in all events, I would myself hesitate before making too many pronouncements on his [Kelley's] beliefs and his character, on the basis of a skim read of some portion of his work, lest I myself be careless.

I have not adressed his character, unless you claim that if he's wrong in some aspects then it's some kind of purposeful evil on his part. Either way, you do not need to read the whole book before you can spot instances of various claims by Rand and Peikoff being taken out of context or blatantly misinterpreted. 

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19 hours ago, Eiuol said:

He doesn't say that the philosophy is complete (complete being that it covers everything that can and should be covered by philosophy, and has no gaps at all). It's easy to devote time to something that is incomplete, because you enjoy studying the parts that are discussed thoroughly and well, or discussing implications that people don't often discuss. I don't personally find that very interesting, but it makes sense.

I had a feeling we'd be having the "whole" vs "complete" discussion ;)

And yes you're correct on the reasoning for them devoting their time to Objectivism. People are led by emotion not reason, at least that's the natural default. My suggestion that it ought to be based on logic was flawed from the beginning.

19 hours ago, Eiuol said:

"Embrace" is different than bringing to a discussion. Inviting someone doesn't necessarily mean embracing them or even liking their views. 

ARI has a history of being more xenophobic than Japan in its own right. I'd say the usage of the word "embrace" in this context is appropriate. But I understand why you disagree.

10 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

Some time ago Japan had politically opposed students donning riot gear and fighting pitched battles on university campuses.  The United States has had trouble with physical aggression on university campuses, but not people donning riot gear and fighting pitched battles.  So the question of which country is closer to civil war might be more complicated than first appears.

 

4 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

The question of what causes the degree of conflict in a country can be complicated.  I recently read something arguing that certain features of the mechanics of U.S.A. politics (an important presidency, districts in which only one member of a legislative body is elected) encourage a two-party system and that a two-party system causes polarization.  

I don't dispute that it's possible to divide people by as simple an action as giving one group of people a blue jersey and different group a red jersey. However in a scenario where real and meaningful differences do exist, I don't think we benefit in the long run by lying to people and telling them that everyone is the same and that differences in outcomes are caused by unfair play.

As for the Japan example, I'm sure you'd agree that the frequency and severity of the university fights between the US and Japan are different. A deviation from the norm doesn't prove false the existence of a norm.

6 hours ago, Nicky said:

Precisely because Objectivism is one of the few ideologies rational enough that there's no one at the door checking for emotional investment. All you need to be accepted by its proponents is Reason. Not devotion, not being a disciple, not emotional attachment.

I'm glad you're able to come to this conclusion and I strongly agree with your assessment. In reality this isn't how things worked out for the Objectivist movement during and after Ayn Rand's time though. The movement was defined precisely by the shortsighted emotional issues you referenced.

13 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

My personal observations first hand constitute very strong evidence that, in at least some cases,  individual variation within each race is much greater than the statistical differences between the races.  If the news I have read and heard over the years is at least partially true, this constitutes additional evidence.  The admittedly limited study I have made of scientific evidence also supports this conclusion.

I have seen no evidence for a biological basis for statistical differences between the races mentally, intellectually, morally, and/or criminally.  The different history of the races is enough to explain such differences, especially when combined with the effects of misguided government interference.

When you refer to the history of the races, is this the same thing as the environmental argument? As in if differences do exist between the groups they're solely attributable to environmental factors such as access to superior nutrition, nurture, healthcare, education (lack of progressive psy-ops propaganda targeting minority communities), etc and not differences in genetics?

I do very much appreciate your honest answers.

Hypothetically if one was to demonstrate meaningful differences between the races using scientific data, do you believe this should influence the way we organize society based on our groupish nature?

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I think this overcomplicates it. For one, it's not like religion where we have to also include hundreds of years of cultural traditions and the interpretation of prophets. It's not like a political movement either with a directed political goal either. Rand has a specific corpus of work, and that's it.

I think it's even more simple, actually. I think that there are within Rand's corpus certain essential positions -- and agreement with those positions (which does not include a specific stand re: modern art) is what makes one an Objectivist.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

You could debate which inferences count as part of her work, but that's more like doing history than doing philosophy.

I agree. The need to keep Rand's work distinct from other contributors is, as I'd put it in my initial contribution to this thread, more "a matter of record keeping, or footnoting," or as you say, the province of a historian. I don't think such work is valueless, exactly, but it's not my first interest, or my second.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

It's pretty simple to say you agree with a certain principle about Objectivism, or say "I am an Objectivist" when you talk about ethics. People wouldn't be confused what you mean. But why bother to portray your position on modern art as "Objectivist" when you're not even trying to say your position is like Rand's?

Or maybe you mean to say that you don't think your position on modern art is Objectivist at all, but you want to be labeled as an Objectivist because of all your other beliefs. But why care about the label?

Let me answer the last question first. I don't particularly care about the label, qua label. Indeed, in most contexts, describing myself as an Objectivist is quite more trouble than it seems to be worth. I would have been perfectly happy, if I could have discussed philosophy over the length of my life without having had to descend to discussions about William Hickman or who slept with whom. I've had to learn so much that I did not ever care to know. And what wouldn't I give, not to be associated with the many assholes who go around calling themselves Objectivist, and who routinely leave such a powerful negative impression on all and sundry. When I choose to describe myself as Objectivist to someone new, I always hope against hope that they have not yet encountered one in the wild -- because if they have, I am nauseatingly confident in the reaction I'm bound to receive, and all of the false assumptions I will have to strive to overcome.

But I take on the label as I do because I think it accurate, and there are contexts in which that accuracy serves me: "mostly for the sake of communication or community," as I'd said earlier. In short, I identify as Objectivist for the same reason I identify as male or human: because I think it is apt. (Whether others agree or not is their own prerogative, as with every other matter.)

The reason why I discuss labeling in this specific manner, in this thread, laying out the criteria I employ and my reasons for doing so, and especially with respect to the open/closed system debate, is because there is a history here to consider. A cultural context. In other circumstances, I might not care whether I was considered aristocrat or peasant, but if the guillotine is deployed, then I suppose I should give the matter a moment's thought, so that I know whether to send for the Pimpernel.

And I was dragged into the open/closed debate, as with so many other petty controversies, initially as a (surprised and depressed) witness to bickering and ostracizations and denunciations and the like, and then charting the course of essay to counter-essay to counter-counter-essay, trying to sift the remains of a seemingly personal history. Over time, the conclusion that I've reached is that this is one of those things that has diluted the potential impact of Objectivism on the culture and world, more generally; an impediment towards the better tomorrow I'd ideally like to witness, but probably must resolve myself to bequeathing to my descendants.

So as to why I care about the label (apart from the minor point, again, of simple accuracy), my answer is two-fold: 1) if it's true that one side is the Evil Empire and the other side the plucky Rebel Alliance -- as is sometimes suggested -- or if one side are the guardians of the pure and uncorrupted, and the other side are the poison, the cancer, the wolves in sheep's clothing -- as is sometimes suggested -- then in all cases, I should like to align myself with the forces of good, truth and right; and 2) I would like to work towards the restoration of the Objectivist community such that the meager resources it possesses can be devoted towards the improvement of the world, for the sake of myself, my daughter, and later generations. I'd like to find a way to put this silly business behind us all, because I think it does little good yet much harm, and I suspect that the only way eventually out is through.

As for the rest, I have no particular position about modern art: I'm more questions than resolutions on that point, really. But Jonathan13 has a distinct and forceful position on modern art and it probably is quite opposed to KyaryPamyu's, but for my money, both are (or potentially might be, at least) Objectivists. Which of their positions represents the Objectivist position? More telling than one's answer to that question, imo, is the methodology employed to resolve it: I do not think it is, "Who agrees with Ayn Rand?" but "Which position best accords with the essential Objectivist principles?" and most centrally, with reason and reality. To say more than that would be to argue the subject of modern art, which, as I've said, I'm not interested in doing here and now.

1 hour ago, KyaryPamyu said:

The problem of induction is in no way a primary.

I did not say that it was a "primary," I said that it was philosophy. Insofar as it is philosophy, and (properly understood as) the "Objectivist solution" to a philosophical problem (even if you disagree that the "problem" is problematic; even if the purported "solution" avows that the "problem" is not a problem at all), it is a part of Objectivism.

If Rand had written similarly, I don't expect you would disagree that Rand's writings on induction were properly considered a part of the philosophy: so I think it's not the source of the matter between us that you consider the subject "derivative," or outside the bounds of some metaphorical encyclopedia, but the authorship. Earlier, you'd set the terms of the "closed system" as excluding those ideas "not part of what Rand actually left in writing or publicly endorsed," but I think that's the wrong place to draw the line (and it has the potentially unfortunate consequence of leaving Peikoff's work out). It is not "that which Rand left in writing" that constitutes the body of philosophy which is Objectivism, but that philosophy which is consonant with the fundamental principles of Objectivism.

And with that -- and because one of the great lessons this forum has taught me is to strictly control the extent of my participation, for the sake of my greater well-being -- I will thank you gentlemen for the discussion. Perhaps I'll pick it up again in the future.

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3 hours ago, DonAthos said:

And I was dragged into the open/closed debate, as with so many other petty controversies, initially as a (surprised and depressed) witness to bickering and ostracizations and denunciations and the like, and then charting the course of essay to counter-essay to counter-counter-essay, trying to sift the remains of a seemingly personal history.

I see it as a red herring usually. Anytime I see the topic mentioned, the person who brings up the open position tries to paint people who might disagree as dogmatists from the get go. And then they go on about ARI in some fashion. The first step is to stop talking about these things, because they are petty and pointless. I usually only chime in to say that people who take the "closed" position aren't as bad as assumed.

It's much more interesting to talk about disagreements that matter. Topics like this bring focus to disagreements that barely matter, which leads to bickering. 

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On 10/17/2018 at 10:04 PM, Azrael Rand said:

In my opinion those of us that chose to uphold and respect this view of hers fall into the closed camp. The other side that, like Ayn Rand, want to use Objectivism to change their environment for the better fall into the open camp.

And there are those like me who respect Rand's views, and want to use Objectivism to change my environment... and don't really give a damn about the whole Open vs. Closed debate. 
There was a time I thought it mattered from two viewpoints:

  • For personal conceptual clarity: i.e. what is "Objectivism"?
  • From a marketing viewpoint, i.e. what does the world identify as "Objectivism"?

I now realize that neither is important and controllable. The whole debate is like the early Christian debates about trans-substantiation. Some inner circle will keep arguing over it for decades, but it really doesn't matter. Time poorly spent.

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I think you'd have a hard time finding an Objectivist who would say "that everyone is the same and that differences in outcomes are caused by unfair play".  Could such a person even be an Objectivist?  It is more compatible with Objectivism to emphasize differences in ability and effort as the source of differences in outcomes for individuals.  However, an honest Objectivist would have to admit that luck and unfair play can also play a role.  When we get into statistical differences in outcomes between races, such differences are probably primarily due to the differing histories of the races, and secondarily somewhat due to the unfair play that unfortunately still exists.  

The nature of such historical differences is complicated.  I will discuss two examples, comparing Asians and whites and comparing blacks and whites.

Last time I looked, the achievement statistics for Asians were better that those for whites.  This seems to be because of cultural tendencies, handed down in many Asian families, that are especially conducive to hard work.  Probably only a few cranks would say it is due to unfair play, since the unfair play that has existed in this country would reduce this difference, not increase it.  There don't seem to be very many people claiming that Asians have a significant genetic superiority, either.  It is still essential to remember that people are individuals and that there are very hardworking whites (and blacks and others) and probably some not so hardworking Asians. 

The primary historical difference between blacks and whites is the prejudice and discrimination to which blacks have been subjected.  This includes both individual prejudice and discrimination, which unfortunately still exists to a significant extent, and the encoding of prejudice and discrimination into law, in particular the Jim Crow laws.  All of this has had drastic effects on blacks, which have been perpetuated both by cultural and economic effects being handed down and by misguided, if well-intentioned, government interference.  One especially destructive and unfortunate effect is that some blacks internalize negative ideas and attitudes about blacks.  The environmental effects you listed are also part of the effects.  It is still essential to remember that people are individuals and that many blacks have largely risen above these effects and many others have fought toward this, while there are probably some whites wallowing in negativity and unfortunate heritage.

Even if it could be proven that there is a significant genetic element in the statistical differences among the races, it would still be essential to remember that there are great individual differences within each race.  In particular, it would be grossly unjust and grossly impractical to let the statistical differences groupishly influence the way we organize our society.

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On 10/15/2018 at 10:05 PM, Azrael Rand said:

If you're interested, I also have a rebuttal to Stefan Molyneux's UPB: https://www.minds.com/AzraelRand/blog/an-objective-critique-of-stefan-molyneux-s-universally-prefe-891837573402587136

link doesn't seem to be working

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11 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

And there are those like me who respect Rand's views, and want to use Objectivism to change my environment... and don't really give a damn about the whole Open vs. Closed debate
There was a time I thought it mattered from two viewpoints:

  • For personal conceptual clarity: i.e. what is "Objectivism"?
  • From a marketing viewpoint, i.e. what does the world identify as "Objectivism"?

I now realize that neither is important and controllable. The whole debate is like the early Christian debates about trans-substantiation. Some inner circle will keep arguing over it for decades, but it really doesn't matter. Time poorly spent. 

I agree with this sentiment in that it reflects the need for each individual Objectivists to do what has to get done and not dwell on the past. On the other hand the issue still lingers as ARI and the Atlas Society to this day aren't on talking terms with one another, which indicates to me that our thought leaders still are holding on to emotional resentment and as a result don't have a clear view of what really matters. They'll talk to Dave Rubin but not David Kelley... Not very objective in my opinion. What message does it send to the rank and file when the leadership can't even get it right.

10 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

Even if it could be proven that there is a significant genetic element in the statistical differences among the races, it would still be essential to remember that there are great individual differences within each race.  In particular, it would be grossly unjust and grossly impractical to let the statistical differences groupishly influence the way we organize our society.

So if one group was genetically predisposed towards collectivism and Marxism and the other was not, would you still feel the same way?

Of course if humans weren't tribal we could just disregard race and organize purely around ideology; that would solve the problem outright. This isn't how human nature works though. Blacks as a group made a choice to embrace the left in America (and everywhere else). Were there mitigating circumstances? Sure. There were also mitigating circumstances for the Germans that elected Adolf Hitler. Should we hold both groups to the same standard?

10 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

Last time I looked, the achievement statistics for Asians were better that those for whites.  This seems to be because of cultural tendencies, handed down in many Asian families, that are especially conducive to hard work.  Probably only a few cranks would say it is due to unfair play, since the unfair play that has existed in this country would reduce this difference, not increase it.  There don't seem to be very many people claiming that Asians have a significant genetic superiority, either.  It is still essential to remember that people are individuals and that there are very hardworking whites (and blacks and others) and probably some not so hardworking Asians.  

It matters not if many, few, or any people are taking about genetic differences between whites and Asians. All that matters is whether there are or aren't genetic differences. Majority opinion is not a guarantee for truth. If I asked 100 people on the street what the most potent greenhouse gas was, chances are most people would say its CO2 and they would be wrong.

As a white person I have no problems admitting that Asians on average are smarter than whites. We have a different average height, skin color, facial features, etc why would it be impossible for there the be differences regarding average IQ?

If blacks on average are quite a lot taller than Asians, why isn't it possible that Asians are quite a lot smarter than blacks on average and that this difference in intelligence influences the way that their respective societies are organized and the amount of wealth (social / cultural and material) they are able to create.

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3 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

link doesn't seem to be working

Sorry about the link, when I did the original post I received an error when trying to use embedded links.

Here's the piece I did about Stefan's UPB in quotations:

 

Quote

 

An Objective Critique of Stefan Molyneux's Universally Preferable Behaviour (UPB)

Note: I originally posted this article in a thread on the Freedomain Radio Message Boards (currently offline). For a brief introduction to UPB click here.

I think it's common knowledge in this community that Stefan considered himself a devout Objectivist before creating UPB. As an Objectivist, Stefan noticed a logical contradiction within Objectivism: It advocates for the Non-aggression principle (NAP) but advocates for a limited state which in itself violates the NAP. If I recall correctly Ayn Rand's view was that if human nature necessitates a limited state so be it, but she also acknowledged a scenario may come to pass where citizens would voluntarily donate sufficient tax revenue out of of rational self-interest thereby eliminating the conflict. Stefan eliminated compulsory taxation and the state with UPB to make Objectivism logically and morally consistent.

The problem with both Objectivism and UPB is that both are derived by focusing on only the selfish / individualist aspect of humanity and discards our groupish nature (natural in-group preference). The cognitive method used by Stefan to create UPB is also based on an individualistic desire to create a universal standard for the sake of logical consistency and ease of application which sounds very much like a product of the consistency bias. We don't want to be wrong and we don't want to expend energy agonizing over each and every decision therefore we take something we understand to work for a certain set of applications and apply it universally. Then we rationalize away logical inconsistencies. This is how both Objectivism and UPB came into existence.

Because ideologies such as Objectivism, UPB, and others are built upon an ideal that only acknowledges a specific aspect of human nature (to the exclusion of others), we will eventually arrive at a time and place where our beliefs are challenged by reality and we arrive at the logical conclusion that if we as a group aren't able to respect and live up to our ideals, then we as a group don't deserve to survive. This is the conclusion Stefan arrived at in this video. Note I also highly recommend viewing PhilosophiCat's rebuttal videos (part 1 & 2).

If the logical conclusion to your belief system in the face of an existential threat is that its members don't deserve to survive for essentially acting in accordance with their nature then it was never a belief system meant for human beings in the first place.

I understand Stefan has acknowledged the need for in-group preference (haven't we all in these trying times) but he hasn't done the hard work of fully integrating this aspect into his philosophical framework. I don't believe that patching up UPB to account for in-group preference is the intellectually honest thing to do.

Leaving Stefan to his own devices by letting him hang on to UPB for emotional support isn't doing him nor us any favors. No one is exempt from cognitive biases, not me, not you, not Stefan or Ayn Rand. We all make mistakes. We can't change things for the better if we're holding on to a conflicting belief system that impacts our actions for the worse (confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, etc).

Asking people to completely suppress their group identity or asking them to be expendable pawns to be sacrificed to the collective are both extreme views that discard one part of what it means to be human. In my opinion it would be more productive for Stefan to focus his philosophical explorations on finding a balance between selfishness and groupishness appropriate for our in-group. I think it's fair to say this is the approach Japan has taken. Could they have done things better, sure, but when the s*** hits the fan they'll unite and come together to face their problems as a group whereas we know what's in store for us if things don't change soon.

In a previous post I mentioned that the need to embrace influence is a philosophical implication of us being led by emotions not reason. Another important implication is the need to be open to constructive criticism. We see the mistakes of others much more clearly than our own because we don't have a dog in the fight. If we did, we'd be just as biased as the other guy. High IQ does not exempt us from this reality.

I suspect that there are a number of actions Stefan decided not to pursue to protect his world view. One of them may have been the decision not to reach out to prominent members of the Alt-Right. If true, I believe this to be a mistake. There are many young, talented, and passionate figures on the Alt-Right, but no one is perfect and we all stand to benefit from collaborating with each other.

Ironically, this is what the left fears most as put on public display with the recent Alternative Influence piece. What they fear is an organized network of influencers in collaboration to take them down (the same strategy they used on us). This is their greatest fear because it is their greatest strength: Organization and Influence. Let's be sure to take notice and do all we can to give those bastards a run for their money.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Azrael Rand said:

On the other hand the issue still lingers as ARI and the Atlas Society to this day aren't on talking terms with one another,...

It's been years since I thought this might matter in some way.

1 hour ago, Azrael Rand said:

... our thought leaders  ...rank and file

Maybe that's the crux of the issue. I suggest you should not think of ARI or Atlas are thought leaders in philosophy as such. More importantly, I suggest you don't think of yourself as "rank and file", except as a casual not-really-meant-as-suc figure of speech. They're about 90% primarily advocacy organizations. Advocacy is a legit role, but it ain't "thought leadership". 
 

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2 hours ago, Azrael Rand said:

why isn't it possible that Asians are quite a lot smarter than blacks on average and that this difference in intelligence influences the way that their respective societies are organized and the amount of wealth (social / cultural and material) they are able to create.

Because intelligence is significantly more complex than height. The heritability is variable depending on your age, where if you are young, there isn't a great deal involved with genetics, but when you are an adult, much of the variability is accounted for by genetics. But this isn't to say that when you're an adult, your intelligence was caused by your genetics. Rather, it means the older you are, the less you can do to impact your intelligence intelligence. In other words, developmentally, who you are solidifies over time. But since you can do less about it over time, genetics explains more of intelligence statistically speaking in adults. A correlational relationship, so it makes sense. If you can't do anything about it, the only thing left to talk about is genetics. But specifically, that's IQ, a very narrow definition of intelligence. It's a specific way of conceptualizing intelligence.

So, a way to think of this is that cultural and philosophical values of a society is what counts. If that interpretation is too narrow, you can also say that we should focus on development, not where we end up as adults. Saying that East Asian people are smarter than white people is grossly simplified. You completely overlook the developmental differences between cultures. 

2 hours ago, Azrael Rand said:

Of course if humans weren't tribal we could just disregard race and organize purely around ideology; that would solve the problem outright. 

This is a loaded assumption. It's as if you're conflating "people are tribal (because they've adopted this way of thinking and many people do it)" with "people are tribal (it's wired into their brain)". If people are tribal in the first sense, then no, disregarding it wouldn't work anyway. You need to teach people to think independently. If people are tribal in the second sense, then you've already rejected Objectivism completely and I don't know why you want to argue for "open". Forget Objectivist, it isn't even individualist. I don't care if you take the open position, what bothers me more is that you want to take a collectivist position specifically.
 

Edited by Eiuol

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On 10/19/2018 at 6:04 AM, softwareNerd said:

... don't really give a damn about the whole Open vs. Closed debate. 

I'll add this... all too often people pushing for "Open Objectivism" have some very specific ideas they want to sell to self-identifying Objectivists. And, instead of just trying to sell those ideas on the merits, they try to tag it to the brand name.

"Ayn Rand" is such a powerful brand name that even her detractors love to use it. I don't mean "Open Objectivism" advocates here. I'm talking about people who write articles that criticize Rand, and who clearly ate her. They do realize that doing so, with a headline that has Rand's name, is great click bait. That's almost the definition of a powerful brand these days.

Similarly, there are people who want to advocate for income taxes, or for abortion-bans, or for environmentalist ideas, or for racist theories of behavior... and they figure that calling these things "Objectivism" and showing that Ayn Rand ought to have thought like them, might find them a ready audience. Quite odd really... rather niche marketing!

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Eiuol's last post before this one did a good job of answering Azrael Rand on fundamentals.  I will address a couple of additional points.

It is somewhat plausible that genetic effects might contribute to statistical differences between races in intelligence or hardworkingness, although there is no evidence that this is actually the case and individual variation would still be more important.

It is much less plausible that there would be a genetic tendency toward specific ideas such as collectivism and Marxism.  Even if there is, we would still have to react to people according to their individual choices of ideas, not according to the statistics of a collective.

It is grossly collectivist to say that blacks "as a group" made a choice to embrace the left.  A substantial majority of blacks may have made this choice individually, and tribalism may have been part of the reason.  But a lot of whites have made the same choice, and some blacks have made other choices.  The tribalism is misguided, and there is no evidence that anyone is genetically predisposed to it. 

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Why did you post that video? I mean, that character is a neo-Nazi, so to me it looks like ironically pointing out that one side wants to push a narrative that something is a threat ("omg they all want to squelch dissent and I can't express my thoughts!"), when in fact that threat doesn't give a damn about being in control or even trying to ("open? Whatever, I don't really care, do what you want, but you're free to disagree about whatever you want and that's fine, we can debate it")

EDIT: Retracted what I wrote here.

Edited by Eiuol

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@Eiuol I'm not endorsing the anti-semitic view, I'm implying that this view is held by @Azrael Rand given his statements in this thread. I'm curious if he will be honest about his feelings towards Jews, I think it will be enlightening. @Azrael Rand where do you stand on the Jewish Question?

The connection to the video is this astounding (to me) anti-universalism. I've never seen anything quite like it:

He decries "an individualistic desire to create a universal standard for the sake of logical consistency", which is apparently something called a "consistency bias". I've never seen the disintegrating mindset expressed so explicitly. 

This is exactly what I've pointed out previously on threads about the alt-right:

These are people who began with something like Objectivism, disintegrated the idea of a rights-respecting limited government and voluntary citizenship leading to a position of anarcho-capitalism ("Stefan eliminated compulsory taxation and the state with UPB to make Objectivism logically and morally consistent"), and then have further disintegrated human nature and gotten rid of the idea of universal individual rights and the non-aggression principle entirely.

I'm also curious if he will be honest about what "outcomes" he is looking for once people have "embraced influence", and the principle of leading by emotion instead of reason, and have overcome "the shortcomings of not correctly account for our tribal nature, biological differences between racial groups", and reached out to the "many young, talented, and passionate figures on the Alt-Right".

Edited by intrinsicist

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On 10/19/2018 at 2:38 AM, Azrael Rand said:

I'm glad you're able to come to this conclusion and I strongly agree with your assessment. In reality this isn't how things worked out for the Objectivist movement during and after Ayn Rand's time though. The movement was defined precisely by the shortsighted emotional issues you referenced. 

Objectivism is a philosophy, not a movement. There is no reason for Objectivism to be a movement.

It's perfectly fine the way it is, with people knowing exactly what it is, and free to subscribe to the philosophy, in whole or in part, and free to choose whether to work together for some common goal, or not. If it ever becomes a single, "open" movement, that movement will end up with leaders, and the leaders will want to add their own ideas to the tenets of the movement, and, since Ayn Rand was a genius, them and their ideas will end up not living up to her intellect...and then that will be that, because no one will care about another self-contradicting Libertarian political movement that can be thoroughly demolished by anyone with half a brain.

That's what an "open Objectivist movement" is, btw. : Libertarianism. They took a few really good ideas (mostly Ayn Rand's, and a few Economists'), formed a movement and opened it up to whatever ideas anyone willing to participate could come up with. Now their movement has religious fanatics, pacifists, anarchists, anarcho-socialists, protectionists, isolationists, nationalists, wackos and weirdos and dingbats and dodos... everything except for intellectually consistent defenders of individual rights.

Edited by Nicky

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1 hour ago, intrinsicist said:

I'm not endorsing the anti-semitic view, I'm implying that this view is held by

It was hard to tell, so thanks for elaborating. What you explained was my first thought. So, I removed what I wrote in my edit to reflect that.

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On 10/19/2018 at 8:05 PM, softwareNerd said:

More importantly, I suggest you don't think of yourself as "rank and file", except as a casual not-really-meant-as-suc figure of speech

Was intended as the latter (figure of speech).

On 10/19/2018 at 9:11 PM, Eiuol said:

Because intelligence is significantly more complex than height. The heritability is variable depending on your age, where if you are young, there isn't a great deal involved with genetics, but when you are an adult, much of the variability is accounted for by genetics. But this isn't to say that when you're an adult, your intelligence was caused by your genetics. Rather, it means the older you are, the less you can do to impact your intelligence intelligence. In other words, developmentally, who you are solidifies over time. But since you can do less about it over time, genetics explains more of intelligence statistically speaking in adults. A correlational relationship, so it makes sense. If you can't do anything about it, the only thing left to talk about is genetics. But specifically, that's IQ, a very narrow definition of intelligence. It's a specific way of conceptualizing intelligence.

So, a way to think of this is that cultural and philosophical values of a society is what counts. If that interpretation is too narrow, you can also say that we should focus on development, not where we end up as adults. Saying that East Asian people are smarter than white people is grossly simplified. You completely overlook the developmental differences between cultures. 

If I'm reading this correctly, what you're saying is that if whites, Asians, and blacks all had equally good upbringing, environment, nutrition, lack of Marxist brainwashing, etc their IQs would be roughly the same; is that correct?

On 10/19/2018 at 9:11 PM, Eiuol said:

This is a loaded assumption. It's as if you're conflating "people are tribal (because they've adopted this way of thinking and many people do it)" with "people are tribal (it's wired into their brain)". If people are tribal in the first sense, then no, disregarding it wouldn't work anyway. You need to teach people to think independently. If people are tribal in the second sense, then you've already rejected Objectivism completely and I don't know why you want to argue for "open". Forget Objectivist, it isn't even individualist. I don't care if you take the open position, what bothers me more is that you want to take a collectivist position specifically.

The premise of Objectivism is objective reality as it exists not as we would like it to exist. If you believe that the first is true but are open to facts, I highly recommend reading The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt and The Space between Us by Ryan Enos. If objective reality confirms an innate tribal component to human nature that's an objective fact; the same would of course apply if reality confirms that collectivism is a social construct. It's objective reality that decides what is objectively true, not you, me, or Ayn Rand. If you have a study to share that proves this, I'm more than willing to read it. Believe it or not I started out as a fully individualist Objectivists. If anything I want to believe what you believe.

13 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

It is somewhat plausible that genetic effects might contribute to statistical differences between races in intelligence or hardworkingness, although there is no evidence that this is actually the case and individual variation would still be more important. 

I do very much appreciate you keeping an open mind. I'm not going to claim that it can be proven with a 100.00% accuracy, however when you look at a number of different data sets it creates what I would describe a preponderance of evidence; proof beyond a reasonable doubt. A good starting point would be to look up the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study.

13 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

It is much less plausible that there would be a genetic tendency toward specific ideas such as collectivism and Marxism.  Even if there is, we would still have to react to people according to their individual choices of ideas, not according to the statistics of a collective.

I would respectfully disagree with that assessment. People that are less intelligent are easier to scam; Marxism is a scam on a societal stage. It only took a few decades for Marxists to win over the black community (they vote roughly 90% Democrat). Marxists have tried to win over whites too, and although they have made significant inroads, over the last century they still haven't converted as many whites percentage wise as blacks.

13 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

It is grossly collectivist to say that blacks "as a group" made a choice to embrace the left.  A substantial majority of blacks may have made this choice individually, and tribalism may have been part of the reason.  But a lot of whites have made the same choice, and some blacks have made other choices.  The tribalism is misguided, and there is no evidence that anyone is genetically predisposed to it. 

As far as the genetics of tribalism I'd refer you back to the two books I references above; your local library should have them in stock. Collectivism is either a social construct, genetic, or a combination of both. It's desirable to believe that embracing collectivism is a choice 100% subject to free will because it allows us to morally condemn these people, but if objective reality doesn't support this to be true then we have to re-asses our previous assumptions and conclusions.

4 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

The connection to the video is this astounding (to me) anti-universalism. I've never seen anything quite like it:

He decries "an individualistic desire to create a universal standard for the sake of logical consistency", which is apparently something called a "consistency bias". I've never seen the disintegrating mindset expressed so explicitly. 

Do you contest the existence of consistency bias or just my application in this specific context. As humans we are driven by incentives. The incentive to make life easier on oneself by creating a universal framework would be a good example imo.

I did get a kick out of watching the video you posted. Totally reminds me of Mark Collett, a British Alt-Right activist and Youtube personality.

You may also be interested in an earlier article I wrote addressing the Alt-Right: https://www.minds.com/AzraelRand/blog/an-open-letter-to-the-alt-right-exploring-an-alternative-sol-887488448523096064

4 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

These are people who began with something like Objectivism, disintegrated the idea of a rights-respecting limited government and voluntary citizenship leading to a position of anarcho-capitalism ("Stefan eliminated compulsory taxation and the state with UPB to make Objectivism logically and morally consistent"), and then have further disintegrated human nature and gotten rid of the idea of universal individual rights and the non-aggression principle entirely. 

It's not that I don't support individual liberties and the NAP, I do, but I don't see how they can be preserved in a society with average IQ of 75-85. That's where the West is heading.

4 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

I'm also curious if he will be honest about what "outcomes" he is looking for once people have "embraced influence", and the principle of leading by emotion instead of reason, and have overcome "the shortcomings of not correctly account for our tribal nature, biological differences between racial groups", and reached out to the "many young, talented, and passionate figures on the Alt-Right".

I do plan to write more about influence in the future, so stay tuned. It basically boils down to utilizing an objective understanding of human nature as a baseline to one's persuasion efforts.

As for the second piece it would most likely be an ethnically and culturally homogeneous society that would permit minorities based on their value set, ability to contribute positively to society, while not throwing off the ethnic composition of the nation.

As far as my favorite Alt-Right figure, that would be PhilosophiCat; highly recommend checking her out on Youtube.

4 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

where do you stand on the Jewish Question?

Do I believe that there's an organized conspiracy among a majority of Jews to destroy white people and the West? No I do not. Do I believe that there are a number of influential and wealthy Jews, and non-Jews, whose efforts are directly contributing the the decline of the West? Yes I do, they're called leftists.

I used to believe that these people were solely driven by hatred and wanted to destroy us but I no longer believe that. What is most likely true is that the majority of them think they're doing the right thing based on their perception of reality. If you believe that tribalism is innately evil and is what will undo all of mankind it makes sense to organize and pool resources in a way to mix all existing races into a single unified and peaceful human race.

Are there a few Jews that hold a grudge against whites for historical misgivings? Sure, but I don' think that's a plurality of the Jews involved.

Also from a persuasive perspective, the worst thing you can do is to subscribe to a highly controversial and far-fetched conspiracy theory. You're directly undermining your persuasive effort and are severely retarding your ability to reach people's hearts and minds.

4 hours ago, Nicky said:

Objectivism is a philosophy, not a movement. There is no reason for Objectivism to be a movement.

Its was and is both. There was a movement with Ayn Rand at the head and it was plagued with petty and emotional quarrels. That's an objective fact.

4 hours ago, Nicky said:

That's what an "open Objectivist movement" is, btw. : Libertarianism. They took a few really good ideas (mostly Ayn Rand's, and a few Economists'), formed a movement and opened it up to whatever ideas anyone willing to participate could come up with. Now their movement has religious fanatics, pacifists, anarchists, anarcho-socialists, protectionists, isolationists, nationalists, wackos and weirdos and dingbats and dodos... everything except for intellectually consistent defenders of individual rights. 

Agree that Libertarianism is inferior to Objectivism. In my opinion their defining characteristic is a desire to be left alone by others to embrace their irrational selfishness, borrowing just enough from Objectivism to keep it afloat.

Edited by Azrael Rand

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56 minutes ago, Azrael Rand said:

Believe it or not I started out as a fully individualist Objectivists. If anything I want to believe what you believe.

That's exactly why I'm confused why you even *want* to claim very much of Objectivism, let alone use the word to describe yourself. You're not even trying to be an individualist.

56 minutes ago, Azrael Rand said:

If I'm reading this correctly, what you're saying is that if whites, Asians, and blacks all had equally good upbringing, environment, nutrition, lack of Marxist brainwashing, etc their IQs would be roughly the same; is that correct?

There would be some variation still because of genetics. This still doesn't mean that race was a causal factor; race is not an effective way to divide up genetics. But either way, roughly speaking, race per say is not what would matter. So if children are raised with similar values, their potential is roughly the same. Not that their IQ would be roughly the same, it would vary depending on personality factors and the interests they pursue. I'm a graduate student in psychology, so that's my credential for understanding the psychology here. I'm not speaking just as a layperson with an interest in psychology.

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Azrael Rand,

I looked up the three things you recommended.

Jonathan Haidt recognizes that morality underlies politics, which is good, but his view of morality emphasizes how we treat others and does not address Objectivist metaethics.  Wikipedia listed scholars whose work is cited or critiqued in the book.  They did not include Ayn Rand, Nathaniel Branden, Leonard Peikoff, or anyone else I recognized as Objectivist or Objectivist influenced.

Ryan Enos's main point seems to be that people practice collectivism based on geography as well as other considerations, and that this can reinforce other kinds of collectivism.  Undoubtedly true, but that does not mean they have to or should.  Two quotes from him in an interview, with my comments:  "Geography has always factored heavily into politics and human behavior more generally. Part of this comes from the nature of politics, that it is a contest over who gets what. The what is often tied to location and becomes a contest over who controls where."  I have encountered the definition of politics as being over "who gets what" in at least two other places.  It describes how politics works in a mixed economy, but takes for granted a mistaken view of government.  "If we cannot cooperate politically, we cannot do the things necessary to have a functioning modern society, such as building infrastructure and caring for the needy."  Again, this takes for granted a mistaken view of government.

The Wikipedia article on the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study reveals complications that prevent it from proving that there is a genetic component to statistical differences between the races in IQ.  Two quotes from Wikipedia:  "As Scarr & Weinberg (1976) note, transracial adoption studies only control for family environment, not social environment. For example, children who are socially identified as black may still be subject to racial discrimination despite being raised by white parents."  "It is essential to note, however, that the groups also differed significantly (p < .05) in their placement histories and natural mother's education. Children with two black parents were significantly older at adoption, had been in the adoptive home a shorter time, and had experienced a greater number of preadoption placements."  Also, the sample was a convenience sample, not a random sample.

12 hours ago, Azrael Rand said:

People that are less intelligent are easier to scam; Marxism is a scam on a societal stage. It only took a few decades for Marxists to win over the black community (they vote roughly 90% Democrat).

We have already argued over whether there is a racial component to intelligence.  You have not proven this.  One reason so many blacks vote Democrat is that the Democrats have been the main ones to push civil rights legislation.

Edited by Doug Morris
typo

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On 10/21/2018 at 4:12 AM, Azrael Rand said:

Its was and is both. There was a movement with Ayn Rand at the head and it was plagued with petty and emotional quarrels. That's an objective fact. 

Really? Who's in this "movement" that you know for a fact exists? Please note that the only way to back up the claim that an organization's existence is an "objective fact" is to provide a list of members, and verifiable proof that they are in fact members.

Which of course shouldn't be too difficult with modern technology. If you're in possession of information that proves an objective fact, it should take a few seconds to copy/paste that information into the same box you just typed your claim into.

Edited by Nicky

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Azrael Rand,

Even if there is a genetic component in a statistical difference between the races in vulnerability to scams, which you have not proven, this would not determine which scam(s) a person would fall victim to.  Also, whatever difference there might be between the races in vulnerability to scams (probably due to differing histories if it exists), individual variation is more important.

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On 10/20/2018 at 9:12 PM, Azrael Rand said:

Its was and is both.

No.  It's ONLY a philosophy and NOT a movement.  No philosophy is a movement.   A movement to promote the philosophy isn't itself the philosophy.  This distinction needs to be understood.  

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On 10/20/2018 at 10:12 PM, Eiuol said:

That's exactly why I'm confused why you even *want* to claim very much of Objectivism, let alone use the word to describe yourself. You're not even trying to be an individualist.

My draw towards Objectivism, despite my doctrinal transgressions, is in its premise, a philosophy for man on earth based on acknowledging instead of rejecting objective truths. That's more than enough for me to self-identify as an (Open) Objectivist. I used to be an absolutist individualist but now I'm part individualist. For example I no longer support the Republican party's immigration platform. Before the change it was ok for me because immigration was moral and the current state was partly/mostly immoral; once the immoralities were fixed the problem would have resolved itself so there was no need to restrict immigration. If I'm correct on the natural aspects of tribalism and race and IQ differences then it completely invalidates my previous stance.

On 10/20/2018 at 10:12 PM, Eiuol said:

There would be some variation still because of genetics. This still doesn't mean that race was a causal factor; race is not an effective way to divide up genetics.

If not race what metric would you use?

On 10/20/2018 at 10:12 PM, Eiuol said:

But either way, roughly speaking, race per say is not what would matter. So if children are raised with similar values, their potential is roughly the same. Not that their IQ would be roughly the same, it would vary depending on personality factors and the interests they pursue.

I'm in full agreement that a culture of self-ownership is the best thing you could do for your children, on an individual level, in addition to love, care, and nurture. Someone with a higher IQ but a deterministic or nihilistic mindset will not be able to even recognize a fraction of the opportunities that present themselves to him compared to the person with lower IQ and objective mindset. I'm not disputing this at all. What I am challenging is the notion that a culture of self-ownership is enough to mitigate the combination of our tribal nature together with innate biological differences between the races on the aggregate level as it relates to objectively organizing society.

On 10/20/2018 at 10:12 PM, Eiuol said:

I'm a graduate student in psychology, so that's my credential for understanding the psychology here. I'm not speaking just as a layperson with an interest in psychology.

Appreciate your input; this is one of the reasons I chose to post on the board because it is frequented by individuals such as yourself. Once I complete my persuasion piece I would appreciate it if you could give it a look to determine whether or not it's grounded in reality.

On 10/21/2018 at 8:38 AM, Doug Morris said:

Jonathan Haidt recognizes that morality underlies politics, which is good, but his view of morality emphasizes how we treat others and does not address Objectivist metaethics.  Wikipedia listed scholars whose work is cited or critiqued in the book.  They did not include Ayn Rand, Nathaniel Branden, Leonard Peikoff, or anyone else I recognized as Objectivist or Objectivist influenced.

Neither Haidt nor Enos are in any way associated with Objectivism. I stumbled on both of them as a result of trying to "fix" Objectivism for myself. What I like about both of them is that despite the fact that they're leftists they chose not to bury the evidence when confronted with facts that conflict with their ideological bias. What I recommended these two books for is the data presented in them not the authors political beliefs or conclusions. More specifically I recommended them for proof as it relates to the genetic component of tribalism; as in it's not solely a social construct. Other posters, not you though, alluded to tribalism as a social construct so I posted these two authors in response.

On 10/21/2018 at 8:38 AM, Doug Morris said:

Ryan Enos's main point seems to be that people practice collectivism based on geography as well as other considerations, and that this can reinforce other kinds of collectivism.  Undoubtedly true, but that does not mean they have to or should.  Two quotes from him in an interview, with my comments:  "Geography has always factored heavily into politics and human behavior more generally. Part of this comes from the nature of politics, that it is a contest over who gets what. The what is often tied to location and becomes a contest over who controls where."  I have encountered the definition of politics as being over "who gets what" in at least two other places.  It describes how politics works in a mixed economy, but takes for granted a mistaken view of government.  "If we cannot cooperate politically, we cannot do the things necessary to have a functioning modern society, such as building infrastructure and caring for the needy."  Again, this takes for granted a mistaken view of government.

Unlike Haidt, I don't think Eno's changed his viewpoint at all after digesting the data. Although he never really comes out and says it, I think he would favor government intervention into communities to enforce or at least "incentivize" complete racial integration of communities. He is a leftist through and through so I agree with you that his view of government is mistaken acknowledging the fact that the two of us aren't in full agreement on how government ought to operate.

One of Enos main points is that incorrectly managed diversity leads to decreased levels of trust, civility and voluntary civic engagement required for maintaining what we consider to be a modern society. If tribalism is genetic, and I think you agree that it is (at least to some extent), then would it not be in our rational self-interest to organize in a way that enhances outcomes? So we're either looking at a society that is ethnically homogeneous or diverse where said diversity is objectively managed to maximize outcomes as suggested by Enos. One of these two can be accomplished by re-instating freedom of association (creating ethnically homogeneous areas by choice; currently illegal) the other likely not based on our innate tribal nature. Then, if we accept IQ differences between races, it becomes apparent that there would be additional differences between these two alternatives. So if we choose objectively managed diversity we likely have to accept state intervention into the way communities are organized and we'd have to settle for a lower cultural and material standard considering the lowest common denominator. This obviously isn't a fun topic but that's the reality I'm seeing from my point of view.

On 10/21/2018 at 8:38 AM, Doug Morris said:

The Wikipedia article on the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study reveals complications that prevent it from proving that there is a genetic component to statistical differences between the races in IQ.  Two quotes from Wikipedia:  "As Scarr & Weinberg (1976) note, transracial adoption studies only control for family environment, not social environment. For example, children who are socially identified as black may still be subject to racial discrimination despite being raised by white parents."  "It is essential to note, however, that the groups also differed significantly (p < .05) in their placement histories and natural mother's education. Children with two black parents were significantly older at adoption, had been in the adoptive home a shorter time, and had experienced a greater number of preadoption placements."  Also, the sample was a convenience sample, not a random sample.

This is why I didn't claim it as 100% proof but as a good starting point. For additional material I'd recommend checking out Stefan Molyneux's content on race and IQ on his Youtube channel. Although he is no longer an Objectivist he does a pretty good job at presenting evidence in a fair and straight forward fashion (unless he's talking about UPB or any of his other books) and he includes appropriate references for his presentations.

To address the quotes from Wikipedia:

On racial discrimination: Yes if black children are being raised by whites they would still expect to face discrimination by whites, in addition they would also reasonably expect to face it from blacks because they are being raised by white parents if there were any blacks in their school / social environment. So if social discrimination were an influential factor in IQ formation you'd expect the IQ of blacks raised by whites to be lower all things equal; not the other way around. The measured IQ for adopted black youths was in line with the average black IQ in America so I would assume that discrimination in and of itself does not directly impact IQ.

On history and placement differences of adopted children with two black biological parents: The adult IQ of 89 listed is in line with the average IQ for African Americans in the US. A case can be made that what counted was the earlier years not spent with the adoptive white parents. Note however that this limitation only mentions children with two black parents. It did not address children with one black and one white parent which at age 17 scored at 99 compared to 106 for the adopted average white child and 89 for the adopted average black child.

Convenience sample: Yes it's not a random sample but they did measure the IQ of the adoptive parents. How do you envisions this to have a potential impact on the study?

On 10/21/2018 at 8:38 AM, Doug Morris said:

We have already argued over whether there is a racial component to intelligence.  You have not proven this. 

That's a true statement. However the flip side is also true that you haven't proven your case either (which would have automatically disproven mine). Just because a majority of people believe something to be true doesn't give it a leg up in a scientific debate. As long as there's a way for emotion to attach itself to a belief, people can and will hold a belief to support their emotional well being. The popularity of religion shouldn't be considered a factor in trying to determine whether or not god exists.

On 10/21/2018 at 8:38 AM, Doug Morris said:

One reason so many blacks vote Democrat is that the Democrats have been the main ones to push civil rights legislation.

That's certainly one theory. I personally think it's more realistic to assume that it's due to the financial incentives created by the well-fare state, that require a continued Democrat electoral presence to stay in place.

On 10/21/2018 at 9:02 PM, Nicky said:

Really? Who's in this "movement" that you know for a fact exists? Please note that the only way to back up the claim that an organization's existence is an "objective fact" is to provide a list of members, and verifiable proof that they are in fact members.

Which of course shouldn't be too difficult with modern technology. If you're in possession of information that proves an objective fact, it should take a few seconds to copy/paste that information into the same box you just typed your claim into.

Nicky, since you appear to have a fetish that involves me using Google I felt obliged to comply. Not the biggest fan of Wikipedia but it's good enough to communicate what I thought to be common knowledge on this message board. Please enjoy:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivist_movement

Quote

The Objectivist movement is a movement of individuals who seek to study and advance Objectivism, the philosophy expounded by novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand. The movement began informally in the 1950s and consisted of students who were brought together by their mutual interest in Rand's novel, The Fountainhead. The group, ironically named "the Collective" due to their actual advocacy of individualism, in part consisted of Leonard Peikoff, Nathaniel Branden, Barbara Branden, Alan Greenspan

 

15 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

Also, whatever difference there might be between the races in vulnerability to scams (probably due to differing histories if it exists), individual variation is more important. 

I don't think its contestable that lower IQ makes people more susceptible to being scammed all things being equal; let me know if you think that's incorrect. Can there be other factors at play, such as people taking advantage of someone's emotional investment in a specific belief, absolutely, but it shouldn't in any way detract from, all things equal, differences in IQ making someone more susceptible to being taking advantage of.

As far as individual variations being more important, I agree with this statement assuming we're comparing individual outcomes and that the people involved don't suffer from low IQ or retardation. However I don't believe this statement to be true on a societal level based on our tribal nature and potential IQ differences between races. While I can't conclusively prove that I'm correct I don't think you can conclusively prove your case either. The best we can do is present the best argument we can given the facts at our disposal while trying to account for emotional biases which I think both of us have been doing thus far.

15 hours ago, Craig24 said:

No.  It's ONLY a philosophy and NOT a movement.  No philosophy is a movement.   A movement to promote the philosophy isn't itself the philosophy.  This distinction needs to be understood.   

"Ought to" or "ought not to" doesn't automatically equate to "is" or "isn't." See my previous quote from Wikipedia. Sorry pal.

Edited by Azrael Rand

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