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Azrael Rand

The Case for Open Objectivism

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3 hours ago, 2046 said:

...what this would have to mean is that you claim the power to restrict visitors that I have judged to be of value to me from visiting my house because you don't like their views (or really what you perceive their views might be.)

I do claim that right. If your visitors represent an objective disturbance or threat to my life, I'm going to call the cops on you.

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36 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

I do claim that right. If your visitors represent an objective disturbance or threat to my life, I'm going to call the cops on you.

Hello, police? These brown people are disturbing me, all sitting in their house having dinner and such. Go get 'em. 

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2 hours ago, 2046 said:

Hello, police? These brown people are disturbing me, all sitting in their house having dinner and such. Go get 'em. 

Maybe you should stop eating the neighbor's pets and order some pizza delivery instead.

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17 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Sigh... in the context of our discussion I was defining immigration with the kind which confers citizenship... not merely temporary status, tourism, work visas etc. i.e. one which confers rights to voting in the rulers, participating in government, law enforcement, etc

You didn't mention letting people stay here indefinitely without granting them citizenship.  In fact, anyone should be permitted not only to enter the country but to stay here a long as they see fit, as long as they are not convicted of a felony.  This is entirely different from citizenship and voting 

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15 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

I do claim that right. If your visitors represent an objective disturbance or threat to my life, I'm going to call the cops on you.

 

11 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Maybe you should stop eating the neighbor's pets and order some pizza delivery instead.

If something is going on at my house that physically threatens or harms you, your family, your guests, or your property, you have the right to call the police on me.  You do not have the right to impose any prior restraint on whom I invite into my house unless it is a known wanted fugitive.

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1 hour ago, Doug Morris said:

You didn't mention letting people stay here indefinitely without granting them citizenship.  In fact, anyone should be permitted not only to enter the country but to stay here a long as they see fit, as long as they are not convicted of a felony.  This is entirely different from citizenship and voting 

Yes.  Tourism, visits from relatives, extended stays work visas ... each can have rationally defined criteria and restrictions, and differential treatment from citizens given the context... I didn’t say it was simple... my point was that given the context, it is not simple... but not impossible to manage.

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I wonder if this recent topic shift to immigration can be split and moved to its own thread in a political forum? It's a shame that it's being buried at the end of this one.

 

I propose splitting it here at EC's post.

http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?/topic/31369-the-case-for-open-objectivism/&do=findComment&comment=356997

 

Edited by MisterSwig

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On 1/6/2019 at 10:15 AM, Eiuol said:
On 1/5/2019 at 10:52 PM, Azrael Rand said:

I do not believe that it is immoral for black people to live in the US, but I do believe it would be immoral to say that anyone living on the African continent that isn't a rapist or murderer has the right to become an American citizen.

Come on, man. You've gone on about IQ and racial differences, not just threats by actual rapists. I didn't ask if it's okay for black people to live here, I'm asking what you'd do about the threat of black people lowering average IQ. 

My distinction lies not in principle but in objective reality and goes back to Enos.  There's a difference between one black person or family living in an all white area vs having different ethnic groups clustered together and occupying the same territory with other groups.  Different psychological dynamics at play.

On 1/6/2019 at 4:38 AM, DonAthos said:

Staying in the country "illegally" is as smoking weed illegally, wherever that is still illegal: neither should be a crime.

People who commit actual crimes (meaning: initiating the use of force) -- in this country or any other, and whatever their origin -- ought to be stopped/penalized.

How do you justify the notion that the NAP ought to be respected but that others notions such as the content I've discussed ought to be viewed as irrelevant and/or dangerous?

On 1/6/2019 at 4:38 AM, DonAthos said:

Suppose I were to propose that any family members of Azrael Rand ought to be strung up by their heels, and you were to offer some argument against that according to, oh I don't know, some theory of "individual rights." But then I ask: ah, but what happens if one of your family members commits a crime? Will you assume full legal and financial liability for their actions?

Would that sort of "argument" warrant an earnest response from you?

Are said family members of mine US citizens or not.  If you don't address that we're talking apples vs oranges.

On 1/6/2019 at 4:38 AM, DonAthos said:

Are you aware of the Objectivist position on politics, generally? Take for instance Rand writing, "Freedom, in a political context, has only one meaning: the absence of physical coercion."

Again how do you justify that the NAP is the only thing that counts?  How do you justify that notion, why do you believe it to be true?

On 1/6/2019 at 10:09 AM, Doug Morris said:
On 1/5/2019 at 10:52 PM, Azrael Rand said:
On 1/3/2019 at 12:09 PM, Doug Morris said:

When I spoke of rape culture I did not mean in the whole society or a whole university.  I was speaking of what might be called a subculture, a cultural attitude that seems to exist among some American male college students that encourages rape.

I don't support rape on an individual level or a group level so the individuals or groups of individuals that are committing these rapes, wherever they are (on campus, off campus, etc) should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

Do we need to do anything about some groups sharing and reinforcing ideas that encourage rape?  I don't mean treating them as criminals because of their ideas.  Do we need to use any techniques of persuasion that take into account the existence of a subculture?  Do colleges need to have policies addressing the matter? 

Based on my understanding of the problem, objective parenting that encourages both empathy and reasoning ought to be the best long term solution.  Men and women stand to benefit from each other's company but that requires an objective understanding of our differences.  Traditional gender roles naturally facilitated said acknowledgement of differences but we've moved away from them in favor of egalitarianism which isn't doing anyone any good in my opinion.

On 1/6/2019 at 10:09 AM, Doug Morris said:

If the number of homeless people in the United States drastically increases, where exactly would they go?  No private property owner would have to let them onto his or her property.  Even owners who were willing to accept some of them would probably have a limit to how many they would accept.  If they are squatting on or clogging government property, the government would have the right to require them to leave.  This might mean arresting and jailing them for trespassing, especially if there is no other place for them to go. 

Was this meant to counter my quoted point?  As a stand alone scenario I would say the property owners would try to use the government to get them to move elsewhere.  Arresting and jailing them all would likely cause an undue tax burden on the system, especially if their population is ever increasing.  If the government failed to effectively deal with the problem, the property owners would likely decide to move elsewhere if the problem gets out of hand. Kind of what you're seeing in certain parts of California right now.

On 1/6/2019 at 10:59 AM, whYNOT said:

But I''ll see your collectivism, and raise you altruism. They are inextricably linked, but altruism leads. Without the sacrificing and/or self-sacrificing of and by the individual to some mystical 'group identity', collectivism/racism has to perish.

Both are however tied to human nature, the same way that selfishness and our embrace for freedom/independence is tied to our innate nature.  These aren't just ideas someone came up with.  These are essential components of who we are based on our nature and our environment (epigenetics).  The reason why we keep having to deal with socialism isn't because people are simply exposed to bad ideas, but because they embrace these ideas based on who they are and how they feel about their environment.

On 1/6/2019 at 10:59 AM, whYNOT said:

In all the talk everwhere about incoming refugees and migrants (only into the West - of course) the foremost question to be asked is - do others' wants, needs, entitlements - or demands - constitute and justify an obligatory sacrifice of oneself? Or, in the broad abstract, upon one's country? 

I like the fact that your intellectually flexible and quite frankly honest enough to at least extend your principles from the individual to the individual's country based on real life considerations.  My philosophical approach could be described as utilitarianism based on human nature.  That makes it more of a math problem than a matter of sticking to principles that may or may not protect you, our family, and country when in need. 

If we are tribal as a species then we cannot exclude in-group considerations. If we weren't tribal then in-group considerations would be irrelevant.  Self-sacrifice is required to a certain extent assuming you're not living on an isolated island.  Some people choose to rationalize away the required acts of self-sacrifice as virtuous and then dismiss the rest but that approach dismisses real life outcomes because it prioritizes emotional satisfaction over real life outcomes. 

Just because part of life means having to give in every now and then doesn't mean that we have to do it all the time.  Conservatives get wrapped up in their principles and then fail to protect what they were tasked to protect in the first place.  From a perspective of resource bargaining with someone that doesn't share your principles, your principles are a weakness.  One of the easiest way to shut people up is b pointing out how they aren't living up to their own set of rules.  Sticking to principles won't work against this type of tactic.  The easiest way to defeat this tactic is to use it against your opponent before they can use it on you.

On 1/6/2019 at 10:59 AM, whYNOT said:

Apparently I do not believe men have an *intrinsic* right to cross national borders. That smacks of 'human rights' (as employed today) and says nothing about individual rights, the main characteristic of a free nation, some of which are losing-sacrificing their liberties as a result of such intrinsicism (perhaps to the dismay of some of the immigrants, themselves).

The notion of human rights can be viewed as a congruency test initiated by the left of the right.  Classical liberals assert that we all ought to be treated the same in the eyes of the law, well guess what, let's extend that line of thinking to its logical conclusion and here we go, open borders, Muslim/Sharia controlled areas all over Europe, and vibrant diversity in the US that will set the stage for a political Marxist takeover.  Remember what I said about others using your own standards against you.  They will only talk to you about your standards when it supports their cause.  When it doesn't they will dismiss it as emotional reasoning or outdated thinking.  However the Marxist liberals doing this are essentially just following their genetic code, expressing r selected behavior that favors diversity over security (K selected behavior).  It's essentially just a contest of using logic to extract as many resources and concessions out of the group as possible.  Just remember, the best defense is a good offense.

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48 minutes ago, Azrael Rand said:

My philosophical approach could be described as utilitarianism based on human nature. 

Self-sacrifice is required to a certain extent assuming you're not living on an isolated island. 

 

Funny, you claimed to be an Objectivist earlier. Also funny that you completely ignored the scenario I proposed where you and your "group" are the ones with the inferior IQ's and if it would be moral for them to exclude you from that near future US as a result.

Admit you are a racist before you make any more statement or arguments in the thread. At least completely own that shit. If I was a racist I would fully admit it and argue for it explicitly and proudly, not like a intellectual wannabe pussy who hides behind complex sentence structure. Not only are you a racist, you are also a coward.

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On 1/6/2019 at 5:22 PM, EC said:

I personally think it's semi-wrong for anyone to "debate" with you or engage you in discussion. People spouting evil ideas should be ostracized. 

Can't help but look into the dumpster fire can you.  On the subject of evil ideas, the idea you referenced in this quote is quite similar to the view of leftists that claim that free speech invalidates their feelings, dignity, and existence and therefore ought to be replaced with controlled speech.  Also I would wonder if debating me is only "semi-wrong" because you yourself have chosen to debate me?

On 1/6/2019 at 7:14 PM, whYNOT said:

Immigration, if race-based, we know to be tribalist and collectivist, presuming on an 'ethnic character'. Conversely, if based on a specific individual's high talents and IQ, for the 'good of the country', I think would be a utilitarian - 'social engineering' - approach. Then there is the altruist mentality of very many, which forms a policy based on guilt and others' needs, etc. 

What makes you think that the US Constitution wasn't an attempt at Utilitarian social engineering?  I think if you objectively look at the situation you would come to the conclusion that it was social engineering, except unlike the many other approaches we normally associate with social engineering, it was extremely successful for a quite a long period of time based on objectively verifiable metrics.

On 1/8/2019 at 2:23 PM, MisterSwig said:

Such rhetoric is also applied to segregation. Humanity's first attempt was not ideal, because it was based on skin color alone. What we really need, they argue, is segregation based on race and IQ combined.

What's your position on immigration?  Do you outright dismiss segregation using national borders or is there a certain set of criteria you prefer in order to segregate, and if yes what are these criteria?

 

On 1/8/2019 at 7:32 PM, EC said:

In other words I'm not asking some weird specific question above, I'm instead making a rhetorical statement against IQ-based racism. And it was specifically aimed at Azrael in order to get him to widen the scope of his thinking in order for him to understand what he is actually implying. He is implying that other rational entities with a greater average IQ than whatever his human racial group supposedly possesses can violate his rights by barring his citizenship.

As far as AI goes, I don't think it will be used as a tool to revolutionize individualism, rather I see it being used the same way that nuclear weapons were used in the past, and to this day, as a tool of collective nation states.  That's not to say that businesses will be excluded from using it but it likely won't be the catalyst to us all combing together chanting songs around the camp fire as you may envision it. 

As far as giving human rights to AI, I think that's a very r selected thing to do.  Only people that are virtually immune from a resource constrained environment would ever consider going there. I see a better case for animal rights than I do for AI rights but to each their own.

At the end of the day it's still intellectual tribalism.  You want to extend rights/benefits to entities that you perceive as being similar to you.  You likely empathize with AI because you view it as possessing similar characteristics to yourself. Nothing revolutionary going on here.

Have you ever imagined how ridiculous the implications would be in the real life environment?  Imagine AI with property rights killing it in the stock market and/or casinos, buying up all the land and making virtually all of humanity homeless...

Emotional reasoning on steroids here...

On 1/9/2019 at 8:25 AM, StrictlyLogical said:

Objectivists recognize that in a free society there would no rational reason to bar any lower IQ group from entry... there simply is no proper ethical principle and no proper political principle which could motivate it.  In fact, efficiently filling in the gaps and holes in the labor/service market left by the "high IQ" people's tendencies/preferences would lead to greater likelihood of each person's flourishing greater.

Efficiently filling holes in the labor markets and open borders are two different things.  The former I support the latter I don't.  Note how the criteria you're using is both utilitarian and collective in nature (labor market).  Ayn Rand would have reject such a notion because it isn't an absolute form of freedom.  I don't draw the same distinction by default.

On 1/9/2019 at 3:47 PM, StrictlyLogical said:

Persons of "different ideologies" can VOTE to wreck society in a mob rule Democracy but could not (assuming proper systems in place) vote to wreck the pure Republic. 

I think today's environment is proof that "proper systems" aren't a substitute to culture in guarding any system against moral decay.

On 1/9/2019 at 5:53 PM, whYNOT said:

Agreed also. Of course, a properly free society would be an individualist-capitalist one, with little to no entrance requirements; the government could wield little power to bar anyone, nor have to consent to admit any. The system would rest on one to one agreements between individuals.

The alternate hypothesis is that said society would be taken over by another collectivist group because the individualists have deluded themselves into thinking that in-group preference and tribalism are not inherent parts of human nature.

On 1/9/2019 at 5:53 PM, whYNOT said:

As things stand now, we'd say still there would never be cause for a state to question and to discover an immigrant's IQ, and must never be permitted to. Concern over IQ can sometimes be the ploy of covert racists, and again, "social engineers". 

One thing I'd like to point out is that the current immigration law, which isn't a walk in the park by all means, is actually an IQ and cultural compatibility test even though it's not advertised as such.  If you don't come here illegally and rather choose to obey and submit yourself to rule of law then you are allowed entry. 

We are currently in an environment where real differences have become a cultural taboo, and because of it the narrative has shifted to granting access to the best and brightest foreigners to all foreigners.  If we're all equal, then it can be argued, current immigration law is just arbitrary and racist.  If we can't talk about race, IQ, tribalism, etc because we may offend someone then we have no means to prevent something good from becoming a third world *hole.  Have I made my case clear enough yet?

Remember what I said before about the left holding you to your standard in effect using you and your belief system to achieve their goals for them?

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1 hour ago, Azrael Rand said:

There's a difference between one black person or family living in an all white area vs having different ethnic groups clustered together and occupying the same territory with other groups.

Yeah, and you see this as a threat because of their lower average IQ. So you need to keep them out. That's how it works. Or you keep them segregated, like internment of Japanese-American citizens. I don't know why you still don't see the implication.

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13 minutes ago, Azrael Rand said:

What's your position on immigration?  Do you outright dismiss segregation using national borders or is there a certain set of criteria you prefer in order to segregate, and if yes what are these criteria?

I don't believe in segregation by race or IQ. Like I said, however, there might be a case for denying imbeciles citizenship, particularly the privilege of voting.

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1 hour ago, Azrael Rand said:
On 1/6/2019 at 10:09 AM, Doug Morris said:

If the number of homeless people in the United States drastically increases, where exactly would they go?  No private property owner would have to let them onto his or her property.  Even owners who were willing to accept some of them would probably have a limit to how many they would accept.  If they are squatting on or clogging government property, the government would have the right to require them to leave.  This might mean arresting and jailing them for trespassing, especially if there is no other place for them to go. 

Was this meant to counter my quoted point?  As a stand alone scenario I would say the property owners would try to use the government to get them to move elsewhere.  Arresting and jailing them all would likely cause an undue tax burden on the system, especially if their population is ever increasing.  If the government failed to effectively deal with the problem, the property owners would likely decide to move elsewhere if the problem gets out of hand. Kind of what you're seeing in certain parts of California right now.

The point I was making was that there was not as much difference in principle between Africans and homeless people as you were implying, and that a drastic increase in the numbers of either here would probably mean that at least some of them were committing violations of property rights that could be addressed as such.

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9 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

I wonder if this recent topic shift to immigration can be split and moved to its own thread in a political forum? It's a shame that it's being buried at the end of this one.

 

I split them here:

 

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19 hours ago, Azrael Rand said:

 

What makes you think that the US Constitution wasn't an attempt at Utilitarian social engineering?  I think if you objectively look at the situation you would come to the conclusion that it was social engineering, except unlike the many other approaches we normally associate with social engineering, it was extremely successful for a quite a long period of time based on objectively verifiable metrics.

 

 

 

1

What makes me think that? Because the Constitution was written in direct opposition to utilitarianism, in my understanding. Not 'the good' of the majority (at potential or actual cost of the individual) but the individual at the base of his good - and exclusively by way of that, of the societal good. What is good for one, is good for all, in short, and so the founders showed their grasp of the metaphysical nature of man. Which if stuck to, is all the "social engineering" ever needed, anywhere. That's why "it was extremely successful for a long period of time". Where the principle is departed from, lately, is when any and all types of social engineers - "social metaphysicians" - come out of their corners.

Edited by whYNOT

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21 hours ago, Azrael Rand said:

 

I think today's environment is proof that "proper systems" aren't a substitute to culture in guarding any system against moral decay.

The alternate hypothesis is that said society would be taken over by another collectivist group because the individualists have deluded themselves into thinking that in-group preference and tribalism are not inherent parts of human nature.

One thing I'd like to point out is that the current immigration law, which isn't a walk in the park by all means, is actually an IQ and cultural compatibility test even though it's not advertised as such.  If you don't come here illegally and rather choose to obey and submit yourself to rule of law then you are allowed entry. 

We are currently in an environment where real differences have become a cultural taboo, and because of it the narrative has shifted to granting access to the best and brightest foreigners to all foreigners.  If we're all equal, then it can be argued, current immigration law is just arbitrary and racist.  If we can't talk about race, IQ, tribalism, etc because we may offend someone then we have no means to prevent something good from becoming a third world *hole.  Have I made my case clear enough yet?

Remember what I said before about the left holding you to your standard in effect using you and your belief system to achieve their goals for them?

2

Azrael Rand,

I'd caution against any intrinsicist ideas about IQ, the *capacity*, not the content and action of intelligence, being the measure of the man. Briefly, by trying to beat 'em, you could be joining them. In effect, the Left (in the USA and in Europe) are proclaiming: "Open immigration - good; all immigrants - good; AND we have such good feelings about ourselves, while publicly displaying our good for others to see". Well, that's a characteristic of the altruist left all over! Especially when they are free to demonstrate their 'good' and don't have to pay for the reality -- i.e., it comes at others' sacrifice.

Good - for whom and for what purpose?

Just as they, you can be making a collectivist-intrinsicist error, in thinking that high intelligence automatically makes for rationality. Iow, that highly intelligent people are objectively good. I don't think it follows, they can often be ideologically suspect and are more influential upon others because of their intellectual-looking arguments and sometimes their elevated educative positions. Nor are they necessarily 'good' in the area of having good character, often the reverse, in my experience, which is more important to one among people in a society, not so? I think so, anyway.

But more than that, it seems you are promoting an uber-class of those intelligent people. An "elite", in effect. Considering the toxicity that collectivism and tribalism in all their forms have brought (deriving one's identity and value - and others' identity and dis-value from the superficial 'group'), I think you are only adding another layer of collectivism, and the superiority of one more 'group'. The "elitism" today is largely a property also of the Left and their intellectuals, the 'higher' ground they have seized. In beating them, I believe Objectivists should be careful not to join them and compromise with them. 

Edited by whYNOT

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Nobel Laureate Dr. Watson was stripped of various honors for the same type of claims as being made in this thread recently.  https://news.sky.com/story/dna-pioneer-james-watson-stripped-of-honours-after-reckless-race-remarks-11606108

I'm glad in a thread about "open" Objectivism that Azrael self-stripped himself of terming himself an Objectivist for the same/similar beliefs that are anti-Objectivist and now calls himself a Utilitarian of some flavor which fits. 

From the Lexicon:

 
Quote
“The greatest good for the greatest number” is one of the most vicious slogans ever foisted on humanity.

This slogan has no concrete, specific meaning. There is no way to interpret it benevolently, but a great many ways in which it can be used to justify the most vicious actions.

What is the definition of “the good” in this slogan? None, except: whatever is good for the greatest number. Who, in any particular issue, decides what is good for the greatest number? Why, the greatest number.

If you consider this moral, you would have to approve of the following examples, which are exact applications of this slogan in practice: fifty-one percent of humanity enslaving the other forty-nine; nine hungry cannibals eating the tenth one; a lynching mob murdering a man whom they consider dangerous to the community.

There were seventy million Germans in Germany and six hundred thousand Jews. The greatest number (the Germans) supported the Nazi government which told them that their greatest good would be served by exterminating the smaller number (the Jews) and grabbing their property. This was the horror achieved in practice by a vicious slogan accepted in theory.

But, you might say, the majority in all these examples did not achieve any real good for itself either? No. It didn’t. Because “the good” is not determined by counting numbers and is not achieved by the sacrifice of anyone to anyone.  --“Textbook of Americanism,”
The Ayn Rand Column, 90

 

 
Sorry but Objectivism isn't "open" to racism, mob rule of majorities, rights violations, or sacrifice of any kind or under any circumstances. 
Edited by EC

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On 1/14/2019 at 2:03 AM, EC said:

Nobel Laureate Dr. Watson was stripped of various honors for the same type of claims as being made in this thread recently.  https://news.sky.com/story/dna-pioneer-james-watson-stripped-of-honours-after-reckless-race-remarks-11606108

On the one side, Watson failed to exhibit some basic humanity, by using his public status irresponsibly, to spout unfounded nonsense that demeans billions of people. On the other side stand the brutish savages who are too stupid and intellectually lazy to face him in open debate and prove him wrong instead of banishing him.

Oh yeah, and only one of the sides has the redeeming quality of having figured out the Double Helix (one of the great scientific discoveries of the 20th century).

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18 hours ago, Nicky said:

On the other side stand the brutish savages who are too stupid and intellectually lazy to face him in open debate and prove him wrong instead of banishing him.

While you are probably right to some degree, there is also very little to be gained from having such a debate or proving him wrong. This debate and proof has already happened countless times and in countless ways. Ignore and move on is a legitimate tactic versus things like this when people don't want waste precious time and energy arguing against something they know with certainty is wrong.

It's the same as not wanting to waste time arguing with flat-earthers or creationists. And you definitely don't want them to be able to use whatever legitimate credentials or accomplishments they happen to possess to push irrational, wrong, and/or evil ideas. It's possible for someone that has legitimate achievements to have gone off the deep end, like in this particular case. Personally, I don't think being the first to discover the double-helix of DNA is even very significant, it was a discovery that was going to be made because of technology. I'm holding this type of discovery apart from things that require the intuitional leap of a genius as in creating the General Theory of Relativity.

Edited by EC

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32 minutes ago, EC said:

While you are probably right to some degree, there is also very little to be gained from having such a debate.

This isn't some random guy off the street. This is one of the prominent geneticists alive. (Well he was, back when he first made these views known, over a decade ago. That's when he was ostracized ... now I don't think he's still of sound mind, these latest headlines are just the result of unscrupulous journalists taking advantage of a seriously ill 90 year old man.)

Point is, when politicians, journalists and academics who don't possess that standing in the world of science dismiss him, that's not an effective strategy. If someone of higher status is wrong, he must be challenged, not ignored. Ignoring such a person is what allows his words to stand. Only laymen who would take the word of the PC Police in that scenario are the leftist ideologues. Everyone else is going to be skeptical of the reflexive "that's racist, he must be banned" reaction, and very likely to entertain the ideas Watson is presenting, on some level. And, in the absence of any argument against it, rightfully so. Rational people don't dismiss a controversial idea because someone's "various honors" were taken away by some college administrator.

As evidenced by this thread. These views are becoming popular because they were left unchallenged. I suggest checking out the movie Denial for a blueprint on how someone who gains any kind of status, and is presenting flawed or evil ideas, should be dealt with in a free society (or read the book it's based on, if you prefer...but the movie did a good job too).

If you think James Watson has been discredited in these views because mainstream politicians, journalists and academics ostracized him from public life, think again. That's not how this works.

Edited by Nicky

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6 hours ago, Nicky said:

This isn't some random guy off the street. This is one of the prominent geneticists alive. (Well he was, back when he first made these views known, over a decade ago. That's when he was ostracized ... now I don't think he's still of sound mind, these latest headlines are just the result of unscrupulous journalists taking advantage of a seriously ill 90 year old man.)

Point is, when politicians, journalists and academics who don't possess that standing in the world of science dismiss him, that's not an effective strategy. If someone of higher status is wrong, he must be challenged, not ignored. Ignoring such a person is what allows his words to stand. Only laymen who would take the word of the PC Police in that scenario are the leftist ideologues. Everyone else is going to be skeptical of the reflexive "that's racist, he must be banned" reaction, and very likely to entertain the ideas Watson is presenting, on some level. And, in the absence of any argument against it, rightfully so. Rational people don't dismiss a controversial idea because someone's "various honors" were taken away by some college administrator.

As evidenced by this thread. These views are becoming popular because they were left unchallenged. I suggest checking out the movie Denial for a blueprint on how someone who gains any kind of status, and is presenting flawed or evil ideas, should be dealt with in a free society (or read the book it's based on, if you prefer...but the movie did a good job too).

If you think James Watson has been discredited in these views because mainstream politicians, journalists and academics ostracized him from public life, think again. That's not how this works.

This is quite right, I think Watson has been treated terribly unjustly. There are settled facts about the correlation of IQ to race, he simply made a factual statement. Another researcher I heard just now, recently concluded, "IQ is about 80% genetic by the late teens". This can't be wished away.

The question is what does one DO about it? Obviously, like any reality, accept the facts and move on. True to form, the "PC police" who'd want everyone equalized, collectivized and unoffended. It's they who do the real damage to humans and races.

We all can see the multitude of differences from one person to the next, (skills, interests, virtues, knowledge, energy, application, convictions, etc.etc.) culminating in the big and small choices he/she makes. And following those with the appropriate acts, all of this transcends innate brain intelligence, IQ, to a great degree - I would imagine. One's range and depth of created concepts, inductions and abstractions would be limited by one's IQ capacity, but O'ist epistemology begins simply at sense-percepts and extends and builds hierarchically, as far as one can take them. As long as one adheres to reality and the efficacy/independence of his mind. (Which would place a lowish-IQ individual who so applied himself, on a *much* higher level, rationally and morally than, say, a Humean, philosophic skeptic with a very high IQ, I believe).

Edited by whYNOT

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1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

This is quite right, I think Watson has been treated terribly unjustly. There are settled facts about the correlation of IQ to race, he simply made a factual statement. Another researcher I heard just now, recently concluded, "IQ is about 80% genetic by the late teens". This can't be wished away. 

That second statement doesn't confirm Watson's claim that IQ differences between whites and blacks are genetic, it contradicts it. If IQ is 80% genetic, then, clearly, the other 20% is environmental and cultural (cultural in the sense that it's culturally biased, not in the sense that the person grew up in a shitty culture...growing up in a shitty culture is an environmental factor). And since the (few, not all that reliable) IQ comparisons between Africans and Europeans claim about a 20% difference, there you go: that's due the environmental part and any potential cultural biases built into the tests. It's not like Psychology is a 100% objective science, that will produce a flawless test for objectively measuring intelligence across every culture and society. (and, frankly, this is all it would've taken to discredit Watson's statements: point out to him that any statement build on IQ tests is built on sand, not solid ground; I doubt he would've had much of a reply to that).

So the 80/20 split (for the little it is worth, because the whole concept of IQ is worth very little) fully contradicts Watson: if environmental and cultural factors account for 20% of the IQ score, then Africans who live in terrible conditions, and are about as culturally different from the West (where the IQ test was developed) as humanly possible, are bound to have 20% lower score, even if their genetics doesn't differ, in any relevant way, from that of whites or Asians.

P.S. The reason why I'm leaving free will out of this post is because I'm fairly confident this unnamed researcher didn't figure out a way to quantify it. So that's probably not included as a factor, in that other 20%. I'm assuming he just means IQ is split 80/20 between genetic and environmental factors, and he never even considered free will. Might not even believe in it. I of course don't believe that a person's intellect has to be the sum of his genetics and environment. I think it often is, but sometimes it's not. Not sure how much of a factor these outliers play in influencing the overall average though (especially since, if you're an intellectual outlier in a hellhole like Africa, your first order of business is gonna be to leave).

Edited by Nicky

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15 hours ago, Nicky said:

 

P.S. The reason why I'm leaving free will out of this post is because I'm fairly confident this unnamed researcher didn't figure out a way to quantify it. So that's probably not included as a factor, in that other 20%. I'm assuming he just means IQ is split 80/20 between genetic and environmental factors, and he never even considered free will. Might not even believe in it. I of course don't believe that a person's intellect has to be the sum of his genetics and environment. I think it often is, but sometimes it's not. Not sure how much of a factor these outliers play in influencing the overall average though (especially since, if you're an intellectual outlier in a hellhole like Africa, your first order of business is gonna be to leave).

2

I don't think anything is 100% 'nature' - nor 100% 'nurture. Which does not detract from the many findings about IQ and ethnicity, conducted assiduously by many researchers who have repetitively studied this for a long time. I am surprised only that there is any doubt about their findings here. I looked at some depth into IQ studies years ago, and found the lengths the impartial validation of test procedures went to, to be completely convincing, but don't really want to go back there and argue the facts, again now. 

Outside the nature-nurture false dichotomy, from the far-reaching point of view of the IQ topic  (wrt "free will", in this philosophy) I am however most interested in a debate with you and all here.

Well-known (by Objectivists): man is "a being of volitional consciousness", and not merely 'known' in theory, but observed, experienced, introspected and induced - independently, by each O'ist. I hope not to be viewed as preaching to the choir, but this needs re-emphasizing often. Understanding the principle, one can then see that *everything* important in the lives of men stems from that principle. In the lives of non-O'ists, just as much. Followed logically, the function of men's free will, sorts out, puts into perspective, removes any stigma, and places in its relatively minor position, the entire debate/controversy surrounding the subject "IQ". 

btw, the IQ researchers, as you point out, would not or could not relate their findings to free will. Maybe also, it is not within their field to attempt that. Empirical science can and often does inform a philosophy and the thinkers, but ultimately an objective philosophy is the base of science, not the reverse.

I think this all comes down to, IQ is neither *the* determining factor in a man's total life, rationality, survival and happiness - but nor also is the topic to be avoided nor censored from thought and honest discussion because the inferences or conclusions may be uncomfortable. When avoided, we abscond to the PC authorities their power to shut down speech, penalize and condemn innocent people for bigotry. The PC police who in action show themselves to be outright determinists and philosophical skeptics, and are clearly collectivists trying to erase individual differences in the name of egalitarianism, (etc.) -- thereby, uplifting and encouraging racism and 'group judgement' or prejudice!

Basic fact, the capacity for intelligence varies, but intelligence is owned by all, (except by the small number one has to sympathize for, with defects from birth or other brain damage). IQ, like everything biological in animals and the rational animal, has to have emerged from somewhere and something - i.e., our parents' and forefathers' DNA. Like the range of ~inessential~ attributes which one may superficially apply to mankind - physicality, gender, size, color, features (etc.), they have to be considered "metaphysically given". These attributes, like IQ and brain size, aren't one's own making to be given credit for, nor to hold against and criticize in an individual. Literally, "you didn't build that". What one DOES with what one has, the self-made, needs to be exclusively prominent, for oneself and in justice to other people.  

Finally, that there is a racial, ethnic component to IQ shouldn't be surprising for anyone, when viewed amongst all the other physical properties which individuals of different races inherit. 

And after all, so what? How often does this make an impact on one's life?Does it bother one in the least that there are xyz millions of individuals with a higher IQ to oneself, existing? That some are of a genius level (and some, conceptualists, too) - e.g. Ayn Rand. Or, a brilliant scientist? Such persons directly/indirectly benefit mankind and oneself (while not from their duty and utility...) and may be celebrated in their own right. Equally, what does it matter that there are probably many more with a lesser IQ? Each goes where his abilities and purpose lead him. In anything approaching a free society, everyone can fully function with purpose and deal with others. Primarily, life is not an IQ contest.

Edited by whYNOT

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57 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

I don't think anything is 100% 'nature' - nor 100% 'nurture. Which does not detract from the many findings about IQ and ethnicity, conducted assiduously by many researchers who have repetitively studied this for a long time. I am surprised only that there is any doubt about their findings here.

By all means, dispel the doubt, by citing the studies and the findings. Only one I know about is Richard Lynn, who did a terrible job guessing national IQs from low sample sizes, non-uniform tests and conjecture, and then wrote a book that interpreted the results poorly (and that's a charitable choice of words).

More importantly, once again: science has a poor understanding of what intellect even is. That's why it's such a struggle to create artificial intelligence: we don't really know how it works. So the notion that they have a test that quantifies intellect is ridiculous. The first thing you need, to measure something, is know how it works.

Just to be clear: is it your position that IQ tests accurately quantify a person's intellect? Do you agree with all the assumptions the people who devised the tests made?

Edited by Nicky

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