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5 hours ago, merjet said:

Thanks. I ordered the book from Amazon and expect delivery in 3 days. I will try to put any comments I have upon reading it in the Math and Reality thread. 

Well now... that was fast... and without even a glowing review from me.

 

Have you read any of the following by Tara Smith?

 

Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: the Virtuous Egoist

Viable Values: A Study of Life as the Root and Reward of Morality

 

They are as good, if not better, than anything from anyone who has written on Objectivism. 

IMHO she is an extraordinary thinker and communicator.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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21 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

I'm not asking anyone to accept my view without doing their own due diligence. Did I miss something?

Only that I was referring to Tew's views, not yours. The people that listen to Tew have to judge Tew's claims for themselves.

To judge your views about if Tew's views are or are not in accordance with Rand's views only adds an additional layer of complexity.

Is there something else being missed here?

 

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30 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

To judge your views about if Tew's views are or are not in accordance with Rand's views only adds an additional layer of complexity.

Is there something else being missed here?

Tew actually doesn't talk much about Rand's views in these particular videos. I address his own arguments. Besides, in Part 2 where he does relate his moral views to Rand's, he admits that she'd condemn him. So readers don't have to judge my view there. They have to judge Tew's.

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In response to Tew's criticism of him, Rucka made a comment on YouTube.

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Tew had claimed that Rucka defended Charles' harshness "on the grounds that spreading Objectivism doesn't matter that much." Rucka, however, denies saying this, which, if true, fatally undercuts Tew's argument. Without evidence, Tew's accusation is arbitrary. Furthermore, he fails to mention the issue in a follow-up video, so perhaps he has conceded the point.

Rucka also accuses Tew of "unbelievable cowardice" for "unload[ing] without [him] there to defend [himself]." This is the only part of Rucka's response that Tew directly acknowledges. However, he doesn't start doing it until thirteen minutes into the video called "Updates."

He says: "if you took what [Rucka] said at face value...you would not have guessed that I notified him in advance of putting either of those last two podcasts up, and that he approved of my doing so." This claim is at least half-absurd. Why wouldn't we have guessed that he gave Rucka advanced notice, when he told us he would do exactly that in the video on which Rucka commented? Regarding the second half, Tew suggests that Rucka calls him cowardly for doing something of which Rucka approved in a prior email exchange. However, note that Rucka calls him a coward for "unloading" without Rucka being present, not for merely posting a "critical" video like he said he would. Rucka indicates his problem with the degree or kind of criticism, which he believes warranted a face-to-face chat. And, furthermore, since he had not seen Tew's video beforehand, he could not know or approve its highly estranging content. Besides, what control does Rucka have over Tew's actions? Should Rucka have begged for a one-on-one discussion, even after Tew had rejected that request in the emails?

Tew says that he "gives people the benefit of the doubt. I assume good things about people until I am proven wrong. And I think that's valid." Yet here he could not see a possibility in which Rucka spoke earnestly. "In my view, that response is conclusive evidence, proof, that Rucka is a fundamentally dishonest person." Tew also declares Rucka "irredeemable" and "worthless," apparently on account of the "cowardice" remark alone. For, up until that point, he still expected to speak with Rucka about him creating "nihilistic filth," not caring about the spread of Objectivism, and acting "worse than an enemy." But then after the comment was made, he wanted to have nothing to do with the guy.

It is curious that Tew could not identify a supposedly "essentially dishonest" person over the course of many multi-hour interactions, until, of course, Rucka called him yellow. Perhaps Tew doesn't understand people, or maybe Rucka is a phenomenal liar. I suspect that the former is more likely.

Tew uses his judgment to justify ignoring Rucka's other responses. "I don't care about, or pay attention to, fundamentally dishonest people. So I haven't looked at anything else he said on the issue past that comment." First of all, if he doesn't pay attention to his opponents, honest or not, then he blindly exposes himself to their attacks. It's not a rational policy to evade what people publish about you, even if you intend not to respond. You should at least determine whether an attack poses a real threat to your person or reputation, which you can't do without looking at it. And second, if Tew insists on appealing to his personal judgment of Rucka, without giving us adequate evidence for his conclusion, then we might want to gauge the reliability of his judgments. So let's do a bit more of that now.

When Tew needs to explain his initially high regard for Rucka, he claims that Rucka "deceptively presents himself as very reasonable. That is the overwhelming vibe, feeling, you get from him. He's just very measured in his mannerisms, and his tone, and his speech. And so you get the impression of somebody who is supremely reasonable and willing to talk things through." However, when Tew needs to justify his current, very negative evaluation, suddenly Rucka becomes a mixed-up "hothead": "Now, it didn't take long, in fact this was obvious in our first conversation that this was, to some extent, an affectation, because he almost immediately revealed that he was highly irrational and emotionalistic in the short-term." We're given a tale of two Ruckas, depending on the needs of Tew's different points. In one breath Rucka is "supremely reasonable" and "measured in manner and speech," but in the next breath he's "obviously irrational" and "emotionalistic."

How does Tew explain his contradictory assessments? Well, he must have been hoodwinked by a dishonest nihilist. "Even though [Rucka] was irrational, hotheaded in the short-term, in the long-term he seemed to be rational. But, eventually, I realized that that too was insignificant. It was superficial and also an act, because, yes, he calms down, but not in a way that he ever learns from what he did." Tew perhaps forgets that earlier he argued for Rucka's "deceptively reasonable vibe" and "measured mannerisms, tone, and speech." Those are not long-term qualities of an individual. So not only do we have two Ruckas, we have them at the same time: in the moment, in the short-term. Tew doesn't make sense. And it's unfair for him to condemn someone while providing such a wildly inconsistent description of their character.

I conclude that Tew greatly exaggerates Rucka's alleged flaws in order to maintain the delusion that he's "worthless." Basically, Tew has built a straw Rucka in order to avoid facing the real Rucka.

After discussing Rucka, Tew starts talking about himself, about his own psychological issues which might have caused audience members some confusion. "I'm not critical to a fault, I'm generous with my praise to a fault, because I am desperate to find good people. I blow out of proportion anybody's good attributes, because I really want there to be good people." Perhaps he's being sincere, but this attitude doesn't match with his admitted disinterest in sanctioning evil. Recall that, for him, sanction is about finding good people. But "[his] kind of people don't exist, so it's hard for [him] to care very much about sanction." So, if good people don't exist, why then does he desperately seek them? And, on the other hand, if they do exist, why doesn't he care about sanctioning evil? I question whether he actually wants to help people get better by offering objective criticism. He seems more interested in dreaming good people into existence through the power of undue praise. "I do overemphasize people's good qualities early on. I did this with Ben Shapiro, [and] with Jordan Peterson."

In his videos, Tew periodically compares himself to characters in Ayn Rand's novels. While pondering his pessimism, he says he's like Dominique Francon. While thinking about his tolerance of evil, he's like Gail Wynand. And while explaining his drinking, he describes himself as most like Leo Kovalensky. I can think of another potential match: Ellsworth Toohey.

Toohey also has a penchant for "praising to a fault." But he doesn't do it hoping to find good people. He does it hoping to hurt them. He overly praises Peter Keating, to ruin Howard Roark. Toohey represents an actual nihilist. From Journals of Ayn Rand (p.193): "It would be Toohey who'd find philosophical significance in Donald Duck. Why? It's not Donald Duck that he's boosting. It's philosophy that he's destroying."

Similarly, it would be Toohey who'd find a model Objectivist in Rucka Rucka Ali. Why? It's not Rucka Rucka Ali that he's boosting. It's Objectivism that he's destroying.

The nihilist aims to crush values, and thereby gain crushed followers. "Toohey is out to destroy and discredit--philosophically and practically--all happiness. Unhappy people look for a yoke--and they come to him." (Journals, p. 210)

Charles Tew says that his particular flaw, "praising to a fault," is "a common mistake with better Objectivists." I say, no, it's a common fault among anti-Objectivists, and I think Tew realizes this. Notice here how he catches part of his self-deception (at 27:10-40): "Because [better Objectivists] want to find good things in the world, they'll overstate its value, not in an attempt to deceive anyone, but, well, except for themselves really." Is this Tew admitting his self-deception? If so, why put his audience through all that nonsense about being honest and objective? "Some people are saying that I was being dishonest and misleading people, but that is not the case." Actually, it sort of is, according to his own statement.

So, which is it: is Tew deceiving himself or being honest? Maybe he's lying to himself and telling the truth to everyone else, but I don't see how that would work. And I'm about done entertaining his nonsense.

Throughout this critique, I have been, in an indirect way, charitable to Mr. Tew. I have left out several "uhs" and "ums" from his quotes that I transcribed. But in this final quote I need to include them all, in order to convey his evasive mental action after recognizing his self-deceptive method of moral judgment. Note how many filler words he cycles through before latching onto a concept that is not self-deception. "And, uh, so, you know, it's a kind of understandable, uh, irrationality, but it is still irrationality. It is a form of emotionalism, and therefore evasion, and therefore immorality." Yes, he spits up several words there, but not dishonesty, because that would put him in the same category as Rucka. He would then need to explain how Rucka is "essentially dishonest," while he is not, despite the revelation that his immorality begins with deceiving his own self.

Edited by MisterSwig

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1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

Toohey also has a penchant for "praising to a fault." But he doesn't do it hoping to find good people. He does it hoping to hurt them. He overly praises Peter Keating, to ruin Howard Roark.

This is an interesting connection. I doubt it is done quite directly. Sort of like "let me show you what it's like to have hopes in life and have them destroyed by someone", but only implicit. When someone struggles to find meaning in their own life (even if they abstractly know what the meaning should be), they might attach meaning onto someone else. Then imagine that being worse when it is accompanied by self-hatred like the kind of depression that Tew described about himself. But then when the darkness and hopelessness of reality becomes apparent again like it was for themselves originally, the same pessimism and self-hatred would be directed to someone else.

This is even an interesting case study about psychological health as related to one's philosophical views. We have Tew expressing his own thought processes so we don't you to make assumptions about what he thinks. We have some evidence of symptoms of depression, and some evidence of alcohol abuse (confusing rationalizations, outright denial of wrongdoing, sabotaging stable and healthy social relationships).

 

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On 7/13/2019 at 2:35 PM, MisterSwig said:

Finally, Tew wants us to believe that swearing is obviously nihilistic. "Every child knows what's wrong with swearing." If that's true, then why couldn't he utter this basic fact to Rucka when asked about it online? Does drinking, or live-streaming, reduce his mental agility below the level of a child?

Yeah. He's perfectly comfortable calling it self-evidently evil when he's just talking to his audience, but when one of his buddies asks "why" he just can't give a reason (probably because there never was one).

 

I, for one, have taught MY child that being afraid of a word is much more dangerous than any fucking amount of obscenities could ever be. And I'm drinking right now, to boot.

 

I can't stand Charles Tew. He uses all the right principles as convenient buzzwords and seems incapable of actually applying a single one.

 

He's an O'Poser.

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On 7/14/2019 at 7:26 AM, MisterSwig said:

I have a deep interest in the health of the Objectivist movement.

Ditto. So much so that I made a public thread about it and then left this forum for a year or two when I doubted the validity of the views I was posting. And thank God someone else thought to call Tew out for me in the interim! ;)

 

I really like Rucka. He certainly isn't a "model Objectivist" (hah!) but his heart's in the right place.

I distinctly remember watching a conversation between the two of them in which Rucka suggested that Tew should sign up for Toastmasters (because "carpe diem, man"). Tew shut the whole idea down because the world is basically "tew evil" for good people like him to have fun.

That does not seem like a rational attitude to me. In fact, I don't think that anyone who feels that way should talk to anyone whatsoever about Objectivism.

 

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