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Yes, Spillane was not particularly philosophic (which is obvious in that clip you provided), and it is too bad that he became somewhat religious. And I don't think someone can be that way these days out of honesty; not past the age of 25-45.

Should it by my understanding that you believe Spillane was dishonest? Or do you believe that your judgment only applies to people of "these days" (i.e. since Spillane's death in 2001) who are "that way"?

However, the point I was making about his fictional characters is that there is no shred of a religious stance in any of his main characters, including his last novel, Something's Down There. His novels were strictly secular, which means he led a bifurcated life, which is not good. If he would have taken more of a clue from his own characters, I don't think he would have become religious -- they didn't need it, and neither did he.

So, you obviously believe he had no excuse to be religious (what was "available to him" was his own novels and Rand's novels). So, I don't understand why you don't seem willing to follow this up with the logical conclusion according to your premises: he was a dishonest man.

[Do you think there's a big problem when your evaluation of a man apparently contradicts Ayn Rand's evaluation of that same (non-fictional) man?]

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[Do you think there's a big problem when your evaluation of a man apparently contradicts Ayn Rand's evaluation of that same (non-fictional) man?]

No, because I don't know when Spillane became religious. Miss Rand died in 1982 and Spillane died nearly twenty years later. And that quote you came up with (from where?) was after Miss Rand's death, so she may not have been aware of his religious stance. And Miss Rand didn't say much about Spillane after he brought back Mike Hammer, which she was enthusiastic about.

Turning to religion is bad, because it is anti-reason. However, Spillane's professional work was obviously secular. One has to be given credit for not proselytizing a bad position, even if one held it personally.

Was Spillane dishonest for having that religious stance? Well, he wasn't as honest as his main characters who never turned to religion. But that was a small quote and it didn't give much context. In other words, I don't know if he simply threw things past a certain level of conception (i.e. metaphysics) into the "God bin" like a DIM Misintegrated 1 type person, or if he was more serious about it in his personal life. Judging from his professional work, he didn't advocate "living the religious life" -- i.e. giving up on the actual values of this earth. There are different levels of being religious, and if he was really serious about his religion then he would have advocated it in his professional work, which he didn't do.

He didn't come across as Mother Teresa, that's for sure. She would be a DIM Misintegrated 2 type of person.

So, for Spillane, I would say he was more honest when working than in his personal life; and therefore wasn't as integrated as he should have been -- based on his own professional standards as a fiction writer (keeping in mind that an artist presents the world as it might be and ought to be).

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No, because I don't know when Spillane became religious. Miss Rand died in 1982 and Spillane died nearly twenty years later. And that quote you came up with (from where?) was after Miss Rand's death, so she may not have been aware of his religious stance.

He became Jehovah's Witness in the early 1950's. Miss Rand certainly knew about his public religious conversion, something he openly and quite zealously talked about. [You can find "the quote I came up with" by just googling any exact phrase from that passage; that's a valuable tip I should charge you for! ;) ].

Turning to religion is bad, because it is anti-reason. However, Spillane's professional work was obviously secular.

The question is how do you judge Spillane as a person. It's interesting that you - the one who believes that because the "virtues are integrated," having one vice is having NO virtue - are the one who is now compartmentalising Spillane's life so that you can show that he was not all that bad!

Was Spillane dishonest for having that religious stance? Well, he wasn't as honest as his main characters who never turned to religion.

You seem to be quite addicted to discussing fictional characters, no matter what, but anyway, I'll just address your point.

You say "he wasn't as honest as his main characters..." This is the closest you've come to just giving your moral evaluation of Spillane and it's good you've said this.

Saying someone "is not as honest as ..." implies the existence of dishonesty in the person. If I say to you, "Mr. Miovas, you're not as honest as you should be (or as Mr.X)", it means I have some evidence of your dishonesty.

So, if you accept this logic, then you have just called Mickey Spillane dishonest, yes? Taking your interpretation or understanding of the "integration of virtues", this means you believe that Spillane - the good (personal) friend of the great Miss Ayn Rand - was also irrational, unproductive, etc: he was an immoral man.

Do you accept this position before we proceed?

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So, if you accept this logic, then you have just called Mickey Spillane dishonest, yes? Taking your interpretation or understanding of the "integration of virtues", this means you believe that Spillane - the good (personal) friend of the great Miss Ayn Rand - was also irrational, unproductive, etc: he was an immoral man.

You are being rationalistic. Spillane's projection of the world as it might be and ought to be -- especially his Mike Hammer mysteries -- shows that he wasn't all that religious. He certainly wasn't as religious as Victor Hugo or, say, Michelangelo. A rational artist is very important, and I'm sure that is why Miss Rand was friends with Spillane.

Virtue is one, and being irrational in one aspect of one's life means that one is not as virtuous as one could be. I would certainly not say that just because someone is religious that they are immoral across the board. They could be compartmentalized, which is not good, but by itself it is not evil. It's a lack of integrity for the entirety of their lives, but one would not necessarily condemn them for being that way. Being virtuous in one area of one's life (say professionally) is a lot better than not being virtuous at all.

For example, Michelangelo's David was magnificent, even though it is based on a Bible story. That one can be heroic and stand up against an enemy without God is probably something Michelangelo would have disagreed with; but the David is still inspiring even to fully rational men.

For many people, especially without there being a rational philosophy generally in our culture, "being religious" in the sense of believing in God and going to church, but otherwise living a fairly rational life, is just their way of expressing the consistency of existence and that things make sense. It is mistaken, but I wouldn't say it is evil. In other words, "having God in one's life" by itself, most certainly does not make these people as morally black as they come. A great many of them simply don't know any better -- i.e. they haven't discovered a rational philosophy, such as Objectivism. To the extent that they have come across Objectivism and reject it because it has no place for God, then they start to become bad and possibly evasive, which is immoral.

So, my assessment of Spillane was that he was gravely mistaken to be somewhat religious, but that his fictional work is most definitely something to be admired. By contrast, I don't think Mother Teresa ever did anything productive or inspiring with her life, she just wasted it away. And I would most certainly not put Spillane, Hugo, and Michelangelo in the same category as Mother Teresa. Those artists were productive, but mistaken; and they may have been compartmentalized, which I would say is a sin, but it doesn't make them evil.

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You are being rationalistic.

rationalistic?

That sounds like an insult, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt because you haven't sounded like you want to go in that direction so far.

Which part of my argument is "rationalistic"?

You said Spillane is not as honest as the characters in his book.

When you say "X is not as honest as Y", then X is dishonest, not so?

So, when you say Spillane (X) was not as honest as [Y]" then Spillane was dishonest, not so?

Could you please show me which part of this is "rationalistic"?

If not this part, then which?

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I said: You are being rationalistic.

You have been doing fine sticking to your argument, but as BD points out, this is not necessary.

It wasn't intended to be an insult, but let me explain my point.

The point is that when evaluating another person one has to take into account everything one knows about a person. If all I knew about Spillane was that one quote that Blackdiamond provided, my evaluation would be different than knowing that he wrote the Mike Hammer mysteries. If all I knew about Victor Hugo was that he advocated socialism and was religious, my evaluation would be different than knowing that he wrote the novels that he wrote. If all I knew about Michelangelo was that he was profoundly religious, my evaluation of him would be different than knowing that he created the David and painted the Sistine Chapel and other great works.

People have to be evaluated in the context of what they do with their lives, how consistently rational they are, if they are bifurcated or have integrity, etc. A religious stance per se, meaning following faith instead of reason, is not good precisely because it cannot be practiced consistently; and if someone breaks this code and is rational to a large extent in their professional work, then they have to be evaluated as being good along those lines, and not condemned because they have some mistaken views that contradict the implied or explicit rationality of these works.

It would be rationalistic to condemn them because they were religious in this context. That's all I meant.

No, they don't have the integrity that is possible to a fully rational man; but this does not mean that they are evil and must be condemned.

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I said: You are being rationalistic.

It wasn't intended to be an insult, but let me explain my point...

It would be rationalistic to condemn them because they were religious in this context. That's all I meant.

Perhaps you haven't fully followed my argument then. Why would you accuse me of being rationalistic if by this you mean "to condemn them"? At which point have I condemned any of these men? Hasn't my point been exactly the opposite (that these were good and honest men, and yet they should be condemned IF we take YOUR theory to its logical conclusions)?

And your theory (argument) is this:

1. The virtues are integrated.

2. (Therefore) If a person is dishonest, then he is not productive, he is not rational, he is not ...

3. A person cannot be called honest if there is an area or point in which he is DISHONEST (because "you can't be rational and irrational"). [such a person is therefore not productive, not rational, etc. because of 1.]

If I have misrepresented your theory, please point that out, and point out where.

If you have changed any part of your theory since this discussion started, I would also like to take note of that.

And if I have represented your theory correctly, then, as my last post shows, you have called Spillane dishonest.

Putting this into your theory above, Spillane was also irrational, unproductive, etc. If not, then you have to re-explain what your "integration" of virtues means (remember you protested my use of scare quotes on that word?), and how your whole argument has been misrepresented.

Why don't you just address this directly so that I know where I've misunderstood you? Repeating your concrete points on how Spillane was not as religious as Mister X or as bad as Mother Y does NOTHING to correct the apparent contradiction. You are focusing on concretes when they are not (apparently) fitting into your stated principles and this is not helping the discussion. In short, everything you are saying about Hugo and Michaelangelo and so on I already agree with (no matter how many times you repeat it), I just don't see how it supports your theory (principle) above, so you should focus on that and that alone.

Thanks.

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If I have misrepresented your theory, please point that out, and point out where.

The contradiction is not in the Objectivist theory of ethics, nor in its applications, but rather in the people who are not consistently rational. Evaluating them is not problematic because of this, however, because the Objectivist theory of ethics condemns the irrational aspects of their character. It is not good for someone to be religious, in both theory and practice. It is not good for them to be that way. Their religiosity makes them less of a rational man than they could be otherwise; and that has to be part of their evaluation qua individual.

Being religious, to some degree, does not wipe out the extent to which they are virtuous by a rational standard, to some degree. They are compartmentalized, and one has to praise the rational part and condemn the irrational part. It is only when their religion takes over their character that one would condemn the entire man. I can't say that about Michelangelo, Hugo, and Spillane.

And there is no sense in having a theory in which one does not discuss particular applications. Miss Rand was far more virtuous than Aquinas, because there is no remnant of the irrational in her philosophy. One can understand his position, in the historic context of being born in the Dark Ages. But one has to praise him very highly for being as rational as he was, while condemning the irrational aspects of his philosophy; but Miss Rand deserves much more praise because she was much more consistently rational.

Frankly, I don't understand what you don't understand about this; especially since I have explained my position numerous times with numerous examples. People who are religious are not as integrated as those who are fully rational; which means they are not as productive, just, honest, etc. that they could be without the religion. To the extent that they are religious and therefore irrational, to that extent they will not have the full-fledged rational virtues in their character.

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Frankly, I don't understand what you don't understand about this; especially since I have explained my position numerous times with numerous examples. People who are religious are not as integrated as those who are fully rational; which means they are not as productive, just, honest, etc. that they could be without the religion. To the extent that they are religious and therefore irrational, to that extent they will not have the full-fledged rational virtues in their character.

Frankly I don't understand why you are not commenting on the logical limplications of your stated principle; why you are not just answering my question directly.

Spillane was a dishonest man, yes or no? I am not asking whether he was as rational as Rand or as religious as whoever, fictional or real. I just want to know if you believe he was a dishonest man (since he was religious, before and after he read Rand's novels). Your statement above - "not as honest as" - implies that he was dishonest, but you said I was "being rationalist" when I pointed that out, so I still don't know if this is your position.

Are you able to just answer that question directly? Was Spillane dishonest? A 'yes' or 'no' answer will suffice, although I don't mind an expansion on that; a comparative answer (with Michelangelo, Theresa, Rand, Hammer, Christian Conservatives, Hugo, etc) is NOT what I'm asking for. If you can't answer it directly, please state why.

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Perhaps putting this as a multiple-choice question will help. Is your position on Spillane that:

a. He was dishonest in that one area, but can still be judged as an honest man [because that "area" was not dominant over the honest part of him].

b. He was dishonest, period.[because a man can not be both 'honest' and 'dishonest' since "a is a" and "the virtues are integrated", etc].

c. Both a and b.

d. Neither a nor b.

Edited by blackdiamond

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Frankly I don't understand why you are not commenting on the logical implications of your stated principle; why you are not just answering my question directly.

I have answered your question multiple times in multiple ways, replete with examples which you are rejecting.

The fault of the non-understanding is not with me.

The principles of Objectivism must be applied according to the facts available regarding the character of a person.

Spillane as a man could have been more integrated, but his creation of Mike Hammer shows that he was integrated qua artist, and that is very important.

I think the problem you are having is that you don't understand art and the crucial importance of art in man's life.

Had he written a novel in which Mike Hammer "found religion" in order to become a better man, my evaluation of Spillane would be different. He even wrote one of the Mike Hammer mysteries when Mike was down and out, but he didn't turn to religion to bring himself back. That is virtuous, both for Mike Hammer and for Mickey Spillane who created him.

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For those reading this thread who might be confused by what is going on, let me summarise the discussion with Mr. Miovas.

Mr. Miovas' position is that the virtues of Objectivism are integrated such that one person can not be moral in one area and immoral in another area (that is to have one virtue and not another). My position is that it is possible to be moral in one area and immoral in another (e.g. to be productive at work but unjust with your daughters, etc).

How did this come about?

I claimed that someone can be honest even if they are motivated by something that's not necessarily right, eg religion.

Mr. Miovas said a person can not be religious and honest.

I brought up Victor Hugo as a person who was religious and honest.

Mr. Miovas says Hugo only used God as a conception of the ideal man [which is partly true, of course] and this is why his heroes were not altruistic, etc.

I said according to Les Miserables, Hugo also believed in God as God [a real being], and his heroes were indeed altruistic.

Mr. Miovas apparently admitted this by saying this explains why Hugo's heroes are killed in the end, and why there's no real sexual pleasure in his novels, etc.

But Mr. Miovas still had to reconcile this with his premise that one can not be religious and honest since Miss Rand obviously thought Hugo was honest. So, he introduces another term: "mistaken".

He says Hugo was MISTAKEN rather than dishonest;someone can be mistaken and honest, thus Hugo was "mistaken and productive". Hugo was merely mistaken because had not come across a better philosophy (a secular moral philosophy) and did not have the intellect to come up with such a rational philosophy; it had to take Ayn Rand many years later to come up with this rational philosophy.

Now he makes the claim: if someone does come across a rational philosophy and still continues to be religious, one is dishonest (not just mistaken).

So, I bring out Mickey Spillane. Someone who certainly came across Objectivist philosophy as he had read Rand's novels, by Mr. Miovas' own admission.

Mr. Miovas says firstly that Spillane "evidently" did not understand the philosophy in those novels. He was "not a philosophic person".

But then Mr. Miovas says Spillane was not as honest as his characters who did not become religious.

SO WE have a situation here:

Is Mr. Miovas saying Spillane was merely mistaken or he was dishonest? If he is saying he was dishonest, then this contradicts his earlier statement that you can not be dishonest in one area and virtuous in another.

At this point, Mr. Miovas seems to say both things about Spillane ("mistaken" and "dishonest"):

Was Spillane dishonest for having that religious stance? Well, he wasn't as honest as his main characters who never turned to religion. ...

So, for Spillane, I would say he was more honest when working than in his personal life...

In the above quote, Mr. Miovas is attaching Spillane's religiosity to a lack of virtue (a lack of total honesty).

But in the next quote, he detaches virtue from it and says he was just "mistaken" (like Hugo):

So, my assessment of Spillane was that he was gravely mistaken to be somewhat religious, but that his fictional work is most definitely something to be admired. By contrast, I don't think Mother Teresa ever did anything productive or inspiring with her life, she just wasted it away. And I would most certainly not put Spillane, Hugo, and Michelangelo in the same category as Mother Teresa. Those artists were productive, but mistaken...

So, in one breath Mr. Miovas is saying Spillane was just mistaken, but in another he is saying he was "not as honest as ..." or "more honest when working ..."

So, because of this contradiction, I asked Mr. Miovas to just tell me directly if he thinks Spillane was dishonest or not. But he says he has answered numerous times with numerous examples, and my "non-understanding" is not his fault!

To sum my summation,

For those who may be confused with this apparent evasiveness from Mr. Miovas, it is coming from this statement he made earlier, which is at the centre of this debate:

Virtue is one in Objectivism, and all the virtues are different focuses on the primary virtue of rationality; so, no, one cannot be irrational and honest, and one cannot be a dependent second-hander and be honest...

One could not have a dishonest person who is productive ...

So, if he says Spillane was dishonest, then he has to deny that he was productive (the man who wrote seven of the top ten bestselling novels of all time in his day - and he had written only seven books by then!). But if he says he was honest, then he has to reconcile that with this:

It is certainly possible for someone to be brought up with a way of thinking that can be difficult to break; especially if he doesn't have access to a better way of thinking (or has never been introduced to a better way of thinking). Many students of Objectivism started off with some sort of religious background, and I can tell you from personal experience that this is a difficult mental habit to break; but it can be done...

But the person who holds onto the "barriers" that you mention when they come across something more rational are being dishonest; provided they are in a culture that will not kill them outright or severely physically or psychologically punish them for becoming more rational. If one has the freedom to become rational, then there is no excuse not to become rational.

-emphasis mine.

In his last few posts, Mr. Miovas has even become confused about my position. He thinks I do not appreciate Spillane and do not consider him virtuous (because he was religious), which is why he is now telling me that I do not understand the importance of art, etc. This is after I already corrected his previous post in which he thought I was condemning Spillane ("being rationalistic") by telling him that my position is the exact opposite of what he was accusing me of!

Given this strange turn of events, I see no way that this discussion can continue rationally.

Edited by blackdiamond

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For those who may be confused with this apparent evasiveness from Mr. Miovas....Given this strange turn of events, I see no way that this discussion can continue rationally.

Evidently, it's OK for you to say that I am being evasive, but it's not OK for me to tell you that you are being rationalistic. Mmm. Fasinating....

Being evasive means that one is avoiding the facts or avoiding coming to a rational conclusion based on the facts; which is most certainly not what I am doing.

Take a look at the entire interview of Mickey Spillane available here:

http://www.crimetime.co.uk/interviews/mickeyspillane.html

And then tell me how religious he is. It isn't much. I mean he doesn't go around saying that his talent comes from God nor that it is on loan from God. He says that he did it and that he is proud of what he has done. He's also proud that he was able to socialize with a few people that he mentions, though he doesn't mention any religious figures. The only thing that bother me about the interview is that he does not mention having been friends with Ayn Rand -- in fact he doesn't mention her at all. That bothers me a lot more than him saying he believes that God is Everpresent.

In short, given the facts that I know about Mickey Spillane, he seems like a very down-to-earth individual who was reality oriented.

And there is a very big difference between reading Ayn Rand's fiction and enjoying the stories, and studying her philosophy to make it one's own. There are millions, literally millions!, of fans of Ayn Rand's fiction who don't know much about her philosophy. Those are not the ones I was referring to when I said there are those who have studied Miss Rand's philosophy to some degree, and then reject it because it has no place for God. Most of those people don't even know she had a philosophy -- to them, she was just a good fiction writer.

The ones who need to be condemned are the one's who have studied her philosophy enough to know what it is qua philosophy, and then reject it.

I don't see any indication that Mickey Spillane was one of these people. However, there have been a few of that type cropping up now and again over the years. And some of those are like Dagny Taggart coming into Galt's Gulch only to leave it because she isn't ready yet; while some are more like Dr. Robert Stadler, who know better about what they are doing and become extremely evasive -- i.e. evil.

If you have facts and reasoning to back up your accusation against my position, then out with them. Otherwise, as you say, a rational conversation on this topic cannot be had.

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Evidently, it's OK for you to say that I am being evasive, but it's not OK for me to tell you that you are being rationalistic. Mmm. Fasinating....

Where did I say you are being evasive? I said "APPARENT evasiveness". It appeared that way. And I gave the evidence to show why it appeared that way: I asked you the same question several times and you never answered it, even when I said a 'yes' or 'no' would suffice. You have refused to say if he was dishonest, preferring only to compare him to other people, even though your earlier statement suggested that you think he was dishonest.

Being evasive means that one is avoiding the facts or avoiding coming to a rational conclusion based on the facts...

Precisely.

Take a look at the entire interview of Mickey Spillane available here:

http://www.crimetime.co.uk/interviews/mickeyspillane.html

And then tell me how religious he is. It isn't much.

The issue is not HOW MUCH of religion he had, but whether he had religion. The issue is not HOW MUCH dishonesty he had, but whether he had dishonesty (by virtue of the fact that he had religion).

And as you said yourself, one quote (or one interview) is not enough to show everything he believed (which is why in this particular interview he did not mention Ayn Rand but in the one I quoted from he did). Spillane was not too different from many Jehovah's Witnesses: they generally take a logical and scientific approach to life (read their Awake publication which generally addresses social problems scientifically and quotes secular academic experts on many of these issues), but they also have a very religious side to them (Spillane went to church five times a week, and as the quote I gave showed, his moral standard was whether or not God permitted a certain action, see his comment on alcohol).

I mean he doesn't go around saying that his talent comes from God nor that it is on loan from God. He says that he did it and that he is proud of what he has done.

There are many other people from different religious movements that are like that.

He's also proud that he was able to socialize with a few people that he mentions, though he doesn't mention any religious figures. The only thing that bother me about the interview is that he does not mention having been friends with Ayn Rand -- in fact he doesn't mention her at all. That bothers me a lot more than him saying he believes that God is Everpresent.

In short, given the facts that I know about Mickey Spillane, he seems like a very down-to-earth individual who was reality oriented.

And there is a very big difference between reading Ayn Rand's fiction and enjoying the stories, and studying her philosophy to make it one's own. There are millions, literally millions!, of fans of Ayn Rand's fiction who don't know much about her philosophy. Those are not the ones I was referring to when I said there are those who have studied Miss Rand's philosophy to some degree, and then reject it because it has no place for God.

And since you are sure Spillane is not one of these, HOW exactly did you know this? Where did you get your evidence to know that "evidently" he did not reject her philosophy?

The ones who need to be condemned are the one's who have studied her philosophy enough to know what it is qua philosophy, and then reject it.

Interesting. So now your statement is reduced to "every person who is religious is dishonest if they have studied Ayn Rand's philosophy and still rejects it."

This is certainly good news for religious people because I am quite certain that the vast majority of them (perhaps 99.9999 percent) have never studied Ayn Rand's philosophy or even heard of Ayn Rand or Objectivism.

I don't see any indication that Mickey Spillane was one of these people.

Indeed. You see no indication whatsoever that Mickey Spillane - the man who knew Rand very personally - could be one of the people who tried to study her philosophy; you see more "indication" that he was just like one of those many fans of Ayn Rand who never even knew there was a philosophy behind the novels?

If you have facts and reasoning to back up your accusation against my position, then out with them. Otherwise, as you say, a rational conversation on this topic cannot be had.

I asked you a question: was Spillane dishonest? You said he was not as honest as X, or was more honest at work than in personal life. I asked you if you understood that this statement means he was dishonest (since to be honest is to be TOTALLY honest, in EVERY area). And if you accept the logical conclusion, begining from your idea of integration of virtues, that therefore you can not call him productive or rational, etc.

To my point that your statement meant he was dishonest, you simply said I was being rationalistic. When I asked you to show me how this is so, you said something that was incoherent (to explain my "being rationalistic"): that I was condemning Spillane! And to other requests for you to confirm if you thought he was dishonest, you just kept comparing him to other people, which has nothing to do with whether or not he was dishonest (just more honest than them or less dishonest).

And above all, you seem unable or unwilling to address this simple question, and insist (even now) on comparing Spillane with other people (other religious people in this case), instead of taking account of the statements you have made which are clearly contradicting themselves (as my last post has shown), and yet you still ask me to give evidence as if you are interested in addressing any of the evidence I have given. You could have easily taken each of the statements I made above which indicated contradiction and showed how they were not actually contradicting each other or contradicting your stated principle, but you decided instead to only quote me on a statement which is totally irrelevant to my argument. And this is what you've been doing consistently (as anyone can see by going to the last few posts).

It's good we both agree that a rational conversation on this topic can not continue.

[ed by DO to repair quote]

Edited by DavidOdden

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Let me see if I can state my position more succinctly, because I don't think BlackDiamond has done a good job of it.

A given man ought to be judged according to rational and uncompromising principles -- by the Objectivism ethics -- based on what one knows about him that is unambiguous. This means that to the extent that they are rational, they ought to be given our moral support; to the extent that they are irrational, they cannot be given our moral support. We ought not to be giving moral support for any aspect of a person's character insofar as we understand that aspect of their character to be irrational.

I think part of the issue that has arisen here is something along the lines of: How do we judge a man who is rational to a large extent, but has an irrational side to him?; and at what point do we condemn the whole man for having that irrational side?

A person who has a blatantly irrational side to him is not virtuous, according the the Objectivist ethics. Such a man cannot be integrated, because being integrated means being rational (true to reality and acting according to that truth -- i.e. one's understanding of existence).

However, the phrase "one's understanding of existence" is a crucial aspect of one's judgement of a given man. A given man can be as rational as he knows how to be, or thinks he's being as rational as he knows how to be, but still not come up with Objectivism on his own. There will be a lot of honest mistakes out there for those who have not studied Objectivism qua philosophy. I think it is even possible that one could believe in God innocently, based upon what he was taught that might have been rationalistic. Such people are mistaken, rather than being immoral; they could only be judged to be immoral if they have been taught a better way -- i.e. Objectivism -- and then revert back to what they were before, since by then they will have known that what they believe is irrational.

It would be virtuous for such a man, who was once religious because he didn't know any better, to work towards becoming fully rational. However, I doubt if he is going to do this just because he enjoyed a few novels. I know, for me, it took studying Objectivism qua philosophy for me to make that turn-around. The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged qua literature would not have done the trick. For one thing, coming from Catholicism, I had to entirely re-integrate my philosophy, especially around the idea that acting selfishly is virtuous. Given what I went through, I don't expect people to make that sort of a turn-around overnight.

The idea that there is no need for God, neither for the creation of existence nor as a basis for morality, is a difficult road to travel. That is, learning that existence exists, the law of identity, and the law of causality covers everything that was once attributed to God is not an easy idea to grasp; for those of us who were once religious.

So, for someone like Mickey Spillane who has some hold-overs from religion but is otherwise rational, I want to give him my kudos, not my condemnation. As I have said before, evidently his religion was not so important to him that his characters (a projection of the world as it might be and ought to be) turned to religion to solve any of their problems -- physical or psychological. On that level, he was secular and only secular.

It is unfortunate that so many people who have a background in religion, don't take that long road to recovery. They would be much better off and much more integrated if they did so. However, to the extent that they are secular and rational, to that extent we have to praise them, because that is virtuous. I would say it is only when they start pushing religion against the rational on philosophic grounds that they need to be condemned -- i.e. if they want to hold onto irrationality because it is irrational, and they know it. This is true both before and after they have discovered Objectivism; it's only that after their discovery of Objectivism, they don't have the excuse of not having been taught how to be rational across the board. But if they want to hold onto the irrational, after knowing that it is irrational or because it is irrational, then they get our moral condemnation -- because they are choosing to be irrational fully and consciously.

Unfortunately, it is one of the legacies of Aquinas that he made the argument that it is irrational not to believe in God; that, in reason, there is every reason to think that there must be a God. And it is taking mankind a very long time to overcome that perspective.

With Objectivism, the more rational ones will be able to do that; even if it isn't in short order.

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re-integrate my philosophy

road to recovery

Evidently, these two phrases brought up some of those Amazon links. The links were to two listings:

Soulfully Gay: How Harvard, Sex, Drugs, and Integral Philosophy Drove Me Crazy and Brought Me Back to God a book by Joe Perez

And:

Come on Up! On the Road to Recovery music by Lurking Notions

Hallelulia, Brother! and AMEN to that! We be goins ta church to be wid Christ!

While we there, we be readin from the Good Book to take aways from ours sins.

Yeaha! Gotto love those contextless links!

Jes cant be waitin fa those items to come in from the intranet.

Glad that Tim Meovis be endorsin deese thangs!

Thanks Greedy Capitalist :lol:

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