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ragnarhedin

ARI vs. TOC

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A further reply to Stephen's remark that Chris, as an academic, uses "jargon and obfuscation."

"The fool persuades me with his reasons; the wise man persuades me with my own." --Aristotle.

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BlackSabbath:

Your reply makes my point nicely.

No it doesn't.

I've got nothing to gain by slagging off Sciabarra. He is just bloody awful.

The Falkirk branch of the ARI is not very well subscribed.

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Objectivism will never win if, like Communist nations, it builds walls around itself to keep its practicitoners from entering the outside world.

Objectivism will never win if people who can't write for toffee are allowed to pose as Objectivists.

And 'can't write for toffee' is a technical term BTW.

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it goes against the very essence of Objectivism -- of reason -- to expect that people believe you because you say so, period.

I do not expect -- much less demand -- anything of the kind. When I want to convince or educate, I provide arguments. When I just want to express an evaluation, I provide judgment. If you are unable to differentiate between the two, that is your problem, not mine.

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I read the debate a few weeks ago; Diana's Web site -- www.dianahsieh.com -- is still down. While I appreciate your willingness to engage your opponents openly, I drew the opposite conclusion: any honest reader will come away with a negative evaluation of *you.* But, again, this is assertion, not argument.

Yes, and you seem to be very good at making assertions instead of arguments. I wouldn't expect anything less from someone who evidently cannot differentiate between Objectivism and someone (namely, Sciabarra) who co-opts Objectivist conclusions while ignoring its method.

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As for the theory he propounds in AR: The Russian Radical, to the extent it's meaningful, it's false; to the extent it's true, it's meaningless.

That is a perfect description. I have said the same thing, but in many more words. I wish I had thought of such a wonderfully succinct summation as this.

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Mr. Rick (jrick) says:

Don:

I read the debate a few weeks ago; Diana's Web site -- www.dianahsieh.com -- is still down. While I appreciate your willingness to engage your opponents openly, I drew the opposite conclusion: any honest reader will come away with a negative evaluation of *you.*

(end quote)

I can get into her site just fine--try again now. I will say that sometimes strange things happen in the world of the www. For some odd reason, the Volokh Conspiracy, a blog I read regularly, was inaccessible to SBC/Yahoo! users for a few weeks recently. See:

http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2004_05...html#1083621205

for details.

As to the substantive point, Don addressed all the various anti- and pseudo-Objectivist attacks in an appropriate and admirable manner. The only sense in which my evaluation of his performance there is negative is that, after awhile, I think he was wasting his time by engaging his opponents. Fortunately, just as I came to that conclusion, he quit the discussion. I find it mind-boggling that any honest person would reach exactly the opposite conclusion, namely that Don's great virtue was his willingness to engage with dishonest opponents and that his great vice was what he said when he did engage.

Mr. Rick also says:

And the reason, Stephen, that Chris left a previous debate thinking that you both still repected each other, is that he prefers to make friends, not enemies; he seeks to build bridges, not moralize over "sanctions" and "ideological purity."

(end quote)

Where to begin? ;)

Why is it so hard for some people to grasp the difference between passing moral judgment--a moral obligation for anyone who takes his ideas and values seriously--and "moralizing?" Why is it, I wonder, that Mr. Rick and so many others are apparently unable to distinguish between the Objectivist and the intrinsicist approaches to moral judgment? I think Stephen is right when he says: "They do not want to be judged." But in saying that, I suppose I'll be called a "moralizer." Oh well...I think I'm justified in passing judgment when I see Mr. Rick say:

Objectivism will never win if, like Communist nations, it builds walls around itself to keep its practicitoners from entering the outside world.

(end quote)

Comparing the behavior of Objectivists to that of Communist dictators--that's not "moralizing"? Why doesn't Mr. Rick, like the man he defends, "[seek] to build bridges" instead of attacking a whole host of potential allies? Does he not see that his demand for a "no-walls" approach is itself a demand for "ideological purity"? :huh:

I am tired of the militant tolerationists--the crusaders for peace, love, and understanding--who can't find it in their oh-so-big hearts to tolerate those of us who take ideas seriously and compare us to mass murderers for the "sin" of practicing what we preach. Since this is my first post in this forum, I will close with a polite suggestion to Mr. Rick, instead of a "moralistic" demand for "ideological purity" of the kind he so despises: check your premises.

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Above all, please check out Sciabarra's blog -- http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog.htm -- and judge for yourself whether Sciabarra is positively contributing to changing the world.

I did--and my judgment is that he's positively contributing to turning the world into an Islamic theocracy. 'Nuff said.

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Stephen says: "When I want to convince or educate, I provide arguments. When I just want to express an evaluation, I provide judgment."

Since I don't know you, Stephen, frankly, I don't care about your judgment. I'm interested, as you said in a previous post, in "tick[ing] to the facts."

According to Don, I "cannot differentiate between Objectivism and someone (namely, Sciabarra) who co-opts Objectivist conclusions while ignoring its method."

Well, actually, I can distinguish between a philosophy and a person; you meant to say that I "cannot differentiate between Objectivis[ts] and someone (namely, Sciabarra)." BTW, you also meant to say that "I wouldn't expect anything" *more,* not "anything less."

Stephen says that "anti-Objectivist self-proclaimed 'Objectivists,'" like Chris Sciabarra, "do not want to be judged." This is a pure straw men. I dare you to challenge Chris on, say, why laissez-faire is the only moral and practical system, or why individual rights are the only means to subordinate to moral law.

Mark, I agree: moralizing is far different from moral judgment. The former generally pertains to people, the latter to principles. I prefer to spend my time on the latter (although, yes, as you point out, my reference to walls is an instance of moralizing).

Mark asks: "Why doesn't Mr. Rick, like the man he defends, "[seek] to build bridges" instead of attacking a whole host of potential allies?" LOL. Why do you think I'm doing this?

Do I not see that my demand, Mark asks, "for a 'no-walls' approach is itself a demand for 'ideological purity'?" Again with the hyperbole. I didn't say "no" walls; I merely indicated there were too many.

Similarly with the hypberole and straw men: I did not equate Objectivists to mass murderers, but merely noted a commonality.

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"Capitalism Forever" says that Chris Sciabarra is "positively contributing to turning the world into an Islamic theocracy." Well, in my view, you're a malefic rube.

Assertions without argument get us nowhere--and they're dogmatic. (I only used one to show the counterproductiveness of this "method.") By all means, reprobate Chris. But give some evidence.

Edited by jrick

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According to Don, I "cannot differentiate between Objectivism and someone (namely, Sciabarra) who co-opts Objectivist conclusions while ignoring its method."

Well, actually, I can distinguish between a philosophy and a person; you meant to say that I "cannot differentiate between Objectivis[ts] and someone (namely, Sciabarra)." BTW, you also meant to say that "I wouldn't expect anything" *more,* not "anything less."

I rest my case.

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I guess "scholar" Sciabarra is following this topic because now he has posted a "What I really meant..." statement.

I should have called his teachers and asked them what classes he took in college, to see if he was necessitated by his exposure.

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At the very least, I hope it will motivate you to re-examine the issue of tolerance.

I think I see the point.

One's ideas are what determine one's values. One's values are what motivates one's actions. Therefore, if an action is immoral, then so are the ideas behind it.

Is this correct?

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Being somewhat new to Ayn Rand and Objectivism I am also rather ignorant concerning the nature of the schism between TOC and ARI but am interested in understanding it better.

I have'nt read anything written by David Kelley or Leanard Peikoff yet, but I did just read the Robert Tracinski critique of Kelley's "A Question of Sanction" (actually about 3/4 of it; I became impatient after awhile and skipped to the end to read the final conclusion).

Contrary to what he may have intended, Tracinski actually succeeded in directing my sympathies more in the direction of Kelley. I don't agree at all with the way he derived his conclusions. He accuses Kelley's logic of leading to non sequiturs in some cases, but he fails to see where his does the same.

I will now read both Kelley's article and Peikoff's "Fact and Value" to see how different my conclusions may be from those of others, buti have a sense that the major factor for the disparity in views regarding this subject has to do with individuals' psychological make-ups, not their intellects.

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Well, in my view, you're a malefic rube.

That's exactly the kind of name I was hoping to get you to call me. It's quite an exhilarating feeling to be called a malefic rube by a malefic rube!

Assertions without argument get us nowhere

Precisely. And nowhere is just the place I want your ilk to be--that's why I'm not arguing with you.

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The best part of this thread is how jrick keeps demanding arguments, not assertions--but has pretty muched failed to make any arguments himself, relying instead only on assertions!

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The best part of this thread is how jrick keeps demanding arguments, not assertions--but has pretty muched failed to make any arguments himself, relying instead only on assertions!

That's not entirely true. He did correct my grammar.

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Being somewhat new to Ayn Rand and Objectivism I am also rather ignorant concerning the nature of the schism between TOC and ARI but am interested in understanding it better. 

[...]

  I will now read both Kelley's article and Peikoff's "Fact and Value" to see how different my conclusions may be from those of others, buti have a sense that the major factor for the disparity in views regarding this subject has to do with individuals' psychological make-ups, not their intellects.

I have another suggestion for you.

It's been a long time -- almost 15 years -- since both Kelley's and Peikoff's statements were written. Since then, both TOC and ARI have continued to act in accordance with their stated ideas and the consequences are apparent. There is plenty of evidence you can use to judge the effects and merits of the "closed" vs the "open" approach.

So, in addition to reading the statements, take a good hard look at both TOC and ARI, their activities, and their accomplishments. Compare and evaluate them and decide which result you would prefer.

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It's enough to look at the actual projects of these two organizations. One is mainly focused on spreading Objectivism, and the other's main focus is refuting, attacking and changing it.

The TOC is not meet-flavoured sauce, it's rotten-meet-flavoured sauce.

And I say this after more than a year of being subscribed to their mailing list, and receiving all kind of catalogs from them.

At first I thought - well, I disagree with them, but perhaps they have something valuable to offer. I haven't found it to this day.

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I definitely have a lot of reading to do. But, one thing I am curious about regarding Tracinski's analysis is his criticism of Kelley's association with the Libertarians. He also refers to libertarianism as the same in concept to the soviet system, and advocating anarchy. This doesn't make much sense to me (based on what I've read about libertarianism). Can anyone tell me where I can read about this aspect of the libertarians?

Also, Since objectivists are concerned with affecting positive change and the TOC has apparentlyallied itself with the libertarians, why is there not a "Capitalist Party" being formed by or supported by ARI? It seems as though the rift between ARI and TOC is much less than the rift between ARI and people who consider themselves Democrats and Republicans. If toleration for TOC is not warranted, I can't see how it is warranted for the traditional parties either (much less sanctioning them with votes).

(Has anyone ever dicussed, suggested or attempted a "Capitalst Party" in the past?)

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