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ragnarhedin

ARI vs. TOC

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[Repost.  My original post got lost.]

I sometimes kiddingly refer to Unrugged Individualism as the book that pulls the rug out from under individualism.

But seriously ...

Those two books are bland and boring and not particularly Objectivist.  I suspect they were written to try to put something vaguely "objectivish" over on non-Objectivists and to appeal to Kelley's core supporters: people who want to be associated with Objectivism but have a strong need to "belong" and be accepted by others.

Even if you find his work boring, do you agree with Kelley's line of reasoning in Unrugged Individualism that benevolence (not always and toward everyone but as a general rule) is in one's own self-interest? I thought it made sense.

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Even if you find his work boring, do you agree with Kelley's line of reasoning in Unrugged Individualism that benevolence (not always and toward everyone but as a general rule) is in one's own self-interest?

That depends entirely on whether another person DESERVES your benevolence.

Treating a deserving person with benevolence is just an example of the Objectivist virtue of Justice, and not a separate virtue in its own right. If a person doesn't deserve it, benevolence is an INjustice.

As I recall, the reasoning Kelley used to support his contention that benevolence was to one's self interest seem strained to me. Wasn't it something about a "trade" that if you give someone something today, he might give you something tomorrow? Some sort of pre-emptive payment?

In fact, it's much simpler than that. Justice is in your self interest. It is good that you judge people accurately and deal with them in accordance with what they really are -- just as you should do with everything in life.

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Your right that A Life of One's Own reads mostly like a libertarian book. Kelley does however directly quote Rand in one section of the book and talks about how the welfare state is rooted in altruism. I can look up the page numbers if you'd like.

No need to look them up. As I said it's been some time since I read either of them, so I'm willing to believe that I forgot a Rand quote. Still, the echoes of Objectivism in the book were so faint that a reader who didn't know Kelley claimed to be an Objectivist would never notice them.

My first reaction to Unrugged Individualism was to compare its title to Rand's major ethical book The Virtue of Selfishness. Rand's title was iconoclastic, in-your-face and unapologetic. Kelley's title, by contrast, struck me as weak and appeasing in tone. He wants to defend individualism, but my goodness we wouldn't want people to think it was rugged or anything. How uncouth! Rugged individualists don't get invited to cocktail parties very often, you see. The book itself seemed like it was targetted to university "Intro to Ethics" courses as an academically-acceptable 'token' work on ethical egoism.

I'd have to reread it to make any cogent comments on the quality of the argument itself.

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That depends entirely on whether another person DESERVES your benevolence.

Treating a deserving person with benevolence is just an example of the Objectivist virtue of Justice, and not a separate virtue in its own right.  If a person doesn't deserve it, benevolence is an INjustice.

As I recall, the reasoning Kelley used to support his contention that benevolence was to one's self interest seem strained to me.  Wasn't it something about a "trade" that if you give someone something today, he might give you something tomorrow?  Some sort of pre-emptive payment?

In fact, it's much simpler than that.  Justice  is in your self interest.  It is good that you judge people accurately and deal with them in accordance with what they really are -- just as you should do with everything in life.

Let me see if I understand what your saying.

Basicaly, it's an error to claim that Benevolence is a major virtue, equal in importance to Justice, because Benevolence is just an specific application of Justice.

Is this correct?

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Basicaly, it's an error to claim that Benevolence is a major virtue, equal in importance to Justice, because Benevolence is just an specific application of Justice.

Is this correct?

Right. Benevolence, when it IS a virtue, is an example of Justice.

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Like many opinions you read, their opinions have factual support.

To call their opinions "fact" is an aberration in itself.

Your response is evasive. A distinction was made between ARI and TOC, as being the distinction between "Truth and Toleration." You obliterated that distinction by declaring "Both offer opinions." I pointed out that the ARI writings are rooted in knowledge, not opinion, and now in your response you effectively obliterate the distinction I drew between knowledge and opinion. Do you know the distinction between knowledge and opinion? Do you intend to defend your assertion about the ARI or will you again be evasive and talk about straw men?

I am reminded of the many speakers who go around trying to boost the morale of groups ... :D;);) ... I can only scoff at such inspirational speakers. Imagine that, masking reality to "feel good? What the heck, it beats getting high on drugs."

You are again evading an issue which applies to you by creating an irrelevant straw man. Any chance that you will actually deal with what has been presented?

I said their opinions are supported by fact.

So let me re-word this to you in a manner I think you can better understand:

The commentators in the Ayn Rand Institute base their opinions on the facts at hand.

In order to express an opinion, one has to have a grasp of knowledge at hand.

By the way, I am addressing every one of your accusations and personal insults against me with a report to the moderators.

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By the way, I am addressing every one of your accusations and personal insults against me with a report to the moderators.

I didn't think I would have to say it again, but here we are.

Pipe down AutoJC: You are more sensitive than my grandma. If you are not going to take it like a man, than at least take it like an eighty year old woman.

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I didn't think I would have to say it again, but here we are.

Pipe down AutoJC: You are more sensitive than my grandma. If you are not going to take it like a man, than at least take it like an eighty year old woman.

I'm surprised that you, Objectivist, would respond directly to my response to Stephen Speicher, which was blatantly hostile to me.

Unless, of course you happen to be Stephen Speicher's other account. :(

I don't think you are.

In which case your response is wholly inappropriate.

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You still haven't answered my question, AutoJC.

Where do you usually go to be personally insulted?

Why here, of course :(

After all, I'm a glutton for punishment

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Ah. You said earlier that you didn't come here to be personally insulted.

This is an open contradiction on your part and you need to cease and desist with such blatant irrationalism.

And you need to chill out, dude. :)

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And you need to chill out, dude. ;)

Wait a minute...you tell him to chill out (when he was obviously making a joke), yet whenever someone makes an argument you don't like you report their post to the moderators? Give me a break! :)

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