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What happen with Mr. Branden and Objectivism?

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No, he cannot reamain inside of reality and control all of it. So, you argue omnipotence is possible in reality? how? Someone told me this argument and I find it very helpful. If god has no limit to his power...can god have the power to limit his power? If he does...is he still omnipotent?

You are arguing a moot point. If god is not defined and with evidence to support its existence, then there is no reason to even consider the possibility of a god. Can you define god? If not then there is no reason to even argue your point. Until evidence is provided it is merely the creation of one's imagination. It is the equivalent of me saying: "jakjdo iajfi mkczjpoiz jk exists." If i dont define it and i dont provide evidence, how the He11 do you even know what I saying exists? Can you refute that it exists? Probably not, because i havent specifically said what it is that I am talking about. So, without defintion there can be no argument for exists, and when there is no argument for its existence, then there is no NEED to argue against its existence. There is point and should be dismissed without any further discussion. Yet these type of debates happen all of the time. Kinda weird eh?

Most theologians agree that God cannot control reality in the sense that he cannot violate logic. When asked if God can make a rock so big that he can't lift it, they will answer "no." Perhaps it isn't that God controls nature as much as it is that God is nature and, thus, can make it whatever He needs it to be.

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Of course, because you are a dogmatic skeptic. I bet I could name any imaginary being, and you would not, with certainty, deny its existence. Let's try!

Do you deny the existence of:

1. Zeus

2. Virgin Mary

3. Ghosts

4. Zombies

5. Santa Claus

6. Easter Bunny

7. Harry Potter

Well? Do they exist or not? If you say 'no', then I'm going to say: "Well, you see, there is this 'super-reality' where they actually do exist. Prove I'm wrong!"

Do I believe that they exist? No. Can I prove that they don't? No. Thankyou for making my point.

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But I will never say that I am "certain" that there is no God.

What is the value of "proving" that a false assertion is false? Zero. Since you haven't explained what you mean by "certain" (especially -- is certainty attainable by man? What can man be certain of?) your refusal to make a definitive decision about god strikes me as apathy at best, not actual rejection.

Of course, if you had denounced the very question of the existence of god as irrational, that would have been a different matter. It's one thing to recognise, as a historical and academic matter, that some people have offered various denials of reality as justification for the position that they are rational beings and yet also believe in god. But your apologetics for the theists seems to go a little bit further than that: you are really not giving enough consideration to the fact that god, as typically defined, is inherently contradictory. The consequence of the standard apologists's view of god -- as "being nature" -- is that god has clear, definite limits. In other words, maybe god is just a large old white male living in a spaceship. Not really god, and mortal. And he never created the universe.

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Do I believe that they exist?  No.  Can I prove that they don't?  No.  Thankyou for making my point.

You're welcome. I'll leave you alone now to contemplate the possible existence of the Easter Bunny and Harry Potter. Maybe one day you'll see how these ideas contradict reality.

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When a person rejects logic - and the burden of proof is a fundamental principle of logic - then there is no means to RATIONALLY speak with him. The only thing you can do is STOP TALKING.

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When a person rejects logic - and the burden of proof is a fundamental principle of logic - then there is no means to RATIONALLY speak with him.  The only thing you can do is STOP TALKING.

I would qualify this by saying that a person must explicitly and consistently deny the burden of proof principle. Even as long as a person is inconsistent, you can point him to the inductive evidence in favor of the principle.

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Hannibal is not interested in an intellectual discussion. He is interested in hearing himself talk. He did not bother to answer a single question I asked, he merely restated the same assertions, with a couple of new insults against Objectivists thrown in for good measure.

It's time to stop feeding him.

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Yeah, I'm sorry this has been such an intellectual vacuum of a conversation. Please forgive me for not being as perfect as you and disagreeing with you. I'm through with this board. You go right on believing that you're perfect.

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Do I believe that they exist? No. Can I prove that they don't? No. Thankyou for making my point.

Peikoff answers this quite brilliantly (in my humble opinion) in OPAR's discussion of the arbitrary and why one shouldn't even attempt to discuss this kind of crap at all.

He uses gremlins as an example and even makes a funny joke about people who are willing to assert random crap like "your sex life is based on your past life as an ancient Egyptian Pharoh."

I'm only 200 or so pages into OPAR and I'm very very happy with it.

I was given OPAR as a gift and was a great one:)

Perhaps you should check it out.

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No, Andy Bernstein talks about Objectivism with admiration for what it can do for man's life.  The idea that he, of all people, has an ounce of dogmatism is absurd.  Perhaps you should consider that you're talking about people who some of us know or have met before you try to get away with such nonsense.

I have to say, I agree with this wholeheartedly. I know Andy personally, and his the LAST person I know who would be dogmatic, repressed or rationalistic. Andy is the best that Objectivism has to offer.

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I took away Hannibal's posting rights, just to make sure he's leaving as he promised.

As for Branden: I suggest everyone who is not acquainted with him simply read Judgement Day, his shameful confession, and decide for yourself. Also, another article of his that reeks of dishonesty is The Benefits and Hazards of Objectivism.

If you know enough about Objectivism, you will see right through this man. If you don't, we can discuss it further.

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By going on what I've seen in some of the notes from Ayn Rand about this gentlemen, I didn't think that he was even associated with the Objectivist movement anymore. She goes as far as to say that and to clearly state that she has no more contact with this person. Now when I looked at his website, he seems to fully support Objectivism and he seems to integrate psychology with the Objectivist premesis pretty well.

Why is it that she said he doesn't support Objectivism when he really does?

I read a timeline describing their situation, but I still don't get it and I think some of it is rather irrational (some of the behaviour on both parts).

~Michael

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Why don't you discover what Objectivism is and use that as a standard to gauge who is really an Objectivist, Ayn Rand or Nathaniel Branden? Or you can discover the right philosophy and evaluate whether or not Rand's philosophy (Objectivism) is the right philosophy.

Americo.

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The revelvant distinction is between someone who actually promotes and practices the philosophy of Ayn Rand, versus someone who promotes and practices a philosophy that they decide to call "objectivism". It's a subtle distinction, but an important one. If you accept most of the principles of Objectivism and reject only a few, you aren't an "almost Objectivist". You might be more accurately described as a "libertarian".

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What are you guys talking about? I just wanted to know what the status of this man is...Rand states in 2 of her books that he is no longer affiliated with her, Objectivism or anything related to the 2. Then I go onto his website and sees that he is completely promoting Objectivism.

Simple answers?

~Michael

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What are you guys talking about?  I just wanted to know what the status of this man is...Rand states in 2 of her books that he is no longer affiliated with her, Objectivism or anything related to the 2.  Then I go onto his website and sees that he is completely promoting Objectivism.

Simple answers?

Once you scratch the surface, you will find that Branden is promoting himself, and that self is in conflict with many Objectivist ideas. To actual Objectivists, Branden is persona non grata, neither welcomed nor wanted. Also, note that this is a contentious issue which seems to plague each new generation of Objectivist students for more than the past three decades, so not many people are too interested in discussing, yet again, a man whose very nature is despised by many.

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The name is Branden, not Brandon. 'E', not 'O'.

For information about the relationship between Ayn Rand and the Brandens (Nathaniel and Barbara) you can read "The Passion of Ayn Rand" by Barbara Branden, and "Judgement Day" by Nathaniel Branden. There are two versions of what happened between Rand and Branden, Rand's version and Branden's version.

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Once you scratch the surface, you will find that Branden is promoting himself, and that self is in conflict with many Objectivist ideas. To actual Objectivists, Branden is persona non grata, neither welcomed nor wanted. Also, note that this is a contentious issue which  seems to plague each new generation of Objectivist students for more than the past three decades, so not many people are too interested in discussing, yet again, a man whose very nature is despised by many.

So this man is riding the coat tails of Objectivism (so to speak)?

And what would be in conflict with Objectivist ideas? I was recomended one of his books by a fellow Objectivist.

Also, it's really not an issue plaguing this student, it's just something I found to be quite contradictory and I wanted to know why.

To be honest, I don't care what happened in the personal lives of 2 people. I'm more interested in the ideas of one (and of the other if they are beneficial). What happened between those people are those peoples business and it doesn't effect the way I view the ideas.

~Michael

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For information about the relationship between Ayn Rand and the Brandens (Nathaniel and Barbara) you can read "The Passion of Ayn Rand" by Barbara Branden, and "Judgement Day" by Nathaniel Branden. There are two versions of what happened between Rand and Branden, Rand's version and Branden's version.

Michael, please pay little attention to what this person says. Few of us do. He knows nothing about Objectivism, and is unable to separate the facts, from other people's fantasies. If you are really that interested in the detailed facts, a book is due to be published soon which will demonstrate quite clearly the all too numerous deceptions and fallacies in both of the Branden's books. If you stay on this forum I guarantee you will not miss mention of the book when it is published.

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I just wanted to know what the status of this man is...

They had an on-again, off-again affair, and it ended somewhat uncomfortably. A few years later, she severed all ties with him. Her explanation, which I thought was rather vague, was the "irrationality" he was exhibiting at the time, his business practices, etc. There is an issue of The Objectivist that contains her official statement, if you want to read it first-hand (I don't know the issue).

At the risk of being flamed, I think you have to realize that the Objectivist establishment, including Rand, has had a tendency to occasionally "excommunicate" people who are deemed to fall short of its standards, and after that they are no longer allowed to be "official", bona-fide Objectivists. She had very high standards, and if someone did not meet them, that was pretty much it for them.

Personally, I thought the Brandens' books (Nathaniel's and Barbara's) were fairly interesting and provide a welcome alternative to the Ayn Rand Choir. My advice is to read anything you can and make up your own mind, rather than take someone's word for it.

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Michael, please pay little attention to what this person says. Few of us do. He knows nothing about Objectivism, and is unable to separate the facts, from other people's fantasies. If you are really that interested in the detailed facts, a book is due to be published soon which will demonstrate quite clearly the all too numerous deceptions and fallacies in both of the Branden's books. If you stay on this forum I guarantee you will not miss mention of the book when it is published.

I read the Barbara Branden book years ago without even knowing that there was this Branden story or conflict. The level of subjectivity in her book is truly unparalleled in all of my experience. I borrowed it from the library, and I'm glad I didn't pay for it, I also did not return it-gladly.

As for little Nathan, take a look, in the library (don't pay for it) at where he ended up with his sentence completion books. Blurt out your feelings as a means to therapy. Commitment to reason indeed! Take a look at what he ended up offering as psychology, and then ask yourself what really happened that he ended up out of the "club".

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I was a student of Objectivism in the 1960's, and had access to a number of inside details on what happened.

Let me sum up by quoting from my Amazon reviews (as billbucko). First, concerning "Judgment Day":

"All relationship between them [Rand and Branden] came to an end in 1968, when Miss Rand discovered that Branden was not practicing what he preached.

"This is Nathaniel Branden’s version of their relationship—or rather, one of his versions, for he’s changed his story several times ...

"This is a long book; but the reader should not lose sight of an essential fact. Branden confesses, on page after page, that he lied to Miss Rand and to others—not once, but repeatedly, for a number of years. His excuse—'she made me do it'—rings hollow, coming from a man who lectured on the virtues of honesty, integrity, and independence.

"After confessing his prevarications and being so 'candid,' Branden expects us to believe what he’s saying now. Instead, I suggest we ask the question: 'How do we know you aren’t still lying, given that you’ve had so much practice?'"

And now, from my review of Barbara Branden's trash-wallow:

"This is not a true biography of the great philosopher. It is a vitriolic exercise in hatred, riddled from beginning to end with self-contradictions. For instance, Branden insists that Miss Rand as a child conceived a life-long neurotic fear of physical reality. Yet only a few pages later she describes the young Ayn Rand joyously climbing a mountain on a vacation in Switzerland ... and later in life, happily taking the throttle of a New York Central diesel locomotive! ...

"I had the pleasure of meeting Ayn Rand in 1971, and of seeing first-hand how gracious she was with her many fans. I found her a genuinely polite, warm, and considerate person, who seemed serenely at peace with herself.

Can the same be said of her detractors?"

Everything I saw and heard, without exception, agrees with the account offered by Leonard Peikoff in "My 30 Years with Ayn Rand."

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Sorry, Mr. Speicher, it looks like I'm addressing you in my post, but was answering Release.

Also, Release, keep reading around his website, there are attacks on Objectivism on it. He is quite the slick fellow, reminds me of Bill Clinton in a way.

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They had an on-again, off-again affair, and it ended somewhat uncomfortably. A few years later, she severed all ties with him. Her explanation, which I thought was rather vague, was the "irrationality" he was exhibiting at the time, his business practices, etc.  There is an issue of The Objectivist that contains her official statement, if you want to read it first-hand (I don't know the issue).

At the risk of being flamed, I think you have to realize that the Objectivist establishment, including Rand, has had a tendency to occasionally "excommunicate" people who are deemed to fall short of its standards, and after that they are no longer allowed to be "official", bona-fide Objectivists. She had very high standards, and if someone did not meet them, that was pretty much it for them.

Personally, I thought the Brandens' books (Nathaniel's and Barbara's) were fairly interesting and provide a welcome alternative to the Ayn Rand Choir. My advice is to read anything you can and make up your own mind, rather than take someone's word for it.

For one who doesn't "take someone's word for it", I'm surprised how you gobbled up the Brandens' word for it.

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