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Gabriel

Conviviality And Humor Vs 'seriousness'

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By reading the replies to one of my previous threads, I started thinking about the proper role of charisma and other non-verbal form of communication. You could say that it's a matter of sense-of-life applied to mood, demeanor and language.

For people holding happiness and their highest purpose, Objectivists project a distinct 'aura' of unhappiness and discontent, largely through non-verbal cues. (we're already discussing verbal/explicit attitudes in the other thread)

I remember that the most succesful teachers in school (both succesful in teaching their students and in gaining the full attention and respect they deserved) were very whitty, easy going and overall projecting an image of self-suficiency and relaxation.

Don't get me wrong, these were people of great principles, but they managed to not be bitter about the flaws of the people around them, and try to guide them without throwing their jugements around, like slaps.

Even though there's certainly a time and place for the 'no-nonsense serious' look, I think that it's over-used in Objectivist circles, so o-ists end up seen as bitter, vindictive, arrogant, dogmatic and self-defeating. It's an image problem.

I'm all for 'Judge and prepare to be judged', but when expressing a judgement it makes little sense to do so in a spiteful and negative manner, especially if these nuances are non-verbal.

I'm used to being called a 'fool', or otherwise treated unpolitely, in O-ist circled, but that's just because I know how to interpret it. Very seldom did I find someone who corrected or engaged me in a helpful or respectful manner. Most of the time you get spitefulness or an otherwise bad attitude/vibe.

Is such resentment towards the society at large a manadatory trait of Objectivism?

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For people holding happiness and their highest purpose, Objectivists project a distinct 'aura' of unhappiness and discontent, largely through non-verbal cues. (we're already discussing verbal/explicit attitudes in the other thread)

What exactly do you base that on? Have you had bad experiences in a room full of sour-faced Objectivists? And, uh, peer at your avatar and then peer at Betsy's. I hope you're not getting a bad vibe. Does this help? :)

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I think you may be getting bad vibes here because I have yet to see you post something that didn't question the very essence of Objectivism. You claim to know alot about Ob. but your questions are easily answered in any of Ayn Rand's books. My question to you would be, seeing as you claim to be a non-objectivist, what are you trying to get at here? What is your motive, because it obviously is not to further understand Objectivism, but rather to shake our basic principals for no obvious reason. You're asking for bad vibes...

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For people holding happiness and their highest purpose, Objectivists project a distinct 'aura' of unhappiness and discontent, largely through non-verbal cues. (we're already discussing verbal/explicit attitudes in the other thread)

I must say that I have no idea what you're talking about. My two best friends are Objectivists and we spend most of our time together cracking jokes and watching our favorite stand up comedians. I even wrote a humorous novel, and a couple of humorous columns for The Atlasphere, a website for admirers of Ayn Rand. And if you've ever heard a Peikoff lecture, well, then you should know better than to question our sense of humor! :P

[Edit: That could be read as an insult directed at Peikoff; it wasn't. Rather, it was meant literally, as a compliment]

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Gabriel, that is a very good question. Many Objectivists, at least the ones that I know personally, tend to be very serious towards life and their endeavors to be knowledgeable. There could be several different reasons why some O'ists appear this way. For one, maybe a certain person studying Objectivism may not have everything in perspective yet. And secondly, one may have their approach to Objectivism as dogmatic. Let me explain this thoroughly, for I have first hand experience. Since I started studying this philosophy, in 6th grade, I have always had a very serious approach to everything. In fact, you could hardly ever find me smiling. I was also asking questions like "Why I am not like John Galt?", "Would Ayn Rand approve to this?", "Am I living up to Objectivism?". This sort of mindset/attitude led me to question everything, and I was never sure of myself when it came down to basic things -- and, in effect, I developed a serious attitude. (Such basic things would be judging another person's personality, trying to judge if their use of language was moral or immoral -- and when I became seriously depressed after reading The Fountainhead, I wondered if the sidewalks, streets, houses, and buildings were all built properly, as in the novel.) Recently, I have noticed my faults regarding this manner and my dogmatic approach to Objectivism. If I become depressed after reading The Fountainhead, obviously something is wrong. One should not be just a student of the philosophy, but of a student of life and philosophy; use the principles of the philosophy in your everyday life. If you're having trouble looking for a real-life John Galt, or if you dream about becoming Ayn Rand or one of her heroic characters, you may have a dogmatic approach. Once I found out that I was a dogmatic Objectivist - I wondered if I had to re-evaluate all of my principles. But I did not have to, I could still believe them but only for myself. Do not believe in the philosophy for the sake of the philosophy or for the sake of Ayn Rand. Believe the philosophy and use the philosophy for yourself

Dr. Branden makes very valid criticisms regarding this issue in his essay: The Benefits and Hazards of the Philosophy of Ayn Rand: http://nathanielbranden.net/ayn/ayn03.html#background

However, I know many people hate this essay. When I read this particular essay, I did not notice it as an attack on Objectivism or Ayn Rand. Only that people may tend to have a faulty approach to Objectivism. So if one wants to e-mail me at [email protected] for a valid analysis regarding the essay, one may do so. But please, no ad hominem arguments or slander against it. Be rational.

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I started thinking about the proper role of charisma and other non-verbal form of communication.

If you spend your time researching the cause instead of the effect of the non-verbal communication, no one will question you when/if you succeed. At this point, we have to take your word for it that there is another sensory organ that has yet to be discovered. Not only has it not been discovered, it isn't being investigated.

If you think there is an undiscovered organ, why don't you show conviction in your own words?

Be a hero, and find that organ.

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I have read this article of Nathaneal Branden. It is filled with inaccuracies and plain distortions of Objectivism.

The people Branden is treating have real psychological problems that have nothing to do with Objectivism. They way he "treats" them is blaming Objectivism for everything.

BTW - Branden himself is far from being an example of a healthy psychology. Just read Judgement Day to see his twisted psychology.

People who ask themselves "Why I am not like John Galt?" have not grasped the most basic tenent of Objectivist morality: that the purpose of morality is a happy, fullfilling, rational life - not a dogmatic mimicking of fictional charactrers.

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For people holding happiness and their highest purpose, Objectivists project a distinct 'aura' of unhappiness and discontent ...

Why do you persist in tossing out this sort of absurd pronouncement, absent of any justification? Are you here to talk about ideas, or just to insult Objectivists?

I'm used to being called a 'fool', or otherwise treated unpolitely, in O-ist circled, but that's just because I know how to interpret it. Very seldom did I find someone who corrected or engaged me in a helpful or respectful manner. Most of the time you get spitefulness or an otherwise bad attitude/vibe.

If couldn't possibly be related to your unending insults and mischaracterizations of Objectivists, could it? Nah. :P

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Dr. Branden makes very valid criticisms regarding this issue in his essay: The Benefits and Hazards of the Philosophy of Ayn Rand ...

So if one wants to e-mail me at [email protected] for a valid analysis regarding the essay, one may do so.  But please, no ad hominem arguments or slander against it.

Why? Do you reserve "ad hominem arguments or slander" only for Branden's use?

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BTW - Branden himself is far from being an example of a healthy psychology.
I read several articles by Branden, and I am confused how Rand didn't see through this guy. Maybe he is completly out of the closet now. It is pretty evident every time I read something that he wrote that he was hiding his thoughts from her to get her approval.

His article on hynososis and their split has the same error as the opening post of this thread. He was studying the effects of hypnosis instead of the cause. The only reason that I can think of why a rational person would not pursue the cause of an effect is that he does not believe in the cause. He only believes in the effects.

If you believe there is no cause, what do the effect have to do with anything? I think he even claims in that article that all mysticism isn't mysticism (the law of identity doesn't apply to Branden either).

I tried searching form the article that I am refering to, but I didn't find it. I will find it later an link to it when I have time. Until I find the article, take my comments regarding what he said with a grain of salt since it is from memory.

EDITED BY SLAVE to clean up codes that I didn't intend to have in the text.

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Here is the Branden error that I was speaking of.

I could give many more examples of how Ayn Rand's particular view of "the reasonable" became intellectually restrictive. Instead, to those of you who are her admirers, I will simply say: Do not be in a hurry to dismiss observations or data as false, irrational, or "mystical," because they do not easily fit into your current model of reality. It may be the case that you need to expand your model. One of the functions of reason is to alert us to just such a possibility.

Branden has no concern for the cause of such "observations or data". Why? He knows there is no 6th sense. Since he can not prove there is a sixth sense, why even try. Intorduce a tacit assumption, and try to get the reader to doubt himself. If you get him to doubt himself, you can sell him more than a garbage argument. You can sell him on your greatness as oppesed to greatness that Rand earned. He is a second hander.

http://www.nathanielbranden.net/ayn/ayn03.html

EDITED BY SLAVE to clean up codes

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Slave, Branden meant that O'ists will use pure reason to reach conlusions and call those conclusions "reasonable" which may be over-simplified. And this will yield another set of reasoning of over-simplified conclusions, etc, etc. Life is far too complex to understand with pure reason. Along with reason there is intuition, emotion, and pure experience.

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First of all, a conclusion reached after a process of reason is reasonable. A conclusion based on faith, intuition, emotions, or nothing at all is irrational by it's very definition.

Second, Pure Reason is a Kantian, not an Objectivist term. Objectivism doesn't see reason as independent of experience, for example. As to emotions - they have their place, but they are not allowed to replace reason. They should be taken into account, but they are not means of cognition.

Third, Branden knows this. Why he chose to ignore it? Your guess is as good as mine.

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First of all, a conclusion reached after a process of reason is reasonable. A conclusion based on faith, intuition, emotions, or nothing at all is irrational by it's very definition.

Second, Pure Reason is a Kantian, not an Objectivist term. Objectivism doesn't see reason as independent of experience, for example. As to emotions - they have their place, but they are not allowed to replace reason. They should be taken into account, but they are not means of cognition.

Third, Branden knows this. Why he chose to ignore it? Your guess is as good as mine.

Perhaps he ignores it so that someone like Brian can say "Life is far too complex to understand with pure reason" and still think of himself as an Objectivist.

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Brian,

I said Branden violates the law of identity. I believe that you are doing the same thing.

Is reason reason? It is a true or false - there is no grey between white and black.

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Slave, Branden meant that O'ists will use pure reason to reach conlusions and call those conclusions "reasonable" which may be over-simplified.
I missed this the first time, but this is the grey that I mentioned.

You are trying to turn a simple true false into more than it is. You believe it is not as easy as true and false. You want to find more options by introducing the opposite of "over simplified" - grey. Have you ever heard "It is not a simple black and white"? That is what you are doing to your own thoughts.

Reason is reason. There is noting between the concept of reason and its antonym. There is no grey.

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Brian is talking his cues from Branden who said "It may be the case that you need to expand your model. One of the functions of reason is to alert us to just such a possibility."

Does "expand your model" mean introduce grey? Doesn't reason alert us to knowldege form non-contradictory identification? In which case, he is using his version of "reason" to defeat non-contradictory identification by expaning it to include non-reason.

Branden's error:

REASON and its oppostite Irrationalism

REASON is divded into pure-reason and NOT pure-reason.

The referent of Irrationalism is the same as NOT pure-reason.

If you do not belief me, look in a dictionary. Irrationalism is the same as what you call the opposite of pure reason.

irrationalism.

1 : a system emphasizing intuition, instinct, feeling, or faith rather than reason or holding that the universe is governed by irrational forces

Along with reason there is intuition, emotion, and pure experience.

The "Introduction to Objectivist Epistomemology" explains the hierarchy of concepts. When duplication or defintions by non-essentials are present, the hirerchy does not exist. At that point, you have become perceptual as opposed to conceptual since you have defeated you abiltiy to reason by using concepts where the differentia are the same as the genus (or inverse of in this case).

That is why emotion is such a large part of there fraud. You have defeated the rational function of you brain. You are not able to think.

The point is not that we follow the voice of emotion or feeling blindly, it means only that we don't dismiss our feelings and emotions so quickly; we try to understand what they may be telling us; we don't simply repress, rather we try to resolve the conflict between reason and feeling. We strive for harmony, for integration. We don't simply slash away the pieces of ourselves that don't fit our notion of the good or the right or the rational.

Aside from the fact that he reified emotions, he knows his only control over an individual is an irrational mind or force. Since he wants his hands clean (the elitists type), he urges you to keep you irrationalsm so that he can have a following like Rand. How would you expect an elitists to act if he realized he wasn't elite?

Before I discovered objectivism, all I would have known is that Branden is a fraud. Now, I know why. Thanks Ayn!

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Thanks for the criticisms, everyone. Stephen, stop with the insults. Those types of arguments get no one anywhere on either side. Want to explain to me why I am wrong? Then do it. And by the way, Stephen, I never said it was what I believed, but that it was Branden's. But that doesn't matter anyway, because I have not fully decided on the issue.

I was an advocate of reason but in a matter of 2 days I thought about emotion, intuition, and experience. I figured that each could be used as a tool, altogther. But Rand, or O'ism, states that Reason is THE tool. If it is the only tool where do emotion, intuition, and experience take their part? Are they interconnected? Does emtion, intuition, and experience each stem from Reason?

Counting on your intellectual honesty,

--Brian

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Does emtion, intuition, and experience each stem from Reason?

Yes because those are not the cause but the consequence of something.

For exemple if you are afraid because you are in a dark room, if you follow your emotion you will flee as fast as possible (or even jump out of the window) but if tou treat that question with tour reason you will ask yourself why you are afraid and then know that it is because there is no light. That will make you open the light in the room.

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