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About Capleton

  • Birthday 07/16/1980

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    Objectivism, Philosophy, Biology/Athropology, History, Atheology and Computers.

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  1. An African could be an atheist but he still mantains that he is a Dogon, why? For the Jews and the Dogons their religion is their culture, the two can hardly be seperated except in the case of individual deviations.
  2. I must say that Ayn Rand strikes as being one of the most consistent and articulate philosphers I have ever read. I do not believe that her views were all original; what I do know is that her integration of various views was a great achievement. To prove that Ayn Rand wasn't the first to articulate many of the positions you listed I would need to do some researching so as to give references and what not (for the sake of persuasion). By the way, are you saying that no one before ever articulated a particular position you listed or are you saying that they never did it as explicitly as Rand did?
  3. How does Peikoff's thesis in the Ominous Parallels fit with what he is saying today? To me his arguments are a significant departure from what he argued in the aformentioned book. To say that those without a clear ideology are not as much a threat as those who seemingly have one is dubious. In fact, Peikoff claimed that Nazi Germany was fiercely anti-ideological and look what happened.
  4. Peikoff seems to contradict his thesis in "The Ominous Parallels". In that book he claimed that although Nazi philosophy was anti-ideolgical the havoc that their views caused was great. He went on to say that this same trend in America could possibly lead to the same kind of thing happening in America. So how comes anti-ideology persons such as Kerry are no longer a mojor threat? How is Bush going to trick America when his motives are so clear as opposed to those of Kerry? Come on now. Peikoff is not convincing.
  5. Betsy: You are exaggerating at this time. Are all of you saying that Objectivism is an esoteric philosophy that one must take 4 or 6 years to master under the instruction of special tutors? Is it so difficult for someone to become an Objectivist philosopher or intellectual on their own research? If reality is knowable through reason then one does not need tutors to color things. Is this the Shaolin temple where monks study Shaolin Kung Fu techniques (forgive me)? The ARI should only broadcast Ayn Rand's views and publish books that espouse her philosophy by Objectivists philosophers. The classes in question are not becoming of the philosophy. I am not against college clubs or MeetUps though (organized by individuals not an ARI styled organization).
  6. Betsy, I am sure you might be exasperated so I will leave you with a quote by Rand: I hope I did not take these words out of context. Refusing to vote while attempting to change the philosophy of those living in your country. I would like to think that Objectivists have a principled approach toward the assessments of facts. In that regard, two Objectivists cannot look at the same aspect of reality and then come to a different conclusion or perceive different facts(if their method is principled). Objectivists cannot base their principles on the facts of reality if the "facts are not all known and [their is] insufficient evidence." The facts in this matter at hand are that both choices are evil. Any speculation about what will happen after November is far from fact. Peikoff claims are far from fact. So whence cometh the decision?
  7. Yes! Call a person who by definition is a mystic-a "mysti"c and they tend to get upset. One usually gets the same reaction from dogmatists (when are called for what they are). To answer both you and Andrew I would say that I would not insult your intellects by saying you believe in the arbitrary. I used the word dogma to mean a philosophy that is believed to be true and a "formally stated and authoritatively settled doctrine; a definite, established, and authoritative tenet." If you take offense by me saying this then so let it be. Are we to believe that only self-proclaimed Objectivist can discuss Objectivism? If this is indeed the case I would be happy to leave the forums. By your reasoning anyone who is not an Objectivist is a troll. Is this objectivity! Andrew: I do not believe that my charges are unjustified. The thing is that ARI is a sacred cow on these forums and I have been warned not to molest the cow. The purpose of OAC is to mold Objectivist intellectuals so that they may spread Objectivist dogma near and far. All other considerations are secondary. I gather this by the acceptance criteria and the course requirements . I do not need to sit in one of those classes to know the modus operandi.
  8. This is like asking me to vote for Socialism or the Mixed Economy by saying the Mixed Economy is the "lesser" evil. I support none of those systems at all; I am a capitalist (this is consistent with Objectivist ethics). How much different is theocracy from socialism/statism anyway? You as an Objectivist would still suffer. Oh yeah, Peikoff claims that the Dems don't have a clear cut ideology (hyperbole 101) but I say they do have a history of getting their socialistic agendas enacted. Consider that both the Democrats and the Republicans support essentially the same socialist policies: social security, more financing for public schooling, free health care and the like. This suggest that congress is likely to let socialistic legislation through before those than challenge the 1st ammendment. The constitution has more loop holes for socialistic ideas than it does for theocratic ones. Someone mentioned the FCC and its activities implying that the Bush administration was behind the suppression of free speech. What that person evades is the fact that the FCC was created to regulate speech when speech is supposed to be unregulated. Of course, an individual can sue someone who libels them but censorship only occurs when the government restricts speech not average citizens. It does not matter what party is in power the FCC will do its job of restricting free speech. Peikoff's speech is more a case against government than a particular party. So much for the power of the constitution to limit the power of government. I am not voting, period. It is wrong to say that the party that wins is the one I supported inadvertently. Besides, my vote would not change the outcome of the election. I suspect that you are using "know" to mean certain. If that is the case then I am not certain who will turn out to be the worst. I do however know now that both are evil. I also have a idea that socialism is a threat from both parties while theocracy is a non-issue. My non-vote does not contribute anything. Only those that voted for the so-called greater evil contributed to it.
  9. Betsy: Objectivism does not give guidance as how to choose between two evils. It gives guidance as how to choose between evil and good. All an Objectivist can do is estimate which candidate would be more effective in actualizing his evil ideas. The decision to support Bush or Kerry is not a principled one but a pragmatic one (more concerned with practical results than with theories and principles). Not voting would be a principled act. If both sides were using Objectivist principles they would have reached some agreement. Since they have not then their decisions are not principled. I know the difference between personal disagreements and philosophical disagreements mind you (hence, the comment you alluded to).
  10. It is more like a false dichotomy: either you vote for X or Y or be immoral. One would be justified to say that I am an agnostic whereas the candidates are concerned if I claimed that I could not say if anything of them were good or bad. But in fact, I am saying that both of them represent evil ideas that would not see America improve. Peikoff uses the word "apocalyptic" in terms of Bush's motives but I disagree for the following reasons (and those stated before). If Bush wins this election all he has again is four years to rule. Cheney is not a fundie at all. Of course, the chances are that he might change Cheney (as VP) before the 2008 elections. By that time any evil that he and his fundie crew wanted to foist on Americans would have been detected (he does not have clear way because of congress, the Constitution and fellow Republicans). I would venture to say that Democrats would take election '08 if Bush behaves "badly" in his next term (if there is one). All Peikoff has shown is that Bush's fundie base is highly energized. The fact remains that most Americans are not fundies and even if someone takes the bible literally that does not automatically mean that they (consciously) want theocracy (somehow a theocratic America does not jive with the book of Revelations). The sought after votes in this election are the "undecided" and the "swing" votes. The candidates have already tickled their respective bases. Confronted with the two evils, I would refuse to vote while still exposing the evil of both parties.
  11. Here you seem to support my hypothesis well. Still a strong supporter! Suppose you stop walking on rocks barefeet but instead wear some ultra comfy shoes from that time on; the fact remains that the sole of your feet would regain its softness. I imagine that your spouse could even make you chuckle by tickling it at that stage. Please note that I never said that the abuse would inflict permanent damage. So I must say your objections are off mark. Oh, do come on! So starving your child for a month is not abuse? The act of starving a child has the sme effect on the stomach as diligent fasting. This may be true in individual cases and it depends on the length and type of the fast. Both fasting and poor eating habits may be deemed abuse. . Perhaps!
  12. I am quite certain that John Kerry and his lawyer friend are not what America needs right now. The thing that concerns me is that Peikoff is supposedly using Objectivist principles to come to the conclusion that Bush is the worst choice of them all. Am I wrong? I also think this is why Argive made the following statement: The fact remains that we are to choose between two evils. The only certainty possible is that America is going to be worst off either way. All the while Peikoff is telling us that we have no other rational choice but to vote. Ayn Rand said that to speak of evil while implying one's neutrality is wrong. If I don't want to vote but loudly proclaim that I have no reason to vote given the evil that is before me what is wrong with that?
  13. Daniel: I understand most of what you say. But one factor that must be taken into account is the fact that ARI screens its students rather well. I would like to think that it is for this very reason that such problems may not arise. DPW: Your statements seem to assume that Objevtivism and objectivity go hand in hand by default. Objectivity is what Objectivists proport to be using but many fail in that regard. Why the need to create a straw man here? Attending the classes does not make on mindless so much as it would make one single-minded. By single-minded I do not mean principled but dogmatic. I will take not of you concerns though. Andrew: Dogma: a belief or set of beliefs that a political, philosophical, or moral group holds to be true. Given the definition above I am perfectly justifed in saying that ARI wants to spread dogma. I never said anything about religiousity mind you. The purpose of turning out intellectuals is to spread the dogma. The truth of Objectivism is most often taken as a given. The purpose of ARI is not question Objectivism but to spread it. One wonders whether Rand herself would want such an organization in existence after the (cultic) problems that arose with the Nathaniel B. Institute. Note: I have never said Objectivism is a cult but the fact remains that some people develop a cultic following nonetheless. Oldsalt: I am not a troll FYI! I would like to think that you are the troll for posting an insult without much elaboration. Clearly you want to stir up my emotions while not offering anything of substance (isn' that the definition of a troll?).
  14. A class on Aristotle is usually an unbiased look at what he believed and why. the professor may or may not be an Aristotelian philosopher. I never said you can't take a class on Plato. A class usually doesn't last four years you know. Likening geometry to Objectivism is a risky deed. One cannot just read about a branch of mathematics; mathematics requires a lot of practice. Why don't you just buy a book on geometry and practice at home? Of course, you may think that you are not disciplined enough to practice dilligently and sometimes the text book's explanation may not be sufficient. That's why you would want a tutor. You can learn as much about Plato and Geometry from your own efforts. Until grading time comes around, right? I am sure that at the Karl Marx institute anyone who shows symptoms of rabid laissez faire capitalism will be thrown out too. After all, the official dogma cannot be challenged. It doesn't matter that you had to read all the works of Karl Marx before being admitted to the classes. It does not matter that you passed the entry exam showing you have a good grasp of what Karl Marx believed. The purpose of the classes is to turn out Marxist intellectuals (in the case of ARI Objectivist intellectuals) who would then seek to spread the official dogma. The idea is not to produce indepedent minds at all. My point exactly. They are not looking for peoplewho take objectivity serious they are looking for people who subscribe to Ayn Rand's ideas. The classes are to make them more articulate in espousing those ideas not to question those ideas rigorously. Consider a seminary is dedicated to producing good Christian theologians who embrace the official dogma. Can anyone graduate from OAC who thinks that alturism is moral? By the way, thanks for the shameless insults you hurled at me.
  15. What evidence would convince you? If god says that man is not an end in himself but a servant to him; what will you say? If god said that reason is not man's only path to knowledge but divine revelation and intuition what will you say? If god said that man's moral purpose is to make his neighbor happy; what will you say? If he said that he created the universe ex nihilo; what would you say? Would there still be Objectvist if a personal god existed?
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