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Harrison Danneskjold

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Everything posted by Harrison Danneskjold

  1. Damn straight. I can quote you any contemporary article which advocates precisely that (most recently with Jon Stewart). In fact, why don't we make it fun and have YOU pick the article, and if it does in fact advocate for the guilty white supremacy I speak of then I'll tell you precisely where and how? I don't really give a damn about the repeal of whatever laws you're mentioning - because I don't give a damn about race. From a genetic standpoint the children of interracial marriages are likely to be healthier than their monoracial counterparts, because the entire human species is remarkably inbred. There is less genetic diversity between a black man and a white man than there is between any random pair of chimpanzees in any troop in Africa. From a human rights perspective - who cares? Even if the children of monoracial marriages might be less healthy than their interracial counterparts, I think that matter is between they and their doctors and absolutely nobody else. Race-mixing is just not on my radar. Nor will it ever be. It's interesting that you speak of "Black peeps defending themselves" and imply that there are many Nazis throughout America, though. There aren't many actual Nazis in America. There are plenty of Communists, and even more people who are simply confused on the whole issue, but not many open Nazis. And what do you mean about "Black peeps defending themselves"? Do you mean the fiery but mostly peaceful summer of love; the summer of 2020, which only led to several billion dollars of uninsured property damage and only a few dozen human lives lost? Remember in 2019 when Neonazis ran through the streets screaming about white power and chanting to kill all the non-whites, killed several dozen people and burned entire cities to the ground? Wait - was that 2019 or 2018? Wait - I know. Was it about those two Neonazis who grabbed Jussie Smollett in the street one night, poured bleach on his head, screamed "this is MAGA country", put a noose around his neck and vanished into the night (because their skin color matched that of the night)? Oh, wait, I know! You're talking about that Anti-Fascist in portland who saw a random white stranger who happened to be wearing a MAGA hat, said "we got one here", ran up and shot him in the chest without so much as a howdy-do, right? Maybe you're talking about Kyle Rittenhouse, who certainly mowed down hundreds of innocent black people (because the BLM riots mainly consisted of black people and not middle-class spoiled white brats who deserved a very good spanking). Or maybe you're talking about the guy who drove his van into a Thanksgiving-day parade in Wisconsin shortly after Rittenhouse was acquitted, because he genuinely believed that all of his friends and neighbors were actual Nazis? Because everyone on TV and in his personal life simply parroted that line over and over again without a single nanosecond of critical thought? I'm confused now. Could you please clarify what you mean by that? With the exception of the "nuking itself until none of us remain alive" bit, the rest of that doesn't sound that bad? As an atheist I think it would be better if more atheistic children were born, obviously. But I'm not against the creation of new human beings, on principle, and maybe the Indians or the Chinese will manage to figure out the problems that we Westerners simply cannot at present? That would be a good thing for absolutely everyone. If this is directed at myself, I don't think you want to get into an IQ-measuring-contest with me. Nor do I think you should start bragging about the cleanliness of Chinese air. Let's just drop all of that right here and forget about it - okay? --- Fundamentally, you seem to think that I've actually been advocating for brazen white supremacy. This may be a shortcoming in my attempts at sarcasm (I have been told that I'm sarcasm-impaired) but I wasn't nor would I. What I've been attacking, and will continue to attack until the heat-death of the universe, is racism. And the guilty form of white supremacy (which states that white people can't have any rights because if they do then they'll simply take over everything) is, among other things, extremely racist. And although it declares all white people to be selfish, back-stabbing and morally inferior, it absolutely does not characterize us as helpless or weak. The entire crux of the ideology is that we are stronger and smarter than anyone else, which is specifically why we must be restrained. The intellectuals tell us that a good work ethic is white supremacy; non-whites simply cannot do it. Showing up on time is white supremacy. Obeying the law is white supremacy. One article said that refraining from smoking crack while you are pregnant is white supremacy which we cannot expect black mothers to adhere to! I'm sure the literal KKK would agree with that last bit - that black mothers physically cannot help themselves; they must smoke more crack. The only difference between the current Grand Wizard and the author of that article is that one thinks that creating new crack babies is morally wrong, while the intellectual disagrees. It's white supremacy with a guilty conscience. Pure and simple.
  2. I thought it was pretty good. Here's that debate I mentioned: The bit about "a white supremacist with a guilty conscience" happens about 27 or 28 minutes in. P.S: If you're wondering whether I'm saying that the author of this article has precisely the same white supremacist complex as the man in my video - yes, I am. They stand for the same ideas for the same reasons; the guy in the video is far less eloquent about it (I don't think the author would ever be caught admitting to her white supremacy) but it is essentially the same thing. And the only difference between this type of white supremacy and the usual one (the guys with the Nazi tattoos who run around screaming about "white power") is that this variety thinks that being powerful is necessarily to be morally evil. There are a few new twists on the barnyard collectivism we can see here. But it's not an essentially new species.
  3. That's what "exploitation" means to a communist. There's nothing more to it than profit + moral disgust. You can go through any communist screed and simply replace the term "exploitation" with any synonym for trade or exchange and the meanings remain precisely the same - but without any connotations of malevolence. The root problem with this piece is the flat refusal to distinguish the power of money from the power of a gun. It's not the problem I personally find most offensive (that would be the suggestion that everyone with dark skin is somehow a victim of the modern free market, literally incapable of fending for themselves unless their white-skinned superiors take pity on the poor ol' darkies) but that's the most fundamental problem. Yeah. Any point which should be logically argued out is simply assumed (or defined by fiat), after which the rest of the essay is filled with potemkin arguments against straw men. I'm telling you, man. The "antiracists" are just a new flavor of white supremacists with guilty consciences. There was this debate I saw a few years ago, over the propriety of affirmative action, which has always stuck with me. After being told over and over again that he was a racist and a white supremacist, the man arguing against affirmative action finally asked why a raw, unvarnished meritocracy would be racist. Pro: "Because then white people would end up filling all the positions of power." Con: "No, no; we're only talking about talent. Why would it be racist to hire for those positions exclusively on the basis of merit?" Pro: "Because if it's by merit then white, heterosexual men will always win." Con: "Oh my god - you're the white supremacist, here!" Pro: "What? No; that's ridiculous. What are you talking about?" Con: "Yes, you are the white supremacist; you just feel badly for being one!" That's the essence of this phenomenon. They're not even black supremacists; they truly believe that all talent, intelligence and power lies with those who have light skin. They're just morally opposed to power or talent, as such.
  4. So, from the get-go she outlines a pair of recent cultural movements which are opposed to each other: "militant antiracial activists" and "aggressively ethnonationalist and alt-right, white-supremacist populism". She doesn't mention that "antiracism" means white supremacy with a guilty conscience. It's about taking power and privileges away from white people (regardless of whether or not they have any right to such powers) - why? Because if left to their own devices they'll simply gain control of every competitive position throughout society and oppress everyone else. "Antiracism" consists of the belief that people with white skin are more talented and superior in every way except morally, combined with a guilt complex about it. She doesn't unpack that both of these groups are white supremacists, though; differing only in their moral evaluation of the alleged supremacy involved. That wouldn't advance the problematic. At least she's aware of the "exchange" definition. She's openly saying that her approach is to drop it in favor of a combination of exploitation and expropriation, but at least she first acknowledged its existence. Holy Hell, she gets it! We have a glimmer of something here! And it's gone. We're dropping the "exchange" definition because some of its non-economic inputs generate racial oppression "for structural reasons". So the fact that Marxism makes this claim is an incontestable virtue. No effort whatsoever has been made to prove that this corresponds to reality (not even the pretense of an effort); it's just good because it declares that all employees are victims, by definition. The only problem is that it doesn't also define them poor old n*****s as the victims we all know them to universally be. Oh, I nearly forgot felons! They're just as victimized as employees, chattel slaves and modern American n*****s! Equating all non-whites with convicted felons advances the problematic double-plus-good - as long as nobody ever says that it's morally wrong to be a rapist or a murderer. That would be the brazen type of white supremacy. Territorial conquest and annexation are usually linked to aggressive wars, which are bad. They're even bad by the "exchange" theory of capitalism - as is enslavement (which is the same thing as "coerced labor"), child abduction and rape. Such things are bad unless you're convicted of them under our current system of White Supremacy; then it makes you the victim. For example: convicted rapists and murderers are sometimes forced to perform prison labor, which is really just the continuation of Southern Slavery. I would bet actual money that, if confronted with the question, this author would even affirm that one ends up as a member of a prison labor gang for simply being born as a n****r, precisely the same as in the old days! Don't ask what such a claim would imply about n*****s. That wouldn't advance the problematic. Here we find those structural reasons for dropping the "exchange" definition of Capitalism. It's because the real definition of Capitalism is "a system devoted to the limitless expansion and private appropriation of surplus value". And apparently race isn't even a thing. Race is a lie. And yet she's written an entire essay about how one's race determines one's status in a Capitalist system. This advances the problematic triple-plus-good. This is amazing. She has come up with her own definition of "the political side of Capitalism" which consists of the difference between slaves and masters. The entire essay could've consisted of this one little paragraph. There's the fundamental issue for you, right there: Capitalism is not only about maximizing profit but also about keeping your slaves as slaves, your masters as masters and your n*****s as n*****s. Nothing else needed to be said. And so I will end my analysis there, for now. Partially because everything else follows from that (so long as you accept this definition of "political Capitalism") and partially because it hurts me to read this.
  5. Until recently I understand you could be sued in California for knowingly exposing someone to the HIV virus. This makes perfect sense to me. If you give someone AIDS without telling them about it, you should pay their medical bills and any other bills which are necessitated by your own gross negligence. In principle this should also apply to COVID: if you know that you have COVID and you expose someone else to it, you should have to pay whatever damages arise from it. In the case of the Omicron Variant (which is an even milder sort of sniffle than its predecessors) we're now talking -what? $5 or $10 for some cough syrup, if even that? Oh, just wait. The government wants to crack down on "misinformation" now (which literally means "wrongthink"). If they get away with it we'll look back on the summer of 2020 with nostalgia, as the last time we were still free to think.
  6. I've also found, since that particular change, that whenever someone expresses an opinion about "anti-vaxxers" I now have to ask them to clarify what they mean. There's a world of difference between the belief that vaccines cause autism and every scientist on Earth is part of some grand conspiracy to cover it up because "just wake up, sheeple" and the belief that every individual has the right to decide what they do or do not inject into their own bodies. One of these beliefs deserves all the scorn and ridicule we can spare for it while the other should be defended to the hilt. It's wonderful that brand-new anticoncepts can be manufactured and officially incorporated into our own dictionaries in a matter of days, now. Isn't that just dandy?
  7. Actually, having given your analogy to Aristotle some thought, I would consider Relativity to be an Aristotelian idea. I've never been quite comfortable drawing a binary distinction between philosophy and every other area of human thought. Unlike gender, the fundamentality of an idea is a legitimate spectrum; not a binary. I've been trying to leave that issue aside because it tends to bog any discussion of this issue down. After all, without that clear division "Objectivism" would literally consist of "literally every opinion Ayn Rand ever held on anything", and those who argue for a closed system object to that characterization in the strongest possible terms - often to the exclusion of the rest of the argument. The way I think of systems of interrelated ideas (such as philosophies) is a bit fuzzier than that. There are dividing lines between contradictory ways of thinking, certainly, and there is a spectrum of abstraction (ranging from "existents" to "this computer monitor in front of me") but it's nowhere near as cut-and-dry as many Objectivists (above all, Peikoff) would suggest. I've never been able to pin down such clear divisions for myself, nor has anyone else to whom I've raised the question thus far. And in the fuzzier way I conceptualize different systems of thought, Relativity would belong in Aristotelianism (which argued for the importance of logical inference and an adherence to observable reality). Almost every hard science would also be an outgrowth of Aristotelianism. If you want to see a non-Aristotelian "science" just see Lysenkoism (or any other pseudoscience). But such mini-philosophies don't need to have their own concept. We just call them "what I personally think" (just as I did in the previous section). If you can show me precisely where to put a clear dividing line between what is "philosophical" and what is not then my personal worldview tomorrow might be different than what it is, right now. This is the conception of "philosophy" with obvious internal consistency but questionable utility. Which, again, could not have been what Rand or Peikoff were using whenever they were discussing Kantianism. And just to be clear, I don't see a problem with calling the Nazi Death Camps part of Kantianism (just as I don't see a problem with calling General Relativity an Aristotelian idea). Both are pretty far removed from what their original authors could have imagined, but there is an undeniable logical progression from A to B to C to D. What I do have a problem with is saying that E has nothing to do with D or C or B or A in the case of Objectivism. It's simply not true. And if Kelley's ideas or mine were as far removed from Objectivism as Objectivism is from its Aristotelian root then I might agree. However, if I were to read about a new philosophy which shared everything in common with Objectivism except a denial of the Pyramid of Ability and perhaps a few new derivations, I would consider it plagiarism to refer to it as anything other than Objectivism. The decision of where to draw that dividing line should be made on the basis of the ideas, themselves; not the particular brain which discovered them.
  8. Definitely; sorry for not doing so last night. It's not possible to forcibly give someone a value because values are chosen; not forced. Whatever is forced cannot be of any value. Peikoff has a really great lecture about this somewhere on YouTube (I tried finding it last night but can't remember what it was called) and he gives the example of forcing a young man to be a doctor, instead of an artist. Suppose this young man wishes to be an artist but isn't cut out for it and has no good reason to desire it; he doesn't even like to paint, but saw a really cool artist character in a TV show once and hasn't thought it through any further than that. Suppose that he even has real talent for doctoring and would in fact love it, with a passion, if he would only give it a chance. Suppose that some all-knowing benevolent dictator then forced him to be a doctor, at gunpoint, because this would actually be the correct choice for him to make if he made it freely. Would he find any joy in it? Obviously not; even the lowest sort of wretch, with no concept of self-respect, would still find himself hating his work and longing for his artistic fantasy. Would he develop his talents and become a great doctor? That would require his own effort, which he sees no good reason to exert. Given such a start, his career would consist of many years of resentful drudgery and many butchered patients. So although this course of action would be the best for him if he could only realize it, he cannot find any value in it until or unless he does realize it, firsthand, for himself. Trying to bypass his own judgement in the matter can only ever harm both parties. And attempting to force such values on people is harmful to the forcer, as well. @Doug Morris brought up the drug war. Drugs are obviously bad for your health; some of them (like weed) are probably only a little bad for you, while others (like heroin) are basically a death sentence. But every adult has the right to do whatever they like with their own lives; if they do not wish to go on living then nobody else has the right to force them to do so. Now look at what we accomplish by attempting to force everyone into health and sobriety. Firstly, we do not deter addicts from their addictions; they only become better at hiding them, less likely to voluntarily seek out help (even on the brink of death) and probably reinforce their self-destructive tendencies (see the Streisand Effect). Secondly, how much taxpayer money is being spent each year on the war on drugs? How much police time and attention, how many prison cells and how many human lives? That's not hyperbole. George Floyd had three times the lethal limit of fentanyl in his bloodstream when he died because, when the police caught him immediately after a drug deal, he swallowed his entire supply in order to avoid a possession charge. Where would we be today if he'd instead greeted the cops with a "hey, officers! I've already consumed a rather large amount of methamphetamines and I'm not feeling well; could you please direct me to the nearest hospital?" Breonna Taylor died in a no-knock drug raid - which is a nifty new thing our police officers have started doing, because none of our current measures are stopping the spread and use of drugs. Bad laws necessitate the creation of even worse laws, in order to enforce them - and with every new law our taxes must rise, new prisons must be built, genuine rapists and murders are given less attention by our already-overwhelmed police officers and innocent people die. Every party - both the ones initiating the force and the ones who are being forced are harmed. You can look at it from any perspective or angle you like and they are all universally bad. --- That's what a "right" is. If you'd prefer to look at it in utilitarian terms (which I'm alright with) then a "right" is a choice which must be left up to a certain individual to make, in whatever way they like - even if they choose wrongly. It must be left up to them because the alternative would not only be harmful to them (even if you're forcing them to make the right choice, it can't be right if it's forced) but also to yourself. If you thought my description of the drug war was bad, just imagine if Biden's mandate had actually been implemented. Hell, being a Christian fundamentalist is probably even worse for you than being unvaccinated, but could you imagine what we'd have to do in order to forbid people from holding such beliefs, inside of their own heads (or what that would do to them)? Bad laws necessitate the creation of even worse laws...
  9. Then (and I mean this only as an observation; not a condemnation) you don't have a solid conceptual grasp on what "rights" are. It is not possible to do the right thing for the wrong reasons. Your reasons for doing something matter. "Doing the right thing for the wrong reasons" is a contradiction in terms. That being said, I absolutely agree with the OP. I am also pro-vaccine but anti-mandate. I was actually excited to get the vaccine, when it first became available. Not because I was ever worried about COVID (I'm 32 and do not have AIDS) but because I was excited to end the lockdowns and get back to normal life. When it became clear that "normal life" would have nothing to do with whatever COVID was doing, and specifically when Joe Biden declared that he had lost his patience with me, I decided I'll never get it. Not because I'm in any way worried about it. I'm sure it's entirely safe and probably good for my health. I decided that I'll never get it because I am not a six-year-old child who isn't responsible for his own life choices, thank you very much! If being a soulless, rightless, brainless robot in a plastic bubble is what it takes to save my life then no thank you; I'd rather just die as a man.
  10. I have nothing to add to the earlier remarks here (nicely done, guys) except that the only "good arguments" I've heard for the simulation hypothesis follow the same chain of statistical reasoning which the Drake Equation does. To wit: if there is thus-and-such a chance that we could potentially simulate a human brain, and thus-and-such a chance that we'd want to (&etc) then eventually it becomes statistically more likely that we're living in a simulation than in reality. Well, that's a "good" argument since none of its points can be immediately disproven outright, and the Drake Equation is a "good" equation in precisely the same way. If there is thus-and-such number of potentially habitable planets in our galaxy and thus-and-such number of them contain life and thus-and-such number of life forms become sentient in the way we are (&etc). The Drake Equation can't be disproven; it can be useful, provided that you actually know which percentages to put into it (which we currently don't). The statistical argument for simulation theory works in precisely the same way: it's not inherently false and could be just as useful as the numbers you plug into it. Which we currently don't really know. And just as we've yet to find any evidence of a single extraterrestrial intelligence I wouldn't worry too much about being part of The Matrix (at least until we know which numbers belong where, in those equations). If that's not the good argument you've heard for the simulation hypothesis then I'd love to hear what it was! In the words of Mark Twain: "There are lies, damned lies and statistics".
  11. Precisely. Thank you. I absolutely believe that philosophy must be expanded and perfected. 100% I do also play fast and loose with the terms "system" and "theory" (but not "complete system"). I understand these to be collections of individual claims, but as long as a system is not "complete" I don't see it as being too distinct from a theory; the borders between the two seem pretty fuzzy. I basically agree about "a system of true philosophical claims" meaning Objectivism, and false systems including all the others. I don't consider "Objectivism" as just "philosophy as such" because of all those alternative philosophies. The point about Aristotle having a theory of Quantum Mechanics is interesting. It'd simplify things for me if we used General Relativity instead of QM (which seems much more Aristotelian) and, to be precise, I wouldn't say that Aristotle personally invented General Relativity. I might agree that Aristotelianism implies Relativity, though. I think I see what you're driving at, there, and I'll have to think about it. I disagree with that characterization, but let's just run with it for the sake of argument. Fact and Value was the essay (which Ayn Rand was not alive to comment upon) in which Peikoff declared: Further setting aside the obscene references to "essentials" and "fundamentals", he writes slightly earlier in the very same essay: The underline is mine, to underscore the fact that he is attributing the actions of Hitler and Stalin to Immanuel Kant. It would be one thing if he truly was declaring that a "philosophy" consists of the discrete and immutable statements of its author (by which definition, each of us would have our own, personal philosophy). It'd be a concept of questionable utility but with clear internal consistency. No; he is simultaneously saying that none of the implications of Ayn Rand's writings are part of "Objectivism" and that Relativity is not part of Aristotelianism but also that the Nazi Death Camps are part of Kantianism, in the same way and at the same time. And the latter part of that contradiction is the only one Rand, herself, ever explicitly supported. We never got a chance to hear her opinion of the former half. And that's assuming that your characterization is accurate, which I don't believe. --- PS: In Truth and Toleration Kelley criticizes much Objectivist discussion of other philosophies (and this part does apply to what Rand, herself, wrote) as treating ideas as the agents which act upon the world, while the people who hold them are devoid of volition. A Kantian professor may lecture you about all the intricate details of his own (quite evil) philosophy. Does that automatically lead to your acceptance of it? If not; if you choose to accept it, in some way, and it then leads you to commit atrocities, then what degree of the blame belongs to that professor? In Fact and Value Peikoff argues it's basically 100%. The ideas of Kant, once accepted, could ONLY lead to starvation and massacre. Kelley and I do not believe that it's 0% of the blame, but not 100% either. This ties directly back into what I just told @Eiuol about how Peikoff's moral standard applies to a drunk like myself.
  12. And yet Rand explicitly mentioned how Einstein's theories were a refinement of Newton's and not a refutation (I believe it was in the ITOE). She also gave credit to Aristotle as her intellectual forefather, which would be odd if Objectivism was a refutation of Aristotelianism. The view of an explosive science in which all of our old ideas are regularly demolished every few decades is precisely what philosophy would be if philosophical systems were conceived of as permanently "closed". Hell, under that conception there is no way one could ever link Kant to Stalin or Hitler in any way. Neither of them fully agreed with 100% of what Kant ever said - therefore neither of them was a Kantian. Therefore Kant had nothing to do with the Holocaust or the Holodomor. And yet, every single time Rand ever spoke about Kant's philosophy it was in terms of essentials; stripping out every last thing which wasn't a vital component and speaking only of the core of the ideology. We still do this regularly whenever we discuss other ideologies, amongst ourselves - just not our own.
  13. Yep. Nope. Isaac Newton believed in alchemy. This belief was not that far-fetched at the time (after all, the scientific method had only JUST been made explicit for the very first time - by him) and he fully integrated it into his overall worldview: he believed that since it was real, it could be measured, quantified and scientifically understood. And he didn't JUST believe it! Since he believed this to be true he then set out to prove it, experimentally, by reference to reality. This was an incorrect belief which was properly integrated, was not arrived at arbitrarily or irrationally and which prompted the exertion of significant time and effort to discover further truths. Perhaps calling him an Objectivist was taking it a bit far, in retrospect, but that's a display of all the primary Virtues we're supposed to care about. It wasn't a conflation of "truth" with Objectivism, but "rationality" (which does not automatically guarantee any particular truth). And I did track down that quote I had in mind... It's from Patents and Copyrights in Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal. I won't bother then. I don't see why since, according to Peikoff in Fact and Value, the primary thing to judge are the ideas I consciously profess (much of which would also be your own ideas); not what I do with them. The notion that actions are the primary things to which "good" and "evil" apply (instead of to ideas) is the position advocated by That Kelley Creature. Did I not mention what a nifty moral standard that is in the OP? I don't have to actually DO anything beyond holding the correct opinions; if I advocate Marxism then I am the moral equivalent of Karl Marx, and by the same token (mutatus mutandis) if I advocate Objectivism then I am the moral equivalent of Ayn Rand! Nifty, too, that she wasn't alive to comment on Peikoff's convenient moral standard.
  14. Far from it. I think people like Isaac Newton and Thomas Jefferson were Objectivists before we discovered the proper word for it. I know that neither truly agreed 100% with everything Ayn Rand said, and both probably presented contradictions in their own viewpoints which we could (and should) nitpick in retrospect. But if the measure of a man is more of what he DOES rather than what he CLAIMS TO BELIEVE then I maintain that such figures were enacting Ayn Rand's ideals long before we fully understood why they should've. Where did she say this? Because she also said in one of her discussions of Intellectual Property Rights (I believe it was the one about radio broadcasts) that philosophical "discoveries" cannot be owned, and explained why. So if she said both then this is a blatant contradiction which not only explodes any notion of a "closed Objectivism" but on which only one of our sides can be right. I'll see if I can track down where she mentioned that philosophical discoveries cannot be owned tomorrow. --- This is totally irrelevant. But I've had a bit to drink (as I said - I'm not living up to my own standards) and it is very good.
  15. You equate a philosophic system/worldview (a limited treatement of a set of issues) with the entire field of philosophy. In other words, you're arguing for the latter, to people who mean the former. This is so confusing to me. I can neither agree with what you're saying nor name any arguments against it because I literally do not know what you mean. Could you please elaborate? WHOA! You know what this is? This is an attempt to define what "Objectivism" is in terms of essentials. This is precisely what I've been arguing for this entire time! I hesitate to present any such list of my own (since I am arguing the Essentialist position and assume it will only be met with "but O'ism = every little thing Ayn Rand ever wrote"). But I see no problems with the list you've presented. I don't see the "pyramid of ability" on that list - and I concur. Issues like that are truly philosophical but non-essential to the core of the philosophy, itself. Much like the issue of Individual Rights being nonessential to the philosophy of Kantianism.
  16. @RationalEgoist @KyaryPamyu @Eiuol A six-fingered man is still a man.
  17. No, it's not! The expansion part is certainly obvious (as is the fact that this is what calls for "openness" are meant for) but the exhaustion part is precisely what I was asking about, because it's far from obvious to me! Is there any field of science which has been "exhausted"? One could speculate that perhaps physics might be at some point but there's still plenty that we still don't know about physics, and that's the most advanced scientific field I can think of. Everything else is behind it - often multiple millenia behind it. And the fact that General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are mutually exclusive (that we can model and predict the behavior of very large objects or very small objects with amazing accuracy, but that either model breaks down into incomprehensible gibberish in the presence of the other) leads me to suspect that even that still has plenty left to learn about. One can imagine some future theory of physics which can accurately model and predict the motion of literally any physical object, which would presumably be the "exhaustion" of physics. But I'm not aware of a single subject which has ever been exhausted in all of human history (including human history!) and we should remember that the assumption that it can happen is, in fact, an assumption. Maybe it can't happen. Furthermore, what I was specifically asking about was a "complete system". Not a single subject, but a "system of interconnected theories and principles" in which every member is complete. That's a slightly taller order than even the exhaustion of a single subject. So if I published The Wellspring of the Human Soul, about the architect Harrison Ragnar, you would not consider it an act of plagiarism? Maybe it would be a close sibling of The Fountainhead (since I literally described the act of changing a few proper nouns and maybe a bit of the dialogue while retaining essentially the same story) but since it wouldn't be identical there wouldn't be a problem.
  18. Maybe. And maybe, if we accept the idea of a "closed system" then there are no Objectivists at all; plenty of "students of Objectivism" and "fans of Ayn Rand" and "people with Objectivist sympathies" but not a single Objectivist. That's certainly the tortured sort of language your side seem to consistently resort to in order to describe themselves. And that is better than chucking any possibility of ever rationally disagreeing with Ayn Rand (which is the option to which the analogies to a cult are applicable). But it is a tortured way of using concepts which we don't use for other philosophies. When we meet someone who declares that the real world is unknowable to us; that all we can ever know is how things appear to our specific set of senses, and that the height of virtue is an adherence to duty for duty's own sake, we call them a Kantian. And if they declared "no; I can't be a Kantian because Immanuel Kant argued for a limited government which respects individual rights, while I am a Communist" I could possibly see calling them a Neo-Kantian (maybe) but not discarding the label altogether. If the shoe fits then wear it. Incidentally, this is precisely why I don't run around calling myself an Objectivist when I know I'm not living up to the standards demanded by that philosophy. If the shoe doesn't fit then I can't wear it. And no; refraining from the specific use of the "O" label wouldn't take anything away from the virtue I'd be practicing. But labels matter because concepts matter. It doesn't matter whether we call a certain type of thing Arsenic or Arseeni or the element As - but it matters one Hell of a lot that we can distinguish that thing from food, or Objectivism from Kantianism.
  19. Yeah; maybe. I'd like the source if I could have it. And, more importantly, who could the term apply to? There was a time, from 2012 to 2014, in which I spent every minute of every day being productive. I worked a full-time job, helped to raise my son and taught myself how to program on the side. And in 2015, when I realized that my wife wasn't actually interested in Objectivism (certainly not in the way I was) I gave myself a month to program an extremely profitable Android app, to fund the transition from marriage to divorce (while still working a full-time factory job for most of each day, mind you). In those moments where 100% of my time and energy was devoted to my own ideals (which were also Ayn Rand's ideals, apart from the issue of intellectual property and maybe one or two others) I was being an Objectivist. Now, according to Peikoff (in Fact and Value) I was not an Objectivist. Although I was giving everything I had to give to what I, after thinking it through, considered to be my best possible life - that's irrelevant. I don't see IP the way Rand did, so that means that I wasn't being an Objectivist, even then. I say to Hell with Peikoff. When I'm back on top of things (the way I was then) I will call myself an Objectivist again, and I couldn't give a single pubic hair what he thinks of it! And that's because I never would've started putting 100% of my effort into anything if I hadn't read Atlas Shrugged. As far as I'm concerned she deserves some credit from whatever I can do because of that.
  20. Because it's the truth. Granted, as I stated in the OP I've been having some trouble applying it to my own life of late, which is precisely why I've also been trying not to grandstand about it. Maybe I'm not currently living as an Objectivist; that's sort of how I think of it, since I know I'm not using my time in the best ways I possibly could. But I still believe in all those core ideas. And I fully intend to start enacting them again soon. And if I won't be able to call myself an Objectivist, when I get back to the point where I'm doing all of that on a daily basis, then I really don't see who can. And you know, maybe I shouldn't be so concerned with the label. It's ironic because it does seem to parallel the concept of Intellectual Property (which is one of my only disagreements with Rand) but I still feel that I ought to give her some sort of credit, even if it's only within my own mind, for everything I've gotten from her for essentially free. But maybe not. Maybe I should just call myself Eclectic and deny any one person having an outsized influence on my current philosophical framework. It would certainly be much easier. But I still don't feel that it would be true. PostScript: I mean, of all the things I currently think, almost all of them can be traced back to Anton Szandor LeVay, Ayn Rand and Elon Musk. And when you learn that LeVay's ideas were basically just Ayn Rand's ideas, stripped of any epistemological basis, that leaves Ayn Rand and Elon Musk (the latter of which has managed to change my mind about maybe 5% of what the former has). Granted, many of them are originally my own - which isn't consistent with a "closed system". But to deny how many of them I got from Ayn Rand just feels like outright plagiarism.
  21. Well, I would use "in particular" as synonymous with "exclusively", but that's neither here nor there. It probably was a sloppy reading anyway. The reason Victor Hugo comes to mind is because a month or two ago I actually bought The Hunchback of Notre Dame on Audible specifically because of Rand's praise for what a great author he was, and I hated it. Given how I now know it ends I have not been able to wrap my head around what she liked so much about his writing. I'm not surprised that it came across that way, though. I've been upset about this issue for a long time, and now that I'm trying (for the third or fourth time now) to bring it into the open once again, I have been trying to keep a lid on the urge for snarkiness. Honestly, I know I'm being more aggressive than I should be, and it's not because of you. No: I'll say it for you. You cannot make any sort of commitment to agree with all of anyone else's ideas. The moment you do that, you've signed a blank check on your own brain and can no longer claim to think for yourself. That is why it's important to leave open the possibility of honest disagreement. I truly do respect the fact that you gave up the label of "Objectivist" before you signed such a blank check. I don't think you needed to (since I don't hold a high opinion of the ultimate conclusions reached in Fact and Value) but since you thought you did, I think you made the right call. No; seriously. For a system of thought to be "complete" would either mean that you literally know everything which can be known or that you've given up on thinking and your "complete system" is, in fact, a cult. That part was not hyperbole. Ideas which are essentially different from or contradictory to Rand's? Absolutely. To call subjectivism, Marxism, Mormonism (etc) "Objectivism" would be absurd. I rest my case. Arguing that anyone who takes her ideas seriously must think for themselves, which necessarily makes the daily practice of such ideas (call it, if you will, Objectivism) necessarily open-ended? I mean ... Do you really need that proof? It seems a bit pedantic but I am confident I can prove it.
  22. In the link you shared (as in Fact and Value, and elsewhere) Peikoff speaks of "abstractions" and "concretes" as if these are binary categories, instead of the spectrum we all know it to be. How I feel about a particular person is a perceptual concrete. My own sexuality is somewhat more abstract, sexuality in general is somewhat more abstract, the relation between thoughts and feelings is still more abstract, etc. This is a case of a legitimate spectrum, and I still have yet to hear a satisfactory distinction between what is philosophical and what is not (including the one you linked to). But let's set all that aside. Suppose the pyramid of ability (the principle that less skilled workers gain much more from their betters than they could ever get in return) was somehow proven to be false? I don't mention this example because I think it ever will be (I would be extremely surprised if it ever was) but because it is such a broad abstraction that it must surely count as "philosophical" and therefore is useful to think about. What else would we have to change our minds about if that principle was ever disproven? Certainly, this would affect a few other areas of politics, but not much - it would still be true that the principle of mutual consent must govern ALL interpersonal interactions and that every worker has the right to keep whatever he has earned. Perhaps there would be a renewed interest in labor unions among Objectivist thinkers. Our ideas about induction, logical integration or self-esteem, however, would not be affected. To say that the philosophy represented by that one and only difference from Objectivism, as Ayn Rand herself explicated it, would be something fundamentally different from Objectivism - it's like saying that a man with nine fingers instead of ten would no longer be a human being. It would be an outrageous multiplication of concepts for no reason whatsoever. And incidentally, Peikoff is absolutely right. In Truth and Toleration David Kelley explained how we can advocate for pure subjectivism under the cover of Objectivism (which is a far less socially acceptable cover than open, crusading subjectivism - most people would react with less hostility to the advocacy of baby-eating than to that of actual selfishness) for the glory of Mother Russia! Although Alex Jones explains it better than he did. What would a "complete" system even look like? Surely, in order to be "complete" we're talking about some Universal Theory of Everything, and that's not a possibility I think we'll need to consider any time soon. In any case I literally cannot imagine any such thing beyond the concatenation of the noises "complete" and "system". PostScript: Suppose I were to write a book in which a heroic architect, who loves his work as nobody else does and builds his buildings like nobody else ever has before, fights a lonely battle to do the thing he loves? Suppose he was in love with a newspaperwoman but couldn't be with her, because she was convinced he would lose that battle, and had to fight against a brilliantly malevolent author who continuously tried to ruin him? It ends with the architect blowing up his own building (because it wasn't built precisely as he designed it) and had to argue for the moral righteousness of his own actions in court. Suppose I changed the name of the main character to Harrison Ragnar, changed a few other details (perhaps rewrote some of the dialogue) and published it under the title: The Wellspring of the Soul. Would that be a different book than the Fountainhead, because it didn't have precisely the same text throughout the entire book (as well as a different name)? Or have I just described an act of plagiarizing The Fountainhead? If I agreed with everything else Ayn Rand said except, say, the Pyramid of Ability, I would consider it disingenuous for me to call myself anything other than an Objectivist. Just as the book about the architect Harrison Ragnar should be called The Fountainhead (because that is exactly what it is) Objectivism should be called Objectivism. And since human beings are fallible and the proper, rational pursuit of knowledge leads to an ever-growing and occasionally-revised body of such knowledge (precisely as we see in science) Objectivism cannot be anything other than open-ended. "Closed Objectivism" is a contradiction in terms. It's an attempt to treat a Rational philosophy as a dogma or a cult, and these two things are mutually exclusive. They cannot coexist in the same brain or the same ideology.
  23. No; it's not difficult to grasp. Having been raised as a fundamentalist Christian I recognized the suggestion pretty much immediately upon reading Fact and Value. But who says it's a closed system? Ayn Rand certainly didn't. So isn't that already a posthumous addition to the system in and of itself? Suppose one were to disagree on, say, the Pyramid of Ability; the principle that less intelligent and less skilled workers gain far more benefits from their betters than they are capable of giving in return. Is that not a properly philosophical point? Suppose one were not just to disagree because one disliked the idea for some silly reason, but were in fact able to rationally (within the bounds of the Objectivist view of rationality) disprove it? According to Peikoff and yourself this would be the end of Objectivism. Never mind that altering that one point would have very little impact on the rest of politics or ethics and none whatsoever on epistemology or metaphysics (the concept of Rational Selfishness, for example, would not be changed very much); the philosophy represented by that one alteration would be something entirely different and alien to Ayn Rand's thinking. Perhaps we could call it "Neo-Objectivism" or some such thing, in light of how very similar it would be to the original philosophy, but Peikoff would still urge its adherents never to mention Rand's name in connection to it - for Public Relations concerns. If you mean that it would exist in a state which lacks growth or motive power (which is the status of a corpse) then, no. Catholicism did just that up until the dawn of the Renaissance and several strains of Islam have done so right up to the present day. Science grows. Mathematics grows. Hell, even Marxism and Kantianism have grown in scope and complexity, and they're more-or-less opposed to it. But every cult which is based on nothing more than blind faith has perpetuated itself, without much growth or change, in that corpselike state of any dogma. And as soon as any minor point (such as the pyramid of ability) requires some sort of revision, in the same way that Newton's laws had to be revised in the light of Einstein, I will expect every follower of Peikoff to renounce everything else along with that minor point. I'm sorry; where in the Objectivist Epistemology is the requirement (or, indeed, any possibility for) the approval of the Authorized Representative of Ideology? I must have missed that chapter of the ITOE. This is exactly what I mean. So you are saying that, despite agreeing with the entirety of Rand's metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and politics, you don't like Victor Hugo? And because you don't like classical music and Victor Hugo you do not have the right to call yourself an Objectivist? Honestly, let's imagine what Howard Roark would say if Peikoff told him that he wasn't an Objectivist if he liked the wrong kind of music. And let's never forget that Ayn Rand did not write Fact and Value, nor did she ever have a chance to give it her official stamp of approval. So the treatise which declares such stamps to be an absolute necessity is, itself, devoid of one. As to our motives, however, you're not thinking big enough! Perhaps we want to slip ourselves into the Objectivist movement, twist its stated principles into straw-men and discredit it from the inside - not even to embezzle an unearned share of Rand's prestige in the eyes of the world, but to strangle that prestige in its crib, for the glory of Mother Russia! Or maybe what you mean by "mixing and matching our own ideas with Rand's" is, in fact, thinking for ourselves. And that this is a fundamental requirement of Objectivism, and that we must leave open the mere possibility of disagreement out of sheer principle (which is also a fundamental requirement of Objectivism). I'm sorry you feel that you don't have the right to call yourself an Objectivist since you disagree with a few aesthetic points. But I respect that you've at least held on to that mere possibility, for your self. It's important.
  24. And that's what really bothers me about the tone they took in that conversation towards David Kelley. Not that it was irrationally dismissive and hostile, but that it was so tolerant (when the entire reason for the Peikoff-Kelley split was about tolerance, David Kelley went on to write an entire book about why Objectivists should be intellectually tolerant and Peikoff's response was "nuh-uh; anyone who grows into adulthood while still believing in, say, Communism, must necessarily be evil by that very fact!")! Saying "well, I think David Kelley definitely had some motivated reasoning behind his conclusions" and leaving it at that is not the Peikoff approach! That's the David Kelley approach! To be consistent with Peikoff would be to say "David Kelley was an Anti-Objectivist, secondhanded faker whose ideas came from nothing more than a desire to please the crowd. I hope he dies in a chemical fire. Good riddance!" I'm not upset that the ARI isn't saying that; it's obviously a step in the right direction. What pisses me off is that they still give no credit to the guy who originally pointed that step out as the correct one and are now dismissing him in his own, tolerant terms. What happened to the chemical fires, ARI? I assume you still have them somewhere???
  25. Certainly; ARI is more of an authority on Objectivism than the NY Times or random internet commenters. Which makes it particularly strange to hear every single lecture and elaboration on Rand's ideas presented with the same sort of disclaimer (these are my own ideas and not Ayn Rand's); particularly when they cover fundamental issues in a way that's obviously consistent with what Rand wrote. Now, despite the fact that I call myself an Objectivist, did you have any trouble telling whose ideas were represented by the preceding paragraph? And suppose I were to challenge some derivative point Rand made; say I think it was morally, egoistically right for the US to enter WW2 (which Rand opposed)? Would you, at any point, be confused about the person putting forward that idea or the philosophical framework they were appealing to in order to justify it? Onkar Ghate gave a lecture at one point; "Seize the Reigns of Your Mind" which was about the choice to think and how to cultivate good psychoepistemological habits. It was very good; I've listened to it several times (I recommend you also listen to it at least once) and it was an excellent practical application of Rand's comments on free will. If memory serves I believe he begins the lecture with a several-minute-long disclaimer that these are his own ideas and not Ayn Rand's and that any possible error therein would be entirely his own - which, in the context of how good those ideas were, just smacks of unnecessary self-abasement (particularly the second or third time you have to hear them). Furthermore, the additional "any errors in this are entirely my own" is both a common part of such disclaimers and also a totally baseless assumption. Who says Ayn Rand couldn't have screwed something up? She was a human being, too, and we all have bad days. Absolutely. Objectivism is not complete; there is room for much more discovery and application (there is a mountain of the undiscovered and unnamed for each punctuation mark Rand ever wrote) and doubtless a few corrections, as well - but not of the fundamentals. A philosophy with a different view of volition, metaphysics or epistemology would not be Objectivism. An ethical system which was not rooted in the individual's pursuit of his own positive values would not be egoism. There are some things which cannot be changed without becoming an entirely different ideology. However, some of the details may be open to honest dispute by rational Objectivists. However, this view of Objectivism which you and I share is not the "closed system" coined by Leonard Peikoff. This might mean that those who disagree with Rand about WW2 (such as Yaron Brook) or about miscellaneous off-the-cuff remarks on femininity, masculinity or the nature of homosexuality - any and all of these might be "anti-Objectivists" masquerading as Objectivists. Such people presumably would feel nothing in particular about Rand's fictional heroes or the principles which animate them; Peikoff implies that any apparent evidence to the contrary is only a front they put up for the benefit of everyone else's eyes. Whether or not any particular disagreement constitutes actual heresy depends on your definition of a "philosophical" issue from any other kind of issue. Presumably World War 2 would be too concrete, but I sincerely doubt that the nature of human perception would be. Welcome to the heretics! We're glad to have you.
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