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The Fountainhead

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  1. The question: Why isn't Objectivism taken seriously? The answer: Because those who don't take Objectivism seriously fail to realize that "Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification" (from Atlas Shrugged). Its that simple!
  2. So here we go: 1. For my first question I asked you to list some of the "academic standards" that Ayn Rand's essays fail to meet. You replied by quoting two quotes from an institution whose garbage I do not care to read. For the reasons why see the essay Fact and Value by Leonard Peikoff. So, I will be replying only to the quotes that you posted. I have also noticed that most of the stuff in your quotes have nothing to do with "academic standards." It is about Johnson taking some approach and another group taking another approach. Your first quote states that "Rand never wrote philosophy in terms of detailed treatises, scholars reading her essays need to relate her phrases or arguments to her system as a whole -and imagine how that system might have been further articulated." My response: In the "Virtue of Selfishness" the first essay is about the "Objectivist Ethics" Ayn Rand starts from the beginning, from the questions: What are Values?" and "Why does man need them?" and then goes on to build Objectivist Ethics. Now if one will grasp the ideas presented in the first essay, one will notice that the ideas presented in the rest of the book can be linked to the first chapter. In answering to the question "How does One Lead a Rational Life in an irrational Society" Ayn Rand elaborates on the virtue of Justice (which she mentions in her first essay), when discussing the Ethics of Emergencies she renfoces the idea she discusses in her first essay, that a man's own life is the source of his capacity to value, in response to the question that "Doesn't Life Require Compromise?" Ayn Rand elaborates on the virtue of Integrity (which she mentions in her first essay). The reason why one is able to connect ideas in Virtue of Selfishness is because Ayn Rand's essays contain fundamental principles, not some random, disconnected phrases or arguments. Now a word about the word "fundamental" - "Fundamental refers to a principle or truth which is present in vast number of concretes. To say something is fundamental means that many other truths depend on it. To say philosophy studies the fundamentals of reality means it studies those facts present in, and those principles applicable to, everything that exists." (emphasis mine) (From The Art of Nonfiction by Ayn Rand, page #27). The first quote also mentions that:"Rand never wrote philosophy in terms of detailed treatises." What does it have to do with the "academic standards" which you claim Ayn Rand's essays fail to meet. BTW, Any Scholar searching for a full presentation of the entire theoretical structure of Objectivism will find it in Leonard Peikoff's 1976 lectures on Objectivism or in his book, Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, which is based on the 1976 lectures. In your second quote the only thing that is worth replying to the quote that "scholars approach Rand without being familiar with her method or thought. " Let me tell you something interesting: When I approached most of the philosophers in the history of philosophy I was totally unfamiliar with their methods or thoughts. But after I went over what these philosophers had to say I got familiar with their methods and thoughts. 2. For Question number 2, I asked you to give me some examples of some of the "endless strawmen" that Ayn Rand seems to put up in her writings. You replied by paraphrasing your original statement and then told me to ignore your "innocent ponderings." --- OK. 3. For question 3 I asked: Have you read Philosophy: Who needs it ? You said no. I think you should read it. There you will see Ayn Rand quoting "lotsa and lotsa" quotes from her opponents. When it comes to quoting all I can say is look at the context of Ayn Rand's writings, understand what she is trying to convey. This way you will be able to get an objective measure of her writings. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When it comes to quoting, here is what I do: I quote only if I can't state something better than the author did. And when it comes to reading or listening to what others have to say, I exercise the virtue of Independence (See Ayn Rand's novels for a good demonstation of this virtue).
  3. BinniLee, I shall reply to your post soon. Can you please tell me where those two quotes that you quoted came from. I don't know who is Johnson and what method he brings to reading Rand. It would be extemely helpful if I can read those quote in the context of the works they were quoted from. For my second question I asked for examples not a rephrasing of your original statement. Thanks.
  4. Precisely. When I read AR's works I realize that she had a firm grasp of what the ideas in the history of philosophy meant in theory and in practice. So I can't understand how anyone can state that AR put up "endless strawmen" in her writings.
  5. *** Mod's note: The quoted post was deleted because it contained another quote from somewhere, not sure where, that was pretty insulting. - sN *** 1. Can you list some of the "academic standards" that you are talking about? 2. Can you give some examples of Ayn Rand putting up "endless strawmen" in her writings? 3. Have you read Philosophy: Who Needs it by Ayn Rand? Thanks
  6. What you will be doing is sanctioning the irrational ideas that those people are accepting and therefore, you will be playing the same role that the environmentalists are playing in upholding and spreading this "anthropogenic global warming hoax." The setting up of your "for-profit carbon offset company" implies that you accept the "anthropogenic global warming hoax" and therefore, as a person with integrity, want to do something about it. By doing so, you are not only betraying the values that you uphold, you are also being dishonest i.e. faking reality. Now do you think its moral or immoral?
  7. Old Soul... can you point where exaclty Ayn Rand talks about "democracy being the natural political framework for the objectivist philosophy." I have read Atlas Shrugged once and I am really sure that Ayn Rand made it clear that she wants "government of laws and not of men." And if you have read VOS, in "The Objectivist Ethics" AR makes it clear that she advocates "full, pure, uncontrolled, unregualted laissez-faire capitalism." you should also read "Man's Rights" and "The Nature of Government" in VOS. have you read "What is Capitalism?" in CUI?
  8. Before you can debate with your friend, I think its reallly important that you first get a firm grasp of the relationship of is and ought relationship and then debate with your friend, if you want to. Right now you can get the fancy quotes from this forum and tell them to your friend, but you will end up confusing yourself, instead of clearing your understanding of Objectivism. You can get information about "is ought" from Leonard Peikoff's essay on Fact and Value. Here's the link :http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=objectivism_fv BTW, this is my first reply on this forum
  9. Hello Everyone, Let me start by giving you a little background. I have always wanted to write in the College Student Newspaper. Now that I am enrolled in college and I can successfully write in the newspaper. But there is one thing that is stopping me: the name of the newspaper. Its called Voice of the Voiceless. I tried to talk to the executive editor of the newspaper and he kind of agreed with me and asked me if I can write an artcile on: the reason why they should change the name of the newspaper. Given below is my article and I wanted to know if the arguments I present are valid (from an objectivist's point of view). (BMCC is the name of my college: Borough of Manhattan Community College). Here you go: This article pertains to the name of the BMMC student newspaper which is currently called Voice of the Voiceless. The reason why I am writing this article is because I want to change the name of the student newspaper. Given below is the stand of my argument: First of all, no one in this country can rightfully label themselves as voiceless, not as long as there is Bill of Rights in the constitution of the United States of America. The first amendment clearly states that: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” Freedom of speech does not demand that you should be provided with a microphone by the public to advocate your views. It merely gives one the freedom to advocate his/her views without the fear of forcible suppression by government or by any private citizen. So if no one in this country posses the power to stop an individual advocating their views then why are the students of BMCC being called voiceless. Furthermore, the name Voice of the Voiceless declaring that this newspaper is the voice of the BMCC community. Don’t confuse the name Voice of the Voiceless with Voice for the Voiceless. The former is portraying the newspaper’s editors as the voice of BMCC students, whereas the latter is identifying itself as the means for BMCC students to convey their thoughts and opinions. There are approximately 17,000 students enrolled at BMCC, out of which less than one hundred students will get the chance to write in the Voice of the Voiceless. It is likely that their writings will include their own perspectives and value judgments i.e. they will write from their own point of view and according to what they think is right or wrong. Human beings are not robots that are programmed to think alike. We are all a diversity of individuals who have gone through diverse experiences in their lives and as a result, have formed special meanings and associations with this world. When it comes to analyzing a specific event we all interpret it according to what it means to us as individuals. When it comes to friendship, marriage or any type of relations, we like to bracket together with persons that share common philosophy with us. When we elect officials for the House of the Representatives, we choose those individuals that share our goals and interests. By casting a vote for those individuals, we delegate them the right to speak and act on our behalf. But no such elections have been conducted at BMCC and nor have the17, 000 students delegated to the editors of this newspaper the right to speak on their behalf. When someone writes an article in this newspaper, that person is solely expressing his/her own value judgments. It will be impossible for that person to incorporate the viewpoints of other 16,999 students and write an article based on that. Presently, when I am writing this article I am conveying my own standpoint and not of the rest of the students. Many of them might agree with my stance, but it is more than unlikely that all 16,999 students will have the same opinion as mine. So it will be an utter injustice if I called myself Voice of the Voiceless i.e. if I declared that all 16,999 students agree with me and my voice is their voice. If one follows the same principle, how can small number students who are going to write in this newspaper are identify themselves as the Voice of the Voiceless. We are not living in a dictatorship where a dictator or any other person can forcibly declare themselves are voice of the people. I don’t know about anyone else, but I really don’t want or need any one pretending to be my voice when that person doesn’t know anything about my philosophy, when I have not given that person the right to speak on my behalf and when I do not consider myself voiceless. I will stand up and speak for myself whenever I deem necessary, as I am doing right now. So therefore, I want the school newspaper to change its name from Voice of the Voiceless to some other name. If you have any suggestions- speak up, YOU ARE NOT VOICELESS.
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