Report David Kelley's Moral Theory Contra Objectivism in Ethics Posted July 3, 2008 Much could be said, but I think this is an incorrect usage of the word “tolerance” under any of the ordinarily-accepted senses and definitions. The principles of justice -- such as implemented in criminal law as “presumed innocent until proven guilty” (who has the burden of proving a positive), the specific acts and intent that must be proven by the evidence (what must be proven to establish the positive), and even the evidentiary standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” (how the evidence must be evaluated) -- do not mean “suspending” (or any kind of holding in abeyance) of logical presumptions, standards, and judgment. This is not “tolerance” for a person accused of murder or other crime -- the judgment is and remains: “innocent until proven guilty.” Although the particulars may vary, the same principles of justice apply to every "realm." In light of the objectivity of knowledge and the distinction between error and evil, I will show in Section IV that tolerance is the proper attitude toward people we disagree with, unless and until we have evidence of their irrationality . - The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand - David Kelley - Page 16 The concept of toleration is used in many different contexts, but its core meaning is to endure, allow, or put up with something. The concept presupposes an object that is tolerated: something wrong, false, threatening, painful, disagreeable—something of negative value significance. And it presupposes an action one forbears from taking against that object. Where no action is possible, tolerance is not an issue. We do not tolerate the law of gravity, even when its consequences are inconvenient. To define toleration in any context, therefore, we must specify the nature of the particular object and action in question. In regard to ideas, the object is a person with whom we disagree, who holds a conviction we believe to be false. One action we forbear from taking is that of silencing the person coercively, or compelling his assent to our own ideas. This is political toleration, or freedom of speech and conscience, which is not at issue here. We are concerned with tolerance as an ethical virtue, a way of dealing with people that goes beyond respect for their political rights. In this case, the action we forbear from taking is that of condemning and ostracizing the person. It’s important to note that the object of toleration is the person, not the ideas per se. Tolerance does not mean refusing to express one’s belief that the ideas are false or that their consequences are destructive. These issues are part of the normal content of discussion and debate among people concerned with ideas. Tolerance is a matter of one’s policy toward such people as individuals, including one’s willingness to engage in discussion with them at all. - The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand - David Kelley - Page 61 Toad, Are you willing to tolerate EC's ideas? Would you be willing to engage him in discussion or will you infer that he is guilty of evasion based on his point of view alone? If you do conclude that he is guilty of evasion, would it not then be appropriate to remove your sanction? Is this the approach that you think is livable, practical and moral? Is this what you do in your daily life? Consider this: Objectivism, therefore, is "rigid," "narrow," "intolerant" and "closed-minded." If anyone wants to reject Ayn Rand's ideas and invent a new viewpoint, he is free to do so—but he cannot, as a matter of honesty, label his new ideas or himself "Objectivist." - Fact and Value - Leonard Peikoff I have no interest in Peikoff's version of Objectivism any more than it seems that EC is interested in a version of Objectivism that accepts homosexuality. When there is disagreement among rational men, I prefer this approach: When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit. Ayn Rand - John Galt's speech, Atlas Shrugged, Page 1023 I would also like to ask why Ayn Rand would have bothered to name an intellectual heir if there is nothing to add or correct in regard to Objectivism? What makes someone right? What makes something consistent with Objectivism? What is more important to a true Objectivist, to be consistent with reality or to be consistent with "Objectivism?" I can only imagine that Ayn Rand named an intellectual heir because she wanted to trust in someone to protect her name. In my prideful opinion, such protection is not possible. Peikoff would have been exremunicated had Rand known that he would sell the movie rights to Atlas Shrugged (which includes the right to make any changes by the new owner). Is that behavior tolerable?