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Everything posted by truths-seeker

  1. See my concern isn't that he's right. I can spot his misrepresentations, as can most of the people on this forum. We all can read it and know right away that he is making false statements about what Ayn Rand believed. The problem is that he is making these claims somewhat unchallenged. Others who might be on the fence about Rand will read this and think, oh she was wrong. Or people who read this now and later come across Rand will just remember that she was disproved, so why bother listening to her ideas... etc. The lay-people who read these articles will come away with one message: "Ayn Rand was wrong." The author of these articles is working very hard toward that end. However if the vast majority of comments under these articles are pointing out the dishonesty, then just maybe some of these lay-people will have second thoughts.
  2. There is an attack on Ayn Rand and Objectivism right now that is gaining popularity. It's full of misrepresentations of her ideas, but to the lay-people it is proof that she was wrong. Lots of media out-lets are jumping on this too saying "Ah ha! We were always right, she was wrong!" It's all centered around articles written by Eric Michael Johnson, an Evolutionary Anthropologist. Here are some links: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_evolution/2012/10/groups_and_gossip_drove_the_evolution_of_human_nature.single.html http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/08/is-human-nature-fundamentally-selfish-or-altruistic/ http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/primate-diaries/2012/10/05/ayn-rand-on-human-nature/ http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2012/10/05/yes-ayn-there-is-a-social-instinct/ http://io9.com/5950256/evolutionary-anthropology-to-ayn-rand-you-fail His Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/primatediaries/ & https://www.facebook.com/eric.michael.johnson I'm seeing links to these articles posted all over the place. Anyway, I'm hoping this will stir an overwhelming number of comments from members of this forum posted on those sites defending Rand, and pointing out Mr. Johnson's misrepresentations.
  3. Hi all, just wanted to let you know that there is a new Terry Goodkind novel coming out on July 2nd. "The First Confessor, The Legend of Magda Searus". This novel is self published by Mr. Goodkind and will be released almost exclusively in ebook format, with a limited run of 300 Collector Edition hard bound books (although sadly these have already been sold out). Anyway, thought you guys might be interested in this info as it is not widely known. Also, for those who don't know, the heroes in Mr. Goodkind's series are objectivists. It was these novels that lead me to Ayn Rand and Objectivism. I can't wait to read this new book! You can checkout Terry Goodkind's Facebook page for more info: https://www.facebook.com/terrygoodkind
  4. A few other books that might be worthwhile, but I have not read: - On Ayn Rand, by Allan Gotthelf - The Vision of Ayn Rand: The Basic Principles of Objectivism, by Nathaniel Branden - Understanding Objectivism: A Guide to Learning Ayn Rand's Philosophy, by Leonard Peikoff (Author), Michael S. Berliner (Editor) - Not released yet
  5. Cool I will have to check that out! Penn Jillette (the taller more vocal member of the Penn & Teller magician duo) has a new podcast show that just started: http://pennsundayschool.com/ I used to listen to his old radio show, it's a pretty big mix of things, but his views are fairly Objectivist I would say. He has mentioned from time to time that Atlas Shrugged is one of his favorite books.
  6. Has anyone read both Andrew Bernstein's Capitalism Unbound and his Capitalist Manifesto? How to they compare and differ?
  7. Wow, thanks for the info guys! That's bloody amazing Brunno, the reality behind these issues is always so much more complicated than these "sign now" petitions let on. It is funny you mentioned Avatar, when that came out it was another 'example' my friends would use of the evils of capitalism. Not even joking.
  8. Yeah, it is just frustrating, I spend so much time 'debating' with friends about capitalism, then they throw this in my face. This is the type of thing people jump on as an example of the evils of capitalism. How can I explain in a simple straight-forward way how they are wrong, how this is not a representation of capitalism?
  9. Not sure if this is specifically an Environmentalism topic. This has been popping up on facebook lately: 5b8cb96695b18e5482181f49069e0758 How do you even begin on an issue like this?
  10. I am looking for any fiction books that have Objectivist heroes or Objectivist overtones (Non-Rand books). Doesn't necessarily need to portray Objectivism in a good light or bad. Some examples of what I mean: - Troy Rising Series, by John Ringo – The main character, Tyler Vernon, is pretty much an Objectivist hero I would say, libertarian anyway. - Bioshock: Rapture, by John Shirley – Prequel novel to the video game. It is about an Objectivist utopia that goes bad. Andrew Ryan, the creator of the underwater city is supposed to be an Objectivist hero type, though he strays pretty far off an Objectivist path pretty quick. Casts Objectivism in a negative light. - Watchmen, by Alan Moore – A graphic novel. The character Rorschach is a tribute/spoof of what Alan Moore thinks of Objectivism. Based on another comic book character, the Question (also Objectivist). - The Sword of Truth Series, by Terry Goodkind – A great fantasy series with true Objectivist heroes. Love this series.
  11. I liked it a lot. Visually it was stunning. Only thing I didn't like was the appeals to faith. And the Greek king, who explicitly stated he was a man of reason and logic and skepticism, how he was so inept. Like they were saying, "Look how pathetic reason is when compared to faith". But I could just be over-analyzing.
  12. Yeah, I know - you guys are right. That quote kainscalia posted sums it up nicely. Still, it is hard not to want to see these guys put in their place. If only for the sake of others who read the thread. I guess I should not let myself get frustrated by stuff like this.
  13. (Maybe this is the wrong place to post this request, if it is I apologize.) I’m not the best at defending/arguing Objectivism and Ayn Rand, but it frustrates the hell out of me when I come across something like this: http://www.linkswarm.com/viewlinkcomments-52522-.html I realize that most of the people commenting in that thread aren’t worth the bother. But it is still hard for me to ignore. And I also think of people new to the ideas of Ayn Rand being swayed by crap like this. So anyone feel like signing-up on that site and defending Ayn Rand? I would try, but I know myself, I’m not good at these sorts of things and would probably come off making her look worse.
  14. I finally found where I got the initial list (though it's been slightly altered over time): http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=5166 It was written by Craig Biddle, in kind of the same way I was thinking to use it. What I like about this list more than the Ayn Rand description is that I think it is less easily mis-interpreted and the points are very obviously positive, common sense things (aren't they?). I focused on Capitalism above because it is a very misunderstood word. Most of these people who read "capitalism" will automatically take that as confirmation of their original (false) opinion of Ayn Rand, because most people don't really understand why Capitalism is the moral system. They will just read that and say: "Just as I thought, a right-wing nut job not worth considering". The opinion most people have of Ayn Rand it seems to me is that of a completely selfish, cold hearted b#$ch, that supports corporate greed, fraud, dog-eat-dog practices, and who hates the "little-guy". Someone who advocates stepping on anyone and everyone to get what you want. Or at least they present her in that way. Ayn Rand's description doesn't, in my view, automatically dissuade someone from that opinion (and as you said, that's not it's point). The list I have above (originally written by Craig Biddle) I think will have more of an effect. None of those points are what most of these people associate with Ayn Rand, and in addition they are points that are very hard to say are not good. I'm also not necessarily trying to convert anyone, but rather shake the foundation of their false opinion of Ayn Rand a little, and maybe shake the confidence they had in that opinion. You know?
  15. LOL, I was teasing, I understand your position. The New Atheist movement on the other hand does hold that the commonly accepted morality, altruism/self-sacrifice, is good. Not once that I know of have they stood out to reject that morality, and sadly it's the same morality that the religions support. They just try to come to it via different means than religion, through "innate feelings" or "intuitions" - possibly developed through evolution. Whereas Objectivism obviously rejects that morality entirely, and presents a different one. This is why, in my opinion, the New Atheists fail in their ultimate goal. They can be so logical and rational, up to that point, then it fizzles out...
  16. That's a good list and probably more straight forward than mine, but I think it's still a little easier to attack and mis-represent. For example just saying Capitalism will close people's minds right off the bat. There is such a misunderstanding today about what Capitalism really is, for most it will go like this: Capitalist = Corporate Pawn - Conservative - Righty = mind made up to what objectivism means and uninterested in learning the truth. I think the list I have so far will confuse people to the point where they might second-guess their opinion about Ayn Rand. Although I should maybe add something like this to cover the Capitalism aspects: - The principle that men should deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. I dunno, I could be going about this completely wrong. I just get frustrated when I come across a forum or article topic and find people bashing Ayn Rand and Objectivism. Especially since it's such a common sense philosophy.
  17. (LOL, by "benevolent morality" you mean altuism? ) These are interesting points. Yes if these "moral intuitions" come out of thin air, then they are appeals to mysticism, that seems pretty clear (although not clear to some atheists I guess). But what if, as some biologists claim, they are actually just natural instincts developed by evolution? Ayn Rand said that humans have no natural instincts (correct me if I'm wrong about that), but most animals do, so why not humans as well? Also, perhaps she did not have access to the latest scientific research on the subject (since most of this seems to be pretty new research). What would the implications be to Objectivism? (If any?) I have read (somewhat uncomfortably) articles that talk about Altruism found in nature, a natural instinct in some animals. Developed via evolution. I guess if it was a proven fact that wouldn't necessarily change anything. Just because something is an instinct doesn't automatically make it good. Some animals instinctually kill their young when they feel danger is around, then there's those voles that jump off cliffs... lol... It would however end up being more fodder for those who preach the virtues of altruism.
  18. I come across a lot of hostility and hatred towards Ayn Rand and Objectivism when on other forums, something which totally took me by surprise when i first learned about objectivism. A lot of it however seems to stem from either misunderstandings or blatant misrepresentations. I want to try and compile a simple short list of what Ayn Rand and Objectivism stands for. So I can say something like this as a reply: I read something similar to that somewhere but couldn't find it back. Anyway, do you guys feel those points are accurate? Also are there any other points you would suggest adding? Thanks
  19. I consider myself a fan of the New Atheist Movement. I'm especially a fan of Richard Dawkins. However I have always felt they were missing something, some kind of solid foundation to stand on. Which I think is what Objectivism could be for them. I found in all their interviews and public discussions they don't quiet make a complete argument. They always seem to still fall into the same moral base as the religions they argue against. And, maybe I'm wrong, but I think that is why they fail to convince more people than they could. Anyway, I read this article "The Mystical Ethics of the New Atheists" by Alan Germani (http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2008-fall/mystical-ethics-new-atheists.asp) which I thought kind of pointed out the problems I was having with the Atheist Movement. So I sent the link to the nobeliefs.com website thinking this might open some Atheist's eyes to Objectivism. Below is the reply I got from the site: Just curious what you guys think. Thanks.
  20. Ah yeah, that's a good one, the false dichotomy of Reason vs. Emotion...
  21. I'm trying to compile a list of common misconceptions of Objectivism. I find so many people have misunderstandings (or maybe purposeful 'misinterpretations') on different forums, I'd like to have an easy to access reply. This is what I have so far, please critique, add, and everything else Misconceptions of Objectivism 1. Self-sacrifice A true objectivist would never stop to help a stranger who has a flat tire on the side of the road, he would never donate money to help starving children in Africa, and he would never jump in front of a bullet to save another's life. Because all these constitute self-sacrifice, right? Wrong. Ayn Rand defined sacrifice as "...the surrender of a greater value for the sake of a lesser one or of a nonvalue."1 Most people understand this to mean a dollar value or a material value, this is wrong. Let's look at the first example, stopping to help a stranger on the side of the road. This does not necessarily constitute a sacrifice, helping people can give one a sense of value; it can make you feel good about yourself. Because of me someone will get home to their family, I was able to turn a negative situation around for someone and that makes me proud of myself. Now, let's say you are rushing to get your injured or pregnant wife to the hospital, and you see a stranger stranded on the side of the road. Stopping then obviously WOULD constitute a sacrifice and would be anti-objectivist. 2. Selfishness "Selfishness" to most people means thinking only about yourself and happily stepping on others to get what you want. This is not the "rational self-interest" Ayn Rand meant. To an objectivist, the right to pursue your own happiness also means respecting another's right to do the same. Ayn Rand said: "If [a Machiavellian type] decides to follow his own self-interest but to respect nobody else's, he is no longer on an objective moral base, but on a hedonistic, whim-worshipping base. If so, he has disqualified himself; he is claiming a contradiction. If he wants to maintain rationally his own self-interest, and claim he has a case for his right to self-interest, then he must concede that the ground on which he claims his right to self-interest also applies to every other human being."2 Another clarifying passage: "The Objectivist ethics holds that human good does not require human sacrifices and cannot be achieved by the sacrifice of anyone to anyone. It holds that the rational interests of men do not clash—that there is no conflict of interests among men who do not desire the unearned, who do not make sacrifices nor accept them, who deal with one another as traders, giving value for value."3 1. “The Ethics of Emergencies,” The Virtue of Selfishness, pg 44. 2. Ayn Rand Answers, pg 110. 3. “The Objectivist Ethics,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 31. Not much so far, I hope you guys can add to this...
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