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John Donohue

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  1. Another typical hit job on Ayn Rand from a National Review blogger: http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=O...NmVmMThhMGRkYTU= In my opinion, the only reason for this piece is the opportunity to again reference the original odious National Review hit piece with which we are all familiar. The author does not even bother to invent or report new toxic trivia against Miss Rand. At any rate, there is no place to respond except through letters to the editor. Well, one suspects a few Objectivists were frustrated by that and must have been emailing the only 'live' email address, namely that of the webmaster. He just posted a "Please Stop It" message! http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=N...NjZkMTdmZjRlMGM=
  2. The answer is easy. I wrote and posted an appropriate reply, but it was in response to the thread near the top, which I opened in a browser and left open for quite a while. When I responded I had not refreshed and noted anything of the bulk of this thread, including the moderator's messge. So my apolgies. If I had seen the interveneing posts I would not have said anything. It was my error not to refresh. In fact, I also withhold any response to the objections to my post and the actual content of the moderator's post. John Donohue
  3. You all don't get it. These passages from her book are bragging. She is trying to at one and the same time establish how distanced from "inclination" she is and at the same time agrandize herself as the formost exemplar of selflessness. It is a tour de force of altruistic attainment. She would put Comte himself to shame.
  4. If you actually want to understand a "bit" of Objectivism, then the responses above have already shown you. When someone, out of the blue, posits a non-win lifeboat situation and 'wants to know the Objectivist position,' you are highly likely to not receive an answer. Instead, we challenge the asker on why he is asking. Speaking for myself, I consider the attempt to press home the response a signal you either 'didn't get it' when you studied the Objectivist Ethics, or else you simply want a "murderous Objectivist soundbite." I suggest you go back to the beginning and respond to Rand's fundamental question "Why does man need a code of ethics."
  5. He 'thought [induction] did not exist' yet he 'rejected it in total'? That does not make sense. Please clarify. The softening I referred to is my little idea that the harsh disconnect betweeh the Humian discredit of induction and the brilliant success of induction in science threatened the root of Platonic denial of truth validation for phenomena. Popper eases the strain. Falsifiability helps keep it safe for every neo-Platonist to say "there are no absolutes."
  6. Briefly, and only in my opinion on the matter, I think the success of science between Hume and the mid 20th century made it hard to deny induction, especially since the methods of science are so 'secular.' Instead of helping to elevate induction, Popper just "jumps over" it and posits an important-seeming project: falsifiability. He gets to deny that anything phenomenal can ever scientifically be proven true, thus keeping his Kantian credentials intact and the notion of context fully at bay. Yet he seems to throw a token bone to science with the idea that (full paraphrase by me) 'a least we can tell if a conjecture is scientific or not.' If there is no way the conjecture could be proven false upon further evidence, then that is not a scientific idea and no energy should be granted to it. If it is readily apparent that conjecture 'might' be proven false by the discovery of an exception, then it is worthy of scientific concern even though it can never be proven. So how do you proceed? Reject the unfalsifiabile at once and for the falsifiabile just keep looking for the exceptions. You must look in 'all possible worlds.' At no point declare truth, just because you don't find one for a long time; duration gets you no closer to earning the appellation "true." So....how do you pick your conjectures? Random, dude.
  7. There is no doubt that article needs an entry on Ayn Rand. It is remarkable that in the history of philosophy few have acknowledged the requirement of validating the existents present in a chain of deductive reasoning, which Rand announces must come first. It is also remarkable that the edifice of scientific classification of flora and fauna requires the exact method explained by Rand's concept formation, which is driven by induction, yet induction is excoriated by establishment philosophers. That has to be toxic for science. Popper's attempt to 'soften' this disjoint only makes matters worse, in my opinion. I once confronted a theist Kantian on this. 'How do you validate the existents in your deductive arguments?' He told me baldly: "They are divinely revealed." You can see how this would permit the use of existents in a deductive argument that are not identifiable in objective reality, and that conclusions from the resulting deductions can be valorized, despite being built on void existents. The other evidence that the scorning of induction is Platonic is the lack of context. Context is the surrender to the finite. We frame the context first, then validate the concepts inside that context. The White/Black swan case is a perfect example. Platonists insist that since induction cannot provide omniscient, infinite truth then the method itself is useless. This is consistent with Plato's construct that the Truth resides only in the Forms and that human reason cannot attain it.
  8. Yeah brian, i had him in mind. When he was attacking Ayn Rand for about a month a ways back I tangled with him. I was judged a rude and stupid Randoid syncohant and banned from posting. All I did was challenge him to validate existents back to objective reality with 'some method other than God" and for some justification for deploying synthetic/analytic necessary/contingent other than "Kant told me to do it." I was also slammed by other Objectivist for my posts there.
  9. Thales mentioned rationalism above. That's right, the claim of current philosophy students and teachers to "rigor" is the insane detail and hyper analysis -- complete with diagrams, symbolic language and arrows -- they bring to bear on the starting formulation -- without needing the existents in the formulation to be real or their identity established. In fact they are insulted that you care about the validation of the existents. I have encountered tremendously intense Christian Presuppositionalist philosophers that can manipulate this game for pages, replete with typical rhetoric and gaming associated with the Necessary/Contingent and Analytic/Synthetic speghetti. They consider themselves tremendously rigorous, as a result. However, if you challenge them on the existents themselves, they just say they are "divinely revealed." I also wonder how much of Plato was new. As I get older it looks more and more like Eastern Religion of some sort to me. Just as I feel Jesus might have been an actual student of Plato's line, it is no stretch to imagine some wandering Eastern mystic directly informing Plato, or of Plato having traveled. In the face of that, Aristotle holding that reality is 'this world of particulars' is new.
  10. By process of elimination, the only thing left to warm taffy is "be nice." Okay, cool. Let us know if you want to say anything else.
  11. My question was intended to elicit an elucidation from you, a mental picture as it were, of how you see a non-Ethical-Doctrine world, but one in which people have a moral obligation to help, serve and benefit others. I actually do have a harmless aspect to my request. I want to see how sincere people are when they advocate this. I mean, if you take this seriously, you are in Mother Teresa territory or pure Early Christianity territory, correct? You put your life at service to others. Period. No lip service, but rather the real thing. Unconditional love/charity with no inclination or expectation of reward. The extent of your selflessness is the measure of the goodness, right? Others may or may not benefit from your deeds. If you are truly honest here, and you mean by the simple definition just such a chosen personal lifestyle, I can have a civil conversation with you about this choice. However you are correct to detect that I am not one to let the slippery slope get wet under the radar. When one adopts your 'simple definition', the person impacted by the doing is yourself. All too often, however, Objectivists see what once might have started out as a personal choice veer off into political edict. Yes, I/We are vigilant about personal ethical choices of altruism turning into collectivist compulsion with the justification of "selflessness over selfishness enforced by government because it is better for the common good."
  12. Hmmmm...I get just the opposite. This is the way professional Analytic Philosophers think and talk. They call Ayn Rand amateurish left right and center, every chance they get. Except they say "She is a hack." Meanwhile, why is he spending so much time? Well, he is part of the vandalism of the Ayn Rand article at Wikipedia. That is a specific new fight. I won't try to build a conspiracy theory beyond that. I agree something is pushing him. John Donohue
  13. It's just more of the same. Notice how he attempts to shame the Objectivists at the end into answering through the mouth of an AP/Kantian and not the "holy scriptures" of Ayn Rand? About this time I'd think HB is ready to thump him with the Bible: AS. John Donohue
  14. "Simple definition: Unselfish concern in the interests of others <----- the type of "altruism" I believe in Ethical Doctrine: individuals have a moral obligation to help, serve and benefit others." I'll take this to mean you do not believe in government coercing people to have unselfish concern in the interests of others, but that inside a society devoid of such compulsion, you advocate personal committment to your soul driven by unselfish concern for the interest of others. My response would be: 1) thank you for not advocating forced collecctivism 2) what is stopping you, if anything, from living by your personal code, and even attempting to persuade others to do so? It is not against the law, is it? ::::: Opera :::::
  15. As if my rough and direct last post were not clear enough, I will try one more time. What I am getting at is this: You are the one not defining. 1) what is the 'normal definition?' 2) what is the "ethical doctrine?" Since you believe 'every society practices the 'normal' version, does that mean you are glad they do and it is a good thing? What form of ethical system do you practice? What form of political system do you advocate? John Donohue
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