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aynfan
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Peikoff argues in "Fact and Value" that untrue philosophical ideas are evil -- that there can be "no dichotomy... between the true and the good.

He says there are "inherently dishonest ideas. Falsehood, assuming it reaches a certain scale, is a product of evasion and leads to destruction; such an idea is not only false; it is also evil.
Rand said:

So you, in judging people of mixed premises, as most people are, you have to balance, in effect hierarchically, the seriousness of their virtues and of their vices, and see what you get in the net result. --Ayn Rand

People should be judged by their actions which are either good or evil, but can we also judge them for their thoughts and ideas? Can an idea be intrinsically evil? What about someone who thinks a bad thought, but never puts it into practice?

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People should be judged by their actions which are either good or evil, but can we also judge them for their thoughts and  ideas?  Can an idea be intrinsically evil?  What about someone who thinks a bad thought, but never puts it into practice?

There's a difference between "thinking a bad thought" and accepting a bad thought. Knowledge of an evil idea per se is not evil: what is evil is accepting an evil idea. Of course, moral condemnation is a continuum, so actually murdering a person is much wose than hypothetically accepting the idea of murdering a person (which is worse than passingly thinking "I'm gonna kill that idiot if he doesn't stop that").

The distinction between accepting an evil idea vs. actually performing the action is analogous to the threat of force vs. actually using force.

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Peikoff argues in "Fact and Value" that untrue philosophical ideas are  evil -- that there can be "no dichotomy... between the true and the good.

Not all untrue ideas. Aristotle's "Golden Mean," to take an example I know Peikoff would agree with, was an error, but it is not an evil idea.

People should be judged by their actions which are either good or evil, but can we also judge them for their thoughts and  ideas? 
Sometimes, assuming they understand the content of the ideas they accept and advocate, and assuming they aren't guilty simply of an honest error.

Can an idea be intrinsically evil? 

What do you mean by "instrinsically" in this context?

What about someone who thinks a bad thought, but never puts it into practice?

Thinks it? Accepts it in his own mind but never tells anyone? Acts as a public advocate for the idea? Which?

If he merely thinks a bad thought, there is nothing at all wrong with that. Especially in cases where the thought wasn't volitional - i.e., he's walking into a bank and suddenly the idea of robbing it pops into his mind. That doesn't prove anything about his character (although he may want to query his subconscious to discover why such an idea would occur to him).

If he accepts an evil idea but never tells anyone, that would be morally blameworthy on a couple fronts, (1) for accepting the evil idea, (2) for not having the integrity to advocate it. This is more or less moot, of course, since you would never know if someon accepted an idea they refused to endorse publicly.

Now, if one advocates an evil idea publicly, that is an action (although one would not technically be putting it into practice), and a very evil one. In that regard, I'll Peikoff once said that he would regard a Marxist professor today as in one sense worse than Stalin: he is worse because he made Stalin and his ilk possible by laying the intellectual groundwork. And Peikoff is exactly right.

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I agree with Peikoff that an idea can be evaluated morally, but I am not convinced I can  infer from an idea(s) that an individual is good or evil.

I don't understand why not. Assuming you really mean "infer from the fact that a person accepts such-and-such idea", the only two choices that I can see for accepting an evil idea is that (1) the person is seriously lacking in knowledge or (2) the person is evil. Honest errors (of knowledge) are not a reason to condemn a person's character, as Peikoff poointed out. Are you imagining that there is a third possibility, beside honest error vs. moral flaw? There has to be some reason why a person would accept an evil idea.

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Was Gail Wyand evil?

He started out as mistaken, which is not evil, but then consciously chose to do things which he thought were wrong and that was evil.

Wynand had many great and positive virtues but he also had vices. In short, he had mixed premises -- but on a grand scale.

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I agree with Peikoff that an idea can be evaluated morally, but I am not convinced I can  infer from an idea(s) that an individual is good or evil.

What idea(s) are you having trouble with? Or do you believe that it is impossible to determine from held ideas whether someone is evil?

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He started out as mistaken, which is not evil, but then consciously chose to do things which he thought were wrong and that was evil. 

One's moral status should not be determined by what one thinks of one's actions. One's moral status is determined in relation to a moral standard. An objective moral status is determined in relation to the standard of man's life.

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He started out as mistaken, which is not evil, but then consciously chose to do things which he thought were wrong and that was evil. 

One's moral status should not be determined by what one thinks of one's actions. One's moral status is determined in relation to a moral standard. An objective moral status is determined in relation to the standard of man's life.

Whether an action is good or bad for oneself is a matter of fact, but a person can be honestly mistaken about facts and still be moral.

It is only when person evades or otherwise consciously chooses to do something he himself knows to be wrong, that he is evil. That's the difference between a person who is morally wrong and one who is evil.

This is how Ayn Rand explained it in Galt's speech:

"Learn to distinguish the difference between errors of knowledge and breaches of morality. An error of knowledge is not a moral flaw, provided you are willing to correct it; only a mystic would judge human beings by the standard of an impossible, automatic omniscience. But a breach of morality is the conscious choice of an action you know to be evil, or a willful evasion of knowledge, a suspension of sight and of thought. That which you do not know, is not a moral charge against you; but that which you refuse to know, is an account of infamy growing in your soul. Make every allowance for errors of knowledge; do not forgive or accept any breach of morality."

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