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Now I'm no professor of Objectivism, and there are others here much better qualified at analysis and logical critique.

Upfront though, I'm going to say that there's nothing more pleasurable than seeing someone applying their own independent mind to the grasp of O'ism. Ayn Rand was a great believer in the virtue of Independence. (It should be discussed more often.) Therefore I can definitely relate to what bluecherry is doing here; she is, in effect, stating: this is my philosophy, and it's my mind; it's my life that's important.

So, I see a refusal to just 'take something as read', without consciously fitting it into the system - her self.

Now bluecherry, paraphrase, metaphor and analogy are great tools if it helps one 'get a handle' on new or complex concepts; also, it does aid in communication with others. We all have unique ways of integrating ideas - some visualise pictures, some see math formulae, for others, the verbal ones, words themselves are alive. When it comes to building up axioms into principles and all the abstractions of a philosophy's methodology, whatever works is fine, I reckon.

It's just that there can be problems down the road, IMO, in too much reliance on paraphrase. Ayn Rand's wording in everything is exquisitely precise - she left nothing to chance, or misunderstanding. One can ( and it often happens here) wander ever so slightly off course in one's reasoning, by using paraphrase and then dismissing and ignoring the original exact wording. Before you know it, you're lost.

And so as O'ists say, over and over, - "check your premises !"

The same goes for analogy; as an illustration, it's great. The trouble here is that one analogy will often lead into another, and so on, until the original principle certainly becomes compromised. Intrincism and subjectivism can creep in at this point.

All this, is me saying that I thought your first post was original and insightful - while your second was going too far with the original metaphor.( Hope you don't mind my criticism.) BTW,I enjoyed your "JohnGalt ! You have too much, give me my share of it." :ninja:

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:) Sorry, "I am only an egg", if you know what that means. I know quite well by now my language skills are really not so good, even after I've been trying to slow down and edit my text more lately, taking things out, condensing, trying to make the wording more precise. I often find other people don't get what I'm trying to say with just plain explaining, so I use many examples, metaphors, and analogies to try to illustrate and clarify. This though often results in my text going from long to even longer to try to get my message across also. Slowly I'm trying to work on my language skills, but I find often I can't even see where the problem is or if there even really is a problem, so that makes fixing problems even more difficult.

The second post I thought about it and it seemed like the same basic issue could be the motive in people who try to prop up artificial self-esteem and bring themself up by putting others down and by those who have fairly openly low self-esteem, but want to bring others down to their level. Often things which are by most people said to be opposites are really just two forms or expressions of the same thing and something else entirely which is either not given recognition at all or maybe treated as a "happy medium" is in fact the opposite. I thought both those who seemed arrogant in one way and those who seemed humble - things I've often seen portrayed as if they are the only two options - may both share a root in the belief that the status of one person's worth can impact that of the status of others people's worth and from there it becomes seen as a false alternative between altruistic obligation for everybody to sacrifice their own sense of worth to others or a predatory desire to sacrifice the worth of others to try to raise their own sense of worth. The good, third alternative and real opposite of course being that you don't sacrifice and you don't do any faking of values, you justly recognize the worth of yourself and others (and our personal worths aren't really all tied and competing for some share in a static quantity, so it isn't as if there is really a necessary conflict where anybody must end up with low worth.)

If you see where I've gone awry from the first thought on arrogant people to the second on humble people basically? (Granted though, "humble" may be not quite the right word -- some of them may be humble, yes, and they may estimate themself unjustly low, they may also do this and/or generally estimate others unjustly high, but then there are also those who are truly that bad and deserve to feel like crap. I think the ones who accurately or inaccurately estimate themselves lowly directly and don't overestimate how good others are generally could fit the desire to bring others down similar to how the arrogant person may, but the person who has an accurate valuation of themselves on the facts which they then indirectly seem to play down by overestimating others frequently or in comparison seems to work similar to that attempted unjust boost that second type of arrogant person was trying to get.)

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  • 1 month later...

Oooo I love this thread. It goes great with morning coffee. Allow me a moment to thank everyone for being others. Sigh.. what a relief. This thread proves it. This is no small thing. I have been looking for 29 years! ty ty ty

I accept the dictionary's definition of arrogance because words are defined by common usage. The majority of people who use the word are feeling offended by someone's display of superiority.

As to whether their offense is dignified, well that's circumstantial. I've been stunned a few times when the word was hurled at me when I was simply outlining a position with evidence. People really, really hate it when they are proven wrong. This is something I do not understand. When I am proven wrong in an argument, and my brain has been wrung out and nothing is left to argue, I consider it a great gift. I change right there, on the spot, to the full satisfaction of my opponent. I thank them for helping me clear out wrong thinking for a superior thought. Notable example: gun control. Funny thing was that the example that pushed me over the edge was the idea that someone's collectible antique Civil War musket could be confiscated by the government. I was ready to fight back, but my brain stopped the words from being allowed to be formed, and my mouth hung open. I said "You know what, that is a really good point! You've got me!" I changed that very second. (ahh the teenage years)

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