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Howard Roark blowing up Cortlandt was not Objectivist, and neither is

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Again, any deficit must be met by selling of the illegitimate property of the federal government, which is of course massive.

In that case all government liabilities are "unfunded" in the sense that they are funded only by forced taxation.

The distinction is for taxes not yet collected, for expenses not yet incurred, but rather expected. There is no anticipated way to pay these unfunded mandates.

Edited by Chris LeRoux
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The argument is that building a life for yourself and your family requires long term planning. With the various governments (federal, state, local) massively involved in the US economy, people's plans

Again, any deficit must be met by selling of the illegitimate property of the federal government, which is of course massive.

The distinction is for taxes not yet collected, for expenses not yet incurred, but rather expected. There is no anticipated way to pay these unfunded mandates.

No, you were talking about "unfunded liabilities" that currently make up a large percentage of federal spending. Expected future expenses don't have anything to do with your last point, and they have nothing to do with the subject of returning property to the unjustly taxed after a government restructure. Why would you need a way to pay for expenses that haven't been incurred yet? How and why would you project expanded future expenses after the separation of state and economics?

Your last response made no sense and I tried to reply to it anyway. This one doesn't make sense either - I can't figure out what your argument is and you don't seem interested in defending your position. You're going to have to be a lot more clear if you want to continue to debate about (one of) the subjects of your OP.

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Um, what unjust actions?

1) Roark's working on a government project despite explicitly stating that he opposed the existence of such projects on philosophical grounds.

2) Roark's conspiring and then committing the fraud of passing off his work as Keating's because Roark knew that he wouldn't be hired by "any group or committee, public or private."

3) Roark's destruction of other people's property, with the excuse that those who were in charge of the property didn't abide by a contract that they didn't have with him.

I agree with you, Jennifer, that Roark had integrity, at least as far as his architecture was concerned. He was willing to do almost anything to protect his independent artistic vision. But, outside of his aesthetic principles, I think he was rather lacking in integrity, at least toward the end of the novel. Passing off his work as someone else's wasn't an act of integrity, but of dishonesty. Working on a project that he morally opposed because it offered the opportunity for him to have some creative fun was not an act of integrity. Destroying others' property because he didn't get his way aesthetically, especially when he tried to hide his involvement in the project, is something closer to petulance than integrity. Claiming during his trial that society had demanded something from him but then didn't pay him what was due, when in reality society asked nothing of him (he forced his way onto the project via fraud), is closer to irrationality than integrity.

Most of the time, when I see people criticizing artists, they're criticizing the ideas that underlie the artwork using the artwork as *evidence* for what those ideas are.

Well, using the content of The Fountainhead as evidence, and going by what the art contains rather than what Rand may have intended, Roark was ultimately dishonest, criminal and irrational. But he did have artistic integrity.

J

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Yikes! Keating had no right to make a contract with Roark dictating the construction of someone's else's property. Keating was not the owner, didn't even have a contract to build it at that point in time.

But this is exactly the point. Keating is well within his right to agree to what sort of constuction contracts he will voluntarily enter into in the future. It's done all the time in commercial contracts. If he was already under contract to construct then you'd have a point, but he was not. The question would be legally who does Roark have to address his issue with, Keating or the financiers. Depends on what terms Keating agreed to afterwards.

However, the basis for your particular argument which is this, is invalid.

I'm not quite sure how this relates to your second point, but I'm curious if you have some background on why someone like Brook argues for a phase out. What is their rationale. It seems before one would state that something wasn't "Objectivist" that they would deconstruct that argument using O'ist principles. And I'm not sure that Objectivism rather than political science speaks to such matters. There is nothing in Objectivism for instance that specifies the form of govt such as we have. That is a matter for political scientists. Only that it must somehow be limited by individual rights. Nor I think would it stipulate in what manner is best for governmental wrongs to be rectified.

In the same way that metaphysics doesnt' really say much more than Existence -Identity-Causality, and it is therefore up to the specialized sciences to determine the nature of existence, you might consider that you'll have to make a case for why political philosophy and not political science has something to say about this.

Edited by KendallJ
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You forgot "rapist" :thumbsup:

No, I didn't. I was not discussing the issue of whether or not Roark raped Dominique, but was sticking to this thread's initial topic, which was about Roark's actions in regard to the Cortland project.

softwareNerd, you seem to be upset that I've identified Roark's actions as dishonest, criminal and irrational.

Do you think that it is not dishonest for a person to conspire to pass off his work as someone else's? If an organization, public or private, doesn't like an architect or his work for whatever reason, and the architect knows that they won't hire him, do you think that they don't have the right to refuse to hire him, and that he has the right to subvert their selection process by conspiring to pass off his work as someone else's?

Do you think that it is not criminal and irrational to destroy other people's property because those in charge of the property didn't abide by a contract that they didn't have with the person who destroyed it?

Do you think that it is not irrational for a person to claim that society demanded that he give them the benefit of his creativity when society actually demanded nothing from him, and when he forced his way onto their project because he knew that they wanted nothing to do with him?

J

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Do you think that it is not irrational for a person to claim that society demanded that he give them the benefit of his creativity when society actually demanded nothing from him, and when he forced his way onto their project because he knew that they wanted nothing to do with him?

Keating came to him, and if you read Ayn Rand talking about the novel, she does say that Roark was wrong to help him (heck, Roark says this himself IN THE NOVEL) and the dynamiting/trial/possible 10-year sentence were the price he paid for his error. Ayn Rand doesn't really portray people acting perfectly, but she does show some pretty huge negative consequences of their errors. If you've read Atlas Shrugged, ALL the characters evidence (and pay for) errors at some point--even John Galt. The only major difference between the other heroes and John Galt is that John KNOWS ahead of time when he's doing something that he may have to pay for later and faces it openly, as when he decides to go to Dagny even though she hasn't joined the strike yet.

Ayn Rand's novels are full of tiny subtleties that a lot of people don't get on the first, second, or even third reading--the motivations of her characters are complex because they contain many layers and their subsequent actions are also quite complex.

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softwareNerd, you seem to be upset that I've identified Roark's actions as dishonest, criminal and irrational.

Way to repeat the same full page post, that's real productive. Your time must be awfully valuable. What softwarenerd was getting at, with the little emoticon, is that it's obviously not worth explaining to you the error of your ways, since it's already been explained (by JMeganSnow), and you failed to understand it, or even read it.

Does that clarify to you that the emoticon doesn't mean he's upset with your opinion, it means that he's frustrated with your inability to read the thread, or evaluate a work of art for what it is?

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softwareNerd, you seem to be upset that I've identified Roark's actions as dishonest, criminal and irrational.
We all know that Toohey is the hero of the book (i.e. guy we all want to emulate), since he is non-criminal, honest and rational. Edited by softwareNerd
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We all know that Toohey is the hero of the book (i.e. guy we all want to emulate), since he is non-criminal, honest and rational.

But Objectivism says you have to be honest, non-criminal, and rational (and if other people think you're not rational, then you obviously aren't). Otherwise, when you die, you get sent straight to the People's Republic of Hades for all eternity!

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But Objectivism says you have to be honest, non-criminal, and rational (and if other people think you're not rational, then you obviously aren't). Otherwise, when you die, you get sent straight to the People's Republic of Hades for all eternity!
Okay, it begins to make sense now. In that FH book everyone is going about their business in a perfectly free rights-respecting country and there's this guy called Keating who gets a building contract from a private individual who has earned his money by right, and wants control of the project. Then, Keating asks Roark for help and Roark agrees without laying down any preconditions. Nobody behind the project has a clue that Roark did anything. Toohey sees the output and realizes that only a genius like Keating could have produced something like this. Nevertheless, Toohey arranges a few improvements. Of course, this upsets Roark, who takes this improvement in his inferior work as a affront. So, he blows up the project. Fortunately for him, he gets a jury of people who hate the good, just like he does. They let him off, just to spite the people who really make the world go round.

At least that's the book that Jonathan read.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Keating came to him,

Right, and, as has been mentioned, Roark's gripe then should have been with Keating rather than with the owners of Cortland, but Roark says that he does not blame Keating. He instead blames the owners, who had no contract with him. He says, "They took the benefit of my work and made me contribute it as a gift," which isn't true. They didn't make him do anything. They simply altered the terms of their agreement with Keating, who had first violated their agreement by claiming to have designed Cortland.

and if you read Ayn Rand talking about the novel, she does say that Roark was wrong to help him (heck, Roark says this himself IN THE NOVEL) and the dynamiting/trial/possible 10-year sentence were the price he paid for his error. Ayn Rand doesn't really portray people acting perfectly, but she does show some pretty huge negative consequences of their errors. If you've read Atlas Shrugged, ALL the characters evidence (and pay for) errors at some point--even John Galt. The only major difference between the other heroes and John Galt is that John KNOWS ahead of time when he's doing something that he may have to pay for later and faces it openly, as when he decides to go to Dagny even though she hasn't joined the strike yet.

You're taking here about errors where I was talking about moral breaches. I've made no claim that I expected Rand's characters to be "perfect" and to not make "errors." The problem is that Roark does more than make "errors." He knowingly behaves immorally, dishonestly, criminally, and in opposition to his own stated philosophical beliefs.

Ayn Rand's novels are full of tiny subtleties that a lot of people don't get on the first, second, or even third reading--the motivations of her characters are complex because they contain many layers and their subsequent actions are also quite complex.

I agree that Rand's characters can be complex. Roark's having great artistic integrity while at the same time being willing to be dishonest, criminal, and to work on a project which was in opposition to his own stated philosophical beliefs is something that I would certainly call complex.

Way to repeat the same full page post, that's real productive. Your time must be awfully valuable. What softwarenerd was getting at, with the little emoticon, is that it's obviously not worth explaining to you the error of your ways, since it's already been explained (by JMeganSnow), and you failed to understand it, or even read it.

Does that clarify to you that the emoticon doesn't mean he's upset with your opinion, it means that he's frustrated with your inability to read the thread, or evaluate a work of art for what it is?

My evaluation is based on the evidence contained in the book: Roark had tremendous artistic integrity, which was very admirable and inspiring, but he was also ultimately lacking in integrity when it came to the choices he made in regard to the Cortland project.

We all know that Toohey is the hero of the book (i.e. guy we all want to emulate), since he is non-criminal, honest and rational.

So, your opinion is that if people recognize that Roark, the hero of Rand's novel, had great artistic integrity but behaved immorally and irrationally in regard to the Cortland project, they therefore must believe that Toohey is the hero of the novel and should be emulated? Or are you saying that since Toohey was evil and interfered with Roark's career, you think that Roark had the right to get even with Toohey by destroying property owned by people other than Toohey?

J

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you think that Roark had the right to get even with Toohey by destroying property owned by people other than Toohey?
Your portrayal of the situation as being between various private parties, each with legitimate property rights is not what's in the book. In fact, the book contains two other situations where the context is closer to what you're ascribing to this one, and Roarks actions there can be contrasted with his actions in the Cortland case. Edited by softwareNerd
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Right, and, as has been mentioned, Roark's gripe then should have been with Keating rather than with the owners of Cortland, but Roark says that he does not blame Keating. He instead blames the owners, who had no contract with him. He says, "They took the benefit of my work and made me contribute it as a gift," which isn't true. They didn't make him do anything. They simply altered the terms of their agreement with Keating, who had first violated their agreement by claiming to have designed Cortland.

Oy, this is so full of misunderstandings and misfacts its disappointing.

a. Roark's designing the project is not a fraud. I'm not sure how anyone would think it so. If it is fraud then every buildilng designed by Keatings firm is as well. But if you'd like to specifically cite the clauses in Keatings contract that make it legally so, I'd like to hear them.

You're whole argument them is based upon this particular point. I'm not sure how Roark might differ from any other "contractor" a firm might hire and for whose services they are paid. Keating directs the design of buildings (up to and including key creative decisions as he is so "ably" demonstrated) done so by any employee or contractor he chooses to hire under any terms he chooses to hire them. How this could in any way constitute fraud is really stunning.

b. But putting that aside, lets say for an instant that Keating had a clause in the contract that stated that he personally design the building (we'll call it an "artistic integrity" clause) that does not give the other party the ability to do anything it pleases in case of breach. This is the other part of your argument, that "simply altered the terms of their agreement with Keating, who had first violated their agreement by claiming to have designed Cortland." This is not legally allowed. Most contracts have specific remedies and ways to manage conflict or assertions of breach. One cannot and is not simply allowed to do whatever you feel like if they think the other party has breached the agreement.

c. but the real issue of course which you fail to mention is that this is not the reason the government cited for violating it's contract with Keating. What is the real reason? Well maybe actually reading the book might help. Let's go look:

When Keating invoked his contract, he was told: "All right, go ahead and try to sue the government. Try it."

That is the only legal mention of his contract in the entire book. It obviously implies that he had concrete terms in the contract, ie that he had terms by which t stand. Otherwise he would have been told "Oh, our contract says we can change the design at our discretion." He's not told that. He's told try to sue.

Nor was he told "oh well you've breached your contract and by the terms of article 2.3 we have the right to change the design." He was in effect told, you can't do anything, government can do anything it wants. Ahem, and you suggest that this is not a moral and legal afront and that Roark by virtue of his contract doesn't have ground? Oy, someone needs to go to law school, eh? Roark is certainly justified in taking his case directly to the government owners of this project. He has a contract with Keating, Keating has a contract with the govt, and neither is in breach nor does the govt have remedy.

The only principle Roark violated was the one that suggests that you don't take the law into your own hands, but then, against a government that is clearly exercising arbitrary, illegal power, well one could claim that his is an act of revolution, and rightly so. And the fact is that he followed that principle and was willing to suffer the consequences.

Edited by KendallJ
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Ad hominem unfortunately negates anything ....

And just a clarification. Ad hominem is a very specific logical fallacy. It is commonly overused as an excuse for not dealing with someone.

Option 1

Socrates is a man

You have a funny nose

therefore, Socrates is moral

Option 2

Socrates is a man

All men are mortal

There fore socrates is mortal

and oh by the way, you have a funny nose.

Option 3

You have a funny nose.

Only option 1 is ad hominem. Options 2/3 might be considered rude or not very effective or maybe even considered "blunt". They may or not be reasonable to the social context of the situation. However, the one thing they are not is ad hominem. Ad hominem is the substitution of a personal attack for valid reasoning in making an argument.

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LOL. Then saying everyone who disagreed with me in this thread has stupid ideas is not ad hominem.

Yikes!!!

Not if you've shown why they are, i.e. if you've made the argument. If you want this to stand as your evidence, then yes it is.

srsly.

Edited by KendallJ
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I'm completely satisfied that my arguments have won this debate. The fact that no one is addressing any of my points, no one is quoting Rand against me, etc pretty much says it all. Instead, you want to argue that its legitimate debate to claim someone has stupid ideas. Pathetic.

No if you look at the previous post, I deal with the arguments that you and Johnathan13 seem to think justifies you. And I quote Rand against you. hellooo...

These two posts, answer quite sufficiently your original claim. You have yet to respond.

http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.p...st&p=241239

http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.p...st&p=241181

Edited by KendallJ
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Instead, you want to argue that its legitimate debate to claim someone has stupid ideas.

This is not at all what I claimed. Read my post again. You however want to claim that any instance of saying someone has stupid ideas is ad hominem, judging by the way you throw the term around. That is pathetic.

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Whether or not it was technically an ad hominem and whether or not the ideas are truly stupid, it was inappropriate for 2046 to call them such (even though it was in post #36, after others had weighed in with arguments). The way it was done was not such a huge deal in the context of the bad and ugly internet; nevertheless, it merely results in side-tracking the real argument.

Also, it gives you an out B) in letting you respond to him rather than to the points that had already been made against your argument.

Not sure why you're complaining about people not referencing Rand in support of their points; I have not seen you do so. In fact, when I asked you for some (with an abundance of politeness) you responded that you really had none, and that Rand had not spoken to the pace of change. One quote from Rand was provided by me. Another reference to Rand was by someone who explained that Rand did address the issue of pace, when she spoke of getting rid of taxation. So, yet again, talking about not having got Rand references seems to be a side-issue and a distraction. If you were interested in the main issue, how come you did not respond to those Rand references, at least to explain why they were inappropriate etc.?

On the real issue, you have been given reasons. If they are not satisfactory to you, that's fine, the argument is at an end; but, you really did not respond to the points that were raised.

Instead, your later post about actually giving people their social-security with interest appears to undercut your opening post. It makes your position seem contradictory, which is unlikely the way you see it yourself. So, if you care to discuss the underlying argument, you would probably do better explaining your position more clearly, incorporating the two parts: that you want to cut "benefits" immediately (because else unjust taxes have to continue), and that you also want to refund social-security with interest (which would imply taxes if we keep the same context).

Edited by softwareNerd
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I'm completely satisfied that my arguments have won this debate. The fact that no one is addressing any of my points, no one is quoting Rand against me, etc pretty much says it all. Instead, you want to argue that its legitimate debate to claim someone has stupid ideas. Pathetic.

What arguments, what debate? Whenever anyone has addressed your points, you've either claimed to be offended by their tone and refused to address them in return, or you've randomly jumped to completely unrelated topics without making any attempt at coherence. You started the thread with two different questions without giving any indication of how you thought they were related, and now there are about five different topics going on all at once as people have tried to address your misuse of terms and misunderstandings of various replies.

Maybe your goal was to confuse everyone into not having anything more to say to you and you want to call that winning an argument. Whatever.

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I read your post again. You were responding to Jonathan13's point, not mine. Further, your quote from The Fountainhead is in error. That line does not include the word government. I see no other quotes from Rand.

Bottom line, Keating had no right to make any contract with Roark concerning property he did not own. Roark knew this fully, which is why he didn't blame Keating for the collapse of their deal. Rand herself condemned the blowing up of public property as a form of political protest in Return of the Primitive. Further, the idea that it is irrational, as expressed by others, to cease the entitlements immediately because it would cause instability in the society and thus wouuld not be in one's self-interest is a flat out condemnation of John Galt, who did his very best to stop the motor that was powering all the same type of policies.

Basically, only Jonathan13 has been advocating an Objectivist position in this thread, besides me. Very, very disappointing.

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Basically, only Jonathan13 has been advocating an Objectivist position in this thread, besides me. Very, very disappointing.
Since you're the one who brought up ad hominem, I must say that this is a worse ad hominem than being told that you've already received responses to your "stupid" ideas.

If you seriously want to get value from an Internet forum, you need to man up, rather than making excuses about why its impossible to get your point across to a bunch of rude people who do not even understand Objectivism.

Edited by softwareNerd
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