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Anyone feel argumentative and up to defending Ayn Rand?

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(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.

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(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.

Like you said, these idiots aren't worth your time. They're trolls, pure and simple. They're not looking for, or open to, rational persuasion or discourse -- they're there to mock and incite. Don't give them the satisfaction.

Edited by Rudmer
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Let me suggest something to you, never ever ever get into an argument with someone in a comments section with anyone other than the poster himself, and really if you can, you might as well send the poster a message by private means in order to debate with him or her.

I went down several comments and found sentences like "She wrote a book on trains and thinks she is king of morals and shit".

My General Checklist of Whether or Not People Should Be Spoken To.

Did they say anything?

Is there argument coherent (internally consistent).

http://freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Logical_F...ies_by_Todangst

Did they provide any evidence?

Arbitrary assertions, even if you are familiar with the arguments behind them, should be ignored. This doesn't mean ignore people who don't provide huge essays, but a conclusion should come with a reason behind it. You will promote laziness if you get into arguments with the kinds of people who make you do their arguing for them.

Does that evidence even mach up with the kind of claim they are making?

It is possible sometimes to come across people who provide irrelevant data to support their claims. "Capitalism is evil, my boss is a dick, and my aunty was screwed over by insurance companies".

Did they take the time to attempt to use good grammar and formatting?

People make mistakes, but bad grammar, spelling and formatting indicates that the writer doesn't take their own arguments seriously, so why should you?

Finally are they attempting to use any sort of dishonest tactics in order to get their point across?

If someone opens up with something like "lulz, Ayn Rand a philospher? Her novels were SHIT, oh and did you know her husband was a drunk?! And that she tortured him when he was senile!". And then continues into a complex argument about capitalism vs. socialism, ignore them. They have already set a tone of irreverence and hostility, which I think is mutually exclusive with debate, because in order to have a debate, you need have people take one another seriously.

Anyways, here are some sort-of serious articles on trolling:

http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-evolution-...ugh-guy-to-meh/

http://www.cracked.com/article_16765_5-way...g-internet.html

If you want to argue about Objectivism with people, you need to search for places that have a good set of rules that are demanded from people who post. I would say that this is a good idea if you want to argue about anything.

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Let me suggest something to you, never ever ever get into an argument with someone in a comments section with anyone other than the poster himself, and really if you can, you might as well send the poster a message by private means in order to debate with him or her.

It's not a good idea to get involved in the fray, but it's reasonable to leave a solid rebuttal to spurious claims, because you never know who is lurking. It's worth while to show that there are people out there who are proud to uphold Objectivist ideas and who will and can defend them.

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It's not a good idea to get involved in the fray, but it's reasonable to leave a solid rebuttal to spurious claims, because you never know who is lurking. It's worth while to show that there are people out there who are proud to uphold Objectivist ideas and who will and can defend them.

That is sometimes appropriate, but I will explain "where I am coming from". I really just want to share this.

I spent about a year on youtube talking to people (there is a politics/philosophy culture there), only to see more trolls, less and less respect for good ideas, and an even greater disrespect for functional debate. Most arguments end in people getting banned from one each others channels, or out and out hating one another. There was even one instance of someone posting a sex tape (external to youtube) he had made with a former girl-friend that was currently with another user in order to hurt the current boy friend.

I think there is one real Objectivist left making videos who well known.

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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.

Proverbs 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

Proverbs 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Depends on your audience. If you get into an argument with a fool, you could end up looking like a fool for arguing with one; or you could end up letting a fool appear to have the upper hand by not addressing his folly.

Sage advice from a cryptic source.

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So, how can you be "literally a retard"? Can you be a figurative retard? I mean, literally a retard would imply that Ayn Rand had some sort of severe mental disability. Or maybe she's just retarded in spirit.

But whatever. What that one commenter clearly meant to say is "I am outraged at the fact that Ayn Rand suggested that my life be the moral standard". Understandable, and I am actually surprised that Ayn Rand even said that myself. Especially considering that, on the Phil Donahue show in 1979, she said that she considered relationships with your family to be of more importance than satisfying your temporary desires. But if your loved one ever demanded that you stop doing what you love, is it really more meaningful to stay with them?

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What that one commenter clearly meant to say is "I am outraged at the fact that Ayn Rand suggested that my life be the moral standard". Understandable, and I am actually surprised that Ayn Rand even said that myself.

You'll have to explain that one. What is "understandable"? Do you not know that that is Rand's position and that one's own life as the standard of value is the basis of ethics, politics and esthetics?

Especially considering that, on the Phil Donahue show in 1979, she said that she considered relationships with your family to be of more importance than satisfying your temporary desires.

Please provide a quote or a link.

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But whatever. What that one commenter clearly meant to say is "I am outraged at the fact that Ayn Rand suggested that my life be the moral standard". Understandable, and I am actually surprised that Ayn Rand even said that myself.

She didn't say that. What she said was that man's life is the standard, i.e. man-qua-man. This means that man "the rational animal" is the standard.

Your life is the highest value, but the standard you live by is the standard of man the rational animal.

Have you read the Virtue of Selfishness? It's explained right there and it's not arbitrary. One thing that really gets me about some people is they think everything is a matter of opinion. Objectivism is not a matter of opinion. It's the result of where the facts take you. It's reality that has to be looked at to identify what morality is and why we need it. So anyone who is "outraged" by this is being irrational.

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I forgot a particular part of my post. Excuse me.

PLAYBOY: According to your philosophy, work and achievement are the highest goals of life. Do you regard as immoral those who find greater fulfillment in the warmth of friendship and family ties?

RAND: If they place such things as friendship and family ties above their own productive work, yes, then they are immoral.

literally a retard

I was referring to this post. I intented to say I understood how he could have misconstrued Ayn Rand's intention based on this statement. An image of an obsessive, paranoid C.E.O stepping all over people to maintain his success comes to mind. That's what he probably thinks. But if I were to interpet Ayn Rand's statement based on what I know of her, I would say that what she meant was that you should not treat productive work and maintaining relationships as a dichotomy.

As for the link where Ayn Rand talks about family relationships, here:

I'm not even going to get into how Ayn Rand started the "neo-con movement", or even started any popular movement. Especially since nobody seems to accurately define what a neo-con really is.

Sorry about all of the confusion.

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So, how can you be "literally a retard"? Can you be a figurative retard? I mean, literally a retard would imply that Ayn Rand had some sort of severe mental disability. Or maybe she's just retarded in spirit.

But whatever. What that one commenter clearly meant to say is "I am outraged at the fact that Ayn Rand suggested that my life be the moral standard". Understandable, and I am actually surprised that Ayn Rand even said that myself. Especially considering that, on the Phil Donahue show in 1979, she said that she considered relationships with your family to be of more importance than satisfying your temporary desires. But if your loved one ever demanded that you stop doing what you love, is it really more meaningful to stay with them?

A temporary desire is not the same as doing what you love. I might place more value on a loved one than on a temporary desire, but would likely place the most value on doing what I love.

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As far as I can tell, her point was that making friendship the highest point of your life--the primary--then that makes you an emotional parasite, and that she says there is no dichotomy between one's work and relationships, if he puts his achievement first. This is easily understandable seeing as how she says exactly that in the next sentence:

RAND: If they place such things as friendship and family ties above their own productive work, yes, then they are immoral. Friendship, family life and human relationships are not primary in a man's life. A man who places others first, above his own creative work, is an emotional parasite; whereas, if he places his work first, there is no conflict between his work and his enjoyment of human relationships.

As for Ayn Rand involved with neo-cons, I could say something like "Hitler started the Zionist movement," but I wouldn't be very convincing to anyone who has actually the slightest bit of knowledge about either of those things, so I wouldn't worry about that. The philosopher behind that movement is Leo Strauss, and it began in the late 50's and picked up in the mid 60's led by Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, Nathan Glazer, Daniel Bell, James Q. Wilson, and Seymour Martin Lipset and Bill Buckley, all who despised Rand especially Whittaker Chambers (just read his review of AS.)

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