Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

BlazingTruth.com

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

Hey all,

I've started a philosophy blog located at http://blazingtruth.com

The purpose is to spread awareness of Objectivist philosophy, in particular its moral principles and ethics; to blaze the path to truth through rational thought. The content on the website may not be much of an eye-opener to "seasoned" Objectivists, but I try to write with an intended audience of readers who are unfamiliar with Objectivism and philosophy in general. I discuss ideas as they are presented, and try not to put too many labels on them (except when dispelling them), so as to avoid polarizing my potential readership. I take on and debunk popular mantras such as "I think, therefore I am" and "Ignorance is bliss" to raise the consciousness of individuals when they hear those phrases. I also provide personal anecdotes of my life to demonstrate how philosophy is crucial. This is my first time seriously blogging and writing, and my first time hosting a website -- I know I have plenty to learn. So, if you could take the time and provide constructive criticism on the content and layout, I would love to hear it and grow from this opportunity. At my age, this is my way of contributing to my own personal knowledge and growth.

Thank you for your time and patience,

David

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the look of your blog, dmastt. I read two of the blog posts, and I thought they were nicely done. Sometimes, keeping it simple is very important when it comes to understanding something on your own. Your posts do that. Heavier on personal examples may make it more interesting to read for people who are quite familiar with all the content. When it comes to discussing ideas of existing authors, your own personal experience or examples keeps things interesting. I haven't read all the posts or really analyzed what you wrote in-depth, but of the two I did read, you definitely have the right idea on how to keep relatively simply material worth taking a few minutes to read. One criticism, though, is that being structured as a *blog* might not be the most efficient given the length of what you write. It's somewhere between forum thread and blog post.

As for layout, the facebook/twitter/etc buttons along with the login are a bit distracting where they are. I'd find it better if those were on the bottom of that section. I like the tabs that show up when I hover my mouse over the icons on the bottom left side.

You might not have noticed, but the banner shows a small strip of white. Not a big deal, yeah, but the most miniscule attention to detail always makes a difference.

Edited by Eiuol
Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the content on your blog. Particularly, I think the personal aspects of your posts are very engaging. As for the layout, I don't like the fact that the content is restricted to this iPad-looking window inside the webpage rather than simply going from top to bottom. Less content fits on the screen and the reader has to scroll more often. However, others seem to like the look, so take that as you will.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dmastt, I like your blog! The design is different and interesting. I will keep it in mind and check it for content in the future.

Consider the fact that you have been proven wrong already in this thread.

Consider, perhaps, that people that give respect get respect. You make a regular habit out of insulting the Objectivist philosophy and Objectivists. Cynicism, ridicule, and sarcasm seem to be a highlight of your activity here. When you post things like this on your profile, clearly suggesting that we make up excuses to justify whatever actions we feel like, "brb, gone to snort coke off an enslaved sexworkers ass. all within the proper context of course." that is not something that gives you positive attention, nor should you expect it.

Consider, perhaps, that people are likely to react better and be more supportive of an Objectivist-centric blog that posts actual content, rather than simply posting pictures with little quotes under them, essentially making it a website full of nothing but motivational posters of which there are billions and contribute little to nothing to the advancement of Objectivism or the knowledge of it. Show us something praiseworthy and we will "praise it."

Maybe the judgement goes one way in your mind because the negativity is directed at you because you deserve it for being such a tool.

Its likely getting posts because of what I said :) thats why i waited a full day before saying thing about it. If i hadn't said anything, would people still be commenting? Who knows, there is no way to objectively test that hypothesis now, but i doubt it, just based on the statistical probability, referenced from the number of responses to ANY thread in this section.

I really don't know who you are, but you are very assumptive. It is a cognitive bias that Objectivists are prone to.

And its fine, if you don't like my work, (God forbid anyone makes a website that JUST praises the good; to be a real Objectivist website it has condemn, criticize, and complain. lol) but I know for a fact that many do. My posts do get a lot of positive comments, on other forums, and hundreds of views per day. Its just this board that has a negative atmosphere...

Oh, well. I will keep posting my work and those who find it valuable will continue to look at it. Detractors and nay-sayers are less than nothing to me.

Edited by WeDontNeedGod
Link to post
Share on other sites

One criticism, though, is that being structured as a *blog* might not be the most efficient given the length of what you write. It's somewhere between forum thread and blog post.

As for layout, the facebook/twitter/etc buttons along with the login are a bit distracting where they are. I'd find it better if those were on the bottom of that section. I like the tabs that show up when I hover my mouse over the icons on the bottom left side.

You might not have noticed, but the banner shows a small strip of white. Not a big deal, yeah, but the most miniscule attention to detail always makes a difference.

Thank you for your support and kind words! How else would be better to structure it? I realize my posts are, on average, longer than your standard blog post. I'm open to ideas and discussion on this, such that I can maximize readership and take advantage of my potential. I'll also move the buttons further down the page, thank you for that suggestion. I'll get looking at the banner, I have noticed it before and haven't been able to pinpoint the problem. It's not the image, it's the coding of the header when the image is inserted that is causing this.

I really like the content on your blog. Particularly, I think the personal aspects of your posts are very engaging. As for the layout, I don't like the fact that the content is restricted to this iPad-looking window inside the webpage rather than simply going from top to bottom. Less content fits on the screen and the reader has to scroll more often. However, others seem to like the look, so take that as you will.

Thanks Dante! I try to insert personal aspects so as to provide a relevant real-life example/anecdote. It also allows for some enjoyment and chuckles from time to time, and a break from the serious stuff. I agree with your layout concern, and will try to expand it a bit. I managed to optimize it for mobile devices as well, with a bit of work. I'll take a look into it. Thanks again.

Dmastt, I like your blog! The design is different and interesting. I will keep it in mind and check it for content in the future.

Thank you Jennifer for your support and impressive praise. To hear this type of meaningful response from somebody in response to negativity is partly the reason I am indeed an Objectivist. I know that my hard work will pay off and I know that my happiness is the result of my achievements. Thank you very much!

I haven't read anything there yet, but the design of the blog is cool. Did you use a specific software or are you just good at HTML and all?

I have learned HTML, BASIC, and other introductory programming languages throughout high school, on a simple level. In college now, I am learning AutoCAD and LabView and will be learning C++ and Java in the next few semesters down the road. I don't *formally* know any programming languages, but I have a programming and logical mind which allows me to look at some pre-existing code and edit it. That being said, I use the Wordpress.org interface and have taken a (really brilliant) free-to-use theme and have modified it to the best of my potential, and will continue to do so. Wordpress does make it easy, but I also have direct access to source code through Bluehost, which I get to play around with sometimes. Best of both worlds, you could say. :)

Thank you all! I will keep you posted on the latest from my end here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck with your project, but don't expect any support from here. Judgement goes one way here. Its a tool used to condemn. When there is something to praise, there has consistently been silence.

Elsewhere, I've heard the type called "Objectionists."

I apologize for this post. It was made out of anger at a non-related issue. The reasoning used is fallacious, guilty of hasty generalization.

Link to post
Share on other sites

you are very assumptive. It is a cognitive bias that Objectivists are prone to.

Here we go again....

And I am unsure how you don't know who she is, she has been in the chatroom with you plenty of times.

"to be a real Objectivist website it has condemn, criticize, and complain."

This is not what she said, not even close.

Its just this board that has a negative atmosphere...

This thread seems to be pretty positive with the exception of the conversations with you. As was mentioned before, perhaps there is a connection, and the forum which has numerous people of different backgrounds who may or may not know you is not the problem.

Detractors and nay-sayers are less than nothing to me.

They seem to stir up a lot of emotion and attention from you if that is the case.

For now, I personally am going to assume (yes there we Objectivists go again, we just can't stop ourselves!) that your apology is more to save face than anything, and is not very sincere. A post will not convince me (I am not, of course, suggesting that you care at all) in this instance, your general behavior towards people on this website from this point forward will.

Edited by CapitalistSwine
Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted a new entry on Immanuel Kant and his Categorical Imperative, step right up to see the Kantian circus for yourself!

http://www.blazingtruth.com/?p=191

Have you read the Critique of Practical Reason? It’s much easier reading than the Critique of Pure Reason. While there’s plenty to object to in Kant’s ethics, the moral maxims you’ve taken from the Groundwork aren’t really the problem. They’re just a kind of restatement of the Golden Rule, also found (with better prose) in Confucius, Rabbi Hillel, and Jesus. It’s a call for principled morality, as opposed to the one rule for the King, another for the Aristocrats, and another for the Lumpen situation you had under, say, the casuist Jesuits of Louis XIV. Objectivism calls for principled moral thinking as well, it’s just that the guiding principles are so different. Derived rationally, while Kant ultimately rests it all on God. You move on to mocking other aspects of Kant’s ideas, but they don’t follow necessarily from the maxims, then the cartoon of Kant at the bottom is simply juvenile. Plus you roll out what must be my least favorite Peikoff quote. No, I’m being too nice: those may be the two most stupid sentences I’ve ever read.

EDIT: Ayn Rand didn’t write this, but I think she could have: Act on the non-initiation of force principle yourself, if you intend it to be a principle others act on in their dealings with you. Is this inconsistent with Kant’s maxims?

Edited by Ninth Doctor
Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you read the Critique of Practical Reason? It’s much easier reading than the Critique of Pure Reason. While there’s plenty to object to in Kant’s ethics, the moral maxims you’ve taken from the Groundwork aren’t really the problem. They’re just a kind of restatement of the Golden Rule, also found (with better prose) in Confucius, Rabbi Hillel, and Jesus. It’s a call for principled morality, as opposed to the one rule for the King, another for the Aristocrats, and another for the Lumpen situation you had under, say, the casuist Jesuits of Louis XIV. Objectivism calls for principled moral thinking as well, it’s just that the guiding principles are so different. Derived rationally, while Kant ultimately rests it all on God. You move on to mocking other aspects of Kant’s ideas, but they don’t follow necessarily from the maxims, then the cartoon of Kant at the bottom is simply juvenile. Plus you roll out what must be my least favorite Peikoff quote. No, I’m being too nice: those may be the two most stupid sentences I’ve ever read.

EDIT: Ayn Rand didn’t write this, but I think she could have: Act on the non-initiation of force principle yourself, if you intend it to be a principle others act on in their dealings with you. Is this inconsistent with Kant’s maxims?

I have not read Critique on Practical Reason. However, because Kant calls for principled moral thinking does not vindicate him from any irrationality. After all, principled moral thinking isn't hard to come by, look no further than the Ten Commandments. You are right, the ideas of which I spoke do not follow necessarily from his maxims -- they are primary to them. Kant's metaphysics is simply atrocious. Have your own opinions about the cartoon if you'd like, but the point I was trying to get across is that we are not moral out of 'duty' or 'obligation', or because somebody tells us we ought to be. We are moral because it is in our rational self-interests, also something which Kant neglects entirely. In fact, Kant's Categorical Imperative is more often than not used as support of an altruistic society.

I agree in retrospect that Peikoff's quote is a bit elementary and irrelevant. I figured I'd replace it with one by Nietzsche, since I referenced him in the final paragraph. Also, this is directly my concern with Kant's ethics:

"To think that no one has thought of Kant's categorical imperative as dangerous to life! … What destroys a man more quickly than to work, think and feel without inner necessity, without any deep personal desire, without pleasure—as a mere automaton of duty? That is the recipe for decadence, and no less for idiocy. … Instinct at fault in everything and anything, instinct as a revolt against nature, German decadence as a philosophy—that is Kant!"

Thank you for your input,

D

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not read Critique on Practical Reason. However, because Kant calls for principled moral thinking does not vindicate him from any irrationality.

My purpose isn’t to vindicate Kant, it’s to communicate to you that your piece isn’t any good. You don’t build a logical argument. You hold up one of the best things Kant wrote to juvenile mockery on grounds that have nothing to do with the content of what you’re quoting. Why not quote material that backs up what you want to criticize?

After all, principled moral thinking isn't hard to come by, look no further than the Ten Commandments.

I would say the Ten Commandments are anything but principled, in the sense of being universal moral maxims. Consider the context, immediately after being commanded Thou Shalt Not Kill, what are we told happened? The Jews loyal to Moses kill everyone who had worshiped the golden calf. Fast forward to the book of Joshua and you read a chronicle of genocide. The commandment Thou Shalt Not Kill should read: Thou Shalt Not Kill Other Jews. But no, for if a Jewish woman is found, on her wedding night, to not be a virgin, she’s to be stoned. There are plenty of other examples, a favorite is that if another Jew suggests you go check out a nearby pagan feast, you are commanded to kill him instantly. My main point, though, is that this is a tribal morality, giving free rein to the chosen people to murder or enslave other groups.

You are right, the ideas of which I spoke do not follow necessarily from his maxims -- they are primary to them.

Primary? I contend that they are not even necessarily derivative from them. And I rephrased an Objectivist principle so that it sounded like it was derived from them.

Kant's metaphysics is simply atrocious.

Huh? We're talking ethics. I suggest you read this:

http://enlightenment.supersaturated.com/objectivity/walsh1/

And I suggest being very careful critiquing Kant. In my experience Rand fans itch to denounce him, but don’t understand, and typically misrepresent him. It’s long been a stumbling block to respectability for Objectivism.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link, I've been looking for the text of that.

Sure thing. It jibes with all the first hand reading of Kant that I've managed, anyone who's tried knows that he's very tough going. George Walsh was participant "F" in the epistemology workshops printed in the expanded edition of ITOE (e.g. Leonard Peikoff was "E") and took part in TJS etc. before the Kelley split. I have it on good authority that Peikoff once publicly praised him with the words: on the subject of religious history, Walsh is "omniscient".

You are right, the ideas of which I spoke do not follow necessarily from his maxims -- they are primary to them.

I think I misunderstood this sentence earlier, I see that you're evoking hierarchy. I still disagree, but I'd have to know what you think Kant's metaphysics consists of to discuss it further.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I misunderstood this sentence earlier, I see that you're evoking hierarchy. I still disagree, but I'd have to know what you think Kant's metaphysics consists of to discuss it further.

Upon doing more research, I think I have very much misinterpreted Kant's metaphysics. Kant's Critique on Pure Reason was very difficult to understand. It sounded as if he was suggesting that we cannot know anything for certain because our senses limit us so significantly. From there, he seemed to say that we need to accept faith in some respects in order to make up for this. Perhaps he's right in the context of his writing and was using words in ways which I wasn't familiar. I will admit I also had a negative preconception of Kant from my classes, I cannot remember why.

Also I see what you mean now by jumping ship between ethics and metaphysics, I need to clarify that distinction and find out how Kant connects them. I do believe Nietzsche and Schopenhauer do have some valid criticisms, and will look into those more specifically. I will be doing an overhaul of this article, stating I was wrong in these particular respects and showing where and why. However, I do have some reservations on some of his points, but I will look more into them before jumping to conclusions so quickly. This article does need serious editing, and I may need to split it into two separate posts.

Thanks for your support, and perhaps if you have the time I'd like to speak with you one-on-one if I need clarification. Your link helped very much. I was wrong in my interpretation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

From there, he seemed to say that we need to accept faith in some respects in order to make up for this. Perhaps he's right in the context of his writing and was using words in ways which I wasn't familiar.

I suggest you also look up Fred Seddon’s article on faith in Kant. Just google “Seddon Kant faith” and it’ll come up. He claims that the line “deny knowledge to make room for faith” is mistranslated, which my German-English dictionary (Cassel’s) doesn’t entirely agree with, it lists faith as one of the English equivalents for the word Kant uses.

Kant had censorship issues following the death of Frederick the Great, who was replaced by the 18th century equivalent of a fundamentalist Christian crusader, I’ve long been interested in whether Kant changed his tune to be something more pleasing to the devil’s ear. Remember that this was the era of Voltaire, Rousseau, and Helvetius being hounded by the authorities in France, facing book burnings, fines and exile.

It’s worth remembering that Kant’s goal was to defend Newton from the skepticism of Hume. I can’t help thinking that he succeeded primarily by means of giving all subsequent philosophers massive headaches.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You mean the Bible is the only book incapable of being mistranslated? UNBELIEVABLE!

/rant

In all seriousness, to the best of my understanding Kant did use the word "God", did he not? Whether or not this was the convention of the time (such as the Founders did) or protection from political suppression/execution, I would love to come to understand. I'll take a look at Seddon's article, thank you for your knowledge.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In all seriousness, to the best of my understanding Kant did use the word "God", did he not?

In the 2nd preface to the Critique of Pure Reason? No, at least not the line "limit knowledge to make room for faith", it doesn't say God. He wrote about God and religion of course, and probably was a Deist, so he wasn't very different from Paine, Jefferson, or Franklin. You couldn't openly be an atheist in his time and place, that meant unemployment.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...