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wonder if you'd consider me an objectivist

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My point is that "My opponents disagree with me because they're avoiding logic" is quite a strong claim, and without quite a bit of knowledge about their characters and the ideas they hold, you don't have the evidence to prove it.

and I wish that Peikoff/Rand had had your standards when judging some people..and the fact that people avoid admitting that makes it more clear to me

Unless you don't see honesty as a part of one's character, accusing someone of dishonesty is a character attack.

There's a degree that you're missing though. If you punch someone, it doesn't make you a murderer. Similarly, if a bit of your intellectual honesty is impugned, it doesn't mean that you have an attacker of all of your honesty and character.

Edited by James Bond
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and I wish that Peikoff/Rand had had your standards when judging some people..and the fact that people avoid admitting that makes it more clear to me

Fair enough, but I think you're underestimating the extent to which people aren't admitting it because they honestly disagree rather than because they're evading.

There's a degree that you're missing though. If you punch someone, it doesn't make you a murderer. Similarly, if a bit of your intellectual honesty is impugned, it doesn't mean that you have an attacker of all of your honesty and character.

By "character attack" I mean accusing someone of a moral failing. There are, of course, different degrees to which one can do this - I'm certainly not accusing you of calling all your opponents bad people - but an accusation of dishonesty is an accusation of a character defect, and in this particular instance I think it's an unwarranted accusation.

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By "character attack" I mean accusing someone of a moral failing. There are, of course, different degrees to which one can do this - I'm certainly not accusing you of calling all your opponents bad people - but an accusation of dishonesty is an accusation of a character defect, and in this particular instance I think it's an unwarranted accusation.

Ok, I agree. Calling people out morally for not dealing with their bullshit is unwarranted.

I'm going to go to bed now but I hope I get lots of great replies for when I wake up.

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The point here is that you are making broad UNSUBSTANTIATED claims against a great number of people without providing any evidence of their dishonesty.

So if you think people should call BS when they see it... I see it in your posts. You've essentially returned here with the apparent intent of insulting many users of this forum and just general trolling.

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I had someone (understandably) from ARI tell me that a ARI summer conferences were geared toward closed system advocates, because it was put together by the ARI and not TAS. Now I'm actually kind of a closed system guy (how do you add to empiricism? etc) but "closed" and "open" sometimes means "do you you agree with almost all the philsophical and many of the personal opinions of Brook, Peikoff, and Rand?"

And yet, empiricism is an open system which you can add to, whilst Objectivism is a closed system that, if you add to it, it becomes Rand's system + your additions = a different philosophy.

No, closed/open systems in philosophy never mean "do you agree with person X, Y, or Z." It has nothing to do with agreement. But so, I don't get it, asking "do you agree with person X, Y, or Z" is a bad question or something? What exactly is the problem? Is this evidence of dogma? It seems you are very confused on what any of these things mean. What exactly is your point anyway, aside from hey look at my opinions on "the objectivist movement" and everyone is a dogmatist but me, even though I've never met these people and admittedly don't talk to them, and if you don't agree with me you're immoral (but that's not dogmatic)?

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No, closed/open systems in philosophy never mean "do you agree with person X, Y, or Z." It has nothing to do with agreement. But so, I don't get it, asking "do you agree with person X, Y, or Z" is a bad question or something? What exactly is the problem? Is this evidence of dogma? It seems you are very confused on what any of these things mean. What exactly is your point anyway, aside from hey look at my opinions on "the objectivist movement" and everyone is a dogmatist but me, even though I've never met these people and admittedly don't talk to them, and if you don't agree with me you're immoral (but that's not dogmatic)?

I didn't say you were a dogmatist or immoral, and I'm not confused about what dogmatism is.

My point with this thread is to see how you define an objectivist, and so far I haven't got very much feedback on that.

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I didn't say you were a dogmatist or immoral, and I'm not confused about what dogmatism is.

My point with this thread is to see how you define an objectivist, and so far I haven't got very much feedback on that.

From Merriam-Webster, objectivist is deferred to objectivism and defined as:

1: any of various theories asserting the validity of objective phenomena over subjective experience; especially : realism 2a

2: an ethical theory that moral good is objectively real or that moral precepts are objectively valid

3: a 20th century movement in poetry growing out of imagism and putting stress on form

Objectivism covers definitions as the identification of the essential characteristic that makes a concept distinct from every other concept.

On that note, Objectivism could be captured by: The philosophy, identified by Ayn Rand, based on the theory that concepts are objective.

That being said, being an Objectivist is not if you can cite definitions from memory, but rather can do you identify the method by which you formulate your concepts and integrate them with the facts of reality for yourself.

Edited by dream_weaver
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Yeah. You are lying to yourself if you don't think there's a history of dogmatism in the objectivist movement, from the 50's to today.

As far as I can tell, you're just as much a student of Objectivism as anyone here. I think your concerns about dogmatism are ill-founded, and concerns created out of thin air. Are there some dogmatic individuals? Sure. Anyway, you'd probably be surprised at how large of a variety of beliefs you'd find in Objectivism as a movement. All you have to do is ask for opinions and thoughts.

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From Merriam-Webster, objectivist is deferred to objectivism and defined as:

1: any of various theories asserting the validity of objective phenomena over subjective experience; especially : realism 2a

2: an ethical theory that moral good is objectively real or that moral precepts are objectively valid

3: a 20th century movement in poetry growing out of imagism and putting stress on form

Objectivism covers definitions as the identification of the essential characteristic that makes a concept distinct from every other concept.

On that note, Objectivism could be captured by: The philosophy, identified by Ayn Rand, based on the theory that concepts are objective.

That being said, being an Objectivist is not if you can cite definitions from memory, but rather can do you identify the method by which you formulate your concepts and integrate them with the facts of reality for yourself.

Sounds like a lot of rationalization going on to me.

Objectivism, with a capital "O", is Rand's philosophy - period.

And being an Obj.ist is accepting and living by her philosophyical principles - period.

"Identifying the method..." is clearly not enough.

What more needs to be said here?

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Sounds like a lot of rationalization going on to me.

Objectivism, with a capital "O", is Rand's philosophy - period.

And being an Obj.ist is accepting and living by her philosophyical principles - period.

"Identifying the method..." is clearly not enough.

What more needs to be said here?

I was raised on intrinsicism and rationalization. Many Christians accept and live by the principles espoused by their selected religions. While "accepting" can denote recognizing something as being true - many Christians simply acknowledge that it says so in the Bible, therefore they must abide by such there so.

The deepest philosophical roots of Objectivism is captured in her formulation: Existence is identity. Consciousness is identification. An Objectivist is one engaged in the process of identification. If this is rationalization, I intend to identify it as objectively as I can aspire to.

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I'm going to have to agree with your last point on Ron Paul, though. Of course, one shouldn't interpret all disagreement with "hostility," and certainly there is plenty of unjustified hostility on the libertarian side. While it is a fact that some libertarians, maybe a lot of them, are just plain scum, no better than any commie or conservative, and I get there is need for some branding between ARI and LvMI. That being said, I don't get all the hostility towards Ron Paul. Amy Peikoff's critique of him was terrible, and Yaron's recent comments about him are bafflingly misinformed at the least, intentionally malicious at the worst. I don't get why ARI won't engage with the Mises people instead of treating anarcho-capitalism as persona non grata, so to speak. The Mises people, while the vast majority are anarchists, are willing to publish philosophic material, including on Objectivism, to sell Objectivist books, to discuss and publish papers on Objectivism. The level of scholarship, including sometimes on Objectivism, being put out by the Mises Institute is so vastly higher than ARI, it's quite disappointing.

Cannot agree more with this.

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Cannot agree more with this.

There is a difference not being noted here.

Obj.ism is a philosophy; Brook and others speak in philosophical terms; and as such, anarchists are immoral.

The "Mises people" use Obj.ism as it is appropriate, but Obj.ists can't acknowledge that they are fundamentally correct in many of their views.

It does not bother me if ARI is not as public, etc: the philosophy is primarily for the individual and all Obj.ist individuals can spread the principles more than ARI can.

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One thing I've been thinking today is that maybe Rand is like a CEO of philosophy, were even though you might not agree with some of the company's policies (dogmatism, etc.) you still get more than enough value to still work for the company.

Edited by James Bond
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One thing I've been thinking today is that maybe Rand is like a CEO of philosophy, were even though you might not agree with some of the company's policies (dogmatism, etc.) you still get more than enough value to still work for the company.

That's not a policy and as I said, I think you far exaggerate how much of a problem dogmatism is. I don't deny that some individuals can be dogmatic, but I don't pay attention to those people. If you provide examples of dogmatism, we can discuss them.

Edited by Eiuol
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One thing I've been thinking today is that maybe Rand is like a CEO of philosophy, were even though you might not agree with some of the company's policies (dogmatism, etc.) you still get more than enough value to still work for the company.

Is this an attempt to feel better about Obj.ism?

You are still not distinguishing between the philosophy and the "company" promoting it - which I agree with others is not dogmatic. All the value is in the philosophy; accept it or not.

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If you provide examples of dogmatism, we can discuss them.

http://www.houstonobjectivism.com/letter_justice_lp.htm

http://www.johnmccaskey.com/resignation.html

(Peikoff's letter scroll down)

That's an institutional example. Try to understand what Peikoff is really saying in that letter. It looks a lot like intimidation to me. I'd love to hear other explanations.

On a side note, I've had an issue with a kind of Rand-filter in my thought process. Obviously I can only speak for myself, but I've caught myself thinking "what would Rand think?" or "I wonder if Rand would like this?" I don't think that's wrong its done in order to gain perspective, but when it alters your perspective (as it has mine), that is second handed and corrupt. I don't think this should be controversial to say, either. I'm not quite sure if it is.

Edited by James Bond
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Obviously I can only speak for myself, but I've caught myself thinking "what would Rand think?" or "I wonder if Rand would like this?" Objectivism, to me, is about independent thought, whether or not it coheres with an opinion of anyone else.

But that alone is not evidence of a lack of independent thought. It's completely understandable to think about the opinions of people whom you respect when making decisions. For example, I often find myself thinking, "What would my dad say about whatever it is I'm about to do?" Thinking back to him and the example he's set for me often helps keep me grounded. Of course, this doesn't mean that I will automatically do what I think he would have me do after asking myself that question; it depends on whether his advice would make sense to me or not. In other words, I still evaluate his hypothetical opinion with my own independent judgment before I decide whether he'd be right or wrong. If the advice that he would give me would be based on an opinion of his that I don't agree with, then I discard it, but often just thinking about him starts a thought process that makes me realize I really shouldn't be doing whatever it is I'm considering. If one greatly respects Ayn Rand's perspective on the world, then doing something similar with her would make sense, and it doesn't mean that person is surrendering their independent judgment.

Now, what would be surrendering one's independent judgment would be to succumb to hypothetical-Rand's opinion without understanding why she has it or what thought process lies behind it. That would be taking her opinions on faith, which would definitely be an abandonment of cognitive independence.

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That's an institutional example. Try to understand what Peikoff is really saying in that letter. It looks a lot like intimidation to me. I'd love to hear other explanations.
What exactly is "institutional"? Are you referring to LP's letter or to the Houston-Objectivism blog? Edited by softwareNerd
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James,

I believe there is a danger here that in zealously seeking out dogma, you become dogmatic yourself.

Any dogmatism you can find in Objectivism is occasionally from one or other authority figure - who is right and undogmatic the rest of the time - or in the practical applications of Objectvism, which can be independently considered and discovered false.

I've been known to criticize authoritarianism myself - but I'm aware of the distinctions.

As philosophy, Objectivism is as far removed as possible from dogma.

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Any dogmatism you can find in Objectivism is occasionally from one or other authority figure - who is right and undogmatic the rest of the time -... ...
Actually, I think the dogmatism is mostly among the non "authority figures": i.e., among people who have not yet fully integrated their views about Objectivism, and still hold them rationalistically.

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James,

I believe there is a danger here that in zealously seeking out dogma, you become dogmatic yourself.

Any dogmatism you can find in Objectivism is occasionally from one or other authority figure - who is right and undogmatic the rest of the time - or in the practical applications of Objectvism, which can be independently considered and discovered false.

I've been known to criticize authoritarianism myself - but I'm aware of the distinctions.

As philosophy, Objectivism is as far removed as possible from dogma.

As was Rand herself. Note this recent quote by Don Watkins (ARI) which also implicitly addresses all the comments about Libertarians:

"In today’s world, to be selective about one’s allies is to invite accusations of dogmatism. But it was precisely Rand’s lack of dogmatism—her conviction that only rational, persuasive arguments can change the world—that made her so careful about avoiding confusion in making the case for capitalism."

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"In today’s world, to be selective about one’s allies is to invite accusations of dogmatism. But it was precisely Rand’s lack of dogmatism—her conviction that only rational, persuasive arguments can change the world—that made her so careful about avoiding confusion in making the case for capitalism."

That's a good quote, can you tell us where it is from?

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