Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Isn't Objectivism Redundant and Impractical?

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

In general, I've found empirical psychological studies to be far more practical than most Objectivist ideas. They are simply impractical and cannot be workably used by anyone. Its part of the reason why Objectivism has failed to spread beyond a dedicated fanbase (arguably a cult).

Indeed, some studies findings seem to contradict Objectivist ideas about ethics (honesty for example). A few points:

1) I particularly find the Objectivist argument for "productiveness" weak. For example, there is no real or practical reason why a man or woman who inherits a billion dollars should not spend a life of leisure, traveling and/or philanthropy.

2) The ancient Epicureans were far more successful at spreading their philosophy (and getting people to adopt it) than Objectivists. Why is that? Even Christianity has been hugely successful in comparison to Objectivism.

3) My belief is that in the so called "marketplace of ideas" similar to the marketplace for material goods, the "best products" largely win out, this is because they are superior to previous "products" or current offerings on the marketplace.

^ In that respect, Objectivism has had a poor showing in the market. Its not hard to see why. Show me a happy and successful Objectivist (if they exist) and I'll show you 10 happy and successful non-objectivists.

EDIT: I'll add a fourth point. 4) The objectivist ethical concept of "honesty" is contradicted by the empirical evidence.

http://web.psych.uto...20Revisited.pdf

ftp://ftp.iza.org/Re...aper/dp4285.pdf

Prove me wrong on all points.

Edited by MarcT
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 74
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I admit to not reading through this thoroughly, but just wanted to mention this. MarcT, you seem to apply consequentialism to the question of happiness:- if one is happy, then the philosophy one l

That last post made me lose hope in this guy but I'd already written this, so let this be my last statement. No, not nessecarily. They are activities which can be pursued either productively

Your airplane won't fly on the moon. Your car won't drive on the ocean. An Objectivists probably won't be able to achieve happiness living in North Korea. Living by Objectivism will give you the best

In general, I've found empirical psychological studies to be far more practical than most Objectivist ideas. They are simply impractical and cannot be workably used by anyone. Its part of the reason why Objectivism has failed to spread beyond a dedicated fanbase (arguably a cult).

Indeed, some studies findings seem to contradict Objectivist ideas about ethics (honesty for example).

Which studies are you referring to?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Which studies are you referring to?

Sure, several actually:

http://web.psych.utoronto.ca/psy430/Taylor&Brown_Positive%20Illusions%20and%20Well-Being%20Revisited.pdf

Self-delusion (the opposite of the Objectivist concept of "honesty") has been shown to be a healthy part of normal cognitive function and makes you happier.

Second:

ftp://ftp.iza.org/RePEc/Discussionpaper/dp4285.pdf

Over-confidence (another form of "dishonesty") makes you perform better at work. Significantly better.

Hugely useful information. Instantly applicable. Objectivism? Not so much.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In general, I've found empirical psychological studies to be far more practical than most Objectivist ideas. They are simply impractical and cannot be workably used by anyone. Its part of the reason why Objectivism has failed to spread beyond a dedicated fanbase (arguably a cult).

Indeed, some studies findings seem to contradict Objectivist ideas about ethics (honesty for example). A few points:

1) I particularly find the Objectivist argument for "productiveness" weak. For example, there is no real or practical reason why a man or woman who inherits a billion dollars should not spend a life of leisure, traveling and/or philanthropy.

2) The ancient Epicureans were far more successful at spreading their philosophy (and getting people to adopt it) than Objectivists. Why is that? Even Christianity has been hugely successful in comparison to Objectivism.

3) My belief is that in the so called "marketplace of ideas" similar to the marketplace for material goods, the "best products" largely win out, this is because they are superior to previous "products".

^ In that respect, Objectivism has had a poor showing in the market. Its not hard to see why. Show me a happy and successful Objectivist (if they exist) and I'll show you 10 happy and successful non-objectivists.

Prove me wrong on all points.

1. I know this might sound strange to you: but that man who inherited a billion dollars, let's call him Bob, is actually being productive by living a life of luxury, traveling and donating money. Why is this, you posit? The answer is simple: the virtue of productiveness is that man is always attempting to reshape the earth as fit to his values. His ultimate value, of course, is to live. All other values derive from this. If Bob's value is to lie around and do nothing, travel and donate money, he is being productive. We can condemn him, however, because we believe that Bob's values are not good ones. We can do this in the same way you would judge engineering. If Bob inherited amazing math and engineering skills, and yet he does not use them wisely, like using rubber to hold up a building instead of some better substance (excuse my poor engineering skills), then we should judge hise stupidity. My analogy, however, is not perfect. Engineering has a much more narrow guideline, whereas life and subsequently moral systems are not always so narrow. The point is, however, that Bob is still being productive because he is reshaping the earth with his own values -- he's just not doing a very good job of it.

2. I would like you to consider the time we are in. It is the 21st Century. The epicureans were much more successful at spreading their philosophy, and so were Christians, because it was simply a different time... there are so many other factors. For example, people were probably not so skeptical because they might have believed things easier back then. There was less of a population so it was spread around easier. Christianity, for example, has been around for so long. Parents have taught their children this. Ayn Rand's philosophy has barely passed one generation. You're supposed to give it time. I'm sure Christianity was not the most popular religion in the world the first hundred years it was propounded. It takes time. Get it?

3. I do not believe that what most people buy is the superior product. There could be a number of reasons. Ever notice how some products are the same thing and yet they are more expensive, and more people buy them? All you need is something to cover your feet. We are not perfect pragmatists. Instead, they buy expensive footwear and brand name clothing because it derives more happiness. You could argue that that is the superior product in the sense that more people prefer it, but that does not mean their preference is evidence of a product's superiority. Just because more men prefer white women as sexual mates does not mean that any other race of women are always subservient or are subservient. Get it?

I hope you understand. My argument may have holes in it. Especially 3.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1) I particularly find the Objectivist argument for "productiveness" weak. For example, there is no real or practical reason why a man or woman who inherits a billion dollars should not spend a life of leisure, traveling and/or philanthropy.

The person in question is surviving based on his ancestors hard work. If he isn't productive himself (or doesn't hire productive people to work for him), he will squander away his money. He, of course, has the right to do whatever he wants with this money because it's his.

2) The ancient Epicureans were far more successful at spreading their philosophy (and getting people to adopt it) than Objectivists. Why is that? Even Christianity has been hugely successful in comparison to Objectivism.

Objectivism is a brand new philosophy.

3) My belief is that in the so called "marketplace of ideas" similar to the marketplace for material goods, the "best products" largely win out, this is because they are superior to previous "products" or current offerings on the marketplace.

There are too many factors to make such a broad generalization. Peer pressure, previous beliefs, family & friends views, lifestyle, tradition, media influence, propaganda, etc. You also can't compare philosophies that are thousands of years old to Objectivism and rank them in terms of popularity. They will obviously be more well-known.

Show me a happy and successful Objectivist (if they exist) and I'll show you 10 happy and successful non-objectivists.

By who's standard?

Self-delusion (the opposite of the Objectivist concept of "honesty") has been shown to be a healthy part of normal cognitive function and makes you happier.

Second:

Over-confidence (another form of "dishonesty") makes you perform better at work. Significantly better.

Hugely useful information. Instantly applicable. Objectivism? Not so much.

I will get back to this later.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@ Egosum

1. Your answer seems to contradict the official Objectivist doctrine on the matter:

Similiarly, one cannot substitute recreation-games, sports, travel, hobbies, reading murder mysteries, watching TV,

going shopping, going to the beach, and the like- for work. Recreation presupposes creation. Leisure activities are a form of rest, and presuppose that one is resting from; they have value only as relaxation and reward after the performance of work. A life devoted primarily to recreation is one lived is one lived with ones mind on hold, in disconnected snatches according to the spur of the moment- a game a trip, a show, a trip, a purchase-with no long-range goal and no field for intellectual activity. This amounts to the pointless life of a playboy.

- Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand , pg. 277

The message is clear. Objectivism does not regard leisure in any form as a productive value. So in essence, your answer was wrong (according to Objectivism)

2. First, people were more "skeptical"? Why would they be likely to be more skeptical of a completely rational, practical, doable and realistic philosophy? It makes no sense.

On the population point, its arguable that a bigger population (coupled with todays technological advances over period like ancient greece) would actually make the spread of ideas *faster*. Poor argument imo.

Also you've failed to take into account the millions of Ayn Rand's books that have been sold (and translated globally). Surely that would mean millions of new converts to Objectivism right? It doesn't take long to spread a a great idea at all.

3. Argument #3 is actually probably your best so far. Still, great products, by an large do succeed in the marketplace (for example apple iphones) and given the other options, people choose the best most of the time. I can't fathom why Objectivist ideas (if they are rational and practical by anyone) haven't had a better showing in the marketplace.

On the race thing, its arguable. Beauty is somewhat subjective.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Prove me wrong on all points.

Given that you have found empirical psychological studies to be far more practical than the ideas presented by Objectivism, why would you even be interested in being proven wrong? Do you consider empirical studies the sole criteria for proof? How do you distinguish between correlative and causal relationships within (and outside of) these studies?

Link to post
Share on other sites

@ mdegges

The person in question is surviving based on his ancestors hard work. If he isn't productive himself (or doesn't hire productive people to work for him), he will squander away his money. He, of course, has the right to do whatever he wants with this money because it's his.

You do realize a person could live comfortably and luxuriously for a lifetime (for several hundred lifetimes in fact) from inheriting a billion dollars without lifting a finger or even putting their money in a bank where it will gain millions per year in interest? And, realistically, what are the chances of "squandering" a billion dollars? As an example today, how many heirs have lost their fortunes due to over-spending?

There is *no* practical reason whatsoever why a person with a billion dollars (inherited or not even) should be "productive" at all.

Objectivism is a brand new philosophy.

Bad argument. Christianity was once "brand new", but spread quickly:

Early Christianity spread from city to city in the Hellenized Roman Empire and beyond into East Africa and South Asia. Apostles traveled extensively and establishing communities in major cities and regions throughout the Empire. The original church communities were founded by apostles (see Apostolic see) and numerous other Christians soldiers, merchants, and preachers[34] in northern Africa, Asia Minor, Armenia, Arabia, Greece, and other places.[35][36][37] Over 40 were established by the year 100,[36][37] many in Asia Minor, such as the seven churches of Asia. By the end of the 1st century, Christianity had already spread to Greece and Italy, even India, serving as foundations for the expansive spread of Christianity throughout the world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Christianity#Spread_of_Christianity

What's stopping Objectivism? By last count its about 60 or so years old give or take. With today's modern technology that's more than enough time actually. Good ideas (and self-evidently good ones especially) spread fast.

This answers your other point in regards to the "broad generalization" I made. Its broad but still accurate.

By who's standard?

The answer: everyone's. Happiness is a measurable phenomenon (brain imaging, behavior patterns etc) . It can be demonstrated that some people are just happier than others. And guess what? Most of them are not Objectivists (or even close to it).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Given that you have found empirical psychological studies to be far more practical than the ideas presented by Objectivism, why would you even be interested in being proven wrong?

Objectivism claims that it's philosophy is superior to all others (being the most consistent with reality). If so, If this is proven to be true, I'll gladly convert to Objectivism and do my part in spreading it near and far. I want others to know there is a superior way out there to live their lives and be happy.

Unfortunately, its becoming quite evident that this simply is not the case, but I'm giving you the chance to prove me wrong.

Do you consider empirical studies the sole criteria for proof?

No, just the most reliable and accurate. Pure logical inference is subject to (numerous) errors.

How do you distinguish between correlative and causal relationships within (and outside of) these studies?

Let me ask you this, here's a brain twister for you:

If you were self-deluded, happy and over-confident, would you or anyone else know the "difference" between "real" (in the objectivist sense) happiness and confidence or not? The answer in fact, is no. And if you did, you would'nt:

a. be self-deluded

b. be happy

If not your not "self-deluded" into being happy, your not self deluded in the first place. Your still thinking "realistically".

Objectivism contradicts the facts of human psychology (and evolution). The causes of happiness are complex but one of them is some element of self-delusion. On the subject of work performance (whether "real" or not) confidence increases ones effectiveness. These are facts.

Edited by MarcT
Link to post
Share on other sites

You do realize a person could live comfortably and luxuriously for a lifetime (for several hundred lifetimes in fact) from inheriting a billion dollars without lifting a finger or even putting their money in a bank where it will gain millions per year in interest? ...

If you don't work a day in your life, and your children and children's children don't work a day in their lives, and so on, a billion dollars will eventually run out.

Bad argument. Christianity was once "brand new", but spread quickly:

Are you forgetting the many other factors involved? Christianity arguably started near Paul's time, and if you've read the New Testament you would know that he had a hell of a time converting people (many of whom believed in many gods) to Christianity. I haven't looked at this for awhile, but I would say it took about 300'ish years before Christianity became a major religion - and that had a lot to do with Constantine. He was the first major Christian leader (of one sect) and spread the religion to all the cities he conquered. Bishops and other church leaders were also given a lot of political power during this time. Constantine even persecuted Christians who didn't believe in the old and new testaments, which definitely furthered the acceptance of the books as we see them today.

The answer: everyone's. Happiness is a measurable phenomenon (brain imaging, behavior patterns etc) . It can be demonstrated that some people are just happier than others. And guess what? Most of them are not Objectivists (or even close to it).

Seeing as how it's a new philosophy and the majority of people are not Objectivists, there will definitely be successful people who aren't Objectivists. You don't have to label yourself as an Objectivist to be happy in life. There's unhappy people from every school of philosophy. But I think there are basic principles you need to live by to feel good about yourself and live what you consider to be a good life (ie pursuing a field, or multiple fields, that interest you, and not sacrificing your happiness and well-being for others).

Self-delusion (the opposite of the Objectivist concept of "honesty") has been shown to be a healthy part of normal cognitive function and makes you happier. Second: Over-confidence (another form of "dishonesty") makes you perform better at work. Significantly better.

Hugely useful information. Instantly applicable. Objectivism? Not so much.

I don't understand why you think that Objectivist concepts are not applicable.

As for your other point, there are many cases where self-delusion and over-confidence are NOT healthy or useful. Psyching yourself up for a job interview and telling yourself you can do it is a healthy form of over-confidence. Self-delusion (stepping on the scale and fooling yourself into thinking that you weigh 120 pounds when you actually weigh 300) is not helathy or practical. Neither is decieving yourself into thinking that it's just a scratch when your husband beats you. Etc. Etc. This can also be characterized as faking reality, or being overly optimistic. Sure, you might feel better about yourself. But where will that you? In the first case, you can gorge all you want, but you'll probably have a heart attack at an early age. In the second, it will happen again and you'll be hospitalized. The short term benefits of self delusion don't pay off in the long run.

Edited by Michele Degges
Link to post
Share on other sites

I admit to not reading through this thoroughly, but just wanted to mention this.

MarcT, you seem to apply consequentialism to the question of happiness:- if one is happy,

then the philosophy one lives by is obviously best.

Any philosophy, I feel, that guarantees happiness, is self-evidently deceitful.

Objectivism - in all my readings - does not specify "Do this, and you will find eternal joy."

The pursuit of it is assumed as a given; so is happiness (flourishing) viewed as Man's rightful state.

But then you are on your own, with a 'launching pad' of knowledge and methodology - and a way to find your

own pride and self-esteem. A good start, that's all.

Objectivism is not a charismatic religion which glories in faith and unreality - producing a semblance

of "Joy" in unthinking, accepting faces.

Here is where the problem of propagation arises: people drawn to O'ism, are the ones who will not

compromise truth and their minds, for any easy 'happiness'. And they are the minority, apparently.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In response to MarcT:

1. I have struggled with this personally; the argument for why man has to be productive. I believe I have understood it, and will be updating my previous thread called "Reason as man's means of survival", which you may want to read.

The reason why a rich heir has to be productive is primarily psychological, for various reasons regarding human nature. For one thing: Mr. Bob cannot attain happines by simply "aiming directly at it", as a floating abstraction denoting pleasant feelings and memories of happiness in the past. It is a principle of Objectivism that spiritual values only can be achieved through material means. If this individual wants pride and self-esteem (and be happy and live a worthy life) he must experience himself being good and efficacious at something materially, as being able to sustain himself, whether that is through playing some sport, or computer games, or create art, organize parties, learn and teach advanced knowledge. Even though he doesn't need any more material wealth, he must continually face creative challenges and find ways of solving them, and in doing so he is productive. Otherwise boredom and lack of confidence, unhappiness, would result. (In answering this I have made use of Tara Smith's ARNE).

2. Has been adequately answered. I'd say Objectivism is doing remarkably well for being so new and at the same time so radical. Great ideas take time to spread if they contradict people's previously held ideas, because that means it takes a huge amount of time for each individual to decide the truth of what is presented. Don't know why chistianity spread faster though, if indeed that historical claim is correct.

3. Ehm, public education has been enforcing non-Objectivist ideas on people for several generations now. Prior to that there was the religious institutions who did the job. The market of ideas is thus not fair.

1. [....] If Bob's value is to lie around and do nothing, travel and donate money, he is being productive.

This seems to imply that anything a person does is productive, if he chooses it. Certainly one is not reshaping matter into something valuable while "lying around doing nothing", or while traveling around and giving away stuff for free. I would say the concept is not that broad.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don't work a day in your life, and your children and children's children don't work a day in their lives, and so on, a billion dollars will eventually run out.

The facts as I related, still stand. A man who inherits a billion dollars does not realistically have to work a day in his life. Period. Observe in real life the many young, rich, heirs to billionaires and centimillionaires and their lifestyles. Its mostly philanthropy or basically non-stop partying and traveling (i.e. paris hilton, prince charles etc) . They do it because they can. That's most people.

An news story on this very subject was written recently:

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2010/08/sleep-a-new-status-symbol-among-the-wealthy

But no, a hypothetical Objectivist billionaire heir would rather live under the pretense of unnecessary "productive work" .

Who has the more "realistic" point of view?

Are you forgetting the many other factors involved?

Lets put this whole thing into perspective just to show you how catastrophically Objectivism has failed to win over any significant amount of people.

According to bloomberg.com atlas shrugged has seen it's sales rise to 200,000 in the year 2008:

Instead, Ayn Rand’s novel is remembered more than ever. This year the book is selling at a faster rate than last year. Last year, sales were about 200,000, higher than any year before that, including 1957, when the book was published.

Also, according to the same article, the book sold on average about 60,000-80,000 copies per year prior to 2008.

- Atlas shrugged was first published in 1957 so lets to the math. From 1957-2008 :

From 1957 to 2008 is 51 years.

60,000 X 51 = 3,060,000 people buying the book

Lets assume from 2008 to 2011 its 200,000 per year

200,000 X 3 = 600,000

3,060,000 + 600,000 = 3,660,000 people can be estimated to have bought atlas shrugged. That is a staggering number. Yet despite the massive level of exposure Ayn Rands ideas have gotten, the overall adoption of the philosophy remains pitifully low. The number of people who can be said to consistently practice Objectivism even lower (or maybe non-existent).

If Ayn Rand was a sales person her "conversion rate" would be in a fraction of a percent of the total people who have been exposed to her message over a period of 51 years! This is not even counting sales of her other books and the enormous media exposure she has gotten over her lifetime.

Saying Objectivism "hasn't had enough time or exposure" is just patently untrue. Her books are enormously popular yet few people actually adopt her ideas.

Seeing as how it's a new philosophy and the majority of people are not Objectivists, there will definitely be successful people who aren't Objectivists. You don't have to label yourself as an Objectivist to be happy in life. There's unhappy people from every school of philosophy. But I think there are basic principles you need to live by to feel good about yourself and live what you consider to be a good life (ie pursuing a field, or multiple fields, that interest you, and not sacrificing your happiness and well-being for others).

Thats the point. If you can be perfectly happy and successful *not* adopting Objectivism (and even contradicting it in some cases) why adopt it at all? It's self defeating for your philosophy. Hence the redundancy.

As for your other point, there are many cases where self-delusion and over-confidence are NOT healthy or useful. Psyching yourself up for a job interview and telling yourself you can do it is a healthy form of over-confidence. Self-delusion (stepping on the scale and fooling yourself into thinking that you weigh 120 pounds when you actually weigh 300) is not helathy or practical. Neither is decieving yourself into thinking that it's just a scratch when your husband beats you. Etc. Etc. This can also be characterized as faking reality, or being overly optimistic. Sure, you might feel better about yourself. But where will that you? In the first case, you can gorge all you want, but you'll probably have a heart attack at an early age. In the second, it will happen again and you'll be hospitalized. The short term benefits of self delusion don't pay off in the long run.

1) You just admitted that over-confidence (aka dishonesty) can be beneficial. If honesty in the Objectivist definition is always good, then any form of self-deception is never good or beneficial. According to Objectivism its actually evil.

2) You can use self-deception "rationally" and irrationally. Its using an irrational quirk of the human brain against itself. The example you gave of "psyching" yourself before work or a game is one.

It works because its basic human psychology. Its how your brain is built. We can use self-deception in ways that increase our chances of survival with no negative long-term effects. It allows us to function throughout the day. Worrying about everything which could happen to us given the risks maybe rational, but its also counter-productive.

Obviously "deceiving" yourself about an abusive husband does'nt help you in the long run. But mentally tricking yourself into being more confident at work does. And no one, including you, would be able to tell the difference.

Edited by MarcT
Link to post
Share on other sites

"Here is where the problem of propagation arises: people drawn to O'ism, are the ones who will not

compromise truth and their minds, for any easy 'happiness'. And they are the minority, apparently."

Well, that's a handy explanation, isn't it? Right in the same category as attributing ignorance or evasion to those who question O'ist concepts and assertions. Makes you feel really good and superior, and does away with having to deal with answering questions.

I too have problems with some the original poster's assertions, but this is not the way to deal with them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

just something to think about as to why objectivism hasn't spread so much: Christianity, self sacrifice, altruism, and religion are all social values entrenched in our culture and media, and proposing a belief system so diametrically opposed to the one many have built their lives on will of course be a slow process

Edited by rdrdrdrd
Link to post
Share on other sites

You seem to be under the impression that Objectivism is seeking people to spread Objectivism far and near? What if Objectivism is a superior philosophy? What if Objectivism can only be discovered by those who truly seek to understand how to know where they are and what it is that they find themselves within? What if Objectivism can only be understood by those who learn how to validate knowledge by the reliance of the power of their own minds ability? What if expecting others to provide proof is an obstacle to, rather than a stepping stone to understanding what is contained to be discovered by those who seek the ability to discern for themselves what constitutes as proof per se?

Link to post
Share on other sites

@ patrik

he reason why a rich heir has to be productive is primarily psychological, for various reasons regarding human nature. For one thing: Mr. Bob cannot attain happines by simply "aiming directly at it", as a floating abstraction denoting pleasant feelings and memories of happiness in the past. It is a principle of Objectivism that spiritual values only can be achieved through material means. If this individual wants pride and self-esteem (and be happy and live a worthy life) he must experience himself being good and efficacious at something materially, as being able to sustain himself, whether that is through playing some sport, or computer games, or create art, organize parties, learn and teach advanced knowledge.

Computer games (and maybe sports) I believe are classified as "leisure" under objectivism.

However, if by being productive in this sense, you mean pursuing some sort of challenging activity, then I agree with you. Psychologically a rich person still needs to find some sort of purpose or challenge in their life, whatever it may be.

But lets be clear that a billionaire heir does not need to be "productive" in the economic sense at all.

2. Has been adequately answered. I'd say Objectivism is doing remarkably well for being so new and at the same time so radical. Great ideas take time to spread if they contradict people's previously held ideas, because that means it takes a huge amount of time for each individual to decide the truth of what is presented. Don't know why chistianity spread faster though, if indeed that historical claim is correct.

Refer to my above post on the relative exposure of Objectivism to its actual adoption rate.

3. Ehm, public education has been enforcing non-Objectivist ideas on people for several generations now. Prior to that there was the religious institutions who did the job. The market of ideas is thus not fair.

No cigar. Ancient Rome enforced non-christian ideas (and actively killed and persecuted Christians) but that did not stop Christianity from spreading. In fact it made it stronger.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@whYNOT

Any philosophy, I feel, that guarantees happiness, is self-evidently deceitful.

Objectivism - in all my readings - does not specify "Do this, and you will find eternal joy."

That's like saying

"Any car that guarantees the ability to drive, is self-evidently deceitful." or

"Any airplane that guarantees the ability to fly, is self-evidently deceitful"

The very purpose of philosophy (from zen buddhism to aritotelianism) is ultimately, the achievement of happiness. Any philosophy

that claims to "be the most consistent with reality" and that the consistent practice of its principles leads

to happiness as a result, needs to be held to its word. Or its making false claims.

Here is where the problem of propagation arises: people drawn to O'ism, are the ones who will not

compromise truth and their minds, for any easy 'happiness'. And they are the minority, apparently

Or the people who will suffer unnecessarily and unhappily all their lives for a mentally abstract ideal that has no basis

in empirical reality? When do you expect to be "happy" within your lifetime after a lifetime of "non-compromise"? At the age of 60?

Edited by MarcT
Link to post
Share on other sites
You seem to be under the impression that Objectivism is seeking people to spread Objectivism far and near?

Yes. Why not? Under Objectivism, its rational and in ones own interest to do so.

What if Objectivism is a superior philosophy?

Actually, I would argue that Epicureanism is pretty superior to Objectivism. It's also "rational", but hedonistic in focus and was far more successful in its time.

What if Objectivism can only be discovered by those who truly seek to understand how to know where they are and what it is that they find themselves within?

That is a nonsensical statement.

Look, you seem to indicating that Objectivism is just this "difficult" thing that every individual must "struggle" and strain to put its pieces together (presumably over a large number of years or a lifetime). Whats the point? Is there even any foreseeable benefit to doing so? Can you measure the time it takes and the payoff?

Atleast one can see the practical benefit and payoff to the years of struggle to get a phD in particle physics. I see no practical benefit to "struggling" to "integrate" Objectivism.

How is that a "philosophy for living on the earth" if most of your life is spent in agony and (needless) struggle?

I'd just take common sense over that anyday (and most people do). I don't see how its demonstrably any better.

I stand by my point that its a largely useless, redundant and impractical philosophy.

Edited by MarcT
Link to post
Share on other sites

That last post made me lose hope in this guy but I'd already written this, so let this be my last statement.

Computer games (and maybe sports) I believe are classified as "leisure" under objectivism.

No, not nessecarily. They are activities which can be pursued either productively or for leisure.

But lets be clear that a billionaire heir does not need to be "productive" in the economic sense at all.

I agree he does not need to earn money. But he needs to produce in the sense of applying reason to the problem of survival, which has a broader meaning.

Refer to my above post on the relative exposure of Objectivism to its actual adoption rate.

So AS has sold ~3,660,000 copies. If we assume only a couple of thousand accepted the philosophy after reading AS, what will that prove? That Objectivism is false because if it were true then it would spread quickly? You might aswell use that same argument and say that since christianity spread quickly it must be true, and since X spread slowly it must be false.

It's obviously the case that you are unsure whether Objectivism is correct or not, and are trying to use this "track record" or "conversion rate" or whatever to decide whether it is worth your time or not, because then it will be "more likely true" or not. But that is the wrong method. Look at it and read about it and try to decide for yourself, ask specific questions on this forum and try to make up your mind that way instead. It's a totally useless way of going about philosophy, because you can't avoid the task of thinking yourself.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If your premise is that self-delusion is ultimately more successful in achieving happiness, and assuming you yourself are in fact happily self-deluded, why are you seeking to determine the best means towards happiness with an objective line of questioning to determine the reality of your premise? In other words, you appear to seeking truth according to what is objectively real while denying that is necessary to be happy. There is a contradiction at work here with your premise and these studies you reference. Is it not the purpose of the study to determine what the reality is in this situation? Why is it important to validate that reality if delusion is sufficient to begin with?

Link to post
Share on other sites
@whYNOT That's like saying "Any car that guarantees the ability to drive, is self-evidently deceitful." or "Any airplane that guarantees the ability to fly, is self-evidently deceitful" The very purpose of philosophy (from zen buddhism to aritotelianism) is ultimately, the achievement of happiness. Any philosophy that claims to "be the most consistent with reality" and that the consistent practice of its principles leads to happiness as a result, needs to be held to its word. Or its making false claims. Or the people who will suffer unnecessarily and unhappily all their lives for a mentally abstract ideal that has no basis in empirical reality? When do you expect to be "happy" within your lifetime after a lifetime of "non-compromise"? At the age of 60?

You seem to miss the distinction between "purpose' and 'guarantee'. When it comes to human happiness, there is NEVER

a guarantee. The state you refer to as happiness is a zombie-like trance. If that's good enough for you, great.

"The consistent practice of its [O'ism] principles leads to happiness as a result" is clearly rubbish.

Where did you find that?

And "no basis in empirical reality". Objectivism? You are kidding. Do some more research.

I 'll say again, not everyone wants as much truth as they can find - or places the utmost authority in their minds.

Look around, and deny it if you can. Such people who do, could never find happiness if their minds were constrained.

This is a particularly insidious brand of pragmatism you're trying to sell; the results are all that matter, the means

are insignificant. No conscious person could tolerate that process, without imploding.

I am 61, as it happens. I've learned full-well that the times I was truly unhappy, was when I tried to escape my mind.

There's your "agony".

That's what you are pushing? and dangling the bait of "happiness"?

Link to post
Share on other sites

At the (driveby) critics in this thread, ad-hominem (your a troll!) attacks do not constitute an argument as to the invalidity of my premises.

@ patrik

"No, not nessecarily. They are activities which can be pursued either productively or for leisure."

Not True.

"Similiarly, one cannot substitute recreation-games, sports, travel, hobbies, reading murder mysteries, watching TV,

going shopping, going to the beach, and the like- for work."

- Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand , pg. 277

"So AS has sold ~3,660,000 copies. If we assume only a couple of thousand accepted the philosophy after reading AS, what will that prove? That Objectivism is false because if it were true then it would spread quickly? You might aswell use that same argument and say that since christianity spread quickly it must be true, and since X spread slowly it must be false."

Wrong. I am holding Objectivism to its own claims. If it claims to be a practical, rational, worldly philosophy that leads to happiness, people would fairly easily and happily adopt it.

"Look at it and read about it and try to decide for yourself, ask specific questions on this forum and try to make up your mind that way instead. It's a totally useless way of going about philosophy, because you can't avoid the task of thinking yourself. "

I did. And came to the conclusion stated at the beginning of this thread. But I wanted to be proven wrong. I *want* Objectivism to be true. But the evidence imo does not point to it.

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...