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"Talking Down" to non-Objectivists

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I've been noticing a phenomena when I "debate" (if that's what you want to call it, since they mostly only accuse Ayn Rand and the ARI of being a cult) non-Objectivists. I will frequently get a response from them that I am "talking down" to them. This has confused me, as the statements I present are always rational and adhere to logic and reason.

My question is: has anyone else noticed this phenomena when debating non-Objectivists? What are the motives behind this statement? Personally, I'm inclined to believe it's only a straw man they're using to evade the issue at hand when they feel emotionally wounded.

Also, before someone says it, I know it's not all non-Objectivists which do this. I've frequently encountered non-Objectivists who were almost rational in their thought process and did not invoke the "talking down" line.

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I've been noticing a phenomena when I "debate" (if that's what you want to call it, since they mostly only accuse Ayn Rand and the ARI of being a cult) non-Objectivists. I will frequently get a response from them that I am "talking down" to them. This has confused me [...].

[boldface emphasis added.]

I have several general responses. First, I suggest that a better term for the people you have described here is "anti-Objectivists" rather than "non-Objectivists." The reason, which you provided, is that they are attacking Objectivism rather than being ignorant of it or simply deciding they don't agree with it.

Second, I personally have not encountered that comment. Do you take a "dogmatic" (teaching) approach or a dialectical (questioning) approach generally? (Of course, one can combine the two approaches in varying proportions depending on your purpose in a particular conversation.)

Third, I try, in each situation, to distinguish my purpose: to discuss or to debate? A discussion is a social, verbal exchange whose purpose is to find the solution to a problem that two or more people share. The classic example is one on the job. The manager of the small company says at his weekly staff meeting, for example, that money is missing from the cash register, so what can we do about it? Various people ask questions and make suggestions and maybe ask more questions. They are looking for a solution. This is discussion.

A debate is a contest. The debaters are trying to win something: prestige, influence, social-metaphysical "points," or some other prize. The only people qualified to debate are people who have mastered their subject and are ready to defend their position on a particular issue. People who debate, in this sense of the term, but haven't mastered their subject, are like first-day martial arts students "fighting." Foolish.

The approach I generally prefer to take is the discussion approach using dialectical skills, that is, skills in asking questions to find out what the other person now believes (if anything) and then to offer alternatives for consideration.

Fourth, if someone you are talking to says something that confuses you, then ask them questions: What do you mean? How does that relate to the issue we are discussing? Wait a minute, what is the issue here -- my manner of speaking or issue X?

The important point is that if you are confused, ask questions. Their answers may give you clues leading (someday) to understanding the phenomenon.

Fifth, and last, I try to keep in mind what "influence" means: Giving an individual a piece of information that he wants in order to help him reach one of his goals. If I don't give him the information he wants there is no influence. If he doesn't want any information, there is no influence. If he has no unmet goals, there is no influence. All these pieces have to be present.

Edited by BurgessLau

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Well I was just about to agree, but after reading Burgess' post, it really cleared some stuff up on the topic of debating with people. Thanks B.L. I really enjoy reading your posts. Very clear and helpful.

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Perhaps the problem lays in trying to debate with them in the first place. It could be assumed that by engaging in a debate with someone you already know to hold a different belief system you are simply trying to showcase you intellectual superiority. Also have you found yourself expressing your objectivist ideas in ways that would make people call Ayn Rand's ideas a cult. By that I mean do you talk of it as an absolute and make suggestions that those who do not believe as you do are somehow morally flawed, do you ever use the term "we" when detailing your concepts. Watch and make sure that although your arguments are far more solid than say a fundemental religous person's, you don't argue for the sake of changing some one or winning an argument. It is not intellectual superiority we need, it is full understanding of the concept. And that cannot come when you attack a persons beliefs and make them feel stupid, they cannot listen to anything past that. I would suggest not engaging in debates with people who are non-objectivist unless of course they have a real interest in at least understanding the philosophy. A person brings themselve down to the level of a dunce when they argue with a dunce. I do not mean to suggest that you do any of the things I mentioned as I do not know you , however, these are the mistakes that I see most often made by people who get responses such as the ones you get. Think about a little bit and it could be possible to find that the mistake lays with you, you cannot change those people only yourself.

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My take: if a man is dishonest or foolish enough to warrant "talking down" to him, why waste your time?

If he's honest and interested, why talk down to him?

Two habits that are hard to break, but should be avoided:

Don't give your evaluation of the ideas before examining them. For example - don't say: this is stupid, and then continue to show why. Just start with the reasons you think it's wrong. Maybe ask a question to draw their attention to their contradictions.

Also, try to refrain from looking impatient or patronizing when they give you their view. It's true - you've probably heard it a million times before, and the answer is so clear in your mind. Still, to the guy talking it's obviously a serious concern and if you value him enough to talk to him, try to be nice.

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I've been noticing a phenomena when I "debate" [snip]non-Objectivists. I will frequently get a response from them that I am "talking down" to them.

[snip]

Personally, I'm inclined to believe it's only a straw man they're using to evade the issue at hand when they feel emotionally wounded.

The intention of your post is a big confusing to me. In one sense, you could be wondering whether the accusations were right or wrong, whether you truly were being inappropriate and talking down to people.

But it doesn't seem like that's why you wrote the post, because the possibility of the accusation being true is excluded outright. It seems more likely that your absense of "talking down" is assumed to be true by default, and the only thing that needs resolving is whether other users have met with such obviously false accusations too. If this is what you were wondering about, then my answer is "no".

Even in those cases when people do try to escape an argument by accusation, they will make an accusation that has some basis in reality, in order to make sense. Their accusation is of course not a proper logical argument, only an ad hominem fallacy, but the basis underlying their accusation may be very real, and very valid. Just because a person makes a good point does not mean they weren't inappropriate, and did not talk down to their opponents. At the risk of stating the obvious, logical arguments are not the only thing that's important in a conversation, and other things such as manners and public decorum obviously have their place as well.

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First, I want to thank everybody for their excellent responses to my post. I guess I should have stated first and foremmost the context of what I was referring to.

I recently posted on a local forum asking if there were any fans of Ayn Rand's books in my area. I was shocked when people started attacking her outright with illogical fallacies and blatent misrepresentation. Most of the usual straw man arguements were used: ARI is a cult for dissociating with Kelley, the Brandens, Ayn Rand controlled and manipulated people, etc. One person even gave me a link to the most ridiculous ex-Obectivist's web site I had ever seen. I was not able to take this person seriously after they used a quote of George Carlin's to support the notion that you shouldn't trust a philosophy which has a name.

So, feeling I didn't want anyone who wasn't familiar with Ayn Rand to believe the nonsense these people were spewing, I responded to the accusations. Then, in the next thread, the person accused me of talking down to them, which I vehemently denied, especially in light of the fact that I held my tounge when they told me all Objectivists have an adolescent mentalitiy.

Now for individual responses:

[boldface emphasis added.]

I have several general responses. First, I suggest that a better term for the people you have described here is "anti-Objectivists" rather than "non-Objectivists." The reason, which you provided, is that they are attacking Objectivism rather than being ignorant of it or simply deciding they don't agree with it.

Second, I personally have not encountered that comment. Do you take a "dogmatic" (teaching) approach or a dialectical (questioning) approach generally? (Of course, one can combine the two approaches in varying proportions depending on your purpose in a particular conversation.)

Third, I try, in each situation, to distinguish my purpose: to discuss or to debate? A discussion is a social, verbal exchange whose purpose is to find the solution to a problem that two or more people share. The classic example is one on the job. The manager of the small company says at his weekly staff meeting, for example, that money is missing from the cash register, so what can we do about it? Various people ask questions and make suggestions and maybe ask more questions. They are looking for a solution. This is discussion.

A debate is a contest. The debaters are trying to win something: prestige, influence, social-metaphysical "points," or some other prize. The only people qualified to debate are people who have mastered their subject and are ready to defend their position on a particular issue. People who debate, in this sense of the term, but haven't mastered their subject, are like first-day martial arts students "fighting." Foolish.

The approach I generally prefer to take is the discussion approach using dialectical skills, that is, skills in asking questions to find out what the other person now believes (if anything) and then to offer alternatives for consideration.

Fourth, if someone you are talking to says something that confuses you, then ask them questions: What do you mean? How does that relate to the issue we are discussing? Wait a minute, what is the issue here -- my manner of speaking or issue X?

The important point is that if you are confused, ask questions. Their answers may give you clues leading (someday) to understanding the phenomenon.

Fifth, and last, I try to keep in mind what "influence" means: Giving an individual a piece of information that he wants in order to help him reach one of his goals. If I don't give him the information he wants there is no influence. If he doesn't want any information, there is no influence. If he has no unmet goals, there is no influence. All these pieces have to be present.

Thank you for the clarifications, Burgess. I did not respond to you last night because I wanted time for the full depth of what you said to sink in. You have given me a lot to think about in my dealings with non- (or anti- B) ) Objectivists. You were right on the money, too.

Perhaps the problem lays in trying to debate with them in the first place.  It could be assumed that by engaging in a debate with someone you already know to hold a different belief system you are simply trying to showcase you intellectual superiority.  Also have you found yourself expressing your objectivist ideas in ways that would make people call Ayn Rand's ideas a cult.  By that I mean do you talk of it as an absolute and make suggestions that those who do not believe as you do are somehow morally flawed, do you ever use the term "we" when detailing your concepts.  Watch and make sure that although your arguments are far more solid than say a fundemental religous person's, you don't argue for the sake of changing some one or winning an argument.  It is not intellectual superiority we need, it is full understanding of the concept.  And that cannot come when you attack a persons beliefs and make them feel stupid,  they cannot listen to anything past that.  I would suggest not engaging in debates with people who are non-objectivist unless of course they have a real interest in at least understanding the philosophy.  A person brings themselve down to the level of a dunce when they argue with a dunce.  I do not mean to suggest that you do any of the things I mentioned as I do not know you , however, these are the mistakes that I see most often made by people who get responses such as the ones you get.  Think about a little bit and it could be possible to find that the mistake lays with you,  you cannot change those people only yourself.

Thank you for the suggestions. However, I do feel like my arguements (if that's what you want to call them since I was mostly just asking for proof to their claims) were solid and that they had a preconceived notion that Ayn Rand and ARI are cults.

My take: if a man is dishonest or foolish enough to warrant "talking down" to him, why waste your time?

If he's honest and interested, why talk down to him?

Two habits that are hard to break, but should be avoided:

Don't give your evaluation of the ideas before examining them. For example - don't say: this is stupid, and then continue to show why. Just start with the reasons you think it's wrong. Maybe ask a question to draw their attention to their contradictions.

Also, try to refrain from looking impatient or patronizing when they give you their view. It's true - you've probably heard it a million times before, and the answer is so clear in your mind. Still, to the guy talking it's obviously a serious concern and if you value him enough to talk to him, try to be nice.

Thank you for your suggestions as well. I will be more careful to not give my evaluation before I examine their ideas. That is a habit I need to watch out for.

The intention of your post is a big confusing to me. In one sense, you could be wondering whether the accusations were right or wrong, whether you truly were being inappropriate and talking down to people.

But it doesn't seem like that's why you wrote the post, because the possibility of the accusation being true is excluded outright. It seems more likely that your absense of "talking down" is assumed to be true by default, and the only thing that needs resolving is whether other users have met with such obviously false accusations too. If this is what you were wondering about, then my answer is "no".

Even in those cases when people do try to escape an argument by accusation, they will make an accusation that has some basis in reality, in order to make sense. Their accusation is of course not a proper logical argument, only an ad hominem fallacy, but the basis underlying their accusation may be very real, and very valid. Just because a person makes a good point does not mean they weren't inappropriate, and did not talk down to their opponents. At the risk of stating the obvious, logical arguments are not the only thing that's important in a conversation, and other things such as manners and public decorum obviously have their place as well.

Thank you for telling me the cold honest truth, Free Capitalist. Yes, the possiblity that the accusations are true has been in the back of my mind. I come from a fundamentalist Christian background and will admit that I may have some bad habits stemming from my time with them. With them, it's defend the faith and convert the non-believer, two things I need to learn not to do so much now.

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I have experienced the "don't talk down to me" reaction from time to time. In each case it seems that my claims that Ayn Rand developed an objectively correct moral and political system were unacceptable to them. I guess whenever a person claims to have the objective truth then others get defensive, since most people want to be right. They resent the implication that anyone holds the truth, especially when the truth is contrary to what they believe. In essence, they are subjectivists and moral relativists, and your best bet is probably to avoid them.

d_s

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I used to had this experience, particularly in classroom discussions. I found a moment to ask a few of those who accused me of "talking down" to them what exactly they meant and I found that the fact that I was certain of my convictions and able to claim "I think" instead of "maybe, um... I feel..." was intimidating. My ability to use reason to back my opinions with facts was intimidating.

Of course, the goal is not to intimidate. It's very difficult to communicate with someone who is too intimidated (for whatever reason) to consider what is being suggested. They are on the defensive and generally have stopped listening or focusing. My dilemna became: how do I communicate my ideas with clarity, and avoid putting these people on the defensive, without dumbing it down?

The thing is, it's really impossible. To communicate on the terms of those who reject reason and certainty obliterates the point of communicating ration ideas at all. Instead, as Burgess suggested, I have taken to the Socratic method of asking many probing questions to guide those I am speaking with to consider new ideas and come to their own conclusions. It is actually a lot of fun, now I have to look at my ideas from the standpoint of someone who is coming to these conclusions anew - and I have learned how to enjoy class even amidst many bad ideas.

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This is a fascinating discussion. I have a roommate with whom I don't get along (for a number of reasons, but that's beside the point) and before she began the process of moving out, she told me in an argument that I was always condescending. I heard from a second source who was around at least some of the time that that was their perception too. And now I find out that it is at least fairly widespread. I appreciate the responses, perhaps they'll help me deal with her in the far more limited dealings we'll have in the future.

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Don't feel too bad, I have been attacked for being an idealist who spends too much time with their head in the clouds to see how it really is :P

I find that accusations of condescension and "talking down" usually come from teenagers who think their doggerel attempts at philosophy are the greatest thing since Thales, and get vehemently upset when someone knocks them off their high pedestal of wisdom. Usually teenagers who want drugs legalized so they can smoke weed without interference from "the man" and who think communism would be a great idea so they can smoke that weed all day and have someone else worry about picking up the tab.

To be honest, I have stopped discussing politics with most teenagers. It may be condescension but I find them too prone to outbursts of emotion to actually contribute to a good discussion. This isn't always the case however.(every now and then I'll find one who is genuinly intelligent, and in that case it is a joy talking to them)

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My technique is to argue with someone never mentioning Ayn Rand, once I realize I have the upper hand and their somewhat interested in where I conjur my ideals from, I give them a couple of essays.

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I follow a similar strategy Areactor, but probably for a different reason. I find that as soon as I mention Ayn Rand, Philosophy gets thrown out the window and all of a sudden it becomes a discussion of me defending Rand from Ad Hominem attacks. Not that I can't, but it does get bothersome every time I mention Rand and immediately I get attacked with "OMG she was a hateful bitch!"

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It may be condescension but I find them too prone to outbursts of emotion to actually contribute to a good discussion.

Hmmm, I don't think I am prone to outbursts of emotion. At least not when talking to Objectivists... When talking to a fundamentalist Christian or a communist well that's a different story. An outburst of disgust is nearly unavoidable... :)

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I've been noticing a phenomena when I "debate" (if that's what you want to call it, since they mostly only accuse Ayn Rand and the ARI of being a cult) non-Objectivists. I will frequently get a response from them that I am "talking down" to them.

Some questions to consider:

Do you ask why they feel like you are talking down to them?

What specifically in what you said (or how you said it) are they objecting to?

What do they mean by "talking down?"

It's possible they are reacting to what you say, how you say it, or both. If you encounter it a lot, I'd think it may have more to do with the style.

I've been an Objectivist for 14 years, and I can't recall ever being accused of "talking down to" someone in a philosophical discussion (at least to my face). I recall, though, when I was younger, often launching into lecture mode at the drop of a hat. I was acting as if it were my personal duty to correct any philosophical error I encountered, regardless of the context.

Learning to value tact and respecting the context has made my life a lot easier. Now if someone utters some irrational idea, I don't feel the compulsion to lecture them on the fine points of philosophy. It's their problem, not mine, in most cases.

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I find that accusations of condescension and "talking down" usually come from teenagers who think their doggerel attempts at philosophy are the greatest thing since Thales, and get vehemently upset when someone knocks them off their high pedestal of wisdom. Usually teenagers who want drugs legalized so they can smoke weed without interference from "the man" and who think communism would be a great idea so they can smoke that weed all day and have someone else worry about picking up the tab.

If that's your attitude toward these people, no wonder they think you're talking down to them!

That said, in cases like this, they deserve it. Some pretentious wannabe intellectual acting like a know-it-all to justify his false self-esteem deserves to have his confidence shaken and to be taken down a peg or two.

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Redfarmer, I'm surprised to hear you say that anyone would say you are talking down to them, because based on your posts here, you seem to state things rationally and non-confrontationally. But since you asked...

I'll assume here that "talking down" means that you are making a negative personal judgement of someone, and saying they are less than you in some way.

There are legitimate and non-legitimate reasons for such a reaction. A legitimate reason would be that you really are doing it (leaving aside for the moment whether this is good or bad). A non-legitimate reason could be that someone is incorrectly interpreting your logical argument as a personal attack on them (assuming that it's not such an attack). Regarding the latter, there is little you can do; if someone is mistaken, more likely than not the problem is with them, not you. It may be based on past experiences, insecurities, whatever.

As far as tactics go, I agree with erandror: "Don't give your evaluation of the ideas before examining them". Objectivism makes many judgements about ideas, morality, etc., and in a discussion/debate, this tends to make people defensive if it criticizes something they have a deep personal stake in. That's unavoidable. I would simply present logical arguments first, and show how they inevitably lead to the judgements, as appropriate. If someone is rational and open to good ideas, they will find the ideas compelling in their own right, and will then be more open to the judgements, because they will see that they are right.

I probably don't need to tell you this, but I tend to give people a fair amount of slack on the assumption that they are basically good and open to reason, and if only they see the point of a rational argument, they will agree. Obviously this is not always the case, but this is my starting premise. Once I see they are not open, I don't waste my time, and end the discussion.

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I used to had this experience, particularly in classroom discussions.  I found a moment to ask a few of those who accused me of "talking down" to them what exactly they meant and I found that the fact that I was certain of my convictions and able to claim "I think" instead of "maybe, um... I feel..." was intimidating.  My ability to use reason to back my opinions with facts was intimidating.

I have encountered this pretty often, unfortunately. It seems like many people equate self-confidence with haughtiness. When you speak and you know what you are talking about, people who don't *feel* like you think you're better than them. Their insecurities project an attitude on to you that you may not have.

I know that I intimidate many people in my life: I use big words, I think deep thoughts. Depending on the situation, I try to spiral around such things so that people can eventually catch on if they don't get it the first time. It's the only way that I've found where I can express myself the way I feel comfortable and still try to reach out to others.

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I've been noticing a phenomena when I "debate" (if that's what you want to call it, since they mostly only accuse Ayn Rand and the ARI of being a cult) non-Objectivists. I will frequently get a response from them that I am "talking down" to them. This has confused me, as the statements I present are always rational and adhere to logic and reason.

My question is: has anyone else noticed this phenomena when debating non-Objectivists? What are the motives behind this statement? Personally, I'm inclined to believe it's only a straw man they're using to evade the issue at hand when they feel emotionally wounded.

Also, before someone says it, I know it's not all non-Objectivists which do this. I've frequently encountered non-Objectivists who were almost rational in their thought process and did not invoke the "talking down" line.

I usually get hit with that I am in a cult, doesn't matter if you say your an admirer of Ayn Rands, ARI or an Objectivist. My usually response is "How do you have a cult of individuals each thinking for themselves?" From the persons response I judge whether to further the conversation. Most times people, who say your in cult, don't know what they're talking about when it comes to Objectivism; thereby I tell them to go read "Atlas Shrugged". That way they can go correct them selves and for those who have read "Atlas Shrugged" and still continue to say you’re in a cult, than those people are not worth talking to about Objectivism, thereby end the conversation or change the subject.

Ash :confused:

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If that's your attitude toward these people, no wonder they think you're talking down to them!

That said, in cases like this, they deserve it.  Some pretentious wannabe intellectual acting like a know-it-all to justify his false self-esteem deserves to have his confidence shaken and to be taken down a peg or two.

heh, that really didn't come out in my favor, did it? :confused:

I treat everyone with the benefit of the doubt. If they have something smart to say, I respect that. Who was it that said "Better to keep your mouth shut and let people assume you're stupid than to open it and remove all doubt?

Perhaps I am a bit disgruntled, calloused from years of defending Capitalism and Objectivism against kids who have never had a philosophy or economics class in their life. Kinda like the Jonathan swift quote in my sig :) little vargrants. :D:P

I usually get hit with that I am in a cult, doesn't matter if you say your an admirer of Ayn Rands, ARI or an Objectivist. My usually response is "How do you have a cult of individuals each thinking for themselves?"

you know what's even funner? compare the (supposedly) cultish doctrines of Objectivism to the cultish doctrines of christianity. O'ism - reason, egoism, individualism, Chrisianity - subservience, slavery, faith. Be careful when slaying that sacred cow, because some christians get pretty emotional when you tell them their god is a figment of their imagination.

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If you speak with confidence and self-assuredness, make absolute statements, and don't submit to today's 'complexity worship' and its accompanying qualifications, haziness, and intellectual humility, many will think you are "talking down" to them.

That's our culture and welcome to it.

While it's not fair and you shouldn't have to compromise, we still want our message to get across.

My method is to listen carefully to give them the feeling of having been listened to (people appreciate that) and to extract a full statement of their views and their validation (if any). By asking, in a friendly way, some questions, I then lead them through a Socratic process of showing how their view is inconsistent within the context of everything else they believe. People don't feel like I'm attacking them so much as I am curious. I then state what I think is the truth on the matter and how it resolves or avoids the inconsistency they have expressed.

Also, I make jokes and buy them drinks.

This way, you don't compromise; you make the other person feel listened to and, therefore, receptive to your ideas; and sometimes you get her phone number.

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I usually get hit with that I am in a cult, doesn't matter if you say your an admirer of Ayn Rands, ARI or an Objectivist. My usually response is "How do you have a cult of individuals each thinking for themselves?"

I've had a problem with this view ever since I was introduced to Ayn Rand's writings. For one thing, cult is an anti-concept. It's so loosely defined that you could call virutally anything you don't like a cult. When I was a Christian, a book I read on the subject said that one of the qualifications for a cult is they have a central book of dogma other than the Bible. Someone must have realized that Christianity could be labeled as a cult if they didn't add the qualifier, "other than the Bible."

Second, the entire cult argument is a straw man to keep you from debating the real issues: Ayn Rand's philosophy. All of the ad hominem attacks on Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff are sickening and basically amount to, "They [Nathaniel Branden and David Kelley] have a right to associate with whoever they want but Rand and Peikoff don't." I called someone out on this who was insisting that the Nathaniel Branden incident proved that Rand was a cult by asking her why Branden had a right to associate with whoever he wanted but Ayn Rand didn't. I never got a response.

Third, the entire cult arguement is perposterous to begin with. Anyone who blindly followed every word Ayn Rand said is a second hander anyway and could not properly be called an Objectivist. Assuming Ayn Rand was the mean, spiteful person people claim she was (I don't know for sure as I haven't been able to research her life too much yet--I've been too busy studying her philosophy), it has nothing to do with her philosophy. Once again, people are attacking the person rather than the philosophy. I have more respect for the few objections I've seen to her actual philosophy on the Internet than the dozens of ad hominem attacks against her and her colleagues I have seen. At least the people who had objections to her philosophy were honestly attempting to think, even if they came to the wrong conclusion.

The same people who call NBI and ARI a cult often cite TOC as God's gift to Objectivism. These people show their true colors in this matter as they completely ignore the perversions that David Kelley has made to Ayn Rand's philosophy. Truly sickening.

These are the types of people I've been dealing with who have been telling me I'm talking down to them. I guess when I go into that much detail about them, I don't feel bad about their accusations at all.

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I sometimes have the opposite problem as well, people who talk down to me. Particularly people who study philosophy who regard Objectivism as an outdated offshoot of Nietzsche-ism. These are typically platonists and Kantians. Anyone else have this problem?

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I sometimes have the opposite problem as well, people who talk down to me. Particularly people who study philosophy who regard Objectivism as an outdated offshoot of Nietzsche-ism. These are typically platonists and Kantians. Anyone else have this problem?

The two or three people I have spoken to have "tsk tsked" and treated me as some kind of misguided child, telling me I had some growing up to do if I really believed there was an objective reality. They were all so positive that reality is subjective, and can never be known, that they claimed I was "sweet to be so idealistic" or things of that nature and it was really distressing, how easily they gave up. All three had college degrees, one a law school grad who wrote a thesis paper on Kant.

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