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"Blaming the Victim"

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Robert Baratheon
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Women should protect themselves from rape by being clear about their intentions.  Men should protect themselves from rape charges by doing exactly the same.

In today's society that is the only alternative to such double-edged ambiguity. . .  but it does not permit anyone to save face.

 

You cannot have it both ways.

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Eiuol - As already explained, I'm not sure what you would accept as proof of a widespread social norm. You don't accept references in popular entertainment. You don't accept online memes. You don't accept Wikipedia or a cultural dictionary maintained by thousands of users. Lacking the ability to conduct a society-wide poll, I'm pretty sure nothing I could reasonably present would convince you. Please feel free to correct me on that point.

Entertainment is never evidence of how the real world works, especially comedy. Online memes are the same. Wikipedia you didn't give as evidence, or I missed it. Urban dictionary only tells you the existence of a euphemism especially for comedy, but not that it's a near-universal signal of American culture. Short of a poll, you might as well be making it up, as in there's no way to judge if you're right or wrong. Evidence at least worth something is anecdotal evidence. If you make a claim that is questioned, back it up by some source, especially since you're making a specific claim about norms. Even some event you know of to illustrate that it's more than some personal fantasy that you wish more people would follow.

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Dream Weaver - If something is objectively true, is it disparaging to point it out?

No, Robert, if something is objectively true, it would not be disparaging to point it out.

 

Are you not aware that the history of the Objectivist philosophy is dominated by warring factions, schisms, endless arguments over purity, and denunciations by strong personalities of other strong personalities?

 

I am aware that the history of what is called the Objectivist movement has had several factions and schisms. There may be ongoing arguments over purity – although I am not really aware of any that take place on OO. Ones that come to mind are when Brandon and Kelly broke off back in the 90’s. The latest being the dismissal of McCaskey from ARI.  I would hardly qualify McCaskey as a schism, although a few individuals may have used the incident to justify their own leanings.

 

Most of this view comes from the vantage point that there is an Official Doctrine of Objectivism. A dogma, if you will, headed up by a charismatic leader that sways people by using a bow to play their emotional heartstrings.

 

Part of it comes from the same source you are ineffectually trying to use to ground your the meaning of coffee. Objectivists denouncing everyone - especially themselves – over who is the purist heir to kingdom of Ayn Rand. This may be a popular view in the world, but being a popular view is hardly adhering to the process of that leads to de facto discovery of being objectively true. It is by the merits of their sound presentations that Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff, Harry Binswanger and many others that have made themselves into the “strong personalities” that the court of public opinion would like to relate their success and pin their hopes of failure to.

 

 Amd that all of this continues to this day? Rand, the Brandens, Peikoff, Brook, Kelly, the ARI, TAS, the warring blogs RoR, OL, SOLO-P, and many others, etc. etc. It's a history of intra-movement hatred, resentment, and conflict. Does it make me a disparager of Rand to point out that maybe everyone should just... you know... stop?

 

A quick check of the forum rules indicates the expectation of respect for Ayn Rand and Objectivism, specifically mentioning Ayn Rand, the philosophy of Objectivism and the Ayn Rand Institute, making it as crystal clear as possible to anyone familiar with the others you mention of the stance aligned with here.

 

I'm wondering why you are focusing on attacking me, in light of the many OO discussions I have generated, and not attacking the other Objectivist writers and podcasters who post conspicuously Reblogged articles and essays on OO without even participating in the discussions as I do.

 

A few of the other writers do participate. Jason Stotts has responded to many posts. Lately, I’ve not seen too many responses from OO members to know if he still persists in that capacity or not. Yes, you have provided plenty of fuel - igniting a few firestorms of discussion here. A forum without posts wouldn’t be much of a forum. Thank-you.

 

Take a moment to distinguish between the person writing, and the writing itself. Once you’ve posted the article, it is the article that is seen and responded to. A disagreement with a point in an article is an opportunity to learn and or teach. If the point is objectively incorrect, and you wrote it, and you introspect and find yourself holding that idea – if you are willing to change it, you’ve learned. If the point is objectively correct, and you wrote it, - take the opportunity to review what you wrote relative to the disagreement. When you address the question, if you arrive at an agreement, you’ve taught. What did you say to arrange the agreement? Was that missing from the original writing? Could the original writing have been reworded in such a way as to advert the disagreement?

 

In general, it is disagreement that generates the discussions. A well-written piece may solicit a comment to that effect. It is what you do with the disagreement that matters. Do you become defensive about it, or do you use it as an opportunity to learn or to teach when the opportunities present themselves? Viewing a disagreeable response as an attack is a rather defensive posture.

 

Edited: Added

Edited by dream_weaver
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Harrison - You aren't making a critical distinction, which is that consent isn't necessary if there is a reasonable appearance of consent. This is true for contracts as well - if a reasonable seller could interpret a person's actions as a request to purchase an order, the transaction is valid even if the person didn't actually mean to buy. This is true because the buyer is legally responsible for the reasonable assumptions people make in response to his actions. I said it earlier - it is your responsibility to be aware of and control the signals you send.

Dream Weaver - What puzzles me is why you are piling on with Nicky to accuse me of exploiting OO for page views when you do not level this accusation against Gus Van Horn, Ed Hudgins, Jason Stotts, Diana Hsieh, or any of the other bloggers and podcasters who regularly repost their material on OO.

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Just to be clear, every other blogger is "cross-posted" automatically to the forum -- not manually by the bloggers themselves. They have done nothing but give a nod of permission for us to do this. They were chosen in the past by the moderating team on a rough basis of agreement with Objectivism, and for posting things of general interest to the forum.

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A can woman withdraw her consent at any time prior to or during a sexual act.  Imagine she explicitly and forcefully communicates the non-consent to the other individual.  She, like every individual, is no one's slave/prisoner to anyone else for any reason.  Concurrently she attempts to remove the individual from the vicinity of her person. 

 

Independent of what she "should have known", the question I am interested in is what amount of force is she allowed to use in the face of a refusal to recognize her withdrawal of consent and the rights she has and never abdicated regarded the absolute sovereignty of the bodily integrity of her person. 

 

Once the other individual has been clearly told of her lack of consent and she begins to struggle, in order to attain the personal space or a situation of non-contact, what is she allowed to do to the person who has moments ago become her rapist?  By allowed I mean would be justified and held blameless for acts of retaliatory force.

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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Dream Weaver - What puzzles me is why you are piling on with Nicky to accuse me of exploiting OO for page views when you do not level this accusation against Gus Van Horn, Ed Hudgins, Jason Stotts, Diana Hsieh, or any of the other bloggers and podcasters who regularly repost their material on OO.

Since the other bloggers were requested, that leaves why Nicky and I view these presentations as explioting OO for page views. I can't speak on behalf of Nicky, but I'll offer the following:

 

Aside from the obvious lack of mentions OO in any of your posts, the lack of any links to OO on Versailles, the questionablity of the objectivity of the articles posted there - partially cited here, some questionable materials  or sources that have been offered as evidence when evidence is requested, I can't really think of anything at the moment.

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Dream Weaver - Not all of the material to which I referred was requested or "automatically" reblogged to my knowledge. I have often seen article authors post linked material here and on other Objectivist blogs. However, I fully admit I wasn't familiar with OO's internal working procedures.

I have no idea what you mean by a lack of "objectivity" on my blog or "questionable sources." I regularly link to news articles, think tanks, polling organizations, government publications, and mainstream Wikipedia articles for the benefit of the reader.

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I said it earlier - it is your responsibility to be aware of and control the signals you send.

I will only point out that this principle is not foreign to the Objectivist tradition; you should read what Schwartz has written about sanctioning the evils of libertarianism.  If I were to accept your point then I could not be seen conversing with you any longer.

Not that it would be immoral for me to talk to you, but for me to be seen talking to you.

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Dream Weaver - Not all of the material to which I referred was requested or "automatically" reblogged to my knowledge. I have often seen article authors post linked material here and on other Objectivist blogs. However, I fully admit I wasn't familiar with OO's internal working procedures.

I have no idea what you mean by a lack of "objectivity" on my blog or "questionable sources." I regularly link to news articles, think tanks, polling organizations, government publications, and mainstream Wikipedia articles for the benefit of the reader.

Your article on "Blaming the Victim" is being questioned in this thread. A lot of the comments and questions being asked about it are challenging its objectivity. The source(s) you are using to base your premise on for what being invited for coffee is or means, is being challenged as not being a source of valid evidence.

 

Edited: Added

Edited by dream_weaver
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What are the "evils of libertarianism" and how do they relate to what we're discussing here?

The attempt to defend a complex derivative (freedom) in direct contradiction to its base (reason).

To sincerely defend such derivatives in direct contradiction to their bases is essentially a denial of any such hierarchy, which is a denial of the nature of the human mind, namely that each mental process exists in isolation; causally disconnected from any coinhabitant process or content.

 

This is at root an introspective failure.

 

I would personally contend that such failures are vastly more prevalent on the religious right, but they nonetheless apply to libertarians (liberals do not systematically exhibit this problem; theirs is far worse).

 

How does this apply?

  1. You have advocated several ideas before which I consider to be dangerous.
  2. By granting your ideas serious consideration, I may give the appearance that I agree with them.
  3. To consciously accept an idea in spite of its evident falsehood is the root of all evil.

Ergo by engaging in an intellectual discourse with you I may appear to be doing something objectively evil.  If I am morally responsible for my public image then it is evil for me to do that.  It's funny that you should mention historical Objectivist schisms because the Peikoff-Kelley split stemmed from precisely that.

 

It's also interesting in that it leads to the perverse spectacle of demonizing those who resemble you the most, while regarding true monsters with a detached sort of irritation.  You should identify the reasoning behind that.

---

 

For everyone else reading this, I also think it's worth noting the relation between "responsibility for your façade" and the ARI's statements on anarchy.  To be fair, they haven't referred to it as implicit consent; they refer to it as the political extension of "objectivity".

 

Sheldon_cooper_spock-41675976.jpg

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Harrison, I don't know what you're talking about, it has nothing to do with the thread. The topic isn't even about consent... it's about communicating in terms of what is reasonable to judge about what a person means. I don't like the phrase of being responsible for the signals you send, or at least in this case the guy in the story took a signal that wasn't sent. Robert says a signal was in fact sent, sure, but it's questionable that it means someone is responsible for all possible ways a person can derive a signal.

 

More directly, am I responsible for someone taking "let's go out for coffee" as a euphemism for doing speed, or a euphemism for buying heroin on the street, or a euphemism for going out for dessert but not really coffee... etc... ? If I only meant going out for dessert, but the other person sees it as a sincere offering to sell drugs, yet I never would mean to buy drugs even though I know a euphemism exists, am I responsible for the other person then bringing me to a drug dealer? People take norms for granted, even assuming that if you think a norm exists, it exists for everyone. The funny thing about norms is that people think a norm exists when it's really only thanks to a sitcom that it exists at all. And I literally mean funny. We can't just go talking as though only a socially dense person would ever stop for a moment and say "hey, maybe I basically made it up and no one the real world does this".

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Eioul - The signaler is only responsible for reasonable interpretations. Not any conceivable interpretation. So if I walk into a pizza place and say "I'd like a pizza," and they make one for me, then yes, I am responsible for buying it even though I never explicitly stated it.

Harrison - Wtf are you talking about? You're speaking gibberish, man.

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Eioul - The signaler is only responsible for reasonable interpretations. Not any conceivable interpretation.

Our disagreement mainly then is probably how we know what a reasonable interpretation is. I agree that people are responsible for interpretations, to the extent they're communicating on common ground. But if people don't have common ground (common ground makes communication possible), how do we determine if someone is making a reasonable interpretation?

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Harrison, I don't know what you're talking about, it has nothing to do with the thread. The topic isn't even about consent... it's about communicating in terms of what is reasonable to judge about what a person means.

 

Do you not see any implications beyond whether "coffee" really means "coffee"?  That's an honest question; I did not think it was that much of a stretch.

 

Robert says a signal was in fact sent, sure, but it's questionable that it means someone is responsible for all possible ways a person can derive a signal.

But doesn't that "responsibility" sound familiar to you?

 

http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?showtopic=228&page=7

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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Dream Weaver - But what does it mean for you to question the "objectivity" of my blog? And in what sense are my sources not "valid"? I don't understand these criticisms. Why don't you just say what you mean in plain English?

Robert, how would you go about answering the question: "What does it mean for something to be objectively true?"

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Eiuol - There is the old average reasonable person under the circumstances test from centuries of common law. If Joe Schmo off the street would understand it as a signal, then it is a signal, even if a few overanalytical philosophy student types wouldn't understand it as such.

Dream Weaver - I don't answer questions in response to straightforward questions I have asked. Find somebody else to play these games with.

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Eiuol - There is the old average reasonable person under the circumstances test from centuries of common law. If Joe Schmo off the street would understand it as a signal, then it is a signal, even if a few overanalytical philosophy student types wouldn't understand it as such.

 

Okay, so how do we know if Joe Shmo in this circumstance would take coffee at night as sex? So far, at least in this thread, no one has agreed. Of course the euphemism exists, but that's not the question.

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Okay, so how do we know if Joe Shmo in this circumstance would take coffee at night as sex? So far, at least in this thread, no one has agreed. Of course the euphemism exists, but that's not the question.

I continue to struggle to understand the nature of the debate taking place. It's about more than "coffee," I know that, and has turned weirdly personal. (Why are we even talking about Robert's blog, for instance? How does that pertain to anything? If it's a rhetorical point, it's ad hominem. If it's actually an administrative thing, then let's handle it administratively -- and privately.)

On the subject of the "coffee euphemism," here are a few items from my perspective:

* I'm well aware of the euphemism, as well as the expectation that other people will understand it (and the comic possibility that they do not).

* Yet. (And this is a weird fact about me, perhaps, but...) I have never watched a full episode of Seinfeld or the Big Bang Theory, and very few clips of either. I cannot swear that I've not witnessed the relevant scenes, though I have no recollection of having done so, and I highly doubt that I had, given the very small portions of either program I've seen.

* I'd never read the Urban Dictionary entry either, nor seen the Rhino meme. Yet if I had seen that meme, it would have made immediate sense to me.

* Where did I pick up this particular understanding of being invited up for a cup of coffee? I do not know, but I can say that, along with it, I got the sense that it is "common knowledge" in the dating scene. It seems pervasive, though I don't know why, or how I could "prove" such a thing (especially if I'm disallowed reference to pop culture, etc.).

* The question of "the scene" is important. I made the point earlier that sometimes human knowledge is coded or subtextual. For a code to be effective at communication, both actors need to understand the code. Yet the existence of a code doesn't mean that *everyone* knows it; I wouldn't expect my parents, for instance, to be aware of the conventions of the current dating scene -- but a young woman I'd just met at a bar? Perhaps. The *joke* in these sitcoms is that there *are* people who "don't get the code."

* Beyond the issue of "coffee" specifically, the context of this scene -- or this kind of scene -- can be understood in itself with a variety of expressions. It does not have to be "coffee." A person can be invited in for some other kind of drink, or to "see the view from my apartment" or for any number of reasons. At its heart, it's an invitation to retire to some secluded area, appropriate for sex (or some related physicality, at least). This takes into account the context (met at a bar, dating-age singles, etc) and the time, and so forth.

* Important to note that to understand the specific conventions or codes of a given scene (whether "coffee" or anything else), a person must have some personal knowledge of that scene. It cannot necessarily be "reasoned" from the privacy of one's bedroom (or dorm room). I could not tell you, for instance, about polite behavior in a Japanese restaurant just by thinking hard about it; I'd have to have consumed some Japanese culture (ideally through participation) to know what I was talking about.

* Now for me, the bigger question is: how does any of this relate to the story in the OP? Is it a question in *anyone's* mind whether or not the man was totally in the wrong? I doubt it. "Blame the victim"? Hardly. I think both sides in this discussion would do well to clarify what they believe that they're arguing (for themselves as much as for others).

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