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Questions about Free Will and Morality

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(MIKE) MichaleHansonBryan

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10 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

When it is irrelevant it is an attack.  I think William O has been too patient with the both of you and he deserves better.  Taking a swipe at me or my style as some kind of diversion in your inept response to him is just sad.  

2046's and your unwillingness, in your conversation with William O, to DIRECTLY address the basic essential tenet of the OBJECTIVIST conception of free will, namely, that a man "could have chosen otherwise" IS cowardly.

and THAT, my friend, is not a personal attack.

51 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Fact of the matter is 2046 has NOT given William O a straight answer and rather than admit he simply disagrees with Rand he tries to warp Objectivism into a form he likes better. 

It is acceptable to have views which conflict with Objectivism, it is not acceptable to pretend you are talking about Objectivism when you are actually mischaracterizing it, and talking about your own reworked philosophy which you wish Objectivism was.


The above is a pointless non sequitur.... laced with a personal attack

like the following. 

Feel free to disagree with what I have said with rational argument, or resort to your usual infantile personal attacks, if that makes you feel better about yourself.




Grandpa, thats enough computer for today

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1 minute ago, 2046 said:


Grandpa, thats enough computer for today

Grandpa?  so very tepid and underwhelming... I would have expected something more witty or even better visceral... 

but no matter, please feel free to continue to evade the central item of discussion which you evidently are quite happy to evade indefinitely.

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58 minutes ago, 2046 said:

She never really provides a criteria as to how to know what ones to keep and what ones to jettison, I suspect it largely depends on culture context. But anyways, just a side observation, and the "if what you mean by..." can be seen as a strategy for overcoming package deals.

I think this is one of the reasons I like Rand so much. She doesn't always give a lot of detail, which really pushes you to understand for yourself what she means. Some philosophers see this as lazy and not grappling with the issues. I see it as forcing people to engage with words that have long been assumed to be "how things are". When I'm actually in an academic philosophy settings (I have taken at least three graduate-level philosophy courses) I barely bring up Rand because her form of arguments were not built for that setting. I make Objectivist arguments, in terms of the essence of the ideas, but I always find myself needing to "translate" some of it to academia. Consequently, I don't claim that my "translations" are the same as her ideas, although I credit her as an influence.

Somewhat related, Nietzsche. Talking about his ideas in academic philosophy is very difficult, especially from his writing style and nonstandard use of terms. It would be wrong to consider him a subjectivist, or against free will.

When it comes to the core of her ideas, all we need to say about Rand is that we are free to lead our own lives - and that we aren't "doomed" to the absolute freedom of Sartre where there is no objectively true answer to what we should choose.

The debate after that is interesting, but I don't think there is any fan of Rand that denies her observations on free will. The only question to me is how much people want to engage in those finer details.


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  • 1 month later...

Hello Mike,
You might add "Philosophy, Who Needs It?" to your reading list because it addresses how to approach these kind of questions as a kind of primer.

1) Is there a difference between your internal soul and your individual consciousness?  If not then perhaps the argument is one of semantics.

2) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  The Law of Identity applies to mechanical things with artificial intelligence and to the result of whatever choices they make, but the law and freewill are only meaningful to what is possible.

3) Because Objectivists don't rely on God to establish moral principles.  Objective morality, influenced by factual considerations, is objective by definition.

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