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On 10/17/2020 at 12:12 PM, DavidOdden said:

Objectivists have a special position in my hierarchy of values, because of our shared values. The problem is that the facts and logic lead to just one conclusion, and clearly you must agree with me, so how can we tolerate someone in our own ranks who does not agree with us? Reason is a precise tool – it’s is man’s proper tool for survival – so reason can’t be at fault. Isn’t it therefore reasonable to think that the problem is that the other guy has abandoned reason? An Objectivist abandoning reason is a serious betrayal. Of course one has a strong negative emotional response to betrayal of fundamental principles.

[...]

The main effect of rifts is that it increases the noise to signal ratio, so that all you can hear is denunciations based on foundations, rather than reasons.

I would add that it's a giant waste of everyone's time. It's also embarrassing, ironic, and sad for a group of people supposedly dedicated to reason to instead engage in emotionalist nitpicking, worse still to justify their behavior in the name of others' supposed reason violations. I wonder how many Objectivists have actually "betrayed" reason, and what that even looked like. That's some serious Toohey-level shit I doubt most people are even capable of doing, and shouldn't the response then be a fierce focus on the faulty reasoning, not the person spouting the nonsense?

More likely, people are just in error, or not in error and simply arrive at different conclusions. Big surprise, Objectivists are people too, fallible. Objectivists are not equal - knowledge level and integrations are all over the place from person to person. One could almost argue that it takes decades of adult living for most people to gain the necessary experience to truly understand Objectivist principles, and even then, each person has only a singular life perspective and can still make errors even with the most sincere dedication to reason.

As far as I can tell, there are two types of people who associate with Objectivism:

1. Those primarily focused on emotionalism, who use Rand's philosophy as a righteous, pure justification

2. Those primarily interested in truth and reason

Oddly, I don't notice a lot of Objectivists primarily interested in independence.

 

 

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I don't understand why you guys dump on Trump for not being a perfect defender of individual rights but hand-wave dismiss the Democrats and Biden's complete dismissal of individual rights as essential

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On 10/17/2020 at 11:06 AM, Easy Truth said:

As far as ignoring goes, I can't simply ignore something Peikoff or Brooks said. I have to examine what I thought I didn't have to examine.

That's what is distressing to me.

Why can't you ignore it? What would happen if you'd never heard of either men?

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3 hours ago, JASKN said:

Why can't you ignore it? What would happen if you'd never heard of either men?

Ignoring is not impossible, it's just not preferred.
As in, it is not impossible to ignore them, I value their opinion.
Problem is, as you say they are human and they make mistakes.
Ogden's signal to noise ratio is my complaint.

I want them to cut the noise, the muddying the water, the confusion they insert in the discussion.
I wanted Yaron's speech on Wolf the socialist (and Wolf is frightening) but I meet people like Wolf all the time and I learn from Yaron how to counter things.
I also learn how distracting some of Yaron's emotional comments are (and to make sure to not include them).
Peikoff was a great teacher, far more engaging that Branden.
But I found Branden far more correct on psychological issues that Peikoff et. al.

Ignore (in this case ignore completely) implies that their input has not been helpful at all in my life, and that is not the case. So I would have missed out on some of the benefits I gained, some better understanding.
Kind of like, if this forum did not exist, would life go on, yes it would. But there is a wealth of knowledge here, there is concretization of concepts, explanations, different way of interpretation that one is exposed to. And clearing up of misunderstandings or confusion.

But participation is so small compared to the half a million Objectivists that I assume exist in the world. (arbitrary assumption on my part)

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1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

But I found Branden far more correct on psychological issues that Peikoff et. al.

Of course, because Branden has a PhD in psychology and Peikoff does not. 

But more to the point of what you are saying, neither Peikoff nor Brook are good public speakers. They are not experts in politics. Brook is quite easy to ignore, both because he is no philosophy expert and also because he speaks poorly. Peikoff is great about making Objectivism easier to comprehend, and how to think better, but I think he's frequently incorrect about anything outside philosophy that he has talked about publicly (especially practical matters of your day-to-day life when he had his Q&A podcast). 

So, who really cares about what they say. More importantly, Peikoff really said nothing, so he didn't try to give an opinion. Brook has, which means that he is the one muddying the waters. And if he is muddying the waters, he is the problem. If you think the signal-to-noise ratio is worsening, the more reason you have to move onto more important political topics or speakers if that's your thing. 

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That and the primary purpose of most of these people is to channel new converts into the Objectivist lecture/books/course/conference/membership ecosystem, which is the primary monetization enterprise, aside from convincing rich people to donate money to them. I'd just recommend steering clear of them altogether, there's only a few of them that are even good at what they do.

Let's take a look at the following propositions that DO mentioned:

1. The facts and logic always lead to only one conclusion

2. If two people come to different conclusions, then one if them has betrayed reason

1 and 2 are false. So the conclusion (one possible way to arrange it) that "you must agree with me" and (paraphrasing) "we can't tolerate disagreement in our ranks" (who is this "we" and what "ranks" are these?) are also false. 

A lot of this discussion depends on taking these premises for granted, connected to the general idea that "two rational people are supposed to agree at all times." If 1 and 2 are not true, then that idea is also not true, if it's supposed to depend on 1 and 2. 

What's a very brief reason to believe 1 and 2 are false? S' knowledge that p depends on S' belief that p be epistemically justified. One form of that is the propositional interpretation of justification. This is the idea that it's the belief that bears the primary epistemic justification. Justification modifies p, not S. Another form is the personalistic interpretation, the person is the primary bearer of justification. S bears the justification in believing or inferring that p (p can be said colloquially to be justified, but technically in a derivative sense.)

If p and not S bears the justification, then the context of the knower holding or inferring p would be unrelated to the justification of p. This wouldn't make sense if knowledge is contextual and hierarchical, as well as held and achieved by an individual knower connecting his inferences to first-handed perception.

 

Edited by 2046
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2 hours ago, 2046 said:

That and the primary purpose of most of these people is to channel new converts into the Objectivist lecture/books/course/conference/membership ecosystem, which is the primary monetization enterprise, aside from convincing rich people to donate money to them. I'd just recommend steering clear of them altogether, there's only a few of them that are even good at what they do.

I was under the impression that you were an admirer because I see 2046 in the chat system.

2 hours ago, 2046 said:

Let's take a look at the following propositions that DO mentioned:

1. The facts and logic always lead to only one conclusion

2. If two people come to different conclusions, then one if them has betrayed reason

Agreed

2 hours ago, 2046 said:

1 and 2 are false. So the conclusion (one possible way to arrange it) that "you must agree with me" and (paraphrasing) "we can't tolerate disagreement in our ranks" (who is this "we" and what "ranks" are these?) are also false. 

Rand herself started this with the excommunications that would routinely happen. And then it continued with the institute. But I have discounted that, as I believe most of us have. The work that she has done stands on its own. In that sense I would agree, one can ignore the noise around her.

Having said that ... how would any of us have known that she had major character flaws if we had ignored all those people around her. The reason I bring this up is that we have no choice about "when the quality information will come your way". You sort of have to be receptive and open. Ignoring means close the door.

You claim to be dismissive, yet you pay attention and you participate. So what you are saying (steer clear) is more nuanced than how it comes across.

 

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4 hours ago, Eiuol said:

So, who really cares about what they say. More importantly, Peikoff really said nothing, so he didn't try to give an opinion. Brook has, which means that he is the one muddying the waters. And if he is muddying the waters, he is the problem. If you think the signal-to-noise ratio is worsening, the more reason you have to move onto more important political topics or speakers if that's your thing. 

I honestly wish I could do it, because it is nerve wracking for me. I just question the wisdom. You may have more sources of information than I do, that may allow you to be less "dependent" in a sense.

I really learnt alot from the Wolf program from Yaron, but his comments about "look at how he sneers", " he's a horrible person", I ignore. But all in all, I have also learnt a lot from Wolf in his Libertarian debate at Soho, about the problems with Crony Capitalism. So I feel "ignore" has to be carefully qualified. Ignore when you see X, Y and Z. Rather than stay away, you can figure it out on your own.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

There is an electoral projection map from Real Clear Politics coming into November 3, 2020, in which they made a projection for every State, however unsure was the situation according to polls for some States. Leaving aside the States that have not yet been determinate enough to have a winner called (11/8/20 a.m. / AK, AZ, GA, NC), it looks like the only State that that projection (based on average of polls for each State) got wrong was Florida. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Through the decades, I’ve heard people from all political quarters say that if more of the eligible voters would just get out and vote it would be revealed that a significantly greater proportion of the population lines up with their own quarter than has been realized. I think the present election is some evidence that that kind of talk has just been dreamin- and comfort-talk. There is about a 12% percent increase in voting in the 2020 Presidential race from the 2016 race. Yet the popular-vote proportions are not greatly different between the two races: about half for the Democrat and half for the Republican in both elections. Hope not that in the by-and-by one faction is going to actually greatly shift in its portion (changes in names or slogans notwithstanding).

Edited by Boydstun
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On 10/15/2020 at 1:05 PM, dream_weaver said:

How deeply does the "It can't happen here" mentality seek to grasp the causal connections that produce the "it" that cannot allegedly occur?

Viewing election results as an effect puts your take on Trump in the light that many America's sense something is amiss but cannot put their proverbial finger on it. With the news headlines blaring their projected outcomes, the thought of the "Dewey Defeats Truman" incident reminds me of Gail Wynand's attempt to influence a world he had helped to shape by years of inertia while tending to other interests he held.

The influence of history on philosophy, or is it philosophy on history, might look to Newton's identification of his discoveries and how they contributed to the rise of the industrial revolution. Would discoveries in the science of philosophy be exempt from a similar role by those that do grasp and implement them into their own lives?

This election was the triumph of aesthetic feelings around a personality ABOVE reason and real values. The media-fed "image" of a leader has counted to a majority of voters (and mainstream Objectivists, which leaves me aghast) above his effectiveness at opposing self-sacrifice and establishing American independence. d_w, mark this point, there are those there in majority and many abroad who want to perpetuate the customary altruist USA and were terrified that it may end. That's the basis of Trump hatred. Here is where "many sense something is a amiss and can't put their finger on it", as you say. But Objectivists are well versed in altruism, so should know. They know too that Rand projected it as America's downfall. I didn't hear them expound in this vein. Trump would have understood self- sacrifice instantly.

This was a while coming, but we've passed the point to where children outnumber the grown-ups. Feelings over facts, and we must henceforth be forced to feel what they feel. Next, logically, the Nanny State - at minimum, after which who knows how far to the Left you will go. The Dems who've sold their soul to the lowest bidder will have to reward the shaky coalition of all their new bed partners, from the Greens to the far out socialists/communists.

Peace overseas and prosperity at home, one would believe the objective of any rational country, and in the offing a year ago has been abandoned by half of Americans - for what? The 2nd handedness of looking good to others and of feeling morally sanctimonious?

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1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

This election was the triumph of aesthetic feelings around a personality ABOVE reason and real values. The media-fed "image" of a leader has counted to a majority of voters (and mainstream Objectivists, which leaves me aghast) above his effectiveness at opposing self-sacrifice and establishing American independence.

It's contradictory to claim that Trump has effectively opposed self-sacrifice but also claim that he has not effectively opposed self-sacrifice. You open up your post by saying that feelings and personality have triumphed. If they have triumphed, Trump has not been effective. If you mean to say that we ought to measure him according to the degree he has opposed self-sacrifice, sure, but the effectiveness is clearly not very much if he has lost an election and most of all failed to persuade someone like me that he really does oppose self-sacrifice.

 

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10 hours ago, Eiuol said:

It's contradictory to claim that Trump has effectively opposed self-sacrifice but also claim that he has not effectively opposed self-sacrifice. You open up your post by saying that feelings and personality have triumphed. If they have triumphed, Trump has not been effective. If you mean to say that we ought to measure him according to the degree he has opposed self-sacrifice, sure, but the effectiveness is clearly not very much if he has lost an election and most of all failed to persuade someone like me that he really does oppose self-sacrifice.

 

Biden's platform is a more rational choice to oppose self-sacrifice? Trump didn't articulate a defense of the Constitution clearly enough, or a defense of the republic isn't enough on its face to push back on the idea of self abnegation ?

It would be best ( heh) to worry that a significant portion of the electorate can't articulate the difference between patriotism/nationalism and fascism , then whether or not they read Capitalism the Unknown Ideal.

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People cannot be tricked into freedom; it cannot be won by mere slogans and name-calling. That is sand, cannot stand. I stand by understanding, including importantly understanding of Capitalism the Unknown Ideal. 

Self-Sacrifice and Not Self-Sacrifice should always be decried as primary political values. The fundamental political value should be protection of individual rights. Here is what the two major Parties have to say on that value. There is still some appreciation of it in these documents. Happily, there is much more—and more fully genuine—appreciation of it in the judiciary and legal profession.

Comparison of Platforms - Individual Rights and Thereabouts

Democrats 2020 

Quote

 

Democrats are committed to policies that will protect individuals’ privacy and data rights while continuing to support and enable innovation and improve accessibility in the technology sector. We will update the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights proposed by the Obama-Biden Administration, including adding strong national standards to protect consumers, employees, patients, and students from data breaches, and work with Congress to pass it into law. 

Sentencing decisions should be based on the facts of each case, including the severity of the offense and individuals’ circumstances. Democrats support allowing judges to determine appropriate sentences, which is why we will fight to repeal federal mandatory minimums, incentivize states to do the same, and make all sentencing reductions retroactive so judges can reconsider past cases where their hands were tied. 

Democrats are proud that the Obama-Biden Administration commuted the sentences of more than 1,700 people serving unjust sentences following thorough review of their individual cases, and we support the continued use of the President’s clemency powers to secure the release of those serving unduly long sentences.

We will also prevent [Immigration] enforcement officials from retaliating against individuals for their political speech or activity, or because of their efforts to advocate for individuals’ rights.

Democrats will maintain American capabilities that can deter cyber threats, and we will work with other countries—and the private sector—to protect individuals’ data and defend critical infrastructure, including the global financial system.

We will condemn the mistreatment of imprisoned individuals wherever it occurs, and we will hold to account those who perpetrate human rights abuses.

We will fully enforce the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, including by sanctioning officials, financial institutions, companies, and individuals responsible for undercutting Hong Kong’s autonomy.

 

Republicans 2016

Quote

 

That God bestows certain inalienable rights on every individual, thus producing human equality; that government exists first and foremost to protect those inalienable rights; that man-made law must be consistent with God-given, natural rights; and that if God-given, natural, inalienable rights come in conflict with government, court, or human-granted rights, God-given, natural, inalienable rights always prevail.

We reaffirm the Constitution’s fundamental principles: limited government, separation of powers, individual liberty, and the rule of law. 

Ongoing attempts to compel individuals, businesses, and institutions of faith to transgress their beliefs are part of a misguided effort to undermine religion and drive it from the public square. 

We endorse the First Amendment Defense Act, Republican legislation in the House and Senate which will bar government discrimination against individuals and businesses for acting on the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. This Act would protect the non-profit tax status of faith-based adoption agencies, the accreditation of religious educational institutions, the grants and contracts of faith-based charities and small businesses, and the licensing of religious professions.

We support laws to confirm the longstanding We pledge to defend the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard religious institutions against government control. American tradition that religious individuals and institutions can educate young people, receive government benefits, and participate in public debates without having to check their religious beliefs at the door.

We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a natural inalienable right.

We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from individuals with disabilities, newborns, the elderly, or the infirm, just as we oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide.

We call on Congress and state legislatures to enact reforms to protect law-abiding citizens against abusive asset forfeiture tactics.

Our laws and our government’s regulations should recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman and actively promote married family life as the basis of a stable and prosperous society. For that reason, as explained elsewhere in this platform, we do not accept the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage and we urge its reversal, whether through judicial reconsideration or a constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to the states. 

. . . to impose a social and cultural revolution upon the American people by wrongly redefining sex discrimination to include sexual orientation or other categories. Their agenda has nothing to do with individual rights. 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Eiuol said:

It's contradictory to claim that Trump has effectively opposed self-sacrifice but also claim that he has not effectively opposed self-sacrifice. You open up your post by saying that feelings and personality have triumphed. If they have triumphed, Trump has not been effective. If you mean to say that we ought to measure him according to the degree he has opposed self-sacrifice, sure, but the effectiveness is clearly not very much if he has lost an election and most of all failed to persuade someone like me that he really does oppose self-sacrifice.

 

I don't understand why you guys dump on Trump for not being a perfect defender of individual rights but hand-wave dismiss the Democrats and Biden's complete dismissal of individual rights as essentially as "Democrats being Democrats". The majority of their ideas and policies are completely evil, while only a smaller portion of Trump's policies are explicitly evil. That's why I voted for him and semi-support him over Biden.

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5 hours ago, tadmjones said:

Biden's platform is a more rational choice to oppose self-sacrifice? Trump didn't articulate a defense of the Constitution clearly enough, or a defense of the republic isn't enough on its face to push back on the idea of self abnegation ?

I'm not trying to argue who you should have voted for.

Regardless of what you think about Trump, I don't think you could argue that he has been effective given that he failed to be reelected. He doesn't get points just for trying. Why was he not effective? Well, I don't want to get into explaining that, because I've explained many times before why I don't think he's any good of the defender of anything. 

9 minutes ago, EC said:

I don't understand why you guys dump on Trump for not being a perfect defender of individual rights but hand-wave dismiss the Democrats and Biden's complete dismissal of individual rights as essentially as "Democrats being Democrats".

My post is about Trump being effective, not if you should or shouldn't say that he is preferable to Biden.

I don't criticize him for being imperfect, I criticize him for being a complete failure at defending individual rights. He lost to Biden. It's rather humiliating. I don't even like Trump and I thought he would easily win. 

 

Edited by Eiuol
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I regard political platforms the way I do advertising. Ayn Rand's defense of individual rights included a clear, strong banning of the initiation of force. The Democrat does not. The Republican platforms does not w/o a religious base. Also, Democrats favor the initiation of force more than Republicans do, especially against business people.

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13 minutes ago, tadmjones said:

I doubt Trump lost the election to Biden, I believe there is an ongoing coup. But I fear it may not succeed.

You think that Biden lost, so people are trying to stage a coup, and you want it to succeed?

I'm even more confused now.

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3 minutes ago, tadmjones said:

I think the globalist/technocrat/deep state/ cabal 's power was being weakened by Trump's administration ( the coup), and I am fearful .

Wow, and I thought when you said that you were a fan of the phenomenon that is QAnon in the other thread, I thought you meant that it was curiosity from the outside. Now I'm thinking you actually are just starting to buy into QAnon. 

 

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I'm with you about being jaded about government institutions, but it's more than a little overly simplistic to characterize things as "Trump against the cabal". The world isn't so unified as that. There isn't a group of people behind the scenes controlling puppets with millions of moving parts running perfectly for decades. And whatever you think he is fighting against (even if you tone it down to "supporting individual rights albeit inconsistently"), he certainly hasn't been effective at even stopping Biden. That's a pretty low bar to beat. And he failed.

Edited by Eiuol
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On 11/15/2020 at 8:02 PM, whYNOT said:

This election was the triumph of aesthetic feelings around a personality ABOVE reason and real values. The media-fed "image" of a leader has counted to a majority of voters (and mainstream Objectivists, which leaves me aghast) above his effectiveness at opposing self-sacrifice and establishing American independence. d_w, mark this point, there are those there in majority and many abroad who want to perpetuate the customary altruist USA and were terrified that it may end. That's the basis of Trump hatred. Here is where "many sense something is a amiss and can't put their finger on it", as you say. But Objectivists are well versed in altruism, so should know. They know too that Rand projected it as America's downfall. I didn't hear them expound in this vein. Trump would have understood self- sacrifice instantly.

This was a while coming, but we've passed the point to where children outnumber the grown-ups. Feelings over facts, and we must henceforth be forced to feel what they feel. Next, logically, the Nanny State - at minimum, after which who knows how far to the Left you will go. The Dems who've sold their soul to the lowest bidder will have to reward the shaky coalition of all their new bed partners, from the Greens to the far out socialists/communists.

Peace overseas and prosperity at home, one would believe the objective of any rational country, and in the offing a year ago has been abandoned by half of Americans - for what? The 2nd handedness of looking good to others and of feeling morally sanctimonious?

Individual rights and altruism are incompatible, indeed. Consider it an identification rather than a projection. Man has the power of choice. With that power come the capacity to discover that the only man that desires to be moral is the man that desires to live. The mainstream Objectivists at ARI, serve as a repository for many fine educational tools, and have made them largely freely available. Well versed comes in two forms. One can come to know the material, cite it, and write it. Peikoff made a rather different point that stood out about being able to shuttle back and forth from the concretes to the abstractions. It is from this developed skill the capacity to expound in such a vein would spring forth.

 

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