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Natural rights, borders and deportations

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On 6/29/2023 at 3:42 PM, DavidOdden said:

Some of what she thought is part of the system, and one good way to tell is that she wrote it and published it after thinking it over.

She didn't publish it, but Objectivsts have:


See the four paragraphs starting with "The book Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q & A includes Rand's Manifest Destiny-esque defense of settler colonialism among some of the "best of her" public statements." and ending with "The laughter often followed Rand's most egregious remarks. Defending one of human history's most horrific genocides can apparently be quite comical."

Edited by InfraBeat
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4 hours ago, InfraBeat said:

What essentials of the philosophy do you consider to be false?

[significant agreements]

What are the most important of those?


Ethical egoism is false, where by “ethical egoism” one means the honest definition: Justifying all of the virtues one accepts as ethical purely in terms of one’s own rational self-interest, where self-interest means both self as agent of the act and as well as beneficiary of the act. That is, I do not think Rand succeeded in justifying ethical egoism in this sense (and for the matter of that, I don’t think anyone subscribing to Rand’s morality [including Rand] of pure rational self-interest has ever actually fully succeeded on that beneficiary part in their own behavior [which is to their credit], notwithstanding equivocations and non sequiturs they use to rationalize their behavior as purely self-interested.)


That oneself be the primary beneficiary of all one’s chosen actions is not something Rand took as fundamental in her ethical theory, but something to be argued for, as she explained in the Preface to her book The Virtue of Selfishness. Nevertheless, this aspect of her ethical egoism is essential to it being her distinctive theory of ethics and to her philosophy of Objectivism.

I agree with Rand about the virtue of selfishness. That means I agree there are things routinely called selfish, which are not selfish and which are not virtuous. More importantly, I agree with her also that there are things routinely called selfish that genuinely are selfish, which are routinely denounced and in need of defense. The virtue of selfishness does not amount to ethical egoism. I agree with Rand also in her distinctive revolt against the virtue of self-sacrificial altruism.

There are many things on which I agree with Rand philosophically, including not distinctively Objectivist affirmations such as perceptual realism and one’s original with Rand, such as the only setting of value being life and the possibility of analyzing (many) concepts under the scheme of measurement omission. The latter idea is not essential to Objectivist philosophy, though it is definitely a part of it. That value presupposes life, is of course, an essential.

I agree with Rand on individual rights and nature of government.

Obviously, we disagree about the propriety of same-sex relationships, but sexual psychology is not an essential of her philosophy (or a basic to any philosophy worthy of study by me).


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16 hours ago, Boydstun said:

Ethical egoism is false

16 hours ago, Boydstun said:

I agree with Rand about the virtue of selfishness

Thanks. If I understand you correctly, you're saying that selfishness is a virtue but that some acts can be not selfish yet still virtuous? In other words, if an act is selfish, then that act is virtuous, but if an act is not selfish then that act might or might not be virtuous?

Edited by InfraBeat
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Infra, yes, provided we do not neglect rationality—concerning the world, others, and oneself—as essential to virtue of any agent. 


Infra, I've not seen this ballet, but it bears your name, and I thought you might like this pas de deux. It is a favorite of mine: https://www.facebook.com/stephen.boydstun.1/posts/pfbid033XddBVx3dFdAC4Sdm8dFh5wUKGXBX8nCGP51ya1YjtZz54msqSqEzwHRccaeUL1Pl

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