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Marrying Non-Objectivists

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miedra
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I think it all comes down to the persons' sense of life. Do they love life? Do they enjoy the short amount of time they have on this earth?

While that is a part of the equation, it isn't everything. Even if someone has a good sense of life, if they won't let go of a bad, irrational idea, it will corrupt and destroy that sense of life in the long run. There's no good reason why an integrated Objectivist would have to settle for marrying someone who won't reject a terribly irrational idea.

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It doesn't matter whether one person or both people have a particular explicit philosophy or if they don't really have any interest in theoretical philosophy whatsoever!

This statement is patently untrue. Please try re-reading the first chapter of Philosophy: Who Needs It? and then tell me that an explicit philosophy isn't needed to do something as major as having the kind of relationship possible to two Objectivists.

Like I said, it's not IMpossible, but it's damn unlikely.

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2.) Non-Objectivists can have fulfilling relationships.

Having known my parents for 23 and a half years, I am forced to go with option number 2.

What isn't possible to them is the kind of relationship that I consider worth having. They might feel perfectly content to live life the way that they have chosen to. I don't. I would be miserable living that way, because I have always believed that it was possible to do better. And that was even before I had "tasted the fruit," to use a metaphor.

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And it should be kept in mind that Inspector is not speaking for Objectivism.

Of course not. But I do claim to not contradict Objectivism; you are free to attempt to prove me wrong.

The absurdity of his statement is reinforced by the obvious fact that there were exactly zero Objectivists in the world prior to the philosophy's full enumeration, including Ayn Rand herself and virtually every human being who's ever lived. If only Objectivists had relationships (as though being an Objectivist were some kind of guarantee that a relationship will always last! Ever hear of free will??), the human race would rather rapidly go out of existence.
I already explained this:

Now, can a person be THAT rational and integrated without being an Objectivist? Yes, of course. I just didn't consider that possibility worth mentioning. I see now that it was. So, sorry about that folks.
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What kind of relationship do you consider worth having? I would imagine one which makes you happy. Well, my parents relationship makes them happy. They are highly successful in every area of their life, and they do all the dorky things together that middle-aged couples are supposed to do together. You may be miserable living that way, but they aren't. What you're saying is basically, "because I cannot fathom being happy as a non-Objectivist, that means that all non-Objectivists are unhappy."

Were Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Isaac Newton, and Thomas Jefferson unhappy? Were they unfit for relationships with others? Like others have said, if your theory is true, then the whole population of the earth since the dawn of time, minus the number of true Objectivists who have ever lived (probably less than 10,000) have been unfit for relationships and utterly without direction in their lives. I daresay that non-Objectivists often have more direction in their lives than the overly-zealous Objectivist wannabes like miedra.

Have you forgotten that Objectivism is a philosophy intended to make you have a happy life on earth? It is not intended to make you give up values which would give you a certain measure of happiness, even if you can imagine better, just because of some abstract set of philosophical principles. It is grounded in the fact that we exist on earth and that our goal is to attain happiness. If you make the prudent judgement that you can be happy in a relationship with a non-Objectivist, then there is nothing wrong with being with that person.

You also act like philosophy is the only thing that should be considered. What about personality? I can agree with someone on absolutely everything, but if they annoy the hell out of me, I'm not gonna want a relationship with them and would gladly take my Catholic fiancee over them.

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What may be more important than your fiance's philosophical or religious beliefs is:  Is she an intellectual?  That is, does she think that ideas are important?

If not, can you live the rest of your life with a non-intellectual?  Someone who is concrete-bound, like an animal?

That is indeed important! An intellectual can be convinced. (although it would be unwise to commit to marriage before they have been convinced!)

Whereas with an animal, the only way to stay in the relationship would be to give in to the irrational beliefs of one who cannot be convinced with reason. You would have to destroy all of the personal values and aspirations which would become impossible because of those irrational beliefs. Often a person will destroy their ambitions so completely that they will appear "content." Which is true. They are "content" to be half the man or woman that they could have been.

Is a "relationship" worth that?

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What kind of relationship do you consider worth having?  I would imagine one which makes you happy.  Well, my parents relationship makes them happy.

I have a differant standard of what makes me happy. It makes my happiness more delicious when I achieve it.

You may be miserable living that way, but they aren't.  What you're saying is basically, "because I cannot fathom being happy as a non-Objectivist, that means that all non-Objectivists are unhappy."
I don't dislike dorky-old-couple things. But I think I have it figured out why you and others don't get what I've been saying...

I spoke of the kind of relationship that would satisfy me.

Well, let me tell you about me. I am an intellectual and I'm one of those people who seems to have been "born that way." If I think that an idea is right, then I will brook no compromise with falsehood, no matter the price. While I may bite my tongue, I won't tell someone that they are right when I know they are wrong. I never "agree to disagree" on intellectual matters and I could never resolve my disputes as most people do by "compromising," or just giving up on the argument. People told me from a young age that I would never find happiness and would especially never find love.

Well up theirs! I have!

And it would not have been possible to me without a completely rational, completely integrated philosophy: Objectivism.

Other people expect to compromise (on principles) in relationships and expect to "give in" and "give up" for them. I don't. I would never be satisfied with that.

Only a couple that is completely rational and integrated can hope to have a relationship in which there is NEVER compromise and NEVER sacrifice.

Were Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Isaac Newton, and Thomas Jefferson unhappy?

In their relationships, you mean? I'm not familiar with their biographies enough to say. I know that a lot of great achievers in history were, or at least they had those kind of "marriages of convienience" where they didn't love their spouse even on the level that you say your parents do.

Like others have said, if your theory is true, then the whole population of the earth since the dawn of time, minus the number of true Objectivists who have ever lived (probably less than 10,000) have been unfit for relationships and utterly without direction in their lives.
To say that they were unfit for a true, loving, maximum, romatic relationship is not to say that they were "without direction in their lives." Or even that they couldn't manage a loveless marriage of convienience.

I daresay that non-Objectivists often have more direction in their lives than the overly-zealous Objectivist wannabes like miedra. 

That's true, but it doesn't really have anything to do with anything I've said.

Have you forgotten that Objectivism is a philosophy intended to make you have a happy life on earth?  It is not intended to make you give up values which would give you a certain measure of happiness, even if you can imagine better, just because of some abstract set of philosophical principles.
Have you forgotten it? If Objectivism is practical (and it is, eminently!), then why do you characterize compromising on it to be practical?

I don't consider a lesser relationship to be worth having. I'm not giving up ANYTHING by following my "abstract set of philosophical principles."

If you make the prudent judgement that you can be happy in a relationship with a non-Objectivist, then there is nothing wrong with being with that person. 

I don't think that, in prudence, that judgment can be made. Not if you mean marrying that person and forever being content with their being a non-Objectivist.

You also act like philosophy is the only thing that should be considered.

Of course it isn't! If they're not attractive to you, or if they have an annoying personality to you, or if they drive you up the wall in some way or another, then you'd be pretty foolish to try to force a relationship!

Don't make the mistake of thinking that because I've said "don't marry (x)" that it means I am advocating "if they aren't (x), then marry away! regardless of everything else!"

That would be silly.

Edited by Inspector
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Okay, I've held my tongue until now. I was on Inspector's side (and still am), but I thought he was making the claim that nobody can be happy unless they are married to an Objectivist. Now that I know he is just saying he could not be happy with a non-Objectivist, I can take his side without reservations.

This is not unlike the issue of whether a Christian can be happy. I think the answer is yes. Some people, like my mom, honestly cannot see the idea of God, heaven and hell, etc as absurd, arbitrary, and a contradiction. To a certain extent, they can be happy.

The same is true of people pursuing romantic relationships. Some of you might be happy with someone who is not an O'ist. Some maybe even someone who doesn't care for ideas. I can't. (And it seems that you can't either Inspector.) I search for the absolute best in myself and others. I cannot be truly happy with anything less. I have some friends who are not Objectivists. Do I enjoy hanging out with them? Yes. Do they make my life happier? Mostly. Do I LOVE them? No. There is space they will never be able to fill. Someone will, but not them. For example, when I get really excited about an idea, they don't get it.

I take romantic relationships much more seriously. I don't want to be with someone who is not the absolute best. It wouldn't make me happy. If they are not good enough for a romantic relationship, they can still stay my friend. But for romance, I want a rational, benevolent, intelligent, lover of life. Why should I settle for anything less than the best? Why should I settle for anything less than I deserve?

Does such a person exist? I think so. Have a found her yet? Maybe :D.

For me (and those like me), it boils down to trading values: is the person you love as good as you are? If not, you will lose and they will gain.

Zak

PS: I'm kinda tired and I'm doing homework, so that was kind of rushed. I hope I got my point across clearly and didn't ramble too much. If anyone needs any clarification, please ask. Don't just assume I'm an idiot, or that I meant to personally attack anyone. :dough:

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This is the main reason why I cannot call myself an Objectivist. While it's good to have intellectual conversations, I do not want to spend my life with someone who is constantly philosophizing everything. I want to be able to live life without my wife constantly analyzing it.

When Objectivism, the philosophy for living on earth, tells me that I should give up happiness with the love of my life simply because she does not follow the philosophy of Objectivism, I have a hard time seeing it as the true philosophy for living on earth.

Of course, I do not believe this is what Objectivism teaches and I believe Inspector's interpretation to be incorrect, but there is no shortage of Objectivists who interpret it this way.

Need I remind you that Ayn Rand considered including a Catholic priest in Atlas Shrugged, as a protagonist? She dropped the idea because she thought she couldn't make it convincing, but it does, nevertheless, show that she believed religious people could be rational and live fulfilling lives.

I'll post a more complete response sometime tomorrow. For now, I'm going to bed. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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I agree with Inspector.

If a person compromises even the littlest bit in any sphere, he cannnot reach his full potential. E.g. if a person is studying engineering and compromises on the amount of work he puts into it, he will not reach his full potential. He may become a good engineer but he won't become what he could have become.

Likewise and especially in the case of romantic relationships, if one is not a fully integrated Objectivist and/or marries someone who is not a fully integrated Objectivist, he will never be as happy as he could have been.

Happiness comes through an achievement of your values. If you engage in a romantic relationship with an Objectivist, you will gain more value that if you are in a relationship with a non-)bjectivist.

(Fixed capitalization of 'Objectivist' - sNerd)

Edited by softwareNerd
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This is the main reason why I cannot call myself an Objectivist.  While it's good to have intellectual conversations, I do not want to spend my life with someone who is constantly philosophizing everything.  I want to be able to live life without my wife constantly analyzing it.

But do you constantly analyze it? Besides, it is possible to spend your life with someone who is an Objectivist, but doesn't philosophize everything. I do it in my head mostly.

When Objectivism, the philosophy for living on earth, tells me that I should give up happiness with the love of my life simply because she does not follow the philosophy of Objectivism, I have a hard time seeing it as the true philosophy for living on earth.
See, this is your problem. Objectivism is not telling you to do anything. The only thing I'm questioning is whether she is, rationally, the love of your life. Love, as you know, is objective. I shoot for the best. If she is the best for you, go for it, no questions asked. My point was I don't think anyone but an Objectivist could become the love of my life. Do you see the difference? That is what my post was about. If you can be happy with her, great for you. Obviously, I don't know her, but the chances are I wouldn't be happy. Don't take it as an insult. It's just a fact.

Zak

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This is the main reason why I cannot call myself an Objectivist.  While it's good to have intellectual conversations, I do not want to spend my life with someone who is constantly philosophizing everything.  I want to be able to live life without my wife constantly analyzing it.

Being an Objectivist doesn't mean constantly analyzing your life.

Need I remind you that Ayn Rand considered including a Catholic priest in Atlas Shrugged, as a protagonist

She did not. She only considered a Catholic priest as a member of Galt's Gulch, not as the protagonist. The protagonist was always John Galt.

She dropped the idea because she thought she couldn't make it convincing, but it does, nevertheless, show that she believed religious people could be rational and live fulfilling lives.

On the contrary, I think it shows that religious people though they might be very rational in many spheres of life, can never have a completely fulfilling life.

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Being an Objectivist doesn't mean constantly analyzing your life.

No, of course not. (Thanks tommy I missed this point!) That is why you integrate things into your subconscious- so you don't have to constantly analyze. Do you realize how much time one would waste living if he actually bothered to see how every situation would benefit himself? If I actually analyzed every trivial thing, such as whether giving an acquaintance a piece of my lunch would give me as much pleasure as I would get from eating said food, I would go crazy! In most cases, that is a job for your subconscious.

Zak

Edited by realitycheck44
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Blarg. Friggin' overconfident Objectivists :lol:

Likewise and especially in the case of romantic relationships, if one is not a fully integrated objectivist and/or marries someone who is not a fully integrated objectivist, he will never be as happy as he could have been.

Oh come on :rolleyes: However that is to be interpreted, I can't see how it's true.

Suppose I have a religious gf I wish to marry, and we constantly have philosophical discussions. We both wish to be right i.e. rational and consistent with reality. Furthermore, she constantly out-argues (not merely out-maneuvers) me. Would this mean she is irrational? Of course not, she hasn't been proven wrong. In fact, the stronger her intellect and philosophical integrity, the more rational she is for maintaining her theism in the light of so-far inferior alternatives.

Should this lass never come across convincing reasons to eschew theism, what would make automatically irrational, less than ideal? The fact that she's not convinced by my inferior philosophical skills??

Several people seem to assume that the O'ist position is obviously rational, and thus anyone who disagrees with it, is obviously irrational. The fact a person hasn't been convinced of the merits of O'ism doesn't mean they are irrational, or that marrying them is "settling."

But for romance, I want a rational, benevolent, intelligent, lover of life. Why should I settle for anything less than the best? Why should I settle for anything less than I deserve?

If anyone needs any clarification, please ask. Don't just assume I'm an idiot, or that I meant to personally attack anyone. :thumbsup:

Noted :) Are all of those qualities impossible in a non-O'ist?

My point was I don't think anyone but an Objectivist could become the love of my life. Do you see the difference? That is what my post was about. If you can be happy with her, great for you. Obviously, I don't know her, but the chances are I wouldn't be happy. Don't take it as an insult. It's just a fact.

Ah. The fact is that you all wouldn't be happy with a non-O'ist. No offense meant, but your points don't really contribute much to to the original question: whether O'ists in general can/should marry non-O'ists :worry:

I think it shows that religious people though they might be very rational in many spheres of life, can never have a completely fulfilling life.

:confused: elaborate?

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There can be no argument, assumption or action irrelevant (disconnected from) or 'not applying to philosophy. Each one of the above (if executed) implying certain philosophical premises (whether consciously or unconsciously). That means everything; everything you say, think or do. Everything-- but laying flat without a breath (and that too in some cases), has to do with philosophy. (Philosophy being the only science that can serve as man's 'guide to life')

Yet, in the philosophical chaos of today (when most people are not explicitly aware of their philosophy or the field as such), to use Dr. Peikoff's apt description: most people are a mixture of black and white. It is therefore followed that 'Justice' would be the objective acknowledgment of both.

The reason for liking or disliking an individual lays in ones values; if one identifies certain values in the person of another, he'll feel a favorable emotional response towards him, and vice versa. Therefore, given the above, one might (and likely to) meet an individual whose philosophy is inconsistent or who is otherwise ignorant of the whole field, and yet find certain values in that person (integrity, self-esteem, professionalism) which are a product of his sense of life and where achieved by his direct perception of existence, despite his 'philosophical ignorance'. (It is important to remember that philosophy is a process of identification and integration--integration of what already exists. The benefit of the process is consistency.) In that case one might very well be interested in a more intimate relationship with that person. Now, to combine all my previous arguments, in some point (or many points, depending on both individual's level of consistency) a disagreement will arise (and as I first said, all of which have a philosophical nature) in that crucial point; If you compromise your knowledge--you evade! If, later on you try avoiding those conflicts--you evade! If you say 'the hell with it-- lets go grab a beer'--you evade! In other words; anytime and in any way you chose to default on what you know to be true--will only result in an evasion and will be of no benefit to either one! To carry on such a relationship will be sentencing oneself to a life of hypocrisy, rationalizations and evasion.

On the other hand, if upon disagreement, the individual listens to your arguments and by his objective judgment (to the extant of his ability) chooses to correct his false assumption, the result will be a most beneficial experience to both (especially to him).

To bring my point to essentials: most people today are philosophically ignorant, let along the explicit knowledge of 'Objectivism'. What all people do posses (to whatever extant they choose to use it) is common-sense; perception of objective reality. Therefore, if one is to have any relationships, most of them will probably involve 'non-objectivists'.

If a person is honest and his quest is to live his life as good as he can--there should be no reason for you not enjoy his company. Moreover, that person will probably find your arguments fruitful and be eager to challenge you (and himself) with his assumptions. Contrary, if a person seeks to evade knowledge and reality in favor of a 'nurtured dream world', there is no reason why you (if coming from different premises) should seek any further intimacy with him. (That is given that your rational arguments where baselessly rejected) Such a relationship can bring only devastation; a relationship, like anything else, is about gaining values--not loosing/compromising them.

As for previous posts, I must admit that I haven't read the original thread and therefore have only a vague idea of the initial problem. Moreover, I have no interest of getting into your personal disputes nor take any part in them. Yet, I believe that a person shouldn't be hushed for stating the truth--however harsh his presentation of it might have been. If the one starting the thread was seeking an answer, he should be wise enough to let reason be his guide other then a wave of emotions (given the 'audience' he chose to address his question to). As I see it, the remark about 'not giving philosophical lectures' (I'm not sure where it was initiated), in this context would be an equivalent to 'do not breathe...', or, 'do not type...'

Moreover, I think that presenting the above phrase as 'a negative' is very inappropriate, especially here. What I mean is, isn't it what this site is all about...?

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Should this lass never come across convincing reasons to eschew theism, what would make automatically irrational, less than ideal? The fact that she's not convinced by my inferior philosophical skills??

No, what would make her irrational is that she is wrong and at ends with reality. If you are an Objectivist, however, you should be able to either convince her theism is wrong, or point her to sources that will (OPAR by Leonard Peikoff is one)

Noted :confused: Are all of those qualities impossible in a non-O'ist?
It depends. One could theoretically hold Objectivist philosophy without ever having read Ayn Rand. But other than that, if he/she is rational, he/she would be an O'ist (or close). There are also levels of all of those characteristic. I was speaking of the highest level.

Ah. The fact is that you all wouldn't be happy with a non-O'ist. No offense meant, but your points don't really contribute much to to the original question: whether O'ists in general can/should marry non-O'ists :thumbsup:
I believe I answered that with first post. I said it was much like the question of whether a Christian can be happy or not. I think the can, but not on the same level as one who holds absolutely no contradictions in his philosophy.

Sorry if those answers were too short. Again, I can elaborate tomorrow if needed. I have to go to school in a little over six hours and I'm not done with my homework. :rolleyes:

Zak

(Fixed closing quote tag -sNerd)

Edited by softwareNerd
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However that is to be interpreted, I can't see how it's true.

It is not to be interpreted. I gave the reasons in my last post.

Let's define love. I'll take a quote from Midas Mulligan in AS

Love is the ultimate form of recognition granted to superlative values.
Note the words superlative values. I believe this quote applies to all kinds of love, whether it be romantic love or love for one's work, etc.

The point is, saying that you love a person, by definition implies that you regard that person as superlative in context of your values i.e. that person is the embodiment of your values, the person reflects you.

Now let's say there is a fully integrated objectivist. He marries a non-Objectivist.

If he is an objectivist, he cannot love the non Objectivist because that person is not the embodiment of his values. Consequently no matter how much he tries to, he will not be perfectly happy with his partner.

Several people seem to assume that the O'ist position is obviously rational, and thus anyone who disagrees with it, is obviously irrational.

If you can refute a single statement of Objectivism, I would be very interested.

The fact a person hasn't been convinced of the merits of O'ism doesn't mean they are irrational, or that marrying them is "settling."

If they can prove that certain aspects of O'ism are irrational and that their position is rational, they are rational. If they discredit O'ism without doing either of the above two, to that extent, they are irrational.

:thumbsup: elaborate?

I mean to say that although religious persons may be very happy, they can never live life to the fullest reaping all its rewards. Their contradictions (e.g. believing in an omnipotent God) cannot let them live life to the fullest.

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The point is, saying that you love a person, by definition implies that you regard that person as superlative in context of your values i.e. that person is the embodiment of your values, the person reflects you.

I recall Dr. Peikoff saying something about parents loving their children, and vice versa, despite philosophical differences. Please note that I am NOT saying that Peikoff did say this, merely that I recall something along these lines. Can someone with knowledge of these comments, assuming they exist, please provide a citation and whatever quotations (fairly used, of course) are relevant to understanding the context of his comments? Gracias.

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I know what you're talking about, Matt: when the Dems tried to get Mary Cheney to contradict her father Rob Trascinski quoted Dr. Peikoff in TIA Daily: the statement is along the lines that you can continue to feel love and affection for your children (and vice versa) because of the long, meaningful relationship you've had, regardless of whether you ultimately develop philosophical differences.

Anyway: no, there's no reason why an Objectivist would HAVE to settle for a relationship with a non-Objectivist. However, this may (and quite likely, there aren't that many Objectivists even now) mean that the alternative is settling for NO RELATIONSHIP WHATSOEVER.

As I said elsewhere: if having the relationship is honestly better (in comparison with your goals, hierarchy of values, etc.) than NOT having the relationship, you would be immoral NOT to pursue it. You're not settling if you choose between an imperfect positive and a zero. As I ALSO said, you can't compare a given person/relationship by comparing it to some concretized "ideal" you've made up. The person you idealize may not exist.

I've noticed a tendency to ask, in a vacuum, "what do you want in a mate?" While it's useful to ask this question in order to have a specific list of what you're looking for (so it's easier to see when you find it), you can't ever imagine that you can just "build" your mate's traits from the ground up. You may never encounter anyone that fits all your preferences, and if they do, they may not want YOU. (THAT would be tragic. But, well, free will, you know.)

The only time you could be described as "settling" is if you HAVE met someone that you would prefer and you decide to go with someone else. Even then, it's not necessarily immoral (outside circumstances can intervene, such as your preferred person is already married). It may simply be that other of your goals (such as having children) are important enough to you to make a lesser romantic involvement tolerable. A decent human being, in that case, would make certain that the preferred person was COMPLETELY out of the picture, I mean, not communicate with them at all, because it'd make it impossible for them to gain any benefit from their actual relationship.

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Oh come on :thumbsup: However that is to be interpreted, I can't see how it's true.

I don't see how it couldn't be. What would be the point of being completely rational and integrated if it didn't offer incalculable benefits over being a religious person?

Hunterrose, why do you think it's so darn spiffy and fulfilling to be a religious person?

And, even more perplexingly, how could you even concieve of a religous person out-arguing a fully integrated O'ist? Am I the only one here that thinks that religous metaphysics are obviously, childishly wrong?

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I recall Dr. Peikoff saying something about parents loving their children, and vice versa, despite philosophical differences.  Please note that I am NOT saying that Peikoff did say this, merely that I recall something along these lines.  Can someone with knowledge of these comments, assuming they exist, please provide a citation and whatever quotations (fairly used, of course) are relevant to understanding the context of his comments?  Gracias.

My memory is not exact, but I think it had to do with evaluating them on a differant basis then a random stranger.

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And, even more perplexingly, how could you even concieve of a religous person out-arguing a fully integrated O'ist? Am I the only one here that thinks that religous metaphysics are obviously, childishly wrong?

Because not everyone is a professional speaker/debater. Just because YOU understand it doesn't mean you can explain it under fire.

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