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Marrying Non-Objectivists

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miedra
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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.

yup

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.

Imagine telling your husband, "Well, I really want this other guy but, since he's married, you're the best that I can do. Besides, I need someone to give me children."

If you're more in love with someone else, married or not, I don't think you have any business marrying someone else. I mean, if you're upfront with them about it and they don't mind that you're more in love with someone else (like that would ever happen anyway), then I guess it would be okay. But to marry them while keeping your true love a secret is rather dishonest.

Edited by Moose
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And, even more perplexingly, how could you even concieve of a religous person out-arguing a fully integrated O'ist?

Because an O'ist who strives for perfect adherence with reality is no more perfect than a theist who strives for perfect adherence with reality.

...Is it immoral for a "fully integrated" Objectivist to marry a student of Objectivism? :thumbsup:

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Because an O'ist who strives for perfect adherence with reality is no more perfect than a theist who strives for perfect adherence with reality.

It's just not bloody likely. I mean it's not exactly an even fight. She'd have to be MUCH smarter than he. And if so, I don't think that relationship has much of a future. What an odd example, though!

...Is it immoral for a "fully integrated" Objectivist to marry a student of Objectivism? :thumbsup:
What, is there a gun to his head? Why not wait until she's more than a student?

Imagine telling your husband, "Well, I really want this other guy but, since he's married, you're the best that I can do. Besides, I need someone to give me children."

Moose, let's call the one who said that... person "A." And let's call the person that they were talking to "B."

What kind of person would "B" be if he said "okay" to that! And therefore what kind of a person would "A" be if they were interested in someone who would say "okay" to that?!?

Makes you think.

I don't like to consider such doomsday scenarios. While it might make some kind of sense for what it is, it is hardly the kind of life I would be content living.

[Edit: while I normally would never reply to more than one post in a single post, the forum won't let me do otherwise. So please nobody think that I'm doing this on purpose...]

Which makes sense, because presumably you've known your kids (or parents) for quite a bit longer than you have any random stranger.

Yes, I think you've identified the gist of the quote we're trying to remember.

Edited by Inspector
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What, is there a gun to his head? Why not wait until she's more than a student?

Perhaps he doesn't consider her becoming "fully integrated" a difference maker in terms of the relationship.

Was that an evasion :thumbsup:

The kind of relationship that I consider worth pursuing can't be done if someone isn't extremely rational and integrated. Not only won't they even be able to concieve of such a relationship, but they would miserably fail at one if they tried.

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.

So an O'ist marrying a non-O'ist isn't automatically immoral? Would you say that it's a possibility that a theist of some type could be extremely rational and integrated?

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Perhaps he doesn't consider her becoming "fully integrated" a difference maker in terms of the relationship.

Was that an evasion

Let's define evasion. Here is my definition:

1. It is the refusal to think about an issue, philosophical or not, which is of importance to your life.

2. It is the refusal to accept a position on an issue even if one cannot challenge the reasons presented.

Now let us take your fully integrated O'ist. I have already pointed out why it would be immoral for a fully integrated O'ist to marry a non-O'ist. (Currently I am only referring to a situation in which it is possible that O'ists exist, not in which it is impossible to find an O'ist which is a topic for another thread)

Now the fully integrated O'ist knows that the compromise will not make him fully happy and that there is a chance to achieve full happiness by marrying a O'ist. If he still marries the student of O'ism who is not an O'ist, he would be commiting evasion as he is evading the fact that the action he is performing is not selfish.

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Now the fully integrated O'ist knows that the compromise will not make him fully happy and that there is a chance to achieve full happiness by marrying a O'ist. If he still marries the student of O'ism who is not an O'ist, he would be commiting evasion as he is evading the fact that the action he is performing is not selfish.

What a perfect example of rationalism, condemning the good as the enemy of the ideal.

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Imagine telling your husband, "Well, I really want this other guy but, since he's married, you're the best that I can do. Besides, I need someone to give me children."

Although you've cheerfully phrased this in a very cruel manner, making it seem ridiculous, it isn't what you make it out to be.

Think of it more along the lines of: "Okay, if Antonio Banderas suddenly shows up and begs me to run away with him, you know you're history, right, honey?" "Yes, dear. I'm holding out for Salma Hayek, myself." "Okay then. Just so you know." :thumbsup:

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Now the fully integrated O'ist knows that the compromise will not make him fully happy and that there is a chance to achieve full happiness by marrying a O'ist. If he still marries the student of O'ism who is not an O'ist, he would be commiting evasion as he is evading the fact that the action he is performing is not selfish.

You are assuming there has to be a compromise in a O'ist marrying a student of O'ism. Basis?

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.

What's meant by the "embodiment of your values?" Surely not that the mate possesses every value I have. Must she value Boston Red Sox tickets and Final Fantasy Tactics??? I can only assume you then mean the embodiment of your "important" values. For myself, the most important value would be that a mate attempts to be (philosophically) right i.e. refuses to ignore contradictions in her beliefs. Being a theist would in no way prevent her from having a relentless pursuit of the truth.

If an O'ist shared a similar "embodiment," I don't see how marrying a non-O'ist is automatically immoral.

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... i.e. refuses to ignore contradictions in her beliefs. Being a theist would in no way prevent her from having a relentless pursuit of the truth. [...]

Emphasis added

Do you see the problem here?

Does anyone else have a problem with the contraction form of Objectivist? I think that if this thread was found on goolge, the people seeing "O'ist" would not understand the level of respect that this forum perpetuates in regards to the philosophy.

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You are assuming there has to be a compromise in a O'ist marrying a student of O'ism. Basis?

You are sacrificing your full potential happiness for less than perfect happiness. That is a compromise.

Being a theist would in no way prevent her from having a relentless pursuit of the truth.

If she honestly pursues truth she would give up theism eventually.

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You are sacrificing your full potential happiness for less than perfect happiness. That is a compromise.

There's no such thing as "perfect" happiness. See my earlier posts.

If someone holds at least an Objectivist-like epistemology and they consider themselves theist there are contradictions.

He said "pursue" not "succeed in pursuing".

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You are sacrificing your full potential happiness for less than perfect happiness. That is a compromise.

*sigh*

Must we drag this out?

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.

What's meant by the "embodiment of your values?" Surely not that the mate possesses every value I have. Must she value Boston Red Sox tickets and Final Fantasy Tactics??? I can only assume you then mean the embodiment of your "important" values. For myself, the most important value would be that a mate attempts to be (philosophically) right i.e. refuses to ignore contradictions in her beliefs...

What qualities are necessary to create the "embodiment of your values??" Is it not enough that she refuses to ignore contradictions in her beliefs? Or must she know every possible philosophical datum before she is qualified to marry?

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So an O'ist marrying a non-O'ist isn't automatically immoral? Would you say that it's a possibility that a theist of some type could be extremely rational and integrated?

Nothing is an out-of-context absolute. But I can't think of any scenario where it would be moral to marry someone before they had absolutely accepted reality and rejected theism.

Perhaps he doesn't consider her becoming "fully integrated" a difference maker in terms of the relationship.
He bloody well SHOULD. He would be a fool to have that opinion. Did you bloody READ what I spent all that time transcribing? Theism is NOT a harmless belief!

Was that an evasion confused2.gif

Is WHAT an evasion? Your grammer makes it look like you are referring to something other than the text immediately preceding... :)

What a perfect example of rationalism, condemning the good as the enemy of the ideal.

What a perfect example of an argument from intimidation.

Try to keep it civil, please! :(

Think of it more along the lines of: "Okay, if Antonio Banderas suddenly shows up and begs me to run away with him, you know you're history, right, honey?" "Yes, dear. I'm holding out for Salma Hayek, myself." "Okay then. Just so you know." :lol:

Wow, that's a winner of a marriage. I can't say that there is any person in the universe that would make me say the same to my wife. Nor is there anyone that would make her say something like that to me.

It's phrased in a more lighthearted manner, but it's just as depressing to me. :(

I can only assume you then mean the embodiment of your "important" values.

That would be wise. There are optional values and then there are ones that AREN'T optional.

For myself, the most important value would be that a mate attempts to be (philosophically) right i.e. refuses to ignore contradictions in her beliefs. Being a theist would in no way prevent her from having a relentless pursuit of the truth.
That's where you're DEAD wrong. Please re-read what Dr. Peikoff said!

Or maybe just YOUR OWN SIGNATURE!

"An error made on your own is safer than ten truths made on faith."

What on earth do you think theism is, if not accepting ideas ON FAITH?!?!?!?!?

If she honestly pursues truth she would give up theism eventually.

At which point you could move on from "dating" to... well, whatever you want to move on to from there. :D

You are sacrificing your full potential happiness for less than perfect happiness. That is a compromise.

This needs clarification: it is fine to casually date someone who hold such an idea. Personally, I would consider it a very bad idea to engage in physical romance at that point. But there isn't necessarily any harm in dating, or getting to know such a person. You have to judge their character: are they simply struggling with errors of knowledge, in which case you can hold hope that they will reject theism... or are they a willful evader... in which case you need to RUN, not walk, away!

If the case is the former, then it might be a good idea to continue dating, in the hope that eventually he/she will grow into someone worth marrying. In some peoples' cases, this could be a matter of days, or even hours! The truth is a powerful ally! :nerd:

But to MARRY someone like that, without some kind of very weird extenuating circumstances, would be self-negation.

Is it not enough that she refuses to ignore contradictions in her beliefs? Or must she know every possible philosophical datum before she is qualified to marry?

Okay, reality check: we're talking about a theist who knows an Objectivist well enough to consider marrying him/her. And I'm assuming that said Objectivist is not a total idiot.

How on EARTH can the theist "refuse to ignore contradictions in her beliefs" and STILL be a theist?!? IT ISN'T POSSIBLE!

Edited by Inspector
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What a perfect example of an argument from intimidation.

No, it's an exact identification. He said that a fully-integrated Objectivist marrying a student of Objectivism would be immoral because it would not lead to as much happiness as would his possibly marrying a fully-integrated Objectivist in the future. Yes, it might make you happy, which is presumably a good thing, but you could be fully happy otherwise (more to the point, you can imagine yourself being happier under other circumstances, even though they're not actually here right now and there's no way you can act so as to create those better conditions, since it's a matter of others' free will), so you shouldn't do it. It's a perfect example of condemning something that is good for not being ideal.

Try to keep it civil, please!

I'm sorry, I didn't know that disagreeing with your position was uncivil.

Edited by Adrian Hester
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He bloody well SHOULD. He would be a fool to have that opinion. Did you bloody READ what I spent all that time transcribing? Theism is NOT a harmless belief!

That's where you're DEAD wrong. Please re-read what Dr. Peikoff said!

Or maybe just YOUR OWN SIGNATURE!

It wasn't ignored; I just didn't think the transcription was a convincing case that holding any aspect of religion constitutes an inevitable slide into total irrationality and death. I suppose since I don't accept that "proof" that I am irrational :nerd:

That would be wise. There are optional values and then there are ones that AREN'T optional.

But no philosophical value is optional to a "fully integrated" Objectivist, correct? Isn't it immoral for a person to marry until he/she has "fully integrated" every possible philosophical concept? Not to mention that any new philosophical innovation is grounds for divorce, as the couple can remarry should the mate grasp the concept after a day or two.

How on EARTH can the theist "refuse to ignore contradictions in her beliefs" and STILL be a theist?!? IT ISN'T POSSIBLE!

It's one thing to say that religion is a matter of faith, and without material proof; it's a whole other argument to say that it is contradictory.

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I'm sorry, I didn't know that disagreeing with your position was uncivil.

You haven't been uncivil to me, so far, thank you. But I would think it would take a little more explanation then you had given before you accuse someone of rationalism on the scale you did.

No, it's an exact identification. He said that a fully-integrated Objectivist marrying a student of Objectivism would be immoral because it would not lead to as much happiness as would his possibly marrying a fully-integrated Objectivist in the future.
Why does he have to marry the non-objectivist? Why can't they just date until she rejects an idea as completely wrong and utterly harmful as theism?

And, dang, I still consider myself a "student" of Objectivism! So you might want to be a little more specific about the status of the theist in the example.

It's one thing to say that religion is a matter of faith, and without material proof; it's a whole other argument to say that it is contradictory.

Isn't that the precise reason why it's WRONG? :nerd:

But no philosophical value is optional to a "fully integrated" Objectivist, correct?
I can't think of any philosophic position of Objectivism that could be considered "optional."

Can YOU?

I just didn't think the transcription was a convincing case that holding any aspect of religion constitutes an inevitable slide into total irrationality and death. I suppose since I don't accept that "proof" that I am irrational laugh.gif

Well, then, I suggest that you read the whole of the book from whence it came. I certainly don't have the time to convince you of it, but it is certainly the position of Dr. Peikoff that theism is a fatal idea which is staved off only by disintegration of the consciousness... which is itself fatal.

But can I get an okay from the admins that it IS a position of Objectivism that theism is far from a harmless idea and that therefore arguing to the contrary is against the rules of the board here?

I mean, hunterrose, if you're so sure that it's harmless, then take it to the debate forum...

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I can't think of any philosophic position of Objectivism that could be considered "optional."

Can YOU?

"Optional" in regard to being morally acceptable as a marriage partner? Yes.

It's not necessary to work out every complicated nuance of esthetics to be considered the "embodiment of my values." If a wife has hesitation over whether Victor Hugo is superior to Dostoevsky, is that moral grounds for the husband to divorce?? If the girlfriend doesn't resolve her "disintegration" over whether Sergio Leone's works are a higher value than Peter Jackson's, can the boyfriend ever morally marry her??

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"Optional" in regard to being morally acceptable as a marriage partner? Yes.

It's not necessary to work out every complicated nuance of esthetics to be considered the "embodiment of my values." If a wife has hesitation over whether Victor Hugo is superior to Dostoevsky, is that moral grounds for the husband to divorce?? If the girlfriend doesn't resolve her "disintegration" over whether Sergio Leone's works are a higher value than Peter Jackson's, can the boyfriend ever morally marry her??

There you go again with the treating theism, which is an error at the CORE of philosophy, as if it were something on the PERIPHERY of esthetics, which was never even fully "fleshed out" even by Ayn Rand.

Also, you're being intellectualy dishonest. I asked you if any position of OBJECTIVISM was optional. So far, you have yet to name any...

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There you go again with the treating theism, which is an error at the CORE of philosophy, as if it were something on the PERIPHERY of esthetics, which was never even fully "fleshed out" even by Ayn Rand.

Also, you're being intellectualy dishonest. I asked you if any position of OBJECTIVISM was optional. So far, you have yet to name any...

Why are you so defensive all of a sudden?

You're being off-topic and digressing, but no part of Objectivism is optional to Objectivism.

If there's any intellectual dishonesty, it'd be on your part. You imply that philosophical "peripheries" are "optional" in a marriage partner. It would be "insane" to state that you had the desire to continue your relationship with your wife WHETHER OR NOT she fully integrates esthetics. You would in that case be treating her irrationality as if it were harmless, isolated, and nonessential in the superlative embodiment of values a wife represents. It most emphatically would NOT be.

Such an evasive and compromising relationship could stay together only if one or both parties had completely given in to the other's vices and had abandoned all hope of the happiness they once desired.

There's no good reason why an integrated Objectivist would have to settle for marrying someone who wouldn't reject a terribly irrational esthetics.

Whereas with an animal, the only way to stay in such a relationship would be to give in to the irrational beliefs of one who couldn't 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 would destroy their ambitions so completely that they would appear "content." Which'd be true. They'd be "content" to be half the man or woman that they could have been.

Would a "relationship" be worth that? NO: a lesser relationship is not worth having.

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

If you want my opinion, I don't think anyone who couldn't grasp the superiority of Hugo over Dostoevsky is ready for any kind of relationship at all.

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Since the original context was religion, I'd like to focus on that one aspect of being a "non-Objectivist". People who say they are "Christian" (or any other religion, for that matter) mean different things. There are some who think that God exists, but don't think much else about the topic. Other's who go to Church almost as a social event. There are some who attend church regularly and are very particular about religious customs and rituals, yet who seem to compartmentalize so effectively that they seem completely rational if one did not know that they went to church. And then there are some religious folk who want to kill non-believers. And, many more varieties...

I'm pretty sure those who say "it's okay to marry a non-Objectivist" are not saying it's okay to marry someone regardless of their virtues... their honesty, their rationality, their productiveness. I think it would be useful for those arguing "it's okay to marry a Christian" to clarify the following: at what point will you draw the line? And, how do you answer Inspector's point that a belief in God is a very fundamental issue: an important, non-trivial reflection of a person's rationality?

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I think it would be useful for those arguing "it's okay to marry a Christian" to clarify the following: at what point will you draw the line? And, how do you answer Inspector's point that a belief in God is a very fundamental issue: an important, non-trivial reflection of a person's rationality?

Namely, the dividing point comes for people whose belief in God is, to them, completely trivial. Personally, I wouldn't have discovered that these people exist except that they comprise the majority of my family and the people I know here in Dayton.

My personal favorite quote came from one of my coworkers, who lives, unmarried, with her boyfriend, when she was asked why they don't get married. "No, I was married once and I'm not doing it again. Guess I'm going to hell. Oh well."

If your partner takes their belief in God seriously, then you have a problem. If they believe in God but don't apply any of those core beliefs to their actual life (apart from doing goofy things like giving up chocolate for Lent) then you're all right.

Most Deists fit into this mold as well: people who think that the existence of God can be rationally proven. Usually you can't argue with them effectively, because the ones that I've met seem to accept the existence of said proof on faith (?) they just figure we haven't discovered it yet.

As I said before (this is getting repetitive): you don't really need to know what your spouse does in their own head, in fact, you CAN'T know this. But you can know how they enact their various ideas in daily life by observing them. It is their actions in reality, not their mental errors, that you need to take into account when deciding whether you want to associate with them in any capacity, romantic or otherwise.

Being an Objectivist no more makes one immune to acting on mental errors than being a Christian. Theoretically an Objectivist may have fewer mental errors (not me! I have all kinds of psychological problems that I am still dealing with) but this is by no means guaranteed. Personally, I find all kinds of mental errors exemplified on this site to be mortally offensive: "I don't pay my taxes because the government has no right to force me to pay" and then ignoring the fact that this may result in one being jailed . . . "I would never give to any charity under any circumstances, it's a self-sacrifice, and anyone that does so is an idiot," ignoring that charity is not necessarily sacrificial as it is usually practiced by Objectivists . . . and the lovely one here "Non-Objectivists are necessarily unworthy people", ignoring the fact that Non-Objectivists created the U.S.A. and, in fact, darn near close to everything worth having in life.

The only Objectivists I've met that I could see being romantically interested in were already married. I may meet one in the future that isn't, but that's no guarantee that he'd be interested in ME. I had a previous long-running relationship with a guy that professed the type of religious attitude above. He had no interest in studying philosophy, and we never ONCE had an argument about religion. It was completely irrelevant to our relationship.

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It would be "insane" to state that you had the desire to continue your relationship with your wife WHETHER OR NOT she fully integrates esthetics.

What do you mean by 'fully integrates esthetics'? As far as I know, esthetics (as a philosophical field) is yet to be thoroughly covered. Even the key question 'what is beauty?' is yet to be answered. What I think you might ask is rather or not a person tries to (consciously) grasp everything that happens or (is) evident; for example, when listening to music (which is also a process of identification and integration). Yet, that still doesn't qualify as an 'integrated esthetics' in the philosophical sense.

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