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Is my understanding of the O'ist ethics correct?

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Bob_Mac
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Could you explain to me what it means to base an argument on a definition that is circular and makes the argument unquestionable?

Such an argument is fallacious, because it relies upon its own proposition (in this case, "knowledge is external") in order to support its central premise ("the beginning mind has no external knowledge").

Although my original thought on this was not quite right. I said definition of "knowledge" is circular when I meant "tabula rasa" is fallacious because of the "knowledge" problem.

Bob

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An observation...

I find, so far at least, that Objectivism seems to be a backwards construction from a political philosophy. The tenets of the politics are what seems to have driven the rest of the construction right down to the basic foundations which are unacceptable logically and in the face of current evidence, yet are necessary to defend the political position.

It is a vain and arrogant position to espouse that one's politics are the one, true way because of what we as humans are and therefore all other positions are necessarily irrational. This is consistent with how criticism has been handled here so far.

I suspect you'll ban me for this observation, but I encourage you not to if you have a shred of intellectual integrity.

Bob

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Another thought...

It could be argued that having children is very much a form of self-sacrifice. In a very real sense you serve you children and put their needs first - at least when they're helpless. Eventually this changes and the sacrifice diminishes.

Actually, what can be argued is that some people sacrifice for their children. I think you have an incomplete understanding of selfishness and value in the Objectivist sense of those words.

Having children represents a significant value to some parents. Sacrificing, as Objectivists tend to use the word, means trading a greater value for a lesser value. I realize that if I want to have a child, it will require great resources in order to properly raise a child. Thus, does the value I receive for having a child, guiding the child through life, passing on my thoughts and ideas, enjoying the activities and progress of the child's growth represent a greater value than that which I will have to "trade" (or give up) in terms of time, money, resources, etc? In my case, I have gained INCREDIBLE value from the experience of having my son. I do not think that I have at all sacrificed greater value in exchange for the value I received from my experiences with my son.

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An observation...

I find, so far at least, that Objectivism seems to be a backwards construction from a political philosophy.

Bob, you're too ignorant of Objectivism to be making statements of that kind. You should know better. And your tone is offensive.

The whole issue of certain modern sciences having unreliable epistemologies is a GIANT can of worms. Frankly, it isn't worth it for me to get into a discussion like that with you unless you at least read more of Objectivism.

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An observation...

I find, so far at least, that Objectivism seems to be a backwards construction from a political philosophy. The tenets of the politics are what seems to have driven the rest of the construction right down to the basic foundations which are unacceptable logically and in the face of current evidence, yet are necessary to defend the political position.

It is a vain and arrogant position to espouse that one's politics are the one, true way because of what we as humans are and therefore all other positions are necessarily irrational. This is consistent with how criticism has been handled here so far.

I suspect you'll ban me for this observation, but I encourage you not to if you have a shred of intellectual integrity.

Bob

A number of members have urged you to read more on the philosophy, yet you continue to make unfounded and mistaken observations about Objectivism. If you're banned, it will be the result of your own lack of intellectual integrity.
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I discuss not about the lack of free will, but about the duality of free will and innate qualities at constant interplay and sometimes demonstrably at odds with each other, as well as the strangely fluid definition of tabula rasa now.
The only way that man's nature can be at odds with free will and have any relevance to ethics is if the supposed "exception" you're looking for is so strong that it overrides man's free will, that it is so significant that it is uncontrollable. Otherwise, it has no bearing on the question of ethics. You did attack Objectivist ethics and furthermore quite fallaciously (that is to say, you are completely wrong on simple factual grounds about what you said about Objectivist ethics), but if you'd like to withdraw that attack and replace it with some alternative proposal, that is fine by me. For example, you could simply set for some ethical proposal of your own and ask to what extent it is consistent with Objectivism.

The flaw in your logic is, simply, that your statements don't have relevance to the validity of Objectivist ethics.

"There are no relevant medical facts: it is all about the mind."This is false, mind and biology are not separate in the eyes of current science.
Please pay attention to the word relevant. Even given that the physical locus of the mind in humans is the nervous system, that fact is not one bit relevant to ethics. Hernan's comment is neither eloquent nor of any bearing on the question. If you'd like to debate the scientific specifics of cognition, that is fine with me although it has no significance to ethics.

To summarize:

  1. The existence of a faculty for X, i.e. an ability to do X, which is part of man's nature, is not the same as having innate knowledge. Obviously man has a nature. [A footnote: man's first contact with the outside world takes place in utero. The womb is not soundproof, and there is substantial evidence of a prenatal component to language acquisition, so birth is a lousy starting point for presumed experience].
  2. Even if man had a piece of knowledge that was genetically handed down, that could not invalidate the Objectivist ethics unless it showed that man lacked free will (and you've agreed that man has free will).
  3. The central issue of morality is, "What must I do to live, given that I choose to live?". The fact that all humans are brought into existence by two other humans does not have any relevance to this question.
  4. The fact that I have the potential to create a new human being does not mean that I have an obligation to do so -- I should do so only if it advances my life.
  5. No altruistic obligation of the type "for the sake of mankind" or "for the sake of the race" exists (which could then be imposed on uncooperative people). Man is not a sacrificial herd animal to be used "for the greater common good".

BTW, in answer to your question about "the latest theories of instinct", Rand was aware of these ideas. Nativism is not a new theory, indeed for decades following the demise of behaviorism in the 50's and 60's, it was very trendy in cognitive circles. It has, fortunately, fallen on hard times over the past decade and some.

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An observation...

I suspect you'll ban me for this observation, but I encourage you not to if you have a shred of intellectual integrity.

You're being banned INSTANTLY for this dramatic Argument from Intimidation.

Have a nice day.

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An observation...

It is a vain and arrogant position ....

Actually, it is a vain and arrogant position to come into someone else's forum, admit you don't have a full understanding of their philosophy, make superficial "observations" about it, and then attempt to limit their options of redress by claiming they would lack intellectual integrity if they proceeded along a course of action. It doesn't work that way here.

If you want to read the rules, understand the focus of this forum, and learn something about Objectivism, fine. Until then, your "observations" (and insults) are not sufficiently informed, and are not welcome.

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