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Morality of visiting Strip Clubs

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You are helping me make my point.

Actually, no I'm not. I was only clarifying that your use of the word "affair" may not be an accurate description of what, if anything, took place (which is a very speculative IF). I did not come to any conlusion in that post as to the moral implication of what, if anything, happened between Rand and Branden. If you are going to use a real life example, it would be best if you used one that is more fact based as opposed to one that is full of conjecture. Either that, or stick to (ugh) hypotheticals.

Aside from that, you are attempting to pit Rand against her philosophy as if her taking a given action invalidates the aspect of her philosophy under discussion. This is lilke some strange variation of argument from authority or intimidation; use Rand's as the example so she's either a hypocrite or her theory is wrong. Unless you can use her situation FACTUALLY, you should leave what you think MAY have happened in her personal life out of it.

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-and if a wife (or girl friend) decides it is okay with her if her husband (boyfriend) goes to strip clubs then it is totally moral and proper.

This is not entirely true. Even if one agrees that a wife's (or girlfriend's) agreement open the action up to being moral, that is not the whole context of whether it is moral or not. If the rest of the context actually results in a net loss of value for the guy, it is not moral regardless of the permission he received.

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You keep calling me all these different names. I’ll spare you the embarrassment of asking you to explain what purpose that serves.

It serves the purpose of justice. You are advocating hedonism and subjectivism. In my opinion, you are not interested in what Objectivism has to say on this. All you seem to do here is snipe at Objectivism and advocate subjectivism.

It is name calling, and from what Rationalbiker has said, I suspect it might not be welcome. But it is entirely accurate in my judgment. I am calling a spade a spade.

Edited by Inspector
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It's a yes or no question and all you said was that you are not sure about a whole lot of things. You seemed pretty sure of yourself when you made your accusations about me--and you know far less about me than you know about Rand (I hope). So lets have it: Was she a subjectivist/hedonist for having the affair?

Stop asking that. It is an invalid question that has no place here. I explained this in my last post. Read it again if you need to. We do not have access to what she was thinking or why she did that. We only know that she did it and that later she said it was a mistake.

You, on the other hand, have openly stated that your position is that no action between consenting adults can be immoral. This is the Libertarian "ethics," verbatim.

("Ethics" is in scare quotes because it boils down to pure subjectivism)

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This is not entirely true. Even if one agrees that a wife's (or girlfriend's) agreement open the action up to being moral, that is not the whole context of whether it is moral or not. If the rest of the context actually results in a net loss of value for the guy, it is not moral regardless of the permission he received.
I think I understand your intended meaning but a net loss (as such) is not the deciding factor in determining if a choice is moral or not—it is how that choice was made. "A rational process is a moral process.*) It's up to the two of them to work out what they think is or is not in their best interest (and each are responsible individually for their own morality). They may make mistakes along the way -- but what they decide to do or not do, if based on their reasoning, is moral (in the context of their lives, their relationship, and their happiness). Once their actions extend beyond their relationship, those actions can be judged by the moral concept of rights. If the woman has a problem with her boyfriend going to strip clubs she can ask him to stop and if he refuses then she can leave him. The man in this relationship must decide for himself if the value of going to strip clubs is a higher than the value he receives from being with the girlfriend. If she decides, based on her rational judgment, that she wants to allow or even encourage her lover to go to strip clubs, his decision to go (with her permission) may be wrong (and result in a net loss) but it is not immoral on that basis alone.

*I quote John Galt: "A rational process is a moral process. You may make an error at any step of it, with nothing to protect you but your own severity, or you may try to cheat, to fake the evidence and evade the effort of the quest—but if devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking."

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Aside from that, you are attempting to pit Rand against her philosophy as if her taking a given action invalidates the aspect of her philosophy under discussion. This is lilke some strange variation of argument from authority or intimidation; use Rand's as the example so she's either a hypocrite or her theory is wrong. Unless you can use her situation FACTUALLY, you should leave what you think MAY have happened in her personal life out of it.
You are misinterpreting what I am attempting to do. I am not pitting Rand against her philosophy. I am trying to show that having an affair (or whatever you want to call it) can be a moral act. It seems to me that if Dr. Peikoff can say (which he publicly has done in the documentary previously mentioned) that, as far as he knows they did have an affair, then it should not be off limits here. To appear to be protecting Objectivism by limiting discussion of this important topic (because it is so controversial) only gives credence to those who believe that the philosophy needs protection (and I don’t believe it does). Objectivism is good because it stands on its own two feet. It should be “defended” with reason but it needs no shield of concealment. (And I am not saying you are trying to conceal anything.)

There is sufficient evidence to indicate that it is highly likely that the affair did occur—and anyone who studies Objectivism will eventually discover this fact. So we have two choices: 1) Deal with it head on, or 2) avoid the discussion. It seems to me that avoiding the discussion is not in the best interest of Objectivism.

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There is sufficient evidence to indicate that it is highly likely that the affair did occur—and anyone who studies Objectivism will eventually discover this fact. So we have two choices: 1) Deal with it head on, or 2) avoid the discussion. It seems to me that avoiding the discussion is not in the best interest of Objectivism.

But this is not the time and place to bring it up. Besides, as far as I know the purpose of this forum is not to serve the best interest of Objectivism, whatever that may be. That sounds awfully similar to saying that we are doing things for the good of society...

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There is sufficient evidence to indicate that it is highly likely that the affair did occur—and anyone who studies Objectivism will eventually discover this fact.

Can you point me to the material that contains the "sufficient evidence" ? A simple list of titles will do. (If all Dr. Peikoff said in the documentary was "As far as I know, ..." that does not qualify as hard evidence. When people prefix things with "AFAIK," it means they're not sure of it themselves.)

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To appear to be protecting Objectivism by limiting discussion of this important topic

Well this smacks of intimidation again. If I point out flaws in your argument I must be "appearing" to protect Objectivism? As they say in the south, that dog don't hunt. Do not use logical fallacies on this forum.

First, I'm not "protecting" Objectivism, nor could I. Reality is the final arbiter, not me. Rather, I'm protecting this forum from bad argumentation where the "facts" presented are in dispute.

Second, limiting a person's argument to FACTS is a good thing. By requiring you to limit your argument to facts, I am not preventing you from making your argument, that is UNLESS you don't have the facts necessary to make your argument.

And I am not saying you are trying to conceal anything.
No, you just strongly implied it by a couple of your preceeding sentences.

There is sufficient evidence to indicate that it is highly likely that the affair did occur—and anyone who studies Objectivism will eventually discover this fact. So we have two choices: 1) Deal with it head on, or 2) avoid the discussion. It seems to me that avoiding the discussion is not in the best interest of Objectivism.

Facing "head on" whether or not she had an extra-marital sexual relations is one thing (for a separate discussion), but what you are doing is using your conclusion in that matter as part of your argument when it hasn't been agreed upon to be factual.

I'm merely requiring you to use facts or hypotheticals. Conjecture of what Ayn Rand did should not be essential to whether or not you can make your argument.

Edited by RationalBiker
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Since you are interested in justice I am sure you can provide the post # to back up this accusation.

Here:

Shouldn't the partners involved in the relationship decide for themselves what is and what is not acceptable behavior? If consenting adults decide that it is OK for their partner to go to strip clubs, have affairs, and do whatever -- then who are we to say that X behavior is wrong for them?

If you don't like the way your partner behaves, why not dump him/her and find someone who shares your values?

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I am trying to show that having an affair (or whatever you want to call it) can be a moral act. It seems to me that if Dr. Peikoff can say (which he publicly has done in the documentary previously mentioned) that, as far as he knows they did have an affair, then it should not be off limits here.

There is sufficient evidence to indicate that it is highly likely that the affair did occur—and anyone who studies Objectivism will eventually discover this fact. So we have two choices: 1) Deal with it head on, or 2) avoid the discussion. It seems to me that avoiding the discussion is not in the best interest of Objectivism.

1) What is your definition of affair? I think that may be part of your problem here.

2) Where in any of the published literature does it say having an extra-marital relationship is immoral?

3) What does her sleeping with Nathaniel that have to do with strip clubs? I see nothing to deal with, and these issues are probably better dealt with in a separate thread.

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I think I will take a shot at this as criticizm is welcome for me.

Instead of debating whether strip club are good or bad, lets accept for a moment that the reality of this situation that is that he likes to go and she doesn't want him too. Given that she claims that they are both objectivists, she should say to him, "I don't approve for these reasons... "and explain why these reasons are rational according to your rational judgement. They say to him "While I feel strongly about my position, it is posible that your reasoning might be different, so I would appreciate if you tell me why YOU value going to strip clubs" Then listen carefully to what he says and ask yourself if he is being rational or not. You should be able to tell if your differences are over 2 different rational conclusions or 1 or more conclusions based in irrationalism or evasion.

people can disagree on whether a strip club is a value or not. But either way, rationality is a much more important value because it makes it possible to go back and check lesser values later and fix your errors. If he can't give you a good reason, or acts like he shouldn't have too you might have a problem.

Remember the 04 elections where objectivists disagreed over kerry vs bush. Its not so important to judge a persons conclusion as it is to judge the reasoning behind it. Truth is important but ONLY within the context of a reasoning mind because it is what makes truth possible.

jay

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Do not use logical fallacies on this forum.
I am not an expert on the laws of logic and do not know what a logical fallacy is. But let me be clear that I never attempt to deceive by using "tricks" or unsound logical connections. I may be wrong and not know it -- but all you need to do is point out why and how my logic is flawed. No one can prove or provide evidence that my intent is to deceive--because that is not what I am doing.
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Can you point me to the material that contains the "sufficient evidence" ?
I have been asked to provide evidence that Ayn Rand had an affair with Nathaniel Brandon. The fact that Nathaniel Brandon admits to it, I have been told, is not good enough. I have also been told that Dr. Peikoff’s referring to it is not adequate. So what it left? How about Ayn Rand mentioning it in her private journals (The private journals of Ayn Rand are reproduced in Valliant's book with the permission of the Estate of Ayn Rand)? I refer anyone who is interested to James S. Valliant’s book entitled, “The Passion of Ayn Rand’s Critics.” He does, what in my opinion amounts to a pretty good job, of analyzing this subject as part of the entire Rand/Brandon split. Although he does draw many conclusions from various sources it is heavily footnoted so the reader can check for himself and come to his own conclusions. On Page 259 he quotes from “her notes on January 25, as follows:

“I want to add one more very important point: when he said yesterday, that he is perfectly happy to see me there, but the feeling vanishes when we talk about sex (or, I’m not sure which, when we talk about any possibility of a “triangle”)—I shuddered, because the parallel to his attitude toward [barbara Brandon] and talking to her—until the conversation touches on their personal relationship; then his enjoyment vanishes.

“In my case, this is an indication of what his subconscious is planning for the future: an impersonal, intellectual friendship with me—when “Miss X” comes along—a friendship in which the fact that I love him will simply vanish, by gradual suppression or attrition, and will become my problem, not his, and will not matter to him, just as the fact that Barbara loves him does not matter to him. This, if true, is unspeakable.”

Although I could not find a quote that would constitute a direct admission that she was having sexual relations with him, there are plenty of implications of sex and she explicitly states that she loved him more than once. You need to this read the book for yourself and examine all the evidence because I do not choose to make it my job to prove to anyone that they did or did not have a sexual relationship. From the evidence I have seen and heard I believe they did. This does not mean that I think she was a hypocrite. Instead, I believe that it is possible to have a moral love relationship where one partner is allowed to explore other relationships (and/or go to strip clubs).

I will now stop using her alleged affair to support my position that two people can have a moral love relationship that appears immoral to those who hold a more traditional outlook of morality.

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Here:

You said that I openly stated that my position is "that no action between consenting adults can be immoral." I never said that and you know it.

By your admission I asked 3 questions: "Shouldn't the partners involved in the relationship decide for themselves what is and what is not acceptable behavior? If consenting adults decide that it is OK for their partner to go to strip clubs, have affairs, and do whatever -- then who are we to say that X behavior is wrong for them? If you don't like the way your partner behaves, why not dump him/her and find someone who shares your values?"

You say you have to call me names in the name of justice, but when asked to back up your accusations you misrepresent the facts. Do you call that justice? I call it dishonesty.

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You said that I openly stated that my position is "that no action between consenting adults can be immoral." I never said that and you know it.

If consenting adults decide that it is OK for their partner to go to strip clubs, have affairs, and do whatever -- then who are we to say that X behavior is wrong for them?
There are only two interpretations of that quote:

1) An action with two consenting adults cannot be immoral

2) We are not qualified or capable of judging its morality.

You are correct that I did assume the former. They are both rediculously wrong.

You say you have to call me names in the name of justice, but when asked to back up your accusations you misrepresent the facts. Do you call that justice? I call it dishonesty.

Where have I called you names? Provide a specific quotation.

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I am not an expert on the laws of logic and do not know what a logical fallacy is. But let me be clear that I never attempt to deceive by using "tricks" or unsound logical connections. I may be wrong and not know it -- but all you need to do is point out why and how my logic is flawed. No one can prove or provide evidence that my intent is to deceive--because that is not what I am doing.

A Google search can bring up numerous pages which will explain what logical fallacies are and the variations that exist. You may not be intentionally using these techniques, but I would suggest that it may be beneficial for you to familiarize yourself with them so that you don't use them inadvertently in your arguments. Most of the time (on here) you will be called on them. Additionally, it may be helpful in helping you spot fallacies in other people's arguments.

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There are only two interpretations of that quote:

1) An action with two consenting adults cannot be immoral

2) We are not qualified or capable of judging its morality.

You are correct that I did assume the former. They are both rediculously wrong.

Where have I called you names? Provide a specific quotation.

First to the cheap name-calling: When I asked what purpose it serves, you said: "It serves the purpose of justice." You go find the quotes.

You say there are ONLY TWO interpretations of the question I asked. Here is a third assumption: You are not capable of judging the morality of a relationship agreement based on the sketchy information provided. I listed earlier several situations where it would be totally moral to go to a strip club (without dishonesty and within the confines of a relationship). You then said the only good one that I listed (another dogmatic response) was writing a novel.

You need to start applying the concept of justice to yourself, and when you are wrong you should admit it rather than digging yourself in deeper. You had no idea why the guy went to the strip club in the first place and you didn’t know what his agreement with his partner was, and yet you declared the act immoral “plain and simple.” If you claim to be an Objectivist you should know better and now you should show some courage.

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A Google search can bring up numerous pages which will explain what logical fallacies are and the variations that exist. You may not be intentionally using these techniques, but I would suggest that it may be beneficial for you to familiarize yourself with them so that you don't use them inadvertently in your arguments. Most of the time (on here) you will be called on them. Additionally, it may be helpful in helping you spot fallacies in other people's arguments.

Thanks for the recommendation. I learned that a logical fallacy is an "argument" in which the premises given for the conclusion do not provide the needed degree of support. So when you said: “Aside from that, you are attempting to pit Rand against her philosophy as if her taking a given action invalidates the aspect of her philosophy under discussion. This is like some strange variation of argument from authority or intimidation; use Rand's as the example so she's either a hypocrite or her theory is wrong.”

I am assuming that is the fallacy you are freeing to. But you explicitly say that I am using “Rand's [affair] as the example so she's either a hypocrite or her theory is wrong.” No – as I have said those are only two of the possibilities. The third and the one I thought was the most obvious was that it is possible to have an affair and be moral. So if your conclusion about my argument does not logically follow from the premise wouldn’t that be a logical fallacy? That was the only logical fallacy that I was able to find. If you can provide evidence that I used a logical fallacy (by showing the conclusion that I drew and why the premise does not support it) it would be helpful.

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First to the cheap name-calling: When I asked what purpose it serves, you said: "It serves the purpose of justice." You go find the quotes.

What cheap name calling? Provide an example. You asked me to provide an example of what you said and now I am asking you to provide the example of what I said. Will you not provide what you yourself asked?

(another dogmatic response)
Proof of that accusation?

You had no idea why the guy went to the strip club in the first place

You are wrong. The poster of the thread specified the purpose of the guy going to the strip club: to pay money in order to attain sexual arousal and pleasure from women other than his girlfriend.

What I said is that "going to oogle naked women is a betrayal of the relationship, plain and simple." So you've inaccurately quoted me there. And I stand by that statement. Did I say it was "immoral, plain and simple." No. I said it was betraying the relationship. There is a big difference between those two statements.

You are the one that is digging yourself in deeper.

If you claim to be an Objectivist you should know better and now you should show some courage.

It is you who should know better and you who should show courage.

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I am closing this thread temporarily to give people an opportunity to step back and formulate their thoughts before continuing. I see that there is some intensity here and I would like to slow it down. I am not making any determinations about anyone's conduct. If anyone thinks that such determinations need to be made, feel free to address your concerns to the moderating team and we will address it accordingly.

[Edit: Thread reopened.]

Edited by Groovenstein
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  • 2 months later...

I've only been to a club on two occasions in the last few years, and once I asked my girlfriend for permission and the other time I didn't. The time I asked her was more of a quick after-lunch thing with a friend of mine, but the time I didn't ask was a little more intense. It's complicated, but I was morally weak and wasn't assertive enough to protest; either way, I was morally shamed and didn't enjoy the night one bit. I'll never do that again.

As with any form of entertainment, you have to view it in context. Is a strip-club visit on it's own a moral or immoral thing? I don't think so. It's the human action and context that makes visiting the strip club moral or not. Everything in contextual, and therefore visiting a club must be viewed as such.

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  • 3 weeks later...
For men who don't have the time to really get to know a person and share what they think, the strip club is the only option they have left. Of course it's way less than what you get out of true love, but it's all these guys can get at the moment. If this is not a general thing, and just short term, I see no moral problems, actually. They try to get the most out of life they can. And if they knowingly just indulge in these pleasures to relax, I don't see it as more wrong than going to the movies or eating ice cream. They haven't given up the higher value, they just knowingly accept a lesser one because at the moment they can't get the full package.

Just to clarify, would the same reasoning apply for, say, visiting a hooker?

I agree with you by the way. I think the only immoral thing would be to give up a higher value. Depending on the context that could be beating off to internet porn, going to a strip club or vistiting that massage parlor - instead of pursuing real romantic love. But that higher value is not always available and I don´t see why choosing a lesser value, for that time being, would be immoral(of course, depending on a wider context).

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Just to clarify, would the same reasoning apply for, say, visiting a hooker?

I don't see why not. As long as it remains nothing but pleasure(that is: if there's no emotional involvement or addiction that could cause pain in the future), I can really not find a reasonable basis for considering it immoral. The same applies, as you said, to porn and strip clubs and whatever other stuff there may be.

The argument could be made, though, that satisfying urges with lesser means necessarily makes one lose the motivation they create to really go for the higher value (a real loving relationship). The danger of being content with the lesser value would then be there. In this case, I think this negative effect would depend upon the sex drive and the willingness to go for the highest value in the first place. I don't see a serious problem here. Hence my position regarding this topic.

If you're in a relationship, this is a sacrifice. If it's not (and this would include going for someone who is not your current partner) it is a sign of dishonesty and the relationship shouldn't have been entered to begin with.

Edited by Felix
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