Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Ayn Rand and the Intellectuals
Sierra Times ^ | 5/1/03 | Ray Thomas

Posted on 05/01/2003 8:44:18 AM PDT by RJCogburn

HATING WHAT THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND Liberal intellectuals (almost a redundancy, that) hate author Ayn Rand.

They don't just dislike her, they hate her with a passion. The reason? Because she has single-handedly come up with a logical and reasonable philosophy that strips them bare and reveals all their scams and schemes so that people who know her philosophy (Objectivism) automatically spot one of their scams from a long ways away.

THEY CAN'T TELL YOU WHY

They don't subject her to the usual mild criticism or "shunning" to which they subject liberals who say something "slightly different" from "the norm." Their treatment of Rand and her works is visceral and vicious. There are many who merely dismiss her philosophy with the wave of a hand. But they cannot explain why they feel the way they do. If asked for a reason for their opposition to Objectivism, they can't answer and launch into a personal attack on her that amounts to a "fact-free opinion."

DENYING REASON AND LOGIC

If you point out the fact that Objectivism is a "philosophy of reason," they deny the existence of reason. If you point to the logic of Objectivism, they say there is no logic. Then they go on to tell you that "there are no absolutes." Of course, they don't even notice the fact that their very statement is a "statement of an absolute," and negates not only their entire philosophy, but the very statement they have made as well. I love being a proponent of a philosophy that allows me to "shut down" those who disagree with it so easily and completely, and with their own words.

I hasten to say that I do not accept all of Rand's opinions and that I am not an Objectivist. I am a "student of Objectivist philosophy" and am still learning all its facets. That could change later, although I don't think I'll ever agree that abortion is a good thing and that there is no "higher power" although I may not see that "higher power" the same way other people do.

OPPOSING BAD IDEAS WITH GOOD IDEAS

One professor said Rand was a "phony libertarian" who wanted to strip communists of their citizenship. She did not. In fact, she was one of the few people not on the Left who opposed the violation of the rights of communists and said so, in print. She said that stripping them of their rights "is an invalid means of opposing communism and that the proper way to oppose bad ideas was with good ideas."

To show you just how visceral and violent their hate is, there is a story told by Ronald Merril, in his book, The Ideas of Ayn Rand, where a woman's boyfriend was horrified when he saw her reading Atlas Shrugged and grabbed it, throwing it out the window. She watched as the gardener, upon seeing the title, threw it down and ran over it repeatedly. This is an excellent example of the violent reaction that her ideas often get from people who have never really investigated them, but have listened to what their liberal friends have said about her and her works. But again, if you ask them precisely what they don't like about her and her work, they can't answer and usually sneer some personal attack upon her.

IS OBJECTIVISM A "CULT?"

That's one of the criticisms that is most often hurled at Objectivism and its creator, that it is a "cult" that does not allow any dissention. That people have been, in effect, "excommunicated" for disagreeing with it in the slightest way. There is a certain amount of truth to that charge, but it only applies to the personal "circle of friends" she laughingly called her "collective." Rand wasn't perfect, although her mistakes are tiny when put alongside her ideas, which are destined to change the world, and already are. She did insist on complete agreement among those people and shunned those who disagreed with her. But that does not apply to those who believe in, and use her ideas to guide their lives, as I do. That's not a "cult, nor is it a "religion."

Objectivism today has two major factions, about even in strength. One faction is run by her "philosophical and financial heir, Dr.Leonard Peikoff. Peikoff was a member of her "collective" and, in my opinion, is an "opportunist," who took advantage of Rand's fall out with her original protégé, Nathaniel Branden and took over her fortune as well as the "mantle" as "The Voice of Objectivism." This faction, running the Ayn Rand Institute, and claims to be the only source for Objectivist information and ideas. But it is this group that operates somewhat as a cult in that Peikoff's contention that Objectivism, as Ayn Rand proposed it, was, and is, complete and not subject to any changes. To be an Objectivist to him, is to accept everything Rand said, as "gospel" and not deviate from it in any way. It is this which gives rise to the "cult" accusation.

But there is a second faction, run by Objectivist philosopher David Kelley, who started and runs the Objectivist Institute, a competing organization whose view of Objectivism is that it is not complete, and can be improved. It is this group who are not, and never will be, "cult-like." If you wish to associate with this group, you will never get any static whichever way you believe.

It is this division in "the ranks" that caused a severe setback in the acceptance of Objectivism for years. This division was worse than that created when Nathaniel Branden left. But the Objectivist Center has had a strong influence and the acceptance of Objectivism as an excellent guide for your life is rising again, as it must, because it is the only logical philosophy there is.

You may not agree totally with the basic tenets of Objectivism, but here you will not be met with a cold silence if you dare to suggest change. In the Objectivist Institute, you will be welcomed and your ideas debated respectfully. The concepts discovered by Objectivists are not subjective, but the final word on the details of Objectivism may not have yet been discovered. You might be the force by which we can improve the philosophy, no matter what Leonard Peikoff might say.

If you're still "drifting in a sea of opposing philosophies," and you don't know why what's happening in this world is happening, this philosophy will help you to understand. Things will become clear to you as never before, and you will be able to, as my older brother Bob said many years ago, "read between the lines" and be able to figure out why people do as they do. What brought me to Objectivism is my inability to understand why people like Nelson Rockefeller, who had more money than he could spend in three lifetimes, supported collectivism even though it was intent on taking his money away (If you want to know the answer to that, e-mail me).

But this philosophy answered most of my questions and therefore, I can follow it for the most part because it's a logical philosophy and its opponents can only stupidly deny the existence of logic to oppose it. They cannot give coherent answers as to why it is bad, so they make things up. If you want to know the truth, go to the source: The Objectivist Center.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: aynrand; aynrandlist; objectivism
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200 ... 801-821 next last

1 posted on 05/01/2003 8:44:18 AM PDT by RJCogburn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: RJCogburn
I've never read anything by Rand, but it seems to me that 'reading between the lines', is inherently subjective. Wouldn't someone view the 'lines' as objective, and the 'space' between them, subjective? Please clarify.
2 posted on 05/01/2003 8:52:14 AM PDT by stuartcr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RJCogburn
I was not aware of the split in the rand community, but I have never gone out of the way to look into it. However, I do enjoy her writing. So far I have read Anthem, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged. All three were horribly fascinating and I found myself turning off the TV and reading every chance I could find.
3 posted on 05/01/2003 9:00:00 AM PDT by zx2dragon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RJCogburn
"Objectivity" means that Saint Rand says everyone should have equal rights. "Subjectivity" means that Saint Rand says women have the right to kill their unborn children because selfishness is the highest good. And, so, the Warchild is no longer a Libertarian.
4 posted on 05/01/2003 9:00:33 AM PDT by warchild9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr
Atlas Shrugged is a long and entertaining read. A good vacation book.

Highly recommended. And full of powerful ideas.
5 posted on 05/01/2003 9:01:48 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (NEO-COMmunistS should be identified as such.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Beelzebubba
Vacation?
6 posted on 05/01/2003 9:02:37 AM PDT by stuartcr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr
More like a retirement read...lol probably means that vacation that teenagers get during the summer before school starts again in the fall
7 posted on 05/01/2003 9:06:43 AM PDT by jnarcus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Beelzebubba
Atlas Shrugged is happening everyday.
8 posted on 05/01/2003 9:08:04 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: RJCogburn
it is the only logical philosophy there is.

Really?
9 posted on 05/01/2003 9:08:15 AM PDT by eBelasco
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: *Ayn_Rand_List
http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/bump-list
10 posted on 05/01/2003 9:09:06 AM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: RJCogburn
If you point out the fact that Objectivism is a "philosophy of reason," they deny the existence of reason. If you point to the logic of Objectivism, they say there is no logic. Then they go on to tell you that "there are no absolutes." Of course, they don't even notice the fact that their very statement is a "statement of an absolute," and negates not only their entire philosophy, but the very statement they have made as well. I love being a proponent of a philosophy that allows me to "shut down" those who disagree with it so easily and completely, and with their own words.

Alas, the problem with Rand's objectivism is that her own claims are mutually contradictory.

For example, her highest, allegedly objective, moral purpose is "happiness."

Also, there is simply no way to square Rand's claims to absoluteness with the evidence all around us that weighs against her claims.

And, tellingly, the Objectivists never seem to be able to prove their claims -- which, as it turns out, are based on a foundation of assertions and assumptions.

You don't have to be a liberal to disagree with Rand. You need only to be honest.

11 posted on 05/01/2003 9:11:05 AM PDT by r9etb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jnarcus
The way the economy is going, by the time I get to retire, I'll be too old to see the lines....much less read what's between them.
12 posted on 05/01/2003 9:11:27 AM PDT by stuartcr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: eBelasco
it is the only logical philosophy there is.

Really?

It's fun to ask them to prove it. They can't.

13 posted on 05/01/2003 9:11:58 AM PDT by r9etb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: r9etb
" For example, her highest, allegedly objective, moral purpose is "happiness."

That is not true. She does not base her philosophy on the greatest happiness principle. The motivations in her philosophy are whatever the individual holds as an interest, regardless of what that interest is.

14 posted on 05/01/2003 9:21:50 AM PDT by spunkets
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: RJCogburn
"Liberal intellectuals (almost a redundancy, that)"

Not redundancy -- the word he's looking for is "oxymoron".

You gotta like the way Objectivists approach morality issues: "One does not live for the sake of being moral; one acts morally in order to make the most out of his life."

In other words, you don't screw your customer's spouse because it's immoral -- no, you don't screw your customer's spouse because it's bad for business.

That said, my favorite book remains Atlas Shrugged.

15 posted on 05/01/2003 9:22:20 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zx2dragon
Ditto that. She was a brilliant writer.
16 posted on 05/01/2003 9:26:07 AM PDT by poet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: r9etb
"For example, her highest, allegedly objective, moral purpose is "happiness.""

Didn't she say that you define your own happiness and that it is not governed by other people's definitions?

I believe her philosophy in a nutshell boils downs down to indiviualism.

17 posted on 05/01/2003 9:29:46 AM PDT by poet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: poet
I believe her philosophy in a nutshell boils downs down to indiviualism.

Yes!

But most people confuse individualism with subjectivism, which is really a kind of anti-individualism. Hedonism, for example, is a subjectivist philosophy. Objectivism is radically anti-hedonism.

Hank

18 posted on 05/01/2003 9:37:05 AM PDT by Hank Kerchief
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Fzob; P.O.E.; PeterPrinciple; reflecting; DannyTN; FourtySeven; x; dyed_in_the_wool; Zon; ...
PHILOSOPHY PING

(If you want on or off this list please freepmail me.)

{Comment: This is appears to be a young "objectivst's" praise for this philosophy. Not sure how philosophical the discussion will be.) --Hank

19 posted on 05/01/2003 9:41:52 AM PDT by Hank Kerchief
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: r9etb
My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.
20 posted on 05/01/2003 9:42:59 AM PDT by RJCogburn (Yes, I will call it bold talk for a......)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: robertpaulsen
That said, my favorite book remains Atlas Shrugged.

You been smokin' dope again, Bob? ;^)

21 posted on 05/01/2003 9:44:22 AM PDT by RJCogburn (Yes, I will call it bold talk for a......)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Hank Kerchief
Well not exactly...Rand and the objectivists tend to think that casual sex is a good thing...Her books often indirectly espouse this...as long as two individuals decide together that tonight is a good thing then it is...but of course since Rand has no basis for a moral code ( such as the belief in God) then the moral code is always changeab;e depending on who is doing the deciding. The thing that seems to always be the most attractive about objectivism and Rand's books is that it calls to the heart of an individual...the ability to stand with grace and dignity against the howling mobs...I agree one should stand but I will take my examples from the likes of Martin Luther ('here stand I. I can do no other) or william Wallace or Condi Rice ( for a more modern perspective) and yes even GW (I will do what is best for the American people)
22 posted on 05/01/2003 9:46:29 AM PDT by jnarcus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Eric in the Ozarks
Yes! I think Ayn Rand was prophetic. Scary as it may be, I feel we are living in Atlas Shrugged.
23 posted on 05/01/2003 9:46:39 AM PDT by ImpotentRage
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Hank Kerchief
Thanks for the heads up!
24 posted on 05/01/2003 9:50:31 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: spunkets
That is not true. She does not base her philosophy on the greatest happiness principle. The motivations in her philosophy are whatever the individual holds as an interest, regardless of what that interest is.

In Rand's own words: 3. Man — every man — is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.

Now ... am I going to believe you, or my own lyin' eyes?

Back to what you said:

The motivations in her philosophy are whatever the individual holds as an interest, regardless of what that interest is.

So if I like to torture people, and take their stuff -- if that's my interest, you're saying Rand would support it? No, she wouldn't. She'd say that "my interest" is not a sufficient moral justification, because it acts against the interests of others.

Which of course contradicts Rand's claim that every man is an end in himself -- if this were really true, my interest in torturing you need not be affected by your reluctance to submit to it.

The problem is, following Rand's first two points (objective reality and "going by the evidence") leads me to conclude that there is no absolute injunction against torture, theft, murder, and so on -- the only constraint would be my self interest (Rand's point #3), and whether I thought I could get away with it.

And, of course, there's no particular reason to claim that "my interests" are the true measure of morality at all. The theory of evolution, which has a strong scientific backing, suggests that "the good of the species" might be a better choice. At the very least, this is a demonstrably valid alternative to Rand's "absolute" individualist morality. Logically speaking, the existence of a provable alternative means that Rand's findings are not absolute after all -- so much for her "objectivity."

The problem here is that objectivists expect us to accept their underlying assertions as true and absolute. For example, an objectivist favority is the non-initiation of force. I happen to agree with this -- but the sad fact is that one cannot objectively demonstrate that it is an absolute moral requirement. Indeed, the evidence suggests precisely the opposite.

Thus, if non-initiation of force is to be accepted as absolute, the basis for making the claim must come from a source other than application of reason -- from God, for example.

When you get right down to it, the problem is in the claims of absoluteness: they cannot be proved by this allegedly logical philosophy. And without such proof, the foundation of objectivism collapses.

25 posted on 05/01/2003 9:54:11 AM PDT by r9etb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: r9etb
And, tellingly, the Objectivists never seem to be able to prove their claims -- which, as it turns out, are based on a foundation of assertions and assumptions.

Godel's First Incompleteness Theorem: Any adequate axiomatizable theory is incomplete. In particular the sentence "This sentence is not provable" is true but not provable in the theory.

26 posted on 05/01/2003 9:54:56 AM PDT by Lysander (My army can kill your army)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Beelzebubba
Agreed. Except for that incredibly tedious speech by John Galt at the end. Good ideas are simple. They don't take 100+ pages to expound.
27 posted on 05/01/2003 10:04:03 AM PDT by ModelBreaker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Hank Kerchief
Objectivism is radically anti-hedonism.

If we accept this claim, then it means Rand's basis for objectivism is false.

Consider:

Rand claims that Man — every man — is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.

Now, suppose I consider hedonism to be in my own self interest, that my self-indulgence does make me happy, and that I suffer no ill-consequence from my hedonism. (One might consider Hugh Hefner as the poster boy for this point of view.)

If Rand were to state that this was, nevertheless, a Bad Thing, then she would have to base her claim on something other than individual self-interest and individual happiness. I would no longer be an "end in myself;" rather, I would be subject to some moral code other than my own self-interest.

Which contradicts Rand's original claim.

28 posted on 05/01/2003 10:05:47 AM PDT by r9etb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: RJCogburn
read later
29 posted on 05/01/2003 10:05:49 AM PDT by LiteKeeper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RJCogburn
"You been smokin' dope again, Bob? ;^)"

I occassionally go slumming in her works. A fun escape from reality.

30 posted on 05/01/2003 10:06:14 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: jnarcus; RJCogburn
...since Rand has no basis for a moral code ( such as the belief in God)...

So, a moral code has nothing to do with what is good for a human being. If a moral code is based on the nature of man, the requirements of human nature for happiness and success in this world, and the principles that must be followed to fulfill those requirements, that is without basis.

But a moral code that comes from the Koran (or anyone else's book) and teaches that women must be covered from head to toe, else beaten or killed, that is a moral code with a basis.

... moral code is always changeable depending on who is doing the deciding ...

Moral principles are not "decided" any more than the princple of chemistry are decided, they are discovered. They are determined by the nature of those beings to whom moral values pertain, rational/volitional beings, and the nature of the world in which they live.

It is religious moral values that change, because they are arbitrary, having no rational basis and dependent on the nothing but the whim of a deity, who can yesterday demand obedience to a levitical law, for example, but today condemnd that same practice as defying grace.

Hank

31 posted on 05/01/2003 10:08:54 AM PDT by Hank Kerchief
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: RJCogburn
My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

Splendid, Ms. Rand. Now try to prove that the claims of Objectivism are true. Start with the four claims in the link I provided. As an added challenge, please explain how the objective evidence, as explicated in the Theory of Evolution, does not contradict your claims.

32 posted on 05/01/2003 10:10:22 AM PDT by r9etb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Hank Kerchief
Moral principles are not "decided" any more than the princple of chemistry are decided, they are discovered. They are determined by the nature of those beings to whom moral values pertain, rational/volitional beings, and the nature of the world in which they live.

By that logic, Rand is wrong, based on the evidence.

33 posted on 05/01/2003 10:13:58 AM PDT by r9etb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: RJCogburn
I can't say anything about the faction (which I hadn't heard of until now) but the reasons Liberals don't like Rand seem to be essentially the same reasons Conservatives don't like Rand.
34 posted on 05/01/2003 10:20:15 AM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RJCogburn
Murry Rothbard on the Ayn Rand Cult:

"Mozart was a Red"
http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/mozart.html

"The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult"
http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard23.html

35 posted on 05/01/2003 10:22:26 AM PDT by ValenB4
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RJCogburn
If Rand had used reason, atheism would not have been her conclusion.

Conversely, her applications of reason resulted in a wonderful defense of capitalism.

She contributed much in her work on the subject of capitalism. I don't think her views on atheism did much harm. She came out of Russian society with the Russian anti-God ideas. However, she rebelled violently against the Russian anti-capitalist ideas.

36 posted on 05/01/2003 10:23:03 AM PDT by what's up
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Doctor Stochastic
the reasons Liberals don't like Rand seem to be essentially the same reasons Conservatives don't like Rand.

I disagree.

Liberals, tend to loathe both her economic and political ideas, where as conservatives tend to agree with many of them.

The problem Conservatives have with Rand have more to do with her claims concerning the basis of her morality, and the implications of same as they're lived out -- ideas with which the Liberals often tend to agree.

As for me, personally, I think Rand's philosophy is fundamentally irrational. It cannot stand up to its own claims.

37 posted on 05/01/2003 10:27:21 AM PDT by r9etb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: r9etb; RJCogburn; spunkets
Objectivists never seem to be able to prove their claims...

It's true, many of the principles of Objectivism cannot be proved to many people, possibly most people. So what?

The principles of the Calculus cannot be proved to many people, possibly to most people. So what?

In both cases, they are true, and the fact that most people are to stupid to understand the proof, proves nothing.

Hank

38 posted on 05/01/2003 10:31:46 AM PDT by Hank Kerchief
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: r9etb
Now, suppose I consider hedonism to be in my own self interest,...

You would be wrong. That would be irrational. I will for the moment assume you did not intentionally obfuscate the obvious: The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.

Ayn Rand never said that is what all men do (most do not), or that they could claim to do this, (without actually doing it) and it would still count as rational self-interest. That's pretty simple. How could you miss this?

Hank

39 posted on 05/01/2003 10:37:20 AM PDT by Hank Kerchief
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: r9etb
Moral principles are not "decided" any more than the princple of chemistry are decided, they are discovered. They are determined by the nature of those beings to whom moral values pertain, rational/volitional beings, and the nature of the world in which they live.

By that logic, Rand is wrong, based on the evidence.

What evidence?

Hank

40 posted on 05/01/2003 10:40:44 AM PDT by Hank Kerchief
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: what's up
She contributed much in her work on the subject of capitalism.

Her contribution, such as it was, was to offer an attractive-sounding, if simplistic, defense of capitalism.

Unfortunately, her vision of heroic individualist industrialists does not address the sort of corporate conglomerates we see all around us today. The individual moral rules she embodied in her characters does not translate well into a huge multi-national corporate environment.

As an economist, she was a pretty ham-fisted novelist.

In terms of her influence, I think the most telling example is the man whom she excommunicated from her circle of disciples: Alan Greenspan.

41 posted on 05/01/2003 10:45:23 AM PDT by r9etb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: r9etb
"The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.

And is a function that adds to the primary rational self interests.

I should have added the appropriate qualifier to the clause, "regardless of what that interest is." That is, that the rights of others can't be violated in the course of pursuing those interests. In general, Rand holds that: "It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man’s rights; it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders."

" there's no particular reason to claim that "my interests" are the true measure of morality at all."

The foundation isn't the nature of the interests, it's the nature of man himself. He is an individual with certain characteristics. Since their is no rational reason, natural, or contrived, for anyone else to claim authority over that individual; there is no justification to initiate a forceful conquest of anyone elses sovereignty of will. That's the basis of the noninitiation principle.

" Thus, if non-initiation of force is to be accepted as absolute, the basis for making the claim must come from a source other than application of reason -- from God, for example.

The application of reason is the only way anything can be known to be true. Absolute, means it is real and unique; it has an objective reality. The source of the concept, or thing is irrelevant to whether it is subjective, or objective. The fact that the noninitiation principle is the only moral guiding principle that allows men to maintain their essential nature, when those men are contained in a community is a fundamental characteristic that leads to it's absolute nature.

"When you get right down to it, the problem is in the claims of absoluteness: they cannot be proved by this allegedly logical philosophy. And without such proof, the foundation of objectivism collapses.

The proof lies in examining the opposite principle and comparing it to the noninitiation principle. The opposite principle is any principle, simple, or complex, that allows for the initiation of force for some individual interest. If that principle is held as the guiding foundation in a moral code that governs the interaction of men, some men will be redefined and forced to take on an artificial essential nature. Their real nature though, will still be intact.

42 posted on 05/01/2003 10:47:23 AM PDT by spunkets
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Hank Kerchief
It's true, many of the principles of Objectivism cannot be proved to many people, possibly most people. So what?

It's also true that the principles of Objectivism cannot be proved as absolute, contradicting objectivism's claims to the contrary. There's plenty of evidence to prove just the opposite, in fact.

Objectivists claim that philosophies that contain contradictions are wrong. Et tu, Ayn Rand.

43 posted on 05/01/2003 10:48:58 AM PDT by r9etb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Doctor Stochastic
The folks that don't like Rand's philosophy are those folks that hold authoritarian principles and duty in their philosphy.
44 posted on 05/01/2003 10:52:20 AM PDT by spunkets
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Hank Kerchief
Who decides what is rational and what is not. Why is being a hedonist irrational if one is perfectly content in being one?
45 posted on 05/01/2003 10:52:31 AM PDT by dubyagee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Hank Kerchief; r9etb; RJCogburn; spunkets
I may be jumping in the deep end here but here goes anyway...

I agree with Hank, just because a vast majority of the population doesn't get something, is that a reason to say it is not valid or true? We all agree that calculus is real right? Not to be harsh, but a huge majority of the populace just walks around stealing oxygen from others, not that these people are not valuable, I mean hell we have o laugh at someone. I believe everyone takes a little of a philosophy or religon or dogma and crafts it for themselves and their situation. I look at myself as part of the world and that community...but I live my life by my own moral code. As long as my life and the way I live it do not harm others...what is the issue? If you break Rand down to the nitty gritty....that's what she is saying.

It seems to me that the conservatives who despise Rand are the Morality police, religous nuts..."live your life my way or your going to hell"(whatever that might be)folks that will continue to turn more tolerant people off from our cause.
46 posted on 05/01/2003 10:55:49 AM PDT by Ga Rob ("Life's tough...it's even tougher when you're stupid"....The Duke)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr
I've never read anything by Rand, but it seems to me that 'reading between the lines', is inherently subjective. Wouldn't someone view the 'lines' as objective, and the 'space' between them, subjective? Please clarify.

No, "reading between the lines" means to step back from the text, ignore the fancy rhetoric, and look at the actual structure of what is being said for hints of irony, sarcasm, or dishonesty. It is a check to see if the facts of what is being said match up with the tone.

47 posted on 05/01/2003 10:56:12 AM PDT by xm177e2 (Stalinists, Maoists, Ba'athists, Pacifists: Why are they always on the same side?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: dubyagee
Who decides what is rational and what is not.

That is supposed to be objective.

Why is being a hedonist irrational if one is perfectly content in being one?

It's not irrational, so long as being a hedonist is in your rational self-interest (as opposed to whatever you think your self-interest might be)

48 posted on 05/01/2003 10:58:08 AM PDT by xm177e2 (Stalinists, Maoists, Ba'athists, Pacifists: Why are they always on the same side?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: r9etb
I guess we could not equate her "attractive sounding simplistic" capitalism to the millions of "small buisness" owners around the world that employ about 80% of the "workers"?
49 posted on 05/01/2003 10:59:56 AM PDT by Ga Rob ("Life's tough...it's even tougher when you're stupid"....The Duke)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: r9etb
It's also true that the principles of Objectivism cannot be proved as absolute...

What does that mean? Something is either proved or it is not. It can be proved true, or proved false, but to be proved absolute means nothing. Absolute what?

Also, the purpose of proof is not to convince others, but to insure one's own reason is correct. Truth is truth, even if no one else knows it.

Objectivists claim that philosophies that contain contradictions are wrong.

I have never read that claim in those words in anything Rand wrote, but, it is true that objectivism recognizes that no two contradictory statements can both be true.

You are implying a contradiction in objectivism. Care to name one?

By the way: Do you have a moral code? Do you have a philosophy? Can you prove them?

Hank

50 posted on 05/01/2003 11:00:39 AM PDT by Hank Kerchief
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200 ... 801-821 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson