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Objectivism 101

 
 
DavidIg
 
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 12:56 am
Hi guys....I'm starting this thread in a bid to discuss the value of Objectivism, ie, which aspects of it are worthwhile and which are not, also, I'm going to try and encourage some yootubers to debate the subject here, rather than the crappy comments box ytube provides.

IMO, Objectivist metaphysics and epistemology are effectively perfect, I can't find a superior competing doctrine, however, I've been banned twice from Objectivist forums for my political views, so I'm either politically illiterate or Objectivist political philosophy equates to being a neo-con and I'm deemed a persona non grata.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 24,638 • Replies: 582
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solipsister
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 02:15 am
Speaking of effective perfection,

I'd like to thank my parents, Ayn Rand and god.
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DavidIg
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 02:22 am
solipsister wrote:
Speaking of effective perfection,

I'd like to thank my parents, Ayn Rand and god.


Don't drink and post mate Rolling Eyes
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 05:01 am
Quote:
IMO, Objectivist metaphysics and epistemology are effectively perfect,


DavidIg- Welcome to A2K! Very Happy

I have more than "dabbled" in Objectivism for probably decades longer than you have been living. In fact, in the 1960's, I studied under Nathaniel Branden and Ayn Rand. (Do you even KNOW who Nathaniel Branden is? ) He had been repudiated by the Objectivists, even though he was probably the philosophy's most ardent and erudite advocate.

I think that the system has a lot going for it, but as is everything in life, not perfect. Ayn Rand was far from perfect. In fact, IMO she behaved like a megalomaniac who did not adhere to her own philosophy in her personal life. That does not take away from the concept that her ideas had lots of merit.

I am curious as to why you were banned from Objectivist forums. I have experienced the dogmatism that sometimes goes along with the discovery of Objectivism. I am curious as to what was happening with you. I certainly won't hold it against you, and it might be a jumping off point for some interesting discussions between us.

Yoou might want to take a look at this, and find it an eye opener:

http://www.nathanielbranden.com/catalog/rand.php#
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 06:40 am
I see it as an elitist "philosophy," that widens the gap between they and the poor and less fortunate.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 06:56 am
edgarblythe wrote:
I see it as an elitist "philosophy," that widens the gap between they and the poor and less fortunate.


Not at all Edgar. This is one of the misconceptions that people have about Objectivism. What it teaches it that each person has value, and that evveryone has the opportunity to live a decent life.

Although Rand's writings often center on ideal individuals as a view of life that people may attempt to achieve, she does not see her philosophy as "elitist". In "Atlas Shrugged", the character of Eddie Willers personifies the "everyman", who does not have the capacity to achieve greatness, but nevertheless lives a rational life, and does a great job despite his limitations.


Quote:
Eddie Willers
Special Assistant to the Vice-President in Charge of Operation at Taggart Transcontinental. He grew up with Dagny Taggart. His father and grandfather worked for the Taggarts, and he followed in their footsteps. He is completely loyal to Dagny and to Taggart Transcontinental. He is also secretly in love with Dagny. Willers is generally assumed to represent the common man: someone who does not possess the promethian creative ability of The Strikers, but nevertheless matches them in moral courage and is capable of appreciating and making use of their creations.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Characters_in_Atlas_Shrugged#Eddie_Willers
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 10:27 am
I served in the Navy with some objectivists. They tried recruiting me, but I couldn't handle being around them. Much too judgemental, setting themslves above the others. They cursed persons for wanting unions and told me the hiring process was best served, boss to individual, making it plain the boss could enforce starvation wages, and the employees' only recourse should be to walk away. Anything that smacked of government assistance to the poor was knocked as socialism and denigrated. Any government regulation of business they denigrated as communism. They felt there should be no check on their actions, except in the arena of the type of law that covers murder and burglery. They in short were infallible. next to the rest of us poor mortals.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 11:18 am
edgar- I have had similar experiences. The problem with some people is that they relate to Objectivism with almost a cultlike reaction, similar to a fundamentalist religion. To some extent, I was that way too, but then again, as in your experience, I was very young at the time.

I think that the basic concepts are sound, and need to be understood in the light of societal reality.


Quote:
They cursed persons for wanting unions and told me the hiring process was best served, boss to individual, making it plain the boss could enforce starvation wages, and the employees' only recourse should be to walk away. Anything that smacked of government assistance to the poor was knocked as socialism and denigrated.


I am not enamoured of unions, but to "curse" them, IMO, would be going too far. As far as a boss "enforcing" starvation wages, I believe that if a person is unhappy at work, he is not a slave, and is free to go elsewhere.

I believe in very limited government assistance to the poor, and the truly disabled. The help should be a safety net, and not an "entitlement" as is the popular concept nowadays.

In an ideal world, the poor would be helped through private charities. What has happened over the years that you have a situation where generation after generation of people are caught in the web of public assistance, promoted by the government. Often, the way that the system is set up, it is very difficult for a person to get off welfare.

Taxes grow increasingly more noxious to the middle class. There is so much waste. Personally, I want the money that I earn to go where I see fit, not the government.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 11:41 am
The movers and shakers take all our government and the world can give, in the worst gluttony imagineable. To the entitlement programs for the workinging public and poor, they say, there is not enough for you. Emplying, You would only be corrupted by getting the kind of welfare we enjoy.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 11:46 am
edgar- Don't you realize, that part of the problem is that the "movers and shakers" are too caught up in the government bureaucracy? Don't you know that a lot of the benefits that are afforded the rich is on account of the largesse of the government?

As far as gluttony goes, if a rich person earns the money, IMO they are just as entitled to be stupid about spending it, as their poorer brethren. That doesn't make it right, but is an entirely separate issue from that of whether the government is too tightly wound in the fabric of our society.
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DavidIg
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 11:52 am
Phoenix32890 wrote:

I am curious as to why you were banned from Objectivist forums. I have experienced the dogmatism that sometimes goes along with the discovery of Objectivism. I am curious as to what was happening with you. I certainly won't hold it against you, and it might be a jumping off point for some interesting discussions between us.


Hi Phoenix.

In a nutshell, I was first banned for discussing the environment, then I was banned for accusing them of being neo-cons once I discovered that not only were they in favour of the immoral war in Iraq, but also wanted to invade Iran{with my tax money and someone else's blood}.

Just so you know, I'm a 40yr old white Australian atheist, and I'm no fan of backwards economies/political systems, but IMO, there was no justification for the war in Iraq, and even less for invading Iran.

My attitude is that Objectivist epistemology and metaphysics are no1....but obviously I have massive problems with the way the typical Objectivist thinks about politics{I'm also a Ron Paul fan}.

To me, reality is absolute, A=A, and ethics are objective.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 11:57 am
I only know that when it comes to taking care of the needy they throw out the baby with the bath water. Then make up myths to turn public opinion their way. Same with any program that gets in the way of "their" money.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 11:59 am
DavidIg- OK Fair enough.

Personally, I believe that the preeminent role of government is security, both within and without. You mention the war in Iraq. IMO there is a force "out there" that is hell bent on destroying modern western civilization. If you had the authority, how would you have handled what was going on?
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 12:04 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
I only know that when it comes to taking care of the needy they throw out the baby with the bath water. Then make up myths to turn public opinion their way. Same with any program that gets in the way of "their" money.


You are assuming, that as a society, we are obliged to care for the needy. I think that decent people WILL go out of their way to be generous, to help someone in need. IMO that is what private foundations and charities are for. My point is that I don't think that it is the government's role to appropriate money from some people, to give to others.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 12:07 pm
We are obligated to care or the needy.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 12:14 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
We are obligated to care or the needy.


Well, I think that we disagree on this issue. IMO as a rich country, we have an obligation to care for the neediest, the severely mentally and physically disabled, and those who are caught up in an extreme situation not of their making, like a flood, fire, hurricaine, etc.

For anyone else, I can understand time limited assistance, in an emergency, to help a person get on his feet. This assistance needs to be coupled with an obligation to work by the recipient, before he can get any assistance. In addition, there needs to be programs that provide training for people who are either marginally employable, or need to retrain.

Beyond that, I see no obligation on the part of people who work for a living have to support people who don't.
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DavidIg
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 12:15 pm
Phoenix32890 wrote:
DavidIg- OK Fair enough.

Personally, I believe that the preeminent role of government is security, both within and without. You mention the war in Iraq. IMO there is a force "out there" that is hell bent on destroying modern western civilization. If you had the authority, how would you have handled what was going on?


If you accept that there was no justification for the war in Iraq, then what does that make the "coalition of the killing"?.....sounds like the US, AUS and British governments committed the terrorist act, and despite not finding any WMD, have stayed on and racked up a massive deathtoll.

If I had the authority, I'd jail most of the US admin and I'd withdraw all peacekeeping forces from thru-out the world.
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DavidIg
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 12:18 pm
Phoenix32890 wrote:

Beyond that, I see no obligation on the part of people who work for a living have to support people who don't.[/color][/b]


If the system doesn't provide enough employment{money}, why shouldn't those who have ensure a minimum standard...?
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 12:19 pm
Quote:
If I had the authority, I'd jail most of the US admin and I'd withdraw all peacekeeping forces from thru-out the world.


David- Let us assume that all peacekeeping forces were withdrawn. Thinking into into the future, what do you believe would happen?
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DavidIg
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 12:30 pm
Phoenix32890 wrote:
Quote:
If I had the authority, I'd jail most of the US admin and I'd withdraw all peacekeeping forces from thru-out the world.


David- Let us assume that all peacekeeping forces were withdrawn. Thinking into into the future, what do you believe would happen?


Blood is the cost of freedom, however, I don't want any of my money or countrymen supporting this bloodshed.
I do support diplomatic solutions if they exist, but unfortunately, my attitude is that those that are being oppressed have to do the killing, dying and regime changing themselves.

Personally, I don't think most peacekeeping forces are legitimate, ie, they're their for economic reasons not humanitarians ones, however, if someone could show me how to liberate all the oppressed states within a 12 month timeframe, and could find people willing to die and risk serious injury, then I'd give the go ahead, but DavidIg doesn't want to die because of other people's stupidity or bad luck.
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