Rebirth of Reason

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Post 40

Tuesday, April 1, 2003 - 6:08pmSanction this postReply
“Oh. So now there are two types of relationships.”

Yes, those with whom you have a personal, emotional relationship and with those whom you don’t know.

“And they differ so much that Reason can only be applied to one of them.”

That isn’t what I said. I advocate that reason SHOULD be applied to societal issues (i.e. those you don’t know personally) but SHOULD NOT be applied to those you do know personally. To construct social policies on the basis of warm fuzzy feelings that the voters get when endorsing everything from affirmative action to grants to the NEA is insane. To try to use Objectivist principles to love relationships is also insane. What Objectivist principles explain or condone a mother’s sacrifice for her sick child? What is the “Reason” for that other than unconditional love? If the child is going to die anyway, why should the mother “reasonably” sacrifice further expense and nurturing? But should there be a social policies that require taxpayers to support the expense of heart transplants at a million dollars apiece for someone who’s going to die in 6 months anyway? No.

“I thought epistemology applied to all knowledge, not just "societal" knowledge”

I do, too

“As for your insult against Zen, I beg to differ. Zen is not subjective at all. But then again, I can see why you would think so.”

Pray tell, what is the insult to Zen? I think you made that comment just to insult me. I am a Zen Buddhist. Either you don’t know what “subjective” is or you don’t know anything about Zen. The meditative experience is totally within one’s skull. No one can verify what you experienced. The best one can do is watch an MRI scan or EEG to see what activity goes on in the brain. But the experience is PURELY subjective. You won’t find a Zen practitioner anywhere who will tell you it isn’t intuitive, and no one can experience the Zen enlightenment by way of reason and logic.

Post 41

Wednesday, April 2, 2003 - 4:15amSanction this postReply
Sam Erica, April's Fools is over. You don't have to ridicule yourself anymore. Answer me seriously now.

Post 42

Friday, April 4, 2003 - 8:44pmSanction this postReply
"..and no one can experience the Zen enlightenment by way of reason and logic."

Are you saying 'Zen enlightenment' is a matter of faith?


Post 43

Friday, April 4, 2003 - 9:04pmSanction this postReply

No, it is a matter of attention and mindfulness.


Post 44

Sunday, October 26, 2003 - 11:32amSanction this postReply
Why do objectivists speak of annihilation of the ego with such fervent animosity? My own hypothesis is that it comes from a general ignorance of what ego is (or perhaps too many ideas about what the ego is). I will make the assumption that such strict adherants to reason would know the scientific concept of emergent properties. Stated simply, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In other words, when I say car, do you think of a tire or a steering wheel? a bumper or a headlight? Similarly, when I say 'I' what exactly am I referring to? Intellect, reason, emotion, a thought, an impulse, a memory? Moreover, Zen has nothing to do with the annihilation of the ego, for Buddhists posit that there never was anything there to annihilate. Once that is seen through self-experimentation (i.e. meditation), any action of dissolution or annihilation is mute. This ego that objectivists seem to guard more preciously than rationality, what is it? Find something that lasts, and I promise I'll let you keep it with your little box of reason.

I love discussion. Rip me apart.


"The secret waits for eyes unclouded by longing."

Post 45

Sunday, October 26, 2003 - 1:59pmSanction this postReply
Ben: I take your point. I have spoken in the past about irradication of the ego wrt Zen. One doesn't approach Zen with the attitude of, "I'm going to annihilate my ego"; it's more of, "I'm going to find the way to recognize my egolessness".


I am not a noun. I am a verb.
Buckminster Fuller

Post 46

Saturday, November 1, 2003 - 5:07pmSanction this postReply
My first exposure to Buddhism was when, as a college student, I was selling storm windows door-to-door. The best salesman in the place was a Buddhist. He was remarkably calm as he experienced rejection after rejection, cold-calling his way through the phone book, always pleasant and even-tempered as he patiently made his commissions on the 1 in a 100 who purchased the product.

My second exposure to Buddhism was while I was playing chess with someone and beating him. Then he calmly went into a meditation, and slowly, patiently, beat me.

I have since practiced various forms of tai chi and meditation. I see them as strictly tools for enhancing calmness and focus. To that extent, they are marvelous enhancements to rationality. At least for me, they reduce the extent to which my judgement is vulnerable to emotional distortions.

As someone who is sympathetic to much of Objectivism, but who is put off by mainstream Objectivist dogmatism, I think the clarity that results from such eastern practices would reduce the emotional distortions that cause Objectivism to have a worse reputation than it deserves. I loved the comment above "Why do objectivists speak of annihilation of the ego with such fervent animosity?" because it points out the fact that often Objectivists present their views with, what seems to me, an irrational and unjustified level of aggressiveness (and defensiveness).

SOLO, in general, is an exception to this rule, and for this reason it is the only Objectivist web-site that holds any interest for me at all.

Post 47

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 3:51amSanction this postReply

Random past article...  We discussed this in a different article. I found it interesting that you, Steve Wolfer, and I all shared this experience. I trust that others have as well.  Like all truths, it is supported, validated, and proved many ways; and it leads to other truths.  


Just to take one thread, karate was invented by Buddhist monks. Transporting valuables between temples, they were beset by thieves. They needed to protect themselves, and their goods, but they were prevented by their faith from being armed; and they needed also to minimize harm to others. Today, karate teaches mental focus and emotional self-control. 

Post 48

Monday, January 15 - 7:29pmSanction this postReply

Love those random past articles...  


When we were living in Ann Arbor 2005-2011, finishing our degrees, and looking for the next thing, Laurel offered Sedona, Arizona, a center for mystical experiences. The spiritual energy there had to be higher than where we were. But what would we do for a living?  Laurel figured that they probably have computers and networks and all that, so there must be some need for her skills.  What about me?  I said that I was going become a guru. "What??" I am going to open a Temple of Apollo and teach the Ancient Greek Science of Left Brain Logic. Learn syllogisms! Amaze your friends! Win arguments!  "No. Sedona is out."


(But I am still one with the universe...)

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