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Post 40

Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 8:41amSanction this postReply
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William,

What you describe -- the gradual introduction of Objectivist ideas -- doesn't sound as bad as introducing Objectivist ideas that are bundled in a package along with notions that connote an Objectivist support of something like religion, which Objectivism definitely does not support.  The first scenario is selective selling; the second is false advertisement.  I personally think that you should only attempt the latter if you are truly torn between the two value systems; otherwise, no.     

What I see too easily happening when you find you've committed that sort of transgression, is that you definitely want to maintain the idea that you are consistent and trustworthy... so in order to not violate consistency, because you can't deny that you supported something like religion, is to then start rationalizing that religion is actually okay.  But then, you betray your Objectivist values to the much more conditional and short-sighted cause of staying on good terms with people that you would otherwise know are in the wrong.

Instead, it's better to not mention religion at all, but to just introduce only those ideas which you calculate your target audience would also likely agree with.  That way, you haven't lied and lured people to your cause under false pretenses, which would only cause them to lose respect for you and anything that might come rolling off your tongue.  

This is all, of course, under ideal conditions, where reason has a solid chance to flower.  Under less than ideal conditions, I suppose you might need to do whatever gets them onto your side. 

All of this is what I think, right here, right now.   

(Edited by Orion Reasoner on 6/20, 8:47am)


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Post 41

Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 10:18pmSanction this postReply
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Orion,

The Tim Richmond essay Diana mentioned is poorly reasoned, but is an attempt to criticize the zealousness displayed by leftists, multiculturalists, anti-Americans, and sundry other overlapping groups in attacking every symbol and tradition of America. As Diana noted, it failed to draw the necessary distinction between government sponsored, tax funded institutions and private institutions. Therefore it failed to advance Objectivism. But as I noted, it is not typical of its author's better work. And I have met Tim Richmond and he is a fairly young guy. I have every hope that his writing skills and ability to explicate Objectivist ideas will grow with time.

Ed Hudgins' essay made some good points about children and the promise of human potential, but from a starting point of alluding to the Christ child, which is certainly bizarre from an Objectivist perspective. I think Ed was probably just searching to for a "draw" to begin his article with, something seasonal, and settled on the infant/birthday theme. It probably just escaped him how inappropriate this was in light of the philosophy associated with the particular birth being celebrated that day. He has done some very good work and, again, this essay is not typical. I've made enough goofs in my own writing that I am unwilling to crucify (oops, poor choice of words) Ed over this one example.

Certainly TOC writers work under conditions of greater editorial freedom than anything to be found in the ARI world. Occasionally this will mean that something will be released under its aegis that causes consternation. A review of recent SoloHQ Quotes will show that this phenomenon is not restricted to TOC.

Anyone thinking that there is a conspiracy of crypto-theist moles trying to subvert TOC from the inside will have to cite more data than this to convince me.

-Bill
(Edited by William A. Nevin III on 6/20, 10:24pm)


Post 42

Monday, June 21, 2004 - 12:56amSanction this postReply
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William,

Okay, I'll take that under advisement.  Your judgment has always seemed compellingly sound to me.


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Post 43

Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 7:26pmSanction this postReply
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David Ostroske wrote:

"So if Diana's made a decision to sever her ties with David Kelley and TOC completely over a philosophical dispute, she must have some pretty damn solid reasons behind her decision. Or at least, that's what I would expect."

She has made it clear, through her discussions on Noodlefood (from which I am now barred)and elsewhere, that she much prefers the Ayn Rand Institute.

Barbara Branden

Post 44

Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 7:37pmSanction this postReply
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Well if she loves the ARI, I know why you're barred from noodlefood! Thanks for your book by the way, it was excellent!


Ethan

(Edited by Ethan Dawe on 6/22, 7:41pm)


Post 45

Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 8:18pmSanction this postReply
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Noodlefood?

What is this "Noodlefood"?


Post 46

Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 8:49pmSanction this postReply
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Orion,
What is this "Noodlefood"?

  This site:

http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog/

-Bill


Post 47

Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 8:59pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks, William.

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Post 48

Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 3:53amSanction this postReply
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From all accounts it would seem Diana has succumbed to the religiosity virus spread by the ARI. Sad.

Linz

Post 49

Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 8:35amSanction this postReply
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Greetings.

Anyone who bans Barbara Branden from a discussion forum is guilty of the utmost orthodoxy; this is precisely the mentality that is turning Objectivism into stale Fanaticism!  

Fortunately, to SOLO's credit, it does not ban dissenters; argumentation from logic and fundamental premises is always one's best recourse in the event of disagreement. Ostracizing those who march to their own drummers is a mere confession of one's own intellectual bankruptcy.

I stand by everything I had written in condemnation of Ms. Hsieh and her decision; she is perhaps a more fitting representative of the orthodoxy than Peikoff himself; at least the latter has commendable scholarship to his credit.

I am
G. Stolyarov II
Atlas Count 137Atlas Count 137Atlas Count 137Atlas Count 137


Post 50

Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 10:19amSanction this postReply
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Mr. Stolyarov, Barbara, Linz,

Ostracizing those who march to their own drummers is a mere confession of one's own intellectual bankruptcy.

I stand by everything I had written in condemnation of Ms. Hsieh and her decision ...

 
You almost never make such blatant contradictions, at least not in succeeding paragraphs. So you condemn Diana for marching to her own drummer; is that a confession of your own intellectual brankruptcy?

I have my differences with Diana, but Noodlefood is her own private WEB page to which she sometimes allows comments; it is not a public forum. Though Barbara uses the expression, "barred," it is not like she has been banned from a forum. Since I have no idea of the details, I can objectively say no one is required to provide a platform for others to express their opinion. Diana is evidently not interested in propagating Barbara's views, Barbara has her own WEB page to do that, and we can all do it on SOLO.

As far as your vaunted condemnation is concerned, I do not know what Diana would say, but I know what I would say, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." And I don't think anyone else does either.

However, I would defend to the death your right to condemn anyone you please. ...oh, I don't mean my death. ;>)

Regi


Post 51

Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 10:45amSanction this postReply
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Greetings.

Mr. Firehammer, what I say is not contradictory. I strongly disapprove of Ms. Hsieh's decisions and conduct w.r.t. other Objectivists, but I would never bar her from any forum of mine. She (like anyone else) is free to state anything she sees fit at http://rationalarg.proboards24.com/. My only guidelines are the absence of obscenities and ad hominem attacks; I would never think of banning anyone from my private website as a result of a viewpoint that merely diverges from mine.

"Ostracism" comes from the Athenian practice of exiling citizens deemed "dangerous" by a vote of more than 5-6 thousand citizens. The Athenians thus managed to exclude the best of their thinkers, artists, and statesmen, most notably, Themistocles, the admiral responsible for saving Athens itself at the Battle of Salamis. It is not the same as a mere condemnation.

Private property rights hold, but they are not a justification for the morality of a given action; and in not permitting challenges to her position to occur on her website, Ms. Hsieh is implictly admitting the inability to defend against them. Truth can stand by itself when challenged, so, if what she were stating were objectively proper, she would not need to suppress dissent in order to effective propagate it.

I am
G. Stolyarov II
Atlas Count 137Atlas Count 137Atlas Count 137Atlas Count 137



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Post 52

Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 3:25pmSanction this postReply
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Mr. Stolyarov,

"Freedom of speech means freedom from interference, suppression or punitive action by the government--and nothing else. It does not mean the right to demand the financial support or the material means to express your views at the expense of other men who may not wish to support you." [Ayn Rand, "The Fascist New Frontier," pamphlet, Page 10.]

"The Bill of Rights reads: 'Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, o of the press ...' It does not demand that private citizens provide a microphone for the man who advocates their destruction .... [Ayn Rand, "Man's Rights," The Virtue of Selfishness, Page 99.]

Neither does freedom of speech mean one must provide to others, the bandwidth one pays for and intends for one's own use, so others can promote ideas with which one disagrees.

Private property rights hold, but they are not a justification for the morality of a given action; and in not permitting challenges to her position to occur on her website, Ms. Hsieh is implictly admitting the inability to defend against them.
 
No one is obliged to answer every stupid and inane criticism of their views, much less provide someone else a platform for making those criticisms. Your assumption that Ms. Hsieh's desire to not waste her money on other's stupidity is some kind of moral fault is absurd. Your demand that she provide the means to her own criticism is the immorality here.

By not permitting stupid criticisms on her website, Ms. Hsieh is explicitly stating she will stand for no nonsense. Answering some absurdities lends them credibility. Whether you or I think they are absurdities or not does not matter. I know that is hard for you to believe, but other people use their own judgment in these matters and do not wait for Mr. Stolyarov, or me, or anyone else to pass judgement on them.

Now pay attention, because you don't seem to understand. Diana's Website is NOT A DISCUSSION FORUM. Got It?

It's a BLOG, about which I share the opinion of Ilana Mercer, who says, "The fact that millions of people are moved to mouth daily on the web is no more significant to freedom than the fact that billions of humans have a bowel movement every day."  From her book, Broad Sides.

Regi






Post 53

Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 7:32pmSanction this postReply
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Greetings.

Mr. Firehammer, we do not disagree about whether Ms. Hsieh had the right to do what she did, or whether it was within her freedom of speech to do so, or whether it did or did not violate the freedom of speech of others. We disagree about the moral propriety of Ms. Hsieh's action, and about what such an action reveals w.r.t. her character.

Mr. Firehammer: No one is obliged to answer every stupid and inane criticism of their views...
Mr. Stoylarov: Barbara Branden's comments are now classified as a "stupid and inane criticism"????
Mr. Firehammer: Answering some absurdities lends them credibility.
Mr. Stolyarov: Not answering them may also suggest that one does not have the capacity to do so.
Mr. Firehammer: Whether you or I think they are absurdities or not does not matter. I know that is hard for you to believe, but other people use their own judgment in these matters and do not wait for Mr. Stolyarov, or me, or anyone else to pass judgement on them.
Mr. Stolyarov: Every man is entitled to the judgment of his own mind in every area; he must unwaveringly use this judgment and no one else's for his own evaluations. He does not have the right to coercively impose his views, but the morality of his own evaluation of any situation is not to be doubted in any filosofy that dares to associate with itself the name of Reason.
Mr. Firehammer: Now pay attention, because you don't seem to understand. Diana's Website is NOT A DISCUSSION FORUM. Got It?
Mr. Stolyarov: I have seen the comments page and noted the content and nature of the various guests' posts. It looks like a discussion forum to me. But then again, according to your statement, it is not legitimate for me to even pass judgment on the matter!

Ayn Rand once wrote: "Judge and prepare to be judged."

I am
G. Stolyarov II
Atlas Count 137Atlas Count 137Atlas Count 137Atlas Count 137


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Post 54

Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 7:58pmSanction this postReply
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I would say that this Ms. Hsieh has the right to do with her forum as she pleases... She can be as permissive or as discriminating as she likes, if she so chooses.  Hell, she can even be a tyrannical martinet, if she likes... 

BUT, in this free society, other people have the choice of how they will respond to her choices.  They can agree to accept such treatment or not, or whether to organize a boycott or whatever... Each of us faces consequences for our choices, whatever they may be.  

In this way, I would say that both of you are right within your own respective hemispheres, as much as I hate anything that smacks of a caucus race.

Just out of curiosity, what did Ms. Branden do or say, to be banned (assuming it's not private information)...?

(Edited by Orion Reasoner on 6/23, 8:00pm)


Post 55

Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 9:04pmSanction this postReply
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Mr. Stolyarov,

As always, your answers are curteous and I believe sincere. But, I think you are mistaken in your emphasis. I hope that is all it is.

Mr. Firehammer: No one is obliged to answer every stupid and inane criticism of their views...
Mr. Stoylarov: Barbara Branden's comments are now classified as a "stupid and inane criticism"????

 
I don't know. I have no idea what Barbara Branden's comments were and either do you. I would certainly be surprised if Barbara made stupid or inane criticisms, or ones that I would consider that, but what my evaluation, or your evaluation, of her comments might be is irrelevant. We are talking about someone else's choices, not ours, and their choice has to be based on their own evaluation.

I intentionally left personalities out, because, "who said what,"  does not matter. What matters is whether or not one has a moral obligation, or not, to allow their own property to be used in a way they judges is wrong, and not allow themselves to be intimidated by those who accuse them of not being able to answer the accusations. You and I are not in a position to know the reasoning behind the choice; to judge someone as immoral for an action one does not know the reason for is itself immoral.

Mr. Firehammer: Answering some absurdities lends them credibility.
Mr. Stolyarov: Not answering them may also suggest that one does not have the capacity to do so.

Suggests to whom? ... and so what? What difference does it make what someone else thinks of one's reasons and motives? In real life, the opinion of those who make absurd charges is worth nothing and certainly not something someone should waste their valuable time worrying about or trying to correct.

It appears you actually agree with the next point, so I'll only comment on this: But then again, according to your statement, it is not legitimate for me to even pass judgment on the matter!
 
Of course you can, "pass judgment on the matter," so long as that judgment is for yourself. It is wrong to make that judgment for others or to expect them to accept your judgment in place of their own. It is wrong to call them immoral for not choosing to act as you believe they ought to have acted, especially when you do not know the provocation for their action.

Now, Mr. Stolyarov, I think the problem is one of perspective. It is possible Diana acted irrationally when "barring" Barbara Branden from her site, but I do not know that, and you do not know that. Don't you think it is a bit presumptuous to make moral judgments when one doesn't know all the facts?

Regi
 
 





Post 56

Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 7:56pmSanction this postReply
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Hi Orion,

I essentially agree with your comments. Everyone has a right to use their own property as they choose, and everyone one has a right to make their own judgement about how others make their choices.

You asked: Just out of curiosity, what did Ms. Branden do or say, to be banned (assuming it's not private information)...?
 
I have no idea what she did or said, and personally do not care, but can understand why you or anyone else would at least be curious. If you are truly curious, there are two possible courses for finding the answer. The most straightforward would be to ask Barbara, or Diana, or both (which might be the most interesting). I also think Diana archives past comments and discussions, and you might be able to find out for yourself what Barbara actually wrote. It also might help you decide for yourself just how important (or unimportant) the whole issue is.

Regi


Post 57

Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 8:51pmSanction this postReply
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Greetings.

Mr. Firehammer: As always, your answers are curteous and I believe sincere. But, I think you are mistaken in your emphasis. I hope that is all it is.

Mr. Stolyarov: Thank you. I do think our sole difference here is one of emfasis, as I do agree with a later statement you made: "Everyone has a right to use their own property as they choose, and everyone one has a right to make their own judgement about how others make their choices." I happen to think this judgment can extend to the entire range of possible evaluations; I can think that another's decision was magnificent, or that it was vilely immoral, or anything in between. Whatever I think, it is moral for me to attempt to persuade others of my view; if others embrace it by finding it consistent with their own reasoning, then I will have succeeded at convincing them. If they are not persuaded, they are free to think whatever they wish and state whatever they think.

Mr. Firehammer: Don't you think it is a bit presumptuous to make moral judgments when one doesn't know all the facts?

Mr. Stolyarov: I do know a few facts, however: Barbara Branden has been involved with the Objectivist movement, in some form, for over four decades. She has produced scholarly work w.r.t the movement, and to cast her out of an Objectivist discussion board (forum, no forum, call it what you will) is a complete disregard of her reputation and accomplishments. I, too, would like to know what the particular reason for the expulsion was. At this point, my judgment has been based solely on evaluation of the general context; Ms. Branden's reputation as one who would not hesitate to speak the truth as she sees it, and Ms. Hsieh's reputation as an orthodox ostracizer. I admit there are many more elements of this particular scenario that I do not know, but would like to.

I am
G. Stolyarov II
Atlas Count 137Atlas Count 137Atlas Count 137Atlas Count 137


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Post 58

Friday, June 25, 2004 - 2:36amSanction this postReply
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Mr. Stolyarov wrote: "At this point, my judgment has been based solely on evaluation of the general context; Ms. Branden's reputation as one who would not hesitate to speak the truth as she sees it, and Ms. Hsieh's reputation as an orthodox ostracizer. I admit there are many more elements of this particular scenario that I do not know, but would like to."

As I said in a previous post, Diana has caught the virus; it's not yet full-blown, though the symptoms are unmistakable. In this context, of course, one should say *embraced* the virus, since it's something Diana has done as an act of choice. She has very recently abandoned good friends - staunch human beings - in the name of orthodoxy. She has entered Jehovah's Witnesses territory. I confidently predict that her critique of Truth & Toleration will be a tired old rehash of Peikovian rationalism/intrinsicism, the very thing that David Kelley so ably exposed/debunked. Anyone wanna place a bet?? :-)

Linz



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Post 59

Friday, June 25, 2004 - 3:43amSanction this postReply
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Linz, I have a very serious issue to take up with you.  In fact, it is rift-provoking:

When are you going to realize this is SOLOHQ Part Deux and quit using asteriks as your chosen means of emFasis???  The effort it takes to press SHIFT+8 far exceeds the effort required to mouse-click the Italicize button.  This is not in keeping with rational argumentation and may be a sign of fanatical devotion to the SOLOHQ of old!  I may be forced to crush any hopes you might have of becoming a good human being and....Un-Sanction your posts!  I know it's harsh--it inspires the direst of conspiracy theories amongst us--but when in doubt of another's rationality we must use the most extreme of measures. 

Oh, and I agree with what you said about the Hsieh/ Kelley/ Peikoff/ Perigo/ Voltron/ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle conflagration.  No bet! 

In Knowledge That You Fear My Condemnation,



I Am,

J

p.s. I hope no one here (besides LP, of course) is so rigid that they can't take a little good-natured ribbing now and then.




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