Dear Barbara, Cass, Jennifer, Jeremy, Lindsay, George, Alec, Joseph, Matthew,
First. Thank you Jeremy. I do seem to have a way of stirring up the hornet's nest, so to speak.
Now everyone. I am disappointed that you think my expressing my views frankly, and arguing them as strongly as I can is attacking anyone. Because, that would mean you must all think you are attacking me. I hope you do not think that, but even if you do, I will not accuse you of attacking me. I think you all believe very strongly in what you say, else you would not feel so strongly about it, and be so upset with me.
Jennifer, I have no control over what people say on my forum, but I will take responsibility for whatever is said there. It is within my power to remove anything there, and I do not. Oscar Wilde once said the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. I have a granddaughter only a little younger than you, and I feel very much about you as I do her. I'm sure people say all sorts of things about her, both very nice and very bad. None of them matter, only that she knows who and what she is. If anything I have ever said to you, or anyone has said about you on my forum has hurt you, I am truly sorry about that. I cannot intentionally hurt anyone.
Barbara, I'm still looking for the book review you promised.
Now, George, if I am going to write about ideas I disagree with, how can I do that without naming the source of those bad ideas and where they are being promoted. Sorry, George, ideas do not just exist in the air. Somebody thinks them and they must be written somewhere. The particular ideas I wrote about happened to be part of the SOLO policy and objectives.
I do not see how any individual on SOLO (or any forum) could be so personally offended by what is said about someone else, or the forum itself, unless they hold an exteremly collectivist view of such things. I'm a "member" of SOLO.
Joe, I happen to completely agree with you, that "All this rambling about who is and isn't an Objectivist is funny ...." or at least silly. But when someone says, this is what Buddhism teaches, then proceeds to present Roman Catholic Doctrine, I can say, without being either, that the teaching of Buddhism is being perverted. When someone says, This is what Objectivism teaches, then proceeds to present hedonism, subjectivism and mysticism, I can say, without being either, that the principles of Objectivism are being perverted.
Matthew, I am very sorry to hear you call what I did an attack, because I know you are careful about not offending people. I think you are the only one who said your <i>care</i> for certain individuals (which I think is certainly true of others, but you said so). If the accusations I have made about anyone are untrue, I am sorry, but I will not cease saying what I believe is true. I have nothing to gain from any of this. What do you think my motives are? Don't spare me, I really want to know.
Alec, it is a little bit different than this: "Sure, if you define steak as 'the only good food possible', then of course chicken cannot "logically" be good, can it?" First the comparison would be better if it were Burger King and a gourmet meal. There is nothing wrong with eating at Burger King. For some people, that is about the best they will ever have. If they always eat Burger King, they may never even know there is gourmet food, and even if they know it, if they've spent themselves on Burger King, they will be able neither to afford, or enjoy the best. Most people settle for Burger King.
I'm here to say, there is something so much better. Those who have found it could never settle for less. Most people cannot afford it, but only because they are not willing to pay the price for it. Most people never find it, because they never look for it, because they have been taught, there is only Burger King. The Gourmet meal I'm talking about, Alec, if ever you have one, and I hope you do, it will so completely fill you, you will never give Burger King a thought again. It least I can tell people it is there, there for anyone who really wants it. Most will pass it by for the immediate, the short term, the shallow; but at least they will know there was something better, if they had only sought it.
Now I'll say no more, because I don't want anyone to get stung. (Fortunately, I'm immune to hornet stings.)