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Post 120

Monday, August 11, 2008 - 5:50pmSanction this postReply
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Bill, the methodology here, leveling every possible claim, down to the idea that Rand's short stories should be hidden in a library, amounts to throwing feces at the wall to see what sticks. You are far too patient with this brattish behaviour, like the single mother who politely asks her toddler to stop biting the neighbors. One single "Oh, grow up!" is more than these provocations deserve.

(Edited by Ted Keer on 8/12, 12:11pm)




Post 121

Monday, August 11, 2008 - 2:19pmSanction this postReply
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Unrefuted point:

Rand was married to Frank O'Connor and then committed adultery by carrying on an affair with Nathanial Branden.


Unrefuted point:

The affair drove O'Connor to drink.


Unrefuted point:

For his part, Nathaniel Branden was carrying on an affair with Ayn Rand while he was married to Barbara.


Unrefuted point:

So much for honoring contracts and the virtue of integrity.


Unrefuted point:

As for Peikoff...he hasn't produced a single original work in his entire career


Unrefuted point:

and he became even less productive when he inherited Rand's estate and anointed himself Rand's "intellectual heir."


Unrefuted point:

He's probably hard up for cash because he keeps on publishing various things by Rand (early stories for example) that are very rough and clearly should be in an archive in some university, not on the shelves of Barnes & Noble.


Unrefuted point:

He further destroyed what was left of the Objectivist movement by openly declaring that he intended to hold purges ("Better a smaller movement but a purer one").


Unrefuted point:

These are the actions of someone who sees himself as the leader of a small cult,


Unrefuted point:

and cult leaders are never happy people.


Unanswered question:

Are you defending Rand's dishonesty?


Unrefuted point:

That they both proclaimed the virtue of integrity -- which includes honoring marriage contracts -- and cheated on their respective spouses means that they were both hypocrites.


Unrefuted point:

Clearly, they were both unwilling to live up to the high standards of the philosophy.


Unrefuted point:

This could be because they were highly flawed people


Unrefuted point:

or because it's not possible in principle to live up to the standards of Objectivism.


Unrefuted point:

It either reflects badly on Rand and Branden or it reflects badly on Objectivism.



As for your recent post, Keer:

Re insult:

Ridicule is a legitimate rhetorical device to point out hypocrisy.


Re non-sequitur:

You probably mean "irrelevancy" rather than "non-sequitur" because I wasn't concluding anything by pointing out the interesting fact that Peikoff is twice divorced and thrice married. Multiple marriages indicate that he cannot focus in and decide what he wants in a wife or what he should require of himself as a husband. This is either a major psycho-epistemological character flaw or evidence that Objectivism cannot be practiced in real life (though it works quite well in places that don't exist such as Galt's Gulch). If it cannot practiced by Rand's "intellectual heir", it cannot be practiced by anyone.

As I asserted before (and how interesting that you skipped over it), Peikoff's real legacy is his adoring 20 year old daughter Kira. Children have no place in Atlas Shrugged so it appears that this legacy was based on a choice that had little or nothing to do with Objectivism. Interesting that he still felt the need to "legitimize" it vis-a-vis the philosophy by naming her after the tragic lead character in "We The Living."

I remember another Objectivist couple from years ago who did the same thing. They named their baby daughter "Kira" and hung a portrait of Ayn Rand over the crib.


Re assertions without evidence:

I don't have to show you my Rolodex. You make plenty of assertions about your background without evidence; to wit:

I am a NYC resident (no evidence)
born 1968 (no evidence)
raised Catholic (no evidence)
in the Philadelphia suburbs of South Jersey (no evidence)
A baccalaureate in philosophy and biology (no evidence)


Re final questions:

Talk about a non-sequitur! You mean, to point out the character flaws in leading Objectivists (including its founder) is a sign of unhappiness? The behavior of Objectivism's leaders has been an embarrassment to other Objectivists and to the philosophy itself.


Re why I post:

I enjoy it.



Post 122

Monday, August 11, 2008 - 6:17pmSanction this postReply
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Unrefuted point:

Rand was married to Frank O'Connor and then committed adultery by carrying on an affair with Nathanial Branden.
With both spouses knowledge and consent.

Unrefuted point:

So much for honoring contracts and the virtue of integrity.

See above.

As to the rest of the people you name, it has not one thing to do with the validity of the philosophy.

The bad behavior of all these famous objectivists, and some of it was indeed bad, even spun how you woud spin it and based on the very word of the same people you condemn pales in comparison to the history of theists. Say what you will, it's the truth.

 





Post 123

Monday, August 11, 2008 - 6:34pmSanction this postReply
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You have to characterize it as trite and corny?

I characterized her assertions that we live in a benevolent universe as corny; I characterized the “tiddly-winks” music she loved to listen to as trite and fluffy. Tiddly-winks, the game, is trite and fluffy; so is tiddly-winks music.

Petr Beckmann knew her well?

Professor Beckmann was close enough to Rand and the Inner Circle to know what he was talking about. In addition, he was a very perceptive guy.

And the times in which her personal life went poorly, it was, by and large, due to the unjust actions others.

Spoken like a True Believer. Yes, it’s always the fault of others if one’s cult-leader doesn’t measure up.

So what? Their respective spouses knew of and agreed to it. In that respect, they had what might be termed an open marriage.

LOL! I can tell you're very experienced with women, Dwyer. I see that you are now 68 years young, so let me ask you a question: Have you ever kissed a girl before?

And while you’re thinking over your answer, consider this scenario:

“Dear, I know we took marriage vows and all that, but I have the hots for another woman – one that would be a good career move for me to, uh, service. Besides, she’s also married and really digs me. Don’t worry: I may admire the hell out of her but I don’t love her.”

(Shocked; eyes beginning to well up with tears). I don’t know what to say. If you MUST have this woman, then you must; I’m thinking of your happiness, my dear. I’m terribly hurt but thank you for telling me.”

(Husband gently kisses wife on forehead). That’s my little trooper. (He surreptitiously looks at his watch.)

(Hanging his head low, from carrying the unbearable moral weight on his shoulders, Husband walks out the door. Outside, however, he lifts his head, starts to whistle, and begins to skip.) “Heigh ho! Isn’t this great! I have nothing to feel guilty about! I was honest with snookums…and she GAVE HER CONSENT! That’s great! I’m in an OPEN MARRIAGE! I can fuck anyone I want,,,er, uh, as long as I ask permission from the Little Lady and get her consent! It’s OK! The “contract” has been honored!

(Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Good Wife – the other half of that newly-defined “Open Marriage” – sits on the sofa and cries her eyes out. She suddenly remembers something. She gets up, lumbers over to the fridge, and takes out a gallon-sized container of Haagen-Dazs ice-cream from the freezer. She consumes the whole thing. Afterward, she takes 5 mg of Valium and feels much better for the next 9 hours.)

Yep. That’s all you have to do, Dwyer. Just “get consent” from your legal spouse to fuck someone else and it’s all OK. And you know what's even cooler? If a couple is not married but merely living together, there's no contract - you don't even need to get consent! Just go ahead and do it!

Women all over world (including this board) thank you, Dwyer, for clarifying the matter of infidelity to them.

Lest you believe that I’m simply being sarcastic (moi?) why don’t you take a little poll at RoR? Ask the women on this board if “getting consent” is or is not the same thing as simple adultery and is not the same as simple infidelity and is just as destructive to marriage and intimate relationships.

Go ahead. Maybe they'll support you on this.

Regarding Peikoff:

So his lecture series don't count? It has to be a book?

Whether lectures or books, his work is second rate and derivative. If George Reisman was able to break way from the influence of his mentor Ludwig von Mises and reinvigorate the ideas of the British Classical School, as well as contribute his own ideas to the field of economics (some of which Mises did not agree with), then we should have seen the same thing from Peikoff in the field of philosophy.

I thought they were pretty good, and if there's a market for them, which there is, then why shouldn't they be on the shelves of Barnes and Noble?

I’m not surprised you thought that. As Barbara Branden pointed out, Peikoff also had the chutzpah to edit these works so that the reader – I mean the scholarly, careful, attentive reader – can never really tell if he’s reading pure Rand, or Rand redacted/edited by Peikoff. I agree that these works should all be archived in a university library; not sold. He’s selling them because he needs the money.

I don't agree with these kinds of excommunications,

Oh, so what kind of excommunications do you agree with?

but that certainly doesn't mean that Peikoff sees himself as some kind of cult leader or that is therefore an unhappy person. This is just sheer speculation on your part

Just basic commonsense psychology. Cult leaders are never happy because they’re all power lusters. Read Atlas Shrugged if you don’t know why power lusters are necessarily unhappy.

-- the same kind of speculation that you engaged in when you claimed, in the absence of any evidence, that I had never taken a course in logic.

Your posts were all the evidence I needed. You were not only wrong about propositional logic but dishonest, too; viz, your trying to weasel-word your way out of your mistakes by inventing idiosyncratic meanings for “literal” and “colloquial” as if they were difficult terms that needed very careful parsing and explanation. Your friend Ed Thompson caught you at it (though he wasn’t a very attentive reader; for some reason, he thought I was the one trying to parse those two terms. After pointing out his error, I noticed he disappeared.)




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Post 124

Monday, August 11, 2008 - 9:29pmSanction this postReply
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Claude,

 Not only are your arguements poor, but your insulting snide tone is annoying. Talking about "True Believers" and "Cultists" while defending theism?????? The irony makes me laugh. I guess theists figure if enough people beieve what they do it's no longer a "cult" it's "real."

There are many good religious people who live decent lives, most of the people I know personally in fact. It doesn't make their belief correct. But you know what? It's theirs and I don't have a problem with that until they try and mess with my life based on their belief. You clearly hate objectivism and objectivists. you have nothing nice to say about us or the philosophy we espouse. A philosphy about reality, self-interest, and leaving people alone to live their lives. Your attacks say something about you. You enjoy coming here and attacking us you say. I'm not surprised. It speaks to me about who you are. Have a good look in the mirror.


If you care to continue "debating" fine, but knock off the snide remarks and insults. The people you are insulting here have been long time posters who others here enjoy and respect, you haven't earned the right to be given a pass on your tone. You have been warned.

(Edited by Ethan Dawe on 8/12, 6:56am)




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Post 125

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - 12:25amSanction this postReply
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I don't see any value to posting any more of Claude Shannon's messages - not when they have sunk to this level of absurd personal attacks. There is no serious pretense at logic any more, nor any points being made of a philosophical nature.

At this point it is like letting feces be thrown onto the forum as if they were attempts to present philosophical points.

Is there anyone that sees any value to letting him continue to post here?



Post 126

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - 6:49amSanction this postReply
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Steve asks:
Is there anyone that sees any value to letting him [Shannon] continue to post here?
Not I.  His posts have gone way beyond dissent.  I think the silly man should move on and find some other raison d'etre.




Post 127

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - 7:33amSanction this postReply
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I agree. You're history, Claude. Your ridiculous posts don't even rise to the level of competent dissent, let alone pose any challenge to Objectivists or Objectivism. They're no longer worth responding to.

- Bill



Post 128

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - 9:22amSanction this postReply
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All,

I agree Claude has been making inappropriate posts. However (and hope I'm not being too presumptive as a relative newcomer here), since this is a moderated forum, I would think that the moderator could weed out the inappropriate posts individually - and therefore would suggest that instead.

Maybe Claude is capable of showing more respect, and improving the quality of his posts. If not, his posts will never see the light of day, and he will simply desist. There are certainly many unmoderated sites for him to ply, that will tolerate argumentativeness and insults.

I came here, myself, to enjoy more sincere discussions, away from the pseudo-logical, anti-Objectivist, venom I found on other sites.

jt


(Edited by Jay Abbott on 8/13, 9:23am)

(Edited by Jay Abbott on 8/13, 9:31am)




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Post 129

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - 1:53pmSanction this postReply
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I think the moderator, Joe Rowlands, has been remarkably tolerant of Claude's posts, as have I (overly so, really). He did censor a couple, which must have been pretty bad, considering those he's allowed.

One way to handle a troll, like Claude is, of course, to ignore him. If you feed the troll, you are giving him what he wants. Recall his recent statement that he posts here because he "enjoys" it. What he enjoys is the feedback.

I too enjoy a good debate, but one that is free of vitriol and avoids ad hominem and personal attack. I was getting something of substance from Claude, which is why I continued to engage him, but he's since largely descended into what is apparently his favorite form of rhetoric, which no longer makes him worth debating. A pointless exchange of insults is not what I value in these kinds of discussions.

Mutual respect and intellectual honesty is a precondition for a successful dialogue, as posters can sometimes wind up arguing at cross purposes when they unwittingly use the same terms or expressions in different ways or with different meanings. It helps if both parties are willing to overcome these kinds of verbal misunderstandings. Claude was not. He was less interested in convincing than in attacking and demeaning his intellectual opponents. With this kind of person, you cannot have a productive dialogue. You are wasting your time.

- Bill




Post 130

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 - 11:14pmSanction this postReply
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I sanctioned Bill's previous post. I particularly like where he said, "Mutual respect and intellectual honesty is a precondition for a successful dialogue"

ROR will always be the product of our efforts here - efforts that involve balancing tolerance for a difference of opinion with personal responsibility for respect and honesty.

People leave ROR, sometimes like good ole Claude, at the well deserved end of an admin's boot, other times people leave out of disgust with the way they are treated. ROR will be the product of those that are NOT here any longer as much as by those who are.

We need to get rid of those who shouldn't be here and we should be concerned to understand why we loose those that offered real value. How many times have you been reading an old post and wondered what happened to that person, I like the stuff they write, why aren't they posting here anymore?

I sometimes look at ROR as a microcosm of the Objectivist movement - how do we pull people towards our good values and what do we do that drive away those who should be here with us?



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Post 131

Thursday, August 14, 2008 - 6:47amSanction this postReply
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Just a note to say Cluade has not been banned. I've simply taken to not approving messages with insults in them. He is free to post thoughtful comments as long as he avoids insults.




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Post 132

Thursday, August 14, 2008 - 8:38amSanction this postReply
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Ethan,

I know that you want to be fair, but you are far too forgiving. It's not just insults. Claude's posts are filled with arbitrary assertions, intellectual dishonesty and outright evasion. Post 121 is the most obvious example, but you can find this sort of thing in virtually all of his replies. As Steve noted, there is not even a serious pretense at logic any more. He's not here for the pursuit of truth, but to attack and ridicule Objectivism. This has become abundantly clear by now.

Allow him to post if you want, but I will not reply to another thing he says, nor do I expect that anyone else will either, because I have been by far the most tolerant and patient of his respondents. And now even my patience is exhausted.

- Bill



Post 133

Thursday, August 14, 2008 - 9:24amSanction this postReply
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Bill,

I am in full agreement with what you are saying. It's not a about being fair for me, I  would ban him but I don't have that authority :-)

I can approve or reject messages in the moderator queue. Claude's last three were rejected and he hasn't made any more since then.

E.




Post 134

Thursday, August 14, 2008 - 3:18pmSanction this postReply
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Ethan,

If Claude's last three posts were rejected, then he's obviously not getting the message. I don't understand his continued refusal to adopt a more civilized tone. If he wants to get his messages posted, he's wasting his time. Very strange behavior for someone as intelligent and well educated as he is. Evidently, he can't control his anger. But it doesn't matter, because even if he were to write an acceptable post, I doubt that anyone here would reply to it.

- Bill



Post 135

Thursday, August 14, 2008 - 6:50pmSanction this postReply
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 down to the idea that Rand's short stories should be hidden in a library...

That claim was made by Barbara Branden in an interview on her Web site (I think it's called "Full Context"). She was horrified that Peikoff was selling AR's rough early works -- edited by him(!) -- rather than archiving them safely in a library for future scholars.

I agree with her.

These works shouldn't be considered "hidden in a library" except by those who don't visit libraries. It was obvious to BB that Peikoff was doing this because he needed the money, and not because he was taking steps to serve the estate (which is his responsibility as executor).




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Post 136

Thursday, August 14, 2008 - 10:24pmSanction this postReply
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"As for Peikoff (now on marriage #3) he hasn't produced a single original work in his entire career and he became even less productive when he inherited Rand's estate and anointed himself Rand's "intellectual heir." He's probably hard up for cash because he keeps on publishing various things by Rand (early stories for example) that are very rough and clearly should be in an archive in some university, not on the shelves of Barnes & Noble."

These are your own generous words. Since publishing edited versions of Rand's stories does not in any way make her original manuscripts unavailable, I can only assume that you meant what you said, that you don't think her early works should be available on the shelves of bookstores. Your judgement is poor, as regards here early fiction. Think Twice is quite good, I say it performed off Broadway. Her other stories have much more merit than anything by Thornton Wilder, Samuel Beckett, or James Joyce, who are, unfortunately, still taking up shelf space outside libraries in mental hospitals. Posthumous works such as Tolkien's Making of Middle Earth series can have great interest for the fan. In a free market, no one need purchase what he does not wish to read. Your continued sophistry, equivocation, and denial of your own words has lowered the value of your posts below the threshold of my further interest.

(Edited by Ted Keer on 8/14, 10:25pm)




Post 137

Thursday, August 14, 2008 - 10:25pmSanction this postReply
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Theism and Art?



(Edited by Ted Keer on 8/14, 10:29pm)




Post 138

Friday, August 15, 2008 - 6:35amSanction this postReply
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Disturbing. Perhaps therefore art.

jt



Post 139

Friday, August 15, 2008 - 12:33pmSanction this postReply
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Well, being diagnosed with cancer is also disturbing, but hardly art. The painting fits Rand's definition. One of the painter's works just solod for 58 Million Euros. But consider the title of the thread. Is this art a great work inspired by the artist's faith? Could an atheist have painted it? Would one want to?



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