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Post 80

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 9:29amSanction this postReply
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Tom,

Sorry. I misunderstood your "list" post. Reading too fast. Gotta slow down. Still the quotes in my preceding post are valid - but from another angle.

On "closed system" I have issues with the definition of "system" and find it to be a vague term that provides all kinds of misunderstandings. I see certain premises as closed, like the fundamental axiomatic concepts of existence, identity and consciousness, just to mention one area. I do not see the application and extension of such premises as closed, however. If "system" does not include logical extensions of premises, despite areas of Objectivism that are absolutely incomplete or not even covered, then OK. Objectivism is a closed system - albeit a flawed one from being incomplete. I don't use the word "system" in that manner, though. So to me it is open in the sense of including non-reversible, non-changeable premises, but being able to be filled out and built upon.

Thus it can become a more and more complete system (in the wider meaning of the term) over time.

(Walking off in deep thought about double standards and whether words mean anything anymore, even after the edit...)

Michael
(Edited by Michael Stuart Kelly on 9/30, 9:50am)

(Edited by Michael Stuart Kelly on 9/30, 9:52am)




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Post 81

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 9:41amSanction this postReply
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Jody, I've been thinking somewhat along the lines of your post.  It strikes me that the very notion of a "cult" stems from a non-Objectivist appraisal of reality.  Objectively speaking, there are no cults, only individuals who's wretched premises coincide to the degree that they all tell themselves the same lie and thereby "create" a collective reality called a cult.  Jim Jones lead a cult?  Only in the mind of each individual cultist who made terrible anti-life choices based on another man's insane appraisal of reality.  What is the value, from an Objectivist standpoint, of even discussing what a cult is?  The very idea of a cult stands against reason and the principle of free will, yes?

Jody wrote: 
If objective reality exists and if reason is our means of dealing with it, then anyone who follows those tenets is not only going to agree, because of what they KNOW reality to be, but they are going to be indignant towards attackers, because their ability to live their lives depends upon it. 
This part still troubles me though.  Is personal humility inconsistent with self-esteem?  It seems to me that maturity teaches us that absolute certainty is the true enemy of integrity.  We must eventually acknowledge that we may be wrong or confused as individuals, because we so often are.  Objectivism may be perfect, but my personal embodiment of its principles must needs be flawed.  No one's reason is perfect, even Ayn Rand had her moments.  But her system is valid, and to the degree that any of us can adhere to the system our thinking is valid. 

I think there may be a problem with some Objectivists being extremely arrogant.  Just because there is objective reality and reason is our means of dealing with it, doesn't mean that any individual is quite reasonable enough to have perfect understanding.  Sure, each of us, at different times, has a marvelously clear understanding of this or that piece of the puzzle; but when any of us starts thinking that his individual mind encompasses the whole, and arrogates the authority to decree whether this or that other individual shares his perfect understanding, then he becomes a monster of self-deceit, but not a cultist.

-Kevin

(Edited by Kevin Haggerty on 9/30, 10:11am)




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Post 82

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 10:22amSanction this postReply
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> Does this mean that it is pointless to advocate intellectual independence as a virtue, for either you have it, in which case, you don't need to be convinced, or you don't, in which case, trying to convince you of it is a waste of time?

Bill, as a syllogistic type of purely abstract unconcretized reasoning this "floats" away or falls apart.

"You have it, so you don't need to acquire it" [or be convinced of it] - falls apart because it eliminates the issue of *degree*. You can have something just enough to realize your need of a greater degree of it. Or you can have it in one area and realize you need it in another. And also: Advocating intellectual independence can convince those who have it to redouble their efforts to spread it, advocate it, teach it to others. Or it can remind people who have forgotten to fully practice it. "You don't have it, so you can't be convinced" [or the equivalent] falls apart for the same reasons.

It's a purely -verbal- argument. It sounds airtight because it would work in symbols or words, but not in reality.

The way to dynamite a floating argument of this kind (and especially academic leaning intellectuals or very bright people or people who have gone to good schools in my experience constantly offer them, since that is how we were taught at Brown or Berkeley) is to step away from the alluring but phony syllogism or facile argument coached -almost entirely- in highly abstract verbiage.

Instead, concretize it first and look at all the cases in the real world where someone was convinced of something they did not already believe in or given a mental skill more fully they needed to possess at least in rudiment to learn the skill.

Phil

PS, another example of a floating (but somewhat less plausible) syllogism of this type is the one Roger mentioned above:

"To those who understand, no explanation is necessary -- and to those who do not understand, no explanation is possible."
(Edited by Philip Coates
on 9/30, 10:27am)




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Post 83

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 10:46amSanction this postReply
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Tom, I largely agree with what you say here, but let me make just a few comments. You say that "Objectivism (and/or ARI) is a business looking for customers. ( therefore: It can't legitimately refuse service to anyone)." Did you really think that that is what I was saying? If it is, then please go back and read my post again. I was saying that Objectivists are behaving badly towards potential customers who don't deserve it. Of course, if a customer is unruly and disruptive, you don't serve him. Who would disagree with that? Certainly not I. But you don't deal with people in the way they were doing. Do you really think such behavior is appropriate?

You write, "On other threads here I have asked people to question the following premises as well:

"1. I personally have something to contribute to Objectivism or its spread by disagreeing with it on some issue, no matter what the issue or how badly I make my case." Who said that? And why assume that if someone asks a question or disagrees with an idea presented by Objectivists, the person must somehow believe that he or she is "contributing" to Objectivism?

"2. If I raise a question, no matter what it is or how I ask it, and no matter how much I project my hostility, I should be listened to politely and without returned fire." Again, if you re-read my post, you'll see that this is not something I was advocating. I specifically said, "I'm not saying that one has to tolerate overt hostility, aggressive attacks or belligerent and outrageous criticism."

"3. ARI is a debating society." I agree that ARI is not a debating society. But does that mean that you don't tolerate reasonable questions or disagreement from those interested in understanding the philosophy?

"4. I shouldn't have to prove myself to anyone to be treated as an equal." In what sense? You certainly deserve to be treated as a decent human being unless there is evidence to the contrary.

"5. A 'closed system' is a false system." I don't know anyone who is saying that a closed system is a "false" system. What I think people are saying is that Objectivism should be able to accommodate new philosophical developments (such as an Objectivist theory of propositions), if these developments are consistent with the principles Rand enunciated. Do you disagree?

"6. If I say it's part of Objectivism, it is; I don't care what anybody else says or what their standing." Granted, just because you say that something is true doesn't make it so. You have to prove your case.

"7. Nah-nah-nah is an argument." I never said (or implied) anything remotely resembling this.

"8. Treating me or anyone else like shit is ridiculous, no matter how much I smell." Again, if you go back and read my post, you'll see that this is not what I was saying.

- Bill




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Post 84

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 1:52pmSanction this postReply
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Michael,

I use the words "closed system" in one sense and one sense only -- the sense that Ayn Rand asked us to use it: to mean her works and everything she endorsed while she was alive.

She believed, correctly I think, that she had developed an integrated system of philosophy in all of its basic aspects and with lots of extensions and application (The Ethics of Emergencies to "Through their most grevous fault")

She believed, correctly I think, that no one had the right to speak for her or for her philosophy, Objectivism.

Does that mean that no further extensions and applications are possible? OF COURSE NOT. But...and its a big bertha of a butt...the extensions and applications must style themselves as the work of the AUTHOR, not Ayn Rand and they must show how they are integrated into the system as it exists.

In other words, saying that Objectivism is wrong about something may be true (I have yet to find anything I consider philosophy in the closed system to fill that bill, but I know some people do) but IT IS NOT OBJECTIVISM and, A being A, it cannot pass itself off as such. It cannot be passed off as a "'correction" to Objectivism. IT IS PART OF A NEW SYSTEM OF WHICH THE AUTHOR SHOULD TAKE PRIDE AND BE WILLING TO ACKNOWLEDGE.

Thus, OBJECTIVISM RISES OR FALLS ON ITS OWN WEIGHT. You and I do not have to go down with the ship if it is wrong. Nor does Objectivism have to suffer the consequences of having my, or anyone else's, dumb ideas or dumb behavior tied to it.

In still other words, the more we can make it clear that Objectivism is Ayn Rand's baby, that we are independent thinkers, that we are doing our own work, that it is not Objectivism but rests on Objectivism (a connection we have to prove) the more likely we are to have Objectivism in the culture.

Or not.

If it is true, let it be true on its own dime. If it is false, trying to "save" it by correcting it won't help. Let the truth be true and the false be false. Promote the truth, denounce the false. IN YOUR NAME

You are a cult unto yourself, are you not?

Tom

Please excuse the typos, if any. Didn't have time for a spell-check or rewrite.




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Post 85

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 2:25pmSanction this postReply
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For me, this has been a great thread. Maybe the best one I've ever seen, mainly because it is dialogue that is getting the work done.

If Objectivism ever resembles or behaves anything along the cult line, it is as a cult of personality. This is a finer distinction, and putting some think on it might bear us some new fruit. The interesting thing about cults of personality, if you break them down, is that they come in two main flavors, to my way of thinking.  

The first is the kind that is consciously, purposefully created (Stalin, Hitler, et al). They are almost always created for malevolent purposes (occasionally, just misguided and goofy ones). This is evil- they are driven by deeply hateful thoughts of one kind or another, and are satisfying their perverse psychological needs, hopefully on a global level before they get done. Meglomania. In short, the COP is created by the creator, for certain purposes, usually not ones that are going to bode well for anyone else. People will start to disappear at night.  

The second, more populated flavor is the kind that people come to identify with on their own- nowadays, that can be just about anyone. This latter variety is most commonly found centered on someone who came out of the liberal arts/entertainment area. Actors. Musicians. Writers. I don't think it can be completely equated with straight old idolatry, because it displays more complexity. It is more about identification than idolatry, for sure. And so, it follows that these cults are not limited to malevolent purposes; in fact, they usually aren't malevolent. It used to be called "hero worship", but again, that term isn't quite enough either.

Most people here should know what I'm talking about here- I am talking about the profound experience that can happen upon exposure to Ayn Rand's novels, and Ayn Rand the philosopher. That experience was what I would call a transformative one, or paradigm shift if you prefer, for most people here. I have only experienced one other happening that was of that magnitude. For each, if I were to be forced to pick only one word to describe them, it would be the same: liberating. If I were allowed two, the second would be "affirmation".

There are some things that seem logical to bring to bear, at this point, and I will only brush by them lightly, because they lead to length if you let them.

Myth does not equate to mysticism. As to mysticism, I will refrain from comment on that topic now, other than to say that virtually everything I have seen written here at SOLO on the topic is generalized, incomplete, misinterpreted, or just flat out wrong. Another time for that.

Myth serves deep and noble purposes for human beings. And, there come times where the old myths will not fully reflect, and serve. New myths must be made, and people re-mythologize. Atlas Shrugged is such a case. In the modern era, in my opinion it is the case. Re-mythologized. The nature of the heroes, the nature of the journey. The purpose of the journey. All changed. What did not change is what myths are to man. All this went down only fifty years ago.

People also identified with the myth-maker. It is common practice to model oneself after someone who represents your ideals. There are two things here. The first is that they will always not be the bigger-than-life thing you long for. Not necessary, who they are is sufficient, but that is a lesson to learn. The second is that there must come a point where you separate from that model and become your own man. Fortunately, that is pretty much the most implicit thing in her work, but even so, it presents a difficulty to virtually everyone. It is part of the process.

There are times when I find myself thinking that it might have actually been better if the nuts and bolts of her philosophical system had not been rolled out. It contributes to credal thinking, and I believe credal thinking is unhealthy from a growth perspective, both personally and socially. Covenants do not create dogma, creeds do. To my eye, people who were deeply affected by the books but never screwed into the philosophy might have gotten the better lot, as things stand now. If there were no Intro to O'ist Epistemology, and so on, we'd all be here still going on, propelled from the fire of those books. There would be less churn, less nastiness. Credal thinking, dogmatic thinking, linear thinking would have far less to attach itself to here.  Credal thinking asks: "What does your (organization, party, philsophy) believe in?" Covenantial thinking asks "What is your (organization, party, philsophy) doing out there with the world?" The first invites compliance, the second invites traveling the journey together.

But she did write the philosophical treatises, and that is the fact of it. Do we dogmatize it? Some will. Some have made this their religion. They have rejected religion, and replaced it, religiously, with a non-religion that they practice as religion. Which kind?

They (we) also have a community, much as religions have parishes. A sense of community offers many advantages to all, and this is good. SOLO is particularly good. It is not unlike the breakoffs that have happened in the religious world. Make no mistake, there are resemblances, because we are talking about a way of living.




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Post 86

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 2:53pmSanction this postReply
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Rich --

"As to mysticism, I will refrain from comment on that topic now, other than to say that virtually everything I have seen written here at SOLO on the topic is generalized, incomplete, misinterpreted, or just flat out wrong. Another time for that. "

You've been sniping at us about this for months now.  I think you need to present your case.  If not here then on another thread.

"Not necessary, who they are is sufficient, but that is a lesson to learn. The second is that there must come a point where you separate from that model and become your own man. Fortunately, that is pretty much the most implicit thing in her work, but even so, it presents a difficulty to virtually everyone. It is part of the process. "
 
I honestly don't think that this is a problem for most people here on SOLO.  There aren't many Randroids around here. 

"There are times when I find myself thinking that it might have actually been better if the nuts and bolts of her philosophical system had not been rolled out. It contributes to credal thinking, and I believe credal thinking is unhealthy from a growth perspective, both personally and socially. "
 
This is nonsense.  Systematic, rational thinking is abslutely key from the "growth perspective" and Ayn Rand provided us with a framework for rational thought.

"Covenants do not create dogma, creeds do. To my eye, people who were deeply affected by the books but never screwed into the philosophy might have gotten the better lot, as things stand now. If there were no Intro to O'ist Epistemology, and so on, we'd all be here still going on, propelled from the fire of those books. There would be less churn, less nastiness. Credal thinking, dogmatic thinking, linear thinking would have far less to attach itself to here."

Rich, you are a pragmatist that likes and is inspired by Ayn Rand's novels.  You equate logical thinking with dogmatic thinking and you seem to think there is a dicotomy between logical "linear" thinking and "what works".  This is fine, but you should simply admit that you are not an Objectivist so that people know exactly where you are coming from without having to read between the lines to figure out your intentions.

 - Jason




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Post 87

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 3:20pmSanction this postReply
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Andrew writes:
>...the "Objectivists are cultlike" crowd on this thread has completely ignored Ed's *Objectivism is incompatible with cultism* point in Post 18.

I thought I'd addressed that issue here (Post 53):
"...that's what we were trying to explain - the interesting problem of exactly *why* a belief system based on individualism could nonetheless take on highly cult-like aspects...."

So, Objectivism is ostensibly "incompatible with cultism", yet consistently gives rise to a prominent and well documented phenomena, the "Randroid" - people who have no mind of their own, other than what Ayn Rand tells them to think.

Something must be wrong with Ed's reasoning then. Two main possibilities occur:

1) The 'Randroid' phenomenon is false or wildly overstated - a "smear" as James called it.

But let's recall what started this thread. Bill Dwyer, after 40 years of experience in Objectivism, and an Objectivist himself, writes(Post 0):

>I find myself left with an over-riding impression that refuses to go away - one that prompts me to ask, ever more seriously, "is Objectivism a cult?" The answer is: not as a philosophy, to be sure, because "a cult" refers to form rather than to content. It refers to the way in which an idea is held rather than to the idea itself. So perhaps the more precise and relevant question is: Do (many) followers of Objectivism exhibit cult-like behavior? And to that, the answer is an unqualified "Yes"! It is an answer that continues to reinforce itself on so many occasions that it can no longer be doubted or denied.


The other possibility is:
2) Objectivism is not as incompatible with cultism as it appears to be.

As 1) appears to be false, 2) is worth investigating further. Do you have a particular theory as to the source of "Randroidism"?

Andrew:
>If the other guy thinks everything you're saying is just the deluded regurgitations of a surrendered mind, he'll readily ignore any of your arguments, no matter how strong they may be.

I agree I00% with this. An assumption of a basic level of rationality in the other that has to be shared by *both* sides of any debate, otherwise yes, it would be pointless.

Ed:
>....your post...entirely evaded my point about the objective merit toward changing the conventional meaning of conventionally self-stultifying words..

Apologies, no evasion intended. Obviously language changes to suit our changing needs. No problem there - neologisms and new meanings for old words are vital to freedom of thought. But this is quite different to playing a shell-game with specialised meanings of words to try to control a debate - such as the examples you cite from Orwell, where the "official" meanings of words are the reverse of their common ones ie: war is peace, up is down, black is white, some animals are more equal than others etc. It is very easy to find many examples of this rhetorical effect in Rand, where she simply takes usual meanings of words and reverses or amends them, and imagines that somehow wins the argument! That's not saving language from "self-stultification" - it actually results in stultifying debate.

- Daniel


(Edited by Daniel Barnes
on 9/30, 4:54pm)




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Post 88

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 4:29pmSanction this postReply
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William,

What I said was that the premise that "Objectivism (and/or ARI) is a business looking for customers." is a premise you need to check.

They are not. Objectivism is a philosophy that is soliciting agreement.
                      ARI is an advocacy organization promoting that philosophy.

You have to decide, therefore, whether you agree with that philosophy and you have to decide whether you agree that ARI is promoting it. And then you have to be a mensch -- a human being with a spine -- about it. That means, saying so and accepting the consequences.

Yeah, some people can be really annoying. That goes both ways. Some people jump to conclusions. That goes both ways. Some people can feel badly when they do, some people can't seem to muster the necessary words. That goes both ways.

So, if I misunderstood your tone of "benevolance", "good will," and "understanding" for "malevolance", "bad feeling" and "overwrought crushed hutspa" please accept my apology.

But lumping all the behaviors you name with words like "bizarre", "ridiculous" and "uptight" seems to indicate that the second set of descriptive words is more accurate.

Not only that, but your primary gripe about Diana's throwing you off her site, and of the behaviors you name, is that they display an intolerance of "DISSENT" Now that means an attitude of debate and disagreement and, in a word, "Dissent."  Not one of "study", "honest questioning with a desire to understand a position."  My guess is that your attitude of dissent and was as obvious on those occasions as it eventually became on Diana's blog.

Now to answer your points.

1.If you dissagree with a point in Objectivism you can find a place (like SOLO, or the Ayn Rand Society, or by publishing your own blog or your own magazine, or by publishing a book) to express it, and attempt  to prove it and invite dessent if you want. Then it is apparent that you are not "correcting" Objectivism, you are disagreeing with it on a platform that is designed for that. But what is the point of bringing up such an issue at an obviously Objectivist event. Is it not to solicite agreement? And if it is, is that not an effort to correct Objectivism? To embarrass the hosts with your "proof" that what they are preaching is wrong? Would you get up in church and ask the preacher in front of his congregation if he really thinks that transubstantiation actually takes place at the Eucherist? (Man, I know what some of you guys will make of this example so please don't). No, you would not. You would understand that this is his platform and that if you want to discuss the pros and cons of Church doctrine there is a time and a place for it. That is why you have to check premise #3.

2. "Overt hostility, agressive attacks and belligerent and outrageous behavior" are in the eye of the beholder." There seems to be some disagreement between you and various and sundry hosts about whether your or your friends behaviour meets THEIR criteria rather than yours. That you even object to their acting on their judgement is hubris enough for me. Trump fires someone, someone tells Trump off to his face. What do you supose would happen? (well, in today's dishonest public relations world, who knows)

3. "Dissagreement" is not an attempt to understand. It assumes that you do understand and, well, dissagree!  Disagreement implies debate. Find a platform and debate. NOBODY IS STOPPING YOU.

4. "Decent human being" and "evidence" are...see #2 and #3

5. Tell you what, William, it sounds like you've got a theory of Propositions that you believe is consistent with Objectivism as enunciated by Ayn Rand. Instead of worrying about whether or not LP or DK are willing to discuss it with you, work it out, publish it as your own work, let others decide whether it is consistent as far as they are concerned. If LP or DK think it's good work, they'll root for you and recommend it. David Gulbraa is a good example of this. "Tales of the Mall Masters" was self published by David. It was clearly influenced by Rand. Word of mouth gradually got to Peikoff, he read it and recommended it. Now David has a steady job at ARI. Any or all of it is available without selling your soul (NOBODY WANTS YOU TO). All anyone wants is to have you recognize their right and desire to act on their own judgement, not yours. (see #2). Create your own life. If Objectivists and those in a position to help you like what they see, they will make sure you take your rightful (proven) place amongst them.Isn't that what you want? If not, what are you griping about?  From what I understand, there are some pretty heady and heated arguments that go on at the level of people who trust each other. (Like, for example, Peikoff's disagreement with Gotthelf about his book, or Lennox's disagreement with the quality of Peikoffs "Ominous Parallels", neither of which got the relevent people excommunicated)

6. Thanks for your sanction.

7. No you didn't, but some do.

8. "smelling is in the..." go back to #2.

William, there isn't anything about this that is new or hasn't been talked about or explained since Rand was alive and talked about it herself.

I, for one, would be interested in an article about your theory of propositions.

Tom

Again please forgive the typos.




Post 89

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 5:20pmSanction this postReply
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Interesting about what was said about David Gulbraa's Tales of the Mall Masters - it is a terrific book, but one which I would have thought more accepted at TOC than ARI...



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Post 90

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 7:35pmSanction this postReply
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Ed-
Thanks for you sanction...and thanks to Andrew for pointing out your #18 post(which I had missed).  It was exilerating as well.

William-
Of course, Shermer is wrong - wrong in spades - but that doesn't mean that it is wrong for those who support the launching of this philosophical rocket called "Objectivism" to say something like, "Houston, we have a problem." For we do indeed have a problem, and it will not do to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that it will all go away if only we refuse to acknowledge its existence.

Let me expound upon your analogy--
astronaut-"Houston, we have a problem."
Houston-"What is the problem?"
atronaut-"Everyone here believes that gauge X is indicating the correct parameters."
Houston-"What is it indicating?"
Astronaut-"The incorrect parameters."
Houston-"Which are??"
Astronaut-"That is not the point, the point is that they all incorrectly assert the same thing."
Houston-"And you believe they are wrong?"
Astronaut-"Yes."
Houston-"Why do you believe this?"
Astronaut-"Because they refuse to admit my interpretation."

Alas I'll never have a career as a playwrite....

(Edited by Jody Allen Gomez on 9/30, 7:37pm)




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Post 91

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 7:56pmSanction this postReply
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MSK wrote: "Reading too fast. Gotta slow down."

I disagree. I think that should be "Writing too much, too fast. Gotta write less and with more deliberation."



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Post 92

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 8:19pmSanction this postReply
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Wrong Rick.

Within my understanding, I wrote perfectly well what I wanted to say. Clear, concise and reasonable.

Wrong premise, though. I read too fast because of time constraints and misunderstood Tom's post completely. Sort of like what you are doing now.

Nothing more.

The proper thing for any rational person to do when he is wrong is to own up to it just as soon as he can. Even if there are people in the wings waiting with their snotty horseshit and derision.

Hate to disappoint you, but thank you for your concern. Any other lessons you want to teach me?

Michael

(Edited by Michael Stuart Kelly on 9/30, 8:34pm)




Post 93

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 8:19pmSanction this postReply
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The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult

by Murray N. Rothbard

 

 

 

The philosophical rationale for keeping Rand cultists in blissful ignorance was the Randian theory of "not giving your sanction to the Enemy." Reading the Enemy (which, with a few carefully selected exceptions, meant all non- or anti-Randians) meant "giving him your moral sanction," which was strictly forbidden as irrational. In a few selected cases, limited exceptions were made for leading cult members who could prove that they had to read certain Enemy works in order to refute them. This book-banning reached its apogee after the titanic Rand-Branden split in late 1968, a split which was the moral equivalent in miniature of, say, a split between Marx and Lenin, or between Jesus and St. Paul. In a development eerily reminiscent of the organized hatred directed against the arch-heretic Emanuel Goldstein in Orwell’s 1984, Rand cultists were required to sign a loyalty oath to Rand; essential to the loyalty oath was a declaration that the signer would henceforth never read any future works of the apostate and arch-heretic Branden. After the split, any Rand cultist seen carrying a book or writing by Branden was promptly excommunicated. Close relatives of Branden were expected to – and did – break with him completely.

Interestingly enough for a movement which proclaimed its devotion to the individual exertion of reason, to curiosity, and to the question "Why?" cultists were required to swear their unquestioning belief that Rand was right and Branden wrong, even though they were not permitted to learn the facts behind the split. In fact, the mere failure to take a stand, the mere attempt to find the facts, or the statement that one could not take a stand on such a grave matter without knowledge of the facts was sufficient for instant expulsion. For such an attitude was conclusive proof of the defective "loyalty" of the disciple to his guru, Ayn Rand.




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Post 94

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 8:26pmSanction this postReply
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Dayaamm Ciro!

Murray forgot to wait for Valliant's book! She wasn't like that at all. All that stuff came from the Branden books, which were not out when he wrote that!

Maybe he was into time travel. Rand never did like his ideas too much after they split. Ya think he was New Age on the side before his time?

Michael



Post 95

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 8:35pmSanction this postReply
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Did you read about Rothbard's account in POARC?



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Post 96

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 8:39pmSanction this postReply
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1969 Star Trek episode: The Hubbert Telescope

[overacting]: "Bones ... whaddayoo make of this?" [points to infighting of a group on a planet]

[frustrated] "Dammit Jim, I'm a DOCTOR, not a Scientologist!"

Alright Daniel. You want me to admit there's a problem? Well there is. You want me to admit that it's evidence of the unlikeliest cult on earth? Well it is. You want me to admit that my reasoning -- which was merely reasoning that full-fledge supports this unlikelihood -- was wrong? Well, in a word, no. My reason was -- and is -- dead on, brother. It is your conflations & obfuscations that are raining on my parade.

The point is -- and this is a point that I made 'somewhat' implicitly, but with considerable force -- is that it is specifically psychology, and not philosophy, that explains the Randroidian knee-jerk-athons. I wanted and searched for the explanation, you took to haggling over and above problem solving.

Exercise in integration: See if you can guess the common theme in these posts of mine:

Post 18

"Wacko folks calling themselves Objectivists -- does not Objectivists make."


Post 22

Regarding Jim's post 20, which included:
=============
And yes there are some Objectivists who are somewhat more condemnatory or somewhat more ecumenical than others, so what.
=============

"Exacting, James, intellectually exacting! Bravo!"


Post 36

"In the meantime, if you want to talk about human psychology and necessary cultishness in various temperamental inclinations, well go right ahead."


Post 39

"How about this? If the focus is on human psychology (instead of human philosophy), then why not start a thread entitled: [insert funny and illuminatory (of the solution to the paradox of O-ist cultishness) digs here]"


Post 49

"Now, who's up for a thread regarding how personality psychology is related to cultism?"


I won't say much more because my line of reasoning speaks -- no, shouts -- for itself. Problem explained.

Some folks get drunk with finality. Objectivism -- like fundamentalist religions -- offers up some finality. And there's certainly no shortage of ReligiRoids out there. With regard to Objectivism though, those folks susceptible to this drunkeness are simply the bad apples, they don't spoil the bunch (and they definitely don't spoil the basket --ie. the philosophy -- that carries the apples to different places in life).

Ed

Ed




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Post 97

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 8:40pmSanction this postReply
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Michael I am very happy for your new position as Psychology Leader.
You suffered so much in your life my friend. I am very happy to see you
going strong. You deserve the best out of this godamn life because you are a good man.
Best to you sir!




Post 98

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 8:55pmSanction this postReply
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(Edited by Ciro D'Agostino on 9/30, 9:07pm)




Post 99

Friday, September 30, 2005 - 9:01pmSanction this postReply
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Joe,

Yes.


Ed,

You selfish bastard. You quoted only yourself. But frankly, I'm kinda partial to that "Oedipus Psycho-epistemology and how potty-training affects late-life choices in belief systems." LOLOLOLOL...



Ciro,

Thank you.

Michael





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