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Post 60

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 8:26amSanction this postReply
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(Edited by Andy Postema on 11/27, 10:40am)




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Post 61

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 8:35amSanction this postReply
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Kevin,
Linz, Andy, have either of you managed to set MSK straight on any damn thing, other than how you feel about him?
Your question is odd, to say the least.  Linz and I and many others have repeatedly engaged Slippery Mick in serious discussion.  There's no stretch on my part to say that I've decimated his arguments regarding heroism, benevolence, price-gouging, and addiction.  But after the third or fourth time of Slippery changing the meaning of the words he wrote to avoid conceding his errors, it's only reasonable to stop taking him seriously.

However, if you have a post-modern frame of mind, maybe you cannot recognize Slippery's preferred method of evasion.

Andy




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Post 62

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 9:01amSanction this postReply
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Linz,
Ah, the moral equivalence fallacy again.
This is the favorite ploy of the post-moderns exploiting the trite falsehood that there are always two sides to every story.  By drawing a moral equivalence between an argument grounded in objective truth and their sophist claptrap, the soft-headed will then diginify the crap the post-moderns spew instead of reviling it.

There is also the "pox on both your houses" variant that the post-moderns especially love, because it sets them up as morally superior beings who are above the petty clashes of others as to what is objective truth.  These sophisticates already know the pointlessness of such disputes, because objective truth is nothing but dogmatic, closed-minded, absolutist nonsense.  The poseurs that they are, they love to strike the supercillious pose of light-hearted jocularity that is in fact a sneering ridicule of anyone who musters passion in promoting what he believes to be objectively true.

We often see this dead-souled mockery manifesting itself here with this joyless string of characters "LOLOLOLOLOL..."

As you say:  Sickening.

Andy




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Post 63

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 9:12amSanction this postReply
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I would remind those who shouldn't be here that they don't have to be here. You are guests in my house. If you don't like me & what I represent, I'm sure it's not beyond your capacities to find the door. Anyone else in my position would have flung you out aeons ago.
Bravo, Linz!

These are the "parasites" I mentioned to you a few weeks ago.  They come to your house to do something other than what you invited them to do.  It's no skin off your nose, so you tolerate them.  Yet they expect you to impose upon those guests who have accepted and honored your invitation their rules of conduct.

The bizarre thing is that a goodly portion of these parasites still have the gumption to call themselves Objectivists!

Andy




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Post 64

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 9:17amSanction this postReply
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(Edited by Mike Erickson
on 11/27, 11:08am)




Post 65

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 9:26amSanction this postReply
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(Edited by Andy Postema on 11/27, 10:40am)




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Post 66

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 9:28amSanction this postReply
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Frankly, I'm sick of this one-way street. MSK, you, Barbara Branden, and others can say the most outrageous things with a wink or a velvet smile and somehow that's above reproach. Someone fires back, and it's NO FAIR! Give me a break.
Amen, Brother Casey.

Andy




Post 67

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 9:38amSanction this postReply
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(Edited by Andy Postema on 11/27, 10:41am)




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Post 68

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 9:54amSanction this postReply
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(Edited by Mike Erickson
on 11/27, 11:08am)




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Post 69

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 9:58amSanction this postReply
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The lie consists of peddling a child as other than pre-pubertant, as instead all of a minor under the artificial age of 18...[that is, presenting false identification of what is 'pedofilia'] ...   that, Andy, makes YOU the guilty one... YOU as one advocating a collective notion, a tribalist mindset - hardly an Objectivist position of advocating individualism...[irrespective of whether one approves such age difference relatings].



Post 70

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 10:09amSanction this postReply
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(Edited by Andy Postema on 11/27, 10:42am)




Post 71

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 10:18amSanction this postReply
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(Edited by Andy Postema on 11/27, 10:43am)




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Post 72

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 10:23amSanction this postReply
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Andy—in this age of moral equivalence, where vicious people masquerade under a paper-thin veneer of "niceness," you are a breath of fresh air. On an Objectivist forum where a significant number of posters are clearly in thrall to conventional, cheek-turning bromides, you are equally a breath of fresh air. You & Marty Lewinter give me hope.

One thing, though—I would like for this discussion not to re-bog down in a pursuit of Adam Reed. He & his daughter had a very public set-to here following matters raised by you in your response to his accusing you of being someone else. They then got to talking privately, and as I understand it reached some sort of resolution. The matter should rest there, if for no other reason than respect for Halina's own wishes that it be left to rest there.

My own reference to promoters of pedophilia and defenders of such promoters was of course to Barbara's defence of Jim Peron when evidence about Peron was being shovelled onto another web site at a rate of knots and she was fully aware of that fact. This at a time when she was smearing me as an alcoholic, and her depiction of Frank O'Connor as an alcoholic was under serious scrutiny. Nice Barbara, of course, has since spoken out against "anger" in the Objectivist movement, which really brings us back to the point of this thread. Roger Bissell, feigning obtuseness, asked what all this "crap" was about? I can't imagine he didn't already know the answer. Here it is again, for the third time:

Ah, the moral equivalence fallacy again. Defending a promoter of pedophilia is as good as opposing pedophilia—the only thing that matters is that those who do the latter don't get angry, while practitioners of the former may get as angry, smart-assed & smarmy as they like. Defending someone who smears others as alcoholics is as noble as the smeared parties' protests—the only thing that matters is that the latter are not expressed too loudly. Downplaying monumentally unconscionable deceit of a true hero by her exploiters as "the bad stuff" is as admirable as coming to the (dead) hero's defence—the only thing that matters is that those who do the latter don't do so in a way that offends those who do the former.

Beyond sickening.


Linz





Post 73

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 10:36amSanction this postReply
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I do not comment on personal attacks or delusional ideations. However, my own article on a related topic, Notes on "Reading Lolita in Teheran," is available on this site. The smear campaign should not distract the attention of SOLOists from issues raised in that article, particularly the roles of religion and more generally of the primacy of consciousness in the scandal of sexual abuse of children by adults.


(Edited by Adam Reed
on 11/27, 10:40am)




Post 74

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 10:39amSanction this postReply
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Linz,
One thing, though—I would like for this discussion not to re-bog down in a pursuit of Adam Reed.
Reed is not being hounded.  I am for having passed an obvious judgment about him.  I've taken the liberty as your guest to defend the legitimacy of my actions which Haggerty denounced at length and the usual suspects supported.

But the truth is that I don't give a damn about what any of these reprobates think about me, Linz.  So I'll not only respect your request to end the matter, I'll delete my posts in response to them.

Andy

[Edited for grammatical error.]

(Edited by Andy Postema on 11/27, 10:44am)




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Post 75

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 10:40amSanction this postReply
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(Edited by Mike Erickson
on 11/27, 11:10am)




Post 76

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 10:46amSanction this postReply
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Andy, in truth I think you are being hounded for your repudiation of moral equivalence. On that matter I am entirely on your side.

Linz



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Post 77

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 11:15amSanction this postReply
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Andy, in truth I think you are being hounded for your repudiation of moral equivalence.
There's truth to that, Linz.

Since publicly opposing Reed's agenda, I've been castigated by a number of well-meaning e-mailers that I was frittering away all the goodwill I earned from Reed's bizarre "Who is Andy Postema?" thread.  They felt my opposition to him only served to now make Reed the recipient of the forum's goodwill.  They were correct.

I gladly spent that goodwill because it was cheap coin.  I did nothing to earn it.  I got it because I was perceived by many here to be victim of Reed, despite the fact that I plainly said I wasn't and refused to be one.  The status of victim is a highly honored one in the post-modern culture (from which even the SOLO forum is not immune), and I was not going to be denied this accolade no matter how much I protested against it.

Then Reed got the gusher of goodwill because he was perceived to be a victim of mine, although I posted nothing but undisputed facts about his agenda.  By crowning us each in turn as victims, the usual suspects here did draw a moral equivalence between Reed and me, which I noisily repudiated even at the loss of the warm fuzzies from the be-nice crowd.

If only I could tell them how sorry I am for being who I am - you know, being a victim of myself! - they would love me again. ;-)

Andy




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Post 78

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 11:43amSanction this postReply
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Andy really nailed it in Post #22 when he said:
 
....I prefer to call useful anger "righteous" rather than "appropriate".  The hotter description reminds us that our anger works best when it lights a fire under the ass of its recipient (including ourselves) to do the right thing.  Because righteous anger can stir us and others out of moral complacency into action against evil it is an emotion in service to reason.

Not all of us can muster righteous anger.  Not everyone has the full kit of emotions to employ, at least not effectively.  So for many anger becomes vengeful wrath, mindless rage, or...[worse].

 
That's OK.  If righteous anger isn't in your playbook, don't use it to oppose evil.  Do what you do best.  But enough of this tsk-tsking of those who will use fire to burn down the sophistry, the invincible ignorance, the complacency, and cowardice that shelters the vile and the wicked from the disinfecting sunshine of the truth.
Moral indignation and outrage in defense of what I tend to call "extreme Western liberalism" is very rare today and, when talking to those you don't know well, often has the effect of shocking them out of their complacency. And it may motivate, inspire, and teach you (as noted above)! Even successful demagogues get thrown off their game and thence forward can't argue as effectively. Anyone anywhere who speaks with great confidence usually impresses and woos others. If a given Objectivist-style thinker attacks with indignation or energetic confidence some "sacred cow" premise of welfare statism, religion, or altruism this often makes the listener pause in disbelief and induces a quiet marveling contemplation. I think it's really valuable at times to show others (and yourself) that you can be confident -- to deliberately strut your stuff -- because this truly suggests to the listener/reader that maybe you know what you're talking about.
 
That said, when discussing things with those you know pretty well, it seems like a kind of respectful engaging style in which you chat non-confrontationally is usually best. Arguably you should press your point(s) as far as you can go -- watching/gauging the other carefully -- and then back off when you've scored as many points as your skill and the other's virtue allow. Almost always you can resume later. Humor and gentle misdirection seem to work well here (a lot like salesmanship). So does trying hard to understand and then use the other person's already-accepted values and beliefs politely against him.
 
It occurs to me that what we may be discussing here is the forgotten subject of rhetoric. As late as the late 1800s -- with the great classic liberal Robert Ingersoll -- there were professional speakers, rhetoricians and persuaders. I think we need to get back to that.
 
Of course...the final answer may just be to tell as much truth as possible and promote as much morality as possible, and not pay too much attention to the listener, but let the chips fall where they may. (This is a point generally made by Andy in this thread and his 'Backbone of Benevolence' article.) 
 
Still, I'd be interested to hear other SOLOists' thoughts on when rage and condemnation persuades people, and when a calm, even-tempered, thoughtful, pervasively reasonable, and even Socratic approach works best. 





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Post 79

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 12:12pmSanction this postReply
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Andre,

"Still, I'd be interested to hear other SOLOists' thoughts on when rage and condemnation persuades people, and when a calm, even-tempered, thoughtful, pervasively reasonable, and even Socratic approach works best.
"

The TRUTH convinces people who are interested in it. Every day in the middle east the "pervasively reasonable, and even Socratic approach" is used to convince young brainwashed acolytes to kill themselves as suicide bombers. Their ability to distinguish truth from falsehood has been destroyed over years by "calm, persuasive" means. The whole point of objectivist philosophy is to learn to recognize truth from lies. And fallacies from rational discourse. What does it matter the delivery? I don't want to be "persuaded", I want to be convinced of the truth, that is, I have to be able to recreate the whole chain of logic, with no holes, no mischaracterizations or fuzzy definitions before I make a personal judgement. Often, I simply don't make a judgement call if the whole argument doesn't fall into place or if some of the facts I'm not convinced of. I am not uncomfortable about being unconvinced. I will not be "persuaded" by someone to "believe" something simply because of their personality and their desire to convince me. Lies, however, make me angry regardless of how they are delivered. I learned that most people lie for sport or convenience or gain at an early age.



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