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Post 20

Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - 7:57amSanction this postReply
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The difference between most libertarians and objectivists is the means they get the ends, their ends being their beliefs and the means being how they go there. Their ends are usually similar - small government, open markets, etc.

One of the ways Objectivists are primarily different because in all of their mental deliberations to get and find what they belief, they are sticklers for maintaining that existence has primacy of consciousness, and that it's not the other way around. Followed to its logical ends, you find objectivism, or you should, in my opinion! ;-)

In my opinion, other views imply, either implicitly or explicitly, that existence is slave to consciousness, either god's or yours or someone else's.

Okay, to refocus, both are allies in freedom, as pointed out many times before in SOLOHQ.

The thing about objectivism that sets it apart from me is that it is a fully integrated point of view that makes sense from top to bottom in non-contradictory way.

So when you take parts of the ideology as true, that's fine, but the difference for you and an objectivist is that you would take a small portion of a fully integrated, cohesive world view (objectivism), and essentially (for lack of a better phrase) "de-root" it from its ideological hierarchy in objectivism and interpret it as factual.

Oh, I also disagree that atheism is a form of faith. It's a lack of faith. It's that simple.



Post 21

Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - 11:18amSanction this postReply
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I had mentioned before that you should take the things you know to be true about how the universe works and own your knowledge and the philosophy (how to best live your life) that comes from it. I didn't mean to imply that you throw away concepts indiscriminately because you don't like them or they conflict with your knowledge. What was meant is that before you can integrate them into your life you have to understand them.

A lot of people take the word of others (including what Ayn Rand teaches) and just accept it on faith that it has been thoroughly thought out.

Study the ideas and come to the conclusions on your own. This is a process not a take it or leave it proposition. If you hold that existence is what it is regardless of our understanding of it. That it can only be what it is. Then from there it is a matter of using logic to understand the laws of reality. In this process you must also remember that if existence is what it is then there can be no contradictions. Contradictions occur within our knowledge and understanding but not in existence.

What I think you will find is objectivism is the closest thing to how an individual must operate to be true to his nature. You internalize the truth as you understand it through objective analysis. O'ism isn't total acceptance of the groups and ideas in this philosophy; it is how you think and as such become one.

Regards,

Jeremy



Post 22

Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 4:11amSanction this postReply
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Thanks, Jeremy. 
I didn't mean to imply that you throw away concepts indiscriminately because you don't like them or they conflict with your knowledge. What was meant is that before you can integrate them into your life you have to understand them.
I also need to expand on an incomplete thought.
 
You cannot be prevented from taking this bit from one philosopher and that bit from another source and so on.  The question then becomes one of identifying the principle that governs your choices.
 
I did not mean to recommend taking a line from Plato and a paragraph from Nietzsche and so on without any standard except "improving" yourself.  That is better than not reading and thinking at all, but it is not enough to create a workable philosophy.  That would be like trying to build a home by gathering scrap material.  It could be done -- and would be better than living without shelter.  The best house is built from materials that are selected and cut, etc., based on a plan. 
 
We have the Quotes forum here.  You can find a lot of quotable quotes that succinctly state some truth.  In order to judge them, you must have a philosophy.  Of course, philosophies are built from ideas.  It is an iterative process.  Each new idea must be integrated into the existing structure -- or else the structure must be modified to include the new idea. 
 
 
 
 




Post 23

Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 4:42amSanction this postReply
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Ryan Peterson wrote:
The difference between most libertarians and objectivists is the means they get the ends, their ends being their beliefs and the means being how they go there. Their ends are usually similar - small government, open markets, etc.
A discussion of The Fountainhead is a good place to make the following point.  Politics is an easy way to see the consequences of ethics and other antecedent truths.  Politics is not the "highest" or most abstract expression -- or even the most concrete.  Art is. The "ends" of libertarianism do not extend beyond politics.  Objectivism goes further.  Therefore, they do not have the same ends.
 
Furthermore, supporting "small government" (so-called) is not enough to make someone an advocate of capitalism. Within in the broad label of "conservatives," there are those who would put religion in the public schools.  The very question of public schools is seldom explored.  In the mid- to late-1980s, Rudy Giuliani made his name public by prosecuting Michael Milken and other financiers.  Giuliani is a Republican, nominally an advocate of "small government" and "open markets."  Giuliani was no friend of capitalism.  (I also point out that that persecution as well as the imprisonment of Martha Stewart both took place in Republican administrations.)
 
Personally, I use both labels -- objectivist and libertarian  -- as conveniences to describe my view of how the world works and my place in it.  Sometimes, I capitalize Objectivist (depending on the context), but I never capitalize libertarian when speaking of myself. 
 
When associating with capital-L Libertarians, I am more likely to roll my eyes in disbelief at someone's idea of good music (movies, television shows, etc.), than when socializing with capital-O Objectivists. On the other hand, I do confess to not adhering to Objectivism on the question of politics.  However, my chances of enjoying any kind of laissez faire utopia in my lifetime are slim.  On the other hand, I can enjoy good art now. 
 
 
 




Post 24

Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 5:19amSanction this postReply
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Ryan,

I really appreciate the dialogue I'm finding here. Thanks!

We agree that political libertarians and philosophical objectivists are allies and not enemies. If I didn't believe this I wouldn't have bothered to read Rand's works in the first place, or have began posting on SOLO (ha).

And I can understand your point about "de-rooting" the Objectivist philosophy by coming at it in an "a la carte" fashion.

However, I do have an integrated philosophy for life (Christ). I'm reading Rand's works out of curiosity (and, of course with an open mind). When I read something from her which adds to my integrated philosophy (e.g., emphasis on truth, a reasoned ethic, etc.) I believe I can incorporate these truths into my life philosophy easily and without contradiction.

And, please believe me, I'm not here to debate my faith with any one, I would disagree that atheism is "lack of faith." I would restate it thusly: atheism is faith in the non-existence of God. Theism is faith in the existence of God. Both are positions of "faith" in the face of arguments and evidence for or against the stated position. One cannot be objectively "certain" that God either exists or does not exist. One must go with the proponderance of the evidence and make a "faith" decision on the topic. Therfore, atheism and theism share something in common -- they are both positions of faith.




Post 25

Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 6:06amSanction this postReply
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Jeremy,

I can certainly appreciate your statement "A lot of people take the word of others (including what Ayn Rand teaches) and just accept it on faith that it has been thoroughly thought out."

I attempt not to do that in what I believe and how I live my life. I'm not a trained philosopher but I do attempt to think things through thoroughly and deeply before committing myself to an action or idea.

Study the ideas and come to the conclusions on your own. This is a process not a take it or leave it proposition. If you hold that existence is what it is regardless of our understanding of it. That it can only be what it is. Then from there it is a matter of using logic to understand the laws of reality. In this process you must also remember that if existence is what it is then there can be no contradictions. Contradictions occur within our knowledge and understanding but not in existence.
As to the above - I'm still wrapping my mind around the idea of "existence is what it is." My reaction is ... "of course it is." What would be the metaphysical opposite of this truth? That existence isn't? I seem to recall the Cartesian principle of "I think, therefore I am." That seems to work for me.

Question - how does Objectivism build on this idea of existence being "what it is." You seem to imply that this is the cornerstone of  Objectivist thought. What corollary truths stem from this in Objectivist thought (or is that too broad of a question?).

Love the dialogue ...

BKB





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Post 26

Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 11:02amSanction this postReply
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By the way the metaphysical opposite of this truth is that statement of "I think, therefore I am."

An objectivist would say "I am, therefore if I want to live I must think."

Well, at least that's what I would say :)

Regards,

Jeremy




Post 27

Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 10:57amSanction this postReply
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BKB, The answer is kind of hidden in my statement. I'll try to be more clear.

"Question - how does Objectivism build on this idea of existence being "what it is." You seem to imply that this is the cornerstone of Objectivist thought. What corollary truths stem from this in Objectivist thought (or is that too broad of a question?)."

Existence (i.e. the universe) exists wether a consciousness is aware of it or not. There are other schools of thought that don't agree with this statement and I wanted to make it explicit.

Something objective is having actual existence or reality uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices.

Something subjective is particular to a given person. So reality to them is in regards to how they perceive it.

If we start with the concept that existence exists. That A is A - or objects are exactly what they are regardless of how we feel or wish them to be then we are objectivists. It is the core and everything builds off that.

Regards,

Jeremy



Post 28

Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 11:32amSanction this postReply
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Weird, I must have received enough points to be un-moderated in between posts.



Post 29

Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 11:57amSanction this postReply
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Cool - I'm just figuring out what the "sanctions" are all about. Evidently I've received a few as well. Not enough to be "un-moderated." Congrats! (ha)
 
BKB




Post 30

Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 12:00pmSanction this postReply
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Jeremy - very interesting take on things. If I recall correctly, Des Cartes wanted to strip back everything and begin again in the philosophical process. He asked "Am I real?" and came to the conclusion he was real because he could think and reason. Hence "I think, therefore I am."
 
That's what I was alluding to (if I recall it correctly).
 
I like your 'take' on it as well - I am, therefore I want to live and must think." Well-put!
 
The corollary is that if one does not think, one is quasi-living?
 
BKB




Post 31

Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 12:23pmSanction this postReply
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Atheism is, properly, 'a - theism', with 'theism' defined as a belief in a deity or 'theos'.And here's the clincher - 'a' is the Greek for 'not', which means that 'a-theism' means 'not believing in a deity' - not, as has been claimed, another belief... it is the absence of a belief.

Secondly, one does not 'prove' a negative. The burden of proof lies in the one who asserts "____ is", and a lack pf proof means that 'it' does not exist - for to exist, means to be measurable, and if not measurable, 'it' simply does not exist, no matter how much believed.

Thirdly, this "Christ" notion is NOT an integrated view of existance... indeed, quite the contrary, it is a mismash of contrary notions, full of inconsistancies... it may be considered a 'philosophy', in the primitive sense of the meaning, but little else - again, no matter how much believed.

That, then, is the crux - the need to understand that there is a crucial difference between 'knowing' and 'believing', that 'knowing ' comes from the use of the reasoning faculty [that is why one has it - that is what it is there for], and that 'believing', however much one may crave and demand its use, is at base wishfulness, a desiring to have an answering without substantiation, just because there is a feeling for it.




Post 32

Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 11:57amSanction this postReply
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Cool - I'm just figuring out what the "sanctions" are all about. Evidently I've received a few as well. Not enough to be "un-moderated." Congrats! (ha)
 
BKB




Post 33

Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 12:00pmSanction this postReply
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Jeremy - very interesting take on things. If I recall correctly, Des Cartes wanted to strip back everything and begin again in the philosophical process. He asked "Am I real?" and came to the conclusion he was real because he could think and reason. Hence "I think, therefore I am."
 
That's what I was alluding to (if I recall it correctly).
 
I like your 'take' on it as well - I am, therefore I want to live and must think." Well-put!
 
The corollary is that if one does not think, one is quasi-living?
 
BKB




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Post 34

Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 12:13pmSanction this postReply
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BKB:

I give you kudos for exploring new intellectual territory. That's great, and I hope you find tenants in Objectivism that help promote a happy, productive outlook on life for you.

And, for the sake of not having this thread go on a tangient, lets agree to to disagree on wether atheism is a form of faith or not.



Post 35

Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 2:31pmSanction this postReply
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Ryan,

I appreciate the kudos and send them back your way for your kind tone.
 
And, certainly, I can agree to disagree agreably with you on atheism and theism. Gladly, my friend. I'm not here "lurking" and trying to convert anyone. I'm simply curious about Rand's writings and philosophy and believe this is a good place to ask questions.
 
No tangients from me - I promise. Just an occasional question or two :-).
 
BKB




Post 36

Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 2:38pmSanction this postReply
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Robert,
 
Thanks for helping me brush up on the Greek (I took four years ;-).
 
Please understand I'm not trying to prove the existence of God to anyone on this forum, nor to convince anyone of the validity of Christ as the organizing principle in my life.
 
I'm simply a libertarian who came to libertarian thought in a non-Randian route and have finally decided to check Rand and Objectivism out for myself. If I can incorporate anything into my own understanding of reality - then great! If not, so be it.
 
I appreciate, by the way, you pointing out the crucial difference between "knowing" and "believing." Interesting juxtaposition between knowing being entirely cognitive-based and, in your understanding, believing to be emotive-based (wishful thinking?). Never looked at it quite like that. I'll have to "think" about it.
 
BKB




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