North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › Organizer is asking David Croft to Withdraw from NTOS

Organizer is asking David Croft to Withdraw from NTOS

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Old T.
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 205
To All,

I am asking David Wallace Croft to withdraw as a member of the North Texas Objectivist Society. Because David has been so prominent on our message board, I am taking this action publicly. I will, however, give him an opportunity to respond to my decision on this message thread below.

Dan Chern has already given David a first warning on May 5, 2006. In light of David's response and further postings on our message board since then, I do not think any further warning to him would be useful.

The stated purpose of our group is twofold. First, we want to provide a place where Objectivist members can socialize among like-minded individuals. Second, we want to provide a friendly environment to promote Objectivism to members who may be earnestly and actively interested in learning more about the philosophy. To facilitate these two purposes, we also warmly welcome the friends, spouses, and families of these two kinds of members.

While some of us are open to discussing non-Objectivist ideas, we ask that everyone be respectful of the central interest of the group in Objectivism and that no one tries to "sell" conflicting philosophical ideas to our group.

In conflict with this, David is primarily interested in promoting his religion, which is some new-age version of Humanism. He has become quite active on our message boards in support of these ideas and in an effort to promote his Humanist religion.

For example, on links from our message board to his website, he has been actively promoting his ideas as "a religion without supernatural elements at the intersection of Religious Humanism, Objectivism, and Libertarian Transhumanism." This is not an intersection. It is a train wreck.

While David professes to not see the conflict with Objectivism, I do. The growth of NTOS is my chosen responsibility, and it is my right to act in this kind of situation.

David signed up for our group almost one year ago, in June, 2005, and he has attended about 10 of our social events. While I have had my concerns all this time, these were mitigated by his participation in Dean Cook's Plano OPAR Study Group. I was willing to give him time and the benefit of the doubt for him making that effort to learn more about Objectivism. But based on my direct observations of his participations and statements at our social events and especially based on his recent postings on our message board for the purpose of actively promoting his new-age religion, he is reading OPAR without understanding, or worse, with willful evasion.

It has become clear to me that David has been lost back in Chapter 1 or 2 of OPAR. For example, his is continuing to actively promote on our message board and by linking to his website his new-age Humanist beliefs including that "instinct" is a source of human knowledge (mysticism); that "humans are intrinsically good"(intrinsicism); that "the mind can be preserved independent of the brain" (mind-body dichotomy); that "the universe is deterministic" (no free will); and in "a faith-based religion" (unreason).

Reading Chapter 7 at Dean Cook's next OPAR study group meeting cannot be expected to help David with these fundamental issues.

For those who might apologize for David under the rubric "sense of life," consider his self-chosen online moniker: "deadliner."

The final straw for my camel's back, which David posted a few hours ago to our message board, is that he supports a quote in an article against Ayn Rand's ideas.

Repeatedly, David is expressly rejecting the fundamental axioms and ideas of Objectivism. His off-topic interest in new-age Humanism is becoming a serious distraction to our social events and our message board. NTOS is for the purposes of Objectivists and promoting Objectivism, not to be used as a platform for David to promote his new-age Humanism. His actions and postings violate the purposes and standards we have on our NTOS About Page.

NTOS is not a place for the high priest of some new-age Humanist sect.

David does not fall in any of the categories of persons we are inviting to participate in our social events. He is not an Objectivist (by any standard). He does not appear to be earnestly and actively interested in learning more about Objectivism (except possibly for the purposes of hashing and confusing some of those ideas into his version of new-age Humanism). He is not a guest constructively curious to see what NTOS and Objectivism are about. Nor is he coming as a welcome friend or spouse of the kinds of people we invite to join us as members.

I recognize that David has been enjoying his participations in our group. It is remotely possible that at some point in the future he might become sincerely interested in Objectivism and applying it, in total, to his life. If so, to protect the integrity of the purposes of NTOS, before he rejoins I would expect to meet with him privately so that I could evaluate whether he could then publicly demonstrate to our other members that he is has abandoned promoting his new-age Humanism and that he is sincerely interested in Objectivism, the rational philosophy of reality and reason.

-- Todd

Edited to correct two grammatical errors.
Also edited to correct link to first warning.


Edited 5/17/07 when I noticed those quotation marks substituted for smart character sets that Meetup's ssystem no longer recognizes. No substantive other changes.
-- Todd
A former member
Post #: 84
Todd,

I am asking David Wallace Croft to withdraw as a member of the North Texas Objectivist Society.

If I have a choice about it, my answer is no.

I read your message and I have considered your points. As I stated earlier on the other thread, I will address them in turn.
Old T.
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 206
Todd,

I am asking David Wallace Croft to withdraw as a member of the North Texas Objectivist Society.

If I have a choice about it, my answer is no.

I read your message and I have considered your points. As I stated earlier on the other thread, I will address them in turn.

David:

No thank you. My time is too valuable.

-- Todd
Chuck
SmithChuck
Mesquite, TX
Post #: 23
.
For what it's worth, I stand in full agreement with Todd's action regarding this issue, and I appreciate his prudential assertion of the principles upon which this group was founded.

-Chuck
A former member
Post #: 18
Frankly, I was very upset by this episode. I felt being manipulated and taken advantage of. I have zero tolerance for this stuff.

On the positive side, my hat and socks flew off in opposite directions seeing how well everybody handled the situation, including our newbies to Objectivism. smile
Hammad H.
user 2469690
San Marcos, TX
Post #: 11
This is my somewhat belated (I've been very busy) approval of Todd's decision to remove Mr. Croft from NTOS.

Observe that the issue is not merely Mr. Croft trying to import FAITH into Objectivism or disagreeing with parts of it. He constantly MISREPRESENTS what Objectivism claims. The evidence is on the recent board threads about combining religion with Objectivism. Even after someone corrects him in regard to the Objectivist position on a particular philosophic issue, he continues to misrepresent the Objectivist position, as though nothing had been said. (Read through the "A Religion Compatible With Objectivism" thread, and then read his current blog entry.) I'm not claiming 100% certainty yet, but it seems odd to ascribe this to honest error, since even relative "newbies" to Objectivism, who don't have his technical expertise in philosophy, seem to understand the Objectivist position on issues where he doesn't, but claims to. This is proof, at least, of enormous intellectual irresponsibility on his part.

--Ahmad Hassan
A former member
Post #: 13
Sorry for the long delay of replying to this thread. I am having difficulties with replying to messages on this board: The reply window is only four lines deep! Has anyone else had this problem, and if so how did you fix it? I've just received a upgraded computer, and had to reformat the hard drive and start all over again. Funny how the same hard drive and settings will do that to a computer, by the time one gets to the third computer -- poor thing didn't know which configuration settings to follow, so it crashed and burned! But I have the latest and greatest Internet Explorer on this computer, along with the latest updates, so I don't know why my viewing experience on this board reply mode is so awful. Consequently, I'm having to use a different text editor, so I'm not having the quotes in the reply.

At any rate, after having several discussions with David Croft regarding the issue of religion and Objectivism, I'm convinced that he is having an intellectual difficulty rather than being evasive; and therefore I think kicking him out of NTOS is premature. Granted, he was promoting the formation of a new religion supposedly compatible with Objectivism on this board, which was in violation of not promoting ideas incompatible with Objectivism, but I'm convinced that this was a tenuous attempt on his part of having rational ceremonies for special occasions, rather than a religion. He just thinks that if one has a series of ceremonies then one ought to call it a religion, of which terminology I strongly disagree. I think it is a form of rationalism on his part -- i.e. a series of ceremonies dedicated to consecrating one's ideas is a religion.

I've been having discussions with him regarding this on the Plano OPAR study group email list, which I didn't realize was available on the Internet to anyone who has a Yahoo account. So, if you would like to look in on our discussion and decide for yourself, the URL is: http://groups.yahoo.c...­

In short, I think he is having rational confusions because he already had a sort of philosophy before being introduced to Objectivism (only about a year ago), and now he is trying to re-integrate his ideas along the lines of Objectivism -- which is no easy task. I know because I came to Objectivism via Catholicism, and my own transition was rift with confusions for quite some time; but that was thirty years ago, and the Internet was not available for me to be so open about my confusions, nor had I met anyone who had studied Objectivism for any length of time way back then; so my confusions were basically unknown to any Objectivists.

I can assure you, though, and have said this to David Croft, that thinking out loud right in front of "everyone" can get one into hot water, as I found out when I signed up for one of the first Internet based Objectivism discussion "boards", Bob Stubblefield's OSG (Objectivist Study Group) back in 1989.

I am quite happy that Todd wants to have high standards for both the discussion board and the meetings, and I think Objectivism ought to be defended to the fullest on both the board and at the meetings. However, it is crucially important to distinguish errors of knowledge from breaches of morality; and David is having an error of knowledge.
Dan
dbclawyer
Allen, TX
Post #: 39
I would like to take a moment and respond to Tom's thoughts.

Granted, he was promoting the formation of a new religion supposedly compatible with Objectivism on this board, which was in violation of not promoting ideas incompatible with Objectivism, but I'm convinced that this was a tenuous attempt on his part of having rational ceremonies for special occasions, rather than a religion.


David's ejection was based on his vocal advocacy of his religion. (I say “religion” because, in part, that is what David calls his belief system.) The related point is that David was not merely a parishioner of his religion. He is a founder and leader of his religion. David has founded a new religion made up of various other religions and philosophies and promoted them on our message boards. http://www.croftpress...­

At any rate, after having several discussions with David Croft regarding the issue of religion and Objectivism, I'm convinced that he is having an intellectual difficulty rather than being evasive; and therefore I think kicking him out of NTOS is premature.

From the posts on our board and from the links he provided, the evidence is overwhelming that David’s advocacy is more than an honest error or an effort to come up with rational ceremonies for special occasions. http://www.universali...­
Be that as it may, we do not need to guess as to his motives or as to the existence of an honest or dishonest methodology. We need only look at what David posted on our boards. (A person's methodology will be revealed in part by what they believe and how they defend or fail to defend those beliefs.)

However, it is crucially important to distinguish errors of knowledge from breaches of morality; and David is having an error of knowledge.

I agree completely that there is a profound difference between errors of knowledge and breaches of morality. I invite anyone who is curious about this distinction to check David’s beliefs via his religion page cited above. An example: http://www.croftpress...­
A former member
Post #: 20
Optihumanism is a faith-based religion. It is not a philosophy. It is not a life stance. We believe in Humanity.
http://www.croftpress...­

Faith is very harmful. Advocacy of faith is a severe wrong. Aggressive advocacy of faith to Objectivists is deliberately mean.
A former member
Post #: 19
The Universe is deterministic. Our fate is determined by our genetics; Our fate is determined by our environments; Our fate is determined by our choices. Sexual preference, like skin color, is not a choice and is not a sin. Power is the ability to control one's own destiny.

Determinism concerns me just as much.
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