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Re: [humanism-174] Re: Objectivism

From: user 9.
Sent on: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 9:07 AM
There is a book by Nat Branden that discusses his encounters with Rand as well as the affair he had with her. To say that Rand fell short of her own philosophy is a mild understatement. She was arrogant and self centered but brilliant. Its worth while to read her books. I would chew but dont swallow     Randall---- Mikkel Fishman <[address removed]> wrote: 
> Haha glad you missed me Michael...I've been around but you guys talk so much it's hard to keep track of it all the time and have a life. To be a devil's advocate (especially knowing many Libertarians) what basis is there for forcing participation? If the majority of people believe in helping their fellow man and then what would be lost by having some people opt out? (I think people that did would find out very quickly about the importance of reciprocity) Sometimes I feel that the general lack of political awareness and loss of community seems to have some roots in government largess. I have to admit that I am sympathetic to a lot of their ideas, even though I have a very different moral system...and whenever they go on about how unfair things are that the government takes and wastes "their" money (in quotes because most of the are in a class where they undoubtedly get more out of the government pyramid than they put in once you count all the cumulative
>  benefits) and how if there weren't social programs and such that charities would spring up, I tell them to stop complaining and set up those charities then and I'd be more sympathetic. That shuts them up most of the time, but I'm not totally sure that if we had the proper charitable groups in existence -- combined with a more direct connection between wages and economic growth -- that their vision would be all that bad, and the positives may outweigh the negatives. 
> 
> 
> 
> ____________________­____________
> From: Michael <[address removed]>
> To: [address removed]
> Sent: Monday, June 22,[masked]:54:11 PM
> Subject: Re: [humanism-174] Re: Objectivism
> 
> First, where in the hell have you been Mikkel?!? How are you? Second, your right about Rand. She tried to justify her loony egocentric doctrine using philosophical language. In other words, a radioactive isotope veneered in gold. I truly connected with Henry Roark to a certain extent especially as an artist who despises people like Peter Keating. Her positions were sexist (oddly enough) and lacking in empathy. She is why I am so irritated with Libertarians. They'd watch the scene of an accident without helping and then charge the family for all the expenses incurred by the accident. I'm only half-joking...
> Sent on the Now Network��� from my Sprint�� BlackBerry
> ____________________­____________
> From:  Mikkel Fishman 
> Date: Mon, 22 Jun[masked]:13:22 -0400
> To: <[address removed]>
> Subject: Re: [humanism-174] Re: Objectivism
> 
> For my 2 cents her epistemology is just a hodgepodge of Descartes, Hume and Kant...with quibbling semantic disagreements to make it "different."
> 
> 1) is an axiom in nearly all philosophical ideas...in fact you could argue that philosophy itself depends on this
> 
> 2) See Kant. Wikipedia says "To defend and explain her position on reason, she developed a theory of sense-perception that distinguishes between the form and the object of perception, holding that the form in which an organism perceives is determined by its physiological means of perception but that in whatever form it perceives, what it  perceives���the object of its perception���is reality. She rejected the Kantian dichotomy between "things as we perceive them" and "things as they are in themselves." The validity of the senses, she held, is axiomatic: sense-perception, being physiologically determined,  cannot make "mistakes" or err in responding to the facts of reality."  OK so she agrees with him completely about how the world is filtered through innate perception but then just says "reality" is what you perceive and there is no reason to think otherwise.
> 
> 3) Hume/Kant put emphasis on empiricial perception, Descartes on logic. Again the primary difference is that they were all concerned with there being a reality outside of an individual's  perception and that we use internal representational models to interface with that reality. Her distinction again is that they are equal.
> 
> 4) She despised altruism and to me her policies argue for social Darwinism (not forced mind you). Although this is ironic because in the last 10-20 years they've discovered that contrary to the perception, altruism amongst social animals is one of the most successful means of propogation.
> 
> 5) Well I think it is consistent with her philosophy.  Based on 4.
> 
> Quite frankly I have no idea how she can justify perception and reality as being the same. Anyone with a modicum of understanding about the role of language in concept formation would quickly see that representational models directly affect what someone holds to be true, and that there is a feedback between how language evolves from and shapes cultural experience. Moreover, I don't see any role for consensus to alter opinion. If you were colorblind, then you'd say that two objects are the  same color, and if 98% of people around you say that they aren't...then is it more "realistic" to claim that they are? Especially when there is a biologically driven explanation for why you see them the same? What about things that you cannot directly observe? In complex systems there are always competing models that are abstract representations of reality because it's impossible to directly observe and measure all variables at the same time. The question isn't whether
>  they are the Truth, but whether they do a reasonable job of giving insight.
> 
> In my personal experience, most individuals that consider themselves Objectivists have a sense of  self-aggrandizement and tortured genius syndrome. If only everyone were rational like they are, then surely they'd come to the same conclusions about life and things would be easy. I think they are attracted to it because they tend to be highly rational and self opinionated and want to say that their thoughts are objective truth. After watching some Rand interviews, I don't think it's necessarily fair to smear her ideas based on the behavior of many of the adherents, but even she had odd things like thinking homosexuality was "disgusting" as if that were objective fact instead of a subjective belief or opinion. As Randall mentioned, she was hardly the epitome of her philosophical ideals in her own life. For my two cents, I find LaVeyan Satanism (http://en.wikiped...­) to be a much fuller representation of this sort of life philosophy. He
>  quipped it was ���just Ayn Rand���s philosophy, with ceremony and ritual added," but from the (admittedly little) I've read, that's not exactly true: it's more a recognition that we're not all rational Ubermenschen.  
> 
> 
> 
> ____________________­____________
> From: Mark Tiborsky <[address removed]>
> To: [address removed]
> Sent: Monday, June 22,[masked]:52:57  AM
> Subject: Re: [humanism-174] Re: Objectivism
> 
> 
> Hi, Jason!
>  
> I read The Fountainhead 25 years ago- I found it to be very interesting, yet it was hard for me to get through because it goes way off on tangents (like much other deep philosophy).
>  
> Some principles of Objectivism: (with my 2 cents)
>  
> 1) reality exists independent of consciousness (Check! This is a very simple concept- yet so few understand it, or want it to be true)
>  
> 2) individual persons are in contact with this reality through sensory perception (Check!)
>  
> 3) human beings can gain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive and deductive logic (Check!)
>  
> 4) the proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or rational self-interest (hmmm... does this attempt to justify negative selfish/self-centere­d behavior?)
>  
> 5) the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights, embodied in pure laissez-faire capitalism (highly debatable, of course- here is where Objectivism really polarizes)
>  
> 6) the role of art in human life is to transform man's widest metaphysical ideas, by selective reproduction of reality, into a physical form���a work of art���that he can comprehend and to which he can respond emotionally (that's part of it, but does art always have to be that deep? What about art for pure visual or audio appeal to the senses, like at Parade the Circle?)
> 
> Mark T.
>  
> On Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 9:46 AM, Jason <[address removed]> wrote:
> 
> Having dabbled in Libertarian circles I have found many that idolize Rand.  So in short they share a lot in common.
> > 
> >Interestingly enough though, many of the Libertarians I run into are entrenched prolife Christians.  I find this is contradiction to the rest of their freedom of choice and self reliance political stances.  Rand on the other hand was an atheist and pro-choice.  I have found many of Rand's comments on religion insightful & thought provoking.  I have found Rand's fiction to be just that.  Not completely applicable to the real world, but none the less interesting and relevant.  I agree that reading The Fountainhead is a good starting point.
> >
> >
> >
> > 
> >
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