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Recognizing One's Betters

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TC

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Feb 22, 2005, 12:32:46 PM2/22/05
to
When I read Atlas Shrugged I came across phrases like:

"If he chooses to correct his errors in time, he will have the
unobstructed example of his betters, for guidance in learning to think"

(p 992 see
http://www.angelfire.com/oh4/befree/AtlasShrugged5.html )

Other statements that I recall exhorted one to, in effect, follow
ones "betters".

So how does one recognize one's betters?

It is easy enough in athletics or chess or mathematics.
If you compete with a better, they will beat you.

But in matters of moral philosophy what distinguises
a true better from a false better?

Galt, Jesus and Buddha walk up to you and say "my morality is
best". Who are you to believe. They are your betters so
you can't reason in matters of morality as well as you can so
how are you to choose? Buddha may sound most reasonable to
you, but you might be (probably are?) wrong since these three
paragons are your betters and one of them may be correct.

Or maybe Confucious is your true better?

How does Objectivism deal with this?

Tom

Ultra Benevolent Guy

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Feb 22, 2005, 1:18:01 PM2/22/05
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TC wrote:

>
> Galt, Jesus and Buddha walk up to you and say "my morality is
> best". Who are you to believe. They are your betters so
> you can't reason in matters of morality as well as you can so
> how are you to choose? Buddha may sound most reasonable to
> you, but you might be (probably are?) wrong since these three
> paragons are your betters and one of them may be correct.

Objectivists would say, "Check the historic body count." The only
question then is the accuracy and the correct historic association with
a given system of morality.

TC

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Feb 22, 2005, 1:41:31 PM2/22/05
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Ultra Benevolent Guy wrote:
> TC wrote:

> > Galt, Jesus and Buddha walk up to you and say "my morality is
> > best". Who are you to believe. They are your betters so

> > you can't reason in matters of morality as well as [they] can so


> > how are you to choose? Buddha may sound most reasonable to
> > you, but you might be (probably are?) wrong since these three
> > paragons are your betters and one of them may be correct.

> Objectivists would say, "Check the historic body count." The only
> question then is the accuracy and the correct historic association
with
> a given system of morality.

Problem there is that there is no historical body count for
a system whose "true better" is a fiction.

Since there has not ever been a full Objectivist society,
assertions about what the body count of such a society would
be - you might say - arbitrary.

Tom

Aristotle Jones

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Feb 22, 2005, 3:23:48 PM2/22/05
to

> Problem there is that there is no historical body count for
> a system whose "true better" is a fiction.
>
> Since there has not ever been a full Objectivist society,
> assertions about what the body count of such a society would
> be - you might say - arbitrary.
>
> Tom

In your proposition about Gault, Buddah and Jesus you stated that they
are all your betters. This is incorrect, but of course you couldn't
know that unless you do as Rand suggests and use your rational
faculties to determine a proper course of action. It doesn't take long
to see where a philosophy of self sacrifice leads you. I think if you
want to figure out who your betters are when it comes to morality, you
can simply look for contradictions, or on a more practical level, look
for points of hypocrisy. Its not hard to find people that constantly
contradict themselves or make hypocrits of themselves. Such people are
not your betters. Those people who demonstrate true adherence to
values that don't violate others rights are more than likely ones you
could call your betters.
Hope this helps :)

Ultra Benevolent Guy

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Feb 22, 2005, 3:32:12 PM2/22/05
to

TC wrote:
> Ultra Benevolent Guy wrote:
> > TC wrote:
>
> > > Galt, Jesus and Buddha walk up to you and say "my morality is
> > > best". Who are you to believe. They are your betters so
> > > you can't reason in matters of morality as well as [they] can so
> > > how are you to choose? Buddha may sound most reasonable to
> > > you, but you might be (probably are?) wrong since these three
> > > paragons are your betters and one of them may be correct.
>
> > Objectivists would say, "Check the historic body count." The only
> > question then is the accuracy and the correct historic association
> with
> > a given system of morality.
>
> Problem there is that there is no historical body count for
> a system whose "true better" is a fiction.

Well, an objectivist would disagree, saying that
communism/fascism/dictatorship are all variants of the
altruist/collectivist morality, and count the atrocities committed
under those systems, and democracy/capitalism/constitutional republic
to be variants of a self-interested ethic, and likewise count the
atrocities under those systems.

>
> Since there has not ever been a full Objectivist society,
> assertions about what the body count of such a society would
> be - you might say - arbitrary.

That's true. So, objectivist advocate their system based on what
effects certain aspects of their ethic have already been tried to a
greater or lesser extent, and extrapolate (many non-objectivists would
say exaggerate).

Atlas Shrugged is a splendid example of this technique.

Matt Barrow

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Feb 22, 2005, 7:24:39 PM2/22/05
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"Aristotle Jones" <chris...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1109103704.5...@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...

>
> Problem there is that there is no historical body count for
> a system whose "true better" is a fiction.
>
> Since there has not ever been a full Objectivist society,
> assertions about what the body count of such a society would
> be - you might say - arbitrary.

No more than any other forecast is arbitrary.

It all starts with a good understanding of human nature and it positive
elements and it's psychological shortcomings.

No, it's not arbitary at all.


--
Matt
---------------------
Matthew W. Barrow
Site-Fill Homes, LLC.
Montrose, CO

Atlas Bugged

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Feb 22, 2005, 8:25:50 PM2/22/05
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"TC" <tcl...@ist.ucf.edu> wrote in message
news:1109093550.6...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...

> So how does one recognize one's betters?
>
> It is easy enough in athletics or chess or mathematics.
> If you compete with a better, they will beat you.
>
> But in matters of moral philosophy what distinguises
> a true better from a false better?

Start with politics. If you see, oh, 20 or 100 million massacred, dead
corpses piled up, this is a tip-off. Subtle, yes, but evident once you know
what to look for.


>
> Galt, Jesus and Buddha walk up to you and say "my morality is
> best". Who are you to believe. They are your betters so
> you can't reason in matters of morality as well as you can so
> how are you to choose?

Jesus says he's a supernatural, all powerful being. You may want to look
further into this.

Buddha has a severe weight problem, so his philosophy is obviously not
working for him. Just ask Jerry.

>Buddha may sound most reasonable to
> you, but you might be (probably are?) wrong since these three
> paragons are your betters and one of them may be correct.

Aren't you knid of going circular by assuming up front that they are all
your betters?


>
> Or maybe Confucious is your true better?
>
> How does Objectivism deal with this?

You are a physicist. I am a lawyer. Together, we can get pretty far. What
is your view of someone who claims omnipotence and/or omniscience, in terms
of physics? Not bloody likely, eh?

From my corner, lawyers have the following credibility test: In determining
whether someone is telling the truth about A, we take great interst in proof
that they lied about B, C, and D.

Reggie Perrin

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Feb 22, 2005, 8:48:55 PM2/22/05
to

Atlas Bugged wrote:
> [...]

> Buddha has a severe weight problem, so his philosophy is obviously
not
> working for him. Just ask Jerry.

Hey no fair. He (the Buddha, not Jerry) tried the emaciation thing and
found it wasn't working for him, so he switched to the Middle Way.
Unless you're referring to those fat depictions of him, which I've
never quite understood.

Mark N

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Feb 22, 2005, 9:46:15 PM2/22/05
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Atlas Bugged wrote:

> Jesus says he's a supernatural, all powerful being. You may want to look
> further into this.

No, he just said his dad was. :-)

> Buddha has a severe weight problem, so his philosophy is obviously not
> working for him. Just ask Jerry.

No, the fat guy you're thinking of is not the Buddha. The Buddha was a
guy named Gautama. He was thin. A lot of people think that that fat guy
is the Buddha, but he's not. The fat guy is Hotei, sometimes called "the
laughing Buddha." But he's not *the* Buddha.

Mark

Reggie Perrin

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Feb 22, 2005, 10:08:02 PM2/22/05
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Mark N wrote:
> [...]

> The fat guy is Hotei, sometimes called "the
> laughing Buddha." But he's not *the* Buddha.

Ahh, so he's an incarnation of one of the bodhisattva then? That would
explain it.

TC

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Feb 22, 2005, 10:21:14 PM2/22/05
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Atlas Bugged wrote:
> "TC" <tcl...@ist.ucf.edu> wrote in message

> > So how does one recognize one's betters?

> > How does Objectivism deal with this?

> You are a physicist. I am a lawyer. Together, we can get pretty
far. What
> is your view of someone who claims omnipotence and/or omniscience, in
terms
> of physics? Not bloody likely, eh?

No. Empirical evidence of history is against it.

> From my corner, lawyers have the following credibility test: In
determining
> whether someone is telling the truth about A, we take great interst
in proof
> that they lied about B, C, and D.

I'm disappointed. I thought you were going to go on:

What is your view of someone who claims omiscience in terms of
morality?

I would say "Not bloody likely."

Tom

TC

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Feb 22, 2005, 10:24:56 PM2/22/05
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Matt Barrow wrote:
> Tom Clarke wrote

> > Since there has not ever been a full Objectivist society,
> > assertions about what the body count of such a society would
> > be - you might say - arbitrary.

> No more than any other forecast is arbitrary.

> It all starts with a good understanding of human nature and it
positive
> elements and it's psychological shortcomings.

If it did it wouldn't be so arbitrary.

> No, it's not arbitary at all.

I wasn't impressed by the characterizations of human nature in
Atlas at all.

Tom

Starblade Riven Darksquall

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Feb 22, 2005, 10:49:34 PM2/22/05
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Yeah. And she said it was her Magnus Opus, too.

One of the things I remembered her saying was that often one person
will be better at SOMETHING, and that there is no general term for
better person. When one uses that term, one generally means morally.

Is that what you mean? Morally?

Reggie Perrin

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Feb 22, 2005, 11:00:18 PM2/22/05
to

Starblade Riven Darksquall wrote:
>

*Hijack* Haven't seen you around these parts for years. Couple of
things I always wondered but never got round to asking you before:
a) What's with the name?
b) Are you from the Dark Side, i.e. that thing with the N and the T
that we're not allowed to talk about? A simple yes or no will suffice.

Acar

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Feb 22, 2005, 11:11:24 PM2/22/05
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----- Original Message -----
From: "TC" <tcl...@ist.ucf.edu>
Newsgroups: humanities.philosophy.objectivism
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 12:32 PM
Subject: Recognizing One's Betters


> When I read Atlas Shrugged I came across phrases like:
>
> "If he chooses to correct his errors in time, he will have the
> unobstructed example of his betters, for guidance in learning to think"
>
> (p 992 see
> http://www.angelfire.com/oh4/befree/AtlasShrugged5.html )
>
> Other statements that I recall exhorted one to, in effect, follow
> ones "betters".
>
> So how does one recognize one's betters?

Your betters are the men of the mind -- the ex-teenagers of the mind that
are now adults.

Atlas Bugged

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Feb 22, 2005, 11:13:29 PM2/22/05
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"Reggie Perrin" <reggie...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1109123299....@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

> Hey no fair. He (the Buddha, not Jerry) tried the emaciation thing and
> found it wasn't working for him, so he switched to the Middle Way.
> Unless you're referring to those fat depictions of him, which I've
> never quite understood.

Fat depictions? No way. There's plenty of photos available on the 'net.
Mal can scare them up.

Middle Way indeed! Lot's of excess in the middle alright!

Mark N

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Feb 22, 2005, 11:22:06 PM2/22/05
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Reggie Perrin wrote:

> Mark N wrote:

Right. He's a semi-legendary figure who is sometimes identified with the
bodhisattva. He's also known as Pu-Tai. That's the Chinese version of
his name. Hotei is the Japanese version. I think both names mean
something like "cloth sack." Supposedly, there was a Zen monk named
Pu-Tai, and the legend is based loosely on him. According to one version
of the legend, he collected odd pieces of junk in a sack that he carried
around with him, and he gave them away to children.

Here is a link to a brief article on Hotei/Pu-Tai that I just found, in
case you're interested. It even includes a few poems that are attributed
to Pu-Tai!

http://tinyurl.com/3uowa

Mark

Atlas Bugged

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Feb 22, 2005, 11:36:09 PM2/22/05
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"Mark N" <ma...@myinboxisbroken.com> wrote in message
news:i6SSd.60939$8a6.33835@trndny09...

> No, the fat guy you're thinking of is not the Buddha. The Buddha was a guy
> named Gautama. He was thin. A lot of people think that that fat guy is the
> Buddha, but he's not. The fat guy is Hotei, sometimes called "the laughing
> Buddha." But he's not *the* Buddha.

Don't try to double-talk me. I've seen photos, I tell you. Denial isn't
just a river in Egypt, dude....

Atlas Bugged

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Feb 22, 2005, 11:43:43 PM2/22/05
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"TC" <tcl...@ist.ucf.edu> wrote in message
news:1109128857....@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...

> I'm disappointed. I thought you were going to go on:
>
> What is your view of someone who claims omiscience in terms of
> morality?
>
> I would say "Not bloody likely."

Yeah, right, morality has to be all relative. And Rand "claimed omiscience"
about it, so she's toast. [yawn]

Mark N

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Feb 23, 2005, 12:14:21 AM2/23/05
to
Ultra Benevolent Guy wrote:

> TC wrote:

>>Ultra Benevolent Guy wrote:

>>>Objectivists would say, "Check the historic body count." The only
>>>question then is the accuracy and the correct historic association with
>>>a given system of morality.

>>Problem there is that there is no historical body count for
>>a system whose "true better" is a fiction.

> Well, an objectivist would disagree, saying that
> communism/fascism/dictatorship are all variants of the
> altruist/collectivist morality, and count the atrocities committed
> under those systems, and democracy/capitalism/constitutional republic
> to be variants of a self-interested ethic, and likewise count the
> atrocities under those systems.

Good answer! One might *almost* think that you were actually sympathetic
to Objectivism! :-)

>>Since there has not ever been a full Objectivist society,
>>assertions about what the body count of such a society would
>>be - you might say - arbitrary.

> That's true. So, objectivist advocate their system based on what
> effects certain aspects of their ethic have already been tried to a
> greater or lesser extent, and extrapolate (many non-objectivists would
> say exaggerate).

I must say, you seem to be taking an admirably even-handed and objective
approach to your discussion of Objectivist thinking here, Mr. Farlie. I
think your new name is bringing out the best in you! :-)

Mark

TC

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Feb 23, 2005, 8:06:12 AM2/23/05
to

Atlas Bugged wrote:
> "TC" <tcl...@ist.ucf.edu> wrote in message

> > I'm disappointed. I thought you were going to go on:

> > What is your view of someone who claims omiscience in terms of
> > morality?

> > I would say "Not bloody likely."

> Yeah, right, morality has to be all relative. And Rand "claimed
omiscience"
> about it, so she's toast. [yawn]

Non-omniscience about morality no more implies relative morality than
non-omniscience about physics implies science is arbitrary.

Tom

Atlas Bugged

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Feb 23, 2005, 9:04:19 AM2/23/05
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"TC" <tcl...@ist.ucf.edu> wrote in message
news:1109163953.8...@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

> Non-omniscience about morality no more implies relative morality than
> non-omniscience about physics implies science is arbitrary.

Come, now. You dodged all the issues, not me. Show me where Rand claims
"omniscience" of any sort whatsoever. Show me how Rand's ethical and moral
formulations are in any sense comparable to supernatural claims and edicts
of religionists.

Comparing Rand to Rawls, for example, is one thing, even though Rawls was a
fool.* Comparing Rand to primitive mystics, like the supposed "Jesus"
character or the supposed Buddha character, is simply ridiculous.

You may reasonably pose the inquiry which names this thread, but you may not
reasonably begin with Grimm's.


*Below, find Coopers full and correct analysis of Rawls:
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes
No milkshakes

TC

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Feb 23, 2005, 10:13:18 AM2/23/05
to
Atlas Bugged wrote:
> "TC" <tcl...@ist.ucf.edu> wrote in message
> news:1109163953.8...@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> > Non-omniscience about morality no more implies relative morality
than
> > non-omniscience about physics implies science is arbitrary.

> Come, now. You dodged all the issues, not me. Show me where Rand
claims
> "omniscience" of any sort whatsoever. Show me how Rand's ethical and
moral
> formulations are in any sense comparable to supernatural claims and
edicts
> of religionists.

I'm not sure if Rand claims it, but her followers sem to claim that
her contribution to the philosophy of Objectivism is immutable.
So unless these folks are advocating what they think is a flawed
philosophy, they must think that Rand's foundation for Objectivism
is correct, immutable, infallible, that sort of thing.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure Rand claims certainty. There is lots of
debate about whether certainty requires omniscience or not, but I
tend to think it does.

Tom

David Buchner

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Feb 23, 2005, 7:35:40 PM2/23/05
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fAtlas Bugged <atlas...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Don't try to double-talk me. I've seen photos, I tell you. Denial isn't
> just a river in Egypt, dude....

Holy shit.

You've been around the same hippies I've been around.

Creepy.

Atlas Bugged

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Feb 23, 2005, 10:13:08 PM2/23/05
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"TC" <tcl...@ist.ucf.edu> wrote in message
news:1109171555.0...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...

> I'm not sure if Rand claims it, but her followers sem to claim that
> her contribution to the philosophy of Objectivism is immutable.

And I should care about your impression of what an unnamed subset of her
followers assert why?

> So unless these folks are advocating what they think is a flawed
> philosophy, they must think that Rand's foundation for Objectivism
> is correct, immutable, infallible, that sort of thing.

I make it a point to distinguish the philosophy from the lady, even though
they are of course tightly intertwined. But I've little interest in the
third-party (at best) kind of stuff you're bringing in here.


>
> Oh, and I'm pretty sure Rand claims certainty. There is lots of
> debate about whether certainty requires omniscience or not, but I
> tend to think it does.

All I'm hearing is a non sequitor, or a tautology at best. There's
certainty. Train tracks, report back. None of the foregoing requires godly
omniscience, that's the straw-est of men.

TC

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Feb 23, 2005, 10:46:06 PM2/23/05
to
Atlas Bugged wrote:
> "TC" <tcl...@ist.ucf.edu> wrote in message

> > I'm not sure if Rand claims it, but her followers sem to claim that


> > her contribution to the philosophy of Objectivism is immutable.

> And I should care about your impression of what an unnamed subset of
her
> followers assert why?

Names? You haven't been around HPO long have you?
As to why, well maybe I'm wrong, but that is why I think Objectivists
think Rand and her philosophy are infallible - many of them say so.
...............


> I make it a point to distinguish the philosophy from the lady, even
though
> they are of course tightly intertwined.

The ARI will cast you into outer darkness!

> > Oh, and I'm pretty sure Rand claims certainty. There is lots of
> > debate about whether certainty requires omniscience or not, but I
> > tend to think it does.

> All I'm hearing is a non sequitor, or a tautology at best. There's
> certainty. Train tracks, report back. None of the foregoing
requires godly
> omniscience, that's the straw-est of men.

Pretty good, garden variety, human certainty is not hard to come by.
Is that all that Objectivism claims?

Tom

Atlas Bugged

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Feb 23, 2005, 11:11:19 PM2/23/05
to
> Atlas Bugged wrote:
>> I make it a point to distinguish the philosophy from the lady, even
>> though they are of course tightly intertwined.

"TC" <tcl...@ist.ucf.edu> wrote in message
news:1109216742.5...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...


> The ARI will cast you into outer darkness!

Then they can return my check. But they haven't yet. Nor will they. So
maybe you want to re-examine some of your "impressions."

>> All I'm hearing is a non sequitor, or a tautology at best. There's
>> certainty. Train tracks, report back. None of the foregoing
> requires godly
>> omniscience, that's the straw-est of men.
>
> Pretty good, garden variety, human certainty is not hard to come by.
> Is that all that Objectivism claims?

Yes.

I don't mind if you want to dispute me, but try to do better than
"unspecified individuals seem to assert this."

I'm aware of many members of this newsgroup, yes, but I simply cannot
respond adequately to vagaries.

It's trivially easy to quote Rand or someone close like Binswanger, for
example. Where does anyone claim omniscience, supernatural knowledge, or
any knowledge whatsoever apart from that which can be gleaned from sense
data and logical analysis thereof? I'm listening.

TC

unread,
Feb 24, 2005, 9:52:53 AM2/24/05
to

Atlas Bugged wrote:
> "TC" <tcl...@ist.ucf.edu> wrote in message

> > The ARI will cast you into outer darkness!

> Then they can return my check. But they haven't yet. Nor will they.


Money is fungible.

> So
> maybe you want to re-examine some of your "impressions."

So what was Rand wrong about?

> > Pretty good, garden variety, human certainty is not hard to come
by.
> > Is that all that Objectivism claims?

> Yes.

I've been misunderstanding youall all this time?
So I can be certain and skeptical at the same time?

> I don't mind if you want to dispute me, but try to do better than
> "unspecified individuals seem to assert this."

> I'm aware of many members of this newsgroup, yes, but I simply cannot

> respond adequately to vagaries.

OK delving back into google I found this by Betsey Speicher:
"ARI says "Objectivism is the philosophy of Ayn Rand" and
TOC says "Objectivism is the philosophy of rational individualism
founded by Ayn Rand" which they hold includes additional philosophic
elements which Ayn Rand did not contribute and also philosophical
ideas which may, in fact, be in conflict with Ayn Rand's."
http://tinyurl.com/6a7dv

and this by Fred Weiss:
"First of all, Objectivism is: the philosophy of Ayn Rand.
There are not two different philosophies, one Ayn Rand's and
the other whatever the viciously dishonest want to claim it is
based on their fevered imaginings."
http://tinyurl.com/4vzxe

> It's trivially easy to quote Rand or someone close like Binswanger,
for
> example. Where does anyone claim omniscience, supernatural
knowledge, or
> any knowledge whatsoever apart from that which can be gleaned from
sense
> data and logical analysis thereof? I'm listening.

I conclude that someone like Betsy or Fred must think Rand infallible,
or else they are irrational.

Tom

Message has been deleted

TC

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Feb 24, 2005, 10:18:47 AM2/24/05
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Agent Cooper wrote:
> TC wrote:

> > and this by Fred Weiss:
> > "First of all, Objectivism is: the philosophy of Ayn Rand.
> > There are not two different philosophies, one Ayn Rand's and
> > the other whatever the viciously dishonest want to claim it is
> > based on their fevered imaginings."
> > http://tinyurl.com/4vzxe

> > I conclude that someone like Betsy or Fred must think Rand


infallible,
> > or else they are irrational.

> But not from that quote, right? Because that quotes doesn't suggest
any
> such thing.

> This has always seemed to me such a non-issue. Can someone explain it
to me?

Can we stipulate that Fred is an Objectivist, an adherent of
Objectivism?

That means he holds a philosophy identical with Ayn Rands.

If he is rational he wouln not hold a philosophy that is wrong.
Therefore either he is irrational or he thinks Rand's philosophy is
correct.

Since Rand is dead, her philosophy can never change, so it must
be correct for all time, not subject to modification. Ergo Rand
was infallible with regard to philosophy.

So either the advocates of this type of Objectivism are irrational
or they think Rand was (philosophically) infallible.

Tom

Robert Kolker

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Feb 24, 2005, 10:39:26 AM2/24/05
to
TC wrote:

>
> So either the advocates of this type of Objectivism are irrational
> or they think Rand was (philosophically) infallible.

And in the latter case they are irrational.

Bob Kolker

TC

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Feb 24, 2005, 12:41:43 PM2/24/05
to

No, they just have an erroneous premise.
Although they must lead sheltered lives if they have not
encountered facts that should make them question that
premise.

Tom

fred...@papertig.com

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Feb 24, 2005, 1:36:17 PM2/24/05
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TC wrote:

> OK delving back into google I found this by ...by Fred Weiss:


> "First of all, Objectivism is: the philosophy of Ayn Rand.
> There are not two different philosophies, one Ayn Rand's and
> the other whatever the viciously dishonest want to claim it is
> based on their fevered imaginings."
> http://tinyurl.com/4vzxe
>
>

> ...I conclude that someone like Betsy or Fred must think Rand


infallible,
> or else they are irrational.

It's ironic that you criticized me recently for quoting someone else's
quote and you do it yourself here. If you referenced my original post
you will note that the very first sentence is:

"She's not infallible."

The question being discussed in that interchange was what is
Objectivism - which the person I was arguing with was claiming was
equivalent to AR "being infallible".

I went on to say:

"You can dream up whatever you want, but have the decency not to call
it Objectivism which was an extraordinary achievement of a great mind
and is the name of her philosophy (which is just as true with respect
to their creators of even evil philosophies such as Kantianism or
Marxism)."

And thus, I added,

"None of this has anything whatever to do with Ayn Rand's - or
anyone's-
fallibility. That you don't grasp that indicates a rather sorry
understanding of Objectivism."

Your understanding of it is even sorrier, but that's another subject.

Fred Weiss

TC

unread,
Feb 24, 2005, 1:52:34 PM2/24/05
to
fredwe...@papertig.com wrote:
> TC wrote:

> > OK delving back into google I found this by ...by Fred Weiss:
> > "First of all, Objectivism is: the philosophy of Ayn Rand.
> > There are not two different philosophies, one Ayn Rand's and
> > the other whatever the viciously dishonest want to claim it is
> > based on their fevered imaginings."
> > http://tinyurl.com/4vzxe

> > ...I conclude that someone like Betsy or Fred must think Rand
> infallible,
> > or else they are irrational.

> It's ironic that you criticized me recently for quoting someone
else's
> quote and you do it yourself here.

I don't recall specifics, can you remind me? I do take umbrage
at out of context quotations. Was that it?

>If you referenced my original post
> you will note that the very first sentence is:

> "She's not infallible."

I found the quote here: http://tinyurl.com/4vzxe

The very first line is


"First of all, Objectivism is: the philosophy of Ayn Rand."

But I see that was a quote of you in a response by ActualGeek.

The original is here: http://tinyurl.com/52wfd which begins
as you say.

> The question being discussed in that interchange was what is
> Objectivism - which the person I was arguing with was claiming was
> equivalent to AR "being infallible".

> I went on to say:

> "You can dream up whatever you want, but have the decency not to call
> it Objectivism which was an extraordinary achievement of a great mind
> and is the name of her philosophy (which is just as true with respect
> to their creators of even evil philosophies such as Kantianism or
> Marxism)."

So since Ayn Rand is fallible, she could have made a mistake.
If you were to discover such a mistake would you just leave
Objectivsim as it is, a flawed philosophy?

> And thus, I added,

> "None of this has anything whatever to do with Ayn Rand's - or
> anyone's-
> fallibility. That you don't grasp that indicates a rather sorry
> understanding of Objectivism."

So Objectivism will just become a patchwork of truths and
falsities as more is disovered about human psychology and what
is required to nourish man's life?

Tom

fred...@papertig.com

unread,
Feb 24, 2005, 2:22:12 PM2/24/05
to
TC wrote:

> So since Ayn Rand is fallible, she could have made a mistake.

She made many mistakes, quite a few of which she admitted, a few of
which were serious, and at least one of which was catastrophic. Many of
these have been discussed here.

> If you were to discover such a mistake would you just leave
> Objectivsim as it is, a flawed philosophy?

Obviously not. See the above. The philosophy doesn't offer
infallibility.


> So Objectivism will just become a patchwork of truths and
> falsities as more is disovered about human psychology and what
> is required to nourish man's life?

I don't know what you are referring to here - the basics or
fundamentals of the philosophy or some of the specific implications?

The basic or fundamentals of Aristotelianism are still as (largely)
true today as when he wrote them over 2000 years ago - and that despite
what may have been discovered since about human psychology and what is
required to nourish human life. Some of the specifics are arguable (a
lot depends on how you interpret what he said) and others are
definitely wrong. Nonetheless AR considered herself an Aristotelian.
However her break with Aristotle was significant enough on a number of
very important points, esp. concept formation, ethics, and politics -
and most especially on her unique integration of them - that it was
appropriate to characterize it as a new philosophy.

In specific answer to your question, I'm not a fortune teller so I
don't know what the future holds. That said, my own prediction is that
Objectivism will prove to have as much, if not more, longevity as
Aristotelianism, i.e. that AR discovered important truths, as did
Aristotle, which will stand the test of time.

Fred Weiss

TC

unread,
Feb 24, 2005, 2:38:36 PM2/24/05
to
fredwe...@papertig.com wrote:
> TC wrote:

> > So since Ayn Rand is fallible, she could have made a mistake.

> She made many mistakes, quite a few of which she admitted, a few of
> which were serious, and at least one of which was catastrophic. Many
of
> these have been discussed here.

> > If you were to discover such a mistake would you just leave
> > Objectivsim as it is, a flawed philosophy?

> Obviously not. See the above. The philosophy doesn't offer
> infallibility.

But changed Objectivism is not Objectivism since Objectivism
is the philosophy of Ayn Rand and Ayn Rand is dead so she
can no longer change it.
At least that is where the logic seems to go.

>
> > So Objectivism will just become a patchwork of truths and
> > falsities as more is disovered about human psychology and what
> > is required to nourish man's life?

> I don't know what you are referring to here - the basics or
> fundamentals of the philosophy or some of the specific implications?

Where is the boundary line between fundamentals and implications?
Are the functions of government a fundamental or an implication?

> The basic or fundamentals of Aristotelianism are still as (largely)
> true today as when he wrote them over 2000 years ago - and that
despite
> what may have been discovered since about human psychology and what
is
> required to nourish human life.

Same question for Aristotle. Is the perfection of circular
motion fundamental?

> In specific answer to your question, I'm not a fortune teller so I
> don't know what the future holds. That said, my own prediction is
that
> Objectivism will prove to have as much, if not more, longevity as
> Aristotelianism, i.e. that AR discovered important truths, as did
> Aristotle, which will stand the test of time.

There are still some Zoroastrians out there, I understand.
Not to mention Wiccans
<grin>
Beliefs do last a long time.

Tom

Reggie Perrin

unread,
Feb 24, 2005, 3:09:40 PM2/24/05
to

TC wrote:
> fredwe...@papertig.com wrote:
> > [...]

> > Obviously not. See the above. The philosophy doesn't offer
> > infallibility.
>
> But changed Objectivism is not Objectivism since Objectivism
> is the philosophy of Ayn Rand and Ayn Rand is dead so she
> can no longer change it.
> At least that is where the logic seems to go.

Awww, hey TC, not again! Objectivism is the philosophy of Ayn Rand just
as Kantianism is the philosophy of Kant. This does not mean that to
follow either is to blindly subscribe to everything the founder said.
What it does mean is that if someone wants to make large-scale changes
to the philosophy then they should have the decency to acknowledge that
they are no longer a member of that particular school. As has been
pointed out, this is exactly what Rand herself did vis a vis
Aristotelianism. So where's the problem?

fred...@papertig.com

unread,
Feb 24, 2005, 4:47:25 PM2/24/05
to
TC wrote:

> But changed Objectivism is not Objectivism since Objectivism
> is the philosophy of Ayn Rand and Ayn Rand is dead so she
> can no longer change it.

That's what Peikoff argues - including what he himself has written
since her death. In one sense that's true. In another - and this is
likely the sense that will be prevalent - any view based on and fully
consistent with Objectivism will be considered "Objectivist"

> Where is the boundary line between fundamentals and implications?
> Are the functions of government a fundamental or an implication?

I can't discuss that with you since it would presuppose that you grasp
essentials which you have repeatedly demonstrated you are unable to do.
So it would just be a waste of time.

> Same question for Aristotle. Is the perfection of circular
> motion fundamental?

See what I mean.


>
> > In specific answer to your question, I'm not a fortune teller so I
> > don't know what the future holds. That said, my own prediction is
> that
> > Objectivism will prove to have as much, if not more, longevity as
> > Aristotelianism, i.e. that AR discovered important truths, as did
> > Aristotle, which will stand the test of time.
>
> There are still some Zoroastrians out there, I understand.
> Not to mention Wiccans
> <grin>
> Beliefs do last a long time.

You mean despite new knowledge about psychology and what is required
for human life to flourish? Is it that new knowledge which makes those
- or any other - *philosophical* view true or false?

Bob seems to feel that despite enormous progress in science that Hume
is still correct in his philosophical views - and presumably will
continue to be for some time to come. What do you think we might learn
that could falsify Popper? Especially since you appear to believe that
his views are unfalsifiable and therefore that Popper was apparently
infallible. <grin>

Fred Weiss

David Buchner

unread,
Feb 24, 2005, 5:08:38 PM2/24/05
to
Reggie Perrin <reggie...@gmail.com> wrote:

> (the Buddha, not Jerry) tried the emaciation thing and
> found it wasn't working for him, so he switched to the Middle Way.

What? Milky Ways?

That would explain how He got all Chubby.

David Buchner

unread,
Feb 24, 2005, 5:08:48 PM2/24/05
to
Mark N <ma...@myinboxisbroken.com> wrote:

> he collected odd pieces of junk in a sack that he carried
> around with him, and he gave them away to children.

"Hello, children!"

"Here are some odd pieces of junk I have collected."

"Gee, thanks, Mister."


Jesus Fucking Christ, religion is dumb.

Robert Kolker

unread,
Feb 24, 2005, 5:13:06 PM2/24/05
to
fred...@papertig.com wrote:
> In specific answer to your question, I'm not a fortune teller so I
> don't know what the future holds. That said, my own prediction is that
> Objectivism will prove to have as much, if not more, longevity as
> Aristotelianism, i.e. that AR discovered important truths, as did
> Aristotle, which will stand the test of time.

I am sure Ayn Rand discovered that females have the same number of teeth
and ribs as males.

Bob Kolker

TC

unread,
Feb 24, 2005, 6:08:01 PM2/24/05
to
fred...@papertig.com wrote:
> TC wrote:

> > There are still some Zoroastrians out there, I understand.
> > Not to mention Wiccans
> > <grin>
> > Beliefs do last a long time.

> You mean despite new knowledge about psychology and what is required
> for human life to flourish?

No, I just was commenting that human beliefs last a long time.

> Is it that new knowledge which makes those
> - or any other - *philosophical* view true or false?

If the fundamental is, loosely, that which makes man flourish
is moral, then conclusion about what is moral would depend
on knowledge of what makes humans flourish even though the
fundamental stays the same.

> Bob seems to feel that despite enormous progress in science that Hume
> is still correct in his philosophical views - and presumably will
> continue to be for some time to come. What do you think we might
learn
> that could falsify Popper?

Well if God were to reveal himself ...

> Especially since you appear to believe that
> his views are unfalsifiable and therefore that Popper was apparently
> infallible. <grin>

Poppers views are slam dunk obvious, so far as I can tell.
Just Modus tollens.
Apparently a lot of people don't get them,though.

Tom

Arnold

unread,
Feb 24, 2005, 6:04:16 PM2/24/05
to

"TC" <tcl...@ist.ucf.edu> wrote in message
news:1109258310.8...@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

> Since Rand is dead, her philosophy can never change, so it must
> be correct for all time, not subject to modification. Ergo Rand
> was infallible with regard to philosophy.
>
> So either the advocates of this type of Objectivism are irrational
> or they think Rand was (philosophically) infallible.

Not so. They agree with what she put forward. They think she is right. They
make no claim of being infallible, only that they have no reason to suspect
they are wrong.
(You keep referencing mathematical constructs as if they are reality. Maths
is a tool to help understand relationships in reality. Because infinity
exists in maths, is no reason to assume that it does in reality. Reality
first, maths second.)

--
Arnold

Reggie Perrin

unread,
Feb 24, 2005, 6:45:37 PM2/24/05
to

TC wrote:
> fred...@papertig.com wrote:
> [...]

> Poppers views are slam dunk obvious, so far as I can tell.
> Just Modus tollens.
> Apparently a lot of people don't get them,though.

Including just about every philosopher of science in the world. Funny
that.

TC

unread,
Feb 24, 2005, 8:02:49 PM2/24/05
to
Arnold wrote:

> (You keep referencing mathematical constructs as if they are reality.
Maths
> is a tool to help understand relationships in reality. Because
infinity
> exists in maths, is no reason to assume that it does in reality.
Reality
> first, maths second.)

Everyone keeps referencing philosophical concepts as it they
were reality. Philosophy is a tool to help understand
reality. Just because some philosophies canot understand
how an infinite could exist does not mean that it cannot
in reality. Reality first, philosophy second.

Tom

Mark N

unread,
Feb 24, 2005, 8:39:50 PM2/24/05
to
David Buchner wrote:

> Mark N <ma...@myinboxisbroken.com> wrote:

The elaboration on that, as I recall, is that children are able to
appreciate the value of useless things, while adults have lost this
ability. Of course, this begs the question :-) of whether or not the
ability to appreciate useless things is a good trait (perhaps only for
children?). I'm guessing that your answer is that it's not a good trait
for anyone. :-)

Mark

Reggie Perrin

unread,
Feb 24, 2005, 9:16:16 PM2/24/05
to

In fairness, the versions of the story I have come across suggest that
the sack contains precious goods, such as pieces of gold. The figure
symbolises generosity and good fortune.

Mark N

unread,
Feb 24, 2005, 9:40:20 PM2/24/05
to
Reggie Perrin wrote:

> David Buchner wrote:

>>Mark N <ma...@myinboxisbroken.com> wrote:

Well, you're very fair, aren't you? Are you thinking that maybe that
version will cast Buddhism in a better light, and make David and other
Objectivists look more kindly upon it? If so, good luck to you! :-)

By the way, I thought you didn't know about Hotei/Pu-Tai. Playing dumb,
huh? :-)

Mark

Reggie Perrin

unread,
Feb 24, 2005, 10:08:21 PM2/24/05
to

Mark N wrote:
> > [...]

> > In fairness, the versions of the story I have come across suggest
that
> > the sack contains precious goods, such as pieces of gold. The
figure
> > symbolises generosity and good fortune.
>
> Well, you're very fair, aren't you? Are you thinking that maybe that
> version will cast Buddhism in a better light, and make David and
other
> Objectivists look more kindly upon it? If so, good luck to you! :-)
>
> By the way, I thought you didn't know about Hotei/Pu-Tai. Playing
dumb,
> huh? :-)

Research, my friend. I was actually pretty interested in Buddhism when
I was younger, but the Theravada school rather than Mahayana, so I'd
never heard of this character before you prompted me.

I'm not too optimistic about converting any Objectivists, but I think
of all the major religions Buddhism is the most benign (apologies to
Coop - I know nothing about Ba'hai). In fact, the more austere
Theravada brand is much closer to a philosophy than a religion IMHO,
and all the more intriguing for that.

Ken Gardner

unread,
Feb 25, 2005, 12:43:25 AM2/25/05
to
fred...@papertig.com wrote:

>She made many mistakes, quite a few of which she admitted, a few of
>which were serious, and at least one of which was catastrophic. Many of
>these have been discussed here.

Are you talking about philosophical mistakes or (as I suspect)
mistakes in her personal life?

Personally, I agree that Rand made mistakes, but none that goes to the
fundamentals of her philosophy.

[...]

>In specific answer to your question, I'm not a fortune teller so I
>don't know what the future holds. That said, my own prediction is that
>Objectivism will prove to have as much, if not more, longevity as
>Aristotelianism, i.e. that AR discovered important truths, as did
>Aristotle, which will stand the test of time.

I will not be around to see it, but (to repeat something I've said
many times before) I suspect that the one thing that will eventually
emerge and dominate over the rest is her theory of concepts.

Ken

Ken Gardner

unread,
Feb 25, 2005, 12:53:01 AM2/25/05