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A Thought Experiment…
Posted: 09 June 2007 10:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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Both of you display an extreme level of ignorance of Ayn Rand and her writings.

Eukaryote: The mind/body dichotomy was a fallacy she refuted.

From Atlas Shrugged:

  They have cut man in two, setting one half against the other. They have taught him that his body and his consciousness are two enemies engaged in deadly conflict, two antagonists of opposite natures, contradictory claims, incompatible needs, that to benefit one is to injure the other, that his soul belongs to a supernatural realm, but his body is an evil prison holding it in bondage to this earth—and that the good is to defeat his body, to undermine it by years of patient struggle, digging his way to that glorious jail-break which leads into the freedom of the grave.

  They have taught man that he is a hopeless misfit made of two elements, both symbols of death. A body without a soul is a corpse, a soul without a body is a ghost—yet such is their image of man’s nature, the battleground of a struggle between a corpse and a ghost, a corpse endowed with some evil volition of its own and a ghost endowed with the knowledge that everything known to man is nonexistent, that only the unknowable exists.

And from “For The New Intellectual”:

The New Intellectual…will disragard…the soul-body dichotomy. He will disregard its irrational conflicts and contradictions, such as: mind versus heart, thought versus action, reality versus desire, the practical versus the moral. He will be an integrated man, that is: a thinker who is a man of action. He will know that ideas divorced from consequent action are fraudulent, and that action divorced from ideas is suicidal. He will know that the conceptual level of psycho-epistemology—the volitional level of reason and thought—is the basic necessity of man’s survival and his greatest moral virtue. He will know that men need philosophy for the prupose of living on earth

As far as the bonbons thing, I remember watching the movie “Independance Day” with the friend who introduced me to Objectivism. There was the scene where that crazy old man said “Tell my children I love them”, and flew his plane into the alien weapon to destroy it and save the world. My Objectivist friend told me “An Objectivist would do that.” Think about it.

Eukaryote: It isn’t Ayn Rand or her world that was shallow. Your understanding of her is.

[ Edited: 11 June 2007 04:01 AM by ]
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Posted: 10 June 2007 02:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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He will know that men need philosophy for the purpose of living on earth

Human beings are an evolutionary accident, Saul. The trouble with religious nuts like Christians and Objectivists and Dialectical Materialists is that they think there is a direction to history. While it is easy to see some sort of “progress” in technology and (dubiously) in art, much of human culture rests on unresolvable arguments about whether one way of life is superior to another. You’ve had your day in court here, Saul, and the panel has not ruled in your favor. Objectivism is the toe-jam of philosophies: It irritates its adherents to the point of constantly mentioning it, and simply stinks to the rest of us.

As far as the bonbons thing, I remember watching the movie “Independance Day” with the friend who introduced me to Objectivism. There was the scene where that crazy old man said “Tell my children I love them”, and flew his plane into the alien weapon to destroy it and save the world. My Objectivist friend told me “An Objectivist would do that.” Think about it.

I did think about it. Objectivists want to live life as if they are characters in a blockbuster sci-fi film. Or at least in a second-rate drama starring Gary Cooper.

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Posted: 10 June 2007 05:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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Salt Creek: The whole point to my last post was that you and Eukaryote have no clue about Objectivism, and shouldn’t comment on it till you get one. Your last post confirms it.

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Posted: 10 June 2007 05:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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[quote author=“SaulOhio”]Salt Creek: The whole point to my last post was that you and Eukaryote have no clue about Objectivism, and shouldn’t comment on it till you get one. Your last post confirms it.

I acknowlege that we have a dispute about the value of Objectivism, but whence do you derive the authority to tell me that I “shouldn’t comment on it”? This seems an absurdly authoritarian stance for an avowed Objectivist to take. Is there a Ph.D. in Objectivism, some credential that I’m missing?

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Posted: 10 June 2007 07:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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[quote author=“Salt Creek”][quote author=“SaulOhio”]Salt Creek: The whole point to my last post was that you and Eukaryote have no clue about Objectivism, and shouldn’t comment on it till you get one. Your last post confirms it.

I acknowlege that we have a dispute about the value of Objectivism, but whence do you derive the authority to tell me that I “shouldn’t comment on it”? This seems an absurdly authoritarian stance for an avowed Objectivist to take. Is there a Ph.D. in Objectivism, some credential that I’m missing?

What you are missing is a shred of understanding of the philosophy, which is made evident every time you rant about it. The content-free, emotion-laden rhetoric you use displays both ignorance of Objectivism and some personal issue you seem to have with what little you do know of it. I try not to psychologize people I’ve never met, but I would guess that you want to be able to feel that hatred of the good for being good (also known as envy) that Ayn Rand argued against. But then I don’t know you that well. It may be some other issue, but its clear you have some emotional burr up your butt about it, and are unable to think rationally about it.

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Posted: 10 June 2007 05:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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Saul you said this,

This is more and more evidence that the mind and body are pretty much inseparable.

which led me to think that you are unfamiliar with your own blob of protoplasm.

and you said this,

I try not to psychologize people I’ve never met,

Are you George Bush? He and possibly Ayn Rand are the only ones I could imagine might try to psychologize anyone.

On the other hand Salty said this,

Objectivism is the toe-jam of philosophies

and no more need be said.

I apologize to Nhoj, as I took his post seriously and have given it some thought. I’ll reply when I get the chance though you might imagine that it will involve the relative intelligence and free will of slime molds.

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Posted: 10 June 2007 11:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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[quote author=“eucaryote”]Saul you said this,

This is more and more evidence that the mind and body are pretty much inseparable.

which led me to think that you are unfamiliar with your own blob of protoplasm.

I shouldn’t ask questions of someone who clearly isn’t interested in rational debate, but what makes you say that?

and you said this,

I try not to psychologize people I’ve never met,

Are you George Bush? He and possibly Ayn Rand are the only ones I could imagine might try to psychologize anyone.

People on this forum do it to me all the time. You do it. Its an excuse for not saying anything relevant to the topic at hand. Notice that in what you think are criticisms of what I said on the topic of this thread, you haven’t said anything about free will, the mind/body dichotomy, or anything of importance. You haven’t presented any evidence or arguments. You’ve only used this thread as an opportunity to bad-mouth Ayn Rand and Objectivism, and have not even tried to say anything of substance about them.

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Posted: 11 June 2007 12:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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[quote author=“eucaryote”] I apologize to Nhoj, as I took his post seriously and have given it some thought. I’ll reply when I get the chance…

I’ll settle for half-serious at this point.

But hey, as long as we’re all having fun. I am well aware of the inherent silliness of my opening post, but I’m always serious.
I’m really stuck on the image of exploding bonbons.

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Posted: 11 June 2007 03:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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[quote author=“Nhoj Morley”]you’ve been there just long enough to take in the surroundings.

I feel like I’m having deja vu and amnesia at the same time.

I feel less like I am “taking in the surroundings” and more like I’m “being taken in by the surroundings”. I feel so passive.

Wait. Is this a dagger I see before me?

No! It’s an exploding bonbon!

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Posted: 11 June 2007 07:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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[quote author=“SaulOhio”][quote author=“eucaryote”]Saul you said this,

This is more and more evidence that the mind and body are pretty much inseparable.

which led me to think that you are unfamiliar with your own blob of protoplasm.

I shouldn’t ask questions of someone who clearly isn’t interested in rational debate, but what makes you say that?

I said that because of what you said before, phrased as if you were just understanding that there is no mind/body dichotomy. Thanks for the Rand quotes as I can see that she did deal with it to a point. But at the same time, she had to come up with nonsense like this,
[quote author=“Ayn Rand”]He will know that the conceptual level of psycho-epistemology—the volitional level of reason and thought—is the basic necessity of man’s survival and his greatest moral virtue.

She’s a real piece of work. Like Salty said, “toejamb” philosophy-something one’s mind wants to be srubbed free of.
Anyway, that’s why I commented as I did, I was apparently at least partly wrong and I appreciate the correction and education. Truthfully Saul, I have always read your posts and followed your links and have gotten an education. I have morbid fascination with extreme philosophies and their adherents.

and you said this,

I try not to psychologize people I’ve never met,

Are you George Bush? He and possibly Ayn Rand are the only ones I could imagine might try to psychologize anyone.

People on this forum do it to me all the time. You do it. Its an excuse for not saying anything relevant to the topic at hand. Notice that in what you think are criticisms of what I said on the topic of this thread, you haven’t said anything about free will, the mind/body dichotomy, or anything of importance. You haven’t presented any evidence or arguments. You’ve only used this thread as an opportunity to bad-mouth Ayn Rand and Objectivism, and have not even tried to say anything of substance about them.

Well, I just thought you were making up words and trying to be funny. You are correct that I haven’t addressed the point of the thread and actually have contributed to it’s diversion but only to the extent that I had to laugh out loud at Salt Creek’s comment.

Didn’t Ayn Rand say that at the psycho-epistemological level that man’s highest achievement is to eat his own bon bons. :wink:

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Posted: 11 June 2007 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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[quote author=“eucaryote”][quote author=“SaulOhio”][quote author=“eucaryote”]Saul you said this,

This is more and more evidence that the mind and body are pretty much inseparable.

which led me to think that you are unfamiliar with your own blob of protoplasm.

I shouldn’t ask questions of someone who clearly isn’t interested in rational debate, but what makes you say that?

I said that because of what you said before, phrased as if you were just understanding that there is no mind/body dichotomy. Thanks for the Rand quotes as I can see that she did deal with it to a point. But at the same time, she had to come up with nonsense like this,
[quote author=“Ayn Rand”]He will know that the conceptual level of psycho-epistemology—the volitional level of reason and thought—is the basic necessity of man’s survival and his greatest moral virtue.

She’s a real piece of work. Like Salty said, “toejamb” philosophy-something one’s mind wants to be srubbed free of.

And what is wrong with what she said? You dismiss it, without giving any reason. You have none.

Anyway, that’s why I commented as I did, I was apparently at least partly wrong and I appreciate the correction and education. Truthfully Saul, I have always read your posts and followed your links and have gotten an education. I have morbid fascination with extreme philosophies and their adherents.

So you are saying I am right that you were wrong in your interpretation of Objectivism and Ayn Rand, but you are still right that it is a bad philosophy, but you don’t say why. You never do, except by completely misrepresenting her. ALL of your criticisms with any real content to them of Objectivism are based on the same kind of misunderstanding that you admit you had about Rand’s position on the mind-body dichotomy. Those without any content are more common, like your trying to smear Objectivism as an “extreme philosophy”. Whats wrong with being extreme? Reality itself is often extreme, and a philosophy intended to describe it will itself be extreme. Like I said, its a smear without meaning.
“Toejam philosophy”? Whats that supposed to mean? More “criticism” of Objectivism without any content. No argument, no evidence, no attempt to provide something better. Honestly, my exchanges with you are not intended to learn anything from you, or try to persuade you. I have that same kind of morbid fascination with anti-intellectuals like you.

and you said this,

I try not to psychologize people I’ve never met,

Are you George Bush? He and possibly Ayn Rand are the only ones I could imagine might try to psychologize anyone.

People on this forum do it to me all the time. You do it. Its an excuse for not saying anything relevant to the topic at hand. Notice that in what you think are criticisms of what I said on the topic of this thread, you haven’t said anything about free will, the mind/body dichotomy, or anything of importance. You haven’t presented any evidence or arguments. You’ve only used this thread as an opportunity to bad-mouth Ayn Rand and Objectivism, and have not even tried to say anything of substance about them.

Well, I just thought you were making up words and trying to be funny.

You mean you thought I made up the word “ psychologize ”? Its not Objectivist jargon or anything I made up. It simply means trying to explain someone’s behavior or the beliefs they have by creating some theory about their psychology, usually completely invented. I wasn’t trying to be funny.

You are correct that I haven’t addressed the point of the thread and actually have contributed to it’s diversion but only to the extent that I had to laugh out loud at Salt Creek’s comment.

His very stupid comment.

Didn’t Ayn Rand say that at the psycho-epistemological level that man’s highest achievement is to eat his own bon bons. :wink:

No, thats not funny. Just stupid. Boringly stupid.

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Posted: 12 June 2007 02:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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[quote author=“Ayn Rand”]He will know that the conceptual level of psycho-epistemology—the volitional level of reason and thought—is the basic necessity of man’s survival and his greatest moral virtue.

Well. We are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, among them being life, liberty, and the purfuit of happinefs. Maybe “the purfuit of happinefs” is just the exercise of volition. Who am I to say? I think you ought to leave it to me to decide what my “purfuit of happinefs” actually ought to be. I’ll try to keep it just short of wanting to round up all Objectivists and put them in a padded room.

Furthermore, I dunno about this “volitional level of reason and thought”. If it’s volitional, it ain’t inalienable. It certainly ain’t essential to survival. You can alienate it from yourself.

What Objectivists seem to say is that we are obliged to exercise rational volition. I won’t even begin to address what I see wrong with that particular idea. Well, just a little. For starters, it is self-contradictory. It certainly is not rational. In addition, Ayn Rand’s statement, quoted above, dresses up a self-contradictory concept in very abstruse and pompous language, in order to obfuscate its sheer banality. Not to mention its basic incorrectness. I don’t trust her.

Asserting that exercise of rational volition is essential to a person’s survival is no better than metaphorical. Perhaps it’s one of Nhoj’s mythical metaphors. Suppose volition (or even rationality) is a property of the Electric Space Being from “The Lights of Zetar”. What can we learn from this?

[quote author=“Nhoj”]Perhaps all our biological systems, including our brain activity, are at any instant, taking their best shot at being exactly what our immediate life situation requires.

Here’s a stunningly precise, but still precisely tautological, rendering of the concept of “rational volition”. I’m glad somebody’s trying. It appears that sometimes all those biological systems go awry, and their best shot at being exactly what the environment demands turns out to be something like SaulOhio.

I feel a sudden rational volition to set some bonbons on fire.

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Posted: 12 June 2007 03:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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Salt Creek: I could only get halfway through your last post without laughing at all the misconceptions and misrepresentations of Objectivism. If Ayn Rand and Objectivisat truly believed what you say they do, then yes, they should be locked up in padded cells wearing nice wrap-around shirts. But they don’t. Like I keep saying, get a clue before you start criticizing something you don’t understand. But I suspect it isn’t lack of understanding thats the problem. You need to be really trying hard to mix up someone else’s ideas that badly.

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Posted: 12 June 2007 03:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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Posted: 12 June 2007 03:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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[quote author=“SaulOhio”]Whats wrong with being extreme? Reality itself is often extreme, and a philosophy intended to describe it will itself be extreme. Like I said, its a smear without meaning.

“Toejam philosophy”? Whats that supposed to mean? More “criticism” of Objectivism without any content. No argument, no evidence, no attempt to provide something better. Honestly, my exchanges with you are not intended to learn anything from you, or try to persuade you. I have that same kind of morbid fascination with anti-intellectuals like you.

My reading of Randian Objectivism leaves me puzzling over its manifestly Edwardian suggestion of entitlement (rooted in basic assertions of superiority conferred by an assumption that its adherents, and its adherents alone, are acting rationally.) You use a coinage like “psycho-epistemology” to embellish (but not to defend or even explain) whatever concept of “rationality” is entailed in this rather large set of assumptions.

I think toe-jam is still pretty close to the mark. It manifests in the “extremity” of the position, far from the core of philosophy. And it’s cryptic, its aims hidden in crevices of thought that Objectivists never quite get around to clarifying. The “smear” metaphor seems to work, too. But the smear is coming from you, Saul, not from us.

Saul, your constant complaining that we are not giving your philosophy a fair shake is not the same as actually defending its ideas, such as they are. You assert that reality is extreme in order to defend an extreme philosophy; this approach lacks a certain rigor that even someone as poorly-versed in philosophy as I am can see is not a defense of anything. In what sense is reality “extreme”? Extreme relative to what?

I’ll grant that reality may be extreme relative to the cozy Edwardian sensibilities of Ayn Rand’s youth.

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