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Objectivism, Universalism, and Absolutism

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In Atlas Shrugged, there is a young government agent who is assigned as a watchdog on the Rearden mills. A product of his universities, he struggles with basic concepts of absolute right and wrong. To him, everything is relative, except, of course, the orders of the government. But as Francisco d'Anconia reminds Hank Rearden, every girder in the plant was placed in answer to one question: Right or wrong? Rearden nicknames the watchdog "Non-Absolute."

Indeed, thoughout Atlas Shrugged in particular (though found in all of Rand's fiction - and stated explicitly in her non-fiction) the enemies of innovation, invention, progress and prosperity are notoriously non-absolute. Working in the mountains of Colorado in the spring, Dagny Taggart watches low clouds scudding across the sky, neither giving rain, nor allowing the sun: "board of directors weather" she calls it.

Rand's philosophy is based on three axioms of logic which serve as the subheads of Atlas Shrugged: A is A, Either-Or, Non-Contradiction.

From metaphysics through epistemology to ethics, politics, and aesthetics, Rand claimed that she identified the facts of reality and as such her published statements were unalterable.

So, it is not suprising that those who are attracted to her works not only endorse her pronouncements but also claim that their own opinions on popular culture (including political party processes) are absolutes. As such, these opinions must of necessity apply to all people in all times and places: they are universal truths.

Having come to these opinions themselves, they expect that repeating them will convince and convert others. Indeed, will claim not only that Ayn Rand's works have this informative power, but the speeches of Ron Paul and the television shows of Glenn Beck and John Stossel and the even the quips of Dennis Miller will sway millions of people to their own correct observations.

Moreover, for them, those who are not swayed are evil, ignorant, and non-thinking.

,,, and there is some truth to this (some).

Ideas do make a difference and some ideas work better than others. And what works is not arbitrary.

The brilliant insight in Ayn Rand's philsophy of Objectivism is that it explcitly extended the program of the Enlightenment, i.e., rational-empiricism. It is the scientific method and it works for everything, not just laboratory science. It is how we know and interact with the world and ourselves. You know when you are hungry. And you know what to do about it. (Sometimes, it can be a challenge: drought and flood are bad enough; but then come the barbarians...) But the solution set contains more than one element.

Even though every girder at Rearden Steel was placed in answer to the question of right or wrong, there is more than one way to span a space -- and Rand's novel and the movie adaptation of it provide innovative solutions to that problem.

I have never seen an entire Super Bowl and I do not generally like candy, donuts, or desserts. I much prefer onions and green pepper fried in olive oil. One of the nice things about living out West is all the varieties of hot peppers, even Hungarian peppers. And I can tell you all the bad things that sugar does to you and all the good vitamns in the foods I prefer. But it would not change your taste ... or your tastebuds... and probably would not make you happy.

Ayn Rand famously identified the fact that knowledge is not automatic. Yet many of those attracted to her works seek just that. They do not want to know what makes you happy, they want to tell you what should. ... and indeed, some things will and others will not. But the process of discovery is for you, not for them.

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Rand's philosophy is based on three axioms of logic which serve as the subheads of Atlas Shrugged: A is A, Either-Or, Non-Contradiction.

From metaphysics through epistemology to ethics, politics, and aesthetics, Rand claimed that she identified the facts of reality and as such her published statements were unalterable.

Metaphysics and epistemology is reality and reason. Just like science. Her published statements are alterable, but not by her; she's dead. Her ethics need developing and the politics are what this country was founded on. Her aesthetics are a bunch of opinions. "Rand claimed"--where?

--Brant

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It all goes back to Man's identity: if the discovery is made that we indeed have a Creator, one who presumably has a purpose for His Creation - which we must ascertain and obey - then Objectivist metaphysics is a crock, and we're screwed. Or, if a man is found to not be an autonomous, stand-alone creature, whose only tool is a "self-directing, self-generating" mind, and who is the final and only judge of what is good for him - BUT, is somehow metaphysically "at one" with all other men, then we have a duty to reality to act accordingly. (Is - Ought.) Again, the O'ist identification of Man's nature would be total rubbish, and we're twice-screwed.

Somehow, on both counts, I won't hold my breath.

Which is why fundamental Objectivist morality (and subsequently, its politics) is immutable - it is right, or it is wrong.

The implementation of it, though, has a wide range of permutations for each individual to explore.

From the universal and the absolute, through innumerable stages, right down to the specific.

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Even though every girder at Rearden Steel was placed in answer to the question of right or wrong, there is more than one way to span a space -- and Rand's novel and the movie adaptation of it provide innovative solutions to that problem.

Right or Wrong to a physical question, not a moral question. Physics is logos. Morality is not logos. It is doxa.

Moral questions and physical question are of a different sort. Physics questions can be answered by measurement and observation. By objective means. Moral questions are predicated on judgements and opinions. There are no moral facts, only moral judgements.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I am preparing a "Think And Grow Rich" project on a separate blog to kick off my Internet marketing stuff.

Don't worry--that is another target audience altogether and making money is part of the focus of that project. So I have no intention of mixing OL with it.

But sometimes there are some intellectual crossovers and I will comment on them as I go along. They serve as good food for thought. For example, the following.

Part of my approach in the project is to point out Napoleon Hill's excessive use of unnamed authorities and participants when he does use them (as part of examining the soundness of the ideas underlying his statements). He will often say something like, "Experience has shown..." or "Most people..." or things like that when illustrating why it is better to do one thing instead of another.

This got me to thinking. I encounter generalities like this all the time, both in the IM world and in the Objectivist-libertarian orbit. And I felt an ambivalence. On introspecting, I realized that I am usually not comfortable with generalities presented as fact, but I am not against them at times, either. So what gives?

Well, here's a question. What is the difference between the following two statements?

1. Most people become afraid in a mild earthquake.
2. Most people have fear of success and this is why they don't act on their plans to become successful.

How do we identify our unnamed "most people" in these cases? And how the hell do we know, anyway? I certainly don't know "most people" among the billions on this planet. Nobody else does, either.

I contend that in the first instance, the universal human trait of fear when losing control of gravity has been observed so often that "most people" actually refers to a normal healthy human being with normal reactions taken as a model for the grouping. (Also, the fear of falling is one of the very few innate fears observed in newborns--a sudden loud noise is another, but that is beside my point here.) So a generality instead of a specific is warranted here because it is a synonym for humankind as a whole. It simply allows for exceptions.

In other words, this generality comes from a long accumulated process of induction, reflection, analyzing other contexts, the implied wider context of human nature, feedback from others seeing the same thing, and so on.

in the second case, the thinking process is to deduce reality from a principle or an opinion. A generality in itself is the epistemological starting point--not accumulated observation, thinking aimed at correct identification, and verification by looking at the conclusions of others.

To be fair, a person actually can observe other people have fear of success and he can observe that he sometimes feels this. But he also observes a hell of a lot more--and some of it even contradicts his generality: that most people don't act because they are afraid of success.

For instance, some people don't act because they're bored. Others may not be sure they're doing things right, so they prefer to keep learning until they feel properly prepared to act. Others may have negative people around them that suck up all their energy with constant negativity. I could go on and on with stuff like this all day. I have personally observed it in others and lived it myself. None of it has anything to do with fear of success, but all of it has to do with not acting.

So the second statement is based on an epistemological process of starting with an evaluation or affirmation or opinion used as a truth--as a primary, then deducing reality and maybe further generalizing from it.

The first statement is a good way to generalize. The second is flawed at the root.

In the case of Napoleon Hill's rhetoric, I have a cute name for his invisible authority. When he says, "Experience has shown..." I automatically think, whose experience? When I started, I didn't know. Now I do. I'm calling him "Casper." And Hiil's invisible "most people.." participants are "Casper's friends." (This is from Casper the Friendly Ghost. :smile: )

Waves of clarity are coming at me,

When I look below, what do I see?

So, it is not suprising that those who are attracted to her works not only endorse her pronouncements but also claim that their own opinions on popular culture (including political party processes) are absolutes. As such, these opinions must of necessity apply to all people in all times and places: they are universal truths.

Having come to these opinions themselves, they expect that repeating them will convince and convert others.

I see a whole bunch of Casper's friends ("those who are attracted to her works") flying around all over the place--all pontificating, condemning, pointing fingers galore and all delusional.

But when I look around me and at the world at large, I see a whole lot of other "those who are attracted to her works" who act in entirely different manners. In fact, most of the people I personally know who are attracted to Rand's works do not act as in the generality.

In further fact, this forum is full of such people.

Ah... hell and damnation anyway...

All this thinking and analyzing stuff is fun and I do a pretty good job of it, but I sure hope I don't screw up the making money stuff over at my barely newborn project. The best way to kill a sale is to analyze shit to death. :smile:

Michael

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Obama's constant use of this phrase is a morph of those "Casper comments:"

"I don't know of a single economist [military leader, scientist, fill-in-the-blank] who does not agree that _______________________________."

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Well he is half white you know...

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From metaphysics through epistemology to ethics, politics, and aesthetics, Rand claimed that she identified the facts of reality and as such her published statements were unalterable.

So, it is not suprising that those who are attracted to her works not only endorse her pronouncements but also claim that their own opinions on popular culture (including political party processes) are absolutes. As such, these opinions must of necessity apply to all people in all times and places: they are universal truths.

Having come to these opinions themselves, they expect that repeating them will convince and convert others. Indeed, will claim not only that Ayn Rand's works have this informative power, but the speeches of Ron Paul and the television shows of Glenn Beck and John Stossel and the even the quips of Dennis Miller will sway millions of people to their own correct observations.

Moreover, for them, those who are not swayed are evil, ignorant, and non-thinking.

Guess who said this:

There are many things which Ayn Rand believed which came from her study of psychology and of people which are not a part of philosophy.. . For instance: masculinity and femininity. She had very strong views on that and very strong arguments. But, if you disagree, that doesn't say anything about Objectivism.. [You] have to get over the idea that if you disagree with something Ayn Rand said, which she considered important, you're not an Objectivist. That's fantastic. That would turn Objectivists into mindless followers.

I wouldn't even think about what's required for Objectivism. Just think about what's true. And then if Objectivists don't believe it, then it's tough on them. Objectivism is good but it has this mistake. But you can't think that the all the answers are in the back of the book given by Ayn Rand.

That's an excellent statement about what it does and does not mean to be an Objectivist or an admirer of Ayn Rand.

The full quote--and the surprising identity of its author--can be found in this post..

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No, it was not Peyton Manning.

Damn, I was so close!

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But Objectivism is not Absolutism and it is not Unversalism.

An absolutist moral system would followed (enforced) whether it does you (or anyone else) any good. And it would be applied without exception across all cases. Absolutism is not a specific philosophy but a way to apply philosophies. If it is wrong to steal, or miss a sabbath service, then there can be no extenuating circumstances. Objectivism specifically recognizes the importance of context. (See the Ayn Rand Lexicon here.) Thus, while the Law of Identity is an absolute, Gresham's Law and your local speed limits are not. Some Objectivists make their philosophy absolutist.

Universalist codes are equally applicable to all people in all times and places. Like absolutism, universalism ignores context. However, many Objectivists see their philosophy as valid for all people in all times and places. Indeed, some truths are universal and would apply to any rational, sentient being. But not all of Objectivism meets that standard. Objectivists tend to be very concerned with Republican Party politics. They argue among themselves whether (right now) Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney is the better candidate or whether Ron Paul has a chance at the nomination. Clearly, such discussions would be pointless and even meaningless to most of the sentient creatures in our galaxy. ... in fact they are irrelevant to most of the people on Earth... They are not universal.

Ayn Rand's own interpretation of correctly applied "intellectual property rights" is another example. Why a monopoly should be granted for 17 years and not 16 or 18, or the life of the artists plus 75 years, but not 50 or 125 or 72.3 or 81.92 is not clear. Rand took up the famous case of Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell, arguing that in the very literal race to the patent office, the moral principles of capitalism were upheld. But if government holds a geographic monopoly according to Objectivism and if a patent for a global communication device can be granted to one person here and to a different person there, it remains to be demonstrated that any universal truth has been discovered and applied.

Every time you open and close a direct current circuit, you create and collapse a magnetic field. That is a broadcast. Our common alternating current electrical systems generate a 60-cycle wave (field). We have been broadcasting into outer space since 1835, almost 200 years. Here is a map of that 200-LY space. I am not sure what is universal about American patent law. I am pretty sure that anyone getting a signal probably has different ideas on the subject. ... even if we agree that all sentient creatures have in-alien-able rights. It might seem trivial, but universal means just that. Otherwise, we would call it mundane. Some truths are universal. Other claims are more localized.

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But Objectivism is not Absolutism and it is not Unversalism.

Every time you open and close a direct current circuit, you create and collapse a magnetic field. That is a broadcast. Our common alternating current electrical systems generate a 60-cycle wave (field). We have been broadcasting into outer space since 1835, almost 200 years. Here is a map of that 200-LY space. I am not sure what is universal about American patent law. I am pretty sure that anyone getting a signal probably has different ideas on the subject. ... even if we agree that all sentient creatures have in-alien-able rights. It might seem trivial, but universal means just that. Otherwise, we would call it mundane. Some truths are universal. Other claims are more localized.

I thought you were arguing against the view that Objectivists have to buy everything Ayn Rand said as if it were absolute truth.

Now I confess I have no idea what you are arguing.

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Dennis, first and foremost, I am identifying the common errors that confuse Objectivism with absolutist and universalist philosophies. "A is A" is an absolute. Not everything that is true is. As another example, certain political rights are universal to any volitional being. Not all are.

I went out a few parsecs on universalist claims, but I am not alone in outer space. In the Basic Principles course, Nathaniel Branden addressed theoretical questions of epistemology by considering a "Martian" who perceives differently than we do. It might seem arbitrary, but in fact, psychologists have identified more than five senses (without getting into ESP and such), and we know them from our common experiences. Kinesthesia is one. Just as smell and taste may be localized experiences of the same "sense" and just as there are more than five "tastes" so, too, is "touch" (feeling) more than one kind of sensory experience. Thus, theoretical discussions of the consequences of what a "Martian" would perceive have some weight for anyone seeking to tie epistemology to ethics.

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But Objectivism is not Absolutism and it is not Unversalism. An absolutist moral system would followed (enforced) whether it does you (or anyone else) any good. And it would be applied without exception across all cases. Absolutism is not a specific philosophy but a way to apply philosophies. If it is wrong to steal, or miss a sabbath service, then there can be no extenuating circumstances. Objectivism specifically recognizes the importance of context. (See the Ayn Rand Lexicon here.) Thus, while the Law of Identity is an absolute, Gresham's Law and your local speed limits are not. Some Objectivists make their philosophy absolutist. Universalist codes are equally applicable to all people in all times and places. Like absolutism, universalism ignores context. However, many Objectivists see their philosophy as valid for all people in all times and places. Indeed, some truths are universal and would apply to any rational, sentient being. But not all of Objectivism meets that standard. Some truths are universal. Other claims are more localized.

My understanding is that contextualism is epistemological. Because no one person can know everything about everything, at any one time, does not mean that everything is not 'knowable' - across a sum of people, and a span of time. Without context we would be impotent to act upon what we do know - the non-contradictory concepts

we have thus far integrated into our knowledge.

Conversely, Absolutism and Universalism are metaphysical: "Reality is an absolute, existence is an absolute, a speck of dust is an absolute, and so is a human life." (Galt's speech.)

I've not found anything by Rand on Universalism, but of course, reality is Universal.

That Man's nature is, was and will be ~ metaphysically ~ unchanging, is a given, therefore, "Universal", too.

So I conclude that Objectivism has its base in Absolutism and Universalism.

The fascinating question is whether an "absolutist moral system" (as you term it) is valid - when morality is derived from metaphysics (absolute), and epistemology (non-absolute). I'm not sure of the answer to that, but would hazard it is absolute, in terms

of the identity of that ethics, but also most definitely contextual, in terms of the

applications.

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<p>

... So I conclude that Objectivism has its base in Absolutism and Universalism.

The fascinating question is whether an "absolutist moral system" (as you term it) is valid - when morality is derived from metaphysics (absolute), and epistemology (non-absolute). I'm not sure of the answer to that, but would hazard it is absolute, in terms of the identity of that ethics, but also most definitely contextual, in terms of the applications.

Your points are well-made and well-taken. I did identify the absolute truths of metaphysical axioms; also, basic moral truths would apply universally to any volitional creature. But, as you note, the bridges between those and the contextual nature of epistemology are not clear... at least not to me...

I was hoping to turn to some standard texts to help sort out the definitions. I have two slim books from classes: 4Es:Ethics, Engineering, Economics & Environment by John St.J. S. Buckeridge and Dilemmas & Decisions: Ethics in Crime and Justice by Jocelyn M. Pollock. Pollock's section on relativism and absolutism deals entirely with relativism only. In class, it seems, the instructor filled in the blanks, but my notes are in storage. Discussing universalism (non-rigorously) Pollock does note that absolutism and universalism are both expressions of "the idea that a moral truth exists apart from humans that is not of their construction, but that awaits their discovery."

>I think that according to Objectivism, morality depends on the existence of volitional beings. If certain physical processes had played out along statistically different paths and sentient life not evolved, then morality would be meaningless. But given the existence of volitional beings, then morality does wait to be discovered, not invented. </div>

For an example of moral ambiguity within Objectivism consider Ragnar Danneskjold's choice to become a pirate. John Galt does not approve, but does grant that Danneskjold had the moral right to the choice. That would then be contextual, not absolute, would it not?

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For an example of moral ambiguity within Objectivism consider Ragnar Danneskjold's choice to become a pirate. John Galt does not approve, but does grant that Danneskjold had the moral right to the choice. That would then be contextual, not absolute, would it not?

Sorry, but that's fiction. One way or another Rand was going to get her pirate into her novel. She deal with the ambiguity by keeping what he actually did morally at a fuzzy distance. His piracy was also practically impossible, so she avoided too much of that detail. If it's in her novel and also in For the New Intellectual it's Objectivism. Otherwise, not, except coincidentally. Objectivism as a philosophy is post Atlas Shrugged. However, I am not arguing against your underlying point, which I am not addressing.

--Brant

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Discussing universalism (non-rigorously) Pollock does note that absolutism and universalism are both expressions of "the idea that a moral truth exists apart from humans that is not of their construction, but that awaits their discovery."

Does Pollock illustrate with a concrete example of such "moral truth"?

The issue is quite complex because morality is a product of human existence. How can a "moral truth" exist out there, independent of humans, awaiting discovery?

To argue with "truth" is to argue from epistemology, so maybe what the moral universalists mean is "truth" about certain facts which no human society can ignore in the long run? Truths that play a sigfnificant role in establishing a code of ethics?

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Discussing universalism (non-rigorously) Pollock does note that absolutism and universalism are both expressions of "the idea that a moral truth exists apart from humans that is not of their construction, but that awaits their discovery." >I think that according to Objectivism, morality depends on the existence of volitional beings. If certain physical processes had played out along statistically different paths and sentient life not evolved, then morality would be meaningless. But given the existence of volitional beings, then morality does wait to be discovered, not invented.

Your notion of 'discovery of morality' is highly entertaining: Yes, indeed - discovery, as much as invention. Maybe moreso.

As a short and simple over-view: Man's first morality was group-based by necessity, for survival (bolstered by remnants of his animal hard-wiring, which accomplished the same thing, i.e. finding safety and succour in the herd.)

Then gradually, or in leaps, he began to discover Natural Laws (like causality), and invented tools. By repetition and confirmation, his confidence in his ability to correlate percepts and facts, and to form concepts, grew stronger.

Later, by the time he had discovered how to plant crops for his food, a man - armed with tools, weapons, knowledge - and the means to discover fresh knowledge - was about ready take his family and to leave the tribe. Perhaps the start of individualism.

But it was not to be, it was curtailed because of Man's other invention - of god and religion. Those reactionary first priests imposed the wrath of god on this still quite superstitious man - insisting that his place and duty lay with staying with his tribe, in putting others' lives above his own..

Largely unchanged to this day, identical at root for the religious and the irreligious alike, the archaic and redundant morality of collectivist-altruism still rules. It was, I think, a pragmatically *invented* morality - that ran out of usefulness a long time ago, when it also became anti-individual- freedom: therefore, anti-Mind.

The truly great morality, one in keeping with man's nature - 'natural' - was 'waiting' to be *discovered*, all along.

(It's funny how one little word can get you started - good catch, Michael.)

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The more I study and ponder, the more I think that morality and story are joined at the hip.

All moral values imply a story or a story template of some sort. I can't think of one that doesn't.

In othe words, story does not just illustrate a moral value, story is tied up in the very identity of it.

Think of any moral value at all. Man is an end in himself, for instance, one of the founding moral premises of Objectivism. Does this mean anything without the context of a story template where you imagine an individual choosing between social alternatives in how to live, or being forced to accept one of them?

Even when you contest it for relevancy and project a man stranded on a desert island, you have a story.

With a little effort (but not much) you can see how story is involved with all moral principles.

For the nitpickers, I use story and narrative as synonyms for this point.

Michael

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Well, Michael - seeing as you put it that way...

The story of a normative morality is of a child, entering the world and finding

slowly but surely that he was born with a debt to pay. Through no doing of his own,

he is presented with a bill from his creator, and one from his fellow man.

He tries to pay them off in instalments, or even in one lump sum, but inexorably the debts

mount, due to an interest-rate he is not told about: The more you are able to give, the more you must.

In the never-ending battle, he comes to despise both god, man and himself.

Here is the morality centred on others - of 'love', and selflessness.

When his life ends, it's as he came in, still spiritually indebted - to some unspecified thing..

~------------~

The narrative of a rationally selfish morality is that of a youngster who possesses the certain vision that the world is here for him. Neither dire warnings of 'original sin', nor stern teachings of his dependence upon others - and their dependence on him - register in his consciousness for long.

In his vision, he knows all people are like him, with reality their only authority, understanding it, their common goal. He sees other individuals' spiritual, mental, and physical struggles, like his own, bearing fruit eventually -

and it pleases him: Because he understands with clarity that nobody's triumph demeans him, or threatens him, but only uplifts him. Almost magically, the more that is 'claimed' by them as deserved reward, the more there is for everyone else who would work or produce.

He knows too that everything of value springs from his ego and his rationality

- especially his respect for the life of men.

His is the "natural" morality that upholds the direct relationship between one man and reality, involving nobody else, and not to be interfered with, and it is called "selfish".

(Is that what you mean Michael? predictable plots and characters, I know, coming from me,

but still...)

:cool:

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She deal with the ambiguity by keeping what he actually did morally at a fuzzy distance. His piracy was also practically impossible, so she avoided too much of that detail. If it's in her novel and also in For the New Intellectual it's Objectivism. Otherwise, not, except coincidentally. Objectivism as a philosophy is post Atlas Shrugged. However, I am not arguing against your underlying point, which I am not addressing.

--Brant

I believe that the ambiguity was in Ragnar's choice to risk his own life in the pursuit. I think that Rand would have denied any influence from Gandhi, but clearly, he was in the news for decades. I remember various cartoons from my childhood where Gandhi in dhoti gets a cameo. He was a pop culture icon, impossible to avoid. The Strike is passive resistance: "I refuse to work." Ragnar took an active route and in so doing raised the question of moral ambiguity. (I agree that she wrote around a lot of problems, procedural as well as theoretical, with Ragnar's choices. But, he had Galt's Motor as the engine of his ship and as its cloak... In her time, newsreels at theaters told of such government relief ships as he targeted. Perhaps in the future "Ragnar" will be a fanfic story.)

America is a revolutionary society: right and left alike look to their inalienable right to abolish the government. I think that Edmund Burke, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Ernst van den Haag being conservatives would all disagree with that. They would (did) say that the greater value of society over-rides any temporary individual discomforts. And personally, I can understand that and take it as a warning. In the opening pilot for Deep Space Nine, the Ferengi tavern keeper is packing to to leave. Commander Sisko wants him to stay. Says Quark, "When governments fall, people like me are put up against a wall and shot." Myself, personally, revolution is for the young ... and I am not young... I think that so-called "libertarians" who call for revolution do not realize how much they have to lose.

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The more I study and ponder, the more I think that morality and story are joined at the hip.... In othe words, story does not just illustrate a moral value, story is tied up in the very identity of it.

Brother, you said a mouthful.

If Ted Keer were still here, he might have a lot to say about the fact that language is analogy.

I believe that when we wring our hands over Orwell's 1984 we too often miss the fundamentals. The evil of Ingsoc was in Ducktalk: reflexive sloganing absent thought. Who is the enemy? Eurasia! I jump to the Dreaded Triple Dog Dare: Tell an Objectivist that Immanuel Kant was an advocate of reason and individualism who coined the word "Enlightenment" to explain the 18th century.

One of my favorite ST:NG is "

." They meet an equally advanced race who speak in allegory.

Rand at Random House standing on one foot.

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Does Pollock illustrate with a concrete example of such "moral truth"?

The issue is quite complex because morality is a product of human existence. How can a "moral truth" exist out there, independent of humans, awaiting discovery?

To argue with "truth" is to argue from epistemology, so maybe what the moral universalists mean is "truth" about certain facts which no human society can ignore in the long run? Truths that play a sigfnificant role in establishing a code of ethics?

Pollack and Buckeridge were not rigorous. They are only intended as textbooks for discussion classes. By the nature of university work, Buckeridge might be third-year and above, however, to me, it is a first-year viewpoint for open argument. indeed, Buckeridge is extreme is his avoidance of defined positions. These books (handbooks, really) only provide proof that men and women in the wildernesses of Sweden are not merely the coeffients of some possible solution.

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