merjet

Galt's Oath

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Don E, I agree with all you wrote. However, a passage in the Virtue of Selfishness contradicts what's below. See here.

16 hours ago, Don E. said:

   Furthermore, there are many occasions when a rationally selfish person can properly and morally "act" for the sake of another man

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Well, nobody has defined what 'other people' means. Who are they? They comprise the abstract majority 'out there' unknown to one. But they are also people who have entered and been invited into one's ambit, as 'known' values to your life. Individual persons are indisputably a great selfish value (one that doesn't get much mention in these debates). Like electrons around you, the nucleus, each has a priority you found and give to them. There are the closest and most intimate one, or few, at the core, a handful more close by, and so on, ranging outwards to the most casual and incidental acquaintances and semi-strangers whom you simply like, enjoy, or respect, for their characters, skills, etc. etc. - for the small moments of insight, humour and inspiration they individually bring. With others on the fringe dropping in and out. In total, the numbers might be in the dozens or scores (if one gets around much).

All of them together, form into a value-hierarchy which is presupposed by one's existence and one's judgment. So certainly, you are and should be the "beneficiary" of your acts, as these value-others will benefit too, since it was your virtues and discernment which "earned" them. In keeping with each one's priority, is the amount** you gladly give them in time, energy, etc. but leave them free to live their lives.

Value can't be separated from life, and so those individuals are part of your life, literally. And it doesn't stop here with you. In turn, you also are a "value-other" buzzing around many an other person's nucleus and bringing a lot or some value to his/her life. And so on. Expanded to the large scale, there would be a whole society of people with the common glue of selfish values and egoistic choice.

**"Since a value is that which one acts to gain and/or keep, and the amount of possible action is limited by the duration of one's lifespan, it is a part of one's life that one invests in everything one values. The years, months, days, of thought, of interest, of action devoted to a value are the currency with which one pays for the enjoyment one receives from it". [C. of C. ITOE]

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Unless I were swearing to “the flag,” or while testifying in court, or for a government job, like the FBI, I wouldn’t swear allegiance to anything. It almost seems childish. Signing a non-disclosure form doesn’t seem so bad. I hereby swear to never divulge the names of the inhabitants of Atlantis, its existence, or location, unless it is to invite a like-minded individual to enter after they are duly investigated. Say? Can I bring a date?

Peter

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On 2016/08/02 at 9:03 PM, merjet said:

Don E, I agree with all you wrote. However, a passage in the Virtue of Selfishness contradicts what's below. See here.

"The Objectivist ethics holds that the actor must always be the beneficiary of his action and that man must always act for his own ~rational~ self interest. But his right to do so is derived from his nature as man and from the function of moral values in human life ..."

"Since all values have to be gained and/or kept by men's actions, any breach between actor and beneficiary necessitates an injustice..." [VoS]

It seems I for one have been reading this ambivalently. But no rationalizing and temporizing is needed ("primary", "secondary", etc.) if one looks at the full context.

The _direct_ beneficiary of one's actions can only be oneself, if not - who else? The above could be seen as the axiom of Rand's ethics. Its misinterpretation lies in the fine distinction I think of as between 'input' and 'output'. Whatever one earns, small or large, by one's thought and action is all one's own. Interrupting the process and blocking from the beneficiary, in any way, his benefits, cause the "breach" and directly harms his life... and values. It follows, that from his 'earnings', the fruits of one's labour (material, intellectual - 'spiritual'), are what one gives to one's values, often, others of value. These are rational, objective values which sustain and enhance one's life, and how much output to "give" and to what or whom (and when), is completely one's choice. Indeed then, "one can properly and morally act for the sake of another man" (DonE) - and on such occasions, should and must, depending on one's hierarchy of values - help, defend, speak out for, etc.. (At the risk of sacrifice, i.e. higher value to lesser). We cannot speak of life without speaking of value, or the reverse.

 

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31 minutes ago, anthony said:

The _direct_ beneficiary of one's actions can only be oneself, if not - who else? 

You use of "direct" doesn't salvage Rand's assertion.  Suppose a father pays for braces for his daughter's teeth. Does the father benefit only himself? Suppose two men use a two-man saw to obtain more wood for each than they could get working alone. Does each man benefit only himself?

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33 minutes ago, merjet said:

You use of "direct" doesn't salvage Rand's assertion.  Suppose a father pays for braces for his daughter's teeth. Does the father benefit only himself? Suppose two men use a two-man saw to obtain more wood for each than they could get working alone. Does each man benefit only himself?

Beg to differ. Where did the money to pay for the braces come from, how and why did the father make his money? Isn't he "the beneficiary" of his efforts? Benefiting his daughter (of course!) cannot be separated from his life, his values nor their hierarchy. Two men find increased value for each in combining their energy output - a value - towards increased productivity, a greater value. Life and value depends on cognition, action and production. There aren't any values, nor obviously - a valuer - without the individual's existence, "the source of and capacity to", value.

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It appears that the idea of viewing other people as "selfish value" to one, isn't gaining headway. Perhaps, it looks a little like one is 'using' others for one's selfish ends, and in dismissal of everyone's life being "an end in itself". Perhaps it's seen as immorally 'utilitarian' of one to do so. But there's a false dichotomy here. It is ~precisely because~ others (specifically or generally) are, and must be perceived as ends in themselves, that a rational person looks for and detects value in them in the first place!

As for 'grading' the people one knows (well, less, or a little) into a value hierarchy (according to how much one knows of each, what virtues each has, etc., etc) I'm guessing that's seen as terribly 'judgmental'. But if only implicitly, isn't that what everybody who is somewhat rational and selfish does? 'We all' give higher attention to whom we personally know (have judged) and trust, like, respect, admire....etc. And less to casual others. And those whom one doesn't know one can't judge, beyond the basic level of respect to others at large for being man. ("I see you!": that best of greetings and acknowledgement I think, by a native American tribe).

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1 hour ago, anthony said:

Beg to differ. Where did the money to pay for the braces come from, how and why did the father make his money? Isn't he "the beneficiary" of his efforts? Benefiting his daughter (of course!) cannot be separated from his life, his values nor their hierarchy. 

Although I have my doubts, it appears you finally grasped it. He is a beneficiary, as is his daughter. The term "the beneficiary" is singular, and you said there is another beneficiary, i.e. "beneficiaries", which is not singular, but plural.

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"The beneficiary" was - and should automatically be, as his justice in reality - only the individual who earns his benefits. ("Input-output", yes?)There's nothing automatic however about where the father chooses to spend his money, and what his hierarchy may be. He could take it to the races and have fun with it. His daughter didn't get her braces because she "earned" them (we hope), so she can't be seen as "beneficiary" in the sense Rand used it. She got them because of her father's higher value in her. As I keep repeating, one's values and one's life are inseparable. So, no "beneficiaries" plural, just value gained and/or kept by one man's virtues.

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2 hours ago, anthony said:

 His daughter didn't get her braces because she "earned" them (we hope), so she can't be seen as "beneficiary" in the sense Rand used it. 

Nonsense. Ayn Rand wrote: "Since all values have to be gained and/or kept by men's actions, any breach between actor and beneficiary necessitates an injustice: the sacrifice of some men to others, of the actors to the nonactors, of the moral to the immoral." (VoS, Introduction).  

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The quote from VOS? The word and definition of “injustice” is a convoluted entity to me. Look at it in the following context. I enhanced the size and boldness of the word.

Peter

 

The Benefits and Hazards of the Philosophy of Ayn Rand, A Personal Statement by Nathaniel Branden, Ph.D. In preparation for this presentation, I re-read the opening chapter of The Fountainhead. It really is a great book. I noticed something in the first chapter I never noticed before. Consider these facts: The hero has just been expelled from school, he is the victim of injustice, he is misunderstood by virtually everyone, and he himself tends to find other people puzzling and incomprehensible. He is alone; he has no friends. There is no one with whom he can share his inner life or values. So far, with the possible exception of being expelled from school, this could be a fairly accurate description of the state of the overwhelming majority of adolescents. There is one big difference: Howard Roark gives no indication of being bothered by any of it. He is serenely happy within himself. For average teenagers, this condition is agony. They read The Fountainhead and see this condition, not as a problem to be solved, but as a condition they must learn to be happy about — as Roark is. All done without drugs! What a wish-fulfillment that would be! What a dream come true! Don't bother learning to understand anyone. Don't bother working at making yourself better understood. Don't try to see whether you can close the gap of your alienation from others, at least from some others, just struggle for Roark's serenity — which Rand never tells you how to achieve. This is an example of how The Fountainhead could be at once a source of great inspiration and a source of great guilt, for all those who do not know how to reach Roark's state. end quote

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I think most of us will agree that a spiritual or emotional injustice is as bad as an injustice involving property, with the possible exception of perhaps being lost on a Death Valley, desert hike and someone drinks the last drops from your canteen.

Peter  

 

OPAR page 360: An individual can be hurt in countless ways by other men’s irrationality, dishonesty, (and) injustice.  Above all, he can be disappointed, perhaps grievously, by the vices of a person he had once trusted or loved. But as long as his property is not expropriated and he remains unmolested physically, the damage he sustains is essentially spiritual, not physical; in such a case, the victim alone has the power and the responsibility of healing his wounds. He remains free:  free to think, to learn from his experiences, to look elsewhere for human relationships; he remains free to start afresh and to pursue his happiness. Only the crime of force is able to render its victim helpless. The moral responsibility of organized society, therefore, lies in a single obligation:  to banish this crime, i.e., to protect individual rights.

end quote

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1 hour ago, merjet said:

Nonsense. Ayn Rand wrote: "Since all values have to be gained and/or kept by men's actions, any breach between actor and beneficiary necessitates an injustice: the sacrifice of some men to others, of the actors to the nonactors, of the moral to the immoral." (VoS, Introduction).  

Actor AND beneficiary: the same individual. The actor: the father. The beneficiary: the father. He deserves in causality the full material fruits of his efforts. Conversely, to breach between actor and beneficiary - dividing them into separate entities - is to sacrifice the actor's mind, work and values (present and future) to anyone, to immoral all-comers.

Then. The valuer: The father. The valuee: his daughter. She doesn't need to 'earn' what she gets by any of her "efforts". For him, she is a high value to be kept.

 

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"Since all values have to be gained and/or kept by men's actions, any breach between actor and beneficiary necessitates an injustice: the sacrifice of some men to others, of the actors to the nonactors, of the moral to the immoral." (VoS, Introduction).

A father buying braces for his daughter is not an example of the type of "injustice" Ayn Rand was describing here. Technically you could say it's a "breach between actor and beneficiary", since the daughter is the beneficiary of the transaction. But rather than take a "letter of the law" approach with that one phrase, and examine a single transaction under a microscope, we need to look at the principles she was trying to convey, and take a broader view of the man's actions. The important thing is the father's motivation - why is he buying braces for his daughter? 

Let's assume the most likely scenario - that he's buying braces for his daughter because he loves her and values her, because he wants to see his daughter happy and healthy, because this brings him joy and satisfaction. If this is the case, he is definitely benefiting from his actions, and this is no sacrifice to him. He chose to spend his money this way, because he decided it would make someone he loves happy, which will make him happy as well. This is rational, moral, self-interested, and certainly not an injustice.

An injustice would be if the daughter demanded her father buy braces for her, because he has money and she doesn't, so she's "entitled' to some of that money, and he "owes" it to her to buy her whatever she wants. And he grudgingly agreed, even though he thinks there are more important things to spend the money on, because he feels it's his duty to sacrifice for his family.

Another injustice would be if the government mandated that all orthodontia shall from now on be free for anyone who "needs" it. So part of the father's money that he earned is forcibly taken from him through taxation to pay for a stranger's braces, which he obviously has zero self-interest in. 

But a man deciding of his own free will to spend his own earned money on his loved ones, because it makes him happy to do so, can in no way be considered an injustice under the Objectivist ethics.

I think in that quoted statement, Rand was speaking more broadly about breaches between actor and beneficiary, on principle. Like communism vs capitalism - are you the rightful beneficiary of your productive effort, or are others? Is it your decision how to spend your money, or is it "society's" decision? Are you living to pursue your own values and happiness, or are you living to serve others? But she was certainly not asserting that all actions, no matter how small, that might benefit another human being under any circumstances, are immoral.

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 Fair enough. But this doesn't need to be complicated. The fundamental principle - the actor must be the beneficiary of his actions. 

From the ultimate value of his life, through all his supportive values, a person needs to nurture and protect his values; his effortful rewards/income/profit/earnings are all he has to do so.

Rand's statement builds the moral platform for laissez-faire and individual rights, I'd think.

A 'scenario' is helpful, if we consider many others, in many contexts too - otherwise it can obfuscate and distract. The man might want to spend his business profit on an important medical procedure for himself. He may choose to re-invest it into his business. He may in fact choose to give half of it to charity. A wealth of possibilities, but always HE must get what he worked for - before assessing and selecting on which value of his to spend it, of which he is the only judge. (It could also be on a dis-value, a subjective 'value' or whim).

(Further factors confuse the issue, like : who ~the ultimate beneficiary of "the beneficiary"~ will be. Or, does he spend it on his daughter begrudgingly - out of duty - or use the money to buy a gift for his boss instead...and so on - and raises another topic of how suspect his value system and rationality are, or that he sacrifices his values, altruistically).

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9 hours ago, Don E. said:

A father buying braces for his daughter is not an example of the type of "injustice" Ayn Rand was describing here. Technically you could say it's a "breach between actor and beneficiary", since the daughter is the beneficiary of the transaction. But rather than take a "letter of the law" approach with that one phrase, and examine a single transaction under a microscope, we need to look at the principles she was trying to convey, and take a broader view of the man's actions.

........

But she was certainly not asserting that all actions, no matter how small, that might benefit another human being under any circumstances, are immoral.

Okay, that is your interpretation of what she wrote, but it is not literally what she wrote. I took her advice -- and obviously your interpretation didn't -- about reading another philosopher's words in her essay "Philosophical Detection" that follows. Also, I have examined many, many transactions under "my microscope."

Quote

You must not take a catch phrase--or any abstract statement-- as if it were approximate. Take it literally. Don't translate it, don't glamorize it, don't make the mistake of thinking, as many people do: "Oh, nobody could possible mean this!" and then proceed to endow it with some whitewashed meaning of your own. Take it straight, for what it does say and mean.  (Philosophy: Who Needs It, p. 18-19)  

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17 hours ago, Peter said:

The quote from VOS? The word and definition of “injustice” is a convoluted entity to me. Look at it in the following context. I enhanced the size and boldness of the word.

Peter

 

The Benefits and Hazards of the Philosophy of Ayn Rand, A Personal Statement by Nathaniel Branden, Ph.D. In preparation for this presentation, I re-read the opening chapter of The Fountainhead. It really is a great book. I noticed something in the first chapter I never noticed before. Consider these facts: The hero has just been expelled from school, he is the victim of injustice, he is misunderstood by virtually everyone, and he himself tends to find other people puzzling and incomprehensible. He is alone; he has no friends. There is no one with whom he can share his inner life or values. So far, with the possible exception of being expelled from school, this could be a fairly accurate description of the state of the overwhelming majority of adolescents. There is one big difference: Howard Roark gives no indication of being bothered by any of it. He is serenely happy within himself. For average teenagers, this condition is agony. They read The Fountainhead and see this condition, not as a problem to be solved, but as a condition they must learn to be happy about — as Roark is. All done without drugs! What a wish-fulfillment that would be! What a dream come true! Don't bother learning to understand anyone. Don't bother working at making yourself better understood. Don't try to see whether you can close the gap of your alienation from others, at least from some others, just struggle for Roark's serenity — which Rand never tells you how to achieve. This is an example of how The Fountainhead could be at once a source of great inspiration and a source of great guilt, for all those who do not know how to reach Roark's state. end quote

A great caution from Nathaniel Branden who witnessed and evidently knew what he was talking about. I've thought about this some, and more or less conclude that their response was quite understandable, but definitely to be grown out of by young O'ists, or they risk disappointment (and "alienation/guilt"). First, it is strong stuff, romantic realism, if one's not accustomed to it. A prior wide reading experience will tend one not to take too much too literally and 'over-identify' with a figure. Second, Rand was the philosopher as well as the artist, and although highly integrated, the two 'hats' can be too-conflated. Fiction is fiction, and as she said, she created "my ideal" (not 'perfect') characters, inhabiting her metaphysical view of existence - as do Romanticists. Her characters serve us as concrete *illustrations* of her principles-in-action, which stand as a hall mark to readers. Also, all this was happening in the presence of the charismatic lady, herself. Her personal approval was likely sought, as we were when young with an admired mentor. But none of this can be blamed on Rand, while other things in the O'ist culture of the time may be.

She made a remark in The Romantic Manifesto I think is apt.

"Speaking metaphorically, the creative process resembles a process of deduction; the viewing [/reading] process resembles a process of induction".

You are a big reader Peter, that might strike you as generally true to your experience. I think it's possible to 'over-deduce' from episodes and characters in Rand's fiction (and any art) - while of course deduction from her fiction as a comparative tool for students of her philosophy is invaluable - but to really see the ideas in action it's more important to look to her non-fiction works and methodology - and then from reality, to induce/deduce the concepts oneself. Her character "illustrations" and their abiding inspiration, notwithstanding.

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Tony wrote: Her personal approval was likely sought, as we were when young with an admired mentor. But none of this can be blamed on Rand, while other things in the O'ist culture of the time may be. end quote

Excellent interpretation. Is it a mistake to hand over your copy of a favorite book like it is a sacred text, and urge the reader to have the greatest moment in their intellectual and emotional life? Is that a dumb thing to do? If you do that, you could be recreating the O’ist culture and mindset Nathaniel Branden was warning against. I think cult like religions and cultures like the Mormons inundate their kids with ideas that have no basis in reality, beyond the walls of the community . . . . though not AR of course. In my case a girlfriend showed me a book cover that had the word “Anthem” written on it and then lovingly pressed it into my hands. Boing~

In a non, cult-like and rational atmosphere kids are finding their independent ways and they are rebellious, so it’s tough for a parent to “pass on” the shock and awe they felt when they read that book or saw that movie. The kids are dubious. They are from a better, more recent era, you old . . . father. And kids evolve, like my granddaughter is now. Yesterday it was the “Build A Bear Store.” Today it is a movie about a talking cat with Christopher Walken. And Teen Titans. Later it will be the equivalent of what used to be called teenager, Beach Party movies.

So do older folks continue to evolve beyond “Atlas Shrugged?” I think they do and should. Contextual life does not stop with something you read years ago, or with the explanatory non-fiction that followed. In a way, being wowed at a younger age can stunt your growth, if you don’t keep reading with your eyes open.

An aside. I really miss seagoing authors Patrick O’Brian, Alexander Kent, and others. I just started reading a Canadian, seagoing author: Sean Thomas Russell. He is pretty good and writes about the British Navy in the 1800’s, though not yet in their league. I read one of his earlier books, “Take, Burn, or Destroy” and now I am about to start “Until The Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead.” Somewhat gruesome titles but typical of the genre, alternating between life at sea in time of war and a romantic home life.

Peter

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9 hours ago, merjet said:

Okay, that is your interpretation of what she wrote, but it is not literally what she wrote.

merjet, you're being ridiculous, and I have to wonder if you're just trolling me. Are you seriously trying to assert that a father buying braces for his daughter is immoral, according to Objectivism?

Ayn Rand did not lay down commandments for us to follow robotically and dogmatically. She gave us philosophical principles to apply to our lives. The quote about beneficiaries is from the Introduction to VOS, where, if you read it in context, her intent is clearly to lay out the broad principles of the Objectivist ethics, and contrast them with the broad principles of the altruist ethics. You can't take that one sentence and interpret it as "Thou shalt not take any action which benefits another human being". We're talking about broad principles of ethics and philosophy which require rational thought and application to your life, not dogma to be followed blindly. Yes, that's my interpretation, and it's the correct interpretation, if you have actually read and understood Ayn Rand's ideas.

As an example, let's look at a single action under your microscope: You hand me $5. Good Galt, what are you doing???!! Altruist!! Immoral!! I'm the beneficiary of your action!! Well, now let's look at the context. I'm in your store, and I'm buying an item that costs $15, and I paid you with a $20 bill, and now you're handing me $5 in change. Clearly nothing immoral about that. So obviously, taking one sentence from Ayn Rand as a holy commandment, without context, and applying it to a single transaction, without context, can lead you to ridiculous conclusions. And you're doing the same thing with the father buying braces for his daughter. You're taking it out of context and not looking at the broader principles and values involved, or the entire set of circumstances, or the motivation of the father. 

If you want further clarification from Ayn Rand herself, please re-read "The Ethics of Emergencies" in VOS. Here are a couple quotes that are perfectly applicable to the father/daughter braces situation:

Quote

Concern for the welfare of those one loves is a rational part of one's selfish interests. If a man who is passionately in love with his wife spends a fortune to cure her of a dangerous illness, it would be absurd to claim that he does it as a "sacrifice" for her sake, not his own, and that it makes no difference to him, personally and selfishly, whether she lives or dies.

Any action that a man undertakes for the benefit of those he loves is not a sacrifice if, in the heirarchy of his values, in the total context of the choices open to him, it achieves that which is of the greatest personal (and rational) importance to him. ("The Ethics of Emergencies", VOS, p.51)  (Italics in original, boldface mine)

 

Quote

The same principle applies to relationships among friends. If one's friend is in trouble, one should act to help him by whatever nonsacrificial means are appropriate. For instance, if one's friend is starving, it is not a sacrifice, but an act of integrity to give him money for food rather than buy some insignificant gadget for oneself, because his welfare is important in the scale of one's personal values. If the gadget means more than the friend's suffering, one had no business pretending to be his friend. ("The Ethics of Emergencies", VOS, p.53)  (boldface mine)

 

In your literal interpretation of the beneficiaries statement, you're saying it would be immoral to help your wife or your friends in any way under any circumstance, and clearly that contradicts what Ayn Rand is saying here. 

As for your quote from PWNI,

Quote

You must not take a catch phrase--or any abstract statement-- as if it were approximate. Take it literally. 

In context, she was talking about examining popular catch phrases that people throw around, such as "It was true yesterday, but not today", in order to understand the philosophical principles underlying them. She was not saying "Take every word I have ever written literally, and apply it robotically as a divine commandment!"

Throughout all of her writing, she encourages you to consider her ideas using reason and critical thinking, not to take a narrow, literal interpretation of every one of her statements out of context and follow it blindly. As an example, here's a quote from the same chapter in PWNI:

Quote

What objectivity and the study of philosophy require is not an "open mind," but an active mind - a mind able and eagerly willing to examine ideas, but to examine them critically. ("Philosophical Detection", PWNI, p.21)

 

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Tony wrote: I think it's possible to 'over-deduce' from episodes and characters in Rand's fiction . . . end quote

Roark and Galt violently rebel against authority.  But to be fictional rebels, as Howard Roark or John Galt are characterized as being, the government must be perceived as evil to justify the deaths of some government officials. Or even just retreating to a hideaway.

So that is a problem I have with people who leave off reading Rand to become anarchists or argue that NOW we ARE at the point when our real government is evil enough to justify shedding the blood of tyrants. I am sure all of us have heard someone proclaim, if the government does X, Y, and Z then I will rebel. That reminds me of the folks who have pledged to leave America if Trump is elected. Half jokingly, I say we should hold them to their promise, but I won't hold the anarchists to their pledges to do violence.

Other countries, like South Africa seem to be maintaining freedom even with less than minimally decent Constitutions. Hmmm? Who could perform emergency surgery on the government but not kill the patient?

Peter   

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Don E. wrote: Throughout all of her writing, she encourages you to consider her ideas using reason and critical thinking, not to take a narrow, literal interpretation of every one of her statements out of context and follow it blindly. end quote

You are wise. I like the quote from PWNI: “Philosophy, Who Needs It?”: “Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy by a conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought and scrupulously logical deliberation — or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears, thrown together by chance, but integrated by your subconscious into a kind of mongrel philosophy and fused into a single, solid weight: self-doubt.”

There are times when I know someone is a fan of Rand but what they say seems contrary to that view. Yet, it is better when ideas can be bandied about and when someone can safely play devil’s advocate, though I sometimes jump on someone else’s free speech. Mea culpa. Here are some often repeated quotes of mine.

Brant wrote on the old Atlantis (We The Living): I just had a horrible thought. When I was growing up I had this idea of Frenchmen at sidewalk cafes sitting around talking endlessly and accomplishing nothing. Is this Atlantis?

And Peter Reidy responded: They aren't as idle as they look. Virtually all the intellectual and artistic life of continental Europe in the last two or three centuries - communism, existentialism, psychoanalysis, serial music, cubism and so on - happened this way. end quotes

I still like to think of OL as The Atlantis Café. No purges allowed. Ideas are being generated. Philosophy is being explained and expanded. Waiter! I will have another with cream. Two sugars.

Peter

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1 hour ago, wolfdevoon said:

Yeah? Name two.

Hhmm, not two ideas---how about idea generating questions?

1.  Does Galt's Oath have verecundiam built into it?

2.  If so, why did you think so?  Is this a flaw?  If not, why do you think it doesn't?

3.  For whoever thinks #1 is an invalid question..  or perhaps an excluded middle..

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