Recommended Posts

:

Your third statement, on which I had given you no response, was that : "Imo one can't be an objectivist without also being an atheist." Rand was clear on this, and I'm not certain what about it you find so confusing. ULTIMATELY a thoughtful Objectivist will end up an atheist. (Note the major difference between this and your incorrect claims in your first two statements.) However, that's a matter of as one works through the details of one's philosophy, the implications, etc... Not a pillar, not a foundation, etc.

Bill P

MSK wrote in the Epistemology section thread (bolding mine)

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/in...amp;#entry67991

I have issues with her concept of moral perfection since I believe it is vastly oversimplified and has created a lot of mischief and suffering in the souls of many Objectivists. What started as her objection to the Christian original sin concept (which I believe is a horrible concept) became, in practice, a psychological straight-jacket and a form of original sin itself—i.e., we are born imperfect and have to choose to become perfect. The more I ponder that particular thought, the less metaphysical sense it makes.

So it looks like the rejection of a religious concept (the original sin) did play a large role in the forming of Rand's philosophy.

Again . . . review what we are talking about. Not a pillar, not a foundation.

Bill P

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Replies 78
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

However - I haven't found a lot about how people can personally apply the philosophy in their career, home life, love life, raising kids, etc.

That would interest me too: are the people here who actually try to live like Rand suggests?

Do the posters here on the forum agree with Rand's claim that there exist objective values?

If yes, why do you agree?

If not, why not?

Edited by Xray
Link to post
Share on other sites
:

Your third statement, on which I had given you no response, was that : "Imo one can't be an objectivist without also being an atheist." Rand was clear on this, and I'm not certain what about it you find so confusing. ULTIMATELY a thoughtful Objectivist will end up an atheist. (Note the major difference between this and your incorrect claims in your first two statements.) However, that's a matter of as one works through the details of one's philosophy, the implications, etc... Not a pillar, not a foundation, etc.

Bill P

MSK wrote in the Epistemology section thread (bolding mine)

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/in...amp;#entry67991

I have issues with her concept of moral perfection since I believe it is vastly oversimplified and has created a lot of mischief and suffering in the souls of many Objectivists. What started as her objection to the Christian original sin concept (which I believe is a horrible concept) became, in practice, a psychological straight-jacket and a form of original sin itself—i.e., we are born imperfect and have to choose to become perfect. The more I ponder that particular thought, the less metaphysical sense it makes.

So it looks like the rejection of a religious concept (the original sin) did play a large role in the forming of Rand's philosophy.

Again . . . review what we are talking about. Not a pillar, not a foundation.

Bill P

But an integral part - yes?

Link to post
Share on other sites
:

Your third statement, on which I had given you no response, was that : "Imo one can't be an objectivist without also being an atheist." Rand was clear on this, and I'm not certain what about it you find so confusing. ULTIMATELY a thoughtful Objectivist will end up an atheist. (Note the major difference between this and your incorrect claims in your first two statements.) However, that's a matter of as one works through the details of one's philosophy, the implications, etc... Not a pillar, not a foundation, etc.

Bill P

MSK wrote in the Epistemology section thread (bolding mine)

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/in...amp;#entry67991

I have issues with her concept of moral perfection since I believe it is vastly oversimplified and has created a lot of mischief and suffering in the souls of many Objectivists. What started as her objection to the Christian original sin concept (which I believe is a horrible concept) became, in practice, a psychological straight-jacket and a form of original sin itself—i.e., we are born imperfect and have to choose to become perfect. The more I ponder that particular thought, the less metaphysical sense it makes.

So it looks like the rejection of a religious concept (the original sin) did play a large role in the forming of Rand's philosophy.

Again . . . review what we are talking about. Not a pillar, not a foundation.

Bill P

But an integral part - yes?

I'd have to know what you meant by that. It was a part of it.

Read Atlas Shrugged, for instance. Does Rand's atheism seem a major theme, or a very minor one? Ditto for The Fountainhead. It's there, explicitly in Galt's speech. Where else, explicitly?

If it had been as much a pillar or foundation of her thought as you maintain, surely she would have spoken of it more.

Read her essays in the periodicals - Objectivist Newsletter, The Objectivist, The Ayn Rand Letter. She just didn't spend much time on the subject.

Bill P

Link to post
Share on other sites
So it looks like the rejection of a religious concept (the original sin) did play a large role in the forming of Rand's philosophy.

Xray,

This is not quite accurate. I believe Rand contemplating these issues and coming to her own independent conclusions based on doing her daisy-chain concept verification (tracing concepts back to their fundamental referents) is more to the point. The rejection came as a result of this thinking. It is not a cause for new thinking.

The way you make it sound, it seems like Rand was once a Christian, then rejected God and made a philosophy to justify that rejection.

Incidentally, you will find a great deal of Greek/Roman mythology in Rand's writing where she changed the outcomes or meanings. Does this mean she created Objectivism on the premise of rejecting Greek/Roman mythology?

Hardly.

:)

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since Rand came from a more Jewish culture I think this quote from the Jewish Library website might be apropos: "Saint Augustine (354-430) was the first theologian to teach that man is born into this world in a state of sin. The basis of his belief is from the Bible (Genesis 3:17-19) where Adam is described as having disobeyed G-d by eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. This, the first sin of man, became known as original sin.

Many Christians today, particularly members of the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian Churches, subscribe to this belief. They maintain that the sin of Adam was transferred to all future generations, tainting even the unborn. Substantiation for this view is found in the New Testament (Romans 5:12) where Paul says, "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. By one man's disobediance many were made sinners."

Christianity believes that only through the acceptance of Jesus that the "grace" of G-d can return to man. A Christian need only believe in Jesus to be saved; nothing else is required of her.

The doctrine of original sin is totally unacceptable to Jews (as it is to Christian sects such as Baptists and Assemblies of G-d). Jews believe that man enters the world free of sin, with a soul that is pure and innocent and untainted. While there were some Jewish teachers in Talmudic times who believed that death was a punishment brought upon mankind on account of Adam's sin, the dominant view by far was that man sins because he is not a perfect being, and not, as Christianity teaches, because he is inherently sinful."

Link to post
Share on other sites
My post was in response to Christopher who wrote that he attempts to see the good in religion.

Imo Rand woud have denied that there is ANY good in religion and would have fought Christopher's position tooth and a nail - don't you think so? For atheism is an integral part of her philosophy.

Rand was not a god, therefore she was fallible.

As for discussions of God, there are a lot of things man cannot "prove" through the use of logic. N Branden commented that an orgasm cannot be logically proved. There is an excellent dialogue between Nathaniel Branden and Ken Wilber addressing the reasoning of subjective content, titled: Exploring the Rational Reconstruction of Trans-Rational Mysticism. You can download this through IntegralNaked.org or IntegralLife.com if you are a paid subscriber. I would definitely try out the one-month free membership on Integral Naked just to listen to this conversation.

Btw, for those interested here's a free audio conversation offered by IntegralLife.com between Branden and Wilber, entitled My Years With Ayn Rand:

--> http://integrallife.com/node/38254

Peace,

Chris

Okay - if you cannot prove an orgasm, then you are sleeping with the wrong person....... :P

Link to post
Share on other sites

[..]

As for discussions of God, there are a lot of things man cannot "prove" through the use of logic. N Branden commented that an orgasm cannot be logically proved.[..]

Okay - if you cannot prove an orgasm, then you are sleeping with the wrong person....... :P

In science nothing can be "logically proved".

Link to post
Share on other sites

[..]

As for discussions of God, there are a lot of things man cannot "prove" through the use of logic. N Branden commented that an orgasm cannot be logically proved.[..]

Okay - if you cannot prove an orgasm, then you are sleeping with the wrong person....... :P

In science nothing can be "logically proved".

Well your statements demonstrating "truth" have to be logically coherrent, but the proof is in the data. What a logical statement proves is that it is not illogical and therefore false, but the contrary is not true for proof. Now seeing that there is something illogical and making it logical may enable one to see a proof, but seeing isn't proving per se. And proof of course, is always tentative.

I may be sounding more authoritative than I've a right too, so if this sounds wrong please let us know.

--Brant

Link to post
Share on other sites
Brant,

The idea is that in science something can only be logically falsified, never logically proven.

It's a theory (from Popper), nothing more. And that theory is certainly not proven...

Michael

It can't be "proven." The only proofs are logical proofs. Science demonstrates. Popper will be used until something better comes along to replace or modify his ideas in scientific methodology.

--Brant

Link to post
Share on other sites
The idea is that in science something can only be logically falsified, never logically proven.

It's a theory (from Popper), nothing more. And that theory is certainly not proven...

It can be proven if you assume that man is not omniscient.

Link to post
Share on other sites
In science nothing can be "logically proved".
It can be proven if you assume that man is not omniscient.

Dragonfly,

To reconcile these two statement, I have to conclude that in order to be "proven," Popper's idea is either not science, or it is not logical.

If one uses the standard you just set, it cannot be both.

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are infinite numbers of ways of explaining some phenomenon and it is not possible to decide which one is absolutely right (true) - but it is possible to discard some if they can be falsified. In other words we can say confidently when something is wrong but only tentatively when it is right.

Link to post
Share on other sites
To reconcile these two statement, I have to conclude that in order to be "proven," Popper's idea is either not science, or it is not logical.

It is not science, except for the hypothesis that man is not omniscient (therefore I included that hypothesis in my statement), but it is certainly logical. The unprovability in science is the logical consequence of the supposition that man is not omniscient. The only way that you could deny Popper's idea is by assuming that man is omniscient.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We seem to have two absolutes and one inbetween. The two absolutes are the epistemology of logic and reason (not faith) and the metaphysical reality. The inbetween is in applying one to the other as in science. This is where tentativeness mostly comes in. (One has to assume epistemology might somehow be improved just as a principal standing by in the background.) There are varrying degrees of both precision and tentativeness in that context depending on complexity, newness, our instruments, data, quality of interpretation, etc.

--Brant

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd have to know what you meant by that. It was a part of it.

Read Atlas Shrugged, for instance. Does Rand's atheism seem a major theme, or a very minor one? Ditto for The Fountainhead. It's there, explicitly in Galt's speech. Where else, explicitly?

If it had been as much a pillar or foundation of her thought as you maintain, surely she would have spoken of it more.

Read her essays in the periodicals - Objectivist Newsletter, The Objectivist, The Ayn Rand Letter. She just didn't spend much time on the subject.

Bill P

It obviously WAS a major theme.

Barbara Branden wrote:

"The absolutism of reason with its corollary, the rejection of faith, was, and remained, the philosophical issue most important to Ayn." (end quote)

(Source: The passion of Ayn Rand, chapter "The Fountainhead", p. 165).

Link to post
Share on other sites
There are infinite numbers of ways of explaining some phenomenon and it is not possible to decide which one is absolutely right (true) - but it is possible to discard some if they can be falsified. In other words we can say confidently when something is wrong but only tentatively when it is right.

Yes.

Right now I'm involved in some research. Consistent with the field, I am not allowed to say I have "proved" anything. Rather, I can only say whether my data supports my claims.

Additionally, all research I (or any of my colleagues) perform is focusd on confirming the null hypothesis, meaning: The base hypothesis for any experiment is that there will be no effect. If there is an effect, then the null hypothesis is said to be not supported, and any further claims made are the interpretations of the author. In other words, it's as you say GS.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd have to know what you meant by that. It was a part of it.

Read Atlas Shrugged, for instance. Does Rand's atheism seem a major theme, or a very minor one? Ditto for The Fountainhead. It's there, explicitly in Galt's speech. Where else, explicitly?

If it had been as much a pillar or foundation of her thought as you maintain, surely she would have spoken of it more.

Read her essays in the periodicals - Objectivist Newsletter, The Objectivist, The Ayn Rand Letter. She just didn't spend much time on the subject.

Bill P

It obviously WAS a major theme.

Barbara Branden wrote:

"The absolutism of reason with its corollary, the rejection of faith, was, and remained, the philosophical issue most important to Ayn." (end quote)

(Source: The passion of Ayn Rand, chapter "The Fountainhead", p. 165).

Because one person who was very close to her expressed an opinion makes this statement correct >>>>"It obviously WAS a major theme." Why because Barbara said so? Ok now what do we do with that piece of hearsay testimonial testimony?

It is a non sequitur.

Adam

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd have to know what you meant by that. It was a part of it.

Read Atlas Shrugged, for instance. Does Rand's atheism seem a major theme, or a very minor one? Ditto for The Fountainhead. It's there, explicitly in Galt's speech. Where else, explicitly?

If it had been as much a pillar or foundation of her thought as you maintain, surely she would have spoken of it more.

Read her essays in the periodicals - Objectivist Newsletter, The Objectivist, The Ayn Rand Letter. She just didn't spend much time on the subject.

Bill P

It obviously WAS a major theme.

Barbara Branden wrote:

"The absolutism of reason with its corollary, the rejection of faith, was, and remained, the philosophical issue most important to Ayn." (end quote)

(Source: The passion of Ayn Rand, chapter "The Fountainhead", p. 165).

Good and relevant quote. I urge you to read it carefully - it makes the point I have been making. Thanks for citing it. Reason is a pillar. The rejection of faith or "other" means to knowledge is a consequence, and leads to atheism.

Do you see the point?

Bill P

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd have to know what you meant by that. It was a part of it.

Read Atlas Shrugged, for instance. Does Rand's atheism seem a major theme, or a very minor one? Ditto for The Fountainhead. It's there, explicitly in Galt's speech. Where else, explicitly?

If it had been as much a pillar or foundation of her thought as you maintain, surely she would have spoken of it more.

Read her essays in the periodicals - Objectivist Newsletter, The Objectivist, The Ayn Rand Letter. She just didn't spend much time on the subject.

Bill P

It obviously WAS a major theme.

Barbara Branden wrote:

"The absolutism of reason with its corollary, the rejection of faith, was, and remained, the philosophical issue most important to Ayn." (end quote)

(Source: The passion of Ayn Rand, chapter "The Fountainhead", p. 165).

Because one person who was very close to her expressed an opinion makes this statement correct >>>>"It obviously WAS a major theme." Why because Barbara said so? Ok now what do we do with that piece of hearsay testimonial testimony?

It is a non sequitur.

Adam

Have you read her book?

Barbara B. was - and is - one of the key figures in the objectivist movement and was VERY close to Rand. This is a fact. This gives her statement far more weight than mere hearsay.

Therefore if you believe that what she said about Ayn's rejection of faith is wrong, would you please provide quotes from fellow objectivists (on the same level as her) claiming the contrary.

Edited by Xray
Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd have to know what you meant by that. It was a part of it.

Read Atlas Shrugged, for instance. Does Rand's atheism seem a major theme, or a very minor one? Ditto for The Fountainhead. It's there, explicitly in Galt's speech. Where else, explicitly?

If it had been as much a pillar or foundation of her thought as you maintain, surely she would have spoken of it more.

Read her essays in the periodicals - Objectivist Newsletter, The Objectivist, The Ayn Rand Letter. She just didn't spend much time on the subject.

Bill P

It obviously WAS a major theme.

Barbara Branden wrote:

"The absolutism of reason with its corollary, the rejection of faith, was, and remained, the philosophical issue most important to Ayn." (end quote)

(Source: The passion of Ayn Rand, chapter "The Fountainhead", p. 165).

Because one person who was very close to her expressed an opinion makes this statement correct >>>>"It obviously WAS a major theme." Why because Barbara said so? Ok now what do we do with that piece of hearsay testimonial testimony?

It is a non sequitur.

Adam

Have you read her book?

Barbara B. was - and is - one of the key figures in the objectivist movement and was VERY close to Rand. This is a fact. This gives her statement far more weight than mere hearsay.

Therefore if you believe that what she said about Ayn's rejection of faith is wrong, would you please provide quotes from fellow objectivists (on the same level as her) claiming the contrary.

Xray -

Read some Rand. She does not develop her thought by saying:

1) I don't believe in God.

2) Therefore, reason is the tool for grasping reality.

3) etc.....

The sequence is reversed. The primacy of reason is fundamental. Her atheism flows from that, plus her refusal to have some other being enthroned above man.

This is not that complicated - not at all. No purpose is served by attempting to make it so.

Bill P

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd have to know what you meant by that. It was a part of it.

Read Atlas Shrugged, for instance. Does Rand's atheism seem a major theme, or a very minor one? Ditto for The Fountainhead. It's there, explicitly in Galt's speech. Where else, explicitly?

If it had been as much a pillar or foundation of her thought as you maintain, surely she would have spoken of it more.

Read her essays in the periodicals - Objectivist Newsletter, The Objectivist, The Ayn Rand Letter. She just didn't spend much time on the subject.

Bill P

It obviously WAS a major theme.

Barbara Branden wrote:

"The absolutism of reason with its corollary, the rejection of faith, was and remained, the philosophical issue most important to the philosophical issue most important to Rand.

Ayn." (end quote)

(Source: The passion of Ayn Rand, chapter "The Fountainhead", p. 165).

Good and relevant quote. I urge you to read it carefully - it makes the point I have been making. Thanks for citing it. Reason is a pillar. The rejection of faith or "other" means to knowledge is a consequence, and leads to atheism.

Do you see the point?

Bill P

The point you have been making has already been clarified in the discussion. I agree with you that her reason led her to reject faith. She claimed that objectivism can't be reconciled with religion. The discussion was about a poster claiming that (I'm paraphrasing) objectivism can be a helpful tool in seeing the good in religion, and it was that statement I debated because imo Rand's philosophy contradicts it.

A corollary is not a primary principle.

The corollary is subordinate to the primary by definition.

Michael

And according to Barbara Branden, the primary (reason) and its corollary (rejection of faith), was and remained the philosophical issue most important to Rand.

Edited by Xray
Link to post
Share on other sites
And according to Barbara Branden, the primary (reason) and its corollary (rejection of faith), was and remained the philosophical issue most important to Rand.

Xray,

Please define "philosophical" as you understand how Barbara Branden meant it.

In my understanding, it is heavily weighted on epistemological effects here, not metaphysics. Combating the effects of faith were important to Rand because faith-based information (1) is unreliable, (2) hides the motives of evil people, and (3) makes a person doubt his own knowledge. In that sense, yes it is important. Evil folks kill and enslave people and Rand wanted to neutralize them by pulling the covers off their intellectual con game.

But in the technical sense of constructing a philosophy from the ground up, faith isn't even considered on the metaphysical level in Objectivism (in the axiomatic concepts). On other levels, it is treated as the chosen alternative to reason, but this is already on the ethical level.

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now