A Philosophy Professor Discusses Ayn Rand in his Ethics Class
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23-02-2013, 02:36 PM
RE: A Philosophy Professor Discusses Ayn Rand in his Ethics Class
(23-02-2013 02:13 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  "As for passive aggressive - your comment

"coming from a person who hadn't invested an awful lot of time and
energy into understanding first principles.And that's not meant to be a
slight"

is a perfect example."


No, not at all. I plainly stated that I didn't mean it to be a slight. You either take me at my word or you think I'm lying. Regardless, there was nothing passive about my comment.

As for your response to the above, you mentioned that you studied philosophy and rejected it. It seems to me there are two reasons why, although there could be more. On the one hand, you mastered the subject, decided it was an invalid science, and rejected it wholly. If that's the case, it calls into question intelligence of the thousands of people who have made a life long study of philosophy but could never come to a consensus. Not to mention the myriad people who've studied the subject as a personal interest. On the other hand, maybe you studied it for a while and for whatever reason, decided that it wasn't a topic of interest to you. In which case, you wouldn't be inclined to claim any authority when assessing matters of philosophy. ergo, you wouldn't make objective claims about the efficacy of a philosophical theory.

If the latter, then my observation is correct and again, is not a slight any more than it would be a slight for a football fan to mention that my understanding of the rules of football is incorrect... Because I admittedly don't have an interest in the subject.

I wrote "... I studied her philosophy... I rejected it."

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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24-02-2013, 04:16 PM
RE: A Philosophy Professor Discusses Ayn Rand in his Ethics Class
"I wrote "... I studied her philosophy... I rejected it.""

You sure did. I'm so sorry, I missed that.So then we're back to the question of compassion. What about objectivism leads you to the conclusion that it isn't compassionate?

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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25-02-2013, 01:56 AM (This post was last modified: 25-02-2013 05:53 AM by Julius.)
RE: A Philosophy Professor Discusses Ayn Rand in his Ethics Class
By her life and her writings, Ayn Rand beautifully demonstrated what is so horrible about the field of philosophy - and what is so bad about her philosophy in particular.

Please let me explain. As a skeptic, I evaluate ideas based on the following two broad criteria:

1. Is it plausible
2. Has it been proven

Even if I give Rand the benefit of the doubt and say that what she derives from philisophical first principals is plausible, she has yet to prove it - and of it - in the realm of reality. In that sense, she is not like a scientist who says to himself, "Well, this is a nice Hypothesis, but I'm going to need some empiracal data through observation and/or experiment in order to determine whether it's the truth". Nope...Ayn Rand didn't do this at all. She derived her entire philosphy from first principals and tested none of it. Furthermore, not even anyone close to Rand could even question her about it lest they be ostracized. Read Murray Rothbard's description of the Ayn Rand cult and see for yourself how dysfunctional a group of Ayn Rand's "Objectivists" can become. Or...read some stuff about the current and ongoing spats within the Objectivist community - it's like monkeys slinging poo at each other. What ethics they display!

Objectivism may work in the magical land of Ayn Rand's fictional Galt's Gulch, but it sure as hell leaves a lot to be desired in the real world. Ask the former Chairman of the federal Reserve Alan Greenspan (an Ayn Rand acolyte) just how well Ayn Rand's capitilist philosophy will take you. Ayn Rand was so stupid and mentally lazy that she never learned about the inherent dangers of financial deregulation before she crafted her economic philosophy. And there was no excuse for this because the causes of the Great Depression we well known and she hung around with a lot of finaceers and bankers who could have helped educate her. Nope...but she didn't do that. There was no way Ayn Rand was going to let facts spoil the foundations of her capitilistic philosophy.

And so it goes. Ayn Rand devised an entire philisophical system (with Capitilism at it's heart) without test and verification in the same way Marx devised Communism. And it's no wonder that both are utter failures. And like good little Marxists, the Ayn Rand Acolytes miss no opportunity to apologize for the economic failure of Objectivism by blaming the government and poor people and basically saying , "Had the system been perfect Capitilism, then all would have been o.k.".

Last....and here's the most important part. Ayn Rand is so full of shit about her straw-man claims of "Altruism is a Threat". I have been around for 50 years and have never - not ever- met an Altruist or anyone close to being an Altruist as she describes the concept. So...why does Ayn Rand rail constantly on this Altruist Straw-man - this man who can not be found? And...in all these years, I've only figured out one reason: to absolve greedy, thieving scum of guilty. This came to me after watching the aftermath of the 2008 Financial Meltdown and reading about how many people on Wall Street admired her.

So here it is folks - here's the whole Ayn Rand Philosiphy in one statement: It's a Philosiphy designed to justify the actions of thieving assholes.

What a crock.
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