He started the conversation by posting some comments about Ayn Rand philosophy Objectivism and I started to answering them, and it developed into a very interesting conversation, and it gave me a chance to put my knowledge of Ayn Rand and her philosophy to test, and I think I came out very proud of being able to apply that knowledge in a particular situation. I also learned a few points from three other participants in the conversation, Kathleen Anderberg,
Stuart Hayashi, and Scott Webster Wood and I want to thank them for their inputs.
Although this blog is not the right place to post this conversation, I thought I would post this here until I start my blog about Ayn Rand and her philosophy and its relevance to India, which is where is should be posted.
Here is the conversation:
Nanda Gopal Yes, you are right. That word does not seem to be right.
Nanda Gopal The word arrogant also does not seem to a correct word there, I think!
In the nonfiction book I'm writing, I explain the difference between the conventional usage of the terms objective, absolute, and perfect -- which, due to the influence of Plato and Immanuel Kant, are logically incoherent -- and the the way that Ayn Rand and Objectivism use those terms...
I can't explain the matter as well as Peikoff's "The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy," and I don't speak for all Objectivists, but this is my attempt to explain what is meant by objectivity. What many people would call "subjective," Objectivists would call "both contextual and objective."
"I disagree with objectivism in name alone. The philosophical concept of objectivism is that a supreme power has the influence on moral compass." No it's not. The only underlying basis of objectivist epistemology is the objective - i.e. reality - i.e. the nature of the universe. If by 'supreme power' you mean 'what which is', ok. If by supreme power you are inserting some anthropomorphized notion of some cosmic clockmaker or other intelligent precursor - based on what? That is not what objectivism is at all so I must either assume I misunderstand what you mean based on a poor choice of wording or you misunderstand the philosophy based on a personal bias or more likely, a voluntary level of ignorance.
re: "However, I would argue that the true title should be subjectivism, for it is the only code of ethics that truly exists."
Huh? again based on what? This doesn't even make sense.
"Also, I disagree with Ayn Rand on the concept that true happiness comes from laissez-faire. Many opportunities, that would promote human happiness, would be thwarted through laissez-faire capitalism."
I think this too is a misrepresentation. I do not presume based on my reading of Rand that she was asserting happiness comes from anything. Happiness is a result of living your life without contradiction and achieving goals based on rational value judgments and corresponding actions. The premise that happiness must 'come from' something external to you is part of your problem right there. Happiness comes from within, in your own evaluations of what constitutes good and your own ability to consistently both strive and achieve those things.
If you are looking for happiness from anywhere else, you won't find it. If what you are looking for in regards to what you assume your own happiness to be is not consistent with the realities of the world around you, again you won't find it.
A Laissez faire approach to governance and any role it plays in the economic affairs of men is simply the only system that can exist in which a man will be fully capable and unhindered in pursuing his own happiness.
I dub it 'ant-activism' but it exists in more forms than simply reversing poorly thought out attacks. It involves taking twistings of logic away from reality in all sorts of forms and reversing the opposing argument by varous means back onto the person utilizing them.
So, call me arrogant? Call me pompous? Call me narcissistic? I'm going to grab those portions of that which make sense, discard the rest and slap you right upside your premises with it!
along with the comments this time around:
"O-bots, dittohead mind-numbed-robots, media zombie automatons, rand-droids. People love to accuse others of behaving like machines, alleging mindless, programmed behavior. Yet the only one of that list that has cause to be proud of the accusation and turn it's accuracy against the accuser is the latter.
Among other things, Rand, Peikoff and just about any self-identified objectivist with any integrity will tell you first and foremost "don't take my word for it, examine the evidence and prove it to your own satisfaction" along side "think for yourself, don't take anyone else's word for it". So even to follow the advice of Rand robotically requires you to behave and think independently."
Nanda Gopal shared Stuart Hayashi's note: Objectively, Absolutes Do Exist and They Cannot Transcend Context.
Stuart Hayashi You're welcome!
Nanda Gopal You said "I can give you the URL to where Kant says that" about murder and such, have you given the URL where Kant said that?
The thought experiment goes: suppose a woman is running away from a maniac who wants to murder her. She asks you if she may hide in your house. You agree. Then the murderer knocks on your door and asks you if you are hiding his intended victim in your home. Kant seriously proclaims that you are morally obligated to truthfully answer the murderer.
Nanda Gopal http://theobjectivistchronicle.blogspot.in/2011_01_01_archive.html
Nanda Gopal When I tried to find the meaning of zuckinity" and "mooginess" I came across this article about subjectivism.
Classic Chou Kant can be a little ridiculous. Absolute honesty cannot protect you from violence.