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Post 40

Saturday, June 4, 2005 - 10:17pmSanction this postReply
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Well covered, Joe. I differ, not with regard to the substance of the argument, but from your assessment of Mr. Elmore as an "idiot." Au contraire, I think he's very smart, but is an eloquent demonstration of how smart people can arrive at idiotic positions because of rationalism. Take the Stoly essay on homosexuality that I've linked to on another thread as another example. Elmore I can more readily forgive because he has humour, which shows he's redeemable, & great class, which makes me *want* him to redeem himself. It's probably touch-&-go, though. I think I'll go over for this July 4 shindig they're having & sort him out. If that doesn't work, of course, I'll just have to shoot him.

Linz






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Post 41

Saturday, June 4, 2005 - 10:30pmSanction this postReply
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If that doesn't work, of course, I'll just have to shoot him.

I hope you're bringing enough ammo, dear sir, as I'll be waiting in the bushes with a can of whoop-ass.




Post 42

Saturday, June 4, 2005 - 11:31pmSanction this postReply
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Not like you to hide your light under a bushel, Regina Dildo! :-)





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Post 43

Saturday, June 4, 2005 - 11:37pmSanction this postReply
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Dayamm Joe!

I gushed about your article in Post 7 and you named everyone in the whole thread in two long posts and left me out! Shucks, dude. I might start melting down or something, sort of like I have seen others do in threads past. Next stage is to up the level of profanity, lots of gratuitous vituperation - then start attacking people left and right...   //;-)

With your leave, Joe, I do want to mention a parallel issue on this very point. I would like to compliment Ethan Dawe on his civil manner and cool-headed efforts at the site Jeff L called www.SoloRejects.com (which is http://usabig.com/autonomist/autonomist.html - can't get the link feature to work) in his post above. (He was just as elegantly cool-headed above in the present thread, also.)

On the "SoloRejects" forum, there are a couple of derogatory threads about Solo. If anyone has the patience to read them, there is a hilarious pattern with some really mean hostile posters that goes something like the following (interspersed, of course, with other normal posters - whom I found a bit boring):

HP = Hostile Poster
ED = Ethan Dawe


HP-1:     Those misfits at Solo are unfair and pervert Objectivism beyond all recognition. They are blatant and immoral hedonists.
 
ED:     Hi HP-1. Could you please mention why they are unfair, perverted and hedonists at Solo?
 
HP-1:     YOU!!! You... You dare come here, you evasive subhuman cowardly piece of shit and asslick! You are just what I was talking about!

ED:     By the rules that I agreed to before posting on this forum, I will not insult anybody. So why are you insulting me? I said nothing offensive. Also would you please address the unfair, perverted and hedonist issue?
 
HP-1:     What are you talking about, you little turd with a moustache, grinning your silly little superior smirk? I want to bash your face in!
 
ED:     I see that I am unable to get you to talk about the issue. So you must have no real arguments.
 
HP-2:     Can you believe this idiot? Here he comes spying for that pack of no-good dirty rotten Solo scum and wants us to speak to him civilly. You can go to hell, you puny putrid frog's cunt!
Also, on another topic, I was wondering if anyone thinks that evasion is when you intend to think about an immoral act, you do not act on that intention, but you actually think about it? Or would that be more along the lines of rejecting argument from authority, but actually making a tacit sanction?

ED:     You can insult me as much as you wish, HP-2, but you still said nothing about the unfair, perverted and hedonist accusation in relation to Solo.
 
HP-1:     Damn it! I am staying up all night with your bullshit, Mr. Dawe! I have important things to do with my life. Not deal with your little bitty scumbag nothing crap! You don't even have a fucking use for your mother. I am done talking to you!
 
Moderator:     We do try to tolerate dissenting views here, but Ethan, do try to keep to the point. Also, HP-2, you are actually evading if you think you intend something, but you really intend what you think in another context, and even act in a manner contrary to both. So, if you look at ITOE, you will see that...



MICHAEL now: This is all my dialogue. I made it up instead of copy/pasting it to avoid being accused of ripping it off, but the pattern is identical. It gets even funnier as it developed in well over 100 posts on one thread and 30 or 40 in another. Still, this here was pretty fun to doodle out, to tell the truth.

Ethan, my man. My hat is off to you. You are one class act when you go slumming.

(applause)

(I'm done, now, Joe. Sorry for sidetracking. Back to your stuff.)

Michael





Post 44

Saturday, June 4, 2005 - 11:44pmSanction this postReply
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Lindsay,

So does that mean you are coming to the 4th of July celebration?

If so, I can't wait to rectify your view of children. O yeah, I'm also interested in meeting you in general.

Aquinas




Post 45

Sunday, June 5, 2005 - 3:40amSanction this postReply
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Aquinas:

"So does that mean you are coming to the 4th of July celebration?"

You'll just have to wait & see.

"If so, I can't wait to rectify ... "

Any "rectifying" will be done by me. Heh, heh, heh!


Linz









Post 46

Sunday, June 5, 2005 - 6:25amSanction this postReply
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I don't know if our gathering can handle the explosive combo of Linz's "rectifying" and Jason's "cocktails." We may have to party in an armored Humvee!

;-)

P.S. I have to work on this Sunday morning and afternoon (hmmph!), so I'll have to address Rowlands' dreamy sequel at another time. And, of course, I must have more time to mourn the loss of Mr. Dawe's savoir-faire.

P.S.S. Jennifer, love, you are a doll, not a dildo, as the much-confused Linz states! :-)

P.S.S.S. Linz, thanks for saving me from idiothood, but, you know, you haven't met me yet. Give my detractors the benefit of the doubt. ;-)





Post 47

Sunday, June 5, 2005 - 8:12amSanction this postReply
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Thank you David, but I'm afraid his mind will never be changed.  I am forever locked into dildohood.

Aquinas, I would be very careful about using words like "rectify" around Linz...




Post 48

Sunday, June 5, 2005 - 8:30amSanction this postReply
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Hi Michael,

Thanks for your kind words. I certainly hope it will make others take a look at the situations involved and make up there own minds. I have no problem with disagreemtns, even heated ones, I just hate lies and anger masquarading as an argument such as the case of Mr. Emrich and Orion Reasoner. At least in the case of my argument with Regi over the "SOLO so low" thread, there was more of an actual argument before it devolved into insults. You'll notice I really only post over there when the argument involves SOLO. It's just my way of presenting another opinion, when I feel the one being expressed is inaccurate. People must make up their own minds, but to do so, having more information on the situation is important.

Everyone else:

Readers of this thread should note, in regards to Barbara's story about her mother, in light of Honesty being "focus on reality" and "non-avoidance of reality." Barbara acknowleged the fact that her mother was dying. She didn't evade or deny this fact and acted in accordance with it. That is, she saw reality, using reason understood the situation, and chose her actions in accordance with the full-context of the situation.  As she has said herself, she is proud of this action. Value, virtue, reality, and self interest. It all there.

Ethan




Post 49

Sunday, June 5, 2005 - 8:33amSanction this postReply
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Ethan, I give you a lot of credit for having the patience to deal with the folks "over there."  I read your recent exchange with Orion and had a good belly-laugh.  Crikey.

It must be the evil of your moustache bringing out the worst in others.  ;)




Post 50

Sunday, June 5, 2005 - 9:18amSanction this postReply
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Its the squinty eyes! Makes them think I'm up to something :-)



Post 51

Sunday, June 5, 2005 - 6:11pmSanction this postReply
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David,

What do 'P.S.S.' and 'P.S.S.S.' mean?

(Perhaps that you never studied Latin?)



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Post 52

Sunday, June 5, 2005 - 8:22pmSanction this postReply
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*Sigh*

Rick, Kelly Elmore knows both classical Greek and Latin and, for a time, was giving Latin lessons to a group of local Objectivists.  David was a part of that group and, if I recall from what I've been told by others, was one was excelled in those lessons.  So, while you may accuse him of being sloppy in his use of "pss," your implication falls short of the mark.

I really wish this conversation would get back to the topic at hand.  I completely understand the hackles being raised given the tone and language of David's first post.  But at some point, once everyone's proven it can be met in kind, the civil tone should return.

This is too important a topic to devolve into growls and snipes.

Jason




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Post 53

Monday, June 6, 2005 - 5:20amSanction this postReply
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When I was 8 years old, I played checkers with my 30-year-old baby-sitter. After I started winning games, she changed the rules. Each time I won the game under her new rules (and after much protestation), she would change them again, saying, "You just don't understand the rules of checkers."

Such is an argument with Joe Rowlands. When he doesn't like the rules of Objectivism, he simply creates his own philosophy -- his own definitions for virtues et al. He redefines honesty and often turns it into integrity's siamese twin. (more on that in a bit)

If we Objectivists cannot even agree on a definition for honesty, then we are surely fucked in understanding when we are virtuous in that regard. There would be no way to use pride, the examination (and exultation) of our virtues, to see if we are actually being honest. This is vitally important! Definitions are important because they give an exact description of reality to guide our minds. Without them, you cannot look into your own mind and discover whether what it is doing is correct -- whether it's being honest or integrated or independent. With a foggy-bottom, elusive crankpot amalgam such as Rowlands', you have no way of judging your honesty.

Here's Rand's own definition of honesty in "What Can We Do" in PWNI:
Intellectual honesty (involves) knowing what one does know, constantly expanding one's knowledge, and never evading or failing to correct one's contradiction. This means: the development of an active mind as a permanent attribute.
Here's what Rowlands had to say to Jason about Rand's revolutionary way of looking at honesty:
She didn't exactly redefine it, though. ... So you can call that redefining if you want, but it's not as if she flipped the meaning on its head like "selfishness" or "egoism".
No?! She changed it so much that Rowlands himself cannot make heads or tails of it. She changed the meaning of honesty to a focus on reality, NOT a focus on other people. THAT is revolutionary. Has Rowlands READ Rand's works?

Moreover, she and Peikoff honed the definition after long talks that resulted in his lectures, from which he expanded into OPAR. Honesty is addressed there under the heading "Honesty as the Rejection of Unreality":
The virtue of honesty requires that one face the truth on every issue one deals with: the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. ... Honesty consists in taking the process of cognition seriously. ... In regard to motive, intellectual honesty means seeking knowledge because one needs to act properly
It's all in the head, Rowlands! (Note how the long quote from Atlas in Rowlands' post IS all in the head, but he doesn't or won't see it.) Honesty is a mental task ONLY.

It gets out of the head when the virtue of
integrity takes over. Then we "act properly." Integrity "is the loyalty to one's convictions and values; it is the policy of acting in accordance with one's values, of expressing, upholding and translating them into practical reality." (Rand, VOS, 51; pb 46) There is no mind-body dichotomy, as Rowlands perfumes, when you are integrated. As long as your mental action of honesty is followed by an integrated and concommitant physical action in reality, then you are being virtuous and pursuing your values.

Why does all this delineation of the virtues really matter?

Because all of the virtues are, to some degree or another, derivatives of rationality. Rand emphasized the nuances by calling each a virtue. She did so on purpose -- so we could examine more scrupulously every aspect, every nuance of our rationality. It is THIS aspect that Rowlands is trying to confound with his sneeze-blowing definitions and mind-numbing dissertations on virtue/values. Let him at least be honest enough to give a precise definition of honesty -- and let's see if it's the same as Rand's.

As far as I know, I've broken ground on the categorization of the virtues into "the mental-action ones" and the "mental/physical-action ones." This type of categorization allows our review process (pride) on our thoughts and actions to be more succinct and precise. "Am I totally focused on reality (honesty)?" "Have I put that thought into action (integrity)?" "Am I a virtuous man (pride)?" "Am I acting on my own volition and not anybody else's (independence)?" Etc.

I don't expect to change the mind of Joe Rowlands on this. He'll probably continue to change the rules of checkers. But those of you who care about precision in your life and your thoughts may wish to carefully read OPAR again. (It can be turgid and authoritarian and lack good examples -- thy name is Peikoff -- but it is a decent digest of Rand's philosophy.)

---

Now, Joe, have you been doing your brain kegels? Repeat after me: "One two, one two, honesty is focus on reality, (squeeze squeeze), one two, one two, integrity is action aligned with rational thought, (squeeze squeeze) one two, one two, independence is relying on your own brain for truth (even if you're a housewife) and not others', (squeeze squeeze) one two ...




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Post 54

Saturday, June 11, 2005 - 11:22pmSanction this postReply
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I greatly enjoyed the article by Joseph Rowlands.  As Joseph said, "Objectivist morality is a tool for living.'  As Ayn Rand very notably pointed out:  it is essential to ask who needs philosophy and why we need it.  We do, in order to live our lives in happiness, which requires that we have the ability to identify our values and be able to act to achieve them.  To do this, we need an ethics of principles to guide our choices and actions in the context of a very complicated reality.  Naturally, there is a yearning for a reality so simple that one could treat it like a game with well-established rules.  But what distinguishes games from reality is the simplification of reality and the attachment of rigid rules to that subset of reality.  Our lives are deposited in a much more complex reality.  One man in nature faces a huge complexity that games are unlikely to ever duplicate.  Add to this situation a society of highly differentiated individuals with myriad interactions with one another and gamemanship is so far outstripped by the reality of complexity that living by rules, rather than principles, is a very dicey business.  This is made more difficult by the fact that many people will not agree to live by the same rules.  So, we need principles which recognize the constant need to identify our values based upon our ultimate value of our own life and then the constantly changing requirements to act to gain or keep those values.  The simplicity of rules and virtues tied to them in simple ways, cannot be realized.

At some level, it is still useful to recognize rules and virtues which are usually applicable to one's actions in life.  For one thing, one needs to start somewhere when trying to teach children about morality.  For another, certain virtues are best supported by a substantial habit of living according to them.  Partly, this is because of the complexity of a real life and the fact that you cannot always have the time to think out in detail what value you are pursuing in a given situation and how to apply your fundamental principles to gain that value.  In the end, however, we not only need to allow for exceptions to the rules such as may be brought on by emergency situations, but we have to also appreciate that the rules cannot always do justice to the complexity of real life.  Real life is simply not a game, though people never tire of trying to reduce it to a game.

I also greatly appreciated Joseph's comments in Post 8.  "Moral relativism is not the alternative to intrinsic values.  It's the outcome of them."  This seems to be an idea that many people find very hard to understand. 




Post 55

Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 7:18amSanction this postReply
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All,

I am only lurking now, but just wanted to let you all know that I agree 100% with the original article.

If this is what Robert B. had in mind, we are in agreement on this.

Tom




Post 56

Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 11:30amSanction this postReply
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Tom, then we are in agreement in principle, because I think Joe's original article here gets it exactly right.



Post 57

Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 3:14pmSanction this postReply
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Charles, thanks for your kind words.  I think you're exactly right about the richness of reality, and the reason principles are so important.  Rules you can obey blindly.  Principles keep you focused on an understanding of the world.  I'll have more to say about this in the future.

Tom, I'm glad to have your agreement.

Same with you, Robert.




Post 58

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 7:01pmSanction this postReply
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I would just like to add my chime in here, (even if a little late) From what I know of Objectivism, Joe is completely right. OPAR presentation is not the greatest book for pointing this out however, but even it does. Especially concentrate on Chapter 4- Objectivity- pg. 121- Knowledge as Contextual. I think Mr. Elmore should listen to Peikoff's Understanding Objectivism lectures, if he hasn't. Which in many ways is his best work.


Shane

(Edited by shane hurren on 6/21, 7:05pm)




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