Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Quote of the Day: Summarise Objectivism Competition Winner

"The Objectivist position can be indicated in three [sentences]. The ultimate value is life. The primary virtue is rationality. The proper beneficiary is oneself."

~ Leonard Peikoff in chapter "Good" in his book Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand

[Hat tip Anoop Verma]

9 comments:

  1. I think this is flimsy and shows that answers to these deep questions are elusive because life is cheap, rational evolves as it is what I determine it to be at the time I contemplate it and being a narcissist is hardly something to aspire to.

    3:16

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  2. So the honey on your toast is in fact raspberry jam, and the toast is actually cornflakes, simply because you determine it to be so? hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

    Anonymous 3:16 - apart from making a fool of yourself, you have just restored Rod Petricevich's faith in human nature haha! (one born every minute!)

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  3. "Life is cheap" you say, well that might be how you value it. Peikoff is suggesting that opposite. If you consider that others consider that life is cheap then we do not have to take their valuation of life.
    Your thought may not have logic nor be rational but that doesn't deny that others may be rational.
    And excellent self care is hardly narcissistic. In terms of an older realm of thought: if you want to love others as yourself you must love yourself first. If you hate yourself you will hate others. I think it is sad that you aspire to negativity, to flimsy thought, and cheap shots.

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  4. 3:16. Your first 2 words are fallacious.

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  5. Alas, you great thinkers miss the point. If rational belief doesn't extend beyond breakfast its not much use. It must evolve as we learn more and is why you snigger at Africans that trust witch doctors of people that rust politicians. What was held to be rational in 1800 in respect of medical practice may not be so now. If life is valuable why will you great liberal thinkers all be gathering around the latest rational cause of euthanasia? I don't think its this simple or that a slogan from your favorite philosopher sums up everything.

    3:16

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    Replies
    1. A rigid set of ideas that remains fixed regardless of new evidence or discovery may be your idea of "rationality", but it's nothing to do with Objectivism. Changing your views in the light of new evidence is exactly what rationality demands. - and if you had any understanding of the philosophy you're criticising you'd know that it doesn't follow from this that reality is "whatever I contemplate it to be".

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    2. Thanks for the polite reply. I don't disagree with the basic idea of Objectivism as defined by Rand according to the Atlas Society but struggle to see where you get a base line for what we would call "moral" behaviour from it. Maybe most of us do decent stuff most of the time but who is to say that those who don't yet are happy and productive doing bad stuff are wrong? People doing stupid stuff are generally reluctant to be confronted about it. When man himself decides what is right, noble and makes his own rules I think we are in trouble - we do some things in secret because we don't want to be seen doing it whether or not its illegal. There is no safety in numbers either as large populations can go feral.

      Reality is what it is but if we don't yet understand something about it that does make it what we believe it to be given the level of knowledge at the time we contemplate it. Maybe that's why we should be less arrogant about how knowledgeable we are.

      So, I think the idea is nice but it doesn't address the deeper questions of life in the way I ask them. It seems a bit like Landmark Education although a far, far better package.

      3:16

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  6. Peikoff's guide to Objectivist foreign policy can be summarised in two words: nuke Iran.

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