Talk to the Rand

Richard Goode's picture
Submitted by Richard Goode on Sat, 2007-12-15 02:26

The man who refuses to judge, who neither agrees nor disagrees, who declares that there are no absolutes and believes that he escapes responsibility, is the man responsible for all the blood that is now spilled in the world.

One must never fail to pronounce moral judgment.

But to pronounce moral judgment is an enormous responsibility. To be a judge, one must possess an unimpeachable character; one need not be omniscient or infallible, and it is not an issue of errors of knowledge; one needs an unbreached integrity, that is, the absence of any indulgence in conscious, willful evil. Just as a judge in a court of law may err, when the evidence is inconclusive, but may not evade the evidence available, nor accept bribes, nor allow any personal feeling, emotion, desire or fear to obstruct his mind's judgment of the facts of reality—so every rational person must maintain an equally strict and solemn integrity in the courtroom within his own mind, where the responsibility is more awesome than in a public tribunal, because he, the judge, is the only one to know when he has been impeached.

[The virtue of Rationality] means one's acceptance of the responsibility of forming one's own judgments and of living by the work of one's own mind (which is the virtue of Independence). It means that one must never sacrifice one's convictions to the opinions or wishes of others (which is the virtue of Integrity)—that one must never attempt to fake reality in any manner (which is the virtue of Honesty)...

A rational process is a moral process. You may make an error at any step of it, with nothing to protect you but your own severity, or you may try to cheat, to fake the evidence and evade the effort of the quest—but if devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.

The Ayn Rand Lexicon


( categories: )

Jeff

Rosie's picture

How do you know God exists?
I have studied and read almost every philosophical examination of this subject and I know that it cannot be proven in logic. Where greater minds than mine have attempted to do so, and although pretty good attempts (e.g., the watchmaker's argument, intelligent design, etc), there will always be the simple argument that we can not point to a physical object and say, "there He is". Not while we live anyway. The Bible acknowledges this. Faith is required. Even when Jesus was before them and healing the sick, raising the dead some people did not believe. He says something like this to doubting Thomas when he rose again and appeared before his disciples: how in the world are future generations going to believe in me when I stand before you now, have shown you miracles and still you don't believe. Smiling We are a cynical race. (I think people don't want to believe because it will require way too much of them!) However, if you study the Bible and learn about the character of God, study the Bible and discover the perfection and consistency of the message despite the Books being written over a long period of time and by different authors, study the Bible and have revealed archaelogical truths that have long been used to discredit the Bible in the belief they were impossible (e.g., the Bible talks about two opposing factions having temples side by side which no one believed until it was revealed not too long ago during an archaeological dig), pray and receive answers in the most curious of ways, submit to the will of God and let amazing things happen to you as a result, discover the precariousness of our existence through science, learn about the physical laws of the universe and marvel at the intelligent design (this is how most scientists become Christians), learn (as CS Lewis did after years of study) that philosophically Christianity was the only philosophy that answered every one of his questions with consistency, the list goes on.... these are the things that assure me of the existence of God. My own experiences have been extraordinary.

How do you know what are its attributes?
You learn the attributes of God through the Bible, prayer and the Holy Spirit. And something else (which is a part of the Holy Spirit) which I can hopefully explain by analogy. I worked in London for 5 years at one of the top 5 law firms in the world. Everyone there (except me) was from the top universities in the world or had done something startling in the field of law. One of the partners said to me one day, "You know, Rosie, after you have been practising law for so many years you just develop an instinct for what is the right answer." What he meant by this was that you ceased to need to reason - it was there if you needed to prove it but on the surface the right answer became instinctual because he was so steeped in the knowledge of his particular field of law . It is the same with God. After you have walked the path for so long and not in a half hearted way, you just know. I put this down to the fact that we are his creation and everything taught in the Bible is already within us. It is just rediscovery.

What does it mean to 'stand above' time?
Very very simply, time is a man made concept. It is relative. God is eternal and this means He is outside time. Our concepts of past, present and future are all one from this perspective.

Do you have any direct quotes that would lend credence to this interpretation of Einstein's views?
It is contained in his Theory of General Relativity. You could google "Einstein" and "time". Try looking at his ideas of the possibility of time travel.
"Space and time are not conditions in which we live; they are simply modes in which we think." is a good quote from Einstein.

Try this link : http://www.everythingforever.c...
Put very simply, and using an example because this always makes thing easier, think about time and where we stand when looking at events. The simplest thing to think about is a star. I don't think anyone would dispute the knowledge that from earth we are seeing that starlight from x million light years ago. If I were much much closer to that star, I would be seeing it in my present but your future. Does this help?

Once you believe,

Ptgymatic's picture

you are redeemed. Yes, Rosie, I got it the first time.

I'll spare us both the nausea of countering your bald assertions. I can't stand religious "witnesses." So swoon away, Rosie, quake and beatify and beat your tamboureen. But remember, whenever you pretend that your beliefs have any rational basis, people like me will be there to eviscerate your sneaky claims to being the least little bit sensible. Stand proud, as a baseless believer. Reject reason with full righteousness. Yours is deliberately a cult. Why down-play it? That is what makes it precious, no? Believe, believe, believe. You believe! You did it, you chose to believe! Ask yourself, why can't you leave it at that?

Mindy

Rosie

Kasper's picture

I meant that in the realm of virtues that Mother Theresa was the embodiment thereof. In her saintly wisdom she renounced all earthly treasures for the service and wellfare of the poor. This raises her to the moral acclaim of sainthood in the Catholic Church and would be considered to be honored highly in heaven.

She followed the creed: "you must die to yourself if you should want to really live (through christ).

Kasper

Rosie's picture

The pursuit and acquisition of earthly values are at the expense of your heavenly values, and, the pursuit and acquisition of heavenly values are at the expense of earthly values. The rich capitalist in the former and the Mother Theresa in the latter.

I took this to mean that you believed that to be rich was incompatible with Christianity. What did you mean by it?

Responsible or pushed on us?

sharon's picture

"Man is fully responsible for his sinful condition."

Rosie, what is your stand on original sin? Are we tainted with it at birth?

Tut tut, Rosie

Kasper's picture

"I don't know where Kasper gets the idea that you cannot make money or succeed if you are a Christian"

I did not say this and I don't believe it either. Both my parents are christian and both are reasonably wealthy. Not to mention America's wealthy christians: Oprah Winfrey for example.

Please don't change what I say when representing me.

The christianity today is a watered down, sugar coated and dumbed version of the real thing (which is radical). Many christians equate their walk with God with the doctrine - a process involving a very high level of ground shifting and sophistry. This is why it is difficult for christians to accept criticism over the tennets of christianity because on some level it doesn't reflect the experience of their particular walk, so they see this criticism as being invalid.

Your experience may be important to you and on a light note I am interested. However, your experience and any other christian's are not valid representatives of the tennets of the christian faith because they are made up. I.e, they have selectively partial reference to a doctrine but still nothing in reality. The doctrine atleast is the origional point of reference.

As far as christianity goes however it is only the doctrine, in all its context and in its entirety that I dispute.

"Man is fully responsible for his sinful condition."

Ross Elliot's picture

Jesus suffering fuck, this thread has morphed into Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

I'm off to see a priest. I understand they have wine.

Endless contradictions

gregster's picture

but wait until judgment day comes, he'll care then! He'll burn in eternity! Not that I don't love him. I love him, and God loves him Good one Mindy.

I see now we are dealing with a pair who, if misintegrations upon misintegrations continue, are well on their way to mental illness.

SOLO can help them though, if they are honest.

Rationalism

Jeff Perren's picture

Sadly, like too many Christian arguments, this all amounts to no more than arbitrary assertions and begging questions. How do you know God exists? How do you know what are its attributes? What does it mean to 'stand above' time? Grand larceny of concepts based on experience.

"Einstein actually said pretty much the same thing about time." [Rosie]

This sounds suspiciously like an argument from authority, or more of the attempt to use science to bolster religion, but I'll indulge you. Do you have any direct quotes that would lend credence to this interpretation of Einstein's views?

Kasper

Rosie's picture

I have to disagree with you about compassion and tenderness not being appropriate in a battleground of ideas. I think this is where it is most important. It is not a battle. It is a learning experience. I don't know whether you have children but to teach a child using anger or by making personal attacks will be contrary to your goals without exception. If an idea is new or different, then we are all children in relation to that idea and the way must be gentle in its teaching. Respectful and patient where people go wrong. If you are aware that these character traits are necessary with your clients (or you soon wouldn't have any) then why should it be any different if you are teaching outside your vocation I.e., not being paid for it?

Mindy

Rosie's picture

I understand that what you say might appear to make sense if you are not a Christian. But your analysis doesn't actually bear up if you are a Christian. Accepting Christianity is not the half-hearted, cheaty thing you present. To choose Christianity is to set the highest standards for your self - no easy accomplishment. The road is hard. And your life becomes a constant refining of character. To do this requires close self examination and good judgement. Of course you have to admit your sins. How could you address your refinement without this? You are aided by the Holy Spirit which is something that fills you when you become a Christian. Things change within you when you accept Christianity and those words about being reborn which used to sound so "gay" (in the words of my 12 year old son) become very clear and real. But it is not that path you describe and nor is it accompanied by that attitude you describe. And I don't know where Kasper gets the idea that you cannot make money or succeed if you are a Christian. So long as you do not worship money, money is good. The problem is where people's characters are ruined on becoming rich. If they become more concerned with money than anything else. Or they become conceited because they are rich. If they revere the impermanent, worldly things. The great characters do not do these things of course. Money is a means but not an end. It is kept in perspective. It is used wisely.

There is a beautiful story to illustrate the refining of character. In the Bible there is a passage that compares the human to silver and God to the silver refiner. The story I read some years ago was about a Christian who went off to visit a silver refiner in exploration of this passage. He learned that the substance in which silver is found had to be refined over and over again in order to remove the bad stuff. When asked when he knew the silver was "ready", the silver refiner replied, "When I can see my image in it."

This is an example of the sorts of imagery that exist throughout the Bible. It is the most brilliant book ever written no matter how you approach it. I.e., if you love literature, if you love poetry, if you love philosophy, if you love history. People have come to Christianity in a multitude of ways - the way for each person seems to be akin to his or her personality and inclinations. For those that are more "intellectual", from the accounts that I have read, they have arrived there (often unintentionally) through the love of a favoured subject. That is how it was for me. Through the study of ancient history.

Free will

Rosie's picture

Boethius, in The Consolation of Philosophy, examined the apparent conflict between free will and providence best of all and I shall quote what I think is a well written exposition of his analysis. You could try googling "Boethius" and "free will" if this explanation does not suffice. Otherwise you could read the original.

"The question of free will has been debated for years. Many different conclusions have been drawn from the discussions. Boethius contemplates this while he is in jail. He doesn’t understand how, if chance isn’t real, there can be free will. For example, if a farmer finds gold in his field, it is not by chance that he has found the gold. It is because his path, or chain, as Boethius calls it, has crossed with another’s chain. With someone’s path who had put the gold there in the first place. Boethius asks "Does our will have any freedom? Or are the motions of human souls also bound by the fatal chain?"

Lady philosophy appears to him in a vision, and answers this question for him. She explains that the mere fact that we are capable of reason ensures that we have free will. Our reason enables us to make judgments that enable us to make decisions. We have the capability to determine what should be sought after, and what we should exclude from our lives. "But I do not say that this freedom is the same in all beings" Lady Philosophy explains. She gives us the levels of freedom of the mind. We are most free when we are "engaged in contemplation of the divine mind." The next step down is when "they are joined to bodies" and the lowest is "when they are bound by earthly fetters." She says that we are in "utter slavery" when we totally lose sight of what is good for us and give in to our addictions. But she says that God foresees this and puts everyone in a situation to fit his or her needs.

This creates another problem for Boethius. If God knows our actions before we do them, and it is impossible for him to be wrong, then he doesn’t understand how we can possibly have free will. He believes that it is pre-determined if God has perfect foresight. "It is necessary either that things which are going to happen be foreseen by God, or that what God foresees will in fact happen; and either way the freedom of the human will is destroyed." Lady Philosophy tells him that God is eternal, therefore the past present and future are simultaneous for him. Therefore, even though tomorrow hasn’t happened to him it is today, tomorrow and yesterday, therefore he knows what will happen without directing it to happen. "Stand firm against vice and cultivate virtue. Lift up your soul to worthy hopes, and offer humble prayers to heaven. If you will face it, the necessity of virtuous action imposed upon you is very great, since all your actions are done in the sight of a Judge who sees all things."

Boethius becomes known for this explanation which he believes answers all questions on free will. "

Einstein actually said pretty much the same thing about time.

Ross - Have you ever

reed's picture

Ross -
Have you ever considered your life is dependent on more than mere hedonism?

If you expand the meaning of "life" to include moral concepts then you beg the question.

More tosh...

Robert's picture

"One way of testing the cult nature of a group is by challenging the ideology binding the group together."

Depends upon what the challenge consists of doesn't it?

If you come into my biology laboratory and start spouting crap about how evolution is just a theory you are going to get the rougher side of my tongue. Why? Because you are spouting absolute fucking nonsense. Indeed, the more nonsensical the spouting, the stronger will be my response -- up to and including putting your arse in a straight jacket and turning you over to the nut-farm.

According to you any challenge -- no matter the intellectual basis -- that elicits a 'frenzied' defense is sufficient evidence of cult like behavior.

According to your dicta:
(1) Biology is a cult. Biologists have been strenuously resisting 'Intelligent design.'
(2) Those who founded America were a cult! They were frenzied in their defense of their natural right to representation without taxation (among others).
(3) Americans opposed to Obama-care are a cult! Look at how they treat their Congressmen in Town Hall meetings.
Etc. etc.

What total BS.

You're merely trolling using a paper-thin veneer of philosophical debate to camouflage your true motive - to stir shit, like any other worthless troll. And that is the reason for the 'frenzied activity.' against you. You haven't challenged shit.

Rosie

Kasper's picture

I appreciate your honesty in voicing your faith beliefs on this site.

Keep going.... Stay around and we will discuss these point by point. You mentioned that Rand's writing lacked human kindness, compassion and sprituality. I don't think that it did, but yes I do agree that some of it can appear austere. She most certainly wasn't an austere human being and expressed alot of the above traits.

I am an objectivist and in a profession where kindness, compassion and benevolence are part of the hall marks required for me to be good at what I do, even when I may totally disagree with my clients views. Rational selfishness means to be concerned with yourself however life is about the persuite and acquisition of values. Benevolence, generosity and compassion are extended toward others because we value our existence and are happy to be alive. Also because we value the receivers existence.

Most of these threads serve as battlefields for the arena of ideas. I think that your dissatisfaction over the lack of tenderness and compassion may be misplaced because often a battlefield is not where one goes for that. A bit like you don't go to a rugby game to find intimacy. (Granted, Lindsay might Evil )

As for Richard Goode.... We had a long discussion on ethics. The objectivist put up a very strong case for the objectivity of ethics and debunked many of Goode's syllogisms. Over 200 posts and Goode never put up the crux of his case for Skepticism. Indeed the discussion remains incomplete. But that is from Goode's end not the objectivists. Why the abuse? To not address an error that has been brought to one's attention and to continue that error is a mark of dishonesty. It is also very taxing when a great deal of effort and time are spent on someone that masquarades as being commited to reason then turns out to not being interested in reason afterall, they would prefer to hold onto their beiefs/premises no matter what. It sparks resentment as the experience for me and probably many others was one of being cheated.
Richard might be a nice guy. Intellectual honesty does not appear to be one of his traits.

Rosie

sharon's picture

"He was put to death. But it was part of God's plan."

So much for free-will...in this case.

Rosie tells the truth!

Ptgymatic's picture

Psychologically, anyway. She says, "...if you believe in God, you have been redeemed." Posted 8-20, entitled, "Lindsay."

It is the ultimate short-cut, cheat-sheet, and abnegation of life itself: believe and "be redeemed." The life-long struggle of mortal man to learn, to understand, to judge well, and to choose wisely, to risk circumstances and face set-backs can be escaped! Believe. Believe that to believe is to be redeemed, and you can tell yourself morning, noon, and night that it is OK, that no matter what you've said or done, or left un-done, no matter what has happened or looms on the horizon, you are safe, you are angelic, you are redeemed!

Facts needn't deter you. Your own common sense, and the voice of your nascent conscience can be dismissed as being of the flesh and the world. All the evidence of your sloth and fearfulness, or cheating and frauds, or hatred and mendacity can be ignored! It is effortless to succeed and win your own moral approval, just believe, and be redeemed.

But wait a moment, that talk of redemption seems to suggest sins. That seems to say I have acted in sight of some standard that actually identifies the morality of my actions. But that would mean that there is such a standard, and if it works out to make me need redemption, then it applies to the other things I do... That ruins everything, if there are independent standards of good and bad.

But wait, that doesn't have to be the case. My needing redemption, my achieving redemption, can happen without any outside standard, if it is just everyone's nature to need redemption, no matter what they have or haven't done. Original sin. Sure, that lets me be redeemed, without having to admit I've sinned in the first place. That gets rid of any standards. It also rules out people's thinking they aren't sinners, and so they don't need to join me. That disenfranchises anybody who doesn't agree with me! I can win redemption without even having to admit I've sinned, and I can look down on anybody who doesn't agree, and I can ignore whatever arguments or reasoning they give me. Not only do I choose to believe that if I choose to believe, I will be redeemed, I choose to believe that if I choose to believe, I will be redeemed though I haven't myself committed a sin. And, I'm morally superior to anybody who disagrees, because they are guilty of original sin and don't do anything about it. Agree or be damned!

Now that is the kind of argument I can win! That is a kind of redemption I can earn!

Man is pitiful, and only stupidity will save him, well, save him in another life, of course. It obviously doesn't apply to life on earth. But that's because life on earth is itself debauched, just like man is originally sinful! Any man who appears to live for himself, and to succeed and be happy is a fake, because he has lost his soul. No, he doesn't pay an ounce of attention to me, saying that now, but wait until judgment day comes, he'll care then! He'll burn in eternity! Not that I don't love him. I love him, and God loves him.

Rosie believes and Rosie is redeemed. What can you offer her to compare with that?

Mindy

So this fucker of yours, God, the sadistic voyeur...

Jameson's picture

... HE gives Pol Pot free will and lets him sew his killing fields?

The truck drives on.....

Rosie's picture

He created us in his image and with free will.

Man is fully responsible for his sinful condition.

We agree on one thing, Rosie...

Jameson's picture

If your God led his son to the cross to suffer and die for the likes of Hitler, Mao, Manson, and Stalin then indeed, that was a grave sacrifice; exchanging his greatest value for scum.

Yes

Rosie's picture

I said that Richard is like the ancients. He has the same moral virtue. Contrary to what you all seem to think. Smiling

I suspected that this would cause all and sundry enormous mirth.
Oh well. I suggest that you read CS Lewis and his entry into Christianity who, like me, was the world's most reluctant Christian. He gives an excellent account of how and why he finally accepted it. And it is most interesting. Tolkien and TS Eliot too.

"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." T S Eliot

Back up the truck, Rosie....

Jameson's picture

"It is difficult for we "sinners" to understand the righteous judgement of a holy God who on one hand hates all evil yet on the other hand loves the evildoers..."

According to your doctrine, HE created the sinners in the first place - why don't you point the finger at HIM?

Carrying on....

Rosie's picture

It is difficult for we "sinners" to understand the righteous judgement of a holy God who on one hand hates all evil yet on the other hand loves the evildoers enough to sacrifice his Son for their salvation from sin. When an all loving God's attempts at reconciliation are refused and the only remedy for human sin is rejected, there is no other course of action that a righteous God can pursue but to leave the sinner to his self chosen destiny. God does not choose this destiny for man, man freely chooses it for himself. There is nothing in the Scriptures that say that forgiveness can occur after death. There is evidence in Scripture that there are gradations of punishment proportional to the degrees of guilt of each individual. The doctrine is difficult for natural reason and human sentiment but the Bible is clear about this, horrible as it may seem. But it is each human's choice.

Hahhaahahaha...!!!

Jameson's picture

"As a young gal I used to hope that I would meet someone who resembled these ancients (other than my elderly father who was very like them) and - don't laugh - I have found that in Richard."

But he's exactly like the ancients, Rosie!!! Like the stone age witch doctors he also believes we gain knowledge supernaturally!!!

"Probably not rational from a human viewpoint..."

Jameson's picture

Say no more: the alien has spoken.

Goode God!

Jameson's picture

I go away for one evening and look what I miss!

"He was put to death. But it was part of God's plan."

I had no idea that Goode was bonking someone that bonkers!! Explain yourself, Goode... is this why you've been defending faith with such prevarication?

(Be honest, Richard: are you cringing right now - or do you also hold these beliefs?)

Lindsay

Rosie's picture

And do you consider that noble? Rational? If so, why?

It is both these things if you believe in God. Noble would be an understatement since, if you believe in God, you have been redeemed. Rational? Probably not rational from a human viewpoint - but completely rational if you accept that it is part of God's plan for the human race.

I certainly agree that in certain circumstances a rational, noble man might well die for his friends, given their value to him. (I also happen to think that Objectivism suffers for attracting Narcissistic psychos who would as soon screw their friends over as lift a finger for them—but their attraction to Objectivism is shallow and capricious.)

LOL. (Judge not that ye be not judged!) The best essay written on friendship is Cicero's (in my opinion - and it is online so you don't need to buy it). You may like it, actually, as he does say that the best sorts of friendships are between people of virtue amongst other things. It is really uplifting - at least I find it so. As a young gal I used to hope that I would meet someone who resembled these ancients (other than my elderly father who was very like them) and - don't laugh - I have found that in Richard. You are all quite wrong about him and, with respect, have got what he said all wrong too. I think it is to do with believing in something so strongly that the mind actually becomes closed to looking at a new idea with a fresh heart and it becomes impossible to "get through". And maybe that applies both ways.

I read all the works of Ayn Rand that were at the library as a young gal too. I was very interested in her. But, interestingly enough, what I didn't like from her novels/philosophy was the almost complete void of human kindness, compassion and sprituality. I did not get any uplifting sense that I get from the ancient Greeks and Roman philosophers. She seemed hard headed and hard hearted. I am uplifted by acts of generosity, selflessness and kindness. The opposite just makes me want to turn away initially.

Here's what I'm curious about—if you and Goode are Christians, why don't you come out and say so? Why the smart-ass hit-and-run?

I don't know quite what you mean by the "smart ass" hit and run. Was I a smart ass?! The hit and run appearance was the result of limited time due to work and family. My mother was staying and had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's bla bla. Life interfered with SOLO. Gasp!

Why I didn't say I was a Christian from the outset was because there seemed little point. You were all hard and fast atheists. Anyone who disagreed with you was mocked and abused - albeit in a funny way at times. There didn't appear to me to be much respect for anyone who didn't share your views. I don't care about being mocked and abused but it was evident to me that no real discussion could ever take place within that context. As has happened with Richard recently. Misquoted, no attempt to try to understand, etc. And difficult to conduct a completely challenging conversation by email in effect.

I wasn't prepared to raise the subject as a thread - although I thought about it a long time ago when Olivia asked me to write about something I cared about. Christianity was one such possibility. There were others too like jazz music, literature, poetry, Great Men from ancient history to name a few. I am off work at the moment and have some more time but back then I was always snowed under preparing for hearings and to start something that meant so much to me on a forum like SOLO and then not be able to give it the time and commitment seemed wrong. And I knew I would get a pounding and abuse if I did not reply sufficiently! So I wandered off. Because I agreed with her. I shouldn't just be posting randomly - it was a bit like a fish coming in to feed and then just heading off after it had had its fill. Especially wrong on a site like this that expected/required commitment if it were to be worthwhile and also relationship-building from its members. So there you have it.

Oh Christ!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

It's all coming out now!

Carry on Rosie! But tell me, if God knew we were going to sin (i.e. enjoy ourselves) why did he proceed with his plan? Knowing that he would end up consigning most of us to eternal torment? What sort of Cosmic Monster is that?

And where does a Christian get off on such abject bad faith as Goode's?

Sharon

Rosie's picture

He was put to death. But it was part of God's plan. The Gospels record three predictions by JC of his own crucifixion (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33,34;) and John records three sayings about the Son of man being "lifted up" which parallel the synoptic predictions. Other sayings and parables hint at Jesus' fate. It was all part of God's plan for the human race, that of salvation. In that sense, salvation is the theme of both the OT and the NT. Salvation is not used as a term in the OT, however, and is predicated of both individuals and God. E.g., Samson and David who were used by God to bring deliverance of God's people. The exodus, Sennacherib's attack on Jerusalem in 701BC are other OT examples of salvation or "saving'. There are more examples. It is a theme and a promise of what was to come.

Christ's dying for sins in accordance with Scripture (1 Cor 15:3) combined two major themes: (1) fulfilment of the OT prophecy (Isaiah 49:6, Jeremiah 23:5,6, Zechariah 9:9 all mention the messianic theme. Ze 9:9 is applied to Jesus Christ in Matthew 21:4,5. There is much more about the relationship between the OT and NT but this will do for the moment) and (2) substitutionary atonement. The idea of redemption is the payment of a price to "ransom" those held captive. That price, the NT explains, was paid on the cross and humanity was thereby freed from sin (Mark 10:45; Timothy 2:14; 1 Peter 1:18). This is why Christ died for His enemies. Indeed, when Jesus forgave his enemies his attitude converted some of his opponents.

In short, in God's plan, Christ dying for his enemies was love. God's wisdom and human wisdom are mostly disparate. And I learn, the more I study (and observe), that the eternal truths are very often contained in paradox.

Reed's trite little...

Ross Elliot's picture

...syllogism is not true.

Have you ever considered your life is dependent on more than mere hedonism?

Strange as it may seem, a man may give his life for his wife and children and not be at odds with rational egoism. His love for them may be so great that the protection of them may exceed any care for himself.

That is what Objectivists would describe as a psycho-emotional response. Action from abstraction.

Greatness and heroism aren't about Earth-shattering events; they come from simple and everyday things: the desire to survive, and to love and enjoy.

Rosie

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Christ did more than this. He died for His enemies. (Romans 5:6) Something man has ever done.

And do you consider that noble? Rational? If so, why?

I certainly agree that in certain circumstances a rational, noble man might well die for his friends, given their value to him. (I also happen to think that Objectivism suffers for attracting Narcissistic psychos who would as soon screw their friends over as lift a finger for them—but their attraction to Objectivism is shallow and capricious.)

Here's what I'm curious about—if you and Goode are Christians, why don't you come out and say so? Why the smart-ass hit-and-run? Why not write a 1000-word exposition of your beliefs right here? I know that would require sincerity, which is alien to Goode, but I'm assuming you could approximate to it, and maybe Reed too?

Rosie

sharon's picture

"Christ did more than this. He died for His enemies. (Romans 5:6)"

No. The desert mystic was killed. Still, dying for your enemies isn't love.

Are you being facetious?

Rosie's picture

It means that in the appropriate context, such as that linked to by Reed, this is the greatest kind of love man can show.

Christ did more than this. He died for His enemies. (Romans 5:6) Something man has never done.

More crap Ross

gregster's picture

Ms Purchas and Mr No Goode are doing some quick seat swapping on their PC.

Is that...

Ross Elliot's picture

...a moral imperative or just an optional extra?

John 15:13

Rosie's picture

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Hahaha...

Ross Elliot's picture

...well, ok.

Fail to consider it, then.

It's true

Ross Elliot's picture

The tech industry has a surfeit of relativistic idiocy. Let's just all hug and it'll be ok.

I swim against the tide.

Ross

sharon's picture

"...have you ever considered that anarchism is compatible with Richard's anti-philosophy? That we must never identify right from wrong and defend it rationally? That we just have to let it fly and see what happens?"

No.

Sharon...

Ross Elliot's picture

...as cute as you appear to be, have you ever considered that anarchism is compatible with Richard's anti-philosophy? That we must never identify right from wrong and defend it rationally? That we just have to let it fly and see what happens?

LOL

Richard Goode's picture

What *do* you do for a job, Richard?

I'm a web developer.

What do you do for a job, Ross?!

Your Google God

gregster's picture

You're oblivious Richard to how your arguments appear.

I don't care for your Google, and no I didn't click the links, and I don't care for your Urban Dictionary or any Encyclopedia Dramatica.

The context for "Randroid" is right here, (and on other Objectivist sites), and to say otherwise is more of your trademark dishonesty.

You're just not clever enough mate.

Huh?

Ross Elliot's picture

"By "no rational basis" I mean that we have no reason, other than pragmatism, to believe that there is such an objective moral code."

Pragmatism is a suck-it-and-see approach. It's the way of an infant, who has nothing but concretes. Montessori identified that a very long time ago. Abstractions are the way of an adult, and the basis of objective morality and ethics.

To confuse pragmatism, with abstraction from the categorisation of concretes, is a serious mistake.

What *do* you do for a job, Richard?

Reed

sharon's picture

"Sometimes jumping on a grenade is good."

Is it? Under what circumstances would this be good?

Kasper -

reed's picture

Kasper -
Do you think this man jumping on the grenade was good?

Here cometh the cesspool

sharon's picture

Hey, Ross, step up to the plate. Richard Goode is at it again. Save the world. You do have the energy.

Jeff

reed's picture

Jeff -
Up your game, Reed.
Up yours Smiling

"Your life is not the standard of good." Rand doesn't claim that it is.
I'm not saying that Rand said this (Rand's statements on this matter appear ambiguous).
I'm pointing out that if jumping on a grenade can be good then your life can not be the standard of good. Only one premise may be true but both premises can not be true.

Do you believe both premises are true?

Randroid

Richard Goode's picture

you obviously don't know what Randroid means

Here are the top 2 results from Google.

(1) From Encyclopedia Dramatica.

A Randroid is a follower of Objectivism, a religion devoted to the worship of Ayn Rand, a "philosopher" who taught that selfishness is the highest good, altruism is the ultimate evil, and that the point of life is the individual pursuit of happiness. In short, IRL trolling!

Randroids have major hard-ons for big business even though most of them, including Rand herself, have no experience in the business world beyond the cash register at the local Quizno's. According to Objectivism, capitalism is innately fair and anyone who doesn't earn enough money to make a living simply isn't working hard enough.

Ayn Rand specifically rejected Jesus H. Christ as her Lord and Savior, and (barring an unlikely last-minute change of heart) is currently burning alive in the fiery pits of Hell as you read this. Somebody didn't pay attention in Sunday School!

(2) From Urban Dictionary.

1. A follower of Ayn Rand's objectivist philosophy, with emphasis on the more cultic aspects of the movement. Often marked by exclusivist rhetoric, dogmatic individualism, and determinedly narcissistic self-praise.

2. A person of high school age, typically white and invariably born to an upper-class or upper-middle-class family. Will, upon reading Atlas Shrugged at the recomendation of randroid friend, believe their comfortable position in life to be attributed to their own efforts, talents, and imagined superiority, instead of the five to six-figure income of his parent(s).

If interested in politics, randroids make a point of vocally berating any forms of socialism, not thinking twice of saying people who can't get by without some sort of welfare don't deserve to live, within earshot of students who have after-school jobs out of necesity.

The randroid affliction sometimes lasts into college, depending on whether or not the afflicted recieved a trust fund from their parent(s). If so, randroids can be identified at this point by their difficulty in holding things with their hands, due to the near-total absence of friction caused by a lack of anything resembling calluses. If not, they cease being randroids by getting a job and a sense of humor.

You don't know good Goode

gregster's picture

and you obviously don't know what Randroid means, and I don't need to speak for LP, but he ain't Randroid. Clue: he disagrees with AR on a few areas, and doesn't always shave the beard.

More classic cult behaviour

Richard Goode's picture

One way of testing the cult nature of a group is by challenging the ideology binding the group together. We can discover something about the nature of a group by how well its members tolerate opposition to the ideology that holds the group together. How well do members tolerate difference of opinion, opinion that challenges the very ideological heart of the group?

Members of the cult are like a colony of insects when disturbed.* A frenzy of activity and protective measures are executed when core ideologies are challenged. The stronger the evidence challenging the truthfulness of the group ideology, the more likely members of the cult are to either lash out in a more or less predictable fashion, fall apart, or disband into separate cult colonies.

*Linz is the Queen Randroid.

Thanks

Jeff Perren's picture

Linz and Joe. That's the one. (Wonder where the devil my VOS went....?)

Fuller quote from VOS

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The Objectivist ethics holds man’s life as the standard of value—and his own life as the ethical purpose of every individual man.

The difference between “standard” and “purpose” in this context is as follows: a “standard” is an abstract principle that serves as a measurement or gauge to guide a man’s choices in the achievement of a concrete, specific purpose. “That which is required for the survival of man qua man” is an abstract principle that applies to every individual man. The task of applying this principle to a concrete, specific purpose—the purpose of living a life proper to a rational being—belongs to every individual man, and the life he has to live is his own.

Man must choose his actions, values and goals by the standard of that which is proper to man—in order to achieve, maintain, fulfill and enjoy that ultimate value, that end in itself, which is his own life.

Virtue of Selfishness p 25, italics Rand's.

Reed must have read some Rand/Peikoff

gregster's picture

2. Sometimes jumping on a grenade is good.

If to save the life of a loved one, and this could be done by wounding or sacrificing oneself, then that is moral. That's what Reed means by good.

A person's automatic emotional response is formed over time by the integrations of his values.

If it has been arrived at that to live without one's spouse, for example, would be a lesser value than to risk one's life in attempting to save this valued person, then that is moral.

From memory, but I can check it later.

p. 27?

Jmaurone's picture

"The Objectivist ethics holds man's life as the standard of value-and his own life as the ethical purpose of every individual man."

Helpful, But Not the One

Jeff Perren's picture

Those are useful, Joe, but I meant the one about "Man's life is the standard... your life is the purpose." I don't remember the exact wording and my copy of The Virtue of Selfishness is nowhere around for some reason. (I can't find that exact phrasing in OPAR, either.)

"Your life is not the

Jmaurone's picture

"Your life is not the standard of good." Rand doesn't claim that it is. (Someone with the CD can trot out the proper quote.)

ayndrandlexicon.com, baby!

Good, The

All that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; all that which destroys it is the evil.

Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual, 122

There are, in essence, three schools of thought on the nature of the good: the intrinsic, the subjective, and the objective. The intrinsic theory holds that the good is inherent in certain things or actions as such, regardless of their context and consequences, regardless of any benefit or injury they may cause to the actors and subjects involved. It is a theory that divorces the concept of “good” from beneficiaries, and the concept of “value” from valuer and purpose—claiming that the good is good in, by, and of itself.

The subjectivist theory holds that the good bears no relation to the facts of reality, that it is the product of a man’s consciousness, created by his feelings, desires, “intuitions,” or whims, and that it is merely an “arbitrary postulate” or an “emotional commitment.”

The intrinsic theory holds that the good resides in some sort of reality, independent of man’s consciousness; the subjectivist theory holds that the good resides in man’s consciousness, independent of reality.

The objective theory holds that the good is neither an attribute of “things in themselves” nor of man’s emotional states, but an evaluation of the facts of reality by man’s consciousness according to a rational standard of value. (Rational, in this context, means: derived from the facts of reality and validated by a process of reason.) The objective theory holds that the good is an aspect of reality in relation to man—and that it must be discovered, not invented, by man. Fundamental to an objective theory of values is the question: Of value to whom and for what? An objective theory does not permit context-dropping or “concept-stealing”; it does not permit the separation of “value” from “purpose,” of the good from beneficiaries, and of man’s actions from reason.

“What Is Capitalism?” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 21

Reed, Go Study

Jeff Perren's picture

"Your life is not the standard of good." Rand doesn't claim that it is. (Someone with the CD can trot out the proper quote.)

"Sometimes jumping on a grenade is good." Good for whom? How? What do you mean by "good?" (By the way, I assume you mean an exploding grenade, since jumping on a grenade under other circumstances will do nothing but possibly bruise your foot or sprain your ankle.

Up your game, Reed. I know you can. One way is to abandon this method of attempting to prove or disprove complex theories with thin little categorical syllogisms as your sole mode of argument. Philosophy is more complicated than that.

Reed

Kasper's picture

You can't be serious.

Life is the standard of Good and Evil yes. The only situation of standing on a grenade and blowing yourself up is when you are faced with the impossibility of any reason for going on to live because your TOP values are about to be tortured and/or killed. You would in effect only stand on the grenade to kill yourself and them because your or them face a worse fate.....

Therefor, you have two options: Easy death versus difficult death. The more life affirming Sticking out tongue is the easy one....

1. If your life is the

reed's picture

1. If your life is the standard of good then jumping on a grenade cannot be good.
2. Sometimes jumping on a grenade is good.
therefore
3. Your life is not the standard of good.

Richard

Leonid's picture

"You're really not interested in facing up to the fact that Objectivist ethics is fundamentally flawed, are you?"

I'm interested to know how do you support this statement. So far you haven't offer any positive argument. You only said what morality is not, but you never said what morality is and which ethics is not flawed in your opinion. Try to say something affirmative for a change. You can start by giving your definition of morality and we can go from there.

P.S. to Linz

Jeff Perren's picture

You're doing a bang up job here. Really enjoying observing your surgery.

Flourishing, Etc.

Jeff Perren's picture

Rosie,

I'm not prepared to offer a full defense (or even an explication) of Rand's ethical theory here and now. Besides, if you've read her works and don't agree, it's unlikely I can sway you. But I can respond, briefly, to specific objections, like that suggested by your sado-masochist example.

[Disclaimer: It should go without saying, but I am certainly no authority on Objectivism, especially since I'm not an Objectivist. I speak for no one but myself and don't claim that my understanding of Objectivism is entirely consistent with Rand's, Peikoff's, or anyone else's.]

The example has at least two fatal flaws.

One, simply asserting that the sadist (and perhaps even the masochist) flourishes will not do. That he takes pleasure or enjoyment in the act (if what he feels can be labeled such) is insufficient to prove it's an instance of flourishing. That's mere hedonism (and therefore not even a counterexample to the Objectivist ethics, which doesn't take pleasure as the standard). That something is "considered good" does not make it so. That is subjectivism. (Side note: all knowledge, moral or otherwise, requires evaluation, it's true. But that we must evaluate does not by itself make the act subjective nor objective. It depends on how it's done.)

Second, following (I believe) Blanshard's methodology, we can't just look at isolated acts or experiences, in order to judge flourishing (or its opposite). One may choose short-term pain (an operation) for the sake of long term benefit, for example. One has to look at how the act fits into an entire way of life. Is it moving us in the direction of thriving, or away from it?

I think, on that score, that the sadist (and masochist) could not be invoked as an example of "a flourisher."

Whether or not it's anybody's business is a political issue and irrelevant to the discussion. There are many immoral choices we have no political right to interfere with.

The snake eats itself!!!

Jameson's picture

Well done, Robert!! You've comprehensively exposed our resident reptilian once and for all!!

Goode you slippery Troll!

Robert's picture

Here is what you said:

Quoting Goode from his Perigobama post on this thread: "(1) Ethics has no rational basis."

Quoting Goode from his I believe post on the Folate Thread:

"I believe the following three propositions."

(1) Ethics has no rational basis.

(2) Faith (i.e., believing that ethics has a non-rational basis) is preferable to nihilism (i.e., believing that ethics has no basis).

(3) Objectivist ethics is certifiably bat-shit insane.

Note that the onus is not on me to make the case for (1)."

You have also stated:

"Ethics is grounded in reality. "

OK. So I got the direct quote wrong. But wait, there's more:

"I claimed that ethics isn't grounded in reason."

and

"I mean that we have no reason, other than pragmatism, to believe that there is such an objective moral code."

And then we have you saying that:

"Much of ethics comes down to justifying specific moral judgements (e.g., the United States should not have gone to war in Iraq in 2003) by appeal to facts (e.g., Iraq possessed no WMD) and general moral principles (e.g., the NIOF principle)."

So here we have Goode considering facts (reality) and attempting to make a moral judgment on them without using the product of his rational faculty (perhaps Goode's brain doesn't qualify?). Hence my conclusion that Goode doesn't ground his ethics in reality. He has basically admitted that the effort of the brain is of no use in the real world. But how does Goode justify or MAKE a moral judgment (after reviewing the facts) if not by the use of reason?

According to Goode, he uses anything but reason. Faith, intuition, philosophy text books (e.g. "In philosophy classes, ethics is the study of the realm of moral facts through the writings of philosophers on the subject.") anything but his fucking brain.

So yes, I have misquoted your actual words. But I got the meaning spot on. Goode's Law: The brain and its products exists in another plane apart from reality.

Paraphrasing Goode: you cannot link the two, so it is futile to try and anyone who does is batshit insane.

Note that this is Goode's prediction of what will happen in reality if you attempt to break Goode's law. I think that qualifies as a stolen concept.

Here, ladies and gentlemen is the evidence you need to see that Goode is playing a game. This isn't an honest debate on his part. Have at him if you wish, but beware that his goal isn't enlightenment (for you or him) but to reek mental chaos on his opponent. I am now satisfied that this is the case and I shall now wash my hands of this slimy turd.

Rosie

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Are you saying that the doctor is not then morally obliged (according to Objectivist ethics) to aid them when hurt because the woman consented to being hit?

Yes I am. Not morally *obliged*.

And are you saying that there is no cause for consenting adults to consider their actions on others (which may have anti life results) in making decisions that are pro life for them?

First, I didn't say a sado-masochist couple's actions were pro-life. I said they were no one else's business. If they have children and their sado-masochism is life-threatening, *of course* they should consider its effects on them.

Does Objectivist ethics require that an individual never needs to consider the effects of his actions on others?

The Objectivist ethics stipulates that an individual should never initiate force against others. After that it's over to him and his context.

The problem I had from my previous post was this: When a person consents to being hit because she is a masochist, it is considered good (pro life), but how does that allow for the fact that the act could be anti life because hitting could in fact harm her?

See my earlier answer. It is *not* "considered pro-life." At least, not necessarily. I'm not an expert on sexual psychology, the subtleties of the pleasure-pain relationship, etc.. But Rosie, if you want to give Richard a good beating, or Richard to give you a good beating, you don't need my permission. I would certainly encourage the former.

Are you able to answer all the other questions I raised in my posts?

Yes, but I won't. I don't want to encourage all those batty uni ethics class scenarios.

Linz

Rosie's picture

Thank you for your answer.

You say it is still none of the doctor's business [that the people are hurt] because they have agreed to the hitting.

Are you saying that the doctor is not then morally obliged (according to Objectivist ethics) to aid them when hurt because the woman consented to being hit?
And are you saying that there is no cause for consenting adults to consider their actions on others (which may have anti life results) in making decisions that are pro life for them?
Does Objectivist ethics require that an individual never needs to consider the effects of his actions on others?

The problem I had from my previous post was this: When a person consents to being hit because she is a masochist, it is considered good (pro life), but how does that allow for the fact that the act could be anti life because hitting could in fact harm her?

Are you able to answer all the other questions I raised in my posts?

Rosie

Lindsay Perigo's picture

You see, this is where I have a problem. Does the act cease to be any of the observer's business because the couple have agreed to it?

Yes.

Let's say they are hurt and the observer is a doctor. Is it still none of his business because they have agreed to it?

Yes.

However, no consenting act becomes virtuous by dint of its being consenting. It just becomes no one else's business.

Some folk enjoy Slayer and go to their concerts. None of my business, as long as I'm not forced to go or to hear it.

The moral status of Slayer and their fans is another matter altogether.

Glenn

Rosie's picture

Thanks for that, Glenn.

Ok. So the "digging deeper" reveals the context. And where the context of apparent violence reveals that the two people have consented to the act, it is considered pro life. Is this because there is a presumption that consent indicates that each person considers it pro life and it is their decision? Even if the act could be anti life (as it appeared prior to learning the context) because hitting could in fact harm them? You see, this is where I have a problem. Does the act cease to be any of the observer's business because the couple have agreed to it? What if they are hurt in some way? Let's say they are hurt and the observer is a doctor. Is it still none of his business because they have agreed to it? And if it is now his business because they are hurt, why was it not his business when he could see the possibility of their becoming hurt and it becoming his business? Where does the degree of connection between people end? Isn't there a difficulty in saying acts end with the consenting people? There are invariably consequences arising from our actions that affect others. How does Objectivist ethics deal with this?

And what about the sadist? He considers that his life flourishes as a result of hitting. The life of the person whom he hits diminishes. Because there are both pro and anti life aspects to the context, is this considered anti life and bad because the context has some degree of anti life within it? Is this correct?

If it is correct, is the formula to ascertain whether something is good or bad according to Objectivist ethics dependent on the answer to two questions: firstly, is the act perceived confined to a pro life context only (i.e., it has no anti life within the context)? And second, are there any foreseeable consequences of anti life arising from the action? Only if the answer to the first part is yes and the second part is no, can something be said to be pro life and therefore good. Is this correct?

Have you had a chance to have a crack at the question arising from the second example? No pressure. I appreciate you have a busy job.

Maybe Messrs Seddon/Perren may be able to help me with that and/or the questions above?

What have I done this time?

Kasper's picture

Your comments make out that you havn't taken in a damn thing. As if nothing sunk in, as if you havn't even bothered to re-examin your premises.

Ethics are grounded in reality? Are you trying to turn this thing full circle?

Make your case Richard.

Praise the Lord!

sharon's picture

"You're dishonest and smarmy, Goode, and I shall waste no further time on you."

Finally, something you and I can agree on, Mr. Perigo.

Oh dear

Richard Goode's picture

What have I done this time?

I'm really sorry ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... that at the end of this process you choose to remain a smart-ass. You've been shown something here. Luckily, others have too.

You're dishonest and smarmy, Goode, and I shall waste no further time on you.

Ethics is grounded in reality

Richard Goode's picture

*You* cannot say ethics is grounded in reality with impunity

I can't say anything with impunity on SOLO. But what I've got to say, I'll say anyway: Ethics is grounded in reality.

If someone asks you, "How do you know" you merely say, "I just do," or "I inuit it," or "My feelings tell me" or some such.

Yes, that is what I say. Except for the bit about the Eskimo. Smiling

What my mind tells me is objectively true... is just subjective and arbitrary, because it's my mind telling me so.

No, I don't say this. Again, you misattribute to me a view which isn't mine.

We acquire knowledge by reasoning about reality. But not all knowledge is acquired that way. (See above.)

why don't you jump off a tall building[?]

It wouldn't be in my best interests to do so.

Why don't you jump off a tall building?

Oh dear, again ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Goode:

Ethics have no basis in reality.
What I actually said was the complete opposite
Ethics is grounded in reality.
I'm getting sick of this.

*You* cannot say ethics is grounded in reality with impunity, since you deny the means by which we may know it: reason. It's simply the dogmatic, intrinsicist assertion of a faith-worshipper. If someone asks you, "How do you know" you merely say, "I just do," or "I intuit it," or "My feelings tell me" or some such. If you have a different answer, do tell us. When reminded that knowledge comes from reasoning about reality you say in that case it is necessarily subjective, notwithstanding the reality component, because the mind is involved. Your position amounts to: what my feelings tell me is objectively true because it's my feelings telling me so. What my mind tells me is objectively true, however, is just subjective and arbitrary, because it's my mind telling me so. For you, ethics is grounded in faith. Your ethics may be, but not the Objectivist ethics.

I'd be curious to know your answer to Robert's question: why don't you jump off a tall building. Life is not your standard of value, there's no reason not to, and I have faith that it'd be very good for you, Goode. Eye

You should not be getting sick of this, since you are being enlightened. You can do as I did when worn down—acknowledge your thinking needs a review—or stick stubbornly to the tired old bromides of your university pin-ups.

I'll take a crack at the first part

Jameson's picture

The action perceived by the witness takes place independent of his perception. The witness may not know all the facts by simply observing the violence. When the witness digs deeper and discovers she was asking for it, the incident ceases to be any of his business; this was an action taken between two consenting adults and does not require his moral judgement.

Nevertheless, when a person asks to be beaten for pleasure (not death), then there's nothing "bad" about it per se, other than the psychological issues that lead someone to such an invitation. Same goes for the adult administering the punishment.

Randian Ethics

Rosie's picture

"Good and bad are not 'all in the mind' at all. They're an evaluation by the mind of things in the world out there."

Good and bad are an evaluation by the mind of things in the world out there.

I.e., One evaluates good and bad from what one perceives. The issue then is, what is good? what is bad? How does Randian ethics evaluate good and bad in application to the facts 'out there'? My understanding is that Rand says "good" is pro life, "bad" is anti life. This is the crux. Is this correct? I should really stop there in case this is not correct but, to save time, I will presume that this is Rand's reasoning behind her ethics on the basis of Linz's earlier Ph.D dissertation that Objectivist ethics is based on reason and that reason is "life [dear. Do keep up.]."

Let's take two examples to make things concrete and, hopefully, clear.

Example 1.
The facts
You see 'out there' one man hitting one woman.

The evaluation
On the face of it, the hitting is anti life (for the woman) and therefore the man and the hitting is bad.

Now qualify the facts a bit. If she were a masochist, and has asked him to hit her, does that make the man and his actions good?
If so, the man and his hitting can be bad or good depending on the subjective view of the persons involved. The act of hitting itself is irrelevant. Is that correct?

And, if he were a sadist, and his life flourishes by hitting people, (but she is not a masochist) does this make hitting good and bad? Good for him, bad for her. Same evidence, same facts, different ethical stand on them.

How does it work? Are the acts of hitting, masochism and sadism not good or bad in themselves? is that irrelevant? Is it only whether the action makes a person's life flourish (because the person knows himself and the action is simply a question of whether the action is of particular flourishing for him) and therefore judged only in the eyes of each person to whom the action affects? I.e., ethics are individual.

Example 2.
The facts:
You see 'out there' that you will be killed by lions if you go outside but there is a lion-proof camouflage coat available. You need to get some food from outside the house or you will die of starvation.

Evaluation
You evaluate the facts and reason that you will need to wear the lion-proof camouflage coat, go to the shop and get some food. Putting on the lion-proof camouflage coat is pro life. So, on the analysis of good and bad being evaluated on pro and anti life terms, does this mean that putting on the lion-proof camouflage coat is an ethical choice?

Query
So, from example 1, is it possible that the same facts can be evaluated pro life and therefore good but also anti life and therefore bad? I.e, is it possible that the Objectivist ethics of good and bad, applied to the same evidence, can be inconsistent in relation to the same evidence?

Also, from example 2, is it possible that Objectivist ethics can hold that an act of survival (putting on the lion proof camouflage coat) is an ethical choice?

I look forward to the answers from a Randian view.

Dumber than a bagful of hammers

Richard Goode's picture

Robert doesn't say that. He cites *you* saying that.

But I didn't say

Ethics have no basis in reality.

What I actually said was the complete opposite

Ethics is grounded in reality.

I'm getting sick of this.

Subjectivism

Jeff Perren's picture

"Good and bad are not 'all in the mind' at all. They're an evaluation by the mind of things in the world out there." [Linz]

That's subjectivism. [Goode]

How so?

Type - define: subjectivism in your browser.

I got this:

the doctrine that knowledge and value are dependent on and limited by your subjective experience (Wordnet)

Subjectivism is a philosophical tenet that accords primacy to subjective experience as fundamental of all measure and law. In an extreme form, it may hold that the nature and existence of every object depends solely on someone's subjective awareness of it. ... (Wikipedia)

The doctrine that reality is created or shaped by the mind; The doctrine that knowledge is based in feelings or intuition; The doctrine that values and moral principles come from attitudes, convention, whim, or preference
(Wikipedia)

"Subjectivism in metaphysics is the view that existence (ie, reality) finds its source in a form of consciousness. ..."

And, from the American Heritage Dictionary:

1. The doctrine that all knowledge is restricted to the conscious self and its sensory states.
2. A theory or doctrine that emphasizes the subjective elements in experience.
3. Any of various theories holding that the only valid standard of judgment is that of the individual. For example, ethical subjectivism holds that individual conscience is the only appropriate standard for moral judgment.

From the Random House Dictionary
–noun
1. Epistemology. the doctrine that all knowledge is limited to experiences by the self, and that transcendent knowledge is impossible.
2. Ethics.
a. any of various theories maintaining that moral judgments are statements concerning the emotional or mental reactions of the individual or the community.
b. any of several theories holding that certain states of thought or feeling are the highest good. [American Heritage)

--
http://www.answers.com/topic/m...

* Subjectivist theories hold that moral statements are made true or false by the attitudes and/or conventions of people. Subjectivism is one form of moral anti-realism.
o Individualist ethical subjectivism holds that there are as many distinct scales of good and evil as there are subjects in the world. This view was put forward by Protagoras.
o Moral relativism (c.f. cultural relativism) holds that for a thing to be morally right is for it to be approved of by society; this leads to the conclusion that different things are right for people in different societies and different periods in history. Though long out of favor among academic philosophers, especially of the analytic tradition, this view has been popular among anthropologists, such as Ruth Benedict, and to some extent in continental philosophy as well.
o Ideal observer theory holds that what is right is determined by the attitudes that a hypothetical ideal observer would have. An ideal observer is usually characterized as a being who is perfectly rational, imaginative, and informed, among other things. Though a subjectivist theory due to its reference to a particular (albeit hypothetical) subject, Ideal Observer Theory still purports to provide universal answers to moral questions.
o Divine command theory holds that for a thing to be right is for a unique being, God, to approve of it, and that what is right for non-God beings is obedience to the divine will. This view was criticized by Plato in the Euthyphro (see the Euthyphro problem) but retains some modern defenders (Robert Adams, Philip Quinn, and others). Like Ideal Observer Theory, Divine Command Theory purports to be universalist despite its subjectivism.

# Error theory, another form of moral anti-realism, holds that although ethical claims do express propositions, all such propositions are false. Thus both the statement "Murder is bad" and the statement "Murder is good" are false, according to an error theory. J. L. Mackie is probably the best-known proponent of this view. Since error theory denies that there are moral truths, error theory entails moral nihilism and thus moral skepticism; however, neither moral nihilism nor moral skepticism conversely entail error theory.

---
I don't recall reading anything in Berkeley to Hare that matches your definition. Enlighten me. On your view, apparently, any assertion by a person would necessarily be subjective, on any subject. Is that your view? One final question (for now): Please define and explain "What is a moral fact?" as distinguished from, say, a biological fact.

No darling ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Linz tells us that
Good and bad are evaluative concepts
but that
Good and bad are not 'all in the mind' at all. They're an evaluation by the mind of things in the world out there.
That's subjectivism.

No darling. Subjectivism is the view that reality is whatever the mind (or one's "intuition") says it is. Objectivity consists in the mind's identifying and evaluating reality accurately, as it is.

See, in your view, Goode, objectivity is impossible. As soon as the mind gets involved, according to you, it's subjectivism!

And Robert tells us that
Ethics have no basis in reality.
That's nihilism.
Objectivist ethics is a sham.

Robert doesn't say that. He cites *you* saying that. Read what he said again dear:

Ethics have no basis in reality. So tell me smart arse, what happens to you when you do something contrary to your ethics: such as, dive head first off a tall building or resolve to only eat the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary?

OK, he didn't put "ethics have no basis in reality" in quotes. Perhaps he forgot that you must be dumber than a bagful of hammers.

It's your "faith" that is the sham here, sweetheart.

I know I'm a rookie in this area

Jameson's picture

but even I can get this, Goode: he didn't say a manipulation by the mind; an evaluation by the mind of things in the world out there is entirely objective.

Subjectivism and nihilism

Richard Goode's picture

Linz tells us that

Good and bad are evaluative concepts

but that

Good and bad are not 'all in the mind' at all. They're an evaluation by the mind of things in the world out there.

That's subjectivism.

And Robert tells us that

Ethics have no basis in reality.

That's nihilism.

Objectivist ethics is a sham.

Curt

Jameson's picture

... Mindy has a hard time admitting defeat in the face of objective facts.

Mindy

Curt Holmes's picture

Why grope for names?

Just admit your error and move on. And maybe check yourself next time.

Correct Jameson.

Robert's picture

But I would also add this:

The wards of the criminally insane contain scumbags that avoided the general prison population because they pleaded 'insanity' as a defense for their horrible crimes. Here is what is likely to be the latest case in which an admitted rapist and 'facilitator' of a double murder is going to plead mental deficiency in order to avoid the hangman's noose. A fate he and his compatriots richly deserve in my opinion - if and when they are proven guilty.

Mindy should note that I specifically highlighted the 'criminally' insane (e.g. Charles Manson and the Green River Killer) in this post and the previous one for a reason.

"...history and psychiatry, two sciences that show..."

Ptgymatic's picture

"...you what happens when you don't base your ethical beliefs in reality." Robert, 8-18-2009.

"Robert didn't say psychiatric patients were immoral." Jameson, 8-18-2009.

And winning tennis players are always more consistent than their opponents. There should be a name for this. Decerebration?

Mindy

No Reed...

Robert's picture

Atheists do not believe in God because they either understand that the deity described in the Bible/Torah/Koran etc. is a philosophical absurdity (e.g. impossible to be all powerful, begs the question of where did God come from) or they haven't seen enough evidence that god exists or existed or both.

Which ever camp you are in requires you to actually think about the nature of god and the evidence for him. That is not ignorance by any definition that I know. I've personally seen atoms with the help of a scanning tunneling microscope. I've seen outer space with the help of a telescope. But nowhere have I seen anything that (1) couldn't be explained without reference to the supernatural or (2) anything that even resembled an all powerful creator.

And when I've bothered to ask the experts on such things (priests and such) I've been answered with the theological equivalent of 'shut-up!" "To those who believe no explanation is necessary, to those who do not, no explanation is possible." If that last statement is true of you, that you've never sought an explanation for any of the incongruities (why no miracles since the death of Christ? Are they no longer fashionable?) then your position best fits the dictionary definition of ignorance, not mine.

P.S. While I adhere to the Jeffersonian stance on religion (provided it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, it is no concern of mine) I'm not shy about giving my views on the topic when asked. So if any of what I said offends you; remember, you asked for it.

Mindy...

Jameson's picture

Robert didn't say psychiatric patients were immoral. The fact is, the realm of ethics is only relevant to those who have the volition to choose a course of action that effects their survival. If you're drooling at the mouth and bumping into walls, ethics are beyond you, and you have to rely on the morality of others to survive.

I think his point is, see what happens when you're amoral.

Psychiatric disorders medical, not moral

Ptgymatic's picture

There are psychiatric disorders, and psychological disorders. There are medical conditions that affect mentality, as well as volitionally-based syndromes that affect mentality. Only the latter can be judged immoral, and the conditions leading to their development matter.

It is grossly unjust to declare that a psychiatric group of patients is a group of immoral people. Ignorant, and unfair.

Mindy

Jesus

Robert's picture

you ARE dumber than a bag full of hammers.

Ethics have no basis in reality. So tell me smart arse, what happens to you when you do something contrary to your ethics: such as, dive head first off a tall building or resolve to only eat the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary?

You may not see ethical principles written down in stone. But you can see the very real consequences, upon you, of not having any. Want to know how science can prove the need for ethics? Take a walk through the wards of any institution for the criminally insane or dangerous. Take a walk through a Nazi concentration camp. There: history and psychiatry, two sciences that show you what happens when you don't base your ethical beliefs in reality: reality kicks your arse. Now go and read Kasper's and Linz's most recent posts again to allow you to link what happens outside of your head with what goes on inside it -- assuming that you aren't all bone from the neck up that is.

Personally, I'm betting on you being a troll (at best) or another Dr Robert Nola (at worst). Either way, you aren't worth my time.

Glenn ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

One doesn't prove concepts, one simply points to their referents, the things of which the concept is an integration. See what I just said about baldness.

One proves propositions, combinations of concepts to make a point.

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