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Did Margaret Thatcher change the world for the better?
Yes, but socialism won in the end.
No, but she might inspire the next generation.
Other (please explain)
Total votes: 20
Response to Larry Auster
Submitted by Doug Bandler on Fri, 2010-07-23 01:09
To Mr. Larry Auster,
In response to your charge that Objectivism (what you call, and should not call, Randianism) has no way to prevent predatory behaviour and provide for a truly objective morality, I have excerpted from and commented on many of the arguments put forth by you and your readers. But actually, someone did a better job of it than I did. The comment by Roger Donway posted by you to your original blog entry pretty much hits the major points. Mr. Donway correctly argues the following points (my paraphrasing):
1) Rand rejected hedonism. Objectivist ethics is not based on achieving one's desires.
2) Rand's ethics is based on the objective requirements of man's life. These are not subjective.
3) Rand argued that in order to achieve rational values one must cultivate rational virtues. While these virtues have been recognized in one form or another (i.e. Aristotle identified many of them) for a long time, Rand viewed all the virtues as extensions of the main human virtue: rationality, which is necessary for human survival.
4) Arlen Specter is a Pragmatist not a rational egoist. A Pragmatist chooses irrational ends and achieves them by violating rational virtues or, in other words, by engaging in vice. Man's conceptual nature requires that he develop reality oriented means to obtain the values to sustain his life. This leads to the virtues. [This is a good point by Donway which shows the conceptual path from volition to action and shows why man must be virtuous long range for a successful life.]
5) Rand did not believe in any version of innate goodness or innate rationality. She believed normal men retain the ability to exercise the virtue of rationality but that choice is always volitional. Many men will shrink from that choice.
These are really good points. I doubt they will make any impression on you as I see you are a serious Christian. But any fence-sitters at your site will however get an alternative view at the least.
For more of my criticism of your views, see also my comments here:
I leave you, Mr. Auster, with a challenge. You tell us that we naive, deluded, parasitical "Randians" are pilfering from your theistic morality. Please answer a few questions about your morality.
1) Tell us the source of your morality. (Biblical, revelations, intuition, etc.)
2) Tell us what your morality consists of. What is moral and what is not? Also, what is the standard of your morality? What do you use as a measuring stick?
3) Most importantly, please tell us how you know this. By what cognitive means do you know of your religious morality? How do you verify the validity of this morality? Be specific here Mr. Auster. What we "Randians" want to know is the epistemological methodology that you use to obtain your "objective" morality that you say must require a "created order." We "Randians" are all about process. Please show us the cognitive process that you use to reach your religious morality and your "moral truth."
That shouldn't be too difficult now should it?
More SOLO Store
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand