Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Anti-ARCHN Quote of the Week 14/2/07

"It's not that I can't respond to your challenge to show the fallacy in your book, it's that I decline to respond."
- Objectivist commenter John Donohue

7 comments:

RnBram said...

In the realm of ideas the irrational is best ignored.

That Nyquist is so vigorous in his extensive and rationalized opposition to Rand's ideas indicates that he sees her ideas as a threat.

Reason as a threat, as he tries to use 'reason' to attack it; lovely!

Learn reason and you will see his every argument fails. Ayn Rand once said, ""Don't bother to examine a folly, ask yourself only what it accomplishes." ARCHN is one such folly.

Daniel Barnes said...

RnBram:
>Learn reason and you will see (Nyquists) every argument fails.

Hi RnBram,

1)Have you actually read ARCHN?

2) If so, could you please cite an important argument from the book and demonstrate how it fails? Otherwise it's just your subjective say-so.

Thanks.

bi said...

Hey, who needs facts? Facts are dictatorial and elitist. Subjective say-so is liberating and democratic.

mac said...

rnbram:

"In the realm of ideas the irrational is best ignored."

First we must define "irrational" and prove that an idea is such.

"Reason as a threat, as he tries to use 'reason' to attack it; lovely!"

Rand's reasoning can be threatening to the prospect of having a fulfilled life if it is used. Reason is a process that human minds perform. Hence, it is not inherently flawless. Rand used it as a buzzword, but didn't seem to know what good reasoning was, herself. Ironic.

"Learn reason and you will see his every argument fails. Ayn Rand once said, ""Don't bother to examine a folly, ask yourself only what it accomplishes." ARCHN is one such folly."

"Learn reason"? Please, do tell us what reason is, and teach us, master. [/sarcasm] Ayn Rand also once said many other things, a great deal of them wrong. She's no authority figure for those who do not adhere to her philosophy. Personally, I don't care what she had to say.

Oh, and you kinda have to examine a folly to determine that it's a folly. ;) And not just the introduction, either. XD

Dragonfly said...

I'm wondering if there are any intelligent criticisms of ARCHN. So far I seem to have missed them...

gregnyquist said...

rnbram: "In the realm of ideas the irrational is best ignored."

This is a very mischievious doctrine, since it encourages all sorts of anti-intellectual abuses. The Randian apologist comes across some idea or criticism he doesn't approve of. But because he is unable to refute it, he simply declares that it's irrational, making use of one of Rand's favorite arguments (the argument via mere assertion--see ARCHN for more details). Reason, for the objectivist, merely means something in accordance with Rand's ideas, and irrational means something not in accordance with Rand's ideas. So reason, for the objectivist, as Nathanial Branden acknowledged in his memoirs, becomes a kind of code word meaning: "We're right and you're wrong." They say this despite (and perhaps because) they have no evidence for their position. Worse, they don't even realize they don't have evidence, or why evidence is required before any rational person is going to take their views seriously.

When I object to Randian "reason," it is because it is essentially a means by which Rand evades confronting important facts that testify against some of her ideas about human nature, the human condition, history, and cognition. For those who are sincerely interested in having their ideas aptly describe reality, they need to develop reality-based modes of cognition. Rand's version of "reason" is of little assistence in such an endeavor. What is Rand's "reason" after all? Little else than scholasticism and water! Rational men have little use for such empty, rationalistic pedantry. Nowadays if somebody such Rand makes controversial statements about matters of fact, it is not enough for them simply to "reason" about it. No, we need more than that: we need evidence! In short, it must pass the standard set by Hume. In judging any book, say of school metaphysics, such as IOTE, what should we do? Let us ask, Hume suggests, "Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity and number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence [i.e., evidence]? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion."

RnBram said...

mac said, "Hence, it is not inherently flawless."

When concepts are used properly and logic does not begin with arbitrary and floating starting points (I have mentioned this dishonest approach here before), reason is, in the long run, the system of thought that is flawless.

E.g. One such arbitrary starting point is, "First we must define "irrational" and prove that an idea is such."

I started addressing points in other comments (I read them all) but, cumulatively, they are absurd beyond belief... the worst being Nyquist's.

The onus is on you to make a valid point, not on me to hold your hand as you wildly toss out rationalist volleys as if they were well targeted, professional tennis shots. This is NOT "a mischievous doctrine", but a matter of common sense. I wouldn't waste time with a Jehovah's Witness Leader over the validity of Instantaneous Creation of the Universe either.

I, and tens of thousands of others took the time to think more carefully and honestly. So could you.