Friday, July 04, 2008

Former Objectivist Quote of the Day

"Whatever their source, there seemed to be rules of right and wrong for everything in Objectivism. There was more than just a right kind of politics and a right kind of moral code. There was also a right kind of music, a right kind of art, a right kind of interior design, a right kind of dancing. There were wrong books which we could not buy, and right ones which we should. Wrong books were written by "immoral" people whom we didn't want to support through our purchase; right books never were. There were plays we should not see, records we should not listen to, and movies we should not pay to watch. There were right ways to behave at parties, and right people to invite to them. And there were, of course, right psychotherapists. And on everything, absolutely everything, one was constantly being judged, just as one was expected to be judging everything around him. And if one was not judging everything that was around him, one was judged on that, too. It was a perfect breeding ground for insecurity, fear, and paranoia." - Ellen Plasil, from her autobiography "Therapist"

25 comments:

john said...

Thank God she is dead.

John Donohue

Damien said...

john,

Who, Rand? Look, you may not like her, and she may have done a few bad things and been an intolerant jerk, but, look, unless someone had done something incredibly evil in their life, you should never say openly that you're glad their dead. That makes you sound evil unless the person you are talking about was someone who deserved the death penalty.

Damien said...

John,

When you wish Rand was dead, you inadvertently make yourself sound like this guy. Read the article he wrote and then ask your self if the person he is talking about deserved death.

Capitalism_Magazine

Harry Binswanger is a huge admirer of Rand, but when you openly state that you are glad that she's dead, you sound just as disturbed as he does in the article I linked to above.

Red Grant said...

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... unless someone had done something incredibly evil .... - damien
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Who decides what is evil?

Damien said...

Red Grant,

So you think that evil is always relative?

Red Grant said...

What would be universally valid (across time and space) definition of evil?

Damien said...

Red Grant,

So you can imagine cases when rape and torturing innocent defenseless children to death would be acceptable? How about genocide? Is that ever okay?

Red Grant said...

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So you can imagine cases when rape and torturing innocent defenseless children to death would be acceptable? - damien
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Who decides who is innocent?




Would you have objected to such methods if such means had been used against lynch mobs's children by the victims of lynch mobs?

Damien said...

Red Grant,

About Rape Torture and Murder you said, "Would you have objected to such methods if such means had been used against lynch mobs's children by the victims of lynch mobs?"

Yes I would oppose it. For one thing, the children can not be held responsible for what their parents did. That is one of the reasons I am against reparations for slavery in the antebellum south. People can't be held responsible for what their ancestors did. If your father or you mother committed murder, would you also be guilty of murder because of your blood relationship?

john said...

Damien, thank you for telling me what or what not I should say. Sorry you were disturbed by the radical nature of my statement. However, I swat your advice back at you, untaken.

Someone as evil as a the person protrayed on this blog and in the quote in this segment? I am glad if they are dead and I thank God for killing her. Look at it this way. She is spewing evil. However, it is unfortunately too early under U.S. law to delcare her bilge a hate crime, or to stop the hundreds of thousands who read her books every year from doing so, or from young people from gaining a spectacular infusion of hope, excitement and inspiration from them, or from people holding her as a hero for life. In other words, we can't censor her, we can't burn her books, we can't jail her and we can't execute her since she (by the current law) has not committed an actual 'crime.' So the only alternative is to hope such a person dies.

John Donohue

john said...

WOW! I just now read the piece by Mr. Binswanger linked by Damien. I promise I had no knowlege of that piece prior to writing my first comment at the top of this page, or the one I submitted must ahead of this one.

However, that's quite a striking similarity, isn't it? Here are my regrets:
1) I was not as thorough and articulate as Mr. Binswanger. My hat is off to him for being on a level above!
2) I deeply regret not having prieviously known that Mr. Buckley kept 'crawling on his knees' to apologize to Miss Rand. That fills me with so much happiness! It made my day. I actually got goosebumps.

Just in case you are slightly confused, Damien, I suggest you read my excoriations of this blog in many places, and/or visit my website. Then read my comment at the top of this page. Apply appropriate sarcasm.

Damien said...

john,

So you're saying that people should be punished for supporting objectivism? Are you saying that you don't support the first amendment when it comes to people who agree with Rand? I often don't agree with Rand, and I have no love affair with objectivism, but to suggest that to preach her ideas should be against the law, (including the really bad ones) is antithetical to American ideals.

Even people who hold totally evil beliefs like Nazism have a right to free speech. That is way I oppose all hate speech laws. I will admit that much of what Rand said was hateful and disgusting at times, but saying hateful or even evil things in and of itself is not something deserving jail time.
Once you start silencing people for their beliefs, where does it stop? When ever a democracy turns into a dictatorships, it starts by banning speech that the regime finds offensive. Before the Nazis started killing Jews they started burning books.

Red Grant said...

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Yes I would oppose it. - damien
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How would you oppose it?





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For one thing, the children can not be held responsible for what their parents did. - damien
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Why not?





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People can't be held responsible for what their ancestors did. - damien
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Does this mean then you believe people should be able to give to their children what they had gained by murder and robbery of their neighbors?



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If your father or you mother commited murder, would you also be guilty of murder because of your blood relationship? - damien
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No, I wouldn't be guilty of the murder, but would it mean it would be "evil" for the murdered person's relatives to come after me?

Again, the question is "who" decides "what" is "evil"?



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How about genocide? Is that ever okay?


That is one of the reasons why I am against reparations of slavery in the antebllum south. People can't be held responsible for what their ancestors did. - damien
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Does this mean then you believe genocides is not okay but the children or descendants of the perpetrators of the genocide have the right to inherit the results of genocide perpetrated by parents or ancestors?

...and by implication, victims or the descendants of the victims of the genocide have no right to take back what they would have inherited if the genocide had not taken place?

...and by further implication, it wouldn't be evil (by your standard) for people to pass on what they have gotten by genocide to their children?


Again, who decides what would be universally objectively valid (across time and space) definition of evil?

and what would be universally objectively valid (across time and space) definition of evil?

Damien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Damien said...

Red Grant,

The questions you are asking me are absurd.

Why can't the children be held responsible for their parents actions? We'll simple, if your father was a murderer, but you had no idea until now that he had committed murder could you in anyway be reasonably held responsible for that murder in a court of law?

By the way I don't even have to explain what makes something right or wrong to prove my point, until you can come up with a possible real world scenario where things like rape and torture killing of children would be justified, you have failed to prove that no moral absolutes exist. Plus the claim that there are no moral absolutes is a moral absolute and therefor a self contradiction.

Red Grant said...

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I would oppose it. - damien
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How would you oppose it?



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Why can't the children be held responsible for their parents action?

We'll simple, if your father was a murderer but you had no idea until now that he had commited murder could you in anyway be reasonably held responsible for that murder in the court of law? - damien
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It depends on what happens to be the "law" of the land where I would reside.

Do you know in many countries in the past, the relatives of the victim had the "legal" right to murder the descendants of the murderer?

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Plus the claim that there are no moral absolutes is itself is a moral absolute and therefore a self-contradiction. - damien
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Where and when did I ever say there are no moral absolutes?

One of the questions I was merely asking you was to give the universaly objectively valid (across time and space) definition of evil.



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By the way, I don't even to explain what makes something right or wrong to prove my point, .... - damien
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Does this mean you don't know what makes something right or wrong in universally objectively valid (across time and space) moral sense?

Damien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Damien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Damien said...

Red Grant,

Morality exists outside the law, slavery was always wrong. Blacks were never 3/5th's of a person despite what the law may have said. Morality transcends the law and our feelings. If everyone had your attitude black people would still be slaves in this country.

By the way, check this out.

Western_society's_war_within

Do you see any relationship to what we are talking about?

Red Grant said...

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I would oppose it. - damien
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How would you oppose it?





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Morality exists outside the law,....

Blacks were never 3/5th's of a person despite what the law may have said. - damien

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Why can't the children be held responsible for their patents actions? We'll simple, if your father was a murderer, but you had no idea until now that he had commited murder could you in anyway be reasonably held responsible for that murder


in a court of law? - damien
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If you believe morality (in universally objectively valid sense across time and space) exists outside the law, then why had you earlier appealed to a court of law to decide what is evil?



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Morality trascends the law and our feelings. - damien
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If morality trascends our feelings, including yours, then how do you know what is moral in universally objectively valid (across time and space)?






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Plus the claim that there are no moral absolutes is itself a moral absolute and therefore a self-contradiction. - damien
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Where and when did I ever say there are no moral absolutes?

Please show me the quotes.




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By the way, I don't even have to explain what makes something right or wrong to prove my point,... - damien
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Does this mean then you do not know what is universally objectively valid (across time and space) defintion of morality?



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If everyone had your attitude, black people would still be slaves in this country. - damien
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Why do you think black people would still be slaves in this country if everyone had my attitude?









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Damien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Damien said...

Red Grant,

I never appealed to a court of law to determine what is evil. People turn to a court of law to try to find out weather someone is guilty or innocent of breaking a law. Guilt or innocents is supposed to be determined based on the evidence.

If you are completely unwilling to do anything, or say anything that goes against what is excepted at the time things will not change. The abolitionists knew slavery was immoral despite the fact that it was supported by the law at the time.

No I don't think that people should be allowed to give their children what they gained through theft or murder, but in the case of slave reparations, (unless you are talking about slavery outside the antebellum south) none of the former slaver or slave masters are still alive for that reason it would be hard if not impossible to determine who owes who what. Plus almost every group of people enslaved another group of people at one time.

You asked,
"What would be universally valid (across time and space) definition of evil?" By that I assumed you don't believe in moral absolutes.

What makes something evil is that it violates a person's rights in some demonstrable way. Simply speaking your mind violates no ones rights, no matter how evil your ideas may or may not be.

Look how many innocent people did Rand kill? How many people did she rape or torture? The state has no right to punish someone for their beliefs. Once the state is allowed to start punishing thought (no matter how abhorrent) you risk your society becoming a totalitarian dictatorship. She wasn't someone who deserved the death penalty, so to say that you are glad she's dead, makes you look bad. That's why John's statement upset me.

Maybe I read to much into your attitude. I assumed you where a moral relativist, who sees every thing as relative no matter what.

Red Grant said...

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I would oppose it. - damien
___________________________________






How would you oppose it?





___________________________________

I never appealed to a court of law to determine what is evil. - damien

-----------------------------------

Why can't the children be held responsible for their parents actions? We'll simple, if your father was a murderer, but you had no idea until now that he had commited murder could you in anyway be reasonably held responsible for that murder

in a court of law? - damien
___________________________________





Does this mean then you believe it wouldn't be evil for the relatives of the murder victim to come after the children of murderer even if the children of murderer are innocent of the murder?




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No I don't think people should be allowed to give their children what they have gained through theft or murder,.... - damien

.... but in the case of slave reparations, none of the former slavers or slave masters are still alive for that reason it would be hard if not impossible to determine who owes what. - damien
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Does this mean that you believe if implementing what you consider absolute morality is hard if not impossible in utilitarian sense, then what you consider absolute morality should not be implemented?




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Plus almost every group of people enslaved another group of people at one time. - damien
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Does this mean you believe since almost every group of people enslaved another group of people at one time, it wouldn't be immoral according to your standard to deny reparation for slavery?


Would this mean then you believe implementing what you consider as absolute moral standard depends on previous historical precedents set by majority of peoples in the past?



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What makes something evil is that it violates a person's rights in some demonstrable way. - damien
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Who decides what are a person's rights in universally objectively valid (across time and space) way?



Who decides what your rights are in universally objectively valid (across time and space) way?

Who decides what my rights are in universally objectively valid (across time and space) way?

Who decides what Greg's rights are in universally objectively valid (across time and space) way?



___________________________________

Morality transcends the law and our feelings. - damien
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If morality transcends our feelings, including yours, then how would you know what is moral?

Damien said...

Red Grant,

"Does this mean you believe since almost every group of people enslaved another group of people at one time, it wouldn't be immoral according to your standard to deny reparation for slavery?"

No that an argument against reparations for the decedents of slaves.

"Would this mean then you believe implementing what you consider as absolute moral standard depends on previous historical precedents set by majority of peoples in the past?"

No, it depends on what works, and what is humane, not a majority vote.

Red Grant said...

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Plus

almost every group of people enslaved another group of people at one time. - damien
-----------------------------------

Does this mean you believe since almost every group of people enslaved another group of people at one time, it wouldn't be immoral according to your standard to deny reparation for slavery? - Red Grant
-----------------------------------

No that an argument against reparations for the descendants of slaves. - damien
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Then why had you included earier about almost every group of people enslaving another at one time in your argument against reparations for the descendants of slaves?





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Plus almost every group of people enslaved another group of people at one time. - damien
-----------------------------------

Would this mean then you believe implementing what you consider as absolute moral standard depends on previous historical precedents set by majority of peoples in the past? - Red Grant
-----------------------------------

No, it depends on what works, and what is humane, not a majority vote. - damien
___________________________________




Then why had you included earlier in your argument against the reparations to the descendants of slaves that:

almost every group of people had enslaved another group of people at one time?



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I would oppose it. - damien
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How would you oppose it?