Monday, December 01, 2008

Top Ten Philosophy Books

Jason Sieckmann has requested that one of us at ARCHN provide "a list of [his] top ten fave philosophy books." Since this seems like a good idea, particularly in this Christmas season that is fast upon us, I will provide mine. Others can give theirs, if they are so inclined.

In no particular order, my list would go as follows:

1. Scepitism and Animal Faith, by George Santayana
2. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, by David Hume
3. Realism and the Aim of Science, by Karl Popper
4. Beyond Good and Evil, by Friedrich Nietzsche
5. The Open Society and its Enemies, by Karl Popper
6. The Plato Cult, by David Stove
7. Three Philosophical Poets, by George Santayana
8. Realms of Being, by George Santayana
9. The Revolt Against Dualism, by Arthur Lovejoy
10. Personal Knowledge, by Michael Polanyi

Word of caution: the works by Santayana, Polanyi and Lovejoy make for rather difficult reading. But as Spinoza says, "All things excellent are as diffcult as they are as rare."

128 comments:

Red Grant said...

My recommendations:

1. The Decline of the West by Oswald Spengler.

A teaser from his quotes from the book:

"A sentimentalist may beam with contentment that the press is constitutionally free,

a realist merely asks at whose disposable is it available"

Don't let the title deceive you, (Like many "intellectuals" who never read the book describe the book with disdain)

It's not about the rise of the "East", it's about exhausation of the creative possibilities of the "West" after the Greeks/Romans.

p.s. One needs deep knowlede and profound understanding of history in general (not just political/military history) to get the maximum value out of this book.

2. Mind and Society by Vilfredo Pareto

3. The Transformation of Democracies by Vilfredo Pareto

4. Alchemy of Finance by George Soros

He makes some elementary mistakes, especially when it comes to consistency in presentation, but he's one of the most profound thinker of this century.

Must if you want to understand macroeconomics.

Neil Parille said...

I'll give 10 books that I've learned a lot from, even if they aren't the best or my favorites (no order):

1. The Faith of a Moralist, A.E. Taylor
2. The Ultimate Foundations of Economic Science, von Mises
3. The Logic of Action, Rothbard
4. The Rise and Fall of Elites, Pareto
5. The Drama of Atheist Humanism, De Lubac
6. Means to a Message, Jaki
7. The Last Supersition, Feser
8. Locke, Feser
9. Gilson, The Unity of Philosophical Experience
10. Hayek, The Counter-Revolution of Science

JayCross said...

Interesting; I just started reading "Beyond Good and Evil" about a week ago. Will have to look into these other titles as well.

Neil Parille said...

I knew this wasn't going to be easy. Here are two more:

1. The Quest for Community, Nisbet
2. The New Science of Politics, Voegelin

Jason Sieckmann said...

lmao, this was so shocking to see as soon as I got on here.

If this was a restaurant, I'd double my tip :)

Thanks a lot, seriously. It means a lot.

the ghost of ayn rand said...

The following is a comprehensive survey of philosophy, its history, and its application, written by the single greatest mind in human history. Why bother reading those other so-called philosophy books with their mystical rubbish when you could be reading the genuine article?

1. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
2. The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand
3. Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, by Ayn Rand
4. For the New Intellectual, by Ayn Rand
5. Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, by Ayn Rand
6. Philosophy: Who Needs It, by Ayn Rand
7. Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, by Ayn Rand
8. The Romantic Manifesto, by Ayn Rand
9. The Virtue of Selfishness, by Ayn Rand
10. The Voice of Reason, by Ayn Rand

Neil Parille said...

Ghost of Ayn Rand,

You didn't include The Ominous Parallels and Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff.

Does that mean that you have repudiated his claim to be your "intellectual heir" now that you've "broken on through to the other side"?

Dragonfly said...

Just one book: Bernard d'Espagnat, On Physics and Philosophy, Princeton University Press, 2006.

Damien said...

greg,

Do happen to know of any good encyclopedia that specialize in philosophy? There are encyclopedias of history, science and even very specialized ones dedicated to things like dinosaurs. Is there a good encyclopedia of philosophy out there?

Jason Sieckmann said...

could someone offer me a good objective (not Objectivist) website covering the implications of NAFTA, CAFTA, other FTAs?

I'd like to expand my brain on the subject; and wiki isn't going to do it.

Neil Parille said...

Damien,

The Stanford on-line encyclopedia of philosophy is good.

-NEIL

Henry Scuoteguazza said...

Off the top of my head here are nine of my favorites.

1. Moral Tradition and Individuality, John Kekes
2. Moral Wisdom and Good LIves, Kekes
3. The Morality of Pluralism, Kekes
4. The Art of Politics, Kekes
5. The Art of Life, Kekes
6. Enjoyment: The Moral Significance of Styles of Life, Kekes (See a pattern?)
7. The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt
8. Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution, Ken Wilber
9. The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion, Wilber

I know these are all contemporary authors. I feel Kekes is under-recognized.

Damien said...

Neil Parille,

Thank you. I'll check it out.

gregnyquist said...

Damien,

I agree with Neil that the Stanford philosophy website is a great resource—better than any of the book-version encylopedias available. But I also would recommend Anthony Flews Dictionary of Philosophy, an extraordinary work of erudition, written entirely by Flew himself, and the Oxford Companion to Philosophy, with entries by multiple scholars.

Damien said...

Why thank you, Greg

HerbSewell said...

In conjunction with the ghost of Ayn Rand, let me give you a list of books you would do well to stay away from.

1. Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant.
2. Critique of Practical Reason by Immanuel Kant.
3. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals by Immanuel Kant.
4. Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime by Immanuel Kant
5. Critique of Practical Reason by Immanuel Kant
6. Religion within the Bounds of Reason Alone by Immanuel Kant
7. Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals Immanuel Kant
8. Inaugural Dissertation by Immanuel Kant
9. Introduction to the Metaphysics of Morals by Immanuel Kant
10. Universal Natural History And Theory On The Heavens by Immanuel Kant

Daniel Barnes said...

Er, how many of these books have you actually read, HerbSewell?

Damien said...

HerbSewell,
The Ghost Of Ayn Rand,

Actually here's something that make you look at Kant in a new light. Kantian_Ethic_of_Capitalism

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

Er, how many of these books have you actually read, HerbSewell? - Daniel
___________________________________





Actually, how many books one "read" doesn't necessarily mean one really understands and digested the book.

or

for that matter, "knowledge" gleaned from a book doesn't necessarily mean it's useful for the purpose intended.





"Paper will tolerate anything written on it." - Stalin

Daniel Barnes said...

Red:
>Actually, how many books one "read" doesn't necessarily mean one really understands and digested the book.

Now you're really lowering the odds there Red...;-)

Red Grant said...

Actually, I find it a lot more rewarding intellectually and far more efficient use of my time by dissecting a book by using the trick Stalin himself used.


Every time you come to question validity of the author's opinion, underline that particular lines or paragraphs, and write down a question about the objective validity of the author's views.

or better yet, when you know author doesn't know what he/she's talking about based on your own concrete experience, be ruthless in editing.

Do not hesitate to be sarcastic or sardonic, call him, being "Dumb Fcuk", "intellectually masturbating" or her being "Stupid Cow", or "taking the meatloaf out from the oven too soon"

It helps you cut the "fat" out, and emphasize on retaining the "meat" of the book.

When the author actually adds more comprehensive views of an event, then praise him/her.

After "editing" the book this way, go gover again, paying special attention to those parts you've "edited".

Damien said...

Red Grant,

you said,
---------------------------------------------------
or better yet, when you know author doesn't know what he/she's talking about based on your own concrete experience, be ruthless in editing.
---------------------------------------------------

But might your own experiences different than other people's, and might their experiences be different from yours? No people have the exact same experience while serving in the army or going camping for example.

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

Red Grant,

you said,
---------------------------------------------------
or better yet, when you know author doesn't know what he/she's talking about based on your own concrete experience, be ruthless in editing.
---------------------------------------------------

But might your own experiences different than other people's, and might their experiences be different from yours? No people have the exact same experience while serving in the army or going camping for example.
___________________________________




If someone tries to develop a "theory" using an event as the primary data that you yourself have personally experienced and known not to be the case as the author describes and/or explains as is in a way that is vitally relevant to his/her "theory", then

do you not have the legit authority to dismiss the author's "theory" based on the event the author thinks or pretend happend or pretend to be the case, but you yourself conceretly/personally know not to be the case?

Damien said...

Red Grant,

you said,
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If someone tries to develop a "theory" using an event as the primary data that you yourself have personally experienced and known not to be the case as the author describes and/or explains as is in a way that is vitally relevant to his/her "theory", then

do you not have the legit authority to dismiss the author's "theory" based on the event the author thinks or pretend happend or pretend to be the case, but you yourself conceretly/personally know not to be the case?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now that you have clarified what you meant, I see that I actually agree with you here. What you were saying just wasn't that clear to me before.

HerbSewell said...

to Daniel Barnes

I tried to read the Critique of Pure Reason, but decided that I would enjoy implanting corkscrews into my brain more. After I realized I didn't want to do either, I just gave up. This was mostly just a parody of Ayn Rand's fundamental conviction that Immanuel Kant was the most evil man in history, (something that was for the most part justified.)

To Damien

Notice how I didn't include any of Kant's political philosophy. Also, there's no way I'm going to read an article that long to vindicate someone as evil, (or at the least trite), as Kant. I try my best to conceptually give minuscule value-judgments to those that are negative in nature. I also try not to deal with negatives entirely, something the collaborators of this website should probably consider.

Damien said...

HerbSewell.

I don't deal with negatives entirely either, but what makes you see Kant as so evil, if you have only read part of one of is books? I know both Rand and Piekoff hated Kant and saw him as an evil man, but both their arguments for saying he was, are absurd.

HerbSewell said...

Metaphysics: Mysticism
Epistemology: Relativism
Ethics: Duty
Esthetics: Subjectivism

Of course I can't summarize Kant's philosophy entirely by this, and I'll have to study Kant's Epistemology and Esthetics more, but I am absolute convinced that Kant's metaphysics and ethics are the most evil ever contrived, and I have read enough of both to conclude so.

Damien said...

HerbSewell,

really, you think his ethics were more evil than Hitler's or Pol pots? Do you think his way of thinking caused those evil people to be the way they were? Even if as Piekoff claims in his book "Ominous Parallels" that the Nazis used Kant's ideas to justify the Holocaust, that does not prove that him or his ideas caused the Holocaust, as Piekoff claims. For one thing, did he ever specifically call for mass murdering anyone? Also could his ideas be so vague that two different people could easily interpret them in logically contradictory ways, as Nyquist has stated in Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature?

HerbSewell said...

Yes, I do think his ethics was more evil. While Hitler found his ethics mystically and Saloth Sar created his pragmatically, Kant created his systematically. The latter two found theirs in complete irrationality and stupidity, creating systems that no man with an ability to think would ever accept. Kant methodically attempted to prove his mysticism and the accompanying altruist mentality. He did it by using reason against itself, claiming that if one wants to fully live life they have to sacrifice it to a mystical purpose and to arbitrary duty. He had a conscious goal to undercut man's ability to think and his ability to achieve his own happiness. Maybe Kant was simply brought up in the Platonic and Christian tradition of mysticism and altruism, but no man has made such breakthroughs in philosophy to vindicate the primitive and altruistic notions that have been held for millenniums.

"If you doubt it, I suggest that you look up the references given and read the original works. Do not seek to escape the subject by thinking: "Oh, Kant didn't mean it!" He did." - Ayn Rand

HerbSewell said...

"For one thing, did he ever specifically call for mass murdering anyone?"

Of course not, but that's not the point. Marx probably never killed a man in his life, but I find him infinitely more evil than any of the zombie soldiers created any of the Communist regimes throughout the last century who have collectively slaughtered millions. From Kant to Hegel, from Hegel to Marx, from Marx to Lenin, and from Lenin to Stallin. No, I'm not attempting to disprove a premise by its corollaries, and I don't know enough about history to say for sure that Kant should be considered responsible for the millions of deaths by dozens of regimes, but I am saying that Kant is one of the greatest wielders of the most potent weapon that has ever been used against mankind since its intellectual conception: philosophy.

Damien said...

HerbSewell,

I have heard and read some of the quotes used by Objectivists to justify their incredibly negative view of Kant. Regardless of weather or not he meant any of them, it would not convince me that he was an evil man. In fact many of the things Rand and her followers claim he said, would do more to make his philosophy unappealing to the masses than it would to encourage people to do evil. Beyond that if he was so evil and truly the arch nemesis of everything Objecitiivism stands for, why was he a classical liberal and a supporter of the free market? Not everyone in his time was.

If you want to learn about an evil man, who has successfully influenced and encouraged people to do evil, here's someone you might be interested in. As Politically Incorrect as it maybe to say this, Mohammad encouraged his followers to kill anyone who disagreed with Islam, the religion he invented. Many of his ideas most certainly were evil, and are still used to justify and perpetuate evil even today.

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

I am aware of the fact that Kant was more inclined towards liberalism, and in that respect closer to Objectivism than the other branches, but it was his breakthroughs that makes him dialectically opposed to Objectivism. Much like how the Platonism that plagued Aristotle is almost irrelevant in comparison to the gifts he brought to mankind, Kant's liberal political ideas are so minuscule in comparison to his entire philosophy it does little to negate the identity of the horrors he unleashed.
Again, as to Muhammad: I don't necessarily blame him for all the deaths at the hands of Muslims. Muhammad was still a mystic, and could only appease to a primitive society of people, uniting them collectively for their own intellectual destruction and the physical destruction of others. He simply gave the barbarians a sword to throw themselves on, in which they were always in the mindset to give sanction to such irrationality. Kant deserves a special place in history as appearing in the middle of the Enlightenment, a time when man had taken the first steps out of being awakened from the dregs of the Dark Ages in the Renaissance and starting his ascendancy to putting intellectualism into practice. Kant, in his genius, was able to create a system which would fatally staunch human progression intellectually, yet using his intellect to do it in the process. It was this conscious devotion to his mystical metaphysics, irrational epistemology, evil ethics, and groundwork for the post-modern Esthetics that makes him, in my evaluation, the man most crippling to human development in history, mostly independent from the minds of the time which should have been floundering.

As a side note, if I could formulate an educated hypothesis forming a direct connection between Kant's philosophy and the rise of communism, that would make him indirectly responsible for the deaths of over 100,000,000 innocent people and counting.

Damien said...

HerbSewell,

You said,
-------------------------------------------------------
I am aware of the fact that Kant was more inclined towards liberalism, and in that respect closer to Objectivism than the other branches, but it was his breakthroughs that makes him dialectically opposed to Objectivism. Much like how the Platonism that plagued Aristotle is almost irrelevant in comparison to the gifts he brought to mankind, Kant's liberal political ideas are so minuscule in comparison to his entire philosophy it does little to negate the identity of the horrors he unleashed.
----------------------------------------------

Really, how would you go about proving that he caused all the evil that you blame on him, other than a few bad people quoting some of his vague ideas, or using justifications similar to his vague ideas?

You said,
----------------------------------------------
Again, as to Muhammad: I don't necessarily blame him for all the deaths at the hands of Muslims. Muhammad was still a mystic, and could only appease to a primitive society of people, uniting them collectively for their own intellectual destruction and the physical destruction of others. He simply gave the barbarians a sword to throw themselves on, in which they were always in the mindset to give sanction to such irrationality.
----------------------------------------------

That's ridiculous on so many levels. Unlike Kant, Mohammad, specifically told his followers to maim and murder people for disagreeing with him or force them into accepting his belief system or live under submission to it. Also to say that this was because Mohammad was a mystic is absurd. Jesus was a mystic and yet when he was alive he didn't tell his followers, (the first Christians) to use violence to force everyone into accepting his teachings while he was alive. Not all mystics are violent intolerant fanatics, some are freedom fighters, rather than authoritarians. What about mystics who are political libertarians? More plausible explications for Mohammad's fanaticism and violence, are a desire for absolute power, or even mental illness.

You said,
----------------------------------------------
Kant deserves a special place in history as appearing in the middle of the Enlightenment, a time when man had taken the first steps out of being awakened from the dregs of the Dark Ages in the Renaissance and starting his ascendancy to putting intellectualism into practice.
----------------------------------------------

Correlation does not necessarily equal causation. The Skeptics Guide to the Universe does a good job of explaining_this common logical fallacy.

You said,
----------------------------------------------
Kant, in his genius, was able to create a system which would fatally staunch human progression intellectually, yet using his intellect to do it in the process. It was this conscious devotion to his mystical metaphysics, irrational epistemology, evil ethics, and groundwork for the post-modern Esthetics that makes him, in my evaluation, the man most crippling to human development in history, mostly independent from the minds of the time which should have been floundering.
----------------------------------------------
You really think that he caused all that? Again, where is your evidence? You really think intended things to happen like what you call the "crippling human development?" again, where's the evidence?

you said,
--------------------------------------------
As a side note, if I could formulate an educated hypothesis forming a direct connection between Kant's philosophy and the rise of communism, that would make him indirectly responsible for the deaths of over 100,000,000 innocent people and counting.
--------------------------------------------
So what? can you show how Kantian philosophy lead directly to Communism? If you can't, why should I consider Kant evil and even if you could, what if it was not his intention at all?

Besides I had similar discussion about Kant with someone else on this blog before. I'm just having a lot of trouble finding the post that I commented on and got into a heated debated over Kant on.

HerbSewell said...

"Really, how would you go about proving that he caused all the evil that you blame on him, other than a few bad people quoting some of his vague ideas, or using justifications similar to his vague ideas?"

I would show that the ideas that inspired those evils can be traced back to Kant in some way.

"That's ridiculous on so many levels. Unlike Kant, Mohammad, specifically told his followers to maim and murder people for disagreeing with him or force them into accepting his belief system or live under submission to it. Also to say that this was because Mohammad was a mystic is absurd. Jesus was a mystic and yet when he was alive he didn't tell his followers, (the first Christians) to use violence to force everyone into accepting his teachings while he was alive. Not all mystics are violent intolerant fanatics, some are freedom fighters, rather than authoritarians. What about mystics who are political libertarians? More plausible explications for Mohammad's fanaticism and violence, are a desire for absolute power, or even mental illness."

You're missing the point. The difference here was that the people Mohammad was speaking to were primitive brutes who would believe something as completely irrational as Islam. Kant spoke to an audience of those of the Enlightenment.

"Mohammad, specifically told his followers to maim and murder people for disagreeing with him or force them into accepting his belief system or live under submission to it. Also to say that this was because Mohammad was a mystic is absurd."

That's why I didn't say that at all. What I said was that he convinced his audience to accept his irrational notions by being a mystic. I'm not necessarily saying that appealing to that primitive aspect of man's conceptualization automatically means you're going to speak of genocide and intolerance.

"Correlation does not necessarily equal causation. The Skeptics Guide to the Universe does a good job of explaining_this common logical fallacy."

I'm not trying to establish any causation and if you thought I was then disregard it.

"You really think that he caused all that? Again, where is your evidence? You really think intended things to happen like what you call the "crippling human development?" again, where's the evidence?"

Again, I don't have the evidence with me, aside from a critique of Kant's philosophy. I could research every single philosopher influenced by Kant and see if any of his irrationality seeped into their philosophies and look at what events can be somehow traced to those philosophies and see if part of those philosophies led to the abominations were the parts taken directly from Kant. If you want me to, I could illustrate the connection from Kant to Hegel to Marx to Lenin to Stalin. I also never said he intended for the abominations that he has his hand in. I simply meant that they are a result of the core principles of his philosophy which he tried to vindicate though his works.

"So what? can you show how Kantian philosophy lead directly to Communism? If you can't, why should I consider Kant evil and even if you could, what if it was not his intention at all?"

Just because he did not intend the abominations does not mean he is not responsible. My stance was that he intended the indoctrination of the philosophy which would allow for such abominations to occur.

Damien said...

HerbSewell,

You said,
-------------------------------------------------------------------
I would show that the ideas that inspired those evils can be traced back to Kant in some way.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Really, how would you show that the ideas that inspired those evils can be traced back to Kant in some way? Again, what if his ideas were so vague that they could be interpreted in logically contradictory ways, by two different people without either of those people running into a contradiction themselves?

I said,
-------------------------------------------------------------------
"Correlation does not necessarily equal causation. The Skeptics Guide to the Universe does a good job of explaining_this common logical fallacy."
-------------------------------------------------------------------
In response to what I wrote, you said,
-------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm not trying to establish any causation and if you thought I was then disregard it.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Really you seemed to have been trying to establish one.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Kant deserves a special place in history as appearing in the middle of the Enlightenment, a time when man had taken the first steps out of being awakened from the dregs of the Dark Ages in the Renaissance and starting his ascendancy to putting intellectualism into practice.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
That sounds like you are trying to establish a correlation to me.

you said,
-------------------------------------------------------------------
That's why I didn't say that at all. What I said was that he convinced his audience to accept his irrational notions by being a mystic. I'm not necessarily saying that appealing to that primitive aspect of man's conceptualization automatically means you're going to speak of genocide and intolerance.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
but then why did you say this,
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Muhammad was still a mystic, and could only appease to a primitive society of people, uniting them collectively for their own intellectual destruction and the physical destruction of others. He simply gave the barbarians a sword to throw themselves on, in which they were always in the mindset to give sanction to such irrationality.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
You sound like you are saying that his mysticism caused his irrationality and caused their irrationality. What if they followed Mohamed out of desperation for example? Like all human beings, the early Muslims had to have a motive. Mysticism in and of itself is not a motive.

You said,
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Again, I don't have the evidence with me, aside from a critique of Kant's philosophy. I could research every single philosopher influenced by Kant and see if any of his irrationality seeped into their philosophies and look at what events can be somehow traced to those philosophies and see if part of those philosophies led to the abominations were the parts taken directly from Kant. If you want me to, I could illustrate the connection from Kant to Hegel to Marx to Lenin to Stalin. I also never said he intended for the abominations that he has his hand in. I simply meant that they are a result of the core principles of his philosophy which he tried to vindicate though his works.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

The fact that people, used someone's ideas to justify their actions, does not prove that those ideas caused those actions. What if I just used his ideas to support or justify something I would have wanted to do anyway? What if they just used Kant's ideas to justify what they already wanted anyway?

If I used an altruist philosophy, that said, all must do whatever is best for mankind regardless of consequence to oneself, to justify a brutal totalitarian dictatorship, that would not prove that, that idea caused me to support a brutal totalitarian dictatorship. If I used the same basic altruist philosophy, that said, all must do what ever is best for mankind, regardless of consequence to oneself, to support free market capitalism, would that mean that the same philosophy caused me to support free market capitalism? In fact I could do that, I could argue that humanity would be better off under a free market libertarian society, and therefore it was best for mankind, with using any egotist arguments at all. I could just as easily argue for creating a libertarian society based on an altruist philosophy as I could use it to argue for a totalitarian dictatorship. What about Kantian philosophers who oppose communism, collectivism, antisemitism and mass murder? What about those admires of Kant who have openly opposed such things?

you said,
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Just because he did not intend the abominations does not mean he is not responsible. My stance was that he intended the indoctrination of the philosophy which would allow for such abominations to occur.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Evil would exist with or without Kant. Still you fail to make any convincing argument that the evil of the twentieth century could not have occurred without Kant. If those same evil people that you claim used Kant's ideas, never read Kant, or Kant had never been born, who are you to say they wouldn't have used some other philosopher to justify their evil actions? Again unlike, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, or long before them, Mohammad, or even before him, the first emperor of China, where does Kant himself specifically tell people to murder other people who do things he doesn't like? Beyond that he still supported classical liberalism and a free market, despite the fact that some people may have used some of his ideas to support the opposite.

Damien said...

HerbSewell,

Also, what evil or immoral things does Kant specifically tell people to do? Does he tell them to rape? Does he tell them to steal? Does he tell people not to work for a living? You could easily use his categorical_imperative to condemn those things.

Wells said...

Recommended Philosophy Books. Found in no particular order, as per the tradition of this thread. These are books that I have actually read. I will warrant that they are good.

(1) The Prince; by Niccolo Machiavelli
(2) The Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livy; by Niccolo Machiavelli.
(3) Leviathan, or the Matter Form and Power of a State; Ecclesiastical and Civil, by Thomas Hobbes.
(4) De Monarchia; by Dante Alighieri.
(5) Anarchy, the State, and Utopia; by Robert Nozick
(6) The Communist Manifesto; by Karl Marx.
(7) On War; by Carl Von Clausewitz.
(8) The Art of War; by Sun Tzu.
(9) The Politics; By Aristotle
(10) The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers; by Paul Kennedy

Damien said...

Wells,

You know what? I've seen a bunch of books, based on "The Art of War; by Sun Tzu." Stuff like, "The Art of War and The War on Terror," and "The Art of War and Parenting," and " The Art of War and running a Cooperation." Stuff like that.

But I wouldn't recommend the "communist manifesto," unless you're just interested in learning about the origins and thought process behind one of the greatest failed ideologies of the 20th and 21st centuries. Communism in practice has always led to totalitarianism and mass suffering.

meg said...

I'm not so into philosophy books, and I'm kind of late to the party but here are some books I like. Some of them do have philosophical messages, so maybe they count.

1. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
2. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
3. Flatland by A Square - Edwin Abbott
4. Sewer, Gas and Electric - Matt Ruff
5. Enduring Love - Ian McEwen
6. A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
7. The Cyberiad - Stanislaw Lem
8. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
9. The Tempest - William Shakespeare
10. Faust - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (especially the "Dedication" in the Penguin books translation by Philip Wayne)

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

I'll have to study Kant's Epistemology and Esthetics more, but I am absolute convinced that Kant's metaphysics and ethics are the

most evil

ever contrived... - Herb
___________________________________





Are you being objective?




___________________________________

Ayn Rand's fundamental conviction that Immanuel Kant was the most

evil

man in history, (something that was for the most part justified.) - Herb
___________________________________






Was Ayn Rand being objective?





___________________________________

If you want to learn about an

evil

man, who has successfully influenced and encouraged people to do

evil,

here's someone you might be interested in. As Politically Incorrect as it maybe to say this, Mohammad encouraged his followers to kill anyone who disagreed with Islam, the religion he invented. Many of his ideas most certainly were

evil

, and are still used to justify and perpetuate

evil

even today. - Damien
___________________________________






Who decides what is good and

evil?

and what is evil?




___________________________________

What if they followed Mohamed out of desperation for example? Like all human beings, the early Muslims had to have a motive. - Damien
___________________________________







Could you have asked, "What if the Biblical Jews from Ancient Egypt followed Moses out of desperation for example? Like all human beings, the Biblical Jews from Ancient Egypt had to have a motive?"?


before the conquest and mass murder described in Old Testment?




___________________________________

If you want to learn about an

evil

man, who has successfully influenced and encouraged people to do

evil,

here's someone you might be interested in. As Politically Incorrect as it maybe to say this, Mohammad encouraged his followers to kill anyone who disagreed with Islam, the religion he invented. Many of his ideas most certainly were

evil

, and are still used to justify and perpetuate

evil

even today. - Damien
___________________________________






Again, who decides what is good and evil?

and what are they?










___________________________________

If you want to learn about an evil man, who has successfully influenced and encouraged people to do evil, here's someone you might be interested in. As Politically Incorrect as it maybe to say this, Mohammad encouraged his followers to kill anyone who disagreed with Islam, the religion he invented. Many of his ideas most certainly were evil, and are still used to justify and perpetuate evil even today. - Damien
-----------------------------------
The fact that people, used someone's ideas to justify their actions, does not prove that those ideas caused those actions. What if I just used his ideas to support or justify something I would have wanted to do anyway? What if they just used Kant's ideas to justify what they already wanted anyway? - Damien
___________________________________











___________________________________

Evil

would exist with or without Kant. Still you fail to make any convincing argument that the

evil

of the twentieth century could not have occurred without Kant. If those same

evil

people that you claim used Kant's ideas, never read Kant, or Kant had never been born, who are you to say they wouldn't have used some other philosopher to justify their

evil

actions? - Damien
___________________________________




What is evil?



and who decides what is evil?








___________________________________

1) The Prince; by Niccolo Machiavelli
(2) The Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livy; by Niccolo Machiavelli. - Wells
___________________________________





I've read them in my high school days.

There were a few misunderstanding by Machiavelli that I've found.

Unfortunately, I've forgotten what they were.





___________________________________

You know what? I've seen a bunch of books, based on "The Art of War; by Sun Tzu." Stuff like, "The Art of War and The War on Terror," and "The Art of War and Parenting," and " The Art of War and running a Cooperation." Stuff like that. - Damien
___________________________________





Some version are updated.

One of the more famous early version with foreward by Griffens? is quite misleading.


To get the maximum value out of the book, one needs vivid imagination, an aptitutde to either 3 or even 4 dimensional thinking.




___________________________________

But I wouldn't recommend the "communist manifesto," unless you're just interested in learning about the origins and thought process behind one of the greatest failed ideologies of the 20th and 21st centuries. Communism in practice has always led to totalitarianism and mass suffering. - Damien
___________________________________







Would we be living in a world like today without the rise and the fall of communism?


Do most people have to actually own the dwellings they live in to be economically productive in modern capitalist economy?


Would the Blacks today have achieved the civil rights without the Cold war?


Would the most of former colonies have achieved independence without WW2 and the Cold war?

HerbSewell said...

"Really, how would you show that the ideas that inspired those evils can be traced back to Kant in some way? Again, what if his ideas were so vague that they could be interpreted in logically contradictory ways, by two different people without either of those people running into a contradiction themselves?"

Again, I don't believe Kant was mincing words when he created his philosophy. Firstly, the only non-contradictory philosophy that I know is Objectivism, and there is clearly a seeming dialectical differentiation between Objectivism and Kantism. Using Kant's metaphysics, I don't think one can consistently come to the moral conclusion that reality is knowable and cannot contradict itself. Using Kant's epistemology, I don't believe one can consistently come to the moral conclusion that man is conscious and is able to use the faculty of his own mind to discover truths of the world. Using Kant's ethics, I don't believe one can consistently come to the moral conclusion that the purpose of one's life if the achievement of one's own happiness, something which can only be achieved if one places their life as the standard of value. Using Kant's esthetics, I don't believe one can consistently come to the moral conclusion that art is a manifestation of our metaphysical value-judgments, created to bring the abstract from the conceptual level down to the perceptual level.

"That sounds like you are trying to establish a correlation to me."

In all honesty, I was just trying to point out how crucial it was that the Enlightenment manifest itself devoid of any of the crippling mysticism, irrationality, and evil that was Kant's philosophy, and it was Kant's arrival at this time that gave him such an audience which he would be able to infect his philosophy of death, (while this may be a bit melodramatic, I really can't forgive any man who would put so much effort intellectually to stifle men intellectually.)

"You sound like you are saying that his mysticism caused his irrationality and caused their irrationality. What if they followed Mohamed out of desperation for example? Like all human beings, the early Muslims had to have a motive. Mysticism in and of itself is not a motive."

I know it's not a motive in itself. Irrationality caused men to doubt their own reason and look towards the supernatural for truth, but it was mysticism which reinforced more irrationality. The irrationality was caused by man's primitive state, with him having a sense of life that all of nature was against him, impeding his conscious ability to think. While the West, for the most part grew out of the barbarism that was dogmatism, the East stayed the same, trapped in a state of mysticism that held humanity like a ball on a chain, the more mystical the culture the more repressed it was and primitive. Mysticism was simply man's way of finding truth before he was able to grasp that existence is primary and one can only live by that which one is conscious of. Muhammad simply capitalized on this barbarism, (as all mystics have done), and created a religion consisting of genocide and discrimination.

"The fact that people, used someone's ideas to justify their actions, does not prove that those ideas caused those actions. What if I just used his ideas to support or justify something I would have wanted to do anyway? What if they just used Kant's ideas to justify what they already wanted anyway?"

Even if Kant was able to create a system of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics that could be used to even remotely justify the crazed ideologies of Marx and Hitler, I would still consider him evil. As I said before, it was his breakthroughs made in the desire that the fundamentals of his philosophy were to be intellectually accepted that establishes to me his identity as being the most evil man in history.

For your other questions, I will state my case as simply as possible. No, Kant did not tell people to commit the actions that made the abominations abominations. No, Kant did not author the philosophies that were directly practiced by the perpetrators of the horrors of the last several centuries. When you look at Kant's philosophy as a whole, it really isn't that much different from commonly held notions since the birth of mankind. There exists a mystical realm that is far greater and significant than the physical realm. Man's mind is completely impotent, in which reality as we see it is distorted, and the true reality is unknowable. The pinnacle of a man's life is his service to others, and anything done for his own self-interest is evil and will be punished by a God. This is what essentially makes up his philosophy. While there have been explicitly worse philosophies in history, all of them are in some way an offshoot of the core that made of Kant's, a core that was just taken from the immolating notions passed down by humans for millenniums. As I said before, it was Kant's systematic justifications of his core truths that gives him his status as a disease to intellectualism.
"The man who . . . closed the door of philosophy to reason, was Immanuel Kant . . . ."- Ayn Rand
Again, while there are philosophies that are explicitly more deadly than Kant's, it was Kant's framework that made them all intellectually possible. If men could accept Kant then they could accept any mystical revelation, intellectual cop-out and altruistic code. No man in history has put so much effort into working towards the bane of his own species. No man has ever accomplished so much intellectually to destroy man's capacity to think, undercutting the very faculty which would allow man to rise up from the dregs of forced confusion and arbitrary duty. The vastness of Kant's influence on Western thought is immeasurable. Men have tried to enslave other men through metaphysics of the imagination, epistemologies of the inherent ineptness, and the moralities of duty, falling again and again as man's faculty of reason breaks through and conquers. Kant fixed that problem by using reason to destroy reason itself, and looking at history, I believe he did a very fine job.

HerbSewell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wells said...

Oh A critique of my list. I shall respond to your comments.

Damien;

I would recommend the Communist Manifesto for several reasons. Marx, in my opinion outlined the Problem of the 19th century in Europe. The way that the lower class (The Proletariat) was being oppressed. The Description of the past seemed good enough to me; however, his description of the future, as well as his Solution was way off.
Marx actually wrote another book called The Critique of the Gotha Program.
The Gotha Program was a party program that was taken by the socialist parties of 19th Century Europe. Marx critiques it for not being radical enough. Ironically it actually had much more effect on how Modern Europe, and the world, is governed; and it was a better program than Karl Marx's was.
(I'll also recommend The Critique of the Gotha Program, you can swap out The Communist Manifesto if you wish (But this is the book where he elaborates on the need for a Revolutionary Dictatorship of the Proletariat(We know how that turned out)))

I cannot recommend On the Jewish Question; by Karl Marx. He missed the point by a country mile in that book. If I had actually read it, I might be able to recommend The Jewish Question; by Bruno Bauer.

HerbSewell said...

Both Ayn Rand and I recognized the law of identity, so yes, we are objective.

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

I'll have to study Kant's Epistemology and Esthetics more, but I am absolute convinced that Kant's metaphysics and ethics are the

most evil

ever contrived... - Herb
-----------------------------------

Are you being objective? - Red Grant
-----------------------------------

Ayn Rand's fundamental conviction that Immanuel Kant was the most

evil

man in history, (something that was for the most part justified.) - Herb
-----------------------------------

Was Ayn Rand being objective? - Red Grant
-----------------------------------



Both Ayn Rand and I recognized the law of identity, so yes, we are objective. - Herb

12/05/2008 04:42:00 PM
___________________________________









___________________________________

Objective is anything that can be proven to be true or false, meaning it's validity is dependent on reality,

as opposed to subjective that is based on

one views of reality

, or statements about reality that is based on faith. - Herbswell
-----------------------------------

"Does this mean then you believe that "morality" is relative to each individual?" - Red Grant
-----------------------------------

Of course it's relative. - Herbswell
___________________________________






___________________________________

I'll have to study Kant's Epistemology and Esthetics more, but I am absolute convinced that Kant's metaphysics and ethics are the

most evil

ever contrived... - Herb
-----------------------------------

Are you being objective? - Red Grant
-----------------------------------

Ayn Rand's fundamental conviction that Immanuel Kant was the most

evil

man in history, (something that was for the most part justified.) - Herb
-----------------------------------

Was Ayn Rand being objective? - Red Grant
-----------------------------------



Both Ayn Rand and I recognized the law of identity, so yes, we are objective. - Herb
___________________________________

HerbSewell said...

Would you please, for sake of functional conversation, make your point? I don't seem to be understanding what you're trying to say by quoting me.

Wells said...

Red Giant critiques my inclusion of two of Machiavelli's books.

The Discourses felt to me to be an updated version of the Politics by Aristotle (From 300BC to around 1500AD, I feel that some of you are not impressed, but it's still an update).
A person should read the Prince the way Machiavelli wrote it, As a civil servant seeking a job, and as someone who wants to see his country come out on top, for once. I think his mistakes were that he underestimates the difficulty of being feared and not hated, particularly for dealing with 21st Century people. There also might not be as great of a relation between the centralization of a state, and how easy it is to administer after conquering it as Machiavelli believed.

His instinct on Mercenaries is basically correct. There are modern books on the subject. Like Spies for Hire, The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing; by Tim Shorrock and The Spy who Billed Me; which is a website by Raelynn Hillhouse. For the sake of balance I can also direct you to Our Good Name: A Company's Fight to Defend Its Honor and Get the Truth Told About Abu Ghraib; by J. Phillip London (A CEO of CACI International, who had a contract to provide interrogators to Abu Ghraib Prison). (Full Disclosure, I work for a Washington DC area based Defense Contractor)

Damien said...

HerbSewell,

you said,
-----------------------------------------
Again, I don't believe Kant was mincing words when he created his philosophy. Firstly, the only non-contradictory philosophy that I know is Objectivism, and there is clearly a seeming dialectical differentiation between Objectivism and Kantism. Using Kant's metaphysics, I don't think one can consistently come to the moral conclusion that reality is knowable and cannot contradict itself. Using Kant's epistemology, I don't believe one can consistently come to the moral conclusion that man is conscious and is able to use the faculty of his own mind to discover truths of the world. Using Kant's ethics, I don't believe one can consistently come to the moral conclusion that the purpose of one's life if the achievement of one's own happiness, something which can only be achieved if one places their life as the standard of value. Using Kant's esthetics, I don't believe one can consistently come to the moral conclusion that art is a manifestation of our metaphysical value-judgments, created to bring the abstract from the conceptual level down to the perceptual level.
-----------------------------------------
I don't care if Kant was mincing words, that's irrelevant. Your just using standard objectivist arguments to show that Kant caused all the suffering and evil in the world today, non of which are convincing. Also Objectivism is not the a non contradictory belief system.

For one thing I pointed this out commenting on "Objectivism_&_History_Part_9"
-----------------------------------------
Another contradictory set of beliefs that at least some objectivists, including Rand herself possessed, was a love of individualism and a desire to perfect mankind.

One of the arguments I have heard monotheists use for there being only one God, is that there cannot be more than one perfect being, since any difference from the perfect being would make any other being imperfect. Thus Rand and Piekoff's desire to perfect mankind and their love of individualism are logically incomparable. Being imperfect is part of being human, and it is part of being an individual.

-----------------------------------------
Also I found the place where I got into an argument over Kant on this blog before. I got into an argument with a blogger who went by the name of Richard here.
I recommend that you read over all of My Comments and all of Richard's comments on that blog post. I see that you are not thinking critically about objectivism. You will see that I successfully pointed out several contradictions inherent in Rand's thought, dispelling the myth that Objectivism is a non contradictory philosophy.


You said,
-------------------------------------------------------
In all honesty, I was just trying to point out how crucial it was that the Enlightenment manifest itself devoid of any of the crippling mysticism, irrationality, and evil that was Kant's philosophy, and it was Kant's arrival at this time that gave him such an audience which he would be able to infect his philosophy of death, (while this may be a bit melodramatic, I really can't forgive any man who would put so much effort intellectually to stifle men intellectually.)
-------------------------------------------------------
Really? The enlightenment thinkers never really totally abandoned religion as a whole only some of them did. Again, you give me no convincing evidence that it was Kant's fault the enlightenment failed to create a perfectly rational society. What you call irrationality has existed thought all of home history. It existed before Kant and it continued to exist after Kant. Even if there was an increase in irrationality after the enlightenment, that would not prove Kant, was responsible.

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

Wells,

you said,
----------------------------------------------------
I would recommend the Communist Manifesto for several reasons. Marx, in my opinion outlined the Problem of the 19th century in Europe. The way that the lower class (The Proletariat) was being oppressed. The Description of the past seemed good enough to me; however, his description of the future, as well as his Solution was way off.
Marx actually wrote another book called The Critique of the Gotha Program.
The Gotha Program was a party program that was taken by the socialist parties of 19th Century Europe. Marx critiques it for not being radical enough. Ironically it actually had much more effect on how Modern Europe, and the world, is governed; and it was a better program than Karl Marx's was.
(I'll also recommend The Critique of the Gotha Program, you can swap out The Communist Manifesto if you wish (But this is the book where he elaborates on the need for a Revolutionary Dictatorship of the Proletariat(We know how that turned out)))

I cannot recommend On the Jewish Question; by Karl Marx. He missed the point by a country mile in that book. If I had actually read it, I might be able to recommend The Jewish Question; by Bruno Bauer.
----------------------------------------------------

You make a pretty good case for including it in your list. Despite communism's, ultimate failure, it's founder Karl Marx was important to history.

Damien said...

Red Grant,

You said,
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Would we be living in a world like today without the rise and the fall of communism?

Do most people have to actually own the dwellings they live in to be economically productive in modern capitalist economy?

Would the Blacks today have achieved the civil rights without the Cold war?

Would the most of former colonies have achieved independence without WW2 and the Cold war?
----------------------------------------------------------------------

You also make a good case for including the Communist Manifesto in a list of philosophical books to read. It is a historical document after all.

Damien said...

HerbSewell,

Just in case you don't have time to read the arguement, that I had with Richard, here is where (quoting Nyquist) I point out perhaps the greatest contradiction in all of Objectivism.
-------------------------------------
Richard,

You said,
-------------------------------------
"Finding one problem with a scientific theory does not necessarily disprove that theory. "

It does if it is fundamental. Consider, ex nihilo nihil fit If a theory violates that law, then it is necessarily invalid.

As for Kant, when he divided reality into the noumenal and the phenomenal, he placed real knowledge outside the reach of human understanding. In his metaphysics and epistemology the sensory information of this world —of mere phenomena— cannot be definitive. No matter what we think we know, we can never be sure whether things in the noumenal world —which we cannot perceive— negate that phenomenal knowledge.
----------------------------------------------
This is a philosophical, not a scientific claim, you are talking about here. They maybe utter nonsense, but Kant's concepts of the noumenal and the phenomenal world are not something people think about on daily basis.

You said,
-------------------------------------
This is fundamental, to every aspect of human thinking and existence. Kant's popularity has brought this cancerous skepticism into the halls of academia. Its acceptance and use are wordlessly considered to be a sign of lofty intellect, of academic detachment, and of 'higher' understanding.
--------------------------------------
And you are certain this cancerous skepticism wouldn't be there without him? How do you know that people still wouldn't consider it noble to care about some 'higher' understanding, or for that matter something 'higher' than themselves?

You said,
-------------------------------------------
So, yes, it most certainly does effect the sciences, the arts, and theology (the realm Kant sought to save from Reason). Popper was influenced by Kant, and accepts the same kind of skepticism. The extent of that influence is just one avenue by which Kant influences science.
--------------------------------------------
Again, so what?

You said,
--------------------------------------------
Kantian skepticism leads people to consider pharmacological discoveries as automatically carrying hidden caveats sufficient to deny the known benefits of the drug. The skepticism usually expressed with a fear-mongering "what if you're wrong", even in the face of overwhelming fact. It turns up in the courts; the O.J. trial stands out as a glaring example, but skepticism appears in the endless examination of trivia, even when all the facts needed are in . Now UNreasonable doubt is a legal argument. Popular belief is more important than fact, so the oxymoron 'scientific consensus' is accepted by ...scientists, as evidence of conclusive knowledge. So we have AGW, DDT banning, recycling of materials too abundant to be worth recycling, fear of 2,4-D regardless of countless studies showing its safety, an so on. If enough people start to believe in witches, then we can start drowning them again!
--------------------------------------------
You honestly believe that things like this wouldn't be happening if it weren't for Kant? People have believed in utter nonsense throughout all of human history. People have feared things for no good reason throughout human history. AS far as I can tell Kant is not responsible for the existence of any of this. It existed before his time, when he was alive and after his death. Even if it was decreasing before he came along and than all of a sudden was on the rise during his life time, that would not prove that he caused things like superstition, and irrational fear to increase. Correlation does not mean causation.

You said,
-----------------------------------------
These are not isolated instances, but a trend oozing from academia, philosophy departments, faculties of education and our schools and textbooks. Broad ideas influence culture.
-----------------------------------------
True to some degree, but what about those people who hold such views who don't like Kant? Rand was not the first anti Kantian philosopher and she won't be the last. Things today are largely the way the are, not because of one philosophy, but because of multiple things, chance events, people with contradictory goals and ideas. So to blame all of this on one man is absurd.

You said,
------------------------------------
Kant was Hegel's progenitor, who was Marx's progenitor, who's ideas led to millions of deaths and continue to enslave millions. Broad ideas DO drive history. Failure to understand them is what dooms men to repeat it. ARCHN attacks the first person to show a consistently accurate way of understanding the culture of ideas. It's writers use the Kantian approach to do so.
--------------------------------------------
Rand had a consistently accurate understanding of the culture of ideas? What does that mean? Culture is the sum of all learned behavior, so culture is ideas. But Rand didn't not have a consistently logical view of people or ideas.

I will now start quoting Greg Nyquist. On page 3 of Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature, he points out that when that when Alvin Toffler asked her "Do your regard philosophy as the primary purpose of your writing?" Rand told him "No. My primary purpose is the projection of an ideal man, of man 'as he might be and ought to be.' Philosophy is a necessary means to that end."

Now as Greg points out, this shows that she was just admitted that she was just trying to rationalize her own personal convictions.

On page 18 of ARCHN Greg points out that Rand and Peikoff abandoned reason once it could no longer serve objectivism. He quoted Peikoff as saying in regards to our first choice in life, "The choice to 'throw the switch' is thus the root choice, on which all others depend....By its nature, it is a first cause within consciousness, not an effect produced by antecedent factors. It is not a product of parents or teachers, anatomy or conditioning, heredity or environment....In short it is invalid to to ask: why did man choose to focus? There is no such 'why.'" Now Richard can you spot the logical fallacy in Peikoff and Rands thinking? It is something very similar to Kant's noumenal and the phenomenal idea.

I will repeat what you wrote.
----------------------------------------
As for Kant, when he divided reality into the noumenal and the phenomenal, he placed real knowledge outside the reach of human understanding. In his metaphysics and epistemology the sensory information of this world —of mere phenomena— cannot be definitive. No matter what we think we know, we can never be sure whether things in the noumenal world —which we cannot perceive— negate that phenomenal knowledge.
-------------------------------------------

Rand and Peikoff place the origin of our individual natures outside what is possible for us to know? Rand of course blamed Kant for things like this, but she and her followers are guilty of the same thing here. Rand hated Kant, but by here definition she was acting like a Kantian. So are we to believe that Kant is not responsible for all the internationalism in the modern world, or are we to believe that Rand was some how subconsciously influenced by his evil.

Again, take a look at Occam's razor and ask yourself what is more likely.

1 Rand was a hypocrite and embraced mysticism when it served her purposes, in spite of Kant.

2 Rand was subconsciously influence by Kant's noumenal and the phenomenal idea.

3 A robot from an alternate Kantian, Commie, Nazi, Islamist, universe, kidnapped the real Rand in order to see to it that we would be defense less when their leader the Dark one decided to conquer our world and turn our world into a collectivist slave Earth.

(Note: The third one of course is a Joke, and I don't expect you to choose it.)

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

Damien said...

HerbSewell,

by the way, I have to correct a mistake I made. What I meant to say when I was arguing with Richard was,
-------------------------------------------
Rand and Peikoff place the origin of our individual natures outside what is possible for us to know? Rand of course blamed Kant for things like this, but she and her followers are guilty of the same thing here. Rand hated Kant, but by here definition she was acting like a Kantian. So are we to believe that Kant is not responsible for all the irrationalism in the modern world, or are we to believe that Rand was some how subconsciously influenced by his evil.
-------------------------------------------

Sorry about that, I can't believe it took me this long to notice it.

Wells said...

I shall now also offer a critique of HerbSewell's list.

Basically HerbSewell, I do not think that you have read all the books on your original list, Or any of the books on your list. However I cannot prove that.

I can prove that you have not read Universal Natural History And Theory On The Heavens; by Immanuel Kant. You see, That book isn't actually a philosophical book at all. It's an Astrophysics book. He is describing the structure of the Sol Solar System, and Milky Way Galaxy using the orbital Mechanics observations of Jonnas Kepler and Christiaan Huygens, and the physics of Issac Newton.

This paragraph is where I would include the part about Objectivism being bluster buttressed by bluff, or bluff buttressed by abuse of its critics. But this thread has put me in a mood of higher criticism than that. You may nevertheless insert that stuff here if you wish.

Now to make it interesting, HerbSewell, you could publish a recommendation list. Or a dysrecommendation list if you perfer, preferably consisting of books that you have actually read. I could if you wish, publish a 'hypocrite's list' consisting of thick books that I've heard rumors about them being good, but have not actually read. If you wish.

Wells said...

The book Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens is here by the way, on the internet

HerbSewell said...

Let me just take second to, for once, actually argue one of your many misunderstandings of Rand, though I see that this one is rather half-baked.

"Being imperfect is part of being human, and it is part of being an individual."

I'm sorry, but that is simply not true. All Rand did was reject every standard of perfection that was outside of volition. In essence, she set out to make perfection morally achievable. You will in history see that every single standard of perfection that was not volitional was mystical in nature, based on stolen concepts, and disallowed human beings from living as men qua man. I will categorically reject anything that is mystical in nature, as it violates the law of identity, one of the axioms that must exist for there to be truth, the cornerstone of philosophy. Because perfection is an ethical issue, it deals squarely with morals. Its contradictory to say that we have discovered that man, by his nature, is subjected to forces that he cannot control that disallow him from becoming perfect. This would mean that there are impetuses that are not knowable introspectively. A conscious being can simply ignore them, thus ending any impossibility from becoming perfect. Again, this essentially means that these impetuses would, by definition, be unprovable, as to attempt to prove them you would have to perform an action of introspection that would invalidate them in the first place. Also, because perfection is a act of volition, for men not to be perfect, their volition would have to cease to exist. Volition, the ability to think conscientiously implies that human beings are conscious. If we doubt volition, we are doubting every aspect of awareness of reality. At that point, the anti-perfectionist contradicts itself. It says that it has evidence that men cannot control how they act, and are thus unconscious to begin with. This means that the theory itself is useless because the evidence can't be trusted because there is no evidence which its existence can be proven. In fact, nothing at the point can be proven because humans, according to the determinist ideology that anti-perfectionism is, are not conscious, (because if they were, they would be able to make volitional choices to act towards a standard of perfection that is not mystical.)

Essentially, your determinist philosophy that mankind can not be perfect contradicts itself by saying that consciousness is not conscious. This is a contradiction because the entire basis for the anti-perfectionist determinist view was that there is evidence that man could not be perfect, evidence that is only accessible through consciousness.

HerbSewell said...

Wells,

I already stated that list was a complete joke, a parody of the ghost of Ayn Rand.

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

I shall now also offer a critique of HerbSewell's list.

Basically HerbSewell, I do not think that you have read all the books on your original list, Or any of the books on your list. - Wells
___________________________________







Wells, please take a close look below:




___________________________________

I'll have to study Kant's Epistemology and Esthetics more, but I am absolute convinced that Kant's metaphysics and ethics are the

most evil

ever contrived... - Herb
-----------------------------------

Are you being objective? - Red Grant
-----------------------------------

Ayn Rand's fundamental conviction that Immanuel Kant was the most

evil

man in history, (something that was for the most part justified.) - Herb
-----------------------------------

Was Ayn Rand being objective? - Red Grant
-----------------------------------



Both Ayn Rand and I recognized the law of identity, so yes, we are objective. - Herb
___________________________________






___________________________________

Objective is anything that can be proven to be true or false, meaning it's validity is dependent on reality,

as opposed to subjective that is based on

one views of reality

, or statements about reality that is based on faith. - Herbswell
-----------------------------------

"Does this mean then you believe that "morality" is relative to each individual?" - Red Grant
-----------------------------------

Of course it's relative. - Herbswell
___________________________________






___________________________________

I'll have to study Kant's Epistemology and Esthetics more, but

I am absolute convinced


that Kant's metaphysics and ethics are the

most evil

ever contrived... - Herb
-----------------------------------

Are you being objective? - Red Grant
-----------------------------------


Ayn Rand's fundamental conviction

that Immanuel Kant was the most

evil

man in history, (something that was for the most part justified.) - Herb
-----------------------------------

Was Ayn Rand being objective? - Red Grant
-----------------------------------



Both Ayn Rand and I recognized the law of identity, so yes, we are objective. - Herb
___________________________________













___________________________________

If you want to learn about an evil man, who has successfully influenced and encouraged people to do evil, here's someone you might be interested in. As Politically Incorrect as it maybe to say this, Mohammad encouraged his followers to kill anyone who disagreed with Islam, the religion he invented. Many of his ideas most certainly were evil, and are still used to justify and perpetuate evil even today. - Damien
-----------------------------------
The fact that people, used someone's ideas to justify their actions, does not prove that those ideas caused those actions. What if I just used his ideas to support or justify something I would have wanted to do anyway? What if they just used Kant's ideas to justify what they already wanted anyway? - Damien
___________________________________

Damien said...

Red Grant,

Are you trying to show a contradiction between those two paragraphs that I wrote, the one about Kant and other about Mohammad? Mohammad is much different, because for one thing, he specifically told his followers to do things like kill those that don't accept their beliefs. Its not the same thing as just making some vague statement about the nature of reality. Mohammad also led his followers in battle, with the goal of forcing the unbelievers into submission by any means necessary.

Dragonfly said...

The idea that Kant is the "most evil man in history" is just too absurd for words. Creating tenuous links like: A was influenced by B who was influenced by ... who was influenced by Kant are just a silly game. By cherrypicking suitable quotes you can "prove" almost any influence. Example: there is no doubt that Rand admired Ludwig von Mises and that she was influenced by him. Now von Mises was a Kantian, so we've proved that Rand was influenced by Kant.

Henry Scuoteguazza said...

Finally remembered my 10th favorite book: Personal Destinies by David Norton. Lays out a modern case for eudaimonism.

Damien said...

Dragonfly,

You make an excellent point. I forgot about the relationship between Mises and Rand and the fact that Mises was influenced by Kant.

Damien said...

HerbSewell,

I'm sorry it took me a while to respond to your latest criticisms. I had to go to the dentist, and then the grocery store, so I was a little busy this morning.

----------------------------------------------
Let me just take second to, for once, actually argue one of your many misunderstandings of Rand, though I see that this one is rather half-baked.
----------------------------------------------

My belief in man's lack of ability to perfect himself is not half baked. I thought it through. Part of me would love to believe that man was a perfectible being, but sadly that is not the case. I see no evidence to convince me, otherwise.

You said,
----------------------------------------------
"Being imperfect is part of being human, and it is part of being an individual."

I'm sorry, but that is simply not true. All Rand did was reject every standard of perfection that was outside of volition. In essence, she set out to make perfection morally achievable. You will in history see that every single standard of perfection that was not volitional was mystical in nature, based on stolen concepts, and disallowed human beings from living as men qua man. I will categorically reject anything that is mystical in nature, as it violates the law of identity, one of the axioms that must exist for there to be truth, the cornerstone of philosophy. Because perfection is an ethical issue, it deals squarely with morals.

----------------------------------------------
If man is not capable of perfection, how can he have a moral obligation perfect himself?
Ought implies can.
Contrary to what you may think, my argument is not mystical, but that said, how is mysticism a violation of the law of identity?

You said,
----------------------------------------------
Its contradictory to say that we have discovered that man, by his nature, is subjected to forces that he cannot control that disallow him from becoming perfect. This would mean that there are impetuses that are not knowable introspectively. A conscious being can simply ignore them, thus ending any impossibility from becoming perfect. Again, this essentially means that these impetuses would, by definition, be unprovable, as to attempt to prove them you would have to perform an action of introspection that would invalidate them in the first place. Also, because perfection is a act of volition, for men not to be perfect, their volition would have to cease to exist. Volition, the ability to think conscientiously implies that human beings are conscious. If we doubt volition, we are doubting every aspect of awareness of reality. At that point, the anti-perfectionist contradicts itself. It says that it has evidence that men cannot control how they act, and are thus unconscious to begin with. This means that the theory itself is useless because the evidence can't be trusted because there is no evidence which its existence can be proven. In fact, nothing at the point can be proven because humans, according to the determinist ideology that anti-perfectionism is, are not conscious, (because if they were, they would be able to make volitional choices to act towards a standard of perfection that is not mystical.)
----------------------------------------------

You are simply guilty of wishful thinking. Man maybe a rational being, with free will, but that doesn't mean that everything is under his control. Plus human kind has a rich nature, each individual has slightly different genetic predispositions as Greg, would say. How am I violating the A is A rule. I am not arguing that A is not A, I am arguing with you over what A is.

Plus you still fail to explain Rand and Piekoff's idea of a primary choice. Why is it wrong for me, and Greg to accuse them of hypocrisy? You fail to explain how the idea of a primary choice, which all other choices derive is not nonsense, and is not a form of mysticism. And if there is not primary choice, why should I think that every single aspect of a man's life, including his personality, is completely under his control? In addition there is a major contradiction in objectivist thinking if it requires you to accept the nonsensical, mystical idea of a primary choice, and at the same time reject mysticism.

You said,
----------------------------------------------
Essentially, your determinist philosophy that mankind can not be perfect contradicts itself by saying that consciousness is not conscious. This is a contradiction because the entire basis for the anti-perfectionist determinist view was that there is evidence that man could not be perfect, evidence that is only accessible through consciousness.
----------------------------------------------

Actually my philosophy is only semi determinist. I think that there are three things that make us who we are. Our genetics (determinist), Our life experiences (determinist) and the choices we make (libertarian). All three of those things help to determine the kind of person you are, and the kind of person you will become. They each have an effect on your personality and character. Beyond that there are other problems with the absolute, free will, silly puddy view of human nature that I will not go into here.

Also I am an individualist. I would rather us all be imperfect individuals, than perfect non individuals. For one thing, think how boring it would be, if everyone was the same.

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

If you want to learn about an evil man, who has successfully influenced and encouraged people to do evil, here's someone you might be interested in. As Politically Incorrect as it maybe to say this, Mohammad encouraged his followers to kill anyone who disagreed with Islam, the religion he invented. Many of his ideas most certainly were evil, and are still used to justify and perpetuate evil even today. - Damien
-----------------------------------
Red Grant,

Are you trying to show a contradiction between those two paragraphs that I wrote, the one about Kant and other about Mohammad? Mohammad is much different, because for one thing, he specifically told his followers to do things like kill those that don't accept their beliefs. Its not the same thing as just making some vague statement about the nature of reality. Mohammad also led his followers in battle, with the goal of forcing the unbelievers into submission by any means necessary. - Damien
___________________________________







Deu 13:5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn [you] away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.


Deu 13:6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which [is] as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;


Deu 13:7 [Namely], of the gods of the people which [are] round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the [one] end of the earth even unto the [other] end of the earth;


Deu 13:8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:


Deu 13:9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.


Deu 13:10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.


Deu 13:11 And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.


Deu 13:12 If thou shalt hear [say] in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,


Deu 13:13 [Certain] men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;


Deu 13:14 Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, [if it be] truth, [and] the thing certain, [that] such abomination is wrought among you;


Deu 13:15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that [is] therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.


Deu 13:16 And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.


From the Old Testament




Does this mean then you believe Moses was an evil(in the standard you've applied to Mohammad) man?

Does this mean then you believe Judaism is an evil(in the sense you've applied to Islam) religion?


Does this mean then you believe it was evil(in the sense you've applied to Mohammad, and Islam) for Moses and the Biblical Jews to conquer and commit mass murder in the middle east?


___________________________________

Why is it wrong for me, and Greg to accuse them of hypocrisy? - Damien
___________________________________

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

If you want to learn about an evil man, who has successfully influenced and encouraged people to do evil, here's someone you might be interested in. As Politically Incorrect as it maybe to say this, Mohammad encouraged his followers to kill anyone who disagreed with Islam, the religion he invented. Many of his ideas most certainly were evil, and are still used to justify and perpetuate evil even today. - Damien
-----------------------------------
Red Grant,

Are you trying to show a contradiction between those two paragraphs that I wrote, the one about Kant and other about Mohammad? Mohammad is much different, because for one thing, he specifically told his followers to do things like kill those that don't accept their beliefs. Its not the same thing as just making some vague statement about the nature of reality. Mohammad also led his followers in battle, with the goal of forcing the unbelievers into submission by any means necessary. - Damien
___________________________________








Deu 12:1 These [are] the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.


Deu 12:2 Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:


Deu 12:3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.


From the Old Testaments




Does this mean then you believe Moses was an evil(in the standard you've applied to Mohammad) man?

that Judaism is an evil(in the sense you've applied to Islam) religion?


Does this mean then you believe it was evil(in the sense you've applied to Mohammad, and Islam) for Moses and the Biblical Jews to conquer and commit mass murder in the middle east?


___________________________________

Why is it wrong for me, and Greg to accuse them of hypocrisy? - Damien
___________________________________

Damien said...

Red Grant,

Regardless of what I may or may not think of Moses or any other biblical figure, it is not mainstream Christianity or Judaism anywhere in the world today, to call for the mass_murder_of_unbelievers, subjugation_of_unbelievers, and the subversion and the violent_overthrow of legitimate democratic governments to be replaced theocracies based on their faith. Listen to what Brigitte Gabriel says Muslim Fundamentalist did to her and other people in Lebanon, the nation that was her home land. It is also completely outside of the modern Jewish or Christian mainstream to treat women_as_subhuman, and put homosexuals_to_death. In the meantime, very few Muslims condemn this, and instead are more likely to condemn so called Islamophobia.

HerbSewell said...

I will set out to explain why that any science or philosophy that concludes that perfection is unattainable is a contradiction through disintegration, as it denies free will, nullifying any sciences that could potentially say that perfection is unattainable.
The first question begins, understandably, with a stolen concept: "How do I become perfect"? Notice how the human mind acts in such a way that it has this concept of perfection that is independent of reality, simply a notion of greatness that exists in subconscious as the ideal, the good, and the desirable. This works to the advantage of those who thrive on the practice of dropping contexts and disintegrating contents, as they can define perfection however they wish, first by subjectively defining it and then claiming the concept is intrinsic in reality. The second question is "What is perfection?” following with "How does one become perfect?" Those questions are ethical in nature and will not be covered here. This discussion is epistemological in nature, only mentioning ethics as epistemology's role in it.
Ethics is the study of what actions man should take. In order for ethics to be of any use intellectually to man, there has to be metaphysically and epistemologically a direct correlation between what man thinks and how man acts. If there is not, then ethics would simply be a waste of time, as there is no connection to the conclusions made intellectually by ethicists and how man could potentially act. A study implies a use for conclusions of that study to be applied to.
Perfection is an ethical issue. It deals with what actions man should take and what he should think to achieve these actions. The notion that perfection cannot be acquired essentially means that there are actions that man does not have the ability to make certain actions in terms of volition and there are certain things man cannot think.
Free will is the default of any conscious being. If a being is conscious, it will have the ability to act consciously because there would be no factors independent of its reason that would control its behavior. If there are then that being is on a lower level of consciousness, aware of reality, (and possibly able to process its perception of it), but still cannot fight, (or maybe even find reason to fight), biological impulses. Thus, man has the default of free will, and can act independent of any outside factors. Because of this, he has the ability to live up to any standard of perfection that is based on man's volitional consciousness, or his ability to choose be conscious and think. Science and philosophy have collectively taken, for the last two centuries, the opinion that man does not have the ability to think and is at the mercy of factors that he has no ability intellectually to control. This would mean that any standard of perfection that is based on volition would be unobtainable because it rests on the premise that man has volition.
When science, (in the form of psychology or otherwise), says that there are factors of the human brain that disallow humans from thinking independently, they are already assuming two things: they are assuming that they are perceiving an objective and that they can cognitively integrate the perceptions given to them. The scientists have concluded, (from concepts of their own cognition), based on evidence, (which was given to them by their senses), that man cannot think independently, (meaning he cannot use reason because it is hampered by outside factors), and that he cannot trust his senses because they are bogged down by his subconscious.
Now you see it. To disprove that man can be perfect, one has to disprove that man is volitional. To disprove that man is volitional, one has to disprove that man is conscious. To disprove that man is conscious, one has to assume he is conscious in the first place.
Ask yourself before you say that man cannot be perfect, "What is perfection?" If you say that perfection is a question of ethics, of the potential actions of men, ask, "Why can not man act in a certain way?" If you conclude that man does not have the ability to know reality and control his actions, ask, “Why is not man volitional?” If you conclude that man is not conscious, ask, "How do you know it?" I then suggest that instead of blanking out, you realize your disintegration and start over with one definitive axiom: Consciousness is conscious.


Sorry if there are any mistakes in this, but I did in a hurry. Please don’t quote this to make an argument towards it. There’s no reason to, you can just make an argument against what I wrote in general. I don’t care to argue over semantics of particular sentences or paragraphs.

Damien said...

HerbSewell,

Man is not perfectible, And what does it mean to say, "any science or philosophy that concludes that perfection is unattainable is a contradiction through disintegration, as it denies free will, nullifying any sciences that could potentially say that perfection is unattainable."

I know you asked me not to quote you, but this is glaring. If no science can contradict your belief in the perfectibility of man, how are you any better than a creationist, who insists that no science can contradict his belief in a literal six day creation of the world by the Almighty?

Beyond this, your other arguments are still not convincing. Man is conscious, but that doesn't mean that everything is under his control. If you're a woman who is being forcibly gang raped by a bunch of men who are much stronger than you, and your fully conscious, things are clearly out of your control, but that doesn't make you any less awake, and any less aware of the horrible thing they are doing to you. Plus there are other more benign things, things about yourself, that are out of your control, that have nothing to do with what other people do to you. You feel hunger because you've gone a long time without eating. The only way to make your hunger go away is to eat something, you can't just tell yourself to stop feeling hungry and make it go away without eating something. Greg gives the same example in ARCHN.

Also, all normal people feel a greater desire to have sex when they reach puberty, because of an increase in hormones, and we have no say in the matter. Men and women behave differently because of hormones, and brain development while they are still in the womb, not just because of upbringing. Do you want me to find the scientific studies that prove this? If you insist, I can.

HerbSewell said...

You're still missing the point. What Ayn Rand wanted to present was a standard of perfection that within the confines of volition, as that is what ethics is entirely focused on. Once you say man cannot do particular things you are speaking outside of volition, therefore outside of any rational standard of perfection.

HerbSewell said...

Volition is a squarely a metaphysical and epistemological issue before issue before it is an ethical one. In order to justify the entire study that is ethics, one has to validate the notion of volition as it is only through volition that man can directly control his actions and direct his thoughts by a rational morality. Because perfection deals with this how men act, it is an ethical issue. Therefore, any form of determinism that could potentially invalidate perfectionism has to be discarded because it is outside the rein of volition, the very bedrock of a rational ethics.

Damien said...

HerbSewell,

You are missing my point. How can there be any such thing as a rational standard of perfection, when perfection isn't even possible in the real world? What evidence do you really have for every aspect of our selves being under our control. If not every thing about our psychological makeup is under our control, how is perfection of any kind, (including moral perfection) possible? Plus just because our free will is limited, doesn't mean that we don't have free will. Free will with tendencies is still free will.

HerbSewell said...

Again, you're still missing the point of me saying that Ayn Rand rejected all irrational standards of perfection. You say that perfection is unachievable, but what is it based on? You say humans have free will. That means that humans have the ability to choose their actions and guide their thoughts. Rand wanted to make a standard of perfection that was based on volition. The perfection you're thinking of is probably arbitrary, but I have no idea unless you define your standards of perfection.

HerbSewell said...

Man can only strive to perfection as far as his volition holds. Rand's perfection was still based on living as man qua man. That means, (independent to what corollaries Rand derived from that), that man can only act and live by what volition he has. That is the only thing Ayn Rand wanted to do: create a ideal man that was still real and was human. She held that without life there is no value, so man must place his life, or his welfare, as the standard of value. To hold a standard of perfection that is outside the volition of humans is to live as man contra man, or against his own life.

HerbSewell said...

While I never read any particular standard of perfection by Rand, I think it would amount to something like this provision: Perfection, in relation to ethics, would to be to act and think only towards the furthering of one's own life. If certain biological impediments exist that would disallow man from acting in certain ways then that would be part of his life and part of his nature, and a perfect man would have to recognize these impediments in order to live as man qua man.

HerbSewell said...

Perfection is only a ideal that must be defined by ethics. Otherwise, it would be completely arbitrary, as evidenced with mystical and pragmatic standards of perfection in the past. Men, to live rationally, can only act towards perfection that is achievable. If you define a perfection that is impossible to achieve then you're simply mincing words and dropping contexts.

Damien said...

HerbSewell,

non of your arguments are convincing. Your assuming that man has absolute control over his thought possess and you show no evidence for it. Yet I can show you evidence to the contrary. I am not mincing words or dropping context, and you keep bringing up mysticism in some way, despite the fact that I'm the one showing evidence to support my assertion.

You said,
----------------------------------------------------
Perfection, in relation to ethics, would to be to act and think only towards the furthering of one's own life. If certain biological impediments exist that would disallow man from acting in certain ways then that would be part of his life and part of his nature, and a perfect man would have to recognize these impediments in order to live as man qua man.
----------------------------------------------------

First of all, even by that standard, how could a man always know how to act and think only towards the furthering of one's own life, when he would in the real world always have imperfect knowledge? Not to mention might it further his own life in some way to commit theft or murder? I could under some circumstances benefit from such an act, especially, if I don't get caught, and I don't have a conscious. Plus why should we assume all men or women have the same biological impediments when we are all different and all individuals? I don't even think this standard of perfection is achievable, and maybe if you think about it long and hard enough, you won't find it as desirable as you do now.

HerbSewell said...

I'm not assuming anything. All I said was that any standard of perfection that man could not rationally achieve is based on arbitrary summations of human nature.

Damien said...
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Damien said...
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Damien said...
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Damien said...

HerbSewell,

Here's one place, where you and I disagree, I don't think there is any standard of perfection that a man can achieve in the real world. When people talking about perfecting man, they tend ignore human nature or act like it doesn't exist. evidence suggests that any type of moral perfection is impossible.

HerbSewell said...

That's because all standards of perfection in the past have been entirely arbitrary. First, one must define human nature. Then, one must create an ideal that man CAN live up so that he can truly live as man qua man.

Damien said...

HerbSewell,

lets just say that any flaws make one imperfect, everyone has flaws and will always have them. That's just the way I see it. There is really no point in us continuing to argue. Lets just do ourselves a favor and agree to disagree on this.

HerbSewell said...

I will agree to disagree, but I want you to know that Greg's first and foremost criticism of Rand was a misunderstanding of her goal to project her vision of an ideal man, as her Utopian vision of man was based on a naturalistic view of man.

Damien said...

HerbSewell,

Fine will agree to stay off the subject of man's perfectibility for now. I could argue with you over Rand's view of an ideal man, but that's a discussion for another time, assuming you want to have it.

HerbSewell said...

It would be my pleasure.

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

Red Grant,

Regardless of what I may or may not think of Moses or any other biblical figure, it is not mainstream Christianity or Judaism anywhere in the world today, to call for the mass_murder_of_unbelievers, subjugation_of_unbelievers, and the subversion and the violent_overthrow of legitimate democratic governments to be replaced theocracies based on their faith. - Damien
___________________________________





Damien, but you condemed Islam from its very beginning for what Islams calls for and for what Mohammad had done and had commanded.


If you did not condem Islam from its very beggining for what it calls for and for what Mohammad had done and had commanded,

but condem those who call themselves muslims for what they do today, then your argument above in this post would hold.

But, you did condem Islam for what it calls for theologically, and for what Mohammad had done and commanded a long time ago.



Following are your own statements why you condem Islam from previous posts.



___________________________________

If you want to learn about an evil man, who has successfully influenced and encouraged people to do evil, here's someone you might be interested in. As Politically Incorrect as it maybe to say this, Mohammad encouraged his followers to kill anyone who disagreed with Islam, the religion he invented. Many of his ideas most certainly were evil, and are still used to justify and perpetuate evil even today. - Damien
-----------------------------------
Red Grant,

Are you trying to show a contradiction between those two paragraphs that I wrote, the one about Kant and other about Mohammad? Mohammad is much different, because for one thing, he specifically told his followers to do things like kill those that don't accept their beliefs. Its not the same thing as just making some vague statement about the nature of reality. Mohammad also led his followers in battle, with the goal of forcing the unbelievers into submission by any means necessary. - Damien
___________________________________





Clearly, you're condeming Islam for what it calls for theologically and for what Mohammad had done and commanded.

Not just because what people who call themselves muslims today are doing.





___________________________________

Why is it wrong for me, and Greg to accuse them of hypocrisy? - Damien
___________________________________

Red Grant said...

By the same logic you used to condem Islam and Mohammad,

Should you not be condeming Moses and Judaism?


or

"modern" "Mainstream" Judaism has disowned Moses, and disavowed the Torah?





___________________________________

Why is it wrong for me, and Greg to accuse them of hypocrisy? - Damien
___________________________________

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

If you want to learn about an evil man, who has successfully influenced and encouraged people to do evil, here's someone you might be interested in. As Politically Incorrect as it maybe to say this, Mohammad encouraged his followers to kill anyone who disagreed with Islam, the religion he invented. Many of his ideas most certainly were evil, and are still used to justify and perpetuate evil even today. - Damien
-----------------------------------
Red Grant,

Are you trying to show a contradiction between those two paragraphs that I wrote, the one about Kant and other about Mohammad? Mohammad is much different, because for one thing, he specifically told his followers to do things like kill those that don't accept their beliefs. Its not the same thing as just making some vague statement about the nature of reality. Mohammad also led his followers in battle, with the goal of forcing the unbelievers into submission by any means necessary. - Damien
___________________________________





Deu 2:34 And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain:


Deu 2:35 Only the cattle we took for a prey unto ourselves, and the spoil of the cities which we took.


Deu 2:36 From Aroer, which [is] by the brink of the river of Arnon, and [from] the city that [is] by the river, even unto Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us: the LORD our God delivered all unto us:


Deu 2:37 Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not, [nor] unto any place of the river Jabbok, nor unto the cities in the mountains, nor unto whatsoever the LORD our God forbad us.


From Old Testament






By the same logic you used to condem Islam and Mohammad,

Should you not be condeming Moses and Judaism?


or

"modern" "Mainstream" Judaism has disowned Moses, and disavowed the Torah?





___________________________________

Why is it wrong for me, and Greg to accuse them of hypocrisy? - Damien
___________________________________

meg said...

I thought Ghost of Ayn Rand and Herb Sewell were being facetious with their lists.

Oh, and add to mine How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

I thought Ghost of Ayn Rand and Herb Sewell were being facetious with their lists. - meggie the shirt seller
___________________________________





Indeed.




___________________________________

Oh, and add to mine How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff - meg
___________________________________






"When one person dies, it's a tradgey,

When millions perish, it's just statistics." - Stalin

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

Red Grant,

Regardless of what I may or may not think of Moses or any other biblical figure, it is not mainstream Christianity or Judaism anywhere in the world today, to call for the mass_murder_of_unbelievers, subjugation_of_unbelievers, and the subversion and the violent_overthrow of legitimate democratic governments to be replaced theocracies based on their faith. - Damien
___________________________________







Damien, but you condemed Islam from its very beginning for what Islams calls for and for what Mohammad had done and had commanded.


If you did not condem Islam from its very beggining for what it calls for and for what Mohammad had done and had commanded,

but condem those who call themselves muslims for what they do today, then your argument above in this post would hold.

But, you did condem Islam for what it calls for theologically, and for what Mohammad had done and commanded a long time ago.



Following are your own statements why you condem Islam from previous posts.









___________________________________

If you want to learn about an evil man, who has successfully influenced and encouraged people to do evil, here's someone you might be interested in. As Politically Incorrect as it maybe to say this, Mohammad encouraged his followers to kill anyone who disagreed with Islam, the religion he invented. Many of his ideas most certainly were evil, and are still used to justify and perpetuate evil even today. - Damien
-----------------------------------
Red Grant,

Are you trying to show a contradiction between those two paragraphs that I wrote, the one about Kant and other about Mohammad? Mohammad is much different, because for one thing, he specifically told his followers to do things like kill those that don't accept their beliefs. Its not the same thing as just making some vague statement about the nature of reality. Mohammad also led his followers in battle, with the goal of forcing the unbelievers into submission by any means necessary. - Damien
___________________________________







Clearly, you're condeming Islam for what it calls for theologically and for what Mohammad had done and commanded.

Not just because what people who call themselves muslims today are doing.











"And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. And the LORD said unto Moses, 'Take all the heads of the people and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.'" (Numbers 25:3-4)






By the same logic you used to condem Islam and Mohammad,

Should you not be condeming Moses and Judaism?


or

"modern" "Mainstream" Judaism has disowned Moses, and disavowed the Torah?





___________________________________

Why is it wrong for me, and Greg to accuse them of hypocrisy? - Damien
___________________________________

Damien said...

Red Grant,

Mohammad did evil things, regardless of what the culture or his follows, may have thought of them. Including engaging in pedophilia and violently oppressing_women, both of which live on today in the Islamic world. According to the Islamic doctrine, (largely created by him) Muslims must follow his example, and his example when it came to non Muslims was to wage Jihad (or holy war) until the entire world lives in submission to Islam. They are required to use what ever means are necessary to do this. Where in the bible or the Torah does it specifically say that all Christians or All Jews must consider all unbelievers their enemies and use what ever means necessary to make them convert or submit? Also what does the violent passages in the Bible say about the violent nature of the Koran or Islam? Again, as with the link on Jihad, Citizen Warrior, explains very well why this is irrelevant to the issue.

Damien said...

Red Grant,

I just realized that I may have written that last sentence in a confusing manner. I am not saying that I or Citizen Warrior think that the notion of Jihad is irrelevant to this issue.

Damien said...

Red Grant,

Just in case you might have been confused and thought that.

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

Red Grant,

Mohammad did

evil things

, regardless of what the culture or his follows, may have thought of them. - Damien
___________________________________






First of all, who decides what is evil?


You...?



___________________________________

Red Grant,

Mohammad did evil things, regardless of what the culture or his follows, may have thought of them.

Including engaging in pedophilia and violently oppressing_women, both of which live on today in the Islamic world. - Damien
___________________________________





Moses, and the Biblical Jews engaged in it also as sanctioned (or even required) by God.


Does this mean then you believe Moses was and Judaism is evil as well?






___________________________________

Mohammad did evil things, regardless of what the culture or his follows, may have thought of them.

Including engaging in pedophilia... - Damien
___________________________________







Numbers 31:17-18 (New International Version)
17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,

18 but save for yourselves


every girl who has never slept with a man.






From the Old Testament







By the same logic you used to condem Islam and Mohammad,

Should you not be condeming Moses and Judaism?


or

"modern" "Mainstream" Judaism has disowned Moses, and disavowed the Torah?




___________________________________

Why is it wrong for me, and Greg to accuse them of hypocrisy? - Damien
___________________________________

Anonymous said...

Damien you wrote

But I wouldn't recommend the "communist manifesto," unless you're just interested in learning about the origins and thought process behind one of the greatest failed ideologies of the 20th and 21st centuries. Communism in practice has always led to totalitarianism and mass suffering.

I've read and re-read and I'm scratching my head trying to find where Karl Marx worte about creating a totalitarian system of government.

Can you help me out here? As, to him, communinsm/socialism was a state-less society. No police, no armed forces, no courts, no prisons.

Just because the USSR and other regimes say they are communist doesnt mean they are right? I mean they lie about everything don't they? Oh, I forgot, they tell the truth when they say they are communinst/marxist regimes.

Hmmmm, even Lenin said that what he was creating in Russia "was not socialism" and that to do it as Marx suggested "would be to give the thing up".

As Lenin and others have found out there are no short-cuts to socialism.

Anonymous said...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/inourtime/greatest_philosopher_vote_result.shtml

Maybe next time eh Randians and Kantians?

Damien said...

Anonymous,

Karl Marx specifically called for a dictatorship_of_the_Proletariat which he believed would be replaced by a stateless classless society after every vestige of capitalist thinking had been done away with. He believed that once the totalitarian state was no longer needed it would just wither away.

Damien said...

Listeners of BBC_Radio have chosen Karl Marx as The Greatest Philosopher of all time. I find that shocking. He wasn't a very good thinker. Most of what he believed about economics for one thing has been proven wrong, not to mention his ideas about a utopian classless society.

By the way, I'm not really a major fan of Kant. I just regard Rand's view of him and his philosophy as absurd.

Damien said...

Also I forgot to mention, Socialists who want to create a stateless classless society and think they can do it without the "Dictatorship Of the Proletariat" phase, are known as libertarian_socialists or anarcho socialists. Its related to Marxism, but its not exactly the same. Although both are futile anyway.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link Damien, disproves everything you wrote about Marx and his philosophy.

The certainly weren't creating a classless society in the USSR were they? Or in Cuba, or in China or in any other so called communist/scoialist/marxist state.

It's interesting that you don't consider him a good thinker, what ever that is, or that his economics aren't up to much. When, during your reading of his works, did you reach this conclusion?

Do you have an examples of his poor thinking? Or examples of how his thoughts on economics have been proved wrong? One example of what I think he got right was that you should not try to reform capitalism, that is is futile. Governments, should not interfer in the running of the economy as they don't have any power anyway and whatver actions they take will more than likely make the situation worse, not better.

Libertarian socialists are not linked to Marxian socialism, but I agree with you that they are futile.

Anonymous said...

Btw Damien, you describe Marx as a utopian, which again betrays a lack of understanding of him. Had you read the communist manifesto you would understand this, as he quite rightly damns the utopian socialists there. But then, given that you've read the Communist manifesto, why did you forget this?

Anonymous said...

Damien said

Listeners of BBC_Radio have chosen Karl Marx as The Greatest Philosopher of all time. I find that shocking.

Damn the great unwashed eh?

What do they know eh?

Damien said...

Anonymous,

My links do not discredit my view of Marx. The stated long term goal of the Communists was to create a classless society. That may not have been what they did, but that's what they said they wanted to do. Marx was Utopian because he thought that people should create a society that contrary to his thinking, could never exist in the real world, regardless of weather or not he condemned "Utopian socialists." I can tell you for a fact that socialism and especially communism does not work. If a person lives in a society where he gets the same pay, no matter how hard he works or how lazy he is, he is encouraged by the society to be lazy. It is simply a fact of human nature, people don't work hard if they don't think they have too. In such societies the state will try to force them to work, but even this isn't always effective. That's why all communist societies that practice communist economics are poor, and the people have to deal with constant shortages, until they start to abandon Marxists principals like China has recently.

Anonymous said...

There haven't been any socialist/communist countries Damien. So that blows your arguement out of the water.

As for equal pay, socialism is a world of free access, no money, no prices. Sorry, where has this been tried? Exactly, no where.

China is just another capitalist country. Goods and services are produced for sale: commodity production.

As for Marx being a Utopian, read the communist manifesto (again).

Are you saying that the working class - who run society from top to bottom anyway - are too stupid to run socoeity in thier interests. That they are 'fallen' and need the capitalist class to run society.

So, far from Marx being a poor thinker I put it to you, that is you that is guilty of poor 'thinking'. You may take such thoughts like, the society we live in shapes our thoughts and ideas for granted. Obvious now, but before Marx people thought that ideas, came from the abstract and they shaped society and not vice-versa.

I still haven't seen you cite any examples of Marx's poor 'thinking' nor of his 'wrong' economic ideas. But, you put me to shame as you've obviously read Das Kapital. Whereas I, as a Marxsit haven't got round to reading it yet. Shame on me

Anonymous said...

P.S Which Marxist principles are China abonding at the moment?

I'd love to read that list.

The CP of China, like the CP of USSR have nothing to do with Marx. The population of both these countries did not show a socialist understanding. These regimes were forced on the population and they were not elected. Socialists are in favour of the secret ballot and socliaism can only come about when the majority of the working class understand, want it and vote for it. Marx wrote that. Oh and we don't have leaders, never. So no Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Che or Castro for us. Sounds good eh? Of course that day is a long way off, but don't ever say the regimes that call themselves communist are.

I mean, I don't know if you are aware but they do tend to lie. You know so when they say they are socialists, that is a lie to. I mean, you'd be the first to admit they lie to their population wouldn't you?

Daniel Barnes said...

Anon:
>I still haven't seen you cite any examples of Marx's poor 'thinking' nor of his 'wrong' economic ideas.

Hi Anon

Do you know the Economic Calculation Argument put forward by Mises? If so, how do you reply to it?

Damien said...

Anonymous,

you said,
-----------------------------------------------------------
There haven't been any socialist/communist countries Damien. So that blows your arguement out of the water.
-----------------------------------------------------------
There have been, there just haven't been any successful socialist/communist countries.

You said,
-----------------------------------------------------------
As for equal pay, socialism is a world of free access, no money, no prices. Sorry, where has this been tried? Exactly, no where.
-----------------------------------------------------------
And where are these free things supposed to come from? Could it be argue that state ownership an attempt at that? There are many things that the state controls in many countries. people have tried things like socialized medicine and it does not work, look a Cuba. Take a good hard look at the Real_Cuba.

You said,
-----------------------------------------------------------
China is just another capitalist country. Goods and services are produced for sale: commodity production.
-----------------------------------------------------------

China actually tried socialism for awhile. For awhile the state controlled the economy, and it failed, that is way they are turning away from it, because the leadership realized it couldn't work. It was a command or state run socialist economy, before they began deregulating it. It is still a largely socialist economy, just not as much as it once was.

you said,
-----------------------------------------------------------
As for Marx being a Utopian, read the communist manifesto (again).
-----------------------------------------------------------
It doesn't matter if Marx considered himself a Utopian, he was, period.

you said,
-----------------------------------------------------------
Are you saying that the working class - who run society from top to bottom anyway - are too stupid to run society in their interests. That they are 'fallen' and need the capitalist class to run society.
-----------------------------------------------------------

No, I'm saying that socialism does not work, and therefor its not in the interesting of working class people to support it. Its not a matter of the working class being too stupid, or 'fallen' and needing the capitalist class to run society, its a matter of what would motivate people under a socialist system?

you said,
-----------------------------------------------------------
So, far from Marx being a poor thinker I put it to you, that is you that is guilty of poor 'thinking'. You may take such thoughts like, the society we live in shapes our thoughts and ideas for granted. Obvious now, but before Marx people thought that ideas, came from the abstract and they shaped society and not vice-versa.
-----------------------------------------------------------

So you agree with Rand's absurd idea that vague ideas like altruism or egoism are what motivate people?

you said,
-----------------------------------------------------------
I still haven't seen you cite any examples of Marx's poor 'thinking' nor of his 'wrong' economic ideas. But, you put me to shame as you've obviously read Das Kapital. Whereas I, as a Marxsit haven't got round to reading it yet. Shame on me
-----------------------------------------------------------

"From each according to his ability to each according to their need." Might not sound like a bad idea, but it is, if you think about. For one thing, if you are given every thing you need without working for it, why work? And if enough people do that, supplies will dwindle.

Damien said...

Anonymous'

You said,
-----------------------------------------------------------
P.S Which Marxist principles are China abonding at the moment?

I'd love to read that list.
-----------------------------------------------------------
To a significant degree Collectivisation for one thing.

you said,
-----------------------------------------------------------
The CP of China, like the CP of USSR have nothing to do with Marx. The population of both these countries did not show a socialist understanding. These regimes were forced on the population and they were not elected. Socialists are in favour of the secret ballot and socliaism can only come about when the majority of the working class understand, want it and vote for it. Marx wrote that. Oh and we don't have leaders, never. So no Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Che or Castro for us. Sounds good eh? Of course that day is a long way off, but don't ever say the regimes that call themselves communist are.
-----------------------------------------------------------
dream on

you said,
-----------------------------------------------------------
I mean, I don't know if you are aware but they do tend to lie. You know so when they say they are socialists, that is a lie to. I mean, you'd be the first to admit they lie to their population wouldn't you?
-----------------------------------------------------------
Yes they do lie, because they are power hungry and don't trust the people. The leader ship is in it for the power, not primarily the greater good. Socialism/communism in theory is different than Socialism/communism in practice.

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

Red Grant,

Mohammad did

evil things

, regardless of what the culture or his follows, may have thought of them. - Damien
___________________________________






First of all, who decides what is evil?


You...?



___________________________________

Red Grant,

Mohammad did evil things, regardless of what the culture or his follows, may have thought of them.

Including engaging in pedophilia and violently oppressing_women, both of which live on today in the Islamic world. - Damien
___________________________________





Moses, and the Biblical Jews engaged in it also as sanctioned (or even required) by God.


Does this mean then you believe Moses was and Judaism is evil as well?






___________________________________

Mohammad did evil things, regardless of what the culture or his follows, may have thought of them.

Including engaging in pedophilia... - Damien
___________________________________







Numbers 31:17-18 (New International Version)
17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,

18 but save for yourselves


every girl who has never slept with a man.






From the Old Testament







By the same logic you used to condem Islam and Mohammad,

Should you not be condeming Moses and Judaism?


or

"modern" "Mainstream" Judaism has disowned Moses, and disavowed the Torah?




___________________________________

Why is it wrong for me, and Greg to accuse them of hypocrisy? - Damien
___________________________________

Damien said...

Daniel Barnes,

you said,
---------------------------------------------------------------
Anon:

>I still haven't seen you cite any examples of Marx's poor 'thinking' nor of his 'wrong' economic ideas.

Hi Anon

Do you know the Economic Calculation Argument put forward by Mises? If so, how do you reply to it?
---------------------------------------------------------------

Good one Daniel! I think this is what you're talking_about. Mises does a very good job of discrediting socialism.

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

Red Grant,

Mohammad did

evil things, regardless of what the culture or his follows, may have thought of them. Including engaging in pedophilia and

violently oppressing_women,... - Damien
___________________________________






Deuteronomy 22:13-21
New International Version (NIV)


Listen to this passage



Marriage Violations

13 If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her 14 and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, "I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her

virginity,"

15 then the girl's father and mother shall bring proof that she was a virgin to the town elders at the gate. 16 The girl's father will say to the elders, "I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. 17 Now he has slandered her and said, 'I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.' But here is the proof of my daughter's virginity." Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, 18 and the elders shall take the man and punish him. 19 They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver [a] and give them to the girl's father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.


20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl's virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the

men of her town shall stone her to death.

She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being

promiscuous while still in her father's house.

You must purge the

evil

from among you.


From the Old Testament
___________________________________




___________________________________

Red Grant,

Mohammad did

evil things, regardless of what the culture or his follows, may have thought of them. Including engaging in pedophilia and

violently oppressing_women,... - Damien
___________________________________





By the same logic you used to condem Islam and Mohammad,

Should you not be condeming Moses and Judaism?


or

"modern" "Mainstream" Judaism has disowned Moses, and disavowed the Torah?




___________________________________

Why is it wrong for me, and Greg to accuse them of hypocrisy? - Damien
___________________________________

Damien said...

Red Grant,

Most modern Jews do not beat their wives and I am not condemning all Muslims, just the Jihadists, (terrorists and cultural jihadists alike) who use their holy text to justify the terrorism, a supremacist ideology and the implantation of Sharia. I don't condemn genuine moderate groups like muslims_against_sharia. But that doesn't take away the fact that the Koran specifically tells Jihadists, like al Quaeda terrorists to do the things they are doing, or that Sharia and hatred of non Muslims is part of traditional, Islam.

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

Red Grant,

Most modern Jews do not beat their wives... - Damien
___________________________________





Damien, the issue was not about whether those who call themselves Jews in this modern age beat their wives or not.



The issue, which you yourself have brought upon without me asking first in this thread was about whether one of the reasons you consider Mohammad to have done

evil things

had been based on the oppression of women.



My argument is if you believe oppression of women is

evil,

then why do you not condem Moses
to have done

evil things

and Judaism to be

evil as well?

when both Moses engaged in and Judaism prescribed the oppression of women.





___________________________________

and I am not condemning all

Muslims,

just the Jihadists, (terrorists and cultural jihadists alike) who use their holy text to justify the terrorism, a supremacist ideology and the implantation of Sharia. I don't condemn genuine moderate groups like muslims_against_sharia. But that doesn't take away the fact that the Koran specifically tells Jihadists, like al Quaeda terrorists to do the things they are doing, or that Sharia and hatred of non Muslims is part of traditional, Islam - Damien
___________________________________




Okay, so you claim you are not condeming all Muslims, only the Jihadists.



Below is your own previous statement in this thread.


___________________________________

According to the Islamic doctrine, (largely created by him)

Muslims must follow his example, and his example when it came to non Muslims was to

wage Jihad (or holy war) until the entire world lives in submission to Islam. - Damien
___________________________________




So you claim to believe Muslims must wage Jihad according to Islamic doctrine.

Yet, you also claim to believe you only condem Muslims who are Jihadists.

So people who call themselves Muslims but do not believe in engaging Jihad,

can they be called Muslims according to your definition?

Anonymous said...

Daniel, Damien got quite excited when you brought up the economic calculation arguement by Von Mises.

So, for you both, here is the soclialist rebutal. Happy reading fellas.

http://www.worldsocialism.org/articles/why_we_dont_need.php

Anonymous said...

Damn, for some reason it won't let me post the link.

But, if you go to the worldsocialism site and type in von mises, it will bring up the rebutal to his economic caluclation article.

Anonymous said...

As for what would motivate people under socialism Damien...it is simple just go to your Dr. and ask him "Doc, are physically healthy and mentally happy people lazy and apathetic?"

Can you guess what his reply will be?

As for the idea that socialism exists or has existed that is just nonsense. You guys are very niave if you take everything at face value and believe what politicians tell you. Geez, even the BNP/White Power movement tell uou there aren't rascist, but guess what...
Just becasue a country says it's communist don't mean it is. I mean, the old joke was that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, roman or an empire. Or countries that call themselves the Democratic republic of...
When really they aren't democratic at all. Look, if commodity production is taking place, it's capitalism.
The worldsocialism site will set you straight on what is and isn't socialism. Hell, I read the Von Mises article. i do hope you repay me the same courtesey here.

Damien said...

Anonymous,

The website you gave us the address to World_Socialism,and its article on why_we_dont_need is simply repeating tired old socialists statements and perhaps some new ones, that it fails to show have any basis in the real world.

Greg Nyquist (The writer of the Book, "Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature," and one of the people who runs this blog) actually does a better refuting socialism, in two paragraphs than World Socialism does supporting it using an entire multiple article webpage. In his old essay Truculent_Realism, Gregs gives a very good reason why we shouldn't think that socialism can work.

-----------------------------------------------
Mannheim’s words of warning did little to prevent the sociology of knowledge from being taken in a subjectivist direction. To be sure, it was more a habit of thought than an actual, explicit doctrine. Intellectuals, especially academic intellectuals, are notoriously loathe to commit themselves to any explicit doctrine. They prefer to mask their real thoughts behind big words and befuddling circumlocutions. Yet in conversation they will not infrequently adopt the view that reality itself is a social construct that could be changed by adopting a new construct. They will even give plausible examples to support their view. Take the institution of private property. In our society, private property is a very critical institution. But it doesn’t have to be that way, argue the academic intellectuals. Private property is a mere social construct. We could, if we chose, do away with it altogether. In that case, it would cease to be a reality. Property held in common would be the new reality, the new social construct.

Contrary to what romantic leftists might wish to believe, private property is not a mere “social construct” that can be changed at the drop of hat. There exist a number of powerful psychological forces that provide its foundations — forces which ultimately arise from intractable currents deep in human nature. Machiavelli wrote in The Prince that a ruler, if he would preserve his power, “must keep his hands off the property of others, because men more quickly forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony.” Machiavelli understood human nature. He knew that human beings have possessive instincts, that their property is intimately tied up with their social status, and that they will tenaciously defend anything connected to the preservation of their social status.

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

World Socialism on the other hand, not only doesn't explain how we could make socialism work, it doesn't explain how you could motivate people under a socialist economy, without coercion.

Even In world Socialism's article, "Its_Nice_But_Could_It_Work?" the people who created the site do nothing to explain how it could work. It just rambles on, with what is mostly just a bunch of wishful. Real socialist countries are utter failures. If I had the time I could systematically debunk almost of World Socialism's claims.

The countries that come the closest to World Socialism's ideal are all poor, and all totalitarian dictatorships like North Korea, which the Family Care Foundation referred to as a prisoner_nation.
In addition Jill Elish of Florida State University recommends economic_freedom to lift people out of poverty. More economic freedom, means a freer market, which equals more capitalism. It means more people buying and sealing, not more socialism.

Andrew said...

"World Socialism on the other hand, not only doesn't explain how we could make socialism work, it doesn't explain how you could motivate people under a socialist economy, without coercion."

Quite so. I read the article. It presupposes what it seeks to prove, relies on ambiguous use of key terms, uses vague shifts in place of reasoned arguments to support conclusions. I would call it specious, however, it wasn't even seemingly plausible.

Promulgators of Socialist ideology would do well to introspect on David Humes, Ought Is problem. Accordingly I am sure they will see, as Greg and others point out, that Socialism is not congruent with the reality of human nature. How, then, they may ask themselves, have they made the inferences required to develop this absurd social system?

"The childish dreams of Marx were an attempt to fix very real problems with Capitalism" -John Ralston Saul

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

Red Grant,

Most modern Jews do not beat their wives... - Damien
___________________________________





Damien, the issue was not about whether those who call themselves Jews in this modern age beat their wives or not.



The issue, which you yourself have brought upon without me asking first in this thread was about whether one of the reasons you consider Mohammad to have done

evil things

had been based on the oppression of women.



My argument is if you believe oppression of women is

evil,

then why do you not condem Moses
to have done

evil things

and Judaism to be

evil as well?

when both Moses engaged in and Judaism prescribed the oppression of women.





___________________________________

and I am not condemning all

Muslims,

just the Jihadists, (terrorists and cultural jihadists alike) who use their holy text to justify the terrorism, a supremacist ideology and the implantation of Sharia. I don't condemn genuine moderate groups like muslims_against_sharia. But that doesn't take away the fact that the Koran specifically tells Jihadists, like al Quaeda terrorists to do the things they are doing, or that Sharia and hatred of non Muslims is part of traditional, Islam - Damien
___________________________________




Okay, so you claim you are not condeming all Muslims, only the Jihadists.



Below is your own previous statement in this thread.


___________________________________

According to the Islamic doctrine, (largely created by him)

Muslims must follow his example, and his example when it came to non Muslims was to

wage Jihad (or holy war) until the entire world lives in submission to Islam. - Damien
___________________________________




So you claim to believe Muslims must wage Jihad according to Islamic doctrine.

Yet, you also claim to believe you only condem Muslims who are Jihadists.

So people who call themselves Muslims but do not believe in engaging Jihad,

can they be called Muslims according to your definition?





___________________________________

Why is it wrong for me, and Greg to accuse them of hypocrisy? - Damien
___________________________________

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

Mohammad did evil things, regardless of what the culture or his follows, may have thought of them.

Including engaging in pedophilia... - Damien
___________________________________







Numbers 31:17-18 (New International Version)
17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,

18 but save for yourselves


every girl who has never slept with a man.






From the Old Testament







By the same logic you used to condem Islam and Mohammad,

Should you not be condeming Moses and Judaism?


or

"modern" "Mainstream" Judaism has disowned Moses, and disavowed the Torah?




___________________________________

Why is it wrong for me, and Greg to accuse them of hypocrisy? - Damien
___________________________________

Anonymous said...

The site does explain how socialism will work. You obviously just didn't understand it. A common mistake. There have never been any socialist countries, so I can't see how you can use those those countries that claim to be socialist, yet are totalitarian or poor agianst us. I mean there were totalitarian capitalist countries (aparthied South Africa) and poor capitalist ones to. Yet supporters of capitalism would cry foul if you used these examples as an arguement against capitalism.

Neither Damien or Red Grant have defined socialism. Perhaps you think socialism equals state ownership? In that case perhaps Henry VIII was (the first?) socialist? As he raised taxes and employed men to drain swamps in the UK. Nationlaization is not socialism, nor is the welfare state, these are features of capitalism.

As for explaining how it would work, well I'd leave that up to those that create the socialist society to work out how they will run it. You know, working class people are clever enough to run society from top to bottom in thier own interests without a capitalist class leaching off them. I do hope we agree on that point. Hopefully one day once the majority understand that and want it they will create it.
Until them, we'll have to put up with utopian reformers, who think you can run capitalism without the effects of capitslism. I mean, there are polticians out there that tell you that you can have capitalism without war, homlessness, famine, hunger, poverty, insecurity etc. Yet they call socialists dreamers!
I sure neither you, Damien or Red Grant are dreamers are fully accept that if you have capitalism you will end up with war, homelessness, unemployment, famine, insecurity etc. Eh lads? Or perhaps you guys have the answers to these problems? I mean, for years and years politicians, who have worked within the capitalist system have claimed to be able to solve them and yet we still have these features.
I'm sure both of you to are firm supporters of raising the standard of living for working class people. Supporting their right to join unions and struggle for better rates of pay and working conditions.

Damien said...

Anonymous

You said
-----------------------------------------------------
The site does explain how socialism will work. You obviously just didn't understand it. A common mistake. There have never
Anonymous, been any socialist countries, so I can't see how you can use those those countries that claim to be socialist, yet are totalitarian or poor against us. I mean there were totalitarian capitalist countries (apartheid South Africa) and poor capitalist ones to. Yet supporters of capitalism would cry foul if you used these examples as an argument against capitalism.
-----------------------------------------------------

No, I did understand it. Including its article entitled, What_Is_Socialism it defines common ownership as a fundamental part of socialism. Now even ignoring Greg's Truculent Realism essay that I sited earlier, which talks about how important private property is to human psychology, who would decide when someone could or could use the commonly owned things in a state free socialist society? Beyond that South Africa was not a capitalist society. Walter Williams wrote a book called South_Africas_War_Against_Capitalism

You said,
-----------------------------------------------------
Neither Damien or Red Grant have defined socialism. Perhaps you think socialism equals state ownership? In that case perhaps Henry VIII was (the first?) socialist? As he raised taxes and employed men to drain swamps in the UK. Nationlaization is not socialism, nor is the welfare state, these are features of capitalism.
-----------------------------------------------------

Neither nationalization or the welfare state are features of Capitalism. The biggest opponents of socialism such as Ayn Rand, (who this website is devoted to criticizing), Rush Limbaugh, and Adam Smith, writer of the Wealth_of_Nations, overwhelmingly oppose nationalization and the welfare sate and support or supported Capitalism. Adam Smith in particular spoke of an Invisible_hand, and when he talked about an Invisible hand, he didn't mean government. Haven't you ever heard of laissez_faire? Also the Libertarian_Party really opposes those things, and they are really pro capitalism. Capitalism is the free market, the more capitalist a society, the less government interference in its economy. Now perhaps one could make an argument that absolute pure capitalism, in reality, would be a bad thing, (I support public schools, and don't see how a government could realistically function that could tax people) but even so, a mostly capitalist economy would be far more free than a mostly socialist economy.

You said,
-----------------------------------------------------
As for explaining how it would work, well I'd leave that up to those that create the socialist society to work out how they will run it. You know, working class people are clever enough to run society from top to bottom in their own interests without a capitalist class leaching off them. I do hope we agree on that point. Hopefully one day once the majority understand that and want it they will create it.
-----------------------------------------------------

So you can't even explain how it would work? Than how can you be certain it could work? What reason do I have to think it could work? Therefore, why should anyone support socialism?

-----------------------------------------------------
Until them, we'll have to put up with utopian reformers, who think you can run capitalism without the effects of capitslism. I mean, there are polticians out there that tell you that you can have capitalism without war, homlessness, famine, hunger, poverty, insecurity etc. Yet they call socialists dreamers!
-----------------------------------------------------

Poverty is not caused by capitalism, the, poorest nations on Earth, are the least free economically. Check out the Heritage Foundation's index_of_Economic_Freedom. Now ask yourself, are any of the repressed nations particularly wealthy societies?

You said,
-----------------------------------------------------
I sure neither you, Damien or Red Grant are dreamers are fully accept that if you have capitalism you will end up with war, homelessness, unemployment, famine, insecurity etc. Eh lads? Or perhaps you guys have the answers to these problems? I mean, for years and years politicians, who have worked within the capitalist system have claimed to be able to solve them and yet we still have these features.
-----------------------------------------------------

As opposed to you, who thinks a system can work, but can't explain how it can work? Beyond this, you are repeating a bunch of tired old socialist mantras. War is not caused by Capitalism, the biggest haters of Capitalism, Communist states, don't exactly peacefully co exist with everyone else. Also perhaps the worst famine right now is going on in North Korea. According to the Asia Times Online, this famine was caused by something other than a free market. Weather you accept it or not, the soviet Union was Socialist, and North Korea is Socialist. Don't tell me how their leaders lie, and therefor we can say they are not really socialist. The reality of socialism is different from the way it is supposed to work in theory. You only deny that these are socialist societies because you can't accept the reality of socialism.

you said,
------------------------------------------------------
I'm sure both of you to are firm supporters of raising the standard of living for working class people. Supporting their right to join unions and struggle for better rates of pay and working conditions.
------------------------------------------------------

Yes I support that, but I can't speak for Red Grant.
However, weather you realize it or not, that is not socialism. Labor unions themselves are a type of business. I don't support coercing people to join them, but a voluntarily association of working class people is not the same thing as abolishing capitalism. The workers need money and the money their employer pays them comes from the money his business earned. Plus, If you were to protest the working conditions in North Korea, you'd be sent to a gulag, and North Korea is not a capitalist country.

Damien said...

Anonymous,

Also read the largely objectivist site, Capitalism_Magazine and see if you can find where they are pro nationalization or Welfare state. As a critic of Ayn Rand's philosophy, I may not agree with everything they say, but you definitively won't be able to find any support for those things there.

Red Grant said...

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Red Grant,

Most modern Jews do not beat their wives... - Damien
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Damien, the issue was not about whether those who call themselves Jews in this modern age beat their wives or not.



The issue, which you yourself have brought upon without me asking first in this thread was about whether one of the reasons you consider Mohammad to have done

evil things

had been based on the oppression of women.



My argument is if you believe oppression of women is

evil,

then why do you not condem Moses
to have done

evil things

and Judaism to be

evil as well?

when both Moses engaged in and Judaism prescribed the oppression of women.





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and I am not condemning all

Muslims,

just the Jihadists, (terrorists and cultural jihadists alike) who use their holy text to justify the terrorism, a supremacist ideology and the implantation of Sharia. I don't condemn genuine moderate groups like muslims_against_sharia. But that doesn't take away the fact that the Koran specifically tells Jihadists, like al Quaeda terrorists to do the things they are doing, or that Sharia and hatred of non Muslims is part of traditional, Islam - Damien
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Okay, so you claim you are not condeming all Muslims, only the Jihadists.



Below is your own previous statement in this thread.


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According to the Islamic doctrine, (largely created by him)

Muslims must follow his example, and his example when it came to non Muslims was to

wage Jihad (or holy war) until the entire world lives in submission to Islam. - Damien
___________________________________




So you claim to believe Muslims must wage Jihad according to Islamic doctrine.

Yet, you also claim to believe you only condem Muslims who are Jihadists.

So people who call themselves Muslims but do not believe in engaging Jihad,

can they be called Muslims according to your definition?





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Why is it wrong for me, and Greg to accuse them of hypocrisy? - Damien
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Anonymous said...

http://www.socialiststudies.org.uk/cinc%20marxcrisis.shtml

A very good article here on why Marx is still revelant today.