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Criticisms of Rand's Philosophy


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Posted on Dec 8, 2013, 11:44:04 AM PST
http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2013/03/27/ayn-rand-really-really-hated-c-s-lewis/

" Well, these comments sure go to show that Ayn Rand was indeed a bastion of modern objectivity." -George

"Could she at least make an effort to understand Lewis' argument correctly?" -Matthew Jamison

Posted on Aug 27, 2013, 5:45:13 PM PDT
My problem with Rand is simple. Her "greed is good" attitude was one of the biggest reasons for the recent crash. In fact, the entire economic thrust of conservatism at this point is basically warmed over Rand.

I'd be ashamed to walk out of a bookstore carrying a copy of "Atlas Shrugged," but then, I don't vote for the right. That's because I make less than 100K/yr.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2013, 12:06:12 PM PDT
Amygdala says:
MMX: "...more later..."

MMX, well? I'm waiting.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2012, 10:54:11 PM PST
'probabilist says:
Thanks, MMX.

The term still doesn't work for me, though.

,.-)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2012, 12:50:51 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012, 7:21:59 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012, 2:57:50 PM PST
I have nothing to prove to you. I have zero interest in justifying my motivations to you. All you will do is try to twist them into something that rationalizes your desire to see the majority of people as "looters", a pejorative term if I ever heard one. If you're not going to take me at my word, then you are, basically, calling me a liar. Not a good basis for a dialogue. Maybe you should start up an Ayn Rand church; you can preach from the pulpit and see how many you can get into your congregation. But considering that, despite how "popular" her books were, she ended up having to live on government assistance, I'd say that that prospect is doomed to fail, much like Rand's philosophy.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012, 2:30:06 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012, 2:29:03 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012, 2:14:15 PM PST
"Rand's idealism is only worthwhile in a world where the majority of people see things the same way she did. Which they obviously do not. Regardless of whether or not you get a kick out of viewing the world through her lens, it's not practical. Which makes it all academic, but ultimately useless."

Big "L" libertarianism faces the same problems. Systems which will only work if every person thinks like those of the system's founders, *and* every new person born adopts that same system, is unlikely to actually work to a significant degree.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012, 2:09:16 PM PST
All of this, of course, is predicated on two things: 1) You are taking the motivations of a lot of people for granted, in effect demonizing any effort to assist others, and this kind of generalization is in itself only self-serving and 2) that Rand's idealism can be realized. Rand's idealism is only worthwhile in a world where the majority of people see things the same way she did. Which they obviously do not. Regardless of whether or not you get a kick out of viewing the world through her lens, it's not practical. Which makes it all academic, but ultimately useless.

You're also trying to convince others that her philosophy is valid. Are you doing this for your own benefit? What do you get from it? If you're trying to help others "see the light", then you are fitting your own definition of looting.

Enjoy your conversation with yourself. Rand can only occupy my interest for so long.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012, 1:59:01 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012, 1:55:22 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012, 1:54:20 PM PST
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Posted on Dec 20, 2012, 1:53:44 PM PST
So exactly what personal benefit do you get from trying to convince people that they should bow down before the altar of Rand? I'd call that a form of looting, too.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012, 1:51:52 PM PST
Ddms says:
The use of simplistic slurs like "looter" typifies Rand's shallowness - and yours.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012, 1:43:48 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012, 1:38:09 PM PST
Oh, what fun was I making of people for not agreeing with my perspective? Sorry you have to put your cynical attitude on everything, but that's not always the way it is. If that's how you want to view everything, whether it's warranted or not, that's your business. Apparently, I have become the enemy because I don't agree with Rand's interpretation of how things work or yours. That's your issue, not mine. Bet you don't have a lot of real friends, though. (Now THAT'S making fun of you.)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012, 12:59:29 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012, 12:55:37 PM PST
Basically, just regard everyone as liars. Got it. Thanks for the clarification. I'll still pass on her philosophy. I don't believe that it is a valid or productive way of dealing with the world. But good luck to you on your path anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012, 12:52:11 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012, 12:41:18 PM PST
'probabilist says:
Hi, MMX -

What other, less emotionally loaded (and more descriptive), terms might you use instead of Rand's idiosyncratic use of "looters"?

Accusing one's opponents (and people one dislikes) of theft (as Ayn Rand does with this term) is an old--and effective--rhetorical practice. But I don't find it helpful for clear thinking.

Thanks,

'prob

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012, 12:28:39 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012, 8:41:36 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012, 8:35:23 PM PST
I've criticized both her philosophy and her as-a-person as well. For me, the weakness of her philosophy is best exemplified by a life that only had literary semi-success as its highlight. I don't believe that she really cared about the human race, only a small subset of it, and her philosophy was likely just a means to justify to herself why she should loathe us as a species.

For me, she brings up some interesting points, but they are fundamentally flawed. I know her fans love to just nitpick details to death, and try to color everything they see into her terms, but those terms are extremely limited, and miss parts of the equation that should be there. Her arguments only lead to the subjugation of most of the masses to self-appointed supermen who are the only ones qualified to lead us. Lead us where, she really doesn't specify. But I find it really odd that libertarians really groove on her stuff, when the ultimate end to her posits is that we need to give up our will to those stronger than us, simply because they are. History is full of lots of instances of this happening, and none of them turned out really good.

Her idealism is much removed from reality. From a purely intellectual standpoint, I can kick it around a bit. As a full-fledged philosophy to which one should commit themselves?

No way.
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  26
Total posts:  277
Initial post:  Dec 5, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 8, 2013

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