• ssu
    1.5k
    I have only a glancing acquaintance with Ayn Rand, but my understanding thus far is that she tends toward fascism, not socialism.Pattern-chaser
    She was neither. I would say she was a writer that more of right-wing libertarian conservative who invented her own philosophy of objectivism, which typically is just a resell of older classical philosophy done in a light-weight manner. And when her actual work are works of literature, so her philosophy is quite weak.

    But as typical, everything on the right is fascism according to many people...

    But people should ask about it from Benkei. Benkei struggled through her works and can exactly say what he doesn't like about Rand. Not many have read Rand so much.

    The mods seem to get annoyed that Rand is asked about so frequently--I know other Rand threads have been deleted, too. Partially because it's the same thing over and over again.Terrapin Station
    Yeah.

    I can imagine the poor person who first picks up some of Rand's book, or listens to libertarians talking about Rand and then goes to this kind of Forum and asks quite innocently: "So, what do you guys think about Ayn Rand? Doesn't she have some good thoughts?"
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    she was a writer that more of right-wing libertarian conservative

    [...]

    But as typical, everything on the right is fascism according to many people...
    ssu

    There's a geographical element to it too. From my political perspective, here in the UK, even America's left wing appears extreme-right-wing. So someone an American describes as a "right-wing libertarian conservative" is pretty much a fascist, when seen from here. If things go right, we here in the UK may soon see our first-ever socialist leader! I never thought I'd be lucky enough to get the chance to vote for one.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    824
    After some thought, I thought it would be appropriate to return to this place where topics and ideas are repeated so frequently, to repeat what I've said repeatedly:

    Ayn Rand is to philosophy what L. Ron Hubbard is to religion.
  • Henri
    184
    Why is Ayn Rand not accepted academically?jasonm

    Because a sting has to look believable.
  • boethius
    244
    Ok, we both agree that whatever previous material you've written about the subject is not worth finding and referencing, if it hasn't been deleted. We've made progress past point one.

    I see more than one point in the rest of your comment, why not be focused and brief dealing with one thing at a time?

    Seems your standards of focused and brief are fairly arbitrary, only applicable when it suits you.

    I enjoy going back and forth with people who act like as much of an unjustifiably arrogant asshole as you do.Terrapin Station

    What's your standard of "unjustifiably arrogant asshole"? Elaborate your criteria and what statements of mine fall into it.

    especially goad you into typing so much in response to short answers.Terrapin Station

    Have you really goaded me? What would lead you to believe that? What are my aims here, why would you believe I haven't attained them?

    Or, have I goaded you into demonstrating you don't follow your own demands of dealing with things "one at a time".

    And goaded you into responding to a criticism of your ability to think critically with a pathetic Ad hominem of "arrogant asshole".

    Maybe your posts are deleted because, failing to engage in critical thinking in good faith, you must find shelter in insults.

    Maybe I have goaded you into demonstrating that you are unable to deal with the substance of my criticism of your points a, b and c, and so are simply trying to derail the conversation instead.

    I provided a list of authors that wrote fiction and are taken seriously. You have not provided a single example, other than Rand, of an author "pigeonholed" as not-serious-philosophy because they "initially wrote fiction", by the academic philosophical community. If it's a pattern, certainly there are other examples; if it's not a pattern then why did this only befall Rand? If you want to progress one at a time, then first backup your claim 'a'.

    Re "the reasons I believe my answer was 'complete'"--what the heck would a "complete" answer be for this?Terrapin Station

    You refer to your own comment as a "nutshell", which implies it's a summary of some more complete answer. Since you yourself make this claim, why not back it up and show what your nutshell comment is a summary of. You also make the implication that you have nothing else to say on the matter, therefore these previous answers, whatever they are, are also complete in the sense that they satisfactorily deal with any criticism ... But since this great work of yours has been lost, and your objective here is only to goad people into writing philosophy on a philosophy forum and not to try any serious re-attempt of defending your position, it seems we may never know.
  • boethius
    244
    I can imagine the poor person who first picks up some of Rand's book, or listens to libertarians talking about Rand and then goes to this kind of Forum and asks quite innocently: "So, what do you guys think about Ayn Rand? Doesn't she have some good thoughts?"ssu

    People who stumble into a Scientology center (as alludes to), a meeting about the "Chronicles of the Girku", some evangelical group preaching the earth is 6000 years old, or that ISIS is the new caliphate and soon takeover the middle east and destroy all the infidels there and beyond and we should all submit ahead of the curve, or various online pseudo "quantum spiritualities", or any number of other crank philosophies -- many people may also be quite impressed and come here and say "don't they have some good ideas that should be taken seriously by this forum and academic philosophers?" as well as "there's a lot of people believing this and taking it quite seriously, isn't that evidence it has good arguments?".

    What would you say to such people?

    If you read my first comment on this thread, would you say something similar to someone impressed by any of the above, or is it not a good approach?
  • ernestm
    629
    People who stumble into a Scientology center (as ↪Ciceronianus the White alludes to), a meeting about the "Chronicles of the Girku", some evangelical group preaching the earth is 6000 years old, or that ISIS is the new caliphate and soon takeover the middle east and destroy all the infidels there and beyond and we should all submit ahead of the curve, or various online pseudo "quantum spiritualities", or any number of other crank philosophies -- many people may also be quite impressed and come here and say "don't they have some good ideas that should be taken seriously by this forum and academic philosophers?" as well as "there's a lot of people believing this and taking it quite seriously, isn't that evidence it has good arguments?".

    What would you say to such people?
    boethius

    I think the mature thing to do is leave them alone and ask that they reciprocate. If they find meaning in it somewhere that is pertinent to their own lives, then good for them. We only ask they dont impose their beliefs on us. Thats all.
  • Maw
    1.5k
    But as typical, everything on the right is fascism according to many people...ssu

    As the late Umberto Eco noted, Fascism is a synecdoche. A "fuzzy totalitarianism" with "no quintessence". This is useful in both theoretical conceptualization, and as a bulwark against an encroaching fascism. Ayn Rand's ideal reification of her Objectivist philosophy would effectively suspend representative democracy, given that the government would be relegated down to a regalian function of maintaining property rights and a military for defense and security (primarily for upholding property rights). Those with the only substantive power in society would be those with who own the means of production, accumulating wealth, and hiring those whose only means of obtaining sustenance would be to sell their labor power, and all without any third party oversight, or interference and no meaningful way to enact change should conditions be subpar at best and hell at worst. Sound fairly adjacent to fascism to me.
  • boethius
    244
    given that the government would be relegated down to a regalian function of maintaining property rights and a military for defense and security (primarily for upholding property rights)Maw

    You're being too generous. If Rand's ideal was realized (nearly everyone believed in objectivism because, being objective, nearly everyone arrives at the conclusion it's true; as is the case with other beliefs we consider objective -- such as there is some force gravity force us toward the ground, that the sun rises every day, and our our bodies die), then there would be no police, soldiers, judges (or politicians managing them) willing to carry out any "duty" toward the government, other people, much less some conception of justice based on the interest of the collective. If a police or soldier takes some risk to themselves, it's because there was payment proportional to the risk to render it rational for the maximization of their own gain. If a judge rules the only principle demonstrated is the ruling maximized the self interest of the judge. Moreover, there would be no "state ideology" determining some preference of where payment for service should come from (i.e. no police or soldier would believe they should work with preference for the state where they live, rather than who can pay the most), and so these police, soldiers, judges and politicians would be open to business to the highest bidder, as any good businessman is, with zero qualms over origin or their values (measured in something other than money, which they clearly have the most, and so the most value, being able to place the highest bid).

    Likewise, if there is any democracy at all to try to select the few non-Randians who would risk gaining less by taking less bribes -- or, much worse, risk assassination -- to uphold some governing principle (whether it is fair property rights, fair trials to resolve contract disputes, or the fairness of the voting process; for fairness is it a pitiful cry of the weak), the people counting the votes would be as open for business to count in one way or the other, as police willing to arrest, plant evidence or assassinate if the right price right, to, among other things, get rid of these crazy non-Radians who would stand in the way of a rail project and other great deeds of the wealthy -- if sufficient payment is offered or violence threatened then not only are the votes counted in favour of who's bribed and threatened (and indeed carried out the threats on anyone that doesn't cooperate) the most, and the police and judges supposed to monitor the vote counters are as easily bribed or threatened to act in a rational way to both maximize their gain and minimize their personal risk.

    Will "enlightened self interest" save the collective governing process? It can help in certain circumstances when it's clear to an oligarch that going too far in placing only Randians in positions of power will lead to chaos in the short term, but there are a few problems. First, what about the long term? if, as an oligarch, out of enlightened self interest and, in collaboration with my fellow oligarchs, we strike a truce amongst ourselves to place only enough Randians so the system offers little resistance to maximizing our own living conditions while minimizing the system itself falls apart to the point we too are affected, but placing the government on this trajectory things take this turn after we die, why would enlightened self interest prevent this scenario? Likewise, if we can extract all the value we can from the state and then just leave and go live in Switzerland to enjoy a stable society other people have foolishly built with democracy, why would enlightened self interest stop us? Also, what if the process of corrupting and pillaging the state is already underway, why would enlightened self interest compel me to take some risk to reverse the corruption rather than simply join in the fray and get out while the ports still function?
  • ssu
    1.5k
    So someone an American describes as a "right-wing libertarian conservative" is pretty much a fascist, when seen from here.Pattern-chaser
    Really? You think Ron Paul is a fascist? How bizarre.

    If things go right, we here in the UK may soon see our first-ever socialist leader!Pattern-chaser
    First ever??? What happened to Clement Attlee?
    1945-evening-standard-london-front-page-reporting-clement-attlee-and-F22H7G.jpg
  • ssu
    1.5k
    What would you say to such people?

    If you read my first comment on this thread, would you say something similar to someone impressed by any of the above, or is it not a good approach?
    boethius
    You give people respect by making a well thought, informative response to their questions.

    I think your first answer is the way one should answer any discussion thread started from either a new or old member. The kind of condescending type of answer where the underlying answer is "Christ, not one of these again..." is not only hugely arrogant, but simply unhelpful counterproductive. It just pushes us to think that those on the opposite side are simply jerks.

    And typically if someone starts a discussion either to troll people or they have an agenda to promote, they aren't going to actually listen to other views. Then the discussion is quite useless and you can simply wait for the thread to slowly retreat to the back pages.
  • ssu
    1.5k
    Ayn Rand's ideal reification of her Objectivist philosophy would effectively suspend representative democracy, given that the government would be relegated down to a regalian function of maintaining property rights and a military for defense and security (primarily for upholding property rights).Maw
    The minimal role of the government is the way a lot of right-wing libertarians especially in the US think. Not to be confused with the Libertarians-in-name-only type who talk about libertarian values and are for something else. Yet it's wrong to think that libertarians are fascists. Fascists believe in a strong centralized power, in big strong government. It's a typical charge that libertarians are against democracy. Yet what I've noticed this to be is just a critique about how well democracy actually functions.

    Libertarianism has an inherent structure that makes it most difficult if not even impossible for totalitarianism to emerge and that is because it's central focus on freedom of the individual. And with individual rights and hence democracy there is always the opening for other views and typically socialism or some socialist thought will be popular. In a way, a true libertarian society that gives prosperity to it's people would be a huge disappointment for libertarians as people wouldn't necessary be libertarians at all. Closest country to libertarianism would be Switzerland (not Somalia, as the leftist trope goes) and it has a multitude of left-wing policies in place and a quite virile left.

    Sound fairly adjacent to fascism to me.Maw
    A lot of things sound fairly fascist to you. Especially much seems to be adjacent to fascism. Yet what yougave as example would be a plutocracy, which inherently isn't fascist.
  • boethius
    244
    You give people respect by making a well thought, informative response to their questions.ssu

    Yes, we agree here. I also believe it is not constructive to simply list negative adjectives without context, pointing to further resources, or backing up the claims.

    I also very much share your empathy for confused or misguided people.

    Nevertheless, we may differ in how far it is practical to making an encounter with critical thinking, such as on this forum, psychologically easy for people who are certain their beliefs are not only true but hold up to critical scrutiny, and are equally certain that if "academic philosophers" or "people who have read books" disagree then those people must have ulterior motives, bias and arrogance -- anything other than the merits of the content -- to not treat their cherished material with the same reverence and respect that they do and it.

    It's simply not feasible to make it a pleasant and welcoming experience. Just like when someone with zero mountain climbing experience shows up in Nepal insisting they can climb Everest, all on their own. If they go to the Sherpa society in order to verify that they know how mountains are climbed and challenges dealt with from watching Into the Void, that they have the levels of courage and grit required, and that they just want a friendly check that they can easily converse and banter as an equal (with respect to mountain climbing) with the most seasoned Sherpas and toast the mountain before setting off to conquer new heights, it's unlikely to be as pleasant an experience as they imagine. I would wager they will almost immediately encounter the comments that they're beliefs are a danger to themselves and to others.

    Sure, it's better to try to be civil and talk them down from essentially committing suicide and endangering the lives of others that will be compelled to try and save them when they call for help over their radio or sat-phone, but if the "mountaineer" persists in insisting they're just as good a mountaineer as anyone else, and they're going to prove it, I think we should err on the side of forgiving the Sherpa's their frustration with this disrespectful individual than be overly concerned that the "mountaineer" has their feelings hurt in the exchange.

    The minimal role of the government is the way a lot of right-wing libertarians especially in the US think. Not to be confused with the Libertarians-in-name-only type who talk about libertarian values and are for something else. Yet it's wrong to think that libertarians are fascists.ssu

    was clearly referring to the libertarian Randians. And you yourself made this close association by beseeching us "imagine the poor person who first picks up some of Rand's book, or listens to libertarians talking about Rand".

    Though I agree it's in principle possible for a libertarian to see Randianism as contradictory and poisonous to any governing principle, whether big of small, and that sufficient number of people following Rand, especially in government, will undermine the libertarian idea of property rights as well as the political process that we might otherwise hope to rectify the situation, by pursuing their idea of justice, which is to maximize their own gain, but we would otherwise call corruption.

    In the case of Randian libertarians, they are Randians first and believe that the strong should dominate the weak. This is the essence of Rand's so called "philosophy", that "real men" do what they please and the weak shouldn't band together to protect their collective interests (either as individuals much less to further some idea of a justice independent of their individual interests), but rather should either join the rich and powerful if they can by too becoming "real men" or then just get out of the way and watch the many more wonders industrialists will make for us when freed from the obstacles of taxes, regulation and voters.

    That the strong should dominate the weak and pay no head to what the weak and their allied misguided wealthy "do-gooders" think of as morality (that this form of morality is just the weak trying to trick or beg the strong into caring for them when they shouldn't, when they should only care about themselves), is the heart of fascism. To the elites trying to move a country towards fascism it's simply the pathway that gives themselves the most power; to the poor asked to support this fascist movement, of course the ideology of self interest isn't offered but rather whatever ideology is at hand that will lead the poor to support the fascist takeover against their own interest: racism is often handy, unquestioning patriotism is a must, idolizing the leader always useful.

    Ironically, in post-WWII united states, it was also useful to promote an ideology that lionizes personal profit above the general interests of society, indeed denies any such general interest can be conceived, while simultaneously insisting that people following this ideology will create the most public good of any ideology (of which any standard of public good is denied, and so if asked to backup the claim, there is nothing to backup or verify i.e. whatever results from people following their own interests is for the public good, as there is no possible standard of public good other than people following their own interests QED; if someone takes all the power and all the wealth and rules like a king for their own pleasure, torturing and killing those that would oppose them, even carrying out the killings in foreign embassies rebuking and taunting the whole world and their precious diplomatic civility and charter of human rights, well power to them: they're a winner, you should try to be a winner too next time ... just not through collective action but as a rich industrialists who can compel cooperation through payment, bribery and violence when required or for the heck of it).

    And what alternative is there?

    To say "hey guys, help me seize power and remove all constraints to my own freedom that the laws and the government now impose on me, which is so painful and onerous I can barely bare it (woe, woooeee is me), because this is rational for me to want, total and unfettered freedom ... but also don't consider if it is rational for you to support this cause and, most of all, I want you to happily sacrifice your own lives, in foolish service to ancient and savage tribal idealism that I personally despise and you have not yet learned enough to hate too but still believe there is a land worth anything more than a place to put my billboard (and if I myself were called to serve I would seek deferment of the draft until the war is over, but do what I say not as I do) -- I ask this so I can increase and then protect my property, which will soon be de facto the whole of the country when I control all the organs of the state and there are no constraints to my freedom. Step up, step up! brave idiots and do what is best for me with no thought of yourselves: for it is the individual, in particular my individual, that has alone any value (it's as clear as day to me and indeed the only thing that I can see and the only truth that I could ever call objective)".

    This is why:

    As the late Umberto Eco noted, Fascism is a synecdoche. A "fuzzy totalitarianism" with "no quintessence". This is useful in both theoretical conceptualization, and as a bulwark against an encroaching fascism.Maw
  • Benkei
    2k
    This question comes up periodically, and I thought I answered it again recently, but in a nutshell, it's a combo of

    (a) initially she wrote fiction and it's difficult to move out of being pigeonholed (she's still popularly thought of as primarily a fiction author),

    (b) she didn't develop or emerge from academic philosophy socially, and as unfortunate as it may be, it's much more difficult to "break in" to that world than it is to emerge from within its confines,

    (c) she's seen as (i) not being a "systematic" philosopher and (ii) having a lot of wonky notions, having misunderstandings, etc. about previous philosophers and theories, and this is seen as an upshot of and justification for (b). Of course, many philosophers who are studied in universities, who are regularly published in academic journals, etc. also have issues with (i) and (ii), but they developed within academic philosophy.
    Terrapin Station

    What nonsense is this? Apart from the multitude of fallacies in her work, like deriving ethics from a logical tautology (I mean, wtf?!). She further grounds ethics in Aristotlean biology (eg. teleological) while that was totally debunked by Darwin well before she started writing.

    Glad to know though I can from now on ignore everything you ever write here since you're incapable off recognising bullshit when it hits you in the face every third paragraph.
  • Benkei
    2k
    It just pushes us to think that those on the opposite side are simply jerks.ssu

    But I am a jerk to people who think Rand has anything useful to say. That's not for their benefit but for this site as to minimise their presence by making sure they don't feel welcome.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k
    What nonsense is this?Benkei

    I'm not sure you understood what I wrote. Did what I write come off as an endorsement of Rand for some reason?
  • ssu
    1.5k
    But I am a jerk to people who think Rand has anything useful to say.Benkei
    But at least you have given the credible impression that you have still actually read her work. :halo:
  • Benkei
    2k
    I'm not sure you understood what I wrote. Did what I write come off as an endorsement of Rand for some reason?Terrapin Station

    She's not taken seriously because objectivism is crap. When she's right, she's unoriginal and when she's wrong, it's clear she isn't aware of philosophical history and so obviously wrong it just makes her look stupid. Hence anyone downplaying the reasons for this by suggesting she's not taken seriously for irrational reasons is tacitly endorsing crap.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k
    She's not taken seriously because objectivism is crap.Benkei

    That's not the only reason, though. Surely you don't think that everything that's "taken seriously" by philosophy departments, peer-reviewed journals, etc. is not crap, right? If that's the case, then work being crap isn't sufficient to explain this.
  • boethius
    244
    I'm not sure you understood what I wrote. Did what I write come off as an endorsement of Rand for some reason?Terrapin Station

    Oh, so you agree with my point 'd' that the overwhelming reason Rand isn't taken seriously by academic philosophers is the low quality of her arguments. I'm glad our little discussion has come to a close.

    But at least you have given the credible impression that you have still actually read her work.ssu

    Please point out who in the discussion does not give a credible impression of having read Rand's work? Ambiguous and loosely ended criticism I'm sure you agree in just bad taste.

    And what is even your position here? That Rand should be taken seriously?

    Demonstrate your case, cite her passages that are serious philosophy and explain to us why.

    Or is your case only that we should be very, very concerned that the poor innocent ivy league freshman that attends the local "council of Rand" to quickly verify that there is no possible criticism of how money is accumulated, either by his family or anyone else and he should never for the rest of his life reflect on his devotion to whoever pays him the most as he launches his brilliant career in corporate America, and he can simply brush aside thousands of years of political philosophy that has grappled with the problem of corruption in government and vulnerability to a full take over by rich and powerful citizens, because it is easily solved by just viewing money as votes and "influence" is what everyone is doing anyway (look, these "philosophers" are doing it right here!), the rich just win while the poor lose -- that we should be overly concerned this poor boy with the depth of knowledge of a frisbee and the innocence of a soft eyed lamb will be slightly taken aback to find out that critical thinkers on the internet don't just throw out thousands of years of political philosophy when they hear "greed is good" and "altruism is evil" and "dollars should be votes" and "taxes are immoral and robbery ( ... but also deny any moral code that would be the basis to assert anything at all is immoral apart from self-interest ...)" and "there is no public good apart from the interest of individuals! ... construed in whatever way is needed to remove constraints on the rich while protecting their property, whether it's in the interest of anyone else or not, of which we will always claim they are policies for the public good anyway even though we literally just said the public good doesn't exist, only individuals. I. I am an individual."?
  • Sculptor
    41
    Really? You think Ron Paul is a fascist? How bizarre.ssu

    What is NOT fascist about Paul?
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k
    Oh, so you agree with my point 'd' that the overwhelming reason Rand isn't taken seriously by academic philosophers is the low quality of her arguments.boethius

    Tons of stuff that's in the canon consists of low quality arguments.
  • boethius
    244
    Tons of stuff that's in the canon consists of low quality arguments.Terrapin Station

    I've already requested of you on this point in my first response to you:

    Yes, please provide a list of these many academic philosophers who are as poor thinkers as Rand but are not only published but seriously studied by other academics. Let us compare the errors of the one with those of the latter and see for ourselves if they are similar and Rand is indeed unjustly not counted among the incompetent philosophers.boethius

    Are you unable to satisfy a simple request to backup your claim?

    If indeed you can show "the cannon" is filled with as bad thinkers as Rand, I have no problem petitioning the community of academics to enshrine her among the "low-quality argument shelf". If it's her due to be "officially bad philosophy", it's her due. I agree there.

    But, if it's more goading your after, I'm ready for round 2 too.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k
    Are you unable to satisfy a simple request to backup your claim?boethius

    I never read that. Again, you can type as much as you want--of course. It's just that I'm not about to read more than what I quote from you. "As poor thinkers as Rand" is a bit different than "low-quality arguments" isn't it? I just want to clarify that first.
  • ssu
    1.5k

    Let's start with his views and ideology for starters.
  • ssu
    1.5k
    And what is even your position here? That Rand should be taken seriously?

    Demonstrate your case, cite her passages that are serious philosophy and explain to us why.
    boethius
    ?

    Actually I stated what I thought quite clearly about her if you would mind reading what people say. But seems like your hunting for some Rand supporter to attack. To unleash some wait, it's coming...

    Or is your case only that we should be very, very concerned that the poor innocent ivy league freshman that attends the local "council of Rand" to quickly verify that there is no possible criticism of how money is accumulated, either by his family or anyone else and he should never for the rest of his life reflect on his devotion to whoever pays him the most as he launches his brilliant career in corporate America, and he can simply brush aside thousands of years of political philosophy that has grappled with the problem of corruption in government and vulnerability to a full take over by rich and powerful citizens, because it is easily solved by just viewing money as votes and "influence" is what everyone is doing anyway (look, these "philosophers" are doing it right here!), the rich just win while the poor lose -- that we should be overly concerned this poor boy with the depth of knowledge of a frisbee and the innocence of a soft eyed lamb will be slightly taken aback to find out that critical thinkers on the internet don't just throw out thousands of years of political philosophy when they hear "greed is good" and "altruism is evil" and "dollars should be votes" and "taxes are immoral and robbery ( ... but also deny any moral code that would be the basis to assert anything at all is immoral apart from self-interest ...)" and "there is no public good apart from the interest of individuals! ... construed in whatever way is needed to remove constraints on the rich while protecting their property, whether it's in the interest of anyone else or not, of which we will always claim they are policies for the public good anyway even though we literally just said the public good doesn't exist, only individuals. I. I am an individual."?boethius

    Wow, you got it on paper, no, to the internet. In three or four sentences? That weed had to be good. Or was it just booze?
  • boethius
    244
    Actually I stated what I thought quite clearly about her if you would mind reading what people say.ssu

    Yes, please defend your thesis by referencing Rand's material.

    But seems like your hunting for some Rand supporter to attack. To unleash some wait, it's coming...ssu

    If I was hunting for Rand supporters to attack I'd be on Reddit, not here.

    The question here is "Why isn't Rand taken seriously by academics?".

    As you are aware, I'm defending the position that she's not taken seriously because she has no material that merits being taken seriously.

    It follows from this that her arguments are comically easy to show have no merit (otherwise they would have merit and should be taken seriously).

    Therefore, I should have a comically easy time of it, which I do.

    If the results seem a strawman, it's up to you to demonstrate that.

    People who want to defend the position that her material should be taken seriously -- or from what I understand of your position, maybe shouldn't be taken seriously as philosophy but we should go through the motions of taking it seriously to spare the emotions of people who erroneously take it seriously due to being poor and innocent in the ways of philosophy? (But please make your view more clear if this isn't the case) -- people who want to defend she should be taken seriously, to one degree or another, need to do actual defense of her material, not flail their arms around in the meta realm of arguments about her arguments that don't reference her arguments.

    However, the only other position here, of you and , seems to be she should be taken "a bit seriously", but not serious enough that you or Terrapin would quote anything she says to defend your view.

    If there are Randians on the forum, or who read this thread and join the forum, that want to defend her arguments, maybe you should leave space for them to do it, rather than step in to ... well I still don't know what your trying to do here ... which might leave the impression that the serious ssu is their shield and the very fact you seem (maybe? from a distance?) on the side of the Randians (in some subtle way) shows, again in the meta realm of flailing about with arguments about arguments, that Rand has some merit.

    Or, if you want to play devils advocate, well an advocate needs to do some actual work to defend a case.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.5k
    However, the only other position here, of you and ↪Terrapin Station, seems to be she should be taken "a bit seriously", but not serious enough that you or Terrapin would quote anything she says to defend your view.boethius

    I'd never use the phrase "take seriously," and I've not said anything even slightly supportive of Rand.
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