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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Shrugged vs. the Standard Works
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:14 pm 
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EAllusion wrote:
Oh. I was just choosing a generic insult for comic effect. She was a terrible person with abhorrent moral views, though.

What makes you think that?

.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Shrugged vs. the Standard Works
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:53 pm 
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You've misread him for a long time. Similar to you continually saying I'm leftist.



Shades is a leftist, period. The fact that he thinks economic prosperity and civil liberties and social liberalism can coexist at the end of the day is testament only to the extensive degree of his intellectual confusion.

I long ago, if you will recall, moved away from seeing you as a leftist. You are, however, anti-economic freedom, which really reduces, at the end of the day, to being opposed to free agency in an area in which, at least here in mortality, is primary. You display what Von Mises called "the anti-capitalist mentality", which means you have been heavily influenced by leftist ideas (which can quite easily be imbibed osmotically from the surrounding culture) and by Nibley's economically illiterate nonsense.

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Strongly disagree. She caricatured them.


Wrong. She morally and intellectually cut them open and exposed their entrails to the open air. Clearly, you understand neither Rand nor leftism as a belief system.


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I would call the gospel the biggest success story but to each their own I guess.


Nice dodge, but I understand you are not particularly educated or well read in this area, and have little interest in political philosophy or history generally (yet you have very strong opinions on various subjects closely connected to these areas).

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Droopy, capitalism will one day vanish if we advance technologically far enough.


Interesting claim. Now, could you provide a logical argument that would provide a reason to assume such to be the case?

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It's a system. I think it's a good one. I do not think it will work universally but controlled capitalism is ideal for the United States at this time.


It has worked, as a matter of history, everywhere its been tried in the proper manner.

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I think you're stretching the parable of the talents. I think it should be taken into consideration with the parable of the ten sons given in the D&C which is an outright repudiation to competitive capitalism.


How does this repudiate "competitive capitalism" (keeping in mind that free market capitalism is an eminently cooperative system, without which it could not function at all)?

Quote:
Are you seriously suggesting that Satan's fall was aimed at the destruction of capitalism?


Satan's fall was a direct result of his hostility to free agency.

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Have you been to the Temple? His plan involves using wealth disparity to his advantage. Remember Korihor, the laissez faire capitalist?


Korihor was what in modern terms would be called a leftist; in the sense that he was a libertine social radical, moral relativist, and philosophical materialist. I see no evidence whatsoever in the scriptures that he was anything approaching the ancient equivalent of a laissez fair capitalist. He was a Machiavellian hedonist, and made, as I recall, no particular statements regarding economic relations.


Quote:
Rational self-interest doesn't work for two reasons:

1. Humans aren't rational.

2. Self-interest is the antithesis of the gospel.



Everything you have that allows you to live materially above the level of the manner in which people in Salt Lake City, Utah lived in the nineteenth century is a derivative of rational self interest and the liberty to work, save, invest, risk, and create in an environment of respect for property rights and free, uncoeirced economic activity between free individuals according to the use of their own agency.

The idea that self interest, as a general concept, is antithetical to the gospel is without any ambiguity false doctrine, if you intend it to be taken as such. The entire endeavor to overcome the world, endure to the end, and master ourselves is self interested - we desire the blessings and promises of the gospel. We keep the commandments, live the gospel, and deny ourselves of baser things because we are, of ourselves, interested in our own salvation. You draw a false dichotomy between self interest and selflessness, which, in a gospel context, are not mutually exclusive but mutually reinforcing and interconnected.

The fact that our salvation hinges on our relations with others, our sharing of the gospel, and the strenght we draw from each other in a Zion culture alters not this fundamental reality. We are not saved as a group or collective, but only as individuals. We spend our lives attempting to persuade, exhort, implore, and expend ourselves in an effort to convince others to join us in this gospel, but the choice is always theirs and theirs alone. We must all help and assist one another in our salvation, we cannot do it alone, it is true, but each individual is saved only as he as an individual so chooses.

In like manner, our property is our stewardship, to improve, expand, and make prosperous. This is impossible without "capitalism", in the very fundamental sense of the freedom to work, save, accumulate capital, and invest it in productive activities. The United Order is grounded to a great extent on precisely this concept, but with a different social component in the idea of the voluntary support of the Zion community through the Bishop's storehouse. There will be no rich or poor in Zion, but there will still be free markets and free individuals with their talents improving and investing in their stewardships for the building of the Kingdom in a Zion context.

I don't at this point, unfortunately, expect any argument, no matter how well articulated and clear, to have much effect penetrating the class envy that saturates your entire perspective on these issues.

But try I must.

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Last edited by Droopy on Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Shrugged vs. the Standard Works
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:10 pm 
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You didn't answer my question.


As I thought, most of the views you've ever expressed here, such as on homosexual marriage and other related issues, are to the far left of the general philosophical spectrum. No need to go any further.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Shrugged vs. the Standard Works
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:16 pm 
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Droopy wrote:
Shades is a leftist, period. The fact that he thinks economic prosperity and civil liberties and social liberalism can coexist at the end of the day is testament only to the extensive degree of his intellectual confusion.

I think I see the root of the problem: You mistake fiscal liberalism for social liberalism. Libertarians are indeed social liberals, but are fiscal conservatives. So on social issues we align with the Democrats, but on monetary issues we align with the Republicans.

Droopy wrote:
Quote:
You didn't answer my question.

As I thought, most of the views you've ever expressed here, such as on homosexual marriage and other related issues, are to the far left of the general philosophical spectrum. No need to go any further.

That's because we Libertarians are social liberals. If you were to talk about taxation, foreign aid, etc., you and I would both be at the far right of the general philosophical spectrum.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Shrugged vs. the Standard Works
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:41 pm 
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Droopy, please stop embarrassing yourself by pretending to have an "education" in economic matters. Your background in the field is obviously lacking.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Shrugged vs. the Standard Works
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:46 pm 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
And in what way are her philosophical views naïve? Even if you can demonstrate it, you've got to admit that her views are far more well thought-out, applicable, and enlightening than anything found between the covers of the four LDS Standard Works, right?

Objectivism is philosophy for people who don't know much about philosophy. It has a patina of deep thought, but it's unsatisfying to anyone who has studied philosophical problems with any seriousness.

Ayn Rand's epistemology is "A=A", for chrissakes. Laughable.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Shrugged vs. the Standard Works
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:39 pm 
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JohnStuartMill wrote:
Objectivism is philosophy for people who don't know much about philosophy. It has a patina of deep thought, but it's unsatisfying to anyone who has studied philosophical problems with any seriousness.

What would you change about it to make it satisfying?

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Ayn Rand's epistemology is "A=A", for chrissakes. Laughable.

In what way?

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Shrugged vs. the Standard Works
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:31 am 
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I think I see the root of the problem: You mistake fiscal liberalism for social liberalism. Libertarians are indeed social liberals, but are fiscal conservatives. So on social issues we align with the Democrats, but on monetary issues we align with the Republicans.


Some are, some are not. The late William F. Buckley was strongly libertarian, but no social liberal (indeed, he termed himself a libertarian journalist). Modern conservatism is, indeed, a major school of classical liberalism, but still retaining the strong attachment to the Judeo/Christian moral/ethical ground of liberty, which much of modern libertarianism, at least in its stronger forms, has abandoned, and which is its ultimate undoing as a philosophical system.

I consider myself a libertarian conservative.

Hint: Social and fiscal liberalism are close siblings and presuppose each other, as well as predispose the culture and the form government takes to support and maintain both.

The social libertinism and moral relativism/anarchy of the Left both require and support statism and an invasive, paternalistic nanny state. There is really no way to compartmentalize social and fiscal conservatism. They are both of a piece with each other, as are social and fiscal liberalism.

the real crux of the matter is that social liberalism is ultimately incompatible with liberty, just as it ultimately produces economic and political statism.

I think many who claim to be both fiscal libertarians and social liberals are simply traditional leftists who want the state involved in every aspect of our lives except the economic, and, as with homosexual marriage ad other social issues, they have no problem tearing up the constitution to justify and support their libertine social views, so long as the shredding stops at their wallets.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Shrugged vs. the Standard Works
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:46 am 
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Droopy, please stop embarrassing yourself by pretending to have an "education" in economic matters. Your background in the field is obviously lacking.


Frankly, and given your showing thus far in these discussions, I'll take my many years of study and reflection in political economy with the excerpts of Huffington Post ob-eds and MSNBC one liners that passes for analysis in your world any day.

I suspect that what passes for education in your world may be substantially different than what counts for such in mine.

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- Thomas Sowell


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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Shrugged vs. the Standard Works
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:16 pm 
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Droopy wrote:
Modern conservatism is, indeed, a major school of classical liberalism, but still retaining the strong attachment to the Judeo/Christian moral/ethical ground of liberty, which much of modern libertarianism, at least in its stronger forms, has abandoned, and which is its ultimate undoing as a philosophical system.

You're wrong. Libertarianism has embraced all forms of liberty. It has abandoned none of them.

Quote:
Hint: Social and fiscal liberalism are close siblings and presuppose each other, as well as predispose the culture and the form government takes to support and maintain both.

They may presuppose each other, but they're not inseparably wedded. Hence Libertarianism. (A square is always a rectangle, but a rectangle is not always a square.)

Quote:
The social libertinism and moral relativism/anarchy of the Left both require and support statism and an invasive, paternalistic nanny state.

You are wrong. The two have nothing whatsoever to do with each other. (How can anarchy require an invasive state??)

Quote:
There is really no way to compartmentalize social and fiscal conservatism.

Of course there is. Social conservatism requires the government to meddle in your bedroom. Fiscal conservatism requires the government to stay out of your pocketbook. It's extremely easy to compartmentalize the one from the other.

Quote:
They are both of a piece with each other, as are social and fiscal liberalism.

Social liberalism requires the government to stay out of your bedroom. Fiscal liberalism requires the government to meddle in your pocketbook. So although the trend is for concurrency, it's by no means a requirement. Observe Authoritarianism and Libertarianism: Authoritarianism requires the government to meddle in your bedroom and your pocketbook, whereas Libertarianism requires the government to stay out of both.

Quote:
the real crux of the matter is that social liberalism is ultimately incompatible with liberty, . . .

That's incorrect. Social liberalism is nigh unto the very definition of liberty.

Quote:
. . . just as it ultimately produces economic and political statism.

It produces no such thing.

Quote:
I think many who claim to be both fiscal libertarians and social liberals are simply traditional leftists who want the state involved in every aspect of our lives except the economic, . . .

You think incorrectly. It's actually 180 degrees different from what you assume.

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. . . and, as with homosexual marriage ad other social issues, they have no problem tearing up the constitution to justify and support their libertine social views, so long as the shredding stops at their wallets.

Homosexual marriage is nowhere addressed in the Constitution. Recognizing homosexual marriage wouldn't violate the Constitution one whit, just like interracial marriage didn't violate the Constitution one whit.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Shrugged vs. the Standard Works
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:52 am 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
JohnStuartMill wrote:
Objectivism is philosophy for people who don't know much about philosophy. It has a patina of deep thought, but it's unsatisfying to anyone who has studied philosophical problems with any seriousness.

What would you change about it to make it satisfying?

Pretty much everything. It doesn't even attempt to solve any philosophical problems, really -- it just makes a couple of bold claims without justification and sits back smugly. There's not really anything to grapple with here, which partially explains my reticence.

Quote:
Quote:
Ayn Rand's epistemology is "A=A", for chrissakes. Laughable.

In what way?

What can we infer from "A=A"? What does it explain to us?

Nothing. And that's just another reason why Objectivism is so wanting.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Shrugged vs. the Standard Works
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:14 pm 
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Droopy wrote:
Quote:
Droopy, please stop embarrassing yourself by pretending to have an "education" in economic matters. Your background in the field is obviously lacking.


Frankly, and given your showing thus far in these discussions, I'll take my many years of study and reflection in political economy with the excerpts of Huffington Post ob-eds and MSNBC one liners that passes for analysis in your world any day.

I suspect that what passes for education in your world may be substantially different than what counts for such in mine.

Yes, because in the real world, people go to "universities" where they read "books" and are instructed in things like "evidence" and "logic". In Crazyland (which is more of a state of mind than a physical locality), people can translate ancient documents out of hats with magic rocks. You ought to be envious.

By the way, I hate HuffPo, and I don't watch MSNBC.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Shrugged vs. the Standard Works
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:29 pm 
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Droopy wrote:
Quote:
You've misread him for a long time. Similar to you continually saying I'm leftist.



Shades is a leftist, period. The fact that he thinks economic prosperity and civil liberties and social liberalism can coexist at the end of the day is testament only to the extensive degree of his intellectual confusion.

I long ago, if you will recall, moved away from seeing you as a leftist. You are, however, anti-economic freedom, which really reduces, at the end of the day, to being opposed to free agency in an area in which, at least here in mortality, is primary. You display what Von Mises called "the anti-capitalist mentality", which means you have been heavily influenced by leftist ideas (which can quite easily be imbibed osmotically from the surrounding culture) and by Nibley's economically illiterate nonsense.


PRIMARY? :lol:

Someone needs to call Jacob and tell him to recant the sermon he gave in the Temple. He mocked those hard-working capitalists who gained more then everyone else and encouraged them to share.

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Quote:
Strongly disagree. She caricatured them.


Wrong. She morally and intellectually cut them open and exposed their entrails to the open air. Clearly, you understand neither Rand nor leftism as a belief system.


No, no she didn't.

Quote:
Quote:
I would call the gospel the biggest success story but to each their own I guess.


Nice dodge, but I understand you are not particularly educated or well read in this area, and have little interest in political philosophy or history generally (yet you have very strong opinions on various subjects closely connected to these areas).


HAHAHAHAHAHAH (blasted smiley limits)

I minored in Economics and was barely short of the same in Political Science. I still keep in touch with some professors in those subjects about current events. I read a lot of classical political philosophy and occasionally read the stuff of today. I am obsessed with history and read it voraciously.

What have you read? Locke? Confucius? Plato? Hobbes? Burke? Marx? Strauss?

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Quote:
Droopy, capitalism will one day vanish if we advance technologically far enough.


Interesting claim. Now, could you provide a logical argument that would provide a reason to assume such to be the case?


Sure, once we have machines that can create the necessities and reasonable wants of life with minimal or no effort would you countenance the continuance of capitalism? Economics is about scarce resources. When resources are no longer scarce it will no longer be an economic issue. The only danger would be political control.

I'm not suggesting this is likely anytime soon but capitalism is not the greatest thing ever devised. The Gospel is the best, moral philosophy and simple enjoyment good.

Quote:
Quote:
It's a system. I think it's a good one. I do not think it will work universally but controlled capitalism is ideal for the United States at this time.


It has worked, as a matter of history, everywhere its been tried in the proper manner.


By proper manner I assume you mean the right cultural and political conditions? If so, then you're saying that it will work when it will work. Hardly a helpful proposition.

Quote:
Quote:
I think you're stretching the parable of the talents. I think it should be taken into consideration with the parable of the ten sons given in the D&C which is an outright repudiation to competitive capitalism.


How does this repudiate "competitive capitalism" (keeping in mind that free market capitalism is an eminently cooperative system, without which it could not function at all)?


Capitalism is cooperative in a limited sense only. So is Mercantilism, Socialism, and Communism.

Quote:
Quote:
Are you seriously suggesting that Satan's fall was aimed at the destruction of capitalism?


Satan's fall was a direct result of his hostility to free agency.


That and his desire for power. Then he fell and offered to make people rich to buy them off. Capitalist at heart?

Quote:
Have you been to the Temple? His plan involves using wealth disparity to his advantage. Remember Korihor, the laissez faire capitalist?


Quote:
Korihor was what in modern terms would be called a leftist; in the sense that he was a libertine social radical, moral relativist, and philosophical materialist. I see no evidence whatsoever in the scriptures that he was anything approaching the ancient equivalent of a laissez fair capitalist. He was a Machiavellian hedonist, and made, as I recall, no particular statements regarding economic relations.


Have you read Machiavelli? I don't think Korihor fits the image (at least from what the Book of Mormon says.

Korihor:

Yea, they durst not make use of that with is their won lest they should offend their priests, who do yoke them according to their desires....

He's preaching against government controls over economic life.

Quote:
Quote:
Rational self-interest doesn't work for two reasons:

1. Humans aren't rational.

2. Self-interest is the antithesis of the gospel.



Everything you have that allows you to live materially above the level of the manner in which people in Salt Lake City, Utah lived in the nineteenth century is a derivative of rational self interest and the liberty to work, save, invest, risk, and create in an environment of respect for property rights and free, uncoeirced economic activity between free individuals according to the use of their own agency.




Quote:
The idea that self interest, as a general concept, is antithetical to the gospel is without any ambiguity false doctrine, if you intend it to be taken as such. The entire endeavor to overcome the world, endure to the end, and master ourselves is self interested - we desire the blessings and promises of the gospel. We keep the commandments, live the gospel, and deny ourselves of baser things because we are, of ourselves, interested in our own salvation. You draw a false dichotomy between self interest and selflessness, which, in a gospel context, are not mutually exclusive but mutually reinforcing and interconnected.


Wait, what? How can anyone be saved on that rationale? I love the Gospel because it offers salvation to the human race. Part of me is still incredibly partial to myself alone and that part needs to be killed.

Quote:
The fact that our salvation hinges on our relations with others, our sharing of the gospel, and the strenght we draw from each other in a Zion culture alters not this fundamental reality. We are not saved as a group or collective, but only as individuals. We spend our lives attempting to persuade, exhort, implore, and expend ourselves in an effort to convince others to join us in this gospel, but the choice is always theirs and theirs alone. We must all help and assist one another in our salvation, we cannot do it alone, it is true, but each individual is saved only as he as an individual so chooses.


That's a false dichotomy. Yes, everyone chooses their own fate but we are not individuals in that sense. If we were the sealing ordinance of parent to child would be irrelevant.

Quote:
In like manner, our property is our stewardship, to improve, expand, and make prosperous. This is impossible without "capitalism", in the very fundamental sense of the freedom to work, save, accumulate capital, and invest it in productive activities. The United Order is grounded to a great extent on precisely this concept, but with a different social component in the idea of the voluntary support of the Zion community through the Bishop's storehouse. There will be no rich or poor in Zion, but there will still be free markets and free individuals with their talents improving and investing in their stewardships for the building of the Kingdom in a Zion context.


I disagree with your views on Zion and your idea of the purpose of an economic stewardship. Jesus told the man who asked what he lacked to devalue his economic stewardship. Abraham refused to take anything after the battle of the five kings when he could have improved his stewardship legally. Moses gave up his wealth when he left Egypt. Peter gave up his business to preach.

Our economic property is given to us to build up the kingdom and so that all may be made rich. I find no scriptural support for your ideas.

Quote:
I don't at this point, unfortunately, expect any argument, no matter how well articulated and clear, to have much effect penetrating the class envy that saturates your entire perspective on these issues.


CLASS ENVY????? LOL!!!! I'm the son of a millionaire and am financially prosperous myself. By all indications I'll be upper-middle class or up my entire life........you're way off..

Quote:
But try I must.


Good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Shrugged vs. the Standard Works
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:42 pm 
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Nehor, I don't think you understand what Droopy means by "education". He doesn't mean a conventional education; he means "locking yourself in your mom's basement and reading John Birch tracts for 20 years straight". So by this definition, I think we all know who the real "expert" is here.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Shrugged vs. the Standard Works
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:52 pm 
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An old boss of mine is a huge fan of Rand, he is very smart and makes a lot of money. His background is entirely technical though. He picks up Rand because it's a convenient pick at the airport bookstore, and wow, this makes a lot more sense than the stuff his bible-belt parents taught him.

Ok, no big deal, I personally don't think philosophy is that important, but in the specific case of evaluating Rand -- since she did declare herself to be the greatest philosopher who ever lived and the world's first rational human being -- it would be helpful to have an understanding of what philosophy was prior to the advent of Rand. To, you know, help us appreciate the magnificence of her contribution.

Because as the academy has ignored Mopologetics it has likewise ignored the thought of Ayn Rand, it's rather Shades's responsibility to pick some extraordinary point he thinks Rand makes and explain why he thinks she's right, in what way her insight is original, and how it was an improvement on other thought at the time. Heck, at this point, I'd like to see him take a specific point from Rand, and compare it with a specific point he thinks the standard works makes.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Shrugged vs. the Standard Works
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:53 am 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
This past weekend I finally finished reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. It was very gratifying to discover that all the ideas mulling around in my head had already been given clear, articulate voice by an established author.

The climax of the book is, of course, John Galt's radio broadcast to the world which runs from pages 1009-1069, which you can listen to in serial format if you click here and fast-forward to 1:24. Be prepared; it's only part 1 of 17. In addition, the first part especially might be a little confusing if you haven't read the book.

As I was reading it, a conclusion was forced upon me: How much more grandiose, epic, succinct, insightful, and universally applicable to the human condition is that particular section of the book than all of the LDS Standard Works combined? As I read it, the realization dawned on me that what I was reading was, in every respect I could name, superior to the Standard Works.

I stepped back and took an inventory. Compared to pages 1009-1069 (and also compared to other enlightening and, dare I say, "revelatory" sections in the book, such as Francisco D'Anconia's lecture on the nature of money), the scriptures seemed, believe it or not, amateurish in comparison. Now, in FAIRness, I'm sure that many if not most of the original biblical authors intended their documents to be nothing more than rote recitation of their accepted history, and would've been shocked and amazed at the level of importance that people nowadays place upon them, but nevertheless the scriptures--especially the books of the Old Testament--seem like nothing more than poorly-constructed myths, like what the rough drafts of something like Grimm's Fairy Tales might look like, compared to that particular section of Atlas Shrugged.

Sure, the Bible appears epic thanks mostly to its ancient-ness (gr?) and similarly appears grandiose thanks to its now-obsolete dialect of early 1600s English--the Book of Mormon also looks that way thanks to the authors' specific attempt to imitate the Biblical style--but as far as a beginning, middle, and end description of the human condition and the proper way to advance to a higher state of being, Atlas Shrugged beats the Standard Works hands-down.

When they aren't being bogged down by minutiae, the methodology by which the Standard Works seek to elevate mankind is through prescribing quasi-arbitrary conduct by which to appease and placate an invisible deity. On the other hand, that section of Atlas Shrugged examines man's inner nature and uses pure, unadulterated logic to appeal to the greater virtues and outline a correct path to follow.

Of course, I'll be the first to admit that some portions of the Standard Works are better than others--the four gospels, in particular, outshine most works of literature in terms of pure quality--but taken as a whole, page-for-page, as far as sheer practical (as opposed to spiritual) value to humanity is concerned, I daresay that pages 1009-1069 of Atlas Shrugged--along with a number of other passages--are, on balance, superior to the four LDS Standard Works.

If you've read the book, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

.


Finally, the library got me a copy of your most precious text. I will read those hundred pages and let you know what I think.


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