Are there things thaat disqualify one from being a Randian Objectivist, thus rendering a claim to such as false?


How come? That is what makes this true?

Objecivism, Randism or whatever you call the philosophical system prposed by Ayn Rand has specific characteristics that define it. Failure to adhere to this set of characteristics as an integrated whole disqualifies one and makes ones claims to the philosophical system a fraud in toto. These characteristics are principles of action: a "how to" more than a "what is". The "what is" follow from the "how to"s. For instance, relative to what has been written in "The Constitution and The Draft", I have mixed beliefs. I do not believe that the freedoms accorded to adults, at the time, those who reached the age of 21, are applicalbe to minors (Minors are by nature unable to use these freedoms proplerly). On the other hand I do agree that it is wrong for the government to compel anyone to partake in dangerous activities (war). I think for a number of reasons that the Age of Majority ought be reset to the age of 21 (because I do not think that perosns under that age have the physical, psychological or experiential development to use these freedoms in an advanced, independent manner: If you doubt that. observe the goings-on with a collection of 19 year olds). Also I think that nobody ought be allowed to enter college until they have worked for a few years. learning "the shape of the world" so they will not fall prey to the lefty intellectuals, and that unemployed substantively able bodied 18 year olds may and ought be drafted into CCC style jobs away from home. This will get them out of the house, off the streets, into the opportunity stream and give them a samll grub stake so that when their term has ended they have some resources. Now this is at variance with "the Constitution and the Draft". However, my thinking is in accordance with Randite principles: it is my premises that are different. Now one may aregue who is to run the CCC camps (government or private). Also, please note, I do not even consider the matter of "national" or "community" service. My focus is totally on the development of the person into a sound, mature (which means productive and competent) adult before turning him loose. This puts me in line with Randism. The point of discussion is that certain things disqualify one from the rightful claim to the philosophical system of Ayn Rand and certain things that may appear to, do not.

What are the things that do disqualify?

Anything that clashes with the basic tenets of the philosphical system of Ayn Rand.

The Primacy of Existence in Metaphysics, the sole prpriety or Reason in Epistemology, Egoism in Ethics, Rational Liberty in Politics and Romantic Realism in Esthetics.

can you give me any examples of what would disqualify at that level?

Yes. The knowing, willful (deliberate) and freely chosen of any of the following: Solipsism, Mysticism, Altruism, Collectivism,, Statism, Socialism, Welfare Statism, Mercantilism, Mystical Romanticism or Naturalism. Now before you start kvetching about the defiinitions. These are well understood and it is up to you, if you are going to wear the mantle to be sure it fits.

What about specifics. For example, need I be an atheist to be an Objectivist

Not necessarily. But you must hold that the existence of God can be shown by rational menas (demonstration or logical discourse) then do so and if such fails then you must relinquish that belief, which if you are an honest person you will gladly do. And there is to be no hemming and hawing about it.

Atheism is not even a central tenet of Randism. Rather, it is one of those things that "just worked out that way" because, at present and for the forseeable future, beiief in God as an entity requires Supernatural Metaphysics, which clashes with our ontology of the three Laws of Existence, proposed by Aristotle: Identity; A is A, Non-Contradiction; A thing cannot be both A and non-A in the same way at the same time and the Law of the Excluded Middle; Either A or not-A, as well as with our cosmology of cause and effect relationshhip. Beyond that, Atheism cannot be a central tenet of anything. This is because it is the negative answer to the question "Does God exist?". As such, it tells me nothing about what the person does espouse or hold to. Atheism and Atheists do not even exist; they are verbal shorthand for a person whose view of the Universe is atheistic: That is does not include the existence of God as a fact or reasonable proposition. Just as Acrophobia does not exist as a thing, rather it is a condition defined by an exaggerated fear of falling (not a fear of heights, that's aerophobia. Many acrophobic persons are perfectly happy flying in an airplane and even seek out high places, if they are secure, for the view they offer).

Since Rand and Randites suppor the right to abortion, what about being "Pro-Choice" on abortion?

No on both counts:

What about "Determinism"?

I should not have to even mention this becuase it is so absolutely rediculous but a person in a yahoo group tried to defend this doctrine to the extent of saying that, even the a person has no choice in committing a criminal act, punishment must be meted out as if he did. and there was other flyspec/pepper arguments.

I am not making this up. Shortly thereafter I left that group as my head was about to explode.

What about the claim to be an agnostic?

For many years, Avi Nelson has identified himself with, and even claimed Objectivism as his philosophy. Recently he said he is "an agnostic". Since he did not give a specific definition of his use of the term, I presume that he was using it in the usual sense. Well, how about it?

So much for Avi Nelson. I've got plenty left if someone else wants to get beat up. This is different from having an opinion, which is the acceptance of a claim on the basis of strong but not conclusive support (strong circumstantial evidence or sound but a small bit incomplete thought) in which case one states that the jury is mostly, but not totally in. It is still standing with both feet on once side or the other and for the right reasons, and is usually expressed as "leaning toward". In any case, as far as any claim to being an Objectivist, by Avi Nelson: Liar! Liar! Your epistemology's on Fire!

At any rate. If I am about to call someone out, then it is usually based on a tenet of Objectivism as I have stated them earlier or a metter of established fact or common sense. For example, it is not a tenet of Objectivism that 1+1=2 but it is part of Arithmetic and can be demonstrated to be absolutley true. The knowing, free and intentional denial of that fact would disqualify you since to do so would mean that you are violating a tenet of the Randite system (Epistemology)

That is the key here:

Beyond that, the person claiming to be an Objecivist/Randite must be aware of the philosphy and show how his or her idea fits in. For example In an article in The Objectivist Newsletter Branden ruled out capital punishment, claiming that while it would be just (since it would "fit the crime"), one could not establish guilt for the crime to the level of certitude that could justify execution. This did not go over with 98% of the Randites who held that a fact is abslolutely demonstrable (besides which, the level of proof is a matter of jurisprudence, not legality, and it has always been "beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certitude", this dealing Bradnen's claim a fatal blow). in 1988 Leonard Peikoff reversed that and explained under what circumstances it would be allowed. Branden's dictum was based on the belief that one could not make a clear enough determination of guilt even though such guilt would merit the death penalty if it could be proved with enough certainty. For those of us with integrity or who understood the world, that was utter rubbish because it denied the absolutism of reason and was in line with the doctrine of necessary (has to be; no choice) uncertainty, which Miss Rand specifically held to be wrong. Peikoff's reversal of that brought the Objectivist position on the specific issue of captial pnnishment in line with the doctrine that the universe and the things in it are knowable.

Why, Who and How?

Why: Objectivism is a valulabe item. Also persons representing themeslves as Randians are implicitly speaking for the philosophical system. Just as one has the right to know that what is being said of a can of beans, a car or an insurance policy is substantially true, one has the right to know that a person representing himself as a Randite (or anything) is in fact, tha genuine article.

Who: The Catholic Church holds that "...anyone, even a non-believer has the power to 'call a Christina to obedience'...". Well anyone has the right to question, with cause, one's credentials as a Randite. To do so, however, the skeptic would need cause and knowledge, a simple "I doubt it" is not sufficient, there needs to be a bill of particulars. Only someone with knowledge of metaphysics or epistemology and Randian Philosphy could do that effectively and such a person, observing something to be out of whack would have the moral right to inquire, even if the inquirer is not an adherant, advocate, supporter or in substantial agreement with the philosophy.

How: By asking questions. For example what I wrote earlier about a draft is in sharp contrast to what was written in "The Constitution and the Draft". Now I stated my reasons. However, since I was not doing a full presentation, I did not state how I came to those reasons. So, one would have the right to question that. The answer is by observation (of the actual states of affairs and biology) and integration (given what I've obsereved and learned and given the definitions that I used being true, then it follows that...). Now I could be lying, factually wrong, making an error in judgement or I could be right for the wrong reasons or plain out correct all the way.

It is a bad idea to argue against theism without being aware of certain misunderstandings that are common and common to Randites' (mis)understanding of the subject matter. It is far better to attack the arguments supporting the existence of God or gods than to get involved in the specifics of Theology. As my Introduction to Theology instructor, Fr. Romano Cesario, put it. "The first question is 'does God exist?' If you say 'No' then that eliminates the issue of Theology..." (it is the clarity of thought for which I love the Dominicans as well as the excellent treatment I was afforded: The same goes for the De La Salle Christian Brothers). It should also be stressed that no Randite shall mistreat or abuse a Domincan. Miss Rand was a strong admirer of St Thomas Aquinas and the final exam question of the old American Rennaissance Academy high school was the same as the one in my Intro to Theology course at Providence College. If you argue an unsound Theological position then you are liable to be exposed and your creibility will suffer, perhaps grievously.

There is no limit to what God's power

Not true. I recently heard this on a preacher show and said it was about time that Protestant Theology was gettin up to a decentl level. What the person said was that "...God cannot do what His character will not allow him to, even if He is physically capable of it..." This menas that God is bounded by the Law of Idenity.

What about the position that "God is unknowable"?

That position is a sloppy bit of pop theology. what is said is that God is incomprehensible to Man at this time because human understanding is not up to it. Just as Nuclear Physics would be beyond Gallileo or Electrical Engineering would be beyond Archemedes. Now one can argue the point concerning human understanding but that does not support the doctrine of the "unknowability of God", which comes from sloppy language.

The Crucifixion of Christ was a "sacrifice" in the snese of Altruism. i.e. the trade of a higher value, the life of a divinity for a lower value i.e. Man.

You hear this from Dr. Ellen Kenner. it came from Branden. Branden was Jewish, not Christian. Rnad repeated it once or twice. Her background was also Jewish, and it is incorrect. Here's why. The whole thing was a rigged deal. The rationale was that in committing the Origianl Sin, Adam had saddled Man with separation from God. Man is finite and God is infinite. To make that right, Only a divine being could take the hit for the transgression against the infinite God. This was accomplished by the ostensible death and resurrection of an aspect or persona of God (I will not get into the metaphysics and epistemology here only the rationale according to ideas accepted by the Ancients). Now as to the motivation. Ayn Rand wrote in Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal"...risking [which opens the door for the loss of] one's life for the benefit of a loved one is not a sacrifice...". Further in Atlas Shrugged Galt says that if hamr comes to Dagny, he would commit suicide. Compare this to the oft-quoted Bible verse "For God so loved the world that he sent his only-begotten son..[to do this deed]". So the claim that this is a "sacrifice" as we use the term is false.

Arguing these points is a bad idea because you will be corrected by a knowledgeable Christian and you will be impeached and lose the natural advantage that goes to the negative side of the debate, having to re-establish it. I have demonstrated here the difference between unsound and sound doctrines. The latter flows from the existence of God plus the application of valid reaosning and therefore are true if God exists. So don't do it. Besides they're dead ends and do not address the essential issues.

What you can do is to impeach the Bible, showing it to be contradictory or a repetition of pagan myths. Since the Bible is the ultimate source of the Judeo-Christian system then your demonstration of its shaky credentiality compels the theist to move on. However, this and other indirect approachess are tactical rather than strategic and are used to lay the groundwork for the final assault. The debates of metaphysics and epistemology.

An aid to the tactical aspect of this fight is that the Framers of the American Declaration of Independence did not appeal directly to God but to Nature and through Nature, to God; see "Nature's God". This puts God a step back and brings "Nature" to the fore. This is a departure from the idea of the direct manipulation of reality by God, and makes God a secondary, reflexive rather than a primary, reference variable. This is a softening of the theistic position and shows that "God" is not a sufficient cause for the tenets of the Declaration of Independence, which means that the framers didn't quite drink the Kool-Aid, being aware of the poison therein, only sipped at it. Your job is to press the attack that this claim is no more than trying to have it both ways.

I just ask a simple question, "If you were deathly ill, which would you see about it; a doctor or a clergyman?" If the individual chooses one or the other, that marks him, If he or she says "Both" then you ask "But which would give you the luxury of seeing the other?". Be rest assured, the jury is in; and in case after case after case as well as in the record that is known as history. As Ayn Rand put it. "People will not willingly go back to the siteenth century as long as there is one microscope".

The thing about Theology is that over the millenia. 'God" has become the perfect Idea. By that I mean that it fits the pattern expressed in "Factual premises plus valid reasoning yield true conclusions". By that I mean that even though there is no God, the concept was refined and expanded over the millenia so that it acts loke a fact when manipulated by logic. This is because it models the universe very well. As such it is an excellent "widget" for philosophy: A scaled-down construct that mimics the universe accurately. This explains two quotes from Ayn Rand. "Religion is a primitive from of philosophy" and "If I were a religious person, I would say 'God Bless America'. I am saying it anyway" and why for anyone with a brain, Theology is fun. This also explains why Antony Flew recently switched to belief in a kind of Natural Theism in no way related to the Judeo-Christian system. "God" has become the stand-in for the notion of a coherent universe in the same way that alien spacecraft has become the catchbasisn for all UFO sightings. As such, each tends to "condition" the terms of explanation of the subject matter by being commonly accepted in a large enough segment of the culture to make it readily available as the first concept you run across in the field.