Sunday, March 30, 2014

How to talk to Rand haters


This is a discussion that happened on an ex-Muslim forum. The discussion starts out about who can find mistakes, to whether that requires philosophy courses, to the world caring about authority, to me posting a Rand essay on how to lead a rational life in an irrationality society (which is an essay about the morality of pronouncing moral judgements), to someone pronouncing a moral judgement on that same essay (which is a contradiction), to me pointing out that contradiction, to her evading my criticism with hostility. Topics that come up are Aspergers and tactfulness. Enjoy.


Bernard: Rami I noticed you talked about an essay you're writing on the logic of miracles, but I didn't find it.


Rami: I haven't made it public because it's not finished. If you're interested I could post it. It'll help me fix the problems with it.


Bernard: I am not sure how much I could help by pointing out any problems considering I only have one philosophy course under my belt.


Rami: I've taken zero philosophy courses. It doesn't matter how many courses you've taken. Anybody can find flaws in ideas. Here's an unfinished version of my essay on _Miracle claims about the Quran_: http://ramirustom.blogspot.com/2014/03/miracle-claims-about-quran.html


Rami: If you want to learn philosophy, I suggest that you don't do it by taking courses. Instead, consider reading this: http://fallibleideas.com (by Elliot Temple), and posting your understanding of it at the email list so that you can expose your understanding to external criticism. Or read _The Beginning of Infinity_ (by David Deustch), and post your understanding to the 'fallible ideas' email list.


BernardThe world loves those little pieces of paper that prove one has at least taken a formal course within a field. We love our arguments from authority.


Rami: Well, that's a mistake. It's an irrational way to choose between rival theories. The rational way is to reject authority, and to judge ideas by their merit (i.e. by whether or not they survive criticism). Do you want to know how to live a rational life in an irrational world?


Izzy: sure.


Rami: k, check out _How Does One Live a Rational Life in an Irrational Society_, which is chapter 8 of _The Virtue of Selfishness_, by Ayn Rand


Izzy: Meh. False advertising. I want my money back.


Rami: Declaring that what I did/said is false advertising means declaring that I lied. What do you think I lied about?


Izzy: I assumed you was gonna come up with some thoughts on psychology or epistemology or some other approach to rationality. Not copy-paste some Randian egoism trash.

Rami: The essay is about morality. Morality and epistemology are linked in the sense that *if a person (fallibly) knows that an idea is true or best (epistemology), then one should act on it (morality)*. Your reply is confused. You are saying that Rand's essay is trash, which is a moral judgment about her ideas, and in that very essay, Rand's idea is that people should make moral judgements. So you are doing exactly as Rand said you should do (in her essay), while you're calling Rand's essay trash. I don't get actions like this. Did you even read it? Did you judge it to be trash without even reading it's content?

Izzy: There is little I could say about Ayn Rand and her "philosophy" that hasn't been said before.

Rami: So you did not read the essay AND judged it to be trash?

Izzy: [blank out]

Rami: Everybody take note. What Izzy just did is an example of living irrationally.

Izzy: I didn't say I hadn't read that trash. I said I was expecting something else other than that trash. Stop being irrational. 

Izzy: Everybody who read this, notice how he follows his own bullshit trails of reasoning and projects them onto others.

Rami: AFAIK I haven’t been irrational, and if I'm wrong, you haven't explained how I’m being irrational. As I told you in the previous post: the essay says that people should make moral judgements, and you made a moral judgement about the essay, so you are doing exactly what the essay says you should do, yet you think the essay is trash. So your own actions contradict your claim that the essay is trash. And you didn’t clarify anything. You didn’t explain why you were right to call the essay trash. You just ignored what I said. So you were given an explanation that shows that you said something contradictory, and then you ignored this explanation. This is another example of irrationality.

Izzy: Do I even need to be here for this conversation you're having with yourself?

Rami: What do you mean? I've been talking to you, not myself. Why don't you just answer my questions? When you make a moral judgment, you should back it up with an explanation. Blind assertions are not persuasive. And when you get called out for your irrationality, you should address it, take ownership of your mistake, correct it, and move on. Or if you actually weren't acting irrationally, then explain how I'm wrong, otherwise you are misleading people (including me). Everybody who is reading this, this is yet another example of irrationality.

Izzy: Things that are irrational according to Rami:
1. Not writing enough words about an Ayn Rand essay he copy-pastes.2. Calling an Ayn Rand essay trash.3. Not offering a lengthy point-by-point rebuttal when he accuses you of irrationality.
Rami: Those are all lies.
1. I never said anything remotely close to that.
2. I never said it's irrational to call an essay trash.
3. You did not give ANY rebuttal. 
Rami: Lying in order to evade criticism is another example of irrationality.

Izzy: 4. Summarising his mini-rants.


Rami: You are still evading criticism. Everybody, notice how she lies, gets called out for lying, and then ignores it as though it didn't happen. This is living irrationally.


Rami: lol, oh also notice how she calls what I'm doing "ranting". More irrationality.


Izzy: 5. Poking him occasionally to see how far his little meltdown will go.

Rami: Why would I be upset ("meltdown")? Do you seriously think that I would be upset? Or are you just saying meltdown for a different reason? What game are you playing? Instead of playing this game, why don't you address what we were talking about? One rational thing you could do is to retract your blind assertion that Rand's essay is trash. Don't forget that you actually did exactly what Rand's essay says you should do. So if you retract your blind assertion that Rand's essay is trash, then you wouldn't have a contradiction anymore. Will you choose rationality? Or irrationality? Well, just to take a guess. I think you'll continue playing your game.

Izzy: Because I struggle to take you seriously. I find your insights shallow and underwhelming, and your fastidious nature and complete lack of a sense of humour makes conversing with you a chore. So I am indulging my less serious side until I get bored.

Rami: Because your feelings told you? Or because you have an explanation?

Izzy: Because they send me to sleep.

Rami: I take that as code for "yes, my feelings told me". Since you've chosen irrationality, over and over and over again, even after being given many many chances to choose rationality, I want to make clear that I prefer that you don't waste my time again (i.e. I prefer that you don't talk to me). 

Rami: Everybody who reads this, part of living rationally is choosing to interact with people in win-win interactions, and choosing to get away from interactions that are win-lose.

Izzy: I'd prefer that you retract your accusation of lying before you fuck off.

Rami: I won't retract my accusation because you actually lied. You listed off a bunch of things that you claim I said, all of which were lies. If you disagree with me, then quote me and explain how the quote says what you said in your list.

Rami: And why are you cussing at me? Why can't you be civil?

Rami: Note that one way to approach a situation where somebody is being irrational, is to continue the interaction as a means to learn about irrationality. That makes it 'win' for me.

Izzy: Ah right, I thought by lying you meant seriously lying, not just making fun of you.

Rami: Whether you did it seriously or to make fun of me, you lied in order to evade criticism (moral judgement).  The epitome of irrationality.

Izzy: If by evading criticism you mean I couldn't be bothered to enter into a serious discussion on the merits and flaws of Ayn Rand's The Virtue of Selfishness with someone like you, sure.

Rami: This is another straw man argument. That's not what my criticism was. I didn't say anything about the whole book. I only talked about the one essay. I'll remind you.
Izzy: Meh. False advertising. I want my money back. 
Rami: Declaring that what I did/said is false advertising means declaring that I lied. What do you think I lied about? 
Izzy: I assumed you was gonna come up with some thoughts on psychology or epistemology or some other approach to rationality. Not copy-paste some Randian egoism trash. 
Rami: The essay is about morality. Morality and epistemology are linked in the sense that *if a person (fallibly) knows that an idea is true or best (epistemology), then one should act on it (morality)*. Your reply is confused. You are saying that Rand's essay is trash, which is a moral judgment about her ideas in that essay, and in that very essay, Rand's idea is that people should make moral judgements. So you are doing exactly as Rand said you should do (in her essay), while you're calling Rand's essay trash. I don't get actions like this. Did you even read it? Did you judge it to be trash without even reading it's content?
Rami: That last part is my criticism of your moral judgment of Rand's essay.

Izzy: Ok, so let me see if I've got the logic right. The essay is broadly about moral judgement...

Rami: The essay is ONLY about pronouncing moral judgement and nothing else.

Izzy: ...and me saying the essay is "egoist trash" is construed by you, somehow, to be a moral judgement of my own, in turn construed by you to be a moral judgement against the concept of moral judgement since moral judgement is what the essay is about, therefore, in judging the quality of an essay about moral judgement negatively I am morally judging moral judgement negatively, therefore I am contradicting myself. Is that about right?

Rami: Sort of. Recall that I thought that maybe you didn't even read the essay. I thought that if you had read the essay, you wouldn't say that Rand's essay is trash because that would be doing the very thing that you're calling trash.

Izzy: Hmm, so that didn't work. I was expecting you to see how absurd it looks when spelled out like that, not agree with it.

Rami: Again without explaining anything. Why do you think it's not irrational/contradictory to do something which you call trash?

Rami: Don't forget the other criticism I gave you. When you make assertions, you should explain them. Saying that Rand's essay is trash is an assertion, and you should back that up with an explanation. Otherwise, you are living irrationally.

Izzy: No it doesn't. You have approximately zero insight into how my mind is working by me merely saying an essay is trash. To assume or extrapolate my state of mind or thinking patterns based on that alone, to think you have a handle on me just from that, is an astonishing level of arrogance and complacency.

Rami: I don't need to know anything at all about you in particular. Anybody who does what you did is living irrationally. Anybody who makes unexplained assertions is living irrationally. Anybody who calls an essay trash while doing the very thing the essays says one should do, and then deny that it's contradictory, and then evading criticism explaining the contradiction, is living irrationally.

Gordon: Giving an explanation would not necessarily mean you weren't living irrationally. 

Rami: I didn't say it would. I said that making blind assertions is irrational. That doesn't mean it's the only way to be irrational.

Gordon: Also, what is your strictly rational reason for wanting to win this argument? 

Rami: I don't agree that what I'm doing constitutes trying to "win this argument". That is what debaters do. What I'm doing is philosophy. Part of this means to defend the truth when the truth needs to be defended. I think this is one of those cases. I am pronouncing a moral judgement on evil.

Gordon: You're fucking what? This is unbelievable. You couldn't make this shit up.

Rami: I'm unbelievable? For what? For pronouncing judgment on evil? This is interesting. Did you also find it unbelievable that Izzy pronounced judgement on evil? She thinks Rand's essay is egoist trash, which means that she thinks egoism is evil and she said it publicly which means she's pronouncing moral judgement on (what she thinks is) evil.

Gordon: Surely your desire to win is emotional, and therefore irrational.

Rami: I gave you an explanation as to why I continued this discussion. So you have 2 rival theories (your emotional one, and the one I gave). How did you rule out the one I gave? If you don't have an answer to this question, then you're wrong.

Rami: Note that whether or not something is obvious to someone depends on whether or not he has sufficient knowledge to understand it. So consider the case of my motivation to continue this discussion. You think it's obvious that my motivation is emotional. But you haven't given a criticism of the rival theory that I proposed ("What I'm doing is philosophy. Part of this means to defend the truth when the truth needs to be defended. I think this is one of those cases. I am pronouncing judgement on evil.")

Gordon: Man you seriously need to go back to school. Your logic is pathetically bad. Even if don't bother to answer your question, that is no guarantee that I'm wrong. I could still be right. Even if I did answer your question, you could still keep insisting that you were right (and probably would). I ruled out the one you gave because I think you're full of shit. This is a rational judgement based on observing your behavior.

Rami: Your school comment is stupid. Schools don't teach logic, let alone how to discuss. I think you did it to try to belittle me.

Rami: To your point about guarantees, I didn't claim any guarantees. So you've misinterpreted me. Yet you're saying my logic is bad. When I said "If you don't have an answer to this question, then you're wrong" you should have known that I meant "If you don't have an answer to this question, then you're wrong [as far as I know]."

Rami: If your answer was actually flawed, and if I found that flaw, then yes I would explain to you your flaw. If your answer was actually correct, and if I understood it, I would correct my mistake -- why would I want to stay wrong after learning that I'm wrong? That's irrational. 

Rami: And you're lying now. You did not rule out the theory I gave. How do I know? Because you didn't even understand it (correct me if I'm wrong). I said that I'm pronouncing judgment on evil, and you were shocked and said "You're fucking what? This is unbelievable. You couldn't make this shit up."  So as far as I can tell, you were not shocked when Izzy did the same thing that you're surprised that I did. So I'm guessing (correct me if I'm wrong) that this means that you didn't even realize that what Izzy did constitutes pronouncing judgment on evil (which means that you didn't understand what I'm doing, which means that you didn't rule it out the theory that I gave you about my motivation for continuing this discussion).

Rami: Note also that your assertion (that I'm emotional) is unexplained. Unexplained assertions are false for being unexplained. Do you have an explanation that you've hidden from us (for why you believe that my desire to continue this discussion is emotional)?

Izzy: ERROR. UNEXPLAINED ASSERTION. PLEASE DEMONSTRATE LOGIC.

Rami: So Izzy rejects rationality/philosophy. She hates it. Now I know why she hates Rand.

Izzy: Right. Because not liking Ayn Rand amounts to rejecting philosophy and rationality. Fucking logic, how does it work?

Rami: Now you're lying again. I did not say that not liking Ayn Rand amounts to rejecting philosophy/rationality. I said that your comment "ERROR. UNEXPLAINED ASSERTION. PLEASE DEMONSTRATE LOGIC" amounts to rejecting philosophy/rationality. What you said, and my criticism of it, has nothing to do with Ayn Rand.

Izzy: >>

Gordon: >>

Rami: So instead of addressing your contradiction, you resort to making social vibrations.

Izzy: I'm sure I can live with whatever petty contradiction you think you've found.

Izzy: I'm starting to feel uncomfortable. It feels like I'm picking on an Asperger's kid or something.

Gordon: Yeah I know. I'm gonna give it a miss.

Rami: If an Asperger's kid explained a contradiction in your ideas, would you ignore the contradiction because he's Aspergers?

Gordon: Maybe we should all just tell him he's awesome, before he has an embolism.

Rami: Earlier you said that my motivation is emotional, and I thought you meant that I had an emotional attachment to the ideas of the discussion. Now I realize that what you meant was that I was emotional in the sense that I am upset ("embolism"). Why do you think I'm upset?

Gordon: Ok, you're awesome. Every one of your arguments is infallibly rational and indisputable.

Rami: That's stupid. Every idea is fallibly rational and disputable. Izzy (and the rest of you) just didn't dispute it (the contradiction that I pointed out in Izzy's response to the Rand essay I posted).

Sam: I'm not naming names but I wish that those of you who are being hostile would stop it.

Gordon: We weren't angry with Rami. It's just that he was being so bombastic that we couldn't help laughing at him. He's still perfectly happy too, since he knows he's vastly superior to anyone who doesn't take him seriously. Net result is that he had his opinion of himself confirmed, and the rest of us had some good laughs. No problem.

Rami: Sam, I'm interested to know who you think was being hostile. (if you don't want to talk about it, then nm.)

Doug: Rami, he's not naming names, so why assume it was you?

Rami: Doug, why did you assume that I assumed that "it" was me?

Doug: My bad, I read it as you saying you were interested to know how you were being hostile. Still, he said he doesn't want to name names...if everyone in the world were like Sam, we wouldn't need to be here right now!

Rami: It seems that you are you saying that pronouncing moral judgement is bad (correct me if I'm wrong). I disagree. I'll explain by quoting the first 3 paragraphs from the Rand essay I linked earlier:
Quote from _How Does One Lead a Rational Life in an Irrational Society?_, VoS
I will confine my answer to a single, fundamental aspect of this question. I will name only one principle, the opposite of the idea which is so prevalent today and which is responsible for the spread of evil in the world. That principle is: One must never fail to pronounce a moral judgment.

Nothing can corrupt and disintegrate a culture or a man’s character as thoroughly as does the precept of moral agnosticism, the idea that one must never pass moral judgment on others, that one must be morally tolerant of anything, that the good consists of never distinguishing good from evil.

It is obvious who profits and who loses by such a precept. It is not justice or equal treatment that you grant to men when you abstain equally from praising men’s virtues and from condemning men’s vices. When your impartial attitude declares, in effect, that neither the good nor the evil may expect anything from you—whom do you betray and whom do you encourage?

Rami: So if Sam believes that Izzy was hostile to me, and that I was not hostile to Izzy, and then Sam also decides to say that people are being hostile without calling out Izzy for doing it, and without saying that I (Rami) was not being hostile to Izzy, then who does Sam betray and who does Sam encourage? And what does Sam say to the other members of this forum? Isn't Sam's action misleading to the other members of this forum?

Sam: Quite a big deal it became. I'm not putting any names as it usually just makes more problems. I put names only when there happens something serious. Now I just saw persons responding to each other in a way that could have been nicer (though it's possible that as non-native speaker I got wrong impression). It's up to everyone if they want to read their posts again and look if they could have answered nicer. No further comments about it from me.

Rami: But if everyone did that then no one learns anything. No one learns from their mistakes. No one improves. No one evolves. If I made a mistake, I want to know about it so that I can fix it. I can't improve without having my mistakes explained (by me or others).

Izzy: Rami, for future reference, *Everybody! Look! Izzy is being irrational!* like some snide little teachers pet is not the way to solicit respectful discourse.

Rami: That's your defense for being hostile to me?

Izzy: No. I'm letting you know that your hostility towards me was not the best way to solicit respectful discourse.

Rami: But I was not hostile at all. I was pronouncing moral judgment. Just because you felt hurt doesn't mean that my actions were hostile. If somebody does something irrational, and if I say so, that's not hostility.

Izzy: You say that like those things (hostility and pronouncing moral judgment) are mutually exclusive things. Also don't mistake my dismissive mockery of you as an expression of hurt. 

Izzy: Whether or not you were hostile would depend on the manner in which you do it. But maybe hostile is the wrong word. Maybe hostility requires intent in order to be a meaningful description. Maybe a better description would be socially retarded and oblivious to how your lazy, shallow, tactless, unschooled "philosophical" proclamations are perceived in the context of actual human interaction.

Rami: So you think pronouncing moral judgement (specifically about someone acting irrationally) can be hostile? Or are you saying that the specific instance of me doing it to you in exactly the way I did it was hostile? If you think it was hostile, why do you think that?

Rami: Note that the discussion was about irrationality. I suggested an essay about irrationality to Bernard. You replied saying you're interested. So I posted it. Then you said it's trash. I asked you for an explanation. You didn't explain. So I explained that your actions are an example of irrationality (which is what the discussion was about because that's what the essay was about).


Rami: So how do you think I should have said it instead? Do you think I should have used a word different than "irrationality"? Or what? [in case you don't answer me: If you don't have an answer to this question, then why do you think you're right to expect me to do anything other than what I did? Why don't you blame yourself for your actions (being hostile to me), instead of blaming me for mine?]

Izzy: I quickly and freely admit being hostile. I am not trying to distance myself from my behavior or my intentions.

Izzy: Irrationality, to me, means defective reasoning (or defective reasoning faculties) that leads to words or actions. That is what I have in mind when I say irrational, in short.

Izzy: If I was to post an essay and you responded with "What a load of trash" I wouldn't leap to the conclusion that your reasoning faculties are deficient. I'd think that you might have reasons for thinking that, perhaps good reasons, perhaps not. It would be assumptive, premature and complacent of me to immediately conclude your reasons must be deficient and that there are no other kind of potential reasons for why you might think it's trash. In fact, to conclude that you must just be being irrational is itself deficient reasoning, in light of it being so presumptive. And so, is a better example of irrationality than merely saying something is trash.
Rami: That's a straw man argument. I did not make that argument. This is effectively lying about what happened. I never said that your act of saying something was trash was irrational. I said that saying an essay is trash, while doing the very thing that the essay says you should do, and while insisting that you're not contradicting yourself, and refusing to explain to me how it's not contradictory, is irrational.

Rami: And that's not what irrational means. Rational means willing to change one's mind (in the face of criticism/evidence). Irrational means unwilling to change one's mind (in the face of criticism/evidence). This reminds me of something I quoted in my honor violence essay. As Elliot Temple said:
Quote from _Rational People_, from Elliot's blog (curi.us)
Rational people are systems of ideas that can temporarily remove any one idea in the system without losing identity. We can remain functional without any one idea. This means we can update or replace it. And in fact we can often change a lot of ideas at once (how many depends in part on which).

To criticize one idea is not to criticize my rationality, or my ability to create knowledge, or my ability to make progress. It doesn't criticize what makes me human, nor anything permanent about me. So I have no reason to mind it. Either I will decide it is correct, and change (and if I don't understand how to change, then no one has reason to fault me for not changing yet), or decide it is incorrect and learn something from considering it.

The way ideas die in our place is that we change ourselves, while retaining our identity (i.e., we don't die), but the idea gets abandoned and does die.

Rami: Rationality is best explained in an essay by Elliot Temple. I'll quote a small part of it:
Quote from _Why is Reason Important?_ (fallibleideas.com/reason)
Reason (or rationality) is a tradition about how to think properly. It tries to avoid bias and find the truth whether we like that truth or not. It avoids superstition, magical thinking, parochialism, faith, hardheadedness and whim. Reason requires people be open to changing their mind. Reason also rejects the idea that authorities can or should tell us what the truth is. Instead, we should judge ideas ourselves, and based on the content of the idea not the person who said it. Even if I am the person who said an idea, and I have a PhD, that doesn't count for anything, it could be mistaken and should be judged on its merits.

Reason is not about which ideas are true. It's a meta-tradition. It's about how to treat ideas, and how to treat disagreements. You aren't unreasonable or irrational if you believe something false. I'm irrational if I believe something false and justify it with "because I said so" or "look at these certifications on my wall". With an attitude like that, if I am mistaken I will never find out and never improve. What violates the requirements of reason is assuming I know the truth from the outset. Doing that cuts off the possibility of learning I am mistaken or learning a better idea.

Izzy: That might be what you have in mind when you say rational and irrational, but that's not what those words mean in most contexts. So do you understand that the word is not restricted to just one narrow definition, right? And that it most often pertains to the quality of one's reasoning in general, right? Rationality has a broad scope and is not restricted to the question of whether a person is closed-minded or not.

Rami: What does that have to do with anything? Are you saying that because the word "irrationality" has other meanings, then that means that I should refrain from using the word on the off chance that somebody might not like me saying the word?

Izzy: About your straw man argument claim, you're just picking out one sentiment from the essay, divorced from its context and divorced from Rand's broader "philosophy", and insisting since I did something resembling that sentiment, I must therefore not find the essay of poor quality if I want to be seen as consistent.

Rami: The sentiment (of the morality of pronouncing moral judgement) is the only context in that essay. It doesn’t say anything else. It doesn’t say anything about egoism. So I did not divorce the essay from Rand’s broader philosophy because it was already divorced (it was never married to it). The essay stands on it’s own. The essay does not need egoism to be true in order for the essay to be true. 

Izzy: If, in your view, all it takes for someone to follow suit with Rand's system of ethics is to make some form of qualitative proclamation, you have a very shallow understanding of the position she actually held to. You're apparently suggesting that anyone who makes a qualitative judgement of something is an Objectivist for all intents and purposes. I don't have the motivation to put you right, since I don't have the time or energy to school you on Ayn Rand 101 and it seems like it would be required in order for you to understand some of the points I'm likely to make if we explore this in-depth.

Rami: Huh? I didn’t say that you agreed to ALL of Rand’s system of ethics. I was ONLY talking about that one essay about the morality of pronouncing moral judgement. That position is utterly stupid and I don’t understand why you think I took that position.

Doug: Izzy, you are being irrational. Look at the evidence available to you. It is obvious he is getting this much mileage, therefore you should believe it. Your lack of belief probably means you're evil too.

Rami: You don't think this is being hostile?

Doug: Not particularly, no. How about you write an essay explaining why it is.

Rami: So you're making fun in order to derail the discussion. You're helping Izzy evade criticism.

Izzy: There isn't any discussion. There is you ranting and beating your chest, and a few other people looking on with mild amusement and wondering when the batteries will run out.

Rami: Now you're lying again. You made an argument about my position, which I then showed you is false. And that was only a few replies ago (it's the stuff about you thinking that I incorrectly divorced the essay about pronouncing moral judgement from Rand's wider philosophy). This is a discussion.

Izzy: I honestly can't believe you're getting this much mileage out of me saying an essay was crap.

Rami: Don't you realize that almost of this "mileage" was caused by you evading my questions and criticism? The discussion could have been over in 2 or 3 replies if you had done that. Instead you decided to be hostile to me while refusing to retract your bald assertion that Rand's essay about pronouncing moral judgement is trash. All you had to do was, for example, retract your assertion that it's trash. You could have done this on any one of the replies you gave. But you chose not to. You're still choosing not to. Why? No reason given. Do you think this is rational?

Izzy: But it is trash.

Rami: You're pronounce moral judgement on an essay that says that you should pronounce moral judgement. You're doing the very thing that you're calling trash. And then you don't retract that it's trash, or otherwise correct your error. You are living irrationally. The first time that I told you this you reacted with hostility. And now here we are again. I don't know why this is so hard for you. What's the big deal? When you say something is trash, don't you think you should have an explanation for WHY you think it's trash? Or are you ok with calling an essay trash just because your feelings told you it's trash?

Izzy: (4) I think it's trash.

Rami: But you weren't thinking. Thinking involves making guesses and criticisms and explaining stuff. You did no such thing. What you did was feel it's trash. That's not even close to the same thing.

Izzy: But I was thinking.

Rami: If you did, you didn't make it known to me or any other poster here.

Izzy: But you know now.

Rami: Ok, so your thinking was contradictory and you're not going to fix it? You pronounced a moral judgement on an essay whose only content was that it's moral to pronounce moral judgements. You don't think this is contradictory?

Izzy: Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

Rami: Why are you being hostile now? Or do you think this isn't hostility?

Izzy: No.

Rami: So why did you ask me if I'm still beating my wife? Is it to get me to stop on this thread? Why don't you just stop yourself? Why do you expect me to be responsible for the things you want?

Izzy: No. 

Rami: So you asked me if I stopped beating my wife in order to derail the thread again (i.e. evade criticism). This is what irrationality is about. Evading criticism.

Andy: If a dead goat is fucked in a forest, and nobody is around to see it, would it still be immoral? Moving swiftly on..

Doug: [posts picture of a goat fucking]

Everyone: [more people chime in with pictures of goat fucking and other stuff]

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2 comments:

  1. Hello how can you live a rational life, when all the systems surrounding us are corrupt and irrational. We complain about global warming what do we do, we pollute both land sea and air and complain about the possibility of an ice age. We complain of freedom and poverty and we continue to scourge poor people of their resources instead of teaching them to improve themselves and their morbid situation. We complain about illegal immigrants and over population, what do we do, we abort our own children! We are getting old what do we do artificial implants artificial test tube babies, if you consider this as rationality please spare me the details. We are on the way to our own destruction heading straight ahead into a blind alley

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  2. Vince,

    > Hello how can you live a rational life, when all the systems surrounding us are corrupt and irrational.

    Consider reading the essay I suggested in the dialogue — _How Does One Live a Rational Life in an Irrational Society_, VoS, Rand.


    > We complain about global warming what do we do, we pollute both land sea and air and complain about the possibility of an ice age. We complain of freedom and poverty and we continue to scourge poor people of their resources instead of teaching them to improve themselves and their morbid situation. We complain about illegal immigrants and over population, what do we do, we abort our own children! We are getting old what do we do artificial implants artificial test tube babies, if you consider this as rationality please spare me the details.

    I don’t understand what you’re saying here. The dialogue above is about how to live rationally in an irrational society. And here you are saying that our society is irrational and then posing a question to me “if you consider this as rationality please spare me the details”. I don’t get it.

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