Hello. I will be giving the Reasonist response in this comment. For some parts I will skip forward to respond to specific points, and then return to address the entire section as a whole. All unlabeled quotations are taken directly from the blog post.
""Reasonism" is the name of their belief system, and it's clearly based on the immature understandings of Rand that one would get from being able to read Terry Goodkind's works, but not fully understanding the works of Ayn Rand or more specifically her non-fiction works."
Personally, I have read most of the major non-fictions (ItOE, VoS, TRM, FTNI, and P:WNI ; none of the bookstores near me seem to ever have C:TUI or TNL:TAR in stock, so I will probably have to order them), and am currently reading The Voice of Reason. I do not consider myself to have had any problem understanding Miss Rand, nor have any of the Objectivists that frequent our message boards identified problems in my understanding of Rand. I am more than willing to discuss aspects of Miss Rand's works with you to demonstrate my understanding. The overgeneralization and the ad hominem are fun, though.
"This is a very common problem, because while Terry Goodkind writes at a grade 8 level (tested using the Ontario standard from reading level), Rand's non-fiction on the basis of Objectivism is written at 2nd or 3rd year university and the more you dive into it, the harder it gets to read."
I am not familiar with the Ontario standard form reading level (and a quick google search yields no valid results). I am, however, a 3rd year university student, and, again, contrary to your generalizations about me, I do not have trouble reading Rand (ItOE was somewhat difficult, though, and required slower reading).
"A man's values should (and are not if they believe in God) reflect is joy of life and his purpose to constantly improve his life."
This is not a coherent sentence. Is 'is' supposed to be 'his'?
"Because it is a mistake of birth, not a choice, just as surely as having black skin is a mistake of birth and is completely irrelivent to the quality of a man."
I use the term "accident of birth" as opposed to "mistake of birth". It tends to avoid problems such as those in other comments.
Sexuality clearly is a choice, by the way. Homosexual men choose to live closeted, heterosexual lives all the time. The base level physical attractions are, lets say, 'largely' genetic. Like taste buds (except much more complex - the purpose of using the taste example is to simplify it). You cant choose what kind of taste buds you will have - whether you will prefer the taste of vanilla or chocolate. But if you wanted to you could eat chocolate even though you hate the taste. So yes, there is choice involved.
"Rand said that it was evil. Her reason was that it doesn't propogate the species."
I have yet to see anyone else offer what Miss Rand's reasoning behind her statement was - so this position is new to me. How did you get this information about Miss Rand's thoughts? I fail to see how Miss Rand could have held such a position, though, given that she held (rightly, and consistently) that there is no moral requirement to propogate the species. If you dont have to propogate the species to be good, then why would you need to be able to procreate with your partner for your relationship to be good? And, of course, she did not have any children of her own. Would she have said that she was evil, because she didnt propogate the species? I think not. (And yet, apparently, I am the one who doesnt understand Objectivism.)
"The capacity to procreate is merely a potential which man is not obligated to actualize. The choice to have children or not is morally optional." - Ayn Rand, Of Living Death
(As a small aside: another quotation from the same essay
"To clasify the unique emotion of romantic love as a form of friendship is to obliterate it: the two emotional categories are mutually exclusive. The feeling of friendship is asexual; it can be experienced toward a member of one's own sex." - Ayn Rand, Of Living Death
Did anyone else have a 'WTF!?' moment when reading this?)
The following is a response to the main body of the blog. I am going to eliminate all but the first few words of each paragraph for the sake of shortening this comment.
""What one man values is amoral. How a man interacts with others is either moral or immoral."
What they're saying is...
A man's values should...
Their suggestion that...
Of course all...
But because they can't just say..."
Firstly, I am not going to try to defend that quotation. It is invalid - it does not reflect the beliefs of Reasonists. It is not wording that I support. The origin of such words is the distinction that we draw between morality in scenarios between men (the principle of which is that men should not infringe on the rights of other men) and in scenarios of a man's own values (the principle of which is that men should pursue their own rationally-determined interests). Once more, though - that is not our position. This is a straw man through context dropping, though much of the fault belongs with those who use such wording. I have personally pointed out the problem involved in such wording to individuals (who have responded along the lines of "Oooooh, um, oops."), and, as far as I know, it is not used any more.
Secondly, I will point out briefly that to DISAGREE with Ayn Rand is not to FAIL TO UNDERSTAND Ayn Rand. Even if that were specifically our position, it would reflect a DISAGREEMENT, not a failure to understand.
Thirdly, I will provide you with the correct Reasonist position on ethics.
I do not simply accept Rand's definition of ethics as "a code of values to guide man's choices and actions" (AR, VoS) - I accept a more broad definition of ethics as dealing with all of good and evil. This means that ethics involves both man's values (himself personally) and his interactions with other men (others). Whereas Objectivism places the ethics-politics dividing line in between the individual and multiple individuals, we leave the study of good and evil (for individuals and for their interactions (ie multiple individuals)) within the realm of ethics. Non-infringement (not infringing on the rights of others; roughly analagous to, but arrived at differently than, non-initiation of force) is thus an ethical concept upon which political principals (such as economy and government) are built. Reasonists do not reject Rand's theory of values - we accept life as the standard of value, reason, purpose and self-esteem as core values, etc. What we do not accept is the way Rand applied her philosophy to make judgements about others' values - it is to each man for himself to evaluate his values, not for any individual to dictate to another (aside from direct, core values) what they should or should not value (and I am not suggesting that Objectivism necessarily does so). Again, I do not reject the basic premises of Rand's ethics - what I reject is the idea that that is all there is to ethics, as well as Rand's applied ethics (or, as the case may be, Rand's failure to correctly apply her own philoosphy, which may or may not have been based on her own lack of information).
"This is the problem (if you can call it that) with Objectivism: It's hard. It takes huge effort to understand it fully and to apply it carefully. (just like reason is not automatic, it is a choice) You have to put effort in, but too often people assume something that isn't true because they're lazy and don't fully define the issue and look at the facts in question before jumping off a bridge."
Sounds like what you have done in regards to myself and my fellows.
"And because it's comfortable to not have to judge other's actions and their values that got them there, others will embrace this half-belief system and harm themselves in the process."
This isnt a coherent sentence, either.
I am most certainly in favor of moral judgement. I wholeheartedly approve of the principle of "judge - and prepare to be judged" (AR). I judge you to be unworthy of the alias you use.
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