virus: Hegel's Virus

D. H. Rosdeitcher (
26 Apr 97 01:52:40 EDT

Reed wrote:
>>It seems like Reed uses Hegelian logic to advocate a confrontational and
>>judgemental style. He does this by taking the opposite position that we should
>>be wimpy and flaky.

>Is that the best you can do? Come on, David, think harder. What is a
>useful and simple strategy in the Prisoner's Dillema?

Go over that Prisoner's Dilemna again.

"Objective" is to "Objectivism"
in the same way that
"Science" is to "Scientology"

Objectivism can be objective but Scientology cannot be scientific. According to
Objectivism, the subconscious mind does not distort sense perception, but
according to Scientology the subconscious distorts sense perception. Scientology
claims, therefore, the senses aren't valid and so it does not coincide with
science which accepts the senses as valid.

>: if you are convinced you know what the answer is, there isn't any use
>in asking questions. If you know the "one true process" of knowledge then
>is no reason to try any others. Some of us try to be a little more flexible.
>The rest of the paragraph above is assertion:
>"there exists an inescapable assumption that the individual represents the
>I have obviously escaped it...but then I'm a fool, aren't I? ;-)

You didn't escape the assumption that the individual is the thesis, but you
outlined the reason for the stagnation that results from thinking you already
have all the answers.

>Hegel also argues that any "fragmentary" model (one which doesn't contain
>"all the facts") is incapable of existing without contradiction unless it is
>complemented by the rest of the world. In other words, It matters little that
>you find it difficult to imagine a logical or ethical system without the
>"individual" as it's thesis. Our imaginary foibles and rapier logic describe
>reality, they do not define or delimit it. To the extent one denies the
>(in your case, even the POSSIBLE existence) of things which cannot be well
>defined according to your system of analysis you are (according to Hegel...
>who, as we know, was a fool) by definition inconsistent, open to contradiction,
>and in error.

Good summary of why things like objectivist axioms, which might be seemingly
irrefutable, should at least be open to criticism and debate, like everything

>Well, that's no big deal becuase (according, again, to Hegel) we are all in
>or less the same boat. But, David, you aren't moving anymore!

What do you mean, we are "all in the same boat" and "I'm not moving anymore"?

>Hegel's great
>contribution to philosophy was the concept that it could evolve with
>history and
>change to accomodate emerging reality, where in the past philosophers had
>believed they revealing some sort of static eternal absolute truth.

Getting rid of that truth crap is a relief.

>Tell me, does your
>brand of Objectivism allow heathens who died before the Holy Word of Rand
>into heaven on a technicality? Is is even useful to remember such thinkers
>names? It seems to me you're arguing that Rand finished philosophy for us,
>but that nobody noticed.

>From what I can tell, there is a phenomenon like "selfish philosophy" theory, in
which philosophies compete for survival without regard to honesty. Leading
Objectivists philosophers have branded people like Hegel as "criminals". They
took his statements like "A is not A" out of context to support a theory of how
all philosophers except Aristotle and a few others, screwed up history, but
objectivism finally came along to set things straight, and now it is just a
matter of time before objectivist philosophy is disseminated to the population.
And, no, Rand was not free of mistakes--she was trapped in a closed system in
many ways and some of her ideas were not the best IMO.

>> Note that evolution would not happen if a perfectly good strand of DNA
>>used as a template to make copies of itself. The genes would be healthy, but
>>would not have variation to evolve. The philosophy of objectivism seems to
>>correspond with reality, but most objectivist followers have tended to copy
>>their leaders instead of challenging them. Students of the objectivist
>>such as Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff have not had as much success as the
>>students of Hegel. Hegel was the "master template" of great thinkers.

>Furthermore, you are arguing from an implicit "chain of being" assumption in
>which "higher evolved" or "more complex" organisms are in some way better
>than, say slime. In what way are you "better" than the cyanobacteria which
>permeate the entire Earth and which ceased to evolve (well, much) billions
>of years ago? In what way is Objectivism "better"? That's a rhetorical
>question, I've heard your answer.

Not necessarily, better, but it is more "useful" to assume priority over
cyanobacteria. The environmentalists sometimes speak from a perspective that
there is this Earth that takes priority over individuals. As if we are a small
part of a super-organism that has more importance.

>Again, you speak of the immutability of Objectivism as if it were some modern
>Fortress of Solitude. It's a prison, David...and if you want to contribute
>something to the thinking of this generation you need to break out of it.
>Otherwise, you are the mouthpiece of a fossilizing institution...a
>trilobite...and we already have one Roman Catholic Church.
>Immutability is a weakness.

Objectivism is not immutable, it can always be improved.But,it would still be
objectivism since it has an error-correction mechanism. --David Rosdeitcher