Paul's Here

Truth And Toleration Twenty Years Later

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Twenty years later, the Ayn Rand Institute and Objectivism itself are having an impact on many fronts and in many areas of the culture. Compared to that, where are David Kelley and his associates? Outside of their own small group, they haven't had much influence nor produced many accomplishments.

There are reasons why.

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It would be interesting to discuss them here. But I'd be more interested in arguments against Kelley's ideas that he presented in his talk.

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It would be interesting to discuss them here. But I'd be more interested in arguments against Kelley's ideas that he presented in his talk.

His point that there are no evil ideas, only evil people implies that the ideas have no connection with the evil people do.

I would almost say the opposite; that one cannot be evil without choosing accepting evil ideas.

If an idea is irrational, is it not evil by its very nature, a denial of the place of reason for survival?

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I don't think Kelley's ideas matter at all to his supporter and associates.

From what I've seen, each Kelleyite has his own personal beef with Ayn Rand, A.R.I., particular Objectivists, or some aspect of Objectivism, yet still wants to be associated with Objectivism for some reason. (See my essay, "Objectivist Dropouts" (link) for what those reasons might be.)

Kelley provides a place for such people.

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Betsy - having a particular beef with Objectivism would be the only one on your list that I think *logically* necessarily leads to a contradiction if somebody considers themselves an Objectivist. I say this because of the "yet" in your post. I think that's the only fundamental common denominator of Kelley and his associates.

Leonard Peikoff himself stated that he was "in a state of enmity with a number of the members of the board of ARI" (and in reality, quite a few other Objectivists), but I think he still considers himself associated with Objectivism ...

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Betsy - having a particular beef with Objectivism would be the only one on your list that I think *logically* necessarily leads to a contradiction if somebody considers themselves an Objectivist. I say this because of the "yet" in your post. I think that's the only fundamental common denominator of Kelley and his associates.

Leonard Peikoff himself stated that he was "in a state of enmity with a number of the members of the board of ARI" (and in reality, quite a few other Objectivists), but I think he still considers himself associated with Objectivism ...

What I wrote applies to all Kelleyites as the real reason why they ally with him. There may be others who also have those characteristics -- I have had disagreements with other Objectivists myself -- but don't join with Kelley because of that.

Incidentally, Stephen and I did get solicitations from two prominent Kelleyites to join with Kelley after we disagreed with Dr. Peikoff over who to vote for. They'll take anyone who, they think, has any kind of beef with "established" Objectivism.

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What I wrote applies to all Kelleyites as the real reason why they ally with him. There may be others who also have those characteristics -- I have had disagreements with other Objectivists myself -- but don't join with Kelley because of that.

Incidentally, Stephen and I did get solicitations from two prominent Kelleyites to join with Kelley after we disagreed with Dr. Peikoff over who to vote for. They'll take anyone who, they think, has any kind of beef with "established" Objectivism.

Perhaps the most fundamental difference is actually being an independent thinker vs. a second hander. An independent thinker can appreciate the practicality of some of what ARI has done/is doing such as the essay contests, because of a grasp of the importance of true ideas such as Objectivism (including necessarily as an integrated philosophy, not an ala carte buffet), while not approving of everything that they (or LP) do, such as injust treatment of John McCaskey and some other actions.

Kelley and his cadre don't apparently have respect for an integrated philosophic system; it's more about second handed acceptance. So not only don't they do anything of value, their actions are an active disvalue.

There's a certain overlap; there are clearly a number of people who support ARI out of second-handed reasons, and I'm surmising that these are the people most likely to "switch" to Kelley if they get upset over something. (Whereas some might find good reasons to distance themselves from ARI without wanting to "join" Kelley's crowd - which would include myself, although I support the good that ARI does.)

Personally my loyalty is fundamentally to the truth - not to men. Remarkably, I used to know people who all but explicitly stated that their "loyalty" to Leonard Peikoff trumped truth and facts. I don't find such groupies to be a personal value. Fortunately, Facebook has made it much easier to differentiate between first-handed thinkers and the groupies.

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Phil,

How is it that you find facebook allows you to differentiate between first-handed thinkers and or groupies that general questioning (chewing) did and or does not allow?

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