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Author: Jim2B Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 734788  
Subject: Argument from Authority Date: 10/5/2012 11:10 AM
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I don't know why liberals think argument from authority constitutes a logical argument.

Consider this case in which an author attempts to knock what he perceives as the conservative authority on philosophy (Ayn Rand) down a few notches.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/primate-diaries/2012/10/...

His not so apparent object, I assume, is to eliminate the conservative's ability to argue from authority.

Unlike him, my positions do not require belief or argument from authority.

Ironically, liberals like him also believe they have unique and special insights into the minds of conservatives.

"the Russian-born author believed that rational selfishness was the ultimate expression of human nature."

While I don't deny that to an extent Rand's characters behave in a manner consistent with this interpretation, a less cynical perspective would be that the only person you can completely trust to act in your own self-interests is yourself.

Other entities (e.g. government, business, unions, political parties, family) all have their own interests and when those interest conflict with your interests, these entities always choose themselves over the people they represent.

Later the article's author states, "As I demonstrated in my Slate piece, Ayn Rand was wrong about altruism." This once again shows the author's ignorance and his political bias. Rand's detractors love to set this position up as a strawman and then knock it down. Rand does not state that a person should always act for short-term and obvious benefits. Rather she states that people should act for their own benefit and leaves both time frame and a definition of that benefit up to the actor

So Ayn Rand's philosophy supports acts such as enlightened self-interest, small up front investments (e.g. acting courteously) for longer-term benefits (e.g. friendly interactions with coworkers) and protecting loved ones.


Don't get me wrong, I think Ayn Rand's philosophy has holes and outright errors, however, the "errors" pointed out by this author are not Rand's, they are the author's.
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