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Michael writes:
>As a small example, consider Rand's claim that the true Objectivist should be able to identify and justify every emotion he experiences.

Of course, Rand has the whole 'reason/emotion' package all confused. Steven Pinker in "How the Mind Works" explains very convincingly how emotions developed through evolutionary necessity; how often they are used as, for example, 'bargaining chips' in confrontation, thus ironically giving good rational (if not consciously so) reason for irrational behaviour's existence. This is not to say we can't to some extent control our emotional responses (which are inherited via genes or via learning), or rationally criticise them. But it does set certain limits from the git go. And it certainly confirms they are not all the result of our 'reason' in any generally accepted sense of the word. Saying that our emotions are the result of our unconscious 'integrations' is really just a pretentious way of saying *some* of our emotional behaviour is learned. As if we didn't know that.

>Objectivism is a hodgepodge of rationalistic assertions loosely strung together by invalid argumentation, with no empirical grounding and no track record of success in the real world.

Perhaps the simplest way to question Objectivism's basic validity is simply to look at Rand's epistemology. It's mostly nonsense, even on its own terms. For example, she violates her own beloved Law of Identity in the very first step of her theory of concept formation(!) And things do not improve.

Obviously as Rand claimed that all her conclusions logically followed from her epistemology, if that is false, so then is all the rest of it. And I think it is most certainly false.

Re: 9/11 Mini-Series

It would be refreshing to see American conservatives practice what they preach for a change and accept responsibility. No doubt Clinton shares the blame for 9/11, but it did happen on Bush's watch and Bush clearly had warnings that Osama Bin Laden was orchastrating an attack within the U.S. and Bush did nothing to put the military or nation on heightened alert. Even a quiet enhancement of military preparedness prior to 9/11 would have been welcome to learn about afterwards. Instead we all witnessed the three men (Bush, Rumsfeld, Myers) who's primary job it is to defend the U.S. sitting on their butts on the morning of 9/11/01 doing absolutely nothing as if nothing unsual was occurring (hmmm?!?). I will never understand their non-reaction that morning, which seemed to indicate some sort of for-knowledge and complicity. Why the President stayed in a public event for numerous minutes during the attacks is baffling to say the least?!?

It's time conservatives put their preaching into action and accepted that conservative leadership also let us down prior to and during 9/11/01. Bush failed us that day, no matter how the ABC mini-series tries to spin it.

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