Noodly Round Up

 Posted by on 27 August 2005 at 1:04 pm  Uncategorized
Aug 272005

Since Don Watkins is gone for the weekend, I suppose that I’ll do a round up:

  • I love making fun of the enemy. (Via GeekPress.)
  • On a related note, you might think that I named this blog “NoodleFood” based upon the idea that it offers “Philosophical Food for Your Noodle!” However, I think it’s time for me to confess my up-to-now secret worship of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. NoodleFood is actually my daily sacrificial offering to the His Noodliness; my unworthy words feed him. So, I hereby declare my total agreement with Bobby Henderson’s open letter to the Kansas School Board: If Intelligent Design is to be taught in government schools, then FSM-ism ought to be taught too.
  • Given that the libertarian movement embraces a diversity of philosophic foundations for liberty, it’s hardly surprising to find increasing disagreement about political issues amongst libertarians. I keep an eye out for these disputes, as they make handy talking points when I explain why I’m not a libertarian. Some well-known and standard ones include whether governments necessarily violate rights, whether abortion is murder, whether a defensive war violates the rights of innocents in the aggressing country, whether law should be legislated, whether intellectual property rights exist, whether using my absent neighbor’s hose to put out the fire consuming his house violates his rights, and so on. So here’s another: libertarian animal rights. Although these rights-for-beasts libertarians are not terribly common at present, they seem to be growing in number. (As a happy coincidence, I’m presently writing a paper on the errors of the argument from marginal humans discussed in that essay. Don Watkins’ essay on broken units helped me sort out significant confusions about species normality, I should mention.)
  • The Charlotte Observer has a short article on BB&T Bank’s recent one million dollar donation to UNC Charlotte’s College of Business. Happily, Objectivist businessman extraordinaire John Allison has been very successful selling this “moral foundations of capitalism” package to business schools.
  • I’m quite amused by Dennis Hardin’s recent SOLO article “Nathaniel Branden vs. Ayn Rand on Morality.” Hardin does not merely fail to anywhere mention that the whole essay is a response to my recent post “Nathaniel Branden’s Campaign Against Objective Moral Judgment.” He also borders on plagiarism by copying the structure and even lifting some text from my post. He does mention me in passing, but not even by name. He just writes — totally out of the blue and toward the very end — that “one observer contends that Branden espouses this notion with the hope others might want to ‘take responsibility for his [i.e., Branden's] moral depravity.’” The included link is not even to the relevant post, but to August’s huge monthly archive. Just by way of contrast, I clearly identified and linked to all of Nathaniel Branden’s relevant writings in my post. I even explicitly defended that practice as necessary against a stupid, dishonest troll on Objectivism Online — on the grounds that my readers need to judge the fairness and accuracy of my criticisms for themselves. I’m not afraid that honest readers will reject my criticisms if also given easy access to the primary sources. Dennis Hardin doesn’t seem so confident — and rightly so. Also, the voluminous comments on Hardin’s essay are informative: they show an almost universal lack of concern for Ayn Rand’s actual views on moral judgment from these supposed “Sense of Life Objectivists.”
  • I have just a few more days to finish up my flurry on posts on the various false friends of Objectivism. Yikes! (I’ve set myself a deadline of August 31st, as I don’t want it drag on and on forever.) Although working through these issues in writing has been very helpful to me, I’m looking forward to focusing on more positive philosophical concerns.
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