Compare and Contrast, Take Two

 Posted by on 3 April 2005 at 5:45 pm  Uncategorized
Apr 032005

In a recent post, I linked to an ARI op-ed entitled “A Culture of Living Death” on the worship of suffering and death underlying the so-called “culture of life” championed by religious conservatives in the Terri Schiavo case. I mentioned that Objectivists, at least, “know what is at stake.” In that vein, I certainly ought to have also mentioned Robert Tracinski’s really excellent essay “Skepticism, Mysticism, and Living Death posted to the new TIA Daily Blog.

Of course, I meant that comment to apply to those who genuinely understand Objectivism, not merely those who spin absurd rationalistic castles from it. I also didn’t mean it to apply to those who possess only a superficial understanding of the philosophy, like TOC Executive Director Ed Hudgins. He was recently quoted in an NRO op-ed on non-religious opposition to removing the feeding tube of Terri Shiavo. Here’s what the article said:

“There are issues in this case that well-meaning and intelligent people on both sides can disagree with and have to think seriously about,” says Ed Hudgins, executive director of the Objectivist Center. He describes himself as “an atheist and a humanist in the Aristotelian tradition.” He adds: “I hope this case focuses people’s attention on the importance of living life and flourishing while you have it, and on getting everything you can out of this wonderful condition we call conscious life.”

Wow, what a strong and uncompromising stance!

Now, perhaps Ed was misquoted or quoted out of context. However, given his track record, I doubt that. I strongly suspect that the friend who sent me the article hit the nail on the head: “This seems like another attempt by TOC to be all things to all people, without saying anything controversial or taking a stand on any important issue. Worse: it seems to tip its hat to skepticism.” It’s worse than a hat-tip to skepticism though; it’s a full bow to it. Worse still: it’s an evasion of the fundamental moral issues at stake, as so clearly identified by ARI-affiliated scholars.

Once again, the contrast between the Ayn Rand Institute’s loyalty to the principles of Objectivism and The Objectivist Center’s betrayal of them couldn’t be clearer.

Some of you might wonder when will I stop pounding on The Objectivist Center. The answer is simple: When they give up their absurd and dishonest pretensions to being an Objectivist organization. Once they stop claiming to represent Ayn Rand’s philosophy, I won’t care what stupid nonsense they spout. In the meantime, their frauds deserve to be exposed at every turn.

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