I give a formal Refutation to Rand with direct quotes from her at my home page at Ex Objectivist. I challenge a core, fundamental view held in Objectivism: tabula rasa. These are some of the responses I’ve got from them.
Of course, I often get told I am “rambling.” I get told my site is “pure mysticism.” No real details as to why. I just get told this.
Or I get told “no Objectivist cares about tabula rasa anyway.” Oh. We’re not taking Rand’s explicit statements seriously now? The philosophy of Ayn Rand? Ok.
They also constantly accuse me of misrepresenting Rand–yet they constantly misrepresent my challenge. One told me, “Rand never said people are born emotionless.” Ok. I know that. I Never Said Rand Said We Are Born Emotionless.
Or, when I point out the weak arguments from Objectivists, they accuse me of making up false conversations. They claim since they don’t see the conversations I am describing here on whatever platform they happened to find me on, the conversations must have never happened. Ok. Dudes. I post on various social media outlet and the one you happened to find me on might not have the conversations I am referencing. I also can’t reference some, as, as if famously known now, entire social media platforms and pages are being de-platformed. I screen shot one above, link to some in this very post, and I also maintain an Objectivist Hall of Shame to record their behavior, arguments, and usual despicable behavior. Soooo, stop accusing me of lying, k? It’s right…it’s right here. In this post even.
If I get them anywhere close to discussing the issue and in a fair way where people actually understand all variables involved, I might get told “the burden of proof” is on me. Ok, dudes. This is an issue of human nature itself. If you have no intellectual curiosity, I’m not going to drag you kicking and screaming over it. The burden of proof argument applies in a court of law, not to science. The Burden of Proof is on
The Person Making a Claim Anyone Who Wants to Know the Truth.
I finally pinned down ONE Objectivist to actually address the issue, without telling me it “doesn’t matter.” He did at first accuse me of rambling and that I “had no studies” to prove myself. I told him Rand was a god damn fiction writer and had no studies. (And I do. I just can’t put them out all at once. Giving time to totally explain oneself is not a courtesy Objectivists give. And, yes, I swear now. It’s the only way to penetrate them.) After he was finally on the defensive about Objectivism itself, he said, “Well in the absence of hard evidence, an emotional blank slate is the default.” He defended this in terms of “Occam’s Razor.” Oh really. This is what counts for valid knowledge now? Just a bunch of “logical” arguments? This is a puff of hot air. That’s it. We’re using Occam’s Razor to identify human nature itself. Behold, your philosophy of reason and objectivity.
Blank slate theory, “tabula rasa,” has been thoroughly disproven by modern science. It is the issue of our time. See, as but one source, The Blank Slate Theory: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker. Even conservatives and libertarians now challenge it. My child development work challenges it big time. I’ve been told my book Misbehavior is Growth: An Observant Parent’s Guide to Three Year Olds gives one of the best refutations to blank slate theory. And yet Rand takes this view of man–a supreme rationalist in all situations–and exports it to art, politics, parenting, education, and more.
I accuse Ayn Rand of Moral Bias. It’s when a moral “ideal” clouds our objectivity when studying human nature itself.
Objectivists, answer me this: how do you maintain a philosophy that is now known to be based on a faulty view of human nature itself? No, your bossy, authoritarian explanations of Rand’s position with your usual word salad has no effect on me. One defended it, “babies are born…” Oh really. Have you studied that thoroughly? Because I do extremely popular child development work. I document when children act up at age-related time, but is followed by a massive growth in mental ability. I argue their emotions are pre-wired, entirely healthy, and ravenously work to get their emotional, mental, and physical needs met. I’ve studied this way more than you. Rand Challenged in Misbehavior is Growth.
I can’t get them to discuss the actual issue of tabula rasa. They spin, evade, and attack, attack, attack. I record their attacks at my Objectivist Hall of Shame. At some point, I have to think they have no actual refutation.
Refute tabula rasa, and Objectivism comes crashing down like a house of cards.