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Debate Proved Objectivist Philosophy Is Morally Irrelevant



On the 12th of December, the Harvard Objectivist Club held a debate between the esteemed Professor Randall Kennedy of the Harvard Law School and Professor Harry Binswanger of the Objectivist Graduate Center. The course of the debate clearly represented the Objectivist philosophy as morally irrelevant and its adherents, who claim to embrace autonomy, as merely mindless automatons.

What became readily apparent during the debate was the Objectivist's reliance on morally arbitrary and meaningless facts. For example, a person is to be left to die because one was born impoverished, and thus can contribute nothing to society, despite the fact that they had no control over the circumstances of their birth. And they consistenly ignore the fact that, while, say, Michael Jordan (to use an example from Prof. Sandel's Justice lectures) did work very hard to utilize his talents for basketball, those talents would have been all for naught without the City of Chicage (a government!) who built the stadium in which Jordan's Bulls play, or without the University of North Carolina (sounds like a state school to me). Indeed, even Binswanger went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology--he was dependent on the state, too. But, no Objectivist would ever admit to people's dependence on one another to attain great heights.

As far as the autonomous thinking and reasoning that Objectivists claim to rely on goes, why is it that all an Objectivist can do to make an argument is say "Ayn Rand said such and such?" Where is the free thought? No where, it seems. It's all about whatever Rand wrote in her sacrosanct texts. They claim to have eschewed gods (which is fine) but have really put another in their place--Rand. Where is the reason behind the unwavering support for whatever Rand wrote? Nowhere, for it does not exist.

Finally, the Objectivists hold that they can reject any society, if they wish (which many philosophers would agree with). However, they fail to recognize the importance of the fact that primates evolved in social groups--that groups are essential to the human species. Or maybe they do not care--after all, that would cast some doubt on their precious Rand's writings. So, the Objectivists continue their irrational philosophy, and try to spread it to others.

At the debate, I stormed out in a fit of anger. I am truly and deeply sorry to both Professors Kennedy and Binswanger, and I hope they, the audience and the moderator Mr. Smith will accept my humblest apologies. --Thomas J. Kelleher III'99

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