Reason as the Leading Motive


Posted by Jerry on May 31, 2007

Just another rather insidious bromide comes to mind: the fusing of disparate concepts so as to blur conceptual boundaries and produce some foggy, ill-defined, anti-concept. Examples of these include, all property is theft, all action is force, all creations are art, and all facts are opinions.

Indeed, I suspect, people consider such vacuous proclamations as rather profound insights. But if so many crucially important concepts like property, force, art, actions, and facts actually have no clear and distinctly defined boundaries, then, by implication, all knowledge is also a blur, since all knowledge is inextricably linked to one another.

Thus, if all property is theft, then property rights become meaningless, the definition of theft becomes blurry, the concept of rights is undermined, the pursuit of one’s happiness becomes illegitimate, the value of life becomes questionable, the notion of valuing anything at all becomes meaningless, and therefore owning property becomes superfluous because all property is theft.

The reason I started writing this post out was because I read somewhere someone criticizing Rand’s notion that rational men can deal with each other without any use of force. The criticism was that Rand was too simplistic in her understanding of human interactions, because, according to the commenter, all action is force, depending on whose perspective you choose. Thus, force is an inherent aspect of human interaction and cannot be avoided, according to this person.


3 Responses to “Blur”

  1. satyajit said

    there’s this one: in life, you can either look for meaning, or you can choose to be happy.

    funda is somewhat like this: if you look for meaning, you cannot enjoy the present moment because not every moment has meaning. so, you’ll always be in pursuit of meaning and that translates into not being able to live the “now.” In contrast, if you just choose to be happy irrespective of what you do, then well you’re simply happy all the time.

    and this was said in “Heroes” (star world)

    p.s: i havent seen it but this is what i’ve been told by avantica

    commercial movies are filled with bromides..scriptwriters look for the easy way out by playing to the gallery with bromides aplenty

  2. qzurt said

    Could “all property is theft” be an example of a stolen concept? There can be no theft without rightfully owned property, but the statement is an attempt to undermine the concept of property. It is also an attempt to label the exercise of the right to property as property’s violation, in order to free themselves from all restrictions from violating those same rights. Another example that would be it’s extension is “all life is murder”.

  3. Ergo said

    Yes, “all property is theft” is a stolen concept–a concept that has been taken out of its proper hierarchy and used to refute the very concepts it depends on.

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