Taking on abortion and the so-called “prudent predator” by video — with a shout out to the students of Ayn Rand.

I took up the fundamental immorality of abortion last week, and I addressed some additional issues in this week’s video/podcast. That particular chunk, about twelve minutes, is shown in the YouTube clip below.

In the video, I focus on specious pro-abortion arguments, in particular those put forth by Ayn Rand. I link this back to a bogus idea called the “prudent predator,” illustrating why both claims are essentially equivalent — and equally invalid.

I am thus a very mixed blessing for the self-anointed “students of Ayn Rand.” I take away the pain inflicted upon their minds by an argument they could never answer, but at the cost of ripping away a bit of their holy writ.

A special note for the followers of Ayn Rand’s intellectual errors heirs: Where am I wrong? If they won’t illuminate their disagreements with Man Alive!, the logical inference to be drawn is that they can’t. The emperor is naked. Now everybody knows.

As with everyone reading here, if you find you like my arguments better than the ones you’ve been reciting so far, there’s a reason for that: I’m working from an accurate understanding of human nature, not trying to shoehorn humanity — and your mind — into an arbitrary dogma.

Watch me work:

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  • John T. Kennedy

    Like almost everyone else you’ve badly misconstrued Frieman’s Prudent Predator argument. At no point was Friedman endorsing the Prudent Predator in any way. His argument was only that the Prudent Predator was a logical result of Rand’s stated foundational moral premises. It was intended only as a reductio ad absurdum of Rand’s *derivation* of morality (and not her moral conclusions).

    You could argue that he erred in this argument, but you apparently didn’t even recognize his argument.

  • > You could argue that he erred in this argument, but you apparently didn’t even recognize his argument.

    I don’t agree, but I also don’t care. This video, the post it references and all of Man Alive! are concerned with the correct derivation of teleology from ontology. If I have misrepresented David Friedman’s poor argument of egoism maligning Ayn Rand’s poor argument of egoism, I simply do not care. I dismiss all of extant moral philosophy in Chapter 6; dismissing these two folks individually is redundant and unnecessary. There can be no coherent argument of self-interest without first identifying the self for what it actually is.

    Hat’s off to you, though, for reading so deeply into the blog.

    • John T. Kennedy

      “I don’t agree…”

      Then surely you can demonstrate that you can identify Friedman’s argument by stating it in your own words. That’s a fair test of whether or not you understand what someone is saying. It can be done in three sentences, easy. It can be summarized in one sentence.

      You hold that Rand makes a poor argument for moral egoism. That was Friedman’s entire point – NOT that moral egoism was incorrect. He did not use the reductio of the Prudent Predator to make any moral point whatsoever, his point was that her argument leads to conclusions she rejected which demonstrates an error in her moral reasoning.

      It’s possible in principle that you have identified the only way to arrive at a correct understanding of morality, but even that wouldn’t mean there are not other ways to demonstrate that various moral arguments are wrong.

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