Aug 1, 2013
Best approach to disputes in the Objectivist movement?
I have been a student of Objectivism, and a member of the Objectivist movement, for 50 years. I have seen conflicts arise and fade. I am learning that there is a proper procedure for outside individuals—those who are not directly involved—to approach these conflicts. Part of that procedure consists of asking and answering these questions:
(1) Exactly what is the type of conflict? Is it philosophical, personal, something else, or a combination?
(2) Exactly what is the issue in dispute? If there are several issues, in what order should I resolve them?
(3) Is all the evidence available that I need in order to make a decision about which side, if either, to support?
(4) If any, what is my stake in this conflict? How does it affect my pursuit of my lifetime philosophical and personal values?
(5) Do I need to make a decision now or at any time? If so, why?
(6) If I do decide to investigate a dispute and if I uncover enough information to form a judgment, should I take a stand (which entails time and effort to formulate, present and defend), either in private or in public?
The main lesson I have learned is to wait until I can answer such questions with confidence. A secondary lesson is that Objectivism (which is a fixed set of ideas) remains unchanged no matter what happens in the Objectivist movement. (For my understanding of "movement," see aristotleadventure.blogspot.com/2008/07/what-is-movement.html )
What other approach would you suggest?
Author of The Power and the Glory: The Key Ideas and Crusading Lives of Eight Debaters of Reason vs. Faith, here
P. S. — Thank you to Pooja Gupta for suggesting Question 6. Thank you to Rohin Gupta for reminding me to make this available on the internet and not merely on Facebook (published as a note three years ago).