Sunday, April 06, 2008

Mommy-Jedi Mind Trick

Cool! I just pulled off the Mommy version of the Jedi mind trick on Ryan. He's a good liar, he is. M wanted to play a certain game for the Leapster that had somehow "gone missing" and he looked me straight in the eye and said he had no idea where it was.

I just stared at him for a second and asked him point-blank if he was hiding it.

"No," says he.

"Because I will find out the truth." With just ever-so-slight an emphasis on the word "will."

"Weellll . . . I have been keeping it in my pocket. Here it is."

It was so weird. And cool! Oh I'm giddy and drunk on my own power! :o)


Anonymous said...

Oh, how I love those powers. I use them here every once in a while. I can also sense when they're around, even if they don't make the slightest sound. I just know they're there. And they keep asking me how I do it. :)

Jedi-Mom... LOL

Mrs. C said...

Size matters not, eh, Big One? ;]

Hope you are feeling well and using the Force wisely!

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

I think I will try that one, I will.
Enjoy your special Mommy-Jedi powers. And I'll bet the little guy has learned something about Mommies and lying.

By the way, and totally off this topic. I have a question. This is not a question to trap you into endless argument, but a real, live question about Objectivism.
If you could answer it, I will be grateful. If you do not choose to, no harm, no foul.

I got myself entrenched into, discussion with some guy who began by advocating that a law be made against the religious instruction of homeschooled children. His excuse was a false equation of religious instruction with child abuse. I say original, because this has devolved into an endless series of demands that I defend things I did not actually say or imply. This guy keeps arguing that fulfilling his wish would result in "objective" government. I disagree, but that is beside the point.
It has been suggested that this guy is an Objectivist, and that many such are prone to the use of any logical fallacy in order to keep the fight going. When someone finally wearies of the shifting BS, they then can declare victory.

My Question: Is this kind of thing actually Objectivism? That is, am I right or wrong in characterizing it as such?

Another question: It seems to me, from my reading, that Objectivism support an atheistic world view. If so, does this mean that Objectivists would support the removal of constitutional rights to free speech and the separation of church and state in order to stop people from choosing to be religious?

I had thought that Objectivists supported the natural rights of human beings (I mean the ones in the Declaration and Constitution,not FDR's version) and I admired that. I had thought that Objectivists would be morally outraged at the death and destruction caused by totalitarian regimes, and I admired that, too.

I do not want to tarr all Objectivists with the same brush, but this encounter has been...well, eye-opening.

Thanks in advance for your insight on this, if you care to answer.

Rational Jenn said...

Thanks, all. I think he will learn something about lying to me! He doesn't do it that often really; I get the impression it's something he's "trying out." Seems common enough at his age--and I think the staring trick will work to my advantage. I tend to over-explain stuff to him (he gets his super-talking thing from me, I think) and it's high time I learned how to use silence to my benefit!

Rational Jenn said...

EHL--about your encounter, I have a couple of things to say.

First off, I have met many people, Oists and nonOists alike, who seem to treat philosophical debate as a linguistic exercise, setting up little "traps" and springing them on people. It's particularly common in email and online forums, I think, because (I find) it's easier to misinterpret what people write.

I find it a terribly disagreeable way to conduct a discussion of ideas and I excuse myself quickly when I encounter such a person. There is just not enough time in the world--there was when I was in college, but not now. :o)

As to your question as to is this characteristic of Oism, I'm not sure what you mean--this kind of discussion/debate, or the beliefs he is espousing? If you are referring to the former, then as I said above, sometimes you run into such persons--and I have met them, online and in person, in nonOist situations, too.

As to the ideas you were discussing with him, I will refer you to some things that Ayn Rand herself said. I think it's best to learn about Oist ideas from her when possible, because, well, sometimes people are confused or simply aren't as good at making their point as she was. I think probably nobody could make a point like she could! (Incidentally, any mistakes about Oism on my blog are mine and mine alone.)

I got these quotations from a book called Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of her Q & A, edited by Robert Mayhew. I'm sure there are other sources, too, and I can help you find them if you are interested.

Regarding free speech and religion:

"In fact, I was pleased and astonished to discover that some religious people support Objectivism. If you want to be a full Objectivist, you cannot reconcile that with religion; but that doesn't mean religious people cannot be individualists and fight for freedom. They can, and this country is the best proof of it."

"Of course, one should not forbid religion. Today's culture is such that the moment you oppose something, people believe you want to forbid it by law. If we did that, we'd return to the Dark Ages. Leave people the right to be wrong in their own way. So long as they don't force their ideas on you, you cannot forbid religion to anyone."

Regarding children and parents:

Question: Does the state have a right to interfere with parents who abuse their children?

Answer: "Yes, in a case of demonstrable physical abuse, like beating or starvation. This is an issue of protecting individual rights. Since children cannot protect themselves from physical abuse, and are dependent upon their parents, the government can interfere to protect a child's rights--just as it can to prevent an adult form beating up, locking up, or staving another adult. Since the child is dependent for his survival on the parent, the government can see to it that the child's life is safe. But this does not extend to intellectual issues. The government has no right to interfere in the upbringing of the child, which is entirely the responsibility and the right of the parent."

Those statements are consistent with my understanding of Objectivism--namely, that free speech demands that religion not be forbidden, and that the state has no right to intervene with a parent's right to pass on their beliefs to their children.

I wrote this through many interruptions! I'm sure I have more to say, but I think I made my main point and if I think of something more, I'll write more later. I do hope this helps and I do appreciate your asking me. :o)

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Thanks, Jenn.

I think the guy is a troll, as he has now started commenting under other aliases as well.

I have gone back and corrected any improper use of the term Objectivist in order to make sure that readers understand the difference between him and the philosophy of Objectivism.

I would hate to spread false ideas about something like that out of my own ignorance.

Stella said...

Wise you are. Think twice he will, before again make up another story he does. (Referring to the original post I am.)