Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Adirian comments on Evaporative Cooling of Group Beliefs - Less Wrong

41 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 07 December 2007 11:08PM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (41)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: Adirian 08 December 2007 01:05:11AM 1 point [-]

I've believed this was so for a long time, after reading about the Klu Klux Klan. Which, it is weird to think, was once a (for the time) moderate and respected political institution. After the Grand Dragon got caught in a sex scandal, membership dwindled rapidly, leaving a core of fanatics - with results that I think we're all quite familiar with.

I think the schism in Objectivism ended differently - because I don't think on the one hand you have the fanatics, but rather simply two groups, each of which ended up defining Objectivism differently. One treats Objectivism as a complete value set, by which every aspect of their lives can be defined. I don't think they're fanatics, but, rather individuals who already lived in agreement with that value set. And on the other hand are those whose value system has a different set of values, who treat Objectivism as an approach to thinking rather than the definition of it. The latter definition is best expressed in Atlas Shrugged and We The Living; the former is best expressed in The Fountainhead and her philosophical essays. It's a distinction in definition. I am, incidentally, of the latter persuasion - I consider myself an Objectivist, but disagree with Ayn Rand on the matter of values. (I, for example, reverse her logic - life is important because it is necessary to reason, rather than the other way around.)