Sunday, January 28, 2007

Intellectual Table Tennis

Last night, our Objectivist discussion group met with a liberal discussion group. It was quite the wild time - boisterously bouncing from topic to topic.

Patches of common ground
Were occasionally found.

I think the other group consisted of non-religious folk as well. And we all believed in freedom of speech, as far as I could tell. They were somewhat philosophically oriented, in the sense that they were interested in fundamental questions, but not in the sense of being steeped in the history of philosophy.

Marsha opened up by giving an extremely brief summary of Rand's philosophy - the quick run from objective reality, to surviving by the use of reason, to the purpose of life being one's own well-being, ending up at role of the government being the protection of individual rights.

Along the way, she mentioned that reason allows us to alter the environment instead of adapting to it. One gentlemen interrupted her with a skeptical question "And that's a good thing? I just bantered back with an emphatic "Yes," so Marsha could at least get to her point.

There were intense arguments galore as the evening proceeded. To be fair, the other group did keep trying to understand where we were coming from. But different people in their group had different things they were trying to understand, and the discussion kept changing direction. Marsha, who led the discussion, said she felt like a ping pong ball at the end of all the gab fest.

I hope a good time was had by all
As they tried to follow the ping pong ball.


Ergo said...

Lovely! It sounds like so much fun. I love (and miss) having intellectual conversations with sharp minds.

JohnJEnright said...

I think you would have had a good time there!