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Passions in Poetry

Atlas Shrugged--the movie?

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Drauntz
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225 posted 06-20-2007 12:56 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Stephanos,  loud and clear, powerful again. enjoyed.
Drauntz
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226 posted 06-20-2007 01:39 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Ayn Rand, living in Russia through October revolution,  should have understood that the revolution was not for all. It was for certain social class, though not hers. And  she also had a chance to learn the common fact… most of the people were climbing the ladders to top official  by any possible available human nature….it was very cruel.

I believe that she saw, if she had eyes in her heart, that during that revolution, Husbands and wives betrayed  each other, so did parents and children, among siblings, relatives, and close friends. Trust between humans was totally lost…extremely selfish for a political right…which was typical rational self-interest, if you call it.

And when she refused to retune back to Russia…I believed that she were considered as traitor in Russia…her parents and siblings and relatives all could be monitored by police and they might loss all chance to have a good promotion. Many good opportunities were forever closed to them….. Other people’s selfishness which she broadcasted it here in US?

If her life was tortured, it were all in the concept of human beings’ selfishness. Her family and her relatives were also victims. How come she came to US, protected by US Government for its’ own benefit, song such a loud song of selfishness?! If she has a human heart, if she has any sense, if she has a brain, she would have go other way. She is a good writer, but  she should leave “philosophy’ alone. A joke. If only for the ‘selfishness’ alone was learned from  Bolshevik.

Her thought, a hallucination, good in a poem, in novel, why a philosophy??? if for a moment of pleasure, what is the difference between a trash philosophy and a bathroom  roll?
Drauntz
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227 posted 06-20-2007 02:10 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

To Sir Ron,

“And my whole point, Stephen, is that there's no real difference between the two. Remove human reason from either and the result is Crusades and Inquisitions.”
.....Where does human reason come from?

To Sir Ron,

”Okay, Stephen, I just ordered a copy. I've read it before, but it's been some few decades. (Then again, it's been even longer since I read Rand.) At the risk of getting ahead of ourselves, I'll throw out a first "comparison," if I may, albeit one based on a thirty-year-old memory.”

.....are you serious? I am talking to a 30 years old memory?(in probably 90 years old brain? Are you 90 years old yet?)        

To Sir Ron,

“Morality is a private conversation, one to be held between the individual and his god.”

...Have you ever seen any gods staying quietly in one’s heart? Not shouting out with multiple languages and  available means to manifest himself?

[This message has been edited by Drauntz (06-20-2007 08:48 PM).]

Brad
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228 posted 06-20-2007 07:25 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
......No matter how one feels it is other party who invades the copyright. So find a lawyer. Tear has no use here.


Rand should trust the government.

quote:
Ayn Rand, living in Russia through October revolution,  should have understood that the revolution was not for all. It was for certain social class, though not hers. And  she also had a chance to learn the common fact… most of the people were climbing the ladders to top official  by any possible available human nature….it was very cruel.


Rand should have known that it wasn't just about her.


quote:
I believe that she saw, if she had eyes in her heart, that during that revolution, Husbands and wives betrayed  each other, so did parents and children, among siblings, relatives, and close friends. Trust between humans was totally lost…extremely selfish for a political right…which was typical rational self-interest, if you call it.


Rand should have seen that the Revolution hurt people.

quote:
And when she refused to retune back to Russia…I believed that she were considered as traitor in Russia…her parents and siblings and relatives all could be monitored by police and they might loss all chance to have a good promotion. Many good opportunities were forever closed to them….. Other people’s selfishness which she broadcasted it here in US?


Rand should have stayed because leaving hurt people.

quote:
If her life was tortured, it were all in the concept of human beings’ selfishness. Her family and her relatives were also victims. How come she came to US, protected by US Government for its’ own benefit, song such a loud song of selfishness?! If she has a human heart, if she has any sense, if she has a brain, she would have go other way.


She should have known that the US government protected her.

quote:
She is a good writer, but  she should leave “philosophy’ alone. A joke. If only for the ‘selfishness’ alone was learned from  Bolshevik.


And she should have learned that everything she wrote was really the Bolshevik government in a different voice.

quote:
Her thought, a hallucination, good in a poem, in novel, why a philosophy??? if for a moment of pleasure, what is the difference between a trash philosophy and a bathroom  roll?


She should have avoided philosophy and written Harlequin romances.
Grinch
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229 posted 06-20-2007 07:30 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
they must have violated something that you find foundational, and morally non-negotiable.


Stephen,

You may have noticed that I have a couple of issues with Rand's objectivism, the main one being that rationality, reason and enlightenment when it comes to an individuals ethical choices can't be assumed to have a positive value from individual to individual so their inclusion is redundant. To be more precise as far as the individual is concerned their choices always seem rational, reasonable and arrived at by using as much enlightenment that the individual possesses at the time they make them. After all if they really didn't think they were all three why would they make them in the first place.

I've a sneaky suspicion that Hitler didn't wake up one morning and think, "wow I've had the most unreasonable, irrational and unenlightened idea - I'll do it". I think he believed it was reasonable, rational and enlightened, I also believe he was mistaken but the method in his madness is likely to be the same mechanism I used to conclude that he was mistaken.

Given the above you may think that a fixed and universal morality inherent in all humans would be an attractive alternative, unfortunately you'd be wrong. I believe Rand's philosophy is flawed but not half as flawed as a fixed and universal morality.

The first problem you encounter when imagining a universal morality is that moral values in the real world are not universal; I don't hold the same moral values as someone three blocks away never mind someone three thousand miles away.

The next problem is that morality has clearly changed over time, what was morally correct and ethical a thousand or a hundred years ago is not necessarily moral or ethical today. This changing or evolving morality isn't compatible with the notion that mans moral framework is either fixed or universal or indeed non-negotiable.

There are some Philosophers that suggest that ethical choices made by individuals are arrived at by whim. I don't think that can be true either because pure whim suggests a random choice without direction at all which would result in haphazard and unpredictable choices in individuals. An individual's actions would be a chaotic mix of moral and immoral acts changing minute by minute.

I believe Rand was correct that self-interest is the guiding force when it comes to making ethical choices; I also believe that the mechanism used is deductive but subjective in nature based on the a priori and a posteriori knowledge of the idividual, seasoned with a sprinkle of possibile causality.
rwood
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230 posted 06-20-2007 08:32 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
She should have avoided philosophy and written Harlequin romances.


Yeah, because all the "Fabio" cover models are so self-interested.

Perfect.
Drauntz
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231 posted 06-20-2007 08:46 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

My dear Sir Brad,

you got it!!!!!
Local Rebel
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232 posted 06-20-2007 08:59 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Connect the dots Brad... or , um... show her the disconnection.  It's the only way.
Ron
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233 posted 06-20-2007 09:57 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
To be more precise as far as the individual is concerned their choices always seem rational, reasonable and arrived at by using as much enlightenment that the individual possesses at the time they make them. After all if they really didn't think they were all three why would they make them in the first place.

Craig, you need to sit in on an AA meeting sometime. Or watch a woman at lunch who is trying to lose five pounds before the weekend. Or visit a bar some evening and watch some kid just barely past puberty trying to pick up a hot chick. And if those don't convince you that people do stupid things even knowing they are stupid things to do, I'll introduce you to my first wife. She had me jumping through hoops that gave irrational a whole new perspective.  

People are motivated by the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. Trouble is, those two motivators are almost always in tension with each other. No pain, no gain? People become addicted due to pleasure. They stay addicted, in spite of knowing full well it's not a rational thing to do, because they want to avoid the pain.

I think rational self-interest, in almost every single case, means being able to make a sacrifice -- not necessarily for others, but rather for your own long-term betterment. More importantly, I honestly think that's the kind of perspective that can be taught to people. Unfortunately, it's certainly not something Western Civilization is trying to teach.


Drauntz
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234 posted 06-20-2007 10:28 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

if a person was tortured by extreme selfishness, when she came out of it, should she teach people to be more selfish or should she cherish human relationship more?

what German did to other people, other people did not do the same thing back to Germans even they had the chances. Because people, in general love peace.

Why don't you tell me which part of Rand's theory touched you deeply?

Because I know for sure that all people here in this Forum are very kind, very intelligent and they have never consider selfishness as a good characters in their whole life but why they like Rand's theory? I want to know the "why".

I will get back to you later about all you post.

and Local Rebel, you too. I have asked many top neuro-scientists about the function of the brain. I will get to you too!!!!!

[This message has been edited by Drauntz (06-21-2007 02:10 AM).]

Huan Yi
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235 posted 06-20-2007 10:39 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

“People are motivated by the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain.”
.


Yet as an ideal, a guide, pleasure may be that which an entire culture
with its people may be measured involving ultimate self-abnegation.

In the argument against there seems to be a suggestion  for instincts
no reputable scientist finds in man.


.
Stephanos
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236 posted 06-21-2007 12:52 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Grinch:
quote:
as far as the individual is concerned their choices always seem rational, reasonable and arrived at by using as much enlightenment that the individual possesses at the time they make them. After all if they really didn't think they were all three why would they make them in the first place.


But Grinch, I don't subscribe to the view that humans never act against their own moral insight, for selfish reasons or baser things like lust and greed.  Sadly, we can alter or damage the aparatus of insight.  You can stifle and finally all but kill the conscience.  But I totally reject the notion that we all simply do the best we can, (including those we've considered to be moral monsters).  I believe the sad fact about sin, is that we choose to act against our own moral insight.  I know that experientially.  It's the gut that trips us more than the head or the heart.  


quote:
I've a sneaky suspicion that Hitler didn't wake up one morning and think, "wow I've had the most unreasonable, irrational and unenlightened idea - I'll do it". I think he believed it was reasonable, rational and enlightened, I also believe he was mistaken but the method in his madness is likely to be the same mechanism I used to conclude that he was mistaken.


Actually I think the mechanism you're using is quite different.  Whether or not you say so, I see a moral objection in what you say.  Hitler didn't merely miscalculate, or simply choose what was least fitted for his biological survival ... He committed real moral horrors, and you know it.  

And while I agree that it didn't happen overnight, I won't conclude that that means he had no misgivings or battles with his God-given conscience along the way.  A man has to take hold week by week, month by month, year by year, and murder his own conscience before he can coldly murder millions of people.  It's no accident that Hitler loved the Nietzschian body of philosophy, in which was stated:

"Who can attain to anything great if he does not feel in himself the force and will to inflict great pain?  The ability to suffer is a small matter;  in that line, weak women and even slaves often attain masterliness.  But not to perish from internal distress and doubt when one inflicts great suffering and hears the cry of it- that is great, that belongs to greatness."

What is the nature of this internal distress and doubt that was overcome?  It is the slow and self-torturous murder of a God-given conscience.  We feign innocence in our long  and convoluted waywardness, but it really isn't as innocent as you make it out.  I'm not saying Hitler wasn't totally self deceived at some point, and didn't in some frightful way come to believe that what he was doing was noble.  I'm just saying that it was a willful and terrible path to get there, with many merciful obstacles along the way.  


quote:
The first problem you encounter when imagining a universal morality is that moral values in the real world are not universal; I don't hold the same moral values as someone three blocks away never mind someone three thousand miles away.


Actually the idea that we all hold grossly different ideas of morality, is an overstatement.  Of course most people (being sinful) are inconsistent even with their own ideas of morality, or apply them to others but not themselves, leading to perceived differences of moral understanding.  However, examining the moral codes of civilations throughout history reveals much more likeness than difference.  I would also recommend to you C.S. Lewis' "The Abolition of Man" where he demonstrates a harmonization of moral codes from all of the ancient civilizations.  They reveal an amazing consistency, as if imperfect hands and eyes were all looking at the same image, when they attempted to sketch it.  There's no denying the caricature of an oversized feature here, or a forgotten shade there.  Yet the likeness is still far more striking than the difference.  


quote:
The next problem is that morality has clearly changed over time, what was morally correct and ethical a thousand or a hundred years ago is not necessarily moral or ethical today. This changing or evolving morality isn't compatible with the notion that mans moral framework is either fixed or universal or indeed non-negotiable.


Morality, and people's conceptions of it (or practice) are not the same thing.  If there is a universal moral law, it is certainly possible for a society to become morally corrupt.  Hitler's Third Reich is a prime example.  Their conception changed, and yet that doesn't make them really moral.  In one sense morality is like music, being intuitive.  In another way it is like math, with the potential of getting it very wrong.  But with a society, as well as with an individual, this doesn't happen quickly.  Of course there are godless philosophies, and all kinds of justifications of thought offered by various "teachers" along the way, which may help this spoiling along.  My point is, a change in morals, as you call it, can be mistaken for a loss of morals.  Of course moral improvements can be made too, where moral principles were either overblown or atrophied, excessively or inadequately applied.  I don't believe a universal moral law, implies that there are not fluctuations in our imperfect expressions of it.    


quote:
I believe Rand was correct that self-interest is the guiding force when it comes to making ethical choices


If self interest is the guiding force, then I don't think morality has a necessarily moral foundation.  It takes more than self interest, since morality most often concerns itself with how we treat others.  (I'll sustain that by continually reminding you that ill treating others does not universally guarantee a loss of pleasure for the self ... other than that darned conscience which bothers us, which BTW doesn't concern itself with only self-interest).  


And since rationality, on its own, is subjective ... so is "long term" versus "short term".  I've no doubt that an over-emphasis on self, based on long term concerns, can also lead to immoral decisions.  The question of what constitues long term success, versus short term success, is still plagued by the subjectivity you see in rational versus irrational self-interest.  Applying different adjectives doesn't change the inadequacy of self-interest as a basis for morals.  


Stephen        
Stephanos
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237 posted 06-21-2007 01:18 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Karen,

Geesh, look how long your off-track thread has become.  We sewed quite a different garment than you imagined.  But that's probably true of most "threads" eh?


Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to explore.

Stephen.
Drauntz
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238 posted 06-21-2007 11:57 AM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Local Rebel,

Scientist says that people thinks with whole brain not only cerebral cortex or even half of it as you mentioned in other thread.

I did left traps, the missing ring of my logical thinking,   if you wanted Sir Brad to walk in.
Drauntz
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239 posted 06-21-2007 12:26 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Sir Yi Huan

search "innate behavior" in
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed

you may read some papers which I do not understand at all.

Ron
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240 posted 06-21-2007 01:56 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I'll sustain that by continually reminding you that ill treating others does not universally guarantee a loss of pleasure for the self ..

If you're still looking for universal guarantees, Stephen, you'll have to wait until the after-life. You certainly won't find any in Objectivism, Capitalism, or even in Christianity this side of the grave. There's even less of a universal guarantee for treating people well, so much so in fact that it led to the adage, "No good deed goes unpunished." Let's face it, life is frequently unpredictable and very often sucks.

So what? Treat others unfairly and -- much more often than not -- it will come back to bite you in the butt. Punching someone in the nose is a darn good way to get punched back. No, not always, but the rational man doesn't look for guarantees he knows won't come.

Let's carry that a bit further, to an obvious extreme. What if the guy I wanted to punch in the nose was tied down and I had on a mask? What if there seemed to be absolutely no chance of any negative repercussions? Would a rational man take the opportunity to pummel an enemy?

No, because the rational man -- again -- knows there are no universal guarantees. There is always the possibility for negative repercussions when you hurt someone else. Especially in instances where you are essentially teaching your enemies the best way to hurt someone. The rational man knows that come next week he's liable to the one tied down and facing a guy in a mask.


Drauntz
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241 posted 06-21-2007 02:58 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

“If you're still looking for universal guarantees, Stephen, you'll have to wait until the after-life. You certainly won't find any in Objectivism, Capitalism, or even in Christianity this side of the grave.”

…you are right Ron. Sun shines on good and bad and in between.

“Let's face it, life is frequently unpredictable and very often sucks.”

….that is why I come to the fantasy land of PIP which you constructed.


”Punching someone in the nose is a darn good way to get punched back. No, not always, but the rational man doesn't look for guarantees he knows won't come.”

….this and all later comments I read as, sir, you are a very kind hearted man.
I say, “rational” here is the purpose of punching. If someone hurts my parents, I sure will punch him again and again without a mask no matter what. (what if I get jailed later?) will be too weak a reason for not protecting my parents.

my thought

Have a wonderful day!! Sir Ron.

serenity blaze
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242 posted 06-21-2007 03:39 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Stephan? It's okay. I glanced at some of it--and when I'm done reading the book, I'll be back with my take on it.

And yanno? I always did seem to have a knack for this sort of thing, grin, I find myself thinking, "ask a simple question..."

Well. I thought it was a simple question.

Btw? I can't remember who owes whom an "e"-but I sure would like to see some pics!

Love ya!

*ahem*

Ya'll may continue.

Even the person in this thread that I will now forever think of as "Wesley Mouch."
*laughing*

(Carry on, good people, and um, is it possible to interrupt your own thread?)

*laughing again* ohhhhhhhhh boy!

It's all gravy.
serenity blaze
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243 posted 06-21-2007 05:26 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

OH. I was so busy socializing I forgot I had something to share here. I had loaned my copy of Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" to my daughter's boyfriend, and I had to pry it out of his hands to get it back, but it was returned to me this week. Last night, while I was hugging it, I thumbed through it and randomly picked a page to read, and oh-I- love serendipity, because this is what I happened upon:

"In 1887, with a huge surplus in the treasury, Cleveland [as in Grover, of course] vetoed a bill appropriating $100,000 to give relief to Texas farmers to help them buy seed grain during a drought. He said, "Federal aid in such cases...encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character." But that same year, Cleveland used his gold surplus to pay off wealthy bondholders at $28 above the $100 value of each bond--a gift of $45 million."

Hmmm.

I paused to consider that in the context of this conversation, but I'm glad I didn't stop reading, because much to my surprise, Zinn's next paragraph leapt out at me:

"The chief reform of the Cleveland administration gives away the secret of reform legislation in America. The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 was supposed to regulate the railroads on behalf of the consumers. But Richard Olney, a lawyer for the Boston & Maine, and other railraods, and soon to be Cleveland's Attorney General, told railroad officials who complained about the Interstate Commerce Commission that it would not be wise to abolish the Commission "from a railroad point of view," He explained:

(italics mine)The commimission...is or can be made, of great use to the railroads, at the same time that that supervision is almost entirely nominal....The part of wisdom is not to destroy the Commission, but to utilize it. "

I just happen to be at the point in Atlas Shrugged where I found this bit of history pretty enlightening, and I will not pretend that I completely understand how this fits in the context of this conversation, but I wanted to make a note to myself--and if I kept that note anyplace else but here, nod, I'd lose it.



So consider that tidbit for what it's worth, if you all think it is worth anything--shrug. I found it rather insightful m'self, but I'm again conceding from the philosphy until I read the book. I realize I could fake reading the book by skimming the net and reading other people's conclusions but um, why?

I'd only cheat myself. (I have always hated Cliff Notes, Ron.) If I did that, I would have lost the joy of discovery of some of Rand's subtle points, particularly lovely when she describes music, from the viewpoint of Dagney:

"If music was emotion and emotion came from thought, then this was the scream of chaos, of the irrational, of the helpless, of man's self-abdication."

Beautiful. (And Rand wrote that without ever attending a Dio concert too.)

Brad, that is hardly "purple prose" that is the hallmark of the romance novel. Tsk. Read the book again if that's all you got out of Rand's style.

Now, back to the book.

You all enjoy. I know I am!

Grinch
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244 posted 06-21-2007 08:20 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
Craig, you need to sit in on an AA meeting sometime. Or watch a woman at lunch who is trying to lose five pounds before the weekend. Or visit a bar some evening and watch some kid just barely past puberty trying to pick up a hot chick. And if those don't convince you that people do stupid things even knowing they are stupid things to do, I'll introduce you to my first wife. She had me jumping through hoops that gave irrational a whole new perspective.


Ron,

Hindsight is a wondrous and useful tool for judging choices, as useful as guilt and regret are at influencing future choices people make but they are all tools that can only be applied after the fact. I'm willing to bet that at the time you married your first wife you believed it was the right thing to do, that it was only later, with more knowledge, that you realised it probably wasn't.

I'm not suggesting that people can't make choices that they, and indeed others, later recognise as being stupid; I'm not even suggesting that at the time they make the choice that stupidity isn't part of the calculation. All I'm saying is that at the time they make the choice they, for some reason, believe it is the correct and right thing to do.

I think Rand missed a trick when she created her utopian philosophy; she failed to explain how you get from is to ought, to me part of this failing was because she concentrated on the consequences and judging the moral value of choices instead of the mechanism employed to arrive at those choices.

She says people should "think rationally" but people already believe that they do, they believe their choices are rational measured against the information they have at the time, it's only by understanding why they came by that belief can we hope to rectify their mistakes.

My own view is that an individuals existing rationality can be used - all you need to do is tip the balance of pain and pleasure by emphasising the consequences of one above the other, you could call it a dose of harsh hindsight. Of course that leads to an obvious problem - who sets the standard of morality?

quote:
But Grinch, I don't subscribe to the view that humans never act against their own moral insight, for selfish reasons or baser things like lust and greed.


Stephanos,

That's presuming they have a moral insight, which is something I don't subscribe to but I'm willing to suspend my subscription for a few moments to see where it takes us.    

Morality is judged in two ways, the first is used by the individual faced with a choice, lets call it subjective. The second is the view of a third party (society) or by the individual with the advantage of hindsight, lets call that objective.

The moral insight you're talking would be used in both subjective and objective judgements of morality.

Now let's introduce a moral insight, let's say that there exists in every individual a moral insight that says that a man shouldn't sleep with another man. I'm willing to accept that in such a case a man that slept with another man could be said to have acted against his moral insight for the selfish reason of lust and to fulfil his base desires. He could be said to have wilfully ignored his moral insight and made the wrong choice. However, when it comes to an objective judgement what would a third party have to gain by ignoring his\her moral insight and not condemning the transgressor? Surely a third party if they don't judge the act as morally wrong have acted selfishly against their own moral insight for no reason or gain at all.

You touched on the same dilemma when you suggested that I recognised the immorality shown by Hitler by reference to the very same moral insight I'm trying to deny, if moral insight is universal and the same why do people making objective judgments fail to see the immorality?

In this scenario the subjective misjudgement is understandable but the independent objective misjudgement seems to suggest that the universal moral insight doesn't actually exist or is so weak as to be almost useless.

It could be said that the third party objective judgment in this case is simply a mistake but that suggests, at least to me, that the moral insight isn't much of an insight if it can't be clearly recognised without the obscuring factors of lust or greed.

Back to my subscription

A man deciding whether to sleep with another man is guided by his own self-interest and after weighing the consequences and their effects in the short and long term decides that the pressure outweighs the possible pain. When I look at the man and have to decide my moral stance on homosexuality I'm guided by my own self interest and weigh the possible consequences as they pertain to me, I decide his actions don't affect my short or long term self-interest and conclude that his actions aren't immoral.

Which scenario seems closest to what we see in the world around us?

I'll try to get back to this thread tomorrow when I've worked out whether I'm Karen's Wesley Mouch.  

[This message has been edited by Grinch (06-22-2007 05:45 PM).]

Balladeer
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245 posted 06-22-2007 11:52 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, well, well...we certainly travel down many roads on this topic, don't we? Ayn Rand would be pleased, i'm sure, since one of her main goals was to get people to think.

It is the slow and self-torturous murder of a God-given conscience.

Interesting, Stephan. I didn't realize that Christians believed that God-given consciences could be murdered or overcome by man. Actually you have referred to several religious points to support your philosophies, as if arguing against rational self-interest by using references to a belief that has no actual basis in hard fact is valid. You have brought up many interesting points, however your sentences fairly bristle with the thought that self-interest could be the driving force behind human action.

Grinch also presents extremely intelligent arguments to support his views but it seems we are doing our best to make something as complex as possible out of something simple. Hitler's actions were rational to Hitler? So what? If insanity is rational to a mental patient does that make his thoughts rational or acceptable? To him, perhaps but, again,....so what? Who has the right to declare what is moral or rational? Well, somebody better because chaos is the only alternative. "Don't judge, lest ye be judged." Sound familiar, Stephan? Well, Ayn Rand was not concerned about being judged. Actually I think she would have said, "Bring it on!"

To me, the bottom line is this. Ayn Rand preached:

Rational self-interest.
Respect for others.
A constant strive to be the best you can be while granting others the right to do the same.

For those of you who would argue against these goals, I'm at a loss what to say.


karen, as I said before, that is the real beauty of the book. You can look at the news and see perfect examples of what she penned there, 50 years later! (think soybean and extracting oil from shale) I'm SO pleased you are getting so much out of it.
hush
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246 posted 06-22-2007 12:54 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Drauntz

'if a person was tortured by extreme selfishness, when she came out of it, should she teach people to be more selfish or should she cherish human relationship more?'

The extreme selfishness you are citing, by example (the communist revolution), is the exact greed of the "moochers" (the villains) of her book. You continue to amaze me by arguing the axact point Rand was arguing while thinking you are arguing against her... it's cute, kind of. It's like if I wanted to argue astrophysics with a bunch of people in an astrophysics class, but I said "Pfft! I'm not going to go to one of your lectuers or read the book- I already know enough about it, it's a waste of my time."

And blaming Rand for her family being made an example of is kind of like blaming the woman for the rape, right?

How utterly ridiculous for an immigrant to see America as a land of opportunity, and to want to stay...we should send all people seeking political asylum back where they came from.

I don't know why I keep coming back to beat my head against this wall... but maybe if they make a movie, you'll go see it? It is easier than reading a 1000+ page novel.
Drauntz
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247 posted 06-22-2007 02:08 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Hush,
Any government can not survive if it is the enemy of the general society. Take Sadam, he has his people. He had supporters. Communism came into power because it had grassroots to support and the grassroots are not all villains.) It claimed that it was for the poor, about 80 percent of the population, meant 80% people of the country support it, you know!). Rand’s family belonged to the privileged family. It is not personal thing (an interest of a social class) But Rand’s personalized it. Or I shall say that selfishness is one of the build-in human characters( there is a usage of it, biologically, of course) .How come she was the one to teach to be “self-interest?” All her theories are not hers.

Republican Party may claim that democratic party selfish. So it may say, “if you are selfish, I shall double my selfishness”. Can republican achieve it? May be temporarily but will end either the close of the Government or off the stage after 4 years service. Based on this, one has to learn bargain which needs wisdom (the summary of human wisdom called philosophy). When Bargain, you give up some and gain some…a balance.,, one may claim that this is rational self-interest. But the little fox in Aesop’s Fables had said “the grapes are quite sour.” For the interest one gave up to others.

A soldiers coming back from war rarely says that war is a marvelous thing. But why did Rand say that war was good?
War=selfishness.  

I know some of her likes and I call them trash no matter how they have been labeled  with brand names.
Drauntz
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248 posted 06-22-2007 02:33 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

some "philosophies " brings quite a fantasy over tea and cake. But Fantasy is not truth and can not be applied to reality. For the best of one's interest, a 15 minutes fame and a shooting star... at lease shined once just   accidentally crossing the atmosphere of earth and then back to a rock.  

rwood
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249 posted 06-22-2007 03:02 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Drauntz,

Maybe you should write a book with your own philosophical views.

Instead of expressing so much disdain for another's work, you could use your energy in a positive manner and create a respectable contrast of her work to be published.

Who knows? You might create something many people are still reading 25 years after your death, too?

 
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