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Passions in Poetry

Atlas Shrugged--the movie?

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Drauntz
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250 posted 06-22-2007 04:09 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz


Sir Balladeer,

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

Sir, philosophically, 1 will fight with 2, and the number 3 will have a internal conflict.
Brad
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251 posted 06-22-2007 04:49 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
Ayn Rand was not concerned about being judged. Actually I think she would have said, "Bring it on!"


Ouch!

Drauntz,

Let's get real, okay? You have not tried to understand Ayn Rand. You have not tried to understand where she comes from (She was not a member of the Russian aristocracy.). You have not tried to understand Russian history. And you have no clue when it comes to the Bolsheviks.

You talk about a logical error in your thinking but logic is irrelevant if you don't get your assumptions right.

All cars are green.
You have a car.
Therefore, it is green.

You make up things as you go along (80% support -- are you kidding?).

There's a reason the Bolsheviks stopped having elections.

They lost the first one.

You asked what has touched so many of us. I've been trying to tell you that (at least for me.)and if you would just stop jumping on individual words, taking them out of context, and changing them as you go along, you would have had your question answered:

(I'm using man in the following in the Randian mankind sense.)

Rand concentrates on the noble power of man's imagination and ingenuity to create and change the world around him. Her point, again and again -- and again, is that when you take that away from man, when you take that away from any man, the collective group suffers. When it is exalted, the collective benefits.

But in order for the collective to benefit, it must let man be man. In order for this to happen, the collective cannot guarantee itself a spot at the dinner table. When it does that, nobody benefits.

Let me say that again,

When the collective interferes with the individual's power to create, it does not benefit. It hurts itself and in the long run  destroys itself.

You have chosen to belittle that.

And you have chosen to belittle it, not by challenging the actual philosophy, but by challenging Rand's personal life.

Why?
Brad
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252 posted 06-22-2007 05:03 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:

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

Sir, philosophically, 1 will fight with 2, and the number 3 will have a internal conflict.


No, Rational self-interest, by definition, already includes a respect for others. The only conflict in '3' occurs when '1' and '2' are not applied.

They are philosophically vague (and that is a problem), but they are not in conflict.
Drauntz
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253 posted 06-22-2007 05:21 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Sir Brad,

I don't mind if you corrected  Sir Balladeer's summary.

" Rational self-interest, by definition, already includes a respect for others"

But you have a different definition of "rational self-interest" from Ron's. And what is Rand's?



Brad
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254 posted 06-22-2007 05:40 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

What is Ron's definition of rational self-interest?

I still want you to explain the need to avoid and berate at the same time.
Drauntz
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255 posted 06-22-2007 07:00 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

If Rand's had one clear definition of rational self-interest, one of you would have posted out.

self interest is self interest. There is not need to beautify or belittle it. Love is love, there is not need to hide. Both are build-in human characters. Of course there are more build ins like judgment, conscience, all are some functions of human brain.  
Brad
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256 posted 06-22-2007 07:18 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Two questions.

Neither have been answered.

Drauntz
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257 posted 06-22-2007 07:38 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

To Sir Brad,

1. First question,

Ron's word

"Objectivism doesn't simply advocate self-interest but, rather, rational self-interest. That's a vital distinction. It is not rational to eat ice cream at every meal, even though it tastes good, because the long-term self-interest is more important than short-term gratification. Similarly, it is not rational to hurt any other human being because, in the long-term, it will always come back to bite you in the butt."

DO you read out the meaning of "respect others"? (there is a trap here if you try to fit "respect" into his statement)

I do not want to get into trouble with Sir Ron.
you may have a meeting with him since you are one of the Reverend Moderators.

Second...not even a question.

my explanation?
my interests.

[This message has been edited by Drauntz (06-22-2007 08:42 PM).]

rwood
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258 posted 06-22-2007 08:29 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
Brad I still want you to explain the need to avoid and berate at the same time.


quote:
Drauntz Second...not even a question. my explanation? my interests.



That's pretty loud and clear. Thanks. That's the first question she's actually answered with an answer.


Drauntz
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259 posted 06-23-2007 02:01 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Grinch
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260 posted 06-23-2007 05:53 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Second...not even a question.

my explanation?
my interests.


I think you mean your self-interests Drauntz, which you must admit seems a little odd as you insist on denying them any part in the decision making process.

If you really don't think self-interest plays a part in that process perhaps you could suggest an alternative we could discuss.

Drauntz
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261 posted 06-23-2007 07:58 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Grinch,

my interest, my self interest or if there is one, rational self-interest(to benefit myself) are all the same. It is human nature. We do not need to be taught to be self-interest because biologically, it is part of who we are.  Can we survive well solely based on my interest, my self interest or if there is one, rational self-interest(to benefit myself)? No!

That is why Rand's "philosophy" is fantasy..another extreme like communism( Rand also borrowed some concepts from it) based on that all people were  kind and reasonable and clearly self-ruled by a build-in moral, which does not exist at all. every one knows it.

my thought.
Grinch
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262 posted 06-23-2007 09:33 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
Can we survive well solely based on my interest, my self interest or if there is one, rational self-interest(to benefit myself)? No!



You agree that decision-making based on self-interest is part of human nature - well that's a start.

Can we survive if you make choices based solely on your self-interest? YES humans do it all the time, Ayn Rand called it The Trader Principle -  you may call it co-operation.

Ever heard the saying two heads are better than one? Many hands make light work or a problem shared is a problem halved. What about safety in numbers, the enemy of my enemy is my friend or you scratch my back I'll scratch yours.

Self-interest isn't the same as selfishness which is what you seem to be confusing it with.


quote:
That is why Rand's "philosophy" is fantasy..another extreme like communism( Rand also borrowed some concepts from it) based on that all people were  kind and reasonable and clearly self-ruled by a build-in moral, which does not exist at all. every one knows it.


Communism didn't have a built in universal moral code and neither does objectivism for two very good reasons, the first is that both are made up of individuals with individual moral codes based on self-interest. The second is that a fixed and universal moral code doesn't seem to exist as I pointed out earlier in this thread.

Drauntz
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263 posted 06-24-2007 08:08 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Grinch,

Thank you very much for your patience.

Grinch

“You agree that decision-making based on self-interest is part of human nature - well that's a start.”

………No. try not to trap me.  I did not say that. I said any decision shall not be made solely on the base of self-interest. Because that is not going to work.  Wisdom!

Grinch

“Can we survive if you make choices based solely on your self-interest? YES humans do it all the time, Ayn Rand called it The Trader Principle -  you may call it co-operation.”

.....sir, Co is not self. ..means take other’s interest into consideration.
Sir, your self-interest has changed  concept again.

Grinch,

“Ever heard the saying two heads are better than one? Many hands make light work or a problem shared is a problem halved. What about safety in numbers, the enemy of my enemy is my friend or you scratch my back I'll scratch yours.”

....This is the horse without tied. Your self-interest goes too far. I am glad that you mention enemy here. If Rational –self interest is taking other people interest in then you shall delete the “self”.  Is group interest in the concept of Rand’s rational self-interest?  If it is, then she shall not blame government, communism or anything. And she shall sing a loud song of Sacrifice for the benefit of the group. Did She?

Grinch

“Self-interest isn't the same as selfishness which is what you seem to be confusing it with.”

....No. I am not. Selfishness is part of self-interest. Selfishness is part of human character while self-interest is part of ego.

Grinch

“Communism didn't have a built in universal moral code”

....you are right. It is fantasy just like Rand’s thought.  They all think that human being are all nice, gentle, reasonable, kind, good citizenship, trust worthy and honorable and loyal. You know, I know that those are not true. Those are the best thing I can say about Rand’s and communism.,, and it is for you interest. For mine? I‘d say again that they are garbages. and I can certainly tell you where the communism came from.  
Grinch
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264 posted 06-24-2007 09:09 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

Drauntz,

quote:
………No. try not to trap me.  I did not say that. I said any decision shall not be made solely on the base of self-interest. Because that is not going to work.  Wisdom!


There was no intended trap Drauntz this is what you said I simply presumed you actually meant it.

quote:
It is human nature. We do not need to be taught to be self-interest because biologically, it is part of who we are.


If self-interest is part of who we are it seems reasonable to suppose it plays a part in driving our choices. Not wisdom just common sense.

quote:
.....sir, Co is not self. ..means take other’s interest into consideration.
Sir, your self-interest has changed  concept again.


I didn't change concepts you did, you jumped from objectivist ethics which deals with self (the individual) to objectivist politics which deals with the self's interaction with others (the group).

The individuals self-interest is amended by group interaction so yes it does change, but then again I never suggested it was a fixed concept - that's your hang up with self interest not mine.

quote:
Is group interest in the concept of Rand’s rational self-interest?


Yes, only as I said above it comes under Objectivist Politic and is outlined in the Traders Principle not under Objectivist ethics that is a subject based solely on the individual.

You really need to get your self and your groups in order.

quote:
....No. I am not. Selfishness is part of self-interest.


As I keep trying to tell you self-interest is based at the level of the individual, unless you believe you can be selfish to yourself the above comment is twaddle.

If a man on a desert island alone decides that it would be in his own self-interest to build a shelter to sleep in where does selfishness come in?

quote:
Communism didn't have a built in universal moral code


I can expand that if you like:

Nothing we know of has a built in universal moral code

Local Rebel
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265 posted 06-24-2007 09:20 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I'm inclined to disagree Craig.

Two things that are built in are the insticts to cooperate and quantify/qualify.

We measure the cooperation of others and pass judgement on whether or not they are doing their 'fair-share' -- based upon whatever the perceived terms of cooperation are.

This is built in.
Essorant
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266 posted 06-24-2007 09:29 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Nothing we know of has a built in universal moral code"

I disagree as well.  The universe has a moral code, but it is not exactly as you seem to demand it to be in order to treat it as an existing thing.  

Just as the rest of the universe varies and changes, morals vary and change as well.  So do laws.  So does everything I ever met.  But despite how many variations there are, there is still oneness in the end, a "code" and "order" to things.  

Drauntz
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267 posted 06-24-2007 10:54 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz


Grinch,

"If a man on a desert island alone decides that it would be in his own self-interest to build a shelter to sleep in where does selfishness come in?"

Sir you are very right. name how many people live like that? one person's behavior does not make a philosophy.

And as for the selfishness.. what if he eats all the bananas and left nothing for the monkeys? what if he ruins the local eco- system and end up he has no food and no water? why do we have senses???????? to sense our surroundings and to act out accordingly.

Grinch
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268 posted 06-25-2007 05:35 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


LR

quote:
Two things that are built in are the instincts to cooperate and quantify/qualify


But are they universal.

It could be argued that they are intrinsic at some level but a universal moral code requires it to be constant and the same in each instance and example.

Can it be said that there's a universal penal code, a universal dress code and a universal highway code?

There can certainly be types of penal codes but there isn't one unified penal code that could be classed as universal.

Local Rebel
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269 posted 06-25-2007 08:54 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

No.  That's not what I'm saying.

The morality of the Sopranos and the morality of the Simpsons may be different -- just like English and Japanese are different -- but they are both language and both morality -- both operating on the built-in mechanism.

Every culture will determine its' rules of cooperation -- but in the end all morality boils down to the same question:

How well are the terms of cooperation being fulfilled?
rwood
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270 posted 06-25-2007 09:27 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

"Every culture will determine its' rules of cooperation -- but in the end all morality boils down to the same question:

How well are the terms of cooperation being fulfilled?"

I know. The south keeps trying to "do it again". They must keep getting the cooperation thing all wrong because they have to reenact it every year.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Stephanos
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271 posted 06-26-2007 02:29 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Stephen: 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.

Grinch: 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.


Good.  Seeing that all civilizations (and even communities you would not call civilized) have had something amounting to a moral code, it would be a reasonable thing to consider.

quote:
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.


First of all, "condeming" is a strong word.  I suspect that you meant to say something like "disapproving".  Not disapproving of something someone else does, can sometimes be explained by apathy.  This is not "acting against one's moral insight" in the same way a violator would do so.  


Of course, psychologically, there are other explanations as well.  Sometimes people don't condemn others, even of things they themselves DO disapprove of, because they believe that "Judge not" is a higher moral principle.  I know people who morally disapprove of abortion, but would not want to "impose it on others".  Of course, I believe this to be a misunderstanding of the moral principle "judge not" ... a hypertrophy if you will, that can be passively accepting of all kinds of evil, in order to save someone's feelings.  But it's important to note that the mandate not to "judge" others, is also a part of the moral law itself.  Whether or not it is sometimes misapplied, is another matter.


Another explanation is that sometimes people embrace an absurd accomodation because it makes them feel somehow less guilty for their own sins.  It goes something like this (even if not consciously thought out):  "I don't condemn anyone for anything, therefore I'm basically a good person".  


So, what you present as a problem for universal moral insight, is really no problem at all.  The exception can be explained in terms of the moral law itself, or a desire to be quietly exempted from its demands in exchange for doing so to others.  Or, it can be explained by a simply apathy.  There are probably more explanations even than these.  But however it is explained, I do not see how it would discount the notion of a transcendent morality.  

quote:
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?


I'm not sure what you're getting at here.  Do you actually fail to see the immorality of Hitler?  Do you actually think his slaughter of millions was innocent ... a simple miscalculation?  The fact that most people unrelated to the events of the Third Reich (people making objective judgements) see this as an atrocity, tends to support my view of universal morality.  The minority that differs, is quite consistent with the possiblity of a damaged or corrupted sense of that morality.  I've never said our relationship to the moral law was perfect, only that it is consistently evident in human behavior and thinking.  Therefore an absolute compliance, or unanimity of agreement is not required.


quote:
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.


Lust and Greed often fail to obscure the moral insight, but rather make it difficult to follow.  That's why lust and greed often carry with them the baggage of psychological and spiritual guilt.  If consistently followed, they can lead to a real obscuring, much like a callous, or a damaged nerve.  But usually this comes after our repeated violations of conscience.  Sins are easier with practice, and that little angel on the shoulder can be gagged fairly successfully for a time.  I think what you fail to accept (but is evident to me) is that people may sometimes wilfully choose what they know is not right.


quote:
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.


Morals are sometimes irrelevant to the mere calculation (which is often erroneous anyway) of personal pain or gain.  It also involves others.  This is particularly true of sexual sins.  And it's beside the point whether or not you feel that a person's homosexuality adversely affects you personally ... since you've already mentioned that we make judgements all the time upon actions that do not directly affect us.  I think you called them "objective judgements".


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



Actually, you'd be surprised at how many people think homosexuality is morally wrong ... even those who would not say so to others for fear of "judging".  It's due to the explanation I gave above, about elevating tolerance (which IS morally important) beyond proper bounds.  There's also the popular scientific mythology of genetically predetermined homosexuality which affects the way people think about it.  There's also the tendency to be accomodating of the deeds of others, for a guilt-anesthetizing effect in ourselves.  But again, whatever the reasons, this doesn't reasonably discredit the idea of a transcendent morality.


quote:
Nothing we know of has a built in universal moral code


Except that people universally have always formed moral codes built on the same principles, differences notwithstanding.


quote:
It could be argued that they are intrinsic at some level but a universal moral code requires it to be constant and the same in each instance and example.


No more than the proposal that the universality of mathematics requires that all our equations be right in each instance and example.  My C minus in 5th Grade math didn't touch the insight of Pythagoras.

quote:
Can it be said that there's a universal penal code, a universal dress code and a universal highway code?


Being that the penal code depends upon ideas of morality, it could be said that all penal codes operate on foundational principles like justice, protection, and proportional punishment.  Penal codes that don't operate in such principles we call despotic (another word for immoral).
  

An enforced universal dress code would violate the moral code.       It can at least be said that all cultures have struggled with the principles of modesty versus exploitation, and the principles of beauty, adornment, and honor, in dress.  I think the much wider diversity in the subject of clothing, is due to the simple fact that it is often of less import than morals.


How much real variation have you seen among highways in the world?  The very fact that you can, with a glance, call any one of them a "highway" tells me there is a great deal of conformity.


Stephen.      

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (06-26-2007 03:15 AM).]

Edward Grim
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272 posted 07-02-2007 03:34 PM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

I just finished reading The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder, and I think you guys would get a lot out of it, in respects to this thread. It's all about self-interest in life and mostly love. It's a lightning read. It took me just a couple of days to get through it, reading about two or three hours per day. So, if you got an afternoon, I'd check it out. It might shed some light on this topic.

Just a harmless recommendation.

“Well all the apostles, they’re sittin’ on the swings, sayin’ I’d sell off my savior for a set of new rings.”

 
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