How to Join Member's Area Private Library Search Today's Topics p Login
Main Forums Discussion Tech Talk Mature Content Archives
   Nav Win
 Discussion
 Philosophy 101
 Atlas Shrugged--the movie?   [ Page: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  ]
 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74
Follow us on Facebook

 Moderated by: Ron   (Admins )

 
User Options
Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Admin Print Send ECard
Passions in Poetry

Atlas Shrugged--the movie?

 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
Drauntz
Member Elite
since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


50 posted 06-05-2007 12:32 AM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Local Rebel

"we just haven't eaten each other because there's plenty of food."
Absolutely wrong. look at those wars, those killings. Who is Dr. Will? either he is wrong or both of you are wrong. He shall put his wit on his patient...as a cannibal.

We have not eaten each other because we have a human heart like People gave the lifeboat to children, women, and older people when Titanic was down. The little spark that came with our birth. When hungery, you may say, mother eats child. but that will be, i believe 1/1000 mothers.

people in forest ate other humans not because they did not have other food. it is  because human meat was tastier. who changed them? not Hamberger and French fries. it is God's words and dead Preachers.
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


51 posted 06-05-2007 12:41 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Balladeer:  
quote:
Why should doing good bring it's own particular kind of pleasure? WHY NOT? There are people who live their lives in many such ways. They may dedicate their lives to helping others, or taking care of animals, or crusading for the homeless, etc, etc, etc. There have been Ghandis and Mother Theresas. You are asking why such goals should bring them pleasure? Why is it different than materialistic pleasure? Easy....it is the ONLY satisfying pleasure.


But isn't saying that moral action is the "ONLY satisfying pleasure", making a qualitative judgment?  In which case, the egoist has to admit that there is a good kind of selfishness versus a bad kind.  Or else say that the bad ones aren't selfish enough, making the traditionally negative term "selfish" into a positive one, by fiat.  The problem is, with egoism, self-interest is claimed to be the ONLY motive for human action ... period.  If that is true, then no distinction can be made within the framework of egoism.

You don't have to sermonize me.     Of course I agree that moral action is more fulfilling than doing evil.  I simply don't think that egoism supports that within its own assumptions.  That addendum has to be held in great tension with egoism.  

Unless of course Ayn Rand's philosophy differs somewhat from classical egoism.  I admit I haven't read Rand much, but I do have an understanding of egoism as articulated by philosophers much earlier than Rand.

quote:
What if one's personal goal was to do evil or fail? What if doing bad WAS their goal?


Only you're placing evil in the context of failure.  There are those who place it within the context of success.  Now of course I agree with you.  But egoism simply makes "self-interest" the motive and goal of all action.  If this is the case, how can an egoist tell a person who enjoyingly does evil, that he is a failure?  If "self" is the foundation, then "self" must also be the determiner of what is and is not "success".  The egoist pulls this qualitative judgement out of another paradigm entirely.  It doesn't come from its own ranks.


quote:
"The man who thinks he's happy?" And who would you be to tell the man who thinks he is happy that he is not? Some famous guy once said, "I think - therefore I am." Stick "I am happy" after the "think" and it's still true. Your complaint of egoism is that it doesn't give us an out for going after less than virtuous pleasures? A bummer, for sure


MIKE!  You've totally got it backwards.  That's what I'm asking you!  The man who does evil and "thinks he's happy" ... Who are YOU to tell him he isn't?  Who are you to tell him that only moral pursuits satisfy?

My complaint with egoism is not that it doesn't give us an out for going after less than virtuous pleasures ... but that it doesn't give us a deterrent.  No disincentive coming from its philosophy.  If self is the center (the erroneous claim of egoism), then selfishness (in all of its forms) must be okay.  If self-fulfillment is what it's all about, then ANY chosen path to that must be a valid attempt.  There's no way around this impasse, for egoism.

quote:
Ayn Rand certainly doesn't deny that (selfishness). She applauds it.


That's the problem.  Either she ends up inadvertently praising what is not worthy of praise, or she redefines "selfishness" as a virtue.  The latter would actually seem better, since it is only a breach of language, rather than an outright approval of vice.  (Though, this willy nilly changing of language is rash, unwise, and insulting to one's intellect)  But even if we allow the language to be twisted, in changing a term which once meant a vice into a virue, egoism offers nothing to disallow what is the opposite of virtue.  If you're going to praise "selfishness", then you're automatically decrying something else.  Only that "something else" springs from (you guessed it) self interest, which is something egoism cannot but approve.  

quote:
that's simple enough. Ayn Rand's definition (which I have already mentioned here) involves not infringing on the rights of others. A swindler certainly infringes on those rights, wouldn't you say? You are dismissing a man's moral code and keying in only on the results of whatever actions.


I'm not dismissing a man's moral code.  I'm saying that egoism doesn't support one.  Infringing on the rights of others is indeed part of the moral law.  However egoism offers nothing to censure infringing on someone's rights, if it is done out of self interest.  Many rob others, very stealthily, out of self interest.  Egoism claims that ALL actions stem from the same principle.  Then how can it condemn the man who chooses a darker path to meet the needs of "self"?  


And Mike, it's like a big glaring hole in these arguments.  I honestly can't understand how you're missing it.  You are arguing a philosophy in which self-interest is king.  And when I ask for a justification of moral action versus immorality, you answer "we shouldn't violate the rights of others", which is just a restatement of morality, not it's justification.  When you say "the rights of others" you tell me, in effect, that self-interest is not so central.  Any moral code you bring in, must always come from outside egoism.  

quote:
Stephen:  what if one feels certain that it would be to his gain, to violate the rights of someone else, or at least that it derives him more pleasure than anything else?  

mike:  That man would not be a part of any teaching of Ayn Rand, nor would he be a true egoist.


Why (according to the principles of egoism) would he not be a true egoist?  I hear the statement, I'm not hearing the explanation.  My belief is that Ayn (like any egoist) must hold her morality in spite of her philosophy.

quote:
Based on whose superior intellect? Once again, you are attempting to tell the man what his feelings REALLY are. Who, again, are you to do that? The janitor did not consider his actions a sacrifice....period. If it were your life, perhaps you would. He didn't...and that's his choice.


I disagree, in that I take a more "objective" view of sacrifice.  However, let's say I give you that one ... Why would someone going through great pains for a stranger, be any different?  What if a person says it is his life's joy to feed people (even to his own financial strain) in a far away land?  Whether for a stranger, or for one's own flesh and blood, you are still speaking of a virtue.  The fact that Ayn doesn't like the term "sacrifice" is irrelevant.  (although it represents the same twisting of language I mentioned before ... only this time, changing a traditionally positive connotation into a negative one).

quote:
Stephen:  And about that goal ... we still need to go further and ask about the motive behind the goal.  

mike:  We don't need to go further at all. The motive behind that goal was the man's personal satisfaction from helping others. I don't understand why it is so hard for you to grasp that.


But you DID go further.  You said that it was his personal satisfaction from helping others.  But was his goal to be satisfied, or to help others?  It's an important question.  In my framework, satisfaction is a byproduct of doing good, not the good itself.  If you don't think motives are important, then you're being naive.  People can perform all kinds of "good works" with less than sterling motive, and all out of self interest.

"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  When you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full." (words of Jesus, Matthew 6:1-2)  


And the only reason I bring motives up, in speaking of egoism, is that as a philosophy egoism needs to tell us why a personal satisfaction from doing good, is better than personal satisfaction from deception or vainglory or other less-than-virtuous methods.  Intuitively we know that all motives are not equally virtuous.  But philosophically egoism cannot tell us why.

quote:
You may as well. You've already spoken of people who "think they are happy"


Actually that was my challenge to YOU.  The fact that people can merely "think they are happy" was implicit in your statement that doing good is the only thing that satisfies.  Since there are many people who think otherwise, you seem to be claiming to know better.  Don't worry, I don't blame you for haughtiness (like you've done me), but attribute the fault to egoism, which must do something to justify the distinction between moral and immoral action (both of which spring from self interest, according to it).  I guess the only way for the egoist to accomplish this, is to objectively define what is "self-interest" for another (which is quite a contridiction of the SELF part) by claiming to know best what is false and true happiness for someone else.  

The difference is, in my world-view, and Theistic framework, I'm allowed to say there's true and false happiness, since self (including mine) is not the final arbiter.  

quote:
... and someone who "doesn't understand they made sacrifices even though you state they did" so you must be one of those that knows better. Does that make you the "enemy"?    May God protect us from those that "know better".


The difference is, where you accuse me of arrogance, I am really being the opposite.  Claiming that a mother really did give sacrificially, even though she didn't think of it that way, is not to insult, but to give a compliment.  "Sacrifice" historically has not been a negative term, but originally was an expression of meaningful and intentional offering to the gods.  When conferred upon another, the term usually brings attention to the cost of what was given, thereby praising the person for generosity.  Denying "sacrifice" on the part of oneself, is certainly not a deflection of an insult, but the deflection of a praise, usually out of humility and a desire to not attract attention.  It is not letting your left hand know what your right hand does.    


So, if complimenting someone with a virtue, makes me someone to be protected from, then I can only say that you are confused ... perhaps by all of this hyper-plasticity of language exhibited by your favorite teachers?


quote:
I'm curious if anyone who has read both CS Lewis and Ayn Rand seen a connection?

Because I do.


Okay, I admit, I haven't read alot of Ayn Rand.  But I am well familiar with the claims and implications of egoism, from David Hume onward.  C.S. Lewis is as far from an egoist as anyone I could think of.  I recognize that a "connection" certainly doesn't imply an integral likeness, nor does it deny significant difference.  But I'm curious about the connection you see, being an avid reader of Lewis.  Can you explain in detail?  I'm skeptical.            


LR,

Hey, glad you're back.  


Stephen.
              
serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


52 posted 06-05-2007 12:44 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

c'mon Drauntz...

People eat what is easily accessible. The discernment of digestion comes later--after the "deluge" of discovery of what is not.

I'm always amazed the people readily accept that man "invented" fire--and "discovered" that the cooked meat was easier on the digestive tract, than raw... as if  lightning and ensuing wildfires did not exist, and animals could not have been discovered from that, fully barbecued.

We just invented the "sauce", sweetie.



*laughing*

with love,

from the land of "roux"!

serenity
serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


53 posted 06-05-2007 12:46 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

sigh...



I always hate posting after Stephen...

I type off the top of me head, and his answers are always so well thought out.

Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


54 posted 06-05-2007 12:47 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad,

I saw your post AFTER I posted.  Ignore my request.  I would only add that Lewis would probably say that that joy comes best when we are self forgetful ... and that that doesn't necessarily rule out enjoyment or pleasure. It's the neurotic frantic seeking of selfish pleasure that brings the least of that joy.  Lose your life, and you'll find it.  I've read enough of Lewis, and lived enough myself to know that this is also very true.


Stephen
serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


55 posted 06-05-2007 12:57 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

[quote]"joy comes best when we are self forgetful"[/unquote]

Wow.

That is the place I try to get to, to write from...so I think I understand that.

I'm at my best when I am not watching me...  

When I am that conscious of myself, every critic I have never met is my audience. So what you say makes good sense to me Stephan.

thank you

See what I mean? suddenly I can't do the quote thingie...

Drauntz
Member Elite
since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


56 posted 06-05-2007 01:04 AM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

my dear SB, I am glad that you are on my side though I do not understand your hint.

hugs and kisses, have a good night and good sleep.  

Ps, we eat all 4-legged... the table is the hardest to cook. we eat the winged object...the airplane is the hardest to net.
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


57 posted 06-05-2007 01:08 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Karen:
quote:
I always hate posting after Stephen...

I type off the top of me head, and his answers are always so well thought out.


Don't hate posting after me.  I like reading your posts very much.  Not to mention that your posts are probably a pleasurable alternative to mine.  Mine are too long.  I am too wordy.  (though I don't see me reforming in the near future.  ha ha)


And too, if anything I said helps you, you're welcome.


Stephen.


serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


58 posted 06-05-2007 01:16 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

It all tastes like chicken to me.

Two legs.

TWO.

g'nite lovie...

Drauntz
Member Elite
since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


59 posted 06-05-2007 01:26 AM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

My dear lady SB, you are so smart.

Your "Two Legs" made my hair standing up. it is night, dear lady, don't tell horror stories.I have a weak heart. and i need good sleep to write good poems.

love you.
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


60 posted 06-05-2007 01:50 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
  The problem is, with egoism, self-interest is claimed to be the ONLY motive for human action ... period.  If that is true, then no distinction can be made within the framework of egoism.

There is, indeed, a distinction, Stephen, and I think that's the part you're missing about Rand.

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.

quote:
"Sacrifice" historically has not been a negative term, but originally was an expression of meaningful and intentional offering to the gods.

Actually, Stephen, historically I think it was a VERY negative term, at least to the person or animal typically being sacrificed against their will. And that's the very problem that Objectivism has with the word today. Sacrifice typically isn't what YOU want, but rather is what someone else tells you that you should want. If you're doing it for yourself, then it's not really a sacrifice. If you're doing it for someone else, then it's not really self-interest. Objectivism does not recognize any value in applied guilt.

I think you have to remember the context of Rand's experience with sacrifice to understand her take on it. Communism was TOTALLY about sacrifice, after all.

quote:
The difference is, in my world-view, and Theistic framework, I'm allowed to say there's true and false happiness, since self (including mine) is not the final arbiter.  

But that's also why your arguments continue to fail, Stephen.

You are trying, again, to prove the existence of God, this time by showing a philosophical need for God. Sorry, old chum, but I'm still convinced your attempts are futile. God doesn't want to be proven. Not through evolutionary arguments, not through philosophical or ethical arguments, and certainly not through literary arguments. Everything we see supports the existence of God, but nothing we see will ever prove the existence of God. Such would obviate the need for faith.


serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


61 posted 06-05-2007 03:43 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

quote:
Actually, Stephen, historically I think it was a VERY negative term,


whew...

I had to step in here to say that historically, as an avid student of anthropology, I can attest to many cultures where voluntary human sacrifice was considered an honor--and many worldly goods were bestwowed on them that made such choices. (Golden Bough--James Frazier) and this is in fact backed up by the voluntary modern suicide-bombers, who do not necessarly consider a Jihad (or Holy War) into such an act of "self-sacrifice"---the families of suicide bombers are promised a monetary stipend (for life) that the ordinary man could not otherwise provide for his family otherwise.

Does that back up, or deny the Rand philosophy?

Because? Suddenly, nothing tastes like chicken.        

and no, I'm still not doing the quote thingie right, but that's what I get for going into other forums, I suppose. *laughing* (I managed to tick m'self off here Ron...*laughing*---everybody say YAY for the quote thingie!)<--I don't give up.  

And let's not forget about the 72 virgins...something Americans find questionable, but I happen to know that the number 72 is equivelant to our shrug of "thousands", meaning "innumerable."

Don't ask me why virgins are preferable though.

I have no answer.
serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


62 posted 06-05-2007 03:51 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

grrr
serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


63 posted 06-05-2007 03:52 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

IN....

serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


64 posted 06-05-2007 04:25 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

and out.

"against their will"

I apparently gloss-read that, Ron.

But you have my apologies for quoting you (and with so much glee, too) and misrepresenting what you said.

So--let me re-focus here. (and don't spoil the ending) but is there no such thing as altruism in Rand's philosophy?

Is every act self-motivated?
hush
Senior Member
since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


65 posted 06-05-2007 06:12 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Karen, I believe every act is self-motivated, but as several people ahve mentioned- people often give to others on a self-motivated basis. So- maybe it could be said that we are all selfish... but Rand's ideal is selfishness... not greed?

Brad- Henry (Hank) Rearden- not Harry. Harry has me picturing Harry Osborne from the Spiderman movies. :}

" do not say that her novel is bad..though I never read it and have no plan to read it. but her philosophy is a joke...if nothing new in it.."

Draunts, you might be surprised- I am fairly liberal, and in favor of measured Rand probably would ahve been vehemently against, like socialized healthcare... but, like Mike says, she articulates hewr arguments with such impeccable logic that it's almost impossible to argue. Not only that, as someone else m,entioned- it's a fabulous story. I expected it to be a tedious read, but I got sucked in and spent the entire summer after I graduated high school reading it... on the beach in South Carolina, or out in the sun while camping- there I was, glued to this tattered paperback copy I just couldn't put down or live without.

[oops- had to self edit a spoiler for Karen's benefit]

Brad pitt could be a perfect Galt- he's a human God. I think a younger Willem Dafoe would be a perfect Rearden (but Hollywood makeup can always acheive that, right?) I think Angelina Jolie could maybe do Dagny... I always pictured her as a curly-hairerd blond with steely eyes- like nicole Kidman but with sharper features, and strong like a statue- Kidman is a little too porcelain-doll I think.

Would a movie be good? Dunno- It's a long, long book... and the movie for Stephen King's The STand sucked based on the fact that they made it long enough to capture most of the book (and the bad, bad special effect) . I'm not sure about it being too offensive, but I do think details would get glossed over (they'd have to). Regardless, I'd be interested to see what they came up with.

Stephen- just exactly what do you think the individual owes to be part of a society? I agree in some aspects- like paying taxes in order to fund public services- but what else? I for one think of a draft- which I don't believe in.

Great thread.
hush
Senior Member
since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


66 posted 06-05-2007 06:14 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Eww, sorry about all the typos- I'm typing in the dark with a cat on my lap.
rwood
Member Elite
since 02-29-2000
Posts 3797
Tennessee


67 posted 06-05-2007 11:08 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
So--let me re-focus here. (and don't spoil the ending) but is there no such thing as altruism in Rand's philosophy?

Is every act self-motivated?


I've often asked that same question. I'd like to hear thoughts on this, because it seems to me, most people's beliefs in fellow man depend on their personal viewpoint. If a person is cynical, then yes, everything is self-motivated. If the person is optimistic, then there's leeway and hope of the  altruistic kind. I don't know anyone who is completely selfless, but I have seen selfless acts of kindness. But what about if you throw in someone like the Stoic?

hmmm, here's some examples.

Non profit organizations--cynics claim they are nothing but tax shelters.

Prestigious groups who donate large sums of money to organizations--cynics claim they are elitists who give in order to have control of those organizations.

Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


68 posted 06-05-2007 11:45 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Two principles in Human Nature reign,
Self-love to urge and Reason to restrain;
Nor this a good, nor that a bad we call;
Each works its end, to move or govern all:
And to their proper operation still
Ascribe all good, to their improper, ill. "

-Pope

(From Essay on Man)

Drauntz
Member Elite
since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


69 posted 06-05-2007 11:52 AM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Ron
"Objectivism does not recognize any value in applied guilt"

Opportunity cost! Opportunity cost! Opportunity cost! Opportunity cost!!!!!!

if she quited out the free education that Russia Government (communist) provided and had a demonstration on the street, and get jailed, she would have a better ideals about life. and the selfish..every animal's instinct...no need to learn. we all try to be  pretend "civilized", "educated" and socially "a high class".
Send her to Africa, she would eat all because there was a famine.  
Drauntz
Member Elite
since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


70 posted 06-05-2007 11:56 AM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Ron,
"rational self-interest"

Don't sweeten your words with ice cream. in a famine, my "rational self-interest" was to eat you first or local rebel first.

and Ron
"historically I think it was a VERY negative term"

"Sacrifice"  is a very heroic term. heroic term!!! something for both a great thinker and tinker like George Washington. and superman, Indiana Jones and    Clifford the big red dog   ...i see that they are all American heroes and made great "sacrifice" for this great country. This country is not built on silly words. It is built on Blood....yes, blood.

If she wanted to protect New York (wish she was there on 911) and at the same time...selfish interest...quite a self-conflict. If she knew that there were many poor and homeless in New York, I wonder what would be her words.
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


71 posted 06-05-2007 12:01 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron:  
quote:
There is, indeed, a distinction, Stephen, and I think that's the part you're missing about Rand.

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.


It's not always irrational to gamble, Ron, even though the odds may be against you.  Your (and Rand's) insistence that the distinction is about rationality fails to establish any criterion for rationality.  It's all about the end result, which in the past has always been variable, and in the future has yet to be seen.  Therefore rationality is like a square peg in a round hole.  It doesn't fill the moral question.


It may be quite easy to knock down the straw-man of ice cream every day.  It's not as easy to give someone a merely rational reason why they shouldn't continue to launder money, which has been most beneficial to them and their family all these years.  Since "success" is subjective, and the "self" is purportedly the goal, then sheer rationalism cannot prescriptively rule out any action.  Good old fashioned moral preaching can.  Whether or not it is heeded is another question.


quote:
Actually, Stephen, historically I think it was a VERY negative term, at least to the person or animal typically being sacrificed against their will. And that's the very problem that Objectivism has with the word today


I sympathize with those who have suffered from abuse, or the travesty of something valid.  There are people who can't ride in cars, because they were in an auto accident when they were young.  But that doesn't justify a campaign against cars.  There are people who can't love properly, because all they ever saw was dysfunction.  And as much as we may sympathize, it doesn't make a universal campaign valid.  The root of "sacrifice" is still one of a willing offering which happens to be costly.  That illegitimate systems have used it to their own ends, doesn't change that.  As a side note, it is interesting that egoism holds nothing philosophically which may chide such systems, having no moral reason, but only "rationalism".  Communist rulers are also acting on self interest.


quote:
Objectivism does not recognize any value in applied guilt.


Like anything else, the concept can be abused, or used for someone else's personal gain.  But where there IS guilt, it would be futile to ignore it.  The problem with objectivism, is that it doesn't (or can't) recognize what we all know intuitively; that we are subject to real guilt, and real praise.  We may hold a philosophy that disagrees, but our actions belie such philosophies.


quote:
I think you have to remember the context of Rand's experience with sacrifice to understand her take on it. Communism was TOTALLY about sacrifice, after all.



I can recognize that, and sympathize.  In the way of sympathy I can recongnize a valid complaint.  In the way of philosophy, I can't recognize the validity of her solution.

quote:
But that's also why your arguments continue to fail, Stephen.


I'm not sure you are the judge of whether my arguments ultimately fail or not (beyond yourself), any more than I am the judge of yours.  I've never been in a philosophy setting where people would openly and immediately change views, based on what someone said in a moment of time.  Its usually a slow process changing your mind.  And it's a matter of dignity for someone to reflect, and come to see things in their own time.  Truth is humble enough to let us all "think its our idea".  I'm not claiming originality, that's for sure.
  

As to whether arguments for the existence of God are futile, I don't think you're correct.  Did G.K. Chesterton and George MacDonald help C.S. Lewis move from a bitter atheism to the Christian he is?  Sure they did, according to Lewis.  Their arguments are not so very different (though they are far better stated) than mine.  Could they accomplish anything without the internal working of God in their hearers?  Absolutely not.  Therefore I hold a much more balanced view of argumentation ... admitting both its desperation and hope.  But if you want to say that rational, or philsophical arguments about God are out of court and ineffective (a priori), you just lost much of what the apostle Paul wrote, among other Biblical writers.

The thing is ... the Bible's approach is two-fold.  There is certainly a side which says "God is God ... period" and attempts no justification.  But there is also a side which recognizes that God is not so wholly "other" that he does not and cannot appeal to the intellect of men or women, and the confirmations of creation.  It seems that your watertight dichotomy of faith and reason is unreasonable, and has more in common with Kirkegaard than the apostle Paul.  I am certainly not lifting anything (from archaelogical to philsophical) as incontrovertible proof.  If ultimate reality (God himself) may be denied, then certainly arguments can.  But in the spirit of persuasion, I offer them, much in the same way you offer your views.  I don't deny the philosophical problems involved whatever one may believe.  I simply think that unbelief leads to a more profound babel than the road of belief and faith.


It's no different when you say God is seen in all things.  You are stating a kind of proof, simply by saying so.  I was never speaking of empiricism, or an end of argument, so why the complaint?  It seems that we simply disagree about the level of responsibility we might have in articulating such things, by way of persuasion or conviction.    


It's enough for you to say "your arguments fail for me".  To say anything more, you are moving beyond what you can be certain of.  You'll certainly not hear me stating such a conversation stopper as that, to you.


Karen:
quote:
whew...

I had to step in here to say that historically, as an avid student of anthropology, I can attest to many cultures where voluntary human sacrifice was considered an honor--and many worldly goods were bestwowed on them that made such choices.


Karen, don't worry.  Anything positive can be made negative.  If sacrifices were made to honorable gods, it had to be possible for people to make themselves into gods (not very good ones) and demand sacrifice from those they oppressed.  My only point is that Rand's problem with the word (and concept), goes beyond a recognition of abuse, and enters into a denial of an entire history.  She's partially right in wanting to ditch the word.  But it's just too arbitrary (and quick) to me.  Is this an example of philosophic political correctness?


Stephen.    
Drauntz
Member Elite
since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


72 posted 06-05-2007 01:32 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Hush
you mentioned my name. I am not a liberal AND I am against socialized health care because it is wasting health resources and the example of Australia, UK are not good.

My mentor said "I started to read one of her books   and didn't finish it because I wasn't comfortable with her ideas . . .  
it seemed too selfish and socially harsh.  But I know many people who  loved her writing.  These people tend to be a bit more "rule guided"  "

I will not read her novel not because her novels are not good...may be they are very good. But I like to spend time on reading some poems here and enjoy good hearted friends. she is no way a person I admire, or to be friend with.
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


73 posted 06-05-2007 02:56 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
It's all about the end result, which in the past has always been variable, and in the future has yet to be seen. Therefore rationality is like a square peg in a round hole. It doesn't fill the moral question.

I think you're underestimating the potential power of rationality, Stephen. Newton believed that if you knew the position and acceleration of every particle in existence, you could mathematically calculate the future. Rand lived in a similarly deterministic world, possessed of an intellect far sharper than most. Her conclusions weren't always right, but she apparently (who can know for sure?) never doubted them at all.

I don't see a great deal of difference, Stephen, between interpreting what someone told you to do (and not always getting that right, either) and reasoning out for yourself what is the best course of action to follow. Both, I think, rest on a foundation of faith.

quote:
As to whether arguments for the existence of God are futile, I don't think you're correct.

Sorry, Stephen, I obviously didn't make my point clearly. I certainly don't have a problem with arguing the existence of God. Shoot, I do it all the time. What I don't do, what I believe is ultimately futile, is argue that God is the ONLY thing that exists and that God's existence can be proven by disproving all other alternatives. Naturalism, egoism, Objectivism, these are all moral alternatives that must exist, and indeed, must be viable, if Man is to have a Choice. Christianity doesn't have the market on morality. It can't if God's promise of free will is to be believed.

quote:
I had to step in here to say that historically, as an avid student of anthropology, I can attest to many cultures where voluntary human sacrifice was considered an honor--and many worldly goods were bestwowed on them that made such choices. (Golden Bough--James Frazier) and this is in fact backed up by the voluntary modern suicide-bombers, who do not necessarly consider a Jihad (or Holy War) into such an act of "self-sacrifice"---the families of suicide bombers are promised a monetary stipend (for life) that the ordinary man could not otherwise provide for his family otherwise.

Are you describing sacrifice, Karen? Or are you describing just a rather twisted form of employment? You do this for me/us and this (honor, worldly goods, stipends, virgins) is what you'll get in return?

Again, that's the problem that Objectivism has with the historical concept of sacrifice. Self-sacrifice has to come from within, not from without. If someone else has to convince you to make the sacrifice, which has certainly been the case more often than not throughout human history, then it's not really a rational act. It's usually just a scam.

True sacrifice, I think, where this is no tit for tat, nor even the potential for personal gain, is extremely rare. Usually, we expect something in return. Objectivism simply contends we should look at the exchange rationally. Is what we expect to get really worth what we have to give?
Drauntz
Member Elite
since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


74 posted 06-05-2007 03:33 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Ron
"Self-sacrifice has to come from within"

where?
Congenital?...genes?
taught?...by whom to build the value system?
experience? what kind?
 
 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
All times are ET (US) Top
  User Options
>> Discussion >> Philosophy 101 >> Atlas Shrugged--the movie?   [ Page: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  ] Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Print Send ECard

 

pipTalk Home Page | Main Poetry Forums

How to Join | Member's Area / Help | Private Library | Search | Contact Us | Today's Topics | Login
Discussion | Tech Talk | Archives | Sanctuary



© Passions in Poetry and netpoets.com 1998-2013
All Poetry and Prose is copyrighted by the individual authors