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Passions in Poetry

Atlas Shrugged--the movie?

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Stephanos
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100 posted 06-06-2007 07:58 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
It is not his protrayal of hell that scares people. They simply do not want to be like that.


I would add that, for Lewis (like Dostoevsky), the worst part of Hell would not be where you are, but who.


Stephen.
Stephanos
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101 posted 06-06-2007 08:41 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Since a comparison of Rand and Lewis has come up, I wanted to give a couple of quotes which illustrates the divide in their thinking, concerning reason.  


"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."  (Ayn Rand, from the appendix of "Atlas Shrugged")


"Reason may win truths; without Faith she will retain them just so long as Satan pleases. There is nothing we cannot be made to believe or disbelieve. If we wish to be rational, not now and then, but constantly, we must pray for the gift of faith, for the power to go on believing not in the teeth of reason but in the teeth of lust and terror and jealousy and boredom and indifference." (C.S. Lewis, from his essay "Religion: reality or substitute?")


Stephen
Brad
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102 posted 06-06-2007 09:24 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Well, since you brought it up, how do you read the Inquisitor thing in Karamazov. I know one person who became an atheist after reading that.

Stephanos
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103 posted 06-06-2007 10:43 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I don't think "The Grand Inquisitor" is something that can be fully grasped after just one or two reads ... but I'll tell you what I think so far.  
  

Firstly, its a reaction against certain kinds of organized religion (in the historical setting, it was certain abuses and tendencies within Roman Catholicism), hence the character of Jesus is set as an antagonist to the inquisitor.  This makes it not a denunciation of proper religion, but rather against its travesty.  

Secondly, Dostoyevsky understood well the arguments from unbelief, and being such a gifted writer, was able to articulate them in an unsettling and convincing way.  I think it illustrates that the most ardent believers have struggled with that side of themselves, or rather with themselves apart from grace.


But as well as he was able to articulate, through Ivan's poem, the problem of evil, and the apparant innocence of impiety, his ultimate identification with Alyosha (& Zosima) as the "heroes" tells me where D. really stood.


Stephen          
Brad
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104 posted 06-07-2007 02:13 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Yeah, that's pretty much how I read it too.
Balladeer
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105 posted 06-07-2007 11:19 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

When you read Rand, Everybody I've talked to identifies with the Prime Movers (Galt, Dagny, Rearden -- thanks Hush) and nobody with the parasites or looters(Dagny's brother James).

Interesting, Brad. I have to truthfully say that I could not identify with the heroes - not that I wouldn't have liked to, but I saw the impossibility of being that perfect - my major problem with her portrayal of the "good guys". What I most got out of here stories was the comparison of her "bad guys" with actual people in real life. Gail Wynand is alive and well in real life. So is Dagny's brother and the governmental agencies he was part of, so is the wheeling-dealings of those agencies, such as forcing the most successful to carry the lesser successful in industries, such as the breaking up of the rail system of America in the name of "fairness" - which met with disastrous results. You can see so many of these things happening in real life, even though she wrote it half-century ago.

To me, though, her crowning achievement was Ellsworth Toohey. If I had to choose the most evil, despicable and terrifying monster in literature, he would be my choice with his expertise in mind-shaping and mental maniputation. Guess what? He's alive and well, too.

So that's what I got the most out of her stories, not the perfection of her heroes but the unmistakeable comparisons of her "bad guys" and events, where you can look around and see alive and happening in todays world.
hush
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106 posted 06-07-2007 02:58 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Mike- I agree that I couldn't relate to her "heroes." I saw Dagny Taggart the way Dagny saw Galt- this larger-than-life example of human perfection. But it's unreal- an ideal. She paints both extremes with black-and-white brushes. My biggest problem was the lack of emotion- there were moments of unbridaled joy from Dagny- Riding on the train she helped to engineer her meeting Galt- but no human element of questioning oneself. Of course, ther "perfect" person would have no reason to... The hero with the most realistic and "human" traits of being torn, to me, was Henry Rearden- he felt responsible to his family, although they had done nothing for him other than to be family, and he felt ambivalence and guilt towards them.

Karen- I don't think anything is too 'sacred' for screen adaption. I mean, if the movie ends up sucking, it doesn't diminish the book in my mind. My boyfriend is a movie buff- and we always debate about The Shining. I think the Novel is better- it's one of my favorite books. He thinks the Stanley Kubrick film is better. Kubrick takes a lot of liberties, though. The movie has a lot of differences from the book- and a lot of movies do that. I guessa question that comes now would be what is better? Adapting a book faithfully or taking liberties with the plot? Is it sometimes necessary and/or preferable to alter the book's content to make for a more concise  or better movie?

'Housework  does make woman more female'

Yes, I was an androgynous little child... then my mom decided she wanted a girl and started making me do the dishes.

So, are you enjoying your 'Uppity Women' book? Or just thinking about how much better the world would be if they had scrubbed a few more floors?
Drauntz
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107 posted 06-07-2007 03:32 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Hush,do you mean every women or women with power,or ideal or with rich husband?
women shall do women"s thing, I agree with you 100%.
hush
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108 posted 06-07-2007 04:19 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Does the word 'sarcasm' have any meaning to you?

*sigh*

Never mind.
Edward Grim
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109 posted 06-07-2007 04:47 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

quote:
women shall do women"s thing, I agree with you 100%.


Whoa, besides childbirth and lactating, what's considered strictly woman's work? Hush, I know you were being sarcastic but I'm not sure with Drauntz. Why is cleaning and housework considered a woman thing? I've never understood that.

“Suddenly a giant Cabbage Patch Doll jumps out from behind the shower curtain and grabs him violently.”

serenity blaze
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110 posted 06-07-2007 05:22 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Sorry hush--I've had a case of "the vapors".



Seriously, I've just decided to start all over again, and I'm going to go for the story first.

But I can say one thing about my copy of Atlas Shrugged--great cover art!
Drauntz
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111 posted 06-07-2007 06:33 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

My dear SB, you are always the smart one.

I give out my opinions why some one just wanted to talk me down?

Ryn Rand is a public figure. many people like her, many don't. it is a fact.

have a wonderful day, my dear lady. i am still struggling with the slow speed thing.
Stephanos
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112 posted 06-09-2007 11:37 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Hush:
quote:
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.


(sorry so late in replying to you)


I think he owes (in the sense of obligation) nothing, if egoism is true.  About the best egoism can offer is to try and assure us that the odds are in our favor if we treat others faborably, and live AS IF we are concerned about more than self.  But I honestly don't see how it could reprimand anyone for not playing it safe, if self interest is still the zenith of life.  


From my worldview, I think we have much obligation to society.  "Love your neighbor as yourself" ... "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's ... "Submit to the governing authorities".


We could talk specifics, but then there's a thousand possibilities.


Did you think that I don't feel we have any obligation to community?  Like Local Rebel, I'm trying to understand your question to me.
  


Stephen.    
Ron
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113 posted 06-10-2007 01:21 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
About the best egoism can offer is to try and assure us that the odds are in our favor if we treat others faborably, and live AS IF we are concerned about more than self.

Just out of curiosity, Stephen, do you know of anything that offers us more in this life?


Drauntz
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114 posted 06-10-2007 02:08 AM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Ron is very right.

"Stephen, do you know of anything that offers us more in this life?"

1. if  you view yourself as a king, you will be happy if other treats you as a king and you will be mad if other won't which means that they owe you.

2. If you view yourself as a servant, you will be happy to serve and you will be happier if you are served. (extra bonus of life)

3. if you think every body is equal, unless every one is chained by something or some rules, there will be always bloody fight, which is  what egoism leads. Because the boundary of ego is invisible, unmeasurable
and very flexible to be enlarged.

my 1 cent.
serenity blaze
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115 posted 06-10-2007 08:36 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I'd like to state, most officially:

"I'm sorry I asked."

(and that shouldn't happen in a Philosophy Forum!)

My official smilie:
Drauntz
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116 posted 06-10-2007 12:00 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Dear SB, don't feel upset. Everybody had a good time here. either talking About story or the philosophy. I thought I would post a new topic on this. But you have all the credit to bring this interesting topic up, so I write on.

have a wonderful day, dear lady

Many hugs and kisses
with respect

my speed is still slow.

Huan Yi
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117 posted 06-10-2007 03:23 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


How can one not be selfish
unless his acts do not create or foster
his self-esteem?

This question comes after reading again
Ivan Morris on Saigo Takamori.  Yet
could even someone like Mother Theresa
be deemed wholly free if in some way
she derived personal satisfaction in being
as she was?

In truth, isn’t this all just word play?

What is it that motivates the spontaneous act
of self-sacrifice?

In conversation once a fireman told me
that in entering a burning building he
left behind the man he was outside and
became another.

As with the young man jumping on a grenade example,
to suggest an equivalent between those like him and a
Mother Theresa, and someone who sits comfortably
back behind the lines enjoying his food, wine and other things
is just so much sophistry.

.
Drauntz
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118 posted 06-10-2007 06:11 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Agree with Sir Huan Yi.
Drauntz
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119 posted 06-10-2007 06:11 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Agree with Sir Huan Yi.
Balladeer
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120 posted 06-10-2007 07:10 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

What is it that motivates the spontaneous act
of self-sacrifice?


Interesting question, John. How many acts of pure self-sacrifice do you know? Your fireman is exactly right. We DO become different people when faced with extreme challenges. That's how a 130 lb woman can lift the front of a Ford to rescue a trapped child. That's how police and firemen work. That's how soldiers going into battle work. Your fireman is not going into the burning building as a self-sacrifice, however. He's going in with every intention of getting the job done and surviving. He is simply aware of the fact that the situation is very hazardous. Soldiers have no intention of dying, either, even though many do. What about the terrorist suicide bombers? Why do you think they are told that their names will be revered throughout eternity for their actions? Why do you think they are offered those 76 virgins waiting in heaven to pleasure them? They are doing for rewards that surpass the life they now have, in their minds. All of these people have personal motives for their actions.

The soldier falling on the grenade? I saw it in a movie once, not in real life. Have you? Having said that, I can still understand it. If the grenade falls into the foxhole and you know that all will be dead, if you know that YOU will be dead and there is no escape, I can understand a moral person taking the stand to save others by falling on the grenade. He is not sacrificing his life, though....his life is over in either case. It's just how he will die as being the only option left open to him.

I ask again....how many instances of pure self-sacrifice for no personal gain or reward can you point out?

Drauntz
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121 posted 06-10-2007 08:26 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

"I ask again....how many instances of pure self-sacrifice for no personal gain or reward can you point out?"

Dear sir, if you give your definition of "pure self-sacrifice" and "personal gain" I 'll see if I can give you some examples.

"pure self-sacrifice".....is it the kind of mother raise a child?

"personal gain" ...does it include the fulfillment of the feeling of love. if I love somebody, I want to do something for him then my heart will be satisfied. There is no material reward or heavenly reward.

with respect.
Stephanos
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122 posted 06-11-2007 07:21 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

balladeer:
quote:
I ask again....how many instances of pure self-sacrifice for no personal gain or reward can you point out?


The question is not whether "altruistic" acts invariably involve some benefit to the doer ... but whether those benefits MUST be the sole consideration, as opposed to the possibility of being motivated by the benefit of the recepient of the deed.  If there is the possibility for real concern for others, then egoism is incomplete ... regardless of whether we happen to benefit from helping others.  The mistake I think you're making is assuming that the alternative to egoism has to be an extreme altruism.  (although, those scenarios are possible too, only much rarer ... perhaps involving incidents of giving one's mortal life in order to save another.)  


Stephen.
Huan Yi
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123 posted 06-11-2007 08:42 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Mike,

"The soldier falling on the grenade? I saw it in a movie once, not in real life. Have you? "


I saw a what a grenade, as it happened,
did to two young men, (the lucky one died immediately), but there
was nothing intentional on their part.  However when I was
in I noticed that in Leatherneck magazine
that was pretty much how enlisted men got
the MOH which was often.  I've no reason to believe it didn't happen.

In truth, back then, I was one
who would have done it himself.
I was very young . . .

And Mike, even with a grenade there's a chance . . .

John

hush
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124 posted 06-12-2007 08:46 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

'The question is not whether "altruistic" acts invariably involve some benefit to the doer ... but whether those benefits MUST be the sole consideration, as opposed to the possibility of being motivated by the benefit of the recepient of the deed.'

Actually, Stephen, the question I see argued (again and again) is whether the satisfaction derived from performing what one sees as a moral action (where others benefit) constitutes selfishness or self-interest.

I volunteer at the local humane society because it gives me pleasure to care for unwanted animals and take them on visits to nursing homes, allowing the elderly to interact with animals. Some might call this altruistic (although I do admit a very [selfish? greedy? what's the word?] motivation- I get to pet doggies!) but I don't consider it altruism- I go, even if I don't feel like it on a day a pet visit is scheduled, because I think it's the right thing to do, and doing the right thing makes me feel good.
 
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