Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
self interest is the only goal or purpose = an absolute.....presented by Stephanos
I don't know if you presented this as a direct quote or simply your view. If it is a direct quote, I would not agree with it, no matter who said it, even Ms. Rand. If it is YOUR concept, then I would suggest you are not looking at the bigger picture. There can certainly be other considerations which can result as by-products - and these considerations may give the doer pleasure - but self interest is the base, just as the brain may not be the only organ in the body but the body cannot exist without it. In one section of Atlas Shrugged, Henry Reardon, who had just created a new metal to be used replacing railroad ties (along with a myriad of other uses) states to a reporter that he intends to "skin the public to the tune of millions of dollars" with his new product. The reporter replies, "Wait a minute. Wouldn't the public be benefitting greatly from all of the possibilities this new invention open up?", to which reardon replies, "Oh, have you noticed that?"
Let me ask a clarifying question ... one you've seemed to be slipping all around but not really addressing:
Are you saying that you agree that ALL thoughts and actions stem from self-interest ALONE? Or, do you think that all other-directed acts have ONLY self interest as their motivation?
Before you answer, remember that I'm not asking whether self-interest is a part of all human action, so don't remind me of that. I asked a very specific question.
Well, I'm sorry, sir, if you seem to feel I'm "slipping around" your questions. I'm trying to answer in the best way I know how and, if they are not acceptable to you, they are still the best I can do. I believe that all of our actions stem from self interest. You seem to attach a great deal of importance, having mentioned it several times, to the word ALONE as if that's the part that you have such disagreement with or something. Frankly, I don't see why but I'll state as clearly as I can that I believe that self interest is the vital key of all actions. In sunshine's example of helping an old lady across the street, you don't just stand there and say to yourself "I'm going to help that woman across the street because it makes me feel good and that is my only concern so i'm gonna do it." You simply help the woman across the street, knowing that she needed assistance and felling good that you were able to exercise an act of kindness for another human being. Let me ask you this. If helping the lady across the street was something you really didn't want to do, or something that you hated doing, would you do it anyway? Let me ask you one better. Have you ever done a kindness for someone that went unappreciated? How did you feel then? If you helped that woman across the street and she responded by saying "Get your filthy hands off me, creep!", what then?? Would you still have that rosy feeling of having helped a fellow human being? I find it unlikely. Ever hear anyone complain about not receiving a thank you note for a gift sent? Of course you have - it's human nature. So is having self interest as the motivation for every act.
I think that every philosophy "expert" has their own opinions on what true egoism is. Ayn Rand has hers and others have theirs. You seem to have zeroed in on the definition of egoism itself which explains why Brad wondered what happened to the direction of this thread, since the thread was initially about Any Rand, her book, and the feasibility of making it into a movie. Much of my responses has been to HER philosophical views and not egoism as a whole, since i have never studied it. Actually, i didn't read Ayn rand to study philosophy, either. I read her books because they were incredible stories and, since i happened to agree with the way her main characters thought and acted, that influenced me to learn more about what made the author tick.
Like her on not, she can tell a good story....
BTW.....Brad, I have to tell you I'm impressed by the way you were able to discuss what her views and thoughts were with such accuracy. For a fellow who hasn't read her "for some time", your knowledge of her views has a lot of merit