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Passions in Poetry

Atlas Shrugged--the movie?

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Drauntz
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200 posted 06-18-2007 12:47 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

To Sir Ron,

"You certainly don't have to read any book you don't want to read, but please don't expect me to provide you with Cliff Notes. That isn't my job."

Sir, I know that that is not your job. But what if you think as your rational self-interest?
rwood
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201 posted 06-18-2007 01:08 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

For the 200th time.
Huan Yi
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202 posted 06-18-2007 06:17 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Isn’t “rational” or “objective”  self-interest influenced
if not controlled by an understanding of the consequences
a given society is or might be able to successfully inflict
on getting caught?


.
Grinch
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203 posted 06-18-2007 06:23 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
Given mistakes or confusing self-interest with rational self-interest, I do think rational self-interest, or if you want another adjective, enlightened self-interest, is the best way to go.

Why?

It seems to me you get better results that way.

Who decides and by what criteria? I decide and I make the criteria.

With all the mistakes and short sightedness that goes along with that.


Brad given the above Rational and even Enlightened are surely redundant - neither are predetermined constants but are subjective and dependant on the individual.

I think Rand was correct to assume that self-interest was central to morality and ethical decision-making but why insist on decisions based on rational thought where irrational thought can't exist?

Could you or anybody you know actually act on a decision you believed to be irrational or the wrong thing to do?

Balladeer

quote:
Sound people use sound mathematics to arrive at answers. People who do not use sound mathematics will arrive at incorrect answers. That certainly coincides with her thoughts to me.


While it may coincide with her thoughts it doesn't make them correct, for instance you missed out sound people using sound mathematics but arriving at incorrect answers and people who use unsound mathematics but still arrive at the correct answer.

quote:
one mans rational self-interest may be irrational to the next man.

Sure, and murder to one man may be necessary population reduction to another....like Hitler, for example Does that make it acceptable?


Are you asking Hitler or me?

My rational answer would be that it's not acceptable his rational answer was that it was acceptable.

quote:
There IS good and evil, there IS right and wrong and there IS rational and irrational.  A rock is a rock, no matter much  you claim it's bread and try to eat it.


A rock is a rock and a straw man is a straw man.

There definitely is rational and irrational but irrational self-interest? I'll ask you a similar question to the one I asked Brad:

Could you (or even Hitler) actually act on a decision you believed to be irrational or the wrong thing to do?

quote:
Ayn Rand does not claim that irrational self-interest exists, only that it is evil.


She'd have had a field day with WMD's    

quote:
rational is the entire base of her philosophy. Take away the rational and moral and you open the door for every criminal, dictator and murderer in history, who ALL were motivated by self-interest.


The door is already open, criminals dictators and murderers make what they believe are rational choices so exactly how would Rand's philosophy, if applied, make any difference?
Ron,

quote:
From a semantic perspective, Craig, I tend to agree with you that rational probably isn't the best way to describe what I think Rand was trying to say. Personally, I would much rather differentiate between short- and long-term self-interest, not because the distinction relies any less on rationality, but because I think most people can more readily see the difference.


Short and long term self-interest I can live with (and buy).    

Rand's philosophy is confusing in many ways, my biggest gripe is that it's often put forward as a description of what is instead of a template of what ought to be, the former fails but the latter has it's good points including this gem of a quote:

"Man has been called a rational being, but rationality is a matter of choice — and the alternative his nature offers him is: rational being or suicidal animal. Man has to be man — by choice; he has to hold his life as a value — by choice; he has to learn to sustain it — by choice; he has to discover the values it requires and practice his virtues — by choice.
"A code of values accepted by choice is a code of morality."


I'm not convinced we can teach irrational people to think rationally, perhaps the best we can do is convince them that it'd be in their own self-interest to at least try.    

[This message has been edited by Grinch (06-18-2007 06:58 PM).]

Balladeer
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204 posted 06-19-2007 12:09 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Isn’t “rational” or “objective”  self-interest influenced
if not controlled by an understanding of the consequences
a given society is or might be able to successfully inflict
on getting caught?


In a word.....no. It is certainly true that many people's actions are influenced by the punishment of getting caught but that does not make them either rational or objective. (just look at what happens inside a department store if there is a power failure and the lights go out).

As Bobby Jones once said, "Honesty is not the ability to not rob a bank." In Rand's philosophy it is not the punishment society can inflict, rather the self-inflicted punishment of the mind regarding irrational behavior, which is much more powerful. The old adage, "It ain't cheatin' if no one sees you" won't cut it.


.
Drauntz
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205 posted 06-19-2007 12:58 AM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Dear Sir Balladeer,

If  "(just look at what happens inside a department store if there is a power failure and the lights go out)." is true, (I know that it is true.)

Then where does this come from,

"rather the self-inflicted punishment of the mind regarding irrational behavior, which is much more powerful."

Are you saying that traditional self-interest is to be able to commit crime but Rand' self interest is to be able to  make self-punishment based on other people's opinion? because the judging of rational and irrational behavior comes from the view of a society like your story about the sane King.

How does one know that a behavior is rational or irrational? then come to the self -torture of self-punishment?

DO you say that self-punishment is one of the rational self-interest? Then for punishing over-eating ice cream shall be "eat more".

have a wonderful night, sir!!

Brad
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206 posted 06-19-2007 02:17 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
Brad given the above Rational and even Enlightened are surely redundant - neither are predetermined constants but are subjective and dependant on the individual.


Not really. Only on a mythical island, could such a thing be true. It's a question of authority and responsibility, not subjectivity. And that's a whole other bag of worms.

quote:
I think Rand was correct to assume that self-interest was central to morality and ethical decision-making but why insist on decisions based on rational thought where irrational thought can't exist?


I agree, but I don't agree that irrational thought can't exist.

quote:
Could you or anybody you know actually act on a decision you believed to be irrational or the wrong thing to do?


Yes, I have many times. I think people make irrational decisions all the time. I'm a democrat and saw Bush reelected.


rwood
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207 posted 06-19-2007 07:26 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
Yes, I have many times. I think people make irrational decisions all the time. I'm a democrat and saw Bush reelected.


Touché

quote:
I think Rand was correct to assume that self-interest was central to morality and ethical decision-making but why insist on decisions based on rational thought where irrational thought can't exist?


Ayn never insisted that. She more than acknowledged the existence of irrational thought. She fought with it often. Personally & professionally, to harsh degrees.

In the interview I watched, she said she'd lost her one, her highest value in life, her husband, and if she wasn't a rational thinker, she'd commit suicide to get him. Which leads one to another irrationality based upon her beliefs, but she still wrestles the "thought" simply because she's human. (in the video).

quote:
Brad given the above Rational and even Enlightened are surely redundant - neither are predetermined constants but are subjective and dependent on the individual.


? Fact based is objective/rational. Determinism is fate based, without free will. Anything predetermined suggests individuals are subjective and dependent on everything else but the individuals choices, because their fate has already been laid out for them. Correct? Thinking in terms of the future doesn't necessarily mean people believe they've got a cod lock on what's going to happen.

Arg-another bottle of rum with the bag of worms, please.

quote:
Isn’t “rational” or “objective”  self-interest influenced
if not controlled by an understanding of the consequences
a given society is or might be able to successfully inflict
on getting caught?


Sure, some people know exactly how their acts go against what society feels is best and rational, like remaining seated in the front section of a bus, or standing in front of the White House during a war time president’s reign, in the rain and freezing cold, and protesting the idea of not being able to vote, with Wilson’s own quote:

quote:
We shall fight for the things we have always carried nearest our hearts, for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments.


national/rational self-interest, objective in that self-government was a fact enjoyed by many men, why not women? Despite the beatings, being spit on, and jail time.

serenity blaze
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208 posted 06-19-2007 10:25 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I'm not popping in here to agree or disagree with anybody--yet. I just wanted to answer hush's question.

Yes, I am reading the book. I confess that as this thread gathered numbers, the book started to weigh heavier, so I quit reading the thread.

But I did say I was going to go back and just try reading it for the story. I have not read this slowly in a long, long, time either. Ayn Rand is um, teaching me how to "chew my food."

I find a paragraph on every page that I can relate to personally, and yes, I still put down the book to ponder (and sometimes remember) as her artfully intricately woven characterizations seem to each evoke an aspect of individual psyche--individuation to actualization. Awesome. Yum.

She writes beautifully--and I think she may have renewed my appreciation for the properly placed adjective. I am also trying to stop myself from looking at the beauty of the construction for the time being, just because it distracts me.

I'll be back with my take on the philosophies later.

"Motive power"--heh.

Yep, gotta get me some of that!

Ya'll enjoy. I know I am. (thanks again Mike)
Stephanos
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209 posted 06-19-2007 10:49 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: Many people willfully desire what is harmful to them, especially when others help nurse and propel that desire. Whether it be tobacco, pornography, or a myriad of other things.


Ron:  And you would consider that rational self-interest, Stephen?


Of course not.  But rationality will always accept the morality on it's own terms.  It becomes irrational when it rips the moral question from its moorings, and places it on the foundation of something like self-interest or isolated reason.  Barring the moral question, why would someone getting wealthy by selling pornography be considered "irrational"?

Egoism's idea of "rationality" seems to be a subdivided and separated entity, when it should include an authority other than itself.  Moral teachers have always taught that goodness and reason are closely related.  But they cease to be what they are, when they are arbitrarily ripped from each other, by certain philosopher types.  The curious change of language (which has not become popular, thankfully) which tries to make the word "selfish" a compliment, illustrates my point.  

quote:
Stephen: But even if we're talking about what most people consider "cheating", there are hosts of people who will argue that they have been helped and not harmed, by its measured and careful use.


Ron: And you would consider that rational self-interest?


Same answer as above.


quote:
Stephen: Gamblers often win, even if the likelihood of losing is part and parcel of casinos.


Ron: And you would consider that rational self-interest?



Same answer as above.

Of course, this time I will add the observation that the principle by which you would call gambling irrational (low probability, or great difficulty) is the same principle by which many truly great people did great things.  And truly, if you make the moral questions always about amoral reason, you will end up referring to "reasons" which are at other times laudable.

quote:
Again, and again, and again, Stephen, you're confusing self-interest with rational self-interest.


Again, and again, and again, Ron, you're avoiding the question of why we never treat people who do atrocious things as if they merely slipped keys on their calculator.  If it's all about THEIR self interest, then the universality of moral outrage is itself irrational.  To get rid of the idea of egoism, I only need to close my books.  To get rid of moral indignation (even in yourself) you'd sooner have to wipe out the sun.  And please don't resort to the "vengeance is bad" routine, to prove that moral indignation is irrational.  I haven't even gotten as far as action yet, or whether mercy should be shown to those who deserve otherwise.  Mercy presupposes culpability.  Calling morally reprehensible acts merely irrational, doesn't make sense of many things.  Likewise calling praiseworthy acts merely reasonable, doesn't make sense of many things.  It's like removing all line breaks, erasing all romantic words, and forcing poetry into prose.  In short, it doesn't match life.  


quote:
Stephen: I may desire to bring it to others for their sake. It's still not only avoiding pain for myself. I may desire to avert it from others for their sake.


Ron:  But WHY? Why would you want to bring pleasure to others or avoid pain for others?  The only reason to do so, Stephen, is to further your own self-interest. As the words I bolded in your quotation should attest? No matter what you want to do, it's still YOU wanting to do it.



Your still confusing these two definitions:

1) Self interest:  Interests which the self holds.


2) Self interest:  Interests which are about oneself.  


And as long as you do that, you'll continue to erroneously argue your case by pointing to the ever-presence of self.  But I've never denied that.  The question is not whether the self is always present.  The question is whether the ever-present self may have motives that are other-directed.


Get it?


quote:
Don't do it because someone else scammed you into feeling guilty or sorry for them.


I agree with this.  But one of the reasons I think we shouldn't do so, is because it isn't in the best interest of others to always give them what they want ... one reason that is not rooted in self-interest.  Though I admit it's also not in my best interest.  Yet I'm not fooled into thinking my motives are monistic.  Mutalism just makes more sense, since life isn't solipsismal and we live in an interactive and relational world.


The apostle Paul once said that if man doesn't work, he shouldn't eat.  I guess tough love existed long before Phil or Ayn.  It certainly isn't exclusively a product of egoism or objectivism.        


Stephen
              
Drauntz
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210 posted 06-19-2007 12:00 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Stephanos, wonderful and powerful write!!!!

Ron
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211 posted 06-19-2007 12:45 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 becomes irrational when it rips the moral question from its moorings, and places it on the foundation of something like self-interest or isolated reason.

Ripping morality from its moorings is a bit dramatic, Stephen, but it's certainly nothing more (or less) than what everyone does every day. Including you. And that's a good thing, too.

Morality has to be judged, not merely accepted. If you have a criteria better than reason by which to make those judgments, I'm all ears.

quote:
Of course, this time I will add the observation that the principle by which you would call gambling irrational (low probability, or great difficulty) is the same principle by which many truly great people did great things.  And truly, if you make the moral questions always about amoral reason, you will end up referring to "reasons" which are at other times laudable.

There's a subtle difference between betting against the odds, Stephen, and betting on yourself in spite of the odds. However, more importantly from a rational perspective, there exists this thing called a cost/benefit analysis. Rationality certainly doesn't try to eliminate risk. It just tries to manage it.

quote:
Again, and again, and again, Ron, you're avoiding the question of why we never treat people who do atrocious things as if they merely slipped keys on their calculator.  If it's all about THEIR self interest, then the universality of moral outrage is itself irrational.

But, Stephen, it's not about THEIR self-interest. On the contrary, that's exactly the mistake Objectivism is attempting to rectify.

It's always about MY self-interest.

When people do atrocious things, Stephen, my outrage is neither moral nor irrational. On the contrary, my outrage is a reflection of the way I want the world to run. Which, I suppose, explains why I can be almost as outraged over Jerry Falwell as over Jeffrey Dahmer?

More succinctly, Stephen, we don't judge others because they've slipped some keys on their calculator and acted against their own self-interest. We judge them when they act against our OWN individual self-interest. And when enough people do that, when enough feel so infringed, we call their acts atrocious.

quote:
The question is not whether the self is always present. The question is whether the ever-present self may have motives that are other-directed.

And the answer is a resounding No.


rwood
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212 posted 06-19-2007 01:14 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
Barring the moral question, why would someone getting wealthy by selling pornography be considered "irrational"?


In my personal opinion, they are already divorced from any social mores and operate solely by the laws of venue and venture, because they can until the law says they can’t, and then they will dive further into the underground and continue as they do.

quote:
The curious change of language (which has not become popular, thankfully) which tries to make the word "selfish" a compliment, illustrates my point.


Wait. You’re too smart for that kind of statement. Context matters. “Godly” isn’t always a compliment either.

I agree that terms are hard to come to, when terms seem so conditional, maybe in time?


well, we know our maker will settle this.
Drauntz
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213 posted 06-19-2007 01:58 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

To Sir Ron,

“Stephen, but it's certainly nothing more (or less) than what everyone does every day. Including you. And that's a good thing, too.”

Rand, just coming out of the extreme high pressure of the governing of CP, came to US with such a freedom. She found a place that she could release her anger. So when she saw you eating one cup of ice cream with each meal, she would say ‘I’ll teach you to eat two cups ice cream with each meal for the feeling of free.” …(self-interest of her)

When you realized that eating too much ice cream would be bad to your health in the long run, (rational self-interest), then Rand would say “ give me all your left over and I will auction them in the market to earn some money (both you and Rand rational self-interests and capitalism).

Rand would auction your ice cream with your signature but without telling the bad long term effect of it…(for the self-interest- of money and rational self –interest of the capitalism.  Such as drug company)


People are all selfish and know that being selfish can not live a happy life( because there is objectivism==mind-independent reality)  while she tries to teach how to double your selfishness.

Where is the logic? And where is the root of her “thought”?
Drauntz
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214 posted 06-19-2007 02:57 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

To Sir Ron,

“However, more importantly from a rational perspective, there exists this thing called a cost/benefit analysis. Rationality certainly doesn't try to eliminate risk. It just tries to manage it.”

To put it in a simple way.

CDC wanted to lower the risk of getting Flu (rational perspective) so it suggests everybody over 40 shall get flu shots ( the result of cost /effect analysis.)

50% got flu and other did not get.(it does eliminate some of the risk) and it is the main purpose of rationality.  Because One can lower risk but one can not  put risk under organization as when, or where, or how it should happen.

So, to the best, the rational self interest is a merely good will (meaning to other’s interest)  but this  is not what you were talking about in your writing. So your rational self interest is still the self interest  and it is as old as the age of human species.  
Ron
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215 posted 06-19-2007 03:55 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
In my personal opinion, they (purveyors of porn) are already divorced from any social mores and operate solely by the laws of venue and venture ...

Is being "divorced from social mores" necessarily a bad thing, Regina? What if the current social mores dictated you had to attend a Baptist church every Sunday or couldn't eat pork? What if they said you had to walk four feet behind the men folk?  

I purposely didn't respond to Stephen's question about porn, wealth, and irrationality because doing so would have been agreeing that HIS morality was something carved in stone. He was assuming I would automatically agree that getting wealthy by selling pornography was a bad thing. Why? Because someone said so? I suspect that is exactly the kind of knee-jerk morality that Objectivism finds distasteful.

We need to think for ourselves. Even if doing so is considered selfish.
Drauntz
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216 posted 06-19-2007 04:08 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

"We need to think for ourselves. Even if doing so is considered selfish"

Big hug to you, Sir Ron. You are so very right. Because that is absolute part of human Characters.

rwood
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217 posted 06-19-2007 04:10 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Is being "divorced from social mores" necessarily a bad thing, Regina?

No, not at all. We agree. I feel social mores just don't apply at all with the porn industry. Morality, rationality, irrationality, nothing along those lines applies in principle because they have to be an Anything Goes industry. And as long as the law say they can the have a right to be.

Though child pornography IS BAD and anyone who disagrees will hopefully fall onto a very big powered-up chainsaw.

So yes, I know what it feels like to be made to go to a Baptist church, that's why I don't  knock too loudly on people's freedoms, because I enjoy my right to choose as much as they do, if not more.
Drauntz
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218 posted 06-19-2007 05:03 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

To Sir Ron,

"I purposely didn't respond to Stephen's question about porn, wealth, and irrationality because doing so would have been agreeing that HIS morality was something carved in stone. He was assuming I would automatically agree that getting wealthy by selling pornography was a bad thing. Why? Because someone said so? I suspect that is exactly the kind of knee-jerk morality that Objectivism finds distasteful."

If you have granted free will heavenly, why do you scared of Stephen's assuming? because you do not want to be judged wrongly by the thought of mainstream...means you yield to them. self-conflict.



Brad
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219 posted 06-19-2007 07:09 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Let's see if I can jump back a little:

LR: a Rand/Rawls debate would have been great.

Mike: Yes, the Prime Movers do get dragged down, hobbled and chained like the 'superman' in that famous Vonnegut short story.

I do think 'rational' and 'enlightened' can be used interchangably -- at least that's how it looks to me in this thread. The only difference is connotative. Rightly or wrongly, 'enlightened' implies a holistic awareness while 'rational' implies a narrowing of perspective (Damn you, Spock!).

But this is still a poetry site so I'll side with 'enlightened'.

Which brings me, yet once more, to a point that just seems to be getting lost. Rand, of course, keeps stressing the importance of the creative power of the individual.

What do we do with poems?

If you write a poem and someone sticks their name on it, how do you feel?

If you write a poem and we stick a collective PIP on it, how do you feel?

If an industrialist has his factories nationalized, how does he or she feel?

If an architect has his designs altered to the point of unrecognizability, but still has his name on it, how does he feel?

If it were really about money or capitalism, I don't think Rand would resonate in the way that she does.

Drauntz
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220 posted 06-19-2007 09:48 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz


Dear Sir Brad,

You may want to get signed agreement before you use the term "enlightened" on Rand's thought .

"What do we do with poems?"
what do we do with our breath? same way

"If you write a poem and someone sticks their name on it, how do you feel?

If you write a poem and we stick a collective PIP on it, how do you feel?

If an industrialist has his factories nationalized, how does he or she feel?

If an architect has his designs altered to the point of unrecognizability, but still has his name on it, how does he feel?"

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

"If it were really about money or capitalism, I don't think Rand would resonate in the way that she does."

you are so very right. She would be First  Alan Greenspan  who has been under heavy criticism from Objectivists.
Stephanos
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221 posted 06-20-2007 02:16 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron:
quote:
Ripping morality from its moorings is a bit dramatic, Stephen, but it's certainly nothing more (or less) than what everyone does every day. Including you. And that's a good thing, too.


I'm talking about philosophers who assert that morality can be decided by human reason alone, rather than a higher moral law, not simply interpreting that moral law.  


quote:
Morality has to be judged, not merely accepted. If you have a criteria better than reason by which to make those judgments, I'm all ears.


The criteria is a "reason" which does not reject moral absolutes, or pin the entire moral question upon rationalism or self-interest.  

Have you ever read "The Abolition of Man"?  It's a short read of three essays.  I'll make a deal with you, if you read it, I'll read Atlas Shrugged.  Then we'll talk again and compare ideas.

quote:
There's a subtle difference between betting against the odds, Stephen, and betting on yourself in spite of the odds. However, more importantly from a rational perspective, there exists this thing called a cost/benefit analysis. Rationality certainly doesn't try to eliminate risk. It just tries to manage it.


It's naive to think that all magnanimous acts proceed from such a calculated process as "cost/benefit analysis" ... or that all vile deeds result from a lack of such thought.  I think the Third Reich was well thought out actually, and (if reason may be divorced from moral absolutes, and married to self interest alone) not at all unreasonable.  Even risk managers suffer loss.


quote:
But, Stephen, it's not about THEIR self-interest. On the contrary, that's exactly the mistake Objectivism is attempting to rectify.

It's always about MY self-interest.


These atrocious ones still acted on THEIR self interest (according to egoism), no matter what you say.  And if the only reason you feel indignation is because you have a different calculation (and no moral fire) then you are hardly making sense of outrage.  You have totally circumvented the question of WHY you think the world should be run as you do, the answer to which is, doubtless, brimming with moralisms.  

quote:
Which, I suppose, explains why I can be almost as outraged over Jerry Falwell as over Jeffrey Dahmer?


There is another explanation actually, beyond your self-interest.  Whether Falwell or Dahmer, they must have violated something that you find foundational, and morally non-negotiable.  That judgement of yours would be a fact, even if you lived on Mars.  There's no way you can reduce that kind of judgement to self-interest alone.  The fact that many people disapprove of things that do not (really) affect them, shows that yours is fallacious (or at least incomplete) reasoning ... And ultimately not in your best interest, I might add.           


quote:
More succinctly, Stephen, we don't judge others because they've slipped some keys on their calculator and acted against their own self-interest. We judge them when they act against our OWN individual self-interest.


That's the truth, but only part of the truth.  We also sometimes judge them because they act against the best interest of others, and we are morally offended.  You can, if you wish, say that that is rooted totally in self interest.  But you have no real support for it, other than wildly pointing at the existence of self.  But since the very question is about the nature of self (as to whether it can be concerned for others, for others sake), that's only begging the question.  Remember that others exist too.


quote:
And the answer is a resounding No.


That "no" still sounded pretty flat to me Ron, unless you happened to belch it out.      


Stephen
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222 posted 06-20-2007 02:34 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: Barring the moral question, why would someone getting wealthy by selling pornography be considered "irrational"?

Regina: In my personal opinion, they are already divorced from any social mores and operate solely by the laws of venue and venture, because they can until the law says they can’t, and then they will dive further into the underground and continue as they do.



And so I'll ask again ... barring the moral question, why would that be considered irrational?


quote:
Stephen:  The curious change of language (which has not become popular, thankfully) which tries to make the word "selfish" a compliment, illustrates my point.


Regina: Wait. You’re too smart for that kind of statement. Context matters. “Godly” isn’t always a compliment either.



Of course context matters.  That's my point.  Ayn simply denied the weighty context of accepted usage of the word "selfish", and by a quasi-moral denunciation, attempted to change the meaning of the word.  

And sure "godly" could be an insult, but only in the sense of sarcasm.  That's different than someone coming along and saying that "godly" really means impious.  One is a legitimate play on language.  The other is an arbitrary, sudden (and futile I might add) wresting of language from its history.  The thing is, people still talk every day about "selfish" in its proper usage, but hardly anyone says it in the way Ayn self-defined it.    
    
Stephen
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quote:
I'm talking about philosophers who assert that morality can be decided by human reason alone, rather than a higher moral law, not simply interpreting that moral law.

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.

quote:
I'll make a deal with you, if you read it, I'll read Atlas Shrugged.  Then we'll talk again and compare ideas.

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.

Lewis, especially in "Men Without Chests" was writing of a world as it is. We are, indeed, ruled by our emotions, not just the noble ones like courage, but sadly also by the less noble ones like hatred and fear. We are motivated by our "chests," and use our heads only to justify those motivations. History suggests they're not always so easily justified, either.

Rand, on the other hand, wrote of the way the world should be. She wrote of a Utopia that, as others in this thread of already said, probably can never exist. Who is John Galt? There is no John Galt.

quote:
It's naive to think that all magnanimous acts proceed from such a calculated process as "cost/benefit analysis" ... or that all vile deeds result from a lack of such thought.

Agreed. And, ah, more's the pity.

Our world needs a lot less magnanimity, in my opinion. Were we to actually use reason, Stephen, instead of settling for a shallow and momentary sense of feeling good about ourselves, we might stop giving men fish to eat and start insisting they learn how to fish for themselves.

The trouble with tough love, though, is that it rarely makes you feel, uh, magnanimous.

quote:
And if the only reason you feel indignation is because you have a different calculation (and no moral fire) then you are hardly making sense of outrage. You have totally circumvented the question of WHY you think the world should be run as you do, the answer to which is, doubtless, brimming with moralisms.

Sorry to disappoint, Stephen, but most of my outrage (and there's too little of it yet left) is not fired by morality but rather inspired by moralists. Morality is a private conversation, one to be held between the individual and his god. The Law, on the other hand, is a public conversation and should never be confused with the private one.

Please, my friend, do not imbue me with moralisms!

quote:
Whether Falwell or Dahmer, they must have violated something that you find foundational, and morally non-negotiable. That judgement of yours would be a fact, even if you lived on Mars. There's no way you can reduce that kind of judgement to self-interest alone. The fact that many people disapprove of things that do not (really) affect them, shows that yours is fallacious (or at least incomplete) reasoning ...

I honestly believe it's the other way around, Stephen.

I think the unreasoned (and too often unreasonable) moral outrage you describe, Stephen, is little more than a reflection of empathy. We know what it feels like, and it's a not a feeling we want to feel again. In protecting others, we protect ourselves. It's not (and more importantly, need not be) any more complicated than that.


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224 posted 06-20-2007 12:29 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Stephen,

quote:
And so I'll ask again ... barring the moral question, why would that be considered irrational?


Again, In my opinion, I don’t consider it irrational. I just don’t really consider (adult) porn at all apart from a business. I am a business owner and I appreciate my freedoms. God forbid housekeeping to become unlawful, or I’m out of business.

I’m sorry I was unclear of that when I gave my perspective in post #217.

Your question of money and porn=industry. I have no right to judge a man for making money off of his lawful venture. Because the fact is: I’m only involved if I’m buying something from him or If I’m a direct affiliate. Otherwise, “considering” anything about him beyond business is a waste of my time, but more importantly, Any denunciation of his practices just helps him build a stronger market.

Oddly enough, this man’s name comes up again (free from any influence of the prior posts….weird).

Case in point: Jerry Falwell VS Larry Flynt.

Falwell catapulted Flynt—which was just what he needed when he needed it.

Ironically: "I always appreciated his sincerity even though I knew what he was selling and he knew what I was selling." (Larry Flynt upon Falwell’s death)wiki

The world’s ideals of what’s bad=Profit for the porn industry. The Porn industry’s ideals=Profit for the agents against porn. They soundly and successfully feed off each other.

So if anything’s irrational, it’s how certain groups who oppose porn become host to the porn industry by giving them exactly what sustains them: harshly proposed standards that strengthen their business but hold no water when the Law is all abiding.  

About all I might be attentive to in the interest of porn/business in general is what’s unlawful.

Unlawful Porn.

Sexual harassment=I’m not sure how that applies but anything’s possible.

Unequal Opportunity Porn=huh?

Porn Monopoly=ridiculously reaching here.

Unsafe environment. Does OSHA monitor porn?


Irrational Idea of a proposed porn operation:

Moral Porn=The transference of the risk factor: Profit to non-profit. Which I find no more twisted than moral fronted operations that prey on the goodness and naivety of others, such as Televangelists.

Love offerings?


quote:
Of course context matters.  That's my point.  Ayn simply denied the weighty context of accepted usage of the word "selfish", and by a quasi-moral denunciation, attempted to change the meaning of the word.


Point taken: Godly wasn’t a perfect example. I just have problems with words that aren’t allowed to be used or change meaning, I mean after all, how many are already listed that have? Trademarks I understand, sometimes.

Though I ask you: Is it possible that she helped you strengthen your own definition or sense of moral fiber? And without contrasts, perhaps that would be harder to do?
 
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