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
 Comparing Rand's and Religious Morality   [ Page: 1  2  3  ]
 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
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

Comparing Rand's and Religious Morality

 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


0 posted 07-02-2007 01:57 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Hi everybody.  Hope you're not tired of talking about Ayn Rand yet.  Had some more to add if you're game.


I came across an Ayn Rand quote which was quite interesting to me.  The conflating of "selfishness" and "self-interest", is evident in the quote itself, especially in what it omits.  Ayn writes:

"The meaning ascribed in popular usage to the word 'selfishness' is not merely wrong; it represents a devastating intellectual 'package-deal' which is responsible, more than any other single factor, for the arrested moral development of mankind. In popular usage, the word 'selfishness' is a synonym of evil: the image it conjures is a murderous brute who tramples over piles of corpses to achieve his own end, who cares for no living being and pursues nothing but the gratification of the mindless whims of any immediate moment. Yet the exact meaning and dictionary definition of the word 'selfishness' is concern with one’s own interests. This concept does not include a moral evaluation; it does not tell us whether concern with one’s own interests is good or evil, nor does it tell us what constitutes man’s actual interests." (From The Virtue of Selfishness)


Of particular note is where she cites a dictionary definition of "selfishness".  I don't believe in a slavish compliance with the dictionary.  But, since Ayn brings it up, I will note that she only gives us a part of the definition.  And someone as intelligent as her, can't have overlooked the important references to excess, which is central to the way we use the word.  The definition actually runs thus:

selfish: adj.

1. devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

2. characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself: selfish motives.


selfishness: n.

stinginess resulting from a concern for your own welfare and a disregard of others.


Whatever you might think about this, it is plain enough to see that there is some manipulation going on here with language, for the purpose of making a philosophical point.  Or did she really think that selfish meant "self-interest"?  Or did she really think that Christianity looks down upon self interest?  


Whether or not her philosophical points are valid, it is not valid to claim that the traditional religious form of "morals" disapproved of a healthy degree of self-interest.  Again, Jesus presupposed this when he urged people to love their neighbors as themselves.  Paul presupposed this when he wrote to the Church at Philippi "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.". (Phillipians 2:4)  


The traditional moral safeguard came in the form of guarding against excess, or self absorption ... a question of amount rather than kind, or the perversion of an essentially good thing, as in the difference between eating and gorging.  But Rand, having already demolished the credibility of traditional morals, attempted to redraw the erased line with humanistic reason.  Of course, the problem is that reason has now become diminished and truncated.  The mind is forbidden to calculate with the moral data that it has had for centuries.  


It seems Rand was trying to correct what didn't need correcting.  For though authoritative obedience is spoken of, the Biblical view of morals is not without the acknowlegement of reason.  In its context reason simply has always been free to take into account other important data, such as divine authority and the the world to come.  It has also been free to recognize the disconcerting truth that rewards and punishment, sowing and reaping, Karma, or whatever you want to call it, doesn't always come out as expected in this present life.  That's when the good old fashioned moral preaching (even if that preaching is in your own head) fills the gap that egoism cannot.  For there will always be times (and more than most admit) when behaving badly seems to turn out pretty good.  There will always be times when we are tempted to play against the odds, even if we think that reason predicts a probable unpleasant outcome.


I'm now reading "Atlas Shrugged" and reading further articles about Ayn Rand.  I'm not claiming that I know a lot.  But my first impression is that her view of Biblical morality is more based upon caricatures of it, than upon what it really states.  Also I feel that her attempt at liberation of healthy self-interest is right, though she need not reject religion in order to secure it.  And it seems that she unduly limits reason, by forbidding certain categories for it operate in, and making it, as it were, autonomous?  What if reason was meant to be cooperational with something more, in order to remain viable?


I guess the three questions posed by this thread are thus?


1)  How far is too far, in making language say what you want it to say?  Can there be a kind of deception involved?


2)  Is the claim that Biblical morality is self deprecating, sustainable?


3)  Is the forbidding of considerations of moral authority or other religious ideas, crippling and unduly limiting to human reason?    


BTW, lest anyone feel that I am picking on Ayn Rand, these ideas are certainly not limited to her writings.  I would rather discuss the ideas, regardless of their authorship.


Stephen    
rwood
Member Elite
since 02-29-2000
Posts 3797
Tennessee


1 posted 07-03-2007 11:07 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Dear Stephen,

is it possible that you’re giving Rand more credit than she really deserves with this:

quote:
But Rand, having already demolished the credibility of traditional morals, attempted to redraw the erased line with humanistic reason. Of course, the problem is that reason has now become diminished and truncated. The mind is forbidden to calculate with the moral data that it has had for centuries.


I mean, I think her ideas had/have some impact on many people and they are provocative, but the above is a bit emblazoned with charismatic power words. She’s just Rand, not Cleopatra.

quote:
1) How far is too far, in making language say what you want it to say?  Can there be a kind of deception involved?


I don’t know of anything written or spoken, in any language that would not suffer a conveyor & the perspective of another if communicated. Even a snort or a grunt can be used & misconstrued. So I’m not sure why the word selfish is preempting such a bid from you.

I can think of much larger fancier words and systems that are absolutely in effect. Like the Patriot Act. And you know that religion is notoriously charged for such.


quote:
But my first impression is that her view of Biblical morality is more based upon caricatures of it, than upon what it really states.  Also I feel that her attempt at liberation of healthy self-interest is right, though she need not reject religion in order to secure it.


I think I understand your point being: “Biblical view of morals is not without the acknowledgment of reason.” So why should she reject “religious traditional morals,”?  The quick explanation might be that she was an unfair hussy, but I just didn’t see that in her. I’m confused because certain moral codes existed pre-Christianity and doesn’t religion reject her as an Atheist?

  
quote:
2)  Is the claim that Biblical morality is self deprecating, sustainable?


Well again, I think that depends on perception. Maybe some people need to believe they are less than others in order to feel humble before God: A lowly servant, unworthy of anything and grateful for everything. I can appreciate that, so maybe it’s not as depreciating in the eyes of others, but if they’re doing so just to gain favor? Hmm.

I think many Evangelical Preachers depend on the depreciating values of human existence, so that followers remain faithfully repentant and present within the congregation. What’s wrong with that?

For me: I firmly believe that God didn’t take the time to create a Nobody. (Yes, Ess, that’s a dn with a pm  I know I’m a very flawed somebody like everybody else.

quote:
And it seems that she unduly limits reason, by forbidding certain categories for it operate in, and making it, as it were, autonomous?  What if reason was meant to be cooperational with something more, in order to remain viable?


I think it stands to reason that she at least had gut feeling. She seemed awfully prepared for attack.
Hmmm…it sounds like you're suggesting the handshaking method. That’s cool. I’d love to see some real handshaking between the selfish and the self-righteous. “I could really love you if you were more like me.” Who said that?


3)  Is the forbidding of considerations of moral authority or other religious ideas, crippling and unduly limiting to human reason


Moral authority rests with religion?

see, that’s where I step off.

I’m gonna go out and see if I can’t scare up some big boomers for the girls. It’s almost Independence Day!!!

May you and yours have a safe and sparkling 4th.

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


2 posted 07-03-2007 01:32 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant


1) How far is too far, in making language say what you want it to say?  Can there be a kind of deception involved?


Too far is when the roots and etymology don't support the usage.  

oceanvu2
Senior Member
since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


3 posted 07-03-2007 01:39 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi friendly Pipsters!  I really don't know what is with all the Ayn Rand stuff.  

Atlas Shrugged was published 50 years ago.  The paramaters of the discussion haven't changed in 49.5 years.

Those who disagree with her thought set her up as a Straw-Woman and attack her Judeo-Christian apostasy with a vengance.

Those who agree with her thought characterize her as a contemporary Goddess and defend her thoughts with equal zealotry.

So what?

To those who agree with her, I ask, "have Ayn Rand's thought or NOVELS had any demonstrable and specific effect on any society at all, ever?"

To those who disagree I ask, "why are you wasting your time?"  If it simply amuses you to do so, OK.  It's not much different from playing chess.

To my mind, Ayn Rand's NOVELS are not particulary novel.  They ARE particularly overlong, poorly executed, and, in the main, boring.

For quality time, try Plato.

Best, Jim


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


4 posted 07-03-2007 01:42 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"For quality time, try Plato."


Excellent choice.  

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


5 posted 07-06-2007 09:31 AM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Rand intentionally changed the definition of  "selfishness" and based on that she started her thinking. A confused mind.

self-interest is a build in charactor

selfish and selfishness is words created by human to describe a unkind human behavior. It is already defined by  common sense of a society.  I wonder why she wanted to change it.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


6 posted 07-06-2007 07:57 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Jim,

Why is it that I just felt like the adult walked in and told us to stop playing with dolls?

Steven,

Are you arguing that Christianity does not encourage self-sacrifice above and beyond one's own self-interest or that one's self interest necessarily implies a giving up of everything that one holds dear in this world?

Whether you like it or not, Christians do indeed say that. The caricature wasn't created by Rand, Christians created it themselves.

You can tell me you don't agree with that, you can tell me that that's not true Christianity, but you can't say that it's not there.

That's not Rand's fault.

Rand is wrong here. Selfishness, the way it is used, from my point of view (insert additional appropriate qualifier here), is not a synonym for evil. It is a functional concept designed to install guilt in others whereby you get them to do what you want.

Rand's mistake is to attempt to still frame 'selfish' in descriptive, dictionary terms rather than in active, functional terms.

Rand's distaste for the past and current usage of the term is not its dictionary definition but its ability to influence people.

She was trying to change that.

That is not deceptive though it seems fairly obvious that she could deceive herself as easily as we all deceive ourselves.

D,

I thought we agreed that self-interest was inarguable? Why are you still prancing about?  From Rand's point of view, your statement is nonsensical of insane. Without the producers pursuing their self interest there would be no society.

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


7 posted 07-06-2007 08:16 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Sir Brad, self-interest is a genetic thing. selfishness is an human label and defined by human in common sense or by dictionary. why one wants to redefine it? why just have a new words and give it a meaning of her thought.
such as askfnosjf.

You may say that  coal was white and develop a philosophy based on that. I believe you would have some followers, esp, in winter and under the moon, then coal looks white, after all.

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


8 posted 07-06-2007 08:21 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

And sir Brad

"From Rand's point of view, your statement is nonsensical of insane. "

.....I am glad that you said this, very true. read Sir Balladeer's story of the King. And remember, this world, many believe Einstein's relativity. I believe it too.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


9 posted 07-06-2007 09:03 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I already stated that she makes a mistake here.

Did you not read it?

What do the rest of your comments mean?  

oceanvu2
Senior Member
since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


10 posted 07-06-2007 09:32 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Brad --  I used to be an adult, but I got outsourced.

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


11 posted 07-06-2007 09:47 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Dear sir Brad,

"I already stated that she makes a mistake here. Did you not read it?"

...It is not a mere mistake. it is part of the base of her philosophy.

"What do the rest of your comments mean?"

If you have defined my statement through Rand's eyes as insane, then why do you ask?

"From Rand's point of view, your statement is nonsensical of insane. "  

practically, I can say that this lady was crazy but she has lost chance to view my statement.



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


12 posted 07-06-2007 10:08 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Selfishness ... is a functional concept designed to install guilt in others whereby you get them to do what you want.


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


13 posted 07-06-2007 11:20 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Dear Sir Brad,

‘Selfishness, the way it is used, from my point of view (insert additional appropriate qualifier here), is not a synonym for evil. It is a functional concept designed to install guilt in others whereby you get them to do what you want.”


Which is saying

1. the purpose of  A using ‘selfishness” to B is to install guilt feelings in B so B would yield to A’s want ..not true. Guilty does not result in yielding….

2. What kind of words may cause guilt? Bad words…evil words…so why can “selfishness” make people feel guilty? Because of its previous bad definition!!!!

3. A uses “selfishness” to manipulate B,  bad!!

4. B felt guilty on the words of “selfishness” because B is traditionally selfish….bad too.

5. who is good one?

6. so the concept is not functional and illogical.

And Plus Sir Ron’s  “exactly”

I say, one stone, two birds.

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


14 posted 07-07-2007 12:36 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Regina:  
quote:
Is it possible that you’re giving Rand more credit than she really deserves with this:


When I said "having already demolished the credibility of traditional morals", I was of course referring to her arguments, not to her influence.  

quote:
I think I understand your point being: “Biblical view of morals is not without the acknowledgment of reason.” So why should she reject “religious traditional morals,”?


The short answer is (and it could be explored more) is that she viewed religious-style authority as unreasonable.  Though she was mistaken (whether through offense, or some other reason) she would include the idea that morals are imposed from without, and have to do with something other than pure self-interest.  For whether or not that idea began with Christianity (Christianity itself assumes that it didn't), it is a religious-like idea appealing to a transcendent moral law.  


quote:
Stephen: Is the forbidding of considerations of moral authority or other religious ideas, crippling and unduly limiting to human reason


Regina:  Moral authority rests with religion?  See, that’s where I step off.


What I mean by "moral authority" is the idea that a transcendent morality really does apply to us all, and to which we all (however imperfectly or unconsciously) make appeal in our dialogue to each other concerning justice and rightness.  

That kind of rightness does indeed rest with a religious world-view and no other.  You are right however that an arbitrary kind of moral authority may co-exist with a non-religious view of things.  But that's not what I meant.

quote:
Those who disagree with her thought set her up as a Straw-Woman and attack her Judeo-Christian apostasy with a vengance.


As anti-Judeo-Christian as she makes herself to be in her writings, I don't think a straw-man is necessary.  I always understood a strawman to be a false representation.  Is her vociferous apostasy a false or an accurate representation?


quote:
To those who agree with her, I ask, "have Ayn Rand's thought or NOVELS had any demonstrable and specific effect on any society at all, ever?


As I mentioned at the beginning;  These ideas are not exclusive to Rand's philosophy.  And yes, they are more than sterile ideas.   They have affected many things and people, and continue to do so.

Brad:
quote:
Are you arguing that Christianity does not encourage self-sacrifice above and beyond one's own self-interest or that one's self interest necessarily implies a giving up of everything that one holds dear in this world?

Whether you like it or not, Christians do indeed say that. The caricature wasn't created by Rand, Christians created it themselves.


Brad,  that's not the caricature.  That's the paradox.  God has your best interest in mind, so it's more important to serve him than yourself alone.  But it's too easy to dismiss godliness as another form of self-gratification, if you take the whole of Biblical Theology.  If it's another form of narcissism, then its awfully wayward convoluted and daunting to that end.  An entire Theological movement came forth in the book of Job to challenge that very cynical and satanic (and not always wrong) idea.  It's not that the idea is always wrong, its that it isn't always right.  It isn't an absolute, thankfully.  What destroys this over-simplistic notion, is simply the love for another.


The caricature I was speaking of was a religious demand that is human centered, political, and aimed at creating gain for the clergy using their doctrines as means to control others, rather than to lead people to God.  Of course I understand why some cannot see how the caricature is anything other than the real.  Decoys can be a problem for the hunted as well as for hunters.


quote:
Rand is wrong here. Selfishness, the way it is used, from my point of view (insert additional appropriate qualifier here), is not a synonym for evil. It is a functional concept designed to install guilt in others whereby you get them to do what you want.


There's the caricature again.  Or the decoy if you will.  Yes, the whole concept of selfishness can be used selfishly, and used to control and manipulate.  It can also be used as a real protest to others when real wrongs are being committed, or even better, as a tool for self-examination and making sure the plank is out of my own eye.  


I can actually appreciate Ron's applause at your nutshell definition of Rand's "selfishness".  But that's not all it is.  There's a positive side to owning this negative word.  There's an unselfish way to use the word selfish.  By attacking the terminology, Rand not only steals the lash of the oppressor, but the grooming tool of the neighbor.

quote:
Rand's distaste for the past and current usage of the term is not its dictionary definition but its ability to influence people.


Am I to seriously believe that the very concept of "selfishness" has influenced people more negatively than positively?  With selfish people, I suppose it was bound to go both ways, but certainly not just one.


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


15 posted 07-07-2007 11:25 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I guess what I'm saying is that the idea that I can be selfish, sometimes helps me discover how not to be, which is a positive thing.  I don't think mere rationalism works at this point.


Stephen.
rwood
Member Elite
since 02-29-2000
Posts 3797
Tennessee


16 posted 07-07-2007 11:47 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

You're a good man, Stephen.


I base that purely on instinct and hope I'm right.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


17 posted 07-07-2007 04:06 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad


quote:
‘Selfishness, the way it is used, from my point of view (insert additional appropriate qualifier here), is not a synonym for evil. It is a functional concept designed to install guilt in others whereby you get them to do what you want.”



quote:
Which is saying

1. the purpose of  A using ‘selfishness” to B is to install guilt feelings in B so B would yield to A’s want ..not true. Guilty does not result in yielding….


That it is not always effective is not an argument against what I've said.

quote:
2. What kind of words may cause guilt? Bad words…evil words…so why can “selfishness” make people feel guilty? Because of its previous bad definition!!!!


I don't understand the 'bad words, evil words' here. We aren't talking about magic. 'Selfish' is a trigger word. It sometimes makes people do good things, it sometimes makes people do bad things.

Anecdote A (true story): A friend at a bar sits talking to a young, attractive lady. It turns out she's 20 and he's 30 and so he passes on her obvious advances. She feels scorned and replies, "Why are you being selfish?"

Anecdote B (yesterday's story): A package from my mother comes yesterday while my wife is at work. My daughter and I open it and most of the stuff is for my daughter. Still, there is one little box with my wife's name on it. My daughter wants to open it, she badgers me to open it. Finally, I tell her to stop being  selfish and to wait for her mother.

quote:
3. A uses “selfishness” to manipulate B,  bad!!


Why is anecdote B bad?

quote:
4. B felt guilty on the words of “selfishness” because B is traditionally selfish….bad too.


Huh? Oh, I get it. Both A and B are bad people. Both bad. Do two bads makes a good?

quote:
5. who is good one?


Both bad. I feel like I'm in the Buffy episode where she turns into a cave girl. Buffy good. Beer good. Vampires bad.

quote:
6. so the concept is not functional and illogical.


It worked with my daughter. It is indeed functional. Logical? Illogical? You're not even wrong on that one.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


18 posted 07-07-2007 04:43 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
There's the caricature again.  Or the decoy if you will.  Yes, the whole concept of selfishness can be used selfishly, and used to control and manipulate.  It can also be used as a real protest to others when real wrongs are being committed, or even better, as a tool for self-examination and making sure the plank is out of my own eye.


Stephen,

I think we agree here. Maybe. That the whole  concept can be used selfishly does not, by definition, make the concept good or evil. It makes it a tool. It can certainly be used for  self-examination: a way of reassessing one's priorities. Rand's rant (sorry, but you knew that was coming, didn't you?) is trying to break the word free of its kneejerk -- selfish bad -- response.

Control and manipulation are not good or evil either.

So, how do we determine the difference? Rand's answer is reason. My answer is perhaps  just another word for reason: thinking.  

Your answer?

quote:
I can actually appreciate Ron's applause at your nutshell definition of Rand's "selfishness".  But that's not all it is.  There's a positive side to owning this negative word.  There's an unselfish way to use the word selfish.  By attacking the terminology, Rand not only steals the lash of the oppressor, but the grooming tool of the neighbor.


I would give her a more charitable reading than you have. But once you've gotten through a good chunk of 'Shrugged', try to understand what she means, who she's talking about, who she rails against. Rather than 'the base of her philosophy', this definition thing is a minor point. Her concern is with those who use these same tools in ways that hurt society, sometimes not even for their own benefit. Her concern is with those who berate and schackle the great in order to console their own mediocrity.
Drauntz
Member Elite
since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


19 posted 07-07-2007 04:51 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Sir Brad,
"That it is not always effective is not an argument against what I've said."
...?

"I don't understand the 'bad words, evil words' here"
....?

"'Selfish' is a trigger word. It sometimes makes people do good things, it sometimes makes people do bad things."

....Selfish is not as same as 'self-interest'. It has greedier concept than it. So, unless you think that it is "not good" and try to read as a stop sign..that is all.

Story A, silly lady does not understand the meaning of "selfish" and misused it.

Story B. A unreasonable father wrongly labeled the lovely girl's curiosity as "selfishness.' I felt deeply sorry for her.


"Do two bads makes a good?"
...No.   They are two persons. According to you, jail would be the beat place to produce super kind human beings. "bad" is so concentrated there.

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


20 posted 07-07-2007 05:11 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Dear Sir Brad,
"So, how do we determine the difference? Rand's answer is reason. My answer is perhaps  just another word for reason: thinking."

.....Dear sir, thinking(reasoning)  is one of the important function of our brain. But thinking is wired with judging at its beginning. You can't have a thought(or ideas, conceptions,) without judging. can't help. It is also part of the function of brain. here comes the question, by what standard you are judging?

Selfish is not bad word? I say fishsel is not bad words and it means  "self-interest." why  she has to against the common meaning of a words? Given a chance, she might have said my "words" is not your "words" of definition in your dictionary. than why a new language?


Again, you may say that coal was white and it looked white when covered in snow. But when you communicate with others, you have to use common concept, right. Otherwise, you will have to spend life time trying to explain why in your view, that coal was white.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


21 posted 07-07-2007 05:16 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

selfish: adj.

1. devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

2. characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself: selfish motives.


selfishness: n.

stinginess resulting from a concern for your own welfare and a disregard of others.


quote:
Story A, silly lady does not understand the meaning of "selfish" and misused it.


How did she misuse the word?

quote:
Story B. A[n] unreasonable father wrongly labeled the lovely girl's curiosity as "selfishness.' I felt deeply sorry for her.


How did he misuse the word?

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


22 posted 07-07-2007 05:35 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
thinking(reasoning)  is one of the important function of our brain. But thinking is wired with judging at its beginning. You can't have a thought(or ideas, conceptions,) without judging. can't help. It is also part of the function of brain. here comes the question, by what standard [are you] judging?


Hey, finally, we're starting to get into a Randian discussion.

quote:
Selfish is not bad word? I say fishsel is not bad words and it means  "self-interest." why  she has to against the common meaning of words?[quote]

I see nothing intrinsically bad about 'selfish'. I see nothing instrinsically bad about 'fishel'. You tell me it means self-interest. Okay. She doesn't go against the common meaning of words, she goes against the Pavlovian reaction that some words trigger.

[quote]Given a chance, she might have said my "words" is not your "words" of definition in your dictionary. than why a new language?


See above.

quote:
Again, you may say that coal was white and it looked white when covered in snow. But when you communicate with others, you have to use common concept, right. Otherwise, you will have to spend life time trying to explain why in your view, that coal was white.


No, this is not correct. Language is based on  a tripartite schema: self, other, and world. Coal is not white so that fails the tripartite schema. In Japan, a whale is called a fish, I call it a mammal. There is no reason for me to call it a fish, there is no reason for them to call it a mammal. We both understand each other, not because we 'have to' use common words or concepts, but because we understand each other's concepts.

How is that possible? Because we share a common world.

It's not that simple, but I hope you get the point.  
Drauntz
Member Elite
since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


23 posted 07-07-2007 07:31 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Sir Brad,

"Anecdote A (true story): A friend at a bar sits talking to a young, attractive lady. It turns out she's 20 and he's 30 and so he passes on her obvious advances. She feels scorned and replies, "Why are you being selfish?""

......why did the lady say "why are you being selfish?"   "regardless of others." who is the others here.

"Anecdote B (yesterday's story): A package from my mother comes yesterday while my wife is at work. My daughter and I open it and most of the stuff is for my daughter. Still, there is one little box with my wife's name on it. My daughter wants to open it, she badgers me to open it. Finally, I tell her to stop being  selfish and to wait for her mother."

why you want to interfere something only related to your mother, your wife. It is not yours at all. You have no right to say that She was behaving selfish. You might ask her to call her grandma or her mother if she could open it. A kind mother might just let a sweet girl to have a peek. Sorry,  she has a such a self-interested father who put his nose into other's business. simply because he wanted to.
"regardless of others."...others=Sir Brad
Drauntz
Member Elite
since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


24 posted 07-07-2007 08:14 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Sir Brad,
"In Japan, a whale is called a fish,"
.....no, it is called クジラ(ku ji la).

"I call it a mammal."  
You may call it anything as long as you can explain it. If I have a chance I will ask you daughter how her father teaches her about the  mammal.  

"There is no reason for me to call it a fish,"
....no, you are right because it is not a fish.

"there is no reason for them to call it a mammal."
why? that is their business.

"We both understand each other,"

...I don't think so.

"not because we 'have to' use common words or concepts, but because we understand each other's concepts."

...because you will draw the same pictures.

so, selfish will have the same picture when 10 people draw it. But you want to draw it differently based on your own interest.

get yourself into trouble again, Sir Brad!!!
 
 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 >> Comparing Rand's and Religious Morality   [ Page: 1  2  3  ] 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