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New member, and I have a question for you all!
Posted: 04 March 2012 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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Hey everyone,
But I have been reading a lot about Ayn Rand, and I tend to agree that people need to pursue happiness based, preeminently, on self-interest.

This is classic Ayn Rand. Who can argue that pursuing self interest will make you happy? Well, apparently researchers can. There is tons of research that shows that people who relentlessly pursue money or even their own selfish goals are LESS happy than people with *enough* money (to be comfortable) and who engage in altruistic acts on a regular basis.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0725/p13s02-lire.html

http://www.squidoo.com/brain-effects-of-altruism


>>> The above exchange is beautiful.  Two serious, earnest folk without a clue what they’re talking about.  Show evidence of unhappiness when an individual pursues ‘rational self-interest’ as opposed to ‘greed’ or ‘irrational, emotional’ self-interest?  First of all, nothing guarantees happiness which is subjective.  Sacrifice and greed absolutely lead to serious problems that are not in the rational self-interest.

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Posted: 05 March 2012 09:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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Jon,


OK Jon now ask yourself- is there anything in all that verbiage you’ve just read that in any way rebuts my original criticism of Rand, which was, she’s pretending to have uncovered   empirical facts about the world , many of which are controversial to say the least, yet has done exactly zero science ?


This is how Randers are- hostile, furious, accusing, etc etc but aside from having endured a monster gale of rhetoric, was anything said that was an effective rebuttal?

 

By the way, there’s just tons of stuff out there like this, but below is the freedom loving Ayn Rand holding forth in all her enlightenment of the subject the Native Americans.

 

At least one of the many general problems with her thinking is on full display here, the one I mentioned above.  Despite the existence of serious scholarship by anthropologists, historians and archaeologists who knew something about Native American cultures, Rand feels she needs none of it. Instead, her Objectivist philosophy and the power of her reason is enough to recommend the course of action and the attitude society should take with and towards Native Americans.

 


Who needs things like knowledge of empirical facts - that is to say science- when you can just start reasoning from first principles and get at the answer the fast way?

 

Why bother spending your squatting in some hot desert dusting off the broken remains of an ancient village , working to piece together the reality of a past civilization and culture when they were just “a bunch of savages” with “no concept of property rights” ?

 


So based on her extensive knowledge which she acquired from her deep commitment to scholarship and respect for objective facts,  she sums up all the various Native American culture as:  “a group of tribesmen (who) are the slaves of their tribal chief ”  then let’s go with   ” I believe (in) .... the most unsympathetic Hollywood portrayal of Indians”, noting that ” they had no concept of rights”  and they “live like animals or cavemen”.


It’s important to note these aren’t some one off remarks overheard at a cocktail party on a subject of little import. 


First it was her prepared speech   to the graduating West Point class of 1974 . 


Second it was made during the important and deeply consequential plight of the Native Americans had been thrust into the national spotlight by the Wounded Knee Incident . When she started in like this, our nation was in the middle of having an impassioned conversation about how we should treat Native Americans.  Tensions were high and people were literally losing their lives.


Into this scene wades Ayn Rand , fearless as ever,  squirting off her misshapen rhetoric, her microcephalic venom onto   contemporary American discourse thusly:

Now, I don’t care to discuss the alleged complaints American Indians have against this country. I believe, with good reason, the most unsympathetic Hollywood portrayal of Indians and what they did to the white man.


They had no right to a country merely because they were born here and then acted like savages.


The white man did not conquer this country. And you’re a racist if you object, because it means you believe that certain men are entitled to something because of their race.


You believe that if someone is born in a magnificent country and doesn’t know what to do with it, he still has a property right to it. He does not. Since the Indians did not have the concept of property or property rights—they didn’t have a settled society, they had predominantly nomadic tribal “cultures”—they didn’t have rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights that they had not conceived of and were not using.

It’s wrong to attack a country that respects (or even tries to respect) individual rights. If you do, you’re an aggressor and are morally wrong. But if a “country” does not protect rights—if a group of tribesmen are the slaves of their tribal chief—why should you respect the “rights” that they don’t have or respect?

 

The same is true for a dictatorship. The citizens in it have individual rights, but the country has no rights and so anyone has the right to invade it, because rights are not recognized in that country; and no individual or country can have its cake and eat it too—that is, you can’t claim one should respect the “rights” of Indians, when they had no concept of rights and no respect for rights.

 

But let’s suppose they were all beautifully innocent savages—which they certainly were not. What were they fighting for, in opposing the white man on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existnece; for their “right” to keep part of the earth untouched—to keep everybody out so they could live like animals or cavemen. Any European who brought with him an element of civilization had the right to take over this continent, and it’s great that some of them did. The racist Indians today—those who condemn America—do not respect individual rights.
{/quote]

 

 

[ Edited: 05 March 2012 05:31 PM by softwarevisualization]
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Posted: 05 March 2012 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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No rebuttal is necessary if your statements are not even address the reality of objectivism which defers to science, it doesn’t deny or by pass science.  My original response was that your characterization of objectivism is inaccurate.

The Rand quotes you’re excerpting are not from any of her published philosophical works and reflect her personal opinion that she is entitled to.  Surprisingly, I find myself pretty much agreeing with everything she said above, if indeed she did say it.  As an individualist how can one have respect with regard to any mystical, tribal, collective society!  It’s a horrible anti-human, anti-individual, primitive, violent, pre-scientific existence and hopefully most humans have passed through that stage, advanced and moved on.  The few who haven’t are actually begging for the world’s help.  Tribalism not a lifestyle to glorify, glamorize or revel in.  It may be politically incorrect to talk as bluntly as Rand but it’s not a factually incorrect statement at all.  I suppose you believe in the mystical concept of ‘sacred ground’ or god-given rights to own property?  Are you suggesting that the American Indians had sacred ‘rights’ to North America that were taken away?

Again, moral relativist reject any kind of objectivity.  I don’t care if anybody here is ‘converted’ or ‘turned away’ from Rand’s ideas.  My entire point is think for yourself and investigate the source for yourself if you want to learn.  Don’t listen to the knee jerk, uniform criticisms of Rand- the exact same ones that are quoted verbatim.  Notice the critics never quote from her actual published works that actually represent her philosophy.  For instance, she spoke out in favor of gay rights in the 60’s but when asked her personal opinion, she was pretty derogatory.  I think it’‘s irrelevant if she respected the gay sexual act or not, it’s the fact that she properly identified their rights.  Let everyone decide for themselves what’s valid or not.  The first response to this seemingly innocent post was reactionary, derogatory and factually wrong from the first sentence!  That’s all I’m responding to.  I have no interest in lecturing, educating or personally insulting anyone here, just expressing myself.  One question, why does everyone on this thread assume that everybody must agree with a certain agenda and there is only way to think and that if you don’t agree, one is ‘unscientific’?  There is considerable debate right now in science regarding ‘free will,’ ‘quantum physics’ and whole host of other subjects where great scientists are in disagreement.  To suggest that Rand’s ideas have been written off are inaccurate and premature.

[ Edited: 05 March 2012 10:12 AM by mormovies]
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Posted: 05 March 2012 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Surprisingly, I find myself pretty much agreeing with everything she said above, if indeed she did say


mormovies, you make my job too easy . Have a nice life.

[ Edited: 05 March 2012 05:29 PM by softwarevisualization]
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Posted: 05 March 2012 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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I will have a nice life because I will never stop questioning nor attach myself to a trendy or popular agenda for the convenience of not having to think.  So long.

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Posted: 07 March 2012 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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Excellent!  I’m happy too because I just picked up Sam’s new book, FREE WILL!

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Posted: 02 May 2012 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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I was a bit torn about having to read something from this Ayn Rand person, but the speech software provided pretty much did it for me. I’m not saying the White Man should have never crossed the Atlantic Ocean. That would be stupid. Fact is, nobody had a “right” to the land. The word “right” in itself is an oxymoron in this regard. It describes something innate to an entity for being what it is, but the idea is an artifact and can only be upheld in our artificial environment. To note: The native Americans had their own rights in their own artificial environments. Also, Native Americans only became nomads AFTER the White Man drove them from their environments. And I’m not glorifying tribal society. Native Americans did wage war on one another. The only things that seperate the “civilized” man from the “savages” are the holier-than-thou attitude and the level of technology.

On these grounds I will safely assume that I do not need to rread anything else from this Rand person, and if Moronmovies says I have a holier-than-thou attitude, then eat your Ayn Rand and politely choke on it

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Posted: 02 May 2012 08:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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“On these grounds I will safely assume that I do not need to rread anything else from this Rand person, and if Moronmovies says I have a holier-than-thou attitude, then eat your Ayn Rand and politely choke on it”

I don’t represent anyone’s view other than my own!  I don’t represent Rand and my opinions do not reflect hers.  A key point of Rand’s philosophy is that the individual is the basic unit, the smallest minority and that ‘tribalism’ and viewing people as groups or tribes instead of as individuals is not moral.  Individuals have rights, not groups.  Tribes consisting of any ethnic group do not have rights the supersede the rights of each individual of that group. I assure you that the American Indians slaughtered the previous civilization for their land.  I’m not condoning violence but it’s not unique to the white man and nobody has a god-given claim on a piece of dirt and, yes, survival applies to the human animal as well as to all animals.  Thank you for the advice but I prefer not to choke, politely or otherwise.  The most derogatory thing I will say on this board is, think for yourself.  Read what you want but don’t pretend to know what you haven’t read.

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Posted: 03 May 2012 12:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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“Granted slavery might be the ‘lesser evil’ compared to a ‘greater evil’ but it NEVER becomes moral and a rational value by a rational thinking human!”

Perhaps I failed to explain fully. Tribe “A” is non-aggressive, but live on some prime real estate that tribe “B” wants. Tribe B attacks A and loses. Tribe a figures they’ve learned their lesson, but B hasn’t, and as soon as they’re strong enough, they attack again, and lose again. Now tribe A realize they have a problem.  It seems that tribe B isn’t going to “learn” anything, and that as soon as they’re strong enough, they will attack again. I ask you, what is the “moral, rational” solution to tribe A’s problem?

Actually, we have similar problems today in our society. We have a percentage of the population who are violent criminals, (for whatever reason),  who cannot be rehabilitated, and if allowed to remain in society, will cause great harm to others and their property. Do we kill them, or take away their ability to do harm by taking away their freedom, in effect, enslaving them? What is the moral, rational solution for dealing with sociopaths?

Hey, I agree with you that slavery, in most forms, (the most recent I can think of that was perpetrated on innocents was the draft), is morally wrong, but there are exceptions.

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Posted: 03 May 2012 08:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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I understand what you’re saying and agree it’s a problem.  But it can only be moral to ‘enslave’ or use force against those who initiate it.  We imprison or enslave only after an individual has violated an innocent person’s rights, well being or life.

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Posted: 03 May 2012 09:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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mormovies - 02 May 2012 08:27 PM

“On these grounds I will safely assume that I do not need to rread anything else from this Rand person, and if Moronmovies says I have a holier-than-thou attitude, then eat your Ayn Rand and politely choke on it”

I don’t represent anyone’s view other than my own!  I don’t represent Rand and my opinions do not reflect hers.  A key point of Rand’s philosophy is that the individual is the basic unit, the smallest minority and that ‘tribalism’ and viewing people as groups or tribes instead of as individuals is not moral.  Individuals have rights, not groups.  Tribes consisting of any ethnic group do not have rights the supersede the rights of each individual of that group. I assure you that the American Indians slaughtered the previous civilization for their land.  I’m not condoning violence but it’s not unique to the white man and nobody has a god-given claim on a piece of dirt and, yes, survival applies to the human animal as well as to all animals.  Thank you for the advice but I prefer not to choke, politely or otherwise.  The most derogatory thing I will say on this board is, think for yourself.  Read what you want but don’t pretend to know what you haven’t read.

Understandable that you only saw the part where I tied the entire subject to your person. If you didn’t represent Rand’s philosophy - I wouldn’t go so far to give it the sophisticated word, world view is much more the case - you sure are doing it now. You don’t have to assure anyone what the “Indians” did to the “Americans”, obviously Hollywood has preserved that part of history all too well. If you picked up a book, thogh, you would find that for instance L. H. Morgan, a lawyer in the 19th century, defended a tribe of Indians against the American Railroad company, who had royally screwed the tribe. Sound familiar? L.H. Morgan is not so much known for winning the lawsuit, but for his theory on the development of human societies, which is one of the main pillars of the modernisation theory in foreign development, and for his field studies on the family structures of native americans, which inspired a chapter in Karl Marx’ theory of modern capitalism.

About thinking for myself: my life - and pretty much everybody elses life - is governed by facts that are far beyond our knowledge, let alone control. Even as an anti-authoritarian, one must rely on foreign sources to develop a model of the world. I choose people with a Ph.D, not people who say that whoever opposes them is “bad”, like this Rand person very much likely does, according to the speech Sware provided.

[ Edited: 03 May 2012 09:24 PM by Ancoron]
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Posted: 03 May 2012 10:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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“... like this Rand person very much likely does, according to the speech Sware provided.”

Your second-hand argument is going nowhere.  At least know firsthand what you’re objecting to.

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Posted: 04 May 2012 12:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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mormovies - 03 May 2012 10:47 PM

“... like this Rand person very much likely does, according to the speech Sware provided.”

Your second-hand argument is going nowhere.  At least know firsthand what you’re objecting to.

if you were talking I’d say you sound like a broken record

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Posted: 05 May 2012 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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I call it ‘consistency.’

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Posted: 06 May 2012 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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call it what you want to, since you’re not bringing your point across AND you seem to be in the minority on this, you might want to change your angle. Or just let it be. I can acknowledge that you find Ayn Rand’s world view worth defending, but don’t try to convert us when it’s pointless.

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