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Zequatanil

Egotism/altruism

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``Men have been taught that the ego is the synonym of evil, and selflessness the ideal of virtue. But the creator is the egotist in the absolute sense, and the selfless man is the one who does not think, feel, judge or act. These are functions of the self.

Here the basic reversal is most deadly. The issue has been perverted and man has been left no alternative—and no freedom. As poles of good and evil, he was offered two conceptions: egotism and altruism.

Egotism-- was held to mean the sacrifice of others to self.

Altruism—the sacrifice of self to others.

This tied man irrevocably to other men and left him nothing but a choice of pain: his own pain borne for the sake of others or pain inflicted upon others for the sake of self. When it was added that man must find joy in self-immolation, the trap was closed. Man was forced to accept masochism as his ideal—under the threat that sadism was his only alternative. This was the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind.``

http://www.nasonart....untainhead.html

The above exert is from Roarke`s courtroom speech from the Fountainhead.

How do you feel about objectivism of Ayn Rand? Life seems to be based on one or the other for each of us according to her--is she correct in that assumption? Which path is correct for us to follow as humans? The saints I think would follow the altruist way, but great leaders follow the egotist way--there are exceptions ofcourse. Is there an in between for today? What does our choice depend on? What determines it? Looking at the world of money and power one gets to think that perhaps the lines are drawn--in my view.

blessings and peace,

S

Edited by sarkany

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Well, I think I'll leave Ayn Rand out of the picture as I never was a great fan of her writing or philosophies. She seemed to be another one like Nietzsche that had it all summed up into neat little boxes that were in essence, full of holes due to the authors own egotism. But aside from that, the posit that one must be either be an egotist or altruist is basically a good point and how I think most of Humanity divides itself, even if they don't know it.

Self dependency is about the only thing I can think of that would allow one to be free of either ego or altruistic tendencies, however there would not be much of a society if everyone were to be a hermit. I've known two true, modern day hermits in my life and let's just say they were both real characters that captivated one's imagination, living in the wilds of Northern California.

However, given a choice between being altruistic and/or an egotist, well not much of a choice as there's only one answer for me...altruism. My personal view, having known many egotists in my life, is that they miss the real "Big Picture" because they have no concept of the wonderful feeling a person gets from the simple act of giving.

There's a huge movement going on right now, and has been for years, to bring "Peace" to the world and that takes the majority of people being altruists, imo. Selfless giving unto all in need... whatever their needs may be as even the ridiculously rich have 'needs'.

I'm certain there is someone here on the forum, far smarter than me, that can give us the intermediary term of what this third option would be for us. I look forward to that response.

Blessings Be,

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However, given a choice between being altruistic and/or an egotist, well not much of a choice as there's only one answer for me...altruism. My personal view, having known many egotists in my life, is that they miss the real "Big Picture" because they have no concept of the wonderful feeling a person gets from the simple act of giving.

There's a huge movement going on right now, and has been for years, to bring "Peace" to the world and that takes the majority of people being altruists, imo. Selfless giving unto all in need... whatever their needs may be as even the ridiculously rich have 'needs'.

I'm certain there is someone here on the forum, far smarter than me, that can give us the intermediary term of what this third option would be for us. I look forward to that response.

Blessings Be,

I agree with you totally--

When I was in my early twenties I was introduced to the philosophy as the person that suggested I read the books as he thought that I was far too altruistic. I admired him greatly, what he said I considered gospel--so I read all the books. Then being young and stupid, especially being totally full of myself and thinking I should do more for myself. I tought that he was probably right about his observation regarding me. However, as time went, actually a very short time I have to add, I found it less and less appealing as I found out whom I really was, and above all what is important in life. The philosophy was totally against my nature, and I soon became rather disenchanted--but it was a good exercise for self examination.

The problem is, that she is right about the ways of the world--especially about the movers and the shakers of the world, most of them anyway. It is the human consciousness that needs changing, but as you say we are slowly moving towards that position. Maybe as we become more spiritually oriented we can make changes by changing one soul at a time. I don`t know if that is possible at all.

I suppose I am an altruistic :crazyeyes: pacifist :clown: This makes me feel I am doing my thing for the planet--but I don`t own a billion dollar yacht like the Russian billionaire--but come to think of it, I don`t really want to--`there is no luggage rack on a hearse`,as my grandfather used to say .

peace,

S

Edited by sarkany

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In the first place egotism as defined by Ayn Rand does not incluce the sacrafice of anyone to self so that idea is a false premise from which the conversation descends.

If altruism makes one happy is that not of itself egotism?

If altruism makes one happy to give then why are there people willing to use force to make us give? non-sequitor.

Consider the idea of "two thank you's". Also known as free trade where there is agreement about what passes from each to the other.

An example might be: You buy a morning coffee. You want the coffee more than you want the $2.00 and the shop wants the $2.00 more than they want the coffee. Is anyone harmed? Of course not. And it doesn't require an egotist nor an altruist to be involved. Perhaps there is the logical "middle ground".

AV: Maybe as we become more spiritually oriented we can make changes by changing one soul at a time. I don`t know if that is possible at all. It is already happening all around the world in 90 languages, but we still have a lot of work to do.

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In the first place egotism as defined by Ayn Rand does not incluce the sacrafice of anyone to self so that idea is a false premise from which the conversation descends.

--true, but it is mind of equals at plays that she talks about--or presumes. Which would be fair and great if that were the case

If altruism makes one happy is that not of itself egotism?

--I don`think that. I do not tie in happiness with egotism but more with love. If I give it makes my heart feel good, to me that is reflection of love. If I am happy about making a dollar of a person dishonestly and I am happy--that I do not equate with love.

If altruism makes one happy to give then why are there people willing to use force to make us give? non-sequitor.

--It makes some happy, but there are all sorts in the world that is why the world is in a mess. But then who is forcing us to give--who are those people?

Consider the idea of "two thank you's". Also known as free trade where there is agreement about what passes from each to the other.

An example might be: You buy a morning coffee. You want the coffee more than you want the $2.00 and the shop wants the $2.00 more than they want the coffee. Is anyone harmed? Of course not. And it doesn't require an egotist nor an altruist to be involved. Perhaps there is the logical "middle ground".

--but what if I want a coffee and I don`t have the $2.00? It is fine when you are talking of equals, but some cannot help not being on the same level. How do they fit into this equation. I am a hardworker, I lose my job, house--now what can I do--even if I do want to work? This is where I find it comes in. And most don`t have that $2.00 figuratively speaking. If we were all equal I would agree. But in today`s world some are more equal than others--always has been.

AV: Maybe as we become more spiritually oriented we can make changes by changing one soul at a time. I don`t know if that is possible at all. It is already happening all around the world in 90 languages, but we still have a lot of work to do.

--the language is not the point, neither is country--it is man and the lack of love for one an other--this is what I think. Much, much work. :derisive: Rand`s philosophy can only work if all are given equal chances. Otherwise it is all about the survival of the fittest in any manner--and that is, well in my view a function of ego, which for me blocks much function of spirit .

blessings ,

S

Edited by sarkany

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I find this interesting--who said objectivism is dead :derisive: it is alive and well it seems.

Back in 2005, an up-and-coming lawmaker named Paul Ryan credited the polemical novelist and libertarian Ayn Rand as a central inspiration for his entry into public life. Ryan toiled in those days in relative obscurity, a well-respected but low-profile member of the House of Representatives.

By the spring of 2012, the boyish congressman had become a Republican star, widely named as a possible vice presidential pick. He also had become considerably less comfortable being linked to the controversial Rand, an atheist with a tartly Darwinian world view.

As Ryan and the Republicans look to define the new vice presidential choice’s brand, part of the commentary will be about just how Randian (read: unsympathetic to the weak) the candidate really is.

Ayn Rand wrote the bestselling “Atlas Shrugged.” She also encouraged the world’s “makers” to pursue “rational self interest” as “the highest moral purpose of [one's] life,” while giving little care to the nefarious “takers.”

Journalists who have recently written about Ryan suggested that his infatuation with the Russian émigré author, who died in 1982 at age 77, has hardly waned. The favorite son of Wisconsin has recently been insisting that his embrace of Rand amounted to a youthful infatuation. In an April interview with the National Review, Ryan said that the reports linking him to Rand were essentially “an urban legend.”

“I reject her philosophy,” Ryan told Robert Costa of the National Review. “It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview.” He added that he had merely “enjoyed a couple of her novels,” which also included another bestseller, “The Fountainhead.”

But Ryan made no bones about his philosophical influences just a few years ago. He told the Weekly Standard in 2003 that he gave his staffers copies of “Atlas Shrugged” as Christmas presents. Speaking to a group of Rand acolytes in 2005, Ryan said, “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand. And the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism.”

Even three years ago, Tim Mak of Politico noted, Ryan channeled Rand. “What’s unique about what’s happening today in government, in the world, in America, is that it’s as if we’re living in an Ayn Rand novel right now,” Ryan said. “I think Ayn Rand did the best job of anybody to build a moral case of capitalism, and that morality of capitalism is under assault.”

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-vp-paul-ryan-ayn-rand-20120811,0,1175099.story

blessings and peace,

S

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Sarkany wrote: Ayn Rand wrote the bestselling “Atlas Shrugged.” She also encouraged the world’s “makers” to pursue “rational self interest” as “the highest moral purpose of [one's] life,” while giving little care to the nefarious “takers.”

Perhaps the word not understood here is "rational" as it relates to self-interest. A person must align all of his dynamics to live his optimum life. No rational person ignores the remaining seven dynamics with success.

Ayn Rand was an atheist and that, I think, is mistaken but what she wrote is coming to pass in front of our very eyes and so many dismiss it as balderdash or horsepucky because it conflicts with their dreams they have been promised would materialize from liberalism. Those drams can only happen through the efforts of all of us and no takers without work allowed.

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The makers are also the givers in this world. They are the ones who create enough to give to their own stuff to others, and are the true altruists. Giving to others is egotistic if you did not make what you are giving.

I am also hearing more talk of a capital strike if things do not change this year. Atlas is ready to shrug.

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The beauty of capitalism appears when both manufacturers and consumers recognize that their interests are better served by respecting the needs and desires of the other. When either side of the equation feels they have a "right" to profit without respecting the other, it all falls apart. If there is a fair and mutually satisfactory dynamic in a $2 cup of coffee, those who demand it for free and those who charge $4 are equally greedy. They both require someone else make the greater sacrifice in order to enhance their own lives.

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Sorry Kingfisher but I can't make any sense out of that.

If I want your coffee more than I want my money and you want my money more than you want your coffee and we can connect, then there are two smiles of agreement. If too many don't have $2.00 or If too few have coffee, then demand changes and it encourages someone to fill the void. When an opportunity arises in a free market someone will try to do the job needed and wanted by others.

And that is agreement and it is Capitalism and it satisfies everybody except those who want more to be taken from others for their own benefit and they are known as moochers.

Just too simple, I guess.

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Sorry Kingfisher but I can't make any sense out of that.

If I want your coffee more than I want my money and you want my money more than you want your coffee and we can connect, then there are two smiles of agreement. If too many don't have $2.00 or If too few have coffee, then demand changes and it encourages someone to fill the void. When an opportunity arises in a free market someone will try to do the job needed and wanted by others.

And that is agreement and it is Capitalism and it satisfies everybody except those who want more to be taken from others for their own benefit and they are known as moochers.

Just too simple, I guess.

My point was just that if we only consider our wants without considering those around us, we're destroying the very system that provides the satisfaction. If someone is dying of thirst in the desert I could sell them a bottle of water and squeeze them out of every penny they have, but that's completely selfish. They aren't satisfied, they're just desperate. If I make a profit I have successfully advanced, it is not a loss to myself if I could have made more. I wasn't really deriding the shifting dynamic of a capitalist market, only the parasites who would abuse it because they think their self-interest exists independently and without concern for the interests of the society that sustains them. I probably should have had more coffee before I tried to cobble together that analogy. ;)

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And thus my use of the word rational. It is not rational to make ones customers unable to purchase further wants/needs from me and in no way does it exclude charity.

My objection has always been the use of force to take from me ( or anyone ) in order to buy votes from someone who will sell them. That which is taken from me goes under the name of taxes, or fees or penalties or charges, all with various adjectives such as income, excise, driving license, etc that make them seem so innoccent.

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And thus my use of the word rational. It is not rational to make ones customers unable to purchase further wants/needs from me and in no way does it exclude charity.

My objection has always been the use of force to take from me ( or anyone ) in order to buy votes from someone who will sell them. That which is taken from me goes under the name of taxes, or fees or penalties or charges, all with various adjectives such as income, excise, driving license, etc that make them seem so innoccent.

it is if they are also your competitors..

What is force?

If I am starving, and others have food, but will not share, unless I do as they bid, that is a form of force, is it not?

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Are you having fun parsing?

You well know what I was talking about. If you will not co-operate with others, well then get your own food.

Sometimes life seems to really suck, doesn't it?

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scientology puts a good deal of stock in communications. Parsing is important to that, I should think. What if the price is a life time of servitude? And I have no idea what you are talking about. That is why i am asking questions..

Ayn Rand wasn't a scientologist. She was an athiest. Her objectivism is not a scientological objectivism. What she meant by enlightened is not necessarily what you think she meant, or what you mean.

The problem with viewing the potential of Ayn Rands objectivism through a spectrum of Scientology is that Scientology takes the position that, while everyone can achieve an understanding of the eight dynamics, leading to a well balanced world view and good decisions, most people don't. And likely won't anytime soon. So advocating objectivism in this enviroment doesn't seem to be in keeping with the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics..

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This highly fascinates me --I never knew that Greenspan was such a disciple of Ayn Rand. I find it very interesting .

"Alan is my disciple," she declared. "He's my man in Washington." said Ayn Rand.

Somewhere, the Matriarch of Objectivism must be spinning in her grave.

Almost since his retirement as Fed chairman in 2006, Greenspan has faced intense criticism that his actions helped cause the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.

And his own longstanding ties to Rand have stirred new controversy over what role her ideas might have played in the crisis, showing ironically how important a thinker she remains, nearly three decades after her death.

http://articles.marketwatch.com/2010-06-19/news/30778323_1_greenspan-ayn-rand-nathaniel-branden

peace,

S

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How do you feel about objectivism of Ayn Rand?

I have yet to hear or read an effective, actionable and sustainable alternative to her adaptation of this basic conservative philosophy. Utopian alternatives don't exist for long, and are an antithesis to natural human endeavor. This falls on deaf ears when presented in terms of voting criteria, however.....which means we're screwed!!

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if it were antithetical to human endeavour, it wouldn't happen.

if it were antithetical to human endeavour, it wouldn't happen.

Don't you just wish that were true.

There are fools all around us who don't know truth from fiction. You have accused me of that often enough although I will say not directly. more subtle approach usually.

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