LedRush, on 14 April 2015 - 11:33 AM, said:
TheBluePhoenix, on 13 April 2015 - 07:15 PM, said:
JARG, on 13 April 2015 - 03:29 PM, said:
TheBluePhoenix, on 13 April 2015 - 02:36 PM, said:
JARG, on 13 April 2015 - 01:54 PM, said:
TheBluePhoenix, on 13 April 2015 - 01:38 PM, said:
It’s interesting to me how Ayn Rand is considered insane by some and a genius by others. I read “Anthem” and while I appreciated the message I hated the book itself simply because it was very boring. I felt the same way about “Atlas Shrugged.” It contains lots of great points but she makes those same points over and over and over. It’s just sooooooooooo long. I have not yet read “The Fountainhead’ but it is on my list. I actually prefer to listen to Ayn Rand interviews. There are a handful of interviews on YouTube and I enjoy hearing her philosophy from her own mouth. Here’s a good one from 1959: https://www.youtube....h?v=1ooKsv_SX4Y
Her philosophy is often twisted and considered “ultra-rightwing” when the truth is that she hated conservatives as much if not more than liberals. If anything I think she is closest to a libertarian.
One aspect of her philosophy that her critics like to focus on is “the virtue of selfishness” which many people misunderstand. They assume she meant that you should get whatever you can, be as greedy as you can and don’t share anything with anyone ever which isn’t what she meant at all. What she meant was that putting yourself and your loved ones first is perfectly moral. In other words, if your family is starving and your neighbor’s family is starving you should feed your family first. After you feed your family, if there’s anything left, then giving that to your neighbor is also moral. Giving food to your neighbor first and letting yourself and your family go hungry is very immoral. It’s just like when you’re on an airplane. If the oxygen masks drop they tell you to put your mask on first then help children or others who need help. Why is that? Obviously, if you help others first you may pass out and then you’re of no help to anyone. She was never against charity as long as you don’t sacrifice yourself or your loved ones. She was against the forced charity of income taxes.
I’ll jump off the soapbox now.
Given that she's dead now, she won't be able to answer this question, but why is it moral to see to your own needs before anyone else's? I can see why it's pragmatic, but why is it moral?
She actually covers that very thing at the beginning of the interview that I linked to in my post. Give it a listen. Basically, in Ayn Rand’s philosophy morality is based on reason and logic. It’s not based on faith or emotion.
I listened up to the 7:00 mark. Does she ever get around to saying why
putting your interest ahead of others is immoral? She claims that reason will lead one to an objective morality, and that's a pill many of her followers (or former followers, as I was) unthinkingly swallow, but she never goes beyond assertion.
I’m surprised that you call yourself a former follower of Rand’s yet you don’t seem to know what Objectivism is all about. By the way, you got it backwards. Putting the interests of others
ahead of yours is immoral. That is because when you do you become a sacrificial animal. Do you believe that it is moral to, for example, feed your neighbor’s kids first and let your kids starve? You can take that example to the extreme. If your child and your neighbor’s child were dying of the same disease and you could only save one of them, who would you choose?
I think that he thinks that morality is subjective, and so making a statement that x = moral will usually fail, and at the least needs persuasive reasons for such beliefs.
Rand frequently touted that Objectivist morality is, well, objective. Morals could be "discovered" (and I believe that's actually the word she used from time to time) via reason. It's somewhat tragic that Objectivist ethics fails due to the fact that it hinges on a ridiculous notion.
As I said, I'm down with her metaphysics and epistemology, but her ethics goes off the rails.
The reason why Rand believes it's moral to put ones own interests ahead of anyone else's is because she said so
. It's not like there are morals floating out there in the ether just waiting to be "discovered". Morals are a human mental constructs and are thus completely subjective. They aren't discovered. They're invented/made up.
Edited by JARG, 14 April 2015 - 11:51 AM.