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Atheistic Dilemma - How do you deal with your mortality?
Posted: 06 September 2011 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 151 ]
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Doug, if you want writers who are warm and fuzzy, then do not read Rand.  She brought a new look at individual minds to America.  Her aim was not to entertain her readers but to wake them up to why they needed a plan to achieve whatever they wanted to promote.  In America from the time we are born we are told to love and honor others even when they are terrorists.  We send our kids to school knowing damn well they are being taught to get along and love everyone.  When these kids get out into the real world, they cannot cope and many fall into booze or drugs.  There comes a time when they realize that they as individuals have much more to offer than the warm and fuzzy people others want them to be.  I tend to look at people like Hughes, Douglas, Lear and later on to Gates and Jobs and even Hearst whose legacy is one of billions of dollars given to health charities.  They were more than money makers as the arts, music, architecture projects all had their names on them.  Getty who was a royal pain in the ass did more for art museums in California than most others.  These men had no warm and fuzzy sign to them at any time. 

Through Evolution, the human brain is one of the wonders of the world.  There is no limit to what any human brain can achieve.  My free time is spent listening to and promoting classical music to the rest of the people where ever I live.  Understanding music is like understanding math.  Most Americans learn to understand a melody of 3 or 4 notes repeated over and over.  Voices are not trained to stretch much beyond those 4 notes.  The accompaniment adds a little harmony but always returns to the original 4 notes.  A child of 4 can write this stuff and most people will settle for the simplicity of the whole thing.  It took a trained brain to come up with the Concertos of Mozart or the Masses of Bach.  If I played you an opera from the overture to the finale, you would call it a lot of noise.  If you had to read through a book by Rand, you would be unable to understand it and trash it as has been done here.  Like the operas, Rand’s books have an unfamiliar read. 

I bought a DVD that had Helen Mirren play Ayn Rand and it came off as a tabloid expose’ that was filled with trash about her love life.  It had maybe one minute of her philosophy and I threw it away.  My friend in Arizona wanted it as she never understood a single word Rand every wrote and she thought the movie would clear it up.  My friend reads every tabloid paper at the super market and swears that it is based on the truth.  She thrives on cheap sex stories and she will not get the DVD. 

Rand is not for everyone.  It is simpler to trash her than to understand her promoting individual concepts within the human brain.  I will continue to promote ideal humans in hopes that more of it might rub off on my old brain.  I will not bring Rand up here again.

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Posted: 06 September 2011 02:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 152 ]
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I first heard of Ayn Rand years ago on a Simpsons episode.  Only recently have I read anything about her, or Objectivism.  Rand’s views on self interest and religion/atheism seem very un -controversial to me. The criticisms I have would be,  it seems to me like Objectivism states that absolute morality is inherent to existence, and essentially, the universe is benevolent to humans;  I can’t agree with that.  Otherwise, I don’t get the negative reactions to it.

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Posted: 06 September 2011 02:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 153 ]
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I have spent on a little bit on Ayn Rand’s work but seeing a number of her interviews I cannot say that I care much for them. Whether it was her attack on Palestinians, her damning of the poor and other absurd comments she has made, I cannot say that I have much respect for such thinking. She, infact, shows a very strange likeness to Hitler’s views on Darwinian and radical Nietzschean thinking (her comment on the inferiority of Native Americans and of the Palestinians was very analogous with Hitler’s perspective of the Slavs).

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Posted: 06 September 2011 04:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 154 ]
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Much of what you quote are quotes made by others about her.  I do not have time to research all her words about the world in general.  I am concerned with her words about individual attitudes versus the collective masses of people who could and would never want to understand her.  In my world, the super intelligent people that I deal with are pro what Rand stands for with her individuality.  She has been dead since the early 80s and her following has not slowed down.  It is divided by those too lazy to actually read her words and those who have and will stand by her comments on the expanded brain of the human species.  Hell yes she is anti-Palestine because she is a Jew! 

My job was to introduce Rand into my children’s world.  I put a copy of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead on my piano and told the girls to read one or the other and I would finance their college terms.  Well both girls read both books and took them both off to college.  When I had my bookstore I had a space in my window for Rand’s books and essays.  They sold consistently.  As far as I’m concerned I did what I wanted to do before the girls left home.  Personally I don’t really care if anyone here has taken the time to read and discuss what they have read.

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Posted: 06 September 2011 05:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 155 ]
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Sandy Price - 06 September 2011 09:29 AM

Let me try to explain her selfishness.  Doing and sharing with others is more expressive if it comes from one who wants to share rather than from the pressure of how it looks to others.  I had a lot of time on my hands when I was raising my kids and I got involved in many political groups who concentrated on clearing poverty, hypocrisy, racism and homophobia.  I did it because it made me feel good to do it.  That was my selfishness being expressed.

I have not read Rand’s work so maybe I am missing something, but I think it is silly to call this selfishness. It is an altruistic drive within you to help others. To call it selfishness is just to redefine the word in a confusing way.

Wikipedia:

Selfishness denotes an excessive or exclusive concern with oneself, and as such it exceeds mere self interest or self concern. Insofar as a decision maker knowingly burdens or harms others for personal gain, the decision is selfish.

Besides, wasn’t the term Rand used “rational self-interest”?

[ Edited: 06 September 2011 06:01 PM by domokato ]
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Posted: 06 September 2011 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 156 ]
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domokato - 06 September 2011 05:58 PM
Sandy Price - 06 September 2011 09:29 AM

Let me try to explain her selfishness.  Doing and sharing with others is more expressive if it comes from one who wants to share rather than from the pressure of how it looks to others.  I had a lot of time on my hands when I was raising my kids and I got involved in many political groups who concentrated on clearing poverty, hypocrisy, racism and homophobia.  I did it because it made me feel good to do it.  That was my selfishness being expressed.

I have not read Rand’s work so maybe I am missing something, but I think it is silly to call this selfishness. It is an altruistic drive within you to help others. To call it selfishness is just to redefine the word in a confusing way.

Wikipedia:

Selfishness denotes an excessive or exclusive concern with oneself, and as such it exceeds mere self interest or self concern. Insofar as a decision maker knowingly burdens or harms others for personal gain, the decision is selfish.

Besides, wasn’t the term Rand used “rational self-interest”?

I think she’s describing the idea that helping others makes you feel good, so it is inherently selfish in a way.

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Posted: 06 September 2011 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 157 ]
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“Much of what you quote are quotes made by others about her. “

Sandy, quite the contrary. These are interviews I have seen. I have seen her justify the mass murder of native Americans and the brutality of the Israelis against the Palestinians; I have seen her openly say on interview that a homeless person deserves no sympathy.

This is all very twisted Nietzschean philosophy that takes too much from his “ubermensch” argument (which today is no longer taken too seriously)

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Posted: 06 September 2011 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 158 ]
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TheodorePliske - 06 September 2011 08:23 PM

“Much of what you quote are quotes made by others about her. “

Sandy, quite the contrary. These are interviews I have seen. I have seen her justify the mass murder of native Americans and the brutality of the Israelis against the Palestinians; I have seen her openly say on interview that a homeless person deserves no sympathy.

This is all very twisted Nietzschean philosophy that takes too much from his “ubermensch” argument (which today is no longer taken too seriously)

Homeless people don’t deserve sympathy, nobody does!

[ Edited: 06 September 2011 09:53 PM by mid atlantic ]
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Posted: 07 September 2011 03:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 159 ]
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mid atlantic - 06 September 2011 08:39 PM

Homeless people don’t deserve sympathy, nobody does!

Huh? I’d have thought the proper answer was everyone does, particularly the unfortunate.

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Posted: 07 September 2011 05:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 160 ]
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Sandy Price - 06 September 2011 09:29 AM

Andrew, I am sorry, I misread your signature.  Rand is not easy reading but if you can disregard those who are unable to understand her philosophy, she has much to teach you. 

Let me try to explain her selfishness.  Doing and sharing with others is more expressive if it comes from one who wants to share rather than from the pressure of how it looks to others.  I had a lot of time on my hands when I was raising my kids and I got involved in many political groups who concentrated on clearing poverty, hypocrisy, racism and homophobia.  I did it because it made me feel good to do it.  That was my selfishness being expressed.  I have pursued these selfish actions all my life and I can say with full honesty that my life has been glorious.  Most people live by the actions and reactions of others rather than what comes from their hearts. 

Yes indeed, Rand was selfish and so am I.  My youngest daughter went to Berkeley (University of California) and Dr. Leonard Piekoff was engaged as a visiting professor and the student body was delighted.  When Berkeley discovered who Dr. Piekoff was (Rand’s heir) they cancelled his lecture.  The student body was furious and they rented a large assembly room and gathered up donations and hired him on their own.  My daughter is in her mid 40s and still understands the philosophy of Objectivism. 

America has slipped into the illusion that we all are religious in some way.  That has denigrated Rand and as you can read the above, it even happens in places of freethinking like CFI.  I have always made up my own mind what I read, what I smoke, eat, drink and the style that I chose to live.

Sandy, for a book to have caused such a response, that in and of itslef is recommendation enough for me. I once recommended a song to a friend, we had always had similar tastes, I was sure she would love the track as I did. She didn’t like it at all, her repsonse was it just didn’t do it for me.

The point I am hoping to make is that my friend listened to it based on my recommendation and our similar taste in music, she didn’t like it but she did listen to it. Which is what I will do in this instance.

I may or may not enjoy the read, I won’t really know until I read it will I?

PS

No need for apologies re my name, I was fairly sure you were addressing me..Oh and although I am very new here, I’m sure the good people of CFI wouldn’t wish for you to not mention her again!

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Posted: 07 September 2011 05:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 161 ]
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dougsmith - 07 September 2011 03:58 AM
mid atlantic - 06 September 2011 08:39 PM

Homeless people don’t deserve sympathy, nobody does!

Huh? I’d have thought the proper answer was everyone does, particularly the unfortunate.

I would have thought so too! Were you implying that we shouldn’t feel sympathy becasue feeling sorry for people doesn’t necessarily change their situation? Or that we should be empathetic rather than sympathetic?
Andrew

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Posted: 07 September 2011 06:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 162 ]
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Apparently, many here would prefer that we humans act, think, and live all in the same way.  We are not zoo animals!  I did not have a television until my kids were out of the nest as I expected better language from their ability to think and talk.  I caught a radio interview 40 years ago where the questions posed to Rand were insulting and way off the mark.

If you give a dozen humans Rand’s works, and I mean all of them, and then give these folks a test you will see that they react to Rand’s words as they were raised to understand.  Those who were raised to believe that we are put on the earth by God, to assist each other through life.  There might be one who was raised as a free thinker.  I heard her only once in person and I had read all her essays, her prized play that she wrote in college, and her published output. 

For me she filled in the blanks of what was missing in my life.  I have everything.  I was married to a well-known Nuclear Physics professor in a home that could be called a mansion.  He brought a son into the marriage who I adored.  I gave him 2 intelligent girls.  What on earth could be missing in my life?  I was missing me!

I was alive only during political elections.  I loved politics and opened my home and facilities to fund raisers and did some planning to have a couple of parties at the estate across the street.  That home was owned by John Wayne.  But what did I do between the elections.  Rand opened the door for me to understand why I had this desire to work for others.  You can call it altruism but where did that begin.  This was the time when M.L.King was pushing for equal rights for African Americans.  I put my family in harm’s way by standing up for the individual rights of all Americans.

As the years went by I worked for women’s rights and then gay rights.  I discovered at this time that enemy of human rights came directly out of the Christian churches.  I drove for the blind groups and found myself taking them to the meetings of the John Birch Society.  That was one of the ugliest groups on this planet.  What the drove me into this passion for individual rights?  JOY!

I learned from Rand the real meaning of joy.  I used to sit my girls down and we talked about made us feel joyful.  They used to come home from school with their list of what brought them joy. 

I used Rand to guide me in recognizing what was in my mind/brain and that brought a load of joy.  But I never judged anyone else on what drove them to do the things they did.  The glory of the human species is the diversity.  I am selfish enough to continue to do what brings joy.  I selfishly took from Rand what I was missing but I shared with my own kids and allowed them to free think what make rational sense for them. 

Just had a power out here and will post this without a spell check and hope for the best.

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Posted: 07 September 2011 03:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 163 ]
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amygdala101 - 07 September 2011 05:14 AM
dougsmith - 07 September 2011 03:58 AM
mid atlantic - 06 September 2011 08:39 PM

Homeless people don’t deserve sympathy, nobody does!

Huh? I’d have thought the proper answer was everyone does, particularly the unfortunate.

I would have thought so too! Were you implying that we shouldn’t feel sympathy becasue feeling sorry for people doesn’t necessarily change their situation? Or that we should be empathetic rather than sympathetic?
Andrew

The idea that anybody is deserving or undeserving of anything is based on personal feelings; it’s useless to place some big value on it, because someone will always disagree, and then someone will disagree with them for disagreeing, and so on.  Sympathy is a drug for some people-they get high off it;  basically it “shows” that you are concerned about their feelings. Thats nice, but IMO it’s not something that makes or breaks anything.

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Posted: 08 September 2011 04:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 164 ]
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Mid-Atlantic, Am I correct in assuming that your objections are to the word “deserving”
If that is indeed the case, I would agree entirely.

Sandy.

I have read one or two of Ayn Rands articles, I also watched the lecture given by Dr Peikoff, which was very informative. I fouund myslef nodding in agreement with many things he had to say, yet I also had moments of head shaking.

In relation to the original topic, I can see for sure, how Ayn Rands ethos of being Charitiable, can help with ones mortality, in that it can help to support ones meaning and purpose, which I hold dear as a factor in my “Meaning of Life”

This has been an interesting debate, much has been learned, and I thnak all participants for that.
Andrew

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Posted: 10 September 2011 07:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 165 ]
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I strongly disagree with Ayn Rand’s philosophy. She did not appreciate homo sapiens as a social species. She also failed to take into account how wealth becomes power, a problem that has been magnified many times over since she was writing. In the global economy, where all the parts of the economy are interdependent, her vision of laissez-faire capitalism is absurd, and will lead to disaster if practiced. That is why no developed countries are following her prescription, current right wing rhetoric in the United States notwithstanding.

Humanists understand that values and ethics depend on context. Like every other value, individual responsibility has to be seen in context. Rand was an absolutist and an extremist. That is why her work does more harm than good.

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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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