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whYNOT

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  1. Sometimes it is necessary re-state the obvious. Everything in and about Objectivism is ... objective. Existence is met with the identifying consciousness which also has identity. No less, the ethics of rational selfishness, an ethics that isn't any arbitrary construct by Rand (because it makes an individual feel righteous, or superior, for example). That may initially 'put out' individualists to know that their egoism is derived from an "objective" standard of value - man's life, not 'a standard' inherent in themselves and by their own lives. What might ~appear~ compromising of and dismissive to each one's own, ultimate value, is the exact opposite. It affirms one's "ultimate value", incontrovertibly. Only a conceptual 're-alignment' is needed to straighten the misconception. Rand removed her ethics from any hint of the primacy of consciousness or mysticism - which is the nature of all other moral systems. This ethical code of values is uniquely all primacy of existence.
  2. Eric, I know the rigmarole involved in trying to argue against (or for, for that matter) Kant. What he said, what he meant, what one scholar interprets, or another. And so on. There's enough of that with a clear and forthright, objective philosopher, Rand. So I'm not going to delve back into Kantian scholars' writing again and certainly not going to painfully try to understand his premises from his perspective again. I'll argue from an objective pov. If one takes a step back and looks at this subject clearly, there is only one question: Why? Who declared, and by what moral right, that a man has any dutiful/inclined/assumed morality to another? In fact, to do ~anything~ for others? (Rhetorical. Enter whomever you like: Jesus, Comte, Rousseau, Marx, Kant...by God's orders, the Society's, the Universe's - etc. ) Does each individual have his own life and mind, or not? There's a ton of presumptions, based tacitly upon individual value,** in every ethics which - in any way or form - advocates or involves the "other". How to deal with, get on with, help (on occasions, by choice) etc. etc. - other individuals and people, is actually the easiest behavior to habitually practice. There is nothing to it but some simple good manners, basic respect and perceived individual value. Observing others' rights comes easy, too. Men don't need an ethical system for that. **Stolen Concept Fallacy; dependent on the concept "individual value" in order to undermine an individual's moral value in himself in favor of an automatic, moral value system for any and all collective "others"..
  3. Well, you have to admit "a duty to cultivate our inclinations", is a massive self-contradiction. How does one's mind distort what an individual self-interestedly wants and chooses to do - into an act of "duty"? Similarly, how does a duty-bound individual fake himself into believing he's acting dutifully from "inclination"? Not for long, as we know from observation of mankind, benevolence cannot last under these conditions. 'Forced' good will. But one can see Kant's ultimate end, the collective good, his concept of a harmonious society: a control of men through their obedient self-control, iow self-abnegation. However Kant justifies all this, the premises and consequences of his doctrine are and will be self-lessness.
  4. When you properly allocate to man *an identity* and his existence, there's no such thing as the Form life. "Man's life" is then concrete, conceptualized - grasped - by a mind in the abstract. "Man" is every instance of those who have that identity ever possible, now, future and past. "Life" is every instance of "a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action". Put them together, man and life, "man's life".
  5. "Range of consciousness" - IS proportionate to the range of actions - actions, in man's case, which ARE necessary to the survival of "man qua man". Draw the connection yourself. Range of consciousness - range of action - man's consciousness - his range of action - therefore -man's survival (qua man not qua insect/beast). You were saying? 'Misconstrued' and 'misrepresented', yes: that should be the topic's title. Now you misrepresent my words, in order to pick at me. At least now you're endeavouring to accurately represent Rand.
  6. If you'd look back over this, I brought in Rand's "organism" as a possible cause of confusion. I said (from memory) :"it threw me too, at the time" and for some while. Very important, to allay confusion, to distinguish "organism'" ("The standard is the organism's life") -- from "man" and standard of value. An amoeba, etc. doesn't know, it just lives or dies. Good, ta Eioul.
  7. Eric, Once more I recognize what you relate interpreting Kant, simply his whole lot of equivocation about moral worth and duty. Always, you'll know, stressing the 'other' (as one's standard of moral value, I add). Since you've studied both, you know how alien this is in Objectivism. There is and must be, objectively, "inclination" (perceived value) in one's helping hand for others. One sees another's plight, identifies, evaluates, feels sympathy and responds to the disvalue of their circumstance. And right, takes pleasure in seeing them regain their footing. Or, if not of personal value, one doesn't ~have~ to help. Without "inclination", all one has is resentful or guilty self-sacrifice, and sacrifice of others for oneself. And Kant wanted his moral duty "universalized" (projected) by the individual himself, as well. AND, "the good will" is all. No matter whether one's acts are actually concretized, merely having the good intention is enough. Call me delusional, but what I see (universally) today, is much of the above. While not all Kant's doing, there are others. But everywhere you look today is the overwhelming, unquestioned meme of duty to 'others' - and one's life is not one's own. Plenty of hypocritical "virtue-signalling", which never adds up to anything - the display is what counts...
  8. An Objectivist overhears the conversation and decides to interject... An analogy about gardening, bee-keeping, playing sport ...whatever- is simply that - analogous; illustrating one's point - not an argument. A respondent is not duty bound to reply in kind, or to continue in imprecise metaphors which must eventually conceal rather than enlighten, and is entitled to transpose that into terms of what the analogy *means* in actuality and reason, its premises and consequences. Yup, me too. "I've about had it" with the misrepresentation going on of Objectivist ethics: of what Rand actually meant and concisely, constantly and repeatedly wrote. But further, beyond her thinking, what any O'ist conceptualist should indenpendently recognize as true to reality, man and existence, derived from his thinking and experience. If anyone is looking for a nicely simplified, 'logical syllogism' to condense Objectivist ethics -- look deeper . Rand's explication is comprehensive and needs to be - resting on metaphysical reality and abstracted, "conceptual logic". Fact -> value; Reality is the standard of reason. Man's life is the standard of value.
  9. Hey Eiuol. Looking through All Activity, I can't find the thread I started, "Man's life or your life?" ?
  10. It is of course the same subject. Standard of value: man's life or your own life? A tall tree in the forest sees how tall is he is, looking down upon those other puny trees - and declares to the forest: "My height is the standard of height, by which all trees are to be measured". Still don't get it? Subjectivism and relativism?
  11. Do you believe it's politeness to begin a topic which obviously refers to my topic, almost quoting me verbatim? Mimicking my subject title, in the process? In my book, that's rudeness.
  12. The '"discussion" is all of the same "discussion". You brought your "discussion" to a thread I opened, with no objections from me. Which you've riffed off. Now, you want it your way. Sorry, no.
  13. "Abstract parallel"? "Analogous fashion"? Do you not see the "conceptual chain" from man to individual? If you disagree with Rand - in *your* understanding - let us hear you dissect her writings. Otherwise, I take this as simple sophistry, without comprehension of what she wrote. Begin with "...holds man's life as the standard of value--and his own life as..."
  14. What is "mystical", is the belief that man's mind does not have identity. In avoidance of this metaphysical fact, one is lead to the empiricists. (The converse of rationalism - empiricism/skepticism - is another pitfall to beware of).
  15. Lose the objective foundation of rational selfishness, it turns into a subjective free for all, and bang goes "rational". And THEN, the critics, as if I care for them, could have a valid counter. Revealing, no one here tries directly taking on Rand, on "man's life is the standard of value" and all the rest... ...good luck with that.
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