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Snarky rebuttal to altruism on House, M.D.

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Never watched the show, but judging from the snippets of the ads or the ends of the show while waiting for another, the House character seems very self conscious with a forced wit. I do not care for the character.

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House is a pragmatist, but I really do enjoy his show and I genuinely do like the character. I am kind of wondering what others on this forum think of him though.

Witty, snarky, brilliant. I can see why people like him, and the show. I've watched a few shows and can't stand the basic premise of the character. The snarkiness gets old and tiring quickly.

Edited by KendallJ

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House is a pragmatist, but I really do enjoy his show and I genuinely do like the character. I am kind of wondering what others on this forum think of him though.

We enjoy him thoroughly. :)

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It's a well written show, there's a lot of depth to it, but lately it stopped being funny. I got into it a few years ago because of the really funny lines that you don't usually hear on network TV. I do think House is am interesting character though.

Of course I never watched it for the message, which is actually quite annoying, lots of pragmatism vs. religion.

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I love House. He's my idea of an ideal man. In fact while watching the episode where he made the above quote I quickly signed into this site's chat room and shared it with everyone there a couple weeks ago. The guy's funny, objective, and just doesn't give a f#ck what anyone else thinks about him. What's their not to like? I also take issue with those that call him a "pragmatist" here; while he's definitely not an Objectitvist proper he is only a pragmatist in the sense that he does what works, but he does it because he rationally came to that conclusion, which is the opposite of pragmatism.

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Well, yeah he is definitely as close to an objectivist as a pragmatist can be. He is objective with himself, but pragmatic with others. He often lies to patients in order to do get them to pick what he thinks is the right choice. For example, he convinced a patient in a walk in clinic that his cold was actually the mans lungs turning into rock. When it was commented on a minute later by Cutty, he point out that he did it so the patient would get health insurance. An complete objectivist would diagnose the patient, perhaps try to convince him that he needed health insurance, and go on his merry way.

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I think the theme of the show is reason vs. emotion, a false dichotomy, but dramatized wonderfully on the show.

House is the rational side, and the patients (generally) act in an emotionalistic fashion — but House's scrupulous use of observation and logic always prevail

The show has its ups and downs — the first and second seasons were the best, and the fourth is worst, I think, because the first two seasons focus on the personal value House gets out of practicing medicine, while the fourth (and to a lesser extent the third) focuses on his flaws: drug addiction, rudeness, etc.

I like the fifth season so far, except for the Last Resort episode, because the season shows House pursuing other personal values: his friendship with Wilson and his relationship with Cuddy.

I definitely recommend downloading from iTunes the episode "Damned if You Do" as an example of the paradigm good House episode.

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The guy's funny, objective, and just doesn't give a f#ck what anyone else thinks about him. What's their not to like?

The guy's general sense of malevolence. I always spotted him for one of those guys who desperately needs you to know that he doesn't care about you. Otherwise there is simply no need to treat people the way he does.

I don't dispute that he's a brilliant man and pretty darn rational himself. As Pete points out, people are mere tools to him. That's not the psychology of an Objectivist.

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I enjoy House, and one of the reasons I like watching the show is that everyone is always trying to get at and understand the root reasons why people behave the way they do. They may not always get it, but the show really dramatizes how behaving irrationally makes things *worse* while behaving rationally makes them *better*. Everyone on the show has their rational/irrational split. House is rational toward medicine and irrational toward people, for instance.

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I always spotted him for one of those guys who desperately needs you to know that he doesn't care about you.

I can see how one would take that away from a few episodes. This might be largely true of people who are not his friends but of the very select few that he does 'care' for it is more of a 'tough love' kind of relationship. He does value his friends BUT he does have a very negative way of showing it usually. However there are a very few moments during the show when that exterior is broken down and he shows some genuine concern for the people he cares for.

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I always spotted him for one of those guys who desperately needs you to know that he doesn't care about you. Otherwise there is simply no need to treat people the way he does.

Is that the only reason you can think of, or is that the only reason there is and could be (for someone to treat people the way House does)?

Have you seen anything about House to show that he is in need for other's opinion to feed his sense of self (or self esteem) other than his behavior toward other people?

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You know, I never get the impression that House is taking the rational approach in any situation. What we commonly see is him stabbing at a bunch of possible answers alongside his team, with no reason why anyone might be more right than another. He usually makes some inappropriate joke to shrug the whole thing off and then goes to bother Wilson. Eventually he figures it out through some flash of insight. There kind of used to be a rational method to the show back in the day, but now it's just like trying to pin the diagnosis on the incredibly obscure disease.

As for other claims about his attitude being objective and rational - far from it. By the remarks of Cutty and Wilson, who almost always win the arguments over why House is doing something, especially with Season 5, it's made more and more explicit that he acts grumpy out of a second handed desire to reaffirm his own self-esteem. He denies there's any real truth, evades questions about his own motivation for anything, runs from his past, never faces up to the reason why he does anything - except for that one episode where he admits he only became a doctor because he wanted to be like this forgotten, obscure janitor, who suddenly 'stuck it to the man' by showing everyone how awesome he was.

I remember reading some Objectivist's article a while back about House and I think it's the best analysis I've seen so far of him. The only thing I'd fault it for, is that it says that if he'd only apply the rationality he does as a doctor, he would be able to be happy in his own life. But the fact is, as good as he is at probing and shooting down ideas for being ridiculous or for finding out if someone is lying (more often than not these days, it just gets revealed 'deus ex machina' style), he has no rational method to anything, not even doctoring.

Edited by Tenure

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The guy's general sense of malevolence. I always spotted him for one of those guys who desperately needs you to know that he doesn't care about you. Otherwise there is simply no need to treat people the way he does.

I don't dispute that he's a brilliant man and pretty darn rational himself. As Pete points out, people are mere tools to him. That's not the psychology of an Objectivist.

That's actually how I would regard someone who acted like House in real life.

However, that's not the intention behind the character, and you get small clues to that, if you watch regularly: I think the main reason why he's a dick is supposed to be the fact that he rationalizes his drug habit, by claiming he's in constant physical pain: after all, how could someone in constant pain relate to people?

I'm not saying it is realistic, but it is the intent of the show's creators, in my opinion, to show how while it's OK to be super rational as a doctor, when it comes to a personal life built on nothing but "reason" it makes you miserable.

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Is that the only reason you can think of, or is that the only reason there is and could be (for someone to treat people the way House does)?

Have you seen anything about House to show that he is in need for other's opinion to feed his sense of self (or self esteem) other than his behavior toward other people?

Sorry I'm not going to do a character analysis on House. I've seen a few episodes, but my ex adored him. The thread asked opinions. I offered.

I personally have met a lot of people like House. None of them do I admire. Most of the people that I've met that are that bitter cannot sustain the motivation for a lifetime of productive acheivement that his character would seem to imply he's accomplished. When it comes to supposed brilliance like that, I go with Edison, true brilliance is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration. One cannot have a sense of purpose to be truly accomplished over time with that sort of mentality.

His psychology is not like any of the Objectivists that I do admire. Nor is it like any of the productive, brilliant people I know, and admire.

He's plain annoying.

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The show has its ups and downs — the first and second seasons were the best, and the fourth is worst, I think, because the first two seasons focus on the personal value House gets out of practicing medicine, while the fourth (and to a lesser extent the third) focuses on his flaws: drug addiction, rudeness, etc.

That's, of course, if you consider it "drug addiction" to use a drug for its valid and intended purpose, i.e., the blocking of real and severe pain. Also "rudeness" is only a "flaw" if it is used without reason. That is not the case with House, most of the people around him are acting like idiots or otherwise irrationally and deserve the treatment. It is actually a moral virtue that he treats others how they should be treated whether others like it or not. It is a personality attribute that I try my best to emulate daily.

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The guy's general sense of malevolence. I always spotted him for one of those guys who desperately needs you to know that he doesn't care about you. Otherwise there is simply no need to treat people the way he does.

I don't dispute that he's a brilliant man and pretty darn rational himself. As Pete points out, people are mere tools to him. That's not the psychology of an Objectivist.

I don't think the guy desperately needs anybody for anything, there is absolutely nothing with letting others that you don't care about them if you really don't, that is being objective and true to reality. People aren't "tools" to him, a doctor requires patients and that is exactyly what these people are to him, no more no less. As for the other characters they all serve their respective purpose with regards to his. This is the psychology of a rational man.

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And Edison's vendetta against Tesla's inventions (which were arguably more well thought out and inspired than Edison's) including a PR campaign to completely deface Tesla's achievements do not go to Edison's character? Hard work is important, Edison however took the approach of "Screw the science, screw trying to figure it out, just put some stuff together and see what comes out." While Edison's achievements are admirable, I'd counter that work without rational "inspiration" is counter productive and non-progressive.

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^ I was actually about to post that. Edison even went to far as to electrocute an elephant to death with AC current to show how unsafe it was (video documented)

House is a flawed character. The perfect Objectivist is about as rare as the perfect Christian. House has many admirable qualities, and he is one of my inspiration for living an Objectivist life, I genuinely enjoy the character, and if he were a real person I knew, I would admire the man. That said, he does have his tragic flaws. He does act selflessly at times.

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And Edison's vendetta against Tesla's inventions (which were arguably more well thought out and inspired than Edison's) including a PR campaign to completely deface Tesla's achievements do not go to Edison's character?

Since when was ascribing a quote made to someone, a testament to Edison's character? Let me know what that has to do with the point I made and we'll talk.

I don't think the guy desperately needs anybody for anything, there is absolutely nothing with letting others that you don't care about them if you really don't,

over, and over, and over? There is something wrong with going out of your way to make it known every single show to most of the same people.

People aren't "tools" to him, a doctor requires patients and that is exactyly what these people are to him, no more no less. As for the other characters they all serve their respective purpose with regards to his. This is the psychology of a rational man.

My reference was to Pete's example of his manipulation of them. Of course doctors need patients. That doesn't mean you're allowed to fraudulently get them to do the things you want them to. That is what manipulation is.

... and that ends my commentary on this subject. This is the last thing in the world I want to debate.

Edited by KendallJ

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Sorry I'm not going to do a character analysis on House. I've seen a few episodes, but my ex adored him. The thread asked opinions. I offered.

I personally have met a lot of people like House. None of them do I admire. Most of the people that I've met that are that bitter cannot sustain the motivation for a lifetime of productive acheivement that his character would seem to imply he's accomplished. When it comes to supposed brilliance like that, I go with Edison, true brilliance is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration. One cannot have a sense of purpose to be truly accomplished over time with that sort of mentality.

His psychology is not like any of the Objectivists that I do admire. Nor is it like any of the productive, brilliant people I know, and admire.

He's plain annoying.

Your entire post was a character analysis, and you're saying you do not want to do analysis? Perhaps what you mean is that you do not want to answer my questions about the logic in how you arive at your conclusions about House.

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