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BioShock 2: Altruism is New Enemy

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Possible Spoilers Below

Bioshock Wikia Page

"Dr. Sofia Lamb is the primary antagonist of BioShock 2. She has taken over Andrew Ryan's position as the leader of Rapture, albeit with completely different view. Lamb was an old political rival of Ryan, and is in many ways his opposite. She is an Altruist, and believes we all have a duty to the world, and she has allowed those beliefs to corrupt her. And in the name of the greater good, she's begun to see people as numbers. To make the world one family. And that is why she comes into contact with the player, a lone agent, an extremely powerful individual, fighting with her collective. She is a part of Rapture's history, and through reasons discovered in BioShock 2, you find out why she wasn't present during the events of BioShock. Her Altruist vision has been altered by her lieutenant, Father Wales, into something called the Rapture Family. It's been made simpler so that the Splicers could understand it. She uses Rapture Family to recruit more Splicers, saying that they owe each other some sense of unity and brotherhood. In BioShock 2, you get to find out her relationship with Andrew Ryan through possible audio diaries, his dialogue still playing throughout the city and her plans for Rapture."

If you haven't played BioShock, it's a vidoegame about an 'Objectivist' utopia built on the bottom of the ocean. The art style is awesome, and the plot intriguing, but the sad truth is that premise of the game is that the utopia collapses for of a variety of reasons. When you arrive there, the citizens are all basically zombies, and the city in ruins.

Some see this as artistic 'criticism' of Objectivism. It's refreshing to see hints like this one above which indicate a more acceptable moral theme for the sequel. The zombies of the game, called 'splicers' are genetically modified people and there is a sense that their condition not only severely affects their sanity, but also causes their free will to be subject to those with the technology to control them. In BioShock 2, you are an individual who was involved in early experiments, so you've maintained your free will. And the enemy seems to be motivated by Altruism - when in the first game, for awhile, your main enemy was 'Andrew Ryan' motivated in theory by 'Objectivism'. Your character in the first game was subject to a key phrase that would force him to obey orders. A slave fighting an 'Objectivist'.

So it's exciting to see the roles reversed. And of course, the real enemy in the first game ended up being a petty criminal thug who manipulated everyone into the destruction of the city.

I'm excited about this new game. Hopefully this new enemy's past will show that it was altruism that destroyed the city in the first place. Anyone else with BioShock experience?

I think this game will redeem the series because it will show how a bloody dystopia populated by literal zombies fits well with a vision of altruism, and how moral individualism is the only thing that can oppose it.

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I've played BioShock, and it was not a criticism of Objectivism. Perhaps, somehow, it was meant to be, but it doesn't seem like it. Andrew Ryan built his utopia, Rapture, as an undersea Galt's Gulch. The problem was not with what he created, or his philosophy (I need to buy that game and play it more, it was such a thrill, especially the beginning, with the plaques commemorated to Science, Industry, etc.). The problem was that none of the people in his utopia agreed with him. There were collectivists and criminal slimeballs like Fontaine, and they helped tear Rapture apart. Not to mention that the people in Rapture used Adam, without any sort of real testing, and even after it was proven to be addictive and mind-destroying. That doesn't sound like something any Objectivist would do, unless it was an emergency (having superpowers would likely come in handy then). Ryan was wonderful, and at no point in BioShock did I think he was a bad person.

BioShock 2 seems like its going to be just as good, given what you've written here. I'm really excited for it. Can't wait for February 10th (if its not delayed)!

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This seems like the answer to the first. The creator of Bioshock stated he had admiration for Objectivism, and Rapture is what happens when you take it to the extreme. This sequel will probably critique what he views as the extremes of altruism.

All I have to say is a paraphrase of Rand...There are two sides to every debate. One is right, one is wrong. The middle is always evil.

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This seems like the answer to the first. The creator of Bioshock stated he had admiration for Objectivism, and Rapture is what happens when you take it to the extreme. This sequel will probably critique what he views as the extremes of altruism.

All I have to say is a paraphrase of Rand...There are two sides to every debate. One is right, one is wrong. The middle is always evil.

One consensus on Andrew Ryan was that the beginning of his end had to do with banning interaction between Rapture and the outside world. This was to hide Rapture from the looters. Perhaps the lesson is that you can't escape the looters, that it's impossible. They will get you no matter what.

That's just wishful thinking on my part. I wonder what examples the creators used as 'excesses' of Objectivism. I can think of the sociological implications of an unemployed class without any altruism to take care of them. The villain used the poor as pawns, and I have to add that they were the foolish poor. Then there's the concept of liberty. Because there were marauding poor with genetically enhanced super-powers (because Rapture was a place where those sort of experiments were totally allowed), normal citizens were forced to use the 'plasmids' as well in order to protect themselves (Ryan took over the industry from Fontaine). Then it was all out civil war as people went insane.

So: Objectivism has objectively negative sociological implications, and the unregulated 'chain of industry' forces people into irrational decisions. Those are the critiques, I assume. Plus, Fontaine, the man behind the trouble, got his power from fraud by exploiting the rules of Rapture. Of course, was the ban on imports objectively moral? Though, I guess this leads to a third critique: that no matter what you do, evil men will always exploit the system to gain power through fraud (i.e.: in an objective society it is not true that only the moral will succeed).

These critiques suffer from a couple of flaws. First, the discovery of magical sea slugs that lead to a technology that concurrently gives one immense power relative to others and makes you gradually lose sanity. That's awfully convenient. Though, critics of any philosophy tend to use fantastic allegories to make their point. Objectivists are stuck with history and reality.... doh!

Another flaw has to do with Government: where is it in Rapture? It seems from the blurb about BioShock 2 that there was one, so maybe we don't hear about it in the first game. Should a government ban plasmid use? It's a combination of the drug and gun debates here. What else could Ryan have done about Fontaine's army without having Rapture go to a plasmid hell? There are probably more flaws in the critique, what do you think?

My critique of the critique is centered on the quote of TheEgoist. There is no moral middle. If Objectivism isn't good, than what would have been better? A 'little' altruism. A 'small' welfare system. To what end would that have taken Rapture? If you're going to be moral, there have to be lines. New situations might require new approaches, but your standard of morality has to be consistent. So what would have been better than Ryan's approach? Well, I have to admit that it really is a thought provoking game.

Also, it is interesting how the figure 'Atlas' is the hero of the poor, and the mysterious cause of Rapture's downfall. There is graffiti: "Who is Atlas?" as if he were the mysterious John Galt causing society's downfall. Except, Rapture was an Objectivist society, so is Atlas Galt's antithesis? Is this just a dig by the game creators against Atlas Shrugged? Or do you think there are bigger implications? Is Atlas the man who claims that the motor of the world is really 'everyone in society'. That the capitalists and the workers are needed to make things go? It's almost a synthesis of the old socialist tirade about workers and production with the traditional defense of rich industrialists. Again, 'don't go to extremes', 'stay in the middle'. I am of course referring to the symbol of Atlas and not his actual identity....

I hope BioShock 2 has the decency to blame it all on altruism, because I think Rand was herself very much pro-industrialist and pro-worker. And she didn't sit on the fence philosophically.

I have a couple more questions for anyone who wants to answer them:

1) Ryan refers to the 'chain of industry' throughout the game. If you're familiar with what I'm talking about, do you know if that idea comes from anywhere? I think someone once told me that its from Nietzsche. (chain of industry = aggregate product of individual efforts pulls society in a given collective direction that all must obey)

2) The post-modern 'anti-extremism' is something I attribute to the subjectivist's reaction to Nazism. It's as if, recognizing Nazism as an uber-perfection of their philosophy, they decided that that must be its flaw (not that their philosophy is flawed...). It's as if they say, "You can't know anything - but you can't really know that either, for sure, so don't go to extremes." and that's the final word from their philosophy. In fact, that seems to be what modern liberalism is all about: live and let live, don't go to extremes, that's ALL you need to know. If only they really believed that. Do you agree with this analysis?

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I've played BioShock, and it was not a criticism of Objectivism. Perhaps, somehow, it was meant to be, but it doesn't seem like it. Andrew Ryan built his utopia, Rapture, as an undersea Galt's Gulch. The problem was not with what he created, or his philosophy (I need to buy that game and play it more, it was such a thrill, especially the beginning, with the plaques commemorated to Science, Industry, etc.).

I don't know how you can say that. They made it pretty clear they were criticizing Objectivism for being too "extreme". Did you not notice the giant downwardly sneering and condemning look on the huge Ryan bust just before those art deco plaques? That really set the tone for the game in every way.

Or in another sense you're actually right because it's *not* a criticism of Objectivism but rather of what they seem to think Objectivism is. It's like something Jon Stewart said in a recent interview with Jennifer Burns, "it's almost like she would have a totalitarian state of individualism". Sure individualism is all good and fine. But EXTREME individualism for them obviously must equal nazi-like authoritarianism for some unexplained reason.

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I'm in the middle of this game right now, and I'm quite disappointed. The game play is fine (though incredibly difficult on the "hard" level), the graphics are good, the voice acting is good, and the plot is fairly solid - giving a little more information into the world of Rapture and what went wrong.

What I'm really disappointed in is the mischaracterization of Objectivism. Once again it gets equated with hedonism. Andrew Ryan is not portrayed as a successful business man who wanted to establish a "Galt's Gulch" under the sea. He's portrayed as a dictatorial, whim-worshipping hedonist willing to do whatever it takes to get a buck. Unfortunately, the connection to Objectivism is made very clear. There are several references to Objectivist "code words," like "parasite," "moocher," "producers," "individual," etc. Words that people typically equate to Objectivism (at least I do). There is dialogue that gets it right, followed immediately by dialogue which distorts the correct interpretation all to hell.

I'm sorry I can't come up with specific examples right now, but I think anyone familiar with Objectivism would quickly and clearly understand my meaning when they play the game. Those with only a passing understanding of Objectivism would just have their misconceptions confirmed, and those with no understanding of Objectivism would be completely misled.

I hope some Objectivist game reviewer will publish a review which makes clear how divorced from Objectivism this game actually is. The association with Objectivism needs to stop.

As a game, it works - it's fun to play. As a story, it does not. It's extremely frustrating to hear (and read) how the game developer has so completely bastardized what is the greatest advance to philosophy in the past 200 years.

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There are several references to Objectivist "code words," like "parasite," "moocher," "producers," "individual," etc. Words that people typically equate to Objectivism (at least I do).

There's a very quick way to test understanding in this kind of product. Notice how the ideas presented are typically political and ethical, but never epistemological. Andrew Ryan spends a lot of time attacking parasites, but he never talks about the importance of reason. And that's why, at root, Ryan's ideology collapses into unprincipled hedonism. Without reason as a guide the attempt to pursue self-interest has to turn into the pursuit of desires, and Rand's rational individualist morphs into Ryan's lone-wolf whim worshiper. Rand herself was very clear on the hierarchy. She said that she was not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism, and not of egoism, but of reason. If you accept reason, with all of its preconditions, everything else follows. And as Bioshock indicates, if you don't accept reason, everything else falls apart.

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I am a few hours into the game, and thus far I have enjoyed it. Yes, the game's portrayal of Objectivism is pretty off, but I think BioShock 2 and its predecessor nevertheless do an excellent job of showing the levels of hell society can sink to when its driving philosophy is not rational individualism: In one because Ryan's philosophy is only partially rational (he reminded me a lot of Gail Wynand), and in two because . . . well, Lamb is a collectivist.

Another reason I like this series is that the plot is very richly detailed. Lord of the Rings had some anti-reason themes, but it was still a remarkable work of literature. BioShock fits in the same category.

The only problem I can see is that only the people already familiar with Objectivism will be able to spot the distinction.

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Just finished Bioshock 2, on hard, saving all the little sisters - often frustrating. But nothing more rewarding then flamethrower plasmid, followed by proximity mine trap, followed by electric shock, finished with drill charge and frozen drill, and then a good old beating to finish a big sister.

In terms of aesthetics, it is an excellent 'virtual world'. The significance of choices actions, actors, themes and its connection to your sense of dread or hope or accomplishment or disgust is stunning.

The one thing I really liked about Bioshock 2 was that it clarified much of the philosophical problem with the first game. The subtle causes of Ryan's and Rapture's downfall are absolutely clear.

Here is my synopsis: Ryan wasn't as much of an objectivist as he was an egoist. Philosophically, he was probably as much of an Objectivist as you can be without knowing anything of Ayn Rand. But as a character, his commitment to philosophy was not a strong as his commitment to his 'sense' of it. For Andrew Ryan, 'Objectivism' becomes a whim. This is very deceptive, because it allows him to wear the mask of a rational egoist, while bringing down hell upon a society for the sake of his emotional commitment to his goals. This is unfortunate as it provides an excuse for many to outwardly dismiss rational egoism because the story causes them to connect those ethics with contradictory character flaws.

But the cause of these contradictions is justified, in the context of Bioshock 2's story. Sofia Lamb explained in one log that Ryan's objective reality was nothing more than a subjective construction. Thankfully, there was a context fo this accusation, so it can actually be discussed. She pointed out the fact that much of Rapture was leaky, economically disfuctional, and gloomy. Ryan was choosing to ignore this, unwilling to let go of his fantasy. This is particularly relevant because these conditions caused a great many of Rapture's citizens who were drawn to the city - not for philosophical reasons - but for ethical reasons ungrounded in philosophy - to give up on it. They came for the sake of egoism, when they didn't achieve their dreams, they gave up, and were trapped at the bottom of the ocean, living at the mercy of those committed to giving none. Absent from Rapture is clear philosophy.

Adding to this is Lamb's unique take on things. She sees Rapture as as much a product of Ryan's 'psychology', 'genetic programming', 'evolutionary outcome' as of some objective ideal. She of course develops an absurd plan to eradicate the self from society's guiding spirit. She repeats, intelligence without consciousness. Purpose and valuation without any sense of why. Her view is as wrong as the inmates she tortured to alter their psychology, and a million other things the character does.

In the end, it seems like the 'philosophical' outcome of the series is this: humans are the product of a variety of forces that have no necessary guiding purpose. We have ended up with a set of values, feelings, whims, not all equally significant, but all equally valid. There is no mystical explanation that gives significance to these feelings, and there is no objective standard that defines which are good or not. We just have them, and they are their own standard. It's good to do things that seem good, probably, but it's bad to impose a standard - objective or not - upon whims, by the standard of arbitrary whim, a clear standard is arbitrary. And therefore those that try to hold them become corrupted, and betray arbitrary happiness, and their own standards.

I know, what a whopper. Going back to Ryan, there is much more sympathy for him in Bioshock 2. The final verdict on him was that he was a noble and moral man - he built Rapture - and there is a log or two that show his 'Objectivism' coming out, for instance when he discusses art. But the verdict on why he failed has to do with him being 'alone'. The sense I got was that his egoism was so powerful, that he became oblivious to the facts that got in the way of his world, vision, and ego.

Like the commentor earlier stated, Objectivism holds egoism important because it holds reason important. Andrew Ryan abandoned reason for ego. As a story, it's complete and decent, but it is in no way an effective criticism of Objectivism. It is a criticism of Utopia, which by no means is the goal of Objectivism. Andrew Ryan is John Galt, if John Galt grew deranged, gave up his strike, and psychologically strong-armed a society of people to the bottom of the ocean so that he could still be a giant and make his profits. Galt is such a beautiful character and hero because he willingly gave up any and all profits, and was completely happy about it. Ryan didn't get his people to Rapture because of philosophy, he appealed to their psychology, in the name of philosophy. The Galt's Gulch inhabitants were there because of philosophy. They didn't intend to make enormous profits or build transcontinental railroads in the gulch. But if they could lay one rail, they would. There are huge differences here and we have already discussed the reason - and it' reason.

But maybe it is a good starting point for a discussion on psychology, sociology, psycho-epistemology, and the like. In other words, can human's successfully be Objective without succumbing to their own whims and animal nature inevitably. That seems to be the main, devestating critique of Bioshock. If Ryan had ever admitted, you know, I used to be John Galt, but messed up - then the series could be considered a good critique. Instead, Ryan is a man who seems like he never had it all the way figured out. The creators of the game might say that no one has ever been successfully rational, and point to some hearsay critiques of Ayn Rand's personal life etc.

And that is what I 'gained' from playing the game. I learned, from my previous knowledge of Objectivism, where the characters had failed and why. Reason must be fought for at all times, against whims of the animal mind. The choice to think, to focus, is difficult. The acceptance of rational egoism, or Objectivism, intellectually, does not entail or equate to the act of focusing. The union of ideal and whim is not holy. Ideal and reason and ideal and reason is the only acceptable process.

And the discussion may continue...

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I've listened to some of the logs in the Bioshock multiplayer, and have a better sense of the sort of critique the creators had in mind, now that there are more characters embodying the 'typical rapture spirit'. I suppose it has been obvious all along, but unfortunately by biases have blinded me to the critique. That's not something that bothers me, I think the critique is bogus.

It seems that there is a package-deal ideologically with Rapture. Let me first give an example: one character is a football player who breaks records but his team always loses - his motto is "there's no I in team? There is the way I spell it!". Another character is a pilot, her goal is to find a place with 'no limits'. The 'no limits' theme is prevalent in Bioshock and explains why rampant genetic engineering led to its downfall. There is also this notion that social reform requires political reform. Poor labor conditions necessitate labor laws. Rampant, irrational, consumerism requires bank regulations etc. (back to real life - the 1929 crash has to be the keystone event of the modern statist narrative, it makes me sick, changing that narrative is the only way to convince people to scale back entitlements and monetary manipulation - Bioshock 2 mentions bank runs and the like, suicide for business failure)

The central narrative of Bioshock, then, is that love of self, vision, 'ascendancy', 'individualism', pursuit of values etc. is equated to having 'no limits'. That 'limits' come from a sense of 'others' and therefore a more moderated individualism means accepting 'limits'. This equates to accepting a form of statism of mixed economy.

I think I have nothing more to add, and so I have a conclusion. If one thing can be learned from the philosophy of Bioshock it is that a mixed economy and altruism are intrinsically linked. Controls are the result of some measure of self-sacrifice, for the explicit purpose of self-denial. That's the message they push throughout. Nowhere is Objectivism itself properly or successfully criticized. The message is not: these people lived according to pure reason and therefore all died. The message had little to do with what they believed 'positively', instead it is a 'negative' message. The message is: if you want controls, if you want limits in any sense, then self-sacrifice and self-denial is necessary. In other words, the mixed economy is always and inherently self-sacrifice.

On the other hand - what I have to say in response - is that if you live in a free economy with objective laws and you live rationally, 'limits' that are rational are not a sacrifice.

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there is one specific part I didn't like when the black lady said that turning the other cheek is for a thinking man and no monster would do such a thing.

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there is one specific part I didn't like when the black lady said that turning the other cheek is for a thinking man and no monster would do such a thing.

Right, that goes in line with what I believe is the philsophical standard of Bioshock's creators: emotional whim is the standard of value. That's not to say each and every whim, but 'happiness' 'life' 'forgiveness' as values as the product of whims. It's almost like a rational romaticism. Compared to the splicers and other big daddy's (and sofia lamb's vision for a 'utopian man') the really important thing about you from Grace Holloway's perspective is your volition. She was admiring your volition, even if her standard of value was flawed. Volition is what Sofia Lamb wanted to destroy, so in many ways Bioshock 2 is a reaffirmation of self, but a 'socially sensitive' self in the context of Andrew Ryan's failures unfortunately.

I've never understood modern liberalism until I played this game, and now I have a sense of this ridiculous ethics I'm calling 'rational romaticism'. A quick and summary critique of it lies in the fact that reality can't be ignored, and the individual is the only agent capable of producing and obtaining value. In other words, liberals' schemes always end up causing social dysfunction and lead to worse things. The cause is the philosophical inconsistency of refusing to ground values in the rational world, and accept the supremecy of reason in ethics; they claim reason is the method of dealing with ethics, while values do not originate from reason. Their scheme fails: crime and poverty are not equated, manipulations in the name of values distort value, absolute committment to non-absolutes cause confusion, stagnation, non-action. Radicals take over. Always happens this way: read 'Ominous Parallels' by Leonard Peikoff. Oh, and by liberalism I mean modern leftism. I call in liberalism because of its 'openess' and 'rationality' fitting in with the 'rational romaticism' idea I'm running with.

The ultimate message of the Bioshock universe is bad, but fighting a blatant and honest altruist is a nice change (in the sequel). Even though you are driven by a mere chemical connection to your little sister, your pursuit of her is completely volitional. In a way, true Objectivism peaks out a little.

Because that mere connection to the girl is a matter of life and death. Your body has been designed to die without her near, so with life as your ultimate standard of value, and with a girl that is extremely bright, courageous, and cunning as a worthy and virtuous daughter to protect, you have every reason to treat her as your highest value. Especially since you are stuck in a smelly diving suit permanently, at the bottom of a decaying wasteland. Though the creators of the game arrived at this point by emotional intuition, they could not have crafted a more Objectivist ending. You are, in the end, a creature of full volition: an ego against the destroyer of egos, on a one-track quest to protect your highest value.

HA! That's funny, I just realized it! Andrew Ryan was not the Objectivist, he is a flawed egoist. You, big daddy, are the quintessential Objectivist. But you are no man, you have been changed, so you are not the ideal objective man, but an ideal objective creature.

I don't think, from the dialogue, the creators intended this, but the rational approach to ethics - however flawed - led them back towards Objectivism - ha!

Anyway, concerning the 'moral' choices. Obviously, the right thing to do is save the little sister - inasmuch as they are no longer human you have the right to 'save' them and obtain their ADAM, but inasmuch as they are human, you have no right to their lives for the sake of ADAM. And you do benefit from their gifts in return for your actions. But what of the 'other' choices.

I consider this thread to be spoilerific, because of the warning up top, so be ready. What of the opportunities to kill: Grace Holloway (black lady), Stanley Poole (conspired/flooded park killing many), Gil Alexander (slug man)?

Grace, I believe, merited no harm. She believed you a programmed killing machine, and was only protecting herself. Stanley did deserve death for real crimes - despite the wickedness of Lamb's cult - but I don't believe you were in any way authorized to carry out that justice, and there was no reason for you to do it. The Slug thing, should have died, because it could have been a real danger to the seas if ever released, and while it had volition, it requested death. And while you couldn't choose it, Lamb should have died, because she brought it on herself. She tried to kill you out of spite and ideology - why should she remain in the world?

What say you?

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I haven't played the game to the finish yet but i take it you killed the Gil Alexander character and spared the poole fellow.

Edited by Mikee

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I haven't played the game to the finish yet but i take it you killed the Gil Alexander character and spared the poole fellow.

No, I spared everyone and everything for the sake of obsessive completion. I got the 'good' ending, and apparently there are 4 endings. Now I'm playing through killing everything. Someday, I may do as you say above.

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I came across this in my search

http://bioshock.wikia.com/wiki/Sofia_Lamb

notice the source for this character's philosophy

and this:

http://bioshock.wikia.com/wiki/Augustus_Sinclair

notice the selfless description in helping his companions

"but in his last moments, discovers his selfless side, aiding his companions even though he has nothing to gain from it."

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I've played BioShock, and it was not a criticism of Objectivism. Perhaps, somehow, it was meant to be, but it doesn't seem like it. Andrew Ryan built his utopia, Rapture, as an undersea Galt's Gulch. The problem was not with what he created, or his philosophy (I need to buy that game and play it more, it was such a thrill, especially the beginning, with the plaques commemorated to Science, Industry, etc.). The problem was that none of the people in his utopia agreed with him. There were collectivists and criminal slimeballs like Fontaine, and they helped tear Rapture apart. Not to mention that the people in Rapture used Adam, without any sort of real testing, and even after it was proven to be addictive and mind-destroying. That doesn't sound like something any Objectivist would do, unless it was an emergency (having superpowers would likely come in handy then). Ryan was wonderful, and at no point in BioShock did I think he was a bad person.

BioShock 2 seems like its going to be just as good, given what you've written here. I'm really excited for it. Can't wait for February 10th (if its not delayed)!

Uh, so you didn't think Andrew Ryan was a bad person for ordering political assassinations, torture, executions and literally enslaving people (Big Daddies)? Also, Ryan allowed the sale of Adam technologies to the general public despite knowing there were risks of side effects AND against the governing council's wishes. Oh, and let's not even mention those technologies were acquired from nationalizing Fontaine Futuristics, which he did despite Fontaine's will specifying that his holdings should be passed down to his family. Oh, and let's also not mention that the entire reason why he and Fontaine were at odds in the first place was because Fontaine was 'smuggling' goods from the outside world into Rapture, which were banned by Ryan, which is a pretty gross limitation on personal liberty.

Andrew Ryan was a Bad Person, at least as bad as Sofia Lamb. I'm actually pretty astonished at the entirely un-critical way you are looking at these two characters.

The message is not: these people lived according to pure reason and therefore all died. The message had little to do with what they believed 'positively', instead it is a 'negative' message. The message is: if you want controls, if you want limits in any sense, then self-sacrifice and self-denial is necessary. In other words, the mixed economy is always and inherently self-sacrifice.

I disagree that this is the message the developers were trying to send. Their message is closer to "These people lived according to pure egoism and therefore all died."

Edited by Rawls was Right

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I came across this in my search

http://bioshock.wikia.com/wiki/Sofia_Lamb

notice the source for this character's philosophy

and this:

http://bioshock.wikia.com/wiki/Augustus_Sinclair

notice the selfless description in helping his companions

"but in his last moments, discovers his selfless side, aiding his companions even though he has nothing to gain from it."

Sinclair was retaining his integrity. He had lost, so he did what he could for those he valued. That's part of the flaw of Bioshock - it paints egoism as absolute for it's characters - which is not ration or self-interest. There's a difference between self-interest and egoism.

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The ultimate message of the Bioshock universe is bad, but fighting a blatant and honest altruist is a nice change (in the sequel). Even though you are driven by a mere chemical connection to your little sister, your pursuit of her is completely volitional. In a way, true Objectivism peaks out a little.

You aren't fighting a blatant and honest altruist in Bioshock 2 just as you aren't fighting a blatant and honest objectivist in Bioshock; an altruist only gives of themselves to the greater good and would never force another to do the same. Also you seem to be contradicting yourself in the second sentence, it's impossible to be completely volitional if you are being genetically coerced as Johnny Topside is. He's a slave

until his bond with Elanor is broken near the end of the game

just like Jack Ryan was.

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You aren't fighting a blatant and honest altruist in Bioshock 2 just as you aren't fighting a blatant and honest objectivist in Bioshock; an altruist only gives of themselves to the greater good and would never force another to do the same.

Altruists demand that people give themselves over to the collective as a matter of duty. So, you are dead wrong on that. Altruists are big on forcing people. It's their forte. This is why they believe in taxing and regulating the hell out of people. After all, who are you to be so "selfish"?

It just so happens I came upon an article that addresses the issue of altruism versus freedom, and how they are incompatible:

http://theobjectivestandard.com/blog/2010/...-vs-america.asp

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Altruists demand that people give themselves over to the collective as a matter of duty. So, you are dead wrong on that. Altruists are big on forcing people. It's their forte. This is why they believe in taxing and regulating the hell out of people. After all, who are you to be so "selfish"?

It just so happens I came upon an article that addresses the issue of altruism versus freedom, and how they are incompatible:

http://theobjectivestandard.com/blog/2010/...-vs-america.asp

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/altruism

You're wrong. Literally the only thing that defines an altruist is someone who gives of themselves for another's benefit. Whatever other behavior so-called altruists engage in is not intrinsic to altruism.

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http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/altruism

You're wrong. Literally the only thing that defines an altruist is someone who gives of themselves for another's benefit. Whatever other behavior so-called altruists engage in is not intrinsic to altruism.

Not quite right. It's someone who does so SELFLESSLY. This is the key. If you give to a friend to help him out, because you value that friend, that is not altruistic, and it it thus not moral.

It's this love of self-sacrifice, as if it's a virtue, that is destructive of life and liberty, as explained in that article I cited above.

That article gives deeper philosophical points on the matter making it crystal clear what it means. Auguste Comte coined the term "altruism", and he's clear on what it means. Altruism, in fact, is pure evil designed to suck the soul out of an individual, depriving him of any benefit in the world. It's disguised as benevolence, but it is in no way benevolent or beneficial to anyone. It cuts anyone down for being selfish.

Rights are designed specifically to protect the individual, so that he can live his life and pursue his happiness. It's a purely egoistic concept. Altruists consider selfishness to be evil. They would have nothing but contempt for rights.

By way of example, altruists are always forcing us to do things by the state, and accuse us of being "selfish" if we don't go along. That's the entire way the welfare state was created.

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Not quite right. It's someone who does so SELFLESSLY. This is the key. If you give to a friend to help him out, because you value that friend, that is not altruistic, and it it thus not moral.

Touche, but this is exactly why Lamb wasn't a true altruist, and why real altruism is probably impossible. She was more of a collectivist.

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Touche, but this is exactly why Lamb wasn't a true altruist, and why real altruism is probably impossible. She was more of a collectivist.

Yes, true altruism is impossible by design; it's fueled by the unplacatable guilt experienced by its frustrated pursuers.

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