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Is geneology a rational pursuit?

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32 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

in fact ancestry qua ancestry is rather meaningless to a person who is individualistiic

Implying that:

Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d'Anconia

as far as heroic characters go, was not "individualistic".

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47 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Implying that:

Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d'Anconia

as far as heroic characters go, was not "individualistic".

He didn't care about ancestry qua ancestry. He cared about opting to be an individualist, and liked that he had to earn his name. Dagny didn't care about ancestry (except for one relative that was admirable anyway), Roark didn't, Rearden didn't. Looking at Francisco, he showed pride in being like a particular group of relatives he chooe to be like. Not because they were -geneological- ancestors of his, but because they were awesome at business. If Francisco did care about geneology as some special value to him, that was his error.

The topic is geneology, connections in a family through offspriing, not through virtues. There is no big causal link between one's parents and the person they are and become, though. To see special status of one's blood, even of awesome ancestors, would be to downplay free will, or to ignore that survival of generations is not through survival of the most rational.

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For some extra ideas from Rand:

"The acceptance of the achievements of an individual by other individuals does not represent “ethnicity”: it represents a cultural division of labor in a free market; it represents a conscious, individual choice on the part of all the men involved; the achievements may be scientific or technological or industrial or intellectual or esthetic—and the sum of such accepted achievements constitutes a free, civilized nation’s culture. Tradition has nothing to do with it; tradition is being challenged and blasted daily in a free, civilized society: its citizens accept ideas and products because they are true and/or good—not because they are old nor because their ancestors accepted them. In such a society, concretes change, but what remains immutable—by individual conviction, not by tradition—are those philosophical principles which correspond to reality, i.e., which are true. "

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/culture.html

A race or ethnicity is essentially a more generalized geneology, so we can reasonably take this to be about geneology, too. So I bolded what is most important to the thread. Culture is what counts.

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9 hours ago, Eiuol said:

For some extra ideas from Rand:

"The acceptance of the achievements of an individual by other individuals does not represent “ethnicity”: it represents a cultural division of labor in a free market; it represents a conscious, individual choice on the part of all the men involved; the achievements may be scientific or technological or industrial or intellectual or esthetic—and the sum of such accepted achievements constitutes a free, civilized nation’s culture. Tradition has nothing to do with it; tradition is being challenged and blasted daily in a free, civilized society: its citizens accept ideas and products because they are true and/or good—not because they are old nor because their ancestors accepted them. In such a society, concretes change, but what remains immutable—by individual conviction, not by tradition—are those philosophical principles which correspond to reality, i.e., which are true. "

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/culture.html

A race or ethnicity is essentially a more generalized geneology, so we can reasonably take this to be about geneology, too. So I bolded what is most important to the thread. Culture is what counts.

This straw man is weaker than the previous one.  No one has asked whether culture is important.

Interest in geneology or ancestry is NOT the same thing as interest in one's race or ethnic traditions.

You're getting sloppy. 

Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d'Anconia's strong interest, meaning, and pride in his family ancestry is NOT "ethnicism" or "racism".

Shame on you.

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3 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Interest in geneology or ancestry is NOT the same thing as interest in one's race or ethnic traditions.

How is it not just narrower than race? A race and ethnicity only consists of a geneology of multiple families. Is this wrong?

I know no one asked if culture is important - I'm saying culture is what matters here and the concept that makes sense for your intention. Rather than saying I'm being sloppy, you should say what I got wrong. It's not a strawman to present an argument that you're wrong despite your intention for your argument to be right. So far, I have not seen counter-arguments about -why- I'm wrong - at least give me quotes of Francisco. My position is that Francisco valued a certain -culture- related to some ancestors, not geneology.

Pride in family ancestry makes no sense, rationally speaking. One is not part of that past in any way as far as values. Suppose your ancestor was Andrew Carnegie. How or what about his being your ancestor makes some special value to you? How would his value differ if he wasn't your ancestor?

Edited by Eiuol

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

How is it not just narrower than race? A race and ethnicity only consists of a geneology of multiple families. Is this wrong?

I know no one asked if culture is important - I'm saying culture is what matters here and the concept that makes sense for your intention. Rather than saying I'm being sloppy, you should say what I got wrong. It's not a strawman to present an argument that you're wrong despite your intention for your argument to be right. So far, I have not seen counter-arguments about -why- I'm wrong - at least give me quotes of Francisco. My position is that Francisco valued a certain -culture- related to some ancestors, not geneology.

Pride in family ancestry makes no sense, rationally speaking. One is not part of that past in any way as far as values. Suppose your ancestor was Andrew Carnegie. How or what about his being your ancestor makes some special value to you? How would his value differ if he wasn't your ancestor?

The answers for you to consider are to the questions which have you flummoxed:

Why DOES Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d'Anconia care at all about his family background and what his ancestors did?

Why doesn't he care about and/or identify with and/or feel proud about the accomplishments, actions, virtues, of perfect strangers such as Aristotle, The Founding Fathers, John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Nat Taggart in the same way that he DOES care identify and feel proud about those of his family?   i.e. How is it different and WHY?

Please refer to ATLAS SHRUGGED.  Let me know when you have the answers.

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40 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Why doesn't he care about and/or identify with and/or feel proud about the accomplishments, actions, virtues, of perfect strangers such as Aristotle, The Founding Fathers, John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Nat Taggart in the same way that he DOES care identify and feel proud about those of his family?   i.e. How is it different and WHY?

I don't know, that's why I asked you. I can't come up with a rational reason - and merely opening up AS won't reveal a rational reason to me (or do you have specific  pages to point me to?). I need arguments.

I see no rational reason for Francisco to value his ancestors differently than non-ancestors. They are only different as far as traits that don't matter for moral judgment. Why? Because geneology has no more bearing on the person you voluntarily become than the books you read. Earlier on, you claimed that geneology does have a bearing on the person you become (" Your parents likewise are to more or less of a degree, by nature and nurture who they are because of their parents."). If your premise is true, that means my premise is false. If mine is true, then yours is false.

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Rand put at least six partial genealogies in Atlas Shrugged. Consider the insights derived from providing genealogical tidbits about the Starnes heirs and the quite detailed background of Wesley Mouch provided on page 498. Ragnar had a briefly summarized past, as did Cherryl Brooks-Taggart. John Galt was even identified as the son of a gas-station mechanic.

These are coming from someone who stated in The Art of Fiction:

I can give the reason for every word and every punctuation mark in Atlas Shrugged—and there are 645,000 words in it by the printer's count. I did not have to calculate it all consciously when I was writing. But what I did was follow a conscious intention in relation to the novel's theme and to every element involved in that theme. I was conscious of my purpose throughout the job—the general purpose of the novel and the particular purpose of every chapter, paragraph, and sentence.

 

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4 hours ago, Eiuol said:

...  Earlier on, you claimed that geneology does have a bearing on the person you become (" Your parents likewise are to more or less of a degree, by nature and nurture who they are because of their parents."). If your premise is true, that means my premise is false. If mine is true, then yours is false.

I assume you are not questioning the string impact that parents have on their kids, at least in a majority of cases? Rather, you're pointing out that such "inherited" traits are not a reason for pride because they're just there. So, for example, a person could be proud that he adopted some positive trait even though his parents taught him the opposite; but, if he got some trait from his parents, without making a decision himself, there's less reason to be proud. Is that your view?

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sNerd, by string impact, do you mean that parents instill values in their kids, and those kids instill values in their kids?

If so, then I am saying this impact is minimal at best, and past the people you know personally, there is no impact at all (it's one reason 2nd generation kids of immigrants assimilate strongly). Your ancestors are as much a stranger to you as Aristotle. Of your direct family even, their impact doesn't eclipse the rest of society. It's rather amazing that despite needing to learn so much in the world with free will, knowledge and moral cognition doesn't depend on parents much besides physical protection. All a parent can do is provide a healthy and open environment. All this is to point out that people start from scratch. You cannot trace any of -your- virtues to your ancestors just as you can't trace any moral flaws to your ancestors.

So one can be proud of learning some virtues from a parent, but learning something from an ancestor is no more special to who you are than being proud to learn some virtues from Rand. They're people you will never meet.

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41 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

... I am saying this impact is minimal at best, and past the people you know personally, there is no impact at all (it's one reason 2nd generation kids of immigrants assimilate strongly). ...

Most people are Christian or Muslim etc. because that's what their parents were. Obviously that's not universal or we wouldn't see change, let alone see something like Objectivism. Religion is just one thing people learn from their parents. How people construe who they are, and thus what they aim for, and thus what they achieve is heavily influenced by their parents -- in the typical case. So, I wouldn't say it is minimal, if one is looking at broad impact, across society.

Of course, peers and the general culture have a big impact too. Indeed, what people call "American exceptionalism" is not so much a chosen quality in Americans, but more a set of values that is mostly absorbed by cultural osmosis. 

Immigrants actually are a special case, and are atypical. Immigrants are displaced, and this makes them question who they are, and forces them to choose. They're confronted with the values of their native place and the values of their adopted place. Since they have this new cultural force working on them, it isn't surprising that they choose  mix. (Some do the opposite and go looking for their "roots" in a way that their parents do not, but tat's a different topic.)

In general, parents and larger society impact most people. Not taking the time -- or not knowing how -- to figure out a philosophy of their own, they end up with a mix of influences from those around them.. with parents and close family being important contributors.

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On 3/14/2017 at 6:31 PM, StrictlyLogical said:

Is it "rational" to find meaning in life? 

I don't know that I care whether anyone thinks they have the answer to that question or what that answer could be.  I certainly think it is important and desirable for me to find meaning in life but I do not know that it is subject to my voluntary choice... that's me.

You don't seem to be able to say categorically that life does have meaning. Is that stepping too far out on a limb for you? Do you think you might be in error?

This is just an odd sort of "neutrality" to me, what would the risk be if you were wrong? Being "wrong" about life having meaning, means that there is no meaning - including in that conclusion. It's a self-contradictory thing.

If you can start from the premise that life *does* have meaning, then if you don't know what it is, or find yourself being led to the opposite conclusion, then you know something is wrong, that there is a contradiction. 

So yes, it is rational to find meaning in life. And some things *are* necessarily a value to anyone who cares about rationality and meaning in life because of who we are, because of what human nature is, man qua man.

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Eioul, consider the original question:

On 3/14/2017 at 2:54 AM, happiness said:

Is there any good reason to want to learn about ancestors you never knew and whose lifetimes didn't overlap with your own? Is it a form of tribalism?

Add to this Rand's theory of concepts, especially taking into consideration that a word/concept had to be generated at some point by somebody.

Quote

 

genealogy (n.) Look up genealogy at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "line of descent, pedigree, descent," from Old French genealogie (12c.), from Late Latin genealogia "tracing of a family," from Greek genealogia "the making of a pedigree," from genea "generation, descent" (see genus) + -logia (see -logy). An Old English word for it was folctalu, literally "folk tale." Meaning "study of family trees" is from 1768.

 

Add to this two further inquiries:

Quote

 

pedigree (n.) Look up pedigree at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "genealogical table or chart," from Anglo-French pe de gru, a variant of Old French pied de gru "foot of a crane," from Latin pedem accusative of pes "foot," from PIE root *ped- (1) "a foot" (see foot (n.)) + gruem (nominative grus) "crane," cognate with Greek geranos, Old English cran; see crane (n.)).

On old manuscripts, "descent" was indicated by a forked sign resembling the branching lines of a genealogical chart; the sign also happened to look like a bird's footprint. Form influenced in Middle English by association with degree. Meaning "ancestral line" is mid-15c.; of animals, c. 1600. Related: Pedigreed.

 

Quote

 

folklore (n.) Look up folklore at Dictionary.com
"traditional beliefs and customs of the common people," 1846, coined by antiquarian William J. Thoms (1803-1885) as an Anglo-Saxonism (replacing popular antiquities) in imitation of German compounds in Volk- and first published in the "Athenaeum" of Aug. 22, 1846; see folk + lore. Old English folclar meant "homily."

This word revived folk in a modern sense of "of the common people, whose culture is handed down orally," and opened up a flood of compound formations: Folk art (1892), folk-hero (1874), folk-medicine (1877), folk-tale (1850; Old English folctalu meant "genealogy"), folk-song (1847, "a song of the people," translating German Volkslied), folk-singer (1876), folk-dance (1877).

 

Genealogy doesn't dictate values, as you seem to be importing here, albeit the handing down of traditional beliefs and customs—to the degree they are adopted, via folklore. To the degree it might be accepted without questioning, this would become essentially a philosophy one has accepted without questioning the source of such importation.

To transmute genealogy into a form of tribalism is to drop the context of genealogy in favor of a package deal of tribalism (IMHO/IMNSHO).

 
 
 

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Is there any reason why I should ever take an interest in my paternal grandfather, whom my father never met? (This is apart from such practical considerations as genetic/medical information, which I agree might be of value.)

I don't begrudge people who find their own lineage interesting. But then, people invest themselves into all sorts of things I do not care about, and cannot relate to. But this idea that there is something about my paternal grandfather that matters to who I am today, I find questionable at least.

Ayn Rand, who as far as I know is no more a relation to me than Adam, matters far more to who I am (in terms of my character) than 90% of the cousins, aunts, uncles and etc. of whom I am aware. I'd do at least as well to study her biography as theirs, and I have nearly no interest in Rand's biography either.

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1 hour ago, dream_weaver said:

Genealogy doesn't dictate values, as you seem to be importing here, albeit the handing down of traditional beliefs and customs—to the degree they are adopted, via folklore. To the degree it might be accepted without questioning, this would become essentially a philosophy one has accepted without questioning the source of such importation.

SL claimed that genealogy has a -morally- important aspect by its very nature (i.e. represents man's survival and your coming to exist, as far as I understand and as far as SL explained). I agree that values may be adopted by an unquestioned osmosis, but that's not at issue. Genealogy has no rational value as to who you have become - unless we're asking about medical history.

sNerd, I grasp what you mean, but even the religion one adopts is a cultural thing and less about it being about one's parents. It matters, but not more than teachers or mentors. Besides, that isn't about genealogy, that is, ancestors.

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12 hours ago, epistemologue said:

You don't seem to be able to say categorically that life does have meaning. Is that stepping too far out on a limb for you? Do you think you might be in error?

Categorically??  Life?  What is the meaning of a flea?

WRT to humans some people find meaning in life, others will profess they do not.  Some will say that they can prove every person's life has no meaning whatever... and cite a blind universe unimaginably larger and older than each person.  Others will say every person's life has meaning to the universe or some God... and support it with some mystic insanity.

 

In reality, only people hold things as having meaning, things do not possess metaphysically an intrinsic "meaning".  Meaning presupposes a person holding that something has meaning to or for them. 

 

I said what I said.  Which is MY life has meaning FOR ME. 

Moreover, that I do not care what others wish to say about my relationship with my life.

I choose life.  It's no one else's business and nothing anyone can say will change my own sense of meaning I have for my own life.

 

12 hours ago, epistemologue said:

what would the risk be if you were wrong? Being "wrong" about life having meaning, means that there is no meaning - including in that conclusion. It's a self-contradictory thing.

There is no risk in stating that I find meaning in my life.  I cannot be wrong.

It would be a risk if I were to naively assume everyone finds meaning in life or thinks their life has meaning... that, I literally CANNOT claim.

 

12 hours ago, epistemologue said:

If you can start from the premise that life *does* have meaning, then if you don't know what it is, or find yourself being led to the opposite conclusion, then you know something is wrong, that there is a contradiction. 

I'm not starting from premises, or trying to justify myself.  No rational argument can dissuade me from finding meaning in my own life.  Period.  I don't care what people think. Period.

 

12 hours ago, epistemologue said:

So yes, it is rational to find meaning in life. And some things *are* necessarily a value to anyone who cares about rationality and meaning in life because of who we are, because of what human nature is, man qua man.

If you believe it is rational to find meaning in your life good for you.

Others will argue that it is irrational for you to find meaning, or perhaps that the entire concept "meaning" is irrational.  Others will argue that your life has no meaning whatever.. and therefor conclude that it is rational to find no meaning in life.

I don't care what they think and perhaps you do or don't, but in the end you shouldn't, not about the meaning you find in your life if you have it.

 

If you find meaning in your life, and you have some reasons for it then that's perfectly fine.  Live your life, enjoy it, pursue happiness. 

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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3 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

JESUS CHRIST Eioul STOP MISQUOTING ME.

Rather than clicking report, I'll take this as a knee-jerk response made in haste.

" Your parents likewise are to more or less of a degree, by nature and nurture who they are because of their parents.  Although there are breaks in the chain of nurture - adoptions, or abandonments, ancestor parents being killed but a child surviving to be raised by others in the village or going back further raised by the pack - the vast majority of the effect of nurture is intact. (certainly one could argue that the injection of a State run school system, and babysitting systems such as radio, TV, and computer games, is an interruption in this process of Nurture... it is a very recent phenomenon, and limited in impact of parents are proactive).  This goes backward and on to a multitude of ancestors back to the dawn of life itself. " -your first post here

It was not a misquote or a change of what you meant. But you refuse to explain if or how I got your argument wrong. Looks right to me. You are saying the effects of one's genealogy is largely intact, and you are also saying it is morally important (i.e. it has a particular moral weight greater than non-ancestors) to value one's ancestors in a way different than other past people. I've tried to ask questions to discern your position or if I got it wrong - because apparently I got it wrong. All I got is attempts to shame me, telling me no one cares what I have to say, yelling at me, accusations of evasion, telling me to read AS, psychologizing, and more. Everything but a counter-argument.

Edited by Eiuol

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21 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Why DOES Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d'Anconia care at all about his family background and what his ancestors did?

Why doesn't he care about and/or identify with and/or feel proud about the accomplishments, actions, virtues, of perfect strangers such as Aristotle, The Founding Fathers, John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Nat Taggart in the same way that he DOES care identify and feel proud about those of his family?   i.e. How is it different and WHY?

Apropos of this thread, I've been thinking about this sort of thing lately, and what I've found myself wondering is: suppose it turned out that Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d'Anconia were adopted?

Would he (or ought he) feel less connected to his family? Less concerned with proving himself worthy of the family name? Would he be rational in seeking out his "real" family, instead, the better to understand himself? Or would it make more sense for him to now draw greater inspiration from Aristotle, The Founding Fathers, et al.?

Or what about a family friend to the d'Anconias -- perhaps one without so "proud" a lineage. Could such a person rightly aspire to prove himself equally worthy of a family name he does not bear? Or would this somehow be dishonest? Must he rather accept what he's been born to?

Speaking personally, I don't know why I shouldn't identify with or care about or "feel proud" about the accomplishments, actions, and virtues of "perfect strangers." If family -- rationally and ideally -- is aspirational in character, then why shouldn't I aspire to the best of the human race, irrespective of their relationship to me? Why be bound by race or ethnicity or family ties, or give such happenstance associations special weight? Regarding "pride," why should I take any pride in what I have not personally accomplished?

As for Francisco Sábado Wolfgang Andromeda Marigold III, I don't know why he feels the way he does. It's at least possible that he's mistaken for it, though, or that Rand was mistaken for presenting him in such a way, or etc., so I think the idea of trying to show that genealogy is a rational pursuit because d'Anconia considered it to be (if we can even draw that conclusion) is specious at best.

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11 hours ago, Eiuol said:

SL claimed that genealogy has a -morally- important aspect by its very nature

I made no such claim.

 

Your quote of my statement about people to more or less of a degree (which literally includes great amounts and incredibly small amounts of degree) are who they are (which is a huge category spanning everything about a person), by nature and by nurture because of their parents says nothing about geneology being morally important for anyone.  All it says is that the string of people in your family are causative and linked to who a person is.  I also mentions some links can be severed or weakened but that is obvious. It is clear that this effect can be larger with people who have stronger nurturing loving families and a higher sense of family than those who come from bad weakly linked unloving families or for people who are themselves callous rotters who value no other people including those closest to them.  I'm not some rationalist idiot saying all people must find family meaningful... of stating in some terms that some people do and why they do.

Nowhere do I say geneology is morally "important", as if were a some kind of Kantian duty.  Rationality is morally important... you'll die if you step in front of a train, but geneology "by its very nature" being morally important??... this does not even make sense.  Actions of an individual can be morally important, virtues of an individual are morally important, the value hierarchy of a man can be morally important...

But geneology being "morally important" by its very nature makes no sense.

I said no such thing.

 

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1 hour ago, DonAthos said:

Apropos of this thread, I've been thinking about this sort of thing lately, and what I've found myself wondering is: suppose it turned out that Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d'Anconia were adopted?

Would he (or ought he) feel less connected to his family? Less concerned with proving himself worthy of the family name? Would he be rational in seeking out his "real" family, instead, the better to understand himself? Or would it make more sense for him to now draw greater inspiration from Aristotle, The Founding Fathers, et al.?

Or what about a family friend to the d'Anconias -- perhaps one without so "proud" a lineage. Could such a person rightly aspire to prove himself equally worthy of a family name he does not bear? Or would this somehow be dishonest? Must he rather accept what he's been born to?

Speaking personally, I don't know why I shouldn't identify with or care about or "feel proud" about the accomplishments, actions, and virtues of "perfect strangers." If family -- rationally and ideally -- is aspirational in character, then why shouldn't I aspire to the best of the human race, irrespective of their relationship to me? Why be bound by race or ethnicity or family ties, or give such happenstance associations special weight? Regarding "pride," why should I take any pride in what I have not personally accomplished?

As for Francisco Sábado Wolfgang Andromeda Marigold III, I don't know why he feels the way he does. It's at least possible that he's mistaken for it, though, or that Rand was mistaken for presenting him in such a way, or etc., so I think the idea of trying to show that genealogy is a rational pursuit because d'Anconia considered it to be (if we can even draw that conclusion) is specious at best.

DA

I have been thinking much about the subjects you have recently been addressing.  As it turns out my pondering of the concept "meaning" in the wider scheme of being human, and how it and other aspects interplay between such things as "pleasure", "happiness", "choice", "subjectivity", "reality", "objectivity", "morality", "freedom", "duty", "rationalism" I have the seed of an idea which tells me that on the widest integration we are not so far apart... and that it is a reaction against a rationalist element not in Objectivism proper but in some of its self proclaimed proponents.

This seed of an idea is borne of our disagreement about pleasure being part of the standard of morality versus its being only part of the purpose for having a morality in the first place.  It is borne from discussions with rationalists who would put man in service of morality rather than morality in service of man, and those who proffer rationality as the reason to live rather than a tool to enable man to live his life.  It is borne from the idea that in the same way politics cannot be a tyrant to ethics and the very freedom of morality with which it must be consistent, so too morality, rationality, and ethics cannot be a tyrant to a living being and the very freedom of subjective choices those ethics are committed to enable and guide within the limits of reality.  Politics cannot (and should not) attempt to dictate to ethics, and objective rationality and morality cannot (and should not) attempt to dictate away what are properly subjective personal freedoms.  Politics serves to enable a person to be ethical, and ethics serves to enable a person to live the life they choose.

I will provide a better explanation in due course but I see a dark Randroidian on a horse (putting the cart before itself...), exalting ideas above men and their lives... making men slaves to philosophy rather than its beneficiary, taking its scythe to lop off all meaning and subjectivity, leaving in its wake meaningless joyless walking corpses.

Make no mistake, there are Objectivists who have the sense of life Rand had, a full emotive and rational life filled with meaning and value, but there are also the rationalist Randroids who unconsciously seek to destroy all subjectivity, choice, meaning, and joy with cold calculation... bowing before logic devoid of meaning or purpose as their cold and remote God.

 

Particulars in life ARE subjective, they ARE personal, often they are chosen, and Man does need rationality and an Objective morality to live life successfully in reality.  This is not an inconsistency it's what makes us human. 

 

Insofar as there is overlap between our positions I will attempt to bring them to the fore in due course.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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16 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Your quote of my statement about people to more or less of a degree (which literally includes great amounts and incredibly small amounts of degree) are who they are (which is a huge category spanning everything about a person), by nature and by nurture because of their parents says nothing about geneology being morally important for anyone.  All it says is that the string of people in your family are causative and linked to who a person is.  I also mentions some links can be severed or weakened but that is obvious.

And I deny that you can establish a causative link. The only link is genes. That's it. It has no bearing on pride, where virtue counts. The link is severed each generation. In other words, a rational person wouldn't feel pride in their ancestry, or even see a special meaning of unchosen family. The degree of nurturing by parents matters as does much else, but parents aren't ancestors. Who your great-grandpa is doesn't matter at all in that process.

Anything that makes you who you are is important, and if choice is involved, that subject has moral worth by its nature - your ancestry harms or helps you and requires moral evaluation. "Important" is just to say: "this matters as fundamentally good or bad for me" as opposed to something like "it is important to salt your eggs before eating them". I don't mean it is the same as morally good.

"I'm not some rationalist idiot saying all people must find family meaningful... of stating in some terms that some people do and why they do."

But you are saying -some- people should, while I say -no one- should. Or you say that family ancestry has moral weight. I'm saying its value on a hierarchy should be low as what color your eyes are for the same reasons. All that you said implies a general importance to genealogy, an importance that has unique standing. Implication doesn't mean intended here.

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24 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

But you are saying -some- people should

STOP MISQUOTING ME Eioul, JUST STOP IT.

I NEVER said anyone "SHOULD"... you just cant arbitrarily LIE about what someone said. STOP IT!!!!!

24 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Or you say that family ancestry has moral weight.

I NEVER said family ancestry "has moral weight".   STOP misquoting me!

What is WRONG with you?  as a MODERATOR you should know better than to MISQUOTE AND LIE ABOUT WHAT OTHER POSTERS STATE!

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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2 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Meaning presupposes a person holding that something has meaning to or for them. 

So do you hold that there is no objective meaning that we can aim for or measure ourselves against? Isn't that pure subjectivism?

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16 minutes ago, epistemologue said:

So do you hold that there is no objective meaning that we can aim for or measure ourselves against? Isn't that pure subjectivism?

It depends on what precisely you mean by "objective meaning".

Do you mean by "objective meaning" that things have meaning independent of the existence of any individual?

Also, I am not sure what you mean by "pure" subjectivism.  If by subjective, you mean things that are dependent upon the individual and only the individual, some things in reality are subjective.  A person, however is not divorced from reality and identity, but as long as that is kept in mind, some things which are subjective can also be purely subjective.  Some tastes, likes, dislikes, are correctly characterized as subjective.  As for pure subjectivism, I would equate that with a complete denial of everything which is not subjective, i.e. a denial of all things in the universe which are objective, metaphysical, inherent... etc. which would be irrational.

I am uncertain that one can "aim" for a meaning or measure oneself against sheer meaning...  one can aim to achieve a goal which has meaning for him/her... and one can measure oneself against something in which one finds meaning, yes.  Again whether the meaning you find in the goal at which you aim or the something against which you compare yourself is "objective", I would need to better understand what you mean by its being "objective" as against not "objective".

BTW: My sense of the word meaning is akin to "personal significance", or "deep personal value" not ... meaning as in definitional or clarification assisting.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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