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CuriousDude

I am a bit confused...

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I would like to start by saying forgive my ignorance. I did not come here to fight. I am asking this question because I am sincerely curious.

I am Greek and I really like my culture. I like my traditions and I view myself as a 'continuation' of a history. I believe in moral values and I have a wish to make my family proud. I am not racist or a nationalist and I do not believe that Greeks are better than others.

I simply find that the cultural identity of a person works against a post-modernist society and nihilism. 

Is that wrong? Is it wrong to like your country, your culture, your heritage and to believe in honor and pride?

Edited by CuriousDude

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In Socratic fashion, in order to know how to normatively apply a concept, we have to know what your definition and meaning of those terms are. Socrates, being accused of impiety, asks Euthyphro "What is piety?" To which he responds (summarizing here), "That which pleases the gods," Socrates responds, "The gods disagree..." To which Euthyphro responds "That which pleases all the gods..." Socrates then says well that doesn't tell us what it is, and then gets some basic definition to work from.

Rand has this idea of hierarchy and context, that you start off with a paradigmatic case and then develop a meaning based off that, then you obserbve other problematic cases or integrate it with your other beliefs, then you go backwards and refine it as needed. Again, summarizing here.

So what facts of reality gives rise to the need for these concepts, what knowledge is already presumed by the time you get "honor," "pride," "traditions," and "cultural identity," and what context are you attending to when you apply it in the propositions like "I'm proud of my cultural identity." So we can start off with some initial meaning and then refine it from there.

My initial thoughts are that honor and pride are proper virtues when applied to individualistic human flourishing, and not the nation-state as a whole. I think one can be proud of, or take pride in one's cultural identity insofar as that identity promotes the proper values that one has formed, in the general sense of "I'm glad we're doing this right," or "our polis (so to speak) is right for living in reality and functioning properly. This is good that it exists, and I am in it, as opposed to a different city." 

The honorable man then, is one that defends his city, but only insofar as it is right and promotes human flourishing. To the extent it doesn't, I would be inclined to say the honorable man is the critic, the reformer, the protestor. 

In the same way, I think there's invalid uses of this concept. If you're on a baseball team and the other members of the team make skilled plays that facilitate winning, you'd be "proud of them" in some sense. But you're not going to say something like "we have the same color jersey on, therefore I get credit for his good plays." It doesn't make sense to claim "pride for x" when you didn't contribute to or aren't a part of x, or on the basis of some nonessential, like "he is virtuous, he is tall, I am tall, therefore I am virtuous." Likewise, just simply being born in one human community versus another isn't a source of honor or pride, since they'd have to be achieved by your own character development and discipline.

Edited by 2046

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12 minutes ago, 2046 said:

In Socratic fashion, in order to know how to normatively apply a concept, we have to know what your definition and meaning of those terms are. Socrates, being accused of impiety, asks Euthyphro "What is piety?" To which he responds (summarizing here), "That which pleases the gods," Socrates responds, "The gods disagree..." To which Euthyphro responds "That which pleases all the gods..." Socrates then says well that doesn't tell us what it is, and then gets some basic definition to work from.

Rand has this idea of hierarchy and context, that you start off with a paradigmatic case and then develop a meaning based off that, then you obserbve other problematic cases or integrate it with your other beliefs, then you go backwards and refine it as needed. Again, summarizing here.

So what facts of reality gives rise to the need for these concepts, what knowledge is already presumed by the time you get "honor," "pride," "traditions," and "cultural identity," and what context are you attending to when you apply it in the propositions like "I'm proud of my cultural identity." So we can start off with some initial meaning and then refine it from there.

My initial thoughts are that honor and pride are proper virtues when applied to individualistic human flourishing, and not the nation-state as a whole. I think one can be proud of, or take pride in one's cultural identity insofar as that identity promotes the proper values that one has formed, in the general sense of "I'm glad we're doing this right," or "our polis (so to speak) is right for living in reality and functioning properly. This is good that it exists, and I am in it, as opposed to a different city." 

The honorable man then, is one that defends his city, but only insofar as it is right and promotes human flourishing. To the extent it doesn't, I would be inclined to say the honorable man is the critic, the reformer, the protestor. 

In the same way, I think there's invalid uses of this concept. If you're on a baseball team and the other members of the team make skilled plays that facilitate winning, you'd be "proud of them" in some sense. But you're not going to say something like "we have the same color jersey on, therefore I get credit for his good plays." It doesn't make sense to claim "pride for x" when you didn't contribute to or aren't a part of x, or on the basis of some nonessential, like "he is virtuous, he is tall, I am tall, therefore I am virtuous." Likewise, just simply being born in one human community versus another isn't a source of honor or pride, since they'd have to be achieved by your own character development and discipline.

I believe I understand what you mean and I agree with you. Thank you for taking the time to write such a long post. 

Edited by CuriousDude

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14 minutes ago, 2046 said:

In Socratic fashion, in order to know how to normatively apply a concept, we have to know what your definition and meaning of those terms are. Socrates, being accused of impiety, asks Euthyphro "What is piety?" To which he responds (summarizing here), "That which pleases the gods," Socrates responds, "The gods disagree..." To which Euthyphro responds "That which pleases all the gods..." Socrates then says well that doesn't tell us what it is, and then gets some basic definition to work from.

Rand has this idea of hierarchy and context, that you start off with a paradigmatic case and then develop a meaning based off that, then you obserbve other problematic cases or integrate it with your other beliefs, then you go backwards and refine it as needed. Again, summarizing here.

So what facts of reality gives rise to the need for these concepts, what knowledge is already presumed by the time you get "honor," "pride," "traditions," and "cultural identity," and what context are you attending to when you apply it in the propositions like "I'm proud of my cultural identity." So we can start off with some initial meaning and then refine it from there.

My initial thoughts are that honor and pride are proper virtues when applied to individualistic human flourishing, and not the nation-state as a whole. I think one can be proud of, or take pride in one's cultural identity insofar as that identity promotes the proper values that one has formed, in the general sense of "I'm glad we're doing this right," or "our polis (so to speak) is right for living in reality and functioning properly. This is good that it exists, and I am in it, as opposed to a different city." 

The honorable man then, is one that defends his city, but only insofar as it is right and promotes human flourishing. To the extent it doesn't, I would be inclined to say the honorable man is the critic, the reformer, the protestor. 

In the same way, I think there's invalid uses of this concept. If you're on a baseball team and the other members of the team make skilled plays that facilitate winning, you'd be "proud of them" in some sense. But you're not going to say something like "we have the same color jersey on, therefore I get credit for his good plays." It doesn't make sense to claim "pride for x" when you didn't contribute to or aren't a part of x, or on the basis of some nonessential, like "he is virtuous, he is tall, I am tall, therefore I am virtuous." Likewise, just simply being born in one human community versus another isn't a source of honor or pride, since they'd have to be achieved by your own character development and discipline.

When I talk about cultural identity and pride I do not mean being proud of other people's achievements. I consider myself to be the continuation of a history and thus I want this part of history to be honourable. I want my father and grandfather to be proud me. I wish to study their teachings in order to find some truth in it. 

If we take for example the way of life or culture and the values that my great grandfather followed I am sure we can find a lot of truth in them. People of old were by no means stupid. They lived in harder situations and had experienced many things. 

I want to study my nation's history and culture to find out what worked and what didn't and thus probably predict where my country and where I am heading. 

Of course I am summarising as well. 

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2 hours ago, CuriousDude said:

When I talk about cultural identity and pride I do not mean being proud of other people's achievements. I consider myself to be the continuation of a history and thus I want this part of history to be honourable. I want my father and grandfather to be proud me. I wish to study their teachings in order to find some truth in it. 

If we take for example the way of life or culture and the values that my great grandfather followed I am sure we can find a lot of truth in them. People of old were by no means stupid. They lived in harder situations and had experienced many things. 

I want to study my nation's history and culture to find out what worked and what didn't and thus probably predict where my country and where I am heading. 

Of course I am summarising as well. 

As an amateur student of history, there are a great many achievements attributed to the Ancient Greeks, not least of which is the tradition of philosophical study. While we may give them credit as originals, the works of many of the best of those original philosophers may have need of revision. Use your own independent judgement as to the meaning of your elders advise. Without any knowledge of your goals, nor the influence your elders have on you, it would be difficult to say any more. I think 2046 stated it quite succinctly. I know from experience that family elders don't always dispense "wisdom" of any value; they might simply be parroting something told to them. And welcome to the forum.

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5 hours ago, Repairman said:

As an amateur student of history, there are a great many achievements attributed to the Ancient Greeks, not least of which is the tradition of philosophical study. While we may give them credit as originals, the works of many of the best of those original philosophers may have need of revision. Use your own independent judgement as to the meaning of your elders advise. Without any knowledge of your goals, nor the influence your elders have on you, it would be difficult to say any more. I think 2046 stated it quite succinctly. I know from experience that family elders don't always dispense "wisdom" of any value; they might simply be parroting something told to them. And welcome to the forum.

Thank you very much! 

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It is fine to admire the achievements of various people. If they happen to be from your native country, that's fine too. It's also great to admire the achievements of people that you know personally.

But it's important to remember that this really has nothing to do with the history of your family. Whether someone is your grandfather doesn't matter, because birth family doesn't have any bearing on what makes someone admirable or not. 

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I don't think that there is something wrong with liking or disliking anything. That is up to you to value what your independent mind deems valuable. I would only object to taking pride of what your country or your culture has achieved. The only thing I would be proud of is my own achievements in my life, not the achievement of others.

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Ali,

If your best friend by himself invented a practical quantum computer wouldn't you be proud of him?

The answer is not:  I had no hand in the invention therefore I can have no pride in him.

"Pride in someone" is a useful expression.  Would you take all the camaraderie out of life?  Camaraderie sounds like communism  therefore it is evil? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 11/18/2019 at 5:26 AM, Ali Shannon said:

I don't think that there is something wrong with liking or disliking anything. That is up to you to value what your independent mind deems valuable. I would only object to taking pride of what your country or your culture has achieved. The only thing I would be proud of is my own achievements in my life, not the achievement of others.

What's to be proud of about one's nation is the overall freedom which made individual achievements possible. That's not to take reflected glory from those achievements. You didn't build that. It is, rather, their context. A valued friend's pride at attaining a goal is a source of pleasure to one, entirely on his part, primarily. Though secondly it might be argued you could take some personal pride from recognizing his high qualities, in the first place.

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On 11/18/2019 at 5:26 AM, Ali Shannon said:

That is up to you to value what your independent mind deems valuable. ...The only thing I would be proud of is my own achievements in my life, not the achievement of others.

Ali: There is plenty in others' efforts to see ~objective~ value in, and more, to take affirmation - man's volitional, reasoning, mind at work - from.

Right, the virtue, pride is all one's own doing. One's virtue of justice rises in calling out the valuable accomplishments of other minds.

Edited by whYNOT

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On 11/17/2019 at 10:26 PM, Ali Shannon said:

I don't think that there is something wrong with liking or disliking anything. That is up to you to value what your independent mind deems valuable. I would only object to taking pride of what your country or your culture has achieved. The only thing I would be proud of is my own achievements in my life, not the achievement of others.

Yes, it's quite routine for people to take pride in stuff they played no role in, and would even have actively worked against. They do this because they identify closely with the target of their pride, and they think something along the lines of "someone enacting values like mine" did something good. 

Too often, this becomes "people like me did...", or "people who live near me did..." of even "people who live nearby 200 years ago did...". As an *emotion* this is just natural consequence of the core question: who am I? If you think of yourself as a American, mid-western, Christian... the emotion of pride is natural when another mid-westerner, American or Christian does something good. 

Of course, just because one feels an emotion does not mean the core assumptions are right. That's what one needs to question: who am I? 

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Not to be confused with deriving one's false 'pride' or self-esteem by association, there will be enjoyment-value found in others' victories and successes. One often partakes in various group activities, a school, the tennis club, a literary group and so on, and if one member whom you have known goes on to success (accepted in a pro tennis circuit, let's say, or publishes a novel) it has no reflection on you. You'll just be very pleased for him/her. Self-esteem through collective association, perhaps by one's nationality, ethnicity, political affiliation, religion or family bloodline, is after all, basic mysticism. 

Edited by whYNOT

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On 11/17/2019 at 9:39 PM, Dupin said:

"Pride in someone" is a useful expression.  Would you take all the camaraderie out of life?

This strikes me as a form of empathy. If your buddy gets beaned in the groin with a baseball, you might unthinkingly grimace and say, "Ouch!" Likewise, when he hits a home run, you cheer and share his pride in himself. It's not that you take on unearned pain or pleasure. It's that you express your shared grasp of reality. Getting hit in the privates hurts. Hitting a home run feels good. You're letting your buddy know that you two are alike and feel the same way about things.

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On 11/19/2019 at 2:04 PM, whYNOT said:

Ali: There is plenty in others' efforts to see ~objective~ value in, and more, to take affirmation - man's volitional, reasoning, mind at work - from.

Right, the virtue, pride is all one's own doing. One's virtue of justice rises in calling out the valuable accomplishments of other minds.

On 11/20/2019 at 5:52 AM, softwareNerd said:

Yes, it's quite routine for people to take pride in stuff they played no role in, and would even have actively worked against. They do this because they identify closely with the target of their pride, and they think something along the lines of "someone enacting values like mine" did something good. 

Too often, this becomes "people like me did...", or "people who live near me did..." of even "people who live nearby 200 years ago did...". As an *emotion* this is just natural consequence of the core question: who am I? If you think of yourself as a American, mid-western, Christian... the emotion of pride is natural when another mid-westerner, American or Christian does something good. 

Of course, just because one feels an emotion does not mean the core assumptions are right. That's what one needs to question: who am I? 

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pride

I see the expression of “taking pride of something” deeply tied to selfishness and only applies if I have done something to achieve or maintain that goal. I wouldn’t be proud of the achievements Newton made to science, but I would be proud of my contribution to journal papers which made them possible. Similarly, I wouldn’t be proud of the achievements of the American founding fathers but I like their ideas and I agree with their statements on the rights of man and role of government.

However, you may take pride of the achievements of someone else if you have helped them achieve that goal, but I am not sure about defining that outside of the context of some scenario. A professor may be proud of the discovery made by his graduate student but obviously does not take full credit since they only helped making it possible. 

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2 hours ago, Ali Shannon said:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pride

I see the expression of “taking pride of something” deeply tied to selfishness and only applies if I have done something to achieve or maintain that goal. I wouldn’t be proud of the achievements Newton made to science, but I would be proud of my contribution to journal papers which made them possible. Similarly, I wouldn’t be proud of the achievements of the American founding fathers but I like their ideas and I agree with their statements on the rights of man and role of government.

However, you may take pride of the achievements of someone else if you have helped them achieve that goal, but I am not sure about defining that outside of the context of some scenario. A professor may be proud of the discovery made by his graduate student but obviously does not take full credit since they only helped making it possible. 

In terms of the Prof, he's fully deserving of taking pride; teaching is his career purpose, and in this case he did admirably as did his student. He will also take pleasure in the student's pride. What I think counts in this, is the hierarchical values which descend from one's own highest value; i.e. to the degree you were involved, you take and earn the pride in the results.

Obviously, pride is not always an on/off switch: all mine, or, none of mine. You'll sometimes experience a gradation of pride corresponding to your active participation.

Edited by whYNOT

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