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MisterSwig

Rand and Peikoff on the Standard of Value

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3 hours ago, whYNOT said:

Acting as sub-man, while merely staying alive, negates "value". We have a code of values here, an ethical system, which accounts for the entirety of the objective good, physical - spiritual, which an individual needs to live and act proper to man.

The thing is, man can't act as subman, just as he can't act as superman. Man can only act as man. He can only act in accordance with his nature. Surviving, for man, means surviving qua man. It doesn't negate values for a man to merely stay alive, because he cannot merely stay alive without values. If he negates them, he dies.

Objectivism offers an idea of how to live properly. But, even if Objectivism were 100% accurate, living improperly wouldn't mean negating value. It would mean living less than a morally ideal existence, but still within the limits of life-preserving action qua man.

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1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

The thing is, man can't act as subman, just as he can't act as superman. Man can only act as man. He can only act in accordance with his nature. Surviving, for man, means surviving qua man. It doesn't negate values for a man to merely stay alive, because he cannot merely stay alive without values. If he negates them, he dies.

 

Visibly not so. Pick up your daily newspaper, to see how regularly men and women deny and evade "man" as the standard of value. Or, recall those recent periods of history, when whole populaces did the same. Either destructive of their own value or of the values of others (which amounts to the same thing, sacrifice).

And very easily, can they "stay alive" and do so, by predating off others (by force, or by others' willing self-sacrifice). 

I'm rather tickled and surprised by your idea that - as I read you - the default position for mankind, are all those values Objectivists (may) take for granted. How about this exercise. Consider the cardinal values, but reverse them: Anti-reason, purposelessness and self-contempt. Run through the virtues (e.g. dependence, dishonesty, etc.) For the basic virtue, rationality, look at men's obvious, constant irrationality: "...man's basic vice, the source of all his evils...that which is anti-mind, is anti-life".

How often do you hear and see signs of these?

"Man can only act as man". If only that were true. I'm afraid the common default is for men to act anti-man, first and foremost, against themselves. 

A sentence in VoS which should take prominence: "Man has to be man by choice - and it is the task of ethics to teach him to live like man".

 

 

Edited by whYNOT

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3 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

But biologically speaking, survival means some sort of longevity, its existence. That basic alternative does not change. Would you at least agree to that?

I basically agree with the above, if by "longevity" you mean the continuation or perpetuation of life. Are you trying to make a connection to procreation?

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1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

I basically agree with the above, if by "longevity" you mean the continuation or perpetuation of life. Are you trying to make a connection to procreation?

Yes longevity meaning what you said.

No. was not connecting to procreation. I was just trying to get on the same page. (getting one thing out of the way so it would not confuse me)

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1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

"Man can only act as man". If only that were true. I'm afraid the common default is for men to act anti-man, first and foremost, against themselves. 

Can you please elaborate? I ask because if this is true, if it was predominant, wouldn't the species have died off? (or close to it)

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1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

Pick up your daily newspaper, to see how regularly men and women deny and evade "man" as the standard of value.

Is "man" short for man's life?

1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

"Man can only act as man". If only that were true. I'm afraid the common default is for men to act anti-man, first and foremost, against themselves. 

Is "anti-man" a synonym for "sub-man"?

I'm having trouble following your line of thought. The concepts keep changing on me with no warning or explication.

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9 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

Is "man" short for man's life?

Is "anti-man" a synonym for "sub-man"?

 

Quite right. Man's life. I made the same error, in reverse, detaching his "life" from man. As I've been reading from posters who detached "man" from his life. The two are inseparable concepts - the existence and consciousness of man, recognizing mind-body integrity.

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1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

I'm rather tickled and surprised by your idea that - as I read you - the default position for mankind, are all those values Objectivists (may) take for granted. How about this exercise. Consider the cardinal values, but reverse them: Anti-reason, purposelessness and self-contempt. Run through the virtues (e.g. dependence, dishonesty, etc.) For the basic virtue, rationality, look at men's obvious, constant irrationality: "...man's basic vice, the source of all his evils...that which is anti-mind, is anti-life".

Would you agree that a person might say he rejects an idea but then ultimately lets it guide his actions? For example, many people say they choose selflessness over selfishness, but then they only give 10% of their income to charity, only devote one of seven days per week to worshipping God (and typically only an hour or two at that), and many cross out most of the miracles in the Bible in order to believe scientific evidence. So while they talk a big talk about having faith and all that jazz, they don't act on it much, because when they do, they die.

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1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

Can you please elaborate? I ask because if this is true, if it was predominant, wouldn't the species have died off? (or close to it)

Advised by the O'ist standpoint, I've a theory about that. I think mankind so far has largely cruised by on intrinsic ("revealed") value (but not exclusively) and this theory of value hasn't been ~too~ destructive, and has been somewhat beneficent of individual "souls", so that by consequence men haven't "died off". Along with the intrinsicists, it appears there were always some, early rational 'objectivists' who perceived that there is no value without an individual valuer, and they the few, disproportionately moved objectively good ideas along. However, with inroads against intrinsic value in the post-modern era, the greatest pity is more of mankind is turning to subjective value (because I feel like it...) as the only discernible alternative, and that explains where today's ethical-cultural-political battlefield has presently left mankind, stuck with two false theories of value at war.. ;)

Edited by whYNOT

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