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Arrogance

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I have occasionally been accused of arrogance for making true statements that others disagreed with or simply considered me unqualified to make. In each case the person's grievance was that I took a hard line on some issue that ran upstream against conventional views, or dismissed the opinion of someone who was supposed to be an expert on a particular subject, did not accept his education or other credentials as proof of his correctness. If that makes me arrogant, then arrogance is a good thing. But what I consider true arrogance is when someone assumes his own authority for the wrong reasons, such as when a person believes that everyone else should utterly surrender their minds to him and accept his views simply because he has an advanced degree in some field, or that he cannot be wrong simply because his views represent the prevailing ideolgoy of the day, the views accepted by members of whatever mainstream professional organization he belongs to. That's true arrogance to me, and that's a very bad thing. I find that it applies almost universally to physicians. So I guess my question is, what is the proper definition of arrogance, and is it a good or bad thing?

Edited by cliveandrews
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But what I consider true arrogance is when someone assumes his own authority for the wrong reasons, such as when a person believes that everyone else should utterly surrender their minds to him and accept his views simply because he has an advanced degree in some field, or that he cannot be wrong simply because his views represent the prevailing ideolgoy of the day, the views accepted by members of whatever mainstream professional organization he belongs to. That's true arrogance to me, and that's a very bad thing.

Your view is supported by all the definitions found here: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/arrogance

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  • 3 weeks later...

As an Objectivist, you might have been accused of arrogance several times. That is because it has become second nature to you to 1. pass judgement 2. to have an independent mind 3. to be expert at reducing any situation to it's basic principles.

When one comes up against authoritarians , or irrationalists, mystics, or just those with wishy-washy , second- hand views, the quiet certainty of an O'ist is an affront. They will tell you - How do you know? What do know about Politics, bringing up a child, sailing a boat, etcetc. ? You aren't qualified to speak. What gives you the right to judge?

Of course I am assuming here that you have gathered all the data possible, and applied your mind fully to a subject, before making an assessment.

The arrogance now lies with your accuser,in being presumptuous enough to assume that you can't think for yourself.

I find this common today, and insulting.

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The arrogance now lies with your accuser,in being presumptuous enough to assume that you can't think for yourself.

I find this common today, and insulting.

This does seem to be one of the most common examples of arrogance I see today. It is also a frustrating thing to deal with. When being able to think independently and make a judgment on something has become so basic to you, it's difficult to imagine that someone else wouldn't understand it. I find I almost have to reset myself and think back through the seemingly easy steps I took to get to a conclusion. It's not difficult to do, but it is awkward to retrace your steps but do it more slowly when you don't need to.

Going by those definitions arrogance must be a bad thing because it implies an incorrect assessment of one's own abilities. It would also imply that the wrong assessment is intentional but I might be reading into that too much. Could anyone clarify that? Obviously it wouldn't be wrong if it was wrong based on unintentional ignorance but it would be wrong if one intentionally dodged the reality of his or her abilities or merit.

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As an Objectivist, you might have been accused of arrogance several times. That is because it has become second nature to you to 1. pass judgement 2. to have an independent mind 3. to be expert at reducing any situation to it's basic principles.

When one comes up against authoritarians , or irrationalists, mystics, or just those with wishy-washy , second- hand views, the quiet certainty of an O'ist is an affront. They will tell you - How do you know? What do know about Politics, bringing up a child, sailing a boat, etcetc. ? You aren't qualified to speak. What gives you the right to judge?

Of course I am assuming here that you have gathered all the data possible, and applied your mind fully to a subject, before making an assessment.

The arrogance now lies with your accuser,in being presumptuous enough to assume that you can't think for yourself.

I find this common today, and insulting.

:thumbsup:

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Of course insults are never OK. Especially when voiced by an Objectivist.

IMO, arrogance and insulting behaviour come from the same root, which is the inability to face reality.

If arrogance is no more than fake confidence-- which has it's root in fear and 'defensiveness' than the question I had to ask myself ( during those periods in my life when I behaved arrogantly ), was : what am I scared of, and why?

Yes, we all feel the need for self-protection, mainly from others. There's some truth in that saying " Hell is other people " <_<

We have all felt threatened, frustrated, disappointed, or just plain hurt by others. Their irrationality [and ours] was often the cause of this. But the point I'm trying to get at is that when both 'sides' sink to the same level of defensive arrogance and demeaning comments, then the 'cause' is lost.

But far more importantly, you- or I- have done damage to our fundamental convictions and our 'quiet confidence' has been badly shaken.

So, whoever and whatever we take on, the responsibility rests with us, the proponents of Reason, to do it with full awareness ---- and with grace.

When all else fails ( and the other person stays in their defensive/ aggressive position ) that good ole

Randian " I don't agree with you " is your exit line.

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A further thought on arrogance. If arrogance = superiority [ whether substantiated or unsubstantiated], and superiority implies someone else to be superior over;

Surely then Arrogance = Altruism.

Shouldn't the only concern an Objectivist has about 'superiority' be - Am I superior to what I was yesterday?

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A further thought on arrogance. If arrogance = superiority [ whether substantiated or unsubstantiated], and superiority implies someone else to be superior over;

Surely then Arrogance = Altruism.

Shouldn't the only concern an Objectivist has about 'superiority' be - Am I superior to what I was yesterday?

How does Arrogance = altruism?

Arrogance is an attitude of superiority basically, and altruism is giving value to other people even at the expense of yourself. Not sure how you can interchange the two.

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I think that Altruism is a much larger, all-encompassing, concept than has been usually been given credit for.

I have tried to posit in other threads that given it's Latin root 'alter' (other), it has a much broader meaning than the conventional 'selflessness', or just what one gives to others, or does for others.

In fact, Ayn Rand used the word/concept in it's fullest sense possible.

It might be argued - very loosely - that if selfishness is concern with self [rational, or irrational], than altruism is it's polar opposite, meaning concern with [not just FOR] others.

In Objectivism, Altruism then becomes a fundamental principle that many other premises hang upon.

When another person becomes, or is allowed to become, the standard by which one lives, or measures oneself by - here is Altruism at it's most basic. This is why it is the greatest enemy of Individualism.

Then come a bunch of sub-concepts, lust for power and control (over others) ; rage and frustration (because of others) ; arrogance and superiority (over others) ; conspicuous 'showing off' ( for the sake of others) and so on. These all fit neatly under the heading, The Second Hander'.

BTW, it has made understanding much clearer for me to automatically substitute the word 'Altruism', with the word OTHER- ISM.

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Then come a bunch of sub-concepts, lust for power and control (over others) ; rage and frustration (because of others) ; arrogance and superiority (over others) ; conspicuous 'showing off' ( for the sake of others) and so on. These all fit neatly under the heading, The Second Hander'.

I do not think a feeling of arrogance or superiority will always make a person a second hander. It's more like the person is being irrationally selfish. Sometimes a person may want to act superior in order to look better towards their own superiors, which really is selfless. But a person may act arrogant so people don't question them. "Do you have a college degree? No? Then shut up."

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Yes Louis, but it all gets a little bit " chicken or egg ", doesn't it ? :)

Let me put it this way: A second - hander needs others to validate him, and his existence. Like a narcissist, he has no Self, without your constant support.

This means - as I tried to prove - that he is an 'otherist' (Altruist).

It also means that he is irrational in his attempt to fake Reality.

This is exactly the man who will constantly behave with arrogance and false self-assertiveness. He knows he is a fraud, and knows he's going to be caught out. Some day, some child will cry out 'the emperor has no clothes !'

So, don't you agree that no matter how these concepts [ altruism, irrationality,selfishness] get juggled around, they all link or inter relate ?

Thanks

Tony

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I think that Altruism is a much larger, all-encompassing, concept than has been usually been given credit for.

I have tried to posit in other threads that given it's Latin root 'alter' (other), it has a much broader meaning than the conventional 'selflessness', or just what one gives to others, or does for others.

In fact, Ayn Rand used the word/concept in it's fullest sense possible.

It might be argued - very loosely - that if selfishness is concern with self [rational, or irrational], than altruism is it's polar opposite, meaning concern with [not just FOR] others.

In Objectivism, Altruism then becomes a fundamental principle that many other premises hang upon.

When another person becomes, or is allowed to become, the standard by which one lives, or measures oneself by - here is Altruism at it's most basic. This is why it is the greatest enemy of Individualism.

Then come a bunch of sub-concepts, lust for power and control (over others) ; rage and frustration (because of others) ; arrogance and superiority (over others) ; conspicuous 'showing off' ( for the sake of others) and so on. These all fit neatly under the heading, The Second Hander'.

BTW, it has made understanding much clearer for me to automatically substitute the word 'Altruism', with the word OTHER- ISM.

I believe your definition of altruism is wrong. I wouldn't say, "hey, that guy's arrogant, he's probably an altruist," or "he's showing off, he must be altruistic."

It has to do with others only insofar as to give them values, even at your expense.

Edited by Hazmatac
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So excessive concern with what others - in general - think of one is what, ---- rational selfishness?

I take your argument but, allowing another to be the standard IS giving them value and authority over one's life. Isn't this the highest level of altruism ?

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So excessive concern with what others - in general - think of one is what, ---- rational selfishness?

I take your argument but, allowing another to be the standard IS giving them value and authority over one's life. Isn't this the highest level of altruism ?

Excessive concern with others is not the same as a moral code.

The highest virtue in altruism is self-sacrifice, not giving others value or authority in your own mind.

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A. Living FOR others: involving duty, self-sacrifice, humility , etc.

B. living THROUGH others: involving self-abnegation, second-handing, giving to them the value you live by, etc.

A and B are the two sides of the same coin called Altruism.

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" I am far superior to what you are ", ( in intelligence, ability,status,knowledge,class.....blankety-blank..

and if you ask me 'how' or 'why'- well that just goes to show how superior I am".

[The equivalent of 'If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it ' ] :)

This is arrogant superiority to me --- unearned, unmerited, unquestionable, FAKE confidence.

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" I am far superior to what you are ", ( in intelligence, ability,status,knowledge,class.....blankety-blank..

and if you ask me 'how' or 'why'- well that just goes to show how superior I am".

Haha, that's really funny. That guy is a laughing stock, I can't even seriously think of such a person as anything else.

Keep up the examples, it helps me to concretize what you mean by "arrogance". Better yet if any of you have examples from real life.

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I think it's arrogant of US Senators to have their own cushy health care plan while they're planning to force us peons into nationalized health care.

It's hypocritical, yes, but I don't see why this is arrogant. I've never heard something like this being referred to as arrogant before. I guess if you add the part about seeing us as "peasants" I can get it as arrogant.

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