Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Neil Armstrong has died

Rate this topic


Craig24
 Share

Recommended Posts

Someone I know reminded me of a poem that is appropriate. It was written by an Asian-born US citizen who joined the RCAF to defend the free world in WWII. His name was John G. Magee, Jr. He died in an aviation accident when he was 19, so the young hero never got to witness man set foot on the moon. Nevertheless his poem, High Flight, seems even more fitting for the likes of heroes such as Armstrong. You can read about him and the text of his poem at his wiki page.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone I know reminded me of a poem that is appropriate. It was written by an Asian-born US citizen who joined the RCAF to defend the free world in WWII. His name was John G. Magee, Jr. He died in an aviation accident when he was 19, so the young hero never got to witness man set foot on the moon. Nevertheless his poem, High Flight, seems even more fitting for the likes of heroes such as Armstrong. You can read about him and the text of his poem at his wiki page.

How do you figure that he is a hero?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because he joined the RCAF to defend the free world in WWII.

Uh, I think Matt meant Armstrong: but you knew that, right?

The poem is as powerful to me as when I first read it - to write like

that at 19...

Heroes interest me. Is there an argument that doing one's chosen profession

to the utmost of your capabilities is actually unheroic?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you figure that he is a hero?

Seriously?

Ok. A quick Google search for the definition of the word reveals this: "A person, typically a man, who is admired for courage or noble qualities." Can you think of any noble qualities required by Armstrong's profession? Do you think being an astronaut in the 60's required courage? Do actual accomplishments weigh into the equation?

Edit: Go to his wiki page and learn more about him. The guy didn't just Mr. Magoo himself into a space rocket.

Edited by FeatherFall
2nd edit: removed paragraph. Armstrong's record speaks for itself.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seriously?

Ok. A quick Google search for the definition of the word reveals this: "A person, typically a man, who is admired for courage or noble qualities." Can you think of any noble qualities required by Armstrong's profession? Do you think being an astronaut in the 60's required courage? Do actual accomplishments weigh into the equation?

Edit: Go to his wiki page and learn more about him. The guy didn't just Mr. Magoo himself into a space rocket.

Is there any objective standard of hero? Why is such a powerful, meaningful word used so carelessly?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you mean to say that I used the word carelessly in this thread, or that other people do generally?

Both. I don't know how you could consider someone who fought for a blank check to NASA via the tax payers to fund his accomplishments as a "hero". So do you have a standard for naming heroes? Is that what you consider noble?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really?

Being a hero is more than a random opinion, it’s about a sense of life as well as the willingness to succeed. You can’t fake that kind of fearless character in the face of death defying odds.

Neil Armstrong rode to the moon in a ship that no one knew for sure if it would work, if it would come back, or if he would live. The ship comprised less computer parts than your average modern car. The first moon landing was one big crap shoot and the stakes were history or deadly failure for the learning curve.

Richard Nixon was advised to have a speech prepared in case the astronauts died. It was a real possibility; Nixon took NASA’s advice and did have one ready just in case the landing (or departure) failed. NASA had a procedure in place if the astronauts could not leave the moon and what would be said and done before breaking communication for the last time. There was real concern that the Lander could have been a stranded tomb.

Think about that.

Paltry funding issues aside, the man risked it all in the name of science and pure accomplishment. As far as I’m concerned, not only is he a hero but your average Occupy [Random Location] mook would be advised to learn what the crew faced and how a real man approaches the challenges of life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really?

Being a hero is more than a random opinion, it’s about a sense of life as well as the willingness to succeed. You can’t fake that kind of fearless character in the face of death defying odds.

Neil Armstrong rode to the moon in a ship that no one knew for sure if it would work, if it would come back, or if he would live. The ship comprised less computer parts than your average modern car. The first moon landing was one big crap shoot and the stakes were history or deadly failure for the learning curve.

Richard Nixon was advised to have a speech prepared in case the astronauts died. It was a real possibility; Nixon took NASA’s advice and did have one ready just in case the landing (or departure) failed. NASA had a procedure in place if the astronauts could not leave the moon and what would be said and done before breaking communication for the last time. There was real concern that the Lander could have been a stranded tomb.

Think about that.

Paltry funding issues aside, the man risked it all in the name of science and pure accomplishment. As far as I’m concerned, not only is he a hero but your average Occupy [Random Location] mook would be advised to learn what the crew faced and how a real man approaches the challenges of life.

I do admire that, no disagreement here. My issue is is a person that does something heroic *necessarily* a hero? Being a hero encompasses much more than risk and accomplishment.

Edited by softwareNerd
-
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do admire that, no disagreement here. My issue is is a person that does something heroic *necessarily* a hero? Being a hero encompasses much more than risk and accomplishment.

In the context of that event? Yes. You don't have to agree with everything else about the man approve of something specific.

Think of it this way, Robert E. Lee was a great General and the best leader of his era despite fighting for the Confederacy (which he did out of State loyalty). Rommel "the Desert Fox" is known as one of the great Generals of WW II despite being a Nazi. Patton was America’s greatest General of that war and he was unfortunately a bigot.

A classic O'ist example is Frank Lloyd Wright being a great architect despite being a personal mess.

You can disapprove of someone in way but still recognize a great achievement in another.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Robert E. Lee and Erwin Rommel weren't heroes. The difference is that their "achievements" weren't great. Being exceptional in the pursuit of evil doesn't make one great.

Neil Armstrong is a hero because what he achieved was actual greatness (he pursued and achieved the good, in an exceptional manner). His politics is irrelevant because it had nothing to do with his work, not because achievement should be looked at in a moral vacuum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like what? Agreement with your Politics? I don't think so.

No. Not necessarily, though I do think *being* a hero is different than *doing* something heoric.

I would consider Armstrong a hero if he did achieve that greatness by his own means. However, he didn't; he advocated and effectively stole from the taxpayers to make his achievement possible.

If Bernie Madoff had used his money to fund the first trip to the moon, would you consider him a hero?

Edited by Matt Giannelli
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No. Not necessarily, though I do think *being* a hero is different than *doing* something heoric.

I would consider Armstrong a hero if he did achieve that greatness by his own means. However, he didn't; he advocated and effectively stole from the taxpayers to make his achievement possible.

Neil Armstrong was a pilot and an astronaut. He didn't steal anything, he worked for NASA. By your logic, every government employee, from teachers all the way to soldiers, is a thief and has no achievements.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Neil Armstrong was a pilot and an astronaut. He didn't steal anything, he worked for NASA. By your logic, every government employee, from teachers all the way to soldiers, is a thief and has no achievements.

Do you really think that is my logic?

Those that advocate the welfare state and government sponsored programs, such as NASA, at the expense of the taxpayer are morally guilty of robbing individuals of their property. Being a government worker, teacher, soldier doesn't mean that you advocate the welfare state, and it certainly does not mean that you don't have any achievements.

Armstrong advocated for a blank check to NASA via the taxpayers and, therefore, had no right to the money nor the machinery. I am not saying that he didn't achieve anything. What I am saying is that achievement is not synonymous with hero. A hero, as Feather quoted the definition, is someone who is admired for courageous and noble qualities. I think we need to define noble and courageous before we can get anywhere with this.

By the way, you didn't answer my question - If Bernie Madoff had used his money to fund the first trip to the moon and achieved it in the same fashion as Armstrong, would you consider him a hero?

Edited by softwareNerd
-
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you really think that is my logic?

Those that advocate the welfare state and government sponsored programs, such as NASA, at the expense of the taxpayer are morally guilty of robbing individuals of their property. Being a government worker, teacher, soldier doesn't mean that you advocate the welfare state, and it certainly does not mean that you don't have any achievements.

Armstrong advocated for a blank check to NASA via the taxpayers and, therefore, had no right to the money nor the machinery. I am not saying that he didn't achieve anything. What I am saying is that achievement is not synonymous with hero. A hero, as Feather quoted the definition, is someone who is admired for courageous and noble qualities. I think we need to define noble and courageous before we can get anywhere with this.

No, we just need to not get hung up on a minor, unrelated detail of someone's life, that has nothing to do with his achievements.

By the way, you didn't answer my question - If Bernie Madoff had used his money to fund the first trip to the moon and achieved it in the same fashion as Armstrong, would you consider him a hero?

And I'm not planning to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Robert E. Lee and Erwin Rommel weren't heroes. The difference is that their "achievements" weren't great. Being exceptional in the pursuit of evil doesn't make one great.

Neil Armstrong is a hero because what he achieved was actual greatness (he pursued and achieved the good, in an exceptional manner). His politics is irrelevant because it had nothing to do with his work, not because achievement should be looked at in a moral vacuum.

I didn't mean they were heroes. I ment they could still be evaluated for their virtues despite their other vices. I was drawing context since the other poster was packaging evaluations together.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone can do something heroic without *being* a hero. I understand that people can be evaluated for virtues despite their vices. I certainly agree that what he did was heoric, but to classify him as *being* a hero, which does take the whole into consideration, is to disvalue the word completely.

Edited by Matt Giannelli
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...