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What about plumbers, electricians and builders?

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4 hours ago, Jacob Smith said:

Objectivism never considers electricians or average workers or moochers or parasites.  But it is a fact that they are not as 'great' as businessmen, scientists etc. You will have to read Ayn Rand's concept of 'intellectual pyramid' to understand this. The value created by an average manual worker is though productive, does not extend much to anyone except himself and is mostly range of the moment. But the values created by the top most members of the intellectual pyramid extends to all the members below them. Even after centuries, we are benefited by work of a scientist or a philosopher, hence it is of a much greater value than the work of  bricklayer which does not extend to that extent and neither does it require the  same amount of intelligence, however, that does not mean they are moochers. But they not being  moochers is not same as them being equal to great inventors of the world.

I think that value must be judged on an individual basis using all available information - it is a hazard to rely on a single data point such as occupation when performing an evaluation.  I think the occupation examples in Rands "Intellectual Pyramid" are just that - examples - and her larger point is that men of greater ability are a benefit to those of lesser ability - and ability can manifest itself in many ways.

Rand was "just" an author, if one was to drop all other context and evaluate her "greatness" based on her occupation alone - she was no scientist or doctor or industrialist.  Yet I can argue that she has made an incomparable contribution to this world.

I reiterate that a mooching, irrational subjectivist skeptic who also happens to have made their way through med school (somehow!) but does their best to destroy the thinking minds of their children and everyone they meet by teaching them that reality can not be defined, and A does not equal A, and they are only a means to other peoples ends is a much more disgusting, lowly, immoral and worthless worm than the janitor who stands upright in his rationality and treats others according to the standard of his own objective reason.

 

 

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On 12/22/2015 at 10:20 PM, Reasoner said:

I think that value must be judged on an individual basis using all available information - it is a hazard to rely on a single data point such as occupation when performing an evaluation.  I think the occupation examples in Rands "Intellectual Pyramid" are just that - examples - and her larger point is that men of greater ability are a benefit to those of lesser ability - and ability can manifest itself in many ways.

Rand was "just" an author, if one was to drop all other context and evaluate her "greatness" based on her occupation alone - she was no scientist or doctor or industrialist.  Yet I can argue that she has made an incomparable contribution to this world.

I reiterate that a mooching, irrational subjectivist skeptic who also happens to have made their way through med school (somehow!) but does their best to destroy the thinking minds of their children and everyone they meet by teaching them that reality can not be defined, and A does not equal A, and they are only a means to other peoples ends is a much more disgusting, lowly, immoral and worthless worm than the janitor who stands upright in his rationality and treats others according to the standard of his own objective reason.

 

 

When we make any abstractions, we cannot look at all the specific cases. We possibly cannot look at every individual doctor, scientist etc to determine their character and then reach to a conclusion. Philosophical analysis cannot be done in that way. When I talked about scientists , businessmen etc , the assumption was that I was talking about productive, self-made ones and not some distorted cases who have reached positions they do not deserve or are not fit for. But by principle, a scientist or a writer has much more value to offer than a bricklayer or a maid. When we talk about value , the question is "of value to whom and for what". Now a work of scientist or a businessman has some value to offer to thousands of people, but same is not true for the work of a maid, whose work is sought by maximum a handful of people and which of which hundreds of substitutes can be found. If not one maid, I will get another tomorrow. But I will not get two Edisons as easily as I will get two maids. And the work of Edison is benefiting even me today, though he himself died long ago; is that true for the work of a maid?. It is simply beyond the scope of his/her work. So there is no reason why thousands of people should consider the work of a maid to be of equal value, but on the other hand, those same thousands would find the work of the scientist valuable because they are benefited from it and even after centuries they continue to be benefited; whereas the work of a maid is more of less range of the moment and does not extend any further. 

 

Anyways, this assertion that every human , no matter in what profession, is of equal value, leads to a marxist society at the end. Because if you say that a clerk in a company provides work of equal value as a CEO of that company, then it is only a logical consequence that both should get the same output in terms of same salary etc. And saying that their is no distinction between the skills, intelligence, output etc provided by any of anyone profession(Except totally unemployed ones and as long as all perform their respective works honestly) is same as saying that all men should get equal value in terms of rewards and that is the same thing which Karl Marx, the founder of Communism advocated. He refused to see that there was any difference between a manual worker and an entrepreneur and hence why should an entrepreneur get anything more? 

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7 hours ago, Jacob Smith said:

Anyways, this assertion that every human , no matter in what profession, is of equal value, leads to a marxist society at the end. Because if you say that a clerk in a company provides work of equal value as a CEO of that company, then it is only a logical consequence that both should get the same output in terms of same salary etc. And saying that their is no distinction between the skills, intelligence, output etc provided by any of anyone profession(Except totally unemployed ones and as long as all perform their respective works honestly) is same as saying that all men should get equal value in terms of rewards and that is the same thing which Karl Marx, the founder of Communism advocated. He refused to see that there was any difference between a manual worker and an entrepreneur and hence why should an entrepreneur get anything more? 

Fair enough, I think we are dancing around the same conclusion.

I do think, though, that statements about the "worth" of people based on profession are slippery slopes that can very easily lead to misunderstanding without copious context, even among objectivists.  No one is suggesting that an abstraction be formed through the impossible task of looking at specific cases - however due to the specific topic it is worth preceeding these value judgements that are based on profession with Peikoffs recommended "In the context of current knowledge", especially when the conclusion being drawn has so many obvious alternate considerations such as the ones outlined above.

No one here is asserting that every human is of equal value (even if this was possible) - I do think an objectivist argument can be made that (in principle) all humans have a rational faculty of equal worth (this being what makes us human) however the volitional choice to exercise that faculty to the maxiumum extent possible is what separates humans by the value they offer.

It is this fundamental value of the human rational faculty that makes it immoral to murder another human being (without objective cause, such as their being an immediate threat to your family etc), for being human, they hold the same rational faculty as you - and it is a contradiction to hold that your rational faculty has value and theirs doesn't - it is the product of their volitional usage of that faculty that provides the value by which they must be judged by every individual they interact with, and indeed, the laws of causation offered up by nature itself - of which they have no choice but to abide by the consequences.

 

Edited by Reasoner
elaboration on my thought.
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"Anyways, this assertion that every human , no matter in what profession, is of equal value, leads to a marxist society at the end." Eh . . . Only if it was also believed that it's ok/right to force people to make payments based upon this. Believing something is right or wrong doesn't always necessarily entail a belief that it's something one may rightfully go force others to follow through on.

Also, in general to this topic, 1) remember that value is contextual. (Something/someone is of some particular value to some particular party for some particular end. Value of something/somebody can be different to different people and at different times under different circumstances it can vary for the same person too.) 2) There's more than one way a person can provide value and more than one way value can be paid for. (Material value is one, immaterial value is another. Usually, but not always, you pay for material with material and immaterial with immaterial. Neither type of value alone can be seen as representative of a person's over-all value nor necessarily representative of how much somebody over-all value's another person.)

 

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1 hour ago, bluecherry said:

"Anyways, this assertion that every human , no matter in what profession, is of equal value, leads to a marxist society at the end." Eh . . . Only if it was also believed that it's ok/right to force people to make payments based upon this. Believing something is right or wrong doesn't always necessarily entail a belief that it's something one may rightfully go force others to follow through on.

Also, in general to this topic, 1) remember that value is contextual. (Something/someone is of some particular value to some particular party for some particular end. Value of something/somebody can be different to different people and at different times under different circumstances it can vary for the same person too.) 2) There's more than one way a person can provide value and more than one way value can be paid for. (Material value is one, immaterial value is another. Usually, but not always, you pay for material with material and immaterial with immaterial. Neither type of value alone can be seen as representative of a person's over-all value nor necessarily representative of how much somebody over-all value's another person.)

 

Well put!  Context matters!

Edited by Reasoner
Clarification
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Murder and forcing others is out of question. No one is advocating here that if someone's work is considered to be of less value than someone else, they should be forced to do something or their rights can be violated by the individuals that have more value. When we talk about values of an individual, we assume that the only system appropriate to reward them according to their respective values is Capitalism. And in such a system, forcing others to work for yourself(if that was what you meant) or forcing them in any other way is out of question.

 

I was primarily replying to the question of this topic here. Someone had said that he/she doesn't see why an electrician or a plumber can be of any less value than a scientist or a businessmen. So my simple answer was that the work of a plumber cannot stretch beyond range of a moment and can possibly not affect that many people as a work of scientist(which can affect nations even and which is impossible for a plumber to achieve though he may be an honest, rational man who is productive in his own profession) and saying that a scientist is more valuable than an electrician doesn't mean electrician is a moocher. There can be contextual analysis of some specific unique cases but on a general principle, there will be some difference between a productive scientist or a businessman and a productive electrician and both possessing faculty to reason etc is not even the topic here; it is about their relative worth. 

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On 12/24/2015 at 0:08 AM, bluecherry said:

"Anyways, this assertion that every human , no matter in what profession, is of equal value, leads to a marxist society at the end." Eh . . . Only if it was also believed that it's ok/right to force people to make payments based upon this.

Why wouldn't it be? Shouldn't people act on their moral values?

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Should? Yes. However, "should" doesn't necessarily mean they do. Furthermore, I'm talking though about a case where "it's not ok/right to force people to make payments equally to everybody" is part of their moral values. Forcing people to comply with your moral standards isn't the only way to act on them and can go against them if as part of their morals somebody doesn't regard the particular ends as justifying any means. Objectivists for example of course regard lots of things as immoral and even unjust that we don't seek to use force against. You can refuse to deal with people in response to immorality as one non-force based way to act on moral values when/if one doesn't find force justified.

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  • 2 months later...
On 10/23/2015 at 10:54 AM, StrictlyLogical said:

Is there a word or a concept for labeling the phenomenon of someone continuing to "want" to be against a philosophy or framework even after the person has discovered that his/her reasons for being against it were based on false premises?

“'I can’t prove it, but I feel that it’s true' is more than a rationalization: it is a description of the process of rationalizing."

-Philosophical Detection

 

I don't know of any specific term for that type of irrationalism; only its broader category.

Virgin subject?

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