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Hazing, where does the Objectivist stand?

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Do you consider hazing (as defined below) to be morally acceptable?  

48 members have voted

  1. 1.

    • Yes, now where did I put my axe-handle?
      6
    • No thanks, I bruise easily.
      3
    • Yes, as long as I?m not on the receiving end.
      1
    • No, hazing is contradictory to Objectivism, and I?ll explain why.
      10
    • Yes, and I?ve got the red ass to prove it.
      3
    • No, and this is the wittiest poll I?ve seen on this site.
      3
    • Yes, and this poll is pointless.
      4


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Almost everyone has had some sort of exposure to hazing, whether it be through a story in the news, a college fraternity, or the military, hazing is something that has been around a long time, but has never been taken up on objective moral grounds. Those who oppose it do so by making additional, unnecessary laws. Those who support it do so in the name of tradition. Both avoid thinking about the issue as it relates to an objective morality. That is why I ask the following questions (and any you wish to come up with on your own). Does hazing have a place in a civilized society? Is practicing it consistent with Objectivism? If so, what are its merits, and, if it has merits, why is it not used by businesses and in personal relationships? If not, what are the principals of Objectivism that it violates?

For the purposes of this poll, hazing refers to harassment or abuse as a way of initiation into a group or position. It will also be assumed that the consent of both parties is obtained before the beatings begin, so that initiation of force does not become an issue.

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The way I see it, anything short of physical beatings should not qualify as hazing. I was in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M for four years and I received my share of hell, when I was a freshman and a sophomore. We were never beaten, but there were a lot of psychological games that sucked almost as bad. Nowadays, the leadership of the Corps has essentially outlawed all the stuff that used to happen to me. If it serves a purpose, and if it is not harmful, then it is morally proper. When I was a sophomore, we gave the freshman a year that was 10 times harder than mine and, as a result, they wound up being the best class (meaning all the members of one outfit, of a particular classification) in the whole Corps. It may suck, but it serves a purpose, so long as it does not intentionally inflict physical damage.

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Moose,

What is wrong with physical damage? As long as you aren't initiating force, I can't see anything wrong with it. For most groups that don't have the ability to keep their members captive like the Corps has (dorms, for example), psychological games become much harder to play. It is much easier to beat them with an axe handle then to keep them in the dark about things or whatever else y'all did.

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What IS the purpose of hazing? You've specificied that, if it serves a purpose, it's fine, but what IS the purpose?

Hazing, like out-and-out torture, is usually a method of extracting an evaluation of someone's character under extreme psychological conditions. It is usually described as an attempt to "separate the men from the boys".

The questions that need to be asked are then: is this a valuable purpose, and if so, does hazing accomplish it better than other methods? What are the other methods?

Until you answer these questions, the value/nonvalue of hazing cannot be determined.

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Moose,

What is wrong with physical damage? As long as you aren't initiating force, I can't see anything wrong with it. For most groups that don't have the ability to keep their members captive like the Corps has (dorms, for example), psychological games become much harder to play. It is much easier to beat them with an axe handle then to keep them in the dark about things or whatever else y'all did.

How is beating the crap out of someone with an axe handle not an initiation of force? It's not like freshman assault their upperclassmen. It should serve a purpose. Organizations like the Corps exist to teach the members certain things. Psychological games teach them how to deal with stress. Punitive physical training serves a dual purpose, in getting them physically fit and ensuring that they know they will be punished if the do not follow the rules. Physical beatings teach them barbarism. You could argue that it serves the same punitive purpose as physical training, but the drawbacks outweigh whatever potential benefits it might have.

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What IS the purpose of hazing?  You've specificied that, if it serves a purpose, it's fine, but what IS the purpose?

Hazing, like out-and-out torture, is usually a method of extracting an evaluation of someone's character under extreme psychological conditions.  It is usually described as an attempt to "separate the men from the boys". 

The questions that need to be asked are then: is this a valuable purpose, and if so, does hazing accomplish it better than other methods?  What are the other methods?

Until you answer these questions, the value/nonvalue of hazing cannot be determined.

To me, hazing refers to rights of passage that take place within an organization. Being a freshman in the Corps of Cadets sucks, and it's supposed to suck. Four years ago, I was still a freshman, so I remember pretty clearly how bad it sucked. But, looking back, I wouldn't have it any other way. If I had been beaten, I would see things differently.

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How is beating the crap out of someone with an axe handle not an initiation of force?  It's not like freshman assault their upperclassmen.  It should serve a purpose.  Organizations like the Corps exist to teach the members certain things.  Psychological games teach them how to deal with stress.  Punitive physical training serves a dual purpose, in getting them physically fit and ensuring that they know they will be punished if the do not follow the rules.  Physical beatings teach them barbarism.  You could argue that it serves the same punitive purpose as physical training, but the drawbacks outweigh whatever potential benefits it might have.

Beating the crap out of someone with an axe handle isn't an initiation of force if both parties are consenting adults. Saying that it is initiation of force is like saying that sex is always rape. The benefits of hazing through beatings are that you can tell quite a bit about someone's loyalty by the degree of torture that they will endure. If nobody is getting killed, and there is no lasting damage, then I can't see any reason why it should be considered immoral.

By the way, and off the record, the Corps uses beating hazing too, you just have to know where to look.

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As a cadet at the Citadel, this is an issue that is central to my life.

I was a freshman once, I was hazed on more than once occasion. Sometimes It taught me a valuable lesson. Other times all it made me do is hate life. For example, the friday afternoon spirit runs left me gasping for breath, but I felt empowered after every one. On the other hand, the only thing I learned from drinking windex is that it leaves your mouth numb for a day and that was a crappy thing to do to another human being.

did it have a positive effect on my life? Beyond a shadow of a doubt. It taught me attention to detail, pride in everything I do, pride in my appearence. It was my freshman year more than anything besides Objectivism that taught me egoism and pride. It taught me the difference between good leadership and bad leadership. To this day I feel uneasy if I leave my house without a shave or dressed to kill. And nothing feels better than to go to a formal function and have shoes that are so shiny that you could use them as mirrors with which to brush your teeth.

The worst was recognition day, which was what caught all that flak at Texas. That was one of the hardest days of my life. A full day of near constant PT and torment. But it also sits in my mind as one of the most memorable days of my life, because at the end of the day, I was shaking hands and laughing and getting to know my upperclassmen as friends.

But then again, if it teaches good followership, it also teaches poor leadership. Some people use Hazing as a fall back all the time, and anyone who lives in the real life knows, you can't just go around beating people when they do something you disaprove of. George Patton nearly lost his rank of General because he slapped a man. You show me the man who can motivate his knobs to excel without the threat of physical violence, I will show you a great leader.

There does exist, hazing for the sake of hazing. It serves no purpose other than to stroke the superiority complex of the upperclassman. It does nothing to the knob but embitter him and influence him into thinking that hazing is a necessary thing, that he should indulge in when he is an upperclassman. That does nothing but make (as Mark Twain put it) bullies and cowards out of men.

but there is hazing that has a point. The knob messes up, he drops for some pushups. The upperclassman treads a thin line, because there is a huge difference between 20 pushups and 20 minutes of air chairs. this is to teach the knob that if you screw up, there will be consequences.

Sometimes it is nothing more than having fun with the knob, with the feeling returned.

I like to indulge in making one of the knob learn songs to sing. Nothing harmful. One song a week, to be sung in formation before parade. He's laughing, I'm laughing, he learns how to manage his time to fit that extra small amount of work in, and he learns not to be bashful or embarrassed about who he is. It's fun, because I remember that was the kind of stuff that was fun to me when I was a knob. Sure it's embarrasing to sing rap songs while I am white, tonedeaf, and tense, but that was part of the fun. Maybe one day when he gets recognized I'll take him out Karaoking with me :thumbsup:

I can't really say yay or nay, because it is a complicated situation. What I can say is this: what is the purpose of the hazing: are you trying to build him up, or break him down? If you do what you do to build him up and make him a better man (use your reason to decide what is acceptable and what is excessive) then why is it a problem? If your purpose is that you feel he should go through it because you went through it, and that makes it right, well then, I would say that person evaluate his outlook on the school.

And while we are on the subject, Abu Garib was an example of hazing getting carried away. And anyone who has never had that temptation has little room to talk, because if you aren't maintaining a constant vigil over yourself, it can get way out of line without you even realizing it. I've seen a study by psychologists where they took 20 regular college students, made 10 guards and 10 prisoners, and hade them simulating a prison. By the 3rd day or so the guards were getting sadistic and criminal in their treatment of the others. It can happen to anyone without proper training in how to handle these types of situations. I blaim the sargeants and the lower officers for allowing it to happen, the pentagon for putting people who were improperly trained in a position of leadership, and the guards themselves for failing to police themselves.

Edited by the tortured one
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What IS the purpose of hazing?  You've specificied that, if it serves a purpose, it's fine, but what IS the purpose?

Hazing, like out-and-out torture, is usually a method of extracting an evaluation of someone's character under extreme psychological conditions.  It is usually described as an attempt to "separate the men from the boys". 

The questions that need to be asked are then: is this a valuable purpose, and if so, does hazing accomplish it better than other methods?  What are the other methods?

Until you answer these questions, the value/nonvalue of hazing cannot be determined.

The value of "hazing" is a creating a shared bond between people. I define hazing as making people do totally meaningless and hard chores. Plus it acts as a rite of passage that serves two purposes. It allows the new person to feel they are a part of the group since they did something everyone else has gone through and the group gets a chance to put a new person through the paces to accept them into the group.

I think I'd define two types of hazing: initiations and hazing. I think initiations are things that don't cause physical harm on a person. This happened when I became a broker. There is a downtown tunnel system in Houston that is really easy to get lost in. So every new broker is given (unbeknownst to him) a list of things to get for the office that will end up getting you very lost. It is really a test. It's a way to see how we react to stress. Do we admit we are lost and call for help back to the office or do we soldier through or do we do the tasks and take forever. It does allow us to get a feeling for how a person reacts under pressure. The only other way to really test their mettle is to wait for all hell to break loose; that is when you need to know how they are going to react before, not during the event. The next type of hazing is out and out hazing that involves beating, binge drinking, etc. I've never experienced this as I sure wouldn't tolerate it.

I've noticed the more intense of a job you share (military units, stock brokers) the more intense the hazing becomes. Seeing how many pull ups done over a sword wouldn't really tell me how well my broker will do when our computers go down but asking them to get a box of tampons, french cigarettes, a pair of male sock garters, six types of coffee, and the name of the coffee girl at the Jetsons looking area of the tunnel system. It's an impossible task to complete that has no time limit. Does the person admit defeat and come back to the office? Do they regroup and prioritize the list and show some initiative. Or do they plod along with a total disregard to the amount of time they are spending. Or do they snap to what we are doing and refuse to go on the journey. Those behavious all lead to different personality types and how they handle stress and arduous tasks.

Also, we are a VERY formal office and the office tells the newbies that Friday is casual day. Their mentor, a more experienced person who they are told to believe absolutely tells them otherwise. The mentors sworn job is to keep the newbie out of trouble and to steer them right. Do they trust their mentor and come fully dressed or do they come casual as everyone else has been saying. It's a way to test their perception of the level of commitment their mentor has. Also, it shows how easily they are lead astray. Hopefully, their mentor has done their job and spent the last 4 days having them accept his role as a trusted leader. It's as much a test of the newbie as it is the mentors abilities to lead.

Doing such a petty thing does indeed sound petty becuse on its face it is. However, it's hard to get into a well performing group and be accepted as an equal. Recently, we had a person with a bare minimum of training be alone in the office when we lost everything, computers, phones, lights, etc. We knew they we not going to go under since we've seen how they handle innane problems. The brokers are quickly came to the rescue and took over and everything worked out well. The job is pretty laid back until all hell breaks loose and then you see what a person is made of. To handle an all hands on board fight like when the stock market goes crazy requires your group to be able to function without guidance. That downtime definately served as an initiation by fire. But the reason we handled it the way we did was because we saw them play the tunnel shopping spree.

As I mentioned previously, a harder and more dangerous task generally results in a stronger hazing. Rugby tradition dictates that you "Zulu" after your first try. That involves stripping down and running around the field singing. Yes it is silly, stupid, maybe degreading but it's something that has been done for ever. You know going into the sport that you are going to have to pay your dues if you score but when it happens, it is actually pretty fun. Your team mates are singing and cheering along as are that of the other team you just spen 80 minutes beating. You do have a very real sense of comradship with a small group of people. It's a bit like the first time you get bloody from a hit and go on playing. It shows your dedication and willingness to press on regardless.

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As a cadet at the Citadel, this is an issue that is central to my life.

There is also another purpose to hazing. I have to give much respect to people who graduate from the Citadel, VMI, and the military acadamies. They really put up with so much crap and still get an awesome education they tend to be able to do the job very well. When I interview someone who was in the Corps of Cadets or VMI I know that they will be predisposed to thinking for themselves and can commit to the task at hand. Plus, they tend to not get whiney over things like having de-caf or no cream left for the coffee. They concentrate on the mission (or big picture as it were).

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I think hazing is a natural and necessary phenomena among men.

Whether organized or not, we tend to test a new man's strength before we accept him into our group of friends or any other exclusive circle.

When a new guy joins our class, we test his knowledge and intelligence. When we meet a new guy in a social setting we may tease him and see if he's intelligent and confident enough to reply appropriately. We don't fully trust people who can't pass our simple tests. And the more we need to depend on the guy, the harder the test is.

If my life depended on each and every one of my unit members, I'd INSIST on hazing before I will be convinced that these are strong, capable, confident men.

A man who can't take a little pushing around is not a man you want around in battle. Or in your fraternity before an important exam, for that matter.

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I think hazing is a natural and necessary phenomena among men.

Emphasis mine.

Does anyone have any examples of hazing activities performed by women? Please exclude the military . . . they go to so much effort to treat everyone the same that they really aren't a good example.

Sororities tend to have some kind of "togetherness ritual" but I wouldn't consider that hazing.

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Beating the crap out of someone with an axe handle isn't an initiation of force if both parties are consenting adults. Saying that it is initiation of force is like saying that sex is always rape. The benefits of hazing through beatings are that you can tell quite a bit about someone's loyalty by the degree of torture that they will endure. If nobody is getting killed, and there is no lasting damage, then I can't see any reason why it should be considered immoral.

By the way, and off the record, the Corps uses beating hazing too, you just have to know where to look.

Oh, I know they do. And I think those responsible should be kicked out of the university. You're missing the point...it does cause lasting damage. I don't necessarily mean physical damage, but it messes people up in the head.

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There is also another purpose to hazing. I have to give much respect to people who graduate from the Citadel, VMI, and the military acadamies. They really put up with so much crap and still get an awesome education they tend to be able to do the job very well. When I interview someone who was in the Corps of Cadets or VMI I know that they will be predisposed to thinking for themselves and can commit to the task at hand. Plus, they tend to not get whiney over things like having de-caf or no cream left for the coffee. They concentrate on the mission (or big picture as it were).

those kind words are greatly apreciated. :thumbsup:

Does anyone have any examples of hazing activities performed by women? Please exclude the military . . . they go to so much effort to treat everyone the same that they really aren't a good example.

Outside of the military environment, the only thing I can think of are the Sorority initiations that I have heard of. I can't give anything concrete, except the fact that when I was a knob all I heard about was how much harder frat and sorority kids have it (which falls under the "Old corps" attitude that many possess. It's the idea that things were always harder back in the day. That is incredibly demotivating, sometimes the mind games they play with you are far harder than the PT.)

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Okay, here's the bottom line...hazing is moral as long as it serves a purpose. If it's to teach a lesson, strengthen someone's character, or teach them how to deal with stress, then I'm all for it. If, as is often the case, it's sole purpose is to inflict pain, then it is immoral. I don't buy the whole thing about how it increases cohesiveness. It can increase organization cohesiveness as long as the reasons for it are known. I can speak from experience when I say that pointless hazing just drives wedges between various segments of the organization. When I was a sophomore, my class and I were treated extremely unfairly for the better part of a semester and, as a result, our relationship with the class a year above us was never repaired. To this day, 3 years later, I am extremely resentful towards several people from that class. Pain and suffering should never be allowed to exist for its own sake.

When I was a sophomore, our outfit 1st Sergeant was something of a hard-ass and he basically gave us free reign to make the freshmen's lives hell, which we did. We never pointlessly tortured them though. Yeah, we made it suck, but the suckiness always had a point. Sometimes, the point was kind of stretched, but that was because the 1st Sergeant gave us an unusual amount of time to train them, and there's only so many times they can screw up in the course of a week...so, pretty often, we punished them for trivial stuff, but that doesn't mean that the point wasn't there. The fact that we got a lot of training time with them allowed us to focus on details, and not just the big stuff. As a result, their class basically runs the entire band...almost the entire major unit (larger than the individual outfits) staff is made up of the class that I trained, and I am convinced that it is a result of the way that my friends and I trained them. When you look around at the other outfits in the Corps of Cadets, you'll find that the ones who pointlessly torture their freshmen never amount to anything. The freshmen wind up being college-age alcoholics and many of them failing out of school. These outfits also rarely have members in leadership positions above the outfit level.

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Outside of the military environment, the only thing I can think of are the Sorority initiations that I have heard of.

The only sororities at my college didn't have any "hazing" rituals, but then fraternity/sorority houses where all the members would live together were strictly prohibited, so they were more along the lines of clubs than anything else.

The thing that amused me was that the sororities (and notably NOT the fraternities) engaged in some really egregious group brainwashing behavior, very similar to what goes on in a "progressive" preschool. Women working in groups generally have a very different dynamic than men. I don't know whether this is because women are actually different from men or what.

I never had much use for it but I don't really get along well with other women any more.

EDIT: There's a difference between treating someone cruelly simply because they are new and agressively punishing infractions that may go unnoticed once the new person has acquired standing in the group.

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Hazing, as I think it's most commonly understood, is antithetical to Objectivism. I don't consider physically demanding boot camp "hazing". That's practice for real life dangers and rough situations military people may face. I'm talking about its most common variant, college fraternity or sorority hazing, or copycat versions, which involve some sort of submission of one's own good judgement to the will of the group one is trying to get into. Drinking too much. Getting beaten. Getting sexually molested. Getting tatooed or branded. Just to gain the acceptance of others. Keatings belong to fraternities, Roarks don't.

This question has a no-brainer answer. Any group that asks one to suspend one's reason and judgement, and suffer for the sake of "acceptance" of a group, is not a pro-reason, pro-individual mind group.

Now I'm not saying that an Objectivist could never go through hazing with his morality intact. Perhaps some Objectivists are so intent on joining the military as a career, that they are willing to endure some irrational torture in order to achieve higher goals. But an Objectivist could never be in favor of the process that is real hazing.

I think far too often, hazing is all about forcing the individual mind to submit to the will of the collective.

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Hazing, as I think it's most commonly understood, is antithetical to Objectivism. I don't consider physically demanding boot camp "hazing". That's practice for real life dangers and rough situations military people may face. I'm talking about its most common variant, college fraternity or sorority hazing, or copycat versions, which involve some sort of submission of one's own good judgement to the will of the group one is trying to get into.  Drinking too much. Getting beaten. Getting sexually molested. Getting tatooed or branded. Just to gain the acceptance of others. Keatings belong to fraternities, Roarks don't.

This question has a no-brainer answer. Any group that asks one to suspend one's reason and judgement, and suffer for the sake of "acceptance" of a group, is not a pro-reason, pro-individual mind group.

Now I'm not saying that an Objectivist could never go through hazing with his morality intact. Perhaps some Objectivists are so intent on joining the military as a career, that they are willing to endure some irrational torture in order to achieve higher goals. But an Objectivist could never be in favor of the process that is real hazing.

I think far too often, hazing is all about forcing the individual mind to submit to the will of the collective.

Yes, I checked a few dictionaries and I agree now. The word hazing refers necessarily to something humiliating, and unnecessary.

In essence, the test the guy needs to pass here is the ability to abandon his self-esteem, and let people treat him like garbage.

However, certain kinds of tests are experienced as humiliating just by those who fail them. For example playful banter among groups of men, or a drill sergeant yelling at his recruits that they are a bunch of sissies. :)

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The only sororities at my college didn't have any "hazing" rituals, but then fraternity/sorority houses where all the members would live together were strictly prohibited, so they were more along the lines of clubs than anything else.

The thing that amused me was that the sororities (and notably NOT the fraternities) engaged in some really egregious group brainwashing behavior, very similar to what goes on in a "progressive" preschool.  Women working in groups generally have a very different dynamic than men.  I don't know whether this is because women are actually different from men or what.

I never had much use for it but I don't really get along well with other women any more.

EDIT:  There's a difference between treating someone cruelly simply because they are new and agressively punishing infractions that may go unnoticed once the new person has acquired standing in the group.

A girl I used to know joined a sorority her freshman year of college and told me that there were many hoops to jump through. The underclassmen slept on bunkbeds with six girls to a room, while the upperclassmen had their own rooms. The underclassmen were responsible for cleaning, grocery shopping, and whatever other errands the upperclassmen asked for whether they were ridiculous or necessary. Basically the upperclassmen had a monopoly on the underclassmen's time. This isn't hazing in the violent sense as was described above, but I think perhaps it is worse because it truly serves no purpose other than to make some slaves (by their own choice to be in the sorority) and other slave-masters. I think it is the basic principle underlying the initiation of these girls was that they were required to subordinate their wills, minds, time, etc to the upperclassmen to gain respect and earn the years they would spend with a room to themselves. What is this supposed to be preparing them for, the vision of beineg housewives (in the pejorative) someday?

I never understood sororities and frats and my school doesn't have them. I understand that often these groups are helpful in placing their members in good jobs (Condoleeza Rice is a Kappa!) because their sorority or frat name is supposed to speak for their character. However, I would personally be adverse to hiring someone for any of the qualities learned in their house -- group think, brainwashing, menial task delegation, spending time for its own sake, etc... none of these are good traits for a potential employee.

On the other hand, the military graduates - who experience initiation in way that is acceptable to what they are doing and entirely necessary to test their ability to be responsive and dedicated in difficult circumstances - would be the kinds of job candidates that would catch my attention.

I never had much use for it but I don't really get along well with other women any more.

Neither do I and I used to say that somewhat proudly, but now I am finding that I would really like to have some female friends - mainly because whenever I have a male friend it becomes romantic (although that is rarely recognized until the friendship has to end because of the torture it becomes for one or both of us). Now I am seeking out intelligent, fun, females and I've discovered that it is really really difficult to find them. The kind of women I would like as friends should be independently minded, life and career oriented, and have a fun and adventure loving sense of life. Unfortunately, most of these women (myself included) have very little time to cultivate friendships. Right now I have only a few friends who are female and who I would consider real friends -- and they are all 800 or more miles away from me (one is actually in the Israeli Army!).

Why do you think it is that women like you and I (rational, intelligent, independent, goal oriented) find it so hard to befriend other women? One problem for me has been the lack of candidates for friendship because women become insecure in the face of my confidence and honesty. Another is that I think women, more so than men, allow themselves to get into group-think mode. I don't know if that is a truly valid statement, but that is what I have observed (especially in school). Yours thoughts on this JMeganSnow, and others?

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Hazing, as I think it's most commonly understood, is antithetical to Objectivism. I don't consider physically demanding boot camp "hazing". That's practice for real life dangers and rough situations military people may face. I'm talking about its most common variant, college fraternity or sorority hazing, or copycat versions, which involve some sort of submission of one's own good judgement to the will of the group one is trying to get into.  Drinking too much. Getting beaten. Getting sexually molested. Getting tatooed or branded. Just to gain the acceptance of others. Keatings belong to fraternities, Roarks don't.

This question has a no-brainer answer. Any group that asks one to suspend one's reason and judgement, and suffer for the sake of "acceptance" of a group, is not a pro-reason, pro-individual mind group.

Now I'm not saying that an Objectivist could never go through hazing with his morality intact. Perhaps some Objectivists are so intent on joining the military as a career, that they are willing to endure some irrational torture in order to achieve higher goals. But an Objectivist could never be in favor of the process that is real hazing.

I think far too often, hazing is all about forcing the individual mind to submit to the will of the collective.

Don't be so quick to dismiss anyone who allows themself to go through it as a low-esteemed attention grabber. My 9 month knob year was brutally difficult, but it was also the 9 most memorable months of my life, and I wouldn't exchange them for anything in the world. Of all the hazing I went through, about 5% of it was the negative hazing for hazing's sake, and the other 95% was the positive built one up hazing. It was, for the most part, fun. Fun in the same way that my incredibly demanding highschool football training was fun. It wasn't a means to any end, though I undoubtedly took many positive aspects from it, it was an end in itself. I wouldn't have gone through it if I wasn't enjoying myself.

As for the Fountainhead metaphor, I would say it was more like this: Keating worked to please others, it was a means to an end. He hated his work, but he did it anyway for the benefits. Roark worked because he enjoyed the challenge, and he enjoyed achieving. For Roark, work was an end in itself.

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I didn't read this entire thread, so someone else may have said this already.

Hazing is not an intiation of force. When someone seeks to join an organization that practices such rituals, he is generally aware of what's coming his way, and continues forward anyway. In essence, he is chosing to be hazed.

This choice may be perfectly moral if he thinks the value to be obtained is greater than any disvalue to be taken as part of the hazing.

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To this day I feel uneasy if I leave my house without a shave or dressed to kill. And nothing feels better than to go to a formal function and have shoes that are so shiny that you could use them as mirrors with which to brush your teeth.

How a man looks outwardly does not necessarily reflect the his values and character; show me his work, or his lover...now that speaks volumes.

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