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She did.  It's on Page 28.  :D

In my copy she doesn't begin addressing the Trader principle until page 34.

danielshrugged: Ayn Rand's moral principles DID apply the same way to Ancient Egypt, which is why their society was so stagnant and fell apart under the pressure of innovation coming from outside. It, IIRC, imploded.

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...

Also, GWDS, if indeed you are using an illegal version of Virtue of Selfishness, please go to the store and buy a copy. It will make you less of a thief.

There's not much of an "if" to it.

However, I am in the process of pirating 'Virtue of Selfishness', ironic isn't it?
That is from

this thread.

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Christ, people, what's wrong with looking for parallels with other philosophers? It's not as if he said it's an essential parallel! Now, granted, I think it's a false parallel, but take it easy.

...

There is a difference between saying "Ayn Rand had some things in common with Marx," and what GWDS actually said:

Rand has just laid out a kind of redeemed Marxism
That is a lot more than drawing parallels.
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Daniel Shrugged -

1. On the bilological purpose of life -

Most of this is definitions. Take a 'virus' for example, its the 'lowest' form of life I suppose, but it has no other ability outside reproduction. It then continues up the ladder, from a mouse to whale, the vast majority of biologists beleive that reproduction is the ultimate 'goal'. Its the engine of evolution, either a species passses on its genes or it dies out.

Now, its not a really black and white issue either i suppose. We have instances of rats choosing a stimulated pleasure center over food, humans can choose not to reproduce etc. But I beleive reproductive success is the general rule.

Aswell, and this has to be said, who is 'Harry Binswanger'? Is he a biologist, by any stretch? If not, how can he comment with any authority?

There are a number of problems with this. Here are some questions to think about. Is material wealth the same thing as living successfully? The ancient societies you are referring to were collectivist, statist societies. Would Ayn Rand expect her morality to apply the same way in Ancient Egypt as she would expect it to apply in a free country? Finally, where did all the food in your ancient societies come from? Men had to invent methods of agriculture. Isn't that an achievement of reason?

As I recall, Rand was arguing that a brute simply can not survive, that it needs reason. From this she argued that since you need reason to survive it is the highest human trait.

I have just argued otherwise, whether these societies were tribal or feudal or statest or whatever is a side note. The fact is, when you are at the top, you don't need reason as the primary trait, what you need is force. The people below you might need reason, but that is doubtfull aswell. We survived for thousands of years on an animalistic level - hunter gatherers - not qualitativly to far from wolves or baboons.

Then, from this she talks about what you need in a more advanced type of nation, but again the problem remains. Was Hitler rational? Stalin? Paris Hilton?

Reason can help survival, but it seems maniacs and hedonists can survive aswell.

I should point out I'm not criticizing 'man qua man' but her arguement that brutes do not survive from which the rest of the arguement grows.

NC -

are you going to argue the point or just talk about how burning MP3's is an evil. You know, I've only seen this kind of opposition to free information once - www. answersingenises.org

Also, drop the 'hmm's and say whatever it was youwere implying.

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I want to point out the errors in GWDS's post:

I have only the PDF version and can not give exact qoutes, but all of this is from VOS.
When was theft legalized?

She makes comments along the lines that the higher animals can not learn new knowledge or invent new knowledge on their own.

I also, at this point, have problems with some pieces of Rand's view of lower animals as opposed to humans. I will note that some animals seem to have an extremely primitve ability to devise a tool (e.g., a monkey using a stick to knock bananas off trees) to obtain some value. Yet, the animals have shown no ability, generation to generation, to build a larger and larger repository of knowledge or advance tool making skills beyond the most basic, primitive ability. It is in that sense that lower animals are distinctly different from humans.

To my knowledge scientists have been able to greatly enhance the minds of chimpanzees with language
Yes, scientists have aided animals in this process. On their own, these creatures have no hope of attaining such feats.

She says that for men, the source of survival, in a primitive state, is reason and production.

This is incorrect. Reading a legal version of her work, on pages 22-23 she writes that "For man, the basic means of survival is reason." Repeat: Reason is man's basic means of survival. There are other means of man's survival, such as the functioning of his heart and lungs. That is an important distinction that musn't be dropped out.

History has shown that in ancient societies it was the rich, useless individual who lived with the greatest abundance. Using nothing but shear brutish force to keep this place.
Remember to keep the context. Yes, it is possible for an individual to live by enslaving others to produce what he uses to survive. Examples are readily available. But those values must be produced before he can loot them. Someone uses his reason to produce those looted values. The slaves are not mindless lumps of clay.

In addition, this is a poor example. The individual is said to be "useless", while he clearly is quite useful when it comes to keeping others as his slaves, otherwise the example loses its intended application.

She seems to mistake the nature of cognition. It is something hard wired into our mind, we look for patterns and logic even down at the subconcious level. It is a natural, automatic trait, the idea is for us to choose to make it the dominant trait.

There is no explanation of how Rand's view is wrong.

There are communist (read, labour oriented) principals all over Objectivism. n Atlas Shrugged, she gives the clear impression she sees the railroad engineers to be of a higher order than the billionaire playboy.
Wow! I'm stunned that such an error is possible to a person. I'll add the missing context and explain the basic idea here.

For part of Atlas, Dagny views Francisco as a worthless playboy not becuase of his wealth, but because of how he uses that wealth. In her view, Francisco betrays positive values by his conduct.

Rand does not view the railroad engineers to all be of a higher order than Francisco. This is where I must question how carefully GWDS read the book. There were examples of railroad employees with good values as well as examples of those with poor values.

GWDS seems to believe Rand took a class based approach to the value she saw in men, and the answer is she did not. She views each man as an individual who should be evaluated on his own merit, or lack thereof.

Rand has just laid out a kind of redeemed Marxism; although I'm sure she'd cringe at the label :D

:D And apples really are oranges!

Steve Carlson

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The following is in response to Steve Carlson's post -

1.

When was theft legalized?
Let he who is without MP3's cast the first stone. Also, frankly, her work is not available where I am - I got Atlas Shrugged and that was luck. If my choices are either obeying a copy right law no one else does and learning a brand new philosophy, guess which I pick?

2.

I also, at this point, have problems with some pieces of Rand's view of lower animals as opposed to humans.

Her veiw is simplistic to say the least; poorly thought out to say the worst. In her defence however, she is talking about ethics, not animal psychology. As for animal learning, I agree with you. The problem is not one of intellegence per se, but of collective memory. A chimp can be smart enough to make a crude intrument but has no way of passing that knowledge down for improvement. It's almost like watching a culture whose members die at age four.

But those values must be produced before he can loot them. Someone uses his reason to produce those looted values.
Again, the hypothetical brute survives in the same way a parasite survives. But, I get what you're saying, and it is a rather irrlevant point I brought up anyway.

There is no explanation of how Rand's view is wrong.

I wasn't really trying to say Rand was dead wrong, but that she overstressed the relation between reason and will. Sure, when it comes to our higher order decisions, we must choose to reason over emotion/impulse/whatever But in her wording she seems to say that Every use of reason must be an act of will, that I was challenging.

Most aspects of thought require no will whatsoever. Do you really have to convice yourself that turning a switch turns the light on? No, you just do it and think if something goes wrong. When balancing on a bike do you rationally think out your actions or just 'balance yourself' without thinking - despite the calculations involved? If I showed you seven red sheets of paper and then through down a yellow one you would blink, why? because you had subconciously concluded they would all be red, you would not conciously form the rule.

That was what I meant.

Wow! I'm stunned that such an error is possible to a person.
If you want you can show me how the half dozen arguements I laid out about how Objectivism and Marxism start with many similar bases is flawed. Although saying 'redeemed marxism' may have really thrown you guys off.

For part of Atlas, Dagny views Francisco as a worthless playboy not becuase of his wealth, but because of how he uses that wealth. In her view, Francisco betrays positive values by his conduct.

Yah, that was sloppy wording on my part. As far as my reading the book, I am still early in and have been told by others some major relationships in the plot will change drasitcally (although I wonder what can change the horrible people Rearden lives with). Again, in the style of her writing Rand seems to say the playboy is flawed not because of his riches but because he is squandering them

Dagny and Rearden are wealthy aswell, (the fact that there is a difference in the wealth doesn't really change this) but since they are productive Rand paints them in a positive light. It is this emphasis - not on wealth but on labour - that makes me think she has another thing in common with Marx aswell.

I apologise for not being clear on this point, but I was not talking 'class' but 'labour'.

Thanks for replying.

Edited for spelling and all that other jazz.

Edited by GWDS
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Richard - I went to dictionary.com, turns out 'labour' is not as broad as what I needed. Production however is defined as follows -

The creation of value or wealth by producing goods and services.

I'll be more carefull in the future

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Well, I don't trust many definitions that I find in dictionaries. Especially after reading the opening essay, I believe it is the opening essay, of CUI were Rand shows an encyclopedia entry, and I think a dictionary entry, and shreds it like a Razor. :)

Edited by Richard Roark
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What I needed was a word for a productive activities - a scientist doing math, a worker making a pot, a novelist writing a book etc. It was this that is first seen lacking in our playboy character but not in the characters I think Rand likes - Rearden, Dagny, the composer, the engineers who do their job correctly etc

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GWDS,

I am longer reading any of your posts, as you appear to be committed to theft.

You are only slightly better than a bank robber. After all, how do they decide whether to rob a bank? They ask themselves whether they can get away with it. Same as you.

But I will not let you get away with it. Nor will reality.

EDIT: Please note in interpreting my comments that I don't think bank robbers are necessarily evil or horrible people. But bank robbery is definitely immoral. Also, I would personally welcome a private message from GWDS letting me know when he has paid for his book.

Edited by danielshrugged
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In my copy she doesn't begin addressing the Trader principle until page 34.

danielshrugged:  Ayn Rand's moral principles DID apply the same way to Ancient Egypt, which is why their society was so stagnant and fell apart under the pressure of innovation coming from outside.  It, IIRC, imploded.

I was hinting at the fact that morality is contextual. I agree with your interpretation, but it is also true that under a society based on the use of force, life can be a perpetual state of emergency.

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There is a difference between saying "Ayn Rand had some things in common with Marx," and what GWDS actually said:

That is a lot more than drawing parallels.

Wow, I just completely missed that statement, but I think people still overreacted. I sounded to me like GWDS did not mean quite what people gathered from it. But then again, maybe he did.

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After all, how do they [bank robbers] decide whether to rob a bank? They ask themselves whether they can get away with it.

Which means that the act of bank robbing is done consciously and volitionaly--the actor knowing the nature of his action and its full consequences.

Now for my purpose, I want to note that 'to rob' means to deprive someone illegally of his personal property by the use, and initiation of force.

...I don't think bank robbers are necessarily evil or horrible people. But bank robbery is definitely immoral.

You are aware of the Objectivist position on the initiation of force, aren't you?

How and why are bank robbers not 'necessarily' evil? Or are they evil, but only contingently? You say that Bank robbery is immoral, but you refuse to pass judgement on persons who perform the act--why? Isn't a immoral/evil person one who performs immoral/evil actions? How are people to be judged if not by their actions?

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I sounded to me like GWDS did not mean quite what people gathered from it. But then again, maybe he did.

And me, I haven't even got a clue about what people could have gathered from it...I thought he was saying he found in Objectivism what he had liked about Marxism, but without the errors Marx had made.

How did you guys interpret it?

[Edited for grammar]

Edited by Capitalism Forever
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...

NC -

are you going to argue the point or just talk about how burning MP3's is an evil. You know, I've only seen this kind of opposition to free information once - www. answersingenises.org

...

If you're curious about *free information* and burning MP3's then try this thread.

Also, drop the 'hmm's and say whatever it was youwere implying
I was implying that I was confused. Should I have used :whistle:? :lol:
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