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Reading Atlas Shrugged

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Ragman

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Jul 12, 2004, 7:06:40 PM7/12/04
to
Since HPO dropped out I've searched the libraries for Rand's work. The
University library had nothing at all, but one of the municipal libraries
had Atlas Shrugged, which i'm now trawling my way through. I hate reading
fiction, but given the lack of other material it's the only tool i have to
get a fuller idea of Objectivism. While my highest joy is in learning
something new, I'm really finding this book tedious. Although its given me
an appreciation for the roll of what are essentially capitalistic engineers,
or the 'Prime Movers of society' I think it does so in a very distorted
manner.

My first BIG question pertains to Rand's concepts of selfishness and
alturism. To paraphase their dictionary meanings as:

Selfishness - Regarding one's self at the expense of others.
Alturism - Regarding others at the expense of one's self.

Rand arbitarily changes the meaning of selfishness to only 'Regarding one's
self' without giving equal adjustment to alturism by removing the 'expense
of one's self'. From that bias she attacks alturism and i wonder why.

Neither do i see selfishness as the illustrated value in the capitalist
heros but the ability to find and maintain 'honesty in oneself'.

So far i've read the first third, so havn't got to any of the John Galt
stuff yet. I'll no doubt post more after i see what he's got to say.

Ragman

Dave Odden

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Jul 12, 2004, 7:13:11 PM7/12/04
to
"Ragman" wrote:

> My first BIG question pertains to Rand's concepts of selfishness and
> alturism. To paraphase their dictionary meanings as:
>
> Selfishness - Regarding one's self at the expense of others.
> Alturism - Regarding others at the expense of one's self.
>
> Rand arbitarily changes the meaning of selfishness to only 'Regarding
one's
> self' without giving equal adjustment to alturism by removing the 'expense
> of one's self'. From that bias she attacks alturism and i wonder why.

You need to do some more dictionary work. The propery way to do this is to
extract deictionary definitions, verbatim, from a number of dictionaries,
and keep only the shared content. Rand did not alter anything. Try it and
see.


Charles Novins

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Jul 12, 2004, 8:30:43 PM7/12/04
to
"Ragman" <dis...@dodo.com.au> wrote in message
news:40f3...@news.comindico.com.au...

> Since HPO dropped out I've searched the libraries for Rand's work. The
> University library had nothing at all, but one of the municipal libraries
> had Atlas Shrugged, which i'm now trawling my way through. I hate reading
> fiction, but given the lack of other material it's the only tool i have to
> get a fuller idea of Objectivism. While my highest joy is in learning
> something new, I'm really finding this book tedious. Although its given
me
> an appreciation for the roll of what are essentially capitalistic
engineers,
> or the 'Prime Movers of society' I think it does so in a very distorted
> manner.

CHARLES NOVINS:
I'm like you in preferring my philosophy (and most reading) in non-fiction
format. I read ATLAS almost last, not first, in my discovery of
Objectivism. As I've repeated many times, I urge you to pick up the AYN
RAND LEXICON, a fully indexed and cross referenced,
straightforward-as-it-gets exposition of Objectivism. If you want
inspiration (and there's nothing wrong if you do), certainly go with the
fiction. But if you're more in learning or info-gathering mode, the LEXICON
has no peer.

RAGMAN:


> My first BIG question pertains to Rand's concepts of selfishness and
> alturism. To paraphase their dictionary meanings as:
>
> Selfishness - Regarding one's self at the expense of others.
> Alturism - Regarding others at the expense of one's self.
>
> Rand arbitarily changes the meaning of selfishness to only 'Regarding
one's
> self' without giving equal adjustment to alturism by removing the 'expense
> of one's self'.

CHARLES NOVINS:
What she really did was to simply take the word very, very literally, as in
"for the self." The "dictionary meaning" you cite, which is not consistent
across dictionaries, and is usually not even the only definition listed, is
more like social baggage that has become attached. The "fuck everyone else"
aspect of the definition doesn't really flow naturally from the word itself.

RAGMAN:


From that bias she attacks alturism and i wonder why.

CHARLES NOVINS:
Probably because it was the philosophy of altruism that was most closely
associated with the greatest mass murders of all human history. Assuming
(and it's a fair assumption, but I'll entertain exceptions) that Stalinist
Communism caused the greatest (or largest) mass murder in history, there is
little mystery in why she chose to see altruism the way she did.

In short, I don't doubt that Rand challenged some definitions of words (I
think she conceded this), but I disagree that she did so, as you say,
"arbitrarily."


Charles Novins

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Jul 12, 2004, 8:35:50 PM7/12/04
to
"Dave Odden" <od...@ling.ohio-state.edu> wrote in message
news:bWEIc.32306$2T2....@fe2.columbus.rr.com...

> You need to do some more dictionary work. The propery way to do this is to
> extract deictionary definitions, verbatim, from a number of dictionaries,
> and keep only the shared content. Rand did not alter anything. Try it and
> see.

CHARLES NOVINS:
But isn't a dictionary less than authoritative in such matters? If people
are generally using a term in a certain way, doesn't that usage become
"right" in a certain sense? Doesn't the dictionary just need to "catch up"
as it were?

I thought Rand conceded that the term "selfish" had acquired an untoward
meaning, and that she was trying to rescue it.


Randroid Terminator

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Jul 12, 2004, 8:55:49 PM7/12/04
to
On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 23:06:40 GMT, "Ragman" <dis...@dodo.com.au>
wrote:

Of course it's tedious to you, the story's already been ruined for you
because you've had the solution to the mystery doled out to you in
newsgroups or other places. How exciting it was, at the age of about
17, to read AS for the first time without a clue as to where the novel
was going or how it would end, or even if John Galt was a real person
in the novel, or a myth.

As for the rest of your criticism, AS is a thinly-veiled political
diatribe, so naturally it's going to contain a distorted presentation
of truths.

I'm surprised an Australian is receptive to it at all.

--

http://www.ifi.unizh.ch/~knorr/movies/terminator.gif

Dave Odden

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Jul 12, 2004, 10:24:58 PM7/12/04
to
"Charles Novins" wrote:

> But isn't a dictionary less than authoritative in such matters? If people
> are generally using a term in a certain way, doesn't that usage become
> "right" in a certain sense? Doesn't the dictionary just need to "catch
up"
> as it were?

Dictionaries are not authoritative, but my point was to emphasize the
plurality of dictionaries (i.e. there is no such thing as "the dictionary"
except when you're at home in a home that has only one dictionary). The term
"the dictionary definition" is a non-referring expression -- but there are a
*collections* of dictionary definitions. Ragman's claim that the dictionary
definitions are:

Selfishness - Regarding one's self at the expense of others.
Alturism - Regarding others at the expense of one's self.

is simply not true. You might be able to find a dictionary definition of
"selfish" which includes the element of editorializing, but that isn't a
universal feature of dictionary definitions of these terms.

In fact, best practice in lexicography is that dictionaries should *not*
"catch up" in conveying attitudes. They may report attitudes, but they are
not supposed to convert attitude to definition. Thus a good dictionary
definition would tell you what the word means, and could also inform you
that selfishness is looked down upon,but it should not distort the literal
definition by imposing inaccurate connotations such as "at the expense of
others". Of course that's old school lexicography.

> I thought Rand conceded that the term "selfish" had acquired an untoward
> meaning, and that she was trying to rescue it.

I recall something like that but right now I don't know where. You would
have to check the exact wording -- from an ITOE-aware POV, she could not
have said such a thing about meaning. On the other hand, if she wrote that
other thing before she had fully sorted out issues about "meaning" in ITOE,
she might have not distinguished literal meaning and connotation, which is a
very common mistake. The literal meaning is what it is (though it may change
over time -- like the term "liberal" has). The connotations that some people
attach to words are totally separate, and have entirely to do with people's
attitudes. So for example the meaning of "member of the Republican party"
would not change one bit if the overwhelming majority of Americans become
Democraps and took up loathing Republicans as their main sport.


Arnold

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Jul 13, 2004, 1:55:42 AM7/13/04
to

"Randroid Terminator" <Male...@hotmail.com> wrote in
message news:69c6f09sk5iqtj69p...@4ax.com...

>
> As for the rest of your criticism, AS is a thinly-veiled
political
> diatribe, so naturally it's going to contain a distorted
presentation
> of truths.
>
> I'm surprised an Australian is receptive to it at all.

Watch your mouth!
--
Altruism isn't about giving a beggar a dime, it's about
whether you have the right to exist if you don't.
[ Paraphrase Ayn Rand.]

Arnold


Randroid Terminator

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Jul 13, 2004, 9:07:39 AM7/13/04
to
On Tue, 13 Jul 2004 05:55:42 GMT, "Arnold" <arnold...@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>
>"Randroid Terminator" <Male...@hotmail.com> wrote in
>message news:69c6f09sk5iqtj69p...@4ax.com...
>>
>> As for the rest of your criticism, AS is a thinly-veiled
>political
>> diatribe, so naturally it's going to contain a distorted
>presentation
>> of truths.
>>
>> I'm surprised an Australian is receptive to it at all.
>
>Watch your mouth!

I almost forgot about you, shame on me. I was referring to his
receptivity to the beneficial industrialist. Most people would see an
industrialist in terms of his charitable output, if positively at all,
not in terms of his productive output, the latter being taken for
granted. Rand is saying, in effect, that you no longer have the
leisure of taking them for granted when they can withdraw the product
of their minds at any time.

But Rand was such an "American" novelist, specifically American in a
way that other American novelists, such as Mark Twain, couldn't even
begin to approach, that I'm always surprised when a non-American
responds positively to her novels at all.
--

http://www.ifi.unizh.ch/~knorr/movies/terminator.gif

Ragman

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Jul 13, 2004, 9:47:29 AM7/13/04
to
>
> CHARLES NOVINS:
...

> As I've repeated many times, I urge you to pick up the AYN
> RAND LEXICON, a fully indexed and cross referenced,
> straightforward-as-it-gets exposition of Objectivism.
...

I'll look out for it, though may not feel i need it if i can recognise
enough in AS.
I am getting a good idea of Rand's philosophy and why she wrote, esspecially
in the time she did.

>
> CHARLES NOVINS:
> What she really did was to simply take the word very, very literally, as
in
> "for the self."

I recognise that and actually agree with the realignment of the definition.
However, it wasn't until i first read about O that my understanding of
Alturism was suppose to involve self neglect. In practice i find great
reward in extending my help or services to practically anyone who honestly
needs it. It's a practical thing not an idealogical thing. I enjoy doing
the things i do and enjoy them more when i'm doing it for some else. People
usually feel indebted and force some amount of payment on whether i want it
or not.

I'm dirt poor, always have been. I've become quite happy to experience
life as such. There are philosophical relms to explore here which are
largly impossible while desires for money are of ones concern. So in that
sense I don't see myself as neglectful, even though most would. However,
what's a philosopher without grand schemes and visions, and what do these
amount to without the vehicle of money? Obviously not much unless you're
someone like Gandhi (who i'd like an objectivists view on if anyones
willing). So thus i am here, finding many aspects of O converging within my
own philosophies and granting permission for me to act on these visions.

> RAGMAN:
> From that bias she attacks alturism and i wonder why.
>
> CHARLES NOVINS:
> Probably because it was the philosophy of altruism that was most closely
> associated with the greatest mass murders of all human history. Assuming
> (and it's a fair assumption, but I'll entertain exceptions) that Stalinist
> Communism caused the greatest (or largest) mass murder in history, there
is
> little mystery in why she chose to see altruism the way she did.
>

I liken communism to an Einstien-Bose Condensate, remove enough energy from
the populas and they'll all fall in line, they'll loose any will of their
own, but only after you dispose of the higher energy radicals.

Coming back to Rand, i think she makes it obvious though that the alturists
in Atlas aren't so selfless. But i would say that good nature within any
populas under any rule will still stay intact and that the levels of its
expression would only differ. People want to be happy even if they're
conditioned against it and the knowledge of it. I'd say this too of
technology. I don't think technology has made any difference to happiness.
I can't imagine that a caveman would have lived his life entirely miserable
for want of a gameboy. On the contrary i think the life of the caveman
would be a far richer experience.


Bob

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Jul 13, 2004, 12:46:24 PM7/13/04
to
"Ragman" <dis...@dodo.com.au> wrote in message news:<40f3...@news.comindico.com.au>...
> Since HPO dropped out I've searched the libraries for Rand's work. The
> University library had nothing at all, but one of the municipal libraries
> had Atlas Shrugged, which i'm now trawling my way through. I hate reading
> fiction, but given the lack of other material it's the only tool i have to
> get a fuller idea of Objectivism. While my highest joy is in learning
> something new, I'm really finding this book tedious. Although its given me
> an appreciation for the roll of what are essentially capitalistic engineers,
> or the 'Prime Movers of society' I think it does so in a very distorted
> manner.
>
> My first BIG question pertains to Rand's concepts of selfishness and
> alturism. To paraphase their dictionary meanings as:
>
> Selfishness - Regarding one's self at the expense of others.
> Alturism - Regarding others at the expense of one's self.
>
> Rand arbitarily changes the meaning of selfishness to only 'Regarding one's
> self' without giving equal adjustment to alturism by removing the 'expense
> of one's self'. From that bias she attacks alturism and i wonder why.

You are correct, by leaving off the qualifier you just mentioned, Rand
equated the morally negative term "selfishness" with the morally
neutral "self-interest".

She also did the same thing with "altruism" and "self-sacrifice",
incorrectly equating the former with the latter. To give a pair of
shoes to a poor man was tantamount to committing hari-kari.

One might be able to overlook these grave errors were they not the
foundation for objectivist ethics.

But read on, brave soul!

Bob

unread,
Jul 13, 2004, 12:53:39 PM7/13/04
to
"Charles Novins" <taxs...@free-market.net> wrote in message news:<yJqdnbRt8Or...@comcast.com>...

> "Dave Odden" <od...@ling.ohio-state.edu> wrote in message
> news:bWEIc.32306$2T2....@fe2.columbus.rr.com...
> > You need to do some more dictionary work. The propery way to do this is to
> > extract deictionary definitions, verbatim, from a number of dictionaries,
> > and keep only the shared content. Rand did not alter anything. Try it and
> > see.
>
> CHARLES NOVINS:
> But isn't a dictionary less than authoritative in such matters? If people
> are generally using a term in a certain way, doesn't that usage become
> "right" in a certain sense? Doesn't the dictionary just need to "catch up"
> as it were?

Only when more that 0.5% of people are using a certain term the
"right" way.

>
> I thought Rand conceded that the term "selfish" had acquired an untoward
> meaning, and that she was trying to rescue it.

Then what term would we use in its place? Are you saying that
"Regarding one's self at the expense of others" does not exist, and
therefore doesn't merit definition?

No, "selfishness" is fine the way it is presented in most
dictionaries.

Ken Gardner

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Jul 14, 2004, 12:34:19 AM7/14/04
to
On Mon, 12 Jul 2004 20:35:50 -0400, Charles Novins wrote:

>But isn't a dictionary less than authoritative in such matters? If people
>are generally using a term in a certain way, doesn't that usage become
>"right" in a certain sense? Doesn't the dictionary just need to "catch up"
>as it were?

>I thought Rand conceded that the term "selfish" had acquired an untoward
>meaning, and that she was trying to rescue it.

Exactly. See her introduction to The Virtue of Selfishness.

Ken

Ragman

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Jul 14, 2004, 6:51:43 AM7/14/04
to

Randroid Terminator:

> I'm surprised an Australian is receptive to it at all.
>

Bit of a racist statment isn't it?

The way our governments pushing, there won't be that much different left
between us. The fact that your weapon's megalyth Hallyburton (sp?) was the
primary financier for our new transcontinental railway has only just been
leaked into the public domain and arn't i piss of with wonder of it's deals
and motivations.

Ragman


Dave Odden

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Jul 14, 2004, 8:20:19 AM7/14/04
to
"Ragman" wrote:

> > I'm surprised an Australian is receptive to it at all.

> Bit of a racist statment isn't it?

No, since Australians aren't a race (if he assumed that you were Walpiri,
that would be a different matter). Besides, Malenoid / Terminator is just an
anti-Objectivist troll, so you can automatically discount everyting he says.

Robert J. Kolker

unread,
Jul 14, 2004, 8:58:55 AM7/14/04
to

Ragman wrote:

> Randroid Terminator:
>
>
>>I'm surprised an Australian is receptive to it at all.
>>
>
>
> Bit of a racist statment isn't it?

Australian is not a race, it is a nationality. Next thing you will be
characterizing anti-French remarks as racist.

If you hate the French, raise one arm. If you -are- French, raise both
arms.

During the late and unlamanted second world war the National Anthem
among French women went like --- Oh Wolfgang!..

Bob Kolker


ah3133

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Jul 14, 2004, 2:43:48 PM7/14/04
to
"Ragman" <dis...@dodo.com.au> wrote in message news:<40f3...@news.comindico.com.au>...
> Since HPO dropped out I've searched the libraries for Rand's work. The
> University library had nothing at all, but one of the municipal libraries
> had Atlas Shrugged, which i'm now trawling my way through. I hate reading
> fiction, but given the lack of other material it's the only tool i have to
> get a fuller idea of Objectivism. While my highest joy is in learning
> something new, I'm really finding this book tedious. Although its given me
> an appreciation for the roll of what are essentially capitalistic engineers,
> or the 'Prime Movers of society' I think it does so in a very distorted
> manner.
>
> My first BIG question pertains to Rand's concepts of selfishness and
> alturism. To paraphase their dictionary meanings as:
>
> Selfishness - Regarding one's self at the expense of others.
> Alturism - Regarding others at the expense of one's self.
>
> Rand arbitarily changes the meaning of selfishness to only 'Regarding one's
> self' without giving equal adjustment to alturism by removing the 'expense
> of one's self'. From that bias she attacks alturism and i wonder why.

it's impossible for her to make that adjustment, because according to
her, altruism is logically flawed in such a way that the only way to
be truly altruistic would be to not acknowledge your own existence. in
'the fountainhead' she wrote, "to say 'I love you', one must know
first how to say the 'I'." the necessary reference to the 'I' is in
itself contradictory to the notion of selflessness, which makes
altruism an iherently unattainable goal

Randroid Terminator

unread,
Jul 14, 2004, 4:43:38 PM7/14/04
to
On Wed, 14 Jul 2004 10:51:43 GMT, "Ragman" <dis...@dodo.com.au>
wrote:

Bit of a paranoid statement isn't it?

--

http://www.ifi.unizh.ch/~knorr/movies/terminator.gif

Randroid Terminator

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Jul 14, 2004, 4:45:00 PM7/14/04
to

I am not anti-Aussie. I just think their women are hot, mainly due to
being deprived by Aussie males who couldn't fuck their way out of a
paper bag.

--

http://www.ifi.unizh.ch/~knorr/movies/terminator.gif

Arnold

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Jul 14, 2004, 8:34:20 PM7/14/04
to

"Ragman" <dis...@dodo.com.au> wrote in message
news:40f5...@news.comindico.com.au...

>
> Randroid Terminator:
>
> > I'm surprised an Australian is receptive to it at all.
> >
>
> Bit of a racist statment isn't it?

If you think there is a connection between ideas and race,
then my compatriot, it is you who is the racist. Hitler
thought the same way, and never tried to reason with Jews.
Has it occurred to you that genetics is not open to our
choice, but cultural ideas are? Anything open to choice is
open to judgment, whereas one's "choice" of race is not.
This ploy to shut out dissent is a left wing ploy that
needs to be exposed.
--

--
Religion refers to the relationship between man and his
God.
Political philosophy deals with the relationship between
man and man
We should not confuse the two.
Arnold


Ragman

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Jul 14, 2004, 8:55:36 PM7/14/04
to

"Dave Odden" <od...@ling.ohio-state.edu> wrote in message
news:7y9Jc.35723$2T2....@fe2.columbus.rr.com...

Sorry, i forgot that O's only aknowledge literals. What would be your
concise term for a generalistic comment upon people of any particular
nation?

I'm still learning of Malenoid's views. I'll learn it based on what he
posts, not what anyone else might say, that would just be bandwagoning
wouldn't it?

Ragman


Robert J. Kolker

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Jul 14, 2004, 9:15:49 PM7/14/04
to

Ragman wrote:

>> Sorry, i forgot that O's only aknowledge literals. What would be your
> concise term for a generalistic comment upon people of any particular
> nation?

Stereotypical. Ethnist. Anything but racisist. Race is genetic. The
others are cultural. Since a person can reject his cultural once he has
reached full intellectual autonomy, he can be held responsible for the
culturally based values he holds and espouses. I am not saying it is
easy to give up the culture of one's childhood, but it is possible.

Bob Kolker


Ragman

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Jul 14, 2004, 9:50:34 PM7/14/04
to

"Mummy, why do some people want other people to buy dirty potatoes?"

"Arnold" <arnold...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:gikJc.1555$K53...@news-server.bigpond.net.au...
>
...


> Has it occurred to you that genetics is not open to our
> choice, but cultural ideas are? Anything open to choice is
> open to judgment, whereas one's "choice" of race is not.
> This ploy to shut out dissent is a left wing ploy that
> needs to be exposed.
> --

Maintaining that we have free will, the individual's ability to exercise
that is impared to the degree of their own imperfections. As "no one's
perfect" (but the closer you aim, the closer you get) all will be slave to
the limited options we can cognise. There will always be an amount of
apparent determinism in any decision. If one cannot see enough (or any)
options to make a proper choice, are there any valid judgments on them or
their actions? All we can acknowledge is their imperfection and in doing so
must acknowledge our own.

Limits to freedom (i doubt there are other kinds) are the cause of evolution
as all beings seek to express the highest will by overcoming their
impediments. Those that fail to overcome their impediments fail in
evolution. That is the theme i recognise in Rand's writing.

As a reincarnationist, genetics too are open to choice. As i maintain that
the soul is the source of free will, it is also free to choose the limits
and liberties, physical and otherwise, involved in its manifestation.
However it does this within the options presented unto it for that very
incarnation. It may have the option of incarnating into a particular race,
but it cannot be born as heir to the world richest family if they cannot
have kids.


Ragman

Randroid Terminator

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Jul 14, 2004, 10:00:32 PM7/14/04
to
On Thu, 15 Jul 2004 00:34:20 GMT, "Arnold" <arnold...@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>
>"Ragman" <dis...@dodo.com.au> wrote in message
>news:40f5...@news.comindico.com.au...
>>
>> Randroid Terminator:
>>
>> > I'm surprised an Australian is receptive to it at all.
>> >
>>
>> Bit of a racist statment isn't it?
>
>If you think there is a connection between ideas and race,
>then my compatriot, it is you who is the racist. Hitler
>thought the same way, and never tried to reason with Jews.
>Has it occurred to you that genetics is not open to our
>choice, but cultural ideas are? Anything open to choice is
>open to judgment, whereas one's "choice" of race is not.
>This ploy to shut out dissent is a left wing ploy that
>needs to be exposed.
>--

Godwin's law.
--

http://www.ifi.unizh.ch/~knorr/movies/terminator.gif

Randroid Terminator

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Jul 14, 2004, 10:01:12 PM7/14/04
to
On Thu, 15 Jul 2004 00:55:36 GMT, "Ragman" <dis...@dodo.com.au>
wrote:

No, it would be rational because it is the Objectivist way of life.

--

http://www.ifi.unizh.ch/~knorr/movies/terminator.gif

Charles Novins

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Jul 14, 2004, 10:28:02 PM7/14/04
to
"Ragman" <dis...@dodo.com.au> wrote in message
news:40f5...@news.comindico.com.au...
> I'm still learning of Malenoid's views. I'll learn it based on what he
posts,

CHARLES NOVINS:
No you won't. You said his posts, so that means past and present. Try
Googling and you will quickly see that reading his posts will take the rest
of your life, along with that of your offspring.

RAGMAN:


not what anyone else might say, that would just be bandwagoning wouldn't it?

CHARLES NOVINS:
With Mal, it's the Cliff Notes or death.


Dave Odden

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Jul 14, 2004, 10:41:56 PM7/14/04
to
"Ragman" wrote:

> Sorry, i forgot that O's only aknowledge literals.

Not literally. Recognising a usage is not the same as condoning it.

> What would be your
> concise term for a generalistic comment upon people of any particular
> nation?

"Stupid" is pretty concise.

Dave Odden

unread,
Jul 14, 2004, 10:45:35 PM7/14/04
to
"Ragman" wrote:

> I'm still learning of Malenoid's views. I'll learn it based on what he
> posts, not what anyone else might say, that would just be bandwagoning
> wouldn't it?

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that you can also learn Kant's "views" by
reading his works (note the referential ambiguity), but why would you want
to?


Randroid Terminator

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Jul 14, 2004, 11:08:53 PM7/14/04
to

Never felt the need to partake in the Cliff Notes. Are you contending
for Ragman's support? I'll admit, Objectivism needs all the support it
can get.
--

http://www.ifi.unizh.ch/~knorr/movies/terminator.gif

Robert J. Kolker

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Jul 14, 2004, 11:27:13 PM7/14/04
to

Ragman wrote:
> As a reincarnationist, genetics too are open to choice. As i maintain that
> the soul is the source of free will,

You invoke an entity (soul) whose existence is not in evidence. To make
your blather meaningful, you must firt define soul and then show that it
exists.

Bob Kolker

Fred Weiss

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Jul 15, 2004, 8:30:44 AM7/15/04
to
"Robert J. Kolker" <robert...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<2lmbshF...@uni-berlin.de>...

Does he have a choice? (Just to clarify what you are blathering about).

Fred Weiss

x
x
x
x
x

Robert J. Kolker

unread,
Jul 15, 2004, 8:45:47 AM7/15/04
to

Fred Weiss wrote:
>
>
> Does he have a choice? (Just to clarify what you are blathering about).

Of course he does.

Bob Kolker

Ragman

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Jul 15, 2004, 9:11:45 AM7/15/04
to

>
> Stereotypical. Ethnist. Anything but racisist. Race is genetic. The
> others are cultural.

Point taken :-)

> Since a person can reject his cultural once he has
> reached full intellectual autonomy, he can be held responsible for the
> culturally based values he holds and espouses. I am not saying it is
> easy to give up the culture of one's childhood, but it is possible.
>
> Bob Kolker
>

Ha, too easy, everyone knows Australia has no culture to start with ;-)

Ragman


Robert J. Kolker

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Jul 15, 2004, 9:44:20 AM7/15/04
to

Ragman wrote:
>
> Ha, too easy, everyone knows Australia has no culture to start with ;-)

That have the barby, mate. That is not to be despised. Besides any
country whose population is upside down and still competes successfuly
in the boat races can't be all wrong.

Bob Kolker


Bob

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Jul 15, 2004, 10:28:30 AM7/15/04
to
ah3...@ah77.cjb.net (ah3133) wrote in message news:<25cc3ade.04071...@posting.google.com>...

>
> it's impossible for her to make that adjustment, because according to
> her, altruism is logically flawed in such a way that the only way to
> be truly altruistic would be to not acknowledge your own existence.

She said that altruism is logically flawed because it negates
causality, not existence.

> in
> 'the fountainhead' she wrote, "to say 'I love you', one must know
> first how to say the 'I'."

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=platitude

The implication of the statement is that love is not an act of giving,
as it is normally thought of as, but an act of gratifying one's own
ego needs, that to say "I love you" is essentially to say "I love
myself".

My advice is not to incorporate that little insight into a Valentine's
day card you maight send to your honey. "Dear lovemuffin, you(I) are
the love of my life, but I know that deep in your(my) heart, you(I)
know that when I say I love you(me), I'm really just paying tribute to
all the swell aspects of my own personality that you(I) happen to
possess, too! I love you(me)."

Her reply: See you in divorce court, you selfish bastard.

> the necessary reference to the 'I' is in
> itself contradictory to the notion of selflessness, which makes
> altruism an iherently unattainable goal

Only when you equate altruism with self-sacrifice, which is the
gravest of objectivist errors. Altruism was invented my man to
counteract selfish excesses of which he was not previously aware. It
was not invented to obliterate the self.

Bob

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Jul 15, 2004, 11:40:28 AM7/15/04
to
"Dave Odden" <od...@ling.ohio-state.edu> wrote in message news:<U9mJc.214959$DG4.1...@fe2.columbus.rr.com>...

Spoken with the blunt over-reaching authority that is objectivism.
Would you say, then, that Americans do not, generally speaking, share
any bona fide cultural trait that differentiates them from, say, the
French, or that Chinese do not have any bona fide culteral traits that
differentiate themselves from Canadians?

You above statement nullifies every statement that an objectivist
might say about what makes America great. Obviously, certain
nationalities are more open to objectivism, it isn't surprising to me
that Australia is one of them, considering that the notorious
arch-conservative Rupert Murdoch is from there and that the land down
under was part of the infamous "Coalition of the Willing."

Mal's statement was not bigoted, it was, at worst, mistaken.

Eudaimonus

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Jul 15, 2004, 12:06:29 PM7/15/04
to
"Bob" <bobv...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:aa2332b1.04071...@posting.google.com...

> ah3...@ah77.cjb.net (ah3133) wrote in message
news:<25cc3ade.04071...@posting.google.com>...

> The implication of the statement is that love is not an act of giving,


> as it is normally thought of as, but an act of gratifying one's own
> ego needs, that to say "I love you" is essentially to say "I love
> myself".

This is crazy talk at worst, ignorance at best. One must love oneself in
order to love others, because it is only as a part of one's own life can one
value the life of another.

As Aristotle put it - one seeks after actions that are yours and noble and
fine, and those of one's (proper) friends are of such a quality.

Love is neither an act of "giving" nor of "gratifying one's own ego needs"
but is, in a sense neither, and in a sense both. It is the incorperation of
the genuine good of another into one's conception of own's own genuine good.

"You must live well so that I can live well" is love. "I must live poorly
so that you can live well" is co-dependancy.


Bob

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Jul 15, 2004, 12:16:36 PM7/15/04
to
"Ragman" <dis...@dodo.com.au> wrote in message news:<40f5...@news.comindico.com.au>...
> Randroid Terminator:
>
> > I'm surprised an Australian is receptive to it at all.
> >
>
> Bit of a racist statment isn't it?
>

I think "bigoted" is the term you want to use, but it's not even that.
Obviously certain nationalities exhibit specific bona fide cultural
traits, in this case it is "receptiveness to objectivism." There are
many countries in the world where objectivism is not exactly catching
fire, and it's not for lack of a free press or lack of philosophical
sophistication.

Given, as you point out, australia's similar capitalistic bent, it's
not surprising to me that you've at least given Rand the time of day.

On a different note, have you noticed how nobody opposing objectivism
has suggested here that you not read it? Contrast that with
objectivists who have told you outright to accept, at face value,
their request that you immediately discount everything that Mal says.

Charles Novins

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Jul 15, 2004, 12:34:10 PM7/15/04
to
"Bob" <bobv...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:aa2332b1.04071...@posting.google.com...
> On a different note, have you noticed how nobody opposing objectivism
> has suggested here that you not read it? Contrast that with
> objectivists who have told you outright to accept, at face value,
> their request that you immediately discount everything that Mal says.

CHARLES NOVINS:
What? Both you and Mal never cease your insipid whining about how you were
"victimized" by Objectivism. If that's not advising people "not to read"
it, I don't know what is.

Mal plays by the general rules of Usenet pretty well (for example, linking
to a source) but his overall, explicit position (I know because I've asked
him) is that he's under no obligation to make his prose understandable to
anyone, with the possible exception of the person he's addressing at the
moment. People "discounting what Mal says" is a consequence I believe he
explicitly accepts.


Dave Odden

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Jul 15, 2004, 1:18:35 PM7/15/04
to
"Bob" wrote:

> Would you say, then, that Americans do not, generally speaking, share
> any bona fide cultural trait that differentiates them from, say, the
> French, or that Chinese do not have any bona fide culteral traits that
> differentiate themselves from Canadians?

Obviously they do. Do you hate America? Just asking.

> You above statement nullifies every statement that an objectivist
> might say about what makes America great. Obviously, certain
> nationalities are more open to objectivism, it isn't surprising to me
> that Australia is one of them, considering that the notorious
> arch-conservative Rupert Murdoch is from there and that the land down
> under was part of the infamous "Coalition of the Willing."

By that same reasoning you should be surprised at an American who is open to
Objectivism. After all, this is the nation that produced Ralph Nadir, John
Kerry and Malenoid. BTW your attempt to draw a connection between
right-wingers and Objectivism makes less sense that drawing a connection
between Bill Clinton and the Nazi Party.

The fact of someone being Australian is *not at all* a valid reason to be
surprised at their politics, or their hair color. If they talk with a
Brooklyn accent, that would be a valid reason to be surprised. You can't get
anything at all about politics from geography.

> Mal's statement was not bigoted, it was, at worst, mistaken.

Does that mean "stupid"?


Randroid Terminator

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Jul 15, 2004, 4:53:59 PM7/15/04
to

I'm considering the amount of industry there is in Australia. Perhaps
there is more than I thought. And the citizenry consists in such a
morally relaxed crowd, that I don't see them being interested in Rand
at all, in the main. But there are always the exceptions.

--

http://www.ifi.unizh.ch/~knorr/movies/terminator.gif

Randroid Terminator

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Jul 15, 2004, 4:55:35 PM7/15/04
to


Let's just say that I'm very good at rooting out most of Objectivism's
evils as they manifest themselves in various Randroids. The truth of
their souls announces itself when confronted with competent
opposition.

--

http://www.ifi.unizh.ch/~knorr/movies/terminator.gif

Arnold

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Jul 15, 2004, 7:41:22 PM7/15/04
to

"Ragman" <dis...@dodo.com.au> wrote in message
news:40f5...@news.comindico.com.au...
>
> As a reincarnationist, genetics too are open to choice.
As i maintain that
> the soul is the source of free will, it is also free to
choose the limits
> and liberties, physical and otherwise, involved in its
manifestation.
> However it does this within the options presented unto it
for that very
> incarnation. It may have the option of incarnating into
a particular race,
> but it cannot be born as heir to the world richest family
if they cannot
> have kids.

If you are going to talk this primitive spook stuff, I
won't bother reasoning with you.

--
The greatest obscenity is mindlessness.
It is the source of irrationality, and irrationality
is the source of mans most despicable acts.
Arnold.


David Buchner

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Jul 15, 2004, 9:54:25 PM7/15/04
to
Ragman <dis...@dodo.com.au> wrote:

> As a reincarnationist, genetics too are open to choice.


The End.

Ken Gardner

unread,
Jul 15, 2004, 11:06:31 PM7/15/04
to
On Thu, 15 Jul 2004 12:34:10 -0400, Charles Novins wrote:

>What? Both you and Mal never cease your insipid whining about how you were
>"victimized" by Objectivism.

Me too. Especially Bob, who at least writes somewhat clearly most of
the time.

Ken

ah3133

unread,
Jul 16, 2004, 12:24:09 AM7/16/04
to
bobv...@aol.com (Bob) wrote in message news:<aa2332b1.04071...@posting.google.com>...

> ah3...@ah77.cjb.net (ah3133) wrote in message news:<25cc3ade.04071...@posting.google.com>...
>
> >
> > it's impossible for her to make that adjustment, because according to
> > her, altruism is logically flawed in such a way that the only way to
> > be truly altruistic would be to not acknowledge your own existence.
>
> She said that altruism is logically flawed because it negates
> causality, not existence.

causal agency assumes existence. you must exist before you can cause
something to happen. to negate one is to negate the other.

>
> > in
> > 'the fountainhead' she wrote, "to say 'I love you', one must know
> > first how to say the 'I'."
>
> http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=platitude
>
> The implication of the statement is that love is not an act of giving,
> as it is normally thought of as, but an act of gratifying one's own
> ego needs, that to say "I love you" is essentially to say "I love
> myself".

either way you define it, you still implictly assume the existence of
an "I", which is a measure of selfishness which makes true altruism
impossible.

>
> My advice is not to incorporate that little insight into a Valentine's
> day card you maight send to your honey. "Dear lovemuffin, you(I) are
> the love of my life, but I know that deep in your(my) heart, you(I)
> know that when I say I love you(me), I'm really just paying tribute to
> all the swell aspects of my own personality that you(I) happen to
> possess, too! I love you(me)."
>
> Her reply: See you in divorce court, you selfish bastard.
>
> > the necessary reference to the 'I' is in
> > itself contradictory to the notion of selflessness, which makes
> > altruism an iherently unattainable goal
>

> Only when you equate altruism with self-sacrifice, which is the
> gravest of objectivist errors. Altruism was invented my man to
> counteract selfish excesses of which he was not previously aware. It
> was not invented to obliterate the self.

i'd like to meet this "man" who always claims he invented everything.
any definition of altrusim is going to implicitly involve voluntarily
placing more value on the judgement of some other person or thing than
you place on your own judgement. that relinquishment of autonomy, even
in the smallest capacity, is a self-sacrifice.

Randroid Terminator

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Jul 16, 2004, 12:30:33 AM7/16/04
to

Bah. Objectivists are still quibbling over what Rand meant by this or
that statement. She should have stuck to fiction writing.

--

http://www.ifi.unizh.ch/~knorr/movies/terminator.gif

Ragman

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Jul 16, 2004, 8:49:45 AM7/16/04
to

"Robert J. Kolker" <robert...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:2lmbshF...@uni-berlin.de...
>
>


Well what a handy argument it is for me that the soul can only be realised
by it's own incarnation. It's not you whom i have to prove it to, but me.
I have had enough experiences to recognises its existence.

However, if it interests you, let me breifly outline the structure and
process of man from a soul point of view as taught by Alice A Bailey.

Monad (Collective Soul)
Atma (Individual Soul)
Budha (Intuition)
Manasa (Intelectual Mind)
Astral (Emotion)
Etheric (Energy structure of physical matter)
Physical

The physical is held together by the etheric which is energised by emotion
that is organised by the intelect which is inspired by the intuition which
is fed from the will of the soul that is part of god.

In this teaching, one recognises that conciousness is expressed through all
matter, from the atomic to the universal. It literally speaks of
conciousness being expressed through atoms, however limited that
conciousness maybe. That conciousness seeks higher expression by organising
more complex arangments of matter. This is seen as evolutionary
conciousness. The human body is seen as the hierarchal collection of these
lesser developed conciousnesses (sorry for the clumsy word).

The levels impact upon their upper and lower neighbours. For example, a
physical force impacts upon the etheric structure which impacts upon the
emotion which impacts upon the mind... Or a more tangible example, light is
registered on the retina yeilding an energetic structure that registers an
emotion of what is seen which is cognised... The reverse is equally
possible. The mind envisions an action which is emotionalised into the
energy structures that say moves a hand to a cup of coffee.

The accuracy with which these messages are passed up and down depend on the
development and quality of those levels of being. If ones emotions are
shot, then they cannot cognises their environment with any accuracy, nor can
their body act in full accordance with what their mind wants it to do. This
mechanism is illustrated in Atlas Shrugged by Fransisco's lecture to Readen
on sexual desires being in accordance (or not) with ones strongest values.

Intuition, Soul and God are trancendant to the intelect and therefore cannot
be intelectualised with any real efficiency at all. Objectivism sees such
concepts as abstract in that there can be no value in even asking the
question of their existence. This is because O acknowledges perception as
the only source for gathering knowledge. Mystics accept both perception and
intuition as sources of knowledge.

Ragman


Ragman

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Jul 16, 2004, 9:14:45 AM7/16/04
to

"Randroid Terminator" <Male...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:r6tbf05uk0p0lvq83...@4ax.com...

...

> Are you contending for Ragman's support? I'll admit, Objectivism needs all
the support it
> can get.

Gee Mal, was that a confession?

Ragman


Robert J. Kolker

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Jul 16, 2004, 9:31:23 AM7/16/04
to

Ragman wrote:

> Monad (Collective Soul)
> Atma (Individual Soul)
> Budha (Intuition)
> Manasa (Intelectual Mind)
> Astral (Emotion)
> Etheric (Energy

Nice names. What do they mean? How would I find a Monad and what
properties does it have.


> The physical is held together by the etheric which is energised by emotion
> that is organised by the intelect which is inspired by th