7
   

Ayn Randian Ethics

 
 
Reply Wed 29 Sep, 2004 11:32 am
Hello


What do you all think about Ayn Rand and her objectivist ethics? [Forgive the brevity of this post]

--Ibn
 
tcis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Sep, 2004 11:45 am
I think some of her ideas are good.

But other parts of her model appear to be not much more than an excuse and a defense of being selfish, looking out for #1 almost to a fault.
0 Replies
 
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Sep, 2004 11:47 am
I believe that in an ideal world, where everyone could think logically and come to rational decisions, her ideas would be the backbone of a utopian paradise.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Sep, 2004 11:48 am
"The Objectivist ethics holds man's life as the standard of value-and his own life as the ethical purpose of every individual man." -- Ayn Rand

For an insight into objectivist ethics, click here.

For an excerpt from Rand's "The Virtue of Selfishness," click here

To become an Objectivist in ten easy steps, click here
0 Replies
 
tcis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Sep, 2004 12:28 pm
Criticisms of Objectivism & Ayn Rand: http://world.std.com/~mhuben/critobj.html
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Sep, 2004 12:39 pm
Re: Ayn Randian Ethics
Damn Joe, didn't we just do this? Smile
Ibn_kumuna wrote:
What do you all think about Ayn Rand and her objectivist ethics?
Tremendous ethics as long as people don't take it too extreme (like Rand's own example; Atlas Shrugged).
Welcome to A2K Ibn!
0 Replies
 
rufio
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Sep, 2004 02:00 pm
Ethics of any kind were never meant to be taken too seriously. I think objectivism is one of the better sets of them out there though.
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Sep, 2004 02:08 pm
Pfft, like I have time for this debate. I have better things to do. Ayn Rand must have been paid by the word. Wink
0 Replies
 
val
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Sep, 2004 03:06 pm
Re: Ayn Randian Ethics
I think Rand's conception is nothing more than a poor - and not very original - justification for economic liberalism.
Seeing morality in the exclusive perspective of self interest is to forget that we live in a society and we are members of a specie and not a mere addition of individual entities.
When she says that the fulfilment of self interest must respect the self interest of the others, she destroys her own argument. If my self interest is to be rich and in order to accomplish that I steal money from my neighbour, how can both of us accomplish our self interest? Shall he steal from another neighbour, and so on?
And if all men and women on earth want to fulfil their self interests (being rich)? Should everyone steal? Then nobody would be able to fulfil self interest.
No moral or ethics can renounce to the idea of supra individual values. That, unless you accept that the only rule is the right of the strongest - but Rand has no courage to follow Sade or Nietzsche.


What do you all think about Ayn Rand and her objectivist ethics? [Forgive the brevity of this post]

--Ibn[/quote]
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Sep, 2004 03:09 pm
val, welcome to A2K. Philosophically, could you extrapolate on what you feel are the merits of both de Sade and Nietzsche, and how they connect? I would be interested in reading your analysis, in all honesty.
0 Replies
 
Thalion
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Sep, 2004 03:51 pm
Rand failed to grasp that most other humans are naturally social, and thus excelled at creating unrealistic characters. Ironically, her ideal leans towards Religion if one adds in a desire for social interactions, because you would not base your opinion of yourself on the opinions of others, yet you would enjoy being with them. You would enjoy being with them for who they are and actually love them.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Sep, 2004 04:09 pm
cavfancier wrote:
val, welcome to A2K. Philosophically, could you extrapolate on what you feel are the merits of both de Sade and Nietzsche, and how they connect? I would be interested in reading your analysis, in all honesty.
Laughing Me too!
Welcome!

Thalion wrote:
Ironically, her ideal leans towards Religion...
Shocked ROFLMAO Laughing
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Sep, 2004 04:35 pm
I respect the sincerety of some objectivists I know or have known, but I hold the movement in contempt.
0 Replies
 
rufio
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Sep, 2004 05:49 pm
Val, Rand would say that you never actually accomplish anything by stealing. Money doesn't have value in and of itself, and thus cannot be an end in and of itself. You can't want to be rich, because that's an empty title. You can want to be deserving of being rich, or want to create enough value to make yourself rich. You don't accomplish that by stealing. If everyone is creating their own money(value), no one loses any.

I've heard a lot of stuff about Rand's characters being unrealistic. Razz Sure they might be, but I've seen far worse.
0 Replies
 
Ibn kumuna
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Sep, 2004 06:49 pm
tcis wrote:
Criticisms of Objectivism & Ayn Rand: http://world.std.com/~mhuben/critobj.html


Thanks. I've been searching in earnest for a critique of Ayn Rand.

--Ibn
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Sep, 2004 09:59 pm
Re: Ayn Randian Ethics
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Damn Joe, didn't we just do this? Smile

Well, yes, after a fashion. But it's a topic that is well worth revisiting.

val wrote:
I think Rand's conception is nothing more than a poor - and not very original - justification for economic liberalism.

That's certainly one view.

val wrote:
Seeing morality in the exclusive perspective of self interest is to forget that we live in a society and we are members of a specie and not a mere addition of individual entities.

Rand understood that, and her ethics reflect that fact. To understand her ethics, however, one must appreciate how her view of personal morality works on a societal level.

As I understand it, Rand's ethics works somewhat like Adam Smith's view of the marketplace. According to Smith, even though everyone in a free market is a capitalist, no one acts in the interests of capitalism. Rather, everyone acts in their own best interests and capitalism takes care of itself. In the same way, Rand thinks that a societal morality can exist even if no one is particularly interested in maintaining or advancing that morality, since everyone acting in their own self interest will lead to that morality just as everyone bargaining in the marketplace leads to capitalism.

val wrote:
When she says that the fulfilment of self interest must respect the self interest of the others, she destroys her own argument. If my self interest is to be rich and in order to accomplish that I steal money from my neighbour, how can both of us accomplish our self interest? Shall he steal from another neighbour, and so on?
And if all men and women on earth want to fulfil their self interests (being rich)? Should everyone steal? Then nobody would be able to fulfil self interest.

Rand, I imagine, would counter that no one who is rationally self-interested would steal, since it is in everyone's self interest to maintain the institution of private property. A self-interested Randian, therefore, does not steal, even if there is a perceived immediate advantage in stealing. As I've mentioned elsewhere, in this Randian ethics resembles a Kantian categorical imperative, although there are immense differences between the two.

val wrote:
No moral or ethics can renounce to the idea of supra individual values. That, unless you accept that the only rule is the right of the strongest - but Rand has no courage to follow Sade or Nietzsche.

You're certainly not the first person to compare Rand's ethics with Nietzsche's (click the link above). But upon closer examination Rand's ethics bear the closest resemblance to Aristotle's. Rand, in effect, says that to be ethical means to live rationally, which is close to what Aristotle said in his Nicomachean Ethics. Granted, there are differences between Rand and Aristotle, but their general position is largely the same.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Sep, 2004 10:30 pm
Did we lose a page (or more) on that other thread Joe? I definitely recall responding to that last post.
0 Replies
 
val
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Sep, 2004 02:40 am
Rufio, I accept that my example was not the best. But instead of money we can talk about power, or even more concrete things, like food. If there are people starving to death in the street and you have food but are hungry, your self interest only could be fulfiled if you eat your food and don't care about the others. And if you answer me that self interest has to do with generosity or solidarity, than you are denying the ethics of self interest, admiting there are values more important than your personal satisfaction.
The fulfilement of self interest of people like Hitler or Bin Laden leads to mass murder. They think that jews, americans etc. must be exterminated. They devote their lives to that task. Are they justified?
0 Replies
 
val
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Sep, 2004 03:34 am
Thanks cavfancier.
About de Sade and Nietzsche, both refused any religion, specially christian. They were atheists and, with great lucidity claimed that a new moral was needed, to replace the christian one. Both believed that christian moral was a moral of slaves, of the weaks, with the purpose of restrain superior men, by giving them false values of humility.
But de Sade also believed in a free society, without gods or churches, where education would turn men in free and responsible citizens.
As for Nietzsche he didn't believe in this. There will be always weak, sick people, and superior men. Superior men are those who want to enjoy life, live it in all aspects, no matter how many people would be enslaved or even murdered - he has a discret reference to that in the "Antichrist" - in order to fulfil the "├╝bermensch" interests.
A constant idea of Nietzsche, since "Zaratustra" was that the superior man never feels compassion for others.

I must say that this kind of philosophy had been mencioned by Plato, in several dialogues - like The Republic- and was severely criticized by him.

In my opinion, Sade and Nietzsche were right when they said that christian moral should be questioned and replaced by another one. But their solution was irracional and inhuman.
They refused the notion of solidarity. I don't. And in their furious individualism they forgot that we, humans, are members of the same specie, we live in groups, societies, we live in the same world. Most of our problems are collective problems.

Of course there is much more about them, specially Nietzsche. But I don't want to turm this in a boring dissertation, not compatible with a forum.

Greetings.
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Sep, 2004 04:10 am
Interesting val. Having read both, I'll just offer a brief opinion, so as to not turn this into a lengthy affair. To me, de Sade was a better philosopher than a writer, and Nietzsche a better writer than a philosopher, but that's just my opinion. Both have merit in their work, but as you stated, it is a narrow vision on both sides.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

How can we be sure? - Discussion by Raishu-tensho
DOES NOTHING EXIST??? - Question by mark noble
Proof of nonexistence of free will - Discussion by litewave
morals and ethics, how are they different? - Question by existential potential
Destroy My Belief System, Please! - Discussion by Thomas
Star Wars in Philosophy. - Discussion by Logicus
Existence of Everything. - Discussion by Logicus
Is it better to be feared or loved? - Discussion by Black King
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Ayn Randian Ethics
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.05 seconds on 09/22/2019 at 05:21:05