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Against Altruism

 
 
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2005 01:52 pm
'Altruism', the Great Sickener, popularly established among the disingenuous and guilt-ridden by the propagandists of religion and evolutionary biology, is the worst thing, a poisoner, a destroyer of the body and spirit of life, a contemptible doctrine that usurps 'selfishness' itself.

Altruism does not "honour all". Altruism abandons all selves, and so honours none. For life is for itself, and only for itself is a thing life. We have been misled, our minds poisoned. Selfishness at least honours the body. The limited self-concern of selfishness should be expanded, not removed by altruism, expanded according as it fits to the living definition of what it is to be a creature of its kind, gregarious or solitary, and not to throw away any part of that in deferance to be what we ignobly are not.

The noble independent spirit of life, life 'for itself', unalloyed, a blinding light, honours all life and is honoured by all life. In this is it said that 'all life is one'. A mother honours 'life for itself', both for herself and for her child's self, and from this do both fluorish in independence of spirit, honour and love. And so it is for all creatures, each in their own way.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 3,991 • Replies: 35
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2005 02:28 pm
Re: Against Altruism
John Jones wrote:
The noble independent spirit of life, life 'for itself', unalloyed, a blinding light, honours all life and is honoured by all life.

Oh blinding light!
Oh light that blinds!
I cannot see,
Look out for me!
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2005 02:30 pm
Re: Against Altruism
John Jones wrote:
A mother honours 'life for itself', both for herself and for her child's self, and from this do both fluorish in independence of spirit, honour and love.



But of course, they don't do this as of right . . . for they have no rights.

I nominate this post for Purple Prose of the Year award.
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flushd
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2005 04:50 pm
JJ said:
>>A mother honours 'life for itself', both for herself and for her child's self, and from this do both fluorish in independence of spirit, honour and love. And so it is for all creatures, each in their own way.<<

LOL! Now it's my turn to play cynic, and you get to be the idealist.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2005 05:20 pm
JJ-

That was one class post.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2005 05:51 pm
More Ayn Rand. Deliver me.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2005 06:09 pm
Where do you wish to go?
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2005 06:11 pm
Any place where Rand has no influence.
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spendius
 
  2  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2005 06:28 pm
Niger?Antartica?Bosnia?Tierra del Fuego?Baghdad?
Give us an idea.We can't take you "anywhere".You need to be specific.
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LionTamerX
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2005 06:55 pm
Edgar,
Ayn Rand anagrams nicely as "Any Nard".
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2005 07:09 pm
I thought that supercilious bitch had been safely embalmed decades ago. The only reason anyone reads her pap is because she had some writing skills. She certainly was not capable of coherent thought. Her smug and superior diatribes against altruism in favor of enlightened self-interest read like the screed of a demented Gestapo guard. Unless one re-defines 'altruism' to fit a preconceived notion, there is no sense to the quotation.

BTW, Lion, it's also a fine anagram for 'Nay! Darn.'
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2005 08:35 pm
You tole 'em, Merry Andrew. And that goes for me, too.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Sep, 2005 04:30 am
It's a new name to me.

Are you claiming that when a supercilious bitch supports something that automatically renders what is being supported into pap.

One could apply that to this debate.MA's post is pap therefore the Against Altruism position triumphs.I would imagine,given the number of supercilious bitches around,that no position is tenable on that basis.

The bargain hunter at the purchase point has a very poor sense of altruism in my experience.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Sep, 2005 06:02 am
spendius wrote:
It's a new name to me.

Are you claiming that when a supercilious bitch supports something that automatically renders what is being supported into pap.


Not at all, Spendius. I am claiming that her support of an unsupportable thesis is what automatically renders her a supercilious bitch.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Sep, 2005 12:42 pm
Merry Andrew,

A neat step whereby those of us who support the thesis of the thread are rendered supercilious.I like it.Well-I used to appreciate that type of thing when my ears were still wet is what I mean.

To the extent that "supercilious" includes indifference in its meaning I'll plead guilty.But I reject other connotations such as disdainful or haughty.Haughty and disdainful seem to me to characterise those who think there is no case for the other side.It behoves us to treat the matter philosophically which does involve a degree of indifference.Those not indifferent to altruism are often those who are on the receiving end of its practice and are constrained in their approach as a result.Whatever one may designate that,virtuous if you like,it is not philosophy.

There is a case that altruism,particularly when practiced to excess,running amok I have heard in some places,can impede progress and thus be counterproductive to its own aims.A "rare steak" capitalist would probably think that.It can trap its own clients in deprivation and thus further justify more altruism.In fact it has a vested interest in doing so otherwise its plush office suites and other accoutrements of power would not exist.I hardly think that this powerful and luxurious society could have been erected on altruism or that life expectancies can be seriously increased by fine words and noble sentiments.

Decorating the debate with phrases like "not capable of coherent thought" and "the screed of a demented Gestapo guard" to characterise one's opponents in a philosophy debate is hardly calculated to endear a contributor to even a mildly sophisticated audience.Some might style it a form of rabble rousing.Others see it as a cheap and easy way to court popularity by those who are unable or unwilling to pursue the harder route.I will admit its popularity which is why philosophers need to study it carefully.

Your post suggests that you think such a study superfluous.
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John Jones
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Sep, 2005 01:12 pm
I don't know who Ayn Rand is. Never read her. If anything that she wrote about altruism you can also find in what I wrote, then I will be one unhappy bunny. But I don't think anything I said she also said, at least in the details.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Sep, 2005 02:13 pm
JJ, you're serious, aren't you? I could have sworn that the post wasn't original with you but a direct quote from one of Rand's treatises. Do look her up. Likely, you'll find a kindred spirit. As for me, I'll leave this thread now. I find the original propoisition not only wrong-headed but odious and vile.
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Sep, 2005 02:18 pm
MA, you're right about the philosophical similarities, but i think JJ's post was too full of the "milk of human kindness" to have sprung from the pen of Ms. Rand.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Sep, 2005 05:04 pm
Merry Andrew(?) wrote-

Quote:
As for me, I'll leave this thread now. I find the original propoisition not only wrong-headed but odious and vile.


So there you go.Philosophy is "odious and vile".

I agree.If anybody wants to engage in demonstrating how sweet they are they should avoid philosophy.It's quite a nasty business actually.It is a pity that it has such high status though and often attracts those who wish to feel a part of that aspect of it and distance themselves from the odious and vile stuff.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Sep, 2005 06:15 pm
spendius wrote:
Merry Andrew(?) wrote-

Quote:
As for me, I'll leave this thread now. I find the original propoisition not only wrong-headed but odious and vile.


So there you go.Philosophy is "odious and vile".


Spendius, why do you insist on putting words into my mouth, words I have never uttered? You did it with the (intentional?) misinterpretation of what I said about Ayn Rand, and here you are, doing it again. I said the statement regarding altruism was odious and vile.

Philosophy cannot be either vile or good, no more than mathematics or chemistry or astronomy. The only difference between philosophy and those other disciplines is that philosophy is not subject to rigorous scientific proofs. Much of it is necessarily subjective, expressing the philosopher's personal beliefs, cloaked all too often in what amounts to sophistry. Often times modern philosophers are admired -- and quoted ad nauseam -- because of their glibness, or their articulateness, rather than the substance of their utterances. Anyone who can say, honestly, that he agrees with the ravings of Neitzsche is probably just as certifyable as Friedrich himself was toward the end of his life. We read him for the prose, not the content.

The bone I am picking with you, however, is not about philosophy but , rather, your habit of misquoting me. I hold no brief against either philosophy nor the discusion of it here. However, as it is by its nature a subjective exercise, I reserve the right to disagree with any given philosophical position. In the long run, that is what philosophy is all about -- a discussion of one's position and a refutation of competing, or contrasting, positions.
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