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So much can be traced back to Asia but I never would've suspected to find evidence of Objectivist thinking when I started researching Taoism. Go to the link I posted to see what I'm talking about.

Taoism

Principle #1: The goal is contentment. I'm not sure if AR said this specifically but I know her favorite philosopher, Aristotle, was a proponent of this view.

Principle #3: Manifestations of the Tao. Taoism acknowledges man's inherent intellectual limitations and consequently avoids concepts that cannot be tested and verified by practical application — reason alone is not to be trusted.

I don't know about you but I believe there are hints of objectivism in this statement.

Priniciple #4: Nature is unkind. All I believe I need to say about this excerpt is that it includes the phrase enlightened self-interest.

Principle #5: Society vs. the Individual

Ok, the title alone should intrigue any objectivist. You'll find reference to individualism and also it basically says altruism sucks without using the word altruism.

Principle #6: Humanity and Justice are artificial Values. WOW!

That's all the worthless commentary I have to offer. I'll let you guys analyze the rest of the article.

Edit: I realize that there are many mystical references in this article. Just remember, I don't declare that Taoism is a perfect reflection of Objectivism. I just found the similarities to be quite intriguing.

Edited by Aristocrates
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Taoism is a state of consciousness. It means "way." This might seem somewhat lightweight on the surface, but it is not.

A very beautiful way to become familiar with it is to simply read the Tao Te Ching (Lao Tzu). I believe this is the core experience.

1

The tao that can be told

is not the eternal Tao

The name that can be named

is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.

Naming is the origin

of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.

Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations

arise from the same source.

This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness.

The gateway to all understanding.

There are many, but here is a clean link to read it (I got 1 from there):

http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core9/phalsall/texts/taote-v3.html

I have read it so many times over the years. Actually, I am glad you have brought this up because otherwise I would not have re-visited it. It is always great to read. Don't mind the hyenas if they come after you for bringing it up.

There are many different hard copies out there. I like this one very, very much:

http://www.amazon.com/Ching-25th-Anniversary-English-Mandarin-Chinese/dp/0679776192/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1309230263&sr=1-3

Domo!

rde

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Bobby:

Thankfully, I was exposed to Lao Tzu's, The Way, within one year of reading Atlas some four and half decades ago.

It is a very comfortable fit. Additionally, as Rich, mentions, just prepare for the attacks. Employ Tai Chi and be not where the force strikes!

Great post.

Adam

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Principle #1: The goal is contentment. I'm not sure if AR said this specifically but I know her favorite philosopher, Aristotle, was a proponent of this view.

AR wrote happiness is the ultimate moral goal. "Contentment" sounds more like Epicurus, who focused on avoidance of suffering. AR would have you straining yourself for the sake of great achievements.

Principle #3: Manifestations of the Tao. Taoism acknowledges man's inherent intellectual limitations and consequently avoids concepts that cannot be tested and verified by practical application — reason alone is not to be trusted.

Reason alone, as opposed to what? Or is it reason without reference to evidence that is to be rejected? That’s not reason in AR’s view, it sounds like rationalism.

Priniciple #4: Nature is unkind.

No benevolent universe? I’ve never entirely bought into that one, however it can become a self fulfilling prophecy.

I do find Taoism and Confucianism interesting, and superior to the Abrahamic traditions in most ways. However, they led to rather static societies, or so the critics allege.

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Principle #1: The goal is contentment. I'm not sure if AR said this specifically but I know her favorite philosopher, Aristotle, was a proponent of this view.

AR wrote happiness is the ultimate moral goal. "Contentment" sounds more like Epicurus, who focused on avoidance of suffering. AR would have you straining yourself for the sake of great achievements.

Principle #3: Manifestations of the Tao. Taoism acknowledges man's inherent intellectual limitations and consequently avoids concepts that cannot be tested and verified by practical application — reason alone is not to be trusted.

Reason alone, as opposed to what? Or is it reason without reference to evidence that is to be rejected? That’s not reason in AR’s view, it sounds like rationalism.

Priniciple #4: Nature is unkind.

No benevolent universe? I’ve never entirely bought into that one, however it can become a self fulfilling prophecy.

I do find Taoism and Confucianism interesting, and superior to the Abrahamic traditions in most ways. However, they led to rather static societies, or so the critics allege.

I believe you've failed to see the context of my post. Did you read the link I posted? Much of what I posted is directly quoted from the link so its not my opinion to debate, even though debate wasn't my aim in this post.

Edited by Aristocrates
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I believe you've failed to see the context of my post. Did you read the link I posted? Much of what I posted is directly quoted from the link so its not my opinion to debate, even though debate wasn't my aim in this post.

No, I looked at it, I was just contrasting Taoism to AR, since you said you saw evidence of "Objectivist thinking". I think I could put together something showing similarities between Christianity (or Judaism, or Islam) and Objectivism and have just as many talking points. Interesting to try, but they all really are very different systems of thought.

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I have a Tao Te Ching in a dual language facsimile. I know some characters and I like to see the translator's work. I bought the book when my wife and I were taking Tai Chi. I also have an I Ching. And rune stones. And tarot cards. But all in all, they miss the mark. They are all nice for what they do, but if there were any answers in the past, we would not be here now.

This comes up in Objectivist study circles and has ever since the NBI and the Objectivist Newsletter. People suggest examples of "proto-Objectivism." Rand rejected them all, generally because such isolated examples lack specific foundations and consistent development.

Inspired by Carl Sagan's Cosmos, I collected ancient Greek coins worth a day's wages from the towns and times of philosophers. I taught myself enough Greek to do my own translations for publication. Among the ancient Greek philosophers, Aristippus of Cyrene (Elder and Younger and Arete, daughter of the elder), taught personal independence. Parmenides of Elea taught that the unreal cannot exist. I could go through Diogenes Laertius's biographies and find gems of proto-Objectivism. It is fascinating to me to reflect on the fact that Empedocles of Agragas figured out how to prove that air is a substance with weight. In our time, Deirdre McCloskey traces the roots and consequences of "bourgeois virtue." They are all fine, as far as they go. It is interesting to consider new ideas, or old ideas you did not know about.

But only Objectivism is Objectivism.

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No benevolent universe? I've never entirely bought into that one, however it can become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Nature does not love us, nor does nature hate us. The Cosmos is indifferent to us. For a long time we were not, for a short time we are, and for a long time afterward we will not be. The Universe does not care one way or the other.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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No benevolent universe? I've never entirely bought into that one, however it can become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Nature does not love us, nor does nature hate us. The Cosmos is indifferent to us. For a long time we were not, for a short time we are, and for a long time afterward we will not be. The Universe does not care one way or the other.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Guys, you must be reading something different. The cosmos aren't mentioned. What is mentioned, is how in the natural world you don't find convincing evidence of altruism or "peaceful coexistence". Of course the universe or "nature" doesn't care one way or the other. They are not beings nor is the author of this article portraying nature as a being. Self fulfilling prophecy.......shit, if I had a dime everytime I read that on OL.

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No benevolent universe? I've never entirely bought into that one, however it can become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Nature does not love us, nor does nature hate us. The Cosmos is indifferent to us. For a long time we were not, for a short time we are, and for a long time afterward we will not be. The Universe does not care one way or the other.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Guys, you must be reading something different. The cosmos aren't mentioned. What is mentioned, is how in the natural world you don't find convincing evidence of altruism or "peaceful coexistence". Of course the universe or "nature" doesn't care one way or the other. They are not beings nor is the author of this article portraying nature as a being. Self fulfilling prophecy.......shit, if I had a dime everytime I read that on OL.

The Cosmos is All that exists, All that has ever existed and All that will ever exist --- Carl Sagan.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Nature does not love us, nor does nature hate us. The Cosmos is indifferent to us.

Indeed, though I think a benevolent universe attitude (“premise” sounds too philosophical, this is a psychological thing) should lead to more active engaging with the world, making it more likely that you’ll get good results, thus a self-fulfilling prophecy.

A separate point, there’s a case to be made that, first, we’ve evolved in this world, and second, have altered it to suit our needs, so we’ve tipped the balance from neutral to a benevolent environment for humans. But I wouldn’t use the term “universe” either. The universe, on balance, isn’t so friendly towards us. Almost every environment in the universe would kill us instantly.

Self fulfilling prophecy.......shit, if I had a dime everytime I read that on OL.

Huh? It’s not even a common phrase around here, let alone an overused one.

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Nature does not love us, nor does nature hate us. The Cosmos is indifferent to us.

Indeed, though I think a benevolent universe attitude ("premise" sounds too philosophical, this is a psychological thing) should lead to more active engaging with the world, making it more likely that you'll get good results, thus a self-fulfilling prophecy.

A separate point, there's a case to be made that, first, we've evolved in this world, and second, have altered it to suit our needs, so we've tipped the balance from neutral to a benevolent environment for humans. But I wouldn't use the term "universe" either. The universe, on balance, isn't so friendly towards us. Almost every environment in the universe would kill us instantly.

Self fulfilling prophecy.......shit, if I had a dime everytime I read that on OL.

Huh? It's not even a common phrase around here, let alone an overused one.

Benevolence is an intention and an attitude. Only sentient beings can have intentions and attitudes. The Cosmos is not a sentient being although there are sentient beings in it (humans for example). A more exact statement is : the cosmos is a livable place for us.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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