Arkadi

has anyone met an altruist in person?

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I mean, an altruist as defined by Rand, i.e., someone giving up a greater value in exchange for a lesser one. There are quite a few "altruistic" slogans floating around but whenever I had a chance to come across somebody actually living up to them, they turned out to be valuing more what they were getting (emotionally, at any rate) from their "sacrifice" than what they were "sacrificing". And frankly, I cannot understand how it can possibly be otherwise, assuming that people have free will. Why would anyone prefer anything other than what has a greater value (or, a lesser dis-value) in their eyes at the moment of choice? The answer: because they are "zombied" seems to beg the question, for, then, being brought up in a particular culture already means being "zombied", and it is, above all, through one's upbringing (and cultural experience) that one's values are developed. So, do altruists really exist? What am I missing?

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Altruist: someone with victimhood self-imposed = repressed anger = depression sometimes temporarily released by a burst of anger, or might even be ended by suicide. Look in the mirror: are you looking at an altruist?

--Brant

philosophically the morality of collectivism = victimhood . . . , death

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Brant: But perhaps there are some "perks" that go together with being a "victim"? If there is enough value in victimhood for some people to go for it, how does it differ from other values? Some people buy tobacco and ruin their body with it. Aren't they also "altruists," then?

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1 hour ago, Arkadi said:

Brant: But perhaps there are some "perks" that go together with being a "victim"? If there is enough value in victimhood for some people to go for it, how does it differ from other values? Some people buy tobacco and ruin their body with it. Aren't they also "altruists," then?

If you consciously seek to be a victim you may be deliberately adding coal to the fire. It's unlikely you're going to repress the consequent anger.

Now with values and valuing we return to the subjective-objective discussions. All valuing is subjective. Some values are objective. Could be they all are. Frankly, it's not too important; they are what they are and everyone lives with them already.

Altruism conceptually works apropos man in society. It takes at least two to tango. Absent that is absent the altruism/selfishness divide. Alone for whom can you sacrifice? Or be selfish to?

I think Rand mangled altruism just as she mangled selfishness. However one can describe her attitude it's an understandable reaction to her first-hand experiences with "The Russian Revolution." But her focus was too narrow. In Objectivism we have individualism vs. collectivism, sacrifice vs. non-sacrifice, altruisn vs. selfishness. Too binary except for starters. The communists made a monster out of altruism and Rand ran with it. Politically it's the battle of the giants. Psychologically human beings are social animals. That's a much bigger territory than she covered even though she hung her whole philosophy--it's individualism at the root--on what she did cover. What's upstairs is much more complex and perplexing than what she put up there.

--Brant

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Brant: All these "-isms" are just abstractions, I do not see people living up to them. Of course, I am an individualist. But as an individualist, I value living among educated, civilized people, not among mobsters. So, I have a vested individualist interest in motivating young people to study and making a quality education available to them at large. In other words, it is of value for me that others have the same values as I do. But this is collectivism, isn't it?

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Mother Therrisa  was The Altruist From Hell.  The worst of the Altruists are prudent predators  very energetic in getting the lesser minds  to engage in self-sacrifice.   The alpha Altruist is there to pick up the pieces of what is left.  

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An altruist like Ma T. wants to impose it on you, not herself. She's a warrior for altruism. Altruism in such evil hands is moral slavery. It exploits like a wedge driven into a crack with a sledge the natural human propensity for positive and productive human interactions from the psychological to the economic.

--Brant

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9 hours ago, Arkadi said:

Brant: All these "-isms" are just abstractions, I do not see people living up to them. Of course, I am an individualist. But as an individualist, I value living among educated, civilized people, not among mobsters. So, I have a vested individualist interest in motivating young people to study and making a quality education available to them at large. In other words, it is of value for me that others have the same values as I do. But this is collectivism, isn't it?

One worries about people by living in a society that protects you from them. As for living up to a standard it's 1) how well you live up to that yourself and 2) how well you insist that others do too if they want to have business with you, business being human interactions most generally. Such are trading relationships.

--Brant

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Brant: "business being human interactions most generally"--I would consider it a meager and extremely low quality life if my human interactions were, for the most part, business transactions. Rand's life was full and admirable in my view not least because her human relations were far from being just that. She was emotionally and intellectually related with the cohort of like-minded people. And those connection were in the real wold (not just on an Internet forum)!

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2 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Mother Therrisa  was The Altruist From Hell.  The worst of the Altruists are prudent predators  very energetic in getting the lesser minds  to engage in self-sacrifice.   The alpha Altruist is there to pick up the pieces of what is left.  

Please explain.  How is helping the poor of India "getting the lesser minds to engage in self-sacrifice"?  

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11 hours ago, Arkadi said:

Brant: All these "-isms" are just abstractions, I do not see people living up to them. Of course, I am an individualist. But as an individualist, I value living among educated, civilized people, not among mobsters. So, I have a vested individualist interest in motivating young people to study and making a quality education available to them at large. In other words, it is of value for me that others have the same values as I do. But this is collectivism, isn't it?

The range of potential values open to one (sub-sub-types of sub-types, of types) is gi-normous, which doesn't make them in the least ~subjective~ if they are identified by you and evaluated as 'good' for your life, by the over all standard of 'man's life'. They are simply individual to you - and objective. Contrary to your wry self-judgement of "collectivism", the teaching work you do, as you explain it, is a leading value to you (under intellectual "productiveness") - not fighting for it or meekly giving it up on a whim, higher pay in another unsatisfying career, somebody else's opinion, etc. etc. - that would be altruism and subjective.

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2 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

An altruist like Ma T. wants to impose it on you, not herself. She's a warrior for altruism. Altruism in such evil hands is moral slavery. It exploits like a wedge driven into a crack with a sledge the natural human propensity for positive and productive human interactions from the psychological to the economic.

--Brant

I'm not aware of Mother Theresa "imposing" anything on others, are you?   

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Anthony: This is not collectivism until it remains my solitary effort (which cannot change anything on the large scale anyway). But as soon as I join other like-minded individuals and we try to implement our social vision through political mechanisms, it becomes collectivism, as we are imposing our values on the society at large, in which quite a few people do not care whether their co-citizens even know who was the first president of our country, but only that they are able to count money, so it is possible to do business with them.

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Arkadi, you mean that joining with others in a 'collective' enterprise must be "collectivism"? Where would this place any small or large business then? You're right only if it imposes itself on others by political machinations, or other force. Which means the enterprise is sacrificial of others to oneself.

A pertinent nugget I recently picked up is that Rand denied that "man is a social animal" (Aristotle, I think?); rather she said he's a "contractual animal". That's seems more like it and consistent to her. Associating by value-choice with other individuals who each shares at least 'a' value/vision with you, is a corollary of the trader principle I think, and a 'contract' by moral accord.

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Anthony: I was talking of a situation in which quite a few individuals in the society do not share my values--e.g., as concerns the importance of the motivation for and availability of a high quality education to young people regardless of their parents' income.

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2 hours ago, PDS said:

I'm not aware of Mother Theresa "imposing" anything on others, are you?   

Really shitty health care in her clinics.

--Brant

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2 hours ago, PDS said:

Please explain.  How is helping the poor of India "getting the lesser minds to engage in self-sacrifice"?  

She didn't help the poor.

--Brant

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1 minute ago, Brant Gaede said:

Really shitty health care in her clinics.

--Brant

I was under the impression that the patients came to her health clinics voluntarily. 

"Really shitty" may be true, in a vacuum, but the clinics were/are the best game in town, no?

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2 hours ago, Arkadi said:

Brant: "business being human interactions most generally"--I would consider it a meager and extremely low quality life if my human interactions were, for the most part, business transactions. Rand's life was full and admirable in my view not least because her human relations were far from being just that. She was emotionally and intellectually related with the cohort of like-minded people. And those connection were in the real wold (not just on an Internet forum)!

I said "most generally." Falling in love and getting married, for instance, is one part of the "business" of life.

--Brant

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Brant: I rendered you correctly by saying: "for the most part." And I brought in Rand's life as an example of this "for the most part" being much more than business transactions.

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I've met people with what seemed like inconsistent values...

 

I've met people who have inherited money and feel that they don't deserve it.

 

I have not met somebody who is like a copy of Ellsworth Toohey or James Taggart.

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3 hours ago, PDS said:

Please explain.  How is helping the poor of India "getting the lesser minds to engage in self-sacrifice"?  

Mr  Th  did not really help the poor.  See what Christopher Hitchens has to say about this "saint".

http://www.philosophy-religion.org/world/pdfs/Christopher-Hitchens_Mother-Theresa.pdf

or you can hear it:  

 

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