PDA

View Full Version : The Virtue of Selfishness


Doobie Keebler[_2_]
March 23rd 09, 06:40 PM
A very interesting article on C&L today addresses the writing of Ayn
Rand.

She took selfishness, one of the seven deadly sins, and re-invented
it as a moral system:

.. . . "The moral purpose of a manís life is the achievement of his own
happiness. This does not mean that he is indifferent to all men, that
human life is of no value to him and that he has no reason to help
others in an emergency. But it does mean that he does not subordinate
his life to the welfare of others, that he doaes not sacrifice himself
to their needs, that the relief of their suffering is not his primary
concern, that any help he gives is an exception, not a rule, an act of
generosity, not of moral duty, that it is marginal and incidentalóas
disasters are marginal and incidental in the course of human existenceó
and that values, not disasters, are the goal, the first concern and
the motive power of his life."
from 'The Virtue of Selfishness' --- Ayn Rand.

source:
http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/wall-street-can-you-hear-me

Wow! Does that sound like the Wall Street Creed, or what?

Now, I was raised Catholic and as a young kid was introduced to the
question 'Am I my brothers keeper?' This teaching was made very clear:
yes, we have a moral obligation to serve the needs of others.

Sadly, the philosophy of Rand, the Virtue of Selfishness, rules over
Wall Street and much of modern life.

The golden rule has become 'Screw unto others before they get a chance
to screw unto you!"

Our public discourse has become rude, uncivil, a shouting match where
neither party hears what the other has to say.

We are devolving from sentient creatures concerned with our mutual
well being into a mad herd of shrieking banshees, or so, somdays, it
seems. Just turn on any cable news channel. There it is.

I have been been right in there, leading the shrieking, one of the
worst offenders.

But, no more. I've had a bit of an epiphany, and I refuse to
continue.

Those of you who have read some of my recent posts may have caught a
few references to shantideva.

Ain't America great?

Even a German catholic boy from America's Dairyland can learn a thing
or two from the Buddhist masters.

Why couldn't the catholic nuns who tormented my as a kid have been
more like this Buddhist nun?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buTrsK_ZkvA&feature=related

Isn't she the most remarkable nun you ever heard?

Hey Comix, would you mind if I mail you a copy of this?
http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Bite-Hook-Resentment-Destructive/dp/1590304349

..-=d00b
..

John Galt[_2_]
March 23rd 09, 06:56 PM
Doobie Keebler wrote:
> A very interesting article on C&L today addresses the writing of Ayn
> Rand.
>
> She took selfishness, one of the seven deadly sins, and re-invented
> it as a moral system:
>
> . . . "The moral purpose of a manís life is the achievement of his own
> happiness. This does not mean that he is indifferent to all men, that
> human life is of no value to him and that he has no reason to help
> others in an emergency. But it does mean that he does not subordinate
> his life to the welfare of others, that he doaes not sacrifice himself
> to their needs, that the relief of their suffering is not his primary
> concern, that any help he gives is an exception, not a rule, an act of
> generosity, not of moral duty, that it is marginal and incidentalóas
> disasters are marginal and incidental in the course of human existenceó
> and that values, not disasters, are the goal, the first concern and
> the motive power of his life."
> from 'The Virtue of Selfishness' --- Ayn Rand.
>
> source:
> http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/wall-street-can-you-hear-me
>
> Wow! Does that sound like the Wall Street Creed, or what?

It's a corporatist outlook, for sure. My biggest disconnect with Rand is
when she actually starts to criticize altruism. But, I've always had the
following thought WRT the sort of quote you've cited above, specifically
that she, as an atheist, is expressing the logical world view of atheism
== that, if man does not subscribe to a moral code which is greater than
himself, then the moral code that will be subscribed to will most often
be one of their own making.

And, anything that is of your own making can be adhered to or rejected
as is convenient. This would make for a very dangerous world, I would
think.
>
> Now, I was raised Catholic and as a young kid was introduced to the
> question 'Am I my brothers keeper?' This teaching was made very clear:
> yes, we have a moral obligation to serve the needs of others.
>
> Sadly, the philosophy of Rand, the Virtue of Selfishness, rules over
> Wall Street and much of modern life.

Well, :-) Rand was hardly the first to recognize that the natural state
of man is selfishness, and without her, I doubt if Wall Street would be
any different than it is today. In fact, one could reasonably observe
that by asking business to behave altruistically, one is asking business
to operate in a state of conflict of interest. This is why I've always
advocated that business be regulated so they don't blow up the economy
or the environment or their own workforce (Friedman's 'neighborhood
effects') but no farther; this maximizes the spoils, and THEN, if you
don't like the way the spoils are being distributed, use the tax code to
move them around a bit.
>
> The golden rule has become 'Screw unto others before they get a chance
> to screw unto you!"
>
> Our public discourse has become rude, uncivil, a shouting match where
> neither party hears what the other has to say.
>
> We are devolving from sentient creatures concerned with our mutual
> well being into a mad herd of shrieking banshees, or so, somdays, it
> seems. Just turn on any cable news channel. There it is.

Pretty much true.

JG


>
> I have been been right in there, leading the shrieking, one of the
> worst offenders.
>
> But, no more. I've had a bit of an epiphany, and I refuse to
> continue.
>
> Those of you who have read some of my recent posts may have caught a
> few references to shantideva.
>
> Ain't America great?
>
> Even a German catholic boy from America's Dairyland can learn a thing
> or two from the Buddhist masters.
>
> Why couldn't the catholic nuns who tormented my as a kid have been
> more like this Buddhist nun?
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buTrsK_ZkvA&feature=related
>
> Isn't she the most remarkable nun you ever heard?
>
> Hey Comix, would you mind if I mail you a copy of this?
> http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Bite-Hook-Resentment-Destructive/dp/1590304349
>
> .-=d00b
> .
>
>
>
>
>

ausound[_3_]
March 23rd 09, 07:08 PM
Doobie Keebler > wrote in news:cdc3a568-0805-4b51-aa6a-
:

> I was raised Catholic


there are 12 step recovery programs for this

also, therapy might work out the dysfunction they programmed into you


"by your works you shall be known"

spanish inquisition

Child molestations

John Galt[_2_]
March 23rd 09, 07:24 PM
ausound wrote:
> Doobie Keebler > wrote in news:cdc3a568-0805-4b51-aa6a-
> :
>
>> I was raised Catholic
>
>
> there are 12 step recovery programs for this
>
> also, therapy might work out the dysfunction they programmed into you
>
>
> "by your works you shall be known"
>
> spanish inquisition
>
> Child molestations
>

Mother Theresa

Catholic Charities

JG
(Not a catholic, btw)

Doobie Keebler[_2_]
March 23rd 09, 09:07 PM
On Mar 23, 2:08*pm, ausound > wrote:

> "by your works you shall be known"


FWIW, I was thrown out of confessional at the age of 16 by Father
Leketas, and I've never looked back.

The final exchange of words were something like:

"And are you truly sorry for your sins?"

"Umm, well, if I hadn't done those things I wouldn't be the person I
am today, so, no, actually."

"GET OUT! AND DON'T COME BACK UNTIL YOU'RE READY TO MAKE A PROPER
CONFESSION!"

That was my first real-world experience questioning authority, and
challenging it's power over me.

..-=d00b
..

ausound[_3_]
March 23rd 09, 09:27 PM
Doobie Keebler > wrote in news:d1e83ce4-20fc-4108-85cc-
:

> FWIW, I was thrown out of confessional at the age of 16 by Father
> Leketas, and I've never looked back.

there is hope for you

ausound[_3_]
March 23rd 09, 09:29 PM
John Galt > wrote in news:[email protected]
07.dc1.easynews.com:

> Mother Theresa

I think it's hilarious she came in SECOND to Nancy Reagan for Woman of the
Year honors

John Galt[_2_]
March 23rd 09, 09:33 PM
ausound wrote:
> John Galt > wrote in news:[email protected]
> 07.dc1.easynews.com:
>
>> Mother Theresa
>
> I think it's hilarious she came in SECOND to Nancy Reagan for Woman of the
> Year honors.

A commentary on the Weird of the World, for sure.

JG