You are not connected. Please login or register

Ayn Rand

Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

1Ayn Rand Empty Ayn Rand on Wed 30 May 2018, 2:05 pm

I love this tweet: https://twitter.com/ashleylynch/status/1001291085287604224

It will never stop being funny that Atlas Shrugged part III, a film whose core philosophy that altruism and collectivism are human failures, had to rely on crowdfunding to get financing.

But this response even more so:

A former boss of mine was trying to get a group of people to go and I was like "Coordinating group activity based on a common interest, eh? Sounds a lot like socialism to me" just to watch him go bonkers.

And this one:

they had to re-issue the DVD of part 1 because the hired gun copywriter made some assumptions about human nature and wrote the wrong thing: https://www.yahoo.com/news/blogs/ticket/atlas-shrugged-film-producers-replacing-100-000-dvd-213051848.html

View user profile

2Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Wed 30 May 2018, 5:16 pm

I can't be arsed to read much into this but crowd funding isn't exactly reliant on altruism nor collectivism in any meaningful sense. People give somebody money in return for something they want ... a basic transaction. It would be like calling a business collectivist because it relies on 'collections' of people buying their goods, or altrustic because they were kind enough to do so.

Altruism is a delusion.

View user profile

3Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Tue 05 Jun 2018, 11:41 am

@TiberiusDidNothingWrong wrote:
Altruism is a delusion.

I will use one of BurrunJor's tweets from this thread to argue against this http://thehiveforum.forumotion.com/t273-l-oreal-sacks-first-transgender-model-munroe-bergdorf

I am defining altruism as an act (physical or spoken) which you do not benefit from. In this case, derived from honour. Burrunjor says he deeply disagrees with what she said but defends her right to say it. He is acting altruistically. He could easily be hypocritical or argue that she is an exception but that would be cheating and unhonourable, therefore if you thinking altruism is a delusion then so is honor. I think in this sense, Burrunjor maybe one of the most altruistic people on the forum.

Burrunjor advocates free speech and you could say that benefits everybody but I don't think it benefits him in this instance

View user profile

4Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Tue 05 Jun 2018, 11:51 am

Mr. Happy wrote:
@TiberiusDidNothingWrong wrote:
Altruism is a delusion.

I will use one of BurrunJor's tweets from this thread to argue against this http://thehiveforum.forumotion.com/t273-l-oreal-sacks-first-transgender-model-munroe-bergdorf

I am defining altruism as an act (physical or spoken) which you do not benefit from. In this case, derived from honour. Burrunjor says he deeply disagrees with what she said but defends her right to say it. He is acting altruistically. He could easily be hypocritical or argue that she is an exception but that would be cheating and unhonourable, therefore if you thinking altruism is a delusion then so is honor. I think in this sense, Burrunjor maybe one of the most altruistic people on the forum.

The concept doesn't make sense. If you didn't benefit from it you wouldn't do it - people are kind because it 'benefits' them by manner of positive emotional affect. The same reason people do anything, the same reason people are selfish - an emotional or instinctual consonance. It might be praised because the preponderance of 'altruism' has the same effect. I suppose this could end up an argument of free will, but I'll leave it there for now.

I would argue that selfish actions are usually more logical that 'selfless' actions. The delusional part of 'altruism' is both in pretending the concept is consistent, and then that 'altruistic' actions are of a higher standard of good than selfish actions. From a collectivist point of view this is moot, but individualistically I would say it is more often true.

View user profile

5Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Tue 05 Jun 2018, 12:44 pm

I also forgot Socrates, an obvious example, surely. He had the chance to escape and didn’t want to undermine Athenian Society, he stuck to his ideals and drank Hemlock even though there is no way he could have benefited from sticking to his principles. Yet, he did.

View user profile

6Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Tue 05 Jun 2018, 1:22 pm

Mr. Happy wrote:I also forgot Socrates, an obvious example, surely. He had the chance to escape and didn’t want to undermine Athenian Society, he stuck to his ideals and drank Hemlock even though there is no way he could have benefited from sticking to his principles. Yet, he did.

It comes down to a debate of the semantics of motivation. People do things consciously because they either predict a consonance, or that the thought is consonant. To Socrates the concept of sacrificing himself to his ideals was the consonance - he pondered it, generated thoughts coupled with positive and negative emotions, and found the sum to be positive. The concept pleased him hence he carried through with it.

Altruism is conceptually meaningless because no human action is without motivation, it's rather just a question as to whether the consequence can be seen as subscribing to our ideals of morality - so that we can consider the action to have 'good' motivation, and if we can disregard more logical selfish attributes.

If you wish it might be better to define Altruism as being a relative concept, disregarding 'consonance' as a selfish attribute, over logical selfishness. If a person donates a large sum to charity this might be logically motivated as a move to change public perception, yet if we can disregard this or if it is outweighed and by the 'consonance' we might call it altruistic.

Yet part of why I would call it a delusion is that altruism would be considered a standard of 'good'. As I say, from a collectivist standpoint it is arguable but a stronger case; from an individualist point of view, which seems to certainly be the higher priority for an individual, it is almost always not so - but this appeal to selfishness. Through generally I would say that the concept of Morality is barely applicable from an individualist point of view.

View user profile

7Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Tue 05 Jun 2018, 1:40 pm

I'd like to add to this erudite discussion by positing that Ayn Rand was an emotional desert wrapped in a sinuous, bitter bone and meat structure, fuelled by a slow-burning hatred of humanity and the sort of selfishness where one learns to peel an orange in their pocket in early childhood.

The least human human being to have ever un-graced the planet with her acid-burning, evil shadow.

If I haven't made this clear yet, I'd be willing to perform an act of altruism by going back in time and shooting the revolting witch before she had anything published. To hell with the consequences for me. Just look at the consequences of her strand of thinking.

View user profile

8Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Tue 05 Jun 2018, 1:56 pm

I hadn't read any Ayn Rand but doing so briefly I find that her views are rather similar to my own - so I am partly obliged to defend her.

Rational Egoism I think is entirely evident.

I don't entirely agree with Moral Egoism in that Morality is rather a collectivist concept than an individualistic one. As I said earlier I would say Morality thusly breaks down when examined individualistically, for the larger part. Likewise I might infer that Moral Egoism breaks down when examining it from a collectivist point of view, if you would assert that it exists as a relative moral concept: thought I would not call it dysfunctional. For clarification, when I speak of collectivism I am in reference to what is prescribed to be best for a larger population, or for humanity as a whole, or in the best interests of such in the short- or long-term, rather than arguing collectivism as a reasonable individual concern.

Objectivism as a whole is rather a separate debate so I will not address that.

View user profile

9Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Tue 05 Jun 2018, 3:44 pm

@TiberiusDidNothingWrong wrote:
Mr. Happy wrote:I also forgot Socrates, an obvious example, surely. He had the chance to escape and didn’t want to undermine Athenian Society, he stuck to his ideals and drank Hemlock even though there is no way he could have benefited from sticking to his principles. Yet, he did.

It comes down to a debate of the semantics of motivation. People do things consciously because they either predict a consonance, or that the thought is consonant. To Socrates the concept of sacrificing himself to his ideals was the consonance - he pondered it, generated thoughts coupled with positive and negative emotions, and found the sum to be positive. The concept pleased him hence he carried through with it.

Altruism is conceptually meaningless because no human action is without motivation, it's rather just a question as to whether the consequence can be seen as subscribing to our ideals of morality - so that we can consider the action to have 'good' motivation, and if we can disregard more logical selfish attributes.

If you wish it might be better to define Altruism as being a relative concept, disregarding 'consonance' as a selfish attribute, over logical selfishness. If a person donates a large sum to charity this might be logically motivated as a move to change public perception, yet if we can disregard this or if it is outweighed and by the 'consonance' we might call it altruistic.

Yet part of why I would call it a delusion is that altruism would be considered a standard of 'good'. As I say, from a collectivist standpoint it is arguable but a stronger case; from an individualist point of view, which seems to certainly be the higher priority for an individual, it is almost always not so - but this appeal to selfishness. Through generally I would say that the concept of Morality is barely applicable from an individualist point of view.

I wouldn't argue them as absolutes but people who do selfish things might commit acts that have accidentally altruistic secondary outcomes in the same way that you argue that the donation example. I also mentioned that Nurrunjor may feel the benefits more widely from free speech even if not in the quoted instance, so it's not like I haven't considered that. But you can't have a dichotomy with only one side or it will collapse so there has to be a misunderstanding of what altruism is somewhere.

So yeah, I agree as an absolute it doesn't exist except as a concept. All absolutes are wrong, including this one. See how easily that leads to a paradox. Absolutes are naively simplistic.

From my own experience, I have had to do things I didn't like and I did them for a rational reason. Just cos there is a rational element doesn't dissolve altruism. I think you are misaligning rationality with self-interest. We didn't evolve to be social animals but from an evolutionary standpoint, it makes sense that we are cos of strength in numbers.

View user profile

10Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Tue 05 Jun 2018, 4:03 pm

I feel I should explain the point about dichotomies more, you have several dichotomies in food: poisonous, edible; cooked, raw, and so on. Language often points to the real world as a function of truth. We have the poisonus/edible dichotomy because some food is edible and some isn't but if every food was edible we wouldn't have the word edible it would just be food and we wouldn't have the word poisonous cos it wouldn't exist in opposition to something.

We use the word altruism when we act out of honour but that shouldn't be sublimated with pity. If selfishness exists then so does altruism even if it isn't pure.

View user profile

11Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Tue 05 Jun 2018, 5:02 pm

I'm aligning rationality with self-interest per Rational Egoism.

There are really two points of debate here:
1 - The meaning of the concept of 'Altruism'. My point being that the motivations for 'selflessness' are usually the same motivations as for 'selfishness', not a meaningful concern for others so much as a desire for personal consonance. Altruism and selflessness are misnomers because the critical point is not in 'putting others above the self' but rather in that helping others was an intended consequence - the difference being that the self can and will also be a factor in the latter. Aside from that, the debate isn't of much worth.

2 - The rationality and morality of altruism, which Ayn Rand discounts.

Mr. Happy wrote:
I feel I should explain the point about dichotomies more, you have several dichotomies in food: poisonous, edible; cooked, raw, and so on. Language often points to the real world as a function of truth. We have the poisonus/edible dichotomy because some food is edible and some isn't but if every food was edible we wouldn't have the word edible it would just be food and we wouldn't have the word poisonous cos it wouldn't exist in opposition to something.

You cannot prove altruism in that way. It's entirely possible for an individual to discount the interests of others - such as in one without empathy, yet it isn't, as I've argued, possible to discount personal interests.

View user profile

12Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Tue 05 Jun 2018, 8:15 pm

He could easily be hypocritical or argue that she is an exception but that would be cheating and unhonourable, therefore if you thinking altruism is a delusion then so is honor. I think in this sense, Burrunjor maybe one of the most altruistic people on the forum.

You're too kind.

Ayn Rand was a horrendous writer, but she actually managed to be a worse human being.

It amazes me that people still read that crap after all this time. It was inspired primarily by her wet dreams around a serial killer!

As for altruism, well it can be argued that it is an evolutionary trait.

A species has to work together to survive. If humans had a me, me, me, me attitude we would have been extinct ages ago.

How would a lone human hunt a large beast like a Mammoth? How would pregnant woman have hunted animals and got food to preserve the next generation?

Similarly what about diseases that could have potentially wiped out humanity that medical science has cured?

Similarly what about actual bigotry and slavery? Those were motivated by selfish desires, (to be fair it wasn't always for altruistic reasons that they were abolished.) Still it can't be denied that alturism has played a role in stamping out bigotry.

A species that works together and cares about preserving as many of its people, and not letting any potential go to waste will always be more successful.

Ayn Rand is in many ways just like scientology. In both cases a lot of its high profile followers like Yaron Brook are just tight fisted misers who don't want to pay taxes, so they develop an ideology that they think can justify being a miserable old bastard.

View user profile

13Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Tue 05 Jun 2018, 9:25 pm

I left a facebook group a couple of weeks back and there was a guy there who opinion I greatly respected who claimed Ayn Rand was unfairly maligned. Apparently, he wrote his Master's Thesis on her. I would copy his post if I was still there. It made me feel that I should re-evaluate her. Time constraints and a lack of interest mean I probably won't.

Here is his post:


I see a lot of bullshit here, so I will just stick to the facts instead of trying to wade through it.

Ayn Rand is not hated in academia. She is actually quite admired. I myself did my thesis on Rand. She is hated by liberals because of what right-wing politics has done with her philosophy after she died. Originally, she was hated by the right for her stance against corporations, religion, conservative morality, and crony politics, and her notion of personal responsibility and the rights of creators to own their work - all of which goes against conservative ideals, but which conservatives conveniently ignore in her philosophy.

The left mostly hate her because of her stance against altruism and support for selfishness.

She was also originally hated for being one of the first outspoken women on politics, society, and culture in a time where women were still expected to be silent on such topics. And she often got more attention than her male contemporaries did.

Her greatest flaw, however, was in her ideal of what she thought to be the perfect human being, which turned out to be a the model of a psychopath - the posthuman Randian Hero, a mixture of Nietzsche's ubermensch, Plato's philosopher-king, Aristotle's kalos agathos, and the "knight of faith". But no one is perfect, even though people for some reason think Rand should be.

She was indeed a philosopher. All academic references point to her being a philosopher and her philosophy being Objectivism. She has just as much written work in circulation as Plato or Aristotle, and far more than most of the ancient Greeks we consider philosophers. Much of her work takes on the same form as Plato. So if Rand is not a philosopher, neither was Plato. People who don't know better make the assumption that her work just consists of a few novels. But the bulk of her work is managed by the Ayn Rand Institute which was founded by her heir, Leonard Peikoff, after her death. Which is when Objectivism started to take on a more right-leaning appearance. Much like how Nietzsche's work became propaganda for the Nazis after his death.

So when people say things like Ayn Rand is the reason why douchebag republicans exist, what we can surmise from that is that they don't know the history of this country, wherein douchebag conservative politics have existed here centuries before Rand, and they are not that familiar with what Rand wrote, much of which consisted of her criticisms of douchebag conservative politics.

Ayn Rand holds a very unique place in modern philosophy. She is a philosopher that almost everyone knows, but is also that philosopher which almost everyone gets wrong. Because she has become more so a figurehead for ideology than an analytic philosopher - through representation from her fans, and ignorance of her detractors.

What do you guy's think?

I can't stand her fiction though. Saying that Fountainhead is an oddly enjoyable film and they are remaking it https://movieweb.com/fountainhead-movie-remake-director-zack-snyder-next-movie/

View user profile

14Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Wed 06 Jun 2018, 8:56 am

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, The Price Equation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_equation

I won't pretend that I understand it but there are consistent means of assessing altruism depending on how you define it.

The thing that interests me is that animals are seen to lack reason. If only the selfish can be reasoning and humans are incapable of acting without reasoning then you need to be unreasoning, i.e. an animal, in order to be altruistic. This suggests that animals are capable of acting to a higher ethical standard than humans.

You might rightly question whether a dog is incapable of reasoning or just lack the language capabilities to clearly articulate that reasoning but take the example of a bee laying down life in order to defend its queen. Surely an insect would be as near to completely instinctual/intuitive as you can get. And yet we consider ourselves capable of higher ethics via self-examination.

If acting in selfish interests is antithetical to group society that lets us evolve society and therefore culture and education as part of that society then altruism is necessary and to some extent rational without us being aware of that rationality. This argument I believe disconnects motivation from rationality and ethics.

What if your motivation is to do the most good (help other people) possible and use logical means to achieve that end? Doing anything less than trying to optimise the effect of your actions would be illogical and less altruistic. The two things can co-exist but shouldn't be confused with each other.

View user profile

15Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Wed 06 Jun 2018, 12:28 pm

@burrunjor wrote:

Ayn Rand was a horrendous writer, but she actually managed to be a worse human being.


I haven’t read any of her works but rather am I arguing of the concepts she proposed. As for her semantic status as a human being I cannot say, nor would I think it relevant to said concepts.


@burrunjor wrote:
As for altruism, well it can be argued that it is an evolutionary trait.


It is an evolutionary trait, the majority of human behaviour is prescribed from birth, in turn from the produce of evolution.

Yet what worked for an uncivilized species doesn’t necessarily translate well to what works in a civilization. I would argue that traits such as ‘altruism’, if we are using the weaker definition, do not translate well to a species with such an ability to reason, and where the usual bounds are no longer extant due to the advance of science and technology.

@burrunjor wrote:

Similarly what about diseases that could have potentially wiped out humanity that medical science has cured?


Medical science isn’t fundamentally altruistic. Further, these are amongst the bounds removed for a species that has such intelligence as humanity.

@burrunjor wrote:

Similarly what about actual bigotry and slavery? Those were motivated by selfish desires, (to be fair it wasn't always for altruistic reasons that they were abolished.) Still it can't be denied that alturism has played a role in stamping out bigotry.


Bigotry is a fairly meaningless term that itself appeals to a sense of tribalism, an accurate definition of a bigot is, ‘somebody who fails to submit to the standards of my tribe.’

Regardless the argument for Rational Egoism speaks considers two factors: what is rational, and what to the personal effect – the two being largely related. I’m not arguing whether it is moral from a collectivist point of view.

@burrunjor wrote:


A species that works together and cares about preserving as many of its people, and not letting any potential go to waste will always be more successful.


This isn’t true in a modern civilization. We have these traits to combat those threats to a growing population that exist in nature, but that are and continue to be attenuated by technological progress. Altruism stretched to holistic humanism is a malfunction of the evolutionary mechanism when coupled with human intelligence – it doesn’t work, and it doesn’t need to.

@burrunjor wrote:

Ayn Rand is in many ways just like scientology. In both cases a lot of its high profile followers like Yaron Brook are just tight fisted misers who don't want to pay taxes, so they develop an ideology that they think can justify being a miserable old bastard.

Yes, I have no doubt that Ayn Rand’s philosophy is used so that selfish people can feel better about being selfish, but this is irrelevant to the truth of her ideas.

View user profile

16Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Wed 06 Jun 2018, 1:13 pm

Mr. Happy wrote:Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, The Price Equation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_equation

I won't pretend that I understand it but there are consistent means of assessing altruism depending on how you define it.


I’m not completely on board with George R. Price’s interpretation of Altruism: in that, I think the idea of people seeing greater value in those genetically similar to themselves to be slightly misguided. I’d see it as rather a consequence of environmental factors rather than a direct mechanism as he seems to be relying on. Yet, that aside, the theory rather represents a supporting cause for my argument here. ‘Altruism is a delusion’ stands from a holistic humanistic point of view because there is plainly no direct mechanism for concern where we extend beyond those we know and care about.

Mr. Happy wrote:

The thing that interests me is that animals are seen to lack reason. If only the selfish can be reasoning and humans are incapable of acting without reasoning then you need to be unreasoning, i.e. an animal, in order to be altruistic. This suggests that animals are capable of acting to a higher ethical standard than humans.

You might rightly question whether a dog is incapable of reasoning or just lack the language capabilities to clearly articulate that reasoning but take the example of a bee laying down life in order to defend its queen. Surely an insect would be as near to completely instinctual/intuitive as you can get. And yet we consider ourselves capable of higher ethics via self-examination.

‘Lesser’ animals lack the complex ability of reasoning that is relevant here – they could be described as automatons of instinct and emotion, where those are the basis for morality. Morality being these factors plus higher human reasoning. By that, animals are perfectly moral by their own standard – barring some anomalies perhaps.
I wouldn’t say that humans are capable of higher ethics than lesser animals unless you would beg the question and define ethics are requiring human reasoning. I would do that, but of course the statement is, then, purposeless.


Mr. Happy wrote:

If acting in selfish interests is antithetical to group society that lets us evolve society and therefore culture and education as part of that society then altruism is necessary and to some extent rational without us being aware of that rationality. This argument I believe disconnects motivation from rationality and ethics.

What if your motivation is to do the most good (help other people) possible and use logical means to achieve that end? Doing anything less than trying to optimise the effect of your actions would be illogical and less altruistic. The two things can co-exist but shouldn't be confused with each other.

This is debatable because in my view selfishness that can be seen as detrimental to one’s ‘environment’ to be irrational, which is not a part of Rational Egoism. At the same time, this does not increase the worth of altruism which I would argue can be likewise destructive to one’s ‘environment’. Altruism where it pushes to ‘spreading too thin’ the resources available is rather detrimental to what I would call progress, and certainly from an individualistic context.

We are debating the rationality of that motivation, not the mechanism.


To summarise at least my own views:

(Moral, collectivist) Altruism is good: True.

(Rational, collectivist) Altruism is good: True insofar as ‘close’ altruism such as that for friends and family; False insofar as boundless altruism for all humanity.

(Moral, individualist) Altruism is good: Meaningless. Morality is defined collectively, other is otherwise arbitrary and thus unprovable, or else rational.

(Rational, individualist) Altruism is good: False.

View user profile

17Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Wed 06 Jun 2018, 3:01 pm

Mr. Happy wrote:I left a facebook group a couple of weeks back and there was a guy there who opinion I greatly respected who claimed Ayn Rand was unfairly maligned. Apparently, he wrote his Master's Thesis on her. I would copy his post if I was still there. It made me feel that I should re-evaluate her. Time constraints and a lack of interest mean I probably won't.

What do you guy's think?



There are some problems in the way the person presented their ideas, hints of irrationality – especially in anti-‘right’ bias.

I agree insofar that blaming Ayn Rand for the effect of selfishness is illogical. Her philosophies may have helped the selfish feel better about their actions but I doubt they did much to increase the preponderance of selfishness, and certainly not that she could be blamed for the perceived consequences of selfishness.

Calling Ayn Rand’s ‘ideal human being’ a psychopath is a blatant misunderstanding of what a psychopath is.

View user profile

18Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Wed 06 Jun 2018, 3:36 pm

@TiberiusDidNothingWrong wrote:
Mr. Happy wrote:I left a facebook group a couple of weeks back and there was a guy there who opinion I greatly respected who claimed Ayn Rand was unfairly maligned. Apparently, he wrote his Master's Thesis on her. I would copy his post if I was still there. It made me feel that I should re-evaluate her. Time constraints and a lack of interest mean I probably won't.

What do you guy's think?



There are some problems in the way the person presented their ideas, hints of irrationality – especially in anti-‘right’ bias.

I agree insofar that blaming Ayn Rand for the effect of selfishness is illogical. Her philosophies may have helped the selfish feel better about their actions but I doubt they did much to increase the preponderance of selfishness, and certainly not that she could be blamed for the perceived consequences of selfishness.

Calling Ayn Rand’s ‘ideal human being’ a psychopath is a blatant misunderstanding of what a psychopath is.

Erm, she modelled her Ideal Human Being on a child killer, William Hickman. Having read Robert Hare's book Without Conscience, I think it's highly likely he was a psychopath but that's no substitute for a proper diagnosis - not that I have seen one. So I can fully understand why he would say that.

"Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should"

What a pleasant sounding chap. I don't have the time to look up a summation of her ideal human and don't care to argue over this one. If you model your ideal human on a deviant who is most likely a psychopath and deny any value to altruism (regardless of whether or how it exists) then I wouldn't be surprised if some people, rightly or wrongly, believe to be reminiscent of a psychopath.

View user profile

19Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Wed 06 Jun 2018, 4:33 pm

Mr. Happy wrote:

Erm, she modelled her Ideal Human Being on a child killer, William Hickman. Having read Robert Hare's book Without Conscience, I think it's highly likely he was a psychopath but that's no substitute for a proper diagnosis - not that I have seen one. So I can fully understand why he would say that.

"Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should"

What a pleasant sounding chap. I don't have the time to look up a summation of her ideal human and don't care to argue over this one. If you model your ideal human on a deviant who is most likely a psychopath and deny any value to altruism (regardless of whether or how it exists) then I wouldn't be surprised if some people, rightly or wrongly, believe to be reminiscent of a psychopath.

When there was mentioned a concept of an 'ideal human being' I assumed what was meant was an embodiment of Rational Egoism - which would certainly not by a psychopath. The 'Superman' concept is rather irrelevant to her philosophy as a whole.
I wouldn’t be surprised if people believe that but that doesn’t change the definition of a psychopath – referring to one that is persistently anti-social, lacks self-control and inhibition, has some drive to be harmful to others rather than simply putting the self first, and the oft-cited but rather less critical symptoms that are an apparent lack of empathy and remorse. The ideal per Rational Egoism would likely be lawful, would certainly have plenty of self-control and be willing to defy instincts, and would not be sadistic; likewise they would have empathy but be in control of it.

View user profile

20Ayn Rand Empty Re: Ayn Rand on Thu 07 Jun 2018, 11:00 pm

What if a group of people act altruistically, they have different motives? The economy, for example.

The Psychology of Persuasion by Dr. Robert B. Cialdini:



"I know of no better illustration of the way reciprocal obligations can reach long and powerfully into the future than the perplexing story of $5,000 of relief aid that was exchanged between Mexico and Ethiopia. In 1985, Ethiopia could justly lay claim to the greatest suffering and privation in the world. Its economy was in ruin. Its food supply had been ravaged by years of drought and internal war. Its inhabitants were dying by the thousands from disease and starvation. Under these circumstances, I would not have been surprised to learn of a $5,000 relief donation from Mexico to that wrenchingly needy country. I remember my feeling of amazement, though, when a brief newspaper item I was reading insisted that the aid had gone in the opposite direction. Native officials of the Ethiopian Red Cross had decided to send the money to help the victims of that year’s earthquakes in Mexico City.


It is both a personal bane and a professional blessing that whenever I am confused by some aspect of human behavior, I feel driven to investigate further. In this instance, I was able to track down a fuller account of the story. Fortunately, a journalist who had been as bewildered as I, by the Ethiopians’ actions, had asked for an explanation. The answer he received offered eloquent validation of the reciprocity rule: Despite the enormous needs prevailing in Ethiopia, the money was being sent to Mexico because, in 1935, Mexico had sent aid to Ethiopia when it was invaded by Italy (“Ethiopian Red Cross,” 1985). So informed, I remained awed, but I was no longer puzzled. The need to reciprocate had transcended great cultural differences, long distances, acute famine, many years and immediate self-interest. Quite simply, a half-century later, against all countervailing forces, obligation triumphed."

View user profile

Sponsored content


Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum