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Plato's Cave - The Orlando Philosophy Meetup Group Message Board › Is there a moral foundation behind Objectivism?

Is there a moral foundation behind Objectivism?

amanda m.
user 10486702
Orlando, FL
Post #: 12
Ben Forbes G.
Kissimmee, FL
Post #: 213
Hmm, that's a rather cryptic denial in your post #12 that I just noticed, Amanda...confused

Would you care to elaborate your criticism of my polemics against Randian Objectivism? I would actually be eager to read a good defense of it.

Anyway, with dollar signs in your photo for this site Amanda, I might surmise that you may be much more of a "pure" capitalist than I am... or perhaps you are objecting to my comments regarding Ayn Rand's influence on Republican ideas. Whatever the case though, please don't be shy about expressing your views or criticizing mine. This thread has been too one-sided, anyway — with Chris and I both criticizing Rand at length but nobody yet really defending her.

Jairo M.
Winter Park, FL
Post #: 1,316
Ben Forbes Griffith for President! He can run under the Conservation of Energy Party.
He seems to have a well balanced view of the moral and political landscape. A union of compassion and wisdom.
Society also could use a moral facelift. Perhaps it starts individually through each and every person's conscience, and yet it also needs external guidance. Now how to tax the rich and the corporations more so they give back? Only a few super rich have started to give back through philanthropic works. I am thinking of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett (and they have challenged the richest to give to their favorite charity, let's hope it becomes fashionable for them. But then what are their favorite charities?). So maybe it's just bad habits, a bad moral landscape, perhaps due to bad examples, until now with Gates and Buffet, that the filthy rich have gone overboard in just isolating themselves and continuing to exploit the labor poor and the natural resources. Perhaps as more people are aware that it can't go on like that anymore then maybe they will change, and maybe military policies and ambitions will become more sane.

But assuming that everyone has an educated conscience and is striving to do good, then the following belief might be of service:

God tests everyone, one with wealth, another with poverty. A rich man is tested in whether he would extend an arm of support to those who need it; a poor man in whether he would bear all his sufferings without discontent and with obedience.
--- The Talmud, found in Leo Tolstoy's A Calendar of Wisdom, among the quotes for January 6.

Then maybe "trickle down" will work, and maybe the poor will not rebel. But it hasn't worked so far perhaps because of so much corruption.

Perhaps we all do try to do good and strive to abstain from evil, but we often fail and give up. Not just on doing good to look good, but doing good to feel good. May I suggest doing Yoga? It will allow you time to focus on your body, your breath and your mind.

No matter how many times you aim to achieve victory over your passions, do not give up. Every effort weakens the power of passion and makes it easier to gain victory over it.

Abstention should be a habit in your life; it should support you in your virtues. For he who is resolute in goodness, there is nothing that he could not overcome.
---- Lao Tzu

quotes for today January 6, from Leo Tolstoy's A Calendar of Wisdom.

Compassion and Wisdom,

Ben Forbes G.
Kissimmee, FL
Post #: 252
A former member
Post #: 800
I agree with Benjamin and other's critique assessment with specific regard to Ayn Rand's dangerous cult-philosophy. Up to now, I have a hard time finding nor would I desire to search for a working philosophy which has broken down and destroyed many of the things which beforehand were helpful to mankind, and historically our nation's progress, and none for as far as I can tell has been quite near as destructive as Objectivism. Though there will probably somewhere always be some destructive philosophies entrapping the minds of individuals towards purposes beyond themselves for goals, which if only their conceptual eyes were opened sooner, they would likely be repulsed by. Some of the debris left in the wake of this particular philosophy have included broken marriages, defunded programs to help the needy, and a hardening of American government policy in order maintain a cold-war sized military so stuffed full corporate entitlements despite the fact that the cold-war ended so that the same powers who benefit from these entitlements must create for our nation new threats to peace while also working to resurrect former ones.

Why discount and even warn others to be wary of Objectivism? Because the way Ayn Rand's philosophy is applied results in the breakdown and abandonment of universal human goals, such as ending hunger and war, etc. in favor for establishing power cliques which are, despite some concocted fantasy illusion, effectively strictly in it for themselves.

Here is my synthesis summary of material, including a large number of recordings of Noam Chomsky and a small amount of Kenneth Galbraith, recently reviewed and considered:

When a person treats other people like objects, then other people stop being persons to that person holding the objectifying worldview. And the person carrying out the action of objectifying other people, unconsciously or otherwise, them-self has taken on the defining habit of a psychopath. While individually members of any clique of Randian Objectivists may not view themselves as having at their core a psychopathic nature, but are rather simply conducting themselves as perfectly rational beings, the resulting action of any clique power structure effectively behaves as such within the larger environment (ie. Society, Government, Business, Nature).

See Mark Ames' 30 January 2015 article How Ayn Rand became a big admirer of serial killer William Hickman.

An earlier version of this synthesis above was also added to Plato's Cave Discussion thread Objectivism­.
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