View Poll Results: Will you go see the Atlas Shrugged movie?

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Thread: Atlas Shrugged movie

  1. #181
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    Re: Atlas Shrugged movie

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Nope, greed is a desire to possess wealth or goods beyond necessity. Look it up. Its a sin we all commit, even the best of us (not that I am in the "best of us" category)
    In that case, it is useless to even consider greed in any serious manner. Unless we're all living on communes and living on what's strictly necessary to survive, every single one of us is absolutely greedy when they come home with a paycheck that contains a surplus amount of money. Greed is therefore a nonissue and a useless term.

  2. #182
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    Re: Atlas Shrugged movie

    Quote Originally Posted by ElijahGalt View Post
    It is an important distinction, because if you neglect the distinction, you end up thinking Rand supported stealing, killing, and cheating for the sake of self-interest.

    But you're not alone, Rand received much criticism from many areas, both academic and nonacademic, regarding her use of the term.
    I have learned enough about Rand over the years to know she had her ideas about force and the initiation of it. Believe it or not, I am fairly well versed in individualist philosophies. I just don't agree with them. I believe she presented an incomplete picture of humanity and only worried about the parts she liked.

    Quote Originally Posted by ElijahGalt View Post
    In that case, it is useless to even consider greed in any serious manner. Unless we're all living on communes and living on what's strictly necessary to survive, every single one of us is absolutely greedy when they come home with a paycheck that contains a surplus amount of money. Greed is therefore a nonissue and a useless term.
    Western culture is certainly not ascetic like it used to be in the past. However, this consideration of greed is ultimately at the root of the puritan ethic that shaped much of the country. However, in modern times, with our abundance, the true definition often gets lost in the noise to the point where we are trying to even redefine the christian notion of it with things like prosperity gospel and the puritan ethic is being transformed into the objective (and or libertarian) ethic as well.

    However, I don't think it does justice to redefine the term due to our prosperity. What mayor snorkum should have used was covetousness, which has a definition closer to what he wished to denounce.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 04-06-11 at 05:10 PM.

  3. #183
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    Re: Atlas Shrugged movie

    Quote Originally Posted by Lachean View Post
    America, or do you not have police and law courts in your state?
    C'mon, you were doing so well.

    My point is that the latest conservative/libertarian utopia limits govt to roles that protect the fiscal elite and further their agendas. And leaves the rest of the citizenry at the mercy of these elites.

    Mexico is a great example of this kind of structure. A tiny minority own almost everything and maintain their peasantry by utilizing this ownership to elect sympathetic politicians.

    I can't think of a single place where effective plutocracy has produced a place that's fit to live in for the majority of its citizens.

    In fact, most revolutions find their origins in this practice. It results in ordinary people withdrawing their consent to be governed, violently.

    The 800 pound gorilla in this debate, and the flaw in Rand's reasoning, is that human beings are NOT equal.

    To put it bluntly, most of the human race doesn't have what it takes to succeed in Rand's kind of paradise. Its fine to posit a system that rewards hard work, intelligence and education. But what about all those people who are not equipped to compete at that level. Who just aren't sharp enough and ambitious enough to excel in this kind of "paradise"?

    I simply reject the "survival of the fittest/law of the jungle" meme that's being spread around lately.

    Those models apply to human GROUPS competing with their environment. We are social animals, and our success derives from our ability to work together. Cut throat competition WITHIN the group, against other members of the group, would have stranded us on the savannah. The baddest predators on the planet, but never anything more.

    I frankly feel it is the resposibility of the strong to protect and help the weak.

    Not coddling or supporting those who won't even try.

    Just not functionally enslaving those who were born unable to effectively compete.

    I feel there's basically two ways to go through life:

    You can hold your fellow man down, or

    You can lift him up.

    But that's just my opinion.
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

  4. #184
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    Re: Atlas Shrugged movie

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBook View Post
    I still hold that her beliefs regarding Objectivism are ethically invalid due to their basis in arbitrary discrimination.

    Ideally, the needs of oneself need to be balanced with the needs of others.
    "Arbitrary discrimination?" Discrimination is not always a bad thing. You can't have free choice without some form of discrimination. When I chose a woman to marry, I discriminated against blondes, women with pale skin (I don't want to use the word white because I don't wish to recognize different "races"), women who were less intelligent than most, lazy women, large women, women without similar values, etc. We discriminate every day.

    Second, you need to expand on the balance of one's needs with the needs of others. Granted, Rand was somewhat of an anarchist. But for libertarians at least, we believe that the moral obligation of the state is to protect the citizen from other citizens, not to subsidize their lifestyle or provide a system of dependence.

  5. #185
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    Re: Atlas Shrugged movie

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicup View Post
    If I could nail down a single phrase that describes liberals, and conservatives, IMO, I would say something like this. Conservatives tend to think in absolutes, meaning, something is either good, or it's bad, whereas Liberals tend to think in potentialities; something could be good, or it could be bad. Now, when you look at this, and really take a close look, they're not that far off are they? Conservatives tend to throw out exceptions when reasoning, and liberals actively look for the exception to influence their reasoning. Example, the death penalty. Conservatives, place no rational value to the exception that some innocent people will be executed, and favor the death penalty. Liberals, place rational value to the exception of innocent life lost, and reason to themselves that because innocent life can be lost, that the death penalty should be abolished.

    What I'm trying to illustrate is that because of the above, I am coming to realize that political ideologies, and socio-ideologies are more flexible than most people think. Further, an ideology can be diagnosed without any indication of political, or sociological philosophy from the subject. It is my contention that ideology is a combination of one's genes and their environment, and is more about how we reason, and react to everything, than simply how we view a political, or sociological issue.

    For instance, I think a test can be devised that proves my point, if one assumes that the above notion that conservatives think in black and white, and liberals in grey. Without any questions on any specific political, or sociological issues, one could tell by how the participants respond whether they are liberal, or conservative, simply by how they reason what is good, or what is bad. I think that with a great deal of accuracy, a double blind study could show that simply by their answers to non political, or sociological questions we could predict a subjects political ideology.

    Before the test, the interviewers would determine the subjects ideology, and record the data. Now the testing begins, and the test scorers would not know the results of the prior interviews, and would score the tests based on multiple choice questions to various questions that relate to a black and white answering style to one that allows for grey. My guess is that conservatives will mostly choose black and white answers, and liberals will mostly choose grey. The tricky part is devising testing questions that can have multiple choice answers that are correct but appear as though only one is correct to the test taker..


    Tim-
    This is an truly insightful point of view, and I think it has a good deal of merit.

    Generally I've found this to be the case as well, with exceptions of course. I think that too few people stop to consider the reasons for an opposing viewpoint and just assume the worst. If there is indeed truth to this, it would help show that both sides are much closer than either cares to admit.

    Thank you for taking time to consider the motivations behind an opposing viewpoint. That happens all too rarely in this day and age of extreme partisanship and every time I see it happen, it gives me hope for our future as a people.
    “The more you know, the harder it is to take decisive action. Once you become informed, you start seeing complexities and shades of gray. You realize that nothing is as clear and simple as it first appears. Ultimately, knowledge is paralyzing.” - Bill Watterson
    Who Is Chicago Ted?

  6. #186
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    Re: Atlas Shrugged movie

    Quote Originally Posted by ElijahGalt View Post
    "Arbitrary discrimination?" Discrimination is not always a bad thing. You can't have free choice without some form of discrimination. When I chose a woman to marry, I discriminated against blondes, women with pale skin (I don't want to use the word white because I don't wish to recognize different "races"), women who were less intelligent than most, lazy women, large women, women without similar values, etc. We discriminate every day.

    Second, you need to expand on the balance of one's needs with the needs of others. Granted, Rand was somewhat of an anarchist. But for libertarians at least, we believe that the moral obligation of the state is to protect the citizen from other citizens, not to subsidize their lifestyle or provide a system of dependence.
    I never stated that discrimination was a bad thing. It can be either good, bad, or neutral. But discrimination with no basis in factual information is unethical (the easiest example would be racism, the belief that a different race is inferior for arbitrary reasons).

    By nature of Objectivism, one must discriminate against everyone that is not oneself (based on the conclusion that because they are not you, they are inferior, which is arbitrary).

    There's a reason most ethicists dismiss Ayn Rand.
    “The more you know, the harder it is to take decisive action. Once you become informed, you start seeing complexities and shades of gray. You realize that nothing is as clear and simple as it first appears. Ultimately, knowledge is paralyzing.” - Bill Watterson
    Who Is Chicago Ted?

  7. #187
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    Re: Atlas Shrugged movie

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBook View Post
    I never stated that discrimination was a bad thing. It can be either good, bad, or neutral. But discrimination with no basis in factual information is unethical (the easiest example would be racism, the belief that a different race is inferior for arbitrary reasons).

    By nature of Objectivism, one must discriminate against everyone that is not oneself (based on the conclusion that because they are not you, they are inferior, which is arbitrary).

    There's a reason most ethicists dismiss Ayn Rand.
    Could you please explain where you came up with the WRONG interpreation of "the nature" of objectivism?

  8. #188
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    Re: Atlas Shrugged movie

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBook View Post
    This is an truly insightful point of view, and I think it has a good deal of merit.

    Generally I've found this to be the case as well, with exceptions of course. I think that too few people stop to consider the reasons for an opposing viewpoint and just assume the worst. If there is indeed truth to this, it would help show that both sides are much closer than either cares to admit.

    Thank you for taking time to consider the motivations behind an opposing viewpoint. That happens all too rarely in this day and age of extreme partisanship and every time I see it happen, it gives me hope for our future as a people.
    Thank you! I have to admit that I haven't always thought this way. I am going to turn 43 this year, and the path to my own truth's has been a divided struggle. I try to learn from everyone now, whereas in the past, almost exclusively, I would automatically dismiss an opposing view. We can't continue to do that, and without sounding cliche', or mushy our very survival as a species demands that we find common ground, and that begins by understanding how and why people perceive things. There are advantages to looking for grey, as there are at times in seeing in only black and white. Figuring out when one is a better path to reason is the tricky part.

    I'm working on it..


    Tim-
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  9. #189
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    Re: Atlas Shrugged movie

    Quote Originally Posted by ElijahGalt View Post
    Could you please explain where you came up with the WRONG interpreation of "the nature" of objectivism?
    Erm, by studying it?

    Am I wrong in stating that it argues for the ethical code of egoism(the practice of elevating self interest to a status not granted to others)?
    “The more you know, the harder it is to take decisive action. Once you become informed, you start seeing complexities and shades of gray. You realize that nothing is as clear and simple as it first appears. Ultimately, knowledge is paralyzing.” - Bill Watterson
    Who Is Chicago Ted?

  10. #190
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    Re: Atlas Shrugged movie

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicup View Post
    Ah, ok, thanks. I've never met two conservatives alike. Seriously, I mean that. There are common ideologies from both sides of the spectrum; liberals, conservatives, all seem to be fluid to some degree depending on the static issue. Let's take a glaring example of an issue people generally think has one ideological tag assigned to it. Legalizing weed. As a conservative, one might think that conservatives are diametrically opposed to legalizing pot, however, I'm a conservative and I am not against it. Conversely, almost all, if not all liberals I know are not against it either. Does it make me liberal? The answer is no. It makes me a conservative who is for legalizing marijuana.

    If I could nail down a single phrase that describes liberals, and conservatives, IMO, I would say something like this. Conservatives tend to think in absolutes, meaning, something is either good, or it's bad, whereas Liberals tend to think in potentialities; something could be good, or it could be bad. Now, when you look at this, and really take a close look, they're not that far off are they? Conservatives tend to throw out exceptions when reasoning, and liberals actively look for the exception to influence their reasoning. Example, the death penalty. Conservatives, place no rational value to the exception that some innocent people will be executed, and favor the death penalty. Liberals, place rational value to the exception of innocent life lost, and reason to themselves that because innocent life can be lost, that the death penalty should be abolished.

    What I'm trying to illustrate is that because of the above, I am coming to realize that political ideologies, and socio-ideologies are more flexible than most people think. Further, an ideology can be diagnosed without any indication of political, or sociological philosophy from the subject. It is my contention that ideology is a combination of one's genes and their environment, and is more about how we reason, and react to everything, than simply how we view a political, or sociological issue.

    For instance, I think a test can be devised that proves my point, if one assumes that the above notion that conservatives think in black and white, and liberals in grey. Without any questions on any specific political, or sociological issues, one could tell by how the participants respond whether they are liberal, or conservative, simply by how they reason what is good, or what is bad. I think that with a great deal of accuracy, a double blind study could show that simply by their answers to non political, or sociological questions we could predict a subjects political ideology.

    Before the test, the interviewers would determine the subjects ideology, and record the data. Now the testing begins, and the test scorers would not know the results of the prior interviews, and would score the tests based on multiple choice questions to various questions that relate to a black and white answering style to one that allows for grey. My guess is that conservatives will mostly choose black and white answers, and liberals will mostly choose grey. The tricky part is devising testing questions that can have multiple choice answers that are correct but appear as though only one is correct to the test taker..


    Tim-
    Excellent post!

    There's actually a term for what you are describing. The tendency of people to hold a mixture of conservative and liberal beliefs. I can't remember it off the top of my head but I'm sure I have it on my home computer.

    There have been studies on the subject, and it turns out that many more of us fall into this category than into both "extremes" combined.

    There may be some information on the site in my sig.

    And your idea that some of the difference between "conservatives" and "liberals" is genetic has recently been supported by research in cognitive neuroscience. They have identified consistent differences in brain activity between those that identify themselves as conservatives and liberals when different stimuli are applied.

    I have been saying its genetic for a decade, and in the past five years or so science has largely confirmed this premise.

    Apparently the divergence began when some people stopped wandering from place to place in small groups and started staying in one place in large groups.

    This fundamental change in lifestyle resulted in a change in survival traits for the two groups. Greatly oversimplified, it manifests in a dichotomy between neophilia, the hunger for new horizons etc and neophobia, for want of a better term. Not so much fear of the new, but no strong hunger for it.

    An individual in a farming community is not great marriage material if they are not satisfied with their lot, want to know what's beyond the horizon, and don't respond well to hierarchical authority, even though those traits work great for the wanderers.

    Doesn't make one superior to the other. Different strategies work for different populations in different situations. But it does help, IMHO, explain why so many feel the other side "doesn't get it". Its because they don't, on a basic genetic level.

    I've been working on a blog post on this subject, so I have the relevant links at home. I'll have it up inna couple days.

    Excellent thread. I love this new tendency to actually discuss issues rather than just repeat talking points that has bloomed here recently.

    Thanks to all!
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

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