This is to continue the discussion of Objectivism from the front page. Some basic info:
Among her writings are The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, both of which have been turned into feature films.
Despite her atheism, Rand is popular among Tea Party conservatives because of her anti-tax stance.
Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan was a personal friend of Rand.
mothers are not selfish since she cares for her child. selfish is a person who only cares for himself and not others. businessman are selfish person since they care for only themselves.
whatever be the issue, selfishness always brings greed. and greed brings warfare.businessmen are good example of that.
Well . . .you miss the point entirely. If the mother does not take care of herself then she will not be able to take care of her baby . . .A business man who does not take care of his business will have to lay off his people. A soldier who does not keep in shape will be of no use to his comrades . . . . a doctor who doesn't keep his credentials up will not be practicing medicine long.
This principle is called "enlightened self-interest."
Frankly, Arnab, as an entrepreneur I find your comment of businessmen being good examples of greed insulting.
arnab / kevin - I'm knew to Ann Rand and so may be completely missing her point - but anyway -
I'm getting a bit sick of people changing the meaning of words in the english language to mean something else in a sick and twisted sort of way -
selfish is a word that is used to describe someone who is primarily concerned with their own well being - someone who will finish the last of the milk or the last of the chocolates without consideration of others......
this definition of a mother being selfish because she has to look after herself first - or because she is only looking after her kids because they have her genes and therefore caring for them is a selfish act - is rediculous and only a justification for a person to do anything selfishly because they can say that everyone is selfish - what a load of crap....
there is such a thing as consideration, kindness, love, devotion, care, and putting others first - because you feel a responsibility to do so - giving someone else the last slice of chocolate cake because you want them to feel some happiness, care or well being..... and there are people who will fight to get their own needs, wants and desires met over anyone else, because they are selfish - lets keep our definitions clear and traditional - and not play with language so we can twist it to our own greedy warped desires.....
well from your definations too, it is clear that selfishness is not a virtue but a vice.
and altruism is a virtue.
what do you think is good: a selfish activity: looking for oneself and not caring for others. or altruistic activity, caring for others?
arnab - I think it is good to be a well balanced person who meets their own needs with equal consideration of the needs of those around them.
that kind of person is rare in the world. lets consider a new idea:
let all the individual be selfish but govt. be altruistic. in this way, the balance will come.
what do you think ?
Well . . . I'm not so sure its realistic for government to be altruistic. It is composed of people who generally seek their own interests.
arnab - idealistic and also as i've said just before - it will have less outcomes of well being for all.....
a person who considers their own needs in balance to others needs, is not so rare - most people do this all the time - even if only due to feeling social pressure - having 3 children and looking after other children and family, i continually need to measure my own needs with the needs of others, and I know many who are like this - working as a nurse, it's the same - I need a break now, but I also need to support another to have some personal need met - so I work continually on compromises that meets all our needs in the best order....
I am very surprised that you have the view that a person like this is rare in the world.
I think that children under 3, teenager and single adults without experience in considering others through family situation or work situation, are all less able or unable to consider others needs equally with their own. Also people who have great needs, or their basic needs are not being met are also pron to selfishness.
@Alice - "I'm getting a bit sick of people changing the meaning of words in the english language to mean something else in a sick and twisted sort of way"
I agree completely. Selfishness means acting without any consideration for, or at the expense of others.
Altruism is a concern for others, and a willingness to help. It doesn't necessarily mean self-sacrifice or putting others above oneself to the extent that the self is neglected.
However, Rand followers have consistently corrupted these definitions over the years through their persistence.
I think part of the appeal of Objectivism is that it tells certain types of people what they want to hear - not only is being selfish ok, it's actually a virtue! It gives them a rationale to disregard a very basic, but sometimes difficult aspect of human society, the obligation to others.
George - well I'm totally with you George.... :)
Ok . . .lets keep our definitions traditional then.
Substitute selfishness for "enlightened self interest." This is the basic premise of how human social relations work. We generally do things for others because we get something out of it. The mother gets to see her genes passed down the line . . .her genetic legacy is protected . . . I care for and protect my family because I love them and I feel intrinsically rewarded when I do so.
You would be hard pressed to find anybody who ever did anything out of a sense of complete self abnegation. Even soldiers who give their lives do so because they are devoted to the mission and want it to succeed. Religious nuts flagellate themselves because they get some sort of twisted satisfaction out of it.
The basic premise I was trying to make is that if I don't take care of myself I won't be able to take care of anybody else either. Hence the common sense rules that a parent put on their 02 mask first in an airplane. I live so that my family and those important to me can live as well. You do the same.
In response to your other insinuation, of course there are greedy people in the world. Nobody is saying that greed is good a la Gordon Gecko. What I am saying is that each one of us looking out for own good is the way to go. If our individual "needs" clash with one another, well then, we have the courts to settle our grievances.
Kevin - it doesn't work - selfishness is bad no matter how you want to dress it up. If you weigh everything so as to be selfish or enlightened self interest then you will be seen as such - and avoided.
I think that looking at the world as us all being selfish isn't healthy - and it isn't a good way to view the world - a better way to view the world is to see yourself as meeting your own needs with equal consideration of others needs - you can apply this to the environment, animals, aliens and the cosmos.
You have different outcomes if you do the selfish thing as compared to the considering all needs way. The considering all needs way gets way more well being for all. The selfish way leaves others sometimes feeling like they don't count, and that lowers all our well being.