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- View topic - Heinlein vs Rand
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Heinlein vs Rand 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:54 am
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Post Re: Heinlein vs Rand

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Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:14 pm
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Post Re: Heinlein vs Rand

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Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:45 pm
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Post Re: Heinlein vs Rand
"Self-sacrifice" is the cardinal virtue of the moral code of altruism, a prerational code of ethics.

""Sacrifice" is the surrender of a greater value for the sake of a lesser one or a nonvalue. Thus, altruism gauges a man's virtue by the degree to which he surrenders, renounces or betrays his values (since help to a stranger or an enemy is regarded as a more virtuous, less "selfish," than help to those one loves). The rational principles of conduct is the exact opposite: always act in accordance with the hierarchy of your values, and never sacrifice a greater value to a lesser one.

This applies to all choices, including one's actions toward other men. It requires that one posses a defined hierarchy of rational values (values chosen and validated by a rational standard). Without such a hierarchy, neither rational conduct nor considered value judgements nor moral choices are possible.

"Sacrifice" does not mean the rejection of the worthless, but of the precious. "Sacrifice" does not mean the rejection of evil for the sake of the good, but of the good for the sake of the evil. "Sacrifice" is the surrender of that which you value for that which you do not...."

a partial quote from Galt's speech, Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand.

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Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:50 pm
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Post Re: Heinlein vs Rand
Oh.

By the non-standard definition of "sacrifice" that is being used here, I'm not sure that the question "Did any Heinlein heroes ever sacrifice?" can be answered. It's too subjective. Lazarus Long's estimation of whether a value is higher or lower may be different from mine, and different from the author's, and different from any other readers.

I think RAH would expect most of his readers to agree, though, that a character giving up his life for that of another, or for an ideal, is sacrifice; and that it can be moving; and that is why he included characters doing that so many times. We know from his story about the hobo in Swope Park that such an act of sacrifice was moving to him personally.


Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:33 pm
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Post Re: Heinlein vs Rand
Words - even English ones - often have many definitions, sometimes conflicting. It's best to be clear about which one you're attaching to any particular loaded term. See "If This Goes On--" You leave my mother out of this! "All I said, in fact, was that you were the legitimate offspring of a legal marriage."


Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:02 pm
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Post Re: Heinlein vs Rand
Excellent points from both of you.

More after I get this first cup of espresso into me.... Beginning to wake up now.

Being an artist myself, like the two of them, and a bit of a philosopher, in the sense that I first consider all things in terms of their basis in reality, ie., their identification, I do look at words in terms of their definition, as contrast to the floating, often contradictory, abstractions of current usage. I learned early-on that many of the weapons used by the enemies of reason, were one's of identity switching, context dropping, etc., what can easily be called "loaded terms." So, I make it my business to try* and use the terms I do in their exact meaning, with my eye on ways that a term is often misused to confuse the gullible. This last consideration, the 'misuse of' terms, kind of sits on the shelf of my mind, and doesn't enter my normal thought pattern unless I get the hunch that someone is trying to pull a fast one on me. All my normal thinking is done with those terms I have already examined and tested, which join the mainstream (which may still contain terms that I have never had need to challenge). I am committed to objectivity, to clarity, to reason, to reality, very much in the terms used by Ayn Rand and often enunciated by Heinlein, though not in as exact terms. Ayn Rand is the leading philosopher of our day, though not yet with the largest following, but surely the most influential in terms of movement... hmmmm I mean, Ayn Rands ideas have influenced more people living today in our culture, than any source except the bible, those ideas are moving our culture in positive ways, and this movement is the largest, most powerful factor in action today. There are large groups of antithetical philosophies in opposition to those ideas but they are impotent, and will be washed away. I give you the Tea Party, who are largely influenced by Ayn Rand as well as by, and in contradiction with, a bunch of bible thumpers. There are many wishful thinkers in this movement (Ron Paul for instance) who believe that the "Sermon On The Mount" can be reconciled with "Who is John Galt". They like Ayn Rand on Capitalism, but choose to ignore that she is an atheist, and to use an analogy, they hold that if you stir it long enough you can get oil and water to stop trying to separate out. I find it fascinating, watching all this unfold, and being able to fairly guess what the future holds. Republican Party changing from the look-alike to the Democratic Party as in days gone past, to a more economically sound basis, and the fight between men of reason and the bible thumpers, later on, and the eventual Democratic Party becoming the look-alike, "me too" Party for a time, then it too changing further, into an intellectually viable, promoter of reason (good sound economic thought including the gold standard) and a moral system without religious overtones (the demise of mysticism).

* I try, but, like my fumbling with the word "identical" far above, I had to go back and edit the sentence, and still have not said what it is I mean there.

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Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:53 am
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Post Re: Heinlein vs Rand

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Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:20 am
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Post Re: Heinlein vs Rand

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Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:22 am
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Post Re: Heinlein vs Rand

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Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:18 pm
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Post Re: Heinlein vs Rand
I suggest you think again. That goes for Bing too.

"that is considered more important or valuable"

Considered by whom and for what? I suppose that Mumbo Jumbo's witchdoctor would have you believe that 'definition' while you are slaughtering your 9 year old daughter on his alters, but I hardly think it appropriate to use the standards of value of a mystic when formulating objective standards of value. If you compare that whole list of usages, the contradiction stands out glaringly obvious. Since contradictions can not exist in reality, it is left as an exercise for the student, to resolve it with vigor. Check your premises.

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Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:25 am
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