Skip to comments.What Rand Meant by Altruism
Posted on 12/15/2019 10:57:17 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
In modern America, February 2 is best known as Groundhog Day. But it also marks the birth of one of the most praised and criticized thinkers of the past century Ayn Rand.
Rand sold more than 30 million books. Atlas Shrugged has been ranked behind only the Bible as an influence on readers lives. She has also been stridently attacked for issues such as her militant atheism. But perhaps least understood has been her full-bore rejection of altruism. On her birthday, it is worth reconsideration.
Altruism has commonly been held up as the standard for moral behavior. But Rand rejected it, asserting it was incompatible with freedom, with capitalism, and with individual rights, and therefore the basic evil behind todays ugliest phenomena.
That head-on collision arises from French philosopher Auguste Comte, coiner of the term altruism. The altruists.org website says he believed the only moral acts were those intended to promote the happiness of others. Comtes Catechisme Positiviste asserts that altruism gives a direct sanction exclusively to our instincts of benevolence, and, therefore, cannot tolerate the notion of rights, for such a notion rests on individualism.
In Comtes view, any act performed for any reason beyond solely that of advancing someone elses well-being is not morally justified. That implies taking a tax deduction for a charitable act strips it of its morality. The same is true when done because what goes around comes around. Something as seemingly innocuous as feeling good about doing good also fails Comtes joyless standards. Even love your neighbor as yourself fails his unlimited duty of altruism. As George H. Smith summarized it, One should love ones neighbor more than oneself.
(Excerpt) Read more at fee.org ...
Good article from 2017.
Their definition of altruism is worthless in terms of living in a fallen world. Its an irrational ideal.
Life requires the gaining and keeping of values. Altruism is the sacrifice of values as the highest virtue. So, altruism is anti-life. When life is the standard of value, that means altruism is evil. Altruism is not the same as benevolence or kindness.
She had no children? Did she ever get laid? BTW I read Fountainhead + Atlas.
From my own limited understanding, full altruism is a complete Christian way; it fails only in that this world is not by any standards a completely Christian world and could not function in any other environment.
I prefer a term from sociobiology:”reciprocal altruism,” which capitalism certainly is.
Rand used the word “benevolence” when describing acts of charity that a person acting in the exercise of his free will and sound mind would make. Those were distinguished from altruism, which might have been better described with the possibly redundant modifier mindless altruism.
How about a better one, the Golden Rule.
Expect to be treated how you treat others.
Well....that doesn’t necessarily redound positively for society.
How about “treat others as you would like to be treated?”
In Rand’s day, just as in our own, “altruism” was a cloak and a weapon used by Leftists, statists and dictators to hide their motives and manipulate people.
Both Obama and Warren have negated individual success by saying “you didn’t build that,” with the next lie being that their version of enforced collectivism is the obvious righteous antithesis to individual freedom and achievement.
Mine’s a corrolary of yours. I don’t think people ought to expect better treatment than they themselves treat others with. Mine emphasizes that to highlight hypocrisy and double standards.
She was married, then conducted an affair, while putting it in her husband's face, with one of her acolytes.
The acolyte (Nathaniel Branden) laid it all out in his book: Judgement Day
It was a long-running affair.
“In Comtes view, any act performed for any reason beyond solely that of advancing someone elses well-being is not morally justified.”
What would a starving man prefer, someone who gave him a loaf of bread for selfish reasons, or someone who refrained from doing so, because he has the Comtian notion that it would be morally imperfect to do so? What do you suppose the Creator and Source of moral truth would prefer?
Why do so many people move to the left in spite of mountains of direct evidence that socialism is evil? In a word Altruism. Altruism is the oldest most successful scam in history, one that gets played over and over again by the two legged parasites and predators among us. Most religions incorporate it because the rulers make it the rule to remain on the throne of power.
It really is that simple. Too bad some people never got the memo......
I believe an ancient Hebrew once nearly the same thing. His birthday is coming up ...
once SAID nearly the same thing ...
Robert Heinlein wrote that “Altruism is informed self interest”.
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