Lucrius

Should she get a State Ring?

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I would like this community’s opinion from an Objectivist point of view. I shall state the facts and nothing but the facts. My team won first in the state debate tournament and we all received rings for our state championship victory. Everyone who made it to states competed and won points for the whole team. Points that earned us the title of State Champions. However, there was one girl who dropped out of the competition before regional debate. This girl did not compete at the state level and did not help earn the title. Yet, she received a ring out of pity. I feel that she does not deserve the ring. Any thoughts?

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Why did she drop out? Did she contribute to the success of the team on the way to the regional contests? Why do you say she got a ring out of nothing but "pity"?

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Why did she drop out? Did she contribute to the success of the team on the way to the regional contests? Why do you say she got a ring out of nothing but "pity"?

She dropped out for questionable health reasons. She devolved a Russian accent for about a week. However, she was caught faking a couple of times. One of those times was by myself. Then after Regional debate she began talking fine. Also, she did not contribute at all to the winning of regionals. Debate is based on each individual or team (two man team) winning and getting to proceed to the next level, that level being state debate. She won us no points in Regionals for that first place title and she did not proceed to states to win us any points for that title either.

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You worked for it, you achieved, you received a trophy -- the ring. As you accomplished something to achieve that token, the value is the victory you achieved, your scores, the excellent debating skills you developed and demonstrated. You will be able to cite and defend that achievement in any area in the future in which it will do you good. For instance, if you are going into the law, negotiating, or marketing, promotion, politics, or simply defending a position in the future, your accomplishment may well benefit you directly and indirectly. You have gotten a just reward. So did the others who earned it.

This is essentially the economic "Free Rider" issue: A benefit is provided for those who have earned it, but it is granted to a wider group by over-broad criteria, intentionally, or not. Everyone in the neighborhood but one neighbor, out of security and safety concerns, buys additional lighting for the block, or maybe roving security personnel, or videocameras. The one who didn't pay will still receive the benefit, but, unless they are using that benefit to the point that it becomes an issue, it can be considered just a cost of doing business, as irritating as it might be that "everyone didn't pay their fair share."

This woman sounds like a real piece of work, suddenly developing a Russian accent? Really? Did I understand that right? I'm not sure that illness exists in the DSM-III. Or, more accurately, not in the physical diseases; maybe in the mental aberrations. Whatever, she may well brag about her "accomplishment" and display her debating ring. What, exactly, does she really have to show for herself? I've known and worked with people who cheated on tests, or bought them, or had other people attend their classes, or bought a diploma. In every case, it ultimately bought them nothing but an overwhelming sense of insecurity, embarrassment, firings, and, in the end, justice for their transgressions. She gets a ring that she would have to explain to anyone who doesn't know what it means. And what would that buy her, once the listener is subjected to the mental functioning of a lazy, faker, who never achieved or demonstrated any real ability in the art of assembling facts and persuading other? She would demonstrate her incompetence in the first conversation. And, if they do know what it signifies, she might suck them in for a minute, but then they know what a good debater is and they might even know how to check records and determine that she never even competed in a championship. That's worse than making no such claim at all.

So, basically, she got a nifty free ring. I wouldn't concern myself with her life. You have achieved something of which to be proud and use that acquired skill to ahieve more and have a ball doing it.

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You worked for it, you achieved, you received a trophy -- the ring. As you accomplished something to achieve that token, the value is the victory you achieved, your scores, the excellent debating skills you developed and demonstrated. You will be able to cite and defend that achievement in any area in the future in which it will do you good. For instance, if you are going into the law, negotiating, or marketing, promotion, politics, or simply defending a position in the future, your accomplishment may well benefit you directly and indirectly. You have gotten a just reward. So did the others who earned it.

This is essentially the economic "Free Rider" issue: A benefit is provided for those who have earned it, but it is granted to a wider group by over-broad criteria, intentionally, or not. Everyone in the neighborhood but one neighbor, out of security and safety concerns, buys additional lighting for the block, or maybe roving security personnel, or videocameras. The one who didn't pay will still receive the benefit, but, unless they are using that benefit to the point that it becomes an issue, it can be considered just a cost of doing business, as irritating as it might be that "everyone didn't pay their fair share."

This woman sounds like a real piece of work, suddenly developing a Russian accent? Really? Did I understand that right? I'm not sure that illness exists in the DSM-III. Or, more accurately, not in the physical diseases; maybe in the mental aberrations. Whatever, she may well brag about her "accomplishment" and display her debating ring. What, exactly, does she really have to show for herself? I've known and worked with people who cheated on tests, or bought them, or had other people attend their classes, or bought a diploma. In every case, it ultimately bought them nothing but an overwhelming sense of insecurity, embarrassment, firings, and, in the end, justice for their transgressions. She gets a ring that she would have to explain to anyone who doesn't know what it means. And what would that buy her, once the listener is subjected to the mental functioning of a lazy, faker, who never achieved or demonstrated any real ability in the art of assembling facts and persuading other? She would demonstrate her incompetence in the first conversation. And, if they do know what it signifies, she might suck them in for a minute, but then they know what a good debater is and they might even know how to check records and determine that she never even competed in a championship. That's worse than making no such claim at all.

So, basically, she got a nifty free ring. I wouldn't concern myself with her life. You have achieved something of which to be proud and use that acquired skill to ahieve more and have a ball doing it.

I cannot describe to you how much it means to me that you hold my same views. I spoke up and opposed her getting a ring. Because of this I have received a horrible reputation for being an ass. It means alot to me to know that there is someone out there who sees Reason. Thank You.

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in a few years no one will care about the ring, but your accomplishments will stay with you for life. You spoke out on behalf of who on principle deserves a recognition and who doesn't; it doesn't matter to you that others lash out at you for it -- you can only reach those who are honest. The worst impact of this will be on her any time she might think her ring means something and she has to evade to others -- and primarily to herself -- that she did nothing for it. That's something you don't have to live with. Or, it doesn't mean anything to her other than a form of momentary social acceptance and the ring won't mean anything to her in the future either. Keep concentrating on doing things as well as you can, realizing that justice in acknowledgment from others is desirable but that others' recognition of your accomplishment, whether it comes or not, is secondary to what you are and actually accomplish. That's something that you have and at least some others there don't.

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in a few years no one will care about the ring, but your accomplishments will stay with you for life. You spoke out on behalf of who on principle deserves a recognition and who doesn't; it doesn't matter to you that others lash out at you for it -- you can only reach those who are honest. The worst impact of this will be on her any time she might think her ring means something and she has to evade to others -- and primarily to herself -- that she did nothing for it. That's something you don't have to live with. Or, it doesn't mean anything to her other than a form of momentary social acceptance and the ring won't mean anything to her in the future either. Keep concentrating on doing things as well as you can, realizing that justice in acknowledgment from others is desirable but that others' recognition of your accomplishment, whether it comes or not, is secondary to what you are and actually accomplish. That's something that you have and at least some others there don't.

I'll keep this in my mind and heart. "Justice in acknowledgment from others is desirable but that others' recognition of your accomplishment, whether it comes or not, is secondary to what you are and actually accomplish." Thank You.

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I'll keep this in my mind and heart. "Justice in acknowledgment from others is desirable but that others' recognition of your accomplishment, whether it comes or not, is secondary to what you are and actually accomplish." Thank You.

Think of it in terms of Howard Roark, Hank Rearden, et al. -- the same values that brought you to the Forum.

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You're certainly not alone. Yes, of course Reason still exists in this world, even if it were only you who observed reality and made the appropriate causal inferences. But there are a lot of rational people in the world. Unfortunately, there are many more irrational ones. You can expect that injustices will occur, and they will, throughout your life. It his how you deal with them that determines how you will live and how happy you will be.

Even in a game of tennis, line judges may call an in ball out or an out ball in. There is the inadvertent injustice and the intentional one. I guess you need only back off to the Winter Olympics from the Summer to witness the average Russian judge deducting marks, where they can get away with it, from the Americans and adding a few to the Russians. Note that those competitors generally deal with the elation or disappointment without obsessing over the possibility of a miscarriage of justice. They move on. They know that this is a part of the game, unfortunately. Rand points out that this is manmade, rather than metaphysical, and so is to be evaluated as such, but there are a number of mental calculations that you have to make in evaluating them and deciding on a course of action, or whether a specific action is necessary.

As evw says, those who cheat and steal have to deal with the fact of the hollowness of their "achievement" and the fact that not actually achieving the value means that they are worse off for having stolen. They have a credit that, if claimed, has the possibility of exposing their fraud and incompetence. Imagine a job interview in which the debating team victory ring were relevant. If the interviewer is, say, a former champion debater himself, any answer she gives to his questions about her victory -- "What argument did you present?" "Where was that?" "What was the opposing argument?" "How would you counter this...?" "Who was the judge? I'm friends with most of them." -- could lead to her unmasking, which would be far worse than claiming no such thing. If the interviewer didn't see it as relevant, it would buy her nothing but anxiety. If you happened to be the one interviewing, on the other hand, this could form a bond of common interest and ability that could not only get you hired, but earn you a friend and possibly a mentor. It would also be an earned skill that belonged to you, not to the freeloading fraud. As evw

says, it's not the accolades, it's the accomplishment that matters.

On the other hand, if it had been a competition between the two of you, and she received the ring and you did not, despite cheating on her part, that would be a circumstance in which self-defense would most likely demand that you say and do something to expose the fraud, up to and including legal remedies. You'd still have to assess whether it was worth the time and effort and if it were truly a significant loss of value to you.

I would suggest that in your case, in which you gained the value you earned and a freeloader hitched a ride on the victory wagon, you have lost little or nothing and disgust and a return of your attention to the things that matter to you, your own life and future, would be the healthiest option. But I do understand and admire the sense of pride and justice that causes your indignation. Just remember that principles, values, and the actions you take in response to them depend upon context. Consider the importance to your own life in that context and don't torture yourself needlessly over things that you cannot correct.

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Both of you are extremely wise and helpful. I shall also say that I have made a lot of enemies by standing up for my values. This is to be expected. Yet, I wouldn’t want friends based on a false perception of justice. On Facebook I had an individual (a friend of the girl who freeloaded) literally attack me with his words. He attacked me on a personal level. He didn’t discuss the issue at hand. He merely stated that she deserved the ring and I was an ass for saying otherwise. His entire argument was grounded in the logical fallacy argumentum ad hominem. He attacked me for being a Darwinian and an Atheist. Both completely unrelated to the issue that I brought up. Another person joined in and attacked me for not being a ‘team player.’ That person also attacked debates itself. On top of that he put down my academic pursuits of being a History professor. I blocked both of these individuals. My action of blocking them was perceived as a victory by the faction that opposed my opinions. I was told later that one of them made a status that said, “I defeated the great state champion and I am only a novice.” At first I was mad. However, I began to think about it and looked at my personal philosophy. If there is one thing that I have learned for Ayn Rand it is that you cannot argue with someone who is not rational. I told myself that I shouldn’t listen to an argument that says looting is justice and hard work is a crime. Arguing with these people merely gives them a sense of legitimacy. You are correct when you say it isn’t that important in context. My achievements are what is important and that is all that will be important. I have learned that.

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You can expect that injustices will occur, and they will, throughout your life. It his how you deal with them that determines how you will live and how happy you will be.

Human injustice is major issue all of us must come to terms with and what conclusions we form and how we deal with it determines the course of our lives. A man's answer to "What can you do when you deal with people?" determines whether he takes the path of Howard Roark or Gale Wynand, John Galt or Robert Stadler.

Injustice happens and must be dealt with, but the important thing is not to give it metaphysical significance. Do not allow the injustices committed by others to affect your view of the world or of human potential. People have free will and can be unjust, but they can also choose to do the right thing and remain loyal to their values even when it is difficult and requires courage. Many people do make bad choices, but the people who are important are the ones who make good choices.

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...His entire argument was grounded in the logical fallacy argumentum ad hominem. He attacked me for being a Darwinian and an Atheist. Both completely unrelated to the issue that I brought up. Another person joined in and attacked me for not being a ‘team player.’ That person also attacked debates itself. On top of that he put down my academic pursuits of being a History professor. I blocked both of these individuals. My action of blocking them was perceived as a victory by the faction that opposed my opinions. I was told later that one of them made a status that said, “I defeated the great state champion and I am only a novice.” At first I was mad. However, I began to think about it and looked at my personal philosophy. If there is one thing that I have learned for Ayn Rand it is that you cannot argue with someone who is not rational. I told myself that I shouldn’t listen to an argument that says looting is justice and hard work is a crime. Arguing with these people merely gives them a sense of legitimacy. You are correct when you say it isn’t that important in context. My achievements are what is important and that is all that will be important. I have learned that.

Yes, that is why you blocked them -- because such opinions don't matter and you had no need or desire to continue to listen to them. And that is why it doesn't matter to you what they keep prattling amongst themselves, too. If they chase you down and bother you with more of it just shrug and walk away. They will denounce you as "arrogant", etc. and continue to waste their time -- and you will become a history professor, spending your time with those who are worth it with no thought of the zeroes, let alone draining energy being mad at them. Life is much better that way.

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