SteepedInReality

Source of passage?

28 posts in this topic

The part you left out and continue to ignore is necessary to understand what you disagree with. You have been told several times now that the "story" did not come from her and you have been told where to look to understand her position so you can understand the basis on which such principles are established and applied. Ayn Rand's ethical theory does not provide a list of rules like commandments on what to do in prespecified situations while leaving you with no guidance in everything else. That approach contradicts her conception of the nature and purpose of ethics.

... Now I'm just curious as to whether I've truly misunderstood how the principles of Objectivism ought to be applied in the situation, as people here are alleging. I've read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged (and just re-read the passage regarding the steel factory mentioned by PhilO above), and as I understand the principles laid out therein, there would be no grounds for criticizing someone who chose not to throw the rope down the well, especially if it involved the sacrifices I mentioned. I don't have the other writings people have mentioned handy, so I'll try to get to the library over the weekend. I do appreciate the pointers, but I'd also be interested in hearing how exactly people think you can get from passages in, say, The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged to the idea that it would be wrong not to assist the man in the well.

You're limited reading of Ayn Rand explains a lot. There are many examples in Ayn Rand's fiction of non-sacrificial benevolence and regarding other human life personally as a value, but you need the non-fiction essays and books for systematic explanation of her moral philosophy. The way you framed the question implies many more issues than you realize. Some of it has been alluded to briefly here, but you need to read her anthology The Virtue of Selfishness to first see what that means and the purpose and role of ethics in life, and secondarily her outlook on the "ethics of emergencies". The matter of "causality versus duty" which is particularly relevant to the way you phrased the question and what kind of answer you expected is in her anthology Philosophy: Who Needs It. For a systematic discussion and explanation "from the ground up" see Leonard Peikoff''s Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. Buy them. This and a lot more you need and will want to learn will take more than a trip to the library.

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He must be watched and constrained. Before you know it he'll be giving Detroit to Africa.

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