Friday, 18 January 2019

#QotD: "In the basic, crucial sphere of morality and action, it is not your endowments that matter, but what you do with them. It is here that all men are free and equal, regardless of gifts."


"Man may be justly proud of his natural endowments ... such as physical beauty, physical strength, a great mind, good health. But all these are merely his materials or his tools; his self-respect must be based, not on these attributes, but on what he does with them....
    "If a man says: 'But I realise that my natural endowments are mediocre--shall I then suffer, be ashamed, have an inferiority complex?' The answer is: 'In the basic, crucial sphere of morality and action, it is not your endowments that matter, but what you do with them.' It is here that all men are free and equal, regardless of gifts."

          ~ Ayn Rand, from her 1945 notes on 'The Moral Basis of Individualism'

6 comments:

  1. True - and I'd add that we can usually improve our natural endowments with focus and hard work.

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  2. PS - This is also a principle that the folks over at SOLO seem to have abandoned.

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  3. Weasel words: '..the folks over at SOLO seem to have abandoned' Have abandoned, or seem to have? Unspecific generalisation.

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    1. If something looks very likely based on a limited but not complete review of something, the correct statement is that it "seems to" be so. It's honestly acknowledging a degree of uncertainty, albeit small in this case. Faux-certainty, and assuming you can never make an error are not virtues.

      I only had a quick look, my first in many many months (and perhaps my last); but I was pretty horrified with what I saw. Take this for instance:
      http://www.solopassion.com/node/10823

      Have a look at this interview of Yaron Brook, the way the moron that's interviewing him is behaving towards the end, the collectivist/identity politics he's blatantly adopting - and consider that the only commenters on the interview (including the founder) are cheering the moron on.

      Or have a look at this rant about "Obflectivism". I've never heard anyone in libertarian or Objectivist circles argue that we're all born with equal endowments (so much for that strawman), but he then attempts to conflate this bleedingly obvious observation with the argument we shouldn't have equal rights.

      Then come back and tell me whether this seems to be what I said or not - and if not why not. I'd be very happy to be proven wrong.

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  4. Brook did a good job there (mostly). I can see where he is coming from. I can understand his exasperation. He didn't, though, take the implication from Jesse's not wishing to see the civilising influence from whites disappear from America. Instead he threw up the typical leftist shutdown of debate tactic of calling that suggestion racist. He could have given the black dude the benefit of the doubt. He knew what was implied.

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