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Altruism II

 

Exhibit One: The end of the Hanther commentary titled: ALTRUISM
 
Altruism is, at root, the moral code of cannibals. To achieve virtuous nirvana, one is required to leap himself into the community stew pot so as to feed his neighbors. Only then can he achieve to himself the recognition of superior moral virtue.
 
Ultimately, Altruism is hatred of the exceptional and the worship of the commonplace and of the incompetent.
 
Altruism is hatred of success and the worship of failure.
 
Altruism is hatred of the healthy and the worship of the diseased.
 
Altruism is hatred of virtue and the worship of evil.

Altruism is hatred of life and the worship of death.
 
Finally, Altruism is hatred of God and the worship of Satan!
 
Exhibit Two: The grounding of the above
Altruism Theory
 
From Ayn Rand Lexicon
What is the moral code of altruism? The basic principle of altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value.

Do not confuse altruism with kindness, good will or respect for the rights of others. These are not primaries, but consequences, which, in fact, altruism makes impossible. The irreducible primary of altruism, the basic absolute, is self-sacrifice—which means; self-immolation, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-destruction—which means: the self as a standard of evil, the selfless as a standard of the good.

Do not hide behind such superficialities as whether you should or should not give a dime to a beggar. That is not the issue. The issue is whether you do or do not have the right to exist without giving him that dime. The issue is whether you must keep buying your life, dime by dime, from any beggar who might choose to approach you. The issue is whether the need of others is the first mortgage on your life and the moral purpose of your existence. The issue is whether man is to be regarded as a sacrificial animal. Any man of self-esteem will answer: “No.” Altruism says: “Yes.”

Exhibit Three: Merriam-Webster

Definition of altruism

1 : unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others.

     a): charitable acts motivated purely by altruism

2 : behavior by an animal that is not beneficial to or may be harmful to itself but that benefits others of its species
 
Exhibit Four: The Museum’s Take
 
From what we can extrapolate, and History cannot concretely establish motivation, when we came out of Africa circa 50,000 years ago, we came with a social structure that established at least the trappings of Altruism into our tribal systems. It is conjectured that this social network was the reason we were able, after a near extinction event just preceding our trek, to spread across the world and finally, with the advent of agriculture, dominate it. It is also becoming clear that this willingness to sacrifice for the good of the group is a genetic trait that is passed down from generation to generation, a gift from our first modern human ancestors, and maybe even before them.
 
What is a Hero? They are several types but in all societies an arch type is one individual who is willing to lay down his life for the good of a group. Tandar (a true American Hero) is rife with heros who willingly put themselves in danger for the good of a group.  Indeed Tandar Panel 1 starts with a “Hero” putting himself in mortal danger to save a damsel in distress. It is so ingrained in us that even if we don’t “believe” in altruism, we cannot help but practice it. Ayn Rand would have walked on by, and at best called a Cop who, by the way, willingly put themselves at risk for the good of the group all the time.
 
That a hero survives, or that the act also saves oneself as well as the group, does not lessen the act, or change the motive. Sargent York, Audie Murphy, the men in the Alamo, the troops that fought with Washington, were all willing to lay down their lives for the good of the group. By Randian thinking every Minuteman should have been a Tory and just continued his life as a safe and secure British citizen. But in this case they perceived the good of the group, Political Freedom, as a worthy SACRIFICE. We even call these kinds of death in battle, fighting for a cause, by that word.
 
John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The ultimate case of Altruism.
 “Finally, Altruism is hatred of God and the worship of Satan!” an interesting statement when your religion is based on an altruistic act. Does this mean Christianity is a Satanic ritual? Somewhere Phillip Pullman is smiling.
 
The Museum thinks there are reasons that in the history of the world no civilization has ever been based on Rand’s interesting outlook, but has flourished always on our ingrained altruism. The Museum does not believe we can act, as a whole group, any other way. Obviously there are individual differences, but as a group we do our group thing. And that Rand was an atheist may help explain why religious sacrifice did not register with her. Heaven knows what she thought of Religious Martyrs.
 
Finally In the most basic sense Altruism is just another trick that the Bacteria that form our bodies uses to insure the survival of the genes that allow its genome to continue existing. The Selfish Gene that says: any human survival is the ultimate goal. Individuals, like ants and bees, are of no specific value. That is at least as harsh as Rand’s view, but the Museum doesn’t think the Bacteria cares.
 
At the Exit:
We are creatures of the tribe. Tribes need all types to survive, the varying skill sets and motivations, even those who think other members are somehow “corrupted”, the “I don’t need anyone” types who actually survive only because of the efforts of the group. That is not to say it isn’t possible to live a life outside society, but those who really do never create a society of their own.
All this of course depends on your definition of altruism, and Hanther will cry foul and argue semantics, for he loves rhetoric. And one of the first tenets of rhetoric is defining the argument in your favor, and as you can see with Ms. Rand she strips away “kindness, good will or respect for the rights of others”, three of the main pillars of altruism, almost from the start, leaving only sacrifice which she then eviscerates.  This is like taking three of the four wheels off a car and then complaining that the vehicle is worthless. But the Museum thinks you should decide what is altruistic in life and what its true worth and function in society is.

Unkwil

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Uncle Willie loves to have feedback from both readers who appreciate his point of view as well as from missguided souls who disagree.