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Critical Think Rand Essay

In: English and Literature

Submitted By akki007
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1. Is Rand correct in saying that if you accept altruism, then you end up with a lack of self-esteem and a lack of respect for others?
I do not believe that Rand is correct in saying this. Accepting altruism does not mean that you have a low self-esteem or a lack of respect for others. I see it as quite the opposite. A person accepting altruism has the utmost respect for other humans. By acting in a altruistic or selfless way, by saving a drowning stranger for example, a person is showing his or her respect for the value of life. Just because we don’t know the person in danger doesn’t mean that they don’t have a family or loved ones that would feel pain if that person were to die (or drown as in my example). 2. Is Rand criticizing ideal or reciprocal altruism? Do you think that she would differentiate between the two? Would you?
Rand seems to be criticizing reciprocal altruism. I think that Rand would differentiate between the two but would have more of an understanding or willingness to follow ideal altruism. I would differentiate between the two and I feel that a reciprocal altruism is more on my side of the board. I do not agree with it 100% but I can look back and find instances where I did something only because I would want someone to do it for me in the future. 3. Comment on the following quotation: “The proper method of judging when or whether one should help another person is by reference to one’s own rational self-interest and one’s own hierarchy of values: the time, money or effort one gives or the risk one takes should be proportionate to the value of the person in relation to one’s own happiness.” What might the social and political outcome be if that approach were implemented?
As far as a political outcome is concerned, I feel that this approach has already been implemented. Politicians only care about themselves and are not willing to get anything accomplished unless it will benefit them. How much it will benefit them will determine how much time they will fight the issue and how much money they will throw at it.
Socially, this approach can be seen from time to time. Even if we don’t want to admit it, most of us have used it at one point in our lives. Even down to the simplest things like an argument at school. Let’s say a boy is arguing to another boy about how to play kickball. You are walking by and hear the argument. You agree with what the first boy is saying but the other boy is big and known to have a short temper. Instead of engaging in the argument and backing up the first boy, you keep your mouth closed and continue walking. You have just made the conscious decision that the risk was too high to get involved and thus not worth your time. 5. Go back to Chapter 3 and reread, in the excerpt from Ruth Benedict’s paper “Anthropology and the Abnormal,” the section about “unbridled and arrogant egoists” as being typical of Western civilization. What might Rand’s comment be about that remark? I think that Rand would take offense to the remarks about western civilizations being nothing more than unbridled and arrogant egoists. I say this because Ayn Rand was born in Russia and made the conscious decision to move to America because of her dissatisfaction for her home country. Of all the countries she could have moved to, she chose to move to America because it was the least “Marxist” country in the world.

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