RE: Randian paradigm challenged

From: altamira (
Date: Wed Aug 02 2000 - 12:35:08 MDT

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Ian Goddard
> Wait a minute. I thought we were talking about proofs.
> IAN: Actually I was asking if anyone
> could identify an action and/or goal
> of a self that's truly selfless. If
> there are no examples, then the idea
> of a selfless chosen action is a myth.

I don't think it can be proved one way or the other, Ian, until people know
more about how the mind works. There are numerous examples of people acting
in ways that are against their own self interest, and there's no way to say
for sure whether they mistakenly believe that what they're doing IS in their
best interest, or whether they are not motivated by self interest after all.

 In living my life I operate under the assumption that people are motivated
by self interest, and when someone tells me they're not I tend to watch my
back when I'm around them. I'm fond of Ludwig von Mises' book _Human
Action_ , and I like his argument against the existence of altruism. I just
don't think you can say it's been proved that all people are always
motivated by self interest.


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