“If civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that people must learn to reject.” -Ayn Rand. To be compassionate and unselfish seems to be a noble and magnanimous pursuit. Altruism is admired, it is beautiful, and it is praised. And yet, it goes against our very natures. There is no reason we should sacrifice ourselves to save a dying child. Our instincts tell us to keep ourselves alive, that we are important. Thus, altruism is a beautiful conquering of our savage animal instincts. Ayn Rand disagrees. In her book, Anthem, the protagonist, Equality 7-2521, heroically conquers the evil Collectivist ideas by discovering the idea behind the word, “Ego.” She argues against brotherhood and altruism through her loveless, beautiless society. Selflessness is not in human nature, so by replacing egotism, the society replaced art, love, and all of the things that used to be paired with altruism as beautiful. Selflessness must be balanced with egotism, lest we lose the things that make us human. …show more content…
Friendship, for example, goes against altruistic ideals. On page 30 of Anthem, Equality 7-2521 said, “International 4-8818 and [I] are friends. This is an evil thing to say, for it is a transgression, the great Transgression of Preference, to love any among men better than the others, since we must love all men and all men are our friends.” Friendship means that you are fond of some people more than others. This would make it extremely difficult to make selfless choices. Imagine a man faced with the choice of killing five strangers or killing his best friend. The altruistic choice would be killing your best friend. However, no man would kill his best friend, and he would not be condemned for this decision. This display could be described as a heartwarming example of human emotion, even though it is not by any means
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
In Ayn Rand’s novella, Anthem, mankind is a philanthropic machine. The brotherhood nobly works together to achieve a common goal. In doing so, each man is asked to disregard his own personal means and goals. For every decision must be a collective thought and every advancement, a joint action. However, one man in this machine malfunctions.
Metagrobolized Morals J.J Watt was awarded the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for raising 37 million dollars for Hurricane Harvey relief. Periodically I receive mail from Operation Smile asking for donations. Although Watt’s award is considered a great honor by society, and donating to charities is very common today, Ayn Rand would disagree with all this. In the excerpts from The Virtue of Selfishness and For the New Intellectual, and in her novel Anthem, Rand lays out her morals.
Moreover, the novel “Anthem” portrays Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism through the quest of a hero named Equality 7-2521. The hero’s quest was to find individualism in a world of collectivism. He couldn’t have fully accomplished the quest without his villain- Councils and his temptress- Golden
The book Anthem depicts a society where it is forbidden to think for one's self, but one-character breaks free from this dictatorship and lives a life thinking only for himself, and the author, Ayn Rand, shows that that is the purpose of life, and according to her, our morality will teach us to do so, and this is the key to happiness. The society depicted in Anthem defined morality as a system of conformity to ideals of right human conduct. This society believed that things done in in groups prevails over things done individually. At the beginning of the book Anthem, Equality 7-2521 states that, “… there is no transgression blacker than to do it alone” (Rand 17).
Growing up in the early 1900’s Ayn Rand had to deal with social conformity from a young age. At 12 years old the communist revolution began in Russia. Her family's business was raided and the once hard working prosperous Rosenbaum family was stripped down to be just like everyone else. In Ayn Rand's 1938 “Anthem” she depicts when social conformity goes far by letting us inside the mind of young and rebellious Equality 7-2521 opposing his corrupted and distorted society.
The society regulates names, work, and even friendships. Here, originality is brought to shame, as no one can be better than the other. At first, Equality is seen writing, which is against the rules, and yet, he does not feel guilty. Rand highlights humanity’s innate propensity to rebel and to fall into their own desire. The society that Rand has created in Anthem is a clear reflection of what she thinks is a destruction to humanity.
Introducing electricity would eliminate the years of planning and building it took to reach the current structure of society. Moreover, it would lay off thousands of candlemakers, destroying their livelihoods (Rand 74). Nevertheless, Equality’s intractable ego prevents him from imagining those consequences. Not only does Equality’s ego blind him to consequences, but it also obscures his perspective on his purpose of existence. He no longer requires knowledge once he discovers the word ‘I’ in old books and realizes the error in the thinking of men: individuality is not evil, but rather individuality is a window to greatness.
David Brooks in his New York Times article “The Power of Alturism” states that “the push of selfishness is matched by the pull of empathy and altruism” (Brooks,2016) in the beginning of his article. His thesis makes it very clear that he believes that people become selfish versus selfless when receiving reward for what humans do naturally without reward. Basically people are naturally altruistic without having to be rewarded for acts of selflessness and kindness. Brooks also argues that we should pursue altruism more. He backs this up multiple times in his article by providing examples.
Every person has some kind of flaw; no one is completely perfect. One of humanity’s biggest flaws is that people would do anything to help themselves. I have been in many situations where I saved myself by sacrificing someone else. For example when my parents caught me coming home after curfew, I also ratted out my brother in order to lessen my punishment and take all the attention away from myself. Everyone is selfish in one way or another, always trying to do what is best for themselves.
Friendship is founded on a common moral ground. Cicero claims that “[of] all bonds of fellowship, however, none is more pre-eminent or enduring than the friendship forged between good men of like character” (20). Friendship grows out of a mutual goodness. Mutual goodness thus results in mutual generosity because generosity “is apportioned to each recipient according to his worth” (17). If it is human nature to want to surround one’s self with those who are of good moral standing, it should be simple to share kindness with our friends faithfully.
In this set of materials, the listening passage challenges the points made in the reading passage. The reading passage basically states that altruism is a behavior type which presents sharing a food or other type of feature with other members of the group without expecting any reward for it. The passage points out that an example of this type of phenomena in human’s society is a donation of an organ. This behavior is seen in the animal’s reign as well.
Thesis: Acts of altruism and philanthropy have been praised and condemned by literary titans for centuries. The author Ayn Rand quotes “It is altruism that has corrupted and perverted human benevolence...”. This assertion is not only erroneous, but naive and a detriment to human kind. Selfishness and greed are the downfall of humanity. But it is love and compassion that redeems us.
The professors nod in agreement. “Phil, altruistic actions occur without intentionality or concern of others welfare, maybe even just for the sake of our own wellbeing. And Bio the routine behavior proves a mutually beneficial cycle therefore more of a cooperative behavior that you call reciprocal altruism”. Behave goes on “ I’m not sure why Altruism is in your vocabulary Bio, but I digress, I think you both are right in a way. I believe altruism to be a common casual relationship with strong reciprocity.