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Author Topic: So, I looked up what Rand had to say about humility...  (Read 1391 times)
ALPHA.
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November 11, 2011, 02:03:34 PM
 #1

She says it far better than I did:


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Self-abasement is the antithesis of morality. If a man has acted immorally, but regrets it and wants to atone for it, it is not self-abasement that prompts him, but some remnant of love for moral values—and it is not self-abasement that he expresses, but a longing to regain his self-esteem. Humility is not a recognition of one’s failings, but a rejection of morality. “I am no good” is a statement that may be uttered only in the past tense. To say: “I am no good” is to declare: “—and I never intend to be any better."

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Humility and presumptuousness are always two sides of the same premise, and always share the task of filling the space vacated by self-esteem in a collectivized mentality. The man who is willing to serve as the means to the ends of others, will necessarily regard others as the means to his ends.

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There is no more despicable coward than the man who deserted the battle for his joy, fearing to assert his right to existence, lacking the courage and the loyalty to life of a bird or a flower reaching for the sun. Discard the protective rags of that vice which you call a virtue: humility—learn to value yourself, which means: to fight for your happiness—and when you learn that pride is the sum of all virtues, you will learn to live like a man.

I stand by my claim: Humility is absolute garbage.
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ribuck
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November 11, 2011, 02:51:45 PM
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What Rand says is valid enough, but it misses the point. What most people mean by humility is not self-abasement but rather an absence of pompous self-promotion.

When Winston Churchill (reportedly) said "We are all worms, but I do believe I am a glowworm" he was not benefiting from his lack of humility, he was just being a pompous wanker.

And when Oliver Herford (reportedly) wrote "Modesty is the gentle art of enhancing your charm by pretending not to be aware of it", well, he might have had a message there for you, Atlas.
BookofNick
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November 11, 2011, 03:25:44 PM
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I think humility is valid in the sense that you are always subservient to reason and evidence. If you make a claim which later turns out to be false, then humility may allow you to admit that you were wrong and embrace the truth.

In other words, I think humility is about loyalty to the message of philosophy, rather than the messenger. A philosopher without humility can never change their viewpoint even in the light of new evidence in support of a contrary viewpoint. A philosopher with humility with always look at everything from first principles, and change his mind when appropriate.

Does that make sense?

ALPHA.
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November 11, 2011, 04:11:18 PM
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I think humility is valid in the sense that you are always subservient to reason and evidence. If you make a claim which later turns out to be false, then humility may allow you to admit that you were wrong and embrace the truth.

In other words, I think humility is about loyalty to the message of philosophy, rather than the messenger. A philosopher without humility can never change their viewpoint even in the light of new evidence in support of a contrary viewpoint. A philosopher with humility with always look at everything from first principles, and change his mind when appropriate.

Does that make sense?
Humility has never been about being open to being wrong or false. There is no shame in that anyways.  A philosopher without humility can change their viewpoint even in the light of new evidence in support of a contrary viewpoint.
ALPHA.
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November 11, 2011, 04:13:04 PM
 #5

hu·mil·i·ty  - the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank, etc.

Synonyms lowliness, meekness, submissiveness.

You can admit your wrong and not be submissive.
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