Kisama wrote: Objectivists don't accept a moral obligation to the rest of humanity, something the rest of humanity apparently feels entitled to.
You have a direct ethical impact on the rest of humanity. At the very best it's ignorant and disingenuous to suggest otherwise. Given that, many of us are unwilling to accept the idea that you don't have some level of obligation.
The rational self-interest promoted by Objectivism is what I would call "passively selfish" because it's completely live and let live. The belief that altruism is a moral ideal is in fact the most heinous selfishness I can imagine because it imposes itself on others.
False dichotomy, straw man. Altruism is simply a term for one voluntarily giving what one has to others expecting nothing particular in return. It's not an organized philosophy, though some organized philosophies, worldviews or religions do advocate it. Some of those may in turn be very missionary and obnoxious about it, but altruism doesn't inherently impose itself on anybody.
If I go up to someone and demand a small share of what they own, with a feeling of entitlement, fully convinced that I have every moral right to what they have for no other reason than that I need it, am I not being selfish? I'm saying "my need is more important than whatever claim you have to your property, I don't care about you, about how you managed to obtain what you have, about whatever skills you have put effort into cultivating, whatever personal sacrifices you have made, whatever loved-ones you want to provide a good standard-of-living to, I just care about me and my need.
Another straw man.
The idea that ownership is an absolute and sacred right is axiomatic in Libertarianism (which makes it rich when US libertarians don't give acknowledgement to the countless "violations of individual rights", termed "murder, rape, theft, cheating and genocide" by more sensible people, by which they've come to live on this land), but not everybody agrees. Furthermore, as it's axiomatic to your philosophy, to you it stands without question.
This is other people not agreeing with you that you are a moral island in a sea of meritocracy. You're just gonna have to deal with it.
I feel strongly that it's unfitting for humans to behave like parasites, but I'm sure most people won't see things my way and I expect to be flamed, or at least accused of blatantly using prejudiced emotive language to make my position sound superior.
People who can't compete in a system that requires everybody to survive on its terms, but overwhelmingly
favors the white, the male, those with wealthy ancestry, without disability, who aren't queer or trans, *are not parasites*. We're people who don't get to believe in meritocracy, because most of us will work hard our entire lives and count ourselves fortunate if we someday manage to break into a more stable position in our lives. This isn't about demanding a reasonable price for our labor, either -- we *can't*, even with the help of minimum wage laws, because we're coerced by the risk of starvation or homelessness into accepting what we can actually find. What's more, employers can do more or less anything they like to us; even the existence of certain protected classes doesn't prevent abuses on the basis of race, or gender, or sexual orientation, or disability.
Even *with* the help of unemployment payments, welfare for those who have a harder time getting work at all, educational grants that make it easier to get funds to go to community and technical colleges, and food stamps, many of us will find it very difficult to kick this cycle -- no matter what our talents, intelligence, abilities and efforts. Take that stuff away and we're in even more trouble. Nobody who's had to actually fall back on these services operates under the delusion that private, voluntary donations would take up the slack. It's not really enough even as it is, and the current welfare system is geared towards minimalist subsistence rather than really allowing people to get onto their feet and stop *needing* the help of such services. And as an aside, many of us who could benefit from these services will never even use them.
Your *entire philosophy* is incoherent to those of us who have been forced to observe that the world really doesn't work that way, and that our lives mean more to us than your abstract principles.
Someone mentioned that we can't just start with an ethical t=0 or something to that effect and I thought it was quite a good point. I would search and quote properly but I am in a bit of a hurry, sorry.
That was me.
Incidentally, at the end of Atlas Shrugged,
I think that so beautifully sums up how your philosophy looks to many outside of it...
I'm not at all suggesting that anyone should aim for such a thing.
Of course not, not at all, but wouldn't it be *real convenient* just the same if the majority of humanity disappeared, leaving only you pinnacles of moral advancement to forge a brave new world...
I agree that we can't change history and undo all the injustices that have lead to many people being unfairly impoverished and others to have massive sums of ill-gotten riches, it really sucks that that ever happened.
Forgive me if that rings a bit hollow, in light of what you're saying.
It's really missing the point to blame those injustices on Objectivist thinking though, because honestly and freely trading value-for-value is what Objectivism holds as the ideal for interaction between people, NOT trickery,theft and exploitation.
Sure, those injustices predate Objectivism as a school of thought, quite significantly. However, Objectivism is basically saying "None of that matters, it's all beside the point, why are you oppressing me by wanting to take what I've earned fairly?"
You didn't earn it fairly, except by your own thinking. An awful lot of people had to be screwed over for you to enjoy those opportunities. Those of us who've endured that screwing aren't real sympathetic, especially when trickery, theft and exploitation (and worse) by the same privileged groups that Objectivism appeals to most, put us into this situation in the first place.
Pretend you're a scrambler.