PragerU produces video on "Atlas Shrugged"

Posted by $ blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago to Philosophy
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This is a big deal. PragerU videos have a huge audience of open-minded people.
SOURCE URL: https://www.prageru.com/video/eric-daniels-atlas-shrugged-by-ayn-rand/


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  • Posted by $ allosaur 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Thanks, blarman, just watched the video.
    Me dino is a dictionary definition mystic (so no one can call me one to make me feel bad) but I highly value Ayn Rand's general philosophy.
    Had not a staunch conservative and Christian brother of mine made Christmas gifts out of AS DVDs, I never would have for research stumbled into this version of The Gulch.
    Since then I've read the book. It's a keeper and on a shelf behind my right shoulder.
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    • Posted by $ Suzanne43 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      You said this so well, Great Dino!
      As a devout Christian, I admire Ayn Rand for her hatred of Communism and her love of freedom and Capitalism. So she was an atheist. I give her a pass on that as I would hope that my fellow Gulchers would give me a pass on being religious. As Ronald Reagan said, “If you agree with someone eighty percent of the time, he is not your enemy.”
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      • Posted by $ allosaur 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        Thanks. Hmm . . . never thought of what I agree with Ayn Rand being measured on the basis of a percentage.
        Now that what Reagan said has me dino thinking it over, do believe I'll give Rand 90% or an A-minus for not being perfect.
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  • Posted by $ Stormi 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Thank you, I thoroughly enjoyed that interview. I admit, I was an Objectivist before I ever took a college course on it. My father was a businessman, and he was all for being self, but also beind responsible. I learned realy that being responsible to the self, was also the best for the society. I went to Catholic school, but early on was an egoist, believing confession was drawing in a middle man. When I first took classes on Rand's philosophy, I felt like I was hearing a doctrine I had heard my whole life, but with no name. It was exciting. As a female, I learned early about unequal power structures in relationships, and and how they do not fulfill either, as the ego of one dies to allow the ego of the other. believe in God, esp. when I relaet to nature, but I .business and capitalism are about the mind and the responsibility of using reason and common sense. Politics seems to have neither. Doctors today are going with CDC sheep rules,, not doing their homework, I find that they are looters.
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  • Posted by $ Snezzy 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    The is once again "Rand versus religion." She opposed, as we all know, both the "mystics of the mind" and the "mystics of muscle." She didn't want any of them trying to hang onto her wagon.

    She was surprisingly willing however, at her Ford Hall Forum lectures, to listen to hostile questions. Judge Lurie, the Forum's moderator, would always try to dissuade the questioner from making a hostile speech, when Rand or any other controversial speaker was there. He would remind the audience, "The questioner is in the audience; the speaker is on the platform." Rand sometimes told the Judge, "No, let him speak! This is an interesting question." She dismissed rapidly, though, any questions that tried to recruit her into some political belief or religious cult. Sometime she would say that the answer to the question was too long or complicated, and that she had written about it in Atlas Shrugged.

    I've not watched Prager's video, and probably shall not. I do not need any further discussions of, "Rand would have been better if only she had not rejected God."

    Those interested in thinking about Atlas Shrugged might ask why, right at the beginning of the book, Eddie Willers told himself lies.
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    • Posted by $ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      "The is once again "Rand versus religion." She opposed, as we all know, both the "mystics of the mind" and the "mystics of muscle." She didn't want any of them trying to hang onto her wagon."

      I'd really recommend you watch this one. Its 30 minutes of an honest and open conversation with a Rand advocate about Rand's philosophy as told through the book Atlas Shrugged. It wasn't critical or condescending in any way. It went into great depth on the moral failings of several characters in the book including James Taggart and the moral conundrum of Hank Reardon's marriage. It did highlight the fact that Rand thought of selfishness very differently than Christianity, but just as a reminder Prager himself is an Orthodox Jew - not a Christian.
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    I actually watched that last night,
    It still pisses me off to here their pronouncements that selfishness is egotistical.

    If we told them it's actually Cellfishness and the values created ultimately get passed on...maybe they'd get it.
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    • Posted by $ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      I wouldn't get too worked up over selfishness itself, because definitionally they are accurate. Every historical philosopher from Aristotle to Freud has equated selfishness with the ego (the Greek word for "I"). Trying to change that is not a battle you're going to win. Ever.

      The real question is whether or not egotism/selfishness is a positive rather than a negative value. That was the question that I thought Knowles did a good job of bringing up as novel and different and the guest's analysis not only of that but of the various characters in the book was impressive.
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      • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        Ah, but "Ego" is a freudian concept that he used to describe the mentally sick.

        Conscious Humans merely have an Identity,.. Comes with having a Mind. Not to be confused with pride of accomplishment.
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        • Posted by lrshultis 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          When did Freud use Ego to describe the mentally sick? He used the term for what might be called the subconscious which be sick or well depending how develops it with consciousness as a guide.
          Rand distinguished between egoist and egotist in her ethics. (almost tried to get away with contemporary 'their' there. I saw that 'they' is used by some for 'it' as in " The pig got excited and they oinked".
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        • Posted by $ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          Freud wasn't the first person to use "ego." It was used by Aristotle (among others) and fittingly because the word is Greek and means "I," referring to one's self. So the use of the word to describe one's self predates Freud by at least two millennia. (That being said, I believe that Freud is generally credited with his appropriation/creation of the words "id" and "super-ego.") Even the words egoism and egocentric are Greek in origin - not Germanic - and have been around just as long as the word ego, being derivations of the root word. (Insert line from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" here about the Greek roots of all words... ;)

          Not that I pay much attention to Freudian psychology anyway. That guy had a wierd obsession with Oedipal complexes, IMHO. Much of his psychology has been (rightly) superceded by more modern psychoanalysis like Carl Jung. I share Jordan Peterson's loathing of Freudian psychology.

          Should we center on the fact that decision-making is at its root an egocentric process? YES, because it is. The choices we make SHOULD center on whether or not we anticipate that the results of a decision will culminate in our personal advancement. (I go into great detail on this in my book.) I hold that one can not assist others to our own detriment without enslaving ourselves. (If I am not mistaken, this holds very closely to Galt's Oath.) Why? Because enlightenment and progression should be viewed as a joint endeavor rather than a competitive one. It is the mentally-confined and detrimentally self-absorbed psyche (aka the non-Objectivist "selfish" person) who thinks that all scenarios necessitate a winner and loser.
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          • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            Like so many words and concepts these days, like ego and selfishness have taken on a bad connotation by those that have no mind...so they may as well have an ego and be selfish, have a super-ego which is nothing more than an invented conscience to cover for the fact they have none.

            This is why I choose the "I", Identity or just the Mind and Cel-fishness to describe the virtues of Conscious Beings, Humans but not Humanoids which only have a dysfunctional Brain inside a physical body.

            So where Consciously introspective Humans are concerned: We can both agree to the "I" and I hope that Celfishness as describing the acts of each cell of the body and therefore the whole of the body, person, conscious human will catch on in my past and again in my present book in the works.
            I would hope that even a dummy would understand Celfishness to be a righteous virtue.
            That's why I invented the word in the first place.

            Good conversation, Blar...
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months, 1 week ago
        I noticed he says egoism, a word that I can't recall hearing in English, but it's actually the most common word for "selfish" in Spanish. I assumed (possibly wrongly) that he used egoism because "selfishness" has an unfortunate connotation of cheating people, not the meaning that Rand used.

        I hear this often in English, where there are two words, one from Germanic roots and one from Latin roots. The Latin-based words are more scholarly and removed, like cadaver instead of corpse or perspire instead of sweat, whereas the Germanic word sounds more down-and-dirty.
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    • Posted by $ TomB666 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      I had to search to see what cellfishness means, but I did and you are right on correct!
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      • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        The way I presented it in my first book is: Every cell in the body is entirely responsible for it's own survival (getting what it needs through hard work from the culture medium, in this case the blood) and when those conditions are satisfied...the value is passed on automatically - no sacrifice.

        You know yourself, that you can't help anyone else, even if you chose, unless your own life conditions were in order.

        I think the culture would grasp what Ayn meant a little better using that concept.

        Just for the hell of it, I looked it up too, knowing full well that the lamestream could not have read my book: The Fight for Conscious Human Life. Cell Fishness was defined as Cell-(phone) fishness! Laughing my ass off...and still comes around with their misconception of "Selfishness".
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 3 months ago
    Great interview! I have read Atlas Shrugged 3 times to understand it all. I just wish that there were real people currently in our country that could create a Gultch. The special interest groups along with the Swamp are spiraling the USA into the abyss.
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  • Posted by $ TomB666 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Thanks for this post. Ayn Rand's ideas hit me like a bolt of lightening. I was in college in 1967 when a friend gave me a copy of the book and made me promise to read it. I did and am forever grateful to him. I sometimes enjoy seeing interviews like this as it helps me understand that some people don't get it and never will and that is their problem not mine. I know I can't fix stupid and don't try.
    "I swear by my life and love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months, 1 week ago
    I thought it was a great interview, good for explaining what AS is about to people who might be reluctant to read a long book they don't know much about.

    I thought the interviewer asked good questions from the point of view of not agreeing with 100% of the content of the book, always questions that encourage Daniels to talk about the book, not antagonistic at all.

    I really liked the way he explained the philosophy of selfishness starting at 21:00.

    I also liked how he said Dagny becomes that antagonist by working to prop up the corrupt system. She sort of her own antagonist because even when she resolves to just relax at her cabin, she can't help but think of ways the local store could expand to serve more customers and make more money. "Just stop!" she tells herself.

    On a tangential note, I thought about this part of the book today when I read a quote from Taliban leaders warning foreign powers not to incite Afghans to leave the country because they need their professionals to rebuild the country, apparently whether they want to or not. It's just like in AS or pretty much any communist country; failing to work is considered a crime of desertion.
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  • Posted by $ Abaco 3 months, 1 week ago
    I gave this a casual listen while working and am left with the thought that this wasn't really supportive of Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand. Maybe I should watch it closer a second time(?)
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    • Posted by $ 3 months, 1 week ago
      Anything in particular? I thought it was a pretty frank and detailed book review. They weren't gushing about how it ought to be the reigning philosophy of the world, no, but I haven't come across too many book reviews of Atlas Shrugged which were even objective, let alone 30 minutes long. The host even admitted that they could have spent another hour discussing the book.
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  • Posted by coaldigger 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    I am not and have never been religious but I tried to find a way to form some argument for an alliance with them and was convinced by Yaron Brook that it is impossible. They have a 200+year head start so there is an uphill battle ahead.
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    • Posted by $ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      This isn't a religious video. It was funded by the Objective Standard Institute. It was release through PragerU because Prager himself champions a vast cosmos of competing ideas as good for intellectual debate. And you're not going to get people to listen to your message unless you're willing to preach to the masses.
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      • Posted by coaldigger 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        I was only saying that Objectivism and religion can't coexist so alliances with the evangelical conservatives will not yield a lot of followers. Perhaps Prager U's multitudes contain some less mystic like conservatives that can be poached.
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        • Posted by $ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          Depends on whether you want to use vinegar or honey. If the first thing you talk about with someone else is the atheism part of Objectivism (which isn't really more than a sidelight), that's the vinegar approach and you're right: it's not very appealing. If you're willing to live and let live and put atheism as a sidelight on Objectivism (which is very easy to do), you can do some real coalition-building.

          Let's face it, the philosophy which really embraces atheism is socialism. The self-appointed elitists which glom onto socialism love the thought of proclaiming themselves emperor-god-king-pharoah of the universe with no thought for an eventual reckoning. If your approach to evangelicals and others of faith is to push atheism, they're going to lump you in with the communists and socialists as just trying to destroy something which brings them hope and happiness. Strategically, it's a dead end. If Objectivism really supports the theatre of ideas and let the best ones win, then let those of faith enter and have a good debate with them. Both parties may learn something.
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          • Posted by coaldigger 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            I see it as a contest between individualism and altruism. The former basing decisions on the long term best interests of one's self and the latter basing decisions on the best interests of others. Individualism is completely and totally in harmony with nature, self preservation and the evolution of the species. Altruism is its un-natural twin and subject to dishonesty and tricking the system so it can never be trusted. Individualism is justified with reason, altruism is justified with emotion and mysticism. Coalitions between the adherents of such opposite philosophies will fail due to deceit and it will not be on the part of the one based on reason.
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            • Posted by $ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
              That's the easy way to look at it, sure. But in my opinion its a result of Rand's antagonism toward religion and not anything a Christian especially believes. Think about it. Who preaches that you should always be looking to serve someone else? Socialism's self-appointed elitists. Christians are taught that you can't help others until you first help yourself. Self-reliance is something that in my opinion both Objectivists and the lay Christian share a solid belief in.

              In my opinion, it was no coincidence that the Renaissance took place when regular Christians were given access to the English translation of the Bible and found out just how far things had degenerated. Rand was 100% correct in looking at the religious hierarchies of the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox/Russian Orthodox churches and their wealth and hypocrisy and concluding that they were looters: altruists. I would share that view. But its a fallacy of inclusion to put the 99% of other Christians in that same boat.

              I don't have a single friend with which I agree 100% - even my wife. But what I've found is that it is the differences in life that provide flavor and interest. Every now and then I even learn something (when I'm willing to). My wife frequently points out areas in which I need some work and I'd be a fool to ignore her advice. Especially because the making up part is kind of fun. ;)
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  • Posted by $ Markus_Katabri 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Dennis is ASLEEP. He’s another Tucker Carlson. A safety valve. He gets passed the football and runs down field only to fumble at the 10 yard line 3rd down. And the coach refuses to kick. In this way we are made to THINK someone is on our side. They are not. HE is not. I’ll never say never. But, I will say UNLIKELY.
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    • Posted by $ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      Is that a commentary on Prager himself or on the video? The conversation is between Michael Knowles and an Objectivist advocate and is sponsored by the Objective Standard Institute. You can disagree with Prager (an Orthodox Jew), but this was actually a pretty objective interview in my opinion with a great intro into some of the moral problems Rand attempted to address in the book.

      Don't make the critical mistake of confusing the messenger with the content.
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    • Posted by $ brightwriter 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      You expressed an opinion of Dennis Prager that is concealed behind metaphors, but I find its basis hard to understand. Can I talk you into explaining in more detail?

      I generally agree with Prager U Videos. A singular exception is the one urging marriage, which I disliked and which had (has?) more Dislikes than Likes on YouTube.
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