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Tag Archives: book
Posted: July 25, 2016 at 3:47 pm
The Satanic Philosophy
The Modern Church of Satan is inspired by the philosophy and spirit of The Satanic Bible written by Anton Szandor LaVey. We consider this book to be an excellent starting-point or introduction into Satanism, but further study is required in order to grow and evolve.
Our Libertines strive to be more astute, scholarly, and accomplished within the Satanic community and most have further developed their Satanic comprehension through extensive reading, discussion, introspection, intuition and reasoning in their daily lives.
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” ~ Anais Nin
Reading the Satanic Bible has never converted anyone to Satanism. Some readers simply find their own world-views and lifestyle eloquently articulated by LaVey. These readers were already Satanists without even realizing it, the Satanic Bible merely put a label to their existing beliefs and core philosophies.
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” ~ Oscar Wilde
The Modern Church of Satan has the utmost respect for Anton Szandor LaVey, his wisdom, his teachings, and the accomplishments of the early Church of Satan.
No Creed must be accepted as authority of a divine nature. Religions must be put to the question. No moral dogma must be taken for granted – no standard of measurement deified. The Book of Satan (Fire) I:6
As Modern Satanists question even our own philosophies, we put to test the traditions and teachings of old while holding nothing as infallibly sacred. If it is not found to be useful, and if the teachings no longer serve their purpose, then they are discarded to make way for modern enlightened thi ing.
The world has evolved, and communication now takes place with the ease of a cellular phone and a wireless computer. Massive bookstores are now found online. Books that were thought to be lost for centuries are easily found and reprinted with just a few minutes of research on the internet. The largest occult libraries ever amassed are all available for download to your hard drive with just the click of a mouse.
Of even further significance is that most of us are fortunate enough to live in a country where we have a legal right to pursue such knowledge and declare religious beliefs that in the past were considered dangerous and occasionally even criminal. We no longer need to fear being burned at the stake for our beliefs or imprisoned for the literature we read or house in our libraries.
“It must be remembered that the purpose of education is not to fill the minds of students with facts it is to teach them to think. ” ~ Robert M Hutchins
Regardless of the name chosen to acknowledge a life and how it is expressed; lesser magic, ritual, tradition, customs, inspiration, and even celebration or routine: they all develop patterns of energy that are focused towards a desired end state. This is why Modern Satanists participate in carnal rituals of the body, to focus their energy and bring about their Will.
The MCoS understands that it is the emotional response of the individual that is of the utmost importance, not the blind adherence to dusty traditions. Some Modern Satanists create their own rituals, while others do not find a need or use for ritual at all. Individuals are free to choose whatever methods serve them best.
As the next generation of Satanist emerges, the MCoS must evolve to meet their needs. Rituals that produce the strongest emotional output and focus are the essence of developed concentration. It is rare to find old organ music in an MCoS ritual, for this music has no emotional meaning to most modern Satanists. Instead, an MCoS altar is more likely to have multiple LCD or plasma screens displaying contemporary imagery relevant to the Modern Satanist. The music would vary as greatly as the personal taste of the individual varies, but regardless of its genre it would evoke an emotional response relevant to the ritual being performed.
The Modern Church of Satan is not intent on recruitment into the philosophy of Satanism. We are not on a membership drive, nor do we believe there is strength in numbers. Instead we know there is strength in the strong and that more is not better, BETTER is better. If you are new to the Satanic philosophy and religion we recommend that you begin your journey by reading The Satanic Bible written by Anton Szandor LaVey. We also strongly encourage you to research The Church of Satan and perhaps visit it online. There are also several other Satanic organizations out there with varying degrees of legitimacy and success. We suggest that you research all of them before choosing your affiliation. You may even find that you do not wish to affiliate with anyone.
Every man is free to rise as far as he’s able or willing, but the degree to which he thinks determines the degree to which he’ll rise ~ Ayn Rand
You should have a reasonable grasp on the fundamental concepts of Satanism before you choose to align yourself with anyone, including the Modern Church of Satan. Always make an informed and educated decision, do your homework and understand what it is you are getting into.
“The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind” ~ Marquis De Sade
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Posted: July 23, 2016 at 4:25 am
Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand’s masterpiece and the culmination of her career as a novelist. With its publication in 1957, the author accomplished everything she wanted to in the realm of fiction; the rest of her career as a writer was devoted to nonfiction. Rand was already a famous, best-selling author by the time she published Atlas Shrugged. With the success of The Fountainhead a decade earlier and its subsequent production as a Hollywood film starring Gary Cooper in 1949, her stature as an author was established. Publishers knew that her fiction would sell, and consequently they bid for the right to publish her next book.
Atlas Shrugged, although enormously controversial, had no difficulty finding a publisher. On the contrary, Rand conducted an intellectual auction among competing publishers, finally deciding on Random House because its editorial staff had the best understanding of the book. Bennett Cerf was a famous editor there. When Rand explained that, at one level, Atlas Shrugged was to provide a moral defense of capitalism, the editorial staff responded, “But that would mean challenging 3,000 years of Judeo-Christian tradition.” Their depth of philosophical insight impressed Ayn Rand, and she decided that Random House was the company to publish her book.
Atlas Shrugged furthers the theme of individualism that Ayn Rand developed in The Fountainhead. In The Fountainhead, she shows by means of its hero, the innovative architect Howard Roark, that the independent mind is responsible for all human progress and prosperity. In Atlas Shrugged, she shows that without the independent mind, our society would collapse into primitive savagery. Atlas Shrugged is an impassioned defense of the freedom of man’s mind. But to understand the author’s sense of urgency, we must have an idea of the context in which the book was written. This includes both the post-World War II Cold War and the broader trends of modern intellectual culture.
The Cold War and Collectivism
Twentieth-century culture spawned the most oppressive dictatorships in human history. The Fascists in Italy, the National Socialists (Nazis) in Germany, and the Communists first in Russia and later in China and elsewhere seriously threatened individual freedom throughout the world. Ayn Rand lived through the heart of this terrifying historical period. In fact, when she started writing Atlas Shrugged in 1946, the West had just achieved victory over the Nazis. For years, the specter of national socialism had haunted the world, exterminating millions of innocent people, enslaving millions more, and threatening the freedom of the entire globe. The triumph of the free countries of the West over Naziism was achieved at an enormous cost in human life. However, it left the threat of communism unabated.
Ayn Rand was born in Russia in 1905 and witnessed firsthand the Bolshevik Revolution, the Communist conquest of Russia, and the political oppression that followed. Even after her escape from the Soviet Union and her safe arrival in the United States, she kept in close touch with family members who remained there. But when the murderous policies of Joseph Stalin swallowed the Soviet Union, she lost track of her family. From her own life experiences, Ayn Rand knew the brutal oppression of Communist tyranny.
During the last days of World War II and in the years immediately following, communism conquered large portions of the world. Soviet armies first rolled through the countries of Eastern Europe, setting up Russian “satellite” nations in East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and elsewhere. Communists then came to power in China and North Korea and launched an invasion of South Korea. Shortly thereafter, communism was also dominant in Cuba, on America’s doorstep. In the 1940s and 1950s, communism was an expanding military power, threatening to engulf the free world.
This time period was the height of the Cold War the ideological battle between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union ruled its empire in Eastern Europe by means of terror, brutally suppressing an uprising by Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956. The Russians developed the atomic bomb and amassed huge armies in Eastern Europe, threatening the free nations of the West. Speaking at the United Nations, Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev vowed that communism would “bury” the West. Like the Nazis in the 1930s, communists stood for a collectivist political system: one in which an individual is morally obliged to sacrifice himself for the state. Intellectual freedom and individual rights, cherished in the United States and other Western countries, were in grave danger.
Foreign military power was not the only way in which communism threatened U.S. freedom. Collectivism was an increasingly popular political philosophy among American intellectuals and politicians. In the 1930s, both national socialism and communism had supporters among American thinkers, businessmen, politicians, and labor leaders. The full horror of Naziism was revealed during World War II, and support for national socialism dwindled in the United States as a result. But communism, in the form of Marxist political ideology, survived World War II in the United States. Many American professors, writers, journalists, and politicians continued to advocate Marxist principles. When Ayn Rand was writing Atlas Shrugged, many Americans strongly believed that the government should have the power to coercively redistribute income and to regulate private industry. The capitalist system of political and economic freedom was consistently attacked by socialists and welfare statists. The belief that an individual has a right to live his own life was replaced, to a significant extent, by the collectivist idea that individuals must work and live in service to other people. Individual rights and political freedom were threatened in American politics, education, and culture.
An Appeal for Freedom
Rand argues in Atlas Shrugged that the freedom of American society is responsible for its greatest achievements. For example, in the nineteenth century, inventors and entrepreneurs created an outpouring of innovations that raised the standard of living to unprecedented heights and changed forever the way people live. Rand, who thoroughly researched the history of capitalism, was well aware of the progress made during this period of economic freedom. Samuel Morse invented the telegraph a device later improved by Thomas Edison, who went on to invent the phonograph, the electric light, and the motion picture projector. John Roebling perfected the suspension bridge and, just before his death, designed his masterpiece, the Brooklyn Bridge. Henry Ford revolutionized the transportation industry by mass-producing automobiles, a revolution that the Wright Brothers carried to the next level with their invention of the airplane. Railroad builders like Cornelius Vanderbilt and James J. Hill established inexpensive modes of transportation and opened up the Pacific Northwest to economic development.
Likewise, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone during this era, Cyrus McCormick the reaper, and Elias Howe the sewing machine. Charles Goodyear discovered the vulcanization process that made rubber useful, and George Eastman revolutionized photography with the invention of a new type of camera the Kodak. George Washington Carver, among myriad agricultural accomplishments, developed peanuts and sweet potatoes into leading crops. Architects like Louis Sullivan and William LeBaron Jenney created the skyscraper, and George Westinghouse, the inventor of train airbrakes, developed a power system able to transmit electricity over great distances. The penniless Scottish immigrant Andrew Carnegie built a vast company manufacturing steel, and John D. Rockefeller did the same in the oil industry.
These are a few examples from an exhaustive list of advances in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Ayn Rand argues that economic freedom liberated these great creative thinkers, permitting them to put into practice new ideas and methods. But what would happen if economic freedom were lost?
Atlas Shrugged provides Ayn Rand’s answer to this question. In the story, she projects the culmination of America’s twentieth-century socialist trend. The U.S. government portrayed in the story has significant control over the domestic economy. The rest of the world has been swallowed up by communist “Peoples’ States” and subsists in abject poverty. A limited degree of economic freedom still exists in America, but it is steadily declining, as is American prosperity. The successful are heavily taxed to support the poor, and the American poor are similarly levied to finance the even poorer people in foreign Peoples’ States. The government subsidizes inefficient businesses at the expense of the more efficient. With the state controlling large portions of the economy, the result is the rise of corrupt businessmen who seek profit by manipulating crooked politicians rather than by doing productive work. The government forces inventors to give up their patents so that all manufacturers may benefit equally from new products. Similarly, the government breaks up productive companies, compelling them to share the market with weaker (less efficient) competitors. In short, the fictionalized universe of Atlas Shrugged presents a future in which the U.S. trend toward socialism has been accelerated. Twentieth-century realities such as heavy taxation, massive social welfare programs, tight governmental regulation of industry, and antitrust action against successful companies are heightened in the universe of this story. The government annuls the rights of American citizens, and freedom is steadily eroded. The United States of the novel the last bastion of liberty on earth rapidly becomes a fascist/communist dictatorship.
The result, in Rand’s fictional universe, is a collapse of American prosperity. Great minds are shackled by government policies, and their innovations are either rejected or expropriated by the state. Thinkers lack the freedom necessary to create new products, to start their own companies, to compete openly, and to earn wealth. Under the increasing yoke of tyranny, the most independent minds in American society choose to defend their liberty in the most effective manner possible: They withdraw from society.
The Mind on Strike
Atlas Shrugged is a novel about a strike. Ayn Rand sets out to show the fate that befalls the world when the thinkers and creators go on strike. The author raises an intriguing question: What would happen if the scientists, medical researchers, inventors, industrialists, writers, artists, and so on withheld their minds and their achievements from the world?
In this novel, Rand argues that all human progress and prosperity depend on rational thinking. For example, human beings have cured such diseases as malaria, polio, dysentery, cholera, diphtheria, and tuberculosis. Man has learned to fly, erect cities and skyscrapers, grow an abundant food supply, and create computers. Humans have been to the moon and back and have invented the telephone, radio, television, and a thousand other life-promoting technologies. All of these achievements result from the human application of a rational mind to practical questions of survival. If the intellectuals responsible for such advances abandon the world, regression to the primitive conditions of the Dark Ages would result. But what would motivate intellectuals to such an extreme act as going on strike? We are used to hearing about strikes that protest conditions considered oppressive or intolerable by workers. The thinkers go on strike in Atlas Shrugged to protest the oppression of their intellect and creativity.
The thinkers in Atlas Shrugged strike on behalf of individual rights and political freedom. They strike against an enforced moral code of self-sacrifice the creed that human life must be devoted to serving the needs of others. Above all, the thinkers strike to prove that reason is the only means by which man can understand reality and make proper decisions; emotions should not guide human behavior. In short, the creative minds are on strike in support of a person’s right to think and live independently.
In the novel, the withdrawal of the great thinkers causes the collapse of the American economy and the end of dictatorship. The strike proves the role that the rational mind plays in the attainment of progress and prosperity. The emphasis on reason is the hallmark of Ayn Rand’s fiction. All of her novels, in one form or another, glorify the life-giving power of the human mind.
For example, in The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand emphasizes the independent nature of the mind’s functioning that rational individuals neither conform to society nor obey authority, but trust their own judgment. In her early novelette Anthem, Ayn Rand shows that under a collectivist dictatorship, the mind is stifled and society regresses to a condition of primitive ignorance. Anthem focuses on the mind’s need for political freedom. The focus of Atlas Shrugged is the role that the human mind plays in human existence. Atlas Shrugged shows that rational thinking is mankind’s survival instrument, just as the ability to fly is the survival tool for birds. In all of her major novels, Ayn Rand presents heroes and heroines who are brilliant thinkers opposed to either society’s pressure to conform or a dictatorial government’s commands to obey. The common denominator in all of her books is the life-and-death importance, for both the individual and society, of remaining true to the mind.
Objectivism in Action
In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand presents, for the first time and in a dramatized form, her original philosophy of Objectivism. She exemplifies this philosophy in the lives of the heroes and in the action of the story. Objectivism holds that reason not faith or emotionalism is man’s sole means of gaining knowledge. Her theory states that an individual has a right to his or her own life and to the pursuit of his or her own happiness, which is counter to the view that man should sacrifice himself to God or society. Objectivism is individualistic, holding that the purpose of government is to protect the sovereign rights of an individual. This philosophy opposes the collectivist notion that society as a whole is superior to the individual, who must subordinate himself to its requirements. In the political/economic realm, Objectivism upholds full laissez-faire capitalism a system of free markets that legally prevent the government from restricting man’s productive activities as the only philosophical system that protects the freedom of man’s mind, the rights of the individual, and the prosperity of man’s life on earth.
Because of Ayn Rand’s uncompromising defense of the mind, of the individual, and of capitalism, Atlas Shrugged created great controversy on its publication in 1957. Denounced by critics and intellectuals, the book nevertheless reached a wide audience. The book has sold millions of copies and influenced the lives of countless readers. Since 1957, Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism has gradually taken hold in American society. Today, her books and ideas are becoming widely taught in high schools and universities.
Posted: at 4:24 am
(Next Avenue is republishing this 2014 blog post, timed to July 4th.)
As the 4th of July nears, what better time to talk about a few ways that could help people in their 50s or 60s declare their financial independence within the next few years?
You may have noticed that the goal of financial independence and its close cousin financial freedom seem to be replacing the traditional goal of retirement.
Freedom and freedom money really resonate a lot more than retirement when we do focus groups, said Chris Brown, a partner at the Hearts & Wallets financial services market research firm.
Its not just about investing. Its about your life priorities and connecting your life to your finances to help enable those things.
David Tyrie, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
MorePlan for Financial Independence, Not Retirement
The financial advisory industry is onto this, too. Merrill Lynch, for example, has announced a holistic approach for clients, known as Clear. Its not just about investing. Its about your life priorities and connecting your life to your finances to help enable those things, David Tyrie, head of Retirement and Personal Wealth Solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told me.
Some smaller financial advisory firms say theyve been doing this kind of client counseling for years. We believe its the right way to manage money, said Dave Richmond, a founding partner at Richmond Brothers in Jackson, Mich.
A guy who knows a lot about financial independence and just began living it is financial writer and editor Jonathan Chevreau. I relayed his advice last year when Chevreau was the editor of Canadas MoneySense magazine (the northern version of our Money) and had just published the U.S. edition of Findependence Day, a fictional finance novel.
But on May 20, 2014, a month after his 61st birthday, Chevreau left his magazine job and declared his own financial independence.
MorePlotting Your Next Move for Unretirement
Although hes now blogging twice a week for MoneySense (contracting back 40 percent of what I was paid as a salaried employee), Chevreau is otherwise taking the summer off to watch the World Cup, travel to Turkey and read books on semi-retirement. After that, he intends to work when he wants and only as much as he wants, writing fiction and nonfiction and taking on speaking engagements.
Its experimental, Chevreau said. Im learning as I go.
In truth, he noted, his financial independence timing wasnt particularly mine. But it was pretty close. I wouldve preferred to go another year, he said.
Now that hes living the goal he novelized, I asked Chevreau whether hed amend any of the five rules his book laid out on achieving financial independence:
1. Pay off your home in full.
2. Find multiple sources of income for retirement.
3. Develop guerilla frugality habits.
4. Save 20 percent of your gross income.
5. Invest with a Lazy ETF portfolio selecting, say, three Exchange Traded Funds (a U.S. stock fund, an international stock fund and a U.S. bond fund) and holding onto them, rebalancing as needed.
Chevreau said he is not only sticking by them, hes been living them, with a strong debt aversion and an allergy to excessive spending. He just sold his old Volvo and bought for cash a two-year old Camry Hybrid. Its gas mileage is three times better than the Volvos, said Chevreau.
Now that hes not employed full-time, Chevreau said hes an even bigger fan of the Easy ETF portfolio.
When I was working full-time, I was constantly checking financial websites and listening to stock-oriented podcasts from The Motley Fool or Jim Cramer, he noted. Now, Id prefer to have the Easy ETF portfolio in this phase of my life and not have the anxiety of individual stocks going up and down.
If youd like free electronic help to achieve financial independence, I have two suggestions:
Freedom$. This is a nifty iPhone app from the Hearts & Wallets folks. (You can find it in the iTunes store or at GoFreedommoney.com.)
Freedom$ lets you see how youre doing compared to others your age. More important, it quickly shows you how much sooner youll achieve financial freedom by adopting any, or all, of the 10 financial behaviors of the most successful people in the annual survey of households the firm has conducted (20,000 have been surveyed over four years).
You start by just entering your age, your total assets and your total consumer debt (other than your mortgage). Then, Freedom$ calculates your Assets to Income Ratio. The goal: to become what Freedom$ calls a 10-timer, where your assets equal 10 times your income.
Next, you get a Freedom Score: an estimate of how many years until youll achieve financial freedom. This number that will shrink if you take on the good behaviors and get extra points for doing so. For example, Freedom$ says, try to save in a burst by turbocharging the amount youre putting away, something that could be easier once youre no longer paying for your kids college education.
Burst saving is three times more common among 10-Timers 64 percent of them did it making it one of the most important differences between 10-Timers and others, said Brown.
The whole process should take about 30 minutes, longer if you want to give yourself electronic reminders to take actions thatll help you find financial freedom sooner.
FlexScore is an excellent, free site to help you with day-to-day money management. I wrote about it last fall.
Like Freedom$, FlexScore also calculates a score for you and shows you how to raise the number. Since I first talked about FlexScore, the company has now also created FlexScore Pro, a version financial advisers can use with their clients.
Have a safe and happy 4th and heres hoping you achieve financial independence when you want.
Twin Cities Public Television – 2016. All rights reserved.
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Posted: July 21, 2016 at 2:24 am
I want to say from the beginning that one does not need to agree with a philosophy to appreciate it. Obviously most of the critics and some of the supporters have never read this work. One need not approve of communism to give the Communist Manifesto a high rating but it is certainly a must read.
Ayn Rand’s philosophy is known as objectivism. It is essentially having a objective reason and purpose for every action you commit.
Atlas Shrugged is one of two major novels that outlines her entire philosophy while trying to show how it would be applied. That is why this book deserves a 5 star rating. Any philosopher can give generic ideas with no application. Rand puts it all on the line to show exactly how she means her philosophy to be interpreted.
The student of philosophy will be able to understand her philosophy quite clearly after reading this. If you agree with her philosophy you should encourage others to read this book. If this book is so clearly wrong then you should encourage others to read it so they will see how clearly wrong it is. Those that want it burned or object to others reading it know that she offers some very strong arguments for a position they clearly do not want to be true.
This book takes place probably around the 1950s. It is centered around the industrial sector of the U.S., the only government that has not become a People’s State. The main character in this book is Dagny Taggart. She is a no-nonsense VP of Operations for the largest railroad in the world. She is intelligent and is solely driven to keeping her RR as the best.
The times are dim and getting dimmer. In the beginning the country is in a recession of sorts and it is up to Taggart and others like her to save the country.
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Posted: July 16, 2016 at 11:05 pm
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[tags: Epic Poems, Grendel, Anglo-Saxon] 605 words (1.7 pages) Better Essays [preview] Homer and Immortality – Homer and Immortality Immortality is one the subject of much mythology and folklore. From the stories of the gods themselves, to Achilles and the Styx, to vampires and present day Christian beliefs in an afterlife, the concept of immortality has been with humanity since the beginning of humanity. The wise and ever edifying Homer leaves myths of the elusive ever-lasting life out of his works; did Homer’s Achilles not wear armor. The Odyssey is a story of mortality. Limitation and suffering are what define humanity, yet they are also what give life merit…. [tags: Papers] 540 words (1.5 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] The Immortality Pill – Originally when I was posed this question my immediate response was to return the Immortality pill (IP). The reason I initially responded this way, and still remain set on my belief had plenty to do with the factors involved. First, if I were to take the Immortality pill I would already know my horrific demise, such as an accident, war victim, or suicide. Secondly, just as suicide effects not only the person committing the act, but more so the family and friends in that individuals life, yet the same concept is present when making the decision to take this pill…. [tags: essays research papers] 598 words (1.7 pages) Better Essays [preview] Ozymandias and Immortality – Ozymandias and Immortality Ozymandias expresses to us that possessions do not mean immortality. Percy Shelley uses lots of imagery and irony to get his point across throughout the poem. In drawing these vivid and ironic pictures in our minds, Shelley explains that no one lives forever, and neither do their possessions. Shelley expresses this poems moral through a vivid and ironic picture: On the pedestal of the statue, there are these words, My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!(10-11)…. [tags: Papers] 427 words (1.2 pages) FREE Essays [view] The Allure of Vampires and Immortality – The Allure of Vampires and Immortality Humanity has always been fascinated with the allure of immortality and although in the beginning vampires were not a symbol of this, as time passed and society changed so did the ideas and perceptions surrounding them. The most important thing to ask yourself at this point is ‘What is immortality?’ Unfortunately this isn’t as easily answered as asked. The Merriam Webster Dictionary says immortality is ‘the quality or state of being immortal; esp : unending existence’ while The World Book Encyclopedia states it as ‘the continued and eternal life of a human being after the death of the body.’ A more humorous definition can be found in Th… [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Essays] 1033 words (3 pages) FREE Essays [view] Death and Immortality in The Epic of Gilgamesh – Death and Immortality in The Epic of Gilgamesh The search for immortality has been a major concern for many men and women all throughout history. True love and immortality in life would be a dream come true to many. To spend time with a special someone, the person one feels closest to, and never have to say good-bye would greatly appeal to most people. But when death steps into the picture, even with all the pain and devastation, one starts to re-evaluate themselves. In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh explores the possibility of immortality following the saddening death of his friend and brother, Enkidu…. [tags: The Epic of Gilgamesh] 1379 words (3.9 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Gilgamesh and the Quest for Immortality – Gilgamesh and the Quest for Immortality The stories of the hunt for immortality gathered in the Epic of Gilgamesh depict the conflict felt in ancient Sumer. As urbanization swept Mesopotamia, the social status shifted from a nomadic hunting society to that of a static agricultural gathering society. In the midst of this ancient “renaissance”, man found his relationship with the sacred uncertain and precarious. The Epic portrays the strife created between ontological nostalgia for a simpler time and the dawn of civilization breaking in the Near East…. [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays] 1044 words (3 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Immortality and Myth in The Age of Innocence – Immortality and Myth in The Age of Innocence Edith Whartons books are considered, by some, merely popular fiction of her time. But we must be careful not to equate popularity with the value of the fiction; i.e., we must not assume that if her books are popular, they are also primitive. Compared to the works of her contemporary and friend, Henry James, whose books may seem complex and sometimes bewildering; Whartons The Age of Innocence appears to be a simplistic, gossipy commentary of New York society during the last decade of the 19th century*…. [tags: essays papers] 3237 words (9.2 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Search for Immortality Depicted in The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey – Through the many of mankinds tales of adventure the search for immortality is a very common theme. Many heroes have made it the objective of their travels and adventures. This is no different in The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey. The heroes in both are tempted by the offer of immortality, however each of them turns it down for their own reasons. In The Odyssey, Odysseus rejects the offer of immortality from the goddess Calypso long after he discovers the true nature of the afterlife after travelling to Hades…. [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey] :: 1 Works Cited 858 words (2.5 pages) Better Essays [preview] Kierkegaard and P.M. Moller on Immortality – Kierkegaard and P.M. Moller on Immortality P.M. Moller and His Relation to S.A. Kierkegaard Although virtually unknown today outside of Danish philosophical circles, Moller (1794-1838) was, during his lifetime, esteemed as one of Denmarks most loved poets, and beginning in 1831 he held the position of professor of philosophy at the University of Denmark. While at the university Moller taught Moral and Greek Philosophy, and his early philosophical position has been regarded as Hegelian. Kierkegaard began his university studies in 1830, and the young professor made a deep impression upon him…. [tags: Essays Papers] 2281 words (6.5 pages) FREE Essays [view] Man at the Brink of Immortality – Man at the Brink of Immortality From the earliest civilizations arose an innate desire to survive in any given environment. Those that chose to fight deaths henchmen, famine and war, developed more advanced agricultural techniques and created complex social structures. The primal instinct to exist drove humanity to proliferate across the world, as many populations boomed, seemingly without bound. Throughout history, this fervent yearning for life was shared by the predominant masses, but the inevitable befell every person on earth…. [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers] :: 5 Works Cited 1868 words (5.3 pages) Term Papers [preview] Search for Immortality in the Epic of Gilgamesh – The Search for Immortality In The Epic of Gilgamesh the main character, Gilgamesh, is searching for immortality. This want is brought about by deep feelings held by Gilgamesh for his dead friend Enkidu. From this, Gilgamesh finds himself being scared of dying. This fear pushes Gilgamesh to search for the power of immortal life, which is believed to be held only by women because of the fact that they can reproduce. This takes him on a long and tiresome journey to a land where no mortal has gone before…. [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays] 725 words (2.1 pages) FREE Essays [view] Immortality and Symbolism in John Keat’s Nightingale Ode – The nightingale and the discussion about it are not simply about a bird or a song but about human experience in general. Nightingale is not an eternal entity. There are many images of death within the poem. The images are particular and sensuous, but not highly visual. Nightingale experiences a sort of death but actually it is not a real death nightingale is mysterious and even disappears at the end of the poem but nightingale itself is symbol of continuity or immortality and is universal and undying in contrast with the morality of human beings…. [tags: Poetry Analysis, Poem Analysis] 541 words (1.5 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] The Immortality and Blindness to a Dark Continent – The Immortality and Blindness to a Dark Continent Joseph Conrads s novel Heart of Darkness portrays an image of Africa that is dark and inhuman. Not only does he describe the actual, physical continent of Africa as so hopeless and so dark, so impenetrable to human thought, so pitiless to human weakness, (Conrad 2180) as though the continent could neither breed nor support any true human life. Conrad lived through a time when European colonies were scattered all over the world. This phenomenon and the doctrine of colonialism bought into at his time obviously influenced his views at the time of Heart of Darkness publication…. [tags: Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad Analysis] 1683 words (4.8 pages) FREE Essays [view] Immortality And Mortality In The Economic Sciences – Sam Vaknin’s Psychology, Philosophy, Economics and Foreign Affairs Web Sites Roberto Calvo Macias, a young author and thinker from Spain, once wrote to me that it is impossible to design a coherent philosophy of Economy without accounting for the (sad?) fact that we are mortals. This insight is intriguing. It is not that we refrain from Death in dealing with matters economic. What are estate laws, annuities, life insurance policies – but ways to cope with the Great Harvester…. [tags: essays research papers] 1168 words (3.3 pages) FREE Essays [view] Reaction Paper On Immortality On Ice – Reaction Paper On Immortality On Ice The movie that we watched was about reviving a person from the dead. This is said to be done in the future but they had already started researching how to use ice as a power to revive a clinically dead person. They used ice as a method to preserve a body and now they are planning on how to revive a person through the use of nanotechnology that can repair all the cells that were ruptured n the freezing process…. [tags: Movie Film Reaction] 1539 words (4.4 pages) FREE Essays [view] Immortality And Resurrection: The Dichotomy Between Thought and Physicality. – In religion the concept of life after death is discussed in great detail. In monotheistic religions, in particular the Christian theology, death is a place where the soul, the eternal spirit that is part of you, transcends or descends to depending on if you go to heaven or hell. The argument calls for a form of immortality of the soul and a lack of immortality of the bodythe soul lives forever, the body perishes. John Hick in his excerpt from Immortality and Resurrection refutes the ideology that the spirit and body are dichotomous, one being everlasting and the other limited…. [tags: Spirituality] :: 1 Works Cited 1870 words (5.3 pages) Term Papers [preview] A Mortals Sense Of Immortality – A Mortal’s Sense of Immortality To fear death is to fear life itself. An overbearing concern for the end of life not only leads to much apprehension of the final moment but also allows that fear to occupy one’s whole life. The only answer that can possibly provide relief in the shadow of the awaited final absolution lies in another kind of absolution, one that brings a person to terms with their irrevocable mortality and squelches any futile desire for immortality. Myths are often the vehicles of this release, helping humanity to accept and handle their mortal and limited state…. [tags: essays research papers] 1788 words (5.1 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Courage, Virtue, and the Immortality of the Soul: According to Socrates – In the Laches and the Phaedo, courage and virtue are discussed in depth. Also, arguments for the possibility of the existence of the immorality of the soul are given in the Phaedo. In the Laches, Socrates and two generals, Nicias and Laches, wrestle with how exactly to define courage. After discussing and working their way through two definitions of courage, Nicias proposes a third definition of courage. However, this definition of courage that he proposes is actually the definition of virtue. When the dialogue comes to an end, no definition of courage has been reached…. [tags: Philosophy ] :: 3 Works Cited 1983 words (5.7 pages) Term Papers [preview] Above Tintern Abbey and Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth – The poems, Above Tintern Abbey and Intimations of Immortality written by the poet, William Wordsworth, pertain to a common theme of natural beauty. Relaying his history and inspirations within his works, Wordsworth reflects these events in each poem. The recurring theme of natural beauty is analogous to his experiences and travels. Wordsworth recognizes the connections nature enables humans to construct. The beauty of a wild secluded scene (Wordsworth, 1798, line 6) allows the mind to bypass clouded and obscured thinking accompanied with man made environments…. [tags: poetry, natural beauty] :: 3 Works Cited 982 words (2.8 pages) Better Essays [preview] Themes of Death and Immortality in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry – Throughout Emily Dickinsons poetry there is a reoccurring theme of death and immortality. The theme of death is further separated into two major categories including the curiosity Dickinson held of the process of dying and the feelings accompanied with it and the reaction to the death of a loved one. Two of Dickinsons many poems that contain a theme of death include: Because I Could Not Stop For Death, and After great pain, a formal feeling comes. In Dickinsons poem Because I Could Not Stop for Death, Dickinson portrays what it is like to go through the process of dying…. [tags: Literary Analysis ] :: 4 Works Cited 991 words (2.8 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] Egyptian Religion and Immortality – The most noticing aspect of Egyptian religion is its obsession with immortality and the belief of life after death. This sculpture can show you this on how mummification gave upbringing to complex arts in ancient Egypt. The sculpture is the Mummy Case of Paankhenamun. The artwork is currently viewed at The Art Institute of Chicago. The sculpture was from the third period, Dynasty 22, in ancient Egypt. However, the sculpture has many features to it that makes it so unique in ancient Egypt from any other time…. [tags: essays research papers] 1397 words (4 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Desire for Everlasting Life and Gilgamesh – The desire for everlasting life or immortality has been the first and the oldest quest of mankind. At the beginning of time, man was designed to live forever. When God created Adam, he created him to dwell on the earth and to fill it with his offsprings. At no time was he told that this was a temporary arrangement. He was to live forever unless he ate from one certain tree. If he ate from that tree, then he would die. We are then left with several questions, if he had not eaten from that tree, would he still be alive…. [tags: immortality, Epic of Gilgamesh, Foster] 1272 words (3.6 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Epic of Gilgamesh: The Ignorance of Gilgamesh – In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgameshs pursuit for immortality is marked by ignorance and selfish desire. Desire and ignorance, as The Buddha-karita of Asvaghosha suggests, pollutes mans judgment resulting in his inability to break the cycle of birth and death. At the core of Gilgameshs desire resides his inability to accept the inevitability of death, making his rationality behind the pursuit of immortality ignorant and selfish. Implicitly, Gilgameshs corrupt desire for immortality conveys that Gilgamesh does not mature as a character…. [tags: Gilgamesh, Desire, Immortality] :: 1 Works Cited 1013 words (2.9 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Who is this Death you Speak of?: Piers Anthony’s On A Pale Horse – Who is this Death You Speak Of. According to Alan Loy McGinnis, there is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being – to help someone succeed. Piers Anthony, the author of the book On a Pale Horse, seems to agree with that statement when he writes the book series called Incarnations of Immortality, of which On a Pale Horse is the first. This book is a fascinating work of fiction that relates science to magic and expresses that human beings might need a little more help than they expect…. [tags: Incarnations of Immortality, Mythology] :: 2 Works Cited 1327 words (3.8 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Meaning of The Mind and Soul – Death and immortality Since the times of Plato and before, humans have pondered the existence of a soul and the afterlife. I am going to present my argument for the existence of a soul and the potential for surviving one’s physical death. For the purpose of my argument I will define that the meaning of the mind and soul are one and the same. The two main accepted views of the human condition are that of the physicalist and that of the dualist. The physicalist views the human condition in a purely physical state…. [tags: death, immortality, plato] :: 3 Works Cited 860 words (2.5 pages) Better Essays [preview] Free Essays – Immortality and the Epic of Gilgamesh – Immortality and the Epic of Gilgamesh Immortality – (a) the quality or state of being immortal. (b) never ending existence. Although that is the Webster definition of immortality, what is never-ending existence. That question has a different answer for everyone. Some people believe that never-ending existence happens by never physically dying, and others believe that immortality can be obtained through your children. I personally feel that your children cannot give you immortality nowadays because of all the influences outside of the home…. [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays] 401 words (1.1 pages) FREE Essays [view] Discussion of D.Z. Phillips Conception of Immortality – Discussion of D.Z. Phillips Conception of Immortality In his book ‘Death and Immortality’, D Z Phillips starts by asking the question: does belief in immortality rest on a mistake. The first two chapters are negative in the sense that they examine traditional philosophical, as well as common sense, conceptions of what immortality means. Phillips argues that philosophical analyses centred on the notion of immortality have generally been constructed around certain essential presuppositions: presuppositions that assume some form of continuation of personal identity after death…. [tags: Papers] 1096 words (3.1 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Ode Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth – Ode Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth In Ode: Intimations of Immortality, William Wordsworth explores the moral development of man and the irreconcilable conflicts between innocence and experience, and youthfulness and maturity that develop. As the youth matures he moves farther away from the divinity of God and begins to be corruption by mankind. What Wordsworth wishes for is a return to his childhood innocence but with his new maturity and insight. This would allow him to experience divinity in its fullest sense: he would re-experience the celestial radiance of childhood as well as the reality of his present existence…. [tags: Papers] 832 words (2.4 pages) Better Essays [preview] The Immortality of the Soul – Plato has roused many readers with the work of a great philosopher by the name of Socrates. Through Plato, Socrates lived on generations after his time. A topic of Socrates that many will continue to discuss is the idea of an immortal soul. Although there are various works and dialogues about this topic it is found to be best explained in The Phaedo. It is fair to say that the mind may wonder when one dies what exactly happens to the beloved soul, the giver of life often thought of as the very essence of life does it live on beyond the body, or does it die with it…. [tags: Philosophy ] :: 3 Works Cited 1430 words (4.1 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Epic of Gilgamesh Essay – Desperate Search for Immortality – Desperate Search for Immortality in the Epic of Gilgamesh The search for immortality seems to be an obsession for many men and women all throughout history. In the Epic of Gilgamesh a man investigates the possibility of immortality following the saddening death of his friend, his brother Enkidu. That man, Gilgamesh, feeling the fear of the possibility of his own mortality which was before unrealized before the death of Enkidu, searches for a way to preserve himself. Is it truly that Gilgamesh searches for a physical immortality or more of a spiritual immortality…. [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays] 830 words (2.4 pages) FREE Essays [view] The Search for Immortality in On the Beach at Night and Sunday Morning – The Search for Immortality in On the Beach at Night and Sunday Morning The search for immortality is not an uncommon one in literature. Many authors and poets find contentment within the ideals of faith and divinity; others, such as Whitman and Stevens, achieve satisfaction with the concept of the immortality of mortality. This understanding of the cycle of death and rebirth dominates both Walt Whitman’s “On the Beach at Night” and Wallace Stevens’ “Sunday Morning” and demonstrates the poets’ philosophies of worldly immortality…. [tags: Papers] 698 words (2 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] Immortality in the Soul – Humanity is in a constant process to better themselves, as a result of their self-transcending nature. The purpose of this process is to achieve an immortal soul. In order for this to occur, according to Plato, the individual must first be engaged in his Theory of Education: beginning with the Allegory of the Cave, followed by the Metaphor of the Divided Line, and then completing with the Theory of Forms. To be fully immerse in this process, an understanding of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is necessary…. [tags: Literary Analysis ] :: 4 Works Cited 1797 words (5.1 pages) Term Papers [preview] Life after Death, Reincarnation, Resurrection and Immortality of the Soul – Life after Death, Reincarnation, Resurrection and Immortality of the Soul Belief in life after death has taken many forms, some which are unique in particular religious belief systems, though; others can be found in more than one religion. ‘For most religions, life after death is an article of faith. In Western religions, the belief is founded in scriptural evidence, but for all religions the belief in life after death is the same: life after death has been promised to humans by an all powerful' There are many views of life after death in particular which have been much adhered to and much discussed by philosophers…. [tags: Papers] 1730 words (4.9 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Human Cloning Can Make Immortality a Reality – Congress, the president, foreign countries, political activists, companies, consumers, churches, ethicists, doctors, patients, and even scientists have entered the fervent debate on cloning. The March edition of the Life Extension Foundations (LEF) magazine vocally calls for American citizens to write to their Senators and stop an anti-cloning bill from passage through both Houses (See Figure 1.) While the public argues over short-term questions such as what is the definition of cloning, at what point does life begin, and is cloning bad we must examine the hidden future potential and consequences of therapeutic cloning…. [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers] :: 20 Works Cited 4046 words (11.6 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Immortality in “The Great Gatsby” – People say that “money makes the world go around.” It may, but in the novel The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald money is what causes greed and death. The novel is filled with multiple themes but one predominate theme that the author focuses on is immorality. The novel was written in the1920s which was a time that drew away from social and moral values and yearned for its greed and empty pursuit of pleasure. Gatsby, gains his wealth through bootlegging only because he wants to show Daisy his wealth…. [tags: American Literature] 800 words (2.3 pages) Unrated Essays [preview] How to Extend Human Life Span – In this day and age, humans have created the ability to manipulate a persons body and overall health to further extend their life. From simple things such as dietary changes or supplements, to life saving technology, medicine, and everything in between, the ability to make a life last longer than it would have otherwise is an amazing gift. While the future holds much opportunity for growth in the ability to extend humans lifespan, the medical abilities currently possessed offer human kind the ability to live longer than ever before…. [tags: Human Immortality] :: 4 Works Cited 952 words (2.7 pages) Better Essays [preview] Immortality Through Verse in Shakespeares Sonnet 18 and Spensers Sonnet 75 – Immortality Through Verse in Shakespeares Sonnet 18 and Spensers Sonnet 75 Desiring fame, celebrity, and importance, people for centuries have yearned for the ultimately unattainable goal of immortality. Poets, too, have expressed desires in verse that their lovers remain as they are for eternity, in efforts of praise. Though Shakespeares Sonnet 18 and Spensers Sonnet 75 from Amoretti both offer lovers this immortality through verse, only Spenser pairs this immortality with respect and partnership, while Shakespeare promises the subject of the sonnet immortality by unusual compliments and the assurance that she will live on as long as the sonnet continues to be read…. [tags: Sonnet essays] :: 8 Works Cited 1677 words (4.8 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Comparing Loss in Thomass Fern Hill and Wordsworths Ode: Intimations of Immortality – Loss of Childhood in Thomas Fern Hill and Wordsworths Ode: Intimations of Immortality Through the use of nature and time, Dylan Thomass “Fern Hill” and William Wordsworths Ode: Intimations of Immortality both address the agonizing loss of childhood. While Wordsworth recognizes that wisdom and experience recompense this loss(Poetry Criticism 370), Thomas views “life after childhood as bondage”(Viswanathan 286). As Fern Hill progresses, Thomass attitude towards childhood changes from one of happiness and fulfillment to sadness and loss…. [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays] 1796 words (5.1 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Nanotechnology: Immortality Or Total Annihilation? – Technology has evolved from ideals once seen as unbelievable to common everyday instruments. Computers that used to occupy an entire room are now the size of notebooks. The human race has always pushed for technological advances working at the most efficient level, perhaps, the molecular level. The developments and progress in artificial intelligence and molecular technology have spawned a new form of technology; Nanotechnology. Nanotechnology could give the human race eternal life, or it could cause total annihilation…. [tags: essays research papers] 2237 words (6.4 pages) FREE Essays [view] Infant Immortality – Infant Mortality in the United States Trends in infant mortality are considered to be a barometer of technology and an accurate indicator of the health of a society. Despite technological excellence and numerous social programs offered throughout the country, the infant mortality rate (IMR) in the United States continues to be a national concern. For many, infant mortality brings to mind the deprivation and poverty found in third world countries. Yet in the United States, nearly 40,000 children die every year for some of the same reasons that cause infant death in underdeveloped parts of the world (Anderson, 1987)…. [tags: essays research papers] 1521 words (4.3 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Lust, Loss, and Immorality in the Little Mermaid – The Little Mermaid: Of Lust, Loss, and Immortality Under the sea, in an idyllic and beautiful garden, stands a statue of a young man cut out of cold stone for the Little Mermaid who knows nothing but the sea, the statue stands as an emblem of the mysterious over-world, a stimulus for imagination and sexual desire, an incentive for expansion of experience, and most predominately, an indication that something great and all-encompassing is missing from her existence. Traces of curiosity and a vague indication of the complexities of adult desires mark the child mermaid; in such a stage of development, the statue will suffice…. [tags: Fairy Tale Children Story] :: 3 Works Cited 1877 words (5.4 pages) Term Papers [preview] The Immorality of Cloning – The Immorality of Cloning The cloning of animals and humans disregards the common ethics of the creation of humanity. Three types of cloning currently exist. There is therapeutic cloning, DNA cloning and reproductive cloning. Therapeutic cloning does not actually make a clone, it just makes stem cells. Stem cells are capable of becoming any type of cell that they are introduced to. For example, when a stem cell is introduced to a damaged heart, it transforms itself into a healthy heart cell. Even though stem cells might be very good for helping alleviate the pain of some diseases, the best use of stem cells is making embryos…. [tags: ethics, controversy, stem cell, science] :: 5 Works Cited 1140 words (3.3 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Consequences of Immorality on Students – One morning in April 1999, the calm was shattered in the town of Littleton, near Denver, Colorado. Two youths in black trench coats entered the local high school and began shooting at students and teachers. They also detonated bombs. The perpetrators, merely 17 and 18 years old ended the massacre by taking their own lives. Regrettably, only after the death of twelve students and a teacher, more than 20 wounded physically, and a nation filled with emotional devastation. This is but one incident fostered by the decline of morality as a whole in society today…. [tags: Ethics] :: 8 Works Cited 1187 words (3.4 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Immorality in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales – Immorality and moral ambiguity are two concepts that will ruin any relationship. In Geoffrey Chaucers The Canterbury Tales, he specifically illustrates through his pilgrims stories some comical and realistic events that display immorality in the Middle Ages. There are several characters whose stories are focused on presenting the immorality within their tales. Like that of The Millers Tale, and The Merchants Tale. Chaucer utilizes these tales to display one specific immoral act, which is sexual sin or lust…. [tags: Literature] :: 7 Works Cited 1648 words (4.7 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] The Immorality of Adultery – The Immorality of Adultery Sex is believed, by some, to be a universal language, one that is free of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes; a language that can be spoken and understood by two complete strangers who may have nothing in common…. [tags: Papers] 1657 words (4.7 pages) Strong Essays [preview] The Immorality and Danger of Human Cloning – The Immorality and Danger of Human Cloning The emergency room doors burst open. The doctor and nurses dart into the room. Linda, a twenty-four year old soon-to-be mother, lies on a gurney in the middle of the delivery room. Several hours later Linda and her husband hold Madison, the miracle that has just been born to them. They have shared the astonishing experience of having the first ever, cloned baby. Human cloning is very real and just around the corner. In the 1970’s, the process of cloning was first experimented…. [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Essays] :: 6 Works Cited 1044 words (3 pages) Better Essays [preview] Morality and Immorality in Othello – Morality and Immorality in Othello William Shakespeares tragic drama Othello presents to the audience a picture of many different shades of morality and immorality. It is the purpose of this essay to elaborate in detail on this thesis. Roderigos opening lines to Iago in Act 1 Scene 1 take us to the very root of the problem: Tush. never tell me; I take it much unkindly That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this…. [tags: Othello essays] :: 3 Works Cited 1245 words (3.6 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Immorality of Human Nature Depicted in Golding’s Lord of the Flies – In Lord of the Flies, William Golding expresses the idea that humans are naturally immoral, and that people are moral only because of the pressures of civilization. He does this by writing about a group of boys, and their story of survival on an island. The civilized society they form quickly deteriorates into a savage tribe, showing that away from civilization and adults, the boys quickly deteriorate into the state man was millions of years ago. This tendency is shown most in Jack, who has an animalistic love of power, and Roger, who loves to kill for pleasure…. [tags: literary analysis, analytical essay] 922 words (2.6 pages) Better Essays [preview] Innocence vs. Immorality in Othello – Innocence vs. Immorality in Othello In William Shakespeares tragic drama Othello we find a wide array of moral and immoral conduct, a full range of lifes goodness and badness. Let us in this paper examine the specific types of each, and how they affect the outcome. In Shakespeares Four Giants Blanche Coles comments on the lack of veracity in Iagos speech: The story that Iago tells Roderigo about the promotion of Cassio over him is not true, although it has been accepted by many discriminating scholars…. [tags: Othello essays] :: 2 Works Cited 1382 words (3.9 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] The Immorality of Child Labor – The Immorality of Child Labor Child labor is a serious moral issue. There have been many controversial debates over whether it should be legal or not. Two different viewpoints on the subject exist. Many argue that child labor is morally wrong and that the children should not work, no matter how poverty stricken their family might be. Advocates and major corporations that support child labor argue that it is good because it gives poverty-stricken families a source of income. Child labor first appeared with the development of domestic systems (when people became civilized)…. [tags: Papers Argumentative Children Work Essays] :: 4 Works Cited 1236 words (3.5 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Measure for Measure Essay: Immorality and Corruption – Immorality and Corruption in Measure for Measure In Measure for Measure, Shakespeare demonstrates that there is an innate immorality and corruption in the heart of man. Shakespeare illustrates that power does not cause corruption. This is achieved by presenting the Duke, who has the most power in Vienna, as a moral hero, and conversely revealing the corruption of the powerless class through characters including Pompey, Mistress Overdone, and Barnadine. Through all this, Shakespeare uses Lord Angelo in Measure for Measure to show that immorality and corruption is innate in mankind…. [tags: Measure for Measure] :: 5 Works Cited 1566 words (4.5 pages) Powerful Essays [preview] Canterbury Tales Essay: Immorality and the Friar – Immorality and the Friar in The Canterbury Tales It is a sad commentary on the clergy that, in the Middle Ages, this class that was responsible for morality was often the class most marked by corruption. Few works of the times satirically highlight this phenomenon as well as The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer. Chaucers “General Prologue” introduces us to a cast of clergy, or “Second Estate” folk, who range in nature from pious to corrupt. The Friar seems to be an excellent example of the corrupt nature of many low-level clergymen of the times- while his activities were not heretical or heinous, his behavior is certainly not in accord with the selfless moral teachings he is supp… [tags: Canterbury Tales Essays] 1087 words (3.1 pages) Strong Essays [preview] Right and Wrong in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennesse Williams – Morality, defined as the beliefs about what is right behavior and what is wrong behavior,(Morality) is the substructure of our integrity and the column of virtuousness. The opposite of this, immorality, is the corruption of ones being, becoming more wicked in nature. 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Posted: July 14, 2016 at 4:19 pm
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Now is typically the time when eczema sufferers start complaining about their painful, dry, cracked skin. Its when no amount of moisturizer alleviates the insatiable itch or the embarrassment of having less-than-perfect skin.
If youre an eczema sufferer, I can sympathize. Mine is a severe condition that Ive battled into adulthood. Interestingly, winter is my favourite time of the year sweaters, scarves, socks and pants help me cover up my cracked scaly skin, scabby blisters and blotchy hyper-pigmentation.
To say the least Im something of an expert when it comes to eczema you name it, Ive tried it. Topical steroids that thinned out my skin? Check. Tar soaps, oatmeal baths and natural detergents? Check, check and check. Nothings worked long-term. That is until one day a friend suggested I avoid foods high in histamine. It seemed obvious why hadnt I thought of that before? Foods high in histamine would naturally cause an allergic response and inflammation. So thus began the journey that eventually led me to The Eczema Diet. In the book, by nutritionist Karen Fischer, I discovered seven foods that help decrease inflammation, promote skin repair and are considered eczema-safe.
The top seven eczema-healthy foods are:
1. Banana: High in potassium, contains histamine-lowering nutrients, magnesium and vitamin C.
2. Beef or chicken broth: Provides skin-repairing amino acid glycine.
3. Potato: Rich in fibre, potassium, vitamin C and is alkalizing.
4. Green onions: Contain histamine-lowering, anti-inflammatory quercetin and rich source of vitamin K, important for healthy skin.
5. Buckwheat: Gluten-free and contains quercetin to lower histamine and has strong anti-inflammatory effect
6. Rice milk: Low allergy and low in chemicals and considered eczema safe
7. Mung bean sprouts:Strong alkalizing food
There are many more eczema-healthy foods (like fish, beans and loads of vegetables), but the only foolproof way to check if specific foods are causing your breakouts is by cutting out common culpritsfor 14 days then reintroducing them back into your diet one-by-one to see if they cause a reaction. Remember: sometimes it can take a few days for symptoms to appear. You can follow this guide by Dr. Natasha Turner, or get more info from The Eczema Diet.
I also found that taking an igG test proved very helpful. It helped steer me in the right direction so that I knew for sure which foods were causing me grievance. Turns out egg, milk, soy and yeast were among the list and having that kind of clarity was life-changing, not only for my physical well-being, but my emotional well-being as well.
To read more about preventing and treating eczema click here.
Do you suffer from eczema? Have diet and nutrition helped alleviate your symptoms? Share in the comments below.
Try these no-cook banana snack ideas
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Seven foods to eat if you have eczema – Chatelaine
Posted: July 8, 2016 at 7:56 am
The Fountainhead is a 1943 novel by Ayn Rand, and her first major literary success. More than 6.5million copies of the book have been sold worldwide.
The Fountainhead’s protagonist, Howard Roark, is an individualistic young architect who refuses to compromise his artistic and personal vision for worldly recognition and success. The book follows his battle to practice what the public sees as modern architecture, which he believes to be superior, despite an establishment centered on tradition-worship. How others in the novel relate to Roark demonstrates Rand’s various archetypes of human character, all of which are variants between Roark, the author’s ideal man of independence and integrity, and what she described as the “second-handers”. The complex relationships between Roark and the various kinds of individuals who assist or hinder his progress, or both, allow the novel to be at once a romantic drama and a philosophical work. Roark is Rand’s embodiment of what she believes to be the ideal man, and his struggle reflects Rand’s personal belief that individualism trumps collectivism.
The manuscript was rejected by twelve publishers before editor Archibald Ogden at the Bobbs-Merrill Company risked his job to get it published. Despite mixed reviews from the contemporary media, the book gained a following by word of mouth and became a bestseller. The novel was made into a Hollywood film in 1949. Rand wrote the screenplay, and Gary Cooper played Roark.
In the spring of 1922, Howard Roark is expelled from architecture school for refusing to adhere to the school’s conventionalism. He believes buildings should be sculpted to fit their location, material, and purpose, while his critics insist that adherence to historical convention is essential. He goes to New York City to work for Henry Cameron, a disgraced architect whom Roark admires. Peter Keating, a popular but vacuous fellow student who Roark sometimes helped with projects, has graduated with high honors. He also moves to New York to take a job at the prestigious architectural firm of Francon & Heyer, where he ingratiates himself with senior partner Guy Francon. Roark and Cameron create inspired work, but rarely receive recognition, whereas Keating’s ability to flatter brings him quick success. Keating works to remove rivals within his firm, and eventually he is made a partner.
After Cameron retires, Keating hires Roark, who is soon fired for insubordination by Francon. Roark works briefly at another firm, then opens his own office. He has trouble finding clients and eventually closes it down. He takes a job at a granite quarry owned by Francon. There he meets Francon’s daughter Dominique, a columnist for The New York Banner, while she is staying at her family’s estate nearby. There is an immediate attraction between them, leading to a rough sexual encounter that Dominique later describes as a rape. Shortly after, Roark is notified that a client is ready to start a new building, and he returns to New York.
Ellsworth M. Toohey, author of a popular architecture column in the Banner, is an outspoken socialist who shapes public opinion through his column and his circle of influential associates. Toohey sets out to destroy Roark through a smear campaign. Toohey manipulates one of Roark’s clients into suing Roark. At the trial, prominent architects (including Keating) testify that Roark’s style is unorthodox and illegitimate. Dominique speaks in Roark’s defense, but he loses the case. Dominique decides that since she cannot have the world she wants, in which men like Roark are recognized for their greatness, she will live completely and entirely in the world she has, which shuns Roark and praises Keating. She offers Keating her hand in marriage. Dominique turns her entire spirit over to Keating, doing and saying whatever he wants, including persuading potential clients to hire him instead of Roark.
To win Keating a prestigious commission offered by Gail Wynand, the owner and editor-in-chief of the Banner, Dominique agrees to sleep with Wynand. When they meet, Wynand is so strongly attracted to Dominique that he buys Keating’s divorce from her, after which Wynand and Dominique are married. Wanting to build a home for himself and his new wife, Wynand discovers that every building he likes was designed by Roark, so he enlists Roark to build the new house. Roark and Wynand become close friends, although Wynand does not know about Roark’s past relationship with Dominique.
Washed up and out of the public eye, Keating pleads with Toohey for his influence to get the commission for the much-sought-after Cortlandt housing project. Keating knows his most successful projects were aided by Roark, so he asks for Roark’s help in designing Cortlandt. Roark agrees to design it in exchange for complete anonymity and Keating’s promise that it will be built exactly as designed. When Roark returns from a long trip with Wynand, he finds that the Cortlandt design has been changed despite his agreement with Keating. Roark dynamites the building to prevent the subversion of his vision.
Roark is arrested and his action is widely condemned, but Wynand orders his newspapers to defend him. The Banner’s circulation drops and the workers go on strike. Faced with the choice of closing the paper or reversing his stance, Wynand gives in; the newspaper publishes a denunciation of Roark. At his trial for the dynamiting, Roark makes a speech about the value of ego and the need to remain true to oneself. The jury finds him not guilty. Roark also wins over Dominique, who leaves Wynand for Roark. Wynand, who has finally grasped the nature of the “power” he thought he held, shuts down the Banner and asks Roark to design one last building for him, a skyscraper that will testify to the supremacy of man. Eighteen months later, the Wynand Building is under construction and Dominique, now Roark’s wife, enters the site to meet him atop its steel framework.
In 1928, Cecil B. DeMille charged Rand with writing a script for what would become the film Skyscraper. The original story, by Dudley Murphy, was about two construction workers involved in building a New York skyscraper who are rivals for a woman’s love. Rand rewrote the story, transforming the rivals into architects. One of them, Howard Kane, was an idealist dedicated to his mission and erecting the skyscraper despite enormous obstacles. The film would have ended with Kane’s throwing back his head in victory, standing atop the completed skyscraper. DeMille rejected Rand’s script, and the actual film followed Murphy’s original idea, but Rand’s version contained elements she would later use in The Fountainhead.
David Harriman, who edited the posthumous Journals of Ayn Rand, found some elements of The Fountainhead in the notes for an earlier novel that Rand worked on but never completed. Its protagonist is shown as goaded beyond endurance by a pastor, finally killing him and getting executed. The pastorconsidered a paragon of virtue by society but actually a monsteris similar to Ellsworth Toohey, and the pastor’s assassination is reminiscent of Steven Mallory’s attempt to kill Toohey.
Rand began The Fountainhead (originally titled Second-Hand Lives) following the completion in 1934 of her first novel, We the Living. While that earlier novel had been based partly on people and events from Rand’s experiences, the new novel was to focus on the less-familiar world of architecture. Therefore, she did extensive research to develop plot and character ideas. This included reading numerous biographies and books about architecture, and working as an unpaid typist in the office of architect Ely Jacques Kahn.
Rand wanted to write a novel that was less overtly political than We the Living, to avoid being “considered a ‘one-theme’ author”. As she developed the story, she began to see more political meaning in the novel’s ideas about individualism. Rand also initially planned to introduce each of the four sections with a quote from philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, whose ideas had influenced her own intellectual development. However, she eventually decided that Nietzsche’s ideas were too different from her own. She did not place the quotes in the published novel, and she edited the final manuscript to remove other allusions to him.
Rand’s work on The Fountainhead was repeatedly interrupted. In 1937, she took a break from it to write a novella called Anthem. She also completed a stage adaptation of We the Living that ran briefly in early 1940. That same year, she became actively involved in politics, first working as a volunteer in Wendell Willkie’s presidential campaign, then attempting to form a group for conservative intellectuals. As her royalties from earlier projects ran out, she began doing freelance work as a script reader for movie studios. When Rand finally found a publisher, the novel was only one-third complete.
Although she was a previously published novelist and had a successful Broadway play, Rand had difficulty finding a publisher for The Fountainhead. Macmillan Publishing, which had published We the Living, rejected the book after Rand insisted that they must provide more publicity for her new novel than they did for the first one. Rand’s agent began submitting the book to other publishers. In 1938, Knopf signed a contract to publish the book, but when Rand was only a quarter done with manuscript by October 1940, Knopf canceled her contract. Several other publishers rejected the book, and Rand’s agent began to criticize the novel. Rand fired her agent and decided to handle submissions herself.
While Rand was working as a script reader for Paramount Pictures, her boss there, Richard Mealand, offered to introduce her to his publishing contacts. He put her in touch with the Bobbs-Merrill Company. A recently hired editor, Archibald Ogden, liked the book, but two internal reviewers gave conflicting opinions about it. One said it was a great book that would never sell; the other said it was trash but would sell well. Ogden’s boss, Bobbs-Merrill president D.L. Chambers, decided to reject the book. Ogden responded by wiring to the head office, “If this is not the book for you, then I am not the editor for you.” His strong stand got a contract for Rand in December 1941. Twelve other publishers had rejected the book.
Rand’s working title for the book was Second Hand Lives, but Ogden pointed out that this emphasized the story’s villains. Rand offered The Mainspring as an alternative, but this title had been recently used for another book, so she used a thesaurus and found ‘fountainhead’ as a synonym.
The Fountainhead was published in May 1943. Initial sales were slow, but as Mimi Reisel Gladstein described it, sales “grew by word-of-mouth, developing a popularity that asserted itself slowly on the best-seller lists.” It reached number six on The New York Times bestseller list in August 1945, over two years after its initial publication.
A 25th anniversary edition was issued by New American Library in 1971, including a new introduction by Rand. In 1993, a 50th anniversary edition from Bobbs-Merrill added an afterword by Rand’s heir, Leonard Peikoff. By 2008 the novel had sold over 6.5million copies in English, and it had been translated into several languages.
As the protagonist of the book, Roark is an aspiring architect who firmly believes that a person must be a “prime mover” to achieve pure art, not mitigated by others, as opposed to councils or committees of individuals which lead to compromise and mediocrity and a “watering down” of a prime mover’s completed vision. He represents the triumph of individualism over the slow stagnation of collectivism. He is eventually arrested for dynamiting a building he designed, the design of which was compromised by other architects brought in to negate his vision of the project. During his trial, Roark delivers a speech condemning “second-handers” and declaring the superiority of prime movers; he prevails and is vindicated by the jury.
The character of Roark was at least partly inspired by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Rand described the inspiration as limited to “some of his architectural ideas [and] the pattern of his career”. She denied that Wright had anything to do with the philosophy expressed by Roark or the events of the plot. Rand’s denials have not stopped other commentators from claiming stronger connections between Wright and Roark. Wright himself equivocated about whether he thought Roark was based on him, sometimes implying that he was, at other times denying it. Wright biographer Ada Louise Huxtable described the “yawning gap” between Wright’s philosophy and Rand’s, and quoted him declaring, “I deny the paternity and refuse to marry the mother.”
Peter Keating is also an aspiring architect, but is everything that Roark is not. His original inclination was to become an artist, but his opportunistic mother pushes him toward architecture where he might have greater material success. Even by Roark’s own admission, Keating does possess some creative and intellectual abilities, but is stifled by his sycophantic pursuit of wealth over morals. His willingness to build what others wish leads him to temporary success. He attends architecture school with Roark, who helps him with some of his less inspired projects. He is subservient to the wills of others: Dominique Francon’s father, the architectural establishment, his mother, even Roark himself. Keating is “a man who never could be, but doesn’t know it”. The one sincere thing in Keating’s life is his love for Catherine Halsey, Ellsworth Toohey’s niece. Though she offers to introduce Keating to Toohey, he initially refuses despite the fact that such an introduction would help his career. It is the only exception to his otherwise relentless and ruthless ambition, which includes bullying and threatening to blackmail a sick old man and unintentionally causing his death. Although Keating does have a conscience, and often does genuinely feel bad after doing certain things he knows are immoral, he only feels this way in hindsight, and doesn’t allow his morals to influence current decision making. Keating’s offer to elope with Catherine is his one chance to act on what he believes is his own desire. But, Dominique arrives at that precise moment and offers to marry him for her own reasons, and his acceptance of the offer and betrayal of Catherine ends the potential of romance between them. His acceptance of Dominique’s offer of marriage, which would help his career far more than a marriage with Catherine, is a quintessential example of his failure to stand up for his own convictions.
Dominique Francon is the heroine of The Fountainhead, described by Rand as “the woman for a man like Howard Roark.” For most of the novel, the character operates from what Rand later described as “a very mistaken idea about life.” Dominique is the daughter of Guy Francon, a highly successful but creatively inhibited architect. She is a thorn in the flesh of her father and causes him much distress for her works criticizing the architectural profession’s mediocrity. Peter Keating is employed by her father, and her intelligence, insight and observations are above his. It is only through Roark that her love of adversity and autonomy meets a worthy equal. These strengths are also what she initially lets stifle her growth and make her life miserable. She begins thinking that the world did not deserve her sincerity and intellect, because the people around her did not measure up to her standards. She starts out punishing the world and herself for all the things about man which she despises, through self-defeating behavior. She initially believes that greatness, such as Roark’s, is doomed to fail and will be destroyed by the ‘collectivist’ masses around them. She eventually joins Roark romantically, but before she can do this, she must learn to join him in his perspective and purpose.
The character has provoked varied reactions from commentators. Chris Matthew Sciabarra called her “one of the more bizarre characters in the novel.”Mimi Reisel Gladstein called her “an interesting case study in perverseness” Tore Boeckmann described her as a character with “mixed premises”, some of which were mistaken, and saw her actions as a logical representation of how her conflicting ideas might play out.
Gail Wynand is a wealthy newspaper mogul who rose from a destitute childhood in the ghettoes of New York City to control much of the city’s print media. While Wynand shares many of the character qualities of Roark, his success is dependent upon his ability to pander to public opinion, a flaw which eventually leads to his downfall. In her journals Rand described Wynand as “the man who could have been” a heroic individualist, contrasting him to Roark, “the man who can be and is”. Some elements of Wynand’s character were inspired by real-life newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, including Hearst’s mixed success in attempts to gain political influence. Wynand is a tragic figure who ultimately fails in his attempts to wield power, losing his newspaper, his wife, and his friendship with Roark. The character has been interpreted as a representation of Nietzsche’s “master morality”, and his tragic nature illustrates Rand’s rejection of Nietzsche’s philosophy. In Rand’s view, a person like Wynand, who seeks power over others, is just as much a “second-hander” as a conformist like Keating.
Ellsworth Monkton Toohey, who writes a popular art criticism column, is Roark’s antagonist. Toohey is Rand’s personification of evil, the most active and self-aware villain in any of her novels. Toohey is a socialist, and represents the spirit of collectivism more generally. He styles himself as representative of the will of the masses, but his actual desire is for power over others. He controls individual victims by destroying their sense of self-worth, and seeks broader power (over “the world”, as he declares to Keating in a moment of candor) by promoting the ideals of ethical altruism and a rigorous egalitarianism that treats all people and achievements as equally valuable, regardless of their true value. As one reviewer described his approach:
Aiming at a society that shall be “an average drawn upon zeroes,” he knows exactly why he corrupts Peter Keating, and explains his methods to the ruined young man in a passage that is a pyrotechnical display of the fascist mind at its best and its worst; the use of the ideal of altruism to destroy personal integrity, the use of humor and tolerance to destroy all standards, the use of sacrifice to enslave.
His biggest threat is the strength of the individual spirit embodied by Roark.
Rand used her memory of the British democratic socialist Harold Laski to help her imagine what Toohey would do in a given situation. New York intellectuals Lewis Mumford and Clifton Fadiman also contributed inspirations for the character.
Rand indicated that the primary theme of The Fountainhead was “individualism versus collectivism, not in politics but within a man’s soul.” Apart from scenes such as Roark’s courtroom defense of the American concept of individual rights, she avoided direct discussion of political issues. As historian James Baker described it, “The Fountainhead hardly mentions politics or economics, despite the fact that it was born in the 1930s. Nor does it deal with world affairs, although it was written during World War II. It is about one man against the system, and it does not permit other matters to intrude.”
Rand dedicated The Fountainhead to her husband, Frank O’Connor, and to architecture. She chose architecture for the analogy it offered to her ideas, especially in the context of the ascent of modern architecture. It provided an appropriate vehicle to solidify her beliefs that the individual is of supreme value, the “fountainhead” of creativity, and that selfishness, properly understood as ethical egoism, is a virtue.
Peter Keating and Howard Roark are character foils. Keating practices in the historical eclectic and neo-classic mold, even when the building’s typology is a skyscraper. He follows and pays respect to old traditions. He accommodates the changes suggested by others, mirroring the eclectic directions, and willingness to adapt, current at the turn of the twentieth century. Roark searches for truth and honesty and expresses them in his work. He is uncompromising when changes are suggested, mirroring modern architecture’s trajectory from dissatisfaction with earlier design trends to emphasizing individual creativity. Roark’s individuality eulogizes modern architects as uncompromising and heroic.
The Fountainhead has been cited by numerous architects as an inspiration for their work. Architect Fred Stitt, founder of the San Francisco Institute of Architecture, dedicated a book to his “first architectural mentor, Howard Roark”. Nader Vossoughian has written that “The Fountainhead… has shaped the public’s perception of the architectural profession more than perhaps any other text over this last half-century.” According to renowned architectural photographer Julius Shulman, it was Rand’s work that “brought architecture into the public’s focus for the first time,” and he believes that The Fountainhead was not only influential among 20th century architects, it “was one, first, front and center in the life of every architect who was a modern architect.”
The Fountainhead polarized critics and received mixed reviews upon its release.The New York Times’ review of the novel named Rand “a writer of great power” who writes “brilliantly, beautifully and bitterly,” and it stated that she had “written a hymn in praise of the individual… you will not be able to read this masterful book without thinking through some of the basic concepts of our time.” Benjamin DeCasseres, a columnist for the New York Journal-American, wrote of Roark as “an uncompromising individualist” and “one of the most inspiring characters in modern American literature.” Rand sent DeCasseres a letter thanking him for explaining the book’s individualistic themes when many other reviewers did not. There were other positive reviews, but Rand dismissed many of them as either not understanding her message or as being from unimportant publications. A number of negative reviews focused on the length of the novel, such as one that called it “a whale of a book” and another that said “anyone who is taken in by it deserves a stern lecture on paper-rationing.” Other negative reviews called the characters unsympathetic and Rand’s style “offensively pedestrian.”
The year 1943 also saw the publication of The God of the Machine by Isabel Paterson and The Discovery of Freedom by Rose Wilder Lane. Rand, Lane and Paterson have been referred to as the founding mothers of the American libertarian movement with the publication of these works. Journalist John Chamberlain, for example, credits these works with his final “conversion” from socialism to what he called “an older American philosophy” of libertarian and conservative ideas.
One of the most controversial elements of the book is the rape scene between Roark and Dominique.Feminist critics have attacked the scene as representative of an anti-feminist viewpoint in Rand’s works that makes women subservient to men.Susan Brownmiller, in her 1975 work Against Our Will, denounced what she called “Rand’s philosophy of rape”, for portraying women as wanting “humiliation at the hands of a superior man”. She called Rand “a traitor to her own sex”. Susan Love Brown said the scene presents Rand’s view of sex as “an act of sadomasochism and of feminine subordination and passivity”.Barbara Grizzuti Harrison suggested women who enjoy such “masochistic fantasies” are “damaged” and have low self-esteem. While Rand scholar Mimi Reisel Gladstein found elements to admire in Rand’s female protagonists, she said that readers who have “a raised consciousness about the nature of rape” would disapprove of Rand’s “romanticized rapes”.
Rand denied that what happened in the scene was actually rape, referring to it as “rape by engraved invitation” because Dominique wanted and “all but invited” the act, citing among other things the conversation after Dominique scratches the marble slab in her bedroom in order to invite Roark to repair it. A true rape, Rand said, would be “a dreadful crime”. Defenders of the novel have agreed with this interpretation. In an essay specifically explaining this scene, Andrew Bernstein wrote that although there is much “confusion” about it, the descriptions in the novel provide “conclusive” evidence that “Dominique feels an overwhelming attraction to Roark” and “desires desperately to sleep with” him.Individualist feminist Wendy McElroy said that while Dominique is “thoroughly taken,” there is nonetheless “clear indication that Dominique not only consented,” but also enjoyed the experience. Both Bernstein and McElroy saw the interpretations of feminists such as Brownmiller as being based in a false understanding of sexuality.
Rand’s posthumously published working notes for the novel, which were not known at the time of her debate with feminists, indicate that when she started working on the book in 1936 she conceived of Roark’s character that “were it necessary, he could rape her and feel justified.”
The Fountainhead has continued to have strong sales throughout the last century into the current one, and has been referenced in a variety of popular entertainment, including movies, television series and other novels. Despite its popularity, it has received relatively little ongoing critical attention. Assessing the novel’s legacy, philosopher Douglas Den Uyl described The Fountainhead as relatively neglected compared to her later novel, Atlas Shrugged, and said, “our problem is to find those topics that arise clearly with The Fountainhead and yet do not force us to read it simply through the eyes of Atlas Shrugged.”
Among critics who have addressed it, some consider The Fountainhead to be Rand’s best novel, such as philosopher Mark Kingwell, who described The Fountainhead as “Rand’s best workwhich is not to say it is good.” A Village Voice columnist has called it “blatantly tendentious” and described it as containing “heavy-breathing hero worship.” Fountainhead has also received some positive reviews such as one from Bill Wasik who said Ayn Rand “…has an uncanny ability to weave words into a beautiful mosaic; her characters come alive on the pages and dance before the readers eyes. One character in particular, Howard Roark, is what all men should seek to become.”
The book has a particular appeal to young people, an appeal that led historian James Baker to describe it as “more important than its detractors think, although not as important as Rand fans imagine.”Allan Bloom has referred to the novel as being “hardly literature,” one having a “sub-Nietzschean assertiveness [that] excites somewhat eccentric youngsters to a new way of life.” However, he also writes that when he asks his students which books matter to them, there is always someone influenced by The Fountainhead. Journalist Nora Ephron wrote that she had loved the novel when she was 18 but admitted that she “missed the point,” which she suggested is largely subliminal sexual metaphor. Ephron wrote that she decided upon re-reading that “it is better read when one is young enough to miss the point. Otherwise, one cannot help thinking it is a very silly book.” Architect David Rockwell said that the film adaptation influenced his interest in architecture and design, and that many architecture students at his university named their dogs Roark as a tribute to the protagonist of the novel and film.
In 1945, Rand was approached by King Features Syndicate about having a condensed, illustrated version of the novel published for syndication in newspapers. Rand agreed, provided that she could oversee the editing and approve the proposed illustrations of her characters, which were provided by Frank Godwin. The 30-part series began on December 24, 1945, and ran in over 35 newspapers.
In 1949, Warner Brothers released a film based on the book, starring Gary Cooper as Howard Roark, Patricia Neal as Dominique Francon, Raymond Massey as Gail Wynand, and Kent Smith as Peter Keating. The film was directed by King Vidor. The Fountainhead grossed $2.1million, $400,000 less than its production budget. However, sales of the novel increased as a result of interest spurred by the film. In letters written at the time, the author’s reaction to the film was positive, saying “The picture is more faithful to the novel than any other adaptation of a novel that Hollywood has ever produced” and “It was a real triumph.” However, she displayed a more negative attitude towards it later, saying that she “disliked the movie from beginning to end”, and complaining about its editing, acting and other elements. As a result of this film, Rand said that she would never sell any of her novels to a film company that did not allow her the right to pick the director and screenwriter as well as edit the film, as she did not want to encounter the same production problems that occurred on this film.
A 2016 industry article reported that director Zack Snyder is looking to adapt Fountainhead for the big screen, possibly based on Rand’s original script for Warner Brothers.
In June 2014, an adaptation for the stage (in Dutch) was presented at the Holland Festival, directed by Ivo van Hove, with Ramsey Nasr as Howard Roark. The production subsequently went on tour, appearing in Barcelona in early July 2014, and then at the Festival d’Avignon later that month.
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Posted: July 1, 2016 at 9:53 pm
There’s very few things I can add to all that have been said about “Atlas Shrugged” that haven’t been said before. Ayn Rand wrote a timeless masterpiece who put her name across the most influential writers of the english language. The story by itself is an Ode to the Human Mind and the best within us. This book change the lives of those who enter in contact with it and, most of the time, for the better.
The production of this audiobook is perfect. There’s no background noise and the sound is as crisp as it could be. Only on the technical standpoint, the recording is as perfect as the state of the technology allows it to be.
So, why I gave it only 3 stars? Because of the casting of Mr. Brick. I have no quarrel with him. He’s a talented artist who, I am sure, would give an outstanding reading of “Pride and Prejudice”. He’s, sadly, a poor choice for “Atlas Shrugged”. His voice is unable to carry the certainty of John Galt, Dagny Taggart seems to be a moment away to sobbing, Francisco d’Anconia got a mundane voice while Jim Taggart sounds perfectly sane(!). This mostly ruined my enjoyment of this recording. “Atlas Shrugged” is a righteous book and his voice is too mellow to sound right.
In summary, may I suggest to those who really want to enjoy this story that they acquire the Christopher Hurt’s rendition of it? The quality is less than stellar but the reading is perfect. In fact, I listened to the later right after I listened Mr. Brick’s recording, just to forget the poor experience I lived.
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Posted: June 30, 2016 at 3:35 am
Mind uploading is a science fictional trope and popular desired actualization among transhumanists. It’s also one of the hypothesised solutions to bringing people back from cryonics.
It is necessary to separate reasonable extrapolations and speculation about mind uploading from the magical thinking surrounding it. Several metaphysical questions are brought up by the prospect of mind uploading. Like many such questions, these may not be objectively answerable, and philosophers will no doubt continue to debate them long after uploading has become commonplace.
The first major question about the plausibility of mind uploading is more or less falsifiable: whether consciousness is artificially replicable in its entirety. In other words, assuming that consciousness is not magic, and that the brain is the seat of consciousness, does it depend on any special functions or quantum mechanical effects that cannot ever be replicated on another substrate? This question, of course, remains unanswered although, considering the current state of cognitive science, it is not unreasonable to think that consciousness will be found to be replicable in the future.
Assuming that consciousness is proven to be artificially replicable, the second question is whether the “strong AI hypothesis” is justified or not: if a machine accurately replicates consciousness, such that it passes a Turing Test or is otherwise indistinguishable from a natural human being, is the machine really conscious, or is it a soulless mechanism that merely imitates consciousness?
Third, assuming that a machine can actually be conscious (which is no great stretch of the imagination, considering that the human brain is essentially a biological machine), is a copy of your consciousness really you? Is it even possible to copy consciousness? Is mind uploading really a ticket to immortality, in that “you” or your identity can be “uploaded”?
Advocates of mind uploading take the functionalist/reductionist approach of defining human existence as the identity, which is based on memories and personalities rather than physical substrates or subjectivity. They believe that the identity is essential; the copy of the mind holds just as much claim to being that person as the original, even if both were to exist simultaneously. When the physical body of a copied person dies, nothing that defines the person as an individual has been lost. In this context, all that matters is that the memories and personality of the individual are preserved. As the recently murdered protagonist states in Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, “I feel like me and no one else is making that claim. Who cares if I’ve been restored from a backup?”
Skeptics of mind uploading question if it’s possible to transfer a consciousness from one substrate to another, and hold that this is critical to the life-extension application of mind uploading. The transfer of identity is similar to the process of transferring data from one computer hard drive to another. The new person would be a copy of the original; a new consciousness with the same identity. With this approach, mind uploading would simply create a “mind-clone” an artificial person with an identity gleaned from another. The philosophical problem with uploading “yourself” to a computer is very similar to the “swamp man” thought experiment in which a clone is made of a man while the “original” is killed, or the very similar teleportation thought experiment. This is one reason that has led critics to say it’s not at all clear that the concept mind uploading is even meaningful. For the skeptic, the thought of permanently losing subjective consciousness (death), while another consciousness that shares their identity lives on yields no comfort.
Consciousness is currently (poorly) understood to be an epiphenomenon of brain activity specifically of the cerebral cortex. Identity and consciousness are distinct from one another though presumably the former could not exist without the latter. Unlike an identity, which is a composition of information stored within a brain it is reasonable to assume that a particular subjective consciousness is an intrinsic property of a particular physical brain. Thus, even a perfect physical copy of that brain would not share the subjective consciousness of that brain. This holds true of all ‘brains’ (consciousness-producing machines), biological or otherwise. When/if non-biological brains are ever developed/discovered it would be reasonable to assume that each would have its own intrinsic, non-transferable subjective consciousness, independent of its identity. It is likely that mind uploading would preserve an identity, if not the subjective consciousness that begot it. If identity rather than subjective consciousness is taken to be the essential, mind uploading succeeds in the opinion of mind-uploading-immortalist advocates.
Believing that there is some mystical “essence” to consciousness that isn’t preserved by copying is ultimately a form of dualism, however. Humans lose consciousness at least daily, yet still remain the same person in the morning. In the extreme, humans completely cease all activity, brain or otherwise, during deep hypothermic circulatory arrest, yet still remain the same person on resuscitation, demonstrating that continuity of consciousness is not necessary for identity or personhood. Rather, the properties that make us identifiable as individuals are stored in the physical structure of the brain.
Ultimately, this is a subjective problem, not an objective one: If a copy is made of a book, is it still the same book? It depends if you subjectively consider “the book” to be the physical artifact or the information contained within. Is it the same book that was once held by Isaac Newton? No. Is it the same book that was once read by Isaac Newton? Yes.
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Posted: at 3:29 am
There is increasing recognition that G. K. Chesterton was one of the greatest Christian apologists of the twentieth century. He was probably exceeded in this regard only by C. S. Lewis who was, of course, greatly influenced by the older man. Nevertheless, Chesterton, unlike Lewis, was busily engaged in political debate and public action for most of his life. It is here that his contribution has been almost forgotten, and yet a typical paradox it was in this area that his achievements were of the greatest public importance. This is true of Chesterton’s writings and campaigning for a sane economics under the banner of “Distributism,” but it is perhaps most true of his fight against eugenics. Whilst re-reading the main Chesterton biographies over the last couple of years, I was struck by the fact that all of them seem to skate over his battle against eugenics in a few lines, and this essay aims to redress the balance somewhat.
Eugenics was the belief that the human race needed to be protected from “degenerates,” the “unfit” or the “feebleminded.” Of course, this policy was most enthusiastically adopted by Nazi Germany. One of the first acts of the new Reich in 1933 was to pass a Eugenic Sterilisation Law, ordering doctors to sterilise any one suspected of suffering from hereditary diseases. “We want to prevent the poisoning of the entire bloodstream of the race” to quote Goering’s legal assistant. By 1939 some 250,000 “degenerates” had been forcibly sterilised, over half of whom were diagnosed as “feebleminded.” The Nazi regime took what it regarded as the logical next step in 1939, when it decreed euthanasia for all severely disabled or mentally ill people in German asylums. Any Jew in these asylums automatically qualified, irrespective of degree of handicap, and about 70,000 people were murdered. It can thus be said, without exaggeration, that eugenics was one policy which paved the way for the “Final Solution” of European Jewry, which itself did not start until the Wansee Conference of December, 1941.
Of course, it is easy to argue that Nazi Germany was a pariah state, to feel that such things could not “have happened here.” The whole idea of eugenics became discredited following the defeat of the Third Reich in 1945. Yet, in fact, eugenics was widely practised in the free world, and more and more evidence is coming to light which shows how prevalent it was. In August 1997, the Swedish government shamefacedly admitted the widespread eugenic sterilisation of “feeble-minded or racially inferior women.” It seems that 60,000 Swedes who were either mentally defective, or who merely regarded as lacking “Nordic” racial features, such as gypsies, were compulsorily sterilised in the period 1935-1970. Many others were locked up for years. Evidence is also appearing that this practice also occurred in many other European countries, including 15,000 mentally handicapped women forcibly sterilised in France. Most states in the United States had extensive eugenics laws, some still on the statute books as late as the 1970s.
The United Kingdom was one of the few major countries where eugenics was not effectively put into law. Yet people should not feel smug that it did not happen in Britain because it nearly did. The United Kingdom escaped eugenics laws by the skin of its teeth, as they were backed by some of the most powerful people in the land. As far as can be seen, only one public figure waged a vigorous, and ultimately successful, campaign against the proposed Mental Deficiency Bill in 1912. That man was G. K. Chesterton. The battle against eugenics is Chesterton’s great, unknown victory. To explore it properly, I have given a brief introduction to the subject, followed by an account of Chesterton’s battle against what he called the “feeble minded Bill.” An account of draconian eugenics laws in the United States, including forced sterilisation, shows what might have happened in Britain without his fight against it. Lastly, I have included some pieces from Chesterton’s 1922 book, Eugenics and Other Evils, which show, once again, what great prophetic insight he possessed.
The word “eugenics” (from the Greek for “of noble birth”) was in fact a British invention, the term being first used in 1883 by Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin. Born in 1822, Galton was one of those rich dilettante scientists who were quite common in the Victorian period. A highly neurotic individual, he dropped out of Cambridge University in 1842, but fortunately the inheritance in 1844 of a large fortune from his father prevented him from needing to work. From the 1850s onward he was dabbling in the nascent science of genetics, and in particular on the family trees of illustrious men. Thus he published a book in 1869 under the title of Hereditary Genius, which contained his eugenic ideas even if they had not yet found a name. From the beginning, they were based upon fears that lower races or social classes would outbreed the noble Anglo-Saxon upper classes who practised “restraint,” and it was therefore necessary: “to give the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable.”
Galton’s marriage was childless, and it has been noted that the more this fact became obvious, the more he aggressively lectured the Victorian middle classes on the need to propagate. Eugenics was first taken up by radicals in the United States. In 1869, John Humphrey Noyes, prompted by Galton, founded the first experimental programme of selective human breeding at his “free-love” Oneida community in upstate New York. In Britain, it was given widespread publicity by the magazine Biometrika, edited by the statistician Karl Pearson, a friend of Galton’s. Although employed as a mathematician by London University, from 1895 Pearson started giving lectures in eugenics there. In 1911, when Galton died he left his fortune to London University to endow a Professorial Chair in eugenics on condition that Pearson got the job.
There were a number of intertwined ideas in eugenic belief. Part of it was social Darwinism, the idea that Darwin’s idea of the survival of the fittest had to be applied to the human race, else false compassion would lead to the human race drowning in a sea of degenerates. Of course, for eugenists, who were overwhelmingly White, Protestant, and middle class, the fittest meant the rich, and the unfit meant the poor. Secondly, it was avowedly racist, particularly in the United States. The worry was that lesser, feckless, races, generally agreed to include Blacks, Jews, and other immigrants such as Irish Catholics, were breeding much faster than those of “Nordic” origin. Lastly, it was founded upon fears of a vast army of mentally handicapped people being born who would be a burden on the State. Much eugenics literature expanded o
n the alleged sexual licence of the poor, the mentally ill, and the lower races. At that time, sexual matters among the middle classes were regarded as too private to mention in public, and it may well be that sexual frustration lay behind part of the frequent tirades about the sex lives of the delinquent, and possibly even the fervent clamour for forced sterilisation.
Eugenics, like Galton’s own writings, was never a subject of great scientific precision. Its two main descriptive terms were often “feeble-minded,” referring to hereditary mental incapacity (not just mental illness, but anyone believed to be of low IQ), and “degenerate,” referring not just to physical disability, but also to alleged moral lapses such as alcoholism, crime, or sexual promiscuity. Indeed, in many cases the arguments were circular, as alcoholism or crime were argued to be evidence of “degeneracy” or “incapacity.” Yet on this flimsy intellectual basis two main policies were strenuously argued for: that the “feebleminded” should be compulsorily segregated away in asylums for life, in order to prevent them reproducing, and also that “degenerates,” should be forcibly sterilised for the same reason. As Chesterton pointed out in a late essay (“The Fallacy of Eugenics,” published in Avowals and Denials (London, 1934):
Eugenic ideas gained ground at the time of the Boer War (1899-1903), when it was found that many young men from slum backgrounds were unfit for military service. It was also noticed that healthy men from richer backgrounds also came from smaller families. The same fact was also observed in 1939 when it was discovered that the cause had nothing to do with hereditary factors but was simply the result of poor diet leading to the bone-deforming disease, rickets. In 1904, the Conservative government of Arthur Balfour established a Royal Commission “On the Care and Control of the Feebleminded,” which reported in 1908 to the new Liberal government. It recommended compulsory detention of the mentally inadequate, as well as sterilisation of the unfit. Up to this point mental asylums were used only for the criminally insane, judged to be a danger to themselves and others.
Eugenics became a widespread progressive cause promoted by the Fabian Society, and was closely allied with similar arguments for birth control. In 1903, H. G. Wells wrote: “the conclusion is that if we could prevent or discourage the inferior sort of people from having children, and if we could stimulate and encourage the superior sort to increase and multiply, we should raise the general standard of the race.” Dr. Saleeby, one of the most distinguished doctors of his day, advocated that people intending to marry should have “health books” proving that they had no congenital deformity. Other enthusiastic eugenists were Shaw, who put forward eugenic arguments in his play, Man and Superman, and the sex investigator Havelock Ellis. Ellis was a weird pervert worthy of his successor, Kinsey. Impotent himself, it never seems to have occurred to him whether he was a “degenerate” or “unfit.” The leaders of the radical Socialist Fabians were the husband and wife team of Beatrice and Sydney Webb. Fabian Tract No. 131, written by Sydney in 1907, states:
Yet it was not just the radical Left which promoted eugenics. One of its most vocal advocates in Britain was the Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral from 1911-1934, Dr. William Inge. Ex Officio one of the most senior members of the Church of England, he was known as the “Gloomy Dean” for his warnings about overpopulation. In an essay published in 1917 called simply Eugenics, he pointed out that all the males in his family had won scholarships at Eton, Oxford and Cambridge, but that: “Unfortunately the birth-rate of the feeble-minded is quite 50% higher than that of normal persons.” The answer was eugenics, beginning with “the compulsory segregation of mental defectives.”
Any regular reader of Chesterton’s essays will have come across the name of Dean Inge, so it may be appropriate here to explain who he was, and what he represented. Chesterton never had any enemies, but if he ever had a regular opponent, that man was Dean Inge. Inge seemed to have little interest in the traditional doctrines of Christianity, calling himself “a modern churchman.” He was however a convinced Erastian, that is, dedicated to maintaining the “established” position of the Church of England as a pillar of the British State. In a late essay called The Erastian on the Establishment (1934), Chesterton wrote: “A bitter and cynical man said, ‘The Church of England is our last bulwark against Christianity.’ This is quite unjust as a description of the Church of England. But it is not altogether unjust as a description of Dean Inge.” Inge was known as the “Gloomy Dean” for his Malthusian worries about the poor overbreeding. He also proclaimed, in thoroughly modern terms, that global competition meant that the British workers simply had to accept lower wages and poor working conditions, although somehow this never applied to the members of the Establishment itself. In “The New Theologian” (published in A Miscellany of Men, 1912) Chesterton takes him apart with wit and precision: “When next you hear the “liberal” Christian say we should take what is best in Oriental faiths, make quite sure what are the things that people like Dr. Inge call best. . . . You will find the levelling of creeds quite unexpectedly close to the lowering of wages.”
Eugenics fervour reached its peak in the United Kingdom in 1912, when the first International Eugenics Conference, with over 750 delegates, was held in London. It was addressed by the former Prime Minister Balfour, and attended by an enthusiast who had the power to make law in Great Britain the Home Secretary, Winston Churchill. He called for a “simple surgical operation (sterilisation) so the inferior could be permitted freely in the world without causing much inconvenience to others.” In 1910, on becoming Home Secretary, he had asked the civil service to investigate putting into practice the Indiana law (see below): “I am drawn to it in spite of many Party misgivings. . . . Of course it is bound to come some day.” Churchill was put off by the chief Medical Advisor of Prisons, Dr. Horatio Donkin, who wrote of the Indiana arguments for eugenics: “the outcome of an arrogation of scientific knowledge by those who had no claim to it. . . . It is a monument of ignorance and hopeless mental confusion.”
The International Conference on Eugenics led to great public pressure for Britain to adopt eugenics laws, something Churchill was only too pleased to see. As he wrote to Prime Minister Asquith: “I am convinced that the multiplication of the Feeble-Minded, which is proceeding now at an artificial rate, unchecked by any of the old restraints of nature, and actually fostered by civilised conditions,
is a terrible danger to the race.” He was wary of the cost of forced segregation, preferring compulsory sterilisation instead. In 1912, the government introduced a draft proposal, the Mental Deficiency Bill, for the compulsory detention of the feeble-minded. Hundreds of petitions arrived in Parliament urging the government on.
Opposition seemed minimal. The Catholic Social Guild commissioned a pamphlet by Father Thomas Gerrard, which roundly condemned eugenics, but the influence of the Catholic Church was small in Britain in 1912. Indeed, Dean Inge complained that eugenics was so logical it was only opposed by “irrationalist prophets like Mr. Chesterton.” Chesterton’s response was a series of lectures, public talks and essays ridiculing what he called “the Feeble-Minded Bill.” Chesterton later compiled his arguments against eugenics into a book published in 1922 Eugenics and Other Evils. It begins:
In his book, Chesterton showed that eugenics was an unholy mixture of social Darwinism, coupled with mad Nietzsche’s dream of breeding the Superman. (It is one of ironies of history that Nietzsche, his brain destroyed by the wormholes of syphilis, should have been one of the inspirations of eugenics. He would have not lasted long when Germany really began to breed the Superman.) Chesterton also argued that the real target was not the mad, for which the Lunacy Laws were quite sufficient, but the poor, and he put his finger on the key weakness of eugenics its essential vagueness:
According to Chesterton, the real target was the poor, as the clause highlighted above rather gives the game away. He marshals compelling arguments that eugenics was one more logical progression in the tools used by the State to suppress the landless poor, initially needed in the factories, and now surplus to requirements. One more step in the road of the Exclusion Acts and Game Laws which had forced the poor from the common lands which had once belonged to them, one more step in the Poor Laws and the workhouse with its treadmills and flogging.
At this time, around 1910-1914, Chesterton wrote much about how the new Liberal Government, far from making things better for the poor, was actually making them worse. The Industrial Revolution and enclosure of the common lands had reduced the ordinary people to destitution; now these new Liberal reformers punished them for their destitution. Chesterton’s great work of social criticism, What’s Wrong with the World (1910), ends with the story of urchin children whose hair was cut off at school for fear of lice a treatment which was never handed out to children of the rich, only the poor:
Those great scissors of science that would snip off the curls of the poor little school children are ceaselessly snapping closer and closer to cut off all the corners and fringes of the arts and honours of the poor. Soon they will be twisting necks to suit clean collars, and hacking feet to fit new boots.
In Eugenics and Other Evils, he mentions the case of a farm labourer’s wife sent to prison for not having running water in her rural cottage, although her children were recognised as healthy and well-looked after. The full story is given in detail in the essay The Mad Official, 1912. The book also has the bizarre story of two tramps sent to prison for sleeping in a field, who would have committed no crime if they had done so with money in their pocket. Chesterton argues that eugenics was just one more logical step in this policy of:
Chesterton’s campaign was a success, as a normally supine Parliament began to question the new law. The Independent Member of Parliament, Josiah Wedgewood stressed the threat to civil liberties. Churchill had moved on to the Admiralty, so the measure had less support in the Home Office. After much criticism, the Mental Deficiency Act was passed in July, 1913 in a severely watered-down form. The attempt to prevent the pro-creation of the unfit was abandoned. Sterilisation was not even mentioned, nor was there compulsory segregation of the mentally deficient. The only real new power was to take the illegitimate children of paupers into care. In the 1930s, new eugenics bills were submitted to Parliament, but sentiment had so turned against the idea that they did not even make the first stage of becoming law. Chesterton always kept an eye on eugenics, and was one of the first to note their introduction in Germany once Hitler had come to power. As he wrote in 1934 in “The Fallacy of Eugenics”: “It is as well to repeat our unanswered answer to the creed behind such barbarous tricks; for they are not confined to the curious commonwealth of Mr. Hitler.”
The American experience shows how rapidly the enthusiasm for eugenics could sweep a civilised country and be turned into punitive law. The United Kingdom was rare and lucky to avoid what happened in most of Europe. Eugenic sterilisation laws were passed in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland, as well as being practised in France. Chesterton’s victory was great indeed. Eugenics became fashionable in the United States about the same time as in Britain. In 1904, the biologist, Charles Davenport, persuaded the Carnegie Foundation to give him a huge grant to establish a eugenics research facility on Long Island. Eugenics in America was always racially based, probably because immigration was running at such a high level, whereas it was almost negligible in Britain at that time. Davenport exclaimed: “New blood will make the American population darker in pigmentation, smaller in stature, more mercurial . . . more given to crimes of larceny, kidnapping, assault, murder, rape, and sex-immorality.” This from a supposedly objective scientist! In 1896 Connecticut was the first State to pass explicitly eugenic marriage laws, and by 1917, twenty States had such laws on the statute book. The 1905, Indiana law was typical: marriage was generally forbidden to the mentally deficient, to those with transmittable diseases, or to habitual drunkards. Both parties to a marriage had to present a certificate of medical soundness before the marriage could take place. Indiana then went further in 1907 with the first compulsory sterilisation law. By 1917, sterilisation laws had been approved by sixteen States, most of which prescribed such treatment for habitual criminals, rapists, epileptics, and idiots. Eugenics was a “progressive” cause, and was mostly taken up by States which believed themselves to be “advanced.” California was the lead of eugenic treatments being carried out, while eugenic laws were slow to pass in the “backward” Deep South. In the 1920s a number of legal challenges were made questioning whether such punishment was not “cruel and unusual,” and hence prohibited by the United States Constitution. From 1924-1927 a legal test case, Buck vs. Bell, was fought all the way to the United States Suprem
e Court. Despite the presence on the bench of such humane jurists as William Howard Taft and Louis Brandeis, the court voted 8:1 in favour of forced sterilisation of a young Virginia girl, Carrie Buck, whose only crime had been to have an illegitimate child. Only one judge, a Roman Catholic, voted against. Buck vs Bell opened the floodgates. By 1929, twenty-four States had eugenics laws. 9,000 forced sterilisations were carried out from 1909-1927, but the pace accelerated from Buck vs Bell, so that by 1939 the total had reached 30,000, 10,000 of them in California alone. Eugenics won another victory in 1924 when the Immigration Act severely restricted new immigration into the United States. President Calvin Coolidge stated: “America must be kept American. Biological laws show . . . that Nordics deteriorate when mixed with other races.”
Eugenics was also fashionable in Canada, being aggressively pushed by Helen MacMurchy, Head of the Division of Maternal and Child Welfare in the federal Department of Health from 1920-1934. In 1912, a Dr. Godrey presented a bill to the Ontario state legislature, a bill based on that of Indiana to segregate the unfit and compulsorily sterilise these, although the bill was not passed. Again there were strong racist overtones, with concern that the dominant Anglo-Saxon Canadian type was being outbred by French Canadians and immigrants.
Eugenics and Other Evils also illustrates Chesterton’s almost uncanny ability to foresee the distant future. Perhaps I may be permitted the luxury of quoting myself:
It is becoming increasingly accepted that the relativism of the late Twentieth Century has resulted in a collapse of moral discourse; Alasdair McIntyre’s After Virtue explores this in detail. Secondly that into this void has entered a strange doctrine known as political correctness, coupled with an extension of the powers of the State into areas that were formerly felt to be none of its business. Chesterton saw this coming in 1912. As he wrote in Eugenics and Other Evils:
White Slavery was the fear that English girls were being kidnapped in order to sell them into prostitution in the East. If we move forward to the late 1990s, and substitute “child abuse” or “wife battering” for “White Slavery”, we see how emotional slogans can engender draconian laws.
In his book, Chesterton also presciently identified eugenics with the German cult of the Superman. It had fallen out of fashion after 1914 because it was identified with Germany: “England went to war with the Superman in his native home. She went to war with that very land of scientific culture from which the very ideal of a Superman had come.” The German attempt to build a Nietzschean warrior-state had fallen in 1918, and with its fall eugenics in England became somewhat discredited. However Chesterton did fear that this project might revive in its German homeland:
In 1922 Hitler was an unknown agitator in the beer-halls of Munich, with no chance yet of putting the eugenic manifesto fully into practice.
RUSSELL SPARKES is the Editor of Prophet of Orthodoxy, a compilation of Chesterton’s religious writings, with a critical introduction, published by Harper Collins, and Chief Consultant on the Sane Economy Project of the Chesterton Institute. The present article was published in The Chesterton Review for February-May 1999.
Originally posted here:
The Enemy of Eugenics – Second Spring