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American Ambition

Discussion in 'Politically Incorrect' started by aftershocks, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    A debate arose "darkly" in MK engagement thread in GSD re "ambition" "ambitious." Someone claimed the thread had turned into "politics." Perhaps rightly so. ;) Others queried: "Since when did 'ambition' become a bad thing? And in America, no less?"

    Thusly, here's a link to a minister's thoughts re "American Ambition" which debunks negative connotations. He makes some good points. By posting the link, however, I'm neither endorsing nor decrying his ministry or his viewpoints. I just think the "ambitious" discussion which arose in the MK thread deserves its own thread. Pardon me, if Politically Incorrect is felt not to be the right place for it.

  2. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    I don't think ambition is considered a negative thing in America. I think what is considered negative is when you value appearances over substance. Donald Trump is a prime example. He portrays himself as a successful businessman, and yet most of the time his debts are greater than his assets. He has declared bankruptcy at least twice. However, he has the appearance of being successful because he owns luxury items.
  3. Rogue

    Rogue Sexy Superhero

    Ambition in and of itself is not bad, as long as you don't let greediness corrupt it. Ambition drives you to succeed in your chosen endeavor, but it is greed that causes you to do it by stabbing others in the back or shorting your employees' paychecks and benefits.
  4. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    Are the uses of the word "ambition" he cites from the Bible accurately translated? Any scholars of ancient languages or theology know???

    The word "ambition" tends to have a negative connotation because of the reasons the writer of the link cites. We do, in our culture, continually talk about goals and achieving success. In every high school I have worked in, that is drilled into our kids.

    I think the other problem is that a lot of people are rethinking what success really means. If your contentment and idea of success is completely invested in a career, that can leave you empty and lost eventually. Jobs are not forever. Professions are not even forever. In the U.S, though, employers seem to more and more want to own their workers' entire lives and many people reach a point where they realize that is not their definition of success and does not bring them real contentment. It might seem great when at 24 or so, but not so much twenty years later if that career is all there is.
  5. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

    The Greek word is philotimeomai which is a compound word of philo (love) and timeo (honor). The problem with link in the OP is the author thinks the English understanding of ambition is what philotimeomai refers to. It doesn't though. It's more a specialized sense of seeking honor by doing praiseworthy acts--particularly acts in devotion to God(s). It's not referring to becoming a successful business person or making lots of money for oneself, or really fame or fortune as we understand it today.

    It always bothers me when prosperity gospel adherents twist scriptures in this way :(.
  6. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    Thank you. My skepticism is front and center when someone tells me about how a certain English word is used in the Bible.
  7. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

  8. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

    Ambition might be good or bad: I think it depends on the goal.
  9. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    Honor has as much to do with how you achieve your goal as with achieving it. It is interesting that the Greek word incorporates honor. I think in the US money is considered an objective measurement of achievement which is why financial success gets cited so much.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012