Ayn Rand Discussion Thread

Hello there, I’m new to this forum, and would like to introduce myself a bit.

I’m an Objectivist, follower of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, and the book I really enjoyed of her, most of all, was Anthem. In this book, the setting is set in a future world in which you cannot mention ego words, there is no “I” there is only “we” for example. Ayn Rand shows in this fictional book, a philosophical message, in which will come out as why it is wrong to forget about yourself and believe the only being is the whole of society.

I was wondering what you thought about that.

Human identity is always a complex interwining of “I” and “we” situated out in a particular world. I root it subjectively in dasein. Rand rooted it objectively in…metaphysics?

Here is my problem with Rand:

She is passionaite about the individual but each individual she bumped into was required to think like she did.

The objective individual?

Human identity starts with the experience of one’s own perception, and becomes the accumulated sum of one’s own thoughts, actions, values and achievements. That’s my statement; I think (but am not certain) that Rand would agree with this.

In other words, she thought she was right?! How horrible! :astonished:

But seriously, what do you mean that people were “required to think like she did?” She willingly and calmly spoke to plenty of people with whom she disagreed. She also thought that reality, and the truth about it, were very important. Is that what you are faulting her for?

That’s true of everyone, of course. It reflects the manner in which we all acquire a particular sense of self out in a particular world that is awash in human communities that believe many conflicting and contradictory things regarding almost every human behavior.

Rand is just one of many who insisted the way she understands each behavior is the way everyone must understand it. In other wrods, while we all may, start “with the experience of our own perceptions that become the accumulated sum of our own thoughts, actions, values and achievements”, we had better end up thinking about these things just as Rand did. After all, the way she thought about them was true objectively.

No, what is horrible [to me] is that she thought that others were necessarily wrong if they did not enthusiastically subscribe to what she thought was necessarily right.

Indeed, they were deemed irrational [even immoral] if they dared to shake instead of nod their heads.

Well, at least eventually.

Again, what I am faulting her for was the authoritarian bent in her thinking. Particularly in regard to moral and political values. She was the authority because [she claimed] what she thought was in fact a reflection of objective reality.

And I’m all for acknowledging that many aspects of human interaction unfold in an objective world. The world of math and science and logic for example.

But what aspects of “the human condition” are, perhaps, more, say, problematic?

Well, tell us more about this please. I know who Ayn Rand is, but after that it gets real thin pretty quick.

I think it would be equally a bad idea to only focus on the self and to ignore society. Ayn Rand has a way of tricking young minds into radical thoughts by using alot of poetic language. Make no mistake OP, she is not a philosopher, nor is objectivism a sound view, or even really a philosophy that can stand on it’s own 2 feet.

Authoritarianism is when someone tells you to take a certain idea on faith, whether it is their own, or someone else’s. It is not authoritarian to tell people “Look you made a mistake here. See this theory? It’s wrong and here’s why…” This is the process that goes on in the peer review of any scientific journal, and in any healthy philosophical debate. It is the request that they reconsider their position through their own independent thought. Ayn Rand did not consider “errors of knowledge” (in her terminology) as moral faults. She makes this very clear in Atlas Shrugged. In the story, the central character, Dagny Taggart, is very mistaken for a very long time, but this doesn’t make her immoral.

What counts, morally, is that the individual in question is seriously concerned with the conceptual identification of the perceptual world that is self-evidently before him (that is, seeking the truth.) The reason she considered concern with the truth a moral issue is that the reality that we perceive cannot be wished away, or altered purely by our thoughts. (Wishing that you won’t be crippled by a four-story drop won’t let you escape such a drop safely.) As a phenomenon of reality, life has certain objective requirements that must be met, or the organism perishes. For human beings, one of the requirements of life is to choose to identify and deal with reality conceptually. It is to the extent that each individual does this that he or she is capable of flourishing in life (attaining happiness, or sustaining one’s life, qua human being.) Flourishing in life (of the self) is the standard of moral value in Ayn Rand’s ethics. So, since not being concerned with the truth (intellectual dishonesty) prevents flourishing in life, it is immoral. (This is just a quick summary of her position. For a fuller account of her ethics, I recommend Viable Values and Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics by Tara Smith.)

One thing to consider is that Rand spent much of her public life in debate or intellectual conflict with those in the culture around her. She could hardly be faulted for wanting to spend her private time with those who mostly agreed with her.

If you actually want to learn more about Ayn Rand’s philosophy, I recommend Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand and, if you want to see a partial vision of how it would operate in practice, The Fountainhead and/or Atlas Shrugged. For an introdroduction in the mean time, perhaps you may wish to check out my new blog, Objectivism for Deep Thinkers, and the links I provide there.

And you base this on what experience with Objectivism, exactly?..

Follow the bouncing logic:

Rand claimed her own analysis of capitalism, freedom, justice, virtue etc. was rooted in the objective truth. Now, what choice do others then have but to accept this and be deemed right or reject it and be deemed wrong? She sets herself up as the authority because she makes the claim that her arguments are the only objective ones.

For example, she made the claim that abortion is the moral right of all women. The “evidence” she gave for this is rooted in the acorn/oak tree analogy. In other words, the acorn is not an oak tree—only a potential oak tree. True. But there is not an oak tree around today that was not once an acorn. Kill the acorn and there is no tree. Indeed, had Ayn Rand’s mother aborted her, she would not have been around either. You can’t be one without first having been the other.

That’s true. But only for things in which a knowledge claimed can in fact be shown definitively to be in error.

Yet, as my abortion example above suggests, the knowledge claims from both sides can be deemed reasonable. We know the acorn is not an oak tree. But we know the oak tree cannot exist at all if, as an acorn, it is crushed under the heels of some passerby.

This is all rather abstract though. Let’s bring it down to earth. Let’s discuss the conflicting arguments that swirl around, say, conscription. We all know Rand’s views on this. But are you suggesting these views really do reflect the only reasonable [ethical] manner in which to grasp this crucial relationship between the citizen and the government?

Or choose another issue instead. But let’s discuss it “out in the world” we actually live in. Let’s explore what I construe to be the limitations of rational thought here.

OP, without going into a philosophical tractatus, I can assure you that objectivism isn’t an idea to be taken as seriously as you seem to think. It’s an “ism”. That essentially indicates that it’s an incomplete system incapable of holding any philosophical water. I’m not going to teach a logic or metaphysics class here, but I will give you a good chunk of advice. Read real philosophers, and read works that aren’t centered around sociological perspectives, learn the history of philosophy and you’ll see how ideas like objectivism, and many others are simply regurgitations of things that have been stated and dismissed time and time again. Ayn Rand is the kind of author that does more harm than good when she speaks to people who have no other philosophical influences. It’s easy to accept the most profound thing you’ve ever read as true, but you’ve gotta realize that there are thousands of equally compelling arguments for all kinds of things that seemingly contradict. So buying into one like it’s the bible, and thinking that a certain philosophical stance is “correct”, is almost always fallacious unless you’re dealing in purely abstract terms.

Wasn’t she banging a Rothschild?

I despise Ayn Rand in so many ways.

Her viral ideology is pervasive and can be found everywhere.

Even after being dead she is a scourge on humanity to this present day.

Go ahead and make a thread on her ideology. Expect criticisms.

Probably. A lot of current day Rothschild douche bags masturbate to Rand’s philosophy.

Alan Greenspan as example.

Ayn Rand speaks about ethics and morals being inherent weaknesses in thinking from the observing objectivist selfish ego.

As a anarchist and illegalist I would like to rob a Randian at gun point.

Objectify this motherfucker!

I am robbing from the worshipped producing class!

Beg for your life on your knees!

(Smiles)

I was introduced to Objectivism through the books of Terry Goodkind. I posted at their forums for a year. I asked many question, had many great conversations and met some really good people. I discovered one key important thing about Objectivism while there, it is all based on a dogma principle. They have many key fundamental beliefs that can’t be rationally or logically explained, you must just accept them. They are very religious about those beliefs, and it offends them greatly to question them.

If you can accept those beliefs without critical thinking but faith, then continue on. Understand that is a more of a theology than a philosophy. In Objectivism you must study the doctrines (books) of Ayn Rand and accept them for truth, no margin for varying thought. Where as most philosophy schools of thought leave room from reasoning and understanding from the individual, such as the difference between Nietzche, Sartre and Kierkegaard in existentialism.

Do I dismiss all I learned from Objectivism? No, not at all. I just could not blindly accept several fundamental beliefs. I still carry some of her ideas, but have found freedom in exploring my own path and understanding through critical thinking.

The main question is, do you want to find a system to believe in? Or do you want to use different ideas to create your own? Are you wanting to study philosophy, or do you want a philosophy to guide your life? Do you want to be a student of philosophy, or do you want to be a thinker?

Having delusions thinking to yourself that you know everything objectively is alright.

It’s when you take those delusions and try to apply them towards everybody else that a problem ensues.

Yeah nobody ever talks about what happens to the ubermench when the slaves rebel.

Slave masters have been known to be surrounded and assassinated by the rebelling slaves.

So much for your invincible ubermensch.

So much for my invincible ubermench? I think the whole concept is silly. It’s like a bunch of idiots having a fight about who’s tougher, then I sneak up and pick their pockets, because being smarter than them, I understand that sneaky always beats mean.

Sneaky, and mean has nothing on ruthlessness.

Dude I had a guy break into my house once, and he had done a total of about 10 years in jail for everything from rape to assault to armed robbery. I hid behind a bush outside his house and before he could see me, I coated his entire body w/ bear mace and took my guns back. Took me 9 months for a grand jury to drop my 2 charges, but I won. The real trick is to be ruthless right after sneaking up on someone. Nothing balances a fight like blinding your opponent and having one person on each side of the car they’re trapped in kicking them back toward the other person kicking them back toward the other person and so on. I remember telling him as he cried and whimpered and covered his head with his jacket, “I am going to keep trying to kill you until I think you’re dead”. He outweighed me by nearly 90lbs, and was about 8 years older than me. I was on the phone w/ 911 when I was beating him, telling the cops to come because I caught the burglar, so they had a tape of me telling the guy “I’m out of mace motherfucker, if you keep showing signs of life I’m going to cut your fucking stomach open!”

Originally, he was one of those “stong survive fuck the weak” kind of guys, now I think he’s a christian.

The question this makes me think of here is, “what does the objectivist, or the ubermench do when things don’t go their way, or when they are completely outdone by another?”