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Objectivism Online Forum
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    Objectivism Is The Everyman's Philosophy

    In the universe, what you see is what you get,

    figuring it out for yourself is the way to happiness,

    and each person's independence is respected by all

  • Rand's Philosophy in Her Own Words

    • "Metaphysics: Objective Reality"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed/Wishing won’t make it so." "The universe exists independent of consciousness"
    • "Epistemology: Reason" "You can’t eat your cake and have it, too." "Thinking is man’s only basic virtue"
    • "Ethics: Self-interest" "Man is an end in himself." "Man must act for his own rational self-interest" "The purpose of morality is to teach you[...] to enjoy yourself and live"
    • "Politics: Capitalism" "Give me liberty or give me death." "If life on earth is [a man's] purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being"
  • Objectivism Online Chat

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    Azrael Rand
    By Azrael Rand,
    Hi, Originally posted this article on my minds page earlier today: https://www.minds.com/AzraelRand If you're interested, I also have a rebuttal to Stefan Molyneux's UPB: https://www.minds.com/AzraelRand/blog/an-objective-critique-of-stefan-molyneux-s-universally-prefe-891837573402587136

    Concept formation and neuroscience.

    Satsanga
    By Satsanga,
    Hi guys! I hope you are doing well. I think Mrs. Rand's account of concept formation is fascinating and intelligent, however I see no proof for it in the field of neuroscience. I see no proof that concepts are formed in the brain at all, much less in the way that she describes. Am I missing some data? I understand that all concepts are supposed to have a perceptual base in reality according to Mrs. Rand, but I see no perceptual base for Mrs. Rand's account of concept formation. 

    The family cannot survive without duty.

    Jason Hunter
    By Jason Hunter,
    Hi this is my first post. I've recently read Atlas Shrugged, Why Businessmen need philosophy and The Virtue of Selfishness. I've also read many parts of the lexicon and scanned forums etc. If my understanding of Objectivism is wrong please correct me. I'd like to hear responses to this issue. I am seriously struggling to get past some fundamental problems.  Salon released an article a few years ago claiming Objectivism is anti-family and the Atlas Society released an article in response which I found to be rather weak. (https://atlassociety.org/commentary/commentary-blog/5440-objectivism-is-not-anti-family). I've struggled to find many articles dealing with this issue and Rand herself didn't have a whole lot to say other than criticising duty to family members. My argument is as follows: Objectivism is fundamentally anti-family because it rejects the very essence of the family; duty/obligation. By relegating the family to the same plane as any other relationship among individuals (based on the trader principle), the family is effectively eradicated. Once the children reach adulthood, there is no distinction between family and a group of friends. As is often the case with friendship groups, they disperse over time as its members respond to changing conditions in their own lives. As their interests change, friends often lose the values they once held in common and naturally seek different avenues, forming new bonds and new friendship groups.  Without the traditional special status of family members (whereby blood means automatic obligation), the family is just as vulnerable to this turbulence among friendship groups. Or at the very least, significantly more vulnerable than it currently is. If one were to practice Objectivism, he must measure his relationships to family members in the same way he would with any other individual; purely by the values being traded.  But this conception of the family flies in the face of the actual family as it exists in reality. In the Atlas response, the writer admits that the "family is a vital institution" and is a "natural part of our propogation as a species" but this natural part also includes the sense of obligation to our family members whether it can be rationally justified or not.  The writer also deceives the ignorant reader by claiming that the Objectivist stance is merely a rejection of obligation toward extremes, like an "abusive parent". He asks the reader; "is it disdainful to say that this [the family] doesn't imply a blanket, open-ended, out-of-context obligation?". Such intellectual cowardice on display here. The Objectivist stance is not merely a rejection of blanket obligation. It is a rejection of any obligation whatsoever. The writer does not address this most important point. Most conservatives also reject blanket obligation. The limit of that toleration toward negative family members varies among individuals and cannot be defined. (talking about toleration, where is the comment section on that article?) The crux of the issue is that in typical situations where one would usually cut ties with a friend, one would make an extra effort to stay connected purely because that person is a family member. That extra push is crucial to the survival of the family and by extension the species.  When considering the Objectivist conception of the family in practice, one struggles to imagine a lasting society. Families would have little reason to stay together. The greatest unifying force is and has always been duty. Moreover, the incentive to have children in the first place would also be greatly diminished by eradicating the duty to pass on the genes or carry on the family name. It is telling that Rand spent little time addressing the family and in her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, the main characters don't have children. Even Rand herself abstained from having children.  Is it not obvious to Objectivists that human beings have and always will place greater irrational obligation on their most inner circle starting with the family, extending out to the community and the nation state? And that this process of human relationships is deeply interwoven in the process of survival of our species which has evolved over millions of years? i'll leave you with a quote from Adam Smith; "We do not love our country merely as part of the great society of mankind - we love it for its own sake. That wisdom which contrived the system of human affections, as well as that of every other part of nature, seems to have judged that the interest of the great society of mankind would be best promoted by directing the principal attention of each individual to that particular portion of it which is most within the sphere of both his abilities and understanding." (The Theory of Modern Sentiments, p.375).  I am strongly attracted to the Objectivist concept of indivdual rights and I wish I could subscribe to the philosophy in full (no half measures) but the somewhat sobering arguments of conservatism are a real barrier. 

    Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer, by Michael White

    dream_weaver
    By dream_weaver,
    Having read this recently, when Bill Harris asked this question, "But Newton also believed in alchemy, so what's that called?" reminded me of how this biography could address something here, that has also been touch on in the referenced thread.   More on this later.

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