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"
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(this is in reply to http://bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=15206) Greetings, Far be it from me to attack an argument for a war with Iraq, but your piece did not use the terms "theory," “evidence," and most importantly, "belief" properly. The proper approach to determining facts, whether it is the theory of evolution or Saddam's possession of WMD’s is to apply the scientific process in order to reach conclusions -- not relying on "faith" or "refusing to believe" something. In general, the proper method of reaching conclusions is by induction -- making observations about a large number of instances (concrete examples) and then forming a hypothesis (abstract idea) based on those observations. Based on the hypothesis, we make predictions about what the concretes should be, and once again apply that hypothesis to numerous concretes. If the predictions hold, one formulates a theory, if not, one tries another hypothesis. Given enough correct hypotheses, one forms a scientific model, and if the model is supported by a significant body of evidence, one forms a scientific theory. Why do I bring this up? Well, the fact is that the great majority of people do not understand how this process works, and do not apply it to the various junk-science out there today. Take the common phrase regarding evolution: "it's only a theory." Well, so are the facts that the earth is round, revolves around the sun, and that volcanoes are not caused by angry gods. Like all knowledge, these facts are conclusions reached by forming conclusions (theories) based on observations. The distinction between facts and theories is important to recognize. As Stephen J. Gould explains: "facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don't go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them." This fact has important implications for some of the "pseudo-sciences" out there, like creationism and environmentalism. The difference between these pseudo-scientists and real scientists is that they pervert the scientific method by rejecting the need for evidence. No argument will sway their position because their beliefs rest on faith, not evidence. For creationists, the Bible is the absolute authority, and all scientific evidence to contrary is rejected or ignored. For environmentalists, their interpretation of what is bad for man (technology) is an absolute -- ignoring that it is in fact often the lack thereof that causes more suffering. Because no amount of evidence will convince someone who holds his beliefs on faith, we can reject their claims as soundly (and on the same basis) as the flat-earthers. Please consider this next time you say “It’s only a theory!” Sincerely, --David Veksler
Hey, My name is Jennifer Bidmead and I saw this site discussed on the OCN posts. Not a big talker, but I'm interested in what will come of this site; it's an awesome idea. I'm preparing for graduation from college this semester, I'm so glad! My major is Graphic Design, I work in both print and web... so if anything related to graphics or layout is needed for this site, maybe I can at least offer suggestions. That said, I am an Objectivist, I've been for about 2 years (virtually just after I finished reading Atlas Shrugged for school). My interests/pasttimes are: art/design, cooking, guitar, reading, X-Files, virtually any show on Food Network, and my boyfriend.
Hi all, my name is Joe. I am 19 years old and a senior in high school. I was raised in a politically conservative Christian household. At the age of 11 I started having issues with my sexuality i.e. Am I gay, straight or bisexual? In my quest to answer this I focused on my religious teachings and conservative polemics. At first I became obsessed with being right since my rightness or wrongness would dictate the course of my actions in regards to my sexaulity (for a teenage male thats a big deal okay...lol). But quickly my obsession of rightness transformed itself into a substitute form of self-esteem. I achieved my self-worth through the moral superiourity of my positions. My religious up bringing inculcated three key ethics in me: agape love, moral superiourity of mercy over justice, and the moral absolute of God. Agape love in this context means self-less love. The highest moral ideal in my faith was the crucifixion of Christ. In other words a completely innocent man was murdered for the sake of the evil according to the standard of justice God upheld. This inverted form of "morality" sets up the murderer and Mother Teresa as morally equivalent and brings Teresa down to the level of the murder through unearned guilt. And last but not least is the moral absolute of God. I was convinced that without God there could be no objective morals that to reject God is to reject the Good in this world. Meanwhile, my quest for sexual indentity acted as a catalyst to break my faith. I eventually reached a point about a year ago that left me in limbo. I had completely rejected God (I thought I was going to Hell). Then I came across Atlas Shrugged and well here I am.
The Aggie Objectivist club organized a debate on Iraq last week, and the news story on the front page of the school paper the next day was somewhat interesting: