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Rand Quote: It's not me who will die, it's the world that will

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I'm not really sure where this post belongs, so if its in the incorrect spot please move it. But anyways, in the Phil Donahue interview with Ayn Rand (its on youtube if you want to look it up), Ayn Rand says that, and I'm paraphrasing here, one her favorite quotes is "I never die, only the world does". She's talking about the death of her husband at the time, and her eventual death. Isn't this quote religious in nature? For instance, doesn't it insist that there's an "afterlife" for the soul?

Thanks for any input.

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But anyways, in the Phil Donahue interview with Ayn Rand (its on youtube if you want to look it up), Ayn Rand says that, and I'm paraphrasing here, one her favorite quotes is "I never die, only the world does". She's talking about the death of her husband at the time, and her eventual death. Isn't this quote religious in nature? For instance, doesn't it insist that there's an "afterlife" for the soul?

No. Rand's point is that the self, the 'I', stops existing at death. We never actually experience death, because death is the end of all experience. And because of that, one can equally validly look at death as the end of the world -- the end as far as the self is concerned. Rand's view here is essentially the same as the ancient philosopher Epicurus, who famously stated his view as "Where death is not, I am; where death is, I am not."

In 1974, interviewer James Day asked Rand "How do you, as an Objectivist, feel about death?" Rand's reply was "It doesn't concern me in the least, because I won't be here to know it. The worst thing about death, and what I regard as the most horrible human tragedy, is to lose someone you love. That is terribly hard. But your own death? If you're finished, you're finished. My purpose is not to worry about death but to live life now, here on earth."

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Thanks for the reply, but if the "I" stops existing at death, than why does the quote say, "I never die". It seems that the "I" lives on.

My internet connection is too poor to watch videos online so I can't watch to find the exact quote.

Since you said you only paraphrased the quote a rational interpretation is not possible.

Ms.Rand was very precise in her thoughts and words so anything but the exact quote is useless.

Could you please provide the quote?

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I'm not really sure where this post belongs, so if its in the incorrect spot please move it. But anyways, in the Phil Donahue interview with Ayn Rand (its on youtube if you want to look it up), Ayn Rand says that, and I'm paraphrasing here, one her favorite quotes is "I never die, only the world does". She's talking about the death of her husband at the time, and her eventual death. Isn't this quote religious in nature? For instance, doesn't it insist that there's an "afterlife" for the soul?

Thanks for any input.

You might find Dr. Peikoff's response to the following question, in his podcast, Episode 53 (06:54), helpful:

"'Ayn Rand once said that her view on death was something she had heard from a poet whose name she could not remmeber.' (The poet, by the way, is Badger Clark, and the poem was called "The Westener.") 'And the line she quoted was, "The world will end the day I die." I never understood it. Could you explain?'"

Unofficial Index to Dr. Peikoff's Podcasts

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Yeah its the same interview were she said "God bless you." I understood that, and why she likes it, but I can't understand the I never die, only the world does quote. I'll check out Peikoff's podcost, maybe that'll help.

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*** Mod's note: Merged with a similar thread. sn ***

I can't find the exact quote but something very siminal to this is attributed to Ayn Rand. She said it during a television interview which can be seen on YouTube. I'm sure some of you are familiar with it. Doesn't this statement contradict the primacy of existence? She's basically saying that the world is in her mind and that, when her mind goes out of existence, so does the world. Is this a contradiction, or do I misunderstand her intention?

Edited by softwareNerd
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You misunderstand her intention. She meant that then you die, you stop to care about the world. Everything stops mattering to you and you lose your value system.

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I believe the statement was meant to be poetic, not philosophical.

Also, didn't she mention in that interview that it wasn't her phrase, but rather a quote from some unnamed Greek philosopher?

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There was a thread discussing this literally a day or two ago, in this very sub-forum. I suggest reading it. I believe the topic title was "Question about an Ayn Rand quote" or something along those lines.

The ancient philosopher whose view Rand was referring to was Epicurus, BTW.

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Strange that this question was asked by two different people only a day apart from each other. Is this quote being written or spoken about somewhere?

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Yeah its the same interview were she said "God bless you." I understood that, and why she likes it, but I can't understand the I never die, only the world does quote. I'll check out Peikoff's podcost, maybe that'll help.

Well, you said it yourself, you're paraphrasing. She didn't say "I'll never die.", she just said what khaight's quote says, in answer to the question "Are you afraid of dying?". At least it's how I remember it. ( the way I remember it, she said "my world will end", not "the") I remember she even mentioned that she is just repeating an ancient philosopher's words.

I don't know which interview it was (I think it may have been on Mike Wallace, not the Donahue ones), I think I'll watch it and give you the exact quote tomorrow.

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Strange that this question was asked by two different people only a day apart from each other. Is this quote being written or spoken about somewhere?

I think its just coincidence. A really really strange one haha.

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I think its just coincidence. A really really strange one haha.

A determinist would probably suspect the "coincidence" to be Mr. Death's desperate attempt to manipulate more and more people into discussing the quote to death! :lol:

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That quote means: death is not a concern.

1. I will not die --> ( this won't happen first) -->

2. The world will end (what I am a part of will)

At first glance it implies that the I 'carries' on, but no, as it cannot exist apart from existence (what I am a part of) which has ended B)

Aren't I clever..... :lol:

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She meant that as far as she's concerned (and don't overlook that critical part of it), existence will cease to be at the point of death. As far as she's concerned, the world ends. It does not in any imply the existence of a spirit. There's no way to "look" at the world from "death" and miss it, even if you rightfully want to avoid death when you're alive. It's gone.

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If anything, it implies that there is no spirit, not that there is one (L-C, your statement was true but wasn't strong enough). A spirit could conceivably sit back and watch the world continue to exist in the absence of the body.

Any person making such a statement expects to utterly cease to exist on dying.

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The most basic axioms of metaphysics are: Existence, identity, consciousness. Something exists, of which I am aware.

If you aren't aware anymore, than you can't perceive existence. From your perspective, the world does simply end.

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Just to clarify, The Westerner finishes with "And the world began when I was born

And the world is mine to win.", which conversely could mean that the world finishes when he dies, but:

I remember this quote "I will not die, it is the world that will end" from my uncle, who couldn't remember either where he had picked it up, but certainly not Ayn Rand, and most definitely likely not by Clark.

I've researched it a bit, fruitlessly, so I'd love to revive the discussion as to where this magnificent quote comes from.

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I need to find this interview again.  We had been watching numerous ones and I thought it had occurred in one with Mike Wallace, but it must have been Donahue.  I thought I heard her say, "My body dies, I do not die."  I was so surprised because I had heard she was an atheist.  That is not true to what they believe.  I was seeped in Christianity for 40 years, and it took quite a bit of studying before I came out of it.  I still believe in God, just not manmade dogma.  To me, we all create and it starts in our mind.  You do not have to be what one normally considers an artist, everything we do is with creative thoughts.  So, how does one who "creates" NOT believe in a Creator?  It seems like an oxymoron to me.  No one has all the answers.  Science has NOT discovered everything yet, and have had to retract some of their statements.  There is too much unknown.  The best way is to say "perhaps" to one another and let each take their own path so long as it does not bring harm to another.  Interesting how "Ayn" is from the Hebrew Alef Bet.

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1 hour ago, LydiaMay said:

 I thought I heard her say, "My body dies, I do not die."

I guess there could be a few reasons you mis-heard her, but the paraphrase in the OP is more accurate.

I don't remember the original having any mention of body.

At any rate, Rand's formulation is somewhat poetic rather than concretely accurate. 
 

As for the rest of your post: God is dogma. Indeed God might be the stereotype of man-made dogma, since it is about pure  belief with no evidence.

Think about what you're saying "Science has not discovered everything". In other words, science has discovered tons of things, but not yet everything. So, what is your answer? You diss it as dogma and decide that some arbitrary belief that has zero evidence is better! It ain't logic... just pure belief.

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Think (remember thoughts ARE creative) about what you are saying.  You diss something you are unable to understand.  I view it as common sense.  Your idea of logic is NOT logical to me.  The human body and how it works is proof, to me, of an intelligent designer.  Many scientists agree, especially with all the new information they are learning.  My husband is very scientific and he believes in God, but we still believe somewhat different spiritually.  Much of life is a mystery and someone like you who is so black and white is not capable of breaking through your barriers, so you become arrogant in your stance. It would serve you well to learn to say, "perhaps."  Maybe someday you will have a breakthrough if you learn to not be so rigid.  I am a big Ayn Rand fan, but she did have some contradictive thoughts.  I do have to find the clip where she talked about "she" did not die but her body does.  I think it was with Mike Wallace.  If you have any desire to learn the stance of scientists that DO accept a Higher Power, there are plenty of videos where they express their views and why they believe.

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