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Dagny

Objectivists: Made or Born?

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"The need of the many outweighs the need of the few" -- Spock

What would be the best Objectivist retort to that?

Maybe: "The rights of the individual outweigh the needs of the many."

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As I understand it, Objectivism is the most basic and fundamental philosophy necessary for survival and prosperity as a human being. As far as I know, Ayn Rand was the first one to publish its complete form. Nowadays, people can read her publications and learn about it in a matter of days; hours if they read fast enough.

This is not to say that someone cannot discover its axioms and apply them on their own because the human mind possesses volitional consciousness and Objectivism is consonant with reality. I, for one, learned many of the objective values from examples my parents set for me. Certain values involving fairness in dealings with other people just seemed natural to me. Such things as the axioms remained hidden to me for many years because I attached my parentally derived values to my parentally mandated weekly church attendance. This was a faulty connection re-enforced by other factors too (more than I am prepared to go into at this moment).

Still, by the time that I was a senior in high school, I had developed much of what I called "objectivity." So much so, in fact, that when my 12th grade English teacher singled me out and gave me a copy of The Virtue of Selfishness as a gift to read, I read a few pages and figured that all it did was state the obvious so I placed the book on a shelf and did not finish reading it until about three years later.

I finally pulled the book out and began to read it just because it was a gift and was in a pile of old unread books that my (ex)wife was about to through out. I was impressed by Ayn Rand's essays and bought and read each one of her non-fiction books and then bought and read her fiction and onward and upward gee-whizz and I am glad that I did.

Would I have developed the complete Objectivist Philosophic system on my own? No. Could someone else, isolated from any knowledge of Ayn Rand or Objectivist movements, forums, etc. develop the complete system on their own? Yes. Why? Because the philosophy of Objectivism is THE tool for dealing with and interacting with existence and, to the extent that a volitional will observes existence and calculates this conceptual framework, that being is objective.

Personally, I suggest you read the body of knowledge already published on Objectivism and interact with others who have done the same, as you are doing now. You will benefit greatly by this and will not have to re-invent the wheel all by your lonesome.

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"The needs of the many outweight the needs of the few."

What would be the best Objectivist retort to that?

Maybe: "The rights of the individual outweigh the needs of the many."

You think so but if you reach into my pocket to feed the many your *** is gonna 'need' an ambulance!

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In my own case I had a handful of strong values before I encountered Ayn Rand. I valued science, logic and thinking. I thought honesty and consistency were important. Rand's writings taught me that the implications of those values were a lot broader and better integrated than I had previously realized. Repeatedly I found myself saying "Well, I guess if I want to keep believing X then I have to accept Y as well." It snowballed from there.

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Thanks for the great replies everyone. West- completely agree with you about pride. I can remember loving the challenge of outdoing my previous achievements even as a child...just the idea of learning something new...a language or skill or whatever. What made me start this thread was not just my husband but also because I'd heard on other threads users talk about their own logical, rational friends who'd read Ayn Rand's works and had not been as enthralled as they. Like they just "didn't get it" or understood it but didn't accept it.

I have always loved biographies of great people...inventors, astronauts, founding fathers... so I suppose I was always a hero-worshipper...but beyond that I wanted to be a hero myself....still do. I want to make my own contribution to change this world. But before I read Ayn Rand...i thought of myself as a complete loner... my husband when we first met even called me a megalomaniac. But its not about being famous or anything...just doing something before i die.

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Good question and many great answers.

I've always been an atheist. What are the other philosophies that an atheist can identify with? (aside from Marxism, of course).

By the way I am also an immigrant, from China, not being brought up in the Western cultures. I am also scientifically oriented. Logic and reason are the most basic ways of thinking that I use everyday. Like citizen publius, I haven’t changed much of my own worldview after I learnt about Ayn Rand and Objectivism recently. Of course I never philosophilize my own value system and had thought that I was an orphan spiritually!

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Thanks for the great replies everyone. West- completely agree with you about pride. I can remember loving the challenge of outdoing my previous achievements even as a child...just the idea of learning something new...a language or skill or whatever. What made me start this thread was not just my husband but also because I'd heard on other threads users talk about their own logical, rational friends who'd read Ayn Rand's works and had not been as enthralled as they.  Like they just "didn't get it" or understood it but didn't accept it.

I've had the same experience as far as having friends who have read it and it just didn't click. In fact when I first read it I was raving to my brother (who has socialist tendencies) about the book he said he was going to read it. Then his politically left friends gave him the Retards' Review of the book and after that he discounted it without reading it.

It probably wouldn't have clicked with him either. I heard him once say in the middle of a diatribe about minimum wage "You either care about people or you don't!" I thought to myself "Put me down for don't." Not in a sociopath sort of way but as far as the fact that the first consideration about a system should be whether or not it works, not whether or not it addresses need. Let me stop preaching to the choir.

Hey out of curiousity, being new to this site, wherein lies the split between Objectivists and Libertarians?

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Hey out of curiousity, being new to this site, wherein lies the split between Objectivists and Libertarians?

I would do a search of this site for "Libertarian" since I understand this is a common topic and has been dealt with a lot.

However, the summary version of the Objectivist stance (that of Leonard Peikoff and colleagues, including the Ayn Rand Institute) is that Libertarianism is a political party that lacks the proper philosophical and moral foundations to properly promote and defend individual freedom. There are certainly people sympathetic to Objectivism within the Libertarian party, but there are also many who are not, including anarchists, and Objectivists don't want to support a party containing so many individuals holding philosophical viewpoints antithetical to theirs. They believe this is both impractial and immoral. But, as you'll find from the posts, there are differences of opinion on this topic, even among users of this site. Basically, I think you will find that those who believe that objectively correct ideas are also morally right ideas, tend not to support Libertarianism.

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I would do a search of this site for "Libertarian" since I understand this is a common topic and has been dealt with a lot.

However, the summary version of the Objectivist stance (that of Leonard Peikoff and colleagues, including the Ayn Rand Institute) is that Libertarianism is a political party that lacks the proper philosophical and moral foundations to properly promote and defend individual freedom. There are certainly people sympathetic to Objectivism within the Libertarian party, but there are also many who are not, including anarchists, and Objectivists don't want to support a party containing so many individuals holding philosophical viewpoints antithetical to theirs. They believe this is both impractial and immoral. But, as you'll find from the posts, there are differences of opinion on this topic, even among users of this site. Basically, I think you will find that those who believe that objectively correct ideas are also morally right ideas, tend not to support Libertarianism.

Thank you! I'm finding that my ignorance is more extensive than I once thought. I must do some more reading.

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