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If God Doesn't Exist, Then Why So Much Reverence for "Objective Reality"? [Atlas Spoilers]

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Something like immortality is possible when there is some evidence for its existence, and nothing that contradicts it.  Life arising from a lifeless state is not immortality, and death poses the contradiction.  Which leaves us with a life that may arise and not die, provided you allow that immortals are born and can avoid death.

The science of prolonging life is far away from maintaining it indefinitely, but we may hope that threshold is achievable some day.  Until there is some evidence of it, it remains impossible, or at least unlikely.

Would you care to share your logical conclusion?

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On 9/20/2016 at 7:47 AM, StrictlyLogical said:

The definition of "revere" is:


verb (used with object), revered, revering.

1. to regard with respect tinged with awe; venerate:
The child revered her mother.
When men are confronted with the grand canyon, landing on the moon, or when the first men see up close the crab nebula with its pulsar nested at its core, I think a sense of reverence according to the definition (respect with awe) is entirely valid.  The definition need not have any invalid dimension of the supernatural or subservience ... that aspect originates from those who admonish us to revere only God and Heaven.


On 9/20/2016 at 11:21 AM, Repairman said:

The emotion need not be worship.


From the intro to The Fountainhead:



Religion's monopoly in the field of ethics has made it extremely difficult to communicate the emotional meaning and connotations of a rational view of life. Just as religion has preempted the field of ethics, turning morality against man, so it has usurped the highest moral concepts of our language, placing them outside this earth and beyond man's reach. "Exaltation" is usually taken to mean an emotional state evoked by contemplating the supernatural. "Worship" means the emotional experience of loyalty and dedication to something higher than man. "Reverence" means the emotion of a sacred respect, to be experienced on one's knees. "Sacred" means superior to and not-to-be-touched-by any concerns of man or of this earth. Etc.

But such concepts do name actual emotions, even though no supernatural dimension exists; and these emotions are experienced as uplifting or ennobling, without the self-abasement required by religious definitions. What, then, is their source or referent in reality? It is the entire emotional realm of man's dedication to a moral ideal. Yet apart from the man-degrading aspects introduced by religion, that emotional realm is left unidentified, without concepts, words or recognition.

It is this highest level of man's emotions that has to be redeemed from the murk of mysticism and redirected at its proper object: man.


I think the emotion of worship *is* necessary, at least in general, it is the highest level of man's emotions that we are talking about here, and to sacrifice those would be suicidal. Ayn Rand does specifically talk about this emotion referring to man himself, however, but not to reality as such. I believe I've heard the same sentiment from her as Repairman has expressed, that reality is simply neutral, and not an object of reverence, though I can't place where I've read it.

Rand also expressed reverential feelings about the world in some places, too:


When she came home, when she lay in bed, naked because her body had become an unfamiliar possession, too precious for the touch of a nightgown, because it gave her pleasure to feel naked and to feel as if the white sheets of her bed were touched by Francisco's body--when she thought that she would not sleep, because she did not want to rest and lose the most wonderful exhaustion she had ever known--her last thought was of the times when she had wanted to express, but found no way to do it, an instant's knowledge of a feeling greater than happiness, the feeling of one's blessing upon the whole of the earth, the feeling of being in love with the fact that one exists and in this kind of world; she thought that the act she had learned was the way one expressed it. If this was a thought of the gravest importance, she did not know it; nothing could be grave in a universe from which the concept of pain had been wiped out; she was not there to weigh her conclusion; she was asleep, a faint smile on her face, in a silent, luminous room filled with the light of morning.



"Some of you will never know who is John Galt. But those of you who have known a single moment of love for existence and of pride in being its worthy lover, a moment of looking at this earth and letting your glance be its sanction, have known the state of being a man, and I --I am only the man who knew that that state is not to be betrayed. I am the man who knew what made it possible and who chose consistently to practice and to be what you had practiced and been in that one moment.


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FYI I'm not Asian nor are my parents. Asian tiger parents are reacting to what is, for better or worse, a hypercompetitive environment. They're doing what they think is going to prepare their kids to succeed in that environment. How is that different from Objectivism?

What do you think Objectivism is teaching you to do that's the same?  I don't understand.  One respondent in this thread already told you that he limits himself to 30 hours of work a week on principle and no one I know who follows Objectivist principles generally is experiencing the kind of problems you claim below.  

They did what my parents did, and now I'm a broken man with chronic health problems at a considerably young age, and I'm not even close to being the only one. So what do I do now according to Objectivism? Just go kill myself so I'm not a "burden on others"?

You can start by not asking us if you should kill yourself because that is absurd.  Did you honestly think someone here thought you should??  And if so, why??  Because you are a burden to us?  Do you think we are experiencing your burdens now?  We don't even know you.

On others who forced their burdens onto me during my earlier years, turning me into what I am today?

 By all means, go to your parents and protest what they did to you if you want (not that this will necessarily help you).  Ask them to compensate you for your losses and see what happens.  Get a lawyer and sue them.  I don't care.  Just don't blame us for your issues.   

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19 minutes ago, Craig24 said:

You can start by not asking us if you should kill yourself because that is absurd.  Did you honestly think someone here thought you should??  And if so, why?? 

Because Objectivism, in no uncertain terms, divides people into "producers" and "parasites", that's why. And it implies that the solution to human problems is the "removal", in one way or another, of the parasites from the producers (Galt's Gulch). As it implies that the "parasites" cannot survive without the "producers", it implies that the former will die, and that this will lead to a new golden age of human progress. This is without considering that many of the "producers" are where they are today because somebody carried their burden earlier on in their life. Somebody who may be a "parasite" today (according to Objectivism) because they can't work anymore because their health is now shit.

Edited by Dustin86

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^^^ Just for anybody reading this, he (Craig) was responding to something that I had posted and then realized "shit, shouldn't have posted that" and then deleted it, not because it's not true, but because I realized I didn't want to fan the flames any more than they have been already. But somehow he got ahold of what I'd wrote before it got deleted and quoted it and responded to it, and then I did feel like I needed to respond to his question.

Anyway, it's very clear that things need to cool off once again, so I'll be leaving the forum for a while once again.

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11 hours ago, Dustin86 said:

Because Objectivism, in no uncertain terms, divides people into "producers" and "parasites", that's why. And it implies that the solution to human problems is the "removal", in one way or another, of the parasites from the producers (Galt's Gulch).

Removal? Not really, it was more that in the Gulch, the people there weren't really trying to make a big deal, and didn't really think some people were great to be around - the parasites. It isn't to say we all must be Google founders or a CEO makes you a producer and anyone less than that is a parasite. A producer is someone who puts effort towards being their best, and pursuing or creating value. If you can't work per se, that's not necessarily going to mean you're a parasite. Maybe you write stories, maybe your ideas help to do something important to you. There are so many ways to be a producer, even for those with disabilities that rely on others to get through the day. Producers can't flourish without other producers, even if those producers aren't doing a full time job or are artists that don't make a lot of money. A producer shows the virtue of productivity (or industriousness is very similar).

Parasites are those who make -no- effort at all, don't think for themselves, or rely on others while offering no value of any kind. Values might be more oriented to a social sort of trade, so a parasite may be someone like an emotionally abusive person in a relationship who still expects a good relationship.

By the way, Craig's post looks fine, it might be the online nature of all this that makes it seem a bit irritated. It's a straightforward post that's asking you to question yourself at least. I don't think anyone here would support the idea that disability makes you a parasite, or that being a workaholic makes you more of a producer.

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On 9/14/2016 at 4:07 PM, Dustin86 said:

"If God Doesn't Exist, Then "Objective Reality" Is Really Nothing More Than a Cosmic Fart, So Why Do Objectivists Have Such Deep Reverence for It?"


1: "Objective reality" is not a cosmic fart; it just is.

So, in one sense, you may be onto something. There's really no intrinsic reason to love or hate reality, itself; it's not inherently good, bad or even indifferent - it just is.


2: This "cosmic fart" notion doesn't follow from the existence or nonexistence of any particular entity - any thing that is real, is part of reality (which precludes it from somehow being the "cause" of reality).

If God was real then his very existence would require some sort of prior "reality" - which would presumably be a "cosmic fart" (or else an infinite regress of creators).


3: One should be reverent towards reality - not for reality's sake, but for one's own.

In order to live, you have to act. In order for your actions to succeed, you have to know what you're trying to accomplish and how to do it. In order to know that, you have to think - about reality!

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On 9/16/2016 at 2:28 AM, Dustin86 said:

I was told that I would fail in life and that I would "end up living on the street" if I didn't do it. I became a broken man with major health problems at the "ripe old age" of 28 in no small part because I slaved away my younger years trying to avoid Objectivist "hellfire". I feel like the biggest sucker in the world. I wish I could have just shut my eyes and lived in "fantasy elf fairy world" all those years instead.


"Living on the streets" is not the Objectivist analogue of hellfire. If anything, it'd be failing to truly live at all. That scene in the Fountainhead, when Keating tries to rekindle his love of painting and discovers that it's too late - that's the closest thing to an Objectivist damnation.

I'm sorry if you feel (like Keating) that your life is over, but -dude- you're 28 years old. I don't know what kind of health problems you have but I seriously doubt you're actually as "broken" as you believe yourself to be. Considering everything else contained and implied by the statement "it's too late", I'd never pronounce it on myself and I wish you wouldn't, either.

Regardless, though, it's not part of Objectivism.


On 9/21/2016 at 6:38 PM, Devil's Advocate said:

That man can cheat death?  Perhaps, but we probably won't live to see it.

Speak for yourself, brother!

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold

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23 minutes ago, epistemologue said:

I was referring back to Dustin's post earlier in this thread. I started a separate thread on this issue:


Dustin isn't an Objectivist. Whatever his issues, there's no connection with Objectivism.

So, I ask again: what do you think is an "epidemic" among Objectivists?

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