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epistemologue

Psychological issues common in Objectivists

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I am reminded of a general division observable in many populations and I suppose such a division exists in the population of people who think of themselves as Objectivisists.  Although there is a spectrum, I tend to find people are either oriented toward thinking or away from thinking.  Thinkers are generally independent and not blind followers or superficial whereas non thinkers tend to rely on the thinking of others.  We can give them credit for following what they recognize as correct or good but until they think for themselves they can't really be considered Objectivists.  

I think this sort of thing happens in every population or demographic and thus a subset of nonthinkers is not peculiar to Objectivism.  That said, the particular mix you get when you have a superficial, follower, nonthinker, identify himself with Objectivism is certainly very unique and often irksome.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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I am reminded of a guy I knew in school, who had attended NBI in New York. He coined the phrase "post-nasal drip syndrome" in describing the air of tragic, nose-in-the-air hauteur cultivated by young women who identified with Dominique Francon.

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@epistemologue: Great post, 

Of course there is a sense where the following is true, and yet the only point and purpose of virtue is to achieve certain outcomes. So, I think this needs a reformulation that does not say "completely" separate. There's a separation, but also a tight relationship. 

10 hours ago, epistemologue said:

... ...

Virtue needs to be completely separate from outcome.

... ...

You're also right that it's important to set the right goals. This is something humans have struggled with: you see it in the quarrel between the Epicureans and the Stoics. Should you set goals that are lofty, where you have to struggle to reach them, or should to take life easy setting easy goals that let you coast through life? And, what when you fail at some lofty goal? How do you keep perspective that you made the right choice compared to the guy who is coasting? Particularly, what if such failures are routine: does that mean that you should keep aiming just as high and keep failing, or does it mean you need to aim for more realistic goals?

Original Buddhism also struggles with this and concludes -- correctly -- that the source of sadness in life is that we value things, but then lose them or do not get them. So, their original solution is: value less. A counter-argument is that happiness is the other side of sadness. The reason we are happy is that we value things and then gain them. So, cutting off values may reduce sadness, but it also reduces happiness. The link between outcome and happiness is not to be sneered at.

It is true that people can be fundamentally happy and yet go through bad patches. However, feelings of depression come from thinking your life is one huge bad patch. And, a further issue is that some people will deflect the source away from themselves and their own choices, and blame the world. e.g.  "... because of all those other people out there, my life is going to be one big bad patch".

It's not an easy balance: between ambition and acceptance.

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