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Sonic & Knuckles

Greetings from Rust Belt Hell, USA

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Hello, my handle name on here is Sonic & Knuckles from the old video games. I am 26-years-old and new to Objectivist philosophy, even though I heard about Ayn Rand, her philosophy and her book titles in name before. I think I'll end up digging deeper into it from being on here and wanting to read some of her actual literature. Because of the title of my thread, I grown up in the old American Rust Belt (around Lake Erie in the Northeastern states), and never lived or visited much outside that small region. And I happen to feel frustrated by it's economic and population decline.

I literally said before that I was born too late, but I realize that's kind of bad sometimes. I just hope this is the right forum where I interact with people my age today that agree and understand at least half of my life and stories. I'm also going to "return-welcome" everyone else.

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Hi S&K, welcome to the forum (Sega characters were still popular when you were a kid?? The Dreamcast died when you were 8!). I read Atlas Shrugged first, before The Fountainhead or any of Rand’s nonfiction books, and it’s still my favorite. What have you read of Rand’s?

I’m from Canton, which has also seen decline, but probably not as dramatically as Cleveland. Now I’m in Columbus, which seems to be the most economically strong city in this state at the moment, with Cincinnati in second by the looks of it. To keep that Ohio flavor in a city on an upswing, move down here. :)

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I'm from Erie, Pennsylvania which incidentally happens to be surrounded by Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo. It's the 4th largest city in the state. I really do wish that I can see it grow more again in my lifetime, but I don't really see it likely to happen. I'm probably one of the relative few Erie-ites on the internet these days.

I haven't read anything of Rand's yet, but I am interested in reading them and getting more depth into the Objectivist mind.

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Sonic & Knuckles,

I am an old guy who was born too late to appreciate video games. No regrets about that. To the point, I have spent my life in the Rust Belt Zone between Chicago and Milwaukee. I've been watching this thing happen for decades. I've survived many plant-shutdowns. I've visited other towns in the region. The manufacturing industry of yesterday is not coming back, but manufacturing is very likely to make a comeback with the industry of the future, i.e. robotics, biomedical/pharmaceutical, and digital industries. As you explore more of the works of Ayn Rand, you may consider looking into the economic theories supporting free markets. You can find many Youtube videos featuring Milton Friedman, if you don't find the time to read. Don't be frustrated with our current state. Reading Ayn Rand is an excellent decision. Welcome to the forum, and best of luck.

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What got me interested was that the political/social tendencies I grew up to embrace, I found out, were largely reflected in this person named Ayn Rand and this strange thing she wrote about called Objectivism. I heard Ayn Rand and Objectivism only by name before, and some time recently, decided to dig into more insight on what proper Objectivist philosophy is supposed to be.

Other opinions of mine: I am actually theist, but non-religious and probably would also fit into the "mad at God" kind of belief. I am mainly pro-free market capitalism, but I can still feel pretty cynical about excess consumerism and how it affects our bodies, minds, and social environment.

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1 hour ago, Sonic & Knuckles said:

...I am actually theist, but non-religious and probably would also fit into the "mad at God" kind of belief.

Do you mean you believe in the existence of God, but not necessarily the Christian etc. description of such a God? Not sure what you mean by "mad at God".

1 hour ago, Sonic & Knuckles said:

... I can still feel pretty cynical about excess consumerism and how it affects our bodies, minds, and social environment.

Yes, there's no contradiction there. The essence of Capitalism is the high degree freedom to do things you want (aka, "pursue your happiness"). Stuff can help make one's life comfortable, but stuff is a means to an end; and stuff won't buy one happiness -- not in your typical case of middle-class (or above) living. 

Edited by softwareNerd

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19 minutes ago, softwareNerd said:

Do you mean you believe in the existence of God, but not necessarily the Christian etc. description of such a God? Not sure what you mean by "mad at God".

I was raised to believe in the Christian concept of God, but eventually found that I walked away because of my own personal issues and being mad at the current scenario the whole world society is in. I just don't want to reconcile why a God is so jealous of humans and how we need to trust in him, etc. I just couldn't talk to him the way I once did. I never objectively believed the god didn't exist, that is a different question.

18 minutes ago, softwareNerd said:

Yes, there's no contradiction there. The essence of Capitalism is the high degree freedom to do things you want (aka, "pursue your happiness"). Stuff can help make one's life comfortable, but stuff is a means to an end; and stuff won't buy one happiness -- not in your typical case of middle-class (or above) living. 

I don't really think it is a contradiction, but I always had more of a knee-jerk response to err on the side of allowing people to be "free to choose to stuff themselves with McDonalds" or any other "bad" vice for some reason. Isn't this supposed to be a contradiction?

Edited by Sonic & Knuckles

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6 hours ago, Sonic & Knuckles said:

I don't really think it is a contradiction, but I always had more of a knee-jerk response to err on the side of allowing people to be "free to choose to stuff themselves with McDonalds" or any other "bad" vice for some reason. Isn't this supposed to be a contradiction?

You're free to choose "junk food," or something more nutritious. I can't see what the contradiction is there. Now, if it's a matter of allowing people to eat nothing but food that meets with your approval, you are lording over the choices of others. Such authority over others interferes with their happiness, and by Objectivist ethics, it's wrong. If a man chooses to harm himself, that's his own affair.

6 hours ago, Sonic & Knuckles said:

I was raised to believe in the Christian concept of God, but eventually found that I walked away because of my own personal issues and being mad at the current scenario the whole world society is in. I just don't want to reconcile why a God is so jealous of humans and how we need to trust in him, etc. I just couldn't talk to him the way I once did. I never objectively believed the god didn't exist, that is a different question.

From what I see here, you're merely acknowledging reality, the fact that problems have plagued the human race since time in memorial. Indeed, the world is a mess. And no God or super-conscious force is going to correct the problems people have made for themselves. They will not cure their diseases by petitioning any God or government. People, societies, I might even suggest, democracies, are the only ones who can turn their world for the better. It begins with the individual. The individual is the ultimate minority, and when the individual's rights are jeopardized by the "greater good," that is the point at which the minority must take a stand for his rights. As for the agnostic/atheist/kinda-believe-sort-of thing, you will have to come to your own understanding of existence. I've found that it makes the whole messy world more easy to understand as an unapologetic atheist.

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11 hours ago, Sonic & Knuckles said:

I was raised to believe in the Christian concept of God, but eventually found that I walked away because of my own personal issues and being mad at the current scenario the whole world society is in. I just don't want to reconcile why a God is so jealous of humans and how we need to trust in him, etc. I just couldn't talk to him the way I once did. I never objectively believed the god didn't exist, that is a different question.

I was also raised as a Christian (Baptist). As a small child, I believed everything the religion told me (some of which still infects my subconscious/personality). As a teen, religion became less of a life focus, and post-teen it took one major contradiction to push me down the hill of non-belief - the Christian view on homosexuality (which has probably morphed into something different since then). A college course on the history of religions and reading Rand's books sealed the deal, and religion has made less and less sense to me ever since. As Repairman said, an atheistic understanding of the universe allows a person to throw out a lot of confusing contradictions which need reconciling.

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Hi Sonic & Knuckles, welcome to the forum.  

 

On 4/1/2018 at 8:26 PM, Sonic & Knuckles said:

err on the side of allowing people to be "free to choose to stuff themselves with McDonalds" or any other "bad" vice for some reason. Isn't this supposed to be a contradiction?

I don't believe "They can do it, but I wouldn't." is a contradiction.  It allows freedom to both parties.  Gives them room to learn for themselves.  If you legally restrict vices it only insights people to produce an underground rebellion, which feeds into an illusion of being smarter than the controllers they resent.  I think it is more effective to appeal to a person's intelligence than it is to try to wrestle with their evasions, and lack of the context of their entire lives.  Also, developing a healthy sense of life, and a conscious philosophical foundation is a lot of work, important work.  The vices of others can be a distraction, especially from looking at my own inner contradictions.  

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