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Aspiring Objectivist

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  1. I would really love to see a reply to DonAthos's post. Especially the part about "flourishing" as a valid standard or not. What Kelley had to say on the subject seemed very logical, that flourishing would only be useful so far as it helped their life. But Ayn Rand herself seemed to think that "flourishing" mattered more than the mere act of surviving. It's sort of a glaring contradiction, and I'm not sure that there is much reason to believe in the "flourishing" beyond the initial standard, that of life. Like, even the values that come off of the standard of life are suspect when they aren't actually going to be good for life. What value is self-esteem if somebody is going to kill you for your self-esteem? What value is productivity if your job takes precendence over safety?
  2. Your answer here is the best one I've heard to this question, and I'm glad because it's one of the main questions which has kept me from accepting Objectivism. While it's cleared the issue up for me a little, I'm still confused. Life gives us the idea of value, and we are to value things that help our goal of long term survival. But then we find things to value that matter more than our life? It's just weird, I guess. It seems like a contradiction. How could we value something more than the very thing which gives us the whole idea of value?
  3. I'm really enjoying this. I think it might be just what I was looking for. And it's free, so thanks.
  4. I feel like the book goes at most arguments in a very roundabout way, and many of the arguments come from specific examples. I hate examples as proofs, and he seems to love them. Anyway, thank you all for your advice, I'll give these books a try.
  5. So, I've been interested in Objectivism for a while. It hit me pretty hard about a year ago, when I was convinced that it was the uniquivically correct philosophy, with everyone else being obviously wrong. It was nice, for a while, thinking that all the answers were there, but, after going through an intensely dogmatic period, I'm finally at a point where I'd like to fully work the arguments out. I really, really want to believe that this philosophy is the only right one, and the best way to live, but, sadly, through all of my readings, I'm still left unconvinced in a few key areas. Rather than ask for help working through them, I think I'd rather start over entirely with my understanding of it. I was thinking, is there a textbook-like compilation of everything to do with Objectivism? I know that the general book mentioned is Peikoff's “Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand,” but Peikoff didn't really do it for me. I felt like many of his arguments and rationales for them were bad, and he lacked the level of concise writing that such a book needs. My other alternative is to read a number of disconnected essays by Ayn Rand in order to truly understand everything, which isn't very appealing and doesn't sound very effective. So, is there a book out there that not only lays the points out, but defends them in nearly every way possible, and also shows the hierarchy in a manageable way? I suppose it's a lot to ask for, but somebody here must know about such a book, if it exists. I remember seeing a textbook of sorts (might not have been specifically what I'm looking for) about it on some site a long time ago, and I'm wondering if anybody knows what that is or if it's good. Anyway, I appreciate your time.
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