Thanks all. You’re very helpful and kind. I do know what man qua man means, so its ok
I think my brother is at the point where he wholeheartedly embraces something he doesn’t completely understand. He is the first child to go away to a ‘real college’ and this is his third year. There were always changes before that like anyone would expect from a 20 year old kid, but when he was home over his last break he was so different than even a few months ago. Change is ok, but he treated everyone like crap and that has never been his nature. He’s the baby and the sweetheart of the family. Now he appears to be a pompous asshole who acts like we are all crazy because we care about people and want to enjoy a moment for its own sake, without overanalyzing it and taking all the joy out in the process. He definitely equated emotion with irrationality and had very low tolerance for emotional displays and reactions. I have asked him to explain objectivism to me and he has called it ‘a life based on reason, not irrationality’, but that’s as far as it got. I know he has read some of her work but not sure how much and I think he gets a lot of the ideas from one class and a group of friends he met in that class (I don’t think it was an objectivism class, but a more general philosophy one). He said I need to read it, which I am sure would help, but I work and go to school so I don’t have a lot of spare time for reading outside of my own classes. I figured I would have to read a lot to get a good answer to this question, but could find out online relatively quickly by just asking people.
So here’s where I am: I think his Ayn Rand worship underlies his behavior, but that it is because of his inaccurate understanding of the philosophy and true believers do not have to be assholes or emotionless cogs (sigh of relief). However, believers do think their emotions should not guide their decision making, which is less disconcerting but still a little puzzling to me (even if I try to make a reason-based decision, I will always bias the list of pros and cons based on how I feel the decision should be made). I appreciate the reading recommendations and will definitely try that novella. I’ll check back for further enlightenment Thanks again.