Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Late introduction

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

This was intented as a reply to this thread, but I like how it turned out and seeing as how I haven't formally introduced myself yet, I'm posting this here.

Let's see... I was raised in a Catholic family, indoctrinated in the faith from day one. I swallowed it hook, line and sinker. There was even a phase in my preteen years when I voluntarily went to church. I was very rarely forced to go, though; my family encouraged religion, but is fairly secular. In my neck of the woods, not even Catholics take Catholicism seriously. This is probably why I held on to my religious beliefs for so long: Religion was, in my experience, not atrocious. There was, of course, the concept of Hell; but like most liberal Christians, I believed that Hell was only for other people.

Becoming an atheist was thus a slow process that began somewhere in my teens. I began to notice that reason, in the shape of atheists and scientists, always made a better argument than faith. Reality simply made a lot more sense without a god in it. Although I officially left the church at 19, it took me until I was about 27 to openly identifiy as an atheist.

Philosophically, I also had a bad start. I came up with scepticism all by myself, sitting in class in second grade, wondering whether my senses could be trusted, whether the world as I knew it was just an illusion. Ideas like that can have a bad psychological impact on a second grader, I'm here to tell you. It wasn't until well into my teens that I finally figured out that, yes, my senses and reason can and must be trusted, because there is nothing else to grasp reality with.

I had always been interested in philosophy, but the philosophy classes I took in high school weren't helpful either. We discussed Plato, Descartes (déjà-vu), Peter Singer, Socrates and, of course, the ubiquitous Immanuel Kant. Nice selection, huh?

Anyway, I subsequently subscribed to Kant's philosophy. At the time, it seemed to make sense. In retrospect, I can see how this philosophy was pushed on the students. We spent about as much time on Kant as on the other philosophers combined and although the teacher was very subtle about it, he did imply that this was the "right" philosophy.

In my mid-twenties, things started to turn around. I had always been fascinated by firearms, pistols in particular. I understood from a very early age that guns make it much more difficult for the strong to deal with the physically weaker by force. I began lurking and posting on various gun boards and was thus exposed to libertarian ideas, which I soaked up rather quickly. Capitalism, the non-aggression principle, the proper role of government, the concept of negative rights, etc. I was able to extrapolate from some these concepts on my own, e.g. the source of rights being the necessity of rights for prosperous life in a social context, but they were still floating abstractions, although I think I wasn't quite aware of it.

From the gun boards I migrated to libertarian blogs. After many months (years?) of reading, my favorite blogger, whom I had always liked for being superbly rational and unusually consistent in his views, casually and in passing mentioned being an Objectivist.

I did some research into Objectivism and I took to it like a duck to water. I read VoS and the reluctant rejection of religion in favor of reason, my rudimentary epistemology, my rejection of environmentalism as hatred of humanity and all the various libertarian ideas that had been floating around in my head just fell into place and integrated seamlessly.

I've only been an Objectivist for a few months now and have yet to read most of Ayn Rand's books, but the changes are already very noticeable. I no longer feel guilty for being selfish, I enjoy my work much more and put more effort into it, and am generally a much happier person than ever. The food tastes better, the sun shines brighter, the grass is greener, broadband is faster, gas is cheaper, I spontaneously break into song and dance... I'm just kidding, of course. I don't dance. Yet. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the board!

First of all, congratulations on deriving so many philosophical positions by yourself! One of the frustrations of finding our way in the world is realizing others have already figured out the same things. :) At least you know you're doing it right.

<snip>

I've only been an Objectivist for a few months now and have yet to read most of Ayn Rand's books, but the changes are already very noticeable. I no longer feel guilty for being selfish, I enjoy my work much more and put more effort into it, and am generally a much happier person than ever.

<snip>

This is the true measure of when you find the right philosophy. When the world starts to make sense in a fundamental way, when you are able to identify your place in it, you've found something crucial to human existence. This forum is full of others who have recognized the same fundamental truths. Welcome!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...