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Why am I getting so much resistance to O'ism?

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Over the past 3 months I've delved into all the material possible (even the material opposing Ayn Rand's philosophy) and I have found Objectivism has answered all the questions I have found un-answerable and my views have changed on the world (for the better) tremendously.

But what I'm finding now though is a LOT of resistance in my groups of friends, family, and people I talk to. Not on a superficial social level, I mean on a philosophical level. My views on the world is completely insane in their views and although they find me interesting, they don't really pay too much attention to my rhetoric becuase they just say "oh, he's been reading Ayn Rand" (not everyone, but I've heard this more than 3 times in the past 2 months).

Why is it that I'm getting so much resistance? It's not such a bother, I'm actually quite proud that I'm recieving so much resistance, it almost tells me that I'm doing something right (if that makes sense to you).

Anyone experience similiar?

~Michael

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Anyone experience similiar?

~Michael

I tend to keep my views to myself until it becomes relevent. I realise this doesn't address your query, but I'm wondering if you've had any positive responses from anyone regarding your views, or if they've all been bad?

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Could this be part of the issue? How much have you changed because of Objectivism, in the areas of behavior, ideaology and conversation with people? Now I'm not claiming to be the originator of this term, but I think of it as the "born again" syndrome (from the reference born again christian). Anytime someone is "born again" in some new found religion or philosophy, if it changes their views and behavior significantly people they know tend not to take them too seriously. Sometimes "born again" people can even be rather annoying.

I have experienced this to some degree in that I would want to discuss Objectivism with friends and family shortly after learning about it. Later, I would get comments like, "oh I forgot your into that objectivism thing." As time goes on, people may realize it isn't just "a phase".

Or, it could be that those folks are set in the idealogies and perhaps they aren't receptive to learning new (and frequently substantially different) ways of looking at things.

Could any of this be on the mark?

VES

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...I'm finding now though is a LOT of resistance in my groups of friends, family, and people I talk to...

...Anyone experience similiar?

~Michael

My mom thinks Objectivism is "silly", my step dad thinks that my view on morality will "get me killed", and my dad thinks Capitalism is impractical (he believes that private companies are better at providing all services except the most important ones (aka roads, water, air control)).

Anyways there is no one in my family that agrees with objectivism (although I'm working on my little brother). When I was reading Atlas Shrugged on a vacation I got tons of crap from my uncles who told me things like "It's nice to be young, but someday you'll realize the way the world actually is.” But the joke is on them and that’s all I need to know. Regardless of what people think of my philosophy I study objectivism because it is exactly the kind of guide that a person needs to live a good life regardless of how many irrational people there are out there. Being irrational will not make you any happier in an irrational society; that’s how I feel about it. :dough:

The trick it to help people understand, which requires getting thru to them without making them defensive. That being said some people are easier to help than others, I’d focus on the younger people in your family (the people who still question things) if you are interested in helping any of them out.

After I had developed a pretty good understanding of Objectivism I bought my little brother and sister as well as a couple of my closest friends a copy of The Virtue of Selfishness and told them to come to me if they had any questions. I think Ayn Rand has a better chance than me to help people understand why Objectivism is “a philosophy of life.”

“Yes,” to your question regarding similar experiences. Good premises with your family! :dough:

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There is a common response people make when they see a young person reading or defending Ayn Rand: "when I was young, I loved Ayn Rand too. But then I grew up." Gary Hull has one of the best comebacks I've heard for this: "you didn't grow up, you gave up. You gave up the realm of ideas."

Saying that to the naysayers wont make you any friends but it will establish you as determined and resolute, and it may even win you respect from the better people who hear it.

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I can’t say I’m fluent in Objectivism, I’ve read many articles from Rand and I’ve gotten the general idea, but not enough to defend it by the use of abstractions. I’m not worried enough, no one and I mean no one has been able to put a good argument against Objectivism for me to defend with blood and sweat. The truth is, most people don’t know about Objectivism and unfortunately, as simple as Objectivism is, it’s easily misunderstood and misrepresented. I’ve come across three people who’ve thought it was merely hedonism, I corrected them and no more conversation about it. I met a woman who was actually very obnoxious and I may say childish whenever she saw me reading Ayn Rand.

A friend of mine, who’s interested in Rand once told me that he heard her speaking of me to another. Apparently she said I was fascinated by Objectivism and according to her, the philosophy is backwards.

Later she spots me reading Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal and decides to confront me on Rand. She tells me that Objectivism is backwards. The expression on my face goes from being happy to amused and curious. She then “corrects” herself and says that it isn’t backwards but that Rand’s philosophy contradicts itself. I ask how. She couldn’t think up anything at the moment. She tells me that’ll she bring on later information to support her claim. It’s been a good month or two and I’m still waiting.

So if you have any trouble with Randian naysayers, go buy yourself OPAR and the Ayn Rand Lexicon so you can know what Rand really said and point it out to these guys.

I came across more people who still didn’t understand Rand’s philosophy yet made negative claims about it. All you need is superficial knowledge about Objectivism and your fine.

BTW: Is the Sense of Life documentary worth the money?

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Gary Hull has one of the best comebacks I've heard for this: "you didn't grow up, you gave up. You gave up the realm of ideas."

I love the quote and I wish I knew it at the time, but I'm sure I'll get another chance. :dough:

I agree with Areactor that the Lexicon is a very power tool, definatly worth owning.

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When I first became interested in the philosophy of Ayn Rand, a friend of mine began calling me an "Objectionist" because my views were so contradictory to his own, and I was always raising objections. In his view, truth exists only as a social precedent between two or more people, so disagreeing with another person's point of view is usually seen by him as a self-sacrificial surrender of controll.

There is justice, however. My friend's life is in shambles now, after years of acting on irrational philisophical premises, and there have been several times in the past month that he's come to me in tears, telling me that he thinks I've been right about a lot of things. Not that I'm expecting him to change, but I feel somewhat vindicated for "persecution" I've suffered in the past from him.

The moral of the story, is I think it gets easier over time.. having a controversial point of view (for me it's been only about 2 years as an Objectivist). Especially as you gradually meet more like-minded people. The people who disagree will either grow to respect your views or grow bored talking to you about them.

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Hello Michael,

First off, congrats! You've clearly put in a lot of time and thought considering philosophical issues.

Allow me to offer my perspective on your question: "Why is it that I'm getting so much resistance?"

I would suggest you ask yourself a different question as means to an answer: What was required of you to get to where you are today? Both in terms of your understanding of philosophy, and how you live your life. How much time, effort, courage, etc. was required of you? If you get a good understanding of how much effort and courage your journey has required (and still requires), you will see why many people are hesitant to even begin such a journey.

It's also possible that other people may not see the rewards of taking a path similar to yours. They may have invested a lot in not fully investigating the three core questions that philosophy is tasked to answer. Or they are convinced philosophy can offer no answers. I come across that often. They can't say why they think there are no answers, but they're convinced there are no answers. Or they are afraid to stand apart from the herd.

In the past, I also took steps to introduce my friends and family to Rand's work and Objectivist ideas. That process was instructive to me, as I came to know more about other people's thinking (or lack of it), and why, without exception, they were uninterested.

I completely understand your situation. At times, I very much want to tell the people I care about or come into contact with about how great Objectivism is. Harder still is that I don't know a single Objectivist personally, and yet there is so much to talk about. It's natural to want to share what gives you satisfaction and happiness with others.

Now, I only talk Objectivism with someone who expresses an interest, and only to the extent that they are interested. If find that if I go beyond the level of their interest, they have always (so far) lost what interest they had.

In casual conversation, I will say "I don't agree" (at minimum) in response to a comment related to philosophical issues with which I disagree. But I never expect that I will convince anyone of anything (or that they are willing to be convinced). My rule has been that if I have the slightest impression I'm being preachy, I am saying too much and will turn people off.

I recommend you be as patient as possible. In time, people will notice that you "are different" becuase of how you carry yourself, your values, and your level of happiness (assuming you're sticking with Objectivism). The curious who are still open to ideas with start asking questions. I have been approached casually by three people in the past few months. None have bitten yet, but the interest was clearly genuine.

My best to you,

Steve

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Thanks guys for the responses, everyone has touched on many facets of the subject and I'm going to try my best to answer and comment accordingly.

The type of attention I'm getting isn't really because I've become this guy who throws around Ayn Rand's name or mentions my core values every step I go (the "preacher type"). It's moreso that I've made large changes in my behaviour (for the good) and people really are noticing very strong changes in me. This is a good thing, because whatever their comment is (negative or positive) it's showing me that I have made some serious changes.

The type of resistance I'm getting is actually very trivial, it's nothing but "Oh, he's been reading Ayn Rand." or like Argive 99 said "Oh when I was young I loved Ayn Rand, but then I grew up". But I've come into contact with at least 2 people who think that Ayn Rand is a communist and a fascist (which I easily disputed, but they still didn't listen). It amazes me how much misinformation there is out there.

To Bold Standard; my roommate calls me an "Objectionist" as well...I found it hilarious that you've encountered the same. He won't even have a conversation with me because I've disputed at least 3 of his foundations (in a very engaging and appropriate conversation).

So really, where I'm at now is that I'm seeing major changes in my value structures and I'm seeing many people notice it. Some people are responding with negative comments because I've changed in a way that it doesn't follow their core values.

It's fun though, I'm enjoying the fact that I'm able to see things so clearly now and understand why people are saying certain things, and why they are disagreeing with my philosophy of choice....back to the herd they go.

~Michael

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Ayn Rand, a communist! Must be a religious freak who associates Communism with Atheism and vice versa.

Michael, my take on your problem, and I'm going entirely on your characterization of how much Objectivism has prompted changes in your life, is that the people you associated with prior to learning about Objectivism (except for your family) were chosen based on whatever your preferences for good people were before Objectivism, I call these people Friends BO (Before Objectivism) I had many such friends before my dad introduced me to Ayn Rand and Objectivism. AO, after Objectivism, I found that I slowly but surely had falling outs or a diverging path with all my BO friends. I don't think you can really expect anything else given that you begin to notice all sorts of things about them which don't encourage you to keep a good friendship going, plus it is much easier and likely to have arguments, especially about God or politics as they get older and both parties can vote.

As I see it, unless you're explicitly raised as an Objectivist from the outset, one is going to make friends with a hodgepodge of different people who are almost all going to end up as semi- (or completely) irrational adults unless you happen to "convert" some of them or pleasantly discover they have learned what you have. Now if you can still make these relationships work, then bravo, but my experience has showed me that it is usually more trouble than it is worth. But one must ultimately decide whether wants to live a guilt-free moral and rational existence or to compromise everything for the sake of keeping irrational people your friends.

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Glad to know you are not the preacher type.

There is nothing more boring than someone who thinks every opposing word is an anti-Objectivist conspiracy.

The type of attention I'm getting isn't really because I've become this guy who throws around Ayn Rand's name or mentions my core values every step I go (the "preacher type").  It's moreso that I've made large changes in my behaviour (for the good) and people really are noticing very strong changes in me.  This is a good thing, because whatever their comment is (negative or positive) it's showing me that I have made some serious changes.

~Michael

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I tend to keep my views to myself until it becomes relevent. I realise this doesn't address your query, but I'm wondering if you've had any positive responses from anyone regarding your views, or if they've all been bad?

I keep my views mostly inward as well unless there is a topic I can offer my 2 cents as well.

I have had positive responses regarding my views and I get "I like the way you think" and "You have very interesting views" a lot of times, but they are from people who show geniune respect for my views because I hold them as an individual. Those people are new friends and people who I've become more aquainted with over the past couple months since I've learned more about Objectivism. I actually made a good friend of mine come to her own conclusion of denouncing god after I spoke to her about my view of the dangers of believing such irrational things. She was a devout muslim. So I have seen positive responses to my views but overall people are just stand-off-ish and consider me to be 'way out there'....people thought that before but now it's a bit more :o .

And to Montesquieu:

I've been running up against many of my friends that I made BO that are not liking my changes, because they are so dramatic. A close friend of mine (and roommate) in which I enjoyed great conversations with has made it very obvious he doesn't like speaking with me now because all my values are completely opposed to him and he's older and set in his ways and REFUSES to see my view on things. This has turned into a very uncomfortable situation lately and he's actually going to be leaving the household soon. But that is because we've grown appart and he doesn't feel comfortable in the house with me now....(he's pretty messed up though so it's kind of a good thing....very bad philosophical foundations and he's a regular drug user so it's for the best.)

Things are looking real good though since my changes, I've stopped smoking marijuana for good now, I've read about 20 new books in the last 2 months (only 1 of which was fiction...."Foutainhead") And I now have MANY priorities that I wasn't even thinking about, got a new job making 40k a year and have enrolled in college to get my MBA and Pro Tools certification. So big things have happened in a VERY short period of time and I attribute it to Objectivism (and my seeking of it).

~Michael

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Things are looking real good though since my changes, I've stopped smoking marijuana for good now, I've read about 20 new books in the last 2 months (only 1 of which was fiction...."Foutainhead") And I now have MANY priorities that I wasn't even thinking about, got a new job making 40k a year and have enrolled in college to get my MBA and Pro Tools certification.  So big things have happened in a VERY short period of time and I attribute it to Objectivism (and my seeking of it).

You HAVE come a long way in very a short time.

Good for you! (In more ways than one) :yarr:

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