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CapitalistSwine
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Hello friends. I have never had a tattoo nor do I intend on having more than 2 in my lifetime more than likely. However I do wish, that when I get them that they have a lot of meaning behind them. I would like for my first one to be an Objectivist one. However I am having some issues thinking of how exactly to go about it. I would like to put the Galt oath "I swear by my life and my love of it..." but I am wondering if I could spice this up a bit so its just not text. This would likely go on my back somewhere (shoulders or lower) but I was curious if anyone had any ideas for symbols/pictures etc. or specific font types for the text. I want to make sure I get something that is both unique and that I will really appreciate. I have no problem with colors over black & white.

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Hello friends. I have never had a tattoo nor do I intend on having more than 2 in my lifetime more than likely. However I do wish, that when I get them that they have a lot of meaning behind them. I would like for my first one to be an Objectivist one. However I am having some issues thinking of how exactly to go about it. I would like to put the Galt oath "I swear by my life and my love of it..." but I am wondering if I could spice this up a bit so its just not text. This would likely go on my back somewhere (shoulders or lower) but I was curious if anyone had any ideas for symbols/pictures etc. or specific font types for the text. I want to make sure I get something that is both unique and that I will really appreciate. I have no problem with colors over black & white.

I've thought about getting a dollar sign tattooed somewhere.

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I don't necessarily want "stylized" text, but suggestion on what a good font would be for the galt oath. I will probably put in straight across my back from shoulder to shoulder or something like that. I don't really want to put it on my arm, that may be something else in the future as the 2nd tattoo. I am down for suggestions of images/symbols that are either somehow incorporated with the oath or separate but tied in that may be, for instance, underneath the oath or something. I am willing to get a decent size tattoo all together but nothing huge, I don't want to cover up like half my back or anything.

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Im thinking of getting "A is A-thiest" somewhere, possibly my wrists. It could be conversation starter, or just scare people away.....

j...

On your wrists? It would probably cause more problems than not, and depending on your profession it may cause issues in that regard since it cannot be easily covered up. I would be careful in considering tattoos on areas that cannot be easily covered, though I am sure you have already.

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I want to make sure I get something that is both unique and that I will really appreciate.

I don't think you will appreciate any tattoo on the long term, especially a very unique and hard to explain one, when the 1000th person asks you what that quote means, and you won't be able to explain to any degree they'll actually understand, causing them to find you at least somewhat weird. Not to mention that many Objectivists, the only people who will understand, will find the idea of any ink shot into your skin with needles, esthetically unappealing.

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I don't think you will appreciate any tattoo on the long term,

But then, you don't really know what he'll appreciate do you? I'm sure you know whether or not YOU appreciate tattoos but projecting that onto someone else really doesn't make much sense.

Not to mention that many Objectivists, the only people who will understand, will find the idea of any ink shot into your skin with needles, esthetically unappealing.

Don't you think that is a very second-handed reason not to get a tattoo?

Nothing personal against other Objectivists on this board, but I didn't get a tattoo on MY arm for them.

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But then, you don't really know what he'll appreciate do you?

I have an idea he won't appreciate what I described. (the constant failure of his attempt to communicate a complex message about Philosophy)

Don't you think that is a very second-handed reason not to get a tattoo?

I don't know. A sentence made up of words is an attempt to communicate with someone. It requires other people's involvement, so their judgment might count for something. Then again, it might not, depends on the person.

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I have an idea he won't appreciate what I described.

Except that you said you thought he wouldn't enjoy ANY tattoo over the long term. ANY tattoo. The reasoning you gave only addressed a particular type of tattoo (a complex philosophical one) though your estimation of his preference included ANY tattoo.

I don't know.

I'll help you then... it is. If a person were to get a tattoo or not because of what OTHER people value instead of what that person values, it would be second-handed.

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On your wrists? It would probably cause more problems than not, and depending on your profession it may cause issues in that regard since it cannot be easily covered up. I would be careful in considering tattoos on areas that cannot be easily covered, though I am sure you have already.

Yeah, Ive certainly given it some thought. Its unfourtunate for those of us who like tatoos as an art form, or a form of personal expression etc. that people can be so concerned, or overly sensitive to a little ink. Its certainly within an employers rights to not hire a person for their tatoos, or make them cover existing ones, but I personally dont see the big deal. Job performance should come before personal appearance (to a point, and depending on the context of course. I wouldnt use the same argument to defend a swastika on my forehead when Im applying for a job at a jewlery store.) If I was to get a wrist tatoo and my employer (I work at a car dealership) wanted me to cover it, which would be understandable, Id end up looking like a perpetual failure at suicide.

j..

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Except that you said you thought he wouldn't enjoy ANY tattoo over the long term. ANY tattoo. The reasoning you gave only addressed a particular type of tattoo (a complex philosophical one) though your estimation of his preference included ANY tattoo.

I misspoke. Either way, it was useful advice, since he's planning on tattooing Galt's oath on his skin.

I'll help you then... it is. If a person were to get a tattoo or not because of what OTHER people value instead of what that person values, it would be second-handed.

I disagree that second handedness means considering other people's opinions and values before acting.

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I don't necessarily want "stylized" text, but suggestion on what a good font would be for the galt oath. I will probably put in straight across my back from shoulder to shoulder or something like that. I don't really want to put it on my arm, that may be something else in the future as the 2nd tattoo. I am down for suggestions of images/symbols that are either somehow incorporated with the oath or separate but tied in that may be, for instance, underneath the oath or something. I am willing to get a decent size tattoo all together but nothing huge, I don't want to cover up like half my back or anything.

I think a version of Atlas, from the cover of the Centennial Edition of AS (the blue and white one) would be cool if thats the theme you're going for. Thats the type of thing that could look badass in a range of sizes and locations on the body.

j.

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I misspoke. Either way, it was useful advice, since he's planning on tattooing Galt's oath on his skin.

Assuming of course he shares the same concerns that you share as opposed to his own concerns. Did you ask him what concerns he has about people asking him (as you suggest incessantly) about it's meaning? Did you ask him if it was important to him whether or not everyone "gets it" or if was more personal for his own sake?

I disagree that second handedness means considering other people's opinions and values before acting.

Only so much as in he acts by HIS values, not by what other Objectivist's value. Then again, if he shared the value of viewing inked skin (in general) as "esthetically unappealing", he wouldn't be considering a tattoo to begin with. So, we are back to second-handed.

In his OP he states; "I want to make sure I get something that is both unique and that I will really appreciate." It sounds to me he intends to act upon his values.

He also stated; "I have never had a tattoo nor do I intend on having more than 2 in my lifetime more than likely." This suggests he has seriously and thoughtfully considered the implications of inking his skin.

Edited by RationalBiker
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  • 1 month later...

I would get three letters, EGO. Maybe in greek.

I don't know if i'd actually do it, I'm halfway through my 20's and haven't yet, and that's generally when people get tattoos. If I got it, no one would see it but me and whoever else got to see me naked, I definetely wouldn't get a tattoo others could easily see, I'm a very professional person and they look ...cheap after a while.

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I just don't see the point, they are cheap, they are tacky and they are juvenile.

That is certainly the stereotype, but then who cares about the stereotype, especially if the tattoo is something very personal? "Stubborn" adherence to principle is also considered juvenile.

I think the permanence of the ink could be used effectively as a metaphor for sticking to one's principles.

Edited by brian0918
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I think the permanence of the ink could be used effectively as a metaphor for sticking to one's principles.

I agree completely. However, many irrational people believe that the presence of a new tatoo will somehow change theyre lives in a more metaphysical sense, or possibly as a sort of reminder of a desired change in their life, like "this new tattoo will mark the end of my heroin addiction", sort of thing. I like tatoos, and peoples reasoning for getting one is as diverse as the tatoos themselves, but as with every other aspect of life, reason (in the philosophical sense) should be applied.

j..

Edited by JayR
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If I were to get a tattoo, I would want the tattoo to be both a work of art and something I was absolutely sure that I wanted ingrained into my skin for the rest of my life. It would also be good to have a tattoo that complimented the rest of your body; too many tattoos look like someone just slapped a decal on to your skin.

Personally, I would want a phrase or words to be only a portion of a tattoo, where symbolic images would make up the bulk of the work. The symbolic images and wording would fit and compliment the contours of my body. That means, I'll have to pick a location on my body that the tattoo would be best for, as per the content and design. The posters above that said that tattoos are cheap have a point. If you don't put the time and effort into the tattoo, it will be cheap.

Tattoos are big deals and are, for the most part, permanent. They're not something to be taken likely or done on a whim; they should be things that you put a lot of thought into and done with the greatest quality.

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There is one rational reason to get a tatoo - as a permanent personal reminder of some principle or commitment. As such, the meaning would be personal, and the tatoo would necessarily be subtle. As for the question of permanence of a principle, or the need to have a physical tatoo as a good reminder - I would leave those questions to an individual.

Any other reason for a tatoo is completely irrational. If it's for other people to see or observe, then are you seeking their favor? If you are representing yourself to them, fine, except that tatoos - especially over time (remember, they're permanent) - look ugly. Why ugly? Because if I were to discuss what looks 'good' about someone I would talk about health, skin tone etc. White teeth, white eyes (not blood shot or yellow), an even skin tone. Tatoos fade over time - especially colors - and appear to be more the color of disease than of anything else. The body and its organs have specific intended functions. We wear clothing and jewelry to ornament our persons.

It's easy to explain why tatoos are considered juvenile - the need to dramatically alter the normal appearance of one's self is often an appeal for attention. Getting an ostentatious tatoo and saying, "I'm doing it for me!" is just evasion. Egoism is a derivative of Objectivism, and hedonistic egoism - "I do what I feel like doing! F*** you!" is not rational or objective - and these sort of people tend to get tatoos for the wrong (irrational) reasons. I also think there's a certain amount of 'idolatry' associated with tatoos. It's as if the physical imprinting of skin will draw upon one's physical self mystical power from an abstract realm. Remember that tatooing "A is A" will not cause the soul and body to 'become' more Objectivist. This is why tatooing was invented, and is used exetensively in tribal societies. Tatoos as magical tokens. So, if that is part of your desire for a tatoo - identify it and reject it.

Instead of a tatoo, write your motto down for you to read, frame it, put it on your bedroom wall. Get a bracelet or anklet. If you want to express yourself to others, dress a certain way, or at least get a semi-permanent tatoo (fades over short time period).

My opinion is that all of these ideas are better than a tatoo, but if you are dead-set on it, consider my first paragraph.

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Lol. Good post, ZSorenson.

Yeah, essentially, dont expect a tatoo to change your life. Mark a real change in your life with a tatoo, if thats your thing. Or, put in a different way, the ethics and epistemology should come before the metaphysics in the context of body modification.

j..

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Yeah, essentially, dont expect a tatoo to change your life. Mark a real change in your life with a tatoo, if thats your thing. Or, put in a different way, the ethics and epistemology should come before the metaphysics in the context of body modification.

j..

I'm considering getting my children's hand prints and names tattooed somewhere on my shoulder (I don't have any kids yet). I think we're on the same page about having the tattoo be a chronicle of a real significant part of your life, instead of expecting a tattoo of something significant to somehow reshape your life. Am I understanding you correctly?

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Any other reason for a tatoo is completely irrational. If it's for other people to see or observe, then are you seeking their favor? If you are representing yourself to them, fine, except that tatoos - especially over time (remember, they're permanent) - look ugly. Why ugly? Because if I were to discuss what looks 'good' about someone I would talk about health, skin tone etc. White teeth, white eyes (not blood shot or yellow), an even skin tone. Tatoos fade over time - especially colors - and appear to be more the color of disease than of anything else. The body and its organs have specific intended functions. We wear clothing and jewelry to ornament our persons.

To whom would they look ugly? Are you saying they would look ugly to everyone else or are you speaking for your own personal assessment of what is ugly? Are you saying they would look ugly to the person with the tattoo?

It's easy to explain why tatoos are considered juvenile - the need to dramatically alter the normal appearance of one's self is often an appeal for attention. Getting an ostentatious tatoo and saying, "I'm doing it for me!" is just evasion.

Often maybe, but not always. Who is considering it "juvenile" and why should that concern the person getting the tattoo?

I also think there's a certain amount of 'idolatry' associated with tatoos. It's as if the physical imprinting of skin will draw upon one's physical self mystical power from an abstract realm.

Interesting assertion; on what do you base it? :confused:

My opinion is that all of these ideas are better than a tatoo, but if you are dead-set on it, consider my first paragraph.

Okay, your opinion. I can live with that. I thought you stating all this as some sort of objective set of facts.

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