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An relatively unintelligible school kid.

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Greetings from Australia,

I've been lurking around these forums for the past few weeks in order to better develop my understanding of objectivism. As I lurked, I was extemely impressed by the level of intelligence and rationality I saw, ergo I've decided to register an account in order to hopefully learn from this community.

Now, a bit about myself. I'm 15 years old, impressionable and eager to learn. I take it on trust that you people won't intentionally mislead me or do anything of that sort. I live in Brisbane, Australia and I'm in my 11th year of school. My plans for after school are to study both Law and Philosophy. I've been set on doing Law for quite some time but only recently became interested in philosophy. I first heard and was intrigued by objectivism by a series of videos from a YouTuber named 'MrCropper'. I watched his video's on objectivist epistemology and ethics and found that it corroborated with my own ideals. He constantly reffered back to Rand's books so I figured that if I wanted to fully understand him I would first have to read Rand's books. I've read about 800 pages or so of Atlas and have both The Fountainhead and For The New Intellectual unread in my bookcase.

People I know in real life call me selfish and arrogant. I agree with them on the selfish remark (any rational person is selfish) but am peeved by them calling me arrogant. I don't think I'm arrogant. I think I'm logical and proud of it. But of course, I can't properly converse with any of them, they're all ignorant schoolkid's.

I'm an atheist. To me, agnosticism isn't a word. Anyone who does not consider himself a theist is an atheist however there are varying degrees of certainty of course.

Anywho, that's my introduction. I've posted this because I want to learn how to better myself. So please, tell me if I'm irrational. Criticise me. I want to learn.

Edited by Jack_Browne
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People I know in real life call me selfish and arrogant. I agree with them on the selfish remark (any rational person is selfish) but am peeved by them calling me arrogant. I don't think I'm arrogant. I think I'm logical and proud of it. But of course, I can't properly converse with any of them, they're all ignorant schoolkid's.

Dude! We are in the same boat. I go to public high school in Texas and boy, does my sense of pride send people the wrong message sometimes. Having the word "EGO" on the back of my letter jacket does nothing to help the matter, but I know who my real friends are. Anyways I want to know what people are like in Australia. Here there's lots of Bible-thumping altruists and self-haters. How about down under, hmmm?

Also, do they have letter jackets in Australia?

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People here in Australia preach multiculturalism and 'fairness and equality' all day long. What's even worse though is the level of political 'correctness' Australians hold. It's sort of like Australia's a wannabe Canada. The teachers at my school are all left winged and hypocrites. I had to correct my history teacher when she said 'There are no truths'. As for the whole leather jackets, not many people I know wear them, I'd get slammed by environmentalists if I did anyway.

Australia's pretty much a copy of America, except not as famous.

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Dude! We are in the same boat. I go to public high school in Texas and boy, does my sense of pride send people the wrong message sometimes. Having the word "EGO" on the back of my letter jacket does nothing to help the matter, but I know who my real friends are. Anyways I want to know what people are like in Australia. Here there's lots of Bible-thumping altruists and self-haters. How about down under, hmmm?

Also, do they have letter jackets in Australia?

Where in Texas? I'm a student at Texas A&M myself. My best friend is from a super-small public school in N. Tex.

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Where in Texas? I'm a student at Texas A&M myself. My best friend is from a super-small public school in N. Tex.

I go to high school in the Austin area. It's pretty polar down here -- you're either a Jesus freak or a liberal idiot. Not to say there aren't a good number of principled individuals; there are, but they're kept pretty quiet.

And Jack, if your teacher ever tells you there aren't any truths again, say, "that's not true".

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Hello and welcome to OO.net. May you'll gain deeper understanding of many issues. You'll definitely encounter many non-mainstream ideas here.

15 years old is the beginning of the road of comprehending and dealing with philosopical issues. It is good that you devote effort to dealing with these issues as they underline one's life, whether one deals with them or not. If not, then usually one tends to default on whatever notions one gained from one's culture.

Do not be swayed by people dismissing your opinions as 'mere idealism' and tell you that 'you'll grow up and know better'. I am 25 and I have been hearing that all my life (on various topics), and I am still hearing it today. From my experience, this is the sort of arguement people resort to when they lack any real arguement.

Having said that, you are likely to change your mind here and there while you grow up on various issues. That is perfectly valid. If anything, it shows you have enough independence to make up your own mind, regardless of what you hear from society, of what you used to believe, or even of what hear from people you otherwise agree with on many things. The important thing is to always judge yourself what ideas you accept. Be open to arguements and counter arguements. When someone disagrees with what you think, understand that the only way for him to change your mind is by presenting his side of the arguement clearly and bringing supporting evidence. Do not be swayed by any other tactics, such as argument from intimidation, argument from authority, personal attacks, etc. There is a quote from Atlas Shrugged saying something along the lines of "I yield to the mind and to nothing but the mind". I think that sums it up nicely.

I remember my days back in public school and I can't say I envy you. The people around you are often very shallow and downright mean. You can usually find a few good people amongst them and they make it a whole lot easier. I can only encourage you that it ends eventually.

MrCropper is great, I have a blast watching his videos and he's usually one of the first sources I recommend to people who are interested.

As for atheism / agnosticism, I personally consider the idea of god rediculous and I would place a 100% chance of there being no god. I live my life by it because after considering the issue deeply that is the conclusion I've drawn. The reason for my conclusion is because I have plenty of evidence for people making up god(s) / supernatural entities / etc, but none for any of it being true. Therefor I go by the evidence. Furthermore the incorporation of a possibility of a god undermines the very core of my understanding of the world, and therefor it is an unthinkable thing to accept as even possibly true without any evidence.

Other atheists I know in real life are not as certain, and they usually entertain the notion that 'we can never be sure'. These people would possibly fit into the category of agnostics. I enjoy debating these people IRL, and am somewhat surprised they usually consider my position radical.

I'll end up by advocating for the internet as a remarkable tool for learning. You can find anything on anything on the internet and I highly recommend you develop the habit of studying through it on various matters. I often finding myself reading on topics that interest me on google or wikipedia or listening to lectures on youtube (did you know there are entire university courses available from top universities there?) and just opening 10 different links and end up spending hours reading material. It beats the hell out of having just your teachers and people around you and tv for knowledge. I suppose previous generations could use books but that is so much less convinient and complete than the internet and I truly feel we live in privileged times in this regard.

Edited by Soth
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I often finding myself reading on topics that interest me on google or wikipedia or listening to lectures on youtube (did you know there are entire university courses available from top universities there?) and just opening 10 different links and end up spending hours reading material.

I do the same thing. I'm happy that you've taken the time to write all of that. Could you give me a link to some of the better quality lectures?

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May I recommend reading Rand's 'An Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology' - it's only about 70 pages long (although you need to concentrate more than usual when reading it). It's her explanation of how all knowledge is gained, without getting into the details of any specific debate. There's nothing really contentious about it, it gives you a grounding that makes many of Rand's counter-intuitive opinion's from other works easier to accept.

*I say counter-intuitive meaning from the perspective of someone raised on socialist/altruistic ideology... which is almost everyone

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