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Parent's Irate Email to School over Atlas Shrugged!

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I think the funniest complaint is the swearing. If there's something I don't think of when I think AS it's swearing; such a weird complaint. Seems like he's really stretching there.

Besides, I rememeber lots of swearing in plenty of other books I had to read in school. I'm fairly sure that Of Mice and Men and All The Pretty Horses had a lot.

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13 is way too young for Atlas Shrugged, as well the rest of the concerned parent's suggested literature.

I read Catcher in the Rye at 13, and the Bible cover to cover at 10. I knew someone, the son of Objectivist parents, who read AS at the age of 9. He said he read it on the sly, his parents didn’t want him reading it that young. I think 18-19 is the right age, but that’s when I read it so I have a kind of bias.

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I think 18-19 is the right age, but that’s when I read it so I have a kind of bias.

Likewise, but my bias goes further in that I was at the time actively searching for the very answers which Atlas Shrugged provided, and wasn't even expecting to find them in a book I knew nothing about. Much of it would have gone over my head at a younger age.
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I'm a little mixed in my response.

I'm in agreement with the idea that atlas shrugged is too mature in theme and content for the age group provided. However, a lot of her specific claims are hilariously absurd such as her son being unable to judge cigarettes properly because of one paragraph of text. Also her suggestion of the Illiad is hilarious both because it doesn't teach the things she claiming must be taught through books(opposing opinions be damned) but also because the Illiad is essentially a giant montage of violence.

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IMO the most ridiculous thing is the God stuff. I guess this parent thinks that kids shouldn't rely on ambition, just whatever gives them comfort, and if they fall to low to serve society, whip them into shape. :lol: The sex stuff is a feasible complaint and the fact that it is philosophically complex is as well. It is more of a concern to keep your children away from sexual stuff at that age, because if you don't they'll obsses on whatever they can find. But for an academically gifted child, mature philosophical issues aren't as much of a problem, but 13 is still really young.

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The book was assigned to a gifted 13 y/o, but all the other students who were assigned this book were 16+.

What is telling though is that the father didn't just express his wishes for his son, but he lobbied to have the book removed from the school all together! The disjointed way in which he picked out bits and pieces indicates that he probably didn't actually read it. Rather, he ended up with some "family's guide to literature", or his pastor provided him with the talking points.

I recommend that everybody share and spread this pastebin link because most of the same talking points would very easily be used by parents of older children. Teachers should be prepared for this very sort of thing and be ready to counter it.

Edited by Merdam
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First, I'll admit to being a bit disappointed by seeing so many people declaring that there could be a "correct age" to start reading Atlas. Objectivism being a philosophy of individualism to lump people into what is right and wrong for them by something as arbitrary as a numerical age strikes me as odd.

That said, it would seem as though this parent is on the surface well- intentioned. The problem is that what I gather is that he doesn't realise that what he is seeking for hi son is not education- it's indoctrination.

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First, I'll admit to being a bit disappointed by seeing so many people declaring that there could be a "correct age" to start reading Atlas. Objectivism being a philosophy of individualism to lump people into what is right and wrong for them by something as arbitrary as a numerical age strikes me as odd.

That said, it would seem as though this parent is on the surface well- intentioned. The problem is that what I gather is that he doesn't realise that what he is seeking for hi son is not education- it's indoctrination.

It's not that I'm against gifted teenagers reading it, I just think the average 13 year old would not be capable of getting anything out of such mature issues, let alone being able to read it, so it's not exactly an ideal choice for a teenager with an average vocabulary and reading ability. It's not that I think there is any "right" age for the book, I just think it's logical to give them more level appropriate choices (like Anthem) so that they don't become confused or disinterested in literature.

However, I do think it is innapropriate and harmful for a child to be exposed to adult sexual scenes because they really do not need to have those kinds of ideas in their head without more maturity. They'll obsess on it because it will seem like the greatest thing in the world and be more likely to make a decision they will regret.

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I was 14 when I read Atlas Shrugged. I doubt many people that age would have gotten much out of it, so I wouldn't reccomend it for a class unless the teacher knows he has the right mix of students. As far as the sexual content is concerned, it's pretty tame. When I was that age my friends and I found ways to get access to R-rated movies and pornography (for years, actually). With the internet as omnipresent as it is today I doubt most thirteen year olds would be negatively effected by the content of Atlas Shrugged. But of course, that's a decision best left to the parents.

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I am thrity-six years old and I've only just discovered Ayn Rand and Objectivism (roughly two weeks ago). It has already changed the course of my life.

I believe the issue of age, like so many arguments against Objectivism, would be a mute point if Objectivism were actually a philosophy held by the majority and a part of every day life. Just as the problems of crime and homelessness would be greatly diminished (or obliterated outright) by an Objectivist approach to society, the idea that a thirteen-year-old would not get much out of reading "Atlas Shrugged" would be rendered obsolete.

As things are, without a fundamental foundation of Reason already in existence, even a forty-year-old may "get nothing" out of reading Atlas Shrugged.

If these philosophical ideas are NOT introduced via stories and visual representation of all kinds from a very early age in the mind's development, they will be that much more difficult to introduce later on. This, as far as I can tell, is one of the most collosal challenges facing Objectivism and the voice of Reason over emotionism: our children are allowed to be programmed by self-destructive/mystical ideologies before they even have a chance.

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However, I do think it is innapropriate and harmful for a child to be exposed to adult sexual scenes because they really do not need to have those kinds of ideas in their head without more maturity. They'll obsess on it because it will seem like the greatest thing in the world and be more likely to make a decision they will regret.

How do you feel about teenagers reading Romeo and Juliet?

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, because there is nothing in there that is too graphic for a young teenager.

There's premarital sex, and quite a few ribald jokes. Plenty to "obsess about".

Young teenagers these days watch South Park and listen to gangsta rap. Atlas Shrugged is incomparably tame in the "adult sexual scenes" department.

Southpark-MrGarrisonandRichardDawkins1.gif

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There's premarital sex, and quite a few ribald jokes. Plenty to "obsess about".

Young teenagers these days watch South Park and listen to gangsta rap. Atlas Shrugged is incomparably tame in the "adult sexual scenes" department.

Southpark-MrGarrisonandRichardDawkins1.gif

Romeo and Juliet is very vague though.

I'm well aware of that. Theoretically speaking, those are the absolute first things I would keep my child away from. It was very confusing for me growing up seeing the mix of tame, moral sex in movies or books and then seeing trash like that. You pretty much have to keep them away from everything now to avoid that. It's not that I would worry about my child reading it, I'm just saying that it's a viable concern for some parents.

Edited by Dreamspirit
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I can''t help myself but laugh.

I am so happy that he is not my dad. I'd have an horrible childhood.

He basically say that his kid is not respectful, is immature, stupid, slow and abusive.

I think that the book is his least of his problems, a better parenting or education will be much better.

I feel sorry for that kid.

I read Ayn Rand when I was 13, and it ended up just fine. Some parents need to give their kids the to make the choice of whats good and whats bad.

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