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Your thoughts on this article on Ayn Rand?

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I was searching for a biography of Ayn Rand and found this.

Have you read the following two?

Mary Ann and Charles Sures, Facets of Ayn Rand.

Jeff Britting, Ayn Rand.

Both should be available through The Ayn Rand Bookstore.

Did you look for biographies there first?

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As designated moderator for the Basic Questions forum, I would like to remind posters in this thread that Forum Rules prohibit posts that merely express agreement or disagreement. Please state your reasons for your positions.

MODERATOR, BASIC QUESTIONS

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Somebody please tell me that I read this wrong. I was searching for a biography of Ayn Rand and found this. I had to read it three times to make sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me.

....

It’s definitely a joke. I just can't understand what the point is. Did the author have malicious intent? Even if they meant no harm, it’s really not that funny.

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It’s definitely a joke.  I just can't understand what the point is.  Did the author have malicious intent?  Even if they meant no harm, it’s really not that funny.

If it's a joke, there should be at least a line on that page that says so. Otherwise, someone may actually believe the stuff written there.

Even if it is a joke, it's NOT funny! It is insulting at best.

As it is, the author of that page is listing two of the most famous of Ayn Rand's novels, and lying about its content (not to mention lying about her life!). I'm actually thinking that this could be a form of violation of copyright laws or the rights of the author (Ayn Rand).

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If it's a joke, there should be at least a line on that page that says so. Otherwise, someone may actually believe the stuff written there.

Well you didn't actually get there through the front door. (http://home.tiac.net/~cri/index.html) If you had, then you would have read this:

"This site isn't hot; it isn't cool; it's, well, it's sort of tepid, a cross between an e-zine and an intellectual rubbish heap. "

"This website is dedicated to the proposition that all people are created irretrievable, that they are naturally endowed, and to the last word, however belated. "

"This is a large site with a lot of crap, er, fine material in it. It is organized as a monthly e-zine with a table of contents for each month. ..."

I thought it was funny.

Craig

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I thought it was funny.

Craig

The link offered in the first post is an attack on Ayn Rand. Do you find that to be "funny" as well?

If so, why? If not, do you see that, when you tolerate the bilge you quoted in your full post above, you are sanctioning an attack on Ayn Rand?

BASIC QUESTIONS MODERATOR

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Somebody please tell me that I read this wrong. I was searching for a biography of Ayn Rand and found this. I had to read it three times to make sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me.

The Confessions of Ayn Rand

Why did you believe that your eyes might be "playing tricks on" you?

Wasn't it obvious in the first paragraph or so that this linked material is an attack on Ayn Rand?

Do you approve of or disapprove of the material you have publicized here?

BASIC QUESTIONS MODERATOR

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The link offered in the first post is an attack on Ayn Rand. Do you find that to be "funny" as well?

If so, why? If not, do you see that, when you tolerate the bilge you quoted in your full post above, you are sanctioning an attack on Ayn Rand?

BASIC QUESTIONS MODERATOR

No, I'm afraid I don't view it as an attack. I thought it was funny. I don't know what type of humor one would call that, but I do believe that one cannot rationally describe humor. I see no harm in laughing at oneself from time to time.

Sincerely,

Craig Haynie (Houston)

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No, I'm afraid I don't view it as an attack. I thought it was funny. I don't know what type of humor one would call that, but I do believe that one cannot rationally describe humor. I see no harm in laughing at oneself from time to time.

Craig,

Are you an Objectivist?

How much Objectivism have you studied?

How much do you agree with?

Once you have answered these questions, to set a context, I will have one or two more about some of your comments.

BASIC QUESTIONS MODERATOR

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but I do believe that one cannot rationally describe humor.

Ayn Rand did.

In "The Art of Fiction", she states:

"Humor is a metaphysical negation. We regard as funny that which contradicts reality: the incongruous and the grotesque..." (Rand, 165).

And then further on, and more importantly:

"What you find funny depends on what you want to negate. It is proper to laugh at evil (the literary form of which is satire) or at the negligible. But to laugh at the good is vicious. If you laugh at any value that suddenly shows feet of clay, such as in the example of the dignified gentleman slipping on a banana peel, you are laughing at the validity of values as such.” (Rand, 166).

I suggest you read Chapter 11, starting on page 165.

I also am curious to know-do you value Ayn Rand? Or is she negligible in your values?

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I didn't find it funny at all. I found it rather disgusting. In particular,

Slum City of the Mind This site is best viewed with a bottle of scotch.
was on the home page. Chemical destruction of the mind and mind-destoying literature all in one sitting. The irritating thing is, the author of the article probably had some basic knowledge of what Ayn Rand thought about religion, since he chose to satirize her in that way.

She uses the metaphor of the mythical Atlas to argue that it is the role of worldly endeavours to support the Church just as Atlas supported the heavens on his shoulders. In Atlas Shrugged she argues that Capitalism, a veritable giant reaching the heavens - literally these days - has shrugged off its duty of supporting the Church and, in consequence, the heavens are crashing down, which is to say that public morality is decaying for lack of support.

:) I need a puking smiley. It isn't funny to mock things you value. This isn't humor, it's a collection of lies.

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Craig,

Are you an Objectivist?

How much Objectivism have you studied?

How much do you agree with?

Well I thought I was an Objectivist. I've been studying her philosophy for about 17 years. But apparently, by the standards of those here, I am not. Moreover, I didn't realize that Ayn Rand had an opinion on humor.

Also, note this: I don't care to offend, but I didn't think that being in complete agreement with Ayn Rand was a precondition for using this forum. As I understand it now, after exchanging emails with the moderator, someone who does not agree with everything encompassed by the term 'Objectivism', should only be using the forum to ask questions and gain knowledge. I don't think I can gain much knowledge simply by asking questions. I need to be able to post my ideas and have other people shoot them down, and tell me why I'm wrong. But if posting my own ideas is not allowed here, if those ideas contradiction something that Ayn Rand said, then I don't think I can use the forum in a meaningful way.

I've only been posting here about a week, so I'm sorry I have to leave. But to answer some of the questions directed to me on this topic, let me just say that Ayn Rand is my idol, and has been for a very long time. However I think it's absurd that Ayn Rand would dedicate Atlas Shrugged to supporting the Church, and I find the absurd quite humorous.

Sincerely,

Craig

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Well I thought I was an Objectivist. I've been studying her philosophy for about 17 years. But apparently, by the standards of those here, I am not. Moreover, I didn't realize that Ayn Rand had an opinion on humor.

Also, note this: I don't care to offend, but I didn't think that being in complete agreement with Ayn Rand was a precondition for using this forum. As I understand it now, after exchanging emails with the moderator, someone who does not agree with everything encompassed by the term 'Objectivism', should only be using the forum to ask questions and gain knowledge. I don't think I can gain much knowledge simply by asking questions. I need to be able to post my ideas and have other people shoot them down, and tell me why I'm wrong. But if posting my own ideas is not allowed here, if those ideas contradiction something that Ayn Rand said, then I don't think I can use the forum in a meaningful way.

I've only been posting here about a week, so I'm sorry I have to leave. But to answer some of the questions directed to me on this topic, let me just say that Ayn Rand is my idol, and has been for a very long time. However I think it's absurd that Ayn Rand would dedicate Atlas Shrugged to supporting the Church, and I find the absurd quite humorous.

Sincerely,

Craig

Why do you think have to leave? I don't think you have said anything in this thread that is out of line. I agree with you that I would not classify the "article" linked as an attack. It was not funny, but that's another issue.

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:)

Somebody please tell me that I read this wrong. I was searching for a biography of Ayn Rand and found this. I had to read it three times to make sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me.

The Confessions of Ayn Rand

:confused: I don't know what to say about that. It is not my view that Ayn Rand supported the church or even believed in God.

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I don't know what to say about that. It is not my view that Ayn Rand supported the church or even believed in God.

Forum Rules prohibit mere statements of agreement or disagreement. Any expressions of a position on an issue should be accompanied by evidence and argumentation.

How did you arrive at your conclusion?

BASIC QUESTIONS MODERATOR

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This was particularly funny simply because anyone who has read her novels or knows anything factual about her would find these statements ludicrous. Saying that the Fountainhead promoted religion and that her "confessions" were placed under the seal of the Vatican is so ridiculous, that it’s rip-roaringly funny. By an Objectivist laughing at this joke he is not mocking Ayn Rand - he is mocking the ridiculous claims made by the author!! If this was passed off as factual information than it would be slander, but as it’s written as a joke, the author reinforces Rand's philosophy through direct contradiction. The only way this could be harmful is if the reader had no knowledge of Ayn Rand and also didn't perceive this was a joke (a pretty dimwitted reader). To further enhance the humor it was claimed to have been written by John Galt. This should have been posted under the section of "Objectivist Jokes". :)

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The only way this could be harmful is if the reader had no knowledge of Ayn Rand and also didn't perceive this was a joke (a pretty dimwitted reader).

I didn't "perceive" the text as a joke. Are you saying I am "pretty dimwitted"? Are you using this statement as an argument from intimidation?

Since a joke is a form of humor, that is, an effort to denigrate some object, and the object here was Ayn Rand, you are in effect agreeing that the author of the text was attacking Ayn Rand.

By the way, do you know what the term/idea "perceive" means in the context of Objectivism, which is the context of this forum? How can one "perceive" a joke?

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Anybody who was offended by that piece, please chill. Jonathan Swift was not a pedavore, and the author of the piece in question isn't a character assassin at heart.

The "thesis" of the piece was, "the most important atheist of the century was really a devout Catholic - dontcha know?" The proposition is so ludicrous that anybody familiar with her mere reputation can see it.

Of course it's funny, as is the claim that "Monica was really Clinton's wife. They got married in Utah in the Mormon church. Dontcha know?" Or how about, "Bill Gates never wrote a line of computer code - dontcha know?" Or "Jonathan Swift secretly ate human babies, though he paid their mothers in full. And his Modest Proposal was really a The Confessions of Jonathan Swift. Dontcha know?"

It was funny. The reader is not laughing at Ayn Rand, as is the one who laughs at the well-dressed man slipping on a banana peel. As the previous poster (whom it is a bit awkward to call myself) pointed out, the reader is laughing at the silliness of the piece.

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Mr. Laughlin, "perceive" in its non-epistemological sense, a sense which it is perfectly acceptable to use in the context of values, art, and humor, can mean "consider". It is only necessary to use the philosophical meaning of "perceive" in the context which makes it necessary: that context is metaphysics, epistemology, and science.

The object of the joke is not Ayn Rand. The object is the piece itself. The author of the text was not attacking Ayn Rand, just as Jonathan Swift was not attacking the children of the poor.

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