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Relationships with religious people

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I am working on my own list even as we speak, thanks to the suggestion of Tom and his lovely wife. They have been an imense help in realizing many different aspects about a healthy relationship and why I have had problems in the past with my pursuit of a relationship. All or nothing is the mindset one needs to have when pursuing a relationship.

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Another thought to add here....

Why would anyone want to sell themselves short? When you enter into a romantic relationship, you are saying "This person reflects my moral values." If she doesn't reflect them all, you've given up minutes/hours/months/years of your life in exchange for a value less than what you could possibly have had, and maybe she walked right on by while you were busy with the lesser value. Whoops.

So ask yourself -- how much are you worth? Aren't you worthy of having 100% moral agreement?

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How long did it take?  I haven't met a girl that I really wanted to have a meaningful relationship with in a loooong time  :santa:

It takes as long as it takes. To do any less than having that 100% reflection of your moral values is to lie... and lies ALWAYS come back to harm you in the end. You might shy away from the pain of loneliness, but TRUST ME, the greater pain is in denying the facts.

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How long did it take?  I haven't met a girl that I really wanted to have a meaningful relationship with in a loooong time  :santa:

If you mean "How long did it take for me to define, realize, seek out, and find my values reflected in another?" the answer is: 32 years (my age at the time).

If you mean "How long did take from the time you realized it needed to be all-or-nothing until you actually found it?" the answer is: a lot quicker. I already knew her at the time I came to this conclusion, but we were not romantically involved. Only a matter of months, actually.

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I have no confusion on the distinction between morally required values and optional values. I thought I made that clear in my last post, but I guess I didn't. I don't dispute that there are certain values that are, as you put it, morally required. What I did dispute was that an Objectivist necessarily has to marry another Objectivist. Holding those values is not what makes someone an Objectivist (althought it is part of being an Objectivist).

In fact my exact words were: "...I certainly wouldn't end a relationship because the person I loved disagreed Miss Rand on some minor issues..." I went on to give two specific examples of what I considered minor in regard to a romantic relationship.

I didn't notice anywhere that "morally required values" was specified, so I assumed that you guys were talking about ALL values. Perhaps the confusion was in that. (Granted, I didn't read the entire thread in detail, so I may have missed an earlier post where the context of "morally required" was set.)

P.S. I'll add that while Objectivism does specify a certain set of morally required values, I don't think that list is exhaustive, and different Objectivists may add on to that list with other values they consider morally required.

Edited for typos.

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Those two examples you gave are NOT optional values.

("conceptualization occurs only in humans, or that Naturalism in art is objectively inferior to Romanticism")

Those are FACTS and it would not be proper to marry someone who was in opposition to reason like that.

You need to step back and FULLY consider what you are proposing. You are saying that the person you wed... the highest living reflection of yourself, your most beloved, your mate for life.... does not have to be an Objectivist. This is someone who you know well and who you have shown Objectivism to. (unless you are also saying that you should get married after the first date!) They have SEEN the ideas of Objectivism. And... this person... REJECTS OBJECTIVISM. And you're saying that it is proper to MARRY this person.

If that is so, then there is some kind of large disconnect between us. I just couldn't fathom doing that.

(oh, BTW, in case you didn't know I am also a happily married Objectivist... and so is my wife)

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Those two examples you gave are NOT optional values

Indeed, they aren't values at all, although they are facts that can guide one in choosing values.

You need to step back and FULLY consider what you are proposing.
I have. Of course, I would love to be involved with someone who was an Objectivist. It'd be great, but it's not a deal-breaker. I seem to remember reading somewhere that Frank O'Connor was not an Objectivist, in the sense Ayn Rand specified that the term should be used, although I don't remember exactly where and could be mistaken (I think it was said that he was very intellectual and just wasn't concerned with philosophy in general). There are certain aspects of Objectivism I would think it's absolutely necessary for a spouse (and my friends) to agree with, there are others that I don't.

...there is some kind of large disconnect between us. I just couldn't fathom doing that.

If you, or anyone else, decides that their spouse MUST be an Objectivist, then, by all means, go out and find and Objectivist. I don't choose to place that limitation on myself. I am an Objectivist because I understand and agree with the entire philosophy (I don't agree with everything Miss Rand ever wrote, however). As I said before, I don't think it's necessary to have a spouse who understands and agrees with the entire philosophy.

(oh, BTW, in case you didn't know I am also a happily married Objectivist... and so is my wife)

I didn't know that, and I congratulate you! I am not married, nor am I even actively looking to get involved with anyone romantically at present.

We may just have to agree to disagree here. I don't really see what either of us has to gain by running around in circles rephrasing the same arguments over and over again. I'm going to pursue the values I want to pursue, and you are going to pursue the values you want to pursue, and that's exactly as it should be!

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Dave,

If you think that a person can disagree with "some" of Objectivism, then you don't understand the philosophy. Every single element of the philosophy necessitates all the others. It's a closed system. Someone who disagreed with "some" of Objectivism would be either someone who hasn't checked their premises or an open irrationalist.

If it is the former, why are you marrying that person BEFORE you have the discussion in which this contradiction is addressed?

If it is the latter, why would you want to marry an open irrationalist?

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If you think that a person can disagree with "some" of Objectivism, then you don't understand the philosophy.

I do understand the philosophy, and don't disagree with any part of it. I don't think that a person who agrees with one part of Objectivism MUST agree with all others. Rational One on this board, for instance, is Pro-Life. The reason he has given is that he disagrees with Miss Rand's premise that a potential human life is different from an actual human life. (Rational One, I hope you don't mind my using you as an example here. I can't see why you would, since you are open about your disagreement on the abortion issue.)

I'm not saying that I would marry a woman who knowingly accepts a contradiction. I'm saying that I may marry a woman who disagrees with one of Miss Rand's premises. For instance, if someone believes that certain non-human primates do possess the ability to use concepts, that person would also say that those primates had rights, etc., etc. Honestly, I could really care less whether or not anyone else in the world thinks Chimps can conceptualize and have rights. I'd probably just roll my eyes at them and move on. In other words, I don't think animals have rights, but it's not an issue that has much effect on my life.

If it is the former, why are you marrying that person BEFORE you have the discussion in which this contradiction is addressed? If it is the latter, why would you want to marry an open irrationalist?

Suppose the contradiction has been addressed, and I still haven't been able to prove to her that the premise she has accepted is false. I'm not the best of teachers (actually, I'm very bad at it), and it's not a skill I care to develop. Occasionally, two people come to a stand-still in a disagreement, and you have to decide how important the disagreement really is. If it's a BIG disagreement, you end the relationship and move on; if it's a small one, you can move on without compromising your own knowledge of what is true - just like what's happening here.

I would never marry a woman who I thought was overtly irrational. I would marry a woman who was rational in general, but may hold one or two irrational ideas, but not realize they are irrational. There is a difference from accepting a false premise and thus arriving at a false conclusion without being aware of any contradiction, and being fully aware of a contradiction and refusing to check ones premises. The first is an error in thinking, the second is immorality. I wouldn't hold the first against a prospective mate. The second, I most definitely would.

This discussion has already taken more time than it's worth for me, particularly since I'm not involved with anyone now and don't plan on it anytime in the near future. I'm going to bow out of this thread now, and be on my way.

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Before you go, two things: first, the question of conceptualizing animals is an opinion of Ayn Rand, not a principle of Objectivism. That question is one of the specialized sciences, so it's really not a valid example in this case. The one about naturalism is.

Second, this:

I would marry a woman who was rational in general, but may hold one or two irrational ideas, but not realize they are irrational.

The above statement can only be explained in two ways: either you have pointed that contradiction out to her or not.

If you have not, WHY NOT? Why are you willing to ENTER INTO MARRAIGE before you address something as IMPORTANT as this?

If you have, then WHY DOES SHE STILL HOLD IT? It is false and provably so. You have volume upon volume of Objectivism that shows you just how and why her idea is false. Why can't you prove it to her? Why are you willing to marry her before you are able to prove it to her? Why are you so tolerant of falsehood in those that are so close to you?

I would think it would be okay to "move on" (i.e. agree to disagree) for a person who you don't know very well and don't particularly care what they think. BUT FOR YOUR SPOUSE?!?

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Did John Galt have a relationship with a woman "in his area" before Dagny just because she was far away and he was lonely?  She was, and he was... but what did he do?  Why?

First off, I'm not John Galt. I am John DeMarco. Second off, John Galt had his sites of Dagny by working in the tunnels for the railroad all those years. He knew she existed, knew where she lived and most everything about her. So, I don't think your argument has much standing. He saw the ideal; I am discovering it. And, I don't just date any "chick" that I come across; there are rigid standards I hold for the relationship to even go beyond the first date - religion isn't one of the major issues, since the nature of religion in ones life evolves and changes (as mine when I discovered Ayn Rand). My girlfriend and I share many values: we value intellect, attraction, family, our education and we both have aspriations for the future. Our familes (even extended) have been welcoming.

You are suffering from an ideal/practical false dichotomy.  I would suggest re-reading (if you haven't already) chapter 9 of OPAR, and apply that to your thinking here.
I'll relook that section.

It is also wrong for you to take up someone's time on this earth (hers, not to mention yours) when you are already well aware of the very real possibility of failure of the relationship.  She could be doing something else more productive, depending on how she chooses her own values.  You should at least advise her on what you estimate your chances for a lifetime together are.  If you don't know -- you shouldn't be in a romantic relationship to begin with.

Perhaps I took a fatalistic view on the issue, and I'll admit that. But, accepting the possibilty of failure in the relationship is wrong? I have real issues with that. We live in reality, not novels or fantasy. My mother married my father in 1980 - he was her first boyfriend, since my grandparents restricted her dating habits. She didn't know what she valued in a man, even at the age of 28 because she never dated, never discovered what she wanted. The marriage ended eight years later with a bitter divorce that has unresolved issues to this day. We "date" because we need to discover what we want in another person and when we find that ideal we are to marry, have children and live the rest of our lifes in selfish happiness.

My current g/f can be that person, but I'm lying to myself if I tell myself on the eve of our one month anniversary that she's the woman I want to live with for the rest of my life. She could be and she may not be. How can I estimate what our chances of getting married are after being together for one month? I find that absurd. I can rationally look at say, until our graduation in Spring 2006; and yes, I see what we will be together until then for at least the next 15 months. But, she has aspiriations of teaching in the South at a particular military base while I plan to remain here in New Jersey for at least the rest of my working life. Maybe in the interim this will change as we grow closer.

In addition, it's tacky and perhaps unrealistic to tell a woman who you've been with for a month, "Honey, I think we have a 36% chance of getting married someday". While I may have my own calculus, it changes over time. Our hour together over brunch (I remember fondly) was very tense because we're both very shy individuals. If you asked me "what is your percentage for getting married to this woman?" I'd probably say "very minimal".. but over the course of the date we opened up and realized that we have X, Y, and Z interests. By the end of the date we were so enthralled with eachother that she invited me to a family function the next weekend and I accepted.

I would also point out that "in my area" is a false limitation and trap you are setting for yourself.  Also, a mother's love for a child is not the same as romantic love.  It is not the value of herself/her own values she sees in you, but her own fullfillment as a woman qua woman.

Yes, and I admit that flaw. Non-sexual platonic love (pardon the usage) is different than romantic love. I still have an issue over your objection to my limitation of potential partners because of geographic limitations.

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