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Is my view of O'ism basically correct?

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GWDS
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Hello everyone.

I've always held Objectivism at arms length mainly due to the stereotype of the 'Evil Greedy Ayn Rand', I do have one question though an Objectivist was not able to answer for me, hence I post it here.

It seems to me the foundation of Objectivism is a certain veiw of the state of Nauture. It assumes that mankind is still involved in a kind of war of all against all in which each individual must do everything they can to secure their own existence and hapiness in a nessecary struggle against others with similar goals. With this starting point Objectivism moves on to condemn any action outside survival - self sacrifice, altruism, socialism, etc.

Is this a basically correct picture of the philosophy?

If so, I have serious doubts about it. Ayn Rand takes the most chaotic picture of Nature - ignoring the fact that nature is as often in a state of cooperation as competition - to paint the ideal human society. I beleive that this sort of thinking causes us to wind back the clock of progress. Such things as the public trust, charity, and compassion, which took man eras to create, can now be ignored in our quest to realise the more primitve state of nature Rand proclaims.

This is my basic greivance with Objectivism, can anyone comment on this?

(I apologise for the choppy nature of the post, typed at 2 am. ^_^ )

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It assumes that mankind is still involved in a kind of war of all against all in which each individual must do everything they can to secure their own existence and hapiness in a nessecary struggle against others with similar goals. With this starting point Objectivism moves on to condemn any action outside survival - self sacrifice, altruism, socialism, etc.

Is this a basically correct picture of the philosophy?

No. This type of error is called a "false dichotomy", which means you are considering two possible alternatives, and ignoring that there is actually a third alternative (which happens to be the true one).

The third alternative to the two you describe, and the one that is the correct "picture" of Objectivism is that each individual must do everything they can to secure their own existence and happiness without preventing anyone else from doing exactly the same.

Securing one's happiness does not mean robbing it from someone else. It means creating it, and creation does not require destruction.

Edited by TomL
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Welcome to the forum

To more clearly introduce yourself with Objectivism, read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

It seems to me the foundation of Objectivism is a certain veiw of the state of Nauture. It assumes that mankind is still involved in a kind of war of all against all
No, I don't think your view is correct at all. The foundations of Objectivism are metaphysical and epistememic axiomatic concepts. From these facts--the nature of reality and the nature of men--one derrives values on how he ought to act.

Ayn Rand takes the most chaotic picture of Nature

Ayn Rand thought reality is constant and knowable, unlike other philosophies which equate to reality being in a constant flux and unknowable or created by our minds.

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If so, I have serious doubts about it. Ayn Rand takes the most chaotic picture of Nature - ignoring the fact that nature is as often in a state of cooperation as competition - to paint the ideal human society. I beleive that this sort of thinking causes us to wind back the clock of progress. Such things as the public trust, charity, and compassion, which took man eras to create, can now be ignored in our quest to realise the more primitve state of nature Rand proclaims.

Ayn Rand never took a chaotic picture of Nature, nor did she ever describe it as chaotic. The most she said was that the universe had no artificial order (i.e. whatever order there is, it is natural, caused by natural laws - and this order is only understood by scientists and those who studied natural sciences).

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Hello everyone.

I've always held Objectivism at arms length mainly due to the stereotype of the 'Evil Greedy Ayn Rand', I do have one question though an Objectivist was not able to answer for me, hence I post it here.

It seems to me the foundation of Objectivism is a certain veiw of the state of Nauture. It assumes that mankind is still involved in a kind of war of all against all in which each individual must do everything they can to secure their own existence and hapiness in a nessecary struggle against others with similar goals. With this starting point Objectivism moves on to condemn any action outside survival - self sacrifice, altruism, socialism, etc.

Is this a basically correct picture of the philosophy?

No, that is not a correct picture of the philosophy. Go here for a brief introduction to Objectivism by Miss Rand.
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Is [the view that mankind is still involved in a kind of war of all against all ...] ...basically correct picture of the philosophy?

No, this is not a correct interpretation. In fact, a closer (though incomplete) statment of the Objectivist position in this arena would read as follows: "There is no conflict of interests among rational human beings".

If so, I have serious doubts about it.

Excellent. If so, I would have more than just doubts.

You have not mentioned from where you get you information about Ayn Rand's philosophy. Someone suggested that you read Atlkas Shrugged. I will suggest a musch easier task: read just the first (40-page) essay in "The Virtue of Selfishness". It is the best condensation of the Objectivist Ethics that you will find; and it is written by Ayn Rand herself.

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5 replies in about ten hours. Is every objectivist on the net on this forum? :P

I looked into Ayn Rand about 3 years ago but very quickly was put off by what I had read. I'll look into the virtue of selfishness, read it, then post again if warranted.

Thanks for the help.

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It seems to me the foundation of Objectivism is a certain veiw of the state of Nauture. It assumes that mankind is still involved in a kind of war of all against all in which each individual must do everything they can to secure their own existence and hapiness in a nessecary struggle against others with similar goals. With this starting point Objectivism moves on to condemn any action outside survival - self sacrifice, altruism, socialism, etc.

This war of "all against all" is actually from Hobbes and Social Darwinism.

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It seems to me the foundation of Objectivism is a certain veiw of the state of Nauture. It assumes that mankind is still involved in a kind of war of all against all in which each individual must do everything they can to secure their own existence and hapiness in a nessecary struggle against others with similar goals. With this starting point Objectivism moves on to condemn any action outside survival - self sacrifice, altruism, socialism, etc.

Is this a basically correct picture of the philosophy?

No, that's Hobbes' philosophy.

One of the doctrines of Objectivism is that there are no conflicts of interest among rational individuals in a society which respects individual rights. In fact, people cooperating with each other - by their own volition and on terms which are mutually favorable - mutually benefit.

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Is this a basically correct picture of the philosophy?

No it is not correct. Objectivism does not advocate acting to survive, it advocates living. What I mean by this is that Objectivistm is a philosophy aimed as describing man's life as a sum of goal-oriented actions. For Man, Life has a purpose beyond survival and this purpose is based on volitional actions. Animals act to survive, not out of choice but by instinct. Man does not have instincts, he has free will, and therefore acts not just to survive but to live.

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