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PhilosophyGround >> Ayn Rand?


6/21/04 11:19 AM
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IndianaBrandon
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Edited: 21-Jun-04
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Is her philosophy sound? How does she compare to say Nietzsche? or Kant? What book of hers should I read first? Thank You.
6/22/04 11:43 AM
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willconley777
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Edited: 22-Jun-04
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ugh. "anthem" was pure rhetoric with no human interest. i've also read "the fountainhead" and half of "atlas shrugs", which appears to be a recapitulation of "the fountainhead". those latter two books were highly readable. i went to an objectivism club meeting at the university of minnesota. we watched leanard piekoff (sp?) explain randian epistomology. one person spoke up during the video, and the club leader chastised her to her embarassment. i left to go to work and never came back. the fountainhead got my college freshman brain straining so hard against my heart that i dumped my girlfriend of a year and a half. i've never read any of rand's nonfiction philosophical works. that is my experience with rand.
6/22/04 12:36 PM
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IndianaBrandon
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Edited: 22-Jun-04
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Sounds like a cult then. Thanks willconley.
6/22/04 1:03 PM
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sanguine cynic
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Edited: 22-Jun-04
Member Since: 06/13/2004
Posts: 14
Not sound.
6/23/04 11:03 PM
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FudoMyoo
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Edited: 23-Jun-04
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and still you got 100% Ayn Rand on my other thread sc.. funny
6/24/04 12:30 AM
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IndianaBrandon
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Edited: 24-Jun-04
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Any believers of Ayn Rand here?
6/24/04 5:31 AM
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Dogbert
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Edited: 24-Jun-04
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Here is a subtle parody of her philosophy: Become an Objectivist in Ten Easy Steps by Ayndrej Bauer Here you can find introductions from the true believers: http://www.aynrand.org/intro.html
6/26/04 10:22 PM
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Jenny
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Edited: 26-Jun-04
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i have read atlas shrugged. she differs from kant on metaphysics -- no way i'll pretend to understand it all -- whether or not the knowable is at least thinkable, and ethics (selflessness/duty) -- she argues against a priori judgment, and basically says there is no room for faith. they agree on reason/knowledge.
7/22/04 5:58 PM
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IndianaBrandon
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Edited: 22-Jul-04
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Since starting this thread Ive read "the Fountainhead" and "Philosophy who needs it?". She's big on the supremecy of reason. Capitalism. Dosent like faith or emotions. Dosent believe in God. Seems to be against morals and preaches a selfish lifestyle. Dosent think charity is a good thing. Im not well versed enough in Objectivism vs. Other Philosophy's to critize Rand. But I think if someone follows Objectivism people would consider you an asshole. I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian enviroment and alot of her ideas run contrary to what Ive grown up thinking like. Im no longer a Christian, but I still believe helping someone out is a good thing. And I believe in morals, and Im agnostic instead of an athiest. But I might read some more of Ayn Rand while I dont agree she is interesting.
8/8/04 1:41 PM
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populist
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Edited: 08-Aug-04
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No. The arrogant epistemology seems to me almost pre-modern in its dogmatism, yet like a cheap knock-off of a goofy Cartesian-Schoepenhauerian hybrid. The ethics are eerily fascist--Nietzsche stripped of the indifference to status, the disdain for material power and the humility owed to realization of ontological smallness. I would compare it to Raskolnikov, but he at least had some warped altruistic intent behind his warped vision of the superman. I may as well cut to the chase and say very little in Rand resembles philosophy except in the most superficial way. It all reads to me like an obsessive apologia for the fantasies of grandiosity spun out by some brainy, terrifically insecure social maladepts. It always reminds me of the smug philosophizing of a clique of dorky kids explaining why they are not and would not want to be part of the cool crowd. And, yes, eventually they can develop cults out of their elaborate ego-defense. Interestingly enough, I've noticed a lot of the same thing among "martial artists," among whom I've met plenty of big Ayn Rand fans.
8/15/04 7:27 PM
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memyselfi
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Edited: 16-Aug-04 09:47 PM
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Objectivism is the philosophy of people who don't want to do philosophy. Meaning that I've run into more people who identify themselves as "philosophers" but upon deeper questioning have only read the Fountainhead and consider everything else as flawed just because it is not Rand. Individuals do tend towards cult-like behavior, but with strong individualistic ideals, I doubt there will ever be an Objectivist group of any importance.
11/12/04 10:59 PM
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DirkH
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Edited: 12-Nov-04
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memyselfi, most of your above post may be true. I have only read the Fountain Head and Atlas Shrugged. But I would have to agree with Rand's assertion that far to many "philosophers" seem to want to use their philosophy to tell other people what to do. All the good intentions in the world doesn't give me the right to tell you how to live your life. That seems to be a common theme in her books.
11/15/04 1:33 PM
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Dogbert
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Edited: 15-Nov-04
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"But I would have to agree with Rand's assertion that far to many "philosophers" seem to want to use their philosophy to tell other people what to do." Like...uhm...Ayn Rand?
11/15/04 4:48 PM
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DirkH
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Edited: 15-Nov-04
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Dogbert, please find me ONE example in Rands books where she advocates using force to control others.
11/16/04 12:28 PM
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Dogbert
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Edited: 16-Nov-04
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"Dogbert, please find me ONE example in Rands books where she advocates using force to control others." Novlists don´t 'advocate' much in a technical sense. And telling other people what to do is different from forcing them to do something. These are the important semantic subtleties that make up most of philosophy. Not for randroids.
11/16/04 9:30 PM
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DirkH
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Edited: 16-Nov-04
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"And telling other people what to do is different from forcing them to do something." You are absolutely right. In Atlas Shrugged, all the people using force were clearly the "bad" guys. The guys just trying to live their lives were the "good" guys.
11/17/04 10:50 AM
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Dogbert
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Edited: 17-Nov-04
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The rape scene in The Fountainhead on the other side...
11/17/04 5:00 PM
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DirkH
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Edited: 17-Nov-04
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Yeah Dogbert, that was kind of wierd, but the bitch was asking for it! (LOL) You do realize that the most common sexual fantasy of women is being raped, (but by the man of their choosing). I suppose Rand wasn't above this. I hope no women read this thread. I know I'll get called awful names for that, but it's true.
11/18/04 1:47 AM
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Dogbert
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Edited: 18-Nov-04
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"You do realize that the most common sexual fantasy of women is being raped, (but by the man of their choosing). I suppose Rand wasn't above this." Yes, but that doesn´t readily translate to advise about what men should do.
11/19/04 12:14 PM
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DirkH
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Edited: 19-Nov-04
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Zeke, BULL CRAP. I suggest you check a dictionary. Fascism NOUN: a. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism. b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government. 2. Oppressive, dictatorial control. Atlas Shrugged is a total refutation of govenment control, central planning, and authoitarianism. If you dislike or disagree with Rand fine, but don't say she is the opposite of what she is. Her books were PRO individual, not COLLECTIVIST (in either of its flavors, socialism or fascism).
11/22/04 4:53 PM
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Dogbert
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Edited: 22-Nov-04
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Well, I´m sure it´s more in line with the "philosophical" writing of Hitler than Mussolini.
11/23/04 8:10 PM
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DirkH
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Edited: 23-Nov-04
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"boring and mechanistic" are your OPINIONS. No more contestable than "I like apples". I disagree but to each his own. The facism crap is contestable!
7/6/05 11:36 PM
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Jenny
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Edited: 06-Jul-05 11:39 PM
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"and her arguments leave a lot to be desired" i disagree. "People think that sex is a physical capacity which functions independently of one's mind, choice, or code of values. They think that your body creates a desire and makes a choice for you -- just about in some such way as if iron ore transformed itself into railroad rails of its own volition. Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a man's sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions. Tell me what a man finds sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy of life. Show me the woman he sleeps with and I will tell you his valuation of himself. No matter what corruption he's taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which he cannot perform for any motive but his own enjoyment -- just try to think of performing it as an act of selfless charity! -- an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exaltation, only in the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces him to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and to accept his real ego as his standard of value. He will always be attracted to the woman who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the woman whose surrender permits him to experience -- or to fake -- a sense of self-esteem. The man who is proudly certain of his own value will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer, because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of an achievement, not the possession of a brainless slut. He does not seek to gain his value, but to express it. There is no conflict between the standards of his mind and the desires of his body... Observe the ugly mess which most men make of their sex lives -- and observe the mess of contradictions which they hold as their moral philosophy. One proceeds from the other. Love is our response to our highest values, and can be nothing else. Let a man corrupt his values and his view of existence -- let him profess that love is not self-enjoyment but self-denial, that virtue consists, not of pride but of pity or pain or weakness or sacrifice, that the noblest love is born, not of admiration but of charity, not in response to values but in response to flaws, -- and he will have cut himself in two. His body will not obey him, it will not respond, it will make him impotent toward the woman he professes to love and draw him to the lowest type of whore he can find. His body will always follow the logic of his deepest convictions; if he believes that flaws are values, he has damned existence as evil and only the evil will attract him. He has damned himself and he will feel that depravity is all he is worthy of enjoying... Then he will scream that his body has vicious desires of its own which his mind cannot conquer, that sex is sin, that true love is a pure emotion of the spirit. And then he will wonder why love brings him nothing but boredom and sex nothing but shame.... Only the man who extols the purity of a love devoid of desire is capable of the depravity of a desire devoid of love." whatcha think about that?
7/6/05 11:43 PM
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Jenny
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Edited: 06-Jul-05
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or this: "So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil? "When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears not all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor—your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money, Is this what you consider evil? "Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions—and you'll learn that man's mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth. "But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made—before it can be looted or mooched—made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can't consume more than he has produced.' "To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return. Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more. Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain, not their loss—the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery—that you must offer them values, not wounds—that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods. Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men's stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best that your money can find. And when men live by trade—with reason, not force, as their final arbiter—it is the best product that wins, the best performance, the man of best judgment and highest ability—and the degree of a man's productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil? "But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality—the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind. "Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants: money will not give him a code of values, if he's evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he's evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up by becoming the victim of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him, but the cheats and the frauds come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered: that no man may be smaller than his money. Is this the reason why you call it evil? "Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth—the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one, would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve the mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil? "Money is your means of survival. The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men's vices or men's stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment's or a penny's worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you'll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money? "Money will always remain an effect and refuse to replace you as the cause. Money is the product of virtue, but it will not give you virtue and it will not redeem your vices. Money will not give you the unearned, neither in matter nor in spirit. Is this the root of your hatred of money?
7/6/05 11:46 PM
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Jenny
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Edited: 06-Jul-05
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"Or did you say it's the LOVE of money that's the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It's the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money—and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it. "Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it. "Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another—their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun. "But money demands of you the highest virtues, if you wish to make it or to keep it. Men who have no courage, pride or self-esteem, men who have no moral sense of their right to their money and are not willing to defend it as they defend their life, men who apologize for being rich—will not remain rich for long. They are the natural bait for the swarms of looters that stay under rocks for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of a man who begs to be forgiven for the guilt of owning wealth. They will hasten to relieve him of the guilt—and of his life, as he deserves. "Then you will see the rise of the men of the double standard—the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money—the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law—men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims—then money becomes its creators' avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they've passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter. "Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion—when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing—when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors—when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you—when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice—you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that is does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot. "Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked, 'Account overdrawn.' "When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, 'Who is destroying the world? You are.

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