Ayn Rand
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26-12-2014, 06:51 AM
Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand was probably not much of a philosopher (That depends upon your definition of philosopher) and there was undoubtedly a lot in her thinking that was wrong, but one of the things that I learned from "The Virtue of Selfishness" is that there is no calvary that is coming to save my dumb ass from the realities of life. Life is what it is and I need to adjust myself to that reality or shrivel away into nothingness. Another thing I learned from another source is that the deep dark secret to life is that there are no deep dark secrets to life. There are only those people that create their own gods so they can pretend to know these (nonexistent) secrets. It gives them a sense of power to think they know more than the rest of us "regular" human beings. This, to my way of thinking, is the source of "religious" thinking--and is total bullshit.

I suppose I could be categorized as a non-cynical existentialist--or a "realist". I lean toward (Westernized) Buddhist thought which I do not consider a religion, at all: Buddah made the statement, "Do not accept any of my words on faith. Believing them just because I said them. Be like an analyst buying gold, who cuts, burns, and critically examines his product for authenticity. Only accept what passes the test, by proving useful and beneficial in your life." The "Dharma" is more allied to science than to religion--continually expanding, growing, evolving as our understanding of reality expands and evolves. In Buddhism, dogma is anathema. (At least, the version of Buddhism that I ascribe to. THe Dalai Lama (Tibetan Buddhism) suggests that our purpose is to help others find their own "gods" not to impose our gods upon them.

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.--Voltaire.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." --Thomas Paine.
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26-12-2014, 07:04 AM
RE: Ayn Rand
I hate the word "philosophy". It really is simply just another distortion of our evolutionary pattern seeking. Humans set up all sorts of elaborate schemes based on religion, politics and business, and all it boils down to is a justification for power over resources.

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26-12-2014, 07:18 AM (This post was last modified: 26-12-2014 07:25 AM by gofish!.)
RE: Ayn Rand
(26-12-2014 07:04 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  I hate the word "philosophy". It really is simply just another distortion of our evolutionary pattern seeking. Humans set up all sorts of elaborate schemes based on religion, politics and business, and all it boils down to is a justification for power over resources.

What's there to hate about a word that literally means "love of knowledge"?

Could it be that you harbour some preconceived ideas about philosophy?

"I don't mind being wrong...it's a time I get to learn something new..."
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N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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26-12-2014, 07:26 AM
RE: Ayn Rand
(26-12-2014 06:51 AM)666wannabe Wrote:  Ayn Rand was probably not much of a philosopher (That depends upon your definition of philosopher) and there was undoubtedly a lot in her thinking that was wrong, but one of the things that I learned from "The Virtue of Selfishness" is that there is no calvary that is coming to save my dumb ass from the realities of life. Life is what it is and I need to adjust myself to that reality or shrivel away into nothingness. Another thing I learned from another source is that the deep dark secret to life is that there are no deep dark secrets to life. There are only those people that create their own gods so they can pretend to know these (nonexistent) secrets. It gives them a sense of power to think they know more than the rest of us "regular" human beings. This, to my way of thinking, is the source of "religious" thinking--and is total bullshit.

I suppose I could be categorized as a non-cynical existentialist--or a "realist". I lean toward (Westernized) Buddhist thought which I do not consider a religion, at all: Buddah made the statement, "Do not accept any of my words on faith. Believing them just because I said them. Be like an analyst buying gold, who cuts, burns, and critically examines his product for authenticity. Only accept what passes the test, by proving useful and beneficial in your life." The "Dharma" is more allied to science than to religion--continually expanding, growing, evolving as our understanding of reality expands and evolves. In Buddhism, dogma is anathema. (At least, the version of Buddhism that I ascribe to. THe Dalai Lama (Tibetan Buddhism) suggests that our purpose is to help others find their own "gods" not to impose our gods upon them.

Ayn Rand...too long on my must-read list.

"I don't mind being wrong...it's a time I get to learn something new..."
Me.
N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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26-12-2014, 09:32 AM
RE: Ayn Rand
(26-12-2014 07:04 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  I hate the word "philosophy". It really is simply just another distortion of our evolutionary pattern seeking. Humans set up all sorts of elaborate schemes based on religion, politics and business, and all it boils down to is a justification for power over resources.

I do think that any philosophy that you do not apply to your own life is only an entertainment.

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.--Voltaire.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." --Thomas Paine.
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26-12-2014, 10:20 AM (This post was last modified: 26-12-2014 10:23 AM by gofish!.)
RE: Ayn Rand
(26-12-2014 09:32 AM)666wannabe Wrote:  
(26-12-2014 07:04 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  I hate the word "philosophy". It really is simply just another distortion of our evolutionary pattern seeking. Humans set up all sorts of elaborate schemes based on religion, politics and business, and all it boils down to is a justification for power over resources.

I do think that any philosophy that you do not apply to your own life is only an entertainment.

Sorry if I appear pedantic but that makes as much sense as saying "any science that you do not apply to your own life is only an entertainment." Philosophy is a discipline, an enquiry into ethics and human psychology. It is not an idea in of itself.

If you meant philosophy in the sense of "a philosophy", (e.g. existentialism) then I still disagree because it is feasible to disagree with "a philosophy", far more so than any one scientific hypothesis or theory. Utilitarianism is a prime example. However, considering different viewpoints allows one to test ethical constructs against the real-life challenges to which you apply them.

Philosophy is a pursuit of truth. What I think we might agree on is that all such enquiry, if not motivated by the desire to apply your findings to life is pure intellectual wankery.

However the only people who I know like that I would not even call "philosophers".

"I don't mind being wrong...it's a time I get to learn something new..."
Me.
N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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26-12-2014, 04:41 PM
RE: Ayn Rand
(26-12-2014 06:51 AM)666wannabe Wrote:  Another thing I learned from another source is that the deep dark secret to life is that there are no deep dark secrets to life. There are only those people that create their own gods so they can pretend to know these (nonexistent) secrets.
I believe that a valid argument can be made that Sigmund Freud and I disagree with your point that the secrets are non-existent. If you had said "non-existent to the conscious mind" I would have agreed with you. But Sigmund explained that there is an unconscious mind that is full of things which are "secret" from the conscious mind. The fact that you have not discovered a path to this hidden part of yourself does not prove it's non-existence of its' contents.
(26-12-2014 06:51 AM)666wannabe Wrote:  It gives them a sense of power to think they know more than the rest of us "regular" human beings. This, to my way of thinking, is the source of "religious" thinking--and is total bullshit.
Gaining access to your unconscious mind actually IS a source of tremendous power, and a person who has done the work to accomplish this truly does know more than a person who has not. This is true not because they have more knowledge but because they have more understanding.
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26-12-2014, 05:08 PM
RE: Ayn Rand
I like that Ayn Rand inspired Rush's 2112. That's all I got to say about that.

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26-12-2014, 06:00 PM
RE: Ayn Rand
Quote:there is no calvary

Don't you mean cavalry? Calvary implies something else.

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26-12-2014, 09:40 PM
RE: Ayn Rand
" or shrivel away into nothingness" My good friend I must tell you there you are wrong. It's not much of an or but a will. It's a part of Ryandiness I don't rather like. It's not to say everything you do is meaningless and therefore shouldn't be done, but I think one shouldn't need to deem things in any highly manner or think of them as avoiding a negative if you don't.

I don't think existentialism is by any means naturally cynical. Critics of it from some angles may view it that way, usually because the outcomes of the literary characters are bleak. It's pretty much along what you're getting to but it really a label that means so much or so little in context. I've enjoyed the thought process of merging Buddhist or zen Buddhist ideas with the western skeptical existential like thoughts I've usually had. It's enjoyable to think of it as long as you don't deem anything of the spiritual nature of one side or the rather pointless side of the other.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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