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 Post subject: anybody know Ayn Rand?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:31 pm 
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OK....this is my first post. I've been a member for a while, afraid to post...but, now, it's time. I need help from somebody, especially from someone who knows what they're talking about concerning philosophy.
Currently, I'm reading a book entitled, "The Virtue of Selfishness" by Ayn Rand. The book was given to me to read and digest, but now I have indigestion and I need help getting rid of the burn!!! She's an atheist, an incredibly smart atheist, and she's Aristotelian in logic. Alot of what she asserts makes sense, but this scares me. I'm afraid that my faith has been a bit shaken...but not destroyed. If their is anybody that is familiar with Ayn Rand and her philosophy or even the book I'm reading, I would ask that you please let me know. I have to apologize, because I find it difficult to articulate myself, even in writing, when dealing with philosophers and their philosophy. Rand is an Objectivist thinker...all I'm looking for right now is someone who is familiar with her and her philosophy. Why?! So I can defend myself from Atheistic Objectivist thinkers...if their is someone who knows her philosophy well, then I'd love to talk with you and share with you my struggles and worries concerning what I've read. God Bless!!!
-Jake-

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:41 pm 
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I used to be a follower of her... I spat her philosphy up

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:42 pm 
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Three suggestions:

1) Train yourself before reading the challenging stuff.
2) Find and read a copy of Architects of the Culture of Death. Rand is the subject of one of the chapters.
3) Read Kreeft and Tacelli's Handbook of Christian Apologetics. It's the best way I know of the get a start on (1).

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 2:11 pm 
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Master Obi-Wan...
Your sage wisdom has instilled within me a new desire...to "look" before I "leap"!!! I have a bad habit of getting in over my head sometimes, I'll have to work on that. My main problem is "trying" to argue with Objectivist thinkers. I know that the purpose of any argument/discussion is not to win the argument...I try all to hard to win souls to Christ. Anyway, thank you for suggesting those books for me to read. I won't let you down Master Obi...take care and God Bless!!!
Also, to Torquemada, OP....what turned you from Ayn Rand's philosophy? I'd love to hear from you through E-mail, or these lovely posts...thanks and God Bless!!!
-Jake-

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- Mortimer J. Adler-


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 Post subject: Re: anybody know Ayn Rand?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 10:24 pm 
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Jake wrote:
OK....this is my first post. I've been a member for a while, afraid to post...but, now, it's time. I need help from somebody, especially from someone who knows what they're talking about concerning philosophy.
Currently, I'm reading a book entitled, "The Virtue of Selfishness" by Ayn Rand. The book was given to me to read and digest, but now I have indigestion and I need help getting rid of the burn!!! She's an atheist, an incredibly smart atheist, and she's Aristotelian in logic. Alot of what she asserts makes sense, but this scares me. I'm afraid that my faith has been a bit shaken...but not destroyed. If their is anybody that is familiar with Ayn Rand and her philosophy or even the book I'm reading, I would ask that you please let me know. I have to apologize, because I find it difficult to articulate myself, even in writing, when dealing with philosophers and their philosophy. Rand is an Objectivist thinker...all I'm looking for right now is someone who is familiar with her and her philosophy. Why?! So I can defend myself from Atheistic Objectivist thinkers...if their is someone who knows her philosophy well, then I'd love to talk with you and share with you my struggles and worries concerning what I've read. God Bless!!!
-Jake-


Yes I know Ayn Rand. I've read Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged (very good but must be discerned through a christian lens), Anthem (which is very good short story) and I've studied a bit on here philosophy of Objectivism.

Atlas Shrugged is rated as the second most influential book next to the bible so I do think its good for Catholic apologists to know about it as they will be dealing with so-called Objectivist thinkers as you are.

I'm sorry but I did not find Rand entirely Aristolean in her logic but I think I know a bit where your coming from. The trick of course is discerning good from bad in the philosophical viewpoints. For example in 'Atlas' there is much in regards to her observations on the inroads socialists make using manufactured crisis. Her failure is of course the fact that she has a false view of the human person.

If you have specific examples I may be able to aid you in your debate with ' Objectivist thinkers'. I don't know what aspect is being debated....God/Atheism, radical individualism, politics, economics...etc.

Let me know.
Agomemnon.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 1:12 am 
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Jake, When I was much younger, I read a great deal of Ayn Rand. I was really taken in by the Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged etc. at the time. When I think back on these days, I think the idea that I found most appealing was the thought that we could and should do our very best at all times. I believed in the premise that we should always work hard and be the best that we can be.

I believe we should ALL do this! But it isn't a priority in most workplaces.

Now, if we are following Rand's ideology, we would be doing our best so that we could promote ourselves. WE would be the center of attention. WE would be the most important element in the picture.

But in a Christian ideology, we can do our best not for our own glory, but for the glory of God!

I think there is truth and there are falsehoods in Rand's philosophy. The truth is that you should always be the very best that you can be because God would want it that way! God would want you to use the wonderful gifts that He has given to you! The Ayn Rand-LIE is that our gifts are our own and that our actions serve only to glorify ourselves. That's my take on it...

So I would say do your best, BE your best, for the glory of God. NOT for your own glory!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 8:01 am 
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Nice avatar truthseeker.

I read quite a bit of Ayn Rand when I was younger too. I think the movie, The Passion of Ayn Rand, was the most objective look at her life. Her philosophies intrigue many, and gave rise to the Me Generation. But if you look at the reality of her life, she was not that different from other cult leaders. While she preached individuality, she did not tolerate it in her followers. Her followers were bullied into submission and conformity to her wishes and even her sexual desires.

Obi-wan, thanks for the book recommendations. I will have to get my hands on #2.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:28 pm 
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Here is one of the most potent attacks that my Materialist Atheist Phil professors taught me: one of her premises is that people ALWAYS do what is in their best interest, and that people SHOULD always do what is in their best interest. This is obviously not the case: smokers think that it is in their best interest to smoke a pack a day, because it helps them to get through the day, but obviously they have not considered long term consequences; while this example is elementary, it clearly demonstrates some of the problems with Rand's pre-suppositions and premises.
As someone aptly pointed out above, Rand as a false view of understanding the human person; it's not that it's not Christian, even Atheist philosophers hate her today because she's SO FULL OF FAULTS and ILLOGIC. Because a person aims to do what is in their self-interst, but often mis-interrupts what IS in their self-interest, her philosophy fails miserably on a practical day-to-day level. Like the Existentialist philosophers (Sartre, Camus, etc.) their "project-based" philosophy that advocates using people to achieve your own ends and goals, cannot handle a system of ethics and deteriorates into chaos, which is anti-thetical to any "philosophical" system because philosophy HAS TO BE rational; "chaos" (in the popular sense of the word only) is irrational, and human beings cannot be irrational or they "cease" to be human.
Any material that you would want to read contra-Rand would be pretty damning (no pun intended); the problem is, she is considered to be such a weak philosopher that no one really bothers to write about her.
I THINK the other argument that really demolishes her "system" is that she fails to provide an epistemology (the study of knowledge, how we know what it is that we know); since she can't describe how a human comes to know what is in its best interest, she's committing logical fallacies by making claims with no substantiating claims, i.e., she's winding a new Gordian knot.
Hope that helps.
p.s.--it's not that she's smart, it's that she's creating the illusion of being clever.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 6:00 pm 
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For what it's worth, I consider Rand's books to be pretty indispensable reading. Like Nietzsche, she asks all the right questions. She just comes up with the wrong answers.


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 Post subject: Re: anybody know Ayn Rand?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 7:45 pm 
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Jake wrote:
OK....this is my first post. I've been a member for a while, afraid to post...but, now, it's time. I need help from somebody, especially from someone who knows what they're talking about concerning philosophy.
Currently, I'm reading a book entitled, "The Virtue of Selfishness" by Ayn Rand. The book was given to me to read and digest, but now I have indigestion and I need help getting rid of the burn!!! She's an atheist, an incredibly smart atheist, and she's Aristotelian in logic. Alot of what she asserts makes sense, but this scares me. I'm afraid that my faith has been a bit shaken...but not destroyed. If their is anybody that is familiar with Ayn Rand and her philosophy or even the book I'm reading, I would ask that you please let me know. I have to apologize, because I find it difficult to articulate myself, even in writing, when dealing with philosophers and their philosophy. Rand is an Objectivist thinker...all I'm looking for right now is someone who is familiar with her and her philosophy. Why?! So I can defend myself from Atheistic Objectivist thinkers...if their is someone who knows her philosophy well, then I'd love to talk with you and share with you my struggles and worries concerning what I've read. God Bless!!!
-Jake-



Ayn Rand is one of those people about whom no middle ground is possible. Either you love her and think her a God, or you hate her and spit on her and think of her as an evil demon, this is no third option. I fall into the second category. Ayn Rand is uniquely loathed by professional philosophers, among whom she is considered to be a kook, a weirdo and a freak. 'The Objectivist school' is often referred to as a cult, and comparisons between her and somone like David Koresh are not uncommon, and these are the nice people, you should hear what the mean people say!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 8:11 pm 
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I'm in Doom's second category. Gah, just thinking about her for long enough to type this post makes me need an Excedrin.


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 Post subject: Re: anybody know Ayn Rand?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 9:48 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Jake wrote:
OK....this is my first post. I've been a member for a while, afraid to post...but, now, it's time. I need help from somebody, especially from someone who knows what they're talking about concerning philosophy.
Currently, I'm reading a book entitled, "The Virtue of Selfishness" by Ayn Rand. The book was given to me to read and digest, but now I have indigestion and I need help getting rid of the burn!!! She's an atheist, an incredibly smart atheist, and she's Aristotelian in logic. Alot of what she asserts makes sense, but this scares me. I'm afraid that my faith has been a bit shaken...but not destroyed. If their is anybody that is familiar with Ayn Rand and her philosophy or even the book I'm reading, I would ask that you please let me know. I have to apologize, because I find it difficult to articulate myself, even in writing, when dealing with philosophers and their philosophy. Rand is an Objectivist thinker...all I'm looking for right now is someone who is familiar with her and her philosophy. Why?! So I can defend myself from Atheistic Objectivist thinkers...if their is someone who knows her philosophy well, then I'd love to talk with you and share with you my struggles and worries concerning what I've read. God Bless!!!
-Jake-



Ayn Rand is one of those people about whom no middle ground is possible. Either you love her and think her a God, or you hate her and spit on her and think of her as an evil demon, this is no third option. I fall into the second category. Ayn Rand is uniquely loathed by professional philosophers, among whom she is considered to be a kook, a weirdo and a freak. 'The Objectivist school' is often referred to as a cult, and comparisons between her and somone like David Koresh are not uncommon, and these are the nice people, you should hear what the mean people say!



Well I think I fall into that unbelieveable 3rd category.
Yes she is Anti-Catholic
Yes she holds a distorted view of the human person.
All in all though I can respect and take from her words what is good and reject what is bad. Can't we say that perhaps she was a good observer of the means and deceptions by which the Socialists use. In Anthem it was the observation that the socialist avoid the individual self and freedom. In Atlas Shrugged it was how the Socialists use false 'altruism' and the 'manufactured crisis' in order to seize control. Also in Atlas Shrugged I was moved at how she identified that the Socialists use the achievers against themselves in order for the gain of Socialism. I can't help but think about how the Church has been used as well by the evil of Socialism.

Notice how silent we are on pro-aborts because we wouldn't want to risk the tax-exempt status. Hmmm.

To ignore Rand as a person concerned with philosophy and with Catholic apologists would do a great disservice to those in need of the Gospel.


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 Post subject: Re: Atlas Shrugged...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 11:16 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: anybody know Ayn Rand?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:22 pm 
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agomemnon wrote:
Well I think I fall into that unbelieveable 3rd category.
Yes she is Anti-Catholic
Yes she holds a distorted view of the human person.
All in all though I can respect and take from her words what is good and reject what is bad.


I fall into that thrid category as well. I think she had some truly beautiful insights into the sanctity of the individual, and there are passages in her writing that I will never forget. The problem I see is that she only believed in the sanctity of indivuals who were exactly like her in every way and agreed with everything she said. All other individuals were cannon fodder and beneath contempt. I just don't find that very logical.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:54 am 
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As always, the answer lies in the wisdom of South Park:

Officer Barbrady: "Yes, at first I was happy to be learning how to read. It seemed exciting and magical, but then I read this: 'Atlas Shrugged' by Ayn Rand. I read every last word of this garbage, and because of this piece of s***, I am never reading again."

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 9:10 am 
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Max Majestic wrote:
As always, the answer lies in the wisdom of South Park:

Officer Barbrady: "Yes, at first I was happy to be learning how to read. It seemed exciting and magical, but then I read this: 'Atlas Shrugged' by Ayn Rand. I read every last word of this garbage, and because of this piece of s***, I am never reading again."


:clap:

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:01 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 1:24 am 
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Dearest Agomemnon....
I am dealing with God/Atheism 'Objectivist thinkers'. It bothers me that she makes such a bold statement as to assume matter is eternal. Didn't she do this in "The Virtue of Selfishness"? I believe she said that Matter just changes forms...something like that. I suppose my problem lies in arguing with this type of person (i.e. the Objectivist thinker). How do I explain God to someone who's wrapped up in Ayn Rand? I've been told that the "Spiritual realm" is all in my head. However, there's something I've been wondering...why doesn't Ayn Rand try to refute the "proofs" for the existence of God?...or does she? Could you help me? Thank you for your help...sorry it took so long to reply! God Bless!!!
your brother in Christ,
Jake

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:15 pm 
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Jake wrote:
Dearest Agomemnon....
I am dealing with God/Atheism 'Objectivist thinkers'. It bothers me that she makes such a bold statement as to assume matter is eternal. Didn't she do this in "The Virtue of Selfishness"? I believe she said that Matter just changes forms...something like that. I suppose my problem lies in arguing with this type of person (i.e. the Objectivist thinker). How do I explain God to someone who's wrapped up in Ayn Rand? I've been told that the "Spiritual realm" is all in my head. However, there's something I've been wondering...why doesn't Ayn Rand try to refute the "proofs" for the existence of God?...or does she? Could you help me? Thank you for your help...sorry it took so long to reply! God Bless!!!
your brother in Christ,
Jake


Good question.

Well don't we now know that matter isn't eternal. Matter and energy are linked (E=MC2)? As well as the fact that teh Big Bang has actually been proven and rather than it being from a large mass it was that everything came about from an infentessimally small singularity.

The person is actually using justification of Ayn Rand for their atheism. Perhaps relying on her extreme views of radical individuality. The problem with Rand is that she makes the same errors as Marx. Just applying it differently. They both treat man as an economiic animal. They deny the purpose of humanity.

I'll think about your question and hopefully get a better answer for you.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:22 pm 
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agomemnon wrote:
Well don't we now know that matter isn't eternal. Matter and energy are linked (E=MC2)?


But the sum total of matter/energy is constant, as far as we know.

Quote:
As well as the fact that teh Big Bang has actually been proven


Not the case. It's the most viable theory out there, and strong evidence backing it has been found, but even in a weak sense (as opposed to "no other theory is possible) I think "proven" is too strong.

Please note that I'm obviously not agreeing with the atheist friend or with Ayn Rand, but I would like the counterarguments to be as sound as possible.

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