After reading Terry Goodkinds Sword of Truth fantasy series I somewhere snatched up that he was influenced by Ayn Rand. Reading up on her and Objectivism made me recognize the behaviour pattern of its protagonist Richard (spoiler warning). On the one hand, that made him a little less genuine. On the other hand, I got interested in the philosophy and came to like it. Some quotes I found rather interesting …It demands rational self-interest. Something I have come to value:
Reason is man’s only proper judge of values and his only proper guide to action. The proper standard of ethics is: man’s survival qua man – i.e., that which is required by man’s nature for his survival as a rational being (not his momentary physical survival as a mindless brute). Rationality is man’s basic virtue, and his three fundamental values are: reason, purpose, self-esteem. Man – every man – is an end in himself, not a means to the ends of others; he must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself; he must work for his rational self-interest, with the achievement of his own happiness as the highest moral purpose of his life.“ Thus Objectivism rejects any form of altruism – the claim that morality consists in living for others or for society.
It does integrate with my view on my own emotions and actions. At least, when taking into Account the following:
Objectivism holds that emotions are lightning-quick summaries of past thought. This makes them extremely valuable in day-to-day use, allowing an individual to make decisions based „on experience“ or „gut instinct“ without having to trace logical connections back to first principles every time. Emotions are also useful in life-and-death situations, where one must act quickly to get out of the way of a speeding car, or say no to a suspicious-feeling but otherwise friendly person offering a ride late at night.
This one I can agree with by personal experience:
[…] 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 posession of a heroine will give him the sense of achievement, not the possession of a brainless slut.
My philosophy advocates reason, not faith; it requires men to think – to accept nothing without a full, rational, firsthand understanding and conviction – to claim nothing without factual evidence and logical proof. A blind follower is precisely what my philosophy condemns and what I reject. Objectivism is not a mystic cult.
Personally, I think Objectivism might actually be a philosophy I could live by … I think I did so unconciously at least this year. I did read some of the critics, although most seemed far to theoretical to me. For now, lets just say I like it.