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I will not die it's the world that will end

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Ayn Rand cited some unknown Greek Philosopher she read at 16 who said "I will not die, it's the world that will end".

Does anybody know who that philosopher was?

Do you have the contextual paragraphs around it?

A...

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One place where she said this was in a Donohue interview. I'm pretty sure it was an original and not a quote.

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One place where she said this was in a Donohue interview. I'm pretty sure it was an original and not a quote.

Looks that way.

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Was there any indication whether or not she agreed with it?

A soul seems out of place in the little I know of her beliefs.

Greg

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"What I've always thought was a sentence from some Greek philosopher – I don't, unfortunately, remember who it was – that I read at 16, and it's affected me all my life: “I will not die. It's the world that will end.” And that's absolutely true. And, you know, for me now, it should be a serious question because my time is fairly limited. And I have the same feeling, that I will enjoy life to the last moment, and when it's the end I don't have to worry about it; I'm not there. It's too bad that the world will end, and I think a very wonderful world will end with me."

On the Tom Snyder show, around the 13:10 mark...



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Ah... her world. :smile:

Makes perfect sense now in context.

This world is constantly coming to an end... because each of our worlds end when we do.

Greg

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"She had often quote the saying: 'It is not I who will die, it is the world that will end.' Her world was coming to an end." -Barbara Branden. THE PASSION OF AYN RAND, pg. 403

James Day interview:

James Day: "How do you, as an Objectivist, feel about death?"
Ayn Rand: "It doesn't concern me in the least, because I won't be here to know it. The worst thing about death, and what I regard as the most horrible human tragedy, is to lose someone you love. That is terribly hard. But your own death? If you're finished, you're finished. My purpose is not to worry about death but to live life now, here on earth."

From a Peikoff podcast:
Episode 53 (06:54)
"'Ayn Rand once said that her view on death was something she had heard from a poet whose name she could not remember.' (The poet, by the way, is Badger Clark, and the poem was called "The Westener.") 'And the line she quoted was, "The world will end the day I die."

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As to the source of the quote, this was suggested, at the Forum for Ayn Rand Fans:


http://forums.4aynrandfans.com/index.php?showtopic=13350

The closest passage I've found in the Greek philosophers is this one, from Epicurus's letter to Menoecius:


"Accustom thyself to believe that death is nothing to us, for good and evil imply sentience, and death is the privation of all sentience ..."
[quoted in Jason L. Saunders, ed., Greek and Roman Philosophy after Aristotle, p. 50]

This thought was repeated by several followers of Epicurus, e.g. Lucretius in Book 3 of On the Nature of Things:

"From all this it follows that death is nothing to us and no concern of ours, since our tenure of the mind is mortal."
[ibid., p. 36]

and

"Epicurus stated his view as: ''Where death is not, I am; where death is, I am not.' This is essentially Rand's view."

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Utter poppycock. This world has been going on for over 4 billion years. When we die, the world goes on and our bodies rot...

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Here is a quote from the Snyder video above that is great food for thought for those who take Rand's meaning of selfishness in a superficial manner.

I'm thinking specifically of a guy years ago on SoloHQ who told the woman he loved that he definitely would save himself above her in an emergency because that was the root of selfishness. That he could not be selfish, therefore virtuous, if he were dead. So even though he would be heartbroken, he was sorry to say (yada yada yada)... If I remember correctly, he ended the post with a smiley.

And the last I heard, he is no longer with her. :smile:

Snyder: Ayn Rand does not fear death, does she?

Rand: No. Only the death of someone I love, but not my own.

That, to me, is a beautiful statement.

Michael

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Utter poppycock. This world has been going on for over 4 billion years. When we die, the world goes on and our bodies rot...

Bob,

Rand was referring to her perspective of existence, not the metaphysical fact of it. She said specifically she would not be there to observe the world, so FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE (which is implied, not stated explicitly), the world would also end.

She chose to live her life within that frame rather than believing she was a poor suffering critter who was a victim of the universe.

Michael

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She said specifically she would not be there to observe the world, so FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE (which is implied, not stated explicitly), the world would also end.

She chose to live her life within that frame rather than believing she was a poor suffering critter who was a victim of the universe.

Michael

You have just tidily summed up the two states of being.

Greg

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Ah... her world. :smile:

Makes perfect sense now in context.

This world is constantly coming to an end... because each of our worlds end when we do.

Greg

I find it a bit difficult to resolve Objectivism with the idea that everybody has their own world. There is one Objective reality, which we all perceive differently. The death of somebody doesn't cause anything in that reality to change except the consciousness of that person, but when you die you enter other people's consciousness and you may become a historical figure, remembered long after your death. If you aren't careful, people will misrepresent you and twist your words to mean the opposite of what you really meant.

You can place all your values on your own consciousness and ignore the future of humanity but that seems short sighted and implies a pessimism for the future of humanity. It seems silly for somebody who wanted to be considered a novelist and philosopher not to place some value on how she and her works will be perceived by future generations.

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I find it a bit difficult to resolve Objectivism with the idea that everybody has their own world.

This is what helped me to understand. Your world is everything and everyone with whom you come into direct personal contact. Your world is everything over which you exercise direct control and consequently it is also that for which you bear direct personal responsibility

These real world interactions of what you do and the consequences they spin into motion form your view of your world.

Each person's world overlaps with the worlds of others.

When your consciousness of your world ends with your physical death... so ends your world.

There is one Objective reality, which we all perceive differently.

Well put.

That's exactly how it is.

We are wholly subjective beings and perceive the objective world subjectively. Our subjective perceptions form our world. That's why there's more than one.

The more our many subjective perceptions of our world agree with that one objective reality of the world... the better our lives are.

The death of somebody doesn't cause anything in that reality to change except the consciousness of that person,

But the death of somebody IS reality.

but when you die you enter other people's consciousness and you may become a historical figure, remembered long after your death.

That's not actually you... but rather it's others' subjective perceptions of you.

If you aren't careful, people will misrepresent you and twist your words to mean the opposite of what you really meant.

Well... that's because we're subjective beings.

You can place all your values on your own consciousness and ignore the future of humanity but that seems short sighted and implies a pessimism for the future of humanity.

You forgot one small detail...

You ARE humanity.

So that means that you are also the future of humanity. So don't squander your life. Make it count. :smile:

It seems silly for somebody who wanted to be considered a novelist and philosopher not to place some value on how she and her works will be perceived by future generations.

Once you die...

All-Bets-Are-Off.gif

Greg :wink:

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I think we're getting caught up in minorly different definitions of words.

People leave behind Wills when they die, Rand did. Is this something that people should do to manipulate others to be nicer to them during their lives? Or is it their way of extending their existence beyond their consciousness? I think it's the latter.

The extent of which I define myself is up to me. Humans are productive animals and though most humans haven't produced much that exists beyond their lifetimes, some have. The greatest human achievements have been those which lasted beyond the consciousness of their creator. Certainly this level of genius is not within the reach of every human being but that doesn't mean that humans shouldn't strive to exist in the consciousness of humans in the distant future. It's particularly ironic that Rand seems to be arguing against very long term thinking and having an influence long after your existence is terminated when she did such a good job at it.

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If I define my children as extensions of myself who are worthy of inheriting all that my hard work has produced than my concept of self will not die when I die. It will last at least until my children die, possibly longer if they continue to pass on my values and property from generation to generation.

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If I define my children as extensions of myself who are worthy of inheriting all that my hard work has produced than my concept of self will not die when I die. It will last at least until my children die, possibly longer if they continue to pass on my values and property from generation to generation.

That's always a possibility depending on whether or not they choose to live by your values and don't piss away what you give them.

Greg

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What do current Objectivists do with their life estates if they have no children?

A...

Go Rangers

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This conversation brings up a point Aristotle made. His word eudamonia is hard to translate. The standard, happiness, is misleading, because he talks of it as a long-term character trait, not a momentary mood as happiness is. One can feel eudaimonia in the face of calamity, he says, and children don't feel it; neither of these is true of happiness. Eudaimonia overlaps largely with the modern notion of self-esteem, but that would be hopelessly anachronistic as a translation.

To get to the point, Aristotle states that one's eudaimonia can be affected for better or worse by what happens to one's descendants after one's death. This isn't true of happiness or of self-esteem. That points to success or the etymologically correct blessedness.

Depending on sectarian leanings, Objectivists leave their money either to TAS or ARI, both of which are happy to take it.

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To get to the point, Aristotle states that one's eudaimonia can be affected for better or worse by what happens to one's descendants after one's death. This isn't true of happiness or of self-esteem. That points to success or the etymologically correct blessedness.

I could be mistaken... but isn't existence after death out of bounds for Objectivists?

Greg

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Existence after death (as a living organism though not, e.g. as a body) is a contradiction in terms, out of bounds for anybody. A legacy or reputation or history is not subject to this limitation.

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There are Christian Objectivists...

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Let's agree to wait and see what happens when they're dead.

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