Hi Inky

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The first thing I should have done here was tell Inky that I really think she did a great job starting this thread.

Inky, you must be a remarkable young lady. Few people your age are interested enough in ideas to spend much time thinking about them. It is great that you are doing this. It is especially good that you want to develop your own ways of thinking about things and that you want to explore ideas beyond cookbook recipes of Objectivism. I think that Objectivism offers us a very useful framework for addressing many issues, but how can one know that without thinking about other ideas and evaluating Objectivism carefully and independently. It is your mind and your life. You are the manager of them. I am glad that you understand this and take your responsibility to yourself so seriously. Have a great time on your intellectual journey.

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Thank you, that's the way I feel about life too. I feel that since it's my life, I shouldn't just take another person's philosophy word for word. I'm glad that someone agrees with me :) .

That's another reason I'm glad there is a message board such as this one, where people are a lot more open about other ideas. Many places where Objectivists come together, people get a lot of grief for not sticking to the rules, or even disagreeing with something Ayn Rand said or did. Objectivism is for living. That means living your own life, for yourself, and not for Ayn Rand. She had a great idea, but when I see people worshipping her, it just seems a lot like hypocrisy to me. Having said that, I wouldn't go up and tell them that they can't think that way. It's their life, I won't meddle, it's not even my business anyway. In return, I would hope that people wouldn't tell me that I'm wrong and I shouldn't think that way or whatever.

Haha, it probably seems like I'm saying all this completely randomly, but I was actually thinking about this earlier. What does everyone else think about this?

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Charles Anderson emailed me this post because the program was being tempermental again. Again, my apologies to those experiencing technical problems with phpbb. We need a volunteer programmer at this point, I think.

Here is his reply to Inky...


There is a very peculiar phenomena among some people who call themselves Objectivists that one is an Objectivist if and only if you agree with Ayn Rand about everything of significance. For many of them, it does not matter if you simply accept what she says as doctrine or whether you arrive at agreement (or disagreement) by virtue of your own independent evaluation of the facts and the validity of the arguments. Anyone who accepts Objectivism as a doctrine, rather than as independently verified principles, is not an Objectivist!

As long as you stick to your thinking guns, you will be fine. Even if you make mistakes, you can then learn from them and they are at least your own mistakes rather than someone else's! It is easier to live with the consequences of your own mistakes than with those of others.

If you try to live by someone else's values, you become a very hollow person. The process of declaring your values and developing them is what makes us a real person. Simply putting on a cloak of Ayn Rand's values, though they are good values, will not give you a soul of your own.

Charles Anderson

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Inky: "Objectivism is for living. That means living your own life, for yourself, and not for Ayn Rand."

Inky, I agree with Charles that you are a remarkable young lady -- and I certainly agree with the things you said. As Rand used to say: "Good premises!" -- your own!

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