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Getting the work of Ayn Rand into the Public Domain

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I mean all of the above and much more. *Which* children "do not have the requisite logical skills"? I was consciously an atheist at age 6, never believed in "Santa Claus", the "Easter Bunny", the "tooth fairy", or any other of that crap, because it *was* obviously nonsensical. True, most children don't seem to fight the arbitrary - and they also are not, and never will be, consistently logical thinkers. That is exactly my point.

Most children, for better or for worse, believe what their parents tell them. If parents abuse this trust and damage their children, then shame upon them. Think of how vulnerable youngsters are. It is scary.

Dropping your belief in the absurd at the age of 6 is slightly precocious. I woke up at age 9 and (later) I did a straw poll among acquaintances and I found out their age of awakening was in the 9 to 10 range. Which is no coincidence. By the age the brain is fully grown and is in near prime condition for abstract thought. The only thing most 9 or 10 year old folks are lacking is experience and knowledge which they will acquire by the by. By 9 or 10 most youngsters no only have all "their marbles" but they nearly at their neurological peak. When the sex hormones kick in, youngsters then show their maximal powers of thought and action. That is when scientific, mathematical and artistic geniuses begin to shine forth, at the onset of puberty and adolescence. For boys this is around 12 or 13.

ruveyn

I woke up in a series of steps:

At age 15 I began to take ideas seriously, but those ideas (unfortunately) were limited to a purely scientific context. It was a very exciting time though, as I was voracious about learning and had suddenly realized I was in a world where there was a lot to learn :angry2: (I would go to sleep at night with several encyclopedias beside my bed). It was during this period when I decided I wanted to become a Physicist.

I didn't actually begin to wake up fully until my senior year of high school (age 17-18), as it was during this time period that I was beginning to take ideas seriously in the full scope of life. I began to take the idea of morality as a consciously studied/learned discipline very seriously and would regularly go to weekly bible studies with my friends. After reading the bible a good amount I slowly began to realize how preposterous the concept of Christianity/Judaism was, and eventually renounced my faith and became an agnostic.

During this time period I found a book by the Dalai Lama in a library and started studying it, and briefly attempted to convert to Bhuddism. The book deeply impacted me, and incidentally probably had a positive effect for my life in that it helped me to discover that ethics can be approached in a purely secular way (though Buddhism is still of course mystical).

Also during this time period a good friend presented Atlas Shrugged and encouraged me to read it. I made it about a hundred or two pages and lost interest. The book just didn't resonate with me at all.

Over a period of several months, through much careful, deliberate thinking, I slowly drifted from agnosticism to a firm stance on atheism. Suddenly--and I literally have no idea why--I just had an incredible itch to read more of Ayn Rand, and I purchased Atlas Shrugged and read it with great enthusiasm, turning each page as if it were a profound revelation, and strangely finding myself agreeing with all of it.

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Over a period of several months, through much careful, deliberate thinking, I slowly drifted from agnosticism to a firm stance on atheism. Suddenly--and I literally have no idea why--I just had an incredible itch to read more of Ayn Rand, and I purchased Atlas Shrugged and read it with great enthusiasm, turning each page as if it were a profound revelation, and strangely finding myself agreeing with all of it.

I did not read any of Ayn Rand's works until I was in my mid-20s. By that time I had formulated by own system, which bears some resemblance to O-ism to wit:

1. There is an Out There out there.

2. Out There it is what it is regardless of what we would like it to be.

3. We have sufficient wits (by virtue of evolution) to know enough of what is Out There to survive and even to flourish.

4. Man is the smartest ape in The Monkey House. The rat is the second smartest animal.

5. Any battle can be won if one chooses his place and time for the attack wisely.

6. Never buy at retail if one can avoid it.

When I first read -Atlas Shrugged- (I knew nothing about Ayn Rand's life at that time) I leaped to the conclusion that Ayn Rand who ever she was must be Jewish. It was gratifying to know that another Child of Abraham figured out what was what all by herself.

Being a Sci Fi fan since I was five (thanks to my Mom) I enjoyed -Atlas Shrugged- as an instance of alternative time-line fiction and that still is my favorite genre. From a literary point of view I prefer the works of Robert H. Heinlein (his earlier works, not his later works when he went soft in the head) and the works of Ursula LaGuin. My canonical pieces are -The Moon is a Harsh Mistress- and -The Dispossessed-. Also -The Left Hand of Darkness-. However -Atlas Shrugged- has a place on my top shelf.

ruveyn

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Do I understand you correctly here? Are you saying that we are born with logic?

No, some children have greater capacity for rational thought and are more attentive and intelligent than others at birth. If the majority of 3-year olds or 6-year olds accept Santa Claus and flying reindeer, that just means they have not extended logic to statements about those things because it is beneficial for them not to do so, not because they are incapable of thinking otherwise until some older age. For some it is not a matter of lack of intelligence to be unable to note the multiple Santa Clauses in malls could not all receive the letters they wrote requesting presents - they know it is not real but it's beneficial to play along. For others it is a preference for emotional satisfaction based on fantasy because exercising their intelligence to rationally grasp the world and mold it to what they want is not sufficiently satisfying due to lesser intelligence.

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