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I've heard Rand mentioned a few times here

Old 07-18-2014, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ru12 View Post
We'll ... I'd rather read, and recommend my kids to read, Herman Hesse. Hell Charles Bukowski would be higher on my list than Rand. At least he is entertaining.
Charles Bukowski is brilliant! There is so much more intelligence and depth in his writing. He knew how to cut straight to the heart of humanity.
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
Where there any kids mentioned in Dante's Inferno?
That's a good point.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Gilmer View Post
That's a good point.
Like/love/respect or disdain/hate/refute anyone or anything is my motto. But one should evaluate the thing and think for themselves and come to conclusions, most Rand bashing is some repeating what others have said without investigation on their part.
Not saying this is the case with you G in particular or even the other posters in general.
Rand is quite the polarizing character, but most of the negative things bandied about are silly and not applicable to the philosophy in general.

Maybe we should move this to the Book Club ?
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:02 AM
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I just finished albert camus's "the fall." As far as philosophical fiction goes it doesn't get much better than that. Shorter, deeper and more universal than anything by rand.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by pkrma View Post
I just finished albert camus's "the fall." As far as philosophical fiction goes it doesn't get much better than that. Shorter, deeper and more universal than anything by rand.
I read The Stranger when I was 19. It blew my mind and changed my whole worldview. Rand cannot hold a candle to Camus. Again, it comes down to really getting to the heart of humanity. Rand just doesn't seem to have that in her. Her writing is completely flat. I don't see an ounce of passion or compassion there. I guess that's why it bored the heck out of me.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
Rand is quite the polarizing character, but most of the negative things bandied about are silly and not applicable to the philosophy in general.

Maybe we should move this to the Book Club ?
With all due respect, silly to who? You? That's a matter of opinion.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:17 AM
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Again, it comes down to really cutting to the heart of humanity. Rand just doesn't seem to have that in her.
That would be because Rand wrote about an idealized state of humanity, not the existing state. Well, except in the case of the moochers.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by trachemys View Post
That would be because Rand wrote about an idealized state of humanity, not the existing state. Well, except in the case of the moochers.
Well, I guess her "ideal" is dull. At least to me it is.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:21 AM
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I have loved Ayn Rand. I think there's a great deal of merit to what she says, and I deeply resent the "professionally" entitled like Toohey who strive to squelch the spark of genuine productivity while siphoning off the fruit.

As a Christian, though, I have a fundamental difference with her. I see all people, now matter how they got twisted as they grew, as souls that are, at bottom, created in the image of God.

I strive always for true mercy. Not the phony "professional" mercy of Toohey and society, but transformative mercy, even unto the seemingly useless--and even unto the despicable, in the chance that some may know the redemption that comes through Jesus Christ.

Rand despised Christianity because she misunderstood it. She saw the cultural, treacly, customary neighborliness of the last century and though that that was the true essence of Christianity. It is not about being a nice neighbor. It is about deliverance and transformation.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:22 AM
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Sorry--I know this is the secular section. My bad!
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:41 AM
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Gilmer, ever heard it in her own words?

Ayn Rand on Christianity
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:43 AM
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No! Thanks! I'll read it.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:56 AM
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Rand credited Christianity with fostering the idea of the individual(ism) in western culture. She just rejected faith as a means of gaining knowledge.

And Ellsworth was nihilism incarnate, not a seconhander as such, but evil motivated by the hatred of the good for being good. He wanted to destroy HR because has good, that is why he targeted him, he was naked evil.
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:04 AM
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I read the excerpt. I think she's half a bubble off in her assessment of Christianity--not entirely wrong, just picking up the wrong emphasis.

I have a few comments, but this is the wrong forum for them. I think I will start an Ayn Rand thread in the Christian forum about the nature of altruism.

May I borrow your post with her excerpt to start it out, Trach?

(Christianity would say that Toohey was evil, too).
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:16 AM
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Sure, go ahead.
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:28 AM
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One thought that I really like by Rand is what's known as her "Theory of Sex", on how attraction works, from Atlas Shrugged.
Francisco D

It's far from being very original and unique thought, though. A similar one can be found, for example, as a conclusion in Plato's Symposium, in Diotima's view.

I like these ideas because they describe very well how I work in these areas, so much so that I can't even do it differently. And I consider myself a hardcore realist, LOL... well, in many things yes, not all. But of course it's good when positive values drive us this way, and not despair and chaos.
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:31 AM
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One of the areas of Rand's thought that I have trouble with is in the realm of psychology/psychologizing.

Francisco was an awesome character Love me some Ragnar too!
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by trachemys View Post
That would be because Rand wrote about an idealized state of humanity, not the existing state. Well, except in the case of the moochers.
a.k.a. Karl Marx

All writers who attempt to draw broad strokes and lump all humanity together all effective forget that human beings are erratic and unpredictable by nature. Their theories are inherently self-defeating.

Not that I mind Ayn Rand - I just find her views rather simplistic, crafted from a singular and narrow focus, and with a certain arrogance that doesn't engage but instead disrespects other viewpoints.

Showing what a plebeian I am though, my favorite literary character for quitting drinking is Jack Torrance from The Shining (book, not movie thank you...though I do like Kubrick). Some of the insightful quotes (and Mr. King was also attempting to quit drinking at the time):

“Once, during the drinking phase, Wendy had accused him of desiring his own destruction but not possessing the necessary moral fiber to support a full-blown deathwish. So he manufactured ways in which other people could do it, lopping a piece at a time off himself and their family.”

“How many times, over how many years, had he—a grown man—asked for the mercy of another chance? He was suddenly so sick of himself, so revolted, that he could have groaned aloud.”

“She had never dreamed there could be so much pain in a life when there was nothing physically wrong.”

"He had driven back to his own house in the VW with the radio turned up, and some disco group chanted over and over again, talismanic in the house before dawn: Do it anyway ... you wanta do it . . . do it anyway you want ... No matter how loud he heard the squealing tires, the crash. When he blinked his eyes shut, he saw that single crushed wheel with its broken spokes pointing at the sky."

And to me, a conversation I almost exactly had with my wife:

"She went to do the dishes. Her back to him, she said: "Jack. I've been thinking."
"Have you?" He lit a cigarette with trembling hands. No hangover this morning, oddly enough. Only the shakes. He blinked. In the instant's darkness the bike flew up against the windshield, starring the glass. The tires shrieked. The flashlight bobbed.
"I want to talk to you about ... about what's best for me and Danny. For you too, maybe. I don't know. We should have talked about it before, I guess."
"Would you do something for me?" he asked, looking at the wavering tip of his cigarette. "Would you do me a favor?"
"What?" Her voice was dull and neutral. He looked at her back.
"Let's talk about it a week from today. If you still want to"
Now she turned to him, her hands lacy with suds, her pretty face pale and disillusioned. "Jack, promises don't work with you. You just go right on with — " She stopped, looking in his eyes, fascinated, suddenly uncertain.
"In a week," he said. His voice had lost all its strength and dropped to a whisper. "Please. I'm not promising anything. If you still want to talk then, we'll talk. About anything you want."

Sorry for the threadjack!

EDIT: Should also note that I couldn't get through Atlas Shrugged
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:12 AM
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as far as jacking goes this is the kind to do it in, i'm pretty sure

nice thread for a friday

as for fiction characters I tended to sympathize with or identify with, Ian Rankin has a character named Rebus that always comes to mind
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:02 AM
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Hi, guys. I started a different discussion of Rand's fiction on the Christian forum.

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ns-differ.html

Feel free to peruse, correct, and chime in if you see fit. Thank you for your engaging conversation!
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