Thursday, August 13, 2020

Objectivism in Ten Quotes

1. "Why is it immoral for you to desire, but moral for others to do so? Why is it immoral to produce a value and keep it, but moral to give it away? And if it is not moral for you to keep a value, why is it moral for others to accept it? If you are selfless and virtuous when you give it, are they not selfish and vicious when they take it?" (Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, which is an almost verbatim statement of one of the ideas of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, although Rand spent her entire life denying that Nietzsche influenced her.)
2. "...for these truths hold good for everything that is, and not for some special genus apart from others. And all men use them, because they are true of being qua being. ... For a principle which every one must have who understand anything that is, is not a hypothesis. ... Evidently then such a principle is the most certain of all; which principle this is, let us proceed to say. It is, that the same attribute cannot at the same time belong and not belong to the same subject in the same respect..." (Rand, Atlas Shrugged, quoting Aristotle.)
3. "No one survives in this valley by faking reality in any way." (Rand, Atlas Shrugged.)
4. "You who prattle that morality is social and that man would need no morality on a desert island--it is on a desert island that he would need it most. Let him try to claim, when there are no victims to pay for it, that a rock is a house, that sand is clothing, that food will drop into his mouth without cause or effort, that he will collect a harvest tomorrow by devouring his seed stock today--and reality will wipe him out, as he deserves; reality will show him that life is a value to be bought and that thinking is the only coin noble enough to buy it." (Rand, Atlas Shrugged.)
5. "I am, therefore I'll think." (Rand, Atlas Shrugged.)
6. "My morality, the morality of reason, is contained in a single axiom: existence exists--and in a single choice: to live. The rest proceeds from these." (Rand, Atlas Shrugged.)
7. "Reason, man's only means of knowledge, is his only standard of truth. The most depraved sentence you can now utter to ask is: Whose reason? The answer is: Yours." (Rand, Atlas Shrugged.)
8. "Life, Liberty and Property." (John Locke's statement of basic human rights, which America's Founders, lacking the political consensus to use that phrase, changed to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.")
9. "In the beginning was Logic, and Logic was God, and Logic was of God." (Alternate English translation of the original Greek version of the opening passage of The Gospel of John, The Christian Bible. Although a Platonic doctrine based on the Greek philosophical concept of logos, which means "the logical understanding understood expressed in words" but which is often mistranslated in Bibles as "The Word", this might as well be an Objectivist slogan.)
10. "I swear--by my life and my love of it--that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." (Rand, Atlas Shrugged.)