Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More Q&A

Another easy blog post, courtesy of formspring.

What were your views before becoming anObjectivist?

I was 16 or 17 when I became an Objectivist. At that point, I believed in capitalism, at least implicitly, I was almost an atheist (but still wallowing in agnosticism), I was a great man-worshiper (meaning I was already in love with the accomplishments of humans throughout history), and I was an implicit individualist (and suffering greatly in not knowing what that meant). I think I was a pretty typical teenager, except for the godlessness. Ayn Rand spoke to me in the intro to The Fountainhead when she said that the novel is "a confirmation of the spirit of youth, proclaiming man's glory, showing how much is possible." Hold your fire, indeed!

What has been the hardest thing to understand about Objectivism and what has been the easiest?

So far, the hardest thing to understand has been the idea of the arbitrary. I even wrote about it on my blog a little bit:

But right now I'm struggling with the idea of duty versus causality (in ethics, not metaphysics). I'm finding that I don't really have a clue what it means to be selfish. Well, I have a clue, but I'm certainly not acting selfishly as much as I would like. It was easy to understand in the abstract, but it's not so easy to implement.

The easiest...hmmm. I hesitate to say any part of Objectivism has been easy to understand, now that I'm realizing how shallow my understanding of selfishness is. I guess I'd say that the trader principle (in the political sense) was easy for me - or, to put it negatively, that you can't get something for nothing. Of course, a better understanding of the trader principle might help me to understand selfishness better, so I probably don't understand it in the spiritual realm as well as I do in the material, or political realm.

It's all integrated.

What is your dream vacation?

One that does not require me to clean any poop.

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