Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Introduction to Objectivism

This blog will be a direct duplicate of the physical copy of The Objectivist Mirror. This is being done to allow those without direct access to either of the distribution sites to still have a chance to read it.

The Objectivist Mirror is a newsletter which is written, edited and distributed by myself and my colleague Robbie Holtam. The purpose of this paper is to use the philosophy of Objectivism to analyze and solve the major issues which are affecting our society today. What follows is an introduction to Objectivism which will be found in the first issue when it is released in November. This is not a comprehensive description, but merely a cursory glance to allow us to speak freely about the philosophy and apply it to different issues...

If you are reading this paper then you may already know what the content will be explaining. If you do not then you are about to take your first steps into the renaissance of your mind. The objectivist mirror is a paper in which we will use the only true “philosophy for living on earth” to investigate and explain the issues which plague our society. In order to properly examine these issues first you will need a brief understanding of the philosophy which we will be using.

Objectivism is a philosophy which was originally created by Russian-American author Ayn Rand. Ms. Rand proposed a philosophy which did not deal with the supernatural, which did not deal with abstract, unrealistic concepts, but which dealt only with the proper way for humans to live in reality. Her philosophy is based on two fundamentals. These foundations for her philosophy are so obviously true as to be indisputable. They are: the law of identity, and the absolute of reason.

The law of identity, originally proposed by Aristotle, holds that things are what they are, that reality exists, and that you cannot change reality simply through willpower. You may now be thinking to yourself that this cannot possibly be indisputable since the concept of existence has been questioned before. However, if you examine any dispute over the existence of existence you will always find the same answer. The most famous example of this debate is Descartes’ Meditations. In this book Descartes attempts to prove the law of identity by assuming that nothing he can doubt is truly existent. He arrives at the conclusion that he cannot possibly doubt his own existence, since in order to doubt his existence; there must be a being to do the doubting. In this way Descartes proves, for us, Aristotle’s law of identity.

The second foundation of Objectivism is the absolute of reason; which holds that as human beings our most important attribute, the one to which we owe our progress, our civilizations, and our very survival, is our cognitive function; our ability to reason. As human beings very little is given to us freely. We are given digestive organs, but not food to digest. We are given hands to manipulate the environment, but not the knowledge of how to use them. Likewise, we are given a brain capable of logic, but the process must be learned; it is a matter of choice. If you would question the importance of logic, and many of you will, consider this experiment: go into any wilderness, be it forest, desert or jungle, away from all civilization, with no companion and no supplies, and completely abandon reason. Refuse to think rationally in any way; assume that food will magically fall from the sky, assume that shelter will build itself, assume that someone else will do the work of surviving for you… and see how long you last.