Apr 082014

Jason Crawford gives an excellent answer to the question: What can non-Objectivists and doubters learn from the works of Ayn Rand? I like these two points most of all:

If you feel burdened by unchosen obligations to your family, your friends, your community, or the world at large, Rand will help you see that the guilt you feel is unearned and that your own happiness is the moral purpose of your life.

If you feel like a chump for being honest and fair to others, if you feel that morality is impractical and that being unscrupulous is the only way to get ahead—Rand will show you that honesty, integrity and justice are in your own rational self-interest, and that a rational person seeks only win-win relationships with others.

Objectivism’s ethics of rational egoism makes possible win-win relationships with others — rather than playing the martyr or predating. That shouldn’t be so revolutionary in ethics, but it is.

Go read the whole thing!

  • Don Kenner

    That was a great answer from Jason Crawford. Unfortunately, it lead me to read other Quora questions about Ayn Rand. With copious amounts of alcohol, I have been able to block out the many ridiculous, juvenile, and mean spirited “critiques” of Rand’s philosophy. In other words, I forget how jaw-droppingly stupid some of the criticisms are. Well, they all come back in the Quora comments section. Jason Crawford, bless his heart, is so patient with the haters. I just want to punch the computer screen when I read that Rand “got her philosophy” from a serial killer. Yeesh.

  • James

    I’ve found criticisms of Rand to be vapid as well. People who would dismiss arguments on other topics if the arguments weren’t supported by primary sources and rigorous research feel that it is perfectly acceptable to attack Rand based on a book a friend once read that included a line about Rand. I’ve yet to find a critic of Objectivism that actually understands the philosophy, or can even honestly state what any part of it is. The worst was the scientist I once knew who used to burn Rand’s books. I’ve alwlays wondered what it is about Objectivism that makes people feel they can toss out the standards of scholarship and intellectual integrity in order to attack it.

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