Field of Science

Atlas Shrugged

I recently finished the epic book, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. It stills holds some serious sway. Ayn Rand started an intense school of thought, objectivism, which basically says something like, "The gifted should do what’s in their self-interest. If you have a sharp mind, it is your moral responsibility to make yourself happy. The weak are not your problem." I won't delve into my thoughts on it, but clearly her perspectives are controversial. I will say two things about this, first, she does have excellent and convincing arguments and I would recommend the read. Second, everyone 's self-interest may well be tied together on this planet; Rand never seems to discuss the fundamental difference between talent and means to realize that talent (though she does decry violence as a means) so we could argue about philosophy, but that wont change the fact that many people on earth face a poverty gap and objectivists do agree on action.

That was just a primer for my deeper question. If humans can escape from earth, shouldn't we? Even if only some humans can escape when the deluge comes isn't it our moral imperative to do so? Ayn Rand obviously thinks so. I leave you with this: Tsiolkovsky, considered the father of human space flight (and the prime mover of the space elevator, but more on that later), said, "The earth is the cradle of the mind, but one does not live in a cradle forever."

1 comment:

  1. where did you get the idea that her position is that "the gifted" do what's in their self-interest, to hell with the rest?

    "the gifted" spend the whole book arguing for the self-interest of each and every individual -- who by nature of existence has to work to provide for his own self-interest regardless of relative intelligence to another -- and they claim only to have no rights that supercede the rights of others, and expect the same.

    but you know whatever. ;)

    also, yes, alexander, please lead the way into space!


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