aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Matters of Philosophy

I have encountered several posts recently, and had several exchanges recently, that have made me aware of the influence of Ayn Rand on the internet community. Ayn Rand was the founder of Objectivism, the most hard-core kind of Realism out there. And I guess that makes sense. The Thirteeners (current young adult generation) are sorta libertarian in their politics, self-reliant and suspicious of causes, and they like the skepticism and certainty they find in Realism.

But Realist Christianity is certainly an odd duck. Not but what this is possible, but it seems strange to me. I have just been guided to an ideological rewrite of the Narnian story that tries to explain Aslan's sacrifice in Objectivist terms


Now, that's a weird experience.

Anyway, I wonder if various folks aren't being drawn to Rand and other Realists precisely because they identify with the skepticism and certainty they find there: skepticism of others' claims and causes; plus, the certainty that comes from a methodology they can firmly believe in.

Meanwhile, I wonder if these folks really know what their other options are? Realism is only one of five philosophical positions that people can use to make sense of life, the universe, and everything. The other four are Idealism, Existentialism, Classicism, and Pragmatism.

Many of my generation (the Boomers) are Existentialists. Many of my parents generation were Pragmatists. All five philosophical families are alive and well, with adherents in every generation. (Full disclosure would require me to say here that I am an Idealist.)

Philosophy is like the operating system of your computer. You may not think about it much, but you have to have one to make your computer do what you want it to do. And, like any OS, there are things that each one does well, and things that it does poorly. One thing that Realism finds very difficult to account for is altruism, which is a sucker's bet to a Realist. Which leads to the "Aslan Shrugged" viewpoint of the linked piece, above.

How in the world would Realism process the idea that "he that shall save his life shall lose it?" What is their interpretation of "he that would be the greatest among you must be a servant?" Yes, I talk a lot about how redemption through Christ will lead to the ultimate fulfillment of each human person -- but we are only so fulfilled when we want something OTHER than ourselves, when we want Christ more than we want anything else.

I'll have to do some more thinking about this; meanwhile, does anybody else notice this philosophical drift among the internet-savvy?
Tags: philosophy
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