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Since the origins of human language and thought, people have questioned the nature of what they observe. Whether this search for knowledge focused on the universe at large (metaphysics), the human mind (epistemology), right and wrong actions (ethics), human relationships (politics), or beauty (aesthetics), whole religions and philosophies have risen and fallen in response to questions surrounding these very broad issues. The ancient Greeks formed various schools of thought to develop and advocate a variety of worldviews embracing some answers and rejecting others. Religions throughout history have forged similar systems coupled with traditions, ceremonies and a generally mysterious or supernatural outlook on the cosmos.
Many belief systems have advocated mysticism, which the American Heritage Dictionary defines as a "belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that are central to being and directly accessible by subjective experience." Numerous religions have contended that only a select few have access to this sort of knowledge, thus granting priests, witch doctors, and contemporary "psychics" a privileged place in society above the "mundane" masses. In the secular world, Karl Marx and other thinkers of his era argued that "dialectical materialism" could dissolve the boundaries of separation between the bourgeois and the proletariat in a sort of mystical union of all persons into a single collective consciousness. His writings led to the takeover of Russia by the Communists.
Novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand was born in Russia in 1905. As a young girl, she saw her father's business ravaged by the Communist takeover, and her family sometimes went hungry because of the Communists' actions. She managed to leave Russia at age 20, never to return. Over the course of her lifetime, she developed and advocated a philosophy that ripped 3000 years of mysticism from philosophical inquiry. She named that philosophy Objectivism, and promoted it in her best-selling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, as well as in her nonfiction works. The philosophy advocates a reality-oriented view of the world, an adherence to sensory-based reasoning as the only proper method of knowing, self-interest as the primary ethic, capitalism as the only moral social system, and romantic realism as the ideal art form.
Ayn Rand's monumental discovery and development of Objectivism has offered an electrifying and liberating philosophy for many thousands of readers across the globe. Today, local groups for the discussion and application of this empowering worldview meet regularly. Here in central Florida, Space Coast Objectivism Promoters and Explorers (SCOPE) seeks persons who possess an intense interest in learning Ayn Rand's ideas and applying them to everyday living. Interactions with others who share a respect and admiration for these principles can serve as an emotional fuel, helping you to overcome life's hurdles as you practice rational self-interest daily. If you would like to take part in this intellectually and emotionally stimulating activity, please contact me at (240) 218-7579.