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Why one should take interest in philosophy

A book I was reading by Ayn Rand “For The New Intellectual” narrates the journey that human society has made. I have extracted from this the role and importance of philosophy for us in our present time.

Over the course of history there have been three types of individuals:
1. Attila: who used force to conquer. He viewed the world as a set of experiences that were all on the concrete level and so he was missing an “integrated” view of the world. He could only see the world in disconnected chunks that had no deeper relationship with each other. For example he would conquer people to produce for him but never asked what it was that made those conquered “able to produce”.
2. Witch doctor: who thought his psychedelic experiences were a heightened state that brought him closer to reality whereas they were in fact completely divorced from reality. The witch-doctor gave Attila his integrated view who therefore depended on the witch-doctor and in turn the witch doctor depended on Attila for his position in society.
3. Producer: who used reason and not force or a hyper-consciousness to build is worldview.

It is said that by default man is an Attila or a witch-doctor. It takes one to question one’s environment to open their eyes and have the stomach to absorb what goes on in the world around them; to develop an integrated view of the world; to be sincere in their effort to discover objective truth in order to “wake up” gradually and be less of Attila and less of the witch-doctor and more of the producer!

One should study philosophy I think in order to develop an integrated view of the world thus find the relationship between all their experiences and their experiences and others experiences.

According to Ayn, Attila was first de-throned during the Greeko-Roman era and then again during the renaissance. However it was the industrial revolution that blasted Attila off his throne. For the first time in history, men gained control over physical nature and threw off the control of men over men—that is: men discovered science and political freedom. According to her the first society in history whose leaders were neither Attilas nor Witch Doctors, a society led, dominated and created by the Producers, was the United States of America. She says that in order to have the right to live by one’s own independent judgment one needs to live in an environment where there is Intellectual freedom, which cannot exist without political freedom; political freedom cannot exist without economic freedom; a free mind and a free market are thus corollaries.

And so exists the capitalist economy where the producer – the “knowledge worker” is paid for what he knows for what he produces. This has created society based on reason, society that uses its resources (such as scientists, engineers and businessmen) to discover reality ever more.

The eye that opens by reading philosophy is ever important for an individual in this new society, a society of producers, knowledge workers because in the new societies that are shaping all over the world it is the producers who will be rewarded for what they produce!

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The text below has been added on 3 Dec 2008 and is based on a comment posted on October 30, 2008, at time 4:12 PM. I have only recently understood what this person meant and it is …

What the journey means to me

My journey so far has been about discovering the meta rules of how the self works. The essence of what I have learnt is that the self can change and in fact does change every time it undergoes an experience. Where any experience is significant because of the meaning it carries for us. It means something to us by the fact: it changes our feelings from state (state a) to another state (state b). Where this movement between states is a process we can call witnessing.  The exercise of witnessing can be powerful and enriching.  In fact if we could communicate what we have witnessed through poetry or through prose, perhaps with the aid of metaphors, we could share these experiences with our family, friends and with the larger community. 
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My Criteria for my marriage partner

1) She should be a home maker. 10 on a scale of 10
2) I should be able to fall in love with her and her with me … 7 on a scale of 10.

First criteria:

10 on a scale of 1-10 for this criteria because I consider my family my second self. The better my partner will be at making my family the best the better off my second self will be. Who doesn’t want to aim for the best? In accordance with this she should have the best of the characteristics that every home maker should have:

1) Intelligent
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5) Principled
6) Caring
7) Want her children to be the best
8) Want to learn how to make her children the best

Of course there is an ideal woman out there who would rank very high in all these areas. But then I have to be practical too. I would want to marry the most ideal woman who is compatible with me. Compatibility is covered in the second criteria.


Second Criteria:

Description of scale:

5: passes the basic crite…