North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › This Should Be Renamed North Texas Ayn Rand Fan Group

This Should Be Renamed North Texas Ayn Rand Fan Group

A former member
Post #: 39
I would like to suggest that this meetup group be renamed to remove "Objectivist" from its description. While there are certainly people attending and organizing this that could fairly be called Objectivists, it has also become clear to me that there are folks attending the parties and on the message board who might be described as "Ayn Rand fans", but they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, Objectivists.

I am able to seperate the "wheat from the chaff" at the parties because I am very familiar with Ayn Rand's philosophy, but I am concerend that people who are new to Objectivism, and have a sincere interest in Miss. Rand's philosophy, will think that some of the non-Objectivists attending the parties or on the message board are somehow representative or associated with her philosophy.

This has become a concern for me in light of the fact that there is an individual attending the parties that seems to be a member of some sort of new age cult, and because I've heard another individual declare that he intends to send his children to religious ceremonies and rituals because, among other reasons, his child won't have a moral foundation without it. (The fact that we are alive and must take action to remain alive is the basis of morality.) Neither of these views is in any way compatible with Miss Rand's philosophy, and if they are going to be allowed to attend, then the name of the group should be changed to indicate that it is merely a Rand fan club to avoid any confusion.

This is not meant to be a negative criticism of the organizers of this group and the parties. Their efforts are greatly appreciated by me. It is merely a suggestion that we more precisely describe what this group is for the sake of accuracy and fairness.
Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 18
My family and I are what you could consider newbies to the group. We have gotten a lot out of the 2 meetings we have been too. I wouldn't call myself an Objectionist, because I don't understand enough about it to accept all or reject any part of it yet. I don't think for many people it is something you can accept totally overnight. Nor should any philosophy be accept that quickly. But I think anyone I talk to at the meetings I tell them I am new to it all. I personally feel I have an awful lot to read about the philosophy before I can understand it enough to make a decision.

Anyway, I haven't been "stumbled" by anything I have heard at the meetings. Granted, I have only been to 2...but I think most newbies should realize they are not the only ones there that don't have a full understanding yet of Objectivism. I have read that Rand doesn't want anyone to dilute the term Objectivist, and that is understandable. But since, as you said, the organizers and the core of the group do seem to be real Objectivists, I wouldn't think a name change is necessary. But then again...I AM a newbie....

Perhaps there could be a request that those that are not Objectivists make it clear when discussing the philosophy with others at the meetings? Do you think that would suffice? I have viewed the meetings this way: That there is a core group of Objectivists that extend an invitation to those who yes, may be Ayn Rand fans and may want to learn more about her philosophy. Even though I am a "member" of the meet up group so I can read about the group etc...I don't consider myself a member of the NTOS yet. I belong to a few other mailing lists and discussion boards of groups that I am not really a member of, but am interested in for either personal or professional reasons. I wouldn't expect the groups to change their names because they have people who are not actual members on the discussion board or email list.

Again I AM a newbie...so whatever the real Objectivists decides is fine with me. I would just hate for you to have to remove the name from the group because of a few people.

On a parting thought...I will take this opportunity to THANK all the Objectivists on the meetup group here and the ones that I have met at Julia & Todd's...and the ones in the study group. I am learning a lot and really appreciate the patience you do show for the new ones.

Edited to add: In my humble opinion, one thing that could help is if more of the Objectivists could post to the discussion board here. I realize not everyone has time for that, but that may help. I know I would appreciate it a lot.
Old T.
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 140
I thank Dean for this suggestion and Sherry for her thoughtful response.

In the interests of full disclosure, as our group's current "Organizer" I am the one who is responsible for the name of our group, and, for so long as I continue to volunteer for this role, I could rename our group. I am open to discussion regarding what the name of our group should be, and here is my initial thinking.

I think our name should include "Objectivist" or "Objectivism" because this is the most accurate description of the subject matter our members are interested in. We are primarily interested in Objectivism, only secondarily interested in Ayn Rand as a person.

"Society" is the proper term to describe what I think we should work together to build -- not just a fan club or hobby club -- but an organization that offers lifelong "society" to its members based on our common interest in the Objectivist philosophy.

I do not think using "Objectivist" in our name requires that all our members must be Objectivists or that it unduly risks others thinking that any of us "necessarily speaks" for Objectivism.

Let me try to make a crude analogy. By way of set up, my understanding is that Mr. Jack Russell bred certain dogs of other terrier breeds to create a new breed known as the "Jack Russell Terrier." Assuming this is correct, what would be the fair understanding of the name "North Texas Jack Russell Terrier Society"? That all its members:
(a) are Jack Russell Terriers?
(b) have Jack Russell Terriers?
(c) speak for Mr. Jack Russell? or
(d) are interested in Jack Russell Terriers?

In contrast, what about the name "Mr. Jack Russell Fan Club"?

Any ideas?

-- Todd
P.S. -- In my analogy, I added an explanation for who "Jack" Russell is. And I found a link regarding the history of the "Jack Russell Terrier": http://www.terrier.co...­
"Jack" is a nickname for "John."

Edited to correct "?" to be quotation marks, which Meetup screwed up long after this thread was basically concluded.
A former member
Post #: 205
Dean, Todd, & Sherry,



I understand your( DEAN ) point, yet I must disagree with you on it somewhat. Here is why. My Father, & most of my family are Southern Baptist. I was also raised that way. Now I am not, yet when I go home to North Carolina to see my Daddy, he ask me to go to church with him. I love him & he has been very good to me therefore I go. Now should the church now not be called Baptist anymore because I go from time to time with my Daddy. This islike 1 time a year or two in a good year.

With that being said, I am a Stock Broker as well, yet I still love to go to wood working shows as well. Many men from all kinds of jobs also attend these shows. Should it now be called something else because not only Carpenters go to the shows. Also how many T's must you cross & I's must you dot to be an " Objectivist ?" At the time at hand I myself know a few T's & I's that I do not cross with Rand.

I'll use World War 2 here for this. She thought we should have never went to fight, I on the other hand fully disagree with her on that point. So am I now not an " Objectivist ?" If I am not what should I be now be called? I do know this is not like having your kid do some church deal, yet what is the cut off point? Ok you can go to here yet not here. Where is the line. Have I crossed it? If so when did I ? What I am asking is what is the standerd? By who was it set,
& how do we know when it is crossed?

Also one last point, some folks are not as advanced as some others are. I for one am one of those not as advanced as I should be. That is also why I try to be actvive with the group as I can. After I 1st read her it took me 2 full years to think thru the god deal myself. Maybe this person is at the same place I was at the start. Maybe we do not need to change our name. Maybe some of the more advanced folks ought to try to help some of the new folks with somethings they may not understand yet. It would have been nice if I would have had someone help me back when I 1st got started.


I also think what Dean is trying to defend Any Rand & The Objectivist
movement as a whole. By saying what is & what is not an Objectivist. I think that is a wonderful thing to do Dean. I commened you on the good thought. Yet I do konw there must be a point in time when we can say, " He is not an Objectivist. " Yet I do not know where the line is. I would like Todd or Dean to tell me where it is or what it is if you could. I myself may be across the line & not even know it. There are a few things I do not agree with Rand on. Yet the same is also true of my wife, yet I still love Rachel & she is still my wife. I really hope I have not crossed the line with her!!!!!!!!!

Jamiebiggrin
A former member
Post #: 40
I agree it is not always easy to say what disagreements you can have with Miss Rand and still call yoursself "Objectivist", but when you have people like this attending, it's clear to me that this is not an "Objectivist Meeting":

User ID: Altairian

Hometown: Dallas

Location: Athens, TX

Introduction:
"Hello all, I am interested in several areas similar to Objectivism."
Additional information:
""Altairianism, The belief in Reality and the search for its measure.""
Stats:
Meetup member since June 4, 2003
Group member since August 23, 2005
Last visited in the past week
(http://aynrand.meetup...­)

Further perusing "Elder Norm's" profile, you also discover that he is a member of the
"The Dallas Metaphysics Meetup Group", which says on it's meetup profile:

Meet other local people interested in discussing ideas about the metaphysical. We cover everything from tuning forks to salt reading. You can check more out by going to the link for the Spirit Meetup: http://socialnetwork...­ .meetup.com/234/
(http://metaphysics.me...­)

I submit that belief in "salt reading" and the magic power of tuning forks is obviously and blatently in contradiction with Ayn Rand's philosophy, and no one that believes in such things can be considered an "Objectivist"

Quite frankly, I'd be embarassed to bring my non-Objectivist friends to a meeting where people like this are present, for fear that they would thing that such weirdos are Objectivists.
Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 19
true...but being a member of another meetup group, one that may be outside the Objectivist view, well it doesn't necessarily mean this person would spout beliefs from that group at an NTOS meeting. That seems to be the concern. I have only been to two meetings, so again, I do not have your benefit of experience there, but I haven't heard any wild ideas flying around that seemed to be cultish or new age at all. I am just curious if you have, or if you are just worried that it may happen?

I do understand your concern, though, regarding bringing friends, and being worried they will be subjected to unObjectivist ideas. However, perhaps it would be best, when you do bring them, to introduce them to a few Objectivists you already know, and also caution them that yes, there are newbies here that don't know enough about it yet. So don't be stumbled by them.

I dunno...it is a process to change your philosophy. Can a person be interested really in Objectivisim and still be a member of groups that are discarded as foolish by Ojectivism? I think so, because one would think that over time that person will gain enough knowledge about Objectivism to decided whether it is correct, if they choose to be Objectivists, and if so, will leave those other groups.

I think the pros and cons of meetup groups, or other groups that are organized online or offline are usually the same: when you allow in people that are newbies, that you don't know, you are able to possibly educate them and increase your community. And sometimes, yes, you will get a few that probably never should have been there in the first place. I don't know...an interesting dilemna. If there is a person that is spending time at the meetings spouting things that are clearly anti-Objectivists, (not just debating) then perhaps the organizer would have to decide whether or not they don't want that person to attend.

Dean, I do admire the fact that you are passionate, or should I say adamant that those that are not Objectivists not call themselves that. It seems to be one of the few philosophies where the term is not watered down. I think that is impressive.
A former member
Post #: 41
To those who have responded to this thread:

Do you or do you not agree that not everyone that is attending the meetup parties is an Objectivist? (I'm not asking what makes someone an Objectivist as opposed to not an Objectivist, I'm asking if YOU think everyone that is attending is an Objectivist?)

If you agree that not everyone is an Objectivist, then I don't see why you don't want to change the name to remove "Objectivist" from the heading. It’s false advertising to call the group an “Objectivist group” when it isn’t. The accurate label for the group is "Ayn Rand fans", which could include nonObjectivists as well as Objectivists.

To Jamie:
I don't consider "new age" and Christianity in any way to be the same. I think that most of the people who belong to a mainstream American Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish faith simply do so out of conformism. They are just accepting what their parents and families taught them, and these mainstream American religions are relatively mild in terms of level of irrationality. I don't consider such conformism to be admirable, but I don't regard these people as evil. In fact, I think that most people who belong to a mainstream religion are just honestly mistaken. People who believe in "new age" often do so in spite of what their parents, families, and communities believe in. They are willfully accepting irrational ideas, and I am therefore convinced that they are all morally bad people.

To Sherry:
I don't consider this an issue of level of knowledge. Someone who doesn't understand Objectivism and therefore doesn't consider themselves an Objectivist is still welcome in my book. (It took me three years of reading Ayn Rand before I felt comfortable with the "Objectivist" label with regard to myself.) All I want is that their interest be sincere and that they aren't accepting ideas that are blatantly evil. I regard such blatantly evil ideas as including, but not limited to: Communism, Holocaust denial, and any form of "new age" (healing power of crystals, magic tuning forks, etc.) On why I regard "new age" as blatantly evil, see the above paragraph addressed to Jamie.
A former member
Post #: 211
Dean,


Anyway to let you know why I go with my Daddy to church when I go to see him in NC. It has always been his rule " You stay in my home you go to church & do as I say." " Your staying with me I am not staying with you." I have heard that one a time or to belive you me. Also he knows what I think, yet I do not try to fight with my Daddy over it. It will not do any good & only cause family problems. Therefore I keep my mouth shut, & keep the peace. I am conforming to family peace, not to the Southern Baptist. I am sure you understand that.

Also with me not agreeing with Rand on the WW2 deal is a far cry from " the magic power of tuning forks." Your point is very well taken my friend. Even folks that belive in God have more sence that to belive such an outlandish thing like " healing power of crystals." My Daddy would call that foolish to say the least. There are some odd members in this group if they belive such foolishness. I do however belive the name should stay as it is. I dose appear that most of us are either Objectivist, or trying to be Objectivist through study. To change the name over one or two folks in not the best way to confront this issue.


Jamie
A former member
Post #: 7
I heard a story about a group of students in California who had this crazy idea about running off and starting a new "objectivist" nation. Ayn Rand heard about it and called them just what they were-crazy. She told them that they should not call themselves "objectivists", but "students of objectivism".

No one is born knowing much of anything. From that point on, most people spend their lives learning, or gaining knowledge. Is it possible to know everything about objectivistm? I say no. Anyone else?

Take the example of Mr. Cook, a self-professed objectivist. He was so busy "harvesting" that he missed the part about building a society. In order for a society to grow, we have to recruit people who aren't already objectivists. How could a simple fact like that elude an objectivist? Well, as my catholic friends like to tell me, know one's perfect. wink

We invite people to meet us. If they like what we're doing they stay. If not, they leave. If someone has some beliefs that don't exactly match but they see something they like and want to understand more. I say let them stay. If there're fanatics among us, talk it out of 'em. If that doesn't work, kick 'em out. I'm not as familiar with Rand or Peikhoff as anyone else who's been into objectivism as long as I have, but I know the importance of basing the way you live your life on reality. I'm not interested in fan clubs.

On a final note, tuning forks are designed to resonate at certain frequencies. There is a correlation between vibration at certain frequencies and human health. A correlation does not imply a cause-and-effect relationship. Still, people like to hear cats purr, and just about anyone moans when they're injured. So do certain vibration frequencies have an effect on the well being of humans? I don't know. I'd like to hear more about reading anything out of salt, I can always use a good laugh. Has anyone talked to sunglasses-in-outer-space-man (Elder cool Norm) about this?
Chad
prorescue
Norman, OK
Post #: 11
I have to agree with Nathan and Sherry on this one. I consider myself an objectivist which I realize means different things to different people. However, as a concept, it comes closest to describing me in just one word. I also would like to see the spread of rational philosophy. As Nathan pointed out, this means by definition associating at some level with non-objectivists. Whatever we call the group, I will continue to attend, but I feel Ayn Rand fan club doesn’t do it justice. Also, I hope Dean will not be compelled to stop attending as I learn the most from those who have been serious students of objectivism for some time.

I also disagree that the socially accepted Judeo-Christian beliefs are less destructive than a belief in salt readings and tuning forks, but I’ll voice those concerns in a separate thread.

Chad
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