North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › Are your children going to be Objectivist?
Are your children going to be Objectivist?
If you ask an Objectivist who has grown children, you will often hear that their children are not particularly interested in Objectivism, the philosophy of reality and reason.
The reason for this should be clear. The positive values that could be obtained by participation in an Objectivist society are not demonstrated to the child. Objectivism, if discussed in the family at all, is in the abstract and not integrated into the family's social life.
Ayn Rand recognized that while one can scrape by and survive on a deserted island, man derives enormous benefits from participation in a rational society. Even a child recognizes that social relationships can be enjoyable and of great value. But a child does not necessarily understand the importance of rationality being the proper basis for his social relationships.
How are we going to help communicate this to our children?
Consider this in the context that all the family's usual social connections are with people who are not Objectivists -- the happenstance of family relatives, the child's parents' non-Objectivist friends and their children, and the child's friends at school or in the neighborhood. All such social connections are disconnected from Objectivism. All such social connections tend to draw a child -- both intellectually and emotionally -- toward other philosophical ideas in the surrounding culture.
If you have a child, you are surely sending him to school to learn math, language, science, geography, history, etc. But what else is your child learning in your child's school? If the teachers believe in mysticism and altruism, regardless of formally excluding prayer from public schools, do you really think such ideas are not being communicated to the children?
If a child is watching a television show or a movie, do you really think that no philosophical lessons are being taught in the cartoon, children's program, or even the news?
To counteract all these influences to which your child is exposed for most of his day and for most of his life when you are not even present, is it sufficient to have a few discussions about philosophical issues to turn him onto Objectivism?
What more can we do to help counteract the ideas that our children are learning from relatives and friends, school, and television?
The North Texas Objectivist Society integrally includes our children. Most of our events welcome children. NTOS demonstrates to our children the benefits of a rational society, in practice. We hope you will participate and bring your children as often as possible.
For example, our next social event at the Ranch is on Saturday, October 27, 2007. It will be a fun Halloween theme. Both children and adults are welcome to dress up. Please join us.
Edited by Old Toad on Oct 18, 2007 3:36 PM
The best thing we can do is teach our kids how to have an active mind, and help them understand what virtues are under Objectivism, especially rationality, so when they have all the mystic/altruistic stuff thrown at them they can sort out the facts from the fiction.
And, of course, the advice that most people give regarding your kids, regardless of their philosophy: know what is going on in your kids' lives and the school. Such simple advice, but surely not as easy as it sounds when your kids get older.
And of course, a parent has to have a good grasp on what their own values are, and make sure they are allowing their kids to see what they are through their actions. Virtues, what are your virtues and can you kids actually see what they are? It's like that commercial back in the early 80s (okay I am dating myself here) where the dad bursts into his teenage son's room carry a cigar box full of drugs> "What are you doing with this? Didn't we teach you better?" And the kid bursts out " I learned it by watching you, okay! I learned it from you!"
A very cheesy commercial - but it makes a very good point.
The events are wonderful for getting our kids together, and me and my family appreciate it. But it isn't enough just to bring the kids and let them play. We have to do the work ourselves. One thing I really appreciate about the events is that the kids can have fun, and it isn't a "sunday school" kind of thing.
Edited by Sherry on Oct 20, 2007 8:53 AM
|A former member||
I don't know if my kids are going to be Objectivists or not. My son has a really hot girl friend who is a bible thumper. I can't compete with that. She seems like a nice kid and he could do worse. My daughter might turn into an objectivist. The program she is in tells her that she needs a higher power to beat her addiction (second step in the 12 step process). I don't think she really bought it. I told that she is her own higher power and that addiction is not a rational way to live.