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North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › Reaching out to atheists

Reaching out to atheists

Norman, OK
Post #: 69
Every time a find someone who has heard of Rand, be it a layman who has above average interest in politics or a person who got a degree in philosophy, I find they generally only know of her philosophy second or third hand and almost always are misinformed. I have had some success pressing the issue, especially with philosophy majors, by listening to the criticism and then pointing out how it differs from what Rand actually stood for. As Rand is not accepted by most philosophy professors today, she is generally not studied at the university level. When someone says they dislike her views, I ask them, "Which part of her philosophy do you specifically disagree with?" and they almost always admit they aren't familiar with her work. I have found some conservatives who do agree with Rand but say, "I agree with her on everything except atheism." This is a point most conservatives can't get past with additional education because it has more to do with the psychology than ignorance. Because of this, I'm beginning to think the best strategy for objectivists is to reach out to atheists. Atheists have already on their own taken the hardest step towards rational philosophy by accepting rational metaphysics (even if they have never defined it that way). I am finding that many atheists want to follow reason and are looking for moral guidance but have never been exposed to Rand. This is especially clear when reading the most popular atheist writers today who eloquently expose the evils of religion but then flounder on moral questions because they have nowhere to turn except the popular "morality by majority vote". They seem to be completely oblivious to the idea that morality can be tied directly to reality. I think objectivists finally have a concise outreach piece in the form of Andrew Bernstein's "Objectivism in One Lesson". I am slowly purchasing copies of this book to loan to student atheists here at the University of Oklahoma. I'll keep you posted on any success. While I would like to start an objectivist club at the university, I simply don't have the time with all my other obligations. I would also like feedback on what others have experienced when specifically exposing Rand to those who were already atheists.
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