Contemplating Atlas

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA



I was fascinated by this picture today as I contemplated the state of our current political discourse, our ineffectual government, our so called capitalists, and the modern pull peddlers.

The image of one lone individual standing in front of what appears to be a structure having seen it's better days with the shadow of Atlas supporting the world on his shoulders held me awe struck for several moments. I shall leave it to each thinking individual to determine for themselves and to understand why this visual image holds such power. Even for  a matter of a few moments.

For those who believe it takes a village to raise a child it is likely their capacity to grasp the power of the above visual will be stunted...  In all likelihood it is quite possible it  is non existent.

As I sat contemplating the image my thoughts flowed to the present state of affairs in our nation. As I asked myself how it is possible that our republic could have arrived at its present state the answer became clear. We lack a consistent non contradictory and ethical philosophy of how we should lead our lives as individuals.

I suspect that many long ago determined the study ethics and philosophy did not warrant serious consideration. Our educational system did not encourage the study of either and the majority of people just found the subjects, well, to boring and unimportant.

And here we are... Floundering like fish out of water.

As I cannot profess to be expert in the field of philosophy I will leave this post with the words of another that, at least in my opinion, summarizes why philosophy is, or at least ought to be important to all.
A man who is run by emotion is like a man who who is run by a computer whose print-outs he cannot read. He does not know whether its programming is true or false, right or wrong, whether it's set to lead him to success or destruction, whether it serves his goals or those of or those of some evil, unknowable power. He is blind on two fronts: blind to the world around him and his own inner world, unable to grasp reality or his own motives, and he is in chronic terror of both. Emotions are not tools of of cognition. The men who are not interested in philosophy need it most urgently: they are most helplessly in its power.
The men who are not interested in philosophy absorb its principles from the cultural atmosphere around them-from schools, colleges, books, magazines, newspapers, movies, television etc. Who sets the tone of a culture? A small handful of of men: the philosophers. Others follow their lead, either by conviction or by default. For some two hundred years, under the influence of Immanuel Kant, the dominant trend of philosophy has been directed to a single goal: the destruction of man's mind, of his confidence in the power of reason. Today, we are seeing the climax of that trend.
From pages 6 and 7 of  Philosophy- Who Needs It, Ayn Rand 1982
Another brief excerpt that ought to inspire one to purchase and read the full content of this short remarkable work.
A philosophic system is an integrated view of existence. As a human being, you have no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy by a conscience, rational, disciplined process of thought ... or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions....  
 Anyone interested can order the book here.

Cross posted to Rational Nation USA.

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