Comment: Not quite ...

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Not quite ...

A. Rand: Do whatever you want, except for religion (even if your religiousity does not impact anyone else adversely)
Me: Well what if I happen to LIKE religion because it makes me happy and provides me with positive marginal utility each time I engage in it?

No, Rand did not accept the idea of hedonism (do whatever you want). She said do what is in your RATIONAL SELF-INTEREST (which she often referred to as "selfishness" just to piss people off -- and make them think).

If you like religion, that is fine. But you have no rational basis for believing in it, you probably have conveniently ignored the massive harm it has done to people for thousands of years, and you cannot claim to be a rational thinker or even moral if you advocate for a system of thought that has a hatred of rational thought. Rand would say that religion's hatred of rational thought is akin to hating mankind for what mankind is (a rational being). Religion is abusive. She would (and did) say these things.

If you like religion, do you also like the harm it has caused millions of people throughout history? Do you like what religion is doing to people in the Middle East and elsewhere today?

Something to think about.

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A. Rand: You cant do that. Or if you do, you're not an objectivist.
Me: So, you are the sole determiner of objectivism

Well, yeah, she created the philosophy. However, it is a philosophy that *should* be able to stand on its own because it uses the proper means for determining what is true: logic.

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A. Rand: No, you should do whatever increases your marginal utility, adds value, and does not adversely impact anyone else.
Me: So, I derive personal marginal utility from taking 5% of my income and feeding the homeless because I feel like it and am so motivated to do so out of my religious belief. That satisfies your standard.

She said that you should not SACRIFICE yourself to others, nor should others shame you into sacrificing yourself for them (i.e. collectivism). There is nothing wrong at all with helping others in any way you freely choose, and you probably will gain a lot of satisfaction in doing so.

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A. Rand: Except it's religious motivation.
Me: So, then there's another standard which you did not state, which is that you have decided if a person meets all other criteria except you are religious, then you can't be an objectivist?

No, you are not an Objectivist if you do not adhere to logic as your means of knowledge.

Faith is not a valid form of knowledge, and since all religions rely exclusively on faith to "prove" themselves, they cannot be taken seriously.

That is Ayn Rand's position. Please, if you disagree, don't use strawman arguments. Debate what she said, not what you dream she said.