September 02, 2008
I used to hold out hope for what I refer to as OWAR: Objectivists Without Ayn Rand. These are people who live like Objectivists, without actually calling themselves Objectivists. Perhaps they haven't even read Ayn Rand. But they try to practice reason. They're honest people and they live for their own happiness.
The most hard-to-find characteristic even among that group of people is a willingness to shed ideas that are proven false. I've only seen that characteristic among people who are, in my opinion, too young for me to date.
Such people most certainly do exist, but they're troublesome to locate and identify. I'm open to dating them, I suppose, but in a directed search for compatible mates, I've found that going on dates with people out of optimism is expensive and boring. Sometimes, that practice even makes me angry because I can't believe how wrong some people are.
I have several basic fundamental requirements for people I date.
It is absolutely necessary for a person I date to be an atheist. I will not date someone who even describes themselves as "spiritual" or agnostic. These people are irritating epistemologically. The irritating part comes not from the questions or arguments they pose, but their smug attitude as they regard themselves as clever and insightful. They're neither.
But I don't want to date someone who is going to talk about philosophy with me all the time. I do expect someone to be able to talk about philosophical ideas from time to time, though. If I can't be assured that someone is starting from the right basic premises, then I can be certain that discussions with them will run afield of the truth.
It is absolutely necessary for someone I date to be utterly and totally convinced of the moral rightness -- and therefore practical efficacy and efficiency -- of free markets. I will brook no compromise here. I will not date anyone who is enamored of either major party. You might dislike one more than the other, but hate is easy and love is telling.
This isn't because I like to talk about politics or economics all the time. But I'm a businessman and I want to date someone else who supports my career. Without reservations like "the man" or "being oppressed by the system" or "the greater good."
I usually never get beyond those two ideological requirements, but I do also have an aesthetic requirement. I never bring that up because, frankly, if you like Anne Rice novels or Jackson Pollock paintings, it's probably already clear that we're not going to get along.
Really, it just boils down to the fact that I want to be unreserved in my love for a man.
I've dated men who are rational in many things, but believe in some kind of undefined higher power. I've dated men who are atheists, but support socialized medicine and coercive taxation. I've dated other combinations, but in all cases I've had to dump them because I've felt uneasy with them. I felt I was constantly insulting their deeply-held beliefs or being assaulted by their political affiliations. I felt uninspired by their dim view of humanity and the universe. I felt lots of things all amounting to a general sense of incompatibility.
I know that getting to know someone takes time and effort. You have to work up to the point where you feel comfortable speaking your mind on any and all topics. You have to find the peculiar way of expression that works best for both of you. But who wants to be in a month or more into a relationship and then find out that you're with someone who believes that the universe is fundmentally unknowable or refers to something called "truth" as if it's china and everyone's entitled to a style of their own? I certainly don't. Hell, I don't even want to get into the middle of a first date and find that out, really, but it's better to find out sooner rather than later.
I was also asked if I want to date someone who agrees with everything I say.
That is a loaded question, predicated by the assumption that there are just two options: either complete agreement or utter disagreement. I think we all know that neither case actually exists.
I expect to share with my mate complete agreement on basic premises and principles. I do not expect to share with my mate agreement on every personal taste and preference. I expect him to have his own hobbies, likes, and dislikes. I expect him to have his own reasons for things and I expect him to tell me what they are. That's what I expect of myself for him as well. And sometimes our interests will overlap.
Further, even above these basic philosophical items, I do also demand compatibility with my daily life and my general sense of life.
Posted by: Rachel at September 03, 2008 08:09 AM (3Glay)
Posted by: Flibbert at September 03, 2008 08:24 AM (xzhy1)
Posted by: Sascha Settegast at September 03, 2008 09:43 AM (QM3oB)
Posted by: Flibbert at September 03, 2008 01:15 PM (xzhy1)
Posted by: Sascha Settegast at September 04, 2008 05:41 AM (1m4p3)
Gee whiz Flibby! If it wasn’t for your preternatural obsession with Project Runway, you’d be the perfect boyfriend for me!
Posted by: Tiberius at September 05, 2008 11:11 PM (NquxU)
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