Ayn Rand, Human life depends on the choice to think

A being who surrenders his tool of survival is helpless to deal with nature. Whether he then seeks survival by means of conformity, faith, feelings or force, he is unable to create the values his life requires.

The conformist, like Peter Keating in The Fountainhead, or an unprincipled politician ruled by public opinion polls, seeks truth by uncritically accepting the judgment of others; he is slavishly compliant to the group; his mind is surrendered to it, it dominates his existence.

The religionist, such as countless Jews, Christians or Muslims, seeks enlightenment in an imaginary supernatural realm; he believes in miracles, rejects reason for faith, and blindly follows the teachings of a revealed text and/or the pronouncements of the clergy.

The emotionalist, like many hedonists, pleasure seekers, and whim worshippers in our society, believes truth is created by his feelings, that if he feels it, it is true for him; he gives up rational thought and is driven by his urges.

The brute makes no pretense at being a man of reason; he seeks survival by criminal means, by initiating force or fraud against rational, productive men.

All of these types have relinquished their minds; it is not drug addicts, criminals, religious zealots or blind followers who create the knowledge, values, goods and services on which human life depends; survival for all of them depends on the productive activities of those who have not surrendered their minds…

Man’s mind is the tool of survival even for those who repudiate it. In other words, human life depends on the choice to think, including for those men who choose not to do so, thereby defying their nature.

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