Many people live unhappy lives because they accept philosophic ideas that undermine personal happiness, such as “Being moral consists in selflessly serving others.” Likewise, many advocate and live under statist or tyrannical regimes because they accept ideas that support such regimes, such as “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
If people want to be happy and free, they need philosophic ideas that support these goals and provide guidance to achieve them. We created Objective Standard Institute to teach people about ideas that do.
Philosophy is the fundamental science. It’s the science concerned with the basic nature of reality and the laws that govern it (metaphysics); the nature of knowledge and how we acquire and validate it (epistemology); the nature of good and evil, right and wrong, and how we should and shouldn’t act (ethics); the nature of a proper social system (politics); and the nature and value of art (aesthetics).
Philosophers throughout the ages have sought to identify and convey truths in these areas. Disagreements abound. Some say there’s a God who created reality and that truth and morality come from him; others say there is no God and that truth and morality are personal opinions or social conventions; (relatively few) others say that there is no evidence for the existence of God, that existence is primary and has always existed, and that truth and morality are discovered by means of observation and logic.
We see this latter view as demonstrably true and as vitally important to human life, liberty, and happiness. We hold that there are objective standards for understanding what is true and false, good and evil, and morally correct in the realm of politics. These standards, respectively, are, as the philosopher Ayn Rand demonstrated: correspondence to perceptual reality, the requirements of human life, and the protection of individual rights.
We see the understanding of these and related principles, along with their proper applications, as essential for individuals to live fulfilling, happy lives—and for societies to establish and maintain freedom so that individuals can flourish fully as human beings. Hence the purpose of OSI: to help people understand (or better understand) the importance of philosophy, the principles of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, and related ideas for loving life and defending freedom.
Here’s to a future of reason, freedom, and flourishing!
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