I Never Said Rand Said We Are Emotionless

After (seemingly) reading through this website, in which I challenge Ayn Rand’s view of tabula rasa, someone said this to me:

Rand doesn’t argue that people are born emotionless ….

I know that. I never said Rand said we are emotionless. Here is what she said,

Man has no choice to feel that something is good for him or evil, but what he will consider good or evil, what will give him joy or pain, what he will love or hate, desire or fear, depends on his standard of value. (31, emphasis original)

Rand says, “Man has no choice to feel…” Ok. Stop. Right there. I get it. She said we will feel something. But what we feel–her word and her emphasis–depends on our “standard of value.” Rand’s view on emotions is that they are, by default, like a wild horse–bound to buck around somehow–but we have to go in and tame them. The person who said the above to me finished the thought with this,

…but that emotions don’t exist outside of (prior to) values and that therefore you can change your emotions by changing your values. 

Mmhmm, yes. That’s what I challenge. I do not think you can “change your emotions by changing your values.” Thanks for summing up Rand’s view so eloquently, by the way. I normally can’t get Objectivists to admit that this is Rand’s view. And, bruhs. Ayn Rand was no psychologist. Her statement is overreaching–and false.

Objectivists are always accusing me of not understanding Rand. But it is they who consistently misunderstand me.

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