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arbitrary
in
Atlas Shrugged
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arbitrary
Used In
Atlas Shrugged
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  • Now I saw that one man was to be bound by it, but the other was not, one was to obey a rule, the other was to assert an arbitrary wish-his need-and the law was to stand on the side of the wish.
  • "That’s a preposterous, high-handed, arbitrary way of—"
  • Why did my plans for my own future have to depend upon the arbitrary opinion of a selfish monopolist? I wasn’t going to stand for that.
  • This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values.
  • This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values.
  • It is not our policy ever to be at the arbitrary mercy of the good faith of another person, or at the mercy of a promise that cannot be enforced.
  • Now you have placed modern industry, with its immense complexity of scientific precision, back into the power of unknowable demons-the unpredictable power of the arbitrary whims of hidden, ugly little bureaucrats.
  • the distant reaches of his childhood, when his own understanding of reality clashed with the assertions of others, with their arbitrary orders and contradictory demands, he gave in to so craven a fear of dependence that he renounced his rational faculty.
  • No child is afraid of nature; it is your fear of men that will vanish, the fear that has stunted your soul, the fear you acquired in your early encounters with the incomprehensible, the unpredictable, the contradictory, the arbitrary, the hidden, the faked, the irrational in men.
  • He had paid them to do it-he whom the law permitted no other way to gain his freedom, no right to state the facts and plead the truth-the law which delivered his fate, not to objective rules objectively defined, but to the arbitrary mercy of a judge with a wizened face and a look of empty cunning.
  • You who’ve lost the concept of a right, you who swing in impotent evasiveness between the claim that rights are a gift of God, a supernatural gift to be taken on faith, or the claim that rights are a gift of society, to be broken at its arbitrary whim-the source of man’s rights is not divine law or congressional law, but the law of identity.
  • They want to cheat the axiom of existence and consciousness, they want their consciousness to be an instrument not of perceiving but of creating existence, and existence to be not the object but the subject of their consciousness-they want to be that God they created in their image and likeness, who creates a universe out of a void by means of an arbitrary whim.
  • He can count on nothing, he can only wish, and he spends his life on wishing, on begging his demons to grant him his wishes by the arbitrary power of their will, giving them credit when they do, taking the blame when they don’t, offering them sacrifices in token of his gratitude and sacrifices in token of his guilt, crawling on his belly in fear and worship of sun and moon and wind and rain and of any thug who announces himself as their spokesman, provided his words are unintelligible…
  • …rabbit’s foot kissed under a stepladder on the first of the moon-truth is whatever people want it to be, and people are everyone except yourself; reality is whatever people choose to say it is, there are no objective facts, there are only people’s arbitrary wishes-a man who seeks knowledge in a laboratory by means of test tubes and logic is an old-fashioned, superstitious fool; a true scientist is a man who goes around taking public polls-and if it weren’t for the selfish greed of the…
  • …to prove it by means of unconsciousness-he is asking you to step into a void outside of existence and consciousness to give him proof of both-he is asking you to become a zero gaining knowledge about a zero, "When he declares that an axiom is a matter of arbitrary choice and he doesn’t choose to accept the axiom that he exists, he blanks out the fact that he has accepted it by uttering that sentence, that the only way to reject it is to shut one’s mouth, expound no theories and die.
  • ...you are an entity, not a series of random pieces scattered through a universe where nothing sticks and nothing commits you to anything, the universe of a child’s nightmare where identities switch and swim, where the rotter and the hero are interchangeable parts arbitrarily assumed at will...
  • They’re only one step away from open violence-hell, they’ve taken the step and sealed and declared it long ago!-but in one more moment they’ll see the full reality of what they’ve taken, exploding in their damned faces-plain, open, blind, arbitrary, blood shedding violence, running amuck, hitting anything and anyone at random.

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  • It was an arbitrary decision.
  • The speed limit seems to be arbitrary. I can’t imagine why it is so slow.

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