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irrational
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Atlas Shrugged
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irrational
Used In
Atlas Shrugged
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  • If music was emotion and emotion came from thought, then this was the scream of chaos, of the irrational, of the helpless, of man’s self-abdication.
  • Reason is an irrational idea.
  • No one has ever believed in the irrational; what they do believe in is the unjust.
  • The cause is that here, in Galt’s Gulch, there’s no person who would not consider it monstrous ever to confront a child with the slightest suggestion of the irrational.
  • The shiftless, the purposeless, the irresponsible, the irrational-it was not I who needed them, it was not theirs to dictate terms to me, it was not mine to obey demands.
  • That much irrationality is not possible to any man or any looter.
  • I would not surrender them to the educational systems devised to stunt a child’s brain, to convince him that reason is impotent, that existence is an irrational chaos with which he’s unable to deal, and thus reduce him to a state of chronic terror.
  • Robert Stadler now believes that intelligence is futile and that human life can be nothing but irrational.
  • That the universe is irrational?
  • A wish for the irrational is not to be achieved, whether the sacrificial victims are willing or not.
  • That the universe is irrational?
  • There’s no way to make the irrational work.
  • But neither life nor happiness can be achieved by the pursuit of irrational whims.
  • To the extent to which he is irrational, the premise directing his actions is death.
  • Happiness is not the satisfaction of whatever irrational wishes you might blindly attempt to indulge.
  • His world is not the unknown, but that irrational horror: the unknowable.
  • You start out in pursuit of the irrational, then damn existence for making no sense.
  • If life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being: nature forbids him the irrational.
  • Just as man cannot live by means of the irrational, so two men cannot, or two thousand, or two billion.
  • They’re mindless animals moved by irrational feelings-by their greedy, grasping, blind, unaccountable feelings!
  • If he abdicates his power, he abdicates the status of man, and the grinding chaos of the irrational is what he achieves as his sphere of existence-by his own choice.
  • I saw that evil was impotent-that evil was the irrational, the blind, the anti-real-and that the only weapon of its triumph was the willingness of the good to serve it.
  • Sacrifice could be proper only for those who have nothing to sacrifice-no values, no standards, no judgment-those whose desires are irrational whims, blindly conceived and lightly surrendered.
  • When you declare that men are irrational animals and propose to treat them as such, you define thereby your own character and can no longer claim the sanction of reason-as no advocate of contradictions can claim it.
  • She felt that no danger or pain could exist in the world so long as she could see his face-and, simultaneously, an icy terror, when she looked at those who held him in their power, when she remembered the blind irrationality of the event they were staging.
  • But the longing came from the certainty that the truth and the right were hers-that the enemy was the irrational and the unreal-that she could not set herself another goal or summon the love to achieve it, while her rightful achievement had been lost, not to some superior power, but to a loathsome evil that conquered by means of impotence.
  • From the first extortion he had accepted, from the first directive he had obeyed, he had given them cause to believe that reality was a thing to be cheated, that one could demand the irrational and someone somehow would provide it.
  • Those irrational wishes that draw you to their creed, those emotions you worship as an idol, on whose altar you sacrifice the earth, that dark, incoherent passion within you, which you take as the voice of God or of your glands, is nothing more than the corpse of your mind.
  • 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.
  • To escape it-if he’s chosen an irrational standard-he will fake, evade, blank out; he will cheat himself of reality, of existence, of happiness, of mind; and he will ultimately cheat himself of self-esteem by struggling to preserve its illusion rather than to risk discovering its lack.
  • Do you wonder why, wherever you look, you see nothing but unanswerable questions, why your life is torn by impossible conflicts, why you spend it straddling irrational fences to evade artificial choices, such as soul or body, mind or heart, security or freedom, private profit or public good?
  • Your code declares that the rational man must sacrifice himself to the irrational, the independent man to parasites, the honest man to the dishonest, the man of justice to the unjust, the productive man to thieving loafers, the man of integrity to compromising knaves, the man of self-esteem to sniveling neurotics.
  • If you hold the irrational as your standard of value and the impossible as your concept of the good, if you long for rewards you have not earned, for a fortune or a love you don’t deserve, for a loophole in the law of causality, for an A that becomes non-A at your whim, if you desire the opposite of existence-you will reach it.
  • Men are free not to choose man’s survival as the standard of their morals and their laws, but not free to escape from the fact that the alternative is a cannibal society, which exists for a while by devouring its best and collapses like a cancerous body, when the healthy have been eaten by the diseased, when the rational have been consumed by the irrational.
  • …he said calmly, very simply-and the only note of a personal bond between them was that tone of sincerity which comes with a direct, unqualifiedly rational statement and implies the same honesty of mind in the listener-"You know, I think that the only real moral crime that one man can commit against another is the attempt to create, by his words or actions, an impression of the contradictory, the impossible, the irrational, and thus shake the concept of rationality in his victim."
  • In some terms different from hers, in some inconceivable manner of consciousness, they knew all that she could tell them, it was useless to prove to them the irrational horror of their course and of its consequences, both Meigs and Taggart knew itand the secret of their consciousness was the means by which they escaped the finality of their knowledge, "I see," she said quietly.
  • He knew that the specific reason behind the Plan was Orren Boyle; he knew that the working of an intricate mechanism, operated by pull, threat, pressure, blackmail-a mechanism like an irrational adding machine run amuck and throwing up any chance sum at the whim of any moment-had happened to add up to Boyle’s pressure upon these men to extort for him this last piece of plunder.
  • Intellectual hoodlums who pose as professors, shrug away the thinkers of the past by declaring that their social theories were based on the impractical assumption that man was a rational being-but since men are not rational, they declare, there ought to be established a system that will make it possible for them to exist while being irrational, which means: while defying reality.
  • The first step of d’Anconia Copper, as of any other human value, has to come from here-because the rest of the earth has reached the consummation of the beliefs it has held through the ages: mystic faith, the supremacy of the irrational, which has but two monuments at the end of its course: the lunatic asylum and the graveyard…… Sebastian d’Anconia committed one error: he accepted a system which declared that the property he had earned by right, was to be his, not by right, but by…
  • Whenever you committed the evil of refusing to think and to see, of exempting from the absolute of reality some one small wish of yours, whenever you chose to say: Let me withdraw from the judgment of reason the cookies I stole, or the existence of God, let me have my one irrational whim and I will be a man of reason about all else-that was the act of subverting your consciousness, the act of corrupting your mind.
  • If he had accepted the Equalization of Opportunity Bill, if he had accepted Directive 10-289, if he had accepted the law that those who could not equal his ability had the right to dispose of it, that those who had not earned were to profit, but he who had was to lose, that those who could not think were to command, but he who could was to obey them-then were they illogical in believing that they existed in an irrational universe?
  • …truth and nothing can take precedence over that act of perceiving it, which is thinking-that the mind is one’s only judge of values and one’s only guide of action-that reason is an absolute that permits no compromise-that a concession to the irrational invalidates one’s consciousness and turns it from the task of perceiving to the task of faking reality-that the alleged short-cut to knowledge, which is faith, is only a short-circuit destroying the mind-that the acceptance of a mystical…
  • "Did it ever occur to you, Miss Taggart," said Galt, in the casual tone of an abstract discussion, but as if he had known her thoughts, "that there is no conflict of interests among men, neither in business nor in trade nor in their most personal desires-if they omit the irrational from their view of the possible and destruction from their view of the practical?

  • There are no more uses of "irrational" in the book.


    Show samples from other sources
  • Irrational thoughts started swimming through his mind—he wanted to jump up and attack, beat him like he’d beaten Gaily after escaping the Maze.
    James Dashner  --  The Scorch Trials
  • He’d held his temper—he hadn’t done anything too impulsive or irrational.
    Neal Shusterman  --  Unwind

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