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Author Topic: Randian Ethics and the Gospel of Christ  (Read 1667 times) Average Rating: 0
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Acolyte
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« on: September 20, 2008, 08:45:24 PM »

This is my review of Ayn Rand's philosophy:

After reading Anthem and over 500 pages of Atlas Shrugged, I have an adequate understanding of Ayn Rand's philosophy to discuss it with rational human beings.

Since Rand was born into a non-practicing Jewish home, witnessed the Sergian compromise with the Soviet government, and decided upon atheism at an early age, I flatly disregard any of her religious opinions. That doesn't mean, however, that others parts of her philosophy are without value.

Just as the church fathers evaluated secular philosophy to help illuminate the truth of Christ for others, taking care to leave anything false or superfluous behind, I can do the same.

According to Rand, the purpose of man's life is his own happiness. A man is an end in himself and cannot be forced into being the means of others. According to Scripture, man finds happiness through faith in Christ.

A man, being created in the image of God, cannot be used as a means to an end since he is a divinely created being, not an unfeeling object. According to Rand, a man should never use physical force against others, except to protect his own life.

According to Rand, a man finds happiness through pursuing his own rational self-interest. This is to be distinguished from selfishness, in which a man takes from others without regard for their rights or feelings.

If a man wants to enjoy life, he must work toward his own enjoyment, without expecting others to do it for him. If you want others to help you feel happy, you should provide mutual benefit and do the same.

Joy is found through exerting yourself in work, whatever your work might me. However much you get paid is incidental, what really matters is the integrity you place in your effort. The Bible states that if a man chooses not to work, he shall not eat, and that your wages are a reward for the honest work you've done.

Rand felt zero concern for worldly praise and prestige. She only wanted her work to be famous so it could help others. As long as you have moral integrity in your convictions, and find satisfaction in what you do, it doesn't matter what the world thinks. Father Seraphim Rose lived the same way.

Ayn Rand is against the welfare state, believing that charity is a free willed act of the heart for those you believe are deserving and who have a legitimate need. Just as God cannot force you to be charitable, neither should government. Just as God recognizes your free will, so should government.

Rand supports charitable giving if it makes you feel better about yourself. If whatever you do for the least of these, you have done for Christ, then you should definitely feel pride for having helped Him.

Pride -
a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one's position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.

Like Aristotle, Rand believes that pride is the rational middle ground between self-hatred and narcissism. In fact, anything true in Rand's philosophy was derived from Aristotle, something she was willing to admit.

Just because you are a Christian, that doesn't mean you should feel neverendingly ashamed for your sins. Otherwise, Christ would never have offered His forgiveness, and neither would He have given His life for you.

God wants you to feel good about your admirable qualities, whatever they might be. The more ashamed you are in yourself, the more shameful your actions will be.

If Rand helps me to be more loving, respectful, and honoring of others, that's a good thing. It suits my own rational self-interest to be a better person. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Ayn Rand, despite her personal flaws, is one of the 20th century's most gifted novelists. Those blinded by collectivism cannot and will never see this fact.
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Acolyte
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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2008, 05:21:04 PM »

The young Miss Rand is the most beautiful woman I've ever seen:

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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2008, 05:36:58 PM »

Why not name the thread Objectivism and the Gospel of Christ, are they compatible?

Source of quote below:

Quote
"The orthodoxy of objectivism insists that we can know the world only by distancing ourselves from it, separating our inner lives from the external objects we want to know. Such objectivism is morally deforming because its distancing us from knowledge prevents a moral engagement with the world we study and (prevents) a taking responsibility for it. One of the most important contributions our religious and spiritual traditions can make through dialogue on our campuses is in the alternative epistemologies they offer which are more capacious, more relational and more responsive than classic objectivism."

-- Parker Palmer
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Acolyte
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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2008, 06:43:51 PM »

An Objectivist is one who agrees with every point of Ayn Rand's philosophy. I am not an Objectivist.
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Bono Vox
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2009, 10:39:21 AM »

A client of mine gave me a copy of "The Virtue of Selfishness". I am slowly reading it, and I am about half way through the second chapter "Mental Health versus Mysticism". So far, her worldview appears to be anti-Orthodox in my opinion. Let me give you an example:

P.46

"Do mystics declare that all they demand of man is that he sacrifice his happiness? To sacrifice one's happiness is to sacrifice one's desires; to sacrifice one's desires is to sacrifice one's values; to sacrifice one's values is to sacrifice one's judgment; to sacrifice one's judgment"

It appears to me that she would think the Monks of Mount Athos are irrational and have a severe pathology.

As I said, I'm only half way through the second chapter, but it seems like she creates false dichotomies and her worldview is clearly atheistic. Some things she says I agree with, but they seem to be interwoven with lies.

I have read about her personal life and the "objectivism" movement online. It sounds like there are cult like tendencies with her movement.

Perhaps I'm only getting part of the picture since I am only in the second chapter of her book, but I don't buy what she has been peddling so far.
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Troparion - Tone 1:
O Sebastian, spurning the assemblies of the wicked,You gathered the wise martyrs Who with you cast down the enemy; And standing worthily before the throne of God, You gladden those who cry to you:Glory to him who has strengthened you! Glory to him who has granted you a crown!
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2009, 10:41:41 AM »

The young Miss Rand is the most beautiful woman I've ever seen:



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Troparion - Tone 1:
O Sebastian, spurning the assemblies of the wicked,You gathered the wise martyrs Who with you cast down the enemy; And standing worthily before the throne of God, You gladden those who cry to you:Glory to him who has strengthened you! Glory to him who has granted you a crown!
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2009, 12:23:50 PM »

An Objectivist is one who agrees with every point of Ayn Rand's philosophy. I am not an Objectivist.

And from my understanding, she did not tolerate any of those in her movement who diverged from her in the slightest.
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Troparion - Tone 1:
O Sebastian, spurning the assemblies of the wicked,You gathered the wise martyrs Who with you cast down the enemy; And standing worthily before the throne of God, You gladden those who cry to you:Glory to him who has strengthened you! Glory to him who has granted you a crown!
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2009, 01:11:46 PM »

Interesting philosophy Acolyte from what you posted. We must find balance between all things so that we can have a happy life on earth and in the next life.Weight everything in balance.Of course there are many virtues wich a person can get. I would say that some of her philosophies are very dangerous and can lead into falling into selfishness and pride , and even change the finality of her philosophy  from happyness to unhappyness.This judging only from what you wrote on your poste Acolyte.
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2009, 01:28:25 PM »

I was just wondering if anyone noticed that this thread was started on September 20, 2008, and that acolyte hasn't been online since November '08. I doubt he is going to answer anyone.
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Alveus Lacuna
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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2009, 01:55:10 PM »

I read The Fountainhead about five years ago.  It was very challenging for me at the time, and I really enjoyed it.  Was cowering before a powerful God inhibiting the realization of my full potential, my ability to stand, be strong, and accomplish amazing things?  I have been intending to read Atlas Shrugged for several years, but the 1200 pages have kept me away for now.
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Veniamin
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2009, 02:27:35 PM »

Atlas Shrugged deterred me for quite some time for the same reason.  I finally got around to reading it late last year and found that it was actually a fairly easy read, despite the length.
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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2009, 05:24:18 PM »

Atlas Shrugged deterred me for quite some time for the same reason.  I finally got around to reading it late last year and found that it was actually a fairly easy read, despite the length.

Atlas Shrugged has the honor of being the first book I didn't finish reading.  I got so annoyed and bored with Rand's philosophy of selfishness that I just couldn't force myself to continue.
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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2009, 08:18:32 PM »

http://www.iep.utm.edu/e/egoism.htm#SH2a
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