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.
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.