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Posted: 9/3/2010 8:23:47 PM EDT
So yeah, I like Ayn Rand's Libertarian and free market views, but I also know that she was an adamant atheist. Are her writings good for Christians to read, or am I going to get a lot of atheist rantings and such?
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 8:29:17 PM EDT
What are you afraid of?
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 8:33:47 PM EDT
Well, I tend to favor Ayn Rand's views on the spiritual, but I still think the Bible teaches good lessons. It's better if you see both sides then evaluate for yourself.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 8:36:40 PM EDT
You should read as much as you can to broaden your understanding of the world. If you are so uncomfortable in your faith that you are afraid that a book or 2 might harm it you might want to do some self reflection.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 8:36:48 PM EDT
I don't agree with Ayn Rand about everything. But there is much for everyone to learn from her views on liberty, socialism and economics.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 6:40:39 AM EDT
You shouldn't 'fear' reading anything. The fact is, if you find Rand's conception of human nature and morality (or better said, amorality) attractive, you're a pretty weak Christian to begin with.

And that doesn't even consider her shrill and tedious atheism.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 6:47:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By tbonifie:
I don't agree with Ayn Rand about everything. But there is much for everyone to learn from her views on liberty, socialism and economics.


The same things can be learned by reading Schumpeter, von Mises, Hayek and Hazlitt without wading through the rest of Rand's dubious views of morality.

The idea that she's some great and unique genius on economics is false. Her insights are fairly pedestrian.

I consider Schumpeter an underappreciated genuis of 20th Century thought. His ideas are fairly profound.

Schumpeter is the polar opposite of Rand.

Rand takes obvious ideas and puffs them up with a pompous false profundity (man as a self-defining moral being, really profound ).

Schumpeter takes some extremely profound ideas (creative destruction, for example) and understates their significance. It's a better approach, IMO.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 8:21:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2010 5:52:20 AM EDT by HardShell]
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 8:57:55 AM EDT
While I've never read any of Rand's work I've got a pretty health collection of non-Christian books.
I don't know how you can relate to a culture if you don't understand a culture or how to counter popular anti-Christian books if you don't understand their content.
There are many non Christian writers who have a brilliant insight into culture, politics or world view and are often well worth a read.
That said, don't let culture or politics consume your time...understand the Bible and the Gospel so that you can clearly understand how it can answer the questions so many other wise men and women ask.

When I was kid I loved reading H.G Wells who was a not just a prolific and brilliant writer of fiction...but a socialist, promoter of eugenics and rampant adulterer.
What I learned was that the questions he raised always had answer's in the Bible...a book he rejected as Truth.
By reading Well and others I think we learn plenty about what not to believe and plenty about insuring we understand the answer's a dying world is asking.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 9:51:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2010 9:52:16 AM EDT by 19_Kilo]
I am blatantly stealing from another forum (www.fark.com), since this was a topic (sorta) yesterday:

mediablitz:
Jesus laid it out pretty clearly.

The rich can't get in heaven
Do for others
The poor, elderly and sick should be a priority
Possessions are for losers

Yep, sounds like Rand to me!

Pocket Ninja:
Actually, Ayn Rand and God are extremely similar in that the vast majority of people who purport to have a strong opinion about either of them have never actually read any of their more noteworthy texts. Orwell is a similar figure.

Aarontology:
The Bible is a better read than anything Rand wrote. And almost as inflexibly dogmatic.



Link Posted: 9/4/2010 9:54:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
What are you afraid of?


Opposing viewpoints, obviously.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 5:54:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
What are you afraid of?


Opposing viewpoints, obviously.


I really just didn't want a couple hundred pages of atheist manifesto or anything. Maybe I am a little paranoid about picking up some bad ideas, IDK.
Anyway, I think I'll put a couple of her books on my reading list, this thread has convinced me.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 6:21:59 PM EDT
FWIW, Atlas Shrugged is a piece of fiction. It's a novel. Yes it reflects some views on economics, etc.; but life is not fiction and outcomes aren't always so clean cut and predictable as in fiction.

As others have pointed out, you can do better.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:55:33 AM EDT
Ayn Rand does not beat your head with it. Capitalism gets shoved in your eye-holes but that is why we read her stories. Clear heros working toward a clear goal.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 2:26:20 AM EDT
She tends to hit the target when it comes to the worth of th eindividual (something not in conflict with the Bible) and liberty from tyrants (also no conflict).

While people should do good and charitable works, it should not be because they were forced to (OK there).

If you skip her evangelical atheism, the rest of it is pretty good, fitting in with our traditional American themes of individual liberty.

I'd say go ahead and sample her writing, but read with your eyes open, if you know what I mean.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 3:33:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2010 3:34:10 AM EDT by Strongbow]
The main thing to fear from Rand's work is the tedium.... she's a terrrible fiction writer.

But a grown-up should never be afraid of reading ideas they don;t agree with. How many capitalists have actually READ Marx? They should. You should always know WHY yopu believe what you believe, and why you DON'T believe some other thing.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:36:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Strongbow:
The main thing to fear from Rand's work is the tedium.... she's a terrrible fiction writer.

But a grown-up should never be afraid of reading ideas they don;t agree with. How many capitalists have actually READ Marx? They should. You should always know WHY yopu believe what you believe, and why you DON'T believe some other thing.


This.

Nicely done.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:44:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2010 1:46:58 PM EDT by Frost7]
Originally Posted By aswrg7:
So yeah, I like Ayn Rand's Libertarian and free market views, but I also know that she was an adamant atheist. Are her writings good for Christians to read, or am I going to get a lot of atheist rantings and such?

Originally Posted By Aristotle:


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.


Why not read her and decide for yourself if you agree, disagree, or agree in parts and disagree in other parts. Speaking for myself, I find I agree with nearly all of objectivism, but when it comes to things like personal relationships, or the idea of radical selfishness as an ideal, or conservation, or humoring the concept that government can and should have a role in funding things that do advance us nationally but are too big and expensive with too long a period for visible ROI that private interests can't or won't touch them... well, I cannot find common ground with the ideology or its hardcore adherents.
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