Ayn Rand On The Phil Donahue Show

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Stephen L Smith, Sep 13, 2017.

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  1. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    Found two interesting interviews of Ayn Rand by Phil Donahue:
    1979
    1980

    I read some of Ayn Rand's philosophical works with interest about 15 years ago. I came to the conclusion she was a godless woman, but some of her comments are refreshing counterbalance to a lot of the politically correct nonsense one hears today.
     
  2. Held Fast

    Held Fast Puritan Board Freshman

    "My philosophy in essence is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity and reason as his only absolute." - Rand, Shrugged.

    I cannot help but think that God created man a heroic being, heroic limited to Rand's portrayal in her works: Creative, imaginative, hard working, a good steward of resources, etc. We may look at "his own happiness" as a selfish moral purpose, but if we look at the chief end of man as to delight in God forever, then we might be able to affirm that given God is man's greatest personal happiness. Productive achievement is not a bad thing, and is in fact a good, but Christians might say it's not his noblest activity ... love for neighbor fits more tightly into what is noble, but there again if productive achievement is derived from love for neighbor, we might affirm that phrase as well. Finally, is reason our only absolute? Faith would be most accurate, although ours is not an irrational faith ... reason has its role, just not as the only absolute. I believe this nearness of thought is what draws much empathy from Christians to Rand's works. That and progressive SJWs hate her.
     
  3. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    What are SJWs?
     
  4. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Graduate

    Social justice warriors. Basically liberals who are obsessed with identity politics.
     
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  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Since she was an avowed atheist, that is not a difficult conclusion to draw. :)
     
  6. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    I enjoy Rand, not only for her ideas and stories, but the reaction she generates. She devastates socialism and statism. Listening to people, especially liberals, talk about her illuminates how bone ignorant they are about history and economics let alone Rand's ideas. Since Rand hated coercion of any type (other than contract enforcement), she doesn't fit the narratives of modern progressives.
     
  7. Jake

    Jake Puritan Board Junior

    I personally find Rand brings out the worst of atheism and shows how horrible its conclusions are, such as the rejection of altruism. Her philosophical works show the depth of evil that comes from a consistent rejection of a Christian worldview and her fiction works have characters that will make you do the same.
     
  8. Held Fast

    Held Fast Puritan Board Freshman

    The doctrine of total depravity rejects altruism as well. And even for the redeemed elect, the practice of altruism is one of command while the mind is renewed ... it is not pure altruism. Rand proposes that the best thing for a community is when individuals ... who we might say were gifted by God, called to a vocation, and work as unto the Lord ... are allowed to be ambitious and build corporations who employ others, make good products, and are a blessing to their community. That is harnessing the depravity of man for the benefit of a community, as opposed to using the government to try to impose altruism upon the depraved, through taxes, social requirements, affirmative action, etc. In Rand's world, the Christian would not be denied the opportunity to love their neighbor, while the lost would not be forced by fiat to act like they're altruistic when they're not.
     
  9. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    She believed in principle that one can do good to others. She gave money to a needy family member. But yes she rejected altruism.
     
  10. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    Alisa Rosenbaum (1905-1982). If I remember rightly, she believed religion was for the weak. Hers was basically a personality cult revolving around her at the center. She was, shall we say, morally and ethically challenged (many lovers, even though she was married).

    No need to pay any particular attention to her. Just another egomaniac with a following.
     
  11. Logan

    Logan Puritan Board Junior

    I read Atlas Shrugged this past year. She had moments of brilliant clarity and the best aspect of the book was showing very poignantly just how unspeakably evil things like wealth redistribution and socialism are. That said, her ideal man was far from believable or practical and those parts of the book seemed incredibly naive and...ungodly. I don't think it's worth wading through the pile of manure to find the nuggets, but I did find the book oddly intriguing.

    I'll definitely check out those videos :)
     
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