7/22/2006

Jesus of Nazareth V. Ayn Rand


Ayn Rand was a devout atheist who held the very idea of god in contempt. She saw all forms of god as something that people invented as a way to grasp things that they didn't understand. She strongly disagreed with various teachings of Jesus Christ and other early Christians. For the life of her, Rand could not understand why "The love of money is the root of all evil?" She called Christ's instruction Judge not lest you be judged, "an abdication of moral responsibility." She went on to say that the proper moral position should be "judge, and be prepared to be judged."

V.

Jesus of Nazareth, believed that mankind has a great obligation to others. One great example of this was his encounter with a wealthy young man. When asked by him "what things shall I do to have eternal life?" First Jesus told him to obey the commandments. To the young man that was not a problem. For he didn't murder, commit adultery, steal, and bare false witness. He always honored his father and mother and he was kind to his neighbors. He informed the Lord, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I lack." This wealthy man was not ready for what Jesus said next. "If you want to be perfect, go sell what you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me." (Matthew 19:16:21) Once he heard this, he went away sorrowful. After his departure Jesus told his followers that, "It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:23-24) Jesus Christ tells us "And he who does not take his cross and follow after me, is not worthy of me." (Matthew 10:38)

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8 comments:

AndyRand said...

That's a great article you discovered
phaedrus.

"While one can debate the merits of Ayn Rand's ideology all that they want, clearly her self-centered ideas are contrary to everything Jesus Chirst and his followers have stood for over the centuries. It is safe to say that the majority of Republican conservatives in the United States would also call themselves Christians, many devoutly so. If this were the case, how in the world can they live by the principles of a philosopher who scoffed at the very concept of god?"

To me, this proves that Christian Libertarian is an oxymoron.

Cato said...

That's maybe because you still can't seem to understand what the defintions of "Objectivist" "libertarian" "Libertarian" and "Christian" are. Frankly I tire of explaining it. Frankly I tire of repeating myself in explaining that GOVERNMENT DOES NOT NEED TO DO THINGS FOR PEOPLE IN ORDER FOR PEOPLE TO DO THINGS FOR OTHERS. I think it is blatently obvious that somone who ASKED OTHERS to do the work of Jesus FOR THEM and SLOUGHED RESPONSIBILITY are NOT CHRISITAN AT ALL but just want to BUY THEIR WAY INTO HEAVEN. Contrast this with a Christian who is also a Libertarian and they want to DO THE WORK OF CHRIST THEMSELVES which is what JESUS CALLS ALL TO DO.

Oh and you don't understand the defintion of "selfish" that she uses. You should read her complitation of articles in The Virtue of Selfishness. I will not reprint them here other that to say she talks about living for yourself, and not for others at the expense of self. Self-immolation is never good. I'm not a fan of maschoism nor suicide but people who rant against her "selfishness" are either just like that or don't understand what she means by that. They are imagining Ebennezzer Scrouge.

Have any of you ever considered what is the root of money? Does it spawn from Satan or from productive work?

The Ref said...

Cato:

I hate to keep repeating this questions, but here goes. Are stating opinions or facts? You don't seemed to have wayed AndyRand from his stance and he from your stance.

Cato, over the past month of discussions on this blog, have your opinion and ideas moderated any? If so, how? If not, why?

Andy, same questions to you.

Noah Webster said...

Cato:

When words are involved in the discussions like we've been having, you going run into the connotative and denotative meaning of words, i.e., you specifically mean one thing and the other person interprets another things.

AndyRand said...

CATO:
You are a one trick pony and a broken record. You repeat the same thing over and over and over.
You are not my professor, you're a guest on this blog. For a rationalist, you sure
seem to be finding your emotional side with your shouting outburst. Maybe I can find you a bigger font.

Fine, use the word Objectivists, instead of Libertarian. It's still oxyomoronic. You are all from the same mold.
Anyone who believes the following cannot be a Christian or evev a theist.

"AND NOW I SEE THE FACE OF GOD, AND I RAISE THIS GOD OVER THE EARTH, THIS GOD WHOM MEN HAVE SOUGHT SINCE MEN CAME INTO BEING, THIS GOD WHO WILL GRANT THEM JOY AND PEACE AND PRIDE. THIS GOD, THIS ONE WORD "I"
AYN RAND

You are not God, I am not God, Ayn Rand is not God. You pick one issue about government and taxes and that make you the final arbitor of whose a Christian and Who isn't.

Anyone who sees themself as the end of all things, as the center of all things,
as the arbitor of all things, in short as God, is not a Christian. PERIOD.

Ayn Rand is not limiting her lunacy to government.
"I HAVE COME HERE TO SAY THAT I DO NOT RECOGNIZE ANYONE'S RIGHT TO ONE MINUTE OF MY LIFE, IT HAD TO BE SAID. THE WORLD IS PERISHING FROM AN ORGY OF SELF SACRIFICE."

Yeah right,there's so much self sacrifice that the world is perishing. B.S.

Some statements you've made in these discussions are indeed reminiscent of Twist's
Scrooge. It's the natural result of your demented philosophy.
Selfish is Selfish. You don't need a doctorate in philosophy to undestand the concept. Children can do it. It means that you are the center of the universe, that all things revolve around you. You objectivists use logic and reason to concoct a moral upside down cake from what is almost universally understood as moral. Read the damn Ayn Rand quotes in the article THEY ARE JUST PLAIN INVERTED BS. I see no point
in discussions with someone whose attitudes are as settled as concrete.

AndyRand said...

In the heat of the moment I said:
"I see no point
in discussions with someone whose attitudes are as settled as concrete."
I will modify that stance.

I find it difficult to dialogue with someone whose positions are very fixed an unflexible.

Cato said...

I apoligize for yelling. I was a bit pissed off that day since someone cracked a fellow administrator's password on a forum of mine and managed to destroy much of the data. Considering he had three numbers out of 10 charachters total and the password was not a "word" or anything that made sense, I frankly am baffled. Damn script kiddy ruining my day... In any event... back to the issue at hand.

I am not a one trick pony, although I do repeat myself. However, I think if someone is unwavering in their beliefs it is not necessarily a bad thing -- it they are right.

Selfish means to look after one's self before others. Alturism is living for others at expense of self. I think that I should come first in my life, and I think that any rational being would say that as well. If you want to live your life for other people like a human dialasis machine for the infirm, go right ahead. Your peroggative. But don't say I should be in there too!

Libertarians are not all Objectivsits. Objectivists are very few and far between. I wouldn't even consider myself one, although they do have powerful arguments, in my opinion. Even then, objectivists are still living their life for themselves but not at the expense of others. It is not as if they are leeching off others. No. They are just living their lives. Now I doubt many if any Objectivists are Christian, but many Libertarians are and it is wholly compaitable. Consdering that they are just saying that government shouldn't be doing the work of Christ -- Christians should -- I don't see how that is "unChristian" in the least. In fact, as stated, the other way is, since Christ would not want you to pay Peter to do the work of Christ for you. When Jesus talks of the rich man entering heaven I think he speaks of a man who would want to pay others to do his "good deeds" for him.

AndyRand said...

Welcome back CATO:
Sorry to hear about getting hacked.
It's happened here also and we suspect the usual suspects, our "friends" from our nemisis blog.
In the end I doubt any password is
uncrackable. I'm not into hacking but have seen password busting programs (never tried them or knew how to use them, plus not very ethical)
A number of things to mention.
Like most of us, I see that you can become irritated over things not going well, a typical emotional, human and dare I say irrational response.
I did use the term libertarian and objectivist interchangably in my comment in regard to Libertarian Christians. You are much more exacting in you interpretation of things while I do tend to generalize. I see many similarities with libertarians and objectivists.
You are right that they are not synonomous.

The problem I have with your worldview is that it is totally self centered. I will grant you that many
if not all who claim not to be self centered behave behave in a self centered way the majority of the time. Again, total selflessness is an ideal, not necessarily a reality. I think that there are many who often behave selflessly and I believe it is commendable.

As to doing what Jesus asks in regard to the poor. No doubt, in an ideal world everyone would tithe and
take individual responsibility for the poor. But you deny any type of group responsibility.
Since we live in a republic, our elected officials have created laws calling for sharing the funding of community need. If they are not representing their consituants they can be voted out. (speaking ideally).
Unlike J.S. Mill, I don't necessarily feel the tyranny of the majority as you do. Most in our society agrees that government does have a role to play in meeting societal needs.You don't. The size of that role can be debated. To eliminate it is unrealistic. However, until you view becomes the majority,
it will not prevail. You yourself said you doubted it ever would.

This what Jesus said about the rich
entering heaven.
" 21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"

26Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

How you interpret this to say that
someone is paying others to do their good deeds, I don't understand.
My understanding is that it is humanly impossible to give up so much, but not impossible with the help of God.

In terms of giving Jesus also said:

The Widow's Offering
41Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins,[a]worth only a fraction of a penny.[b]

43Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.

It is obvious that He measures by a different standard than man.

I appeciate your apology and do so in return. I will try to keep the discussion more civil.
(But that will not curtail me from poking fun at objectivists)

You said:
"I think if someone is unwavering in their beliefs it is not necessarily a bad thing -- it they are right."

Adherence to principle can be admirable. But the certitude of your
being right, I find disquieting, and as the article "Shrgging off Ayn Rand" states, limiting in growth as a human being. If everything is fixed, what can you learn outside of your belief system. You don't even entertain the possibility that you could be wrong.