With Paul Ryan's selection as the vice-presidential candidate with Mitt Romney, much is being made of Ayn Rand and her philosophy of "greed is good, charity is evil." Since Rand was an atheist, I wonder: Does her belief system represent what atheism means to you?
Short answer: no. When I was a teen (perhaps her proper audience) I must have read just about everything that Ayn Rand wrote -- novels & essays. At the time, I agreed with many of her tenets, and don't wholly reject them all now. But her collection of works in her infuriatingly simplistic and pedantic style never seemed like anything close to a coherent philosophy. It actually never occurred to me back then that she had anything to say about atheism other than her credo of non-submission, which is good as far as it goes (which is not very far).
If mountain lions could read human texts, they might be nearly ideal Randians. I like and respect mountain lions, but am not one. I'm a member of a social species, like it or not, and so recognize that society is built not upon me, but I on it. The Egyptian pyramids weren't built point-down for the very good reason that the greater mass is necessary to support the pinnacle, and must by simple geometry also support intermediate layers. So it is with social pyramids. We at the bottom are the necessary support, and in turn support those less foundational like priest, cops & politicians, who in turn support whichever polished stone ends up on top. To some like Rand the uppermost is the 'point', and the foundational layers, since they're already there, are irrelevant.
I have not read everything she has wrote and i don't want to just adapt or reject a whole system of philosophy, but as far as I have read I like most of Ayn Rand's ideas. So far I have read The Fountain Head and the Virtue of Selfishness and part of Atlas Shrugged. Before I read these things I already voted for the party I vote for because i don't like taxes and I with the government were a lot smaller. I try to be "objective" and look at things from outside the bubble of American culture; I think American culture is sex-negative, while Rand does not think sex is dirty or shameful or sinful or bad. Howard Roak would have an easier time earning a living if he would just design buildings the way the architectural establishment wants him to, but at least he ends up proving his point that his buildings are "better." I guess by only looking out for your own best interests, other people benefit or get helped by default or accident. I think Rand has something in common with the economist Adam Smith. I don't fully understand why liberals hate her ideas so much. My brother can't stand Ayn Rand yet he has never read any of her writings and has is not able to tell me details about the themes or content of her writings.
ha. who!? the catchy name person ? bet if it was say melissa randenhaus.. it'd be not such a popular name.. ha
Dave Silverman, now he's more my style! Ken Loukinen of same org.. yep.