"The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand ." That's freshly minted GOP vic...

Comment by M.B. on August 15, 2012 at 11:04pm

Hey Everyone,

Do you guys think that Ayn Rand (sorry for those who like her novels, but she was bananas), is giving us Atheist a bad reputation?

Comment by james d. jester on August 16, 2012 at 1:41pm

Absolutly Yes!  There have been many athiest and agnostics throughout history and in modern

times who have dedicated their lives to helping people and in many instances given their lives for

others.  You have only to look  at  athiest firefighters, athiest police officers, and athiest in foxholes!

Comment by James Cox on August 17, 2012 at 9:39pm

I read much of Ann Rand in HS, and at-the-time felt some traction with her due to my slow extrication from my catholic upbringing. Sadly I also felt that something was dearly/clearly missing.

Raising the ego to the level of 'a cult of the self', seemed very wrong. We are clearly in a culture of 'others', some of which I love, have respect for, have offered me aide or help, and examples of how to live and NOT live!

I have known people that seem to have little to offer intellectually, but are good souls, and can be heartfelt company. Measuring human value via an abstract human contrived metric such as 'money' seems more like another mal-formed metaphysical commitment.

Pretending that ones ego is self contained or heroic, at the expence of others, seems more like a betrayl of our social and/or cultural connections. While I might accept Rand's position on creativity, I see it as a part of my cultural responsibility, not only in service to my own self interest.  

Comment by James Cox on August 17, 2012 at 9:45pm

Ryan's point "keep it on message, 'Obama Bad', and off of us". The flustering that seem obvious indicates the 'absence' of a plan to save Medicare or 'Obama Care'.

Comment by Ghost The Smoker on August 18, 2012 at 5:27pm

I don't think Ayn Rand gives atheist a bad name because atheism is not some kind of organization. Of any stretch of the word. Now I agree that she was a fucking sociopath, that believed altruism was evil (yeah helping people for the sake of helping them is evil, fucking nut). But I believe by agreeing that she gives atheist a bad name is only furthering the misunderstanding of what atheism is. She was a lone lunatic, she is not atheism.

Comment by Ryan E. Hoffman on August 18, 2012 at 7:36pm

I'm an Ayn Rand fan, so this election is going to suck for me.

I think that her economic policies are outdated and are too ideological to work. Unfortunately that is what draws the most criticism, as that is what is most often put out into the public sphere. I'm willing to have a conversation about her moral philosophy, Objectivism, with anyone interested, as I've read the majority of her material (not just her novels, but her essay collections as well) provided that we agree to leave the economics out of it. Again, if you're skimming, read me loud and clear now: I DO NOT AGREE WITH HER ECONOMIC THEORIES. 

As far as giving atheists a bad name, I think you already know my answer. No. She doesn't. Rational selfishness is a great base of morality, and is often misunderstood.

Comment by Ryan E. Hoffman on August 18, 2012 at 7:37pm

That being said, I think that Obama should 100% go after Ryan for his endorsement of Rand. I understand the game. He should play that ideologue 1% card all the way to re-election.

Comment by Unseen on August 18, 2012 at 8:31pm

Atheists who want to short-circuit the Romney/Ryan ticket should go about claiming Ryan's atheism-based principles.

Comment by kOrsan on August 19, 2012 at 1:15am

You people might want to educate yourself on what her points were before you actually attack her based on them, as it's clear that the majority here missed them. Reading comprehension is a skill you can practice, you know.

Comment by Ed on August 19, 2012 at 8:59am

Altruism has nothing to do with a 15 trillion dollar debt. Neither candidate will be interested in discussing strategies or policies to actually fix our overspending mania.

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