Q&A Friday #30: Do You Think The Bible And Ayn Rand Are In Conflict?
Question: “Many conservatives will consistently rank the Bible #1 in their list of favorite books, with Atlas Shrugged being #2. I have always found this curious, as these books seem to me to have messages and themes that are diametrically opposed to one another.
In other words, I don’t think Christ and John Galt would get along very well.
Any thoughts on this?” — President_Friedman
Answer: I’m neither an objectivist nor a biblical scholar and so perhaps, like many people, I’m just not informed enough to see the contrasts.
To me, Rand’s message has always been, “Take care of yourself, appreciate high achievers, be ruled by logic, not emotion,” — ya know, not much different from the philosophy of Mr. Spock on Star Trek =D
Because, in my view, most people become successful in life by being talented at serving others*, I don’t see that philosophy as inherently being in conflict with Christianity. In fact, the Bible is full of successful, self-supporting achievers who, with God’s help, accomplished great things.
So, that’s why most of us conservatives don’t get our Randian philosophy hung up in our religious beliefs.
* Note: I thought I should explain what I mean by saying most people in life become successful in life by being talented at serving others, mainly because a lot of liberals don’t get this concept. Capitalism is nothing but the free exchange of items of value. Individuals or companies that are particularly good at providing things people will want, will be able to benefit because of it.
For example, people pay enormous sums of money because they enjoy watching Shaquille O’Neal play basketball or because they desire particular types of cars. People even go to certain blogs because they feel those blogs do a particularly good job of entertaining or informing them.
So, the better you become at serving people’s needs, the more in demand your services become and in certain cases, usually depending on the scarcity of the resource you are providing, you may become quite wealthy doing what you do. That’s why Shaq, who has an almost unique and highly desired talent, makes enormous sums of money while a very talented trash man or teacher makes a much smaller wage.