Ayn Rand’s Philosophy…

As a self-professing advocate of the free market, I often come across Ayn Rand. Rand–who is committed to objectivism and Aristotelian logic–defines her philosophy thusly:

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. (Appendix to Atlas Shrugged)

It does not take long to see Rand’s worldview. She is overtaken by the idea of man as the all in all of human existence, and thus, he–man–is to achieve the highest and noblest activity in this life; live within the greatest amount of happiness for tomorrow we die. Unlike many atheists who deny the need for absolutes, Ayn scolds such approach. Rather, she held that reason is the only objective tool available to know anything.

Though she refused to label herself a Libertarian, immoral and anarchistic libertarians exalt Rand as a model of laissez-faire capitalism. Indeed Rand was an arch defender of the free market and a formidable opponent of Marxism and Socialism, but her philosophical foundation exalted man above all else and made man a god unto himself. She urged a pursuit of gain outside of any religious commitment; she desired autonomous reason in a God-ordered world. Rand’s contributions to political and economic theory is helpful in many ways, but her contribution is marred by her suppression of truth.

About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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4 Responses to Ayn Rand’s Philosophy…

  1. Apolodorus says:

    Someone who subscribes to religion should not speak of Reason- you believe in superstition. Therefore, return to feudalism and do not enjoy the benefits of that which Reason has brought forth. Return to your ‘god-centric’ world of the middle ages, with its ban on anesthetics, executions for heresy, and serfdom and slavery. But do not live in our world, which we have created through reason, on a lifespan that has been expanded not by your fictitious God whose ‘intelligent design’ makes Windows Vista look like a masterpiece but by science and reason, and call it otherwise. You are not alive nor do you write on a computer ‘by the grace of god’, but by the grace of man.

  2. Anders Ingemarson says:

    Overall a good summary, especially the distinction between her atheism and the conventional view of it. However, I’m curious about the last sentence “…but her contribution is marred by the suppression of truth.” Can you elaborate?

  3. apologus says:

    Greetings apolodorus,
    Thanks for visiting this blog.
    Thanks for your observations, though they are somewhat harsh, in the tradition of Ayn Rand. One of my first recommendations for someone like you, who feels so strongly about your commitments, is to listen to a debate I heard many years ago, which really affected my thinking on these matters. I refer to the Greg Bahnsen and Greg Stein debate: http://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2006/12/05/greg-bahnsen-vs-gordon-stein-the-great-debate/
    There isn’t much I can say to change your mind, in fact from your perspective nothing I ever say can change your mind. Indeed, this is the heart of my perspective: that no human reasoning or art of persuasion is able to change a person’s mind outside of a supernatural work of grace. My only goal is to show you the inconsistency of your worldview, but unless the Spirit works in you, all is in vain. For a simple introduction of this position, I recommend reading Romans chapter 1. If you do not have a Bible, you can simply google it. It is very significant, for in this passage is my reasoning behind my assertions , which you condemn as unreasonable. Whether you refer to it as superstition, that is irrelevant to me, for to make sense of reason you must presuppose my worldview wherein reason makes sense. In a world where nature created by nothing exists, reason is only a by-product of chance. In my worldview, reason makes sense because an orderly universe requires it. I would love to continue this dialogue. Thanks again for joining. By God’s grace, apologus.

  4. apologus says:

    Greetings Anders,
    Thanks for your observations. The last part of my short piece is really the central one. All her accomplishments are vain in light of her denial of true truth (a Schaeffer spoke of). Romans chapter 1 asserts that the unbeliever (Ayn Rand) suppresses the truth. In other words, she knows the truth (as everyone does) but she continues to suppress it in her unrighteousness. So, as the songwriter speaks in Songs of Solomon (an Old Testament book): all her gains are vanity of vanities. Though I find myself in much agreement with her view of the limited role of the state, free-market economy, etc. her position cannot be sustained in a world where God does not exist. As a baptized Christian, my understanding of reason is only fathomable because God is reasonable in accordance to His own character. Ms. Rand fails to recognize what is true of the universe, and if she reasons properly it is because of “borrowed capital” as Van Til wrote.
    Thanks again.

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