May 17, 2009 § 38 Comments
Seven or eight years ago I tried to create a “Christian-Objectivist” world-view that rejected Objectivism’s atheism (which I find utterly depressing) but embraced certain Objectivist teachings alluded to in this post. Like many college students, I read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, and fell in love with them for a brief time. However, when God through His all-good and life-giving Spirit called me back into the Christian faith, I found that Objectivism and Christianity simply could not be synchronized or reconciled. Ultimately my effort to do so failed for two reasons.
First, man’s place as a “supreme being” in Atlas Shrugged and other books by Rand simply cannot be reconciled with God’s place as the Supreme Being and Creator of the Universe (Genesis 1:1). As man is exalted far above the animals, so is God infinitely exalted above mankind.
Second, Objectivism leaves no place for unmerited acts of kindness in the private sphere. For example, in the Randian view, there is absolutely no rational reason for me to buy you a cup of coffee as an act of goodness. If I buy you a cup of coffee, it is because I expect to receive something in return from you, or to in some other way further my own self-interest.
But people do not always act according to a Randian “rational self-interest.” If they did, then how could one explain Polish Catholics who hid Jews during the Holocaust, often at the cost of their lives? There is no rational self-interest that could have justified hiding Jews during the Holocaust.