Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Satanic Verses of Ayn Rand

We give a hearty SWNIDish recommendation to Joe Carter's First Things discourse on the connections between Anton LeVey's Satanic Bible and Ayn Rand's so-called Objectivist so-called philosophy.

There's no need to elaborate except to excommunicate from the SWNIDish community anyone who doesn't read the article, expect the die-hard members of Rand's fan club to express indignation, and provide a delectable morsel of quotation:

You can replace the pentagrams of LeVayian Satanism with the dollar sign of the Objectivists without changing much of the substance separating the two. The ideas are largely the same, though the movements’ aesthetics are different. One appeals to, we might say, the Young Libertarians, and the other attracts the Future Wiccans of America.

What is harder to understand is why both ideologies appeal to Christians and conservatives. My guess is that these groups are committing what I’d call the fallacy of personal compatibility. This fallacy occurs when a person thinks that because one subscribes to both “Belief X” and “Belief Y,” the two beliefs must therefore be compatible. For example, a person may claim that “life has meaning” and that “everything that exists is made of matter” even though the two claims are not compatible (unless “meaning” is made of matter). This take on the fallacy has long been committed by atheists. Now it appears to be growing in popularity among conservatives and Christians as well.

But to be a follower of both Rand and Christ is not possible. The original Objectivist was a type of self-professed anti-Christ who hated Christianity and the self-sacrificial love of its founder. She recognized that those Christians who claimed to share her views didn’t seem to understand what she was saying.

P.S.: Don't miss the delightful way that Carter opens his provocation of an essay.


Anonymous said...

Why the presumed connection between Satanism and Wicca? Over this I am indignant. There is a stronger thematic connection between Islam and Mormonism.

Anonymous said...

His article is impossible to argue with in terms of Rand's lack of spirituality. Nevertheless, one can appreciate the insight that this blog shares re the Obamacare waiver process without throwing himself into Satanism.