Ayn Rand Institute Fellow: Ayn Rand Bigger, Better than Jesus

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About a decade ago, while a student at Chapman University, I organized a debate on the legacy of Columbus and set out to find the craziest people on the Left and Right to argue. On the Left was the fanatical Mexica Movement, who think everything European is inherently evil, and on the right was Onkar Ghate of the Ayn Rand Institute, who thinks everything European is far superior to the rest of the world (unless, of course, it's those pesky Eastern Europeans). Great time was had by all, with no minds being changed that night.

That rascally Ghate is still at it, for better or for worse, recently coming out to say Ayn Rand is better than Jesus.


Writing for Fox News, Ghate makes the ridiculous argument that Rand's hyper-individualism is better for the United States than the wimpy Nazarene's lovefest. "If we are to reject the welfare state as immoral and thereby restore the American dream of individualism," Ghate wrote, "don't we need a rational morality that challenges the centuries-old creed of self-sacrifice and instead argues for the individual's moral right to his own life and happiness?"

Yeah, because all that Sermon of the Mount shit never did anything to help this country, right? Amazingly, Ghate dismisses the hallmark of Christianity and its subsequent gospel of care.

His essay is the best example of why most sane people consider the Irvine-based Ayn Rand Institute the political version of Scientology, with an undue worship of a bonkers wacko and a subsequent zealotry of spreading their Gospel that would've made the Apostles seem like the Pharisees...but Ghate himself, from what I remember, is a nice-enough guy.
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15 comments
Iguana Keeper
Iguana Keeper

yeah, those unfunded liabilities, like wars and bank bailouts. Parasites.

Guest
Guest

Where's your argument? All you've done so far is call people names.

Harry Binswanger
Harry Binswanger

So the acceptance of reason and life on this earth is "silly" and cultish, while the belief in a supernatural disembodied spirit who has sex with earthly women and produces a demi-god to be crucified to repay the devil and buy men's souls--that's very sane and sober?

As to ethical guidance, have you actually considered what the Sermon on the Mount demands, rewards, admires? Meekness, submission, surrender. All the traits required for enslavement, all  negations of what life and achievement requires.

The choice between Ayn Rand and Jesus Christ is the choice between a morality of Life and a morality of Death.

Blspro
Blspro

Okay - so the argument presented by this author is:

The rejection of self-sacrifice and the promotion of the individual's moral right to his own life and happiness is wrong.

Why is it wrong?  Because who could believe something like that except someone who should have lots of mud slung at them, along with name calling?

Hmm I remember such an 'argument' being identified as a logical fallacy.  I guess, though, when one presents laughter in place of an argument, being rational isn't one's goal.  Mission accomplished there!

Guest
Guest

The writer of this article should be embarassed.

Ameeta Saxena
Ameeta Saxena

If you actually read Ayn Rand's philosophy you'd discover it's a nice and realistic philosophy :)  

Mark Wickens
Mark Wickens

Dr. Ghate is more than a nice guy. He’s a very intelligent guy who clearly explains and argues for his positions. He deserves a better response than this baseless, unsupported ridicule.

Ce
Ce

reply to Gustavo's reply to Michael:Gustavo:  your article and your comment both use nothing but ad hominem and smear.  Why not try some facts and logic for a change?

Michael
Michael

Contrary to so much of the disinformation out there about her, it isn't the case that Ayn Rand was against charity. She was personally charitable to her friends and donated to help Israel defend itself. In her own words: "My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue." 

Her point was that you have to have a healthy non-charitable sector in order to be able to provide charity, and that economic freedom (and nothing else) provides that health. How much can one donate if one is starving or dies at age 35, as before technology one did. Government welfare is a perversion of charity because it is ill-managed and cripples the productive sector over time. Look at the tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities that are going to cripple our economy; and it's just going to get worse unless we get the system right.

One part of the foolishness of the recent debates about Rand is the idea that agreeing with Rand's prediction and diagnoses in "Atlas Shrugged" - the accuracy of which has been demonstrated in the last few years to a nicety - somehow magically commits one to agreement with her total philosophy. Would this argument be extended to an atheist leftist who recommends Tolstoy or Victor Hugo?

The other part is a specific misrepresentation of Christianity. Christianity is not a pro-Statism religion; indeed, given who killed their Savior, it tends to the anti-State. (This is something the left has not yet dealt with.) Nowhere in the Bible does it say that wealth should be expropriated and redistributed by the dubious means of government structures; it speaks of personal and *voluntary* charity. One might add, looking at the horrific debt and unfunded liabilities situation that the U.S. is in right now, that the Bible and Jesus were wise in staying away from government panaceas.

This entire kabuki charade is in bad faith. The Bible does not advocate any Progressive notions of "economic justice." The progressives who have suddenly discovered religion and its necessary role in politics - after thirty decades and more of stridently and rightly insisting it must be kept out of politics - are not sincere. After this temporary rhetorical bubble is over, they will resume their previous, also ad-hoc, declarations.

As for the "sociopath" accusation, this is what comes of copying attack website garbage. The whole thing rests upon one author - Michael Prescott's - highly selective excerpting and chopping up of a private [i.e., thinking out loud without clarifications ] journal written when Rand was barely out of her teens, fresh from the blood bath of 1920s Soviet Russia - and still made it very clear that her read on the personalities of the observers showed that they were not appalled by Hickman's crime - she said there had been far worse, without the same spectacle of glee - but by his flamboyant and mocking defiance of society. She - who was writing about a *legally innocent man* at the time of the trial - even called him a monster, a pervert, a repulsive and purposeless criminal. Enough with the disinformation and - yes - Satanizing of Ayn Rand.

Mistalee
Mistalee

Ayn Rand's philosophy is nothing more than a rationalization of narcissism and self-gratification, a transparent attempt to transform sociopathology from a mental illness into a virtue.

It is attractive to the narcissistic, self-centered and sociopathic for that reason.

Everyone else instantly recognizes it for what it is, a pretentious, steaming pantsload. 

Blspro
Blspro

Mark - such an 'article' only debases the author.  It does nothing to the object of attack - except of course make those who were not currently aware of him curious as to his  ideas.  So Gustavo does a double service here - he discredits himself by his blatant irrationality while providing a link to Ghate's actual argument, so that others can learn about those ideas first hand.

Win/win.  :)

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

...as opposed to your deification, along with other Randians?

Blspro
Blspro

Mistalee takes a cue from Gustavo and discredits himself(?) by engaging in nothing but raving mudslinging (a logical fallacy). 

Thanks!  :D

Michael Caution
Michael Caution

It's not Rand's philosophy that is the rationalization but rather your half-witted attempt to smear it. You may be right to criticize narcissism and a sociopathic attitude but you wouldn't be talking about Rand. I suggest you read her for yourself and refrain from repeating tired, old smears that are transparently false.

Blspro
Blspro

What a surprise.  Another post absent any rational content - and only ad homs.  It's almost as if those who despise Rand are incapable of presenting a rational argument against her actual ideas.  ;)

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