It’s a rather tired reference to a novel by Charles Dickens, but…
Like with many philosophies, there is a lot to learn from how a person handles “the big three”: Money, Sex, and Power. John and Dad view money differently. They might say that they view it similarly, but their behavior is different, it tells a different story. What can you learn about a person by observing how he handles money or uses power? What can you tell about a person by the way she views sex? In any case, especially with sex, people do not talk about their views very often or with much candor. A person’s behavior, however, makes him an open book. Because of my relationship to each man, our secret conversations revealed deep considerations of these issues.
As much as any ideas in our culture, Joy, Hope, Meaning, and Faith have been claimed by Western Christians much more than their secular—and certainly atheist—counterparts. Because Ayn Rand builds her doctrine on “rational self-interest,” Reason and Capitalism appear more closely aligned with the atheist intellectual community. However, Rand has much to say about these ideas of Meaning and Faith—and even that which is left unsaid serves to instruct us. (Consider what she does not say about the origins of the universe or when life begins.) For example, Ayn Rand’s philosophy is profoundly metaphysical, while not theistic. She is driven by the truths she finds unequivocally objective; and she is by no measure either a nihilist or a relativist. Joy, like Meaning, may find a very different object for the Christian, yet it can be argued that Joy was Ayn Rand’s highest pursuit. Whether or not her detractors understand the idea of Selfishness as Rand meant it, they use that term against her with little room for engagement.
While each world view challenges the other, their agreements may surprise you, as they have surprised me. In my life with my fathers, I set out to promote understanding. I pursued this Conversation. As a result, thoughtful people with disparate world views considered another perspective. The cathartic journey was, in retrospect, inevitable. The journey is the story. I could list the areas of opposition and reconciliation, but the journey itself has put the flesh on the bare bones of the intellectual puzzle. Each of the subsequent chapters addresses foundational matters in society. Both Christianity and Rand’s philosophy have infused our culture with unavoidable perspectives that the Conversation of this book will illuminate.
Stretch your mind in this season of stimulating discussion and intellectual conversation.
Read The Soul of Atlas and engage in stirring conversation with an opposing view of the world.