You are what you read? Or are you?

It’s debatable whether you are what you read, but it’s certainly true that what I read influences my writing style. A recent blog by Scott McKnight entitled Tips for Writers speaks to that point. Have you ever asked the question, “Who do I want to sound like?” Of course, the best answer is “be yourself,” […]

What is your highest value?

Ayn Rand uses ‘selfishness’ to mean ‘self-interest‘. Even Christians are self-interested. Ayn Rand’s definition of sacrifice is more narrow than the common than the common usage of the idea. The more common understanding of sacrifice makes it easier to order our values. Most would agree that we should never subjugate something of greater value to […]

When do I need to listen to the audience?

Sometimes, my audience is hostile. (Not all atheist groups, but some ardent Ayn Rand followers fit that description.) At least the audience doesn’t agree with what it thinks I am going to say, and that creates a barrier. Other times, the audience is happy, enthusiastic, and supportive. In either case, I need to listen. As […]

Must we always choose between Happiness and Duty?

Are the motivations of Happiness and Duty opposed to one another? In Mortimer J. Adler‘s Syntopicon (Britannica), the passage quoted below discusses the means and ends of moral education. (Earlier in Chapter 20: Education, the distinction is made between liberal education and moral education, the latter “which concerns excellence in action rather than in thought.” […]

Why are we more fascinated with evil than with good?

Thanks to Jim for probing. In a previous post I wrote, “The idea that knowledge of good and evil is what God wanted to keep us from misses the point of the Garden, God’s prohibitions, and the Fall.” To clarify, the point of the Garden was obeying God, not the knowing good and evil. It’s […]

What can be said about Randian Freedom vs Christian Freedom?

Freedom doesn’t mean without restriction. The fish outside the restriction of water, it is not free. When the fish is confined to the water, only then does it have the freedom to move about and thrive. Both Objectivists and Christians feel that they are the truly free ones, and that the other is in some […]

Quotes Uncovered: Making Money – NYTimes.com

Quotes Uncovered: Making Money – NYTimes.com: “In Francisco D’Anconia’s “money speech” in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (the full speech is online at Capitalism Magazine), the following statement occurs: “If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose — because … The phrase “a man without a plan is not a […]

Lessons from Aristotle

A great article from FT.com. I think the author hits more than one chord straight on. Martin Sandbu is the lead writer for FT’s economics. His book Just Business: Arguments in Business Ethics has just been published by Prentice Hall. I am delighted to say that I think he nails it! Excellent advice for bankers and business leaders […]

Rand Excerpt: On Christianity

I found this on the Objectivism Reference Center. The following excerpt is from a letter to Sylvia Austin dated July 9, 1946, in Letters of Ayn Rand, p. 287: There is a great, basic contradiction in the teachings of Jesus. Jesus was one of the first great teachers to proclaim the basic principle of individualism […]

Confessions of a Former Tyrant

From A Slice of Infinity, I had to excerpt this article. Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) is a positive influence on the world, showing that Christians exercise reason and logic. The work of RZIM exemplifies intellectual rigor. Stuart McAllister does a great job entering the life of the Apostle Paul “into evidence.” Fifty percent of […]