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A Critique of Ayn Rand's Philosophy of Religion

The Gospel According to John Galt

Dustin J. Byrd

Ayn Rand’s philosophy has once again found an important part on the American political stage. With the rise of the Tea Party movement, her political and economic philosophy has infused the American public discourse with a new Libertarian vitality. Ironically, many of her new followers identify themselves as committed Christians, a prospect that Rand herself would have rejected. This book critically reviews Rand’s secular-atheist philosophy of religion, which includes her theory of altruism, collectivism, and statism, and asks the questions: How did Ayn Rand become conservative Christians’ favorite atheist?; Can Christianity, or any other prophetic religion, be reconciled with her philosophy of greed, selfishness, and capitalism?; Can one be both a Christian and a dedicated follower of Ayn Rand?; Can one appropriate her political and economic philosophy while rejecting her radical atheism and anti-religious stance? « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 238Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-0-7391-9033-3 • Hardback • February 2015 • $85.00 • (£54.95)
978-0-7391-9034-0 • eBook • February 2015 • $80.00 • (£52.95)
Dustin J. Byrd is assistant professor of humanities at Olivet College.
1. Ayn Rand and the Congressman
2. “I want to be known as the Greatest Enemy of Religion
3. The Left, Suffering Catholics, and American Religion
4. The Atheist and the Anti-Christ: Rands Second-Handing of Nietzsche
5. Essence and Appearance in the Culture Wars
6. Where Rand and the Crucified Agree: “You Cannot Serve Two Masters!” – Contra Conservativa
7. Nervi belli pecunia infinita or “Endless Money is the Sinew of War”
8. Racism: Separate by Non-Intervention, Equal by Nature
9. Reason: Man’s Source for Understanding the World...Unless, like Religion, it’s Bad for Business
10. Worship a Man! or “Why do Women Keep Complaining?”
11. The Question of Fascism
12. Pope Francis and Ayn Rand’s Idolatry of Money
13.Dum Inter Homines Sumus, Colamus Humanitatem or As Long as We’re all among Humans, Let us be Humane
Dustin J. Byrd's study of Ayn Rand's philosophy of religion represents a powerful critique of those who believe her atheistic philosophy can be reconciled with the prophetic Abrahamic religions. This book clearly demonstrates that one cannot simultaneously love and serve two masters, adhering to the ethical monotheism of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam on one hand, and to Ayn Rand's "Objectivist" economic theory on the other. As Byrd points out, Ayn Rand believed rightly that no true follower of hers could ever be a Christian, as Christianity was for her the evil religion of altruism and she advocated the value of greed.
Rudolf J. Siebert, Western Michigan University