Since today is Sunday, it is the perfect time for contrasting religions of modern times.
“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Joshua bar Joseph, who is Jesus Christos, Matthew 22:36-40
“It only stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.”
Ayn Rand, founder of Objectivism
In the first century AD, a Jewish sect arose that, with the inclusion of non-Jews called Gentiles, has risen to become the dominant religious view of the human race especially when including all of its offshoots, such as Islam and Baha’i. A selfless devotion to one’s fellow man became a form of worship and sacrifice to God. Even those who “hate religion” have expressed admiration for the words of Jesus, and often incorporate them into their lives, consciously or otherwise.
One can argue about many of the acts done in the name of Christianity, but one has to ask if those who perpetrated those crimes, being of any other religion, would have not done the same thing anyway. The fault is in the people, not the words.
Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum, later know as Ayn Rand, left Russia in 1925 and moved to Hollywood, to become a screenwriter and novelist. Through her most famous novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and the later Objectivist Newletter, Rand developed her philosophy now known as Objectivism. Her writings are followed and quoted mostly by Libertarians and other conservatives.
The essence of Objectivism is the Self, “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”
Objectivism believes in no After time, only the current as life. As such, there is no need for a religious moral code, nor to appease any form of God. Rand was a great hater of all religions, but saved her strongest words for Christianity, which she saw as the polar opposite of her views.
With the emphasis on Self, other people only exist to fulfill the desires one has; to be exploited for personal gain. Having never had children, Rand placed no emphasis on a legacy, since that would be sacrifice for those who are not the Self.
In her novel Atlas Shrugged, the hero John Galt is angered by a government that increasingly encroaches on his personal wealth and liberty. He convinces his friends to join him in a mountain hideaway, where they have sex with each others wives and watch the world collapse around them, since they were no longer available to run it.
(I have always been curious how they handled garbage collection and utilities, since by definition one never did anything for anyone else. Must be profit motive.)
“I swear—by my life and my love of it—that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”
John Galt, Atlas Shrugged
In Objectivism, individual liberties and laze-faire capitalism are the only way to run a country, but anarchy is also to be avoided, though how is never properly defined. For a well run Objectivist nation to function, the majority of the population would not be able to gain the full benefits of the philosophy, since by definition they would be serving the interests of those who do.
Objectivists often try to cloak their views with religious quotes or appealing to the greater good, but a simple review of the works exposes it for what it is.
So, there you have it; two contrasting views. Jesus, who asked others to sacrifice as He did, and Rand, who considered him a fool for doing so.
To make Rand happy, I will allow you to make up your open minds as to which you prefer. Or neither.