Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Catholic's Perspective

I think this Catholic perspective on the Ayn Rand - Paul Ryan connection is worth a read.  In particular, this is a fair question for Mr. Ryan:
 What exactly Ryan accepts and rejects will need to be articulated much more clearly in the coming weeks. I didn’t have time to get to the bottom of it in the interview. But it isn’t enough for Ryan to say that, on the one hand, he rejects her objectivism, but on the other, that he affirms her moral case for capitalism — because her moral case for capitalism is rooted in her objectivism. That root is, again, pure selfishness.
Moreover the author seems to think that Ayn Rand's rejection of Christianity comes from her dislike of charity.  Though certainly she was against altruism, I think the more telling contrast is what she was for: For Ayn Rand, pride is a major virtue (and an integral part of egoism), yet for Christians it's the single worst vice.  That's the deepest incompatibility that I see.

4 Comments:

Blogger John Dawson said...

Their respective evaluation of pride is certainly a big difference between Christianity and Objectivism, but the most fundamental difference is that Christianity is based on faith and Objectivism is based on reason.

9:15 PM  
Blogger John Dawson said...

Their respective evaluation of pride is certainly a big difference between Christianity and Objectivism, but the most fundamental difference is that Christianity is based on faith and Objectivism is based on reason.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Burgess Laughlin said...

Here is the primary meaning given for "charity" in my online Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary:

"1 : Christian love: a : the virtue or act of loving God with a love which transcends that for creatures and of loving others for the sake of God b : divine love for man : love in its perfection c : the act of loving or the disposition to love all men as brothers because they are sons of God : love of fellow men."

In sum, "charity" for Catholics is love of others, both God and God's creatures. That is the religious basis for altruism, sacrifice of oneself for God and for God's creatures. Thus, the basis for the Christian virtue of charity is metaphysical: God created all, including man; and that is "known" through mysticism (faith, revelation, holy scripture, etc.).

4:07 AM  
Blogger Amit Ghate said...

John, you're right, faith vs. reason is the deepest divide and the crucial issue.

I should have said that the contrasting views on pride are the most telling example of the differences in the moral conception of the two viewpoints. Thanks for the correction.

Thanks too for your comment Burgess.

7:54 AM  

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