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Do John Galt and Jesus Agree?

Do John Galt and Jesus Agree?

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February 19, 2014

On February 15, I participated in a panel called "Ayn Rand versus Jesus" at the International Students for Liberty Conference (ISFLC) in Washington, DC.

The panel was organized by the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics,   The Christian Post wrote the session up pretty accurately, and you can watch the whole thing and judge for yourself:

It was a pleasant, constructive experience. I thank Mark Henderson and David Kotter, the other panelists, for making it so positive. I don't think Prof. Kotter is right in arguing that Christianiity does not fundamentally endorse self-sacrificial altruism in the real world. But there is much to discuss in what I hope will be part of a longer-term discussion.

Professor Kotter is what one might call a fundamentalist, since he endorses the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy , which means he takes the Bible to be entirely true. So it is interesting that he, and other Christians, find so little to object to in the basic way Objectivism views life.

I think there are two basic reasons for this. First, the Bible collects documents that treat, inter alia, how people have iived and should live. Inasmuch as it deals with real people and objective needs, it gets some things right. Secondly, American values are Enlightenment values . Amercans value reason, the pursuit of happiness, achievement, and liberty, variously construed. So Christian Americans take those values to be natural and good.

One quibble about the Christian Post piece: I don't think children are duty-bound to support parents in their old age . Catch me at the Atlas Summit 2014, where I will elaborate on my Objectivist theory of parent-child relations and discuss Objectivist ethics for children.