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I agree with Ayn Rand 99 percent. I was raised a Lutheran, and it's always been my assumption that there is an afterlife. Even though I understand there is no substantial proof of a god or higher being, I still hope there is one because I fear what comes after death. I fear the absense of consciousness after death. Objectivism offers no guidance on how to handle the topic of death...and if there is, I haven't seen it. I will honestly say that the rejection of religion will be the hardest thing for me because I grew up on the premise that if I do not follow God, I will go to Hell. I don't want to suffer a fate like that. Leonard Peikoff says that you can't be moral with religion. I disagree because, in regard to Christianity, those moral beliefs mirror Ayn Rand's beliefs in a lot of ways. His argument states that the first commandment is the ignorance of the difference between good and evil. I look at the first commandment as to look at God as good and moral, and unscrupulous behavior as bad. The only difference between Christianity and Objectivism is that according to Christianity, morality becomes an obligation. I believe Christianity is more than ever an institution for the very same things Ayn Rand believed in, and my proof lies in private Catholic schools. Those schools are much better because they are privatized, allowing for teachers to actually do their job in which the students benefit the most, unlike public schools. Some of the most brilliant people came out of private schools, too.

asked Dec 24 '11 at 22:50

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edited Dec 25 '11 at 02:42

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

Is it rational to be afraid of something that one can delay but not avoid (death)?

If God exists and wants you to follow him, wouldn't he be a bit more obvious in sharing his intentions with you?

(Dec 25 '11 at 03:04) Humbug Humbug's gravatar image

There is an extensive collection of excerpts on "Religion" in The Ayn Rand Lexicon. If one wants to live by reason, one will not be able to live by faith at the same time. But it may take a long time and considerable study of Objectivism to see the clash and the alternative clearly enough to change one's deeply held past policies.

answered Dec 25 '11 at 04:00

Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

Ideas for Life ♦

Probably the greatest clash between Christianity and Objectivism is found in the concept of Original Sin. Christians (and many other 'isms) believe man to be innately evil and incapable of being good without the intervention of God. Objectivism believes man to be capable of good of his own volition. Good is always a choice. Likewise, evil is a choice not an inevitable characteristic. I, personally, see no way to reconcile the two. If you can somehow reconcile the concept of being "born to sin" with the concept of being capable of self directed good, more power to you.

As far as some sort of afterlife goes, it has always seemed a paradox that religions find that life is some sort of "preparation" or mandatory suffering that must be endured until one can enter eternal bliss. How can one fail to find joy in the daily adventures of living life? If there is an afterlife, it will still be there whether we spend all of this life anticipating it or not. Live today in full anticipation of its rewards and joys.

answered Dec 26 '11 at 10:03

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ethwc ♦

No. Religion contradicts Objectivism on every branch of philosophy. Diana Hsieh did a webcast question on this, so I'll basically summarize that and go into the first three.

  1. Metaphysics - Objectivism stands for the Primacy of Existence and says that things are what they are and that wishing won't change that. Religion stands for the Primacy of Consciousness and says that things are whatever God wishes them to be. The difference is between a stable and intelligible universe, and a universe predicated on the whims of an ultimate consciousness.

  2. Epistemology - Objectivism says you can only know things by logically dealing with the evidence of your senses. Religion says you can only know what God tells you. In practice, this means the difference between believing what you can prove and believing what you feel like.

  3. Ethics - Objectivism says live for yourself. Religion says live for others, but really for God.

Now, as for your worry about death, Ayn Rand said in an interview that she took solace in the saying of a Greek philosopher whose name she couldn't remember. I believe it was Epicurus, who said that death is of no concern to us, because "when we are, death is not, and when death is, we are not."

The cure for your fearing "the absense [sic] of consciousness after death" is your understanding that you won't be conscious to regret it.

answered Dec 26 '11 at 12:08

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CrownOfTheVirtues ♦

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Asked: Dec 24 '11 at 22:50

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Last updated: Dec 26 '11 at 12:08