Saturday, September 1, 2012

Another Rand Wielding Moron

The implication that Ayn Rand was a selfish bitch is pretty much the only thing Reverend Chris Glasser gets right in "Ayn Rand was Consistent." There are so many ludicrously false ideas in this short piece it is hard to know where to start. Since I tend to pay close attention to terminology, I suppose that is the most logical place to start. Glasser's grasp on definitions is about as weak as his ability to think critically. He seems to believe that "individualist" is a synonym for "selfish." Though it is true that taking individuality to an extreme will lead to selfishness that is not a given. With that false equivalent he sets about creating another one. He apparently has it set in his mind that atheists by their nature should be extreme individualists, AKA selfish. This is the whole basis of his claim that Ayn Rand was consistent. I also see no basis of how a person's lack of belief on a god or gods plays any role whether individuality or community is of greater importance. Basically, his premise is complete crap and it only gets worse.

The idea that "belief in either God or spirituality goes hand in hand with collectivism" is debatable. I'm guessing he's never bothered trying to speak with any mystics or religious hermits. It is nice that he left out another favorite false equivalence among right wing bigots: Communism = Atheism. The very next paragraph starts with a line that leaves very little to debate: "In biblical understanding, not even God is an individualist."
What "biblical understanding"? Scholars of scripture routinely debate what version/translations best represent the bible let alone what the scriptures actually mean. There is no universal understanding of it, period. As for God, how is the God of the Bible not the ultimate individual? God never consults anyone or acts in accord with anyone else. God isn't part of a community but rather the ruler of a community he alternately abuses, ignores, or neglects. The God of scripture is also not much of a role model considering on more than one occasion he orders or commits genocide.

This leads to the idea that collectivism is always such a wonderful thing. "God treats us collectively: if one sinned, all are collectively responsible in the Old Testament; in the New Testament God makes rain and sunshine fall on the just and the unjust." Obviously, the good reverend has no problem with the idea that Noah's flood senselessly drowned countless innocent people. It's in the Bible, so how could it be wrong?. Yet, he talks about global suffering today. Applying the same attitude it should be okay to go into any country with a leader we dislike, say Syria, and massacre not only the leader and his followers but all the citizens of that nation. Does he really think that is okay?

What is his conclusion to this muddled garbage? "Something else I am NOT saying: I am not saying that Christians who claim individualism over collectivism are not Christian. I am saying they are inconsistent"
Assuming he was even vaguely correct about his claim I would have to favor being inconsistent. The reverends notion of  being "consistent" leads to justifying all manner of heinous acts and then revels in it.

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