How to Read an Ayn Rand Novel
1. Buy Atlas Shrugged.
2. Pore over every word.
3. Accept it all as gospel.
4. Realize the individual’s rights are of paramount importance and there is no such thing as “collective rights.”
5. Act like a [jerk.]
— from the September issue of Esquire
I remember laughing pretty hard at this because this was how I acted when I read Atlas Shrugged. And I am sure I acted on whatever the redacted word was. Unfortunately I didn’t have the excuse of only being 18 or in my twenties but was in my mid thirties at the time. This was indeed gospel for me and I remember trying to live it out and taking every opportunity I could to explain how the fable of Robin Hood was so terrible. My only excuse it that Ayn Rand was part of my last ditch attempt to retain my atheism. It was an anti-REM reaction since I was “Gaining My Religion.” Though former atheists have an awkward time here.
Former theists can talk about losing their faith, but there is just no common verbal parlance for atheists to talk about finding their faith. Former theists can tell friends who are believers that they have lost their faith and they can easily get a “I will pray for you” response. Just how do atheists comfort those who have lost their atheist faith?
Former atheist: “I have been going going through hard times and I am think I am finding faith.”
Atheist: “Bummer man, but listen to me when you die – that’s it. You corporeal body just rots in the ground. There is no you, just a random organic consciousness that thinks they are more than their body and that there is such a thing as truth. You wouldn’t trust a computer chip that was randomly created so why should you trust your own mind.”