Did Ayn Rand misundestand the Bible?

Posted by rlewellen 6 years, 3 months ago to Culture
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This is not related to evolution or whether there is a God.This is about big wide brushes. A statements like I am my brother's keeper is it's self a misquote. The real words are Am I my brother's keeper? It is a sarcastic question by a murderer. Another verse is taken out of context when Jesus tells a rich man to give away all his wealth. He didn't tell him to because he was wealthy. He did it because he knew that man could not give anything. Jesus had a friend that was rich. That man offered a burial place for Jesus at the end of his life.The verse is followed by it is easier to for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to heaven. Do you know anyone with children that does not take care of their children even though they have money? They exist. The Bible is not just one verse, it is many. It is a a guide to living getting along with others, raising a family, and looking at things.


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  • Posted by bryan_ogilvie 6 years, 3 months ago
    Hmmm.... good questions. In fact a lot of what you pointed out I didn't know myself.

    Of course, we all know people often criticize a single line or verse while missing the general context, so Ayn wouldn't be alone in this respect.

    My only defense here - and this is just coming off cuff - is that, to me, she didn't mis-understand the religious *impulse.* Most of what I heard or read from her about religion was, for the most part, aligned with what I was taught in terms of theme or underlying ethos.

    But then again, I wasn't *raised* in a church per se, so I can see how somebody with more in-depth knowledge would be like "Whoaaa...that's not right."

    To be fair, people misquote (and misrepresent) Rand all the time too though - create bogus myths and what not - It's part of the game I guess, especially ONLINE where people don't even read the original person before getting hyper-opinionated, you know?

    Good insight though @rlewellen

    Peace,
    +B
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    • Posted by 6 years, 3 months ago
      It's fun to learn. I tried to find where she said I am my brother's keeper. I looked in the Lexicon and it's not there. I thought it might be in Atlas Shrugged. I don't know. I definitely need to read more. I have heard it on here many many times by Objectivists so hopefully they can help us out.
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      • Posted by $ Maphesdus 6 years, 3 months ago
        In Atlas Shrugged, there is a corrupt politician who gains public support on the slogan that man is his brother's keeper. I believe she also used the phrase in The Virtue of Selfishness.
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        • Posted by 6 years, 3 months ago
          Hmm a politician twisting words to benefit himself, in support of taking without producing. A looter. Watch out for those! This brings me to my next thought. You over there give it to them that refuse to help themselves. Nope not in the bible. There is a story about the prodigal son but first I have to look into knowledge in another response.
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  • Posted by $ mminnick 6 years, 3 months ago
    You have the great beginning of a Talmudic scholar and commentator. Argument similar to his is used throughout. The meaning of one comment or verse is modified by the verse after it or before it. No single verse is totally stand lone.
    Now there are a few that are close to stand alone e.g. the commandments and the law, but even the law has commentaries on it.

    You established your point well and soundly
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  • Posted by jrberts5 6 years, 3 months ago
    Specifically, Cain is making the statement to God in reference to the murder of Abel: " Am I my brother's keeper?" The Bing dictionary defines sarcasm as "characterized by words that mean the opposite of what they seem to say." If Cain's statement is sarcastic then he is in truth saying "I am my brother's keeper." In addition, if the Bible is a guide for living, I would ask if you could please provide us with some passages from the Bible that explain the role of man's mind, how he is to acquire knowledge of the world around him, how he is supposed to integrate that knowledge, and make use of it.
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    • Posted by $ Maphesdus 6 years, 3 months ago
      Actually no, the question "Am I my brother's keeper?" was asked by Cain in the rhetorical sense, so he is essentially saying, "I am NOT my brother's keeper."

      Observe the sequence of events:

      Cain murders his brother Abel.
      God appears to Cain and asks him where his brother is.
      Cain responds rhetorically, disavowing responsibility for his brother.
      God condemns Cain, accusing him of murder and lying.

      Clearly this story is not meant to imply that men are always responsible for the well-being of others, but rather is simply a straightforward condemnation of murder.
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      • Posted by jrberts5 6 years, 3 months ago
        So, it is rhetorical now and not sarcastic. You are claiming that, according to your story, a world consisting of only four people had at that stage developed a language structure and vocabulary sophisticated enough to include sarcasm and rhetorical questions? Oh, that's not sarcasm but a legitimate question. For the record, rhetoric, according to the history books, was first utilized 2500 years ago by the Sophists in Athens, Greece. Now, going back to my earlier post, I don't see where anyone has posted any biblical references as to the role of man's mind and the nature of concepts that I did politely request.
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        • Posted by 6 years, 3 months ago
          I don't see how to answer this question. I cannot draw on how Ayn Rand described it “Knowledge” is . . . a mental grasp of a fact(s) of reality, reached either by perceptual observation or by a process of reason based on perceptual observation.
          Perception : Man’s senses are his only direct cognitive contact with reality and, therefore, his only source of information. Without sensory evidence, there can be no concepts; without concepts, there can be no language; without language, there can be no knowledge and no science. I cannot find any place in the Bible where there are directions on how to acquire information through the senses. The role of man's mind. The rest will take quite a bit of time, days or weeks perhaps for me to give you a valuable answer.
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        • Posted by 6 years, 3 months ago
          Rhetorical is a better way to put it. I will not get into the history of language. My post was in reference to the Bible not language. I was looking into the earlier question. the role of man's mind, how he is to acquire knowledge of the world around him, how he is supposed to integrate that knowledge, and make use of it.

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    • Posted by 6 years, 3 months ago
      Cain is responding to a question.His answer is not a commandment.
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      • Posted by $ Maphesdus 6 years, 3 months ago
        When Cain asks, "Am I my brother's keeper?" he's essentially stating that he is not his brother's keeper (by way of a rhetorical and sarcastic question), and therefore wouldn't know where his brother went.

        Regarding this verse, it's important to realize that "keeper" essentially means "master." After all, if one man is the keeper of another, that would essentially mean he is the other man's master, while a man who is kept by another is either a servant or a slave. By claiming that he was not his brother's keeper, Cain was disavowing responsibility for -- and ownership of -- his brother. You cannot be responsible for someone you do not own and are not in charge of.

        Personally, I always thought it was rather interesting that God never corrected Cain by saying that he was in fact his brother's keeper, but rather merely proceeded to accuse Cain of murder and lying...
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