Atlas Shrugged

Life seems to be a little slower in January so,  I've got a topic that requires a little home work, hope you don't mind. If you like to read "Atlas Shrugged" is a  1200 page novel.  If movies are your thing, about 5 hours of viewing are available on Netflix.  If you like shortcuts the cliff notes are here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Shrugged  and here http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/atlasshrugged/themes.html.  

 In her book "Atlas Shrugged" Ayn Rand essentially paints the idea of altruism as a source of evil in the world leading to a society's demise. Her antithesis is that selfish ambition and the profit motive of capitalism are beneficial to a society's welfare.   Written in 1957 the book has held a love/hate relationship with it's readers.  The critics were quick to discredit the book and it's ideas yet the book continues to sell to new readers over 50 years latter. I came across the movie version on Netflix a couple of weeks ago (2 -movies Part 1 & part 2 are available part 3 is due to be released this year) as well as a documentary about Ayn Rand. The critics have not been kind to the movie  and I have to admit that the quality of the film is lacking.  In spite of that I found the story  prophetically compelling  and caused me to think about the ideas in the story as they related to my belief system.  Hopefully you will also find the story worthy of some serious discussion.  

Some preliminary ideas for discussion: 

How are the events in a story written 50 years ago coming true or not coming true?

Explain how could it be possible or impossible that altruism is the devil in sheep's clothing as Rand describes it? If so how do we place this idea into God's ideal for us?  If not what other evil explains our social ills?

How do you square this idea of selfish ambition with Jesus' model of self sacrifice?

What did you see in the story that conformed or confronted you personal faith or experience.

Hope you take advantage of the early posting.

See you on the 30th.


Dennis




 




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  • Norman A. R.

    Opened the doors to multiple subjects (a usual!)

    January 31, 2014

  • Rachel

    Sorry, I've had a busy week and didn't get a chance to watch the movie so I don't think I'm going to make it. Hopefully next time!

    January 28, 2014

  • Terry

    I have had trouble signing in. My e-mail has been bouncing. I think I have it straightened out now. I am not certain that I will make it but I am going to try.

    January 27, 2014

  • Jeff J.

    I regret I'm out of town next week, but I DO look forward to joining you the end of Feb.!!!

    January 25, 2014

  • Dennis D.

    If you look at the sparknotes link you will get a summary of the whole book. The Ayn Rand Documentary on Netflix is also excellent background for our topic.

    January 19, 2014

  • Rachel

    Hi, it looks like only part 1 and 2 of the movies are out -- I think 3 is still in the making. Do you think we'll still be able to discuss having only watched 1 & 2 (hope so because I'm a very slow reader!) Thx.

    January 18, 2014

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