There is a new argument from Yaron Brook, president of the Ayn Rand Center, suggesting that all of our advancements and discoveries mean we must put aside the moral and ethical guidance from books like the Bible and its “secular copies”.
Faith in God is of course antiquated and only for the simple-minded. Brook suggests that in order for humans to really progress, we must shed ourselves of the ethics of the Bible. He states that in such books:
We learn therein the moral superiority of faith to reason and collective sacrifice to personal profit.
…Perhaps, of all the damage these antiquated moral ideas do to human progress, the most significant is how they distort our conception of moral ideals.
…if morality is a guide in the quest to achieve your own happiness by creating the values of mind and body that make a successful life, then morality is about personal profit, not its renunciation.
…The fact that earning money is ignored by most moralists, or condemned as the root of evil, is telling of the distance we must travel.
…If morality is about the pursuit of your own success and happiness, then giving money away to strangers is, in comparison, not a morally significant act. (And it’s outright wrong if done on the premise that renunciation is moral.)
…Science, freedom and the pursuit of personal profit — if we can learn to embrace these three ideas as ideals, an unlimited future awaits.
Of course, to agree with Brook’s argument, you must agree with his premise that morals are based in personal profit and your own personal happiness. You must also embrace the premise that science and freedom cannot be interwoven with faith in God. Brook is pushing the same tired philosophy of the enlightenment period that science and faith must be in warfare with each other, and that those with faith in God are idiots. I have an awful lot of letters after my name from public universities, and I proclaim Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior … some how I have managed to not implode my brain in the process.
I disagree with Brook’s premise and the argument. I cite God’s Word as my counter-argument. Too often I find myself looking for other sources of information to appease people like Brook who think I am an idiot for believing in God, but today I choose to use this “antiquated text” because it contains the Truth and only Hope our country has. This particular text also corrects a fallacy of Brook’s when he referred to moralists preaching that money is the root of all evil … that is not what the Bible says: From I Timothy, chapter 6, New American Standard Version:
7For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.8If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
9But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.
10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
11But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.
12Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
13I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate,
14that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15which He will bring about at the proper time–He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,
16who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.
17Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
18Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
19storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
20O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”–
21which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith Grace be with you.
The type of moral code that Brook is espousing is the very foundation of what is leading to the destruction of our nation. Too many people are already drinking at the fountain of “I have a right to be happy and I have a right to be rich”. I do believe that some great men once said that we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – there is no insinuation that money is the vessel which will bring us these things. As Paul said in his letter to Timothy, “if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content”.
I will close with another bit of scripture, Philippians 2:3-4
3Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
4do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.