Welcome to the December 15, 2011 edition of the Objectivist Round Up.
Today’s quote is Ayn Rand’s response to whether an atheist should celebrate christmas:
Yes, of course. A national holiday, in this country, cannot have an exclusively religious meaning. The secular meaning of the Christmas holiday is wider than the tenets of any particular religion: it is good will toward men—a frame of mind which is not the exclusive property (though it is supposed to be part, but is a largely unobserved part) of the Christian religion.
The charming aspect of Christmas is the fact that it expresses good will in a cheerful, happy, benevolent, non-sacrificial way. One says: “Merry Christmas”—not “Weep and Repent.” And the good will is expressed in a material, earthly form—by giving presents to one’s friends, or by sending them cards in token of remembrance . . . .
The best aspect of Christmas is the aspect usually decried by the mystics: the fact that Christmas has been commercialized. The gift-buying . . . stimulates an enormous outpouring of ingenuity in the creation of products devoted to a single purpose: to give men pleasure. And the street decorations put up by department stores and other institutions—the Christmas trees, the winking lights, the glittering colors—provide the city with a spectacular display, which only “commercial greed” could afford to give us. One would have to be terribly depressed to resist the wonderful gaiety of that spectacle. (Link)
I hope everyone is ready for a very commercial christmas!
Burgess Laughlin presents Mysticism in the Christian New Testament posted at The Main Event, saying, “Christianity has two billion followers around the world. Christians control the governments of most purportedly “Western” nations. Their worldview matters. This post summarizes notes from a preliminary study of the New Testament. In any religious worldview, mysticism links the supernatural to ethics. What is the Christian view of mysticism, as shown in its holy scripture?”
Joseph Kellard presents Why I’m an Early Bird posted at The American Individualist, saying, “The motivation behind why I wake up and start my day (usually with reading and writing) so early has its roots in the Olympics.”
Edward Cline presents Washington’s Rocket Bombs posted at The Rule of Reason, saying, “I have always enjoyed reading George Orwell’s prose, whether or not I agreed with him on any specific topic. Orwell is one of the very, very few writers of the liberal/left who actually respected his readers’ minds and adopted an appropriate policy of writing clearly and stated his intentions and meanings without obfuscation or equivocation.”
Jared Rhoads presents Newt Gingrich: 3 hits and 3 misses on transforming healthcare posted at The Center for Objective Health Policy, saying, “Newt Gingrich has rocketed to the top of the polls. Here are 3 good things and 3 bad things we found in his 2003 book on healthcare.”
Diana Hsieh presents NoodleCast #109: Live Philosophy in Action Webcast posted at NoodleFood, saying, “In Sunday’s webcast, I took a look at four GOP presidential candidates: Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Gary Johnson.”
John Drake presents Creating an environment for classroom success, Part 2 posted at Try Reason!, saying, “Objectivism’s ethics are extremely useful in conceptualizing how to structure a classroom environment. In this post, I describe my initial thoughts.”
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