Can the thinking of a single philosopher be so influential as to change the fundamental values of a society and lead to tremors of transcontinental proportions, like the economic crisis that began in 2007? Could Ayn Rand's philosophy be the almost-imperceptible reason for transforming the United States, as Levine puts it, into a "selfish nation"?
These days, we are free to believe anything and to be anything, at least in theory. However, if we gave history a closer look, we would realise that it is not beneficial for us to believe or be just anything. We agree with the biblical exhortation, often distorted by popular lore: "...test them all; hold on to what is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
Some psychologists fear that religion erodes self-esteem. Some believers fear that self-esteem endangers salvation. Who is right?
Sartre may have been right when he said Hell is other people. Yet, for some, their first step toward Heaven is meeting the God who shelters in someone else's soul.