Motivation

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The Artist is a Trader, Miss Taggart

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Is art a commodity? No, says Mike Cosper. Mainly, it is a gift. This was a major theme of the writing conference: “Word and Words.”

Hosted by Sojourn Community Church, the conference brought together a prestigious group of writers and teachers, including Gregory Thornbury and Mike Cosper.

“Self” on Trial: A Look at Christian Motivation

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As Christian leaders speak out for missions, some have set up “self” as a bogeyman. I regularly hear pastors rail against “self.” Apparently, the lowest insult is that a person be “selfish.”

I don’t accept this understanding of Christian motivation. In fact, “right and wrong” are categories for guiding us in pursuing life; and for any individual man, this means: his own life. Therefore, “self-interest” (a.k.a. selfishness) is the very foundation of morality.

My Wife Loves Me Conditionally

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No, I don’t love my husband unconditionally. In fact, I am insulted by the idea of it.

Somehow, the idea of “unconditional love” has been accepted by our culture as the most pure and true form of love possible. To love someone for personal gain is considered vulgar and opposite to love.

Does Rational Self-Interest Mean “Faith for Hire”?

The first step of my philosophical journey was reading The Fountainhead. The novel taught me to uncompromisingly seek my own rational self-interest. If values are personal and selfish, then I must choose them myself. From my smallest choice of personal taste, to my choices in friends or career, I cannot depend on others to set my direction. For every choice I make, I must have a reason.

7 Lessons on Values from The Fountainhead

I was 18 when I discovered philosophy. I asked my high school librarian for books to stretch my mind. She picked a couple, but only one stayed with me. It was The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. This book did more than any other to open me to the world of ideas.

It is the story of Howard Roark, an architect who insists on following the integrity of his own vision. Against all outside obstacles, both material and ideological, he creates according to the standards he chooses. The story enthralled me. Not the kind of hero I expected, Howard Roark was purely self-interested. And, to my amazement, he was good. The Fountainhead did indeed stretch my mind.