Ayn Rand

Is Selfishness a Virtue? A Debate With Yaron Brook and Gene Epstein.

"The Christian morality of sacrifice and altruism is wrong," says Brook, executive chairman of the Ayn Rand Institute.

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"We don't have to endorse Gordon Gekko's view that greed is good anymore than we believe that selfishness is a virtue," says Gene Epstein, former economics editor at Barron's.

"The Christian morality of sacrifice and altruism is wrong," says Yaron Brook, executive chairman of the Ayn Rand Institute.

On January 16, 2018, Brook argued the affirmative in a debate with Epstein over whether selfishness is a virtue. It was an Oxford-style contest, in which the audience votes on the proposition before and after the event, and the side that sways the most people wins. Epstein was victorious, picking up 15.38 percent of the undecideds vs. 9.89 percent for Yaron Brook. Judge Andrew Napolitano, senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel, moderated.

The event was held by The Soho Forum, Reason Foundation's debate series in New York City. Held every month at the SubCulture Theater in the East Village, it also serves as a gathering place for New York's libertarian community, with free food and a cash bar. Epstein is also the Soho Forum's director and usually moderates.

On February 12, the Soho Forum will host a debate over whether the sex offender registry should be abolished, featuring Emily Horowitz, a sociologist at St. Francis College and author of Protecting Our Kids?: How Sex Offender Laws Are Failing Us (2015), and Marci Hamilton, CEO and academic director at CHILD USA and a resident senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Get tickets ($18, or $10 for students) here.

Reason will also be live streaming the debate on our Facebook page, and the audience at home can both participate in the voting and submit questions to be read aloud at the event.

Video shot and edited by Kevin Alexander. Tease by Todd Krainin.

"Drum Solo For Hospital Ghost" by Lucas Perný used under a Creative Commons license.

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