The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

Mad Men

September 7, 2007 | 10 Comments

“You’re born alone, and you die alone, and this world just drops a bunch of rules on top of you to make you forget those facts. But I never forget.” Such is the philosophy of Don Draper of AMC’s Mad Men, a “whore-child” raised during the Depression by an evangelical Christian stepmother who rises to power as an advertising executive at The Sterling Cooper Agency in 1960 New York. On last night’s episode he feigns piety with a lipstick magnate to clinch the account (“I’m not here to tell you about Jesus. You know about Jesus . . . either He lives in your heart or He doesn’t”) while being proselytized himself by one of the senior partners who has just rewarded him with a then-generous $2,500 bonus:

Cooper: Have you read her? Rand. Atlas Shrugged. That’s the one.

Draper: [Hesitantly] Yes . . . it is.

Cooper: See, I know you haven’t read it. When you hit 40, you realize you’ve met or seen every kind of person there is. And I know what kind you are, because I believe we are alike.

Draper: I assume that’s flattering.

Cooper: By that I mean you are a productive and reasonable man, and in the end, completely self-interested. It’s strength. We are different. Unsentimental about all the people who depend on our hard work. Take $1.99 out of that $2,500 and buy yourself a copy.

What’s apparently shaping up is a battle of the atheists. (The show seems to be sponsored in part by atheists, with the Cast and Crew page intermittently sporting an ad for The God Who Wasn’t There DVD). The factions seem to be Cooper’s cult of Ayn Rand, whose adherents believe that in the absence of God pure reason dictates an ethic of capitalistic selfishness, and Draper’s nihilism, which holds that godlessness implies nothing. Insofar as Draper has nonetheless adopted capitalist selfishness as his ethic, the battle may fizzle quickly — with little to fight over save his refusal to attend Objectivist seminars and his disinterest in discussing the necessity of his chosen ethic over martinis.


10 Responses to “Mad Men”

  1. R H F
    September 9th, 2007 @ 8:07 pm


  2. RHF
    September 9th, 2007 @ 8:09 pm




  3. Strider
    September 9th, 2007 @ 8:26 pm

    Wow!! That did it for me. Your right RHF, Jeebus the imaginary son of the imaginary god is now my savior. Thank you for changing me over with your thought provoking posts.

  4. "Q" the Enchanter
    September 10th, 2007 @ 8:26 pm

    What kind of martinis?

  5. "Q" the Enchanter
    September 10th, 2007 @ 8:26 pm

    What kind of martinis?

  6. Caucasian Jesus
    September 13th, 2007 @ 10:38 pm

    RHF is right, man. Plus, I need the money. I take cash, checks, and.. well.. whatever you’ve got, as long as it’s money.

  7. RHF
    September 25th, 2007 @ 8:27 pm

    God gave us free will, and with free will comes difficult choices.
    How will you feel if you end up in hell and it was so easy to stay out of there?
    Atheists, your arrogance will be your downfall. You believe you are invincible in arguments and can’t be beaten, but your wrong.
    As a football enthusiast and point spreader, I’ll take Jesus and the points. I won’t need the points, but if you want to give them to me,
    I’ll take them.

    I’ll stick with Jesus.

  8. Strider
    September 26th, 2007 @ 10:55 am

    Really??? What if you’ve chosen the WRONG god to hook your wagon to. What if all this time Zeus was the one true god and now he’s pissed off at you for worshipping the wrong guy? No thanks. I’m going to stay where I am. I won’t have wasted a full life following stupid rules and reading a book of silly myths worshipping a sky daddy. Am I the arrogant one for not believing in something without evidence and without reason? I think not. It’s YOU who are arrogant. Now piss off.

  9. Just Me
    September 27th, 2007 @ 9:58 am

    Why does Christianity ultimately turn people stupid, insensitive and completely selfish? I thought it was supposed to make you more open, more compassionate and more generous. Never seems to work that way, though.

    Anyway, about those martinis…

  10. Aurelius
    October 1st, 2007 @ 9:20 pm

    I was just going to thank ya for the Mad Men teaser. I’m woefully behind in my Tivo experience of the series and was about to give up on it as just too much effort to catch up on – even if I love the detailed setting and the tight dialog.

    I’ve met a fair number of objectivism fans in my life and I can never put my finger on exactly where the mental disconnect is.

    Got to comment on RHF, however. That kind can’t keep up a dialog with atheists for long. Either they flee back to their homogeneous websites of constant belief system reinforcement or they begin to question and grow.

    Atheism is self evident. It is so obvious it can be hard for us to defend it. The question is, what traumas or misinformation have you been exposed to that have damaged you beyond the capacity to grapple with that?

    Living in the real world is not always easy, but it is always better than a world of make believe.

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