Daniel, I would recommend both you and Monsieur Ricard read the words of Solomon as recorded in Ecclesiastes. In summary, apart from God everything is meaningless.
I love Rand's ability to illustrate the evils of statism, but she possesses the same flaw as the statists - greed and self-glorification drives both in the belief that we humans can create heaven on earth through our own efforts and our own perfection. Buddhists also believe that man has it within himself to end suffering, ignorance and greed and attain heaven on earth.
Thousands of years of human history have daily proven otherwise. Yet we never seem to learn that our salvation is a gift of the creator and comes from outside ourselves.