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Old 10-27-2010, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Colorado
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YouTranscript: Ayn Rand - Faith vs Reason (http://public.youtranscript.com/zs/882.html - broken link)
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Old 10-27-2010, 03:51 PM
 
16,161 posts, read 18,022,785 times
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While Rand was certainly an advocate of reason and thus an atheist, there were large problems with her thinking on many issues.

Nathaniel Brandon was at one time her student (and lover) and he broke with her over personal matters, but he has a good handle on many of the things she did and said. It is extremely interesting to me that Rand said that evolution was merely a *hypothesis*

The Benefits and Hazards of the Philosophy of Ayn Rand (http://www.nathanielbranden.com/catalog/articles_essays/benefits_and_hazards.html - broken link)

Quote:
No doubt every thinker has to be understood, at least in part, in terms of what the thinker is reacting against, that is, the historical context in which the thinker’s work begins. Ayn Rand was born in Russia: a mystical country in the very worst sense of the word, a country that never really passed through the Age of Reason or the Enlightenment in the way that Western Europe did. Ayn Rand herself was not only a relentless rationalist, she was profoundly secular, profoundly in love with this world, in a way that I personally can only applaud. Yet the problem is that she became very quick on the draw in response to anything that even had the superficial appearance of irrationalism, by which I mean, of anything that did not fit her particular understanding of “the reasonable.”

With regard to science, this led to an odd kind of scientific conservatism, a suspicion of novelty, an indifference—this is only a slight exaggeration—to anything more recent than the work of Sir Isaac Newton. I remember being astonished to hear her say one day, “After all, the theory of evolution is only a hypothesis.” I asked her, “You mean you seriously doubt that more complex life forms—including humans—evolved from less complex life forms?” She shrugged and responded, “I’m really not prepared to say,” or words to that effect. I do not mean to imply that she wanted to substitute for the theory of evolution the religious belief that we are all God’s creation; but there was definitely something about the concept of evolution that made her uncomfortable.
The repression of emotion was one of my major problems with her work as well. Brandon discusses that in the article as well.
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Colorado
10,017 posts, read 17,060,391 times
Reputation: 2109
Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
While Rand was certainly an advocate of reason and thus an atheist, there were large problems with her thinking on many issues.

Nathaniel Brandon was at one time her student (and lover) and he broke with her over personal matters, but he has a good handle on many of the things she did and said. It is extremely interesting to me that Rand said that evolution was merely a *hypothesis*

The Benefits and Hazards of the Philosophy of Ayn Rand (http://www.nathanielbranden.com/catalog/articles_essays/benefits_and_hazards.html - broken link)



The repression of emotion was one of my major problems with her work as well. Brandon discusses that in the article as well.

I am sure she had her issues, but I liked the interview, and her reactions to the questions, her answers when being confronted about her atheism. I didnt see any problems in the interview. Her other work, I cant comment on.
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:36 AM
 
39,740 posts, read 11,098,674 times
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It surprises me that anyone who took Newton on trust was going to balk at the later equally verified corpus of work. However, I would rather someone erred on the side of skepticism about evolution or the Big bang or sub atomic particles that leaped to over- eager conclusions and then defended them stoutly on the basis of faith.

I would be happy to discuss with her or anyone the ins and outs of evolution, not because I'm an expert of to try to push one view, buit just to ensure that all the evidence and angles was considered/ If they they then said 'I'm not convinced'. That's there choice and I'd respect that. I would also expect them to apply the same rigorous skepticism to other claims and if they didn't, such as supposing that a god mustha dunnit, I could not respect such a view because it is not supported by the evidence and is not a rational conclusion.
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Old 10-28-2010, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 22,057,682 times
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It seems to me that Ayn Rand simply wasn't interested in the subject of evolution. The lack of curiosity makes me uncomfortable.
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