Pharyngula

Cleanse your palate of the unpleasant aftertaste of that last video with this loud instrumental from Rush — it’s the “Malignant Narcissism” video at the top of the page. I like how it illustrates the advance of religion as a branching snake. If you don’t like wmv or mov formats, it seems to be popular among the guitar heroes of youtube, so you can at least listen to it, even if you don’t get to see the abrahamic viper.

Comments

  1. #1 Lulu
    July 27, 2007

    They may not like religion, but they do credit 2112 to the “genius of Ayn Rand.” I love their music, but I’m very mixed on their lyrics – then again, I’m very wary of Objectivist-themed anything.

  2. #2 flame821
    July 27, 2007

    “Free Will” is as close to an atheist theme song as you’ll ever find IMHO.

    And their lyrics are actually rather good as rock goes. They try to make you think and reference something other than sex, drugs and bling-bling. Geddy Lee’s voice does take some getting used to, but the quality of the music more than makes up for that.

  3. #3 PuckishOne
    July 27, 2007

    Why are we here?
    Because we’re here…roll the bones.
    Why does it happen?
    Because it happens…roll the bones.

    – “Roll the Bones,” Rush from the CD of the same name

    I agree that Rush has some of the greatest anti-religion and pro-hope lyrics around. Neal Peart has no doubt been mellowed by time and the deaths of his wife & daughter, but the man still writes incredibly resonant lyrics.

  4. #4 wildlifer
    July 27, 2007

    And my favorite:
    There is unrest in the forest,
    There is trouble with the trees,
    For the maples want more sunlight
    And the oaks ignore their pleas.

    The trouble with the maples,
    (And they’re quite convinced they’re right)
    They say the oaks are just too lofty
    And they grab up all the light.
    But the oaks can’t help their feelings
    If they like the way they’re made.
    And they wonder why the maples
    Can’t be happy in their shade.

    There is trouble in the forest,
    And the creatures all have fled,
    As the maples scream “Oppression!”
    And the oaks just shake their heads

    So the maples formed a union
    And demanded equal rights.
    “The oaks are just too greedy;
    We will make them give us light.”
    Now there’s no more oak oppression,
    For they passed a noble law,
    And the trees are all kept equal
    By hatchet, axe, and saw.

  5. #5 Steve P
    July 27, 2007

    Just saw Rush on Wednesday in Irvine, CA. One of the most amazing shows of my life! No band can compare to the musicianship of these three individuals. In the liner notes of their newest album, Neil Peart references “The God Delusion” and his outrage over religion.

    My favorite lyrics are from the aptly titled song “Free Will”

    You can choose a ready guide
    In some celestial voice
    If you choose not to decide
    You still have made a choice

    You can choose from phantom fears
    And kindness that can kill
    I will choose a path thats clear
    I will choose free will

    AMEN!

  6. #6 Dahan
    July 27, 2007

    Rush was the first band I ever saw live, in concert. Way back in 1987. Still one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. I’ve always liked most of the lyrics, but Witch Hunt is especially nice.

    The righteous rise
    With burning eyes
    Of hatred and ill-will
    Madmen fed on fear and lies
    To beat and burn and kill

    Haven’t listened to them for years. Now I might have to though.

  7. #7 Joshua
    July 27, 2007

    I count Rush as a guilty pleasure… mainly because I felt burned by the mediocrity of Vapor Trails. Their earlier stuff and Geddy Lee’s solo album are actually pretty good, though.

    The Objectivism connection does make me a little uneasy, but then I still manage to like Johnny Cash despite his overt Christianity, so I’ll let Rush slip by. On occasion.

  8. #8 El Christador
    July 27, 2007

    Yeah, but they believe in free will…

    Fortunately, they don’t use “free will” in the hard-determinism sense, they’re talking about soft determinism. That is, when they say “free will”, they really mean merely “will” i.e. autonomous decision-making ability, they are not addressing whether the mind itself operates in a deterministic manner (i.e. with future states determined uniquely by initial states and external inputs).

    Actually, I suspect the same confusion is at work in this American Scientist article about the beliefs of evolutionary scientists:

    http://www.americanscientist.org/template/AssetDetail/assetid/55593
    The authors are surprised that so many evolutionary scientists believe in “free will” given that so many are atheists, and free will in the hard determinism sense belongs firmly in the irrational-superstition camp with belief in a Divine Being: it is at odds with all current scientific knowledge, there are no observations that require it to exist in order for them to be explained, and hence Occam’s Razor suggests it should probably be tossed. The authors acknowledge, correctly I think, that the biologists were probably thinking about free will in the soft determinism sense (i.e. can we make choices?) and hence the high belief rate isn’t evidence of bizarre inconsistencies in the minds of biologists. But they then go on to say, wrongly in my opinion, that biologists have failed to appreciate the distinction between making decisions and making decisions “freely” (i.e. with a non-deterministic decision-making procedure), and that this suggests that biologists haven’t given the issue of free will much thought. To me it seems more likely that the term “free will” is vague and the people conducting the survey should have given more information to disambiguate the sense in which they meant it i.e. hard or soft.

  9. #9 K
    July 27, 2007

    I will choose free will

  10. #10 QrazyQat
    July 27, 2007

    Neil Peart (Rush’s songwriter) is a Randian, but not nearly so obnoxious as most. He’s also written several books about travels: a book about bicycling with a group in Africa, and a couple about travelling, via motorcycle and car, in north America around the time his wife died (his only child had died 10 months before in a traffic accident too). My girlfriend liked the books.

  11. #11 Djur
    July 27, 2007

    QrazyQat: Really? I note the lyrics for ‘Trees’ were just posted. A more callous, noxious paean for the Randian superman has never been written, unless you count Atlas Shrugged itself.

    Again:

    For the maples want more sunlight
    And the oaks ignore their pleas.

    But the oaks can’t help their feelings
    If they like the way they’re made.
    And they wonder why the maples
    Can’t be happy in their shade.

    As an allegory, it may sound reasonable. But replace ‘oak’ and ‘maple’ with any two classes of human beings, and you have a hateful ‘natural’ (and, incidentally, hereditarian) just-so story for socioeconomic inequality. So, uh, fuck Rush. Skrewdriver had some sweet riffs too, you know.

  12. #12 Rey Fox
    July 27, 2007

    So who’s “Chuck D”? I mean, if he’s the Public Enemy guy, then they chose an awfully curious figure to represent him.

  13. #13 RedMolly
    July 27, 2007

    Rush… *shudder* …no thanks, I’ll glean my atheist tunes from bands that rank a little lower on the Objectivist and Sheer Ponderosity scales.

    However, the episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force featuring Getty Lee’s giant bass-shaped jet with an owl on it? Pure inspired televisual genius.

  14. #14 ERV
    July 27, 2007

    I already declared that the official Atheist Anthem was ‘Knights of Cydonia’, by Muse. Theyre into aliens and such, but they are atheists.

  15. #15 QrazyQat
    July 27, 2007

    A more callous, noxious paean for the Randian superman has never been written

    Well, okay, I’ll buy that… but then here’s what Peart said about that song:

    When asked in the April/May 1980 Modern Drummer magazine about whether there is a message to this song, Peart said, “No. It was just a flash. I was working on an entirely different thing when I saw a cartoon picture of these trees carrying on like fools. I thought, ‘What if trees acted like people?’ So I saw it as a cartoon really, and wrote it that way. I think that’s the image that it conjures up to a listener or a reader. A very simple statement.”

  16. #16 Jeff
    July 27, 2007

    I have to step up and defend Neil Peart. Many are claiming that he is a Randian, when in fact he is no longer one. There was a point in his life where he greatly respected Rand, hence songs like The Trees, 2112, an Anthem, but he has moved on past those times. The theme of the song Hemispheres flies in the face of Objectivism. In his later lyrical efforts he focuses mainly on enlightenment values of open mindedness and understanding. Think of songs like Half the World and The Larger Bowl.

  17. #17 Caledonian
    July 27, 2007

    Djur, I think you’ve gotten a little too much of the catnip, man. Time to lay off.

    ***

    Did you people also hate “The Incredibles” because it references the works of Ayn Rand?

  18. #18 Janine
    July 27, 2007

    “Free Will” is as close to an atheist theme song as you’ll ever find IMHO.

    Posted by: flame821 | July 27, 2007 07:13 PM

    Sorry, that would be XTC’s “Dear God”. Though Andy Partridge does dismiss his own song because he feels he cannot express the plilosophy of atheism in a pop song context.

  19. #19 Kevin
    July 27, 2007

    Chuck D. = Charles Darwin

  20. #20 octopod
    July 27, 2007

    Well, Caledonian, speaking for myself, yes I did. I reacted to my belated realization of the Rand stuff in “The Incredibles” similarly to the way I reacted to the “Chronicles of Narnia” religious themes when I got old enough to detect them.

    But Jeff: I’m glad to hear it. So their newer stuff is less ponderously Objectivist and more worth listening to?

  21. #21 notthedroids
    July 27, 2007

    “[H]e feels he cannot express the plilosophy of atheism in a pop song context.”

    This is perhaps a bit rich; I’ve read that the band just didn’t think very much of the song. Partridge wrote it and recorded a demo very quickly, the next morning felt it to be rather trite and hamfisted. They were surprised when Todd Rungren had such enthusiasm for the demo and had to be cajoled to record it for real. The idea for the girl singing the first and last bits was also forced on the band by Rundgren.

    I loves me some classic Rush, but Peart’s lyrics are dated and ponderous, whether or not from his Ayn Rand phase.

  22. #22 wildcardjack
    July 27, 2007

    The thing with being a Randite is much like being a Libertarian. To be a full version of either will make you as demented as a Christian Fundamentalist.

    The key is to seek the ideal, but understand you can’t have the ideal. Hence moderation leads to fairly polite people who incidentally support the nuts.

    As for the best of Ayn Rand, put down the novels and find a copy of “Capitalism: an unknown ideal” which features a bunch of writing from a then young and unknown economist named Alan. Alan Greenspan.

  23. #23 False Prophet
    July 28, 2007

    I already declared that the official Atheist Anthem was ‘Knights of Cydonia’, by Muse. Theyre into aliens and such, but they are atheists.

    Posted by: ERV | July 27, 2007 09:57 PM

    I love Muse, and “Cydonia” rocks (was the encore when I saw them last year), but how do you square the lyrics to “Thoughts of a Dying Atheist”?

    And shit, I’m sick of people dissing Neil Peart because he believed in some stupid things in his 20s. Who didn’t? In my early 20s I was a dyed-in-the-wool existentialist who believed there was no single reality and that maybe there was something to this whole God thing, but I got over it. I guess the difference is I never created lasting works of art slightly inspired by my foolish beliefs.

  24. #24 autumn
    July 28, 2007

    I’m not entirely sure, but I never once thought that the lyrics to “The Trees” were anything other than a statement about blank thinking and irony. Never got the whole “dangers of trying to help others” vibe.

    Oh, and the best part is when, in concert, the house lights flash as the audience yells “Oppression!”.
    Goosebumps, man.

    And guys, let’s get a little perspective here. Just because a work is not reflective of your personal beliefs is the worst reason to eschew it. Johnny Cash has already been mentioned (interestingly enough, he grew up on a collective), and any good gospel music makes me move, not to the spirit, but the wonderful rhythms. I also love Wagner, although he seems to have been personaly odious. Eric Blair (George Orwell) should be read by those on the left and right, as he is able to expose painful shortfalls in his own socialist beliefs.
    Let’s keep the art seperate from the artist.
    Also note that the video was done by a fan, and does not neccessarily reflect the views of the band.

  25. #25 Another Rush fan
    July 28, 2007

    I’m hoping that some of you Ayn Rand haters can briefly summarize what it is that you find so irrational in her core epistemology, ethics, and metaphysics. I realize that the politics aren’t all that realistic, but what is it that you really see as being irrational with what she has to say in her philosophy books? Can one even be a scientist without holding a similar objective view of existence? Again, if you hate her politics or if you think it’s juvenile, that’s fine (I really don’t care to here about it), but what do you see as fundamentally irrational about the core philosophy of objectivism? I’m simply curious and don’t want to start a debate. Thanks.

  26. #26 Another Rush fan
    July 28, 2007

    “Hear” not “here”. Sorry, too many fermented beverages this evening.

  27. #27 SteveG
    July 28, 2007

    Geeze guys. Obviously, people have different tastes in music. Some are going to like it, some not. In regard to “Objectivism,” one doesn’t have to be an “Ojectivist” to appreciate many of the themes in Ayn Rand’s novels, nor to appreciate these themes echoed in some of Rush’s lyrics. Rand was a young woman living in Russia at the time of the Communist Revolution, and she hated totalitarianism from personal experience. (See either her novel We The Living or Anthem.) Context. History. It seems to me that some of the comments here just blatantly ignore these, from the comfort of our post-Cold War triumph over socialist totalitarianism.

    George Washington wrote, “How soon we forget history… Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. And, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Does that make Washington an Objectivist?

    So some think Peart’s lyrics are “ponderous.” Of course, a lot of people don’t, and very much appreciate the literary quality that Peart brings to rock music.

    Government – the belief in using government power to achieve social ends without regard to the fallibilities and corruption of political power – can be as much like a religion as any other religious belief. I for one appreciate a rock band putting out music with themes that actually raise such issues in the first place, and that additionally comes down on the side of maintaining the freedom of the individual as much as possible, whether it’s religion OR government.

    – Steve G (not a “Randian” nor an “Objectivist”)

  28. #28 Graham
    July 28, 2007

    Rush… *shudder* …no thanks, I’ll glean my atheist tunes from bands that rank a little lower on the Objectivist and Sheer Ponderosity scales.

    It sure must be hard to walk with your nose stuck up in the air like that.

  29. #29 Blake Stacey
    July 28, 2007

    It sure must be hard to walk with your nose stuck up in the air like that.

    It’s a known hazard of trying to walk while gazing upon the stars.

    Haven’t you ever seen the outtakes from Carl Sagan’s Cosmos? “A galaxy is made of gas and dust and stars, billions upon billions of — ouch!”

  30. #30 Caledonian
    July 28, 2007

    Most of the people here aren’t interested in thinking about ideologies – theirs, or any other.

    ‘Objectivism’ is just one of the labels that they’ve learned to attach to things they want to be able to dismiss without offering reasons why.

    Rand had many flaws – her frustrated attempts at instructional lecturing among them – but many excellent points. One might say the same thing about Karl Marx. But these people, when they are ‘liberal’, rarely object to the Marx’s salient points – yet they always do so with Rand’s.

    Long story short: most people are really, really stupid.

  31. #31 ChemBob
    July 28, 2007

    Here are some great atheist lyrics from the song Faithless of the new Rush “Snakes and Arrows” album. Great album, imho.

    I’ve got my own moral compass to steer by
    A guiding star beats a spirit in the sky
    And all the preaching voices –
    Empty vessels of dreams so loud
    As they move among the crowd
    Fools and thieves are well disguised
    In the temple and market place

    Like a stone in the river
    Against the floods of spring
    I will quietly resist

    Like the willows in the wind
    Or the cliffs along the ocean
    I will quietly resist

    I don’t have faith in faith
    I don’t believe in belief
    You can call me faithless
    I still cling to hope
    And I believe in love
    And that’s faith enough for me

    I’ve got my own spirit level for balance
    To tell if my choice is leaning up or down
    And all the shouting voices
    Try to throw me off my course
    Some by sermon, some by force
    Fools and thieves are dangerous
    In the temple and market place

    Like a forest bows to winter
    Beneath the deep white silence
    I will quietly resist

    Like a flower in the desert
    That only blooms at night
    I will quietly resist

  32. #32 Lulu
    July 28, 2007

    I’ve done some research. I used to be into it. I’m still a libertarian. But the Ayn Rand movement was very cultic, rather than philosophical and open to debate. Rand portrayed herself as a guru and followers were really not free to express dissenting opinions. This is according to many top associates in “The Collective” (it was tongue in cheek when they first called themselves that, but they ended up resembling one quite a bit), including both Brandens, Nathaniel and Barbara. Never mind the fact that she was so paranoid, she never invested any of her money, leaving her with very little money near the end of her life. Or that she insisted upon having a long-standing sexual affair with Nathaniel Branden, and pretty much forced her husband and Barbara Branden to “approve” on the grounds that Nathaniel was the 2nd most rational person in existence, after her. Objectivism was not unlike Scientology in its development – dissenters from her were actually excommunicated in kangaroo trials. So THAT’S what I don’t like about Ayn Rand. (I got my info from The Passion of Ayn Rand and The Ayn Rand Cult… after reading a lot of her material and comparing. They make even stronger claims which I don’t fully believe.)

    As for her philosophy, the rejection of any determinism is obnoxious. And her rationality-based ethics were failing in front of her eyes in real life as she lectured on them. The idea of “lesser” mates backing away in understanding without regrets upon the introduction of a superior mate was frankly ludicrous and didn’t function correctly even within her circle. And her strongly heteronormative formulation of the ideal sexuality (men were ultimately the heroes, and their women were content to worship them, because they were so great) leads to her rejecting homosexuality as disgusting – and not just once. Time and time again. Her epistemology is just too simplistic to function in the real world, and the fact that she is an ideologue more than a philosopher precludes her refusal to acknowledge complexity in ethical and epistemological issues.

    Peart is less obnoxious than most, and his opinions have changed. But one can’t just say right out “give him a break, he was only in his 20s”. That’s not really a cure-all. They put out recorded work then. I do love their music – but the themes do make me cringe, just like The Incredibles content.

  33. #33 Arnosium Upinarum
    July 28, 2007

    Sorry, I’ll pass on the vid and take everybody’s word for it. I don’t need another earworm.

  34. #34 Blake Stacey
    July 28, 2007

    Director Brad Bird on The Incredibles and politics:

    I think it got misinterpreted a few times. Some people said it was Ayn Rand or something like that, which is ridiculous. other people threw Nietzsche around, which I also find ridiculous. But I think the vast majority of people took it the way I intended. […] But you can’t control how people interpret your stuff. Have you ever met someone and you say something nice to them and they make a face and are deeply offended? You just don’t know how people are going to take things. Ninty-eight percent of the people got that stuff the way I intended and two percent thought I was doing The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged.

  35. #35 Kwietman
    July 28, 2007

    The standard bearers for atheism in the U.S. still seems to be Bad Religion (realizing that P.Z. hates Greg Graffin, or at least excoriated his doctoral thesis in an earlier post). Remarkably consistent in their humanist/atheist lyrics since 1980, with songs like “God’s Love,” “Atheist Peace,” and many more. Their first volley across the bow of religion was their eponymously titled song, over twenty years ago. No Objectivism, Relativism, or any other dilutions. Just good songs about atheism and politics, and you can rock to it.

  36. #36 PZ Myers
    July 28, 2007

    I don’t hate Graffin. I thought his thesis was a lot of sociological fluff that got misrepresented as evolutionary biology. It wasn’t.

    I actually like Bad Religion’s music.

  37. #37 Another Rush fan
    July 28, 2007

    Lulu,

    I would agree with most of what you said, but wouldn’t you say that your criticisms mostly address the aspects of Objectivism where Ayn Rand’s own eccentricities got in the way of what could be a truly rational philosophy? Some self-described objectivists, regard objectivism as an open and evolving philosophy, wherein Ayn Rand’s baggage was jettisoned long ago, or was never taken seriously to begin with. The point you raise about the strict rejection of all determinism is a legitimate criticism that’s a fairly integral part of Objectivist philosophy. For me, it’s enough to say that I have confidence (but not faith) that when I’m writing a piece of music or planning a chess strategy for example, that I have some measure of free will resulting from the complexity of a neural network that is both self-aware and capable of some degree of intentional rewiring.

  38. #38 Graculus
    July 28, 2007

    but what do you see as fundamentally irrational about the core philosophy of objectivism?

    Start here:

    A = A.

  39. #39 ChemBob
    July 28, 2007

    Bad Religion, eh? Another band that was produced by Todd Rundgren (great guy, btw; have met him several times). Sort of a Todd side-theme here of bands with atheistic lyrics.

  40. #40 j.t.delaney
    July 28, 2007

    Can one even be a scientist without holding a similar objective view of existence? Again, if you hate her politics or if you think it’s juvenile, that’s fine (I really don’t care to here about it), but what do you see as fundamentally irrational about the core philosophy of objectivism? I’m simply curious and don’t want to start a debate. Thanks.

    Become an Objectivist in te easy steps

    As a scientist, I overall agree with the metaphysics of Objectivism, but I reject Objectivism because of it’s overemphasis on pure reason as an epistemology. Once a position on a philosophical issue had been rationalized by their neurotic leader, that position was taken as Truth, and anybody who disagreed was irrational/anti-human/whim-whorshipper, etc. This overemphasis lead to all sorts of staunch positions on how society should be run, what music to listen to, why women should not e allowed to be President of the United States (Rand’s position), etc. If you hang out with die-hard Objectivists, you soon discover it’s a mostly all-or-nothing/with-us-or-against-us sort of proposition. Either you agree with Rand’s positon on laissez-faire capitalism, Mozart, cigarette smoking, and Kant (approving the things she approved, disdaining what she disdained), or you are a slavish, subhuman irrationalist.

    You get the idea.

    Beyond the metaphysics, I personally disgree with Objectivism’s stand on ethics, politics, and aesthetics as well. As somebody else pointed out, the political and ethical positions taken up by the Randroids are heavily dated by Rand’s own life experiences in revolutionary Russia and cold war America. The elaborate, almost baroque, lines of reasoning against altruism and for greed seem to be driven by an emotionally damaged personality trying to find more venomous ways to demonize her childhood enemies, while lionizing the percieved ideals of her new homeland.

    In terms of aesthetics, I couldn’t stand her writing. Her “Romantic Realism” ideal was cloying, and the characters in her stories were uniformly wooden and one-dimensional (and then there’s the “benevolent rape” scene in The Fountainhead.) For somebody who like to bandy about the term “rational” as much as she did, her writing voice and her arguments were consistently overly emotive to make a strong case. As the self-proclaimed final arbiter of Truth and Reason, the frantic polemics from her come off as particularly self-unaware.

  41. #41 wildlifer
    July 28, 2007

    Bad Religion, eh? Another band that was produced by Todd Rundgren (great guy, btw; have met him several times). Sort of a Todd side-theme here of bands with atheistic lyrics.

    Hall & Oates? Meatloaf? Had atheistic lyrics? Guess I shoulda payed closer attention.

    Todd is/was a musical genius, IMO. I saw him back in the early 80s (Hall & Oates opened) and have every album post-Nazz.

  42. #42 Dale
    July 28, 2007

    “Axes of good”. Heh heh!

    The video showed religion as a branching tree, but my guess would be that it’s more interconnected than that – new religions draw from contemporary as well as ancestral religions. Does anyone know if this happens much?

  43. #43 ChemBob
    July 28, 2007

    I certainly didn’t intend to insinuate that everyone Todd has produced had atheistic lyrics, I just thought it was an interesting coincidence that two bands he produced were mentioned in this thread. Todd is currently fronting The New Cars. We were fortunate enough recently after a concert in Ann Arbor to get invited onto the tour bus to chat with him and the band. I agree with you about his genius and it is still intact.

  44. #44 Lulu
    July 29, 2007

    Oh, I was just stating criticism to Ayn Rand in response to “what’s your trouble with Ayn Rand?” comments. j.t. delaney posted a pretty brilliant comment above that I pretty much wholly agree with. (Damn! I forgot about the “benevolent rape” scene… that’s one more reason to be wary.)

    Also, I’d argue that Ayn’s eccentricities were fundamental to the creation of her philosophy – not that her personal prejudices taint the entirety of what she says. It’s just that whatever the purported rationale for her beliefs, her real rationale for believing that certain actions fit in the ultimate rational framework was that she was part of a rich family exiled from a newly communist country. Many of the “rational” reasons cited for her beliefs and actions were simply uniquely convenient for her to believe – like that privately earned property should merit ultimate respect and that all “evil” concerns for the environment and welfare are the result of looters and are really just exclusively designed to take away opportunity for the major invester and corporation.

    However, I don’t automatically discount her ideas. I wouldn’t be a (moderate) libertarian if I did. (Although libertarians were “hippies” to Ayn Rand. They didn’t agree with all areas of her philosophy, just the economics.) She’s an inspiring writer, too. Although she brushes very broad strokes and stereotypes quite a bit, she can make you want to get out there and live life. And for that reason, I’m glad she wrote and went through all that trouble with her crazy movement.

  45. #45 Graculus
    July 29, 2007

    She’s an inspiring writer, too.

    I found here to be as inspiring as watching celery grow.

    Oh, she also rejected evolution because it didn’t fit in with her “philosophy” (religion).

  46. #46 Caledonian
    July 29, 2007

    Oh, she also rejected evolution because it didn’t fit in with her “philosophy” (religion).

    It would be more accurate to say that she had little to say on the matter, not being concerned with biology as a whole.

    A quick Google search seems to refute your claim quite effectively.

  47. #47 Caledonian
    July 29, 2007

    Once a position on a philosophical issue had been rationalized by their neurotic leader, that position was taken as Truth, and anybody who disagreed was irrational/anti-human/whim-whorshipper, etc. This overemphasis lead to all sorts of staunch positions on how society should be run, what music to listen to, why women should not e allowed to be President of the United States (Rand’s position), etc. If you hang out with die-hard Objectivists, you soon discover it’s a mostly all-or-nothing/with-us-or-against-us sort of proposition. Either you agree with Rand’s positon on laissez-faire capitalism, Mozart, cigarette smoking, and Kant (approving the things she approved, disdaining what she disdained), or you are a slavish, subhuman irrationalist.

    Such behavior is precisely the opposite of what Rand explicitly espoused.

    I’m afraid that strong doctrine producing its opposite is a common feature of human social movements and groups of all types. We could see similar cases with turn-the-other-cheek Christianity formenting witch burnings, the Crusades, the Inquisition, and so forth. Religious anti-abortionists murdering to support their cause. The abomination of the First World War spawning rhetoric about its being necessary to abolish war itself. And so on, and so on.

    I suggest you reject the cult, and sift through the original teachings of the cult’s founder, keeping what is of value and discarding the rest.

  48. #48 Graculus
    July 29, 2007

    A quick Google search seems to refute your claim quite effectively.

    No, it doesn’t. She didn’t like it at all. She couldn’t reject it outright, what she did was reject the idea that our ancestry had any influence on “Man”. That is a denial of evolution right up there with that of the God-botherers, that humans are a special “creation”.

  49. #49 Caledonian
    July 29, 2007

    No, it doesn’t. She didn’t like it at all.

    “Not liking it” has nothing to do with anything.

    Ayn Rand and Evolution
    Peter Saint-Andre on Rand’s beliefs about human civilization and development

    Casual searching quickly demonstrates your claim to be false, Graculus.

    You may certainly hate who you please, but keep your emotional reactions from tainting your arguments. These blatant untruths are becoming annoying.

  50. #50 Graculus
    July 29, 2007

    Casual searching quickly demonstrates your claim to be false, Graculus.

    Casual searching with your Search Image reveals whatever you want it to reveal. And I’m the emotional one.

    You may certainly hate who you please, but keep your emotional reactions from tainting your arguments.

    Getting a little hysterical when your cult icon is criticisized? I never expressed any hate for rand, perhaps you should calm down and take a few deep breaths before commenting.

    Rand could not abide anything that wasn’t heroic. Evolution and pre-history wasn’t heroic. Hence her irrational rejection of them.

  51. #51 arensb
    July 29, 2007

    Thank you all for reminding me why my favorite tagline in the 1990s was “Insert cryptic Rush lyrics here”.

  52. #52 arensb
    July 29, 2007

    I like the video, but was somewhat bugged by the way it grew: real trees grow at the tips; they don’t snake out at their base. The artist may have decided that this rendition looked better, though.

  53. #53 Caledonian
    July 29, 2007

    Casual searching with your Search Image reveals whatever you want it to reveal.

    Oooh kayyy…

    It doesn’t take a lot of research to show that Rand didn’t reject evolution – so your claims that she did so, and that she did so for certain reasons, are false.

    I never expressed any hate for rand

    Sure you did. Just not explicitly.

    Rand could not abide anything that wasn’t heroic. Evolution and pre-history wasn’t heroic. Hence her irrational rejection of them.

    *Yawn*

  54. #54 Graculus
    July 30, 2007

    Again with the blanket assertions, but no evidence or rational argument.

    Very Romantic, but not very Real. Like Rand.

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