How Ayn Rand "was loathed by the mainstream conservative movement"

Donald J. Luskin, chief investment officer of Trend Macrolytics (now that's a name), has a sharp piece in the Wall Street Journal about the prickly, non-conservative politics of Ayn Rand. Interesting stuff even (especially?) for those of us who haven't yet made it past page 71. Excerpt:

Today, Rand is celebrated among conservatives: Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) insists that all his staffers read "Atlas Shrugged." It wasn't always this way. During Rand's lifetime—she died in 1982—she was loathed by the mainstream conservative movement.

Rand was a devout atheist, which set her against the movement's Christian bent. She got off on the wrong foot with the movement's founder, William F. Buckley Jr., when she introduced herself to him in her thick Russian accent, saying "You are too intelligent to believe in God!" The subsequent review of "Atlas Shrugged" by Whittaker Chambers in Buckley's "National Review" was nothing short of a smear, and it set the tone for her relationship with the movement ever since—at least until now.

Rand rankled conservatives by living her life as an exemplary feminist, even as she denied it by calling herself a "male chauvinist." [...]

Rand was strongly pro-choice, speaking out for abortion rights even before *Roe v. Wade*. In late middle age, she became enamored of a much younger man and made up her mind to have an affair with him, having duly informed her husband and the younger man's wife in advance. Conservatives don't do things like that—or at least they say they don't.

These weren't the only times Rand took positions that didn't ingratiate her to the right. She was an early opponent of the Vietnam war, once saying, "I am against the war in Vietnam and have been for years.... In my view we should fight fascism and communism when they come to this country." During the '60s she declared, "I am an enemy of racism," and advised opponents of school busing, "If you object to sending your children to school with black children, you'll lose for sure because right is on the other side."

More, including Rand's rejection of Ronald Reagan and embrace (!) of Richard Nixon, here. Luskin's got a relevant new book coming out, called I Am John Galt: Today's Heroic Innovators Building the World and the Villainous Parasites Destroying It. He also participated in our October 2009 roundtable discussion on the prospects for inflation.

Re-read Senior Editor Brian Doherty's December 2009 cover feature on whether Rand's new fans are radical enough for capitalism, and then go order his book already. Reason's voluminous Rand archive here.

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  • Tim||

    Smart and nuts. What can you do?

  • OO||

    look at that fucking hipster. just look at it...

  • ||

    She gives off a kinda goth vibe in black and white.

  • ||

    Rand reminds me of Soros except the latter can actually make money as an uber capitalist while she struggled in the actual practice.

  • ||

    The Koch brothers are far richer than Soros.

    And they actually produce something rather than make bets on the stupidity of politicians.

  • ||

    They inherited their fortune - Soros earned his.

  • ||

    What fortune did they inherit? How much was that again, compared to their holdings now? how did Soros "earn" his?

  • Jerry||

    By playing the central bank of the United Kingdom? That can hardly be called "earned."

  • ||

    That would be one of the $13 billion he has earned. If currency trading is so easy then go open an account. Trading is at the heart of capitalism.

  • ||

    He used 12 million in investors funds (after having his uncle pay for his living expenses and university education) and worked with Jim Rogers- nice to earn money with that brain in your corner, huh?

    People have handed this guy everything he ever had- equally as much as the Koch bros. At least they were risking their own money.

  • Jerry||

    Currency trading is all about getting to government information before others do. It's GS's business model, and they're good at it. But it has little to do with capitalism.

  • prolefeed||

    Currency trading is uber-capitalistic. That some who participate use government information to decide what trades to make doesn't change the fact.

    It's like arguing the heroes of Atlas Shrugged were really socialists because they drove on government roads to get to Rearden Metal.

  • Henry Waxman||

    Trading is at the heart of capitalism.

    That's why I tried to eliminate it.

  • G Soros||

    They inherited their fortune - Soros earned his.

    Looting Jews on the way to the camps was hard work!

    But fun.

  • B. Madoff||

    I earned mine too.

  • Ancap||

    LOL!

  • ||

    Hey shriek, you still sucking Obama's cock? Why don't you tell us all how to make money. That's a constant source of absolute belly laughs, you fucking scumbag. Come on, big guy: give us the lowdown on why you're a millionaire.

  • ||

    Quit stalking me, you scummy fuckstain misanthrope. Go pull some wings off some insects or whatever you do that gets your perverted ass off.

  • ||

    Oh no, shriek's going to cry. Too bad, motherfucker. You want to be a scumfuck partisan? Fuck you: you get the full deal.

    You having a tough time there, big guy? Need a hug? Don't cry, little guy. Obama will hold your hand for you.

  • ||

    Oh it must hurt! - you little libertarian purists are so fucking angry that Ayn Rand, FA Hayek, and Soros don't like your conservative pals.

    You deserve a fucking Huckster in 2012.

  • ||

    Oh, shrieky's falling back on his same tired shit. Nice try, you Obamatron cocksucking shitbag. Fuck. You. You are a fucking partisan loser and you will always be a fucking partisan loser.

    You want to cry some more?

  • prolefeed||

    Can you two get a room? The juvenile insults are annoyed to have to skip over.

  • RyanXXX||

    You guys should go to counseling

  • Shriek||

    Hey shriek, you still sucking Obama's cock? Why don't you tell us all how to make money.

    The best way to make money is sucking the Bernank's cock.

    Sucking Obama's cock works too.

  • OO||

    the mind reels...reels at such an enlightening exchange

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I recently found a tiny little paw, from a shrew, I imagine, impaled on a thorn on one of my locust trees. It was very David Lynchian. I blame shrike.

  • ||

    Militant atheists are just as annoying as fundamentalist Christians/Muslims. That's one thing that always irked me about her. There are so many things we don't know about the universe.

  • Trespassers W||

    There are so many things we don't know about the universe...

    ...therefore it's plausible that the whole thing was created by an intelligent being that was not itself created, and which takes a personal interest in me. I dig, man.

  • ||

    There's a difference between and atheist and an anti-theist.

  • ||

    Not to an anti-theist there isn't!

  • Tman||

    +1.

    I am perfectly comfortable in my Agnosticism. I spend many hours behind a telescope that constantly reminds me of how incredibly dangerous the universe as well as the unfathomably vast distances involved between galaxies alone, never mind how big the actual universe itself is.

    It's one thing to say "well, I don't know how this all happened, but how about a story with some guy in the clouds etc.?" and kinda go from there. I disagree with this, but at least it's an attempt to explain it. Atheists don't even try. They just throw up their hands and say "It's nothing!!!" which is lazy and ignorant.

    I don't agree with either of them, but I fail to see the intellectual superiority that atheists claim based on their argument.

  • Tony||

    It is superior because it is not obviously logically incorrect, such as positing a fantastical story to fill the gaps in our knowledge. The atheist simply says that we don't know everything (yet), and is comfortable saying "I don't know."

  • ||

    I can't believe it, but +1 to Tony.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Hey Spencer. Can you give Tony this +1 for me? I'm too weak in the stomach to hand him one directly. Too icky.

  • tarran||

    Actually, Tony, a person who simply says "I don't know" is an agnostic (literally meaning without knowledge) as opposed to an atheist who denies that god(s) exist outright.

    An atheist is exercising faith, since unlike the agnostic he or she is asserting a theory (that there are no gods) without complete evidence.

    It's nowhere near as great a leap of faith as a belief in a particular God with specific qualities, such as the Great Green Arkleseizure for example, but a leap of faith nonetheless.

  • prolefeed||

    Agnosticism is basically atheism plus doubt.

    Atheists assign a really low probability to any such a thing as a God existing. Some insist the odds are 0.0%.

    Me, I'm willing to concede there may be, for example, a superintelligent entity formed by the black hole at the center of each galaxy ... or something. But, for practical purposes, it sure looks like we're on our own, with no sky cloud father to bail us out if the consequences of our actions suck.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    How bout a super intelligent being formed by the hive mind, of for instance, a desert dwelling people over a few thousand years?

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    How bout a super intelligent being formed by the hive mind, of for instance, a desert dwelling people over a few thousand years?

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    godam server beavers.

  • Tony||

    Sorry, no. Atheism is a lack of a belief in a deity. Atheists apply belief to a deity exactly the same way they apply it to any other thing for which there is no evidence.

    Agnosticism seems to apply special standards to a deity that they it doesn't apply to pink unicorns.

  • tarran||

    Tony, you are wrong.

    What you call atheism is actually agnosticism. A orthodox atheist has faith that there is no possibility that any deity can exist.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    tarran, you are wrong.

    That's a smear used by those who have faith in the supernatural against those who do not. It amounts to the false accusation that the out-of-hand dismissal of an arbitrary claim requires faith. What it covers up is that it is proper to dismiss arbitrary cliams out of hand and that we all do it all the time. Agnostics are not willing to dismiss certain, specific arbitrary claims as arbitrary which means there is some positive validity to the claims which arises without evidence.

  • ||

    +1million. I'm handing out points all over the place today!

  • tarran||

    Dude, it's the definition of the words.

    Atheism is, by definition, the denial of the possibility of the existence of gods.

    Agnosticism is what one gets when one says that they see no evidence.

    Yes anti-atheists tend to use that hair-splitting definition to argue that atheists are taking equally dramatic leaps of faith, something which I emphatically disagree for the following reason:

    1) Let's stipulate that we have no evidence that gods exist.

    2) Per Occam's razor, any explanation of the Universe that is not dependent on deities will be more likely to be correct than one that does.

    3) Thus, for all practical purposes, atheists and agnostics are both being reasonable based on the evidence.

    Now, if one were to come up with evidence that implies the existence of gods, then the atheists and agnostics would diverge, since the atheistic position would no longer be supported by evidence.

    And nowhere in my argument is an equivalence between atheists and those who fear the Coming of the Great White Handkerchief, since positive claims require actual evidence ot back them up.

    Atheism is falsifiable (if a god appears, then we know it's wrong) but not provable (we just haven't found one yet).

    Most theistic faiths are both falsifiable (we show that there was no sneezing at the time of the Universe's creation) and provable (we show that there was sneezing at the time of the Universe's creation)

    It's hairsplitting, and ironic coming from a free-market anarchist (since anarchy means "no hierarchy" rather than the commonly accepted meaning of "no government") but there it is.

  • Tony||

    No atheist would deny the existence of a god if that existence were proven. That's just silly.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I'm not an anarchist and I'm not splitting hairs.

    I understand now that you are more of a Huxley-agnostic than a Hume-agnostic. The latter says there can be no certainty about the truth or falsehood of any claim since someone could come a long and make up a different explanation while the former says there is no evidence to prove or disprove specific things. The problem with both versions is that their refusal to discard claims which were based solely on imagination and supported solely by the fact that no one can prove a negative. You do not make any distinction between "improbable claims" and "invalid(or arbitrary) claims". Improbable claims should be treated agnostically. Arbitrary claims should be dismissed outright.

  • ||

    Tony is on fire today... it makes me kind of sad, but hopeful.

    Tony, how can you be so logical on this but be blind to the truth about other things?

  • Tman||

    The atheist simply says that we don't know everything (yet), and is comfortable saying "I don't know."

    No, that's agnosticism. That's what I said in my post.

    Agnosticism: the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable.

    Atheism, in a broad sense, is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. It's concerned with being the asshole at the party that likes to shit on everyone else's beliefs.

  • ||

    An agnostic is an atheist without a dictionary/balls.

    Also, there can be agnostic atheists and agnostic theists.

    They are not mutually exclusive.

  • Tman||

    Look at the words themselves-

    agnostic- "without knowledge"

    atheist- "without god(s)"

    There is a difference.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    The word "agnostic" refers not just to the literal translation of the word but the epistemological views of the philosophic agnosticism. Philosophical movements sometimes pick misleading names for their philosophical content(the Rationalists were not consistently pro-reason). Agnostics did not believe it was proper to dismiss arbitrary claims. But it is proper and the human mind would be constantly crippled with doubt if we did not all do so all the time.

    Atheism, on the other hand, refers solely to the claim of God(s). It says you dismiss it as an arbitrary claim. There would be no need for the word "faith" if it were not true that it was an arbitrary claim. Faith is belief without proof.

  • ||

    Well, since Agnosticsm is much more scientific (unlike atheism which deals in absolutes) I'd say atheism is the belief system that lacks balls. Being an atheist is like saying you know everything about the nature of the universe and all of it's mysteries. Which is highly arrogant.

  • ||

    It means that agnostics are atheists who are afraid to admit that there is nothing.

    However, you can be an agnostic atheist.

    However, and agnostic is also "without a god" since they don't know if they have one. Therefore, they don't have one. They contend one could exist, but they are personally without one. Correct? Yes.

  • Tman||

    It means that agnostics are atheists who are afraid to admit that there is nothing.

    No, it means that agnostics "know" that we have no idea whether it is or isn't indeed "nothing". As I stated above, my interest in Astronomy has opened up my mind to the fact that there is a very hard limit to our scientific understanding of the universe. Black holes and their properties, for instance, are beyond that limit. We don't even know if this is the only universe, never mind the fact that we have an extremely limited understanding of how big our own universe is.

    Atheism is arrogantly incorrect in assuming knowledge it doesn't have.

  • Really? ||

    No, it means that agnostics "know" that we have no idea whether it is or isn't indeed "nothing"

    you have no idea whether invisible unicorns exist! You can't prove they don't!

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "Atheism is arrogantly incorrect in assuming knowledge it doesn't have."

    Nope. An atheist just dismisses the arbitrary assertion by others that there is a God.

  • ||

    No.

    Nor is the atheist 'without a god' if there is a god.

  • Really?||

    I can say, without a doubt, that there is no such thing as unicorns. Or orcs. Does that make me "arrogant", or just not retarded?

  • ||

    +10000

  • Tman||

    Does that make me "arrogant", or just not retarded?

    That makes you "just not retarded". Technically an agnostic would say it's possible for Unicorns to exist, but there is no evidence to support them at all, thus they don't merit discussion time in biology classrooms. It's kinda the same thing when discussing evolution. No one can prove that god(s) DON'T exist, but the discussion doesn't include anything that can be tested from a scientific standpoint therefore it doesn't belong in a science classroom.

    Again, atheism is primarily concerned with proving that god(s) don't exist. Agnostics are primarily concerned with the fact that we not only don't have any evidence for them, but we also have a limited amount of explanations for the source of our own universe, thus the jury is still out, so to speak.

  • ||

    NO NO NO NO NO! YOU CANNOT PROVE A NEGATIVE. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE. The burden of proof is never on the one claiming something doesn't exist. EVER. Those asserting existence, or the possibility of existence, have the burden of proof. Why? FIRST AND FOREMOST BECAUSE IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PROVE A NEGATIVE!

    The jury is no more out than it is for unicorns. There is equal proof for the existence of both. The difference is that the nonexistence of pink unicorns doesn't me that we stop existing totally when we die.

  • Tman||

    YOU CANNOT PROVE A NEGATIVE.

    So why are you an atheist?

  • ||

    Because there is 0 proof that a god exists. 0. None. Zilch. The stories that claim there are are silly myths. There is no reason why one should believe in them but not the myths of Zoroastrianism, or Greek Myths.

    Also, to say one doesn't know why something happens does not mean that one must accept the plausibility of every possible explanation. The absurd explanations, and those without evidence or testability can be discarded without any negative impact.

  • Tman||

    So how do you square these two statements-

    "YOU CANNOT PROVE A NEGATIVE."

    and

    "Because there is 0 proof that a god exists. 0. None. Zilch."

    Do you understand why this is hypocritical?

  • ||

    That is absolutely NOT hypocritical. I think, perhaps, that word does not mean what you think it means.

    It means that the burden of proof is on YOU to provide a reason to possibly believe in anything. In the absence of proof there is no believe. You cannot prove something doesn't exist. But, without evidence that something does exist, you can operate safely under the assumption that it does not.

    There is NO problem with this, for it is logic and what is.

  • Tman||

    Hypocrisy: an unconscious self-contradiction: a state of incongruence between one's professed beliefs and feelings and one's actual beliefs and feelings.

    You are saying two things that are incongruous.

    On the one hand you say that "you cannot prove a negative" such as the idea that God(s) DON'T exist. You cannot prove that god(s) DON'T exist. And this I agree with. I haven't seen any evidence that they do, and those that purport to show said evidence haven't convinced my that the evidence in question is at all scientifically testable.

    BUT.

    You also say that "there is 0 proof that a god exists." This may well be the case, that yes indeed, there is no evidence that god exists. BUT YOU CANNOT PROVE IT. You cannot possibly prove that we will never find evidence that God(s) exist. This is the arrogance that bugs the shit out of me about atheism.

    There is a more logical train of thought that says that some things are most likely "unknowable" and therefore trying to prove them one way or the other is pointless.

    That's called agnosticism.

  • ||

    You must just not be able to get it. The fact that you cannot prove it means that there is no rational reason to believe in it.

    As far as not being able to prove that no evidence exists... the lack of evidence we have is what we must go on... also, you seem to be asserting that the burden of proof is on the party claiming there is no proof. The skeptic is not required to prove that the believer has no proof. You do see the problem with requiring that, right?

    If there is ever new evidence, one can reassess their position. This is not hypocrisy.

  • Tman||

    The fact that you cannot prove it means that there is no rational reason to believe in it.

    Agreed, but when speaking about things such as the origins of our universe, I maintain that the answers to these questions may be beyond our ability to understand them, or "unknowable".

    As far as not being able to prove that no evidence exists... the lack of evidence we have is what we must go on...

    In order to do what? To arrogantly claim that we "know" the answer? That's not good enough for me. I'm far more skeptical than that.

    you seem to be asserting that the burden of proof is on the party claiming there is no proof.

    If you are claiming that there is ABSOLUTELY ZERO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER in god(s) then yes, I would agree that to this point there has not been any evidence to speak of.

    The skeptic is not required to prove that the believer has no proof.

    No, the skeptic requires proof that withstands scientific scrutiny. And a true skeptic would realize that the subject in question may consist of evidence that we as human beings are physically incapable of understanding, therefore we cannot state in absolutes about the answer.

    Is that making any sense?

  • ||

    But absolutely, without any doubt, that for which there is no proof should not be considered unknowable, but instead should be considered wrong.

    There is absolutely no proof that flies can mate with cockroaches. However, your claim must be- to be logically consistent- that since we cannot prove that it cannot happen (we can only show that we have no proof that it CAN happen) we must forever condemn ourselves to saying that it is unknowable and never state the absolute fact that flies cannot mate with roaches. To you, I assume based on your previous stance, that this statement MUST be the type of arrogance that you deplore.

    Also, you are stating that before being able to state such a thing categorically and with authority I must do the impossible and provide proof that the mating cannot happen- instead of knowing this based on the lack of evidence that it could happen.

    This position is, at best, silly and, at worst, willfully ignorant.

  • Tman||

    You keep twisting what I'm saying by making analogies that distort my point.

    This-"There is absolutely no proof that flies can mate with cockroaches." is scientifically testable. Therefore I can examine the theory and disprove it based on the available biological evidence. I can also exclude the possibility that unless there is a major evolutionary change in the anatomy of either insect, they will remain "un-matable" for the forseeable future.

    When you go from a question that includes scientifically testable evidence to another question that at this time does not have scientifically testable evidence you are changing the terms of our debate.

    For instance, there is the question of the "Cosmological Constant"-

    In physical cosmology, the cosmological constant (usually denoted by the Greek capital letter lambda: Λ) was proposed by Albert Einstein as a modification of his original theory of general relativity to achieve a stationary universe. Einstein abandoned the concept after the observation of the Hubble redshift indicated that the universe might not be stationary, as he had based his theory on the idea that the universe is unchanging.[1] However, the discovery of cosmic acceleration in the 1990s has renewed interest in a cosmological constant.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki.....nt_problem

    At this time we do not possess the technology to scientifically test many of the theories associated with the cosmological constant, therefore it's impossible to prove the answers one way or the other. One day perhaps we will possess said technology but until then the answer is "unknowable".

    That's the same with the question of whether or not God exists. We don't currently possess the technology to test this theory scientifically, therefore it is "unknowable".

  • ||

    Again you are wrong. You cannot PROVE THAT IT CAN NEVER HAPPEN. You only have lack of proof that it has never happened and is unable to be reproduced. Therefore we accept this as knowledge that the mating cannot occur.

    The same is true for the existence of a god- only without your acceptance.

    the basic premise is that one can NEVER prove a negative. However, in the absence of proof of a positive, one is not expected to say "I don't know". Istead they can say it is not.

  • crossofcrimson||

    "But absolutely, without any doubt, that for which there is no proof should not be considered unknowable, but instead should be considered wrong."

    Or...simply unknown.

    Hence, agnosticism.

  • Tman||

    Apparently Spencer is now arguing with himself, so whatever.

    Nice discussion though.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Atheists don't, for the most part, believe that a negative has been proved. They just don't recognize a that any valid claim has been made. Agnostics recognize a valid claim but disagree on how likely it is that the claim is true.

  • Barack Obama||

    There are too unicorns.

  • Biden||

    The word is spelled two, Chief, not too.

  • ||

    Agreed. Either you believe in God, or you don't. Agnosticism is not a third option, it simply means that the nature of God is unknowable.

  • crossofcrimson||

    Unknown != Unknowable

    For instance, before you have the knowledge you must acquire to test any real hypothesis regarding it, you could believe that heliocentrism is in fact reality, believe that it is in fact not reality, or defer to not being sure as your knowledge about it is insufficient.

    Of course, some claim that you can be both atheist and agnostic - that you can "believe" there is no God while deferring to not knowing for sure. But passing from estimations and guesses (educated as they may be) into belief and faith is something many aren't fond of doing. The label of agnosticism works for them.

  • Paul||

    The atheist simply says that we don't know everything (yet), and is comfortable saying "I don't know."

    Doesn't this describe Tman's agnosticism?

  • Tony||

    Yes, but atheism is the more consistent outlook. Are people agnostic about the existence of leprechauns? If not, then there's no reason to be agnostic about a deity.

  • Tman||

    atheism is the more consistent outlook

    Unsurprisingly, Tony perfectly exemplifies the arrogance associated with atheism. Consistency isn't the issue, the issue is the absolute limit of our knowledge. Yes, our knowledge allows us to exclude the existence of leprechauns since there is no evidence for them, but once you get in to a cosmological discussion about say, the origins of our universe, you have a very limited amount of evidence in which to present your case. This is where agnostics stop. Atheists continue to remain arrogant in stating that "they know" how it happened and "it definitely wasn't that dude in the clouds".

    I don't think it's the dude in the clouds either, but the amount of unexplained phenomena in the universe humbles me to the point that I am comfortable with the idea that some of these things may indeed be "unknowable".

  • ||

    but one can admit they may be unknowable while still asserting that they were not manufactured by a god.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "but the amount of unexplained phenomena in the universe humbles me to the point that I am comfortable with the idea that some of these things may indeed be 'unknowable'."

    But you're not comfortable with the idea of some things being unknowable. You fill those gaps right up.

  • crossofcrimson||

    "Yes, but atheism is the more consistent outlook. Are people agnostic about the existence of leprechauns? If not, then there's no reason to be agnostic about a deity."

    Since I'm a glutton for punishment, I'll bite.

    You can't "prove" that there are no leprechauns. No one has proven that there are leprechauns.

    Therefore:

    I have no "belief/faith" that there are no leprechauns. I also have no "belief/faith" that there are leprechauns.

    Not having a belief that there are no leprechauns != Having a belief in leprechauns.

    This goes for faeries, pink unicorns, the flying spaghetti monster, and everything else under the sun wherein evidence of which has not graced my mental periphery.

    Indeed, this isn't the standard way most people view things. My view is marginal. But I have it nonetheless. And I think agnostics are victim to (not in the literal sense) a lot of anger from vehemently atheist circles.

  • ||

    Yep, just lots of hand-waving. And evidence is coming in that they are just plain wrong. Read Journey of Souls.

  • ||

    See, and antitheist would tell you that you are a fucking moron for believe in that stupid shit.

    As an atheist, however, I will only think and it and nod politely.

  • ||

    You have no idea what I do or do not believe. Go ahead and keep your brain on idle. Whatever you do, do not take up my reading suggestion, just hold on to your own dogma for dear life. Your close-mindedness is on par with that of the AGW crowd.

  • ||

    I know that book, and have read it. It was bullshit. I wasn't saying you believed it to be true, but your post most certainly intimated it.

    Also, is it closed minded to think that 1+1 does not equal 3, no matter how many people tell you that is does if you only believed and looked at the testimonies of people who have had experiences where they have seen 1+1 = 3? I don't think so.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    +billions and billions

    Love, Carl Sagan

  • Trespassers W||

    I disagree with this, but at least it's an attempt to explain it.

    The universe was vomited forth from the third head of a rainbow snake. Do I get credit for an attempted explanation?

  • Tman||

    Yes. It's not a particularly good story, and it's completely unscientific, but it's better than saying "it's nothing!!!"

  • ||

    Well,

    Given the impossibility of proving a negative, it is equally as likely and scientific as any other thesitic theory.

    However, the burden of proof tends to lie upon those who claim something exists and not those who claim it does not.

  • Really? ||

    Yes. It's not a particularly good story, and it's completely unscientific, but it's better than saying "it's nothing!!!

    I do not say "it's nothing". I say "it is". You fall into the fallacy that the existence of something requires an explanation. The Universe is what it is.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Would it be a good story and become scientific if lots of people believed it? I really don't see how one arbitrary claim is more scientifically valid than another unless you think public approval creates scientific truth.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No, Tman, an atheist like myself says that we don't know how the universe came to be but some eternal entity existing seems extremely unlikely and is not supported by evidence any more than the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I take no pleasure in saying that you've been bested by Tony.

  • Tman||

    Again, as I said above to Spencer,

    Look at the words themselves-

    agnostic- "without knowledge"

    atheist- "without god(s)"

    There is a difference.

    I'm not afraid of being bested by Tony, but as usual he's wrong.

  • ||

    Please see comment above.

  • Typical Agnostic||

    Like, hey man, if you aren't like, agnostic, then you're just as religious as like, those other theists. Being "without knowledge" is the TOTALLY ENLIGHTENED way to be, man.

  • the beat child||

    Like, hey man, you're like, really a beatnik. Like, right, man?

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Again, the word atheist was made for this discussion. The word agnostic refers to an entire philosophy not just the floating divorced definition of the word. Agnositicism means you can't know anything and you can't dismiss anything either which means science is altogether silly and pointless.

  • ||

    Saying 'seems extremely unlikely' leaves you in the realm of knowledge--saying 'there is no god'--moves you to the realm of faith.

  • ||

    Unless the odds are at 0.00000000000001%. Then the difference is mere semantics. If you said there was 0.00000000000001% of poo in the air, then you could say that there was no poo in the air and not be torn apart.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    It doesn't take faith to dismiss an arbitrary claim. It takes faith to grant validity, even the small amount of validity required to say "Not sure, Maybe" to a claim without the support of evidence. Atheists just say there is no reason to treat it as a valid claim.

  • blubi||

    I define myself as an atheist because I do not believe in God (an allpowerful being), if he were I would have to conclude he was a bastard.
    Agnosticism means you are ambivalent on God´s existence.

    I agree there are many "activist atheists" who carry their atheism with a badge of smugness, just don´t band us all together.

  • Rob||

    SE Cupp isn't a militant athiest, which is why I like her. Wait, I only like her because she is a total piece of ass.

  • Brett L||

    "In late middle age, she became enamored of a much younger man and made up her mind to have an affair with him, having duly informed her husband and the younger man's wife in advance."

    The Passion of Ayn Rand is one of the most uncomfortable movies I've ever seen. Featuring a young Eric Stolz as the target of the affair. Bonus fun when he takes up his own affair and gets cast out from Rand's inner circle a la Lucifer from Heaven.

  • Anomalous||

    She told Branden - to my bedchamber, go.

  • Cytotoxic||

    +11111

  • ||

    I think I'd prefer a gas chamber.

  • .||

    You have to wonder about Branden. His own wife, Barbara, was alot hotter-looking than Rand in those days, and yet he was willing to give her the heave ho to fuck some broad old enough to be his mother?

  • Brett L||

    If she was half as hot as the chick who played her in the movie, yeah. I had a hard time suspending my disbelief.

  • Scooby||

    She's got Buscemeyes without any photoshopping!

  • Why Do People Hate Her?||

    Because of that hat.

  • rather||

    because she hated herself

  • ||

    for wearing that hat.

  • Ancap||

    lol

  • Tony||

    The Chambers review is not a smear--it's a classic.

  • Cytotoxic||

    It's a classic smear.

  • ||

    Ooh, doesn't Einstein Bros have one of those?

  • ||

    Ooh, doesn't Einstein Bros have one of those?

  • rather||

    stay away from the bagels!

  • ||

    can we trade for kolaches?

  • rather||

    Hell no, unbuttered popcorn on Friday too

  • .||

    Chambers was a communist. A reformed communist you say? What's that - like a neo-con?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Rand wrote "Obituary for Conservatism" in the early '80s. Goddamn visionary as she always was.

  • mike||

    One of the 'contributors' on Redstate yesterday went to great lengths to diss Rand and included lengthy quotes from Chambers. I wouldn't say that Rand is accepted let alone embraced by conservatives. Maybe that's a good thing though as I'd rather see what passes for 'conservatives' and 'republican' (at least their ideal of one) die a painful death. That will hopefully come when our orator in chief is re-elected.

  • ||

    More of this stupid cunt--Jesus, are you guys ever going to stop? You can't live in the freshman dorm forever, you know.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    We can't all be as sophomoric as you, apparently.

  • ||

    If you ever move up to sophomore, call us. Now back to Rand and your comic books.

  • Hobie Hanson||

    +1

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