TOS Blog: Daily Commentary from an Objectivist Perspective

Ayn Rand: America’s Comeback Philosopher—Video

Here’s a video of a speech I gave at Liberty on the Rocks in Lafayette, CO last Monday. Enjoy!

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Posted in: Ayn Rand and Objectivism

Comments are welcome so long as they are civil.
  • Hugh Myers

    ‘terrific presentation. It’s not often that capable and prolific authors are also capable presenters. I think Craig has identified the conservatives’ Achilles Heel. The good news: we can “armor up” and win. See also the article upon which his presentation is based in the current issue of TOS. Highly recommended!

  • Anonymous

    I would go so far as to say that Craig, generically speaking, is the left’s worst nightmare and the right’s only savior! There’s a lot here to like in this video, and it really only scratches the surface.

    My only criticism (constructive) has to do with the discussion in the video of the universe as a metaphysical given. It certainly is, but when pressed by so-called scientific Christians on issues of cosmology this idea of a point of singularity from which the universe expanded is flawed if simply left without further clarification. If one gives in, or gives up, on this point (not suggesting Craig did, but it was not his strongest point), one opens themselves up however marginally to criticism. Rand’s philosophy stands on five pillars: metaphysics, epistemology ethics, politics, and aesthetics. I would argue they all must be robustly defended, particularly metaphysics.

    Fact is that cutting edge astrophysicists and cosmologists simply do not have a complete working knowledge of this very issue, so for philosophers to deal with it precisely doesn’t really pay any dividends because one gets lost in the uncertainty of any one specific cosmological explanation. Having said that, the idea that the universe has always been (and always will be) is beyond compelling in my opinion, and must be defended.

    For example, there are cosmologists who suspect that while there is plenty of evidence that our observable universe has clear signs of expansion, and that if one runs the thought experiment in reverse you get to a point of singularity (infinitely dense, infinitely small), that this doesn’t preclude the possibility that the universe had gone through that very same cycle infinite times previously – almost like respiration. Thus, a very plausible and straightforward response to those who only seem to grab the singularity and stop right there holding it as proof of some supernatural entity behind the singularity.

    The proper argument in my humble estimation regarding metaphysics and the universe is simply that it stands presently, based upon all the measurable and observable data we have (which increases daily), that it is simply unproven (and likely unprovable) that the universe has NOT always existed. That there is simply no hard information to even suggest any other explanation, and therefore the universe doesn’t need an explanation (exploration, of course).

    If physicists point to big bang theories and points of singularity, so be it – such does not, in and of itself, point to any reason why the universe needs an fundamental explanation. Nor does it preclude other parallel universes to our own, or prior expansions and contractions. All important parts of our understanding of the universe and its mechanics, but in no way implies any requirement to explain it. Therefore, suggestions that a supreme entity was at work creating something out of nothing (including itself, presumably) can be, and ought to be, dismissed out of hand.