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New Ideal - Reason | Individualism | Capitalism

Ayn Rand’s Repudiation of Original Sin

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer and Ricardo Pinto discuss Ayn Rand’s devastating critique of the idea of original sin. They explore how the notion has been understood historically, the philosophical and political uses to which it has been put, and the arguments Rand gives for regarding it as a destructive affront to morality and self-esteem.

Among the topics covered:

  • What original sin is and how it compares to other views;
  • Why Ayn Rand saw the doctrine as an offense to the very concept of morality;
  • Original sin’s “explanation” of why the individual is guilty of another’s actions;
  • Original sin as incompatible with free will;
  • The conservative justification of capitalism on original sin;
  • Original sin as a premise of the “secular” left;
  • How original sin rests on an antipathy to the body;
  • The assault on intellectual pride;
  • The mutual reinforcement between altruism and original sin;
  • The deepest psychological motives behind original sin.

Recommended in this podcast are the Ayn Rand Lexicon’s entry on original sin, Rand’s “Conservatism: An Obituary” and “Moral Inflation,” and Ben Bayer’s “The Old Morality of the New Religions.”

The podcast was recorded on September 5. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

Podcast audio:


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Ricardo Pinto

Ricardo Pinto, BA in philosophy, is a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

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