Ayn Rand, Night Terrors & the Mechanistic View of Life
The following News Report stating the possible recognition by the the U.N. giving “Mother Earth” the same rights as human beings requires a post describing what may be at the core of the philosophical differences between Libertarian minded Americans and those from the progressive side of the aisle. This is a Question we have researched before. And the following article we have linked below requires some deeper study.
There are two primary philosophical views of nature held by Theists and Atheists alike, and interestingly the views do not cleanly line up on whether one believes in God or not. These two primary views are: Mechanistic (the view that our earth and nature have design and purpose) vs Organismic (the view that the earth is a living organism – albeit an evolving one). These two views just happen to be core beliefs that generally separate humanity along political and philosophical lines.
I first became clearly aware of these two opposing views while reading Microcosmos by one of my favorite science authors Lynn Margulis (she is a champion for “organismic” philosophy). only to reach the conclusion that my own un-researched belief’s of this planets purpose and nature – seemed to be at odds with her. I further researched these views with an open mind (I was a proud agnostic at the time) from both theological and scientific materials which lead me to the realization that I had discovered nothing new. I had simply stumbled upon one of the Crux’s that divides humanity into opposing philosophical, religious and political affiliations. My new found view of a “mechanistic” planet and nature had actually been instilled in me at a very early age.
Night Terrors – A supernatural condition?
I was somewhat cognizant of the mechanistic view of nature and our planet from the early age of 6. You see, I suffered as a child from a sleep disorder called “Night Terrors”, a condition where a child’s brain waves reach a low flat lined state, which for all intensive purposes is the equivalent of our CPU being turned off. But something rather miraculous happens to children suffering from this disorder – they have an ability to actually get up and start walking around and functioning while in this flat-lined brain “state” An often frightening and anxious filled experience. Imagine a child waking up and functioning on pure “Intuition”, it is not your physical mind that guides you to your parents room, or take control of your senses! These kids are running on pure “Intuition”. These perceptive and intuitive children* are somehow capable of functioning, walking and talking during a brain state which is equated with the “deepest” possible sleep. Scientifically this should not be possible.
Each time I woke up in this state, (quite often from the ages of 5 – 12) I would find my way to my parents room and tell them in a distressed and nervous tone what was scaring the hell out of me, it was not monsters or snakes etc. What was most frightening to me was the simple realization that “The earth was a Machine, The earth is a machine! – it’s not what you think, it’s a perfect running machine” -I would repeat over and over. (Why would a 6 or 7 year old worry about earth mechanics?) Like most events from childhood I put them behind me until I began research into the organismic world view. Research that eventually would lead me to a Judeo-Christian philosophical decision. I was relieved that my 10 years of parochial schooling was not a complete waste of time and money! All those nuns and priests had been correctly pointing me towards a “mechanistic” world view agreed to by all Orthodox Christians & Jews.
*(I ran several polls nearly 12 years ago on the early web and quantified one of my early hunches – Night Terror children were overwhelmingly intuitive and perceptive in their temperaments)
Ayn Rand, the control of nature vs the control of man
To my friends who respect Ayn Rand’s works as I do, and wonder how Christians like myself or Glenn Beck for that matter can be philosophically in line with her without being “atheists” or at the minimum “agnostics’, the topic of mechanistic vs organismic is key. Though Rand agreed with the mechanistic view of nature she perplexedly discounted and minimized any designer? Ironically not giving the creator of the universe the respect her lead character of the Fountainhead demands in the final courtroom speech we have posted below! If only she would have applied her own lengthy opus in Howard Roark’s final court room speech to this topic, she would have realized Roark was simply echoing our own history and “Gods” own words from the bible. From the destruction of his “creation” because of it not being used as he intended, to his commandments for us to control nature – and libertarian principles of not to control each other as progressives are so intent on mastering. Both God & Roark talk of a physical and spiritual battle between the creators and the parasites. This control of Nature vs the control of humans is a parallel topic that sits side by side with the mechanistic vs organismic philosophical and political world views
This Speech by Rourk of his view of a “Rational Moral Law’ in the courtroom or more properly (Ayn Rand’s views – The quintessential INTx – architect/mastermind) appropriately parallels much of what “God” actually speaks to us about in the pages of the ancient scriptures. Scriptures Jews refer to as the Torah “Law” and Christians as the Old Testament books of the Law. We have posted a complimentary research paper here focusing on a “Biblical” parallel of Rourk’s speech showing the nearly perfect mirroring of the ancient scriptures. (Rand, a highly introspective rational had a god given nature so in tune with the creator of the universe, so inward that she was blind to his external creation. And yet she wrote extensive dialog and non fiction that consistantly mirrored God’s self evident handiwork.
Though I had read the fountainhead at the age 13, and made the decision to study architecture – I did not cognitively remember this speech from the book which Cooper so wonderfully performs on one take. That is why a few weeks back as I was sitting on our property overlooking a 5 acre hillside of distressed avocado trees and designing systems (in my mind) for the control of nature to best make use of this tiny chunk of earth. I realized that though I am a non-judgmental person I am paradoxically a “control” freak – not of persons but of nature. controlling the resources this earth has wonderfully provided for us, water, sun, soil and “SOULS”. In order to be as productive as possible with this gift. I also thought of my good friends on the progressive side of the aisle many whom are not “judgmental” themselves to realize that they all shared an underlying need to control “people”. It was a eureka moment which lasted only till I accidentally came upon this speech by Howard Roark showing Ayn Rand had discovered this long ago. Ecclesiastes 1:9 “there is nothing new under the sun” rings so true. Libertarians on the right do wish to control nature and bring liberty to the “Individual”. Libertarians on the left wish to give Liberty to “mother earth” which can only be done by controlling humanity. Which choice is truly moral? Which choice is commanded in the bible? Which philosophy do you choose………