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Matthew , what I find most fascinating about those Randinalia is how they reveal her irrationality. Her responses are not even remotely tracking the actual content of Lewis’ argument; they’re more like conditioned reflexes than reasoning. It’s clear that she perceives how Lewis’ argument is a deadly threat to all she holds dear (Victor Reppert called it ” C.S. Lewis’ Dangerous Idea ”). This perception cannot possibly be irrelevant to the fact that she so willfully misconstrues what he says, distorting it out of all recognition in her own mind. It’s the argumentative equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and shouting, “la la la, can’t hear you!”

Even on the points where Lewis’ argument is weakest (such as his association of modern science with demonology ), in her eagerness to make Lewis out to be a fiend Rand throws away all the really useful argumentative weapons she might have deployed against him. If she had only had the self-discipline to track his argument accurately, she could have demolished it. It reminds me of a line from Pascal: The habitual liar cannot tell the truth even when doing so would be to his advantage.

The title of your post was well chosen. She didn’t hate the argument because she thought it was false; she thought it was false because she hated it. Alas, this was all too characteristic.

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