Objectivism and Theism:
A Reply to Nathaniel Branden’s Lecture “The Concept of God”
(Audio Lecture in Four Tracks, 168 minutes)
(Originally produced by Audio Forum, 1975)

James Kiefer re-presents his argument for the existence of God from Objectivist principles.

Readers who are interested in sources for his positive argument may read about them here.

Included in his notes for revision of his argument (apparently in preparation for publication as a book) was a transcript of Nathaniel Branden’s lecture on the existence of God made “by special permission of the author.” The dot-matrix print-out contains an explicit claim that the transcript is “not for mass reproduction or commercial use.” Its purpose seems to have been to make it possible for James to refer to numbered lines of the lecture while he was working.

Since James was writing, Branden’s work in this area has become more generally available. The argument for the existence free will — on which Kiefer draws heavily and which he quotes — may be found in Nathaniel Branden, The Psychology of Self-Esteem, chapter 4, section 3, and The Vision of Ayn Rand, chapter 5. An excerpt from Branden’s lecture — containing the essential argument for free will — is available on YouTube. The complete lecture 4 (“The Concept of God”) is available from the Atlas Society, also on YouTube). [These videos were not available when many of the Notes for Revision (q.v.) were prepared for this website, and so are often not cited in places where a citation would have been appropriate.] See also R.A. Childs, “The Epistemological Basis of Anarchism,” Note 19.

The sound quality of this digital version of the Audio Forum tapes, despite their age and despite having been made in a closed, but not sound-proofed, room, is easily equal to that of modern audio files one can hear elsewhere on the Internet. This we owe to the skill of the manager and sound engineer of Audio Forum, Stephen J. Ganslen.

It should be mentioned that the four track divisions from the original talk do not correspond to the (three) divisions into which Kiefer divided the original text for the transcript. There is a single transcript for the entire lecture and for the separate parts. The single (large) HTML page is coded in such a way that links connect both to the three divisions and to the four audio track divisions.

Henry Veatch’s review of the original audio cassettes for Libertarian Review may be read here.

If your browser fails to display the audio controls properly, go to this page. It is also the page which will yield the best results for those who wish to download the .mp3 files.

Once again, I express my very great thanks to Steve Thompson, without whose assistance the preparation of the transcript for this lecture very easily might not yet have seen the light of day.


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Texts throughout this section are copyright 2008 by James E. Kiefer, printed by permission of his estate.
Formatting, transcription, and other material (where noted) are copyright © 2001–2020 Ronald N. Neff, d/b/a Thornwalker.com

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