In this lecture on the 1968
papal encyclical Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life), Ayn Rand discusses the
meaning of the Catholic Church’s admonition against the use of contraception
and the view of sex that it implies. She contrasts this religious perspective
on sex with the Objectivist view, drawing out the relationships between love,
sex, self-esteem and happiness.
Analyzing the split between
the “conservatives” and the “liberals” in the church over alleged
contradictions between this encyclical and an earlier one, Populorum Progressio (The
Development of Peoples), Rand points to the deeper philosophical parallel
between the two and argues that they are in fact perfectly consistent in their
philosophical premises and intended effects.
This lecture was delivered in
Boston on December 8, 1968 at the Ford Hall Forum—which, founded in
1908, is America’s oldest continuously-operating public lecture series. A print version appeared in the September–November
1968 issue of Rand’s magazine The
Objectivist and was later anthologized in The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought, edited by Dr.
In the question period, Rand discusses such diverse topics
as: romantic love and monogamy, laws against homosexuality and bigamy, the
celibacy of priests in the Catholic Church, the role of government in marriage,
the legality of suicide and euthanasia, government control of drugs, and the
proper motives for a person entering the medical profession.
(MP3 download; 1 hr., 51 min., with Q & A, 79.37 MB)The description of this product was written and/or
edited by ARI staff.