Do not hide behind the cowardly evasion that man is born with free will, but with a “tendency” to evil. A free will saddled with a tendency is like a game with loaded dice. It forces man to struggle through the effort of playing, to bear responsibility and pay for the game, but the decision is weighted in favor of a tendency that he had no power to escape. If the tendency is of his choice, he cannot possess it at birth; if it is not of his choice, his will is not free.
For nearly two-thousand years, men of thought, under the influence of Plato and Aristotle, attempted to determine matters of fact with rationalistic arguments like the one Rand provides above. It's the method Plato used to assert that the orbits of planets were circular; it was the method Hegel used to assert that the solar system can feature only seven planets; it was the method behind the practice of bleeding people when they were sick; it is the method that Augustine used to deny the existence of antipodes: it is a method that has been thoroughly discredited by modern science. Matters of fact simply cannot be determined in this way. No credible scientist would ever be taken seriously if he tried to establish some controversial matter of fact using the method Rand resorts to above.
Argument 2: I'm not aware that Rand ever made this argument, but it has been made by some of her followers, and it is based on Randian constructs:
- Premise 1: A tendency to behave in a certain way is ultimately an automated value judgment
- Premise 2: Value judgments are ideas
- Premise 3: Innate ideas are impossible
- Premise 4: An innate tendency would be an innate idea
- Conclusion: Innate tendencies are impossible
The problem with this argument (besides its excessive rationalism) is that the first three premises involve controversial assertions about matters of fact which can only be settled by a detailed (meaning: scientific) examination of the relevant facts. If Rand and her followers want to be taken seriously on these points, they must (1) provide detailed evidence that there assertions are true; and (2) they must explain why the evidence provided on the opposite side of the issue by geneticists and evolutionary biologists is either irrelevant or false. Until Objectivists get around to doing this, no rational person need take their assertions on these matters seriously.