George Smith: The Good, the Bad, and the Puritans


George Smith (1949-2022) was a learned and extraordinarily charismatic autodidact. A wunderkind, or close to it, Smith published his most famous book, *Atheism: The Case Against God* when he was only 25.  He once bragged that he dropped out of high school to start college, dropped out of college to start a Ph.D., and then dropped out his Ph.D. program to become one of the most beloved Liberty and Society speakers for the Institute for Humane Studies.  This lecture, delivered around 1990, promotes *Atheism, Ayn Rand, and Other Heresies*, a book of essays. The intro is R-rated, but the body of the talk is a deep – and deeply-entertaining – intellectual history of the ethics and psychology of puritanism.

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