Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed

“Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed” is one of Ayn Rand’s essential dictums. But did she mean to imply Leonard Peikoff’s view transcribed below?

Is it proper for a doctor to perform a sex-change operation for a patient?

Now here I say absolutely no. Unequivocally. I regard the desire of any individual who is formed already—not a hermaphrodite but who is formed already as one sex—to say, “Nature has made a mistake. I am really the opposite gender and I have to operate to fix Nature’s mistake and give myself the right body.”—I believe that that is an arch-example of a whim over reality. The definition of male and female is biological. So to say I know more than the biological, I feel, regardless of fact is … it’s more, though, than an evasion of reality, it is a war against reality. It is a way of saying, reality gives me this and I am going to smash it and turn it into something else.

I’ll give you an analogy. I mean it’s just as bad … no, it’s not as bad, because cutting off your genitals is the worst. I mean, you know, you can weigh which is worse, that or scooping out your brain, it’s a hard call.

But, suppose a person were to say, I was really intended to have no fingers. They feel alien to me and funny when I move them and I want to get back to what I really am which is, you know, a non-fingered person, and therefore I want them amputated. And then imagine that this person goes to a doctor and the doctor says, “Oh, fine, you know, ten more and then we just hand the Medicare form in.”

That is totally corrupted, the doctors who perform those operations, in my opinion, are corrupt, without qualification. I put them in the same category as the doctors in the Nazi concentration camps who took out perfectly healthy organs simply as an exercise in their skill, completely independent of the validity or the value or the morality of what they were doing. (… I’ll let that go, but you get my drift, I’m sure.)


Peter Jackson demonstrates how to scoop out brains in this clip from the movie Bad Taste.
(At approx 12:02.)

But, suppose a person were to say, “I was really intended to have no fingers. They feel alien to me and funny when I move them and I want to get back to what I really am which is, you know, a non-fingered person, and therefore I want them amputated.”

It may come as a surprise (it surprised me), but people really do say exactly this. They have a disorder called Body Integrity Identity Disorder. Leonard Peikoff take note.

See also Lindsay Perigo’s Man Qua Woman.

[Cross-posted to SOLO.]

This entry was posted in Ayn Rand. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed

  1. Mark.V. says:

    People who have the disorder Body Integrity Identity Disorder are mentally ill, they need psychiatry not surgery. I agree with Peikoff, Doctors who perform surgery on these people are corrupt. Do you disagree?

  2. Richard says:

    Mark, the Wikipedia article I linked to says, “Today, no surgeons will treat BIID patients by performing the desired amputations.” So, in practice, there are no “doctors who perform those operations.” In theory, I don’t know what to think. And all I can think of to say is that BIID is bizarre beyond belief.

    As for sex-change operations, I think I agree with Perigo … and with Jesus

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *