Two simple questions (requesting simple answers from each of you) ...

Posted by Joy1inchrist 6 years, 5 months ago to Ask the Gulch
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Were you a Christian before being introduced to the philosophy of Ayn Rand? 2. Are you a Christian now?


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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 5 months ago
    No and no. And to answer your challenge to prove that the sun will rise tomorrow:
    F = G (mM/r^2)
    F = m * dr/dv = m* d^2r/dt^2
    therefore
    m dv/dt = G (mM)/r^2

    etc.
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  • Posted by $ Thoritsu 6 years, 5 months ago
    No
    2. No

    However, I was raised as a baptist/methodist, and as a boy I was a christian. I was married in a catholic ceremony, and promised to educate my kids as catholics, although agnostic by then. My first wife (yes the catholic) divorced me. I transitioned from agnostic to atheist, which was really just being decisive. My kids have watched, learned and figured out the fairy tale as well. They are both athiests, much to the chagrin of their grandmother.

    Ayn did not change my mind on religion, but I am tremendously pleased she arrived at the same conclusion I did.
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    • Posted by $ nickursis 6 years, 5 months ago
      Thoritsu, amazing how a Catholic can dispense with dogma when convenient, in that divorce is not sanctioned (as far as I know), and my wife and I could not get married due to her being divorced ( and not being Catholic). I was raised Catholic and gave it up as a bad job before even learning to think in a rational manner, as so much of it is in conflict with itself.It mirrors exactly the state of our laws in the country, when so many have added their little bit to the insanity so that almost all law is meaningless and unenforceable. Let alone all the holes in the stories that are used to justify the magic...
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  • Posted by ohiocrossroads 6 years, 5 months ago
    Yes. But I was always uncomfortable with concept of "fearing God". If he loves us, why should we fear him? No matter how you slice it, faith means belief without proof.
    No.
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    • -1
      Posted by woodlema 6 years, 5 months ago
      Your answer about "Fearing God" is interesting. I wrote a long paper on this concept, and the "Fear" that is used in the Bible is the same fear when you say, I am afraid of my Dad. Not Fear per say terrified, but fear of disappointing him because of the expectations.

      My worse punishment I think I ever received was from my Grandfather whom I loved dearly. I do not even remember what I did, but I never forget the look of disappointment I got from him. I feared that look, and the internal feeling I had knowing I did not live up to his expectations.

      That "Fear" references is a healthy fear, similar to the fear of jumping off a bridge with no parachute, or the fear you have of doing something risky that causes you to stay safe or not take excessive risks.

      I am currently working on the roof of my shed, and have fear of falling off the roof. That healthy fear forces me to be extra cautious so I do not make a mistake.
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      • Posted by $ nickursis 6 years, 5 months ago
        Uh, woodlema, I would opt for the safety harness, and skip the faith thing...I think that may be the point some are making. All the faith in the world will not help on the way down.
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    • -2
      Posted by woodlema 6 years, 5 months ago
      I disagree with your definition of Faith being belief without proof.

      If I ask you to "PROVE" the sun will rise in the morning, You cannot PROVE it will happen, but you can refer to the millions of years in the past and you have FAITH it will because of previous observance.

      I have a train that crosses Rt 55 every morning at 5:30 and has done so for the past ten years EVERY morning. I cannot prove it will tomorrow but I have faith it will. THAT is what Faith is in the Bible.


      Also fearing God is not a bad fear in the way you might be terrified or fearful of say, Hitler.

      The fear referred to in the Bible is more like the healthy fear you would have of disappointing you dad. Or, like I am currently replacing the roof of my tool shed. I have a healthy fear of falling off, so I am extra cautious how and where I step so I do not make a mistake and fall off.
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      • Posted by VetteGuy 6 years, 5 months ago
        Hi woodlema,
        I've been following your posts with interest. In the case above, however, I think you may have proved OCR's point about Faith. In both of your examples, there is no Proof, only Belief based on evidence. Some may have seen different evidence (in the case of the train, perhaps a notice that the track is undergoing repair and will be out of service) or followed a different line of reasoning, and therefore come to a different conclusion.

        I know people who claim to have experienced medical miracles, and therefore have a strong faith in God. Proof? No, the healing COULD have been coincidental, spontaneous, or a wrong initial diagnosis. But to the person experiencing the healing, it is seen as very strong evidence indeed.

        respectfully,
        VG
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        • Posted by ewv 6 years, 5 months ago
          It is more than a matter of claiming isolated evidence. Religious beliefs are conceptually incoherent and have no explanatory value. Faith is the diametric opposite of reason and rational thought, and in particular to Ayn Rand's philosophy.
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        • -2
          Posted by woodlema 6 years, 5 months ago
          VetteGuy,

          Thank you for your comment. Here is where the difference is, and this is where many differ. I personally do believe that the Bible is the Word of God. Having said that, I also believe the accounts as written are accurate, for example the parting of the Red Sea, the Plagues of Egypt, the fall of the Walls of Jericho, and all of the other accounts in the Bible, but that were also recorded by secular historians like Flavious Josephus.

          Neither you or I were around 3,000 years ago, however the accounts of Hailey's Comet have been recorded by people we never met who some might argu never really existed and their writings were mis translated through time, however, WE have seen Haley's comet and KNOW is will come around every 76 years, and has been recorded as such for many centuries.

          As I have posted, I observed the PERFECT mathematical precision, and timing of all things universal, from the rotation of each planet around our Solar System, to the specific angle of tilt the earth has that allows for life to actually exist. 10' either way in rotation and we would fly off into space or crash into the sun.

          I could write a 10,000 page dissertation on all the things that are perfectly positioned just for life to exist on Earth that, based on all I have studied, cannot attribute to a "Big Bang" but to God, or Intelligent Design, or Creation by Giant Green Men, but certainly not by accident in any way shape or form.

          When I talk about proof, it is based on observation of all things around me, just like the Sun rising and the Moon orbiting the Earth, and the tides coming and going based on the NON-PROVABLE field of gravity we KNOW exists and see the evidence of.

          Just like NOBODY can prove the sun will rise in the morning as I stated, nobody can Prove God Exists. We can only point to the observable measurable things and conclude based on that, that there must be a creator.

          Edited for spelling
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          • Posted by Herb7734 6 years, 5 months ago
            I really don't mean to insult you, but your statements are illogical, and at best are a mess.I will refrain from taking your statements apart because most of the Gulchers don't need me to do it as they already have done it mentally, hence your (lack of) points.
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            • -2
              Posted by woodlema 6 years, 5 months ago
              You say illogical? The problem is you just don't like what I posted. All I see are people scoffing, not offering a counter.

              So PROVE to me tonight that the Sun will rise Next Sunday. Unfortunately you can only reference previous "evidence" then state based on previous observation it will, which is faith, since you cannot really provide it will rise until it actually has.

              All you can do is "theorize" it will rise.

              I loved this article from Adam Kemp about science.

              http://adamkemp.newsvine.com/_news/20...

              In the debate between religion and science a common argument is that the theory of evolution, or the Big Bang theory, or some other scientific theory is "just a theory". "It hasn't been proved!", they argue. "That means my theory is just as valid."

              This argument shows a very common misconception about science that needs to be cleared up. Science never proves anything. Ever. Let me repeat that with different emphasis: Science never proves anything.

              For instance, gravity is "just a theory". Like evolution it cannot be proved correct. I pointed this out in a debate recently, and my opponent attempted to mock the example. He, like most people who make these arguments, did not understand how science works or its limitations.

              Science is based on inductive reasoning, which is a method of drawing generalized conclusions based on finite observations. Inductive reasoning can be used to disprove a theory, but it cannot be used to prove one. for example, take the following observation:

              The grass outside my window is green.

              Using inductive reasoning I can conclude:

              All grass is green.

              This conclusion is valid in inductive reasoning so long as all observations support it. As soon as an observation contradicts the conclusion, the conclusion is proved false. However, the only way to prove theory is true would be to observe all grass. This limitation is due to the fact that a conclusion is being drawn from a subset of possible observations.

              Since science, by its very nature, attempts to draw conclusions from observations of the natural world inductive reasoning is necessary. In science, though, it is literally impossible to make every possible observation to prove a rule. Therefore, it is also impossible to prove any theory in science. Every conclusion science has ever made is an unproved theory, including gravity.

              Still not convinced? Consider the theory itself (in a Newtonian sense for simplicity): all mass is attracted to all other mass in a manner which fits a specific equation (F = Gm1m2/d^2).

              How would we test this? We can try dropping objects with various masses, measuring their acceleration, and then use the above equation (along with Earth's mass for the second object) to verify. If the math works out then the theory is supported. Up until Einstein (maybe even up until now, but I'm not sure) this always worked. However, the only way to prove that the equation is right would be to test every object in the Universe against every other object in the Universe. This is (essentially) an infinite number of observations, which can't be done.

              Some might argue that this only applies to the equation itself, but not the fact that gravity occurs. They would say "I can prove gravity by dropping something". However, they are wrong. The only thing you can prove by dropping something is that gravity worked for that test. The only thing they're changing in their test versus the test I described above is loosening the requirements for success: instead of requiring that the equation fit the observation, they are checking that the acceleration is positive (F > 0). The reasoning being used to prove the theory hasn't changed. It's still inductive, and you would still have to make an essentially infinite number of observations in order to prove that gravity works in that way every time.

              Some people find this unsettling. If nothing can be proved then how can we know anything? What good is science? The problem is that people are wanting more from science than we actually need. We don't need to know that gravity always works. We just need to be confident that it works under given circumstances. After enough successful tests a theory may be considered a fact in practicality, even when it is not technically proved correct.

              Science is not about proving things. It never has been, and it never will be. Instead, science is about observing the Universe around us and using those observations to try to understand how the Universe works. This understanding is always subject to change no matter how confident we are.
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              • Posted by ewv 6 years, 5 months ago
                You have no understanding whatever of science, scientific method, the nature of scientific understanding, and the nature of rational conceptual thought to understand and predict the nature of the world. Your anti-conceptualism leaves you a complete skeptic resorting to faith in your feelings in desperation. If you can't understand why the "sun comes up" that is your problem.
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                • Posted by Herb7734 6 years, 5 months ago
                  Thanks ewv.
                  I didn't want to get even this involved with nonsense. All I can say is for you to read any half-way decent book on the nature of the solar system. Those are facts not theory. I was about to post something rude, but I'll keep it to myself -- for now.
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                • Posted by plusaf 6 years, 5 months ago
                  ewv, the problem I've had with Woodlema's request for "proof" is that, basically, there is no NEED, scientifically or otherwise, to PROVE that the 'sun will come up tomorrow.'

                  Past observations can lead to the prediction that 'the sun will come up tomorrow,' whether proven or not proven. It is an expectation based on past observations and factors in ALL possible reasons why it might NOT happen.

                  On the other hand, expectations of sunrise tomorrow have wonderfully accurate predictive value, usefulness and replicability, which does NOT accrue to religious 'predictions.'

                  Despite claims to the contrary, one of the defects of 'religion' is that it has no Predictive Value and, as such, is a lousy basis on which to evaluate decisions, forecasts or plans for one's future.

                  While 'science' can make observations, develop theories and test them with double-blind experiments, no such claim or success is possible for 'religion' or 'faith.'

                  Which, essentially, my answers, too, are "no" and "no."

                  Now, I pose the following question to the original post: Why did you ask the question in the first place? What kinds of answers did you expect, and why? And what difference to anyone, including yourself, would the answers make?

                  ... and your 'handle,' Joy1InChrist' telegraphs a clear message about your beliefs and expectations and mental filters, too...


                  Maybe it'll be part of a Ph.D. dissertation, but the idea that the answers (or original questions) have any other usefulness or serious bearing on anyone's life is laughably small.

                  Cheers! And... has ANYONE changed their views or beliefs as a result of considering OR answering the questions?

                  My prediction: No and No.
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                  • Posted by ewv 6 years, 5 months ago
                    If someone in ancient times wanted to understand why the sun keeps coming up and why he could count on it he needed more than repetitive observation. Inductive generalization by "simple enumeration" is a fallacy. The observational knowledge of the sun rising and when it does so must be integrated with other factors -- like the eventual realization that the earth rotates while orbiting around the sun.

                    In primitive times causality was associated with animism. People's only experience with causality was their own or others' personal intervention to cause something to happen. The need to explain the world in some kind of principles rather than watch one isolated event at a time go by led to religious speculation as the first, primitive form of philosophy -- gods caused the weather, volcanoes, the stars and the moon to move across the sky and the sun to rise and set. It took a long evolution of conceptual thought to understand that causality means that things are what they are and act accordingly by their nature, and how to conceptually integrate observations to isolate and identify causes. Philosophy began to replace religion (not always much better) and the sciences began to develop, first as part of one "natural philosophy" and then as special fields of knowledge.

                    From early knowledge of planetary orbits to Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo, to Newton's law of gravity and laws of motion (including conservation of momentum), to Einstein's general relativity our understanding of why the sun rises -- and how it can eventually burn out its nuclear reactions and stop -- along with the broader integrated knowledge of how and why the planets, moons and stars move around has grown.

                    The religionists are still at the level of the primitivists, insisting that a god orders the sun through his own decreed "laws", not the natural laws of physics as human principles objectively identifying essential observed relationships and conceptualizing causality in our contextual knowledge. They think the sun rising hasn't been "proven" by science without assigning a mystic intrinsic force understood by wrapping your consciousness around it in a mystic state with infinite knowledge across all time. With that mystical outlook nothing will ever convince them of scientific knowledge as anything but dabbling, and nothing can convince them of anything not dogmatically embraced by faith in dogma.
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              • Posted by $ nickursis 6 years, 5 months ago
                Woodlema, having been in your position in some discussions in the Gulch, here is some things I have found to be useful in evaluating this whole area of "Faith". Faith is, in and of itself, an emotional value, the belief that something is right or true just "because". The Sun came up yesterday and today, so it will come up tommorrow "because" it always has. This is the emotional "science" that a lot of the agitators in our society use to justify all their great rip offs "because it is the "right" thing" or "fair" or, the best one, "for the people". You see it all around us today, where they want to blame the cops for their efforts, when it is the criminals who cause the issue. Science is based on observation, then developing a reasoned explanation, then proving that explanation through experimentation. The rinse and repeat. If you get the same results, again and again, you can then assume (or have faith), that what you are testing is true. Then you have to develop a model that can explain what you see and why, that leads to a specific, repeatable proof of truth and http://fact.My problem with all religion, is that it first seeks to impose controls on my behavior, then is usually followed up with social control and financial obligation. This is always based on "faith", andf the facts they use seem to always be in some book or another that has been manipulated by the same parties. My best example of why religion fails is today's ISIS idiots: they kill Christians and other Muslims who do not have their "faith" yet their "faith" is the same basic framework, God, rules, books and secret sauce as those who heads they are cutting off. That isn't faith, it is insanity. My faith in God might be a little stronger the day I wake up and find every violent Muslim has magically transported of this rock. Until then, I will put my faith in E=mc(sq) and have faith it gets used. There is way too much conflict and contradiction in any religion to give it serious attention as something you could ever prove. I respect your right to your faith, go for it, just do not try to apply it as a logical tool for argument, as it doesn't fit well, IMHO.
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                • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 6 years, 5 months ago
                  Actually, the sun didn't come up the earth rotates to the East. No one spot on the planet escapes that observation or is somehow made more nor less important. Depends on who is measuring, from where, and who accepts their story. Be it Mecca or Washington DC. I rather like GMT.

                  Nor does the southern hemisphere steal light from the north for half the year and then give back.

                  As for proof? That's the history side of History and Moral Philosophy.The rest is just speculation.
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                  • Posted by $ nickursis 6 years, 5 months ago
                    H&MP? When I read that in Starship Troopers at the tender age of 11 I thought that sounded like a class that should be required, and I always wanted to attend in H.S., but strangely, never found.
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                    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 6 years, 5 months ago
                      Available everywhere by referring to history books and (be careful there they are written by the winners) and some philosophy books.Should be used to examine some other belief system's answers and it's validity more than a belief system in and of itself. The main rule is if the answer is wrong check your premises. Nice thing is you will never have to ask someone else to prove your own fallacies reasoning no matter what that may be. Not of any use to those who are truly afraid of the dark who rely on others to do their thinking for them.

                      .
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                      • Posted by $ nickursis 6 years, 5 months ago
                        Indeed, I do not think there is a huge surplus of "real" history books. It seems some are slanted in one way or another. However, I have found there are more and more coming available, some republished, that have taken great pains to use references and citations to state their cases, indicating some are at least willing to look for the truth rather than just take a stab at it.I just finished an excellent book on the War of 1812, which has some disturbing echos of what we see today.
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                        • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 6 years, 5 months ago
                          Some of the better fiction based on fact historical writers offer a good look as well as guideline. W.E.B Griffin series on recent modern history and Bernard Cornawall, another is Conn Iggulden, the father and son authors Shaara, Jack Weatherford and Stephen Pressfield to get you started. Griffin will give you a much more accurate picture of Che than will any college professor these days when it comes to the propagandists of Hollywood and the media there is little from which to choose for historical accuracy. Vietnam for example. Forrest Gump and of course We were soldiers while the de Niro film was historical garbage. The only true part was at the end where he missed the the deer. Lately American Sniper. The rest you can give a miss and not missed anything.
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                • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 6 years, 5 months ago
                  Actually, the sun didn't come up the earth rotates to the East. No one spot on the planet escapes that observation or is somehow made more nor less important. Depends on who is measuring, from where, and who accepts their story. Be it Mecca or Washington DC. I rather like GMT.

                  N
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                  • Posted by $ nickursis 6 years, 5 months ago
                    You are indeed correct. I haven't seen anyone argue that it gets extinguished every time it goes below the horizon in the West and sinks into the Ocean, only to be reborn the next morning either.
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                    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 6 years, 5 months ago
                      Asking for that kind of proof is a way of denying anything but one's own beliefs. Every time it rains and I am outside I get wet prove it will happen the next time. Chickens cannot do so ...humans can.
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      • Posted by salta 6 years, 5 months ago
        We use the word "faith" in many ways including non-religious, which causes problems when defining the word in a specific context. Your examples mix up the different usage of the word. When talking about the distinction between faith and reason, if in some context there is proof, then we can apply reason and there is no need for faith. In that sense of the word, then the meaning of "faith" is belief without proof.
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        • -4
          Posted by woodlema 6 years, 5 months ago
          Yes, but proof and evidence is not the same thing. Again, prove to me the sun will rise tomorrow.

          You cannot prove that at all. Only reference things you know and/or have seen. "the evident demonstration of reality though not beheld."
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          • Posted by ewv 6 years, 5 months ago
            If you still don't understand why the sun rises then you don't understand science or its nature, and are still thinking in pre-Galileo Christian apologetics. None of the sophistry is a coherent argument against science, the Enlightenment, and Ayn Rand. This is a forum for those who appreciate Ayn Rand's philosophy of reason and egoism, and the sense of life they made possible in Atlas Shrugged.
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          • Posted by salta 6 years, 5 months ago
            Agreed, proof and evidence are not the same thing. Thats why it would be INCORRECT if I had said "faith is belief without evidence".
            Evidence means nothing in this context because it is subject to interpretation, based on biases (beliefs). Whereas proof requires reason, therefore requires the absence of faith.
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          • Posted by plusaf 6 years, 5 months ago
            Again, woodlema, 'proof' isn't necessary or relevant at all... requesting 'proof' is a red herring. No one can 'prove' ANYTHING WILL happen in the future.

            Any more than YOU can 'prove' that God Exists (or I can prove God Doesn't). Mental masturbation, although, as Heinlein pointed out many times, many people have built careers and fortunes based on the discussion... :)

            It's oxymoronic to think so and moronic to even ask the question. Stop it!
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      • -1
        Posted by XenokRoy 6 years, 5 months ago
        "...faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true"

        Alma 32:21 in the book of Mormon.

        Regardless of if you are another christian denomination, or even atheist Alma 32 of the book of Mormon defines faith more clearly than anything else I have ever read. It even gives a basic guide for development faith into knowledge and is very similar to scientific process.
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        • Posted by $ nickursis 6 years, 5 months ago
          I have hope we will someday find an honest politician who will actually represent the people who elect them, but I have no faith it will ever happen.Faith never takes into account reality. The designers of the Titanic had "faith" their little boat was unsinkable, but science trumped that idea. Faith can never be associated with knowledge, in that knowledge is based on truth, and exactly how you define truth can effect the outcome. Another example is the space shuttle. NASA had "faith" it could launch in cold weather, and even had some "truth" to back up their faith, but in the end, their truth did not match reality, their rings failed to seal the boosters and a shuttle went down, even though others had truth, facts and knowledge that that would happen, Faith won the day and a crew was killed, along with a few billion in craft. They sang hymns on the ole Titanic as they went down, and they still drowned. Faith, as a basis for making decisions, is a very poor tool indeed.
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        • -3
          Posted by woodlema 6 years, 5 months ago
          I do not disagree at all. However just because something is not seen, does mean it does not exist either.
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          • Posted by ewv 6 years, 5 months ago
            So what? Rational people know how to make rational inferences using their conceptual reasoning powers, as illustrated in the discoveries of gravitation, electromagnet fields and waves, and the atomic structure of matter. The process is not arbitrary and is the opposite of faith. That things may exist that we don't yet know about is not justification for asserting whatever you feel like. When you don't know, stop talking.
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          • Posted by $ nickursis 6 years, 5 months ago
            I think you have a point. If something is not seen, it does not mean it does not exist. The part missed was: it does not mean it exists either. To further the discussion, look at:
            http://www.amazon.com/Weve-Never-Been...
            This book alleges that the whole religion thing was foisted on us by alien beings as a means of control. They hauled out, and humans have taken advantage of the control to perpetuate it. The author uses lots and lots of "facts" from historical and worldwide records to make his hypothesis. Is he right? I don't know but his "facts" seem to fit things as well as any current dogma does. It would be interesting to find out the Middle East wars have been fought for 2000 years because one alien dude was pissed at another. And they bailed out a long time ago and no one told anyone. So, there is an example of "just because it is not seen does not mean it does not exist".
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          • -3
            Posted by blackswan 6 years, 5 months ago
            Imagine being Abraham. You're 100 years old, and your wife is 90. God tells you to look at the stars (in the desert, meaning there are a host of them); He then tells you that your descendants will be like the stars in the heavens, but you're 100, and you don't have a child yet. Abraham's rational self told him that that was impossible, but his faith in God allowed him to believe that it was possible, and that faith (and acting on it) led to hundred of millions of descendants (through Ishmael and Isaac). Was Abraham being stupid by believing in God, and acting on His promise? How about the 10,000 tries Edison made in creating a working lightbulb? How about Newton, seeing an apple fall from a tree, and making up the theory of gravitation? We could go on, but you'll notice that in none of these cases did Abraham or the inventors have solid proof of where they were headed, but they went ahead anyway, and the results became history. In most cases, innovation and invention (including the establishment of dynasties) have nothing to back them up, but the belief of the inventor/discoverer/founder; there is no "rational" reason for them to believe what they believe, but their faith led to revolutionary outcomes. Even though their faith may only be a small percentage of the total number of efforts, it is enough to support the fact that faith, sometimes in the face of overwhelming odds against, can be fruitful.
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            • Posted by ewv 6 years, 5 months ago
              Inventors do have rational reasons. An inventor's confidence in his goals is not "faith" and has nothing to do with primitive belief in the supernatural.
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            • Posted by $ nickursis 6 years, 5 months ago
              You seem to be mixing apples (no pun intended here) and oranges. The rational scientist uses observation, then a theory, then proves the theory to come to an explanation that can be codified and repeated with "knowledge" that it will result in the same action. There is a differnce between "blind faith" and "informed theory". Edison had performed experimentation, and had built his knowledge up over time with facts. By putting his facts together, he had :faith" he could make a light bulb. Took a lot of ties because his "facts" and experimentation, did not show all the needed materials and designs needed.
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              • Posted by plusaf 6 years, 5 months ago
                And I would suggest that the word 'faith' might be inappropriate for the Edison 'example.'

                I would be much more likely to describe Edison as having confidence and expectations that continued research, trials and errors, WOULD lead him to discovery of a 'solution' to the problem of creating a way to make an electric filament last long enough to be useful as a product!

                Faith? Irrelevant. No predictive value. Confidence? Drive? Courage, Persistence? Those are the things that lead people to discovery.
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                • Posted by $ nickursis 6 years, 5 months ago
                  You are correct, this brings up the fact that the word faith is used interchangeably with "confidence" and "expectation" without the religious connotation, at least in my observations. I would say he had faith in himself and his work. Not that magic would somehow provide...
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      • -2
        Posted by nelly1611 6 years, 5 months ago
        Fearing God is good because it saves us from caving into our own sinful nature. That's why hearing someone is God-fearing actually makes us trust that person more. If they fear God they are more likely to keep their word and trust others with kindnes.Romans 3, a classic chapter on sin, says that our chief sin is that we "have no fear of God at all". Rom.3:18.Many of us presume that the world is the ultimate threat and that God's function is to offset it How different this is from the biblical position that God is far scarier than the world. When we assume that the world is the ultimate threat, we give it unwarranted power, for the truth, the worlds threats are temporary. When we expect God to balance the stress of the world, we reduce Him to the world's equal. As I walk with the Lord, I discover that God poses an ominous threat to my ego, but not to me. He rescues me so that He may reveal the truth that sets me free. He casts me down only to lift me back up again.He sits in judgment of my sin, but forgives me nevertheless. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but love from the Lord is its completion.
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        • Posted by Watcher55 6 years, 5 months ago
          Personally I would be more likely to trust someone who follows an objective morality based on the requirements of their own life according to reason, rather than someone whose claim to morality is they are too scared of an invisible Punisher to do what they would really want to do if they thought they could get away with it.
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          • Posted by $ nickursis 6 years, 5 months ago
            Excellent point, if Faith included the clause, "do no violence to others or yourself" and those "faithful" kept to it, things would be a hell of a lot better...
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  • Posted by $ sjatkins 6 years, 5 months ago
    1) depends on your definition. Some people believe if you were ever "saved" or proclaimed as one then you are one forever.

    2) No.
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    • Posted by ewv 6 years, 5 months ago
      It doesn't depend on a false definition based on mysticism. The question is about what one philosophically believes is true.

      As for the second question, which was based on the premise of the first, it is clear that many of those who in the comments proclaim to still be religious are very confused about Ayn Rand's ideas, religion, or both. The question said only "introduced" to Ayn Rand's ideas, but has frequently been replaced with "agree with" in responses.

      Ayn Rand's philosophy of reason and egoism are fundamentally opposed to Christian supernaturalism, faith, duty, sacrifice and other worldliness. It is not possible to believe both in either intellectual approach or content.

      Those of any prior philosophical outlook, not just religion, who have been attracted to Ayn Rand's sense of life and to Atlas Shrugged should learn the philosophy that made them possible and without which they cannot be defended.
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    • Posted by Animal 6 years, 5 months ago
      "Some people believe if you were ever "saved" or proclaimed as one then you are one forever. "

      With rather less consequences for apostasy than, say, Islam.
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  • Posted by jconne 6 years, 5 months ago
    No and no.
    For any yes answer to #2, I recommend you read "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology". It's not an easy read, but it is the basis for a standard of validity based on reality and reason. With faith there is no boundary to assertions of what is. Objectivity to distinguish fact from fiction is non-existent. We need that to function in reality.

    Reality just is. Our reasoning can be objective or not. Why be objective?. Because reality just is and that's the context in which we live. There is no other.
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  • Posted by Rolf 6 years, 5 months ago
    1) Used to be a Baptist church goer for 23 years, then started reading Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, etal.
    2) No.
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  • Posted by Rex_Little 6 years, 5 months ago
    No and no. Interestingly however, my brother who is Christian comes a lot closer to Rand's ideas (on topics other than religion) than my other brother who's an atheist (and a welfare statist).
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    • Posted by XenokRoy 6 years, 5 months ago
      That is interesting Rex.

      I have a sister who is closer to Deist and is a welfare statist. I am Cristian and with the exception of Atheism an Objectivist.

      I have a friend in the same religion as I am in and he cannot see how someone can be christian and not be a liberal. I cannot see how someone can be of my religion and be a liberal. We have some very good discussions about it, either of us will likely ever change our position but the discussion help me to understand his views. They are wrong but really interesting.

      I find the way in which people combine their views most interesting.
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  • Posted by $ TexOwl 6 years, 5 months ago
    No - When I first read Atlas Shrugged,during my freshman year of college, I was not much of anything.

    Yes - After reading Atlas Shrugged and most of Ayn Rand's other writing as well as the Bible and many other writings, I came to appreciate the value of Jesus Christ and how His example serves as a model of how Love and Compassion can make life work better. Most persons regard themselves as Christian without understanding what that means thereby poisoning the well for most thinking people!.
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    • Posted by ewv 6 years, 5 months ago
      That answers the question about the time sequence after being "introduced" to Ayn Rand's ideas, but do you understand that you religion is the opposite of Ayn Rand's philosophy and Atlas Shrugged?
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    • Posted by $ nickursis 6 years, 5 months ago
      I would say that following Jesus Christs example as a role model is not the equal of "being Christian". In that, a lot of the Christian Community is just as "do it our way" as any other religion. Having been on the pointy end of that spear, I canunderstand the admiration for the guy, but no more than any other "good" person.It is the individuals self knowledge, values, morals, and basic life rules that seem the paramount thing I look for in them, and most are sadly lacking in any civil framework. To me Robert Heinlein had a good framework for character admiration, yet most Christians would think he was the Devil incarnate.Self rule and responsibility seem more important than trying to emulate a character.
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  • Posted by wdg3rd 6 years, 5 months ago
    Read Anthem around the same time I read the KJV cover-to-cover, after almost half a century it's hard to recall the order of events. I've been an atheist since reading the Bible. Of course, I'd already been reading Heinlein for several years. Previously I'd been brought up Southern Baptist.
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