Two simple questions (requesting simple answers from each of you) ...
Posted by Joy1inchrist 7 years, 10 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?
F = G (mM/r^2)
F = m * dr/dv = m* d^2r/dt^2
m dv/dt = G (mM)/r^2
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"
.... As many as fit.
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.
You cannot prove that at all. Only reference things you know and/or have seen. "the evident demonstration of reality though not beheld."
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.
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!
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.
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".
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.
Even if I accepted the good consequences of people keeping their word, which I don't, it wouldn't make the claim 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.
With rather less consequences for apostasy than, say, Islam.
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.
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.
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!.
Before I found the philosophy of Ayn Rand, I
was a sort of deist, or pantheist, which I no longer am.
2) No, I consider myself more of an agnostic.
2. Absolutely not!
There was one more component however
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