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Interesting trends in the Gulch

Posted by  $  Susanne 3 years, 9 months ago to Philosophy
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I have been following with (not very) amused intrest how a lot of the conversations here in the Gulch go from their topic subject to either a heated debate about Religion, or, less frequently, a heated debate about Sexuality and Sex. It does wonders to boost a topic's point and post count... but really stinks when you see a good, timely, and interesting topic, go to add or comment, and it's now a theological or psychosexual discussion.

While I do know that Humanity tends to shy away from mental work, and instead default to the base and easy, I was surprised to see this becoming a rising trend here in the Gulch, and rising exponentially over the past 30-60 days.


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  • Posted by  $  stargeezer 3 years, 9 months ago
    A part of the "problem" with discussions that skirt the religious implications is the lack of Ayn Rand's reference to the issue. We are all well aware that she was publicly an atheist, and perhaps someplace in her wittings she addressed this stance further. I do not tout any great knowledge of her wittings apart from the things "The Gulch" pertains.

    To those of us whom religion is more than just a word, we know where the path she proclaimed leads, and more, we know it was the same path we once followed. Rejection of God does not buy one exemption from him. It is this overwhelming idea that drives Christian zeal. The knowledge that no matter what our personal point of view of the existence of God may be, before God we are all the same up to the point we accept him. Those who forever chose to reject him have a path that lies in another direction and is just as certain. No Christian wants another person to follow that path. And we all know that while we can lead a horse to water, we cannot force them to drink.

    Sometimes in our zeal we stub our toe and sometimes in their zeal against those of us who live by faith the powers that be have killed us, martyring us for our faith. When this country was established as a nation where the most important precept of our government was the guaranty of the freedom to exercise our religion without governmental interference, a promise that we could practice our faith even on the steps of the buildings that housed our government. A practice that was so important to the founding fathers that services were held every Sunday inside the very House of Representatives

    I've looked through the documents which formed the foundation of our nation and I cannot find where the people were given a promise of "freedom from religion", that is a lie. The promise is most assuredly a "Freedom of Religion". America is to be a place where Catholic's, Baptists, Hindus, and certainly a place where atheists could all live together and practice their religion, or rejection of religion as they choose. NO promise was given to any group that they would never be faced with the symbols of another religion, but that is the battle we fight today. No promise was given to atheists that they'd not be confronted with the "Ten Commandments" at a courthouse - after all, they were the foundation of our legal system.

    Some proclaim that they have a right to never be forced to see Christian symbol's - can somebody please point to the in the constitution? Some claim that my placement of a crèche on the city property, paid for and maintained by my own funds at Christmas is a violation of their rights because they would be forced to walk or drive past it on official business and be offended - there are no proclamations in the constitution that you cannot be offended by my exercise of my religion. Some claim that they find that they have a right to not be confronted with religious history in schools - IF it is history, it should be taught. That includes how the nation of Israel was founded 3000 years ago and how 2000 years ago a carpenter lead a small group of followers to form a new faith that was oppressed, martyred, and overcome all to build the Christian Church. Like it or not, that is history. A 8th grade world history book I read the other day had ONE reference to the church - the crusades. That was all. Revisionist history.

    Christians are not calling for church history to be taught in school, but as long as our tax dollars are funding the schools, we want ALL of the history taught in a truthful, factual manner.

    A lot of us Christians are tired of being discriminated against and are not going to be pushed into extinction by being quiet and not being confrontational. So far that method has gotten us to this place where we are being told to be quiet and sit in the corner. EXACTLY why those who escaped religious persecution in the 17th and 18th centuries fled to THIS country. We are not going to repeat the errors of those days.
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    • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
      You hear about the dyslexic atheist?

      He didn't believe in Dog.

      By the way, why is anyone christian/muslim/hindu/buddhist/sikh/juche*/jewish/bahá'í/jainist/shintoist/cao daist/zoroastrian/tenrikyoist/unitarian /rastafarian/scientologist/satanist/druid/etc. ??

      Are they just raised that way (inherit from their parents)? Do they read something and say, "I'll buy THAT for a dollar!" Do they ever consider they might be wrong and someone else might be right? If not, is it a purely emotional response, or is there some reasoning involved? If so, what reasoning? (I've seen NONE that didn't proceed from whimsy as the fundamental axiom.)
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      • Posted by  $  stargeezer 3 years, 9 months ago
        Really bambie, some of us are insulted by references like this. You would NEVER post something like this about a persons color or sex or school they went to or even what state they choose to live in, but you feel perfectly at ease making fun of a persons choice of religion. It's beyond immature. It is childishly disgusting and very, very sad.

        Is it an effort to prop up your own insecurity with the issue? Or do you just like insulting people who would never harm you???

        .
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        • Posted by  $  stargeezer 3 years, 9 months ago
          To give you a answer, not that I owe one to you. There was a day in my life when I was laying in the bottom of a patrol boat in the S Vietnam delta, the boat was on fire, three of the crewmen were dead, everyone except me was wounded, we were taking fire from both shores and the boats motor was shot to hell. At that moment I knew I was going to die very, very soon and there was nothing that was going to stop that.

          Knowing I was going to die I asked Jesus to save my soul as the Chaplin told us he would. After that brief pause I went back to doing my job and the fire stopped from the East shore, as it stopped another patrol boat came around a bend in the river up stream from us and engaged the other shore. In ten minutes they were over to us and began tending to our needs.

          I hope you never reach a point in your life like that, but if you do, know there is a God and he has made a way for you.
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          • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 9 months ago
            Wow. I just can't get my mind around it. As an atheist the story does not thing as evidence to sway my opinion on falsifiable claims, but this story does have an impact on my notion of the level of hardship humans can face, a level I can't even imagine.

            I believe this life is all there is, and I'm amazed at young people with their whole life ahead of them being able to face death.

            Thank you for sharing that story.
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            • Posted by  $  stargeezer 3 years, 9 months ago
              CG - The only thing that exceeds the hardship man can endure is mans depravity. I understand that you can't really grasp that, just never attack a person who comes to know God in such a place. They have gained a faith forged in hardship. And that steel is unbreakable.
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            • Posted by  $  WillH 3 years, 9 months ago
              I am sure you have heard the old sayings that there is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole? That's pretty much true. Just about everyone who gets to a certain point calls upon god.

              It's the point when you believe you luck has run out, the situation is beyond your skill, you are totally out of options, and you just don't want to die. It's also the point where many truly learn how much they love life. Atheist veterans are not very common.

              I am not knocking your views, just seen it happen to atheists a few times is all.
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              • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
                aetheist in a foxhole is a myth. Talked with a vet at pima air and space museum. He flew B17s in WW Ii He is actually quoted in a documentary saying that that 's a myth.
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                • Posted by  $  stargeezer 3 years, 9 months ago
                  So one person states it, gets published and you have no little problem believing him and imparting him with celestial knowledge. If that all it takes I have a book written by 66 authors, accepted as fact historically, containing propacy that has been fulfilled and large amounts that await fulfillment. It's pages hold some of the most beautiful poetry you will ever find anywhere and it's pages bare the guidence that has fueled the founding of two nations and two faiths. The history weaved through its pages is much of the history of western civilization.

                  It's present form has remained constant (allowing for spelling and grammar correction)since the early 1600's.

                  As you might have guessed, it's the Bible.
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              • Posted by  $  stargeezer 3 years, 9 months ago
                That's all solid Will, in that situation, in those kind of places, men on both sides are as close to God as possible. I grew up in a home where religion was not important at all. Not rejecting God, just not church going people. Dad was a WWII combat infantry who fought across N Africa up Italy, went to England and made the landing at Omaha Beach, Battle of the Bulge and on in Germany. Cursing was an art form.

                When I came home after having three boats shot out from under me and losing far too many friends, Dad just hugged me and we went to his office and sat and talked about God and war and things we had never spoken of before. As horrid as that was, it brought us closer than we had ever been. His moment of decision was at the bulge and he couldn't talk about it anymore than that.
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                • Posted by  $  WillH 3 years, 9 months ago
                  I would imagine that was a great experience with your dad.

                  i am beginning to think that religion is a subject I am going to completely avoid on here. I have honestly been surprised by the amount of disrespect I have seen on here from a good amount of people. I still think that Objectivists and Religious Objectivists have far more problems in the world today than each other.
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                  • Posted by Lucky 3 years, 9 months ago
                    Yes. James Delingpole was asked about the relative dangers from Islamism and the Greens. He said that the Green movement (collectivism, sustainability, equality, wishwashy do-goodism,..) was the worst as it leads to economic, ethical/moral and cultural decline with an inevitable take-over by Islamism or Stalinism, perhaps in temporary alliance, or something as bad.
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          • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
            And how were events made any different by your prayers? No offense, but that's the WORST kind of "evidence" and the only thing that's rational about your account is that you thought you'd tried everything else, so, hey, what the hell? Why not pray? After all, if you'd died, nobody would have known, right? With almost 53,000 dead Americans in Vietnam, and over 3 million dead Vietnamese, I bet a lot of them tried your experiment - and it didn't work out for them. So why does your survival indicate anything to you other than you were lucky? (And by the way, we're all going to die anyway.)
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            • Posted by  $  stargeezer 3 years, 9 months ago
              You missed my point or I failed to correctly express myself, most likely the latter. I did not survive because I prayed. I did not escape with not much more than a scratch because I prayed. That machine gun on the shore did not stop shooting because I prayed and God guided my return fire to kill that man. That patrol boat that showed up at just the right time, that was there because they had missed a turn onto another inlet did not show up because I prayed. None of that happened because I prayed. My prayer was not that I would be saved from the horror of that place and time. Here is what you missed, I prayed that Jesus would save my soul, that I accepted him as the sacrifice for the sins of my life. That was all. That is the promise that he gave us all. Not that we would be safe from ordeals or have riches and prosperity in our lives. That's a twisting of scripture if someone tells you that he will give you those things in this life. Not evidence - faith.

              I fully expected to die that day and had I the promise I have is that moment I would be in the heaven I did not deserve and that I would not go to the hell I did deserve.

              That fact that I did survive was just the compilation of a series of events that just happened. Did Gods hand have a part in that, yes, because I believe that nothing happens by accident. Can I go out a drive the wrong way down a one way street and expect his protection? NO. If I did and was killed I would wake up in heaven trying to explain how I could be so foolish.

              You see, it was not an experiment. It was the promise of God, a promise I accepted by faith because he is God and I knew he was. And when the day comes that I do die, my next sight that enters my vision will be in heaven.

              Those who died there and everyone else before and since all have a destination. If they, in your words "tried my experiment" and meant what they were praying, each and every one had their prayer answered. Not with life in this world, but life in the next.

              Yes we are all going to die and until that day comes for me I will be living my life in a manner consistent with his teachings. You now ask how do I know this - that's why it's called faith.
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              • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                Fair enough. And no, I didn't miss the reference, I simply didn't assign it any significance. It's what we used to call, "buying your fire insurance". We've all heard of "deathbed conversions", and that there are no "atheists in the fox holes". I suppose when you think you're about to die anyway, it costs nothing to say, "Okay… NOW I'm a believer!"

                The choice of a philosophy is fine. Choose to live your life however you want.
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              • Posted by Rocky_Road 3 years, 9 months ago

                Your discussion with BambiB reminded me of this story:

                An old, and devout, fisherman’s boat sank from under him one day, miles from shore, leaving him floating in the deep water.

                After a while, another boat comes upon him and asks him if he “needs any help”?

                “No, thank you. My God will protect me.”

                After a longer period of time, a second boat comes upon him and offers to help.

                “I appreciate the offer, but I know that God will take care of me.”

                Well, the old fisherman finally drowns, and awakes to find himself in Heaven and face to face with God himself. The first thing that he says is “God…why didn’t you save me?”

                God answers, “What are you talking about? I sent two boats!”

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                • Posted by  $  stargeezer 3 years, 9 months ago
                  Exactly right. When God sends a bus your way, don't wave them off saying you're waiting for a airplane.

                  Also the reason some hold the doubts of unbelief that keep them believing. They just expect God to do something miraculous, while missing the small still voice that says "I'm here".
                  .
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                  • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                    In some people, that small little voice says, "They're reading your brainwaves. Wear a tin foil hat."

                    David Berkowitz (The Son of Sam) thought he heard a small still voice… but it turned out it was just a dog. Oh wait! Maybe he was dyslexic! Now I get it! ;-)
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                    • Posted by  $  stargeezer 3 years, 9 months ago
                      And some wackos go running in circles screaming that Satan is chasing them to throw them into hell. The scary part is they are right.
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                      • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                        So if they're right, then why are they whackos?

                        Truth is, they're whackos because they believe in the whole god/satan fable in the same way that people who believe in fairies and leprechauns are whacked. It's fine for kids under 8, but by the time you're 18, you should have grown out of it.
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                        • Posted by  $  Mimi 3 years, 9 months ago
                          Actually, younger children who suffer from the symptoms of auditory hallucinations often have delusions about real monsters under their bed or in their closets, while the adult sufferers gravitate towards religious and political paranoias. Unlike Stargeezer, who believes it is the scariest thing that these delusions might be real, I believe instead,the scariest thing is that people who appear to be normal and well adjusted feed these ridiculous delusions to the already tortured and over-stimulized, broken minds of the mentally ill-- not ever having to be held accountable when that mentally-ill person ends up in the hospital, injured, or commits injury to others in the name of Jesus. Happens everyday.
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        • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
          Nope. No insecurity here.

          With regard to color, sex, school attended, etc., those things simply ARE. You ARE black, or white, or green. You ARE male, female, confused, surgically altered… You did attend Oral Roberts, or SMU, or TCU, or Georgia Tech…

          But is there a god? Prove it.

          What's childish is to take umbrage because someone doesn't share your hallucination.
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          • Posted by  $  stargeezer 3 years, 9 months ago
            It's very possible to not accept another persons faith without being rude. Sorry you missed that.

            Degrees are from University of IL, mechanical and electrical engineering, University of Texas Civil engineering, Bradly University, IL, Fine Arts degrees in Ceramics and Photography, minored in PoliSi. I'm not sure what that has to do with the subject unless you were expecting something less aspiring?

            I've been a student all of my adult life until the most recent years. Even when I was overseas I took correspondent classes in subjects that held particular interest for me.
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            • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
              Not sure what your point was. Apparently you misunderstood. Your color, sex, schooling can all be verified.

              Can you verify god?

              Didn't think so.
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              • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 9 months ago
                My color, sex and schooling can NOT be verified. All of them can be disguised( ie, fraudulent) if I so choose, and some can simply be ambiguous.

                You need to believe there's no God. I mean, what if God turned out to be a woman?
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                • -3
                  Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                  Perhaps the conversation is just too difficult for you to understand. I have never, not once, anywhere on these fora said there is no god. I've only said that whatever you think god is, you are almost certainly wrong and that there's no guarantee that there is such a thing. Keep reading that to yourself until you understand. Yes, you can move your lips as you read it.

                  As for the rest of your post: You've convinced me. I believe your color is ambiguous. I believe your gender is ambiguous too (so confusing for your boyfriends - not to mention your medical doctors who I'm sure have run many tests trying to figure out your sex and are still stumped). And I agree that it's most probable that if someone wrote to the schools you claim to have attended, the registrars would write back saying your attendance "could not be verified".

                  Happy now?
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          • Posted by UncommonSense 3 years, 9 months ago
            I will actually opine on this...after having read the above comments...

            Bambi, I am convinced you would not accept any definitive proof of God even if you saw Him with your own, physical eyes. Revelations predicts such unfortunate events. For example, the last Miracle is the one in which there are multitudes of dead people and on the 4th day, they are brought back to life. Most unbelievers will be convinced at that moment that God exists and they will be saved. However, not everyone will believe. Will you be among them? Would that be enough to convince you? Or would you rationalize it away?
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            • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
              The problem with such questions is that they are entirely speculative. Show me people who have been dead for four days coming back to life this week, and I'll reconsider.

              But christians don't do that. All their evidence is "some day" and "in the future". Revelations - in the future. The Rapture - in the future. Heaven - in the future… after you're dead.

              Doesn't it ever occur to any christians that they're buying a pig in a poke? I mean, how gullible/stupid do you have to be? The warranty isn't worth the paper it's printed on! The only time you can verify ANYTHING about christianity's claims is when you can no longer make decisions… when in fact, you're beyond verifying anything, because you're dead!

              How about this: I'll guarantee you a super-duper heaven that's a billion times better than anything some old book of fairy-tales offers you - but you don't get it until you're dead. And by the way, you don't have to "believe" or "devote your life" or waste time on a "personal relationship" with anyone. All you have to do is fork over a measly 10 bucks. Today. And if the super-duper heaven isn't all I said it was, why, you can have a billion times your money back. How about that!? christ doesn't come with a money-back guarantee!

              Or maybe you think a book of mythology is more credible in its promises? So, if those promises don't come through, to whom do you complain?

              On the other hand, if you're not happy with MY promises, I'm right here! Your "god" doesn't even respond in a detectable fashion. That scam has already left the state!

              Any of this getting through?
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              • Posted by UncommonSense 3 years, 9 months ago
                You could have saved your breath after your first sentence. After that...you came in weak and garbled. (military-radio speak). =)
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                • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                  I'm sorry that your reception is so impaired that you are unable to receive logic. Perhaps your filters need to be adjusted, or you need to get your SWR below a gajillion?

                  I make a better offer than the bible, and you don't even want to hear it?
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                  • Posted by UncommonSense 3 years, 9 months ago
                    I like your SWR reference. You answered my question with your first sentence on your previous response.

                    I choose not to engage with you over the old & tired God/no God debate. I have experienced things that no brilliant scientist could ever explain. Nope, I don't expect you to believe me either. Oh, I will include you in my prayers too. (I know that just grinds you, but I'm sure you can tolerate it just fine) Praying for those who don't believe is the Christian Way. No, I cannot condemn you to hell because you don't believe either: that's not my call. Nor is it ANY Christian's domain to say "you'll burn in hell...." they may be able to say your actions/words COULD send you down to Hades, but they cannot say it with assurance because they don't have the power to command your soul or anybody else.

                    Anyways, you'll never be able to convince me otherwise, so don't waste your time. But you gave me an idea on my next post. Should I find it the story, you'll see it soon enough.
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                    • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                      I'm familiar with the "My mind is made up, so don't confuse me with facts or logic" approach adopted by most christians, so your response is nothing new.

                      To correct your falsehood, I am not involved in a god/no god debate. I merely maintain that if there is such a thing as a god, your concept of it is almost certainly incorrect.
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                      • Posted by UncommonSense 3 years, 9 months ago
                        And when the muzzies come a pounding on your door, demanding you either convert or die, your logic argument will fall on deaf ears as they either chop your head off, or they let a 12 yr old boy practice the halal method on you. In the end, they will conquer you because they have FAITH (though perverted) of the great sex fest that awaits them in the end. You better get used to your new masters; they do not tolerate disbelievers. They make it quite clear, disbelievers will die first.

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                        • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                          Okay, now that's funny!

                          If the biggest worry I have is Muslims coming to my door, my life is worry-free. Statistically, we're more likely to be killed by terrorist-hunting cops than by muslim terrorists... Unless your real name is Salmon Rushdie, or these cartoons were drawn by you!

                          http://www.iisg.nl/exhibitions/censorshi... (One of my favorites)
                          http://zombietime.com/mohammed_image_arc...

                          The biggest terror event in our Country's history (next to Lincoln's War of Northern Aggression) killed about as many people as a month of traffic accidents.

                          In short, the Muslims in America don't worry me.

                          Now, the Muslims in France are a bit of a different matter. France will apparently be the first of the Western European nations to have a Muslim majority. And France has nuclear weapons.
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                          • Posted by UncommonSense 3 years, 9 months ago
                            That's good to hear. It's obvious you have yet to take a walk in Dearbornistan, Michigan. Have you ever walked among them during one of their rally's?

                            I'm thinking you're living a very sheltered life that's away from the fight, thus you can speak with smugness about muslims not worrying you.

                            Muslims are the same everywhere, regardless of location. The governing factor on their behavior is based on the ratio of muslim population versus the native population. It isn't by accident either; it's purely a calculated plan that's been in place since Mohammed. The cartoons are quite accurate, which is why it pisses the muzzies off; they can't refute what we're making fun of.

                            In any case, it would be morbidly amusing to watch you try to speak unintelligible logic, 'no god' smack to these marauding destroyers. But this is all mute, so long as you remain safely tucked away, somewhere in the south.
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                            • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                              I was in Dearborn for a short time many years ago. Struck me as a third-world nation even then. Guess nothing's changed.

                              Would I be correct in assuming that the majority of the "Muzzis" are "Lincoln's People"? That the government limits the carry and employment of firearms for your self-defense?

                              Sounds like Yankee heaven… and a local problem. Bubba knows how to handle that sort of thing.
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                              • Posted by UncommonSense 3 years, 9 months ago
                                Nope. No yankee here. That was another lifetime ago. Meet me at Pappy's where we can sit down & chat over STL finest BBQ. (Ok, Bogarts' Smokehouse isn't bad either)
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                                • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                                  EE-gad! If you think St. Louis is okay, how bad must Michigan be?

                                  I was in St. Louis a few years ago. Another place I never want to see!

                                  New York, Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, Los Angeles, Oakland, Philadelphia - all valid arguments in favor of thermonuclear war. Washington DC? An argument for neutron weapons. St. Louis - not on the list… this year. But give it time.
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                                  • khalling replied 3 years, 9 months ago
      • Posted by AKnightsLife 3 years, 9 months ago
        maybe your seeing it that way because you are viewing people and not looking to view God - after all if HE is real you can bet HE will let you find HIM if you seek HIM - after all HE - if HE is God - could certainly reason that out due to HIS Intellect and His Love Nature - even that would be rational for Ayn if it were brought before her - then should not her followers follow suit - AND if it had been brought to her and she dismissed it - then she dismissed rational thought out of emotionalism - not reason - and or she dismissed it because her idea of GOD was religion as viewed from viewing mans differences in worshiping God - but again if so then her view of God was based on man kind and his lifestyle or lack of Godly Life style which is again viewing man - she missed it by not viewing or seeking GOD -
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        • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
          That's what I mean. You believe in something that's not there, then because you believe it, it must be true. Then that "truth" becomes the foundation of your delusion… and off you go.
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          • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 9 months ago
            Pot. Kettle. Black.

            Now lead us down a meandering rant about how women are responsible for the creation of Christianity and the destruction of every civilization since...
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            • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
              Women have never been allowed to destroy societies before the men in Western societies (chiefly the United States) made conditions safe enough for them to give voice to their stupid thoughts.

              So far as I know, that has nothing to do with christianity. PKB <=> non sequitur.
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 9 months ago
      AR distinctly espoused that there could not be a god and have rational thought.
      She also stated that, at least for Christianity, the concepts of original sin and "I am my brother's keeper" are concepts that lead inevitably to socialism.
      While I can appreciate the thought exercise on that, and agree that if one is absolutely rigid in an interpretation of various theological positions, that those conclusions can be valid.
      However, being Christian does not mean that I must give up my own free thinking ability.
      I can hold tenets of Objectivism and Christianity and meld the two rationally together.
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      • Posted by  $  stargeezer 3 years, 9 months ago
        Exactly Robbie. When one becomes a Christian, they don't surrender the ability to reason and think independently.

        Theology is one place where Rand and I part paths. She interprets the concept of "I am my brothers keeper" far too excessively. While we are commanded to care for the poor, that can be accomplished in many ways today even to the point of acknowledging that through our taxes the government has stepped in to supplant our place in this order. The truth is that in this country the only "poor" are poor because they choose to be poor. It is a conscious decision on their part and no matter what I might inclined to do on their behalf is not going to change their circumstances.

        AS for original sin, she just missed the point of the concept, didn't she?
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        • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
          Not quite. They very ACT of becoming a christian is an ABANDONMENT of reason. It is accepting axiomatically that god exists - without the slightest shred of evidence. The axiom, "Go wrong at first and afterwards nothing will go right" applies here.

          It's the old "Garbage In, Garbage Out" principle.

          If you ASSUME that horse apples are diamonds, you can apply all the reason and thought you wish. But because your fundamental assumption is wrong, everything you "prove" will be… horse apples.

          So it is with religion. You ASSUME the existence of a god. You ASSUME that of all the millions of "gods", that your vision of god is THE correct one. Having assumed that, what's left to prove?

          But it's ONLY an assumption.

          For sake of discussion, ASSUME that "god" is a purple dinosaur who runs arounds singing, "I love you. You love me…" How do any of the conclusions change? (Qualitatively, they do not.)

          Now I know that engineers are not as rigorous as mathematicians, but holy hannah! How can you make such a huge assumption? Do you look at a piece of wire and say, "That must have 100 amps flowing through it"? Or do you measure the amperage?

          How can you abandon your education and training and just ASSUME?
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          • Posted by j_IR1776wg 3 years, 9 months ago
            Once again, BambiB, You have demonstrated a capability to be partially correct and totally an asshole. In 2011, I wrote that "…Religion persists because Science cannot fully explain the meaning of life, death, and human intelligence, and, all individuals need a standard against which they can judge the actions of their lives. For most, this standard is the tenets of their Religions" You collectivists have a century's long demonstrated inability to understand human nature.
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            • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
              None of which denies the fact that belief in a god is an irrational act.
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              • Posted by  $  ernieg 3 years, 9 months ago
                BambiB, if you get a chance view the DVD 'The Man From Earth'.
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                • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                  Haven't seen the movie, but read a summary. I can see the parallels with the current conversation.

                  Heinlein's "The Past Through Tomorrow" has some similarities. Lazarus Long is the John Oldman character, and the source of the "Achilles" legend. Lararus moves less frequently than Oldman - routinely using makeup to appear to "age", before faking his death and moving on.
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              • Posted by j_IR1776wg 3 years, 9 months ago
                The earliest Homo sapiens observed that some things had a beginning and an end; they were born and they died; animals and plants alike. They buried their dead centuries before the Old Testament was written. Why would they have done this except they did not understand death and tried to protect their loved ones from being eaten by other animals. All living things are created and all living things die. The projection of this observed knowledge to the universe is rational. The essential nature of humans is to ask "why" and to seek answers. We agree that the universe is a binary, viz. it was created or it has always existed. Further, no one has yet proven which possibility is the truth. The current belief among most astronomers is that the universe has existed for approx. 13.6 billion years and will cease to exist sometime in the future. Hence hurling "irrationality" at those who believe that their god created the universe is itself irrational.
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                • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                  >> They buried their dead centuries before the Old Testament was written.

                  Ever been around a dead body on, say, the 10th day in a warm climate?

                  Practical necessities aside, if you are referring to ritualistic burials, what you appear to be doing is using superstition and lack of understanding by ancient peoples as some sort of evidence that their actions were rational. This is a common theme among many religions - where a practice is old and long observed, it becomes "rational" by inheritance. Never mind that if the SAME practices were initiated today, we'd see them as lunacy.

                  The Pharaohs had everything from combs and bowls to jewels and furniture buried with them for use in the "afterlife". When you're buried, do you expect your relatives to toss in a couch and a microwave for you to use later? That would be absurd. But there's no denying that Egytian burial practices are precisely the type to which you refer.

                  >>We agree that the universe is a binary, viz. it was created or it has always existed.

                  Actually, I don't think that's what proponents of the Big Bang Theory believe at all. If they are correct, clearly the universe has not always existed. Yet "creation" implies a "creator" - and so it cannot be said that BBT implies creation. Under BBT, the BB is an event that simply "happened". Nothing is rationally known about the cause, though many whackos claim to have "knowledge" of what happened over 13 billion years ago.

                  The point here is that those who claim to know how the universe started (the cause of the BB) are asserting their own personal beliefs without benefit of factual evidence. No one knows what happened before the BB. It may simply be that there WAS no "before". But to claim that "god" did it, is to claim knowledge that no man may have. One might as well claim, and with equal validity I might add, that "Barney the Dinosaur" did it.
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                  • Posted by j_IR1776wg 3 years, 9 months ago
                    Why didn't they cook and eat them? Perfectly good protein. What have you done with those of your relatives who have died?

                    And sadly yes I know the smell of death. Why do you assume we have buried the dead for centuries on end simple because of the smell?
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                    • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                      It seems you want to focus on the least-important aspect of the discussion.

                      Quite frankly, why would anyone care why primitive man did anything unless it's of use today (aside from purely anthropological or historical reasons)?

                      The universe was created by Barney the Dinosaur. Go ahead and try to disprove it.
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            • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
              >> all individuals need a standard against which they can judge the actions of their lives

              Another assumption.

              As for the rest, science is still young. The universe had a 13+ billion year head start. That so much is understood bodes well for us to eventually create life, cheat death and dispense with the superstition about gods.

              Once man trembled at lightning. Now electricity is our servant. Once the power of the atom was not only unsuspected, but locked away. Today we power entire countries with it. Or destroy entire cities. We've reached a point were a laptop computer may have gigabytes of RAM and terabytes of mass storage for a cost of a few hundred dollars. Fifty years ago, all the money in the world would not have bought you that capability.

              Watson and Crick won the Nobel prize for the discovery of DNA in 1962. The first sequencing of the human genome took place less than seven years ago and cost in the neighborhood of a million dollars. Now you can get your own genome mapped for about 1/1000 of that price. There is a huge amount of information in DNA, but the more sequences that are run, the more we know, and the analysis can be done in large part by computer programs. It won't be long before we can edit DNA, then synthesize it. Having first destroyed the claim that the sun revolved around the earth, and finally, that only "god" can create life, science will finally eliminate every doubt regarding the irrelevance of "god".

              Also sprach Zarathustra.

              The concept of "god" is an old one. It has generally outlived its usefulness. In time, the idea of "praying" to a "god" will be as outdated as wearing garlic to ward off vampires. Bibles will join the rabbit's foot and knocking on wood or crossing your fingers for luck as curiosities in a bygone age. god is dead. Just as there are luddites who eschew electricity and computers, so there will be those who cling to old superstitions long after the rest of the world has moved on.

              I won't be one of them.
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              • Posted by j_IR1776wg 3 years, 9 months ago
                ">> all individuals need a standard against which they can judge the actions of their lives" j_IR1776wg

                "Another assumption." BambiB

                All knowledge begins with assumptions based on observations. You go on to write "As for the rest, science is still young." This is an assumption on your part. How do you know that science is still young? How do you know that science hasn't died of old age? How?
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                • -1
                  Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                  I guess my most basic false assumption was that you could read AND understand.

                  As one "for instance" in response to your question, "How do you know science is still young?", I point to my earlier mention of the sequencing of the human genome. Knowledge that is scarcely 7 years old can only be called "old" or "dead" by someone who is well under the age of seven.

                  I'm afraid you've outed yourself.
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          • Posted by  $  stargeezer 3 years, 9 months ago
            If you walk to the edge of a cliff with a thousand foot drop and there's a sign warning you that if you fall you will be killed, do you jump over the edge to "test" the theory? No, you assume based on logic that the sign is right.

            When the speed limit sign says 55MPH and you are given a ticket because you were driving 68MPH, do you argue with the officer or pay the ticket? Why it's not him who made the sign, law or even gave the authority to him. Telling him that you don't feel he has a right to ticket you will not change the outcome.

            When I am in my observatory looking at nebula that are 50,000 lightyears away my mind is not challenged to believe that the God who created all of this can manage little ole me.

            You claim that accepting the existence of God requires the abandonment of reason with the formula that begins with what you consider a wrong variable rendering everything following invalid. My logic demands that a formula where the existence of God is omitted gives you an incomplete answer leading to a failed existence. You ASSUME God does not exist. I KNOW that you are missing part of a whole life. We are reasoning creatures, God gave us the bible to guide us to him. In it you will find the truth you seek.

            But something leads me to doubt that you'll ever risk studying it enough to find the truth, you don't want that.
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            • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
              &gt;&gt; You ASSUME God does not exist.

              Actually, you are absolutely wrong about this. I have stated multiple times that I don't know whether any god exists, and if one does, profess no knowledge regarding its characteristics. Further, I don't think that information is knowable, given the limitations on our species. (To even make such a determination, one would first have to define what is meant by the term "god". Have fun with that!)

              What I find incredible is that people will claim to "know" something about whether god exists or not! Where's your proof?

              If I tell you god exists and is, in fact, Barney the Dinosaur, who are you to tell me otherwise? Where is your proof that Barney is any more or less a "god" than Jesus of Nazareth? Or the "god" of the Jews? Or Thor? Or Zeus? Or Shiva?

              Beginning with "We don't know if there is a god or not", your conclusion is akin to someone asking you to solve a mathematical expression and you randomly blurting out a number then insisting that you have the correct answer without any sort of proof whatsoever. In fact, you may be correct. But the odds are against it.

              Let's try that as an experiment: What are the first 100 significant figures of π^113? … without using a computer or doing the math? Just give us the answer. Tick tock. Time's up.

              Get that right under the stated conditions and maybe there IS a god. But you and I both know that the odds of you getting the correct answer is on the order of 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
              (Yep. 1 in a googol.)
              You could make a trillion guesses a second, and it would still take you more than 10^40 years to have a 50% chance of getting the correct answer.

              Odds of you being correct? Almost zero. And so it is with your "rational assumption" about god - except for one thing. There may be no god at all, in which case, no matter what your assumption is about the nature of "god", you are wrong.

              As for studying the bible, I suspect I've done as much of that as you have. Possibly more. Unless, of course, you've studied classical Greek so that you could read the New Testament in the original language? The difference is that somewhere along the line, I realized I was wasting my time, that christianity (and all other religion) is almost certainly a huge charade.

              I think man creates god in his own image. He believes what he wants to believe regardless of facts. Those beliefs have no relationship to reality.

              You haven't figured that out yet. In all likelihood, you never will… and if you do, you will deny it, even to yourself. It's called "cognitive dissonance". People don't give up that in which they've invested themselves, even when they KNOW they're wrong.
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              • -2
                Posted by EconomicFreedom 3 years, 9 months ago
                >;...whether god exists or not! Where's your proof?

                Matter, energy, determinism, and randomness (i.e., chaos, somewhat like your posts) do not create codes. Codes are mappings between two sets of symbols, and the mappings are mere conventions, undetermined by the physical composition of the symbols themselves (the mapping of the English letter "S" to the Morse Code symbol "***" is not determined by the physical laws governing ink on paper, or the geometry of wavy lines; it's a convention — an arbitrary choice — thought up by the mind of Samuel Morse). Similarly, the mapping between a codon triplet along the DNA helix and its corresponding amino acid floating around freely in the cell is undetermined by the chemical composition of the nucleotides or the chemical composition of amino acids; in fact, the codon triplet and its corresponding amino acid never physically meet, touch, or interact: DNA never interacts with amino acids, and mRNA never interacts with amino acids.

                The existence of codes in living organisms is empirical evidence that Mind was involved in their creation.

                Additionally, astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle claimed that the production of the element carbon — essential for life —in the interior of stars through nuclear resonance is so unlikely as to suggest strongly that stars themselves are manufactured expressly for the purpose of creating carbon. He claimed that the "fine-tuning" of physical constants governing physical law is so unlikely that they strongly suggest they've been "monkeyed with" (his words).

                He should know. He not only worked in this field his entire life, but discovered the process of nuclear resonance that creates carbon.

                Oh, and by the way, he was an atheist.
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                • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                  You abuse the mathematics of statistics, apply the weak anthropic principle and assigned it the smell of "proof".

                  One need only point out that if carbon were not plentiful, carbon-based life would not have evolved, and we would not be here. Perhaps some other elemental combination would have given rise to "life", but the mere fact that we are here is not proof that the universe was designed for us.

                  Do you have similar illusions regarding life in general? For example, if a bus comes along just when you need it, do you simply accept that the bus would have come anyway? Or do you assign mystical qualities to the arrival of the bus, including claiming that the odds that the bus would come along at JUST THAT INSTANT IN TIME to be so astronomical as to prove the existence of a "superior being" in arranging its arrival at just the time you needed it?

                  For all we know, there are other universes. They may be so numerous that their numbers dwarf the number of atoms in our own universe. With that sort of ubiquity, how "unlikely" is it that the carbon production cycle would exist in some of them? And in the rest, where the cycle does not exist, do you believe there are humans who say… oh wait. In THOSE universes, humans cannot exist. Aren't you glad you aren't in one of those universes?
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                  • -1
                    Posted by EconomicFreedom 3 years, 9 months ago
                    >One need only point out that if carbon were not plentiful, carbon-based life would not have evolved, and we would not be here.

                    A profound truism but not an answer to the technical problem of why it occurs. When a child asks daddy in an airplane, "How did the interior of this plane come to be pressurized?", it's scarcely relevant for daddy to answer (as you have), "Well, if it were NOT pressurized, we wouldn't be here to ask such question; we'd be dead."

                    That's true, but trivially so, and it doesn't answer the child's question: of all possible physical states for the inside of the plane to be, how did it NOT come to be the same as the outside pressure?" A perfectly valid question. If daddy doesn't know, he'd be benevolent enough to say so. When you don't know the answer — as, indeed, you usually do not — you try to shut the kid up with an irrelevant truism.

                    >Perhaps some other elemental combination would have given rise to "life",

                    Arbitrary assertion based on faith. Life as we understand it requires carbon. Period.

                    >but the mere fact that we are here is not proof that the universe was designed for us.

                    Thank God, then, no one actually made that claim. Having fun setting fire to straw men?

                    >Do you have similar illusions regarding life in general? For example, if a bus comes along just when you need it, do you simply accept that the bus would have come anyway?

                    If it happens every time I need a bus, AND in locations that have no bus service, I would think that the entire thing was rigged. Just like life.

                    You haven't studied the numbers; that's why you're so ignorant of the subject. And like most Objectivists, you try to argue against the math and the science by citing philosophy — and usually irrelevant philosophy at that.
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                    • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                      Where to begin?
                      Given an infinite number of universes, how many might have the carbon cycle?
                      Answer: You don't know.

                      Even if it's only one in a billion, that's still an infinite number of universes with the "rare" characteristic.

                      Given that the cycle is necessary for life (as we know it), what are the odds that life (as we know it) will evolve in one of the universes that does NOT have the carbon cycle?

                      Answer: Zero.

                      Given that we exist, are carbon based, and presumably need the carbon cycle, what are the odds that we would evolve in a universe with the carbon cycle?

                      Answer: 100%

                      So where's the mystery?

                      Your airplane analogy is complete BS.

                      You also don't know the difference between an assertion and speculation.

                      The mere fact that we are here, then, is no proof whatsoever that an intelligence is behind the existence of this particular universe.

                      Actually, you're the one lacking the background in mathematics. For me, it's not a matter of "philosophy". I go where the numbers lead me. You go where your superstitions lead you.
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          • Posted by EconomicFreedom 3 years, 9 months ago
            >They very ACT of becoming a christian is an ABANDONMENT of reason.

            Wrong. It's the realization that reason is a specific tool of human consciousness for survival; it's not the only tool. And like any tool, it is *specific*, and therefore limited.

            >It is accepting axiomatically that god exists - without the slightest shred of evidence.

            It needn't be axiomatic; it can be based on good empirical evidence.

            In any case, Objectivists are generally philosophical materialists who accept axiomatically that nothing but matter and energy exist, and that all effects in the universe can be explained deterministically by material causes — all without the slightest shred of evidence.
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            • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
              You argue with me by agreeing with me?
              First you say it's not abandonment of reason, then you imply that reason is not involved?

              You claim that "faith" isn't an axiomatic assumption - that empirical evidence can be the foundation… yet you offer NONE.

              Sorry, but you're just waving your hands and making mewling noises. Try facts.

              I don't claim to know what "Objectivists" accept, but only a moron (or someone lacking knowledge of physics as derived over the past 100 years) would think that systems are entirely deterministic. They can be chaotic. Random. Sort of like your last statement. Irrelevant too!
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              • Posted by Lucky 3 years, 9 months ago
                BambiB, you have a point but rather than, " only a moron (or someone lacking knowledge of physics as derived over the past 100 years)" there is another more likely explanation in that it is a devious person who wants to destroy and create confusion with specious argument, meaningless challenges, and deliberate fabrications. Just this one poster barely hides their disgust with AR, objectivism, and the rest of us.
                You say theists can not be objectivists. There was a suggestion that some here are pseudo-objectivists, it may have been directed at me, I would hope to be at least a fellow traveler, so would be many of the theists on here. Some express genuine opinions, sometimes in error and display ignorance of the merits of logic, thinking and the scientific method. Argument to be effective should be conducted with civility and with consideration of 'face'. This is not a debate where winners are decided by an outside judge. There is one poster here who constantly fails such criteria.
                I am sure that you are familiar with the Devon School district case in which the Christian judge prohibited the teaching of so-called intelligent design as science on the grounds that it was not science but a masquerade for the views of a religious sect. His ruling was scathing about the dishonesty of those trying it on. This site is faced with a similar minority of about one trying it on.
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                • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                  >> there is another more likely explanation in that it is a devious person who wants to destroy and create confusion with specious argument, meaningless challenges, and deliberate fabrications.

                  Would not such a person be a moron?
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                  • Posted by Lucky 3 years, 9 months ago
                    Surely, a person with a brain can frequently be wrong due to bad motives without being a moron?
                    Let me think about some public figures- inconvenient truth Gore, secret data Mann, headless chicken Charles, Carbon changed Pachauri, more debt and mistresses Hollande.. Hey, I think you are right!
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              • -1
                Posted by EconomicFreedom 3 years, 9 months ago
                >You argue with me by agreeing with me?

                To agree with an opponent's premise to argue an incorrect conclusion is a perfectly valid form of disputation.

                That you seem dismayed by it suggests you're a bit weak in the logic department. (Don't fret. You'll find many kindred spirits here. You won't be lonely.)

                >First you say it's not abandonment of reason, then you imply that reason is not involved?

                Ever hear of a dictionary? Look up the word "abandonment" and get back to me when you've understood its various definitions.

                (Hint: when someone puts down a screwdriver and picks up a hammer for the purpose of driving a nail into wood, no one — except a philosophical drama-queen such as you, perhaps — would histrionically claim that he is "abandoning" the screwdriver, or suggest that he's thinking to himself, "henceforth, I shall not have anything to do with screwdrivers! I and screwdrivers part ways for eternity! O Screwdriver! I abandon thee!")

                >You claim that "faith" isn't an axiomatic assumption - that empirical evidence can be the foundation… yet you offer NONE.

                But you didn't ask me to provide any empirical evidence.

                Also, you didn't paraphrase me accurately. I did not say that faith "is not" axiomatic; I said that faith need not be axiomatic — it can be based on evidence. That doesn't preclude someone else from holding it axiomatically.

                Axioms are matters of choice.
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                • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                  >>(Hint: when someone puts down a screwdriver and picks up a hammer for the purpose of driving a nail into wood, no one — except a philosophical drama-queen such as you, perhaps — would histrionically claim that he is "abandoning" the screwdriver, or suggest that he's thinking to himself, "henceforth, I shall not have anything to do with screwdrivers! I and screwdrivers part ways for eternity! O Screwdriver! I abandon thee!")

                  Aside from your quibble over semantics, I think you make my case for me. In order to accept the christian premise, one must abandon rationality. One may pick it up later, but by then, the damage is done. You presumably assume that god has certain characteristics (the axiom), then proceed from that assumption.
                  But why not substitute an equally-valid assumption, that the costumed character, "Barney the Dinosaur" is god? Once you've accepted that equally-valid axiom, you can cannot contradict it!

                  >> But you didn't ask me to provide any empirical evidence.

                  True. So I ask now. Where is your evidence? Don't hold back. Let's have it all, though I warn you that if it is of the flavor, "I prayed for an unlikely event to occur and it did" I may be too wracked with laughter to properly compose a reply.
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                  • -1
                    Posted by EconomicFreedom 3 years, 9 months ago
                    >Aside from your quibble over semantics,

                    Definitions, not merely semantics. But I'm not surprised you're cavalier regarding the meaning — i.e., the objective referents — of words.

                    >I think you make my case for me.

                    I'm sure you do. It's called "confirmation bias."

                    >In order to accept the christian premise,

                    I don't understand. What is the "Christian premise"?

                    >one must abandon rationality.

                    Wrong again, O diva. One merely adds faith to one's intellectual toolbox. It's an addition to the toolbox, not a subtraction. It's an adoption of something, not an "abandonment."

                    But I'm certainly not going to waste time arguing with your feelings.

                    >One may pick it up later, but by then, the damage is done.

                    Thanks for making my case for me. If one "picks X up later," then it follows one hasn't "abandoned" it, right?

                    Oh, and by the way: *what* damage?

                    >You presumably assume that god has certain characteristics (the axiom), then proceed from that assumption.

                    I mentioned nothing about God. Your original post regarded *faith* being axiomatic vs. based on some kind of evidence.

                    >But why not substitute an equally-valid assumption, that the costumed character, "Barney the Dinosaur" is god?

                    One could do that. So?

                    >Once you've accepted that equally-valid axiom, you can cannot contradict it!

                    Sure you can. You can say, "Barney is NOT god" and cite an alternative, such as "Every dinosaur is God" or "No dinosaur is God" and see where the line of reasoning leads. That's how non-Euclidean geometries were invented: Riemann and Lobachevsky both denied that Euclid's 5th axiom regarding a single line through a point being parallel to some other given line was truly axiomatic. One of them said, "Let the axiom instead be 'An infinite number of parallels may be drawn through a point outside a line'" and the other said, "Let the axiom instead be 'No parallel may be drawn through a point outside of a straight line.'" Each one successfully created a useful variant of a non-Euclidean geometry.

                    >> But you didn't ask me to provide any empirical evidence.

                    True. So I ask now. Where is your evidence? Don't hold back. Let's have it all, though I warn you that if it is of the flavor, "I prayed for an unlikely event to occur and it did" I may be too wracked with laughter to properly compose a reply.

                    It's apparent you're wracked with a number of afflictions, involuntary laughter at mathematical impossibilities being only one.

                    See my other post regarding DNA/RNA being a quaternary digital code (isomorphic in all respects to recent codes of human design such as Morse Code and ASCII); and Sir Fred Hoyle's statements regarding the fine-tuning of universal physical constants and the creation of carbon in stellar nuclearsynthesis.
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                    • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                      >>>>Once you've accepted that equally-valid axiom, you can cannot contradict it!

                      >>Sure you can.

                      No wonder your logic is all cockeyed. You accept an axiom, but feel free to contradict it? This is contrary to the most basic rules of logic. You might as well accept as axiomatic "god exists" and in the same breath say, "god does not exist".
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                    • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                      Your account of the development of non-Euclidean geometries is actually incorrect. Hyperbolic geometry does not rely upon "an infinite number of lines", but the existence of only TWO distinct lines. I am not surprised that you do not know the difference between two and infinity.

                      You play as fast and loose with math as you do everything else. And yes, I am laughing at you.

                      Being that I've asked you for the sum total of all of your proof, and this is all you have offered, we are left with only your wild and debunked assertions.

                      Your understanding of formal proof and the nature of an "axiom" are no better than your (mis)statement of the foundational postulate of hyperbolic geometry.

                      Hoyle was a bright guy. But even bright guys sometimes get carried away and make stupid statements that far-less capable people take as gospel.

                      Einstein is famous for saying, "god does not play dice with the universe", yet Hawking is reputed to have said, "Not only does god play dice with the universe, he rolls the dice where we cannot even see them." Now, I don't doubt that Einstein was shocked by the idea that at the most fundamental levels is not order, but chaos. It offended his sense of "godly order". Hawking, it seems, was under no such theological limitation. His statement is one of derision at the failure of a great mind to accept an obvious truth because his religious beliefs got in the way.

                      Einstein was wrong. So was LaPlace. The universe is NOT deterministic. Planck, Schrödinger, Dirac, Heisenberg and Hawking are right. At the bottom of everything is a sort of chaos which Hawking, in a backhanded slap at god's "omniscience", claims even god cannot penetrate. Perhaps you worship Hoyle's opinions and are therefore unable to admit he might be wrong. I am under no such disability.
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                      • -1
                        Posted by EconomicFreedom 3 years, 9 months ago
                        >Your account of the development of non-Euclidean geometries is actually incorrect.

                        http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Extr...

                        "The number of parallel lines that can be drawn through a given point to a given line is one in Euclid's geometry, none in Riemann's, and an infinite number in the geometry of Lobachevsky."

                        Anything else you want to know, dingbat?

                        >But even bright guys sometimes get carried away and make stupid statements that far-less capable people take as gospel.

                        And quite often ignorant girls make stupid statements that they themselves take as gospel. Thanks for living up to the stereotype with such enthusiasm.

                        >The universe is NOT deterministic.

                        dbhalling is the determinist, not I. In any case, that has nothing to do with anything we're talking about. Try to focus, OK?

                        >I am under no such disability.

                        You're in denial. You have plenty of disabilities; pretending to know anything about Fred Hoyle's ideas is just one.
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                        • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                          Your original statement was,
                          >> One of them said, "Let the axiom instead be 'An infinite number of parallels may be drawn through a point outside a line'"

                          This is incorrect.

                          The formal statement of the Hyperbolic Axiom is,

                          "In hyperbolic geometry there exist a line l and a point P not on l such that at least two distinct lines parallel to l pass through P."

                          (cite: p 150, Euclidean and Non-Euclidean Geometries, Development and History", Marvin Jay Greenberg, 1972)

                          One schooled in mathematics would instantly recognize that the former statement is of a sort that might be susceptible to proof given the latter statement as a postulate. A student of Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries would recognize that the "infinite number of parallels" is derivative from the proper statement of the postulate. An unschooled, cut-and-paste, "drive-by mathematician", such as yourself, could scarcely be expected to recognize or understand the difference.
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                          • -2
                            Posted by EconomicFreedom 3 years, 9 months ago
                            >This is incorrect.

                            Not according to Henri Poincare summarizing Lobachevsky's work. Once more:

                            "The number of parallel lines that can be drawn through a given point to a given line is . . . none in Riemann's, and an infinite number in the geometry of Lobachevsky."

                            You need to brush up on your reading comprehension skills (among other things). Maybe you have some sort of attention disorder. Who knows.

                            How are you coming along with Fred Hoyle, Hubert Yockey, and basic probability and combinatorics?

                            For the record: so far, you haven't posted a single thing demonstrating that you know what you're talking about. You don't even understand what the issues are.

                            You probably feel right at home in the Gulch.

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    • Posted by  $  Maphesdus 3 years, 9 months ago
      Religious services may have been preached and taught in government buildings back in the early days of our nation, but back then the only religions in the country were all some variant of Christianity, and they were ALL allowed. If you want to have those same accommodations today, it would again have to allow ALL religions. That includes Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Sihkism, Wiccanism, and yes, even Satanism.

      There was a controversy recently about a city government erecting a stone monument of the Ten Commandments on the lawn of it's Capitol, but refusing requests that citizens made for monuments for other religions, the most popular of which was a proposal to build a statue of Baphomet.

      Is it freedom of religion if the government favors one particular religion like that? I don't think so...
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  • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
    I'm not sure which posts you are referring to, but I agree that Christian hot button political issues are increasingly being discussed in the gulch lately. I would say there is probably an increase in the number of guests due to the filming of ASIII. For social conservatives, this site poses some dissonance. But there is much we can also agree on. Usually, when new guests come in, they feel the site out on these issues and then those conversations tend to die down-since this ultimately is a site promoting the ideas of Ayn Rand. My husband recently posted about the Philosophy of Science and it devolved very quickly into a religious driven agenda completely sidetracked from the post's point.
    If you are discussing meandering posts, however, that tend to go the way of adult humor, that is always going to happen, I predict, and I enjoy letting off a little steam in here occasionally. ;)
    There are few rules on this site and lots of free will.
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 3 years, 9 months ago
      I would say it's the atheist hot button issues that are increasingly being discussed.
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      • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
        atheism is not a philosophy. On this site atheists tend to respond to religious themes, not initiate. The only posts I can think of where that isn't the case are those educating about the threat of Islam.
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        • -1
          Posted by rlewellen 3 years, 9 months ago
          You just did "atheism is not a philosophy"
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          • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
            I am responding not initiating.r, I am very respectful of those in the gulch who believe in God. It's one reason that I am not comfortable on other Objectivist forums. Objectivism is a philosophy with foundations. Atheism is not. I am not one of those atheists who like to turn it into a cause. I see that as unproductive. For example, those people who actively promote putting up some statue at court houses to get some sort of equality with a statue of the Ten Commandments. Or taking the govt to court over the removal of "in God we Trust." I can see the point, but do not see the harm. There are issues I will be outspoken about and it comes from an Objectivist point of view not atheist.
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            • Posted by rlewellen 3 years, 9 months ago
              I don't think I have see you disrespectful of people that are religious. There will be issues when it is not related to the topic at hand because it would invite response that leads to debate about religion once it is brought up. Everyone thinks their point of view is important even if they are not atheists.
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            • -1
              Posted by AKnightsLife 3 years, 9 months ago
              KHalling - I am confused on what you do believe in - you say above that you can see the point but not the harm in other atheist removing In God We Trust from our National eyesight - and that you see that in light of being objective not as an atheist - But if you were being objective and rational you would realize that tearing down the motto from which this countries founders followed and from which this country was formed and from which it receives its foundations on you would realize that your view is any thing but objective - for instance do you think that it is ok to dismantle that fabric of a societies ethical and moral code and belief structure that it is founded on is the logical thing to do when if done would cause a collapse of that countries social, moral and legal structure - and as such do you therefore think that that is a good idea and one you see no harm in? R you sure you are being "objective" in your rational view that to keep a country in stable order you should remove its founding tenants - because what atheist propose in removing those words In God We Trust is to remove the moral & ethical fabric of our society - and they want to do so simply because they do not believe - what rational sense does that even make? Your "seeing no harm" in what atheist do to remove In God WeTrust sounds more of an atheist view than an objectivist view if you look at your view rationally -
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              • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
                AK, this country was founded on natural rights. nothing in our founding docs have anything to do with christianity. neither does AR. are you highjacking our site for your own agenda?
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                • Posted by AKnightsLife 3 years, 9 months ago
                  I see you now changed it to Christianity - and your wrong - it was as all of our founding fathers schooling from children through college were based on the precepts and concepts of Christian thinking and Ben Franklin remarked to all those in assembly to create the constitution that they would have more wisdom in drafting the constitution if they all invoked God in Prayer and as one they together - though different in their denominational up bringing's - all prayed together to ask God for His Wisdom - also all government meetings were led and opened in Prayer to The Living God of The Bible (aka: Christianity Guide Book) in those days -Thomas Jefferson and all other rational founding fathers all had the same belief and said so that this country would only stay in tact through following The Bible - I do suggest you read their history of their upbringing in order to know the facts and therefore to objectively speak out - also you have not answered my initial questions to you in my first post - I am waiting -
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                • -1
                  Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 9 months ago
                  "In God We Trust" has nothing to do with Christianity, either.

                  Without God, there's no such thing as "natural rights", there is only power and action. I have the "right" to make you my slave... if I have the power to do so. Is it right? Is it moral? Perfectly, according to natural laws derived from the laws of physics.

                  Are pilot fish and leeches immoral? No, they're perfectly moral, in spite of Objectivism proclaiming that taking from another without giving in return is "immoral", or a violation of "rights".

                  Without a supreme deity to confer "rights", the only "rights" you can have are those granted you by those of your peers, equals, who have more power than you have.

                  Our country was founded, in fact, upon the principle of individual *liberty*. To suggest that the creators of the country were not *culturally* Christian is either naive or willfully obtuse.

                  And the Founding Fathers, in the DoI, referred to God; "...endowed by their Creator with certain, inalienable rights". Was this the Moslem concept of God? The Hindu concept of God? Again, these men were culturally Christian.
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                  • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                    Don't "natural rights" refer to the rights that even animals have? A right to self-defense? A right to self-determination? Rights that cannot be taken away by the state (even if, in fact, they are curtailed or impaired, the rights remain)?

                    Natural rights? No god necessary.
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                    • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 9 months ago
                      Remember that scene from Jurassic Park, where the herd of Gallamimus are running, and a T-Rex jumps out and grabs one... the poor little thing tries to bite the T-Rex back... as it dies.

                      So much for it's "right" to self-defense and self-determination.

                      If a right is something that exists even if curtailed or impaired... what IS a right?
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                      • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                        How is that different from the State?

                        Smoke pot, get caught, watch the T Rex bite you.

                        Or take your shotgun to Freedom Plaza in DC and load it. Watch the T Rex curtail your right to bear arms.

                        Give up your means to bite back (your guns, your ability to communicate without monitoring by the T Rex). Watch the T Rex shovel you into ovens.

                        It does raise an interesting question. When do you get to exercise a "right"? If you can only do it with the approval of the T Rex, is it really a right? Is it a right only if you have the power to kill anyone who would infringe that right?
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                        • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 9 months ago
                          You don't capitalize State unless referring to one of the member republics of the United States.

                          I have already stated that rights don't exist; only power and action. "Rights" are a convenient fiction men use to deal with one another... but even as a useful fiction, they must come from a superior force than your fellow men, or they are not rights, but privileges.

                          You make a false assumption: "give up your means to bite back". The gallamimus bit back.. in futility. Nothing took away his ability to fight back.
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                          • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                            >>You don't capitalize State unless referring to one of the member republics of the United States.

                            How the hell would YOU know what **I** do? I might capitalize State for emphasis. I might even capitAlize it to give you SOME sort of counter-argument. I mean, anyone who has to argue from a fictional movie about fictional dinosaur interaction is already at a loss.

                            I'll simply point out that Americans have already overthrown their government once… and there's no reason to believe it could not happen again.
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                • -1
                  Posted by AKnightsLife 3 years, 9 months ago
                  am I high jacking OUR site for your agenda? AS a member of the Gulch I am part of OUR SITE - and I was responding respectfully to your comment - r u not able to respond back in a rational respectful n objective way as Ayn Rand would do and as this site is dedicated too do - as for your answer above it makes no sense when you say 1. this country WAS founded on natural rights and then the next sentence you say it was NOT founded on natural rights - which do you mean? and who is AR?
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                  • Posted by rlewellen 3 years, 9 months ago
                    This is not related to the original post, We can debate this til we are blue in the face. There is no point because it is not related to the original discussion. I am a Christian and we talked about this earlier. Posts become unreasonably long because they drift away from the original content. This seems like a good thing to start a new discussion about.
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              • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 3 years, 9 months ago
                I don't know about that part of 'in God We Trust' s being the motto from which this countries founders followed and from which this country was formed.

                For the most part, the founders were deist, not Christians, (other than in the social context). Their moralities and philosophies tended to be centered around natural rights and individual liberty. One Nation Under God wasn't added to our Pledge of Allegiance till 1952 (?) or so.

                The major influences of Christianity seems to have been prohibition and Blue laws. What Christian is going to support the state's death sentence (particularly if the convicted then takes Jesus as his savior and is saved and asks for forgiveness)

                I continue to respect and defend the right of Christians to have their beliefs, even though I find a great deal of fault with them, but I simply don't want it shoved into every conversation I try to have.

                If a Christian or LGBT supporter has nothing better to comment about than those things, in conversation about any other topic imaginable, I honestly feel sorry for them.

                Personally, I'm content with the outlook on such subjects that I've formed based on my own reasoning, and I don't wear a LED illuminated ball cap flashing, "Here walks a Christian" or 'Here's a Gay Guy' or 'Here;s an Agnostic.' On the other hand, I might like that flashing ball cap with "KYFHO" on it.
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                • -1
                  Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 9 months ago
                  "For the most part, the founders were deist, not Christians,"

                  ENOUGH OF THIS BULLSHIT!

                  What religion was Thomas Jefferson's Daddy? And his Mommy? Franklin, Adams, Hamilton, the rest of them?

                  They were raised as CHRISTIANS, the culture of their society was Christian, not "deist", not Moslem, not Jewish, not Buddhist. Just as Obama's upbringing in a Moslem culture colored his world view, so did the Founding Fathers' upbringing in a CHRISTIAN culture.

                  "THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL; THAT THEY ARE ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS."

                  That they would not impose any sect of Christianity on the nation is simply an awareness of the history of their country, England, which two centuries after the War of Independence was still battling among CHRISTIAN sects (protestant vs Catholic).

                  They did not want to impose a particular flavor of Christianity on the nation, but every one of them shared a Christian concept of God. To suggest otherwise is to ignore reality.

                  I don't know what priest molested you as a child to make you hate Christians, but you better wake up, because we're all that stands between you and Islamic slavery. Or worse; atheist slavery.

                  "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

                  Did it ever occur to your arrogant self that Christians view atheists as obnoxious as you find us? That we don't want to hear your condescending attitude, born of neurotic insecurity, any more than you want to hear our pious attitude, born of smug self-assurance?


                  NOWHERE in the Founding documents, the Constitution or the DoI, does it refer to "natural rights", but the DoI refers to rights which come from the creator, and to reliance upon Divine providence...

                  If they were merely "Deists", as you wrongly proclaim... which God did they believe in? Please show the texts where they made up their own opinions about God the Creator, wholly independent of Christianity?

                  You are damned lucky this nation was founded by Christians upon Christian morality, and not atheists upon atheist "morality", or Moslems upon Islamic morality. You wouldn't be sitting at a computer arguing right now.
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                  • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                    >> I don't know what priest molested you as a child to make you hate Christians, but you better wake up, because we're all that stands between you and Islamic slavery. Or worse; atheist slavery.

                    Oh save me! Save me! I don't want to be a muslim slave! I don't want to be an atheist slave! I wanna be a christian slave!

                    /sarcasm
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                  • Posted by Lucky 3 years, 9 months ago
                    The words 'divine providence' are used. The writers being well educated knew the word 'god'. I reckon if that is what they meant that is the word they would have used. Now you could say they chose the words they did for purposes of euphony/ poetry, yes but that opens up more interpretations.
                    As for hostility to Christians, abuse by priests may have its part as well as noting the use of abusive language which has proven to be a prelude to persecution.
                    Slavery- practiced in the old South and supported by ministers of religion. Slavery in the American Christian South was the worst form known to history, in Islam being a slave was a matter of luck there were white black and pink slaves and owners, and there was recognition that a gift of freedom to a slave could be made but in the South slavery was inherent in skin color. Since then Christianity has softened, but Islam has regressed. What is written in holy books is ignored by most adherents as being you know what, interpretations are made according to the zeitgeist.
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              • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                From my perspective, the most useful thing about religions is it keeps the riffraff from running open loop. If you're convinced that "god is watching" you may be less inclined to rape that woman, mug that grandfather, steal that money.

                But it's a poor basis for policy-making. Anyone who sincerely believes in god may also believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, and I really don't want them using their superstitions as a basis for how I must interact with my government.
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                • Posted by Rocky_Road 3 years, 9 months ago

                  I disagree.

                  I have always believed that 'when our leaders cease to fear God, it is time to fear our leaders'.

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                  • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 3 years, 9 months ago
                    RR: I really despise calling them "leaders". I've never voted for a leader, only a servant. When they start to think of themselves as leaders, is when we get pushed into trouble.
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                    • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 9 months ago
                      Why did you vote for them at all? Why didn't you just buy one?

                      Sorry, an employee is not automatically a servant. He is someone who has contracted to do a job.
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                  • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                    So you think it's a nice whip to control the the riffraff AND the politicians?

                    Hmmm. Maybe.

                    But personally, I'm still more concerned that anyone that gullible might believe they can spend American into prosperity or decide for others whether they should drink, smoke pot or sacrifice their lives for oil conglomerates.

                    I prefer the politicians be more afraid of the citizens (as appropriate) than god.
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                • Posted by Lucky 3 years, 9 months ago
                  Satre said-
                  Belief in absurdities leads inevitably to atrocities.
                  I doubt BambiB or khalling have a high regard for Satre, me neither, but that makes sense.
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                • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 3 years, 9 months ago
                  >>"From my perspective, the most useful thing about religions is it keeps the riffraff from running open loop"<<

                  Even more, it makes it OK for them to have a shitty, ground down life in the mud on Earth with bruises on both cheeks, because they get to walk on golden paths on clouds and wear white robes while bathing in the warmth from all the burning bad guys below.
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                  • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                    Good point. Could governments maintain control of people if people understood that THIS is all they've got? "Turn the other cheek" is not much of a philosophy for a man, because it teaches the aggressor that it's okay to attack. But it's a GREAT philosophy for a slave to have… from the perspective of the slave owner.
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                  • -1
                    Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 9 months ago
                    Well, look at it this way... better get all you can out of this life, because when you die... the universe ends.

                    For *real* Christians, by which I mean people who sincerely believe and do their best to follow the letter of Christianity as best they understand it, their lives aren't ground down, or in the mud, or bruised. While it may be a terrible, terrible burden upon a thief for it to be immoral to steal, it's hardly a thing worth noticing to an honest man. You may look upon the Christian lifestyle as terribly oppressed and deprived, but it's no more burdensome to a believer than it is for egotists... I mean Objectivists... to trade value for value, to consume no more than they produce, to honor contracts (except marriage contracts <cough>), or follow any of the tenets of *their* religion.
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                    • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                      I wonder how many "real" christians there are? I mean, if a "real" christian never gets divorced, that's got to mean that an awful lot of people who think they're christians aren't "real" christians.

                      Now by most measures, the divorce rate among christians is about the same as the general population. But then there are those who claim otherwise. For example, this article http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/... appears to make your argument that all those christians who divorce aren't "real" christians. So I guess when statisticians say "about 30% of the world's population are christian", they're talking about "real" christians and "fake" christians combined. And since we know that about half of all marriages among "christians" end in divorce, we have to assume that half of all christians are fake christians by reason of divorce. Of the remainder, it seems reasonable that only half are "real" christians. After all, half of non-christians don't divorce, so it doesn't make sense that it's just the "real" christians who remain married. What this indicates is that on the issue of divorce alone, the number of "real" christians is probably less than 25% of the 30% of people in the world - or about 7.5%.

                      Well, what else do "real" christians do, or not do that sets them apart from fake christians?

                      If people only go to church once a month, are they "real" christians? How about if they don't tithe? Real christian? Fake christian? If they don't turn the other cheek? What if they take the "lord's" name in vain? What if they (*gasp*) covet their neighbor's ass?

                      The takeaway here should be that at least 3/4 of all christians are fake.
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                • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 9 months ago
                  And what keeps you from raping that woman, mugging that grandfather, stealing that money?

                  You still believe in a god; you just replaced a supernatural being with your own ego.
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                  • Posted by Lucky 3 years, 9 months ago
                    Correct. tho' place .. instead of replace .
                    Those without religious belief who do not go around 'raping that woman, mugging that grandfather, stealing that money' have internal values, an individual sense of personal integrity that requires some and forbids other behaviors. You may call it ego but I do not like the belief system or nomenclature of Freud.
                    To push a point, I suggest you also have those values, and for the same reason.
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          • Posted by  $  stargeezer 3 years, 9 months ago
            I'm always fascinated to see posts from folks who oppose the mere mention of God, Jesus or faith, but jump off the deep end of intelligence when it's pointed out that secular humanism is just as much a "religion". I can only ask them how "church" was on The Huff Post this week?" and go onto a more fruitful discussion that's more appropriate to this site's reason for being.
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            • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
              Concur. Just as no one is ever likely to present convincing evidence that god exists, so no is likely to prove god does not exist. To me, the only rational approach is to acknowledge that we do not know, probably cannot know (and by "know" I don't mean "have a feeling about", but actually KNOW) whether there is a god. All we can say with certainty is that most people alive today are wrong, and most humans probably didn't share any of your religious beliefs.

              How do I know that? If you divide the universe of religions into N mutually-exclusive categories, then anyone who believes in one of those N religions CANNOT by definition, believe in any of the others. If Buddhism is incompatible with Lutheranism, you cannot believe in both at the same time. If religion X is correct, then every other incompatible religion must, by definition, be wrong. So right off the bat we know that at least 70% of all the humans alive today are wrong in their religious beliefs.

              Christianity is the world's most "popular" religion, followed by islam. In third spot we find, "No relgious affilitiation. But even christianity only tops out at less than 1 in 3 among the living, and we know that the vast majority of humans never believed in it because... well, it didn't exist while they were alive. At a "guesstimate" less than 5% of people have ever believed in christianity, and the numbers are worse for other modern religions. It's more likely that more people throughout history have believed in simple superstitions... like sacrificing animals to the "gods" of lightning (while cowering in their caves)... or perhaps they never even conceived of such a thing as a "god". Seriously, if you had not been "programmed" (taught) about the possible existence of a diety... would the idea have ever occurred to you independently? Was your expectation of god seeded by the comments of others, or did you arrive at it on your own? Maybe the only thing that has given us this on-going disease of anti-rationality is that the written word has made it more enduring? That no one comes to the table with a clean slate. That everyone is poisoned with the "idea" of god before they're able to think for themselves?

              Whatever religion is true (if there be such a thing), it is followed by a minority of humans. Further, depending on the age of the religion, billions of people died before the religion was even created. An estimated 46 billion people had died before Jesus was even a gleam in Mary's eye. Another 12 billion or so died waiting for Mohammed to arrive. Something like 78 billion people were already dead when Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg. So, in most cases, more people died before the religions were even invented than were ever around to believe in them.

              Which kind of calls into question the whole purpose of religion... and why your particular flavor wasn't around for the majority of humans.
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              • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 9 months ago
                Your mistake is in defining the nature of Christianity. Of course the vast majority of people who lived were never Christian; the vast majority of people who ever lived were never Objectivists, either. They never read "Atlas Shrugged" or "The Fountainhead" or "We the Living". So what?

                Every child has one god before that god is replaced with another; that god is himself. The world revolves around him, his wants, his needs, and everything around him reinforces that belief. Some of us never develop another "religion", and grow up to be Objectivists.

                Here is one of my mantras, may it do you good:

                "God created the universe for His purpose."

                Not mine; not yours... HIS. Maybe His purpose lies on another planet. Maybe He created the unverse in order to manufacture some substance He finds useful which cannot be created any other way... say... plastic.
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjmtSkl53...

                Or maybe He was bored one "day". Or maybe He created us to answer a philosophical question He had with Himself.

                What amuses me is the one religion you choose to denigrate and persecute is the one religion that is about love, not fear. Creation is an act of love; any creator knows this, be he a painter, baker or video gamewright. What's one of the main tenets of this belief system? Love thy neighbor AS thyself; not more than, not instead of, but AS thyself. How different is this from the basic tenets of Objectivism, which preaches self-love, but expects one to trade value for value? I've heard Objectivists here speak of preserving their "integrity". What is integrity? What is its value? You snark about "bruised cheeks"... well, if you can lie and thereby gain a yacht... why not lie? Because it would hurt your integrity? What is your integrity that you would sacrifice your gain to it? What is your integrity that you would rather have a shitty, ground down in the mud life than violate it?
                Oh, because integrity makes your interactions with other people better, more positive, easier?
                Gee, that's what a Christian might say about following the tenets of *his* religion...
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                • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
                  >> What amuses me is the one religion you choose to denigrate and persecute is the one religion that is about love, not fear.

                  Horse pucky. It's about the same things all other religions are about - an attempt to pave over lack of understanding and within the hierarchy, a means to control others. That's why for centuries the christian services were in Latin. That's why there's a heaven and a hell.

                  Your "first god, second god" comment is generally incorrect. Usually the second god is parents. Once weak willed people realize their parents aren't all knowing, all-powerful, can't protect them, they need a new god - so they invent one. Sometimes they pray to the god of thunder. Sometimes to the god of war. Sometimes to some other made-up god - but it's all just parent replacement.

                  I reiterate - there is NO RATIONAL REASON TO BELIEVE IN ANY PARTICULAR GOD. Pick a god, any god - most people alive, most people who have ever lived, would say you are wrong. What evidence do you have to contradict them? None. Nothing but a "feeling" or a wild-ass guess (what some people call "faith").

                  Creation is an act of love? So every guy who builds a bomb does it out of love?

                  Need to tighten up the logic. The shotgun approach to defending your illusion isn't working.
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            • -2
              Posted by rlewellen 3 years, 9 months ago
              Tell me what "atheism is not a philosophy" has to do with the topic. Answer nothing, putting it in there added nothing to the discussion neither did your defense of it.
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              • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
                I think you are referring to me,r? I was responding to "atheist hot buttons." I do not have "hot buttons" because I am atheist. My hot buttons stem from a philosophy of life. There are foundations, tenets I use to guide. Atheism in and of itself is not a good guide. it's just a result. that might not be the best word...but close. Christianity is indeed a philosophy. so-atheism cannot be the opposite of Christianity. apples and oranges. that was my point.
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                • Posted by Rozar 3 years, 9 months ago
                  It's a good point to make that Christianity tells people how to live their lives while atheism makes no claim. You can be an atheist and go to church, believe in the power of the state, or outwardly reject both. The only condition to being labeled an atheist is not believing in the existence of supernatural entities. Christianity defines what is morally right, atheism doesn't.
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                  • Posted by  $  stargeezer 3 years, 9 months ago
                    I think a big problem most people who are not educated in scripture have is just not understanding what is there. It's very easy to read a passage and proclaim that it tells you to do such and such. Then you are informed that what you're reading is history - not rightly dividing the bible leads to more problems among the untrained than any other thing.

                    It's very easy for a new convert to read a passage and say it tells me to do such and such - then to discover that it was actually a historical passage explaining how the Israelites defeated whoever.

                    The Bible is roughly 1/3rd poetic, 1/3rd historic, 1/6th prophetic and the balance religious law. If a person starts reading The Song of Solomon thinking they are studying how to live their life, they just might get arrested. The same holds true of the battle orders of King David. You must know what you are reading and just how many of the people you know who do not go to church are able to do that in a book of - for example - physics?? The same is true for Christian faith. The truth is in there and anyone who honestly looks for it can find it, but the odds of doing it by random reading is pretty slim.

                    All that said, here is the difference from a decision point - Christianity requires an affirmative decision, atheism requires no decision at all.
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                    • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
                      Star as interesting as this may be as a topic for you have you noticed the poster is not interested? This is exactly what she was talking about. It 's not going to happen on this site that you are going to get scripture teaching. There 's plenty of other good stuff...
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                • -2
                  Posted by AKnightsLife 3 years, 9 months ago
                  Hi - Sorry to disagree but you may have the same eye site as Ayn in that Christianity is not a philosophy (nor a religion for that matter) though with so many denominations it may seem so - True Christ-I-anity is a Daily Spiritual and Intellectual Relationship with The Living Being who Created all that is seen and all that is not seen - as such He is not a way of Thinking but a Way of Living both Spiritually and Intellectually and via Friendship and Fellowship with Him comes oneness with Him and Him thru us -
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        • -3
          Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 9 months ago
          The hell it isn't!
          Hm... in recent memory, what countries, rightly or wrongly, considered themselves "Christian", and which ones considered themselves "atheist"?

          The Soviet Union et al were not self-proclaimed Christian nations, but self-proclaimed *atheist* nations.
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          • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
            You know full well this site is in support of Rand. Being American does not mean you have to be Christian.
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            • -1
              Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 9 months ago
              Nowadays, being American doesn't mean you even have to be American.

              I'm fed up with all the neurotics here blaming everything, including the evils of socialism, on Christianity, when the worst horrors ever perpetrated on man were done by self-proclaimed ATHEISTS.

              Before the Terror, the French tried to do away with God; every socialist hellhole has tried to suppress religion and promote atheism. And yet it is Christianity, which has done more good, has more history-changing, civilization-advancing followers than any other belief system, especially atheism.

              And, until recent decades, until the decline of America (gee, what a coincidence!), it was generally accepted among the populace that America was a Christian nation.
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  • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 3 years, 9 months ago
    I think the swing toward religious/faith-oriented conversation in this website is in inevitable. Objectivism essentially disregards believing in a deity and that is troublesome for those who feel close kinship with many aspects of Rand's philosophy. Discussing this topic, with objectivity, can help sew together the internal compromise that many faith-oriented people have when it comes to Rand.
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    • Posted by AKnightsLife 3 years, 9 months ago
      I have listened to a couple of interviews of Rand and her view of helping the poor was one of doing so because one wanted too - not because they were told too or because they had a religious teaching to do so - and in that regard as a Christian I agree somewhat with her - except for 2 thoughts in this area 1. The Book was written to let us know right from wrong and to let us also know the Thoughts of God. Gods thoughts in helping the poor are to help them - But He did not rule out wisdom in this area and obeying this way of Life of giving to others was to be done out of compassion and Love for ones fellow man - not out of a religious dogma - take Jesus for example the Expressed Image of Father God - Scripture says that He had "compassion on the poor, the hungry, etc." It did not say He had a dogma or a religious belief to help the poor - no - He had/has "compassion" in His Heart for the poor. As a Christian I give because I want to and do so because I choose too - not because I have a religious "rule" to follow. But I follow my heart and Gods Inward Leading on where and to whom to help and or to give too - its my free volition - AND Gods Will to Give - that's why He had it put in His Book - so that we would know that it's ok to give to the poor and to help them and do so because our hearts and our minds tell us too - I think Ayn missed it because she saw it as a religious duty - like a nun "telling" you what to do - which I agree with her I would not like -
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      • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
        So, let me get this straight… God makes up all the rules. And so he creates rules that say unless you believe, you're damned. But he doesn't give anyone a RATIONAL way to believe. The very act of "faith" is an abandonment of rational thought.

        Isn't Rand basically rational? Philosophically, how is that compatible with religion at all (the "anti-rational")? Sure, both may reach the same conclusions on case-by-case bases… but the motivations are different, and in some cases, the conclusions may be diametrically opposed.

        So which do you choose? The rational Rand? Or the irrational religion?
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        • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 3 years, 9 months ago
          I could answer you very easily, as I've had this conversation outside of here recently, but this would quickly turn into a "religious" discussion. Should you want to continue contact me privately and we can discuss this (I'm not a attempting to preach) . Rest assured, there is rational grounds for faith in something outside of yourself.
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          • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
            Let's not hide the discussion. Let's put it out there so that everyone may benefit.

            Play on.
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            • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 3 years, 9 months ago
              All I will say here:

              I'm not a terribly religious/faith oriented man, much to the chagrin of my wife. However I easily see that there are limitations to man, what man can achieve, and what man can figure out. Science has grown a monumental ego thinking it can do anything - yet it creates nothing, it only manipulates materials already on-hand. There is ample space in everyone's life for the co-existence of science, faith, and objectivism for a person not to have to chose between them.

              Further discussion, should you want one, can be had offline away from this venue. I can be reached fairly easily with a little effort if you follow my book titles (found in this site). I won't preach to you, I'm not suitable, and I won't argue with you but I will give you food for thought.
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        • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 9 months ago
          define "damned" in this context. Christianity is not monolithic; not everyone agrees what "damned" means.

          William F. Wu wrote a science fiction short entitled "Three Soldiers". A WWII Wehrmacht officer, a Roman Legionnaire, and a Zulu warrior, all three of whom were on the verge of death, are brought before an alien, and committed to do personal combat with 3 members of a 2nd alien species.
          Upon victory, the commanding alien demands they finish off their defeated opponents, and all three refuse. They're sent back to die their deaths, as the alien writes up his weapons testing review; it seems we weren't all that we were hoped to be as weapons in a galactic war.

          In other words, as they weren't suitable to his purpose, the alien "damned" them.

          Rand was no more rational than any other woman.
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    • -1
      Posted by rlewellen 3 years, 9 months ago
      You are right discussing the topic can sew together that internal compromise. I had concerns about the anti Christian sentiments so I brought it up and we discussed it, I think I have a better sense of what the site is since then.
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  • Posted by John_Emerson 3 years, 9 months ago
    You don't have to reply to the last post, and perhaps by commenting or replying to a post that's still on-topic, you can help drag the conversation back to the original topic. What a concept!
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  • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 3 years, 9 months ago
    I quite agree. There seems to be some who wish to continually bring up provocative subjects, but are unwilling to start a separate thread... I know I like to meander, but I'm not looking to start a fight or ruin someone's thread...
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  • Posted by  $  Abaco 3 years, 9 months ago
    We recently had a poster here seemingly touting the virtues of pedophelia. I came real close to permanently signing off. Made me want to puke. We all have our line in the sand. That's mine, and I have no problem stating it. I won't debate it...I'll just "go Galt".
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  • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 3 years, 9 months ago
    Good Grief! What is wrong people? This was a thread about people hijacking threads... And what did it turn into? another thread hijacked... If you want to argue about the existence of a God or Gods then start a thread and let it fly! It is a legitimate area of exploration and examination for philosophy. What is so hard about pushing that big blue button and asking the question? (Is/are there a supernatural being/s?) sheesh... Why must it always invade threads started for a different subject? :(
    O.A.
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  • Posted by  $  ernieg 3 years, 9 months ago
    "JOKE", in the beginning Dog said 'let there be light' and there was light. But as void preceded Dog (nothing was visible) now you could see it.
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  • Posted by  $  ernieg 3 years, 9 months ago
    Good point, it is one of the reasons that I do not do much more than up or down vote. That and by not advertising my views I stay under the radar.
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  • Posted by  $  Zenphamy 3 years, 9 months ago
    'Herding cats" comes to mind as to staying on post topic on this site, and I'm not convinced that thinkers that gravitate to this site should be limited or even herded. The type of thinking and writing I see, seems to be the type of wide-ranging discussions I like, for the most part.

    But there are some who are either seeking to be disruptive to the discussion or that seem to attempt to demonstrate their contrariness without understanding that such doesn't require ad hominem and just rude attack. There also seem to be some that kind of sit on edges like vultures, waiting for any chance to swoop down and tear something out. I don't think any of those types are just seen on this site.

    Were those that express such strong views on religious and sexual practice/preference issues honest, you'd think they'd be looking for related topics to post and have rational discussions on - but they don't. But there are also those with honestly, deep beliefs about those topics that will quickly respond when such a topic arises. Can't fault them.

    I'm pretty sure I'm not a cat person.
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  • Posted by mminnick 3 years, 9 months ago
    If one is of the Jewish, Christian or Islamic 9i think) say that man is made in the image of G-d. If this is in fact true, man does not and in fact cannot, give up rational thought even to the point od doubting the existence of G-d.
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    • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
      I don't get the whole G-d thing. Is that like "the n-word" or "the f-word"?
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      • Posted by mminnick 3 years, 9 months ago
        I come from and am a member of the Jewish community. In that community one does not "profane " the lords name by writing it out completely in no religious tests . I know it doesn't necessarily make sense but it is my tradition and I respect and honor it.
        It is a sign of respect unlike the word you were referring to, which is a sign of disrespect and contempt to most people.
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    • -2
      Posted by AKnightsLife 3 years, 9 months ago
      God is Rational - His Word says that Love is The Greatest but that Wisdom is The Principle Thing - So even in His Love He is Wise - and to me that's pretty Rational -
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      • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
        Holy tam-o-le!

        You start out with an unsubstantiated assumption, then you ascribe characteristics to the assumption and THEN you call it "rational"???

        Your train has left the track.

        See, I already know what your answer is to all the hard questions about the sanity of a christian god… It will be some variant of "only god knows", or, "I don't know because I'm not god". But in all that ignorance, you still choose to "believe".

        Con men must love you.
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        • Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 9 months ago
          The universe was created or the universe just "happened".
          If one accepts the first, then it was created by some intelligence. That intelligence would be "God".

          Objectivists assume that the universe is rational; that it is subject to reason. Given this assumption, it follows that the creator of the universe was also rational. How could an irrational intelligence create a rational universe?
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          • Posted by  $  Mimi 3 years, 9 months ago
            >>>How could an irrational intelligence create a rational universe?

            How can a chaotic mind make order of itself? That’s a question Dr. Torrey asks in his book “Surviving Schizophrenia: A Handbook For Consumers and Families”

            You have walked away from an accepted christian premise which is: Man cannot know the mind of God.

            Which, even an agnostic, who allows for the possible existence of a Supreme Being, could relate to. Humans don’t possess the intellect to understand and perceive what the process of 'thinking' is for an entity that is capable of creating universes.

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          • Posted by BambiB 3 years, 9 months ago
            Even if we accept that the universe was created, is it necessary that an intelligence was involved? For all we know, the universe is the waste product of a super-universal snail who gave it no more thought than terrestrial snails give to their snail slime trails.

            I don't know what "objectivists" do, but I like your argument.

            So let me use the SAME argument with regard to the christian god.

            In the beginning was god. Only god. Everything was created by god. god was perfect. he created the angels. They were perfect. A perfect god doesn't create imperfection. And yet, under the christian doctrine, that's precisely what god did. Lucifer turned against god. Now either Lucifer was created flawed (and god is the author of imperfection) or Lucifer was created perfect, and rebellion against god is the act of a perfect being. And don't try the "free will" weasel escape. Lucifer's "free will" would have to be perfect too, else he wasn't perfect.

            So which is it? God created imperfection (sin)? Or perfect beings can commit sin (and so why should anyone think the christian god "perfect")?

            Either way, god created imperfection. And if you believe in omniscience, then god knew he was creating imperfection when he did it.

            So if your god is a god of sin - where does that leave the whole "jesus died for your sins" fable?
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            • -2
              Posted by EconomicFreedom 3 years, 9 months ago
              >Even if we accept that the universe was created, is it necessary that an intelligence was involved?

              Yes. A code cannot come about by means of any purely material process, including the excretory system of giant snails.

              A code also cannot come about by means of a purely random process.

              Codes cannot be produced by deterministic processes; they cannot be produced by stochastic ones; which leaves only one more option: an intelligent one.

              And to sneak an irrelevant excursus into the thread by hauling in soteriology and theodicy — when the gravamen of the discussion is simply whether or not the existence of the universe is better explained by reference to a designing intelligence or by reference to the 2nd law of thermodynamics (which governs all purely physical processes) shows once again how talented you are at balancing philosophical cluelessness with intellectual dishonesty.

              Brava! (I'd shout "encore!", but you've already bored us with several.)
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  • Posted by  $  stargeezer 3 years, 9 months ago
    With the direction this thread has taken with some "challenged by my faith in God I will certainly concede the OP's thought. It seems that some are so challenged that they must resort to attacking every aspect of a believers life. One thing I've found that is consistent with most atheists, they must attack Christians on their faith. We have seen most of their standards attack lines here.

    1. You think there's a God? Prove it
    2 There must have been something lacking in your upbringing, varies but along the lines of cousins marring cousins.
    3. Education - did they have schools where you grew up?
    4. You believe in something you can't see so you are stupid.
    5. You are suffering from hallucinations. And you are deluded. When all else fails.

    Frankly, I've not been so attacked online ever as I have been tonight. I suppose it's the keyboard troll syndrome. Every basement keyboard jock is a FBI agent and a fighter pilot in their spare time.

    Then to top it off according to them I insulted them. What a can of stinking worms.
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  • -1
    Posted by rlewellen 3 years, 9 months ago
    The truth is that people on either side of the religious issue can drift away from doing the mental work. There have been very good scientific discussions on here and I for one enjoy the discussions. I have offered other scientific theories in the hope that someone else might have an alternative point of view. I like aternative points of view because they offer me the chance to learn something which I didn't know. I have seen that people tend to gang up to take away points from people they don't like. That is childish and this whole point system is becoming nothing better than a popularity contest. The first one to bring up religious issues should ask if that was part of the original post (both sides). I would like people that attach articles to check if the article adds any value to the topic. I am tired of reading nonsense.
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    • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
      show me a case of "gang up" on people due to popularity?
      this site is about Rand. It is about rational discussion. If the comment is irrational and someone has a history of not furthering a rational discussion-they should be voted down. and often are, because there are people in here who want the rational discussion. We can disagree. that's different.
      It's true, that someone pushing a irrational agenda is not likely "popular" on this site. If we were going to just devolve into a huffington post discussion-why have this site in the first place?
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      • -1
        Posted by rlewellen 3 years, 9 months ago
        Then take a look at Economic Freedom. He has many rational comments that are at zero.
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        • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
          my take on EF is he's playing a game and he is not interested Objectivism or reason. I rarely down vote. but when he snarks I do. it's frustrating when the people play games like that. many have acknowledged it-even those who are P-A-T-I-E-N-T
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          • Posted by rlewellen 3 years, 9 months ago
            I hope you are not calling me patient. I have a separate post to try to understand the point system.
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            • Posted by khalling 3 years, 9 months ago
              I am patient. very patient. but sometimes I'll snap. big personality-lol-you're not fooled. I like to work towards all of us focusing on the immediate. get as many people as possible to watch the movies-consider talking in here. we have the world to win, r.
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    Posted by Hiraghm 3 years, 9 months ago
    All I can say after reading and reading on this particular thread, is that some of you self-proclaimed Objectivists are the biggest fucking egotists I've ever encountered. My *God* are you full of yourselves.

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