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The God Question

Posted by Herb7734 11 months, 1 week ago to Philosophy
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As some of you know, there are a number of people in the gulch who follow a religion, but also follow the principles of Objectivism. At least that is what they say. The following is an except from Rand which clearly states her position when it comes to God. I would be interested to know how the religionists get that square peg into the trapezoid hole.
"They claim that they perceive a mode of being superior to your existence on this earth.---To exist is to possess identity. What identity are they able to give to their superior realm? They keep telling us what it is not, but never tell us what it is. All their identifications consist of negating: God is that which no human mind can know, they say - and demand that you consider that knowledge-God is non-man, heaven is non-earth, soul is non-body, virtue is non-profit, A is non-A, perception is non-sensory, knowledge is non-reason. Their definitions are not acts of defining, but of wiping out."
There's more, lots more, but knowing this, I would be interested in finding out how one can claim Objectivism as a philosophy while holding a religion as a philosophy as well.


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    Posted by  $  jbrenner 11 months, 1 week ago
    Religionists may have some values in common with Objectivism, most notably capitalism, value-for-value exchange, etc., but religionists cannot in good conscience take Galt's oath.

    There are some important philosophical issues that those who agree with Rand's type of atheism often choose not to address, particularly with regard to how and why we exist at all. Moreover, there are a lot of facts of reality that lack unsatisfactory answers at this point in our existence, and understanding of it. It is entirely reasonable to say that those questions are not presently answerable, and move on with our existence.

    Religionists like to "fill in the blanks" with regard to anecdotal, often personal, evidence of what is currently beyond their ability to understand purely by observation and reasoning. Often this is like forming a hypothesis. The biggest difference between atheists and religionists is that religionists believe their own hypotheses until proven wrong (which is not scientific), whereas atheists believe nothing until "forced" to confront an objective reality that is inconsistent with their previous understanding. The atheist approach is consistent with the scientific method.
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    • Posted by johnpe1 11 months, 1 week ago
      I took Galt's oath when I was about 18 and have
      maintained a genuine respect for some religious thought
      since I was about 38. . honoring the unknown as a
      majestic and mysterious reality which is worthy of
      awe and appreciation, as a way of saying it. . like a
      youngster looking up at the stars saying "WoW!" -- j
      .
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      • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
        The universe is full of mysteries. There are fewer of them since Einstein. There may be an intelligence in the universe but it isn't a guy as portrayed by Michelangelo.
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        • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago
          Einstein might have understood that the physical laws that made life possible may very well be a reflection upon the image that created them...?
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          • Posted by 11 months ago
            "God does not play dice with the universe." -- Albert Einstein
            And yet, he was an atheist.
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            • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago
              The word "god" is a bicameral humanization of these laws...it's ashame we're still using it because those opposed, compartmentalized or unintegrated toward a greater understanding of " the guy in the sky humanization"...might never get it. We've seen in the posts whom is integrated and whom is compartmentalized...I, like you and some others are just willing to look at whats there and perhaps connect the entangled dots for a greater more appreciative understanding of it all. This process cannot happen unless there is an "exchange of energy or particle waves in what is called a quantum event,...once experienced, one realizes it didn't come from our heads...it came to Mind.
              Seems to me to be a direct connection of sorts.
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    • Posted by dbhalling 11 months, 1 week ago
      Religion and Capitalism are completely incompatible. Capitalism is built or reason. When religious people say they are for capitalism they are being contradictory and eventually when push comes to shove they side with religion and against freedom.. This is exactly what has happened when republicans have elected people from the religious right.
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 11 months, 1 week ago
        Most of American history contradicts your statement regarding the incompatibility of religion and capitalism. The founders saw religious freedom as important enough to the success of America that they made an amendment to the Constitution, and yet were capitalists through and through. Such religious freedom does include the right to not be religious.
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        • Posted by dbhalling 11 months ago
          It is not a history question, it is a question of logic
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          • Posted by  $  jbrenner 11 months ago
            I realize that correlation does not imply causation, but it is no coincidence that America's embrace of socialism has coincided with its least religious time. Rand's combination of capitalism and atheism is an exception. Many of us would like to see Rand's philosophy become the de facto standard, but unfortunately it is not.
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            • Posted by  $  CBJ 11 months ago
              RE: “it is no coincidence that America's embrace of socialism has coincided with its least religious time.” Is it a coincidence that America’s embrace of human slavery, extermination of Native Americans and suppression of women’s rights occurred during more religious times? America’s embrace of socialism (and flirtation with Communism by many intellectuals) began in earnest during the New Deal era, which was much more religious than today. And religion and socialism are hardly mutually exclusive – Pope Francis is proof of that.
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            • Posted by dbhalling 11 months ago
              Your history seems to miss the point that in fact Capitalism, the Constitution, and the Revolution happened when christianity was not well accepted.
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              • Posted by  $  jbrenner 11 months ago
                While you are entitled to your opinions, you are not entitled to your own set of facts. A = A. The only era in American history that has rejected Christianity is the current one.

                Please examine
                http://www.adherents.com/gov/Founding....

                While there were several deists amongst the founders, please look through the list for atheists amongst the signers of the founding documents. I don't think you will find one. This is not to say that all of them might not have been in error. The founders may have been in error, but to say that religion and capitalism are incompatible is most definitely an error.

                When Ms. Rand emigrated to America and embraced it for coining the phrase to "make money", do you think that America was an atheist country?
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                • Posted by dbhalling 11 months ago
                  J what a bunch of BS.. What was key was Deism Most of the founding fathers were Deist and Thomas Paine who probably wrote the most important books in support of the revolution was a Deist and wrote a book on point
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                  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 11 months ago
                    Deism is most definitely not equal to atheism.

                    What I said has not been refuted, nor can it be, despite the number of people who agree with you vs. those who agree with me.
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                    • Posted by dbhalling 11 months ago
                      Quit changing the subject. Deism is not christianity. Christianity is evil and not responsible for one good thing on this earth. Stop with the revisionist BS.
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                      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 11 months ago
                        I have not changed the subject once. Your argument was immediately disproven by historical evidence, which you chose to ignore, in favor of "logic". A denial of history is a denial of A = A. I will not further argue with people who refuse to acknowledge the facts of history.

                        The argument that you started was about the incompatibility of religion and capitalism. While deism is not equal to Christianity, it is a form of religion that is compatible with capitalism, thereby refuting your argument.

                        You are the one spouting revisionist history. In fact, I almost said so in my previous response, but did not do so out of professional courtesy.
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                      • Posted by  $  allosaur 11 months ago
                        Hot damn I didn't know I was evil.
                        Excuse me while I drive over to Jimmy Hale's Mission in downtown Birmingham and torment all the sheltered homeless people.
                        I'll stop donating so they can't eat also.
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                        • Posted by 11 months ago
                          He means Christianity as a religious philosophy. That doesn't mean individuals. They may merely be misguided. I could quote you Rand on Altruism, but my index finger is tired.
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                          • Posted by  $  allosaur 11 months ago
                            I beg to differ. If Christianity is an evil philosophy then I am following an evil path and I am therefore evil.
                            I don't see any wiggle room around that and I must make amends.
                            Think I'll start by no longer donating to Christian organizations who try to help help beat up wives and abused children.
                            It's evil to help all those whining women and snot-nosed little brats who need to get by on their own.
                            Now retired, I don';t know what to do about brave Christian groups and individuals who go into scary prisons to help bad men become more evil.
                            During the 90s I never should have used a Christian organization to sponsor an impoverished kid in Africa until he grew up.
                            There's other evil Christian things that I can tell on if I had all day.
                            Oh, we misguided Christians are so freaking evil that I am now thoroughly ashamed of being one. Excuse me while I go outside and kick this feral cat I've feeding. It's black, you know, just like my goodie two-shoes Christian soul.
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                      • Posted by  $  Dobrien 11 months ago
                        Maybe you've not heard of charities
                        Of the voluntary kind the kind of organizations
                        That the founders of this country
                        Envisioned as a safety net for the mentally or
                        Physically handicapped.
                        Instead of a welfare state.
                        While I agree that that many aspects Of ALL organized religions are evil.
                        I know of many wonderful loving productive inventive people who are Christians.
                        I don't demand people think like me.
                        and I damn sure don't let others make me think like them.
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                        • Posted by  $  allosaur 11 months ago
                          Back in the good 'ole days before the government started doing social work not required by the Constitution, churchgoing centered communities were looking out for each other.
                          You didn't need house insurance. If a storm blew your house down, neighbors would find time to help you build it back up.
                          Of course, it would be expected of you to return the favor should a need arise..
                          Ha! It just hit me that there were no building codes back then either.
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      • Posted by Hot_Black_Desiato 11 months ago
        Please provide some "Christian" scripture" that proves that Religion and Capitalism is incompatible.

        I can provide tons of biblical references, in fact commands, that are in perfect line with capitalism.

        I will use one that some could play both ways.

        Jesus commanded, you must love your neighbor as yourself. Does that mean to sacrifice yourself to your neighbor? No. Could that easily fall into rational self-interest? Sure.

        What was the old saying. Be careful of the toes you step on today, they may be attached to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow.

        Loving your enemy as yourself, MEANS not acting in a way that in the present with a view to the future where your actions would come back to bite you in the ass.

        Also the love your neighbor quote, was followed by the statement that by showing kindness, or respect to your enemies you are setting yourselves apart from the general populace, because they only love their own friends and families.

        The Bible specifically states that a "Name" is better than fine gold, which is your reputation. How does one achieve a "golden" reputation? Rational self-interest.

        This does not mean that one simply does not react violently when expressing "Righteous indignation." Jesus overturned the tables in the temple of and chased out the money changers with a whip.

        I think some in the Gultch are so quick to use their own dogma of anti-religion and anti-god, that the blinders are completely put on whenever this discussion comes up, just so the "Atheists" have a forum to try and beat up on those who may believe in God and practice a religion to feed into their own self-importance and intolerance.

        Ayn Rand had no use for religion, however she also said this.

        In Ayn Rand’s words (from “How Does One Lead a Rational Life in an Irrational Society?”): “one must know clearly, in full, verbally identified form, one’s own moral evaluation of every person, issue and event with which one deals, and act accordingly.”

        If "MY OWN MORALITY" is based in Religion and God, then I am obligated to act accordingly even if that view differs from yours and the the atheists view. After all Ayn Rand was a proportionate of her own morality, as every individual is entitles their own morality even if it is a copy/paste of a religion.
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        • Posted by  $  CBJ 11 months ago
          RE: “If "MY OWN MORALITY" is based in Religion and God, then I am obligated to act accordingly even if that view differs from yours and the the atheists view.” Do Islamic terrorists qualify, since they are acting on their religious beliefs?
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          • Posted by Hot_Black_Desiato 11 months ago
            Therein is one of the flaws of Objectivism. The answer is yes, however WE in our own Morality are free to shoot them on site IF they opt to interfere with OUR individual rights.

            Acceptence of everyon's A-Moral right to be themaster of their own morals, and dictator of their own morals and ethics, with or without religion is all just as bad.
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            • Posted by  $  CBJ 11 months ago
              The right to self-defense is a "flaw" of Objectivism? And being the master of our own rationally-derived moral code is bad, even though the alternative is to have our moral code dictated to us by others? And atheists here are being dogmatic, even though this is an Objectivist forum? I wonder what the response would be if someone entered a religious forum and said the other participants were being dogmatic, self-important and intolerant for not being respectful to atheists on their forum.
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              • Posted by Hot_Black_Desiato 11 months ago
                I did not say the right to self defense is a flaw. please read more carefully THEN reply.
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                • Posted by  $  CBJ 11 months ago
                  Please write more carefully. I will be glad to respond once I find out what "flaw" in Objectivism you are referring to.
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                  • Posted by Hot_Black_Desiato 11 months ago
                    The fl;aw is the statement that everyone is a "morality" unto themselves, answering to nobody but themselves.

                    The basic concept being that since Religion, God, Supreme Being, Answering only to thyself is paramount you in essence would have over 7 billion separate moralities always in conflict with no standardization at all except the individual concept of reason.

                    Reason if taken to the individualistic extreme, would also validate the liberal mindset since they apply their own morality, and reasoning and their own version of logic which is just as diametrically opposed to Ayn Rand, as are some of the people here in the Gulch expressing their own personal version of reasoning and morality.

                    THAT is the flaw.
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                    • Posted by  $  CBJ 11 months ago
                      RE: “The flaw is the statement that everyone is a 'morality' unto themselves, answering to nobody but themselves.” Objectivism says no such thing. What you’re describing is a subjectivist view of morality, that any morality is as valid as any other. Ayn Rand defines morality, or ethics, as “a code of values to guide man’s choices and actions—the choices and actions that determine the purpose and the course of his life. Ethics, as a science, deals with discovering and defining such a code . . . Since reason is man’s basic means of survival, that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; that which negates, opposes or destroys it is the evil.” These concepts lead to an objective morality.
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                      • Posted by Hot_Black_Desiato 11 months ago
                        Exactly. I will take a note from Star Wars.

                        To the Jedi the Sith are evil..."Since reason is man’s basic means of survival, that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; that which negates, opposes or destroys it is the evil.” These concepts lead to an objective morality."

                        To the Sith the Jedi are Evil..."Since reason is man’s basic means of survival, that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; that which negates, opposes or destroys it is the evil.” These concepts lead to an objective morality.

                        Each opposing side has their own solid defined set of values, ethics and morals. Each are objective within those constraints.

                        The complete individual applying the same means that each individual's ethics, morals and definition of good and bad are then all co-equal.


                        not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased:
                        an objective opinion.
                        6.intent upon or dealing with things external to the mind rather than with thoughts or feelings, as a person or a book.
                        7.being the object of perception or thought; belonging to the object of thought rather than to the thinking subject (opposed to subjective).
                        8.of or relating to something that can be known, or to something that is an object or a part of an object; existing independent of thought or an observer as part of reality.
                        American Psychological Association (APA):
                        objective. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved June 23, 2016 from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/obje...

                        Reasoning and "objective" depend in large part on the point of view you are approaching it from.

                        Subjectivist.
                        noun
                        1.Epistemology. the doctrine that all knowledge is limited to experiences by the self, and that transcendent knowledge is impossible.
                        2.Ethics.
                        any of various theories maintaining that moral judgments are statements concerning the emotional or mental reactions of the individual or the community.
                        American Psychological Association (APA):
                        subjectivist. (n.d.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved June 23, 2016 from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/subj...

                        Also "Good" and "Evil" are premises and concepts that originate with religion...
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                        • Posted by 11 months ago
                          Good & Evil originate with religion? Nonsense.
                          Primitive Homo Sapiens biting into his first apple: "MMM Good."
                          Same H.S. Biting into a poisonous berry; AAARGH, Bad.
                          The concept of good and bad are as old as mankind. C'mon, now.
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                        • Posted by  $  CBJ 11 months ago
                          RE: “Each opposing side has their own solid defined set of values, ethics and morals. Each are objective within those constraints. The complete individual applying the same means that each individual's ethics, morals and definition of good and bad are then all co-equal . . . Reasoning and ‘objective’ depend in large part on the point of view you are approaching it from.”

                          Here’s how I interpret what you’re saying, and it has nothing to do with Objectivism – as far as I can see, it is the complete opposite.

                          1) Values, ethics and morals exist outside of objective reality – they are totally subjective.

                          2) A person can only be objective “within the constraints” of his values, ethics and morals – his values, ethics and morals cannot themselves be derived by objective reasoning.

                          3) Being truly “objective” is impossible, since a person’s “point of view” exists prior to and independently of his thinking about ethics and morals (or anything else).

                          4) Fear is superior to reason as a means of apprehending reality: “There are no atheists in foxholes.” (A false statement, by the way, likely dreamed up by a religious mystic who approved of using fear to compel adherence to some religious doctrine).

                          This is your basis for asserting that Objectivism is “flawed”?
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                          • Posted by Hot_Black_Desiato 11 months ago
                            Let me make a quick point. If Objectivity were PERFECT without Flaws, Ayn Rand would have run the world, or at least died wealthy. Perfection never fails, and always succeeds.

                            Please tell me how Objectivism is the 100% flawless perfect summation of all intellect and reason.

                            I was pointing out one point I see as a flaw. I did not say that the majority of Ayn Rand's philosophy was bad, but the opposite.
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                            • Posted by  $  CBJ 11 months ago
                              You are asking me to defend a claim I never made. And what you assert is a “flaw” is actually one of Objectivism’s greatest strengths, an ethical system derived by reason and logic, and based on the facts of objective reality and man’s rational nature. If all moral systems are equal – if the moral status of a genocidal dictator is equal to the moral status of a productive individual – then the Objectivist ethics is meaningless as a guide to personal behavior, and the rest of the philosophy, which you say you support a “majority” of, will not stand either. In economics, you cannot claim that capitalism is morally superior to socialism. In epistemology, you cannot claim that reason is morally superior to mysticism. In metaphysics, you cannot claim that understanding objective reality is morally superior to blanking out the mind with drugs or alcohol. In politics, you cannot claim that freedom is morally superior to slavery. Take away the Objectivist ethics, and the remaining “majority” of Ayn Rand’s philosophy is left with no basis of support.
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                              • Posted by Hot_Black_Desiato 11 months ago
                                This is the where I think we are misfiring.

                                I am not personally equivocating any "morality" to capitalism, or socialism, or communism.

                                Capitalism is proven "better" morality aside, ethics aside.

                                In my opinion, the second you inject the terms, Morality, Good, Evil, into the conversation you automatically open the discussion to religion, and epistemology and other non-fact based views.

                                Morality, Good, Evil, are all subjective in every way.
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                                • Posted by  $  CBJ 11 months ago
                                  Capitalism is “better” by what standard? The betterment of human life and functioning? Oh wait, that’s a “moral” standard! Sorry, capitalism is not better after all. Socialism is just as good.
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                                  • Hot_Black_Desiato replied 11 months ago
                                  • Olduglycarl replied 11 months ago
                        • Posted by 11 months ago
                          In any conflict, be it a war or a football game, note that both sides think that God is on their side.
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                          • Posted by Hot_Black_Desiato 11 months ago
                            WWII, Catholics on the German side prayed God help them, and Catholics on the Allied side prayed that God help them, this was true of every person who participated in WWII on any side. Japan prayed their God's would aid them.

                            Atheists on the other hand prayed to God when they were in foxholes pinned down and they thought they were going to die.

                            The statement "There are no atheists in foxholes" is an aphorism used to argue that in times of extreme stress or fear, such as during war ("in foxholes"), all people will believe in, or hope for, a higher power (and there are therefore no atheists).

                            There are no atheists in foxholes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_a...
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                  • Posted by 11 months ago
                    CBJ
                    I think you've confused me with someone else. I would never say the right to self defense is a flaw. It is one of the few legitimate times to use force.
                    However, there are so many posts on this topic, I'm not sure that yours was meany for me.
                    (Gimme a Tylenol)
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    • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
      Excellent observation.
      Therefore, we cannot reject religionists out of hand until we know something about them, which will become evident through their posting.
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    • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months, 1 week ago
      Until everyone realizes it's not mystical...it's quantum physical... does it really matter what they call a quantum event? That is what is being described in a pagan bicameral language...how or why it got that way is anyone's guess.
      The important thing is that we recognize 10 simple rules that took mankind 10's or 1000's of years to integrate; culminating during a purely natural event...Those 10 simple rules, articulated in a conscious language aligns with everything Rand stood for. Prager University has great video on that. Add to that the observations of quantum entanglements, value, order and disorder and it all comes together quite logically.
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      • Posted by Steven-Wells 11 months ago
        I took multiple terms of quantum mechanics at MIT where I got my degree in physics, and what you wrote isn’t about any quantum physical event(s). It was unfathomably vague mysticism, verging on complete gobbledygook. You say “we recognize 10 simple rules that took mankind 10's or 1000's of years to integrate; culminating during a purely natural event.” What is that gibberish supposed to mean?

        Please explain about these 10 simple rules. Are you suggesting some well publicized David Letterman top-ten list that culminated with his show? And who is the “we” that you assume includes me and everyone else on this forum (at minimum)?
        I recall some important “great truth” rules I learned: “Reality exists.” and “You cannot consume more than you produce.”
        And “What is morality? Judgment to know right from wrong, vision to see the truth, courage to act on it, dedication to that which is good, integrity to stand by the good at any price.” That’s where my old wrote learned ideas take me.

        Oh wait, I just remembered a bunch of those reliable old rules that might be what you meant:
        “Slow and steady wins the race.” and “He who hesitates is lost.” (Aren’t those contradictory?!)
        “Never run with scissors.”
        And the most important rules. “Don’t use a screwdriver as a pry bar.” and “Don’t take any wooden nickels.” (That one is 1000’s of years old for sure, now translated as nickels instead of sesterces or shekels.)
        And “Never give a sucker an even break nor wizen up a chump.” Most folks don’t remember the second part of that rule. [sarc]Thus dooming society.[/sarc]

        Also please specify the “purely natural event” of rule-level interest. Was it perhaps the Toba supervolcano eruption (in what is now Indonesia) of nominally 70,000 years ago that may have produced a genetic bottleneck in human evolution? It wasn’t a quantum event like the cosmological big bang, or quantum mechanics-related, like the spectrum lines from distant stars, or how lasers work.

        Were you suggesting perhaps rules from some favorite religion? I somewhat like the vigor of “Kill for the love of killing. Kill for the love of Kali.” I’m less thrilled by Donald Trump petty jealousy, “You shall have no other gods before me.”

        Or are you talking about things like “Don’t murder!”? Religionists usually mistranslate “murder” as “kill” from Dead Sea Scrolls and other antiquities with such ideas, and they throw in a bunch of outmoded thee/thou/thy/thine’s to make it sound official, as though used with the approval of Major League Baseball.
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        • Posted by 11 months ago
          Unfortunately, non scientists write unscientifically. That would make someone with your training unable to see through the "gobblrgook" to the possible germ of the idea. It may well be mystical crap, but it also may be a good idea hidden in the inability to express it in scientific terms. I have been reading everything that has been written in the Quantum for Dummies genre and I have certain ideas about it that I hesitate to expess for the very reason that I don't have the kind of training that will allow me to put it into acceptable wording, and certainly unable to do math to back it up.
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          • Posted by Steven-Wells 11 months ago
            Hello Herb.
            I'll hazard a guess that most scientists (and I, too) accept some casual usage if the point is not crucial to the discussion. For example, saying speed to mean velocity or force as mass or molecule to describe an ionic compound. It becomes unacceptable when someone vomits up some new age (or old religion) babble and attempts to attribute some definition that is contrary to standard scientific usage. This applies to the “quantum event” nonsense that Olduglycarl is putting forth. So if you want to express some idea and don’t quite have the precise or accurate terminology, please use plain language and go for it. Just don’t get all huffy and pontificate about your special usage with some vague claim about a definition somewhere on the internet, while failing to annotate where the claim comes from.

            Sorry about the length of what follows, but it’s my freshly written “Phancy Physics” for regular folks who are smarter than dummies. Or basic vs fancy physics in plain English.

            Many things follow the rules of classical mechanics, often called Newtonian physics after the great physicist/mathematician, Sir Isaac Newton. Often the math involves simple algebra. Suppose somebody drops a baseball off a high building. The baseball falls downward over time (call the time at any instant t), so we might want to think about how far the baseball has fallen after t=1 second or t=5 seconds, and so on. As it falls, gravity makes the ball fall ever faster, the velocity downward increases with time. (Velocity is speed with a direction, such as 20 meters per second downward, and I’ll use meters instead of feet to make calculations easier shortly.) The change in velocity over time is called acceleration, and that acceleration is set by gravity, a constant (unchanging) value at the surface of the earth, where we walk around and play baseball and fly airplanes. To find the distance the ball has fallen over time, the calculation is simple. Distance downward = ½gt², where g is the acceleration constant for gravity 9.8 meters/(second²). Let’s round that to 10 to make things easy. After 3 seconds, the ball has fallen ½×10×3². Or half of ten (that’s 5) times three squared (that’s 9) or 45 meters. That wasn’t too bad.
            Now consider two cars, one going east at 50 miles per hour and one on the opposite side of the highway going west at 60 miles per hour. How fast do they pass each other? Add the values 50 + 60 to get 110 miles per hour relative velocity (in the opposite direction.) That’s simple, too. Thank you Sir Isaac.

            The Newtonian/classical world makes two important assumptions.
            We assume that the baseball can drop any amount in a smooth continuum of values. 3 meters per second, then 3.1 meters per second, then 3.2 meters per second, and so on as it accelerates.
            Also, lets assume that things behave normally at normal velocities. The cars go past each other at the sum of their velocities. No funny business in the calculation.

            Quantum mechanics: values can not be anything in a smooth continuum. At microscopic sizes, some values can only change by fixed/discreet/quantized (pick your favorite word) amounts, a quantum. An electron orbiting around an atom can’t have any size orbit, only some very special orbit sizes. When an excited electron drops to a lower orbit, it releases a specific quantum (discreet amount) of energy. We can see the result from large collections of microscopic atoms doing that at once, for example in the specific reddish color of a neon sign or the green and violet colors from mercury vapor fluorescent lights. These things do not produce a nice smooth rainbow of colors like a hot glowing filament in a tungsten light bulb, only some very specific colors.
            Addressing the definition of “quantum event”: it is an event that has a fixed “quantized” change that is not described by classical mechanics. No mystic interpretations. Does the big bang qualify? Arguably, because it was a microscopic singularity that could not be described by Newtonian physics. Were specific energy levels involved? Hard to say at this late date of t = 15 billion years. What about light from HeNe lasers in early supermarket scanners? The energy transitions were absolutely quantum events, and they produced light at the precise wavelength of 632.8 microns.

            Relativity: At normal speeds, things behave themselves. When things move relative to each other at rates near the speed of light, the calculations become squirrely in a non-intuitive way, though still subject to specific math rules/equations. Suppose a rocket is going from the Earth to Mars at a velocity u=50% of the speed of light and another one is going from Mars to Earth at velocity v=60% of the speed of light. Newton would have said, “Just add the speeds u + v, so they’ll pass each other at 110% of the speed of light.” But he would be wrong. At these speeds, which would be called “relativistic,” we get Einstein’s universe. The velocities add with the funny equation u+v/(1+u×v/c²) where c is the speed of light. That says they pass each other at 84.62% of the speed of light. Clearly not the world of classical physics. What if the relative velocities are tiny compared to that of light, say 10,000 miles per hour or slower? The u×v/c² part becomes close enough to zero that we get back to simple addition of classical cars “speeding” past each other on the freeway. Similarly, the many different microscopic quanta of light from a hot tungsten filament blur together, and look like a continuous rainbow of colors.

            We'll leave stimulated emission, time dilation, length contraction, and the like to some other discussion at a later date.
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            • Posted by 11 months ago
              Hi there Steven-Wells:
              You must be an engineer. Talk about getting huffy.
              I never get huffy. Tolerant, perhaps - OK puffy but not huffy.
              I know Newton, Thank you very much.
              I also have passed quantum physics 101.
              So, your lessons, while accurate, were not necessary.
              My son is an engineer and quite a good one. Wrote the book on consulting.
              When he first got married, which was before pocket calculators, I suggested that he should bring his slide rule on his honeymoon so he could figure out what to do with accuracy.
              My point was that there are people, including myself, at times, who have what they think may be the germ of an idea but cannot express it in scientific terms. Even if they are full of frijoles, let them down easy. There have been steps forward in science when an idea that perhaps is 50 or 100 years old, and was scorned for being nonsense in its day, but turned out to be true, and if it had been listened to would have been a great leap forward. It almost happened to Einstein and he even had the correct jargon.
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              • Posted by Steven-Wells 11 months ago
                Hi Herb,
                I started as a physicist, was later an engineer in several disciplines, a CAD guru, an instructor, a writer, and assorted other things, not counting the pre-college low-skill jobs. In 2008 I even ran as the Libertarian candidate for the US House of Representatives in my district in California. (I got 5% of the vote against the perpetual incumbocrat.
                I certainly wasn't suggesting you might be a huffy type. Just some persons get snarkier than I do, and that’s an unacceptable threshold to cross.
                I couldn't tell if the physics stuff might be useful to you, or perhaps anyone else who might stumble onto that part of the discussion. In writing it, I produced something I can reuse for others who want a not-too-technical explanation of what some of the science fuss is about.

                The reluctance to look at new ideas hits geographically close to home for me. One of my neighbors has developed a stupendously improved variant of the car/truck internal combustion engine: better fuel economy, lower pollution, handles multiple fuel types, lower part count, &c. A Fiat engineer told him he had “solved ALL the problems,” but they didn’t have the budget to get involved. Bobcat wanted it, but the deal got cancelled when the company got bought out. GM said effectively, “It doesn’t matter how great your design is, if we didn’t invent it in house. But we’ll invest if you show us the fully working prototype.” And his response is always, if I had the funds to build the fully working prototype, I wouldn’t need your investment.”
                Twenty years ago, I had a little better luck as a customer in changing a software patching process for a large (in the top 5) software company. I was in a corporate group talking with a team sent to meet with us as important clients. I had experimented on my own and given full details of my approach. They said, “We can’t do that because, uh.” “Well that might work. No, we can’t because, umm.” “Hmmmm. Actually, we could do that.” (And so they did, saving probably several hundred thousand users a lot of time and effort.)
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        • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago
          PS...the big bang was Not a "Quantum Event", for give me, I thought you of all of us would know what a quantum event was. Maybe they don't teach that in relation to Quantum Mechanics, I realize it' very different than what you studied.
          If it interests you...look up what a "Quantum Event" is...it has a specific description and definition...it's a couple of pages long...but it's Awesome!
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        • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago
          What I'm talking about is a successful quantum event...triggered by the stress of a frightful natural event...probably a low altitude aurora, the result of atmospheric charging...CME.
          Mankind at the time, not being aware of one's own awareness could not complete a quantum event without some outside trigger event.

          It was obvious that mankind thought long and hard upon how to be good and successful without all the waring, killing and oppression they experienced.
          These quantum events might very well be the results of quantum entanglements.
          There is a whole lot more to it...it'll take an entire book to explain...one inwhich I'm working on. It takes the integration of many academic subjects to achieve. Once integration's have been made it is difficult to disassemble them into the proper order of events.
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          • Posted by Steven-Wells 11 months ago
            Auras? Atmospheric charging? Quantum events?
            What ARE you talking about? Quantum entanglements? That’s a WTF?!?!?!

            You don’t list any source for whatever your novel interpretation of language represents to you. A quantum event is not rare. (Billions occur constantly in every lit fluorescent lamp.) Not remarkable either—unless one wants to wax poetic about how many of the complications of the universe are so nicely apprehended with mathematics, like explaining hydrogen atom states by using Laguerre polynomials.
            Quantum entanglements are what you get if your hair grows inside your skull instead of on the outside, and you don’t drink enough of those nice smelling coconut creme conditioners from the shampoo aisle.

            How about this idea?! Lose the obfuscation, obnubilation, and ornamentation. Oh: O-O-O!
            Explain yourself clearly, simply, succinctly. In plain English. Thanks.
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            • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago
              That's what is being said and referred to in the OT, only in a pagan understanding. Sorry...thought everyone was up on this stuff.
              But...good news, it'll be explained as plain as possible in the new book and I'll post a few chapter excerpts here to make sure all approve of the degrees of probabilities and objectivity.
              Laughing...but I do plan to post as soon as I get the final product ok'd by the quantum folks I'm working with and the Julian Jaynes society (it all starts with Jayne's initial premise that man kind was not always consciously aware of his own awareness) to make sure I get it right.
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          • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago
            Well...yes, reality exists...no doubt...so too, successful tools for living and achieving a value producing, creating civilization. Like: Do not murder, someone might just murder you or kick your ass. Do not worship money, fame, a person, a rock, the earth, stars or other planets...it's just destructive and silly. Instead, why not just appreciate what ever forces that came together that allowed You, to exist, for everything to exist. Do not break one's promises, be faithful to your wife, your word. Do not tempt another into behavior that is destructive or behavior they can not handle. Would it be right to offer a drug addict some drugs? And one I feel is equally important: Do not lie about another, accuse falsely, blame some one else for what you yourself have done...government, liberals and progressives, not to mention the non-conscious...comes to mind here. Of course there is having a sense of mutuality with others (unless of course they oppose you by 180) and I think last but not least, appreciate your mom and pop.
            Simple stupid right?
            What part of any of this is not related to a reality we all might desire?
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            • Posted by Steven-Wells 11 months ago
              Your suggested “tools for living” aren’t tools. They’re prohibitions reworded from your childhood religion indoctrinations. Here’s a comparable suggestion, but certainly not a “tool.” Don’t drive a car while you’re falling-down drunk. Usually a good idea, but a tool for living? Given it’s single purpose nature—not even a gadget for living.
              Your examples sound like “Don’t run with blue scissors. Don’t run with orange scissors.” “Don’t run with kitchen knives.” “Don’t cut your fingers when using box cutters.”
              A single positive rule applies to all of that and more. “Be careful with sharp objects.”
              Similarly, “Don’t blah, blah: wives, false witness, blame, murder. All really better as a single positive: “Be honest.” Or maybe “Be worthy of honor.”
              Rather than belabor the point, George Carlin made it all very clear, and it’s available right here:
              https://philosopherpoet.wordpress.com...
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              • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago
                1.)...wasn't brought up religious...didn't even know what that was till after the army while in college.
                2). blah blah blah...was designed for specific problems of pre-conscious bicameral state of man at that time...and I have observed that still, many today still occupy this space between their ears.
                3). Yes, more encompassing concepts like honesty, responsibility and honor are understood and preferred by those conscious and whom engage their own conscience. I get the rejection of the blah blah...we're grown up now dad!...but news flash...many have yet to be grown...a stunning example comes to mind...can we say islam and I would include Rome as well.
                I remember George...miss him.
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                • Posted by Steven-Wells 11 months ago
                  My interpretation of Islam suggests an acameral (or is it noncameral) state, where no part of the brain is used for rational thought. (Likely a more controversial evaluation than anything Julian Jaynes wrote.)
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                  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago
                    I like that...the single little brain of a reptile...laughing my butt off.
                    Maybe Jaynes did mention them describing the psychotic behavior once the inner voice was lost...maybe, this linage of a human like species never ever had a voice!.

                    PS...just preordered a new book on Jaynes written by the pres of the JJsociety Marcel K.
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      • Posted by jconne 11 months ago
        So much psycho-babble!!
        Are those "10 simple rules" the Juedo-Christian Ten Commandments?

        If so, I suggest you read them again with the perspective of one question: How many advocate blind obedience to an arbitrary, self-proclaimed authority and how many offer good advice? I find that point of view very revealing.

        Remember, every successful lier wraps their gotchas in a lot of truth. If they didn't they would get no attention or presumption of respect.
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        • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago
          PS...we all must get over pagan bicameral mans inability to speak to our minds. We, or most of us, have evolved into consciousness, an awareness of self that they had not. In short, we are different as night and day so to speak...
          This authority they speak of is simply the physical laws of the cosmos that in fact make it possible for you to exist...pagan man needed to humanize it and be in fear of it in order to behave...sounds funny now...but that's how different we are now...or most of us anyway.
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        • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago
          Non of it is psychological babble...only one's understanding or misunderstanding of it...it's the difference between reality and a mystical description of reality.

          Now that's the dichotomy between pagan bicameral man, the teachings or Knowledge taught in a bicameral language to the bicameral brain...instead of sharing that knowledge in a rational, awakened or conscious language to one's mind...assuming one has connection to one. It's no surprise that even today, many are still in a pre-conscious state...the creatures in governments come to mind first.
          There is Nothing watching over us...we each are accountable with consequences for what ever actions we take or not, it's inherent...like it or not, and it's your choice to act in rational self interest or to abandon all rationalities and harm others, contribute to the destruction of society and civilization creating disorder instead of creating Value that might be exchanged with others...a process that creates order.
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          • Posted by jconne 11 months ago
            Can you make your point in simple, straightforward English without all the pretense. It's totally unnecessary. If I try to read through pretentious confusion, I might agree with your bottom line. KISS - Keep it simple - keep it accessible if you want to help others understand.
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            • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago
              That's about as simple as it gets right now...still trying to simplify further. These are specific points which require specific language...some of these things like say "Consciousness" require one to know that it is expressed as being aware of one's own awareness and requires a mind to be conscious...otherwise it's just animal like awareness of one's environment...see what I mean?...there is no pretense on my part and I am always looking to simplify the complex..but so far, I have not discovered an articulation that everyone might understand.
              Everyone here are the smartest people I have come to know but if your not familiar with the subject matter...your starting from scratch and I am forging new frontiers here, combining philosophy, psychology, anthropology, history, quantum physics, etc, etc...to explain and understand it all.
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 11 months, 1 week ago
        In the next several years I am about to come to an understanding of how things build up from the nanoscale. When I do, Gulchers will be the first to know.
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        • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago
          I'll give you a helping thought: partials of energy come together under an electromagnetic force we call gravity. This gravitational force is the weakest force of the physical laws but governs best when close...(much like our governments were supposed to be) This force binds together these partials of energy into electrons, protons and neutrons, atoms and cells...all with the information these cells need to become what we call solid matter...the rest is carried out in similar fashion until there is You.
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  • 10
    Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 11 months, 1 week ago
    Hello Herb7734,
    This topic has been explored several times here previously. It has naturally caused some rifts. I am of the opinion that it is of importance to those that wish to be doctrinaire and completely faithful in their Objectivist philosophy and those that wish to be faithful in their belief in a prime mover. I find that I am ambivalent about the matter. "But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782. For myself, I am agnostic on the question, because it doesn't bother me what someone believes about another plane of existence as long as they live by reality on this one. A is A. The Objectivist position is, because there is no empirical evidence the question does not merit examination. It is arbitrary and faith is not proof. Thus no discussion is warranted.

    A few interesting questions that will unfortunately seem pointed to the believers: Why is it too fantastic to believe that things evolved from nature and that we are just the lottery winners that became conscious of things enough to question our beginning, yet it is not too fantastic to believe that there exists a supernatural being that brought it all about? If a prime mover is required because of disbelief, then why isn't there a need for a creator of the prime mover? This supposition of course logically leads one to an endless paradox. Also one of the best arguments I have heard from an atheist was, "if you are a believer in one God, why don't you believe in the Greek pantheon of gods? Once you answer this question, you will understand why I don't believe in your one God."

    For the believers, it has been my experience that St Thomas Aquinas has made some of the best arguments. In his work, Summa Theologica, he employed deductive reason to produce five "proofs" that demonstrate the existence of God. Some believe and see proof.. others see only unproven theory...
    Such is the nature of faith. Logic can't answer faith; It can neither prove nor disprove such a theory based on faith. IMHO

    Respectfully,
    O.A.
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    • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
      I was curious as to how one would reconcile their beliefs with Objectivism. As for me, I agree with you that so long as they adhere to the Objectivist premises, I don't care if they are Zaroastrian tree worshipers.
      Also, I was hoping to discover something new in ideology. Since learning about Quantum physics I have opened up to many strange possibilities, not to mention some fascinating ideas put forth by "Old Ugly Carl." Of course, you guys are still a bunch of wimps, but what the hell, you are my kind of wimps.
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      • Posted by  $  IndianaGary 11 months ago
        Two points: I want to know it the party I'm dealing with is a Ztw because I want to know how that party's mind works. A Ztw (or other religionist) claiming to be Objectivist while holding contradictory beliefs will eventually run headlong into the contradiction. Most of the time religion wins; on rare occasions, when the individual in question is truly intellectually honest, rationality wins. The human race has been brainwashing its children (and itself) for far to long for this to change any time soon. The question is whether or not humanity will survive long enough to rid itself of the poison it has regularly ingested for thousands of years.
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        • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago
          Read: Spiral Dynamics if you care to...you'll see the road we need to travel and travel we must, out of our chosen memes or levels of awareness.
          We must gather up all that was valuable in our ascension from prior memes or levels and keep on climbing. We were not meant to stagnate.
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      • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 11 months, 1 week ago
        Hello Herb7734,
        Indeed.
        So we are. We could be in worse company. :)
        Regards,
        O.A.
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        • Posted by 11 months ago
          Hello OA:
          I must confess that I love the Gulch. The posts can range from intolerable to brilliant with everything in between. But through it all, there is surprisingly little nonsense. As you know, I have particularly enjoyed your offerings, and I have learned much. Posts have sent me scurrying to my books or to our wonderful little library. Actually, Nerds are a better description for Gulchers. Why am I not surprised to find that so many have enjoyed the same books, movies and presentations that I have?
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      • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
      • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 11 months, 1 week ago
        and all the chiluns said, "A Men" except for those who said "A Wo Men" mmmmm and those who said " A Confused?"
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        • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
          And God said e=mc2 and there was light.
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          • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
          • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 11 months, 1 week ago
            Nyiet! That's was for energy you want Edison for light. V over I times R might be more appropos of nothing much whatsoever depending on battery life..
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            • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
              Hey, what does God know? I'm sure he never consulted Einstein.
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              • Posted by  $  Dobrien 11 months ago
                Herb ,In 1930, Einstein composed a kind of creed entitled “What I Believe,” at the conclusion of which he wrote: “To sense that behind everything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense...I am a devoutly religious man.” In response to a young girl who had asked him whether he believed in God, he wrote: “everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe—a Spirit vastly superior to that of man.” And during a talk at Union Theological Seminary on the relationship between religion and science, Einstein declared: “the situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
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  • Posted by  $  allosaur 11 months, 1 week ago
    This must be where an allosaurus Latin defined "different lizard" like me:is supposed to get bashed again for saying I'm one of those oo ee yucky mystical statisticals here.
    Well, nyah I don't care. Can't intimidate me by calling me a mystic either and I admire Kim Davis.
    I view myself as a well-rounded peg that can punch through any trapezoid hole. One may argue that I can't but I just wrote that I can. So there.
    I was "born again" during the 70s. Previously tried my best to be an unbeliever but there's just something about the details in the New Testament being so different than anything to be found in the writings of other religions. May have broken a rule with that last statement but I don't start such conversations here.
    My faith really helped me get through 21 years as a state corrections officer. I'll never forget a very comforting feeling that suddenly flowed through me when I was on my back, struggling with an inmate over my baton and another baton that inmate took from another officer while other inmates were milling all around us.
    I walked away from that without a scratch on me.
    I could now kick off a sermon about the holy spirit but that's not allowed. I'm a rather salty believer anyway who'll say a naughty word in a heartbeat.
    I never heard of Ayn Rand until the first AS flick came out. I'll hazard to say quite a few Christians have stumbled into the Gulch since then.
    I've learned a lot here. But I don't want to be a carbon copy of Ayn Rand or anybody else.
    I'm me! Me! Meeeeee!
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    • Posted by  $  Suzanne43 11 months, 1 week ago
      Gosh, Dino, I couldn't have said it better. I don't see why you have to agree with Ayn Rand on everything to be in the Gulch. I'm in The Gulch because I'm a Capitalist, and I find most of the discussions stimulating..
      BTW, how many times are we going to have this "religious" discussion? It really is rather pointless. I'm a Christian, and lots of people in The Gulch aren't. So what!
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      • Posted by jconne 11 months ago
        Suzanne - the point is not to agree with Ayn Rand any more than it is to agree with Newton, Einstein or another discoverer. The point is to agree with reality.

        Good philosophy provides tools for thinking. That is - using ones direct perception and rational ability to identify what's real and what's not.

        One Objectivist I know uses the phrase, "Users of Objectivism". I like that - as in "users of the periodic table" or "users of geometry".

        The real challenge of philosophy is validation of one's premises. Rand has done that better than anyone I know while standing metaphorically on the shoulders of Aristotle.
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      • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
        Well put.
        For example, while I believe in quantum physics I cannot agree with every new theory that comes along to prove a certain point. That doesn't mean I don't believe all the other stuff. (I'm not sure that's even clear to me.) Is it?
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    • Posted by jconne 11 months ago
      Allosaur, You can believe anything you want. It only becomes issue when you need to apply your knowledge to reality. I think fiction is of value, but not knowing that it is fiction is a problem.

      Here is where you ability to reason comes to the fore. People have many experiences they can't explain. Some times they come up with explanations that are not verified or verifiable. Some care about that distinction.

      What are the benefits and risks of not caring about that distinction?
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    • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
      Well, if your neighbors don't mind you roasting oxen on your lawn, why should I? I suppose you already know all the arguments against the fairy-tale stories, so I won't go into them. Personally, I have a group of friends, one of whom is very close to me who are born again types. They fit Objectivism in almost every other way, but I cannot call them true-blue Randoids.
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      • Posted by  $  allosaur 11 months, 1 week ago
        Roasting oxen on my lawn.
        That's a good one.
        Never heard that one before.
        NOW I've heard all the arguments.
        Uh, I think.
        Anyone have something else as original?
        Sock it to me! Sock it to me! It's sock it to me time.
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        • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
          If Adam & Eve were ejected from Eden (with Cain, I suppose) where did all the other people come from unless a little incest was involved? That's an easy one & not very original. If you truly believe, you'd better be circumcised, wear fringes, keep Saturday as the Sabbath ..oh crap, I can't go on.
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          • Posted by  $  blarman 11 months ago
            There is doctrine and there is tradition. Laws against incest are tradition. (I'd also point out that DNA studies show the likelihood that all humans originated from a single original pair - regardless if you're an evolutionist or creationist). And just as an aside, Adam and Eve didn't have any children until after they were escorted out of the Garden.

            Circumcision was given as a law with a helpful health side-effect, as was much of the Mosaic Law. Back in those times, bathing was uncommon to say the least. Circumcision was actually a huge benefit to the women because of the significantly lowered risks of bacteria (and therefore infection) in those extra folds of skin. Look up the health reports in modern medicine if you don't believe me. That law was remanded (by Christians) as times changed and health codes of society in general have improved.

            Studies have also shown that a regular, periodic day of rest is of tremendous benefit to the human body and psyche. Those who take one day off a week tend to go back to their labors refreshed and motivated.

            The last observation I would make is that the original Mosaic law was given because the people refused the higher law Moses originally brought down. They refused to police themselves, so they were given what they asked for: a whole set of laws, rites, etc. Sounds kind of familiar to today's day and age now that I think about it...
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            • Posted by Kittyhawk 11 months ago
              I have looked at the modern health reports. Circumcision has not been shown to be of "huge" benefit to the health of either males or females. The most that modern proponents will say is that they believe the benefits outweigh the risks based on current evidence, but that further study is needed in many areas. See http://pediatrics.aappublications.org... There are, of course, many medical professionals who conclude that there is no benefit to elective circumcision and only detriment; they critique the studies supposedly demonstrating benefits of circumcision for their failure to take into account other potentially influencing factors. See http://www.cirp.org/library/procedure... Further, the circumcision advocated in the Old Testament was a minor ritual procedure compared to what is performed today. (The Egyptians practiced circumcision first, and the Jews adopted it after their time there.) See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History... : "... the Abrahamic covenant of circumcision defined in the Bible was a relatively minor circumcision; named milah, this involved cutting off the foreskin that extended beyond the glans." After witnessing an infant circumcision and hearing the baby scream in pain and fear for several long minutes, I consider the practice cruel and barbaric.
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          • Posted by  $  allosaur 11 months ago
            I'm a Christian who believes allosaur fossils are found in Jurassic Period rock layers.
            Neanderthals were here before Cro-Magnon modern humans. So there is a Cain going to the mysterious land of Nod story someone may care to kick around since it has recently been proven we all have Neanderthal genes.
            I still believe in that someone's name American military clergymen are PC forbidden to say in a prayer under the Obamanation regime.
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          • Posted by lrshultis 11 months ago
            My dad, who had taught Sunday school trying to meet girls, mentioned that about Cain going over to live with the other people as a contradiction since Cain and Abel were supposed to be the only other people. My preacher's son brother-in-law says those others were angels or something. When my sister was killed in an auto accident, he could not understand why god would kill her and not see it as an accident. He seemed to believe that his god would punish him by harming his loved ones. I had an aunt who spent nearly her whole life believing that god was angry with her. Enough to drive a person to drink as it has done to many.
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            • Posted by  $  allosaur 11 months ago
              That's sad. People get accidentally killed or worse.
              That's just the way it is in this world.
              I see God as on the receiving end on the other side.
              Can I say that here? Seems only fair due to the nature of this post.
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              • Posted by lrshultis 11 months ago
                The really difficult thing was that she was still free of breast cancer for 10 years and then killed at 50. Death and dying is part of my family since cancer is part of the mix for 3 of the 7 so far. Mother and her brother at 33, another of my sisters at 41 and a brother at 68 so far. No need for a god belief or any supernatural nonsense.

                Just was off seeing whether some of your relatives had returned for some fish lately at:

                http://www.dceaglecam.org/

                I had not looked into taxonomy for decades. I see that birds have a Clade of dinosauria now so those eagles are modern dinosaurs but not quite like an allosaur.
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                • Posted by  $  allosaur 11 months ago
                  I'm suddenly reminded of an eagle nest at the Birmingham Zoo. In its great bird cage there was a pair of eagles who could not fly or so I was told over a decade ago. Have not been back since.
                  I've watched eagle-like ospreys glide about and dive for fish at a lake my family has a house by in the Florida Panhandle.
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                  • Posted by lrshultis 11 months ago
                    I live by Geneva Lake in southern Wisconsin and mainly deal with feral cats and raccoons which eat most of the food. I noticed that that altruism thing, that The Brights seem to relate to morality, does not occur with those animals. With raccoons there is no sharing even with the young which need stand aside as the adults get food in a pecking order and then the young which form their own pecking orders. Cats just sit by and watch until the raccoons are gone and then eat and then just ignore we humans while getting ready for another long nap before their nocturnal work in the neighborhood late at night.
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                    • Posted by  $  allosaur 11 months ago
                      I was assigned to a prison tower one night during the late 90s when three baby raccoons decided to climb up its brick wall.
                      That surprised the heck out of me as I watched fascinated through a catwalk of a grated metal construction.
                      They could not get past the catwalk and climbed FACE DOWN back to the ground.
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  • Posted by Lucky 11 months, 1 week ago
    Q. How one can claim Objectivism as a philosophy while holding a religion as a philosophy as well?
    Cannot be done honestly. 1. From the system of thought known as Objectivism which rejects belief in favor of fact, evidence and reason. 2. From authority, it was what Rand said (tho' this is contrary to the precept of not using authority as a basis).

    Now, I am one of those who accept the principle of fellow traveling. That is, it is worth discussing and hearing opinions of those with whom many if not all basic ideas are shared.
    So, no belief test for the Gulch.

    Another comment. Religion does not require a belief in the supernatural, just the acceptance of ideas with no base in evidence and only in belief.
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    • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
      If a religion eschews mysticism, can it really be called a religion? Unitarianism, for example.
      I agree that everyone should have access to the Gulch. The only ones that I dislike are those who wish to challenge the atheism.
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      • Posted by  $  DrZarkov99 11 months, 1 week ago
        Unitarianism has an interesting history. Originally, it consisted of Christians who rejected the concept of the holy trinity as a form of polytheism. Later it became a sort of Deist belief system that accepted the validity of all theism as representative of God in various forms. That was also about the time it merged with the Universalist movement that proclaimed universal salvation (because a truly merciful God couldn't punish anyone). Within the last century, Unitarianism has morphed into a humanist, non-theist organization that I maintain no longer qualifies as a religion. Still doesn't disqualify a Unitarian from also being an Objectivist, nor make them a better one.
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    • Posted by jconne 11 months ago
      Answering:
      "How one can claim Objectivism as a philosophy while holding a religion as a philosophy as well?"

      Philosophy's scope is the problem of universals.

      What is universally true for all people for all time? Any attempt to address that domain, regardless of its competence, is an attempt of philosophy. Most are not comprehensive, fully integrated and testable in reality. That's what distinguished Objectivism.

      These universal factors are the common base upon which all the individual sciences and other disciplines sit. It is the common foundation.

      Aristotle's seminal identifications of - what is, is; and it can only act according to it's nature, gives us all science, validity and freedom. It permits all of us to work with a common understand for words that we act on so we can collaborate effectively.
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      • Posted by 11 months ago
        To answer your question; they can't. That doesn't mean that they can't utilize the principles of Objectivism while being religious. But they are not Objectivists.
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        • Posted by  $  Enyway 11 months ago
          Sadly, the logical side of their brain believes in Objectivism, but the common sense side takes a vacation. Common sense is not what most people think. Common sense is a sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts. If a cat sits on a hot stove, it will never sit on another stove, hot or cold. Common sense tells us that a cold stove is safe. But, that common sense comes from experiencing a hot stove at some point, unless, of course, your parents were intelligent enough to explain the difference and you were intelligent enough to understand. If you were not, the first scenario comes into play.
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  • Posted by  $  Enyway 11 months, 1 week ago
    I know it doesn't seem possible. It would depend on the religious philosophy you follow. Not all religions believe there is a God looking over us. Thomas Jefferson was a deist, believing someone or something created the universe and then went on about their business leaving us to evolve as we did.
    The movie "Oh, God" touched on this theory (very funny movie) Consider how old this universe is. Consider the dinosaurs who lived millions of years before man. If you put Earth's life on a clock face, the first 55 minutes would be the time of the dinosaurs and the last five minutes would be the length of time humans have been here. If you put the universe on a clock face, man's existence to date would be a fraction of a second. That is how long we have been here. To be honest, we don't really know how old is the universe. If you add in Einstein's theory of relativity, our universe could be a grain of sand on the beach of some other reality. The bottom line is, our minds have evolved to the point where we no longer believe in a god. or, at least, we shouldn't. My God is Mother Nature. Science. The search for something better. There is no other God.
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    • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
      Well...according to the Big Bang, the universe appeared out of nothing around 13.5 billion years ago. The earth has been around for about 3 or 4 billion years. Cro-Magnons which turned out to be us are somewhere around 100,000 years on earth, and civilizations don't seem to be older than 10,000 years. Compared to the dinosaurs who lasted millions of years we're just the new kids on the block. I cannot bring myself to worship anything, including nature or science. Interest, fascination, admiration, especially for Man's achievements, yes, but worship? Can't go that far. At least not so far.
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      • Posted by  $  Enyway 11 months, 1 week ago
        It does not require worship, only respect.
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        • Posted by mia767ca 11 months, 1 week ago
          there can be no respect for religions that call for the slaying of the non-believer...they have lost that right when they violate the right to the life of the non-believer...
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          • Posted by  $  Enyway 11 months ago
            I do not understand what I said to give you the impression I would respect any religion that calls for the slaying of anyone. Clearly, I have not been as perspicuous as I had hoped. My bad.
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            • Posted by mia767ca 11 months ago
              no problem...both the Bible and the Quran call for the slaying of non-believers...in my discussions with both religions, logic and reason are the first things to go...i have had to invoke rule #1...never argue with a crazy person...they generally fall back to mantra that..."that is just your opinion"...most are unable to even see the concept "God" for the impossibility that it is...nothing against you...but then again, in my interactions with the secular humanists, i just as frustrated trying deal with their version of altruism and Mother Nature...just trying to live free in an unfree world...they cannot conceive of freedom "from" religion, only freedom "of" religion
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              • Posted by  $  Enyway 11 months ago
                So true. One thing you said took me back to an episode of "All in the Family." Archie was accusing a preacher of dishonesty. The preacher said the same thing you did, "never argue with a crazy person." More to the point, don't try to argue with an idiot. However, he used a verse from the bible that pertains here. This is not verbatim but basically it says, "Go ye forth from the presence of a man when thou perceiveth not in him the lips of knowledge." So, if you look hard enough, you can find a way to talk back to these "crazy" people in their language. Try it and see if they understand what you are saying. Remember, it's from the bible so they should understand. If they do not, then your point has been proven. Just one more method of weeding out the idiots.
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                • Posted by mia767ca 11 months ago
                  what i have found is that they do not want to listen...my children were willing to listen before they became teenagers and needed some years alone to think things out...which i granted them...they agree with me now...my second wife agreed to disagree, but then reversed later and divorced me over it...my bad for trusting her honesty...

                  i have influenced those who wanted an open discussion...but they are few and far between...
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              • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago
                The bible does not and the OT is not the basis for the organization of what is referred to as "The Bible". The OT is only history past on and collected from all that remembered. Understand Jaynes and you come to some understanding of pre-conscious man...not to mention the meme or paradigm of those times. It's all part of our mental evolution and we've only just begun...we should of had these conversations millennia ago but we had no "Mind" to do it.
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        • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
          I respect your right to believe anything you want, so long as it doesn't impede my forward progress. I also hold the right to not agree with you and to say "no" to you.
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          • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months, 1 week ago
            That also goes for any idiotology, perversion or ideology...do what you will but I don't have to business with you...I do not wish for others more vulnerable to think it's ok to be that way...that goes for sexuality on down to communism, giaiaism or any other silly destructive thing...oh, and it's not "hate" to dislike without a wish to punch one out.
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            • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 11 months ago
              Small correction. We ban certain religions and certain political or secular practices for the reason of interfering with the Constitutionally protected life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, etc. That would preclude the more virulent forms of the more extreme beliefs.

              Most of this has been worked out long ago and when a new immigrant arrives they agree by accepting citizenship to forgo their previous system of beliefs and live under our version. Consent given.

              If they object no hard feelings and back they go..
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      • Posted by lrshultis 11 months ago
        More likely, the universe came from a Big Bang in existence, a vacuum capable of producing stuff like particles. Existence is a tricky concept that kind of makes one to want to think of stuff just made of matter. The quantum mechanical vacuum does not require a beginning of itself. It is the beginning of everything. It is not in some place but is the result of there not being any place. All time, space, momentum, energy, and other measurements are relative to other things and not to any absolute place where existence exists.
        No need to worship, just wonder about how to find out what mankind has not found out yet and how to apply that knowledge to live your own life. Finding out is, for sure, the most joyful thing a human can do short of some short term human interactions.
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        • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago
          And to top it off...the concept of a "Big bang" is probably wrong not to mention space is not a vacuum...but we would still have fun discussing all this stuff.
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          • Posted by lrshultis 11 months ago
            Space is just a way of referencing things relative to each other. Time is just a referencing of motion or change relative to other things. Even the classical vacuum is not empty. It is full of EM radiation. Since energy is not some kind of stuff but is a measurement of a type of relationship between matter which in interactions is conserved, the quantum vacuum must have relative energy relations which might/maybe did fluctuate into a big or wimpy bang creating matter and radiation in relatively longer lasting amounts than the virtual particle vacuum stuff.
            It is amazing how bright minds can, without a rational philosophy, run off in smelly brain farts about spooky happenings at the quantum level.
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            • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago
              The most extraordinary things I've learned this year is that everything needed for life, including all the elements come upon the cosmic winds, the sun's heliosphere is like a cell membrane around our solar system and electromagnetic currents connect everything to each other and looks like a neural network in the body.

              Kind of makes one go...Hmmm
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months, 1 week ago
        "I cannot bring myself to worship anything":...
        and rightly you shouldn't...all that's quantumly required is that you at least "Appreciate" your existence along with existence itself. If there is a quantum response to that, it would be the reflection of value created and perhaps more to appreciate...You've heard it before..."It's Not mystical...it's quantum physical".
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        • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
          If I looked upon the night sky and found the stars forming a giant F, followed by a huge U, etc. Now that's the kind of God I could believe in.
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          • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 11 months ago
            Except you would have violated the rights and peace of the local area. That's why it's OK to have Queen and KISS and the local high school and badly playing John Phiillip Sousa but deny Eminem. It wasn't the stars attempting to speak it was drawing attention to it. Don't yell at me....I was trying to put a natural C in front of rap.
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          • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months, 1 week ago
            I guess we're lucky we don't have a star moving company in the night sky's...laughing...
            Fortunately, no guy in the sky stuff...the word: "God" is a pagan concept but I guess one can call the ether and quantum events what ever they want.
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    • Posted by jconne 11 months ago
      I wouldn't go there:
      "If you add in Einstein's theory of relativity, our universe could be a grain of sand on the beach of some other reality."

      Now that's quite a stretch ;-)
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  • Posted by 11 months ago
    I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE EVERYONE STOP POSTING TO THIS TOPIC. I AM BEGINNING TO REGRET HAVING STARTED IT, AND I UNDERSTAND NOW, WHY THE GULCH WAS RELUCTANT TO PUBLISH IT. THE CONFLICTS ARE UNRESOLVABLE. FAITH CANNOT BE ARGUED AGAINST AS IT HAS NO BASIS IN REALITY. SO PLEASE STOP, GO ON TO OTHER TOPICS, OR I WILL BE FORCED TO START MY OWN RELIGION SINCE I AM GOD-LIKE IN DEMEANOR., AND MAY LOSE MY TEMPER AND START SMITING.
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  • Posted by  $  puzzlelady 11 months ago
    To hold (or profess to hold) Objectivist principles and religious dogma is called compartmentalizing. In one's psycho-epistemology a wall is built so as not to admit that one is holding on to contradictions. One may even rationalize that on certain values the two compartments agree. But there is no way to integrate faith and mythical belief with objective reality. It is utter self-deception. There is no reason to deify natural phenomena as primitive men did for lack of scientific understanding. Yet in that context a great many people are still at the earliest hominid level, believing and defending the myths they were indoctrinated with in childhood. It's time to put away those fictions along with the Easter bunny, Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.

    Where religion has a stranglehold on the mind is by implanting guilt for doubt, by intimidation of authority, and impending punishment after death. The promise of immortality is the ultimate con game.
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  • Posted by ProfChuck 11 months ago
    In order to better understand this question it is useful to understand why religion exists in the first place. As humans evolved intelligence an essential part of that property is curiosity. The world is full of complexity and it is the nature of curious minds to understand that complexity. Sometimes the illusion of understanding is better than nothing, it is certainly much easier. We know that in nature there is a tendency for complex systems to derive from simpler ones. Quarks combine to form subatomic particles, subatomic particles combine to form atoms, atoms form to combine chemical compounds and chemical compounds combine to form increasingly complex structures such as rocks, trees, and even people. When humans build something they must design it first. This concept is so deeply ingrained that when ever we see something complex we automatically conclude that it is the product of design and that means there must have been a designer. The idea that complex structures could occur by any other means rarely enters our thinking. It turns out that the process of simple systems combining to form increasingly complex ones is a natural process that we are only beginning to understand but it is real. In economics Adam Smith called it "The Invisible Hand", in physics it is sometimes called "Spontaneous Order". What ever we call it there is strong evidence that it is real. In the absence of an understanding of this phenomenon religions call this "God". Once this notion is in place it opens the door to all sorts of mischief. Rather than trying to determine the nature of God we might be better employed by refining our idea of intelligence.
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  • Posted by Esceptico 11 months, 1 week ago
    Among others, Nathaniel Branden in the 4th lecture on the Basic Principles of Objectivism, which is now in book form (The Vision Of Ayn Rand) from the Atlas Society, completely destroyed any possible concept in a god. Perhaps one of the godists would be kind enough to read/listen to it and provide and answer the basic question by defining the god in which they claim to believe. I am in my mid-seventies, for me this issue was resolved more than a half century ago by that lecture.
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    • Posted by  $  IndianaGary 11 months ago
      By definition, God is not understandable by man, therefore no man could define their god except in those terms yielding a permanent impasse to discussion or debate. The last thing a religionist really wants to do is debate the existence of god. For them it's a given.
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      • Posted by Esceptico 11 months ago
        By whose definition? Certainly not a person of reason. Only a person of "faith" could say this. As you say, for "them" it's a given. I doubt any of "them" ever examined the issue of defining what they believe in. After a definition is agreed upon, then comes the time for evidence. I never got past the first step with a godist.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 11 months, 1 week ago
    The "God Question" and its answer has profound implications, among which are:
    1. Existence and termination (the idea of annihilation of consciousness)
    2. Existence and origin (abortion)
    3. Existence and purpose, which then define "right" and "wrong" (morality in general)
    4. Who we are (our individual relationship to the rest of the universe)

    Rand posits and disavows the existence of God (primarily the Judeo-Christian definition), attempting to show metaphysically that it is impossible. Given the answers to the questions above and their absolutely profound implications and Objectivists' insistence upon observation and proof as the only acceptable standard, I fundamentally disregard the notion of an unprovable hypothesis as either intellectual laziness or intellectual avoidance. I also recognize, however, that each individual must make the journey themselves and come to their own conclusions on the matter because the consequences are literally life-changing.

    I will only say that I have tested the hypothesis that God (the Judeo-Christian one) exists (the positive assertion) and found it to be true - not just once, but many times. In the presence of this evidence, I must disagree with Rand's hypothesis (a negative assertion). If I am to remain logically consistent, I must conclude that when presented with facts in opposition to a provided hypothesis, I must conclude the hypothesis to be false: the result of invalid definition(s), inference(s), or conjecture(s).

    I believe that many people start with invalid definitions when asking themselves the "God question". Rand's statement above is an illustration "All their identifications consist of negating: God is that which no human mind can know, they say...". I completely identify with her in asserting that this is rubbish. Either a thing exists and is knowable, or it does not exist at all. I agree with her that many of the common definitions are non-definitions, absurdities, or assertions of other such dubious thought processes.

    The danger lies in asserting "Nothing I have been presented with seems reasonable" -> "Nothing exists and the search does not warrant the effort." First of all, one must accept that our own preconceptions can be our own worst enemies. Confirmation bias is a big problem and is compounded by the gravity of the question being contemplated. Second, we must examine ourselves to determine if we want to acquaint ourselves with reality - no matter what reality may present itself. This is probably the single most difficult question we can ask of ourselves because it requires 100% honesty and commitment to truth. It is the admission to one's self that no matter what one has previously studied, no matter what ideas and/or conclusions one has reached previously, one is willing to accept that one could be wrong. It is the quintessential conflict of self vs self.
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    • Posted by  $  Dobrien 11 months ago
      Blarman, Very well stated . I would love to hear about the evidence that you've based your conclusion on.
      The defining notion of God by religion becomes convoluted by preconceptions mostly by religions and controllers.
      Because scientists have mostly agreed on the Big Bang theory from the evidence that supports it. The Big Bang has become accepted. But I think it requires a bit of "faith" to accept that every particle of matter in the entire universe would fit on the tip of a needle.
      I have studied the precessional code and the incredible connection to the earth, sun and moon's dimensions as well as important vibrational frequencies.and can't imagine the impossible odds of the same numbers recurring.
      It could just be a incredible coincidence but it might have another source.
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    • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
      What a great exposition. I'd like to know what events caused you to affirm your belief in God, but I also understand that it might be too personal to share. What I have concluded, is that it has something to do with consciousness. I see some evidence of intelligence in the universe but nothing that comes close to traditional religion. Much of what has been posted has given me a lot of food for thought - actually, a veritable feast.
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      • Posted by  $  blarman 11 months ago
        I am more than happy to share, but I respect this forum and its premises, so I only share in PM's.

        Thanks for at least being willing to consider the notion. That is a bigger step than you may know.
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        • Posted by  $  CBJ 11 months ago
          I think I’ll drop by a religious forum and tell them I’ve tested the hypothesis that God exists and found it lacks credibility. I’ll suggest that regardless of the conclusions they have reached previously, they must be willing to accept that they could be wrong. Out of respect for their forum, I’ll only share my reasoning with them via PM’s. I wonder what their reaction will be.
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          • Posted by  $  Dobrien 11 months ago
            Do you just want a discussion with people who think just like you and agree with you.
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            • Posted by  $  CBJ 11 months ago
              “Do you just want a discussion with people who think just like you and agree with you?” No, but a certain amount of common ground is expected. Read the “about” section of this forum. “Galt's Gulch is a community of like-minded individuals who come together regularly to share interesting content and ideas with each other and debate politics, economics, philosophy and more.” There is plenty of serious debate among forum members who share Objectivism’s basic premises and principles. And I think this forum is much more tolerant of theists than most religious forums would be of atheists.
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              • Posted by  $  Dobrien 11 months ago
                CBJ with all due respect you left this out of your cut and paste.
                "If you've read Ayn Rand and have been influenced by Atlas Shrugged, this is the site you've been waiting for."

                8/2015 I read Anthem, 10/2015 Atlas Shrugged,
                11/2015 The Fountainhead.

                I then searched Ayn Rand and learned more about her. I learned she was called "the enemy" of the Progressives, That William F. Fuckley Jr.
                had panned AS in a very negative fashion.
                He is who I think about when I think of Ellsworth Monkton Toohey.
                I watched Ayn being interviewed by Mike Wallace in 1959, I was 2 (57 years later I for the 1st time heard it)
                I have been influenced, as to the ABOUT section of this forum ."this is the site you've been waiting for." I signed up.

                Regarding like minded individuals I find very much to agree with the posts and comments, and have been expanding my knowledge for my own self interest.
                I have not seen a requirement for an undisclosed or arbiturary "common ground".
                Is that your qualification? If so please define "certain amount"

                I am apathetic to other forums and their tolerance of differing views.
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              • Posted by  $  blarman 11 months ago
                Is the point of Objectivism to pursue a description of reality or to conform to dogma? If a fundamental premise is incorrect, is it not the obligation of a true Objectivist to design the hypothesis to fit the data, not to disregard the data in favor of a preferred hypothesis?

                "And I think this forum is much more tolerant of theists than most religious forums would be of atheists."

                For the most part the people in this forum use their brains, but I've still seen significant intolerance. I think trying to compare one forum to another is an effort in futility, however. Ultimately, popularity does not declare truth. Truth is. Popularity contests are a distraction for the mindless masses. Philosophy is ultimately a personal decision. And those who are comfortable in their decisions advocate for their position while allowing others to decide for themselves.
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                • Posted by  $  CBJ 11 months ago
                  Of course all are “free to decide for themselves” whether or not they agree in fundamental terms with Ayn Rand’s philosophy. That’s not the point. This forum was created by advocates of Objectivism for discussions, debates and promotion of Ayn Rand’s philosophy by people who share Objectivism’s basic premises. The forum’s code of conduct (found in the FAQ section) states, “Debate is fine, but remember this site is specifically for supporters of Ayn Rand's ideas. If you don't support Ayn Rand's ideas, you're in the wrong place.” Those who originated and maintain this forum are entitled to determine how it operates. It is not “intolerant” for Gulch members to object to advocacy of other points of view within the forum, since that is not its purpose. The forum’s purpose is described in the “about” section: “We have ideas to spread - We're passionate about Ayn Rand's ideas and we hope to assist in their propagation by engaging in some inspired conversation.”
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                  • Posted by  $  blarman 11 months ago
                    I support many of her ideas, I just have to disagree on her stance advocating atheism. If the forum treats Ayn Rand like the Prophet Mohammed where everything she says is inviolate law, then I will leave - of my own free will. I haven't seen anyone advocate such - especially since Rand herself disavowed such a role.

                    But I have the right - and Rand herself affirmed it - to challenge hypothesis where contradicted by data. Reality is in the data - not the hypothesis. If I am asked to leave by a moderator, I will of course do so and take my paid membership with me. But I didn't acquire 10K+ upvotes by being anything less than a contributing member of this forum - despite my quibbles.
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                    • Posted by  $  CBJ 11 months ago
                      No one says you don't have the right to challenge hypotheses. The question is whether this is the appropriate forum in which to do so. In Objectivism, atheism is more than a mere “quibble”. It derives from a foundational aspect of the philosophy, the acceptance of reason and the rejection of mysticism, which Ayn Rand defines as “the claim to the perception of some other reality—other than the one in which we live—whose definition is only that it is not natural, it is supernatural, and is to be perceived by some form of unnatural or supernatural means.” Introducing any form of mysticism or supernaturalism into Objectivism undercuts the entire philosophy. It’s the equivalent of saying “I’m a Christian, and I’m in basic agreement with Christianity's view of reality, philosophy and teachings, with the exception of one little quibble – I don’t believe in God.”
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                      • Posted by  $  blarman 11 months ago
                        "The question is whether this is the appropriate forum in which to do so."

                        True. +1 And again I ask: is this a forum dedicated to the observation of reality, or is it restricted to 100% Objectivists? I find much of Objectivism to be applauded and I greatly appreciate and value the general tenor of the people on this forum. This is the only forum I have been a part of in which the general attitude is one of attention to truth rather than mindless partisan bickering.

                        Regarding "mysticism", I find it to be the proverbial (and entirely ephemeral) boogeyman in this forum. Many are more than willing to jump to the conclusion that anything related to a belief in God is verboten simply by labeling it "mysticism". To clarify, however: No, I don't believe that something exists outside of "reality". I believe that there are things which absolutely do exist but which we can detect or experience only under the proper circumstances.

                        Imperfect analogy: I have a telescope which when I have it pointed in the proper direction and appropriately focused allows me to detect a passing comet. But I have 20/2400 vision, so when I hand you the telescope, all you see is a big blur. Until you learn to use the telescope to work with your visual acuity and point it at the appropriate section of sky, detection of the comet remains out of your reach.

                        What if you demand of me to show you the comet with the naked eye? Is the reality of the comet dependent on the method by which one insists on detecting it, or does one have to be willing to use the appropriate instrumentation and methods?
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                        • Posted by  $  CBJ 11 months ago
                          Re: “is this a forum dedicated to the observation of reality, or is it restricted to 100% Objectivists?” That’s a false alternative. There’s a big difference between those who disagree with Rand on specific conclusions and applications of her philosophy, and those who disagree with one or more of her philosophy’s basic premises. And it is not “dogmatic” or “intolerant” of anyone to question whether this is an appropriate forum to promote religious or other views that dispute these basic premises.
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                          • Posted by  $  blarman 11 months ago
                            "There’s a big difference between those who disagree with Rand on specific conclusions and applications of her philosophy, and those who disagree with one or more of her philosophy’s basic premises."

                            If I have evidence that a fundamental premise is wrong, on which side do my objections fall? That is the fundamental dichotomy of the "God question".
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                            • Posted by  $  CBJ 11 months ago
                              Re: “If I have evidence that a fundamental premise is wrong, on which side do my objections fall?” If you believe that a fundamental premise of Objectivism is wrong, my opinion would be that your disagreement falls on the side of “those who disagree with one or more of her philosophy’s basic premises." The question is whether this is a proper forum to debate the merits of Ayn Rand’s philosophy as a whole. There are numerous websites and forums that do just that. Should the Gulch be one of them?
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                        • Posted by lrshultis 11 months ago
                          I have a friend who is wrapped up in his belief in god. He truly believes that two demons sat next to him at a lunch counter and that god knocked him flat on his face in his driveway with a heart attack for not doing enough to pay god enough for his previous life style. Is he just seeing reality in a manner which most of the rest of humanity just have not discovered yet?
                          From my standpoint, his beliefs are his problem and not mine.
                          Just as a helpful little saying, though I do not subscribe to Gestalt Therapy is:

                          I do my thing and you do your thing.

                          I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
                          and you are not in this world to live up to mine.
                          You are you, and I am I,
                          and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
                          If not, it can't be helped.
                          (Fritz Perls, Gestalt Therapy Verbatim, 1969)
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          • Posted by  $  blarman 11 months ago
            Though I understand you're being sarcastic, I'd encourage you to do that, actually.
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            • Posted by 11 months ago
              Could be interesting (fun?).
              In my younger days when at a party or a forum, I would provoke a discussion ranging from religion to economics opposing what I knew the group espoused. My wife would just roll her eyes as if to say, "there he goes again." Now, I just threaten to do it in order to see the eye-roll.
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              • Posted by  $  blarman 11 months ago
                I highly recommend it, actually. I find that for every answer I don't know, the search is invigorating. And there are far too many of every persuasion who go along with things without really putting effort into knowing (i.e. testing) what they believe.

                There are far too few people in this world who actually think. I applaud you for attempting to spur some action in "the little grey cells" (- Hercule Poirot)!
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  • Posted by walkabout 11 months, 1 week ago
    Atheists and Agnostics often seem obsessed with proving they are "right," in that there is no deity. They seem to do so to the point of making a religion out of "non-religion." I am not a thoroughly versed "objectivist" or a thoroughly versed Christian (or religionist as Rand might prefer). I find no particular difficulty in believing philosophically in both.
    At the heart of religion in the abstract is that religion is a set of rules. Those rules dictate two types of relationships: that which we have with God and that which we have with each other. If there is no God, then those rules and the resultant behaviors are harmless rituals. The rules for interacting with each other remain relevant.
    I am reminded of the apparent battle "creationists" and "evolutionist" seem to insist on having. Creationism is a theory to explain how things came to be. Evolution is a theory to explain how things (that already exist) come to change Each deals with a different aspect of the universe. There is no inconsistency in believing in each
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  • Posted by brkssb 11 months, 1 week ago
    Religions spawn the root of all evils and as someone aptly pointed out, stifle evolution and even ensnare the investigation of the root causes of the universe. From Herb7734: "But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782. Theists (aka deists; and non-theists alike) pick my pockets all the time and force me to live for the sake of others. Did Jefferson overlook the thousands of broken legs from the Inquisition? Or today's wars of the religions? Isn't "moral obligation" an oxymoron? I see nothing consistent about claiming Objectivism as a personal philosophy and being a theist. I remain a student of Objectivism as I have been since 1964. And I interact with others on the basis of shared values.
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    • Posted by Steven-Wells 11 months ago
      “Theists (aka deists ...)” or also known as Sorry, that’s not correct. Theists and deists are crucially different.
      Theists claim the existence of one or more gods, and also assume that such god(s) take an active part in human affairs: answering prayers, tormenting the Wicked in Hell after they die, making sure a college football player who loves Jesus catches a particular forward pass, sending a tornado to destroy a town of nice people for mysterious reasons according to his inscrutable will.
      Deists hold that a supreme being created the universe with all intentions realized, but does not take an active role in the preordained activities. Essentially, created the universe and pushed the Run button.

      So theists get more personally involved: Telescopes are built by man, man is fallible, telescopes are the work of the devil, Galileo had to spend the rest of his life under house arrest (with threat of torture) unless he denounced his discovery that disproved the Church’s notion, “The Heavens are fixed and immutable.” Theists torture the non-believer, behead the Wicked, or shoot homosexuals on behalf of their gods.
      Deists don’t get upset when a scientist discovers their god’s mysteries and invents a lightning rod to keep common homes safe from lightning. The Evil will receive divine punishment eventually. Just take care in the mean time to lock up the robbers, murderers, snake oil salesmen (present major-party presidential candidate excepted), influence peddlers/money launderers (present other major-party presidential candidate excepted), brutals, and other breakers of Man’s laws.

      Not under argument: Pantheists believe that all of reality is identical with divinity and god is all-encompassing rather than a distinct personal or anthropomorphic being.

      Atheists reject the notion of natural and/or supernatural deities.
      [Full disclosure: I am personally in this group. For me, the sun rising in the morning requires no deities—not the Aztec Lord of the Dawn Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli nor the Egyptian sun god Ra encompassing literally the long and short of it.]

      Both theistic and non-theistic persons include destructive individuals. Historically, the theistic-motivated ones, and in modern times, those who attach to The State a godlike authority, effect congregated massive destruction, with millions of victims. Non-theist bad-actors generally cause damage at a personal scale with usually no more than tens of victims.
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    • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
      You realize, of course, that I am not talking about history or even current events. What you say is true, but not the point. What I'd like to find out is what those who profess religion and still follow the principles of Objectivism have to say. Plus, I wouldn't object to such persons if their religions are not of the type you describe.
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      • Posted by lrshultis 11 months ago
        Following the principles of Objectivism is no different than any faith or religion. What is needed is an understanding of Objectivism and living one's own life and not get into some kind of faith thing.
        Don't get into a trust/belonging course of life. I saw the value of Rand's works when I came upon them when I was 25 in 1965. I saw the value because my father never taught us about a god but just taught us some basic moral principles about honesty, not stealing, and telling the truth, That changed when my mother died when I was 13 and my dad married a daughter of a itinerate pastor who immediately began trying to influence the younger kids and got three of the seven of us to become true believers in Jesus. My dad married because social services threatened us with foster homes.
        I found that Objectivism was a lot of common sense with some extra hard thinking thrown in to keep from going all religious about it.
        I see the main difference between the religious and the objective as with the father who was interviewed about his son who had recovered from three gun shot wounds who thanked god for the recovery rather than thanking or recognizing all the men and women throughout history who took the time and effort to find out how to treat such wounds. It is too easy to just thank a non-entity, that should just be recognized in cursing as the absurd, than to actually take time to find out what really happened to save one's self or someone else.
        As for the mention of taking Galt's oath, that is one of those trusting/belonging things that I would thing Objectivism would counter.
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  • Posted by johnpe1 11 months, 1 week ago
    objectivism is the philosophy;;; religion is the wild guess! -- j
    .
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    • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
      Religion to me holds the universe together with chewing gum. However, I'm discovering people whose postings I admire defending their belief, but not that guy with the long white beard.
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      • Posted by johnpe1 11 months, 1 week ago
        it's the rest of the story, the unknown which we learn about
        so slowly, in little chunks, eureka moments, Albert Einstein
        revelations, inventions, hypotheses and proofs ... it's the
        awesome glue which holds reality together everywhere
        which we just see a corner of, as we grow along! -- j
        .
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  • Posted by jeffdhurley1 11 months ago
    Interesting the number of posters here who have forcefully argued the idea that . If you do not believe in ALL the way "we" believe then you are out of the fold and not worthy of the name Objectivist. We shall shame you by calling you "foolish" and" a mystic" .You do not adhere to the teachings of our beloved Ayan and her disciples brandon and piekoff ( among others) (interesting side note while researching these guys there were numerous mentions of "the split" however I digress ) I find it fascinating the vehemence that many defend a novelist and the fictional characters she created to illuminate her personal philosophy , But when you begin shunning and shaming others that who their own quadrilateral of reason , tradition, experience and teaching .. because they do not agree with your own litmus test of Objectivism ..well seems like you have your very own religion at that point
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  • Posted by robinrises 11 months ago
    ""Religion and Capitalism are completely incompatible. Capitalism is built or reason. When religious people say they are for capitalism they are being contradictory and eventually when push comes to shove they side with religion and against freedom.""
    I think capitalism and religion are compatible.
    I define Capitalism as the honorable use of capital to make more capital. Religion is nothing more than a group of individuals sharing common grounds.
    In the case for Christianity, pure capital (Jesus) was sacrificed in payment of debt (sin) to free the debtor.
    After the legal tender act of 1862 was passed, pure capital (gold) was sacrificed in payment of debt (greenbacks) to free the ultimate debtor (government). There is compatibility between the two groups of thought.
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    • Posted by 11 months ago
      Capitalism is an end in itself and as a result is compatible as a stand-alone. If however, one tries to apply the tenets of religion to capitalism, many of those tenets would void it and create something often called capitalism but is actually a mixed bag of rationality and whim. The application of religion and socialism to the premises of Capitalism is what distorts it causing it to produce skewed results. That is why Rand specifies Lazaisse - Faire (spelling?) capitalism. Let it alone capitalism.
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      • Posted by robinrises 11 months ago
        If capitalism is as you say "an end in itself - stand-alone" than why does capital still exist? Maybe capital is like matter, it can neither be created nor destroyed, only transferred? I think capital follows the law of conservation of mass.

        And if Capital is a stand-alone, there is reason to believe that God does exist. God fractionalized thyself into parts in the form of credit which pulls the demand forward into new stand-alone parts (us) which the parts act to do work (interest) in exchange for energy in order to grow.

        As for Lazi fare. I am all for free market forces driving socio economic growth. However, there is a big problem: people cheat, steal, corner markets thru force, and fail to appropriately compensate the exhaustion of capital at proper value.
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  • Posted by dwlievert 11 months ago
    I have been reading this thread with great amusement and interest. It reminds me of one of George Carlin's bits.

    Delivering the news, Carlin, the newscaster moves on to his next story: "Scientists today report the discovery of a new number. It lies somewhere between 6 and 7. They have named the new number, "Bleen."

    He who asserts the existence of a positive assumes the burden of proof of its validity. Its validity does not rest with the inability of someone else to disprove it. I do not yet know the cause of the universe. When I discover it, or am provided with the evidence for same, I will have discovered that it is but a part of the universe, and of course, will have simply moved the question one step further away (or nearer), your choice.........
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  • Posted by  $  guinness222 11 months ago
    There is absolutely an opportunity for one to both be religiously committed to both a doctrine and the philosophy of objectivism.
    By Starting in objectivism ones personal needs, wants and other philosophical aspects can become fulfilled,....but,
    At some point the human psyche has an inbred desire, "compulsion", or need, to reach out and care for those whose lives, capacities, and "life" have not had the innate abilities, talents, and "good fortune" as the rest of society. Without that, what else separates us from the "Jungle" from which we come? What gives us the 'second level" of objectivism that shows us that compassion, and sharing , not only of our wealth, but our knowledge and life experiences is in the best interest of improving the future generations of "objectivist mammals", to ultimately better the entire world?
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  • Posted by term2 11 months, 1 week ago
    I am happy with just not knowing if there is some mythical superior being out there, somewhere. I dont see any evidence that proves its existence. I see quite a bit of evidence that disputes the existence of some all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good being out there that we cannot understand, know, etc.

    If adhering to a religion, and its accompanying "bible" of required beliefs makes some people feel better, its their business and not mine.

    Perhaps there should be a website where people can construct their own "god" (like one constructs a burrito at chipotle), and assemble only the beliefs that the designer wants to include, along with ideas of "grace", "sin", "punishments for sin", and "methods of redeeming oneself". The website would give each god a name, and solicit members and contributions.

    The most attractive "god" in terms of what it stood for and expected from people would expand its membership. Its time for competition among "gods", and not just a few big religions with conflicting tenets that are upsetting, supposedly handed down from centuries in the past.

    Of course, this idea is politically incorrect, and I would probably be burned at the stake for promoting it.
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  • Posted by ChuckyBob 11 months, 1 week ago
    Ok, I'll add my two farthings. First off, when it comes to man's (or in this case, woman's philosophy) there is no perfection. So, although I agree with Rand as to much of her economic theory, when we diverge from things strictly economic, I find myself diverging from her philosophy. Therefore, I guess I am not a strict objectivist. Second, the example used on her views of religion do not comport with the way I see the religion I practice.
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    • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
      OK.
      It would be interesting if you expressed the non-economic views of Objectivism that you disagree with. It might make for an interesting learning experience.
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      • Posted by ChuckyBob 11 months, 1 week ago
        In a nutshell, morality and altruism. I believe that there are God-given moralistic sets of laws/rules/commandments. I also believe that it is our responsibility to help our fellow beings. This is not to say that we should enable self-defeating behavior.
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        • Posted by term2 11 months, 1 week ago
          I would have to say that not all of the religious tenets propounded are bad. For example, treat others as you would have them treat you, could almost be a statement of an objectivist tenet. If you want your rights respected, you have to respect the rights of others. Pretty soon, you get to act like an objectivist without actually calling yourself one !!
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          • Posted by  $  puzzlelady 11 months ago
            Those tenets are not a religious monopoly. They are objectively good principles by which to run a free, just society. Galt's oath is a more specific formulation of "the golden rule". "Love thy neighbor as thyself" is a statement of equality (neither sacrificing to the other, mutual respect, honesty). Rational values when expounded also by religions does not render them religious.
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            • Posted by term2 11 months ago
              I think the golden rule is pretty practical actually
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              • Posted by  $  puzzlelady 11 months ago
                Douglas Hofstadter reported on an experiment that pitted two computers against each other in a game of war-like competition. The game that won was "Tit for Tat", where neither took the offensive of initiating an attack, and where each responded to the other in kind if aggressed against, and forgiving when the other played nice. Close to the golden rule. This appeared in Scientific American some decades ago. Sorry, I don't have the link.
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                • Posted by term2 11 months ago
                  What seems to be taking over today is kind of the opposite. People just take what they can like honey badgers without consideration and courtesy. I live in Las Vegas and it's very obvious with drivers here. They dart around with no consideration for other drivers at all
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            • Posted by 11 months ago
              Tenets are found phrased differently in most religions. Judaism borrowed a lot from previous religions and both Christianity and Islam borrowed from Judaism, etc etc etc.
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              • Posted by  $  blarman 11 months ago
                Only if you believe Judaism is a derivative religion. Their holy books describe it as the original religion. It only became Judaism when Christianity came along because of Christ. The Jews (as a religious sect) were those who rejected the divinity of Christ as foretold by their own prophets. Islam denies the divinity of Christ and derives much of its line of authority from Abraham's first (but not birthright) son Ishmael. But where Judaism and Christianity share much doctrine, Islam is its own construct entirely.
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        • Posted by jconne 11 months ago
          What does god-given mean in the context of what is god? Why do you even consider such a concept? What do you consider evidence?

          I recommend using the AynRandLexicon.com site for some detailed understanding of Objectivism, concept formation, truth, reason, and much more.
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          • Posted by ChuckyBob 11 months ago
            This is probably a mistake to post because I know there are those who will take the following as fodder for arguments. I'm not looking to argue, just to explain what I think and believe.

            I will be the first to admit that I am NOT an expert on Ayn Rand, or objectivism. All I know is from one reading of Atlas Shrugged and watching the movies. My interest in the subject is not a driving force in my life.

            Now, you pose a simple question that has the potential for a very large answer. My belief in God is probably not compliant with orthodox Christianity. I believe in a God that is a perfect being, in who's literal image we are created, or organized. He is the ultimate scientist and does what He does through obedience to the natural order of the universe and a much better understanding than we currently have.

            He gives us direction for our benefit and learning, but will not remove our agency since free agency is paramount to our progression and learning. Due to this, many times we make stupid, or wrong decisions and bad things happen to good people.
            There are natural laws and when we go against a natural law there is usually a consequence soon after. So natural laws are somewhat self enforcing. God gives other laws that when broken may have consequences that are not immediately apparent. These laws are not given capriciously, but out of love and concern for our welfare. The basic theme of these laws is to preserve our free agency. Some people see that as a conundrum...a law restricting your actions gives you greater agency? As an example, the church I belong to has a rule dealing with health and what we should and should not put in our bodies. So, we believe that we should abstain from addictive substances. By avoiding them you still retain the ability to partake if you so choose. You also have the ability to abstain, if you so choose. On the flip side, if you become addicted abstinence is much more difficult.
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            • Posted by 11 months ago
              Objectivism is founded on reason. Religion is founded on faith. Your religion is mysticism which requires no evidence, Objectivism is founded on on proven truth, that is, that which corresponds to reality.
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              • Posted by  $  blarman 11 months ago
                Faith is the conviction and subsequent action that the hypothesis is worthy of testing. One does not have faith without acting upon one's beliefs. For those self-named Christians who profess to believe yet do not actually do as they profess, there is a far better word: hypocrite. For those who actually do as they profess, the results are the objective evidence.
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          • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 11 months ago
            The real start point for us is in the 1770's. First lesson. JUDGE in the context of the times. None of them give a a fig about your opinion. You weren't born yet.

            Much of the to be and then newly was USA was based on religious principals. the concept of marriage betwen a man and a woman for one. the fear was establishment of a State Religion. Something many had left or fled Europe to avoid and with good reason.

            All this becomes background for the development of what is called natural law or the laws that govern mankind from the moment of birth. Nothing to do with and superior to the laws of man. European royalty hated the concept Enlightened thinkers loved it.

            Still much of what churches did or internally stood for found their way into the formation of churches within the new USA. What kind of churches. if i can do this off my head. Any religion that does not disturb the peace of the local population nor violate the Constitution. Thus child sacrifices were banned even though they were a tenet of an active religion. Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Pretty hard to accomplish as a sacrificial virgin.

            In these days that philosophy would and does say you cannot kill men, women and children at the drop of a burkah. It was and is not a direct attack on the practice of religion but in direct support of the rights of man...and citizenship.

            The French have directly attacked Islamics by singling out Islamic adherents. on the issue of face coverings. The USA simply said. ALL people must adhere to the notion of having their license photo taken and baring their face when directed to do so or asked to do so. An armed robbery on Halloween night would engender the same response.

            Nut shell version. Some of us might see God as the source of all heavenly power without description, some see God differently and some look at nature in that context. Some believe in the Big Bang. theory. it matters not if it doesn't violate the peace of the area and it's inhabitants it's legal. What do they consider evidence. Depends on the definition. I hold the divined source of power in the country is the citizens. Or used to be before they crapped in their own church - nature so to speak and refused the responsibility. Doesn't matter in our system...except it led to such things as the 9th and 10th amendments and a lot more.

            Evidence? See the recommended Lexicon. We deal in objective facts and reason.
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        • Posted by 11 months, 1 week ago
          Then you need to read more Rand, or you didn't understand what you read. She not only covers those points when she speaks of ethics, but agrees with you, given certain reasons and exceptions. There is no reason for your objections if you really know Objectivism. All I would say at this point is that you'd get a different perspective on altruism, and morality is not God-given, but the rational way to exist. Plus one must define what is moral and what is not, which she makes very clear.
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  • Posted by DanielJackson 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    People of religion can share many of the ideas that other people share who may be irreligious. People of religion may be interested in sustainable ways and means to live, they may be interested in the concepts of a free market. They may believe in renewable energy and green building. You can not discount people of religion simply because they have a belief in a supreme being of intellect in the universe. Unless you want to dictate to them what to believe and what not to believe and then you enter the realm of censorship and we leave off the world seen in Atlas Shrugged and either into 1984 or A Brave New World and enter the realm of Orwell and Huxley.
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  • Posted by  $  sjatkins 10 months, 3 weeks ago
    Actually there is no necessity to say any of the OP things in some forms of spirituality and religion. For instance Buddhism officially is without any deity and advocates simple deep introspection as to the causes of ones own unnecessary suffering and what keeps it in place. I am not a fan for many reasons as they doctrines have their own imho illogic but it is not so simple as the OP quote.

    There are states of mind/consciousness that are not so easy to put into words and that are not at the level of normal reasoning. To say automatically that they do not exist or that all of them are of no worth is a bit dogmatic.

    The quote is not very well nuanced to the breadth of the space of human being and experience. It is well put against the complete BS of much of so-called spirituality but that BS aspect is not imho the entire story.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago in reply to this comment.
    Except you run out of other people's money and then everyone becomes poor, starving and will resort back to their pagan barbaric bicameral roots.

    Oh wait!...that's exactly what their doing...no matter how you spell it, where it came from, I say "Evil" is an apt description.

    And actually...the concept of good and evil/ order and disorder was realized by bicameral man way before some idiot decided to organize it into a religion. If mankind did not observe that if I take your stuff, you'll take mind or at least kick my ass...therefore...maybe I shouldn't take your stuff unless I can kick Your ass. We would of never survived this long if we didn't make that observation.

    Early form of Reason by caveman perhaps? Laughing...
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 11 months ago in reply to this comment.
    I think, right from the get go...Rome's "Organization" of the teachings and history was to keep their flock from fully ascending into consciousness. That's why they still pander to the bicameral, mystical, superstitious brain.
    Never mind all the perverted inclusions that attracted all those is the other paganized religions of the time.
    They wanted to be Government and had no mind to advance mankind into higher states of awareness because that would have put them out of work.
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