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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    As for Western biblical based culture with it's standard of good and bad is less based on "Faith" than many think. It makes sense to not murder, with a proviso of protection against physical harm. Not worshiping false idols like obobo, bal, a planet moon or star...nor another human. Not baring false witness and treating your parents and neighbors in a respectfull manner is really not so onerous now is it.
    Western culture's focus on the "Individual" and requiring self reliance and responsibility comes from the thousands of years it took our ancestors to figure out.
    So you see, it's really not mystical. We can get into the weeds discussing the ritualistic bicameral practice and organizing of these understandings....I too, shy away from these indoctrinations.

    In short, I'd take western values over bicameral collectivist perversions of humanity any day of the week and twice on sunday.
    Self sacrifice Kills...just say NO!
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    • Posted by bsmith51 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      OT: Speaking of self-sacrifice: According to ancient Hawaiian folk lore, the quickest way to appease the volcano goddess, Pele, and quell the eruptions, is to make a human sacrifice into her fires. Also, according to tradition, the sacrifice needs to be a celebrated leader who was born in Hawaii and has held a powerful position in the past.

      (Hearing of this, Obama quickly announced he was actually born in Kenya and has a birth certificate to prove it.)
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    • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      The votes you are getting on this indicate that many people here approve of and probably practice religion. They agree with certain political concretes that they found in the Atlas movies, but they do not understand Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism.

      Western culture is not biblically based. Western culture has a broad root base, but Christianity is something nailed on above the ground.

      From the very first, Christians attacked each other over questions of theology. That was why the Emperor Julian re-instituted pagan worship: he wanted to end the street brawls between Christians.

      On the other hand, as many schools of philosophy as were around, Epicureans, Stoics, Peripetetics, and Platonists did not run around in gangs stabbing each other.

      We see the same thing going on in our time: Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland (with Catholic churches in America raising money to support terrorism), the Jews and Muslims (of course), but Shia versus Sunni and ISIS killing Sufis, and centuries of Hindus versus Muslims and both versus Sikhs versus them back... on and on... Meanwhile do the physcis graduate students studying string theory bomb the beer gardens of those who refuse to accept it? No!. Reality and reason bring peace and prospertiy. That is the basis of Western civilization.

      Western Civilization was a long time coming to capitalism, and merchants were not held in high esteem, but a slave could become a millionaire, buy his freedom and gain Athenian citizenship. On the other hand, Christianity hold that "PHILARGYRION" (philos=love + argentos=silver) the love of money is the root of all evil.
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        There is a big difference between the organization of mankind's bicameral misrepresentations, (religion) versus mankind's integration's that brought about western societies objective reasoning.

        We have to realize that the same bicameral perversions affected church leaders and organizers as did the rulers through the history of civilization. They too were engaged in power struggles. The forefathers of western civilization could see through all that and assemble the self evident truths from the pagan bicameral mysticism's it was all wrapped in. The organizers tainted the learning's, the teachings, the history to keep the wealth in their control...no different than the global delete ruleless class still does today.
        The overall influence of the original Christian and Hebrew message, minus the mysticism, was how to behave yourself and prosper in an ethical, moral way; not to mention, how to use one's new found mind instead of one's temptation ridden compartmentalized head.

        It's like I state in my book: "In all things, good, bad and ugly, there is a bit of truth, if only to realize that which is not."

        That's the best description of how I see it.
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        • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
          There is no such thing as the "original Christian message minus the mysticism". Without the mysticism nothing is left. The "moral way" was Christian duty to god and the supernatural. Demanding faith and duty is how not "to use one's mind". "Assemble the self evident truths from the pagan bicameral mysticism's it was all wrapped in" makes no sense. "Western values" are from the Enlightenment, not Christianity.
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        • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 2 weeks ago
          Among the many erroneous aspects of your claim here and your assertions up top are that they are posited as absolutes. Absolutes exist. But not every claim - even if valid in context - is absolutely true. The Ten Commandments on getting well with your neighbors are a perfect example of the failure of moral absolutism. Ayn Rand's philosophy is called Objectivism not "Absolutism."
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          • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
            "Reality is an absolute, existence is an absolute, a speck of dust is an absolute and so is a human life. Whether you live or die is an absolute. Whether you have a piece of bread or not, is an absolute. Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter’s stomach, is an absolute." -- Galt's speech

            "A moral code impossible to practice, a code that demands imperfection or death, has taught you to dissolve all ideas in fog, to permit no firm definitions, to regard any concept as approximate and any rule of conduct as elastic, to hedge on any principle, to compromise on any value, to take the middle of any road. By extorting your acceptance of supernatural absolutes, it has forced you to reject the absolute of nature." -- Galt's speech

            If something is true it is absolutely true. There is no other kind. But you had better know what you are talking about, how to apply it, and not drop context.

            The Ten Commandments are not absolute principles, they are commandments. The religious notion of ethics is duty. See Ayn Rand's "Causality versus Duty" in Philosophy: Who Needs It.
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            • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 1 week ago
              Let me suggest this an example of objective morality versus absolute morality.

              It is in your self interest to charge all the market will bear. Yet, if you go to a coin show or numismatic convention, and watch what happens on the bourse floor, people "leave money on the table" all the time. "Greysheet is $205, but you can have it for $175." OK 20-40-60-80-100; 20-40-60-80. Thanks, Keep the 5."

              They are "buying" good will. They are exchanging the values of respect. In "Bourgeois Virtues" Dierdre McCloskey points out that self-interest among the roofers of Omaha is not the self-interest among a nest of rats -- though the left confuses the two.

              Would I sell something for less than it cost me? Ouch! No, of course not.... Unless, it were in my self-interest to have the cash now and eat the loss... I had an economics prof who was (only mostly) free market. He subscribed to the subject theory of values. But from that basis he got his first lesson in on the first day: You would pay a dollar to get a quarter if you needed to make a call from a pay phone.

              The error of absolutism would justify killing the person who offered to sell you a quarter for a dollar. See the comments from the Tariff Crowd here, for instance. Objectivism places the absolute in context.
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              • Posted by ewv 5 months, 1 week ago
                Morality of self interest means that the life of the individual is the standard and your own happiness the goal, not a duty to "charge as much as you can get for coins" is an "absolute", let alone "killing" someone who does not. Objectivism does not prescribe duties at all.
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          • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 5 months, 2 weeks ago
            It's what I have observed, and it's very simple, and what's so wrong or mystical about behaving well or the best one can under a set of circumstances. AR never advocated behaving badly.
            Of course these days, the tables have turned, behaving well, speaking objectively or just observing can land one in jail.

            The only truth that I recognize are the fundamental and physical laws of nature and the universe that we have a fair degree of understanding. (North attracts to south, positive electricity flows to (-) ground...etc). If these things weren't true, we likely would not be here to argue the point.

            That truth doesn't change, only our understanding of those truths...everything else is an opinion or a theory.

            [and yes, The work of Julian Jaynes is still a theory, but like The Electric Universe Theory...it's some of the best theory's going right now...in a 100 years?...who knows, but basing some observations upon our best understandings is how we learn where it's spot on and where it falls short.]
            Again, The only absolutes, the only truth to be reckoned with; are the physical and natural laws as best we understand them.
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      • Posted by MinorLiberator 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        I disagree on your assessment of the upvotes.

        I've been a committed atheist since discovering Rand when I was 20, after 16 years of Catholic education. Actually, 12. 4 were in the future when I left the Uber-Left University of Michigan for a private, Jesuit university. Unlike many of Christian sects, we were taught the Old Testament along with the New.

        IMO the former is the more "rational" in terms of it's "laws" and morality. Of course it is ultimately based on faith and contains numerous mystical concepts and contradiction, but I agree with OUC that it's incorrect to dismiss and entire religion or religions out of hand. As rational beings, we can sort out the useful and interesting from the rest.
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        • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
          "Religious, faith-based culture with its mystical standards of the good", as posed in the original post, is not "useful and interesting". Nor is Olduglycarl's false assertion that Western culture is "biblically based".
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          • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
            Trolling militant religious apologists are once again 'downvoting' rejection of " faith-based culture with its mystical standards of the good" and the fallacious claims replacing the Enlightenment with the Bible as the intellectual foundation of this country.
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            • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 5 months, 2 weeks ago
              Free speech should never be down voted.
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              • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
                I don't know that the intent is to oppose free speech as such, but there has been an obvious cowardly lashing out at anyone who rejects the militant religious conservative activism abusing an Ayn Rand forum -- promoting a stock religious 'narrative' with historical and philosophical ignorance contradicting the purpose of the forum for which they apparently have no interest.
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              • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 2 weeks ago
                That is another example of an absolute claim that is not absolutely true. It is objectively false.

                You do not have a right to believe whatever you want.

                "You do have a political right to an opinion. However, that is not to be confused with the epistemic right to an opinion. The epistemic right to an opinion, says Whyte, is similar to the right to boast. Just as you first must achieve something worthy of boasting, so, too, is the “right” to an opinion earned by correctly identifying facts and then explaining them rationally. "

                https://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/2...
                And here:
                " Beliefs are factive: to believe is to take to be true. It would be absurd, as the analytic philosopher G E Moore observed in the 1940s, to say: ‘It is raining, but I don’t believe that it is raining.’ Beliefs aspire to truth – but they do not entail it. Beliefs can be false, unwarranted by evidence or reasoned consideration. They can also be morally repugnant. Among likely candidates: beliefs that are sexist, racist or homophobic; the belief that proper upbringing of a child requires ‘breaking the will’ and severe corporal punishment; the belief that the elderly should routinely be euthanised; the belief that ‘ethnic cleansing’ is a political solution, and so on. If we find these morally wrong, we condemn not only the potential acts that spring from such beliefs, but the content of the belief itself, the act of believing it, and thus the believer."
                https://aeon.co/ideas/you-dont-have-a...
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                • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
                  The principle of freedom of speech means government shall not interfere in the transmission of ideas. That principle should not be 'downvoted'. Someone who 'downvotes' something in particular that he rejects is not opposing the principle of freedom of speech. His rejection may or may not be rational and may or may not be a cowardly hit and run.

                  The "controversy" over a "right to believe whatever you want" is not about absolutes, it is about equivocation on the meaning: A political right to believe something is not an epistemological 'right' to be taken seriously no matter what you say. "Controversy" over that arises only with those who demand that their arbitrary assertions be respected as cognitive value.
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        • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 2 weeks ago
          Atheism is nice, but it is not synonymous with Ayn Rand's capital-O Objectivism. It is easy to show atheists such as Christopher Hitchens, Richard Feynman, and Carl Sagan who endorsed collectivist agenda items and (for all of their lowercase-o objectivism) some falsehoods in epistemology.

          Among the many problems with the Ten Commandments and other claims in the top response, is that they are absolutes. Objectivism is not absolutism. Certain metaphysical facts, including facts about human nature, are absolute. But lying under oath, coveting your neighbor's ass, and so one are not absolutely immoral. Much of the Ten Commandments is irrelevant. Even the parts that seem "useful" are dependent on the objective context of self-interest.
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          • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 5 months, 2 weeks ago
            It's still an excellent outline of good behavior and it's just as important to strive for, weather one uses his bicameral brain or his unicameral brain. That's the point.
            Objective context of self interest make me think of billy bobs self interest of claiming: He did not have sex with that women; using a narrow definition of sex.
            We could both spout examples to an frow but I think you get it.
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            • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 1 week ago
              I do not know which half of your two cameras you are using, but we are not going to agree on this.

              For one thing, you stopped being grammatical -- weather for whether and "to an frow" -- which indicates emotional response. You are more insightful when you are cool headed.
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              • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 5 months, 1 week ago
                Laughing...like I always say: editing best when done after posting, for me.

                Bicameral, as I think you know, refers to pagan man,( not being aware of his own awareness) and of course, unicameral meaning self introspection or consciousness.
                Or, lets describe it this way: Imitation conscience,- meaning survival fear of consequences from unseen forces and Conscience guided by experience, reason and mutuality.

                But I am just curious: What would a die hard objectivist consider good behavior, a behavior that keeps one out of hot water and doesn't harm or take unfair advantage of others.
                Lets leave: "self interest" out of it because that could mean most anything, or sound vague.
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                • Posted by ewv 5 months, 1 week ago
                  Self interest cannot be "left out" of ethics. Ethics is not based on "good behavior" towards others or platitudes like "stay out of hot water". Haven't you read "The Objectivist Ethics"?
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                • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 1 week ago
                  Carl, you apparently have not read deeply into Ayn Rand's works. You certainly must know The Oath: "I swear by my life and by my love of it, never to live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." But even that rests on much.

                  The broad outlines are found, easily, under "Self interest" in The Ayn Rand Lexicon online
                  http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/sel...

                  But if you search there for "Man qua Man" you find:

                  "The standard of value of the Objectivist ethics—the standard by which one judges what is good or evil—is man’s life, or: that which is required for man’s survival qua man.

                  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.

                  “Man’s survival qua man” means the terms, methods, conditions and goals required for the survival of a rational being through the whole of his lifespan—in all those aspects of existence which are open to his choice."
                  -----------------------------------
                  And, yes, I understand the "bicameral mind." We have discussed it before. We both read Julian Jaynes. I will point out that even today, bicameral people live among us. Joan of Arc was a bicameral: she heard "voices"; in other words, she did not identify her motivation as being internal to herself. Even closer to home, I wrote and published a peer-reviewed article with another student in a graduate physics class. He told me that he knows that people speak of having a voice in their head, but he does not. Smart guy, all in all, but bicameral.
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                  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 5 months, 1 week ago
                    I have and I remember that passage along with the passage about initiatory force, which Mark Hamilton modeled his prime law but other than that, her moral objectives are vague. Valuable and profound they are it still doesn't address the point of adopting a standard of behavior in one's self interest...especially for those that are still bicameral. There is nothing mystical about those insights.
                    (I too, have met folks, mostly the young, that say they do not have the voice of self, nor the voice of another in their heads.)
                    My work is heavily involved with the problems between bicameral entities and unicameral conscious beings. Most bicameral's exist in governments and akin to what I call: The global parasitical humanoid delete ruleless class.

                    Mankind's insight into a few rules of behavior to heed in a quest for a peaceful society was a watershed moment in bicameral times. To many, it's common sense and perhaps that's the way AR thought of them...but they certainly are not false, there is no Objective commandments to reject them.
                    I don't think we need to go through each one, but it is clear that Christianity and Judaism adopted them and western civilization benefited by them.

                    I get the reaction from an over barring pointed finger of some Christian sects and get the dichotomy of honoring a parent that doesn't deserve that honor. I think there was a much deeper physical connection there that really can't be ignored. How we choose to do so is another story; also, that bad neighbor can be a strain on one's tolerance and mutuality, which is really that dreaded "L" word, outside the family unit, that everyone gets wrong.
                    Worship is another one which many misread. It's really a profound appreciation, in bicameral times it was subjugation but a conscious being can understand that one should appreciate his own existence and be humbled by the forces that caused that to be. Mankind has a tendency to "Humanize" everything; not to mention our bicameral ancestors thought they walked with entities that caused their presents here of earth. It seems to me, those entities were equally bicameral.
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                    • Posted by lrshultis 5 months, 1 week ago
                      ''To many, it's common sense and perhaps that's the way AR thought of them...but they certainly are not false, there is no Objective commandments to reject them.''

                      Rand did not consider commandments as moral since they are not the chosen. Moral actions are chosen actions whether good or badly mistaken.
                      For a Christian, commandments are not to be taken by choice, but are taken under the understanding of being punished by God if not accepted. You might counter that one has free will in the matter, but a commandment does not allow free will.
                      Commandments are anti objective.

                      The bicameral brain and mind is alive and well with the two hemisphere brain and the conscious and subconscious minds.
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                      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 5 months, 1 week ago
                        The bicameral brain is not aware of it's better half so to speak. To the ancients, they were commands because they could only behave in fear of consequence from unseen forces. Real "free will" came with the mind...you can observe that in the ancient writings between the Iliad and the Odyssey.
                        Oh, we might beef about one or two of them but the insights were pretty basic...natural law of the universe...like what Cicero wrote about.
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                • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 5 months, 1 week ago
                  I say that because, there is an interest to do what ever you have to, in order to accomplish your objectives, That is a serious problem with big business these days, versus, a general interest in guiding one's behavior and interactions well with in society, therefore setting an good example. I would be in one's self interest to have others that want to do business with you and perhaps not feel they have no other choice.
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                  • Posted by ewv 5 months, 1 week ago
                    Please read "The Objectivist Ethics" on using your rational mind to live your own life. It does not mean do what ever you have to in order to accomplish your objectives" including sacrificing others to yourself, and it does not mean "guiding one's behavior and interactions well with in society".
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            • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
              The ten commandments are not an outline of "good behavior". They are commandments to do an alleged duty no matter what the results, your own understanding, or your goals. "Unilateral" versus "bicameral brain" as ways of thinking is meaningless. If you want to live as a human being think rationally and understand the difference between causality and duty.
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    • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      Religion is mysticism. That western civilization gradually learned better values for living on earth in spite of it does not make those values religious. There is nothing about condemning murder that is particularly religious. It has nothing to do with faith in a supernatural world and religion has repeatedly demonstrated how easy they find to endorse it.

      The entire tradition of ethics as duty, self sacrifice as moral, and unreason in thinking, all of which still plague humanity in the 21st century, is the result of millennia of religious influence. The question of religion versus collectivism and altruism is a false alternative based on a false dichotomy.
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    • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      Colledtivism is just secular religion. You could make all the same claims for collectivism being "common sense" and "good for you." It is good for you to be courteous to your neighbors, to forgive and forget mere trespasses, to share when you have an abundance you cannot use. Blah... blah... blah...

      All of it fails, including your Ten Commandments, when analyzed by a standard of reality, reason, and self-interest.

      False witness? When questioned by the police of a dictatorship about your politicial beliefs, you have every right to lie. Jehovah is a false idol, if you stop to think about it. Why honor your parents if they are not worthy of it?

      That is why I refuse to make the false choice offered.
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      • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        Its a war out there, and we have to take sides, as Francisco said in AS.
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        • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
          We do not have to choose between a false alternative of "sides". There are specific, immediate choices when you have to defend yourself the best you can, but the defense, protection and restoration of reason, individualism and freedom requires consistently and rationally defending them. don't temporize. Narrowing the choice to a false alternatives of destructive implementations of unreason and sacrifice is deadly.
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          • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
            I have to tell you I feel under attack in this country- by the forces of collectivism integrated into our government. The choices usually come down to take my money and freedom now, or take less money and less freedom. Seems to me its logical to take the lesser evil if I can choose it. When I vote today, if I vote at all,I am picking the least destructive option to my life. Its not an ideological thing given our present mob rule system.
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            • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
              We are under attack. Putting up with what is the lesser of two evils "today" -- when you can -- does not tell you to accept a false alternative and do nothing about it for "tomorrow". The course of a culture and a nation depends on the dominant ideas accepted, not on "today's vote". Even "today's vote" -- when a choice between evils makes a difference at all -- is to be decided on the basis of specifics of self defense, not endorsing a generality from a false alternatives in a false question of "religious, faith-based culture with its mystical standards of the good, or the collectivist, altruist ethical and political ideology". Posing the question that way and accepting it as the choice is suicidal.
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        • Posted by freedomforall 5 months, 2 weeks ago
          Francisco chose to strike and to reject the unprincipled evil side, instead choosing the side of good. He would certainly have rejected both the Dems and the GOP as unprincipled looters.
          The German people chose to back Hitler as a practical matter in spite of his obvious evil principles. Many Americans have chosen the GOP for similar reasons. Both of the US parties are careful to keep their evil camouflaged, having learned from Hitler and other evil statist murderers. (I do not equate the GOP to the Nazi Party and the Dems may be a closer fit, but both parties are evil statist murderers differing in degree.)
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          • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
            The German people of the Weimar Republic accepted the statist, collectivist, nationalist principles of their politics, which is why they got them in practice. The National Socialists were a political compromise between nationalism and communism.
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            • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 2 weeks ago
              Nationalism versus communism is another false dichotomy.
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              • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
                Nationalism and communism are both based on the premise of collectivist statism, differing only in implementation. The Germans fought themselves politically only over that, embracing the false alternative. There was no "right" in Germany in the sense of American individualism. The culture of the Germans in the Weimar Republic was steeped in a tradition of Christian religion and unreason philosophically. The left wanted Marxism and the right wanted traditional German nationalist statism. They got as compromise the fascist version of socialism blending both under the common accepted premise.
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              • Posted by 5 months, 2 weeks ago
                The false dichotomy is specifically, various excuses to enslave people in the name of: the nation, motherland, fatherland, people, tribe, race, black power, white power, gender, etc, etc. ... vs ... A government conceived and dedicated to protecting individual rights.
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          • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 2 weeks ago
            Francisco d'Anconia did not reject the good. He did reject evil. All of the strikers did. But they were practicing the best rational self-interest. If you cannot understand that, then we have a long discussion ahead of us.
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            • Posted by freedomforall 5 months, 2 weeks ago
              I said: "Francisco chose to strike and to reject the unprincipled evil side, instead choosing the side of good"
              You said:"Francisco d'Anconia did not reject the good. He did reject evil."
              I'm glad we agree on this, Mike. If you don't think so, then you have a long discussion with yourself.
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          • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 2 weeks ago
            The German people chose evil. You need to understand that. I can give you many, many examples. But if you do not accept the explanation that Hegel was the intellectual founder of all modern socialisms, then we have a lot of discussion ahead of us. Very few Germans were "liberals" in the sense of the Enlightenment. That was why the election came down to the Nazis versus the Communists.

            The vast majority oif Germans were not at all rational-empiricists and individualists. Whether it was family-church-and-state or whatever else, they abandoned reality and got what they wanted: to be bombed out of existence.
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          • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
            I am not so sure that the German people werent secretly OK with the ideology of Hitler (at least the non jewish people). Hitler was VERY popular, as the newsreels show.

            I agree with you about the GOP vs Dems. They are cut from the same cloth really, only differing in degrees.

            I did get what I voted for with Trump, I think. I wanted a slowing down in the march to straight socialism, and I think I am getting that. I had better enjoy it, as I think the ride will be over in 2020. As to 2018, I suspect Trump might lose one or more of the houses in congress, but his VETO will still be in play to be an obstruction to radical socialism.
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            • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 2 weeks ago
              Trump is a populist, a fascist, a nationalist socialist, a crony capitalist. If you think that he is prof-freedom, then you are falling for the false dichotomy.
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              • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
                He isnt intellectually consistent on pro-freedom by any stretch. BUT, he is taking actions that are pro freedom, and he is blocking actions that are anti-freedom. Not consistently, but its better than nothing.

                Your alternative this past election was a real crook who was selling access to a crooked government for her and her 'stronger together" followers.

                Enjoy Trump while it lasts. Next year his ability to do anything substantive might be eliminated if he loses one or both houses of congress. In 2020, we could get a real socialist this time agound, given the massive support of a bernie sanders type

                At least we got a few years slowdown in the march to socialism, which you should be applauding.
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        I get it... but western understandings are valid, minus the bicameral mysticism, the conversation has never evolved. Whereas, collectivism is blatantly false and harmful for the "Human" condition.

        Collectivism is not concerned if you have an abundance or not...they are gona take what ever you have or even don't have...like it or not; your forced to sacrifice for the greater good; which of course is the good of themselves.
        Not to mention, there is always a "Privileged class.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        "Collectivism is just secular religion."
        A religions historically teach collectivism. i don't know of Rand wrote about this, but Greenspan wrote about talking to Rand about it, about how going up against collectivism often means going up against people ancient religious beliefs.
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        • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 2 weeks ago
          It was an important narrative in Ayn Rand's works that all forms of collectivism are based on altruism whiich is founded on mysticism. You can find it in Toohey's exquisition to Peter Keating, and, of course, it is in Galt's Speech.

          That is why the choice offered here is a false dichotomy. The objectivists identified it. The conservatives fell for it and chose religiion as their preferred practice of anti-man and anti-life.
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  • Posted by  $  Temlakos 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    The collectivist/altruistic ethical and political system definitely and consistently poses the greater threat. Observe if you will the ultimate controlled experiment. Consider two Presidents:

    1. Ronald W. Reagan, strong in his faith, wore it on his sleeve, promulgated rules against abortion, etc.--and consistently defended the rights of the individual against collectives of any kind, lowered taxes, etc.

    2. Barack H. Obama II. If he was strong in any faith except a personality cult based on himself, then it would be the Muslim faith. And even then, his acts were more along the line of granting them special favors than actually joining in their worship or trying to persuade them to accept him as a religious leader. At the same time he was a total collectivist. "You didn't build that!" etc. With him began the deliberate conflation of police/military/judiciary with nationalization of the rest of the economy, beginning with health care.

    Now compare the United States economy under these two Presidents.

    Were you better off after eight years of Reagan than you were after eight years of Obama? I certainly was. (And I'm better off now after two and a half years of Trump.)
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  • Posted by freedomforall 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    I make a different choice or do not consent (choose to strike by not voting at all.) An arguable lesser evil is still evil. The GOP and Dems have made the irrational lesser evil argument for 50 years to keep Americans enslaved to an evil system.
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    • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      I tend to look at it more pragmaticaly, given that the choices we are presented with are specific things- like more or less taxes. I say the "side" that takes the least from me, and allows me in practice to live life as I want is the preferable side. I think those choices are fluid, so preferring one side or the other changes with the specific actions they would take.
      In principle, both are sh$$, and while the faith side doesnt burn me at the stake for being a witch anymore like earlier, it generally leaves me alone. On the other hand, the collectivist side takes money from me constantly, and passes altruistic laws which DO mess with my life.
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      • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        Religious demands for duty to sacrifice and irrational belief on faith were the cause of the statist collectivism. Religious bans on personal choices are very much alive today: Look at the controversy over forcing woman to have unwanted children, including today's anti-abortion mania which isn't long after the religious bans on contraception of 50 years ago. Which band of irrational thieves is more oppressing and taking from you today is not the question if you care about living in the future.
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        • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
          Religion is bad now, and has always been. Some religions are worse than others in terms of irrational dogmas that they try to impose on others. Currently, I am not really being impacted by any religions. If I were famous and was asked about my definitely agnostic positions, I suppose I would be attacked. I dont see any evidence of anything like one of their hundreds of "gods", but IF there was, I suppose I would accept it. I am not sure I can say with certainty there CANNOT be some being somewhere that made the universe we live in, but it really seems very farfetched to me, so I just live without paying homage to any of the postulated "gods".

          BUT, I am NOT famous enough that the powers that be would care what I think.

          If anyone asks, I would of course tell them what I think on the subject, probably labeling me as some sort of infidel.
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          • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
            You don't have to be famous to have an impact on one person at a time.
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            • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
              I agree. It’s almost like a person becomes rationally based or emotionally based at an early age. I can have an effect if the person thinks rationally but just doesn’t understand the world. But I can’t reach an emotionally based person with reason
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  • Posted by BrettScott 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    We already have mature examples of both. Collectivism ultimately fails. With religion, it depends. Christian values resulted in the freest, most prosperous regions in the world. Islam keeps people rooted in the 7th century.
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    • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      This country was founded on the Enlightenment with its emphasis on reason and individualism, not Christian faith. The secular values of the right to life on earth, liberty, and the pursuit of your own chosen values are not Christian values. They grew out of the Enlightenment and in this country in spite of those who professed religious belief.
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      • Posted by BrettScott 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        As far as I know, there are no references to 'reason and individualism' in founding US documents. There are many references to God, however. The most prominent tenet of Christianity is indeed 'the pursuit of your own chosen values', albeit with supernatural consequences. This allowed other philosophies to prosper, in contrast to Islam. That was my point.
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        • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
          The Enlightenment was characterized by its emphasis on reason and individualism, overthrowing centuries of dogmatic religion. Christianity was based on faith, belief in otherwordliness and duty to God, with 'salvation' in another world the overriding goal and service to others on earth a distant second as a means to attain it. That was not 'the pursuit of your own chosen values': Do that instead of your duty to God and you go to hell. It excluded "other philosophies" as blasphemous and sinful; it did not encourage or permit other ideas to prosper. It was the opposite of the Enlightenment.

          The founding documents of this country were political, not philosophical. They did not reference Christianity. The few mentions of 'God' were deistic and equivalent to Nature, not Christianity. The country was founded on Enlightenment values, not Christianity. The this worldly and egoist life, liberty, property and the pursuit of your own happiness for your chosen values on earth was the opposite of Christianity. Founding this country would have been impossible based on medieval mysticism and dogma.
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          • Posted by BrettScott 5 months, 2 weeks ago
            I'm uninterested in the "Is the U.S. a Christian nation?" discussion. It occurred a million times before and is unrelated to the OP and my reply. Frankly, neither of us has anything new to add to that discussion.
            My point is: If one denies the Christian God, they are left to their own fate. Individuals are free to act in their own interest.
            If one denies Allah, doctrine prescribes death. Surely, you see how this impacts individuals and societies.
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            • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
              If you are "uninterested" in arguing that this country is a "Christian nation" then stop promoting it. Everyone is "left to his own fate" in accordance with his own choices and actions, by his nature as a human being and without regard to Christian promises of salvation and threats of eternal torment for disobeying. Islam is an offshoot of Christianity. Islamic nations are worse today because they never had an Enlightenment. Western Europe and this country did, preventing religion from suppressing us. The comparison between Islam and more enlightened cultures that broke free of medieval religious dogmatism is not an argument for your religion, and an Ayn Rand forum is not the place for you to promote your religion.
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              • -2
                Posted by BrettScott 5 months, 2 weeks ago
                I never promoted Christianity, only pointed out the differences in the two religions. Your impenetrable atheism dogma leaves you closed minded.
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                • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
                  You said that "Christian values resulted in the freest, most prosperous regions in the world", "there are many references to God in founding US documents" in contrast to "reason and individualism", and "the most prominent tenet of Christianity is indeed 'the pursuit of your own chosen values'". That is promotion of your religion and is not true.

                  Rejecting mysticism and religious historical revisionism is not "closed minded impenetrable atheism dogma". Your personal attacks and your misrepresentation of reason and individualism in the founding of this country, while promoting your religious faith, do not belong here.
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            • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 5 months, 2 weeks ago
              The Founders bible describes how the old testament, the torah and the new testament gave our founders a basis for inalienable rights, freedom with maximum responsibility and yes, it also includes free market capitalism.

              Many think it was all about sacrifice but it's not unless of course, you desire to kill, rape, lie, being miserable to everyone, take from everyone never to create values or be what ever you will, no matter the consequences you might face, or any other temptations of one's bicameral brain.
              Is that really a sacrifice?
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              • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
                "Founders Bible" is a David Barton, not a credible source. Barton is a religious promoter of historical revisionism who 'finds' religion as 'explanation' wherever he wants to, specializing in the mythical narrative that this country was founded on the Bible. We have been through this nonsense with Baron before.
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      I don't think religion is associated with freedom. When you put religion in charge, the result is not freedom. When you have a secular free gov't that does not interfere with people's religious practices, the result is prosperity. The key is liberty, not some people imaginary friend being friendlier than another.
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  • Posted by MikePusatera 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    I find no contradictions in my faith and Objectivism. I love them both equally. In the Bible all good works come from the individual. Supporting a church or denomination is a choice. This is completely different that a governing body. One of the most telling stories of Jesus is when he faced Satan in the desert before his ministry. Satan told Jesus to take over. Use your power to control and make the world a better place. Jesus knew this was wrong. Ironically the general public's biggest issue with God is that he has given us free choice. I always hear people say if there is a God then why are there wars, poverty, slavery and so on. God puts it on us. We have to make these choices. This is the complete opposite of giving away these choices and freedoms to government entity who will make these choices for everyone.
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    • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      Ayn Rand's philosophy is fundamentally the opposite of religion. If you can't find the contradictions then you don't understand what one or both are.
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      " Satan told Jesus to take over. Use your power to control and make the world a better place. Jesus knew this was wrong. "
      Is this story in the Bible somewhere? If so, this Bible story shares a plot element with AS.
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      • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        The plot-theme of Atlas Shrugged is the opposite of the Bible. Any similarities are coincidental, such as the placement of people living, eating, talking, wearing clothes, etc. somewhere on earth.
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  • Posted by mia767ca 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    I deal with both, religious nuts and globalists...read "The Creature from Jekyll Island"....the globalists will impose totalitrisnism on us all...and they are well on their way...
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  • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    Interesting. Neither of them are great, but I would take faith based culture over collectivist altruistic culture. The faith based culture seems to be more focused on leaving me alone financially (although they want certain behavioral modifications). Less money taken means less control as far as I can see.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    I've always been a fan of Adam Smith's "The Theory of Moral Sentiments." What's surprising about this book is that in spite of being the son of a prominent minister, Smith takes a philosophical path to illustrate that many of the moral arguments expressed by Judaism and Christianity have a logical, sensible foundation leading to a civil, healthy society. He does not rely on scripture, but on a logical analysis of behavior to arrive at a common sense basis for moral standards.

    I also support the arguments of Thomas Paine in "The Age of Reason," where he strips the religious trappings and some of the nonsense from a moral structure. Paine was very much a proponent of individual freedom and self interest being a healthy foundation for society. Ayn Rand would approve.

    Collectivism is poison, so I'd have to vote for a religious-based culture, preferably a moderate religious sect.
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    • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      "The wise and virtuous man is at all times willing that his own private interest should be sacrificed to the public interest of his own particular order or society. He is at all times willing, too, that the interest of this order or society should be sacrificed to the greater interest of the state or sovereignty of which it is only a subordinate part: he should, therefore, be equally willing that all those inferior interests should be sacrificed to the greater interest of the universe, to the interest of that great society of all sensible and intelligent beings of which God himself is the immediate administrator and director." "The Theory of Moral Sentiments", in Adam Smith's Moral and Political Philosophy,

      Religion is poison. Why choose either? Why allow yourself to be confined to a false alternative by someone posing a false question by dropping context?
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      • Posted by DrZarkov99 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        The question was that if we had to choose, which would we select. There was no third choice, and I reflect on the fact that countries like Italy, which has been historically Catholic, seem to be economically healthy and respective of individual freedom, while the collectivist societies are universally basket cases.
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        • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
          A question posed as a false alternative does not mean that you don't have another choice: reject both because you know they are both wrong. Don't let someone else confine your thinking to what you know is wrong. Italy fell for fascism, today is not economically healthy, and does not respect the rights of the individual. A "religious, faith-based culture with its mystical standards of the good" is evil and leads in politics to a "collectivist, altruist ethical and political ideology" when followed consistently.
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  • Posted by 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    I agree with the comments here on principal and @olduglycarl on the religionists too, their bad epistemology not withstanding.

    However, consider the leftists' encouraging non-assimilated immigrants growing the voting roles to support their "progressive", collectivist, power agenda. This reduces the immigrants' opportunity to thrive and assimilate vs just survive in collectivist mediocrity. And this drive the country away from the freedom that make it the most moral country ever conceived.

    That informs a lesser-of-evils voting decision. This is not pragmatism as it's not unprincipled. And it's definitely practical.
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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    It is a false choice. Death by one or death by the other. I refuse to pretend.
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    • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      But the choice you have is more specific and day to day. Whether you approve of specific policies one side or the other wants is the real choice you have. As to choosing one or the other on philosophical grounds, I agree that they are essentially the same
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      • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        Defend reason, individualism and freedom day to day. That is still a choice you have even while battling and putting up with the false alternative.
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        • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
          I definitely do on a personal level and in all discussions with rational or even semi rational people. I dont argue anymore with totally emotional hillary-supporter types though. Its just useless, since their hidden agenda superseded any rational thought and its a waste of time to engage or even listen to them.

          I wish hillary supporters wore special armbands so I could see the enemy more clearly and efficiently.
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          • -1
            Posted by CircuitGuy 5 months, 2 weeks ago
            "I wish Hillary supporters wore special armbands"
            I don't see a lot of pins or bumper stickers, but I know 90% of my city at least voted for her. I know for a fact not all of them are supporters because many of them openly said they felt like Sanders should have had the nomination. So you if you see a random stranger, you can guess with some degree of accuracy.
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            • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
              I forgot about sanders supporters! In a way, they are more dangerous, being that they really believe in socialism. Hillary people just wanted to join up with the untouchable and powerful woman thinking they would share in the spoils.
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              • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 months, 2 weeks ago
                "In a way, they are more dangerous, being that they really believe in socialism."
                Yes. I suspect we haven't heard the last of them. I read that people running for Congress are running as moderates, but I wonder if for president people want a freak show, and that could easily be someone like Sanders. OTOH the pendulum could swing back to boring. My gut feeling is that socialism is a greater risk than people realize. I hope I'm wrong.

                "Hillary people just wanted"
                There are countless reasons various people had other than straw men reasons.
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                • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
                  I think socialism is a far greater threat as the forces behind it are marshaling their forces behind the scenes- all the while preventing and obstructing trump in any way they can. They are hoping to win the senate and House in 2018 to render trump a lame duck, find some way to impeach him or at least hamstring him with investigations, and then topple him in 2020. At that point to unleash the full fury of a socialist leap. Very scary indeed. We have a respite for two more years as trump does have veto power

                  There are the quiet deplorable who could vote to keep the socialists out. But the millennial seem to be rock solid pure socialists and will eventually win out as deplorable die off
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                  • Posted by ewv 5 months, 1 week ago
                    The topic is "religious, faith-based culture with its mystical standards of the good" verus "the collectivist, altruist ethical and political ideology", not who is running in the next election and who wants to impeach Donald Trump.
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                  • -1
                    Posted by CircuitGuy 5 months, 1 week ago
                    I agree socialism is a huge threat, but I don't believe it's behind-the-scenes scheming. I don't think the people who find President Trump's antics compelling (i.e. "the quiet deplorables") are guaranteed not to vote socialist. In fact, I think they could easily get behind a socialist. I also don't think the millennial generation is pure socialist, esp when you adjust for how young people always are more prone to sophistry and facile solutions.

                    We agree on the threat but not the mechanism. Watch for people who like raunchy antics one-day vote for socialism. I hope I am wrong and that does not happen.
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                    • Posted by term2 5 months, 1 week ago
                      But a socialist wants to control everything. I find it hard to see deplorable wanting that. Maybe you are thinking that the deplorable are just following a leader and would follow a socialist leader
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                      • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 months, 1 week ago
                        "I find it hard to see deplorable wanting [to control everything]. "
                        They generally don't. They're hurt, and they want to hurt someone else.

                        One problem related to this is too many people seeing themselves as victims. I may have been misreading it as a child and young adult, but in the 80s and 90s I felt like people debated whether gov't should tax "we the people" to make various things happen. Today I feel like it's more openly about should we tax other people to make various things happens for us. Bernie Sanders was the most direct: "Billionaires", spoken with contempt, and meaning "somebody else, not we the people." I think this is a bad thing (maybe a trend), but I can't tell if it's really a trend or if it's always been with us and maybe I only realized it in early middle age.
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                        • Posted by term2 5 months, 1 week ago
                          Isn’t it the leftists who want to hurt people though? They seem to be the violent ones when it comes down to it Check out the vitriol against trump. It’s pslpable. Robert diniro saying “fuck trump” at awards shows on tv. Berkeley riots. Charlottesville riots.

                          I think it was always “tax the rich”. Because it’s they who have the money. I think the liberals have adopted the “victim” mentality in order to get goodies. It’s right out of the atlas shrugged playbook as the wealth of the country slowly decreases and the leftists look to blame someone. I think it’s a natural trend as socialism takes hold and the rubber meets the road

                          We all should watch very closely how things are going in Venezuela. It’s how things will go here as socialism becomes the norm. We got a reprieve for a few years with trump- a slowdown in leftist political actions. Without a civil way, it won’t last tho
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                    • Posted by ewv 5 months, 1 week ago
                      Those seeking power are always "engaged in behind-the-scenes scheming". Washington DC (as well as state capitols) is a very nasty place.

                      The millennial generation is not "pure socialist", but it is, in general, more accepting of collectivist premises and policies and more ignorant of history because of what it has been taught and not taught.

                      Many Trump supporters could very well back a socialist. Populism is collectivist.
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                • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
                  The Democrats appeal to collectivist premises in their drive to implement more socialism, but differ in how much they publicly reveal how far they want to go now and in the future. Despite the increasing public acceptance of collectivist premises, Americans are not (yet) ready for explicit socialism in large enough numbers to openly embrace it.

                  The Democrat strategic leadership knows that electoral success generally depends on avoiding the appearance of the ideological left as extreme as Sanders and Clinton. But the party leadership is not unified, and it does not fully control who runs and how they present themselves. Some of them want to campaign more explicitly and some pretend to be 'moderate'.

                  They know that all of them once in a dominant position of power they will push to impose more control, expecting that the public will accept it once in place (as Marxists always expect), and they know that legislation once passed is almost impossible to reverse once a constituency is in place. That is why with enough power they are willing to ram through major collectivist legislation and administrative policies as they did under Obama.

                  Running along not far behind are the Republicans under the driving premise of 'me too but slower''.
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  • Posted by Korben_Rage 4 months, 2 weeks ago
    It's a moot question without details, but in general the one that uses less force and most often that's the religious side.
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  • Posted by ycandrea 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    We did just fine for a couple of centuries on religious standards. We have gone down hill ever since we turned to collectivism.
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    • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      You are wrong. Religion is the basis for collectivism, and always was. Whatever virtues were practiced by some indiividuals wiithin an otherwise religious society were exceptions. They were not examples of actually living the moral code being preached. They certainly were not aligned with the metaphysics and epistemololgy of religion.
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    • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      The country was not based on religious standards. The otherworldly mysticism of religion was overthrown by the Enlightenment emphasis on reason and this-worldly individualism.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    Which is worse? Germany gobbling up Europe, or Japan taking over the Pacific Rim?That is the same -- a question without an answer. In WW2 that was the situation facing the USA in 1942. They realized that no matter which theater of the war they concentrated on, eventually the end would be the same. Roosevelt knew that in the long run (which turned out to be shorter than he thought).America would prevail. So, in order to appease his friend Churchill he concentrated on Europe and after VE Day he concentrated the American might on the Pacific theater. But the big surprise was that those little yellow buggers were tougher than expected and death to them was honorable. Luckily, he had plan B which he died before putting into effect leaving it to Old Harry Truman to push the red button.
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  • Posted by  $  Zero 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    Economic or personal freedoms?

    Religion coexisted with the American Economic Expansion of the 19th century just fine. Collectivism brought it to its knees.

    But the world is a complicated place.
    Religion turns a blind eye (or worse) to all sorts of prejudices - slavery, women's suffrage, gay marraige, etc., whereas socialism embraces all those people. Karl enslaves all equally.

    For my vote, I'd abstain.
    But if I had to choose I'd pick religion. I'm not worried about our social progress.
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    • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      Social progress was the overthrow of religion by the Enlightenment, resulting in this country in spite of the remnants of religion. Collectivism was the result of the counter-Enlightenment based on religious ideas of unreason and duty to sacrifice.

      This isn't about "economic or personal freedoms". Economic freedom is personal freedom. This country was founded on the principle of the rights of the individual.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    The greatest risk to freedom comes simply from not understanding what that freedom is there for - or trying to abuse others' ignorance to seek power.

    The wording of the question leaves much to be desired, BTW. There are way too many false premises embedded in it to address in a single post, aside from its construction resulting in a false conundrum.
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  • Posted by BCRinFremont 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    Religious beliefs are basically a capitalist phenomenon. Be good get rewarded and Society has a base morality to fend off chaos. Other beliefs (socialism, statism, democracy, republicanism) don’t have much of a goal for individuals; more of a hive mentality with a few queen-like entities at the center.
    Homo-sapien, as a herd animal, probably doesn’t chose either option, as much as they take the path of least resistance.
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    • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      Your right. The best way to succeed in a capitalist free market society is to solve the needs of others...whether that be hunger or making life easier and enjoyable.
      That act is not an altruistic one, instead, it's in one's own self interest.
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      • Posted by ewv 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        You can only succeed in trade if you satisfy both your own and someone else's needs that they are willing to pay for, in an exchange of value for value. That does not make "religious beliefs basically a capitalist phenomenon" or human beings a "herd animal". Both religious faith and 'following the herd', to the extent they are followed, precludes the rationality and independence required.
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