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Post 20

Sunday, April 30, 2006 - 4:52pmSanction this postReply
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WHAT??? God was imperfect?????????


Please, do not question-mark God.



Post 21

Sunday, April 30, 2006 - 6:55pmSanction this postReply
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Evelyn Z Pickering? Oh dear boy, you have NO IDEA of the power of my mind! Muwahahaha!!!

Ed
[evil Linz, pickering -- you've been found out]




Post 22

Monday, May 1, 2006 - 7:40amSanction this postReply
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Scott,

I don't share your appreciation for Harris.  This is my take: 
http://rebirthofreason.com/Articles/Davison/In_Defense_of_Dresden.shtml




Post 23

Monday, May 1, 2006 - 12:10pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks Robert! I meant Curtis LeMay, head of SAC, not Arthur Harris. Although you might find him even more offensive, I admire his preparedness to destroy the Soviets before they got us.

Scott



Post 24

Monday, May 1, 2006 - 3:20pmSanction this postReply
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Ah - Curtis LeMay...... I remember him - met him when a kid in Japan.... indeed, twas he  who gave me my first morotcycle ride.... [geeesh - the folk I've met over the years......]



Post 25

Tuesday, May 2, 2006 - 5:51amSanction this postReply
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Curtis LeMay was a no nonsense soldier to be sure believing there were no innocent civilians and that only when you kill enough of the enemy will they capitulate.  Fine sentiments for a true warror but unfortunately knew nothing else. He was devoted to American world conquest.  War was the only arrow in his quiver.  He could not 'play well with others', brooked no opinion contrary to his own and did not know what to do with himself in times of peace.

But this thread has gone severely off-topic. 

(Edited by Robert Davison on 5/02, 5:53am)




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Post 26

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 - 7:45amSanction this postReply
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How to think about God?

The only rational way, if there is a rational way, can not be anthropomorphicly.  Aristotle's prime mover may indeed be the case, but this 'first cause' is far removed from the affairs of men.  God is irrelevant--most irrelevant when perceived as some omni-dimensional Santa dispensing gifts. 

Even if man were created in some alien test tube, the creator is long past caring.




Post 27

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 - 7:58amSanction this postReply
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Post # 26

And further Robert, what could it possibly want?

God is in the double digging.  from Sharon's Grandmother's Book on Becoming a Green Thumb.



Post 28

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 - 10:11amSanction this postReply
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Wolf, in post 26, you said -- in 4 lines -- what took me a whole essay.

You bastard.

;-)

Ed
[never thought wisdom came with age]

(Edited by Ed Thompson on 5/03, 10:13am)




Post 29

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 - 11:34amSanction this postReply
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Sorry if I am re-opening a can of worms here, but it seems to me that the Objectivist position on God is both soft and hard atheism. This may sound equivocal, but that is only because the concept in question is itself equivocal. If some theist presents some specific definition of God, or something he believes to be evidence for God, then we can respond with a disproof. And example is if the theist says God is the creator of all the exists, the answer is the Primacy of Existence over Consciousness. The Primacy of Existence proves there could be no such being. However, if the theist refuses to define the concept, or just takes it on faith, then the whole concept is proven arbitrary, and not worth consideration.

Of course there is still an important element of soft atheism in the first example, since there is no empirical evidence leading to the idea that the universe had a conscious creator. So soft atheism is actually the more dominant principle.




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Post 30

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 - 2:25pmSanction this postReply
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I still wonder at this 'soft' vs 'hard' atheism.... a-theism is just what it says - theism is the belief of a deity, or theist - a-theism is the absence of a belief ['a' means, literally, 'not'] in a deity... it is not  itself another belief... what is this 'soft' or 'hard' ?



Post 31

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 - 8:14pmSanction this postReply
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Good point, Rev.

Strong atheism (a belief in the non-existence of something arbitrary -- like God is) is, ultimately, an incoherent position. It's an anti-concept, meant to muddle up what the word 'atheist' actually means (hence my essay here meant to point a brighter light -- perhaps a searing one, for some -- on this very subject).

Ed




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Post 32

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 - 10:39pmSanction this postReply
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God to True Randian: What do you think of me?

True Randian to God: But I don't think of you.




Post 33

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 - 11:43pmSanction this postReply
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God is principle - the identity of existence existing?

Scott



Post 34

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 - 11:59pmSanction this postReply
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Alright, Roger B. -- you've earned a sanction (it is IMPOSSIBLE to "think about" God).

Ed




Post 35

Thursday, May 4, 2006 - 12:00amSanction this postReply
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Scott, I don't follow (fill me in on the details, please).

Ed




Post 36

Thursday, May 4, 2006 - 5:03amSanction this postReply
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Ed,


Wolf, in post 26, you said -- in 4 lines -- what took me a whole essay.

You bastard.

 

Don't fret Ed, I'm just lazy.;-)




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Post 37

Thursday, May 4, 2006 - 6:20amSanction this postReply
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There is much distress among Objectivists that their philosophy can not gain greater acceptance among the general public.  The issue of God may be the biggest reason.  Depending upon which poll you read 70-80% of Americans believe in a diety. 

When Nietzsche wrote "God is dead", "God" represented the shared culture which had once been the defining and uniting characteristic of European civilization. Nietzsche was concerned that the acceptance of the God’s death would mean the end of accepted standards of morality and of purpose; that without accepted faith based standards, society would be threatened by nihilism. A cursory glance at today’s Europe shows us how prescient that was. Young minds are filled with the ‘wisdom’ of Jacques Derrida and Umberto Eco who tell us that firmly held convictions and clear visions of the truth are ‘worthless hallucinations of the mind’, and that ‘truth and fact are judgmental’. Eco perfects the villainy with "The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen [should be viewed] as the beginning of modern depravity."
 
The founders of this nation, like Nietzsche, also feared that banishing religion from the public square would result in an absence of ethics or in SOLO’s elegant vernacular ‘pomo wanking’. George Washington noted, "Let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion." Leonard Peikoff commenting on America’s founding notes, "The leaders of the American Enlightenment did not reject the idea of the supernatural completely; characteristically, they were deists, who believed that God exists as nature's remote, impersonal creator, and as the original source of natural law; but, they held, having performed these functions, God thereafter retires into the role of a passive, disinterested spectator ..."

 
Objectivists rightly argue that Ethics do not depend upon a belief in God, but the ordinary man is not capable of separating the two or engaging in a study of the Epistemology necessary to come to an understanding of the Ethics proper for man. Rand observes this when she notes in her journal, "Men’s intellectual capacities have always been so unequal, that to the thinkers, the majority of their brothers have probably always seemed sub-human. And some men may still be, for all the evidence of their rationality, or lack of it." To the average man, religion and ethics are synonymous and freedom from God equates to freedom from morality; and evidence is abundant that they act accordingly.
 
Rand did not excoriate God; she attacked religion. In any interview where Rand was asked about God, she spoke respectfully while making it clear that her real objection which was the substitution of faith for reason. She chose to focus on faith v. reason and to attack specifically the concept of altruism, brilliantly recognizing that this was the root cause of collectivism and the root of all evil. She condemns religious superstition and irrationality, consciously choosing not to fuss about some retired clockmaker.  In her new introduction to the Fountainhead, Rand says "the difficulty with discussions of the spiritual is the undefined prejudicial concepts involved." She tells us, "[repeating for emphasis]…I said that religious abstractions are the product of man’s mind, not of supernatural revelation".   Rand's quote reminds us that it is incorrect to dismiss religious abstractions as purely mystical or as a hallucinations of the mind.
 
Those who are militantly godless, as opposed to those who treat God as irrelevant, throw out the baby, i.e. ethics/morality, with the bath water and suffer the unintended consequence of creating a vacuum that is invariably filled by post modernism, i.e., a society without values. Rand like the Deists of the Enlightenment simply ignores ‘god’ as irrelevant. Deism, after all, is hard to distinquish from the Objectivist belief that reality is the final arbiter, that ‘nature’ can compel, and that the universe is benevolent.

Objectivists who are in distress because Objectivism is sweeping the nation might take a clue from Jefferson who says,
 

"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.




Post 38

Thursday, May 4, 2006 - 8:34amSanction this postReply
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Wolf,

Your post 37 is good enough to be an article-in-itself (please excuse the Kantian quip)!

Sanctioned,

Ed




Post 39

Thursday, May 4, 2006 - 10:33amSanction this postReply
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Ed,

Thanks.  I have given up submitting articles.  The current editor is not receptive to me or my ideas.

(Edited by Robert Davison on 5/05, 5:57am)




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