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Sunday, November 6, 2005 - 6:27amSanction this postReply
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...it is proper for a creator to be optimistic, in the deepest, most basic sense, since the creator believes in a benevolent universe and functions on that premise.
What does Ayn Rand mean by a 'benevolent universe'?
 




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Post 1

Sunday, November 6, 2005 - 7:56amSanction this postReply
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Being alive and functioning according to your nature is GOOD.

Michael




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Post 2

Sunday, November 6, 2005 - 9:59amSanction this postReply
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"What does Ayn Rand mean by a 'benevolent universe'?"

What a great question. It means that the universe is knowable. It is not capricious. It means the opposite of of what is meant by belief in mysticism and superstition.



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Post 3

Sunday, November 6, 2005 - 11:54amSanction this postReply
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I made an attempt to answer that very question here. J




Post 4

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 7:21amSanction this postReply
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So far the responses I am getting are facile. 

Nice article Glenn, that is of course the metaphor, but, "that does not mean the universe chooses to act that way".  Easily said, but doesn't benevolence require volition?  Rand does not normally deal in metaphors.

Can good will (or ill will for that matter) logically be attributed to the universe?  Does the universe have a will or is it indifferent?  How does this idea compare/contrast with Deism?




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Post 5

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 8:07amSanction this postReply
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Robert,

"Can good will (or ill will for that matter) logically be attributed to the universe?"

You have the meaning exactly backwards. It's how we as humans feel about the universe. The universe feels nothing about us. Belief in superstition brings only fear and dread about the universe. Belief in the unity and the predictability of the universe brings optimism in that what we can achieve is without limit as long as we are willing to think and reason out the underlying cause and effects. The universe is "knowable", it is not out to get us or defeat us.



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Post 6

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 8:48amSanction this postReply
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Don't pay any attention, Mike.

Robert has been having an intelligent design agenda for some time now. This thread is another way to do more of the same, but from a different angle.

That's why he thinks us normal reality-oriented people are "facile." He has a "higher" truth from a "higher" intelligence.

Michael





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Post 7

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 10:04amSanction this postReply
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Still the idiot Michael.  Thought you liked ideas?



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Post 8

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 10:10amSanction this postReply
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Michael E.

You have the meaning exactly backwards.
I am not in the least confused about what it means.
It's how we as humans feel about the universe. The universe feels nothing about us.
If it feels nothing how can it be benevolent.
Belief in superstition brings only fear and dread about the universe.
I don’t believe that Jefferson, for example, ‘felt fear and dread about the universe’.
Belief in the unity and the predictability of the universe brings optimism in that what we can achieve is without limit
Nothing is without limit. Facile stands.
The universe is "knowable", it is not out to get us or defeat us.
Again personification.





Post 9

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 10:31amSanction this postReply
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Deism

a movement or system of thought advocating natural religion, emphasizing morality, and in the 18th century denying the interference of the Creator with the laws of the universe





Post 10

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 10:33amSanction this postReply
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Robert,

Is it possible that she didnt say with precision, what she meant? As far as how people feel about the universe, the so called realist might feel fear and dread, in the same way that the so called mystic might feel at complete peace with the universe.

John



Post 11

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 10:45amSanction this postReply
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Is it possible that she didnt say with precision, what she meant?
Yes, but uncharacteristic.  My next question would be why?
As far as how people feel about the universe, the so called realist might feel fear and dread, in the same way that the so called mystic might feel at complete peace with the universe
That's true I guess, but doesn't say much.




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Post 12

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 11:51amSanction this postReply
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"If it feels nothing how can it be benevolent."

It's how HUMANS feel Robert. I am certain that Ayn Rand did NOT attribute feelings to nature or the universe. She was talking about OUR personal point of view about the universe and if you feel the universe is KNOWABLE, that is we can find out how it works and benefit thereby and we LIKE doing that then the universe feels benevolent to US. This is one of the greatest things I got from Ayn Rand, and puts her in the same category of hero with me as the likes of Richard Feynman and A. Einstein and James Maxwell. That's also why I thought your question was a great one.

"Again personification."

It is exactly the opposite of personification.



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Post 13

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 12:39pmSanction this postReply
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I thought Rand made it perfectly clear what she meant; she said that the universe was "benevolent" because if one followed the rules, one would gain the desired reaction. It means that things work properly as opposed to randomly (for instance, if one follows a chemical formula to create something, it will be the resulted product consistently, it won't be cleanser one day and toothpaste the next...).



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Post 14

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 1:20pmSanction this postReply
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Robert D,

Just for the record, I love ideas. I don't like smarm (which you exude in practically all your posts), I don't like hidden agendas (which is what this whole thread is about), and I don't like you.

Most of the time, you exhibit to me precisely the antithesis of what I seek in Objectivism.

Now back to your typical "fuck you" arguments. I am done with you.

Michael





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Post 15

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 2:12pmSanction this postReply
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Mr. Davison --

What is your opinion of the universe?  Is it at odds with Rand's description of it? 

 - Jason




Post 16

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 2:46pmSanction this postReply
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Oh, quit picking at him, Jason...

What does Ayn Rand mean by a 'benevolent universe'?
 
That the universe is kind in its balance (she extends the language of human dealings to cosmology, that's about is close as she ever got, and it's kind of backwards).

This speaks to sense of life. The universe is a friendly place. And, in order for it to be friendly, it must cycle through itself, there will be things that happen that people don't enjoy (pain). That, by the fact of existence, it is friendly (good). It speaks to mindset- what if you don't think that? You'll be a miserable son of a bitch.

Of everything I ever read by her, I like that the best. It means she wanted people to be happy (happy is something anyone can recognize, its universal in that way)

rde
Getting dangerously close to spirituality, which might make Jason start scratching his balls funny.





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Post 17

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 3:04pmSanction this postReply
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"That the universe is kind in its balance (she extends the language of human dealings to cosmology, that's about is close as she ever got, and it's kind of backwards)."

Rich, what does this mean?  What did Rand get backwards? 

 - Jason




Post 18

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 3:58pmSanction this postReply
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MSK

I hope you stick to that.




Post 19

Monday, November 7, 2005 - 3:59pmSanction this postReply
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Jason,

I have no opinion of the universe, it just is. I give it no attributes.  It is neither friendly or unfriendly.

(Edited by Robert Davison on 11/07, 4:02pm)




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