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TFC

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    American Founders University
  1. I invited Mr. Brook, and I do not believe it was an accident. I've been to ARI and visited with him and Alex Epstein. I consider both of them superb advocates for Ayn Rand and Objectivism and enjoyed the visit tremendously. I support ARI and invited several ARI folks to support the Project. While I am religious and a large number of my supporters are religious we are building a movement to advocate the moral revolution for capitalism - and Ayn Rand is highly influential in our movement. I know it opens the door to obvious questions but the goal is worth taking the effort to look into. Read my most recent article, "The Betrayal of Ayn Rand" before getting all obnoxious with us God-believers. I'm open and willing to talk. But, I don't frequent online discussion boards nearly as often as most of you - so the conversation will likely be slower than some of you would like. You can also participate at RickKoerber.com and FreeCapitalist.com
  2. Alright - I just received a google alert that pointed me here. I must apologize but I have not been frequenting this Online resource. I did not post my story here and regret that someone - though well intentioned - did it without my permission. I would prefer to engage in the conversation I started with the essay. I'm willing to do so but have no interest in managing multiple in depth conversations via the Internet in multiple locations. So - let me just offer the following. 1) Thanks for reading. 2) I'm serious and mean no disrespect. 3) The point of my essay was not to argue the question, "Can a religious person be an Objectivist" or can "Objectivism accept religion." The point was that to ADVOCATE for capitalism is more important than to crusade against religion. The first takes care of the second, but crusading against religion may well lead nowhere. 4) I'm interested in the responses to my article, but would you kindly bring them to the place where I published the article http://www.rickkoerber.com 5) I will be happy to start frequenting this forum, to be candid I had forgotten about it years ago. But - for this conversation, I prefer to have it at my blog where it was originally posted. Finally, just to clarify, the reason so many "Mormons" seem to be attracted to Objectivism is that a) Our religion was founded by a man who redefined several essential terms - which addressed several ancient conflicts. One of the major redefinitions (though I'm sad to say it receives too little attention in our own culture) is the term "faith." As a Mormon I do not accept the definition of "faith" to mean what Objectivists vilify. I too am against Mysticism in all its forms. Faith (not to give a definition off the cuff, just an explanation), when I use the term means - the act of projecting the mind forward, contemplating the future, based upon a reasoned reflection on known principles. Or, in other words - hoping really hard that some magic happens that contradicts all law and all reason is not a MORMON's definition of faith. Faith, to a Mormon, is the moving cause of all intelligent beings because it is being able to project the mind forward and see an outcome - perhaps not the details - but the general outcome because a rational process of applying principles from the present on through the possible situations of the future enable us to manage expectations without resorting to guessing, wishing, or mysticism. So - the reason I bring this up, is I'm happy to discuss, even anxious to discuss, but we will have to start at the beginning. Because to me - and I am certainly not alone - faith is not opposed to reason nor can it be divorced from it. Neither is it reasonable to suggest that since the "normal" definition of faith contains a fundamental contradiction that it shouldn't be redefined. Mormonism teaches that it was Jesus's definition that became corrupt by later teachers. Faith, truth, reason are a package deal in my mind. Reason without faith is short sighted, non-introspective, self-loathing (using the term as I intend it to be used). Thanks again.
  3. Your questions and comments in order: 1. Yes, I consider myself a Christian. To me the word means simply a follower of Christ and his doctrine, like you describe Objectivist essentially to mean a follower of Ayn Rand and her teachings. I do not claim that such a label "makes me" anything or excuses my behavior. It instead simply references an idea to which I strive. I however have some serious disagreements with moder concepts of what it means therefore to be a Christian. I believe most modern Christians and Chritian critics are mystics who do not study nor try to understand the teachings of Jesus but instead choose camps that follow different sects with varying opinions (usually not even that - just dogmas) about the substance of his actual teachings. 2. I find no contradiction in following truth and believe all truth is consistent with itself. This is the fundamental standard of reason as advocated by Rand and it is the fundamental standard advocated by Jesus. Additionally it is the fundamental standard advocated by Joseph Smith. 3. My beliefs are substantially different from the "norm" but your suggestion that I therefore abandon "that faith" because I am being improperly labeled is irrational. A man is free to label me as he chooses. I am under no obligation to change my own view of myself because of another man's judgement. 4. You make an intersting statement that is inaccurate. You state: Your dichotomy of faith and reason does not necessarily leads to the conclusions you advocate. For example, I do hold that reason is superior to any other standard of thought - which brings me into what you call the objectivist camp. However, to quote Luther - "Faith is not what some people think it is." Faith is assurance (which only true assurance begins with reason - an irrational person has no faith) and is the principle of action in all intelligent beings. An irrational faith is to hold a contradiction - which is no faith at all. Faith is not a standard, reason is the standard. Faith is the result. You had faith for example that is was worth replying to my message to reach some end you desired, but you didn't know for sure that I would respond. Your faith was rational in that there was a reasonable basis for your feeling of assurance, nevertheless, your dichotomy is here exposed as not necessarily exclusive. Men sometimes use the term faith to refer to the irrational, but this is a poor excuse for thinking, is substantially tyranical and is the result of mysticism or mystical thinking at best. Your statement that holding reason as superier disqualifies me from being a true Christian shows the false tautology you advocate. In other words, you define faith as irrational. You define a Christian as someone having faith. You therefore conclude that a Christian can not be an objectivist who holds reason as the absolute standard. I would argue that a tautology and/or a definitionally true statement like this is no argument or position of the mind, but is simply a disagreement on the definition of terms ultimately. I believe defining terms as you have is not only shallow, but no consistent with what most in history have used those terms to mean. So, you are making an argument that while it may be true for one holding your definitions is not communicating any fundamental disagreement with the position of a rational Christian. I would argue for example that a Christian (a follower of Jesus) is bound by his teachings to follow reason as the absolute standard of thought. 5. I do not try to "choose" the meaning of objectivism in this context, I simply defer to Rand's definition as you suggest. 6. I do not disagree with her main arguemtn, I advocate it. 7. Finally, I have easily demonstrated how it is very rational to hold to reason and faith at the same time becaues they do not necessarily contradict each other. Reason is a standard and reasoning is its process. Being reasonable is the result. Faith is assurance and principle of action. All assurance must be self-evidently rational (or it is not indeed assurance) and therefore the process of faith is gaining more knowledge. Searching after truth is reasonable, and acting upon it is the condition of being faithful. I've tried to be brief but also share insight. Thanks for the beginning of a serious conversation. TFC
  4. Well, let me introduce myself. I am largely responsible for the forum you are refering to in this thread. We call the community Galt's Gulch Online for many reasons. I'll deal with ARI - respectfully and responsibly in the copyright conversation - doesn't seem to fruitful to do here. But, for the sake of the substantive conversation here about our forum and Objectivism, Ayn Rand, and Christian Objectivists - so called... I thought I'd chime in. Let's set the record straight. I started the forum, I advocate our message on the radio every day, I lecture regularly for the Producer Revolution and I have indeed read and studied Ayn Rand and consider her ideass to be among the most valuable I've been exposed to in all my reading. I do not claim to be an expert, only one who has been taught much by an amazingly rational, capable capitalist. I would, in a conversation with Ayn Rand freely identify myself as an objectivist. I prefer instead (absent that context) to use the term Free Capitalist because I choose not to identify with the quasi-intellectual movment of the same name that has no authority for determining orthodoxy. Obviously the ultimate authority is the standard of reason iteself, but in any social organization the activities of the group can become tyrannically divorced from the rational world and destructive of the individual absent some physical standard of orthodoxy. The consequence of even the most basic association is at the very least endless distraction by those who also consider themselves Objectivists but who's views with which I differ. Now, for anyone interested in more than name calling I very seriously offer the following: 1. Any dogma, including the oft articulated rhetoric on this forum, is no substitute for reason - no matter how emotively compelling. Calling others names, as has been the case in this so far shallow beginning of a conversation, using faint reference to some type of intellectual standard without naming it is much more of a betryal of being a rational human being than that which you are attacking. 2. I am a Mormon - which means to most that I am also therefore a Christian. I find no fundamental contradiction with Objectivism or Ayn Rand's philosophy in my own worldview. I find incedential contradictions (or what seemt to be such) in my own research which simply represent a challenge to me to reconcile my ideas in accordance with the truth. I learn much by addressing these apparant differences. It is my actual position that Rand's philosophy is fundamental in agreement with Mormon doctrine. Here critique of religion and mysticism is still among the most valuable and articulate - she picks up where Jefferson and Franklin left off. She extolled the virtues of the Founders publically and many writting with her and publishing with her were non-mystic, rational believers in God. The athiesm element of Rand's critique has become dogma for modern day so-called disciples in my opinion. Finally, I believe using her own arguments, principles, and statements most would be suprised to see Rand's obvious conclusions about God. I'm working on an essay on the topic. Funny side note, the so-called Christian community constantly attacks the forum for using the works of an "athiest" and the so-called "Rand" community attacks us for using her ideas while claiming a belief in God. Interesting.... there are no contradictions - how is it that both are on the same side of the criticism? 3. Lastly, what about our ideas? Besides attacking our labels or the labels you've given us, what about our ideas is so threatening? Interested in a real convsation. With much respect and admiration for Rand and her associates. FreeCapitalist
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