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God, Theism, Religion and Objectivism

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This is absolutely not a position congruent with the philosophy of Objectivism. Because there is no proof in reality of the existence of God, there is no possible way for finding a "rational" reason for believing in God. To say that there could be is an evasion of the facts of reality.

PS; Proofs of existence do not include any imagees of any of the holy trinity (or Mary) on a piece of toast, tortilla, or other foodstuffs

I'm not saying that a rational reason for the existence of god is possible. I'm saying that if you had one, even though you can't, you could be a Christian Objectivist.

Its like saying "The hunger crisis can be solved sooner if you can make it so that not eating is more nutritious then eating." As far as I know, It's not possible, I'm just using an "if you could..."

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I'm not saying that a rational reason for the existence of god is possible. I'm saying that if you had one, even though you can't, you could be a Christian Objectivist.

Its like saying "The hunger crisis can be solved sooner if you can make it so that not eating is more nutritious then eating." As far as I know, It's not possible, I'm just using an "if you could..."

Then by your own admission, there is no possibility of proof of God, so there is no way to say "If you can find a rational reason.." because there is nothing in reality that could garnish that option. That's like saying "Its perfectly moral to be immoral if you can concoct some sort of half-assed flimsy logic to 'prove' that A is not A!" but you can't, and any kind of suggestion that you can is at best wrong and at worst completely immoral.

I would suggest refraining from making any statements that could be construed as being an evasive, irrational loophole to hold mystical (or any other kind of irrational) beliefs, in case a newb takes it as an honest suggestion.

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They are all fluxual, interpretable documents with very, very little reliability and is not a tool to reach God or live life. That requires your own mind.

You do seem to imply that God is reachable through reason.

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Steve A, you believe in God. Do you believe in Leprechauns too?

I'm not trying to be insulting but there is no practical difference between the two. If you can not believe, (on faith) in Leprechauns, wizards, fairies, hobgoblins or any other sort of supernatural being then how can you take and believe (on faith) in the existence of god?

Is there anything in the bible story that provides more concrete proof for gods existence than there is for any other supernatural beings listed in say, Grimm's Fairy Tales?

To be an Objectivist is to place reason as the corner and capstone of all your belief and that reason is derived from the Axioms of Existence, Consciousness and Identity.

Every argument for God and every attribute ascribed to Him rests on a false metaphysical premise. None can survive for a moment on a correct metaphysics.

For instance, God is infinite. Nothing can be infinite, according to the Law of Identity. Everything is what it is, and nothing else. It is limited in its qualities and in its quantity: it is this much, and no more. “Infinite” as applied to quantity does not mean “very large”: it means “larger than any specific quantity.” That means: no specific quantity—i.e., a quantity without identity. This is prohibited by the Law of Identity.

Is God the creator of the universe? There can be no creation of something out of nothing. There is no nothing.

Is God omnipotent? Can he do anything? Entities can act only in accordance with their natures; nothing can make them violate their natures . . .

“God” as traditionally defined is a systematic contradiction of every valid metaphysical principle. The point is wider than just the Judeo-Christian concept of God. No argument will get you from this world to a supernatural world. No reason will lead you to a world contradicting this one. No method of inference will enable you to leap from existence to a “super-existence.”

http://www.aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/god.html

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Steve A, you believe in God. Do you believe in Leprechauns too?

No.

That really doesn't come close to characterizing Objectivism.

Then I must not have a good idea what it is. I was planning on reading the book Introduction to Objectivism after I finsh Atlas Shrugged. I think my stongest understanding is the capatalist part of objectivism. My belief in God probably destroys the metaphysics part.

You do know this is in contradiction to pretty much the whole Bible, right?

The bible says that all things are gifts from God. You use them how you want.

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The bible says that all things are gifts from God. You use them how you want.

Er no. The Bible is full of polemics against over-attachment to material goods and the hoarding of wealth at the expense of others. How is "I've got my money and I wont give it to anyone" even remotely compatible with the teachings of Jesus?

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." ( Matthew 6:19-21)

"You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." ( Mark 10:21)

"Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions." ( Luke 12:15)

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24)

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

(Matthew 25:40-46)

And so on. Edited by eriatarka

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I think my stongest understanding is the capatalist part of objectivism. My belief in God probably destroys the metaphysics part.

Let's not forget the goal here - to have one coherent philosophical system through which you understand and interact with the world (it's also a big plus if that system agrees with the facts of reality :P ). Simply liking parts of X and liking parts of Y does nothing but give you empty words to justify preconceived notions. Is that your goal? The entire "capitalist part" of Objectivism is built on the "metaphysics part". You can't have one without the other.

Again, just because some statement agrees with some of your preconceived notions (capitalism) doesn't mean that those notions are grounded any more solidly. It just means that you are more easily able to fake a philosophical understanding. You are doing nothing but lying to yourself.

Edited by brian0918

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The short answer to the question of the thread is, "no".

If God cannot be proven but one believes in it anyway, then one disagrees with the epistemological position Objectivism holds regarding the arbitrary. If God can be proven to exist, then Objectivism is wrong about a few things.

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All that you have to do is remember that the Bible (New Test.) was written 70 years after the events described in it happened (i.e., the life and death of an obscure and mysterious religious teacher), by people who had only heard stories 3rd or 4th hand. So it is VERY doubtful that any of what was written was actually said.

Even worse. Very similar stories were told generations before the supposedly 'birth of Christ'. The bible is a - for ancient times - accurate description of what is going on in the sky (star 'movements' relative to the sun relative to the position of the earth) mixed with some old social teachings and a bunch of drug-related phantasies.

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Even worse. Very similar stories were told generations before the supposedly 'birth of Christ'. The bible is a - for ancient times - accurate description of what is going on in the sky (star 'movements' relative to the sun relative to the position of the earth) mixed with some old social teachings and a bunch of drug-related phantasies.

I always did say that Jesus looked like a hippie.

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So, I understand and agree with all basic outlined parts of objectivism except the whole no God thing.
If you try to hang on to Christianity and Objectivism simultaneously, here is an example of one of the problems you are going to face: What will you do when your understanding of Objectivism conflicts with you understanding of Christianity? You are going to have to hold on to one and let go of the other. Ultimately, there will come a time when you will have to pit your own judgement of reality against what you see as the all-knowing infallible will of God. Rather than wait for this inevitable confrontation, lets do it now.

Take Original Sin as an example. The Catholic Church says the following: "The Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses man and their inclination toward evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam's sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the death of the soul." St. Augustine, the one who dreamt all this up said the following: "Infants, as true faith holds, are born sinners, not on their own account, but in virtue of their origin."

What does Objectivism say about Original Sin? Here is what Ayn Rand wrote about the issue in Atlas Shrugged: "A sin without volition is a slap at morality, and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality. If a man is evil by birth, he has no will, no power to change it: if he has no will, he can neither be good nor evil: a robot is immoral. To hold as a man's sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of nature. To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a mockery of justice. To hold him guilty in a matter where no innocence exists is a mockery of reason. To destroy morality, nature, justice, and reason by means of a single concept is a feat of evil hardly to be matched."

There is no way to reconcile those two points of view. There is no middle ground. Either Original Sin is the will of God or it is a 'feat of evil.' You as a "Christian Objectivist" must now decide. Will it be Christianity or Objectivism?

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*** Mod's note: Merged topic . sN ***

Hello.

I'm a Ayn Rand fan, ive read most of her works but im finding it hard to ascertain why it is exactly that God can not exist. I was wondering f i could be set in the right direction as to why this is a impossibility.

The reason behind this is i and a few other fellows who enjoy discussing philosophical ideas, i keep getting hit by this delima of how Objectivism disproves God, i cant get a clear picture of how but i am aware that it dose. Help is appreciated

Edited by softwareNerd
Merged topic

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I was discussing philosophy with my friend and I hit a road block. I explained the 3 axioms but I had trouble verbally proving God is illogical and doesn't exist. His point was God does have identity as 'all-knowing, all-good, omnipresent', therefore he doesn't violate the axiom of identity. Now I didn't take those characteristics as irreducible primaries, but the topic turned ethical while I wanted to disprove God on metaphysical grounds.

What did I miss?

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God the creator being is a contradiction on multiple counts: A consciousness conscious only of itself, existing in non-existence, acts outside of time.

All those various omni- traits are unbounded and so lack identity. The fact that you can stick the word "all-" before a trait doesn't make it coherent. It is merely grammatically correct. It is no more coherent than the statement "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously."

Now, if he were to avoid all logical contradictions (such as the ones above), and simply make claims unsupported by any rationale or evidence - those claims are arbitrary and should be rejected as such. There is no requirement to disprove such a claim, as there is no context or basis for the claim.

Edited by brian0918

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I was discussing philosophy with my friend and I hit a road block. I explained the 3 axioms... ...

... ... I wanted to disprove God on metaphysical grounds.

As a polemical approach, you might try forgetting about the axioms, unless you're forced to point them out in some other context. Instead, start with explaining what you consider the basic facts about Epistemology: how you go about finding out the truth about the world. Establish (informally) the validity of observation and reason as the only means of knowledge. Then, just point out that god ain't coming to you that way.

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I was discussing philosophy with my friend and I hit a road block. I explained the 3 axioms but I had trouble verbally proving God is illogical and doesn't exist. His point was God does have identity as 'all-knowing, all-good, omnipresent', therefore he doesn't violate the axiom of identity. Now I didn't take those characteristics as irreducible primaries, but the topic turned ethical while I wanted to disprove God on metaphysical grounds.

What did I miss?

1. You missed that fact that someone who rejects reason in favor of faith cannot be reasoned with - he is not interested in reality based facts or logic.

2. Because god is defined as a higher order of being that cannot be perceived by man, you can't prove that he exists and you can't prove that he doesn't exist.

3. To people who have faith, the existence of god is a premise, the knowledge they think they have about god are additional premises, and their "logic" is based on these "premises".

4. Anyone who believes in god must admit that man is not the highest order of being in the universe. They must also admit that other men are/were of a higher order of being, otherwise they wouldn't have been able to acquire any knowledge of god or his rules. This is exactly what the original creators of religion wanted men to believe. If men with faith are not the highest order of men on earth, they will have no problem believing and taking orders from other "higher" men, such as preachers, kings, queens, dictators, etc. They will have no problem living their lives for the sake of other men. This is where the concept of selflessness originated. It is the most evil concept ever developed in the history of mankind.

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Excellent!

Thanks for the quick replies. What's your response to Plato's form of forms? -- I am curious because I'm sure it could be substituted for God but without hitting the 'consciousness conscious of only itself' contradiction.

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Hey turbo,

1. My friend is a rational individual, he has simply not been exposed to Objectivism -- we don't have aimless conversations where the words we use have different meanings.

2. I suggested this, but it's not good enough to be at a gray area, I want to definitely prove God doesn't exist.

3. This is only partially true, Nate Branden said it's not irrational for savages to believe in God because they lack a way to pass superior judgment. This is just as true in modern times, ie Lil Wayne ferverently believes in God but he also happens to be a hero.

4. I'm aware, I'm not that new ;) Remember I wanted to stay away from ethics? I'm interested in the fundamental [il]logic and I want to be able to justify it flawlessly and coherently when I speak off the top of my head.

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Thanks for the quick replies. What's your response to Plato's form of forms? -- I am curious because I'm sure it could be substituted for God but without hitting the 'consciousness conscious of only itself' contradiction.

Concepts apart from a conceiver - a contradiction.

Edited by brian0918

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2. Because god is defined as a higher order of being that cannot be perceived by man, you can't prove that he exists and you can't prove that he doesn't exist.

First, the person must be open to learning and to questioning his own ideas. But, aside from that, I think this is actually an excellent point to make, and it DOES NOT leave you in a "gray" area. I think most of the discussions I've had about God with other people have very quickly deteriorated into a logical fallacy. The easiest way for me to shut down the argument is to say "well, there is no proof that god exists". And you know what? I can't remember the last time someone DIDN'T fall into the "trap" as it were of arguing "well, there is no proof that God doesn't exist either". Then, if they are open to it, you can start talking about logic...as in the fallacy that follows this form:

"X is true because there is no proof that X is false."

...now you have something of substance to work with. If they are open to reason, you can continue the discussion. If they are not convinced of that fallacy, ask them to prove to you that they do NOT owe you $20. If they are reasonable, they will at least stop to think. You may not fully convince them, but they'll stop and think. Maybe they'll think about how , if they lived their whole life using that method of argumentation, they would be paralyzed and paranoid about gremlins, invisible purple elephants, aliens, and ghosts, and boogiemen in their closets.

Edited by prosperity

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Concepts apart from a conceiver - a contradiction.

Key. Wouldn't it be possible to interpret this defense as a subjective claim? IE Objective reality still exists regardless of a consciousness to interpret it. The idea of forms is illogical because it is impossible to concieve a concept that's not rooted in reality? But clearly this isn't true, people can conceive of heaven.

Still a tad confused =/

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Hey prosperity,

Good stuff!

Case one:

"You can't prove that God exists."

"You can't prove that God doesn't."

"So your saying that something exists until it's proved not to?"

"Yes."

"Ok, prove to me there isn't a pink unicorn in my basement."

-----

That works if the answer is yes but it doesn't necessarily have to be.

Case two:

"You can't prove that God exists."

"You can't prove that God doesn't."

"So your saying that something exists until it's proved not to?"

"No, I'm saying you can't prove God doesn't exist, and therefore its not valid to claim he doesn't."

Bam. Where do you go now?

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Key. Wouldn't it be possible to interpret this defense as a subjective claim?

Objects exist in reality. We observe and conceptualize them. The concepts exist in our heads.

In contrast, the world of forms, from what I can understand, is a realm where concepts are supposed to exist apart from a consciousness. But that is a contradiction, as the concept of "concept" depends on a consciousness. It would be like talking about a file system apart from a computer or hard drive.

Edited by brian0918

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