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Mike82ARP

Why the seeming obsession with religion?

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I’m new here and fairly new to Rand’s objectivism. I’ve found her philosophy fills some of the gaps in my conservative/libertarian political philosophy. I stumbled into this forum and found several new threads dealing with religion and have to wonder why seeming obsession with religion? Why is so much time and energy spent arguing against and ridiculing something that you believe doesn’t exist?

I don’t see anyone engaging in any discourse other than making comments about ID giving them a headache, etc. It’s like “preaching to the choir”. RIdiculing a YouTube clip you disagree with on this site doesn’t forward objectivism. Neither does going to YouTube and engaging in ad hominem or straw man attacks.

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I think that you have copy and pasted the wrong words here, you'll want to be taking that to Richard Dawkins site. I'm not (and most Objectivists I'm familiar with don't seem to be) "obsessed" with religion. Maybe check out any of the dozens of topics here unrelated to religion before drawing your conclusions.

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Well I don't think there's an "obsession," I mean doesn't that sound a bit extreme? There are several threads discussing religion because this is a philosophy forum. Questions of religion and theology are pretty paramount and fundamental questions in philosophy. Ayn Rand happens to have been one of the notable atheists of the twentieth century, and her philosophic thought goes beyond just political philosophy, but touches also on questions of metaphysics and epistemology, including about religious knowledge and God. In fact, politics is a relatively minor part of her philosophy, even though it is one of the more well-known aspects. There are people who come to her philosophy through interest in libertarian politics, but there are also people who come discover her novels through an interest in atheism and religion, and so are more focused on those topics.

I have heard the objection before "Why do atheists seem so obsessed with religion when they don't believe in it?" But this seems a bit misguided. There is no contradiction between focusing on religious philosophy and being an atheist, if you are concerned or interested with the issue as a philosophic topic or area of study, then you will spend time and energy researching and commenting on it. That doesn't seem very controversial. Again, it is a pretty fundamental area of philosophy, seeing as how the answers to its questions affects all the rest of philosophy, including ethics and morality, society, indeed will affect our lives pretty profoundly whatever position we take.

Now about the "preaching to the choir," certainly, being that most people are atheists on here, then there will be a lot of that happening. Just like if we post something on politics and someone criticizes some government policy, you will get a lot of "preaching to the choir" on that too. It would be pretty unreasonable to expect every comment on here to be directed at non-atheists, or polemical in nature. As far as straw man attacks and ad hominem, certainly there shouldn't be any of that going on, but I mean, it happens, it's a forum after all, so not every poster is going to be a genius or a scholar, but usually there is someone to point out or moderate these things. I can't really speak for comments made on YT though for obvious reasons.

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I stumbled into this forum and found several new threads dealing with religion and have to wonder why seeming obsession with religion? Why is so much time and energy spent arguing against and ridiculing something that you believe doesn’t exist?

I think you’ll find a good number of threads about religion started by believers who come here to debate. They’ve discovered Ayn Rand, like her politics (or whatever else), and religion is a sticking point for them. So why shouldn’t they ask their toughest questions? Naturally the quality of the answers is going to vary.

I, non-believer, started one thread that was religion-themed, and I defy you to find any ridicule in it.

http://forum.objecti...ndpost&p=281408

I don’t see anyone engaging in any discourse other than making comments about ID giving them a headache, etc. It’s like “preaching to the choir”. RIdiculing a YouTube clip you disagree with on this site doesn’t forward objectivism. Neither does going to YouTube and engaging in ad hominem or straw man attacks.

I don't know what threads you've been reading, I don't follow them all. But it doesn't sound like the tenor of this forum.

Edited by Ninth Doctor

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From the first page of this forum:

Debunking religious science

Do you want a headache?

Can anyone list some of the major contradictions in the Bible?

God says: Radical Sacrifice + Real Success

Pimp your mosque

Rapture

Pat Robertson, I’d say he hit a new low

Oral Roberts finds out

Edited by Mike82ARP

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From the first page of this forum:

Debunking religious science

Do you want a headache?

Can anyone list some of the major contradictions in the Bible?

God says: Radical Sacrifice + Real Success

Pimp your mosque

Rapture

Pat Robertson, I’d say he hit a new low

Oral Roberts finds out

Hmm. Wow. Touché. But where are you seeing these? I normally only look at “View New Content”, and “Debunking Religious Science” is the only one of these showing up there right now. And that was just someone asking for links, there wasn’t any kind of argument offered one way or the other. I remember seeing “Do you want a headache?” recently, and I didn’t click on it, since my answer to the question is a resounding no. It’s a bad thread title, it gives you no indication what the subject is. There are some pretty thoroughgoing threads of debate between believers and Objectivists. Avila and Jacob86 are two of the believers. I’ve taken part in the past, but my interest level is currently experiencing catastrophic existence failure.

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But where are you seeing these?
Yes, I too was curious what "first page" meant. I just had an "aha" moment when I realized the poster is talking about the first page of the "religion" sub-forum -- which is the forum in which he started this thread too. Many of them are over a year old! A small fraction of the overall content.

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I agree that most of the religion threads are started not by O'ists but by religious believers who want to try to prove us wrong - which is kind of laughable to us because the O'ist position on religion is that since it can never be proven right OR wrong by any credible mechanism of proof, it is a conceptual null value, and as such is to be dismissed from any rational thought process.

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Regardless, it's like someone opening an encyclopedia to the article on religion, and then complaining that the editors of the encyclopedia seem obsessed on the topic.

My initial comment was more at the level of ridicule and ad hominem in the posts I listed. These types of posts add nothing to any discourse on the topic. That was the intent of my post.

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My initial comment was more at the level of ridicule and ad hominem in the posts I listed. These types of posts add nothing to any discourse on the topic. That was the intent of my post.

I think the regulars here will concede that when the subject is religion, there’s bound to be some ridicule laced into the discussion. You’re awfully new here to be doing this finger wagging. As to ad hominem, qua logical fallacy it doesn’t belong, but are you sure that’s what you’re seeing? I haven’t looked at all these threads you’ve listed. Anyway, Richard Dawkins recently had a good word to say about the function of ridicule, maybe he’ll change your mind.

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