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steven1972

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  • Birthday 05/23/1972

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  1. I would agree with Rand, that because the point of philosophy is to find life or truth, any compromising of this aim would allow desires for death or falseness to be mixed with desires life. Why would one have differing or opposed principles then, or mix death with life in one's actions? Is there any hole in this argument? Steven
  2. For all, to help you understand the mind of God, All those things which Rand said about man's ideal as section titles for Atlas Shrugged, are actually true about God, even more deeply. He is a non-contradictory God, absolute, truthful. He does not take back his word. His edicts do not contradict anything, but are internally consistent and living. His reality is the most true reality. A thing is itself there, and there is no deception. Most startling, God is either/or, completely. He either loves you or hates you in the end. You are either in his presence in the kingdom of Heaven, or boiling in a star somewhere alone, for eternity. You either seek holiness, or you stand against it. Seeking infantile pleasure is the broad road, common, and not really bold at all. God is even more bitter about injustice than any man, even more than I used to be, and he sees it all, every hypocrisy and lie told by men, on earth. Nothing is hidden to him. He sees every human being on earth, from the poorest refugee in Darfur, to the biggest spoiled brat in America. If you thought Ayn Rand could give a fierce grilling in righteousness, wait until you meet Moses, or me for that matter, face to face. Ayn Rand sought to make herself god in her own sight, and taught others like me to do the same. She was only following Satan precisely, I have noticed, in theology, who always glorified himself, but hated everything else, but lied about it too, pretending wisdom and love. But I know none of you believe in angels, who are higher life forms than men. They have the power to delude, if you don't ask God for help. The very power that makes you scoff is just what they put into you: that should be obvious, that there is some power making you so bitter and scoffing, about a concept that is totally GOOD. God is good! Why scoff or hate? I ask you, if there is a God who is totally good at the center of the universe, far above all, and far more mighty, and always just, why would you stand against him, but not entertain trying to find out if this were true. Wouldn't it be the best thing imaginable? It should be the most exciting possibility to an objectivist or any seeker of truth, that this hopeful thing might be true, that the universe is authored by someone good, who is above all. The fact that you hate so quickly what is actually good is the whole substance of the delusion, or the "deceiving force," that is spoken of in Thessalonians by Paul. But you don't even believe in fallen angels, who are actively seeking to delude you. This is the sadness. Rand took Christianity and other philosophies she hated, and reverse constructed them, building an opposing philosophy consistently against them. This is brilliant, but not unexpected. I find it not really that far removed from the common mentality of most people, though of course most of them are mixed in philosophy I agree. She really justified any thing you might do for your own happiness and pleasure, but saw anyone weaker than herself as a burden. How is this much different than the average spoiled American? This is just a little insight into how I have shifted some objectivist thinking back to God, glorifying him instead of self. He is either-or. This should appeal to objectivists. The hoodwink pulled by Rand is that she made it seem that God was not more intelligent than her, that she was the author of truth and ideas, when God is. Nothing in the hierarchy of her beliefs is original, but all stolen from God, shifted to herself. She just shifted the glory to self, again, consistent with the same beliefs as Satan (whether you believe in him or not: he was the author of self-glorifying, pretending to be the author of truth, and pretending to be most intelligent.) I'm not talking about a fairy tale. As I said, I've found the conviction of having evidence. And even before that, I was struggling to believe some things.... But as someone said, the thread is running down. It is the same old argument of faith versus unbelief. The only thing I thought you might all find interesting is that I was once one of the most passionate objectivists in North America. Yet, I came to believe in God. The amount of ideas given to me to spread to other people is enormous right now, probably more than all Rand ever wrote, and I've barely begun. All my intellect is filled with new belief. Paul once murdered Christians and sought to take them to jail, passionately dedicated to this as an enemy of them. Then, he experienced a miracle, which I believe was true, and he became the most dedicated evangelist of his time, spreading faith to most of Europe and Syria, and then the world. Shifts of belief like this don't happen easily in a person's life. Christians are the one group most willing to die for their beliefs in history, at least true Christians. They have integrity. People often murdered them for no reason at all, merely because they were loving and unmoving in their beliefs, uncompromising about evil. Doesn't this speak of something special? Those who died like this, often had the Holy Spirit in them. They knew God existed. I know they are in heaven, and want to be with them...Again, I used to believe all you all believe, so keep that in mind. Something has happened here. I would have thought someone was foolish or unintelligent to believe in angels when I was 15.... with respect, Steven
  3. I would also add this, IAmMeta, For me, one great reversal in thinking has been part of my reversal from Objectivism to Christianity, throughout the process. Even before I was Christian: I came to believe, using reason, that procreation was a more sacred and beautiful reason to have sex than pleasure. This also gives more integrity, and is in line with natural law or rational humanism: it is obvious the function of sex is procreation. If you are practical functionalist, this fact stands. This belief, which I gained in my mid 20s, is part of how I grew to become more traditional and embrace faith. I consider this belief to be a development of reason and objectivism, not contrary to it. If you follow this belief in procreative sex, and love life and generativity most of all, more than material things or pleasure, you eventually find you are in agreement with God about most things. Objectivism was always sterile, starting with Rand, sadly. She gave no children, except her students, sadly. Even if I had stood as an objectivist, I would still have begun a sub-strain of it that embraced procreation much more deeply. Chasing pleasure I have found reduces integrity. However, I still believe in freedom, and I would not force others to help one another or believe as I do. Christians submit, and use words only, those who follow true belief. I'm abhorred by religious justification of violence among men. God never taught this, nor did Christ. I guess I felt that the real answer came when I prayed. I didn't see it as a coincidence. I suddenly just understood I had to tell her the truth, and I had the guts to do it. I still didn't have faith right away even then. It took years before I prayed again, and I was still an objectivist for a while... again, thanks for the forum. I don't want to go off-topic too much, but thanks for letting me respond to forum... I can feel you seem despondent that I've been misled, SWN. But I feel I gained more truth. I don't think I gave up integrity, but I feel more centered now...Maybe you don't attribute this to God....Again, as you indicated, nothing I say can really pinch hit for your own decision making process. It just comes down to faith, which Rand hated, I know. I'm not sure if there's much more produce in this thread, except to answer respondents. Thanks, this discourse is exciting to me and happy. I wish such a nice forum had existed when I was younger... I'm taking off for supper, have a good evening....
  4. Hey, NewYork I don't think I have abandoned reason. I think God is the biggest intellect of all, however, and he hasn't disappointed me that way. There is reason in believing. I still use every ounce of reason and common sense I have to go about my purpose in life, or I try. Yes, that is sad. But I think another poster said the answer. Within the confines of believing in Chrsitian doctrine, it is wrong to test God. He is exalted, and not below humans. Just an addition God helped me see: if he is absolutely good, there is no fault in submission to him. He always does good, and hates only injustice. This fits very well with my old objectivist search for justice and truth. God hates injustice more than me, it turns out, and loves truth. This is Christian doctrine though...
  5. Response to IamMetaphysical, This is personal, but may be enlightening, or show where I began... When I was 20, I became involved with a woman who had a severe mental illness, and who had been severely sexually abused as a child, but who was very intelligent and very beautiful and similar to me in creativity. At the time I became involved with her, I was at the height of my own pride. She was suicidal, and had Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as Multiple Personality Disorder, which is very rare and difficult to live with. I really cared deeply about her, and loved her, but I did not have the wisdom, even from all my philosophy and journal writings, to understand how to deal with her or to leave the relationship, which I eventually felt I had to. I hated what had happened to her as a child, and sympathized with her too deeply, and her needs. I was more worried about her than about my own life after a while, codependent. Cracks in my integrity had been deeply exposed, and my abstract beliefs were not all there was to me or my character. I cared about her. I also allowed myself to be manipulated, because my integrity was shallow. I hadn't known much about codependence at that time, but I wrote a treatise on it in my journals over the next 2 and a half years. Yet, even understanding it fully, I felt powerless to leave her and do what was right. I did not even believe in God at all at that time. I never had. And yet at the end of my wits, very unhappy about my life decisions, I ended up praying to God, to help me leave her and make the right decision. I was very unhappy by the time I came to that extremity, for I was a stubborn person. I felt an answer to my prayer. I told her the truth, that I had to leave her. I stopped worrying about protecting her feelings, and just did what was right. I suddenly had the power to do this, and the answer. I suppose meeting someone who was really very needy, and who was not really at fault at all for her challenges in life, challenged my perspective, and revealed that I cared more deeply about people than I had been willing to admit philosophically. I also found the limits of my own intelligence in helping me. Life threw something monumentally more deep than philosophy at me, a place where I and someone I loved were truly suffering, and I had no wisdom in myself, as smart as I was, to make choices that would affect someone else's life so deeply, someone I loved, who was worth loving. You might say I wasn't a good objectivist, who hadn't fully integrated my beliefs. But I loved the girl, and she was suffering. In the end, I am not the kind of person who can easily throw away other people, or abandon them. That is why I did not like Christianity when I was young. Maybe it is not strange that I prayed to God in such a place of suffering. thanks again for the forum guys; again, I don't want to be a troll, or disruptive influence to this site...
  6. Response to various from Steven, I'll try to keep this brief. Thanks for the interest from the forum. I'll answer with all seriousness. Troll: First to the post concerned about my being a troll, from Inspector. I want to avoid that, being perceived as a troll. I'm a serious thinker. Truthfully, I've read Atlas Shrugged 6 times, including about a year ago, to study her style again while writing my own novel, which is 400 pages currently, and I respect her mind as the most intelligent and passionate of the 20th century. I read Fountainhead, Night of J16, Anthem, Capitalism..., Romantic Manifesto, Lexicon, We the Living, and almost all her published works, various biographies and scholarly studies (most of which I believe are shallow or foolish). I have genuine respect for the brilliance of what she did. Atlas was always the summative work however, what I was most interested in. I'm the real deal. I was the most passionate convicted objectivist among my generation, one of you. I worked to spread it....I believed her whole philosophy, and even added to it consistent applications to new cultural phenomenon from my time period, essays, etc. I scoffed at the same loose thinkers you all have. So, I don't want to be a troll or start an angry or meaningless forum, but I thank you for allowing these posts. I wouldn't post here if I weren't interested in talking to objectivists specifically. It is an interesting forum to me personally. My name, Steven Burky, was synonymous, even notorious, to my whole college campus of 5,000, with capitalism, because I wrote a much-read column in the newspaper every week--and to many other friends of mine, all who knew me, also to my community, who all thought I would change the world, in their words, not mine, because of my passion. All of this because I believed in Ayn Rand. Argument from authority: But I concede to SWN, I can't argue from authority, and expect my brain, gifts or talents, or say-so to substitute for your personal judgment. I would love to convict you, but I can't Make you believe, and I wouldn't try. To aequalsa: I did not mean that my knowledge is special or unknowable. Rather, it is my level of integrity and conviction that sets me apart from most, and this is just obvious to me from interacting with 1000s of people in my life. This would become more clear in a verbal discussion, from my tone of voice, eye contact, etc. Most people in this world right now don't know what it is to believe passionately in something, 100%, though I would probably exclude all of you from that comment, which is why this forum interests me. I feel commonality with you all yet. My mind has always challenged those around me to think more clearly, to be better. I believe I am one of the best among this generation at challenging people, just as Rand was. I hope to engage this whole nation, if I fulfill the promise of the intelligence I was given. To Bold Standard: I have indeed seen a psychologist, so I have sought to find wisdom and guidance from counselors in this time. I'm not naive to the reality of mental illness, though I thank you for your concern, which I could really sense. They could not really help me understand better what has happened in my life however. The upheaval, despair, and doubt in my life, I brought on myself by change. I don't think it was mental illness. Yes, it is sad to give up that which was once valuable to oneself, and it has been difficult. However, I have found something beneath the abstract things I used to be, perhaps something more true to me at the core. Chasing possessions compulsively is not a healthy frame of mind, I see now. When I uncovered this trend in my habits, I realized I really did not love anyone very deeply, or caringly, when I was younger. I just insulated myself from all of them by surrounding myself with things that pleased me on an infantile level. I used other people to inflate my sense of self by disparaging them. Though I was more intelligent than them, this was immature, and not helpful to them. I found this shallow. I was not much more than a spoiled infant in my desires even by the time I was 22. I was not even a grown man. This is what caused me to take a look at more mature things, and to use objectivism to seek maturity. I didn't like who I was, and I wanted to be grown. Some of you are willing to believe I may have experienced something unusual, so thanks. I only have about one or two more thoughts for you then. To answer SWN and others: how do I know it wasn't the devil, and why should I expect you to believe this was the Holy Spirit specifically? A good question. The truth is, the second before the Spirit entered me, I was feeling totally jaded and weary. However, I felt him descend into me, and in that very second, I felt more love within me, and life. Way more. This is subjective in my wording, I am sure it will sound so to you. But it was a striking encounter, a complete change in mind, and I could feel his Spirit in my body and mind. This lasted for about 2 minutes. He helped me to feel love toward myself that I had not felt a moment before, and to see my life in perspective. And then, I felt him lift away and be gone, after about two minutes. I was only alone and weary again then. This fits the description of Paul and Luke's writings in the New Testament precisely. I hope I have not jumped to a conclusion, but it is clear to me I experienced the real thing. This is very important: This experience also leads me to believe almost no Christians in this time actually have the Holy Spirit, (though they could if they asked) which is crucial for you to understand. That is why they are so easy to scoff at. You observe there isn't anything going on in them worth your time, and so you easily discern how foolish or watered down they seem in belief. I am hoping something about my manner and writing will lead you to draw an opposite conclusion about me, gentlemen, (and lady?) This one last thing I will say: Some of you, a few, have really very instantly called me a liar, (though some of you have not drawn that conclusion.) If I have told you the truth to the best of my ability, as I have, then you have wronged me deeply and testify falsely against me, without even knowing me. This is a matter of personal grievance I have with many people right now. And let Spirit will testify for me, if you continue to say I lie. I believe he will convict you if you say I lied. I have not lied. You wrong me. Doesn't this mean something to you? That is what I leave you with. As Aequalsa hinted to, I don't know how much more productive this conversation can be, so perhaps I should withdraw soon, for I suppose my post and idea was somewhat simple: I, someone with conviction, and who once believed like all of you, everything you believe, seeking the best, have felt the evidence we all scoffed didn't exist. I tend to sympathize with you more than some others in the world, or I am still drawn to you, so I am not here to batter you with demeaning arguments or try to Make you believe me, which I can't do. You can all file this away in your minds, that you met me, and maybe it will resonate with something else you one day experience. So, I don't know what else to say to you. I could explain this experience of the miraculous in more detail, if anyone wants more detail or is actually skeptically interested. I could tell you more about my life, so you can make a more informed decision about my character. Or, if anyone wants to, there could be serious discussion or debate about why I believe the moral things I currently have gravitated to. In deference to the purpose of this site, however, perhaps this could be done off-site, through e-mail to me, unless the moderator allows. I am building a website, currently, to explain some of my beliefs, though it is still under construction. If allowed by moderator, I will post my e-mail or website in another post. thanks for the forum, once again. Thanks SWN. Best wishes to you all, from a serious thinker, one of you in that way.
  7. Response to Mr. Swig, Sir, I used to argue very forcefully as an objectivist rationalist, probably as passionately as you, having devoted 8 years of my life to that thinking. Keep this in mind as we dialogue, I ask you. In answer to your forum, I have the following answers to your thoughts, for your consideration: 1) I was not happy when this experience I described happened to me, you are right, but I was not delusional either. There is a difference, and as a person who has studied psychology and the DSM deeply, I ask you not to blur those diagnoses. 2) Objectivists like I used to be often demand evidence of what they will choose to believe in, just as I once did. I actually felt this spiritual experience consciously, and so I now have evidence. Why do you immediately deny evidence from someone who once was as demanding as you were about such criteria? I have no ulterior purpose but giving you truth, what I was given, and I don't demand you believe me. Why not give me the benefit of doubt for being someone who seeks honesty. Why not instead look at this as a gift from someone who invested the time to find out, as if I had done an experiment, the results of which you can freely study, without doing it yourself. God allowed me to feel the Holy Spirit only after nearly 10 years searching for him, 7 of those years living as a Christian in humility and faith...Perhaps you don't know me well enough to take my word, but I don't know why you would automatically be skeptical either. I vouch to you that I felt what I felt. While you don't have to believe my word, I have no reason to be here on this site but to help you by giving you something I found. 3) This experience I had also backs up the experiences as described by New Testament writers exactly, so this is a repeatable experience which you also could experience, if you took the time to investigate, as I have. Repeatability is something scientists demand, isn't it? It isn't just something I myself experienced alone, asking you to believe just me. However, you would have to believe it is possible first and show faith....I know you will scoff at that. But that is why God opposes the proud. He allowed me to feel the Holy Spirit, to me after 7 years of humility. 4) This experience gave me more love, from God. Also, it gave me more conviction. So, it has helped me. 5) This direct experience of the Holy Spirit, as opposed to what you said about other evangelists, is not common or talked about in any reality among most Christians, whom I've spent much time with. Some of them think the Holy Spirit is in them, but truthfully He is not. It is a powerful experience when he is, something you put on the front pages of newspapers and talk about for generations, not just coffee table chit-chat. I'm talking about something real! I am saying I felt his actual presence in an undeniable way, deep, powerful, real. That is the only reason I took the time to share this remarkable experience. 6) Related, to (5), I am a very commited and convicted person when I believe. I am sadly mostly quite frustrated by other shallow though well-meaning believers who give God a bad name, and feel nothing real in their faith, but act just like the rest of the world. So, I probably don't get along with them any eaiser than you would. For me, a person who has faith does what scripture says, just as when I was an objectivist, I had conviction, and lived by it. None of them listen to me either, however. I 've sold all my possessions for God. I've preached the gospel in the countryside. I've been homeless in a cemetary in the pouring rain, admitting I am defeated, to God. I've used all my intelligence to write for God. I've humbled myself. I've prayed real prayers, having faith that God will be faithful. I believed he lives. I wept for his prophets, deep tears, for their suffering. I had mercy. Because I sought a real, deep experience of faith, I was rewarded, I believe, and he has helped me. God has helped me. God showed me he is real. My conviction is very deep now, absolute even. I am not run of the mill, or ordinary, though I hope other people have the same experience I did. Maybe even you will. Would you scoff if you actually felt or saw a real miracle, and I mean a powerful one? Maybe you wouldn't be quick to do so then, but who knows? But the truth is, some people actually watched Jesus, or Paul, resurrect dead people, and still didn't love God or believe in him...How much less this generation is blessed, for they don't believe, and have no miracles either. Don't you sense the intelligence behind the person writing this to you? My mind is clear, and the only thing that frustrates me in life is I can't get anyone to listen to me, either Christian or non-Christian. I scoffed at religion from the time I was 10 to the time I was 24, and demanded evidence, just like you. I visited your website. I was much like you. Let this sink in, and feel the irony of what God has done to me. Now, I have evidence, and my mouth is shut. I used to love Ayn Rand as much as you. She was like a mother to me. But I found more truth. Do you believe me, even a little? Drop the bitterness and wit for a moment, all of which I get, but none of which really go toward truth, and just talk real with me. So, I guess my argument stands simply as it did: I had direct evidence (scientific? repeatable?) and my word is what you must believe. Why doubt a man, and how do you judge, if someone rational tells you of an experience beyond your own certainty? Do you scoff immediately, or seek to find out if he is right, or isn't it worth the time? This is a new question I guess. thanks for the forum
  8. Hello all, I have one argument to prove the existence of God absolutely: Two months ago, in a very humble moment, I actually felt the Holy Spirit descend into me and indwell me for the space of about one to two minutes, off and on. My journey of faith has been long and deep, passionate and arduous, more deep than my passion for selfishness once was. God has rewarded me by letting me feel the Holy Spirit, evidence, a great gift, one I thank him for often now. I am still in shock even now two months later, trying to encompass this sheer and immense gift he gave me, letting the implications of it spread through me. He is really there. For those who don't know, when Christ ascended, he sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost to the original believers. It is the Holy Spirit who helped them, counseled them, and probably allowed miracles to happen. I believe all of this now. I have felt the indwelling Holy Spirit, who isn't often spoken of by this unbelieving generation. He exists. To explain what it felt like: I was in my bed, curled in the fetal position in a moment of brokenness. I shrank myself down to be like an infant in consciousness for a moment before God, humbling myself. I felt then a spirit descend upon me and into me from behind, as if superimposed in my mind and body. When he was in me, I felt more love, more keenly than I usually do. Specifically, I was directed to and able to cry, about something that was going on in my life, that a second before, I had been too weary and jaded to cry about. The presence of the Holy Spirit, and his love, was keen and quite evidenced to me. Believe me: I have felt the Holy. I was once just as much of an objectivist as any of you, or more. I was once poised to take Rand's philosophy and develop it in my lifetime, by writing passionate novels in the same format as hers, same style, but even more consistently selfish...Now, I am turned 180 degrees. What has happened to me is a miracle. Please don't argue shallowly with me. I am rational and given intelligence. How would any of you explain this miracle, for I am not lying? But I ask you to believe me and turn to God as I have. For background, I am a newbie to this site, so hello. I was a passionate individualist atheist, and a spoiled suburban child, who believed in objectivism between ages 15 and 22. I did not believe in God at all, and I hated religion. I have gradually been brought back from believing almost the doctrine of a demon, to wanting to love God. He has rewarded me, though I am still learning to really love. Have faith, and you will be rewarded. This is my answer to you. The hard hearted and the proud, God opposes. If you want evidence of God, approach him as a humble creation. As for God's origin, I think he always existed, just as I once believed existence always existed, as an objectivist. The spirit, and the angels exist. This is a new life to explore, for those who believe. Miracles are real. Believe this, from a sane man. from Steven with love
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