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Free Capitalist

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Free Capitalist last won the day on September 20 2017

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  1. Er, I think you're seriously confusing Saturnalia with Bacchanalia here. Latter was a Greek holiday, former a Roman one. Saturnalia had none of the "free from rationality" nonsense, Romans would set up evergreen trees with decorations, and exchange gifts.
  2. No, I think you are missing the crucial part of what it means for something to be mystical. God is a bad concept not because we simply have no evidence for it. That's hardly the main importance here. The main importance is that we couldn't possibly ever have evidence for it, that his very existence and definition deny and negate the laws of reality and our means of epistemology that guide us through life. That to accept the notion of God to the fullest extent renders a person almost senseless, and certainly out of his mind. "God" is a denial not only of everything that is human, but of every h
  3. If you ask me whether there are any philosophical reasons to not believe in Greek gods, I will say: There aren't. And there are no reasons why there couldn't have been (any Greek gods). In the same way that the Greeks found huge enormous 18-ft bones, and said these were the bones of giants. There are no philosophical reasons why either giants or Greek gods couldn't have been. They violate no laws of reality. See, this is where we disagree. It is my belief (and belief of men teaching their kids about Santa for the last 1,600 years) that very young kids have no capacity to distinguish a ve
  4. Yes, entirely. Thank you for rephrasing it, as it makes even more sense now. It is absolutely true that what I've said applies only to very young children, and I've said it a number of times that older kids will necessarily grow out of it, become too sophisticated to accept it, and move on to more complicated material. No. ESP and ghosts are, by definition, outside of our reality, contradictory to reality, etc; they are nothing but supernatural, and nothing but mystical. Unicorns, however, are not in this category. Unicorns are not supernatural, they are fantasy. Do you see that
  5. Well, I'm not going to speak for Dr. Peikoff and his intentions here. I recommend that you get the lecture and judge for yourself. What I will say in terms of recommendation is that he described Greek religion as qualitatively different from modern religion, not just in details but in fundamentals. As for why not teach it now -- not because it's mystical, but simply because we know it is not true, and that while birds do fly through the sky on the one hand, Helios does not. It's a scientific discovery, not a philosophic one. And for teaching Greek religion to little kids, nothing in principl
  6. Yes, more specifically he said that the Greek religion was not mystical, and that it was not supernatural. That's about all the context that there can be gleaned from the lecture, because the substance and foundation for what he said lies in the Greek religion itself. Let's define our terms. Is mystical = supernatural? Fine. How do we define supernatural? Something that contradicts or violates the laws of reality, or exists in a reality different and separate from ours. Given this definition, in what way was Greek religion supernatural? Precisely what's so mystical about Helios flying thro
  7. Yes, because I cannot fathom the point of "myth taught as myth", in this context. If Santa doesn't exist, then what purpose is there to teaching about him at all? Like I said earlier, if we use Santa to teach certain things, then everyone knowing he's not real will lose all efficacy for those lessons. Either he's real, so that we teach a child benevolence and morality at an age when he's too young to understand but grows out of Santa on his own, or Santa is not real, it's just something people "do" or kids "know" so it passes for little more than a spurious story to tell a child one day, and n
  8. I asked you to consider Dr. Peikoff point, which you didn't. I asked you to show how any of this was mystical, and argued to the contrary. Yet you persist with the mystical monicker, in defiance of all That's like doing an ad hominem towards an idea, if such a thing was possible. I ask you to start from reality, from the actual facts of the case -- in this case, fine, Greek religion, and then proceeding with your judgment, rather than starting with a conclusion "religion is bad" and handing down judgments depending on how things pigeonhole this way or that. Sorry if this post seems a bit he
  9. Okay let me jump back in here now that I have some time, Okay I kept asking that we define our terms, especially "real" and "make believe" and you guys don't seem to want to. So now that we have mired ourselves in this conundrum, I ask you to please define what you mean by "make believe", what you mean by "real" (in reference to Santa), and whether you draw a distinction between how mystical families teach that God is real, and how they teach that Santa is real. The question then begs itself: why have Santa at all? If they know it's you, and you hint in no uncertain terms that Santa
  10. Well then we have a more fundamental disagreement here than merely Santa Claus. Do you think there's any point to the birthday celebration, according to the above standards? If there's a day when a child gets "stuff he didn't earn", it's the birthday, when he receives gifts for absolutely nothing at all. Also, would you do away with the New Year celebration? There are many existential holidays in US culture, and it seems your standards would be far too strict for practically all of them.
  11. SN, notice that 8 years is really pushing it for Santa Claus and tooth fairies. I remember I was already growing out of Santa Claus idea by 7 or so, and was far too "sophisticated" by 8-9 to seriously accept such an idea. So instead of 8 year old children, I'm talking about 2-3-4 year old children here, real babies. Their cognitive thinking is in its infancy, literally, so what are we to do to teach them proper rules of behavior, and instill even more benevolence in them? Why not have a super-benevolent grandpa figure that always rewards them with wonderful gifts for being a good boy, even whe
  12. With all due respect, I think you guys are dropping the context here. The context is not that we should teach Santa Claus to adults; that has never been the point. So you have to ask yourselves the question, what fundamental difference is there between teaching Santa to an adult, and teaching him to a child. And the answer is that a child is simply too ignorant about the world to care, or for it to make a difference to him whether an actual Santa exists or not. It's much in the same way as why Dr. Peikoff called the Greek religion a secular religion, as it was not based on any negation of real
  13. Okay, then I simply do not understand how you can present a make-believe without it having some substance to it. Perhaps SoftwareNerd's response to my post will clarify the issue. I mean, children play make-believe all the time but it is real to them when they play it, just as we adults engage in make-believe all the time (by watching movies) and it has some reality to us when we're doing it. The worst thing to do in the middle of a good movie is to start thinking that what we're seeing is not really happening, that when we see a great throne room in front of us it is actually just a set with
  14. Okay so you make it clear that he doesn't "sincerely", in some full adult sense of the term, believes that an actual tooth fairy is real. But he clearly doesn't believe you are the one sneaking in a dollar bill while he's unaware, right? That's what I'm talking about, a balance between completely real, and completely fake. Please note that no one here, (or in history of Santa), has advocated teaching him as a completely real person, and insisting very powerfully that the child believe and understand how real he is. That's never happened. Well this is a cultural point. Some cultures do ha
  15. I haven't given much thought to the tooth fairy, but here the same principles as with Santa Claus would apply. Why has the tooth fairy been used all this time? What's been the point? You yourself describe it: "You lose a tooth, you get cash". So the point, as I understand it, and as I would use it if I were to use it, would be that natural change and growth in a little child is natural, and good. It's both a reward for the body going according to the natural flow of things, and a powerful example to the child that changes are okay, growth is okay, and even if there's blood from the tooth loss
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