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I strongly disagree with Mr. Peikoff

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windyfellow
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Not sure why you are focusing on this one word in my statement without the rest of the context. I meant world of intellectuals and I also wrote as a philosophical system (which has requirements religion does not meet) and on a large scale.

I am focusing on it because you chose to emphasize it. Intelligent was in bold, and philosophically, was in italics. I don't see the word intellectual. I offered you empirical evidence of the opposite and you chose to focus on merits of the religious arguments, rather than your original assertion that such a position is or is not seriously held.

Your futher statements are contradictory. Not taken seriously philosophically, vs monopoly in ethics is contradictory. Large scale and intellectuals are contradictory, since intellectuals make up any small minority of the population a large.

Such comments are unnecessary.

There was nothing meant by it other than your clarifications help me to see how such ideas as you espouse would drive such judgements and actions.

Welfare statism - and at least within my life time and maybe longer. In the absence of Objectivism (not limited but especially as an alternative ethical system) my view would have been different.

Welfare statism is not dead (not in America not in other parts of the world). People in America feel an increased sense of entitlement. This can last a long time (especialy given the state of public education) and will considerably afect your life even if people are not holding full blown socialism as an ideal anymore.

The assertion is that the new basis for welfare statism will be the altruism implicit in religion, and it is unnecessary for it to exist solely in the democratic dimension, or solely in the relitivist / nihilist dimension. So that while you fight such a thing on the left, one doesn't see it as already embedded in the right.

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I offered you empirical evidence of the opposite and you chose to focus on merits of the religious arguments, rather than your original assertion that such a position is or is not seriously held.

People will make all kinds of strange attempts - it does not mean that they will succeed.

There was nothing meant by it other than your clarifications help me to see how such ideas as you espouse would drive such judgements and actions.

I think you should let go of the idea that someone who disagrees with you about future predictions must in some way be deficient in knowledge or their understanding of Objectivism. I don't make that same assumption of you.

The assertion is that the new basis for welfare statism will be the altruism implicit in religion, and it is unnecessary for it to exist solely in the democratic dimension, or solely in the relitivist / nihilist dimension. So that while you fight such a thing on the left, one doesn't see it as already embedded in the right.

I am not sure if I understand this correctly.

Religion problem is non existent in Canada, full blown socialism is also not considered as the ideal yet welfare statism is treated as metaphysically given with altruism as a necessary characteristic of a "good human being". Altruism does not need the support of religion to survive.

I wrote in one of my previous posts:

It is natural for us to feel compassion for the weaker. It is a humane quality to feel sympathy for another’s suffering and wanting to do something about it. It is the right response in a specific context.

However, in order to identify (or even look for) what that specific context is a person needs to have a conceptual mentality which is not the default. People fall into perceptual level mentality much easier. It is easier because feelings, often strong feelings happen first and because we are not born with an understanding that feelings are not proper tools of cognition. Perceptual-level mentality requires less effort. Most people make decisions based on emotion and then they rationalize their choices. When the context is not accounted for that leads to all kinds of wrong ideas - such as altruism.

Ideas based on feelings/reactions which people are prone to having, ideas which demand less effort, gain acceptance much more easily (because it feels (again feels …) more “natural”) than ideas which require thought, knowledge, self analysis, self monitoring.

Compassionate conservatism, neo-conservatism, religion, socialism are all tapping into/are based on that same intrinsic approach to compassion.

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I think you should let go of the idea that someone who disagrees with you about future predictions must in some way be deficient in knowledge or their understanding of Objectivism. I don't make that same assumption of you.

And you should stop psychologizing. It was not what my statement meant, and once again we're through. It's you who ascribe motive where one doesn't exist.

You'll see throughout my posts on this election topic, that the degree to which I think it's possible to predict the outcome of this election that the choice to vote in either direction does not from me in any way imply misunderstanding or not. I don't fault anyone for voting in whatever way they choose.

Since you seem to be dealing with something that I said to someone else, then understand that what I can't let go of is when people choose to deal with Dr. Peikoff's claims, they do so without considering any of the actual arguments he's made, and without bringing to bear any of the evidentiary claims he's dealt with with evidence of their own. Mostly they assert he is an out of touch old fool, and anyone who holds a similar position is as well.

What I can't let go of is the idea that when someone makes assertions they really have evidence to back them up. Certainly if you think that no intellectual can take religion seriously, it would help determine why you might not consider it a threat. I'm simply asking you to back up that assertion with something more than "because it's obviously flawed." Is that asking too much?

When you say that religion has a monopoly on ethics, I'm asking you how that can be if no intellectual will take it seriously. There are private institutions of higher learning all over the country today that are teaching in fact that ethics, law, politics all have their basis in God, that our country's founding was such an event, and takes its founding principles from scriptures. These institutions are growing. How can that be if now intellectual will take it seriously? When you assert that Obama is a marxist in sheep's clothing. I'm simply asking you to consider the number of well-funded christian political action groups there are in this country, and who it is they're supporting. The other side has more wolves than you might imagine. ARI intellectuals have made a very strong case that the altruism behind christianity is the threat, because it offers some sort of morality, and they have offered strong evidence that that threat is well advanced of any efforts based upon individual rights to influence politics in this country and it's influence is one the right. If you look at the conservative blogosphere, they are already in a state of furor. "What is wrong with the party?" Many are already asserting that it is right wing christian fundamentalism that has caused the wheels to come off the bus. That's a good thing in my book. This loss if it can cause a serious rethink of conservatism may be an opportunity. Obama in the two years he's likely to have the legislative cannot do as much damage as the last 8 years of Christian altruism have. He can't do things that can't be undone with a correction. There is ample history to show that.

I don't suspect your understanding of Objectivism. I didn't say that. And I don't think that. That's all Sophia, really.

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What I can't let go of is the idea that when someone makes assertions they really have evidence to back them up. Certainly if you think that no intellectual can take religion seriously, it would help determine why you might not consider it a threat. I'm simply asking you to back up that assertion with something more than "because it's obviously flawed." Is that asking too much?

Sophia and I have already spoken back channel and I'm going to retract this statement. It's probably too harsh for the reality of the situation. I'm sorry Sophia.

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ARI intellectuals have made a very strong case that the altruism behind Christianity is the threat, because it offers some sort of morality, and they have offered strong evidence that that threat is well advanced of any efforts based upon individual rights to influence politics in this country and it's influence is one the right.

Why does the religious left in this country get a pass? It might be that much of the leadership does not appeal directly to religion, and often pursue policies that seem in direct conflict with it, but the core of its rank and file members are very religious. It is perfectly acceptable for a leftist to campaign for office in a black church, but a right winger will be accused of plotting a religious coup if he campaigns in a white/evangelical church. I can only conclude that the difference between the religious altruists on the left and the religious altruists on the right is that one seeks political advancement for its moral beliefs while the other seeks the political advancement of its economic beliefs.

I had the good fortune (?) of marrying into an Irish Catholic family. Virtually all, including friends, are very religious and very leftist. They are leftist largely because of their religion. They see capitalism as unfair and thus, evil and the welfare state as just and thus, good. To them the welfare state is a means of implementing their faith. The left wants altruism imposed by the state. A form of Christian socialism, if you will. The right is more focused on moral matters and is largely content to coexist with the free market--which is why they dont really bother me. I see altruism as harmful only if it can be imposed upon me. If someone wants to be altruistic within the context of a free society, good for them. So those who constantly warn of a looming theocracy are, from my perspective, too late. It came from the left, not the right.

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Why does the religious left in this country get a pass? It might be that much of the leadership does not appeal directly to religion, and often pursue policies that seem in direct conflict with it, but t

It doesn't. Listen to the lectures.

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It doesn't. Listen to the lectures.

I have tried to link to the ARI website for the last 3 days and keep getting an error report when I try to go beyond the main page. If you could link me to a lecture or an article that deals with this particular subject, that would be great.

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I have tried to link to the ARI website for the last 3 days and keep getting an error report when I try to go beyond the main page. If you could link me to a lecture or an article that deals with this particular subject, that would be great.

You may be trying to link to the "Registered user's page" (that page contains the "Why Should One Act on Principle" Peikoff lecture), or something else that requires registration.

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I refute my earlier position. After watching those lectures on ARI I better understand what Objectivism is trying to accomplish in the real world, and religion is a larger threat to that than socialism. However I still don't understand why voting democrat would do anything to hurt the religious movement...

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I refute my earlier position. After watching those lectures on ARI I better understand what Objectivism is trying to accomplish in the real world, and religion is a larger threat to that than socialism. However I still don't understand why voting democrat would do anything to hurt the religious movement...

I don't think it's so much dealing a blow to the religious movement as it is the recognition that they are no longer strictly allies in the fight for individual rights.

If you look under the hood of the Republican party these days you'll see that the wheels are coming off the bus. There is an identity crisis of epic proportions. The three main camps are all at odds. The small govt Libertarian, McGovern wing was disenfranchised as of 2006. What's left are the big govt neo-cons, and the religioius right. Key conservative intellectuals are retracting support for McCain (George Will, Peggy Noonan, David Frum, Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Buckley!!!). The remainders are becoming shrill in their calls to excommunicate whoever doesn't stand with them as not true to conservatism, a la Rush.

I don't think it matters how you vote. This election was already lost as of a couple of years ago, and is a recognition of the fact that you can't fight socialism on altruist grounds or with a motley collection of disparate, and contradictory groups under a big tent. The question will be how long will it take for the right to reassemble and under what banner will they do so. Hopefully the religious right will not be one of the factions remaining.

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This will be partially an answer to Kathryn's question from OCON. She asked what is the link ideologically between religion and capitalism (how the first came to be on the side of the other) since altruism and freedom are not compatible. There is this contradiction and yet they fell on the same side (and not just in America). I don't think this was totally accidental. Religion is not a good base for defense of liberty (for the reasons Kathryn identified) but there is an aspect of religion which made this link possible. This was also the ideological reason why communism happend to crack first in a very religious country like Poland and not a very secular country like Chechoslovakia. A belief in a soul makes every individual valuable and this at least on the "sense of life level" makes religious people fall on the opposite side of ideologies which state that individual is disposable. Of course there are many aspects of religion which are in contradiction to individualism but there is this element there.

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This will be partially an answer to Kathryn's question from OCON. She asked what is the link ideologically between religion and capitalism (how the first came to be on the side of the other) since altruism and freedom are not compatible. There is this contradiction and yet they fell on the same side (and not just in America). I don't think this was totally accidental.
I think Rand's answer to this was to trace it back to the "mind-body dichotomy". Roughly, Attila wants control of the "body" side while the witch-doctor wants control of the "mind" side. Total consistency can give one the dark ages, and the moderns -- under the influence of rational philosophy -- are happy to advocate freedom in the area they consider unimportant, while clinging to control in the area they consider important.
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