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Can Objectivists be religious?

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bluearmy
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In other words - we don't have to agree on religion to be allies. :) We're perfectly willing to let you believe whatever faith based ideas you like, SO LONG AS you don't attempt to require us to do likewise or use them as justification for passing immoral laws.

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In other words - we don't have to agree on religion to be allies. :) We're perfectly willing to let you believe whatever faith based ideas you like, SO LONG AS you don't attempt to require us to do likewise or use them as justification for passing immoral laws.

I understand what you are saying and what you mean when you speak of morality Greebo, but be careful when dealing with theists, especially if you are going to use phrases like "immoral laws". The Christian, the Buddhist and the Muslim operate on moral premises that would give any Objectivist the creeps. The phrase "objective law" is much less ambiguous.

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In other words - we don't have to agree on religion to be allies. :) We're perfectly willing to let you believe whatever faith based ideas you like, SO LONG AS you don't attempt to require us to do likewise or use them as justification for passing immoral laws.

I.e., don't make choices for me and we'll get along just fine!

- ico

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I for one will continue to believe that a religious person who happens to have some redeeming ideals is a person who has not confronted the inconsistencies and contradictions in their own beliefs. Until they do, I will not count on them or rely on them or depend on their support.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I looked through the forum and I didn't find any topics that asked this question (Apologies if I didn't look hard enough and there is a similiar topic).

We all know that Ayn Rand was dead set against religion, even going as far to say that it was evil, But my question can someone be part of a faith and still be an objectivist?

I believe that there is a God; I follow her philosophy to the best of my ability too. I see no contradiction. God is an assumption I make, and if I'm wrong, then reality will eventually show me otherwise; but by then I don’t think I’ll care if I’m wrong.
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I believe that there is a God; I follow her philosophy to the best of my ability too. I see no contradiction. God is an assumption I make, and if I'm wrong, then reality will eventually show me otherwise; but by then I don’t think I’ll care if I’m wrong.

Reason doesn't allow assumptions without evidence. Objectivism holds that belief in an arbitrary hypothesis is irrational; you can't simply say "I'll believe X until someone or something shows me not-X." Leonard Peikoff's Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand contains a good discussion of why arbitrary claims are invalid; see here.

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I believe that there is a God; I follow her philosophy to the best of my ability too.
She has a philosophy? How does she inform you of it? Are you simply saying that you follow voices in your mind that tell you to do things, and you do them regardless of whether they're confirmed by your reason? If you always use your reason, then you cannot claim to be following voices in your head. Edited by softwareNerd
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I think it is Rand's philosophy that the poster above stated that they try to follow.

But believing in God and "not caring" about whether you are right or wrong about things is about as far away as you can be from Rand.

Edited by freestyle
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I think it is Rand's philosophy that the poster above stated that they try to follow.
Ah! I misread that post.

So, I guess he's really saying he follows Rand's philosophy, and that his belief in God has no impact on his life, i.e. all his actions are as if there is no God. If so, that's a pretty benign "deist" view.

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Good responses by all. I do not pretend that a belief in a god is in anyway associated with Objectivism; however, I do not see a contradiction in believing in God while at the same time practicing Objectivism. I'm not so sure that they are mutually exclusive, though they seem certainly separated since Ayn said God is not part of Objectivism; it is her philosophy after all.

Objectivism holds that:

Metaphysics: objective

Epistemology: reason

Ethics: Selfishness

Politics: Capitalism

I agree with all of those things. Where is God in all of that? I don't know that God exists, since I haven't seen conclusive evidence; but I've seen enough to suggest that the possibility isn't remote. So I use the term "believe" as it was meant to be used--for things we're not certain of. The concepts of A=A, non-contradiction, Cause and effect, and other natural laws--which are associated with reality--I associate with God. In essence, to me, reality is God (since that is the only interaction I get) and I'm trying to understand it more—it helps make my life better.

“Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.” -- Francis Bacon

If my reasons are invalid I would gladly hear what you have to say... and most importantly why.

Reason doesn't allow assumptions without evidence. Objectivism holds that belief in an arbitrary hypothesis is irrational; you can't simply say "I'll believe X until someone or something shows me not-X." Leonard Peikoff's Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand contains a good discussion of why arbitrary claims are invalid; see here.

I'll take a look.

Check your premises.

Always do. Never hurts.

She has a philosophy? How does she inform you of it? Are you simply saying that you follow voices in your mind that tell you to do things, and you do them regardless of whether they're confirmed by your reason? If you always use your reason, then you cannot claim to be following voices in your head.

I hear no voices except my own thinking. The certainty I have in my thinking I attribute to the objectivity of reality, and therefore, I also attribute it to what I believe to be its creator--God.

I think it is Rand's philosophy that the poster above stated that they try to follow. But believing in God and "not caring" about whether you are right or wrong about things is about as far away as you can be from Rand.

If God does indeed exist but wishes to vanquish all evidence from your perceptions, then you can be said that you don't care either, you don't bother with arbitrary assumptions. I'm not saying that this is the case and your wrong; I'm simply pointing out how "not caring" doesn't seem to be mutually exclusive with her philosophy.

Ah! I misread that post.So, I guess he's really saying he follows Rand's philosophy, and that his belief in God has no impact on his life, i.e. all his actions are as if there is no God. If so, that's a pretty benign "deist" view.

Yes, it appears to be.

And no, my belief in God will not affect my life until and unless he provides some more evidence. Nothing else in existence gets away with the same amount of evidence and can be said to exist.

I don't think I'll ever find out. Many generations have come and gone with nothing more than existence exists.

If God doesn't exist, then there will be no evidence either way.

If God does exist, then I will not find out until and unless he shows himself.

Side note:

Here is one thought process I’m struggling with. It appears that the only contradictions that can exist are abstractly in our mind based on assumptions we make and logical conclusion we draw from those assumptions. Would we be just as rigid as reality if there were no contradictions even within our own minds? How did contradictions arrive in our minds when they are nowhere to be found in nature?

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Side note:

Here is one thought process I’m struggling with. It appears that the only contradictions that can exist are abstractly in our mind based on
assumptions
observations
we make and
logical
conclusion we
volitionally
draw from those
assumptions
observations
. Would we be just as rigid as reality if there were no contradictions even within our own minds? How did contradictions arrive in our minds when they are nowhere to be found in nature?

Truth would be the volitional adherance to reality via the application of logic.

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Here is one thought process I’m struggling with. It appears that the only contradictions that can exist are abstractly in our mind based on
assumptions
observations
we make and
logical
conclusion we
volitionally
draw from those
assumptions
observations
. Would we be just as rigid as reality if there were no contradictions even within our own minds? How did contradictions arrive in our minds when they are nowhere to be found in nature?

Truth would be the volitional adherance to reality via the application of logic.

You don't think we make assumptions?
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Side note: Here is one thought process I’m struggling with. It appears that the only contradictions that can exist are abstractly in our mind based on assumptions we make and logical conclusion we draw from those assumptions. Would we be just as rigid as reality if there were no contradictions even within our own minds? How did contradictions arrive in our minds when they are nowhere to be found in nature?
How would you describe a "contradiction" ? If you do it right, you're describing a type of mental state. So, how could it exist outside of mental states? It is a type of mental state. Fear, anger and so on cannot exist in metal and stones and stars, only in minds -- the same with contradictions. Edited by softwareNerd
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Objectivism holds that:

Metaphysics: objective

Epistemology: reason

Ethics: Selfishness

Politics: Capitalism

I agree with all of those things. Where is God in all of that?

There is a mistake there. The whole philosophy is objective and so the term "objective" can be attributed to all of those categories. The one word descriptor for Metaphysics is "Reality" and that is where god comes in. When we say that reality exists we mean that only reality exists, that there is no realm of non-reality, that there is no supernatural world, some super-nature above and beyond real nature. If god created reality, then he must have created it from the unreal: existence from non-existence, which is a contradiction of everything that we know.

I don't know that God exists, since I haven't seen conclusive evidence; but I've seen enough to suggest that the possibility isn't remote. So I use the term "believe" as it was meant to be used--for things we're not certain of [...] —it helps make my life better.

Conclusive evidence? How about even one piece of evidence? There is none. There is much more evidence for the existence of Santa Claus, do you believe in him also? How does belief in the unreal, or god if you prefer, make your life better?

And this is not some benign innocent error, it signals the destruction of your mind, I submit as evidence:

I hear no voices except my own thinking. The certainty I have in my thinking I attribute to the objectivity of reality, and therefore, I also attribute it to what I believe to be its creator--God.

If God does indeed exist but wishes to vanquish all evidence from your perceptions, [...]

And no, my belief in God will not affect my life until and unless he provides some more evidence.

The second paragraph contradicts the first. In the first you speak of "objective reality" but there is no "objective reality" if god can "vanquish all evidence" from it. You are saying that there is a reality separate from ourselves that we can figure out by looking at the evidence, unless god decides to vanquish that evidence, and then we can't know what is real.

As to the last paragraph, what it sounds like you are saying is: if god does reveal himself to you, then that will affect your life and the way you live it. If so, how much will it affect your life? I mean if you have a revelation and reality is not what you previously knew it to be, then how will you guide your life? I suppose you would have to listen to god. So my question is, if god told you that the right thing to do was to kill your son upon his alter, would you do it?

I do not pretend that a belief in a god is in anyway associated with Objectivism; however, I do not see a contradiction in believing in God while at the same time practicing Objectivism. I'm not so sure that they are mutually exclusive, though they seem certainly separated since Ayn said God is not part of Objectivism; it is her philosophy after all.

Ayn Rand's exhortation to us all was to THINK, think for ourselves, to be rational. Accepting the possibility of one arbitrary assertion destroys your capacity to think, it is throwing sand into the delicate gears of your mind. Once you accept one arbitrary premise, what is to stop you from accepting another? Once we accept the unreal as real and look at reality as the realm in which we see only what god wants us to see, then objective reality ceases to exist, as does our supposed knowledge of it and any values we have based upon that knowledge.

In principle, accepting god as a possibility destroys everything Ayn Rand achieved.

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I do not see a contradiction in believing in God while at the same time practicing Objectivism. I'm not so sure that they are mutually exclusive, though they seem certainly separated since Ayn said God is not part of Objectivism; it is her philosophy after all.

They are mutually exclusive. As you study Objectivist epistemology, this becomes very clear. To accept a "belief" in something like an arbitrary God w/o evidence or reason is diametrically opposed to the philosophy.

"If you want to be a full Objectivist, you cannot reconcile that with religion..." -AYN RAND

Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q & A

I don't know that God exists, since I haven't seen conclusive evidence; but I've seen enough to suggest that the possibility isn't remote.

If you have seen enough evidence to base your belief on, then that is a different story. Let's check your evidence. I'm very interested!

What evidence are you considering? Let's check your premises.

If God does indeed exist but wishes to vanquish all evidence from your perceptions, then you can be said that you don't care either, you don't bother with arbitrary assumptions. I'm not saying that this is the case and your wrong; I'm simply pointing out how "not caring" doesn't seem to be mutually exclusive with her philosophy.

This is the crux of what you're missing about Objectivism. You ARE considering the arbitrary. Objectivism does not consider the arbitrary.

Just imagine the infinite of creative ideas I could put forth for you to consider. What objective and reason-based method do you employ when considering whether or not to accept each of these ideas. For instance: There is no "God" however, there is a Xod which created everything and looks remarkably like a leprechaun. (He is also a fantastic basketball player.) Believe it, or not?

Side note:

Here is one thought process I’m struggling with. It appears that the only contradictions that can exist are abstractly in our mind based on assumptions we make and logical conclusion we draw from those assumptions. Would we be just as rigid as reality if there were no contradictions even within our own minds? How did contradictions arrive in our minds when they are nowhere to be found in nature?

What is wrong about this argument against correspondence ...

There is some good discussion about this in the above thread.

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Great posts by all by the way. Very thoughtful; I love challenging my premises. Honestly you may convince me and if I find that you’re correct, then I will gladly change—not until then.

We also acquire contradictions.

Is that "yes, but 'we also acquire contradictions' "?

If so, I think you're right most of the time. E.g., everyone grabs a lottery ticking assuming that they will get lucky and win--who buys one because they think they will lose [that's why I don't buy them]. Well, very few of those who do are right.

1. There is a mistake there. The whole philosophy is objective and so the term "objective" can be attributed to all of those categories. The one word descriptor for Metaphysics is "Reality" and that is where god comes in. When we say that reality exists we mean that only reality exists, that there is no realm of non-reality, that there is no supernatural world, some super-nature above and beyond real nature. If god created reality, then he must have created it from the unreal: existence from non-existence, which is a contradiction of everything that we know.

2. Conclusive evidence? How about even one piece of evidence? There is none. There is much more evidence for the existence of Santa Claus, do you believe in him also? How does belief in the unreal, or god if you prefer, make your life better?

And this is not some benign innocent error, it signals the destruction of your mind, I submit as evidence:

3. The second paragraph contradicts the first. In the first you speak of "objective reality" but there is no "objective reality" if god can "vanquish all evidence" from it. You are saying that there is a reality separate from ourselves that we can figure out by looking at the evidence, unless god decides to vanquish that evidence, and then we can't know what is real.

4. As to the last paragraph, what it sounds like you are saying is: if god does reveal himself to you, then that will affect your life and the way you live it. If so, how much will it affect your life? I mean if you have a revelation and reality is not what you previously knew it to be, then how will you guide your life? I suppose you would have to listen to god. So my question is, if god told you that the right thing to do was to kill your son upon his alter, would you do it?

5. Ayn Rand's exhortation to us all was to THINK, think for ourselves, to be rational. Accepting the possibility of one arbitrary assertion destroys your capacity to think, it is throwing sand into the delicate gears of your mind. Once you accept one arbitrary premise, what is to stop you from accepting another? Once we accept the unreal as real and look at reality as the realm in which we see only what god wants us to see, then objective reality ceases to exist, as does our supposed knowledge of it and any values we have based upon that knowledge.

6. In principle, accepting god as a possibility destroys everything Ayn Rand achieved.

1. Her philosophy appears to begin with existence exists and consciousness. Cause and effect appears to be a natural law. What caused existence? Why is there even existence? These questions are foolish according to objectivism? Any attempt to disprove existence only assumes it. Is her point that existence always existed without a cause? That would seem to create a contradiction in cause and effect if every act has a cause and an effect.

I place God right before existence exists—fits nicely for me. Your argument about god creating reality out of the unreal is appealing; I’ll consider that for a while to see where that fits with existence has no cause.

2. I do not believe in Santa Clause. And my belief in God doesn’t make my life better... or worse.

3. I don’t see a contradiction, but perhaps you misunderstood me. E.g. there are places in the universe which are, as of now, unreachable due to limits on the speed of light. Do those places still exist? There where once atoms unknowable to us—did they still exist? When I said “vanquished from your perception” all I meant is that it exists but you personally cannot see it do to limitations of existence, which we know to exist.

This “I don’t see; therefore, it isn’t” is a bit limited in my view—no out of the box thinking allowed. I can understand “I don’t see; therefore, I won’t consider because it’s meaningless.”

4. Great question (the last one). No, I will most certainly disobey his orders (or at least ask “what for”?). He may have a really good reason, like “I’ll change my mind at the last second and “bless” your family”; IDK. My idea of God appears not to be the same as Christians. My God certainly wants me to think for myself and he’s given me the tools to live for myself on my own efforts—I don’t need him any more (or less) than I need existence to exist. I obey him in as far as I obey nature.

5. There is nothing before existence exists anyway (in Objectivism); what can my belief in God possibly destroy if I still start still believe in existence exists?

6. Maybe, but I don’t think so. If God does indeed exist, then he ought to have a place somewhere since contradictions cannot exist.

1. They are mutually exclusive. As you study Objectivist epistemology, this becomes very clear. To accept a "belief" in something like an arbitrary God w/o evidence or reason is diametrically opposed to the philosophy.

"If you want to be a full Objectivist, you cannot reconcile that with religion..." -AYN RAND

Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q & A

2. If you have seen enough evidence to base your belief on, then that is a different story. Let's check your evidence. I'm very interested!

What evidence are you considering? Let's check your premises.

This is the crux of what you're missing about Objectivism. You ARE considering the arbitrary.

3. Objectivism does not consider the arbitrary.Just imagine the infinite of creative ideas I could put forth for you to consider. What objective and reason-based method do you employ when considering whether or not to accept each of these ideas. For instance: There is no "God" however, there is a Xod which created everything and looks remarkably like a leprechaun. (He is also a fantastic basketball player.) Believe it, or not?

4. What is wrong about this argument against correspondence ... There is some good discussion about this in the above thread.

1. I don’t think it is without evidence. It’s just not very good evidence or conclusive. Not everything that is true has conclusive evidence, just most things do (that we know of anyway).

2. Ok, it’s not very good, but it is all that I have.

a. Cause and effect appears to be a law of nature. Existence exists is where Objectivism begins. What caused existence? If everything in existence has always existed, then there is no cause, which seems to contradict that every act has a cause and an effect. There are no contradictions in existence. Perhaps the answer is that cause and effect is not a law of nature or doesn’t apply to everything, but I find it more likely to be the other assumption that is in error.

b. If contradictions do not exist in reality, then how come contradictions exist abstractly in our minds? How did they come into existence within our mind in a non-contradictory Universe? Would we be just as rigid if there were no contradictions in our mind? According to John Galt, the answer appears to be yes. We still maintain the option to contradict even if we know the correct answer, but we will most likely choose not to. E.g., I know that 2+2 =/=5 and I will never accept that but I can see how I could easily do it temporarily (to my detriment). The universe cannot make that choice—it will always be (4). What makes us different in that contradictions can exist within our own minds?

c. What causes the universe to be non-contradictory. It seems as though I place, or see an input and reality is a machine which produces an output. What set the “gears”? What set the “timing”? Again, what is the initial cause?

Both “A”, “B” and “C” have one thing in common: how where they (existence, the possibility of contradictory thoughts, and the Universes rules) created?

“Remember that man’s consciousness is not automatic, and not automatically correct. So if man is to be able to claim any proposition as true, or even as possible, he must follow definite epistemological rules, rules designed to guide his mental processes and keep his conclusions in correspondence to reality. In sum, if man is to achieve knowledge, he must adhere to objective validating methods—i.e., he must shun the arbitrary ...” --Ayn Rand

3. Great point here, but I am not considering the arbitrary ideas of others. I’m making an assumption based on the information I know. I gave you some reasons. Let’s see if you can find a contradiction.

4. I took a look. Great link. I agree... completely.

It seems like the lot of you are assuming my claim is arbitrary, I don’t think so. I honestly don’t (it’s not like some religious people who feel it, that’s not me). I was an atheist at one point in my life before I was introduced to Ayn Rand’s writings. I have no issue being an Atheist if that’s what I think. I may be in a rough spot because of the way proof works—evidence must exist, so disproving a negative is all but impossible. Disproving a positive is also impossible. But perhaps you won’t need to surmount that obstacle by just addressing my reasons listed above my showing my error in thinking.

Edited by m082844
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"everyone grabs a lottery ticking assuming that they will get lucky and win"

No, they don't assume it, it isn't expecting you'll win, they just hope it. My dad buys them all the time knowing that by far the more likely outcome will be that he loses, but he buys them anyway just in case one of these times he'll be the one in many that does win.

"Is her point that existence always existed without a cause? That would seem to create a contradiction in cause and effect if every act has a cause and an effect."

It's not a contradiction if you understand the epistemology. Objects by their natures are the causes of things, not actions floating off all on their own separate from any objects. Only objects (existents) can take actions. If nothing existed, there could be nothing to be a cause, to take any actions. Every act has a cause in the objects that are acting, but "the creation of existence" is just something that is regarded as not having happened, hence we don't need to look for a cause of such an event.

"I place God right before existence exists—fits nicely for me."

By the logic you gave for what you think necessitates a god (that everything has to have something else preceding it to cause it), then what caused god? "Self-caused" doesn't work because you can't act to do anything like causing something before you exist. If a god could supposedly exist without something causing it, why not existence (which would mean there is nothing necessitating god here, thus making a god a totally unsupported conjecture)? Also, if a god existed it would already be an existent, existence already existed.

"there are places in the universe which are, as of now, unreachable due to limits on the speed of light."

They're not actually inaccessible, they'd just take longer to access than we live to access is all technically. Somebody else may be able to access it given enough time though, supposing we sent space ships out with people living on them for generations until their descendants get there. It's the same as if there was an actual force field up locking as out.

But more to the point, there is a difference between the impossible and the arbitrary. I've never met a flying purple people eater, I have no evidence for them whatsoever. I would say therefore that belief in flying purple people eaters is "arbitrary" (no evidence to support it thus making it detatched from anything to do with reality, therefore there's no reason to even speculate on them as a "possibility.") However, I also wouldn't call them outright impossible either as I don't have anything to suggest they actually would have to defy physics or something no matter where they were. In general, I just don't think about purple people eaters at all. I have no reason to, not until or unless somebody brings me some real evidence to consider on them. Gods, particularly the Christian one for example though, have not only no credible evidence for them no matter how weak, but they are said to be able to violate the law of identity by doing magic basically. For that reason they're not even just arbitrary but can be regarded as downright impossible to boot. This applies to anything "supernatural."

"If contradictions do not exist in reality, then how come contradictions exist abstractly in our minds?"

We have volitional consciousness, meaning we have to make an effort in thinking, what to think about, what to apply our focus to, what we'll choose to pursue or not pursue. This means we don't operate automatically like trees or water or volcanoes. Those things can only respond one way to any given event/stimulus, it's compelled to happen that way according to their natures, they have no "say" in it to fight it or protest. They can't have anything in any way contradictory about them. Because we have choices though in our thoughts, options in our actions and pursuits, we're not infallible. We're not completely automated or omniscient, so we can make mistakes. We may try to avoid admitting that two particular things can't both be true because we have decided to whine at reality that we're not satisfied with it and want both to be true anyway. Or maybe we simply haven't integrated relevant information yet to realize where a conflict is, since that doesn't all happen instantaneously. Or maybe we're just a bit confused because we don't yet understand the meaning of all the data we have. That we possesses a volitional consciousness is just part of our nature and the possibility for contradictions in our thoughts comes with that. Why that is our natures is a matter of science, generally explained by evolution, genetics, et cetera. We're the result of many natural interactions.

"What causes the universe to be non-contradictory"

You really can't ask WHY A is necessarily A and cannot at once in the same respect be Non-A because that matter is axiomatic. Any attempt to deny it would have to utilize it and any attempt to look for its "cause" could have to utilize it too. Cause and effect are matters of the law of identity being put in action where the cause is the nature of things. It's non-sensical and futile to ask about the cause of non-contradiction because non-contradiction is part of the nature of causes. You can't ask for the logic of non-contradition existing because logic is by nature a process that involves non-contradiction.

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I place God right before existence exists—fits nicely for me. Your argument about god creating reality out of the unreal is appealing; I’ll consider that for a while to see where that fits with existence has no cause.

Is it okay to accept God existing without a cause if everything else must have a cause?

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"My God certainly wants me to think for myself and he’s given me the tools to live for myself on my own efforts—I don’t need him any more (or less) than I need existence to exist. I obey him in as far as I obey nature."

"And no, my belief in God will not affect my life until and unless he provides some more evidence."

Based on these two things you said, that belief DOES affect your life. You are suggesting here that you act selfishly for god's sake. That's a contradiction, since that would mean you are acting for the sake of something else while simultaneously acting for your sake. Which is it? Also, how would you even know that your god wants you to think for yourself? There is no basis to those claims of yours, because you already said god has given you no evidence. Aren't you claiming that you have enough evidence to alter how you act, "evidence" such as your ability to think and knowing that god wants you to think for yourself? Really, all you seem to be doing with regards to ethics is turning reality into some deity that you MUST obey. The basis for Objectivist ethics is about the nature of humans, and their requirements for existence. It also involves a choice to life; if you choose to live, then there actions you should take in order to pursue that. If you don't choose life, ethics won't matter to you and you wouldn't last very long.

"Not everything that is true has conclusive evidence"

What is true does have conclusive evidence. Anything else is conjecture.

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Cause and effect appears to be a law of nature. Existence exists is where Objectivism begins. What caused existence? If everything in existence has always existed, then there is no cause, which seems to contradict that every act has a cause and an effect. There are no contradictions in existence. Perhaps the answer is that cause and effect is not a law of nature or doesn’t apply to everything, but I find it more likely to be the other assumption that is in error.

The Law of Causality presupposes existence- it's a description of the nature of the universe. Cause and effect wouldn't exist without existence. Nothing "caused" the universe- matter cannot be created or destroyed.

It's a contradiction to say that existence as a whole requires a cause and then conclude that the first cause must, by definition, be something non-existant. Does God exist or not?

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I highly suggest you pick up 3 books, with their importance in this order:

1. Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff

2. Athiesm: The Case Against God by George H. Smith who was an Objectivist at the time of writing, and wrote the arguments as an Objectivist and as a philosopher, he is now an anarcho-capitalist I believe. There is a section in that book about the dichotomy between reason and faith as well. This is the clearest expounding of the issue of believing in a God and being an Objectivist as far as I am aware, and is a great book on the general topic of religion and atheism as well.

3. Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology by Ayn Rand

These 3 books will clear up any and all misconceptions you are having about this issue that don't get dealt with in this thread at some point.

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