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What is the O'ist perspective of the freemasons?

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Zoso
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I am a Deist and have been giving some serious thought to joining the Freemasons, but I'd like some Objectivist viewpoints on the organization.  I'm not exactly an Objectivist, but I'm pretty close, just to let you know.

If you are a Deist, you are not even close to being an Objectivist.

You may be philosophicallcy close to being what some of our Founding Fathers were, but not an Objectivist.

I am not putting you down or anything. But being "close" means dropping ANY arbitrary ideas and also not joining any organizations which do not even openly state their goals. Freemasonry may let you in on their goals after quite some time, but what would be the reason for you to waste your time? Study Objectivism and deal with ideas openly. That is my advice.

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That's why I mentioned the fact that I'm not an Objectivist. I say that I'm close because my ethics and politics are almost carbon copies of Ayn Rand's. My Deism stems entirely from my belief in the law of causality, and it has absolutely no effect on the rest of my personal philosophy.

As for the Masons...I have no desire to learn all the secrets about the Pyramids (a la National Treasure) or any crap like that. I have a few Mason friends and, from what I know, it just seems like something I would enjoy.

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  My Deism stems entirely from my belief in the law of causality, and it has absolutely no effect on the rest of my personal philosophy.

What is the cause of a deity????????

See, that approach doesn't suit the "law" of causality at all.

An infinite regress or any form of circular reasong should lead you to sense an error. That error is that the law of causality does not apply to the existenceof matter. It has always been here. How it has changed forms is causal - but not the fact of its existence.

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Grr...don't derail my thread plz.  That's not the topic.  I feel like a Mormon trying to convince people that he's a Christian.

Okay, to the point. If you think it will be fun, then do it. It has no philosophical importance. Freemasons have nothing important to say or offer that isn't dealt with elsewhere. It is a hodgepodge. It won't ruin your life to jion. It will just be a waste of time. Since life is composed of time, then it will be a waste of life. But if you don't put in too much time in on rituals and nonsense, then its not much worse than say, occasionaly going to palm readings for fun. Why ask opinions on something that has no importance. Why not ask us what you should have for breakfast tommorow?

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Deism is not too bad. Don't let them put you down. I don't know your beliefs or your values, but Deism in and of itself does not deserve derogatory remarks. The Founding Fathers were closer to Objectivism than most newbie Objectivist students.

But as you said this isn't a topic about that. Freemasons - why ask about it? If it's some small and insignificant membership then I don't see any big reasons for why you'd want opinion of others about it. If the issue of membership is not a small thing but something major, then perhaps you could explain what is so important about being or not being a member of the Masons.

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While I have no interest in joining the modern-day Freemasons, their history is something I would like to learn more about someday. It's interesting that many scholars, scientists, inventors, artists, and businessmen of the Enlightenment were masons. Often it served to bring together these people for in-depth discussions of the latest ideas, or even to witness demonstrations of inventions and scientific experiments (though some turned out to be pseudo-science). Also, many in revolutionary America belonged.

From what I know at the moment, the Freemasons during the period of the Enlightenment were generally more pro-reason, pro-reality and pro-liberty then other groups. That's admirable for that context. But today's masons have little to do with that, having more in common with Elks or Rotarians.

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Deism is not too bad. Don't let them put you down. I don't know your beliefs or your values, but Deism in and of itself does not deserve derogatory remarks. The Founding Fathers were closer to Objectivism than most newbie Objectivist students.

But as you said this isn't a topic about that. Freemasons - why ask about it? If it's some small and insignificant membership then I don't see any big reasons for why you'd want opinion of others about it. If the issue of membership is not a small thing but something major, then perhaps you could explain what is so important about being or not being a member of the Masons.

Well, there are a lot of anti-Masonic groups out there. Most Masons are Christian, yet there are plenty of Christians who consider the Masons to be anti-Christian, so I wanted a perspective of people who think like me. Are they anti-individualist, etc...

The main reason I want to join them is because of the history.

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I am a Deist and have been giving some serious thought to joining the Freemasons, but I'd like some Objectivist viewpoints on the organization.  I'm not exactly an Objectivist, but I'm pretty close, just to let you know.

The antiquarian bookstore I used to manage had lots of masonic books and clients. I have a few clients that got me to go to a few introductory York Rite sessions. I've also participated in a bunch of golf tourneys lodge members threw over the years. I read quite a few of the books etc so take it for what it's worth.

1st off they will make it abundantly clear that atheists are very much not welcome. You have to acknowledge something along the lines of "a supreme being/force" that constructed the universe. Now, they don't stress control of the universe but construction. They frequently encourge "Mohamedians and sons of Abraham" (I think that was the way it was phrased to me) to join, especially if they are white. Most masons are really nice people but the basis of everyone but the Prince Hall lodges are still a whites only club.

Most lodges are largely adult versions of the fraternity you joined in college. For all the history of the lodges, they are for the most part a way for "the guys" to get together. Sure, you share a history full of hats, hugs, handshakes and the occasional get-out-of-a-traffic-ticket-free brow wipes and do alot of fundraising but most of the generally older crowd is their for the relationships.

As for the anti-masons, there are a few schools. The Catholics hated the masons because they challenged their influence and power by not being subservient to the church. Always the savvy marketers the church is, they opened the Knights of Columbus here. Though I think their hats are much cornier. There was also a serious anti-masonic political movement in the early 1800's but that was due to some serious abuse of the law by some masons. Their eventually became a political party and a college fraternity call Delta Upsilon. They were violently anti-secrecy and concentrated on recruiting the best caliber of people not necesarily the whitest or richest. (disclosure, I joined DU and am a 3rd generation) But like most other organizations it to changed over the years.

For the most part, they are relatively benign guys that wear dorky hats, learn basic geometry, and raise money for burned kids. They talk alot about history and yes, there are alot of famous and powerful masons. You'll learn alot of it but when it all boils down and you get to know them, it's a social club. I always thought my time was better spent elsewhere. It's also pretty expensive so you get the same connections at alot less cost of dollars and time joining the rotarians or an optimist club.

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:santa:

Let's keep it simple:

Freemasonry and related philosophies are comprised by:

Metaphysics of chaos

Episteme of Subjectivism

Ethics of Hedonism

Politics of International Socialism

This has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Objectivism (although it seems to relate to objectivism of the New Age type. BTW, "New Age" is a term and title coined by Masons.)

Why would an Objectivist be interested in a philosophy that promulgates racism (see Judge Hugo Black), Occultism/mysticism (see E.A. Aleister Crowley and Albert Pike.)

It's pure bullocks.

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Deism is not too bad... I don't know your beliefs or your values, but Deism in and of itself does not deserve derogatory remarks. The Founding Fathers were closer to Objectivism than most newbie Objectivist students.

Hmm....Please elaborate on the value of Deism. I'm resisting a knee-jerk judgement here because I have had the experience in the past of learning that you generally know what you're talking about. Please exlplain, I only wish to understand.

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I am a Deist and have been giving some serious thought to joining the Freemasons, but I'd like some Objectivist viewpoints on the organization.  I'm not exactly an Objectivist, but I'm pretty close, just to let you know.

I'm a little confused. You say here that you are a deist, yet in your signature section you have an anti-Creationist quote.

“Creation science is an attempt to give credibility to Hebrew mythology by making people believe that the world's foremost biologists, paleontologists, and geologists are a bunch of incompetent nincompoops.”

-Ron Peterson

Deists believe that God created the universe and then took the next bus out of town, never to be heard from again. What kind of deist are you? Do you believe that God created the universe?

Anyway, about the Freemasons, I wouldn't waste my time and money on them. But, of course, I'm an atheist. I have better things to do than join a secret religious society.

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Just for the sake of clarity, those are the shriners.

Shriners are actually Masons that have been at it a while, learned a few extra secret handshakes, and put in more money. I think it's like the 30th level of masonry. Except they get to where round dorky hats instead of the square ones.

That's an accomplishment if you think about it, I never got D&D characters past the 10th level. But then Dungeons and Dragons is a wee bit more based in reality.

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Just for the sake of clarity, those are the shriners.

Shriners are actually Masons that have been at it a while, learned a few extra secret handshakes, and put in more money. I think it's like the 30th level of masonry. Except they get to where round dorky hats instead of the square ones.

That's an accomplishment if you think about it, I never got D&D characters past the 10th level. But then Dungeons and Dragons is a wee bit more based in reality.

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In regards to Deism and creationism, I don't see how their belief in Creation can be compared in any way to the Christian notion. Their notion is completely compatible with evolution, with scientific carbon dating, etc. They utterly reject the Bible, and they'll never say the Earth was created 6,000 years ago. I doubt they'll even say the Earth was created at all, only that the Universe was created, and the Earth could have formed fully through laws of nature alone. I'm not a Deist but I feel like I have to defend it, because it's too easy for many to sneer at Deists, and discount them from consideration. Thomas Jefferson was no fool, and no man-hating Christian either, so someone has to defend his beliefs on moral grounds (rather than pat him on the head condescendingly).

Megan,

The value hidden deep down in religion is the value of spirituality (spirituality as such, as opposed to materialism), the value of objectivity (as opposed to skepticism), the value of ethics (as opposed to cynicism/hedonism/nihilism, etc), and others.

The Greeks had an essentially healthy polytheistic religion and were already questioning its supernatural aspects centuries before Christ walked the earth. Then he came along, and together with his followers created a giant anti-man edifice on top of this healthy core, and called it his "love of man".

Deism is a rejection of Christianity and essentially a return back to the Greek theology, with all of the healthy spiritual and objective benefits of religion kept intact, and with a simple and benevolent mysticism such as a neutral, indifferent "higher force", an attempt to equate man's reason to god's powers, utter rejection of original sin and repentance, etc. As far as religions go, it is exceedingly benevolent, far more benevolent than the belief system even of many atheists. As hard it may be to believe (sarcasm), atheism does not automatically bring happiness, as countless miserable skeptics and cynics have discovered.

I once had a professor in philosophy who was a devout Christian. I asked him what he thought about Deism, and he said, with a feeling of disgust in his voice, that it was simply one pious step above Atheism. Think about it - that's one glorious compliment for any philosophy! I forgot most of everything else he ever taught me, but I will always remember that phrase, because of it's utter brilliance.

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