Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Christianity and Objectivism. Are these compatible in America?

Rate this topic


Reddog
 Share

Recommended Posts

Kantian Christianity ("Kantianity"), i.e., the anti-intellectual, faith-based, altruistic, humility mongering, Scriptural cherry-picking Christianity of the modern west is certainly not compatible with Objectivism...or reason...or life...or Capitalism...or Christ.

 

But true Christianity is absolutely (and exclusively) compatible with reason and life and Capitalism and the good (i.e. rational) parts of Objectivism. 

 

Similarly, only parts of Objectivism are compatible with true Christianity. The irrational parts of Objectivism (those parts which stem from defunct epistemological assumptions) are not and cannot be compatible with a rational worldview. They must be traced back to their corrupt epistemological origins, up-rooted, and replaced by reasoning on proper epistemological grounds. 

 

How does one discern "true Christianity" from Kantianity and other counterfeits, you ask? Simple.
1) Start by being an individual determined to figure out the truth for yourself - regardless of cultural/historical/popular mis-representations, etc...
2) Then, discover and commit yourself to a rational epistemology (criteria by which to judge the true from the false). In doing this, make sure that you are able to explicitly state your epistemological laws, and that they do not contradict each other or themselves. 

3) Understand that, just like with any other text or teaching, there are proper and improper ways to "interpret" the Bible and teachings of Jesus, etc.. There are contexts which must be understood, and philosophical hierarchies which must be obeyed. One could easily "derive" altruism or nihilism or any other irrational ideology from cherry-picking random lines or actions from characters (even heroes!) in Atlas Shrugged. Objectivists wouldn't tolerate such irrational "interpretation" with Rand's writing. Don't allow it with others either. A text or teaching must be read through the context and intent of the author. 

4) Keep in mind the whole time that truth is truth whether you are immediately able to put it all together yet or not. When you reach an apparent contradiction, remember that contradictions do not exist. Rather than hastily denying what is incontrovertibly true, re-examine your assumptions and ask yourself if there is another way to understand the seemingly contradictory truths. If they are both true, you will find that they can be reconciled. 

In other words, be objective. It takes a little work, but understanding and conforming oneself to reality is sort of the whole goal of Objectivism (of life!), isn't it? There should be no question that it would be well worth it. 
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kantian Christianity ("Kantianity"), i.e., the anti-intellectual, faith-based, altruistic, humility mongering, Scriptural cherry-picking Christianity of the modern west is certainly not compatible with Objectivism...or reason...or life...or Capitalism...or Christ.

 

But true Christianity is absolutely (and exclusively) compatible with reason and life and Capitalism and the good (i.e. rational) parts of Objectivism. 

 

I also experience the harmony between Christianity and many of the Ideas of Ayn Rand. And the real irony is that I don't believe in the secularists' interpretation of Christianity any more than they do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also experience the harmony between Christianity and many of the Ideas of Ayn Rand. And the real irony is that I don't believe in the secularists' interpretation of Christianity any more than they do.

 

Based on what? Why don't you believe in the "secularist interpretation"? The answer is that you decide what Christianity means based on your own whims. You have already pre-decided (as another faith position) that you are going to find compatibilities between Christianity and Objectivism, and so you strain to highlight the vaguest similarity.Therefore you have abandoned reason, because Christianity does in what mean something very specific; your whims are irrelevant to it's meaning.

 

Even if you were to be proved right that the two philosophies do have a harmony, your method is all wrong and so people will ignore you. Drop the method of pre-deciding things based on faith. This is your fundamental error. Imagine if someone announced that the Earth is spherical and that an Elf told them it was. This person's claim about the nature of the Earth would happen to be correct, but his method is wrong and so he is a laughing-stock. The same with you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kantian Christianity ("Kantianity"), i.e., the anti-intellectual, faith-based, altruistic, humility mongering, Scriptural cherry-picking Christianity of the modern west is certainly not compatible with Objectivism...or reason...or life...or Capitalism...or Christ.

 

But true Christianity is absolutely (and exclusively) compatible with reason and life and Capitalism and the good (i.e. rational) parts of Objectivism. 

 

Similarly, only parts of Objectivism are compatible with true Christianity. The irrational parts of Objectivism (those parts which stem from defunct epistemological assumptions) are not and cannot be compatible with a rational worldview. They must be traced back to their corrupt epistemological origins, up-rooted, and replaced by reasoning on proper epistemological grounds. 

 

How does one discern "true Christianity" from Kantianity and other counterfeits, you ask? Simple.

1) Start by being an individual determined to figure out the truth for yourself - regardless of cultural/historical/popular mis-representations, etc...

2) Then, discover and commit yourself to a rational epistemology (criteria by which to judge the true from the false). In doing this, make sure that you are able to explicitly state your epistemological laws, and that they do not contradict each other or themselves. 

3) Understand that, just like with any other text or teaching, there are proper and improper ways to "interpret" the Bible and teachings of Jesus, etc.. There are contexts which must be understood, and philosophical hierarchies which must be obeyed. One could easily "derive" altruism or nihilism or any other irrational ideology from cherry-picking random lines or actions from characters (even heroes!) in Atlas Shrugged. Objectivists wouldn't tolerate such irrational "interpretation" with Rand's writing. Don't allow it with others either. A text or teaching must be read through the context and intent of the author. 

4) Keep in mind the whole time that truth is truth whether you are immediately able to put it all together yet or not. When you reach an apparent contradiction, remember that contradictions do not exist. Rather than hastily denying what is incontrovertibly true, re-examine your assumptions and ask yourself if there is another way to understand the seemingly contradictory truths. If they are both true, you will find that they can be reconciled. 

In other words, be objective. It takes a little work, but understanding and conforming oneself to reality is sort of the whole goal of Objectivism (of life!), isn't it? There should be no question that it would be well worth it. 

 

 

Kantian Christianity ("Kantianity"), i.e., the anti-intellectual, faith-based, altruistic, humility mongering, Scriptural cherry-picking Christianity of the modern west is certainly not compatible with Objectivism...or reason...or life...or Capitalism...or Christ.

 

But true Christianity is absolutely (and exclusively) compatible with reason and life and Capitalism and the good (i.e. rational) parts of Objectivism. 

 

Similarly, only parts of Objectivism are compatible with true Christianity. The irrational parts of Objectivism (those parts which stem from defunct epistemological assumptions) are not and cannot be compatible with a rational worldview. They must be traced back to their corrupt epistemological origins, up-rooted, and replaced by reasoning on proper epistemological grounds. 

 

How does one discern "true Christianity" from Kantianity and other counterfeits, you ask? Simple.

1) Start by being an individual determined to figure out the truth for yourself - regardless of cultural/historical/popular mis-representations, etc...

2) Then, discover and commit yourself to a rational epistemology (criteria by which to judge the true from the false). In doing this, make sure that you are able to explicitly state your epistemological laws, and that they do not contradict each other or themselves. 

3) Understand that, just like with any other text or teaching, there are proper and improper ways to "interpret" the Bible and teachings of Jesus, etc.. There are contexts which must be understood, and philosophical hierarchies which must be obeyed. One could easily "derive" altruism or nihilism or any other irrational ideology from cherry-picking random lines or actions from characters (even heroes!) in Atlas Shrugged. Objectivists wouldn't tolerate such irrational "interpretation" with Rand's writing. Don't allow it with others either. A text or teaching must be read through the context and intent of the author. 

4) Keep in mind the whole time that truth is truth whether you are immediately able to put it all together yet or not. When you reach an apparent contradiction, remember that contradictions do not exist. Rather than hastily denying what is incontrovertibly true, re-examine your assumptions and ask yourself if there is another way to understand the seemingly contradictory truths. If they are both true, you will find that they can be reconciled. 

In other words, be objective. It takes a little work, but understanding and conforming oneself to reality is sort of the whole goal of Objectivism (of life!), isn't it? There should be no question that it would be well worth it. 

 

 

Much in this. A significant aspect of reason vis-a-vis religions is that "man cannot live by faith alone", so the longevity

of religion has been dependent upon a large dose of rationality mixed in. It almost seems that the larger the mystical

elements, the harder one has to work at maintaining them with reason.

OK nothing new - the contradiction is all theirs'. However in the interim, believers in the ancient religions individually

gain something important in my eyes: they find character.

I see or seek character before I know a person's explicit convictions.

Let's not forget that Objectivst virtues are not monopolized by O'ism. Character is a direct result of the basic virtues,

prized explicitly and consciously by Obectivists - but gained implicitly by experience and thought by anyone else as well.

Honesty and integrity are the key indicators to me of virtue, followed by productiveness. All exist in spades within the religious.

If rationality is - lets say - 'limited', by the person's over-arching faith, it is still very apparent.

I'm repeating earlier sentiments when I say that in the main, I have often found common ground with those religionists

(not too often extremists) in our reciprocal respect for the truth - which I rarely find with secular 'progressives'.

Where we diverge radically in belief, has somehow not been important.

 

But, as we know, "nobody's watching" in the end. The contradiction is theirs', but for partly the wrong reason, religionists

gain admirable qualities I can't dismiss.

Perhaps I'm going by my own experience, and others have their own contrasting one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kantian Christianity ("Kantianity"), i.e., the anti-intellectual, faith-based, altruistic, humility mongering, Scriptural cherry-picking Christianity of the modern west is certainly not compatible with Objectivism...or reason...or life...or Capitalism...or Christ.

 

But true Christianity is absolutely (and exclusively) compatible with reason and life and Capitalism and the good (i.e. rational) parts of Objectivism. 

 

Similarly, only parts of Objectivism are compatible with true Christianity. The irrational parts of Objectivism (those parts which stem from defunct epistemological assumptions) are not and cannot be compatible with a rational worldview. They must be traced back to their corrupt epistemological origins, up-rooted, and replaced by reasoning on proper epistemological grounds. 

 

How does one discern "true Christianity" from Kantianity and other counterfeits, you ask? Simple.

1) Start by being an individual determined to figure out the truth for yourself - regardless of cultural/historical/popular mis-representations, etc...

2) Then, discover and commit yourself to a rational epistemology (criteria by which to judge the true from the false). In doing this, make sure that you are able to explicitly state your epistemological laws, and that they do not contradict each other or themselves. 

3) Understand that, just like with any other text or teaching, there are proper and improper ways to "interpret" the Bible and teachings of Jesus, etc.. There are contexts which must be understood, and philosophical hierarchies which must be obeyed. One could easily "derive" altruism or nihilism or any other irrational ideology from cherry-picking random lines or actions from characters (even heroes!) in Atlas Shrugged. Objectivists wouldn't tolerate such irrational "interpretation" with Rand's writing. Don't allow it with others either. A text or teaching must be read through the context and intent of the author. 

4) Keep in mind the whole time that truth is truth whether you are immediately able to put it all together yet or not. When you reach an apparent contradiction, remember that contradictions do not exist. Rather than hastily denying what is incontrovertibly true, re-examine your assumptions and ask yourself if there is another way to understand the seemingly contradictory truths. If they are both true, you will find that they can be reconciled. 

In other words, be objective. It takes a little work, but understanding and conforming oneself to reality is sort of the whole goal of Objectivism (of life!), isn't it? There should be no question that it would be well worth it. 

 

Jews were doing these things (during the Babylonian diaspora)  500 years before there were any Christians.  Perhaps that is why Jews are better "Christians" than are the Christians Christian.  It is amazing how one becomes moderated and enlightened by having the living shit kicked out of one. Pain is a great teacher.  Christianity became sane after the Enlightenment. Well almost sane.

 

ruveyn1

Edited by ruveyn1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

whYNOT wrote: Let's not forget that Objectivst virtues are not monopolized by O'ism.

 

Within your well reasoned comments this particular statement jumped right off the page. You expressed the truth that values are not zero sum. That the same value can be found in different ideologies can only add to its validity. No ideology can claim virtue as its own when virtue belongs to anyone who chooses to aspire to live by it.

 

If all of the cultural, societal, and ideological differences could be stripped away... it would be impossible to tell the difference between the decent behavior of a Christian, a Jew, or an Objectivist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great post. Why?

Even you deserve the truth.

In your answer I do not want to hear any flights of fancy on how Christianity isn't about faith and self sacrifice.

Doing good which benefits others is in your own selfish best interests because it accrues benefit to you by making you a better person. Doing good which benefits others also secures for you a treasure more precious than gold... goodwill. And that can never be stolen from you.

 

Being a leftist, you believe the fallacy that goodness can only be zero sum... that what is good for one person can only come about through what is bad for another. From your own ample expressions, you've made it clear that you are not a business person, because even mundane impersonal ethical financial transactions benefit both parties involved.

Words have meanings. If your version of Christianity is all about reason and selfishness then don't call it Christianity.

I don't believe in unreasonable indiscriminate self sacrifice any more than you do, because that is not Christianity. However, immoral irrationality is your government which indiscriminately gives the unearned to the undeserving, while making both the looter and the moocher into worse human beings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your version of Christianity is all about reason and selfishness then don't call it Christianity.

 

def Christianity: "The religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices."

def Christian: "A person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings."

 

Ok, great.. but what does that really mean? For me it's hard to put into words or generalize because the same passages and stories mean different things to different people. Anyone who's read the bible will know that there's many many contradictions and inconsistencies (ie: Ham saw Noah naked and drunk, but Noah cursed Canaan, Ham's son, for this indiscretion. Does that make any literal sense? Not at all.) But people still find a way to pull meaning out of these passages that, in a purely literal sense, seem absolutely valueless.

 

That's why there's Christian denominations (ex: Presbyterian, Catholic, etc), or subgroups of Christianity, that unite under more specific beliefs.. but those beliefs are not very specific, either.

 

def Presbyterian: "Of, relating to, or denoting a Christian Church or denomination governed by elders according to Presbyterianism."

 

Again- super vague.

 

Just look at all the charts on wiki's Christianity page. There's tons of denominations, branches of those denominations, etc.. but who knows exactly what each of those groups believe? Do the members even know?

 

My point is that there are different versions of Christianity. People find non-literal meaning from the weirdest places (like the curse of canaan story), reject what they think is wrong, and accept what they think is right. (This isn't at all unique to Christianity, but it highlights the point- google 'religious objectivists' as another example. Objectivists say that any form of religion completely contradicts Ayn Rand's teachings.. but 'religious objectivists' reject this notion and have found a way to reconcile their religious beliefs with Objectivism.) So what exactly do you have to believe or do to be a Christian? Do you have to literally give away all your posessions? Do you have to literally believe in heaven and hell and judgement day?

 

...Depending on the Christian you ask (even Christians among the same denominations), you'll get different answers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<snip>

4) Keep in mind the whole time that truth is truth whether you are immediately able to put it all together yet or not. When you reach an apparent contradiction, remember that contradictions do not exist. Rather than hastily denying what is incontrovertibly true, re-examine your assumptions and ask yourself if there is another way to understand the seemingly contradictory truths. If they are both true, you will find that they can be reconciled.

In other words, be objective. It takes a little work, but understanding and conforming oneself to reality is sort of the whole goal of Objectivism (of life!), isn't it? There should be no question that it would be well worth it.

So, identity is only epistemological and not metaphysical? So it is possible that a contradiction exist metaphysically, but not epistemologically?

If not, then would you say that contradictions are metaphysically impossible? And if they are, and you are claiming to know this, then what is your justification for this knowledge?

Hmmm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmmm.

Heh, it's not even a valid question, because contradictions only even apply to epistemology. An epistemological concept that applies to metaphysics is basically the conceptual equivalent of god.

It's an interesting question, if contradictions can exist metaphysically, until you realize it's treating contradictions as a stolen concept. The concept of contradiction doesn't even make any sense until you can establish that epistemology is a tool for dealing with reality. Metaphysically all you can say is "there is". Nothing else. Contradictions don't exist in reality with a form any more than concepts exist in reality with a form. You'll never find a contradiction or a concept "out there".

 

I know this because I just opened my eyes. =P

Edited by Eiuol
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't believe in unreasonable indiscriminate self sacrifice any more than you do, because that is not Christianity.

 

Christianity, whether you like it or not, has at its roots the supreme good (God) sacrificing his supreme value (his Son [simultaneously himself]) for evil undeserving sinners. This is one of the best examples of "unreasonable indiscriminate self sacrifice" I can think of. What's more is that a Christian is supposed to follow this example in an effort to be, and to become like Jesus. This is totally incompatible with Objectivism. Your personal beliefs on this matter are irrelevant.

 

def Christianity: "The religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices."

def Christian: "A person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings."

 

Ok, great.. but what does that really mean? For me it's hard to put into words or generalize because the same passages and stories mean different things to different people. Anyone who's read the bible will know that there's many many contradictions and inconsistencies (ie: Ham saw Noah naked and drunk, but Noah cursed Canaan, Ham's son, for this indiscretion. Does that make any literal sense? Not at all.) But people still find a way to pull meaning out of these passages that, in a purely literal sense, seem absolutely valueless.

 

That's why there's Christian denominations (ex: Presbyterian, Catholic, etc), or subgroups of Christianity, that unite under more specific beliefs.. but those beliefs are not very specific, either.

 

def Presbyterian: "Of, relating to, or denoting a Christian Church or denomination governed by elders according to Presbyterianism."

 

Again- super vague.

 

Just look at all the charts on wiki's Christianity page. There's tons of denominations, branches of those denominations, etc.. but who knows exactly what each of those groups believe? Do the members even know?

 

My point is that there are different versions of Christianity. People find non-literal meaning from the weirdest places (like the curse of canaan story), reject what they think is wrong, and accept what they think is right. (This isn't at all unique to Christianity, but it highlights the point- google 'religious objectivists' as another example. Objectivists say that any form of religion completely contradicts Ayn Rand's teachings.. but 'religious objectivists' reject this notion and have found a way to reconcile their religious beliefs with Objectivism.) So what exactly do you have to believe or do to be a Christian? Do you have to literally give away all your posessions? Do you have to literally believe in heaven and hell and judgement day?

 

...Depending on the Christian you ask (even Christians among the same denominations), you'll get different answers.

 

You've taken a lot of words there to make a trivial point: that people disagree on their metaphysical beliefs and even the meaning of words. This doesn't change any facts of reality, namely that Christianity means one thing (faith, self sacrifice) and Objectivism another (reason, selfishness), and that the two ARE incompatible. A person's opinion on this is irrelevant.

 

I can hear your response before you even say it. That this is just my opinion. My response to that would be "that is just your opinion". And so we meet an infinite loop of opinions where truth becomes unknowable because all opinions are valid. No! Moralist's opinion is certainly not valid, and is certainly irrational for the reasons given above.

 

PS. This debate reminds me of when religious people say that atheism is itself a religion, and that atheists have "just as much faith". This inspires in me just as much of a *FACEPALM* as Moralist's viewpoints. Words have meanings people!

 

janeway-facepalm.jpg

Edited by Kate87
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmmm.

 

What exactly are you "hmmm"-ing? In the quote, I am not claiming that contradictions are possible, I am restating, in question form, what seems to be the Objectivist position (or at least the position of whoever I was arguing with at the time). I was *asking* if that was the position of my opponent based on the preceding conversation. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What exactly are you "hmmm"-ing? In the quote, I am not claiming that contradictions are possible, I am restating, in question form, what seems to be the Objectivist position (or at least the position of whoever I was arguing with at the time). I was *asking* if that was the position of my opponent based on the preceding conversation. 

I realized that after Eiuol had responded.

 

Edited to further note; It appears the data from this forum does not present itself in the same form on older browsers, regarding the links to previous posts.

Edited by dream_weaver
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Christianity, whether you like it or not

I like it. You don't.

has at its roots the supreme good (God) sacrificing his supreme value (his Son [simultaneously himself]) for evil undeserving sinners.

Beautiful, isn't it? ...and that means that people can now only damn themselves with the consequences of their own evil actions. It's perfect moral justice that people should tie the knot in their own noose.

This is one of the best examples of "unreasonable indiscriminate self sacrifice" I can think of.

It is anything but indiscriminate. For no one who damns God could ever enjoy the gift offered to them. It's the Old Testament line Satan said to Job:

 

"Curse God and die."

 

 And so people do... which is exactly what they deserve... to pass sentence upon themselves.

What's more is that a Christian is supposed to follow this example in an effort to be, and to become like Jesus. This is totally incompatible with Objectivism.

I agree. I don't believe in the liberal interpretation of Jesus as a weak limpwristed feminised doormat any more than you do.

Your personal beliefs on this matter are irrelevant.

That is also true. Only my actions matter... not my beliefs. For only what I actually do sets into motion the consequences I deserve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

You've taken a lot of words there to make a trivial point: that people disagree on their metaphysical beliefs and even the meaning of words. This doesn't change any facts of reality, namely that Christianity means one thing (faith, self sacrifice) and Objectivism another (reason, selfishness), and that the two ARE incompatible. A person's opinion on this is irrelevant.

 

You've entirely missed the point: different religious interpretations exist, and there are reasons for the existence of different sects and denominations within religions (ie: Christianity). Without understanding those differences and reasons for those differences, how can you know what Christianity as a whole is about? Your two-word generalization about faith and self-sacrifice does not and cannot sum up thousands of years of historical and theological growth and development.

Edited by mdegges
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is still going?  Damn.

 

Actually you can know Christianity despite sects or divisions.  Sects and division represent differences of particular concretes but you can look at those concretes and essentialize them (integrate them) into fundamental principles that are true of the whole. 

 

In the case of Christianity it preaches many things on this level including:

 

  1. Obedience to a higher authority that is not you (almost half of the Ten Rules is a demand for unquestioned obedience)
  2. Reject knowledge as evil while the lack of proof (faith) is superior
  3. Consider accepting knowledge without proof from authority as a virtue (revelations) and proudly emit you will not look at proof (reality)
  4. The individual is to be sacrificed (although to whom may very).  That is why someone who wasted their life like Mother Teresa is upheld as virtuous while someone like Edison who has helped more people in the long run is considered part of the “Robber Baron Era” because he worked for himself.   
  5. Sacrificing your life will be rewarded when you die. Living < Death

 

Taken into a whole Christianity can be treated like every other religion as anti-man and anti-life.  Man is the red headed step child in it’s teachings that has to await death for happiness.   Yes, we have "Americanzied it" but the essentials is still there and as Western Values decrease it will be interesting to see how far religion goes to revert to those essentials.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is still going?  Damn.  

... or resurrected, depending on your POV ;)

 

Actually you can know Christianity despite sects or divisions.  Sects and division represent differences of particular concretes but you can look at those concretes and essentialize them (integrate them) into fundamental principles that are true of the whole. 

 

In the case of Christianity it preaches many things on this level including:

  1. Obedience to a higher authority that is not you (almost half of the Ten Rules is a demand for unquestioned obedience)
  2. Reject knowledge as evil while the lack of proof (faith) is superior
  3. Consider accepting knowledge without proof from authority as a virtue (revelations) and proudly emit you will not look at proof (reality)
  4. The individual is to be sacrificed (although to whom may very).  That is why someone who wasted their life like Mother Teresa is upheld as virtuous while someone like Edison who has helped more people in the long run is considered part of the “Robber Baron Era” because he worked for himself.   
  5. Sacrificing your life will be rewarded when you die. Living < Death

I think mdegges point isn't rebutted by listing general interpretations;  various interpretations (including yours) remain.  Generalities might be given about Objectivism as a whole that individual Objectivists (or those from the Kelly camp vs those from the Peikoff camp) could and do regularily argue on this forum.  Appeals to authority (divine or otherwise) aren't exclusive to persons of faith.

 

Taken into a whole Christianity can be treated like every other religion as anti-man and anti-life.  Man is the red headed step child in it’s teachings that has to await death for happiness.   Yes, we have "Americanzied it" but the essentials is still there and as Western Values decrease it will be interesting to see how far religion goes to revert to those essentials.   

The primary difference between Christianity and other religions has to do with the issue of revelation, which I think was effectively rebutted by Thomas Paine in The Age of Reason.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I should have considered resurrection :)

 

They are hardly “Generalized Interpretations”.  When I say essentials I mean just that – Remove the concretes and integrate the common essentials.  Religion, as a type of mysticism, has common essentials to it.  Kelly and Peikoff do not dispute the essentials of Objectivism, like the idea of knowledge being objective, but dependent abstractions that come later in ethics (objective judgment) for example, much like religion disputes interpretations.   

 

Appeals of authority are certainly not exclusive to religion but they are an essential factor of religion, defined by religion itself, since individual knowledge is impossible at best or a corruption at worse. 

 

Christianity goes out of its way in fact in the very first book of the Bible to claim man is bad because he gained knowledge instead of being a passive obedient animal in God’s private garden. 

 

Nor is that a parable since the whole point of the crucifixion is to claim Jesus died to atone for the sin of me having knowledge and disobeying God. 

 

As for revelations, religion does require revelation, not necessarily that from the God(s) but still an outside source effectively revealing knowledge somehow since man is not to understand existence but merely observe like a passive mirror and reflect what is given to him.  At last if he wants to be good he has to do this.  Thinking = bad while obeying = Good.  Whether it is a voodoo priest rolling the bones to predict the future or a priest telling me that I cannot think about the Bible but just “believe it on faith”, it is a revelation since the source is something above nature, above me, and above my mind. 

 

I hope that clarifies the point. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've entirely missed the point: different religious interpretations exist, and there are reasons for the existence of different sects and denominations within religions (ie: Christianity). Without understanding those differences and reasons for those differences, how can you know what Christianity as a whole is about?

Why stop there. Every person is different. Like pretty little snowflakes, the lot of us. Without knowing and fully understanding every single Christian, you can't possibly draw a single conclusion about Christianity.

Or, to go even further, you can't possibly generalize about anything, ever, because every two things are always gonna be different in some way. Abstract thought is useless. That's the logical conclusion of your premise.

Edited by Nicky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@ Spiral Architect - Ethical reciprocity is the common essential to religious philosophy, i.e. empathy based action:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule


The ethical evaluation of "doing unto others" responds to the exercise of justice, i.e. what is a reasonable way to interact with others, and hold each other accountable?
Don't kill if you value your own life.  Don't commit adultery if you value commitment.  Don't steal if you value your own property.  Don't lie if you value hearing the truth.


It is appropriate to view transgressions of these ethical imperatives as antisocial, and therefore subject to a just use of retalitory force.  It is also appropriate to appeal to a higher authority in the arbitration of disputes, and God, or Nature's God, makes an ideal candidate in this regard due to the recognition of Man's inherent fallibity.  Having respect for reality as the final arbitor also recognizes Man's fallibity, appeals to an authority higher than Man, and the kicker is, dismissing Nature's God is similar to dismissing reality, with similar consequences.  There is your original sin; to be a fallible being; which means to suffer the consequences of failing to act on ones knowledge of how things work in reality, or as Francis Bacon wrote, "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed."  So I really believe there is a underlying ethical compatability shared by theists and atheists as to cause (behavior) and consequence (survival).


Just one final point about the issue of revelation...  We can agree with Thomas Paine that revelation is only valid from the source; that second hand accounts are hearsay at best.  Therefore a valid distinction exists between having faith (synonym belief) in something greater than Man based on some catalyst in the form of personal experience, and having blind faith (total submission) to hearsay that one cannot corroborate.

Edited by Devil's Advocate
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Therefore a valid distinction exists between having faith (synonym belief) in something greater than Man based on some catalyst in the form of personal experience, and having blind faith (total submission) to hearsay that one cannot corroborate.

Is there a difference? Even though the catalyst is obviously nonsense rationalization? Is nonsense rationalization really better than just accepting something without reason and admitting that that's what you're doing?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...