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iouswuoibev

I became an apostate -- tempus fugit

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Not logged in in 12 years.  Was 23 then, 35 now!

 

I never thought, when I was last here, that I would ever part ways with Objectivism.  I like to think that I haven't -- I still have my roots in Objectivism and agree with a lot of its sentiments, but I think it requires evolution and qualification and modulation.  I believe my philosophy to be far more advanced than Objectivism (I believe I have outgrown my teacher).

Anyway, just saying hello.  Not sure I have anything to offer the community.

 

 

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Hi Rob,

You may just be touching base after a dozen years. Objectivism is a philosophy for individuals to live on earth. When one remains true to one's self, if they cross paths with the philosophy, it is likely to resonate with them. From your description, it is your understandings that have evolved over the years, not Rand's philosophy. So long as you don't abandon your cause, the label of an apostate can be foregone.

Edited by dream_weaver

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"Men have been taught either that knowledge is impossible (skepticism) or that it is available without effort (mysticism)." Consciousness and Identity.

I suggest to you, Rob, that Objectivists are prone to this false alternative as is anyone else in any other philosophy. Rationalism is akin to mysticism, and there is hardly an Objectivist who has not been affected by rationalism, I am willing to bet. 

The beginnings of a venture in Oi'sm are densely theory-laden. The principles, the potent ideals. If one gets fixed at the idealist stage, effectively one is assuming someone else's knowledge  - without effort. The ideas then are soaring but groundless abstractions. Objectivism basically is not a set of beliefs, it is the method and means which leads one to the principles - independently. By trial and error, eventually and invariably one should find that the methodology takes one to Rand's self-same principles.  

An objective is to finally outgrow one's teacher, I agree - to achieve intellectual and moral independence from even the most brilliant thinker. I think that cannot happen in less than a few decades. Else, one falls far short of her. That brings in induction. Without some quite extensive experience with and observation of "reality" one has no foundation for concept building.    

Induction. Not given the attention it must have in Oism. I quip that one needs ten tons of induction to distill a single proposition from. Induction is the groundwork, the antidote and cure for rationalism.

To give up on the independent pursuit of reality (maybe through disappointment with one's ideals that are not met quickly enough in the reality of living, complacency, despair, laziness, being overcome by all the competing, compelling arguments by hundreds of other intellectuals) will logically be followed by one's skepticism (and/or relativism). What's the use? Knowledge is barely possible. And everyone I hear has his own plausible ideas. Who am I to argue?

Skepticism once it occurs, (has been allowed to be admitted) effectively marks the end of a venture in philosophy, especially this one.

 Objectivism boiled down, as you know. Reality and the method of attaining it. Faithfully adhering to the nature of the organ by which mankind has to attain it, if one so chooses, consciousness.

Edited by whYNOT

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12 hours ago, iouswuoibev said:

Not logged in in 12 years.  Was 23 then, 35 now!

[...]

I believe my philosophy to be far more advanced than Objectivism (I believe I have outgrown my teacher).

Anyway, just saying hello.  Not sure I have anything to offer the community.

 

 

I'm going to call bullshit here. Perhaps you logged in to test your advancement?

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Need to qualify my like above...

 

On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2020 at 8:36 AM, whYNOT said:

Induction. Not given the attention it must have in Oism. I quip that one needs ten tons of induction to distill a single proposition from. Induction is the groundwork, the antidote and cure for rationalism.

Sorry man.  This just ain't so.  Induction is hallowed as integral to the very act of concept formation.  Concept formation is treated in depth and with much care and attention.  Moreover, integration, although not identical with induction is related and is also very important and repeatedly lauded in Oism. 

Not sure why you said this...

 

As for rationalism, Peikoff makes a similar analysis regarding the pitfalls of dangers of rationalism in "Understanding Objectivism"... it is particularly dangerous because it afflicts those who have the best intentions and is a self-reinforcing trap which makes it very difficult to escape.

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SL,

This might not be your experience. I'd say from ~my~ readings that one's knowledge of induction in Objectivism is more presumed upon (taken for granted) than explicitly laid out. (While I recall there is that good lecture by Peikoff).

Where did you see anything in broader O'ism as simplified an introductory explanation to induction like this:

"Simply put, induction is a means of reasoning from a part to the whole, from particulars to generals, from the past to the future, or from the observed to the unobserved".

[from a web search, by unknown author]

In the lexicon Rand has a bare two line definition of "induction and deduction".

What I think is needed is greater emphasis on direct observation with that above formulation in mind. (Yes, I know there is already crucial importance placed on one's senses, perception, integration)

Otherwise, it ~could~ be just a formal lip service that a younger philosopher pays to "reality". One must *know* reality intimately oneself from extensive inspection and induction, I think is clear. The more solidly, the more grounded our concepts.

After which one is better equipped to deal with "the problem of" and pitfalls of inferences. And more prepared to understand the theory, and David Hume's and others' objections, etc.. 

 

Edited by whYNOT

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btw, from LP's lecture he relates how Rand took him for a walk down a street, pointing out inductive inferences she made from objects and activities. He was quite blown away by the connections she could make in a short period, he indicated in the lecture. I mentioned before that she told him she "wouldn't have a philosophy if not for induction". Anecdotal incidents which stress the centrality of induction for O'ist thinkers.

Edited by whYNOT

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22 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Need to qualify my like above...

 

Sorry man.  This just ain't so.  Induction is hallowed as integral to the very act of concept formation.  Concept formation is treated in depth and with much care and attention.  Moreover, integration, although not identical with induction is related and is also very important and repeatedly lauded in Oism. 

Not sure why you said this...

 

As for rationalism, Peikoff makes a similar analysis regarding the pitfalls of dangers of rationalism in "Understanding Objectivism"... it is particularly dangerous because it afflicts those who have the best intentions and is a self-reinforcing trap which makes it very difficult to escape.

What this points to is a potential, possible, at times, actual gap between theory and practice. i.e. In theory AND practice, rationalism (v. empiricism) was thoroughly debunked by Rand. And ratified by O'ist intellectuals (all we included). But any can fall prey to repeating the rationalist error within Objectivism. Peikoff understood the danger because he'd known rationalism, personally, I gather. And he and others in the past have evinced some quantity of rationalism in application to current events, for example. 

Keeping the ideals and principles tied to reality is of course, endless. One doesn't just effect it once (taken care of - move on). So the necessity for continuous induction and "reduction", as LP himself taught.

To get to your concerns, rationalism is non-existent in O'ist theory. In theory.  As is induction "hallowed", okay. But if not made explicit as a constant reminder for each individual, one's induction may be too much presumed upon (in "theory"), and the former will slip in. (Also personally experienced by myself, I'd add).

Edited by whYNOT

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2 hours ago, whYNOT said:

What this points to is a potential, possible, at times, actual gap between theory and practice. i.e. In theory AND practice, rationalism (v. empiricism) was thoroughly debunked by Rand. And ratified by O'ist intellectuals (all we included). But any can fall prey to repeating the rationalist error within Objectivism. Peikoff understood the danger because he'd known rationalism, personally, I gather. And he and others in the past have evinced some quantity of rationalism in application to current events, for example. 

Keeping the ideals and principles tied to reality is of course, endless. One doesn't just effect it once (taken care of - move on). So the necessity for continuous induction and "reduction", as LP himself taught.

To get to your concerns, rationalism is non-existent in O'ist theory. In theory.  As is induction "hallowed", okay. But if not made explicit as a constant reminder for each individual, one's induction may be too much presumed upon (in "theory"), and the former will slip in. (Also personally experienced by myself, I'd add).

This may seem off topic...

and it probably IS.

 

but in considering Objectivism as a whole, I am confronted with distractions... not in the form of ideas, but in the form of personalities, of movements, of factions... and yes, a little bit of activism.  Rather than looking outward and inward to my center.. I find myself sliding my eyes sideways at metaphorical others... whose presences, in the realm of my engagement with ideas, are inappropriate and unwelcome.

As time goes by, I become more keenly aware that to my mind, philosophy is not FOR society even though the act of instituting a correct political system IS for society AND such is contingent upon the political philosophy of the individuals instituting it, philosophy (even political philosophy) pertains to knowledge which, although referring to things like societies,  in the end is something only attributable to an individual's brain and wholly dependent upon self-responsibility to properly attain.  [I realize colloquially, recorded information societies have collected are referred to as knowledge... but no collective brain contains a dusty room in which those old pages are kept... and I am not using the term knowledge in this loose sense]

I see many persons, institutes, and even Rand herself at times, was activist in the sense that there is an urgency to share which is a direct reaction to the state of others' actual or perceived ignorance.  There is a sense of a battle, as Leonard Peikoff put it, between Aristotle and Plato.   This desire to correct, to fix minds out there, runs through it all ... and this was no different in myself.  But early on I began to feel it was wrong, and I gravitated toward the idea (emphasized also in Objectivism) that philosophy serves the individual who choses life... and that it is essential to have the correct philosophy to understand reality and act in furtherance of one's life.

Life is not about preaching to others... no matter how much I wish the others did not think or feel as they do.

 

Somehow, with the ever increasing insanity in the world, I am seeing SO much more clearly that philosophy is a deeply personal thing, and I find myself wishing for an Objectivist writer who could take the reader on a journey through ideas which is focused on the positive substance thereof rather than the negative absences or flaws in other schools of thought.  One who focuses overwhelmingly on what Objectivism IS rather than what it is not, and one who shows what is correct while relying very little on differentiating it from what is wrong.  One who does, by way of the occasional warning, point out pitfalls of wrong thinking but shrugs them off, one who warns of vice throughout the world but with a feeling that "it only goes so deep".  One who makes the reader really feel the sanctity of one's own life as paramount, and any desire to influence or persuade others as not even secondary but only remotely moderately important.  [Ironically, such a writer, insofar as they perfectly hold philosophy as primarily personal, might only be interested in studying philosophy and accordingly have no motivation to write about it at all.]

A reader with such a sense of the sanctity of one's own life, would have no desire to convince anyone else of anything... would not flinch at the utterance of even the most absurd of irrationalities, certainly not out of any insecurity or fear of any mismatch with others' ideas.  Of course, as with all things, philosophy is a subject which one wishes to share with others he values and cherishes, and to the extent of that intimacy, it is natural to wish to have that play and engagement with something common to both.  But the idea that one needs to have common ideas with people generally in society is not tenable, and probably never has been.

My sports friends need not like the same music I do, nor my concert going friends like the same visual art I do... and if they say something as ridiculous as I hear in the fake news, on youtube, or the Twitverse, it should affect me no more than a 4 year old calling me a "poopy head"...  I'll smile and redirect the interaction...

"oh really... say, you like icecream don't you?"...

"ha... hey that reminds me .. do you still like that quarterback playing for..." 

"thanks for sharing... hey, what do you think of the edge control used in the shadows of this portrait... isn't it sublime?"

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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On 6/12/2020 at 2:12 AM, iouswuoibev said:

I believe I have outgrown my teacher

Rand lived for 77 years. You have a lot more growing to do. Come back in 2032 and let us know where we can find your awesome philosophical insights.

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14 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

I see many persons, institutes, and even Rand herself at times, was activist in the sense that there is an urgency to share which is a direct reaction to the state of others' actual or perceived ignorance.

It's interesting to consider where you would be or I would be, had not Rand felt the need for "activism" -- the spreading of her ideas which required her to work in fiction, research other thinkers, craft arguments, form an institute, engage with others (often hostile), and so on. Whatever Rand may have thought about art and didacticism, I'd dare say that activism describes her life's work. She meant to change the world by changing the minds of others, and she put a lot of effort into making that happen.

And perhaps you might think that misses the point -- that Rand had no need to act in your interest or my own, but only in her own interest. But why do we take it that Rand's activism wasn't in her selfish interest, or that she did not judge it so? How is an individual's interest not generally served in working to help others to find truth and reason?

14 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

There is a sense of a battle, as Leonard Peikoff put it, between Aristotle and Plato.   This desire to correct, to fix minds out there, runs through it all ... and this was no different in myself.  But early on I began to feel it was wrong, and I gravitated toward the idea (emphasized also in Objectivism) that philosophy serves the individual who choses life... and that it is essential to have the correct philosophy to understand reality and act in furtherance of one's life.

Life is not about preaching to others... no matter how much I wish the others did not think or feel as they do.

You're right that life isn't about preaching to others... but preaching to others might well be an important part of one's life. So while I agree that there's a limit, in reason, to trying to drag the recalcitrant from their errors, we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater: we shouldn't abandon efforts to spread good ideas in the culture, or to fight against the bad ones. And we might consider whether and how we might do so even more effectively.

People have the capacity for reason, and I believe that most people will tend to respond to a good argument, all else being equal. Argument itself is something of a science and something of an art, and it has to be learned and worked on and continually revised in the face of failure and opposition -- and I believe that there's a lot of frustration in the Objectivist community because, perhaps implicitly, we believe that The One True Argument has already been made, one size fits all, done and dusted. But no, the work of spreading these ideas has only just begun -- if I can even fairly describe it as having been "begun."

The ideological battle you reference is real, and I fear we are losing it, in part because we are too often content to surrender the battlefield without a fight. To act as though we shouldn't need to show up in the first place, as though any ideological movement in the history of mankind has ever spread without people actively working to make that happen.

14 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

But the idea that one needs to have common ideas with people generally in society is not tenable, and probably never has been.

Do you know who doesn't share that notion (both literally and its tenor more broadly)? The evangelists, the socialists, the jihadists, among many others. And because they commit themselves wholeheartedly to spreading their ideas, and to finding the most effective means for so doing, they typically succeed in spreading them far better than we do. Unfortunately, their ideas are poisonous for society, and unfortunately for us, we live in society and tend to suffer directly when that poison spreads.

If it were the case that a man could simply say, "Well, that's none of my responsibility; I'll leave them to it and enjoy my life unimpaired," and retreat to Galt's Gulch, I'd say more power to him. But I don't believe that he can enjoy his life unimpaired. I don't believe that Galt's Gulch exists outside of Atlas Shrugged, and if it did, I don't think it would be allowed to last. I believe that the condition of the world has a direct bearing on our individuals lives, and so yes, we must take some measure of responsibility for addressing that condition -- not out of altruism, but selfishly, so we can live.

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In socio-politics one makes use of the materials at hand. Reality is primary, inseparable from the good principles in our minds. DA, you cannot, morally,  plump the evangelists in with socialists and jihadists. Then, who else is there? Your Left and its extremist altruism-collectivism (leaning towards contempt of the nation, to the point of nihilist destruction) is the present danger, that would allow in both the latter. Given that Objectivism has not penetrated to those numbers (of secularist-atheists) anything as much as anticipated. Given that the New Left is anti-freedom and anti-individualism to a pathological degree. So, for now, I think it's rational, self-interested and necessary to find common ground with the evangelicals and conservatives who hold to some individualism, capitalism and much self-responsibility. Things are that bad and getting worse, for America, but not only. .

Edited by whYNOT

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SL, you quoted me but I am unsure what you were directing at me.

I will put this simply. I have no task to teach others. It is out of selfish interest that I concern myself with pointing out that there are potential errors to be made in the philosophy which lessen it. A selfish concern that new, young minds would drop out of Objectivism in confusion or disappointment. If one or two can learn from my experience and not give up, that's some value-trade to the various intellectuals I benefited from.

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5 hours ago, whYNOT said:

In socio-politics one makes use of the materials at hand. Reality is primary, inseparable from the good principles in our minds. DA, you cannot, morally,  plump the evangelists in with socialists and jihadists. Then, who else is there? Your Left and its extremist altruism-collectivism (leaning towards contempt of the nation, to the point of nihilist destruction) is the present danger, that would allow in both the latter. Given that Objectivism has not penetrated to those numbers (of secularist-atheists) anything as much as anticipated. Given that the New Left is anti-freedom and anti-individualism to a pathological degree. So, for now, I think it's rational, self-interested and necessary to find common ground with the evangelicals and conservatives who hold to some individualism, capitalism and much self-responsibility. Things are that bad and getting worse, for America, but not only. .

You mean to tell me that, because I recognize the problems with, for instance, Islam, I cannot also identify the problems in Christianity? Because the world lumps itself into "left" versus "right," I must pick a side -- for pragmatic reasons -- and thereafter only find the faults in my supposed opponent?

If that's the thrust of your response,  I strongly disagree. There is irrationality all around, I'm afraid, and on every side. If we mean to advocate a philosophy of reason, then we must identify that fact without hesitation. Evangelists absolutely belong with, for instance, the jihadists -- whom our current Western evangelists would more and more closely resemble, if they ever again got a whiff of real power.

In fact, with respect to some socialists*, I would say that the faults of evangelism are typically graver as they represent an earlier/more fundamental breach with reality. There are some socialists who broadly accept "reason" as a governing epistemological principle, and then incorrectly believe that socialism itself is the reasonable means to govern, or effect justice. They're wrong, and that error has grave implications and must be addressed, but it is worse to deny reason itself -- which, obviously, can itself have dire consequences politically, even if someone claims to be an advocate for "capitalism."

(* I say "some socialists," because there are, obviously, many other socialists who also reject reason explicitly... and there are even some special folk who are both "evangelist" and "socialist.")

That said, it's true that we might sometimes make common cause with some given individual or group to achieve some specific end or narrow range of goals. I agree that that's in the nature of politics, and it might sometimes involve some temporary and delimited agreement with the "right" (to the extent that they support a "pro-business" agenda, for instance; so long as their "pro-business" ideas are not, themselves, "class warfare" waged from the other side) and it might sometimes involve some temporary and delimited agreement with the "left" (e.g. to support marijuana legalization or the de-criminalization of sex work).

In every election, ultimately, a ballot must be cast: and I've seen you stump for Trump, which I'll allow so long as you understand that -- as an American citizen who has to live with him as my president, my representative in the world -- I would rather vote for a cheese sandwich.

But none of that ever means that we stop recognizing the faults of those with whom we make such common cause, or that they get a "pass." Because I recognize the dangers of Antifa, that doesn't make me conservative or "alt-right," any more than recognizing the problems with the Proud Boys suggests that I should throw a brick through a Starbucks window. I will only ever find "common ground" with the "left" or the "right" to the extent that I believe they're actually correct on any given issue, and that is the full extent of my participation, my consent, my sanction. I will not join their teams. I will not play their game.

Edited by DonAthos

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34 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

Evangelists absolutely belong with, for instance, the jihadists

An evangelical's saving of a potential "target" soul with ranting, and shouting "Jesus", and throwing holy water at him, with the occasional book thumping and convulsing while speaking in tongues or flames or flaming tongues or whatever (note... not literal fire),

is hardly the same as

shooting or suicide bombing innocent restaurant patrons, or flying airplanes through buildings filled with thousands of innocents.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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45 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

An evangelical's saving of a potential "target" soul with ranting, and shouting "Jesus", and throwing holy water at him, with the occasional book thumping and convulsing while speaking in tongues or flames or flaming tongues or whatever (note... not literal fire),

is hardly the same as

shooting or suicide bombing innocent restaurant patrons, or flying airplanes through buildings filled with thousands of innocents.

No, those things aren't the "same." And blowing up an abortion clinic isn't the same as "speaking in tongues," either. Or cross burnings (note... literal fire). Or sectarian violence in Ireland, or elsewhere.

Since its inception and continuing to present day, Christianity has plenty of blood on its hands; and while mainstream Christianity currently disavows most of that (just as there are Muslims who disavow terrorism and extremism, and wish to banish those things further to the fringe), the root of Christianity is just as anti-reason and anti-life as Islam. It is only less fully implemented at the moment, thankfully being more successfully hampered by other Western traditions -- many of which emerged fighting against the abuses of Christianity, rather than to the religion's credit.

The evangelicals themselves can be just as nuts as anyone else, and woe betide us if they ever feel empowered in their influence to move beyond converting homosexuals, deranging science curricula, and destroying the reasoning ability, self esteem and morality of countless generations.

Christianity, which is one of the world's enduring curses, hardly needs the defense and support of Objectivists -- and if the point you're making is, "but it doesn't produce as many high-profile suicide bombers as Islam, at the moment," I think it's time you ask yourself precisely what distinction you're attempting to draw. Yes, "shadow grey" is a somewhat lighter shade of grey than "charcoal grey" (or so my cursory search reveals). Granted. But they're both still grey. They're neither white, nor close to it. They still both belong fully on the list of "shades of grey," just as Islam and Christianity belong equally on the list of "irrational philosophies which pervert minds and poison society" (let alone "proselytizing groups successful at spreading irreason," which was the actual context of their initial mention).

Besides all of which, the second half of the sentence you've quoted reads: "whom our current Western evangelists would more and more closely resemble, if they ever again got a whiff of real power." This seems to acknowledge the fact that, no these two groups aren't identical today -- there is indeed a difference -- while maintaining that there is still a reason to regard them together, because they share a fundamental irrationality. It doesn't answer for everything, but when you find yourself responding to an argument, not in its central contention, but to an isolated sentence (or further, a snipped portion of a sentence), it's worth further consideration as to whether you're contributing to an earnest exchange of ideas, or something else.

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36 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

No, those things aren't the "same." And blowing up an abortion clinic isn't the same as "speaking in tongues," either. Or cross burnings (note... literal fire). Or sectarian violence in Ireland, or elsewhere.

Since its inception and continuing to present day, Christianity has plenty of blood on its hands; and while mainstream Christianity currently disavows most of that (just as there are Muslims who disavow terrorism and extremism, and wish to banish those things further to the fringe), the root of Christianity is just as anti-reason and anti-life as Islam. It is only less fully implemented at the moment, thankfully being more successfully hampered by other Western traditions -- many of which emerged fighting against the abuses of Christianity, rather than to the religion's credit.

The evangelicals themselves can be just as nuts as anyone else, and woe betide us if they ever feel empowered in their influence to move beyond converting homosexuals, deranging science curricula, and destroying the reasoning ability, self esteem and morality of countless generations.

Christianity, which is one of the world's enduring curses, hardly needs the defense and support of Objectivists -- and if the point you're making is, "but it doesn't produce as many high-profile suicide bombers as Islam, at the moment," I think it's time you ask yourself precisely what distinction you're attempting to draw. Yes, "shadow grey" is a somewhat lighter shade of grey than "charcoal grey" (or so my cursory search reveals). Granted. But they're both still grey. They're neither white, nor close to it. They still both belong fully on the list of "shades of grey," just as Islam and Christianity belong equally on the list of "irrational philosophies which pervert minds and poison society" (let alone "proselytizing groups successful at spreading irreason," which was the actual context of their initial mention).

Besides all of which, the second half of the sentence you've quoted reads: "whom our current Western evangelists would more and more closely resemble, if they ever again got a whiff of real power." This seems to acknowledge the fact that, no these two groups aren't identical today -- there is indeed a difference -- while maintaining that there is still a reason to regard them together, because they share a fundamental irrationality. It doesn't answer for everything, but when you find yourself responding to an argument, not in its central contention, but to an isolated sentence (or further, a snipped portion of a sentence), it's worth further consideration as to whether you're contributing to an earnest exchange of ideas, or something else.

I'm no expert on theology, but the religions are different in their militarism, markedly, and MOST markedly by the blatantly irrationally pacifist teachings of the Christian's claimed son of God, Jesus... which only appeared in the new testament... to literally turn the cheek, and to love thy enemy.

Those teachings are central to Christianity and are inflected throughout the religion and its institutions.  You can talk about periods in history when geopolitics and power altered conduct of the institutions and many followers, but the religion itself IS unique in its emphasis on this, especially among the three major religions of the middle east, which have similar origins.

The religions are simply not the same in their accent, flavor, or inflection... Christianity LEANS heavily toward the altruistic and pacifist direction and certain other religions (ask a cleric of the real jihads of today) observably do not lean as far, if at all, in that direction.

They simply are not the same.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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1 hour ago, StrictlyLogical said:

I'm no expert on theology, but the religions are different in their militarism, markedly, and MOST markedly by the blatantly irrationally pacifist teachings of the Christian's claimed son of God, Jesus... which only appeared in the new testament... to literally turn the cheek, and to love thy enemy.

Those teachings are central to Christianity and are inflected throughout the religion and its institutions.  You can talk about periods in history when geopolitics and power altered conduct of the institutions and many followers, but the religion itself IS unique in its emphasis on this, especially among the three major religions of the middle east, which have similar origins.

The religions are simply not the same in their accent, flavor, or inflection... Christianity LEANS heavily toward the altruistic and pacifist direction and certain other religions (ask a cleric of the real jihads of today) observably do not lean as far, if at all, in that direction.

They simply are not the same.

You're talking past everything I actually say, to argue against something I have not said. It is supremely frustrating.

While I could engage on you whether Christianity is somehow a "religion of peace" (despite all of its history), better or worse than Islam in that or any other respect, I fear that I could not expect any better behavior in that conversation -- or even for you to agree that it is itself a tangential distraction from the matter we had initially been discussing.

You paid me a compliment in another thread, but the far better compliment would be to repay my efforts with honesty.

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5 hours ago, DonAthos said:

You mean to tell me that, because I recognize the problems with, for instance, Islam, I cannot also identify the problems in Christianity? Because the world lumps itself into "left" versus "right," I must pick a side -- for pragmatic reasons -- and thereafter only find the faults in my supposed opponent?

If that's the thrust of your response,  I strongly disagree. There is irrationality all around, I'm afraid, and on every side. If we mean to advocate a philosophy of reason, then we must identify that fact without hesitation. Evangelists absolutely belong with, for instance, the jihadists -- whom our current Western evangelists would more and more closely resemble, if they ever again got a whiff of real power.

In fact, with respect to some socialists*, I would say that the faults of evangelism are typically graver as they represent an earlier/more fundamental breach with reality. There are some socialists who broadly accept "reason" as a governing epistemological principle, and then incorrectly believe that socialism itself is the reasonable means to govern, or effect justice. They're wrong, and that error has grave implications and must be addressed, but it is worse to deny reason itself -- which, obviously, can itself have dire consequences politically, even if someone claims to be an advocate for "capitalism."

(* I say "some socialists," because there are, obviously, many other socialists who also reject reason explicitly... and there are even some special folk who are both "evangelist" and "socialist.")

That said, it's true that we might sometimes make common cause with some given individual or group to achieve some specific end or narrow range of goals. I agree that that's in the nature of politics, and it might sometimes involve some temporary and delimited agreement with the "right" (to the extent that they support a "pro-business" agenda, for instance; so long as their "pro-business" ideas are not, themselves, "class warfare" waged from the other side) and it might sometimes involve some temporary and delimited agreement with the "left" (e.g. to support marijuana legalization or the de-criminalization of sex work).

In every election, ultimately, a ballot must be cast: and I've seen you stump for Trump, which I'll allow so long as you understand that -- as an American citizen who has to live with him as my president, my representative in the world -- I would rather vote for a cheese sandwich.

But none of that ever means that we stop recognizing the faults of those with whom we make such common cause, or that they get a "pass." Because I recognize the dangers of Antifa, that doesn't make me conservative or "alt-right," any more than recognizing the problems with the Proud Boys suggests that I should throw a brick through a Starbucks window. I will only ever find "common ground" with the "left" or the "right" to the extent that I believe they're actually correct on any given issue, and that is the full extent of my participation, my consent, my sanction. I will not join their teams. I will not play their game.

Of course one can and should identify and assess all that's about us in such difficult times - but of course too, one must identify that *this* is morally worse that *that*.

'In kind but not in degree' matters greatly.

Which is why I disagree with your equivalence. There is none, not between evangelicals and Jihadis. There is with the faith of Islam, qua faith, mind you (at their common religious roots, I'd argue that Christianity has evolved much further then Islam): but not an iota with Jihadis.

You can call out a single violent episode by one religionist, not representative of the millions of evangelicals and believe there is a pattern of violence endemic to all, but it is false. Conversely the method, tactics and actions of Jihadis has violent terror as its mission and identity. . 

Nobody gets a "pass". This is a state of emergency the civilised, semi-free world has arrived at. The opportunists are flocking to take advantage and remove whatever there existed of individual freedom and impose greater control. "The New Normal" is unspecified but it won't be good.

Yes, I stump for Trump not because I necessarily have to like him and his behavior, but because I saw the early signals of what the Left was up to, and that for the sake of the US (and elsewhere) they must be slowed in their tracks. Their worsening insane and inciting behavior, counter to the good of the nation, mostly bears out that observation.

Trump doesn't get a pass, especially nor should his opponents. . 

I state it baldy, whatever his personable faults:

America under Trump was "doing too damned well".

A little more precise, America in the time of Trump's presidency - was doing too well - in many eyes, (there and overseas). These are the sacrificers of value to a non- value. Definite anti-capitalists despising their country. The Leftists of course could see they were bleeding votes to the remarkable employment figures and were desperate to regain power. It should not be surprising that a president who insisted on American independence and self-interest in the world, would be responded to with a booming economy. (I've remarked on "business confidence", an intangible, a sort of psychological consequence to Trump's general - if confusing - approach).

With not the least good faith, considering that we know that private enterprise is the root of capitalism, many Objectivists nominated him an economic nationalist... I find that and the largely unfounded "racist" slurs on him prejudiced and irrational, and rationalist and intrinsicist.

In the greatest of misfortunes, a one-two blow - the pandemic and then the killing of a black man put a stop to the economy and then 'caused' the social and racial upheaval. For the Left, don't believe their protestations of sorrow and anger at injustice (they are victimologists, finding victims to feed off, to further power is all they know how to do) In your identifications, DA, you will have seen the role of the vile mainstream media in shrewdly playing up those misfortunes.

In all, the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. But too, the enemy of my enemy can be my ally in a state of emergency.

Edited by whYNOT

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14 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

You're talking past everything I actually say, to argue against something I have not said. It is supremely frustrating.

While I could engage on you whether Christianity is somehow a "religion of peace" (despite all of its history), better or worse than Islam in that or any other respect, I fear that I could not expect any better behavior in that conversation -- or even for you to agree that it is itself a tangential distraction from the matter we had initially been discussing.

You paid me a compliment in another thread, but the far better compliment would be to repay my efforts with honesty.

I did reply with honesty.  I'm saying that due to the nature of the religions in question, the specific characteristics, they should NOT just be clumped in with each other.

Just because you choose to see things differently from me, or better put, not see any significant difference between the religions, (this is taken from the totality of your comments which tend to homogenize rather than differentiate), does not mean I am replying dishonestly... to get personal and claim I am dishonest because I don't see it the way you do is very condescending and, frankly inappropriate.

We simply had an honest disagreement... until you made it personal. 

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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"There's that housing settlement for the workers of San Sebastián. It cost eight million dollars. Steel-frame houses, with plumbing, electricity and refrigeration. Also a school, a church, a hospital and a movie theater. A settlement built for people who had lived in hovels made of driftwood and stray tin cans. . . . The wonderful roads we graded up four thousand feet of rock for the People's State of Mexico, will not last beyond a couple of winters: they're cheap cement without foundation, and the bracing at the bad turns is just painted clapboard. Wait for one good mountain slide. The church, I think, will stand. They'll need it."

As a primitive form of philosophy, Rand may have weighed the thought of a people with enduring under a purer form of skepticism. She had softened her stance of 1934 by the time she penned these words.

Accept the notion that man has a philosophy whether he thinks he does or doesn't, and a philosophy that gilded itself in myths was seeking to explain the human condition observed around it, albeit, more metaphorically so.

 

As to disseminating her views, Miss Rand stated that she did it out of cowardice in that she saw the consequences of philosophy too clearly. (If this was done tongue in cheeks, I don't recall her facial expression betraying that.)

Look at the time it took for Christianity to spread. While the Bible alone is not responsible for bringing it about, it is a book that many a theologian used to exhort those in the world around him. In such a sense, consider the impact that one book of its nature has had on the world.

It could be an interesting observation to learn if there are numbers that could provide the basis for graphs of the growth of Christianity over the centuries, and ask while looking at them, if this one book could influence so many over this period of time, imagine what Rand's collection of fiction is doing as it continues to be in the world.

 

Edited by dream_weaver

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14 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

It could be an interesting observation to learn if there are numbers that could provide the basis for graphs of the growth of Christianity over the centuries, and ask while looking at them, if this one book could influence so many over this period of time, imagine what Rand's collection of fiction is doing as it continues to be in the world.

Imagine what presence Rand's entire collection of works would be enjoying today if Rand were just as passionate, just as logical, but a style which was wholly benevolent, positive, encouraging, uplifting, and having little to none, of it s emphasis of using the negative, the ugly, the flawed, as its foil.  Imagine replacing all of the acerbic, almost hyperbolic alarm, with a style conveying the same important substance, with smiling optimism, and untouchable inner peace, resolute and passionate.

Imagine a body of work devoted only to what IS and should BE, without skipping a beat over what isn't or shouldn't or should never be.

Imagine the benevolence principle incarnate, in a philosopher who is as passionate as Rand, as charismatic as Francisco, and as undefeatable as Galt... and as playful and light as... well we need to look to other authors for that... (one character that comes to mind is Tom Bombadil of the Lord of the Rings... even though I tend to dislike the character.. a bit of the twinkle in his eye would be the kind of ingredient needed here)

and imagine that in the philosopher and throughout the works

where would, where could we be now?

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7 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Imagine the benevolence principle incarnate, in a philosopher who is as passionate as Rand, as charismatic as Francisco, and as undefeatable as Galt... and as playful and light as... well we need to look to other authors for that... (one character that comes to mind is Tom Bombadil of the Lord of the Rings... even though I tend to dislike the character.. a bit of the twinkle in his eye would be the kind of ingredient needed here)

I get the twinkle in his eye part, but I couldn't help but think of this scene from Groundhog's Day:

Spoiler

 

 

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