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neverborn

Your thoughts on my friend's comments on O'ism?

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Thought I'd share. The author is just someone I'm friends with and debate with.

Okay, so if god is allegorical for the immovable, unchanging is of the isness, then how incompatible is it with Objectivism?

When the burning bush says "i am the one true god, place no other god before me" is this not the theological equivalent to "a=a"? If all religious truth follows from the word (creation) of the living god, and existence exists with reality being independent of mind, then where's the dischord?

It seems to me that Objectivists make two charges against religion: 1) that it is "mystical", and 2) that it is altruistic. Leaving the second charge aside for the moment (perhaps only to mention that libertarian absolutism on this point is a main reason why i identify as a conservative) i don't understand what the beef objectivists have with religion is.

If by labelling it "mystical" they imply that it defies reality, well, i'll argue that religion is more allegorical than mystical and rather firmly asserts not only the independence of reality but it's heirarchical supremacy. Objectivists offer all kinds of explainations of emotions and feelings as subconcious calculations, but refuse to grant traditional knowledge via religion the same. Why? Reality being independant of mind, one has to accept that both objectivism and theism are constructions. Objectvism is incomplete in the way that it refuses to explain the existence of faith.

Edited by softwareNerd

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... existence exists with reality being independent of mind ...

... reality being independant of mind ...

Reality is not independent of mind. Our mind is part of reality. It exists.

I suggest you re-evaluate your position with this in mind. Or at least make an argument for reality being independent of mind.

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Thought I'd share.

Religion (and here let's take the three monotheistic faiths Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as representative) contradicts Objectivism at every level. Some simple examples:

Metaphysics -- According to religion, the universe is supposed to be created by an omnipotent consciousness -- God. Objectivism holds that "existence exists" (independently of any consciousness) and subscribes to the principle of the primacy of existence. One can interpret religion "allegorically" but then one abandons the religious meaning and changes the subject.

Epistemology -- According to religion, important knowledge is acquired through revelation and accepted on faith. This is mysticism and in direct contradiction to the Objectivist view that knowledge is acquired through the objective process of reasoning based on observations.

Ethics -- Religions subscribe to altruism. Objectivism advocates rational egoism.

Politics -- To the extent that religions have political ideas they tend to be statist to varying degrees. Objectivism supports laissez faire capitalism.

Now of course, one can find specific religious people who have better ideas and interpret their religion in more liberal or rational ways but for most of their history and in essence the above description of religion's views is uncontroversial.

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Reality is not independent of mind. Our mind is part of reality. It exists.

I suggest you re-evaluate your position with this in mind. Or at least make an argument for reality being independent of mind.

I smell Platonism, which for someone sympathetic to religion, makes sense.

So who exactly is the author of the original quote that neverborn posted?

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Author is just someone I'm friends with and debate with.

By "reality exists independent of mind" he meant that reality exists without perception being necessary.

Religions do not necessarily advocate altruism - if you look at the religions - really, they're acting in selfish fashion - they do things to get them into their "heaven" - so I've heard..

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Religions do not necessarily advocate altruism - if you look at the religions - really, they're acting in selfish fashion - they do things to get them into their "heaven" - so I've heard..

You may want to read Nathaniel Branden's essay, "Isn't Everyone Selfish?" in The Virtue of Selfishness. Branden explains thoroughly why it isn't necessarily selfish to give up your life for a higher cause.

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By "reality exists independent of mind" he meant that reality exists without perception being necessary.

This is not what religions like Judaism or Christianity believe. They believe that the universe (reality) had to be created by a supreme consciousness (God). They believe in the primacy of consciousness. Objectivists believe in the primacy of existence.

Objectivism and religion are fundamentally and completely incompatible, starting at the metaphysical level.

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Okay, so if god is allegorical for the immovable, unchanging is of the isness...
This sounds more like Aristotle's Unmoved Mover than a religious god. The unfortunate problem for theists is they very quickly jump from such a vague analogy to a bizarre assortment of very specific irrational claims: favored denominations, being "born again", being "saved by Jesus' grace", an obtusely judgmental "afterlife" that clearly devalues actual, real life, systems of morality that attempt to subvert the volitional nature of Man, etc.

But what's the function of "an allegory for existence"? To conceptually clarify or confuse? I can construct an allegorical "infinite stack of turtles" to "represent existence", but, so what? What good is it? To what in reality does it point?

...then how incompatible is it with Objectivism?

The most obvious answer is that Objectivism does not use allegories with defintionless terms as a substitute for actual metaphysical axioms.

When the burning bush says "i am the one true god, place no other god before me" is this not the theological equivalent to "a=a"?
Wood represents corruptible flesh (the "weakness" of man's physical nature). Fire represents God & specifically his presence or judgment. The burning bush is God present in the form of a physical object that should be destroyed by the fire & yet "miraculously" is not. It is also a very important passage to Jews & Christians because this is where in their sacred text God forms a covenant with "his chosen people" through Moses.

So, this is a very heavily, religiously slanted "allegorical metaphor" from the outset.

Aside from all that nonsense, there is no such thing as "theological equivalence" to anything in Objectivist metaphysics.

If all religious truth follows from the word (creation) of the living god, and existence exists with reality being independent of mind, then where's the dischord?

That is such a bad formulation it's actual funny. :D

It seems to me that Objectivists make two charges against religion: 1) that it is "mystical", and 2) that it is altruistic.
He forgot the first one (& in my estimation the most important): religion is irrational. But I suppose that could be included in the mysticism charge.

If by labelling it "mystical" they imply that it defies reality, well, i'll argue that religion is more allegorical than mystical and rather firmly asserts not only the independence of reality but it's heirarchical supremacy.

This is evasion. At some point, every theist has to attempt to appeal to some irrational concept. At some point, every theological system attempt to assert that "something" exists to which they cannot point in reality.

Objectivists offer all kinds of explainations of emotions and feelings as subconcious calculations, but refuse to grant traditional knowledge via religion the same.
Objectivism explicitly states that emotions are not tools of cognition.

Objectvism is incomplete in the way that it refuses to explain the existence of faith.

I suppose you could make this claim if you've never read anything Ayn Rand wrote. You'd still be wrong, of course, but it would only be ignorance. Has this person read Atlas Shrugged, FTNI, PWNI?

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