George H. Smith

Ayn Rand and the New Atheists (panel discussion)

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An interesting panel discussion (from an Objectivist conference in 2014) on the differences between Objectivist atheism and the New Atheism of Harris, Dawkins, etc. The panelists are the O'ist philosophers Robert Mayhew and Onkar Ghate, and the video runs for around an hour. (Around half of that is Q &A.) I was a little disappointed, but hardly surprised, that "Atheism: The Case Against God," was never mentioned, not even is passing, even though it discusses, from an essentially O'ist perspective and in considerable detail, many of the issues that were raised during this discussion. I know that in earlier years ATCAG was more or less a forbidden book for the orthodox, and that apparently hasn't changed. Nevertheless, my delicate ego will survive, and I think many OLers will enjoy this discussion, even if I do find it a bit tepid in spots.

Ghs

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I've been watching most of their posts/videos but havent gotten to this one yet

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GHS,

Your book, ATCAG, is on my list of books which I give to promising individuals whom I meet not just in the course of my "job."

It is in bold print for good measure.

I am optimistic enough to believe that the day will come when children will be raised to listen to reason rather than indoctrinated by parents whose concern is that their children will have the beliefs needed to assure them a place in the afterlife.

There are a handful of books which are a breathe of fresh air in a number of fields and yours is one of them.

gg

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George, thanks for the post. It is interesting on several levels. The gents express a certain class solidarity with the New Atheists, praise them for a clear stance, and yet find them wanting badly on philosophical grounds.

If they took the energy of the convention and panel discussions and distilled it into articles/reviews or even a book(!), their job -- being the best and smartest and most principled atheists of all -- would be made easier.

All this wisdom, tight reasoning and exciting conclusions (the New Atheists are bad philosophers) is just going to be a piss in the river. Not only have the New Atheists far larger audiences for their books, articles, foundations etc ... but the format of the Objectivist intellectual being intellectual in front of other intellectuals seems like a club meeting. All in favour? Aye. The Ayes have it. We are the best. We won. New Atheists lost. Don't forget to attend our other exciting panels. We will collect them all on Youtube just like all the big intellectuals.

Sometimes I feel sorry for the vanguard of Objectivism. They might as well have done a phone-in.

George, your energy and efforts are phenomenal. You are the real winner here, hands down.

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I'm getting a pop-up ad here for "Meet Local Atheist Singles."

I unfortunately did not buy George's book way back then, but borrowed it once from a friend, as it was being discussed in a libertarian book club. I gather from response to the present notice as posted in George's Facebook page that this book has been read by many and with salutary effect on mind and spirit.

I haven't gotten to watch the panel discussion yet. I know there has been or soon will be a presentation by either Dr. Ghate or Prof. Mayhew dealing specifically with Rand's notion in her earlier works that belief in God is wrongful belittling of yourself, your own mind and life in the order of things. I've written a bit about this notion in Rand at this site. The notion had a rather subjectivist slant, and its disappearance and replacement in Rand's case against God by the time of Atlas, is uniform with her evolution from man and his life as base-fundamental of her philosophy to existence, identity, and identification as that foundation. (See also.)

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