bradbradallen

Christian Objectivist

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Sorry for top post: Are we not all brothers in the Tribe of Man???

I don't think this is an important point at all except that it tends to promote tribalism.

Bob,

Ha!

:smile:

The problem isn't that particular tribe. It's the members...

:smile:

Michael

Maybe "clans" is a better example...

Even if lineage details are unknown, clan members may be organized around a founding member or apical ancestor.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clan

Yes, the Rand Clan has a nice ring to it...for the post-apocalyptic struggle...

or, gamers...http://services.runescape.com/m=clan-hiscores/landing.ws

A...

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The belief that one cannot be Christian and objectivist presupposes: that all gods require human sacrifice; that Jesus Christ was merely human; that anything else "under the sun" is practically closer to God than the individual human being; and that 'faith' and 'reason' are antonyms. Even as Jewish faith is based on what specific people experienced: a deliverance from slavery in Egypt, the Christian faith is based on the witness of specific people who walked up close and personal with Jesus Christ both before and after his death from crucifixion.  Even if how to interpret this experience was revealed to them, the interpretation made more sense than any other attempt to explain the phenomena.  

 

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Yes, it is an oxymoron. Christianity and Objectivism are two completely different systems. In Objectivism, reason is an absolute and rejects all forms of mysticism (belief in the unknown). Also, it is pro-selfishness, in Christianity you can't do something simply because it makes you happy, you have to do because it makes God happy. To call yourself an Objectivist or a Christian or a Socialist, etc., you have to follow the core principles. 

That being said there are people who call themselves Christians and believe in God, but also rely heavily upon reason as a guide in their lives and agree with many aspects of Objectivism. 

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You can be a Christian and an Objectivist just like you can be a Christian and a scientist. Reason can envelop faith but faith cannot do the same with reason. That is, reason can recognize and deal with the two different categories.

I think Steve is mixing them up. Thus I don't think he's a scientist. Or an Objectivist. I don't care if he calls himself one for he provided a qualificationn right up front.

--Brant

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What is faith, anti-reason, from the start and eventually must cause a rift in a mind of one who espouses Objectivism. Brant, certainly, one can be Christian and a fine scientist since science is not a philosophy. And certainly, a Christian can conceptualize abstractions and grasp reality as well as anyone if, like anyone, he sets his mind to it, although he's always up against that basic self-contradiction. In fact, I notice that Christians are the better realists and thinkers in the West nowadays, compared to the "left" (who are so much anti-reason, neo-mystics and juvenile fantasists, themselves, they don't set much of a standard). I've heard and read several Christians who extoll "objective facts" , "truth", mental concepts, etc. As result, It's as important that they mostly have a firm hold of 'value' (life, family, culture, country etc.) unlike many anti-value secularists. By whichever means (odd, but there it is) they arrived at good, rational virtues from the self-effacing Christian virtues, there exists more integrity, independence, self-reliance and individuality among them, which indicates higher personal volition. You ~never~ hear of the criticality of one's "character" from Leftists (except when they are trying to impugn someone else's). The concept appears to have been written out of progressive narratives.

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On 4/26/2019 at 1:25 PM, Meineleiter17 said:

In Objectivism, reason is an absolute...

Not quite true if you nclude the Objectivist Esthetics, which is anything but adherence to reason.

J

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On 4/26/2019 at 1:25 PM, Meineleiter17 said:

In Objectivism, reason is an absolute and rejects all forms of mysticism (belief in the unknown).

Jennifer,

I would check that premise.

There are several premises floating around O-Land that are called reason, but are actually mysticism as you defined it: a belief in the unknown.

If you want to see an egregious case, see Peikoff's idea of a "finite universe." He claims the universe is finite. If you want to see just one convoluted discussion of this, see his podcast here.

The idea of saying, "We don't know because we can't know," on this issue is apparently beyond his capacity to mentally process (and, apparently beyond the capacity of the students present on the recording). 

Look at what he says: since we can only see the universe from the inside, not from the outside, that shows that the universe is finite and the outside doesn't exist. (How's that for a mental pretzel? :) )

To promote this idea as fact is belief in the unknown. There is no way he can know that. Not even according to Objectivist epistemology since all concepts have to boil down to sensation at root.

I prefer to say we only grok the elements of the universe our capacities at this stage of human evolution permit. We grok what we grok and we can be certain of that due to our success as a species and our ability to do things with nature that no other species can (like build skyscrapers :) ), but we don't grok all of it.

Those who claim to know absolute truths about the entire universe have to base their claim on a premise that humans are able to observe the entire universe. They look at this from a God's eye view so to speak. Nobody has done that so far and nobody can do it. So the claim is essentially faith-based. It is holding the unknown as fact.

Oddly enough, I find more certainty in acknowledging I don't know what I don't know.

(I'm reminded of Rumsfeld's known knowns, unknown knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns. :) How the hell a guy like that can come up with such a spot-on epistemological classification is an unknown unknown for me. :) ) 

Also, certainty-wise, I'm perfectly fine with observing that there are things I can't know within my limits as a human being at the current stage of human evolution. Being fine with that does not sabotage what I do know.

Now, from there, we can move into the epistemological role of story where all hell breaks loose...

:) 

Michael

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"If all 'Christian Objectivists' mean is that they are people who loosely follow the Bible and loosely follow Objectivism, I say go for it. They don't do me any harm and they are certainly no threat to me. May they go in peace. I won't be joining them, but I won't be throwing stones at them, either."

The question wasn't about whether to harangue "Christian Objectivists" but about the meaning of words. Objectivism is a primacy-of-existence philosophy. Any form of meaningful religious belief assumes the primacy of consciousness. Confusions about the proper metaphysics may be manifested in a zillion ways, but you can't hold as a primary both that existence comes first and is independent of consciousness and that you start with a consciousness or consciousnesses that somehow created and sustain existence. An awful lot of people who may be very nice and responsible are wrong about various fundamental things. Should we beat them up for being wrong? No. Are they wrong about the things that they are wrong about? Yes. Is "Christian Objectivism" a contradiction in terms? Yes.

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I like Christian holidays and I think I understand Christians. I feel less threatened and wary around Christians . . . in general, yet I am very leery of any member of ANY new religions. Like any myth previously created or more recently, “thunk up” religiosity requires a suspension of reason. Here is an old letter I wrote here on OL in maybe 2015. I seem to remember Angela was a school teacher in Germany or was it England, but “she” may have been something else entirely. Peter

Thank you Angela. That link to The Jerusalem Post was thought provoking, though I more readily agree with Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. Religion is a form of self-imposed mental slavery for adults and a form of child abuse for the wee ones. Zeus and his other idiotic manifestations are figments of whimsical opportunistic or evil minds. As Cervantes said, “The first priest was the first rogue who met the first fool.”

I liked the author’s point that religion in America is “the best sermon wins” and the more commercial or entrepreneurial church gathers a bigger flock, rather than the church in England or Israel where “the state religion stagnates.”

Xray wrote: Buddhism is a good deal gloomier than atheism. For it is based on the premise that all life is suffering . . . Whereas the basis of atheism is epistemology. Atheism is a thought system using Occam's razor, which means it does not work with epistemologically unnecessary factors like god or karma. end quote

Those statements are very perceptive. Most NON-theists are pro reason. What you term “unnecessary factors like god or karma” are untrue, fabricated myths. All of the conflicting “holy books” are mind paralyzing, drivel who’s intent is to create respected masters and docile servants.

In a 1947 entry in “The Journals of Ayn Rand,” (Rand 1997, 551) Ayn wrote: “And, to go to the roots of the whole vicious error, blast the separation of man into “body” and “soul,” the opposition of “matter” and “spirit.” Man is an indivisible entity, possessing both elements — but not to be split into them, since they can be considered separately only for purposes of discussion, not in actual fact. In actual fact, man is an indivisible, integrated entity . . .” end quote

So why do so many orthodox Objectivists fall into the trap of authority: the failure to do their own critical thinking and religious obsequiousness?

Objectivism embraces causality, logic, syntax, and reason. This makes Religiosity, Soft Determinism (or Compatibilism) perplexing. Study Science, The Talmud, The Koran, The Book of Mormon, or the Holy Bible, they say, and the truth will be revealed.

Determinism is especially perplexing to me, though it has its parallel in the religious world – predestination, prophecy, and “God Knows All.” Determinism supposedly uses the same human capacities for logic and syntax to arrive at conclusions different from those of a person who understands and agrees with free will and volition. It examines a human’s thought processes and says that if you use logic or even whims to make choices, then this proves causation within the electro-chemical processing machine we call consciousness. If one thought leads to another, then we are determined. If the outside world provides a stimulus, then we are reacting to causality and therefore we are determined.

So, if we are determined what do the Soft Determinists have in store for us? If the fictional Elsworth Tooey or the real Emmanuel Kant were trying to destroy the Volitional, and the very concept of the Heroic, he would first need to undermine REASON. If these two villains could use self-evident truths to cause confusion and doubt wouldn’t they use whatever tools were handy to befuddle clear thinking people? Sure, they would. If they can claim that a genius of Ayn Rand’s caliber was simply doing what was inevitable because the world and her very thoughts were “conditioned” and caused her to innovate, won’t this make them feel good about themselves? Unfortunately, the Second Handers do derive pleasure and esteem from tearing down the good. Simple thoughts and language do not make Determinism a Philosophy of “Semper A Priori” or “The Always Self-evident.”

We do hear about great religious leaders like Luther, Gandhi, or Martin Luther King. Their rebuttals of authority and social good works are OK but they were not great thinkers.

Contrarily, have you ever heard of any great Determinists? Are there any great Determinist composers, artists, or authors? Would Deterministic music sound like Mozart? Would its whimsical (free-will) music sound like Rock and Roll? I don’t think so. I think Deterministic music would sound like a tinny music box cranking out the same elevator music, derived from previously published note sequences, hour after hour. A Deterministic artist would be ‘caused’ to paint realistically and not Romantically. The Romantic could never be combined with the Realistic. I won’t even bother with the Determinist author idea because the concept of Determinism simply lowers, demeans, and debases whatever it touches.

Soft Determinism is nit-picking logic divorced from experience. A Deterministic Theology might involve Scientology’s Thetans camping out in our brains and determining our every thought. “Keep your E Meters on high voltage, Comrades!”

Rant over? Just a bit more indulgence please, Miss.

A Deterministic Scientist might be B.F. Skinner spouted such profundities as, “Never do we say that the physical structure of the organism we call our brains in which we introspect as feeling agitated or happy or reminiscent or deliberative is itself these things. Those various things we experience internally as ourselves, and external objects are objective, they are the product of interactions between things that emit patterned energy and receptive tissues at various places in our brains.”

Got that, you Nitwits? In the case of introspection, the thing emitting patterned energy and the thing with tissues receptive to that energy are one and the same entity -- the causal human nervous system. That almost sounds like an Objectivist! Doctor Skinner then turns to his two children who he is ‘growing’ in Skinner Boxes and says, “How can you have your pudding, if you don’t eat your meat, you disgusting little disappointments!?!”

Soft Determinism is Frankenstein’s Lawyer, forever perfecting the foolproof scam that treads between the legal and the illegal, while shedding any sense of responsibility: “You can’t blame me! My genes, my upbringing, my Mother, my teacher, the devil, my ‘thoughts’ - all made me do it. Frankenstein’s lawyers will write a new constitution repudiating freedom from responsibility.

What bull#$%@. We should choose our higher level Concepts with caution. If one reduces Determinism (or religion) to its roots, it leads to a mechanistic world of non-innovation and robotic thoughts with no one good or decent, and certainly no one heroic. It cuts the Philosophy of Objectivism off at its roots of Existence, Identity, and Consciousness and replaces it with something like Predestination, Obedience, and Reactive Neural Networks (some with more RAM than others 8 -)

There is a better philosophy than religion or pseudo-scientific garbage. You know it Angela . . . and its name is Objectivism.

Semper cogitans fidele, Peter

Notes: Leonard Peikoff, The Philosophy of Objectivism lecture series, Lecture 3

Volitional  “Volitional” means selected from two or more alternatives that were possible under the circumstances, the difference being made by the individual’s decision, which could have been otherwise.

Leonard Peikoff, The Philosophy of Objectivism lecture series, Lecture 1

Determinism Determinism is the theory that everything that happens in the universe—including every thought, feeling, and action of man—is necessitated by previous factors, so that nothing could ever have happened differently from the way it did, and everything in the future is already pre-set and inevitable. Every aspect of man’s life and character, on this view, is merely a product of factors that are ultimately outside his control. Objectivism rejects this theory.

“Representation Without Authorization,” The Ayn Rand Letter, I, 21, 1. Dictatorship and determinism are reciprocally reinforcing corollaries: if one seeks to enslave men, one has to destroy their reliance on the validity of their own judgments and choices—if one believes that reason and volition are impotent, one has to accept the rule of force.

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