SOLO-International Op-Ed: The Parochialism of Evil

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Thu, 2010-06-03 05:00

SOLO-International Press Release: The Parochialism of Evil

Lindsay Perigo
June 3, 2010

You know the world's gone mad when you risk being beheaded for offending the unspeakably offensive, such as barbarian Islamo-Fascists with entitlement mentalities.

You know it's gone mad when the "sin" of offending anyone is considered the gravest sin of all.

You know it's gone mad when the "offended" are trundled off for counseling by tut-tutting social workers.

It's the sort of topsy-turvy world in which Israel is condemned for protecting herself against primitive savages intent on destroying her.

It's the sort of world in which every time a gunman goes on a spree there are calls for yet tougher gun laws so that the innocent will find it even harder to defend themselves.

It's a world in which anything mediocre and/or evil becomes an icon, while the excellent and the good are savaged.

But even in such a world, would you have expected this?:

In yet another nod to the protection of fledgling self-esteem, an Ottawa children’s soccer league has introduced a rule that says any team that wins a game by more than five points will lose by default.

The Gloucester Dragons Recreational Soccer league’s newly implemented edict is intended to dissuade a runaway game in favour of sportsmanship. The rule replaces its five-point mercy regulation, whereby any points scored beyond a five-point differential would not be registered.

Kevin Cappon said he first heard about the rule on May 20 — right after he had scored his team’s last allowable goal. His team then tossed the ball around for fear of losing the game.

He said if anything, the league’s new rule will coddle sore losers.

“They should be saying anything is possible. If we can get five goals really fast, well, so can the other team,” said Kevin, 17, who has played in the league for five years. “People grow in adversity, they don’t really get worse…. I think you’ll see more leadership skills being used if a losing team tries to recuperate than if they never got into that situation at all.”

Kevin’s father, Bruce Cappon, called the rule ludicrous.

“I couldn’t find anywhere in the world, even in a communist country, where that rule is enforced,” he said.

Mr. Cappon said the organization is trying to “reinvent the wheel” by fostering a non-competitive environment. The league has 3,000 children enrolled ranging in age from four to 18 years old.

“Everybody wants a close game, nobody wants blowouts, but we don’t want to go by those farcical rules that they come up with,” he said. “Heaven forbid when these kids get into the real world. They won’t be prepared to deal with the competition out there.” ...

[Club director] Mr. Cale said the league’s 12-person board of directors is not trying to take the fun out of the game, they are simply trying to make it fair. The new rule, suggested by “involved parents,” is a temporary measure that will be replaced by a pre-season skill assessment to make fair teams.

Sometimes the clue to global outrages is provided by parochial ones. In the form of this Mr. Cale and his "involved parents," their Orwellianly perverted concept of "fairness," the equating of self-esteem with infantile narcissism and the diabolical determination to ensure all humans become infantile narcissists with entitlement mentalities, we see a significant reason for today's headlines.

Ayn Rand's Steven Mallory, one of the good guys in her novel, The Fountainhead, spoke of a "drooling beast" ruling the world:

Listen, what's the most horrible experience you can imagine? To me—it's being left, unarmed, in a sealed cell with a drooling beast of prey or a maniac who's had some disease that's eaten his brain out. You'd have nothing then but your voice—your voice and your thought. You'd scream to that creature why it should not touch you, you'd have the most eloquent words, the unanswerable words, you'd become the vessel of the absolute truth. And you'd see living eyes watching you and you'd know that the thing can't hear you, that it can't be reached, not reached, not in any way, yet it's breathing and moving there before you with a purpose of its own. That's horror. Well, that's what's hanging over the world, prowling somewhere through mankind, that same thing, something closed, mindless, utterly wanton, but something with an aim and a cunning of its own.

The disease that's eaten his brain out has momentous names, such as "Immanuel Kant" and "John Rawls" and "Richard Rorty." But the beast himself has extremely prosaic names and guises, such as "Mr. Cale," "involved parents" and "the five-point rule."

Beware the parochialism of evil.

Lindsay Perigo: nokwak@lindsayperigo.com

SOLO (Sense of Life Objectivists): SOLOPassion.com


NZ score first ever point in world cup!!!

Marcus's picture

Sort of related to the topic.

Wooooohooooooo!!!!

On to the quarter-final!!!!

Jason....

Marcus's picture

...thanks for that information.

"After their initial contracts they can become free agents and other teams can bid on them."

However I thought of that too and it doesn't stack up.

In the UK, when the player leaves before his contract is finished, or the transfer fee in his contract when it is finished, his team stands to earn money when he changes clubs. If the player is especially good, the club will earn millions. For example, Manchester United sold Ronaldo to Real Madrid for a record £80 million ($120 million) last year.

Does this mean that in the US, the club gets nothing for the player?

If the NFL team do get money for their players when they leave, the allocating of that player to the worst team IS communist! It is like awarding money to the losers.

If they are not allowed to get any money when the player leaves. That's plain weird.

By the way, it turns out that American Football, is the only US invented sport.

Baseball comes from England originally and it was an Englishman who started the first professional US baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

Reed

Leonid's picture

Reed: "What you said appeals to velocity which is distance travelled in a time period."

Distance is a measure of separateness between two objects; time is a measure of process (motion in this case). The concepts of time and space originated exactly because mentally we are able to omit these measurements. But concepts don't substitute physical reality; they are representation of it to us, conceptual beings. Velocity simply means that distance between two objects is changing and we are able to measure such a distance by using some arbitrary standard of measurement and to compare this change with some other arbitrary chosen process. In other words both concepts represent relationships between objects and between processes.

The NFL is Run Like a Unified Company

Jason Quintana's picture

"...but it is a highly weird system. I know no one is being forced to belong to the NFL and players and fans may love it, but to reward success with failure seems barmy.

How do the players get paid, for example? If a team earns more money, I assume, by winning more trophies how do they pay the best players they pick?

Do they all just get a 'standard' fee and have to make the rest up in sponsorship deals?"

No, the NFL is run like a unified company that has quality and cost control measures. The owners split the gigantic TV contracts. The individual teams make more money when they win because they get the money from better ticket sales. As for rookie (1st year) player pay here is the breakdown of the salaries for the 1st round 2009 rookies. After their initial contracts they can become free agents and other teams can bid on them.

1 Detroit Matthew Stafford - QB 6 year $72 million contract, $41.7 million guaranteed
2 St. Louis Jason Smith OT 6 year $61.775 million contract, $33 million guaranteed
3 Kansas City Tyson Jackson - DE 5 year $57 million contract, $31 million guaranteed
4 Seattle Aaron Curry - LB 6 year $60 million contract, $34 million guaranteed
5 New York Jets Mark Sanchez - QB 5 year $60 million contract, $28 million guaranteed
6 Cincinnati Andre Smith - OT 6 year $50 million contract, $21 million guaranteed
7 Oakland Darius Heyward-Bey - WR 5 year $38.25 million contract, $23.5 million guaranteed
8 Jacksonville Eugene Monroe - OT 5 year $35.4 million contract, $19.2 million guaranteed
9 Green Bay B.J. Raji - DT 5 year $28.5 million contract, $18 million guaranteed
10 San Francisco Michael Crabtree - WR 6 year Undisclosed contract
11 Buffalo Aaron Maybin - DE 5 years $25 million contract, $15 million guaranteed
12 Denver Knowshon Moreno - RB 5 year $23 million contract, $13 million guaranteed
13 Washington Brian Orakpo - DE 5 year $20 million contract, $12.1 million guaranteed
14 New Orleans Malcolm Jenkins - CB/S 5 year $19 million contract, $11 million guaranteed
15 Houston Brian Cushing - LB 5 year $18 million contract, $10.435 million guaranteed
16 San Diego Larry English - DE/LB 5 year $17.8 million contract, $9.9 million guaranteed
17 Tampa Bay Josh Freeman - QB 5 year $36 million contract, $10.245 million guaranteed
18 Denver Robert Ayers - DE/LB 5 year undisclosed contract, $9.7 million guaranteed
19 Philadelphia Jeremy Maclin - WR 5 year $15.5 million contract, $9.5 million guaranteed
20 Detroit Brandon Pettigrew - TE 5 year $14.6 million contract, $9.4 million in bonuses
21 Cleveland Alex Mack - C 5 year $13.975 million contract, $8.975 million guaranteed
22 Minnesota Percy Harvin - WR 5 year $14.25 million contract, $8.4M guaranteed
23 Baltimore Michael Oher - OT 5 year $13.8 million contract, $7.82 million guaranteed
24 Atlanta Peria Jerry - DT 5 year $13.25 million contract, $7.55 million guaranteed
25 Miami Vontae Davis - CB 5 year $13.3 million $7.35M guaranteed
26 Green Bay Clay Matthews - LB 5 year $13.2 million contract, $7.1 million guaranteed
27 Indianapolis Donald Brown - RB 5 year $12.835 million contract, $6.845 million guaranteed
28 Buffalo Eric Wood - G/C 5 year $13 million contract, $6.5 million guaranteed
29 New York Giants Hakeem Nicks - WR 5 year $12.54 million contract, $6.5 million guaranteed
30 Tennessee Kenny Britt - WR 5 year $12.25 million contract, $6.5 million guaranteed
31 Arizona Chris Wells - RB 5 year $11.8 million contract, $6.345 million guaranteed
32 Pittsburgh Evander Hood - DT/DE 5 year $11.3 million contract, $6.1 million guaranteed

Leonid - Now may I ask why

reed's picture

Leonid -
Now may I ask why are you asking?

If presentism is correct then there must be a difference between two objects of differing momentums without appealing to a time period.

What you said appeals to velocity which is distance travelled in a time period.

Reed

Leonid's picture

Reed"Is there such a thing as momentum? What is the difference between an object with momentum and one without?"

"Momentum can be defined as "mass in motion." All objects have mass; so if an object is moving, then it has momentum - it has its mass in motion. The amount of momentum which an object has is dependent upon two variables: how much stuff is moving and how fast the stuff is moving. Momentum depends upon the variables mass and velocity. In terms of an equation, the momentum of an object is equal to the mass of the object times the velocity of the object. Momentum = mass • velocity"

http://www.physicsclassroom.co...

Since velocity is relative concept and there is no such a thing as absolute rest, all objects have momentum.
Now may I ask why are you asking?

Curt

Leonid's picture

I believe Rosie already has provided an explanation when she informed us:

“From God's point of view the experience of disease could be said to be no different from any other experience of character refinement.”
So agony, a gift from the Lonely Goblin, is to be embraced."

If anybody who listened to this piece of music thinks that its creator deserved to die in agony, then such a person abnegates the notion of justice. If Christianity embraces injustice, then it is a solid proof of my argument that such a religion is immoral. Besides, how such a religion could be a religion of love? This is simply oxymoron.

Marcus

Doug Bandler's picture

You raise good questions and I confess I don't have answers but I will try to lay out the landscape somewhat.

* NFL player contracts are heavily incentivized so there is an element of individualism there. The more yards or the more touchdowns the more money.

* The NFL does have what could be considered an "egalitarian" business model in the sense that it is trying to create 32 competitive teams throughout the country. It does not want teams that are perpetually bad. The reason has to do with the way the NFL gets its money: television contracts. In order to get the most lucrative national contracts it needs to have as many competitive teams as possible. But there is a problem here; what is called the "small market / big market" dilema. Small US cities will not attract the same tv market share as New York, LA or other big cities. So without some egalitarian model, ie the salary cap, big market teams would be able to build perpetual winners and small market teams could never compete.

* Now, I know what you are thinking as I am thinking it too. There is something seriously flawed with the entire business model of the NFL if it must resort to a form of cannibalism to sell its product. But I don't know the economics well enough to say what the solution should be. Does the problem lie in anti-trust laws that effect tv and other media? I don't know.

I have heard it said by a number of Brits that their soccer system is far more free market oriented philosophically than is American football and that very well may be true. I would love to see an American sports franchise built on egoistic philosophical foundations but I don't see that happening in my lifetime.

I hope this helps.

It may not be communism...

Marcus's picture

"The NFL is no more egalitarian or "socialistic" because it rewards the worst teams with the best draft pick positions then soccer is "socialistic" or "anti-accomplishment" because it disallows the use of using a player's arms and hands."

...but it is a highly weird system. I know no one is being forced to belong to the NFL and players and fans may love it, but to reward success with failure seems barmy.

How do the players get paid, for example? If a team earns more money, I assume, by winning more trophies how do they pay the best players they pick?

Do they all just get a 'standard' fee and have to make the rest up in sponsorship deals?

In the UK, football teams are run like companies.

The more money they can generate from the 'market' and winning competitions - the better players they can buy in.

Like business, the fortunes of the team are dependant upon good financial and sports management and making the right choices.

The NFL system seems to be equivalent of allowing the bottom Fortune 500 companies have the first pick of the top Harvard graduates.

That's crazy!

Christian metaphysics

Richard Goode's picture

* The Lonely Goblin created the universe - thus metaphysical dualism
* existence of Co-eternal persons - Trinity
* Original Sin - corruption of material / human realm
* Divinity of the water walking carpenter (Christ)
* Substitutionary Salvation and Christ as redeemer of flawed, sinful man

I see God as Creator of the Universe - but I deny (as would, e.g., Spinoza) that this implies metaphysical dualism.

I see the Biblical story of the fall of Adam as a very apt metaphor for the human condition - but not literally true.

I see Jesus as Divine - in some sense.

I figure I score about 1 or 2 on your checklist.

I'll pretend I have no idea where you got the idea that I'm a "hardcore" Christian. Your Alzheimer's again?!

Questions for atimeists

reed's picture

Is there such a thing as momentum?

What is the difference between an object with momentum and one without?

Note: I've asked these questions before.

NFL is not egalitarian

Doug Bandler's picture

I don't think the structure of the NFL Draft has anything to do with communism. It is a choice made by the owners of the league franchises. The owners have decided to market the NFL as a uniform television product, with quality maintained across the board. This has worked out very well. The NFL is the top team sport in the United States and the owners are extremely wealthy.

But yes the weakest team from the previous year gets the first pick, the second weakest gets the second pick and so on. Because the level of talent is so high in the first 60-90 picks getting one of the top picks means less than it does in other sports.

Well said. We have to be careful of philosophic rationalism when we start to describe sports franchises using political terms. The NFL is no more egalitarian or "socialistic" because it rewards the worst teams with the best draft pick positions then soccer is "socialistic" or "anti-accomplishment" because it disallows the use of using a player's arms and hands. (This last was an actual argument that Robert Tracinski made a few years ago. After significant criticism he quickly withdrew from it.)

The NFL wants there to be 32 competitive teams so it structures its yearly college draft the way it does. If there is socialism in American sports it is because at the college level there is government interference. Because of government subsidized loans, American colleges and universities are in many ways a semi-socialist system already. The government heavily influences American collegiate athletics through the way it structures it subsidies and funding. If this were not so and we had a totally private university system and collegiate athletics market, the pro markets for all the major sports would be very different.

Christian Metaphysics

Doug Bandler's picture

By this I mean that a person believes in the Christian version of a created universe and the resultant dual-world metaphysics. This will also mean that the person believes that there is the pure and perfect world of god and then there is the corrupt and "imperfect" world of man. So creation ex nihilo is one part of what I consider Christian metaphysics as is Original Sin. But also, for a person to be said to operate fully under a Christian metaphysical worldview that person has to believe sincerely in the New testament mythology. This means that they have to believe in Christ's divinity and his role in substitutionary atonement. So, the checklist would be something like this:

* The Lonely Goblin created the universe - thus metaphysical dualism
* existence of Co-eternal persons - Trinity
* Original Sin - corruption of material / human realm
* Divinity of the water walking carpenter (Christ)
* Substitutionary Salvation and Christ as redeemer of flawed, sinful man

I debate whether or not to include belief in heaven and hell. Some Christians take the "Lake of Everlasting Fire" seriously others take it metaphorically. So where do you stand Mr. Goode? Are you a "hardcore" Christian by my definition?

More on time

Doug Bandler's picture

You have contradicted yourself. If it is presently time T, and all that exists is the present, then there can be no relationship of cause and effect between things or events at time T and things and events at a later time T+1, since the things and events at the later time T+1 do not exist. A relationship cannot hold between two things, one of which doesn't exist. Note that since presentism denies causation, it also denies free will.

You are equivocating on the word "relationship". Say I take a small ball and throw it as far as I can. At point A it will be, say, 10 feet from my hand. At point B it will be 30 feet from my hand, etc... It sounds like your argument is that if point B does not exist in some dimension at the same time as point A then point B can never exist, the ball can never move and even human free will could not fucntion. The universe itself, I take it, couldn't function either. Is that your argument?

If it is, I see many problems with it. The ball does not need an independent future dimension to exist for it to be able to fly along its arc once it leaves my hand. All it needs is identity. The ball has a nature, the planet I live on has an atmospheric nature as well as a gravitational constant. Also, my arm strength is what it is. Once released the ball will travel the arc and distance that it does based on all these natural constraints. But at every point in that ball's arc it exists at only one point in time. That it can travel the distance and trajectory that it can is because of potentialities* that are a result of its nature.

A rational conception of time is that it measures motion. Leonid has a quote from Dr. Peikoff that explains this. An entity does not need to have a relationship with some future temporal dimension for there to be natural law, temporal continuity or for humans to have free will.

What your argument does, Mr. Goode, is deny the law of identity. Further, your argument sounds remarkably similar to your argument against induction. The skeptic in you doesn't believe that we can ever get from an is to an ought and he also doesn't believe we can get from time point A to time point B. My guess is that, for you, god is the great "cosmic glue" that allows us to have time and morality in the first place.

*It should be noted here that I am not making Aristotle's unfortunately wrong argument that potentialities exist within entities as metaphysical essences. (He just couldn't kick the Platonic habit totally.) An entity has potentialities as part of its nature but they are not "pure and perfect" essences within it. My ball has attributes that under circumstances allow it to fly through the air and roll once it lands back on earth. Many Christians, even Thomists, are strong believers in entities as possessing metaphysical essences. They are like this because they want to oppose philosophic nominalism so they resort to (Aristotle's) moderate realism instead.

Marcus

Jason Quintana's picture

I don't think the structure of the NFL Draft has anything to do with communism. It is a choice made by the owners of the league franchises. The owners have decided to market the NFL as a uniform television product, with quality maintained across the board. This has worked out very well. The NFL is the top team sport in the United States and the owners are extremely wealthy.

But yes the weakest team from the previous year gets the first pick, the second weakest gets the second pick and so on. Because the level of talent is so high in the first 60-90 picks getting one of the top picks means less than it does in other sports.

This reminded me of...

Marcus's picture

"“I couldn’t find anywhere in the world, even in a communist country, where that rule is enforced,” he said."

....something I heard on the radio yesterday.

The radio journalist claimed that in the US the best players from college football get allocated to the worst teams in the league.

When he mentioned it, he actually used the word "communist" to describe it and was surprised that it was practiced in the US of all places - comparing it to the highly competitive buying and selling of the best players by wealthy teams in UK premiership soccer.

I don't know the first thing about American football, so if anyone here wants to correct me on this point, then jump in now.

Doug

Rosie's picture

Although Rosie does believe in tongue-speaking I believe, which is somewhat problematic.

Problematic for whom? I haven't done it myself but I have heard others doing it. Real people in real time! Not a "belief" but a "reality"?! Eye

RG

Kasper's picture

You've just done it again. You've neglected all the charges made against you and have replied with a totally different subject matter asking me about presentism....

Doug

Rosie's picture

For some reason I though that Mr. Goode was a university professor.

Dr Goode did teach philosophy at university at one time. It is possible that you may have googled his name and found a paper published by him during this time with reference to the university he was teaching at. Smiling

Incidentally, Doug, I have found a copy of The Objectivist Ethics amonst some books I inherited from my parents. Now that I have read it I will just do a bit more reading and then respond. Smiling

Doug

Richard Goode's picture

As for "hardcore Christian", it is a term of art I use to describe anyone that accepts Christian metaphysics as their explicit philosophical base (which you do).

Please explain what you mean by "Christian metaphysics".

What do you think of my argument (earlier on this thread) against presentism?

Kasper

Richard Goode's picture

What do you think of my argument (earlier on this thread) against presentism?

Making stuff up

Doug Bandler's picture

Christians shouldn't accuse other people of believing in a philosophy that makes stuff up. The entire Christian movement was built on superstition and fantasy. I don't have time to go into it here but I have already indicated that there is a very strong possibility that Christ himself was entirely fictional and not even based on the historical existence of a real man. But everything from the lonely goblin to the co-eternal persons, to the divinity of Christ to the resurrection to the miracles...all of this is "making up stuff".

Objectivism proceeds from only that which can be reduced to the evidence of the senses or the enhancement of the senses via instrumentation. It does not start with arbitrary premises and then try to deduce moral codes and political philosophies from them. And it certainly doesn't claim that its ultimate truths are the product of revealed knowledge or divinely inspired, natural-law-defying miracles. When Christians accuse Objectivists of not being reality oriented I can only laugh.

As for thinking that you were a university professor, my apologies; a brainfart on my part. As for "hardcore Christian", it is a term of art I use to describe anyone that accepts Christian metaphysics as their explicit philosophical base (which you do). I didn't mean it to imply that you speak in tongues or some such. Although Rosie does believe in tongue-speaking I believe, which is somewhat problematic.

Just an honest mistake, Doug?

Curt Holmes's picture

But we have been told by the good(e) doctor that your “mistake” is evidence of “Objectivism’s basic vice, the source of all its evils.”

Are we to believe he took another leap of faith?

Leonid

Curt Holmes's picture

I believe Rosie already has provided an explanation when she informed us:

“From God's point of view the experience of disease could be said to be no different from any other experience of character refinement.”

So agony, a gift from the Lonely Goblin, is to be embraced.

My mistake

Doug Bandler's picture

For some reason I though that Mr. Goode was a university professor. Must be my Alzheimer's kicking in again.

Rosie

Leonid's picture

Rosie "Christianity is a doctrine of love."
Rosie, I appreciate your sincere believes and I myself would accept them if you will explain to me in the laymen's terms how the loving sweet Jesus allowed the man who created this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
to die excruciating agonizing death from the bone metastatic cancer?

Rosie

Kasper's picture

You've really grown on me these last few months. My impression too is that you're a well meaning and warm human being. At times you are most reasonable. Other times you write irrelevant expose's on essays on some biblical topic which have bugger all to do with catching fish. It is particularly evident when you get onto your spiritual stuff that all reason fades away. Some of the things you write make me pinch myself to make sure I'm reading correctly... Look at the example below!

The enemy is not the people but the evil spiritual forces, that tempt and beguile people away from the good, that is behind it all. And as long as that lives, people will follow unless they stand tall in Christ and resist it.

Arrrgh!!! Something switches when you get onto this religious shit! You loose your reason and espouse such nonsense!!!! Spiritual forces? Just give it a try Rosie... Honestly.... Not to mention the profoundly treasonous act of divorcing responsibility from the actor and the action. You've just handed out a moral blank check. Declared an evil doer out of control and therefore not morally responsible. This appeasement, this blatant suspension of judgment is what leads you to state that Hitler was worthy of love... Utterly sickening.

And for the record I know that you have stated in the past that you recognize the legal responsibility of an evil and concede the appropriate law enforcement but you continue to deny the moral accountability.

Christianities residual ethical fabric, specifically the ethics of meekness stemming from altruism, continues reck havoc with the righteous defense of western civilization.

Doug

Kasper's picture

Your posts on free will are mostly spot on. Time is a measurement not a dimension. Stating that time is a dimension is a rationalization made by skeptics including religious nuts for the purposes of declaring the human mind to be impotent to know anything. We, human beings, constrained by a given set of dimensions cannot truly know anything because although we might be aware of other dimensions we cannot truly know or grasp them, only the supreme being can. Looks like a downward spiral of horseshit creating more horse shit to justify its own horse shit.

Proof of Goodes dishonesty and insincerity

Kasper's picture

is all right here for folks to see. No links required.

Goode, you keep pointing to a site that supposedly in your view undermines Rand's ethical theory. The refuting arguments to these criticisms have been exhausted here on SOLO. Your insincerity has been demonstrated a dozen times. How so? You engage in these discussions without following through on your initial comments when they are challenged. You have never set up an argument demonstrating ethics to be intrinsic - working without the reliance of an agent relative. This has been the crux of most of the ethical disagreements between you and objectivists on this site.

Your insincerity also can be demonstrated by your replies to many posts addressed to you that are loaded with questions only to be answered by a single questioning one liner from yourself. You have made little attempt if any to engage into a debate that sinks into your position as compared to ours in a manner that acknowledges counter challenges, clarification and teasing out of your position.

As I said you are up to your usual standards and I'm not anywhere near as kind as Doug or Lindsay to excuse you on grounds of being fossilized in Platonic Epistemology, Academic Pomowankery or nihilism. Such abject dishonesty and insincerity on so many grounds, flying in the face of multiple pleas to come out and put your case forward completely on your goblinism and ethical theories, to me shows your conscious and willful desire to operate in bad faith.

On time

Leonid's picture

This is the Objectivist position on time. 'Time is a measurement of motion; as such, it is a type of relationship. Time applies only within the universe, when you define a standard such as the motion of the earth around the sun...But when you get to the universe as a whole, obviously no standard is applicable. You cannot get outside the universe. The universe is eternal in the literal sense: non-temporal, out of time." (Leonard Peikoff, “The Philosophy of Objectivism” lecture series (1976), question period, Lecture 2.
In other words it is a concept which allows measurement of processes. The "time arrow" from past to future is simply expression of the law of causality. There is no such a thing as time-flow. The past-present-future distinction is applicable to only non-circular processes. For example the motion of Earth around Sun is circular process; objects don't change as result of this process. In non-circular processes A becomes B, so one can say that A will be B in the future or B was A in the past. But these are mental projections. They don't exist as entities. If man involved in such a process, he may claim that he changed the future. Such a statement could be valid only in regard to man-made objects and processes. Metaphysically given processes cannot be changed.

The virtue of Honesty

Richard Goode's picture

One must never attempt to fake reality in any manner.

Baade ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Notwithstanding your refusal to answer my various questions, you pose me one of your own:

Linz, here's a question for you. Can the future be changed? Yes or no?

The question is fraudulent. You can't change what hasn't yet happened. You're question-begging with the smuggled premise that the future has already occurred, but might somehow be subject to alteration.

You believe in a goblin who's written the script for everything: past, present and future, and will torture for ever those who, as he already knew they would, fail to genuflect to him. That makes you a really stupid intelligent person, and an endorser of a cosmically monstrous fiend.

Have you no conscience that you can applaud such a celestial savage? No mind that you can subscribe to such a sordid, savage, stupid, stinking superstition?

Why don't you just focus on putting homosexuals to death? Rosie says that's a holy outcome. Why don't you do it, next time you meet me?

Objectivism's basic vice

Richard Goode's picture

Objectivism's basic vice, the source of all its evils, is the act of making stuff up. E.g.,

Dr. Goode is a university professor

No, I'm not, I'm a computer programmer.

[Dr. Goode is] a hardcore Christian

No, I'm not, I'm a Jeffersonian Christian.

his bromides... come out of Konigsberg.

No, I've never liked Kant.

observe the back-pedalling from goblin-as-omniscient-creator to "leave God out of it"

No, I've never claimed that God is omniscient.

You believe in a goblin who's written the script for everything: past, present and future, and will torture for ever those who, as he already knew they would, fail to genuflect to him.

No, I don't. I don't believe in an afterlife.

Ah, Doug!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I don't know where you got the idea that Baade is a university professor. He isn't. He merely behaves like one. Nor is he 200 + years old as you imagine. Only his bromides, not his body, come out of Konigsberg. Smiling

Yes, some defense mechanism is triggered. The only time Baade gets lively in the flesh is when he pronounces Objectivism to be rubbish. It's the principle behind "more than a little nihilism" that I want to grasp. In the meantime, observe the back-pedalling from goblin-as-omniscient-creator to "leave God out of it" when the so-called trained logician can't defend his indefensible position ... having inserted his non-existent goblin into it so asininely.

Focus your minds

Richard Goode's picture

Doug, you say that "Objectivists see [the concept of] time as a relational concept measuring the [temporal] relationships of things that exist." (Your italics.) Very well, then. (I have no need to reify the future, just as I have no need to reify Auckland.)

A good example of a temporal relationship is the relationship of cause and effect that holds between a thing or event at time T (the cause) and a thing or event at a later time T+1 (the effect). Note that volition (free will) is a type of causation.

The problem for you, Doug, is that earlier on this thread you said, "There is actually a school of thought in physics called Presentism which argues (correctly I think) that all that exists is the present."

You have contradicted yourself. If it is presently time T, and all that exists is the present, then there can be no relationship of cause and effect between things or events at time T and things and events at a later time T+1, since the things and events at the later time T+1 do not exist. A relationship cannot hold between two things, one of which doesn't exist. Note that since presentism denies causation, it also denies free will.

Linz, here's a question for you. Can the future be changed? Yes or no?

The Goode Dr. is a weird mix

Doug Bandler's picture

What I can add about someone like Dr. Goode is that by his own admission he believes that a god is necessary to ground morality. He also believes that without this divinely inspired morality there would be pure subjectivism and thus pure chaos. Thus the lonely goblin is necessary for the existence of human society as such.

Here's the thing that is confusing about Dr. Goode. Usually viewpoints like this are expressed by cultural conservatives who are not very libertarian. I have seen this alot from Christian Conservatives. But further, Dr. Goode is a university professor and a Humean skeptical one at that. So, in him we have a Humean Skeptical academic who is simultaneously a hardcore Christian and a libertarian to boot!! That, to my knowledge is not that common.

As for "the principle behind the dean" aspects about Dr. Goode, here is something that comes to mind. He is an academic and he has the typical academic disdain for Ayn Rand. I am always suspicious about the soul (secular sense) of anyone who hates Ayn Rand. You can disagree with her all you want but once you get into the hatred / contempt zone then something is going on there. Some defense mechanism is being triggered.

Here is the only thing I can think of as a non-psychologist. For serious skeptics and serious mystics (and Dr. Goode is both!), Ayn Rand represents a serious psychological threat. If she is right then the entire worldview of the skeptic / mystic is in jeopardy. When someone's philosophical / spiritual floor is in danger of being ripped out from under them, they have to fight back (assuming they are not going to critically re-examine their premises which is extremely rare for anyone over 30). That is what I think motivates alot of the Rand hatred and dismissing that we see, especially from academics.

I wouldn't care if they disagreed in a polite way. But the "Ayn Rand is not even a philosopher and you are a fool for treating her like one" attitude is most annoying. Its as if they want to punish anyone who likes Rand or even worse, they want to embarrass and shame fans / admirers of Ayn Rand. There is more than a little nihilism going on there me thinks.

That's about the best I can come up with.

Well, quite

Lindsay Perigo's picture

But you know, Doug, I still do not know what I'm dealing with. You talked about the principle behind the Dean. In the principle behind Baade, there is something even more insidious than just pomo-secondhandedness. Baade himself is merely a useful idiot on its behalf, a brainwashed child of modern philosophy, a pomo-secondhander. He's a devout devotee, in spite of his revolting pedigree, of non-initiation of force, even as he thinks its validation comes from a goblin. But the principle behind Baade is something worse than the Dean and worse even than Toohey. As you say, it's good(e) to have open debate so that all this smegma can be uncovered, and. one hopes, doused with Dettol.

And do you get this "photographic proof that the future can be changed" thing?? Because I sure as hell don't. And Baade sure as hell is not going to explain it. Yes, I get that he's treating time as metaphysical, but so do most people, unthinkingly, innocently. Here, in Baade, that nonsense is overlaid with an agenda more creepy than I can grasp.

Lindsay

Doug Bandler's picture

What kind of cosmic fiend, knowing the outcome of his play is eternal torture for most of his characters, would proceed with it? He could have just stayed lonely!

It would have been more honorable if he remained lonely.

The Judeo-Christian mythology when you analyze it like we are is insane. And evil. The God of Abraham is such a sadist that it sometimes shocks me that devotion to him has lasted two thousand years. And people think he stands for love!!

I would take the Greek or Roman gods any day of the week over the Judo-Christian goblin. As crazy as the Olympian dwellers were, they were a lively and adventurous bunch. But Yahweh. . . A megalomaniac that one is. . .

more on time

Doug Bandler's picture

I'm saying that time is just another dimension, closely akin to a spatial dimension. Thus, the future, the present and the past are locations, just as north of the Bombay Hills, the Bombay Hills and south of the Bombay Hills are locations.

Exactly what I suspected. This is an explicit reification of the concept time. Dr. Goode is treating time as a Platonic dimension. For Objectivism time is a measurement of the motion of physical entities. Dr. Goode sees time through his Platonic lens of "essences" in another dimension. Objectivists see time as a relational concept measuring the relationships of things that exist. That right there shows the different epistemological approach of Platonism and Objectivism. The cognitive methodologies are radically different.

Heard of Einstein?

I'm not an expert on Einstein but I would seriously doubt that he believed that a pre-existent future existed as another dimension. Einstein after all didn't even want to believe in quantum mechanics!

Dr. Goode is a hardcore Platonist. Its good that he post here at Solo as its good to see the arguments of those that oppose Objectivism. But the difference between Dr. Goode's epistemological foundation and Objectivism is light years apart. When we debate ideas with him, we are literally speaking two different languages. This type of discussion is good for educational purposes but a man like Dr. Goode will never change his ideas. At his age he probably couldn't if he wanted to. He has too much invested in them.

Now, Baade ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

You've truly lost the plot. "Leave God out of it?" You're the one insisting we keep him in it! You were arguing that a "choice" that your goblin knows about in advance while going ahead with his play is nonetheless still a choice.

Photographic evidence that the future can be changed?

Am I misreading this? Is that seriously what you're asking, even as you refuse to rewrite the story of the lonely goblin?

Again, I'm compelled to say, I truly don't know what I'm dealing with here.

Wake up

Richard Goode's picture

I note the Goblians have thus far not risen to my challenge to rewrite it.

And I note that no one has yet risen to my (more recent) challenge to provide photographic evidence that the future can be changed.

Baade is now saying acting a part whose lines have already been written by the goblin who wrote the play constitutes free will.

That's not what I'm saying at all.

Leave God out of it.

I'm saying that time is just another dimension, closely akin to a spatial dimension. Thus, the future, the present and the past are locations, just as north of the Bombay Hills, the Bombay Hills and south of the Bombay Hills are locations.

The "future" is a potentiality or a series of potentialities.

No more so than Auckland.

It does not exist as some Platonic essence in another dimension.

The future is a region in time. Time is a dimension.

The conception of an independent future that already exists is bizarre although I wouldn't be shocked if some physicist drowning in post-modern philosophy could come up with a thousand equations to "prove" its existence.

Heard of Einstein?

Well

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I have Satan in my version, but not the anti-Goblin, if by that you mean the anti-Christ, since they're not one and the same (are they)? Getting them all in would have complicated the tale.

Hmmmm. I can still call Satan an anti-Goblin though. I shall! Thanks! Smiling

Linz

Curt Holmes's picture

Add to that he created his own anti-Goblin. I guess so that we wouldn't blame him.

Poe couldn't have come up with a more twisted tale.

Doug

Lindsay Perigo's picture

All this new twist on omniscience does is to make the Judo-Christian goblin story sound insane. God knows the entire course of human history down to the last detail and even though, the argument goes, humans have free will, god himself is watching a movie the ending of which he knows already.

The story is insane, of course. I think my lonely goblin version encapsulates its insanity rather better than its conventional telling. Its full insanity was impressed on me for the first time as I wrote it, at around the point where I said, kids, don't even try to make sense of this at home.

I note the Goblians have thus far not risen to my challenge to rewrite it.

Baade is now saying acting a part whose lines have already been written by the goblin who wrote the play constitutes free will. That's insanity right there. The actor might well have the illusion of free will if he's unaware that he's following a script, but free will it ain't. He is a robot doing what he's been programmed to do by his creator. Add to that that the goblin intends to punish most actors for following his script—punish them for ever—and you have a creature of literally unspeakable monstrousness. What kind of cosmic fiend, knowing the outcome of his play is eternal torture for most of his characters, would proceed with it? He could have just stayed lonely!

Then they say Goblin is Love. That's beyond insane.

Goblinism Cliff Notes

Curt Holmes's picture

Doug, here is a summary to assist you in your discussion with Rosie:

At the beginning of human history, The Lonely Goblin commanded mankind to rule over the earth (Genesis 1:26-31; Hebrews 2:6-8). When man disobeyed The Lonely Goblin, sin entered the world (Genesis 2:17, 3:6-7). By this one action, man sold his right to rule this world to The Anti-Goblin (created by The Lonely Goblin) and at the same time became captive to sin himself (John 8:34, 12:31; Romans 6:6; Ephesians 2:2, 6:12). As a result, sinful men live in a world full of corruption, each person doing what is right in his own eyes, the whole time being led astray by their own evil desires (Psalm 8:6, 51:5; Proverbs 14:12; Genesis 3:17; Romans 8:20, James 1:14-15). It isn’t hard to see that the whole world lies in The Anti-Goblin (created by The Lonely Goblin)’s power (1 John 5:19). Even The Goblin-Son did not dispute with him over the fact that he ruled the kingdoms of the world (Matthew 4:8-10). Therefore, there can be no lasting peace or restoration of the land until The Goblin-Son returns to redeem the land and man (Galatians 4:4-5).

The Goblin-Son came in the likeness of mankind, while still retaining his full authority as The Lonely Goblin, in order that He might redeem men from their sentence of death, and re-establish, for the believer, man’s authority to rule (Philippians 2:6-8, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 54-57, Revelation 20:6). When The Goblin-Son died on the cross, He purchased back the land and men’s souls from the dominion of The Anti-Goblin (created by The Lonely Goblin) through the shedding of His own blood, the purchase price for redemption of man’s sin (Hebrews 9:22, Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 1:18-19, 1 Corinthians 6:20). A day is coming, after severe judgment upon the earth, when The Goblin-Son will break the seal of the deed and end The Anti-Goblin (created by The Lonely Goblin)’s rule (Revelation 5:1-10, 6-18, 19:11-21). At the end of The Goblin-Son’s 1,000 year reign upon this earth, The Anti-Goblin (created by The Lonely Goblin) will be set free for a short time and war once again will be waged (Revelation 20:7-10). It is only at the end of that war, once the murderer of man, The Anti-Goblin (created by The Lonely Goblin), is destroyed by The Goblin-Son and His servants’ blood is finally avenged, that wars will cease and peace will once again be established in the new heaven and new earth (John 8:44, Deuteronomy 32:43, Daniel 7:13-14, 2 Peter 3:3-13, Revelation 21:1-4). Until that time we are called to fight the good fight and keep the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).

Hope it helps.

Time & Omniscience

Doug Bandler's picture

If god knows what my choices are going to be what is the point of any of this for god? I'm guessing this approach to omniscience also means that god knew what Adam and Eve's choice was going to be too? Then god knew that mankind would be disobedient and yet he still punishes us?

All this new twist on omniscience does is to make the Judo-Christian goblin story sound insane. God knows the entire course of human history down to the last detail and even though, the argument goes, humans have free will, god himself is watching a movie the ending of which he knows already.

There are so many cognitive violations here its hard to know where to begin.

1) Time is a measure of motion. There is no such thing as the "future" already existing. The "future" is a potentiality or a series of potentialities. It does not exist as some Platonic essence in another dimension. The conception of an independent future that already exists is bizarre although I wouldn't be shocked if some physicist drowning in post-modern philosophy could come up with a thousand equations to "prove" its existence.

2) Omniscience is a thoroughly contradictory concept. What facts of reality give rise to it? None. Conceptual knowledge only exists for volitional beings that are not "infinite" or "without limits" or "omniscient". The very existence of conceptual knowledge means that there is not omniscience. Omniscience would destroy the very notion of knowledge. The terms "knowledge" and "thought" lose any meaning in the context of "omniscience". So this super powered goblin that theists believe in is impossible on its own premises.

We put 1 and 2 together and we see that there is no such thing as omniscience, let alone omniscient knowledge of a pre-existing future reality. As I keep saying, theistic concepts represent a destruction of the context of legitimate terms. You can't take a concept and apply it in a context that destroys its meaning. That's what you are doing when you say that an omniscient super goblin "knows" your "future" all the while asserting that you nevertheless still have "free will".

Cognitive destruction run wild.

A challenge

Richard Goode's picture

I'll be most interested in Goode the Baade's response to you on free will. On this or one of these goblin threads he's said the future can't be changed.

Yes, I said the future can't be changed, earlier on this thread. I said the same thing, some time ago, here. An interesting exchange ensued. I recommend following the links here.

I challenge anyone who insists the future can be changed to provide photographic evidence. Before and after pictures, please.

I think he's wrestling with whether his "Deist" goblin is omniscient or not.

No, I'm not. Doug thinks that if the future is already written, so to speak, then we cannot have free will. Whether or not there exists an omniscient God to read what is written, so to speak, doesn't affect the perceived problem. But we can have (a variety of) free will (worth wanting), even if the future is already written, and even if an omniscient God knows what choices we will, in fact, make.

If god knows that I will quit my job next Monday because he is omniscient and knows all things past, present and future, how do I have free will? Right now it is Tuesday the 8th. But it is already knowledge inside the "mind" of god that I will quit my job on Monday the 14th. It is "written" into reality so to speak. I must do this. If somehow I have a choice to not quit my job then god doesn't know what I will do on the 14th.

An omniscient God knows what choices you will, in fact, make. They're still your choices. God doesn't decide whether or not you'll quit your job on Monday the 14th. You do.

Doug

Richard Goode's picture

it seems from the few posts of yours that I have read that your main reason for believing in god is to ground morality. Am I right in that?

Absolutely.

I don't see Rand's view that morality is rooted in the biological nature of man to be that off-the-wall. Yet both goblinites and skeptics refuse to even consider it.

I have considered it, and rejected it. Why? Because there is no case for Objectivist ethics. There is no evidence that morality is rooted in the biological nature of man. Indeed, there are good arguments to the contrary. Objectivist ethics is an affront to reason!

Baade ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

What justifies making Deism an exception to the general rule that one should eschew belief which is merely consistent with the evidence? The threat of nihilism.

But don't you see, you've just endorsed nihilism?! Belief without evidence = anything goes. The subjectivist side of the coin whose other side is dogmatism: "The Universe was created by a Supreme Being who endowed it it with a Grand Purpose." Pure poppycock and piffle, all round.

You're seriously equating the presumption of innocence with the presumption of a goblin??!!

I rest my case!!

Linz

Richard Goode's picture

Belief without evidence is an affront to reason.

No, not necessarily. Belief without evidence is what I call faith. I already mentioned here and here

the distinction between faith which flies in the face of the facts, and faith which doesn't

We can distinguish between the following

1. Belief which is contrary to the evidence.
2. Belief which is consistent with the evidence.
3. Belief which is mandated by the evidence.

Yes, belief which is contrary to the evidence is an affront to reason, and yes, as a general rule, any belief which is not mandated by the evidence but is merely consistent with it is unreasonable, too. But there are important exceptions to the general rule.

Consider the presumption that the defendant in court is innocent until proven guilty. This belief (presumption) that the defendant is innocent is usually not mandated by the evidence. Yet, far from being an affront to reason or a menace to liberty, the presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of our justice system.

Now consider the Deist presumption that the Universe was created by a Supreme Being who endowed it with a Grand Purpose. This belief is not mandated by the evidence, but nor is it contrary to the evidence. What justifies making Deism an exception to the general rule that one should eschew belief which is merely consistent with the evidence? The threat of nihilism.

Doug

Rosie's picture

I return the compliments of goodness, decency and intelligence to you. Smiling

(Oh dear, what would Ross say to this? Another love-in with the Christians on yet another thread! Eye )

Are you an American, Doug? Where do you live?

sounds good

Doug Bandler's picture

And I presume that you are knowledgeable about the depths of Christianity. Smiling What I don't know I will rely on you.

Doug

Rosie's picture

I will read both the essays you suggest, presuming they have them online or at the library. If not, I guess I can buy them! How's that for meeting you halfway?! I don't want to be talking past each other. And I presume that you are knowledgeable about the depths of Christianity. Smiling

Rosie

Doug Bandler's picture

Last bit for now.

One of Objectivism's most important moral precepts is an uncompromised allegiance to justice. That means never failing to make moral evaluations. Objectivists are not moral relativists. There is a similarity between Objectivism and Christianity in this regard. Both claim to stand for absolute moral principles. But Christianity's principles are grounded in supernaturalism whereas Objectivism grounds its principles in naturalism and the uniformity of nature. That is a massive difference. If you have time, I would urge you to read Ayn Rand's major ethical essay 'The Objectivist Ethics'. I would also urge you to read Dr. Peikoff's essay titled 'Fact & Value'. Both of these essays will give you an understanding about what exactly Objectivist ethics is. Without reading about Ayn Rand's philosophic system it will be very difficult to have a meaningful conversation with you. No, its not because of intelligence. You strike me as plenty intelligent. The difficulty will arise because we will be talking past each other.

So I hold this out to you, I have no ill will against you because you are Christian. If you genuinely want to expand your knowledge of Ayn Rand's philosophy, I will help you but you must do some reading first or pretty much anything I say will, by the standards of your Christian worldview, sound insane. (I know from experience.)

Doug

Rosie's picture

I don't believe in loving my enemies, I believe in killing them

LOL. Like God of the OT and the flood! But wiping out these people will not stop it as we have learned throughout history. The enemy is not the people but the evil spiritual forces, that tempt and beguile people away from the good, that is behind it all. And as long as that lives, people will follow unless they stand tall in Christ and resist it. (I know I must sound very cranky from your perspective. But I believe this is important and sadly people have been turned against Christianity so that any talk like this is simply regarded as nuts. Noone believes in God therefore noone believes in Satan. And noone believes in the spiritual warfare going on.)

Thanks for your prompt reply btw. I will look forward to the rest in due course. Smiling

Rosie

Doug Bandler's picture

To answer every question you raise would take too long, so for now let me just say that regarding the Crusades, the Christians, i.e. the Europeans, were in the right. They, of course being Christians, acted irrationally. But from my reading, the Crusades was a defensive and just war effort (in principle but not in practice) by European Christians against expansionist, warlike Muslims. If it were not for the Christian Crusaders, as crazy as they were, Europe would have been conquered by Muslims and Western Civilization might have ended right there. Thank God for Charles Martel!! (metaphorically speaking of course)

The problem with the Crusader effort is that the Christians went insane and starting waging war against there own people! They thus lost the moral high ground. But it should be understood that the attack against the Crusades is largely done by Leftist intellectuals and historians. I think a contextual study of history should show a fair degree of gratitude to the Christian Crusaders despite their nutty Goblinism. Lastly on the Crusades I would say this, if the Pagan world had remained strong, as in Scipio Africanus or Leonidas strong, Islam would never have been a threat. If Muhammad had come along during Rome's height, the Romans would have decimated the Muslims. Islam would have ended then and there. The Christian world was not strong (or rational) enough to devastate Islam and effectively wipe out the Islamic threat. Sadly, because of the lingering influence of Christian mercy and pity ethics, the West still can't deal Islam its death blow. An Objectivist world would have no such problem.

As for Christian "love" and converting Muslims to Christianity, my response will have to wait for another day. But suffice it to say that I am an egoist not an altruist. I don't believe in loving my enemies, I believe in killing them (assuming they intend to kill me which, in the case of Islam, they do). Our entire ethical foundation are worlds apart. I will try to get around to answering some more of your questions at a latter time.

Doug

Rosie's picture

Here is the article:

http://www.bibletools.org/inde...

The talk about Communism in the church is about half way down though the whole article is very, very interesting reading.

About Kyrel, Linz

Rosie's picture

Is what he says when defending Chris Sciabarra (and what about exactly?) correct?

Doug

Rosie's picture

1. Given your desire to expel the Islamo threat of evil through some kind of warfare, do you recognise that this was what the Christians by way of their Crusades tried to do also?

2. Can you explain why to do the same thing on Objectivist principles is okay but the anti Christian cry of "spilling blood" in the name of God (the good) is not okay? Both seek/sought to destroy an evil regime.

3. If you had your way, and a war against Islam was begun, would not Objectivism suffer the same fate of Christianity (by non-Objectivists) as a result?

4. Can you see another way? Do you believe that love overcomes evil (and is perhaps the only thing that does)?

5. Christianity is a doctrine of love. Islam is a doctrine of mixed things but amongst it is the evil of intent to destroy non Islamists. The Arabs are an emotional race. Their origins of thinking are not based on the rationality of the Greek and Roman philosophers as is our Western/European thinking. The expression "mad as an arab" was made very clear to me when I travelled through Egypt and all those Arab countries. There was chaos - people jumping on to wagons already overloaded with animals and people, legs all hanging over the side etc. Near death experiences for them everyday! I don't think rationality would persuade them. I am not saying they are stupid - far from it. Just a different way of thinking.

6. Is not a more peaceful and expeditious way to remove the evil by converting Islam to Christianity? My theory is that if all people in the West could become true Christians, then Islamists, observing the good, loving and right living actions of people in those Christian countries would be more open to change and convert.

7. So why aren't the Christians more Christian-like? Re Christianity and the things that you said about Christians (not being benevolent etc) are you aware that the Kremlin have a doctrine to put Communists within the church? I am trying to find where I read this article. It was backed up with names, a confession from an ex Communist person who tried to infiltrate the church in the USA but ended up becoming a Christian and I remember it talked about the funding for this came from the Rockefellas (sp?). When I first read it I wondered if it were yet another conspiracy theory. But I thought of it again when you talked about socialism being secularised Christianity. And I do recall studying the 10 commandments of Communism and one of them was to never cease to spread Communism in any way and the ends will justify the means.

8. Another thought. The Bible talks about the "end times" when Jesus returns and rules the earth dispelling all evil. Those end times are revealed by a number of things including an evil regime which takes over the world. Islam is growing in the West. The sheer numbers of babies being born to Islams in Europe would indicate that it may not be many more generations before Islam dominates Europe unless they can be persuaded of another better religion. The anti-Christian thinking of "good people" in the world and decrying Christianity, the non aggressive approach of Christians in this modern world as a result of the criticisms of previous warfare and bloodshed (albeit the statistics actually show a hell of a lot more loss of life and warfare from non-Christian wars - just not publicised in the same way as the cries against Christianity) and the lack of unity as a result will make it ever more possible for Islam to take over. This, and what I say in paragraph 6 above, leads me to believe that to turn away from Christianity is to help the Islamists achieve their goal of world domination.

Revelations has already shown the political regimes that were to follow Christ. These regimes turned out just as prophesied. I see this as just another revelation coming in to being. Maybe Kyrel will one day be seen as a prophet and people will regret not expelling the Islams in the way he suggests while it was possible though it is not my way (I hasten to add).

I've known ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... Kyrel or Andre or whatever he's currently calling himself for a while. He came to SOLOC-Philadelphia. He's a little bit mad. Gets rushes of blood to the head, whereupon all Muslims should be exterminated, then in the next breath is defending wimpy pseudo-Objectivist pomowankers like Sciabarra. One minute he's ARI on uppers, the next he's TAS on downers. Go figure. As you'll have seen, I've asked him to clarify, to no avail. Personally, I treat him as a loved family pet who succumbs regularly to an as-yet-unexplained form of dementia. Eye

Regarding Kyrel

Doug Bandler's picture

I agree with his views that we need to wage an uncompromised war against political Islam. The degree of military devastation is an open question. As Lindsay said, some of Kyrel's specific views are punitive and don't proceed from a right's based approach. But his willingness to identify Sharia Islam as evil is what I applauded.

But this is a question of the application of Objectivism's egoistic morality to the question of war. That is no easy task especially since today all war theory is heavily influenced by the sappy and KASSless Just-War-Theory which is the legacy of Christian theologians. I am obviously arguing from the perspective that Objectivism's egoistic ethics is life affirming and Christianity's altruistic ethics is life denying; a point I know you disagree with.

Doug

Rosie's picture

Thank you for your kind words about me. Yes I am good and decent! You are quite correct!

But there are Christians out there who are not as benevolent as you. And what they will do with Christ's words and the doctrines of Christianity's theologians. . . Well, suffice it to say that it won't be benevolent.

Now I know the Islamists are not the most benevolent of folk but what of your fellow Objectivist, Kyrel Zantonavitch?! Are his ideologies benevolent? e.g., Shooting people who refuse to watch television? And did you say that your views were sympathetic?!

TJ: Attila and the Witch Doctor

Ellen Stuttle's picture

Thomas Jefferson, as quoted by Linz below:

"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own."

Rosie

Doug Bandler's picture

All I can say in response is that I think what you are describing is a mindful and thoughtful approach to moral evaluation with which I agree. But I see no reason to tie that up with the Christian conception of meekness which I do not see as healthy.

But let me state this, from your posts I see you as a good and decent person, but one who has sadly internalized a thought system which is nowhere near as good and decent as you. Your approach to Christianity may be benevolent and restrained and make you feel as if it grounds liberty. But there are Christians out there who are not as benevolent as you. And what they will do with Christ's words and the doctrines of Christianity's theologians. . . Well, suffice it to say that it won't be benevolent.

Doug

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Bottom line: goblinism is the product of improper cognitive methodology.

It's fucked, in other words. Eye

I'll be most interested in Goode the Baade's response to you on free will. On this or one of these goblin threads he's said the future can't be changed. I think he's wrestling with whether his "Deist" goblin is omniscient or not. Paraphrasing Leonid, how to have his goblin-cake and eat it too.

Leonid

Doug Bandler's picture

When he strips god from his omnipotence and omniscience and attributes to him some inherent properties he puts boundaries on god, turns him to definable object, part of existence. But part cannot create the whole. Such a god cannot satisfy any religious needs.

This is very well put and captures the point in a way I was having trouble putting into words. By giving god all these attributes - i.e. "logic", "morality", "order", etc - theists are giving god a definite nature. But god is supposedly "supernatural" which means that he is above nature and limits. How can you put limits on the "limitless"? And how can you define something that is beyond the human mind's ability to comprehend? Contradictions and more contradictions.

I think what the whole concept of theism comes down to is epistemological corruption most notably in the area of definitions. Theists give their god properties which destroy the rational definitions of these terms. And it should also be noted that since Christians say that their god is not reducible to the evidence of the senses then they can only "prove" god's existence by a series of logical inferences. But logical inferences made from a starting point other than the evidence of the senses is philosophic rationalism; i.e. deduction from arbitrary premises.

Bottom line: goblinism is the product of improper cognitive methodology.

Dr. Goode

Doug Bandler's picture

Not at all. As Reed has already pointed out, knowing the past doesn't show that there was no free will in the past. By the same token, knowing the future doesn't show that there will be no free will in the future.

If god knows that I will quit my job next Monday because he is omniscient and knows all things past, present and future, how do I have free will? Right now it is Tuesday the 8th. But it is already knowledge inside the "mind" of god that I will quit my job on Monday the 14th. It is "written" into reality so to speak. I must do this. If somehow I have a choice to not quit my job then god doesn't know what I will do on the 14th. How could he be said to be omniscient, especially the way Augustine defines omniscience?

God's omniscience means that the course of events is laid out in linear fashion. C follows B which follows A, etc.. How can I, a mere mortal, change that path? I can't think of any objection to this that doesn't reduce to absurdity. You could argue that I don't really have free will but that on my level of awareness I only think I do and that is enough. But that doesn't defeat the determinism charge. God still knows what I will do on the 14th.

Dr. Goode, if I may ask, it seems from the few posts of yours that I have read that your main reason for believing in god is to ground morality. Am I right in that? If that is the case, I am somewhat sympathetic. I know how annoying and even repulsive subjectivist and relativist Leftists can be. But I must confess, I don't see Rand's view that morality is rooted in the biological nature of man to be that off-the-wall. Yet both goblinites and skeptics refuse to even consider it. There is something interesting going on there. Something akin to "the principle behind the dean"...

Doug

Leonid's picture

"Moral law to be objective must be written in the nature of things, along with all other values. True enough, God chose to create some things rather than other things, or even no things. But not even the omnipotent God could make (say) wanton slaughter of children intrinsically right by commanding it (nor would he command it, of course), or marital love intrinsically wrong by forbidding it (ditto). Nor, for that matter, could he have made inanimate objects inherently nobler than plants, plants thus nobler than animals, or animals thus nobler than rational creatures. On this view, God's legislative will is that we do the right and love the good, avoiding wrong and evil. His law is tailored to his perfect moral wisdom: his perfect knowledge of what is already in fact right or wrong, anterior to His addressing commands to creatures."

I'm sure you noticed the multiple logical fallacies of this theistic argument. First, objectively it doesn't define good and evil. Essentially it says that A is good because god created it. This is begging a question's fallacy. Second, theist here wants to keep his divine cake and to eat it too. When he strips god from his omnipotence and omniscience and attributes to him some inherent properties he puts boundaries on god, turns him to definable object, part of existence. But part cannot create the whole. Such a god cannot satisfy any religious needs. That why Pascal rejected god of philosophers and asked to bring back god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Baade

Lindsay Perigo's picture

There is no evidence to furnish. Sorry about that. ... Deism is no affront to reason, nor is it a menace to liberty.

You've just admitted there's no evidence for your goblin. Belief without evidence is an affront to reason. Goblinism, including "Deism" and Goblianity, is an affront to reason. Any affront to reason is a menace to liberty as it is apt to run amok, being unreasonable and all. The actual record of goblinism when it has had political supremacy is ample testament that they who believe absurdities commit atrocities.

I accept that you, Baade, would have no truck with the shocking history of institutionalised goblinism, but you unwittingly license it nonetheless, as alas did poor old Tom. "We hold these truths to be self-evident" just won't do when your adversary equally confidently asserts his truths, which glorify death, tyranny and the pursuit of misery, to be self-evident.

As Tom himself noted:

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes."

And:

"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own."

(As an aside, Baade, why just the one goblin anyway? Are there trolls and fairies too (yeah, yeah, I know about SOLO)? Witches and wizards, angels and demons, dragons and vampires? Was the poor old goblin really every bit as lonely as I said he was? And do you suppose he'll mind if I call him "Gobby" from now on?)

Just to Clarify

Curt Holmes's picture

"Knowledge does not require certainty. We can't be sure that the sun will rise tomorrow, but we know that it will. I wasn't certain that Doug would post again on SOLO, but I knew he would; and he has."

Is the Lonely Goblin certain as to whether Doug will post again on SOLO? Is he/she/it certain of what I will be thinking tomorrow at noon and what shirt I will be wearing?

I'm a Deist

Richard Goode's picture

Actually, you don't know that Mr. Bandler will post again on SOLO... I can't help but laugh at the spectacle of someone who, qua Humean sceptic, says we can't be sure that the sun will rise tomorrow, also, qua intrinsicist dogmatist goblinite, says we can be sure that Mr. Bandler will post again on SOLO.

Knowledge does not require certainty. We can't be sure that the sun will rise tomorrow, but we know that it will. I wasn't certain that Doug would post again on SOLO, but I knew he would; and he has.

If you were an all-powerful, all-knowing goblin, Baade, who did create Mr. Bandler, knowing in advance what he would do, you, Baade—by dint of that very fact—not Mr. Bandler, would be responsible for his actions.

Not at all. If we are God's children, then He is no more responsible for His children's actions than I am for mine.

You ask us to believe that the goblin for which you furnish no evidence created all of us—you, me, Mr. Bandler and Uncle Tom Cobley and all—knowing in advance what we would do.

There is no evidence to furnish. Sorry about that.

I challenge you, Baade, and your fellow-goblinites, to rewrite my "Story of the Lonely Goblin" in a way that you think makes it stack up.

You've seen my preliminary notes. Observe that I make no mention of omnipotence or omniscience - the two attributes on which your current objection (which fails, nonetheless) appears to rely. I'll attempt a first draft, pretty soon. Don't worry.

Goblinism, including Goblinianity, is an affront to reason, and as such, a menace to liberty, no matter how sincerely some goblinites believe in the latter. "They who believe absurdities commit atrocities."

Deism is no affront to reason, nor is it a menace to liberty. "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."

Baade

Lindsay Perigo's picture

You to the beautiful-minded Mr. Bandler:

Not at all. As Reed has already pointed out, knowing the past doesn't show that there was no free will in the past. By the same token, knowing the future doesn't show that there will be no free will in the future. I know that you will post again on SOLO. But, when you post again on SOLO, it will be your choice, not mine (and not God's).

Actually, you don't know that Mr. Bandler will post again on SOLO. All things being equal—Mr. Bandler's not being run over by a bus or converted to Islamo-Goblinism or simply choosing not to post again on SOLO for a particular reason or no particular reason—we can rationally assume he will indeed again post on SOLO. But we can't know it in advance for certain. It's not over to us, after all; it's over to him. I can't help but laugh at the spectacle of someone who, qua Humean sceptic, says we can't be sure that the sun will rise tomorrow, also, qua intrinsicist dogmatist goblinite, says we can be sure that Mr. Bandler will post again on SOLO.

Of course, Baade, your analogy falls down in one crucial respect. You didn't create Mr. Bandler. You are both metaphysically equal, non-omniscient, non-omnipotent human beings, making choices freely, for which you are both, in each of your own cases, responsible.

If you were an all-powerful, all-knowing goblin, Baade, who did create Mr. Bandler, knowing in advance what he would do, you, Baade—by dint of that very fact—not Mr. Bandler, would be responsible for his actions.

You ask us to believe that the goblin for which you furnish no evidence created all of us—you, me, Mr. Bandler and Uncle Tom Cobley and all—knowing in advance what we would do. If that preposterous proposition be true, then your goblin is responsible for what we do. He knew, and proceeded with the exercise when he didn't have to. He pre-ordained. In no meaningful sense whatsoever can we be said to be exercising free will in doing what your goblin pre-ordained. (Of course, into the bargain, in Rosie's version of Goblinism, Goblinianity, we get punished for doing it. As I said, "Kids, don't even try to make sense of this at home.")

I challenge you, Baade, and your fellow-goblinites, to rewrite my "Story of the Lonely Goblin" in a way that you think makes it stack up.

Goblinism, including Goblinianity, is an affront to reason, and as such, a menace to liberty, no matter how sincerely some goblinites believe in the latter. "They who believe absurdities commit atrocities."

Doug

Rosie's picture

This is pure misanthropy and it is a recipe for suicide. ..you have embraced a philosophy of pure man-hatred.

LOL! I don't understand why you think this! I think it states the complete opposite. It shows that meekness is positively dripping in love. But yes I agree that this is in complete contrast to Objectivism!

These words,

"He is a repentant sinner, and his recognition of this state radically alters his relations with fellow man. A sinner forgiven must have a forgiving attitude."

are simply a description of the meekness of heart that a Christian adopts in confronting someone who has done wrong. It is recognition of the fact that just as we would wish to be pulled up in a loving way if we got things wrong (which we do from time to time), we approach others who make mistakes and get things wrong with the same attitude. It is written in the context of an example of meekness when fronted with evil or wrongdoing.

If the wrongdoer doesn't heed the advice and continues to wrong, then the Bible states that others should join to confront the person and if still the person refuses to change his evil ways then he is to be kicked out of the church. Clearly it is important to assess that what is being done is really wrong from a Godly point of view to take so drastic an action. (I am thinking of the SOLO person whose father and family were kicked out of their church because the father didn't atend a meeting choosing instead to work while the weather was good etc. The actions of that church were clearly wrong.)

Now apply this attitude of meekness to the education minister's policy. (And it wasn't Tizard but Mallard btw - my error.) He declares a policy and, from that, a proposal that is wrong - not evil but wrong. He is approached by individuals and groups. They explain why his proposal is wrong in various forms. He gives up the policy and the proposal. Had he failed to do so, then I think he would have had an uprising on his hands. He may well have been kicked out of his position as a result. The attitude of the people opposing the proposal and policy was in meekness to begin with. They didn't seek to cause further hostility or put him in a position that he felt some stubborn need to continue the policy or he wouldn't be a "man" etc. The attitude was just right so that the right thing was achieved without any divisiveness or ill will.

At a personal level, on another thread, Linz and Kasper have declared Richard dishonest and playing word games. There was no explanation, no evidence presented despite the request for same. In fact he had been honest, having answered the questions put to him honestly and the "word games" were allusions missed by them. The fact that Linz delights in word games seemed to have completely escaped their notice and that this just might have made a disparaging comment about wordgames a mite hypocritical! Of course his wordgames are often quite funny and are always taken in the right spirit. With goodwill. But it should not go unsaid that should those wordgames have been taken with the wrong spirit or by people who are ready to be offended by the slightest thing , they could have been construed as extremely offensive. The response from each of us was, I think, a good example of what is meant by Godly meekness given the (in a real sense) atrocious and unjustified public accusation of dishonesty and thus defamation of character. Dishonesty is not a good thing. It would, however, be unfathomable for either of us to react with the vitriole and abuse for the wrongdoing that it probably deserved - for such is the Christian heart. We simply point it out in no uncertain terms but with that same Godly meekness as described....and wait for the apology.

It would seem that it is also a good thing, for this case, that patience is a virtue! Eye

Postscript: Actually, I don't think that this Godly meekness as described is honoured by Christians only. I think it is the behaviour and attitude of anyone who has any sensitivity or moral sensibility. It's just simply "right".

Doug

Richard Goode's picture

There is actually a school of thought in physics called Presentism which argues (correctly I think) that all that exists is the present.

Presentism denies a relationship of cause and effect between successive events. Presentism is completely at odds with modern physics. (Ever heard of the relativity of simultaneity?) Presentism is interesting, but wrong, notwithstanding "a whole bunch of equations to back it up".

The past, the present and the future are all equally real. You cannot change the future, just as you cannot change the past.

If god knows your future then you did not choose it. He did.

Not at all. As Reed has already pointed out, knowing the past doesn't show that there was no free will in the past. By the same token, knowing the future doesn't show that there will be no free will in the future. I know that you will post again on SOLO. But, when you post again on SOLO, it will be your choice, not mine (and not God's).

KASS quote of the day

Sandi's picture

"Do most Americans accept differences in race, creed, color, national origin, sex, politics and religion?

Sometimes I think our biggest differences arise from those who put secular government first and those who don’t."

– DRJ

The Future & Omniscience

Doug Bandler's picture

Why would knowing the future mean that there is no free will?

If god knows your future then you did not choose it. He did. Your life is a script written by god that you just play out with no ability to change its course. It also presumes that the future has an independent existence from the present and that the two exist simultaneously*. Think about the metaphysical violations of that.

The theistic response to this is that "well you don't know your future so it doesn't affect you. From your perspective you act as if you had free will." This fails. If god knows the future then your future is planned whether you know it or not. You are not the causal agent of your actions and thus your future. Augustine's definition of Omniscience demand hard fatalistic determinism.

Think of it this way. If god knows what you are going to do tomorrow, in what way can it be said that you have "free will". You are playing out a cosmic script. Also think about what this says about the Judeo-Christian god. The word sadistic comes to mind...

* There is actually a school of thought in physics called Presentism which argues (correctly I think) that all that exists is the present. The past exists only as memories. But the ideas that you could time-travel is fundamentally flawed because it assumes that the past exists as some Platonic dimension that exists simultaneously with the present and that you could step from one dimension to another. Presentism rejects this and has a whole bunch of equations to back it up. Interesting stuff.

Pure Misanthropy

Doug Bandler's picture

He is a repentant sinner, and his recognition of this state radically alters his relations with fellow man. A sinner forgiven must have a forgiving attitude.

This is pure misanthropy and it is a recipe for suicide. Rosie, you may be the nicest person in the world but you have embraced a philosophy of pure man-hatred. What you believe is the very opposite of Objectivism. Everything you believe in is loaded with Christian assumptions (especially Original Sin). These assumptions are totally rejected by Objectivism.

Interestingly, I just reread Galt's speech and I noticed that Ayn Rand went out of her way to lambaste Original Sin. She really attacked it head on. I didn't realize just how seriously she criticized it the previous times I read that speech.

Non sequitur?

reed's picture

Doug -
Knowing the past doesn't prove that there was no free will in the past.

Why would knowing the future mean that there is no free will?

Cheers,

Reed

Linz

Rosie's picture

Don't you see, this is your vile goblin's "the meek shall inherit the earth," "the first shall be as last" filth triumphing??!!

Not at all, Linz. You see, Biblical meekness when confronted with wrongdoing is not like the commonly perceived idea of meekness: weakness, bending over to wrongdoing, taking it lying down etc. You can see by the Biblical heroes, including Jesus, who were meek yet did not stand for evil or wrongdoing. The way they dealt with evil/wrong was not with revenge or to "get even" but to address the issue without causing additional strife or conflict and by putting things right if possible. I.e., Yet they acted at all times with Godly meekness.

"Ephesians 4 teaches how to build and maintain unity within a more social context, and here, prautes* appears with humility, patience, forbearance and love. Paul demands that, for unity to be built and maintained, we should receive offenses without retaliation, bearing them patiently without a desire for revenge. We are, in short, to have a forgiving spirit. Without it, we will surely promote divisiveness."

*"Prautes, according to Aristotle, is the middle standing between two extremes, getting angry without reason, and not getting angry at all. Therefore, prautes is getting angry at the right time, in the right measure, and for the right reason. . . . [I]t is a condition of mind and heart which demonstrates gentleness, not in weakness, but in power. It is a balance born in strength of character."

"The association of humility and meekness is natural, and is yet another facet of meekness. Whereas humility deals with a correct assessment of his merits, meekness covers a correct assessment of personal rights. This does not in any way mean a lowering of the standards of justice or of right and wrong. Meekness can be accompanied by a war to the death against evil, but the meek Christian directs this warfare first against the evil in his own heart. He is a repentant sinner, and his recognition of this state radically alters his relations with fellow man. A sinner forgiven must have a forgiving attitude. " (The Berean)

Thus to confront wrongdoing with meekness means that a Christian' attitude is not to create divisiveness on the point but to address it with a forgiving spirit, intent on putting it right and not settling for less than what is right.

Hard Deterministic Fatalism

Doug Bandler's picture

Since everything is done in accordance with the god's will, such a choice also belongs to god, not to man. Freedom by permission is contradiction in terms.

This is the conclusion that I think is mandated if we view god the way Augustine did. For Augustine, god knew all things past, present and future. For such a god and such a universe there could be no such thing as free will for man. Man's future would be known and that would imply hard, fatalistic determinism. The universe would be a cruel joke played by god.

But, once again, theists can be tricky. They will borrow from Palagius (without ever admitting it) a different view of god that says that god can not know the future because it didn't happen yet. God's omnipotence only extends to that which has happened. So this conception of god is limited and not "timeless". Again we are seeing the Inherent Properties principle in effect. Theists just attach certain properties to god in order to overcome contradictions. This just opens the door for more objections.

If god is truly omnipotent then there is no free will. If we tinker with god's omnipotence we destroy it and god becomes some weak proxy for natural law. Albeit a dangerous one.

Euthyphro Dilemma

Doug Bandler's picture

Are god's commands good because god gave them or god gave them because they are good?

Plato's Euthyphro dilemma is one I like to use with theists. When confronted with it they always retreat to the Inherent Properties argument which says that god has to answer to certain properties which are part of his nature (this is why god can not square circles). Here is the way one Christian apologist has phrased it:

Moral law to be objective must be written in the nature of things, along with all other values. True enough, God chose to create some things rather than other things, or even no things. But not even the omnipotent God could make (say) wanton slaughter of children intrinsically right by commanding it (nor would he command it, of course), or marital love intrinsically wrong by forbidding it (ditto). Nor, for that matter, could he have made inanimate objects inherently nobler than plants, plants thus nobler than animals, or animals thus nobler than rational creatures. On this view, God's legislative will is that we do the right and love the good, avoiding wrong and evil. His law is tailored to his perfect moral wisdom: his perfect knowledge of what is already in fact right or wrong, anterior to His addressing commands to creatures.

Notice how for this Christian, goodness is just part of god's nature. God must answer to a morality that he himself didn't create but just is. This I think is the legacy of Aquinas. This Thomistic god has all manner of limitations and really does seem to be a primitive theological attempt at grounding the uniformity of nature. Theists refuse to believe that "existence exists" independent of a supernatural consciousness and has identity as part of its nature. They need an explanation for nature's uniformity and for the existence of morality so they come up with "his perfect knowledge of what is already in fact right or wrong, anterior to His addressing commands to creatures."

Here is another quote from a Christian apologist that I have come across on the necessity of divinity for a moral source:

Incidentally, the view that there are no values without a human mind does not subjectivize values if there's an absolute mind in the picture. God is the way we reconcile the intuition that there's some necessary connection between values, purpose and mind with the intuition that there are objective goods.

Notice the insistence on intuition. I find this everywhere with Christian apologists. For theists like this, morality is mental. It exists in the mind of god. Of course how exactly does a "limitless", 'timeless", "bondary-less", "infinite", "supernatural" being have a "mind"? What is a "mind" in that context? Good luck ever getting a straight answer from a theistic apologist.

This is what we are up against with the religionists (mostly Conservatives). I have debated these types before and they can get very sophisticated. Theology is a type of philosophy after all. I think to defeat this you have to go right at the root and show that the concept of god is itself epistemological nonsense and then you work up from there.

Doug

Leonid's picture

Doug "They will say that morality is "built in" to creation itself."
Socrates once asked “Are god's commands good because god gave them or god gave them because they are good?" For theist such a paradox is irresolvable. Since god is a creator of everything, that would mean that god is goodness in himself. Yes, this is very similar to Platonic goodness. But this doesn't resolve the problem of moral choice. Theist may claim that people still have free choice to accept god and therefore to be moral or to reject him and to be an immoral sinners. But this is false alternative. Since everything is done in accordance with the god's will, such a choice is also belongs to god, not to man. Freedom by permission is contradiction in terms.

The young man's love of the

Callum McPetrie's picture

Unlike what many of us would do, Christ avoids becoming mired in a dispute about this claim, but gets right to the bottom line: The young man's love of the world. He tells him to sell his possessions, give the money away, and follow Him as a disciple. Yet, the young ruler was unwilling to do this. His treasure was here on earth. His money exerted a stronger tug on his heart than Christ did. Matthew Henry says in his commentary, "When we embrace Christ, we must let go of the world, for we cannot serve God and money.

The point is that we do not achieve salvation through our own efforts; it is from God alone, by His grace. "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible," Jesus assures us. We have our part to play and are rewarded for our efforts, as Romans 2 explains, but when God takes us from this world, works with us, blesses us, and brings us into His Family, it is truly a miracle.

If the essay you linked to is to be believed, going by these quotes, Christian morality states that Earthly values and 'salvation' are in direct contradiction to one another. In effect, to be 'saved', one has to renounce all values based on our Earthly existence - whether wealth OR poverty, whether love of others OR contempt for them - and adopt unconditionally the will of God, whatever that will may be.

So, if the article is correct, the Christian morality is basically submission of our own moral faculty, to what the Bible holds morality to be. Any good works, even if they totally agree with the Christian ethics, effectually mean nothing if they're not done in accordance with the will of God; hence poverty, although many Christians have considered it a higher moral state than wealth (Francis of Assisi comes to mind here), will not lead to salvation any more than wealth.

With this in mind, Rosie, if the Bible (the will of God) told you to slaughter one person per day, for example, would you still accept Biblical morality? But how would you expect to be 'saved', otherwise?

Or, do you accept Biblical morality not because you originally believed that you were going to hell if you didn't, but because it agreed with your pre-existing moral sentiments? If so, why is submission to the will of God necessary for moral acts?

And the final question: where did those pre-existing moral sentiments come from, if they did not have a worldly base, based in our own conceptions of morality? This is what Richard Dawkins talked about, when he said that, in assessing Biblical morality, we use our own criteria to judge it, and then to accept it or deny it. Either way, the Christian conception of ethics (eg. the golden rule) is only with us today precisely because it holds worldly lessons, for the living.

(Sorry to make all this sound like an interrogation, but I am genuinely interested to know what you think. Smiling )

Platonic Morality

Doug Bandler's picture

The good is anything which god or rather his worldly representatives proclaim to be good.

Yes, this is how many theists see morality. But some of them will be more philosophically sophisticated. They will argue that morality is not just commandments from god. They will say that morality is "built in" to creation itself. Morality becomes metaphysical and what the good Christian does is to "turn" himself towards god and "the good". Many Christians will treat morality as a set of Platonic essences but only these essences exist in the mind of god. The way to "access" morality is either by revelation or by intuition. Intuition is big with many Christian moral theorists. The reason they believe this is because they insist that morality must exist independent of man because if it didn't then morality would be subjective as every man would have his own morality.

Ayn Rand's moral theory is indeed revolutionary. She identified the moral base for morality and showed how the foundation for morality lies in the natural world. She also showed how morality is not subjective. Rand has answered both the theistic moralists and the secular relativists. If there is any justice, some future generation of humanity will honor Ayn Rand.

Commonality between the church and mosque

Sandi's picture

God issues commands to man. Man is disobedient to those commands. God punishes man. That's the Old Testament in a nutshell. It is in many ways worse than the Koran (and that's saying something).

One thing they both have in common is they both teach their children the answers.

Critical thinking becomes circle logic, namely a closed door for reason and logic.

Secular education teaches children how to think, whereas religion teaches children what to think.

"Judge a man not by his answers but by his questions"
- Einstein

Religion and morality

Leonid's picture

Doug, this is an excellent response. You mentioned "They (religionists) are going to say that without god there would no nature, no logic, no science, no morality, etc...” I'd like to emphasize the fact that actually religion is incompatible with morality. Morality is "a code of values accepted by choice". But religion effectively eliminates all choices. Since god is standard of value and he moves in mysterious ways which are incomprehensible to the human mind, obedience becomes the only virtue. The good is anything which god or rather his worldly representatives proclaim to be good. Therefore a religious man cannot exercise his own value-judgment. He becomes amoral at best and immoral at worst. The best illustration of religious ethics is the biblical story about a father, Abraham, who banished his first born son, Ishmael and sacrificed the second, Isaac, just because god told him to do so.

Legalized Hatred of the Good for Being the Good

Leonid's picture

"If a child wants to get good grades in school, but is unable or unwilling to achieve them and begins to hate the children who do, that is hatred of the good. If a man regards intelligence as a value, but is troubled by self-doubt and begins to hate the men he judges to be intelligent, that is hatred of the good.

The nature of the particular values a man chooses to hold is not the primary factor in this issue (although irrational values may contribute a great deal to the formation of that emotion). The primary factor and distinguishing characteristic is an emotional mechanism set in reverse: a response of hatred, not toward human vices, but toward human virtues"

“The Age of Envy,”
Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, 152

Salvation & Grace

Doug Bandler's picture

This is the concluding paragraph from the essay Rosie linked to:

The point is that we do not achieve salvation through our own efforts; it is from God alone, by His grace. "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible," Jesus assures us. We have our part to play and are rewarded for our efforts, as Romans 2 explains, but when God takes us from this world, works with us, blesses us, and brings us into His Family, it is truly a miracle.

"We do not achieve salvation through our own efforts..." Think about the viciousness of that. First of all humans need to achieve "salvation". Why? Because of the philosophical and ethical monstrosity known as Original Sin. And what is Original Sin? It is nothing more than a combination of hereditary curse combined with collective guilt and all the result of man's natural inquisitiveness. Man has Original Sin because he was disobedient* to god's commandments; i.e. he thought for himself.

Next it is said that we don't achieve "salvation" by our efforts alone but by god's "grace". So now we are dependent on the good will of some crazed goblin. What is his standard for granting salvation? There are many that have been offered and none of them are pretty. And for many Christian sects, human acts are irrelevant as god knows who he will redeem and who he wont. What does this say about justice? It destroys the concept of justice. But yet Christians will assert that the Bible is the source of all modern law. What a joke.

But let's go further and look at the structure of all this. Humanity can only receive moral redemption by satisfying the needs of a supernatural dictator. Humanity only has purpose in as much as it relates to this supernatural god. Forget about a man being an end in himself. Forget about man earning his own just deserts and being the creator of his character. Forget about genuine individualism. The whole Christian framework makes man the inferior plaything of a cosmic super being. Christianity is pure misanthropy.

Now I know the response of the faithful. They are going to say that without god there would no nature, no logic, no science, no morality, etc.. Therefore allegiance to god is allegiance to morality, reality, society, goodness, love, humanity, etc.. And herein lies our problem which Dr. Peikoff has alerted us to. Religion is pure misintegration. It offers a fully articulated worldview that provides for everything. The problem is that this worldview is based on fantasy and cognitive corruption.

* Disobedience is the major sin that the Old Testament is concerned with. The Old Testament has one theme that it repeats over and over and over. . . God issues commands to man. Man is disobedient to those commands. God punishes man. That's the Old Testament in a nutshell. It is in many ways worse than the Koran (and that's saying something).

Callum

Rosie's picture

Isn't this stretching the meaning a bit? It doesn't talk about the evils of placing material goods before God - in fact, it makes no reference to the role of God in the rich man's life at all. The rich man may be very reverential, but this doesn't come into it.

No, Callum. It is not stretching the meaning at all.

The Berean is something I subscribe to and I receive a verse and its meaning each day. Here is what it has to say about this subject. Please read it from the beginning to the end for a full understandiing.

"Subordination is the antithesis of sovereignty."

Sandi's picture

the verse simply observes that often people who are rich, worship material things and not God.

The religious collective dictates that something must be worshipped, as opposed to someone.
To value one self over god is blasphemous.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.