Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Food for Thought...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


As a staunch advocate of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism specifically, as well as her view of morality and the ethics of rational self interest generally, I am quite sure my astute readership knows where I stand on the following discussion.

Nevertheless, in the interest of an open and thoughtful exchange of ideas Rational Nation USA presents the following for your consideration. As always the Editor leaves it to each individual to ultimately decide for themselves the validity of premises presented.



Please visit the link to view segment 2-5. I attempted to post all 5 segments here, however after the initial posting when refreshed only segment 5 posted. Five times.

The search for knowledge is universal. However, the search for a one right, universally accepted rational and objective knowledge may allude mankind forever.

Perhaps this is as it should be... But then again, for the advocate of Objectivism and rationality the preceding premise is difficult, if not impossible to accept.

10 comments:

  1. You don't necessarily have to be an atheist to be an Objectivist, but you certainly could not be a Christian by any sense of the word.

    The only sort of Christian that could be considered anything like an Objectivist would be a Jehovah's Witness - someone only concerned with their own personal salvation.

    Yes, their are people like that, but no not everyone, and no, ceratinly not Jesus.

    So please. Don't even try, Les.

    JMJ

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  2. And your point is?

    I'm thinking the usual...

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  3. @Les,

    I reckon my curiosity is that, how is Christianity against rationalism? Can I not be rational and be a Christian? Or are these two ideals completely opposed to one another, with no chance of partnership?

    I appreciate your stance, (at least I think I do based on the limited knowledge I have of you), in that you appear to be an atheist without being a God-hater or blatantly anti-Jesus. There is a big difference there, and I am sure you are aware of it.

    Yet, I must wonder, again: can a person not be a Christian and be rational? Does Christianity automatically make a person a nutjob who cannot reason out situations under the wisdom and aegis of the Living God, who, according to Christianity, made us in His image?

    I'm not looking for a debate or an argument, please know this. I am simply looking at this topic with genuine curiosity. Of course there are countless examples of folks who espouse Christianity who are indeed waaaaay off, but, then again, for every one of them there is one of people like me.

    Your thoughts would be welcomed by me, Les. Thanks for your time and consideration.
    (For the sake of full disclosure, I cannot watch these videos because my laptop has no volume. So I didn't actually have the chance to listen to what they had to say. I am merely speculating right now, and maybe I am completely wrong in my presumptions.)

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  4. ec101 - I do not debate the validity, or lack thereof of any specific religious faith.

    I do however draw distinctions with the rationality of a specific faith in comparison to another.

    In answer to your question... "can a person not be a Christian and be rational? Does Christianity automatically make a person a nutjob who cannot reason out situations under the wisdom and aegis of the Living God, who, according to Christianity, made us in His image?"

    1) A person can indeed NOT be a Christian and yet be rational. Just as a person CAN be a Christian and be rational. The same can be said of Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, etc.

    A atheist is indeed not a God hater nor does the atheist deny the existence of Christ and his historical place within in the framework of word history and his impact upon it.

    The atheist views religion as a philosophy if you will that guides ones life and has impact on the decisions one makes.

    Whether or not one "believes" is, and should be, a very personal decision that is guided by their own conscience and how they view the world.

    In the view of a atheist religion often clouds ones ability ti think objectively as it is based more on tradition, a mystical sense of reality, lacks a scientific basis, is often illogical, etc, etc, etc.

    Having said this... there are things that can be drawn from religious teachings that indeed have value and are objective.

    I posted this for the I said, as food for thought. Each should take from it that which they will, and use it as they might see fit.

    I close by saying religion and spirituality are not at all one in the same. I have chosen spirituality over religion many a years back.

    I leave the definition of spirituality to each individual, rather than a collective.

    The fact I posted this is indicative of my belief that rational individuals can coexist, carry out reasonably rational discussions, and lead rational and productive lives irrespective of their acceptance, or lack thereof of any religious "faith."

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  5. @Les,

    You said:
    "The fact I posted this is indicative of my belief that rational individuals can coexist, carry out reasonably rational discussions, and lead rational and productive lives irrespective of their acceptance, or lack thereof of any religious "faith." "

    Bravo, sir.

    The name of my blog is Ecclesiastes 10:2, which says-
    "A wise man's heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man's heart directs him toward the left."

    I take this in a big picture sense, meaning that I find it particularly interesting that to this day, a person who espouses morality and common-sense ideals is on "the right", while a person who broadcasts liberal, victimized, and dependent ideals is associated with "the left". The right is wise, the left is foolish.

    Understanding that you are more "spiritual" than a person of Christian faith shows me you are at least open to considering the spiritual side of reality as we know it. Reality and spirituality are not independent of one another.

    Again, bravo.

    Seeing how you lean to "the right" gives me a sense of familiarity with you, not based on belief in the God I worship, but in His ideals more than anything. You are a rightist which, to me, is akin to thinking like God thinks but not necessarily as a believer in His deity. In other words, you and I have some things in common outside of religious dogma.

    Of course, we agree on the principle that a person who says they are a Christian is not automatically a Conservative. That would be a foolish presumption. I would also add that a person who says they are a liberal does not mean they are not a Christian. Fair is fair.

    So while I view this Nation through the eyes of one of those "born-agains", :), you and I can walk together on certain governmental principles that smack of God's way. We both have a common mindset; yours is secular, mine is faith-based. I am very okay with that!

    Thank you for your response and courteous tone. This was a good conversation.

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  6. ecc,

    Ugh. You really don't understand the context of "right" and "left" in that Bible citation, do you?

    "Right" and "left" were first coined in the way we use them today during the French revolution.

    The terms have NOTHING WHATSOVER with being "wise" or foolish," but rather class. The right supports the wealthy, the left supports the poor, and the center supports the middle class. At least, that's in theory how it's supposed to work.

    The "wise/foolish" stuff was invented by righties to make them feel smart.

    ***

    Rands primacy of self-interest and belief there is no altruism does have some merit and and is interesting and in a few ways, yes, it can mesh with Christianity (omitting the First Commandment). Of course, there are many aspects of each philsophy that do not mesh at all. Far too many to even scratch the surface here.

    JMJ

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  7. @Jersey,

    Ugh. Don't seek to teach me The Scriptures. You of all people should know better.

    It is common truth that in Judeo-Christianity, the "right" is associated with blessing and power, and the "left" is associated with evil and foolishness.

    Hence, hundreds of years ago, when Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes 10:2, his reference to "the right" being wise was appropriate and true, and "the left" being foolish was and is just as true.

    I understand if this offends you or makes you roll your eyes, but the proof is in the pudding. Fast forward thousands of years to today, and consider "the left" and "the right". One of these mindsets is wise and full of common-sense. The other is foolish and merely enables victimhood and helplessness and a dependency on others. One is wise. One is foolish.

    Simple enough. The Right is wise. The Left is foolish. It has been this way for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, and your disbelief in this truth changes nothing. Again, the proof is in the pudding. Comparing the most base of ideals between the two mindsets, the right and left, will only prove the foolishness of the left once and for all.

    Please do not attempt to correct me when it comes to The Scriptures, especially since you do not know the Author. You're out of your league, here.

    Les, my apologies for waxing theological on RNUSA. I understand it is not the push of your blog, but JMJ needed to be told the brutal truth about his spiritual political mindset which is rooted in foolishness.

    I shall not speak of this again, if possible.

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  8. Jersey: Ecc102 schooled you.

    Tis a fact that "left" in many cultures has had negative connotations and "right" positive. Sitting at a powerful person's (or God's) right hand is an exalted position.

    You even see it in Latin Sinistra = Left, Dexter = Right.

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  9. JMJ said: "The right supports the wealthy, the left supports the poor, and the center supports the middle class. At least, that's in theory how it's supposed to work."

    Nothing can be further from the truth. The Left supports the ruling class. The wealthy elites who run society. The Right can also, however the libertarian point of view supports the rights of the people. Against the privilege of those in power.

    Leftist views have nothing to do with the poor. except (in mild forms of leftism) causing a lot more poverty, and (in stronger forms of leftism, such as communism) killing a lot of poor people.

    Also, i know many right-wing people. Few are wealthy. They vote conservative out of their interest as middle-class or poor people. For JMJ to say that the right supports the wealthy ignores the interest of voters, is condescending, and ignorant.

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