October 23, 2012

Primacy Of God

Ayn Rand, Primacy of God, Debuunking Atheists
The axiom “existence exists” is metaphysical naturalism.
It seems all threads are getting hijacked, which I do not oppose to as conversations do flow, by one discussion that we end up hacking away all the time at. So, let's address it here, completely.

The deep discussion is all about what is metaphysical primacy with some of the Atheists here. I have just come to a pivoting point that needs to be highlighted to get this out, once and for all.

The Atheists positions here assert this: The Primacy of Existence is the metaphysical primacy because existence exists. You cannot talk about anything before existence, so existence is the Primacy. Primacy of consciousness cannot be primacy because then there could be square circles, just think of  the correct lottery numbers, blah, blah, blah. We could just think something into existence and it would appear, that is IF Primacy of consciousness were true.


"Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification."~Ayn Rand

One Atheist recently stated "Primacy of Consciousness metaphysics, however, states that objects are subject to consciousness - I could sit back and wish my keyboard to work and that wishing would make it so. Your worldview insists that the PoC holds - it has to so God can poof everything into existence just by thinking it - unfortunately for you the reality we perceive isn't subject to consciousness so we can see that the PoC doesn't hold and, by extension, your worldview is therefore, wrong."

Admittedly, I have not read anything Ayn Rand has written at all, let alone about this subject. This recently has been thrust to me by the many Rand Atheist cronies, but I did find this quote,

"Existence precedes consciousness because, consciousness is consciousness of an object. Nor can consciousness create or suspend the laws governing its objects, because every entity is something and acts accordingly [i.e., according to its identity, not according to the desires of consciousness]. Consciousness, therefore, is only a faculty of awareness. It is the power to grasp, to find out, to discover that which is. It is not a power to alter or control the nature of its objects." ~The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, pg 19

OK. That is the many Atheists position here, specifically the Ayn Rand anti-social 'virtues of selfishness' objectivism cronies, according to all the past discussions thus far in a nut shell. That Existence is Primacy.

Debunking Atheists, primacy of God, BirdiesTHIS is their fallacious argument though.

"Wha, wha, wha?" says the Atheists with their mouths open.

Don't worry little birdies, I will feed ya.

First this is a false dilemma fallacy, by only presenting a choice of two and no more, is fallacious. There are other choices. Strike one.

Second fallacy, this is a strawman when he asserts "Your worldview insists that the PoC holds" He is arguing against a position that Rand made up and demand we defend it. I bought into it and tried to defend it at first, but I am erasing the chalkboard here to reset the argument where it should properly go. 

Third fallacy, if you say PoE holds and that PoC cannot be because we would be able to think something to exist and it would appear, THAT is fallacious. It is a relativist fallacy. Let me explain that one. He moved the goal posts when I pseudo addressed this point earlier, but I didn't catch it then. In this post we will not allow it, because it is being highlighted.

They are claiming that PoC would allow them personally to think something into existence and that PoE holds. When I asked who's personal existence? Theirs? They claim 'No, all of existence is primacy' so the fallacy is when he asserts that ALL of existence is the Primacy YET, his personal consciousness would be able to think something into being. Understand?

If PoE is ALL of existence, or non-local, why does PoC have to be local to make their argument? This is why it is a relativist fallacy. Either both must be non-local, or both need to be local. They claim that their personal consciousness is needed to move or create objects, if PoC were true that is, but their own existence is not the primacy, obviously. Fallacious

So where are we? In the very same place we started, and have been all along, the metaphysical primacy is the Primacy of God. It is His, non-local, consciousness and existence that is the Primacy. It starts with God. You cannot have existence or consciousness without Him as the primacy. It always has been, and we all know this. Ayn Rand and her cronies have nothing but fallacious arguments, and trickery, to account for Primacy.


"That's right. To put it bluntly, her Objectivism is godless, self-centered, materialistic, anti-Christian, and anti-American." ~Tom Hoefling



bit.ly/PrimacyOfGod

204 comments:

  1. Yes Dan, because surely a god could be conscious without first existing and without there being anything to be conscious about. You can't see your own stupidity and recognize it for what it is. How come? Weren't you supposed to have your god's omnicrapery to assist you?

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  2. Dan,

    In all my interactions with rand's followers one thing I noticed is there obsession with rand. Also, there constant demand that one accept what they claim is real. Ask any objectivist how do they know what they are perceiving is real and watch the sparks fly. it's pretty funny

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    1. How be if we just ask that of you and see how you deal with the question.

      I know nothing of Rand, outside of

      1)the chapter about her in Micheal Shermer's book "Why People Believe Weird Things" titled "The Unlikeliest Cult" or something like that.

      2) this angry flower cartoon

      I do know though that unless you actually exist first, you can't do anything else. Which is just bloody common sense. No wonder you seem to have a hard time with it.

      Delete
  3. Hi Dan,

    Interesting take on the issue of metaphysical primacy. It's good to see that you have given this issue some serious consideration, even if you don't seem to be grasping it fully.

    In lieu of my spending an indoctrinate amount of time right now addressing and straightening out what you wrote, I would like to post a couple links. I hope you don't mind my doing that instead.

    I don't know if you'll read them or not. But hopefully, any fence-sitters (now and in the future) who happen to be lurking will take at look them. I believe they fully deal with many of the misteps you make in your recent blog entry.

    Still, in all fairness to you, what I've written in this particular comment and the links I've provided should not in anyway be seen as a substitute for my own response to what it is you've written. You put the work in. Someone responding should do the same, and not just provide links, in my opinion.

    However, as I think even you may attest, I haven't made much of a habit of doing this. I usually write a bunch of stuff, even if I often make use material written by others (properly cited, of course). Plus, I plan on supplying my own response to you, in due time.

    It's just that until then, I thought these resources might be useful to anyone who is interested.

    ------------------

    Please see:

    The Inherent Subjectivism of God-belief (especially section titled "Interaction" -- scroll down about halfway, and you'll see it)

    http://katholon.com/Theism_Subjective.htm

    The Primacy of Existence: A Validation

    http://katholon.com/poe.htm

    Both of these essays were written by Dawson Bethrick.

    (continued)

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    1. As a parting shot, I'll leave you with this, also by Dawson:

      "But note that even in making the statement “God has ontological primacy,” one is making a statement about reality (or “super-reality” if you prefer) which presumably obtains independent of the speaker’s conscious activity. So he is assuming, at least performatively, what Objectivism calls the primacy of existence. But the content of what he is affirming to be the case grants metaphysical primacy to consciousness – i.e., a god which “controls whatsoever comes to pass” by its acts of will. The statement performatively contradicts itself. I’ve asked Christians to show how there is no contradiction here, but typically their answers indicate that they do not fully understand the problem. The criticisms which one theist brought against this post (scroll down to the section titled “Interaction”) are not atypical. I’ve sought to make it all clear by the use of thought experiments (for instance here, but as soon as I present them, theists seem to take a vow of silence. Bahnsen strikes me as essentially no different. While he may claim that “God has ontological primacy,” I don’t see where he’s dealt with the issue of metaphysical primacy (or “ontological primacy” if you prefer). Simply affirming “God has ontological primacy” does nothing to address it" (http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/2005/09/is-contrary-to-christianity-truly.html)

      Thanks again, Dan.

      Ydemoc

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    2. >>So he is assuming, at least performatively, what Objectivism calls the primacy of existence.

      That is very disingenuous for Dawson to assert this. We ALL know that when Atheists speak of "existence" and we talk of God's existence in no way means the same thing. One is an assertion of naturalism and the other is the truth. :7)

      Your asserted "existence" stands "outside" or independently of space and time. God has always existed, stands outside or independently of space and time. How are you absolutely certain that your generic, unnamed, and asserted existence is not God?

      >>But the content of what he is affirming to be the case grants metaphysical primacy to consciousness – i.e., a god which “controls whatsoever comes to pass” by its acts of will.

      Wrong, reread the post title to see the Primacy. BTW thanks for revealing Dawson's relativist fallacy. :7)

      >>Simply affirming “God has ontological primacy” does nothing to address it"

      As opposed to "Existence exists" does? Really?

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    3. Dan,

      Just popping in to make a correction in my initial post on this thread.

      When I wrote above: "In lieu of my spending an indoctrinate amount of time..." the actual word should be "inordinate."

      Ydemoc

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    4. Your asserted "existence" stands "outside" or independently of space and time. God has always existed, stands outside or independently of space and time. How are you absolutely certain that your generic, unnamed, and asserted existence is not God?


      So you're a pantheist, then, or at least a panentheist?

      Here's the thing: Is God conscious? If so, and God is immaterial (hence outside the material Existence objectivists claim possesses primacy) then you have a Consciousness as primary; whether that consciousness is human or not is irrelevant to the determination of it as a primacy of consciousness.

      If God is not conscious, then we have a different set of issues to discuss, don't we? ;)

      Please note: I'm not going to defend Rand; but I think that here there is a useful distinction to be drawn.

      Now, one could argue for a primacy of consciousness not being able to make arbitrary changes if it were sufficiently constrained; but this opens up the questions of "What would the nature of the constraints and the constraining force be" and "Would such a constrained figure qualify as omni-anything" -- but that's a different set of questions.

      (Why, yes, I do play theology as a contact sport, and delight in finding weaknesses everywhere, why do you ask? I also have serious opinions on the appropriateness of using ones' theology to alter other people's behavior, which is why I have issues both with you, Dan, and with Objectivists.)

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    5. Hi Dan,

      Due to time constraints, and as to not overwhelm with a mountain of text, I’m going to try a different approach by responding to you in shorter bursts.

      My first installment of doing so will deal with only one paragraph of yours in your most recent reply to me. In that reply, you responded to a quote from Dawson Bethrick. That quote of his, in part read:

      “So he [the theist] is assuming, at least performatively, what Objectivism calls the primacy of existence... [i.e., when the theist makes a statement like, “God has ontological primacy” or , as you have, “the metaphysical primacy is the Primacy of God.”]

      Your response was: “That is very disingenuous for Dawson to assert this. We ALL know that when Atheists speak of "existence" and we talk of God's existence in no way means the same thing. One is an assertion of naturalism and the other is the truth. :7)”

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to have missed the point of what Dawson is saying here. Without getting sidetracked in the particulars of *content*, what Dawson is saying is that when one makes a truth statement (that is, in the very act of making a truth statement about anything, whether or not the content of the statement is true or false), implicit in *making* such a statement is that something is the case no matter what anyone believes, wishes, hopes, dreams, etc.

      For example, you made several truth statements and claims in your recent blog entry. Implicit in your doing so is the following: “I think “A’ is true no matter what anyone believes about “A.” OR: “B “ happens to be the case independent of anyone’s consciousness.” OR: “I (Dan), by putting forth a truth claim "C", assume that what I am claiming is the case about "C" independent of my own consciousness and the consciousness of anybody else.”

      As Anton Thorn explains: “Thus, every time one asserts a fact about reality, even if he is mistaken about that fact, he is asserting that fact as a fact which does not depend on either his or our consciousness of that fact in order for it to be a fact. Why? Because existence exists independent of consciousness. This is the primacy of existence metaphysics.” (http://reocities.com/Athens/Sparta/1019/AFE/Metaphysical_Primacy.htm)

      To perhaps make this less abstract for you, let me ask you what Dawson asked in his essay - “How Theism Violates the Primacy of Existence”: “When you affirm that your god exists, are you presupposing that your god exists independent of your own consciousness? Or, are you saying that your god exists only as a feature of your own psychology, as a figment of your imagination, that the existence of "God" ultimately depends on your own consciousness?” http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-theism-violates-primacy-of.html

      At that juncture where you jumped in and pounced on Dawson’s quote, that is all that Dawson was saying -- that *performatively,* in the very *act* of making a truth claim, the primacy of existence (something is the case independent of consciousness, any consciousness) obtains.

      Well, so much for shorter bursts!

      I’ll try better next time.

      Thanks again.

      Ydemoc

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  4. Dan,

    I remember having an extremely hilarious conversation with Dawson one morning while his sidekick Ydemoc helplessly stood by and watched.

    I asked Dawson how did he know he wasn't possessed by a demon. His answer was pretty funny. He claimed that he wasnt possessed by a demon because he didn't believe in them. It was a pretty funny convo maybe Ydemoc could give you the link to it sometime.

    By the way rand's "theory of concepts" is a ripoff of Aristotle

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  5. Hi Dan,

    I return for just a quick late-night note.

    I don't think I'll be responding to "_" above (aka Hezekiah, Richard, Nide) anytime soon. As much as I appreciate his affable personality when I listened to him on the Fundamentally Flawed podcast, and as much as I find him quite personable on the air, his demeanor online and what he usually brings to the table in a blog setting leaves much to be desired.

    I have already let him know over on Dawson's blog that this is where I stand as of now. But I just wanted to let you know. Should he ever decide to refrain from posting mostly snide comments and insults, and if he demonstrates that he's capable of interacting on an adult level on a consistent basis, I would certainly reconsider my position as it pertains to interacting with him.

    Otherwise it just isn't worth it anymore, since any educational or entertainment value I previously found in doing so, has now pretty much dropped to zero.

    Ydemoc

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  6. Dan,

    Ydemoc is afraid that he is the only person that exists.

    That's why he continually has to let everyone know that "existence exists".

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  7. Dan said...

    First this is a false dilemma fallacy, by only presenting a choice of two and no more, is fallacious. There are other choices. Strike one.

    Lol, Baseless assertion. If you have another option then, please, present it. I've said before how philosophers the world over would be intrigued to find that there are more answers for the question of metaphysical primacy.

    Sometimes there are only 2 choices. This is one of those times.

    Second fallacy, this is a strawman when he asserts "Your worldview insists that the PoC holds" He is arguing against a position that Rand made up and demand we defend it. I bought into it and tried to defend it at first, but I am erasing the chalkboard here to reset the argument where it should properly go.

    So you don't believe that God is an immaterial consciousness and you don't think that consciousness holds primacy? What, then, is your God and how did He create anything in that context? Because, at the moment, I'm wondering which God you do believe in, as the one you're describing here doesn't sound anything like the usual depictions of the Christian God.

    Indeed, Christianity does demand that the consciousness holds primacy and that it is God's consciousness that is responsible for wishing everything into existence. I understand that you can't actually defend that worldview, as it doesn't comport with reality, but that's not my problem.

    Third fallacy, if you say PoE holds and that PoC cannot be because we would be able to think something to exist and it would appear, THAT is fallacious.

    It's also not my problem that you don't understand how metaphysics is about the relationship between objects and the subjects (consciousnesses) that are aware of them. Primacy of consciousness means subjects can affect the objects that they're aware of. If consciousness held primacy then, quite literally, wishing would make it so.

    It is a relativist fallacy.

    Wrong. The objectivist claim is that, if consciousness holds primacy, then, if one consciousness can affect the objects that it is aware of then all consciousnesses can do it i.e. the opposite of the relativist fallacy.

    Your response to that claim does commit the relativist fallacy however. You seem to think that God's consciousness can affect the objects that it is aware of while no-one else's consciousness can do the same thing i.e. the very definition of the relativist fallacy.

    Let me explain that one.

    Too late.

    He moved the goal posts when I pseudo addressed this point earlier, but I didn't catch it then. In this post we will not allow it, because it is being highlighted.

    They are claiming that PoC would allow them personally to think something into existence and that PoE holds.


    Wrong, the claim is that, if consciousness held primacy then any consciousness could think things into existence. It is because existence holds primacy that that can't happen.

    When I asked who's personal existence? Theirs? They claim 'No, all of existence is primacy' so the fallacy is when he asserts that ALL of existence is the Primacy YET, his personal consciousness would be able to think something into being. Understand?

    You certainly don't seem to. The objectivist claim is that, if consciousness holds primacy, then everyone would be able to affect the objects that they are aware of. The fact that we perceive a reality in which no consciousness is able to affect the objects that it is aware of means that, instead, existence holds primacy and objects exist independently of consciousness.

    cont'd...

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  8. cont'd...

    If PoE is ALL of existence, or non-local, why does PoC have to be local to make their argument?

    The question just shows that you don't understand the argument. It's nothing to do with local or non-local and all to do with the attributes endowed to conciousness based on metaphysical primacy. If existence holds primacy then consciousness can not affect the objects that it is aware of i.e. things exist independently of consciousness, however, if consciousness holds primacy then objects are subject to the consciousnesses that are aware of them.

    This is why it is a relativist fallacy.

    It's not but your response to the objectivist claim certainly is.

    Either both must be non-local, or both need to be local.

    I've no idea why you've bought up the local/non-local distinction (especially as your argument for that distinction is incoherent) but, while we're here, can you tell me what you call the non-local consciousness that decides what your God thinks? Or, alternatively, explain how God's consciousness can be "non-local" to Himself? Or maybe explain how God's local consciousness can broadcast anything when you claim that local consciousness can only receive?

    They claim that their personal consciousness is needed to move or create objects, if PoC were true that is, but their own existence is not the primacy, obviously. Fallacious

    Oh look, Dan's set up his very own little strawman. The objectivist claims no such thing. Instead, the objectivist understands the logical consequences of the issue of metaphysical primacy. They understand, for example, that, were consciousness to hold primacy, everybody's consciousness would be able to affect the objects that they're aware of and that, because we don't experience that in reality, existence holds primacy.

    So where are we?

    At a point were we know you don't understand the objectivist argument fully as shown by your inadequate objection to it.

    In the very same place we started, and have been all along, the metaphysical primacy is the Primacy of God.

    What on earth is "The Primacy of God"? Your God is an abstract concept built on a raft of more basic concepts. Please explain how such an abstraction can have primacy.

    It is His, non-local, consciousness and existence that is the Primacy.

    Ah, so you do admit that your worldview requires the primacy of consciousness to hold - in your own bizarre little way anyway.

    This raises a few questions of course. First, what is God's consciousness conscious of if existence doesn't exist? Next, explain how God's consciousness can be non-local to Himself? If you struggle with that, then maybe you can explain how His local consciousness can "broadcast" when you've claimed that local consciousnesses can't do such a thing? And all whilst avoiding committing the relativist fallacy that you thought to level at the objectivist claim.

    It starts with God.

    What does? Existence? What was God conscious of before existence existed?

    You cannot have existence or consciousness without Him as the primacy.

    So you need consciousness (God) to exist in order to create consciousness? You have also re-affirmed your worldview's requirement for the primacy of consciousness - God creating existence - can you explain why it is then, that consciousness can't create anything? Cue Dan trotting out his "non-local" consciousness crap which relies on the relativist fallacy he's so desperate to lay at objectivism's door.

    It always has been, and we all know this.

    A lie. Some of us quite clearly don't "know this". In fact we "know" otherwise.

    Ayn Rand and her cronies have nothing but fallacious arguments, and trickery, to account for Primacy.

    Such a shame for you that your claims - of fallacies and trickery - have been shown to be false.

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  9. Don't worry, Dan, nobody really takes Rand seriously. I mean her argument is just like the theist one, except she replaces the primacy of God with the primacy of existence. Essentially she's substituting one absolute for another.

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    1. Except that her absolute, in this case, is detectable -- the existence around us. Arguing the primacy of that which exists is a different thing than arguing the primacy of something undetectable, that must be believed to be seen. ;)

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    2. Steve,

      What are you doing here?

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  10. Andrew those are fighting words.

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  11. Hi Andrew,

    You wrote: "Don't worry, Dan, nobody really takes Rand seriously."

    I followed your numerous exchanges with Dawson back in 2010. You two had a nice discussion going for quite a while, and you posed some really interesting questions that certainly piqued my interest, and from which I was able to learn quite a bit as a result. For those who are interested, I believe Andrew makes his first comment here in this thread at time stamp September 01, 2012 5:11 AM

    http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=11714522&postID=1320433460407799132&isPopup=true

    And then it continued, with Dawson devoting a blog entry to his interaction with Andrew.

    http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/2010/09/my-squabble-with-andrew.html

    And then Andrew answered back with a two-part response on his own blog.

    http://idiotphilosophy.blogspot.com/2010/09/response-to-dawson.html

    http://idiotphilosophy.blogspot.com/2010/09/p2-response-to-dawson.html

    And then Dawson replied:

    http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/2010/09/reply-to-andrew-louis.html

    And then Andrew replied again:

    http://idiotphilosophy.blogspot.com/2010/09/p3-response-to-dawson.html

    And then Dawson replied:

    http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/2010/09/another-reply-to-andrew-louis.html

    And then Andrew replied:

    http://idiotphilosophy.blogspot.com/2010/09/p4-reponse-to-dawson.html

    And then Dawson replied in the comments section of his blog:

    http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/2010/09/another-reply-to-andrew-louis.html#5902949155005757943

    Those were certainly some serious exchanges that went on for pretty much a full week. And I really enjoyed them. Are you planning to make a return visit anytime soon?

    You wrote: "I mean her argument is just like the theist one, except she replaces the primacy of God with the primacy of existence."

    Based upon those interactions with Dawson, I guess I'm not all that surprised to see that this is your position. But I am a little surprised that, given all those great exchanges, you wouldn't at least try to represent Dawson's position a little bit better than this.

    In one of those threads, you said, "Myself, shit, I'm a pragmatist; I don't care about certainty and I let truth take care of itself."

    Is this still your position?

    Ydemoc

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  12. Andrew,

    You're right I did my undergrad studies in philosophy and rand is nowhere to be found. Objectivism is a rehash of aristotle. The funny thing is, in her book,
    "objectivist epistomology" she asks the reader to take their senses for granted. it's pretty funny

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  13. Yes, I’m still a pragmatist, some things never change.

    I mean look, first, define existence. If you’re going to say that existence is prime and that you cannot refute existence without having existence, then what is existence? For example a potato can neither assert or not assert that it exists (in one sense of the word existence). So does it exist? Or does it just exist because we say it does? Or on the other hand, does existence mean the ability to make statements, perhaps we even go so far as to say logical statements. Okay, well, computers can make logical statements, so do they exist?

    Somewhere down the flagpole you get to the meat of the issue, which is a reduction of existence to something along the lines of consciousness. But from there you have nothing better than Aristotle, or perhaps even Descartes, “I think therefore I am”, i.e. “I exist because I exist” or “I exist because in order to show that I don’t exist I have to use my ‘existing’ faculties, so therefore I exist”. And really, do we have to have the conversation on what’s wrong with the circularity (question begging nature) of the Cartesian sphere.

    It’s all really just a bunch of garbage, and Dawson (for all his ability to spew beyond necessity) just runs around in circles.

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    1. "Pragmatism also fails in that one needs to know the proper function of a thing before one can determine if it works or not, the very thing that pragmatism cannot give you." ~Sye

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    2. This carries with it the presumption that all things have a "proper function", which is a presumption that pragmatism does not need to grant.

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    3. Again, missed this too... But as I see it, imnotandrei gave a fine enough answer.

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  14. Regarding detectability, well, now that’s a scientific question. If we’re going to say that something exists because it’s detectable, then what are your grounds for detectability? On the philosophical side, is it detectable because it exists, and exists because it’s detectable? Again, define existence.

    I can detect the potato. Can you detect consciousness? Can you detect your senses sensing, and does that mean you know your sensing it? What does it look like when someone knows they’re sensing something and how do you prove that?

    I mean come on you guys…. It doesn’t work, and that’s why you don’t see Rand in philosophy courses.

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    1. Andrew,

      Do you believe that you can be tricked into thinking that you exist?

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    2. Hi Andrew,

      You wrote: "I can detect the potato."

      And the means by which you've *detected* this entity that you have identified as a potato is...?

      As to your other complaints about the senses, remind me of what Rand wrote:

      "His argument, in essence, ran as follows: man is limited to a consciousness of a specific nature, which perceives by specific means and no others, therefore, his consciousness is not valid; man is blind, because he has eyes—deaf, because he has ears—deluded, because he has a mind—and the things he perceives do not exist, because he perceives them." (Ayn Rand Online Lexicon)

      (I'm crunched for time right now -- that's the reason for such a short reply. And I don't know if I can respond to everything, today. If I can't, I will definitely try to respond tomorrow.)

      Ydemoc

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    3. Regarding detectability, well, now that’s a scientific question. If we’re going to say that something exists because it’s detectable, then what are your grounds for detectability?


      If you want, I can start getting into definite descriptions here if you'd really like; I didn't think we'd need to go there.

      Otherwise, I don't know what "grounds" you need; can it be detected by multiple independent sense apparati? If so, then it's detectable. We can even come up with broader or narrower definitions if you like, but I fail to see the need.

      On the philosophical side, is it detectable because it exists, and exists because it’s detectable? Again, define existence.


      I'm not saying that "Something exists because it's detectable." I'm saying that "There are things that exist, and are detectable -- so why do we need to presume the existence of something that cannot be detected, that fills the same role?"


      I can detect the potato. Can you detect consciousness? Can you detect your senses sensing, and does that mean you know your sensing it? What does it look like when someone knows they’re sensing something and how do you prove that?

      One can make determinations regarding one's own consciousness, and deduce from there; they're not certain deductions, which is why solipsism is irrefutable, if also useless.

      I mean come on you guys…. It doesn’t work, and that’s why you don’t see Rand in philosophy courses.

      Actually, you don't see Rand in philosophy courses because there wasn't much new to her in this department, and what there was that was new was mostly objectionable. But I'm not here defending Rand. ;)

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  15. "_",
    what do you mean by "exist"?

    See here's the thing, being tricked that we exist (for me) really just means being talked into accepting that exist "means" a certain thing. You could be wearing socks (for example) but I could trick you into thinking you're wearing shoes, but all that's really happened is I've talked you into thinking that socks were shoes.

    You have to first define what you mean by "exist".

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  16. Andrew,

    Are you dead or alive?

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  17. "_",
    you asked a question with a bit of a nebulous term in "exist", so I asked if you could please define that. If you're just going to change the question because you don't like having the burden of accounting for your own terms we can stop here.

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  18. Andrew,

    Ydemoc will do anything to defend his rand belief.

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  19. "_"
    Okay, so God is existence. The problem with that is, that doesn't get us any closer to knowing what existence is. I mean, what is God is the next logical question to ask. If they're both the same, then define one.

    Ydemoc,
    You stated:
    "And the means by which you've *detected* this entity that you have identified as a potato is...?"

    You guys sure do like to sidestep the issue at hand. You're missing the point of my rhetoric up there, which is, where does your trail of logic end up at? i.e. what is existence?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're missing the point of my rhetoric up there, which is, where does your trail of logic end up at? i.e. what is existence?

      To quote Philip K. Dick, not entirely seriously: "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

      To say something "exists" is to say that it possesses certain qualities, which vary according to the thing you're talking about; if it is material, occupying a certain point in space-time (or set of points) If it is conceptual, it depends on the framework; for example, to say a proof of a proposition in mathematics "exists" is to say that a certain set of statements follow approved rules of inference in a given axiomatic system.

      This is part of why people are "sidestepping" your position; it's nowhere near as simple a question as you seem to want to make it.

      Of course, I might be arguing a position different than you were challenging. ;)

      Delete
    2. >>"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

      Like Christianity and God. Cool.

      Delete
    3. Like Christianity and God. Cool.

      Actually, quite the reverse; stop believing in God, and all of a sudden all the evidence for God goes away. ;)

      Delete
    4. Evidence of God still exists. Assuming that the Bible is not evidence for God because you do not believe God exists, is question begging.

      Delete
    5. I'm sure imnotandrei will set you straight later, but what I think he's trying to say is that all the "evidence" for god that you claim to exist is only really convincing if one already wants to believe in your god.

      We'll see what he says. In the meantime... it's the flaws and contradictions (both It's all your presupp bullshit that assumes that your god exists as part of your premises (ie. "the ability to reason is evidence of god", god is the necessary precondition for logic etc") that is question begging.

      Delete
    6. imnotandrei,
      I'm not used to the way this new comment system works, I've been away for a while, so didn't realize I was missing all this.

      In any case, at the end of the day "reality" is not what was being contested. What was being contested was how Objectivism works as a system of philosophy. Anyway, not really in the mood to have the conversation again unless there's anything to add beyond what's already been said.

      There too, my original comment was somewhat meaningless. Just my way of barging back on the scene.

      Delete
  20. Andrew,

    look out your window.

    If that's the game you wanna play, then what is meaning?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Who's playing any games? I just asked a simple question. You've said that existence is God, and now you're telling me to look out the window. Obviously you're having a difficult time coming up with how to define your idea/concept (whathaveyou), which calls into question whether or not you completely understand what it is you're adhering to.

    I don't want to sound like a smart ass here, but, this is sort of fundamental to what's at hand here.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Andrew,

    Existence doesn't need to be defined. It's intuitively known. Just like God is.

    To ask someone "how do you know you're perceiving something" is pretty ridiculous.

    It doesn't matter if what I am perceiving is real or not
    it's still a perception..

    ReplyDelete
  23. See, now why did that have to be so excruciating?

    In that sense you’re pretty much defining existence as anything you perceive whether subjective, objective or whatever. Nothing wrong with that, but you’ll have a hard time once you start having a philosophical discussion. There too, I’ve never chatted with you before, so I don’t know anything about what your positions are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There too, I’ve never chatted with you before
      Haven't you spent *lots* of time with Hezekiah?

      Delete
  24. Outside of all the messy philosophical stuff, I think what you said was just fine.

    Now as far as the "nature" of existence, justification of, etc., I think that's where this whole rand conversation leads. Although given the conversations I've already had on the matter, I'm not hopeful for an meaningful resolutions.

    ReplyDelete
  25. "an meaningful resolutions", I'm hoping there's no grammar Nazis here n' such....

    ReplyDelete
  26. Andrew,

    Quick question: Why on earth would you think all that exists, has exist, or ever will exist needs to be "justified"? Since all of man's knowledge starts with the perceptually self-evident, i.e., that which exists, i.e., with content (i.e., answering the questions: knowledge of what? thinking of what? dreaming of what? consciousness of what? concepts referring to what?), then what would justify someone seeking to "justify" existence? To put it another way, would would justify someone seeking justification for that which would have to obtain one to even form the concept "justification in the first place?"

    If concepts like "account" "warrant" "justification" can be reduced through the hierarchical chain back, ultimately, to the perceptual level where they were formed, why search beyond, above below, or around that level seeking to account for what's already been accounted for?

    Does that make sense? I wrote that pretty quickly.

    Ydemoc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To All,

      Some of what I wrote above is very sloppy. But I'm going to have to address it later rather than sooner. My apologies.

      Ydemoc

      Delete
  27. Ydemoc,
    I never stated that anything needs to be justified per se, however given a persons philosophical position, justification may be part of that.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Andrew,

    The nature of reality is that one day the wicked will burn in holy fire.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Andrew,

    You wrote: "I never stated that anything needs to be justified per se,"

    Fair enough.

    You wrote: "Although given the conversations I've already had on the matter, I'm not hopeful for an meaningful resolutions."

    Meaningful resolution to.... what, exactly? To "justification" of something or the other? I know that Dawson went to great lengths to interact with you about Objectivist axioms, concepts, truth, etc. I have not looked, lately, at your final reply to him, and his to you. Is this where I will find most of your outstanding issues you have concerning Objectivism?

    Or is it more along the lines of your inquiry above, that you are looking for a "definition" for existence?

    (I was formulating my own response to you concerning the latter matter, but it was taking more time than I thought it would. And then I thought, well, I'll just copy and paste something from my source material, with proper citations of course. But then I thought it might be lazy on my part to do that, and frankly, not as much fun nor as intellectually stimulating as crafting a reply of my own, with source material serving mostly to supplement. But it sure would save a lot of time!)

    Ydemoc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew,

      By the way, "_" likes to play games. His real name is Richard. He's also been known as Hezekiah, Fathiest, r_c321, Nide, among a few others, I think.

      He was a quite friendly chap, if not the most skilled defender of his brand of superstition, when he appeared on something called the Fundamentally Flawed Podcast; however, his online demeanor is quite erratic, as he often pops in with incoherent and hostile responses.

      If you'd like to see more examples of what I'm talking about, check the links out on this page:

      http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/search?q=Nide

      And he even got admonished by one from his own side! See here:

      http://www.choosinghats.com/2012/05/how-do-you-know-that-for-certain/#comment-3896

      Just thought I'd let you know, so that not a lot of time is wasted.

      Ydemoc

      Delete
  30. Ydemoc,
    I'm just not hopeful that having the conversation again will change anything is all. No common ground will be had, no resolutions, etc.. I mean you state that he tried to explain things to me like I didn't get it, which is pretty condescending. I get it, I completely get it, but it doesn't go anywhere. Again, take a look around, who in philosophy is taking Rand seriously aside from laymen philosophers and Right wingers who seem to be oblivious to the fact that she was an atheist (which is another even more amusing conversation). And before you go there I realize that's an authority claim, but nevertheless it's in he least quite telling.

    By the way my comment, "where'd you get that idea" was in response to, "
    The nature of reality is that one day the wicked will burn in holy fire."

    ReplyDelete
  31. PS,
    I don't think you were meaning to be condescending, I just said that for rhetorical purposes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew,

      Thanks for letting me know.

      Even so, sometimes I do fail to take enough care in making sure that what I write isn't misconstrued. In fact, sometimes I fail to take enough care to make sure it's even construed! (whatever that means!)

      Ydemoc

      Delete
  32. On a side note, for f#*ks sake, will Sye ever go away!?!? I couldn't help but notice a recent post on here with him in it.

    Incidentally, that's at least one point of common ground we have. i.e. how crazy presuppostional appologetics is. Haven't we gotten over the problem of induction yet, can we move on, sheesh.

    ReplyDelete
  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew,

      One last point before I have to do other things.

      You wrote: "I get it, I completely get it, but it doesn't go anywhere."

      I'm not sure where it is you think "it" should go. As you are well aware, (I put that in as to not be condescending) the axioms and he primacy of existence are the ground floor of knowledge. They are there, making sure we have a foundation, a standard by which all premises can be checked against. Can you name any validated knowledge that violates the axioms and the primacy of existence?

      Ydemoc

      Delete
  34. Well, Ydemoc, this is complicated because this conversation has already been had, you linked to it here of course. It's difficult to sum it all up, but the bottom line was that Dawson was unable to demonstrate how Objectivism is not just another correspondence theory of truth, and thus carries with it the usual baggage of justifying the axioms.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Andrew,

    I got that idea from the fact that reality is filled with murderers, thieves, liars etc.

    Only if they knew that one day they will burn with holy fire, they would beg for salvation.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Andrew,

    The real problem with Ydemoc's obsessions is that he claims that what he is perceiving is real. However, when challenged he repeats the same old slogans over and over.

    It's actually kinda funny. Ydemoc wants us to start with something he may simply be imagining.

    ReplyDelete
  37.      I see that Norman has a new sockpuppet. Profile not available and he can't think of a name so he uses an underscore. I wonder if he thinks he's fooling anyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. pvblivs,

      "Underscore" is actually Hezekiah/Nide/Richard/r_c321/Fatheist.

      Ydemoc

      Delete
  38. To all,

    Just be aware that Ydemoc loves to tell on people.

    So, watch what you say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nide, Hezekiah, whatever your name is...Ydemoc only "tells" on people who act dishonestly like you do with your sockpuppets.

      If you, as a xian were so honest in the first place, he wouldn't have anything to tell on you about in the first place now, would he?

      Delete
  39. "underscore",
    I guess I should be more specific as it's a pretty serious claim to say that someone (anyone) is going to "burn in holy fire". I mean if I were to come out and say that people who try to push their beliefs on others will (when they die) have their arms and legs ripped off, their eye lids cut out and be placed in front of a 50 ft by 50 ft holy flat screen where they'll be forced to watch Twilight over and over again all the while being sodomized by a strikingly accurate copy of Justin Beaber for eternity, that's a pretty serious accusation.

    No doubt about it you'd want to know how I know such a thing is true, but perhaps even more importantly and to the point you'd just think it all sounded pretty nonsensical. If that sentence sounds pretty fair and accurate, well then you've pretty much nailed exactly how I feel when people state that others will "burn in holy fire". If you just want me to accept that with no basis whatsoever for the claim and absolutely no evidence whatsoever then, well, I'll see you next to Beaber.

    So please, if you have some ground breaking evidence for this hell fire I'd really like to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  40. PS,
    if all you're going to do is refer to some [apprx.] 2000 year old book, well, equally baffled will I be and continued conversation just won't make a whole lot of sense. And before you get you panties all bunched up, it's not that evidence from a book should by default tossed out, it's simply that evidence from a book regarding a claim as serious as that just doesn't seem to be enough for any sane individual to go on. I'm sure you'll set us strait though....

    ReplyDelete
  41. Andrew,

    You must have the Islamic hell in mind.

    The Christian hell is good. All the evidence you need is in your mind.

    It's all for the sake of holiness and justice which are good qualities.

    But Andrew what is exactly wrong with letting an unruly person burn for ever?



    ReplyDelete
  42. The question (underscore) has nothing whatsoever to do with "what is exactly wrong", and everything to do with the evidence of it being a reality.

    At some point here you're going to proceed with that and/or point to the place in my mind that the evidence exists.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Andrew,

    This is an easy question. In fact, I just had a relative tell me that hell isn't real. But I look at his life and it's filled with wickedness. My relative swears he knows it all. it's a real problem that all Christians have to deal with. The evidence is your sense of justice.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Okay, fantastic.

    In essence then, what you're saying is that you will naturally believe in "hell fire" so long as you have the right "sense of justice". Of course that means if you have the wrong sense of justice, then you'll naturally believe that things like "hell fire" are bonkers.

    With all due respect "underscore" (and I mean this with the utmost sincerity) perhaps logical argumentation and debate isn't the thing for you. I mean shit, I was never good at the piano, but I'm no worse for wear because of it. I mean I'm sure you function just fine at work, you pay your bills on time and live a fine life, but again, you may seriously want to reconsider your life as an apologist for "hell fire".

    Course, this is just a thought, you can continue babbling until your blue in the face making comments and statements that don't in any way further your cause, but at this point I'm done conversing with you on the matter. I've been really trying to give you the benefit of doubt too.

    Good day, sir.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Andrew,

    It's always easier to run. But how is it that you are logical?

    ReplyDelete
  46. Andrew,

    Given the humor of your ‘Justin Bieber-in hell” comment, would it it be fair to say that many other comments of yours in this thread were also intended to be humorous in nature, but that some of it went over most of our heads?

    For example, I found humor in your following comment:

    “Yes, I’m still a pragmatist, some things never change.” (unless, of course, it’s practical to do so? -- I could almost hear this coming from Steven Wright)

    “You're missing the point of my rhetoric up there...” (your use of the term “rhetoric” here, in one sense, could be seen as humorous self-deprecation)

    “On a side note, for f#*ks sake, will Sye ever go away!?!?” (I actually think this was an instance of humor that most everyone probably got.)

    Or perhaps my observation here is just an example of projection, of my reading something into your comments that really isn’t there.

    In any event, and on a less trivial note, would it be fair to sum up your position (generally) as follows:

    My General Characterization of Andrew’s Position (in my own words):

    “Yes. There are truths. Things work. Knowledge can be attained. I dispute none of this. And I recognize that all are achievable. (If I maintained the opposite, it would be disingenuous, if not outright self-contradictory, to hold to a position that knowledge and truth are impossible while at the same time imparting knowledge and truth -- not only in my use of valid concepts which qualify as knowledge, but also in making any truth claim whatsoever -- especially one that concludes that there’s no such thing as knowledge or truth).

    So I accept knowledge, truth, and the fact that things work. The problem is: I am just not convinced -- by religion nor by philosophy, any philosophy -- that anything put forth adequately explains the basis for such truths and knowledge. Everything that I have investigated has, for me, fallen well-short of providing a convincing answer to such a foundational justification. I’m not satisfied with any of it. Now, I am *not* saying that such a justification will never be achieved or discovered -- maybe it will, maybe it won’t; I'm just saying that, so far for me, it certainly hasn’t. None have risen to my standard.”

    Would that be a fair assessment of your position or am I way off?

    Ydemoc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. >> Everything that I have investigated has, for me, fallen well-short of providing a convincing answer to such a foundational justification.

      Including Ayn's "Objectivism"?

      Delete
    2. HAHA! Yeah, so I'm being a bit of a smart ass, sorry. I can't just come out swingin', like I said I'm makin' the blog rounds again.

      Anyway, yes, there are truths, there is a reality we all bump into, there's existence, we attain knowledge, etc. etc. etc. (I don't deny any of those things). But, lets take [t]ruth for example. From the pragmatists perspective I don't adhere to a "theory of truth" per se. Truth is an adjective and we know how to use it; it's the word we apply to things we've justified and in some cases things we don't. As for the big T [T]ruth, well, that's sorta like God, it's that ineffable thing that philosophers and theologians are always chasing after.

      So let me throw out an example. See, I don't care whether God "exists" or not, it's not something anyone is ever going to prove (yeah I said it). What's important to me is what (if anything) is God good for - broadly speaking? More to the point, what is religion good for? Now most of the time (probably all the time now that I think about it)when I ask those sorts of questions I get something along the lines of Pascals Wager (I even got it from Sye). You know, you should believe in God because if you don't you're going to go to hell, and even if you can't prove that God exists do you really want to take that chance. In this sense religion is nothing more than a fear tactic to keep people in line and I gotta' tell you, I'm not big on fear and control. There are much more productive and useful ways of enabling people to live moral productive lives while at the same time allowing for freedom and liberty.

      Finally, when I debate with people on religion (or philosophy) I try to use their own rules (philosophical or others) on them. Sometimes that makes it look like I play by those same rules even though I don't, but if you're going to argue as a Realist, I'm going to ask for Realist evidence, and if you're going to argue as an Idealist, the same applies.

      Delete
    3. Dan,

      I see you've chimed in with your own brand of humor in your reply to my assessment of what **Andrew's** position **may possibly be***.

      Good one, Dan.

      Ydemoc

      Delete
  47. Andrew,

    Thanks for your response.

    I'm not sure there's much in your latest reply to take issue with -- and I'm sure I could even add a few things to what you've said. But all that would probably be familiar territory for you, so I'll refrain.

    However, I will say that there is another humorous comment by you that I spotted, which I failed to mention earlier. In your reply to "Underscore," you wrote:

    "With all due respect "underscore" (and I mean this with the utmost sincerity) perhaps logical argumentation and debate isn't the thing for you."

    In the future, I'm going have to be on the lookout, so that I don't pass up an opportunity to enjoy little nuggets like this.

    Ydemoc



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that we're on the same page, lets go wrangle us up some christians and fluster em' up with logic en' such.

      Delete
  48. Andrew,

    Where is your evidence?

    What's pragmatism good for?

    ReplyDelete
  49. Where is my evidence of what?

    As to what is pragmatism good for?
    Understanding. And once you've understood, you can forget about pragmatism. It's just a tool Underscore, nothing more.

    Think of it this way:
    The fish trap exists because of the fish, once you have the fish, you can forget about the trap. Words exist because of meaning, once you have the meaning, you can forget about the words. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can have a word with him?

    ReplyDelete
  50. Andrew,

    Yea, but how do you know you have the right "understanding" and "meaning"?

    See, we can both play this game.

    ReplyDelete
  51. What game?

    How do I know I have the "right" understanding? That's a fair question, no games.

    I don't think there's such a thing as the "[R]ight" understanding or meaning.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Andrew,

    I'm really happy you made that admission.

    By the way Ydemoc has no training in logic or philopshy. I would think twice before teaming up with him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I assume from that remark that you have had training in logic or philosophy? Or did you go no further than your "home boy" Greg Bahnsen's circle jerks?

      Delete
  53. Understand though, that when I say:
    "I don't think there's such a thing as the "[R]ight" understanding or meaning." I mean this in the broadest of sense. Understand too I'm being short and oversimplifying things.

    e.g.
    Within a context or audience there certainly is right and wrong, true and false, at least in narrow sense. But it's important too not to get tangled up in relativism at this point too.

    As for Ydemoc, he seems like a good enough guy to me, and although I was being a bit sarcastic (cuz that's just who I am) I do love pickin on fundies. And there is a difference between Fundies and Theists of certain types.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Andrew,

    What do you think about the TAG?

    ReplyDelete
  55. I've been around the marry-go-round with Sye and his ilk on more occasions than I'm willing to admit. It pretty much relies on Hume's problem of induction and creates a presupposition to solve it (which of course is just bat-shit crazy). And since most people who argue with TAG'ers are themselves coming from similar philosophical foundations, the conversation ends up looking something like two fat guys in a grease filled kiddy pool fighting over the last pickle.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Andrew,

    I have had my fun using the TAG. In fact, I had a whole blog dedicated to it.

    In spite of me somewhat distancing myself away from it, Greg Bahnsen is still my homeboy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well shit, I hate to break it to you buddy, but Bahnsen was pretty much a charlatan. I understand your desire to want to defend your faith, but, I think that's going about it the wrong way - and that's not to say I know the right way, just sayin....

      Delete
  57. Reynold,

    I've had my battles with a few Ph.Ds.

    It's good exercise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who where they, and just how did those "battles" go?

      Delete
    2. I've had my battles with a few Ph.Ds.
      The way you've written this suggests those battles were largely one-sided...

      Delete
  58. Ydemoc
    I must have missed this somewhere along the way. You asked:
    “I'm not sure where it is you think "it" should go. As you are well aware, (I put that in as to not be condescending) the axioms and he primacy of existence are the ground floor of knowledge. They are there, making sure we have a foundation, a standard by which all premises can be checked against. Can you name any validated knowledge that violates the axioms and the primacy of existence?”

    I mean, look, you're asking me within the context of your own schema if you're violating your own rules, but since I reject the rules I can't really answer the question. Know what I mean?

    It’s sorta like asking:
    If you accept the bible, did Jesus die on the cross?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Andrew,

      "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!"
      - Michael Corleone Godfather III

      Well, there are some things I'd like to address in your reply, but I think I'm going to wait. Right now, I'm watching the World Series and rooting for Detroit -- and things aren't exactly going the way I had hoped.

      Ydemoc

      Delete
  59. Hi again, Andrew,

    Earlier you had written, regarding your interaction with Dawson concerning Objectivism: “I get it, I completely get it, but it doesn't go anywhere. Again, take a look around, who in philosophy is taking Rand seriously aside from laymen philosophers and Right wingers...”

    I then wrote: ““I'm not sure where it is you think "it" should go.”

    Since our interaction on this point, and upon re-reading some of your past interactions with Dawson, along with “My General Characterization of Andrew’s Position” and your reply to it, I think I have a clearer grasp on your position, although it doesn’t seem to differ (as you indicated earlier) in any significant way from what it was in those initial interactions you had with Dawson.

    That being said, and notwithstanding stating that you “realize that’s an authority claim” [i.e., your complaint about philosophers taking Rand seriously]; and despite the fact that, according to Wikipedia, “[a]cademic philosophers have generally dismissed Objectivism since Rand first presented it... Objectivism has been called 'fiercely anti-academic' because of Rand's criticism of contemporary intellectuals,” -- would you be surprised to learn that she *is* taken seriously by a great many non-laymen philosophers and non-Republicans?

    That same Wikipedia article states: “Programs and fellowships for the study of Objectivism have been supported at the University of Pittsburgh, University of Texas at Austin and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.”

    And for more instances of her work being taken seriously, please see these links:

    http://www.aynrandsociety.org/

    http://www.atlassociety.org/staff

    Here is a list of just a few people associated with The Ayn Rand Society, who, in affiliation with the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, have, evidently, taken enough interest in her that, according to its web page, their “aim is to foster the scholarly study by philosophers of the philosophical thought and writings of Ayn Rand.”

    Tara Smith (University of Texas at Austin)
    Robert Mayhew (Seton Hall University)
    William Glod (Institute for Humane Studies)
    Lester H. Hunt  (University of Wisconsin--Madison)
    Christine Swanton (University of Auckland)
    Onkar Ghate (Ayn Rand Institute)
    Allan Gotthelf (University of Pittsburgh)
    Gregory Salmieri (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
    Fred D. Miller, Jr. (Bowling Green State University)
    David Boonin (University of Colorado)
    Travis Norsen (Smith College)
    Hasok Chang (University of Cambridge)
    James G. Lennox (University of Pittsburgh)
    Harry Binswanger (Ayn Rand Institute)
    Bill Brewer (University of Warwick)
    Mitchell S. Green (University of Virginia)
    Irfan Khawaja (University of Notre Dame)
    Paul Bloomfield (University of Connecticut)
    Douglas B. Rasmussen (St. John's University)
    Robert Pasnau (University of Colorado)
    Michael Huemer (University of Colorado)
    David Kelley (Verbank, NY)
    Jaegwon Kim (Brown University)
    Darryl Wright (Harvey Mudd College)
    Douglas Den Uyl (Bellarmine College)

    Sorry for belaboring this point and for the long list -- I could’ve made it longer, actually. I offer it up for no other purpose than to answer your question: “[W]ho in philosophy is taking Rand seriously aside from laymen philosophers and Right wingers...?” (Perhaps at this point, you’re going, “Gee, I really wish he would have treated my question as merely rhetorical.”)

    (continued...)

    ReplyDelete
  60. But perhaps this is all for naught... perhaps I’m misguided in wondering about all this. Maybe it’s just like you said -- that you “completely get it” -- and therefore, whether or not she is taken seriously by Joe Six Pack or the Philosophy Department at Oxford, it would hold no sway for you either way (as I think we’d both agree that it shouldn’t), and that you presented it merely as, sort of, the “icing on the cake.”

    Still, I’m unclear on what you mean by “it doesn’t go anywhere.” Maybe all you meant by this was exactly what you pointed out, i.e., that, according to you, Rand isn’t “taken seriously” by anyone other than “laymen philosophers and Right wingers.” If so, maybe my list above has changed your view on this issue, and the “it doesn’t go anywhere” question, simply drops away. If not, maybe you could elaborate a little bit as to what you mean by it.

    In my attempt to respond to “it doesn’t go anywhere,” I wrote: “As you are well aware, (I put that in as to not be condescending) the axioms and he [sic] primacy of existence are the ground floor of knowledge. They are there, making sure we have a foundation, a standard by which all premises can be checked against. Can you name any validated knowledge that violates the axioms and the primacy of existence?”

    You responded: “I mean, look, you're asking me within the context of your own schema if you're violating your own rules, but since I reject the rules I can't really answer the question. Know what I mean?”

    I know in the past that you've stated that you've never read Rand (or read very little of her work), so let me try a different approach. Can you name any validated knowledge that came about without there first having been something to be knowledgeable about? Without that some “thing” upon which knowledge was built, being what it was (as opposed to nothing or as opposed to something other than what it was)? Without a means of awareness of that "something"? And, finally, can you name any validated knowledge that came about as a result of an ability by a faculty of awareness to control the objects of its awareness, (i.e., knowledge and the objects of knowledge that were: wished, hoped, poofed, prayed, or willed into being)?

    (continued...)

    ReplyDelete
  61. I’ve visited your blog on numerous occasions, (http://idiotphilosophy.blogspot.com/). I see that you’re involved in Quality (control?) of some sort. Can you you name any validated knowledge in your line of work that violates the axioms and the primacy of existence, as I have laid them out above?

    I also see a picture where the caption states that you’re 6’3” (basketball player/fan?). If you are (or even if you aren’t), can you name any instance(s) in the game of basketball that violates the axioms and the primacy of existence, as I have laid them out above?

    (I realize these questions are probably quite elementary for you. Perhaps not even worth consideration... questions that perhaps you consider “beneath” you. But *I* derive great benefit from crafting them because (a) they also help to unzip and clarify in my mind my initial question to you (b) they may provide an opportunity for some interesting feedback (c) they may appeal to any fence-sitters who happen to be lurking.

    You wrote: “It’s sorta like asking: If you accept the bible, did Jesus die on the cross?”

    I credit you for your ability to combine a dig at both theists and Objectivists in one fell swoop. However, I actually think a better question along these lines would’ve been: “If you accept the bible, did Jesus rise from the dead?” (Unless, of course, I’m, once again, missing some humorous nuance in *your* question.)

    In any event, (and it probably won’t come as a surprise to you) I do not think that my question...

    “Can you name any validated knowledge that violates the axioms and the primacy of existence?”

    ... which sprang from recognizing, as Peikoff states in OPAR p. 5, that, “... first, there must be something, and one must grasp that there is. If not, there is nothing to consider or to know,” (which you have called “[my] own schema”) is in any way analogous to the your “accept bible... die on cross” question.

    I would go into greater detail as to my reasons my rejection, but I think at this point it would be superfluous.

    But I will say, for what it's worth, I would also reject my own “accept bible... rise from the dead” question as being analogous, too.

    Ydemoc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ydemoc,
      you state:
      "“Can you name any validated knowledge that violates the axioms and the primacy of existence?”"

      If you read through the wed of conversation I had on this, the issue was that Objectivism is merely another form of the Correspondence Theory of Truth and/or the Representational Theory of Truth (or you can call that for general purposes, Realism). It is for that reason I reject your question. In essence your axioms are violated because they create a circular reference like all Correspondence and Representational models do.

      Now of course, Objectivists don't like that, but so far I haven't seen one show how the Objectivist model isn't just another form of Realism.

      Delete
    2. To add one last thing to that. You want to say something like, consciousness is self evident, axiomatic, whatever (I'm oversimplifying because the conversation has been covered), but what gives you license to say that's any more or less self evident than the christian when they say God is self evident?

      i.e. what gives your self-evidential nature precedence over theirs?

      And before you say something like, "because mine is objective and God is not objective". I'd then perhaps ask something like, "is a pain objective?" Just because in some circumstances you can Objectively view something that looks like it should produce something that you would consider "a pain" doesn't give you any clue whatsoever as to what that person might be feeling, if anything at all. Now you could here just give a good causal justification for believing that the person is in pain, even though you can't actually prove it (which of course would be objective) but of course the christian could give you the same causal reason for believing in God. That you don't accept that is no more reason to say that God is nonsense than to say person "X" shouldn't be reeling in pain because we don't have any objective evidence that they should be. i.e. perhaps you just haven't been able to find out what that evidence/justification is. And perhaps, just perhaps, there's more to the world than Objectivism and Pragmatism.

      Delete
    3. In any case,
      if you want to read through my objections and point to where you think I'm wrong (from the conversation on my blog) please do. I should have some time here and there to discuss. What I'm saying here is to a certain degree complaining and arm waving, mixed in with a little myopathy, but that's okay, we're just talking right now.

      Delete
  62. Replies
    1. Hey, Andrew,

      USA Today Headline

      "Yawning may cool brain when needed"

      http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/medical/health/medical/story/2011-11-26/Yawning-may-cool-brain-when-needed/51409498/1

      Ydemoc

      Delete
  63. yea Ydemoc

    conscious of consciousness.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Andrew,

    I feel your yawn. objectivism is boring.

    ReplyDelete
  65. To Anyone Interested,

    Some (and I would venture to say, even all) the points Andrew raises above are dealt with quite thoroughly in the essay:

    Lord Oda's "Problem with Pain"

    http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/2007/10/lord-odas-problem-with-pain.html

    Ydemoc


    ReplyDelete
  66. No, Ydemoc, this article doesn't deal with the problem at all. It can be best summed up by this statement here:

    "If I break my leg, for instance, it's going to hurt no matter what I imagine. Anyone who disputes the fact that a broken leg is painful can break his own leg and settle the matter."

    The only thing this article deals with, if it deals with anything at all, is the phenomenal character of pain, that which another observer *may* be able to see. But, no amount of phenomenal objectivity, no amount of observing a wound or examining a brains’ neural activity will get you any closer to the pain that person is experiencing, and breaking your own leg only tells you something about YOUR pain. There too, by the reasoning of this article, you can experience God simply by living the life of a Christian for a while (which of course no one would do and take it seriously any more than someone would intentionally break their leg).

    The bottom line point is that you cannot objectively experience or know pain just by observing it, and stabbing yourself in the leg to feel a sensation says nothing about anybody else but you. How do you know that another person is actually in pain and/or how do you know that a person is not actually in pain?

    The problem with Dawson is he bloviates endlessly….

    ReplyDelete
  67. Think of it this way,
    Pain is not objective in the philosophical sense of the word, but we can at least say that it’s phenomenal. In other words you can’t experience someones pain, just like by knowing everything there is to know about an elephant (from it’s macrostructure to it’s microstructure) doesn’t tell you anything about what it’s like to be an elephant or how an elephant feels. But, you may be tempted to argue that an elephant has things like pains simply by virtue of the fact that you can observe it’s phenomenal characters.

    Look, basically what you’re doing here is saying that yes, there’s such a thing as pain because I feel pain and can (at least) observe pain in other people. But people who believe in God would say that they feel God and can observe that others do the same. The fact that you cannot activate the neural switch (so to speak) that activates such an experience is no more evidence that God doesn’t exist than one’s inability to break their leg for whatever reason. All your doing is giving credibility to some peoples “feels” while ignoring others, yet saying that all people have feels nonetheless, but are just at times confused about them.

    So again, how do you know that “God feels” are illegitimate, yet “pain feels” are not?

    You should be able to do this in a few short paragraphs please.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Finally, if someone is in pain but you can’t see the reason why, are they in pain?

    ReplyDelete
  69. The problem, Ydemoc, if I may add one more thing to this, is that the article is appealing to your intuition as opposed to actually making a robust philosophical proof. Because it’s consistent with your general intuitions on things (which exist within a broader historical context) you just go with it.

    And then there’s this, strait from the man you idolize (and I just grabbed this from my blog):
    “- Perception (your axiom, that which we cannot deny; the manner with which we experience things in existence. Added correction, you state: the validity of the senses is an axiom.”

    - Existence (which is apart from consciousness. And contains things which , within it, we experience in themselves. Which was quoted in reference to representation.)”

    The axiom being perception, i.e. the senses, and by logical entailment, consciousness; so what we have here is a presupposition of the Cartesian inner sphere. Now, Rand can go with a more hylomorphic (Aristotelian) method and define consciousness as simply the experience/perception of the external world, but that leaves out any philosophical explanation of “pains” and “inner feels” (to say the least). And the examples you’ve given through the article do nothing to actually help your case (actually they make it worse) because it assumes that people do have such a thing as these inner states which means you vacillate right back to Cartesian dualism.

    Either way though, the whole philosophical model is based upon a presupposition that you merely call an axiom as though that get’s you out of accounting for it. And again, simply by appealing to the skeptics intuition is not an example of a philosophical proof, but an admission that you don’t have one.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Andrew,

    Everything you said can be summed up in a question that Ydemoc after a year hasn't been able to answer:

    How do you know what you claim to be real is not something your simply imagining?

    Dawson has told me on many occasions that there is a reality apart from us but when challenged he claims that I don't get that "existence exists" because of some supposed defect on my part. It's pretty funny.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's right: you're fundamentally defective...

      Delete
  71. Wv,

    Why don't you help Ydemoc.

    ReplyDelete
  72. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  73. To Those Who Are Interested,

    I'm just popping into report that Andrew's complaints are dealt with in the Objectivist literature -- of which he confesses over on his blog: "I don't know a thing about objectivism, only what I can glean from the sort of language you're [Dawson] using and the direction it seems to take, and what's implicit within it" and "I suppose at some point in time I'll have to bit [sic] the bullet and read Rand a little."

    That was September 4, 2010 -- over two years ago. And in that time, it's evident to me -- other than maybe here or there -- that Andrew still has yet to, as he puts it, "bit the bullet."

    And I appreciate when he admits above: "What I'm saying here is to a certain degree complaining and arm waving, mixed in with a little myopathy, but that's okay, we're just talking right now."

    Perhaps there was also something else going on along these same lines when he wrote above: "And then there’s this, strait [sic] from the man you idolize (and I just grabbed this from my blog)":

    From the "man [I] idolize"? Really? Okay... Well, I hate to break it to Andrew, but, even though I have no complaints about one having a high opinion about oneself? -- the fact of the matter is, no, I **do not** idolize **Andrew.**

    That's right, I said: I do not "idolize "Andrew."

    Why do I say "Andrew"? Well, that's because the following quote which he says he just "grabbed this from [his] blog" and which he asserts is "strait [sic] from the man [I, Ydemoc] idolize," is, in fact, Andrew's OWN words! -- HIS TAKE, on what HE THINKS some Objectivist terms mean. Take a look for yourself, scroll down a little more than half-way:

    http://idiotphilosophy.blogspot.com/2010/09/response-to-dawson.html

    I'm surpised he didn't catch this. Because, in this very blog entry, as a preamble to introducing us to HIS presentation of these terms, Andrew writes: "You [Dawson] have a few keys [sic] terms that infer [does Andrew mean imply here?] some sequence of correspondence, those are as follows:"

    And then he gives us the quotes that he copied and pasted. Here they are as they appear on his blog:

    "- Existence (which is apart from consciousness. And contains things which , within it, we experience in themselves. Which was quoted in reference to representation.)
    - Perception (your axiom, that which we cannot deny; the manner with which we experience things in existence. Added correction, you state: the validity of the senses is an axiom. I don't see how calling perception the axiom changes this much as the "senses" and "perception" are essentialy the same, yes/no?. You've merely added validity to it.)"

    Again, these quotes are definitely not "strait from [any] man [I] idolize." They are from Andrew, who quoted himself, and then proceeded to argue against his own quotes.

    Did you notice he exhibited the same sort of carelessness with the "no one takes Rand seriously" thing?

    On that point about who besides non-laymen and non-Republicans take Rand's work seriously, here's a couple more links:

    The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies
    http://www.aynrandstudies.com/jars/toc.asp

    Objective Standard
    http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/index.asp

    Ydemoc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ydemoc:
      "From the "man [I] idolize"? Really"
      I was talking about Dawson you dingy, and you should know by now I'm not short of sarcasm. I like to keep things lite as I'm keeping them serious.

      Delete
    2. Andrew,

      I knew that's what you were doing, talking about Dawson, as "the man" in your claim that he's "the man [Ydemoc] idolizes.

      However, the quotes you used were *not* from Dawson. They were from *you.* So when you supplied quotes "strait from the man you idolize," (with the "you" here being me, Ydemoc) this means that...

      ...since the quotes are yours, what you actually stated is that the man I idolize -- is you -- Andrew!

      They were your quotes. Not Dawson's.

      All I did was point this out.

      Ydemoc

      Delete
    3. Mmhm,
      those are his concepts.... But anyway, you're going to hit those points up, right?

      Delete
  74. Ydemoc,

    He's talking about your hero Dawson.

    The same guy you didn't defend when Steve went after him. Great fan that you are.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Hey Ydemoc,

    remember the time I asked Dawson how did he know Ayn Rand wasn't imagining things?

    Hilarious.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Ydemoc,
    okay, I should have been more explicit, no "non-morons" take Rand seriously. Sorry about that. Ad Hominems are my most favorite of the fallacies ;)

    There too, and I actually wasn't expecting to get into the conversation again, but here we are I guess, if you're going to take the time to do all that typing and linking, how's about taking some time address the actual flow of conversation here.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew,

      Should you ever find yourself so inclined to, as you put it, "bit the bullet," you could check out David Kelley.

      As a side note, since you seem to be fond of -- playfully or not -- putting down individuals who take Rand seriously, I thought it might be worth mentioning that:

      "Kelley is trained as a philosopher. He received his BA and MA in philosophy from Brown University, where he studied with the American rationalist, Roderick Chisholm. He received his Ph.D. in 1975 from Princeton University, where his advisor was the American postmodernist Richard Rorty. He was an assistant professor of philosophy and cognitive science for 7 years at Vassar College.[1] He then taught logic for a brief time at Brandeis University, while working as a freelance writer for Barron's Magazine and other publications." (Wikipedia)

      Additionally, in the Acknowledgments section of his book "The Evidence of the Senses," Kelley writes: "I owe a great deal to my teacher and advisor at Princeton, Rich­ard Rorty. My analysis of the idealist strain in contemporary phi­losophy was inspired by his seminar on the subject, though our evaluations of idealism differ radically."

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Rorty one of your heroes?

      Anyway, below you'll find links for two PDF files to - "A Theory of Abstraction" and "Rand and Objectivity."

      The last is to his book mentioned above, "The Evidence of the Senses," which is available for your online reading pleasure at the link provided, (or you also have the option of downloading it, and reading it as a PDF).

      "A Theory of Abstraction"
      http://www.atlassociety.org/sites/default/files/TheoryofAbstraction%20TAS%20pamphlet.pdf

      "Rand and Objectivity."
      http://www.reasonpapers.com/pdf/23/rp_23_9.pdf

      "The Evidence of the Senses"
      http://www.scribd.com/doc/106380113/The-Evidence-of-the-Senses-A-Realist-Theory-of-Perception

      As for dealing with your latest replies to me, well, perhaps one day very soon, I too will choose to "bit the bullet."

      Ydemoc

      Delete
    2. Okay, so I guess that means we're all done here. It was nice chatting though, Ydemoc.

      Yes, I'm rather fond of Rorty among others.

      Delete
    3. Hi Andrew,

      You wrote: "Okay, so I guess that means we're all done here."

      Whoa, there! Now hold on just one doggone minute there, pardner. Hold your horses! Who said anything about bein' done? I was merely puttin' it out there that perhaps one day soon, I too would choose to 'bit the bullet.'" (Yes, I've had one beer, but only one beer -- I'm a lightweight.)

      So I ain't done yet. By the bar you set, I reckon' I have up to two years to answer back, wouldn't ya say? But don't fret. I don't anticipate it takin' that long'a time.

      You wrote: "It was nice chatting though, Ydemoc."

      Oh, I'm pretty sure we'll cross paths again, perhaps sooner rather than later. When we do, I'm hopin' to hear tales about a chipped tooth or two, hopefully from you "bitin' down hard on that bullet."

      Adios, until probably tomorrow, or sometime later on in the week.

      Ydemoc

      Delete
    4. HAHA! Two years, touche'. Yeah, I gave it (blogging) up for a while and in all that time I'm sorta regretting it. Lots of ideas I never got down and all.

      Anyway, I should be around here and there, but likely not over the weekend.

      Later mang

      Delete
  77. In the very least you could get Dawson to poop out a ten page post that doesn't go anywhere. hehe.

    This will all end in tears, I just know it.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Andrew,

    Ydemoc is stunned.

    He's not used to dealing with atheist that go after his beliefs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God conceived from a Realist perspective it would be correct to call me an atheist. As an Idealist, no.

      Delete
  79. Andrew,

    What is your idea of God?

    ReplyDelete
  80. Replies
    1. When you're stomachs a' rumblin' it's all on you my friend.

      Delete
  81. Replies
    1. When you're hungry, can I eat for you?

      Delete
  82. Andrew,

    What's wrong with the Christian God?

    ReplyDelete
  83. Nothing.

    What I take issue with is realism and literalism. i.e. the idea that we interpret the bible literally as opposed to metaphorically. You see, from the standpoint of mysticism and wisdom, I don't see a difference between Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, etc. etc. etc..

    I feel that it's the literalists who've fucked up the whole enterprise and point of religious practice (wisdom teaching, etc.) by manufacturing a dispute over literal particulars because they completely missed the point of their books. Although, I'll say that this problem isn't as prevalent in the east as they were not as influenced by Plato and Aristotle.

    I mean, if you REALLY think that a man and woman were prancing around in a garden talking to snakes, and that there REALLY is a hell fire, and that someone REALLY did live for three entire days in the gut of a whale and man REALLY did walk on water, and that the universe REALLY is 6000 years old, I think you're interpreting the bible in way it was never meant to be interpreted, and creating disputes with scientific paradigms of thought that never should have been created in the first place (that's one whole paragraph with only one period, woohoo!).

    As a result, religion (particularly Christianty) is slowing eroding away and being destroyed in the west. And you know, it's kinda sad.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Andrew,

    In spite of what philosophers want to think, Christianity has never been influenced by Greek philopshy. Aristotle and Plato were wrong about much. It's amazing to me that people take them seriously.

    But I'm curious. have you ever read the bible?

    and


    Are you a proponent of the so called big bang?


    ReplyDelete
  85. Well, if you want to have the conversation on Plato and Aristotles influence on Christianity we can, but I can tell you that it's been greatly influenced by it. Again, would be more than happy to have the conversation, but it's a big one, a BIG-BIG-BIG one.

    Second, yes, I've spent a great deal of time studying the bible over the years. Over the past 15 years my hobby interests have been philosophy and religion, particularly Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity. My philosophical interests have narrowed in on Pragmatism, but of course that wasn't always the case; for many years I was pretty much a neo-Kantian.

    Third, "The Big Bang", what does that have to do with anything? I mean it's a theory, and as such I neither accept nor reject it.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Andrew,

    There is a big difference between the Catholic church
    and real Christianity.

    But go ahead enlighten us.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Well you can't just throw out that matzo-ball and then proceed to say "enlighten us". I mean, okay, what do you think the difference between the Catholic church and "real" Christianity is?

    If we're going to have a good conversation here, what are the terms? What do you want to say, what's at stake, what are we arguing for, what are the philosophical basis for the points we mean to draw, etc. etc. etc.?

    Thus far, I know nothing of your position save the idea that "hell fire" exists and you were/are a fan of TAG, which pretty much puts you in the epistemological tradition of Hume. Supposing that's true I'd lay the ax to pretty much any position you aim to take.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Incidentally, the TAG argument is not something endorsed by the Catholic church, yet in the least (from what you've said) you have endorsed it at one point in time.

    And since Bahnsen is (according to you) still your "homeboy", you seem to be at least to some degree in that bed. That said, that puts the catholic church in much better standing than whatever ideas you have as to what "real christianity" is supposed to be.

    So please, enlighten US

    ReplyDelete
  89. The difference between the catholic church and Christianity is that the catholic church isn't Christian. That's quite simple. TAG and Hume really what's the relationship? If I remember correctly, Bahnsen believes that Hume was wrong. If anything, Kant is the one you may have in mind.. But I thought we were talking Aristotle and Plato. Where did the TAG come from?

    So, the argument is, is Christianity influenced by Greek philosophy. I am negating it and you're affirm it.

    Proceed.





    ReplyDelete
  90. Okay, so the Catholic church isn't christian.

    Okay, your turn:
    A.) What is christianity than?
    B.) Do you support TAG, or not?
    C.) If not, what sort of apologist are you? Or maybe you're not.
    D.) Finally, you've still never shown that anything like "hell fire" exists.

    At this point, "underscore", I see no reason to continue if you're not willing to clarify anything about your position.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Yes, the catholic church is a big giant heretic.

    A. Christianity believes that only Jesus and his Father should be worshipped. if you know anything about the catholic church, you'll notice that they have some strange beliefs concerning Mary, For example, the immaculate conception. This heresy is found nowhere in the bible.

    B. I support TAG but right now I'm bored of it. It attracts some strange people. It even produces a strange cult like mentality in some of its proponents. For example, see the choosing hats blog.

    C. All Christians are apologist.

    D. I said holy fire not hell fire.

    Jesus was a real person
    Since Jesus created hell he would know if it existed.
    Jesus said hell exists
    Therefore, hell exists.

    Andrew it's interesting that suddenly you want to avoid Aristotle and Plato.



    .


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And the Catholic Church claims that they are the "true" xians.

      Example: Canadian columnist and TV host Michael Coren who wrote Why Catholics Are Right.

      From the Amazon review:
      Tracing Catholic history, he deconstructs popular and frequent anti-Catholic arguments regarding the Church and the Crusades, the Inquisition, Galileo, and the Holocaust. He examines Catholic theology and central pillars of Catholic belief, explaining why Catholics believe what they do: papal infallibility, immaculate conception, the Church rather than Bible alone. Finally, he explores the dignity of life argument and why it is so important to Catholicism.

      Delete
    2. So, why don't you go to one of that guy's columns that he writes up here and start commenting there and show that your brand of bs, uh, xianity is true and that his brand is wrong?

      Or even better: Why don't you people get your shit straight and then come back to us? You would think that since your god is supposed to be able to communicate "infallibly" to you people through the bible, "divine revelation" and the "holy spirit" and that you people can supposedly pray to him, that he'd be able to keep you people from constantly getting your wires crossed!

      Delete
  92. Are you being serious?

    A.) Your answer to what Christianity is, is just worshiping Jesus and his old man, which is the most juvenile thing I've ever heard.

    B.) You support TAG. I don't think I need to go any further on that.

    C.) You think all Christians are apologists, which is just not true at all.

    D.) You assert Jesus was real and himself created hell, which isn't even consistent with the bible. Then go on to say that because he says it exists it exists.

    Again, are you really expecting me to take this seriously? This is pretty much the intelligibility of a 10 year old Sunday Schooler. Or are you just intentionally trying to jerk me around and waste my time?

    Look "underscore", seriously, I'm not going to waste one minute of my time having what could be a fun and interesting conversation about the historical influences of philosophy on western Christianity with someone who floats bullshit like that. I'm done with you now....


    PS,
    My apologies to those who took the time to warn me ahead of time, Ydemoc, WM, etc..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As Christians we are all called to be ministers, pastors, apologists, and preachers. You think differently?

      Delete
  93. Andrew,

    I going to refrain from calling you ignorant. However, there is plenty of ignorance flowing from your side.

    A. Then what is Christianity since you claimed you have been studying the bible for 15 years?

    B.Yea, I support TAG. So, what?

    C. How do you know?

    D. Well, I provided a proof. The burden is on you. Also, it's actually consistent with the bible. This is amazing display of ignorance coming from your side.

    Im not denying that the catholic church loves Plato and Aristotle. However, what I am denying is that they are Christians.

    So, go ahead be done with your ignorance.







    ReplyDelete
  94. ... And then to further the nonesense, you state:
    "I going to refrain from calling you ignorant..... be done with your ignorance."

    You're not even consistent with your insults.

    ReplyDelete
  95. You know what I'd like to see? Michael Coren (link from my previous post) have a debate with Jack Chick (or his minions, whatever)

    ReplyDelete
  96. Speaking only for myself, I'd rather see Jessica Alba take on Katy Perry...

    ReplyDelete
  97. Reynold,

    You don't want to see a solution. You like all the fighting. It makes you forget of the holy fire that awaits the wicked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. I want an explanation as to just why, with all of you people having access to the same infallible "god" through prayer and his infallible word, you people are totally at odds with each other as to what you people believe!

      Sounds to me like it's all man-made. If there was some omnipotent infallible being out there is was trying to save everyone, you'd think he'd do a better job of communicating eh?

      Nide obviously has no answer to this so he relies on threats.

      As if threats of hellfire mean bugger-all to an unbeliever!

      Delete
  98. Reynold,

    It's already been explained to you just because people claim that they are Christians doesn't mean that they are Christians. By the way, that's not a threat. It's a promise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's the point that you are unable to get: How can an outsider tell if it's you people or the catholics who are xians?

      Because guess what? I've had catholics tell me the same thing you just did!

      And, no...it's a threat...and empty one at that unless you can bloody show that the xian (protestant version!) exists.

      Delete
  99. Reynold,

    http://tpophilosophy.blogspot.com/

    Welcome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome? Did you do anything that I need to thank you for?

      Delete
    2. And I see that you've posted this also on Rick Warden's blog. And yes, I called you on it over there as well.

      Delete
  100. Reybold,

    And? What's your point?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That you're not contributing anything but are just blog-whoring. That idiotic link of yours doesn't even contribute to the talking going on in either blog.

      What the fuck is [b]your[/b] point?

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  101. Replies
    1. Eeyup, this is definitely Nide we're dealing with here.

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  102. FYI, "atheist", "atheism" are not proper nouns and should not be capitalized. On the other hand, Atheism really is a religion, so never mind.

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    1. Yeah, and "bald" is a hair color. Moron. There's no holy book, no priesthood, no rituals, no belief in any sky-fairies, etc. There is no comparison, though I remember Dan tried to pretend that there was, so I had to explain reality to him also.



      What philosophy in your mind then would NOT be a religion, just so that we can have a comparison here?

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    2. BTW, bald is indeed a hair style. Carry on.

      Delete
    3. Dan, you moron. Read carefully what I wrote.

      I sarcastically said that bald was a hair color, not hairstyle.

      Delete
  103. UPDATE: The man I voted for in this election said this, "That's right. To put it bluntly, her Objectivism is godless, self-centered, materialistic, anti-Christian, and anti-American." ~Tom Hoefling

    Yet another reason I liked him so much.

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    1. So you agree with Hoefling's claim that Ron Paul is one of the major problems threatening the U.S. then Dan?

      "The godless, selfish, hedonistic, materialistic, anti-Christian, anti-American Objectivism of Ayn Rand/Ron Paul Libertarianism."

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    2. Please provide the link where he said that. But nice try, Ron Paul is a republican, so that made up quote would not make sense.

      Delete
    3. Hi Dan,

      Just dropping in to correct a few blunders that Mr. Hoefling made over on his website with regard to Ayn Rand.

      First, he quotes her as saying, "...that [man's] highest moral purpose is the achievement of his own habits..."

      "Habits"? She never said "habits." She said "happiness" in the Mike Wallace interview -- "[man's] highest moral purpose is the achievement of his own *HAPPINESS*... You can hear it for yourself if you listen carefully. It's also in the literature.

      I'll cut Mr. Hoefling some slack for, apparently, mistranscribing this, as her Russian dialect sometimes made it difficult. However, Mr. Hoefling deserves no slack for failing to do, as far as I can tell, any further research in the months that have passed since his post, in an effort to correct this error.

      Were that Mr. Hoefling's only misstep, it would be forgivable. Unfortunately, in one of many fantasy-driven fabrications, he goes onto write, with dazzling ignorance: "According to the philosophy of Ayn Rand, the firefighters who went up the stairs of the World Trade Center on 9-11-2001 were fools. The men who rushed the cockpit on Flight 93 to stop the plane from being crashed into the Capitol or the White House were idiots. The soldier who gives his life for his buddies or for his country is to be scorned for his ignorance of Ayn Rand's immoral 'morality.'"

      Dan, if this isn't just ignorance or an inability to comprehend and integrate, what is it? Is it agenda-driven dishonesty? If so, why do you suppose someone would stoop to this level of mischaracterization and dishonesty?

      Here's one reply to Mr. Hoefling's depraved reading of Rand and her philosophy:

      "The terrorist attacks of September 11 showed us good and evil, heroism and villainy. There were people who stared death in the face and, setting fear aside, did what they thought needed doing. Firefighters and policemen strode into burning buildings to save lives. Passengers attacked armed hijackers with their bare hands. And the hijackers steadfastly flew stolen airliners into their targets at the price of certain death. Given this basic similarity, why were some acclaimed as martyrs and heroes while others were deplored as fanatics and villains? Is the only difference whether the moral assessment emanates from New York City or from Kandahar?

      Courage is the virtue of pursuing one's values consistently in the face of risk. It is not courageous to seek death and destruction: there is no value in death, just as there is no content to a zero. Nor is it courage if a foolhardy person acts in disregard of the risks. Indeed, it is essential to courage that one know the risk one faces, and accept it.

      The courage of the firefighters and emergency workers in New York and elsewhere is of a special order because of the risks they routinely face. But firefighters are professionals committed to preventing fires and providing rescue services to those in danger. As professionals, they train to cope with the danger. In the Objectivist view, a person who trained for this profession is a hero for pursuing his profession effectively, prudently, and courageously. The firefighters and policemen who raced into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center after the explosions did not go there seeking death: they sought to save lives. They were all trained to cope with dangers such as fire and smoke. No one expected the sudden collapse of the towers when it came. The fallen firefighters' heroism lies in their steadfastness to their professional values. But it was heroism equaled by the surviving firefighters and rescue workers who worked with the same steadfastness in the face of the same risks."

      (continued...)

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    4. "By an Objective standard, by the standard of loving life, it is not facing death that makes a hero. Even those who hate the good can face death, and anyone who loves destruction can find it. Heroism is a positive achievement, an excellence of skill in living. There were heroes aplenty on September 11, many of them still with us, and there is more heroism every day as the productive genius of our society gets back to work." (William Thomas, "American Heroism" http://www.atlassociety.org/american-heroism)

      Here another answer:

      "Let me once again state that the most insulting "compliment" I received as a career soldier was praise for my selfless service and for my sacrifices. I considered that career to be very rewarsacrding [sic] for many reasons and never considered it to be sacrificial. I do experience fear for soldiers whenever I hear politicians encourage them to be willing to sacrifice. When you are asked to make a sacrifice, you need to prepare to be immolated on a sacrificial altar. I, for one, have no intention of mounting such an altar peacefully."

      Posted by "ethwc" Dec 17 '10 at 10:46; http://objectivistanswers.com/questions/1616/what-selfish-benefits-do-firefighters-and-police-officers-obtain-from-their-careers)

      For more on this topic, please see:

      http://objectivistanswers.com/questions/7112/is-it-honorable-to-jump-on-a-grenade-and-save-your-comrades-in-a-war

      Also see:
      What We Owe Our Soldiers
      By Alex Epstein
      May 27, 2009
      http://www.objectivismonline.net/blog/004928.html

      I wonder if Mr. Hoefling is aware of this material?

      If Mr. Hoefling subsequently clarified or corrected what he wrote above, please let what I've posted here serve as a supplement to that. If Mr. Hoefling failed to correct himself in any follow-up posts or comments, please let my post here serve as correcting him on this matter.

      In any event, he has been answered.

      P.S. I realize I have a few (to say the least) replies that I owe you. I hope to get to them in time.

      Thanks again.

      Ydemoc

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    5. Ydemoc,

      Your answers needs to come from the one being addressed. Ayn would answer Tom in an entirely different way.

      If altruism is defined as, "Selfless concern for the well-being of others", then how would Ayn address this subject?

      " If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject." ~Ayn Rand

      " I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." ~Ayn Rand

      " When I die, I hope to go to Heaven, whatever the Hell that is." ~Ayn Rand

      Delete
    6. Typing on a tablet, so comments are going to be limited. I just saw another quote to add to the fray, that I saw here.

      " [T]here is one word—a single word—which can blast the morality of altruism out of existence and which it cannot withstand—the word: ‘Why?’ Why must man live for the sake of others? Why must he be a sacrificial animal? Why is that the good? There is no earthly reason for it—and, ladies and gentlemen, in the whole history of philosophy no earthly reason has ever been given." ~Ayn Rand [Philosophy: Who Needs It, pp. 61–62]

      In other words, firemen? Why?

      Delete
    7. D.A.N. said...

      Ydemoc,

      Your answers needs to come from the one being addressed. Ayn would answer Tom in an entirely different way.


      Bollocks, claiming only Rand could answer these criticisms is disingenuous. If we used the same "logic" and said that only Van Til could answer our criticisms of the presuppositional apologetics that you have become so fond of, you'd be right to point out the absurdity of such a claim.

      Even if we ignore the fact that Rand is dead, so can't very well answer Hoefling herself, Hoefling, though he spent much of his article whining about Ayn Rand in particular, marked Objectivism as one of his main gripes. To that end Ydemoc gave you Objectivist responses to Hoeflings whinging.

      With Rand being the originator of the Objectivist philosophy, it's very likely that she would have answered those same complaints in the same way i.e. using concepts which stem from an Objectivist base. To suggest that she would have answered "in an entirely different way" is ridiculous.

      Delete
    8. Dan and freddies_dead,

      Dan, freddies_dead makes some very good points. But I'll have more to say on this in a little while. In the meantime, by your response to what I posted, you don't mean to suggest that such altruism, i.e., selflessness, should be extended to, say, our nation, do you? Do you think our nation should only serve the needs of other nations, even if it means our own destruction? Such a path would certainly not be inconsistent with the doctrine of altruism, would it? Under the doctrine of altruism and selflessness which Christians are so fond of, on what basis would you or any other Christian favor doing something in our "national self-interest"? (I will have much more to say on this)

      Were the firefighters who descended the North Tower and those who ordered them to do so, out of fear of collapse, at that point, should they have been heading up the stairs instead, would you have ordered them to go back up at that point? Why or why not?

      Thanks.

      Ydemoc

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    9. freddies_dead,

      Like I mentioned above, you make some good points which hadn't occurred to me until you pointed them out.

      If you're interested and/or you haven't seen it yet, Dawson currently has a great thread going with another Christian apologist named Michael Rawlings. Here's the link:

      http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=11714522&postID=1289084897155681602&isPopup=true

      The thread starts to pick up at time stamp, November 04, 2012 1:15 AM

      Ydemoc

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    10. Dan,

      Just to add to what freddies_dead says above, in response to your statement that:

      "Your answers needs to come from the one being addressed. Ayn would answer Tom in an entirely different way."

      It's not about the person doing the addressing or being addressed. It's about ideas. It always has been about reality, concept, and ideas, and whether or not those concepts have referents in reality and those ideas correspond to the facts of reality.

      I don't think you'd complain too much about it if I posted something from someone arguing for 2 + 2 = 4, even if it wasn't the person who originated this equation.

      Then again, I can see how one might complain if they truly believe that 2 + 2 = 5 (or anything other number but 4)

      Ydemoc

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    11. Ydemoc,

      Thanks for the link.

      Phew, it's taken me a while to get through all of that and all I can really say is that Michael has pretty much sabotaged his own (being charitable) "argument".

      Despite all the moaning about his qualifications, complicated terms and serious sounding language he's done nothing to backup his original complaint about Rand and, worse still, he has acknowledged that Christianity rests on consciousness holding primacy, which, as Dawson quite rightly points out, is self contradictory. He's shot himself in the foot.

      Rather than concede the matter though, I suspect he'll now resort to special pleading (wrapped up in yet more tedious verbiage) in order to exempt his conception of God from being subject to the problems he's admitted his worldview has.

      However, as Dawson says, "I'm glad that this isn't my problem" ;-)

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    12. freddies_dead,

      (I tried to post this earlier, but I must have clicked on the wrong button or something, because it didn't show.)

      You wrote: "Thanks for the link."

      My pleasure. I'm glad you had a chance to look it over.

      You wrote: "...as Dawson says, "I'm glad that this isn't my problem" ;-)"

      Yep. I like that phrase. Very handy. It reminds me of a anecdote Cameron Crowe relates about Led Zeppelin's then-manager Peter Grant, and his encounter with Bob Dylan:

      "The lack of press accessibility had kept the band mysterious, but the mystery cut both ways. What press reports did reach the papers usually centered on a) riots over concert tickets, or b) motorcycles-in-the-hallway-type road behavior. Peter Grant found himself involved in constant crisis management.

      (Once introducing himself to Bob Dylan at an L.A. party, Grant offered a warm handshake. 'I’m Peter Grant, manager of Led Zeppelin,' he said. Dylan replied, 'I don’t come to you with my problems, do I?' It was the only time I’d ever seen Grant at a loss for words.)"

      (http://www.theuncool.com/journalism/led-zeppelin-box-set/)

      Ydemoc

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    13. Well, I've now read the latest exchanges and, quite simply, my prediction seems to have come true.

      Faced with the problems Dawson has highlighted, Michael, amongst a whole buttload of flowery language, has resorted to employing the relativist fallacy i.e. whilst all "human" conciousness is finite, indeed, while everything that has identity is finite (as demonstrated by Dawson) this doesn't apply to his conception of God - which is definitely Biblical, while other conceptions of God that are based on the Bible definitely aren't.

      Oh, don't worry, God is a consciousness, but He is also infinite. "How?" we ask, well, this is where Michael wanders off to Bizarroville (pop. Michael). Apparently, whilst God is pure conciousness he's made up of Love - yup, love with a capital L. He's "L"ove that's somehow living in a supposed infinite realm of time. In fact not only is He consciousness made of perfect "L"ove, He's also that realm of time and, guess what? he created the realm of time that He is! Pleading that is so very special but ultimately incomprehensible.

      He then goes back to shooting himself in the feet as he proposes that it's not just God that's an entity of pure consciousness - presumably made up of "L"ove and time and stuff - so are humans! Which, of course, pisses all over his relativist fallacy from earlier as he's just suggested that we're actually the same type of pure conciousness as God - oops. Maybe he recognises the problem because he immediately dives straight back behind his relatavist fallacy and states that, whilst we're exactly the same as God - being "spirit[s] of pure consciousness" - we're not actually complete. Nope, unlike his God, and for reasons Michael doesn't mention, we require a physical body. Which, of course, begs the question as to why God doesn't need one in order to be complete too? Apparently the answer to this question is pretty simple, God has a "body" (yup it's a quote/unquote body) which is made up of "unlimited power and wisdom and knowledge" - I'm wondering what happened to the "L"ove and infinite time?

      Then, to the Trinity AND BEYOND! (sorry, couldn't help myself). Apparently the Trinity - or spiritual substratum - of God is solid, "full of smells and tastes and sights and sounds", "persons and even inanimate things that can be touched and felt" (probably some slugs and snails and puppydog tails too no doubt) but, before we get all excited, Michael points out that we "simply cannot know what this alternate infrastructural solid is precisely" - how convenient, and also it makes me wonder how he knows it's solid and made of specific stuff when we can't know what it is precisely? We then get the wonderful deepity "the physical realm ... is mostly empty space" + "[o]ur bodies and everything around us is ... mostly empty space" = God (or something).

      Michael seems to think that this poetically worded garbage somehow "expose[s] the misconceptions, the irrelvancies and the strawmen informing [Objectivism's] charges". Unfortunately for Michael this garbage only shows that Christianity has nothing but diversions when it tries to answer the charges levelled by Objectivism.

      Quite contrary to his claim that "[t]here is nothing inherently contradictory about the existence of God as depicted in the Bible" Objectivism uncovers the contradiction that underpins the entire Christian faith i.e. its requirement for the consciousness to hold primacy - and no amout of special pleading from Michael is about to solve that problem.

      Delete
    14. So, I guess you have it all figured out then? I also guess you're certain your reasoning is valid? You have found your new religion of Objectivism.

      >>Objectivism uncovers the contradiction that underpins the entire Christian faith i.e. ...

      I believe Darwin said the very same thing about evolution. Sad

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    15. freddies_dead,

      Wow! Pretty darn good summary there, freddies! Have you thought about posting it over there on Dawson's blog?

      Ydemoc

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    16. I believe Darwin said the very same thing about evolution.
      That would be a lie, Dan.

      Delete
    17. You know, personally, I'm inclined to wish everyone here - including this blog's owner - a happy Thanksgiving.

      I've spent a number of years reading his thoughts, though, and am no longer sure whether the founding fathers would have considered him an American.

      Happy Thanksgiving to anyone who values free speech and reasoned discussion.

      Delete
    18. D.A.N. said...

      So, I guess you have it all figured out then?

      All? I was talking quite specifically about Michael's "argument". I feel I have that figured out.

      I also guess you're certain your reasoning is valid?

      I have no reason to think otherwise.

      You have found your new religion of Objectivism.

      You really really don't like religion do you Dan? Maybe you should give yours up as you hate it so much, you must do to keep defining religion in such a way that it covers everything from Christianity and Islam to the book of the month club and bald people everywhere.

      >>Objectivism uncovers the contradiction that underpins the entire Christian faith i.e. ...

      I believe Darwin said the very same thing about evolution.

      Citation (or at least an explanatuon) very much needed as I don't recall Darwin making such a claim.

      Sad

      You should cheer up it's ony a few weeks until Christmas!

      Delete
    19. Ydemoc said...

      freddies_dead,

      Wow! Pretty darn good summary there, freddies! Have you thought about posting it over there on Dawson's blog?

      Ydemoc


      Firstly, thank you.

      Secondly, I did consider posting it there, but I didn't want to get in the way of the discussion. Quite often a fairly small comment can derail an entire line of enquiry (Hezekiah seems to try this tactic quite often). Then, instead of dealing fully with the much meatier issues raised by Dawson, Michael may have felt he needed to also defend his thoughts against my far more superficial observations - or, of course, seen them as a way to dodge Dawson's criticisms entirely.

      Delete
    20. freddies_dead,

      Good points about not wanting to derail things and about small comments doing so. I've been reluctant to jump in for that reason also. But I think your summary would make a nice addition to the thread at some point -- perhaps at near the end, when things are winding down.

      Ydemoc



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  104. Replies
    1. Ouch! You're absolutely right. I did miss that one.

      Well, I am forced to concede that IF Ron Paul believes entirely in Ayn Rand's philosophy then I disagree with him. If Tom is confused and is merely linking Ron Paul with her philosophy because of his libertarian leanings, then he is wrong. Either way, I have some reevaluating to do about everything.

      Thanks for your patience in my stubbornness.

      Delete
    2. Hi again, Dan,

      I hate to pile on, but I think you missed this one, too.

      You wrote, attributing this quote to Rand: "'When I die, I hope to go to Heaven, whatever the Hell that is.' ~ Ayn Rand"

      While it's true that these words are the product of Ayn Rand, it is *not* true that they are a direct quote *from* her, but words that she created and put into the mouth of one of the characters (Francisco d'Anconnia) from Atlas Shrugged.

      Furthermore, in this passage from her novel, she did not capitalize 'Heaven' nor did she do so with 'Hell.' Observe:

      "Francisco was fifteen years old that summer...

      'Don't you ever think of anything but d'Anconia Copper?" Jim asked him once.

      'No.'

      'It seems to me that there are other things in the world.'

      'Let others think about them.'

      'Isn't that a very selfish attitude?'

      'It is.'

      'What are you after?'

      'Money.'

      'Don't you have enough?'

      'In his lifetime, every one of my ancestors raised the production of d'Anconia Copper by about ten per cent. I intend to raise it by one hundred.'

      What for?' Jim asked, in sarcastic imitation of Francisco's voice.

      'When I die, I hope to go to heaven — whatever the hell that is — and I want to be able to afford the price of admission.'

      'Virtue is the price of admission,' Jim said haughtily.

      'That's what I mean, James. So I want to be prepared to claim the greatest virtue of all — that I was a man who made money.'

      'Any grafter can make money.'

      'James, you ought to discover some day that words have an exact meaning.'"

      What is going on here? Did you copy and paste this quote directly from from Mr. Hoefling's site? Or did you get it from some other source? In any event, wherever you got it, not only should they have refrained from capitalizing words that originally were not capitalized, but they also should have properly cited it as coming from a character in Atlas Shrugged.

      Christians don't seem to appreciate it when non-believers do this kind of thing with the Bible. So it seems only fair that, well, you know...

      Thanks.

      Ydemoc

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    3. Yea, if you Google it you see that most all capitalize them and also attribute it to Ayn herself saying it. But if anyone who is a true Ayn Rand connoisseur, such as yourself, I can see the point you're making. So I concede the point made.

      You ARE a true connoisseur of Ayn Rand and follow her in an almost cult like status. :7)

      Delete
    4. It's rather telling that when Dan's lie (unintentional as it was) is pointed out to him, he responds by calling you a cultist.

      Delete
  105. Dan,

    Ahhhh, Dan, you giveth (in the form of complimenting me on my fastidiousness as well as in conceding a point), and then you taketh away (by calling my subscription to Rand's philosophy "almost cult like").

    If rationality be called "cult like," then all the better for it.

    By the way, Hank Hanegraaf (The Bible Answer Man) makes an interesting observation regarding the term "cult." In his book, The Bible Answer Book, which I have sitting in front of me as I type, he writes:

    "Finally, I should note that although the media-driven culture has given the term "cult" an exclusively perjorative connotation, denotatively the word "cult" can be broadly defined as a group of people centered around a religious belief structure. As such, Christianity might rightly be referred to as a cult of Old Testament Judausm. In fact, the Latin verb 'cultus' from which we derive the word "cult" simply means to worship a deity. Thus, in dealing with cults, it is crucial to be diligent in defining terms." (p. 233) (single quotes ' ' used in place of italics)

    It goes without saying that I take issue with much of what Mr. Hanegraaf, a Christian, writes and stands for. And, granted, he does makes other distinctions prior to this passage in his book. However, his summation here sounds like it applies more to Christianity than to Objectivism.

    Ydemoc

    ReplyDelete

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