I am disappointed because I assume that intellectuals, at least civilized, inquiring ones, agree in the area of being respectful while engaging in discourse, because they understand that deep discussion usually will hit emotional and psychological triggers all around. I never attacked nor insulted your position, which would be as easy to do as any other position, if one chooses the path of humor. It's easy, I practically wrote the book on it. I used to be a very stupid man in that respect; and on occasion I still will lose sight of humanity and resort to that. It is a very common behavior, no matter how articulately one performs it- it impresses, to an extent, but in the end, if a person is fortunate, it will stop impressing them. There is maybe some use for it, but reserve definitely seems to be a concept to consider before doing so.
On the other hand, you definitely have done so. Your choice of innuendo, and left-handed weaponry is telling. It pains me some to watch someone do that, because it inevitably seems to point at a certain kind of uncomfortable meanness not normally seen in the same person. It has many possible origins, the main one usually ending up to be a self-esteem issue. That simply seems to be the fact; I am not saying that it is the cause of your behavior. All I can say to that is I meant no intrusion into a forum where you have found yourself comfortable to write freely. That freedom is one I equally value.
I notice that you have written about being in recovery for about 8 years. If you did so via a 12-step program, maybe still participate in one, then perhaps look to those principles for a moment- how do you justify even Step One? It involves admitting powerlessness- that you must give up to a "higher power" before anything else happened. Did you work with that modality? It is an interesting discussion, whether one embraces or rejects it.
You err to say that I came onto an Objectivist forum and started espousing or arguing for the existence of God, or attempting some kind of conversion strategy. I cannot imagine a viable purpose for anyone setting out to do that, although I have seen it occur. I have devoted many years to Objectivism- to this day, hardly a week goes by that I do not take the opportunity to expose someone to the possibilities that Ayn Rand brought forward in her brilliant work. I did not attempt to sway belief systems, in any way, shape, or form. Aside from the fact that doing so would be bush-leauge, and stupidly ineffective, my values prevent me from doing so, because I consider actions like that to violate people's way of living their lives, while making tacit assumptions about errors in how they do so. The questionable behavior is yours, not mine, and I will not wear it.
I am comfortable with atheists- I fully accept them, and recognize that atheism is right and appropriate for those who embrace it. Under certain forms of definition, I am an atheist. The other reason I have no quarrel with atheists is because my value system is based on spiritual pluralism, and that is so because I know that it is a freedom that follows from the fact that we are all different and unique through nature and nurture. Through individual experience. Just as we see global similarities in the human experience (such as people like Jung and Campbell have brought forward so well), we see individuality- as unique as the fingerprint of the person who holds it.
Why should I be disappointed? Because my values include principles such as tolerance of individual religious freedom. It is clumsy, but if it makes my meaning more clear, call it individual sense-of-life freedom. What your actions are showing me is that you support that in spirit, but not in practice. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks very much like you have rules about that, and they go beyond the nature of everyone accepting what "is", "is". It is in forays beyond that where your lack of manners present themselves.
(Edited by Rich Engle on 7/19, 9:02am)
(Edited by Rich Engle on 7/19, 9:47am)