Thanks to all those that have come up in defense of my article. I was already wondering if other Objectivists would come to the fore to defend REASON. Thanks again, and let's move forward to the blazon of what Ayn Rand so splendidly brought forth in her writings: the defense and promotion of RATIONAL individuals.
To Rob: Your lack of historical knowledge would be appalling if it were not clear from what you wrote that your full interest lays in presenting a great big untruth, to state it mildly, a yarn that leads and, if nothing is done against it, will push humanity into the abyss of its own disappearance from planet Earth.
I'll present now a few fundamental facts that you have carefully left out of your long writing:
1) To give your writing even the appearance of being based on facts, you must start by providing factual proof of the existence of the basis of your statements, i.e. the provable existence of "God". Don't say now that you don't need to do it or that the existence of a "God" is self-evident, for it is not. Besides, my writing "Ayn Rand, I and the Universe" - published in eight installments at "Rebirth of Reason" - proves beyond any doubt that such a "God" doesn't exist… nor can it. But this proof is of essential need for any believer… and, evidently, not providing it amounts to recognizing that such a proof of existence is totally unavailable and, as I show in my writing, impossible due to its inherent contradiction in terms. While the argument I used is different from others available - some of them coming even from Kant - you can read these other proofs and arguments in Count Volney's "The Ruins of Palmyra" (written at the end of the 18th century), Paul Henri Thiry d’Holbach (also of the 18th century), the marvelous texts of Robert Ingersoll, the writings of Peter A. Angeles, B.C. Johnson's "The Atheist Debater's Handbook", Nick Gisburne's "The Atheist are Revolting", George H. Smith's books and many, many more which would be too long to name in detail. But, since we're at it, and along the line of what Jay Abbott states in Post 4, may I recommend you to read the books of Christopher Hitchens and Karlheinz Deschner (of the last one named English translations are available)?. Also, there's a very detailed article on "Atheism" at Wikipedia (look it up, as well as the list of very intelligent quotes at "Atheism" in Wikiquote). Perhaps you will hold that all the thinkers mentioned are dumb people but, my oh my, if you do so you confess your own lack of criteria. Some participants in this thread are already calling you a "troll", a term I shed away from ever being considered to be such in the Internet.
2) Since you flatly deny or, at least, strenuously doubt the existence of "thinking", may I ask you how did you construct what you wrote? After all, you had to learn the English language, its spelling and grammar, the use of its verbs, substantives, conjunctions, etc. etc., all of which requires the capacity of thinking, though it may eventually be used for fantasies such as the ones you present, their misconstructions and errors. Further on, "thinking" has a very clear and unbiased definition, for it means to exercise the mental faculties as to form ideas, arrive at conclusions, etc. (See the Webster for it, but then, the Webster is no authority at all, right?). Or did you write what you wrote by "speaking in tongues". Perhaps you did, for what you wrote is so totally filled with contradictions that it is practically incomprehensible.
For example, you said that prisoners in jails are mostly atheists, but this is evidently not so, for the US Federal Bureau of Prisons found out in 1997 that while 75% of the US population are Christians so too 75% of the prison population are Christians. This evidently renders your statement invalid, particularly in view of what, again, the US Federal Bureau of Prisons found in 1997: while at that time 10% of the US population were atheist (its 16% now - see Maher's movie and further statistics) only 0.2% of the prison population were atheists (which speaks VERY MUCH in favor of the high morals held by atheists, though their morals are not religious). So, all in all, the information you gather is really mistaken.
Moreover, there are quite some great atheists among us: Isaac Asimov (know him?), Francis Crick and James Watson, the DNA discoverers and Nobel Prizes, Marie Curie (obtained 2 Nobel Prizes), Richard Dawkins (look it up in the Internet), Thomas Alva Edison (mind you, your post was sent at 2:25am, which means that you had to use the light bulb he invented and so many other things you use, including many parts in your computer which were originally developed by this "fool", such as the diode, Stephen Gould, Massimo Pigliucci, Steven Pinker, Karl Popper, Carl Sagan, Michael Shermer, E. O Wilson (you can look them all up in the Internet), and I could also add a long list of actors, actresses, songwriters, film directors, writers (Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Gene Roddenberry, etc.), also "magicians" (Penn & Teller!), etc. etc. to this list. And, of course, let's not forget James Randi. But all of these peoples were dumb fools, wouldn't you say so? And none of them ever "thought", i.e. used their brain, right?
I have a good one in store for your: In 1999 George Barna, the Christian sociologist, published the result of his investigation, which was not very favorable to his beliefs, for he found out that while 27% of Born Again Christians and 24% of Mainstream Protestants faced divorce, only 21% of the atheists do, which again adds a bit more to atheist's high standard of morals.
Let me add a bit of fun to all this: You say that it was not you but the wheel manufacturer that convinced you to buy new tires. I do hope you changed the old ones before they crumbled to pieces - whatever the manufacturer may have told you - for, else, your car would be a real danger to the other people on the road. But then, why should you worry about them? After all, in the States 16% of the population are atheists anyhow, right? Well, in the city where I live the official statistics counted 25% as being atheists but, fortunately, we have a strict control on tire profiles and ban them from the streets well before pavement has wiped the tires to smithereens.
Let me finish with a few words from Carl Sagan: "It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
All in all, your writing presses forward the deep truth in Abu'l- `Ala' al-Ma`arri's words in the quote that heads my article, as pronounced 1,000 years ago.
May REASON, if at all possible, start to guide you! And, as Pat Condell (another atheist) would say: Peace!
(Edited by Manfred F. Schieder on 4/22, 3:02am)
(Edited by Manfred F. Schieder on 4/22, 8:42am)