"Genocide"... Hah. Spare me the all-purpose "genocide" schtick.
That's baloney, and you know it. You know full well that what I have really and obviously done is impugn the legitimacy of religion as a "benign" entity, when all it is, is a destructive kink.
When I refer to your status as an advocate of genocide, I refer to your views towards Palestinans.
The following words are yours:
I can completely understand what the Israelis have to contend with, with the "Palestinians" as their "roommates"... As roommates, the Palestinians terrorize Israel, and then play a flawlessly perfect innocent routine to other nations, convincing them of their persecution by the Israelis. They are naught but streamlined engines of natural destruction. They can build virtually nothing; their only true talent is sabotage and destruction. The words in bold italics are the precise definition of genocide. You are very correct that this term should be reserved only for the most severe cases. I do not, like too many today, use it for less than the precise and ultimate crime it labels. 'Genocide' refers to the murder of an entire race or people. That is what you have advocated. You qualify for very, very severe company in that merit.
Ultimately, in light of 9/11 and the way I've seen these ghastly people act, I'm convinced they're all like this, and they can be handled in no other way but to relocate them or destroy them... they are wholly rotten. They're wholly incapable of self-restraint, and their recidivism rate is 100%.
And if this is an overestimation, then the fault is theirs, for they are the ones who drive you to hold such understandable beliefs.
Now, here's where you start grabbing weapons off the wall, because in your gut, you know that religion is a form of kink, which you cherish. And as far as I'm concerned, there's nothing necessarily wrong with kinks; they can be quite psychologically healing if approached humanely.Your objection to the length of my argument is a transparent dodge to avoid answering it. So is your well-poisoning. As it is, you have no idea what experiences have led to my own devotion, no arguments regarding my views, and nothing to your credit but some mystical knowledge of my motivations- acquired by?... blank out.
Your problem -- and unlike you, I don't need three or four computer screen-lengths to make it -- is that you seem to have weaved kink so profoundly and pervasively into your life, that you have become utterly dependent on it. This includes religion. You have lost all objectivity when it comes to being able to separate yourself from the phenomenon, like a cocaine addict who will invert all the premises of logic itself, to justify the cherished conclusion that cocaine just can't be bad for me.
Well, wake up. It is. So is religion. And religion is one of those things that -- being so addictive as a kink -- people tend to push like a drug on other people, who then become addicted, and their lives ruined.
I believe completely in protecting people from that whole phenomenon, and I don't need to summon a list of evidence the size of Texas to make my argument to do so.
No, I do not know in my heart that you are right. Msr. Reasoner, you no nothing of my feelings, and in any case my feelings are not your tools of cognition. Such arguments to self-doubt and your smug psychologizing character assassinations as are unworthy of reason, philosophy, or Objectivism.
As for the claim that religion is making me miserable; dear Orion, which of us sounds more unhappy with life? Who speaks with more confidence? I leave that to the judgement of readers, but I do demand of you what evidence you have that religion is 'my problem'. You know nothing about me save what I have said here, and you certainly do not know my spiritual history. But since you bring it up, my spirituality has been an integral component of a new life what has given me fiery happiness and which has, in fact, it has allowed me the sense of beauty to write poetry again for the first time in five years. In that regard, I thank my goddess; not as one thanks an authority, but as one thanks a wise friend. If that makes you uncomfortable, tough. Rugged individualist, deal with it.
And I am far happier as a Pagan than I was as on Objectivist. As an Objectivist, I did nothing but gnaw round and round inside a steel web of ideas, terrified at a world outside wholly mad in some chthonian pursuit of evil for evil's sake and denying evidence, desires, and passions for art and human beings to keep up a structure of ideas which was my only world. I remember feeling at all times that either I or the universe wasn't really real when other people just could not see and grasp the same self-evident, only truth which I knew in absolutehood. I spend my time rocking back and forth from verbally strangling others to get them to acknowledge 'reality' and hiding in my own safe closet of truth... when the real truth was that I had just build a fortress of ego around an intellectual structure, while denying anything in my own soul that felt as 'the mindless masses' did. It cost me friends, peace, countless small smiles and achievement of happiness in this world.
Eventually, I reached a place where I had devoured the last of my pleasure for a mind I couldn't use, and I had a choice between standing in proud, or vain, utterly joyless, stoic denial of 'irrational' desires or choosing to explore those desires even if it meant passing through a sleep of reason.
I chose the latter, and found out that experienced from the inside, the souls of all those evil irrationalists weren't irrational ar all; they just has seen and experienced so different things than I had, built their sense of the world around such senses, and often as not constructed their own absurd, defensive ego fortresses against *my* former ideas which were equally seen as threatening their sense of self-worth.
That was a day that I discovered that we are all human, and that honesty and the will to live may separate us, wisdom and integrity may separate us, but that creeds and convictions are often illusion and always subordinate to our stature and keeping flame of our souls. I learn to stop hating, appreciate something in most I once despised and everything in once-denied greatnesses that are not Objectivist, and to make my separate peace with the world.
I also learned that all of us desire happiness, that fierce joy may carry errors but cannot by the nature of joy have error at its source, and thus those we should fear most are not those who desire passionately the wrong things but who have warped their ability to desire into a citadel, a machine existing no longer for its own loves but to destroy the threatening loves of others. The true dangers are those who have taken primary pride not in what joy they are, but the evils they are not. That hateful panic, which religions and philosophies have encouraged but did not create, is far more than misguided concepts the true source of human-created suffering upon this Earth.
Do I thus think Objectivists way of looking at the world is an error? Well, I do disagree with this and that phiolsophical point, sometimes major, sometimes minor. But the true philosophic life is found in an awareness of first questions of the human situation wherein the wise can find true friendship in that reason where human beings can as human beings truly meet one another. Particular convictions, except as they encourage or discourage this stature, mean a lesser thing to me. I live only for this terribly brief life on Earth, and no longer desire to hope for victory in endless wars of philosophic conversion. But the brilliance, the poetry, the conversation, and the companionship of the highest minds, that I do hope for. And with such persons, the differences between the heights of all the world's philosophies are less than the difference between their shared from the heights and the endless, confused plain of sadly helpless desire below.
And there are greatnesses in Rand that allow some to fly on angels' wings; there are also in her corpus materials for the small and resentful to armor their resentment in joyless and pitiful 'superiority' over other creeping creatures wrapped in self-defeat around rival gods and philosophers.
Orion, you fool, take off the Ring of Power.