Rebirth of Reason

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Post 20

Friday, October 29, 2004 - 6:30pmSanction this postReply
Admitedly a lot of these posts are beyond my immediate comprehension, however, I do believe I have found the answer that I was seeking and in doing so, another question that was next on my list - has been answered.

1:  I am without doubt that religion should not be influenced upon minors.  However, I questioned the integrity of enforcement of such?

2: Another problem I had was understanding the end result of a free market. 

Having extensively travelled (at least 31 countries), I reflected upon societies which I had visited.  The type of society that I could come up with that reflected a free market (as I would understand it to be), is that of 3rd world countries.  Countries which lacked restrictions of product standards, safety issues, toxicity, liability, labour, building permits, trading standards etc, etc.  Then I was confused, they were in a more free market than my country and yet they were not really achieving much.  What do these countries have in common, what do they have that my country does not have, what are the main influences in their society?  The answer was staring me straight in the face.  Religion and culture.  If religion and culture were not an integral part of their life, I just have to wonder how boundless the possibilities that may be more open to them for having a broader vision.  Religion and culture sets boundaries.  Conformity to unfounded restrictions. 
( There is huge scope for discussion here - one factor which seems to also be a common demoninator is the gap between rich and poor.  But I will leave the topic for another forum and another forum for what is happening in Russia)

Another observation I have made is, that the longer a country has been established the more ingrained their attitude is and their thoughts, habitual.  There is more conformity, the need to belong, the need for acceptance and a mindset of "that is the way it has always been" and it has worked for us so far.  They keep wasting their time looking over their shoulders before walking ahead.  For a large number of countries, their past is more important to them than their future.

So, it appears blatently obvious to me that religion is a restraint. Akin to the reins on a horse, or how Orion so eloquently put it ... bondage.  (Bondage can be applied in two ways.  The bondage of being tied to a religion and the bondage of belonging and needing to belong to.)  I absolutely support Orions views.

Now going back to my initial question of the integrity of enforcing the issues of religion.  It can easily be done and it should.  Obviously not an overnight exercise. but we can start straight away within politics.  I am sure that the average rational person would agree that religion should play no part in politics, the judicial system and the ethos of a multi-cultural community.  France has led the world with banning of overt religious symbols and clothing - in public places.  Maybe it will be France who will take the next step and pathe the way for the banning of religious education to minors. 

Ok, this is all another subject, but I sincerely hope that France's move will become the catalyst for New Zealand to be next to enforce this ban on religous raiment.  Currently we have a situation, which leads us into the perfect starting position.  A muslim women has demanded that she be allowed to wear her burqa in testifying to a court of law.  She was given the opportunity to speak to a judge about this situation (whilst still wearing her burqa).  Her response was "I would rather die than take off my burqa".  (Personally, I would like to hand her a butter knife and show her where the toilets were........carpet cleaning can be very expensive).
Snide remarks aside, this is a huge issue.  If burqas become accpetable in court, what will be the law when an entire group of students enter an examination room dressed in Burqas?

If my opinion is somewhat naive, I apologise, but I value your comments and welcome your criticism.

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Post 21

Friday, October 29, 2004 - 8:05pmSanction this postReply
"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. 

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.  
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.
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 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.
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.
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.

Shiris Woodhull

Post 22

Friday, October 29, 2004 - 7:44pmSanction this postReply
So on a site dedicated to individual freedom and limiting the governments interference in our everyday life we have people advocating:

(1) Government interference in parents education of their children.
(2) Government dictates on what we can and can not wear.

And *I* am the irrational post modernist?
Oh well I can't spell so I guess everything I say is worthless right Perigo?

Post 23

Friday, October 29, 2004 - 11:21pmSanction this postReply

So what else do we advocate? 

Where does it start? Perhaps one should find a magic wand to remove all governments whilst we wait for utopia to remove her burqa (if she decides to).

It is all so easy to talk in circles without committing to anything.  It is a very sad, sad fact, that change takes time.  But like the journey of 1000 miles, it always starts with the first step.  Change can only happen with compromise and if compromisation leads me closer to my philosophy - I will take it anytime.  From what I have observed in life is, those people who fail to compromise are indeed the most religiously devout of all. And that my friend, starts the entire circle in motion - the wheels are all tunring but there are no gears engaged.  Once again we get back to the subject of restraint.

Post 24

Saturday, October 30, 2004 - 12:36amSanction this postReply
So Peopled_Diagram,

We move towards freedom by enslaving people?

I see.

And this is "compromise" I assume?

Dear me...

And this is an objectivist site?


Post 25

Sunday, October 31, 2004 - 5:10amSanction this postReply
'Is it any wonder, then, with this omnipresent and unmistakable undercurrent of the love of dominance and submission in religion, that nuns beat children with rulers, bishops love to lie prostrate, and priests molest choir boys?  They may not overtly know that religion is about kink, but they sure feel it... and eventually act on it.'

Orion I'm sorry, no atheists beat there children? No Atheists molest children? Religion is about Kink? I get what your saying religion eventually turns people into sadists, well that might explain conservative foreign policy. And it turns people into child molesters, well we better throw 90% of the world's population in prison. 

Wow you became a expert on sadistic psychosis, and psycho-sexual deviation by reading Ayn Rand's books!   

On a serious note. Yes western religions (Christianity, Islam) have been responsible for war (so have politics) and oppression (so have politics). But to have such a slanderous hatred for religion or anyone who goes to church once a week, or has a vague inclination to spirituality is scary man, really scary. Western has done many wonderful things it has inspired some of the greatest architecture the world has ever known, inspired beautiful art, inspired people to turn away from a life of violence, drugs, crime and to people respectable citizens. To claim western religions have done nothing good is to ignore evidence which I believe is described by Ayn Rand as wilful evasion.

Post 26

Monday, November 1, 2004 - 1:56pmSanction this postReply

Orion: "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."

Are you aware -- if not, it's time you were -- that you are exactly echoing Hitler's words about Jews? Relocate or destroy. When relocation proved difficult, he decided on destruction.

And from you prior remarks about Muslims all being the same as terrorists, you'll want to destroy them, too. And probably anyone who is religious should also be thrown into the pot; they do make a lot of trouble for us rational people, don't they. Why don't we burn all their books while we're at it? And how about people who protest what you advocate? Shouldn't we get rid of them as well?

If we destroy everyone who disagrees with us, what a nice, neat, RATIONAL world we'll have!


Post 27

Monday, November 1, 2004 - 9:53pmSanction this postReply

Let me ask you this, now that you've had your say -- and believe me, I most definitely understand the gravity of my position and your objections -- I'd like to ask you a simple question.

Did the Jews honestly ever do anything to Germany remotely as awful as the Muslim religion has done all over the world, to warrant the wholly overboard action that Hitler led against them?

If you can answer me that, then perhaps you'll understand my next point:

Just because some damn fool once used a sledgehammer to try and play the piano, doesn't mean that the sledgehammer is a tool that should never be used.... it only means that it should be used appropriately, when the need for it truly arises.

Post 28

Monday, November 1, 2004 - 11:59pmSanction this postReply

Orion: "Did the Jews honestly ever do anything to Germany remotely as awful as the Muslim religion has done all over the world,"

No, but that is totally irrelevant. Hitler acted as he did out of hate, not reason, just as you are doing by your collective judgments.

I ask, in all seriousness, and as my last attempt with you, that you study Rand's article on racism.


Post 29

Tuesday, November 2, 2004 - 1:27amSanction this postReply
"I ask, in all seriousness, and as my last attempt with you, that you study Rand's article on racism."

The article would not be wholly analagous, as Orion is going off on a religion, not an ethnicity. While we often conflate "muslim" with "arab" in daily assumptions, this need not be a fact of reality. There are muslims out there who are as white as you or I, and from the sound of it, I don't think Orion would be too keen on sparing them from his hypothetical muslim holocaust. Nor is persecution of a religion like persecution of a race: You choose to be a member of a religion, but do not choose the color of your skin. Thus, whatever immoralities are involved in Orion's plans (and I agree that he is being excessive here), I'm not sure how analogous they are to racism, to the hatred of a person for non volitional traits that they did not choose and cannot change.
(Edited by Robert Bisno on 11/02, 1:32am)

(Edited by Robert Bisno on 11/02, 1:35am)

Post 30

Tuesday, November 2, 2004 - 12:40amSanction this postReply
If we destroy everyone who disagrees with us, what a nice, neat, RATIONAL world we'll have!
If we find a malignant cancer in our body, we know beyond a doubt that it will kill us.  We take this threat very seriously, we do not ignore it and we certainly do not negotiate with it.  We cut it out at the roots and keep a regular check, should it raise its ugly head once more.  Without the cancer our bodies enable us the continuation of our lives. 

To live in a free society, we must make the society a place in which one can live freely and safely, without constraints of a life threatening malady.  If an infection is affecting our society, then we have an option.  Can we live with it?  Sure, we can all live in harmony with certain bacteria in our bodies = in a lot of cases it is essential to have such dissident microbes.  However, if this is a threat to citizens of our society, it must be treated with the same severity of any life threatening disease.

What we need to establish, is where is the line?  Who draws it and who decides?

If, (as in 99% of all life threatening diseases), we are plagued with a life threatening situation, who do we seek advice from?  A specialist, a doctor, a surgeon - someone who has extensive and comprehensive experience of such matters.  We do not seek the opinion of our neighbour who watched a tv program about first aid - 3 weeks ago.

Taking this into consideration, it seems clear to me that the type of people who should be making life threatening decisions are the educated specialists of our society.  Certainly not Mr Bloggs or Mr Average Joe Public and certainly not the priests, imans, guru's, whacko's or rabbi's. 

Essentially, the educated specialists of our western civilisation, understand full well the immediate threat of Iran.   As the shocking barbaric and primitive murders are carried out, we all witness the extent to which Islamic extremists will go to.  As we witness the fact that there is NOT ONE Islamic objector to all this.  As we witness the fact that Islam runs along the same lines as a lethal mafia.   As we take in all this total horror, surely our logic tells us that these terrorists can NOT be trusted with nuclear weapons!
Please, please understand.  Iraq is just a small foxhole which must be cleared for a much bigger assault.
Iran has always been a major player in this very real threat - not Iraq. 
People seem so hung up on what is happening in Iraq.  Who gives a damn about finding WOMD in Iraq, I just wish people would not get so hung up on such ignorant responses (along with the US greed for oil and if you were not aware then its time you learned that France (Elf), Germany and Russia have their fingers in Iraq's oil - not the USA.  And you should also note that France, Germany and Russia had the audacity to threaten veto.  Anyhow, WOMD are the catalyst for our incursion into the middle east, but not in Iraq - they are in IRAN (who is currently in the process of uranium enrichment (or in the process of starting).   Another point is, there was only one other democratic country in the ME and that was Israel. Now Afghanistan has recently held its first democratic election and Iraq will not be far behind.  (As for the Palestinians - not even the Arabs want them !!!!   No arab nation offers assistance to them.  The Palestinians have for centuries been nothing but war mongering sqatters).  I digress here.  But the main reason why Iraq is so important, is because of its location - next to Syria and Iran. 

We as Westerners should be united in our stand to the protection of our countries.  Instead, we bitch, bleat and whine.  "Yes lets stop the terrorists, but we don't want any blood".  Lets give terrorists a fair chance, while we sacrifice the lives of our soliders in order to accomodate the (Do not shoot until shot at - requirement).  Lets make our troopers paranoid, so they are damned for killing an innocent civillian and they are killed for facing civillians unarmed.  Let our soldiers watch one of their colleagues as his body is exploded into bits of flesh which lands in their laps, while his blood sprays their faces.  And let us then send one of our soldiers to trial for being a little upset when his best friend had been brutally murdered by an explosive carried by a child. 

We should stand behind our leaders, we should stand behind our soldiers and we should stand for what we believe in.  Truth, Freedom and Democracy. 

The alternative?  We could shun treatment, ignore advice, let the cancer ravage us and crawl back into bed.  Maybe we could get it over and done with a bit easier and chose the right to die......ah ah......but that is another thread in the making. 

If we destroy everyone who disagrees with us, what a nice, neat, RATIONAL world we'll have!
It all boils down to our genetic make-up - the survival of the fittest.(healthiest)
 May the best race win!
One final thought :   The world with a population of one, has no one to disagree with itself.

Post 31

Wednesday, March 9, 2005 - 7:38amSanction this postReply
Back to the original topic - religion and the young mind. We all know how easily young children are swayed. The molding of their minds is a part of their developement. We can argue that they need to be free to discover things on their own, but is that really possible? In a sense childrens minds need to be molded. In the developement of a child, his/her brain may not necessarily be strong enough to produce is/her own beliefs on such a powerful topic as religion ( I base this on absolutely nothing so feal free to intervene). We want children to be free to determine their own values; however, they certainly need guidance. Without a parents guidance, will they learn manners? Guidance creates contemplation. Through development and guidance children will learn to contemplate their own virtues. Teaching children religion at a young age does not mean it will restrict their minds to believe whatever they are taught to believe. It simply gives them guidance inorder to later have the ability to reason. I know plenty of people who grew up in very religous environments and are now athiests. If children are allowed to believe only what they want to believe without opposition, how will they ever learn the fine art of argument?

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