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The Idiotic Objectivists
Chuckmorse.com ^ | Dec. 27, 2001 | Chuck Morse

Posted on 12/27/2001 2:31:24 PM PST by Chuckmorse

The Idiotic Objectivists

While Ayn Rand, the author of Atlas Shrugged, the Fountainhead, and essays on politics, culture and philosophy, was a great advocate of free market capitalism and a significant anti-communist, she also made mistakes in her thinking which are presently being slavishly parroted by her devout coterie of followers at the Ayn Rand Institute.
While Rand publicly championed the individual, she privately insisted, according to former close associates, on a high degree of conformity within her inner circle.
This is reflected today in her followers, who call themselves Objectivists, and who tend to spout her dogma and mimic her mannerisms in a fashion that is at times positive and at times unbecoming.

A case in point is the recent article “Why Christmas Should be More Commercial” by Dr. Leonard Peikoff who referrers to himself as the foremost authority on Objectivism and is the founder of the Ayn Rand Institute.
While Peikoff revels in the commercial aspects of Christmas, he sneers at “assorted Nativity tales and altruist injunctions (e.g., love thy neighbor) that no one takes seriously.”
I would beg to differ.
Most of us, to varying degrees, enjoy the commercial aspect of Christmas and gift giving and see no contradiction between this and the religious aspect.
In this season this year, which comes on the tail of hijackers crashing planes into buildings, thousands of grieving families, friends, and a grieving nation, and anthrax in the mail, thinking about G-d, and loving thy neighbor contributes greatly to a more significant sense of meaning and purpose in life, certainly more so than a mere commercial transaction.
I don’t agree with Peikoff and his extreme atheism, I think people do take these things very seriously.

The Objectivists hold to the irrational theory of evolution which is that man somehow evolved from the primordial ooze.
They dismiss as a superstition the more rational idea, in my opinion, that the creation of life, with all of its incredible facets, had to involve a supernatural and divine aspect.
They reject the theory of creation not because it is irrational but because the Atheist Ayn Rand rejected it.
As an admirer of reason, I find the creation theory to be much more rational while at the same time providing a varied and nuanced sense of life, certainly more so than the morally neutral idea that man somehow miraculously evolved out of the mud.

In his Christmas article, Peikoff asserts “America’s tragedy is that its intellectual leaders have typically tried to replace happiness with guilt by insisting that the spiritual meaning of Christmas is religion and self sacrifice for Tiny Tim or his equivalent.”
Unless I’m missing something, America’s “intellectual leaders” haven’t insisted on religion any time recently but rather an atheistic, morally neutral, scientific socialist culture that claims to be based on “reason.”
As far as American religion being an advocate of “self sacrifice,” this is just nonsense.
Self-sacrifice is a policy of the abovementioned intellectual leaders who have no intention of sacrificing anything themselves, only the fruit of the labor of others.
Religion tends to advocate voluntary tithing for the needy and private charities.

Peikoff wants to “take the Christ out of Christmas, and turn the holiday into a guiltlessly egoistic, pro-reason, this-worldly, commercial celebration.”
His utopian idea of happiness seems to be a world where man is not fettered by such obstacles as guilt or worry about anything but the here and now.
Much of the article venerates earth-worshipping paganism, which is where many Atheists, hungering for meaning and purpose, seem to end up.
Ayn Rand and the Objectivists made great contributions to capitalism, freedom and individual rights but, unfortunately, that contribution is somewhat eclipsed by a darker side.
Perhaps Rand was more influenced by her own Stalinist high school and College education than she realized.
Either way, it’s a shame that such glaring mistakes threaten to discredit such important work. Chuck Morse Is the author of “Why I’m a Right-Wing Extremist” www.chuckmorse.com


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1 posted on 12/27/2001 2:31:24 PM PST by Chuckmorse (chuckm@chuckmorse.com)
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To: Chuckmorse
Interesting... I have read Ayn Rand's two most famous books (Atlas Shrugged, and The Fountainhead). I agree with a lot of what she had to say. It's unfortunate that she isn't here today to respond to this and to numerous other issues.

I'm not sure that her opinions would be exactly the same as those self-proclaimed experts of her philosophy. I guess we will never know...

Thanks for writing the thought provoking article just the same and Happy New Year.

3 posted on 12/27/2001 2:40:39 PM PST by Davidb72
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To: Chuckmorse
"The Objectivists hold to the irrational theory of evolution ..."

You mean the Objectivists are idiotic because they are advocates of modern science? You people are hilarious!

5 posted on 12/27/2001 2:43:19 PM PST by The Green Goblin
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To: The Green Goblin
I was trying to be polite in my reply, but since you opened that can of worms....

Why do some people have such a problem accepting modern science. Is the world flat? Is the earth the center of the universe? Times change, ideas change...

Sometimes we actually (gasp) find out that our old ideas were wrong...

6 posted on 12/27/2001 2:49:27 PM PST by Davidb72
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To: Davidb72
Why do some people have such a problem accepting modern science. Is the world flat? Is the earth the center of the universe?

Straw Man fallacy. Most creationists revere the scientific method.

7 posted on 12/27/2001 2:53:13 PM PST by Theo
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To: innocentbystander
Ya think?

With a well-reasoned title like that, how could it possibly be a subjective screed?

8 posted on 12/27/2001 2:54:31 PM PST by Teacher317
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To: Theo
In a universe of infinite size, where is the center? Where is the Earth?

Can anyone bring in a single scientific fact that demonstrates, irrefutably, that the Earth is not at the center of the Universe?

9 posted on 12/27/2001 2:56:49 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Chuckmorse
As Ayn Rand acidly observed on numerous occasions, Leonard Piekoff is an easily swayed trend-follower incapable of original thought. He controls the Rand papers precisely because his skills as a sycophant kept him in Rand's good graces long after those around her with some semblance of self-respect had vanished from her orbit, leaving Rand and her rages behind.

Piekoff now makes his money by enticing the kids who read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged with Objectivist advertising affixed to the back of every copy sold, encouraging them to buy the stuff he sells at the otherwise widely ignored Ayn Rand Institute. Without the money he gets from the teenagers, he'd be on the street.

And he would probably be an Ass't Prof at a community college somewhere if his cousin hadn't been Ayn Rand's lover. He should be paid the same intellectual respect that a typical junior academic receives, and no more.

10 posted on 12/27/2001 2:56:53 PM PST by beckett
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To: muawiyah
In a universe of infinite size, where is the center? Where is the Earth?

It isn't infinite.

Can anyone bring in a single scientific fact that demonstrates, irrefutably, that the Earth is not at the center of the Universe?

Of course the earth isn't at the center of the universe. I am.

11 posted on 12/27/2001 3:04:39 PM PST by mlo
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To: Theo
Most creationists revere the scientific method.

No they don't. They've just picked up the mistaken idea that they can bash evolution for not following it, so they like to trot it out. If they didn't think they could use it for this purpose they would have nothing to do with this bit of godless science.

12 posted on 12/27/2001 3:08:21 PM PST by mlo
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To: Chuckmorse
"I find the creation theory to be much more rational..."

Hey ChuckMo,

I think you need to go look up "rational" again because anyone who believes in a metaphysical superbeing is quite a stones throw from rational...but, I know, belief in the aforementioned superbeing feeeeeeeellllllssss alot better.

I wish those "idiot" objectivists would desist in the use of their naturally evolved brains!

13 posted on 12/27/2001 3:08:41 PM PST by bosk
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To: Davidb72
Sometimes we actually (gasp) find out that our old ideas were wrong...

When it comes to science, we always find out that our old ideas are wrong.

14 posted on 12/27/2001 3:10:07 PM PST by Tares
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To: Tares
But are all old ideas wrong, or are all wrong ideas old?
15 posted on 12/27/2001 3:19:47 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Chuckmorse

One objectivist Ubermensch fantasy that got out of hand.
Beware the secular humanist with low self-esteem and sexual hang-ups.

16 posted on 12/27/2001 3:31:28 PM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: The Green Goblin
You picked out the line I was going to mock, and whacked it with a spiffy Marvel(tm) comics graphic too!!

I'm a Fantastic Four(tm) fan myself, and Reed Richards is exactly the kind of hero Ayn would have loved - rational and deliberate.

17 posted on 12/27/2001 3:33:30 PM PST by NativeNewYorker
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To: Chuckmorse
Yes, that idiotic belief in rational behavior and capitalism. Very poor choice of a title for this article, imho.

As far as Rand not being perfect in all her philosophies, well she was human, after all. There was only one perfect person in the world and they crucified him along time ago. If someone is 90% right and 10% wrong, I would not call them 'idiotic.'

18 posted on 12/27/2001 3:37:57 PM PST by nightowl_jg
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To: Chuckmorse
The Objectivists hold to the irrational theory of evolution which is that man somehow evolved from the primordial ooze. They dismiss as a superstition the more rational idea, in my opinion, that the creation of life, with all of its incredible facets, had to involve a supernatural and divine aspect. They reject the theory of creation not because it is irrational but because the Atheist Ayn Rand rejected it.

I can't find the quote, but there's an interview where someone in her circle said she once told him (paraphrasing) "Evolution might be true, but I don't know; it's only a theory..." Apparently Rand had never studied the subject very much, so she didn't want to come out & make a definitive statement on it.

At any rate, anyone who looks at biology & chemistry objectively really has no choice but to accept the basic tenets of the theory of evolution, IMHO.

19 posted on 12/27/2001 3:40:21 PM PST by jennyp
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To: muawiyah
But are all old ideas wrong, or are all wrong ideas old?

Not all old ideas, but rather all ideas based on the scientific method, old or new.

20 posted on 12/27/2001 3:45:32 PM PST by Tares
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To: Chuckmorse
The problem with Objectivism is that its followers do not understand that a collection of extremely quotable pithy quotes does not a world view make. And yes, my second copy of Atlas Shrugged is dog eared and has done been read ragged, and I will buy a third copy when this one falls apart like the first. Same for Peikoff's The Ominous Parallels.
21 posted on 12/27/2001 3:48:30 PM PST by Mortimer Snavely
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
You seem to have confused Rand with Neitzsche. When you get confused, just remember that Neitzsche was the one with the bigger mustache.

22 posted on 12/27/2001 3:52:53 PM PST by The Green Goblin
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To: NativeNewYorker
I'm a Fantastic Four(tm) fan myself, and Reed Richards is exactly the kind of hero Ayn would have loved - rational and deliberate

I think FF really rocks, although as a super-villain, I've gotta say that off the record, of course...

23 posted on 12/27/2001 3:54:59 PM PST by The Green Goblin
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To: muawiyah
In a universe of infinite size, where is the center? Where is the Earth?

Can anyone bring in a single scientific fact that demonstrates, irrefutably, that the Earth is not at the center of the Universe?

Why do the irrational keep seeking "proofs" for negatives? Can you prove, irrefutably, there is not a race of intelligent mice in another galazy, somewhere?

(By the way, I can prove both of the above, in case you are interested.) What's the point?

Hank

24 posted on 12/27/2001 3:55:26 PM PST by Hank Kerchief
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To: innocentbystander
The author has an agenda.

As opposed to others who DON'T have an agenda?

One thing that is for sure, everyone has an agenda, it is just a matter of whether or not you agree that makes the difference.

Is that deep enough? :-)

25 posted on 12/27/2001 4:00:00 PM PST by ladyinred
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To: bosk
I think you need to go look up "rational" again because anyone who believes in a metaphysical superbeing is quite a stones throw from rational\

Well, lets take the Godless view of the universe to its natural conclusion when considering rationality.

The universe started with an uncaused random quatum event. After billions of years of Newtonian physics, Einstein relativity, and quantom mechanics... The four laws of physics randomly devloped our galaxy, later through random events our solar system and finally our earth.

Randomly the atoms of the first life form assembled which randomly started to evolve, recently the atoms of your DNA assembled. Through quantum probabilities and chance your brain's nuerons are firing in such a way for you to have the thought that there is no creator. The atoms in your brain are giving you the illusion of Aristotle logic only by chance.

One can only conclude the reason for your philosophical leanings have happened through a huge amount of random events. Starting with the big bang. I don't think I would let my philosohical outlook be guided by the premise that I think what I think through billions of random events and probabilities. However that is one's constitutional right. Be careful, sometime through some other quantum events your view may change.

26 posted on 12/27/2001 4:04:44 PM PST by week 71
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To: Chuckmorse
IMO, the self-assertiveness of today's feminazis had some of its origin in Atlas Shrugged.
27 posted on 12/27/2001 4:05:14 PM PST by CWRWinger
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To: muawiyah
In a universe of infinite size, where is the center?

FreeRepublic is the center of the universe.

28 posted on 12/27/2001 4:06:16 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: jennyp
At any rate, anyone who looks at biology & chemistry objectively really has no choice but to accept the basic tenets of the theory of evolution, IMHO.

There are a great many brilliant biologists and chemists who have rejected evolution, at least in any of its present manifestations, because thay all present unsurmountable objectively logical problems.

Here are a couple of simple ones: For the species to evolve, once the animals exist, each new specie requires that both a male and female of the specie come into existense at the same time.

The evolution of a web weaving spider is logically impossible. Until the spider learned how to weave a web, over how many generations, how did it eat?

(The problem with the second question raises is the one of a complete system. The proposal that spiders could have acquired food some other way until web-weaving was evolved ignores that fact that web-weaving is an extremely complex process that must have come into existense, when it did, complete.)

There are billions of similar problems.

By the way, "creationism" is not the only other possibility if evolution turns out to be proveably false, which it is likely to be.

29 posted on 12/27/2001 4:08:11 PM PST by Hank Kerchief
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To: Chuckmorse
I don’t agree with Peikoff and his extreme atheism

What is extreme atheism, you are either an atheist or not. Then again in order to manufacture an attack piece against reason you have to fill it with half-truths an exaggerations. Since FreeRepublic is about to go down I will see if I can get back to this later.

30 posted on 12/27/2001 4:09:48 PM PST by Objectivism USA
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To: week 71
So, where did God come from?
31 posted on 12/27/2001 4:11:20 PM PST by Hank Kerchief
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To: Chuckmorse
Much of the article venerates earth-worshipping paganism, which is where many Atheists, hungering for meaning and purpose, seem to end up.

What, you mean like this passage?

Historically, people have always celebrated the winter solstice as the time when the days begin to lengthen, indicating the earth's return to life. Ancient Romans feasted and reveled during the festival of Saturnalia. Early Christians condemned these Roman celebrations — they were waiting for the end of the world and had only scorn for earthly pleasures. By the fourth century, the pagans were worshipping the god of the sun on December 25, and the Christians came to a decision: if you can't stop 'em, join 'em. They claimed (contrary to known fact) that the date was Jesus' birthday, and usurped the solstice holiday for their Church.

You can't very well explain the historical evolution of Christmas as Jesus' birthday celebrated on the illogical date of Dec. 25 without mentioning its pagan roots as an end-of-the-Winter-Solstice celebration!

Even after the Christians stole Christmas, they were ambivalent about it. The holiday was inherently a pro-life festival of earthly renewal, but the Christians preached renunciation, sacrifice, and concern for the next world, not this one. As Cotton Mather, an 18th-century clergyman, put it: "Can you in your consciences think that our Holy Savior is honored by mirth? . . . Shall it be said that at the birth of our Savior . . . we take time . . . to do actions that have much more of hell than of heaven in them?"

Then came the major developments of 19th-century capitalism: industrialization, urbanization, the triumph of science — all of it leading to easy transportation, efficient mail delivery, the widespread publishing of books and magazines, new inventions making life comfortable and exciting, and the rise of entrepreneurs who understood that the way to make a profit was to produce something good and sell it to a mass market.

For the first time, the giving of gifts became a major feature of Christmas. Early Christians denounced gift-giving as a Roman practice, and Puritans called it diabolical. But Americans were not to be deterred. Thanks to capitalism, there was enough wealth to make gifts possible, a great productive apparatus to advertise them and make them available cheaply, and a country so content that men wanted to reach out to their friends and express their enjoyment of life. The whole country took with glee to giving gifts on an unprecedented scale.

Just had to include the heart of Peikoff's moral argument, 'cuz it's an inspiring passage.

32 posted on 12/27/2001 4:13:17 PM PST by jennyp
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To: Hank Kerchief
It does not go against logic for a being to be self existant. However uncaused effects is illogical. However make no mistake I cannot prove the existence of God nor would I try. I'm just looking at philosphical considerations.
33 posted on 12/27/2001 4:15:44 PM PST by week 71
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To: week 71
the expression, self existant, is logically meaningless. What did you intend by it?

Hank

34 posted on 12/27/2001 4:18:44 PM PST by Hank Kerchief
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To: bosk;all
Has the universe always existed? It seems to me that if you accept the existance of anything, then you've got to accept that something not-rationally-explainable happened to bring stuff into existance -- some sort of uncaused first cause. Doesn't the mere fact that things exist pose an insurmountable logical hurdle to you guys who don't believe in God?

Note to anyone who responds to this: I'm not particularly interested in getting into a debate. I'm really just wondering what the standard non-theist response is to this sort of question.

35 posted on 12/27/2001 4:21:16 PM PST by Yardstick
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To: innocentbystander
But dude, aren't the only options; A) I believe in the Original Sin (my tweeter is evil) and the Big Guy is everywhere, all-the-time and the animation behind all that is, was and will be or B) I'm a heritic?

That John Morse just laid it out so clearly...

I hereby abandon... Thanks John Morse for challenging my former beliefs with such power and depth. I will join your path of Godly persuits. You should be a Saint. Where do I forward such a recommendation?

I don't want to be a heritic and won't read any Ayn Rand.

God Bless you and Happy Festivus!
36 posted on 12/27/2001 4:25:34 PM PST by Rate_Determining_Step
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To: Chuckmorse
You would have been better off just saying

"I don’t agree with Peikoff and his extreme atheism."

and left it at that. The rest of your post made me yawn. I think you and Peikoff deserve each other. Both equally boring.

37 posted on 12/27/2001 4:26:07 PM PST by monday
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To: Hank Kerchief
Here are a couple of simple ones: For the species to evolve, once the animals exist, each new specie requires that both a male and female of the specie come into existense at the same time.

As I understand it, that method happens sometimes with plants, and it could theoretically happen that way in animal species where brothers & sisters regularly mate. (If both a brother & a sister get the same mutation (it's possible), then they'll be compatible.) However, in general speciation does not work that way. It requires several mutations becoming common in the mutated population before it becomes difficult or impossible to breed with the original population.

The evolution of a web weaving spider is logically impossible. Until the spider learned how to weave a web, over how many generations, how did it eat?

I don't know much about spiders, though IIRC there are spider species that don't weave webs. But in general that kind of argument tends to disappear when you realize there are intermediates that also do just fine. (I'll just pretend you never typed in the next paragraph. :-)

38 posted on 12/27/2001 4:26:20 PM PST by jennyp
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To: Hank Kerchief
the expression, self existant, is logically meaningless. What did you intend by it?

I guess all I am suggesting is we are confined to the space-time domain. It may be possible for a creator to exist within an infinite amount of dimensions; existing outside of what we call time which began some 10 billion years ago.

39 posted on 12/27/2001 4:26:29 PM PST by week 71
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Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

To: innocentbystander
The Objectivists hold to the irrational theory of evolution...

I don't know any Objectivists, but I know that Ayn Rand did NOT agree with the popular evolutionary theories of her time. Either Objectivists disagree with Rand on this issue and the author is an ignoramous, or the Objectivists agree with Rand on this issue in which case the author is an ignoramous.

41 posted on 12/27/2001 4:31:30 PM PST by beavus
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To: Theo
Most creationists revere the scientific method.

Except that they turn Ockham's razor into Ockham's plate of spaghetti.

42 posted on 12/27/2001 4:33:43 PM PST by beavus
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To: The Green Goblin
No confusion at play. Their mutual grandiosity aside, I realize that the mad professor of classical philology at Basel, who left us volumes of his tantrums as well, had a larger mustache than Ayn Rand's.
43 posted on 12/27/2001 4:33:54 PM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: mlo
Of course the earth isn't at the center of the universe. I am.

You need to get your facts straight buddy. We can't both be the center of the universe.

44 posted on 12/27/2001 4:35:50 PM PST by beavus
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To: Chuckmorse
Shallow.
45 posted on 12/27/2001 4:36:48 PM PST by LiberationIT
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To: The Green Goblin
You seem to have confused Rand with Neitzsche.

Rand hated Neitzsche (eventually). Objectivists hate Libertarians. Maybe Democrats really do hate Communists.

46 posted on 12/27/2001 4:40:09 PM PST by beavus
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: CWRWinger
IMO, the self-assertiveness of today's feminazis had some of its origin in Atlas Shrugged.

Rand hated feminists too.

Come to think of it, what did Rand NOT hate? Oh I know...Victor Hugo. Weird.

48 posted on 12/27/2001 4:43:25 PM PST by beavus
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To: Yardstick
Has the universe always existed? It seems to me that if you accept the existance of anything, then you've got to accept that something not-rationally-explainable happened to bring stuff into existance -- some sort of uncaused first cause. Doesn't the mere fact that things exist pose an insurmountable logical hurdle to you guys who don't believe in God?

I happen to be a theist, but reject the "uncaused cause" argument, in all its forms, for the simple reason that existense cannot have a beginning. But, what you mean by "existense" is the present material universe, and that is a very important distinction. (For example, if existense has a beginning, then so does God, if God exists.)

I also do not believe God created the material univers ex-nihilo, that is, from nothing. (Is God nothing? Before the universe, did He exist nowhere? Absurd, of course.) The Bible does not teach this, actually, only theologians.

These are one theist's answers, but an atheist might be comfortable with them as well. You may have noticed that God made this universe in such a way that to those who do not think to deeply, it seems to be totally self-contained and capable of explaining everything. There is a reason for this.

Hank

49 posted on 12/27/2001 4:44:11 PM PST by Hank Kerchief
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To: Objectivism USA
What is extreme atheism, you are either an atheist or not.

Nonsense. In fact, I'm a little atheistic, partially Muslim, a tad agnostic, four-tenths Lutheran, and am pretty sure that Shirley McClain is god. I'm also a hair pregnant despite being mostly male and 75% alive.

50 posted on 12/27/2001 4:48:27 PM PST by beavus
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