Paul's Here

A Reason for Faith

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An interesting read.

http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/02/21/a-reason-for-faith-6-fatal-misconceptions/?singlepage=true

The title of the talk, Capitalism: The Only Moral Social System, was irresistible to a newborn activist bred from the Tea Party. As a lifelong conservative, I had always felt as though capitalism was morally superior to any alternative, but had not encountered a claim as bold as this. The speaker was Craig Biddle, editor of The Objective Standard. His thesis was not that capitalism was the best social system, or the most efficient, or the most tolerable among acceptable choices. His claim was that capitalism is the one true good, the only way to go, and that any other system proves profoundly bad.

Biddles argument was compelling, built upon observation of reality and application of reason. He took us through the minds eye to a far-flung island where we were marooned alone without a single piece of technology. He asked us how such a castaway would survive. What would have to be done? Through what means would it be done? What could prevent it?

In order to survive and thrive, human beings must act rationally to obtain and keep values. A castaway requires food, shelter, sanitation, recreation, and a means to escape or attract rescue. To obtain these things, the castaway cannot rely upon instinct like an animal. Rather, he must apply his mind to the task at hand. He must discern what can be safely eaten, how to fashion tools, how to construct shelter, how to trap and kill animals, how to effectively use the raw materials around him to affect his survival. Ultimately, the only thing which could prevent the castaway from doing these things, aside from his willingness and ability, is brute force from another human being.

Therein lies the objectivist ethic. What human beings need in order to survive and thrive is not provision, but the liberty to act upon their own judgment. Put another way, liberty is life. To deprive a man of his liberty is to deprive him of his life, to drain or contain him. Therefore, the recognition and protection of individual rights are essential.

Hearing this for the first time, I felt as though I had found the Holy Grail of conservative apology. While natural law evoked a Creator which secular leftists could simply deny, this objectivist argument stood firmly upon reason and the uncontestable facts of reality. How is it that this was not being echoed across conservative media, I asked myself. Then I got my answer.

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An interesting read.

http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/02/21/a-reason-for-faith-6-fatal-misconceptions/?singlepage=true

The title of the talk, Capitalism: The Only Moral Social System, was irresistible to a newborn activist bred from the Tea Party. As a lifelong conservative, I had always felt as though capitalism was morally superior to any alternative, but had not encountered a claim as bold as this. The speaker was Craig Biddle, editor of The Objective Standard. His thesis was not that capitalism was the best social system, or the most efficient, or the most tolerable among acceptable choices. His claim was that capitalism is the one true good, the only way to go, and that any other system proves profoundly bad.

Biddles argument was compelling, built upon observation of reality and application of reason. He took us through the minds eye to a far-flung island where we were marooned alone without a single piece of technology. He asked us how such a castaway would survive. What would have to be done? Through what means would it be done? What could prevent it?

In order to survive and thrive, human beings must act rationally to obtain and keep values. A castaway requires food, shelter, sanitation, recreation, and a means to escape or attract rescue. To obtain these things, the castaway cannot rely upon instinct like an animal. Rather, he must apply his mind to the task at hand. He must discern what can be safely eaten, how to fashion tools, how to construct shelter, how to trap and kill animals, how to effectively use the raw materials around him to affect his survival. Ultimately, the only thing which could prevent the castaway from doing these things, aside from his willingness and ability, is brute force from another human being.

Therein lies the objectivist ethic. What human beings need in order to survive and thrive is not provision, but the liberty to act upon their own judgment. Put another way, liberty is life. To deprive a man of his liberty is to deprive him of his life, to drain or contain him. Therefore, the recognition and protection of individual rights are essential.

Hearing this for the first time, I felt as though I had found the Holy Grail of conservative apology. While natural law evoked a Creator which secular leftists could simply deny, this objectivist argument stood firmly upon reason and the uncontestable facts of reality. How is it that this was not being echoed across conservative media, I asked myself. Then I got my answer.

One of the basic postulates of physical science is that the laws of physics hold everywhere and everywhen. But the laws of physics are mostly universally quantified assertions. That means that assert a predict of some sort is true for all members of an indefinitely extended class of objects. Now the only way to proved empirically that a predicate is true for all members of a set of objects is to see for each and every object examined one at a time that the predicate holds.

So our acceptance of the Law of Uniformity of Nature rests on something that has no empirical mode of verification. In a sense we are accepting this Law on "faith". Not the faith of the religion who hope and pray that the contradictory can be so or made to be so by the Sky Spook, rather it is the faith of reasonable expectation which is derived from our inductive mode of formulating laws about the real world. Still there is no absolute platinum plated guarantee that we will not meat a specific real instance of something that is contrary to our currently accepted physical laws.

At one time it was believed there was an elastic substance that filled all of space yet offered no resistance to anything that moved in space. This substance, aether, was presumed to be the medium that carried light (a wave in the electro-magnetic field) through space. Experiment eventually showed this is not the case. Aether runs head on against fact as revealed by the Michelson Morely experiment which failed to detect the aether. Later on discoveries showed that light is particulate and not purely a wave. Etc. Etc.

This shows how some of the most accepted hypothesis in physical science sometimes run into and are run over by fact.

To put a point on it, there is no absolute guarantee that the Laws of Physics that we hold and are heavily supported by observation and fact will not someday be contradicted by some as yet undiscovered physical effect.

Even so, we continue to accept the Law of Uniformity of Natural Physical Law as a meta principle so we can keep on doing science. I say this is a kind of reasonable and rational "faith" not practiced by the religious folk.

ruveyn

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The "electromagnetic ether" was historically one incomplete hypothesis groping to account for the propagation of light, not a mass delusion of impossible certainty.

Kolker's faith, together with his alternating fundamental skepticism, are what one is left with when one has no conceptual understanding of scientific principles, follows his own advice to "shut up and calculate", and believes that scientific statements are rationalistic floating abstractions consisting of out of context "universally quantified assertions" requiring infinite enumeration to establish -- which is just about all they are for an automaton with no consciousness.

He continues to pollute the Forum with obnoxious repetition of this nonsense despite explanations of what is wrong with it many times and which he cannot address. His mindless repetition serves no rational purpose but will continue until some human with consciousness changes his programming, such as in the I/O functions on the Forum.

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Daniel Defoe already showed that in his novel Robinson Crusoe almost 300 years ago.

Robinson Crusoe was a fiction adventure story about being stranded on a desert island under siege by savages, based on a common, obvious understanding of what it would take to survive. It was not about principles of ethics, did not establish any, and did not (and of course could not) address any of the article Paul referred to.

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Daniel Defoe already showed that in his novel Robinson Crusoe almost 300 years ago.

Robinson Crusoe was a fiction adventure story about being stranded on a desert island under siege by savages, based on a common, obvious understanding of what it would take to survive. It was not about principles of ethics, did not establish any, and did not (and of course could not) address any of the article Paul referred to.

But, in fact, Daniel Defoe demonstrated that in order to survive man needs all these principles

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Daniel Defoe already showed that in his novel Robinson Crusoe almost 300 years ago.

Robinson Crusoe was a fiction adventure story about being stranded on a desert island under siege by savages, based on a common, obvious understanding of what it would take to survive. It was not about principles of ethics, did not establish any, and did not (and of course could not) address any of the article Paul referred to.

But, in fact, Daniel Defoe demonstrated that in order to survive man needs all these principles

No he didn't. He didn't discuss principles at all. It was work of fiction about surviving against savages on a deserted island (with a servant).

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An interesting read.

http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/02/21/a-reason-for-faith-6-fatal-misconceptions/?singlepage=true

The title of the talk, Capitalism: The Only Moral Social System, was irresistible to a newborn activist bred from the Tea Party. As a lifelong conservative, I had always felt as though capitalism was morally superior to any alternative, but had not encountered a claim as bold as this. The speaker was Craig Biddle, editor of The Objective Standard. His thesis was not that capitalism was the best social system, or the most efficient, or the most tolerable among acceptable choices. His claim was that capitalism is the one true good, the only way to go, and that any other system proves profoundly bad.

Biddles argument was compelling, built upon observation of reality and application of reason. He took us through the minds eye to a far-flung island where we were marooned alone without a single piece of technology. He asked us how such a castaway would survive. What would have to be done? Through what means would it be done? What could prevent it?

In order to survive and thrive, human beings must act rationally to obtain and keep values. A castaway requires food, shelter, sanitation, recreation, and a means to escape or attract rescue. To obtain these things, the castaway cannot rely upon instinct like an animal. Rather, he must apply his mind to the task at hand. He must discern what can be safely eaten, how to fashion tools, how to construct shelter, how to trap and kill animals, how to effectively use the raw materials around him to affect his survival. Ultimately, the only thing which could prevent the castaway from doing these things, aside from his willingness and ability, is brute force from another human being.

Therein lies the objectivist ethic. What human beings need in order to survive and thrive is not provision, but the liberty to act upon their own judgment. Put another way, liberty is life. To deprive a man of his liberty is to deprive him of his life, to drain or contain him. Therefore, the recognition and protection of individual rights are essential.

Hearing this for the first time, I felt as though I had found the Holy Grail of conservative apology. While natural law evoked a Creator which secular leftists could simply deny, this objectivist argument stood firmly upon reason and the uncontestable facts of reality. How is it that this was not being echoed across conservative media, I asked myself. Then I got my answer.

One of the basic postulates of physical science is that the laws of physics hold everywhere and everywhen. But the laws of physics are mostly universally quantified assertions. That means that assert a predict of some sort is true for all members of an indefinitely extended class of objects. Now the only way to proved empirically that a predicate is true for all members of a set of objects is to see for each and every object examined one at a time that the predicate holds.

So our acceptance of the Law of Uniformity of Nature rests on something that has no empirical mode of verification. In a sense we are accepting this Law on "faith". Not the faith of the religion who hope and pray that the contradictory can be so or made to be so by the Sky Spook, rather it is the faith of reasonable expectation which is derived from our inductive mode of formulating laws about the real world. Still there is no absolute platinum plated guarantee that we will not meat a specific real instance of something that is contrary to our currently accepted physical laws.

At one time it was believed there was an elastic substance that filled all of space yet offered no resistance to anything that moved in space. This substance, aether, was presumed to be the medium that carried light (a wave in the electro-magnetic field) through space. Experiment eventually showed this is not the case. Aether runs head on against fact as revealed by the Michelson Morely experiment which failed to detect the aether. Later on discoveries showed that light is particulate and not purely a wave. Etc. Etc.

This shows how some of the most accepted hypothesis in physical science sometimes run into and are run over by fact.

To put a point on it, there is no absolute guarantee that the Laws of Physics that we hold and are heavily supported by observation and fact will not someday be contradicted by some as yet undiscovered physical effect.

Even so, we continue to accept the Law of Uniformity of Natural Physical Law as a meta principle so we can keep on doing science. I say this is a kind of reasonable and rational "faith" not practiced by the religious folk.

ruveyn

Ruveyn,

We've been through this so many times over years of posts, all you do is repeat what you've said in other threads and ignore all of the arguments that refute what you've said. You're unique method of combining rationalism and empiricism in a skeptical, pragmatic, anti-conceptual method has worn thin.

NOTE to others: A lack of discussion on my or anyone else's part with Ruveyn does not constitute empirical evidence that such statements need to be vociferously refuted. Such refutation has occurred in many other threads. There is no need to beat a dead horse, specially after it's been made into hamburger.

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He is very confused as he tries to have his faith and eat it too.

Yes, but he seems to be honest trying to make some understanding of the issues but his desire to "save religion from reason" sounds a lot like a Kantian we're familiar with. I found it interesting the way he attempts to delimit Christianity to only what Jesus said or what is in the Bible, yet we're supposed to ignore 2,000 years of Christianity's evil (suppression of men) and it's opposition to reason simply because he cherry picks quotes. Somehow, the Inquisition is not really part of Christianity because Jesus told us to love everyone.

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Yes, but he seems to be honest trying to make some understanding of the issues but his desire to "save religion from reason" sounds a lot like a Kantian we're familiar with. I found it interesting the way he attempts to delimit Christianity to only what Jesus said or what is in the Bible, yet we're supposed to ignore 2,000 years of Christianity's evil (suppression of men) and it's opposition to reason simply because he cherry picks quotes. Somehow, the Inquisition is not really part of Christianity because Jesus told us to love everyone.

The "Christianity" that we all know and loath was created by one of the greatest "con men" in history, Paul of Tarsus.

Once Paul got a hold of the movement, poor Jesus did not stand a chance.

ruveyn

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Yes, but he seems to be honest trying to make some understanding of the issues but his desire to "save religion from reason" sounds a lot like a Kantian we're familiar with. I found it interesting the way he attempts to delimit Christianity to only what Jesus said or what is in the Bible, yet we're supposed to ignore 2,000 years of Christianity's evil (suppression of men) and it's opposition to reason simply because he cherry picks quotes. Somehow, the Inquisition is not really part of Christianity because Jesus told us to love everyone.

They don't bat and eye at this. The perverse application of Jesus' message isn't Christianity. I've even had someone condemn the Dark Ages as mystical, whereas true Christianity is true/real.

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Yes, but he seems to be honest trying to make some understanding of the issues but his desire to "save religion from reason" sounds a lot like a Kantian we're familiar with. I found it interesting the way he attempts to delimit Christianity to only what Jesus said or what is in the Bible, yet we're supposed to ignore 2,000 years of Christianity's evil (suppression of men) and it's opposition to reason simply because he cherry picks quotes. Somehow, the Inquisition is not really part of Christianity because Jesus told us to love everyone.

The "Christianity" that we all know and loath was created by one of the greatest "con men" in history, Paul of Tarsus.

Once Paul got a hold of the movement, poor Jesus did not stand a chance.

Of course he didn't, he was dead. But they wouldn't admit it and gave up their handicap points.

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He is very confused as he tries to have his faith and eat it too.

Yes, but he seems to be honest trying to make some understanding of the issues but his desire to "save religion from reason" sounds a lot like a Kantian we're familiar with. I found it interesting the way he attempts to delimit Christianity to only what Jesus said or what is in the Bible, yet we're supposed to ignore 2,000 years of Christianity's evil (suppression of men) and it's opposition to reason simply because he cherry picks quotes. Somehow, the Inquisition is not really part of Christianity because Jesus told us to love everyone.

No one can consistently live that way. Especially in this country they hold very mixed premises, trying to excuse the worst in the name of their best, while ignoring the consequences of the worst, the pure religion. In the end he allowed his faith premise, as his one one absolute, to rationalistically block out the understanding he claimed to seek and wound up promoting typical misrepresentations in the name of intellectual sympathy. He didn't even get all the parts of Ayn Rand he claimed to agree with right.

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The difference between Christians and objectivists is not that the latter apply reason while the former reject it. The difference is the epistemological context in which each operate. While objectivists maintain that human knowledge is limited to the observable, Christians accept evidence of divine revelation.

Accepting "evidence of divine revelation" (whatever that is supposed to mean) is antithetical to reason. This is like saying "I am not unfaithful to my wife; I exercise fidelity all the time when I'm not in the whorehouse."

Christ’s death on the cross was not a sacrifice in the objectivist sense, but a willing trade of his earthly life for something He valued more — the eternal lives of human beings he loves.

The fact that it was a willing trade does not make it any less altruistic; in fact, only that which you do willingly can be evaluated morally and thus be either altruistic or egoistic. And by this token, any act could be called egoistic, by claiming that you valued the result more than what you gave up. Mother Theresa was an egoist because she valued poverty and suffering more than wealth and joy. It is not acting on some aspect of your value system that makes you an egoist, but rather having a consistent value system with your own life at its root, and acting on it.

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And Jesus did not speak or think in terms of "trade" at all. It was explicit other-worldliness and intentional sacrifice. No amount of historical revisionism trying to explain it in better terms can change that.

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