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Everything posted by austro-libertarian

  1. You do if you have a baby in OZ! $10,000 for twins!!
  2. Right, I agree, which is my argument. I should have written something like, "In her own words, atheism is fundamental to her philosophy."
  3. Rand's view of reality consists of three axioms (Objectivism, p. 4-7): 1) Existence exists. 2) To perceive that which exists requires consciousness. 3) The law of identity: to be something is to possess identity, to have a nature. These three axioms can be summed up in the sentence, "There is something I am aware of." On the face of it, this is perfectly congruent with LDS thought. We believe matter exists, seen and unseen. We believe that because of our perceptions of it, coming through our senses. In the example of humankind, we possess certain natures, abilities, and talents. We possess the ability to become like God, having refined our carnal natures to become more like Christ. Now for the Objectivist critique of the supernatural, or religion: "In [the supernatural] view, existence is a product of cosmic consciousness, God. This idea is implicit in Plato's theory of Forms and became explicit with the Christian development from Plato. According to Christianity (and Judaism), God is an infinite consciousness who created existence, sustains it, makes it lawful, then periodically subjects it to decrees that flout the regular order, thereby producing 'miracles.' . . . "The religious view of the world, though it has been abandoned by most philosophers, is still entrenched in the public mind. Witness the popular question "Who created the universe?"--which presupposes that the universe is not eternal, but has a source beyond itself, in some cosmic personality or will." (Objectivism, p. 21) A LDS reading this should recognize immediately this could also be written by a LDS critiquing modern-day Christianity due to the Apostasy. This is not the LDS view of God. LDS doctrine states that matter cannot be created out of nothing, but only from existing matter. Joseph Smith pointed out numerous times the fallacious view of creation ex nihilo, a view still common to many Christian denominations. In other words, existence exists regardless of a cosmic consciousness--not because of it. LDS doctrine is that the worlds were organized out of existing matter, just as we can organize existing materials on earth to create a house. Finally, one more Objectivist critique of God, taken from Objectivism (p. 31): " . . . let us confine the discussion here to the popular notion of God. "Is God the creator of the universe? Not if existence has primacy over consciousness. "Is God the designer of the universe? Not if A is A. The alternative to 'design' is not 'chance,' It is causality. "Is God omnipotent? Nothing and no one can alter the metaphysically given. "Is God infinite? 'Infinite' does not mean large; it means larger than any specific quantity, i.e., of no specific quantity. An infinite quantity would be a quantity without identity. But A is A. Every entity, accordingly, is finite." This view is a critique of Apostate Christianity (Peikoff states that it is the "popular notion of God"), not the LDS concept of God. LDS doctrine believes God created this universe (and many others) but that this was not out of nothing, but (again) from existing materials. God did design the universe, implying causality (Peikoff is assuming God designed it meaning it did not exist before God). God is also omnipotent but this does not mean he alters the metaphysically given, but that he acts in accordance with physical laws; whether they are in ways we do not yet understand is another matter. There are many sounds that the human ear cannot hear, yet we know from science that they exist. Similarly with what the human eye can see. God is not "infinite" in the LDS view, since LDS doctrine states that God has a body of flesh and bone. The infinite view is the views of men from various creeds (Nicene, Athanasian, etc.). God, possessing a body, is thus finite in a spatial sense, yet his influence is infinite (omnipresent), similar to the sun (one spatio-temporal location, influence in multiple spatio-temporal locations). He is not an incorporeal mass of floating substance. To sum up, Objectivism, in my opinion, criticizes (correctly) apostate views of God. When taking into account the LDS view of God there is nothing incompatible between the two, at least according to the three axioms above.
  4. Elphaba, I am fairly familiar with Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, having read her fiction and most of her non-fiction books, including "Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand" by Leonard Peikoff. I understand her view of faith vs. reason. I contend (with a-train) that her definition of faith is naive and circumscribed, amounting to more of a strawman argument, rather than a threatening intellectual or religious attack. I view faith (a la CS Lewis) as one blade of the scissors, the other being works. Faith is demonstrated by works imho. Rand simply defined it in a way that it is unbelievable. I am not an Objectivist so I see no point in subscribing to all of her views. I recognize atheism is fundamental to her philosophy, but I do not see it as all or none; again, some truth, some error. In a subsequent post (b/c this will become cluttered with the quotes, my responses, etc.) I will give reasons why her axioms do not go against the LDS view of God. Even her own? Very interesting, that last word you wrote, don't ya think? Again, she viewed faith as some homogeneous lump, as if all religions meant and understood the same thing by faith. I will talk about her view of the supernatural in my next post. I am not on the Rand bandwagon; I am not a Randian. I can accept that A is A and accept that God is God. I never use her "beliefs" (that crazy word again) when discussing or promoting liberty. She identifies more with the extreme right rather than libertarians in my opinion (in my political framework anyway). She called libertarians "right-winged hippies." The "come, let's reason together" was a reference to scripture where the Lord says the same thing, thus demonstrating, at least in the Lord's view, reason is not incompatible with His gospel, or his methods of communicating with humankind. I've seen all of her videos more than once. There is no "example of Rand accepting her faith in any religion." But I am not sure how this relates to anything I am discussing.
  5. Come, let us reason together... Rand was right and wrong. Wrong Faith vs reason is a false dichotomy, which conveniently shifts the grounds of the argument, assuming faith must therefore be unreason before any discussion even begins. Right Rand's arguments only preclude the Trinitarian God of "mainstream" Christianity, i.e., her arguments do not hold weight against the LDS view of the Godhead. In fact, this is why sometimes atheists and mormons can find common ground in critiquing mainstream Christianity. The mainstream view of God (the Trinity) is "unreasonable" and unbiblical. While Rand has been persuasive in helping others to see the evil effects of government intervention, it has come (to some) at the unfortunate cost of preaching atheism, and therefore mixing truth with error. I would also argue that Randroids don't go far enough in getting rid of government, but that is perhaps another post.
  6. Of course the figurative picture is even more real. Perhaps you can see the slight increase in new reserves in the chart below. This is "Obama with a cape and tights yanking food out of [my] children's mouth," destroying the worth of the dollar. You can also look at the (nominal) $800 BILLION plus "stimulus" package. If the population of the US had to pay the $2666--for every man, woman, and child--to fund this bailout, we'd maybe have a revolution. This is why I am "shouting." Maybe the image below will help for now.
  7. It is not like he has been portrayed by his followers as The Messiah or anything... I do not care so much about the hope and faith of someone who steals my and my childrens' money to bail out his pals and to fund his desires and whims. The more he expresses his faith, regardless of context, and the more I see his actions, the more disgusting--and unbelievable--it all becomes. But, I am a bit peculiar about the whole liberty thing.
  8. FunkyTown, I appreciate your post. The first thing I thought of was this Benjamin Franklin quote: I would argue that they also won't get either liberty or security. A few more comments (none of these is really a critique, just some thoughts): Putting this in a gospel perspective I would say that people are always worshiping something, even if it is not Someone. Not putting God first only means people are putting something else first. That is how I see your comment of "we search for our own." People that don't have faith in God, just show their faith in whatever they replace Him with, e.g., sports, music, education, anything. To say someone does not have faith at all isn't really possible; it's just a matter of where you exercise faith, made manifest by your works. I understand people are afraid (who does that come from?), and people cry out for security and safety. When I re-read your sentence above ("People are afraid...") I am reminded of the premortal council described in the scriptures. Even back then one-third were deceived and chose what they perceived to be the more sure path, because "humanity isn't perfect." Satan sought to take away everyone's agency, arguing that everyone could be perfect and would not be lost. Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father of course did not allow that to happen. The plan where we would be able to choose for ourselves is the only way for us to truly be happy and return to live with Them. It should now be blatantly obvious to even those less perceptive to truth that Government is currently aligned with Corporate interests (this is nothing new) in some sort of fascist, totalitarian government. In asking the free market question, I am only hoping to point out that, to those who really appreciate the idea behind liberty and free markets, Big Business (Corporate interests) and Big Government are both enemies of free markets. I despise Big Business, recognizing that it is only b/c of Big Government that they can have monopoly power and unlimited access to a printing press (a love of and access to money). Anyone who argues that the US is a free market, or even more astonishing, that Bush is a free marketeer, and coolly blows the straw man down is difficult to take seriously.
  9. Godless, Do you really, really think the US is a "free market economy"?
  10. Elphaba, Don't we all benefit from others who shower and have pretty smiles? Should government therefore subsidize showers and bars of soap, dentistry services and smiling classes?
  11. Here is the Elder Oaks talk referred to above. I think Elder Oaks provides the example in the article of how to bare testimony:
  12. As in the sole of your foot? What is wrong with it?
  13. I should also point out that your thought experiment is pretty accurate, but not of the Lord's plan--but of Satan's. If you have learned about the two plans presented in the premortal life, it is Satan's plan you are describing. Jesus Christ submitted the plan where we could freely choose, even knowing that many would fall away. Satan's plan would use force so that we would all make the "right decisions" and no one would fall away. Talk about a plan. No one would suffer and everyone would return "home" safely. It is very appealing, which is why one-third of Heavenly Father's spirit children chose it. And yet that would be slavery. Christ supported our freedom to choose between good and evil, and we have the tools to do so--the light of Christ, or our conscience.
  14. There will always be a choice, including not choosing (that being a choice). I think you may be confusing "free will," freedom, and power. You are always able to choose, only sometimes you are limited by your freedom, and other times by your power. For example, in the US you can legally drink beer at age 21. Your freedom is "limited" in the sense that (if you obey the law--not the main point here) you cannot drink beer until you are at least 21. Now let's say you turn 21 and can choose to drink beer now that you have the freedom to do so (legally). And you decide, "This beer tastes good, and I've got 21 years of not drinking to make up for." So you drink until you drop. This is b/c even though you had the free will to make a choice (drink beer), the freedom to carry out that choice (buy beer legally), you do not have the power (in your body) to avoid the effects of too much alcohol, possibly death. I would appreciate your thoughts on this. (Perhaps beer is not the best LDS example, given we do not advocate alcohol consumption; or perhaps it is apposite for that same reason.)
  15. Your money is worth less than the metal used to make it: Here in OZ, the penny no longer exists, and the price is rounded up or down.
  16. LM, I expect us both to disagree without being disagreeable. I also expect us to search for the truth according to the scriptures and the teachings of the Prophets. If we cannot disagree without being disagreeable, then I will not engage you anymore in this way. Your post appears to be nothing more than being disagreeable and a bit heated, perhaps trying to live up to the "Loudmouth Mormon" title. However, I do expect your response to this post. (You did not fully respond to my previous post, except for making the guilt by association argument I discuss below.) I am not calling them evil, again--to repeat--just discussing the saying (see the OP). The OP only gave voting as an example to illustrate the saying (it also gave the bailout example, which no one responded to). However, even if you assume that I am calling McCain and Obama evil (not really the point), the irony of you calling me an "unrighteously judgmental person" (the second time you have done this) is strange though--I guess your judgment is just, and not mine. Related to that is the ability to judge between good and evil (see Moroni 7). I would venture that the problems of relativism and egalitarianism come from not judging properly, or not judging at all (which is also making a judgment). Identifying evil and pointing it out is not unrighteous; on the contrary, it is righteous. Someone may be wrong in the accuracy of their judgment, but not necessarily unrighteous in attempting to judge. We are told to judge righteous judgment. If you are saying it is unrighteous to judge--whatever the judgment--then, scripturally-speaking anyway, you are in error. From True to the Faith you can read the following: Moving on to the next part, you say the following. You seem to be saying I have said all of the following. Please point to where I have said any of it. Talk about logical fallacy. The whole passage above is nothing more than guilt by association, a version of the ad hominem argument. You refer to "all of you," "y'all," "they," "you folks," "your side," as if I am aligned with whomever you are referring to. If you could speak to the argument and not the person (or some other group), that would be ideal. I am not arguing any of the other things you mentioned above. I am not saying there should be more than two parties, just the saying of the OP. I am certainly not a "flag-waver." I am not even arguing anything necessarily specific to voting, again, just the saying. I look forward to your response.
  17. That's exactly right. As Elder Oaks has said, there are different levels of quality, as in good, better, best. But in terms of being good (from God) or evil (from Satan), it would be a judgment between the "best" good and a relatively "lower" good, both in the "good" category (see Moroni 7).
  18. I just found this JS quote that I thought was appropriate for this thread. It is in regards to when he was running for President:
  19. Are you judging me and appropriating my punishment? I'm jk, and I understand what you are saying. However, I am not calling the candidates evil, just discussing the saying and rationale. This is part of the mindset I am trying to comprehend. I understand the "realities" of it, namely that there are only two choices. But saying someone is helping the greater of two evils win by not voting for either of the two evils is something I cannot understand. Should we choose things only based on a "realistic" outcome, or b/c they are right or wrong? If we choose the right and something evil comes from it--b/c of the choices of others--how are we helping evil come to pass? That would be the individuals choosing the relative evil, would it not?
  20. Rachelle, I am not sure who you are talking to? Me? If so, I am in Australia and did not compromise my beliefs.
  21. Just to clarify: I am not arguing against voting, just voting for the lesser of two evils. Perhaps people vote for either Dem or Rep (in the US) b/c someone who may not be evil has little chance of getting elected, even if it came down to writing someone's name in.
  22. Does that mean it is okay to vote for evil, b/c we "always" do it? I am really trying to understand this viewpoint (from the OP).