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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Infinite Regress

Again, In Christopher Hitchens' God Is Not great, Hitchens makes the valid point regarding infinite regress, or in other words, if God created the world, who created that God, and who created that God, and who created that God...into infinity.

In regard to justice in the bible, Hitchens writes: "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and the killing of witches may seem brutish and stupid, but if only non-sinners have the right to punish, then how could an imperfect society ever determine how to prosecute offenders? We should all be hypocrites.

" And what authority did Jesus have to 'forgive'?...."

By combining the two, Hitchens demonstrates the flaw in his own argument. The principle of forgiveness as an aspect of justice is dependent on the very fact that we cannot resolve an absolute authority to define, or divine, justice. None exists. For if we try to punish according to absolute standards, we enter the slippery slope of degrees of evil.

Assuming that somewhere along the continuum "god created God, who then created God, who then created...we would not need to define which God created the law, but the process by which law applied to us as we judged others. What gave Jesus the right to "forgive"? What gives any person the right to forgive?

The answer to that is simple enough: because we can't point to a God, an absolute God, to which we can show a direct line of authority, we are equal before one another. The judgement we render on others can only be just when all other possible alternatives are exhausted.

Does such an idea demand the existence of a God? Not at all, but if such laws are based in the idea of an authority that transcends the laws of men, then human law can never in any sense be absolute.

If law could absolutely represent God, there would be no need for separation of church and state. The state would speak its own authority to punish. But since the state cannot speak for God, and the church cannot show its own direct authority as representative of God, then the law must assume the innocence of the accused until proven guilty by one whom he has harmed.

In Isaiah 54:17, we see exactly that principle, the right of the accused for any reason to have the full vindication of God until proven guilty by unbiased witnesses. Notice, not just one witness, but at least two, and more if possible(Deut.17:6, 19:15).

Consequently, the law that presumes innocence has no power to claim to represent the one true God as an authority. In fact, it cannot logically claim to represent God at all, except to assume that the accused has committed no crime, therefore acquittal is to be assumed unless directly proven otherwise.

How could Jesus "forgive"? Because he, like all of us, could not judge or condemn others in the absence of proof. That was law as understood in Isaiah. Is an infinite regress required for such concepts? Not at all. In fact, such a law would allow for infinite regress and the assumption that man is incapable of judging in place of God.

If man is incapable of judging in place of God, can laws of man, of themselves, condemn? In what sense could an "absolute" law of man claim power over an infinite regress of values in which God cannot be proven? The law would be arbitrary and unjust. Therefore, the accused could only be accused, not by the laws of man but the accuser who actually suffered harm.

In law, this is called the presumption of innocence. It is also recognized under the Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination. Under that law, therefore, Jesus was no more authorized to "forgive" sin than we ourselves, and in fact, forgiveness is the ideal whenever possible.

In fact, Jesus himself taught this directly in Matthew 5:25 and 18:15-18. He further emphasized "separation of church and state" by teaching that we should no longer practice an eye for an eye, but that we should "judge not, lest ye be judged(Matthew 7:1)"

Paul also taught settlement out of court, and added the principle of trial by a form of jury(1 Cor, 6), and further pointed out in Romans `12:19 that we should not practice an eye for an eye, but leave vengeance to God.

It was only AFTER Paul taught this precept that he then emphasized letting "every soul be subject to higher powers". The "higher powers" did execute wrath. That was their job. It was their job because the servants of God could not do so for their own interests.

But the "higher powers" could not execute wrath in their own interest either. Their power of "wrath" was given ONLY after the people had tried other avenues of correction.

In fact, the "execution of wrath" was their only defined function, NOT the making of "moral" laws that forced people to recognize the needs of others by taxation.

"For this cause(execution of wrath) pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing."

It was in fact the power of the Pharisees to "shut up the kingdom of heaven(Luke 11:52)" to men that Jesus condemned as hypocritical. The right of reach individual to be presumed innocent was to be granted to all the people as a courtesy of law, so that the law itself could not condemn without the right of facing the accuser(Isaiah 50:8).

It is in this all important aspect of law that infinite regress is recognized and honored, and allows the individual the right to live in freedom without condemnation by the presumptions of other humans.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Occam And Church-Turing Thesis

Since I explored Occam's Razor below, it may also be necessary to discuss something called the Church-Turing thesis in regard to the human mind and computers.

The Church-Turing thesis is named after Alonzo Church and Alan Turing, who arrived at the same general conclusions separately. Very roughly, it says this:

The human brain is nothing more than a computer, since it is subject to the laws of physics. If there is anything more than the laws of physics governing the brain, we have no evidence of it.
Therefore, mathematicians will someday be able to model the human brain so that a computer will be equal in every sense to the brain.

However, since we have no knowledge of anything outside of or "higher" than the brain, we would not be able to program or model any possible concept of that "higher" awareness. Everything that the brain is, as far as we know, will be the same as a computer.

Turing once proposed something called a Turing test, when he was playing with his idea of a universal Turing Machine, his mental creation that was the forerunner of a computer.

Turing proposed that if at some point in the future we could place a computer and a human behind a wall so that a questioner could not tell whether he was posing questions to a human or the computer, and the questions were printed out, given to the computer or person behind the wall, and a printed response was given back, then at some point, if the computer could respond to the questions so that the questioner could not tell the difference between human and computer, the computer would be, in every definable sense, the same as a human regarding knowledge and communication.

Let's take this analogy and suppose we are asking the computer questions about God. Assuming the computer can respond exactly in a way the human can respond, then there would be no possible way for any human to determine any difference between a human "soul" and a computer "soul".

You might say, "Oh, but God can tell the difference". Yes, but God isn't asking the questions. Humans beings are.

Based on that same example of the Turing Test, which religious organization or church actually does represent God? If all of them can give satisfactory answers, if all of them can show truths consistent with human knowledge about God, which one of them would actually be the true representatives of God?

Keep in mind, if you can make that definition, you can then take that same knowledge and program it into a computer, so that the true church of God can be completely computer generated. But if the true church of God can be computer generated, what, really, is the difference between the computer and God himself?

This would follow Occam's razor, since it would reduce all possible answers to one system of thought, and that system can be reduced completely to a mechanical, finite, logical process.

Do you begin to smell a rat in the form of church and state? What is the state? A system of finite, logical, mechanical rules by which we organize human lives.
What is a religion? A system of logical, mechanical, finite rules by which we organize human lives.

And where do both systems come from? The human mind. They would therefore be "Attila and the Witch Doctor" as Ayn Rand calls them, or the "Beast and False Prophet" as the bible calls them.

If you belong to either system, in any definable form, it is a certainty you are not following the truth. How do I know that? Godel's theorem. In any axiomatic formulation of number theory, there exists an infinity of undecidable propositions. That applies to laws as well as numbers. There exists no formal system of knowledge such that it leads to a complete, consistent definition of truth.

And thanks to Byker Bob, what is "God" telling you in regard to truth? Basically, there is only one possible conclusion: you are the final authority in the matter, you and you alone.

There is no government that can prove legitimate authority, and there is no religion to prove legitimate authority, and that's exactly what both Jesus and Paul told us.

Occam's Razor

In his book God is Not Great, Christoper Hitchens makes excellent arguments against God.

One of Hitchens' first arguments deals with Laplace, who, when asked where God stood in his cosmology, simply said there was no place for God, and in fact, no need. The simple fact is, if we attempt to explain the universe in terms of a creation of God, we must first demonstrate that there is or was actually a God to create it.

Hitchens then goes into the arguments known as Occam's Razor, or Ockham's razor, developed by one William of Ockham. Ockham developed what was recognized as a "principle of economy", stated simply as "Do not multiply entities beyond necessity".

If you watched the movie "Contact" the idea of Occam's Razor was employed quite often. If two or more competing theories attempt to explain a theory of existence, the one that explains the most with the least effort and unnecessary detail will probably be the truth. (I quote from memory. I'm sure there are better explanations).

To quote from Hitchens' book, "Ockham stated that it cannot be strictly proved that god, if defined as a being who possesses the qualities of supremacy, perfection, uniqueness, and infinity, even exists at all....'It is difficult or impossible(wrote Ockham) to prove against the philosophers that there cannot be an infinite regress in causes of the same kind, of which one can exist without the other'. Thus the postulate of a designer or creator only raises the unanswerable question of who designed the designer or created the creator".

Stated in a popular fashion by such people as physicist Paul Davies, "it's turtles all the way down". I hope you're familiar with that story.

I like Hitchens' statement just a paragraph later: "If one must have faith in order to believe something, or believe in something, then the likelihood of that something having any truth or value is considerably diminished."

So, if I tell you "there is a God", the only possible "explanation" can come up with is that it was "revealed".

Big problem: how does one prove a revelation? Only one way it can be done, and that is to prove it by some method that demonstrates beyond any doubt, by reason, logic, or physical demonstration. But that presents a further problem: if I can prove it by reason, logic, or demonstration of physical example, I don't need a revelation! it would be a fact of existence!

Ockham, therefore, has left us with the realization that existence, and the reason we discover within existence, simply cannot rely on revelation, since the very process of explaining the revelation makes it unnecessary in the first place.

However, this leaves us right in the same position as I mentioned earlier: I will add a qualifying statement to it. If there is a God, any facts of evidence we present to demonstrate existence could not depend on unproven revelations, since the very proof of itself would be contained with no necessity for such a revelation. It would simple "follow" from the proofs inherent in the explanation.

So, if there is a God, it would stand to reason that such a God would either exist within the proofs stated by reason, or that "God" cannot exist within those proofs, leaving us with exactly the same statement made by the apostle Paul in Romans 8:7: the natural mind is enmity against God, and cannot be subject to "his" laws.

And that places us on a par with Occam's razor, since the results achieved IF the mind is enmity against God, will produce no evidence of God, and further would produce no decision procedure by which we may demonstrate any relationship to God.

And that is precisely what Paul said in Romans 9:16-22. Further, if we try to apply definitions of "God" in any human sense, both Occam's Razor and Romans 8:7 would lead logically to the same results: a multiplication of entities trying to define "God" outside the power of human reason.

But Ockham says that such multiplication of entities is unnecessary, and would prove absolutely nothing. Therefore, with both Paul's statement and with Occam's Razor, we are left with one unavoidable conclusion: there is no need to follow or believe in any religion that claims to represent God. That is just what Jesus said in Matthew 24:23.

Prove me wrong.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Scary!

I suppose there are those of you who think I must be intimidated by your constant, useless, and meaningless ad hominem attempts to "put me down".

I didn't suggest this to James, he suggested it to me. I started this out only with the intention of expressing ideas, and it turned into pretty much an insult match. I personally like insult matches.

A bit of my background. As you already know I spent time in the marines. Not being particularly impressed by authority, I spent probably as much time in jail as in regular service. I stood two Company Office Hours, Two Battalion Office Hours, was sentenced to two months Correctional Custody, and stood a Special Court Martial, which I won on my own defense.

The reason I was court martialed is that the marines sentenced me to two months Correctional Custody, which would make most any civilian jail today look like time spent in Paris Hilton(the building).

Since they took my money I said "no pay, no play. I'm going home".

I spent eight months of freedom before the FBI convinced me to return, and then faced court martial for desertion.

As a result of my defense, I not only won the court martial, but the marines apologized and promoted me meritoriously. To my knowledge, that has never been done in the history of the marine corps.

During my time waiting for court martial, I quite literally had to "watch my back". At one point, five marines gathered, and tried to "adjust my attitude". They caught me on a good day , but not for them. At that time, I was deadlifting 500 lbs, squatting 600, bench pressing over 300, and I ran 8 miles a day for good measure. It wasn't much of a problem for me to throw two average marines like a baseball. When those five marines came at me, and of course not realizing the fed up state of mind I was in, to paraphrase Clint Eastwood, they "made my day".

You think your puny garbage bothers me? I've had REAL harassment from experts.

You think I'm crazy? I'm an ex-marine. Of course I'm crazy.

A side story of interest. After i won my court martial, I was assigned a room in the 22 area at Camp Pendleton, Ca. We were given rooms much like an average motel room, and three marines lived in each room. Me, I like to make things shine. Spit and polish really suits my nature. On Thursdays, we had to 'field day" our rooms for inspection Friday. If we failed that inspection, we spent the weekend doing it all over again, until the inspector got bored from watching.

I hand buffed the tile floors in my room, every single square, until it shone like crystal. If an inspector opened the door and looked in my room, he saw that almost crystalline reflection of my room perfectly in the floor.

People talked about my floor. People came to look at my floor. Inspectors used my floor as an example of what floors should look like.

And then one day the company sergeant, who was responsible for inspecting rooms, decided he wanted my floor. I was ordered to move out. As the sergeant moved in , I told him, "You know, sergeant, that i won that court martial. Nobody in the history of the marines has ever done that.
You really should re-consider, sergeant, because somebody up there really likes me".

Of course I was joking. The sergeant smirked and said "Yeah, right".

That night, after the sergeant and i got re-settled in our new rooms, a toad strangling rain came. It poured torrents almost all night, in Southern California, where everyone who lived there back in the 70's knows, as the old song said "It never rains in Southern California".

I had been moved to the front of the building, where the rain simply drained away. I was high and dry. But in my old room, on the back side of the building, rain and slime and mud ran under the threshold guard of the Sergeant's door, and he awakened that morning to about two inches of mud and slime and ooze all over his floor.

I walked by and saw him sweeping the filth off the floor, and I said "Sergeant, I told you somebody up there likes me!".

He grinned sheepishly and said "I'm startin' to believe it".

That's a true story. Am I threatening you with "God"? Of course not. Just wanted you hecklers out there to know, unless James decides to cut me off, I'm looking forward to March even more than you!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ha Ha!

The general reaction to my essays are about the usual, and generally what I expected from ex-WCG members.

Except for "Bykker Bob" and "Questeruk", the usual response is merely a form of ad himinem that demonstrates nothing at all. My response is merely to demonstrate the childish attempts to refute me(not the message, but me).

James, of course, is trying to show me not to "insult" the members of this body, when in fact I have offered no insults. I have merely offered a logical proposition constantly which none of you have even managed to begin to challenge. Simple premise, simple statement.

I'm not concerned with whether you hate me or like me, since what I am or am not, is irrelevant to any pursuit of truth, just as it is irrelevant whether Paul or Simon Magus wrote the things attributed to Paul.

The question is, is the statement true within itself, or is it not true within itself, regardless of the character or nature of the person who wrote it.

I have argued, and with good reason, that there is no way Paul could have started Christianity as we know it today, simply because the logic of Romans 8:7, 8:29-30, and 9:16-22, not to mention Ephesians 2:8-10, and 1 Corinthians 1:27-29, and a host of other scriptures I can explore to prove my point.

And of course, there is the old saw "you can prove anything by the bible", which is exactly the point. There exists no human authority structure that can ever claim truthfully to represent God, and that is the whole point of the book.

This conclusion must really bother you folks, because there's no way to argue around it, and that in itself just tickles me no end. I have provided an unassailable argument, and the very best that you can manage is various forms of ad hominem.

"Ex-Android" claims to represent the logic of Ayn Rand, with whom I am very familiar, and offers nothing more against my statement than "This is so because i say it is so".

Guess what, "Ex", that's religion. It is a statement of dogmatic faith. If you accept it and cannot prove it, or if you accept it because someone else said it must be so, then you are merely following human arguments about truth, which is no more than following human arguments about God.

In fact, by your response, you merely attempt to declare that i cannot possibly be any smarter than you, and your knowledge therefore must be the final word. You can't prove that of course, but why not find reasons to condemn me and show my failings rather than face the discipline of logical discourse?

One of the more interesting aspects of the ad hominem attack is that, by attacking ans showing the flaws of the messenger while ignoring the message, you merely attempt to reduce all people to "equality" by showing that the people themselves are irremediably spoiled, and therefore not to be heard.

That, essentially, is the definition of religion. What is the religious concept of christian "sin" if not the attempt to say that all human 'souls" are so spoiled that individual knowledge is not to be heard, but the judgement of the collective must be superior?

You can be atheist or theist, and you can be subject to that very flaw of reasoning. In fact, it was Ayn Rand herself who pointed out the logical flaw of using "psychology" to demonstrate the depravity of an individual who dared challenge the status quo. The are no heroes, says the psychologizers, since all humans are forever incomplete and incurably spoiled in their attempts to succeed as individuals.

Ayn Rand called such psychological moralizers and ad hominem spoilers "second-handers".

"The second hander acts, but the source of his actions is scattered in every other living person".

The ex-WCG members, having no guidelines to show them there is a God, now collectively gather among themselves, and find their "truth" by agreeing with one another that there can be no God. How do you know? You don't, any more than I know that there can be a God.

So, in true second-hand fashion, you agree among yourselves that anything that smacks of "God" cannot possibly be true. Why? because another group of second handers with no ability to think for themselves agree that there must be a God who is reflected n their second hand collective thoughts.

And so you have the two collectives, the two groups of second-handers that never step out to think or create or reason for themselves, but find their solace in the collective. True Believers that there is no God to combat the True Believers that there is a God.

proof for either side? None at all.

From Ayn Rand: "Notice how they(second handers) will accept anything except a man who stands alone. There's a special insidious kind of hatred for him. The forgive criminals, they admire dictators. Crime and violence are a tie. A form of mutual dependence. They've got to force their miserable little personalities on every single person they meet....Notice the malignant kind of resentment against any idea that propounds independence. Notice the malice toward an independent man."

And what have I said? I have said there is no human authority structure to represent God or truth. None can. I have said there is no reason to follow any human, since no human can know the truth in any absolute sense. I have shown the full consistency between that statement and the statements of both Jesus and Paul, with no one to prove otherwise.

James says he gets emails from people saying "WTF?". Has anyone, as an individual, challenged my thinking or shown the flaw? No, you have resorted to the arguments of the collectivist and second hander, the psychology and ad hominem of the collectivist. The mentality of the group.

Ex-Anrdoid, you want to show the truth of Ayn Rand to me? Show me you can grasp the range and application of her thoughts.

Retired prof, don't hide be hid the facade of "nice'. Show me the flaw in my reason. I don't think you can.

I'm accused of playing games, when all I've done is to repeat a simple argument and a simple conclusion over and over, with no one even trying to challenge it. Your response is collectivist and "democratic". It is 'democratic" because you must insist that no individual can ever ho;p to show intelligence that rises above your own, and that no individual can ever claim the right to rise above the collectivism of mobocracy. Reduce everything to the lowest possible common denominator. Find the new priesthood of the deniers and expert demoralizers. Find the leaders whom you can hide behind to justify your anguish and hate, but never step outside as an individual to think, to question. No, can't do that. Must reduce every single human to the collective of the group. Nonbe higher than the group. None higher than your hatred.

And what have you hated? A man named HWA. Were you warned in advance? Yes, about two thousand years in advance. Jesus said it. Don't follow any man saying "here is Christ". Paul said it There exists no decision procedure by which any person can get from here to God by his own power. You were warned, I was warned, but you see, this educational system in which we live, this 'world" in which we exist, must derive its power from our acceptance of non-existence, acceptance that no man can ever rise above the group and say "I am!" .

I stand alone, proudly, defiantly, and I challenge all of you and all who read: Prove me wrong!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

For James, PT Editor

I'm assuming it was James who posted the comment regarding Woodrow Wilson and the central banking system.

Of course I'm opposed to that system, and have been from the beginning. In fact, everything I write is to find a synthesis that allows people to challenge the authority of the Federal Reserve Board and the central government which has sprung up around it.

This shouldn't really be hard to do. What is the method by which the "Fed" regulates the economy? Interest rates. What is interest? The bible calls it usury. What does the bible say about usury? It's bad. It is called an abomination, it is not allowed by God's law(Deut.23:19, though verse 20 allows it to a "stranger").

But even more interesting, notice what power the government is to have regarding loans.

Deut.24:10: "When thou dost lend thy brother any thing thou shalt not go into his house to fetch his pledge.
"Thou shalt strand abroad, and the man to whom thou dost lend shall bring out the pledge unto thee".

First, there was to be no interest charged, second, the man owed could never enter the home of the debtor to collect the debt.

We might ask, from this, is the home itself to be the instrument on which the debt is based? if the collector can not enter the house to collect a debt, shouldn't the house itself be immune to the power of loans?

If you look at Nehemiah 5 , you see that the Israelites, after their return from captivity, were in a state of near starvation. Verse 4: "We have borrowed money for the king's tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards.
"Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and lo, we bring into bondage our sons and daughters to be servants...."

Nehemiah was very angry when he heard that, and he named the culprit causing the problem:

Verse 7: "ye exact usury, every one of his brother(in direct violation of law, apparently, with interest placed on property).

Verse 10: "I pray you, let us leave off this usury".

How much usury? Verse 11: "the hundredth part of the money". A hundredth part? Small amount it seems, and yet look at the rates of interest paid to banks today!

It was Karl Marx who pointed out that if money became the "universal equivalent" the central value of everything, then, said Marx, the "so-called inalienable rights and the fixed property relationships corresponding to them break down before money".

How about the right of governments to control property by financial organization?

Micah 2:5: "Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast the cord(surveyor's line) by lot(by vote) in the congregation of the Lord".

Sounds like a law against zoning to me.

It is said in Daniel 2 that the empire to come at the 'end time" will be mixed of iron and clay. Clay? How about Habakkuk 2:6: "Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! How long? And to him that ladeth himself with thick clay?"

If you look at the Hebrew translation, you will see that "clay" refers to money pledges, loans, control of borrowing.

In fact, if you look at Daniel chapter 2, you see the "evolution of money", from gold, which limited government power in Babylon, to silver, which was not only added to gold, thus expanding the power of the state, but that silver was also made into coins, which greatly facilitated the power of the state to control commerce.

With the development of bronze, Greece emerged, and coins could be made of cheaper metal, until with Rome it was recognized that it only required an image of a ruler on virtually any metal, even iron, to make the coin of value for tax purposes.

That is basically what Jesus pointed out when he was asked if it as lawful to "render unto Caesar". he pointed to the coin and asked "whose image is on this coin?"

We know from the second commandment that the use of images to "bow down" to them, was forbidden. So, is it lawful to pay taxes to "Caesar" using images imprinted on money? Not according to the second commandment. So what do we render to Caesar? Nothing!

The power of any individual to reject currency based on interest is granted fully in the bible, as Jesus also pointed out we are not to be controlled by images.

It's all about freedom.

Abraham and Freedom

Questeruk in the "comments" section says there is no way to have a rational discussion with me since I keep "changing the rules".

I've never stated there were any rules. If there were rules we could define, then quite obviously we could define God. We could eliminate all confusion, prove there is a God, and what God expects to the degree we could eliminate all competition among so-called christian religions.

If there is a set of rules, there would also be a system of algorithms, a set of decision procedures, by which we could somehow represent God. But as I stated earlier, if there are such definitions, they can be translated into language, and if translated into language, they can be programmed into a computer, such that a computer could represent all necessary rules and definitions of God.

That in itself creates a contradiction, since if we could do that, we could contain "God" in a creation of our own minds, which means that God would be less than ourselves, not to mention the fact that it would be a form of idolatry, which is condemned by the second commandment.

I pointed out earlier that William James stated, if God is all knowing, then we are not free, since God would know in advance who would accept or reject him.

We can argue this back and forth an infinity of ways, and what will be the result? Exactly what you see today, over 38,000 versions of christianity and growing. Is there such a decision procedure by which we can identify in amny special way with God?

If we could, we would not see obvious evidence to the contrary. The very attempt to supply definitions or "rules" in ANY sense, will lead to an infinity of undecidable propositions about God, in full accordance with Godel's theorem.

All you have to do to prove me wrong is to demonstrate that there IS such a process by which we can make such definitions, which are demonstrated as truth to all.

Simple premise, simple logic. No "rules changing", nothing as been stated in any way contradictory to the physical evidence we see around us.

What is the conclusion of this? "If any man says to you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not".

Have I told you a "way to Christ"? No, because it is impossible. Therefore, have I told you the truth? YES! I have.

Let's balance this with a statement by Ayn Rand, whom "Ex-Android" admires, as do I:

"Nature allows no vacuum. Empty men's soul--and the space is yours to fill. I don't see why you should look so shocked... this is the oldest one of all. Look back at history. Look at any great system of ethics, from the Orient up. Didn't they all preach the sacrifice of personal joy? Under all the complications of verbiage, haven't they all had a single leitmotif: sacrifice, renunciation, denial? Haven't you been able to catch the theme song, 'Give up, give up, give up, give up'?....Every system of ethics that preached sacrifice grew into a world power and ruled millions of men".

What do religions, ALL religions, teach? That we should "give our heart and souls to the "Lord". If you wish to serve God, we are told, you should join a church, follow the rules, sacrifice our individuality to the collective of a church.

But what about government? SAME THING.

Now, I have been accused of applying Paul's teachings of Romans 8:29-30 as "dogmatic truth". Let's assume you are right, that I am asserting that statement dogmatically(which basically I would have to, in light of any proof to the opposite conclusion).

What are the results of such "dogmatic assertion"? It would mean that no human being would have the ability to define God, to organize in the name of God, or to claim authority in God's name. Why? because if God already knows who his children are to be, there is no thing whatever we can do, by any method, to change the outcome.

So, if I accept this as a "dogmatic belief", then I have automatically concluded that no person can ever claim authority over me as a representative of God. In other words, there exists no "vacuum", in the words of Ayn Rand, above, by which any man can claim my allegiance because of my ignorance.

So, let's throw out Paul' statement in Romans 8:29-30. God doesn't know everything. Salvation is dependent on our free will decisions, of which God cannot know the outcome. Which one of those "free will" decisions will lead us to "salvation"?

All of them? Not according to Jesus in Matthew 24. it is possible to be deceived, and we are told we should not be deceived. So, we are back to the same question again: which one of the religions of Christ are we to accept in order to escape deception?

Which one? Define it. Show me. You can't, at least not to the extent that you can show any connection to God, or if there is a God, or if anything you do can alter your destiny in any way.

So, we're right back to the "dogmatic belief", regarding Romans 8:29-30, which tells us exactly the same thing we see around us by direct physical evidence!

The only difference is that Paul eliminates such necessity of choice from the start, and we have to arrive at the same conclusion by two thousand years of experience, and a scammer called HWA.

Can you define God? If you can, then God can be reduced to a concept that is defined and known by humans, making "God" the creation of man, and not the other way around.

What "rules" have I changed? What free will choice do you have that places you any closer to God by your definitions than any other religion? What can you show, in any sense at all, that would make your "free will" belief any different from the thousands of other 'free will" beliefs?

You can't! it can't be done! If you can show me otherwise, we can legitimately rule the world, right here, right now!

It is said that there can be no rational discussion regarding God. Exactly! That is now proven mathematically! God cannot be reduced to any rational, finite, logical conclusion, simply because the very attempt to define God would have to include an infinity of ideas, none of which can be established as truth!

There is no rational discussion of God. It does not exist, cannot exist, and any attempt to do so will result in exactly what we see today: over 38,000 versions of "truth".

Therefore, what Ayn rand said, what Jesus said, what Paul said, all boil down to the very same conclusion: if any man says to you "here is Christ(or God) or there, BELIEVE IT NOT".

It is just that simple! It cannot be any simpler! So, how does this relate to government in regard to central banking systems and laws of men, as James pointed out in "comments"?

Both church and state, religion and government, are the collective creations of men, nothing more, nothing less. Ayn Rand calls them "Attila and the Witch Doctor" and the bible refers to them as the "beast and false prophet". Is there truly any difference in these two terms? Attila was a power hungry government "beast". A "false prophet" is nothing more than a 'witch doctor' who tries to convince us that we need to obey, obey, obey.

What did Ayn Rand say? Don't follow them. What did Jesus say? Don't follow them. What did Paul say? It does no good to follow them, since God already knows his children anyway. No choice can alter your destiny in that regard(Romans 9:16-22).

All of them amount to the same conclusions! What is that conclusion? You are free from all men or persons who would try to enslave you for any collective reason.

Monday, February 8, 2010

"Converting" Others

I read a very good book many years ago, published in 1979, I think. It won the Pulitzer prize, and it was concerned with Godel's theorem, entitled "Godel, Escher, Bach".

I had to read it several times before I grasped the basic ideas, But the author, Douglas Hofstadter, also wrote a book a bit simpler, called "I Am A Strange Loop". A pretty good read.

In "Godel, Escher, Bach", Hofstadter would introduce his ideas with a conversation, in Lewis Carrol fashion, between Achilles and the Tortoise. The conversations were based loosely around Zeno's paradox.

At one point, Achilles was trying to use logic to convince the Tortoise that Achilles' conclusions simply could not be denied if the tortoise accepted logic as the ultimate arbiter of truth.

The Tortoise, like most humans, said that he was very reasonable, and would never accept a conclusion that was illogical. Achilles just knew the argument as won.

Achilles began, "If I show that A is true, and B follows from A, then we must also conclude that C is also true as a conclusion following from the premises of A and B".

"Of course" said the Tortoise, "It's obvious that this should be the case".

"Then you agree?"

"In principle".

"What do you mean, 'In principle'?"

"I mean that if A is true, and B is true, the we would conclude that C s true as a premise following from A and B".

"That's what I said"

"Yes" said the Tortoise, "But if A is true, and B is true, and C follows logically as a premise resulting from A and B, then we would conclude that this is summed up in premise D".

"What?"

"You see, if A, B, and C are true, we would establish this as premise D, which simply states the fact of the truth of A,B,and C".

"Okay" said Achilles, "I'll accept that. But then surely you must accept D as the final statement of truth".

"Not at all" said the Tortoise, "If D is the statement of truth summing up A,B.and C, then certainly we would establish this as a subset of premise E, which states that if A,B, C, and D are true, then E".

Achilles smelled a rat. "But surely there would be a stopping point. Let's say that Z is the statement that sums up the truth of A through Y. Surely you then have to accept that Z is the truth?"

"Of course" said Tortoise, "But then we would also have to say that A1 is the statement that demonstrates the truth of A through Z, and then A2, A3, A4, until we finally arrive at the ultimate truth".

"Which is?"

"I don't know. How many numbers are there?"

"Infinite numbers. So if I say that infinity sums up the truth of all previous statements, we can stop there?"

"I suppose, but where does infinity stop?"

What occurred was that both Achilles and Tortoise were discussing a kind of "schematic" of truth. not the truth in terms of each statement itself, but in terms of statements that represented truth or statements about truth, as each one saw it.

This is my point in talking "about" truth. We can develop processes of organization, mechanical representations of 'truth', but in fact, the arguments can proceed into infinity. The system of mathematics simply cannot define truth in any limited fashion. It can go on forever....

That is the essence of Godel's theorem. In order to find out if truth could be represented in mathematics, Godel had to develop a system in which the system of math actually referred back to itself. To do this, he had to develop a "Godel number" system in which the axioms of math( plus, minus, division, multiplication, etc) were represented as numbers themselves, so that the system was "self referencing".

What Godel demonstrated b this was that a system of complex mathematics would produce a statement which said of itself, "I exist, but I cannot be proven within this system".

From "outside" the system, the person could see if it was true, but the system itself simply had nothing to say about it! it was undecidable, therefore making the system incomplete.

The result was "in any consistent axiomatic formulation of number theory, there exists undecidable propositions".

This same process may also be admitted by looking at Jeremiah 17:9 and Romans 8:7. When the human mind looks inside itself for truth, "self references", it will come up with an infinity of possibilities as to what is true, especially in regard to God!

If we seek to organize truth about God in the form of rules and laws, that organization will have to reflect the limitations of our own minds. It will reflect also the incompleteness of our mathematical systems and our systems of logic as well.

We can't get "there" from "here".

That's why, if we seek to "convert" others to a certain truth, that truth will ultimately split into an infinity of different ideas and concepts! No human mind can represent God in a complete sense, and that's what both Paul and Jesus tells us.

Did Abraham Have "Free Will"?

Good arguments about free will and omniscience building.

When God "tested" Abraham, did he know for sure what Abraham would do?(Assuming, of course, that there was an Abraham, or God).

How about Genesis 15? God allegedly put Abraham to sleep and pointed out: "Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not their's, and shall serve them. And they shall afflict them four hundred years".

This was a guarantee of something that would happen to Abraham's children BEFORE Isaac was even born. assuming the story was true, therefore, we are forced to logically conclude that it would occur as prophesied regardless of what choice Abraham made regarding the sacrifice of Isaac on the alter.

Of course you can argue that "God is this, God is that, or god is the other..." but the fact given is this: Abraham's descendants were to be enslaved four hundred years. Of course, this assumes that any of it ever happened, but if you're going to argue "God" from a biblical perspective, you're sort of stuck with what you're given.

Of course, we can take it as a lesson similar to conclusions of Talmudic scholars: God was showing Abraham that sacrifice would not be the way of obedience or "proof testing" of faithfulness. In fact, the chief "sin" or blasphemy against God is the sacrifice of children at "Tophet", which is to be a great place of burning.

Now, you can argue on this a million different ways, but from what we read above, we would have to conclude that whether Abraham sacrificed Isaac or not, Abraham's descendants would be slaves in Israel four hundred years.

And while we're arguing it, does God create evil? How about Isaiah 45:7? Or Amos 3:6?

Does "free will" mean freedom from God's foreknowledge? From every definition available, from a purely physical view, "free will" is simply the ability to choose as we believe. There is no evidence for anything greater. Freedom is the absence of absolute knowledge.

If you want to try and define God, you will end up exactly with the situation we see today: over 38,000 estimated versions of christianity, none of which can prove the authority of their beliefs, and therefore, as Jesus said in Matthew 24;23, no reason to follow any of them.

Omniscience

I got a great question in the "comments" section. Is it a problem, humanity being free, and God not being all knowing? After all, we do seem to see evidence in numerous place in which God is not all knowing.

In fact, the fundamental premise of christianity is that God does not know whether we will "accept" him or 'reject" him. But that is where we immediately run into a problem, not only with Paul's teaching, but with those teachings attributed to Jesus, as in Matthew 13:11. Whatever "it" was that the people of Israel were supposed to know, "it" was not given. Paul says pretty much the same thing in Romans 11:7.

The flaw in christianity that stares us in the face is that if it is necessary to "choose Christ", there should be something we can choose and know for a fact that we have chosen correctly, yet Jesus(or somebody) gives us the ONE obvious and truthful answer: follow none of them?

Why? Simply because we have no logical reasonable, rational criteria by which we can choose. Any attempt to do so, based on the condition of human ignorance, would only produce increasing chaos and confusion, and we are told that God is not the author of confusion.

If you believe in confusion, therefore, you don;t believe in God. But by the same token(for the atheist's benefit), if you believe in truth, you cannot believe in confusion, since truth must be consistent with all truth. Therefore, if you believe in "God" and "truth" as a basis of anything worth believing in, you would have to assume that one is basically the same as the other.

EXCEPT for one big problem: Paul says the natural mind is enmity against God and cannot be subject to God's laws. Jesus himself(allegedly) refers to truth in that same sense when he speaks of the "spirit of truth" in John 14:17: "Even the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive..."

Truth is not "received", nor is it a 'given". We see this indicated in Matthew 7:14. "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it".

Notice, it didn't say "choose it". It said "find it".

How would one know when they have found truth? They would know when they realized that other humans can no more tap into the truth in any absolute sense than they, the individual, can.
That is exactly consistent with the quote I gave of Ayn Rand in my other post.

Are we free from God? First, is there even a God? How do we possibly define God? What process of choices can we assume that leads us to God? We simply don't know. But we CAN test the limits of the knowledge of man! We know now mathematically that it is simply impossible to contain all truth in one single package, and any attempt to organize truth will only lead to an infinity of undecidable propositions!

Look at "christianity" around you today. What do you see? Over 38,000 versions estimated within christianity, and who knows how many religious ideas outside of christianity.

Is the natural mind, therefore, subject to God? Every scrap of physical evidence says no! Romans 8:7, therefore, must have been correct, and if that was correct, then so must Romans 9:16-22 be correct. We simply have no process of choice as to the "one true way" to God!

Like the punchline of the old joke says, you can't get there from here!

So, in what context are you free? It means you're free from men(or women) who try to tell you "this way to God!". As "Ex-Android" pointed out, "belief is not akin to truth". However, if I get an idea that something is true, then I must believe that if I pursue it, it can be proven one way or another. I may not know it to be true, but I can believe it to be true and seek to prove it or disprove it. Or to put it in more scientific terms, in order to prove something, it must be falsifiable. If it can be proven true, you must also have the ability to prove it false.

Can I prove there is a God? No. Can I prove there is not a God? No. In order to prove either conclusion, I must have some way of showing the possibility of a belief being false, and we simply do not have that kind of knowledge.

Consequently, we must prove what is true in terms of physical evidence. If "God" is shown to be inconsistent with physical evidence, then we must reject "God" to the extent we can show inconsistency. But keep in mind that in absolute terms of "infinity", there is no way to demonstrate the consistency of our thinking from within that system itself!

What odes it mean? Again, it means we can't get from "here" to "truth" in any ABSOLUTE SENSE, nor can we get from "here" to "God" as an absolute representation of truth!

Therefore, our freedom, whether atheist or "christian", must consist of being free from ALL authority structures of men! 1 Cor 7:23: "..be ye not the servants of men".

1Cor 9:19: "For though I be free from all men..."

2 Peter 2:19: "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage".

The RSV says "he is ENSLAVED". So what did Jesus say? "If any man says to you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not"(Matthew 24;23).

The atheist and the TRUE christian find unity in that statement. If you would follow truth, you cannot follow men, and that definitely includes religions of men(and they ALL are religions of men or women). If you would be free, you must learn to think for yourselves!

proselytizing? See what Jesus said about the dominant religious leaders of his day: "For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more a child of hell than yourselves(Matt.23:15)".

As Hebrews 4:12 tells us, the truth is like a two edged sword. It cuts collectivism both ways. The statements in Romans 8:7, 8:29-30, and 9:16-22, cuts collectivism both in terms of christianity AND in terms of the collectivism of atheism. There is no "us" and "them", because no person can have a monopoly on truth.

"ye shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free". You can't have two "truths". Truth is consistent with all truth.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"Ex-Android" Speaks!

Here is another response from my email correspondent. I will try to remember to put all his remarks in bold:

Look, Ralph, as long as you insist on playing the game of keeping me on the defensive, then there is no way we can have a civil discussion.

Oh, and of course I'm not to be bothered at all when the first thing I read from you is that I subject you to "preaching" at the rate of two entries a day? Is there a rule for atheists that they are so superior they can just insult anybody and expect that person to say "Oh, I'm sorry! I apologize deeply for even having an opinion, much less actually believing I can prove my statements!"

That is aside from your confused, contradictory thinking, bluster, bravado, and childish language.

See? Not one word examining what I've said, just more ad hominem about what I said.

Here is the core of my argument, and no one yet has even thought to even mention it: there is no decision procedure whatever by which any person can get from "here" to "God".

A simple premise. A simple statement.

I'll admit that my present technical inability to make my posts isn't helping to advocate my case.

I agree. It would save me trouble of trying to actually get your discussion involved. But at least I've tried.

I suggest with all your learning you might pursue a course of how to communicate.

Probably true. But I generally don't like intimidation or bluster unless somebody decides he or she wants to insult me right out of the gate. I'm an ex-marine. I once defended myself in a Special Court Martial, which I not only won, but received an apology from the marines and a meritorious promotion out of a court martial. I don't know many people that have ever done that. Apparently they had no trouble understanding me.

Do all you True Believers take the same course on how to confuse, intimidate, and embarrass your opponent without half trying?

I must have, and I must have made a good grade on it, because I seem to be able to do it to you without trying at all! I do love your scientific evaluation of me as an individual as well, "Al you True believers". Nothing insulting about that, obviously. What right should I have to ever be offended at your statements?

Maybe it's a gift from one of your gods. Could be. I have no way of knowing. Do you?

I would also suggest you read a bit on what is atheism. It's clear you don't understand it any more now than the rest of the religions I've engaged over the years.

Let's see, I've read Christopher Hitchens' "God Is Not Great", and Dawkins' "The God Delusion", both of which I found very good. As I understand it, and correct me if I'm wrong, but atheists say there is no God. Correct? Have you ever heard me stating that there is a God? Have you ever heard me offering any kind of proof that there is a God?

But you see, there is the great flaw in your entire argument. The only way you can possibly begin to beat me is to conclude that I'm a "True Believer" and lump me into a general category that cannot possibly ever go beyond what you amazing atheists know. See? I've just lumped you into a group. That's ad hominem, and it proves nothing one way or another.

To fault the atheist because he is unable to prove there is no god shows your ignorance and confused thinking on the matter.

Are you saying you CAN prove there is no God? Then simply state your case, prove there is no God, and I will still win this argument! Let's look at the core of my argument from the point of view of William James. James pointed out that if God is all knowing, then we are not free,since God would already know in advance what choices we will make. If we are free, God is not all knowing, and if God is all knowing, we are not free.

You and I can argue until cows start roosting in trees whether there is or is not a God, bit the fact is, neither of us can ever offer conclusive proof. The only thing we can possibly agree on is what we can see as results from actual observation. Here is my observation:

If there is a God, it would be useless to believe in a God who is not all knowing, since a less than omniscient God would simply be greater by comparison, merely a smarter being, though never complete in knowledge.

Paul has argued from his understanding of God that God is indeed all knowing in regard to whom his "children" are, and that he has predestined them from the very beginning. This will logically lead to the result William James pointed out, above. If God is all knowing, then there is not one choice we can make in any sense that will alter our destiny in that regard.

Okay, let's substitute that with your statement there is no God. We can come up with this conclusion: There is not one choice we can make in any sense that will alter our destiny in that regard....in any possibly measurable context.

To me, those conclusions are exactly the same, except the atheist says there is no measurable way in which any decision we make can alter our destiny in any absolute sense. In fact, if God does exist, and IS all knowing, there is STILL no way to alter our destiny in any measurable way, in any absolute sense. Either way, based on what Paul said in Romans 8:29-30, there is no difference in the outcome, EXCEPT Paul says there is a God, and you say there's not a god. But the results in either case will be exactly the same.

This means, in the simplest language I'm able to convey, there exists no decision procedure, no algorithm, no human process of thought by which we can in any way, get from "here" to "God".
Are you saying there is some way we CAN get from here to god? That would seem to contradict your point of view, wouldn't it?

Paul stated in Romans 8:7 that the natural mind is enmity against God and cannot be subject to God. As I've said in several different places, this will have two logical, verifiable results:
1.No one can claim any authority from God, since no human mind can be subject to God
2. Any attempt to do so will result in a splintering and speciation of religions tending toward infinity, AS WEE SEE AROUND US TODAY.

No one yet, least of all you, Mr. Ex-Android, has even begun to touch that statement. You know why? You have no argument against it. It's true because its observably true, and it conforms to the logic of Romans 8:7, showing the resulting logic of Romans 9:16-22.

What is confusing about that? If you cannot be subject to God, any choice you make regarding the knowledge of God will reflect the confusion apparent in your own thinking. Therefore, you will see over 38,000 versions of "god" as you see today. Since the natural mind cannot be subject to God, there can exist no decision procedure by which you can get to God, which is exactly what Paul said in Romans 9:16-22.

Why is that confusing? Maybe because you've been conditioned all your life to believe that IF we believe in God, we MUST follow some decision procedure to please God?


Besides, the matter of proof falls to the believer, and you've already clearly stated to your credit that you cannot do that.

Well, finally, you actually point to something I specifically said!

I would suggest you try reading an excellent primer, 'Atheism: The case Against God' by George Smith. That was a major aid in helping set me free from the gods. The book has clarity and absence from confusion.

P.S. If you want to quote me in the forum then do it completely and fairly and respond honestly. Sign me 'Ex-Android'.


In your responses so far, all I've seen is ad hominem, writing about what I said, but never in any disciplined, or even scientific way of pointing out any flaw in my logic. I've responded as honestly as I know how, and if I left anything out in previous posts, let me know, and I will respond to that as well.

Government of God?

One of the responses in this blog accused me of trying to have the "government of God".
I'm not sure what he meant, unless he was referring to HWA's ideas, which I abandoned way back in 1974.

Do I study government? Yes. Do I study economics? Yes. I also studied the development of law and its philosophy.

In terms of religion, correct me if I'm wrong, but here's the gist of the story we're told:

Israel was given God's law. They had trouble keeping it, and eventually divided into two major kingdoms, Israel and Judah. Israel started making up their own rules, so they disappeared in history. Judah, later known as Jews, got their act together and started really focusing on the law, but in spite of themselves, they couldn't do it, so God figured something out a little bit better.

It wasn't possible for the people to obey God of themselves, so Jesus came a long and gave them something called a "Holy Spirit". Now, if you "accept Christ", you get that Holy Spirit, and you're forgiven, and all you have to do is belong to some authorized church that has the Holy Spirit, and you pretty much got it made.

In modern terms, we might say that God transferred his "brand name" from Israel to Christians. Of course the law still counted and everything, but the official version of God's will was now Christianity, the new "God, Incorporated". If you believe in the "Holy Spirit", you have the proper corporate logo.

Of course, HWA came along and helped us see through that, so we formed a new corporate logo that had the Holy Spirit AND "God's law". We didn't just keep the sabbath, we did that other stuff, too. We were the official version with the right logo.

The problem is, there are about 38,000 versions and growing, of others who believe just as sincerely that they have the official logo, and within WCG splinter groups, who knows how many are springing up?

So, this guy Paul comes along, and everybody says Paul is the new organizer of the proper Holy Spirit. We try to reconcile Paul's stuff with our beliefs in the law, and we think we've pretty well got it down. Yep, we're the ones. We've got the story figured.

Back in 1974, I felt that way. But then I went to Ambassador College, and I got involved in their summer project building "Imperial Schools". It was then I realized that "God's government" was not a good government for peons like me. In fact, I found myself thinking "If this is God's government, God can take it and...keep it".

I returned to my home area in North Carolina, a very troubled young man. I began to slowly realize there is no "God's government', and it's all a scam. No man can form God's government.

The nation of Israel? yeah, right. Christianity? They're so busy arguing among themselves about truth, the world could go on forever and there'd still be no solution.

The simple fact is, no human being can form God's government, or God's church or whatever you want to call it, first, because there is no evidence that there ever was a God, and even if there is, we're totally incapable of figuring out what "he" wants us to do.

So why believe in God at all? The simplest reason in the world: Because that's exactly what Paul told us!

Look at Romans 8:7. The natural mind is enmity against God. It cannot be subject to God's laws. Okay, if you try to form a government of God based on that recognition, what is the result?

How about this:
1.No one can claim authority in Gods name, because no natural mind can be subject to God's laws
2. Any attempt to create such an organization will result in a continual splintering of religions and ideas right into infinity, as we see around the world today.

This leaves humans with an illusion. The illusion is this: "Since my simple mind is enmity against God, and since I cannot 'think straight" in terms of God, then it is necessary for me to become part of something "higher" than myself, like a church of God that has the "Holy Spirit".

Yeah? Which one? If the natural mind is enmity against God, and there are over 38,000 versions of "God" and growing, which church can you possibly choose, and if you choose, how do you know you're right?

Answer: You can't!

There is nothing "higher" which you can join! No "government of God", no "church of God", nothing higher than your own individual reasoning mind to give you guidance, and your mind is just as good as anybody else's mind!

Did Paul say that? Yes he did, and very plainly, not only pointing out that we cannot choose to be "elect", but that it is simply impossible for us to make that choice(Romans 9:16-22, Eph 2:8-10, and other scriptures).

So, in that regard, did Paul tell us the truth? You're darn right he did! Prove it wrong!

What did Jesus say in regard to the "end times"? First thing he warned his followers of in Matthew 24 was deception. "many will come in my name, saying, I am Christ(or messiah)".

If those with the "Holy Spirit" cannot be deceived, why would Jesus warn against deception right at the start? If he warned against deception, that in itself would imply that we DO possess some sort of reasoning power that would show us how NOT to be deceived, wouldn't it?

All, right, here's the big question: How can you know you're not deceived?

The answer is amazingly simple, and it's the only possible correct answer!

There is no point whatever in followng any of them, and that's exactly what Jesus said in Matthew 24:23!

"Then if any man(woman, boy or girl) say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not".

Now, let's compare that to the statement by Ayn Rand in "The Fountainhead". In that book Rand was writing against collectivism, against religions, against governments, against all forms of collectivized authority that robbed men of their right to their own mind. In this passage, Rand was writing from the point of view of Ellsworth Toohey, the man who worked to control the minds of others. In this passage, he reveals his strategy for the control of men's minds:

"Men have a weapon against you. Reason. So you must be very sure to take it away from them. Cut the props from under it. But be careful. Don't deny outright. Never deny anything outright, you give your hand away. Don't say reason is evil--though some have gone that far with astonishing success. Just say that reason is limited. That there's something above it. What? You don't have to be too clear about it either. The field's inexhaustible. 'Instinct'--'Feeling'--Revelation'--'Divine Intuition'--'Dialectical Materialism'. If you get caught at some crucial point and somebody tells you that your doctrine doesn't make sense--you're ready for him. You tell him that there's something above sense, that here he must not try to think, he must feel. He must believe. Suspend reason, and you play it deuces wild."

Governments grow more powerful, individual reason dies. Religion grows more powerful, the mind withers. Ayn Rand said we have a weapon against such powers: the individual mind, REASON.

And what did Jesus say? "If any man says to you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, BELIEVE IT NOT".

What did Paul tell us? Same thing. There exists no decision procedure whatever, either collectively or individually, by which we may reach something "higher" than our own minds in order to rule over others. It is simply impossible(Ephesians 2;8-10).

That is agreement between an atheist and "believers"!

So, mister smarty pants that tells me you can't reconcile the bible with Ayn Rand, here's a very mature "nyah,nyah, nyah,nyah,nyah!"