Posts Tagged by ayn rand

What Does Atheism Become?

About five years ago I published a collection of essays that is no longer available for purchase. The collection is titled after the essay below. It is not, as far as I know, something I’ve published elsewhere. I was thinking of it recently and decided it should be dusted off. It seems as relevant today as when I first wrote it.

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That Which Atheism Becomes

Some might say that I just like to argue. The truth is that I believe that ideas have consequences and some consequences are more severe than others. Arguing, or more precisely, debating, these ideas helps everyone on all sides of a position understand a position better. In theory, if you could of got Bin Laden to sit down to have a nice debate you could of aroused for him some of the critical consequences of his beliefs and demanded that before he acted on them he had a much firmer basis. According to many Muslims, such a basis does not exist. I will leave that issue to them to sort out. But Bin Laden does have this going for him: he takes a belief to its rational conclusion. There are many dangerous beliefs out there that people consider harmless simply because they aren’t taken to their rational conclusion.

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Introduction to Ayn Rand’s Anthem Excerpt

The greatest guilt today is that of people who accept collectivism by moral default; the people who seek protection from the necessity of taking a stand, by refusing to admit to themselves the nature of that which they are accepting; the people who support plans specifically designed to achieve serfdom, but hide behind the empty assertion that they are lovers of freedom, with no concrete meaning attached to the word; the people who believe that the content of ideas need not be examined, that principles need not be defined, and that facts can be eliminated by keeping one’s eyes shut. They expect, when they find themselves in a world of bloody ruins and concentration camps, to escape moral responsibility by wailing: ”But I didn’t mean this!”

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A theological basis for rank individualism in society and elsewhere

In short, dear Christian, I contend that we already have in front of us all the ‘higher level organisms’ we need: the community of the family and the community of the faithful. Here and only here are individuals respected, welcomed, and free. Here only are individuals understood to be forever, and here only do we see the context in which they will be forever- in community through Christ.

It is therefore with great caution that we must approach the efforts of the Statists. True, very often they propose programs that we can in good conscience get behind. However, even then they do not share our views about the individual, and so, they can, quite unexpectedly, change things. They would only be acting on their own values, and so we should not be shocked. Thus it should be evident that the more power we give them to help us the more power we give to them to hurt us.

As such, it is worth positing that we should give them no power at all, and the power that we do give them come with very robust checks and balances. Our trust in their sincere intentions seems, increasingly, to be poised to do us all great harm- or at least, the weakest among us, and those who are the heaviest burden on society. In the name of the “Most good for the most people” great evil is being inflicted, and history tells us a great deal more is possible.

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Atheist Response to The Toy Story Gospel

A while back I posted a blog on the ‘Gospel according to Toy Story.’ It has generated an atheist response.

I am afraid to say the blogger needs to go back to the drawing board. He was greatly confused about what I actually said and so much of his reply just doesn’t fit what I was saying.

For example, he said that I presented Toy Story as a Christian allegory. I did no such thing. I said that it had theological themes. There is a big difference there. So, the blogger kept thinking I was trying to interpret the whole movie as some sort of intentional Christian metanarrative. This just isn’t the case. I detected one particular theme… and recognized that it was theological in nature.

This alone would shave about 8 paragraphs off his response. 🙂

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Would an atheist be happy in hell? Cue the Twilight Zone Theme Song…

So you see, either way you go, either rejecting the existence of the Christian God or accepting it, the atheist possesses some sort of moral standard by which to measure the conduct of God and the terms he lays out. But I find this all very ironic. After all, the whole point of disgust has to do with people being eternally punished by God and how unfair and indecent that is but when it is pointed out that the Bible further describes this eternal punishment as an eternal separation from God (relationally), shut out from his presence forever, they are not satiated? I mean, isn’t that what they wanted? If God turns out to be real and they hate him so much don’t they actually want there to be something like ‘hell’ where God will leave them to their own devices?

Yes it is. Here you see one of those classic “there is no pleasing them” scenarios. Even if there is a God they don’t like him and would rather in that case spend eternity separate from him, but when that actual opportunity is presented to them from the same texts they reject God as being unloving and Christianity (and religion in general) as fear mongering. Dudes. You’re getting what you want. Why complain?

Of course, we Christians understand that getting what you want isn’t all it is cracked up to be.

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Rand’s Atlas Shrugged as Template for Today’s Liberal Lunacy

But it is the nature of the human beast that after enough time has passed- 20 years will do, but in today’s media saturated 24/7 news cycle apparently 20 minutes will do, as well- the things of the past are just that, the things of the past. “Those things won’t happen again.” “Things are different today.” “We’d never let that happen again.” “We are smarter today.”

This, I’m afraid, is all wishful thinking. Very dangerous wishful thinking. Under the cover of this mentality the principles of old are allowed ever deeper reach into the operations of free societies. But God cannot be mocked. If you plant a corn seed you will get a corn plant. If you plant these principles you will reap their fruit. You may delay it a little while or change its expression, that’s all.

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The Gospel According to the Movie Toy Story: YOU. ARE. A. TOY!

That the movies end with the toys coming to terms with the fact that they are toys and finding immense satisfaction in their created purpose is one of those wholesome lessons that proves that however much Hollywood and secular humanists try, theological messages resonate. (See also Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty)

So, are we toys?

We don’t like to think so. We would like to think that if we merely declared that we were completely independent and autonomous from any creator it would be so. We would like to think that assigning ourselves whatever value we like means that we really have that value. There is the theory and then there is the reality.

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Online Apologetics Academy Enrolling

The Athanatos Online Apologetics Academy is enrolling now. Enroll in the “Introduction to basic Biblical Greek” course which starts Oct. 27. Beginning on Nov. 3 is the course on “The Reliability of the New Testament Documents.” Beginning on Nov. 17 is the follow up course, “The Formation of the New Testament Canon.” Also beginning on Nov. 17 is the course “Studies in Atheism.” www.academyofapologetics.com

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The Need for an Absolute Frame of Reference For there to be Ultimate Meanings

When I was in college I made a nuisance of myself once by finding the slope of a vertical line (which, we are told, is ‘undefined.’)  Impossible, you say.  As did the math instructor.  But I ‘found’ it by rotating the grid beneath the line and recalculated, for now, of course, the line wasn’t perfectly […]

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Understanding the Atheistic Mind and the New Atheists and why they Must be Confronted

Someone sent me a link to this ‘blog’ entry titled “10 Questions Every Intelligent Christian Must Answer”. Now, I definitely don’t agree with the premise. I don’t think we are obliged to answer most of the questions, springing as they do out of sheer ignorance and contempt. What I found most telling about this entry […]

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