In response to the religious conversation on the Ferguson thread

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For some reason, I couldn’t post anything on the Ferguson thread.

I know that the Bible says some ridiculous things. Some versions are more ridiculous than others. If you could read it in Hebrew, would it be as ridiculous? I doubt it.

There is a guy named Avraham Gileadi. He’s a Jew, converted to Mormonism, got kicked out for writing a book that the Mormon church hierarchy didn’t like – probably scared that he understood the Bible better than they did, since he could read Hebrew. Shortly after being kicked out, his excommunication was “expunged.”

I’ve actually read the Book of Mormon a few times. At the bottom of the title page, Mormon says if the book contains errors, they are the errors of man. Don’t judge God because of men. I have to like a book that claims to teach of God, but doesn’t claim to be perfect.

The problem is men and institutions of men. That’s where we go for information. I read lwerockwell.com all the time. I’m not going to throw away the information from his site, because he prints Pat Buchanan. I’m not going to throw away everything I learn from the Mises institute, simply because it has errors. Everything does. Should I reject that Rothbard was great, because he endorsed Bush 1 over Clinton? Hell no. For the same reason, I’m not throwing out the possibility that there is a God, because the Bible is fraught with errors of men – many times government agents – see King James.

Am I going to be like Mitt Romney and go to a Mormon church every Sunday? No. The Mormon church is an institution. It isn’t the gospel of Christ. They may teach some of that, but their own book says it isn’t perfect. It says it right at the bottom of the title page. I have to like a book that shoots down the very institution that was created because of the book.

I read a lot of things on a daily basis. Some things resonate with me more than others. The book of Mormon resonates with me and how I think God’s nature is. Right or wrong. I think it is better than the Bible, at least since I can’t read the Bible in Hebrew, or at least the first translation ever from the Hebrew text.

There are some Christians who would tell you that I don’t believe in the true God or the true Jesus, since I believe the book of Mormon is better than the Bible. But why would I care, when they can’t even agree with what each version of the bible says about something? We’re all just mortal men.

Tome Woods had a great show awhile back that talked about whether or not “you’re an idiot for believing in God.” I’m an idiot who can’t post live links, but you can go to tomwoods.com/mover for more info about the Aristotlean/Aquinas viewpoint on their belief in God or a supreme being.

We have to have faith that we can influence the world in a move toward freedom. We have to have faith to believe in God. I believe in both. I haven’t heard a solid argument against either idea. Until then………

@Helot,

Please stay. Don’t leave EPautos because people don’t think the way you do. The people here are more on your side than 99% of the people you could go to church with or have a bible bash with…..think about it. What would Jesus do Helot? Can’t we disagree on some things and still be friends? We agree on 95% of things. That’s pretty damn good. I could be considered a Mormon. That’s fine, I probably am in the same sense that I’m Rothbardian, Blockean, or Rockwellian, or whatever. I live round Mormons who go to church every Sunday. If I locked them all in the room and found out how similar they are in their viewpoints to me, I’d be lucky to find one that I agreed with over 90% of the time. They, like everyone else are clovers. They hear it from the pulpit, the TV, and their beloved government……maybe the god they actually worship.

I don’t like religious conversations much, because they have a tendency to divide too many people. Don’t let our religious, or non-religious differences divide us.

EPAutos isn’t anti-god. EPAuto’s is anti authoritarian. That’s the root of why most of us are here.

Stay and fellowship with us Helot. David too.

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24 COMMENTS

  1. Thank You, ancap51, and all who made an effort to comment.
    Even after all these years, I still don’t know how to reply. This post by Bionic Mosquito is as close as I can get to a reply: Antonio Gramsci, Cultural Hegemony, and Political Correctness – Friday, January 13, 2017

    “I have read it several times and decided I cannot – I cannot summarize it; I cannot add something to it.  If the subject of culture and liberty matter to you, it must be read.” …

  2. Theism is a thing. It’s real. It is a group with billions of members.

    Atheism is problematic. It is a debate with no end. Because on one side of the argument, you have assertions predicated on unsubstantiated beliefs.

    Non-smokers is also problematic. Those with poor mental discipline might assert it is a majority group with far more members than the 967 million minority of smokers in the world. But I would argue non-smoking is not a thing. And that there are no such beings as non-smokers.

    Saying non-smokers exist is an instance of the “Reification of Zero.”

    Reification of Zero:

    RoZ is a vulgar variant of concept stealing, prevalent among avowed mystics and irrationalists. It’s a fallacy known as the Reification of the Zero.

    This fallacy consists of regarding “nothing” as a thing, as a special, different kind of existent. (For examples of existents, see Existentialism.)

    This fallacy breeds such symptoms as the notion that presence and absence, or being and non-being, are metaphysical forces of equal power, and that being is the absence of non-being.

    E.g., “Nothingness is prior to being.” (Sartre)
    —“Human finitude is the presence of the not in the being of man.” (William Barrett)
    —“Nothing is more real than nothing.” (Samuel Beckett)
    —”Das Nichts nichtet” or “Nothing noughts.” (Heidegger).

    Consciousness, then, is not a stuff, but a negation. The subject is not a thing, but a non-thing. The subject carves its own world out of Being by means of negative determinations.

    Sartre describes consciousness as a ‘noughting nought.’ It is a form of being other than its own: a mode ‘which has yet to be what it is, that is to say, which is what it is, that is to say, which is what it is not and which is not what it is.’

    What is the reason for this? “Genuine utterances about the nothing must always remain unusual. It cannot be made common. It dissolves when it is placed in the cheap acid of mere logical acumen.” – Heidegger.

    Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology “Axiomatic Concepts,”

    See also: Axiomatic Concepts; Axioms; Existence; Identity; Non-Existence; Fallacy of the Stolen Concept.

    – We might agree that we are adherents of the Non-Aggression Principle. But to assert that all other people in the world are “Aggressors” can quickly devolve into a “Reification of Zero” situation, if we are not diligent and disciplined in our assertions. If we in any way fail to provide sufficient and convincing backup for just what it is exactly that makes someone an “Aggressor.”

    Are there really such beings as “statists.” Or are we guilty of the fallacy of Reification of Zero. The answer lies in how exactly we define and prove our concepts. And that others voluntarily admit to at least the idea that there are such a thing as “people who are statists.”

    Alternatively, we could develop our own social power, outside the existing systems wherein we would back our definitions of terms with power and wealth of our own.

    If we become able to designate someone as a statist, and then bring about consequences for those people we have so designated. Now we would be a social movement with power of our own. We would become the mongoose to the statist snakes as it were.
    – – –

    Non-Existence

    Non-existence is not a fact, it is the absence of a fact, it is a derivative concept pertaining to a relationship, i.e., a concept which can be formed or grasped only in relation to some existent that has ceased to exist. (One can arrive at the concept “absence” starting from the concept “presence,” in regard to some particular existent(s); one cannot arrive at the concept “presence” starting from the concept “absence,” with the absence including everything.)

    Non-existence as such is a zero with no sequence of numbers to follow it, it is the nothing, the total blank.

    Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual.

    Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death. Joy is not “the absence of pain,” intelligence is not “the absence of stupidity,” light is not “the absence of darkness,” an entity is not “the absence of a nonentity.” Building is not done by abstaining from demolition; centuries of sitting and waiting in such abstinence will not raise one single girder for you to abstain from demolishing. . . . Existence is not a negation of negatives.

    For the New Intellectual Galt’s Speech,

    See also: Existence; Reification of Zero.

  3. @The OP- I’m not leaving anytime soon. The religious controversies seem to have died down a bit in terms of intensity from what they were in the past. And yes, most people are clovers. We can agree on that much. They are so aggravating.

    • To the point where I don’t even know where to begin with most people. libertarian philosophy is way over the average person’s head.

      • Hi David,

        Indeed.

        Very, very difficult to have a discussion with people still caught up in the matrix. You will note that most people debate any given issue from a purely utilitarian perspective – with their particular position (left or right) being based on that rather than a principle.

        I therefore insist on debating principles. Force them to confront the aggressive violence underlying almost everything they advocate – most especially the things that are presented as benevolent (e.g., “helping” the poor; building schools for “our children”).

        At least, it’ll make them squirm a bit!

    • Hi David,

      In the ancient world, before the rise of the Abrahamic religions, diversity of belief was often tolerated to an extent that’s hard to imagine from today’s “us or else” (and “we’re right – you’re wrong and evil“) religiosity.

      I am leery of the Abrahamic religions because they are fundamentally intolerant of other beliefs. Their god is a jealous god. The core dogmas lead inevitably to conversion by the sword, talk of sheep and gentle shepherds notwithstanding.

      There are millions of Americans who would cheer the burning of “heretics,” “blasphemers” and so on. All that prevents this is the dissipating fumes of the Enlightenment and its legacy, the remains of the republic that still stand, like hollowed out oak trees, soon to topple over.

      • This is so spot on, and easy to follow for one and all.

        Before I started posting here, I struggled a lot with popular culture trying to ram alternative lifestyles down my throat.

        I became very angry watching TV with my family, and then all kinds of non-traditional things would be depicted. Flaming homosexuality. Dudes engaging in PDAs with other dudes.

        This intolerant reaction of mine was wrong, and that is the end of the story.

        There’s no need to engage in endless dialectical discussions about gays being in competition with straights. Or that there is some kind of darwinian battle going on between one mode of behavior against another. I believe I have been permanently enlightened in this regard, by this blog.

        Now when that kind of stuff comes up, I jump for the mute button if I have the remote. I put my hand up between me and the TV screen and look away so I don’t see what I don’t want to see. And that’s all it takes.

        No world war need be launched between the LGBTQA alliance and the rest of humanity. There are civilized means at our disposal, war brings nothing but destruction for all.

        Abrahamic religions would be fine with me if they were just another belief system you accept or reject.

        But in my experience, they are a kind of creeping authoritarian monoculture. Too many of their followers will not rest until everything else is laid waste to, and banished or exterminated.

        You need look no further than Persia of the 1950s and the modern day theocratic state of Iraq. What a horrible tragedy and ongoing fiasco that whole thing is.

        If that is what scripture and theonomy intends to accomplish, then the whole Judeo Christian system needs to be thrown in the woods.

        • My only argument with that, Tor. Is the masses of gay apologists using government to pass non-discrmination ordinances in municipalities. The LGBT community has no problem, unlike us, of using government as a means to an end.

          • Statists of all sorts only seek to use the state to impose their way of life on everyone else and/or force everyone else to accept them and/or what it is they are preaching. It doesn’t matter if its the LGBT community or a bunch of transit advocates or anything else. The only problem they have with government is that they aren’t running it, that it isn’t forcing their agendas forward. They like government so long as they run it. All the problems caused by government intervention in their eyes are solved once they get the political power and do the interventions they think are best.

            libertarians are the only ones who just want to be left alone and extend the same to everyone else. libertarians don’t want to be forced to accept people into their lives and don’t expect to be accepted into other people’s lives. libertarians have a problem with the government on principle.

            • Exactly Brent, libertarians believe in “discrimination” because we understand that every decision is a discriminatory act., unlike our clover brethren.

          • Under the NAP we all have the freedom of disassociation. As long as I secure that freedom, it won’t matter how gay America ends up going. By the looks of things, it’s going to blossom from maybe 2% to a majority sometime soon. :.)

            I’ve decided it isn’t coercion, or violence, or censorship, for someone to push the envelope on their own network, newspaper, web site, or other property. Including pushing a statist agenda and encouraging serfs to love their servitude.

            Americans are being coerced to be their worst instead of their best it appears. Sort of like Naziism stood on its head. Whoever is the most crippled and dependent wins. Either way its still a form of fascist coercion, and I want no part of coercion when used for any ends.

            As another example, I enjoy watching The Walking Dead, but I never watch the explicit zombie kill scenes, I might get funny looks, but I hold my hand out between me and the screen and eclipse the violence as best I can.

            I don’t want to be desensitized to violence or dehumanize another person, even if they are a zombie actor in a TV show.

            I also love watching the Sons of Anarchy, and one of the bikers is in a relationship that is way way out there. I’m not even sure what Tig’s “friend” Venus even is. But again, as a matter of principle, I am sure it is none of my concern.

            It’s not about nihilism and letting things slide. It’s about human dignity and the freedom for everyone’s private lives to remain private, in every instance.

            Their again, it’s not an issue, just mute sound look away for a few seconds, and viola the offending scene is gone.

            I do believe there is an Illuminati with a sick agenda at work. But all it takes is a moment’s effort, and they are totally powerless to influence me thanks to my remote control self defense protocols.

            I also sympathize completely with anyone who doesn’t want me to despiritualize them or whatever they would call my belligerent discussions about religion.

            I only bring these things up, so we can fully abandon the use of force in every instance beyond the NAP. That means even in spiritual matters, we forego the use of force completely. No matter what our beliefs and tell us. There is NO exception by anyone, human, supernatural, or other.

            Freedom of association includes freedom of disassociation. If others want to kick you out of their house, or off their website, they have every right to do so, for any reason, or for no reason. We all have to deal with it. But no one has the right to use violence.

            The NAP is about limiting the role of violence to protect life, limb, and property.
            Just staying true to that principle is a full time occupation for me. It’s made me abandon all the other old battles that are only due to the effects of coercion, not the cause.

            To me the gay/straight battle is only legitimate if you believe the use of coercion can be appropriate depending on the circumstance. Take away the cause of this lack of harmony, the coercion, and the imagined battlefield itself melts away right before your eyes.

            • Well-said, Tor.

              Jefferson’s felicitous phrase, the pursuit of happiness, comes to mind. In whatever form, provided no unwilling person is victimized. Accordingly:

              If Tig (the character in SOA) wishes to have a relationship with Venus, who am I or anyone else to interpose? Or even to criticize? Any of us would take umbrage – rightly – at being hectored to buy a Chevy rather than a Nissan. Or to prefer rocky road and never touch moose tracks.

              Fuck ’em. Feed ’em fish heads!

              Gay relationships don’t disgust me.

              Aggressive violence does.

              • I would say that both behaviors are disgusting to me personally. Aggressive violence is just far more disgusting, beyond the level of “gross”, like I consider gay relationships.

                I had some gay neighbors up until a year ago. They were great neighbors, unlike many people can be. I pushed the snow out of their driveway in the winter and treated them like every other neighbor. I found the more manly one to be more of a regular guy than I had ever imagined a gay guy being…..which was surprising to my presuppositions about the whole thing.

                If those neighbors would have instead been a family man, church attending cop, the only snow removal they would get is the snow removed from other driveways in front of his. I tend not to be so “Christian” with cops. I tend to follow the silver rule with them, which I term: Do unto others as they do unto you. Only I don’t take it as far as they do. I would never be the aggressor toward them, unlike they would with me. I would, however be very un-neighborly and make his life as miserable as possible without–hopefully–coaxing him to cowardly pull his taser on me.

                I’d rather have a brothel, crack house or a feed lot next to me than a pig cop…….at least then I could tell my kids the neighbors were legitimate actors, rather than a costumed parasite with a gun.

                • Amen, Ancap.

                  I don’t think I have ever been subjected to a physical assault by a gay person. But I’ve been assaulted at least several dozen times by cops over the course of my life.

                • Wow… I’m impressed by that post ancap. I am not mentally there yet, in part because of the mitigating factor of “They don’t necessarily really understand what they are doing.”

                  Then again, our experiences with cops we know personally is very different. Much as I despise the institution, and dislike the idea of any decent person “serving” in it, the one cop I know personally is one of the most decent people I know, and he’s not the type that spends all his time defending police abuses. He’s also gotten our family out of undeserved trouble from other cops before. As well as, from what I have heard second hand, getting some flack from other cops for reporting abuses.

                  Heck, when I mentioned the fact that I gave a speech at school once supporting privatization of police to this person his response was “they’d probably be less corrupt.”

                  Does that mean I approve of the profession? No, I don’t.

                  But I suspect I’d be more like you if my personal experience with cops was more like your uncle (who I know is technically more of a wanna-be cop.) I’ve met NUMEROUS non-cops who are far, FAR more apologetic of police brutality than this guy is.

                  Its funny… there’s one thing I can say that will tick off both Christian conservatives and secular libertarians simultaneously, and that is to compare police officers to prostitutes.

                  All I can say, from a Christian standpoint, is that I think we’re supposed to be kind to everybody… even cops. I understand the temptation not to be, especially when they get praise fawned on them all the time by everyone else.

                  And, I still think homosexuality is both ethically and just personally repulsive.

                    • To be clear, what I’m arguing is that good intentions and ignorance are mitigating factors, not excuses. Every single cop is guilty, its just a matter of how much. The guy who thinks he’s keeping his community safe and has always been told so has a mitigated responsibility. The guy who knows how evil the system is and still participates in it has full repsonsibility. I think both are bad, but I think the second guy is worse.

                      Does that make sense?

                      And that, for me, means that I will quickly and easily be disgusted with a professing Christian who is in the second category, while I’m a little more hesitant, though still annoyed, with the first guy.

                      Does that make sense?

                    • Hi David,

                      It’s old and tired, but the “German” example is no less true for being so. The typical German during the NS period was not an active sadist but did passively make such sadism possible by “going along” with it as the natural (and legal) order of things. The average German soldier surely believed he was “serving his country” – and his friends and family respected him for doing so. Same goes for the ordinary polizei man. He simply “followed orders” and “enforced the law.” Shrug. He didn’t write the laws, after all. Contact your local partei representative, if you think the law should be changed.

                      Or, there is Morpheus’ speech to Neo in the opening of The Matrix. These people you see around you are in the Matrix – and will defend it, tooth and nail. Individually, on a certain level, they are not monsters. But together, as a mass, they do create a monster.

                  • I understand where you are coming from David. I know well that we should be respectful of everyone. That’s why I admit I’m more of a “silver rule” kind of guy than a golden rule guy when it comes to cops.

                    Jesus spent his time with tax collectors. That’s pretty gracious. To me, cops are mere tax collectors. They have a gun and aren’t afraid to use it out of boredom or on the recalcitrant who don’t like to “pay up”.

                    I’m imperfect and admit it.

                    I have had two retired cops drive taxi for me. Both terrible drivers. One was one of the most unethical drivers I ever had. No doubt, learning his ethics from the “force”.

                    • @ancap- I get it. I’m not saying I’m better than you. My goal is just to figure out what the right thing to do is with these situations, propositionally, and then attempt to do it.

                      When I see a Christian anarchist get excited about a cop “getting his” I call them out on it, not to judge them, but to help both of us get one step closer to the truth. The right positions. That matters to me. And it seems to matter to most people here, regardless of their religion. It doesn’t matter to most people, which baffles me.

                    • Self-defense, like any other right, is not conditional or situational.

                      That a man wears a uniform does not entitle him to immunity – to defensive force – if he commits aggressive violence.

                      That’s my stance.

      • Eric, I have many problems with the average American, but I do not think they would cheer on the deaths of heretics and blasphemers. Middle Eastern Muslims who they have been brainwashed into thinking “hate them for their freedoms” yes, but not “heretics and blasphemers” simply for being such.

        Republicans are weird in that they are the loudest in hating Islamic Sharia to the point on wanting to fight wars to end it, yet what they advocate is probably closer to Sharia than other political groups in America (note that I am NOT saying that what the average Republican supports is equivalent to Sharia.) Theonomists are consistent enough to admit that they want religious law, and they don’t want to go to war to stop other people from doing that (theonomists are also far more libertarian than Republicans in general. Gary North worked with Ron Paul for a reason…) But theonomists are a HUGE minority in America, and even they don’t want legal punishments for “heresy” as such, only public blasphemy.

        I’m not defending that, just putting things in perspective. I’ve never met anyone who has said that mere “heresy” should be punished, and I have met theonomists. And most Republicans are as wary of theonomists as they are libertarians…

        The average American has NUMEROUS problems but currently they aren’t at the point where they’re ready to support killing blasphemers. America’s actually pretty secular right now, IMO. George W. Bush, a secular inclusivist, killed more people than the Inquisitions (which I am also STRONGLY against, the Inquisition persecuted my religious forefathers to.)

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