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Ayn Rand on Original Sin

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  • Heinz Schmitz
    This has to be the best denunciation of Original Sin I have ever read: This is an excerpt from John Galt s speech in the novel Atlas Shrugged- Damnation is
    Message 1 of 24 , Jul 1, 2009
      This has to be the best denunciation of Original Sin I have ever read:

      This is an excerpt from John Galt's speech in the novel Atlas Shrugged-

      "Damnation is the start of your morality, destruction is its purpose, means and end. Your code begins by damning man as evil, then demands that he practice a good which it defines as impossible for him to practice. It demands, as his first proof of virtue, that he accepts his own depravity without proof. It demands that he start, not with a standard of value, but with a standard of evil, which is himself, by means of which he is then to define the good: the good is that which he is not.

      It does not matter who then becomes the profiteer on his renounced glory and tormented soul, a mystic God with some incomprehensible design or any passer-by whose rotting sores are held as some explicable claim upon him - it does not matter, the good is not for him to understand, his duty is to crawl through years of penance, atoning for the guilt of his existence to any stray collector of unintelligible debts, his only concept of a value is a zero: the good is that which is non-man.

      The name of this monstrous absurdity is Original Sin. A sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality. If man is evil by birth, he has no will, no power to change it; if he has no will, he can be neither good nor evil; a robot is amoral. To hold, as man's sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of morality. To hold man's nature as his sin is a mockery of nature. To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a mockery of justice. To hold him guilty in a matter where no innocence exists is a mockery of reason. To destroy morality, nature, justice and reason by means of a single concept is a feat of evil hardly to be matched. Yet that is the root of your code.

      Do not hide behind the cowardly evasion that man is born with free will, but with a 'tendency' to evil. A free will saddled with a tendency is like a game with loaded dice. It forces man to struggle through the effort of playing, to bear responsibility and pay for the game, but the decision is weighted in favor of a tendency that he had no power to escape. If the tendency is of his choice, he cannot possess it at birth; if it is not of his choice, his will is not free.

      What is the nature of the guilt that your teachers call his Original Sin? What are the evils man acquired when he fell from a state they consider perfection? Their myth declares that he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge - he acquired a mind and became a rational being. It was the knowledge of good and evil - he became a moral being. He was sentenced to earn his bread by his labor - he became a productive being. He was sentenced to experience desire - he acquired the capacity of sexual enjoyment. The evils for which they damn him are reason, morality, creativeness, joy - all the cardinal values of his existence. It is not his vices that their myth of man's fall is designed to explain and condemn, it is not his errors that they hold as his guilt, but the essence of his nature as man. Whatever he was - that robot in the Garden of Eden, who existed without mind, without values, without labor, without love - he was not man.

      Man's fall, according to your teachers, was that he gained the virtues required to live. These virtues, by their standard, are his Sin. His evil, they charge, is that he's man. His guilt, they charge, is that he lives. They call it a morality of mercy and a doctrine of love for man."

      Happy Canada Day everyone.

      Heinz
    • r.hero
      Hello Heinz, Actually, the doctrine referred to here is called the Adamic Nature not Original Sin. The Adamic nature of man is speaking about his fallen nature
      Message 2 of 24 , Jul 1, 2009
        Hello Heinz,

        Actually, the doctrine referred to here is called the Adamic Nature not Original Sin.

        The Adamic nature of man is speaking about his fallen nature (Greek sarx). Romans 7 contains the struggle between our fallen nature and our conscience. Galatians 5 tells us that we should walk in the Spirit and we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. It is called the Adamic nature because we inherit it from Adan. All men are born with a fallen nature, a native depravity. We see that nature in small kids who demand their own way. Children are inclined to selfishness, and that selfish tendency is the old Adamiv nature... the flesh.

        This doctrine is widely accepted in Christendom but I, too, believe that it is a false doctrine.

        Regarding the old nature of man, I have read Dakes notes on this subject and I must say they make more sense. In Romans 7 he does not change the plainly written word of God to mean a struggle with our fallen nature and our conscience, therefore, seems more likely to be the true meaning.

        Dake writes on Roman 6:6 "
        The old man is none other than Satan himself, the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience ( Eph. 2:2,4:22-24,Col.3:9,Jn.8:44, 1Jn3:8 5:18). To call this our old nature is erroneous, for nothing happened to Adam other than his submission to Satan and a moral fall. Adam had the same body, soul, and spirit after the fall as before. The only difference was a change of masters. There is no such thing as an old nature other than man's own body, soul, and spirit dominated by satanic powers, as in the above passages."

        So it would seem that the small kids mentioned above just need to change masters, not that they can't help themselves because they have a fallen nature. To me, this makes more sense than to believe that God created Adam faulty—with a fallen nature. Did the Catholics come up with the Old Nature doctrine? I ask this because I know that Catholics have a different philosophy on redemption.

        As for Gal. 5:16
        Dake writes, "this verse is much misunderstood as referring to constant warfare between the flesh and the spirit, making one the victim of the flesh and helpless to live right. This is not the thought at all. It does describe the condition of Galatians or anyone else fallen from grace and seeking perfection through the flesh and self efforts (Eph.1:6-8:3:1-5; 5:1-9, 13-15, 26). That it does not refer to the normal life of a Christian in grace, living and walking in the Spirit is clear from 5:16,18, 22-24;Rom6:14-23;8:1-13;2Cor.10:5-7Eph.6:10-18; Col.3:5-10;1Jn.1:7-9 3:8-10;5:1-4,18).

        Blessings

        Richard














        --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Heinz Schmitz" <christian_skeptic@...> wrote:
        >
        > This has to be the best denunciation of Original Sin I have ever read:
        >
        > This is an excerpt from John Galt's speech in the novel Atlas Shrugged-
        >
        > "Damnation is the start of your morality, destruction is its purpose, means and end. Your code begins by damning man as evil, then demands that he practice a good which it defines as impossible for him to practice. It demands, as his first proof of virtue, that he accepts his own depravity without proof. It demands that he start, not with a standard of value, but with a standard of evil, which is himself, by means of which he is then to define the good: the good is that which he is not.
        >
        > It does not matter who then becomes the profiteer on his renounced glory and tormented soul, a mystic God with some incomprehensible design or any passer-by whose rotting sores are held as some explicable claim upon him - it does not matter, the good is not for him to understand, his duty is to crawl through years of penance, atoning for the guilt of his existence to any stray collector of unintelligible debts, his only concept of a value is a zero: the good is that which is non-man.
        >
        > The name of this monstrous absurdity is Original Sin. A sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality. If man is evil by birth, he has no will, no power to change it; if he has no will, he can be neither good nor evil; a robot is amoral. To hold, as man's sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of morality. To hold man's nature as his sin is a mockery of nature. To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a mockery of justice. To hold him guilty in a matter where no innocence exists is a mockery of reason. To destroy morality, nature, justice and reason by means of a single concept is a feat of evil hardly to be matched. Yet that is the root of your code.
        >
        > Do not hide behind the cowardly evasion that man is born with free will, but with a 'tendency' to evil. A free will saddled with a tendency is like a game with loaded dice. It forces man to struggle through the effort of playing, to bear responsibility and pay for the game, but the decision is weighted in favor of a tendency that he had no power to escape. If the tendency is of his choice, he cannot possess it at birth; if it is not of his choice, his will is not free.
        >
        > What is the nature of the guilt that your teachers call his Original Sin? What are the evils man acquired when he fell from a state they consider perfection? Their myth declares that he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge - he acquired a mind and became a rational being. It was the knowledge of good and evil - he became a moral being. He was sentenced to earn his bread by his labor - he became a productive being. He was sentenced to experience desire - he acquired the capacity of sexual enjoyment. The evils for which they damn him are reason, morality, creativeness, joy - all the cardinal values of his existence. It is not his vices that their myth of man's fall is designed to explain and condemn, it is not his errors that they hold as his guilt, but the essence of his nature as man. Whatever he was - that robot in the Garden of Eden, who existed without mind, without values, without labor, without love - he was not man.
        >
        > Man's fall, according to your teachers, was that he gained the virtues required to live. These virtues, by their standard, are his Sin. His evil, they charge, is that he's man. His guilt, they charge, is that he lives. They call it a morality of mercy and a doctrine of love for man."
        >
        > Happy Canada Day everyone.
        >
        > Heinz
        >
      • Kevin Bywater
        Actually, Heinz, Rand characteristically distorts her opponents position and fails to admit the fatal weaknesses in her own worldview. Here s a link to an
        Message 3 of 24 , Jul 1, 2009
          Actually, Heinz, Rand characteristically distorts her opponents' position and fails to admit the fatal weaknesses in her own worldview. Here's a link to an essay written some years back, an essay presenting a preliminary critique of Rand's ethics.

          http://www.summit.org/pdf/resources/essays/Bywater-Ayn%20Rand.pdf

          Sincerely,
          Kevin

          --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Heinz Schmitz" <christian_skeptic@...> wrote:
          >
          > This has to be the best denunciation of Original Sin I have ever read:
        • Michael Hamblin
          ... Kevin is correct... Rand defines Original Sin in a way that makes it easy to refute, but not in a way that anyone actually holds to. IOW, Rand convincingly
          Message 4 of 24 , Jul 1, 2009
            On Wed, 1 Jul 2009, Kevin Bywater wrote:

            > Actually, Heinz, Rand characteristically distorts her opponents'
            > position and fails to admit the fatal weaknesses in her own worldview.
            > Here's a link to an essay written some years back, an essay presenting a
            > preliminary critique of Rand's ethics.

            Kevin is correct... Rand defines Original Sin in a way that makes it easy
            to refute, but not in a way that anyone actually holds to. IOW, Rand
            convincingly and with great rhetorical zeal refutes a straw man.

            Just for good measure I dug out one of my old papers on Original Sin, and
            none of the views I found then matched Rand. Rand's argument would seem
            very compelling if I had no knowledge of Christian theology... it might
            even convince me to be an Objectivist again.

            I was going to post a response but Kevin beat me to it... I was too busy
            playing EVE Online... sorry :) Space capitalism is a lot more fun than
            watching the United States being nationalized.

            ---
            Michael Hamblin michaelh@...
            6350 Keller Springs Rd. APT 1321 http://www.evangelicalresources.org/
            Dallas, TX 75248 Home Phone: 972-733-0737
          • Heinz Schmitz
            I am not talking of her complete objectivist worldview, I am talking of her one view about original sin, of which she is dead on. Heinz
            Message 5 of 24 , Jul 1, 2009
              I am not talking of her complete objectivist worldview, I am talking of her one view about original sin, of which she is dead on.
              Heinz

              --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Bywater" <kevinbywater@...> wrote:
              >
              > Actually, Heinz, Rand characteristically distorts her opponents' position and fails to admit the fatal weaknesses in her own worldview. Here's a link to an essay written some years back, an essay presenting a preliminary critique of Rand's ethics.
              >
              > http://www.summit.org/pdf/resources/essays/Bywater-Ayn%20Rand.pdf
              >
              > Sincerely,
              > Kevin
              >
              > --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Heinz Schmitz" <christian_skeptic@> wrote:
              > >
              > > This has to be the best denunciation of Original Sin I have ever read:
              >
            • Heinz Schmitz
              ... Let me rephrase what you are trying to say. Rand defines Original Sin in no way that any Christian would describe or declare that he holds to. For
              Message 6 of 24 , Jul 1, 2009
                --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, Michael Hamblin <michaelh@...> wrote:
                >
                > On Wed, 1 Jul 2009, Kevin Bywater wrote:
                >
                > > Actually, Heinz, Rand characteristically distorts her opponents'
                > > position and fails to admit the fatal weaknesses in her own worldview.
                > > Here's a link to an essay written some years back, an essay presenting a
                > > preliminary critique of Rand's ethics.
                >
                > Kevin is correct... Rand defines Original Sin in a way that makes it easy
                > to refute, but not in a way that anyone actually holds to.

                Let me rephrase what you are trying to say. Rand defines Original Sin in no way that any Christian would describe or declare that he holds to. For instance, I could say that Jehovah is a murderous, angry, vindictive and perhaps one of the most unpleasant beings ever written of, and I would be right, but no Christian or Jew would ever view him as such.
                I could say that punishment in hellfire is the most unjust and cruel creations in all of fiction, and I would be right, but you would never hold to that view and you would insist that I am wrong.

                Socialists always accused Rand of mischaracterising their worldview as well, but the reason her work has lasted for so long is that her characterization of them is what is truly revealed at the core of their philosophy. Original Sin, as well, is an anti-human doctrine, it is demeaning and ugly at its core. It robs people of their own self-worth while lining the coffers of those pious ghouls who benefit from denying you the honor of who you are. Good honest hearted people should be repulsed by it.
                Heinz
              • Heinz Schmitz
                ... Semantics, really. ... Reply: I could be wrong, but I don t think Christians believe God created Adam faulty, but common-sense tells you that the prototype
                Message 7 of 24 , Jul 1, 2009
                  --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "r.hero" <rdhero@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hello Heinz,
                  >
                  > Actually, the doctrine referred to here is called the Adamic Nature not Original Sin.
                  >

                  Semantics, really.

                  >>To me, this makes more sense than to believe that God created Adam faulty—with a fallen nature.

                  Reply: I could be wrong, but I don't think Christians believe God created Adam faulty, but common-sense tells you that the prototype is never as good as what follows:)

                  As for Satan, he is a gift to mankind. Satan got mankind to eat of the tree of knowledge. God sought to keep mankind ignorant. Satan sought to impart knowledge. Why would anyone want to live forever as an automaton?
                • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
                  Richard, You wrote: These are actually two ways of referring to
                  Message 8 of 24 , Jul 1, 2009
                    Richard,

                    You wrote:

                    << Actually, the doctrine referred to here is called the Adamic Nature not Original Sin. >>

                    These are actually two ways of referring to overlapping concepts. The term _original sin_ can refer literally to the first sin, committed by our first parents Adam and Eve, or it can refer to the effects of that first sin in terms of the corruption of our nature, including a predisposition to sin. The term _Adamic nature_ more or less means the same thing as _original sin_ in its second sense; Adamic nature is human nature corrupted by the Fall.

                    You described the traditional view of "Adamic nature" as follows:

                    << The Adamic nature of man is speaking about his fallen nature (Greek sarx). Romans 7 contains the struggle between our fallen nature and our conscience. Galatians 5 tells us that we should walk in the Spirit and we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. It is called the Adamic nature because we inherit it from Adan. All men are born with a fallen nature, a native depravity. We see that nature in small kids who demand their own way. Children are inclined to selfishness, and that selfish tendency is the old Adamiv nature... the flesh. >>

                    You then commented:

                    << This doctrine is widely accepted in Christendom but I, too, believe that it is a false doctrine. >>

                    Do you mean to deny that human beings after Adam's sin are any more prone or predisposed to sin than they would have been otherwise? Are you denying that the Fall affected human beings' moral and spiritual condition?

                    You wrote:

                    << Regarding the old nature of man, I have read Dakes notes on this subject and I must say they make more sense. In Romans 7 he does not change the plainly written word of God to mean a struggle with our fallen nature and our conscience, therefore, seems more likely to be the true meaning.

                    Dake writes on Roman 6:6 "The old man is none other than Satan himself, the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience (Eph. 2:2, 4:22-24, Col.3:9, Jn.8:44, 1Jn3:8 5:18). >>

                    Dake's claim that "the old man" is Satan has no basis in Paul's usage (Paul is the only biblical writer who uses this expression). There is no biblical precedent for the notion that Satan was crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6)! Notice that Paul speaks of "OUR old man," that is, the human being that we were before Christ changed us. "The old man" is synonymous with our old way of life, corrupted by its lusts (Eph. 4:22; Col. 3:9). Paul's teaching that believers are to put away or strip off the old man does not refer to Satan but to their old way of life. These are the only references in the Bible to "the old man." Dake's citation of Ephesians 2:2 is irrelevant because it does not use this expression or anything synonymous in the context. His citations from John are also irrelevant because he doesn't use the expression at all. "The old man" is not a technical theological term but a distinctively Pauline way of referring to our old life, our life apart from the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

                    You quoted Dake as follows:

                    << To call this our old nature is erroneous, for nothing happened to Adam other than his submission to Satan and a moral fall. Adam had the same body, soul, and spirit after the fall as before. The only difference was a change of masters. There is no such thing as an old nature other than man's own body, soul, and spirit dominated by satanic powers, as in the above passages." >>

                    While "the old man" is not a technical theological term for "our old nature," it is not correct to say that nothing changes except for a change of masters. Believers do not merely change allegiance from Satan to Christ; they are regenerated, indwelled by the Holy Spirit, and made alive spiritually. These are basic aspects of salvation. The body doesn't change (how I know it!), but the person does change in some way spiritually.

                    You wrote:

                    << So it would seem that the small kids mentioned above just need to change masters, not that they can't help themselves because they have a fallen nature. To me, this makes more sense than to believe that God created Adam faulty—with a fallen nature. >>

                    I'm afraid you have a faulty understanding of the doctrine of original sin or the Adamic nature. The orthodox doctrine does not claim that God created Adam faulty. Adam was created good and innocent, but Adam misused his capacity for choice and became fallen, sinful, and corrupt.

                    In Christ's service,
                    Rob Bowman
                  • Michael Hamblin
                    ... Yes, I understand you don t want to give any ground to my point :) ... Michael Hamblin michaelh@ductape.net 6350 Keller Springs Rd. APT
                    Message 9 of 24 , Jul 2, 2009
                      On Wed, 1 Jul 2009, Heinz Schmitz wrote:

                      > Let me rephrase what you are trying to say.

                      Yes, I understand you don't want to give any ground to my point :)

                      ---
                      Michael Hamblin michaelh@...
                      6350 Keller Springs Rd. APT 1321 http://www.evangelicalresources.org/
                      Dallas, TX 75248 Home Phone: 972-733-0737
                    • tcmadd2@aol.com
                      Heinz, Ah, my old friend Ayn Rand.? One has to admit, she was a great rhetoritician. She could really blast things she opposed.? It was one of her diatribes
                      Message 10 of 24 , Jul 2, 2009
                        Heinz,


                        Ah, my old friend Ayn Rand.  One has to admit, she was a great rhetoritician. She could really blast things she opposed.  It was one of her diatribes against collectivism that awakened me from my passive acceptance of the Fabian Socialism advocated by my professors during my undergraduate years back in the 1960's.

                        Although I agreed with her about collectivism, and still do, her ideas had some serious flaws, one of which underlies the diatribe you have presented to us. She taught that one could base morality on rational arguments. Her starting point was " self-interest". Outside of her disciples I doubt if anyone would attempt to make this argument today. How is one to know if altruism, hedonism, or the preservation of apple pie is the starting point or not?

                        Her argument against her straw man doctrine of original sin is actually based on her own self-invented morality. It boils down to something like "this is not fair so it is not true."  Ayn Rand is actually protesting the violation of "moral standards" that she invented herself.  Actually, in a materialistic universe there can be no true basis for morality. Everything can be explained as the evolution of hydrogen according to the laws of physics. This includes our consciousness and ideas on good and evil. No lawgiver, no laws.

                        What Rand does here is to show that she herself has the fallen nature the Bible describes. She has bought into the false promise that, "You shall be as gods, knowing good and evil". Her behaviour is an illustration of the effects of our fallen nature.

                        I believe that it was Gilbert K Chesterton who said, "The doctring of original sin is the most empirically demonstrable of all Biblical doctrines".

                        Tom Maddux


                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Heinz Schmitz <christian_skeptic@...>
                        To: biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Wed, Jul 1, 2009 5:51 am
                        Subject: [biblicalapologetics] Ayn Rand on Original Sin



                        This has to be the best denunciation of Original Sin I have ever read:

                        This is an excerpt from John Galt's speech in the novel Atlas Shrugged-

                        "Damnation is the start of your morality, destruction is its purpose, means and end. Your code begins by damning man as evil, then demands that he practice a good which it defines as impossible for him to practice. It demands, as his first proof of virtue, that he accepts his own depravity without proof. It demands that he start, not with a standard of value, but with a standard of evil, which is himself, by means of which he is then to define the good: the good is that which he is not.

                        It does not matter who then becomes the profiteer on his renounced glory and tormented soul, a mystic God with some incomprehensible design or any passer-by whose rotting sores are held as some explicable claim upon him - it does not matter, the good is not for him to understand, his duty is to crawl through years of penance, atoning for the guilt of his existence to any stray collector of unintelligible debts, his only concept of a value is a zero: the good is that which is non-man.

                        The name of this monstrous absurdity is Original Sin. A sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality. If man is evil by birth, he has no will, no power to change it; if he has no will, he can be neither good nor evil; a robot is amoral. To hold, as man's sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of morality. To hold man's nature as his sin is a mockery of nature. To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a mockery of justice. To hold him guilty in a matter where no innocence exists is a mockery of reason. To destroy morality, nature, justice and reason by means of a single concept is a feat of evil hardly to be matched. Yet that is the root of your code.

                        Do not hide behind the cowardly evasion that man is born with free will, but with a 'tendency' to evil. A free will saddled with a tendency is like a game with loaded dice. It forces man to struggle through the effort of playing, to bear responsibility and pay for the game, but the decision is weighted in favor of a tendency that he had no power to escape. If the tendency is of his choice, he cannot possess it at birth; if it is not of his choice, his will is not free.

                        What is the nature of the guilt that your teachers call his Original Sin? What are the evils man acquired when he fell from a state they consider perfection? Their myth declares that he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge - he acquired a mind and became a rational being. It was the knowledge of good and evil - he became a moral being. He was sentenced to earn his bread by his labor - he became a productive being. He was sentenced to experience desire - he acquired the capacity of sexual enjoyment. The evils for which they damn him are reason, morality, creativeness, joy - all the cardinal values of his existence. It is not his vices that their myth of man's fall is designed to explain and condemn, it is not his errors that they hold as his guilt, but the essence of his nature as man. Whatever he was - that robot in the Garden of Eden, who existed without mind, without values, without labor, without love - he was not man.

                        Man's fall, according to your teachers, was that he gained the virtues required to live. These virtues, by their standard, are his Sin. His evil, they charge, is that he's man. His guilt, they charge, is that he lives. They call it a morality of mercy and a doctrine of love for man."

                        Happy Canada Day everyone.

                        Heinz

                      • Heinz Schmitz
                        ... Reply: Perhaps it is because your point is groundless. You simply declared her view of Original Sin was wrong, but you did not articulate HOW she was
                        Message 11 of 24 , Jul 2, 2009
                          --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, Michael Hamblin <michaelh@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > On Wed, 1 Jul 2009, Heinz Schmitz wrote:
                          >
                          > > Let me rephrase what you are trying to say.
                          >
                          > Yes, I understand you don't want to give any ground to my point :)
                          >
                          > ---
                          > Michael Hamblin michaelh@...
                          > 6350 Keller Springs Rd. APT 1321 http://www.evangelicalresources.org/
                          > Dallas, TX 75248 Home Phone: 972-733-0737
                          >

                          Reply: Perhaps it is because your point is groundless. You simply declared her view of Original Sin was wrong, but you did not articulate HOW she was wrong. As a former Christian I understand her assessment of OS, it is not how I held it then, but her description is what it truly is. She is pointing at the Emperor and declaring he has no clothes, something we were blind to realize.

                          We can do this with the Trinity doctrine as well. The trinity doctrine is pure polytheism. This is of course not as most Christians view it, but the only reason it is monotheistic in their view is because they have declared it so, but once you remove the rhetoric and the apologetics, we are left with a pluralized god. When I point this fact out, the charge is made against me that I simply don't understand it, and my arguments are really attacking a strawman, when in the end, I understand it better than they. You may not hold Ayn Rand's view of OS, but her view is what it truly is at its core, her view is truer than yours.
                          Heinz
                        • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
                          Heinz, You wrote:
                          Message 12 of 24 , Jul 2, 2009
                            Heinz,

                            You wrote:

                            << The trinity doctrine is pure polytheism. This is of course not as most Christians view it, but the only reason it is monotheistic in their view is because they have declared it so, but once you remove the rhetoric and the apologetics, we are left with a pluralized god. When I point this fact out, the charge is made against me that I simply don't understand it, and my arguments are really attacking a strawman, when in the end, I understand it better than they. >>

                            Heinz, you went from being an anti-Trinitarian Jehovah's Witness to being an anti-Trinitarian skeptic. Your antipathy toward the doctrine of the Trinity is consistent with your religious background.

                            The doctrine of the Trinity is not at all polytheistic. Polytheism is the belief in separate deities that have differing fields of influence or domains over which they exert control.

                            "There are many gods because man experiences the world in its variety and manifoldness. Hence there is also specialization among the gods, of a nature that is either local and tribal-ethnic (gods of specific localities, cities, countries, families) or functional (gods of specific arts, gods of illness, cure, fertility, rains, hunting, fishing, etc.).... An important corollary of polytheism is that, though the major deities can be very powerful, no god can be omnipotent. Only a monotheistic god, being _monos_, can be all-powerful." "Polytheism," in _The Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. Mircea Eliade, 11:438.

                            Anyone who has even a modicum of understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity knows that it does not come close to fitting this description of polytheism.

                            In Christ's service,
                            Rob Bowman
                          • Heinz Schmitz
                            ... Reply: It is also consistent with freethought. Any number of ex-Christians and ex-ministers will attest to how unbelievably silly this teaching it, or ask
                            Message 13 of 24 , Jul 2, 2009
                              --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Robert M. Bowman, Jr." <faithhasitsreasons@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Heinz,

                              > Heinz, you went from being an anti-Trinitarian Jehovah's Witness to being an anti-Trinitarian skeptic. Your antipathy toward the doctrine of the Trinity is consistent with your religious background.
                              >

                              Reply: It is also consistent with freethought. Any number of ex-Christians and ex-ministers will attest to how unbelievably silly this teaching it, or ask a logician or mathematician.

                              > The doctrine of the Trinity is not at all polytheistic. Polytheism is the belief in separate deities that have differing fields of influence or domains over which they exert control.
                              >
                              > "There are many gods because man experiences the world in its variety and manifoldness. Hence there is also specialization among the gods, of a nature that is either local and tribal-ethnic (gods of specific localities, cities, countries, families) or functional (gods of specific arts, gods of illness, cure, fertility, rains, hunting, fishing, etc.).... An important corollary of polytheism is that, though the major deities can be very powerful, no god can be omnipotent. Only a monotheistic god, being _monos_, can be all-powerful." "Polytheism," in _The Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. Mircea Eliade, 11:438.
                              >
                              > Anyone who has even a modicum of understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity knows that it does not come close to fitting this description of polytheism.

                              Reply: This is exactly the point I was making earlier. The reason your trinitarian god is not polytheistic is because you have declared it so. You worship a Father that is not the Son and not the Holy Spirit, and you worship a Son that is not the Father nor the Holy spirit, and you worship a Holy Spirit that is neither the Father nor the Son, and this is clearly 3 gods that you worship. The only reason you get to call it monotheism is because you have declared it so, much the same as Muslims declaring they are the religion of peace. The only reason your gods are equally all-powerful and singular is because you have rewritten the rules of logic and arithmetic to facilitate your need for oneness, but none of that makes it so in the real world.

                              Heinz
                            • Heinz Schmitz
                              ... Reply: You should read John Stossel s writing on Greed is Good ... Reply: I don t think that is what she is saying at all. She saw serving God the same and
                              Message 14 of 24 , Jul 2, 2009
                                --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, tcmadd2@... wrote:
                                >

                                > Although I agreed with her about collectivism, and still do, her ideas had some serious flaws, one of which underlies the diatribe you have presented to us. She taught that one could base morality on rational arguments. Her?starting point?was " self-interest". Outside of her disciples I doubt if anyone would attempt to make this argument today.

                                Reply: You should read John Stossel's writing on Greed is Good

                                >
                                > Her argument against her straw man doctrine of original sin is actually based on her own self-invented morality. It boils down to something like "this is not fair so it is not true."?

                                Reply: I don't think that is what she is saying at all. She saw serving God the same and as bad as serving the State. Even if God existed as the State does, it would be necessary to defy him.

                                "For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors - between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it."

                                >>Ayn Rand is actually protesting the violation of "moral standards" that she invented herself.?

                                Reply: All "moral standards" are the inventions of men, some simply have the nerve to attribute theirs to the gods.

                                >>Actually, in a materialistic universe there can be no true basis for morality.

                                Reply: What would you say is a true basis for morality? And whatever you say of Rand's "fallen nature," I would rather have a world filled with Rands than one filled with Falwells.

                                > I believe that it was Gilbert K Chesterton who said, "The doctring of original sin is the most empirically demonstrable of all Biblical doctrines".
                                >

                                Reply: What a silly statement. That there are bad people is as much proof that Adam bit into an apple as it proof that Pandora opened a box. One does not automatically prove the other.

                                Heinz

                                "we should be skeptical of the traits the church expects man to blindly accept as good and virtuous." Rand
                              • tcmadd2@aol.com
                                Heinz, 1. Regarding Stossel, I have read one of his books and seen several of his tv programs.? He does good work but it has the same flaw Rand s does.? He
                                Message 15 of 24 , Jul 2, 2009
                                  Heinz,

                                  1. Regarding Stossel, I have read one of his books and seen several of his tv programs.  He does good work but it has the same flaw Rand's does.  He makes moral pronouncements on the basis of his personal opinion. If personal opinion is the source of all morality then all moral choices are equal. Albert Schweitzer and Adolf Hitler are moral equals. IMHO, this is the fatal flaw of Libertarianism.

                                  2. Rand's argument against OS, religion, collectivism or whatever is at root a moral argument. If serving God is "as bad as serving the state", then one should not do it because it is "bad".  Calling something bad is a moral  judgement, therefore her argument is a moral one. Presuming to pronounce moral standards for all men is playing God, which is what she was doing.

                                  3. Man is not born with a moral list. However, we are all born with a moral sense. Hence, morality is a universal human phenomena. We differ from one another in some details, but the area of agreement is far larger than the differences.

                                  4. Chesterton was not trying to prove the doctrine of OS.  He was pointing out that evil is undeniable and universally acknowledged.

                                  Tom M.

                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: Heinz Schmitz <christian_skeptic@...>
                                  To: biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Thu, Jul 2, 2009 1:01 pm
                                  Subject: [biblicalapologetics] Re: Ayn Rand on Original Sin



                                  --- In biblicalapologetics @yahoogroups. com, tcmadd2@... wrote:
                                  >

                                  > Although I agreed with her about collectivism, and still do, her ideas had some serious flaws, one of which underlies the diatribe you have presented to us. She taught that one could base morality on rational arguments. Her?starting point?was " self-interest" . Outside of her disciples I doubt if anyone would attempt to make this argument today.

                                  Reply: You should read John Stossel's writing on Greed is Good

                                  >
                                  > Her argument against her straw man doctrine of original sin is actually based on her own self-invented morality. It boils down to something like "this is not fair so it is not true."?

                                  Reply: I don't think that is what she is saying at all. She saw serving God the same and as bad as serving the State. Even if God existed as the State does, it would be necessary to defy him.

                                  "For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors - between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it."

                                  >>Ayn Rand is actually protesting the violation of "moral standards" that she invented herself.?

                                  Reply: All "moral standards" are the inventions of men, some simply have the nerve to attribute theirs to the gods.

                                  >>Actually, in a materialistic universe there can be no true basis for morality.

                                  Reply: What would you say is a true basis for morality? And whatever you say of Rand's "fallen nature," I would rather have a world filled with Rands than one filled with Falwells.

                                  > I believe that it was Gilbert K Chesterton who said, "The doctring of original sin is the most empirically demonstrable of all Biblical doctrines".
                                  >

                                  Reply: What a silly statement. That there are bad people is as much proof that Adam bit into an apple as it proof that Pandora opened a box. One does not automatically prove the other.

                                  Heinz

                                  "we should be skeptical of the traits the church expects man to blindly accept as good and virtuous." Rand

                                • Kevin Bywater
                                  ... Actually, Rand is not correct. Perhaps you could find some Christians so have said some things that somewhat resemble Rand s caricature. If that satisfies
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Jul 2, 2009
                                    --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Heinz Schmitz" <christian_skeptic@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > I am not talking of her complete objectivist worldview, I am talking of her one view about original sin, of which she is dead on.
                                    > Heinz
                                    >

                                    Actually, Rand is not correct. Perhaps you could find some Christians so have said some things that somewhat resemble Rand's caricature. If that satisfies you, then so be it. But I've not found her descriptions matching up with any Christian theologian I've ever read. If you know otherwise, I'm certainly open to the learning experience.

                                    I know you were not advocating for "objectivism." I just felt that given the constellation of ethics and virtue and responsibility and such, one should keep in mind the fundamental and fatal flaws of Randian philosophy, as well as how these flaws color her assessment of others.

                                    You mentioned Stossel in another message. I very much appreciate his work. I'm quite sympathetic with Libertarian leanings. Even so, "greed" is not univocally defined by economists (or others), and sometimes it is contrasted with "self interest." For instance, Jay Richards recently published a book on economics ("Money, Greed and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and not the Problem") that makes this point (among others that he makes as he contrasts his views with those of Rand and others).

                                    Cheers,
                                    Kevin
                                  • Heinz Schmitz
                                    ... Reply: Again, everyone here says she is wrong, but no one is willing to point out where she is wrong. I realize that Christians have woven an intricate
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Jul 2, 2009
                                      --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Bywater" <kevinbywater@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Heinz Schmitz" <christian_skeptic@> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > I am not talking of her complete objectivist worldview, I am talking of her one view about original sin, of which she is dead on.
                                      > > Heinz
                                      > >
                                      >
                                      > Actually, Rand is not correct. Perhaps you could find some Christians so have said some things that somewhat resemble Rand's caricature. If that satisfies you, then so be it.

                                      Reply: Again, everyone here says she is wrong, but no one is willing to point out where she is wrong. I realize that Christians have woven an intricate defense around OS, but once you strip it of all this, what you are left with is Rand's definition.


                                      > I know you were not advocating for "objectivism." I just felt that given the constellation of ethics and virtue and responsibility and such, one should keep in mind the fundamental and fatal flaws of Randian philosophy, as well as how these flaws color her assessment of others.
                                      >

                                      Reply: Everyone wants to state that she has flaws, but again, no one wants to articulate what those flaws are. On the other hand, I am not completely comfortable with objectivism myself, but it is an interesting, and often misunderstood philosophy. I have been watching interviews on youtube with Rand, she has a wonderful and beautiful mind, and she spends a lot of time correcting the misinterpretations of her philosophy by others. It seems cold and cruel on the surface, much like Libertarianism, but once you start digging you come to realize that your own self-interest benefits others.
                                      Heinz
                                    • Heinz Schmitz
                                      ... Reply: Personal opinion is not the moral philosophy of Libertarianism. Maybe your freedom to hold those opinions is one aspect of it, but it is not the
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Jul 2, 2009
                                        --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, tcmadd2@... wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Heinz,
                                        >
                                        > 1. Regarding Stossel, I have read one of his books and seen several of his tv programs.? He does good work but it has the same flaw Rand's does.? He makes moral pronouncements on the basis of his personal opinion. If personal opinion is the source of all morality then all moral choices are equal. Albert Schweitzer and Adolf Hitler are moral equals. IMHO, this is the fatal flaw of Libertarianism.
                                        >

                                        Reply: Personal opinion is not the moral philosophy of Libertarianism. Maybe your freedom to hold those opinions is one aspect of it, but it is not the whole of it.

                                        > 2. Rand's argument against OS, religion, collectivism or whatever is at root a moral argument. If serving God is "as bad as serving the state", then one should not do it because it is "bad".? Calling something bad is a moral??judgement,?therefore her argument is a moral one. Presuming to pronounce moral standards for all men is playing God, which is what she was doing.

                                        Reply: I suppose in a sense she was. Giving your life and mind over to the State and your Church is the reduction of man, I personally would rather see man step out on his own and face his problems on his own. I want strength of character, not meek sheep that religion and the State wants.

                                        >
                                        > 3. Man is not born with a moral list. However, we are all born with a moral sense. Hence, morality is a universal human phenomena. We differ from one another in some details, but the area of agreement is far larger than the differences.
                                        >

                                        Reply: Thank you. You are the first Christian that has admitted that morality is innate.

                                        > 4. Chesterton was not trying to prove the doctrine of OS.? He was pointing out that evil is undeniable and universally acknowledged.
                                        >

                                        Reply: He made the leap to Adamic sin though, and that is where he is wrong.
                                        Heinz
                                      • Kevin Bywater
                                        ... Actually, I did something you are attempting to do: I placed the burden on you to show that Rand s caricature of the Christian take on original sin is
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Jul 3, 2009
                                          > Reply: Again, everyone here says she is wrong, but no one is willing to point out where she is wrong. I realize that Christians have woven an intricate defense around OS, but once you strip it of all this, what you are left with is Rand's definition.

                                          Actually, I did something you are attempting to do: I placed the burden on you to show that Rand's caricature of the Christian take on original sin is accurate. It seems that you should bear this burden since you first stated that she is correct. I'll patiently wait. Appropriate authorities, references, and proper nuances would be helpful.

                                          > > I know you were not advocating for "objectivism." I just felt that given the constellation of ethics and virtue and responsibility and such, one should keep in mind the fundamental and fatal flaws of Randian philosophy, as well as how these flaws color her assessment of others.
                                          > >
                                          >
                                          > Reply: Everyone wants to state that she has flaws, but again, no one wants to articulate what those flaws are. On the other hand, I am not completely comfortable with objectivism myself, but it is an interesting, and often misunderstood philosophy. I have been watching interviews on youtube with Rand, she has a wonderful and beautiful mind, and she spends a lot of time correcting the misinterpretations of her philosophy by others. It seems cold and cruel on the surface, much like Libertarianism, but once you start digging you come to realize that your own self-interest benefits others.

                                          I agree that, in general, our self-interest benefits not just ourselves. Nevertheless, you state that no one wants to articulate what they see as Rand's flaws. In my original post, I linked to an essay I wrote some years back. In that essay, I point up what I deem to be considerable, even fatal, flaws in Randian philosophy. So, if you'd care to read that piece and interact with it, I'd be happy to discuss it.

                                          Cheers,
                                          Kevin
                                        • Heinz Schmitz
                                          ... I placed the burden on you to show that Rand s caricature of the Christian take on original sin is accurate. Reply: Who said anything about Rand s
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Jul 3, 2009
                                            --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Bywater" <kevinbywater@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            I placed the burden on you to show that Rand's caricature of the Christian take on original sin is accurate.

                                            Reply: Who said anything about Rand's "Christian take" on it?

                                            It seems that you should bear this burden since you first stated that she is correct. I'll patiently wait. Appropriate authorities, references, and proper nuances would be helpful.
                                            >

                                            Reply: I had to chuckle after reading this. For instance, my characterization of your god will be far different than your emotional picture of him. I don't need to produce authorities, references, or "nuances", for my view of your god, and of original sin is simply a dispassionate and scientific assessment of it.
                                            If you can however isolate something that Rand wrote about OS that is completely fictional then we can discuss that. I just reread what she wrote, and as a Christian for 4 decades I can see no error. Perhaps you can help me.


                                            > I agree that, in general, our self-interest benefits not just ourselves. Nevertheless, you state that no one wants to articulate what they see as Rand's flaws. In my original post, I linked to an essay I wrote some years back. In that essay, I point up what I deem to be considerable, even fatal, flaws in Randian philosophy. So, if you'd care to read that piece and interact with it, I'd be happy to discuss it.
                                            >
                                            > Cheers,
                                            > Kevin

                                            Reply: That was a 13 page essay. In the interest of time perhaps you can isolate as well a mistake of Rand's that you mentioned in that essay.

                                            Heinz
                                          • r.hero
                                            Hello Robert Original Sin refers to the first sin committed by Adam and Eve resulting in a cursed earth Gen.3:17. Note: The curse will be lifted at the coming
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Jul 4, 2009
                                              Hello Robert

                                              Original Sin refers to the first sin committed by Adam and Eve resulting in a cursed earth Gen.3:17. Note: The curse will be lifted at the coming again of Christ Rev.22:3.

                                              Adamic Nature is supposedly an inherited corrupt nature all are born with due to the fall.This is what Ayn Rand denounced, not Original Sin.

                                              Robert:
                                              Do you mean to deny that human beings after Adam's sin are any more prone or
                                              predisposed to sin than they would have been otherwise? Are you denying that the
                                              Fall affected human beings' moral and spiritual condition?


                                              Reply

                                              on Roman 6:6
                                              The old man is none other than Satan himself, the prince of the power of the
                                              air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience ( Eph.
                                              2:2,4:22-24,Col.3:9,Jn.8:44, 1Jn3:8 5:18). To call this our old nature is
                                              erroneous, for nothing happened to Adam other than his submission to Satan and a
                                              moral fall. Adam had the same body, soul, and spirit after the fall as before.
                                              The only difference was a change of masters. There is no such thing as an old
                                              nature other than man's own body, soul, and spirit dominated by satanic powers,
                                              as in the above passages."

                                              So if the only difference was a change in masters for Adam why would it be any different for all humans?


                                              Robert:
                                              There is no biblical
                                              precedent for the notion that Satan was crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6)! Notice
                                              that Paul speaks of "OUR old man," that is, the human being that we were before
                                              Christ changed us. "The old man" is synonymous with our old way of life,


                                              Reply
                                              Rom.6:

                                              6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

                                              It says our old self not our old man. Here Satan is refered to as sin and we being slaves to sin for who ever follows this master – Satan


















                                              --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Robert M. Bowman, Jr." <faithhasitsreasons@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Richard,
                                              >
                                              > You wrote:
                                              >
                                              > << Actually, the doctrine referred to here is called the Adamic Nature not Original Sin. >>
                                              >
                                              > These are actually two ways of referring to overlapping concepts. The term _original sin_ can refer literally to the first sin, committed by our first parents Adam and Eve, or it can refer to the effects of that first sin in terms of the corruption of our nature, including a predisposition to sin. The term _Adamic nature_ more or less means the same thing as _original sin_ in its second sense; Adamic nature is human nature corrupted by the Fall.
                                              >
                                              > You described the traditional view of "Adamic nature" as follows:
                                              >
                                              > << The Adamic nature of man is speaking about his fallen nature (Greek sarx). Romans 7 contains the struggle between our fallen nature and our conscience. Galatians 5 tells us that we should walk in the Spirit and we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. It is called the Adamic nature because we inherit it from Adan. All men are born with a fallen nature, a native depravity. We see that nature in small kids who demand their own way. Children are inclined to selfishness, and that selfish tendency is the old Adamiv nature... the flesh. >>
                                              >
                                              > You then commented:
                                              >
                                              > << This doctrine is widely accepted in Christendom but I, too, believe that it is a false doctrine. >>
                                              >
                                              > Do you mean to deny that human beings after Adam's sin are any more prone or predisposed to sin than they would have been otherwise? Are you denying that the Fall affected human beings' moral and spiritual condition?
                                              >
                                              > You wrote:
                                              >
                                              > << Regarding the old nature of man, I have read Dakes notes on this subject and I must say they make more sense. In Romans 7 he does not change the plainly written word of God to mean a struggle with our fallen nature and our conscience, therefore, seems more likely to be the true meaning.
                                              >
                                              > Dake writes on Roman 6:6 "The old man is none other than Satan himself, the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience (Eph. 2:2, 4:22-24, Col.3:9, Jn.8:44, 1Jn3:8 5:18). >>
                                              >
                                              > Dake's claim that "the old man" is Satan has no basis in Paul's usage (Paul is the only biblical writer who uses this expression). There is no biblical precedent for the notion that Satan was crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6)! Notice that Paul speaks of "OUR old man," that is, the human being that we were before Christ changed us. "The old man" is synonymous with our old way of life, corrupted by its lusts (Eph. 4:22; Col. 3:9). Paul's teaching that believers are to put away or strip off the old man does not refer to Satan but to their old way of life. These are the only references in the Bible to "the old man." Dake's citation of Ephesians 2:2 is irrelevant because it does not use this expression or anything synonymous in the context. His citations from John are also irrelevant because he doesn't use the expression at all. "The old man" is not a technical theological term but a distinctively Pauline way of referring to our old life, our life apart from the grace of God in Jesus Christ.
                                              >
                                              > You quoted Dake as follows:
                                              >
                                              > << To call this our old nature is erroneous, for nothing happened to Adam other than his submission to Satan and a moral fall. Adam had the same body, soul, and spirit after the fall as before. The only difference was a change of masters. There is no such thing as an old nature other than man's own body, soul, and spirit dominated by satanic powers, as in the above passages." >>
                                              >
                                              > While "the old man" is not a technical theological term for "our old nature," it is not correct to say that nothing changes except for a change of masters. Believers do not merely change allegiance from Satan to Christ; they are regenerated, indwelled by the Holy Spirit, and made alive spiritually. These are basic aspects of salvation. The body doesn't change (how I know it!), but the person does change in some way spiritually.
                                              >
                                              > You wrote:
                                              >
                                              > << So it would seem that the small kids mentioned above just need to change masters, not that they can't help themselves because they have a fallen nature. To me, this makes more sense than to believe that God created Adam faulty—with a fallen nature. >>
                                              >
                                              > I'm afraid you have a faulty understanding of the doctrine of original sin or the Adamic nature. The orthodox doctrine does not claim that God created Adam faulty. Adam was created good and innocent, but Adam misused his capacity for choice and became fallen, sinful, and corrupt.
                                              >
                                              > In Christ's service,
                                              > Rob Bowman
                                              >
                                            • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
                                              Richard, Regarding Romans 6:6, you wrote:
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Jul 4, 2009
                                                Richard,

                                                Regarding Romans 6:6, you wrote:

                                                << It says our old self not our old man. Here Satan is refered to as sin and we being slaves to sin for who ever follows this master – Satan >>

                                                The words translated "old self" in Romans 6:6 in some versions (ESV, NASB, NIV) are translated "old man" in other versions (KJV, NKJV). In this particular instance, the KJV/NKJV rendering is more literal. The Greek word here is _anthropos_, the standard Greek word for "man" (or "human," "human being," "mankind"). Satan, of course, is not human.

                                                In Christ's service,
                                                Rob Bowman
                                              • Kevin Bywater
                                                ... You misunderstand. ... Interesting assertion. ... I ll leave the burden in your hands. Appropriate documentation would help. ... I ve done the work. Read
                                                Message 23 of 24 , Jul 4, 2009
                                                  --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Heinz Schmitz" <christian_skeptic@...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Bywater" <kevinbywater@> wrote:
                                                  > >
                                                  > I placed the burden on you to show that Rand's caricature of the Christian take on original sin is accurate.
                                                  >
                                                  > Reply: Who said anything about Rand's "Christian take" on it?

                                                  You misunderstand.

                                                  > It seems that you should bear this burden since you first stated that she is correct. I'll patiently wait. Appropriate authorities, references, and proper nuances would be helpful.
                                                  > >
                                                  >
                                                  > Reply: I had to chuckle after reading this. For instance, my characterization of your god will be far different than your emotional picture of him. I don't need to produce authorities, references, or "nuances", for my view of your god, and of original sin is simply a dispassionate and scientific assessment of it.

                                                  Interesting assertion.

                                                  > If you can however isolate something that Rand wrote about OS that is completely fictional then we can discuss that. I just reread what she wrote, and as a Christian for 4 decades I can see no error. Perhaps you can help me.

                                                  I'll leave the burden in your hands. Appropriate documentation would help.

                                                  > > I agree that, in general, our self-interest benefits not just ourselves. Nevertheless, you state that no one wants to articulate what they see as Rand's flaws. In my original post, I linked to an essay I wrote some years back. In that essay, I point up what I deem to be considerable, even fatal, flaws in Randian philosophy. So, if you'd care to read that piece and interact with it, I'd be happy to discuss it.
                                                  > >
                                                  > Reply: That was a 13 page essay. In the interest of time perhaps you can isolate as well a mistake of Rand's that you mentioned in that essay.

                                                  I've done the work. Read it or not, I leave it to you.

                                                  Cheers,
                                                  Kevin
                                                • Heinz Schmitz
                                                  ... Reply: Not really. You did say Christian take. I am not interested in a Christian Take on anything Bible related, and I suspect neither was Rand. A
                                                  Message 24 of 24 , Jul 4, 2009
                                                    --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Bywater" <kevinbywater@...> wrote:
                                                    >

                                                    > > >
                                                    > > I placed the burden on you to show that Rand's caricature of the Christian take on original sin is accurate.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Reply: Who said anything about Rand's "Christian take" on it?
                                                    >
                                                    > You misunderstand.

                                                    Reply: Not really. You did say "Christian take." I am not interested in a Christian Take on anything Bible related, and I suspect neither was Rand. A "Christian Take" on matters related to anything in the Bible is a take that has been sanitized. I still read the Bible, and it is much more fascinating to be able to read it without a "Christian take" on it.

                                                    >
                                                    > > If you can however isolate something that Rand wrote about OS that is completely fictional then we can discuss that. I just reread what she wrote, and as a Christian for 4 decades I can see no error. Perhaps you can help me.
                                                    >
                                                    > I'll leave the burden in your hands. Appropriate documentation would help.

                                                    Reply: No need for documentation, it is an explanation of it without a "Christian take"...a purer observation.

                                                    >
                                                    > > > I agree that, in general, our self-interest benefits not just ourselves. Nevertheless, you state that no one wants to articulate what they see as Rand's flaws. In my original post, I linked to an essay I wrote some years back. In that essay, I point up what I deem to be considerable, even fatal, flaws in Randian philosophy. So, if you'd care to read that piece and interact with it, I'd be happy to discuss it.
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > Reply: That was a 13 page essay. In the interest of time perhaps you can isolate as well a mistake of Rand's that you mentioned in that essay.
                                                    >
                                                    > I've done the work. Read it or not, I leave it to you.
                                                    >

                                                    Reply: I know you feel your work is very important, but I feel my time is more so. Perhaps that is just "Rational Self-interest" :) I just read a tiny blurb from Nathaniel Branden on his break from Rand and I completely understand. I agree with him that Objectivism CAN be "a moralism that subtly encourages repression, self-alienation, and guilt." I have more to say on this, but perhaps another time. I don't know if you're saying the same thing - and perhaps, given more time, I will read your work. I do appreciate your engaging with me.
                                                    Have a happy Fourth.

                                                    Heinz
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