OINO Hate Verses Reality
Those who claim to be admirers of Ayn Rand and identify themselves with the name she gave her philosophy, Objectivism, usually have little idea what that philosophy is really about—I call them OINOs (Objectivists in Name Only).
I've called our times, "The Age of Gullibility." One cause of today's credulity is the total inability of people to identify principles, much less think in terms of them. Relationships and interdependencies are concepts impossible for most to grasp and the result is they hold all their ideas, such as they are, as disconnected, nonessential, concretes.
"It is ... concrete-bound superficiality—or inability to grasp principles, to distinguish the essential from the non-essential—that blinds people ...."
[Ayn Rand, Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal, "13. Let Us Alone!"]
If any people ought not to be so blinded, it ought to be those who grasp at least this much of Rand's philosophy, people who know how to reason in terms of principles, should be able to distinguish the essential from the non-essential. Such people could not be easily convinced to simply accept baseless assertions, but OINO's do not reason in terms of principles, cannot distinguish between essential and non-essentials, and have swallowed whole one of the great frauds of our age, entirely out of irrational fear and loathing.
Not Quite Anti-Semitism
Unlike Ayn Rand, who wrote in a February 4, 1963 letter to US Congressman Bruce Alger, "I am an intransigent atheist, though not a militant one. This means that I am not fighting against religion—I am fighting for reason," OINO's consider all religions their enemy, an enemy with which they are in a fight to the death. The enemy is almost always referred to as Christianity, but it might as well be Judaism, because the essential aspects of religion which the OINO's hate is the same in both religions. They seldom mention Judaism, however, for what should be obvious—even they are not willing to expose their irrational hatred for what it is and would be obvious anti-Semitism if directed against Jews.
OINO's lose no opportunity to spew their anti-religion hate. Their latest opportunity is their criticism of the Louisiana Science Education Act. There are huge problems with this legislation, but the OINOs can be counted on to entirely miss the essential issues.
"This law will allow teachers to use 'supplemental materials' to promote the 'open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.'
"That might sound pretty good, given the deplorable state of science education in the public schools, but it's not. The purpose of this bill is to allow schools to teach Creationism in the science classrooms, a blatant violation of the separation of church and state."
If you think for one moment it is, "a blatant violation of the separation of church and state," that is of concern to this OINO author, you are mistaken. I am an atheist and have no use for creationism in any of its guises, such as intelligent design, but there could not be a more blatant violation of individual liberty and freedom of choice (which includes what one believes) than to force children to be taught by government agents what the parents do not want them taught, and who are also be forced to pay for that brainwashing.
This is the kind of half-witted reasoning that comes from neglecting principles. To argue about the right way do a wrong thing is what comes from only seeing the nonessential part of an issue to the neglect of the essential. The real violation of rights here is the forced "education" of children in government schools. The issue is not the kind of laws a state passes determining how children are to be educated, the issue is that no state has any business at all meddling in the education of anyone's children. By emphasizing the nonessential issue of, "what is being taught," the true violation principle, which is government schools, is obfuscated.
From here it degenerates:
"There is no credible scientific debate against evolution."
"Credible scientific," means, "accepted by the government funded academic community." Notice the word, "debate," a favorite of those who are trying to put something over that has no true scientific basis, such as global warming, a subject apparently this OINO author thinks, "might sound pretty good," and apparently has no objection to that lie being taught in schools. Science is not done by means of consensus and debate. But there is plenty of sound questioning of evolution, which happens not to be science at all.
Then there is this breathtakingly ignorant statement:
"It [evolution] is the unifying theory in all biology, and has been proven over and over again." [Emphasis mine.]
There is not a single aspect of legitimate biology that depends in any way on anything that comes out of the evolution fraud. Undoubtedly, the progress of legitimate biological sciences would be greatly accelerated by purging it everywhere of the evolutionary nonsense that has been thrust into it. There is not a single collectivist idea or anti-rational agenda today that is not being pushed by means evolutionary doctrine.
Our OINO writer further complains:
"The author [a Christian] states: 'But a funny thing about the truth is that no one can control it because sooner or later it reveals itself.' This statement is a direct repudiation of our essence as humans: that we are beings who must discover the truths of reality by a process of reason in order to survive."
This is a wonderful example of what happens to one's ability to reason when principles are dropped in favor of pursuing a pet view. It is a very clear statement of what is wrong with the OINO version of Objectivism. But I'll get back to this after one more quote.
"Learning about evolution is a wondrous and fascinating experience. And it's a crime that evangelicals are basically telling the next generation: 'learning how to reason is irrelevant.'"
This comes at the very end of this screed. Evolution was not taught when I went to school, nor when my children went to school. Yet I am sure it is demonstrable enough that the children of those generations had far greater reasoning skills in their lives than any of the graduates of the schools that have since been teaching evolution.
No doubt the author of this article was taught evolution in school, but her ability to reason is not as good as the "Christian's" who's statement, "But a funny thing about the truth is that no one can control it because sooner or later it reveals itself," is exactly what Rand meant when she said "The concept of objectivity contains the reason why the question "Who decides what is right or wrong?" is wrong. Nobody "decides." Nature does not decide—it merely is; man does not decide, in issues of knowledge, he merely observes that which is."
[The Objectivist Newsletter: Vol. 4 No. 2, February, 1965, "Intellectual Ammunition Department"]
This is exactly what the criticized Christian meant by, "no one can control" or, "decide" the truth. Why did this OINO, with her superior powers of reason (because she was taught evolution apparently) not understand this? Because, as she explains, she believes, "we are beings who must discover the truths of reality by a process of reason." Reason is our only means of identifying the truth of reality, but it is only half of our means of discovering the truth. Reason alone does not discover the truths of reality; that is the fallacy of every rationalist from Plato to Kant, which Rand repudiated. It is reasoning from the evidence (of reality itself) that is the human means of understanding the truth.
Reason alone, without bothering to examine the evidence, is the means of every agenda driven movement in history. It is the means by which the Nazis convinced an entire nation the Jews were the most dangerous thing in their society and culture. It is the same method that is being used by OINOs, and many others, to convince this nation, Christians are the most dangerous thing to our society and culture. It is totally irrational, however. Nothing makes it more clear than this absurd statement, "evangelicals are basically telling the next generation: 'learning how to reason is irrelevant.'"
This is nothing but a hateful lie, and has no other purpose than to foment hate. I would like to think these OINOs were truly totally ignorant of what Christians believe and teach. I know they have no idea what the Christian Bible says (which, if they did, would make such an ignorant statement impossible), but surely they must know that most of the scientists in history, at least until the twentieth century, were, at least nominally, Christians. Did all their science come without reason?. Do these people understand that virtually every signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America was a Christian? Was the entire basis of this country produced by people who repudiated reason?
A Very Sick Canary
While I have defended Christianity in the past, I have never defended their specific beliefs or doctrines. I have written arguments against some of their specific teachings and have more extensively written against superstition in all its forms. In general, however, attempting to refute the teachings of every mistaken religion and philosophy in the world is futile, and that is the reason Rand was "not fighting against religion," but, "fighting for reason."
I do not object at all to anyone who chooses to refute the errors of any religion or philosophy, and as strongly is they like. There is a difference, however, in refuting error and promoting fear and hatred.
When a society has degenerated to an irreversible state of decline, there are certain signs of that society's corruption. In Germany, the social and cultural decline that led to the Nazis takeover was accompanied by the growth and ever more blatant public display of anti-Semitism. The Jews were blamed for all the problems of the state and accused of attempting to take over both the economy and the government. Nobody bothered to examine what the Jews really wanted and intended, which was mostly, just to be left alone—that is, to be free. We know what happened to the Jews.
Because irrational racism has so often been associated with the social and moral decline of cultures, and because the Jews have so often been the subjects of that racism, they are sometime referred to as the "canary in the mine" of society. The state of a society's decline can be roughly estimated by the degree of racism a society tolerates.
In almost perfect pace with the rapid decline in this country's social and cultural values and character since the 60's, there has been a growing anti-Christianism that is beginning to look very much like pre-World War II European anti-Semitism. Rand warned vehemently against that kind of "racism" and described the causes of it, and I relied heavily on that explanation in my own seven part series on "Racism and Anti-Semitism. [There is growing anti-Semitism here too.]"
That this kind of "racism" could now be embraced and fostered by those who claim to be devotees of Rand's Objectivism, which of all philosophies should make racism impossible to those who understand it, is an indication of just how far America's society has declined. Indeed, the canaries in our mine are very very sick.