Sorry, MCT, but that's all just bullshit rationalization. We have a social contract. Taxation is how we pay for it. In a democracy, we get to help decide how to allocate the taxes. You can call it theft until you're blue in the face, but grownups know it isn't theft. And successful people in any economy very much depend on actual, real people: parents, teachers, customers, employees, etc, etc, etc. Nobody at all gets anywhere in life without lots of help from lots of people, not anywhere close to all of it compensated financially. It is seriously delusional to suggest otherwise. The self-made man is a pure myth.
And libertarianism is precisely feudalism. For all the tripe I've heard spewed in defense of libertarian ideals, I've never once heard anybody explain how it would actually work in practice without a powerful government there to enforce contracts, keep the peace, protect individuals and small groups from predation by larger or more powerful individuals or groups, and, hey! That sounds kinda like big government!
And again, if libertarianism is such a great idea, so workable in practice, why has it never been observed in the wild? Surely it can't be because of all of us powerless welfare recipient leeches, unworthy to lick the boots of the deserving. No, it has never been observed because it always turns into feudalism. It really is sort of amazing that libertarians refuse to admit that any such system in practice is no more than a collection of fiefdoms with powerful people at the top of each one. All the little guys would have to swear allegiance to one of the big boys or be gobbled up. Government would simply do the bidding of the oligarchs. Come to think of it, that's kinda what we have now. You're just irritable because we actually have instituted your glorious dystopia and you don't like it, because it doesn't work the way you wanted, or because you don't happen to be one of the powerful. I guess you don't deserve it.
In any event, this has just about zero to do with the thread topic. Ayn Rand had no rational link from atheism to anarcho-capitalism, and neither do we.
Jason, Oh! Yes! Clearly, concretely, accurately stated! Thank you for having the words, understanding and compassion to see the big picture.
God Michael! That looks like a real hammering..... did you have a point to make? :)
I read it.
I don't think there is anything wrong with certainty - I can always be wrong.... but in the meanwhile - I'm certainly right..... :)
I think there are six fundamental errors of religious thinking based on attitudes, beliefs, customs, traditions and values. Obviously I write from a white, female, USA bias:
A belief that homo sapiens are the most significant entity of the universe that fosters interpreting or regarding the world in terms of human experiences.
A belief that gender is a primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that gender differences produce an inherent superiority of male gender over female and fosters discrimination against women and stereotypes of social roles based on gender.
A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race that fosters racial prejudice or discrimination.
A belief that a person or philosophy has the power to rule and control a country, region, people, individual, resources, etc., and claims the right to have dominion, power and control over all that swims, crawls, and flies. Furthermore, dominionists do strategic-level spiritual warfare to tear down "demonic strongholds" established by Satan and his demons, locally and globally.
A belief that a god or a philosophy is unusual or uncommon or exceptional and results in inherent superiority over others producing a sense of right to have dominion over others or things.
A belief that a specific and particular god is the central interest and ultimate concern of humans which fosters values that impact their thoughts and actions, justifying dominionism.
Surely the onus of proof is on those who do believe in something. If I claim to have seen fairies in the bottom of my garden, I cannot expect anyone to believe me unless I produce some proof - undoctored photographs, videos, interviews, third party observers, etc. I see no evidence of any metaphysical being so I don't believe in one. There is no statistical range necessary - until some concrete evidence is produced.
I have never seen proof that is conclusive that there is a god.
I am 100% sure there is no god. Simple.
Nothing about religion makes any sense whatsoever. I am ashamed of the human race for still believing in feel good stories to explain certain happenings when science has done that and people refuse to acknowledge it.
"An Atheist loves himself and his fellowman instead of a god. An Atheist knows that heaven is something for which we should work now -- here on earth -- for all men together to enjoy".
-- Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Madalyn Murray O'Hair paid a heavy price for her thoughts and behaviors, didn't she Sandi. We have it easy, compared to her pioneering work.
What if god was a manager of a computer lab running a simulated universe that we exist in??