Reposted from my old blog
Objectivism holds that reality exists independent of consciousness; that individual persons are in direct contact with this reality through sensory perception; that human beings can gain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive and deductive logic; that the proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or rational self-interest; that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights, embodied in pure laissez faire capitalism; and that the role of art in human life is to transform man's widest metaphysical ideas, by selective reproduction of reality, into a physical form—a work of art—that he can comprehend and to which he can respond emotionally.
Adherents of the Christian faith, known as Christians, believe that Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Bible (the part of scripture common to Christianity and Judaism). The foundation of Christian theology is expressed in the early Christian ecumenical creeds, which contain claims predominantly accepted by followers of the Christian faith. These professions state that Jesus suffered, died from crucifixion, was buried, and was resurrected from the dead to open heaven to those who believe in him and trust him for the remission of their sins (salvation). They further maintain that Jesus bodily ascended into heaven where he rules and reigns with God the Father. Most denominations teach that Jesus will return to judge all humans, living and dead, and grant eternal life to his followers. He is considered the model of a virtuous life, and both the revealer and physical incarnation of God. Christians call the message of Jesus Christ the Gospel ("good news") and hence refer to the earliest written accounts of his ministry as gospels.
Those who know me, but don't know me well, never really know what to think of me. I embrace Christianity, yet I also embrace a philosophy which would seem contradictory to that religion. And on top of that, I have no problems with a substance which likely groups in both the religion and the philosophy would say isn't a good thing (Though only those in the religious category would outright try to forbid me from tryingg it.) On a side note, I have never had any actual contact with pot entering my system, nor am I likely to until such time as it becomes legal. I'm not against such things, the opportunity has just never come up where I've been able to try it. Something else always seems to come up at the last minute the few times where I've made an attempt.
So how can I believe in a philosophy which extols the the rational mind, yet at the same time, embrace a religion which that philosophy is against because it embraces faith?
“Faith” designates blind acceptance of a certain ideational content, acceptance induced by feeling in the absence of evidence or proof.
-The Ominous ParallelsLeonard Peikoff, The Ominous Parallels, 54.
While the philosophy may take issue with the religion as a whole, Christianity only takes issue with the philosophy in the areas that they don't agree. However, I do not believe that faith and the rational mind are mutually exclusive.
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
- Galileo Galilei
Rather than go into a rather long and complicated list of why I believe as I do, I will simply state that the largest reason is from my interest in studying the beginnings of the earth, both from reviewing evolution and creation. After looking at the evidence for creation, and the evidence for the Big Bang, I have concluded that God created everything. And since I have concluded this, I therefore believe that everything belongs to God. If everything belongs to God, then he must have some rules, and it'd be a good idea to figure out what those rules are.
Yes, these realizations came later in life. However I had questions, which to me, evolution couldn't answer adequately. The two largest questions I have revolve around the the Laws of Thermodynamics.
Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only change forms.
If in the beginning there was basically nothing, then where did the energy come from to cause this big band? Where did the material come from? If it's from the Universe constantly expanding and contracting, what caused this to happen in the first place?
Thus, if entropy is associated with disorder and if the entropy of the universe is headed towards maximal entropy, then many are often puzzled as to the nature of the "ordering" process and operation of evolution in relation to Clausius' most-famous version of the second law, which states that the universe is headed towards maximal “disorder”. In the recent 2003 book SYNC – the Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order by Steven Strogatz, for example, we find “Scientists have often been baffled by the existence of spontaneous order in the universe. The laws of thermodynamics seem to dictate the opposite, that nature should inexorably degenerate toward a state of greater disorder, greater entropy. Yet all around us we see magnificent structures—galaxies, cells, ecosystems, human beings—that have all somehow managed to assemble themselves.”
Or Lamen's Terms, order tends to disorder, which the above quote also shows my question: If order tends to disorder, how is it that everything on this earth, this galaxy, and this Universe have such an ordered existence?
Now this is where true evolutionist and I agree: God can not have created the Universe if it's as old as evolutionists claim. A god which used evolution would be a god which was imperfect and cruel. Further, if you add up the dates within the Bible you come to the conclusion that the earth is only a few thousand years old, not trillions. The God portrayed the Bible is practical (if at times harsh) and if you read the creation story, God created plants before the insects. Now, insects are vital in the reproduction of plants, and so having these plants around for millions of years before insects were around to help them reproduce really doesn't make much sense. Where as if it's just a day, no trouble there.
Ultimately though, everything will boil down to faith. You either believe that in The Beginning God, or in the beginning nothing. I came to the conclusion that in The Beginning God made more sense.
As to Marijuana, to put it simply, I see it as no different from tobacco or alcohol. Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding, and yes, they used wine to make water drinkable back then, people who use this argument overlook the fact that it was done at a wedding, which means the wine would have been celebratory, and therefore a bit more potent than regular drinking wine, indeed, one of the guests lauded the wine as being the best at that wedding. Marijuana does much the same thing as alcohol, and as I have no problem drinking alcohol, I have no problem with people choosing to smoke marijuana.