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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ayn Rand on "Free Will" and Justice

"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" (Ayn Rand, For the New Intellectual, 1961, pp. 136-37).




  2. I guess Ken's posts have run out now. I'm very sad.

  3. Like you Lynn I am sad and will miss his daily blog. Best wishes to Ken's family.

  4. So, what other blogs to read now? Any suggestions?

  5. Part of me wishes this blog would be taken down. I love Ken's writing and the info here, but to me, it's a very sad reminder that Ken is no longer with us and will no longer be making new posts. Realizing this stings deeply and it hurts.

    John, thanks for your kind posts. You are a breath of fresh air and a welcome contrast to the calvinist Christians who have mocked Ken and condemned him to hell.

    I would say John Loftus' blog, is a good one to read. But I will warn you in advance that the tone is significantly more antagonistic there than on this blog. Another good blog is this one:

    Also, do you have itunes? If so, go onto it and in the search engine, type in "The Bible geek". This is Robert M. Price's podcast. This is one of my favorites.

    A while back here you expressed that you were having doubts. Regardless of where you are now, best wishes to you. As I said earlier, many Christians have claimed their doubts have ultimately made their faith stronger, but as Ken said to you in that same thread, "Don't be afraid of where the truth may lead."

  6. I wish things wouldn't just disappear from the web like they often do, anymore than I would want books to disappear from my shelves when the author passes. I hope this stays up indefinitely. There should be some kind of superblog site to which discontinued blogs could be transferred. There's, but it doesn't function nearly as well as an active site. You can't do searches in it.

    Maybe we should rip the site for later.

    RIP, Ken, wherever you are (and I hope you indeed are somewhere). I didn't actively follow your blog before, but I'm going to try and read it all. There's lots of good stuff here.

    Mike, can you point me to the post you're talking about?

  7. ismellarat, the post I'm talking about is from october 6th, 2010. It's in the comments section.

  8. I'll miss Ken very much. He was the very first skeptic I met online and he became one of my biggest encouragers. We met at the 2009 Society of Biblical Literature and made plans for upcoming events that will never transpire. We emailed each other almost daily it seemed, for months. I will miss him greatly.

    His death has shaken me to the core. At the age of 56 I now wonder why I spend so much time online, when there is a life to be lived in the world.

    May Ken's name be remembered for decades and longer among the skeptical community. If I have anything to do about it, they will.

  9. @John Sfifer - CommonSenseAtheism is good (particularly the podcasts), as James McGrath's "Exploring our Matrix".

  10. A good website to check into is the Cobourgatheist. It is Canadian and has only recently allowed for comments, so there is not much discussion so far. There are some excellent posts and articles.

    Goodbye Ken's blog. You will be missed.

  11. I hope this blog stays up for a long time. Not only do I want to read through all of Ken's entries again, I want to be able to point others to this blog so they may also benefit from Ken's work here.


    richard dawkins, we're gonna cut off your head...


  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Goodbye . . . Farewell

    Kenny R. Pulliam
    1/14/1960 - 10/29/2010

    As most of you know by now my husband Ken passed away suddenly from a heart attack on October 29th. The children and I along with his mother mourn our great loss.

    Ken's blogs autoposted with the last one posting on 11/4. I have archived his blog in it's entirety since I don't know how long it will stay online. I'm aware he was writing a book he'd hoped to complete by the end of the year. I'll try to locate those files.

    Many thanks to all those who sent such kind condolences during this difficult time. We miss him so much.

    Warm regards,

    November 14, 2010 3:34 PM

  15. Ken will be missed greatly by me Cheryl as I said. I wish you well.

  16. I hope this blog is not taken down. I still refer to it.

  17. Cheryl,
    Condolences to you and your children. It was a pleasure to have discussions with Ken. I had not come to this site for over a year and was saddened to hear of his passing. I wish you well.

  18. Living Bible [LB], Acts 2:17, "In the Last Days I will pour out my Holy Spirit [HS] upon all mankind". If true, it is very good news for the unbelievers.
    But 9:31 contradicts Acts 2:17. 9:31, "The believers learned how to walk in fear of the Lord and in comfort of the HS".

    So, believers already [ere the end-time] possess the HS; thus, also god and jesus.

    LB, Jn 16!3, "When the HS, which is truth, comes, he shall guide you in all truth". This verse differs from the one in Acts 2:17; the former does not say when the HS will come.

    But it does contradicts LB, 1 Jn 2:27, "But you have received the HS, and he lives within you, in you hearts [why not also in the brain?], so that ypu don't need anyone to teach you what' is right.
    So, why have priests?????

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