Category Archives: Meta-ethics

Objectivism is a religion!

Atheism is not a religion. The term ‘religion’ can properly be applied only to belief systems which include a belief in a god or gods. The term ‘religion’ can properly be applied only to belief systems which include a belief in the supernatural.

Objectivism is explicitly atheistic … but wait! Implicitly, Objectivists believe in a supernatural realm! It’s a cornerstone of the Objectivist philosophy! Surprise, surprise! Objectivism is not, after all, a naturalistic worldview.

Rand wrote an essay called The Metaphysical Versus the Man-Made. In it, she says

Any natural phenomenon, i.e., any event which occurs without human participation, is the metaphysically given, and could not have occurred differently or failed to occur; any phenomenon involving human action is the man-made, and could have been different.

In other words, phenomena involving human action are not natural phenomena. They’re supernatural phenomena! Why? Because Man is a supernatural being! Why is Man a supernatural being? Because He has a supernatural power! And what is Man’s supernatural power? It is the ability to exercise something called libertarian free will.

Unfortunately, Objectivists are at a complete loss to explain how this works, to explain how it is even possible, or to explain how the notion of free will even makes sense according to the atheistic, materialistic worldview to which they profess to subscribe. Nonetheless, Objectivists are adamant that Man possesses free will.

Libertarian free will is a supernatural capacity. One who exercises it is a supernatural being.

Objectivism is a religion, but Objectivists worship Man, not God.

[Cross-posted to SOLO.]

Lies, damned lies, and ‘religion’

To lie is to bear false witness. It is to make an untruthful statement intended to deceive.

Jesus says, “Do not bear false witness.” (KJV) Lying is wrong. But why? Jesus explains,

Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! (NIV)

Centuries later, the philosopher Immanuel Kant came up with a secular account of why it is wrong to lie which, it seems, Jesus had prefigured. In his essay On a Supposed Right to Lie from Philanthropy, Kant went so far as to claim that it would be wrong to lie to a would-be murderer even to save an innocent life.

Truthfulness in statements that one cannot avoid is a human being’s duty to everyone, however great the disadvantage to him or to another that may result from it… [I]f I falsify… I… do wrong in the most essential part of duty in general by such falsification… that is, I bring it about, as far as I can, that statements (declarations) in general are not believed, and so too that all rights which are based on contracts come to nothing and lose their force; and this is a wrong inflicted upon humanity generally… For [a lie] always harms another, even if not another individual, nevertheless humanity generally, inasmuch as it makes the source of right unusable.

Kant based his moral philosophy on a maxim he called the Categorical Imperative.

Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.

You cannot will that the maxim, “Bear false witness,” become a universal law! If we all lied, all the time, then soon no one would believe a word that anyone said. After a while, no one would even hear what anyone said.

Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.

Talk would be ignored, like a background noise tuned out. Ultimately, we’d be struck dumb. No one would bother to say anything at all, even the truth, since no one would believe him.

Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!

To lie is not merely to commit a crime against he to whom the lie is told. It is to commit a crime against language itself. St. Augustine said

But every liar says the opposite of what he thinks in his heart, with purpose to deceive. Now it is evident that speech was given to man, not that men might therewith deceive one another, but that one man might make known his thoughts to another. To use speech, then, for the purpose of deception, and not for its appointed end, is a sin. Nor are we to suppose that there is any lie that is not a sin, because it is sometimes possible, by telling a lie, to do service to another.

Which brings me to my final point. Lying is an abuse of language. But it’s not the only one. The Biblical injunction, “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” has its corollary in M. Hare’s maxim, “Say what you mean, and mean what you say.” Words have meanings. To say what you mean, you must find the words that mean what you mean to say, and say them. Mean what you say, and say what you mean. Surreptitious redefinition is a species of pernicious redefinition. It, too, is an abuse of language.

Words and phrases have meanings. For example, Christianity is a belief system, a worldview, a way of life, an institution … and a religion. Secular humanism is a belief system, a worldview, a way of life, an institution … but not a religion. The word ‘religion’ is used to distinguish between creeds whose central doctrines include the reality of a god or gods, and those whose central doctrines do not, or which are explicitly atheistic.

Lie and, ultimately, language ceases to function. Use the term ‘religion’ to encompass secular creeds, customs and ideologies and, ultimately, ‘religion’ ceases to function. Pernicious redefinition is tantamount to lying. Dare I say it’s also akin to theft?! I used to be a “liberal”, until today’s liberals took the term ‘liberal’ unto themselves. Now I’m a libertarian. But for how much longer? How much time do I have before I morph into a traitorous idiot?

Ayn Rand was a libertarian and atheism is not a religion.

Materialism renders Man Nought. Meaning-less, Value-less, Right-less


The Late Great Libertarian Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer explains why The philosophy of Libertarian Inalienable rights is the historic fruit of the Judeo-Christian world view, and that Atheist Materialism is the Death of all morality, and human value, and has no basis for objective Law. This explains why with the growth of Atheism, Democratic Nations like America and New Zealand have become exposed to unchecked Mobocracy, having removed belief in God given inalienable rights and objective morality. What remains is the arbitrary whim of the masses. In the atheist reality there is no Higher authority. Any ‘Rights’ we now possess may be removed at any moment. They are no longer Inalienable but dependent upon the whims of Parliament. To restore true Libertarian rights *As sacred* is my Mission. I preach the Gospel Of the Grace of God, so that sinners might be saved, and also to restore faith in the Judeo-Christian cosmology which underpins human value, objective morality, esp The Rights of the individual. Many modern Christians have forsaken the Political Enlightenment that followed in the wake of the Reformation, and have been led down the garden path into tyranny and subjection by the ‘Humanist’ worldview. I seek to recover them from the snare of Devil, and restore faith in the trustworthiness of the Bible and the foundations of Liberty and equality. It has taken strong delusions to blind Christianity to the truths which I hold to be self-evident: That God created Man equal and endowed him with certain inalienable rights… Tim Wikiriwhi.

A top tax rate of 39 minutes

I’m inordinately fond of this quotation from comedian Katt Williams.‎

If you ain’t got no job, and you not smoking weed, I don’t know what the fuck you are doing with your life, I really don’t.

Some people seek to spend their every waking hour hard at work. Some people seek to spend their every waking hour hard at play. And some people seek an elusive “work/life balance”. Are you keeping busy?

This post is a bit of a follow-up to why I am a libertarian. I am a libertarian because one cannot consistently argue for personal liberties and at the same time be opposed to economic liberty.

I have been a drug law reform campaigner my entire adult life. I joined NORML over thirty years ago – or tried to. I was told to wait a year or two until I turned 18. The idea of persecuting people for choosing to smoke a herb that makes them feel happy and relaxed, and enhances their appreciation of food, music and sex always seemed to me both ludicrous and wrong. There are too many smokers to arrest!

The fact that there are too many cannabis smokers to arrest makes cannabis prohibition ludicrous, but it does not make it wrong. At university I once attended an introductory lecture on critical thinking. The lecturer devoted his time to demolishing most of my long cherished arguments in favour of drug law reform. I was aghast! And chastened. I realised that deploying bad arguments for good causes is not a good idea. I also realised that I needed only one good argument in favour of drug law reform. That argument is the argument from human rights. I have a moral right to smoke cannabis! It ain’t nobody’s business if I do! The state should leave peaceful people alone to enjoy smoking weed, if that’s how they choose to spend their time.

It wasn’t until a few years later that I realised that my one good argument was actually an entire political ideology. That’s when I realised I was a libertarian. I have a moral right to earn money! It ain’t nobody’s business if I do! The state should leave peaceful people alone to enjoy earning money, if that’s how they choose to spend their time. And it should leave peaceful, productive people alone to enjoy the fruits of their labours. Prohibition is violence and taxation is theft. Both institutions depend, ultimately, on coercion by the state. Both are wrong, and for the same reason. Whatever may be open to disagreement, there is one act of evil that may not, the act that no man may commit against others and no man may sanction or forgive.* So long as men desire to live together, no man may initiate—do you hear me? no man may start—the use of physical force against others.

But, from a governmental perspective, there are differences between smoking pot and earning money. Time is money. The government can tax your money, but it can’t tax your time. Unless you try to combine smoking pot with earning money. Then you run the risk of a tax bill of several years in jail. This happened to one of the great heroes of New Zealand’s drug law reform movement, Dakta Green. Right now, he should be out campaigning for the ALCP vote in New Lynn. Instead, he’s rotting behind bars. Dakta Green says

After you’ve spent a little time in jail for growing a little weed, it tends to focus your mind on whether or not that’s a fair and proper response from authorities to our citizens. I, along with millions of others around the world, have decided that cannabis should be legally available for adults.

I’m one of those millions of people who’s decided that cannabis should be legally available for adults. That’s why, this election, I’m standing for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. I’m the ALCP candidate for the Mana electorate, and #9 on the party list. Tick, tick!

[Cross-posted to SOLO.]

(*This is the Objectivist version of the NIOF principle, due to Ayn Rand. Christians may not sanction, but they must forgive. Yes, even the tax collectors.)

We are not Robots Ayn Rand. We are Moral Agents.

Though we are wonderfully designed beings *we are not Robots!* This is a monumental fact that raises human beings into another League far above the rest of creation.
One of the most self-evident of proofs that we Humans are dualistic Spirit beings, and part of a higher reality than the materialistic realm is that we possess Libertarian free will. Atheist Materialism is at a complete loss to explain this. Therefore they deny it. Evolutionary Psychology is the new big thing in atheist academia, and it specializes in theorizing away freewill morality. In Contrast the Biblical theistic explanation of reality actually has the explanatory power to deal with the issue as to how and why freewill and freedom are possible.
Materialism is a very shallow faith… a purely convenient atheistic whim that does not square with the facts of experience. They abitralily impose it upon reality by sheer force of will. The fatal problem is in a purely Materialistic Universe Liberty and freewill are impossible because everything is enslaved to deterministic causation. Atheist Materialists infer that everything in existence from the moon and the stars to Ford cars and lustful thoughts all were pre-determined within ‘the big bang’. Of course even admitting the universe had a beginning is a recent novelty for Materialists. They used to believe the universe was eternal and would mock Christians fo believing God made the universe out of nothing… that is until science proved that the universe did in fact have a beginning just as The Book of Genesis declared.
Now having quietly corrected themselves on that thorny issue, it is staggering to apprehend just how outrageous and blundering the atheist assertion of materialism still is! Not only does it deny freewill, It actually infers that Henry Ford was compelled to invent the Motor car! They are supposed to be inescapably determined by the Laws of physics! They assert everything that exists and happens, from the Big Bang to Entropic Death is supposed to be nothing more than the ‘settling of Cosmic dust’…the blind result of an explosion! It ought to be obvious to anyone with a modicum of common sense that this is absurd! Many Atheists (Richard Dawkins included) hate discussing this matter. Many bury their heads in the sands of denial. In contrast Freewill *And design* is fundamental to Theism and the teaching and ethics of the Bible.
For eg. The Bible clearly teaches Gods will is currently * not being done* on Earth as it is in Heaven. The Earth is filled with Rebellious evildoers whom freely commit atrocities and perversions …. And The Bible says God holds mankind accountable for our wicked works… We are accountable to God because we are not compelled by materialistic forces to commit evil, Nor does he impose his will upon us. We act via our own choices. We are moral agents. Christ taught his Jewish disciples to pray to Their heavenly Father “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in Earth as it is in heaven…”. They were praying for an end to the free reign of unchecked evil. In the meantime we need Just government to mitigate the evil urges of fallen man.
Freewill Morality begins back in the Garden of Eden. When God made Adam he gave him the liberty to disobey Him. God gave Adam a choice, and it is in the Genesis story that the principles of Libertarian ethics find their origins. It is here where Man gets his God-given inalienable right to Life, and the liberty to exercise his own moral judgments as a freewill agent.
Consciousness and free will are Theistic realties. The problem of slavery to determinism is the ultimate proof that if Atheist Materialism were true, it would render reality Amoral as it not only negates the Libertarian ethics of inalienable rights, by rendering Man a mere chemical reaction, but destroys morality absolutely! Moral law has not foundation in a cold materialistic universe and Materialistic beings cannot be moral agents as they don’t possess freewill. It is a double dilemma. Most Materialists claim we horribly delude ourselves as to the existence of morality and freewill… They say the scientific man has exorcised these bogeymen ( This is what the foolish superstition of Materialism leads to and a good example of this reasoning can be found in the writings of honest atheist Bertrand Russell)
And then flying in the face of all this you get the psychotic delusions of Objectivist atheists whom pretend they can squeeze Inalienable rights out of stones. They are Bat shit crazy… bordering on dishonest.
Rabid atheist Ayn Rand was 100% wrong in her John Galt’s speech when she called The Adam of the Bible a Robot! The truth is *It is Her Atheist Materialism which renders Man a mere amoral machine!*
That is an inescapable fact! Rand was absolutely wrong! She is deranged! Her whole argument is Bunk. She is the enemy of Libertarianism because she sets about to destroy faith in the bible… and it is from the Bible that all the essential principles of Libertarian Individual rights and limited government are derived. (eg. Study John Locke). Thus it is my duty as a Lover of Liberty and a believer in The objective reality of Individual rights to expose the fraudulent delusions of Ayn Rand… a wolf in sheep’s cloth. A deceiver of Souls.
Theism escapes this amoral prison because man gets his life and freewill conscience breathed into him from the spirit of God himself. Ie our conscience is not a product of or determined by Matter. And the honest man must admit this view makes far more sense! It can explain why I am free to write this sentence… I could have watched TV instead. My wife was not a Robotic slave to inescapable laws of causation… she does love me! YES! Theism is far more rational than Atheist Materialism! Its explanatory power takes in the full scope of Human experience. We didn’t need to touch on the fact that atheist materialism is also complete at a loss to explain the origin of Life whereas The Bible has a brilliant explanation for that too… completely supported by Science proper! And it is from the Christian scriptures that Libertarianism and the conceptualization of Inalienable rights was born. I shall be expanding upon this assertion in future posts… so stay tuned. …Anyone hear the howling of Wolves?
Tim Wikiriwhi

End note: I take no pleasure in conflict. And as a Libertarian Christian I respect the rights of others such as Objectivists to believe what they like and say whatever they like even if it is against my own personal views. This is what freedom is, and freedom of conscience, freedom of religion is the most fundamental of all freedoms. It would be nice if I did not have to level accusations against ‘Objectivism’. Unnecessary conflict is to be avoided. A cardinal rule put down by the great founder of this Blog is in the side Bar. “ Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”. The primary goal of this blog is edification and the promotion of toleration, yet it must be remembered that Truth is the highest of values, and that Lies damn men’s souls and prop up tyrannies, and that as such Christians are called to ‘earnestly contend for the faith’. It must also be remembered that in a free society that there will still exist conflicting values and world views locked into a War of Ideas. Yet this is a war of minds not swords. Reason, and the power of persuasion are the weapons. It is in the contexts of Individual rights that makes a free society a more civil and just society having removed violence and political coercion from the Ideological Battlefield. Objectivists wage this war with relentless fanatical zeal in emulation of their Idol… The fanatical Atheist Ayn Rand. Thus it behooves Me to meet this Horde head on, and swing the ‘Sword of the Spirit’ at their conceptual throats and to decapitate their Ideological Queen. Objectivists should expect nothing less.
They give no quarter and none shall be given them.
Tim Wikiriwhi. Soldier for Christ.

Read more on Free will and morality…

Sick Puppies.

Monism: Evolutionary Psychology and the Death of Morality, Reason and Freewill.

Update 4/12:

Friday focus

Tim Wikiriwhi sent me this. It’s from Fonterra focus, October 2011.

I am the head of sales of a large automobile dealership. A customer is prepared to buy a vehicle from me on the condition that I record the transaction as having been made two weeks ago. It is now 14th January. For tax purposes, the customer wants to have the transaction recorded in the previous year. What do I do?

1. I doctor the accounts in accordance with the customer’s wishes.

2. I tell him that I will not honour his request.

3. In order to buy time, I promise him that I will think about his offer. This will make it more difficult for him to buy from one of my competitors in the meantime.

4. I tell the customer to talk to the managing director.

One reason I post this is because sometimes I “doctor” the timestamps on my posts. This is because my personal posting policy is “1 a day”. Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I post just the title of a post and a promissory note, and come back later to finish writing. In any case, built in to WordPress is the ability to write posts and to embargo them so that they are officially published later. Even when you’re dead. When the timestamp of a post bears little relationship to when it was actually posted, I usually indicate that by marking the time as 6:00 AM or 6:00 PM. (You see this when you mouse over the date immediately under the post’s title.) I’m not trying to deceive anyone. Hence this disclaimer. (If you’re really bothered by this, go talk to the managing director.)

Blessed are the Canaanites

Matt Flannagan and I have much in common, meta-ethically speaking.

Matt, like me, accepts a divine command theory of ethics whereby an act is morally obligatory if, and only if, a loving and just God commands it, and an act is morally wrong if, and only if, a loving and just God forbids it. We agree that given that the wrongness of an action consists in its being forbidden by God, and given that God does not issue commands to himself, it follows that he has no duties; and hence, God is under no obligation not to kill anyone and is free (i.e., morally unconstrained) to do as he pleases.

Matt’s Ph.D. is in theology.

Mine is in philosophy.

The present work belongs to a tradition in meta-ethics most closely associated with the work of J L Mackie. In his Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong [Mackie (1977)], Mackie argued for the claim that there are no objective values. [Mackie (1977), p. 15.] Mackie had in mind, particularly, objective moral values.

Mackie’s thesis figures prominently in the present work. I call this thesis moral anti-realism, and state it as the claim that there are no moral facts. I do not argue for moral anti-realism directly. Instead, I argue for a more cautious, epistemic variant of moral anti-realism which I call moral eliminativism—the claim that it is reasonable to believe that there are no moral facts. (Frequently, however, I lapse back into a more straightforward, non-epistemic manner of speaking—omitting the “it is reasonable to believe that” qualifier—for the sake of economy. Below, I use the symbols *{} as shorthand to denote this epistemic qualifier and its scope.)

The central argument of the present work is this.

(1*) *{God does not exist}.

(2*) If *{God does not exist}, then *{there are no moral facts}.


(ME) *{There are no moral facts}.

There is an important preliminary point to be made regarding this argument. Moral eliminativism is merely the conclusion. The bulk of the work, and the interest, lie in establishing (2*). My real purpose in this dissertation is to draw attention to the fact that the following form an inconsistent triad

(1*) *{God does not exist}.

(2*) If *{God does not exist}, then *{there are no moral facts}.

(MR*) *{There are moral facts}.

and to argue for (2*). I then assume (1*) simply for the sake of constructing an argument. I might equally well have assumed (MR*), and constructed a very different argument, one which would amount to a moral argument for the existence of God.

(MR*) *{There are moral facts}.

(2*) If *{God does not exist}, then *{there are no moral facts}.


(3*) *{God exists}.

Thus, I hope that my argument will have almost as much appeal to theists as to moral anti-realists. Nonetheless, in this dissertation I play the devil’s advocate, and argue for and from an anti-realist perspective.

The argument for (2*) proceeds in three stages. In Part 1, I establish the general conditions which must obtain before belief in moral facts (or any sort of facts) is reasonable. In Part 2, I establish what sort of facts would count as moral facts. In Part 3, I bring the findings of Parts 1 and 2 together with one further consideration to show that belief in bona fide moral facts is reasonable only if belief in the existence of God is reasonable.

God is the source of morality. Not many atheists realise this. I was an atheist once. When I realised that God is the source of morality, I became a nihilist. But nihilism is no way to live. It is only a way to die.

Which brings us to where Matt and I part company. Matt is an apologist for the God of the Old Testament. But the God of the Old Testament is an amoral monster.

I’m a Christian. But I do not love—let alone love with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength and with all my mind—the (hopefully fictitious) cosmic fiend portrayed in the Old Testament.

I guess that makes me a neo-Marcionite. (See here.)

Impending Doom has arrived!

Welcome to an intoxicating mix of heretical Christianity, libertarianism and death metal.

The track is “Welcome to Forever” by evangelical Christian deathcore band Impending Doom.
What better way to begin? The lyrics derive from Ecclesiastes, a book of the Old Testament.

Welcome to forever, on this wrinkled piece of paper
Welcome to forever
I write a letter to you
To this generation and the generations to come
Vanity of vanities, everything under the sun
Everything under the sun, everything will be forgotten
All that you remember, wrapped around this world

Grasping for the wind
Where both the wise and the fools, both achieve emptiness in the end
Emptiness in the end

Where does the time go?
Who are we when we’re all alone?
When we’re all alone

Welcome to forever
Everything will be forgotten
All that you remember, wrapped up in this world
Welcome to forever, everything will be forgotten
All that you remember, wrapped up in this world

Grasping for the wind
Where both the wise and the fools, both achieve emptiness in the end
Both achieve emptiness in the end

Welcome to forever, on this wrinkled piece of paper
Welcome to forever
I write a letter to you
Look back and retrace your steps
Look back and retrace your steps
Don’t look at the clouds and ignore the one coming through them
Coming through them

When I first read Ecclesiastes I thought, “WTF is this doing in the Bible?” Indeed, its canonicity has been disputed. To this day, theologians are perplexed. The book purports to be the words of Qoheleth (“the Teacher”), son of David, king in Jerusalem. It begins

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.”

and continues in the same nihilistic vein the whole way through until the closing verses of the twelfth and final chapter when, all of a sudden, Qoheleth concludes

Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.

Morality made simple.

[The YouTube video I originally posted mysteriously disappeared. I had to resurrect it. 🙂 ]