A benevolent God would not create a universe of slaves

Christianity was the first school of thought that proclaimed the supreme sacredness of the individual. The first duty of a Christian is the salvation of his own soul. This duty comes above any he may owe to his brothers. This is the basic statement of true individualism.

The salvation of one’s own soul means the preservation of the integrity of one’s ego. The soul is the ego. Thus Christianity did preach egoism in my sense of the word, in a high, noble and spiritual sense. Christ did say that you must love your neighbor as yourself, but He never said that you must love your neighbor better than yourself – which is the monstrous doctrine of altruism and collectivism. Altruism – the demand of self-immolation for others – contradicts the basic premise of Christianity, the sacredness of one’s own soul.

Altruism introduced a basic contradiction into Christian philosophy, which has never been resolved. The entire history of Christianity in Europe has been a continuous civil war, not merely in fact, but also in spirit. I believe that Christianity will not regain its power as a vital spiritual force until it has resolved this contradiction. And since it cannot reject the conception of the paramount sacredness of the individual soul – this conception holds the root, the meaning and the greatness of Christianity – it must reject the morality of altruism. It must teach man neither to serve others nor to rule others, but to live together as independent equals, which is the only possible state of true brotherhood. Brothers are not mutual servants nor mutual dependents. Only slaves are. Dependence breeds hatred. Only free men can afford to be benevolent. Only free men can love and respect one another. But a free man is an independent man. And an independent man is one who lives primarily for himself.

— Ayn Rand, letter to Reverend Dudley, 1943

[Cut into pieces.]

Let the Chaos Begin

Three days ago I posted the track “Welcome to Forever” by American deathcore band Impending Doom. And so it began. Three days later

This video is no longer available because the uploader has closed their YouTube account.

There’s irony. What better way to begin again? With my runner-up choice, the track “Slaves to God” by Brazilian death metallers Chaos Inc.

Police arrest 300 in alcohol crackdown

Police arrest 300 in alcohol crackdown

More than 300 people have been arrested in a two-month crackdown on liquor outlets.

Police carried out 301 search warrants as part of Operation Wowser, a nationally coordinated operation focusing on “bottle stores” – those where alcohol is sold.

They made 311 arrests, seized 3,220 litres of alcohol and 139g of methamphetamine.

Alcohol was found warehoused at 44 locations, with 2657 bottles and cans seized.

Officers also seized $111,154 in cash, 19 firearms and ammunition.

A wide range of charges have been laid, including conspiracy to supply beer, wine and spirits, manufacturing methamphetamine, participating in an organised criminal group, unlawful possession of a firearm and threat to kill.

“This was a sustained programme of enforcement to combat booze and disrupt organised crime groups” said Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess.

“Bottle stores are hubs for criminal offending. The people who run them are often not only dealing alcohol, but also methamphetamine.

They invariably receive stolen property, take payments for booze and are involved in organised crime groups.

“Such outlets cause misery in communities and we are sending a clear message that they won’t be tolerated.

“We will continue to protect our communities from the harm caused by booze merchants and stamp out the anti-social behaviour they create.”

Police are trying to seize assets from 47 of those arrested. They will have to prove they are not the proceeds of criminal activity.

Mr Burgess said he was confident the operation had caused “significant disruption” to liquor outlets and warned dealers they would continue to be the subject of close police attention.

The Looter’s Prayer

I got this in my email today.

Our Father,
who art in prison,
my mum knows not his name,
thy riots come,
read it in “The Sun”,
in Birmingham, as it is in London.
Give us this day our welfare bread.
And forgive us our looting,
as we are happy to loot those who defend stuff against us.
Lead us not into employment,
but deliver us free housing,
for thine is the Facebook,
the Blackberry & the Twitter,
forever and ever.

It’s been a month since the England riots. Liberty Scott had a good commentary (and some harsh words for Russel Norman) at the time.

[Cross-posted to SOLO.]

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. 🙂 ]

Give me Liberty, or give me Death!