Utah Guns Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,600 Posts
[ CAUTION: This post is pretty long -- I apologize if some find me too "wordy" ]

ApolloSmith,

I would like to start out by saying that I, too, very much enjoyed reading your post. I particularly liked your point about the argument from paranoia -- I honestly had never thought about that one and I think your logic is beautiful! I also really liked the comparison to the fire extinguisher and to life insurance -- again, VERY solid.

OK, so I liked 95% of your article... I hope you don't mind a little friendly feedback on the other 5%??? If so, raise your weapon in defense of my 1st Amendment Rights and skip this part -- we can still be friends and go shooting together sometime! :)

First let me preface this part by stating that I am not an Atheist, a moral degradate (sp?), nor an Anti-Mormon (a necessary defense given the beautiful state we both hail from and my less-than-standard response that here follows). Up-front, I am a Deist (careful with that link, however; there are as many variants of Deism as their are individual Deists) with a strong hope in both God and an afterlife and a strong sense of morality (hence why I decided to participate in this forum).

Also, this is in NO way meant to serve as an assault on YOUR faith or religious views and convictions. I also realize that the post in your blog was in a "private" blog meant for "private" consumption -- again, this is not meant to censor YOUR 1st Amendment Rights but rather point out how your article might be modified to appeal to a WIDER AUDIENCE than it currently does.

OK, so here goes (again, please, I mean no offense)... this probably rambles a bit so please be patient and let me know what areas I was unclear about...

Personally, I feel that starting your position (in defense of your "Right To Bear Arms") with an appeal to "Scriptural and prophetic counsel" limits your ability to appeal to a wider audience and serves to weaken your position in a smaller segment of the populace who are often the very people we need to try to persuade (the less-religious but tolerant crowd). In other words, there are plenty of people (I am one) who believe in God and morality but who base that position from one of Reason rather than one of Faith (this is the crucial area that you and I are probably divided on... I do not believe in Faith but instead espouse Hope) -- most of these people haven't necessarily codified themselves as Deists and you will usually hear them proclaim something like "I believe in God but I'm not particularly religious"... or, "I'm an agnostic but I think there is some sort of higher power"... or, "I believe in God but I think all religions are partially wrong and partially right -- I believe in them all" -- the main aspect of all of these types of people is that they have rejected sources of revelation but cannot deny that it seems reasonable that something greater than ourselves put all of this (life) in motion.

To people of this sort, making your first appeal to Faith is not a convincing nor necessarily strong one. I'm not saying you should eliminate it, I'm just saying it should be moved below your Reason-based arguments since those are the arguments most likely to appeal to a wider audience.

Take it for what it's worth. ($0.02, if I'm lucky!)

You might ask why this is even very important of an issue for me to address in the first place??? I'd like to remind you how this country began as a purely Capitalist society, based solidly on a totally free Capitalist position -- and that today we are so close to Socialism that many argue we are already a Socialist society. Often times we ask, how the heck did this happen -- how did we lose our heritage and the great society that our forefathers left us??? Well, there are several reasons, not the least of which was due to the Capitalist-defenders of the time resting their cases on defenses from Faith.

I quote from Ayn Rand's "CAPITALISM: The Unknown Ideal", a speech she gave in 1960 entitled "Conservatism: An Obituary", which from her perspective and argument was the time when pure Capitalism was taking it's last breath in this country (a *GREAT* book, BTW)

Ayn Rand said:
There are three interrelated arguments used by today's "conservatives" to justify capitalism, which can best be designated as: the argument from faith -- the argument from tradition -- the argument from depravity.

Sensing their need of a moral base, many "conservatives" decided to choose religion as their moral justification; they claim that America and capitalism are based on faith in God (bold underlined italics are mine).

... Intellectually, to rest one's case on faith means to concede that reason is on the side of one's enemies -- that one has no rational arguments to offer. The "conservatives" claim that their case rests on faith, means that there are no rational arguments to support the American system, no rational justification for freedom, justice, property, individual rights, that these rest on a mystic revelation and can be accepted only on faith -- that in reason and logic the enemy is right, but men must hold faith as superior to reason.

... If you want to fight for capitalism, there is only one type of argument that you should adopt, the only one that can ever win in a moral issue: the argument from self-esteem This means: the argument from man's right to exist -- from man's inalienable individual right to his own life.
I believe the same logic holds true for our 2nd Amendment Rights... and since history always tends to repeat itself in a predictable fashion, it's reasonable to assume that positing Faith over Reason in defense of our 2nd-Amendment Rights will result in a similar demise.

Logic and Reason, though not necessarily supreme in God's eyes (although I believe they are), are more concrete to a wider range of humankind and are a better foundation to rest our case on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,331 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you bane for your thoughts. I 100% agree, appreciate, and understand them.

I very much thought about this as I was writing. The reason the moral and even religious positions were left in place is that the article is primarily a presentation of MY motivations and beliefs and is not necessarily meant to influence the motivations or beliefs of others.

I earnestly believe that God would look poorly upon a man who negligently fails to defend himself and his family (whether it be physically, emotionally, spiritually, whatever). However, even though I begin my blog post with these arguments, they are just a few of many I make.

While I certainly think the spiritual aspects of my arguments may make the entire thing weaker for a potential audience, the fact is that they are MY arguments and at a minimum, I would hope that others would respect them (as you have), even if they don't 100% agree (as you do not) with how they are presented.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,600 Posts
apollosmith said:
I earnestly believe that God would look poorly upon a man who negligently fails to defend himself and his family...
I couldn't agree with you more! The only part of that we might find disagreement in is that I base my perspective entirely from one of Reason (I was born with natural weapons to defend myself with (my limbs and my brain), I was born with the natural instincts to do so (anyone whose ever been a victim of physical aggression can testify to that -- which, I'm sure is most of us here), and just about any higher-life-form that I can think of will defend itself physically when pressed to do so (a bear, a dog, etc). Therefore, Reason tells me that God/Nature/The Universe/etc. intends for me to use those things I was provided with in my defense (and the defense of the innocent around me, especially my family).

I know part of your perspective is based on this Reason while part of it is also Faith-based... I don't begrudge you that at all (after all, it even takes a certain amount of Faith on my part to say that I don't believe in Faith... right???).

I can understand your personal reasons for writing what you did, and for putting those values that are most important to you at the top of your list --- that's perfectly legit. But I thought your post was actually pretty well-written and with a little adjustment should be something you should consider publishing in a more public forum... after all, this week alone here in SLC I counted something like 4 murders that could have been prevented if more people understood what you talk about in your post. The problem is that so many don't, and won't... unless they read things like what you wrote.

That being said, thank you for understanding my position without taking it out of context -- it can be rough sometimes to be a non-Christian in Utah b/c the instant assumption (sometimes, not always) is that I'm either some strange Atheist or I'm an immoral SOB. :D

I look forward to reading more of what you write, so don't be shy! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,323 Posts
bane said:
....Personally, I feel that starting your position (in defense of your "Right To Bear Arms") with an appeal to "Scriptural and prophetic counsel" limits your ability to appeal to a wider audience and serves to weaken your position in a smaller segment of the populace who are often the very people we need to try to persuade (the less-religious but tolerant crowd)....
I disagree, and I really think that you do too. In you post I appreciated knowing where you were comming from as it helped me to understand your thoughts. You, in fact, did the same thing he did in your own post.

bane said:
....First let me preface this part by stating that I am not an Atheist, a moral degradate (sp?), nor an Anti-Mormon (a necessary defense given the beautiful state we both hail from and my less-than-standard response that here follows). Up-front, I am a Deist (careful with that link, however; there are as many variants of Deism as their are individual Deists) with a strong hope in both God and an afterlife and a strong sense of morality (hence why I decided to participate in this forum).....
My point is illistrated in the above segement of your post.

Tarzan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,600 Posts
Tarzan -- While you are correct, I think the reasons were entirely different. In my post I was only making that reference to put him (and any other readers here) at ease that I was not attempting to ATTACK his/others beliefs in God and that I myself had some related views... in other words, that I was not attacking God. Without such a disclaimer, the rest of my post may have been read in the wrong light.

His post, however, was written as a summary of his views of why he has the right to bear arms and can, has, and is, done all the time without relying on the "because God said so" reference.

In other words, my statement was meant to soften my stance, his was meant to strengthen his position -- completely and totally different, as far as I can see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,323 Posts
bane said:
Tarzan -- While you are correct, I think the reasons were entirely different. In my post I was only making that reference to put him (and any other readers here) at ease that I was not attempting to ATTACK his/others beliefs in God and that I myself had some related views... in other words, that I was not attacking God. Without such a disclaimer, the rest of my post may have been read in the wrong light.

His post, however, was written as a summary of his views of why he has the right to bear arms and can, has, and is, done all the time without relying on the "because God said so" reference.

In other words, my statement was meant to soften my stance, his was meant to strengthen his position -- completely and totally different, as far as I can see.
I am reminded of the story of the5 blind men who examined the Elephant and each discribed a very different animal, ie. like a tree, snake, fan, wall, and rope.

We all have a different prospective and much of that prospective is defined by who we are and what our core values are.

I agree your intent was probably different, but to me the result was the same.

I am only observing and not judging.

I enjoyed both of your prospectivies.

Tarzan
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top