The Nightstar Zoo

Nightstar IRC Network - irc.nightstar.net
It is currently Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:34 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:27 am 
I'm not sure if this is the best forum for this, if theres a better place for it, please move it. :)

Ogredude in S&V wrote:
I'm just going to pop in at this point and mention that Heinlein has said over and over again that the views of his characters are not necessarily his own views. In other words, that "faith is for the weak" thing is Hartley M. Baldwin speaking. *NOT* Robert A. Heinlein.

From what I've read of Heinlein, he was in many ways a man of faith.


Oggy, can you give some background for that statement?

As you say most of what we have to go on to determine the Admirals thoughts on 'faith' and people of faith come from the mouths of his characters. I've read, literally, everything the man had published... and not one of his characters had anything kinder than
Quote:
"A religion is sometimes a source of happiness and I would not deprive anyone of happiness. But it is a comfort appropriate for the weak."

to say about religion. And a great many of his characters, and all of the important ones, express disdain and contempt for faith and those who use faith instead of logic and the hard work of thought. He wrote an entire book making fun of the christian bible and pointing out it's flaws and internal inconsistencies.
Quote:
What are the facts? Again and again and again -- what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what "the stars foretell," avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable "verdict of history" -- what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!

The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.

History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.

The profession of shaman has many advantages. It offers high status with a safe livelihood free of work in the dreary, sweaty sense. In most societies it offers legal privileges and immunities not granted to other men. But it is hard to see how a man who has been given a mandate from on High to spread tidings of joy to all mankind can be seriously interested in taking up a collection to pay his salary; it causes on to suspect that the shaman is on the moral level of any other con man.
But it's lovely work if you can stomach it.

Any priest or shaman must be presumed guilty until proved innocent.

"God split himself into a myriad parts that he might have friends." This may not be true, but it sounds good -- and is no sillier than any other theology.

God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent -- it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills.
[url=http://www.bobgod.com/writer/lazaruslong.html
]The Notebooks of Lazarus Long [/url]
To preach the exact opposite of faith, even through a character in a book, for a faithful person, strikes me as an abrogation of that faith.

To see someone smear his good name in this manner, to hear you say that he believed in the supernatural, offends me. To the best of my knowledge R.A. Heinlein was a man of the highest thought and logic.

Do you have anything to back up that statement?


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 11:46 am 
Offline
Knight of Daisies, Tulip Slayer
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 11, 2002 3:03 am
Posts: 1621
Location: Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
From the biographies I've read, Heinlein was pretty much a secular humanist.

Secular humanity is a belief system that relies on faith. Faith in your fellow man. The faith it takes to believe that people are generally good. This is something I struggle with daily. I'm pretty damn cynical about people. For the most part, while I like certain individuals, on a good day, I think humanity itself can just go jump in the lake. Heinlein continued to believe that people were generally good.

That is what I mean by my statement.

_________________
Fandemonium 2010 -- No Boundaries.
http://www.fandemonium.org
Friday - Sunday, August 6th - 8th, 2010
Nampa Civic Center - Nampa, Idaho (Only 20 minutes from the airport!)
(Idaho: It ain't just potatoes anymore.)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 1:51 pm 
Ogredude wrote:
From the biographies I've read, Heinlein was pretty much a secular humanist.

Secular humanity is a belief system that relies on faith. Faith in your fellow man. The faith it takes to believe that people are generally good. This is something I struggle with daily. I'm pretty damn cynical about people. For the most part, while I like certain individuals, on a good day, I think humanity itself can just go jump in the lake. Heinlein continued to believe that people were generally good.

That is what I mean by my statement.


Ok, I apologize for my tone, if not my words.
I disagree, though. Secular humanism is not about faith. The goodness, or the lack of goodness, of the human race is not something you have to take on faith. It is observable as to whether it is there or not. RAH may have been wrong in his conclusions, but he wasn't taking anything on faith.

Further, I agree with the Admirals conclusions.
The world and the race improve daily. In large and small ways. Need examples?

The other side: The vices that make you cynical have always been in existance. The intrusivness of our neighbors, the malignacy we call goverment, the dishonesty of the market system... all ancient, none new. They appear to be more evil now but thats is explainable by two things.

First, you didn't directly experience history so things like slavery don't appear too horrible. You're living the now so the things that annoy you are personal and immediate.

Second, the population of the world has greatly increased, causing the 'elbow in the eye' syndrome to be enhanced and reducing your chances to find solitude.


Last edited by Pronto on Fri Oct 29, 2004 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 3:00 pm 
Offline
Vorpal Bunny Slipper
Vorpal Bunny Slipper

Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 2:54 am
Posts: 2707
I love you Pronto.

_________________
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, grab es tief unten im Keller ein.
Später dann graben es andere aus, und nennen dein Haus das Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, leg auch ihre weißen Schädel hinein.
Mit Beton gießt du es aus, das Fundament vom Knochenhaus.
Scharr, scharr, verscharr das Gebein, da ist noch Platz, da paßt noch wer rein.
Hier tobte sich der Teufel aus, unten im Keller im Knochenhaus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 3:52 am 
Ya know, on second reading, this sucker belongs in V&S.


<Time passes>


Thank you! :)


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group