Leitmotif

Reason as the Leading Motive

Ayn Rand at Uni. of Chicago

Posted by Jerry on April 25, 2006

I recieved an email from David Gulbraa at the ARI, reminding me of the Free-speech event at Chicago. How so unfortunate that I will be unable to attend. I feel it is imperative to engage in this debate over the absolutism of free speech:

WHO: Dr. Yaron Brook of Ayn Rand Institute; Greg Lukianoff of FIRE; Tom
Flynn of Free Inquiry magazine.
WHAT: (1) A display of the controversial Danish cartoons depicting
Muhammad
(2) A panel discussion and Q & A on the meaning of the worldwide
reaction to the cartoons

WHERE: University of Chicago,
Kent Chemical Laboratory Building, room 107,
1020 East 58th Street,
Chicago, IL 60637.

Location map: http://tinyurl.com/zwdleWHEN: Tuesday, April 25, 2006, 7 PM (doors open at 6:30 PM)

Tickets: $2 tickets can be purchased at the door.

Attendees may be required to go through a security checkpoint.

In today’s world, it is very important that we know and understand what our rights are, and know when they are being violated.

The other day, I was watching the “Gospel of Judas” on Natural Geographic Channel. According to the documentary feature, scientists have recently unearthed a rare papyrus document that has been authenticated to be from around 180 A.D., approximately the same time when other early gospels and books of the New Testament were written.

This new discovery, apparently, is the Gospel of Judas, and reveals a radically different perspective. It describes the events surrounding the betrayal and passion of Jesus through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. It claims that Judas’ act of betrayal was infact required by Jesus so that the prophecies could be fulfilled. That Judas was terribly tormented by the burden Jesus placed upon him of being the betrayer. That all of this was required inorder to establish the messianic role of Jesus. That Judas only took 30 sheckels of silver in exchange for this betrayal (which apparently, is a piddly bit of change, given that Jesus was a much more significant value in exchange). And finally, that Judas was overcome with his grief and anguish at what he did, and so committed suicide immediately after the “betrayal”.

Anyway. The reason I bring this up is because it should be clear to christians and non-christians that this new evidence of a twist on christian theology is controversial, and already declared as heresy by the Catholic Church. The point, however, is that nowhere across the world, have Christians risen up in armed or violent protest against the scientists or historians who discovered this ancient document, none have asked for the be-heading of the “heretics” or “atheists”.

Another case I recently heard about involved an art installation of a nude statue that was originally titled “Zarathustra”. Apparently, the artist was making the Neitzchean reference, which incidentally bears the same name as the Zoroastrian God/prophet. The Zoroastrian community (also known as Parsi’s) decided that the nude statue was offensive to their religious sensitivities, and sent a number of emails to the artists and the gallery in protest. There was no violence, no call to arms, no burning of embassies, no destruction of the artwork or of property.

Therefore, in the face of situations like these, when someone finds their most cherished beliefs challenged or revealed in a radically different manner, one needs to know exactly what their rights are and whether they are being violated. That will also guide them to the proper course of response and reaction.

The violent muslim reaction to free speech speaks volumes about the character and philosophy of the Islamic faith. And our response to their violent intimidations will reveal the degree of committment with which we hold our values.

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One Response to “Ayn Rand at Uni. of Chicago”

  1. Ergo Sum said

    P.S. I happen to love this sculpture. It’s very powerful.. and beautiful.

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