Welcome to Objectivism Online Forum

Welcome to Objectivism Online, a forum for discussing the philosophy of Ayn Rand. For full access, register via Facebook or email.


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


About human_murda

  • Rank

Previous Fields

  • Country India
  • State (US/Canadian) Not Specified
  • Relationship status No Answer
  • Copyright Copyrighted

Recent Profile Visitors

864 profile views
  1. Of course, if that were the case. The problem is that, if you were correct, I would be wrong on my assumptions, not my conclusions/implications (you asked whether I want "employers to provide terminated employees with food until they find a new job". This is not a logical implication of my argument. You made additional assumptions. They may well be true. But you should be aware that you made those assumptions and assumed that I agree with them. Otherwise the final statement is your conclusion, not mine. No matter how much you believe them to be true or how true they are, those are your conclusions about my arguments). My conclusions are perfectly valid given my assumptions, which is what you should have attacked. Also: implications do not exist without intention (of course, you can be wrong in logic, but implications do not exist "out there" in nature. An authorship is necessary). Without accounting for intention, you can make whatever implications you want out of the arguments of another using assumptions you made about reality (forgetting that these are your own arguments). The notion is so bad because even arguments are true or false in reality. For example, you can ask a Flat Earther: "Are you saying that everything you say is bullshit?". Of course, they're not actually saying that but by your arguments, they are. According to you, that would be that intrinsic implication of their arguments ("implied" by nature), without authorship. You can say that you think they are talking bullshit, but you cannot ascribe authorship to them. You cannot say that they think they are saying bullshit. That is your conclusion. Not theirs. For the same reason, you can't say I want "employers to provide terminated employees with food until they find a new job". That is your conclusion using additional assumptions you made. To say that the implications are there whether or not you know it is to claim special knowledge. It is the argument that "you are so stupid you don't even know it". That shows how much respect have for the people you're arguing with.
  2. There is a difference between being incapable of survival in a specific instance and being incapable generally (and this issue was ignored in all the other threads concerning the morality of suicide as well as the life-boat scenarios. But that's a discussion for another thread).
  3. Humans aren't fundamentally incapable of survival. Thus they don't need to employ you to keep you alive. But in the specific instance of being in space, you are incapable of survival (to some extend). Thus, they have to bring you back. They don't have to employ you afterwards (because humans aren't fundamentally incapable of survival).
  4. I don't know what definition of "habitable" you are using. You are conflating two issues. It is not fundamentally impossible for human beings to survive. Therefore, other people don't have to help you. However, there are specific situations in which you are unable to survive. If other people caused this, they have initiated force. The first implies that employers are not required to employ you. The second implies that the space corporation is required to bring you back to safety, but (by the first reason) is not required to keep you employed afterwards. The assumption that humans are fundamentally incapable of survival always leads to altruism (whether that be a statement that "reason is limited" or "universe is malevolent" or "universe is incomprehensible" or "humans are evil"). That is your assumption, not mine. Hence my argument does not lead to the conclusion that employers are required to keep you employed. That is your conclusion. Don't insert your arguments into mine and say that I'm being contradictory.
  5. Well, humans did survive and evolve on the surface of Planet Earth. Besides, it is an issue of cause and effect. Employers aren't directly responsible for your death from starvation is they fired you on a habitable portion of the surface of the Earth... The issue is not one of employment. The space corporation doesn't have to employ you. They are well within their rights to fire you. However, they can't leave you in space (or at 1000ft under the sea).
  6. No, you are not free to leave. The captain of a submarine ship cannot kick you out at 1000ft depth under the ocean because they didn't like you. If you were a fish that could survive at that depth, perhaps that would be legal. The pilot of a helicopter cannot kick you out at 10,000ft altitude because they don't like you. If you were a bird that can fly at that altitude, perhaps it would be legal. The problem is that humans can't fly, nor can they breathe and survive at that depth. So it is illegal if you have the body of a human. The issue is similar concerning survival in space. In situations like these, it is assumed that the trip is not "one-way". It doesn't matter if they have to pay for it or if it costs them millions of dollars.
  7. Changing the conditions of your work in a way that is different from your contract could be construed as an initiation of force/fraud (and a contract is definitely needed in situations like these). And there would be legal issues associated with holding you ransom. You might say that the corporation didn't force you to stay there. But the issue of force is determined by the nature of reality. If somebody locked you in a room only they can open, you would essentially be held as a prisoner. By the nature of reality (i.e., by the constraints placed by the fact that you are physically unable to leave), the situation is very similar and legal issues can be involved. Also another thing: if this is the mentality, I doubt they would be the first to do anything in space. So situation is very unlikely as well.
  8. That quote was taken out of context. I had said: "The same cannot be said for humans. Humans don't learn by imitation. Other members of the same generation need not follow this behavior." Of course children can imitate just like adults can. They don't have to. Besides, even if they imitate, it doesn't need to be permanent. The fact that young children could imitate or even hypothetically "have to" imitate is irrelevant. The fact is that young children aren't hunters and gatherers now. Dragging in children serves no purpose. Ayn Rand said that "Man is an is end in himself". Yet children are dependent on their parents. Do you disagree with Ayn Rand's statement? If not, that should show you why my own statement isn't wrong. You have some "unique form of human abstract reasoning" to do. No, conceptualization begins way before six and you can't reason without concepts (there is no such thing as 'pure reason').
  9. Further application of the fact that humans need not function by concrete inheritance: Several people inherit the religion of their parents. But they don't have to. Some people wear a certain brand of shoes simply because others wear them. But they don't have to. This fact was the determining factor in the evolution of 'volitional consciousness'. This choice to be rational. The choice which eliminates concrete inheritance (or the chance, perceptual acceptance of ideas). But it is still a choice: it could have been otherwise. Automatically, it has no survival advantage.
  10. As for the assertion that animals "exploit" their environment. Beavers build dams? Great. So will future beavers. Suppose there are no streams or forest/wood materials available in the future. Beavers aren't equipped to deal with it. Humans building dams is different from beavers building dams. It's irrelevant whether beavers learn to build dams. They couldn't have done otherwise. It is still an instinct. It is inherited. Just because there is a superficial similarity (dam building) doesn't mean the processes involved are the same. Beavers building dams is an adaptation to the environment (they can't function without streams or wood materials). It is a concrete inheritance (learned or not). Humans building dams is not an adaptation to the environment. It has no concrete inheritance (we don't do it because our ancestors did so or because we are imitating something). Nonhuman animals inherit their concrete method of functioning. From tribal warfare to signing chimps, it is the the same, inherited concrete method of functioning determined by their evolutionary past. Birds learn to fly? Great. They couldn't have done otherwise. Nobody said that a perceptual consciousness cannot learn. But given their, perceptual consciousness, environment, parenting, etc, they couldn't do anything else. The potentials involved are simply not the same. The present potential of an animal is determined by their evolutionary history at a concrete level. Humans do not have the same concrete method of functioning generation after generation. Humans used to be hunters and gatherers. We are not hunters and gatherers now. Humans do not inherit a concrete method of functioning (even though all generations of humans actually possess a specific concrete method of functioning). The inheritances involved are different: one involves concrete inheritance (whether prewired or imitated from parents or imitated from humans or through perceptual learning). The other involves 'volitional consciousness'. Natural selection can only act on concrete inheritance (since survival only involves concrete events). Natural selection simply cannot work without inheritance. This inheritance has to be concrete if it refers to the same entity in reality. Human traits proceeding from volitional consciousness do not follow concrete inheritance and cannot be acted upon by natural selection (simply because they change from generation to generation). Of course, this is a superficial way to say it. The reason some traits differ from generation to generation is choice. Other human traits which do not proceed from 'volitional consciousness' were acted upon by natural selection. However, humans did evolve. How? Through a rudimentary artificial selection. Some humans chose a certain concrete, rational way of living. It wasn't the concrete method of functioning that survived but the source that gave rise to it: 'volitional consciousness'. The trait (the concrete way of living that made our ancestors survive) wasn't inherited. The trait was man-made. It needn't have existed meaning that humans needn't have existed meaning humans (as a species) exist by choice. There was an artificial selection involved in our evolutionary history (this artificial selection acted on the inherited trait of 'volitional consciousness'). The fact that humans exist by choice is even more obvious now: we can potentially make our own species extinct using atom bombs. Animals cannot possess such a trait after the action of natural selection (any concrete inheritance [through learning or otherwise] that makes an animal kill itself will be negatively acted upon by natural selection). Suppose one animal in a herd acts suicidally (by accident) and other animals learn this behavior, that would be acted upon by natural selection. Since animals learn perceptually, this behavior has concrete inheritance. The species can go extinct. Something like this happened to dodo. The same cannot be said for humans. Humans don't learn by imitation. Other members of the same generation need not follow this behavior. Moreover, the next generation could be entirely rational. Natural selection simply cannot act on this (there is no concrete inheritance for these traits). Animals acquire traits concretely (with or without learning) and retain it by natural selection. Humans do not acquire (man-made) traits concretely. Why is everyone pretending that these facts have no consequences in reality? How could these facts possibly have no consequence? What consequences do you think these facts have, in terms of evolution of human beings vs evolution of other organisms. Are these irrelevant? If so, why?
  11. Strong muscles and the ability to see are the material upon which the ability to choose acts. Strong muscles don't constitute an ability to choose. They are the material. The ability to choose is volitional consciousness. As to the assertion that quills are only a potential survival advantage in the same way as volitional consciousness, that's wrong. Quills are a potential survival advantage but their possible relation with any particular environment is fixed. The standard by which the quills of an animal act automatically is life. They have an automatic, objective survival advantage. Volitional consciousness does not automatically act on the standard of life. The potential of a porcupine acts on the standard of life. The potential of a volitional consciousness does not automatically act on the standard of life. The potential of a volitional consciousness isn't just more complicated. Natural selection fully explains the selection pressure on animals. Saying that animal faculties in the present are just a potential like reason is confusing between the past and the present. The way animal faculties can potentially act in the present is exactly the same way they have actually acted in the past. The way volitional consciousness can potentially act in the present is not exactly the same way it acted in the past. The reason 'volitional consciousness' survived as a trait is because someone was rational in the past. That is not the potential of that trait for the present or for the future. The potential function of a quill or perceptual consciousness or animal learning or animal flight is exactly the same as the animal's history. The potential for a 'volitional consciousness' is different from the concrete events of the past. It need not even have been conceived yet. The difference is not one of "complication".
  12. I've already answered this several times. Any product of your choice is not a metaphysical fact. You are evading the choice involved. You are also equivocating between the two uses of the word "able", first as a capacity to prove that martians/saturnians are "able" to do something. Once you "proved" it, you swapped the meaning to introduce choice (survival advantage pertains to the real, the concrete. That concrete is the actual choice they made. The possibilities are your conceptions that you attributed to it. It doesn't exist in reality yet.) If you attributed to a martian the "possibility" of going to space or jumping into a volcano and if, in the future, you observed the martian jumping into a volcano, the other possibility of going into space isn't real. It is your conception. It doesn't exist. It can't affect anything in reality including survival advantage. What affects survival advantage is the actual choice: jumping into a volcano. The possibility of going to space doesn't exist now. It has no survival advantage. Just because you conceived of a possibility doesn't mean that it can affect reality. The finite choices X or X and Y are concrete bound. You aren't talking about volitional consciousness anymore. The possibilities of a volitional consciousness are potentially infinite (infinities don't exist in reality. These possibilities are potentials) and these possibilities can go either way (life or death). A saturnian may be better equipped to survive than a martian in the cold. These are metaphysically given. But in terms of their volitional consciousness, one is definitely not better than the other. Infinity has no nature and no survival advantage. The only metaphysical difference between the saturnian and the martian is the material on which they can act, the metaphysically given faculties they possess (and you swapped a faculty with a finite potential for a faculty for an infinite potential in your post when talking about X or X and Y).
  13. And these learned behaviors are called instincts. They are inherited in the sense that the things which cause them are inherited. They have no choice in what they learn. Even tribal behaviour in lions are probably learned, but these behaviors are still inherited by the nature of the faculties they have to use to survive. You (not me) are assuming a false dichotomy: either something is a mindless automata or it has volition. It is your assertion that animals are mindless automata if they don't have volition. Not mine. Animals can make decisions, but they have no volition. They couldn't have acted otherwise. Volition acknowledges the fact that you acted someway in the past but could have acted otherwise. No matter how complex animal learning is, everything from the signing of a chimpanzee to the "math" done by an African grey parrot is non-volitional. They couldn't have done otherwise. These behaviors don't exist in the wild but they are instinctual: they are automatic. They are learned, but they have no choice in that learning. They can make decisions but they have no choice in making that decision. Animal behaviours are learned, instinctual, and automatic. How they learn these behaviors is determined by their natures and hence is indirectly inherited. Behavior of domesticated animals is actually an example of instinct. Your assertion is that an instinct needs to be independent of the environment for it to be a true instinct. Basically, you've created a false dichotomy where if an action is contextual, it cannot be automatic and if it's automatic, it cannot depend on context. This is false: like pretty much anything in the world, instincts are contextual. You might be thinking of fixed pattern action but even that is contextual. Your argument is irrelevant to everything from human choice to human reflexes (and is irrelevant to animal reflexes, learning and instinct). Animal decision making is entirely perceptual. They aren't capable of error because they don't deal with anything that isn't the "given" in decision-making. Animals learn instinctually. They have no doubt about what they learn (because they couldn't have erred. Hey couldn't have done otherwise. There was nothing more they could do). The sign language, the math, the hunting are the "given". They are instinctual to animals because it is in their nature to do sign language and math (if sign language and math are introduced to them perceptually). They couldn't have done otherwise. This instinct is inherited: given their mental faculty, given the sign language in their "environment", given the reward system, they would invariably pick it up. This instinct is automatic and contextually invariable (the word contextually is unnecessary here. But you made this error before when talking about domesticated animals). In this context, sign language is an instinct: for an animal, it is an unerring, automatic action that results in rewards. It couldn't have done otherwise because that is its nature. For the chimpanzee, the sign language is the given. It doesn't know a universe without sign language. It is the perceptually evident and the animals grasps it unerringly: as a percept. A crucial question I want to ask you before further discussion: do you believe that decision making in animals involve volition (that is, do you think they could have acted otherwise)?
  14. It might as well be an "inherent disadvantage". Why are you disregarding the other possibility? Also, the advantage is not inherent (Rand: "...it was not inherent in the nature of existence...). The possibility was conceived by you. Of course, the nature of your mind allows you to carry it out, but it was still conceived by you. The possibility was not inherent in the nature of your mental faculty before you conceived of it (to say otherwise is to assume that the metaphysical facts of reality could have been otherwise. This is wrong. There are no different possibilities for metaphysical facts. They are what they had to be. The possibility is not inherent/metaphysical). It was a choice. Also, before further discussion: do you agree with the distinction Rand made between the metaphysical and the man-made? I already said this: "just so someone gets ideas: I'm not talking about the mutation that gave humans the faculty of reason. That was out of our control. I'm talking about what selected for this trait. That was a choice." How so? Which specific parts are you talking about?
  15. Volitional consciousness is necessary for all distinctly human achievements. But it isn't sufficient. It is impotent without actually making a choice. That is the only aspect needed for my argument. Your statistical statements are wrong though. Without choice, a volitional consciousness is absolutely impotent. Only because of the choices you make. You could have done otherwise. It has no inherent, automatic survival advantage. It does not function for your benefit automatically ("In regard to any man-made fact, it is valid to claim that man has chosen thus, but it was not inherent in the nature of existence for him to have done so: he could have chosen otherwise."). The choices you have made to survive wasn't metaphysically necessary. This is why a volitional consciousness has no inherent evolutionary advantage. The existence of volitional consciousness is a metaphysical fact. Its survival advantage is a man-made fact. There is a difference. The man-made survival advantage makes the selection process of 'volitional consciousness' artificial/man-made. Your assertion seems to amount to: 'if it gives no advantage without choice, it is impotent'. This is untrue. Just because something requires choice doesn't make it impotent. Man-made things aren't impotent. Rand: "Nothing is given to man on earth except a potential and the material on which to actualize it. The potential is a superlative machine: his consciousness; but it is a machine without a spark plug, a machine of which his own will has to be the spark plug, the self-starter and the driver; he has to discover how to use it and he has to keep it in constant action." No. The actual evolution of quills involved concrete events. In the case of humans, the concrete event is 'choice'. The potential is 'volitional consciousness'. 'Volitional consciousness' is the heritable trait. The specific choice isn't.