Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Easy Truth

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Easy Truth

  1. A Complex Standard of Value

    If you want to work with 3 aspects, then so be it. But what if someone else comes along and says I want to work with 5 aspects. How would you limit it? Also, why limit your self to 3? You could also have Psychological, Evolutionary, Longevity etc. added. I think of standard as The single (only) comparator (entity/aspect to compare with). I personally think that there should be one standard that incorporates all the aspects and I think that is what Rand attempted. I assume that some of the 3 aspects in a sense are being ignored compared to the others and that concerns you. Which one is not getting enough attention? The other question I have is, "knowledge as a value", isn't it derived from biological? Pleasure may also a be an aspect of biological.
  2. Truth as Disvalue

    It is the goal and reward, in that way it is part of the definition. I suppose if there were minimal facts available, complete unfamiliarity, maybe then, all you have is "gut feel" or intuition. When facts are available, facts win. Pleasure pain emotions are not reliable means of cognition and judgment. Agreed. "a man"? Sure. But a rational man with a clear concept happiness with integrated emotions and thought, no. There is no conflict. When one has not done his intellectual house cleaning (checked his premises) and lives with contradictions, the problem exists.
  3. Truth as Disvalue

    By definition "survival qua man" has happiness as part of its identity (part of its definition). Survival qua man devoid of happiness is really survival qua "plant". You seem to make a distinction that I don't understand. From the smallest to largest field of awareness, everyone can know what "a life worth living" is. That goes from caveman to a partially cyborg human, or from a 12-year-old to an 80-year-old, etc. In Romeo and Juliet, they died due to a mistake thinking that a life worth living was not available to them. We are not infallible. But where there is no volition, there is no moral evaluation. You taught me that. So this can't be an ethics question. What guides action? One's contextual certainty. You already know all of this so I don't know what you are really asking. You may have to give a concrete example. I hope others jump in because my brain is fried.
  4. Truth as Disvalue

    A morality that works in a subjective world can't be counted on in this universe. Like a map of a wrong city, it is useless in guidance, even if it promises to feel good. In a subjective universe, eliminating fear would remove a threat. In that world, fear creates (the concrete) "threat". Alternatively, the OP is considering fear as metaphysically equivalent to "threat", believing that evading fear is the same as getting rid of "threat". There is a deifying of fear, an overvaluing of fear's promise of safety and a logical mistake of equating fear and threat. The OP's morality belongs to a different universe. Deifying fear, worshiping fear is to give it a reverence and importance that fear does not deserve. This is due to thought, a belief that attention to fear is high in the hierarchy of values. Fear has its place, encouraging awareness and therefore protecting but fear is not a cognitive tool to determine value. Guidance of morality must be fact-based rather than directed by pain, pleasure or emotion. An evaluation by pain or pleasure, fear or joy may or may not correspond to what actually is a value. A partial reality means "not real", even with one deviation. A partially real universe pushes out the real universe from consciousness. The law of contradiction either applies or it does not without an excluded middle. A morality that is not completely based on reality provides guidance for a nonexistent world. Therefore guidance based on "nothing" is guidance that does not exist. The OP claims to adhere to a morality, but he is adhering to nothing. To claim "I am moral" when one's morality is "nothing" is dishonest, fraudulent, diseased and therefore reprehensible. To be pleased by a fiction that death does not exist can be enjoyed, the same way as we enjoy fiction. A temporary journey into an imaginary world. The fundamental choice is to know or to evade the fact that existence exists. Either way, it exists. Only adherence to a morality that takes an existence that is independent of consciousness into account will help in creating a real (existable) happiness (that is possible). In this one existent universe, if oblivion is eliminated, fear will disappear (in response). Instead, when fear by itself is eliminated, oblivion does not respond, it remains. Allowing oblivion to remain, letting go of the fear is the only life-enhancing choice available. A fictitious counterfeit morality will prevent the truly possible value from being achievable. This solution can be ignored or evaded but only an accurate map indicating possible routes avoids taking roads to nowhere. Where you are is where are, and your destination is where it is. A redrawn feel good map will NOT move locations, it will not bring the destination closer. A map changed through evasion will not change the actual distance to be traveled. To base one's moral code, arbitrarily or unrealistically, with the expectation of happiness will most likely prevent happiness. To embrace inevitable oblivion is to embrace life qua man which is not a carefree existence. The fact that the OP has chosen life and happiness bounds him to that standard. To achieve or maintain life or happiness he has to follow certain rules and a certain path. His choice shows that he is capable of an act of volition. The OP will say "I can't". In this context, it means "I won't, I am too afraid". There is a difference between "it is impossible" vs. "I am not willing". The OP can follow through with his plan but a continuous evasion of the knowing/awareness of a threat does not eliminate the threat. The OP will be under constant bombardment by the truth. Life will become an unnecessary war. The feelings toward oblivion may change temporarily but the threat will carry on to its conclusion. The head in the sand is no protection. If the OP is not willing to accept the truth that it is possible to accept the inevitability of oblivion, then the only way open to the OP is a prison of constant lies. Instead, there can be one more exercising of volition to create peace. When "awareness of dread" replaces "life" as the ultimate value, the contradiction leads to a dwindling consciousness, a death before its time. A false guidance born of a dependence on a false deity in the form of fear. Fear only has power when it is valuable, revered, worshiped. Like the Greek gods that lost their powers when no one worshiped them anymore. When fear is seen as a companion rather than a God, it allows a real life, to illuminate the path ahead, as the actual ultimate value.
  5. The Audit

    In business emails, you learn that people will read your first 3 sentences and if it does not get to the point, they don't read the rest. I would not have asked for your two cents if you were unbearably talkative. Do I think you are talkative? Sometimes. Do I want you to stop? No. I would rather you continue to be "whatever you are" rather than stop being as insightful and communicative as you have been. I think most people are too talkative in person so I am biased, not the best judge of this. I want my answer and nothing else, Furthermore, what exactly does being too talkative mean? Is there an objective measurement.Isn't talkative mostly in the eyes of the beholder? I notice you put likes and thanks on posts, is that being too talkative?? Why do you suspect that you are talkative?
  6. Truth as Disvalue

    So it all goes to the heart of the definition of value. Then a value that does not point to an "existent", attracts toward non-existence. If one defines values as that which one gains or keeps to live, then valuing "nothing" is in fact NOT "valuing", it's doing something else. Also, "non-existence is a value", it is a contradiction. It is in fact not a value or a fake value, a counterfeit value. It is a lie. In other words, if life is existence, and valuing is a means to existence, then valuing non-existence is a contradiction, it is not an act of valuing in the first place. Valuing existence (rather than nonexistence) is what means valuing. So the argument (to this logical OP) would go like this "What you think is valuing is not valuing at all, what you see (or feel) as valuable is not valuable". Life after death may seem or feel valuable but IS NOT valuable (by definition). This is where feeling good and valuing diverge. That's the best I can do, for now, hold off on the abyss. But ruminating about the abyss is usually worse than the abyss itself.
  7. Truth as Disvalue

    You seem to be making the case that value is absolutely tied to truth. That rationality is a value because it leads to truth. That truth is almost identical to value. Or that value, at its core, is the truth (a constituent). A plant can't go toward an untrue sun, an imaginary sun, it will die in darkness. The implication is that even one single evasion can't be a value.
  8. Sanity, or The Human Evasion

    Pathologically interested in other people? Interesting although too vague for my taste. One can be fascinated or focused on the powers that be (ones in control), simply to create the best life for themselves. An investor may be vigilant, sometimes overly vigilant about "the news" which is about other people. It helps with investing. Gold goes up when there is war, even if it is far away and nothing to do with oneself. One could ask "am I too interested in others?", "is my interested in others (as a whole), a waste of time?". When I ask it about others as a whole, I find that a lot of meaning in my life comes from others. Being interested in the nature of mankind is interest in others, isn't it? Is being interested in ethics a preoccupation with others? Altruism is about a positive valuation of oneself solely based on how much one helped others. Without helping another, one is worthless or evil. A self-interested person could help others by employing them or trading with them. Some of these self-interested people do not see any evil in altruism. They may feel like they have done their part. But they are vulnerable to being worthless with the "others" that they don't help, like "the competition". In discussions, I am noticing that altruism is interpreted as "no losers", as in no competition. To argue against altruism, I end up having to argue for competition and for the necessity of "losers". I wish it were as simple as calling altruism a pathology.
  9. Addiction: Coffee, TV, and laziness

    There is a problem with the statement "over-listening". How would one determine "I have listened enough to this music?". It also depends on if the music is all-consuming, turning one into an unmoving vegetable or allowing one to tolerate a difficult task. My understanding is that to determine if something is an addiction, it is interfering with one's proper function as a whole, that one's life is not at its best because a particular action/process is taking most of the available resources, like time or money. A person without goals would have a hard time determining if they have an addiction.
  10. Truth as Disvalue

    It was a good read, thank, I remember the scene and it is very impactful. Could Keating or Toohey have been woken up? Maybe not. But we are talking about falling into the abyss rather than finding our way back. It always depends on when you get to them. If the OP is at an early stage, maybe an argument can help. Is truth worth dying for? Is preventing evasion worth dying for? It goes without saying that every life has its own characteristics and same with the amount of tolerance for pain that a person has. This means that part of the solution would be a logical argument against what they want to do and then there would be the character of the person and his environment. I remember the Jones town Guyana mass suicides. I wondered where the evasions started, not only with Jim Jones but his followers. It reminded me of what was going on in "We the Living" and other stories about socialist countries like Cambodia with Pol Pot. If one of my friends had wanted to join the cult, what would I have done? Heaven's Gate members believed the planet was about to be "recycled". How can one argue against that? In the American Civil War, how did people choose to fight for the north or the south? How can one argue and make them fight for the other side, or better yet to flee to Canada? Is this in the realm of ethics of emergencies? Are they too far gone where there is practically no volition left? If so, the demarcation line would be the moment the person loses their ability to choose their way back.
  11. Truth as Disvalue

    No, not a contradiction, when the thread started with the post, especially in the climate that existed with the Peikoff tape regarding finding happiness and some other things, it was a heavy time. It was a sad moment to see SL having to do what SL was proposing. I was worried and believed many like you, Dreamweaver, donathos were worried. It was after his coming back and his post about "reprehensible" premises that I realized it was all made up. I was relieved that he would be okay but also annoyed that he had put me through something difficult. I also strongly disagree with some of his premises in his "coming back post" but it was just going to upset him so I let it be. I had discussed the original post with the local Objectivist group (they don't frequent the forum) and I was asked "why am I so hard on this guy, we all have trouble with the going into oblivion problem" and were mostly bothered by my discomfort. I was nevertheless very disturbed partially because I have felt as if I lost a friend (even though he is the last thing I would call a friend) and because I had expected to depend on SL's faculties and knowledge and I found them personally valuable. (even though I don't exactly get along with him in many cases). But mostly there was a sense of "what a waste of talent" and that this type of things "should" not happen in an Objectivist group, and that something was very wrong. In summary, I was worried when I did not know it was make-believe, I'm not worried after I found out. (what puzzles me is why you and dream_weaver seem to act like the OP was not make-believe) Thanks for the work on the Fountainhead thread, I read it but it was many years ago and will try to connect the dots.
  12. Jan Helfeld Interviews

    After I saw this I watched Peikoff's course on values as objective. My understanding is the objective means a combination of what's out there and one's subjective evaluation. Why do you see his view as only being intrinsic? After all, doesn't he also include his evaluation (as a human)?
  13. Truth as Disvalue

    I may or may not understand the Fountainhead example you refer to. Elaborate if you can. My understanding is that this thread was, in fact, an intellectual exercise. As such, with the logic mind that SL has, his problem would not have been believing in unreality but investing tremendous energy in preventing reality from getting through. He, in particular, will not be successful at pushing reality away. He has a passion for both reality and logic, you can see it all over the place in this forum. Now if this was genuine desire to shut out an aspect of reality (not a thought exercise), it would be based on overwhelming emotion. In this case fear. If we were to support a fearful person, it would start by "accepting" who he is and holding him and his environment as "safe", not labeling certain thoughts as reprehensible or immoral. One has to accept oneself to be able to move an improved state. If you attack someone's self-esteem, they will not budge. This also holds true if you attack your own self-worth. There seems to be a fundamental difference of opinion that you and I have. You think that a person who is not stupid can (willfully, in his right mind) choose to do something stupid while I don't see it as possible. It seems contradictory as if you are saying that a person can have a mind and not have a mind at the same time. It is like saying that someone who is driving at 70 miles on the freeway full of traffic, in his right mind, can choose to close his eyes to reach his destination. I don't believe his mind will allow him to do that. Other than being in error or being tricked, the only reason to do something like that is when one has lost their mind ... when one is not in their right mind. I assume you are looking at it in a different way than I am (context), I can't figure out what that is.
  14. Truth as Disvalue

    So many dramatic phrases "intellectual suicide", "going insane", and the bizarre idea of "choosing insanity". There is no imminent threat of suicide, there is no dire situation, Unless believing in an eternal life implies wanting to end it now.There is no indication of such a plan, therefore, the OP is not creating a threat to his survival, (no matter how you define it, survival qua man, happiness, flourishing, etc). Now, if someone told me "I want to kill myself, help me change my mind" I would find the suicide prevention hotline and get them involved as they are more adept at dealing with it. If the gist of this thread had been to convince us that one can change the mind of a suicidal person simply with logic, it would have been seriously misguided and might have gotten some people killed. Other than the suicide area, if someone said "What I think is wrong, convince me of the truth" all I have to do is help the person lay it out, clarify it and they will end up seeing what does not make sense. They already know the truth and want it to have a more prominent place in their consciousness. But ultimately, it is their life, they own their life and at some point, I have to respect whatever they want to do. In that case, StrictlyLogical might find his Seppuku knife and do the honorable thing. Then we would have to go through the painful task of finding out how to show that we bowed when we heard the news. I haven't seen an emoji for that.
  15. Truth as Disvalue

    The most significant issue about this thread to me is that it seems to prove that genuine bonding between people can happen using this medium of communication (this forum). People including myself were genuinely worried about you. Are you somehow evading knowing that fact? If so how does that help your survival?
  16. A definition of 'context'

    I see your point. Although I do have a question why do you mention "prescription" with regards to context? To define context isn't all you need the description? The reason I am confused is that I find myself only observing the context, I don't see myself trying to create the context based on what I want to discover. Object A is in front of object B (B is hidden behind A) based on looking at it from the south. From the west, both objects are visible. So If I want to see both objects, I choose the perspective/context "west". Then it allows me to see both. (I am not trying to discover them, or you calling this discovering?). When it comes to discovering, I accidentally looked at it from the west and I found out there also exists an object B. Previously I only saw Object A from the south. As an aside, I feel that the concept "context" is extremely important because I see many disagreements due to two people talking about the same thing but in different contexts and not being able to detect the other person's context. If I can master awareness of contextual shifts, it should become easier to create more agreements.
  17. How to Morally Judge Amoral vs. Immoral Men

    "At no point was I consciously trying to hurt myself" is what I am emphasizing. And I would add that at no point in your current life, in this current moment are you trying to hurt your self. So I still have trouble imagining how a person would actually choose to be stupid. One could talk about "jackass videos" people trying bizarre things for thrills, but I tend to think that at the time (not in hindsight), they genuinely think that what they are NOT being stupid. One might not have the time or tolerance to see all the possible consequences. Is that the source of the moral culpability?
  18. But what about one's unique experience? I supposed one could call it one's unique perspective on an objective universe. The experience, as an experience, objectively, is different than everyone else. Can't that be considered a subjective viewpoint? In other words, subjectivity, if it does not denote many separate worlds, is a valid concept.
  19. The Myth of Sacrificial Morality

    The act of "giving up one's life" for a cause, usually is not tantamount to suicide, it is a commitment that is very risky. A path that has a high probability of losing one's life. Does that mean that a self-interested man does not risk his life? It happens all the time. Or does it mean that a self-interested man "should" not risk his life? Life by definition is a risky state of being. The self-sustained action is to minimize or eliminate the risk. So martyrdom is always possible. One can die at any time, in midst of achieving anything. So any value can be the source of martyrdom. That can't be equivalent to sacrificing. To attain freedom has an experiential attractiveness. Like going from a "drab" life to an interesting life. At the moment of choice, when having a painfully boring life or hopeless life, freedom is very attractive.
  20. Whose is this life anyway

    So the torturer cannot ever force a victim to look at him (the torturer) as "good". That is not part of human nature. The victim is "always" free to chose how he will view the torturer. I wonder if the issue is a descriptive vs. prescriptive issue. That where individual rights have been eradicated, descriptively, people will still have choices to go to the left or the right. But individual rights are what a human should have (prescriptively) but are absent in those societies.
  21. Two kinds of ethics

    I wonder if what you mean is that the human mind "should" not be domesticated. That enslavement will backfire for the enslaver. But that's not what most countries nowadays believe in. From what I can see, most think that: You can enslave some as long as you have a "base" that will support you. Syria with Assad is like that. China is like that. There are other examples too including manifestations here. I have not studied political science but I am willing to bet that their bottom line conclusion is: Domesticate the population to the point that you (the government) can't get away with it anymore. Until then, it's okay.
  22. Truth as Disvalue

    When you say, the truth is more important than life itself, what does "the truth" mean in that context? It can't be any pedantic truth, like how many red cars are in the parking lot right now, or did the neighbors down the street play chess last Saturday. I would assume there are certain truths you would give up your life for. Some truths are intolerable. Soldiers that are wounded will go into shock if they are fully conscious of the pain. Pushing the experience away increases chances of staying alive. Of course, that is contextual and temporary. People will die for what they believe is the truth, their god, their system of justice and tradition (the true and just way) etc. Those are specific beliefs. I personally don't like the idea of looking back and realizing that I lived a lie all my life and had NO IDEA. I feel like I never lived my life like I was never there. But if not knowing something, as in "not having it in my face all the time" enhanced my life and I knowingly avoided it, I was taking good care of myself. I don't need to know that a bus can hit me at any moment.
  23. A definition of 'context'

    All definitions are contextual, and a primitive definition does not contradict a more advanced one: the latter merely expands the former. ("Definitions,” Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, 42–43) The key for me is that he uses the phrase "within the field of one’s awareness". So I would conclude: That which is causing, maintaining the field of awareness is the context. But the "field", is the context. The field is experienced when the perception is experienced. So "perspective" fits very well. If I am looking at a hair with a microscope, it looks different than with the naked eye. It looks large in the microscopic context and small "line" in the naked-eye context. One could say "from the perspective of looking through a microscope it is this". From a different perspective, it is that.
  24. Truth as Disvalue

    But where does this motivation come from? It's not pleasure or pain (it seems). So where does the "ideal" (truth is the highest value) coming from? Basically, how is this "height" measured? Why would peace of mind be less of a value than truth?
  25. Truth as Disvalue

    Yes, but why? If x is a value higher than y, how do you make that measurement? Isn't truth (epistemologically speaking) a means to an end?