Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Easy Truth

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Easy Truth

  1. Which is kind of a circular answer in that the person is asking "what is worth sustaining". Isn't this basically determined by emotional response? Not sure when rationality comes in without knowing what you like. Your examples are in fact what the young person wants to know. The hypothetical young person is asking for advice on how to give meaning in his life and the examples you give should be helpful. Now, the idea of "his moral ideal" can be interpreted as subjective or objective. On the other hand "image of man" seems to be objective. What does "image of man" mean in this context"? In theory that could help my hypothetical young person. But ... there is the person that has done ALL that he set out to do. Now, he is in a sense, restarting his life, the question of meaning comes up again. He has done the career and the children thing. Now what? What objective image of man is there to follow in this case?
  2. Yes, but are all of his values chosen? Aren't some of one's values "inclinations/tendencies" that one is born with. As in some have a craving for sugary stuff. Some sleep only 4 hours, some can't sleep less than 8 (like me). Apparently men like "things" and women prefer "people" which pushes people into those type of careers.(I saw this in a Jordan Peterson interview). In other words, I would agree with "within the context of his values", but it seems that the context, takes away some free will. When I was formally doing "growth work", i.e. working on my self psychologically, usually it is about changing oneself, going a better direction. Sometimes one sees its won't happen, I have tried everything, and it is concluded that "this is me", this is who I am, it is not going to change. As in "I will never be skinny", "I will never obtain a Doctorate in Anthropology", become like my father etc. etc. I suppose capability and talent also shape one's values, as in preventing certain avenues from being pursued. Bottom line, if a young person asks you, "how can I make my life meaningful", the question one asks is "what do you really want in life?". They sometimes will ask "What should I want?". Now one can warn that it is a way of becoming a "second hander", that the person has the obligation to come up with the answer for them self. That is all well and good, but it does not answer the question what is "meaningful" for a human being. In other words, what does "meaningful" mean in this context.
  3. I would agree with David. You may have to limit your definition to human life because your requirements push it in that direction. Unfortunately there are other problems to sort out in your formulation. Some human may want to replicate, but some don't and won't and they are alive and have an opportunity and desire to flourish. Question is if the nature of a human requires that they replicate to be happy. Some can't have children. If this premise was true then same sex couples and people that can't have children are doomed to never flourish. I have not seen data on this but I have not seen epidemic type conditions indicating medication or psychological help for these populations. In other words, there is no indication that lack of replication causes prevention of flourishing. We will assume that those who want to commit suicide are aberrations, abnormal, diseased. So a life not worth living would be lived by some who flourish (a contradiction). Now, it is true that without replication humans would not survive as a race. Is species survival equivalent to human life or a necessity of human life? Then you are talking about group life, not an individual life. If so, you have to explain the needs of both. How does an individual flourish vs. how does a group flourish. You talk about patterns of thought and replication. That implies certain thoughts have to be replicated for the species to survive or flourish. Maybe, not sure. So bottom line, it needs some work.
  4. By pattern I am looking at the way one uses it to find the similar. In software engineering one does a lot of pattern matching. I see "concept formation" as "coming up with the pattern" and "concept recognition" as "pattern matching" once you have the pattern. (I will look at what the guy says further) I am not talking about the pattern that grass makes. A blade of grass has a pattern to it. That pattern does not exist in a table or car. I use pattern more like "definition". The aspect of concepts that stands out in this context is that it is a template to recognize (potential) referents with. If I know "table-ness", then I recognize the pattern, the design, the outline, the definition ... when I see another one, a new one. I am actually wondering what you and others think in this regard, I have my confusions. I want to see if I am completely off. My understanding is that if there were no minds, there would be no patterns (in this sense). I define patterns as a set of relationships. Does a relationship exist based on consciousness recognizing it, or is a relationship physical/metaphysical?
  5. Yes and I agree with all of what you have said. Just trying to resolve some questions that come up. I am concerned that "concepts are also in time, in "change"" is interpreted as an intrinsic view of concepts. I think of concepts as patterns you can find out there. The argument can be made the pattern is out there no matter if I (we) see it or not. At the heart of the question is: at what point does a concept exist? From what I understand if all billions of humans have never come up with the concept via induction it does not exist. When one person comes up with the concept (even if he has not communicated it to any one else), then the concept "exists", i.e. it is real. That concept did not exist in the physical realm or else we would have said it always existed. Isn't the conclusion: Therefore, it is not physical i.e. matter. The other thing I notice is that for a concept to stop existing, it has to become unimportant and forgotten by ALL humanity. It is a mistaken contradictory concept that once existed as a valid concept, then changed to a known contradiction, and then poof ... gone. Maybe its a rationalistic thought process, but I can't help follow the logic.
  6. First I want to focus on the concept itself. Is the concept matter? (or is "a" concept matter) I grant you that a concept is "represented" somehow in the brain. I would argue that the representation mechanism is not the "thing represented". The projector is not what you see on the screen although it does cause it. Kind of like saying "you see that film on the screen, it is a projector". I see it similar to a "pointer" in a computer program that points to a memory location. The pointer is not the memory location, it points to it. I hope I am not muddying the water by my examples.
  7. I can see that the mind controls the hand and I can't explain the connection. But the thought or concept "isolation" or "swimming" has no weight or location. How does that get reconciled?
  8. Causal connection. Physical, material causality through direct and indirect contact or through fields or whatever else physics may discover. Then that thing would be unknowable, and it would be arbitrary to speculate about its existence. So based on that, a false thought, a mistake or contradiction, a thought without referent, is "somehow" connected to everything/existence. That seems to be a known-unknown (a known nonsense). As opposed to a non-existent which is not connected and not noticed at all. That seems to be an unknown-unknown. (or would this be an unknowable or both) How do I know about the unknowable when it is not connected? (Why is one capable of forming the concept)
  9. How much awareness of anything do you have to have for it to be itself? Split second awareness? or some sort of continuous awareness? Doesn't induction requires a series of "hits" to one's perception mechanism.
  10. SL When you do the DA stuff I don't know who is who, I will just put in my two cents and talk about the particular statements: When I am asleep, and others are conscious of my existence, do I exist? Doesn't including a "subjective/objective delineation" necessary to deal with this issue. Subjectively speaking: Every item in existence, exists dependent on my consciousness of it That includes me as one of the items in existence. I do need to be aware of "my awareness of myself" in order for me to have "conscious awareness of myself". Objectively speaking: Every item in existence, exists independent of any consciousness of it (mine or others). That includes me as one of the items in existence. I do not need to be aware of "my awareness of myself" in order for me to have "conscious awareness of myself". I need to be aware of "my awareness of myself" to know that I exist to have the full subjective perspective, the subjective perspective of self. But the objective perspective of self comes from the fact of knowing "I was asleep, they know I was here even though I don't" I can't be aware of the fact that I am not aware of myself. Also Philosophically speaking, is there an awareness that is not conscious? (you say "conscious awareness" - seems redundant) Are you saying subconscious awareness of self? (certainly not unconscious awareness) My understanding is that philosophically, consciousness means "conscious of". Not the levels of consciousness in psychology.
  11. I will make a decision based on what I know. I could be wrong. When I decide, I will be certain that I am doing the best of all my choices. Otherwise, I would be in paralysis. Now, that is human certainty, that is the certainty that is possible, that is the certainty that is. You are implying that Rand said that you can't be wrong which is not true. The kind of certainty you are talking about is an omniscient type certainty, a supernatural certainty, a certainty that does not exist in this world. Knowing what will happen in 5 minutes, without possibility of error, means I have no free will. I can't do anything else, I can't chose anything else, I already know what I will do.
  12. And yet, you are certain about that. Then you might be dead. This is not an insult, simply playing out the logic you are putting forth. Or, maybe you are not honest. Or maybe you are honest but wrong.
  13. Not that simple. The common example is "tell that to the Nazi concentration camp guard". He was being responsible and realistic, he knew Jews and others were subhuman and should be treated like that. He probably was compassionate and loving when he went home at night. All he had that may have protected him, or illuminated him, were in fact his emotions, the gnawing feeling that something is wrong. But rationality was to ignore them.
  14. Having a meaningful life seems to be a necessity of survival qua man. A meaningless life, is painful, leading to depression anxiety etc. And granted for each it takes a different path, there are different interests etc. But there must be a core definition that is common to all. That all meaningful lives share. Further more, in the context, "meaning" has a particular definition. It is not like reading something and determining what it "means". Life has to have a meaning. Well, it is what it is. It has a nature. I have a nature. What can a person bring to it, other than observing this "so called meaning". In psychology, the closest seems to be the concept of the "flow". Being in the flow. But one can argue that one can be engrossed in the flow of meaningless activity too. There is also another aspect, that of being "good", avoiding being "evil".
  15. And yet, you are certain about that.
  16. Who would be an example of this? The reasons I ask is that my experience is that usually someone who is irrational also seems irrational. Also, Doesn't being compassionate and loving require discerning, like you don't want to be compassionate and loving toward a rattle snake. Can't be dogmatic about it, it can kill you.
  17. There seem to be several contexts (word or concept), therefore different definitions of meaningless: 1. A word or phrase that is meaningless the word/phrase or symbol refers to no concept or concrete (lack of language understanding or gibberish) 2. A concept that is meaningless A concept that has no referent (as in a contradiction or falsehood or lack of exposure or knowledge) Regarding meaning, this also implies that: A word or phrase that has meaning, refers to a concept or concrete. A concept that has meaning, refers to two or more concretes. (a concept referring to only one concrete is not a concept) A meaningful word or phrase can be a meaningless concept. A meaningless concept can be a meaningful word or phrase. A meaningless word or phrase cannot ever be a meaningful concept.
  18. If you want to go down that road one could indicate "truly unimaginable" vs. unimaginable, as if it were another category. But I get your point. I suppose it is similar to "known unknown" vs. "unknown unknown". I make the distinction: variable x, is a place holder. The number 5 is a number. But one could say they are both numbers. I suppose you would say I imagine what is in x. Then I have to indicate the difference in some other way, perhaps the word imagine is not the right. Just because my mind fills in the blanks when reading poetry does not mean I imagined a referent. I personally can't imagine what something that is and isn't is. Although I as a concept, it defines what does not exist. Similar to the concept "nothing". As in, it isn't anything. I can use the word, work with the concept, but I can't imagine a referent because there is none. As in, there is no image.The fact that I put it into words does not mean that I can imagine it. Although perhaps, you can. I ask this seriously. (or you consider that which can be conceptualized automatically has been imagined). In the case of a table, I can and do imagine a table in addition to working with the concept table. In the case of infinity, I can't imagine infinity, but I work with the concept in Calculus etc. So you seem to say "if I understand a concept", I have imagined it. But I see a difference.
  19. There seem to be perspectives on types of reality. There are elements of consciousnesses like fiction or concepts that have been imagined or observed by someone. Aren't they real too? As in, Harry Potter is a "real" fictitious character. Not metaphysically real of course. Also, aren't "rights" real? (both objectively and normatively) Isn't fear or anger real? If they are NOT real, then we must be explicit and say metaphysically real rather than the ambiguous term "real" or "reality". I don't know the word for it, what is "the realm of consciousness" as in: mental entities, thoughts, emotions, concepts, imagination? Having said all there, there is an unambiguous category of unreal: The specific category of (meaningless/unreal) defined as: that which has no referent and is unimaginable. Example: That which is green and not green, soft and not soft, that which exists in every way and does not exist in every way. That which is unreal and non existent and unimaginable (nothing fits the description at all).
  20. Depending on what is meant. To say that something is slower, and then say it is faster, is to say it is slower and not slower. Which is to say nothing, i.e. meaningless, unknowable, indeterminable. But to say in this way it is faster but in this other way it is slower, is not a contradiction. You have to include the context, the time, the perspective.
  21. When there is a contradiction, there is a problem with "my thoughts". Why? Because contradictions exist, but as concepts, as thoughts, as imagination. They do not exist outside of consciousness. They are artifacts of a mind only (sort of a mental entity). So when someone says they don't exist, it is in that context. When something floats, it implies there is no gravity. It could. Or it could mean your thoughts are incorrect. You have to ask what holds the water down? Why doesn't the object float above the water? If there was no gravity, the water should float upward and the object should float above that too at some point. The implication is that "something holds it all down". If contradictions exist, the the water is the object which is the air which is the floor which is the sky which is you and me and gravity. If a contradictions exist, if they are out there, outside of the mind the the world that you see is and isn't, Anything is heavy and is not heavy, Nothing can be distinguished, everything is the same and different. There is no point in asking "why" anymore, the answer would be meaningless. In any face to face discussion, to claim that contradictions exist outside of the mind, ends up meaning "end of conversation".
  22. Another world simply goes against the law of identity. Another world means: A is A (at the same time and perspective) AND A is (not A) (at the same time and the same perspective BUT in another world). Sometimes the mistake is that "another world", is "another perspective of this world". Based on the definition of the universe (not in physics but in philosophy) (per the lexicon) "The universe is the total of that which exists—not merely the earth or the stars or the galaxies, but everything". In Physics, when other universes exist, that can only mean that their definition of "the universe", is not "everything". What is meant by the universe can only be "a subset of everything". As in perhaps the universe after the big bang and another before. Then one can ask the OP's question as "is there another everything"? Is there another "all"? But by definition, how many "all" 's are there? The "All" without filters, limitations, exceptions. "All" as in every one of them. How many "every one of them" can there be? Same with totality: 2+2 is 4, or are there other "totals" too? (in another world?) If there is more than one "all", then it contradicts the definition of all or totality. When one states "All living things have a choice to live or die", is there another "all" somewhere else? Are there dead things that are living things? (in another world?) If true, the logicalness would have to be of another world too. Clearly, we can imagine other worlds. Phenomenologically, we live in many worlds, a province of psychology/consciousness, but metaphysically, there is only one existence.
  23. Trying to grapple with this one, but still confused. The "subliminal effect" seems to be an interpretation of perception. But (interpretation/interpreting) is not necessarily a form of consciousness. (but the result of it is) Emotions are a form of interpretation of reality that is not consciously done (chosen) but consciously experienced. In that way, the "subliminal effect" could be categorized as a type of subconscious activity/processing. With this formulation, that would imply that emotions are also a subconscious activity/processing. The problem is that emotions, per se, are something perceived/experienced, not a type of consciousness. On the other hand, "being emotional" could be categorized as a type of consciousness (psychologically speaking), as in panic-stricken, or calm, or fascinated or aroused in this case. But the raw emotions of anger, fear, sadness, sexual arousal etc. is an experience/perception (perceived). So, "subliminal effect" has to be looked at as "subliminal experience", which in this case is the arousal itself. Then that experience can be categorized as subconscious. But one is fully conscious when experiencing the arousal so the question is "what causes one experience to be considered as conscious, but another as subconscious"? What is the key difference? Another complication is: One could say sleepwalking is subconscious. But one is not conscious of doing it. So is that an unconscious or nonconscious experience? From a philosophical/epistemological sense, the validity of "experience" or the truthfulness of the form of consciousness seems to be of most concern. Psychology does not make such a judgment, it is just a study of the states.
  24. Yes, one can interpret the definition in several ways so for communication on this forum it has to be defined. Unconcious (of everything) can refer to "being dead". Or it can simply mean that which one is not conscious "of", which may include what you may have denied. what you have never seen but is out there, or what you were not taught or not interested in knowing, or even mistakes. But then there is the issue of "will", as in "I did this with conscious intent" vs. "I did this through habit". Unconscious can simply mean that which is not conscious, which may include what you may have denied it to be (nonconscious, subconscious, sleep etc.). There are even more definitions but I think I understand where you are going with it and in psychology, it does not mean what it means in philosophy. In philosophy, unconscious seems to refer to "not knowing". (usually needs a target) And being conscious is simply awareness/knowing. I assume someone has compiled the possible meanings so we don't talk about different things. Otherwise, each of us will have to be more verbose, indicating the definition used.
  25. Doesn't (a universal with) metaphysical substance imply "it has a referent", an instance? Then do "errors of knowledge" have metaphysical substance? As in, do contradictions have metaphysical substance? That which is and is not in the same way and at the same time. Does this have a metaphysical substance? The logic question that comes up is "how can that which that has no metaphysical substance, be a "root" metaphysical substance?" "The universal itself is real and we can be aware of it in both its physical and mental aspects". Agreed, but there, you are describing only a universal that has an instance, as in it (the universal) refers to something. When it refers to nothing (metaphical), then there is only a mental aspect. A contradiction is a universal too. But there is no physical aspect, only mental. It is a real concept in the mind (but not real "out there" (metaphysically)).
  • Create New...