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Veritas

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Veritas last won the day on June 2

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  1. Ayn Rand said in ITOR in regards to concepts “The ability to regard entities as units is mans distinctive method of cognition” Isn’t this what a gazelle is doing when it only gets afraid of the Lion that is nearby and not the elephant or the ground hog? Isn’t it separating in its mind somehow the difference between the group lions? Isn’t it distinguishing particulars amongst the animal existents?
  2. Existence is independent of consciousness. I cannot think, "tree move" and it succumb to my wishes. But, what it is it that makes my hand move? It cannot be my thoughts can it? Thoughts have no influence over matter. What is it that makes my hand move? How is it that the material that makes me me connect to my mind in a way that is different that my mind being connected to the tree? Is it simply because my consciousness it part of my identity? What am I missing?
  3. I think that one can prove a negative in certain circumstances, but it has to be something that pertains to reality. One cannot prove a negative statement about something that is arbitrary and I think that is what they were getting at. For example I can prove that Karl is not in the room by simply opening up the room and seeing that Karl is not there. But Karl is at least a possible person and not arbitrary. The idea of God (strictly the miracle working god) is incoherent (rationally speaking) and arbitrary in regards to reality.
  4. Right, one would have to prove that the Law of Identity is false and then establish a new system of reality in order to prove an existence that can exist with no identity, which is quite arbitrary.
  5. Thank you to the posting contributors. Thanks for giving me both your time and consideration.
  6. I wanted to add this to the discussion at hand as it adds to the very scope of what I presented initially, what was commented on, and how I conclude the matter. Quited from AR Lexicon Arbitrary ¶ “Arbitrary” means a claim put forth in the absence of evidence of any sort, perceptual or conceptual; its basis is neither direct observation nor any kind of theoretical argument. [An arbitrary idea is] a sheer assertion with no attempt to validate it or connect it to reality. If a man asserts such an idea, whether he does so by error or ignorance or corruption, his idea is thereby epistemologically invalidated. It has no relation to reality or to human cognition. Remember that man’s consciousness is not automatic, and not automatically correct. So if man is to be able to claim any proposition as true, or even as possible, he must follow definite epistemological rules, rules designed to guide his mental processes and keep his conclusions in correspondence to reality. In sum, if man is to achieve knowledge, he must adhere to objective validating methods—i.e., he must shun the arbitrary . . . . Since an arbitrary statement has no connection to man’s means of knowledge or his grasp of reality, cognitively speaking such a statement must be treated as though nothing had been said. Let me elaborate this point. An arbitrary claim has no cognitive status whatever. According to Objectivism, such a claim is not to be regarded as true or as false. If it is arbitrary, it is entitled to no epistemological assessment at all; it is simply to be dismissed as though it hadn’t come up . . . . The truth is established by reference to a body of evidence and within a context; the false is pronounced false because it contradicts the evidence. The arbitrary, however, has no relation to evidence, facts, or context. It is the human equivalent of [noises produced by] a parrot . . . sounds without any tie to reality, without content or significance. In a sense, therefore, the arbitrary is even worse than the false. The false at least has a relation (albeit a negative one) to reality; it has reached the field of human cognition, although it represents an error—but in that sense it is closer to reality than the brazenly arbitrary. I want to note here parenthetically that the words expressing an arbitrary claim may perhaps be judged as true or false in some other cognitive context (if and when they are no longer put forth as arbitrary), but this is irrelevant to the present issue, because it changes the epistemological situation. For instance, if a savage utters “Two plus two equals four” as a memorized lesson which he doesn’t understand or see any reason for, then in that context it is arbitrary and the savage did not utter truth or falsehood (it’s just like the parrot example). In this sort of situation, the utterance is only sounds; in a cognitive context, when the speaker does know the meaning and the reasons, the same sounds may be used to utter a true proposition. It is inexact to describe this situation by saying, “The same idea is arbitrary in one case and true in another.” The exact description would be: in the one case the verbiage does not express an idea at all, it is merely noise unconnected to reality; to the rational man, the words do express an idea: they are conceptual symbols denoting facts. It is not your responsibility to refute someone’s arbitrary assertion—to try to find or imagine arguments that will show that his assertion is false. It is a fundamental error on your part even to try to do this. The rational procedure in regard to an arbitrary assertion is to dismiss it out of hand, merely identifying it as arbitrary, and as such inadmissible and undiscussable. Leonard Peikoff, The Philosophy of Objectivism lecture series, Lecture 6
  7. I also did receive a response to this very question from Harry Binswanger. I don’t feel comfortable sharing that on this board directly. But, I would share (via PM if you are interested) with my responders.
  8. Ok. I see. I see the difference you pointed out. I am referring to the first, water and then only wine.
  9. Ok. I see. So what you are saying is coherence simply applies to arguments in and of themselves and arbitrary has to do with what can ultimately be perceived?
  10. I simply mean "illogical" when I am speaking of coherence. I keep wondering if we disagree. I think I think I agree with you entirely here. lol. I don't see how there is a disconnect between my point and what you are saying.
  11. I am confused as to what you are saying here. I do not agree that there are two possible types of existince. Only one is real. I am not sure what you mean when you say causality "applies" to the acction of entities. Causality is identity "applied" to action.
  12. The paragraph in this article that states what I was saying. "God can allow things to act contrary to their nature, which is also forbidden by a rational metaphysics. Things cannot act against their nature. Not even if someone tries to make them do so." I suppose my error is in stating stricly that I am attempting to prove a negative. In reality i am simply stating that I can make the statement, "God (the one that does mircales) cannot exist.
  13. I don't grant it is viable I grant it as their freedom to say what they want. I don't grant them legitimacy.
  14. I think I understand and would agree with most of what you are saying. What I am trying to do is show that an "idea" is incoherent. I am not granting any kind of existince to the non existence entity, not even for the sake of argument. I am simply pointing out that the thing that is being claimed to be in the "room" cannot be there by way of incoherency. What would you say is the differecne between something being arbitrary and something being incoherent?
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