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StrictlyLogical

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  1. Are you claiming the term "useful" is not affected by the different standards in ethics, such as utilitarianism - greatest "good" for the greatest number of people versus rational egoism? How would a pragmatic Utilitarian approach a political and/or ethical question versus a so called "pragmatic" Objectivist or rational egoist? Aren't the approaches radically different? I would say yes, and one is based on subjective aims, based on a subjective morality.
  2. What are your thoughts on the "Menace of Pragmatism" article of the Objective Standard?
  3. This is correct. Now we see in full clarity the contrast between Rand and James, it is no less than the stark difference between "fact of reality" (which is absolute, metaphysical, objective) versus "useful" (which is arbitrary and almost always subjective: useful to whom and for what? by what standard? according to what ethics based on "the good" according to what standard?)
  4. 1. Don't care so much about what others think or do. 2. Understand and own yourself and know your boundaries. Unless the person says something about you, and not just about himself, you are completely free to let him pretend any fiction he cares to. Choose not be bossed around.. you don't need to boss anyone else around. 3. Gain some self esteem so that you don't feel that you "wanna be the manly dominant guy". Wanting to be that sort of person reveals errors in judgment and a severe lack of self-esteem. (these are linked also to various irrationalities and a malformed ethics) a. ask yourself if you are really impressed with bossy people like that b. ask yourself if you really respect and admire other people who are primarily impressed with people like that c. ask yourself if you really want to form friendships and relationships with those other people 4. That's not luck. You need to be confident, not in a brash disconnected from reality way, but in a true unshakable understanding of reality way. If you can beat the guy 8 out of ten times, you know you are "better". If another guy can beat you 8 out of 10 times you know that another guy is better. You should be confident in the first case you will win and equally confident in the second case you will lose. Be proud of what you can do, what you have accomplished, but seek to do better. Fight the second guy more often than the first, you gain nothing from fighting the first, you will learn and get better from fighting the second. 5. Being bossy is not being a better man, its just being bossy. If someone says to you "Go get me a beer" you can either get pissy and "Go fck yrself" or you can shrug it off, smile say "nope" or say nothing. He has no business telling you what to do. When you are in a crowd of adult children (as if seems to be the case of the crowd you are running with) be the better man not just another one of the children. Really self-esteem, maturity, and objectivity are the answers to all your "problems"... and perhaps finding and choosing good people to be your friends.
  5. Putting aside the debate over mind and concsiousness etc. I believe that a claim to the existence of any X where X has no causal interactions no causal consequences in reality is literally unknowable, because it cannot be detected or perceived even indirectly. For that something to cause the kinds of changes on the brain/mind which constitutes memory of it or thinking of it or anything in consequence of it, it first must be causal. Otherwise it would not have any impact on the identity of the mind and one would never know of it. As such, the claim is an arbitrary assertion. Only mystic revelation would explain how one could allegedly gain knowledge of an acausal existent.
  6. Kaladin I think we have similar views although I might describe it a little differently. I would characterize the errors of epiphenomenalism as one of two errors incorporating a third: 1. claiming an attribute of consciousness, i.e. the attribute "what it is like to be an entity which is conscious", i.e. from a first person view etc. is itself what consciousness is, when in fact consciousness is an aspect of the causal and natural (physical, chemical, biological, etc.) functioning of the brain. The conclusion they make is that "what it is like to be something" can never be a cause and hence, consciousness itself is impotent. OR 2. Claiming that "what it is like to be an entity which is conscious" should in and of itself, and independent of the natural identity (physical, chemical, biological, etc.) of the conscious entity, be an independent causal agent... i.e. that an attribute of a thing should be causally independent of the identity of the thing, when in fact the attribute of the thing is not separable from the thing, things ARE their attributes. Both of these errors smuggles in the third error: the conflation of "what it is like to be X" (for any existent, a thermostat, a worm, a bat, a chimpanzee, a human) with a consciousness feeling/experiencing/thinking etc. which are examples of functioning of consciousness, not the mere "what it is like to be" feeling, experiencing and thinking. Surely the act of consciousness, feeling, thinking, experiencing, are causal, they are functioning of the natural mind. The "what it is like to be X" where X is anything, at all... that is equivalent to what it is to be X i.e. it simply is "to exist as X". There is no need for any extra layer of causation or layer of identity, it is almost a trivial redundancy. Everything is in a state of being what it is like to be what it is.
  7. Of course by "serve" as an advisor I mean "volunteer" so long as it serves his self interest.
  8. 1 He would not engage in "dictating" to or ruling anyone 2 He would prevent anyone else from becoming a dictator (ie a glorified criminal) 3 He could ask the best lawyers and politicians to help set up a constitutional republic which protects individual rights. 4 By referendum he could ask the people to accept minimal government for instituting the constitutional republic. If at any point he judged it not in his own self interest to continue he would cease the excercise and escape the country. If a proper government were put in place he would live his life doing what he wanted to do and perhaps serve as advisor when needed. IMHO
  9. An good list of resources for those who wish to understand Objectivism. https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/resources-for-understanding-objectivism/ Please move thread if appropriate. (I suggest a new category/forum "Objectivism: Resources and Education" or something similar)
  10. I think there is something going here worth looking at more closely, but it requires greater focus and particularity. Getting upset is uncalled for. I tend to believe that when Rand says the content is dictated by reality MEANS when it is done in the right way. I.e. when it is based on perceptual evidence OF reality. Since perceptual evidence of reality is dictated by reality the concepts arising out of that are, in that sense, dictated by reality. I think Grames, your statement that concepts arising from using an invalid process or invalid standards are still concepts but are not objective is true but it includes anti-concepts in the term "concept". You two seem to speaking past one another because one of you uses the term concept to include anti-concepts and invalid concepts, and equally conceives of conceptualization including the valid process as well as processes which are invalid or erroneously carried out, while the other is referring to concepts as only the valid ones, and the process of conceptualization as only the valid process. Is this a correct assessment?
  11. Validly reached concepts are objective because of the way they were reached. An invalid concept or anti concept is not necessarily objective in its relationship to reality (although it might due to coincidence). The issue of universals is one of reality and thus the invalid concepts simply are not relevant to the problem of universals. Man is fallible (and often reckless and irrational) but knowledge is possible when the right processes are used.
  12. @Eiuol The fact that the victims of kidnapping cannot help or free themselves does not change the ethics of the matter nor the remedy/response of a proper government once they catch up with the kidnappers.
  13. According to Objectivism the right to life cannot be contracted away. You cannot sign a contract to literally become a slave, nor will a sneaky attempt at smuggling in a clause which amounts to carte blanche for one side to arbitrarily commit crime be upheld in a rational court of law. Any clause stating that one party can unilaterally change a contract does not validly encompass (by any stretch) the class of clauses which entail violation of the rights of a person, including being imprisoned, threatened with starvation or death, even though the person purportedly agreed to be exposed to such (heretofore) unknown and unstated clauses. Second, once a company unilaterally acts on the assumption its rights violating clauses are valid, the company is committing a wrong which constitutes the initiation of force and fraud. An employee is imprisoned, and threatened with death. A proper Objectivist government would step in to apprehend the criminals and save their prisoners to the extent physically possible. In one scenario, rescue does not occur until decades later, the perpetrators are jailed, and the damages from the companies coffers are awarded to the victims. As for "dignity", it is a state of consciousness. Like happiness, laughter, peace, such states of mind are reached by persons in the course of their lives and although these are in part a consequence of the acts of others they are not directly created by anyone else, with consent of the "experiencer" or not. As such there is no direct right to any of these. Freedom and the right to life enable a person to pursue them. The right to life makes dignity possible. There is no right as such to "dignity". Let me know if you have any questions.
  14. Such an obvious, absolute, and undeniably true statement of fact and of Rand's position, will resonate with those who get it. Well said. Unfortunately, lesser minds will quibble, squirm, equivocate, whine, and in the end babble some anti-conceptual, inconsistent, irrelevancy, and I am decidedly not talking about Laika.
  15. Laika: Your decision to purchase and actually read a work by Rand herself is an impressive display of your intent to learn for yourself and make up your own mind about her philosophy. You are to be commended for it and with that kind of approach nothing will stop you from finding all the answers you need.