Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


StrictlyLogical last won the day on November 2

StrictlyLogical had the most liked content!

1 Follower

About StrictlyLogical

  • Rank
    Senior Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Not Telling

Previous Fields

  • Country
    Not Specified
  • State (US/Canadian)
    Not Specified
  • Relationship status
    No Answer
  • Sexual orientation
    No Answer
  • Copyright

Recent Profile Visitors

12681 profile views
  1. Truth as Disvalue

    Is it now? Part of the standard of morality/value? not its purpose? Isn't Happiness the goal and the reward, not the standard? This is an unnecessary confusion. I am not raising the possibility than someone is blameworthy (according to some standard) for not knowing what makes them happy. I'm simply asking.. if what makes one happy is difficult to judge ... is it appropriate (directly) as a guide to action, i.e. as part of the standard? lol. You raised an excellent point about "pleasure"... that it cannot be a reliable part of the standard of value... it leads to unworkable evaluations that actually conflict with life. This is due to the subjective nature of pleasure. Is a man's purported happiness immune to similar problems? Can a man's assessment of judgment of happiness be immune to subjectivity such that it can never conflict with his life? This is not an issue of objective fallibility but one of consistency between a man's judgments about his life and his happiness... can a man think something would be better for his life and at the same time think it would not be best for his happiness? Is this a problem? Is it true that his life and his happiness can actually be at odds or is this really a mistake? Does this mistake (inconsistency) have consequences because it is part of a standard which guides action?
  2. Truth as Disvalue

    This identifies a proposed specific error of the OP, that the standard of value it presupposes is non-objective, and therefor cannot serve as a standard for actual (objective) values. The rest of your post is an eloquent argument for why a non-objective standard and non-objective value is unworkable. I am walking away from the edge of the abyss... a more formal response will follow. I make two observations, 1. you seem to disallow pleasure (or pain) from the standard of value as it leads to pursuit of things which are not objective values. but 2. you seem to allow happiness as part of the standard of value.. which implies (at least) a belief that happiness and survival qua man are never at odds. Query whether a man knows enough about survival qua man and happiness so as never to misapprehend a conflict between the two. If there ever were such a conflict, the standard would be difficult or even unworkable to guide action... if I mistakenly identify a conflict between my life and my happiness... what guides my actions? The implications and the rest of your argument are intriguing and quite persuasive... again a formal response shall follow.
  3. The Audit

    People think in many ways and use various techniques. Some rely on words almost purely linguistically and manipulate them like in a game before translating them back into concepts they refer to while others think primarily conceptually and only when they can they will express the thoughts in words. Some rely more or less on abstraction and processing the abstractions and applying them to concretes, while others subconsciously hold the abstractions in the background, dealing with a few concretes which pull along the abstractions to arrive at general conclusions. At one far end of this are floating abstractions and rationalism and at the other concrete boundedness. Some people use deductive and inductive A, B, C, D implies X type structures to think, rigorous use of logic and abstractions, while others inspect a bunch of ideas, and upon reflection and introspection pull something out which feels like the correct conclusion. Many of the above can at times be useful in a process of thought, of getting to the right conclusions eventually, and I have not exhausted all the possibilities. I have encountered some who simply cannot think with rigor in any abstract way. While others cannot see how completely untied their artificial formulations are from reality. My suggestion is to try to identify which of the above and other strategies for thinking you currently use, and try to practice diligently some of the others. If I had to make a more specific suggestion once in a while exercise your thought process more along the lines of mathematics, abstraction, and rigor (give reflection and intuition a rest now and again). It might sound silly, but picking up an LSAT prep book to exercise the grey matter might be the particular work out for you.
  4. Truth as Disvalue

    I was looking for the rigorous philosophical answer. What specifically do you mean by truth being the "foundation of morality"? The act of "Moral evaluation" MEANS evaluating something morally, this NECESSITATES a standard of value/morality ("evaluation" is not an act which can be performed without some standard being used). What specifically are you saying about the moral evaluation and the evaluation of value in the OP?
  5. Truth as Disvalue

    Thank you, your post is quite good. I only want to say for now that it slightly skirts a few distinctions which I would like to point out are in fact separate things. 1. life going out of existence is a fact of reality 2. a particular fact of reality is not the same as the knowledge of that fact of reality (or the assessment of any statement regarding that fact of reality as true or false) 3. knowledge of facts of reality (and associated assessments of that knowledge in the form of statements as true or false) can be instrumental but also can separately be a source of pain or joy or pleasure or disgust etc 4. knowledge is something which can be attained, pursued, or evaded 5. various things one acts to gain or keep can constitute values 6. a standard of value is a guide to action (gaining or keeping are actions) by defining what constitutes a value, and recall the standard of value of the OP is a mixture of survival qua man, pleasure, and happiness
  6. Truth as Disvalue

    The truth of death brings pain and fear and sadness, IF I had not known of it (believed in an afterlife or never saw anyone die ... as say a very young child who has yet to be confronted with death) there would be no need to fake belief. The need to fake the belief is driven by the DISvalue the knowledge represents upon its discovery. The falsehood or equally the evasion of a truth is valuable (according to the standard of the OP) because it avoids the disvalue of the truth. The idea is not to just forget the truth, but to consciously disavow it, I.e. to deny it and evade it ACTIVELY and continually (as needed). This is buttressed by the belief in the afterlife as the alternative to Oblivion, which can be reinforced as a positive affirmation (and an arbitrary one to be sure), over and over. I will encounter the fact of death from time to time, and it will appear consistent with my arbitrary faith, the corpses remain and what continues will leave behind no evidence whatever to me here in reality... To maintain the delusion, I will always have to cling to the comfort of my arbitrary belief and evasion, that I will continue in an afterlife. The plan does not need to consider my mind seeing the fact of the true final death ever again, it is formulated precisely to avoid it. Here's a question for you. If I could pull of my plan as written, and really could evade the truth with mental evasion and a form of continual brainwashing would there be anything morally wrong with it? If so, why or how could it be morally wrong, because according to the standard of the OP, apparently it would be morally right?
  7. Truth as Disvalue

    In attempting to see what is wrong with the argument which leads to the plan (which I find reprehensible) I have asked what is wrong with the essential conclusion that "truth can be a disvalue". Your answer and what it hints at is intriguing. I think it is correct that truth (knowledge of it, and the capacity to obtain it) and value are related but cannot be equated. The alternative being investigated indeed is whether 1. Some (at least one) truth can be a disvalue or 2. No truths can be a disvalue But knowledge of the truth of what? If a truth is in respect of something which is irrelevant to your values (according to the standard) then that truth simply is unrelated to value. So, even if one concludes 2 is correct, it does not necessarily imply every truth is a value (arriving at that conclusion could be complicated), some truths might not be a value but aren't a disvalue either. (an analogy would be that ingesting some substances neither nourishes nor poisons the body) So an equation of truth and value would be unwarranted, and value is not as such "at its core" the truth. Your discussion, and your example of the plant implies that the unreal itself cannot be a value. Certainly a non-existent cannot cause anything, and literally cannot be pursued, so the non-existent afterlife cannot literally be a value. But here we are dealing with a voluntarily held untruth, or a belief in an untruth, which technically is a state of mind. Knowledge of a truth, a state of mind, can be pursued or evaded. This exists, and can cause pain or pleasure, and is distinct from the non-existent afterlife. Furthermore, although the unreal cannot be a value, real things can be a disvalue, and the knowledge of a real thing, such as death is doubly real. According to a standard of value that includes pleasure, such knowledge of the truth is a disvalue. This is to be contrasted here with your example: you deal with a plant whose standard of value cannot include pleasure as a plant does not experience pleasure. You've implied as much... we haven't quite reached the destination. I have turned, and stopped at the edge of the abyss. I am listening.
  8. Truth as Disvalue

    What efficacy for living in reality is gained by thinking about anything outside of life in reality? How does the knowledge of a state after life (literally a zero) improve any efficacy for facing the non-zero, and the great multitude of reality? Efficacy to what end, what aim? What kind of "efficacy"? According to what standard of value is "efficacy" judged? If survival and pleasure are both part of the standard of value, and if these sometimes conflict with one another, then at least some mixture of efficacious rationality and efficacious evasion would be required. The OP is a good example of that. If the standard of value dictates the pursuit of untruth when survival and pleasure are at odds, then efficacious evasion is a virtue and it leads to greater good according to that standard of value. Certainly blindness, to the extent it thwarts pursuit of values in general (according to whatever standard) would be counter productive. BUT if the extent of that blindness did not thwart the general pursuit of values in this life... not in any significant way.. and in fact only thwarted the "sight" of a fact whose knowledge is a disvalue (according to the standard in the OP) and pertains only to something which lies outside of life's possibilities and choices and is in any case unavoidable, then that so called Blindness in fact becomes a virtue. This is equivalent to the conclusion that evasion of truth can be a value. Do you not agree that according to the standard of value of the OP that at least one truth can be a disvalue? What if I chose "carefree experience" (not "life" nor "a pleasant life") as my pre-moral choice, and my standard of value was "the mental state of being completely care free"? I think it trivial that according to that standard (which I am not claiming is a valid or workable standard) the at least one truth surely can be a disvalue. The same goes for arbitrarily choosing as the pre-moral choice "pleasure as such", or "complete peace of mind". HD if you had to identify what is wrong with the early conclusion "truth (at least one truth) can be a disvalue" what would it be?
  9. Truth as Disvalue

    You are correct that this implies that the particular truth is not seen as directly contributing to or reducing survival significantly. Some, yourself included, likely hold that knowledge of final death does not reduce survival significantly, and I've never heard of any headline stating that Atheism is likely to extend life by virtue primarily of its denial of an afterlife.
  10. Truth as Disvalue

    I have, for the purposes of this discussion (as described in the OP), adopted a standard of value which is man's survival qua man plus pleasure and happiness. As such, to determine value, one must assess a mixture of factors.
  11. Truth as Disvalue

    The claim is not that life is death or death is life. The claim is a completely arbitrary one, for which no evidence could possibly exist here in reality (and it doesn't). A is A. At the instant A is becoming not-A, (life is going out of existence) A is no longer Here but continues, morphing into A' in the There. The non-A (or B as you call it) we see A transforming into Here, is a corpse. The claim is arbitrary by definition, nothing in the There can be detected here. Only death could "confirm" the going from Here to There. A claim that requires death as a precondition for any evidence to confirm it, is a good example of an arbitrary assertion (one for which no evidence actually exists, and for which none COULD possibly exist). What the A' actually is or where the There is or what it is like are all beyond my possible knowledge as I have designed the belief (arbitrarily) such that Here and There are sundered completely (but for the one way passage of death) and hence beyond knowledge of myself, now, Here, alive. I am not trying to prove to you that the arbitrary is real. That would place an onus on me to prove a positive to you. This is precisely the onus (otherwise owed to myself) I abdicate in the process of evading and simultaneously lobotomizing myself.
  12. Truth as Disvalue

    Had I invoked the wrong kind of arbitrary belief, then you would be correct about my having to accept some other thing implied by that arbitrary belief. But this apparent straight jacket to accept something (like a mind-body dichotomy) depends upon an assumption that the belief I have chosen is not completely arbitrary, that it is tied to all the consequences apparently dictated by the alternate reality no matter how bizzare. But during my lifetime there is no alternate reality, no consequence dictated by it. You see the "power" of the arbitrary belief I have engaged is that it is "arbitrarily" arbitrary, in the exact way I decide. So ... mind body dichotomy? No such thing. Reality is reality, while alive all of me is what it is, I possess identity, all the rules of existence are intact... there is no soul in material body, just a natural system. Rising from the dead like Jesus ... no such thing. Arbitrarily, reality and the afterlife are completely sundered except for one thing, at one point in time, (and whether or not time even "exists" in the afterlife), continuity of myself into another transformed existence, any of the details of which "I know not what". As for while I am alive, I choose to live life according to this reality, and all that entails. My standard of value will remain the same in the sense that I have only one life in this existence and I know nothing in particular about the afterlife. According to some, a person who engages in the single evasion of believing in an afterlife is a Mystic. Whether you call it mysticism or self-delusion or mini-intellectual suicide, it is immaterial, it would be what it is. Flourishing, according to the OP, would be according to the standard of the OP which includes survival of man qua man plus pleasure and happiness.
  13. Truth as Disvalue

    Eventual death itself is inevitable and cannot be pursued as a value or avoided forever as a disvalue. This undeniable existent is independent from and distinct from the truth of death, I.e. the knowledge of that inevitability. That knowledge is a value or a disvalue independent of the fact that everlasting life cannot be an actual value because it simply does not exist. Of course, the possibility of knowledge ever being a disvalue depends on the standard of value at issue. Good that you note the difference between the act of valuation versus emotion. If pleasure or emotion is part of the standard of value (it is in the OP), then how I feel, although not an act itself of evaluation, must be taken into account when engaging in the act of evaluation. Assessing value according to a standard including emotion entails assessing the emotional consequences of whatever is being evaluated. To summarize, it is the knowledge of death (acceptance of its truth) which causes pain and sadness, and the choice between acceptance of that knowledge of the truth or evasion of that truth which is evaluated as respectively disvalue and value according to a standard of morality including survival, pleasure, and happiness.
  14. Sci-fi/fantasy Reading Recommendations

    Any Objectivist interested in the far future or Sci-Fi MUST read John C. Wright's Golden Age trilogy. It is a stunning masterpiece of imagination, individualism, reality, and morality. It is at times, perplexing, inspiring, soaring, complex and at times simply human. Now that it is available electronically (kindle ebook with free reader to read on any device) for a very fair price (8 bucks each book) there is no reason not to grab it. The Golden Age: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FA5QJK/ The Phoenix Exultant: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001OWEEHI/ The Golden Transcendence: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001OD6KAQ/ Be careful not to read too many reviews ... in fact avoid it all to avoid any spoilers!
  15. Truth as Disvalue

    HD Lets take a breath. I'd like to establish a few things first and then give you the opportunity to address some earlier conclusions of the OP. 1. My struggle with oblivion is real and ongoing 2. I have chosen life 3. In order to obtain 2 I have believed the standard of value is survival qua man and an objective kind of flourishing In my musings though I have asked what kind of life have I chosen? Do I have to have life with so much pain? Would having a shorter life with less pain ... more pleasure... more happy subjective experience .. in fact be equivalent to having a better life? More of the good life? Is my standard of life wrong for me? At the top of the rabbit hole is an alternative... choosing life, mostly. Choosing a subjective variant of the Objective, choosing a "pleasant life". My pre-moral semi subjective choice thus requires a different standard of value ... one which explicitly and directly balances survival and pleasure... I began to ponder the possibilities for addressing a pleasant life. So the OP was born. It is a solid plan built on a consciously chosen subjective standard of value. Designed specifically to make a pleasant life possible... Is it so ridiculous to investigate opportunities, alternatives open to me? No, if I am to continue to live through pain holding the standard of value I currently have, I must understand that as against all alternatives that life of pain, and that standard of value truly is in my best interest. Otherwise, why hold on to it? So finally it comes to the formulation and expression of a standard of value which is workable for me. HD if you had to identify what is wrong with the early conclusion "truth (at least one truth) can be a disvalue" what would it be?