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StrictlyLogical last won the day on July 15

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  1. Nicky has an excellent point about not betraying your values because of pain. IF you can get to a point where she can be only a friend to you it might be worth the effort.. and the risk. The other side of the coin is the RISK... the risk of betraying your potential values because of a false hope which keeps you "stuck" in a fabricated present. In this sense the strength of the feelings DO matter. IF your "want" for the person rises to the level of a deep and strong romantic love, constantly being with the person could lead to its enduring indefinitely, and could lead to holding onto an irrational hope that the two of you could one day be compatible. The conundrum arises that IF you are deeply "in love" with a person, so that in your heart you cannot but feel she IS the only one for you, you risk betraying your possible attainment of an actual two way fulfilling love relationship with someone else. An emotion as strong and deep as love, although informed by your values and as all emotions ultimately by the way you think, is not something you can think your way directly out of or into. As pure speculation, such a relationship of friendship might be maintained with a great deal of work, not simply by putting up with pain, but by constant directed conscious effort. I am no psychiatrist, but one part of love is that selfish knowledge that the person wants you, not only finds you a value, but also that person's highest value which crosses into a deep attraction for you. Part of your romantic love is a response to that. Even though painful, remind yourself of the fact that the relationship IS one of friendship, and THAT she sees you ONLY as a friend or like a "brother". Remind yourself, no matter how strongly you feel for her, that what she feels for you is different, and that it LACKS an element of romantic love. When you see a stranger you are physically attracted to, remind yourself that she might also be the kind of person you could admire, and value, and love deeply if you got to know her... you don't know... maybe THAT one could be the one, maybe THAT one could be the one... Perhaps the thoughts will translate into an emotional distancing which will enable you to have ONLY emotions appropriate to a friendship with this woman, and open you up to possibility of deep romantic love for another. IF you cannot distance yourself emotionally AND if your feeling and emotions prevent you from finding mutual deep love with someone, then you are risking one of the greatest values a human can attain. Fulfilling romantic love.
  2. StrictlyLogical

    The Genuine Problem Of Universals

    What conceptuallly is the standard for judging and identifying the existence of a "problem"?
  3. StrictlyLogical

    The Genuine Problem Of Universals

    Electric charge is a property of entities of nature, some fundamental entities possess it and others do not, some possess it in the exact same quantities as others and in different quantities as compared to still others (quarks have 1/3 of an electron charge, and a proton and an electron have the same magnitude but opposite sign of charge). Electric charge is a property of some entities, but it exists only as a property OF entities and is not a property of anything apart from entities. We interact and identify this property of reality with use of perception and conception, and we know of it via our means of perception and conception. Objectivity is neither realism, nor nominalism.
  4. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Rand was successful at explicitly blasting false dichotomies and reusing language to her own purposes ("morality" being the perfect example). I find her use of the phrase "end in itself" makes complete sense to me in the context of a "self", whose end IS itself, but makes little sense to me when referring to something other than the self. X can be an "end in itself" to itself, but I cannot find the conceptual basis in reality for what anyone could mean (Rand included) by an "end in itself" for anything other than that "self". A fly is an end in itself to the fly, but to the sun, the universe, or to me... it is a fly (which I could still love and value... but "it" is not "me"). I find Rand's use of the term "end in itself" (hopefully a re-use of the term which I cant quite put my finger on) not as illuminating as her retooling of other various terms, which clearly have been given a meaning by her markedly different from the standard meanings accepted by the culture. I also suspect there is a sort of false dichotomy of "means" and "ends" in certain contexts (voluntary contexts?) which allows Rand to use terms such as "end in itself" when relating disparate identities without implying intrinsicism. [If I know anything about Objectivism, it is that Rand was not an intrinsicist.] If I "use" a person in ways which are voluntary and desired by them, to mutual benefit, they are not "abused" by me and hence are conceptually "means" to my end only in a benevolent sense of the term. Rand's holding that there are no conflicts among rational men, implies that on some level "means-ends" (as commonly interpreted and implied in popular moral hypotheticals) IS a false dichotomy, and the false dichotomy only arises when one colors the term "means" with "abuse" rather than a mutually beneficial and desired "use". When I am asked to act as a means to someone else's end to which (and possibly with which) I agree and during which they act as a means to my ends, and I note that mutual benefit occurs, then the act of being means (acting to benefit) repeatedly becomes an end... and the repeated completion of those ends (mutual benefit) becomes a means to life. There are no ends, which are not means, TO (and FOR) the self. Any such purported end would not be an end. So for X to be an "end in itself" to me, means the same thing as "X is an end to and FOR me (my life)", but any apparent dichotomy between means and ends is illusory (in that instance). IF this last is so, I could conclude, my son is "an end in himself" to me, BUT I could not ever conclude that a complete stranger is an end in himself to me, precisely because my son is my life, but a stranger is not.
  5. StrictlyLogical

    OCON 2018

    I think it is funnier (and more likely true) the other way around.
  6. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    I find this the biggest stumbling block for ANY non-egoistic theory. Is there a way to interpret, identify, and understand what "ends-in-themselves" would be in reality while at the same time rejecting intrinsicism? Or on the contrary is belief in an "end-in-itself" by definition intrinsicist? What does it mean for something to be an "end in -itself"? For whom is it an end? What does "in-itself" even mean? Is it an "end to itself"? Suppose X is an end-in-itself and Y is not an end-in-itself. What in reality is different between X and Y? Why "should" (and I make no claims to any standard) I treat X and Y any different and WHY (by what standard)? What reasons or facts validate the standard? What in reason and the undeniably demonstrable facts of reality, can persuade me to believe in such things? I'm really struggling with the very idea that there are ANY problems with full throttle egoist ethics... when the full context of the ego is rationally taken into account, I cannot see any problems, and I see nothing else in reality which could possibly form an objective base for ethics. If morality is for human beings to live life and not for wizened old academics to bicker over, as a human myself, I implore... SHOW me.
  7. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Mental exercise Fitness/Physical Exercise Introspection Diet Music/Art Mathematics Time Management Relaxation Communication/Persuasion/Negotiation Problem solving Financial Planning Sleep habits Observation Life Planning Cleanliness/Personal Grooming Critical thinking How to deal with others I think there are a whole host of aspects of life which ARE important and an ethics of rational self-interest would lead one to exercise, master, enact, consider.. etc. in the pursuit of the ultimate value of one's life. The question is, which of the multitude of the aspects of life are the broadest and most fundamental (in the hierarchy of abstractions) to the goal of survival qua man and more akin to primary virtues (which I have NOT listed) and which of the multitude of aspects are more akin to applications of the ethics in their practical and concrete form which are more secondary or lower in the hierarchy? I believe the balance achieved in Rand's ethics is a result of its orientation to the reality of the Self living a life, and the hierarchy of its formulation (e/g. as expounded in OPAR) is entirely appropriate. Although the weight Rand gives to the specific concrete questions surrounding "how to deal with others" is less than "other-centric", "altruistic", and "duty-bound" variations of ethics (the vast majority of all other ethical theories) which are overly pre-occupied, indeed irrationally and overly OBSESSED with "other people" and the "social" (and I mean that in the strongest of terms possible), I am of the view that Rand's formulation is rationally and objectively accurate, and does not imply any nonrational departure from any of the concrete or lower (in the hierarchy) aspects of life which lead to flourishing. Where in the hierarchy of the aspects of life which are conducive to flourishing of "the One", i.e. where in the multitude of habits, actions, principles, and considerations, do the above I have listed appear and how does "trust" and "cooperation" fit in? I'm sure they do all fit in somewhere, just not at the widest and most fundamental level. The simple matter is that the derivative (and yet observationally based) particulars are not primary in the hierarchy. Just as any rational person would agree that "diet", "exercise", "life planning" and yes "trust" and "cooperation", (and all the other aspects, listed above and not listed), ARE important (indeed CRUCIALLY important - eating unhealthily is literally deadly) to leading a flourishing life, Rand would agree as well, and in the context of her vast body of work as whole I think it is clear that indeed she DID. Those aspects, however important in particular, are simply are not primary, broad or fundamental considerations.
  8. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    I think this entire subject and thread is illustrative of one thing. IF a "strict" reading of statement Rand made (either taken out of context or taken only in a very of a narrow impoverished context), is construed to contradict nearly everything she conveyed both explicitly and implicitly, by what she wrote and said, in volumes and volumes of fictional, philosophical, and editorial writings, and speeches, books, and interviews, about what values, selfishness, rationality, and morality mean, THEN insofar as anything CAN be concluded from said statement, it is ONLY that Rand, like any other human being is capable of making a mistake, as she (allegedly) did in making the statement, and NOT that a single isolated error (to the extent that it could even be called that) is sufficient to call into question the clear and irrefutable meaning of the monumental achievement which is her ethics of rational self interest as conveyed by her vast body of brilliant work.
  9. StrictlyLogical

    Objectivism: The Infinite, Causation, and the Universe

    Interesting... I'm not sure I agree with your assessment re. 3... Peikoff has dealt with it from a philosophical point of view I believe. As for "events", I do not mean disembodied action (which is literally an impossibility) but actual events we observe occurring in reality, i.e. entities interacting somewhere at some time, which together form the causal chain. My use of the term "event" includes the entities and the actions/interactions which define the event. "The car crash at 5:30 at 2nd and 5th streets" is an event which includes the cars, their interaction, etc... I could have gone into more detail but felt it was unnecessary and did not want to overcomplicate things. I do not know of a better term to generally identify or refer to any interaction of entities in the causal chain. If there is a better one please let me know. I would like to correct any misleading implications in the OP.
  10. What is the Objectivist position on the following observations: 1. No thing can come from Nothing. 2. There was no prior time during which there was Nothing and from which (after which) came or arose all of existence. 3. The Universe is and always was, it had no beginning. 4. At every moment the chain of events in causation prior to that moment are the cause of what IS at that moment. 5. At no moment was there an absence of causation for what WAS at that moment, nor an absence of prior events and existents which constitute the causes of that causation. 6. The chain of causative events of the past are to be grasped as extending indefinitely into the past. 7. A chain of causative events extending indefinitely into the past implies an uncountable number of past events exceeding any finite number, since any finite number of events into the past constitutes a causal chain extending only definitely (finitely) into the past. In order to avoid a conclusion that something came from nothing, entities came from no entities, or that time came from no time etc., or that at one time there was not past and no causation; one must embrace a universe which has "forever" existed and has undergone an infinity of causal events in the past. This infinite accounting of events, is vaguely reminiscent of an infinite causal regress, the flawed argument of creation: universe was created by God 1 from nothing, God 1 was created by God 2 perhaps as part of another higher universe, from nothing; ... God X and his universe were created by God X+1 from nothing... in an infinite regress. The main difference between an infinite accounting and an infinite regress is that the causality of disparate events of an everlasting universe, although they are constantly and always "giving birth" to a metaphysically changed universe from what it was a moment ago, the universe has NOT come into existence from nothing nor is it a different universe, nor something of a categorical different order, and there is no "hierarchically separated" structure of creation as would be implied by a nested series of God creations of the infinite regress. What is the Objectivist position on the above, and (notwithstanding my above ruminations) why IS an infinite "regress" worse than an infinite causal chain?
  11. StrictlyLogical

    What does 'valid' mean?

    ET Peikoff describes a process of chewing. Going up and down the ladder of abstractions from and to concretes... integrating up and reducing and concretizing down... gathering them up again... thinking.... back and forth.. strengthening the structure of your knowledge all the while. Although you will be tempted to skip some stuff (it gets a bit bogged down at parts) stick with it... don't skip things... you will find some of it quite illuminating. Hope you enjoy it! SL
  12. StrictlyLogical

    Classical music

    Ah. This is one of my favorite movements of his symphonies (although I generally like them all). I find music (absent lyrics that is) evokes pure emotion devoid of cognitive content, even though the writer may have been thinking of something specific which inspired him to evoke those emotions in his or her music, and even though the formulation and composition of the work may have involved a great deal of thinking, principles of composition etc. Another musician may be engaged in the composition of the work from a compositional perspective, in a sense, analyzing and admiring what the composer did as a musician himself, and so music can inspire musical thought, but the music does not have content as such, and although one might have feelings of joy, peace, sadness, loss, yearning, etc. wash over one while listening, no ideas of any kind (or even any specific ideas of these evoked emotions) are actually conveyed, just the feelings. In essence, music allows one to image or think about whatever one wishes to accompany the emotions washing over him or her; listening to classical music can and usually does involve a great deal of participation by the listener.
  13. StrictlyLogical

    What does 'valid' mean?

    I really recommend Piekoff's understanding objectivism... your affinity and skill for abstraction ... the best and the best intentions in you ... can fall victim to the academic culture of rationalism .. by a kind of osmosis, and it can infect even the way one thinks. I really think you are a thinker and I've seen a lot of great posts from you... and I think LPs UO (and his other stuff) would be great inoculation against a tendency of all thinkers to place ideas above reality (rationalism). cheers!
  14. StrictlyLogical

    What does 'valid' mean?

    Even disparate sensations prior to being integrated are still sensations caused by something, sensations of a something. Integrating them into perceptions does not transform them into the something itself, the perception is still caused by something (or some things) and hence a perception of something. One can be aware of the sensations and the perception and know they are caused by something or things prior to identifying what the something is or the somethings are. The point is that you know what your senses reveal are aspects of reality... whether it is some flash of light, a cracking sound, or a feeling against your skin... you don't need to know what aspects are causing the sensations or perceptions for you to experience and notice them and know that something out there is impinging on your senses. Until you have enough sensory information to have identified what caused it the widest concept indeed is "something" caused it. But once you have full sensory access to it, you can touch it, feel it, see it,smell or taste or hear (as applicable) it, then you come to understand what in reality you are dealing with. You can then fit it into your hierarchy in any way that makes sense... whether it be a wooden chair or a useless twisted jumble of bent metal... Sorry, what does this have to do with conceptualization?
  15. StrictlyLogical

    What does 'valid' mean?

    Assuming the "Indians" never saw anything on that part of the ocean before, it would make more sense that the ships would have been very noticeable, like a some new unaccounted for island or some inexplicable giant sea bird or other creature, clearly never previously seen in that spot and clearly out of place. I'd take whatever you read with a huge grain of salt. Post modernists like to say ridiculous things about perception. Something noticeable and very out of place does not become invisible simply because it is new to one's conceptual framework. It's something new for sure... and perhaps one cannot identify or fully understand what they are seeing... but is it still is a something which is seen. Whether or not and why they did or did not notice the ships is independent of the fact that they never had seen one before... new things are not invisible... if that were so humans would be literally blind as newborns and would permanently remain so throughout their lives.