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Everything posted by StrictlyLogical

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Of course by "serve" as an advisor I mean "volunteer" so long as it serves his self interest.
  4. 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
  5. 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)
  6. 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?
  7. 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.
  8. @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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Mixed economies of today's reality might collapse into socialism and/or tyranny. Capitalism is a system which has never yet arisen (and thus cannot be said to be collapsing) although it came close a few hundred years ago.
  13. Laika: In answer to your OP I would offer the following as my take on the most important takeaways from Rand's Objectivism re politics. You and your life belong to you and no one else. Likewise you have no rightful claim to anyone else or their lives. Any initiation of force injected into interactions between men is thus immoral. Force is only moral in retaliation and in the protection of individual rights. There is plenty more believe me but as far as important basics these are the ones which stand out to me.
  14. He was a legal owner of a registered gun he likely kept in his glovebox. He had to get his paperwork. Do you think it would have been smarter NOT to warn the cop (who clearly was obviously racially biased... I scared for no good reason... skin color not being a good reason)? Black people and white people should not expect to have to act differently when a cop pulls them over for a traffic stop...
  15. This is inconsistent with justice. You are correct in identifying the problem is more than merely with the front line idiot.
  16. Selection is the key. I know such a thing is impossible now, but imagine in a society with a proper government with Military, Police, and Justice systems only... even at a fraction of the taxes paid now, these institutions could select for hire only excellent people, and train them well. Every police officer could be as well trained and as educated as an astronaut or fighter pilot of today. Strict education requirements, psychological as well as physical testing... high pay... only the best kinds of people should be entrusted with instruments of force and its proper use.
  17. In order to understand what the concept "Government" means to an Objectivist, and what would constitute the only proper role of Government to an Objectivist, please refer to this: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/government.html
  18. I think this should be a sort of living /standing sketch of what is possible. Call it an Exposition, or a theme park, or a living monument. Make a vision of the future with actors, a story, a fake history and have that alongside a resort. The resort should be fun and beautiful enough to attract people while the theme park would be a reason certain people would go to your resort. Target lawyers engineers doctors people who could donate money and contacts for refining the exposition ao that it eventually could become reality. Allow volunteers to work at the theme park and live at the resort. Time share or permanent. Slowly adapt the monument into reality, real systems infrastructure, real living spaces, allow people to start living there. Slowly your ant farm spectacle could become reality. PS come to think of it, I think Walt Disney had an approach something like this in mind when he started Epcot centre? I'm not sure ... One big reservation with this approach is that it will not be organic and completely free but more of a "planned" community effort... perhaps allowing true freedom would only happen much later.
  19. Mostly agree with above responses. I'm not starving or oppressed. So, I'm not a pioneer running away from Europe, or a refuge seeking to escape a potato famine. North America was populated (mostly) by people who felt compelled to leave where they were for greater opportunity. I'm not incensed and angry at the government. No where near as angry as the original American colonists were when they started the revolution. This all stated, I realize I live in an unjust mixed economy semi-socialist/altruist democracy. My rights are continually violated and I am forced to serve (to some degree) the state and the public. What I would want is a proper government. IF such a proper government "existed" there would still be many considerations. 1. Does the government have sufficiently developed policies and laws and processes which successfully support its role of protecting individual rights? Is there a constitution? Is there a body of objective laws and a planned institutional framework? Are there sufficient checks and balances and most importantly are there sufficient protections forbidding the expansion of government action (laws and institutions) beyond its proper role? (This should be a rock solid part of the constitution) 2. Does the government have sufficient infrastructure to implement its valid role of protecting individual rights? Does the government have a sufficient military to defend its geographical borders? Is there an adequate police force? Is there a judiciary and a legal system in place? 3. Is there sufficient population, production and trade, such that I would be able to trade value for value sufficient to ensure shelter, health, and safety for me and my family? Simply put, the move would have to be based on everything about my and my family's potential life at the new place in comparison with our lives where we are now. Unless and until that reaches a point where it is not a sacrifice to move, I am staying put. No one enslaved by a goose-stepping Nazi with a gun is under a moral obligation to provoke him, no matter how wrong the enslavement because in the balance it risks more according to the standard of life, than waiting for a chance to escape. Equally, no one "enslaved" by a rights violating semi-socialist/altruist mixed economy state is under a moral obligation to consign himself to freedom at the price of starvation, exposure, piracy, disease, typhoons, etc. As for a place like Mindshore... I would have to wait and see. Once it actually became big enough and independent enough it might warrant attention... I love the ocean, but I like owning a modest patch of land for my house... so in the end its really a tough sell.
  20. If you want to know whether Rand's philosophy of Objectivism holds IP rights as part of Property rights as part of Individual Rights the absolute answer is YES. It is trite now to state that you must make up your own mind as to what you take as correct... I.e. Whether or not you take it to be an error or an insight on Objectivism's part.
  21. A. Concepts "Rational" and "Irrational", what is the domain of their proper application? Are they strictly applicable to a process of thought? Generally to the thoughts themselves (not the process)? Are choices irrational or rational or are they only based on reasons which are rational or irrational? Can actions be characterized as rational or irrational? A combination of the above? B. The concept "arational" or "nonrational" valid? Is there a territory between rational and irrational ? (i.e. is it required that something be contrary to rationality to qualify as irrational or merely absent rationality, is there a distinction between that which contradicts rational thought and that which is merely absent of it?) C. The arational or nonational within the bounds of the rational. If "rational" is applied to broadly to more than a thought process, e.g. a rational action, then in the space of all action, there are acts which when informed by rationality are rational. Within the limits of rationality there are arbitrary choices which can be made... the aspect within the rational which is arational or nonrational ... is it irrational or simply nonrational/arational? e.g. drinking milk may be an eminently rational action (in context), doing so while also adding perfectly harmless food coloring, or specifically drinking it from a particularly odd looking glass do not make the overall action irrational but exhibit a nonrational whim within rational actions... i.e. the act itself of "adding food coloring" or "using a weird glass" are not in themselves rational but are within the rational action to drink milk... what do we call this space of action/choice? or Should we sweep the question aside by technically restricting rational/ irrational distinction to the process of thought? D. Would attempting to categorize everything as rational or irrational reveal a sort of error of conceptualization and a psychosis or obsession?
  22. Nicely resolved. Off topic if I might add this might be caused by the all too common conflation ( even when it is very minimal) of "objective" and "universal". What a work means presupposes a mind providing that meaning ... and it is separately objectively (not universally) due to the identity of the work and the identity of the one contemplating it. The above of course intended for those (such as NB and KP) who I think actually understand the difference between "objective" and "universal".
  23. This implies a single work of art need not attempt to sum up every and all aspects of a man's relationship to reality. In fact to really get at any particular important subject, i.e. any particular aspect of metaphysics and man being dealt with, what is not important to its presentation is eliminated. Selection implies a work of art does not need to be about the whole of man's metaphysics, but can (and properly) be about some aspect of it. Now what is presented needs to be provided in a single concretized whole summing up what the artist is drawing the viewer's attention to... but the subject of the work of art can and should be delimited. An artists sense of life may inform the chosen subjects and what he/she is aying by the art but each piece is not about that single monolithic sense of life, it is about the specific subject it is directed to. There is not but only one painting depicting the metaphysical reality of man but uncountably many possible works showing various particular important aspects thereof. Does this make sense?
  24. Does Art necessarily have to represent the entirety or the whole of a metaphysics? Must it be THE summation? It would seem such would imply art cannot be about i.e. depict and explore an "aspect" or "part of life" which is important and profound. (As for the highest form of art.. I suppose some restrictions need to apply) A work such as the fallen angel, although it is sad, might not be about sadness as such. It might be about loss, and by implication, it might actually be about value, and specifically and more importantly about the greatest value one can have in another: Love... by seeing how devastating the loss is, one sees how great the love was and can be, and by seeing how great the love, one perchance sees how wonderful life can be... but with full knowledge and acceptance (not evasion) that neither life nor love lasts forever. Is this a malevolent view? I'm not so sure. Would a sculpture of a woman smiling and dancing in the flowers with a doting husband smiling and watching her conveyed the greatness and the depth of the emotion he had for her and her importance to him? Only so much can be captured in a sculpture of a smile... Set backs are a part of life, and dare I say they are important challenges that test people's character and resilience and provide opportunities to grow and flourish in the face of them. So an artwork which presents a challenge or a disaster or a loss, unless it is clearly shown that there is and can never be recovery (granted another possible interpretation of the fallen angel...) the art can present positive sense of life, one which is psychologically adjusted to the facts of reality which face man but which exalts his ability to adapt and to flourish. I don't think art is limited to the widest presentation of metaphysics. Specific, selected and important aspects of life, of man's relation to reality can be portrayed. A work depicting a freak and tragic accident befalling a man and his triumph over it is NOT about the metaphysics of the randomness of reality (which is a fact), it is about the more important fact (also a fact of reality) of the resilience and strength of man, the potentialities possessed and residing inert within every man which perhaps not even the viewer would have otherwise suspected he himself possessed. A sense of life is NOT about what the universe does to you: Life is not what "happens" to you. A sense of life is about man, about man's place in the universe, his ability to deal with it, no matter what part of it he faces: Life, wherever you find yourself, is what you do.
  25. Let me know what you think Kaladin. Also if you still have any specific example (of the unknowable) for contemplation I would be interested to hear about it.