Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Are you a subjectivist - i.e., do you believe that no knowledge is possible?

A subjectivist is someone who believes that what exists is what he wants to exist because he wants it.

A skeptic is someone who -- employing the fallacy of the stolen concept -- believes ("knows") that knowledge is impossible. The word comes from Greek skeptomai. That means "to look, to examine, to consider." A skeptic was someone who was forever looking, examining, and considering but never came to knowledge.

Our age is an age of skepticism: It is okay, the skeptics say, to keep looking, but because there are no absolutes, we will never find any fixed knowledge. We must rely on consensus or majority rule or the decisions of our tribe.

Religious people are filling the vacuum created by skeptics. The religious have absolute answers -- dictated by revelation, accepted on faith, and explained by authority.

P. S. -- Thanks for your comment about my post on choosing a career, in another thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A subjectivist is someone who believes that what exists is what he wants to exist because he wants it.

A skeptic is someone who -- employing the fallacy of the stolen concept -- believes ("knows") that knowledge is impossible. The word comes from Greek skeptomai. That means "to look, to examine, to consider." A skeptic was someone who was forever looking, examining, and considering but never came to knowledge.

I thought skepticism was a varient of subjectivism, meaning that subjectivism is broader and more encompassing.

P. S. -- Thanks for your comment about my post on choosing a career, in another thread.

Sure! It was very helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never seen a usage that places skepticism in the class of subjectivism. The latter is one general position (another is intrinsicism) in metaphysics or epistemology (or both). Skepticism, in its full form, is a denial of even the possibility of taking a position on any issue.

See The Ayn Rand Lexicon for "Skepticism" (note, with a k) and "Subjectivism."

OPAR probably has a similar discussion.

Of course, a particular individual philosopher can vacillate between these two and other views, depending on what he is trying to get away with. For example, I consider Kant -- based on an initial reading of Critique of Pure Reason -- to be advocating both subjectivism and skpeticism, the latter in its "moderate" (mitigated) form.

P. S. -- So-called "methodological skepticism" is good. It usually means: "I won't believe you until you prove your case." Philosophical skepticism is the kind we are talking about here: No knowledge is possible. Opinions, feelings, customary responses maybe, but not "real knowledge." That's the position of Sextus Empiricus (lived around the time of Galen, c. 200 CE), the ultimate skeptic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have never seen a usage that places skepticism in the class of subjectivism. The latter is one general position (another is intrinsicism) in metaphysics or epistemology (or both). Skepticism, in its full form, is a denial of even the possibility of taking a position on any issue.

Thanks for the correction :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh ! is this topic done ? I wanted to continue the conversation, I have a good point to make but if nobody is here I won't bother... answer me who ever can hear me !

Lucien, I am still learning too, but so far as I can tell, no thread is ever "done." If you add a comment, you automatically resurrect it, so to speak. For example, all participants who signed up for automatic email notification will be alerted.

What is the "good point" you have to contribute?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My good point was about that catholic guy that was there some time ago, but since he seems to have left, I will wait for another trend on the subject to be created to talk about it... or I should create one myself... good idea BurgessLau.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know if omy argument was one of those you considered a "stupid straw man"; you posited that without God, one's life was meaningless. I asked "Worthless... to whom? The concept "worthless" (or "worth-full") impies a worth to somebody or something. To whom or what is my life worthless, without God?"

You did answer this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apologies regarding the above reply, in need of editing --extra thanks to my 2-year-old, whose schedule dictates mine. I should write better in a few years :-)

I meant to quote Ambrose as saying life was "worthless"; and I meant to finish by saying "you did NOT answer this".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am still here lucein...its just that Ive lost any motivation to post in this forum considering the stupid strawman arguments that have been popping up recently

Three questions:

(1) From all the posts in this thread, which one most clearly uses a straw-man argument?

(2) Could you explain how you have "lost any motivation to post in this forum" -- but have announced this by posting in this forum?

(3) Or is (2) a mystery akin to the Holy Trinity -- one God in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (a.k.a. Holy Ghost)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ambrose of Milan,

Just because something is finite does not make it worthless. I am enjoying my life. I will continue to enjoy my life as much as possible until I die. And while I am here, my life is quite the opposite of meaningless- it is the most deeply important thing in the world to me. I love many things in my life, and have many values. Even after I die it will still be a fact - forever - that while I lived I loved and valued the things that I did.

It is a non-sequitur to say that just because something comes to an end, that it has no meaning or worth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree...but with the exception of divine help.  God is omnipotent.  He made the laws of existance, he can do ANYTHING imaginable.  Even the universe itself is just a product of the thought of God.  That is how immense, how powerful he is.

If you are trying to find a forensic proof for God's existance, you might as well stop here.  However, when I look at the Ressurection, the documentational evidence is undeniable.  And, when I look at the miracles of the saints, it is hard to think that it was all faked.  Or when I look at the image of Mary at Guadalupe.  Every fiber is colored, the image cannot be replicated by modern technology.  OR when I look at the miracles of Lourdes or Fatima.  Of course I will never be able to proove that God exists based on those occurences.  But, it is hard for me to imagine someone could fake an apparition which prophecised about the coming Cold War and World War 2, and was attended by thousands of witnesses.  As Ive said, Christianity requires a leap of faith, although it itself is within the bounds of reason

In order for god to be omnipotent he must be infinite, right. But, as Mr. Peikoff so clearly points out in OPAR, this is impossbile because "infinite does not mean large; it means no specific quantity, ie of no specific quantity. An infinite quantity would be a quantity without identity. But A is A. Every entity, accordingly, is finite; it is limited in the number of its qualities and in their extent; this applies to the universe as well." Therefore, it is impossible for something to be omnipotent or infinite.

If you reject the axioms that Objectivism is based on, you are living in a dillusion. If you do not know what they are, I highly suggest you read about them. In any case, I would like to hear your argument against what Mr. Peikoff has to say.

Zak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As my first act as moderator, this thread is closed. If someone wishes to start a thread about miracles... I suppose it's possible but I will be heavily moderating it because generally such topics devolve into nonsense. However there's still some value involved in discussing miracles, how they violate reality, etc, which is why such a thread will be allowed in the first place.

Ambrose, if you were older I would strongly rebuke you for spreading the kind of nonsense you have been so far. But because you're a teenager, you deserve some slack. However, remember that you are walking a fine line, and if you visit this forum with no willingness to change your opinions, you're in the wrong place and this side of you will come out sooner or later, and I will have to deal with it sooner or later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×