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Try as I might, I still do not know what laws and theorems in formal logic such as "A is A" have to do with government. To me, it makes as much sense if she started talking about dinosaurs and tried to connect that to how the government should be run. The two seem to have nothing to do with each other.

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1 hour ago, Dustin86 said:

Try as I might, I still do not know what laws and theorems in formal logic such as "A is A" have to do with government. To me, it makes as much sense if she started talking about dinosaurs and tried to connect that to how the government should be run. The two seem to have nothing to do with each other.

Let's try this: A is A. Man is man. So far, we've applied the law of identity to the man. The corollary law of causality states that a thing is a thing and that it may act on its nature. Whether A is A, or man is man, the thing has no choice other than to act within the limits of its nature. It is man's nature to use his mind as his primary tool of survival, or perish. It is man's nature to be free to use his mind. Man, requiring his freewill and rationality as his primary means of survival, must be allowed to act on his own rational judgement in order to achieve his happiness. Man, a being of freewill, naturally will thrive or perish in proportion to his ability to exercise freewill.    Let's look at government: Throughout most of human history, government has been a force of oppression, at worst, enslavement. Government must be designed to allow the maximum limits of human freedom. A social system designed to protect man's individual and  natural rights is a social system acting to sustain itself. A social system that confines man's freedom, making of him, a sacrificial animal, is a social system designed for man's destruction.

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The most direct yet intuitive connection is that the nature of government is to place the use of retributive force under the objective control of law. Actually, “A is A” has nothing to do with laws of formal logic (in fact “A is A” is not even an expression in formal logic, though an expression like “(x) (P(x) Q(x))” would be). This is a shorthand expression pointing to the law of identity. The full paragraph where this is introduced in Galt’s Speech sums that up:

 

To exist is to be something, as distinguished from the nothing of non-existence, it is to be an entity of a specific nature made of specific attributes. Centuries ago, the man who was—no matter what his errors—the greatest of your philosophers, has stated the formula defining the concept of existence and the rule of all knowledge: A is A. A thing is itself. You have never grasped the meaning of his statement. I am here to complete it: Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification.

 

Then eventually you can narrow the context and ask about the nature of concepts like “rights”, and get to principles having to do with government. All of them have to do with identifying the nature of a thing.

Edited by DavidOdden
not matters

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Asking how logic applies to government is a lot like asking how physics applies to government. Governments exist as part of reality. Logic is about how reality functions and therefore applies to reality in general. That's how/why logic applies to government. Government is not some kind of weird floating exception to reality or apart from reality. Everything from there on out is just going to be specific examples of logic used on government. Is that what you really want though? Just a list of examples? From what I've seen, Rand didn't really use the heavily symbol laden "formal" logic much anyway, but to the extent the symbol-based version is still properly formed logic, what I said still applies.

 

You've made lots of threads here based on questions/objections to Objectivism. If you've said so before, sorry for the repeat, but aside from this forum, what are your sources of information on Objectivism? Also, do you yet consider any of your questions/objections to be sufficiently answered/resolved? I don't think I recall you saying before if you thought any of them were before you moved along to another thread and stopped posting in a previous one.

Edited by bluecherry
Added in a word I seem to have missed typing originally

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On 2/1/2017 at 3:26 PM, bluecherry said:

Also, do you yet consider any of your questions/objections to be sufficiently answered/resolved?

Bluecherry, my own personal opinion wrt this question is that government has nothing to do actually with formal logic. I hold that this is the commonsensical position.

Ayn Rand and Objectivism "grew up" in a period of history when men were "oohing" and "aahing" over formal logic (without really being aware of its limitations), much as centuries ago men were oohing and aahing over the (supposed) Christ and the Christian religion, without being aware of their limitations.

Because of this, Ayn Rand sought the sanction of Formal Logic for her ideas on government, much as learned men once used religious (Christian) arguments even in learned texts in order to seek the sanction of Christ and Christianity for their ideas.

On 2/1/2017 at 3:26 PM, bluecherry said:

You've made lots of threads here based on questions/objections to Objectivism.

I believe in freewheeling debate, I don't believe in echo chambers and safe spaces; I think it is good to engage with those whom you don't agree with.

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55 minutes ago, Dustin86 said:

Ayn Rand and Objectivism "grew up" in a period of history when men were "oohing" and "aahing" over formal logic (without really being aware of its limitations)

Which ones?

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Dustin, I wasn't asking if any of your questions/objections in this thread alone you considered to be answered/resolved, I was asking about if you considered that to be the case of *any* of your questions/objections you have raised on this forum in general.

Also, you have in your post there stated your position, but you have not addressed anything any of us have already said to you here about why we contend such a position is incorrect.

You didn't answer my question either about what sources, aside from this forum, you have on Objectivism, or even point me to a place where you already answered that question (which also would have been perfectly acceptable). When I said, "You've made lots of threads here based on questions/objections to Objectivism " - I didn't mean that as an accusation, like it was an inherently bad thing that just should not be done. I was stating it because it was relevant to my later question, asking what, if any, sources you had aside from this forum on Objectivism. Asking this many questions isn't a bad thing necessarily, but it does makes me suspect that you may be attempting to approach learning about or "challenging" this philosophy very badly. You may be jumping into the middle of this philosophy and going about it all higgledy piggledy, not looking into the well made primary or even secondary sources on it that answer the whats and whys pretty thoroughly and systematically. You may instead be asking people to not just reinvent the wheel for you, but reinvent the rocket ship, knowing almost nothing about rockets already yourself, and that they do so random piece by piece with you showing little interest in actually seeing how the pieces fit together and why, or maybe even seeing all the pieces, just seeing how these individual parts aren't making sense to you at first glance and on their own and then saying "This makes no sense! It's all bullshit! No way this thing gets off the ground." This seems like a bad way for you to learn about Objectivism and an even worse way to try to convince anybody who knows Objectivism well that it is incorrect. It's also hugely inefficient on time involved doing it the messy way versus going to the primary or even secondary sources.

As for "echo chambers" and "safe spaces" -- you realize, don't you, that with Objectivists being such a teeny, tiny percentage of the population, we all spend our lives immersed constantly in people and products of contrary beliefs, right? This forum is just one of the few places where we come together with people that DO share our support of this philosophy so that we can actually get some where furthering our discussions of the subject beyond constantly just going over the basics with people who think the philosophy is flat out incorrect, just endlessly rehashing the same basic issues over and over that are already old hat to us, never touching any further or new material. We don't need to have this forum bombarded with people who disagree with us in order to be exposed to other beliefs and the possibility that we are wrong because we already inevitably face those things all the time everywhere else we go pretty much. Our goal here on this forum isn't to *never* be exposed to contrary ideas(something the forum couldn't possibly achieve anyway), its to just have somewhere that actually is about our ideas in the midst of aaaaaaaaaaaaaall the rest that we are exposed to which isn't. And we already do believe in reexaming our own beliefs if ever we come across something which seems to flout them anyway. Having this forum to discuss Objectivism with mostly people who support it is like having a forum for fans of bag pipe music in a world where pretty much everybody hates bag pipe music.

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On 2/1/2017 at 8:42 AM, Dustin86 said:

Try as I might, I still do not know what laws and theorems in formal logic such as "A is A" have to do with government.

What does formal logic have to do with Objectivism?  Nothing.

3 hours ago, Dustin86 said:

Ayn Rand and Objectivism "grew up" in a period of history when men were "oohing" and "aahing" over formal logic (without really being aware of its limitations), much as centuries ago men were oohing and aahing over the (supposed) Christ and the Christian religion, without being aware of their limitations.

Because of this, Ayn Rand sought the sanction of Formal Logic for her ideas on government, much as learned men once used religious (Christian) arguments even in learned texts in order to seek the sanction of Christ and Christianity for their ideas.

Rand was very critical of Linguistic Analysis and formal logic.  When did she ever break down sentences into syntax and semantics and manipulate "symbols" according to grammatical rules?

A is A is not a "theorem" in need of a "proof".  It's a very broad generalization arrived at via induction from particulars. 

Edited by New Buddha

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9 hours ago, Dustin86 said:

I believe in freewheeling debate, I don't believe in echo chambers and safe spaces; I think it is good to engage with those whom you don't agree with.

If you don't agree with Objectivism, or its advocates, what purpose does it serve to repeatedly pose such questions, be they "freewheeling," scatological, and often, questions you would be able to answer for yourself with the minimum of research? Debate for the sake of debate?

The preceding was more a rhetorical question; you may start by answering the questions the others have posed to you on this thread, and engage mine afterward, if its not beneath your dignity.

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16 hours ago, Dustin86 said:

Because of this, Ayn Rand sought the sanction of Formal Logic for her ideas...

You are so full of crap!

(That's more polite and far more accurate than your post.)

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You may be confused about what formal logic is (a.k.a. symbolic logic), in a manner analogous to confusing “string theory” as interchangeable with “science”. Logic is much broader than formal logic. Four textbook exemplars of formal logic are Agler Symbolic Logic: Syntax, Semantics, and Proof; Simpson Essentials of Symbolic Logic; Jeffrey Formal Logic: Its Scope and Limits, and especially Kleene Mathematical Logic. Logic, in the broader sense, is exemplified by H.W.B. Joseph An Introduction to Logic, and more generally, most work in logic from Aristotle up to Frege. There are many other distinctions in logic, such as Boolean logic (which deals only in “true” and “false” but not quantifiers like “some” and “all”), or modal logic (which deals in notions like “possible” and “necessary”).

 

Without getting into technical arcana about particular specializations of logic, logic is the study of correct methods of reasoning (creation of knowledge above the perceptual level), which at its core means correctly identifying the nature of things. Formal logic can be seen as one outgrowth of classical Platonic and Aristotelean logic. Aristotle especially identified many essential principles of reasoning and reduced them to a general form (e.g. his four types of propositions: the square of opposition), so formal logic got its start with Aristotle. Aristotle, in Metaphysics and Organon, articulates the basics, and people have been re-organizing things since.

 

The problem with classical approaches to knowledge has been that the fundamental ideas are set forth as unorganized statements, supposedly comprehensible on their own right. The summary of Objectivism in Galt’s Speech breaks with this practice by starting with the basic axiomatic statements. “A is A”, which has been taken as axiomatic for millenia, but was not actually understood properly. “A is A” encapsulates the undeniables which underly all reasoning, and are the logical foundation of understanding the nature of government. There is no formal deductive chain that gets from the statement “A is A” to the statement “A government is an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area” and “The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man’s rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence”. Rather, you have to start with the most self-evident fact: that man exists, which implies that he has a nature. What is that nature? Does he automatically respond to his environment, or does he choose. If he chooses, how does he choose?

 

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I love A is A!!! I enjoy exploring the meaning in A is A, as an abstraction with a vast and expansive meaning. I learn something more about A is A in every conversation it pops up. It begins with the personal. Man is Man. You are you. Governments that do not know what man is have forced man to function outside of his nature, and have been holding back our evolution for untold generations.

I am interested in exploring A is A again and again in order to follow its lead in finding ways to highlight its power in more clear more concise ways so that it's beauty can become a beacon of attraction for inquisitive minds to explore. A is A is the tip of an iceberg. A is A is a way to bond with yourself, to embrace yourself, to explore and discover what you are.

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