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13 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Are you trying (but failing ... purposefully or not) to say the standard of value in the OP is wrong?  If not what ARE you trying to say?

The standard of value in the OP is wrong. The standard of value is life, as derived from the standard of reality that demarcates the considerations necessary to adduce that the standard of value is life.

In summary, I think we've come full circle in 4 posts. (5, if you count the earlier rewording.) In the Objective Communication (not Objectivist's Communication) course, Leonard Peikoff talks about identifying the key philosophic point from a barrage of quasi-related points. It went something like this: (paraphrased)

Your opponent makes 5 separate, but somewhat related, points.

You start with point 1 and start to make your rebuttal.

Partway thru your point 1 rebuttal, your opponent interrupts you and countermines with 5 more additional points.

You now have 10 points to address.

Watch the movie Groundhog's Day again. Multiply the permutations accordingly.

Vs.

Your opponent makes 5 separate, but somewhat related, points.

Identify the key philosophic point. Start to make your rebuttal.

Partway thru your rebuttal, your opponent interrupts you and countermines with 5 more additional points.

You now have a choice to make. Is there a more salient philosophic point to address on the table, or are the interruptions part of the annual viewing of Groundhog's Day to commemorate Ayn Rand's birthday by watching a movie that has more depth to it than may have first met the eye?

To your credit, you were not continually coming up with 5 additional points to consider. Either you had your hands full trying to redirect back to the OP, or I may have missed something in my assessment here.

In terms of fencing, being too cognizant of your epee makes me wary of being struck.

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1 hour ago, StrictlyLogical said:

As is clear from the OP (feel free to read it again) I currently do not believe in any afterlife.  That is the whole point. If I already did believe, there would be no issue in the first place.

 

Well, ok, I know you don't believe it. But you're making an argument as to why you ought to believe it, and part of that argument is that believing in an afterlife will make your life better somehow.

So hypothetically, if you went through with this plan, and actually believed in an afterlife, then why not kill yourself? You did say you'd miss your friends and family, but you could kill them too.

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9 hours ago, SpookyKitty said:

better somehow

Not somehow.  It is clearly stated in the OP (feel free to read it)

 

9 hours ago, SpookyKitty said:

if you went through with this plan, and actually believed in an afterlife, then why not kill yourself?

The single evasion, the untruth I would plan to make myself accept is the mere existence of an afterlife.

I do not plan to make up stuff regarding the relationship between life and the afterlife, whether what I do in life affects the afterlife, whether I earn credits being a certain  way or have a better afterlife because I live longer or better.  Moreover, I do not plan to make up stuff about the afterlife telling me whether it is on average better or worse than life, of if even I remember this life in the afterlife.  For all I know everything in life has a big effect on the afterlife and it may be a more intense experience.

In the absence of making something specific up regarding the relationship between and/or the relative experiences of Life and the Afterlife, I would have no reason, once I have brainwashed myself with the evasion I have prepared, to kill myself.

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10 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

The standard of value is life, as derived from the standard of reality that demarcates the considerations necessary to adduce that the standard of value is life.

In summary, I think we've come full circle in 4 posts. (5, if you count the earlier rewording.) In the Objective Communication (not Objectivist's Communication) course, Leonard Peikoff talks about identifying the key philosophic point from a barrage of quasi-related points. It went something like this: (paraphrased)

Your opponent makes 5 separate, but somewhat related, points.

You start with point 1 and start to make your rebuttal.

Partway thru your point 1 rebuttal, your opponent interrupts you and countermines with 5 more additional points.

You now have 10 points to address.

Watch the movie Groundhog's Day again. Multiply the permutations accordingly.

Vs.

Your opponent makes 5 separate, but somewhat related, points.

Identify the key philosophic point. Start to make your rebuttal.

Partway thru your rebuttal, your opponent interrupts you and countermines with 5 more additional points.

You now have a choice to make. Is there a more salient philosophic point to address on the table, or are the interruptions part of the annual viewing of Groundhog's Day to commemorate Ayn Rand's birthday by watching a movie that has more depth to it than may have first met the eye?

To your credit, you were not continually coming up with 5 additional points to consider. Either you had your hands full trying to redirect back to the OP, or I may have missed something in my assessment here.

In terms of fencing, being too cognizant of your epee makes me wary of being struck.

Our fencing is in the spirit only of sparring, you need not fear my epee, it shall deliver no real blow but is merely provided for exercise and honing of skills.

I presented an argument in a form seemingly and arguably (to some) impenetrable as a perfectly fitting suit of armor.  I presented it in a fashion to elicit the feeling the sentiment and the intuition that the conclusion was inescapable.  Afterward, I asked only for a direct attack... a skewering ... at the gaps in my armor/argument.  This requires precision and directness, not elliptical musings. 

Where are the gaps the flaws?  Stop circling around hinting at attacking me and ATTACK ME!

 

To the nitty gritty: 

10 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

The standard of value is life, as derived from the standard of reality that demarcates the considerations necessary to adduce that the standard of value is life.

What do you mean precisely by "life"?

10 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

The standard of value in the OP is wrong.

Show me exactly what is wrong with the OP (quote it please).

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On 11/1/2017 at 7:50 PM, StrictlyLogical said:

Reality is as it is, A is A, but there is another reality, a super-reality for which there is no evidence, and into which I will have an afterlife.

Here's the short circuit, the admittance of the arbitrary, the disposal of the necessity of evidence. It is an admission to one's consciousness that evidence is not required for this "one thing", but the precedent is now set. One's consciousness has just let itself "know" that it is acceptable to dispense with the need for evidence. Sure. Argue that it is only for this one point, and no others. It is still, none the less, a compromise. A compromise of a nature, that the nature of human beings tends to support, that cannot be contained.

 

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On 11/8/2017 at 7:25 AM, StrictlyLogical said:

I have waited a week for someone to properly and with logical ruthlessness (but with rational civility) point out the flaws and errors and the incorrect premises which allow me to reach a conclusions that

1. truth can be a disvalue,  that

2. evasion can be a value, and that

3. one who finds displeasure in reality as it is, morally must engage on a course to believe a falsehood. 

These are three irrational and reprehensible conclusions.

1 & 2 - These are sound statements. The errors are in how you apply them non-objectively. A slave answering his master honestly could be a disvalue. And tuning out a babbling bum could be a value.

3 - This position, in and of itself, I would consider irrational. It assumes that pleasure is the proper standard of value. So, essentially it's hedonistic, and you'll remain at the pain-pleasure level of morality until you reject it for something else. The next time you feel displeasure with reality, your self-delusion about the afterlife won't help you, because it has nothing to do with this world. You'll probably find some pleasurable activity to help evade your depression. I doubt you'll return to an objective standard of value, because you never really had one.

An objective standard of value doesn't permit self-delusion. Honesty is a virtue because man must know reality in order to survive. But honesty doesn't mean always telling the truth to others. It means always telling the truth to yourself. To consciously lie to yourself and attempt to brainwash yourself into believing a falsehood, that is the opposite of recognizing reality, it is the pursuit of self-destruction. The same force that snapped you out of mysticism in the first place will hound your compartmentalized mind until the day you die. And that force is reality. You will never escape it. And it will always remind you that you're lying to yourself. Because you are. And reality is reality.

Edited by MisterSwig

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1 hour ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Im voluntarily choosing a single irrationality .. one which is moral to pursue.  Isn't it?

"I haven't said that. I haven't said that at all."

Clearly a contradiction, as put. Both points I identified1, 2 alluded to, or flowed from it. To pick an expression heard over the years of growing up that I can apply here: "If you haven't got something nice to say, don't say it."

Combine it with this excerpt from MisterSwig:

35 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

But honesty doesn't mean always telling the truth to others. It means always telling the truth to yourself.

This is a motto I've always held for myself, and in part, the reason I've sworn off others. Jack Nicolas captures this nicely in this quip from "A Few Good Men".

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by dream_weaver

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9 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

"I haven't said that. I haven't said that at all."

Clearly a contradiction, as put. Both points I identified1, 2 alluded to, or flowed from it. To pick an expression heard over the years of growing up that I can apply here: "If you haven't got something nice to say, don't say it."

Combine it with this excerpt from MisterSwig:

This is a motto I've always held for myself, and in part, the reason I've sworn off others. Jack Nicolas captures this nicely in this quip from "A Few Good Men".

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

This is kind of funny.  I try to pick a fake fight and it starts to look like a real one.

What do you think my position actually is? Check your premises...  with whom are you dealing?

If you don't wish to engage sir I've chosen the wrong mate to spar with and I'll back off now.

 

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10 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

1 & 2 - These are sound statements. The errors are in how you apply them non-objectively. A slave answering his master honestly could be a disvalue. And tuning out a babbling bum could be a value.

3 - This position, in and of itself, I would consider irrational. It assumes that pleasure is the proper standard of value. So, essentially it's hedonistic, and you'll remain at the pain-pleasure level of morality until you reject it for something else. The next time you feel displeasure with reality, your self-delusion about the afterlife won't help you, because it has nothing to do with this world. You'll probably find some pleasurable activity to help evade your depression. I doubt you'll return to an objective standard of value, because you never really had one.

An objective standard of value doesn't permit self-delusion. Honesty is a virtue because man must know reality in order to survive. But honesty doesn't mean always telling the truth to others. It means always telling the truth to yourself. To consciously lie to yourself and attempt to brainwash yourself into believing a falsehood, that is the opposite of recognizing reality, it is the pursuit of self-destruction. The same force that snapped you out of mysticism in the first place will hound your compartmentalized mind until the day you die. And that force is reality. You will never escape it. And it will always remind you that you're lying to yourself. Because you are. And reality is reality.

If you have made those conclusions as to 3, can you really say those things about 1 and 2?  Why or why not?

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6 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

If you have made those conclusions as to 3, can you really say those things about 1 and 2?  Why or why not?

I think I made myself clear enough. The least you could do is whip up a single sentence reply that isn't a cryptic question. I'm not really interested in fake fights anyway. I see enough of that at 4chan. I come here to deal with honest people.

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1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

I think I made myself clear enough. The least you could do is whip up a single sentence reply that isn't a cryptic question. I'm not really interested in fake fights anyway. I see enough of that at 4chan. I come here to deal with honest people.

BTW I'm not sparring with you... and a question is not dishonest.   Neither is the demonstration of an irrational conclusion based on particular chosen premises.

 

You say 3 is irrational because it assumes pleasure is the standard of value and yet you state 1 and 2 are valid statements, that truth can be a disvalue and evasion can be a value, but how can this be so? 

If pleasure is not the standard of value, wouldn't 1 and 2 also be irrational?

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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On ‎11‎/‎8‎/‎2017 at 10:25 AM, StrictlyLogical said:

To those who have responded to the OP of this thread, your comments are all too kind.

Literally, too kind.

The same goes (if not more) for all of you who read the OP and who have remained silent.

 

I have waited a week for someone to properly and with logical ruthlessness (but with rational civility) point out the flaws and errors and the incorrect premises which allow me to reach a conclusions that

1. truth can be a disvalue,  that

2. evasion can be a value, and that

3. one who finds displeasure in reality as it is, morally must engage on a course to believe a falsehood. 

These are three irrational and reprehensible conclusions.

 

The OP's premise is believable, and it is achievable. A man can be such and could decide to proceed and possibly "succeed" (in his chosen aims) as planned.  After all BILLIONS currently already effectively do so. But know that as realistic as the OP is. the core of its argument is no different from the fanciful hypothetical raised by the Matrix, whether or not, if one had the ability and choice to do so, one should not descend into a virtual world to "live a life" (so called) of bliss, ignorant of the truth, to erase one's memory, and "exist" (so called) in a fabricated fiction (perhaps even as a different or fictional person) until death... all for the sake of maximizing peace, pleasure, and happiness.  The OP clearly raises the question (more believably than the fanciful Matrix): Why not?  (More fancifully what IS wrong with Cypher's plan in the Matrix?)

If truth CAN be less peaceful, less pleasurable, less happy than carefully chosen FALSEHOODS (and one can always choose from an infinite selection of falsehoods) what value could the truth, and a true life possibly have over such a "blissfully experienced" life?  According to what standard of value is this possible? 

 

By any measure, BLISS is as LIMITLESS as is IGNORANCE.

 

To all those who see the errors (or feel or intuit them) and have been TOO Kind PLEASE:

Identify, WHAT are the flaws in the argument of the OP?

Identify, what errors allow the incorrect conclusions?

Identify, what premises about man, his life, the standard of value, the standard of morality, the nature of truth allow one to come to such a set of disastrous and irrational conclusions? 

 

There is still an open invitation for anyone to take a rigorous, analytical, surgical approach to skewer the OP with a few well aimed strokes, and let it die its true and final death.

Feel free to quote the OP if interested in playing along, feel free to politely ignore this, if not.

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12 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

You say 3 is irrational because it assumes pleasure is the standard of value and yet you state 1 and 2 are valid statement, that truth can be a disvalue and evasion can be a value, but how can this be so? 

If pleasure is not the standard of value, wouldn't 1 and 2 also be irrational?

I don't see how 1 & 2 are necessarily based on pleasure as the standard of value. There is no hint of the standard used to come up with the statements. Whereas in 3 the standard is implied by saying you have displeasure with reality. If you were to rephrase 1 and say that you have displeasure with a particular truth and therefore it is a disvalue, then I'd say you were being irrational. You would be valuing based on feelings.

Edited by MisterSwig

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9 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

This is kind of funny.  I try to pick a fake fight and it starts to look like a real one.

What do you think my position actually is? Check your premises...  with whom are you dealing?

If you don't wish to engage sir I've chosen the wrong mate to spar with and I'll back off now.

You said:

 

19 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Im voluntarily choosing a single irrationality .. one which is moral to pursue.  Isn't it?

When I said "If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all", I probably should have prefaced it with I didn't connect it with irrationality, as it wasn't explicit in the OP. And I don't think it would be very nice to say you're being irrational, hence, I wouldn't have stated it that way.

The irrationality was implicit in the footnoted posts.

Is that, by the way, the faulty premise you packaged into the OP? (I presumed it was.)

Edited by dream_weaver

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9 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

You said:

 

When I said "If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all", I probably should have prefaced it with I didn't connect it with irrationality, as it wasn't explicit in the OP. And I don't think it would be very nice to say you're being irrational, hence, I wouldn't have stated it that way.

The irrationality was implicit in the footnoted posts.

Is that, by the way, the faulty premise you packaged into the OP? (I presumed it was.)

Your footnotes refer directly to the conclusions, not to the faulty premise or premises which enable the chain of reasoning leading up to them.  When I ask "why" is my conclusion is wrong I am looking for an identification of the fault along that chain or in one or some of the premises which lead me to that conclusion.

Am I correct in my distinction between premises and conclusions?

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1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

I don't see how 1 & 2 are necessarily based on pleasure as the standard of value. There is no hint of the standard used to come up with the statements. Whereas in 3 the standard is implied by saying you have displeasure with reality. If you were to rephrase 1 and say that you have displeasure with a particular truth and therefore it is a disvalue, then I'd say you were being irrational. You would be valuing based on feelings.

OK the way it is written permits a sort of different treatment.  Assume there IS a standard of value by which one gauges whether anything is of value and that it corresponds to the moral standard of value.  AynRandLexicon: Values , Standard of Value

1. truth can be is a disvalue

2. evasion can be a value

3. morally one should disbelieve some truths and should engage in some evasions

 

I would suggest all 3 are invalid/irrational, they all fall together because "value" presupposes a standard of value.  In fact, I suggest each one implies the others.

 

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Just now, StrictlyLogical said:

Am I correct in my distinction between premises and conclusions?

It made sense to me when I saw it. I've read the OP several times. The faulty conclusions are more obvious to me, probably because I generally can accept what I see. I didn't make the leap to identify them as stemming from the irrational. Contradictions, yes. I saw that. It shouldn't be much of a leap to link contradictions to irrationality. That is what they are.

If I show someone a contradiction and they can't identify it as such, I do find that informative. I refuse to accept a contradiction when I find one, but I do have to see it for myself.

 

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9 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

It made sense to me when I saw it. I've read the OP several times. The faulty conclusions are more obvious to me, probably because I generally can accept what I see. I didn't make the leap to identify them as stemming from the irrational. Contradictions, yes. I saw that. It shouldn't be much of a leap to link contradictions to irrationality. That is what they are.

If I show someone a contradiction and they can't identify it as such, I do find that informative. I refuse to accept a contradiction when I find one, but I do have to see it for myself.

 

Interesting.  I tried very hard to craft the OP such that it is not illogical, i.e. that the process of logic is solid, and that there are no contradictions in logical argumentation.  I do not claim that the premises or the argument itself necessarily includes an irrational premise or an irrational process of logic.

I believe the conclusions are immoral: it essentially claims that to be moral one must commit irrationality (in voluntarily attempting to engage in one specific evasion of truth or acceptance of an untruth).  Being morally led by premises and argument to commit irrationality does not logically require that the premises or the argument itself are irrational, only that somewhere buried in the premises or the argument lies the "immoral" which would permit one to arrive at the desirability of the irrational.

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Illogical and irrational are different.

In logic, it is the form that is analyzed for logical consistency. Thus two wrong premises can be used to draw a logical conclusion, and the conclusion would be logically sound.

I think this is why I didn't pick up on the premise. It wasn't stated in a form I could see. Thus, when you stated it, I saw it then. It was the conclusions I pointed out in the OP did not make sense to me. And of these, I picked out the first one as being the most significant to me, and after you rejected it, I brought out the second most signification one I could find.

If you hadn't spilled the beans, I was intrigued enough by the paradox that I would have most likely gone back to look for yet another.

Edited by dream_weaver

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2 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

"value" presupposes a standard of value.

That's where you're wrong. Values are objective. A certain thing is good or bad for you specifically, whether you know it or not. It's the standard of value, the abstract principle you form in your head, that comes later and presupposes the existence of values from which you pick a standard.

I've had this debate before. So I'm not going to get into it again. Good luck with your hypothetical, though. It is an interesting thought experiment.

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On 11/8/2017 at 9:25 AM, StrictlyLogical said:

To those who have responded to the OP of this thread, your comments are all too kind.

Literally, too kind.

Perhaps you're right. If it's ruthlessness you seek then I think I can oblige. ;)

 

Quote

If truth CAN be less peaceful, less pleasurable, less happy than carefully chosen FALSEHOODS (and one can always choose from an infinite selection of falsehoods) what value could the truth, and a true life possibly have over such a "blissfully experienced" life?  According to what standard of value is this possible?

That's partly true.

 

If the consideration of some truth caused oneself to suffer, yet we could act to change it (such as one's being diagnosed with some treatable disease), then the consideration of that truth would still be of value - as the necessary precondition for any possible solution. You can't schedule an appointment for your cure if you lack the balls to know about your disease in the first place.

If at any point there was nothing to be done about it (no solution and no reason to update either one's knowledge about or plans which incorporate it) then to cause oneself pointless suffering by dwelling on it would be immoral. Remember Rearden's response to the Equalization of Opportunity bill.

The purpose of knowledge is action.

 

However, ignoring an irrelevant issue is not the same as active evasion (provided one pays it due attention whenever it is relevant); that's one of the things that "thinking in essentials" demands. If I responded to the OP with some remark on how Trump should deal with North Korea, for you to ignore me would not be an evasion (and to give me a serious response would be fallacious).

Finally (although you must judge the relevance of this) I emphatically disagree with the equation of flourishing with "bliss". "Bliss" connotes a certain passivity (the thought that comes to mind is relaxing into a food coma after Thanksgiving dinner) which -while not necessarily a bad thing- is completely different from the emotional quality that drives a Roark or a Galt. The type of "happiness" distinctive to Egoism is fiercely active to the core (the very possibility of its experience requiring that we first push ourselves beyond our limits). It's neither compatible nor with a food-coma type of "bliss" nor with the cowardice it takes to evade a fact of reality. I don't believe it can be gotten that way.

 

Quote

More fancifully what IS wrong with Cypher's plan in the Matrix?

You know that scene where he's standing over everyone else's bodies, pulling their plugs one-by-one? You do realize that he was signing himself up to live with exactly the same vulnerability, to strike him down (with neither warning nor any possibility of action) at any moment? Signing up for that is not a recipe for flourishing - nor is the mindset it'd take to want it, in the first place. 'True terror is being delivered to destruction blindfolded with one's hands tied behind one's back' (AS).

Cypher was the moron who thought he could be happy (whether in the Matrix or out) regardless of his physical survival. Honestly, the thing I find most amazing about that allegory is that the Wachowski brothers wrote it into their own damn movie and apparently have yet to think too deeply about its meaning.

 

Quote

The OP's premise is believable, and it is achievable. A man can be such and could decide to proceed and possibly "succeed" (in his chosen aims) as planned. 

I suggest you think twice.

 

I am sorry if my earlier post ("if you do it in the same manner you wrote the OP") seems to contradict this, but I didn't believe you could in fact do such a thing. Nobody can. I kept it to myself out of something like compassion (you sounded so depressed already and you're one of the only people I actually like to talk to) but if it's ruthlessness you seek...

 

Cognitively, in the long run you never could've kept your one evasion separate from the rest of your thoughts because all knowledge is interconnected - and if you choose not to consciously accept this then your subconscious would've done it for you. 

If one science had contradicted your evasion then you would've started subconsciously looking for reasons to reject it; if another had supported it then you would've started looking for reasons to support it; to consciously suppress either (reminding yourself of your "one evasion" -like in the OP- and choosing not to let it proliferate) would constitute the kind of evasion which wouldn't permit you to forget its nature - and consequently wouldn't do jack shit for your emotional state (and consequently you wouldn't be able to do it for long).

Quote

There is no greater self-delusion than to imagine that one can render unto reason that which is reason's and unto faith that which is faith's. Faith cannot be circumscribed or delimited; to surrender one's consciousness by an inch, is to surrender one's consciousness in total. Either reason is an absolute to a mind or it is not - and if it is not, there is no place to draw the line, no principle by which to draw it, no barrier faith cannot cross, no part of one's life faith cannot invade: one remains rational until and unless one's feelings decree otherwise.

-Mental Health versus Mysticism and Self-Sacrifice by Nathaniel Branden

 

Emotionally, the idea that your lifespan is infinite is not compatible with the constant, overarching sense of urgency in everything done by each of Rand's heroes (again, 'I only have, say, sixty more years to live'). You simply cannot budget the time that's yours to spend if you think it's infinite; you can take my word on that point because that's the single biggest thing I'm still struggling to "get" to this very day (specifically because I was raised with such a belief).

 

I don't know if it's because the Mysticism of your type of "deism" was so minimal or because of rationalization or what, but you seem to be having significant trouble with projecting the psychological state of a mystic. So let me indicate one possible example:

"If I had a voice I'd sing" - but I don't. If I had a mouth I'd scream.

 

Evasion is very bad for your psychology.

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2 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Perhaps you're right. If it's ruthlessness you seek then I think I can oblige. ;)

 

That's partly true.

 

If the consideration of some truth caused oneself to suffer, yet we could act to change it (such as one's being diagnosed with some treatable disease), then the consideration of that truth would still be of value - as the necessary precondition for any possible solution. You can't schedule an appointment for your cure if you lack the balls to know about your disease in the first place.

If at any point there was nothing to be done about it (no solution and no reason to update either one's knowledge about or plans which incorporate it) then to cause oneself pointless suffering by dwelling on it would be immoral. Remember Rearden's response to the Equalization of Opportunity bill.

The purpose of knowledge is action.

 

However, ignoring an irrelevant issue is not the same as active evasion (provided one pays it due attention whenever it is relevant); that's one of the things that "thinking in essentials" demands. If I responded to the OP with some remark on how Trump should deal with North Korea, for you to ignore me would not be an evasion (and to give me a serious response would be fallacious).

Finally (although you must judge the relevance of this) I emphatically disagree with the equation of flourishing with "bliss". "Bliss" connotes a certain passivity (the thought that comes to mind is relaxing into a food coma after Thanksgiving dinner) which -while not necessarily a bad thing- is completely different from the emotional quality that drives a Roark or a Galt. The type of "happiness" distinctive to Egoism is fiercely active to the core (the very possibility of its experience requiring that we first push ourselves beyond our limits). It's neither compatible nor with a food-coma type of "bliss" nor with the cowardice it takes to evade a fact of reality. I don't believe it can be gotten that way.

 

You know that scene where he's standing over everyone else's bodies, pulling their plugs one-by-one? You do realize that he was signing himself up to live with exactly the same vulnerability, to strike him down (with neither warning nor any possibility of action) at any moment? Signing up for that is not a recipe for flourishing - nor is the mindset it'd take to want it, in the first place. 'True terror is being delivered to destruction blindfolded with one's hands tied behind one's back' (AS).

Cypher was the moron who thought he could be happy (whether in the Matrix or out) regardless of his physical survival. Honestly, the thing I find most amazing about that allegory is that the Wachowski brothers wrote it into their own damn movie and apparently have yet to think too deeply about its meaning.

 

I suggest you think twice.

 

I am sorry if my earlier post ("if you do it in the same manner you wrote the OP") seems to contradict this, but I didn't believe you could in fact do such a thing. Nobody can. I kept it to myself out of something like compassion (you sounded so depressed already and you're one of the only people I actually like to talk to) but if it's ruthlessness you seek...

 

Cognitively, in the long run you never could've kept your one evasion separate from the rest of your thoughts because all knowledge is interconnected - and if you choose not to consciously accept this then your subconscious would've done it for you. 

If one science had contradicted your evasion then you would've started subconsciously looking for reasons to reject it; if another had supported it then you would've started looking for reasons to support it; to consciously suppress either (reminding yourself of your "one evasion" -like in the OP- and choosing not to let it proliferate) would constitute the kind of evasion which wouldn't permit you to forget its nature - and consequently wouldn't do jack shit for your emotional state (and consequently you wouldn't be able to do it for long).

-Mental Health versus Mysticism and Self-Sacrifice by Nathaniel Branden

 

Emotionally, the idea that your lifespan is infinite is not compatible with the constant, overarching sense of urgency in everything done by each of Rand's heroes (again, 'I only have, say, sixty more years to live'). You simply cannot budget the time that's yours to spend if you think it's infinite; you can take my word on that point because that's the single biggest thing I'm still struggling to "get" to this very day (specifically because I was raised with such a belief).

 

I don't know if it's because the Mysticism of your type of "deism" was so minimal or because of rationalization or what, but you seem to be having significant trouble with projecting the psychological state of a mystic. So let me indicate one possible example:

"If I had a voice I'd sing" - but I don't. If I had a mouth I'd scream.

 

Evasion is very bad for your psychology.

Very good.  Your advice might stop me from choosing insanity.

I am a little confused about your conclusions though.  Surely, you have concluded that evidence shows that evasion has some chance of being at least somewhat effective, I.e. It does to some degree shield the evader psychologically, it does render him dull to facts, more ignorant rather than keenly aware.  Equally surely you are stating complete and utter evasion is not possible... But I did not mention the other plan of continual hypnotherapy...

In any case you seem clear that crippling one's mind by psychologically choosing evasion and actively embracing falsehoods is detrimental to survival.  

The question is just how much bare survival am I giving up ?  A day? A week?  Years?  Of course it's not definite, it's only a risk, but what magnitude?  

Now, in the balance, we have the other element of the class of standard of value in the OP, namely, pleasure.  The evasion might not be 100 percent effective,  I may be risking at high probability that it is only 30 percent effective.   But what if that 30 percent effectiveness to remove my misery and sadness I.e increase my pleasure and happiness is worth, in the balance with survival, 10 years?

It all comes down to the balance of probabilities along with the relative value of survival and pleasure.  If the likelihood is that in the balance I will have a more valuable life according to the overall standard of value I should go through with the plan.  

Can you with 100 percent certainty tell me that the plan will result in a loss of survival in an amount worth more to me than the gain in pleasure and happiness is worth to me?

well dang it ... it's starting to look again like morally I need to go insane...

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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19 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Equally surely you are stating complete and utter evasion is not possible... But I did not mention the other plan of continual hypnotherapy...

Actually, I didn't say anything about that. What I said was that the total evasion of any one subject (the only emotionally effective form of it - i.e. evading the nature of your own evasion) causes further evasions about every relevant fact, and then of everything related to those facts, and so on and so forth; this propagation limited only by time (before either you choose to start correcting yourself or you die). And I specifically meant it to explain the impossibility of long-term compartmentalization.

The possibility of complete and utter evasion isn't relevant to my point.

 

19 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

In any case you seem clear that crippling one's mind by psychologically choosing evasion and actively embracing falsehoods is detrimental to survival.

Yes but so is fighting against tyranny, committing suicide over the torture of your love (like Galt for Dagny) or standing alone in defiance against a bloodthirsty mob (like the Wetnurse). That's not relevant either.

19 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Surely, you have concluded that evidence shows that evasion has some chance of being at least somewhat effective, I.e. It does to some degree shield the evader psychologically, it does render him dull to facts, more ignorant rather than keenly aware.

It's interesting that you used the word "dull" - I would've said "numb".

Values are based on beliefs (and not just proper values but any value that anyone could ever hold). If I don't believe in the existence of unicorns then I can't feel anything at all about their conservation status; I might chuckle at that concept, itself, but beyond that it can never prompt me to any action or mean anything to me.

 

Every single one of Rand's heroes hold profoundly serious personal values. They don't go to work in the morning, drag themselves through eight hours of semi-conscious motions, go home and surf the channels of their TV until bed; they pour their very souls into everything they do. It's not so much that they "work hard and play hard"; they work and play with a single-minded fervor that no priest or monk in history could've matched. The depth of their values is one of the main reasons they're ridiculed as "fantasy" by those who aren't capable of holding a single goal for more than 24 hours.

Why doesn't everyone feel that way about their own values? Why are most people fairly indifferent to every thing on Earth (even what they claim to care about most); what happened to their passion?

 

I called Mysticism "cognitive anaesthetic" at one point (which rather perfectly reflects the stance of the OP); it numbs the good along with the bad, indiscriminately. And that's not compatible with flourishing. It's compatible with "that state of living death you see around and within you" (and in the short run is also compatible with survival) but not with the thing that Roark does. To renounce the truth is to renounce the fire in your own soul.

 

Take a look at the kind of "bliss" that billions of people on Earth currently enjoy.

Personally, I can't stand this song. It's like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. It is, however, extremely revealing (by way of autopsy).

This is the psychological state you're calling "bliss" and I do not even agree with that.

 

If you can demonstrate that evasion can lead to Roark's state of mind then please do so. If you can't then I don't have anything else to say about self-inflicted madness. 

I don't give a damn about any other kind of survival and I don't think that you do either.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
Much better example

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