Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Collectivist

The Law of Identity

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

On 12/9/2017 at 2:08 AM, intrinsicist said:

All suicidal feelings must be following from some wrong belief about themselves or the world. I gave my argument as to why: they are a living being, is implies ought, and that life is therefore the standard of value, and thus suicide, an act which cannot be supportive of life but rather flatly contradicts it, is categorically wrong.

The fact that a living entity is implies only what it ought to do if it is to remain in existence and in the human case, if it chooses to remain in existence. Biological conditionality is the metaphysical basis for normatively valenced existents in an organism's umwelt but that metaphysical  normativity for humans becomes immanent only where the man-made desire or otherwise prediscursive, voluntarist motivation to remain a biological entity is present. Ethics is not some categorical imposition and the choice to live is not the sort of thing that can be impugned as immoral; the choice to live is categorically a precondition of evaluation and so therefore its default can never be wrong for the victim, let alone categorically wrong.

Lest these remarks tempt you into thinking there is then no way one can morally evaluate those individuals who might not choose to live (for whatever  possible actions and duration that might mean), recall the agent-relative character of value, and realize that for those who do in fact choose to live, hardly anything could be more evil than those individuals who are indifferent to wanton destruction of themselves and the world around them insofar as they pose destructive consequences also for oneself. It is the same depersonalization of ethics that gives rise to thinking morality exists outside of individuals to accept and participate such a relation that gives rise also to thinking morality can not apply to those individuals who do not choose to accept and participate that relation. 

Ethics is about you. The Objectivist Ethics is addressed to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, human_murda said:

I think transgenders attempt to fit reality (their physical characteristics, mainly how they appear to other people) to an error in cognition (error in identifying who they themselves are).

There is nothing in this statement that ties and necessitates these two propositions. Pure argument by assertion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, KALADIN said:

The fact that a living entity is implies only what it ought to do if it is to remain in existence and in the human case, if it chooses to remain in existence.

I understand your position, but that's not what is implies ought means. Because an entity is a living entity, it ought to choose actions which advance its life, not actions which contradict it. That is is implies ought. You are giving a different rule: if it's chosen, then you ought to do it. But if this is a pre-moral decision (i.e. you're not choosing it because you ought to, which obviously would be circular), then on what other basis is the choice made?

Wouldn't you agree that your rule is: "if you want it then you ought to do it"?

Edited by intrinsicist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/9/2017 at 10:59 AM, Eiuol said:

And I'll call you Epist since I think that's who you are.

That's hilarious. You'll accept whatever gender someone wants to be called, but you won't accept whatever screen name someone wants to be called.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

I understand your position, but that's not what is implies ought means. Because an entity is a living entity, it ought to choose actions which advance its life, not actions which contradict it. That is is implies ought.

This is where I think you make a mistake. Yes, is implies ought. But man is not merely a living (biological) entity. He is much more than that. He is also a feeling (physical) and thinking (mental) entity. His is is more complex than mere biology. And so his ought ought to be as well. I started a thread about this in the ethics forum called A Complex Standard of Value.

Edited by MisterSwig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

That's hilarious. You'll accept whatever gender someone wants to be called, but you won't accept whatever screen name someone wants to be called.

I don't. Not "whatever". I never even told you my thoughts on the whole "my pronouns are..." thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

I don't. Not "whatever". I never even told you my thoughts on the whole "my pronouns are..." thing.

My bad. So, you only accept "he" and "she"? Do you accept Caitlin Jenner, for example, as a "she"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

This is where I think you make a mistake. Yes, is implies ought. But man is not merely a living (biological) entity. He is much more than that. He is also a feeling (physical) and thinking (mental) entity. His is is more complex than mere biology. And so his ought ought to be as well. I started a thread about this in the ethics forum called A Complex Standard of Value.

I agree man is more than merely a living being. That's actually kind of my point here. Man has other attributes of his nature besides life, like sex for example, and he should act consistently with all attributes of his nature, and not contradict any of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, intrinsicist said:

Man has other attributes of his nature besides life, like sex for example, and he should act consistently with all attributes of his nature, and not contradict any of them.

Where or how does this apply to performing capacities?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I said attribute. Then you say that one must act with regard to those attributes and not against them. So far so good.

So now I'm asking if such an attribute goes with a capacity, how does one decide that capacity must be used or done? You used having children as an example of a thing one -should- do in all cases (as opposed to natural differences that only makes this true of some people). But I want to know how you decided that this capacity OF sex (as in being male or female makes one capable of reproducing) is necessary to do. It's not as though an ability to run means one must run. Reason is a capacity, but the ability to do so is not why one must use reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/11/2017 at 6:36 AM, intrinsicist said:

Man has other attributes of his nature besides life, like sex for example, and he should act consistently with all attributes of his nature, and not contradict any of them.

It seems you are ascribing intrinsic value to man's attributes. Yes, nature gave man a penis and testicles so he could fertilize eggs. But that's not an intrinsic value. It's an intrinsic function. You're essentially enslaving man to his intrinsic function as a sexual organism. Whether it would be good for him to fertilize eggs depends on the rest of his life as a man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me just explain something about is implies ought... what this phrase represents is a rejection of a basic tenet of all modern philosophy: where anything external and physical is objective, but everything pertaining to values, to the normative, is subjective.

The external world is hard and definite, it can in principle be identified objectively and finally through rational inspection, and nobody can rationally disagree, because any issue can be settled by reference to reality. But values, tastes, judgements, now they are relative to each person, they are somehow indefinite and indeterminate, an entirely subjective issue where there is no right answer except by reference to your own feelings, which need no further justification.

But feelings are not the ultimate ground of justification in moral reasoning in Objectivism, because emotions are not some irreducible primary, but rather emotions follow from your prior thinking. From Virtue of Selfishness:

Quote

It is only by accepting “man’s life” as one’s primary and by pursuing the rational values it requires that one can achieve happiness—not by taking “happiness” as some undefined, irreducible primary and then attempting to live by its guidance. If you achieve that which is the good by a rational standard of value, it will necessarily make you happy; but that which makes you happy, by some undefined emotional standard, is not necessarily the good. To take “whatever makes one happy” as a guide to action means: to be guided by nothing but one’s emotional whims. Emotions are not tools of cognition; to be guided by whims—by desires whose source, nature and meaning one does not know—is to turn oneself into a blind robot, operated by unknowable demons (by one’s stale evasions), a robot knocking its stagnant brains out against the walls of reality which it refuses to see.

Objectivism rejects this whim-worshipping subjectivism in the realm of values. Like with the external world, moral issues in Objectivism can (and must) be settled rationally, by reference to reality. Specifically, by reference to man's nature. Most fundamentally, it's by reference to the attribute of man's life, and more generally, to man's life qua man - that is to all of the attributes of man's nature.

There is an objective way to judge normative matters. A man's choices, actions, values, and goals can be judged by the standard of that which is proper to man - proper to man's life, his rationality, his sex, to every attribute of man's nature. If his choices are consistent with his nature and help him to maintain and fulfill his nature, then they are good. If his choices are contradictory to his nature or fail to live up to that standard, then they are evil.

So yes, contradicting the functions of your life, the functions of your sex, the functions of your rational faculty, is evil. And not just contradicting these functions, but failing to use them as well and as fully as you possibly can is immoral, because these are the standard of what is good for you. Choosing to perform worse by that standard than you could is self-sacrifice.

Holding a man to that standard is not "enslavement", this is his life, his nature, and so the issue is whether he's living well or living poorly. Man is an end in himself, his life is an end in itself, his attributes are ends in themselves. These are intrinsic values for him. Values and normative judgments about living well or living poorly are ultimately not subjective, but rather they are grounded in these objective attributes of man's nature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

You're essentially enslaving man to his intrinsic function

This is your self, your identity, your nature. I don't see how that could strike you as "enslavement", as if it were a third party thing being imposed upon you from the outside, when what I'm saying is exactly the opposite of that, I'm advocating you to be free as free as possible from any third party force acting on you from the outside.

I am essentially saying you should be as free as possible from anything enslaving you.

Edited by intrinsicist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, intrinsicist said:

So yes, contradicting the functions of your life, the functions of your sex, the functions of your rational faculty, is evil. And not just contradicting these functions, but failing to use them as well and as fully as you possibly can is immoral, because these are the standard of what is good for you. Choosing to perform worse by that standard than you could is self-sacrifice.

But -not- doing something doesn't contradict the nature of that thing. I made a comparison to running. If you don't use legs for their running-nature, is this a failure to be moral? So I want to know how you decide when you know a capacity must be done. It seems that you need an additional reason, namely, that there is some way the agent himself furthers his life. I could see you arguing that the agent would be psychologically better off - but that seems to be a subjective rationale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, intrinsicist said:
10 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

You're essentially enslaving man to his intrinsic function

This is your self, your identity, your nature.

Remember causality, which is identity applied to action. I can cause the fertilization of eggs, but it's not my identity. It's my identity applied to a particular action: sex with a female. It's my causality. Are you saying that because I can cause the fertilization of eggs, therefore I should do it?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/4/2017 at 9:09 PM, MisterSwig said:

Many transition advocates are hard subjectivists who believe that reality is determined by their thoughts, i.e., wishing makes it so. In this view, if a white man believes that he is a black woman, then in truth he is an actual black woman, despite what anyone else says. Despite even what his own eyes tell him! He could look into a mirror and see a white man, yet still validly believe that he is a black woman, because, you know, he feels like a black woman, and he has always felt that way since childhood.

Some scientists claim DNA is 3.8 Billion years old.  Could there be DNA memory? Maybe one of his distant ancestors was a black woman, and his DNA enjoyed being her immensely.  From an evolutionary perspective, his DNA would have a better chance at enjoying that experience again by winning the love of a black woman and hoping for daughters.  

The process of transition may significantly diminish his/her chances of finding a mate.  

It seems sterilization is the major agenda of most moral philosophies.  

Are nose jobs, augmented breasts, steroids, tweezing your eyebrows, shaving a lie/immoral? 

Scientists are happy to have willing guinea pigs to see what a human can be formed into with hormones and surgery.  

Is it ironic that Ayn Rand paved the way for a society free enough to allow for fanatics of individualism to own their own bodies and do with it what ever they want?

Edited by Tenderlysharp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/6/2017 at 11:18 AM, MisterSwig said:

Mentally ill people rarely diagnose themselves. It's up to the mentally healthy to recognize the problem and help these people. Instead, we are allowing them to dictate laws.

Having a ten year old mostly white son I take personal interest in the forces working to diminish his self value.  I am hoping he wants to have children because I value the legacy of my familie's DNA.  

Having active Tumblr and youtube accounts exposes us to constant propaganda against cisgender white males.  If he ever wants to transition I will be heart broken, but what can I do to ‘help’ him?  Deny the reality that there is immense pressure for his generation of white males to not be white males, and they are to be punished for their white maleness, at this time in history?  

I would be happy with his partner of any race, mixing our DNA with other races seems to be a good idea in this increasingly multi-cultural world.  I can see how my Arapaho, and Jewish Great Great Grandmothers have given me an edge in scrutinizing the tensions between these demographics. 

To imagine what it is like to be a different sex or race does a lot to increase empathy for the imbalances between different people.  The transgender debate was inevitable, and necessary for the progression of the human species.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/13/2017 at 3:15 PM, MisterSwig said:

It seems you are ascribing intrinsic value to man's attributes. Yes, nature gave man a penis and testicles so he could fertilize eggs. But that's not an intrinsic value. It's an intrinsic function. You're essentially enslaving man to his intrinsic function as a sexual organism. Whether it would be good for him to fertilize eggs depends on the rest of his life as a man.

Ah, the old "identity is slavery" canard.  Total freedom is the abolition of identity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ever pull back for moment and try to perceive the bias, or the drift of a discussion?  Not just here, but in other media.

A contradiction between physical gender and psychological gender is apparently a real thing.  It is curious that there are two ways of resolving this contradiction and only one is the subject of extended discussion because it has such energetic advocates.

So what is really going on here?  To which dead straight white male philosopher are advocates for transgenderism enslaved? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Grames said:

 It is curious that there are two ways of resolving this contradiction and only one is the subject of extended discussion because it has such energetic advocates.

What are the two ways?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If someone were to change genders privately and convincingly, and cut all ties with the people who knew who they once were, move to a new town or country, transgender debates wouldn’t apply to them, they could live more fully in their new identity.  Keeping their own counsel without the intrusion of another’s opinion.  I think part of the appeal to the more attention seeking transgender people is that everyone knows about the transition, they don’t want to be known as a man or a woman, but both.  

I was born a female, I identify as a female.  I enjoy clothing that celebrates my big breasts, and I think intelligence and joking around are sexy in men and women.   It seems second hand for me to impose my identification upon any other human.  I am not a girly pink lipstick long fingernails kind of woman, so I identify less with people who want that kind of decoration.   While at the same time I identify as a human with David Bowie, who is a genius who has played with costume, gender roles, and passed his DNA to diversity, though I haven’t yet been brave enough to emulate him.   

How many notable female philosophers do we have examples of before Ayn Rand?  Her intelligence definitely challenged sexual stereotypes in the 1950’s.  She didn’t feel the need to defend her sex against criticism.  By claiming that she is a male chauvinist she transcended the limitations others were attempting to place on her sex, while in a deeply abstract way she was defending her consciousness and her sex from the assaults of people with more limited capacity for the context of her as a whole.  

I think the way anti-conceptual movements, like mysticism, attach themselves to gender fluidity to affect humanity through sterilization.  

If you identify a human as a boundary challenger, the media are enticing men to try on dresses and sterilize themselves, by telling them they can’t, rather than having to send them off to war in order to reduce the periodic overcrowding that happens with excessive breeding.  
 

On 12/7/2017 at 7:02 AM, DonAthos said:

Earlier I'd referenced the tie, and how I don't understand it (or fashion more generally). It boggles me in contemplation,

The tie is an identification marker for a certain set of ideals, similar to the way my cousins display tattoos and walk Pitt bulls down the road, they want to look a certain way so that other people who look that way will stop and chat with them at the park, or breed children who will more likely identify with the decoration they feel at home with. 

The clothing as protection has psychological effect.  The business professional’s shield is that many other people might lose their jobs if this man is harmed.  The tattoo’d man gives the aura of a military fighter.  

Part of Transgenderism seems to symbolize a freedom shield protection against the billions of mystics who wouldn't hesitate to behead a man for ever daring to try on silky women's panties.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/23/2017 at 2:48 PM, Eiuol said:

What are the two ways?

Transgender surgery to make the body conform to the mind is one way, the other way is to reinforce the existing sex with hormone supplements and behavior modifications.  For example to help males feel more at home with masculinity and its various secondary sexual characteristics give them testosterone, and have them lift and join Fight Club.  But there is little money, fame or glamour in helping people be more healthy as they are compared to a dramatic sex change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×