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  1. Today
  2. The term Hicks uses to describe Kant in Explaining Postmodernism is Counter-Enlightenment. His reasons for using it are much like those in the second excerpt here written by Ayn Rand.
  3. That's a fair enough argument, although I don't really see why Enlightenment philosophy is any different than the Enlightenment project. If anyone is wondering why I brought it up, a big part of Hicks' book is that Kant is an anti-Enlightenment philosopher, which I think is ridiculous. The reason for that I think comes from seeing Oism as an Enlightenment philosophy. But I don't have good reasons to think that either. So it all comes across as bad scholarship.
  4. Yesterday
  5. I actually can't stand not knowing it. That's why I took such a desperate measure and asked. I agree that happiness comes from achievement not from the process but I am anticipating the achievement at the end of my current process and it won't make me happy. During the process I collect information that create reluctance and doubts about it. The achievements that I truly believe that would lead to happiness are very likely to be idealistic and impossible to accomplish. I think this unattainable goals are, or actually would be, the only ones worth pursuing: finding fundamentals of reality, pure consciousness or fullness of meaning. However, since it is not possible to figure out those things, we should accept our limitations and leave it. For long I could not accept the fact that we are only animals after all. But even that does not make sense completely because if our primary purpose was procreation and love was just attribute of our species to accomplish that. Why are we capable of independent thinking then? I don't even know how to study this purposelessness. 1. I don't see myself as any of those. I just really love to read philosophy and contemplate art but I don't have any artistic or philosophical aspirations. How could I be an artist or philosopher if I don't have any vision of my own. They create things and answers. I look for them. I believe in one objective truth and try to find it. That's why I believe it is more rational to give up on art & philosophy since even for aesthetically good artists it is hard to make a living nowadays. Now I just pursue money that will give me resources (financial independence) to fully focus on finding real happiness in the future, which now I doubt in. I guess I am looking for some ideal and I should accept earthboundness and shallowness of reality. 2. I think there are many rationales to believe that my artistic or philosophical goals are unattainable, thus, pursuing them and then struggling would be in my eyes irrational, hence, wrong. Obviously I could become a philosopher that accepts this impossibility and creates shallow meaning for life, but I believe money is a mean that can lead to fulfilment of any shallow meaning. 3. Maybe it is some sort of obsession of mine but I could create only two types of games. One wouldn't be in concordance with my beliefs because its purpose would be to achieve commercial success and generate highest profit, so therefore, it couldn't be too sophisticated because it would be created for the mob. It is definitely very risky, I'd jeopardise my beliefs, and it still would be probably less profitable than what I will be earning if I keep pursuing my current career path. The second option would be creating a game that I would genuinely think that is good, this one won't jeopardise my integrity, neither generate serious money, however, it could lead to happiness. The only problem with it is, that it does not exist. Every game is pointless because it is either random or there is a minimax strategy that is the most optimal (generates highest probability of winning), but then it is not stimulating and it is boring. Chess was solved ages ago, online poker with efficient data available is almost solved. The game I mentioned that I play is contract bridge, even online version of it (using robots) is not even close to be solved but it is the matter of time thanks to machine learning and evolutionary programming. However, thanks to the fact that we cannot use any of highly statistical solutions of the games in real life because of the limitations when it comes to our computing power, it makes these games bearable to play. You can enjoy the fact that they stimulate you but it does not create any value and is just shallow kind of joy. Playing them cannot be one's purpose because then there would be no difference between someone who is playing League of Legends 24h or Chess whole life, apart from the history and perception of the game. Even if we stick to games, the most difficult one and the most rewarding one at the same time (therefore it should be the only right one to play) is markets. It is not random, market adjusts to your strategy, therefore there is no unique solution that would work all the time, there are many factors to consider, endless possibilities and it is the most rewarding one, even the big element of risk it contains makes it more interesting than others. But then it means that our purpose is either 1. being the best by outperforming others which is shallow because we want to be the best just for the sake of being the best so we care more about others than ourselves; or 2. money which is wrong because money cannot be a purpose itself; or 3. getting a joy just from just playing the game. I believe the last one is CPL for most professional sportpeople but for me it is some irrationality because there are no true rationales behind any game to really love playing it and choosing it. I would love to give creating a proper shot but first I need to find or create my vision to have something to convey in artistic form. Getting inspired by someone and following some stream would be a token of second-handness and hence it'd be wrong. Finance, a career in some alternative investment fund (a hedge fund probably) with investment banking or asset management as a first stepping stone. Our effect on our lives is fairly big, obviously not complete to existing limitations. Nonetheless, it does not stop us from doing what we want. I agree with that, though, I struggle with the steps before it. Since, rationality is man's basic virtue and the only source of knowledge hence I try to find rational reasons for living. I am aware that this post is extremely long and most people won't read it. So if you could just answer the 3 following questions: 1. Do you really believe that life is rational? 2. Does rationality implies the existence of the most rational and optimal way of living? 3. Are we capable of being fully rational? When it comes to second question, I believe the answers is yes. Life is a series of decisions, and we should try to find the most rational (therefore the best one) goal and thus make the most rational (therefore the best ones) decisions to achieve that goal. So hence there are goals and decisions (rational ones) that are better than others (irrational ones). So it creates existence of optimality. Moreover, since those goals and decisions are the object of rational objective thought they should apply to everyone. If something is rational to one person and is not rational to another means it is subjective, and therefore, is not rational. Regarding last question, I think it is not possible, there are too many limitations of our species, however, we should pursue our potential. What's rationale for doing so, then? There's always a thing that we cannot find cause of, isn't rationality hopeless then? It is not rational to pursue something hopeless. Is it rational to be irrational? I guess I overdid here, so yeah, until next time.
  6. Depends on whether you take as "Enlightenment philosophy" to be (a) the actual philosophy done by the philosophers of the Enlightenment, or (b) what may be termed "the Enlightenment project" which may include something like the goals of x, y, and z, that may or may not have been achieved by (a.) I think she is an anti-Enlightenment philosopher in the sense of (a) but a pro- one in the sense of (b).
  7. I also did receive a response to this very question from Harry Binswanger. I don’t feel comfortable sharing that on this board directly. But, I would share (via PM if you are interested) with my responders.
  8. Ok. I see. I see the difference you pointed out. I am referring to the first, water and then only wine.
  9. Ok. I see. So what you are saying is coherence simply applies to arguments in and of themselves and arbitrary has to do with what can ultimately be perceived?
  10. I'll try a different approach. In the original post, your example of a miracle is turning water into wine. To me, this means that in one moment you have a cup of water, and in the next moment, by some miracle, that cup contains wine. Never do you have a cup filled with both water and wine at the same time. Before the change, there is only water. And after the change, there is only wine. Yet, a few sentences later, you say: It seems that you're talking about a different miracle. The first turns water into wine. The second turns water into waterwine, where the cup is filled with both water and wine at the same time. So which miracle do you mean? Because you seem to be using the second to invalidate the first. But nobody actually argues for the second.
  11. There is a difference between a logical only evaluation of ideas as amongst themselves and an evaluation of an idea all the way down to percepts. This difference between evaluation of “incoherent” and “arbitrary” is what you asked me to explore. As for the issue of proving God doesn’t exist, disagreement depends on whether you see that you cannot prove the non existence of an arbitrarily claimed thing, and that the onus is on he who asserts the positive.
  12. This only half fits the thread's title. Anyway, here is another interview of Stephen Hicks, this one by Glenn Beck. Scroll down for the video. The main topics are socialism, individualism, ethics, rational and anti-rational, and postmodernism and political activism nearer the end. Almost 90 minutes.
  13. Hi All, I am in middle of converting the content of blog into video. Please check the first draft of part of video and share feedback. Pending : Voice over and parts explaining values, Central Purpose of Life, and Alternative model.
  14. I simply mean "illogical" when I am speaking of coherence. I keep wondering if we disagree. I think I think I agree with you entirely here. lol. I don't see how there is a disconnect between my point and what you are saying.
  15. I am confused as to what you are saying here. I do not agree that there are two possible types of existince. Only one is real. I am not sure what you mean when you say causality "applies" to the acction of entities. Causality is identity "applied" to action.
  16. The paragraph in this article that states what I was saying. "God can allow things to act contrary to their nature, which is also forbidden by a rational metaphysics. Things cannot act against their nature. Not even if someone tries to make them do so." I suppose my error is in stating stricly that I am attempting to prove a negative. In reality i am simply stating that I can make the statement, "God (the one that does mircales) cannot exist.
  17. I don't grant it is viable I grant it as their freedom to say what they want. I don't grant them legitimacy.
  18. Last week
  19. This link should be good until the end of May 2019. Atheism or Antireligion. It is not case of proving a negative, rather one of exposing the contradictions. The case implodes when an opponent has acknowledged that the contradictions are accepted/recognized/seen. Otherwise, like existence and consciousness, the expectation for proof of a negative is the request to step into the void of unreason and join whoever is basking in it.
  20. Because of some of his responses to Hicks and others. For example, after describing how he begins his courses by focusing on the suffering in life, Hicks countered by saying that he motivates students by initially focusing on the opportunities in life, or something benevolent to that effect. Peterson expressed a fleeting interest in possibly changing his approach, but then he quickly went back to rationalizing his foundation in suffering. So he still has the spark that could initiate a critical switch. His subconscious is throwing that idea out to him. He just has trouble focusing on it.
  21. Swig, why do you think he would want to switch to anything? He's a Jungian when it comes to the philosophical side of psychology, and speaks like one. Everything will have to do with suffering and mythology/narrative. To switch away from that would take a massive shift in his outlook. Anyway, can you explain more of the content in the interview Merjet? I read Explaining Postmodernism a long time ago, and it was okay, but upon looking back at it a few weeks ago, it came across more as an opinion piece than a well researched book with citations. Rand wasn't good at historical analysis of philosophy, but this book struck me as worse, because it's an extended argument much longer than an essay (not to mention I think Kant is an Enlightenment philosopher, while Rand is fundamentally an anti-Enlightenment philosopher). Peterson is largely the same when it comes to philosophy. But that's just to say I disagree, not that I'm not interested (it's like an exercise of philosophical detection). They are long interviews, so I'm hoping you would point out the most valuable parts so I can skip right to them.
  22. If you begin that way aren't you begging the question? Imagine a theist doing the same in reverse: there are two possible types of existence, and if anything is asserted that agrees with that claim, then it can exist. There, didn't I just prove that God can exist? I said water turns to ice because of a reaction to temperature. It is the temperature which is caused by environmental factors. Water can be chilled to its freezing point in different ways. And, yes, I believe this is consistent with Rand's view of causality. Causality applies to the actions of entities. But it doesn't mean that entities must cause themselves to act. It means that they act in a particular way to a particular force. Whether that force comes from within or without depends on the action in question. The force that turns water into ice originates from without, from external factors. If you stop chilling water in your freezer, it will stop turning into ice.
  23. Sure, we're all going to die, but we all have lives to live until that happens, and it's our lives that are important and meaningful. It doesn't matter how little effect we can have on the surface of the planet Jupiter or on even more distant places, or how many of such places there are, or how big they are. What matters is what effect we can have on our own lives.
  24. In order to avoid rationalism and floating abstractions, one should ground the validity of concepts in perception not simply in some kind of congruence with other concepts. So in a sense the concept arbitrary is evaluative of ideas in view of knowledge and ultimately logic as applied to perception, whereas incoherence is a somewhat lesser standard of “coherence” with other ideas. The concept of coherence is not self inoculating if one’s body of concepts is not correct... one cannot for example, discover that a floating abstraction is invalid by seeing whether it coheres with other floating abstractions. Because the evaluation of arbitrary has at its core the necessity of evaluation in view ultimately of percepts, it consciously keeps the evaluation grounded in reality. In the final analysis an arbitrary claim can be (arbitrarily made) to be coherent with all of knowledge and reality. Someone says there exists an invisible utterly undetectable spaghetti monster having no interaction with our universe except that it converses privately to the mind of that person. All your knowledge is derived from perception, that you cannot know of this monster from perception is completely coherent with the (arbitrary) idea that it only converses mentally with this person. That you cannot ever observe any evidence for the existence of the monster is also completely (arbitrarily) coherent with its non interaction with the rest of the universe. Perhaps this someone knowing how you think would even say (quite arbitrarily) that it is in the particular nature and identity of the thing and the rest of the universe, of its and his particular consciousnesses that there is this strange link between them... action according to their unique natures.. which gives rise to the surprising result. What he has done is arbitrarily claimed something with the same evidentiary footprint of nothing at all... i.e. his claim of its existence produces the same observable effect as would its non existence. This person only “wins” when you accept that there is an even playing field here, that you have the onus to prove the non existence of the (arbitrarily coherent) idea without recourse to observable effects. The mere fact that the idea has no perceptual evidence to back it up, and by definition could not ever be proved or disproved by any observation, is sufficient for you to call it arbitrary and invalid... and holding he who asserts it to the onus of proof by some evidence.
  25. I think I understand and would agree with most of what you are saying. What I am trying to do is show that an "idea" is incoherent. I am not granting any kind of existince to the non existence entity, not even for the sake of argument. I am simply pointing out that the thing that is being claimed to be in the "room" cannot be there by way of incoherency. What would you say is the differecne between something being arbitrary and something being incoherent?
  26. When you say God is my starting point, I don't mean that it is "my" starting point as if I am the one presenting the argument for the existence of God. I am simply granting the person ability to make the claim. At the point that the claim is made I am trying to show that the claim is ultimately incoherent by showing that the "idea or description" God contradicts nature. I am not granting the person a right to claim another "type" of existence. I am in essence showing that three is only one possible type of existence and if anything or any claim is asserted that contradicts that claim then it cannot exist. Secondarily, when you say that water turns to ice due to environmental factors are you saying this in a way that is consistent with an objectivist view of causality? As far as I have read so far, from an objectivist perspective what causes an entity to act is the identity of the entity. While there are environmental factors that exist, it is not due to environmental factors that cause the water to change, it is due to the identity of the water. Environmental factors happen and what is caused by any entity is directly related to the identity of the entity and not directly related to the external factor.
  27. I hadn't heard the recent audio interview when I posted yesterday. I just finished listening. Most of their conversation is about postmodernism, like the earlier video one. Reminiscing: I still have my copy of Explaining Postmodernism. I bought it July 5, 2004. Stephen Hicks signed it with a note the day I bought it. He encouraged me to write a review. I did, and it became my first on Amazon. It is the third oldest review of EP on Amazon, dated July 21, 2004.
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