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About FrankPalmerWhite

  • Birthday 05/17/1991

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    Jazz, whiskey, computer games, philosophy, politics, economic, history, gin, food, films, art, have I listed enough yet?

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    If there is an Objectivist society that meets in the London area I would be more than interested.
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    Half of Atlas Shrugged (work in progress) and a whole lot of internet videos, articles and forums.

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  1. Stephen, thanks for the articles. I have attempted to read them but they are at much higher a level than I can deal with easily. I will study them further this weekend to grasp them better. Grames, I know, I did browse through the forums. I do not consider myself a determinist - when I introspect I feel I am demonstrating to myself free will. I will rephrase my question once more and if you are willing to indulge me perhaps you could provide a more basic answer (if that is possible): 1. How does one prove free will? One cannot disprove it but how does one prove that what we think of as choice is not just causality? 2. How does the connection from free will to physical action happen? If all brain activity is chemical reactions and the like does there not need to be some physical cause? How does the human brain square with the laws of nature? This is the issue I am having; I am a layman. I cannot properly understand or explain the relationship between free will and the laws of nature. I cannot 'prove' free will. Therefore I cannot logically argue with myself or anyone else the principles of objectivism or anything else for that matter. That leads to total intellectual capitulation so I function by accepting it but that seems to me to be faith rather than knowledge (on my part, not necessarily yours).
  2. But how does one explain the relationship between the laws of nature and free will? That is how does one first 'will' the atoms in your brain to start the chain of physical events leading to a thought or a movement. This line of thought I am on leads directly to determinism and I can't seem to escape it.
  3. First let me say I have read and believe I understand this concept; One can study what exists and how consciousness functions; but one cannot analyze (or “prove”) existence as such, or consciousness as such. These are irreducible primaries. (An attempt to “prove” them is self-contradictory: it is an attempt to “prove” existence by means of nonexistence, and consciousness by means of unconsciousness.) - Ayn Rand I have read the pages on free will and I accept that free will exists - however in the study of HOW it functions has there ever been an explanation of how man moves the atoms that make up his mind? I cannot will the atoms of my keyboard to type this text and I cannot will the atoms of my glass of water to move so how do I will the atoms in my mind to move in order to make free will physically function? Is instinct and the perceptual faculty of a dog deterministic? I probably have not articulated this well but I am sure you can tell I am very confused. EDIT: I think I have got myself in a real hole here because I am now questioning how we learn and the human body functions.
  4. OK, I think I see where we have differed. I was working off of this definition of objective; this definition of subjective; and a definition as being the description of the word, for example The definition of a cake is objective as its characteristics are objective. The definition of 'cake' is subjective as the word cake does not exist independent of the human mind. If there is one thing I am finding mind boggling as a new, and self taught, amateur philosophy student, it is how important words and definitions are to making your point. Ironic. I have read your points and will mull over them, any further criticisms of my logic or pointers to good intros to philosophy in general or the basics of objectivisms would be much appreciated. As would any pearls of wisdom or personal advice. EDIT: Corrected a quote.
  5. This point was raised during a much larger philosophical discussion. I took the line that the definition of a word is subjective, it exists within the mind of the user. The object it is describing is objective (naturally), the word itself is objective (so long as it is written down or remains as sound waves in the air), but what you take the word to mean is subjective. The fact that there are very common definitions is a result of linguistic communication and dictionaries but that does not mean that that is what you take a word to mean, the definition exists only in your mind. I thought that for a definition to be objective it would have to exist pre-human thought. I am very new to philosophy and objectivism. I was looking for some input on the question and also my reasoning.
  6. Yes I realise now he is not altruistic but manipulative, I doubt it is a conscious decision but he is manipulative none the less.
  7. All very helpful answers. The level of introspection needed is made even harder when I live in a society (Britain) where it is a bad economic choice to leave home, the environment is very emotionally charged. Maybe I am now realising that my potential happiness is of more value then economic security which I have not even earned.
  8. This is true I had not thought of it this way as I have always been told by other family members; "Your father may be difficult but at least he does things for you, other fathers may leave". The sense of love I feel to my father is not a love based on virtues but it is still there and still strong. It is not anything I would describe as a rational value nor would I describe it as an emotional value, it makes me feel bad, but that does not mean that the pull is not there and not strong. I suppose I can only make the analogy of the drug addict. The hit does not bring them happiness but not to take the hit brings them pain. I suppose now we are leaving the world of the philosophical and entering the psychological? On an aside what if dropping or leaving the person you find immoral was deemed bad by the society you lived in and therefore those who you did value for their virtues (though not 100%, I am yet to find a relationship like that) would act upon the irrationality I find immoral and of no value and leave you. I would probably argue that you would need to deicide what is of greater value to you, your mind and virtues or the current value of others. To make the decision in favour of others would be to commit intellectual suicide but to decide in favour of your mind would leave you alone and that is the scariest thought I could think of. Following this line of thought leads me to many other questions that I feel may take this off topic. So I will stick with the nature of love.
  9. I can make the distinction between the two but what if the pull was the same for the two. I will give a personal example; My relationship with my father is complex, he is confrontational, dictatorial, forces charity upon you and then gets angry and shouts at people when they do not reward his altruism with respect and an exchange of labour or love. He is not without redeeming features that I admire; he works hard, he will engage academically (albeit on strict terms he prescribes), he is dedicated and honest. He is incredibly self sacrificial and altruistic. Yet despite him representing all that which I view as immoral I still love him as much as those in my family who I do admire for their virtues. I cannot quite say if this emotion I feel is born of duty, fear of loss or pity and for all the introspection I have done I cannot rationalise it. Is it just a matter of figuring out which choice I view as being of less cost to my happiness because neither is of true value to me. Or am I misunderstanding value here? EDIT: By rationalise my love I should have said I struggle to integrate my rational conclusion and my emotional pull.
  10. To give the question context I will say that as a 21 year old I am lucky enough to not yet have any children of my own. How does rational egoism view parental love? For example if your child represented everything you held to be immoral (lazy, entitled, etc,) then surely if follows that such a relationship would be unhealthy and should be ended but what if the pull of parental love and the feeling of guilt was too much to end the relationship. The relationship itself makes you unhappy but the idea of ending it makes you even less happy. What do you do? On a side to this question I wonder if the love I have with my younger brother is healthy according to Rand. As he is too young (11) to have a full set of morals and virtues that make the men and women in my life that I do love on what basis can I say my love for him is true spiritual love? I would go as far as to say that I would even defend his life at the expense of, say, my best friend who I love and admire for his strengths and virtues as in individual man.
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