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  1. In Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, Peikoff implied that challenges from science could not necessarily refute Objectivism, because even if science found something outlandish, like all things are puffs of meta energy, we still would be perceiving things made of this energy, and we're made of it, too. So, nothing changes for Objectivism. What about a more daunting challenge, like that scientific consensus becomes that objects do not exist independent of consciousness? This is a regular claim that pops up every few years. Below are a couple examples. I don't think they actually prove this point, but clearly this is something people think about as potentially possible. https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/a40460495/objective-reality-may-not-exist/ https://www.technologyreview.com/2019/03/12/136684/a-quantum-experiment-suggests-theres-no-such-thing-as-objective-reality/
  2. Rand broke down reality into inescapable points. Like existence exists. It's so simple, it cannot be avoided. And so on. As it gets more complex, it is harder to defend, and that's why I specified the fundamentals are what I find inescapable. The further delineations, like politics and such, I wouldn't make such a strong claim about.
  3. That's certainly a fair assessment. I suppose I just don't understand all the hate. I've studied many other philosophies, from ancient Greek, to ancient Indian philosophy, as well as some more modern ones. I have come up with two possibilities, though: 1.) The hate is due to Rand's political stances, not her metaphysics, but the two generally run together, so people hate the whole thing. 2.) Objectivism affirms common sense, and most philosophers make their living, and relevance, by attacking common sense at every turn. They generally create the problems they only ostensibly solve. Someone solving their pseudo problems is bad for business.
  4. Looking around it's easy to see that most main stream philosphy classes, and people who study philosophy, and so on, don't consider Objectivism valid. Yet, I think it's brilliant, and find that its fundamental metaphysics and epistemology are insecapably correct. Thus, either I'm too dumb to understand why I'm wrong, and the academics are right, or something else is afoot. By what measure might it be demonstrated that Objectivism is just as brilliant as I believe?
  5. Basically, it seems fundamentally flawed to claim objective reality doesn't exist, as this surely must refute mind as well. Any logic used to claim matter and objective reality are unreal can just as easily refute mind as well. However, I'm not the most articulate on these matters, and so I look to you fine people.
  6. Well said. Interestingly, the historical Buddha (a realist btw, only later Mahayana stuff is idealist), taught similar. In his understanding, sight, for example, is the meeting of the eye and a physical object, only then can consciousness arise of that object. In other words: perception is consciousness of an object. It is not a consciousness looking out, then finding an object, then creating a conscious story of it for the self inside the brain. Also: "Why me? That is a very Earthling question to ask, Mr. Pilgrim. Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber? Yes. Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why." Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Slaughterhouse-Five
  7. Deep jhana meditation is said to be literally nothing but a floating imaginary light, or nothingness, or pure consciousness (whatever that means), or neither perception nor non perception (again, whatever...), etc. Supposedly people in these states can't sense anything until they emerge. It is an argument worth considering, as it's not just normal meditation where one still hears dogs bark, feels the wind, etc.
  8. That's a good point. And when we shift the burden of proof onto the idealists, we find they can only talk in looping, self referential, and ultimately, self refuting statements. If all is mind/unreal, nothing can be proven. Proving things to be unreal also disproves the proof, because they'd demonstrate that their proof is false, they merely imagined it lol! It cannot be done. Without "real," proof is impossible. And I think Objectivism is a good argument against slipping from there into doubt about the burden on realism, into skepticism.
  9. The what I'm trying to disprove is idealism. The "them" is all idealists, generally, but only hypothetically. I've had a lot of Yogacara idealists in my life, and read a lot of ancient works on the topic. Ditto for Madhyamaka, and theres a lot of overlap. I don't talk to any of "them" any longer, as I left Mahayana Buddhism awhile ago. So, I'm trying to defeat arguments I'm aware of, rather than any tangible person. Perhaps the "them" is, in the end, me lol! I used to be an idealist, I woke up from that asinine worldview, argued against it with other idealists for awhile, realized they are hopeless, and only speak in self refutation they are incapable of comprehending, and moved on. Now I'm tying up loose ends, and jettisoning the last of a broken philosophy from my conclusions on reality. But I don't accept things without logical reasoning, nor do I want to ever backslide, hence, I'm trying to truly defeat these ideas, rather than merely moving on, with the shadow of hubris on me, only assuming they're false. Specifically, the "them" in your quote of me was about a conversation discussing yogis who think they are conscious eternally, including while asleep, even before they were born, and after death.
  10. In other words: subjective idealism is based on stolen concepts that presuppose a mind/matter dichotomy. No arguments here. Wittgenstein demonstrated similar, in that solipsism is incoherent due to roughly similar points. Any idealism that denies all of reality, declaring all to be mind, arguably leads to solipsism, so this refutes much of idealism, as well. Further, Berkeley and Shankara (some versions of his ideas are seen as pure idealism) both mitigated their own idealism into realism by accident: 1.) All is mind. 2.) This "all" is god's mind. 3.) God is real, eternal, and ultimately existent. They stop here, thinking, inexplicably, that they've defeated realism. But, naturally, we now arrive at, 4.) All is real, even more real than we normally consider things to be. Every single thing is ultimately existent, and eternal, because every single thing is god. This realism is much more extreme than any other realism I know of. No other versions make literally everything real and eternal. On the other hand, if "mind" means "unreal" or similar, like it does for the Madhyamaka and some Yogacara, that's a different issue, but still self refuting, as it means they aren't presenting a position, at all. It also is a stolen concept issue, as, the idea of "real" is meaningless if all is unreal, and then, so is "unreal" meaningless, with no "real." "All is mind," in this formulation, means "All is unreal" including the idea that "all is unreal." It is, quite literally, nonsense. Madhyamaka and Yogacara self refute into incoherent babble. I'm indebted to the writings of Ramanuja, Kumarila Bhatta, and Stafford L. Betty for helping me out with that bit.
  11. I see. If we assume tabula rasa, then the very idea of subjective idealism is impossible, because the mind cannot function without content. I'll be reading your refutation soon. Thanks.
  12. Thanks for the incredibly well researched, and sourced response! It cleared some things up, and I learned a lot, but I've still got a question. What if we reformulate the question more narrowly: how does Rand's statement refute subjective idealism (or solipsism, and similar)?
  13. I agree with you, this makes sense. It's entirely probable that no meditator is aware of anything special, but rather may just be focused on something we normally notice less, or they're dreaming and half asleep. That said, what about the question, forgetting yogis; how does Rand's position refute subjective idealism successfully?
  14. You seem to understand my difficulty! Do you have a solution? On the basic level, I'd challenge any yogi to go under total anesthesia, and pass rigorous, well controlled tests to prove they were conscious throughout. I think they would fail, miserably. Sure, they can keep themselves semi awake during normal sleep, but this demonstrates a neat trick of their practiced skill. It does not prove consciousness is always on and observing, because it is god, as they believe. The only reason these myths exist is because they come from a time before anesthetic was common and measurable. Sure they had drugs, but not the ability to put someone under as deep as we do today. If they did back then, the person would die. Also, since they couldn't measure it well, and controls on experiments were lacking or non existent, a yogi proving consciousness during a drug induced sleep proves nothing, since no one could say how under they actually were. That said, the point remains: how does Rand disprove the idea that consciousness can observe only itself? In the ultimate sense, not in this outrageous and easily disproven yogi scenario.
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