Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Previous Fields

  • Country
    United States
  • State (US/Canadian)
    Not Specified
  • Copyright

Arkanin's Achievements

Junior Member

Junior Member (3/7)



  1. If you don't like the mainstream candidates, why not vote libertarian? Why not vote for somebody else who represents your values, or at least represents them slightly more than either mainstream candidate? Sure, your guy will never get elected, but you do send a message. You affect the numbers, and those numbers help tell mainstream parties when to change. Case in point, the libertarian party is on the radar and growing. If tons of people went out and voted libertarian, and it got 12% of the vote instead of 3%, you can bet mainstream politicians would notice they have a large group to 'mine' for votes by appealing to their issues.
  2. Could I phrase that as: what type of social system allows everyone to persue their self-interest in a way that is equally fair, in principle? (Mind you, not that everyone *is* equal or will succeed equally, or even has the same resources)
  3. So non-consensual, non-self-defense violence is wrong, and this emerges from a larger concept of personal rights. Would you say the concept of personal rights emerges a priori from the principle of self-interest, from the principle of self-interest combined with practical observations about the world, or that it is sort of a separate principle?
  4. This is a multi-parter. A.) When do you believe the use of violence is justified? B.) Is this clearly harmonious with your moral absolute of rational self-interest? (E.g., "Violence is justified when it is in accordance with my rational self-interest" is obviously harmonious with a principle of rational self-interest) C.) If they aren't obviously harmonious -- what is the linchpin, the argument or idea, that reconciles the two? Thanks!
  5. Perhaps these people are simply tired of being judged at face-value as though they are cattle by shallow people? Next time someone winces when you tell them you're an atheist, think of the fat people and ask yourself if those who judge you are so different.
  6. If he was right, it seems coincidental. I don't see any way to infer discrete units of time and space from Zeno's paradox. By all means, if you have some kind of substantive logical or mathematical argument for the leap from one to the other, I would be happy to argue about it or even accept that you are right if it is very good. I do see that there is some kind of argument that you are trying to make about the nature of infinitely small units, but until there is more elaboration about that, all I can do is look stupid.
  7. I am becoming suspicious that there is either some equivocation in the way Objectivists define rationality, or that the position that humans ought to behave entirely rationally does not always benefit the goal of living. I've made some effort to document the premises, arguments, counterarguments, and so on discussed for clarity. Let me explain: beliefs which are fact-based and grounded in reality are always treated as rational, while those not are irrtational (1). Behaviors which benefit living one's life are also always treated as rational (2). These statements cannot comport unless one believes that humans are always capable of behaving in a way which best supports their life when they apply a rational mind to the best information they have access to (1, 2, implicit). This final statement would imply that people are most lively when rational, but at face value, this would defy modern neuroscience. Our conscious mind is quite good at dealing with easily dissected logical problems: for example, parsing how a microchip works or deciding not to stand in front of a bus. On the other hand, unless we are a master at acting, analyzing how to best react in an interpersonal situation will cause us to seem immature, awkward, or insincere (A1). This can be resolved by saying our rational mind should know to cede its control to the centers of our brain that are not essentially rational to perform in a way that causes the most rational, life-embracing results. However, in the case of ceding our rationality to embrace a false belief that will improve our emotional state and cause us to be more successful, we have implicitly rejected (1). An Objectivist could respond (let's call this counterargument C1) that (1) need not be rejected because this cannot happen, but it is easy to show easily conceivable situations where this could emerge in the real world (Let's call this R1, response to counterargument 1). This leads us to another solution: we can try to escape all of this by accepting a third premise: life is living rationally. The premises would become as follows: 1.) Beliefs which are grounded in rational are always rational to be held. 2.) Behaviors which benefit living are always rational. (1, 2, implicit) Humans are always capable of behaving in a way which best supports their life when they apply a rational mind to the best information they have access to. 3.) Living is merely being rational, and not-living is merely non-rational. At this point in time, we can mean one of three things: A.) Rationality, really, is just doing what gives us the best life, as we objectively quantify living fully. (This necessitates implicit rejection of (1) via A1; see C1 and R1). B.) We have decided to see living as being rational. C.) We are equivocating by equating life and rationality, but later treating them as if they have entirely different meanings. This seems to go on often. B.) is an interesting if somewhat arbitrary position, but it represents a misleading contortion of the concept of "living". Because we could easily demonstrate situations in which said 'thinking rationally' leads to behaviors that are not conducive to fullest self-benefit (A1), said individuals might be capable of "living fully" in a way which causes them to have unhappy lives, lives with no reproductive success, or so on. Living is reduced to a state of "thinking rationally and acting on those thoughts", even when said rationality is demonstrably not always the best tool for ends we could quantify as meaningful biological success. Awaiting your responses, Ark
  8. The only possible world in which believing irrational things is tantamount to acting irrationally for survival is one in which people have only conscious, emotionally detached minds. It is a fact that we evolved from... animals! In conclusion, this would be fine, but this simply isn't how our brains work. I can understand the position that "people ought to behave entirely rationally" in the sense that their whole should behave in a way that embraces life and acts rationally, but it is an absurd leap of logic (and it defies modern neuroscience) to conclude that all such 'rational processes' must be dissectable by our own conscious mind in a way that appears 'rational' to it. That would be an aggregious equivocation of the meaning of 'rational' and given the fact that we do have emotions, the two concepts would be put at odds: surely one, or the other, is meant, and not both.
  9. TBH, I tend to define maturity as "you know it when you see it". I guess I should set people free to answer the question by their own reasonable understanding of what the word means. I imagine you could think of maturity as a kind of "special intelligence" where "conventional intelligence" is someone's capacity for quantitative reasoning whereas "special intelligence" is conventional intelligence in conjunction with mental survivability, talent for empathy, ability to rationally self-examine, trust one's "gut" feelings, and so on. This definition seems OK although it is rarely what people conventionally mean when they refer to intelligence. At any, I don't mean to trigger a debate about the semantics of intelligence and so on. I mainly ask it to know which is more valuable to everybody -- conventional intelligence or conventional maturity -- using our practical commonplace definitions. as I am merely trying to see how people feel. noted
  10. But that's not the point. If a person (information parser, whatever) can give the correct answer 100% of the time and still be 'irrational', what kind of definition of rationality can you offer which is not strictly relativistic? At this point, any meaningful discussion of "rational" or "irrational" thought would seem to completely disintegrate.
  11. The problem with saying this is that you would be conflating "wrong" with "random". People who come up with ideas through an allegedly "wrong" process do not do so randomly or arbitrarily. They are a semantic machine that parses various concepts and then respond in a non-arbitrary non-random fashion, even if they respond incorrectly or correctly through "incorrect" means. i think your analogy would require something always give the correct answer given correct inputs and somehow still be wrong. The underlying problem I am driving at is that when examining people or clocks as entities which process information, we are necessarily forced to accept that their rightness is determined by their ability to be correct all the time; otherwise, you'd have to propose some other criteria for being "correct" other than "Giving the correct answer for any given input", and at this point the concept of rightness would almost certainly become subjective. This is why I think it's important to acknowledge a stopped clock does tell the right time twice a day and also think this fact is the sort of distinction that can make or break an entire philosophy of mind; it seems that to think otherwise is absolutely disastrous for objectivism, as it forces us to accept an essentially subjective concept of correctness if not a kind of dualism )in the case of the dualism, for reasons I have not listed here). Another important distinction needs to be made: if I make a decision without thinking, and my decision is better for having not thought, is it "stupid" for me to analyze the decision (even if there is no time limit on the decision)? The end of what I am asking is whether disuse of conscious intelligence is stupidity (which equals immorality) or if the sum of our person's behaving foolishly is stupidity. This latter would seem to be a special definition of stupidty used by Objectivists, that is similar if not the same as immorality (It also seems to me that immorality here has a slightly special definition as well). TBH this is the answer I was hoping not to hear. It seems to me that an intelligent but immature person will virtually never do or accomplish anything worthy with their intelligence -- for theirself, included -- at which point they'd just as well be an immature retarded person. This would seem especially true when choosing someone to be your friend. An intelligent immature person can give you masturbatory debates that are sometimes superficially interesting, but a mature friend can give you companionship and understanding. So I am curious, why would you choose someone intelligent over someone mature?
  12. Let's say "Evasively non-integrated" then; not a real belief but a false one. I think this is just a semantic problem. I have a copy of that on hand (it's the book by Peikoff I've read); can you suggest a page number or section? Strange or not, my question has some important implications for objectivist epistemology and morality. Is the meaning of your response that an answer arrived at through bad mechanisms is not correct at all? If reason is fundamentally grounded in reality, then the bad answer -- still reflecting ontological reality -- would be reasonable in its factual correctness regardless of whether it was arrived at through rational processes. If Objectivists see epistemological correctness as rational, and non-evasive thought processes as rational, but they believe there can be epistemological correctness sans rational thought-process, this would imply some kind of dualism in the nature of what is rational. That is not what Objectivists mean to say, so something is wrong here. An Objectivist could solve this by saying epistemological correctness is nothing more than rationality, but this solution has dangerous implications I doubt objectivists would accept; i.e., relativism. Honestly, I think this is a very important criticsm to be made. However, it doesn't seem unreasonable to just say a stopped clock tells the wrong time twice a day, evading the whole problem. At that... TBH, this comparison between an irrational person and a stopped clock does not make any sense, as a person who has evasively found the "correct" belief will give you the correct answer every hour and through a real semantic information-parsing process, whereas a stopped clock simply sits there without doing much. A more appropriate analogy would then be that we are dealing with some sort of evasive and irrational clock that will give you the correct answer 24 hours a day, but not through unevasive reasoning processes, so while it always provides the correct answer, it can't be trusted (that shifty clock). When you think about trying to apply this to a fundamentally materialistic thing like a clock, it does not make much sense. Being fundamentally materialistic, it does not much make sense when applied to the human mind either. If anything, by comparing humans to a clock, your analogy illustrates a problem of mind that emerges when someone judges one process grounded in reality as 'reasonable' and another 'unreasonable'. I understand that Objectivists make a distinction between that which survives and flourishes but this creates an entirely new problem, as not all which flourishes is rational and not all which is rational flourishes unless it is so by definition. But if 'rational' is 'that which flourishes' I would pragmatically observe it is often more rational to be dumb than not. In its adherence to Objectivism, this cannot be what it means either.
  13. I think you're mistaken. I do not recall Rand discussing this particular topic in that book. She discusses topics somewhat relevant to this, but not about this particular overlap between metaphysics and ethics. You must keep in mind that I am not an Objectivist, so it is not as easy for me to make inferences from or conclusions about the system that you might make with little difficulty. At any rate, if I am mistaken, just show me where to open up to and I will take a look at the discussion of this particular topic for myself.
  14. To answer your question literally, yes it does. There is an important distinction to be made between "Telling the right time" and "Telling time rightly (by the right means)" and this distinction entails both epistemology and morality, especially to an objectivist, as "by the right means" is the same as "rationally". It is true that a stopped clock has basically no utility but a stopped clock is not the same as an irrational belief in this way.
  15. Do you mean to say that it is practically impossible to arrive at a rational position such as Objectivism through irrational processes, or that if someone arrived at a correct idea such as Objectivism through irrational processes, their idea (in this case Objectivism) would still be irrational? This is the clarification I was hoping for, so I thank you for offering it. I hope we can agree that the distinction between capitalism being the best system and the perfect system is a very important one for a lot of different reasons.
  • Create New...