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Everything posted by Charles

  1. 'The process of identification is that of attempting to describe/relate something in the most accurate way known to you.' To ask the question he has asked is fail to understand our position as observers, as namers, and that the quality he is questioned is the word 'apple' and at what point that word became un-useable in describing the core. This is indulging in a linguistic fallacy - its question of judgement - if you have a better word: use it. Use 'core'. I called it evasion as I felt in confusing the actual apple with the labelling/identification of the apple the personal responsibility of making an accurate judgement is evaded. This is what was originally said: An apple is not an absolute, and neither is a core. The words 'apple' & 'core' are absolute in so much as they are tautologies: What true logic would say is 'A' was then, and always will be 'A' then. It is no longer 'A', it would be more accurate to describe our core as 'B', but that doesn't change the irrefutable fact that it was 'A'. So 'A' is always 'A', the concept of an apple is what it is, but that to which we ascribe the value 'A' needn't remain 'A' under forces of change in reality - apple are eaten, Ive decided to call whats left 'B' - what I concieve 'B' to be more closely resembles reality now im done eating! Ive never been so pedantic about an apple! And incidently, though my tone may read curt - it is the spirit of demonstration, so no-one take it personally.
  2. No he isn't: a reflex such as the knee-jerk response (myotactic reflex) will happen regardless of conscious decision - whilst you dont have total control of facial expressions; body language (reading+writing ), jumping to the sound of a gun etc - you can consciously prevent them, you can create a false expression to hide an otherwise saddened face, act provocatively - even stop an erection by consciously thinking about....book binding or something?!
  3. A psychological model makes divisons of the mind to yield more information about our behaviour, our thought process and countless other things. By dividing the mind into categories we can subject different parts to tests to yield information; like for instance, how effective the chosen method of division is. A psychological model is as good as it can effectively demonstrate the mind's capabilities and show how they affect each other. This is what psychology is. By this count, you would expect an absolutely 100% correct explanation of the human mind...science can provide us with working models that are not 100% correct (see Bayes Theorem) but are still useful. I dont see what the problem is with descibing some of man's attributes as instinctual: We have base drives - we naturally look for a mate, for food - men can be reduced to those instinctual drives. There is no use in denying that we are of animals. HOWEVER: to accept this, is not to use it as a defence for indulging in such actions without intellectual consideration of consequences. We have a volitonal consciouness aswell. We can look beyond these animal, chemical drives and excercise freewill over them. To say we have instinct is not to say we are instinct. Just because we have evolved beyond the parameters, dare I say determinism, of instinct does not mean it does not comprise a part of us, that we revert to if we do not make use of our higher faculties.
  4. In the land of the blind the one eyed man gets his eye poked out
  5. In parliament (UK) last week, the former leader of the Conservative party William Hague made a previously unheard accusation towards Tony Blair and his cabinet. He stated that he believed there were plenty of good reason for going into Iraq, and that he couldn't criticise the government for doing it, however wasn't necessarily satisfied by the way the situation was being handled now. His point, however, and this is where he stepped up his voice, was that the way the government had presented the war in terms of PR had been a disaster, the stated reasons for war were folly, and the effect upon the minds of the British population with regards to their view on any such future conflict was one of irreparable damage. I'd have to agree, and further question if Bush, in making his case for war, has not done more damage than John Kerry or Al Gore might have done in the same situation. The fact is that his religious rhetoric has cost him a significant backing from the more reasonable members of populations spanning the globe, and has thrown US foreign policy into disrepute where it might have made the case for increased international cooperation in future ventures post-iraq. Beyond this, I believe he has fuelled islamic fundamentalism with his lack of military contingency planning, and a failure to appeal to the minds of the Iraqi people. Having said this, as bleaker situation as it is, infiltration of the Republican party as a recent topic suggests, might be the best chance there is of establishing a reasonable ethics, a philsophical basis for capitalism etc.
  6. When the apple is eaten to the core it doesn't change its identity - essentially it doesn't have an identity beyond that which we give it in making a statement about it. It was still there, it was still what we call an apple. All that need change is the way in which you identify it: 'it is an apple core' would be a more accurate/useful way of describing the apple now it is eaten. It, however, always was an apple at that point in time before you ate it. The process of identification is that of attempting to describe/relate something in the most accurate way known to you. To argue the apple now eaten to the core is still an apple is your failure in logic, like you say it is 'fuzzy' logic and amounts to evasion.
  7. If it were true that an extremist party would become more centrist as it became electable it wouldn't be a great step in the right direction: The Center of British politics is someway left of the center of American politics - observe the Americans view of their politics in this forum...
  8. It was a question: not a demand. As indicated by the '?'.
  9. So a good idea, providing lecturer agrees and knows the extent of its distribution/forbays distribution beyond personal use.
  10. I appreciate where your coming from on the legal side and will consider it first. Though ethically I dont think it tantamount to piracy considering the universities are all but nationalized anyhow in the UK.
  11. Yes - In England for the time being. Since 1997 the MP for my area has been Paul Marsden - the infamous Labour candidate who refused to tow the party line on Iraq despite heavy whipping. He then joined the Liberal Democrats, though recently quit politics and the seat is expected to be taken by his Lib. Dem. successor. Prior to 1997 the seat was a Conservative Stronghold. European Results for West Midlands: 4 Conservative: 3 Labour: 1 Liberal Are you a member of any Objectivist Groups in London?
  12. I am British. Predominantly English - It looks like a choice between Conservatives and not voting.
  13. Fair enough. I personally have no concern for Scottish devolution. That and the fact that they are leftwing means I will not be voting for them.
  14. British Politics is considerably more socialized than American. For instance we have just re-nationalized our railines. To any Brits using this forum: who, if at all, would you vote for and why? I have looked at the list of registered parties and can tell you that there isn't a single minority party that even resembles for instance, the Libertarian party of the US. All our minority parties are either extreme left wing - socialists/communists, single issue, or fascist...
  15. Wow. This forum really does cover a broad spectrum of people.
  16. So in other words the only innate knowledge that I have is that I am; as that philosophical heavyweight monty python states "Im Pink therefore Im spam". But seriously; Anything else outside of this innate knowledge is an attempt by me to create an accurate model of reality. The conscious mind's nature is to bridge the gap between itself and the reality that it assumes gave rise to it. That assumption (or axiom) is the basis of all constructive thought, of reason. Im not sure; but Im wondering if the proposed Hologramic theory of mind counters, through implication, that assumption. Obviously Necrovore has taken a side on that. As Americo observed in a previous post; human creativity is not optimal when it is under forced constraints. It is optimal when it is responsible for its actions. There is no doubt that imagination is inextricably inter-twined with creativity….These facts leave me considering that whatever system gives rise to the human mind is one that contains some chaotic systems under ordered coordination, I think that chaos must in someway give rise to the spontanaity of imagination. In thinking this I question the idea of a mind based solely on neural circuitry which seems somewhat too deterministic. Interesting. Can you give us a link/details? I won't be reading the book; I am to study the brain for the next three years and dont think its the right angle from which to start my investigations. Im all for listening to new takes on the mind/thought processed but I wish to get a decent background in the actual science of it before I adopt a preference.
  17. About to start degree in Neuroscience and it occurs to me that it would be thoroughly worthwhile recording each lecture - using for instance the Sony DVD camcorder, and then logging it onto a website of my own creation. ...A useful resource for anyone interested. Further potential lies in others taking this intiative with their course, whether it be the same course at a different university, or a different course at the same university. That way people can experience different institutions teaching on Neuroscience, preview the second year of the course and allow people in the process of applying to see what each University has to offer. There is also the latent opportunity in charging a fee/regulating users of these collected resources. Any thoughts?
  18. The Republican Party taxes, yet conceeds tax cuts to the rich (top 1%). If (hypothetically) we are moving towards less taxation and cutting government spending, is cutting the tax the rich pay, yet not the working/middle classes pay advisable? should not they both be reduced at an equal rate? or perhaps the cuts should hit the lower/middle classes first - freeing them from the restriction of heavy taxations - allowing more competition, a market with greater freedom? It seems to me that the tax cuts the rich get (+ the huge amount they dont pay by hiring tax lawyers to evade tax) encourage unfair monopolies when everyone else is paying heavily.
  19. Thanks for the link John. I liked his response to Pascal's wager: Quite, and I by and large I now try not to enter into issue based discussions with such people - certainly not for the purpose of constructive exchange of views. One other thing Mr Smith mentioned was the difficulty in cultivating reason - getting into the habit of recognizing each part of your life as a conscious decision rather than a continuation of whimiscal habit/natural prejudice. I agree.
  20. I think you've misunderstood me Stephen, and I apologise if what I have said is unclear. The choice I refer to does not include the action it pertains to. I am refering to the intention. If one intends something, that intention is not a choice unless one actually does something; i.e. causes something else to happen. This may seem pointlessly tautologous but Im stating it in light of minorityofone's earlier comments - and as I add immediatly after that "But by definition it is then not a choice" So a purpose is a final cause? i.e. looking back up a chain of causes one finds purpose in any being consciously making choices, right?
  21. A choice cannot be the cause of further effects if it has no control on anything; But by definition it is then not a choice. Choice necessitates 1) input - that is a range of possible choices 2) output - ability to be effective, or be the cause of that which you have chosen. So choice necessitates physical reality. You can choose not to choose (evade responsibility for yourself) but even that has an effect (albeit negative). Thus we cant escape choice. We cannot escape reality. ------ A consequence for religion: Freewill = Identity = You, Identity requires Reality, You cannot move onto an afterlife. Contradiction in terms. Felt compelled to add that: I have a number of old friends and a brother who are all theists - and it drives me nuts that even this spelt out has no effect on them.
  22. Yes. People who have evaded rational judgement for emotive responses would certainly be affected. My question really concerns those who are consciously trying to implement reason. Would you not agree that to completely devoid your self of cultural prejudices, or emotional susceptibility is difficult/impossible? Obviously you cannot escape emotions entirely; Indeed emotions have their rightful place. But as long as we have them - do not surroundings have an effect on them? I think this clarifies what Im getting at. If you accept this; does it follow that there are modes of, say, music - that are conducive to a rational mind? Premise here being that certain types of music are passive emotional engagements.
  23. An interesting question: Who were you most like prior to reading the books? I'd have to say I was something of an Eddie Willers - a drifter. I discovered Rand whilst backpacking through India. Having said that Ive always been a strong philosophical searcher like Galt.
  24. Some Languages are more capable than others are in expressing accurate descriptive statements, ie. they are more logical. Would you say that words, like art, can be used to insight understanding of truth regardless of their logical consistency? By intentionally writing contradictions in poetry do some poets not provoke and guide you to certain thoughts as a result of your efforts to resolve the contradiction? Words can have power without being logical, and can be used for any number of things (the media), could they not be used to reveal truths that can only be experienced directly: for instance the feeling of self-respect, or of determination? I believe it would be preferable for man to have more control over himself, though acknowledge the external environment can be manipulated to have an effect on lesser developed men's emotions. Effects that could lead him in a positive direction. Ill be interested to hear your thoughts on this Stephen.
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