Objectivism Online Forum

# StrictlyLogical

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1. ## Actor (Terrence Howard) Claims His New Theory of Everything Improves Physics

I could be completely wrong about the origin of that idea... and how it got into my head... for some reason I associate it with some thinker who I think was Roman. As for the circle demonstration, it strikes me as mysterious that the circle could, not only be progressed forward infinitely, it could also be reversed infinitely... and all across the number of rotations the coincidence would only occur at one point. Of course one could write down a function, distance between the points as a function of the "number" of circumferential surfaces the inner circle has engaged contact with the outer circle, while rolling, and it would have precisely one zero... but it's still somewhat counterintuitive... I had set out to find an example where the incommensurate-ness seemed to make sense intuitively, but it seems that I have achieved the opposite.
2. ## Actor (Terrence Howard) Claims His New Theory of Everything Improves Physics

@Boydstun I was trying to think of a thought experiment to concretize the "incommensurate" nature of various mathematical quantities as demonstrated by irrational numbers, to better help visualize this sort of thing. I have a concretized example... but as to whether it is intuitive... is another question. So far I have this. Imagine a mathematical circle with a diameter of 1, rolling inside a second mathematical circle with a circumference of 10. Now imagine a moment when the smaller circle is at the very bottom of the larger circle, touching/intersecting at a single point at the bottom of both circles. Imagine "marking" those points on the smaller circle's circumference and the larger circle's circumference (even though the larger circle never moves). Now imagine rolling the smaller circle within the larger one and waiting to see when that smaller circle's dot coincides again with the larger circle's dot... Once you have proven to yourself the answer... ask what this might say about the old (Roman?) idea of infinite loops of time repeating giving rise to every possibility including living again....
3. ## My Ethical Theory and Rand's

@Boydstun I think you have implicitly identified (yet another) false dichotomy, a "you" - "us" dichotomy as the foundation for the "good". I do not claim that you explicitly hold this as part of your philosophy, only that my understanding of it, points in this direction. Polarized concepts such as "the one" and "the group" dominate the discussion of ethics. On the one hand selfishness, on the other collectivism (or a sort of arithmetical utilitarianism). When pushed to recognize the issues with such a choice, the response is often a sort of "through one approach ... the concern of the other is answered" and we thus have the claims of "other people being a value to a selfish person" as well as "the individual plays a pivotal role in the collective", and that although both benefit, really seeing only through one lens has importance or primacy. But the stark sense of a binary and forced choice is kept. The concept of the good traditionally is either based on the good for "You" or for "Us". I find in your writings a different nexus for the good, neither wholly in "you" or "us" but in the recognition that the ultimate good IS in both, and that (perhaps ironically for you) NO sacrifice need be made from either to the other. Ironically also Rand touched on an economic version of this in the trader principle and the concept of building wealth, i.e. a win-win between atomistic agents... but this did not carry over to any direct win-win relationship between an individual and society or others. What I am hearing is that You (and We) can go forward recognizing that every moral choice (by groups and individuals) can be aimed at the flourishing of both, and that the responsibility being centred around each individual and society at large, not only is the "one" and the "many" protected in every sense, so too is the "one" and the "many" responsible for the other. The relationship of the "You" and the "Us" flourishes as a result of both individuals and society flourishing. [I note, this does not negate the alternative of life versus death, without individuals a society dies and without society, others, loved ones the individual cannot flourish. Also, implies no sacrifice of any individual and no sacrificing of the group or others. As such, predation on any one or the many is immoral.] It seems that in every moral consideration, it cannot be just about me or just about others, and so it can never not be about me or not be about others.
4. ## Question about the value of life from another forum

No. Not if you mean by "intrinsic value" a so-called value which is wholly independent of any and all valuers. Proposing "life" as holding a place as "value" (which seems reasonable), is OK, however only "life" can value anything, so only by virtue of being valued as a value by a valuer can "life" be a value... which is not independent of all valuers
5. ## Question about the value of life from another forum

My personal answer is, of a certainty my life has infinite value to me, and I suspect the universe values nothing, but that is of no consequence.
6. ## Question about the value of life from another forum

Are you familiar with Rand's answer to such a question?
7. ## Does free will exist, or are our choices predetermined by prior causes?

Not really. One thing to note is that free will could be attributed to a whole mind, even if various parts of a mind participate in that free will by setting in motion a choice prior to other parts experiencing that choice has been made. The intention to make a choice precedes both the perceived initiation of the exercise of choosing and the introspection of the time of having made it.. plus the exercise of choice although overseen by consciousness is often self experienced as spontaneously arising. This is consistent with an initiation of choosing, followed by actual choice somehow... some gestalt of factors... followed by a slightly delayed experience of having decided. It's fun to think about.

9. ## Does free will exist, or are our choices predetermined by prior causes?

Question: Is your question answerable (provable?) within the realm of the application of sound (proven?) philosophical principles alone (not mere speculation), or does an answer to the particular problem of free will require evidence, observation, empirical experiment, etc.... i.e. does it fall within the realm of philosophy or the special sciences?
10. ## Does free will exist, or are our choices predetermined by prior causes?

Right, but they are asking you to deny the certainty and primacy of existence "out there", i.e. independent reality, as opposed to some kind of consciousness thing whether an individual, collective, or spiritual/godlike consciousness being primary or the only type or existence. My point only was that the conclusions we reach from a mountain of evidence is not to be thrown aside in face of a claim which amounts to little more than a groundless maybe.
11. ## Does free will exist, or are our choices predetermined by prior causes?

I not think the unconscious generates a feeling of free will. I do not believe humans experience free will as a feeling. I believe humans experience the performance of free will as a sort of action, one upon reflection which is such that "I could have chosen otherwise".

13. ## Does free will exist, or are our choices predetermined by prior causes?

"arguing that free will has to exist or there will be consequences" That is not the "argument", and even if it were, it would NOT be any kind of proof of the existence of free will.

15. ## Selfish Christians Citing Ayn Rand

I second that. "Publish" it here in a new thread, they seem to be unable or not willing to block your access to this site.
16. ## Selfish Christians Citing Ayn Rand

How is it that they are failing, absolutely and completely failing, to keep you quiet on this forum? If they can't silence you here, surely you must be able to send all your work, formulas, theorems, simulations, documentation to Elon Musk, Tucker Carlson, or Russel Brand, or Alex Jones / Info Wars to ensure it gets public? What is stopping you?

18. ## Selfish Christians Citing Ayn Rand

Why are the terrorists bothering with you? Are you rich? Do they want to take your money? Are you highly powerful or influential over a large group of people or geographical area of interest to them? Why did they target you in the first place and how is it worth it to them to do so?
19. ## Selfish Christians Citing Ayn Rand

I think many in the world are pivoting away from old conflicts defined in terms of polar opposites which are not at play right now as they once were. When the world is seen as filled with mostly "good" cultures and societies which generally value peace, autonomy, family, life, happiness, for everyone... the philosophical quibbles over just what the good is and why, and how best to achieve it can be real and indeed can be very contentious and stark: Atheism versus Religionism, Capitalism versus Socialism, but in the end they are not existentially and urgently crucial. Christians have been quite harsh on "heretical" or "heathen" thinking for quite some time and the vehemence with which the Atheists "rebelled" against Christianity, religious and mythical thought is quite breathtaking. But over recent times I think many feel that the animosity between generally good people over these issues is rather small potatoes. For the world is now seen as having a sort of "thing" working in the background, of people whose motive is sheer political and economic power, whether governments and bankers or oligarchs and powerful families etc. or all of them... it possesses an unmistakable "evil" culture which does not value peace, autonomy, family, life, happiness, for everyone... instead valuing those for some: personal friends and family, and are happy to "pay the price" of consigning everyone else to their antitheses : war, authority, isolation, misery and death. What point is there to fight over just exactly what good is and how to get there when a faint but clear harbinger of cultural evil.... atheist non-moral anti-human post-modern evil that is arising. Whether or not consciously emerging from the nexi of power, or whether unconsciously emerging in the psychology of culture which has lost the basis of its morality and has not discovered objectivism, the inhuman evil is now at work here. It makes sense for those that hold humanity, human life, individual life and liberty in high esteem to band together for humankind. It has been happening. Craig Biddle debated with Denis Prager a few years back putting forth the position that they should not fight... Prager at that time was stuck in the mind set that he must scare people back into religion with the bromide "without religion morality is impossible"... as if membership in the good camps was more important than sheer numbers of good people. Richard Dawkins has announced that he is an "Atheist Christian"... quite a claim to unpack but nonetheless one which is symbolic of a real spiritual and mental alliance ... good people who still value humanity and life on earth as free individuals with peace, autonomy, family, life, happiness, for everyone, NOT just some people, should and will come together. Of course the "thing"'s activity in sowing divisions is accelerating, men against women, blacks against whites, left against right, atheism against religion, Christian against Muslim... Christians citing Objectivism and Objectivists reaching out to good religionists is a good thing and all individual human loving people need to come together.
20. ## Conflation of Value and Identity

Excellent responses by all, not much to add. My one observation is that the main problem is not so much a conflation of identity and value... sure, these concepts are not to be conflated, but if such an error were made, it should be easily remedied by one familiar enough with each concept, and secondly, such a conflation, even if believed, cannot form the foundation for the "primacy of consciousness view". Even if value can be created in things by sheer subjectivity, the things themselves to which this magical value attaches cannot be created ex nihilo. Neither do we observe the magical consciousnesses (ghosts?) at work absent the physical brains/bodies by which they are manifested. With the conflation they can perhaps get to things "enchanted" or "haunted" by consciousness... but they cannot get to primacy of consciousness. I think you will find that rather than some small conflation enabling or leading to such a conclusion (which is far out of reach), in fact the "conclusion" is an existing presumption, an entrenched pre-existing premise which motivates the person to try to find evidence or reasons (perhaps even the conflation ... not knowing that it is erroneous) which can be used to support that presumption. Here they are starting at the end (primacy of consciousness) which is not rationally justified by the means to arrive there (no pun intended).

22. ## Ayn Rand and dualism

Pretty much. In the real world you can gain that knowledge from things by observing the thing directly (in any way through a causal chain without intervening third parties). You can also gain knowledge from information which has been generated by third parties observing the thing and essentially telling you about it. This information is recorded in any symbolic form of communication or record keeping and it represents the referent to which it is directed. We also use the term information to identify the representations conveyed by nonliving causal intermediaries between the thing and our minds... e.g. eyes, provide the information we know... video recording provide information about what the camera was aimed at...the photons travelling from galaxies give us information about the galaxies. Both knowledge and information are about or refer to things, they have referents in reality. Knowledge is in your head, information is encoded in some, any medium, or causal intermediary. You can get knowledge about referents directly or from information. Both knowledge and information is valid when there is both a causal connection to the referent and when they identify the referent or whatever is relevant about it,without contradiction with that reality.
23. ## Ayn Rand and dualism

Our brains use physical means in order abstract and to form abstractions. Do you contend our physical brains CONSIST of abstractions? If you contend information exists as a physical part of any physical system, does it exist independently of, over and above , or in addition to, all the other physical characteristics we can observe but traditionally have not identified as "information" as such? What happens to physical system we observe when the information is removed from the physical system? What is the distinction between a first universe where we merely identify and perceive information about a physical thing, the information existing only in our minds as and because we create it by thinking of and referring to those things, and a second universe where the information is in the things themselves? Specifically, what is different about those things themselves which we observe in those two universes?
24. ## Ayn Rand and dualism

I think he is saying that we quantify how "purely physical" things act or are arranged in ways more sophisticated and with what we associate with "information".. as such we use concepts like bits, bandwidth, coding and compression theory to characterize what we observe in the physical world, the same way we have used number and classical mathematics to quantify more intuitively observables of the physical world. Just like numbers, as such, do not exist independent of the things we count with them, so too these concepts only identify characteristics of physical things, but are not themselves physical. But insofar as things for centuries "possessed" quantifiable attributes, properties, etc. which we describe with numbers, so too in 2023 purely physical things of sufficient complexity "possess" functional capacities and arrangements which we can quantify in terms of "information" and specifically in terms of "bits, bandwidth, coding and compression". It is another matter entirely, whether consciousness itself can be equated with "computation" or an information processing "algorithm". Although not an objectivist, I like the recent musings of Roger Penrose on the issue.
25. ## presuppositional foundationalism in Objectivism

I am no philosopher. I would characterize Rand as finally being wholly unbiased in operational orientation towards deduction or inference, and that certainly post maturation, her structures were girded by both, as the state of all prior knowledge and observation required for the particular bit of construction on the edifice of her philosophy. It may be that she leaned towards a deductive foundational approach in the early years, but I do not believe she leaned in any particular direction in the mature philosophy... A dichotomy is presented here which may not be necessary. what has not been provided is a third option... one which leans in neither direction.
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