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Everything posted by StrictlyLogical

  1. I do not believe Rand meant this as intrinsic value. All I know about Rand’s metaphysics and ethics screams at me that this is to be interpreted as “an end in itself to and for itself” not an intrinsic end to and for all existence the universe and everything, nor an end in some mystical non realm of floating value. In that sense, I take Rand to mean each life in reality is a selfish end only in itSELF. Nothing could be farther from intrinsic value IMHO. I know you do not use the term as Nozick used it, but I wonder how Rand would react to our little discussion about it’s appropriate use in this context.
  2. Why do you think Rand made the conscious choice to say “every man is an end in himself” rather that “a man’s life is an end in itself” or the life of every man is an end in itself or every life is an end in itself? Philosophically and technically did Rand mean by the phrase “end in himself” anything different from an “end in itself” or does it mean the exact same thing? Is she consciously choosing intrinsicism full stop.. here?
  3. I'm curious what is meant by "intrinsic value for x". IF an "intrinsic value" means "value in itself" how can it be qualified by "for x"? Can the same thing be an intrinsic value to me but not an intrinsic value to you? If so does not that destroy its "intrinsic property", if not does not that negate the qualifier "for me" and "for you" (i.e. render such a phrase as "for us" above meaningless?)
  4. Not sure what you mean by "nowadays"... but if you are saying value presupposes a "valuer" and hence that implies "intrinsic value" which is "valuable in itself" is impossible IF "in itself" means "independent of any valuer", (to whom and for what) you would be correct to raise the issue. Perhaps this merely indicates just how different Boydstun's views were back in the 80's or perhaps his views have not changed? Perhaps we can ask Boydstun if he still believes in "intrinsic value".
  5. I play a game with my son called real or imaginary... I say a word like “platypus” or “unicorn” or “skeleton” or “ghost” and he categorizes it by saying “real” or “imaginary”. He’s smart enough now that he says “extinct” for dinosaurs because they no longer exist. We have a lot of fun and superstitions like curses and ghosts are correctly identified as imaginary. I always am careful not to denigrate imaginary things as such, reminding him that pretending things and imagination are fun... but in the end some things are real and others simply are not.
  6. Infancy stands in great contrast to adulthood in many ways. The role of the parent is to provide for the child and oversee that tremendous transformation from an undeveloped nonrational dependent (indeed helpless) baby through to a fully mature (hopefully flourishing) rational independent adult. Santa Claus, stands with the baby bottle, the soother, the fluffy blanket, the picture books, and the ignorance of harshnesses of reality which accompany adulthood and which are generally inappropriate and/or too complex for a toddler to understand. Santa represents the bounty of virtue, the reward for being good and psychologically IS a bigger than life metaphor for the parents. As children move from dependency upon the parents, Santa will naturally fall away but the sense of reward and bounty will live on in self dependency and a sense of life that takes reality itself as benevolent... in that sense the child becomes his own parents and in a way his own Santa. Belief in a Santa being real, like the toys of youth, is perfectly fine when left behind appropriately as childhood things... but the idea and the sense of Santa is not inimical to life... but can be a valuable lesson for it.
  7. Objectivism is not for a society. It’s a philosophy which you, as an individual, either accept as correct or not. Your philosophy is a private personal thing... and if it is the correct one it can lead to knowledge and flourishing. If not, to ignorance and self destruction... the question is whether you believe Objectivism is the correct philosophy for living on earth, and hence whether you should adopt it, not whether any one else i your town, country or on the planet is willing or able to adopt it.
  8. Don't want to clutter this thread, but I remain curious!
  9. Every choice at its most basic level involves holding the alternatives in ones mind, assessing them, experiencing and apprehending them, even if only in the most basic fashion, and then making the choice (whose mechanism lies at the nexus of free will... which is another subject). I understand you are taking philosophy, and I, as having been an academic during my university years, know that a certain "disinterested-third-party-point-of-view" kicks in when "thinking" about things in the abstract. This is encouraged to fight things like bias...but what were are talking about here is decidedly NOT a "disinterested-third-party-point-of-view" type of consideration. Such a view and attitude toward the issue at hand is inappropriate and inapplicable... the human perspective of the alternative between life and death as a human is not a biased perspective, it's the only perspective faced with the choice to live or die as a human. To get at what explains the initial choice, you must drop your academic hat for a moment, you must step back home into yourself, as a human, and yes, "get real", and in the moment. Take a second and sit.. experience what you are, that you are... experience what it is to be. While reflecting thus, I have have a little "methodology of choosing" (to use your words) for you: think of all you have seen, the beautiful and the ugly and everything in between then try to think of the nothing think of all you've heard and smelled, tasted and felt then try to think of the nothing think of all the joys and sorrows, laughter and anger, all the excitement and all the naps then try to think of the nothing think of all the people you have known, know, and will know, those you love and hate and everything in between, your father, your mother, your wife, sons or daughters, your neighbors and friends and the grumpy people you avoid too then try to think of the nothing think of all of the things you pursue in life, the music, the art, the food, the activities, everything that that you value, everything that you have loved, love, or will love, think of all the things you've done, are doing or will do, and think of all the feeling and experiences and all the thoughts you have ever had, have or will have then contemplate nothing think of all you have been, are, and could be then ... nothing Once you have thought as outlined above long enough, you will know that you can choose, know you have decided to choose, and in fact have already chosen (by the mechanism of your own voluntary free will)... sitting with this realization you can contemplate that already made choice between: Living and non-existence. After (ONLY after) having experienced your own choice thus, FEEL FREE to put your disinterested third party hat back on, step away from your humanity, and in a rationalistic scowl confuse yourself into accepting that "everything versus nothing" cannot be the basis for any rational choice ... that everything cannot be reason for anything... but I STRONGLY suggest against it... instead I suggest letting this experience steep for a long time and then revisiting it with an open mind. Good Premises!
  10. At this point I find myself wondering if you have truly considered my precious answers. If you equate the choice of everything as against nothing as a whim, we really have nothing more to discuss. And incidentally, in the most private moments of your own thought you conceive that you personally have reason to live, that reason automatically is entailed in everything... to reject as arbitrary the choice to live is to reject every possible reason you personally have to live.
  11. Eric D Your example is similar to wishing to live for the experience of the pains of bleeding from slit wrists. Rands ethics is built on the simple choice to live... not a whim ridden bastardization of that choice coupled to conditions which are antithetical to life. Certainly one could debate the validation of such flawed versions of whim ridden ethics, but that is not a discussion of Rand’s conception.
  12. Reason does not validate ethics nor the choice to live. The choice to live is super rational or pre-rational, it justifies and necessitates the use of reason. Reason is not an intrinsic good or an end in itself. It serves life, not the other way around. Incidentally choosing to have an ethics might be super rational or pre rational but the content of ethics must be rational and reality based to achieve the goal of life. Rand’s ethics is rational but it is not “based” in not originates from some mystical or intrinsic reason. There is no dilemma.
  13. This is an interesting question but there are so many different people with so many different ways of living that it becomes complicated. Some people DO live life as a sort of unconscious non rational choice, in fact some people who tend to follow feeling absent thought are choosing irrationally all the time. The whole point of a rational morality is to shift the what is guiding those choices from whim wish and feeling towards focused rational awareness and deliberation. So I have to say that in reality a great many people choose life, choose to seek flourishing, but it is not really a conscious choice. Others choose self destructive behaviours, self sabotage, and quite fundamentally they have chosen oblivion even if only a slow and sad journey lasting the rest of their natural lives... Others are fully aware of their own well being, and that they themselves are the primary actor causally responsible for it, and consciously choose life. Now for these people what could be the reasons to choose life? Is the choice rational? What constitutes a reason to do anything? A goal. Although there may be reasons for choosing certain actions to achieve particular goal, namely, that the facts of reality are such that only certain actions lead to the goal, that goal does not serve as its own reason... the goals is only the reason for those particular actions. But soon one gets into what seems like an infinite regress... chasing goals which further other goals related to other goals etc. all across the face of the universe... but they all lead back to a fundamental undeniable truth of the first person experience ... existence or nonexistence. Bereft of humanity in a frenzy of academic torpor, a rationalist might try to view this question from the point of view of a blind universe or a platonic nirvana, which is not any kind of a point of view at all... and say there is no possible reason to choose life because there is no intrinsic goal in the universe...It must be an arbitrary choice. To a frenzied academic attempting to see with no vision, perhaps it would appear so. But to a living creature faced with the alternative of existence and non existence, every reason, every thing, every experience, indeed the whole universe, all of it, constitutes the reason(s) to live, and the alternative is nothing which cannot be a reason for anything. In a sense the choice is an arbitrary non-rational choice for which there are no intrinsic reasons but in another sense it is the least arbitrary and most rational choice for which there is literally every possible personal reason to make.
  14. I forgot to quote you in my recent post above.
  15. Eric D As a person who identified himself as an Objectivist, you must know that morality in a very real sense is nothing more than application of valid knowledge... one cannot search for a morality that tells them why they should live or criticize a morality which does not, such a requirement would be tantamount to alleging that a person is intrinsically obligated to live which is simply not am observable fact of reality. There is nothing in the fabric of the universe willing or obligating you to do anything or even to exist (not long range anyway). There are no dogmatic "thou shalts" written in the stars or in the vibrations of the ghostly neutrinos. The universe simply is, and you metaphysically simply are. That's it. It is the most simple, absolute, and undeniable fact you are in touch with, and it has an almost unfathomable complex causal chain behind it... but nothing more. Reality and you, there are no other facts, no floating dogmatic consciousnesses or consciences to tell you what to do with the fact that you are and moreover that you can choose to act in reality. Nothing intrinsic, nothing supernatural, nothing non-real, and in fact nothing real can tell you that you are obligated to live. There IS no such obligation. No one and no thing in the universe could convey any duty on you to choose to live or do anything as such. In fact no thing conveys any intrinsic obligation as such, since intrinsic obligations cannot exist. You are, and you act, but before you act you choose to act. What acts do you choose and why do you choose them? Well Nothing in the universe obligates you to any choice whatever, but it tells you that causes and effects cannot be sundered. That your specific acts can only result in certain effects, and also that by virtue of your nature, some actions are outside of your capacity. Morality is essentially a recognized body of knowledge of reality which acts as a guide to the choices and actions open to a living person which is conducive to life. I know of a former self proclaimed Objectivist who was very disturbed by morality originating with the choice to live... "its just a choice, a choice. a choice" he would say mockingly imitating some dogmatic Objectivist straw Man, the implication being that this answer was somehow an evasion of something more profound... he seemed to be pleading with his knowledge (or his ignorance) or pleading with his father, or his former priest, his childhood or the planet or the universe. The circular grasping cry "Tell me, I must live.. that there is a reason outside of myself, for why I should live"... revealed the gaping false hole left by the exit of religion and mysticism... it was vast and sorrowful... but his pleas and his search are in vain, and always will be. Reality IS, you ARE, YOU choose... and that's it. Once you do choose life however, there are so many options for how to go about living, and Rand had an answer about how to go about it... I like to think it is the correct one.
  16. is value pertaining to the well being of the mind There is a common misconception that the particular result from the application of objectivity to each person must be the same. in fact objectivity requires that particulars differ because people differ. A blood transfusion may be necessary for you to live. The wrong type of blood will kill you. This is an objective fact about your uniqueness. It illustrates that you cannot ignore the reality of your nature and magically make actions which are in reality harmful to you, good for you. You can subjectively wish that B positive blood will save you but if it is incompatible you can’t make it actually so. Objectivity of your decision is about getting things right about reality. As for “same conclusion” for everyone this is a mere incidental side effect. Morality is for you and is about you. Also note that the sameness depends on the level of abstraction. Clearly “get a transfusion of b positive blood when you are about to die from blood loss” is not applicable to everyone. Note, that “get a blood transfusion of your blood type when you are about to die from blood loss” is applicable to everyone. Once you have made the best choice to get a transfusion and live, an analysis of the applicability of the decision which is best for you to other people is a distraction a purely academic exercise. Engage in that once you’ve saved your life if you get enjoyment from musing about other people.
  17. Really choosing life, entails more than merely breathing for the next few seconds, it means choosing to live long range... choosing to choose life again the next day and the next ... indefinitely, for as long as you possibly can. The choice to continually choose life and to live as long as possible is simple, achieving it is complex. The potential for you to live as long as possible in future depends on your level of flourishing not just directly on your choices at any one time. You can’t choose to save yourself from an unexpected threat by jumping to safety if you have taken care of yourself so badly that you are simply incapable of it. Some events are unforeseen or cannot be predicted. The more physically strong you are the more likely you will survive accident or illness or other physically stressful events. The more mentally and emotionally strong you are the more likely you will survive extreme emotional trauma or events that may test your very will to live or test how quickly you can get back on your feet or how well you can will yourself to take care of yourself again. Your level of flourishing, your physical and mental health, is crucial to your likelihood of long term survival. As such every materiel and spiritual value that improves or contributes (in sum total) to your well being generally is objectively conducive to your flourishing and hence your choice to live in a world you simply cannot control. Your enjoyment at lunch is the product of your subjective tastes in food and ambience... but the spiritual value of your enjoyment and the mental well being it promotes, even if merely modestly incremental, are objectively good for you. All else being equal (the food is not poison, and the patrons not gang members liable to cause a shoot out) choose the place you enjoy the most, it’s objectively the best choice for you.
  18. Peikoff is no chump. I think what he did to change those formulations is objectively more correct.
  19. This seems like an arbitrary assertion on Kant’s part both in logic and reality.
  20. Why is the level of abstraction in the context of telling falsehoods at the highest noncontextual level of “lying to anyone for any purpose”? How would one decide the level of abstraction and context for moral questions pertaining to “cutting people”? Is it simply “Cutting anyone for any purpose” is either right or wrong or are we permitted more nuanced consideration of particulars and context here? If so, why are we permitted more precision wrt cutting compared with lying? If not, why not?
  21. DreamWeaver SoftwareNerd MisterSwig If any of you would like to have a 1on 1 or 4 way discussion on this topic, please PM me.
  22. No. You’ve taken over my characters and made them say what they would not say. This is not an honest discussion. It is a twisting of the position of my characters not a presentation of an alternative to both. You can’t say you disagree with both positions and then try to argue your case primarily by mischaracterizing those positions.
  23. One of the criticisms of Kant is his application of the above to honesty, in particular lying to a murderer. Kant who heard of this example himself remained adamant that lying to a murderer to prevent them from finding their quarry was wrong, but silence was permissible. Do you believe this is a flaw in Kant's ethics? or Do you believe the ethics is fine but this result is flawed due to a mistake in the application (even by Kant himself) of his ethics because it wholly ignores context? or Do you believe this does not constitute any kind of flaw in regards to Kant's ethics? Thank you for the example. What about a maxim like "Compliment every first, second, and third person you see, and insult every fourth person you see." Is it moral, immoral, or neither? Why? I am not convinced that everyone intends every act to be moral, nor that every act is an implicit adoption specifically of Kantian ethics... in particular with regards to universality. Does Kant claim that universality is intrinsically good? Why? Finally, again if I were innocent of all morality how would you persuade me into adopting Kant's ethics for myself?
  24. What defines "efficacy" in Kant's view? I was under the impression that a "Categorical Imperative" was absolute requirement that must be obeyed and is justified as an end in itself. Does Kant say anything about the adoption of the CI by any person as itself being good "for" anything, a choice, or an intrinsic good? Suppose for example I were innocent of all morality (not an Objectivist, Kantian, or Christian.. nothing) but a rational living being... how would you persuade me to adopt Kantian morality?
  25. I’m not seeing a non circular base for what is “moral” “good” and “right”. CI is logically consistent with itself, but then again we could baldly assert anything logically consistent with itself as the base of “morality” and we could baldly assert anything is intrinsically good. Intrinsic good lacks a “what” it is “good for” and cannot have a rational reality-based meaning.... and not having it... cannot be based on any actual “reason”.
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