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Laissez-Faire

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  1. This is what I was thinking as well, an induction is not an axiom. I've always justified it on the basis of induction but if it's an axiom then I'd like a demonstration of it's status as an axiom (I realize that an axiom can't be proved but that's not what I'm asking for).
  2. Yes, this also has relevance to the topic of god, i.e. a divine consciousness.
  3. Yes, both of those questions are of interest to me. That was my first point, yet you claim that existence being independent of consciousness is a corollary of the axiom of existence (i.e. what exists exists). If existence being independent of consciousness is an axiom then it must abide to "An axiom is a proposition that defeats its opponents by the fact that they have to accept it and use it in the process of any attempt to deny it." If you could show me how that applies to the primacy of existence then we have an agreement. That was my second point.
  4. I am fully aware of what those axioms and concepts mean although I'm not sure that you are aware of what you can and can not deduce from them. I'll try to make this argument even clearer. "Existence exists—and the act of grasping that statement implies two corollary axioms: that something exists which one perceives and that one exists possessing consciousness, consciousness being the faculty of perceiving that which exists. If nothing exists, there can be no consciousness: a consciousness with nothing to be conscious of is a contradiction in terms. A consciousness conscious of nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms: before it could identify itself as consciousness, it had to be conscious of something. If that which you claim to perceive does not exist, what you possess is not consciousness." This is true but this does not mean that the existent that the consciousness is aware of existed before the consciousness became aware of it. I.e. it does not prove that there were existents apart from consciousness before consciousness existed. I'm interested in how to respond to an argument of the sort: "If you're conscious of a lion, how do you know that the lion existed before you were conscious of it?" without begging the question.
  5. The problem is that existence exists is not equivalent to existence exists independent of consciousness. If it's as you say, an axiom, then we need an argument explaining it's status as an axiom because it's clearly not a corollary of the axiom of existence.
  6. Yeah, that's what I meant. I'm going to quote page 4 of Objectivism The Philosophy of Ayn Rand regarding the axiom of existence: "This axiom does not tell us anything about the nature of existents, it merely underscores the fact that they exist." I.e. the axiom does not tell us whether existents exist independent of consciousness. These two statements are not equivalent: #1. The primacy of existence is the axiom that existence exists. #2. The universe exists independent of consciousness, that they are what they are, that they possess a specific nature, an identity. While #2 implies #1, #1 does not imply #2.
  7. I'm not sure if we're talking past each other but if a consciousness exists then something exists but that doesn't mean that there is an existence apart from the consciousness. Yes, existence can exist without consciousness and if consciousness exists then it would be a part of existence. If that's what you mean we're in agreement but is this really what Ayn Rand meant by primacy of existence? I thought it was a premise used to conclude that a consciousness can't alter existence, i.e. wishing won't make it so. This is a notion that I strongly agree with but having recently read the Maverick Philosopher's criticisms the argument doesn't seem to hold.
  8. But isn't consciousness itself an existent? If so, couldn't just a consciousness (which creates more existents) exist? That's true, it's obviously impossible to prove existence without consciousness. So how do we reason to the primacy of existence over the primacy of consciousness without assuming the conclusion?
  9. I'm not really sure what you mean, but what I meant was that being conscious of an object doesn't mean that the object existed before the consciousness was conscious of it. As far as I can tell it's circular reasoning.
  10. My mistake, what I intended to write was: It doesn't follow from the fact that a consciousness is conscious of something that the object (not necessarily physical) existed before the consciousness was conscious of the object.
  11. If I understand you correctly you are asserting that being conscious means being conscious of something, i.e. that something (concrete or abstract) exists. I'm not sure I understand what you mean. I believe you are saying that consciousness can be conscious of something existent, such as awareness of a lion, or something created, such as desire for a teleportation device. But how does one show that the lion existed before the consciousness was conscious of it?
  12. Ok, but isn't that essentially begging the question? It doesn't follow from the fact that a consciousness is conscious of something that it existed before the consciousness was conscious of it.
  13. First of all I find the term "primacy of existence" to be a bit dubious because if consciousness exists then it's obviously a part of existence. But it's clear to me that by primacy of existence Ayn Rand means that everything, excluding our consciousness, exists independently of our consciousness. How would one respond to someone who holds the three axioms of existence, identity and consciousness to be true but denies the primacy of existence?
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