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About Anton

  • Birthday 11/06/1987

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  1. My stab at it is no. He wouldn't be considered human if he cannot think, and cannot act in anyway. Apart from the obvious biological outlook.
  2. haha basket balls, I agree that is ludicrous. Anyway, why do I come up with these ideas? I've had no teacher, no material apart from the OPAR Peikoff book and perhaps my misunderstanding and a whole week pondering on it and getting no where is my problem. It all happened when reading through the beginning chapter. "the same entity, under the same circumstances, will perform the same action" (page 15, Objectivism the Philosophy of Ayn Rand) I firstly understood entity as meaning every existent there is, including humans but then tried to view humans as the exception to the concept of entity yet this left everything else deterministic apart from humans and so my reasoning continued to question if everything else is deterministic why should I believe my choices are ultimately volitional. Deterministic reality --as input-> human being (genetically deterministic) --- forms somehow---> volitional choices that could have been otherwise under the same circumstances.
  3. So what I can gather from this is, we observe 'volition' from internal observation and the law of gravity from external observations. But what is observing volition? I know that I choose and there may be reasons I choose things which I don’t consciously know and these reasons can be complex as they are ideas formed from other ideas by the form of abstractions. There probably is no true way to dig all the way down in all of our choices why they happened the way they did because there are many complex factors but at the base of it all we are in the middle of the input and output equation. The input is deterministic, it is the way it is and it couldn’t have been otherwise and there is apparently an element in us that takes account of the deterministic experiences we encounter and our deterministic physical bodies and goes beyond determinism.
  4. I never said we don't make choices, we do but I was wondering whether those choices are volitional in their ultimate sense. Yes it would be a product of your environment (experiences, past determined choices so on). Something such as 2 + 3 = 4 is learnt from reality, from experience. If we experienced that 2 pencils with another 3 pencils made four pencils we'd be right in concluding 2 + 3 = 4 yet it does not. Logic comes back to our observation of reality, our experiences. We know something is valid by the experience it in reality and we can combine statements to form conclusions. We'd quickly see our conclusion is false by observing reality or we could choose to ignore it. In the case where we don't experience anything contrary to the idea that 2 + 3 = 4 then we will have no choice but to believe it. Reality necessitates belief that 2 + 3 = 5, everything points to that conclusion and there is no evidence otherwise, we cannot simply choose to believe the opposite on faith, unless of course for some reason e.g. emotional we choose not to accept facts. Yet that doesn't imply volition to me, it just shows there are other factors that overide our adherence to truth (reality). No I wouldn't have instant knowledge, I would have to experience reality so on to gain that knowledge. I'm not saying we don't choose, just whether the root of our choices is really volition and what is volition. If determinism leads to a faulty concept of justice then let's just forget about determinism because it shakes our view on justice. I don't agree with this because just because it does create problems it doesn't necessarilty mean it is false. I'm not interested in the possible negative ramifications if it is true, rather if it actually is true. After that, then yes I will have to commit to untangling and reworking my view on justice. Jane is my best friend, I don't want to see her in jail. Some the evidence points to Jane but Jane in jail is a bad thing therefore Jane is innocent.
  5. My question to this is why? I'm assuming we accept the physical world is determined, that's what everything sits on. If it happens not to be, then my idea fails. The time before humans, the world still existed, and when the first choice was taken (the first so called human) it was reliant on physical factors. Their actions seemingly non-deterministic because we can't possibly see all the subtle things that come into it, experiences as you've mentioned we only know subconsciously. Yes I agree it is impossible to calculate and determine the exact impact. The reason I focus on one choice is that it's easier for me to visualise in smaller ways but our first choice must have been the way it was for a reason, whether purely random, a want, a feeling, rationalisation from what we know all influenced by outside factors which are deterministic. Taking this first choice and its effect was an experience in itself and shapes future choices so on. There are many possibilities on life I agree. What I'm trying to get at is why we make a choice the way we do, I have a belief perhaps incorrectly that there must be a reason and all that I can see humans being is a collection of past experiences (this includes past choices, integrations so on), the current situation and predispositions. I'm probably trying to identify something that is unknownable if it does exist, the very core of volition and why it works the way it does. It feels as though I cannot reach the root of it.
  6. Yes I agree So the fact that I choose, doesn't mean my choice is determined by my experiences, situation and genetic predispositions? What determines my choice if none of those? If someone were to replicate the world precisely, what fact would change my action if all else is the same? I agree, and under my understanding if we repeat those experiments with the relevant variables being the same, the outcome will be the same. So if I understand you correctly, I made the mistake of believing that reality works the way it does because of the laws of physics? Are you trying to say the laws of physics are flawed or potentially flawed therefore physical reality isn't deterministic? So in hindsight there is always an explanation how something happened by physical necessity but this cannot be applied to current situations? In hindsight we can see gravity working, but that is only a law from observation therefore we cannot say this rock I am holding will fall even if under the same conditions since the law doesn't enforce reality to conform? Rather it's an observation that could change.
  7. I've been trying to grasp the idea of volition atleast validate it to myself but I keep falling in to the idea that we are determined. I accept that we choose, because I do experience that but I don't think introspection is enough to conclude that I'm not determined. As far as I can gather, everything in general is determined, it acts according to what it is (a marble rolls on a slop when gravity is involved, while a box won't). External existents act on other existents and a certain cause will always result in a certain effect. It's what I think science depends on, to have a certainty that the physical world is determined otherwise we have no consistent reality. (I think at least excluding human beings we can safely agree that they are deterministic according to objectivism.) Yet when it comes to human beings I think it's more complex and what I'm trying to grasp is where free will takes its part. To a certain extent our personalities are defined by our genes and then with our experiences. We gain knowledge, make decisions from experience and genetics changes what I'm predispositioned to do (but not determined solely on genetics). All I seem to get is that a human being is a being who is formed by their specific genetic predispositions and experiences in life. These interactions are complex as one experience determines the next. I don't think it's an easy task to say calculate the exact reason why I 'freely' chose to post on here, there are many factors to consider so I reject the idea that it is possible to predict actions of a human being without taking into consideration their predispositions and exact sequence of experiences which I don't think we can ever do. If we suppose an exact copy of this universe were made (not that I believe this is possible), and we start at the same point in time, I know the same things, I am experiencing the same things in this same moment. With my past knowledge, predispositions and the current situation at hand (this includes being drunk (impaires my ability to think), wide away, tired, under influence of some emotion e.g. anger), I choose to do an action either that be evade to think or think and form a step of actions then wouldn't both copies of me do the same? (At least if I were to do the same thing, the universe would act the same way due to physical determinism) If both me's in the two identical universes didn't act the same then what would cause this? Either I base my decision on my past experiences, current circumstances and predispositions or something is done randomly? (Is there something wrong with my reasoning?) I'm having trouble defining volition when it comes from a world that is deterministic. I know I certainly choose but I question whether my choices are determined in the end. I must choose from a limited set of options, based from my knowledge of reality and once I apply my values and weigh each action, I choose. My values are there by my experiences and past rationalisations or mindless acceptance which reverts back to more choices back to my beginning as a baby. In a simplistic model, deterministic input (experience) -> me x genetics -forms a choice-> volitional choice somehow Sorry if this is all over the place but I am honestly trying to work it out in my head.
  8. I do agree that taking such "let's consider possibility X with no reason to think it is so other than let's just" is a pointless activity which leads no where. Yes it took someone like Maxwell, Maxwell specifically to predict radio waves and give them the name they have and I agree someone could utter the words without the meaning and this would be meaningless without a definition. I agree there was nothing at the time suggesting otherwise, I meant 'possible' under the terms where neither side has evidence for or against such a claim. Would a cave man have any evidence for or against the idea of radio waves existing and using them in such a fashion to transmit sound inaudibly over distances? I don't think he would and rightly so because in one statement there is no proof of how it would work, how you could convert sound to radio waves, what radio waves are, the need for electricity and what it is so on. He'd probably laugh off the idea as impossible. What I'm trying to say is just because we can't sense it as yet, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Things could be possible, 'possible' only if we have no evidence of it not being so. Of course the idea of god itself brings up contradictions and different interpretations of what god is. "The all powerful god creating an immovable object that he then tries to move" Radio waves and the like are things that are knowable and I concede that if someone were to say X is possible but its existence is unknowable(Never will be/Never was) then it clearly is not possible. Also stating X exists because it is merely possible (making that jump) is an error as well. To counter the existence of God argument or the possibility, we first need a definition of what God is which is the main problem since there are a lot of difference definitions.
  9. After some thought this is an interesting question. It is 'possible' since it has no effect to what we perceive, but that possibility gives no knowledge to work with and shouldn't be considered in any decision e.i. misguidedly using it as evidence to some conclusion. An example for this could be radio waves some two hundred years ago, someone could have stated it is possible with no evidence (before James Clerk Maxwell's prediction). It would be something we had no evidence or reason to think since our senses cannot detect them and the maths had not been done at that stage or equipment to detect them created. As far as you could have been concerned back then, it simply did not exist.
  10. So what your saying is, there are things we don't know through our senses even if we have no proof or indication that we don't know them? To claim something does happen after death, we also need to claim that we are not only a physical body since that physical body dies and decomposes. "How do we know, we don't have a soul?" is then what the question boils down to, which creates more issues since where do these souls exist? How many of them are there, how do they communication and so on? You could equally pluck an infinite number of ideas that would be undetectable to our senses either directly or through reasoning from what is effected but where does this lead us? It doesn't lead us to knowledge considering such ideas but to doubt and to no knowledge at all. Considering something which we have no means of ever knowing by any means is a pointless activity. The onus of proof to such things is the one who claims them, but if the one who claims them says, "I have no evidence" then my reply is "I have no reason to believe, or even consider such things". We are human beings with human faculties, human sense and human reason and therefore we have human knowledge. If something has no evidence of existing to us, it may as well not exist. There is no difference at all.
  11. (Taken from here) What makes you think there is a possibility rather than god simply being non-existent? There is no proper factual reason based in reality to think so.
  12. This isn't Ayn Rand but from Leonard Peikoff (her intellectual heir), Taken from: Ayn Rand Lexicon
  13. Thanks Michael, I was surprised to receive a very eloquent well formed reply.
  14. What is the Objectivist stance on collective pride? Such as nationalism, or particular social groups. From what I have read Objectivism deals with individual pride and does not mention group pride. I see it as meaningless and perhaps even a misuse of the concept of pride but I'm still interested what others have to say.
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