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DAC

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  • Birthday 05/31/1972

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  1. While it is true that the law of identity does not specific what exists, implied in the law is that something exists. That something exists possessing identity, attributes and identity being inseperable. Using the law of identity (OPAR pg. 6): "To be is to be something, to have a nature, to possess identity. A thing is itself, or, in the traditional formula, A is A. The identity of an existent means that which it is, the sum of its attributes or characteristics". [Emphasis mine] When this is applied to the Universe, which is a collective noun denoting the sum of existents, or more specifically it is "conceptual algebra" used to mean each and every existent. I conclude that those constituent existents, which are the referents of the concept Universe, have identity. According to the law of identity, they possess attributes and characteristics. The universe is an existent and not an entity. Existents have attributes and characteristics, etc. I classify the universe as an existent as opposed to an entity because the sum of existents cannot be brought in totality to the perceptual level. Just as knowledge is only knowledge when brought to the sensory perceptual level (ITOE pg. 295) so it is with entities (OPAR pg. 13). To clarify, as I understand the concept, an entity is an existent that is perceived and integrated by a human consciousness (implicitly as a child, explicitly later), where an existent can exist independent of any consciousness to perceive it. Therefore, the classification of the universe as an existent is correct, and existents possess identity, with identity being inseparable from its attributes. This leads me to conclude that regardless of the classification of the universe (entity v. existent), everything possesses identity with attributes. Identity without attributes is a contradiction. I am not clear on your reasoning for expanding the definition of identity (or finite) to include identity without attributes. Identity, as we both agree, includes attributes. With the expansion of the definition to include identity without attributes, we are contradicting the original definition. Definitions imply all characteristics while specifying the essential characteristics, therefore refinement of the definition that includes narrowing and/or internal contradictions is not a valid expansion of a definition, in this case identity (OPAR pg. 98 paragraph 2).(e.g. accordingly, identity means both identity with attributes and identity without attributes, although only one can be correct in any context, this attempts to reconcile identity with non-identity, or existence with non-existence). I object to the expansion of finite to mean identity without attributes in some contexts and identity with attributes in others, as this leads to internal contradictions. It is interesting that you mention this. I have reasoned similarly and summarize below: -- The universe is not infinite, because metaphysical infinity is not possible. -- The universe is not finite, yet unbounded, because of the contradictions listed above. -- The universe is not finite, yet bounded, because this implies the universe is with attributes, which eventually reduces to a primacy of consciousness created universe and if the universe was created who created the creator, and other absurdities (e.g. It's turtles all the way down...) I agree with your statement, the position is not helpful. I would be interested in discussing your sympathies to this position. I reason the solution lies in this direction.
  2. I've read the post from Alex, and while I have several questions, I am leaving town on business for two weeks. I will print this discussion and answer and clarify more questions when I return. I reserve the right to resurrect this thread from the dead if necessary
  3. I apologize in advance for the spelling and grammar errors in the post above. I am unable to edit the post.
  4. I am unable to edit my posts. It has been awhile since I have posted. Have the editing rules changed? Edit: Now I have the option for this post, but not one I did this morning. Is there a time limit?
  5. Alex, are you claiming that the universe does not have mass, because to say so would be committing the fallacy of composition? The main point of yours that I am having trouble digesting is how something can be finite, yet be part of something greater that is not. When you use finite, yet unbounded, doesn't the concept finite automatically include boundedness (some form of constraint)? Whether it be mass, length, emotional intensity, etc. To say otherwise would be a contradiction in terms (e.g.- Finite how and in what respect). This is where you lose me. Any clarification you can give on your essay pertaining to this would be helpful. If you have the time, I'd like to here your comments to my post #48 on page 2, since you were not a part of the discussion when I brought this topic up several months ago. As a sidenote, I feel this question is extremely important. I've heard others claim that philosophy is not practiced on the fringes of the universe. Claiming that this dicussion can serve no purpose in our everyday lives, but I disagree. The question of whether the universe is "eternal" (as Mr. Silverman uses the term) or is actually with time, mass, size etc. is of paramount importance. One implies primacy of existence, the other primacy of consciousness (created universe). being a student of Objectivism, I must integrate the solution into my consciousness, whatever solution that may be.
  6. This was discussed previously in this thread: http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.php?showtopic=192 In particular, post #68. I made similar objections which were never commented on. Added below for ease of reference... I've been busy with career concerns and have not been able to post for a while. I will recap to save others the time of digging through this thread... Assumptions about all that exists as it pertains to the concept 'universe' (not assumptions about 'existence')... All of x possess spacial boundaries (the sum of all that exists) Each and every x possesses a spacial boundary, a spacial boundary in this context defined as limits for the existent in categories such as mass, volume, etc... x is a physical existent I include the above because we are discussing the concept 'universe' (I.e.- What is 'out-there') and to distinquish a thing from its attributes and/or actions, which exist as relationships between existents, but they themselves have no physical extension. Whatever the primary constituents of physical existents are, we can be sure of two things. They exist, therefore possessing identity, and they exist finitely. When I speak of 'all that exists' in the context of this discussion, I mean all physical existents. At present I am not concerned with entities (mental or otherwise) or attributes of existents (even though they exist). I am concerned with whatever that fundamental building block(s) is(are) and its nature. This fundamental building block exists, has identity, exists finitely (even if we cannot measure it accurately), and it possesses spacial bounds (since it is a physical existent). This is all I am concerned with in this discussion, establishing this. The relationships between existents will be resolved accordingly. relationships between existents include the temporal All that exists, exist finitely (I.e.- Is limited in quantity) All that exists possesses spacial properties, and relationships between these existents include the temporal. The word is not the thing. The term 'universe' has two tenses. First, it is a collective noun of quantity. I agree when spoken of in this sense that time, space, etc. do not apply. How could they apply to a collective noun... But, when the concept 'universe' is taken in its literal sense, 'the sum of all that exists' it becomes limited. The concept 'sum' by its nature is limiting. If every existent is spacially bound, then all existents are spacially bound, and all that exists has a spacial boundary (I'm visualizing an imaginary sphere that includes all existents in its volume). The same goes for the temporal. If every existent is spacially bound, then existents have temporal relationships with other existents. The fact that you cannot compare the movement of everything to nothing, etc. does not matter. This speaks of the concept 'universe' in the collective noun sense, and stops there. The parts cannot contradict the whole (when a new entity is not involved, we have established the 'universe' is not an entity). If time and size are properties and relationships of all existents, and all that exists (all existents) have spacial and temporal properties. Then size and time apply to the whole (the whole being all existents). Our inability to measure this *quantity* of 'that which exists', does not negate the possiblity of a finite quantity 'that which exists', it just means we can't measure it at present. Now, I'll answer specifics if your post... This is true, solar system as you describe it would not be included. But, the individual existents that we, for convienience, collectively call 'solar system' are included. I am going broader that the concept planet, star, etc. I am speaking of that fundamental building block(s) of the physical existent, what ever that happens to be. 'Spacial boundary' in this context means those spacial properties possessed by that fundamental building block. I am not following you here... An 'existent' is something that exists, be it a thing, an attribute or an action. I use physical existent above to differentiate a thing from its attributes or actions. An 'Entity' is something that exists, be it a thing, an attribute or an action as percieved and integrated by a human consciousness (eventually, entities become regarded as units). I include these definitions to make sure we are discussing the same thing. My goal is to distinguish something that exists independent of human consciousness (existent), and something that exists independently and is perceived and integrated by a human consciousness (entity). You are correct, the 'universe' is not an entity. But I am also not speaking of entities, but existents. Existents, not entities, are ultimately the fundamental building block of 'all that exists' in the context of the 'universe'. To say that entities make up this fundamental building block is like saying somehow the 'universe' is predicated on human consciousness, or at the very least tied to it somehow. I am certain that the universe would still exist even if there were no consciousness to percieve it. As I noted above, the concept 'universe' is a collective noun of quantity and in this sense is an integration of our consciousness. As you noted in a previous post: "Universe is not an entity unto itself, possessing anything of itself, including any unique attributes, characteristics, etc.. There are ONLY the characteristics, attributes and relationships of those things included in the concept OF "universe" which is "all that exists". What are those things included in the concept 'universe'? All physical existents and all their properties, attributes, and relationships amongst themselves independent of the recognition of human consciousness.
  7. Thanks for the clairification... I was lumping knowledge and experience and it appears that this was unneccessary. I was thinking the 'sum of all that exists', which is existence, includes 'experiences', and that since some of those experiences could not be experienced, this limited what I could 'know' about existence/reality, which I use interchangably.
  8. To paraphrase, everything is knowable, but not everything is able to be experienced... Aren't 'experiences' part of all that exists? Yet some of them cannot be 'experienced' by me. This seems close to the 'unknowable', maybe the proper term is 'un-experienceable' (if this is a word)... The distinction seems minor when discussed in the context of 'the sum of all that exists'.
  9. My point was to show that some aspects of reality cannot be known (I.e.- perceiving through another's sense organs, and experienceing reality as they experience it), but that this has no bearing on objective reality or our understanding of it. Some things are unknowable... and this is not a threat to objectivism. Because the things that are unknowable have no bearing on my life, or how I live it. Paraphrasing my original post: ...I agree that this is irrelevant to understanding objective reality and has absolutely nothing to do with being human, but I also agree that it is an unknowable experience to a human consciousness, but a bat with this sensory experience does exist in objective reality... Maybe 'existence' would have been a better choice over 'reality'... I agree.
  10. I agree with this statement, but I am confused. I am thinking of a term that is presently without a word in my mind but its defintion would be: The sum of all that is objective reality and the sum of all subjective experiences from whatever source, past, present, and future. Defined this way, subjective experiences of another are unknowable (I.e- perceiving through something/someone elses sense organs for example). I believe this is the concept he was trying to communicate. I agree that this is irrelevant to understanding objective reality and has absolutely nothing to do with being human, but I also agree that it is an unknowable experience to a human consciousness, but a bat with this sensory experience does exist in objective reality.
  11. When Rand speaks of acceptance of the unearned in matter, could that be used to make a case against gambling? Would there be any difference between a gambler that does it for entertainment and prefers to win, but if they lose it is no large matter since it was the entertainment they sought not the money, and one that is in it to win the money? I consider the latter to be seeking the unearned in matter (money). I am concerened that 'entertainment' could be perverted to justify all kinds of actions.
  12. This is the continuation of a topic (that became off-topic) that occured several months ago... I would prefer to keep this discussion limited to the metaphysical nature of the universe and its fundamental ultimate constituents... Read the original discussion here: http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.p...topic=192&st=60 ===================================================== I've been busy with career concerns and have not been able to post for a while. I will recap to save others the time of digging through this thread... Assumptions about all that exists as it pertains to the concept 'universe' (not assumptions about 'existence')... All of x possess spacial boundaries (the sum of all that exists) QUOTE When you state: "All of x possess spacial boundaries" do you mean that each and every x possesses a "spacial" boundary? Or are you trying to say that the SUM of all that exists possesses a spatial boundary? (I assume it is the former, because the latter would be assuming what you are trying to prove, thus making the argument circular. However, I wanted to know for certain which it was you meant.) Each and every x possesses a spacial boundary, a spacial boundary in this context defined as limits for the existent in categories such as mass, volume, etc... x is a physical existent I include the above because we are discussing the concept 'universe' (I.e.- What is 'out-there') and to distinquish a thing from its attributes and/or actions, which exist as relationships between existents, but they themselves have no physical extension. Whatever the primary constituents of physical existents are, we can be sure of two things. They exist, therefore possessing identity, and they exist finitely. When I speak of 'all that exists' in the context of this discussion, I mean all physical existents. At present I am not concerned with entities (mental or otherwise) or attributes of existents (even though they exist). I am concerned with whatever that fundamental building block(s) is(are) and its nature. This fundamental building block exists, has identity, exists finitely (even if we cannot measure it accurately), and it possesses spacial bounds (since it is a physical existent). This is all I am concerned with in this discussion, establishing this. The relationships between existents will be resolved accordingly. relationships between existents include the temporal All that exists, exist finitely (I.e.- Is limited in quantity) All that exists possesses spacial properties, and relationships between these existents include the temporal. The word is not the thing. The term 'universe' has two tenses. First, it is a collective noun of quantity. I agree when spoken of in this sense that time, space, etc. do not apply. How could they apply to a collective noun... But, when the concept 'universe' is taken in its literal sense, 'the sum of all that exists' it becomes limited. The concept 'sum' by its nature is limiting. If every existent is spacially bound, then all existents are spacially bound, and all that exists has a spacial boundary (I'm visualizing an imaginary sphere that includes all existents in its volume). The same goes for the temporal. If every existent is spacially bound, then existents have temporal relationships with other existents. The fact that you cannot compare the movement of everything to nothing, etc. does not matter. This speaks of the concept 'universe' in the collective noun sense, and stops there. The parts cannot contradict the whole (when a new entity is not involved, we have established the 'universe' is not an entity). If time and size are properties and relationships of all existents, and all that exists (all existents) have spacial and temporal properties. Then size and time apply to the whole (the whole being all existents). Our inability to measure this *quantity* of 'that which exists', does not negate the possiblity of a finite quantity 'that which exists', it just means we can't measure it at present. Now, I'll answer specifics if your post... QUOTE Furthermore, what is your definition of spatial boundary? Your referent for it is "physical existent". As such, conceptual boundaries would not be included. For instance, "solar system", while an existent, is not a *physical* existent. It is a *relationship* between physical existents. As such, it would be excluded from your "assumptions". This is true, solar system as you describe it would not be included. But, the individual existents that we, for convienience, collectively call 'solar system' are included. I am going broader that the concept planet, star, etc. I am speaking of that fundamental building block(s) of the physical existent, what ever that happens to be. 'Spacial boundary' in this context means those spacial properties possessed by that fundamental building block. QUOTE So it appears, then, that your x refers *specifically* to entities and not to any other form of existent. Since we have already established that "universe" is NOT an entity, and since the above statement refers specifically TO entities, then whatever is said above does NOT apply to the concept "universe". I am not following you here... An 'existent' is something that exists, be it a thing, an attribute or an action. I use physical existent above to differentiate a thing from its attributes or actions. An 'Entity' is something that exists, be it a thing, an attribute or an action as percieved and integrated by a human consciousness (eventually, entities become regarded as units). I include these definitions to make sure we are discussing the same thing. My goal is to distinguish something that exists independent of human consciousness (existent), and something that exists independently and is perceived and integrated by a human consciousness (entity). You are correct, the 'universe' is not an entity. But I am also not speaking of entities, but existents. Existents, not entities, are ultimately the fundamental building block of 'all that exists' in the context of the 'universe'. To say that entities make up this fundamental building block is like saying somehow the 'universe' is predicated on human consciousness, or at the very least tied to it somehow. I am certain that the universe would still exist even if there were no consciousness to percieve it. As I noted above, the concept 'universe' is a collective noun of quantity and in this sense is an integration of our consciousness. As you noted in a previous post: "Universe is not an entity unto itself, possessing anything of itself, including any unique attributes, characteristics, etc.. There are ONLY the characteristics, attributes and relationships of those things included in the concept OF "universe" which is "all that exists". What are those things included in the concept 'universe'? All physical existents and all their properties, attributes, and relationships amongst themselves independent of the recognition of human consciousness. ===================================================== I have been unable to answer several questions... At a minimum please read the above summary of the previous thread. I am not interested in rehashing those old discussions from that previous thread (or off-topics). a) Based on the perspective of consciousness, I can understand that the universe is unbounded (I.e. - There is no practical way for the human mind to fully map or explore it all, this is similar to the statement in another topic that natural resources are unlimited, unlimited from the perspective of human consciousness, not metaphysically unlimited). Where I seem to 'stray' is when I apply this to the metaphysical nature of the universe independent of consciousness (I.e.- As if no consciousness existed to perceive it). Since metaphysical infinites (unboundedness) cannot exist, and it is irrelevent if the human mind cannot measure the totality of the universe (the inability to measure a thing, does not automatically deny an actual metaphysical measurement exists). I would appreciate any comments... I will post my other questions later, this is my main quandry and the last step in my elimination from my consciousness of that anti-concept 'god'.
  13. Here is an 'ethical quiz' I ran across while reading the news online. I took it as an opportunity to saturate the mainstream media with my objectivist views. Here is the link for any who are interested... Ethical Quiz
  14. By core, I hope you mean Courts, Law Enforcement, and Military only... Most government services today are not core services. Just cutting those programs could result in huge savings. This was the proper method of direct taxation (apportionment by census) supported by the U.S. Constitution before the 16th Amendment. Indirect taxation could be supported by tariffs etc. I personally would not have a problem with this form of government funding. In this context, it would only be applicable for a 'gold standard' economy, not our current fiat money economy. The first step is to get back on the gold standard. Freedom and Force cannot co-exist in the long-term... The only viable option is the contractual requirement of citizenship. Yes it is. But paying for it does not always require taxation. There are other avenues. For example, nothing prevents the government from hiring gold miners to mine gold for the national treasury or nothing prevents the government from charging a reasonable fee to insure contracts (as Rand states in one of her essays).
  15. Would it be possible to include a 'printer friendly' link at the bottom of a thread that allowed you to print all the pages in a thread in a 'printer friendly' format. Currently, you have to go to each page and print. I have seen this done on other forums... Nevermind, I just saw the 'Print this topic' option...
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