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Primacy of Nature Over Reason

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Steve-n
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You really seem to have problems with realizing these two things:

a) The conditions by which your existence comes to exist (nature) are not the primary motive that sustains your life. Your heart is an involuntary muscle that helps circulate your blood, your cerebellum regulates your breathing, that's fine, but neither provide the immediate means by which these functions can be continued indeterminately.

B) In order for your heart to continue to beat, in order for your organism to maintain an optimal level of energy, you require sustenance. Unlike animals, humans do not have packages of automatic knowledge that will tell them how to build a shelter, how to get cheese from a cow, or how a vaccine may be created. It is reason, and though its use, in varying degrees, that man is able to =sustain= his life. Whether it be a limited use of reason such as the edification of a very rudimentary hut in the amazon or an advanced one such as the creation of a skyscraper, the trapping and devouring of raw meat or the preparation of a filet mignon or a Chateaubriand.

Nature merely makes the necessary conditions for the existence of life available, but it does nothing more than merely existing. The sustenance of the life of man requires reason.

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You guys keep setting up Nature vs Reason. I am not arguing that. I am just agreeing with the context in which the article I posted put reason. Your own biological nature sustains you, it is inclusive of the reasoning faculty. The merry go round will keep spinning when you stop pretending your driving.

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The merry go round will keep spinning when you stop pretending your driving.

are you then suggesting by this that nothing is in our control?

will my body continue to function when I decide not to control feeding myself?

Will my legs automatically take me to shelter and warmth.

yes metaphysically reality will continue with or without you but your life will not.

some things are in our control and some things aren't.

just because nature came before reason doesn't mean reason is automatically the more limited of the two. You have to use reason to come to your idea that reason can't give answers to the mystery of our existence. So according to your own reasoning you have come up with an aspect of the answer to the mystery of our own existence, therefore showing that reason has told us something about the mystery of our own existence.

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Do you really not understand the implications of that sentence?

No I don't think he does.

Without trying to be rude, this honestly feels like he is basing his argument completely off the original link, doesn't understand the implications of the original link's position, and is now scrounging around in the darkness grasping in the air. How about this, Steve, please restate your position, in full, and properly clarified with examples. Then we can resolve this entire discussion in about 2 to 3 posts. There is too much confusion and obfuscation going on here, when this is really a fairly simple matter.

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great questions.

are you then suggesting by this that nothing is in our control?

Nope. There is no separate entity "you" or "I" exiting apart from nature that can either have or not have control over anything. Your will as an independent sovereign entity is a manifestation of nature, your nature, the same way that a lion's will is the will of nature. You cannot go against your own nature / change the direction of the merry go round.

I am suggesting dropping that delusion.

will my body continue to function when I decide not to control feeding myself?

false question as it is not in your biological nature to do that. well it might be in rare unhealthy aberrations.

Will my legs automatically take me to shelter and warmth.

yes metaphysically reality will continue with or without you but your life will not.

some things are in our control and some things aren't.

just because nature came before reason doesn't mean reason is automatically the more limited of the two. You have to use reason to come to your idea that reason can't give answers to the mystery of our existence. So according to your own reasoning you have come up with an aspect of the answer to the mystery of our own existence, therefore showing that reason has told us something about the mystery of our own existence.

reason can give you concepts about the mystery of our existence. the concept water won't quench your thirst.

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No I don't think he does.

Without trying to be rude, this honestly feels like he is basing his argument completely off the original link, doesn't understand the implications of the original link's position, and is now scrounging around in the darkness grasping in the air. How about this, Steve, please restate your position, in full, and properly clarified with examples. Then we can resolve this entire discussion in about 2 to 3 posts. There is too much confusion and obfuscation going on here, when this is really a fairly simple matter.

Not sure why you would ask this if you read the article, as I am saying I agree with the position that is clearly presented. Simply put, reasoning is one of the functions of man's nature. It is not the master of his nature, it is one of the servants. Reasoning aids in the fulfillment of your needs/desires which are according to your nature. Reasoning alone is not sufficient. Simple example, if you are in a split-second life or death situation, it is not your reasoning faculty that will save you (or fail to). The reasoning mind can never have the reigns over reality/nature as all reasoning is done in service of nature/reality. When delusions cease we exist in perfect harmony with nature.

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Not sure why you would ask this if you read the article, as I am saying I agree with the position that is clearly presented. Simply put, reasoning is one of the functions of man's nature. It is not the master of his nature, it is one of the servants. Reasoning aids in the fulfillment of your needs/desires which are according to your nature. Reasoning alone is not sufficient. Simple example, if you are in a split-second life or death situation, it is not your reasoning faculty that will save you (or fail to). The reasoning mind can never have the reigns over reality/nature as all reasoning is done in service of nature/reality. When delusions cease we exist in perfect harmony with nature.

So, here's a great question. How does one know if one is in a life or death situation if not for reason? The mind must identify several factors whether you like it or not. That "split-second reaction" is made possible only by your previous rational identifications, which allows you to make a split-second judgment.

Second, reason does not reign or service. Reason cannot act. It is a cognitive tool for understand reality, so your point is invalid. So long as something is perceivable, or derived from perception, it can be rationally understood. In this sense, there is no difference between an atom or a baseball. Both have characteristics, both exist, and thus both are subject to understanding by the human mind. There may be gaps in knowledge, but that is not a fault of reason, just the fault of the observers. Reason is the only thing which can bring someone to such a gap and is the only thing that can fill it.

Where is the delusion in this? There isn't one. The delusion is all yours in thinking that reason is not the master of man's nature. It's the source of his concepts of value, of his understanding of the world, and his actions. And if it's not the sum, what is? Intution? Faith? Because those are not valid approaches and are not natural for man. Reason is the only valid approach.

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There is no separate entity "you" or "I" exiting apart from nature that can either have or not have control over anything.

How can you say this......it is self evident that I exist apart from nature and do have control over reality in a very distinct context. Your statement also implies that you then don't have control over your thoughts so then why are we even discussing this if nature already has determined the thoughts we must have.

Your will as an independent sovereign entity is a manifestation of nature, your nature, the same way that a lion's will is the will of nature. You cannot go against your own nature / change the direction of the merry go round.

You are not making any room for the fact that humans choose to go against their own nature all the time, yes reality will be the final judge but non the less it shows we have free will. We are not a lion, a lion's will is natures will because it doesn't have reason and reason's corollary free will.

false question as it is not in your biological nature to do that. well it might be in rare unhealthy aberrations.

My point is that our free will's existence is proven by the fact that we can act against our biological nature. I'm not saying that we should.

but take for example myself. i have a genetic bone disorder that causes my bones to fracture very easily. if it weren't for my free will I would be a pile of flesh in a bed, or even dead. If it were not for reason my biological nature would have terminated me. My very existence is proof of free will.

reason can give you concepts about the mystery of our existence. the concept water won't quench your thirst.

Are you implying that concepts have no relation to reality? No the concept water won't quench your thirst, but it can tell you how to quench your thirst.

Nature can tell you that you are thirsty but how to quench it, in the best most efficient way, is for reason to tell.

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So, here's a great question. How does one know if one is in a life or death situation if not for reason? The mind must identify several factors whether you like it or not. That "split-second reaction" is made possible only by your previous rational identifications, which allows you to make a split-second judgment.

My example is a life or death situation requiring a split-second decision. Whether you like it or not, the mind has insufficient time to reason in certain situations.

Second, reason does not reign or service. Reason cannot act. It is a cognitive tool for understand reality, so your point is invalid.

Of course reason cannot act. I never said it did. The flesh and blood human being alone can act. He's the master. Reason can only act as his advisor/servant, but ultimately he is the decider and the doer.

So long as something is perceivable, or derived from perception, it can be rationally understood. In this sense, there is no difference between an atom or a baseball. Both have characteristics, both exist, and thus both are subject to understanding by the human mind. There may be gaps in knowledge, but that is not a fault of reason, just the fault of the observers. Reason is the only thing which can bring someone to such a gap and is the only thing that can fill it.

Where is the delusion in this? There isn't one. The delusion is all yours in thinking that reason is not the master of man's nature. It's the source of his concepts of value, of his understanding of the world, and his actions. And if it's not the sum, what is? Intution? Faith? Because those are not valid approaches and are not natural for man. Reason is the only valid approach.

Man's nature is the master of man's nature. Reasoning is PART of that. That part is not greater than the whole. That is your delusion.

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You seriously need to hang up the trappings of Heidegger and company before there can be a rational discourse with you. As long as you are thus attired, you're wearing the rags of madmen. And please, any more mentions of "Dasein" should be summarily avoided.

No reasoning is provided here. So by the rules of objectivism, I cannot comply.

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How can you say this......it is self evident that I exist apart from nature and do have control over reality in a very distinct context. Your statement also implies that you then don't have control over your thoughts so then why are we even discussing this if nature already has determined the thoughts we must have.

You are a flesh and blood human being. You are no more apart from nature than any other biological organism. The fact that we have a reasoning faculty does not put up a wall between ourselves and the physical world. There is no separate me apart from nature to either control or not control my thoughts. I think according to my nature, as does everyone else.

You are not making any room for the fact that humans choose to go against their own nature all the time, yes reality will be the final judge but non the less it shows we have free will. We are not a lion, a lion's will is natures will because it doesn't have reason and reason's corollary free will.

I am not making any room for the "fact" because it is not one. I'll use your example below.

My point is that our free will's existence is proven by the fact that we can act against our biological nature. I'm not saying that we should.

but take for example myself. i have a genetic bone disorder that causes my bones to fracture very easily. if it weren't for my free will I would be a pile of flesh in a bed, or even dead. If it were not for reason my biological nature would have terminated me. My very existence is proof of free will.

In your case it is in your nature to have not surrendered to your disorder. Free will does not exist outside of the boundaries of our nature. You can think that a certain action is in your nature and then do the opposite and think you have acted against your biological nature, but it is the action that is taken which reveals your nature. This obvious when reason is seen as not being apart from nature.

Are you implying that concepts have no relation to reality? No the concept water won't quench your thirst, but it can tell you how to quench your thirst.

Nature can tell you that you are thirsty but how to quench it, in the best most efficient way, is for reason to tell.

No, what I am saying is that in the same way that the concept water won't quench your thirst, any conceptual understanding you acquire about the "mystery of our existence" will not fulfill you either. I put it in quotes because only to the mind that pretends to stand apart from nature/reality is there any mystery. Hence, the reason philosophy even exists. Those free of delusions have no need for philosophy.

Edited by Steve-n
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You are a flesh and blood human being. You are no more apart from nature than any other biological organism. The fact that we have a reasoning faculty does not put up a wall between ourselves and the physical world. There is no separate me apart from nature to either control or not control my thoughts. I think according to my nature, as does everyone else.

I am not making any room for the "fact" because it is not one. I'll use your example below.

In your case it is in your nature to have not surrendered to your disorder. Free will does not exist outside of the boundaries of our nature. You can think that a certain action is in your nature and then do the opposite and think you have acted against your biological nature, but it is the action that is taken which reveals your nature. This obvious when reason is seen as not being apart from nature.

No, what I am saying is that in the same way that the concept water won't quench your thirst, any conceptual understanding you acquire about the "mystery of our existence" will not fulfill you either. I put it in quotes because on to the mind that pretends to start apart from nature/reality is there any mystery.

It isn't my intention to be condescending, so please forgive me if I come across as such; but some of your posts, such as your last one, have been somewhat incoherent. It just doesn't really seem as if you're saying anything.

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My example is a life or death situation requiring a split-second decision. Whether you like it or not, the mind has insufficient time to reason in certain situations.

you have said nothing here in regard to what Daneil Casper pointed out;"That 'split-second reaction' is made possible only by your previous rational identifications, which allows you to make a split-second judgment." Hes saying that reason programs your mind to be able to make that split second decision. Your statement of "the mind has insufficient time to reason in certain situations" is a true statement but is only restating what you said in the first place in regard to this, and in no way proves that we are still not using reason as something that has programed your instant reactions.

Of course reason cannot act. I never said it did. The flesh and blood human being alone can act. He's the master. Reason can only act as his advisor/servant, but ultimately he is the decider and the doer.

There is no separate me apart from nature to either control or not control my thoughts. I think according to my nature, as does everyone else.

these two statement contradict each other. If there is no separate "you" apart from nature to either control or not control your thoughts, then who is the decider and the doer? And if reason can't act, then how can reason "act" as ones adviser/servant?

In your case it is in your nature to have not surrendered to your disorder.

That is false. I was born with this disability and it wrecked havoc on me psychologically along with the current zeitgeist. I was suicidal through most of my adolescence until in college I really tried to commit suicide and came very close to dying. I decided to really look for the answer but as I searched i would find my self going down the same path, epistemologically. It was reading the Fountainhead that broke me of my bad view of existence. I very much surrendered to my disorder until I realized an accurate philosophy.

Free will does not exist outside of the boundaries of our nature. You can think that a certain action is in your nature and then do the opposite and think you have acted against your biological nature, but it is the action that is taken which reveals your nature. This obvious when reason is seen as not being apart from nature.

Nothing exists outside the boundaries of nature, and I haven't said otherwise. I do not see reason as not being a part of nature. I can know a certain action is in my nature if it leads to the destruction of my life. No the action is not what reveals your nature, it is the Law of Identity which reveals your nature, the action the entity takes reveals the efficiency of that entity to maintain its current state of existence within nature, or its identity.

No, what I am saying is that in the same way that the concept water won't quench your thirst, any conceptual understanding you acquire about the "mystery of our existence" will not fulfill you either. I put it in quotes because only to the mind that pretends to stand apart from nature/reality is there any mystery. Hence, the reason philosophy even exists. Those free of delusions have no need for philosophy.

Speak for yourself. Conceptual understanding is exactly what fulfills me. If you are not fulfilled by conceptual understanding of existence maybe you aren't conceptualizing properly. And I never pretended or said that existence is a mystery, you did, I was merely quoting your post.

if thoughts who are free of delusion have no need of philosophy then why are they writing on it. If nature determines our thoughts then there is no need for you to try to persuade anyone because nature will supposedly take care of it for you.

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No reasoning is provided here. So by the rules of objectivism, I cannot comply.

You are not an Objectivist, you do not follow the philosophy of Objectivism, you are arguing things contradictory to Objectivism, you do not understand Objectivism, and you are saying Objectivism takes stances on things that it does not take those stances on. The "rules" of Objectivism (I have no idea what that even means) do not apply to you.

You need to start over. No rational conversation can be had here and no end to this conversation can occur because you don't even understand the perspective we take on this issue and terms are not properly defined, you are using different definitions than us, and you have contradicted yourself numerous times, often in the sentence or paragraph right after, leading me to believe you are not even completely certain what you are saying.

I suggest you read the beginning, part 1 and part 2 of this: http://wiki.objectivismonline.net/wiki/Main_Page

I also suggest you read this:

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/primacy_...sciousness.html

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/analytic..._dichotomy.html

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/axiomatic_concepts.html

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/consciousness.html

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/automatization.html

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/causality.html

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/determinism.html

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/existence.html

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/free_will.html

Please read those before posting again. It will be quite obvious if you have not. You are all over the place, your definitions are not very clear and are different than the ones we are using for important terms in the conversation, and you are essentially wasting everyone's time, including your own, until you get your argument together and properly clarified (yes I know, the original article, whatever) and I would also like to mention your comments about how when we are not in agreeance with you our view is a "delusion" are not warranted nor appreciated and create a conversational environment that is not at all progressive, and for the love of god, pick up OPAR. It has already been stated that this discussion could be over (it should have been already, but apparently the key points aren't getting across so I guess we have to do it this way) in a few posts at most if you would just start over and do what you have been asked to do on multiple occasions by multiple people.

Edited by Lisa Brincks
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You are not an Objectivist, you do not follow the philosophy of Objectivism, you are arguing things contradictory to Objectivism, you do not understand Objectivism, and you are saying Objectivism takes stances on things that it does not take those stances on. The "rules" of Objectivism (I have no idea what that even means) do not apply to you.

I am not an objectivist, I was responding to an objectivist and pointing out the hypocrisy. I do not identify myself other a follower of anyone's belief system or philosophy. I think for myself, it may sound like a radical idea to you.

You need to start over. No rational conversation can be had here and no end to this conversation can occur because you don't even understand the perspective we take on this issue and terms are not properly defined, you are using different definitions than us, and you have contradicted yourself numerous times, often in the sentence or paragraph right after, leading me to believe you are not even completely certain what you are saying.

Yet, you cannot even refute a single thing I've said. These are just vague accusations without any specifics.

I suggest you read...

Read.

Please read those before posting again. It will be quite obvious if you have not.

Please read the article I posted to start this thread if you are interested in discussion.

You are all over the place, your definitions are not very clear and are different than the ones we are using for important terms in the conversation, and you are essentially wasting everyone's time, including your own, until you get your argument together and properly clarified (yes I know, the original article, whatever) and I would also like to mention your comments about how when we are not in agreeance with you our view is a "delusion" are not warranted nor appreciated and create a conversational environment that is not at all progressive, and for the love of god, pick up OPAR. It has already been stated that this discussion could be over (it should have been already, but apparently the key points aren't getting across so I guess we have to do it this way) in a few posts at most if you would just start over and do what you have been asked to do on multiple occasions by multiple people.

Just because I do not agree with what you and others have said does not mean I don't understand the "key points." From what I've heard from most objectivists, Atlas Shrugged (which I've read) is a comprehensive presentation of her philosophy. The recommendation to read OPAR only seems to come from behind when they are challenged and cannot defend their own views. Nonetheless, I will check it out as I do want to see her attempts at refuting points I've made here, if she has made such attempts.

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I am not an objectivist, I was responding to an objectivist and pointing out the hypocrisy. I do not identify myself other a follower of anyone's belief system or philosophy. I think for myself, it may sound like a radical idea to you.

Yet, you cannot even refute a single thing I've said. These are just vague accusations without any specifics.

Read.

Please read the article I posted to start this thread if you are interested in discussion.

Just because I do not agree with what you and others have said does not mean I don't understand the "key points." From what I've heard from most objectivists, Atlas Shrugged (which I've read) is a comprehensive presentation of her philosophy. The recommendation to read OPAR only seems to come from behind when they are challenged and cannot defend their own views. Nonetheless, I will check it out as I do want to see her attempts at refuting points I've made here, if she has made such attempts.

To be fair, you have not really said anything which anyone can "refute." I've been keeping abreast of this thread and I've noticed that you really haven't said anything. You are discursive and equivocal (and, I may add, a bit snide), which makes it difficult to comprehend what exactly you have been trying to communicate.

Also, I would read OPAR if I were you. Atlas Shrugged is indispensable, but OPAR covers Objectivism far more comprehensively.

Edited by Nicko0301
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" I think for myself, it may sound like a radical idea to you."

Nope, although this would explain why your posts have been nothing more than vaguely coherent at best or been references back to your original link, while others here have made fair arguments, of which the most stumping propositions (from your position in the discussion) you have ignored on several accounts. You might want to work on your own ability if you think you can properly understand this philosophy by reading a fiction work and nothing else.

The reason no one has "refuted" your arguments is because the way you are going about it, it is near impossible, yet you continue to ignore these comments and continue on your merry way because you don't want to have a proper discussion of the matter. Either that, or when you have run into arguments against what you have said, you either misinterpret them, or don't understand our definitions, or some other conversational issue that is brought about by your misunderstanding of our philosophical views. The reason I personally haven't made any thorough arguments is because of the issues I just mentioned, it would be a pointless and wasted effort.

Also, Atlas Shrugged is much much easier to understand in the philosophical sense in regards to a fully realized fictional interpretation of the philosophy if you have read some of the non-fiction first. That, as well as the fact that some of the things you are trying to discuss here are difficult to produce properly within the fictional setting.

Just because I do not agree with what you and others have said does not mean I don't understand the "key points."

This is not what I said. You obviously don't understand the key points based on this thread, there are things that you are saying that have made this more than abundantly clear. We could highlight all of these comments but I have a feeling that it would not be worth the effort involved.

The recommendation to read OPAR only seems to come from behind when they are challenged and cannot defend their own views. Nonetheless, I will check it out as I do want to see her attempts at refuting points I've made here, if she has made such attempts.

This is quite an assumption. Why?

Because:

1. Someone here has already told you that there is a specific section in OPAR that addresses this issue quite specifically.

2. There have been just as many mentions of other sources (including by myself), online, that would take very little of your time as partial substitutes to assist in this conversation which you seem to continue to wish to evade so that you may keep bringing up this argument that we are evading through this one book.

I am not trying to be rude here, and I apologize if it comes off that way. What I am basically saying is that you should wait until you are serious about this discussion and have the proper background knowledge to discuss it in a way that will actually progress this discussion, because no one wants to waste their time here, and I don't want you to waste your own time either, but thats exactly what has been occurring.

Edited by Lisa Brincks
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Also note that on all the other threads on this forum we provide good reasons for our positions. You and your friend Heidegger did not come up with some amazing philosophical insight that has stumped us, its because this thread is a mess. So kindly desist with the evasion/delusion comments.

Edited by Lisa Brincks
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To be fair, you have not really said anything which anyone can "refute." I've been keeping abreast of this thread and I've noticed that you really haven't said anything. You are discursive and equivocal (and, I may add, a bit snide), which makes it difficult to comprehend what exactly you have been trying to communicate.

Also, I would read OPAR if I were you. Atlas Shrugged is indispensable, but OPAR covers Objectivism far more comprehensively.

My intention was simply to share an article, and see how objectivists on this discussion board would respond to it. People posted their criticisms of the article and I responded to those. That's all. If something I said is unclear to you, address it specifically and I will clarify.

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Alright, Lisa or anyone else. Since I'm supposedly evasive, unclear and missing the key points, let's make this real simple. If you are actually seeking clarification, then please state what are the "stumping propositions" that I've ignored. Please list them all in a single post (you can copy&paste) and I can address them one by one. Cannot be anymore clear than that.

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you have said nothing here in regard to what Daneil Casper pointed out;"That 'split-second reaction' is made possible only by your previous rational identifications, which allows you to make a split-second judgment." Hes saying that reason programs your mind to be able to make that split second decision. Your statement of "the mind has insufficient time to reason in certain situations" is a true statement but is only restating what you said in the first place in regard to this, and in no way proves that we are still not using reason as something that has programed your instant reactions.

Yet, the programming of instant reactions occurred at a specific time. What about situations occurring prior to that programming? Man does not have a programmed-by-reason response to all split-second situations he may find himself in.

these two statement contradict each other. If there is no separate "you" apart from nature to either control or not control your thoughts, then who is the decider and the doer? And if reason can't act, then how can reason "act" as ones adviser/servant?

No contradiction. The decider and the doer are the human being. The human being has free will. And all the choices he makes will be according to his nature. No entity exists apart from the flesh and blood human being that can either have free will or lack it, that can obey/disobey its nature. No ghost in the machine.

That is false. I was born with this disability and it wrecked havoc on me psychologically along with the current zeitgeist. I was suicidal through most of my adolescence until in college I really tried to commit suicide and came very close to dying. I decided to really look for the answer but as I searched i would find my self going down the same path, epistemologically. It was reading the Fountainhead that broke me of my bad view of existence. I very much surrendered to my disorder until I realized an accurate philosophy.

You have a powerful story. Others who have been suicidal and made full recoveries have never heard of the Fountainhead. The capacity for change was in your nature, the Fountainhead served as a catalyst.

Nothing exists outside the boundaries of nature, and I haven't said otherwise. I do not see reason as not being a part of nature. I can know a certain action is in my nature if it leads to the destruction of my life. No the action is not what reveals your nature, it is the Law of Identity which reveals your nature, the action the entity takes reveals the efficiency of that entity to maintain its current state of existence within nature, or its identity.

The law of identity states A is A. Let's say A is Adam. Adam is Adam. He has a certain nature. He can only act according to it. If he acted otherwise, he would not be Adam.

Speak for yourself. Conceptual understanding is exactly what fulfills me. If you are not fulfilled by conceptual understanding of existence maybe you aren't conceptualizing properly.

I'm glad you find conceptual understanding fulfilling. I prefer the taste of an orange to the concept of delicious.

And I never pretended or said that existence is a mystery, you did, I was merely quoting your post.

if thoughts who are free of delusion have no need of philosophy then why are they writing on it.

I enjoy sharing my perspective.

If nature determines our thoughts then there is no need for you to try to persuade anyone because nature will supposedly take care of it for you.

If you see that your reasoning mind is part of nature then it is obvious that nature has been taking care of you all along. Reasoning is just one of the ways.

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