Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Thoughts on an article on the concept "universe"? by Alex S.

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

In this example you bring in relationships that involve consciousness, as in "my mind perceives existence," and so of course that relationship would not exist without consciousness.  But that's like saying the ball-on-the-table relationship above wouldn't exist if there were never any balls or tables--true, but beside the point.

Thanks for your comments!

The ball-on-the-table relationsship wouldn't exist unless there first existed a relationsship between the fact of perception and the fact of perceptual data. Yes, it is true that entities exist independent of our awareness or knowledge of them. No, it is not true that perceptual data exist independent of any perception.

What I don't understand is how the totality of perceptual data -- or any aspects, characteristics or measurments inferred from that data -- could be said to be equivalent of the totality of existence. The theme for my focus here is: The invalidity of treating the non-omission of epistemological measurements as the objective metaphysical starting point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think in saying the universe has mass, The Durande may be relying on the law of physics which says to find the mass of a collection you add the masses of all the things in the collection.

But that rule is not an an a priori given, it itself is derived from observation, and the observations it came from were not the whole universe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you mean by "objective truth?"

Let me first say that in a sense, I think "objective truth" is a redundancy, just like "free will" (there is only truth and will). Truth is the recognition of existence by will. There is no will apart from consciousness. There is no consciousness apart from existence.

You do not see why the existence of an objective reality is consistent with a primacy of existence metaphysics?

Yes, I can see that the existence of "objective reality" is consistent with the primacy of existence metaphysics. But I cannot see that "objective reality", when used in the sense of being equivalent to "physical reality" (which includes matter, space, time, mass, size et cetera), IS the total of existence!

Can you bake an apple-pie without using any apples as ingredients? No? Then how can you ascribe facts ("time") to existence qua existence when those facts themselves are derived from the specific relationsship between your consciousness' mode of perception/cogniton and the data you perceive and integrate? Do I misunderstand your point?

Existence exists independent of consciousness -- and thus also independent of any relationsship between consciousness and existence. I am not claiming that the objective facts of reality are manufactured by consciousness -- on the contrary. Entitites are "out there" independent of consciousness. Consciousness is identification of entities and their relationsships, attributes, quantities, qualities et cetera.

Now, the way I see it, there is an important distinction to make between the aspect of existence -- i.e. physical reality -- as it is perceived by a consciousness, and existence as a primary axiom. I am not saying that there is a Kantian "reality as it really is". Again, on the contrary, paraphrasing Ayn Rand -- perception must exist in some form, but may exist in any form.

I am saying, however, that (objective) physical reality is not the equivalent of the total of existence. Yes, physical reality is an aspect (or subset) of existence, as it is perceived and grasped by human consciousness. But, no, the physical reality of existing entities do not constitute existence as a total.

Thus: One cannot blank out the apples and keep the apple-pie. And one cannot blank out consciousness and keep the perceptual data of consciousness by calling it "objective reality". (That sounds like Materialism or Naive Realism to me.) Yes, the source of that perception is independent of your consciousness. No, the data itself is not independent of the relationsship between your consciousness and existence. All measurements and abstractions are made within the contexts of that relationsship -- that's why I cannot ascribe "space" or "time" or "size" or "mass" to Existence, but have no problem in ascribing them to physical reality. They are objective facts to be discovered within the sphere of human cognition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see equivocation on the word "has" to mean both "includes" and "can be ascribed the characteristic of." 

Lake Erie includes mass and possesses the characteristic of mass.  Ditto for the book.  But "population" does NOT have the characteristic of mass.  "Population" is a NUMBER, a COUNT of a group of people such as the number of residents in Boston.  The population includes people, but it lacks many of the characteristics of people such as an age, a romantic partner, and the need to choose a career.

Thus, it is two entirely DIFFERENT things to say that --

The universe includes entities that have mass -- which is true

-- and --

The universe ITSELF is an entity possessing the characteristic of mass.

Would you feel better if I used the noun "populace" instead of "population"?????

Geez, are we nit-picking a bit???

There are anti-lock brakes in my car. My car HAS anti-lock brakes. I really don't know any other way to say it. This is painful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I don't understand is how the totality of perceptual data -- or any aspects, characteristics or measurments inferred from that data -- could be said to be equivalent of the totality of existence.

You may be equivocating on "equivalent." No one here has claimed that attributes and relationships are exactly the same as entities. Attributes are attributes of entities, and relationships are relationships among entities. Entities have an independent existence, but attributes and relationships do not exist independently, they do not exist apart from entities. But they are still part of metaphysical reality. If not, what it is that we abstract when we abstract away attributes from entities? What is it that we identify when we identify relationships among entities. The alternative would be that we create these things, and this is primacy of consciousness. It is one of the great achievements of Objectivism that it recognizes the objective nature of reality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I don't understand is how the totality of perceptual data -- or any aspects, characteristics or measurments inferred from that data -- could be said to be equivalent of the totality of existence.

Entities have an independent existence, but attributes and relationships do not exist independently, they do not  exist apart from entities. But they are still part of metaphysical reality.

Would your response be any different if I rephrased myself to this instead:

What I don't understand is how the totality of perceptually based data -- or any entities, aspects, characteristics or measurments inferred from that data -- could be said to be equivalent of the totality of existence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are anti-lock brakes in my car.  My car HAS anti-lock brakes. I really don't know any other way to say it.  This is painful.

The concept "transportation" refers to all devices for moving people or goods that have ever existed, that exist now or will ever exist in the future -- including your car with anti-lock brakes. Would it be proper, then, to state that transportation has anti-lock brakes? Or, for that matter, would it make any sense to state that the universe has anti-lock brakes?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would your response be any different if I rephrased myself to this instead:

What I don't understand is how the totality of perceptually based data -- or any entities, aspects, characteristics or measurments inferred from that data -- could be said to be equivalent of the totality of existence.

What you are actually asking is a bit unclear to me. First, what does "the totality of perceptually based data" mean? To me, the closest meaning I can attach to this is "the totality of our knowledge," because all that we know is, in fact, based on the perceptual level. Second, does "entities, aspects, characteristics or measurments inferred from that data" mean that you think entities and characteristics of entities are inferred, rather than directly perceived? You need to clarify these before we can proceed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now I'm lost. The relationsship between consciousness and existence cannot exist unless there first is an existing consciousness and an existence. If consciousness is discarded, the entire relationsship cease to exist as well. In that sense, the relationsship between consciousness and existence doesn't exist independent of consciousness.

Relationships still exist, even without anyone there to observe their existence. However, if there were no observers at all, the concepts of the relationship (or the act of grasping the relationship) would not exist.

For example, the physical laws of the universe would remain even if no one were around to observe them. However, the science we call physics would not.

I'd like to add my two cents in on the "does the universe have mass" question, by asking whether this question has any relevance whatsoever. From a Newtonian standpoint, mass quantifies the amount of intertia a body is supposed to have (F = ma). Since the universe doesn't accelerate, and you can't apply a force to it either, why should we care whether the universe has mass or not?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The concept "transportation" refers to all devices for moving people or goods that have ever existed, that exist now or will ever exist in the future -- including your car with anti-lock brakes.  Would it be proper, then, to state that transportation has anti-lock brakes?  Or, for that matter, would it make any sense to state that the universe has anti-lock brakes?

From what I have seen in this thread, The Durande refuses to see that his statement "the universe has mass" has the same invalid meaning as the statement "the universe has anti-lock brakes".

You could give examples of "the universe has [insert invalid characteristic pertaining to the concept of universe here]" until you are blue in the face, but I'm beginning to doubt that he will ever concede his error in thinking, to himself or anyone else. I empathize, I hate to admit that I'm wrong too, but Durande enough is enough.

Edited by Bryan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What you are actually asking is a bit unclear to me. First, what does "the totality of perceptually based data" mean? To me, the closest meaning I can attach to this is "the totality of our knowledge," because all that we know is, in fact, based on the perceptual level.

Ok, let's call it that: the totality of perceptually based knowledge. In a more general sense, I mean all the content of a person's mind, i.e. the contents of consciousness.

Second,  does "entities, aspects, characteristics or measurments inferred from that data" mean that you think entities and characteristics of entities are inferred, rather than directly perceived?

Maybe "induced" is a better word than "inferred" here. (I have some minor difficulties expressing myself in English. For instance, I just noticed that I have repeatedly misspelled "measurements" as "measurments" in my previous posts.)

To clarify myself: Yes, I think that entities and characteristics of entities are directly perceived by the perceiver. And yes, I also agree that these entities (and their characteristics) exist independent of any perceiver.

But then I am also saying that these entities (and their characteristics) only make sense to speak of in an epistemological rather than in a metaphysical context. "Existence exists" does not imply that a physical reality exists. The same applies to aspects of that physical reality, such as "matter", "space", "time" etc -- they are not metaphysical in the deepest sense of the word. They could be said to be metaphysical, if metaphysics were based on epistemology rather than the other way around.

Thus: I am claiming that Existence, in the deepest sense of the word, is out of space, time, size, mass etc (or more specifically: these categories (or whatever they are called) are not to be ascribed to existence as a total, but only to the aspects of existence that are perceiveable by human perception -- i.e. physical reality). Physical reality is NOT out of space, time, size, mass etc. But then physical reality is NOT the same as the total of existence!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Durande enough is enough.

I agree entirely. As has become manifest from reading this thread, The Durande's entire modus operandi is to respond to an objection to his fallacious arguments by simply repeating the fallacious arguments over again (except with added question marks and capital letters, of course). He has never displayed even a passing familiarity with the fallacy of composition, he has never dealt with the unanswerable difficulty of how something without spatial boundaries (the universe) can have a specific mass, and he explicitly refused to answer Stephen Speicher's additionally fascinating argument.

Add to this the fact that The Durande claims to be professing a proper Objectivist position when saying that the universe has mass, and yet he continually ignores the quote from Miss Rand I have cited multiple times which plainly contradicts this claim.

And, of course, add to this The Durande's insufferable intrinsicist rudeness, by which he claims that anyone who does not immediately agree with him is a dishonest, insane wacko (his words, not mine). And yet he has the audacity to bring up the Argument from Intimidation against me.

From now on, when reading anything with The Durande's name attached to it, I personally will be repeating to myself the following three words: consider the source.

--Alex

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand what it is now. It is not some fallacy I am committing, or that you are committing. We differ in what we mean by the word "has."

It is as simple as that.

As far has I can see, when I use the word "has" in the simple sentence, "The universe has mass," I use it as meaning: posesses OR includes OR has as an attribute.

I have O - Positive blood.

I have blue eyes.

I have cells.

I have teeth.

I have skin.

I have mass.

As can be clearly seen from my posting history, I uphold reality as the ultimate arbitrer, not scientists, not "fallacies," and not even Ayn Rand, and especially not someone's interpretation of what Ayn Rand meant. I ONLY look at reality and then think. Ever.

When I look at everything I've ever encountered, one of these thing's traits is always mass. Now, you all want me to believe that the group of all these things does NOT posess this trait.

Okay then, lets play fair: I understand that you all take the position that I should not go out on such a limb, but does anyone care to take the position that the universe DOES NOT have mass?????????????

I have been put on the defensive for stating the obvious before. As you all wish, I am done playing this silly game. Does anyone here care to make an assertion about the real world, rather than the assertion that I am wrong???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But then I am also saying that these entities (and their characteristics) only make sense to speak of in an epistemological rather than in a metaphysical context.

Why?

"Existence exists" does not imply that a physical reality exists. The same applies to aspects of that physical reality, such as "matter", "space", "time" etc -- they are not metaphysical in the deepest sense of the word. They could be said to be metaphysical, if metaphysics were based on epistemology rather than the other way around.
I do not get any of this at all. "Existence exists" is a fundamental axiom, whereas "physical reality" is a more sophisticated concept. Nevertheless, "physical reality" is just as metaphysical as "existence," as is "matter," "time," etc. l

Thus: I am claiming that Existence, in the deepest sense of the word, is out of space, time, size, mass etc (or more specifically: these categories (or whatever they are called) are not to be ascribed to existence as a total, but only to the aspects of existence that are perceiveable by human perception -- i.e. physical reality). Physical reality is NOT out of space, time, size, mass etc. But then physical reality is NOT the same as the total of existence!

Well, here you seem to be saying something else. If you mean notions such as size, time, mass, etc. do not apply to the sum total of what exists, i.e., to the universe, then yes, I certainly agree. Alex's essay explains the fundamental philosophic reasons for this somewhat common but gravely mistaken notion of attributing attributes to the universe which do not apply.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand what it is now.  It is not some fallacy I am committing ...

You have been committing fallacies throughout this entire thread, just as you are now doing again. Many here have pointed out the errors in your reasoning, but you still do not see your fallacies under their several guises. In and by itself that is not a crime. This is a difficult issue for many to grasp, mainly because of the uniqueness of the problem and the scope of the abstractions. So the fact that you still have not intellectually "got it" after these three days of postings, is not surprising. Nor is your failure to grasp the issue a reflection upon your character.

However, what is a reflection on your character is the disgraceful way you have conducted yourself throughout this thread. You have expressed a hostile attitude toward reasonable people who disagree with you by referring to them as "wackos." You have acted in an extremely condescending manner towards these same people ("Lets just say it reeeeeeeeaaaaaaallllllyyyy simply"). You have been just outright insulting ("Let's not turn into a bunch of pathetic linguists here, okay"), and you have combined several of these with remarks such as "I understand that proclaimed Objectivists have a strong tendedncy toward rationalism, but please people, try to fight it just a little." And the presumptuousness of your pretense to be talking for the Objectivist position on this issue is the height of absurdity.

Now, personally, I understand the heat that one might take when standing alone against many; many times I have taken what others consider to be a controversial position. But, to channel any frustration, doubts, annoyance, etc. that you feel in such a situation, into personal attacks, demeaning, and condescension towards others, those who have conducted themselves in a most proper rational manner, is inexcusable. You owe an apology to the many decent people on this thread whom you have mistreated. The sooner, the better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You owe an apology to the many decent people on this thread whom you have mistreated. The sooner, the better.

Amen. And might I add, for the sake of the permanent record on this forum, that there is another reason why the The Durande's pretentious rudeness is at bottom all the more absurd, and this too needs to be both exposed and apologized for.

Consider the following:

What I have said is clear, and notably, consistent with Objectivism.  Anything else will have to come from you guys.  I hear that Leonard Peikoff and David Harriman are are collaborating on a book that may or may not touch on this subject.  Perhaps their opinions would be interesting.

I was originally not going to bring this up, but since The Durande thinks that it is interestingly relevant to this debate what Objectivist intellectuals believe on this issue -- and since The Durande has continually maintained that he is espousing the proper Objectivist position, and that anyone who disagrees is dishonest and insane -- please note that Dr. Harry Binswanger has stated publically that the notion of attributing size to the universe is a very wrong assumption which leads to needless paradoxes. He has also rejected the idea that "density" applies to the universe as a whole.

I do not say this as an appeal to authority that the universe does in fact lack these characteristics, but only to combat the implication (if not explication) lurking in many of The Durande's posts that all reputable, "sane" Objectivist intellectuals would agree with him. This claim is simply wild, and should be summarily retracted. The Durande does not speak for Objectivism, nor for all "sane" Objectivists. He speaks only for himself.

--Alex

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why?

Aha! Now I see why my reasoning is flawed. Here is what I say in my first post in this thread:

Applied measurement-omission: "Existence" (or "Universe") is what you retain when you omit all the measurements of consciousness. Such measurements certainly include space, time, size and mass.

Implicit in my reasoning above is the Primacy of Consciousness premise posing as the Primacy of Existence metaphysics. But it was obviously just a pose, and I failed to identify it as such. Observe the fundamental starting point here, i.e. the focus of my primary attention for subsequent philosophical reasoning: consciousness and its contents (not "something" -- existence -- which consciousness first has to be aware of in order to identify itself as consciousness). I was wrong in concluding that if I only omitted all that -- otherwise integrated --content (which I referred to as "measurements"), "Existence" would be extrapolated and show up as the irreducible starting point ("The Primacy of Existence").

Thanks, Stephen Speicher and Douglas Clayton, for your comments. I will now declare myself checkmate and continue my studies of OPAR by reading chapter 4 for the first time (lucky me!).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alex, are you claiming that the universe does not have mass, because to say so would be committing the fallacy of composition?

No, since not every argument attempting to show that the universe has mass commits the fallacy of composition. If I had to pick out one reason why "mass" is inapplicable to the universe, it would be because the idea of "spatial boundaries" is inapplicable to the universe.

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.
Yes, this is an interesting issue. How can the universe be finite, if it does not possess some finite attribute (such as length, mass, age, etc.)? In what respect would it be finite? A lot can be said in answer to this, but I will confine myself to giving only an outline of my reasons (however long this outline may be), and then let you follow-up.

(As a preliminary note, I think the question should be rephrased to ask: how can the universe be finite, if it does not possess any attribute? "Finite attribute" is a redundancy; all attributes are finite. I find it clarifying to note this.)

1) The universe is not an entity; it is not like an apple, a house, or a car. Certainly, if I maintained that any of these did not possess any (finite) attributes, then they would not be finite, since they would not be anything. An entity is its attributes, and it is from observing entities that we first get the idea of attributes. But, again, the universe is not an entity.

2) Given this, I don't see why one must ascribe attributes to the universe as a whole in order to say that it possesses identity. Just as the axiom of existence does not specify what exists, but only that something exists, so does the axiom of identity state that A must be A, but does not specify what this identity must consist of (i.e., whether it consists of attributes or not). If philosophy cannot find an attribute that makes sense when applied to the universe as a whole, there is no metaphysical veto power by which philosophy can say that this would render the universe without identity, anymore than the law of causality can have veto power over free will. In philosophy, we must go with the facts, and not construe metaphysical axioms/laws as denying those facts.

3) The universe does in fact possess identity, because existence is identity, and the universe obviously exists. By denying that all these attributes apply to the universe as a whole, I am not saying that we can't say anything positive about the universe as a whole. Indeed, I could never deny all these attributes to be applicable to the universe, unless I knew something positive about it to begin with. And what I do know about it is that it is the sum total of that which exists. This is a positive idea, and constitutes its identity.

4) By saying that the universe is finite, I only mean that it possesses identity, and I don't think "finite" should mean more than this. Yes, it's true that we usually use "finite" to describe (something with) a quantifiable attribute or whatnot. But this is also how we usually use "identity," and the universe possesses identity nevertheless. Some may counter that “finite” is specifically meant to emphasize the quantifiable nature of something, but whereas the universe is not quantifiable, it should not be described as finite. I’m somewhat sympathetic to this objection, but it leaves one in the position of maintaining that the universe is neither finite nor infinite, and I don’t think that this is helpful. Even if it is true that “finite” was initially meant to describe something quantifiable, I think that the very special case of the universe warrants that the usage of it be extended. The universe does, after all, possess identity, and finite is meant to be opposed to something that lacks identity (i.e., infinity). Thus, I think maintaining that the universe is "not finite" is misleading and unnecessary. (There is more to say on this technical issue, since it probably is the best objection to calling the universe finite. But since it is a technical, “borderline case-ish” issue, I’ll leave it here for now.)

So, to answer your question outright: I don’t believe that the universe needs to be finite in a particular respect -- if this means, in the respect of possessing an attribute -- in order to be finite. It possessing identity is enough. (As an afterthought, and if it helps, I suppose one could say that the universe is finite in respect of only subsuming the existents that it does subsume.)

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. 

Since I’ve wrote much already, feel free to bring up anything else you specifically would like to discuss.

--Alex

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see equivocation on the word "has" to mean both "includes" and "can be ascribed the characteristic of." 

Lake Erie includes mass and possesses the characteristic of mass.  Ditto for the book.  But "population" does NOT have the characteristic of mass.  "Population" is a NUMBER, a COUNT of a group of people such as the number of residents in Boston.  The population includes people, but it lacks many of the characteristics of people such as an age, a romantic partner, and the need to choose a career.

Thus, it is two entirely DIFFERENT things to say that --

The universe includes entities that have mass -- which is true

-- and --

The universe ITSELF is an entity possessing the characteristic of mass.

Would you feel better if I used the noun "populace" instead of "population"?????

No, because it means the same thing.

Geez, are we nit-picking a bit???
We? I don't know about you, but I am pointing out a logical fallacy (equivocation) in your argument.

There are anti-lock brakes in my car.  My car HAS anti-lock brakes. I really don't know any other way to say it.

If your car has anti-lock brakes and you put it in your garage, does it mean your garage has anti-lock brakes?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, because it means the same thing.

We?  I don't know about you, but I am pointing out a logical fallacy (equivocation) in your argument.

If your car has anti-lock brakes and you put it in your garage, does it mean your garage has anti-lock brakes?

I will respond one more time.

1. No, Betsy, they DON'T mean the same thing. I am looking at an Oxford Dictionary AND THESAURUS and: a) the definitions aren't even close, and :dough: "population" is not given in the thesaurus section under "populace." What made you think they mean the same thing? AND, I'll have you know, that my using of the word "population" was the CORRECT choice to begin with, and that is why I made it.

2.About the anti-lock brakes, please don't be rationalistic. The universe is NOT a container, as the garage in your example is. The only thing you can say for YOUR example is that in that instance, if the garage is vieved as a container, it contains anti-lock brakes.

3. The rest of this post is not specifically for you, Betsy, but to everyone in general.

4. The following is a quote from post #8 (Ed from OC)

"I bring this up because I speculate that there may not be a net gravitational attraction between everything in the universe, and therefore there would (again) be zero mass to the universe.

How is that possible? If an object is attracted equally in opposite directions, then there is no net attraction; the forces cancel. If a large astronomical object is located midway between other large astronomical objects, then it would not be attracted in any preferred direction. But each of these other objects would themselves be in the same state, unless one was at the edge of the universe. And there is no edge of the universe! That means there would be no net attraction between objects in the universe, when the universe is taken as a whole.

(This speculation is admittedly rationalistic, but as far as I know, it hasn't been made elsewhere, and I'm curious if it's true. Maybe there's something known in astrophysics or general relativity that answers this, but I'm not familiar enough with either to say.)"

Ed says that he speculates no net gravitational attraction, and therefore zero mass. HE THEN AT THE END ADMITS THAT HE IS BEING RATIONALISTIC.

5. I have FIRSTHAND heard Leonard Peikoff say that those who are engaged in rationalism are literally engaging in NONSENSE. Literally in the sense that what they choose to deal with is ENTIRELY non-sensory data. (Living in the world of concepts and words instead of observing reality.)

To me, those who willfully engage in "non-sense" are wackos.

6. "Wackos" may not be the nicest way of putting it, but it's not the ultimate condemnation that you are making it out to be. To me, it's almost a loving way of looking at someone who has gone over the edge - not necessarily permanently, but only for isolated instances. I have an uncle who is a "wacko." No big deal.

I just don't expect it here, and from so many people at once.

7. Stephen, it was VERY convenient of you, in post #14 to quote me out of context: "It simply must have size. . ."

It would have taken about 5 seconds more of your time to include all of what I typed, but you chose not to. I wonder why. EVERYONE, please note that I have in parentheses (mass) (total atomic mass) immediately following the word "size." AND then read post #8 where ED from OC basically agrees with me, before he goes on to his ADMITTED RATIONALISM.

8. This whole thread is basically about ED from OC basically agreeing with me, but THEN going on into his ADMITTED RATIONALISM.

9. I must say something about this "Fallacy of Composition."

The Fallacy of Composition is basically: drawing a conclusion about every thing in a group, based on a fact about one thing in a group. This Korean is intelligent,, therefore, all Koreans are intelligent. I am NOT doing that here, and, not only that, I would argue that anyone who says that I am is either being rationalistic or dishonest. If I said:I have mass, I am a part of the universe, so everything that is a part of the universe has mass, THEN I would be committing that fallacy. So, stop misusing that fallacy. What I am saying here is that: We have a definition of universe that I find adequate, from THE AYN RAND LEXICON, "The universe is the total of that which exists - not merely the earth or the stars or the galaxies, but everything." Notice it says "The universe IS (emphasis mine). . ." It doesn't say "The universe CONTAINS. . ." We also have the fact that whatever the "ultimate constituents" may be, "whether one or two or ten" (paraphrased), they will have identity.

Well, one of the aspects of identity that I have discovered in anything I have ever enountered made of matter is that it also has mass. I AM NOT SAYING, and have never said that there aren't some things in the universe that may or may not have matter or mass. I AM saying that, when you look at the definition of "universe" and then look at the world around you, you can reason: 1. the things I encounter have mass, 2. the universe IS these things, NOT "CONTAINS" these things. 3. The universe has mass, because these things that it "IS" have mass. SIMPLE.

10. Last, but not least: Who owes whom an apology? I called someone a "wacko" who was ADMITTEDLY BEING RATIONALISTIC. Maybe that was too strong for your context. I throw that word around - you have to admit it is much lighter a term than "insane" or "mad." But if THAT is all this is about, I can apologize for using that word. But, Stephen, I apologize for nothing else. Not my tone, not my occasional capitalization, and not my attitude. I see rationalism as one of the key things that has to be "learned" out of the students of Objectivism if the philosophy has any chance to survive another generation. If someone new to Objectivism comes here and sees post #8. They will run away - and they would be right.

Over and out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Fallacy of Composition is basically: drawing a conclusion about every thing in a group, based on a fact about one thing in a group.  This Korean is intelligent,, therefore, all Koreans are intelligent.

No. You have once again displayed that you simply do not know what you are talking about. The fallacy of making a false generalization is not the fallacy of composition. This is discussed explicitly in Dr. Peikoff's Introduction to Logic course, and is made evident from studying any reputable logic text on the subject, which you obviously have not done too closely (if at all). I'm done discussing this.

Last, but not least: Who owes whom an apology? I called someone a "wacko" who was ADMITTEDLY BEING RATIONALISTIC.  Maybe that was too strong for your context. I throw that word around - you have to admit it is much lighter a term than "insane" or "mad."

The Durande as made the following statements:

"How can the question of whether the universe has mass even be discussed by sane adults???"

"...any honest observer would conclude that since atoms have mass, and in the universe there are a lot of atoms, then the universe has mass."

Thus, anyone who disagrees with The Durande's fallacious argument -- and, indeed, anyone who even discusses this whole issue of mass seriously -- is both dishonest and insane. These statements are absurd. If you want to stand by them, then come out and say so. But don't you dare skirt the fact you have called a large number of people within Objectivism (and at least one top-notch Objectivist intellectual) "insane."

--Alex

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will respond one more time....

Despite your pretense of knowing something the rest of us do not, despite the silliness of you attempting to lecture your intellectual betters, I am still not that disturbed that you continue to demonstrate a complete inability to grasp the subject matter of this thread. However, considering your refusal to own up to your aberrant actions, and your pathetic attempt to blame others for your own failures, you demonstrate a character flaw that far outstrips your evident ignorance. Because of your offensive behavior and demeaning of good people, I find your attitude and actions to be utterly disgraceful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...