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The wording of the consciousness axiom?

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james_h
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This is a fallacy of modern philosophy

No, it is an obviously true statement. It is possible to put forwards bad arguements in support of something that is true. An example of this would be if I argued that elephants had trunks because everything that was grey had a trunk (or more realistically, that the weight of iron decreases when it is burned due to the phlogiston it contains being used up). The conclusion wouldnt follow from the premises in any way, yet the conclusion would stil be true. p=>q and ¬p do not imply ¬q.

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Again, Hal, you are purveying a viewpoint that is completely antithetical to Objectivism. Or is it your claim that Objectivism holds that "false arguments can be put forward in support of something that is true?" If this is your claim, then please correct me by pointing to the Objectivist literature.

I come here to learn more about Objectivism, not Hal-ism.

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Whether the universe is eternal or not is irrelevant here.

Not only was it relevant, it was essential. You let stand a whole array of philosophical claptrap without challenge, and used it to form a conclusion of your own, thereby implicitly acknowledging the validity of what was said.

A true conclusion can be supported by flawed arguments.

No. Truth is the recognition of facts of reality, and falsities can never lend "support" to the truth.

If you have come here to lecture us on the epistemology you are taught in your philosophy studies in England, then may I respectfully suggest you may have come to the wrong place. This is a forum devoted to the philosophy of Objectivism, and your continued assertions in many fundamental areas of philosophy indicate you have not made much of an effort to study Objectivism. I would suggest you study, in detail, at least Ayn Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, and if you want to directly address any epistemological points that are presented in that book, then do so openly. At least then you will acknowledge that you are challenging something specific in Objectivism, rather than continuing to lecture us on ideas that we care not one iota about.

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Not only was it relevant, it was essential. You let stand a whole array of philosophical claptrap without challenge, and used it to form a conclusion of your own, thereby implicitly acknowledging the validity of what was said.

No. Truth is the recognition of facts of reality, and falsities can never lend "support" to the truth.

I didnt feel that the specifc question of whether the universe was eternal was relevant to the point being discussed. I brought it up as an example, and then conceded my example was flawed. Engaging in a pronlonged discussion about the timespan of the universe would have been out of place in this particular thread.

If you have come here to lecture us on the epistemology you are taught in your philosophy studies in England, then may I respectfully suggest you may have come to the wrong place. This is a forum devoted to the philosophy of Objectivism, and your continued assertions in many fundamental areas of philosophy indicate you have not made much of an effort to study Objectivism. I would suggest you study, in detail, at least Ayn Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, and if you want to directly address any epistemological points that are presented in that book, then do so openly. At least then you will acknowledge that you are challenging something specific in Objectivism, rather than continuing to lecture us on ideas that we care not one iota about.
I'm not entirely sure who constitutes the 'we' who you seem to be speaking on behalf of, but my initial reply was to a post by punk where I pointed out that axioms could play a role in arguments other than as premises for direct deduction, and the second was to a post directly addressed to me by tommyedison.

I also wasnt aware that anything I posted in this thread 'challenged Objectivism'. If you'd like to point out anything specific that I've said that does so, then feel free.

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I also wasnt aware that anything I posted in this thread 'challenged Objectivism'. If you'd like to point out anything specific that I've said that does so, then feel free.

I pointed out something specific that you said. So far your response has been to say nothing.

No matter. I suspect you'll shrug and move on since you have demonstrated that you have no interest in learning Objectivism, thus, you have no personal interest in being consistent with the philosophy of Objectivism. As to why you continue to come here despite this disinterest, I think Stephen hit that nail right on the head.

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I pointed out something specific that you said. So far your response has been to say nothing.

No matter. I suspect you'll shrug and move on since you have demonstrated that you have no interest in learning Objectivism, thus, you have no personal interest in being consistent with the philosophy of Objectivism. As to why you continue to come here despite this disinterest, I think Stephen hit that nail right on the head.

I don't know why you believe I have no interest in learning Objectivism, but it isn't that important since I'm not really interested in your psychological evaluation of me. I gave you several examples which illustrated how a particular argument for a true conclusion could be false, which you ignored.

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I gave you several examples which illustrated how a particular argument for a true conclusion could be false, which you ignored.

I disagreed that they illustrate what you claim they do. So since it is both of our admitted interests in being consistent with Objectivism, perhaps you can point me to something in the Objectivist literature that supports your examples and this claim of yours?

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I don't think Ayn Rand ever wrote a treastise going through the basic rules of logical reasoning in painstaking detail. If you don't believe that a false argument can support a true conclusion, then my only recourse can be to give you examples of such a thing happening. If you refuse to accept those examples, I'd like a better explanation than because you simply 'disagree'.

If I'm in a shop and someone comes in soaking wet, I might say to my friend 'it is raining outside'. If he asks 'how do you know?', I will reply that I saw someone who was wet enter the shop, leading me to believe that he was out in the rain. This is an argument for it being raining. If it so happened that the man was wet because some local school kids had attacked him with water pistols, this would not automatically mean that it wasn't raining, although my particular argument ("he is wet => it is raining") would have been false. I'm not sure why I need to cite a paragraph from Ayn Rand in support of this - it seems like common sense to me.

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Actually, I do have an example from the writings of Ayn Rand. She claimed that Libertarians were worse than Conservates, because they undermined capitalism by making bad arguments in its favour (or something similar). Does this mean that Ayn Rand didn't support capitalism?

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No, it is an obviously true statement. It is possible to put forwards bad arguements in support of something that is true.

Yes, it is possible to make bad or false arguments, but that is not what you originally said. You said "A true conclusion can be supported by flawed arguments," which is a claim that a truth can be justified by a falsity. Bowzer is right about the "fallacy of modern philosophy" in that logical form is often given preference over meaningful content. Logic is not an algorithm that is blindly applied, but rather a tool which must be artfully used to reach a reasonable truth. No truth can be logically supported by that which is false.

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If you refuse to accept those examples, I'd like a better explanation than because you simply 'disagree'.

I don't engage in arguments that involve showing how arbitrary claims are inconsistent with Objectivism. I have been trying to focus these last few posts on some sort of positive claim about Objectivism.

There is plenty of material written in Objectivism that disagrees with what you are saying. You say that there is nothing in the literature that sufficiently relates to what you are saying but this only points to your ignorance of Objectivism. You wonder why I think you have no interest in studying Objectivism but at the same time you demonstrate a false confidence of knowing Objectivism while simultaneously contradicting its most fundamental base. This has been brought up before yet you continue to evade this fact.

If you truly want an explanation of why you're wrong, you should read "Objectivity As Volitional Adherence To Reality By The Method Of Logic " in Chapter 4 of OPAR. Perhaps you can do this and come back here with some questions for once.

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Yes, it is possible to make bad or false arguments, but that is not what you originally said. You said "A true conclusion can be supported by flawed arguments," which is a claim that a truth can be justified by a falsity.

Thank you for clarifying that. My comments have been directed at one specific claim of Hal's . Several quite different issues and examples have been brought up by Hal since then.

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Yes, it is possible to make bad or false arguments, but that is not what you originally said. You said "A true conclusion can be supported by flawed arguments," which is a claim that a truth can be justified by a falsity. . Logic is not an algorithm that is blindly applied, but rather a tool which must be artfully used to reach a reasonable truth. No truth can be logically supported by that which is false.

Maybe this is a confusion over my language, specifically what I intended to mean by 'supported'? To clarify, I meant that a bad argument can be made in support of a true conclusion, and hence showing that one particular argument for a conclusion is false does not automatically invalidate the conclusion. If you took 'a true conclusion being supported by a false argument' to mean anything other than a false argument being offered in defence of a true conclusion, this was not what I was intending. To go back to the incident that caused this, I offered an argument that existence exists implies the universe is eternal. Tommyedison pointed out that my argument was fallacious, and he was correct. This does not however imply that the universe is not eternal, only that my argument was invalid.
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I didnt feel that the specifc question of whether the universe was eternal was relevant to the point being discussed. I brought it up as an example, and then conceded my example was flawed. Engaging in a pronlonged discussion about the timespan of the universe would have been out of place in this particular thread.

That is not the point; no "pronlonged[sic] discussion" was required. The point is that you left the impression that your argument was flawed as a logical consequence of what the other poster provided. By doing so you lend credence to fallacious arguments. Apparently, based on what you have subsequently said, you also think that that which is false can actually support a truth, which seems to explain your apparent disregard for what is actually true, or not.

I'm not entirely sure who constitutes the 'we' who you seem to be speaking on behalf of

I was speaking on behalf of the forum, because the forum rules can only speak for themselves by those who read and abide by them. The very first rule states:

"(1) This site supports discussion of (a) the principles of Objectivism, as defined by the works of Ayn Rand and supported by the Ayn Rand Institute, and (:confused: their application to various fields. Therefore participants must not use the website to spread ideas contrary to or unrelated to Objectivism. Examples include religion, communism, "moral tolerationism," and libertarianism. Honest questions about such subjects are permitted. However, since the focus of this forum is the philosophy of Objectivism, such questions are not encouraged."

What I have encouraged you to do is to actually study the philosophy of Objectivism and directly address any questions of its veracity, rather than continue to espouse the philosophy you hold. That request is consistent with the rules of the forum. And, rather than listening to you lecture us on computer algorithms giving rise to volitional consciousness, or the nature of truth, you instead could actually be talking about Objectivism which, afterall, is what this forum is supposedly all about.

Look, Hal, I think you are an intelligent guy, which is why I bother to make these suggestions. A lesser mind I would mostly ignore, as I do with some others here. You are studying philosophy presumably as your profession; if you want to live in the world of standard philosophy then why bother us here? If you are choosing to come to this forum, then why not study Objectivist philosophy with the same effort and care you apply to your other studies, instead of trying to educate us in the philsophy you already know?

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Maybe this is a confusion over my language, specifically what I intended to mean by 'supported'? To clarify, I meant that a bad argument can be made in support of a true conclusion, and hence showing that one particular argument for a conclusion is false does not automatically invalidate the conclusion.

It does not invalidate the conclusion in the sense of proving it wrong, but the conclusion can be known as true only by reference to valid arguments that support it.

To go back to the incident that caused this, I offered an argument that existence exists implies the universe is eternal. Tommyedison pointed out that my argument was fallacious, and he was correct.

But he did so by reference to false arguments, and your acceptance of the conclusion should not be based on falsities, but on truths.

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