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Why does life begin at birth?

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1 hour ago, Boydstun said:

However, you wrote "identity is existence", and that is not a proposition she would ever accede to. Her view was the reverse, which is perhaps what you intended: existence is identity.

Yep, i got it back to front there.

1 hour ago, Boydstun said:

If a new-born human baby were left with a bunch of chimps in the wild, and they were protective of it and were able to make it survive, I wonder if it would mature into a human? What do you think?

To survive means to meet the requirements of survival by some objective standard. Survival requires particular external inputs out of ones control- language and its symbolic coding probably playing a big part here. Concepts rely on language formation (and language formation relies on concepts). An alphabet representing words consisting of hundreds for example may make concept formation and various cognitive functions (like recall) more cumbersome than one that is condensed. Perhaps accounting for why certain languages (and number systems) rise in popularity over the years. Language and their alphabets, like all abstractions, are tied to survivability. As we become more technologically advanced I find it interesting that the compression of these systems is becoming common - computer technology adopted hexadecimal and contractions of phrases is becoming widespread. Buying us back (life) time.

W.r.t consciousness - I can't even imagine a form of consciousness that doesn't differentiate as a primary function. 

Nice article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Mr Jenko
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14 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

Whether the fetus/infant is still inside the mother and attached to her by a placenta may be relevant to how to draw the line between the fetus/infant's rights and the mother's.

 

The moment fetal brain activity is first detected, there's the line. In this hypothesis, the fetus has 'earned' the "right to life" and is now ( I think) an end in itself - because his/her brain will function independently from then on, naturally with heavy reliance on continuing physical nurture in utero and ex. You might call crossing that line a birth of human awareness.

 

Edited by whYNOT
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10 hours ago, Mr Jenko said:
On 2/18/2022 at 9:23 PM, dream_weaver said:

What is the essential issue at stake? What makes it the essential issue, objectively? 

Life or death.

I was hoping for something a little more elaborative. To this, I'd have to ask whose life or death, and presume you are to pick one life or death over the life or death of the other.

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On 2/19/2022 at 2:46 AM, whYNOT said:
On 2/18/2022 at 9:23 PM, dream_weaver said:

What is the essential issue at stake? What makes it the essential issue, objectively? 

To chip in, d_m.,  I'd think a purpose of objective scholars...

Was that intended as "To chip in, d_w"? or am I conflating the response as being intended, somehow, for DM?

 

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2 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

To this, I'd have to ask whose life or death, and presume you are to pick one life or death over the life or death of the other.

I'm unsure whether there is a conflict here if the parties involved act reasonably and honestly, taking into account long term interests of both the supposed aware unborn entity (whose life has begun) and its host.

If a host values life and has gone through the motions of creating & gaining that value then nobodies life would necessarily be in jeopardy. If the host reasonably reevaluates their value hierarchy because of some changed context then they must accept that a decision to terminate an aware and living human entity is an action they must carry with them for the remainder of their adult life. A decision that has possibility of long term negative impacts to their life, at a minimum psychological affects. Such affects maybe different if it is such that the entity terminated is not considered aware and its life has begun. There maybe real impacts to the host's life if it is recognized fact that the unborn entity to be terminated is aware and its life begun. Destruction of a value of greater potential over lessor potential may be more or less psychologically harmful for the host.

From the point of the unborn the decision of the host has real ramifications - the continuation of its life or its death, despite it being unware of what is at stake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

Was that intended as "To chip in, d_w"? or am I conflating the response as being intended, somehow, for DM?

 

You, of course. The _ being the give _ away. ;)

Apparently I'm not a stickler for the etiquette of who replies to whom, btw. For me it's always an open discussion. Although I notice other lack of etiquette shown by the OP not bothered to respond to my entries. 

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On 2/19/2022 at 11:53 PM, whYNOT said:

And of course, any self-value by the fetus-child will be a long time coming.

Or, and for an objective regard of the developed fetus, is not: "Man's life" the *standard* of value?

Life as such is a value, the fetus simply doesn't have the level of cognition to consciously seek or gain it as a self-value, albeit his level of development entrails the seeking of values because it is purpose driven? At least that's how I understand it.

W.r.t 'man's life', man hasn't a volitional conscious capable of making value evaluation until well after birth from what I gather, raising the question as to whether the life of his mind begins at birth. 

Sorry for the late reply, you got me thinking.

 

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On 2/16/2022 at 7:27 PM, Mr Jenko said:

Why then does Rand say life begins at birth? Rather than birth being some stage one passes through during ones life which has already begun prior?

What is the "one" you refer to here? There is a fetus and there is a newborn. These things are very different, not just in terms of "connectedness," but in terms of processes. Ask yourself what it means for a fetus to be connected to its mother, and for a newborn to be unconnected. Why is a fetus connected? Because it's still part of the mother's system. The mother is growing the fetus. She feeds it oxygen-rich fluid, it doesn't breathe air on its own, like a newborn. The fetus is not fully individuated yet.

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9 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

What is the "one" you refer to here? There is a fetus and there is a newborn. These things are very different, not just in terms of "connectedness," but in terms of processes.

The entity physically changes becoming a new physical entity as a consequence of the birth process. From unborn to born. I appreciate this.

Similarly the entity changes when it develops its consciousness in utero. When it becomes aware of existence as part of its development process. This is also a very big difference. At some point in utero the unborn becomes a someone rather than simply a something?  Despite its ongoing physical relationship to its host.

The fetus acts in the only way open to it. This includes taking in life-sustaining values and processing these. My understanding is the fetus processes these values, automatically, supplied by the mother at some point during its development. Its heart beats, its brain 'fires' etc. Its an active entity not merely a passive one. 

Conceptually, we isolate the entity apart from the mother despite it remaining physically conjoined.

Conceptually its individuated, physically it remains 'connected'. Mind and body is a unity, either aspect can only be isolated conceptually but not physically separated.

The consciousness of the fetus doesn't form a part of the mother. There is no collective consciousness. Despite its locus being nested within her. The 'body' containing the consciousness of the fetus is shared with the mother in a conjoined way. Life begins in a conjoined arrangement?

 

Edited by Mr Jenko
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On 2/20/2022 at 4:55 PM, whYNOT said:

You, of course. The _ being the give _ away. ;)

On page 61 of ITOE 2nd Edition, the charge is to look for the stand on axiomatic concepts. This was a variation used to underscore and explore a slight expansion on that theme. 

There are more effective ways of birth control alternatives to abortion for sure. Any psychological ramifications for choosing to appeal to abortion, however, should be between the applicant and her conscience, i.e., her maker. (IMHO)

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On 2/21/2022 at 3:02 AM, Mr Jenko said:

Life as such is a value, the fetus simply doesn't have the level of cognition to consciously seek or gain it as a self-value, albeit his level of development entrails the seeking of values because it is purpose driven? At least that's how I understand it.

W.r.t 'man's life', man hasn't a volitional conscious capable of making value evaluation until well after birth from what I gather, raising the question as to whether the life of his mind begins at birth. 

Sorry for the late reply, you got me thinking.

 


Rand: ""Goal-directed" is not to be taken to mean "purposive"". [Footnote p16 VoS.]

"Self-generated, self-directed action" is the biological property and physical action of every organism. Not at all to indicate there's a conscious 'self' or conscious 'purpose'. 

By invoking "man's life", of course I meant the standard of value by which one, we, an individual and civilized culture should view and treat an emergent human life, which (I argue) begins with the fetus' sensory awareness (at first only of its immediate environment, the womb).

I.e. it's the rational adult who holds to that standard, life proper to man's nature, who must identify life and assess the value-significance of life and *a* life --  on behalf OF the fetus. By that standard of value.

Not self-accomplished by the fetus or infant and child, naturally.

Edited by whYNOT
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On 2/22/2022 at 1:55 AM, Mr Jenko said:

The entity physically changes becoming a new physical entity as a consequence of the birth process. From unborn to born. I appreciate this.

Similarly the entity changes when it develops its consciousness in utero. When it becomes aware of existence as part of its development process. This is also a very big difference. At some point in utero the unborn becomes a someone rather than simply a something?  Despite its ongoing physical relationship to its host.

The fetus acts in the only way open to it. This includes taking in life-sustaining values and processing these. My understanding is the fetus processes these values, automatically, supplied by the mother at some point during its development. Its heart beats, its brain 'fires' etc. Its an active entity not merely a passive one. 

Conceptually, we isolate the entity apart from the mother despite it remaining physically conjoined.

Conceptually its individuated, physically it remains 'connected'. Mind and body is a unity, either aspect can only be isolated conceptually but not physically separated.

The consciousness of the fetus doesn't form a part of the mother. There is no collective consciousness. Despite its locus being nested within her. The 'body' containing the consciousness of the fetus is shared with the mother in a conjoined way. Life begins in a conjoined arrangement?

 

I think this is generally true and well put.

It's possible to over-fixate on the physical (the fetus as a part of, connected to, protected by and automatically nurtured by the woman's body and undoubtedly hers) - and - to under-score the stirrings of the developed fetus' consciousness, one distinct from the woman's consciousness.

Does its/her/his "life begin" merely with separation? While recognizing that that necessary protection and nurturing doesn't end and goes on long after? Not even its physical identity changes much, or at all, pre-birth to separation.

That does not make sense to me.

Edited by whYNOT
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"The fact of birth makes an enormous difference. It’s the point at which a child first exists: a new being, physically independent of the mother. A child is no longer a necessary physical burden on or potential threat to the mother’s life. Only then can she have no right to destroy it, and its right to live begins.

The fetus continues to pose a threat to the woman’s life and happiness right up until the point of birth itself." [Ben Bayer]

----

An immediate question:

If the fetus "poses a threat...up until the point of birth itself" - Why did she carry it up to this late stage? (At which point, presumably, she may now arbitrarily abort it?)

One would query her sanity, rationality and morality.

And is the child - actually - "physically independent of the mother"? He needs motherly care as much as ever.

"First exists" and "a new being" - simply because it is visibly, tangibly apparent to others- I guess. Subjective. When hidden from view, the fetus existed as a being independent of observers.

Bayer doesn't explain why; he asserts.

Edited by whYNOT
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On 2/21/2022 at 3:55 PM, Mr Jenko said:

Similarly the entity changes when it develops its consciousness in utero. When it becomes aware of existence as part of its development process. This is also a very big difference. At some point in utero the unborn becomes a someone rather than simply a something?  Despite its ongoing physical relationship to its host.

I don't think the mother "hosts" her child. I know that's a common way of putting it, but really she grows it, creates it. She's developing her offspring. The offspring isn't developing itself until after its born, after which it's physically separated from the mother and must rely on its own processes for further development.

Also, the fetus "becomes someone" due to its physical connection to the mother, not despite it. The fetus would not become anything were it unconnected to the mother via the umbilical cord. It is the mother that makes her fetus what it ultimately becomes at birth.

Mostly I'm interested in what you mean by "someone." It seems like a fuzzy concept to me, and it doesn't seem to require being an individual organism. Yes, the fetus has a brain and brain activity, perhaps even sensory awareness. But that doesn't mean it's an individual being or individual life form. It's living as the mother's fetus. It's not living as its own self, or "someone." I wonder if you're equating "someone" with a particular consciousness. If so, then that can't be one human, because a human is more than his particular consciousness. 

The physical processes become very relevant here. A fetus will not survive its mother's death, not without immediate, surgical intervention, because it's still part of (and dependent upon) the mother's life system. A newborn, however, might be in a different country from its mother and be in zero danger were the mother to die in an accident. Why? Because the newborn is an individual. The fetus is part of an individual, a pregnant individual.

A fetus could be performing Tai Chi in the womb and it still wouldn't be an individual. But we might have to invent a new concept for such an abnormal mother-fetus life form, kind of like how we have "Siamese twins," which also have two minds and one undivided body.

On 2/21/2022 at 3:55 PM, Mr Jenko said:

Conceptually, we isolate the entity apart from the mother despite it remaining physically conjoined.

I don't. You could imagine (or conceive) the fetus apart from the mother but that's strictly imaginary. Being within the mother's body is essential to the valid concept of a "fetus." It is a pregnant mammal's unborn offspring.

On 2/21/2022 at 3:55 PM, Mr Jenko said:

The consciousness of the fetus doesn't form a part of the mother. There is no collective consciousness. Despite its locus being nested within her. The 'body' containing the consciousness of the fetus is shared with the mother in a conjoined way. Life begins in a conjoined arrangement?

Let's say I agreed that the consciousness of the fetus isn't part of the mother. How would that support the conclusion that life begins in this unborn state? Consciousness itself is not life. Life is a process that might or might not include consciousness.

How do you define "life"?

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42 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

The offspring isn't developing itself until after its born, after which it's physically separated from the mother and must rely on its own processes for further development.

Its consciousness is developing as a self-act within the mother? Nobody can force a consciousness through physical means. Neither in or out of utero.

The entity involved during development of a fetus is a conjoined entity? Fetus-pregnant 'host'.

What is your concept of 'mother' during gestation if you prefer this term over others?  I view this term as primarily relational in conception. Physical connectedness being a type of relation, but not exhaustive. To have a relational concept would imply two entities being in some relation. Contextually the term implies relationship between personhoods, parent-child?

48 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

The fetus would not become anything were it unconnected to the mother via the umbilical cord.

It would become a new physical entity. Its quality of 'connectedness' (or similar) would be different pre/post separation.

 

Re: conception of someone:

1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

I don't. You could imagine (or conceive) the fetus apart from the mother but that's strictly imaginary. Being within the mother's body is essential to the valid concept of a "fetus." It is a pregnant mammal's unborn offspring

What is your conceptual hierarchy here? Is a '[human] fetus' a subcategory of 'human'? A type of human? Implying personhood, if one accepts sub-categories subsumes all the characteristics of the referent?

One first perceives living adult humans and abstracts to [human] fetuses when forming the concept [human] fetus? Maybe I've got this wrong here.

1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

Consciousness itself is not life. Life is a process that might or might not include consciousness.

How do you define "life"?

I prefer Rand's definition: process of self-supporting, self-generating action. At some point the entity processes values from various sources, its heart beats, its brain fires etc. The primary source here is its mother. The entity acts in the only way open to it. If the flow of values stops it no longer processes that flow of values.

Thanks for the reply. I'm gaining a lot from the discussion. 

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  • 2 months later...
On 2/17/2022 at 4:10 AM, RationalEgoist said:

Welcome to the forum, Mr. Jenko.  

Fundamentally, this is a question of what kind of being individual rights pertain to. Rand held that rights, as a concept, apply exclusively to actual (as opposed to potential) human beings with the possession of a rational faculty. 

I have encountered Objectivists whose views on abortion differ, and there have been countless threads on the subject. Some hold the view that a woman should have the right to get an abortion until the point of birth (I believe this was Rand's own view) while others believe the cut-off point is when the baby is biologically viable, i.e., when it could survive independently of its host. 

For reading, you can begin by searching for "Abortion" and "Individual Rights" in the Ayn Rand Lexicon, and you'll get a number of passages from Rand's own writings as well as her lectures. It's a good resource in general if you're looking for quick answers. 

> Some hold the view that a woman should have the right to get an abortion until the point of birth

And the California legislature is considering passing a law that allows a baby to be killed up to 2 weeks after birth. Many of us believe this is nothing more than an attempt to legalize infanticide.

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Indeed let us consider conjoined twins.

 

Does either have a right to life?  Has life begun for either of them?  Common sense says "yes" to both questions.

But, clearly they are not separate, and each relies on the other to the point of each being a potential "threat" to life (if one should choose suicide or to drink poison)... Neither has been released from a biological link to become physically independent. Could one use the physical link to argue that the "life" of either has been permanently delayed because of the link and also the dependence each on the other?  Not credibly.

Clearly there is life, and there are two consciousnesses (one of the most important considerations)... and indeed two human beings with separate rights to life.

 

I think over-essentializing the physical link between beings, and/or level of dependence or independence and/or the threat either may pose to the other, is a very grave, and exceedingly superficial and simplistic mistake, if one's actual aim is to analyze life and rights fully.

 

The corpse of "A plucked chicken", in answer to the slavish wrote adherence to a formal mantra (Plato's of the cuff definition of man was a featherless biped), stands as an appropriate warning to us all, to refrain from parroting word-strings of dogma, in the face of a complex issue requiring much contemplation and soul-searching.

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On 2/16/2022 at 10:27 PM, Mr Jenko said:

Consciousness is that faculty of an entity which perceives existence. One must exist (and be living) to perceive existence. The unborn processes sensory material - perceiving existence- during some stage in its development.

I find the concepts of life and humanity extremely fascinating and intriguing. I think that our society needs to discuss and investigate the subject with more vigor and reason than it has done in the past, not just in academic circles but with the population at large. I believe that awareness of the various positions is instrumental in the discovery and conclusions that are necessary to come to a viable consensus. It will probably never be perfect but what we see in our political environment today is ignorance and selfish rationalization and yes, mindless hysteria.

I must admit that I have to question and disagree with your initial premise. We all know what Rand has said about our deeply held assertions.

 

 "Check your premises." A premise is a past conclusion that supports your present thinking. Her point was that if you arrive at a contradiction in the present, there is an error somewhere in your past conclusions. You need to find that mistake, because otherwise it will sabotage you.

 

as well as the corollary as to contradictions:

 

Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong

 

I am not sure that I can accept your comment as to “Consciousness is that faculty of an entity which perceives existence” either. Perception is our ability to interpret the sensory input that we experience. It is a cognitive process that allows us to make some sense from the chaos. While consciousness is normally the primary for doing this, we perceive our existence subconsciously or unconsciously as well. At least that is the way that I perceive the reality. It is not quite that simple

 

It is inarguable that one must exist to perceive existence, but I see no imperative that one must be conscious to either be alive or to perceive. You are making a statement that I find to be more subjective than objective. After sampling multiple comments before writing this, I find that the focus tends to be more on reason and ability and social standing and rights and academic as well as philosophical concepts, as opposed to the basic questions of when life originates for the fetus and when this attribute we call humanity enters the picture. My perspective is more fundamental and organic. My intent is to talk of not if the fetus is alive and human, but when it happens.

I don’t believe that life and humanity can be determined by scientific measurement, since whatever you deem appropriate, we have examples of humanity that are alive and exist and are inherently human, and yet cannot accomplish those things you think determinative. Individuals who are for all intents and purpose vegetables, and yet continue to live without the ability to think. The concept of consciousness is not provable, one way or the other. There are those that exist without a heart and without a kidney. They cannot talk or communicate in any way. And yet they still have inalienable rights bestowed upon them by their society and most forms of morality. They cannot defend themselves or take care of themselves. These things are not what makes us alive, nor human. It is something quite simple really. I wish to speak of these things. (created 20220405) (submitted 20220507)

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On 2/16/2022 at 10:27 PM, Mr Jenko said:

I don't see why a change in some qualities of an already living entity (say connectedness to its host) indicates the beginning of a new process for that entity- life. It is already alive prior to its birth is it not? Hence the use of the phrase 'stillbirth' to indicate when the the opposite occurs?

I think it is a poor rationalization to take away the rights of an individual simply because care is required by another, in this case a host mother. The individual had no input, no say, in its own creation, and to give the mother in this case complete autonomy over another human being (notwithstanding those who may disagree) is tantamount to slavery, and I do not say this lightly. There is a responsibility for anyone who takes the life of another living being, under any and all circumstances, and this is no different. There are consequences and culpability for our own actions. Philosophy and morality teach me that. The fact that so many disagree only points to the fact that nothing is settled.

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@Lone Cypress

Part of the disagreement takes place in the terminology used to conceptualize the matter with. This is a large contributor to the high levels of contention observed between many of the participants engaged in slinging words at one another in the verbal side of the battle. 

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7 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

Part of the disagreement takes place in the terminology used to conceptualize the matter with. This is a large contributor to the high levels of contention observed between many of the participants engaged in slinging words at one another in the verbal side of the battle. 

I would tend to agree with you, but what is the answer to even attempting to engage with a reasonable and legitimate conversation about the subject. I find that there is no quarter given with the ‘terminology’ because there is little to be gained by ‘allowing’ some divergent definition of terms, such as Rand’s experience with trying to take on the conventional interpretations with the term ‘selfish’ even when it was redefined as rational self-interest. To accept the opposition definition, with all the corollary assumptions, it only gives credibility to what she tried to convey as to her vision and interpretation of the issue, and that was not to the advantage of her opposition. I find that the ability to accept contrary concepts and definitions was something that was not acceptable because it could only diminish whatever legitimacy they believed was achieved without it.

The whole issue of debate and reasoned argument is to make a case for your own position and let those, not who are involved in the debate, but those who stand on the sideline listening, to determine for themselves the credibility and the legitimacy of the various perspectives and philosophies. I don’t think of this as a game, although in some ways it may be, but a concerted effort to bring understanding and possibly a practical resolution to these issues. Without an open-minded and respectful debate, this will simply not happen.

If it is to be a battle, then it needs to be a reasoned and intellectual one, and not one of emotion and mindless invective. I look for resolution, even if it is not within the debate itself, but a real consensus of the majority of the members of society, and our conversation does not encompass a large enough segment to make it relevant or legitimate.

Look at the current anger and confrontation coming from the leaking of a possible overturn of Roe vs. Wade. This was obviously not a legitimate finding from the beginning. The Supreme Court, in my opinion, does not have the authority to decide some vague right of privacy to allow something of the magnitude of the right to abortion. Nine individuals should never be the determining factor in such a decision.

It should have been sent back to the legislatures to decide and determine, with the SCOTUS determining if it is indeed constitutional, nothing more. From my perspective, that is what their mandate demands. From the comments from the left, the majority of America is completely in sync with their perspective, so it would be a matter of weeks or months before something substantial and durable would be produced by the House and Senate which would certainly be able to stand the test of time. But we both know that this is not the reality or they would have done so already. Fifty years, and they could have, at any time, resolved the issue, basically permanently. I fail to understand the reticence and reluctance to do so. Is it possible that America is not in lockstep with their philosophical intent? Is what I suggest really that impractical or unreasonable?         

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On 5/7/2022 at 10:02 AM, Lone Cypress said:

While consciousness is normally the primary for doing this, we perceive our existence subconsciously or unconsciously as well.

1) what is an example of nonconscious perception?

2) At least by the way Rand defines it, perception is not the interpretation of sensory input. Perception is a presentation of reality in some form, and once presented, can be interpreted. Interpretation is something cognitive, but cognitive is not synonymous with conscious. Given that perception is in some form, it implies consciousness, or else it would be formless; if you perceive in a form, you are aware that there is a form of perception. This is in contrast to something like a motion detector, which is not conscious because there is no form to that detection of motion in a perceptual or qualitative way. 

 

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Selfish is an apt example. The way selfish is used is an inversion, and rational self(ish) interest made it easier to illustrate her point for those of us who were helped to grasp it via her choosing selfish as worthy to battle over. 

In a seek first to understand, then to be understood stance, Objectivism has within its arsenal the sage advice with regards to concepts, that concepts can both be used as well as misused in the process of cognition. 

On an issue given as much importance, getting it right should not be left to a consensus. Especially in a country that was founded on recognizing and upholding the importance of rights. 

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On 5/8/2022 at 8:47 PM, Eiuol said:

1) what is an example of nonconscious perception?

I would posit that dreams, intuition, memory, innovation and creativity, among others, are, or can be, examples of nonconscious perception. Of course, there needs to be some kind of baseline definition to give context. I like your use of ‘nonconscious’ versus ‘un’conscious or ‘sub’conscious. The concept of conscious would conventionally suggest awareness and perhaps response to various inputs and I would tend to agree, but we have to consider and conclude what it is that this awareness is accessing.

Normal consciousness is using our senses to perceive what is around us, but, in my opinion only, I agree with those that make the case that everything we have ever experienced, every event we have been a part of, is indelibly etched into our minds, and the difference between awareness and this nonconscious is the ability to access this information at will, but there are only a few individuals that can do that volitionally. Most of us struggle with pulling up this information, but it exists nonetheless, and is a part of each and every issue that we think of, that we contemplate, and arguably is a component of every decision and conclusion that we make.

While this may or may not be true, it seems a reasonable position. I find it challenging to agree with or accept that this unconscious is something independent and not-of-our-own-volition which would make it mystical and somewhat irrational.

I think that is what Rand presents with her aversion and criticisms of mysticism towards religion. Not that religion is dangerous per se, but that it promotes beliefs in things that are simply unprovable, hence not objective, and therefore suspect. I personally find her attitude towards an objective existence possibly overly optimistic. While it would be beneficial if everything had an objective reality, my experience suggests otherwise. Mankind is based on subjectivity and most conclusions are based, at least in part, on belief and past experience and not necessarily any absolute truths. Still valid, and still able to be used in prosecuting our life decisions, just not infallible or without exception.

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