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Thoughts on these Alternatives to O'ist axioms?

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Felix
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I have some background in Zen Buddhism. And I just received OPAR from Amazon and started reading.

I immediately had a problem (of course! :P ).

The three axioms of Objectivism can be summed up by the sentence:

There is something of which I am aware.

The problem I immediately get here is with the "I am aware" part.

I accept the existence part. I have no way not to.

But the I am aware-part is something I still have my problems with philosophically.

Zen buddhists say that this I doesn't really exist. That there is existence, but no conciousness of it.

Buddhists would say: "There is something. Period.

What is that 'I' that should be aware of anything? Where is it? It doesn't exist."

Of course they are ultra-empiricists: "What is, is. There is nothing else to say."

It's hard to live that way, I know. And it leads to the nonexistence of ethics and every knowledge in general. But you cannot defend epistemology by means of ethics, which is how I defend it.

I say: "If you refute the mind, you will die." But I can't just say: it is self-evident. It may be an illusion.

It's not part of existence according to this theory.

Objectivism holds that its axioms are the only ones that can be. They are objective. They have no alternatives.

Well: Here is one. And strangely enough: At this lowest level, the level of first experience, both empiricism and rationalism hold the same position: There is only experience. They both deny the concept of perception.

One of them does it by saying: There is no mind. The other does it by saying: there is only the mind. Weird.

At some point this may all be flawed, so please: Hit me with a stick.

:lol:

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Of course they are ultra-empiricists: "What is, is. There is nothing else to say."

If they are saying this, they must know it. To say "What is, is. But knowledge of 'what is' is impossible," is to claim knowledge of existence; it identifies a property of what is. It's self-refuting, as is any attempt to deny Objectivism's axioms.

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I say: "If you refute the mind, you will die." But I can't just say: it is self-evident.

Bring that statement to reality.

"You, [anyone] cannot deny the fact that you require food, and the fact that you are not fed by default. Whether you live on a deserted island or in a bustling metropolis, if you deny yourself the functioning of your rational mind you forfeit your only means to food. Whether it be the acquisition of sustenance or the construction of momentous buildings, if you refute the mind, you refute your life."

That is one of the many ways that your statement is in fact self-evident.

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The problem I immediately get here is with the "I am aware" part.

I accept the existence part. I have no way not to.

But the I am aware-part is something I still have my problems with philosophically.

Zen buddhists say that this I doesn't really exist. That there is existence, but no conciousness of it.

If there is no consciousness, then by what means do they know there is existence?
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Zen buddhists say that this I doesn't really exist.
Why would you take that claim seriously? If you scratch your butt, do you actually entertain the idea that you are really scratching my butt? The point is, you can just "say" anything you want, and yet I notice that even Zen Buddhists eat food (albeit appalling food) so that they don't die. They don't really believe that there is no "I" or "you". In fact, they simply deny reason or knowledge, and think they are clever for having discovered obstinate nay-saying. I'm surprised that they even claim to beleve in existence.
I say: "If you refute the mind, you will die." But I can't just say: it is self-evident. It may be an illusion.
Again, a good test for nihilistic theories is to see if they are willing to put their money where their mouth is. Invite a nihilist to walk in front of a speeding train with the argument "It might be an illusion". They don't actually take their nihilism seriously, and you shouldn't either.
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If there is no consciousness, then by what means do they know there is existence?

They say, there is existence. They believe there is no conciousness and that the very idea of conciousness is flawed. There is no means of knowing, they say. But that accords to switching of your mind.

To all of you:

Thanks for your advice. You helped me clarify things. Problem solved. :P

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Again, a good test for nihilistic theories is to see if they are willing to put their money where their mouth is. Invite a nihilist to walk in front of a speeding train with the argument "It might be an illusion". They don't actually take their nihilism seriously, and you shouldn't either.

Can I take it seriously for him and shoot him, and say to him as he's bleeding to death, "Don't worry, I'm sure all that blood you're losing is just an illusion!"?

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Yes, but if you do, in Texas they will shoot you up with a bunch of drugs afterwards, which will make you real quiet.

Hah.

Well, I guess I'll just have to wait until such a time arises where I won't be so concerned with the consequences of the action.

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Hah.

Well, I guess I'll just have to wait until such a time arises where I won't be so concerned with the consequences of the action.

If you wait long enough, they'll be run over by a truck.

Justice is a principle of reality. If you ignore reality, you die.

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If you wait long enough, they'll be run over by a truck.

Justice is a principle of reality. If you ignore reality, you die.

And? I did not suggest that I needed to do so, merely that I would find that amusing.

Edited by Pancho Villa
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