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What’s it all about?
Posted: 09 January 2011 12:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Robert Sproule - 31 December 2010 07:41 AM

    Being as certain as possible about what one knows and does not know is crucial to the
pursuit of happiness – which is the subject of my article.

Are you certain about this?  Usually, people who think in all or nothing, perfectionistic, absolutist thinking patterns are LESS happy.  It’s stressful work believing in things with absolute certainty when the evidence and reasoning ability you have to base those beliefs on is limited.  I agree, you have to believe in something.  Humility and leaving some room for doubt leaves the door open for admitting mistakes which is CRUCIAL to the learning process, crucial to getting closer and closer to the truth over time.

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Posted: 09 January 2011 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Robert Sproule - 09 January 2011 09:27 AM

Objectivism holds that
  - reality is an absolute, that it exists independent of the mind, and has no contradictions.

Reality may well exist independent of man’s mind, but is not independent of man’s actions. Therein lies a contradiction.

  - reason is our means of identifying the facts of reality, our means of discovering what reality can be made to do, our means of survival.

Thus reality is not independent of man’s actions, if we can discover what reality can be made to do for us.
So, instead of adapting (survival strategy) to live in harmony with nature, man assumes the right to manipulate nature for his own selfish purposes. Resulting in global warming, pollution, deforestation, annihilation of millions of non-humans species, conditions which are detrimental to man’s survival in the long run.

- morality is not the province of God, societies’ expectations, or personal whims, but the province of reason – that in essence being rational is being moral, and that one should not act on whim, but on what is in one’s long range self-interest.

And what if those long range self interests impact the immediate self interest of another a 1000 miles away? Good luck with that one. Our ability to alter reality (nature) is the problem. Our inability to place reason over self interest (ego) presents a dichotomy which cannot be addressed without regulation.

- man has a right to his life and property, and that Capitalism protects these rights.

That is a false statement as well as being subjective. Man has a right to enjoy the fruits of his labors, true, but Capitalism does not protect. Capitalism is a justification for the unlimited accumulation of wealth beyond what is objectively reasonable.

The Objectivist creed sounds very objective, but it provides no protections to society from the unrestricted exercise of Capitalism (which is inherently subjective). We can see the results of unrestricted capitalism today (20% very wealthy from shipping jobs to china, india, and financial manipulations, and 80% poverty (40 million people without health insurance) from inability to find jobs in the US. Is that the result of Objectivism or Capitalism? Moreover is it reasonable?

The ability of modern man and technology to affect and impact reality for others renders the underlying naive social argument for Objectivism false. It leads to Plutocracy.

[ Edited: 09 January 2011 03:16 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 12 January 2011 06:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Write4U

    “Reality may well exist independent of man’s mind,” – It does.
    “but is not independent of man’s actions.” – Of course.
    “Therein lies a contradiction.” – There is no contradiction.
    All of us hold contradictory ideas from time to time.  Some don’t care if they do,
but most of us do care, and re-think the conflicting ideas to resolve the contradiction –
necessary in the pursuit of happiness. 
    Seeing a contradiction where none exists is I think quite unique.

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Posted: 12 January 2011 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Robert Sproule - 12 January 2011 06:04 PM

Write4U

    “Reality may well exist independent of man’s mind,” – It does.
    “but is not independent of man’s actions.” – Of course.
    “Therein lies a contradiction.” – There is no contradiction.
    All of us hold contradictory ideas from time to time.  Some don’t care if they do,
but most of us do care, and re-think the conflicting ideas to resolve the contradiction –
necessary in the pursuit of happiness. 
    Seeing a contradiction where none exists is I think quite unique.

From my perspective, I see a contradiction. Universal reality exists independent of an observer, true. But reality on earth (natural world) is very much affected by man’s actions. Why else would we worry about climate change, pollution, nuclear war? Reality on earth is not removed or separated (truly independent) of man’s mind and actions.
I might accept the premise if man did not exist at all. But we have the power to affect reality to a great extent. I think this is the underlying metaphor contained in the bible when man was banned from paradise (natural reality) because he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge. We have the power to greatly affect our reality and the reality of other living things.
To make the assertion that “earthly reality” is independent of man’s mind and actions is naive and short sighted and ignores the Law of cause/effect, most likely to affect our happiness on earth.

[ Edited: 12 January 2011 06:51 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 14 January 2011 01:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Write4U - 12 January 2011 06:37 PM

From my perspective, I see a contradiction. Universal reality exists independent of an observer, true. But reality on earth (natural world) is very much affected by man’s actions. Why else would we worry about climate change, pollution, nuclear war? Reality on earth is not removed or separated (truly independent) of man’s mind and actions.
I might accept the premise if man did not exist at all. But we have the power to affect reality to a great extent. I think this is the underlying metaphor contained in the bible when man was banned from paradise (natural reality) because he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge. We have the power to greatly affect our reality and the reality of other living things.
To make the assertion that “earthly reality” is independent of man’s mind and actions is naive and short sighted and ignores the Law of cause/effect, most likely to affect our happiness on earth.

I think you may be confusing two different things here. We have the question of whether there is or if it possible for an external world to exist without a mind. To say that there is a world that can exist without a mind is to say that its existence is not dependent upon the existence of a mind. Then we have a question of whether we can effect that external world. The only necessary relationship there would be that the external world that is being influenced by a mind would be dependent upon the existence of a mind. But we can easily imagine a world where there is no mind.

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Posted: 14 January 2011 02:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Kaizen - 14 January 2011 01:13 AM
Write4U - 12 January 2011 06:37 PM

From my perspective, I see a contradiction. Universal reality exists independent of an observer, true. But reality on earth (natural world) is very much affected by man’s actions. Why else would we worry about climate change, pollution, nuclear war? Reality on earth is not removed or separated (truly independent) of man’s mind and actions.
I might accept the premise if man did not exist at all. But we have the power to affect reality to a great extent. I think this is the underlying metaphor contained in the bible when man was banned from paradise (natural reality) because he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge. We have the power to greatly affect our reality and the reality of other living things.
To make the assertion that “earthly reality” is independent of man’s mind and actions is naive and short sighted and ignores the Law of cause/effect, most likely to affect our happiness on earth.

I think you may be confusing two different things here. We have the question of whether there is or if it possible for an external world to exist without a mind. To say that there is a world that can exist without a mind is to say that its existence is not dependent upon the existence of a mind. Then we have a question of whether we can effect that external world. The only necessary relationship there would be that the external world that is being influenced by a mind would be dependent upon the existence of a mind. But we can easily imagine a world where there is no mind.

Reality in the abstract is dependent on man’s mind.. cheese  Natural Reality, the physical expression of universal forces can and does function independent of man’s mind, but natural reality can be augmented by man created Artificial or Functional reality, albeit on a miniscule small local scale. But new, intentionally created local reality all the same. 
Man is the only known species to be able to intentionally create or alter physical (local) realities (things) with unnatural products (plastics, polyesthers). We are local (physical) gods and yes that reality is dependent on man’s mind. We are even experimenting in creation of life!! And in the exercise thereof we add to and alter universal reality imperceptably, while it inevitably remains Reality, independent of man’s mind.

[ Edited: 14 January 2011 04:18 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 14 January 2011 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Write4U - 14 January 2011 02:55 AM

Reality in the abstract is dependent on man’s mind.. cheese  Natural Reality, the physical expression of universal forces can and does function independent of man’s mind, but natural reality can be augmented by man created Artificial or Functional reality, albeit on a miniscule small local scale. But new, intentionally created local reality all the same. 
Man is the only known species to be able to intentionally create or alter physical (local) realities (things) with unnatural products (plastics, polyesthers). We are local (physical) gods and yes that reality is dependent on man’s mind. We are even experimenting in creation of life!! And in the exercise thereof we add to and alter universal reality imperceptably, while it inevitably remains Reality, independent of man’s mind.

I don’t see how “natural reality” can be altered by humans if you consider natural reality to include those same “universal forces.” By that I mean, I don’t see humans affecting things that we take to be constant like the speed of light, gravity, etc. We simply work within that framework.

That aside, I still don’t see any contradictions.

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Posted: 14 January 2011 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Kaizen - 14 January 2011 01:13 AM

But we can easily imagine a world where there is no mind.

I disagree.

I find it impossible to imagine an observerless world because it seems there is nothing it is like.

Stephen

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Posted: 14 January 2011 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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StephenLawrence - 14 January 2011 02:10 PM

I disagree.

I find it impossible to imagine an observerless world because it seems there is nothing it is like.

Stephen

Mercury, Venus, Mars…

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You cannot have a rational conversation with someone who holds irrational beliefs.

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Posted: 14 January 2011 02:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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StephenLawrence - 14 January 2011 02:10 PM
Kaizen - 14 January 2011 01:13 AM

But we can easily imagine a world where there is no mind.

I disagree.

I find it impossible to imagine an observerless world because it seems there is nothing it is like.

Stephen

You can’t imagine a world where all life ceases? Are you suggesting that once the last body dies, the universe goes with it?

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Posted: 14 January 2011 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Kaizen - 14 January 2011 01:42 PM
Write4U - 14 January 2011 02:55 AM

Reality in the abstract is dependent on man’s mind.. cheese  Natural Reality, the physical expression of universal forces can and does function independent of man’s mind, but natural reality can be augmented by man created Artificial or Functional reality, albeit on a miniscule small local scale. But new, intentionally created local reality all the same. 
Man is the only known species to be able to intentionally create or alter physical (local) realities (things) with unnatural products (plastics, polyesthers). We are local (physical) gods and yes that reality is dependent on man’s mind. We are even experimenting in creation of life!! And in the exercise thereof we add to and alter universal reality imperceptably, while it inevitably remains Reality, independent of man’s mind.

I don’t see how “natural reality” can be altered by humans if you consider natural reality to include those same “universal forces.” By that I mean, I don’t see humans affecting things that we take to be constant like the speed of light, gravity, etc. We simply work within that framework.

That aside, I still don’t see any contradictions.

You are right, it is not a contradiction. I was trying to introduce that a local reality can be a result of man’s “intentional” creation or conversion, rather than a natural mathematical evolution of universal reality, even as man must use universal constants and materials inherent in universal reality.  I did stipulate that the result becomes part of the greater universal reality. Thus no contradiction per se.

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Posted: 16 January 2011 03:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Kaizen - 14 January 2011 02:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 14 January 2011 02:10 PM
Kaizen - 14 January 2011 01:13 AM

But we can easily imagine a world where there is no mind.

I disagree.

I find it impossible to imagine an observerless world because it seems there is nothing it is like.

Stephen

You can’t imagine a world where all life ceases?

I can’t imagine my living room when nobody is looking at it.

What’s it like? All I can imagine is what it would be like if I or someone was looking at it.

I don’t see a way out of this.

Are you suggesting that once the last body dies, the universe goes with it?

I just dunno.

Stephen

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Posted: 16 January 2011 10:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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StephenLawrence - 16 January 2011 03:55 AM

  I can’t imagine my living room when nobody is looking at it. 

Seems like you are equating “imagine” with “looking at” with “visual observation.”  I can imagine the shape of my TV (rectangle).  A rectangle is the physical arrangement of the border edge of the TV.  This would be true whether anyone “looks at” it or not.  This is objective.  I can also imagine my TV looking “good.”  This requires my own mind to attach the subjective meaning of “good” to it.

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Posted: 16 January 2011 12:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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brightfut - 16 January 2011 10:46 AM
StephenLawrence - 16 January 2011 03:55 AM

  I can’t imagine my living room when nobody is looking at it. 

Seems like you are equating “imagine” with “looking at” with “visual observation.”  I can imagine the shape of my TV (rectangle).  A rectangle is the physical arrangement of the border edge of the TV.  This would be true whether anyone “looks at” it or not.  This is objective.  I can also imagine my TV looking “good.”  This requires my own mind to attach the subjective meaning of “good” to it.

To be clear I’m not denying that your tv has an objective shape, or exists objectively, I’m not sure whether it does or it doesn’t. I do tend to assume it does.

But I don’t think you can imagine a rectangle without refering to how a rectangle appears to you.

And a rectangle appears different from different points of view, which point of view is correct? Clearly there can be no correct point of view.

But you can only imagine a rectangle from a point of view.

So if you imagine your telly when you are not looking at it, I think you must be imagining what it would look like if you were looking at it, from a particular point of view.

Once you take the observer out of this picture, there is nothing that it is like.

So if we imagine the universe before there was life, we are imagining what it would look like if we were there looking at it.

Just simply imagining objective reality, if it is truly mind independent, seems impossible.

Stephen

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Posted: 16 January 2011 02:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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People can take the point of view into consideration when they are imagining it.  A rectangle is simple enough that people have the ability to imagine it pretty accurately.  More complex shapes would probably be imagined with more distortion.

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