I'm an Objectivist. Debate me.

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Appleo, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. Gelecski7238

    Gelecski7238 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Never at any time did I imply or try to prove that reality isn't real. The phenomenon of quarks leaving and entering physical existence does not mean that reality isn't real. The quark issue and the double slit experiment show that material existence has a nonmaterial basis (i.e. energy/particle translocation, and transformation (wave/particle duality).

    The double slit experiment shows that consciousness (awareness of specific data) can trigger the transformation of light waves into photon particles. Hence Ayn Rand's authoritative decree (objectivity—an attitude which rests on the view that reality exists independent of human consciousness) is not absolute. The logical extension of this is that some form of consciousness (other than individual/personal human) or inherent program plays a role in the shaping of physical reality before it becomes objective physical reality.

    Ayn Rand's view of subjectivity being false because it is touted as a means of modifying physical reality on a whim does not realistically address the way subjectivity could have a role in the formation of overall physical reality or isolated scenarios. In the latter case, at best there are indications that a small portion of the population (those who are very easily hypnotized) can sometimes (on rare occasions) under extreme circumstances alter the course of future events ahead of time.

    The real significance of these issues (consciousness and subjectivity) is that they knock us off our high horse of complacent narrow-minded materialism/physicality and prod us into considering an expanded mental scope towards a bigger picture that takes in more than just the obvious mundane influences affecting existence.
     
  2. Concord

    Concord Well-Known Member

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    I think the double-slit experiment shows that the "non-material" has a "material" basis.

    What's the difference between my take and yours?

    You've yet to connect human consciousness to wave-particle duality.

    No, it isn't. Not at all. Prove it, turn your claim into a syllogism.
     
  3. Gelecski7238

    Gelecski7238 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Material is substance, i.e. atoms. Matter has mass (is affected by gravity, has weight, but where there is no gravity, mass is like weight but shows up as inertia). Energy and waveforms are non-material. Light waves are energy. Photons are light particles (substance). However, photons are not atoms. Photons have no mass. However, they are considered as substance because they have the properties of particles, i.e. they're not the waveforms from which they were derived.

    Awareness of the data triggers conversion from waveform energy to particle.

    You tell me and the rest of the world who or what is monitoring the trigger. A human sees the data, and something decides to change the ongoing outcome of the experiment. There's no way around it. Nobody in 88+ years has gotten around it. The only way around it is to close your mind like you do. Go to the websites covering the experiment and see if you can do better than Einstein and everyone else.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  4. Concord

    Concord Well-Known Member

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    I think that the waveforms are derived of particles.

    What would make you disagree with me? Why are we supposed to assume that one aspect of the duality is more fundamental than the other?

    Define what you mean by "awareness of the data."

    You're completely wrong. If you were correct, and the only way for wave functions to collapse is for humans to observe them, the universe wouldn't be what it is at all.

    "Measurement" as defined by physicists has nothing to do with human consciousness or any consciousness.

    My mind isn't closed. I understand the actual implications of physical theories like wave-particle duality and relativistic frames of reference, the very concepts that semi-mystics like yourself like to latch onto to advance poor philosophical arguments.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  5. Starjet

    Starjet Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Sounds very Platonic, as well as very Krellian.

    Well, try driving your car into a mile high, mile wide, mile thick concrete wall at 60 mph. Then see if your subjective mechanism can make your subjective wish to live override the molecular structure of the wall.

    I’ll keep an eye on the obituaries for the published results.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  6. Starjet

    Starjet Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Your claim: The above physics proves this wrong:

    Ayn Rand: “Objectivity is both a metaphysical and an epistemological concept. It pertains to the relationship of consciousness to existence. Metaphysically, it is the recognition of the fact that reality exists independent of any perceiver’s consciousness. Epistemologically, it is the recognition of the fact that a perceiver’s (man’s) consciousness must acquire knowledge of reality by certain means (reason) in accordance with certain rules (logic). This means that although reality is immutable and, in any given context, only one answer is true, the truth is not automatically available to a human consciousness and can be obtained only by a certain mental process which is required of every man who seeks knowledge—that there is no substitute for this process, no escape from the responsibility for it, no shortcuts, no special revelations to privileged observers—and that there can be no such thing as a final “authority” in matters pertaining to human knowledge. Metaphysically, the only authority is reality; epistemologically—one’s own mind. The first is the ultimate arbiter of the second.”
    http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/objectivity.html
     
  7. Questerr

    Questerr Banned

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    No thanks. I don't want to do meth.
     
  8. ibshambat

    ibshambat Well-Known Member

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    I once was talking with two guys, one of whom was a meth addict and the other of whom was a counselor and a really cool guy. I told the meth addict, "He is the proof that you don't have to be on meth in order to be cool."
     
  9. Questerr

    Questerr Banned

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    Too bad no one told that to Ayn Rand.
     
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  10. Starjet

    Starjet Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I
    I don’t think Gelecski7238 is on meth, he’s just a good and loyal Kantian post modernist..though he might be contrarian just to be contrarian.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  11. Mr_Truth

    Mr_Truth Well-Known Member

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    If antichrist Rand was sooooo brilliant why is it that not one government or one political party ever adopted her ingenious ways? The only movement she created that was imitated by others is the war on Christmas.
     
  12. Mr_Truth

    Mr_Truth Well-Known Member

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    :roflol::roflol::roflol:
     
  13. Starjet

    Starjet Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Ah. You hate Ayn Rand because she’s an atheist who preaches “live and flourish” instead of “knell and repent”.

    Ayn Rand on Christmas:
    The charming aspect of Christmas is the fact that it expresses good will in a cheerful, happy, benevolent, non-sacrificial way. One says: “Merry Christmas”—not “Weep and Repent.” And the good will is expressed in a material, earthly form—by giving presents to one’s friends, or by sending them cards in token of remembrance . . . .
    http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/christmas.html
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  14. Starjet

    Starjet Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Ayn Rand started a war on Christmas?

    Ayn Rand:
    “The secular meaning of the Christmas holiday is wider than the tenets of any particular religion: it is good will toward men—a frame of mind which is not the exclusive property (though it is supposed to be part, but is a largely unobserved part) of the Christian religion.”

    http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/christmas.html
     
  15. Starjet

    Starjet Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Laugh away, laughing boy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  16. ibshambat

    ibshambat Well-Known Member

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    In years 1997-2000, I read the works of Ayn Rand and developed a great respect for what I was reading. But having seen the effect of her political views and having dealt with her followers both in personal life and on the Internet, I was less than impressed with what I saw. I have since then taken a critical inventory of Ayn Rand's statements and am writing here an analysis of her main errors in hope that the people see them and not be taken by them.

    Ayn Rand's worst error was her approach to nature. She saw nature as only resources; and that is in no way a rational stance to take. As anyone who has studied biology to any level of depth knows, the complexity and richness found in nature is beyond anything that humanity has created, and to blindly destroy what one cannot recreate is to leave the world poorer for oneself having been in it. The stance that thinks it rightful to burn down environments containing millions of unique lifeforms in order to ranch there for two years, after which the land becomes unusable and one must clear more of this environment, is a swinish and damnable stance. Nature must be respected and valued for possessing a richness and intricacy beyond anything that man has created. And human economic activity must be done in a way that is minimally destructive - and when possible restoring or adding - to nature, through use of higher-intelligence higher-technology solutions that fulfil and power the world of civilization that man has created while treading lightly on the world of nature that man has not created and cannot at this time recreate.

    Another major error was that of blaming the ugly social dynamics she saw - repression of sexuality, abuse of excellence, violence against passion and genius, and condemnation of individuality and ingenuity - with socialism. In fact, these do not come from socialism or from anywhere in the Left; rather they pre-exist the Left by many centuries. The origin of these is conservative Christianity. In the West, it is the Left that has done the most to fight these wrongs and has taken the brunt of the battle to a far greater extent than have Objectivists or Ayn Rand.

    Another error consisted of equating rational interest solely with property acquisition. Here, she had an incomplete concept of rationality. A scientist who is driven by acquisition of usable knowledge is just as rational as is the businessperson who is driven by interest in creating and enjoying prosperity. A teacher who is driven by interest in nurturing the minds of the future generations, or the day care worker who is driven by interest in helping their development, is just as rational as either of the preceding. Ayn Rand saw economic interest as the whole of rational interest. It clearly is not.

    Her most famous error - as well as her most famous stance - is that of claiming man's true nature to be self-interest. This is simply not the case. According to evolution - which Ayn Rand embraced - human beings have evolved as the species as much as they have evolved as their tribes and as themselves. Which means that human beings will naturally have interest toward all of these things; and different people will have different mixes of these and at different times in their lives. Furthermore, coming out of nature, people will be expected to have interest toward nature as well, especially when the matter concerns preservation of climate and health of the planet instead of blindly destroying it with no eye toward the future. To claim self-interest to be the whole of human nature is just as wrong as it is to claim service to humanity to be the whole of human nature. It is a part of human nature; for many people a very important part of human nature; but in no way the totality of human nature or the universal, exclusive, ideal.

    Based on this was another erroneous claim: That self-interest is always good and collective interest always evil. In fact, both can be good, bad, indifferent, or a mix. Nature was not created by people, meaning that it is not based on their moral standards and will have zero correlation with them. Zero correlation means: Tendency toward good, bad, indifferent, or a mix, will exist in all of the components. Existing as part of nature, these orientations will therefore have the capacities for all of these outcomes; and history has shown that to be exactly the case. Just as group identity can result in collaboration or war - just as nature identity can result in national parks or anti-technology movements - just as humanity orientation can result in space program or gulags - so can self-interest result in Apple Computers or rainforest deforestation and expensive sneakers being marketed to the ghetto so that people must deal crack in order to purchase them. So it is just as wrong to glorify self-interest and prosecute collective interest as it is to extol collective interest and prosecute self-interest. Both have destructive as well as constructive potentials; both can go toward outcomes good, bad, indifferent, or a mix.

    A related error has been that of equating service with servitude and altruism with totalitarianism. Here again Ayn Rand was wrong. Service done willingly is not servitude; it is a willingly made choice. And it is choice that can be very fulfilling to the person who does it, as it was was fulfilling to me to work as a tutor and to volunteer at a charity. Truly altruistic organizations are nothing like totalitarianism, and there is nothing totalitarian about American Red Cross or Medicins Sans Frontiers. And having done both regular for-profit work and volunteering and charitable work, I did not find the organizations where I did volunteering and charitable work to be more authoritarian than the for-profit businesses. Indeed I found the greatest authoritarianism in for-profit corporations located in the Midwest.

    It is undeniable that Ayn Rand made valid points, in some cases uniquely valid. Her affirmation of genius, innovation, creative freedom, passionate love, individual's right to one's life, and portrayal of feelings as having a rational logic to them rather than being seen as "inferior function," are noble and beneficial stances. But these stances have been de-emphasized by today's Objectivists, while the errors have been aggressively embraced. Which means that today's Objectivism is more a force for harm than it is for good, and true rationality demands doing away with these errors and developing and practicing a more inclusive understanding of the world.
     
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  17. Gelecski7238

    Gelecski7238 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    If you checked the websites that give details on the experiment, you might know that the refined method is to shoot one photon at a time at the two slits. The conventional expectation is that the photon must go thru one slit or the other, but it doesn't, unless proven with a detector on at least one slit and conscious awareness of the data from the detector. Otherwise it seems to go thru both slits at the same time. The only way it can do that is to manifest as waveform energy. I don't claim that one part of the duality is more fundamental than the other. You might say that energy seems to be more fundamental than matter, since matter doesn't zip across the universe the way energy does.

    I'm tired of jumping thru hoops over minutia. Go to the website resources.

    Oh, I'm wrong since it's OK for you to declare such by putting wrong phrases in my mouth. The collapse function is obviously not the exclusive domain of humans.

    Let's see you conform to that restriction by measuring something with a ruler.

    The experiment speaks for itself along with the 88+ years during which it has stood the test of time. It's not about me.

    We have seen what you have produced from your understanding of said implications. I suggest you review the previous exchanges and try to be a better judge of that.
     
  18. Gelecski7238

    Gelecski7238 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I'll have to check into such likely unflattering labels.

    Aside from the technical irrelevancy of your drastic sarcasm, I suggest you ponder the biblical miracle of the wall that fell on 80,000 Assyrian enemy troops and killed them before they could get to where they were certain to have an easy time wiping out the favored ones.
     
  19. Gelecski7238

    Gelecski7238 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I did not claim that the physics proves the above by Rand to be wrong. I indicated that her citing of subjectivity as irrelevant is wrong. The dbl slit experiment shows that subjectivity is relevant. Also, the subjective behavior of waves/particles such as electrons is relevant.
     
  20. Gelecski7238

    Gelecski7238 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    You're correct about one thing, the meth. I have no experience with meth. Note that Kant seemed to be claiming that reality is not comprehended without the mind contributing something that becomes part of the comprehension.
     
  21. Gelecski7238

    Gelecski7238 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Unless you had something else in mind, Krellian refers to the Warlord in Quest/World of Warfare.
     
  22. xwsmithx

    xwsmithx Well-Known Member

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    You blame capitalism here for what is an error of socialism, or the lack of private property rights. In places like the eastern United States where land is held in private hands, the land is managed well and in many cases ends up being protected. In places like the western United States where land is held mostly by government, the land is used and abused and none of it gets protected. In places like most of South and Central America where land is owned by no one, the land gets stripped of its resources and abandoned quickly once it is no longer valuable. That wouldn't/couldn't happen if the land was held by private parties.

    Bullshit. While it's true that the lack of respect for the individual does indeed predate socialism, it doesn't originate with Christianity but with the system of kings and principalities, the idea that only the king matters and everyone else exists to serve him. What socialism did was to extend this idea to the collective, that the individual doesn't matter, only the collective matters. This, too, does not come from Christianity but from Marxism. To reach the goal of collectivism, it is necessary to abuse excellence, suppress passion and genius, condemn originality and individuality, because all these things differentiate the man of greatness from the ordinary man, and collectivism cannot tolerate differentiation. The left does not fight these wrongs, the left commits these wrongs. Only with the rise of Protestant Christianity and capitalism did the individual start to come into his own.

    This is your error, not Rand's. Rand recognized that people could have differing values besides property acquisition... Her hero, John Galt, worked as a day laborer and owned very little. Her hero, Howard Rourke, considered his independence more important than his personal wealth, and turned down jobs that could have made him a lot of money but would have required sacrificing his personal vision. She considered stay at home mothers to have a very important job and that they should treat it as their occupation. So no, Rand did not equate rational interest solely with property acquisition.

    Again, this is your misinterpretation of Rand. When Ayn Rand discussed man's self-interest, she meant all the ways in which a man can benefit, not just materially. When Rand's hero, Hank Rearden, gives Dagny Taggart a very expensive necklace, she portrays it as his having done it purely in his own interest. He gives nothing of himself away by giving her the necklace, even though it cost him a good deal of money, and he commits no act of altruism by giving her a symbol of his love for her. Their entire relationship is one of equals exchanging value for value, love for sex, sex for love. Hank Rearden's wife, on the other hand, is portrayed as a leech on society, not because she does not make money but because she takes the view that she is entitled to Rearden's money, that any act of sex or love she volunteers is pure charity on her part. Hank Rearden's wife is the epitome of selfishness, but Rand depicts her as a shrew, a harpy, and evil incarnate, and condemns her to a life of poverty when she tries to break up Rearden's relationship with Dagny.

    I don't even know where you get this idea from. I don't recall it in any of Ayn Rand's books, and I have read most of them. Rand's bete noire was the idea of altruism, that you should sacrifice for the good of the collective. That, to Rand, was the ultimate evil, the self-sacrifice of one's own self-interest for the interests of others, particularly if that interest isn't motivated by anything other than selfish desires for unearned gain. That any individual should place himself voluntarily into the position of a slave was anathema to Rand. And that is the ultimate idea behind the notion that we exist "to serve others".

    If you did it as an extension of your own self-interest, then Rand wouldn't have a problem with it. It's when it becomes a "higher good" to serve others than to serve yourself that it becomes servitude. And I'm guessing that your volunteer and charity work came after you had worked to provide yourself with a home, food, clothes, and a disposable income suitable for a decent life. You didn't sacrifice your self-interest to volunteer.

    Authoritarianism comes in when people decide others ought to volunteer. Bill Clinton famously said he thought volunteerism ought to be made compulsory. Well, guess what? That's not voluntarism, that's slavery.


    I can't speak to "today's Objectivism" because I'm not involved in the group or movement, but the idea that Objectivism itself is a force for harm is nonsense. By calling on all people to act in their own best interests, by defending and upholding the individual as the highest, greatest good, by defending and upholding the principles of capitalism as the only economic system that is compatible with freedom and individual rights, Objectivism is a force for great good, perhaps the only philosophical force in the world that is.
     
  23. ibshambat

    ibshambat Well-Known Member

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    Some good effort has been made by Nature Conservancy, which uses private donations to buy some stretches of land to save it from logging. There was also a photographer who restored a huge forest over several years.




    "abuse excellence, suppress passion and genius, condemn originality and individuality" - that is something I've seen done the most in conservative, not liberal, societies.

    Capitalism precedes Protestant Christianity by thousands of years. What made contemporary capitalism work was science and technology. Otherwise capitalism would have remained an exchange of basic goods at the level it was in Medieval Persia.



    This reminds me of a joke. A woman tells her husband in bed, "I just want you to hold me. You are not in touch enough with my emotional needs as a woman for me to satisfy your sexual needs as a man. I just wish you loved me for who I am rather than what I can do for you in bed." Next day he takes her to lunch, then he takes her to a clothes shop. She gets a bunch of clothes, and at the checkout he says, "I just want you to hold these. You are not enough in touch with my financial needs as a man for me to satisfy your shopping needs as a woman. I just wish you loved me for who I am rather than what I can buy for you."



    I do it because I like the work that the Salvation Army does, and I like to do something that benefits their organization. I do sacrifice my time there.
     
  24. xwsmithx

    xwsmithx Well-Known Member

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    I support the work The Nature Conservancy does, although it's been years since I could subscribe to their magazine, or National Wildlife.

    I think you're misusing the terms "conservative" and "liberal" here. I was using them to refer to capitalist and socialist systems. You're using them to mean repressive and free. Yes, repressive places like Saudi Arabia are not good for the rise of talented individuals, but then neither are socialist paradises like North Korea. Only conservative (i.e., capitalist and free) countries like the US, the rest of the Anglosphere, northwestern Europe, and Japan and South Korea allow for the full development of extraordinary individuals.

    I think you're misusing the term "capitalism" here. The system you're referring to is "barter", and it was very primitive. Capitalism requires a) currency, and b) the ability to accumulate funds for projects too large for any one person to pull off alone (i.e., capital). The predominant economic system adhered to by most countries up until the 1700s was mercantilism, the attempt to accumulate as much wealth as possible within the country as measured by how much GOLD (or other precious commodities) they could gather. To that end, only those who were authorized by the government were allowed to be in business. Small itinerant merchants might be allowed to come and go as they pleased, but larger operations or anyone engaged in an economically significant occupation would have to be granted a charter by the government. This is not capitalism but state authorized monopoly or oligopoly. Capitalism and Protestantism did indeed rise hand in hand, and John Calvin had a lot to do with that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
  25. fmw

    fmw Well-Known Member

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    What sense is there is debating beliefs? They are personal.
     

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