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Existence exists?


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#321 general semanticist

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 12:08 PM

The act of choosing what to value is subjective, not the value itself. Food is not subjective, choosing to eat is.
'Always' and 'Never' are two words you should always remember never to use. :-)

#322 Selene

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 12:31 PM

GS:

Can "value" be objective [objective meaning independent of the human senses]?

Adam
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#323 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 01:44 PM

GS:

Can "value" be objective [objective meaning independent of the human senses]?

Adam


How can a valuer value some valued thing without the use of senses?

Ba'al Chatzaf
אויב מיין באָבע האט בייצים זי וואָלט זיין מיין זיידע

#324 Xray

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 10:16 AM

Here you've let slip that you understand the English: That x is the goal of y, or that the goal of y is x, does not necessarily mean that y is a volitional, goal seeking entity. That construction depends on whether y is in fact a volitional, goal seeking entity. If not, that phrasing means the goal is that of those playing the game, in the one case, and those existing in the other.

We are talking about the phrase "Joy is the goal of existence", which is a subjective value judgment, there is no getting around this fact.

If you wish to argue that values are necessarily subjective, that is another issue, which I addressed in my post #237:

Or, jump off that bridge over there, if that's your subjective choice, since there is, after all, no objective difference between wanting to live and wanting to die."

Some more examples: If values are necessarily subjective, then any difference between the morality of Sophie Scholl, and the morality of Joseph Mengele, is merely a matter of opinion, purely subjective. So is the difference between the Third Reich, and the Bundesrepublik. Some may prefer one, some the other, like preferring chocolate ice-cream to vanilla, or vice versa.

Have at it.

For sure, there is an objective difference between alive and dead. Alas, the wanting or not wanting is the issue. Ergo, the objective difference is in the end result AFTER subjective choice.

"Some more examples: If values are necessarily subjective, then any difference between the morality of Sophie Scholl, and the morality of Joseph Mengele, is merely a matter of opinion, purely subjective. So is the difference between the Third Reich, and the Bundesrepublik. Some may prefer one, some the other, like preferring chocolate ice-cream to vanilla, or vice
versa.

To simply recognize the fact that value is subjective neither expresses, nor implies any approval/disapproval of any particular valuation. It's simply recognition of what is, not what I prefer.

Didn't you just exercise your subjective, personal preference in comparing the "moralities"? If not, what is your rationale for denying subjective value while demonstrating it in your denial?

BTW, The Crusades, the Inquisition and any other historical occurrences you care to name didn't happen because value is subjective. They happened because of denial of the fact that value is subjective. All such atrocities, including those of the "Third Reich", were propagated, promoted and carried out on the premise of objective value, of value existing independently of individual valuation. The claimed motivation and "justification" always was (and is) "God's will", "For the Fatherland", "Motherland", la la land, whatever.

Edited by Xray, 15 May 2009 - 05:20 PM.


#325 Christopher

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 11:12 AM

GS:

Can "value" be objective [objective meaning independent of the human senses]?

Adam


How can a valuer value some valued thing without the use of senses?

Ba'al Chatzaf


I value justice, but justice is an abstract concept.

#326 Christopher

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 11:30 AM

Since we've both read Objectivist Epistemology, I know that your response will be: justice is a concept found on other concepts which are ultimately founded on percepts. This is absolutely true. To take it further and address Adam's post, even imagination originates from observations of reality at some point in time according to OE. Concepts cannot be created in a vacuum. Everything that is valued implies a valuer. Therefore, according to OE, everything that can be valued must originate from observations of reality (i.e. perceptions through the senses).

However, I'd question whether choice is necessarily involved in values. According to Objectivist definition, values are based on actions and not judgments. Therefore, if someone acts automatically and unconsciously (without conscious choice), those actions at some level come to represent the values of that person.

Edited by Christopher, 15 May 2009 - 11:30 AM.


#327 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 11:42 AM

GS:

Can "value" be objective [objective meaning independent of the human senses]?

Adam


How can a valuer value some valued thing without the use of senses?

Ba'al Chatzaf


I value justice, but justice is an abstract concept.


You must have experienced instances of justice, otherwise you would not have the concept.

Ba'al Chatzaf
אויב מיין באָבע האט בייצים זי וואָלט זיין מיין זיידע

#328 Christopher

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 12:35 PM

You're using a wide definition of the word "experience."

I'm going to quote Rand here on the concept of Justice from p.51 of OE:

** For instance: what fact of reality gave rise to the concept "justice"? The fact that man must draw conclusions about the things, people and events around him, i.e., must judge and evaluate them. Is his judgment automatically right? No. What causes his judgment to be wrong? The lack of sufficient evidence, or his evasion of the evidence, or his inclusion of considerations other than the facts of the case. How, then, is he to arrive at the right judgment? By basing it exclusively on the factual evidence and by considering all the relevant evidence available. But isn't this a description of "objectivity"? Yes, "objective judgment" is one of the wider categories to which the concept "justice" belongs. What distinguishes "justice" from other instances of objective judgment? When one evaluates the nature or actions of inanimate objects, the criterion of judgment is determined by the particular purpose for which one evaluates them. But how does one determine a criterion for evaluating the character and actions of men, in viewe of the fact that men possess the faculty of volition? What science can provide an objective criterion of evaluation in regard to volitional matters? Ethics. Now, do I need a concept to designate the act of judging a man's character and/or actions exclusively on the basis of all the factual evidence available, and of evaluating it by means of an objective moral criterion? Yes. That concept is "justice." **

Justice implicates observations of reality, but justice itself is not something one senses in the way you're talking about the senses. Justice requires reasoning and judgment, it is not a form of perceptual experience.

Chris

#329 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 02:18 PM

Justice implicates observations of reality, but justice itself is not something one senses in the way you're talking about the senses. Justice requires reasoning and judgment, it is not a form of perceptual experience.

Chris


Quite so. More than perception is involved. There is abstraction and judgment as well. This raises the question of what is knowledge. It is not merely perception. More is involved in knowing what it is that is perceived. Because the perception has to be encompassed by a universal to make any sense. Hence - this perceived particular- is an instance of that universal category (or concept) so somehow the concept or universal must be available to identify the particular.

Plato raised this question in his dialogue -Theaetetus-. While Plato did not answer the question what is knowledge, he gave a pretty good proof that whatever knowledge is is more than perception or grasp of particulars. Plato says that knowledge requires that universals be grasped (comprehended). Plato was very, very smart. He ask many of the Good Questions long before Rand or any of us were born. Plato asked (placing the question in the mouth of Socrates) what is Justice. His famous dialogue -The Republic- is an attempt to answer this question. I do not think Plato succeeded, at least not to my satisfaction.

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#330 Xray

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 05:17 PM

The act of valuing requires a valuer. The valuer is always an individual (or a group of individuals agreeing on a certain subjective value or values), hence the choice can't be anything but subjective.

There exist no objective values "out there", only to be discovered.

When someone says "I value justice", "justice" is whatever the subjective valuer personally conceives as such.

Edited by Xray, 16 May 2009 - 12:53 PM.


#331 general semanticist

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 06:25 AM

This raises the question of what is knowledge. It is not merely perception. More is involved in knowing what it is that is perceived. Because the perception has to be encompassed by a universal to make any sense. Hence - this perceived particular- is an instance of that universal category (or concept) so somehow the concept or universal must be available to identify the particular.

Yes, I think the best desdription of 'knowledge' is structure, and structure applies equally to verbal and non-verbal (perceptual) abstractions.
'Always' and 'Never' are two words you should always remember never to use. :-)




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