Selene

Christopher Hitchens has passed away - well he has the answer now...

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The 'mystical revelation' Peikoff refers to is what you call "intrinsic truth," and, to repeat, you are right that this is how religionists view "absolute truth." The problem with you and Hitchens is that you don't understand that "absolute truth" (in the sense of absolutely certain knowledge) can be attained contextually. The fact that absolute certainty can be acquired through reason--in other words, that man's mind can know reality--is the epistemological foundation of Objectivism.

The point I am making is that Hitchens (and the British Empiricist tradition broadly) also accepts the Religionist's definition of "absolute truth" (i.e. "absolute truth" = "intrinsic truth").

I do accept that reason can reach (contextually) absolute truth. But to someone like Hitchens a "contextual absolute" is a contradiction in terms. To put it in Objectivist terms, a "contextual absolute" reads as "Contextually Acontextual."

This doesn't mean that Hitchens believes reason is useless. He's a very strong advocate of human reason (even if, on technical details, he probably has some differences with Objectivism in describing how reason operates). He simply believes that one must always be open to new evidence and never take any empirical statement for granted.

Again, you're assuming that Hitchens is using Objectivese when he isn't.

The "absolute" in "absolute truth" is often used for pure reinforcement, for emphasis. Therefore a statement like "Truth is absolutely contextual" contains no contradiction if "absolutely" is used as a mere emphasis. More on the other thread:

http://www.objectivi...=0

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The "absolute" in "absolute truth" is often used for pure reinforcement, for emphasis. Therefore a statement like "Truth is absolutely contextual" contains no contradiction if "absolutely" is used as a mere emphasis. More on the other thread:

http://www.objectivi...=0

Have you considered the distinction between that which must be true and that which just happens to be true? Some true statements are necessarily true. For example the statement: an even number is divisible by 2. Some true statement happen to be true, but could have been otherwise. For example the statement: there is a five dollar bill in my wallet.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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The Jacket has contributed a nice piece on the Hitch.

http://reason.com/ar...er-hitchens-rip

Dennis:

Thanks. Excellent piece.

Hitchens was not simply a contrarian but
a serious thinker who was constantly rechecking his math:
Karl Marx was possibly the consummate anti-statist in his original writings and believed that the state was not the solution to social problems, but the outcome of them, the forcible resolution in favor of one ruling group. He thought that if you could give a name to utopia, it was the withering away of the state. Certainly those words had a big effect on me.

Constantly checking your premises rings so true.

Would that Ayn had, post split, followed her own directives, and the obscene post Randians, like Peikoff, would employ her admonition now.

Adam

Post Script:

Really powefull conclusion:

If
Reason
helped keep Hitch's blood pumping hot for even a minute, that's something we're extremely proud of. And we're extremely grateful for the shelf of books he gave us all to pore over for years to come, and the example of how to move through the worlds of culture, politics, and ideas with an inspiring combination of grace, fun, and seriousness.

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Constantly checking your premises rings so true.

Would that Ayn had, post split, followed her own directives, and the obscene post Randians, like Peikoff, would employ her admonition now.

Which premise would that be in Ayn's case?

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Constantly checking your premises rings so true.

Would that Ayn had, post split, followed her own directives, and the obscene post Randians, like Peikoff, would employ her admonition now.

Which premise would that be in Ayn's case?

All of her applied political premises.

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Great Hitchens moment: [pro-war]

Awful Hitchens moment: [anti-Tea-Party]

Love him or hate him, he was his own man.

He was much more consistent in advocating big government across ideological borders.

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Constantly checking your premises rings so true.

Would that Ayn had, post split, followed her own directives, and the obscene post Randians, like Peikoff, would employ her admonition now.

Which premise would that be in Ayn's case?

All of her applied political premises.

The most important political premise would be that capitalism is the only moral political system.

More specifically the importance of individual rights, especially property rights, to man's proper functioning and the necessity of strong legal system and government to ensure those against foreign and domestic threats.

I know you don't disagree with this, so maybe it's in the word "applied". But what's an applied premise?

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Constantly checking your premises rings so true.

Would that Ayn had, post split, followed her own directives, and the obscene post Randians, like Peikoff, would employ her admonition now.

Which premise would that be in Ayn's case?

All of her applied political premises.

The most important political premise would be that capitalism is the only moral political system.

More specifically the importance of individual rights, especially property rights, to man's proper functioning and the necessity of strong legal system and government to ensure those against foreign and domestic threats.

I know you don't disagree with this, so maybe it's in the word "applied". But what's an applied premise?

Essentially, the methodology to achieve your premises politically.

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The "absolute" in "absolute truth" is often used for pure reinforcement, for emphasis. Therefore a statement like "Truth is absolutely contextual" contains no contradiction if "absolutely" is used as a mere emphasis. More on the other thread:

http://www.objectivi...=0

Have you considered the distinction between that which must be true and that which just happens to be true? Some true statements are necessarily true. For example the statement: an even number is divisible by 2. Some true statement happen to be true, but could have been otherwise. For example the statement: there is a five dollar bill in my wallet.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Reply in post # 29 on the other thread: http://www.objectivi...pic=11503&st=20

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