syrakusos

Is Objectivism Falsifiable or Merely Explanatory?

Recommended Posts

I choose to stick to virtues and values which are identifiable, objective.

But ~ also ~ to explore all that's human. (So much for anyone introducing a claim of mutual exclusivity, to me.)

The second cannot be sustained without the former..

Many of our ethical values are the product cultural evolution where humans prevail over their biological impulses, 'transcend' them, so to speak.

That's why building an ethics on a 'man's need for survival' premise can be such a slippery slope.

Take the NIOF principle for example. While it can be argued that NIOF does have some biological foundation: the desire of primates for harmony in a group, harmony being associated with security. Gestures of appeasement, of grooming, etc. qualify as a form of NIOF) - one is faced with another fact, the fact that the very opposite, IOF (initiation of force), had been been used for many millenia by our forefathers for the purpose of ensuring survival too.

It can be assumed that none of us would exist if our stone-age ancestors had not initiated force on others and their possessions ...

The same goes for issues like deceit: camouflage colors for example that hide the predator (or protect the prey) are biologocal survival tools. They are no conscious acts of deception of course, but there exist higher developed animals like certain monkeys who can cleverly imitate 'warning cries' in the jungle, after which their group members flee in a panic to save themselves from an alleged predator. The clever 'voice imitator' then snatches the coconuts the group has left behind. By regularly using this tactic, the 'deceiver' becomes well-nourished and thus increases his chance of producing offspring.

I'm not arguing against throwing biological argumentation out of philosophy. I'm merely arguing against using biology as a model for human ethical behavior.

Social Darwinism is a drastic example of how this can end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

William, you do acknowledge that there are great men out there? Holding them back is not going to help anyone. Now, the typical argument against capitalism is a straw man, that those great men are in fact evil and self-serving... but those aren't great men at all.

What you get when you try to raise the bottom of a society is a lower ceiling. That's all. If you have any faith in humanity, you will allow the potential great men (and women, of course) out there every opportunity to succeed however they choose.

As Rand said, in a compromise between good and evil, evil always prevails. When you hold back great men as a consequence of restricting evil men, you actually help the bad 'uns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I do not mean to clobber you as a lovely man with a big heart, Tony, just remind myself ..

Thank you, a fine compliment, William - in return, whatever our differences (for now, and probably in future) you make yourself clear as a truth-follower...and, may I say? - an irredeemable, natural- born individualist. ;)

About the male lion, I had heard it from a game ranger (not 'Goggle")that he has known one to kill its own cubs, which is where I sourced it from. Shows, even Mother Nature screws up badly.

A great woman I have known a long time, grew up in a home with a father who, subtley, mentally abused his chidren all their life. Simply, it seems he perceived that they came between him and his pathologically-adored wife - more simply, he was jealous of them. Their mother was their only bulwark against his bullying...

All four siblings (including twin brothers) left home fast, and soon scattered world-wide; despite milady's efforts of reconciliation, even now, well into their 50's, they refuse to communicate with each other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all, sorry for the late answer.

Michael

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=12022&st=160#entry162736

That which you call your soul or spirit is your consciousness, and that which you call “free will” is your mind’s freedom to think or not, the only will you have, your only freedom, the choice that controls all the choices you make and determines your life and your character.

http://aynrandlexico...ll.html#order_1

Dglgmut

What is I refering to? How does the word I connect to existence exists?

whYNOT and not just whYNOT.

I will start elsewhere.

The traditional source of the law of non-contradiction is Aristotle's Metaphysics where he gives three different versions.[11]

  1. ontological: "It is impossible that the same thing belong and not belong to the same thing at the same time and in the same respect." (1005b19-20)
  2. psychological: "No one can believe that the same thing can (at the same time) be and not be." (1005b23-24)
  3. logical: "The most certain of all basic principles is that contradictory propositions are not true simultaneously." (1011b13-14)

http://en.wikipedia....7s_contribution

Now it gets weird, because a result of ~(P and ~P) when we shift to psychology is this: If you know P, I mean really know P as it makes sense to you, you can't know ~P. So if we reduce your world view to P you can't know another world view as ~P. Don't sweat it, that is not unique for you, that is so for all humans. But it has a profound impact on ethical theories of the good life, because what if the good life is a multivariate of several regularities/variations.

In other words for all humans capable of cognition and feeling there appears to be both regularities and variations when we look at how that plays out in relationship to the good life. Now for the love of life, I can't remember where I learned this rule and from whom it is from, but it goes like this:

Reality is a multivariate of several regularities/variations and every time you run into a universal explanation consisting of two factors for which the one is true and the other false you ought to check if it involves an over-reduction of factors. In everyday words every time someone claims something is black and white you check.

But in practice we all do that when we act. We reduce everything, something, something else and/or nothing down to P and ~P in order for us to have a reason to act. E.g. should I have triple chocolate ice cream or an apple.

So here are some examples of black and white as I have encountered them on the Internet:

  • "Existence=true=life and non-existence= false=death". The problem with that one is how is it that someone can get away with answering: No!
  • "I live in the real world". One problem with that is that entails other humans live in the unreal world, for which you can ask several questions about that; how do you know that? Is it rational to divide reality into real and unreal?
  • "I can't understand reality as you and thus act as you, therefore you can't act at all". The answer that you can give is this: Yes, I can and I have just done so.

Now go back to post 161http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=12022&st=160#entry162628 and I will show you a classic from the Internet: "People, who don't give evidence for their claims, are irrational". It is a variant along Rand's as per post 161, but here is the first problem: Let us say you and I were looking at cat that was yellow; i.e. the cat has the property of being yellow. So if a human is irrational, that human has the property of being irrational. So now check your premises, both for being sound and valid. As for being sound ask yourself this: What does irrational look, sound, smell, taste and touch like?

The answer is this: It doesn't because other humans are not irrational as not thinking in the right manner or thinking in the wrong manner! I accept that other humans can think differently than me all the way down that we can label the difference P and ~P as per ~(P and ~P). But don't accept that they are think in a wrong manner, both because I can't explain that with external experience and just as importantly: It violates the silver rule: "Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you". In other words and that includes Ayn Rand's version: "A contradiction cannot exist. An atom is itself, and so is the universe; neither can contradict its own identity; nor can a part contradict the whole. No concept man forms is valid unless he integrates it without contradiction into the total sum of his knowledge. To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one’s thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one’s mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality."; it goes like this: To functionally claim that another human is not really a proper human, not really in reality or any other version to that effect is a two edged sword, that everybody else can turn against you. I.e. the silver rule.

The second version goes like this: People who are irrational will get themselves killed, because they are irrational. The answer to that one is: No! Now it is irrational to answer no, so how will that get me killed???

snip...

You mentioned "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed"- earlier.

The "commanded" is what counts (the purpose and the primary), I think; the "obeyed", the means.

Would you agree?

So whYNOT, your answer captures a part of it, but you must always check against what you take for granted as to the purpose and the primary. In short - check your premises - is practically applied skepticism because you must able to doubt P in order for you to check ~P. Further always check for internal versus external experience and also check any claim of a positive or negative when it come to ethics.

So we might as well get him out of the way:

1.jpeg

Ask yourself this: How do I know that Hitler had the property of being evil???

Now from the fact that Hitler wasn't evil, but rather did things we don't approve of, it doesn't follow that we can't rationally decide that it would have been rational to kill Hitler. It just means that the moment you start to label other humans as evil, irrational, outside reality and any of the other negative, check if you like that method applied to you.

Now back to this:

psychological: "No one can believe that the same thing can (at the same time) be and not be." (1005b23-24)

You can also trust scientist to poke their nose into everything. :) Here is an example (Note one thing - that is in all likelihood a half-truth):

http://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive-dissonance.html

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cognitive+dissonance

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cognitive+dissonance

So the key question is in a sense this: When doing philosophy all way back to the 3 axioms and that they form a hierarchy. I.e.

Primacy of Existence vs. Primacy of Consciousness, the question becomes this between reality as reality in toto and what it means to command reality.

So here it is how absurd it may be. As a soldier I was taught, conditioned and drill into accepting this: You can't command reality, you manage chaos. In cultural terms it is German doctrine of how to train soldiers from the grunts to the generals. It applies to all ranks and it goes like this: Any (complex) plan Will break down, when it meets reality. When that happens, you keep thinking and acting in order to keep the initiative.

In philosophical terms it is applied skepticism/falsification and it means you don't obey reality by creating absolute order, you obey reality by managing chaos by finding "islands of order". You accept it will go wrong as according to the plan and you keep on going.

So back to contradictions, coherence and cognitive dissonance. Ayn Rand's version: "A contradiction cannot exist. An atom is itself, and so is the universe; neither can contradict its own identity; nor can a part contradict the whole. No concept man forms is valid unless he integrates it without contradiction into the total sum of his knowledge. To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one’s thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one’s mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality."

So here it is dead pan, literally and reductio ad absurdum. How you do integrate all concepts with contradiction, when you consider contradiction is a concept. Further how do a human arrive at and maintain a contradiction, if contradictions don't exist.

In other words no negation exist as literally existing as non-existence, but rather we experience a contradiction as primarily a negative and how we deal with that experience influences how we do philosophy. It goes all the way to Primacy of Existence vs. Primacy of Consciousness and how to ground ethics both as good and bad life in reality. Humans are not outside biology and not caused but not determined. We are caused and determined like everything else, but we are as a specie different because we have to learn and learn to learn and learning means to learn to deal with contradictions.

As to the tabula rasa we are born with the ability to learn and cope and that includes trying to maintain coherence and avoid contradictions, but we must also learn to cope with contradictions as a part of learning.

So Ayn Rand did a marvelous job with the 3 axioms and the Primacy of Existence all the way doing to that ethics exists as biology in individuals, but she failed to account for the diversity between the selfish gene and how that plays out in the individuals. As explained by one biologist - humans primarily "mutate as to survival of the fittest though cognition". :) It is still within the Primacy of Existence, reality as such, nature and evolution. But remember this:

Reality is a multivariate of several regularities/variations and every time you run into a universal explanation consisting of two factors for which the one is true and the other false you ought to check if it involves an over-reduction of factors. In everyday words every time someone claims something is black and white you check.

So for you, I and everybody else we are all each A is A And a multivariate of several regularities/variations back to reality is a multivariate of several regularities/variations as all part of existence exists and that include contradictions.

More later if real life permits

Mikkel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...