Michael Stuart Kelly

Awesome Talk with Ray Bradbury--The Meaning of Life

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...I hardly need to support with Objectivist credo, that man's mind assimilates reality in a hierarchical process: sensory, perceptual and conceptual.

Very nicely phrased Tony.

May I use it? Short, memorable and to the point! thumbsup.gif

A...

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...I hardly need to support with Objectivist credo, that man's mind assimilates reality in a hierarchical process: sensory, perceptual and conceptual.

Very nicely phrased Tony.

May I use it? Short, memorable and to the point! thumbsup.gif

A...

I also agree with that succinct description.

We first see.

Then come thoughts about what we see.

And then thoughts about the thoughts.

Greg

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What's the second most common thought? (Oh and is this ranking cardinal or ordinal?)

I have no idea.I only know that belief in the thought that we are the originator of thought is what forms the foundation for how we relate to all thought. Once you've chosen that view, it's irrelevant what the second most common one is.Ask yourself these questions:Do I indiscriminately act upon every thought?Why don't I if they are all that I am?Greg
I never thought I was the originator of thought , I don't think I ever entertained the idea that there was an originator of thought as such. But I do believe I am the originator of all the thoughts that are mine.

And by asking the second most common thought I thought perhaps we could start a list and that I would claim to have what we determined was the least common thought , therefore being as close as one could come to the idea of having an original thought. But alas hopes dashed :(

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...I hardly need to support with Objectivist credo, that man's mind assimilates reality in a hierarchical process: sensory, perceptual and conceptual.

Very nicely phrased Tony.

May I use it? Short, memorable and to the point! thumbsup.gif

A...

Adam, But of course, cuz - glad you like the phrasing.

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I never thought I was the originator of thought , I don't think I ever entertained the idea that there was an originator of thought as such. But I do believe I am the originator of all the thoughts that are mine.

Ok, Tony. That establishes your view as the one who originates all your own thoughts.

Do you act upon every thought you think?

If not... why not?

Greg

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Greg, "Self-generating" and "self-directing" [AR] are we.

Not acting "Indiscriminately on every thought" (in your words) points to our faculty of volitional consciousness: the ability to act according to our value judgements (or perhaps not) from an array of thought-emotion choices

Youre big on self-responsibility,right? so don't you see that your "self-made abstractions" are the starter and the motor of responsibility to self?

Taking it on from there is the epistemological base for rational egoism.

Without having more than one option, or the volition to select one, no moral choice is possible. Therefore, no morality.

Off on a slight tangent, it sometimes strikes me that the God-Concept for religious folk is what replaces the higher abstractions for philosophers.

Off a little more, and I am enthralled by the discoveries of neuroscientists quite recently, who find that man actually channels (my word) his neural networks- and is consciously and constantly forging new ones. (My very lay man way of putting something so complex. But MSK has put out a quantity of these findings).

See what this means?

Philosophers got there first.

Rand specifically, explained the self-directing brain-mind-process "from the inside", by introspection alone.

This is wonderful stuff. Philosophers, especially Rand, anticipated the neuroscientists!

I don't know if this has been receiving the attention it deserves from O'ist scholars who have the required knowledge in neuroscience.

A perfect topic for a paper by Stephen Boydstun...

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Greg:

This discussion is interfering with my Wildcard Weekend "religious" observances.

Do you believe that each individual has a "soul?"

And if so, where might it be within the individual's body?

Again, no traps here, just curiosity.

A...

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Greg, "Self-generating" and "self-directing" [AR] are we.

Yes. Free choice is a given. We could not exist as morally accountable human beings without it.

Not acting "Indiscriminately on every thought" (in your words) points to our faculty of volitional consciousness: the ability to act according to our value judgements (or perhaps not) from an array of thought-emotion choices

So then you are not just your thoughts alone. You are that which makes the final judgment on whether or not to act upon them, according to your moral values. For if you were only your thoughts, there would be no free choice to act contrary to them.

Youre big on self-responsibility,right? so don't you see that your "self-made abstractions" are the starter and the motor of responsibility to self?

For me, those abstractions are not self made, but instead are expressions of my love for That to Which I am personally morally accountable. I certainly didn't create the moral ground rules. They existed long before I was ever in this world, and will exist long after I'm gone. I only choose to abide by them.

Taking it on from there is the epistemological base for rational egoism.

Without having more than one option, or the volition to select one, no moral choice is possible. Therefore, no morality.

There is never only one option. Every aspect of human behavior has a moral component already built into it. But that's just my view, so instead I'll ask you to describe a situation with only one option so that you can fully clarify your own view.

Off on a slight tangent, it sometimes strikes me that the God-Concept for religious folk is what replaces the higher abstractions for philosophers.

That could well be true for a lot of religious people. For me, God is a direct inner personal experience from which I'm free to derive concepts, as long as I understand that a concept is not God. It's just my subjective opinion about the objective reality of God. Like a finger pointing at the Moon could never be the Moon itself... nor does that finger have any effect upon the moon itself.

Off a little more, and I am enthralled by the discoveries of neuroscientists quite recently, who find that man actually channels (my word) his neural networks- and is consciously and constantly forging new ones. (My very lay man way of putting something so complex. But MSK has put out a quantity of these findings).

See what this means?

Yes. It means that scientists are constantly discovering the intricacies of preexisting physical laws which govern human life.

Philosophers got there first.

Yes. Just as insight precedes knowledge. Because insight is not thought. It is the flash of understanding itself. Now this understanding could literally be about anything including the nature of thought itself, but it is not thought. It is what precedes thought. Then afterward we are free to think about that insight, and to choose the words and deeds with which to express it.

Rand specifically, explained the self-directing brain-mind-process "from the inside", by introspection alone.

This is wonderful stuff. Philosophers, especially Rand, anticipated the neuroscientists!

Yes... and that existence of the act of introspection alone heralds the truth of the existence of the objective observer of thought and emotion.

That observer is us. :smile:

Greg

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Philosophers got there first.

Rand specifically, explained the self-directing brain-mind-process "from the inside", by introspection alone.

This is wonderful stuff. Philosophers, especially Rand, anticipated the neuroscientists!

I don't know if this has been receiving the attention it deserves from O'ist scholars who have the required knowledge in neuroscience.

A perfect topic for a paper by Stephen Boydstun...

Whenever I see statements like this which violate the second law of thermodynamics ----- slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch....

We require external energy sources in order to function.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Philosophers got there first.

Rand specifically, explained the self-directing brain-mind-process "from the inside", by introspection alone.

This is wonderful stuff. Philosophers, especially Rand, anticipated the neuroscientists!

I don't know if this has been receiving the attention it deserves from O'ist scholars who have the required knowledge in neuroscience.

A perfect topic for a paper by Stephen Boydstun...

Whenever I see statements like this which violate the second law of thermodynamics ----- slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch....

We require external energy sources in order to function.

Ba'al Chatzaf

"...inch by inch..."

...and run, eh Bob?

You'll have to explain the relevance of the 2nd Law to me, no contradiction that I can tell between it and self-generating, -directing consciousness. .

I believe any top neuroscientist would find Rand's ItOE, her theories of consciousness and conceptualization engrossing reading.

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I never thought I was the originator of thought , I don't think I ever entertained the idea that there was an originator of thought as such. But I do believe I am the originator of all the thoughts that are mine.

Ok, Tony. That establishes your view as the one who originates all your own thoughts.Do you act upon every thought you think?If not... why not?Greg

I don't act upon every single thought I am aware of, firstly because of sheer volume. I do, mostly, discriminate on content and then if warranted increase focus on a particular thought perhaps enhance to notion status and ruminate on whether or not to continue it to a full fledged notion , weigh what I think the outcome(s) of initiating action(s) may be and then decide whether or not to act. Rough approximation of the process, skipping over some details , but that is the basic exercise, you?

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Greg:

This discussion is interfering with my Wildcard Weekend "religious" observances.

Do you believe that each individual has a "soul?"

And if so, where might it be within the individual's body?

Again, no traps here, just curiosity.

A...

You're not a trap kind of person, Adam. And when there is nothing to hide there can be no such thing anyway.

So the answer to your question is yes. Unlike the rest of the animal kingdom, inherent to being human includes a non physical component.

“ALL OF HUMANITY'S PROBLEMS STEM FROM MAN'S INABILITY TO SIT QUIETLY IN A ROOM ALONE"

--Blaise Pascal

"BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD."

--Psalms

You can experience the presence of this non physical component for yourself, but it means doing one thing that is quite difficult for humans to do... nothing.

See if you are able to sit still in a quiet room alone with no distractions until the thoughts in your mind slow down enough for you to become aware of yourself. Simply look around with your eyes for a while. Now look through your eyes. Feel the distance between you as the observer... your eyes through which you are looking... and the objects in the room you are looking at.

You are not what is in the room. You are not even your eyes. You are the conscious awareness that is looking through your eyes, and your body is the vessel which carries you within it.

Greg

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I never thought I was the originator of thought , I don't think I ever entertained the idea that there was an originator of thought as such. But I do believe I am the originator of all the thoughts that are mine.

Ok, Tony. That establishes your view as the one who originates all your own thoughts.Do you act upon every thought you think?If not... why not?Greg

I don't act upon every single thought I am aware of, firstly because of sheer volume.

An apt description, Tony.

Buddha described the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, carrying on endlessly. It's called "monkey mind".

I do, mostly, discriminate on content and then if warranted increase focus on a particular thought perhaps enhance to notion status and ruminate on whether or not to continue it to a full fledged notion , weigh what I think the outcome(s) of initiating action(s) may be and then decide whether or not to act. Rough approximation of the process, skipping over some details , but that is the basic exercise, you?

Note that you are the one who chooses which thoughts to act upon and which to let go by unresponded. If you were only your thoughts, you could only act indiscriminately upon every thought because it would be impossible to act contrary to yourself if the totality of your being was only your thoughts.

Now to make good choices of which thoughts to act upon and which to let go by involves developing the ability to see your thoughts objectively by the light of the reality of what they truly are. And this involves finding a peculiar point of view by which you can see yourself as if you were another person. Only from this vantage point of calm patient centered objectivity is it possible to make good choices of which thoughts upon which to act and which to let go.

Greg

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Buddha described the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, carrying on endlessly. It's called "monkey mind".
Landmark Education Forum Programs call it "silencing" the voices in your head.
Forces focusing and eliminating the "noice in the channel,"
A...
Post Script: Trust me I am more than capable of setting traps, both in nature and argument. If I thought you were dishonest, I wouldn't eveb think twice.

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I never thought I was the originator of thought , I don't think I ever entertained the idea that there was an originator of thought as such. But I do believe I am the originator of all the thoughts that are mine.

Ok, Tony. That establishes your view as the one who originates all your own thoughts.Do you act upon every thought you think?If not... why not?Greg

I don't act upon every single thought I am aware of, firstly because of sheer volume.

An apt description, Tony.

Buddha described the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, carrying on endlessly. It's called "monkey mind".

I do, mostly, discriminate on content and then if warranted increase focus on a particular thought perhaps enhance to notion status and ruminate on whether or not to continue it to a full fledged notion , weigh what I think the outcome(s) of initiating action(s) may be and then decide whether or not to act. Rough approximation of the process, skipping over some details , but that is the basic exercise, you?

Note that you are the one who chooses which thoughts to act upon and which to let go by unresponded. If you were only your thoughts, you could only act indiscriminately upon every thought because it would be impossible to act contrary to yourself if the totality of your being was only your thoughts.

Now to make good choices of which thoughts to act upon and which to let go by involves developing the ability to see your thoughts objectively by the light of the reality of what they truly are. And this involves finding a peculiar point of view by which you can see yourself as if you were another person. Only from this vantage point of calm patient centered objectivity is it possible to make good choices of which thoughts upon which to act and which to let go.

Greg

I could only imagine what Buddha may have said about drunken monkeys if in his time they had typesets in Magadhi.

I think the problem we may be having is the term 'thought' is so nebulous. I understand thought to mean something like products , or contents, of 'the' mental process. A rather general term that includes conscious and subconscious 'thoughts'. What you describe seems close to my understanding that all humans have a capacity for rationality and objectivity, what I understand as the faculty of reason. I understand it as a innate faculty , a feature of volitional consciousness, but I do not understand it as some kind of gland or organ that acts on or receives transmission of some media called thought. All my thoughts are products of my interactions with 'external' reality. Are you familiar with Rand's nonfiction concerning epistemology?

Tad

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Buddha described the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, carrying on endlessly. It's called "monkey mind".

Landmark Education Forum Programs call it "silencing" the voices in your head.

Forces focusing and eliminating the "noice in the channel,"

A...

That can be a deadly mistake.

When the stretched rubber band of artificially suppressed unresolved thought and emotion snaps you have mass murderers. This is an article of faith of the narcoculture religion today, of silencing the voices with drugs, and it is literally creating the monsters which will destroy the society that created them. And by moral law this is both just and deserved. Doping people to suppress their destructive thoughts only dulls their awareness of them while evil grows within them.

Nothing should be silenced, for that halts the beneficial process of introspection. Every thought should be observed, for that is the only way to discover the objective reality of what you are.

The hallmark of a decent human being is that they are constantly gaining ascendency over their thoughts and emotions. The fulfillment of being a man is to be the master of his own mind.

Animals fail.

Post Script: Trust me I am more than capable of setting traps, both in nature and argument. If I thought you were dishonest, I wouldn't eveb think twice.

Can you see that no matter which way it is, the behavior of each of us towards the other would match? This is a valuable principle of moral law worth grasping. :smile:

Greg

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Can you see that no matter which way it is, the behavior of each of us towards the other would match? This is a valuable principle of moral law worth grasping. :smile:

Greg

Sure, I can "see" "that."

Question is, of what value to me is seeing "that?"

Secondly, I was inaccurate as to what the Landmark Forum means by "silencing the voices."

Their concept is that a person has an "already always listening" state in their psyche which they have trained themsleves to observe/sense/interpret the world.

Similar to Ayn's "sense of life," a gestalt, a judicial philosophy, etc.

Finally, to achieve a state of pure silence is a state of mind wherein you become more accutely aware of the world.

A...

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Can you see that no matter which way it is, the behavior of each of us towards the other would match? This is a valuable principle of moral law worth grasping. :smile:

Greg

Sure, I can "see" "that."

Question is, of what value to me is seeing "that?"

It's up to you whether or not it has value to you.

Secondly, I was inaccurate as to what the Landmark Forum means by "silencing the voices."

Their concept is that a person has an "already always listening" state in their psyche which they have trained themsleves to observe/sense/interpret the world.

Ah, that's a much more sane rational approach.

Similar to Ayn's "sense of life," a gestalt, a judicial philosophy, etc.

Finally, to achieve a state of pure silence is a state of mind wherein you become more accutely aware of the world.

A...

Yes. Because we are not our thoughts. We are that which has the ability to become consciously aware of our thoughts.

That's also a principle of Zen which predates Landmark by centuries. As long as that silence is not forced by any effort or imposed externally by dope, but is a natural result of our learning how to develop a proper relation to thought.

Whenever you see the same idea popping up in completely disparate sources, it can be an indicator of its validity.

Greg

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Whenever you see the same idea popping up in disparate sources, it means the idea pops up in disparate sources it has nothing whatever to do with its validity.

Validity has to do with correspodence to reality.

Ideas are held by individuals and must be generated (originate 'in', or recognized by) the individuals that hold them. Thought is uniquely generated , the commonality is that we all do it.

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Whenever you see the same idea popping up in disparate sources, it means the idea pops up in disparate sources it has nothing whatever to do with its validity.

I only said that it can be an indicator of validity, but certainly not the only one.

Validity has to do with correspodence to reality.

Indeed it does.

And you can easily determine the validity of the principles you chose to live by simply by observing the reality of what your own life is right now. For the life you are living today is the just and deserved consequence of the life you lived yesterday.

Ideas are held by individuals and must be generated (originate 'in', or recognized by) the individuals that hold them. Thought is uniquely generated , the commonality is that we all do it.

Since you have affirmed the view that you are the sole creator of your thoughts. Are you anything else besides your thoughts? And if you are, can you describe it?

Greg

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Whenever you see the same idea popping up in disparate sources, it means the idea pops up in disparate sources it has nothing whatever to do with its validity.

I only said that it can be an indicator of validity, but certainly not the only one.

Validity has to do with correspodence to reality.

Indeed it does.

And you can easily determine the validity of the principles you chose to live by simply by observing the reality of what your own life is right now. For the life you are living today is the just and deserved consequence of the life you lived yesterday.

Ideas are held by individuals and must be generated (originate 'in', or recognized by) the individuals that hold them. Thought is uniquely generated , the commonality is that we all do it.

Since you have affirmed the view that you are the sole creator of your thoughts. Are you anything else besides your thoughts? And if you are, can you describe it?

Greg

An idea is either valid or not( in this context true or not), the number of individuals throughout history that express recognition of it( the idea) has no bearing on whether or not the particular idea corresponds or does not correspond with reality. One could postulate that since numerous people have expressed an idea that that in and of itself may reflect that the idea is valid or true, but I think that assumption can only be made if one also assumes , at least, the majority of those people expressing and concurring with a particular idea have considered the idea objectively. But even that has nothing to do with the 'validity' of the idea itself, it either is valid, or it is not. If I express or originate an idea and it proves to be true, the fact that someone else recognizes the truth or validity of the idea doesn't make it any truer. If I originate an idea that is true but fail to communicate it to another that does not make the idea any less true.

As to whether or not I am only thought, I will go with Popeye "I am what I am, and thats all that I am" with a little of grandma thrown in for good measure so snails and puppy dog tails too.:)

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Whenever you see the same idea popping up in disparate sources, it means the idea pops up in disparate sources it has nothing whatever to do with its validity.

I only said that it can be an indicator of validity, but certainly not the only one.

Validity has to do with correspodence to reality.

Indeed it does.

And you can easily determine the validity of the principles you chose to live by simply by observing the reality of what your own life is right now. For the life you are living today is the just and deserved consequence of the life you lived yesterday.

Ideas are held by individuals and must be generated (originate 'in', or recognized by) the individuals that hold them. Thought is uniquely generated , the commonality is that we all do it.

Since you have affirmed the view that you are the sole creator of your thoughts. Are you anything else besides your thoughts? And if you are, can you describe it?

Greg

An idea is either valid or not( in this context true or not),

Yes. And the reality of your own life right now is the only final judge of the validity of the idea(l)s you live by.

the number of individuals throughout history that express recognition of it( the idea) has no bearing on whether or not the particular idea corresponds or does not correspond with reality.

Also true. Popular collective societal consensus is no indicator of what is right and wrong. Quite often it is exactly the opposite. But what I was referring to was more akin to noting the shape of a pyramid in Egypt and discovering a similar shaped pyramid in South America.

The idea of doing to others as you would like them to do to you can be found within many different paradigms which are widely separated by time and space. This kind of universal durability bespeaks high quality in a principle.

If I originate an idea that is true but fail to communicate it to another that does not make the idea any less true.

In my view, you can originate nothing. However, you can become aware of what is already there.

As to whether or not I am only thought, I will go with Popeye "I am what I am, and thats all that I am" with a little of grandma thrown in for good measure so snails and puppy dog tails too. :smile:

Fair enough. Thought is what you are and all that you are.

Greg

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Actually I think Popeye comes pretty close to my chosen view.

"I am"( primacy of existence) "what I am" (consciousness, identification) "and that's all that I am"( man as an integration of physical body and spirit, with a limiting factor too, "all" in the inclusive and limiting sense) that spinach is some powerful stuff

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Actually I think Popeye comes pretty close to my chosen view.

"I am"( primacy of existence) "what I am" (consciousness, identification) "and that's all that I am"( man as an integration of physical body and spirit, with a limiting factor too, "all" in the inclusive and limiting sense) that spinach is some powerful stuff

Ok, you're that which consciously identifies with the words you just wrote. But can you empirically prove the existence of spirit?

(jeez... sounding like a secularist now :wink: )

Greg

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Actually I think Popeye comes pretty close to my chosen view."I am"( primacy of existence) "what I am" (consciousness, identification) "and that's all that I am"( man as an integration of physical body and spirit, with a limiting factor too, "all" in the inclusive and limiting sense) that spinach is some powerful stuff

Ok, you're that which consciously identifies with the words you just wrote. But can you empirically prove the existence of spirit?(jeez... sounding like a secularist now :wink: )Greg
I am what consciously identifies with the words I wrote, and at the same time liver,kidneys and toenails, yes?

I equate spirit here with consciousness/awareness , and no spirit can not be empirically proven. Consciousness/awareness is axiomatic.

I suppose whether or not an entity "has" consciousness can be empirically proven, I think this is what the Turing Test was all about, but as to proving whether or not I am conscious ,that is an inescapable given, aside from a severe bump on the head or drinking a fifth of bourbon.

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