RobinReborn

I will not die it's the world that will end

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Good thinking, Tony, RR, and all.

I think I was closest to the view Rand expressed on dying and end of the world during the first year or so after my first lover’s death. My closeness to him in death was a big competitor with what ties I had emotionally to the continuing world. I continued to live and work with thought to that world beyond me, but the greatest nearness was him, and us together in our stillness. But in a while, I inverted to the world continuing after me. I had an expression for it: “Value is here.” Here with the remaining, including the remaining beyond me. So in the end, I do not approve of the ego-centered conception of world and value expressed in Rand’s remark, at least not if there is no counterbalance expressed for the value to oneself of the world that continues beyond oneself. (I do think the world of any significance does eventually end, but I hope a long life for it.*)

TG in #9, surely you are correct about Lucretius and a likely real connection to Rand. (There is possible historical connection also to Schopenhauer, whom she says she read [and not only through Nietzsche] and whom she mentioned in We the Living, but I can’t dig it out at this time.) Thanks, TG, also for the info in #8, the connection recorded by Peikoff.

There is a complex, tensioned ego-centered world held high at the end of Anthem. I discuss that, its worth and its portent for Rand’s subsequent literature and philosophy, in my book in progress.*

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Stephen, Rand's ego-centric world is the world she made and if she overdid it it still made for powerful art and philosophy from art. She explicitly endorsed artificiality in We the Living to contrast Kira with her sister (in the novel) who loved what was "real." I'm not going to criticize her artistic excess as I appreciate it, frankly, for creators have to endulge in crazy to get over the hump of non-existence. Reality sorts it all out in the end.

--Brant

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No value without a 'valuer' endorses that when the valuer dies, his/her values end with him/her, although who and what was valued, carries on. It's what I continue to admire about the title We The Living, dedicated to we all, in the here and now. In her famous statement, Rand could either be seen as coming near to the most egocentrically subjective she'd ever been - or being rather tongue in cheek, but with some quantity of truth to it. Recognizing that she clearly knew that life and the world goes on, I've always assumed the second.

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My two bits' worth is that we seldom perceive reality in a flash, in a single instant.

From my experience, everyone does "perceive reality in a flash" all the time.

Seeing is instantaneous. It occurs before a thought can even arise. We gave up the ability to see when we were taught by to look at the world only by looking at its reflection in our intellect instead of taking it in directly. This is the curse of cultural intellectualism. It stamps out seeing.

It's just fine to think about what is seen after the fact as long as we realize that thinking about what is seen is not seeing itself. The cultivation of seeing clearly directly and acting upon what is seen before thought arises is highly sought after in Zen Buddhism as well as in martial arts.

Greg

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My two bits' worth is that we seldom perceive reality in a flash, in a single instant.

From my experience, everyone does "perceive reality in a flash" all the time.

You have misunderstood Tony's argument, Greg, and truncated his reasoning. I emphasize what you missed:

My two bits' worth is that we seldom perceive reality in a flash, in a single instant. [Reality is] always 'there' around us, to be examined, considered and re-considered, in actuality and from one's memory banks. From that data stream one builds up an inductive experience, which has to be sorted into alike and unalike categories to be knowledge.

Now, Tony's schemata is pretty mainstream. It maintains a distinction between perception and knowledge, and describes as a data stream all sensory inputs. Not only can we see at the same time as we hear, we also at the same time sense proprioception, touch, warmth, pain, cold, pressure, taste, scent ... and alongside this stream of perceptions we also perceive our 'inner voice,' our imagination, our memories and our knowledge. We focus and scan, we isolate for attention, we use our enhanced abilities (to read) to add another flow of mental imagery and concepts. We recollect. We analyze. We summarize, conclude, ignore, avoid. We use our 'mind' to probe, measure, compare, sum, subtract, multiply ...

Another input of the data-stream is our emotional content. We feel in our bodies the effects of fear, anger, sadness, joy, anticipation, surprise, revulsion and so on, mixed together sometimes and with various intensities.

Think of a newborn baby. She cannot see with accuracy, nor can she integrate the elements in her environment into verbal behaviour. In a sense, she learns to see, she learns to hear, she learns even to walk. She does not have much in her mind with which to compare her newborn perceptions.

From that baby to the most celebrated genius, Greg, whose rational mind performs with more horsepower and creativity than you and I. There is a huge amount of neural growth and learning to accomplish before we 'perfect' our senses.

Seeing is instantaneous.

And yet, seeing needs looking, aiming. Tony's "in a flash" is a rolling event, Greg. The import of a momentary flash of visual input is variable. Think of seeing ghosts -- the brief flash of visual perception is accompanied by 'sense-making' almost as fast. And if the 'sense-making' is forced, as with ghost-hunters, the brief flash is interpreted by expectation.

[seeing] occurs before a thought can even arise. We gave up the ability to see when we were taught by to look at the world only by looking at its reflection in our intellect instead of taking it in directly.

This is a bit sensible and a bit garble. Thought, or cognition not only accompanies but precedes a flash of visual input. Cognition can prime the sensory systems.

This is the curse of cultural intellectualism. It stamps out seeing.

Can you define 'cultural intellectualism'? Is there a way to behave as an intellectual without being tied to culture?

As usual, you give no illustrative example, and you do not build your statements into an argument. What makes it sad/funny is that your bias against 'intellectualism' prevents you from studying, or accepting that someone may have got to a subject before you. The cognitive science of vision, for example. I bet you have not a freaking clue what its lessons are ...

I will give you a hint: what kinds of intellectual effort led to a robot car that can 'see' traffic? How much 'cognition' is necessary for the robot to avoid hazards and proceed as planned? Imagine all the many points of data streaming into its 'brain' from its visual sensors, imagine the calculations of trajectory and speed and size and distance. This is analogous to human 'seeing.'

The act of 'seeing' and comprehending and responding to the seen environment is a necessarily complicated thing.

If you are making a poetic case for clearing the mind and allowing eyes to silently rest in the face of reality, to gain a non-cognitive appreciation of the scenery and activities, you are almost there. But the best way to share your insights is to give an example of your own seeing-without-thinking. I imagine you sitting on a log in the forest watching nature at play. I am sure it is a nice place to be. I can also imagine you gazing at an unfamiliar piece of machinery. God forbid you do any thinking about it, let alone touching it, turning it, disassembling it, analyzing it.

Can you see now that Tony made sense, in the bigger context of Reason?

Edited by william.scherk

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My two bits' worth is that we seldom perceive reality in a flash, in a single instant.

From my experience, everyone does "perceive reality in a flash" all the time.

You have misunderstood Tony's argument, Greg, and truncated his reasoning. I emphasize what you missed:

My two bits' worth is that we seldom perceive reality in a flash, in a single instant. [Reality is] always 'there' around us, to be examined, considered and re-considered, in actuality and from one's memory banks. From that data stream one builds up an inductive experience, which has to be sorted into alike and unalike categories to be knowledge.

Now, Tony's schemata is pretty mainstream. It maintains a distinction between perception and knowledge, and describes as a data stream all sensory inputs. Not only can we see at the same time as we hear, we also at the same time sense proprioception, touch, warmth, pain, cold, pressure, taste, scent ... and alongside this stream of perceptions we also perceive our 'inner voice,' our imagination, our memories and our knowledge. We focus and scan, we isolate for attention, we use our enhanced abilities (to read) to add another flow of mental imagery and concepts. We recollect. We analyze. We summarize, conclude, ignore, avoid. We use our 'mind' to probe, measure, compare, sum, subtract, multiply ...

Another input of the data-stream is our emotional content. We feel in our bodies the effects of fear, anger, sadness, joy, anticipation, surprise, revulsion and so on, mixed together sometimes and with various intensities.

Think of a newborn baby. She cannot see with accuracy, nor can she integrate the elements in her environment into verbal behaviour. In a sense, she learns to see, she learns to hear, she learns even to walk. She does not have much in her mind with which to compare her newborn perceptions.

From that baby to the most celebrated genius, Greg, whose rational mind performs with more horsepower and creativity than you and I. There is a huge amount of neural growth and learning to accomplish before we 'perfect' our senses.

In future, I'll just point to this and say "What he says". A great piece of explication from my rough-and-ready thinking.

I could also look to your precision, William. I too often throw out my thoughts with not enough care to phrasing - and - "we seldom perceive reality in a flash" - was mis-written. You took that vague ambiguity into account and look past it, I think. "Apprehend" is what I meant, not "perceive", I believe. It does mean that Greg is also quite correct on perception (while overlooking the central point), for one's senses have to be trusted fully in the immediate present. 'Sensory bias' (I'm sure you have a better term) can block or divert one's awareness of reality. In some slums once, I heard wailing from an abandoned shack that I convinced myself to be by a cat which sounded remarkably like a baby, except of course it was a baby when I finally got round to looking.

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You have misunderstood Tony's argument, Greg, and truncated his reasoning. I emphasize what you missed:

My two bits' worth is that we seldom perceive reality in a flash, in a single instant. [Reality is] always 'there' around us, to be examined, considered and re-considered, in actuality and from one's memory banks. From that data stream one builds up an inductive experience, which has to be sorted into alike and unalike categories to be knowledge.

I didn't miss it. I'm talking about something quite different.

Now, Tony's schemata is pretty mainstream.

Yes, I know. Cultural intellectualism, which is fine... there is also something else beyond that.

Can you define 'cultural intellectualism'?

Yes.

The view that there is nothing greater than your intellect. You are your brain. Your brain is god. And you the god of thought...

...but only inside your darkened mind.

It's rather a secular religion, and liberal by nature because it is feminized.

Bureaucracism

The religion of blind scribes.

Is there a way to behave as an intellectual without being tied to culture?

No.

As usual, you give no illustrative example, and you do not build your statements into an argument.

Of course not, William... because I'm not making an argument. I'm simply stating a view.

There's no need on my part to convince you or anybody else here that something exists outside of their cultural intellectualism. I'm quite content with you going to your grave "thinking" your intellect is the totality of your being. That's not my business. It's yours. Because it's totally up to you whether or not you find out for yourself.

Greg

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Not entirely sure where this thread is going but let me try to bring it back to my original point.

Experiences are transferable, but any transfer will be imperfect. The clearest example of this for me is a baby crying, s/he is transferring their experience of pain to anybody nearby. Most parents will try several things to stop their baby from crying (give it a toy, give it food, try changing its diaper etc). As the baby grows its ability to communicate its experience to its parents will improve, but it will never reach perfection. In its teenage years it may transfer its experience by rebelling against its parents or even being violent. It may feel like nobody understands it and that experience can't be transferred at all... but that's completely wrong. If experience's couldn't be transferred then communication wouldn't be possible.

As for experience after death, I assume that lack of ability to communicate implies lack of experience. I've read that after death some people experience a few minutes of brain activity but beyond that I think it's ridiculous to assume that there's any experience or consciousness (except in the minds of others).

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An experience is one thing and the idea of an experience quite another. You've mixed them up. If I read about other people's experiences those are not mine and my actual experience is in that reading. You can read about an exponentially greater number of experiences than you in turn could ever actually experience and you sure wouldn't want to have them all coming at you as real experiences; you'd be immediately over-whelmed into insanity, unable to deal with reality.

--Brant

some drugs will do that to you

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Experiences are transferable, but any transfer will be imperfect.

That misconception will only entangle you in endless non-resolvable argument... and that's not such a bad thing, for that is also your own direct personal experience of futility. Whether or not it convinces you is totally your own choice of response.

The clearest example of this for me is a baby crying, s/he is transferring their experience of pain to anybody nearby. Most parents will try several things to stop their baby from crying (give it a toy, give it food, try changing its diaper etc). As the baby grows its ability to communicate its experience to its parents will improve, but it will never reach perfection.

Communication of experience is not transference. The closest you can get is when two people have already had similar personal experiences to which they each can relate. So you can try to argue about death till you're blue in the face and it will always be for nothing until you actually know for yourself by your own direct personal experience.

Greg

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Greg,

I see the views you have expressed on Objectivist Living are of a piece with those you expressed eight years ago on the site Sustained Reaction:

1. Whatever you worship is god.

2. You worship your intellect.

3. For you there is no greater god.

4. You take your god of intellect that you worship to the grave with you.

Why are you posting on the site Objectivist Living? Going to persuade someone here of the correctness of your views about God? Persuade someone here that you or anyone is not mortal full stop?

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Greg,

I see the views you have expressed on Objectivist Living are of a piece with those you expressed eight years ago on the site Sustained Reaction:

1. Whatever you worship is god.

2. You worship your intellect.

3. For you there is no greater god.

4. You take your god of intellect that you worship to the grave with you.

Why are you posting on the site Objectivist Living? Going to persuade someone here of the correctness of your views about God? Persuade someone here that you or anyone is not mortal full stop?

We will all find out that "mortal" never existed in the first place!

Jesus H. Christ!

--Jesus Christ

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Greg,

I see the views you have expressed on Objectivist Living are of a piece with those you expressed eight years ago on the site Sustained Reaction:

1. Whatever you worship is god.

2. You worship your intellect.

3. For you there is no greater god.

4. You take your god of intellect that you worship to the grave with you.

Why are you posting on the site Objectivist Living?

I enjoy it, Stephen. :smile:

I don't watch any television as it's passive, posed, inane, and panders mostly to secular leftists, So this is spontaneous interactive public television for me.

Going to persuade someone here of the correctness of your views about God?

Not at all. I simply enjoy the personal satisfaction of expressing my view, fully understanding that both you and I will live and die as we each deserve because that's the consequence of each of our own individual personal choice...

...and no mere words on any monitor could ever possess the power to alter your choice of mine... or any one else's for that matter.

]quote]Persuade someone here that you or anyone is not mortal full stop?

Not sure from where you got that inference as I've said more than once that death is perfectly fair, because everyone dies and no one escapes.

Greg

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Greg,

Do you think that when you die, you will cease to exist in every way?

Equivocation on death or mortality or any other term and concept is deceitful.

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Greg,

Do you think that when you die, you will cease to exist in every way?

I know because everyone was physically born, everyone physically dies... and I also know by my own personal experience that's not the end.

Greg

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The dough is getting a little stiff. Time for some leavening, a fresh dead/undead angle. Would you share a grave with Caitlyn Jenner, anybody? She's a Rand Paul Republican. She certainly did well as a male, spawning with three wives, racking up glory medals for America, and now she certainly looks set to do well in her retirement.

Taking the spotlight off Greg as gay intellectual manqué for a moment, allowing the inner Joan Rivers in all of us to comment. Points for tying the cover story into the concepts dropped: experience, communication, empathy, babies, transferable experience, a persistent soul after death.

I bet at least one OLer can transfer his experience (represent his cognitions and emotional state) to the rest of us on viewing the lovely and talented Caitlyn. From the CBC story on the Vanity Fair cover. The Duke is Dead. Long Live the Duchess.

caitlyn_Jenner.png

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The dough i Time for some leavening, a fresh dead/undead angle.

There's nothing new about feminized males.

Greg

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I wonder if by any chance that Vanity Fair cover photo of Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner in post #69 was minutely airbrushed or photoshopped? :tongue:

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I wonder if by any chance that Vanity Fair cover photo of Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner in post #69 was minutely airbrushed or photoshopped? :tongue:

All such photography is. It has to be.

Jenner strikes me only as a media hog. I just want to stay away as much as possible. I have no idea of a moral center. At least I don't see any of the filthy rot that you get from many of the left. The base of attractiveness is one's moral worth, not a body beautiful. That's just unnecessary gravy. We (oops!) all appreciate gravy, but not more than the steak.

--Brant

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Greg,

Do you think that when you die, you will cease to exist in every way?

I know because everyone was physically born, everyone physically dies... and I also know by my own personal experience that's not the end.

Talk about a pussy.

You're just as welcome to your view as I am to mine...

...as each of us is getting what we deserve as the result.

Greg

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You're just as welcome to your view as I am to mine...

...as each of us is getting what we deserve as the result.

Greg

Each of us are entitled to their own views. None of us are entitled to our own facts.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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