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On 2017/02/12 at 7:22 PM, moralist said:

Your description of phony compassion is spot on, Tony.

Just as Capitalist business transactions are always win/win where both parties involved profit from it... moral interactions are also always win/win where both parties involved become better people. The latter being the only real purpose in life, everything else serves it.

Greg

Yah, you can't hide your goods (or services) from honest appraisal, and that two way integrity is what you get in value-trade for value-trade.

Phony compassion is only part of the story.

Don't forget that compassion is really an emotion and only an emotion, as beneficent to mankind as its effects might be. It is not some sort of pre-sensory 'second sight', as I think is often thought. You have to first see someone in a distressful situation and/or recognize distress in their appearance. Iow, perceive and identify and evaluate - before an emotion is possible. Just, the process happens so fast it appears to be instantaneous or unconscious--and "intuitive". Any emotion is the result of one perceiving 'something', and varies by kind according to one's previously-made value judgments about life. I mean, for extreme example, some people will take pleasure in seeing others' discomfort - probably because it validates their belief and experience, that life is pain - they aren't necessarily psychopathic either. The point being that a number of people will have a wide range of inconsistent or nuanced emotional reactions to the same scenario. So an emotion isn't an accurate means of judgment and a most dubious cause for action.

What is growing increasingly nowadays is a pandemic of emotionalism, in particular "compassion", being used as the replacement for rational thought and judgment. What is irksome is that 'compassionistas' all believe they have the monopoly on that emotion, and that a thinking person can't know such emotions, nor comprehend their high-minded moralism. Worse, is how carefully they cherry-pick the objects of their sensitive feelings. You see it all the time: like the wailing and weeping for the poor, poor people who are blocked from entering the US (for instance) - while making hardly a peep about shariah-repressed women back in those countries, nor - those numbers of civilians (many, Christians, which might explain it) who have been brutalized and murdered by ISIS over past several years. Pretty disgusting.

In this, is a 'selective' altruism and a 'calculated' compassion I think, and since it's so widespread and in global lock-step, would correctly be altruism-collectivism.

 

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Tony, exactly what you described is the reason not to act on the thoughts which arise from transient irrational emotions.

Being religious, I regard the equitable ethical value-for-value business interactions of Capitalism as the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth because they are literal manifestations of Divine moral law in this world.

Whether or not people realize that law comes from God is irrelevant...

...because everyone can enjoy the blessings of keeping it.  nodder.gif

 

Greg

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Greg, Agreed and disagree. Emotions aren't actually transient, it only seems that way. They occur causally; they are our built-in, automated and final response of something "out there" relating to what is "in here". Treat them as important signals pointing to a state of affairs you've just seen in reality and how that state impacts on your values, I suggest. As such, an emotion can be very indicative, appropriate - and rational. It is absolutely "right" to be fearful, amused, compassionate, angry, happy, guilty (etc.) when the situation coupled to your values/life-view calls for it.

And yes, we can tell from our past experience alone, that thinking, judging and -especially- acting in direct consequence of one's emotion (which in even a rational person, might not ~always~ correspond to reality and his/her values) are usually going to have poor, to very bad outcomes for us and probably for others. It reverses cause-to-effect, making emotions as primary cause, and that they can never be. Okay, it can be do-able for a while, then one becomes ruled by runaway emotions, following one on top of the next until loss of rationality .

However, at the instant when 'signalled' by a particular emotion, one will and should find what it is and how it came about, and go back to its initial cause (an incident, a sight, a conversation, etc.) and think and then act solely from that original objective base.

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I remember while riding the school bus, thinking about nothing sexual around the fifth grade, I was very embarrassed to stand up when we arrived. 

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Fun with philosophy ...

On 2/14/2017 at 0:01 AM, anthony said:

Don't forget that compassion is really an emotion and only an emotion, as beneficent to mankind as its effects might be. It is not some sort of pre-sensory 'second sight', as I think is often thought. [...]

What is growing increasingly nowadays is a pandemic of emotionalism, in particular "compassion", being used as the replacement for rational thought and judgment.

Whipping up emotion, inciting a mob, falsely accusing of moral crimes, using emotional 'blackmail' to persuade or coerce, by-passing reason by appeal to pity, appeal to the majority, appeal to fear ... we can find patterns and instances where the power of emotion swamps reason.   No particular emotion like fear, anger, sadness, happiness, disgust, surprise is guilty, but the persuader -- if an argument or thesis relies fully upon an incitement or calculated stimulus of emotion.  When emotion is used as a blunt tool overriding reason ... we should probably have a suspicious response.  

To what end are emotions being stimulated and inculcated?  What arguments are sidelined when emotion takes over discussion?

Compassion is as Tony suggests, a combination of rational assessment and complex feeling state. To feel compassion is to make intellectual summary of an object as worthy of compassion. One might say "I feel compassion" without any strong emotion at all. One can be manipulated to have a feeling in reaction to visual information: distressed orphan dogs on death row, feel strangely moved, reach for cheque-book.

Most elemental, and what can be exploited is a bias in human beings toward distress, If the other is like us, the other in distress is 'mirrored' in mind, so may induce a feeling of what we call empathy, a mirror sensation of distress as if occurring in own body or mind, our own experience, or as cue. Knowing what tortures a condemned man has inflicted upon another's body, we can feel a mix of emotions, even satisfaction at the feeling of his execution.

The appeal to pity is a fallacy, but it works.  Building on the human bias to attend to distress in our species is to 'trigger' a subsequent suite of actions.

Example: who isn't strangely moved at the individual stories of "forgotten Americans," those left behind by globalization of manufacturing? It might not be exactly like puppies being abused by negligence, but the feeling of helpless victim of negligence, it crosses class lines. 

Quote

What is irksome is that 'compassionistas' all believe they have the monopoly on that emotion, and that a thinking person can't know such emotions, nor comprehend their high-minded moralism. Worse, is how carefully they cherry-pick the objects of their sensitive feelings. You see it all the time: like the wailing and weeping for the poor, poor people who are blocked from entering the US (for instance) - while making hardly a peep about shariah-repressed women back in those countries, nor - those numbers of civilians (many, Christians, which might explain it) who have been brutalized and murdered by ISIS over past several years. Pretty disgusting.

My ability to feel abject pity or horror was extinguished in 2013 when I saw the lines of toddlers and babies dead from Sarin. That topped the charts for me.  I can still feel pity and horror, especially at insane ISIS depredations and I still subscribe to information channels that render the daily and weekly totals of dead. I get more angry than sick when I see things like the death-camp photos of the Syrian "Caesar," and when I learn of the secret execution factory at Sednaya. Now and again a picture of a Syrian kid will tug something.

Folks repressed and tortured under the sharia-compliant nations like Iran or the ISIS-afflicted black areas of Syria and Iraq ... it all rolls into a big bag of ugly and half a million dead.  I can imagine living the kind of life enforced in the black areas and the areas still under bombardment. 

I think all of that biased me to accept the Canadian line on refugees from Syria. I am glad our PM didn't bitch out Donald Trump or seek to take points for our humanitarian agenda while he was in DC. 

The first five planeloads in from UNHCR refugees out of Syria were majority Christian (mostly Armenian-Syrian). You do what you can, right?

Quote

In this, is a 'selective' altruism and a 'calculated' compassion I think, and since it's so widespread and in global lock-step, would correctly be altruism-collectivism.

If there is any original stain of behavioural altruism hanging on in us from our primate past lives, it is still relatively potent, but it is my experience that true fellow-feeling is strongest the closest we are in kin, either by blood or adhesion.  The rootedness in biology is made funny by the famous Haldane joke: "I would lay down my life for two brothers or eight cousins." 

2 hours ago, anthony said:

It is absolutely "right" to be fearful, amused, compassionate, angry, happy, guilty (etc.) when the situation coupled to your values/life-view calls for it.

This assertion mixes together items from the hierarchy  of emotions.  Remember we humans have a universal set of basic emotions, which can be exploited by persuaders. When we combine them and align them with other cognitive operations we get a more complex thing like "compassionate."  Compassion in this sense is not an emotion, strictly speaking. The 'state' is composed of emotions, perhaps, but a 'compassionate act' can be emotionless. 

Similarly, guilt is not quite a primary emotion, nor is amusement.  One can feel an instantaneous bodily sensation that is interpreted as shame, but to be guilty may necessitate further cognition.   A child has to learn some aspects of shame and self-reproach. Ability to self-assess as feeling guilty is not available to the the baby, it needs education.

With the exception of these conceptual slips, I agree with the main strokes.   Emotion is relatively easy to whip up, to manipulate, and needless to say, serve inhumane  and wholly irrational and destructive ends.  I like the Spock pretensions of Objectivism, even where I differ on scientific details.

Religious groups that edge into cultism are my metric. The ability to exploit basic human emotions is key to the success of destructive cults. Perhaps the most destructive of humanity in the world today is the ISIS cult. Perhaps the drug cults of Central America. Perhaps potentially more destructive are Iran and North Korea. Lesser cults of belief are seen under other strongmen, the pattern reveals itself in Kazakhstan, Chechnya, the cult-state of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt.

 

This Polish version of a Plutchik wheel is a stretch, but I think one could use it to underline Tony's message: be careful when you find yourself feeling some of the emotions in the hot middle.  You might have been manipulated.

The mixed-feeling of Zal seems to map best to Tony's Guilty feeling, if remorse is a component (angry self-disgust?). I don't see either amusement or compassion depicted.  But what parent doesn't recognize these features in their children?

02258b2b393eae12941e0a29a711a32f.jpg

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"Your subconscious is like a computer—more complex a computer than men can build—and its main function is the integration of your ideas. Who programs it? Your conscious mind. If you default, if you don’t reach any firm convictions, your subconscious is programmed by chance—and you deliver yourself into the power of ideas you do not know you have accepted. But one way or the other, your computer gives you print-outs, daily and hourly, in the form of emotionswhich are lightning-like estimates of the things around you, calculated according to your values".

Rand: "Philosophy: Who needs it?"

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William: "...composed of emotion, perhaps, but a compassionate act can be emotionless".

There we can completely agree. Isn't it exactly what I'm saying? The emotion is the automatic (subconscious) response to something perceived - according to one's (conscious) life-values, one's standards - and as I said, one would "...go back to its initial cause [...] and think and then act solely from that original objective base". (i.e. emotionlessly).

You are not going to convince that emotions are tools of cognition. Nor, that they are 'causeless'. If they are not one's own (self-automated and consciously self-identified), as with a philosophy, they are and will be borrowed from or influenced by others'.

Therefore, the mass hysteria of "emotionalists".

[One thing about the subconscious, which Peikoff put excellently: There's nothing in the subconscious that didn't come by conscious means (approx.)]

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6 hours ago, william.scherk said:

Similarly, guilt is not quite a primary emotion, nor is amusement.

This pup is definitely looking guilty.

Look-deep-into-my-eyes.jpg

Emotions are tools of persuasion. Ethos, pathos, and logos.  I think this is where you and I are on a similar plane, Tony, wary indeed of emotion in extremis.

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Tony wrote: The emotion is the automatic (subconscious) response to something perceived - according to one's (conscious) life-values, one's standards - and as I said, one would "...go back to its initial cause [...] and think and then act solely from that original objective base". (i.e. emotionlessly).

Randoids who deny any faults in their goddess or her thinking. Scientologists. All religionists. The Lame Stream Media Propaganda Machine. Dictatorial states like the USSR or North Korea. They should all lose to “the truth” at some point. Or you can lose your big faking it lie through interrogation and lie detector machines. “Sob. God help me. Don’t hate me. I disliked Beyonce’s songs but I pretended otherwise. Adele was the obvious Grammy winner. Wait! Where are you going? I will try to change.”

Any planned attempt to rewire one’s subconscious is a hazardous undertaking. If I start by saying I love that music when I really just find it “listenable” I cannot convince my subconscious to respond in an honest fashion corresponding to someone who really loves the music.

There is an American TV show called “Bull” and one of the originators is Psychologist Phil Mcgraw. Bull selects juries, accepting some people and rejecting others to exonerate his clients who have been charged with a crime. He looks at the jurors backgrounds. Their stated opinions. The bumper stickers on their cars. Their body language. And he wins his cases.

Peter

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Men have a "self-programmed" consciousness, Nathaniel Branden had it. Some here have read his relevant book, but I can only explain as I experienced it - by comparison to NB quite badly, I know.

In that longtime, continuous inductive process of absorbing real things, one is making endless distinctions, equivalencies and evaluations, often with conscious deliberation (good-bad; pleasurable-painful) - integrating and conceptualizing them. Not always however did, or does, one focus upon every instance and existent. Much of the time we absorb passing instances and stimuli without thought, often the process was or is done subconsciously: Things taken in by the senses, given emotional weight, and erroneous connections and causations made, and so by-passing full, conscious evaluation. In this case, still, one is "automatizing" one's subconscious and emotions.

Re-wiring one's subconscious in total is not required, not possible and not efficacious (I think, Peter) - we are not Scientologists! - although it's in the subconscious largely where we store any faulty "premises" which need "checking". It can pay dividends to revisit, and modify some of those quite strange mental habits and associations one had made from many years ago, and that will conflict with one's knowledge/acts/feelings, now. But, I think, by necessity -- when they individually come up. Many of those premises (I think) are harmless and neutral. Once that's understood, all what matters is paying greater attention - now. To be more alertly focused going ahead, so that far less in future escapes unchecked into our subconscious minds. The repetition and consistency of focusing on objective reality and our values ("excellence then, is not an act but a habit"-Aristotle) "automatizes" our subconscious to a much better-aligned (with one's values and with reality) emotional experience.

To know that every emotion has a cause and an identity, is the big step. Then, no longer do emotions have mysterious power - 'mystical', to some - and be unpredictable and disturbing.

(Self-honesty is the only policy to obviate self-doubt - or possible, unearned guilt. If you don't like something, then you don't like it - period. Whatever you think, or have been told "you should" like).

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2 hours ago, anthony said:

Men have a "self-programmed" consciousness, Nathaniel Branden had it. Some here have read his relevent book, but I can only explain this as I experienced it - by comparison to NB quite badly, I know.

In that longtime, continuous inductive process of absorbing real things, one is making endless distinctions, equivalencies and evaluations, often with conscious deliberation (good-bad; pleasurable-painful) - integrating and conceptualizing them. Not always however did, or does, one focus upon every instance. Much of the time we absorb passing instances and stimuli without thought, often the process was or is done subconsciously: things taken in by the senses, given emotional weight, and erroneous connections and causations made, so by-passing full, conscious evaluation. In that case, one is also "automatizing" one's subconscious and emotions.

Re-wiring one's subconscious in total is not required, not possible and not efficacious (I think, Peter - we are not Scientologists!), although it's in the subconscious largely where we keep those faulty "premises" which need "checking". It can pay dividends to revisit, and modify those quite strange habits and associations one had made from many years ago, and that will conflict with one's knowledge now. But by necessity -- when they individually come up. Much of those premises I consider harmless and neutral. Once that's understood, all what matters is paying greater attention - now. To be more alertly focused going ahead, so that far less in future escapes unchecked into our subconscious minds. The repetition and consistency of focusing on objective reality and values ("excellence then, is not an act but a habit"-Aristotle) "automizes" our subconscious to a much better-aligned (with one's values and with reality) emotional experience.

To know that every emotion has a cause and an identity, is the big step. Then, no longer do emotions have mysterious power - 'mystical', to some - and be unpredictable and disturbing.

(Self-honesty is the only policy. If you don't like something, then you don't like it - period. Whatever you think or been told "you should" like).

All humans have a "self-programmed" consciousness.  Not in total,  for there are autonomic and reflex processes, but a great deal of our brain work can be regulated  and modified.  We call that discipline and learning. The causes of emotion are electro-chemical in nature.  Actually everything about us is physical in the sense that they can be reduced to manifestations of physical laws.  We are regulated by our brains and our glands. 

We are "meat machines"  and we are still trying to figure out the contents of the operators manual. 

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1 hour ago, BaalChatzaf said:

All humans have a "self-programmed" consciousness.  Not in total,  for there are autonomic and reflex processes, but a great deal of our brain work can be regulated  and modified.  We call that discipline and learning. The causes of emotion are electro-chemical in nature.  Actually everything about us is physical in the sense that they can be reduced to manifestations of physical laws.  We are regulated by our brains and our glands. 

We are "meat machines"  and we are still trying to figure out the contents of the operators manual. 

It's a cause and effect thing. Is an emotion/thought the cause of electro-chemical activity? - or is such activity the cause of emotion/thought? No question about the causation for Objectivists. If I recall right (Korben posted his passage in another thread) NB simply relates self-programming to a motorist not having to cogitate and evaluate the need to swerve out of the way of an oncoming truck. He instantly does so - as result of pre-programming himself. I'm fine with containing "discipline and learning" within that concept. But tell me, how does an electro-chemical process "learn" - or discipline itself?

As I see it the faculty of self-programming has an elegant 'psycho-epistemological' close connection with Rand's (epistemological) "Man is a being of volitional consciousness". A human in actuality has a complexity of hierarchical levels of consciousness, shared in large part with animals, from the original biological (yup, reflexive) level, his lizard brain, 'outwards'.

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48 minutes ago, anthony said:

It's a cause and effect thing. Is an emotion/thought the cause of electro-chemical activity? - or is such activity the cause of emotion/thought? No question about the causation for Objectivists. If I recall right (Korben posted his passage in another thread) NB simply relates self-programming to a motorist not having to cogitate and evaluate the need to swerve out of the way of an oncoming truck. He instantly does so - as result of pre-programming himself. I'm fine with containing "discipline and learning" within that concept. But tell me, how does an electro-chemical process "learn" - or discipline itself?

As I see it the faculty of self-programming has an elegant 'psycho-epistemological' close connection with Rand's (epistemological) "Man is a being of volitional consciousness". A human in actuality has a complexity of hierarchical levels of consciousness, shared in large part with animals, from the original biological (yup, reflexive) level, his lizard brain, 'outwards'.

There is a dynamic interaction between emotion (subjectively perceived)  and the operation of the physical systems of the body. Not only cause/effect but feedback/postive and negative. 

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Conflating “Doctor Jekyll”, “Mr. Hyde”, and the right stuff” and we can get an astronaut or a molesting Catholic priest.  

Ba’al wrote: There is a dynamic interaction between emotion (subjectively perceived) and the operation of the physical systems of the body. Not only cause/effect but feedback/postive and negative. end quote

So you agree that there is emotion, and in some sense a soul?

Automatization of physical responses in the simulator as when driving or flying a lunar module? (Chanting. Reciting the multiplication tables. Singing a song from memory, and it makes you happy, happy, happy?) I am just dubious that emotions or “good thoughts” can be “programmed.” I am not a fatalist, but the desire to bite your nails for example, may always be with you, Grasshopper.

I will grant Ba’al and Tony that you can put a good playlist of songs on the jukebox, read a good book, associate with the “good people” and/or have the right outlook on life and thereby you can improve your existence. And bad habits can be reprogrammed but a person’s essence or soul is a combination of your original being, what you have learned, and conscious volition . . . but it is always a combination.

I definitely like Rand’s ideal people and in real life I prefer to associate with honorable people like myself, Ba’al, or Tony.

Peter

The Cowsills - (I Love) The Flower Girl Lyrics

I saw her sitting in the rain
Raindrops falling on her
She didn't seem to care
She sat there and smiled at me

And I knew (I knew, I knew, I knew, I knew)
She could make me happy (happy, happy)
Flowers in her hair, flowers everywhere

I love the flower girl
Oh, I don't know just why
She simply caught my eye
I love the flower girl she seemed so sweet and kind.
She crept into my mind.

I knew I had to say hello (hello, hello)
She smiled up at me
She took my hand and we walked through the park alone

But I knew (I knew, I knew, I knew, I knew)
She had made me happy (happy, happy)
Flowers in her hair, flowers everywhere

I love the flower girl

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1 hour ago, BaalChatzaf said:

There is a dynamic interaction between emotion (subjectively perceived)  and the operation of the physical systems of the body. Not only cause/effect but feedback/postive and negative. 

"Subjectively perceived" emotions are one's means of perception? Not to say, of evaluation? C'mon!

It's a causal reversal which makes for emotionalism.

Positive-negative "feedback" as you explain it is just another way of saying "hit and miss", trial and error.

One couldn't cross a road safely.

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12 minutes ago, anthony said:

"Subjectively perceived" emotions are one's means of perception? Not to say, of evaluation? C'mon! It's this causal reversal which makes for emotionalism.

Positive-negative "feedback" as you explain it is just another way of saying "hit and miss", trial and error.

One couldn't cross a road successfully.

If you can keep your living room at 68 degrees F  plus or minus one degree what is the cause:  The furnace or the thermostat?   The answer is both in dynamic equilbrium.  Dynamic equilibrium is why are environment stays  as steady and as slow moving to change as it does.  How would you like to roast before 3 pm  and freeze your ass off after sunset?   Ah.  I thought so. Dynamic equilibrium is also why we can live  (with luck and good habits) for  seven or eight decades.

Why not learn how the world works physically instead of indulging your philosophical  prejudices? 

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20 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

If you can keep your living room at 68 degrees F  plus or minus one degree what is the cause:  The furnace or the thermostat?   The answer is both in dynamic equilbrium.  Dynamic equilibrium is why are environment stays  as steady and as slow moving to change as it does.  How would you like to roast before noon and freeze your ass off after sunset?   Ah.  I thought so. Dynamic equilibrium is also why we can live  (with luck and good habits) for  seven or eight decades.

Why not learn how the world works physically instead of indulging your philosophical  prejudices? 

The (fortunate) existence of a ready-made cultural civilisation is how many can live so long without true thinking.

Quite. My philosophical prejudice is firmly against Humean skepticism and emotionality. He negated man's consciousness, while employing a consciousness to do so. (Fallacy of the stolen concept?)

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4 hours ago, anthony said:

The (fortunate) existence of a ready-made cultural civilisation is how many can live so long without true thinking.

Quite. My philosophical prejudice is firmly against Humean skepticism and emotionality. He negated man's consciousness, while employing a consciousness to do so. (Fallacy of the stolen concept?)

He did no such thing.  He put intuition and common sense into its place.  In point of fact, he opposed reification of philosophical abstractions.  The "realest"  thing you have is your perception.  His trick was to ask   "what are we really seeing".  Thus is was able to abolish causation as "necessary connection"  between the  precipitating event/action and the  "effect" which follows.  He asked  where to you see necessary connection.  Answer:  Up in your head,  not Out There.  And at no time did he deny that humans  perceived and felt  all of which are manifestations of consciousness. 

Hume's critique was so deadly that it made Kant go crazy and write  Critique of Pure Reason.   So if Hume did sin,  it was to drive  Kant to write what Kant wrote. 

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8 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

If you can keep your living room at 68 degrees F  plus or minus one degree what is the cause:  The furnace or the thermostat?   The answer is

you.

--Brant

jus funnin'

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16 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

He did no such thing.  He put intuition and common sense into its place.  In point of fact, he opposed reification of philosophical abstractions.  The "realest"  thing you have is your perception.  His trick was to ask   "what are we really seeing".  Thus is was able to abolish causation as "necessary connection"  between the  precipitating event/action and the  "effect" which follows.  He asked  where to you see necessary connection.  Answer:  Up in your head,  not Out There.  And at no time did he deny that humans  perceived and felt  all of which are manifestations of consciousness. 

Hume's critique was so deadly that it made Kant go crazy and write  Critique of Pure Reason.   So if Hume did sin,  it was to drive  Kant to write what Kant wrote. 

Riiight. Yes. For Hume the skeptic, one can't see and touch a consciousness, so it hasn't existence (nor identity). One can't point to a concept, so it's not an existent. Facts, and only perceived physical facts, all the same and with no way to assemble them or to weigh them, conceptually. No wonder then, Hume had to resort to subjective emotions as his means of moral judgment, that's all he had left. Primacy of emotion.

"Reason is and ought only to be a slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them". [DHume]

"Reason (or the intellect) plays no part in determining our goals. Our goals are set exclusively by what Hume calls the passions ... they are "original instances" in our minds and arise from unknown natural causes. We can not be criticized rationally for our desires. Hume remarks: "it is not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger."" [Philosophy Stack Exchange]

Original instances, unknown natural causes, desires - damn, an empiricist and skeptic who's also a mystic! And his "reason" has no contact with reality and value, so reason can easily permit world destruction. Geez.

 

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42 minutes ago, anthony said:

Riiight. Yes. For Hume the skeptic, one can't see and touch a consciousness, so it hasn't existence (nor identity). One can't point to a concept, so it's not an existent. Facts, and only facts, all the same and with no way to assemble them and weigh them, conceptually. No wonder then, Hume had to resort to subjective emotions as the means of moral judgment, that's all he had left. Primacy of emotion.

"Reason is and ought only to be a slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them". [DHume]

"Reason (or the intellect) plays no part in determining our goals. Our goals are set exclusively by what Hume calls the passions ... they are "original instances" in our minds and arise from unknown natural causes. We can not be criticized rationally for our desires. Hume remarks: "it is not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger."" [Philosophy Stack Exchange]

Original instances, unknown natural causes, desires - damn, an empiricist and skeptic who's also a mystic! And "reason" has no contact with reality and value, so reason can easily permit world destruction. Geez.

 

And sure enough.  The passions (emotions)  do drive reason about  and they steer our thinking more often than not.  He also was an empiricist. He urged that our thinking be based on what we perceive. 

Hume's greatest contribution was slaying metaphysics.  He wrote:

“If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.”

That is soooo choice!

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32 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

And sure enough.  The passions (emotions)  do drive reason about  and they steer our thinking more often than not.

"Our"? Bob you have to speak for yourself, not for all others or myself. But I concede you're partly right, Hume's "advocacy of emotivism" (as he called it) is clearly gaining ground, globally. I trust you're proud of your man.

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48 minutes ago, anthony said:

"Our"? Bob you have to speak for yourself, not for all others or myself. But I concede you're partly right, Hume's "advocacy of emotivism" (as he called it) is clearly gaining ground, globally. I trust you're proud of your man.

He killed metaphysics.  What is not to love about that? 

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1 hour ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Hume's greatest contribution was slaying metaphysics.  He wrote:

“If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.”

That is soooo choice!

Does that mean the entire literature of Objectivism should be committed to the flames?

 

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Wiiliam (earlier):


"I like the Spock pretensions of Objectivism ..."

I've been puzzled by that. Either you've misunderstood the purpose of emotions by Objectivist standards, or you could have read Objectivists lauding the good Doctor (may be both).

We can agree on the central issue, the value of emotions (and as you've seen, you'll be glad that Rand agreed with you...) and then we go opposite ways. Mostly to do with causality and emotion as a means, or not, to identify/assess anything or anybody. As "tools of cognition". (I'd put it that emotions are that important that only the supreme importance of reason can be greater).

Spock is a character depicting a fully emotionless man - and that makes for an amusing foil to other characters when he attempts to understand them, or they him. But his "un-emotionalism" implies a "logical robot" not owning man's consciousness, and indicates a being who lacks metaphysical values (to be emotional of), and may set the example of self-repression to some who aren't comfortable with their or others' emotions.

None of which is real and rational, so while I don't know if Objectivists ever have admiration for Spock's state, and while enjoying his role, I for one cannot.

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