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BaalChatzaf

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19 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

One kind of fact comes about by human agency and another kind without human agency.

This is a correct statement.

--Brant

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1 hour ago, anthony said:

You give a mundane version of "objective". Objective means things out there exist independently of a mind. That's all. Those entities have an identity which the mind mustn't fake. (And the consciousness exists and has identity, too).

Mis- identifying "objective", it will follow that "objective value" becomes incomprehensible.

Take your a-consciousness version of "objective" - "the view from nowhere in particular" - and it makes a hash and impossibility of objective value. Values are something an individual ~cares for~ (no?) - consequential of the efforts one puts into thinking, looking for, choosing, creating and sustaining values with all the pertaining emotions and rewards that follow. Each value has an identity too, an unfakeable reality one self-commits to stay true to.

A "view from nowhere in particular" would effectively have Objectivists as detached, dispassionate automatons who could not have "values". 

The idea is to get the idea  independently or as independently as possible  of one's particular individual  prejudices.  Clearly one can never hold an idea independently of his own brain at work.  If one has an idea it is the result of brain work.  The point is to make the idea as independent of prejudices and individual peculiarities as possible.  If we are successful we attain some ideas we can all agree on,  even if our agreement is conditioned by our individual, peculiar  experiences.  When we see the world, we each see the world through our own eyes.  Even so,  we can work  at minimizing the distortions of seeing and understanding  induced by our own individual, unique experiences. 

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11 minutes ago, Brant Gaede said:

This is a correct statement.

--Brant

Heh. Undone by his asserting it makes absolutely no difference which is which.

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"God grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, courage to change things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

This remarkable statement is attributed to a theologian with whose ideas I disagree in every fundamental respect: Reinhold Niebuhr. But -- omitting the form of a prayer ... -- that statement is profoundly true, as a summary and a guideline.

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5 minutes ago, anthony said:

Heh. Undone by his asserting it makes absolutely no difference which is which.

The difference is that one state of being is brought about by human agency and the other is not.  How much of a difference are you looking for?

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9 minutes ago, merjet said:
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"God grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, courage to change things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

This remarkable statement is attributed to a theologian with whose ideas I disagree in every fundamental respect: Reinhold Niebuhr. But -- omitting the form of a prayer ... -- that statement is profoundly true, as a summary and a guideline.

That is the start of "The Metaphysical Versus The Man-Made." The essay was originally published in March 1973 in The Ayn Rand Letter and later anthologized in Philosophy: Who Needs It (1982).  More here.

 

 

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30 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

The difference is that one state of being is brought about by human agency and the other is not.  How much of a difference are you looking for?

Is that difference important to you regarding global warming or climate change?

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9 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

The difference is that one state of being is brought about by human agency and the other is not.  How much of a difference are you looking for?

Brought about by -- *a volitional consciousness*.

Is that not the all-important difference? 

I'll quote again from the passage you didn't give much time to read:

"Man's faculty of volition as such is not a contradiction of nature, but it opens the way for a host of contradictions--when and if men do not grasp the *crucial difference between the metaphysically-given and any object, institution, procedure, or rule of conduct made by man*".

I've pointed out one prime example of blurring the line between the "given" and a (manmade) "institution" (Statism/Gment). I've said before you do the same "blurring" with the laws of physics etc..

If you look you will see "contradictions" galore, in many ways and many things, by many people who fuzzily equivocate between the two.

"Fake News".

Media reports are man-made. In part, about metaphysically-given events (earthquakes, etc.) and other times about man-made doings. However, the "report" itself is man-made. Yes? And with all the omissions, errors, emphases, spin, pure deceit, which men can be prone to. Also, impartiality and best attention to accuracy (sometimes).

Except - half-conscious of the volitional consciousnesses that collect, collate and produce the News, many unthinking (obedient) viewers implicitly "believe" the media's output, confusing it with metaphysical reality and accept it as a metaphysically-given truth, and so soak it all up as an incontrovertible authority. 

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26 minutes ago, merjet said:

Is that difference important to you regarding global warming or climate change?

Yes.  If humans are doing things that bring harm to our environment, then they can stop doing such things.  If nature is primarily the cause, it is much more difficult to thwart nature than the regulate human behavior.  Some day the sun will use up its hydrogen and start fusing helium.  The sun will become half again as hot as it is now.  This will cause the oceans to evaporate and it will mean the end of life as we know it.  If there are humans around at that time (highly unlikely)  there will be nothing they can do to stop the process.  The only things humans can do is move to a more hospitable planet (most likely near another star)  or they can die. Nature is very hard to thwart.  Human activity can be modified by humans.  So it does make a difference. 

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7 minutes ago, anthony said:

Brought about by *a volitional consciousness*.

Is that not the all-important difference? 

I'll quote again from the passage you didn't give much time to read:

"Man's faculty of volition as such is not a contradiction of nature, but it opens the way for a host of contradictions--when and if men do not grasp the *crucial difference between the metaphysically-given and any object, institution, procedure, or rule of conduct made by man*".

I've pointed out one prime example of blurring the line between the "given" and an institution (Statism). I've said you do the same "blurring" with the laws of physics.

You will see "contradictions" galore, in many ways and many things, by many people who equivocate between the two.

"Fake News". Media reports are man-made. Some times, about metaphysically-given events (earthquakes, etc.) and other times about man-made events. However, the "report" itself is man-made. Yes? And with all the omissions, errors, emphases, spin, pure deceit, which men are prone to. 

Except - many unthinking (obedient) viewers "believe" the media's output, confusing it with metaphysical reality and accept it as a metaphysically-given truth, and so soak it all up as incontrovertible. 

So what?  The difference is still fact brought about by human agency  vs fact brought about without human agency.  That is a rock bottom distinction.

Are you implying that human caused facts are somehow "better"  than natural caused fact brought about without human agency?   If so,  in what sense "better"? If you are not saying that human caused facts are "better" than  facts not caused by humans,  then what are you saying other than repeating the difference yet again?  

Humans change the world.  Beavers change the world  One celled organisms change the world.  It was one celled cyanobacteria that transformed earth's atmosphere from  methane to oxygen/nitrogen.  That happened billions of years ago long before there were humans.  Why are you glorifying human agency? Humans do what they do to promote their welfare, health and safety.  If humans did not do that,  there would soon be no humans left. 

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2 hours ago, anthony said:

You remain blase about this critical distinction. It's simple: If one can't identify properly, one can't think straight.

The man-made 1. came from men's consciousness; 2. did not have to be 3. can be true or false, good or bad 4. can be changed.

The meta'given is what it IS.

Evading identification (e.g. like your 'axiomatic' laws of physics, and many on other things e.g. art) and a blurred indiscrimination between the meta'given and the man-made - fosters fuzzy thinking, subjectivity and so neo-mysticism. 

Is an entity the result of a process through a mind and minds--or is it "there"? Who cares, you imply - a tautology.

Here's very much how The State becomes ensconced in most "brains" today as NOT man-conceived and man-operated government - but as a semi-Godly entity from whom all blessings flow and who demands worshipful obedience.

 

This phenomenon is clearly only one result of the ignorance/denial of metaphysics, like your anti-metaphysical pronouncements. Not so obvious is it?

 

 

Metaphysics  won't help me tune up my engine.  Knowing how to adjust the timing of the spark plugs will. 

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28 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

So what?  The difference is still fact brought about by human agency  vs fact brought about without human agency.  That is a rock bottom distinction.

Are you implying that human caused facts are somehow "better"  than natural caused fact brought about without human agency?   If so,  in what sense "better"? If you are not saying that human caused facts are "better" than  facts not caused by humans,  then what are you saying other than repeating the difference yet again?  

Humans change the world.  Beavers change the world  One celled organisms change the world.  It was one celled cyanobacteria that transformed earth's atmosphere from  methane to oxygen/nitrogen.  That happened billions of years ago long before there were humans.  Why are you glorifying human agency? Humans do what they do to promote their welfare, health and safety.  If humans did not do that,  there would soon be no humans left. 

"Better"? It's what humans possess and can do, and if that's not to be "glorified" what can be?

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26 minutes ago, anthony said:

"Better"? It's what humans possess and can do, and if that's not to be "glorified" what can be?

Humans do human things.  Other biota act according to their nature.  And sometimes things happen through no living or sentient agency.  Nature is.  Nature is what it is.  Even human agency is limited by the constraints of physical laws.  Try as we might we shall never make a perpetual motion machine.  Ever.  We will never create energy out of nothing. Ever.   Momentum and Energy will be conserved in all interactions.  Always.  The Second Law of Thermodynamics rules. Always and forever. 

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7 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Humans do human things.  Other biota act according to their nature.  And sometimes things happen through no living or sentient agency.  Nature is.  Nature is what it is.  Even human agency is limited by the constraints of physical laws.  

1

Hm. "Humans do human things". It is a convenient soft cop-out for humans who are "brains" and state they haven't a clue about consciousness - except, others know men have a volitional consciousness and that humans have to take responsibility (and rewards) for what they chose to do--since they first chose to think a specific way.

You've been repeating over and over this same nonsense and self-contradiction: "humans [are limited by] the constraints of physical laws". The "physical laws" are NOT axioms. They are MAN-MADE, conforming to nature (the metaphysical given).

It's not the Laws Of Gravity which influence our acts, it is gravity itself.

Definitely, I am becoming sure the 'mystical' non-distinction is what has led people to 'Scientism' and is undermining science.

"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed". (For "brains", obeyed means "observed and identified").

 

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17 minutes ago, anthony said:

Hm. "Humans do human things". It is a convenient soft cop-out for humans who are "brains" and haven't a clue about consciousness, except others know men have a volitional consciousness and that humans have to take responsibility for what they think and choose to do.

You've been repeating over and over this same nonsense and self-contradiction: "humans [are limited by] the constraints of physical laws". The "physical laws" are NOT axioms. They are MAN-MADE, conforming to nature (the metaphysical given). Definitely, I am becoming sure this mystical rubbish is what has led people to 'Scientism' and is undermining science.

"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed". (For "brains", that means "observed and identified").

 

Everything I have written on this matter is either fact or an immediate inference from fact.  I do not buy Ayn Rand's meme's on the heroism of human consciousness.  The physical laws are human derived descriptions  and rules of how Nature actually works.  They are well supported by experimental evidence and they have yet to be empirically falsified.  So until falsified we can take them as true.  Axioms are in your head.  The only "self evident"  truth is the law of noncontradiction.  Everything else  is supposition and hypothesis. The closest thing to a "for sure"  physical law we have are the laws of thermodynamics.

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19 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Everything I have written on this matter is either fact or an immediate inference from fact.  I do not buy Ayn Rand's meme's on the heroism of human consciousness.  The physical laws are human derived descriptions  and rules of how Nature actually works.  They are well supported by experimental evidence and they have yet to be empirically falsified.  So until falsified we can take them as true.  Axioms are in your head.  The only "self evident"  truth is the law of noncontradiction.  Everything else  is supposition and hypothesis. The closest thing to a "for sure"  physical law we have are the laws of thermodynamics.

"Heroism". You don't get it nor even try to get it. A volitional consciousness can be villainous or evasive or heroic, and anything else in between.

Without consciousness, you couldn't begin to negate your own and others. Everything you claim here is slap-bang in the fallacy of the Stolen Concept.

Since you quoted before I finished, you missed this: It's not the Laws of Gravity which influence our acts, it's gravity itself. Any argument? Can you?

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3 hours ago, anthony said:

"Heroism". You don't get it nor even try to get it. A volitional consciousness can be villainous or evasive or heroic, and anything else in between.

Without consciousness, you couldn't begin to negate your own and others. Everything you claim here is slap-bang in the fallacy of the Stolen Concept.

Since you quoted before I finished, you missed this: It's not the Laws of Gravity which influence our acts, it's gravity itself. Any argument? Can you?

What am I supposed to make of a volitional consciousness?  The only one I know of is mine. And even then my consciousness is physical down to the subatomic level and can be influenced by conditions external to my body.  So how volitional  is volitional?  

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1 minute ago, BaalChatzaf said:

What am I supposed to make of a volitional consciousness?  The only one I know of is mine. 

Yes. And you are choosing what to think and if to think, at every moment.

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1 hour ago, anthony said:

Yes. And you are choosing what to think and if to think, at every moment.

And.....

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3 hours ago, anthony said:

Yes. And you are choosing what to think and if to think, at every moment.

Nods. The crux of the issue. Evil is the refusal to think. Not incapacity. Not errors. Refusal to think, to turn a blind eye.

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30 minutes ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

Nods. The crux of the issue. Evil is the refusal to think. Not incapacity. Not errors. Refusal to think, to turn a blind eye.

To truly nitpick: think about what should be thought about and act accordingly and rightfully.

--Brant.

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1 minute ago, Brant Gaede said:

To truly nitpick: think about what should be thought about and act accordingly and rightfully.

--Brant.

Without error there's no occasion to think.

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15 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

And.....

And - you'll have to put in work. As the conjurer said to the audience, "I will need some help here". If, after you've established from experience and introspection - that never 'automatically', you can and do: switch on your thinking, change the channel, zoom in, focus, or zoom out , disengage and blank out your cognition - merely at your will - you might infer too from observation and induction of people (their speech and actions) that others perform by the same method. So it isn't specific to you alone. If youve then extrapolated this to be a capacity general to all men and women you can deduce that volition is central to all men's minds. I.e., It's a faculty embedded in his nature, a pivotal identity of "man's" consciousness. You could now sum it up roughly : "Man is one who is in full charge of his thoughts" (and follows, of himself and his choices, decisions, and ultimate actions).

"A being of volitional consciousness", you've now self-affirmed to be true.

That is a startling revelation. It should change permanently how one measures oneself, and throw a new light on one's perception of mankind.

(Otherwise, there is the Churchill option: "Men occasionally stumble on the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened". W.C.)

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1 hour ago, anthony said:

And - you'll have to put in work. As the conjurer said to the audience, "I will need some help here". If, after you've established from experience and introspection - that never 'automatically', you can and do: switch on your thinking, change the channel, zoom in, focus, or zoom out , disengage and blank out your cognition - merely at your will - you might infer too from observation and induction of people (their speech and actions) that others perform by the same method. So it isn't specific to you alone. If youve then extrapolated this to be a capacity general to all men and women you can deduce that volition is central to all men's minds. I.e., It's a faculty embedded in his nature, a pivotal identity of "man's" consciousness. You could now sum it up roughly : "Man is one who is in full charge of his thoughts" (and follows, of himself and his choices, decisions, and ultimate actions).

"A being of volitional consciousness", you've now self-affirmed to be true.

That is a startling revelation. It should change permanently how one measures oneself, and throw a new light on one's perception of mankind.

(Otherwise, there is the Churchill option: "Men occasionally stumble on the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened". W.C.)

I don't have a mind.  I have a brain which works quite well.  

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