Making iambiguous's day

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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:35 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Yes, the variables are what they are. My point though is that, given a particular set of variables [experiences], one is more rather than less predisposed to embrace one rather than another set of values. And that, philosophically, there does not appear to be a way in which to assess which set of values is more [let alone the most] rational.


Yes, I agree with that. I only like to emphasize that, from my point of view, whatever one feels or believes at a given moment, that determines reality/truth for the person in that moment.


But this is not the case with respect to that which can be shown [demonstrated] to be true objectively for all of us.

John either was or was not executed in a Texas prison. That someone feels or believes that he was or was not executed doesn't change the fact of it.

But where things get tricky of course is that someone might believe that he was or he was not executed and behave accordingly. And that can precipitate actual consequences regardless of what the true facts are.

Still, if someone feels or believes that it is right or wrong for the state to execute prisoners, there does not appear [to me] to be the equivalent of an objective fact here in order to determine who is in fact correct and who is in fact incorrect.

Instead, that seems ever embodied in subjective opinions that come to be attached to one or another political prejudice.

Thus, from my perspective, what the moral objectivists do is to equate the two. They argue that if you understand the world "rationally" or "ideally" or "naturally" the morality of capital punishment can in turn be determined objectively. Just as objectively as the fact of an execution itself.

Or so it seems to me.

gib wrote: For an objectivist, this is not so easy. An objectivist is apt to say: well, so-and-so may feel a certain way or believe this or that, but that doesn't make it so. And given that his life could have gone in a different direction, so could his feelings and beliefs. What makes those any less real/true?


I agree that what counts out in the "real world" is what someone thinks or feels. Why? Because they will behave accordingly. And it can't be stressed enough: it is in behaving [acting out their thoughts and feelings] that actual consequences are precipitated.

All I can then do is to, once again, make the crucial distinction between those things that one thinks and feels which are able to be demonstrated as in fact true objectively for all of us, and those things that one thinks and feels which seem only to be embodied subjectively/subjunctively in particular political prejudices.

On the other hand, in the manner in which I interpret the latter, I become ensnared in my dilemma.

iambiguous wrote:Whereas with respect to math and science and logic and empirical fact it makes no difference how different your life is from others. Here there are truths -- objective truths -- that transcend dasein.


gib wrote: Yes, but for me, even those are rooted in subjectivity--it's just that they don't tend to change from one person to another or from one point in a person's life to another.


The laws of mathematics and physics seem to transcend the manner in which I construe the meaning of subjective opinion and moral/political prejudice. Otherwise we couldn't send astronauts to the moon. We can only argue endlessly over whether it is immoral to spend money on space exploration when there are so many more dire problems to be solved right here on earth.

Both sides get to embrace "personal truths" [that are in conflict] but from my point of view this is a far cry from having actually established the truth philosophically, deontologically.


gib wrote: I agree, but if neither of us are objectivists, then we both know there isn't the truth--at least not for things rooted primarily in dasein--there is only my truth and your truth; you seem to regard these as metaphorical at best, or less "solid" than hard empirical truth, whereas I grant them full truth but in a relativistic sense.


Still, how would your understanding of this be conveyed to those objectivists on either side of an issue like abortion? How can a "full truth" be granted to a frame of mind that is largely just an existential fabrication/contraption? From my perspective, once you acknowledge that "I" here is [by and large] embodied in countless existential variables/interactions [embedded in a particular life out in a particular world] beyond both your complete understanding or control, you are faced with just how problematic and precarious your values become.

iambiguous wrote:Empirical truths can be established as to whether Mary is 5'6" tall and had an abortion. But what is the empirical truth regarding the morality of these facts.


gib wrote: There is no empirical truth about it. My point is that if you look to the empirical world for an answer to these questions and you find that, empirically speaking, there is no fact of the matter, then there is no fact of the matter. <-- That's for one who believes in the absolute objectivity of the empirical world, one who looks there for final answers. But if you're one who believes that truth stems from subjectivity, then even if the empirical world has no answers for you, that doesn't take away from the force of one's subjective, prejudice-based opinions in determining truth (in a relativistic sense).


I think the crux of the problem here -- the gap in our communication -- is the extent to which you see truth stemming from subjectivity. For me this is to say that it is a "truth" for you "in your head". A subjective truth given the life that you have lived, the experiences that you have had. Knowing all the while that had this life been different your "truth" might well be invested in the opposite point of view.

And that both points of view are still embedded in conflicting goods.

To wit:

iambiguous wrote:My problem here though still revolves around this: With respect to actual conflicting human behaviors that revolve around conflicting value judgments how "on earth" would this "work"? In other words, how in particular would you translate this frame of mind if you were in the midst of a fierce confrontation outside an abortion clinic between those on both sides of the issue?

What would you say to them? You can speak of "prongs" embedded in my dilemma but [for me] it finally comes down to an argument that is able to integrate both into a frame of mind that effectively integrates the conflicting goods in the "abortion wars" where babies either will or will not be killed.


gib wrote: This is prong #2. I wouldn't have much to say. I know how I would assess the situation. I would think to myself: abortion is right for him. It's wrong for her. It's whatever for me. Etc., etc., etc.. I get the impression at this point though that prong #2 is the only thing that really concerns you. I got the impression (sort of, kind of) that you agreed that your nihilism can sometimes prove to be self-negating, but I'm not sure you really struggle with that. You do seem to be looking for an objectivist's approach to resolving all these dasein-based conflicts and attempts to attain truth. However, it's not clear, at this point, whether you hold out any hope of finding something or you are really trying to prove to yourself and others that no such approach can exist. <-- But then what?


I start by acknowledging this particular fact: that the overwhelming preponderance of men and women around the globe are able to convince themselves [or allow others to convince them] that morality can be grounded in either God or Reason or Nature.

One or another objective [or transcending] font/foundation.

I don't believe this. So, sure, I am here in search of an argument that might persuade me otherwise.

For me, moral nihilism fractures and fragments "I". How? By ever situating the "self" out in a particular world historically, culturally and experientially. And by noting the extent to which we live in world [from the cradle to the grave] awash in contingency, chance and change. As long as I recognize the extent to which "I" is just an existential fabrication/contraption pertaining to that which is of most importance to me -- how ought one to live? -- the subjective truth that you speak of is no less a fabrication/contraption. The fact that someone "intuits" behaving in one way rather than another, is no less the embodiment of dasein from my point of view.

gib wrote: If we were to take a more serious example--say abortion--I would bring forward whatever reasons I normally have for siding with pro-life vs. pro-choice. I don't think any of these would be the final answers, or the decisive arguments--as if I was the first and only one to finally recognize the real truth about the matter--but I know that whatever my reasons are for choosing this or that side of the issue, voicing those reasons *can* be persuasive.


This is basically my own equivalent of the "political leap of faith". It's just that both sides in the abortion wars are able to argue persuasively. And the leap is no less the embodiment of dasein.

Also, the argument of the sociopath/narcissist is no less persuasive. And he or she recognizes "the power of a good argument" in turn. That, in a world sans God, self-gratification is their own particular moral font of choice.

And it is nihilists of this ilk that basically run the world.

iambiguous wrote:Where I tend to make a distinction here between you and I is in regard to what you call your "self-imposed moral obligations". This [from my frame of mind] becomes hopelessly entangled in my dilemma. You are obliging yourself to just accept that "I" was created within the parameters of a particular set of existential variables; and that the particular political prejudice that you were predisposed to "leap" to existentially will have to do given that there is no universal, objective morality.


gib wrote: Yes. Keep in mind that insofar as I experience myself as an "I", that "I" exists (it is rooted in subjectivity). And the phenomenon of the "I" is much like the color of the banana; we are genetically predisposed to experience it as real--it's not just a theory particular to a specific culture or religion.


And yet there are aspects of "I" that are anything but subjective. You either do or you do not have a brain tumor. You either are or are not a citizen of North Korea. You either did or did not just get fired. You either are or you are not homosexual. You either are or are not black.

Facts. But it is in how you and others react to those facts subjectively that precipitate behaviors that precipitate consequences. And, from my frame of mind, we live in a world where it does not appear possible to determine deontologically how the rational/virtuous man or women is obligated to react. And thus to behave.

It's just that the subjectivists here among us seem less entangled in my own particular dilemma.

iambiguous wrote:This is still really fuzzy to me. The "consistency and coherence" of my own value judgments is no less embodied in dasein. And in conflicting goods. In other words, given very different variables in my actual "lived life" this consistency and coherence might just as easily have been in defense of an opposite moral/political narrative.


gib wrote: The consistency and coherency of one's philosophical views was only highlighted to show how it helps to escape prong #1--how to avoid recognizing any self-negating tendencies of such views--not to show that you've got the right narrative or the "real" truth. That coupled with the fact that, at any one time, such views are your views leaves one with the only obvious option: keep believing in your views.


I suppose what it comes down to is that you would seem to have a considerably more substantial "sense of self" here than I do. In other words, pertaining to conflicting value judgments, I have no self to negate. "I" is still more -- considerably more -- an existential fabrication/contraption to me.

And I "keep believing in my views" only by recognizing in turn that new experiences, new relationships, new sources of information/knowledge etc., may well reconfigure them [or even upend them] at any time.

Again, making "I" here considerably more tenuous for me than for others.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:56 am

iambiguous wrote:But this is not the case with respect to that which can be shown [demonstrated] to be true objectively for all of us.

Why not? What's the difference between "true objectively for all of us" and "true objectively [within a subjective framework] for each of us individually"? It's true that for objectivists, if one person sees a chair and another person sees the same chair, it's just one chair being seen by two people. But what's the difference from a subjective point of view between that and there being two perceptions of the chair projecting two chairs that happen to be identical?

John either was or was not executed in a Texas prison. That someone feels or believes that he was or was not executed doesn't change the fact of it.

It doesn't change the fact for you (if you believe that sort of thing).

But where things get tricky of course is that someone might believe that he was or he was not executed and behave accordingly. And that can precipitate actual consequences regardless of what the true facts are.

I agree with this. I'm not saying relativism circumvents this. I'm just saying that, as a relativist, the standard approach by which people resolve problems that stem from the consequences is interpreted differently. An objectivist would interpret the approach to solving such problems as attempting to convince the person causing problems through his behavior that he is objectively wrong and that the truth is something other than what he thinks, whereas a subjectivist would interpret the approach as attempting to persuade the person away from his problem-making behavior towards less problem-making (in the subjectivist's opinion) behavior.

Still, if someone feels or believes that it is right or wrong for the state to execute prisoners, there does not appear [to me] to be the equivalent of an objective fact here in order to determine who is in fact correct and who is in fact incorrect.

Right, which is why I try to encourage the next best thing besides showing a person the "objective truth"--I try to persuade a person over to my point of view. <-- It's not perfect, but as I said elsewhere in this thread, I think that, short of eliminating all conflicts and hostile value judgements in the world, it's our best option.

Instead, that seems ever embodied in subjective opinions that come to be attached to one or another political prejudice.

Yep.

Thus, from my perspective, what the moral objectivists do is to equate the two. They argue that if you understand the world "rationally" or "ideally" or "naturally" the morality of capital punishment can in turn be determined objectively. Just as objectively as the fact of an execution itself.

Or so it seems to me.


Me too. I think I agree with what you said in the last post: we seem to generally agree on the nature of the problem, but we come at it with very different approaches and sentiments about it.

I think you are missing one thing from my point of view, however, that *might* make more sense out of what I'm saying, but more on that below.

iambiguous wrote:I agree that what counts out in the "real world" is what someone thinks or feels. Why? Because they will behave accordingly. And it can't be stressed enough: it is in behaving [acting out their thoughts and feelings] that actual consequences are precipitated.

Yes. Here, there's not really any difference between my views and yours. Consequences and people's actions matter far more than what they believe or feel (though the latter precipitate the former, as you said).

All I can then do is to, once again, make the crucial distinction between those things that one thinks and feels which are able to be demonstrated as in fact true objectively for all of us, and those things that one thinks and feels which seem only to be embodied subjectively/subjunctively in particular political prejudices.

Right, because what can be demonstrated holds a lot more sway than what can only be argued.

On the other hand, in the manner in which I interpret the latter, I become ensnared in my dilemma.


I take this to be a "dilemma" because you don't know of an easy-to-implement catch-all solution to the problem.

iambiguous wrote:The laws of mathematics and physics seem to transcend the manner in which I construe the meaning of subjective opinion and moral/political prejudice. Otherwise we couldn't send astronauts to the moon. We can only argue endlessly over whether it is immoral to spend money on space exploration when there are so many more dire problems to be solved right here on earth.


Well, to me, "subjectivity" just means rooted in the subjective--that is, rooted in a perception, thought, experience (generally something mental) that depends on a subject for its existence. "Opinion" is a more capricious and varying form of subjectivity. Not all forms of subjectivity are mere opinion. Similar reasoning applies to "moral" or "political" prejudice. But anything one takes to be "objective fact" can be traced back to one's thoughts or knowledge of those alleged facts, meaning that you will always find subjective roots to anything you want to hold up as objective fact. And as far as I'm concerned, that's all there ever is.

Some forms of subjectivity are enduring and unwavering across individuals such as the laws of mathematics and physics, but this just means we all experience these in the same way and that we have little choice in the matter. The reason these seem to transcend subjectivity is because of what I call "projection".

This is where the aspect of my views, the one I said is missing from your understanding of my views (I think), comes in. I am not just a subjectivist, but I have a theory of mind on which my subjectivism is based. The theory is really a theory of substance--what the ultimate fabric of existence is. (I PMed you a link to my book in which this theory is explained). I believe that mind or consciousness is a substance with the power to generate reality--what I call "projection"--and it projects reality as precisely that which it experiences.

I approach the philosophy of consciousness in such a way that I end up being an idealist (an extreme form of subjectivism), but not in the same vein as Berkeley. Berkeley, although disagreeing with Descartes' dualism, was still a Cartesian in the way he conceptualize "mind"--he didn't think of mind as a "reality generating stuff", although he did think mind was the ultimate reality (which is really no different than saying: mind exists--but we all know that). He was an immaterialist, which is to say he was a skeptic in regards to the existence of matter, which allowed him to come at his monism by eliminating one of the components of Descartes' dualism--but by the same token, he preserved the Cartesian concept of "mind". But this is where I disagree with Berkeley's idealism--I am steadfast against Cartesianism, even his concept of "mind".

In expound my concept of "mind" (really, my concept of substance), I begin by noting three aspects of 1st person subjective experience which I propose constitute the essential ingredients of consciousness. They are: 1) quality, 2) being, and 3) meaning. I believe that mind, the general substance from which all existent things are cut, is a synthesis of these three things. I believe that we find these three aspects in every 1st person subjective experience. It's aspect #2 in particular (being) which persuades me to postulate that subjective points of view (feelings, opinions, perceptions, intuitions, etc.) are at the same time fully real. Being is inherent to all instances of mind and perception, and because of this, all such instances project and become the real things they are experienced as being.

^ With that understanding of the nature of mind in the background, I approach the issues and dilemmas you bring up with the view that one's subjective way of perceiving or experiencing things literally are reality for that person. The relativism that accompanies my views requires some additional argumentation to see how it fits in, but with those two items--my brand of subjectivism and my brand of relativism--I don't really struggle with prong #1 of your dilemma (not that you do, but like I said in my last post, I'm not as certain at this point that you ever struggled with it).

^ Sorry, that was lengthy, but I find I always have to write something close to a novel in order to get at the nuts and bolts of my views.

iambiguous wrote:Still, how would your understanding of this be conveyed to those objectivists on either side of an issue like abortion? I don't know, and I don't care. How can a "full truth" be granted to a frame of mind that is largely just an existential fabrication/contraption? I hope my exposition above of my brand of idealism/subjectivism sheds some light on this question, but I don't think of it as an irresistible force that is bound to convince any objectivist. From my perspective, once you acknowledge that "I" here is [by and large] embodied in countless existential variables/interactions [embedded in a particular life out in a particular world] beyond both your complete understanding or control, you are faced with just how problematic and precarious your values become.


When you describe one's values as "problematic and precarious", this to me hints at prong #1--how one can retain conviction in the grounds and rational cohesiveness of one's values (and the "I")?--but again, I'm not really as focused on this prong as I was earlier in this thread (unless you still wish to pursue it).

iambiguous wrote:I think the crux of the problem here -- the gap in our communication -- is the extent to which you see truth stemming from subjectivity. For me this is to say that it is a "truth" for you "in your head". <-- Yes, it is "in the head", but if you think about this from the point of view of my theory of mind expressed above, then you will know the "head" is the grounds on which it projects as a reality. A subjective truth given the life that you have lived, the experiences that you have had. Knowing all the while that had this life been different your "truth" might well be invested in the opposite point of view.


At this point, I wonder if my theory of mind as reality generating substance makes sense out of this for you. Do you see that this is neither here nor there if my subjective truth is what I experience (or believe) in the moment? If it's there in the mind at this moment, then it projects and becomes reality for me (even if it's true that I could have gone in a different direction and adopted different beliefs). The only thing remaining in order to make full sense out of this is, AFAIC, my brand of relativism, and I haven't fully gone into that.

iambiguous wrote:I start by acknowledging this particular fact: that the overwhelming preponderance of men and women around the globe are able to convince themselves [or allow others to convince them] that morality can be grounded in either God or Reason or Nature.

One or another objective [or transcending] font/foundation.

I don't believe this. So, sure, I am here in search of an argument that might persuade me otherwise.


And why do you wish to be persuaded otherwise? Do you wish to have a universal and thorough-going solution to your dilemma (prong #2)? Why does it need to be an objectivist's solution?

iambiguous wrote:For me, moral nihilism fractures and fragments "I". How? By ever situating the "self" out in a particular world historically, culturally and experientially. And by noting the extent to which we live in world [from the cradle to the grave] awash in contingency, chance and change. <-- Is this related to the way in which we identify ourselves with an "ism"? As soon as we see that the "ism" falls apart (due to being an existential fabrication/contraption), so do we? As long as I recognize the extent to which "I" is just an existential fabrication/contraption pertaining to that which is of most importance to me -- how ought one to live? -- the subjective truth that you speak of is no less a fabrication/contraption. The fact that someone "intuits" behaving in one way rather than another, is no less the embodiment of dasein from my point of view.


Given what I explained above (about my theory of mind), does it make more sense now how I can say that such truths can be existential fabrication/contraption yet also full truths in the literal sense?

iambiguous wrote:This is basically my own equivalent of the "political leap of faith". It's just that both sides in the abortion wars are able to argue persuasively. Not equally, not all the time. And the leap is no less the embodiment of dasein.

Yes.

Also, the argument of the sociopath/narcissist is no less persuasive. And he or she recognizes "the power of a good argument" in turn. That, in a world sans God, self-gratification is their own particular moral font of choice.

Yes. But we have choice. We can choose to ignore his arguments, invent stronger arguments, invent sophistical arguments, or any number of things to avoid enslaving our minds to the psychopath's persuasions.

And it is nihilists of this ilk that basically run the world.


You mean politicians? That is indeed a problem.

iambiguous wrote:And yet there are aspects of "I" that are anything but subjective. You either do or you do not have a brain tumor. You either are or are not a citizen of North Korea. You either did or did not just get fired. You either are or you are not homosexual. You either are or are not black.

Again, these are just ways of perceiving/experiencing reality that we have no say in or control over, and that don't typically change over time or for one person to another.

Facts. But it is in how you and others react to those facts subjectively that precipitate behaviors that precipitate consequences. And, from my frame of mind, we live in a world where it does not appear possible to determine deontologically how the rational/virtuous man or women is obligated to react. And thus to behave.

That's right.

It's just that the subjectivists here among us seem less entangled in my own particular dilemma.


Well, if you're only concerned with prong #2, then I'm in the same boat as you (though I don't feel as much angst over it as you seem to).

iambiguous wrote:I suppose what it comes down to is that you would seem to have a considerably more substantial "sense of self" here than I do. In other words, pertaining to conflicting value judgments, I have no self to negate. "I" is still more -- considerably more -- an existential fabrication/contraption to me.

It would seem so. I don't typically experience much of a force causing my sense of self to fragment. Yes, I too believe the self is an existential fabrication/contraption, but given my theory of "projection", this is just the thing required to make it real.

And I "keep believing in my views" only by recognizing in turn that new experiences, new relationships, new sources of information/knowledge etc., may well reconfigure them [or even upend them] at any time.

Yes, I can see how this would keep your nihilism alive.

Again, making "I" here considerably more tenuous for me than for others.


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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:57 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:But this is not the case with respect to that which can be shown [demonstrated] to be true objectively for all of us.


Why not? What's the difference between "true objectively for all of us" and "true objectively [within a subjective framework] for each of us individually"? It's true that for objectivists, if one person sees a chair and another person sees the same chair, it's just one chair being seen by two people. But what's the difference from a subjective point of view between that and there being two perceptions of the chair projecting two chairs that happen to be identical?


This [to me] is the part where we become hopelessly entangled in describing/depicting the very nature of what it means to "see" something. Trying to pin down the "ontological essence" of what reality really is when two subjects see a chair.

But: Next thing you know we are careening down the rabbit hole --- debating solipsism and/or Cartesian demons and/or the virtual reality of being characters in some cosmic entity's dream.

Instead, the discussion I want to focus on is always the same: in making the distinction between arguing that Barack Obama either is or is not now president of the United States and arguing that the policies of Barack Obama either are or are not moral.

I maintain that objectively he is the president of the United States. That this is in fact true for all of us. And that our reactions to his policies can only reflect personal [subjective] opinions and political prejudices.

...if someone feels or believes that it is right or wrong for the state to execute prisoners, there does not appear [to me] to be the equivalent of an objective fact here in order to determine who is in fact correct and who is in fact incorrect.


gib wrote: Right, which is why I try to encourage the next best thing besides showing a person the "objective truth"--I try to persuade a person over to my point of view. <-- It's not perfect, but as I said elsewhere in this thread, I think that, short of eliminating all conflicts and hostile value judgements in the world, it's our best option.


But: If your point of view is basically a fabrication/contraption rooted existentially in dasein [as is the case for those you come into conflict with] what does it really mean for either one of you to try to persuade the other?

What doesn't change is this: That, had things been different for either of you, you could be taking her side and she yours.

And [in turn] your values are still embodied in conflicting goods. Thus the "resolution" is no less entangled in my dilemma. It's just that you have managed to convince yourself that you are less entangled in it. Or even that you have succeeded in extricating yourself from it.

Or so it seems to me.

You speak of a "not perfect" point of view as though there might be one from which to measure our own subjective, political prejudices. And, sure, there might be. But, from my point of view, in the absence of a demonstrable proof of this, our values remain ever under construction -- a work in progress -- from the cradle to the grave.

gib wrote: I take this to be a "dilemma" because you don't know of an easy-to-implement catch-all solution to the problem.


Well, I haven't found one of late. Neither with respect to the conflicting goods embedded in any of the dozens and dozens of moral and political conflagrations that we are bombarded with on the evening news nor with respect to the argument of the sociopath that morality in a world sans God is rooted in self-gratification.

iambiguous wrote:The laws of mathematics and physics seem to transcend the manner in which I construe the meaning of subjective opinion and moral/political prejudice. Otherwise we couldn't send astronauts to the moon. We can only argue endlessly over whether it is immoral to spend money on space exploration when there are so many more dire problems to be solved right here on earth.


gib wrote: Well, to me, "subjectivity" just means rooted in the subjective--that is, rooted in a perception, thought, experience (generally something mental) that depends on a subject for its existence. "Opinion" is a more capricious and varying form of subjectivity. Not all forms of subjectivity are mere opinion. Similar reasoning applies to "moral" or "political" prejudice. But anything one takes to be "objective fact" can be traced back to one's thoughts or knowledge of those alleged facts, meaning that you will always find subjective roots to anything you want to hold up as objective fact. And as far as I'm concerned, that's all there ever is.


Yes, thoughts and perceptions may be embodied in a particular subject but they are either in sync with the world objectively or they are not. In other words, sans solipsism and all the rest of that stuff out on the end of the metaphysical limb.

gib wrote: This is where the aspect of my views, the one I said is missing from your understanding of my views (I think), comes in. I am not just a subjectivist, but I have a theory of mind on which my subjectivism is based. The theory is really a theory of substance--what the ultimate fabric of existence is. (I PMed you a link to my book in which this theory is explained). I believe that mind or consciousness is a substance with the power to generate reality--what I call "projection"--and it projects reality as precisely that which it experiences.


Again, this sort of thing is of interest to me only to the extent that what you believe or think you know about these relationships are demonstrable beyond the theory. And to the extent that they are relevant pertaining [existentially] to identity, value judgments and political economy "out in the world" of actual human interactions.

Thus when you speculate that...

gib wrote: In expound[ing] my concept of "mind" (really, my concept of substance), I begin by noting three aspects of 1st person subjective experience which I propose constitute the essential ingredients of consciousness. They are: 1) quality, 2) being, and 3) meaning. I believe that mind, the general substance from which all existent things are cut, is a synthesis of these three things. I believe that we find these three aspects in every 1st person subjective experience. It's aspect #2 in particular (being) which persuades me to postulate that subjective points of view (feelings, opinions, perceptions, intuitions, etc.) are at the same time fully real. Being is inherent to all instances of mind and perception, and because of this, all such instances project and become the real things they are experienced as being....


...my own reaction is always the same: How might this be relevant to John and Jane, flailing about in a conflict over Jane's unwanted pregnancy?

If you were to expound on this in a room filled with Trump and Clinton supporters [going at each other] what lesson might they learn?

In other words [from my perspective], whatever might "literally be the reality" for any particular subject, if they interact with other subjects, they are going to come into conflict sooner or later.

And that is when the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy seems to be a more reasonable way in which to understand these altercations.

But:

Here you say that you don't care that you don't know what to say to them. And while that is certainly your perogative, it doesn't make the conflicts [or the consequences] go away. Instead, from my point of view, you seem to have concocted a theoretical, intellectual set of premises that allow you [in a way that I don't fully understand] to obviate the conflicts by subsuming them in the assumptions that you make.


Perhaps [or perhaps not] analogous to Jacob's VO or to James S. Saint's RM/AO.

The difficulty I have then is in grasping the significance of your ideas/ideals insofar as they are relevant to our lives "for all practical purposes".

I don't view conflicting goods or moral/political conflgrations as having "prongs". I view them instead as actual human behaviors in actual circumstantial contexts that precipitate all manner of actual human pain and suffering.

iambiguous wrote:I start by acknowledging this particular fact: that the overwhelming preponderance of men and women around the globe are able to convince themselves [or allow others to convince them] that morality can be grounded in either God or Reason or Nature.

One or another objective [or transcending] font/foundation.

I don't believe this. So, sure, I am here in search of an argument that might persuade me otherwise.


gib wrote: And why do you wish to be persuaded otherwise? Do you wish to have a universal and thorough-going solution to your dilemma (prong #2)? Why does it need to be an objectivist's solution?


First and foremost, I am curious to see if there might actually be an argument able to persuade me to think about these things differently. Secondly, my aim is to expose what I construe to be the dangers inherent in moral and political objectivism. While acknowledging in turn the dangers inherent in moral nihilism. Instead, I champion democracy and the rule of law as [perhaps] the best of all possible worlds. Within the context of political economy.

iambiguous wrote:This is basically my own equivalent of the "political leap of faith". It's just that both sides in the abortion wars are able to argue persuasively.


gib wrote: Not equally, not all the time.


And yet both sides will ever claim the capacity to decide such things.

Also, the argument of the sociopath/narcissist is no less persuasive. And he or she recognizes "the power of a good argument" in turn. That, in a world sans God, self-gratification is their own particular moral font of choice.


gib wrote: Yes. But we have choice. We can choose to ignore his arguments, invent stronger arguments, invent sophistical arguments, or any number of things to avoid enslaving our minds to the psychopath's persuasions.


We simply think about this differently. From my perspective, there are no "stronger" arguments from either side. There are no more "sophisticated" arguments that come closer to the "perfect" frame of mind. If, for whatever personal reason, a sociopath decides to murder you, she is able to justify it as furthering her own self-gratification. And that's the end of it. For her.

And it is important to make a distinction here between psychopaths and sociopaths. Psychopaths may well be compelled to behave as they do because, chemically and/or neurologically, it is literally "beyond their control". Sociopaths are in control, but predicate their behaviors solely on self-interest. Psychopaths come closer to living in a world that is wholly determined by the immutable laws of matter. In that world, even this exchange that we are having is only as it ever could have been.

And it is nihilists of this ilk that basically run the world.


gib wrote: You mean politicians? That is indeed a problem.


I mean those who own and operate the global economy. The Bilderberg ilk. And their equivalent in Russia, China and all the other main players.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:11 am

iambiguous wrote:This [to me] is the part where we become hopelessly entangled in describing/depicting the very nature of what it means to "see" something. Trying to pin down the "ontological essence" of what reality really is when two subjects see a chair.

Sure.

But: Next thing you know we are careening down the rabbit hole --- debating solipsism and/or Cartesian demons and/or the virtual reality of being characters in some cosmic entity's dream.

That too.

Instead, the discussion I want to focus on is always the same: in making the distinction between arguing that Barack Obama either is or is not now president of the United States and arguing that the policies of Barack Obama either are or are not moral.

I can only give you my take on it as a subjectivist. I realize, at this point, my take on it is not what you want.

I maintain that objectively he is the president of the United States. That this is in fact true for all of us. And that our reactions to his policies can only reflect personal [subjective] opinions and political prejudices.


I agree.

iambiguous wrote:But: If your point of view is basically a fabrication/contraption rooted existentially in dasein [as is the case for those you come into conflict with] what does it really mean for either one of you to try to persuade the other?

Depends on the severity of the conflict. For example, at my work, we try to persuade each other over to each other's points of view all the time. I say it would be more intuitive for the user if we designed the interface this way, my colleague disagrees and thinks it should be designed a different way. We go back and forth give our reasons for our points of view. In the end, however, one person will win out, and the other person (unless he's a real stick in the mud) will allow himself to be persuaded for the sake of going forward. But if this were a more severe conflict, say of race, people can be willing to die or kill before surrendering their point of view for the sake of going forward, and rhetorical persuasion rarely works.

What doesn't change is this: That, had things been different for either of you, you could be taking her side and she yours.

Yes.

And [in turn] your values are still embodied in conflicting goods. Thus the "resolution" is no less entangled in my dilemma. It's just that you have managed to convince yourself that you are less entangled in it. Or even that you have succeeded in extricating yourself from it.

When did I say that? I have repeatedly said that I am no less caught in prong #2 of your dilemma than you are, that I have no solution to offer. The only thing that my metaphysical views on consciousness have extricated me from is any confusion over how my views can hold if I come to grips with the fact that they are extistental fabrications/contraptions.

Or so it seems to me.

You speak of a "not perfect" point of view No, it was the approach that isn't perfect. as though there might be one from which to measure our own subjective, political prejudices. And, sure, there might be. But, from my point of view, in the absence of a demonstrable proof of this, our values remain ever under construction -- a work in progress -- from the cradle to the grave.


Sure.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, thoughts and perceptions may be embodied in a particular subject but they are either in sync with the world objectively or they are not. In other words, sans solipsism and all the rest of that stuff out on the end of the metaphysical limb.


Ah, but what does "in sync" mean here? Does it mean: a mirror image of how we perceive and think about the world, or could there be an isomorphic mapping between our perceptions and thoughts and the outer world without it being an exactly mirror reflection? <-- Of course, that gets into solipsism and all the rest, so if you cut off that avenue of thought from your considerations, you're left with objectivism and naive realism.

iambiguous wrote:Again, this sort of thing is of interest to me only to the extent that what you believe or think you know about these relationships are demonstrable beyond the theory. Well, you can demonstrate it to yourself by examining your own experiences. And to the extent that they are relevant pertaining [existentially] to identity, value judgments and political economy "out in the world" of actual human interactions.


^ Here, I take you to mean: is it practically useful towards untangling ourselves from the common dilemma dasein has us wrapped up in? And to that, I've said numerous times, it's not.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:In expound[ing] my concept of "mind" (really, my concept of substance), I begin by noting three aspects of 1st person subjective experience which I propose constitute the essential ingredients of consciousness. They are: 1) quality, 2) being, and 3) meaning. I believe that mind, the general substance from which all existent things are cut, is a synthesis of these three things. I believe that we find these three aspects in every 1st person subjective experience. It's aspect #2 in particular (being) which persuades me to postulate that subjective points of view (feelings, opinions, perceptions, intuitions, etc.) are at the same time fully real. Being is inherent to all instances of mind and perception, and because of this, all such instances project and become the real things they are experienced as being....


...my own reaction is always the same: How might this be relevant to John and Jane, flailing about in a conflict over Jane's unwanted pregnancy?

If you were to expound on this in a room filled with Trump and Clinton supporters [going at each other] what lesson might they learn?

My views aren't designed to resolve conflicts like this.

In other words [from my perspective], whatever might "literally be the reality" for any particular subject, if they interact with other subjects, they are going to come into conflict sooner or later.

And that is when the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy seems to be a more reasonable way in which to understand these altercations.


I agree, which is why I haven't been arguing against it (though it seems not to have borne you a solution).

iambiguous wrote:But:

Here you say that you don't care that you don't know what to say to them. <-- That's not exactly what I said. I said that I don't know or care how my theory could be conveyed to others with whom I am in conflict such as to resolve anything. I do, and can, argue with others along different lines than just my theory. And while that is certainly your perogative, it doesn't make the conflicts [or the consequences] go away. Instead, from my point of view, you seem to have concocted a theoretical, intellectual set of premises that allow you [in a way that I don't fully understand] to obviate the conflicts by subsuming them in the assumptions that you make.


Again, I never said I obviate the typical conflicts people get into with each other in this disharmonous world. I've only ever been saying that my views help me to 1) assess situations like the ones you're interested in in a different light, and 2) make sense of the world on a metaphysical/ontological level.

iambiguous wrote:Perhaps [or perhaps not] analogous to Jacob's VO or to James S. Saint's RM/AO.

You could probably say it's up there.

The difficulty I have then is in grasping the significance of your ideas/ideals insofar as they are relevant to our lives "for all practical purposes".

Well, they're relevant to our lives for a whole range of practical purposes--solving dasein-based world conflicts happens not to be one of them. (However, I think a lot of the former might make tackling the latter easier.)

I don't view conflicting goods or moral/political conflgrations as having "prongs". I view them instead as actual human behaviors in actual circumstantial contexts that precipitate all manner of actual human pain and suffering.


Really? I see them more as cartoon characters on a movie screen.

^ Joking. I will repeat that the "prongs" belong to the dilemma you have presented to me (as I have interpreted it), not to moral/political conflagrations. You presented your dilemma to me as though it were partially rooted in philosophy, which is where I got prong #1 from, but lately you seem to regard your dilemma as just the common one were are all ensnared in (not philosophical at all, though one like yourself can take a philosophical glance at it)--the dilemma of being creatures bound to dasein and entangled in a world of conflicting value judgements and political prejudices, and trying to reach for some objectivism as a means of persuading/dominating over those we are in conflict with. I thought *maybe* part of your dilemma was how to make sense, philosophically, out of this fact while at the same time adopting one or another objectivism (or subjectivism), as we must, knowing all the while that this would be just another existential fabrication/contraption. <-- But I guess this doesn't phase you. You are only concerned with the common dilemma we all struggle with (and are using philosophy to bring it to light and challenge others who disagree, or in my case agree).

iambiguous wrote:First and foremost, I am curious to see if there might actually be an argument able to persuade me to think about these things differently. Secondly, my aim is to expose what I construe to be the dangers inherent in moral and political objectivism. While acknowledging in turn the dangers inherent in moral nihilism. Instead, I champion democracy and the rule of law as [perhaps] the best of all possible worlds. Within the context of political economy.


Good! At least you're able to settle on the best thing we have available, even if it's not a catch-all solution.

iambiguous wrote:And yet both sides will ever claim the capacity to decide such things.


True. It should be said, however, that often the most reliable outcomes of our attempts to persuade the opposition is not that the latter will be convinced but that bystanders will. For example, in a public debate, or in a court of law.

iambiguous wrote:We simply think about this differently. From my perspective, there are no "stronger" arguments from either side. There are no more "sophisticated" <-- Sophistical, not "sophisticated"--as in sophism. arguments that come closer to the "perfect" frame of mind. If, for whatever personal reason, a sociopath decides to murder you, she is able to justify it as furthering her own self-gratification. And that's the end of it. For her.


What if "stronger" simply meant: more potential to persuade, not more right. Surely, you must agree, that if a child got into an argument with his parent, the parent is way more likely to be able to persuade the child than visa-versa (even if the parent is ultimately wrong). Or a murderer trying to persuade the judge that he had good reason to kill his victim. Compare that to the persuasive power of the victim's family. Which do you think will have the "stronger" arguments in terms of the ability to persuade/convince. All of this is conditioned by many other factors than just the truth and logical fortitude of the arguments--for example, the culture in which those involved operate, the abilities of each party to argue a point, the prejudices of the judge, and even things like money. But all these things do culminate in making one side of the argument or the other "stronger".

iambiguous wrote:And it is important to make a distinction here between psychopaths and sociopaths. Psychopaths may well be compelled to behave as they do because, chemically and/or neurologically, it is literally "beyond their control". Sociopaths are in control, but predicate their behaviors solely on self-interest. Psychopaths come closer to living in a world that is wholly determined by the immutable laws of matter. In that world, even this exchange that we are having is only as it ever could have been.


While I'm not entirely convinced the psychopath is not in control if the sociopath is, I take your point to be: the sociopath can contrive whatever arguments/justifications he wants for the sake of contending with another's arguments/justification. But that doesn't take away from what I said above: we aren't helpless automatons who must yield to the persuasive powers of the sociopath's reasoning. It may be true that this will not compel the sociopath to relent, but what else can we do?

* * *

Well, Biggy, given that you are not interested in my metaphysical/subjectivist views (or prong #1) and only wish to discuss prong #2, I won't bother you with the former any longer. I won't say that this necessarily brings our discussion to a close as I am open to discussing prong #2 (though I'm afraid I might not have much interesting to say aside what I already said--i.e. tackling the smaller, more immediate conflicts one at a time as opposed to ending all such conflicts once and for all), but I think I got what I wanted out of this thread anyway--a chance to get to know your arguments and your approach to the objectivists on this board (and why many of them look at you derisively). So if you wish to end this discussion, that's fine.

And I'm sorry if I sounded snappy with that "I don't know and I don't care" bit--I was feeling a bit frustrated with the fact that I've been saying that my subjectivist views aren't designed to be applied to the conflicts you're interested in examining--at least, not by the objectivist approach of simply explaining them to those with whom you come into conflict. (However, my views do prescribe a certain flexibility of mind with which one can change his point of view such as to see things from another's point of view <-- but that's definitely not the objectivist's approach).

If there's one thing I'd like to leave you with as a subjectivist, it would be the difference in approaches between one like myself and an objectivist. I think I understand that what you're interested in is not just how to deal with the dilemma we're all caught in (resolving the many conflicts that result from our dasein based prejudices and value judgements) but whether it is possible for one or another form of objectivism to actually decide who's right and who's wrong (morally speaking) and therefore, if not bring about peace by way of forcing others to concede to whatever is the demonstrably correct moral position, then at least justify the perpetuation of conflict on the grounds that we now know who's right and who's wrong. While a subjectivist *might* utilize this approach, it wouldn't be in the spirit of getting at the ultimate truth, but in trying to persuade the other person over to his point of view. That's if a subjectivist utilizes this approach, but there would also be ample reason to go with an entirely different approach.

If absolute truth is not of the utmost importance to a subjectivist, then the creation of truth comes at a close second. The ideal approach to resolving conflict, as far as I'm concerned as a subjectivist, is to work together with the opposition to contrive a new truth, one by which you can both agree leads to mutually compatible arrangements. I wouldn't say this is bound to work with everyone, but I'm not looking for perfection; I'm looking for practical workability--what has the best chances of doing the most good. So long as you can get the opposition to act and think and engage with you reasonably, there is opened the possibility of finding new ways of looking at the issue/problem (which can be done starting with either's starting position--that is, without forcing one or the other party to compromise), and both parties can engage actively in crafting new ways of looking at the issue/problem such as to become more closely aligned with each others values and demands. <-- It's called negotiation, and isn't entirely out of reach.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:32 am

Bigous is a moron, how many times does it have to be said?
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:12 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Instead, the discussion I want to focus on is always the same: in making the distinction between arguing that Barack Obama either is or is not now president of the United States and arguing that the policies of Barack Obama either are or are not moral.


gib wrote: I can only give you my take on it as a subjectivist. I realize, at this point, my take on it is not what you want.


What I want is to recognize that out on the metaphysical limb, we are all subject to that which we do not [or cannot or will not] know about the very essence of "reality itself".

This being embedded further in the quandary that revolves around living in or not living in a "determined world".

Thus we all have to take that particular leap of faith when differentiating between that which we construe to be an objective reality applicable to everyone, and a mere point of view rooted subjectively in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy -- out in a particular world construed from a particular point of view.

So: What is it that we do believe "in our head" to be true that we are then able or unable to demonstrate to others?

And here I make that crucial distinction between "either/or" and "is/ought"

iambiguous wrote:But: If your point of view is basically a fabrication/contraption rooted existentially in dasein [as is the case for those you come into conflict with] what does it really mean for either one of you to try to persuade the other?


gib wrote: Depends on the severity of the conflict. For example, at my work, we try to persuade each other over to each other's points of view all the time. I say it would be more intuitive for the user if we designed the interface this way, my colleague disagrees and thinks it should be designed a different way. We go back and forth give our reasons for our points of view. In the end, however, one person will win out, and the other person (unless he's a real stick in the mud) will allow himself to be persuaded for the sake of going forward. But if this were a more severe conflict, say of race, people can be willing to die or kill before surrendering their point of view for the sake of going forward, and rhetorical persuasion rarely works.


Again, my focus here is "is/ought". The difference between doctors trying persuade other doctors of a newer [better] method for aborting fetuses vs. pro-life doctors trying to persuade pro-choice doctors that abortion is immoral. Is there an ethical element in your example above? In other words, is there or is there not a way in which to determine objectively which point of view is in fact more reasonable?

And [in turn] your values are still embodied in conflicting goods. Thus the "resolution" is no less entangled in my dilemma. It's just that you have managed to convince yourself that you are less entangled in it. Or even that you have succeeded in extricating yourself from it.


gib wrote: When did I say that? I have repeatedly said that I am no less caught in prong #2 of your dilemma than you are, that I have no solution to offer. The only thing that my metaphysical views on consciousness have extricated me from is any confusion over how my views can hold if I come to grips with the fact that they are extistental fabrications/contraptions.


Then the confusion [from my end] lies in this distinction that you make between the prongs. As long as someone has no solution to offer with respect to the manner in which I construe conflicting goods, then of what real relevance is their "metaphysical views on consciousness"? In other words, for all practical purposes in confronting the actual consequences of conflicting goods -- embedded in the news that we watch from day to day -- the "human condition" ever remains beyond the reach of this "serious philosopher". The logician. The epistemologist. The philologist.

Or so it seems to me.

Consequently, when you propose that...

gib wrote: ....what does "in sync" mean here? Does it mean: a mirror image of how we perceive and think about the world, or could there be an isomorphic mapping between our perceptions and thoughts and the outer world without it being an exactly mirror reflection? <-- Of course, that gets into solipsism and all the rest, so if you cut off that avenue of thought from your considerations, you're left with objectivism and naive realism.


...my reaction is always the same: What "on earth" does this mean? How would those embedded in one or another actual moral/political conflagration react to this? What might they learn from it so as to mitigate their conflicts?

You argue that, "my views aren't designed to resolve conflicts like this", while my own argument is more along the lines of this: "sans God, there does not appear to be a methodology available to mere mortals enabling them to resolve these conflicts.

And then [personally] I cite the dilemma that I am now entangled in when confronting conflicted goods:

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.

Thus exchanges like this are just my way of encountering reactions to that.

gib wrote: Again, I never said I obviate the typical conflicts people get into with each other in this disharmonous world. I've only ever been saying that my views help me to 1) assess situations like the ones you're interested in in a different light, and 2) make sense of the world on a metaphysical/ontological level.


I suppose then that I am more or less of the opinion that on a "metaphysical/ontological level" mere mortals have no capacity to make sense of these conflicts --- other than from inside "intellectual contraptions" that revolve [more or less didactically/scholastically] around what folks like James S. Saint call "definitional logic". Thus folks like him will show you a graphic in which the top block is "Ratiocination [and Logic]" and the bottom block is "Law [and Ethics]".

In other words, the sojourn from the a priori to the hard sciences to the soft sciences to "is/ought" is still ever embedded philosophically in the definitions that he gives to the words in his argument ["analysis"].

I don't view conflicting goods or moral/political conflagrations as having "prongs". I view them instead as actual human behaviors in actual circumstantial contexts that precipitate all manner of actual human pain and suffering.


gib wrote: I will repeat that the "prongs" belong to the dilemma you have presented to me (as I have interpreted it), not to moral/political conflagrations. You presented your dilemma to me as though it were partially rooted in philosophy, which is where I got prong #1 from, but lately you seem to regard your dilemma as just the common one were are all ensnared in (not philosophical at all, though one like yourself can take a philosophical glance at it)--the dilemma of being creatures bound to dasein and entangled in a world of conflicting value judgements and political prejudices, and trying to reach for some objectivism as a means of persuading/dominating over those we are in conflict with.


You always more or less lose me here. It is as though you are focusing the beam [in your own analysis] on prong #1 but are then acknowledging that, for all practical purposes, out in the world of actual human social, political and economic interactions [that come into conflict on prong #2], prong #1 is of little substantive importance in actually confronting the conflicts.

Then it comes down to whether your rendition of prong #1 is more or less reasonable than James's or Jacob's or one of the others here.

Whereas my main focus revolves more around the extent to which these intellectual contraptions are relevant pertaining to the "common" dilemmas that have rent the species now going back to the caves.

iambiguous wrote:We simply think about this differently. From my perspective, there are no "stronger" arguments from either side. There are no more "sophisticated" arguments that come closer to the "perfect" frame of mind. If, for whatever personal reason, a sociopath decides to murder you, she is able to justify it as furthering her own self-gratification. And that's the end of it. For her.


gib wrote: What if "stronger" simply meant: more potential to persuade, not more right. Surely, you must agree, that if a child got into an argument with his parent, the parent is way more likely to be able to persuade the child than visa-versa (even if the parent is ultimately wrong). Or a murderer trying to persuade the judge that he had good reason to kill his victim.


Sure, some arguments would clearly seem to be more persuasive. But from the perspective of the sociopath the most persuasive argument of all still revolves around the assumption [and an assumption is all it can ever be until the existence of God is established] that in a world sans God, self-gratification makes the most sense. Then you merely have to calculate the chance of being caught doing something that others will not abide. What can the judge or the victim's family really say to the murderer other then "well, you got caught."

How does the philosopher establish necessarily that self-gratification is not a reasonable assumption in a godless universe?

gib wrote: Well, Biggy, given that you are not interested in my metaphysical/subjectivist views (or prong #1) and only wish to discuss prong #2, I won't bother you with the former any longer.


What I am most interested in is in examining how prong #1 might be made relevant "for all practical purposes" to those impaled on prong #2.

That was basically my reaction in turn to folks like James [RM/AO] and Jacob [VO]. What "on earth" do they mean here when their own moral/political values come into conflict with others? And how is the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy relevant to their prong # 1 assessment?

You note:

gib wrote: If there's one thing I'd like to leave you with as a subjectivist, it would be the difference in approaches between one like myself and an objectivist. I think I understand that what you're interested in is not just how to deal with the dilemma we're all caught in (resolving the many conflicts that result from our dasein based prejudices and value judgements) but whether it is possible for one or another form of objectivism to actually decide who's right and who's wrong (morally speaking) and therefore, if not bring about peace by way of forcing others to concede to whatever is the demonstrably correct moral position, then at least justify the perpetuation of conflict on the grounds that we now know who's right and who's wrong. While a subjectivist *might* utilize this approach, it wouldn't be in the spirit of getting at the ultimate truth, but in trying to persuade the other person over to his point of view. That's if a subjectivist utilizes this approach, but there would also be ample reason to go with an entirely different approach.


Fair enough. But the "point of view" that revolves around the "subjectivist" attempts to persuade others to accept his/her own point of view [re any particular value judgments] is [to me] still no less the embodiment of dasein.

In other words, here and now their argument might seem persuasive. But that is not as a result of "thinking it through" philosophically [in a Kantian sense] so much as rooted in the experiences that tipped the balance and [existentially] predisposed them to embrace one subjective point of view rather than another. While acknowledging in turn that new experiences [relationships, source of information/knowledge etc.] might persuade them to move in the other direction instead.

And that, sans God, there does not appear to be a frame of mind that would obviate conflicting goods out in a particular world where what counts are the behaviors that those in power are able to enforce.

gib wrote: If absolute truth is not of the utmost importance to a subjectivist, then the creation of truth comes at a close second. The ideal approach to resolving conflict, as far as I'm concerned as a subjectivist, is to work together with the opposition to contrive a new truth, one by which you can both agree leads to mutually compatible arrangements.


From my perspective this is just an existential consensus. A particular political prejudice that, within any given human community, certain folks decide/agree to call the "truth".
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:06 pm

iambiguous wrote:What I want is to recognize that out on the metaphysical limb, we are all subject to that which we do not [or cannot or will not] know about the very essence of "reality itself".


You mean: since we cannot know, it doesn't belong in the realm of "objective fact"?

Well, this is the crux of my theory: I think experience exposes us to reality--to its very essence in particular things. <-- But this is just my response to what you just said. I know you're not interested and it doesn't help you with your dilemma.

iambiguous wrote:Again, my focus here is "is/ought". The difference between doctors trying persuade other doctors of a newer [better] method for aborting fetuses vs. pro-life doctors trying to persuade pro-choice doctors that abortion is immoral. Is there an ethical element in your example above? In other words, is there or is there not a way in which to determine objectively which point of view is in fact more reasonable?


You mean, in a moral sense? Not really; I mean, I'm sure you could somehow tie it into morality--for example, if we were building a system for doctors to use, one could argue that the proper design is vital for saving patients' lives--but even then, I take your context to be one in which there are different moral opinions in conflict, not different designs that tie into an agreed-upon morality.

Still, my example was rather innocuous, morally speak, for a reason: to expose the power of reason to settle differences in opinion; whereas you want to bring up examples that go to the opposite extreme--moral controversies people often kill/die for. I'm just not sure it's as black and white as that. I think the more invested one gets in a particular moral position, the more reason gets hijacked to serve that morality (as opposed to working with others who differ in opinion in order to arrive at a common workable truth); but I do believe this is something we can control--I can put a sincere effort in trying to be unbiased when arguing my position when there are moral stakes at hand; the problem is: this usually never happens in the real world when the moral stakes are high.

iambiguous wrote:Then the confusion [from my end] lies in this distinction that you make between the prongs. As long as someone has no solution to offer with respect to the manner in which I construe conflicting goods, then of what real relevance is their "metaphysical views on consciousness"?


It's obviously not relevant to you, but that's because you're only interested in responses that solve your dilemma. This is a philosophy forum. What one can expect from a philosophy forum is for others to give their thoughts, opinions, insights, and so on, on a particular subject, or in response to a particular question--regardless of whether one finds it relevant or not. This is all I've been doing: giving my take on the scenarios, problems, and questions you've been posing. We're not all here to solve Biggy's problems. We just like voicing our opinions.

iambiguous wrote:Consequently, when you propose that...

gib wrote:....what does "in sync" mean here? Does it mean: a mirror image of how we perceive and think about the world, or could there be an isomorphic mapping between our perceptions and thoughts and the outer world without it being an exactly mirror reflection? <-- Of course, that gets into solipsism and all the rest, so if you cut off that avenue of thought from your considerations, you're left with objectivism and naive realism.


...my reaction is always the same: What "on earth" does this mean? How would those embedded in one or another actual moral/political conflagration react to this? What might they learn from it so as to mitigate their conflicts?


Probably not much. So let's not speak of it.

iambiguous wrote:You argue that, "my views aren't designed to resolve conflicts like this", while my own argument is more along the lines of this: "sans God, there does not appear to be a methodology available to mere mortals enabling them to resolve these conflicts.


At this point in the argument, given the limited extent to which I understand you, this seems like too broad a statement; you seem to be interested only in an objectivist's methodology, and only the traditional objectivist methodology of attempting to resolve conflict between one's self and one's opposition by arguing the best case one can for why one is right and one's opposition wrong (and then, I'm not even sure this "resolves" the conflict more than it merely justifies one's own reasons for entering into conflict, thereby establishing a bit of reassurance that at least one is in the right and that it is ok to continually attack, in whatever way that is, one's opposition).

What I've been hinting at in this thread is that there are other methodologies that (in my opinion) work a whole lot better, methodologies that work fluidly with a subjectivist point of view. For example, when one is a subjectivist, absolute, objective truth matters less than relativistic, subjective truth--which is just to say: truth that one in conjunction with another can invent and be regarded as "truth" just between one and the other; one must be willing to entertain other points of view, other "truths", in order for this to be effective, but it can be done, and certainly isn't the traditional objectivist method of arguing relentlessly for one's own pre-established point of view (if not to resolve conflict then at least to justify one's position). In being open to discussing alternate truths, the subjectivist is not arguing his subjectivist philosophy. <-- But his subjectivist philosophy does allow him to do this without feeling he is betraying his values.

Again, not saying this methodology (or any other) happens readily all over the world--it is somewhat of a stretch away from human nature--but my point is that it can be done if both parties are willing.

iambiguous wrote:You always more or less lose me here. It is as though you are focusing the beam [in your own analysis] on prong #1 but are then acknowledging that, for all practical purposes, out in the world of actual human social, political and economic interactions [that come into conflict on prong #2], prong #1 is of little substantive importance in actually confronting the conflicts.

Then it comes down to whether your rendition of prong #1 is more or less reasonable than James's or Jacob's or one of the others here.

Whereas my main focus revolves more around the extent to which these intellectual contraptions are relevant pertaining to the "common" dilemmas that have rent the species now going back to the caves.


Well, what I'm trying to say is that I'm realizing, at this late hour in the discussion, that prong #1 is irrelevant to you... so maybe we ought not discuss it further.

iambiguous wrote:Sure, some arguments would clearly seem to be more persuasive. But from the perspective of the sociopath the most persuasive argument of all still revolves around the assumption [and an assumption is all it can ever be until the existence of God is established] that in a world sans God, self-gratification makes the most sense. Then you merely have to calculate the chance of being caught doing something that others will not abide. What can the judge or the victim's family really say to the murderer other then "well, you got caught."


That's why my point focused more on bystanders than the actual sociopath you're trying to convince. If you put forward a relatively persuasive argument to a group of presumably representative people, then you stand to gain strength in numbers, which is useful when confronted by a sociopath.

But if your worry is how to convince the sociopath himself--at least, when using the traditional objectivist method--I'm with you in assuming there is no easy way to do it (probably no hard way either). It's just that my approach to these kinds of problems aren't so narrow as to be limited to the traditional objectivist's methodology (personally, I'd just persuade the sociopath with: don't hurt me or I'll slit your throat).

iambiguous wrote:Fair enough. But the "point of view" that revolves around the "subjectivist" attempts to persuade others to accept his/her own point of view [re any particular value judgments] is [to me] still no less the embodiment of dasein.

In other words, here and now their argument might seem persuasive. But that is not as a result of "thinking it through" philosophically [in a Kantian sense] so much as rooted in the experiences that tipped the balance and [existentially] predisposed them to embrace one subjective point of view rather than another. While acknowledging in turn that new experiences [relationships, source of information/knowledge etc.] might persuade them to move in the other direction instead.

And that, sans God, there does not appear to be a frame of mind that would obviate conflicting goods out in a particular world where what counts are the behaviors that those in power are able to enforce.


In regards to the bolded text, my point was that the approach available to a subjectivist is something other than trying to argue why his subjectivism is correct. The subjectivist, at least myself, is able to take the reasoning behind his subjectivist position and allow that to sustain his point of view for himself only; i.e. to be content with seeing the world through subjectivist lenses without feeling compelled to convince the world of it; having contented himself with his subjectivism, he can then move beyond it and try to persuade others using absolutely any point of view (including that of his contender) so long as he can find or conjure up some logic with which to bolster it. That's why I say it becomes a creative process, not a search for "the truth"--stepping outside one's perceptions and experiences turns those perceptions and experiences into mental "objects" or "tools" with which one can build whatever existential contraption/fabrication one wants. This is difficult for the objectivist because he would see such an approach as sophistry or lying (or worse, deluding himself)--which he can do but at the expense of his dignity--whereas for the subjectivist, the truth of whatever existential contraption/fabrication he comes up with depends on who believes it (and the subjectivist can convince even himself), and if there are any ethical concerns to be had (over lying/sophistry), then it falls back on what the subjectivist intends to do with his invented contraptions/fabrications (help people or hurt people, manipulate them for selfish purposes or offer perspectives/insights for their purposes).

iambiguous wrote:From my perspective this is just an existential consensus. A particular political prejudice that, within any given human community, certain folks decide/agree to call the "truth".


Yes, it is. But as far as the concern is to resolve conflict stemming from dasein-based value judgements and political prejudices, it works (to an extent). <-- But this is why, in the last couple of posts, I've been noticing that your concern is a little more narrow than that: you seem to be concerned, not so much with resolving conflicts of this sort, but with seeing if it can be done by one side or the other proving their point of view objectively (which I say, again, wouldn't necessarily bring peace between the parties but simply show how the justification falls on one side and not the other--at least we'd know who the "good guys" are and therefore who should win).
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:00 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:What I want is to recognize that out on the metaphysical limb, we are all subject to that which we do not [or cannot or will not] know about the very essence of "reality itself".


You mean: since we cannot know, it doesn't belong in the realm of "objective fact"?


I don't know if we can or cannot know the "objective facts" about "reality itself". Last night on the Science Channel they aired a documentary on the search for "particle X". Some argue that if we find it, it will confirm the existence of "super-symmetry". And once this is grasped we will be that much closer [perhaps] to understanding the nature of reality itself.

But: maybe the discovery will just precipitate more mysteries.

So, where does the philosopher fit into all of this? Let alone the ethicist?

gib wrote: Well, this is the crux of my theory: I think experience exposes us to reality--to its very essence in particular things. <-- But this is just my response to what you just said. I know you're not interested and it doesn't help you with your dilemma.


What I am most interested in is the extent to which what you think you know or claim to believe about this "in your head" is pertinent to what I think I know or claim to believe about it "in my head". But: as this might then be demonstrated "out in the world" of human interactions that come into conflict around the question "how ought one to behave"?

Someone will either bring both prongs into sync here for me or they will not.

iambiguous wrote:Again, my focus here is "is/ought". The difference between doctors trying persuade other doctors of a newer [better] method for aborting fetuses vs. pro-life doctors trying to persuade pro-choice doctors that abortion is immoral. Is there an ethical element in your example above? In other words, is there or is there not a way in which to determine objectively which point of view is in fact more reasonable?


gib wrote: You mean, in a moral sense? Not really; I mean, I'm sure you could somehow tie it into morality--for example, if we were building a system for doctors to use, one could argue that the proper design is vital for saving patients' lives--but even then, I take your context to be one in which there are different moral opinions in conflict, not different designs that tie into an agreed-upon morality.


Think of all the stuff that we encounter from day to day to day --- on the news, in movies, in books, in works of art. So much of it does revolve around the question "how ought one to live?".

That's where the drama is. That's where conflicts are derived. That's what pulls us in.

Well, that's what pulls me into philosophy. There are aspects of philosophy that are "technical". In other words, aspects that revolve around the logical rules of language, around that which we either can or cannot know: the either/or stuff.

And not the is/ought stuff.

Me, I am interested in the parts that philosophers have come to encompass re A = A. Sure. But more insofar as those things are in fact true for all of us as this relates further to our conflicting value judgments and political prejudices. And here in particular relating to the manner in which existentially we come to acquire a sense of identity. And then the manner in which both play out politically in a world of wealth and power.

If others would prefer not to go there...or if they basically agree with me that, in all likelihood, philosophy cannot go there...fine. My main interest though lies in those philosophers who not only insist that philosophy can go there, but, as philosophers, claim to have accomplished what I am unable to: to obviate this...

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.

...as it pertains to behaviors of their own that have come into conflict with others.

iambiguous wrote:Then the confusion [from my end] lies in this distinction that you make between the prongs. As long as someone has no solution to offer with respect to the manner in which I construe conflicting goods, then of what real relevance is their "metaphysical views on consciousness"?


gib wrote:It's obviously not relevant to you, but that's because you're only interested in responses that solve your dilemma. This is a philosophy forum. What one can expect from a philosophy forum is for others to give their thoughts, opinions, insights, and so on, on a particular subject, or in response to a particular question--regardless of whether one finds it relevant or not. This is all I've been doing: giving my take on the scenarios, problems, and questions you've been posing. We're not all here to solve Biggy's problems. We just like voicing our opinions.


I agree. And to the extent that others are not interested in probing prong #2 as that relates to the manner in which I have come to construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy, well, they should move on to others.

But, in fact, in the OP, you broached precisely what does intrigue me: the notion of "I". It's just that the notion -- "a conception of or belief about something" -- of "I" becomes increasingly more problematic [and precarious] out in the world of conflicted human behaviors derived from conflicted value judgments derived from dasein.

Right?

Instead...

iambiguous wrote:Consequently, when you propose that...

gib wrote:....what does "in sync" mean here? Does it mean: a mirror image of how we perceive and think about the world, or could there be an isomorphic mapping between our perceptions and thoughts and the outer world without it being an exactly mirror reflection? <-- Of course, that gets into solipsism and all the rest, so if you cut off that avenue of thought from your considerations, you're left with objectivism and naive realism.


...my reaction is always the same: What "on earth" does this mean? How would those embedded in one or another actual moral/political conflagration react to this? What might they learn from it so as to mitigate their conflicts?


gib wrote: Probably not much. So let's not speak of it.


But: That just brings me back to wondering what it must be like to think and to feel and to act as you do when your own behaviors do come into conflict with others.

This is simply what I find most intriguing in the reactions of others to my dilemma above. And the prong #1 components -- sooner or later -- would seem to inform you so as to choose what you do regarding the existential implications of prong #2. Or so it would seem to me.

iambiguous wrote:You argue that, "my views aren't designed to resolve conflicts like this", while my own argument is more along the lines of this: "sans God, there does not appear to be a methodology available to mere mortals enabling them to resolve these conflicts.


gib wrote: At this point in the argument, given the limited extent to which I understand you, this seems like too broad a statement...


However, from my perspective, I want to take the broad assumptions that many moral/political objectivists come to embody in this...

1] I am rational
2] I am rational because I have access to the ideal
3] I have access to the ideal because I grasp the one true nature of the objective world
4] I grasp the one true nature of the objective world because I am rational


...and have them focus in on the manner in which this is relevant pertaining to a particular context "down on the ground" when they are confronted [in a considerably more narrow manner] with those who challenge their values.

gib wrote: ....you seem to be interested only in an objectivist's methodology, and only the traditional objectivist methodology of attempting to resolve conflict between one's self and one's opposition by arguing the best case one can for why one is right and one's opposition wrong (and then, I'm not even sure this "resolves" the conflict more than it merely justifies one's own reasons for entering into conflict, thereby establishing a bit of reassurance that at least one is in the right and that it is ok to continually attack, in whatever way that is, one's opposition).


Actually, I am interested in how their methodology takes into consideration the components of my own. My own being rooted in moral nihilism. And that being rooted in a Godless universe.

And, here, my argument is that no one -- necessarily -- is either right or wrong.

gib wrote: What I've been hinting at in this thread is that there are other methodologies that (in my opinion) work a whole lot better, methodologies that work fluidly with a subjectivist point of view. For example, when one is a subjectivist, absolute, objective truth matters less than relativistic, subjective truth--which is just to say: truth that one in conjunction with another can invent and be regarded as "truth" just between one and the other; one must be willing to entertain other points of view, other "truths", in order for this to be effective, but it can be done, and certainly isn't the traditional objectivist method of arguing relentlessly for one's own pre-established point of view (if not to resolve conflict then at least to justify one's position). In being open to discussing alternate truths, the subjectivist is not arguing his subjectivist philosophy. <-- But his subjectivist philosophy does allow him to do this without feeling he is betraying his values.


Here of course we go around and around in circles. These "subjectivist truths" that you speak of are...

1] no less the embodiment of dasein
2] no less entangled in conflicting goods
3] no less entangled in political economy

...out in a particular world construed from a particular subjective point of view. Or so it seems to me.

I would need you to intertwine the points that you make in this argument --- in this analysis --- in an actual context in which the behaviors that you chose [in conjunction with the values that you chose] came into conflict with another.

And here you may or may not be able to convey to me how this subjectivist methodology of yours "works" --- works "for all practical purposes". I note it because my own methodology does not work at all. I simply recognize that what I choose to do is just a subjective personal opinion rooted existentually in a political prejudice no more necessarily reasonable than the political prejudices of those who choose an opposite [or different] point of view.

In short:

iambiguous wrote:You always more or less lose me here. It is as though you are focusing the beam [in your own analysis] on prong #1 but are then acknowledging that, for all practical purposes, out in the world of actual human social, political and economic interactions [that come into conflict on prong #2], prong #1 is of little substantive importance in actually confronting the conflicts.

Then it comes down to whether your rendition of prong #1 is more or less reasonable than James's or Jacob's or one of the others here.

Whereas my main focus revolves more around the extent to which these intellectual contraptions are relevant pertaining to the "common" dilemmas that have rent the species now going back to the caves.


gib wrote: Well, what I'm trying to say is that I'm realizing, at this late hour in the discussion, that prong #1 is irrelevant to you... so maybe we ought not discuss it further.


But my point is that [here and now] prong #1 is not seen by me as relevant only because you have not been able to convey to me the manner in which it might be important to grasp it in order that the manner in which I have come to embody the existential implications of prong #2 may shift in another direction.

Is prong #1 just an intellectual exercise that "serious philosophers" probe among themselves or do the conclusions reached regarding consciousness on this level have real-world implications with respect to conflicting human behaviors?

iambiguous wrote:Sure, some arguments would clearly seem to be more persuasive. But from the perspective of the sociopath the most persuasive argument of all still revolves around the assumption [and an assumption is all it can ever be until the existence of God is established] that in a world sans God, self-gratification makes the most sense. Then you merely have to calculate the chance of being caught doing something that others will not abide. What can the judge or the victim's family really say to the murderer other then "well, you got caught."


gib wrote: That's why my point focused more on bystanders than the actual sociopath you're trying to convince. If you put forward a relatively persuasive argument to a group of presumably representative people, then you stand to gain strength in numbers, which is useful when confronted by a sociopath.


True, but that does not make the sociopath's rationalization [self-gratification] any less persuasive to me. It just means that for all practical purposes the bystanders might stand a better chance of being able to stop him.

gib wrote: But if your worry is how to convince the sociopath himself--at least, when using the traditional objectivist method--I'm with you in assuming there is no easy way to do it (probably no hard way either). It's just that my approach to these kinds of problems aren't so narrow as to be limited to the traditional objectivist's methodology (personally, I'd just persuade the sociopath with: don't hurt me or I'll slit your throat).


Yes, I understand this. But the sociopath does in fact live out in a particular world. And her behaviors will unfold in a particular context. In other words, the narrower the actual circumstantial context the less relevant the objectivist methodology seems to be.

What seems more relevant here is a kind of "dog-eat-dog" mentality --- if the sociopath is not stopped by the officers of the law.

iambiguous wrote:Fair enough. But the "point of view" that revolves around the "subjectivist" attempts to persuade others to accept his/her own point of view [re any particular value judgments] is [to me] still no less the embodiment of dasein.

In other words, here and now their argument might seem persuasive. But that is not as a result of "thinking it through" philosophically [in a Kantian sense] so much as rooted in the experiences that tipped the balance and [existentially] predisposed them to embrace one subjective point of view rather than another. While acknowledging in turn that new experiences [relationships, source of information/knowledge etc.] might persuade them to move in the other direction instead.

And that, sans God, there does not appear to be a frame of mind that would obviate conflicting goods out in a particular world where what counts are the behaviors that those in power are able to enforce.


gib wrote: In regards to the bolded text, my point was that the approach available to a subjectivist is something other than trying to argue why his subjectivism is correct. The subjectivist, at least myself, is able to take the reasoning behind his subjectivist position and allow that to sustain his point of view for himself only; i.e. to be content with seeing the world through subjectivist lenses without feeling compelled to convince the world of it; having contented himself with his subjectivism, he can then move beyond it and try to persuade others using absolutely any point of view (including that of his contender) so long as he can find or conjure up some logic with which to bolster it. That's why I say it becomes a creative process, not a search for "the truth"--stepping outside one's perceptions and experiences turns those perceptions and experiences into mental "objects" or "tools" with which one can build whatever existential contraption/fabrication one wants. This is difficult for the objectivist because he would see such an approach as sophistry or lying (or worse, deluding himself)--which he can do but at the expense of his dignity--whereas for the subjectivist, the truth of whatever existential contraption/fabrication he comes up with depends on who believes it (and the subjectivist can convince even himself), and if there are any ethical concerns to be had (over lying/sophistry), then it falls back on what the subjectivist intends to do with his invented contraptions/fabrications (help people or hurt people, manipulate them for selfish purposes or offer perspectives/insights for their purposes).


Here I think is where we are most "stuck". I read this and I wonder: What would it be like to follow Gib around and record an actual confrontation he had with a moral objectivist. I'd sit down with both of them and probe the extent to which their reaction to the conflict was or was not in sync with my own dilemma above.

In other words, I still basically react to your words above as an "analysis" --- as an "intellectual contraption" far removed from the narrow confines of an actual existential "incident".

iambiguous wrote:From my perspective this is just an existential consensus. A particular political prejudice that, within any given human community, certain folks decide/agree to call the "truth".


gib wrote:Yes, it is. But as far as the concern is to resolve conflict stemming from dasein-based value judgements and political prejudices, it works (to an extent). <-- But this is why, in the last couple of posts, I've been noticing that your concern is a little more narrow than that: you seem to be concerned, not so much with resolving conflicts of this sort, but with seeing if it can be done by one side or the other proving their point of view objectively (which I say, again, wouldn't necessarily bring peace between the parties but simply show how the justification falls on one side and not the other--at least we'd know who the "good guys" are and therefore who should win).


From my frame of mind, there can be no "good guys". And the "winners" are those able either to convince the other side that "here and now" their point of view is more reasonable, or have the power -- the brute power -- to enforce their own perceived interests.

Interests no less perceived through the profoundly problematic prism of dasein.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:35 am

iambiguous wrote:If others would prefer not to go there...or if they basically agree with me that, in all likelihood, philosophy cannot go there...fine. My main interest though lies in those philosophers who not only insist that philosophy can go there, but, as philosophers, claim to have accomplished what I am unable to: to obviate this...

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.

...as it pertains to behaviors of their own that have come into conflict with others.


Well, I think at this point, it needn't be said that I'm in the same boat as you where this is concerned. I would like to see an objectivist (or any philosopher) obviate this as much as you would.

iambiguous wrote:I agree. And to the extent that others are not interested in probing prong #2 as that relates to the manner in which I have come to construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy, well, they should move on to others.

They certainly wouldn't derive any satisfaction from prolonging a discussion they aren't interested in. I don't mind staying the course myself, but I wouldn't think it terribly productive to bring my subjectivist theory to the table as a means of resolving anything relevant to this discussion (at least not in the traditional objectivist's approach). But I'm quite versatile in my philosophical thinking and very open to discussing a wide range of philosophical topics. I can't promise I'll have very much insightful to say, but I've always enjoyed an intelligent philosophical discussion regardless of whether it bears fruit or not.

But, in fact, in the OP, you broached precisely what does intrigue me: the notion of "I". It's just that the notion -- "a conception of or belief about something" -- of "I" becomes increasingly more problematic [and precarious] out in the world of conflicted human behaviors derived from conflicted value judgments derived from dasein.

Right?


I suppose--I mean, if we're defining "I" in terms of "ist"--as in, I'm a determinist. When we realize just how fragile such an "ist" is in a world of varying opinions and value judgements, the "I" indeed begins to fragment, and we lose a huge chunk of it. We realize that I the determinist is grounded on nothing--nothing objective at least--and is a fraud. All of what your "ism"--your morality in particular--was rooted in suddenly evaporates and you find yourself standing on nothing.

iambiguous wrote:But: That just brings me back to wondering what it must be like to think and to feel and to act as you do when your own behaviors do come into conflict with others.


Well, what I've been trying to say in this thread is that when I come into conflict with people--real conflict, the kind that poses a danger to me and makes me think: I'd better put up my guard--I don't have a habit of bring my subjectivist theory to the fore, as if it is my primary weapon of choice--I save it for my writings (like my book) or my philosophical discussion with people like those at ILP--which can evolve into conflict, but I don't think this is the type we're arguing about here (is it?)--the kind that often means risking life and limb, the kind that leads to bloodshed and war. In the latter case, the last thing I want to do is argue for my theory about consciousness and why it is the foundation of being. Instead, I would think my reaction to such forms of conflict wouldn't be all that different from anyone else's.

iambiguous wrote:This is simply what I find most intriguing in the reactions of others to my dilemma above. And the prong #1 components -- sooner or later -- would seem to inform you so as to choose what you do regarding the existential implications of prong #2. Or so it would seem to me.


What do you mean? You mean when we reach the point at which the "I" fragments because of the realization that our "ism" is vacuous? And then that "informs" us of what to do regarding the existential implications of prong #2 (conflict with others)?

iambiguous wrote:However, from my perspective, I want to take the broad assumptions that many moral/political objectivists come to embody in this...

1] I am rational
2] I am rational because I have access to the ideal
3] I have access to the ideal because I grasp the one true nature of the objective world
4] I grasp the one true nature of the objective world because I am rational

...and have them focus in on the manner in which this is relevant pertaining to a particular context "down on the ground" when they are confronted [in a considerably more narrow manner] with those who challenge their values.


Yes, what you're talking about here is what I'm calling the "traditional objectivist approach", and I would agree that "sans God, there does not appear to be a methodology available to [these objectivists] enabling them to resolve these conflicts."

iambiguous wrote:Actually, I am interested in how their methodology takes into consideration the components of my own. My own being rooted in moral nihilism. And that being rooted in a Godless universe.

And, here, my argument is that no one -- necessarily -- is either right or wrong.


So what is your approach if not the traditional objectivist's one? So far it seems to be an inquisitive one (to put it lightly); maybe an aggresively inquisitive one, aggressive because, I would think, one would have to be aggressive in forcing the typical objectivist to face up to the dilemma you pose--to admit to being in the same dasein boat as the rest of us, to seeing how his "I" fragments the minute he recognizes that he could have gone in the other direction, or might as well have.

But once at that point, there's nothing for him to cough up (at least insofar as I can imagine)--he's simply struck bear and made painfully vulnerable--I guess your strategy is to put him into that position in order to see what he does, to be surprised at what he might, after all, coughs up. But I'm left asking: what can one cough up when all the pressure put on one is to strip him of anything he might cough up?

iambiguous wrote:Here of course we go around and around in circles. These "subjectivist truths" that you speak of are...

1] no less the embodiment of dasein
2] no less entangled in conflicting goods
3] no less entangled in political economy

...out in a particular world construed from a particular subjective point of view. Or so it seems to me.


But do you at least see how this approach I'm describing is an alternative to the one I'm calling the "traditional objectivist approach" (i.e. attempting to resolving conflict by arguing for the objective reality of what you believe in)?

iambiguous wrote:I would need you to intertwine the points that you make in this argument --- in this analysis --- in an actual context in which the behaviors that you chose [in conjunction with the values that you chose] came into conflict with another.


Well, ideally, it would work best if both parties were cooperative enough to use the same approach (of looking for or inventing a new truth that works for both of them)--so my disclaimer is that it isn't guaranteed to work with everyone--but supposing I was a pro-choice advocate and someone I come into conflict with was a pro-life advocate; if I somehow managed to get on their good side, I may persuade the person to work with me to come up with ideas that satisfy both our values. For example, I could propose that for every abortion a mother undergoes, she must legally find a way to incubate her fetus such that it stands a reasonable chance of surviving until it can be cared for by a foster parent (and then still survive, of course :)). <-- It's kind of a Mickey Mouse example, I admit, but I hope it's enough to get the point across. If the pro-life advocate is serious about the only thing mattering being that the unborn child has just as much a chance for life as any other child born in the natural way, then this should be reasonable. It satisfies her values, it satisfies mine.

Another example, taken from real life, is the sorts of ventures we've all seen wherein big oil companies cooperate with environmentalists. There are numerous ad campaigns that speak of "cleaner, more environmentally friendly, fuel sources" <-- These innovations are inspired by what were originally conflicting groups--but somebody had the bright idea of putting aside the traditional approach of arguing for what was important to them against what was important to their opposition in favor of inventing a whole new argument that worked for both of them--if the big oil companies could continue to extract and sell oil in a way that didn't harm the environment, then both the oil companies and the environmentalists could have their cake and eat it too.

iambiguous wrote:But my point is that [here and now] prong #1 is not seen by me as relevant only because you have not been able to convey to me the manner in which it might be important to grasp it in order that the manner in which I have come to embody the existential implications of prong #2 may shift in another direction.

Woaw, that's a loaded statement.

Is prong #1 just an intellectual exercise that "serious philosophers" probe among themselves or do the conclusions reached regarding consciousness on this level have real-world implications with respect to conflicting human behaviors?


Well, let me put it this way: if prong #2 can be summed as: conflict with others, then prong #1 can be summed up as: conflict with one's self.

I realize there's a lot more to it than that, but I think for our purposes that's a good enough "rough and ready" interpretation.

Prong #2 happens all the time all around the world--it more or less arises naturally--but prong #1 arises only through the realization that you've made plain several times:

iambiguous wrote:If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.


Notice that this ends with "I" fragmenting. So this realization, which few people come to despite their being enmeshed in prong #2, results in one being conflicted with one's own self. The self "self-desctructs" so to speak.

Earlier in this discussion, I took you to be troubled (to be caught in the dilemma of) your own "I" fragmenting. I mean, I would think you of all people would admit that you too are caught in this dilemma. So you too must be quite familiar with being faced with the vacuousness of your own "ism" (if I may put it that way)--even if that "ism" is your existentialism/nihilism--and thus you are ever troubled by your "I" fragmenting.

Later I got the impression that this doesn't trouble you so much, and it seemed to me that the reason for this is that I made the mistaken assumption that the force by which the "I" (your "I") fragments equalled that which reinforced your existentialism/nihilism--but later it seemed to me each force was unequal; that is to say, the force by which your existentialism/nihilism is reinforced is just the volumes of evidence that exist around the world that we, as the human species, are steeped in conflict revolving around dasein and the consequent moral values and judgements that ensue. I mean, that's quite undeniable as far as I'm concerned. The force by which one, or you in particular, is pressed to admit that the conclusions drawn from this--namely, your existentialism/nihilism--apply even to one's self--that is, to the very existentialism/nihilism drawn (it is an existential fabrication/contraption like any other, after all) would, in principle, fragment the "I" (you, IOW, would be forced to admit that you, the existentialist/nihilist, are vacuous). But I eventually got the impression that, though this may be true in principle, that principle carries less force (i.e. is less convincing psychology) than the real-world evidence that we are indeed enmeshed in our own dasein-based existential contraptions/fabrications. Real-world evidence is often very powerful--way more powerful than principles and philosophical theories. Therefore, I soon abandoned my attempt to dig into prong #1 with you on the presumption that this really wasn't a struggle with you. The evidence that your existentialism/nihilism is indeed correct seemed to far out weigh, at least for you psychologically, the (rational/philosophical) evidence that your own existentialism/nihilism, in principle, undermines itself.

A very long winded way of answering your question--I realize--but I guess my response is: since prong #1, to me, is just how I would think your quote above (about how the "I" fragments, and why) applies to yourself, I need to ask: are you mostly concern with how this quote applies to others or how it applies to yourself.

The only reason I feel I have risen above prong #1 is because my particular existential fabrication/contraption--the logic of it--is not self-destructing--it doesn't draw conclusions that say: this very philosophy, with this very conclusion being drawn, undoes itself. Thus, my "I" doesn't fragment--at least not so easily. What I've been trying to convey (obviously not successfully) is how this very philosophy of mine draws one to the conclusion that if only it just is and existential fabrication/contraption, it actualizes itself, not nullifies itself--it has the opposite effect (and I realize I haven't given the full justification for how this works, but I'm just conveying to you the effect it has--at least on me).

iambiguous wrote:True, but that does not make the sociopath's rationalization [self-gratification] any less persuasive to me. Really??? It just means that for all practical purposes the bystanders might stand a better chance of being able to stop him.


And what more do you want to resolve the problem? Do you want everyone to be happy? Even the sociopath?

iambiguous wrote:Yes, I understand this. But the sociopath does in fact live out in a particular world. Yeah? And her behaviors will unfold in a particular context. Yeah? In other words, the narrower the actual circumstantial context the less relevant the objectivist methodology seems to be.


Yeah? That's my point too.

iambiguous wrote:What seems more relevant here is a kind of "dog-eat-dog" mentality Yeah? --- if the sociopath is not stopped by the officers of the law.


Yes, because if the sociopath is not the least bit concerned with the welfair of others, then there is no other choice but to resort to "dog-eat-dog" mentality with him. Doesn't mean that we have to commit to this mentality, just when dealing with the sociopath.

iambiguous wrote:Here I think is where we are most "stuck". I read this and I wonder: What would it be like to follow Gib around and record an actual confrontation he had with a moral objectivist. I'd sit down with both of them and probe the extent to which their reaction to the conflict was or was not in sync with my own dilemma above.

In other words, I still basically react to your words above as an "analysis" --- as an "intellectual contraption" far removed from the narrow confines of an actual existential "incident".


Well, sure, it's an analysis, but do make a distinction between this analysis, which I contrived in order to respond to you, and what I would say to this moral objectivist whose argumentation with myself you would be interested in observing. Please realize that when you put this scenario forward--that of me having a discussion with a moral objectivist (presumably one with whom I disagree)--I can't predict how I would respond. It all depends on what he's saying.

You seem to be expecting that, in my response, I woud bring forward what I believe about my subjectivist theories. I'm trying to say that I wouldn't necessarily bring forward anything about my subjectivist theories. What I'm trying to say is that my subjectivist theories allow me to move beyond what I actually believe (without rejecting what I believe) such that I don't feel the need to convince the other of those theories. Instead, what I would do is focus on what they believe, and based on that, figure out what they need to hear in order to be persuaded by what I say to them.

I mean, maybe I can appreciate the fact that you want to hear what I would have to say if I were to attempt to persuade the other using the very logic and the actual contents of my subjectivist theory, but as I said before, I'm not 100% confident that this logic and this content will be persuasive at all--I mean, that's the whole point, isn't it? Isn't that what we both agree on? That nobody ever seems to be convinced of the other's point of view if they begin in opposition to each other? That as hard as one objectivist might try, he will never convince another opposing objectivist of his point of view? So I don't really have much motive to try (not that I never try)--coming to grips with this fact is what motivates me to move beyond it and try the next best thing: persuade the other based on his point of view.

iambiguous wrote:From my frame of mind, there can be no "good guys". And the "winners" are those able either to convince the other side that "here and now" their point of view is more reasonable, or have the power -- the brute power -- to enforce their own perceived interests.


Right, which is what I'm saying. The objectivist method can, at best, only result in bolstering one side at the expense of the other.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby phyllo » Sat Aug 20, 2016 3:16 pm

iambiguous wrote:
True, but that does not make the sociopath's rationalization [self-gratification] any less persuasive to me. Really??? It just means that for all practical purposes the bystanders might stand a better chance of being able to stop him.


gib wrote:
And what more do you want to resolve the problem? Do you want everyone to be happy? Even the sociopath?

You seem to suggest that the bystanders OUGHT to stop the sociopath. But moral nihilism says that there is nothing wrong with the actions of the sociopath. The concepts of right and wrong don't even apply.
There will be a resolution to the problem . If the bystanders win and they are able to stop him, then it merely demonstrates their might. If he wins, then he is mighty. In that case, he will be happy and the bystanders will be unhappy. Nothing wrong with that result.

For a subjectivist, there is a desired resolution but that's just a personal preference. There is a moral attitude but that's just a personal preference.
The sociopath also has personal preferences.

What about a moral objectivist?
(Let's say, for argument, that the sociopath is a killer.)
The objectivist has come to the conclusion that "Life is good and therefore it should be preserved." He does not need God to come to such a conclusion. It is easily the product of observation and logical thought within a godless universe.
It becomes his guiding principle. This principle applies to all people and that it is not simply his opinion or personal preference.

Based on that principle, the actions of the sociopath are wrong and he ought to be stopped. The morality of the sociopath is wrong.
If the sociopath wins, then it is an undesirable and unfortunate result. It is a bad result. You know ... objectively. :wink:

Can it be demonstrated that the principle of the objectivist is correct? I think so but apparently there is no convincing demonstration for the moral nihilist. :confusion-shrug:

(Sorry for the interruption. I couldn't help myself.

Carry on. ) :D
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:41 pm

phyllo wrote:You seem to suggest that the bystanders OUGHT to stop the sociopath.


No, I'm saying that one can use bystanders as a means of protecting one's self from the sociopath if one persuades them. He can even persuade them that they ought to protect him but this would be more of a psychological effect than the truth (at least for the moral nihilist).

phyllo wrote:But moral nihilism says that there is nothing wrong with the actions of the sociopath. The concepts of right and wrong don't even apply.

No, but that doesn't stop one from not wanting to die.

There will be a resolution to the problem . If the bystanders win and they are able to stop him, then it merely demonstrates their might. If he wins, then he is mighty. In that case, he will be happy and the bystanders will be unhappy. Nothing wrong with that result.


True, but the scenario Biggy seems fond of putting people into is one that presses them to answer: what would you do? I know the sociopath would want to kill me (and all bystanders if he can), but that's what he would do. I myself would do everything I can to prevent that.

phyllo wrote:For a subjectivist, there is a desired resolution but that's just a personal preference. There is a moral attitude but that's just a personal preference.
The sociopath also has personal preferences.


Right, but what I always question is: why go with the sociopath's preference when you already have your own?

phyllo wrote:What about a moral objectivist?
(Let's say, for argument, that the sociopath is a killer.)
The objectivist has come to the conclusion that "Life is good and therefore it should be preserved." He does not need God to come to such a conclusion. It is easily the product of observation and logical thought within a godless universe.
It becomes his guiding principle. This principle applies to all people and that it is not simply his opinion or personal preference.


Yes, that's probably how a moral objectivist would see it.

phyllo wrote:Based on that principle, the actions of the sociopath are wrong and he ought to be stopped. The morality of the sociopath is wrong.
If the sociopath wins, then it is an undesirable and unfortunate result. It is a bad result. You know ... objectively. :wink:


Yes.

phyllo wrote:Can it be demonstrated that the principle of the objectivist is correct? I think so but apparently there is no convincing demonstration for the moral nihilist. :confusion-shrug:


Right, because he recognizes everything as a existential contraption/fabrication. <-- For me, though, it doesn't follow from this that existential contraptions/fabrications are unreal--it just means they are invented (if I baked a cake, would you say it's not real because I invented it?).
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby phyllo » Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:29 pm

No, I'm saying that one can use bystanders as a means of protecting one's self from the sociopath if one persuades them. He can even persuade them that they ought to protect him but this would be more of a psychological effect than the truth (at least for the moral nihilist).
Remove yourself and your self-interest and self-preservation from the scenario. The sociopath is attacking a woman who you don't know. Ought the bystanders stop him? Why or why not? Is anyone wrong or right?
True, but the scenario Biggy seems fond of putting people into is one that presses them to answer: what would you do? I know the sociopath would want to kill me (and all bystanders if he can), but that's what he would do. I myself would do everything I can to prevent that.
Again, the more important question is what to think and do if you have no personal stake.

And sure, one can argue that as a member of society, you always have a personal stake in the outcome of these conflicts. You don't want sociopaths roaming around and potentially killing someone who you do care about in the future.
Right, but what I always question is: why go with the sociopath's preference when you already have your own?
Why not go with the sociopath's preference?

One needs to answer 'which way to go' when you construct a moral code and use it as the basis for the laws of a society. And one needs to give reasons for the answer.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:51 am

phyllo wrote:Remove yourself and your self-interest and self-preservation from the scenario. The sociopath is attacking a woman who you don't know. Ought the bystanders stop him? Why or why not? Is anyone wrong or right?


That's a challenging line of questions. I have no simple answer, but I do have a complex one (bear with me). My gut tells me the bystanders ought to help the woman. But this gut feeling is rooted in the actual me in the real world, not some absent me in the imaginary scenario whom we agreed would be removed. My feelings, thoughts, values, etc. still get projected into the imaginary scenario we're toying with, but they get projected therein as facts and actual states of affairs in that scenario. If my gut, here in the real world, tells me the bystanders in the scenario ought to help the woman, then that becomes a moral fact in the scenario untied to any "me" that would have been there if we didn't remove him.

Furthermore, I realize this gut feeling isn't grounded on any rationalization and isn't an objective fact in itself--it's just a feeling--and it may waiver--I may feel differently tomorrow. You could probably convince me quite easily that it is baseless, but insofar as this feelings
reasserts itself as a natural impulse produced by my brain, whatever argument you use to convince me will have to suppress that gut feeling, and when I relax my focus on your argument, the gut feeling reasserts itself.

My view is that whatever mental state or experience or thought asserts itself like this--ex nihilo as it were--it counts, not as baseless but as fundamental. If my gut feeling is that the bystanders ought to help the woman, and if I just find that feeling there in my mind, sustaining itself, asserting itself, then it's just a fundamental/irreducible part of my subjective reality.

phyllo wrote:Again, the more important question is what to think and do if you have no personal stake.

And sure, one can argue that as a member of society, you always have a personal stake in the outcome of these conflicts. You don't want sociopaths roaming around and potentially killing someone who you do care about in the future.


Well, obviously, if I don't have any personal stakes involved, nothing would matter to me as to what should happen. The sociopath could kill me and I would be all right with that.

But this is a different scenario than what Biggy usually pushes people into. When I get put into this context in one of Biggy's hypothetical scenarios, I assume it's the usual me who has a stake involve in his own life.

phyllo wrote:Why not go with the sociopath's preference?


Because I have a preference of my own. I'm not arguing that my preference ought to take precedence over the sociopath's but that, just being there, my preference is what's going to drive me. It would be very odd if I chose to fight against my preference in favor of the sociopath's, particularly if I had no opinion on what ought to happen morally speaking.

phyllo wrote:One needs to answer 'which way to go' when you construct a moral code and use it as the basis for the laws of a society. And one needs to give reasons for the answer.


This is true for a moral code that one wishes to convince a whole community/society about, but I'm not so sure it's needed for a legal syste. I can imagine a whole society of moral nihilist. I think they too would agree that a legal system that bound all citizens under it would be very desirable indeed. No one, not even moral nihilists, want chaos and anarchy ruling society (well, unless you're Joker), so I would predict they would resurrect a legal system just for practical purposes or because it is their preference.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby Magnus Anderson » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:54 am

Morality does not come from without, fuckers.

That's what moral objectivism is, the belief that morality comes from without.

Mr. Bigger is only superficially against objectivism. In reality, he himself is an objectivist. This is apparent from the fact that he is looking for morality in the external. That's the reason he is disappointed: because he cannot find any.

The retard does not consider himself to be an objectivist merely because he is not enforcing any kind of morality onto others.

There is no almighty God with a beard that can tell you what is right and what is wrong.

There is neither Holy Book written by some prophet that can tell you what is right and what is wrong.

There are no scientific laws that can tell you what is right and what is wrong (contrary to what that Jew named Sam Harris wants you to believe.)

There is no Being that you can communicate with through meditation that can tell you what is right and what is wrong (contrary to what Easterners and New Age druggies want you to believe, among them Schopenhauer and more recently David Myatt in his plagiarized version of Schopenhauer's "On the Basis of Morality" that he calls "The Numinous Way".)

There are no self-proclaimed authorities that can create morality using imagination and then make it true by enforcing it onto everyone else.

Morality comes from within.

That does not mean that morality is a product of imagination (the position of, I suppose, solipsism.)

That does not mean that morality is a product of meditation (the position of mysticism.)

It might sound strange, but solipsists and mystics do not really derive their morality from within.

Morality that comes from within is only that morality that is a product of biological fusion (= centripetal, form-giving, will-based, concentrative motion.)

Morality that comes from without is only that morality that is a product of biological fission (= centrifugal, form-diluting, instinct-based, decentrative motion.)

My position, which is true position, is neither that of moral objectivism (the belief that morality comes from without) nor that of moral subjectivism (the belief that morality is a product of meditation, or in other cases, that morality is whatever you feel it is or whatever you want it to be.)

Both moral objectivism and moral subjectivism are fundamentally objectivist positions because they seek morality in the EXTERNAL even though that is less evident in the case of moral subjectivism.

That's it.

Mr. Bigger is simply an idiot who is stuck in his own fantasy land made out of nothing other than words.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby phyllo » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:46 pm

Morality comes from within.
How does that work in a specific case. For example, moral rules against stealing are common. If morality comes from within then how does a rule which forbids stealing develop? Not everybody thinks that stealing is bad since there is a general human desire to get something for nothing.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby phyllo » Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:01 pm

My view is that whatever mental state or experience or thought asserts itself like this--ex nihilo as it were--it counts, not as baseless but as fundamental. If my gut feeling is that the bystanders ought to help the woman, and if I just find that feeling there in my mind, sustaining itself, asserting itself, then it's just a fundamental/irreducible part of my subjective reality.
A moral nihilist like Iambig would say that the gut feeling is there because of your experiences ... your indoctrination, the society where you grew up, etc. If you grew up in a different society, you would not necessarily have it.
An objectivist would say that the gut feeling is innate for a human. It's something that all normal reasonable people feel at least to some degree. The reasons given for its presence will depend on the source of the objectivist's principles - maybe it's evolutionary instinct, maybe it's a divine gift, etc.
Well, obviously, if I don't have any personal stakes involved, nothing would matter to me as to what should happen. The sociopath could kill me and I would be all right with that.
One day you will die and human society will move on without you. Wouldn't you say that society ought to be this way or that way.
But this is a different scenario than what Biggy usually pushes people into. When I get put into this context in one of Biggy's hypothetical scenarios, I assume it's the usual me who has a stake involve in his own life.
I don't think so. His abortion example involves John and Mary. Iambig is not the father of the aborted fetus.
This is true for a moral code that one wishes to convince a whole community/society about, but I'm not so sure it's needed for a legal syste. I can imagine a whole society of moral nihilist. I think they too would agree that a legal system that bound all citizens under it would be very desirable indeed. No one, not even moral nihilists, want chaos and anarchy ruling society (well, unless you're Joker), so I would predict they would resurrect a legal system just for practical purposes or because it is their preference.
But which set of laws does a society of moral nihilists select to implement and why?
If the 'psychopath lobby' comes forth and suggests that it be legal for a person to rape and kill 6 women or children per year. Why not make it law?
(It seems perfectly reasonable and in the spirit of negotiation and compromise that Iambig promotes. :evilfun: )
The objectivist has a reason as to why it is not acceptable. The nihilist does not.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:56 am

phyllo wrote:A moral nihilist like Iambig would say that the gut feeling is there because of your experiences ... your indoctrination, the society where you grew up, etc. If you grew up in a different society, you would not necessarily have it.


Yes, but that's a causal account--what caused it to be there--which is different from what the feeling is telling me.

phyllo wrote:One day you will die and human society will move on without you. Wouldn't you say that society ought to be this way or that way.


I probably would have an opinion on the matter, yes--but I have those opinions while I'm alive--I'm always projecting those opinions/feelings onto the imaginary scenarios we entertain. If I say to you: society, after I die, should be thus--the source of that is my sentiments and opinions here and now (while I'm alive). It can't be the sentiments and opinions of my dead self in the scenario.

phyllo wrote:I don't think so. His abortion example involves John and Mary. Iambig is not the father of the aborted fetus.


That's true, but I was thinking of the cases in which he does put the question towards a particular person: what would you do?

But still, if he's asking: who's right, John or Mary? Again, he's addressing you. Thus any answer you give must stem from you and your sentiments and opinions. You project those sentiments and opinions into the imaginary scenario, and once projected, they become fundamental/irreducible truths inside the scenario. The objectivist is simple he who doesn't trace these so-called truths back to his sentiments and opinions.

phyllo wrote:But which set of laws does a society of moral nihilists select to implement and why?


Which ever ones the largest, most cohesive and dominant group decides on. It wouldn't be much different from most Western democratic countries around the world.

phyllo wrote:If the 'psychopath lobby' comes forth and suggests that it be legal for a person to rape and kill 6 women or children per year. Why not make it law?


Because that probably wouldn't be the preference of the majority of people.

phyllo wrote:The objectivist has a reason as to why it is not acceptable. The nihilist does not.


Not a moral reason, but he still has his preference. He can simply say "I don't feel like it."
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby phyllo » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:28 pm

phyllo wrote:
If the 'psychopath lobby' comes forth and suggests that it be legal for a person to rape and kill 6 women or children per year. Why not make it law?


gib wrote:
Because that probably wouldn't be the preference of the majority of people.

And why is it not their preference?
Because they are biologically wired to think that way. That's the objectivist's point.

To which the moral nihilist responds : they have only been taught by society (brainwashed?) to think that way.

The objectivist can point to scientific studies and animal behavior but apparently those are not convincing enough to demonstrate that it is biology which is producing these moral rules.

There you are at the impasse.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:49 pm

gib wrote: I suppose--I mean, if we're defining "I" in terms of "ist"--as in, I'm a determinist. When we realize just how fragile such an "ist" is in a world of varying opinions and value judgements, the "I" indeed begins to fragment, and we lose a huge chunk of it. We realize that I the determinist is grounded on nothing--nothing objective at least--and is a fraud. All of what your "ism"--your morality in particular--was rooted in suddenly evaporates and you find yourself standing on nothing.


What interest me here is always the extent to which anyone is able to demonstrate that what they think is true is in fact true for all rational men and women. If I think that Mary had an abortion, is this in fact true? Is this able to demonstrated?

It either is or it is not.

In other words, the parts where my dilemma above is not applicable. Nor is dasein. The fact of Mary's abortion is not dependent on my own personal experiences, nor on my own subjective opinions, nor on my own political prejudices.

But with respect to the morality of it, how can it not be?

iambiguous wrote:But: That just brings me back to wondering what it must be like to think and to feel and to act as you do when your own behaviors do come into conflict with others.


gib wrote: Well, what I've been trying to say in this thread is that when I come into conflict with people--real conflict, the kind that poses a danger to me and makes me think: I'd better put up my guard--I don't have a habit of bring my subjectivist theory to the fore, as if it is my primary weapon of choice--I save it for my writings (like my book) or my philosophical discussion with people like those at ILP--which can evolve into conflict, but I don't think this is the type we're arguing about here (is it?)--the kind that often means risking life and limb, the kind that leads to bloodshed and war. In the latter case, the last thing I want to do is argue for my theory about consciousness and why it is the foundation of being. Instead, I would think my reaction to such forms of conflict wouldn't be all that different from anyone else's.


When my values come into conflict with others, I recognize this:

1] that I acquired these values existentially through the particular life that I had lived. They are basically just subjective/subjunctive "leaps" to a set of political prejudices. There does not appear to be a way in which to acquire moral and political ideals. At least not philosophically: re Plato, Aristotle, Kant and others.

2] that my values come to be attached contextually to a particular rendition of "the good"; but no more or less so than the values of those I am in conflict with.

3] that in human social, political and economic interaction, what ultimately counts is who is finally able to enforce a particular set of behaviors

Then of others I ask: Okay, how is this either the same or not the same for you?

Down here on the ground though and not up on the skyhooks.

iambiguous wrote:This is simply what I find most intriguing in the reactions of others to my dilemma above. And the prong #1 components -- sooner or later -- would seem to inform you so as to choose what you do regarding the existential implications of prong #2. Or so it would seem to me.


gib wrote: What do you mean? You mean when we reach the point at which the "I" fragments because of the realization that our "ism" is vacuous? And then that "informs" us of what to do regarding the existential implications of prong #2 (conflict with others)?


I mean one way or another you have to connect the dots between "my consciousness" and "my behavior".

iambiguous wrote:Actually, I am interested in how their methodology takes into consideration the components of my own. My own being rooted in moral nihilism. And that being rooted in a Godless universe.

And, here, my argument is that no one -- necessarily -- is either right or wrong.


gib wrote: So what is your approach if not the traditional objectivist's one? So far it seems to be an inquisitive one (to put it lightly); maybe an aggresively inquisitive one, aggressive because, I would think, one would have to be aggressive in forcing the typical objectivist to face up to the dilemma you pose--to admit to being in the same dasein boat as the rest of us, to seeing how his "I" fragments the minute he recognizes that he could have gone in the other direction, or might as well have.


All I can do is to live with the consequences of what I believe is true "in my head" here. "I" becomes hopelessly fragmented. "I" makes that existential leap to a particular set of political prejudices. All the while knowing that a new experience or a new relationship or a new source of information/knowledge might prompt me to change my mind. But, in turn, speculating that nothing is ever really resolved in the manner in which the moral objectivists are able to convince themselves that their own values are in sync -- naturally -- with the way the world [reality] is alleged to be.

My main contention is that the objectivist frame of mind is more a psychological contraption [a defense mechanism] than a philosophical argument.

In other words, rooted in one or another rendition of this:

1] For one reason or another [rooted largely in dasein], you are taught or come into contact with [through your upbringing, a friend, a book, an experience etc.] a worldview, a philosophy of life.

2] Over time, you become convinced that this perspective expresses and encompasses the most rational and objective truth. This truth then becomes increasingly more vital, more essential to you as a foundation, a justification, a celebration of all that is moral as opposed to immoral, rational as opposed to irrational.

3] Eventually, for some, they begin to bump into others who feel the same way; they may even begin to actively seek out folks similarly inclined to view the world in a particular way.

4] Some begin to share this philosophy with family, friends, colleagues, associates, Internet denizens; increasingly it becomes more and more a part of their life. It becomes, in other words, more intertwined in their personal relationships with others...it begins to bind them emotionally and psychologically.

5] As yet more time passes, they start to feel increasingly compelled not only to share their Truth with others but, in turn, to vigorously defend it against any and all detractors as well.

6] For some, it can reach the point where they are no longer able to realistically construe an argument that disputes their own as merely a difference of opinion; they see it instead as, for all intents and purposes, an attack on their intellectual integrity....on their very Self.

7] Finally, a stage is reached [again for some] where the original philosophical quest for truth, for wisdom has become so profoundly integrated into their self-identity [professionally, socially, psychologically, emotionally] defending it has less and less to do with philosophy at all. And certainly less and less to do with "logic".

iambiguous wrote:Here of course we go around and around in circles. These "subjectivist truths" that you speak of are...

1] no less the embodiment of dasein
2] no less entangled in conflicting goods
3] no less entangled in political economy

...out in a particular world construed from a particular subjective point of view. Or so it seems to me.


gib wrote: But do you at least see how this approach I'm describing is an alternative to the one I'm calling the "traditional objectivist approach" (i.e. attempting to resolving conflict by arguing for the objective reality of what you believe in)?


No, not really. I'm still largely at a loss in understanding how "for all practical purposes" your understanding of consciousness [embedded in prong #1] has any "use value" or "exchange value" out in the world of human interactions that come into conflict.

To wit:

iambiguous wrote:I would need you to intertwine the points that you make in this argument --- in this analysis --- in an actual context in which the behaviors that you chose [in conjunction with the values that you chose] came into conflict with another.


gib wrote: Well, ideally, it would work best if both parties were cooperative enough to use the same approach (of looking for or inventing a new truth that works for both of them)--so my disclaimer is that it isn't guaranteed to work with everyone--but supposing I was a pro-choice advocate and someone I come into conflict with was a pro-life advocate; if I somehow managed to get on their good side, I may persuade the person to work with me to come up with ideas that satisfy both our values. For example, I could propose that for every abortion a mother undergoes, she must legally find a way to incubate her fetus such that it stands a reasonable chance of surviving until it can be cared for by a foster parent (and then still survive, of course :)). <-- It's kind of a Mickey Mouse example, I admit, but I hope it's enough to get the point across.


This seems to be another rendition of my own "moderation, negotiation and compromise" --- rooted in democracy and the rule of law. But: none of what I describe above relating to the existential consequences of my dilemma goes away. At least not for me.

iambiguous wrote:If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.


gib wrote: Notice that this ends with "I" fragmenting.


Yes, but only pertaining to choosing sides morally and politically. Thus the preponderance of "who I am" is in fact rooted substantially, objectively, empirically, substantively etc., out in the world around me.

gib wrote: So this realization, which few people come to despite their being enmeshed in prong #2, results in one being conflicted with one's own self. The self "self-desctructs" so to speak.


I see it less as the self destructing and more as recognizing the extent to which the self here is always situated out in a particular world that has shaped and molded it over the years. And, however "vacuous" this may appear to be, if you do choose to interact with others, you have to deal with it "for all practical purposes".

gib wrote: ...I guess my response is: since prong #1, to me, is just how I would think your quote above (about how the "I" fragments, and why) applies to yourself, I need to ask: are you mostly concern with how this quote applies to others or how it applies to yourself.


It is applicable to everyone. Well, if in fact it is. And, admittedly, I have no capacity to demonstrate that it is. Merely that, here and now, it seems reasonable to me that it is.

And, if it is a rational manner in which to understand the "self" out in the world with others, then it suggests in turn that "moderation, negotiation and compromise" is the optimal manner in which to react to conflicting value judgments. That, in other words, moral and political objectivism [rooted in either God or a dogmatic political ideology] can precipitate one or another rendition of an authoritarian autocracy.

The "one of us" mentality.

iambiguous wrote:True, but that does not make the sociopath's rationalization [self-gratification] any less persuasive to me.

gib wrote: Really???


Yes. It can be construed as a persuasive argument. It is a perfectly reasonable assumption to make in a godless universe. Which is to suggest that philosophers are unable to demonstrate that it is instead necessarily irrational.

It just means that for all practical purposes the bystanders might stand a better chance of being able to stop him.


gib wrote: And what more do you want to resolve the problem? Do you want everyone to be happy? Even the sociopath?


The sociopath is happy if he or she is able to gratify a perceived want or need. But this "resolution" may result in the unhappiness of others. My point is only that neither side seems able to demonstrate an objective manner in which to think about this.

iambiguous wrote:Here I think is where we are most "stuck". I read this and I wonder: What would it be like to follow Gib around and record an actual confrontation he had with a moral objectivist. I'd sit down with both of them and probe the extent to which their reaction to the conflict was or was not in sync with my own dilemma above.

In other words, I still basically react to your words above as an "analysis" --- as an "intellectual contraption" far removed from the narrow confines of an actual existential "incident".


gib wrote: Well, sure, it's an analysis, but do make a distinction between this analysis, which I contrived in order to respond to you, and what I would say to this moral objectivist whose argumentation with myself you would be interested in observing. Please realize that when you put this scenario forward--that of me having a discussion with a moral objectivist (presumably one with whom I disagree)--I can't predict how I would respond. It all depends on what he's saying.

You seem to be expecting that, in my response, I woud bring forward what I believe about my subjectivist theories. I'm trying to say that I wouldn't necessarily bring forward anything about my subjectivist theories. What I'm trying to say is that my subjectivist theories allow me to move beyond what I actually believe (without rejecting what I believe) such that I don't feel the need to convince the other of those theories. Instead, what I would do is focus on what they believe, and based on that, figure out what they need to hear in order to be persuaded by what I say to them.

I mean, maybe I can appreciate the fact that you want to hear what I would have to say if I were to attempt to persuade the other using the very logic and the actual contents of my subjectivist theory, but as I said before, I'm not 100% confident that this logic and this content will be persuasive at all--I mean, that's the whole point, isn't it? Isn't that what we both agree on? That nobody ever seems to be convinced of the other's point of view if they begin in opposition to each other? That as hard as one objectivist might try, he will never convince another opposing objectivist of his point of view? So I don't really have much motive to try (not that I never try)--coming to grips with this fact is what motivates me to move beyond it and try the next best thing: persuade the other based on his point of view.


We're still basically "stuck". Again, I read this and am unable to connect any dots between the points that you make and the manner in which I react myself to others who confront my own moral and political prejudices.

In other words, not much in the way of a more "solid understanding" comes to me.

My point though is that more often than not we will be able to understand another's point of view -- at least to the extent that it can be demonstrated to in fact be in sync with the world around us objectively.

Also, I don't argue that one or another objectivist will never succeed in convincing others that her frame of mind is the most rational. I only note that no one has [of yet] been able to convince me of it.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:17 pm

phyllo wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
True, but that does not make the sociopath's rationalization [self-gratification] any less persuasive to me. Really??? It just means that for all practical purposes the bystanders might stand a better chance of being able to stop him.


gib wrote:
And what more do you want to resolve the problem? Do you want everyone to be happy? Even the sociopath?

You seem to suggest that the bystanders OUGHT to stop the sociopath. But moral nihilism says that there is nothing wrong with the actions of the sociopath. The concepts of right and wrong don't even apply.


There is nothing essentially wrong with the actions of the sociopath if the sociopath starts with the assumption that in a godless universe self-gratification is the moral font of choice.

How then does the moral objectivist demonstrate that in fact this is not so?

The "concept" of right and wrong? But my point is that from the perspective of the sociopath what matters far, far more is the actual fact of his or her self-gratification.

phyllo wrote: There will be a resolution to the problem. If the bystanders win and they are able to stop him, then it merely demonstrates their might. If he wins, then he is mighty. In that case, he will be happy and the bystanders will be unhappy. Nothing wrong with that result.


Sans God, how could it be otherwise? In the context of, for example, the global economy isn't that basically how it works? A tiny percentage of the world's population now owns the overwhelming preponderance of the world's wealth. And that results in literally hundreds of millions of very, very unhappy people.

So, are the morally fit obligated to change that? But, if so: How would that be demonstrated as more than just an argument bursting at the seams with assumptions?

Arguments like this for example:

phyllo wrote: What about a moral objectivist?
(Let's say, for argument, that the sociopath is a killer.)
The objectivist has come to the conclusion that "Life is good and therefore it should be preserved." He does not need God to come to such a conclusion. It is easily the product of observation and logical thought within a godless universe.
It becomes his guiding principle. This principle applies to all people and that it is not simply his opinion or personal preference.

Based on that principle, the actions of the sociopath are wrong and he ought to be stopped. The morality of the sociopath is wrong.
If the sociopath wins, then it is an undesirable and unfortunate result. It is a bad result. You know ... objectively. :wink:

Can it be demonstrated that the principle of the objectivist is correct? I think so but apparently there is no convincing demonstration for the moral nihilist. :confusion-shrug:


See if you can spot the assumptions.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby phyllo » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:29 pm

Every argument that the objectivist makes is apparently loaded with assumptions. :wink:

Can you spot them?
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby phyllo » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:39 pm

The only reason I entered this thread was that there seemed to be some potential for making progress by looking at the nihilist, subjectivist and objectivist attitudes and actions towards the sociopath who is attacking a woman. Similarities and differences would possibly be revealed.

But once again, Iambig comes in and dismisses most of it as assumptions and he asks questions instead of presenting an argument.

:confusion-shrug:
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:56 pm

phyllo wrote:Every argument that the objectivist makes is apparently loaded with assumptions. :wink:

Can you spot them?


Indeed. Just as many arguments made by the subjectivists are loaded with them.

The point then always comes down to the extent to which we are able to demonstrate that what we believe is true about these relationships is something that all reasonable men and women are in turn obligated to believe.

Now, the assumption I make here is this: that the assumption the sociopath makes is that if there is no God there is no omniscient and omnipotent point of view. And, then, assuming further, that there is no frame of mind able to know everything that the sociopath does. And, in turn, no entity able to punish him if he choses to behave in a manner deemed "wrong" by this God who knows everything.

Instead, he assumes that there is no God. He assumes that his own pleasure should be the default.

Now, what is the argument the objectivist makes able to demonstrate that these assumptions are all necessarily wrong.

What argument does he propose to put in its place?

And how does he demonstrate out in the world of conflicting goods, the actual moral obligation of the rational/righteous man or woman?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:11 pm

phyllo wrote:
But once again, Iambig comes in and dismisses most of it as assumptions and he asks questions instead of presenting an argument.

:confusion-shrug:


This thread is loaded with the assumptions that I make regarding my dilemma in the face of conflicting goods. And with the assumptions that I make regarding the manner in which I construe these conflicts from the perspective of dasein.

How then are the points that I raise not components of an argument?

How, instead, are the points that you raise more reflective of a "real philosophical argument"?

And over and again I make it clear that what most interests me is not whatever a proper argument may or may not be here, but the extent to which the points raised in the argument are able to be demonstrated "out in the world" of human interaction.

And, in particular, when they come into conflict over value judgments.
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Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby phyllo » Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:34 pm

What about these objectivist observations (or is it assumptions?? :-k ):

- The purpose of morality is to facilitate the life of humans together in a community. It's not about what one particular individual wants to do.

- There is a cost-benefit analysis when selecting any moral rule.

- Nobody in the group is going to get everything that he wants. He won't be able to everything/anything. Some things will be restricted.

So when we consider the self-gratification needs of a sociopath at the expense of a woman/child, then we see that it does not carry much weight.
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