iambiguous wrote:From my frame of mind it is the fundamental question for all philosophers, scientists and theologians: do we have any capacity to freely choose what we think and feel and do?
If all that they do [that we do] is only as it ever could have been, what on earth can that possibly mean?
For example: for all practical purposes.
I don't know about freedom (that's a whole other ball of wax and is highly dependent on how you define "freedom"), but I would just point out that even if we live in a deterministic universe, that doesn't mean our thoughts and our positions on things is inescapably irrational or meaningless (as in, we would think that way anyway, even if it was irrational and meaningless)--in fact, I would argue quite the opposite: that we come to the conclusions we do because
of the rationality we see in them--and this is why
it could not be any other way.
Though I'm not saying we are infallible logic-chopping robots--just that the physical forces that determine the things our brains do is mirrored, in the subjective experience, by a rationality that really does inhere in our thought processes. <-- This isn't always formal logic per se (as the professional logician would have it) but it is a sense that we are being rational when we think through our thoughts, which is actually there in our thoughts and is the reason why we are drawn to the conclusions we are drawn to.
In other words, the apparent rationality of our thoughts is why
our brains are determined to act as they do--it is why
things can't be any other way.
iambiguous wrote:So, you tell me: were you fated by the immutable laws of matter to think this, to post this here --- or is there an aspect of human consciouness able to tweak these laws and to allow for some measure [however that might be understood] of "autonomy"?
Again, this isn't really a matter of "freedom" for me, or the lack thereof--I'm not really settled on the matter of whether we are truly free or not, but that doesn't matter--my theory is certainly compatible
with a strictly deterministic picture of reality: so let's assume full determinism. In that case, yes I was fated by the immutable laws of matter (or mind) to think and post everything I am saying in this thread. But again, that (to me) doesn't make any of it meaningless or irrational--on the contrary, to me it means that my reasons and my rationalizations and such are the reason why
I was lead, immutably, to write these things down on this forum. In other words, the deterministic course of events finds its roots in subjective experience, and when found there, it turns out that the necessity which drives it all is "completely exposed"--you see not only that
it is necessary, but why
it is necessary (which is what makes
iambiguous wrote:Okay, there are the signifiers -- words, signs -- and there are the things so signified. But if this relationship is autonomic how is that really any different [metaphysically or otherwise] from the mechanical relationship between the components of, say, an automobile engine?
Well, first of all, I take the signifier/signified relationship to be, for one example, like the relationship between an object of sensation and a thought or concept of that object. Such a relationship is different from the components of an automobile engine because the latter are based on contingency (in the Kantian sense) whereas the former are based on necessity (<-- again, not in the formal sense of logical necessity, but rather some form of beholding "why it is so").
We don't command the heart to beat or the liver to function. Is the brain itself just one more organ in that regard?
The brain is an organ just like any other organ--but in my view, it is a mistaken to think that the scientific laws that determine how the brain functions also determine how we think--rather, it is the other way around (AFAIC)--what we think determines the way the brain functions. We don't command the heart to beat or the liver to function (at least not directly), but that's because these organs have their own minds (remember, I'm a panpsychic--I believe that all physical systems have experience)--and their minds--the "logic" with which it undergoes its changes--determines its physical behavior.
And how would we determine this independently -- independently of -- the laws of matter?
My point is that by way of introspection itself, we find everything we need to determine how the brain must work: if we introspect and find a certain thought process that unfolds through logical necessity, we can infer from this that looking at the brain (via fMRI machines or other brain scanning technologies) will reveal patterns of activity, governed by laws of nature, that are totally in accordance with how such thought processes unfold--even to the point of invoking overt behavior.
I'll be the first to admit though that the manner in which I think about this might be flawed. But then what does it really mean to articulate flawed thinking in a world that is wholly determined? What [realistically] does it mean to speak of something as inevitably flawed?
It just means that you've got other experiences swimming through your mind besides just unadulterated logic. We're not all Spock. In the whole flux of thinking, there exists other kinds of experiences: emotion, desires, alterior motives, unconscious processes, and these all have an impact on how our minds, taken as a whole, unfold. All these come together to determine the course the mind takes, and so from a strictly logical point of view, one's thinking can be "flawed". But there are other forms of "necessity" (or "justification" if necessity is too strong a word) that inhere in experiences other than thought, which "compensate" for the flawed thinking that so often happens with human beings.
Me, I can't [realistically] even imagine how a human mind can possibly wrap itself around this. Why? Because it is the mind that is trying to discover the nature of itself.
Yes, that's the trap we fall into when we attempt to examine ourselves from the third-person point of view. We attempt to imagine a "self" or a "mind" or a "consciousness" as though it were there before us, ready to be studied, to be examined--scientifically, objectively--but from the first-person point of view, we examine ourselves subjectively--what that means is that we simply note what we're experiencing, we note what it feels like to be in situation X--for example, what it feels like to taste a pineapple or to listen to a particular song or what it's like to be threatened by an angry mob. Noting these things to one's self is a simple task. We simply have the experience and form a thought about how that experience feels--we don't have to turn around and look at ourselves as if to observe the experience from the third-person point of view--we simply have to have
the experience and allow it to take its course (which involved, among other things, allowing it to settle into thoughts, memories, insights, etc.--all things which allow us to "understand" what we're experiencing).
In that exercise, we amass a wealth of information on what the mind (or consciousness) consists of--what subjective experience consists of--for all subjective experience amounts to is just what things feel like to us--and once we've got that, we have everything we need. There is no need to "step outside" the experience and see it from the third-person point of view because, as far as I'm concerned, there isn't such a thing--subjective experience just exists
in a first-person mode of being.
Ironically, the logical conclusion to be drawn from this is: subjective experience doesn't feel mental at all
. When I describe what a car looks like, for example--even though I'm describing my visual sensory experience--the rendition I'm forced to deliver is that of a car in the outer world
--featuring properties belonging to the car itself
--in other words, when subjective experience is laid bare--completely exposes, as it were--what you get is just the state of reality itself--hence my theory that reality and subjective experience are one and the same (essentially: idealism 101).
iambiguous wrote:Yes, this makes sense to me. Well, to the extent that I understand what you mean. There is angst as a philosophical problem and there is the actual existential angst embodied in someone that you care about. Sure, for all practical purposes, you do what you can. But [for me] the part about dasein and conflicting goods [embedded in my dilemma] is no less debilitating if, for example, the angst my friend is feeling revolves around a particular existential context like an unwanted pregnancy.
The irony here being that it was my experience with Mary and John that triggered the angst that I feel now with regard to dasein and conflicting value judgments. Always [for me] it goes back to prong #2.
So does this mean when you sympathize with others over their angst, like you do with Mary and John, you also question (philosophically) whether, as a rational human being, you ought
to sympathize? Perhaps as a way of finding reason to be detached? Detachment, if taken to extremes, *might* be a way out of the prong #2 dilemma. <-- It's the whole reason Buddhist monks live in monasteries.
gib wrote:It depends on the character of the particular prong #2 situation.
But [for me] how the character of any particular context is construed is embodied in a subjective point of view embedded in dasein and conflicting goods. At least in situations where the manner in which two individuals characterize it come into conflict.
I'm not sure I follow. Are saying that the character of the particular prong #2 situation is dependent on how the one entering into it construes that character? Well, sure! Of course! But we're talking about me
, aren't we? What would I
do, as a subjectivist, entering into a particular prong #2 situation? I can just tell
you how I construe it. I can even give you some background experiences if you like. And I did
give you two example situations: 1) being pulled over by the cops for smoking dope, and 2) getting into a heated discussion with an anti-drug group on the internet. <-- My reactions, as a subjectivist, in these two situations would be very different indeed, and only in situation #2 *might* I bring up my theory of consciousness. The fact that how I react in these two situation, and how I construe them coming into them, is rooted in dasein seems, I would think, irrelevant.
iambiguous wrote:But what is of interest to me is exploring why, if it is the last thing that you would do, why/how it has any substantial/substantive relevance at all. Are you asking what utility I see in it? I see it as a potential solution to the mind/body problem (to be contested with physicalism). I see its utility as strictly philosophical. And what of those who argue that smoking marijuana is something that should not be illegal in the first place. What about them? I don't know if I agree with them either. That's the part where almost all of the conversations revolve. And that's the part where the components of my own philosophy [moral nihilism, ironism] pertain.
But I don't think everything we believe necessarily serves some substantial purpose towards solving prong #2 dilemmas--at least not directly. Your whole approach will, when people are cooperative, lead you to other people's beliefs and values (objectivists or otherwise) but you shouldn't expect that what you find there will be obviously useful towards resolving prong #2 dilemmas. Most of the time, what you'll find is just the answers to your inquiries--you probe, they deliver; it's not fair to follow that up with: but how is that relevant to prong #2? They are merely answering your questions.
iambiguous wrote:I really do appreciate your attempts to communicate this to me. But try as I might I am still unable to grasp how this might be applicable to the parts of philosophy that most interest me. Don't try too hard--maybe it just isn't applicable. Though, admittedly, that may be more reflective of my own failure to comprehend what you have in fact succeeded in communicating to others. I am always intrigued more by the relationship/gap between that which we either can or cannot be honest about. Between the more or less rock-solid objective world of either/or and the far more subjective, interpersonal speculations that [to me] are built right into the world of is/ought.
Hmm... I find it interest how you say that we cannot be honest about the subjective world of is/ought. But in any case, I'm beginning to think that the approach I'm proposing to dealing with prong #2 situations (not solving, but dealing with)--i.e. the alternative to the "traditional objectivist approach"--is not useful to you if you say that it is not "applicable to the parts of philosophy that most interest" you. What I'm trying to propose is an approach
(to dealing with prong #2 situations), which is based
on a philosophy, but is not philosophy itself (although you could make it into
philosophy quite easily, but not necessarily the area of philosophy you're interested in).
In a manner of speaking, what I've been trying to convey is that my own philosophy--subjectivism
--has lead me to a certain psychology--a certain mode of conducting myself in life and the world that comes with a slightly different view on human psychology, including myself--and this has evolved into a practice--one that is applicable to prong #2. The problem is--it only starts
with philosophy (my subjectivism), but beyond that, to really reap the benefits of it, you have to put it into practice... thus the best approach to tackling prong #2 situations (the one that works for me
, at least) is not to be found merely on the level of philosophy.
You might think of it in the same vein as any
philosophy might lead to a certain practice--like Pythagoreanism leading to mathematics, or Francis Bacon and Newton leading to science, or St. Augustine leading to Christianity--only mine leads one to practice eximining one's own mind and applying the principles he learns from that to others.
iambiguous wrote:Yes, the parts that are intertwined in dasein and conflicting goods. And it is the objectivists here -- turd and uccisore and fixed cross leap to mind -- <-- Well, one of them at least, for sure. who basically argue that this is not the case at all. They insist that if you think like they do about right and wrong then you are able to transcend this and discover/invent the most rational and virtuous narrative of all: their own.
Yes, I do think they confound the two--the ability to attain ultimate objective truth and that their personal beliefs are
iambiguous wrote:But: the closer they come to my own frame of mind the more they recognize it as a threat. So they put me on ignore, or refuse to discuss it or leave the forum altogether in order to avoid it. They simply have too much to lose if my point of view is seen by them to be more reasonable than their own. And I know exactly what this entails because I exhibited the same fierce resistance to nihilism myself when my own objectivist frame of mind was threatened.
I'm sure the animosity that typically arises in heated discussions has a lot to do with it as well. Disagreements between points of view often begin because you don't want to just abandon our own points of view at the drop of a hat for that being proposed by another. We arrive at our points of view as a matter of adaptation (to our environment, to our social network, to our lifestyles, etc.), so when another comes along and attempts to drive it out to make room in our minds for their own, our brains detect this as a threat--like a virus being downloaded onto a computer, even if that virus was a functional program for the computer from which it came. The initial reaction is to disagree, and when the disagreement continuously fails, aggression comes next. <-- At this point, however, the threat becomes more the person than the point of view. And when aggression fails, violence and war, and then the threat is more about death and bodily harm--simply ignoring the argument or walking away notwithstanding.
Yes, that's the part in my narrative that revolves around choosing democracy and the rule of law over might makes right and right makes might. The part that revolves around moderation, negotiation and compromise.
But unlike others who embrace this in "the best of all possible worlds" I am still plagued by 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.
And it is this that others [even the democracy advocates] are unable to grasp in the manner in which I do. It is just too pessimistic -- even catastrophic -- to think like this about your own value judgments.
Whereas your own frame of mind [here and now] seems more in sync with this:
gib wrote:This *might* result in me submitting to the other person's point of view (but at least I would be somewhat, kind of, in agreement with them at that point) but it can also supply me with plenty of cognitive/mental material with which to try to persuade (in an amicable, diplomatic manner) the other towards my point of view, or at least a peaceful settlement. The point is: with more understanding of how the world looks from the other person's perspective, the more easily one can deal with that person.
This to me however revolves around attaining and than sustaining a political consensus. And I recognize it in turn as part and parcel of that "best of all possible worlds." But [for me] there it is: that gnawing dilemma.
Yes, it isn't the ideal solution, just the "best" we can come up with (at least, insofar as the goal is to avoid violence and war, as opposed to finding the objective moral truth). Even in the best of all possible worlds, this approach won't always make everyone happy--for example, when fighting over scarce resources: we can negotiate and decide that we each get half the resources--but those resources are still scarce, and they will eventually run out--which means we are still worse off than we would be in a scenario in which either of us fought the other and won.
iambiguous wrote:We perceive the world around us in a particular way embedded in a particular historical and cultural context. And from within the parameters of a particular set of personal experiences. How then are the individual variables out in this particular world -- thousands upon thousands of them that ever evolve over time and across space -- anchored to what any particular philosopher or a scientist or theologian calls "reality". Trying to untangle deduction from induction would seem to be as problematic [to me] as trying to untangle nature from nurture in exploring and explaining the behaviors that we choose. For me, there are no "smooth transitions" that a particular "consciousness" can make here. There are only existential leaps of faith to one point of view [here and now] rather than another. It's less a question of "monism" or "dualism" [for me] than of being overwhelmed by any attempts to make distinctions of this sort at all.
You're right, it's probably a mix of both for all of us (but I doubt each one of us is exactly midway between the two extremes). Nevertheless, as algorithms
, they are like night and day, and with algorithms, it makes no sense to talk about one that is "midway" between two alternatives. They can be both used at the same time
, and I believe the brain does this, but they are most likely determined by two different neural sub-systems in the brain; what this means is that, like with any neural sub-system in the brain, one will usually be used or will be more efficient than others. I had the impression earlier in this thread that you relied on getting concrete examples from others in order to understand the main gist of their point of view, which would indicate an inductive way of thinking; I just thought maybe you were more of an inductive thinker than a deductive one (though, like with most people, you probably use a mix of both).
iambiguous wrote:And in choosing objectivism as The Answer this allows the objectivists to make all of that go away. It comforts and consoles them psychologically to imagine that there is an answer. And, as luck would have it, it's their answer!
I agree that, in a strictly logical sense, it's possible that the human brain is wired with the capacity to figure out the objective truth, but it's almost as if, with the objectivist, they think that the only reason they know this is because their brains have done it themselves (and fortuitously turned out to discover their truth).
It's like the Man In Black character played by Ed Harris in Westworld. He is ever intent at getting to the bottom of this one particular reality. If he can figure out what is really going on there he will finally have solved...
...solved what exactly?
Will he have finally discovered the particular "ism" that motivated Robert Ford to create this world? And suppose he does? How would that not too be embedded in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy?
Will have to watch that movie.
iambiguous wrote:Yes, that makes sense. But I always come back to the extent which it is even possible to achieve a level of consciousness that makes my dilemma go away. But you do understand, don't you, that this was just my answer to your question? It wasn't intended to make your dilemma go away. For the moral and political objectivist, the whole point here [if largely subconsciously] is to avoid my dilemma at all cost. Subjunctively, they need to believe less that they are right than that right and wrong itself exists. That's the part where I become particularly threatening.
Unless of course I'm wrong. And though many mock me for tacking that onto particular post of mine, they fail to grasp the extent to which that is in fact part and parcel of the dilemma that "I" am entangled here pertaining to the world of is/ought. The prong #2 world.
Right. It would be nice to be able to say: I know
iambiguous wrote:Actually, I am utterly perplexed regarding how the conscious human mind can grapple with this at all.
It would seem that the only way to comprehend it is to conclude that we interact in a wholly determined world where even explanations themselves are only as they ever could have been.
Insofar as "explanation" means: understanding why such-and-such is necessarily so, I agree. And yes, this would apply to those very explanations (or rather inventing them).
Again, that way "metaphysics" would seem to revolve more around 1] why something and not nothing and 2] why this something and not another something instead.
Yes, insofar as metaphysics is a quest for all underlying necessities.
But what on earth does that/can that/will that ever mean?!!
To, for example, mere mortals.
Insofar as we objectify all such metaphysical explanations (i.e. think of it in 3rd person), it will always be rendered, in the final analysis, as contingent, not necessarily. Objectified explanations can easily serve to explain why some phenomenon is necessary, but not without introducing an infinite regress: why is that
explanation necessary? It's like passing on the mystery of a phenomenon that at first appears to be contingent--like why do rocks exist--onto an explanation that at least functions to explain the original phenomenon as necessary but, in turn, needs another explanation to account for it--like the atomic structure of the rock, which would entail the necessity of the rock's existence along with all its particular properties, itself requiring an explanation: why do atoms exist? Why do sub-atomic particles exist?
This is an essential character of 3rd person accounts, of objectification--objects are contingent, not necessary--so long as phenomena are explained in terms of smaller, more fundamental phenomena (smaller, more fundamental objects), the contingency is only pushed further down the line.
This is why I say that necessity is to be found in subjectivity--it's the only reason the ancient Greeks discovered the utility of logic in thought--necessity is to be found in mind
, not matter--which is why I believe that consciousness is the basis for everything.
iambiguous wrote:My point is that the objectivists here have figured out a way to trick themselves into believing that my dilemma is something that I have tricked myself into believing in order to avoid admitting that their own support for Trump or Clinton reflects the obligation of all rational and virtuous men and women.
We all have our particular reasons for believing what we believe--sometimes tricking ourselves, sometimes simply reporting what we experience (usually the latter involves the empirical and factual)--but I doubt anyone has any self-evident obligation to support Trump or Clinton. <-- In that respect, any support one conjures up for any politician is a form of self-trickery.
On your own thread above we clearly see this objectivist frame of mind in action. And [I speculate] it is precisely the fact that I threaten it that uccisore and his ilk avoid at all cost the sort of discussion the we are having here.
Again, they have so much to lose if they abandon their own particular ideological font. "I" is the last thing they wish to confront. At best they can argue [as you point out] that not all subjective realities are equal. Yes, "reality transitions" are possible because there is a collection of objective facts that can be attached to any number of conflicting political prejudices.
Right, and in my books, "objective facts" are simply ideas that tend to pull one in a particular direction, very rarely allowing one to return. For example, if you believe the world is flat, and then someone shows you the objective facts that prove to you the world is round, it's very hard to go back.
iamboguous wrote:From my perspective however this becomes the "heart of the matter" only to the extent that "in your head" you have come to believe that it is. Well, as the wise Dumbledore once said: Of course this is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on Earth should that mean that it is not real? But there does not appear to be a way in which you are able to demonstrate that other "consciousnesses" ought to think that way too. It is not my intention to. For me this is more of what I call an "intellectual contraption" in which the analysis is true only to the extent that tautologically the premises/assumptions are true.
It's not even that. I take a giant inductive leap in my theory: I take the principles of mind that I abstract from my own introspective experiences and apply those to the rest of matter in the universe.
But how to actually show that they are? How does one get past "theory" here?
Well, as I said, the principles of mind I abstract from my own introspective experiences show me that those principles hold for any subjective experience I am capable of having. It's not quite the same verifiable demonstration one can perform in science--for example, showing others the reading on a barometer--but I'm fairly convinced that if I report to others that my experience of pain is quite unpleasant, they will find the same description applies just as well to their experiences.
The three main principles I draw from my own experiences (the three starting premises you might say) that I believe can be generalized to all experience (<-- that's the inductive leap) are: 1) they are all defined by a unique quality, 3) they all project as a reality (they have being), and 3) they are all meaningful (or carry information). In my book, I attempt to persuade the reader of the truth of these three principles, counting on his or her own familiar acquaintance with his/her own experiences. That's how I (at least try) to get past theory and show that it's real (the inductive leap still acting as a barrier there).
And it would seem the most important factor here is the extent to which a "universal consciousness" is able to be anchored to an actual teleology rather then to the brute facticity of an essentially absurd and meaningless world.
Well, teleology entails purpose or intention. <-- That, to me, is too anthropomorphic to attribute to consciousness in general. Human beings certainly have purposes/intentions, and probably most animals do too, but I'm skeptical that it is a fundamental feature of all consciousness. Meaning, however, I believe to be fundamental (it is the third principle of mind I outlined above).
Again though: Whatever that means.
In other words, what, "for all practical purposes" or "theoretically", does it mean to speak of "the experience of the universe as a whole". Other than the way in which any one particular individual fits all the pieces of a "reality" together "in his head". Similarly pertaining to the speculations that revolve around "the mind of God".
I don't profess to know the answer to this except to say it is an experience that is 1) qualitative, 2) real, and 3) meaningful. Beyond that, it is most likely incomprehensible to human beings.
Again, I see your analysis here as [psychologically] an attempt to come up with something [anything] that acts as a foundation onto which you can anchor "I".
Hmm... well, you bring me back to my early days when I was first experimenting with psychedelic drugs. My theory was something I came up with over the years to make sense out of my very confused and, frankly, quite delusional way of thinking that the drugs induced. <-- That coupled with it being my 2nd year as a psych undergraduate first learning about the brain--and voila! I experienced it more as trying to sort out a cognitive mess, but it is true that once I had put something together, I thought it was worthy of being placed among the pantheon of other theories of consciousness, which I guess made me feel important (i.e. gave value to the 'I'). <-- These days, I still feel like it is worthy of consideration as a plausible theory of consciousness (which is why I said earlier that the utility I find in the theory is purely philosophical), and I suppose like an artist or an engineer, I take pride in my creations and feel it is something worth "showing off".
But I don't mean this as a criticism. Why? Because in my own way I am doing the same thing. I just come to different conclusions here and now.
Yes, we all are.
iambiguous wrote:Then it all comes down to being or not being entangled in my dilemma. Yes, my God makes no practical difference to the way atheists think the world works. And in that respect all I can do is to explore the subjective narratives of those who argue that they are not entangled in it. While at the same time being entangled in a frame of mind that [here and now] cannot even imagine how [in a world sans God as I understand it] one cannot be.
Well, note that I never said I wasn't entangled in prong #2--just that I'm not as bothered by it as you seem to be.
I really don't understand how one cannot be a moral nihilist. But I also understand that far, far more aren't than are. So, one of the possibilities of course is that my thinking is flawed.
It may not be a matter of flawed thinking so much as not understanding certain other perspectives according to which there can be a morality. It's like the glass is half-full/half-empty distinction--it's not like one is right and the other is wrong (in fact they're both right)--except where the two perspectives are far more complex, therefore meaning that making the switch from one to the other is far more difficult if you're used to one and have relatively little experience with the other.
iambiguous wrote:I don't argue that human interaction is meaningless, only that there does not appear to be an essential, objective meaning that intertwines 1] before I was born 2] my conscious existence now and 3] after I die into a single teleological truth.
Yep, and this is what I contest. I say it is
all meaningful (given my beliefs of universal consciousness and principle #3 about meaning)--before, during, and after your short existence on this Earth.
iambiguous wrote:But this would seem to be the case only in a context in which you die and the rest is oblivion. If that is not the case [and this is clearly assumed by millions] then the Whole Truth to you is revealed in "paradise".
This is only the case according to Western religion. I do believe in a sort of "afterlife" but it is not necessarily "paradise" and it's certainly not a state in which the "Whole Truth" is revealed to you. For one thing, I believe we lose our individuality after we die--there will be no more iambiguous or gib--but simply a continuation of experience. Secondly, though this continuation of experience will certainly feature the "beholding" (for lack of a better word) of different qualities of experience (which were previously incomprehensible to us), it's a distortion at best to call it "comprehending" the "Truth" (<-- comprehension of "truth" in my view is specifically a cognitive ability, which is particular to living brains).
Besides, my point that a meaningful, but incomprehensible, universe would be indistinguishable from a meaningless universe was based on the point of view of human beings living out their short lives.
That is why in my view objectivists of uccisore's ilk are intent on linking the part about before we die to the part about after. They assume that only if one thinks and feels and behaves as they do is there a chance to pass muster on Judgment Day.
Quite possibly; the Western obsession with Truth is a remnant of the Christian imperative to know the truth (you'd better, otherwise...).
Thus for folks of his ilk, Trump's political agenda is the more "Christian" of the two. And then if you point out that Donald Trump's actual life could not possibly be further removed from the life of Jesus Christ, he will come up with a rationalization to "prove" that you are wrong.
Does he have to? It wouldn't surprise me, but it is a sign of feeling threatened when, in philosophical debates, one opts to object with one's contender over things that they don't need to. For example, I know many Christians who don't feel it is our place to even try
to be more Christ-like. They feel that this is precisely what the ransom was for: as humans, we are imperfect, we faulter, and sin--it is within our nature as finite beings--so while there is a moral obligation on each of our shoulders to try to do some good in this world, it is limited to whatever extent is reasonable for human beings, and the rest can be "compensated" by the ransom--that is, by asking for forgiveness from Christ. But if you challenge
certain people on the point that one, or someone they look up to, is not acting very Christ-like, and they feel threatened by this challenge, they will go to such lengths to try and prove
that they or the one they look up to is
Now, I don't know if this is Ucci, or any of the other objectivists on this board, but there is certainly the type (I knew one personally in university).