Making iambiguous's day

This is the main board for discussing philosophy - formal, informal and in between.

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:33 pm

gib wrote: Remember, the subjectivism of one's position and values means that the reality of these depends only on how one feels about them--not on whether one can rigorously craft a convincing or thoroughly deductive argument, or whether one can amass irrefutable evidence, but simply on how one feels, on what reality seems to one in the moment. Any conflict resulting from that can be resolved through relativism.


I would basically agree with your points so far. But a resolution, in reflecting what any particular subjects [as dasein] "feel" regarding any particular set of circumstances, would still seem [from my perspective] to be embedded in 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 "dilemma" that I am most interested in exploring with the objectivists. Or, in your case, the subjectivists. Yes, there is the way that we react to the world cognitively -- the way in which we seem able [using the tools of science and philosophy] to "reason" our way to objective truths that are applicable to all of us. But there are also our subjunctive [emotional, psychological and/or instinctual] reactions to events that involve conflicting value judgments. How here are any "resolutions" that we reach not also embedded in dasein and in conflicting goods? And, eventually, out in the world -- a particular world -- with others, subject to the reality of political economy?

What you see as a particular contextual resolution I see more as just an intersubjective frame of mind that particular folks in a particular conflict manage to sustain "in their heads" for however long that can be done. Then something changes and the conflict flares up again.

gib wrote: I get that for you this is a "dilemma"--you must feel passionate about it to an extent--yet I've gotten the impression you wish to convince objectivists of its futility--not that you're looking to objectivists for an answer, but that you wish for objectivists to abandon the endeavor.


Admittedly, depending on my "mood", it can be one more than the other. Still, by and large, I am more intent on exploring at least the possibility of an argument that might convince me to pull back from that brutal sense of futility -- and it is very, very real -- I see entangled in conflicting goods embraced by folks who do not fully grasp the manner in which their value judgments are more rather than less the embodiment of dasein. At least not as I do.

gib wrote: Of course, we know that this function [applying rational analysis] has been extended into all kinds of other realms--the spiritual, psychological, and the sociopolitical, among many others--and to an extent it works--not as well as the physical and the tangible--but it works well enough for us to have survived this long.


And this always brings me back to the three socio-political contexts in which the "resolution" is embedded:

1] might makes right: the strong are able to enforce their own agenda
2] right makes might: there is an agreement within the community regarding the most rational/virtuous behavior
3] democracy: there are different factions convinced that their own resolution is the optimal frame of mind but they are willing to embrace "the rule of law" and do battle with conflicting agendas in the political arena

gib wrote: The problem is the degree to which it doesn't work, and the problem here is that its shortcomings in these spheres (the spiritual, psychological, sociopolitical, etc.) is that we are so highly invested in the conclusions we arrive at.


Yes, and, for me, that then comes to revolve around this:

Here, in my view, is one particular rendition of what I construe to be the "psychology of objectivism". Applicable to either Religion or to Reason.

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".

But [of course] this not applicable at all to that which we are able to demonstrate as applicable to all of us. It is pertinent only to the part [as you noted re Hume above] where one attempts to yank an ought out of an is.
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
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 37684
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:19 am

Iambigiuous wrote:I would basically agree with your points so far. But a resolution, in reflecting what any particular subjects [as dasein] "feel" regarding any particular set of circumstances, would still seem [from my perspective] to be embedded in 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.


But I continue to fail to understand why this is so important to you. Why do you feel your "self" fragments just because you recognize the relativity of it all? Why can't you just be a relativist and say "that's who I am"?

I understand that you recognize yourself as just another dasein, another self subject to all the whims and propensities of any other dasein, but why that should mean that your particular view, your particular values, are invalid, is what stumps me here.

Iambiguous wrote:And it is this "dilemma" that I am most interested in exploring with the objectivists. Or, in your case, the subjectivists. Me too, huh? :lol: Yes, there is the way that we react to the world cognitively -- the way in which we seem able [using the tools of science and philosophy] to "reason" our way to objective truths that are applicable to all of us. But there are also our subjunctive [emotional, psychological and/or instinctual] reactions to events that involve conflicting value judgments. How here are any "resolutions" that we reach not also embedded in dasein and in conflicting goods? And, eventually, out in the world -- a particular world -- with others, subject to the reality of political economy?


Well, biggy, at this point, I can't offer you solution to your problem. I can only suggest what I've so far been suggesting: start with just another individual. See if you can resolve your conflicts with that person--use philosophy and all that--and see if you can come up with a strategy. If succeeds, see how much you can generalize it to other people. In principle, you might make it all the way up to the level of politics where you will attempt to resolve your personal differences with the rest of the human race. But sometimes I think in order to succeed at our most lofty goals, we need to forget about them and focus on the little, more immediate goals. It's like trying to jump over a wall that's way too high--you stand a better of chance of getting over if you focus on building small steps one at a time.

Iambiguous wrote:What you see as a particular contextual resolution I see more as just an intersubjective frame of mind that particular folks in a particular conflict manage to sustain "in their heads" for however long that can be done. Then something changes and the conflict flares up again.


Well, then you must be an objectivist yourself--if you feel that even in the midst of believing in the reality of one's subjective experience of his situation, there is still a greater and more objectively authentic world beyond that subjective reality, then you must believe ultimately in the actuality of objective reality.

I won't get into how a relativism of reality works this out, but I will pose the question: why are you so concerned with resolving the conflicts between conflicting subjective views, experiences, beliefs, and values in general--once and for all, so to speak?--why can't life just a be a series of mini-conflicts--conflicts between one individual and another, or one small group of individuals and another small group--and once you resolve those conflicts, move on and prepare for the next conflict that will inevitably arise. <-- This is life! It's like getting from point A to point B in your car--like getting from Calgary to Regina--sure you have to constantly keep your foot on the gas and sit for hours on end enduring the tedious boredom--but it gets the job done--you do get from point A to point B. What your "dilemma" is all about is fretting over the question: why don't they invent cruise control (or teleportation)! Sure, it would be nice to have cruise control or teleportation--it makes the ride a whole lot less tedious--but don't tell me that without it, we can't get from point A to point B.

Iambiguous wrote:Admittedly, depending on my "mood", it can be one more than the other. Still, by and large, I am more intent on exploring at least the possibility of an argument that might convince me to pull back from that brutal sense of futility -- and it is very, very real -- I see entangled in conflicting goods embraced by folks who do not fully grasp the manner in which their value judgments are more rather than less the embodiment of dasein. At least not as I do.


Yes, I see the very same dilemma. My response, which I'm trying to make clear, is that the answers lies in, at least temporarily, letting go of the big world-changing, ultimate "fix" for all the world's problems and conflicts, and instead switch gears and focus on more practical and manageable conflicts--conflicts between smaller and more regional groups; stepping down from such lofty aspirations of wanting to establish world peace and a proven methodology for avoiding conflict in a world ruled by dasein might seem disappointing at first, by my point is that we stand a much more likely chance of success if we start small and work our way up--slowly, methodically--from cases which seem manageable and doable to other cases which, by your own admittance, we have yet to figure out a resolution to.

Iambiguous wrote:And this always brings me back to the three socio-political contexts in which the "resolution" is embedded:

1] might makes right: the strong are able to enforce their own agenda
2] right makes might: there is an agreement within the community regarding the most rational/virtuous behavior
3] democracy: there are different factions convinced that their own resolution is the optimal frame of mind but they are willing to embrace "the rule of law" and do battle with conflicting agendas in the political arena


Do you think that this is inevitable within all human interactions? That any group of people sufficiently populous will form political systems in accordance with only one of these three? It almost strikes me as thesis, antithesis, and synthesis--the first and second categories for sure remind me of Nietzsche's master and slave morality, respectively.

I always think that the synthesis in particular manifests an aspect of creativity--the resolution to any human conflict is to be always expect to carry an element of surprise, something we would never have expected (if we could have expected it, we would have applied it before it became a conflict).

Iambiguous wrote: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. <-- Yes, this comes from tying one's newly found ideology into one's sense of personal identity.

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.

^^ Like on internet forums.

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.

Because they tied it into their ego (in step 2).

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.

Because they tied it into their ego.

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.

Yep.

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".


Right. That's when our faculty of reason--which should only ever be regarded as merely a mental tool, something to help us get through complex and possibly confusing situations--gets hijacked to serve the more primitive needs of the ego--power, status, survival--it's just like what I said in my last post: the motive for using reason gets intermixed with a whole array of different motives. That's when the brain decides it doesn't mind turning a blind eye to the rational mistakes and logical fallacies that appear so blatantly obvious to other, others that is who don't share the same motives and agendas as you. Rationality is not a window to reality, it is a tool that the human brain pulls out of the shed any time it deems it useful for survival and getting ahead. Sure, it can be used to figure out reality but this is no where near an exclusive function--it can also be used to manipulate, to negotiate and make deals, even to help and heal others--so it shouldn't come as a surprise that some end up in the bind of using reason and rationality to defend their ego--for prestige, for dignity, or even survival--for reason and rationality are just tools with which we are free to do whatever we want.

Iambiguous wrote:But [of course] this not applicable at all to that which we are able to demonstrate as applicable to all of us. It is pertinent only to the part [as you noted re Hume above] where one attempts to yank an ought out of an is.


Right.

And just a note: I'm not entirely convinced that Hume was right. The philosophy of utilitarianism comes close to refuting Hume, in my opinion--the philosophy that says: in experiencing certain forms of "is" we abstract an "ought"--being in physical pain is certainly an "is"--there's very rarely any question about it when one feels it--in fact, with physical pain, one can even say it is empirical, a tactile sensation. But in the midst of the experience, one gets a sample--an empirical sample--of something that, inherently, ought not to be experienced--that is, it is in the subjective experience of pain itself that we get the idea of "this is not good; it would be better if it wasn't". We catch a glimpse, in other words, in the experience of physical pain, of that without which things would be better--and that is a rudimentary "ought".

I'm not really as much of a utilitarian as I used to be--but ^ this ^ still holds a bit of water for me.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice.
- Ben Shapiro

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu
User avatar
gib
resident exorcist
 
Posts: 9019
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 02, 2016 6:03 pm

gib wrote:
Iambigiuous wrote:I would basically agree with your points so far. But a resolution, in reflecting what any particular subjects [as dasein] "feel" regarding any particular set of circumstances, would still seem [from my perspective] to be embedded in 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.


But I continue to fail to understand why this is so important to you. Why do you feel your "self" fragments just because you recognize the relativity of it all? Why can't you just be a relativist and say "that's who I am"?


It's important to anyone who is in a situation where they are expected to choose one point of view over another. Or one behavior over another. Why? Because those around them do expect them to choose the "right" behavior. To be "one of us".

If they choose the "wrong" behavior, or if they argue [as I do] that there is no objectively right or wrong behavior, there can be consequences. For example, I was just reading an article about the presidential election in the US. It seems that, regarding the Clinton/Sanders race, there have literally been long-standing friendships dissolved because one of them supported Clinton and the other supported Sanders!

Now, there are folks [the overwhelming preponderance of men and women on the planet] who manage to convince themselves that their own choice [their own behavior] is 1] in sync with who they really are and 2] reflects the most rational and virtuous point of view.

This is not an option for me. And one either grasps the significance -- the existential significance -- of this or one doesn't.

But: short of someone being able to crawl inside my head and think about this as I do, I may never be able to communicate my frame of mind here to most folks.

In any event, there are no "valid" or "invalid" values from my point of view. There are only particular values embodied existentially in dasein; and values that are no more necessarily right or wrong than the values of those one might be in conflict with.

Iambiguous wrote:Yes, there is the way that we react to the world cognitively -- the way in which we seem able [using the tools of science and philosophy] to "reason" our way to objective truths that are applicable to all of us. But there are also our subjunctive [emotional, psychological and/or instinctual] reactions to events that involve conflicting value judgments. How here are any "resolutions" that we reach not also embedded in dasein and in conflicting goods? And, eventually, out in the world -- a particular world -- with others, subject to the reality of political economy?


gib wrote: Well, biggy, at this point, I can't offer you solution to your problem. I can only suggest what I've so far been suggesting: start with just another individual. See if you can resolve your conflicts with that person--use philosophy and all that--and see if you can come up with a strategy.


Sure, that's basically the option we all have at our disposal if we choose to interact with others. But it doesn't make my own dilemma any less intractable.

Iambiguous wrote:What you see as a particular contextual resolution I see more as just an intersubjective frame of mind that particular folks in a particular conflict manage to sustain "in their heads" for however long that can be done. Then something changes and the conflict flares up again.


gib wrote: Well, then you must be an objectivist yourself--if you feel that even in the midst of believing in the reality of one's subjective experience of his situation, there is still a greater and more objectively authentic world beyond that subjective reality, then you must believe ultimately in the actuality of objective reality.


I don't see how you are able to draw that conclusion. With respect to conflicting value judgments there may well be a "greater and more objectively authentic world beyond that subjective reality". But I don't believe that there is. And I do believe in an objective reality pertaining to mathematics, the laws of nature, the rules of language, that which we all agree is true by definition, the world empirically etc.

gib wrote: I won't get into how a relativism of reality works this out, but I will pose the question: why are you so concerned with resolving the conflicts between conflicting subjective views, experiences, beliefs, and values in general--once and for all, so to speak?--why can't life just a be a series of mini-conflicts--conflicts between one individual and another, or one small group of individuals and another small group--and once you resolve those conflicts, move on and prepare for the next conflict that will inevitably arise.


Let's just say that the "resolutions" here are not thought of by me in the manner in which they might be thought of by those who are not entangled in my dilemma. In other words, to me, they are still no less existential contraptions that [eventually] will reflect the power of those able to enforce their own agenda. It always comes down to that. And not because the "resolution" really does reflect The Right Thing To Do.

And my aim here revolves more around exposing the dangers of the objectivist frame of mind as it relates to conflicting value judgments.

And, besides, what if there actually is a way in which philosophers can resolve these conflicts "once and for all"? What have I got to lose by hearing the objectivists out?

To wit:

Iambiguous wrote:...by and large, I am more intent on exploring at least the possibility of an argument that might convince me to pull back from that brutal sense of futility -- and it is very, very real -- I see entangled in conflicting goods embraced by folks who do not fully grasp the manner in which their value judgments are more rather than less the embodiment of dasein. At least not as I do.


Iambiguous wrote:And this always brings me back to the three socio-political contexts in which the "resolution" is embedded:

1] might makes right: the strong are able to enforce their own agenda
2] right makes might: there is an agreement within the community regarding the most rational/virtuous behavior
3] democracy: there are different factions convinced that their own resolution is the optimal frame of mind but they are willing to embrace "the rule of law" and do battle with conflicting agendas in the political arena


gib wrote: Do you think that this is inevitable within all human interactions? That any group of people sufficiently populous will form political systems in accordance with only one of these three? It almost strikes me as thesis, antithesis, and synthesis--the first and second categories for sure remind me of Nietzsche's master and slave morality, respectively.


From my point of view, whether the conflict is between two individuals, two groups, two communities or two nations, those are the options: Brute power, a deontological truth, moderation, negotiation and compromise.

Iambiguous wrote: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. <-- Yes, this comes from tying one's newly found ideology into one's sense of personal identity.

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.

^^ Like on internet forums.

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.

Because they tied it into their ego (in step 2).

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.

Because they tied it into their ego.

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.

Yep.

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".

Right. That's when our faculty of reason--which should only ever be regarded as merely a mental tool, something to help us get through complex and possibly confusing situations--gets hijacked to serve the more primitive needs of the ego--power, status, survival--it's just like what I said in my last post: the motive for using reason gets intermixed with a whole array of different motives. That's when the brain decides it doesn't mind turning a blind eye to the rational mistakes and logical fallacies that appear so blatantly obvious to other, others that is who don't share the same motives and agendas as you. Rationality is not a window to reality, it is a tool that the human brain pulls out of the shed any time it deems it useful for survival and getting ahead. Sure, it can be used to figure out reality but this is no where near an exclusive function--it can also be used to manipulate, to negotiate and make deals, even to help and heal others--so it shouldn't come as a surprise that some end up in the bind of using reason and rationality to defend their ego--for prestige, for dignity, or even survival--for reason and rationality are just tools with which we are free to do whatever we want.


I would generally agree. The point that I stress always revolves around what I construe to be the limitations of reason once we shift gears from those things applicable to all of us [either/or] to those things -- human behaviors in particular -- in which there are conflicts regarding the way it is said that things should be [is/ought].

As for our individual reactions to physical pain, the pain will always be a particular one out in a particular world; and some will want the pain to stop while others may, instead, want the pain to be all the more excruciating. There still does not seem to be a way for philosophers to choose one over the other as [deontologically] The Right Thing To Do.

It's still largely a subjective reaction rooted in dasein and conflicting goods.

Or so it seems to me.
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
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 37684
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Wed May 04, 2016 6:35 am

iambiguous wrote:It's important to anyone who is in a situation where they are expected to choose one point of view over another. Yes, and relativism is a point of view. Or one behavior over another. Why? Because those around them do expect them to choose the "right" behavior. To be "one of us".


So you'd give up relativism because of peer pressure? Why can't you tell them: "I'm a relativist"?

iambiguous wrote:If they choose the "wrong" behavior, or if they argue [as I do] that there is no objectively right or wrong behavior, there can be consequences. How bad could these consequences be? Are you planning on becoming political? For example, I was just reading an article about the presidential election in the US. It seems that, regarding the Clinton/Sanders race, there have literally been long-standing friendships dissolved because one of them supported Clinton and the other supported Sanders!


^^ Yeah, politics.

iambiguous wrote:Now, there are folks [the overwhelming preponderance of men and women on the planet] who manage to convince themselves that their own choice [their own behavior] is 1] in sync with who they really are and 2] reflects the most rational and virtuous point of view.

Yep.

This is not an option for me. And one either grasps the significance -- the existential significance -- of this or one doesn't.

Not sure which camp I fall into. :lol:

But: short of someone being able to crawl inside my head and think about this as I do, I may never be able to communicate my frame of mind here to most folks.

Aren't you doing it now?

In any event, there are no "valid" or "invalid" values from my point of view. There are only particular values embodied existentially in dasein; and values that are no more necessarily right or wrong than the values of those one might be in conflict with.


Right, I get that (I think). For me, this would only be a problem if it entailed that no moral perspective or value system could ever be compatible with this form of relativism (or nihilism or existentialism). But to me, not all moral systems are logically incompatible. I brought up utilitarianism in my previous post. Even a relativist can look out at the world and become convinced that everyone experiences pain and pleasure, and that pain feels horrible and pleasure wonderful, and feel intuitively that this is grounds for a morality. <-- This is not inconsistent with relativism. (With nihilism, maybe. Nihilism says that all such contrived moralities are, at their core, baseless, and therefore even one's own is baseless. <-- Maybe this is your problem; perhaps your nihilism is where your lingering objectivism is hiding).

iambiguous wrote:Sure, that's basically the option we all have at our disposal if we choose to interact with others. But it doesn't make my own dilemma any less intractable.


Well, I'm beginning to suspect that your dilemma is not with how to deal with other people without clashing with their dasein-based values and beliefs, but with how to deal with your own. It seems you can't escape the inevitable conclusion of nihilism (or relativism) when you live in this modern age, but to you that means that all beliefs and value systems, including your own, are baseless and meaningless. How then can you continue to be compelled towards the conclusion of nihilism?

Well, if you're unsatisfied with the conclusions your premises relentlessly lead you to, try different premises. <-- Those are always exchangeable.

iambiguous wrote:I don't see how you are able to draw that conclusion. With respect to conflicting value judgments there may well be a "greater and more objectively authentic world beyond that subjective reality". But I don't believe that there is. And I do believe in an objective reality pertaining to mathematics, the laws of nature, the rules of language, that which we all agree is true by definition, the world empirically etc.


Yes, that's the world I'm talking about. When you said that "...an intersubjective frame of mind that particular folks in a particular conflict manage to sustain "in their heads" for however long that can be done. Then something changes and the conflict flares up again." I imagined you meant that something outside the shared intersubjective frame of mind does the changing, something more objectively real than the contents of the intersubjective frame of mind. A death in the family, for example, which would occur in the empirical world, could very easily disrupt the agreement within the intersubjective frame of mind.

^ I see this as possibly the source of what compels you towards nihilism.

iambiguous wrote:Let's just say that the "resolutions" here are not thought of by me in the manner in which they might be thought of by those who are not entangled in my dilemma. In other words, to me, they are still no less existential contraptions that [eventually] will reflect the power of those able to enforce their own agenda. It always comes down to that. And not because the "resolution" really does reflect The Right Thing To Do.


Right, because the "right thing to do" according to each party turns out to be just existential contraptions. This leaves a void in the moral playing field, correct? A void in which there is no "right thing to do". So you're dilemma is to fill that void? With what? Something that is more than just the next existential contraption? Something truly objective?

iambiguous wrote:And my aim here revolves more around exposing the dangers of the objectivist frame of mind as it relates to conflicting value judgments.


Those dangers being the existential contraptions it comes up with? (I think we coined a term here :lol: ).

iambiguous wrote:From my point of view, whether the conflict is between two individuals, two groups, two communities or two nations, those are the options: Brute power, a deontological truth, moderation, negotiation and compromise.


So do you feel that if you could find a solution to your dilemma, you'd have the grounds for a fourth, possibly better, option?

iambiguous wrote:I would generally agree. The point that I stress always revolves around what I construe to be the limitations of reason once we shift gears from those things applicable to all of us [either/or] to those things -- human behaviors in particular -- in which there are conflicts regarding the way it is said that things should be [is/ought].


So are you questioning the efficacy of reason when applied to interpersonal conflicts stemming from different beliefs and values?

iambiguous wrote:As for our individual reactions to physical pain, the pain will always be a particular one out in a particular world; and some will want the pain to stop while others may, instead, want the pain to be all the more excruciating. There still does not seem to be a way for philosophers to choose one over the other as [deontologically] The Right Thing To Do.

It's still largely a subjective reaction rooted in dasein and conflicting goods.

Or so it seems to me.


You may be right. But I only brought up utilitarianism as an example of how an "is" can be translated to an "ought". <-- As for whether that's a real objective ought is another question. I only mean to show where the idea of an "ought", and later morality, comes from.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice.
- Ben Shapiro

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu
User avatar
gib
resident exorcist
 
Posts: 9019
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Sun May 08, 2016 7:53 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:It's important to anyone who is in a situation where they are expected to choose one point of view over another. Yes, and relativism is a point of view. Or one behavior over another. Why? Because those around them do expect them to choose the "right" behavior. To be "one of us".


So you'd give up relativism because of peer pressure? Why can't you tell them: "I'm a relativist"?


I will give up moral relativism [situational ethics] when someone is able to demonstrate to me that it does not reflect a reasonable understanding of a world teeming with conflicted human behaviors.

But in any number of contexts, others will not just pat you on the back and say, "okay, fine, my friend, you're a relativist". There is often just too much at stake if the "other side" prevails.

Besides, my argument is especially a threat to the objectivists because it undermines the capacity to choose sides such that behaviors can be thought of as either right or wrong.

Isn't that why the objectivists here often react to me as they do? They recognize that threat.

As did I myself when [for years and years] I was one of them.

iambiguous wrote:In any event, there are no "valid" or "invalid" values from my point of view. There are only particular values embodied existentially in dasein; and values that are no more necessarily right or wrong than the values of those one might be in conflict with.


gib wrote: Right, I get that (I think). For me, this would only be a problem if it entailed that no moral perspective or value system could ever be compatible with this form of relativism (or nihilism or existentialism). But to me, not all moral systems are logically incompatible. I brought up utilitarianism in my previous post. Even a relativist can look out at the world and become convinced that everyone experiences pain and pleasure, and that pain feels horrible and pleasure wonderful, and feel intuitively that this is grounds for a morality. <-- This is not inconsistent with relativism. (With nihilism, maybe. Nihilism says that all such contrived moralities are, at their core, baseless, and therefore even one's own is baseless. <-- Maybe this is your I donproblem; perhaps your nihilism is where your lingering objectivism is hiding).


Sure, this is reasonable to me. I just don't see how it makes much of a dent in my dilemma above. There will always be only particular pains in particular contexts and particular reactions to them. People rationalize inflicting pain on others for any number of reasons. Their pain is often seen as our gain. And the sociopaths among us need but rationalize their own morality by embracing the idea that in a Godless world, self-gratification becomes the center of the universe.

As for my own nihilism being just another kind of objectivism, well, that becomes largely a language game to me. It reflects the limitations of language in being able to pin down exchanges of this sort. In any event, I am always the first to acknowledge that, given new experiences, new relationships, encounters with new ideas etc., I may well abandon this frame of mind altogether. As I have so many others in the past.

iambiguous wrote:Sure, that's basically the option we all have at our disposal if we choose to interact with others. But it doesn't make my own dilemma any less intractable.


gib wrote: Well, I'm beginning to suspect that your dilemma is not with how to deal with other people without clashing with their dasein-based values and beliefs, but with how to deal with your own.


Yes, that's true. Sartre once speculated that "hell is other people". Well, suppose "I" is too? Sartre focused the beam here on how others objectify us. But my point is aimed more at suggesting how we tend to objectify our own self. If you manage to convince yourself that you are in touch with some "essential self", then that allows you to imagine this "real me" is able to grasp the nature of the "real world" in turn.

gib wrote: It seems you can't escape the inevitable conclusion of nihilism (or relativism) when you live in this modern age, but to you that means that all beliefs and value systems, including your own, are baseless and meaningless. How then can you continue to be compelled towards the conclusion of nihilism?


I make the distinction between essential meaning and existential meaning. Essential meaning revolves around that which is true objectively for all of us. Existential meaning revolves around that which is deemed true subjectively by me but may or may not be true objectively for all of us. Or it may not be true at all.

That's the part that pertains largely to identity and value judgments.

iambiguous wrote:Let's just say that the "resolutions" here are not thought of by me in the manner in which they might be thought of by those who are not entangled in my dilemma. In other words, to me, they are still no less existential contraptions that [eventually] will reflect the power of those able to enforce their own agenda. It always comes down to that. And not because the "resolution" really does reflect The Right Thing To Do.


gib wrote: Right, because the "right thing to do" according to each party turns out to be just existential contraptions. This leaves a void in the moral playing field, correct? A void in which there is no "right thing to do". So you're dilemma is to fill that void? With what? Something that is more than just the next existential contraption? Something truly objective?


All I have at my disposal here are my own existential/political leaps of faith. And it's really not all that different from Kierkegaard's leap of faith to God. Only with No God. I tell myself that there may well be The Right Thing To Do. But until someone is able to demonstrate that there is, I can only choose my behaviors intuitively, viscerally, problematically -- going in one rather than another direction.

Constructively, this affords me more options. I'm not anchored to The Right Thing To Do. Destructively, I am never able to know that feeling of having done The Right Thing. I choose this knowing that had my life been otherwise I might have chosen that instead. And whether I choose this or that is largely moot because either choice can be rationalized merely by commencing with a different set of assumptions.

But, again: You would have to actually be inside my head to grasp how precarious everything can seem when you think like this.

iambiguous wrote:From my point of view, whether the conflict is between two individuals, two groups, two communities or two nations, those are the options: Brute power, a deontological truth, moderation, negotiation and compromise.


gib wrote: So do you feel that if you could find a solution to your dilemma, you'd have the grounds for a fourth, possibly better, option?


Exactly. But: What could that possibly be? I'm here in part looking for arguments that might at least nudge me in that direction.

iambiguous wrote:I would generally agree. The point that I stress always revolves around what I construe to be the limitations of reason once we shift gears from those things applicable to all of us [either/or] to those things -- human behaviors in particular -- in which there are conflicts regarding the way it is said that things should be [is/ought].


gib wrote: So are you questioning the efficacy of reason when applied to interpersonal conflicts stemming from different beliefs and values?


I'm exposing what I construe to be the limits of logic and knowledge here.

I do understand this part: "I only mean to show where the idea of an 'ought', and later morality, comes from."

My point again is this: that there are ideas we have "in our heads" that tie things like this together "theoretically". But to what extent are we able to take these ideas out of our heads and to demonstrate how, when human behaviors do come into conflict over value judgments, an objective morality can be ascertained philosophically?
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
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 37684
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sun May 22, 2016 1:53 am

iambiguous wrote:I will give up moral relativism [situational ethics] when someone is able to demonstrate to me that it does not reflect a reasonable understanding of a world teeming with conflicted human behaviors.

But in any number of contexts, others will not just pat you on the back and say, "okay, fine, my friend, you're a relativist". There is often just too much at stake if the "other side" prevails.


Granted, but then let's make a distinction here: there's a difference between preaching what you believe vs. preaching what you think will have the best, or optimal, effect on people.

iambiguous wrote:Besides, my argument is especially a threat to the objectivists because it undermines the capacity to choose sides such that behaviors can be thought of as either right or wrong.


Granted.

iambiguous wrote:Isn't that why the objectivists here often react to me as they do? They recognize that threat.

I don't know if it's a threat per se; for some people, subjectivism/relativism just doesn't make sense.

As did I myself when [for years and years] I was one of them.


I think we all were, as objectivism (I believe) is the default human perspective.

iambiguous wrote:Sure, this is reasonable to me. I just don't see how it makes much of a dent in my dilemma above. Right, I'm just speculating on the problem, not the solution. There will always be only particular pains in particular contexts and particular reactions to them. People rationalize inflicting pain on others for any number of reasons. Their pain is often seen as our gain. And the sociopaths among us need but rationalize their own morality by embracing the idea that in a Godless world, self-gratification becomes the center of the universe.


Which actually betrays that they aren't really sociopaths if you think about it: a real sociopath wouldn't even bother trying to rationalize his behavior. But that's an aside...

iambiguous wrote:As for my own nihilism being just another kind of objectivism, well, that becomes largely a language game to me. It reflects the limitations of language in being able to pin down exchanges of this sort. In any event, I am always the first to acknowledge that, given new experiences, new relationships, encounters with new ideas etc., I may well abandon this frame of mind altogether. As I have so many others in the past.


But do you know how to do so now? Do you know how to explain your nihilism in a non-objective way? In other words, do you know how to say: There is no such thing as objective reality.

iambiguous wrote:Sure, that's basically the option we all have at our disposal if we choose to interact with others. But it doesn't make my own dilemma any less intractable.

gib wrote: Well, I'm beginning to suspect that your dilemma is not with how to deal with other people without clashing with their dasein-based values and beliefs, but with how to deal with your own.


Yes, that's true. Sartre once speculated that "hell is other people". Well, suppose "I" is too? Sartre focused the beam here on how others objectify us. But my point is aimed more at suggesting how we tend to objectify our own self. If you manage to convince yourself that you are in touch with some "essential self", then that allows you to imagine this "real me" is able to grasp the nature of the "real world" in turn.


Yes, I completely agree with that (although I'm not sure that's the only way to grasp a real world).

Might I suggest that we make a distinction yet again: there's a difference between recognizing (objectifying) the self and just being the self. One need not recognize the self just in order to be one's self--with all one's experiences, perceptions, beliefs, and values. The recognition of the self is something that comes after all this, and is indeed a kind of objectification.

In fact, I'm inclined to say that any kind of conceptualization--which is just "recognition" on a cognitive level--requires objectification. The word "objectification" finds its roots in "object"--that which is focused upon, the target, the "other"--the objective, that which we aim at (where the "beam" aims, as you would say)--it is that which the mind has carved out from its experiences and made into a "not-me"--any kind of "not-me"--so long as it is other.

As this concerns the self--there ends up being a kind of paradox--if what it means to "conceptualize" is to objectify (i.e. to make into an object, into the "other"), then how can the self be objectified? How can the self become the "other"? Isn't that a contradiction in terms according to all the foregoing?

What this means to me is that the process of objectification that the mind must undergo just in order to conceptualize (anything period!) fails in an essential way when it comes to the self, for objectification of the self completely negates the very essence of the self, which is just to be subjective (i.e. to be the subject).

(Sorry, I know that was a long rant, but the point (in order to bring this full circle) is that: the "real me" or the "essential self" as you put it is just the form that the objectification of the self takes--however it is that we conceptualize ourselves in the moment of objectification--and that is another aspect of "objects": they tend to be thought of as "frozen" or "permanent").

Iambiguous wrote:I make the distinction between essential meaning and existential meaning. Essential meaning revolves around that which is true objectively for all of us. Existential meaning revolves around that which is deemed true subjectively by me but may or may not be true objectively for all of us. Or it may not be true at all.

That's the part that pertains largely to identity and value judgments.


Right, and I take it there is essential meaning in the world in your view--scientific facts, for example: like the fact that at the core of all suns is a nuclear fission factory, converting hydrogen into heavier elements. Then problem, then, from my perspective, seems to be that there will always be this world of essential meaning (of objective facts) from which existential meaning (or subjective facts) arises, and when it comes to nihilism, just recognizing this fact reinforces nihilism, the paradox being that nihilism ends up being just another subjective fact.

Iambiguous wrote:Constructively, this affords me more options. I'm not anchored to The Right Thing To Do. Destructively, I am never able to know that feeling of having done The Right Thing. I choose this knowing that had my life been otherwise I might have chosen that instead. And whether I choose this or that is largely moot because either choice can be rationalized merely by commencing with a different set of assumptions.

But, again: You would have to actually be inside my head to grasp how precarious everything can seem when you think like this.


I'm sure this is true. All I can do, in this thread, is, if not show you an alternate way of looking at this, a way that removes the struggle of your dilemma (because I don't struggle with it), to attempt to explain why my own philosophical look on this problem, which involves my brand of subjectivism and relativism, is not affected by this dilemma. But we've been going through a bit of back and forth in this thread, which to me seems largely based on the fact that you are attempting to explain to me why my philosophical perspective doesn't work (either for you, or even for me <-- as in, I'm not seeing the flaws in my own philosophy). I'm not seeing the problem with my philosophy yet, so I'll continue for a bit longer. At this point, I'm seeing the crux of the problem as the fact that there remains an objectively real base for you (essential meaning) from which all subjective reality (existential meaning) stems, including your nihilism. As a subjectivist and a relativist, I don't have this problem because the objective reality for me is still founded on subjectivism ultimately. How to make sense out of this for you is probably what makes this difficult for you to swallow, but I haven't really gotten into that yet.

iambiguous wrote:From my point of view, whether the conflict is between two individuals, two groups, two communities or two nations, those are the options: Brute power, a deontological truth, moderation, negotiation and compromise.

gib wrote: So do you feel that if you could find a solution to your dilemma, you'd have the grounds for a fourth, possibly better, option?


Exactly. But: What could that possibly be? I'm here in part looking for arguments that might at least nudge me in that direction.


Well, given that neither of us is even close to being in a position to answer this, I'm afraid I can't be of much help. I will say this however: I think all three systems are really variants of the first system: brute force. The other two, deontological and democratic, feature mechanisms by which the people are conditioned to accept the fact that they don't get what they want or that life is unfair, thereby obviating the use of brute force unless necessary. For example, in a deontological system, one is given justifications for why one must comply with a system that doesn't agree with them or even harms them. They say: "Well, I don't like it, but I suppose it is my moral duty." Or in a democratic system: "Well, I don't like that the outcome of the last election wasn't what I voted for, but that's how the system works and fair is fair." Law enforcement in both these systems still has the means and the legal rights to apply brute force--for example, if someone decided to assassinate the President because he wasn't the candidate that someone voted for--but the conditioning of the people in these systems is really a means of psychologically removing them by one degree from the impulse to revolt against what they would otherwise perceive as unbearable oppression.

Given that brute force is involved in all three system, I'm skeptical that it would be removed in a fourth. Give the intricate involvement of dasein in human nature, and the conflicts between people that this results in, it is fair to say that such conflicts are a part of human nature, and therefore the only way one group of people can have their way against an opposing group is by threat of brute force (and psychological conditioning if they're lucky). Given that this is human nature, it is hard to imagine how any of this will change with a fourth political system.

iambiguous wrote:I'm exposing what I construe to be the limits of logic and knowledge here.

I do understand this part: "I only mean to show where the idea of an 'ought', and later morality, comes from."

My point again is this: that there are ideas we have "in our heads" that tie things like this together "theoretically". But to what extent are we able to take these ideas out of our heads and to demonstrate how, when human behaviors do come into conflict over value judgments, an objective morality can be ascertained philosophically?


You're right, the experience of pain and pleasure, even though everyone experiences them as bad and good (respectively), is not enough to convince people that they carry moral weight. It cannot be demonstrated publicly. Even privately, if one wasn't convince, one need not take one's experiences of pain and pleasure as bearing any moral weight, particularly if one holds a different moral theory. One can simply say: "It's true that I'm in pain, and I don't like it, and it's bad, but this has no relevance to morality as such."
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice.
- Ben Shapiro

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu
User avatar
gib
resident exorcist
 
Posts: 9019
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Tue May 24, 2016 6:32 pm

gib wrote:
Which actually betrays that they aren't really sociopaths if you think about it: a real sociopath wouldn't even bother trying to rationalize his behavior.


It is true that few sociopaths you come upon on, say, true crime reality tv [dateline, 48 hours, 20/20 etc.] are likely to sit down and explore their behavior "analytically". Thinking solely of their own self-gratification is basically the default frame of mind. Psychologically, he or she is more or less on automatic pilot.

But if you did try to bring the discussion around to their behaviors "philosophically", what really could you argue by way of convincing them that their behaviors are necessarily irrational/immoral in a Godless universe? From my frame of mind you need God here. No God and mere mortals are on their own. And I just don't see [philosophically] a deontological alternative to God.

iambiguous wrote:As for my own nihilism being just another kind of objectivism, well, that becomes largely a language game to me. It reflects the limitations of language in being able to pin down exchanges of this sort. In any event, I am always the first to acknowledge that, given new experiences, new relationships, encounters with new ideas etc., I may well abandon this frame of mind altogether. As I have so many others in the past.


gib wrote: But do you know how to do so now? Do you know how to explain your nihilism in a non-objective way? In other words, do you know how to say: There is no such thing as objective reality.


Is it really possible to concoct an "instruction manual" to accomplish something like this? Instead, all I can do is to ask the moral objectivists to note how, when their own value judgments come into conflict with others, they do not themselves become entangled in my dilemma.

Sartre once speculated that "hell is other people". Well, suppose "I" is too? Sartre focused the beam here on how others objectify us. But my point is aimed more at suggesting how we tend to objectify our own self. If you manage to convince yourself that you are in touch with some "essential self", then that allows you to imagine this "real me" is able to grasp the nature of the "real world" in turn.


gib wrote:
Yes, I completely agree with that (although I'm not sure that's the only way to grasp a real world).

Might I suggest that we make a distinction yet again: there's a difference between recognizing (objectifying) the self and just being the self. One need not recognize the self just in order to be one's self--with all one's experiences, perceptions, beliefs, and values. The recognition of the self is something that comes after all this, and is indeed a kind of objectification.


The preponderance of my interactions in [and reactions to] the world around me are experienced objectively. They don't need to be objectified because they are objective. Instead, my aim here [as always] is to focus the beam on those interactions/reactions that are clearly more subjective/subjunctive. And they revolve by and large around conflicting value judgments.

gib wrote: As this concerns the self--there ends up being a kind of paradox--if what it means to "conceptualize" is to objectify (i.e. to make into an object, into the "other"), then how can the self be objectified? How can the self become the "other"? Isn't that a contradiction in terms according to all the foregoing?

What this means to me is that the process of objectification that the mind must undergo just in order to conceptualize (anything period!) fails in an essential way when it comes to the self, for objectification of the self completely negates the very essence of the self, which is just to be subjective (i.e. to be the subject).


Here we seem to become entangled in "dualism": I the body, I the conscious mind and [for some] I the soul. What can I demonstrate to be true objectively about myself and what becomes more problematic.

And then there's the whole question of determinism. If that's the case what here then becomes moot? Everything?

gib wrote: The problem, then, from my perspective, seems to be that there will always be this world of essential meaning (of objective facts) from which existential meaning (or subjective facts) arises, and when it comes to nihilism, just recognizing this fact reinforces nihilism, the paradox being that nihilism ends up being just another subjective fact.


Well, I certainly argue that my frame of mind here is sheer speculation. It's a "subjective fact" in the sense that "I" am a particular subject who has in fact come to believe that this is a reasonable point of view. But that doesn't make it so. All I can then do is to go in search of arguments that contend with it.

Iambiguous wrote:Constructively, this affords me more options. I'm not anchored to The Right Thing To Do. Destructively, I am never able to know that feeling of having done The Right Thing. I choose this knowing that had my life been otherwise I might have chosen that instead. And whether I choose this or that is largely moot because either choice can be rationalized merely by commencing with a different set of assumptions.

But, again: You would have to actually be inside my head to grasp how precarious everything can seem when you think like this.


gib wrote: I'm sure this is true.


Oh, it is. I can assure you. So much so that I suspect the objectivists react to me as they do [even going so far here as to "foe" me] because they are troubled that perhaps my frame of mind might be applicable to them too. But, again, that can only be sheer conjecture on my part. They are not inside my head, I am not inside theirs. And that's a really, really important factor in exchanges like this.

gib wrote: All I can do, in this thread, is, if not show you an alternate way of looking at this, a way that removes the struggle of your dilemma (because I don't struggle with it), to attempt to explain why my own philosophical look on this problem, which involves my brand of subjectivism and relativism, is not affected by this dilemma.


Fair enough. But how don't you struggle with it? That's the part that still eludes me. Why? Because there does not appear to be a way to avoid it. Not for mere mortals in a Godless universe.

gib wrote: At this point, I'm seeing the crux of the problem as the fact that there remains an objectively real base for you (essential meaning) from which all subjective reality (existential meaning) stems, including your nihilism. As a subjectivist and a relativist, I don't have this problem because the objective reality for me is still founded on subjectivism ultimately. How to make sense out of this for you is probably what makes this difficult for you to swallow, but I haven't really gotten into that yet.


In other words, here I try to grasp what you are suggesting as it might be applicable regarding the many, many moral and political conflicts that I have encountered in my interactions with others over the years. The distinction between the times that I [the "real me"] was sure I was right [as a Christian, a Marxist, a feminist etc.] regarding issues like abortion, and the times [of late] when I more clearly recognize "I" as dasein able only to grasp how both sides are able in turn to offer reasonable arguments for embracing what are clearly "conflicting goods".

You seem to have found something analogous to an "exit" here, I have not.

gib wrote: Given that brute force is involved in all three system, I'm skeptical that it would be removed in a fourth.


For me "brute force" is merely a reflection of the fact that within any actual human community, one way or another, a set of mores/laws will have to be enforced. There will [existentially] have to be a system of rewards and punishments. What's crucial then [for me] is the extent to which others become self-conscious of this. Do they believe [wholly] in survival of the fittest, deontological truths, the rule of law etc., or [like me] are they just groping about, grappling to come up with the least dysfunctional social, political and economic interactions.

Is there a "human nature" here...a natural way to behave...or [historically, culturally, experientially] is nurture able to reconfigure human behaviors into any number of hopelessly subjective/subjunctive "contraptions" ever subject [n a world of contingency chance and change] to new interpretations and assessments.

Think for example of how birth control pills or AIDS rerouted the human sexual libido in particular historical/cultural/experiential contexts.
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
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 37684
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sat May 28, 2016 12:44 am

iambiguous wrote:But if you did try to bring the discussion around to their behaviors "philosophically", what really could you argue by way of convincing them that their behaviors are necessarily irrational/immoral in a Godless universe? From my frame of mind you need God here. No God and mere mortals are on their own. And I just don't see [philosophically] a deontological alternative to God.


You mean a god that would have the power to determine an absolute/objective morality or rationality of things? Like a god who could make 4 + 4 = 9?

Well, I would agree there would be no ultimate rationality/moral given to us, but I still think we could, intentionally or otherwise, invent one (or several). Remember, as a subjectivist, I believe that to experience it is for it to be real (I sometimes call myself an idealist, but that sounds too extreme to me, and subjectivist sounds more down to Earth). I do believe (because I've experienced it) that most people have what is commonly called a "conscience". Now the human conscience is not rational and it is not consistent, and it is very subject to the surrounding circumstances. The conscience is based on intuition and emotion, both of which are very finicky and inconsistent, but that just is the nature of the conscience (if you want to think of the conscience as the end result of unconscious brain micro-computations, you can; it's just that these micro-computations--a kind of "figuring out" what's right and what's wrong on the level of neurons--go on unconsciously and don't get remembered; consequently, all we can say is that we have a "feeling" that this is right or that is wrong--it feels like we know, but we can't explain how we know). As a subjectivist, therefore, I say that morality is real--as finicky as it is, as inconsistent and irrational--that's the nature of morality for animals like us. As a relativist, I say that the human conscience is where the buck stops when tracing our moral principles to their source--that is, the final "why" for justifying our moral values and actions. That doesn't make the conscience absolute, it just means that that in which the conscience is grounded, that according to which morality is real, is not moral itself (it's not immoral, but amoral).

iambiguous wrote:Is it really possible to concoct an "instruction manual" to accomplish something like this? Instead, all I can do is to ask the moral objectivists to note how, when their own value judgments come into conflict with others, they do not themselves become entangled in my dilemma.


Just as an aside: you're "dilemma", is it anything like Sartre's existential angst?

iambiguous wrote:The preponderance of my interactions in [and reactions to] the world around me are experienced objectively. They don't need to be objectified because they are objective. <-- Depends. Certainly our senses objectify patterns that they find in the mounds of incoming data. Instead, my aim here [as always] is to focus the beam on those interactions/reactions that are clearly more subjective/subjunctive. And they revolve by and large around conflicting value judgments.


Yes, and this gets into the political branch of your dilemma, the kind of work you think your philosophical dilemma can be put towards. But when I asked about Sartre's existential angst above, I was asking about a second branch that your dilemma seems to have you on, the branch of personal difficulty with the coherency of your own philosophy. <-- This is what I feel I *might* be able to help with. As for your political aspirations (if you can call them that), I'm a bit less hopeful than you.

iambiguous wrote:Here we seem to become entangled in "dualism": I the body, I the conscious mind and [for some] I the soul. What can I demonstrate to be true objectively about myself and what becomes more problematic.


Well, I certainly think "I the body" is objectively real--I see it every time I look in the mirror. I mean, obviously the question is a bit more complicated than that--the question of: Am I really the body? Am I therefore objectively real?--but it seems pretty intuitive to me that, yes, I'm real, and that's me in the mirror. As for "I the conscious mind" and "I the soul", these are definitely abstract constructs being identified with the self, the latter also being an abstract construct, and here the connection between these abstract constructs is a lot more loose, and depends on who you ask.

(I don't know if any of this counts as dualism).

iambiguous wrote:Well, I certainly argue that my frame of mind here is sheer speculation. It's a "subjective fact" in the sense that "I" am a particular subject who has in fact come to believe that this is a reasonable point of view. But that doesn't make it so. All I can then do is to go in search of arguments that contend with it.


To see how long it can survive, huh? The scientific method.

iambiguous wrote:Oh, it is. I can assure you. <-- You don't have to! I believe you! :lol: So much so that I suspect the objectivists react to me as they do [even going so far here as to "foe" me] because they are troubled that perhaps my frame of mind might be applicable to them too. But, again, that can only be sheer conjecture on my part. They are not inside my head, I am not inside theirs. And that's a really, really important factor in exchanges like this.


Of course! There's always so much more to a perspective than the thoughts we convey about them.

iambiguous wrote:Fair enough. But how don't you struggle with it? That's the part that still eludes me. Why? Because there does not appear to be a way to avoid it. Not for mere mortals in a Godless universe.


Well, for one thing, my perspective on the world is not godless? It doesn't feature the Christian god or any god of any of the institutional religion of this world, but I have constructed my own conception of "god" through my philosophies of consciousness.

For another thing, even though I don't struggle with your dilemma, I can still see a dilemma (at least along the political branch I mentioned above). Along the other branch--the struggle with one's personal convictions--I feel I have it resolved through my particular brand of subjectivism and relativism; it is kind of an elaborate philosophy, dealing mainly with the nature of "substance", and on which I wrote a whole book* (with Volumes II and III coming soon! :D). All you have to understand, for the present purposes, is that this struggle--with one's philosophical convictions--is a mere matter of forming a philosophical outlook that is internally consistent (logically) and compatible with one's daily experiences in life (it makes sense out of them). If there's one thing I've learned about philosophy, and the nature of thought, it's that anything's possible, any outlook.

^^ Let me know if you want me to get into it. I can.

iambiguous wrote:You seem to have found something analogous to an "exit" here, I have not.


Something like that, sure, at least that's how it feels to me; I have no qualms in admitting I could be just as mistaken, just as foolish, as the next guy; but as it is obviously the case that I don't recognize my mistakes (not right now, not blatantly), I wouldn't tell you that it is mistaken, would I? :lol:

The "exit" as you call it is, to me, just the absence of any conflict in the philosophy itself. Note that it is not a road to ultimate objectivity--if anything, it's an abandonment of it (not that there is no objectivity in my view, but that it's always couched within subjectivity). That's what it is to be a subjectivist: to recognize the subjective as primary. With subjectivity as primary, you don't get the dilemma of a nihilism grounded in what is taken to be ultimate objectivity, and which looks at itself as a subjective byproduct of that objectivity, thereby negating itself. Relativism comes in to clean up the mess left by the mounds of conflicting subjective experiences and accounts of reality.

(Just as an aside, there's plenty of examples in philosophy of views that are self-negating: eliminative materialism, for example, says there is no such thing as consciousness; but then how can one possibly believe this? To believe requires consciousness. And when both prongs of these self-negating philosophies--the "it can't" and the "it must", so to speak--seem inescapably necessary, you get what Kant called an antinomy).

iambiguous wrote:For me "brute force" is merely a reflection of the fact that within any actual human community, one way or another, a set of mores/laws will have to be enforced. <-- Which happens even in deontocracies (<-- real word?) and democracies. There will [existentially] have to be a system of rewards and punishments. What's crucial then [for me] is the extent to which others become self-conscious of this. Do they believe [wholly] in survival of the fittest, deontological truths, the rule of law etc., or [like me] are they just groping about, grappling to come up with the least dysfunctional social, political and economic interactions.


Well, if the distinction between the three types of political systems can be divided according to how people become self-conscious of this, seeing it through the visors of one of the aforementioned three, then I'd say you could come up with enumerable alternatives (it comes back to what I said above: with thought, anything's possible). However, if you're looking for an outlook that actually has the effect of eliminating dasein driven conflicts, I don't even know what such an outlook would look like (aside from the absence of conflict therein).

On another note, I don't see your "groping about, grappling to come up with the least dysfunctional social, political and economic interactions" as all that different from your "rule of law". Isn't the rule of law just that which naturally and ultimately comes out of people groping and grappling to come up with the least dysfunctional social, political and economic interactions?

iambiguous wrote:Is there a "human nature" here...a natural way to behave...or [historically, culturally, experientially] is nurture able to reconfigure human behaviors into any number of hopelessly subjective/subjunctive "contraptions" ever subject [n a world of contingency chance and change] to new interpretations and assessments.

Think for example of how birth control pills or AIDS rerouted the human sexual libido in particular historical/cultural/experiential contexts.


Yes, because the human brain is extraordinarily flexible. It is built for adapting the subject's behavior to the most comprehensive perceptions, understandings, and awareness of the world that the subject holds. (It's interesting, I was just explaining to Mannequin the other day about how Christianity represents the ultimate example this--in no other religion of the world have I seen such a stark constrast between what a people believe and what they practice: constant forgiveness, selflessness, and martyrdom could easily render you dead in a world like ours, so the brain comes up with excuses to behave in brutal, animalistic ways for the sake of survival without really recognizing any conflict with the original principles of the religion). As to your point, yes, nurture can have a huge effect on how we behave, and the brain can come up with any number of novel and complex "contraptions" in order to motivate and justify such behavior.

* My editor described it as a modern improvement of Berkeley's idealism.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice.
- Ben Shapiro

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu
User avatar
gib
resident exorcist
 
Posts: 9019
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Tue May 31, 2016 5:20 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:But if you did try to bring the discussion around to their behaviors "philosophically", what really could you argue by way of convincing them that their behaviors are necessarily irrational/immoral in a Godless universe? From my frame of mind you need God here. No God and mere mortals are on their own. And I just don't see [philosophically] a deontological alternative to God.


You mean a god that would have the power to determine an absolute/objective morality or rationality of things? Like a god who could make 4 + 4 = 9?


Gods are generally described as "omniscient". And if one is all-knowing that would seem to include knowing what the moral obligation is of mere mortals who aim to choose behaviors that would gain them access to immortality, salvation and divine justice.

As for 4 + 4 equaling 9, well, only God knows, right?

gib wrote: Well, I would agree there would be no ultimate rationality/moral given to us, but I still think we could, intentionally or otherwise, invent one (or several). Remember, as a subjectivist, I believe that to experience it is for it to be real (I sometimes call myself an idealist, but that sounds too extreme to me, and subjectivist sounds more down to Earth). I do believe (because I've experienced it) that most people have what is commonly called a "conscience". Now the human conscience is not rational and it is not consistent, and it is very subject to the surrounding circumstances. The conscience is based on intuition and emotion, both of which are very finicky and inconsistent, but that just is the nature of the conscience (if you want to think of the conscience as the end result of unconscious brain micro-computations, you can; it's just that these micro-computations--a kind of "figuring out" what's right and what's wrong on the level of neurons--go on unconsciously and don't get remembered; consequently, all we can say is that we have a "feeling" that this is right or that is wrong--it feels like we know, but we can't explain how we know). As a subjectivist, therefore, I say that morality is real--as finicky as it is, as inconsistent and irrational--that's the nature of morality for animals like us. As a relativist, I say that the human conscience is where the buck stops when tracing our moral principles to their source--that is, the final "why" for justifying our moral values and actions. That doesn't make the conscience absolute, it just means that that in which the conscience is grounded, that according to which morality is real, is not moral itself (it's not immoral, but amoral).


All of this may be construed by you as reasonable "in your head", but how does it make the problem of conflicting goods go away? Or the part about dasein and political economy? Sure, within any particular human community a very real consensus can be formed regarding what "feels right". And it functions as a "real morality". But I don't see how the "conscience" [individual or communal] is any less subsumed in the points that I make.

iambiguous wrote:Is it really possible to concoct an "instruction manual" to accomplish something like this? Instead, all I can do is to ask the moral objectivists to note how, when their own value judgments come into conflict with others, they do not themselves become entangled in my dilemma.


gib wrote: Just as an aside: you're "dilemma", is it anything like Sartre's existential angst?


I suppose we'd have to ask the Sartreans if their angst/nausea is anything like the components of my own argument. The existentialists seem intent on making a distinction between authentic and inauthentic behavior. And that seemed to revolve around the extent to which you objectified others in the world around you. But how does one not [up to a point] objectify oneself? After all, what does it really mean [existentially] to be "authentic" when faced with the conflicting goods embedded in issues like abortion? Was not Simone de Beauvoir, who led the fight for legal abortions in France, still not embodying a political prejudice?


gib wrote: I certainly think "I the body" is objectively real--I see it every time I look in the mirror. I mean, obviously the question is a bit more complicated than that--the question of: Am I really the body? Am I therefore objectively real?--but it seems pretty intuitive to me that, yes, I'm real, and that's me in the mirror. As for "I the conscious mind" and "I the soul", these are definitely abstract constructs being identified with the self, the latter also being an abstract construct, and here the connection between these abstract constructs is a lot more loose, and depends on who you ask.


Again, my interest in these relationships revolves around the question, "how ought one to live?". How ought one to live in a world of conflicting goods embodied in dasein and then broached/enacted/defended politically in a world that is clearly embedded in the global economy. Here there are things we seem able to establish as "in fact" true objectively for all of us; and things reflected more subjectively/subjunctively in personal opinions. Opinions that evolve organically over time in a world of contingency, chance and change.

iambiguous wrote:Oh, it is. I can assure you. So much so that I suspect the objectivists react to me as they do [even going so far here as to "foe" me] because they are troubled that perhaps my frame of mind might be applicable to them too. But, again, that can only be sheer conjecture on my part. They are not inside my head, I am not inside theirs. And that's a really, really important factor in exchanges like this.


gib wrote: Of course! There's always so much more to a perspective than the thoughts we convey about them.


What always intrigues me are those able to demonstrate that the thoughts they think "in their head" are thoughts that I should think in mine too. Why? Because they really are thoughts in sync with the world objectively.

iambiguous wrote:Fair enough. But how don't you struggle with it? That's the part that still eludes me. Why? Because there does not appear to be a way to avoid it. Not for mere mortals in a Godless universe.


gib wrote: Well, for one thing, my perspective on the world is not godless? It doesn't feature the Christian god or any god of any of the institutional religion of this world, but I have constructed my own conception of "god" through my philosophies of consciousness.


Here my reaction is reflected in the point I just made:

What intrigues me are those able to demonstrate that the thoughts they think "in their head" are thoughts that I should think in mine too. Why? Because they really are thoughts in sync with the world objectively.

In other words, how would/could you go about that? That you believe it would seem to be an objective fact. But how are you then able to demonstrate that what you think you know/believe here is that which all other rational men and women are obligated to think, know, believe?

For another thing, even though I don't struggle with your dilemma, I can still see a dilemma (at least along the political branch I mentioned above). Along the other branch--the struggle with one's personal convictions--I feel I have it resolved through my particular brand of subjectivism and relativism; it is kind of an elaborate philosophy, dealing mainly with the nature of "substance", and on which I wrote a whole book* (with Volumes II and III coming soon! :D). All you have to understand, for the present purposes, is that this struggle--with one's philosophical convictions--is a mere matter of forming a philosophical outlook that is internally consistent (logically) and compatible with one's daily experiences in life (it makes sense out of them). If there's one thing I've learned about philosophy, and the nature of thought, it's that anything's possible, any outlook.


Here though I am basically lost. I'm back to "what on earth does this mean"? How does it work [for all practical purposes] when, in the course of living your life from day to day, your values do come into conflict with others. Without coming closer to grasping that it all seems contained more in an "intellectual contraption". Or it does to me.

For example, how far removed is "internal consistence" here from, say, James S Saint's "definitional logic?"

iambiguous wrote:You seem to have found something analogous to an "exit" here, I have not.


gib wrote: Something like that, sure, at least that's how it feels to me; I have no qualms in admitting I could be just as mistaken, just as foolish, as the next guy; but as it is obviously the case that I don't recognize my mistakes (not right now, not blatantly), I wouldn't tell you that it is mistaken, would I?


These things are always inherently problematic. If you believe that something is true "in your head" then for you it is. All you can do is to go about the business of interacting with others and then when conflicts occur probe the extent to which what you believe is still "internally consistent". Here though I believe that many become entangled in this -- viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296 -- and then psychologically [consciously, subconsciously and unconsciously] come to shove the world itself into what they already do believe about it. In other words, moral and political objectivism as a psychological defense mechanism.

iambiguous wrote:For me "brute force" is merely a reflection of the fact that within any actual human community, one way or another, a set of mores/laws will have to be enforced. There will [existentially] have to be a system of rewards and punishments. What's crucial then [for me] is the extent to which others become self-conscious of this. Do they believe [wholly] in survival of the fittest, deontological truths, the rule of law etc., or [like me] are they just groping about, grappling to come up with the least dysfunctional social, political and economic interactions.


gib wrote: Well, if the distinction between the three types of political systems can be divided according to how people become self-conscious of this, seeing it through the visors of one of the aforementioned three, then I'd say you could come up with enumerable alternatives (it comes back to what I said above: with thought, anything's possible). However, if you're looking for an outlook that actually has the effect of eliminating dasein driven conflicts, I don't even know what such an outlook would look like (aside from the absence of conflict therein).


Sure, in a particular national context -- in our postmodern world -- there are going to be any number of combinations of might makes right, right makes might and democracy. But many still seem more inclined to take that leap "in their head" to a morality that is construed to be one rather than another. "Dasein" becomes subsumed in a particular religion or political ideology or narcissism.

Or, again, any combination thereof.

gib wrote: On another note, I don't see your "groping about, grappling to come up with the least dysfunctional social, political and economic interactions" as all that different from your "rule of law". Isn't the rule of law just that which naturally and ultimately comes out of people groping and grappling to come up with the least dysfunctional social, political and economic interactions?


Yes, democracy and the rule of law exist as an alternative -- an historical alternative -- to might makes right and right makes might. It is rooted organically in the advent of the capitalist political economy. But isn't the modern day global economy still more a reflection of "might makes right"? Isn't it rooted [by and large] in nihilism? And while there are those like Ayn Rand who constructed an entire political/"metaphysical" philosophy to defend it, others [most] are more or less content to just take the money and run.

All the way to the bank, for example.
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
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 37684
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sat Jun 11, 2016 3:01 am

iambiguous wrote:Gods are generally described as "omniscient". And if one is all-knowing that would seem to include knowing what the moral obligation is of mere mortals who aim to choose behaviors that would gain them access to immortality, salvation and divine justice.


Oh, so you mean an objective morality, which is necessary for a deontological social system, requires a God's eye view.

iambiguous wrote:All of this may be construed by you as reasonable "in your head", but how does it make the problem of conflicting goods go away? Or the part about dasein and political economy? Sure, within any particular human community a very real consensus can be formed regarding what "feels right". And it functions as a "real morality". But I don't see how the "conscience" [individual or communal] is any less subsumed in the points that I make.


It isn't any less subsumed; I'm trying to argue a case for conscience-based moral relativism in an effort to show how it needn't be a self-negating philosophy (as per my earlier example of eliminative materialism). This, I'm trying to offer as a solution to the first prong of your dilemma (that your nihilism, at least as far as I can see, is self-negating); what you're pointing out here is that it doesn't solve the other prong, the prong of sociopolitical conflict--but like I said, I don't have a solution to that one.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote: I certainly think "I the body" is objectively real--I see it every time I look in the mirror. I mean, obviously the question is a bit more complicated than that--the question of: Am I really the body? Am I therefore objectively real?--but it seems pretty intuitive to me that, yes, I'm real, and that's me in the mirror. As for "I the conscious mind" and "I the soul", these are definitely abstract constructs being identified with the self, the latter also being an abstract construct, and here the connection between these abstract constructs is a lot more loose, and depends on who you ask.


Again, my interest in these relationships revolves around the question, "how ought one to live?". How ought one to live in a world of conflicting goods embodied in dasein and then broached/enacted/defended politically in a world that is clearly embedded in the global economy. Here there are things we seem able to establish as "in fact" true objectively for all of us; and things reflected more subjectively/subjunctively in personal opinions. Opinions that evolve organically over time in a world of contingency, chance and change.


And what implications do you think the question of the self--how shall we define it: as body, as soul, etc.?--have for this? Off the top of my head, I can imagine that I the body (maybe with a soul) would be the most intuitive to people in general; that doesn't make it objective, it just makes it, crudely speaking, the "default" understand of the self that most people have (rooted largely in our biology). So you'd have the most likely chances of agreeing with the largest number. <-- That's the implication that comes to my mind. Given that, this majority can then agree on "how to live" at least insofar as they begin with that assumption, all else being equal in terms of shared assumptions.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote: Well, for one thing, my perspective on the world is not godless? It doesn't feature the Christian god or any god of any of the institutional religion of this world, but I have constructed my own conception of "god" through my philosophies of consciousness.


Here my reaction is reflected in the point I just made:

What intrigues me are those able to demonstrate that the thoughts they think "in their head" are thoughts that I should think in mine too. Why? Because they really are thoughts in sync with the world objectively.


I'm not asking you to believe me. I don't think you should believe me. I'm only offering a different perspective with which I think one can escape at least the first prong of your dilemma.

Also note that I don't bring in God as a starting point for my philosophy; it's more of a conclusion I am drawn to, and not even the main one I intend to draw.

iambiguous wrote:In other words, how would/could you go about that? That you believe it would seem to be an objective fact. Yes, but that doesn't make the belief an objective fact. But how are you then able to demonstrate that what you think you know/believe here is that which all other rational men and women are obligated to think, know, believe?


Again, that's not my objective. My philosophy is an offering, not a road to truth. It's a proposal on a potential solution to the mind/body problem, but people can take it or leave it as they see fit. I'm not sure even I think it's seamlessly tied together with rigorous logic and thorough-going deduction--but I do believe it is consistent and compatible with our experiences with the world (at least my experiences) and for this reason I say it is not self-negating and avoids the first prong of your dilemma.

iambiguous wrote:Here though I am basically lost. I'm back to "what on earth does this mean"? How does it work [for all practical purposes] when, in the course of living your life from day to day, your values do come into conflict with others. Without coming closer to grasping that it all seems contained more in an "intellectual contraption". Or it does to me.


And it is an intellectual contraption. <-- You see, part of what I'm trying to say is that my theory doesn't aim to negate this fact. It allows one to live with the fact that we are irrevocably caught in the tangled web of dasein without feeling our subjective views and moral judgements are baseless. Again, it doesn't stop the consequence of this web of dasein--namely, economic and sociopolitical conflict--but that's not what I'm offering.

iambiguous wrote:For example, how far removed is "internal consistence" here from, say, James S Saint's "definitional logic?"


* shudder * -- Don't even compare me to James (just kidding).

It's not different at all. Both James and I--despite our persistent disagreement on almost everything--believe that a self-contained and internally consistent system of thought is where to begin. I'm not sure what James's take on empirical evidence is--probably a supply of "raw material" with which to begin defining terms--but for me it is the testing ground on which to validate or confirm (or at least attempt to falsify) the systems of thought we come up with--we begin with a few assumptions, attempt to put them together logically and draw out some implications that are internally consistent, and then test them against our empirical experiences (and more generally, the way we experience life).

But James is an objectivist. I'm not sure if he thinks his contrived definitions hold objectively (or independently from the contriver) but I believe he aims to show how the logical implications that can be drawn from a set of definitions hold objectively; that is, that "A and B, therefore C" is objectively true. <-- I would agree with him here (supposing you got the logic impeccably right) with the exception that I'm not an objectivist; I'm a subjectivist. What this means as far as the contrast between me and James is concerned is that we both believe in the objectivity of "A and B, therefore C" but I don't believe you can have this objectivity without a subjective framework within which it can be true, whereas James on the other hand believes he has stumbled onto an independent truth that holds outside his subjective frame of mind (i.e. he believes in what I call the "window to reality" view of consciousness according to which, if you become conscious of it or experience it in any way, you have discovered mind-independent reality--naive realism essentially). To put it more simply, he believes in the subjective framework of the mind but that it is contained in a larger objective world, and that because consciousness functions like a window to reality, that which it "discovers" is a correct match for what's contained in that objective world. For me, it's the reverse. I too believe in the objectivity of logic and the rational thought that it makes possible, but this objectivity is created in the process of rational thinking--created within the subjective framework of mind which is the more encompassing reality.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote: Something like that, sure, at least that's how it feels to me; I have no qualms in admitting I could be just as mistaken, just as foolish, as the next guy; but as it is obviously the case that I don't recognize my mistakes (not right now, not blatantly), I wouldn't tell you that it is mistaken, would I?


These things are always inherently problematic. If you believe that something is true "in your head" then for you it is. All you can do is to go about the business of interacting with others and then when conflicts occur probe the extent to which what you believe is still "internally consistent". Here though I believe that many become entangled in this -- viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296 -- and then psychologically [consciously, subconsciously and unconsciously] come to shove the world itself into what they already do believe about it. In other words, moral and political objectivism as a psychological defense mechanism.


And the same would no doubt be true of me--except that I don't think that logic and internal consistency, though ultimately a defense mechanism, necessarily becomes invalidated thereby. In fact, one of the most salient reasons logic and rationality, and the objectivism that these serve so well, are a defense mechanism is because without them, we probably wouldn't have survived. Logic is a defense mechanism (literally defending the ego from death) because it is our best tool for predicting the future and the state of the world, and objectivity functions to help us feel justified in relying on the reality of our experiences and the logical thought processes we exercise. <-- But we can see why this works--logic and objectivity, when they work, do so because they are right.

Of course, this mainly applies to the material world (that which most forms of nihilism don't touch) which is why it's so useful for our survival, but when it gets mixed in with other interests, biases, emotions, and value judgements, and gets applied to the social and philosophical worlds, it becomes a defense mechanism of a whole other kind. <-- This is what we got into in an earlier post--the subconscious hijacking of rationality by our own mind in order to serve other purposes than seeking truth for its own sake. While I can't say that my metaphysical views are an exception to this, I can still place faith in the prospect that this doesn't necessarily undermine its logical integrity. A strong, well reasoned philosophy about non-empirical, unfalsifiable, metaphysical abstractions can serve all the better as an excellent defense mechanism for all kinds of purposes.

iambiguous wrote:Sure, in a particular national context -- in our postmodern world -- there are going to be any number of combinations of might makes right, right makes might and democracy. But many still seem more inclined to take that leap "in their head" to a morality that is construed to be one rather than another. "Dasein" becomes subsumed in a particular religion or political ideology or narcissism.

Or, again, any combination thereof.


Just as an aside, do you think it's possible for human thought to invent a fourth type of system? I mean, it sounds as though you think that, at our stage in world history, human thought, when it contemplates the subject in question, will fall into one of the aforementioned three. It's entirely possible, I'm sure you would agree, for someone to come along and say "Look! I have a fourth system!" <-- But would you be inclined to say "Oh, that just deontology" or "That's really a form of democracy"? In other words, would you give this man the benefit of the doubt, at least in principle? Or would you say that despite what others believe vis-a-vis the category that their political views fall under, it's always going to be one of the three or a combination thereof, and if they think otherwise, they are just mistaken.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, democracy and the rule of law exist as an alternative -- an historical alternative -- to might makes right and right makes might. It is rooted organically in the advent of the capitalist political economy. But isn't the modern day global economy still more a reflection of "might makes right"? I would say so; that's why I say all systems really funnel down to might makes right. Isn't it rooted [by and large] in nihilism? Western style capitalism, yes, but only to an extent. And while there are those like Ayn Rand who constructed an entire political/"metaphysical" philosophy to defend it, others [most] are more or less content to just take the money and run.

All the way to the bank, for example.


Right, which is why rationality, along with the beliefs and values it upholds, are more often used as defense mechanism, as we've been saying, rather than something to live up to; as defense mechanisms, they are crafted to allow the human organism to satisfy, to the extent it is possible, its primal instincts and needs.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice.
- Ben Shapiro

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu
User avatar
gib
resident exorcist
 
Posts: 9019
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:31 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Gods are generally described as "omniscient". And if one is all-knowing that would seem to include knowing what the moral obligation is of mere mortals who aim to choose behaviors that would gain them access to immortality, salvation and divine justice.


Oh, so you mean an objective morality, which is necessary for a deontological social system, requires a God's eye view.


Isn't that basically what folks like Plato, Descartes and Kant intimated?

iambiguous wrote:All of this may be construed by you as reasonable "in your head", but how does it make the problem of conflicting goods go away? Or the part about dasein and political economy? Sure, within any particular human community a very real consensus can be formed regarding what "feels right". And it functions as a "real morality". But I don't see how the "conscience" [individual or communal] is any less subsumed in the points that I make.


gib wrote: It isn't any less subsumed; I'm trying to argue a case for conscience-based moral relativism in an effort to show how it needn't be a self-negating philosophy (as per my earlier example of eliminative materialism). This, I'm trying to offer as a solution to the first prong of your dilemma (that your nihilism, at least as far as I can see, is self-negating); what you're pointing out here is that it doesn't solve the other prong, the prong of sociopolitical conflict--but like I said, I don't have a solution to that one.


From my perspective a "conscience" is no less an existential contraption rooted in history, culture and personal experience. And the nihilistic "self" is not negated --- it is situated out in a particular world and able to grasp value judgments only from a particular point of view ever subject to evolution in a world of contingency, chance and change.

There are any number of aspects/variables relating to "I" that transcend nihilism. In other words, the actual facts about your life. Things about you that are true for all of us, that are not just rooted subjectively in opinion.

iambiguous wrote:For example, how far removed is "internal consistence" here from, say, James S Saint's "definitional logic?"


gib wrote: It's not different at all. Both James and I--despite our persistent disagreement on almost everything--believe that a self-contained and internally consistent system of thought is where to begin.


To which I always react the same: What does this mean for all practical purposes when your value judgments come into conflict with others?

In other words how would you connect the dots between a discussion of these relationships in the society and government forum and in the philosophy forum? Pertaining to a particular context that revolves around a particular set of conflicting goods.

In my view, James never goes there because his "definitional logic" revolves precisely around a [scholastic/academic/intellectual] analysis predicated on the assumption that the definition that he gives to the words that encompass it are by default "where to begin".

iambiguous wrote:These things are always inherently problematic. If you believe that something is true "in your head" then for you it is. All you can do is to go about the business of interacting with others and then when conflicts occur probe the extent to which what you believe is still "internally consistent". Here though I believe that many become entangled in this -- viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296 -- and then psychologically [consciously, subconsciously and unconsciously] come to shove the world itself into what they already do believe about it. In other words, moral and political objectivism as a psychological defense mechanism.


gib wrote: And the same would no doubt be true of me--except that I don't think that logic and internal consistency, though ultimately a defense mechanism, necessarily becomes invalidated thereby. In fact, one of the most salient reasons logic and rationality, and the objectivism that these serve so well, are a defense mechanism is because without them, we probably wouldn't have survived.


Logic can effectively be used in order to accomplish goals. It can offer a clear path regarding how to achieve them. After all, you behave as you do and you either do or do not accomplish them.

Instead, I focus the beam here on evaluating the goals [behaviors] when the goals [behaviors] come into conflict. Joe can effectively become rich by employing reason in playing the stock market. But if Jane insists that playing the stock market is immoral behavior how is logic then employed to resolve the conflict?

How does the conflict not effectively devolve into a clash of political prejudices?

iambiguous wrote:Sure, in a particular national context -- in our postmodern world -- there are going to be any number of combinations of might makes right, right makes might and democracy. But many still seem more inclined to take that leap "in their head" to a morality that is construed to be one rather than another. "Dasein" becomes subsumed in a particular religion or political ideology or narcissism.

Or, again, any combination thereof.


gib wrote: Just as an aside, do you think it's possible for human thought to invent a fourth type of system? I mean, it sounds as though you think that, at our stage in world history, human thought, when it contemplates the subject in question, will fall into one of the aforementioned three. It's entirely possible, I'm sure you would agree, for someone to come along and say "Look! I have a fourth system!"


Sure. But as regard the first three, I would focus the beam on how the new model subsumed the points I make regarding dasein, conflicting goods and political economy in any particular existential context in which "logical assessments" come to clash with respect to moral and political ends.
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
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 37684
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:15 am

iambiguous wrote:Isn't that basically what folks like Plato, Descartes and Kant intimated?


Well, sure, anything posited as an objective fact would agree with a God's eye view (I don't know if that requires God's existence).

iambiguous wrote:From my perspective a "conscience" is no less an existential contraption rooted in history, culture and personal experience.


Do you mean it's a myth or that it's contingent? If a myth, have you never felt guilty about something you've said or done? Have you never felt compelled to do that which a voice in the back of your head told you was right? Have you never felt proud of doing the right thing? Compassionate about the suffering of others?

If contingent, that just means we don't understand why one must necessarily have a conscience (or why one's conscience tells him this and not that). But if you take a subjectivist view, you would have to concede that whatever the conscience tells you, in the moment, it would have to be true for you in that moment.

iambiguous wrote:And the nihilistic "self" is not negated --- it is situated out in a particular world and able to grasp value judgments only from a particular point of view ever subject to evolution in a world of contingency, chance and change.


Sure, the self is not negated, but the philosophy is.

iambiguous wrote:There are any number of aspects/variables relating to "I" that transcend nihilism. In other words, the actual facts about your life. Things about you that are true for all of us, that are not just rooted subjectively in opinion.


Absolutely, I'm not saying nihilism negates life itself.

iambiguous wrote:To which I always react the same: What does this mean for all practical purposes when your value judgments come into conflict with others?

In other words how would you connect the dots between a discussion of these relationships in the society and government forum and in the philosophy forum? Pertaining to a particular context that revolves around a particular set of conflicting goods.

In my view, James never goes there because his "definitional logic" revolves precisely around a [scholastic/academic/intellectual] analysis predicated on the assumption that the definition that he gives to the words that encompass it are by default "where to begin".


Well, my philosophies don't touch much on society and politics, but if I were to apply them to that area, it would take the form of: if my philosophies are true, and if you want X, then you ought to do Y. But notice that I make Y contingent on my philosophies being true (in addition to X being a set of results that one supposedly wants to see). This is the "internal consistency" part. The justifications for Y are that my philosophies turn out to be true, and my focus would be on the relation between the latter and the former, not the truth of either. For an objectivist, however, Y isn't supposed to be contingent on anything, it's supposed to be unconditionally true ("given" so to speak).

iambiguous wrote:Logic can effectively be used in order to accomplish goals. It can offer a clear path regarding how to achieve them. After all, you behave as you do and you either do or do not accomplish them.

Instead, I focus the beam here on evaluating the goals [behaviors] when the goals [behaviors] come into conflict. Joe can effectively become rich by employing reason in playing the stock market. But if Jane insists that playing the stock market is immoral behavior how is logic then employed to resolve the conflict?

How does the conflict not effectively devolve into a clash of political prejudices?


Usually, it will devolve into a clash of political prejudices, but logic can still be employed here to resolve the conflict. Like I said before, two individuals--one playing the stock market, the other trying to admonish against it on moral grounds--can resolve their differences by being rational with each other and hashing their differences out. I'm sure you can imagine the stock market player reasoning out his justifications to the moralist nay-sayer and the latter replying "Oh, well, when you put it that way, I guess playing the stock market isn't so bad after all." (I mean, it happens, not that it always pans out this way). Note that I'm not saying that this brings either party closer to objective truth--like I said, logic and reason are often hijacked for other purpose than uncovering truth--and usually, in these cases, it is simply a matter of one party being persuaded to adopt the prejudices of the other.

iambiguous wrote:Sure. But as regard the first three, I would focus the beam on how the new model subsumed the points I make regarding dasein, conflicting goods and political economy in any particular existential context in which "logical assessments" come to clash with respect to moral and political ends.


So you mean what the particular flavor these conflicts take turns out to be in a fourth system?
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice.
- Ben Shapiro

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu
User avatar
gib
resident exorcist
 
Posts: 9019
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:37 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Isn't that basically what folks like Plato, Descartes and Kant intimated?


Well, sure, anything posited as an objective fact would agree with a God's eye view (I don't know if that requires God's existence).


But what still counts is that which we can demonstrate to be objectively true -- a fact -- for all of us. E = MC2 is [it would seem] not just Einstein's personal opinion. Now, God may or may not be behind it, but claiming that He is...how does that not appear to be just a personal opinion?

How, in other words, are those who make that claim able to demonstrate that it is in fact true? In the way in which E=MC2 can be shown by physicists to be in sync objectively with the reality of the universe that we live in.

Same with the distinction between noting that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are in a political campaign to become the next president of the United States: an objective fact. And then arguing that one rather than the other would make the better president: a subjective opinion.

iambiguous wrote:From my perspective a "conscience" is no less an existential contraption rooted in history, culture and personal experience.


gib wrote: Do you mean it's a myth or that it's contingent?


It is situated out in a particular world [awash in contingency, chance and change] and constructed existentially from the particular variables that encompass your actual lived life. Which means there is still the part where the facts that you are able to demonstrate in your value judgments reach the part where what you believe is just a subjective opinion.

You can demonstrate that Mary is in fact four weeks pregnant. That this pregnancy occurred in a particular set of circumstances. That she wants to terminate it. etcetera...

But how do you demonstrate that in fact a four week old embryo is a human being? How do you demonstrate that in fact aborting it is right or wrong, good or evil, moral or immoral?

gib wrote: If a myth, have you never felt guilty about something you've said or done? Have you never felt compelled to do that which a voice in the back of your head told you was right? Have you never felt proud of doing the right thing? Compassionate about the suffering of others?


Sure, but how is this not [like a conscience] a component of dasein? We all seem to be hard-wired as part of the human species to feel these frames of mind. But why, in any particular context, do some feel them while others do not? And how would one go about establishing what one ought to feel in any particular context?

gib wrote: If contingent, that just means we don't understand why one must necessarily have a conscience (or why one's conscience tells him this and not that). But if you take a subjectivist view, you would have to concede that whatever the conscience tells you, in the moment, it would have to be true for you in that moment.


Well, if that's the way one wants to look at it, okay, fine. But it doesn't really make the points that I am trying to convey here go away. In that particular moment and in that particular context you in particular react as you do.

But where does this part...

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.

...go away?

That's what I always choose to explore with the objectivists.

iambiguous wrote:Logic can effectively be used in order to accomplish goals. It can offer a clear path regarding how to achieve them. After all, you behave as you do and you either do or do not accomplish them.

Instead, I focus the beam here on evaluating the goals [behaviors] when the goals [behaviors] come into conflict. Joe can effectively become rich by employing reason in playing the stock market. But if Jane insists that playing the stock market is immoral behavior how is logic then employed to resolve the conflict?

How does the conflict not effectively devolve into a clash of political prejudices?


gib wrote: Usually, it will devolve into a clash of political prejudices, but logic can still be employed here to resolve the conflict.


True. I have never argued that logic [reason] is not an important factor in establishing what the facts actually are in any conflict. Instead my point revolves more around the limitation of logic [reason] when the facts that both sides accumulate precipitate conflicting behaviors.

For example, consider:

http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/5002/ ... apitalism/

My point is that both sides can note particular [historical] facts that seem to accompany the capitalist political economy. And that they can then note the consequences of those facts insofar as some seem to be a hell of a lot more better off than others if those in power embrace it.

Conflicting goods.

gib wrote: Like I said before, two individuals--one playing the stock market, the other trying to admonish against it on moral grounds--can resolve their differences by being rational with each other and hashing their differences out. I'm sure you can imagine the stock market player reasoning out his justifications to the moralist nay-sayer and the latter replying "Oh, well, when you put it that way, I guess playing the stock market isn't so bad after all." (I mean, it happens, not that it always pans out this way). Note that I'm not saying that this brings either party closer to objective truth--like I said, logic and reason are often hijacked for other purpose than uncovering truth--and usually, in these cases, it is simply a matter of one party being persuaded to adopt the prejudices of the other.


Yes, through a political consensus a set of laws can be established that regulates these market transactions such that something analogous to a "welfare state" can be established to soften the blow of all the "losers".

But one's particular opinion about all this is no less embodied in dasein. And no one side is able reconfigure their moral and political ideals into an actual government that sustains that which they construe to be the "natural"/"ideal" way in which to live. Instead, in reality, the interactions unfold inside an enormously complex and convoluted mish-mash of moderation, negotiation and compromise.

The modern industrial state. Rather than say the law of the jungle or a Platonic Republic.

Instead, it is the moral and political objectivists on both ends of the political spectrum that aim to establish yet another ideological contraption.
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
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 37684
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:55 pm

iambiguous wrote:But what still counts is that which we can demonstrate to be objectively true -- a fact -- for all of us. E = MC2 is [it would seem] not just Einstein's personal opinion. Now, God may or may not be behind it, but claiming that He is...how does that not appear to be just a personal opinion?

How, in other words, are those who make that claim able to demonstrate that it is in fact true? In the way in which E=MC2 can be shown by physicists to be in sync objectively with the reality of the universe that we live in.

Same with the distinction between noting that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are in a political campaign to become the next president of the United States: an objective fact. And then arguing that one rather than the other would make the better president: a subjective opinion.


I have no qualms with this.

iambiguous wrote:Sure, but how is this not [like a conscience] a component of dasein? We all seem to be hard-wired as part of the human species to feel these frames of mind. But why, in any particular context, do some feel them while others do not? And how would one go about establishing what one ought to feel in any particular context?


Establishing what one ought to feel in a particular context is not my concern here. I understand that this is of concern to you, but I'm content with the fact that one does, on occasion, have feelings like this in this or that particular context. Justifying those feelings is something one does afterwards, but it need not be done simply to acknowledge those feelings within one's self. As a subjectivist, that's enough for me to say that those feelings reflect a truth, but only in the relativistic sense that they reflect truth for that person.

Are you questioning how I make the leap from subjective feeling to relativistic truth?

iambiguous wrote:Well, if that's the way one wants to look at it, okay, fine. But it doesn't really make the points that I am trying to convey here go away. In that particular moment and in that particular context you in particular react as you do.

But where does this part...

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.

...go away?


What you have to note about the above is that you're introducing extra layers of perspectives and beliefs onto my example. Your quote "If I am always of the opinion..." is imposing on the other person (whose conscience is in question) your views on dasein and nihilism and all the rest. Once imposed, yes, it becomes a dilemma.

The person himself doesn't have this dilemma (at least not in the psychological sense that he recognizes it and feels caught in it). Furthermore, I don't have this dilemma (given that I come at this from a different philosophical background). The crux of the problem here is that one must grant you your quote just in order to recognize the problem. I think you're expecting that one will grant you your quote and then proceed to attempt to explain why his or her objectivist views is an exception to the rest. But if one doesn't grant you 1) that his own values are rooted in dasein, and/ore 2) that there are no objective values he can reach, then the entire dilemma vanishes, at least psychologically (either that, or it remains but for a new set of reasons). What you would have to establish is that your quote above ought to be taken as an objective fact itself that all rational men and women ought to concede, which obviously puts you in the same hot seat as those who you press with this question. <-- That's where I bring in the first prong of your dilemma--that your form of nihilism is self-negating.

(I think I get the point that your quote is just a line of questioning, not a set of assertions, but what I'm trying to say is that they can be answered, not by granting the presuppositions that they depend on--nihilism, dasein, empiricist objectivism--and then following those up with how a person counts as an exception to the rule, but by offering an alternative set of presupposition according to which your quote simply does not arise, and therefore neither does the dilemma).

iambiguous wrote:True. I have never argued that logic [reason] is not an important factor in establishing what the facts actually are in any conflict. Instead my point revolves more around the limitation of logic [reason] when the facts that both sides accumulate precipitate conflicting behaviors.


Good to hear. My point was merely to say that while reason and logic can be brought in to resolve interpersonal conflicts, I would be in agreement with you about that bringing them no closer to objective truth (it's just one side persuading the other towards their particular prejudices, as I said).

iambiguous wrote:Yes, through a political consensus a set of laws can be established that regulates these market transactions such that something analogous to a "welfare state" can be established to soften the blow of all the "losers".

But one's particular opinion about all this is no less embodied in dasein. And no one side is able reconfigure their moral and political ideals into an actual government that sustains that which they construe to be the "natural"/"ideal" way in which to live. Instead, in reality, the interactions unfold inside an enormously complex and convoluted mish-mash of moderation, negotiation and compromise.

The modern industrial state. Rather than say the law of the jungle or a Platonic Republic.

Instead, it is the moral and political objectivists on both ends of the political spectrum that aim to establish yet another ideological contraption.


Yep, I agree. Like I said, though, I wouldn't even know how to begin forming a solution to this problem, nor am I interested in doing so.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice.
- Ben Shapiro

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu
User avatar
gib
resident exorcist
 
Posts: 9019
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby James S Saint » Sun Jun 26, 2016 12:19 am

Bigus wrote:it is the moral and political objectivists on both ends of the political spectrum that aim to establish yet another ideological contraption.

Whereas you proposed total annihilation of both society and thought.
Last edited by James S Saint on Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 25976
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:02 am

James S Saint wrote:
gib wrote:it is the moral and political objectivists on both ends of the political spectrum that aim to establish yet another ideological contraption.

Whereas you proposed total annihilation of both society and thought.


Just a note: that was Biggy's quote, not mine.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice.
- Ben Shapiro

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu
User avatar
gib
resident exorcist
 
Posts: 9019
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby James S Saint » Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:40 am

gib wrote:
James S Saint wrote:
Bigus wrote:it is the moral and political objectivists on both ends of the political spectrum that aim to establish yet another ideological contraption.

Whereas you proposed total annihilation of both society and thought.


Just a note: that was Biggy's quote, not mine.

Oh, geeez .. sorry about that. I knew it was his. I just messed the quoting procedure.

I edited mine, so if you edit yours ... 8)
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 25976
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:42 am

James S Saint wrote:I edited mine, so if you edit yours ... 8)


We can say this never happened. ;)
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice.
- Ben Shapiro

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu
User avatar
gib
resident exorcist
 
Posts: 9019
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby James S Saint » Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:46 am

gib wrote:
James S Saint wrote:I edited mine, so if you edit yours ... 8)


We can say this never happened. ;)

What?
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 25976
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:00 am

James S Saint wrote:What?


Exactly.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice.
- Ben Shapiro

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu
User avatar
gib
resident exorcist
 
Posts: 9019
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:58 pm

gib wrote:Establishing what one ought to feel in a particular context is not my concern here. I understand that this is of concern to you, but I'm content with the fact that one does, on occasion, have feelings like this in this or that particular context. Justifying those feelings is something one does afterwards, but it need not be done simply to acknowledge those feelings within one's self. As a subjectivist, that's enough for me to say that those feelings reflect a truth, but only in the relativistic sense that they reflect truth for that person.


Bob feels that abortion is the right thing to do. Bonnie feels that abortion is the wrong thing to do. But either way, they feel this as the embodiment of dasein. Their own particular subjective "truth" is just an existential contraption that might have been the opposite had the variables in their lives been otherwise. In other words, had Bob lived Bonnie's life and Bonnie his.

There does not appear to be a way for them to feel as they ought to feel [using the tools of philosophy] in order to be deemed rational human beings.

Yes, if this works for them as a way in which to claim their own "personal truth", that's fine.

But it does not work for me. To the extent that personal truths related to value judgments are basically existential fabrications/contraptions, I recognize them for what they are: political leaps of faith rooted subjectively in personal prejudices.

gib wrote:Are you questioning how I make the leap from subjective feeling to relativistic truth?


I'm questioning the extent to which a "relativistic truth" stacks up against an objective truth. We still live in world where the irresistible force "relativistic truth" embodied in the pro-life folks collides into the immovable object "relativistic truth" embodied in the pro-choice folks.

They both get to champion "truth" but either the baby is aborted [and suffers the consequences of death] or the pregnant woman is forced to give birth [or suffers the consequences of being arrested for murder].

At least in political jurisdictions where abortion is deemed to be murder -- legally.

Also, I am noting the absence of relativistic, subjective truths pertaining to the components of our lives that are in fact true for all of us: math, science, logic. Empirical truths.

iambiguous wrote:Well, if that's the way one wants to look at it, okay, fine. But it doesn't really make the points that I am trying to convey here go away. In that particular moment and in that particular context you in particular react as you do.

But where does this part...

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.

...go away?


gib wrote: What you have to note about the above is that you're introducing extra layers of perspectives and beliefs onto my example. Your quote "If I am always of the opinion..." is imposing on the other person (whose conscience is in question) your views on dasein and nihilism and all the rest. Once imposed, yes, it becomes a dilemma.


"For all practical purposes", I am not at all certain what you are arguing here.

In other words, my dilemma is just the way in which I react to those particular instances in my life when my existential value judgments come into conflict with the existential value judgments of others.

Embodied in this...

1] I was raised in the belly of the working class beast. My family/community were very conservative. Abortion was a sin. Big time. Both in and out of church.
2] I was drafted into the Army and while on my "tour of duty" in Vietnam I happened upon politically radical folks who reconfigured my thinking about abortion. And God and lots of other things.
3] after I left the Army, I enrolled in college and became further involved in left wing politics. It was all the rage back then. I became a feminist. I married a feminist. I wholeheartedly embraced a woman's right to choose.
4] then came the calamity with Mary and John. I loved them both but their engagement was foundering on the rocks that was Mary's choice to abort their unborn baby.
5] back and forth we all went. I supported Mary but I could understand the points that John was making. I could understand the arguments being made on both sides. John was right from his side and Mary was right from hers.
6] I read William Barrett's Irrational Man and came upon his conjectures regarding "rival goods".
7] Then, over time, I abandoned an objectivist frame of mind that revolved around Marxism/feminism. Instead, I became more and more embedded in existentialism. And then as more years passed I became an advocate for moral nihilism.


The "extra layers" here are the new experiences that I had which prompted me to question old assumptions regarding right and good behavior.

I merely ask of the moral objectivists to note a particular trajectory of their own pertaining existentially to a value judgment near and dear to them.

How, as a moral subjectivist, does it work for you?

gib wrote: The person himself doesn't have this dilemma (at least not in the psychological sense that he recognizes it and feels caught in it).


Why? Because they have managed to convince themselves that the "real me" is in touch with one or another political ideal, one or another natural morality. Or one or another God.

But: how does this obviate the manner in which I subsume my own value judgments in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy?

How are these components not relevant regarding their own behaviors?

And you don't have this dilemma because [if I understand you] you are comfortable with your own "personal truth". That "works" for you out in the world when your values come into conflict with others. But, from my perspective, this is more like a "trick" that one contrives "in their head" in order to make the dilemma go away. To me, it is a frame of mind more or less the equivalent of a psychological defense mechanism.

But: That is only from my perspective. That frame of mind [yours] simply does not work for me. The part about dasein and conflicting goods are ever pertinent in my own social, political and economic interactions.
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
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 37684
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:13 pm

James S Saint wrote:
Bigus wrote:it is the moral and political objectivists on both ends of the political spectrum that aim to establish yet another ideological contraption.

Wheres you proposed total annihilation of both society and thought.


I challenge you to note something I have posted here at ILP that will confirm this absurd accusation.

Indeed, I reduce you down to this sort of feckless "retort" time and again of late. It speaks volumes regarding the gap between the points I raise in our exchanges and your refusal to address them "out in the world" of actual human interactions that come into conflict over value judgments.

From my frame of mind you have always and ever been about "defining" moral and political values into existence.
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
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 37684
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sat Jul 02, 2016 6:37 am

iambiguous wrote:Bob feels that abortion is the right thing to do. Bonnie feels that abortion is the wrong thing to do. But either way, they feel this as the embodiment of dasein. Their own particular subjective "truth" is just an existential contraption that might have been the opposite had the variables in their lives been otherwise. In other words, had Bob lived Bonnie's life and Bonnie his.

Yep. But the variables in their lives weren't otherwise.

There does not appear to be a way for them to feel as they ought to feel [using the tools of philosophy] in order to be deemed rational human beings.

That's right (if there even is a way they ought to feel). But it remains a fact that they do feel a certain way.

Yes, if this works for them as a way in which to claim their own "personal truth", that's fine.

And if this were idealism/subjectivism (as it is for me), you could go so far as to say it is truth for them (but, as you know by now, this requires the aid of relativism).

But it does not work for me. To the extent that personal truths related to value judgments are basically existential fabrications/contraptions, I recognize them for what they are: political leaps of faith rooted subjectively in personal prejudices.


My sense is that this doesn't work for you because you begin by presupposing a mind-independent objective reality (what I've been calling the empirical reality--that Joe is 6'1" tall, for example). This seems to lead one to the conclusion that if there is any truth at all, empirical reality has the final say (i.e. it trumps any subjective truth). Therefore, objective truth is determined by empirical reality, and any subjective truth (or existential contraption, as you call it) is consequently wrong insofar as it conflicts with empirical truth (and even when it doesn't, one still has to question how solid the grounds are for one or another subjective truth--value judgements, for example).

That, plus the idea that subjective outlooks on the world don't make truth (however much they seem to reflect truth) would make it quite difficult (I imagine) to take the reality of subjective truths seriously.

But this is the twist that subjectivism/idealism puts on the relation between perception and reality: it's the idea that the mind creates reality, creates truth--that it is one with the world so perceived--that gives mind and perception the power to ground reality even from within a subjective framework (or so subjectivism/idealism would have one believe). In short, get rid of the mind-independent and objectively real empirical world and substitute it with a reality-generating subjectivism (which would give you the same empirical world, but grounded in an entirely different way), and you no longer have your dilemma (at least the first prong of it).

iambiguous wrote:I'm questioning the extent to which a "relativistic truth" stacks up against an objective truth. Which are not necessarily incompatible. "The care is moving relative to the road," can be an objective statement. We still live in world where the irresistible force "relativistic truth" embodied in the pro-life folks collides into the immovable object "relativistic truth" embodied in the pro-choice folks.

Right, and that's the second prong of your dilemma, which, as you know, I've written off as insoluble (at least at this point in our collective history).

They both get to champion "truth" but either the baby is aborted [and suffers the consequences of death] or the pregnant woman is forced to give birth [or suffers the consequences of being arrested for murder].

At least in political jurisdictions where abortion is deemed to be murder -- legally.

Also, I am noting the absence of relativistic, subjective truths pertaining to the components of our lives that are in fact true for all of us: math, science, logic. Empirical truths.


These can be deemed relativistic as well--they would just be the same for all of us (and there are some who doubt math, science, logic, and empirical truth (as stupid as they are IMO)).

Think of it in terms of Einsteinian relativity; if one day, all of humanity decided to board a huge space craft and look for another life-sustain planet (because Earth was dying or going to explode or whatever), they could all unanimously say: "We are moving away from the Earth," even though from a different perspective, one could say the Earth is moving away from them--it's just that nobody takes that perspective.

Furthermore, there are some perspective that we have no choice in adopting--seeing bananas as yellow, for example--I'm sure there are very few human beings who see a typical banana as blue (though I'm hesitant to say no human beings), and I know I personally can't will myself to see bananas as blue, but I'm sure you'd agree that it's possible in principle for there to be an animal or maybe someone with abnormal color vision who does see bananas as blue. But as for the typical human being, he will for all intents and purposes see bananas as yellow--but since it needn't be this way in principle, they're still yellow relative to his way of perceiving them.

iambiguous wrote:How, as a moral subjectivist, does it work for you?


As a moral subjectivist, I don't stick my neck out and say that my moral positions on things are objective reality, sustained independently of me, and therefore apply to everyone. I recognize them as stemming from my own personal feelings, thoughts, and conscience. This means they apply to me, so I'm still bound by my self-imposed moral obligations, but as far as imposing my morality on other people, I don't give myself the excuse that my morals are objectively real and therefore universally applicable. Yes, this sometimes means I will have to deal with moral conflicts with other people, but like I said, this is just a part of life that we all must deal with.

I've come to think of it as just the nature of morality (as disappointing as that probably is for some).

iambiguous wrote:Why? Because they have managed to convince themselves that the "real me" is in touch with one or another political ideal, one or another natural morality. Or one or another God.

Yes. Remember, I said psychologically.

But: how does this obviate the manner in which I subsume my own value judgments in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy?

How are these components not relevant regarding their own behaviors?


Not sure I understand these questions. How does it obviate the manner in which you subsume your value judgements in dasein? It obviously doesn't. You can subsume your value judgements in dasein all you like. And if we take this subsumption of yours for objective reality, I'd be hard pressed to imagine how others would escape it. But this is why I limited my statement to "psychologically".

How are these components not relevant regarding their own behaviors? What components? You mean dasein, conflicting goods, and political economy? If you mean in terms of these components influencing/causing their own behavior, then again, I say it isn't irrelevant. Only that psychologically, we're not all struggling with the first prong of this dilemma.

iambiguous wrote:And you don't have this dilemma because [if I understand you] you are comfortable with your own "personal truth". That "works" for you out in the world when your values come into conflict with others. No, again, they work for me only in resolving the first prong of the dilemma, the prong that is the struggle with understanding the consistency and coherence of my own philosophical views. But, from my perspective, this is more like a "trick" that one contrives "in their head" in order to make the dilemma go away. To me, it is a frame of mind more or less the equivalent of a psychological defense mechanism.


Well, in my opinion, every psychological move is a defense mechanism (there's nothing in there that doesn't function the way it does towards securing our survival--literally defending the ego against death). But I can understand why one would say this if one does not yet see how the perspective holds in terms of logical consistency and coherency--especially when one holds an opposing or conflicting perspective. And as I said in an earlier post, the use of psychological defense mechanisms doesn't necessarily preclude logic and rationality (I believe I argued that logic and rationality are actually tools for defending the ego against mistakes and bad predictions about reality). So if you get the logic right, your philosophy can hold water quite well regardless of how much you're using it as a defense mechanism.

iambiguous wrote:But: That is only from my perspective. That frame of mind [yours] simply does not work for me. The part about dasein and conflicting goods are ever pertinent in my own social, political and economic interactions.


Me too, but those realities constitute the second prong of the dilemma for me. My philosophical outlook allows me to live in a world like that without feeling like the metaphysical conclusions I have arrived at in my philosophies are groundless.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice.
- Ben Shapiro

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu
User avatar
gib
resident exorcist
 
Posts: 9019
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:27 pm

iambiguous wrote:Bob feels that abortion is the right thing to do. Bonnie feels that abortion is the wrong thing to do. But either way, they feel this as the embodiment of dasein. Their own particular subjective "truth" is just an existential contraption that might have been the opposite had the variables in their lives been otherwise. In other words, had Bob lived Bonnie's life and Bonnie his.


gib wrote: Yep. But the variables in their lives weren't otherwise.


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.

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.

That is always the distinction that I come back to.

iambiguous wrote:There does not appear to be a way for them to feel as they ought to feel [using the tools of philosophy] in order to be deemed rational human beings.


gib wrote: That's right (if there even is a way they ought to feel). But it remains a fact that they do feel a certain way.


Yes, Bob does think/feel that abortion is the right thing to do. Bonnie does think/feel it is the wrong thing to do. But only as this becomes embodied in dasein. What they do is not as they necessarily must do in order to be thought of as rational and moral.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, if this works for them as a way in which to claim their own "personal truth", that's fine.


gib wrote: And if this were idealism/subjectivism (as it is for me), you could go so far as to say it is truth for them (but, as you know by now, this requires the aid of relativism).


Basically [to me] this is just another rendition of "you're right from your side and I'm right from mine". But the laws that any particular human community prescribe and proscribe regarding abortion are no less political leaps rooted in the personal prejudices of those in power.

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.

Again:

iambiguous wrote:But this does not work for me. To the extent that personal truths related to value judgments are basically existential fabrications/contraptions, I recognize them for what they are: political leaps of faith rooted subjectively in personal prejudices.


gib wrote: My sense is that this doesn't work for you because you begin by presupposing a mind-independent objective reality (what I've been calling the empirical reality--that Joe is 6'1" tall, for example). This seems to lead one to the conclusion that if there is any truth at all, empirical reality has the final say (i.e. it trumps any subjective truth). Therefore, objective truth is determined by empirical reality, and any subjective truth (or existential contraption, as you call it) is consequently wrong insofar as it conflicts with empirical truth (and even when it doesn't, one still has to question how solid the grounds are for one or another subjective truth--value judgements, for example).


How then would this be applicable to abortion? 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.

Well, there is not likely to be a conflict pertaining to her height. Who would argue that Mary ought to be 6'6" instead? But conflicting sets of facts are noted with respect to the morality of her abortion. So, in what sense then would empirical reality have the final say here? How seriously can the reality of subjective/personal truths be taken here?

Other then in measuring these "truths" based largely on who has the political power [here and now] to enforce their own subjective/personal agenda?

gib wrote: In short, get rid of the mind-independent and objectively real empirical world and substitute it with a reality-generating subjectivism (which would give you the same empirical world, but grounded in an entirely different way), and you no longer have your dilemma (at least the first prong of it).


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.

But: Ought such behavior to be construed as murder? Ought those who either have abortions or perform abortions be punished for it?

gib wrote: Think of it in terms of Einsteinian relativity...


But Einstein was concerned with understanding the immutable laws of nature. The world of either/or. And the only way I can imagine the world of is/ought being construed in that manner is if, even when matter reconfigured itself into consciousness -- matter able to grasp itself as matter -- it is still no less inherently embedded in the immutable laws of matter. In other words, "is/ought" is [essentially] an illusion.

gib wrote: Furthermore, there are some perspective that we have no choice in adopting--seeing bananas as yellow, for example--I'm sure there are very few human beings who see a typical banana as blue (though I'm hesitant to say no human beings), and I know I personally can't will myself to see bananas as blue, but I'm sure you'd agree that it's possible in principle for there to be an animal or maybe someone with abnormal color vision who does see bananas as blue. But as for the typical human being, he will for all intents and purposes see bananas as yellow--but since it needn't be this way in principle, they're still yellow relative to his way of perceiving them.


Again, from my frame of mind, examples like this revolve around either/or. Either you see the banana as yellow or you see it as blue. And nature configured us to see it as yellow given a particular set of conditions. If the conditions change [less light, you've taken LSD, you are color-blind etc.] you might see it as another color instead.

But what if you do in fact see it as blue [for whatever reason] and someone insists that you must see it as yellow --- or be punished.
Then it becomes a moral issue. And while some might argue that you ought to see it as yellow you still see it as blue. Right?

iambiguous wrote:How, as a moral subjectivist, does it work for you?


gib wrote: As a moral subjectivist, I don't stick my neck out and say that my moral positions on things are objective reality, sustained independently of me, and therefore apply to everyone. I recognize them as stemming from my own personal feelings, thoughts, and conscience. This means they apply to me, so I'm still bound by my self-imposed moral obligations, but as far as imposing my morality on other people, I don't give myself the excuse that my morals are objectively real and therefore universally applicable. Yes, this sometimes means I will have to deal with moral conflicts with other people, but like I said, this is just a part of life that we all must deal with.


In other words, you're right from your side and they're right from their side. And that can work fine until you run into the moral objectivists who insist that there is in fact but one right or rational or natural or virtuous way in which to think and to feel and to behave.

And it is those folks that I address the bulk of my arguments toward.

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.

We just see the implications of this differently. Among other things, I am considerably more cynical regarding the consequences of accepting it. I recognize "I" here as largely an existential fabrication [from my youth] and as an existential contraption [throughout my adult years].

"I" for me here is considerably less substantial [and considerably more precarious] than it is for others. Whereas for you "I" seems to be somewhere between me and the objectivists.

iambiguous wrote:
But: how does this obviate the manner in which I subsume my own value judgments in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy?

How are these components not relevant regarding their own behaviors?


gib wrote: Not sure I understand these questions. How does it obviate the manner in which you subsume your value judgements in dasein? It obviously doesn't. You can subsume your value judgements in dasein all you like. And if we take this subsumption of yours for objective reality, I'd be hard pressed to imagine how others would escape it. But this is why I limited my statement to "psychologically".


I provide an existential "snapshot" of my life in order to illustrate more concretely the manner in which I subsume "I" in dasein relating to my value judgments.

That is precisely what this...

1] I was raised in the belly of the working class beast. My family/community were very conservative. Abortion was a sin. Big time. Both in and out of church.
2] I was drafted into the Army and while on my "tour of duty" in Vietnam I happened upon politically radical folks who reconfigured my thinking about abortion. And God and lots of other things.
3] after I left the Army, I enrolled in college and became further involved in left wing politics. It was all the rage back then. I became a feminist. I married a feminist. I wholeheartedly embraced a woman's right to choose.
4] then came the calamity with Mary and John. I loved them both but their engagement was foundering on the rocks that was Mary's choice to abort their unborn baby.
5] back and forth we all went. I supported Mary but I could understand the points that John was making. I could understand the arguments being made on both sides. John was right from his side and Mary was right from hers.
6] I read William Barrett's Irrational Man and came upon his conjectures regarding "rival goods".
7] Then, over time, I abandoned an objectivist frame of mind that revolved around Marxism/feminism. Instead, I became more and more embedded in existentialism. And then as more years passed I became an advocate for moral nihilism.


....is.

But the objectivists would seem to possess a frame of mind which makes this part go away. They embrace a so-called "natural" understanding of the world such that their own moral narrative is said to be in sync with it. But: They refuse to examine a value judgment of their own for me so that I might begin to grasp how the part I construe as dasein above goes away.

Psychologically, in my view, they become more or less the embodiment of this: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296

iambiguous wrote:And you don't have this dilemma because [if I understand you] you are comfortable with your own "personal truth". That "works" for you out in the world when your values come into conflict with others.

gib wrote: No, again, they work for me only in resolving the first prong of the dilemma, the prong that is the struggle with understanding the consistency and coherence of my own philosophical views.


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.

Again:

iambiguous wrote: ...from my perspective, this is more like a "trick" that one contrives "in their head" in order to make the dilemma go away. To me, it is a frame of mind more or less the equivalent of a psychological defense mechanism.


gib wrote: ...as I said in an earlier post, the use of psychological defense mechanisms doesn't necessarily preclude logic and rationality (I believe I argued that logic and rationality are actually tools for defending the ego against mistakes and bad predictions about reality). So if you get the logic right, your philosophy can hold water quite well regardless of how much you're using it as a defense mechanism.


But logic and rationality are available to both sides in framing an argument in defense of positions embedded in conflicts like abortion. And the "consistency and the coherence" that any one particular individual might encompass in the argument that they make [in order to rationalize the behaviors they choose] is no less embodied in dasein.

Basically, we have come to think about these complex relationships differently.
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
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 37684
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: Making iambiguous's day

Postby gib » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:23 am

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. 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?

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.


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.

iambiguous wrote:Yes, Bob does think/feel that abortion is the right thing to do. Bonnie does think/feel it is the wrong thing to do. But only as this becomes embodied in dasein. What they do is not as they necessarily must do in order to be thought of as rational and moral.


Agreed.

iambiguous wrote:Basically [to me] this is just another rendition of "you're right from your side and I'm right from mine". It's a bit more complicated than that, but yes. But the laws that any particular human community prescribe and proscribe regarding abortion are no less political leaps rooted in the personal prejudices of those in power.

Yes.

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.


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.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote: My sense is that this doesn't work for you because you begin by presupposing a mind-independent objective reality (what I've been calling the empirical reality--that Joe is 6'1" tall, for example). This seems to lead one to the conclusion that if there is any truth at all, empirical reality has the final say (i.e. it trumps any subjective truth). Therefore, objective truth is determined by empirical reality, and any subjective truth (or existential contraption, as you call it) is consequently wrong insofar as it conflicts with empirical truth (and even when it doesn't, one still has to question how solid the grounds are for one or another subjective truth--value judgements, for example).


How then would this be applicable to abortion? 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.


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).

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.


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?

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote: Think of it in terms of Einsteinian relativity...


But Einstein was concerned with understanding the immutable laws of nature. The world of either/or. At the end of the day, yes, but frames of reference are not either/or. And the only way I can imagine the world of is/ought being construed in that manner is if, even when matter reconfigured itself into consciousness -- matter able to grasp itself as matter -- it is still no less inherently embedded in the immutable laws of matter. In other words, "is/ought" is [essentially] an illusion.


Just to be clear, I was using Einsteinian relativism as an analogy for two conflicting "oughts"--Jane ought to have the abortion relative to the pro-choice faction, but she ought to keep her baby relative to the pro-life faction--not for the conflict between "is" and "ought".

iamboguous wrote:Again, from my frame of mind, examples like this revolve around either/or. Either you see the banana as yellow or you see it as blue. Yep. And nature configured us to see it as yellow given a particular set of conditions. If the conditions change [less light, you've taken LSD, you are color-blind etc.] you might see it as another color instead.

True dat.

But what if you do in fact see it as blue [for whatever reason] and someone insists that you must see it as yellow --- or be punished.
Then it becomes a moral issue. And while some might argue that you ought to see it as yellow you still see it as blue. Right?


Right. Again, I know how I would assess the situation: blue for one, yellow for the other. Ought for one, ought not for the other. But as far as dealing with the threat of punish over something one can't help (or even if one could help it), I have no better solution than the next person. I could argue with the person: I see the banana as yellow, and I feel this is OK. I'm convinced that it is blue for me, and that it is OK just because I intuit that it's OK. I don't expect him to be persuaded. I only tell him how it is for me. If he threatens me, I would fall back on self-defense of some kind, maybe legal defense, maybe brute force (if it came to that), maybe try to ignore him and keep my distance, and any of the other modes of conduct that normal people use.

That's if I came at the situation from my philosophical/metaphysical background. But most of the time, I do what normal people usually do: try to argue why it's rediculous to make moral judgements on seeing bananas as blue. 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. As I said, I am a subjectivist and a relativist, but I always recognize the power of a good argument--how it can persuade one from his prejudices over to another's prejudices, from his truth to my truth. <-- I would certain give that a try if I thought it feasible.

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.


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.

iambiguous wrote:"I" for me here is considerably less substantial [and considerably more precarious] than it is for others. Whereas for you "I" seems to be somewhere between me and the objectivists.


Yes, real like the objectivists, but for completely different reasons.

iambiguous wrote:I provide an existential "snapshot" of my life in order to illustrate more concretely the manner in which I subsume "I" in dasein relating to my value judgments.

That is precisely what this...

1] I was raised in the belly of the working class beast. My family/community were very conservative. Abortion was a sin. Big time. Both in and out of church.
2] I was drafted into the Army and while on my "tour of duty" in Vietnam I happened upon politically radical folks who reconfigured my thinking about abortion. And God and lots of other things.
3] after I left the Army, I enrolled in college and became further involved in left wing politics. It was all the rage back then. I became a feminist. I married a feminist. I wholeheartedly embraced a woman's right to choose.
4] then came the calamity with Mary and John. I loved them both but their engagement was foundering on the rocks that was Mary's choice to abort their unborn baby.
5] back and forth we all went. I supported Mary but I could understand the points that John was making. I could understand the arguments being made on both sides. John was right from his side and Mary was right from hers.
6] I read William Barrett's Irrational Man and came upon his conjectures regarding "rival goods".
7] Then, over time, I abandoned an objectivist frame of mind that revolved around Marxism/feminism. Instead, I became more and more embedded in existentialism. And then as more years passed I became an advocate for moral nihilism.


....is.

But the objectivists would seem to possess a frame of mind which makes this part go away. They embrace a so-called "natural" understanding of the world such that their own moral narrative is said to be in sync with it. But: They refuse to examine a value judgment of their own for me so that I might begin to grasp how the part I construe as dasein above goes away.

Psychologically, in my view, they become more or less the embodiment of this: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296


That tells me that the objectivist is more subject to being attached to his views because he has intermingled them into his self-identity. Someone who manages to avoid this (or at least embraces the value of a fluid "self" who adapts his beliefs and values to his ever-changing life situations) is much more capable to "letting go" of certain attachments and values when he deems it prudent.

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.


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.

iambiguous wrote:But logic and rationality are available to both sides in framing an argument in defense of positions embedded in conflicts like abortion. And the "consistency and the coherence" that any one particular individual might encompass in the argument that they make [in order to rationalize the behaviors they choose] is no less embodied in dasein.


True, but I'm only saying that some are better at the logic game than others, and in a philosophical context (say a public debate), the superior player can be more persuasive or harder to beat (of course, who "wins" in a debate is rarely determined by one or the other contenders admitting defeat, and way more often by the audience or a panel of judges).

iambiguous wrote:Basically, we have come to think about these complex relationships differently.


Yes, and I would say we have acquired different concerns about it.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice.
- Ben Shapiro

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu
User avatar
gib
resident exorcist
 
Posts: 9019
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

PreviousNext

Return to Philosophy



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users