Opinion on nihilism?

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Dormin111:

keiskay:

Dormin111:

You are dodging my question and throwing it back at me.

As for your question, I do believe that morality is objective though I would not go as far as to use the flowery language of "true meaning to life." Meta-ethically I believe it is axiomatic that I choose to live instead of die. Every fiber of my body wishes to stay alive and I couldn't bring myself to purposeful death even if I wanted to (barring extreme circumstances when life is too painful to continue).

From there I can declare that as a human, my standard of value is the furtherance of my existence. If the total failure of my actions resulted in death, then the total success of my actions would result in me living a happy life. That is, happiness is the successful state of life. I act to attain value, which is defined by the standard of my existence, and the attainment of value makes me happy, as indicated by the state of my mind and physical pleasure. For instance, I can doubtlessly say that eating food makes me happier, and therefore makes my life better than starving to death.

BTW, this is the basis of Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism.

except morality is purely subjective and non-existent, just because you and your philosophy believe so does not make it true, if so then the beliefs in god/s are objective as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality

"Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and those that are bad (or wrong). A moral code is a system of morality (for example, according to a particular philosophy, religion, culture, etc.) and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code. The adjective moral is synonymous with "good" or "right.""

A moral system is a code of ethics which determines what is of value (that is, what one acts to attain) to a being. I and the philosophy of Objectivism maintain that objective morality can be rationally derived from the nature of humanity. I need food to live, and I need to be alive to do anything, therefore eating food is morally good (generally). I think that you are getting caught up in the religious trap of assuming that morality must either be mystical or nonexistent.

"simply you live because you were born and eventually you will die and everything you did in life will eventually become worthless

So? Life is valuable to me while I live, that is all that matters. Value, as it pertains to me, is only in existence as long as I am. The value of my life after I am no longer alive is of no concern to me.

even if you cure cancer. why keep living? the human bodies self instinctual need to survive is probably what keeps the nihilist alive and well.

The difference is that the Objectivist recognizes that my body's natural inclination to life is a component (EDIT) of meta-ethics. That is, it contributes to the axiomatic conclusion that it is better to be alive than dead. The nihilist rejects this premise for no reason.

the nihilist does not delude himself with ideas of grandeur and "meaning", the nihilist knows that he is just a number living to die.

"Meaning" to whom? See above.

you are assuming i am, but no i am not. there is also a wikipedia page for spiderman, Are you gonna say spiderman exists? no. morals do not exists and do not have an objective standard. It is possible for me to have moral system that says murder is okay and that victim deserved to die since they were unable to fend off the attacker. you would view this as morally wrong and i could view it as morally right, and both of us would have equal weight on that issue. morals simply do not exists in an objective stance.

the nihilist does not reject the premise of self preservation, they just feel that they are meaningless number passing through time til they die. but yes keep spewing your biased knowledge about nihilism and how you think it should be. seriously i do not care for "objectivism" i am not gonna delude myself into believing a philosophy that considers its subjective bases as objective.

you can claim your life has meaning to you, but you are still deluding yourself and convincing yourself you are important.

Dormin111:
snip

You're confusing inherent value with personal preference. Lets take an example, you can have coke or sprite. You like 'em both pretty equal. One isn't better than the other but people have feelings and moods. Life, and my life, isn't inherently valuable but it's preferable to me personally. I can acknowledge that going out on the beer with my friends is not a more valuable action than staying home but I can still subjectively prefer one over the other. It doesn't really matter which I pick, but I still have the ability to choose and due to my nature I'll lean towards the option that gives me pleasure.

As Nietzsche himself said: Whatever has value in our world now does not have value in itself, according to its nature - nature is always value-less, but has been given value at some time, as a present - and it was we who gave and bestowed it.

keiskay:

you are assuming i am, but no i am not. there is also a wikipedia page for spiderman, Are you gonna say spiderman exists? no. morals do not exists and do not have an objective standard. It is possible for me to have moral system that says murder is okay and that victim deserved to die since they were unable to fend off the attacker. you would view this as morally wrong and i could view it as morally right, and both of us would have equal weight on that issue. morals simply do not exists in an objective stance.

Morality is a reflection of man's nature and the the nature of reality. To say, "both of us would have equal weight on this issue" is equivalent to saying "If I believe that I can fly, then I can. It is your opinion that I cannot fly, but it is my opinion that I can. Both of our opinions are equally valid." Both opinions are not equally valid. One opinion reflects reality, the other does not.

the nihilist does not reject the premise of self preservation

Then the nihilist has chosen to value preserving himself and is therefore not a nihilist.

you can claim your life has meaning to you, but you are still deluding yourself and convincing yourself you are important.

I do not think you understand the definition of "morality." It does not have to equate to some mystical sense of "good and evil." It can simply relate to "good for me" and "bad for me." In which case, it can be logically deduced what is good for my existence and bad for my existence.

Spot1990:
You're confusing inherent value with personal preference. Lets take an example, you can have coke or sprite. You like 'em both pretty equal. One isn't better than the other but people have feelings and moods. Life, and my life, isn't inherently valuable but it's preferable to me personally. I can acknowledge that going out on the beer with my friends is not a more valuable action than staying home but I can still subjectively prefer one over the other. It doesn't really matter which I pick, but I still have the ability to choose and due to my nature I'll lean towards the option that gives me pleasure.

There are subjective value subsets underneath objectively valued concepts. Every non-suicidal human being in existence has valued eating food to stay alive. This is an objective value. No rational argument can be made that food is a bad thing for man's existence. However, once I have chosen to eat food, then the subjective value preference of "what" food should be eaten comes into play. The same could be said for all objective values. I objectively need to have fun at times, but I can have fun in many different ways. I objectively value companionship, but my preference of who I should associate with is subjective to some degree.

As Nietzsche himself said: Whatever has value in our world now does not have value in itself, according to its nature - nature is always value-less, but has been given value at some time, as a present - and it was we who gave and bestowed it.

Not that I agree with Nietzsche on much, but he is correct here. Nature, as nature in itself is value free. However, nature, as it related to man, has value. A rock on its own is just a rock. It does not act or think or move or live and therefore has no value. But I as a human being who does think, move, and live, can derive value from the rock by using it as a tool.

Dormin111:

keiskay:

you are assuming i am, but no i am not. there is also a wikipedia page for spiderman, Are you gonna say spiderman exists? no. morals do not exists and do not have an objective standard. It is possible for me to have moral system that says murder is okay and that victim deserved to die since they were unable to fend off the attacker. you would view this as morally wrong and i could view it as morally right, and both of us would have equal weight on that issue. morals simply do not exists in an objective stance.

Morality is a reflection of man's nature and the the nature of reality. To say, "both of us would have equal weight on this issue" is equivalent to saying "If I believe that I can fly, then I can. It is your opinion that I cannot fly, but it is my opinion that I can. Both of our opinions are equally valid." Both opinions are not equally valid. One opinion reflects reality, the other does not.

the nihilist does not reject the premise of self preservation

Then the nihilist has chosen to value preserving himself and is therefore not a nihilist.

you can claim your life has meaning to you, but you are still deluding yourself and convincing yourself you are important.

I do not think you understand the definition of "morality." It does not have to equate to some mystical sense of "good and evil." It can simply relate to "good for me" and "bad for me." In which case, it can be logically deduced what is good for my existence and bad for my existence.

sorry but thats a gross false equivalence. if i believe its okay to kill and you do not, we have equal weight. equating morals to a human being able to take flight is idiotic.

actually not the nihilist has not added value to living, he knows there is no reason to live or die. he is already alive so why waste time killing himself.

i do not think you understand what i am saying. humans across time, countries, cities and provinces and households have differing morals. there are societies that view pedophilia and bestiality as okay and normal while others condemn, some societies view cannibalism as acceptable and vice-versa. if morals were objective we would have a standard set that all humans would follow. but please keep straw manning me it makes your arguments so much better.

Dormin111:
There are subjective value subsets underneath objectively valued concepts. Every non-suicidal human being in existence has valued eating food to stay alive. This is an objective value. No rational argument can be made that food is a bad thing for man's existence. However, once I have chosen to eat food, then the subjective value preference of "what" food should be eaten comes into play. The same could be said for all objective values. I objectively need to have fun at times, but I can have fun in many different ways. I objectively value companionship, but my preference of who I should associate with is subjective to some degree.

The point I was making is my being alive isn't objectively valuable, at best it has subjective value that I or anyone that cares about me attaches to it. That was the point I was making, something doesn't have to be more valuable for it to be preferable to me personally.

Not that I agree with Nietzsche on much, but he is correct here. Nature, as nature in itself is value free. However, nature, as it related to man, has value. A rock on its own is just a rock. It does not act or think or move or live and therefore has no value. But I as a human being who does think, move, and live, can derive value from the rock by using it as a tool.

Hence the part where he talks about things not having value beyond that which humans ascribe to it. It is useful to you, but that does not make it inherently valuable unless we can find some reason for it helping you being an objectively "good" thing. Maybe good for you but that doesn't mean it is actually valuable. You using the rock to, I don't know, open a coconut might help you stay alive. But that is not objectively good.

keiskay:
sorry but thats a gross false equivalence. if i believe its okay to kill and you do not, we have equal weight. equating morals to a human being able to take flight is idiotic.

You keep repeating yourself but never bother to prove it. Morality is a concept based off of the nature of reality. To say morality is subjective is to say reality is subjective. It is not.

actually not the nihilist has not added value to living, he knows there is no reason to live or die. he is already alive so why waste time killing himself.

Why waste time feeding, giving water to, clothing, sheltering, etc himself? And yet again you present a contradiction: Why does the nihilist value less effort expenditure over more effort expenditure?

i do not think you understand what i am saying. humans across time, countries, cities and provinces and households have differing morals. there are societies that view pedophilia and bestiality as okay and normal while others condemn, some societies view cannibalism as acceptable and vice-versa. if morals were objective we would have a standard set that all humans would follow. but please keep straw manning me it makes your arguments so much better.

Or maybe some people are just wrong and some people are right. By this logic, God or Gods must exist since the vast majority of men has always worshiped deities.

Spot1990:
The point I was making is my being alive isn't objectively valuable, at best it has subjective value that I or anyone that cares about me attaches to it. That was the point I was making, something doesn't have to be more valuable for it to be preferable to me personally.

The choice to live or not to live is not a moral choice, it is a meta-ethical one. Morality is a system of choosing values, but only living things have values. I maintain that the choice to live rather than die is axiomatic. It is in my nature to live and seek value. Why would I choose nothingness over the potential for happiness?

Hence the part where he talks about things not having value beyond that which humans ascribe to it. It is useful to you, but that does not make it inherently valuable unless we can find some reason for it helping you being an objectively "good" thing. Maybe good for you but that doesn't mean it is actually valuable. You using the rock to, I don't know, open a coconut might help you stay alive. But that is not objectively good.

You are confusing "objectivism" and "intrinsicism" (spelling?). Intrinsisits believe that value is a natural component of things regaurdless of its relation to anything else. Objectivists believe that value is only a concept which pertains to living being. Plants value sunlight, animals value sustenance, humans value love. If human beings had photosynthetic powers and no digestive system, then food would cease to be of value and sunlight would gain more value. When you say anything has value, it begs the question, "to whom." So in essence , "good for me" is the same is "of value to me."

Dormin111:

keiskay:
sorry but thats a gross false equivalence. if i believe its okay to kill and you do not, we have equal weight. equating morals to a human being able to take flight is idiotic.

You keep repeating yourself but never bother to prove it. Morality is a concept based off of the nature of reality. To say morality is subjective is to say reality is subjective. It is not.

actually not the nihilist has not added value to living, he knows there is no reason to live or die. he is already alive so why waste time killing himself.

Why waste time feeding, giving water to, clothing, sheltering, etc himself? And yet again you present a contradiction: Why does the nihilist value less effort expenditure over more effort expenditure?

i do not think you understand what i am saying. humans across time, countries, cities and provinces and households have differing morals. there are societies that view pedophilia and bestiality as okay and normal while others condemn, some societies view cannibalism as acceptable and vice-versa. if morals were objective we would have a standard set that all humans would follow. but please keep straw manning me it makes your arguments so much better.

Or maybe some people are just wrong and some people are right. By this logic, God or Gods must exist since the vast majority of men has always worshiped deities.

um about reality being objective.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_reality

morals are also subjective as well http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_relativism

feeding,cleaning,housing and living are all instinctual, it requires little to no thought to do these daily functions, its easier to live then it is to kill yourself. most people who commit suicide do not decide it in an instant they take a long time of thinking it over and mulling it over til eventually they decide to do it.

so explain to me how some morals are more right then others using purely objective reasons? explain to me how someone believing in a god/s is wrong while someone who does not is right? right and wrong are subjective.

keiskay:
um about reality being objective.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_reality

morals are also subjective as well http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_relativism

Do you have interest in making an argument, or will you just keep restating the same thing over and over? Yes I get it, some people don't believe in reaility and some people believe morals are subjective. But that DOES NOT make it true. I see reality all around me and I axiomatic trust my senses. You have provided no adequate reason for me to mistrust them.

feeding,cleaning,housing and living are all instinctual, it requires little to no thought to do these daily functions, its easier to live then it is to kill yourself. most people who commit suicide do not decide it in an instant they take a long time of thinking it over and mulling it over til eventually they decide to do it.

Again, so what if it is easier? Why pursue an easier path? You are assigning value. And it is certainly not easy to consistently gather food, water, shelter, clothing, etc. on a daily basis. It would be much easier to jump off a bridge once.

so explain to me how some morals are more right then others using purely objective reasons? explain to me how someone believing in a god/s is wrong while someone who does not is right? right and wrong are subjective.

Reality exists. I am a man in reality. I have objective characteristics and necessities in order to survive. Through the use of logic, i can determine the "best" way to live my life. It makes far more sense for me to go to work to make money and purchase food then to try to hunt for food with my bare hands. It makes more sense for me to engage in romantic relationships than to rape people. I know these are superior choices because I get positive results as indicated by happiness and pleasure. Simple enough.

Believing in God is wrong because there is no reason to believe God exists. It is not a logical concept. Human being live by the use of logic, it is our prime tool of existence.

Dormin111:
The choice to live or not to live is not a moral choice, it is a meta-ethical one. Morality is a system of choosing values, but only living things have values. I maintain that the choice to live rather than die is axiomatic. It is in my nature to live and seek value. Why would I choose nothingness over the potential for happiness?

Because of your nature, it's what you prefer. Preference does not imply value, at least not inherent value. Which is what nihilism, or at least existential nihilism is about. We believe that nothing has any intrinsic value. Being happy isn't better than not, but it is preferable to me personally. If I die tomorrow or 60 years from now the net result is the same. We still have to contend with our nature, our moods and a will to pleasure.

You are confusing "objectivism" and "intrinsicism" (spelling?). Intrinsisits believe that value is a natural component of things regaurdless of its relation to anything else. Objectivists believe that value is only a concept which pertains to living being. Plants value sunlight, animals value sustenance, humans value love. If human beings had photosynthetic powers and no digestive system, then food would cease to be of value and sunlight would gain more value. When you say anything has value, it begs the question, "to whom." So in essence , "good for me" is the same is "of value to me."

Yeah your spelling is fine. Yes but what I'm saying is "good for you" is a subjective good. Which is in line with existential nihilism's ideology.

Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy:
While nihilism is often discussed in terms of extreme skepticism and relativism, for most of the 20th century it has been associated with the belief that life is meaningless. Existential nihilism begins with the notion that the world is without meaning or purpose. Given this circumstance, existence itself-all action, suffering, and feeling-is ultimately senseless and empty.

Spot1990:
Because of your nature, it's what you prefer. Preference does not imply value, at least not inherent value. Which is what nihilism, or at least existential nihilism is about. We believe that nothing has any intrinsic value. Being happy isn't better than not, but it is preferable to me personally. If I die tomorrow or 60 years from now the net result is the same. We still have to contend with our nature, our moods and a will to pleasure.

Preference does not apply to the choice between life or death. One can prefer anything if he is dead. The choice is a universal one, no individual has ever chosen death over life axiomatically as it is in our nature from birth to want to survive. Before you jump on that, note that suicide is not the same thing. Suicide is an ethical, not a meta-ethical choice concerned with abandoning life because of a lack of future value to be gained. This means that a person who commits suicide previously axiomatically chose life, but does not think that life has sufficient value to continue.

Yeah your spelling is fine. Yes but what I'm saying is "good for you" is a subjective good.

It is not based on subjective preference but on objective nature. If "good" is measured by the standard of my life, then food MUST be "good" for me, because without food I will cease to live, hence destroying the standard. To say food is not good for life is an absurdity. If one says that they subjectively dislike food, then they are making a logical error as will soon be demonstrated by the early termination of their life.

This is not nihilism as objectivism believes that value is a genuinely objective component of reality.

Dormin111:

keiskay:
um about reality being objective.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_reality

morals are also subjective as well http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_relativism

Do you have interest in making an argument, or will you just keep restating the same thing over and over? Yes I get it, some people don't believe in reaility and some people believe morals are subjective. But that DOES NOT make it true. I see reality all around me and I axiomatic trust my senses. You have provided no adequate reason for me to mistrust them.

feeding,cleaning,housing and living are all instinctual, it requires little to no thought to do these daily functions, its easier to live then it is to kill yourself. most people who commit suicide do not decide it in an instant they take a long time of thinking it over and mulling it over til eventually they decide to do it.

Again, so what if it is easier? Why pursue an easier path? You are assigning value. And it is certainly not easy to consistently gather food, water, shelter, clothing, etc. on a daily basis. It would be much easier to jump off a bridge once.

so explain to me how some morals are more right then others using purely objective reasons? explain to me how someone believing in a god/s is wrong while someone who does not is right? right and wrong are subjective.

Reality exists. I am a man in reality. I have objective characteristics and necessities in order to survive. Through the use of logic, i can determine the "best" way to live my life. It makes far more sense for me to go to work to make money and purchase food then to try to hunt for food with my bare hands. It makes more sense for me to engage in romantic relationships than to rape people. I know these are superior choices because I get positive results as indicated by happiness and pleasure. Simple enough.

Believing in God is wrong because there is no reason to believe God exists. It is not a logical concept. Human being live by the use of logic, it is our prime tool of existence.

not really, how can i prove a negative? your the one here that believes reality and morals are purely objective without stating any other reasons besides saying that you simply believe it is so, and that you are right. you have not asserted your claims with anything other then your own personal beliefs, you have not asserted facts to prove morals and reality exist on an objective plane. I also do not think you understand what relativism means. your views on reality are not the absolute truth and are not the same views on reality as someone else or everyone else.

gathering clothing, eating,working, etc are daily functions that you perform without a single fucking thought, sure you exhaust physical energy, but suicide is difficult since you must go against all natural human instincts and prove to yourself it is worth it. so to kill yourself you must add value to the act of it.

the world exists, your a man living in the world and you exists. you have characteristics that exist because they exists. are they objective? no. you feel these are superior choices based on your own subjective and placed morals. some believe it is superior to hunt for food and rape.

sorry but logic is not a black and white simple tool. it is useful yes but even logic begins to fall under subjective practices. a person can easily consider god real through symbolic logic. the same exact way you said god/s do not exists.

Dormin111:
Do you have interest in making an argument, or will you just keep restating the same thing over and over? Yes I get it, some people don't believe in reaility and some people believe morals are subjective. But that DOES NOT make it true. I see reality all around me and I axiomatic trust my senses. You have provided no adequate reason for me to mistrust them.

Because senses can deceive you? If you've ever experienced deja vu, thought someone called your name but they didn't. Hell mental illness proves that some people's senses can completely fool them and they are never aware they're being fooled. Yes you're convinced that what you experience is real but so do a lot of people who are wrong. TBH I'm not actually arguing this point, he and I are defending different forms of nihilism it seems. He seems to be leaning towards full on nihilism. To be even more honest I'm more of a hedonist anyway.

I know these are superior choices because I get positive results as indicated by happiness and pleasure. Simple enough.

The obvious response to this will be that you're pleasure and happiness don't actually matter.

Believing in God is wrong because there is no reason to believe God exists. It is not a logical concept. Human being live by the use of logic, it is our prime tool of existence.

Lots of people believe in things with no real proof though, only no proof to the opposite. Most people assume their spouse isn't cheating on them even though the only real way to find out is to catch them. Otherwise you might believe it to be true but you're actually just continuously not catching them.

Both of you responded to the same post, but I will only respond to this one.

Spot1990:
Because senses can deceive you? If you've ever experienced deja vu, thought someone called your name but they didn't. Hell mental illness proves that some people's senses can completely fool them and they are never aware they're being fooled. Yes you're convinced that what you experience is real but so do a lot of people who are wrong. TBH I'm not actually arguing this point, he and I are defending different forms of nihilism it seems. He seems to be leaning towards full on nihilism. To be even more honest I'm more of a hedonist anyway.

Sure my senses can get screwed up, but that is no reason to doubt everything I ever sense. The fact that we are aware of the fact that senses can deceive us and have documented such events reveal that humans are capable of rationally deriving reality despite occasional perceptual errors.

The obvious response to this will be that you're pleasure and happiness don't actually matter.

Matter to whom? They matter to me, as I would rather be happy than sad, and that is all that matters.

Lots of people believe in things with no real proof though, only no proof to the opposite. Most people assume their spouse isn't cheating on them even though the only real way to find out is to catch them. Otherwise you might believe it to be true but you're actually just continuously not catching them.

There is a big difference between "no proof" and "no concrete proof." There has never been any evidence all of history to suggest the existence of God. One can determine whether or not they think a spouse is cheating based on numerous factors (emotional distance, etc.). This may or man lead to a correct conclusion, but at least the evidence or perception of evidence exists.

In the end, all one can do is use their rational faculty and sense to the best of their ability. Sure the spouse could be cheating even though there is no evidence, but you could also be getting teabagged by a ghost right now. Either way, either the truth is eventually revealed or it is not and therefore has no effect anyway. Reality is our means of living, any other method "beyond" that is dysfunctional.

Dormin111:
snip

Yes, but life seems preferable to death. When I die I know I won't care because to quote (slightly more low brow this time) Jim Jeffries "I'll be fucking dead."Can we just clear one thing up, here I'm arguing existential nihilism. The stance there being nothing has value beyond that which humans subjectively ascribe to it. The comparison is wrong it's not about disliking food, it's about whether or not you not dying is "good". Food is good to stay alive, because it's necessary. But why is staying alive good? You can say something is good to serve a purpose, but why is the purpose good. Rufies are good if you're planning a date rape.

Spot1990:

Dormin111:
snip

Yes, but life seems preferable to death. When I die I know I won't care because to quote (slightly more low brow this time) Jim Jeffries "I'll be fucking dead."Can we just clear one thing up, here I'm arguing existential nihilism. The stance there being nothing has value beyond that which humans subjectively ascribe to it. The comparison is wrong it's not about disliking food, it's about whether or not you not dying is "good". Food is good to stay alive, because it's necessary. But why is staying alive good? You can say something is good to serve a purpose, but why is the purpose good. Rufies are good if you're planning a date rape.

I responded to this previously but perhaps I was not clear. You are correct that the choice to live or die is not "good or bad" because it is not ethical. It is meta-ethical. It is the only fundamental choice for all volitional beings. I maintain that the choice is axiomatic. I prefer to live because that is what living things do. No human beings or animals ever just lay there and die (again, not the same as rational suicide).

Another way to approach it is to ask, why should I choose death? I choose life because I naturally move in that direction. What benefit does death convey?

Dormin111:
Both of you responded to the same post, but I will only respond to this one.

I'm not sure if I should feel honoured or if that just means mine was the easier one to shoot down...

Sure my senses can get screwed up, but that is no reason to doubt everything I ever sense. The fact that we are aware of the fact that senses can deceive us and have documented such events reveal that humans are capable of rationally deriving reality despite occasional perceptual errors.

As I said, I wasn't actually debating that point just putting forth an example. It's not something I actually believe

Matter to whom? They matter to me, as I would rather be happy than sad, and that is all that matters.

This is kind of the crux of though. The existential nihilist would state that that doesn't really matter, at least not in any objective sense. Being happy is better than being sad we're just driven towards one due to our nature. You can accept that you can want to be happy without actually stating that it is valuable.

There is a big difference between "no proof" and "no concrete proof." There has never been any evidence all of history to suggest the existence of God.

Again this is something I agree with.

One can determine whether or not they think a spouse is cheating based on numerous factors (emotional distance, etc.). This may or man lead to a correct conclusion, but at least the evidence or perception of evidence exists.

But that is just the evidence of perception, which is generally the same evidence the religious put forward. Their misinterpretation of in one case emotional difference or in another "the complexity of the human eye" can lead them to believe something false.

In the end, all one can do is use their rational faculty and sense to the best of their ability. Sure the spouse could be cheating even though there is no evidence, but you could also be getting teabagged by a ghost right now. Either way, either the truth is eventually revealed or it is not and therefore has no effect anyway. Reality is our means of living, any other method "beyond" that is dysfunctional.

This isn't exactly the point I was making though. All I was stating was that people often believe something with no evidence. Again, in this case being the only proof you have that your spouse isn't cheating is the lack of proof that they are.

Dormin111:

Spot1990:

Dormin111:
snip

Yes, but life seems preferable to death. When I die I know I won't care because to quote (slightly more low brow this time) Jim Jeffries "I'll be fucking dead."Can we just clear one thing up, here I'm arguing existential nihilism. The stance there being nothing has value beyond that which humans subjectively ascribe to it. The comparison is wrong it's not about disliking food, it's about whether or not you not dying is "good". Food is good to stay alive, because it's necessary. But why is staying alive good? You can say something is good to serve a purpose, but why is the purpose good. Rufies are good if you're planning a date rape.

I responded to this previously but perhaps I was not clear. You are correct that the choice to live or die is not "good or bad" because it is not ethical. It is meta-ethical. It is the only fundamental choice for all volitional beings. I maintain that the choice is axiomatic. I prefer to live because that is what living things do. No human beings or animals ever just lay there and die (again, not the same as rational suicide).

Another way to approach it is to ask, why should I choose death? I choose life because I naturally move in that direction. What benefit does death convey?

An end to all the things you consider "bad"? Besides, choosing to live "because that's what living things do" can still be interpreted as life is valueless, it's just what we do.

Spot1990:
This is kind of the crux of though. The existential nihilist would state that that doesn't really matter, at least not in any objective sense. Being happy is better than being sad we're just driven towards one due to our nature. You can accept that you can want to be happy without actually stating that it is valuable.

If this is the case, the nihilist is using the stolen concept fallacy. He is denying the genetic root of the concepts, "matter" and "value" in their useage. The concepts of "matter" and "value" MUST exist in reference to something. I am stating that life is valuable and matters to me. The nihilist chases a circular argument by pointing out that it doesn't matter to anyone or to some mystical or divine sense. This is a faith-based argument, and is irrelevant.

This isn't exactly the point I was making though. All I was stating was that people often believe something with no evidence. Again, in this case being the only proof you have that your spouse isn't cheating is the lack of proof that they are.

People rationally assume the status quo is true until evidence points to the contrary. This is generally true. The normal state of affairs is a faithful spouse. The normal state of affairs is no God. The abnormal state of affairs is a cheating spouse. The abnormal state of affairs is proof of God.

Spot1990:

Dormin111:

Spot1990:
Yes, but life seems preferable to death. When I die I know I won't care because to quote (slightly more low brow this time) Jim Jeffries "I'll be fucking dead."Can we just clear one thing up, here I'm arguing existential nihilism. The stance there being nothing has value beyond that which humans subjectively ascribe to it. The comparison is wrong it's not about disliking food, it's about whether or not you not dying is "good". Food is good to stay alive, because it's necessary. But why is staying alive good? You can say something is good to serve a purpose, but why is the purpose good. Rufies are good if you're planning a date rape.

I responded to this previously but perhaps I was not clear. You are correct that the choice to live or die is not "good or bad" because it is not ethical. It is meta-ethical. It is the only fundamental choice for all volitional beings. I maintain that the choice is axiomatic. I prefer to live because that is what living things do. No human beings or animals ever just lay there and die (again, not the same as rational suicide).

Another way to approach it is to ask, why should I choose death? I choose life because I naturally move in that direction. What benefit does death convey?

An end to all the things you consider "bad"? Besides, choosing to live "because that's what living things do" can still be interpreted as life is valueless, it's just what we do.

See my "stolen concept" part.

Dormin111:
If this is the case, the nihilist is using the stolen concept fallacy. He is denying the genetic root of the concepts, "matter" and "value" in their useage. The concepts of "matter" and "value" MUST exist in reference to something. I am stating that life is valuable and matters to me. The nihilist chases a circular argument by pointing out that it doesn't matter to anyone or to some mystical or divine sense. This is a faith-based argument, and is irrelevant.

No, no mystical or divine sense, just any ultimate sense. What matters to you or I doesn't matter because you and I don't matter. Because nothing matters. It's not stolen concept to say that nothing matters because everything turns out ultimately the same way regardless of our actions. It's saying nothing can have inherent value because inherent value doesn't exist. Saying that's using stolen concept is like saying "People can't have unicorns because unicorns don't exist" is. Remember, existential nihilism is just about the idea of inherent value.

People rationally assume the status quo is true until evidence points to the contrary. This is generally true. The normal state of affairs is a faithful spouse. The normal state of affairs is no God. The abnormal state of affairs is a cheating spouse. The abnormal state of affairs is proof of God.

The status quo however is that there is some divine being (not necessarily the god of the bible. Much like the lack of evidence for a cheating spouse the only evidence for the lack of a god is it's lack of evidence. I freely admit, disbelief is the logical choice but we don't have proof a divine being didn't play any role in our creation or exists, obviously I'm sure you find it just as annoying when people ask for that proof as well, proof doesn't work that way. The God of the bible or any specific named god who has achievements to his name is easily disproved or discredited though (ie God, as described in the bible doesn't exist because we know Noah's Ark was a crock of shit.

Dormin111:

See my "stolen concept" part.

This doesn't refute the point that "I'm alive because that's what living things do" is still a way to say even I don't value it, I just do it because it's the thing that's done.

Spot1990:
No, no mystical or divine sense, just any ultimate sense. What matters to you or I doesn't matter because you and I don't matter. Because nothing matters. It's not stolen concept to say that nothing matters because everything turns out ultimately the same way regardless of our actions.

Why is that last part relevant? I am telling you, my life is relevant to ME. Everything does not turn out the same regardless of my actions to ME. I take actions which effect my life and well-being. You keep referring to some sort of "grand scheme of things" but this once again begs the question as to why that is relevant to my actions. Why can't I be the "ultimate sense"?

It's saying nothing can have inherent value because inherent value doesn't exist.

So do you except objective value, that is, value as it relates to the subject ( I maintain that there is no other kind).

The status quo however is that there is some divine being (not necessarily the god of the bible. Much like the lack of evidence for a cheating spouse the only evidence for the lack of a god is it's lack of evidence.

That is illogical. I don't need to gather evidence to demonstrate that there is a lack of God. Evidence needs to be gathered to prove the existence of God. You are offering the inability to prove a negative as evidence to possibly suggest the existence of the negative. This is false.

Dormin111:
Why is that last part relevant? I am telling you, my life is relevant to ME. Everything does not turn out the same regardless of my actions to ME. I take actions which effect my life and well-being. You keep referring to some sort of "grand scheme of things" but this once again begs the question as to why that is relevant to my actions. Why can't I be the "ultimate sense"?

Because that's what existential nihilism is about. Inherent value of things. In order for something to have inherent value, i.e value all of it's own, not just how it can benefit me, there must be a grand scheme of things. There isn't and nothing has value, beyond that which we give it. I've given you definitions of existential nihilism, ones that state it's the belief that nothing has inherent value. That's all I'm arguing.

So do you except objective value, that is, value as it relates to the subject ( I maintain that there is no other kind).

Personally, yes. As I said, personally I'm more of a hedonist than a nihilist, so I'm not the one you need to convince of this, it's the other pure nihilist guy.

That is illogical. I don't need to gather evidence to demonstrate that there is a lack of God. Evidence needs to be gathered to prove the existence of God. You are offering the inability to prove a negative as evidence to possibly suggest the existence of the negative. This is false.

Yes but god doesn't exist is a negative statement a lack of something, we can't prove it and we assume that's enough not to belief it.

A faithful spouse is a similar. The only evidence that can exist for a spouse not cheating is no evidence that they are. But we're still much quicker to just assume one is true than the other.

Spot1990:
Because that's what existential nihilism is about. Inherent value of things. In order for something to have inherent value, i.e value all of it's own, not just how it can benefit me, there must be a grand scheme of things. There isn't and nothing has value, beyond that which we give it. I've given you definitions of existential nihilism, ones that state it's the belief that nothing has inherent value. That's all I'm arguing.

You still have not answered why "I" cannot be the grand scheme of things.

Yes but god doesn't exist is a negative statement a lack of something, we can't prove it and we assume that's enough not to belief it.

A faithful spouse is a similar. The only evidence that can exist for a spouse not cheating is no evidence that they are. But we're still much quicker to just assume one is true than the other.

I am not seeing your point. How does this challenge the notion that man uses rationality as his primary tool for living (if that is what you were challenging)?

Dormin111:
You still have not answered why "I" cannot be the grand scheme of things.

Because you exist on a very small scale. You can be the grand scheme of things if you want to consider yourself that but by the grand scheme of things I mean existence outside of you. It has no value to the universe or existence in general.

I am not seeing your point. How does this challenge the notion that man uses rationality as his primary tool for living (if that is what you were challenging)?

I wasn't I was just challenging your statement that believing god exists is wrong because there's no evidence of it. I was simply providing an example of where most of us just believe something despite there being no evidence. Hence, the only reason you believe your spouse is faithful is that you have no evidence that he/she isn't. You don't believe it because he/she has proved it to you.

Dormin111:
You are begging the question as to how this "function of language" came up with its structure.

Well, assuming I get what you're saying, that's where the "shared" bit comes in. When humans share something, it achieves social meaning. That doesn't make it an "objective" truth, but it makes it a socially derived rationality.

Dormin111:
Jesus you have ingested a lot of postmodernism. Prove your statement. Show me how people just make up bullshit and run with it. Upon what premises are those statements built? Why don't people claim to they can fly? Why don't they ride unicorns to work?

One more time. Social meaning.

If people claim they can fly, the statement is meaningless in the context of social interaction. It may have some complete and total personal meaning to the person who says it (maybe they're off their face and genuinely believe they are flying) it may have some unique and special rationality, but that doesn't make it socially intelligible.

But you want proof. Okay. Go find a dictionary and look up "rational" for me.

You'll get a definition along the lines of: "Agreeable to reason; reasonable; sensible:"

Now look up those words.

You'll get definitions composed of words.

Now look up those words.

You'll never open a page and find a physical phenomena. You'll never find an object from which rationality stems, you will never find something which a newborn baby could look at and identify as anything other than squiggles on a page, you will only find symbols, the images in your mind will only be mental fabrications, you will never find an actual objective referent for the language you use. This isn't even post-modernism, it's basic semiotics which has been around for over a century now. It doesn't take a genius to realise that there's nothing about a "tree" which directly inclines it to being called a "tree", heck, there's nothing about "trees" in general which directly inclines them to be grouped as a single distinct phenomena.

You want to claim that "rationality" is objectively grounded in reality, in physical phenomena, then find a way to express it which doesn't revolve around arbitrary linguistic categories.

Dormin111:
The words chosen to represent something may be arbitrary, but that does not mean the thing it represents is arbitrary. A rock is a rock is a rock. People can call a rock a rock in different language, but that does not alter the nature of the concrete rock.

Of course it does. Language doesn't just describe things, it also groups them taxonomically. The entire system of categorization for objects, the entire "rationality" can vary radically between different language systems.

Besides, you could be holding a rock right now and describe it to me as "a rock", but that doesn't cause the exact rock you're holding to appear in my mind. The word "rock" was not made up to perfectly describe that particular object. What the language you are using references is not the real object, you can't convey the real object, you're conveying a signified object, a concept, because that's the only thing which can be shared using language. Language is a symbol process, it's not an objective measure of the world. Sorry.

Dormin111:
Don't you think it is a tad ironic that you just spent the rest of the post saying that logic does not exist or is unknowable?

Of course it exists. It's just not objective. Nothing can be said to exist "objectively" independent of human observation and therefore human language, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It doesn't exist absolutely, it isn't self evident, if we stopped believing in it it wouldn't exist.

It exists to the extent that we are able to share it, and absolutely no further.

Dormin111:
The funny thing about postmodernists is that they do not realize that they are in the same philosophical boat at the religious spiritualists they despise. Postmodernism is a philosophy of faith. You have your sense, you have reality around you, and there are clearly laws of identity and cause and effect. Yet you arbitrarily reject reality based on a faith in non-reality. If you do not believe in logic, then try walking off a cliff and using your mind to think you will stay afloat.

I don't think you know what you're talking about, to be honest.

For one, I'm not a "post-modernist" and I've never claimed to be. But I can't sit here with a structural understanding of human language and continue to believe that the words I use somehow contain some objective truth about the world simply because I engage in some farcical a priori process which happens to arbitrarily be called "rationality". If you can, then I think you pretty much forfeit the right to lecture anyone else about "faith".

It's not about walking off a cliff and believing you will stay afloat, the actual process of walking off a cliff doesn't even come into this discussion. You aren't walking off a cliff right now and perfectly conveying the truth of the process through fucking telepathy, you're using words which do not have objective meaning. You are not looking through the eyes of God and creating the world through your mere act of speaking, you're playing a social game using made up arbitrary symbols. There is no objective meaning in that, period.

I'm playing this game too, the difference is that I know the game is based on arbitrary rules laid down within a structure of language which precedes my personal identity. It makes no difference on a day to day level, but at least I can live without deluding myself that there are random "moral" rules to reality which precede human engagement with it.

evilthecat:

Well, assuming I get what you're saying, that's where the "shared" bit comes in. When humans share something, it achieves social meaning. That doesn't make it an "objective" truth, but it makes it a socially derived rationality.

Dodged question. At some point somebody actually had to look at something and make up a name for it. Hence, words are just representations of objects and concepts derived from reality, nothing more. The entire field of this Noam Chomsky-linguistic stuff is one giant non-sequitor.

One more time. Social meaning.

If people claim they can fly, the statement is meaningless in the context of social interaction. It may have some complete and total personal meaning to the person who says it (maybe they're off their face and genuinely believe they are flying) it may have some unique and special rationality, but that doesn't make it socially intelligible.

The statement is meaningless in every interaction. It is false. This whole "social meaning" is a floating abstraction in the fullest sense of the term. There is not a single concept in all of reality which has "social meaning" but no "real meaning."

But you want proof. Okay. Go find a dictionary and look up "rational" for me.

You'll get a definition along the lines of: "Agreeable to reason; reasonable; sensible:"

Now look up those words.

You'll get definitions composed of words.

Now look up those words.

HAHAHA, that's proof? Your "proof" falls apart in the first line. "Rational" must necessarily pertain to reality. It is based off of the concept of the Law of Identity and its corollary, Cause and Effect. These are rules of reality regaurdless of what some made up "social meaning" says.

You'll never open a page and find a physical phenomena.

That is accept the page in my hand which is in the book I am opening. But I know you aren't a big fan of this "direct perception" thing.

the images in your mind will only be mental fabrications,

On what grounds? Prove what I am looking at isn't true.

[quote
you will never find an actual objective referent for the language you use. This isn't even post-modernism, it's basic semiotics which has been around for over a century now.
[/quote]

Which is when postmodernism began.

It doesn't take a genius to realise that there's nothing about a "tree" which directly inclines it to being called a "tree", heck, there's nothing about "trees" in general which directly inclines them to be grouped as a single distinct phenomena.

FEWHBOQUIWHLDjhbiytukegvoip:ojdwk})#)f(uj#p(@*who$

I'm sorry, was that a coherent sentence or a load of nonsense? I was just following your claim that "concepts" do not exist, which is why I can't tell the difference between a skyscraper and a shirt.

Of course it does. Language doesn't just describe things, it also groups them taxonomically. The entire system of categorization for objects, the entire "rationality" can vary radically between different language systems.

This should be good. Please tell me an instance where an action is rational in one language but irrational in another. In what language can I engage in contradictions?

Besides, you could be holding a rock right now and describe it to me as "a rock", but that doesn't cause the exact rock you're holding to appear in my mind. The word "rock" was not made up to perfectly describe that particular object. What the language you are using references is not the real object, you can't convey the real object, you're conveying a signified object, a concept, because that's the only thing which can be shared using language. Language is a symbol process, it's not an objective measure of the world. Sorry.

It is called a concept, an abstraction derived from the characteristics of numerous concretes. Just because I can't beam a mental image of a rock into someone else's mind doesn't mean they don't know what a rock is. The fact that I cannot perfectly describe it to them is irrelevant. A (absurdly minor) miscommunication between people does not negate the existence of reality.

Of course it exists. It's just not objective. Nothing can be said to exist "objectively" independent of human observation and therefore human language, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It doesn't exist absolutely, it isn't self evident, if we stopped believing in it it wouldn't exist.

Wow. You are literally expressing the mental beliefs of a baby. This goes right back to imagining riding unicorns to exist, after all, you say I can just believe something and it would be true. If the mommy covers her face and says peekaboo, she does not disappear from reality. Basically every thing you have written is one big floating abstraction.

For one, I'm not a "post-modernist" and I've never claimed to be.

Everything you have said here is postmodernist.

But I can't sit here with a structural understanding of human language and continue to believe that the words I use somehow contain some objective truth about the world simply because I engage in some farcical a priori process which happens to arbitrarily be called "rationality". If you can, then I think you pretty much forfeit the right to lecture anyone else about "faith".

Again, prove it. Prove I don't no what reality is. The fact that I have perceptual errors means nothing. If it was significant, than I could engage in contradictions and physical violations of cause and effect. The fact that we know these perceptual errors exist is telling in and of its self. You are using faith to claim that my mind is distorting reality because there is no reason to believe that it is.

I'm playing this game too, the difference is that I know the game is based on arbitrary rules laid down within a structure of language which precedes my personal identity. It makes no difference on a day to day level, but at least I can live without deluding myself that there are random "moral" rules to reality which precede human engagement with it.

Lol. Why don't you just be honest and say, "I think I am in the Matrix."

Dormin111:

The statement is meaningless in every interaction. It is false. This whole "social meaning" is a floating abstraction in the fullest sense of the term. There is not a single concept in all of reality which has "social meaning" but no "real meaning."

What is the objective meaning of 'respect' (such as the 'respect' one might have for something)?

It seems to me that so-called Objectivists have the least respect for the concept of objectivity. They cloak their assumptions and conclusions in it and thereby sully it with the subjectivity of their ideas.

Spot1990:

Seanchaidh:
Existential nihilism? Obviously false. Things exist.
Ethical nihilism? Pointless. You can be an ethical noncognitivist (prescriptivist, emotivist, and so on) and be correct about metaethics without abandoning ethics.

I don't think you're a nihilist, Relish. I think you believe that the universe was not designed with a purpose. A metaphysical naturalist and perhaps an ethical noncognitivist, but not a nihilist. Because in the grand scheme of things, stuff may not 'matter'. But stuff matters to people. And I think stuff matters to you.

Yeah... That's not what existential nihilism means... Like at all. Existential nihilism is the belief that existence is meaningless and serves no purpose.

Hmm, you're apparently correct. How embarrassing.

And here I thought existential nihilism was something other than a synonym for existentialism.

Nihilists? Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.

Dormin111:
HAHAHA, that's proof? Your "proof" falls apart in the first line. "Rational" must necessarily pertain to reality. It is based off of the concept of the Law of Identity and its corollary, Cause and Effect. These are rules of reality regaurdless of what some made up "social meaning" says.

You see the words I've bolded.

How many times do we have to go around this. You're trying to justify the objectivity of a symbolic process by using a symbolic process. It's just words referencing words.

Dormin111:
On what grounds? Prove what I am looking at isn't true.

I don't know, what are you looking at?

How are you going to explain what you're looking at, and how am I going to understand the "objective" truth or otherwise of what you're looking at? The answer is that you're going to use symbols to convey it, symbols which do not have objective value.

You are only able to make any sense of what you're looking at, let alone convey it to me, by reducing it to symbolic data which is not objective. We have already established, I hope, that there is no relationship between linguistic sign and referent.

Let's imagine you're looking a tree. How do you know it's a tree and not an extremely ugly person? Because you have a system of human-derived and ultimately mutable rules for symbolically processing the world.

Those rules are not objective, a child is not born with the knowledge that a tree is a tree and not a cat until it learns to group different phenomena along pre-existing taxonomies of similarity and difference by using what are ultimately arbitrary symbols. That process is not some divinely mandated part of Gods plan handed down from on high, it is created by and exists in human minds. The word "tree", the concept that a category of objects called "trees" exist as distinct from other phenomena, would not survive the human race.

Dormin111:
I was just following your claim that "concepts" do not exist, which is why I can't tell the difference between a skyscraper and a shirt.

I didn't claim that.

Dormin111:
A (absurdly minor) miscommunication between people does not negate the existence of reality.

I didn't say it did.

Dormin111:
Wow. You are literally expressing the mental beliefs of a baby. This goes right back to imagining riding unicorns to exist, after all, you say I can just believe something and it would be true.

No, I didn't.

Dormin111:
Prove I don't no what reality is.

Did I say you didn't?

Dormin111:
You are using faith to claim that my mind is distorting reality because there is no reason to believe that it is.

No I'm not.

This has descended into a string of denial because every other line in your rant contains the word "truth" or "reality" or "existence". I have said nothing about truth or reality or existence, and if you weren't so stuck up your own deluded perception of what "postmodernism" is you would understand that.

Let me break this down and try to make it very, very simple.

No "postmodernist" (using your absurd definition) even cares about truth, not because the truth does not "exist" but because it's existence cannot be demonstrated. That's why these arguments don't even deserve a response.

We aren't engaging with "truth" in having this discussion, we're engaging with language. Language is the only genuinely collective human process. Your "observation" is not a shared process, your "reality" is not a shared process. The "reality" of anything you see or think is meaningless until it can be demonstrated through language.

The only actual evidence I have for your experience, for your "reality", is what you say, and more importantly the way in which what you say can be interpolated and shared. The existence or otherwise of an actual "reality" behind what you're saying is meaningless if the only measure we have of it is a collection of symbols.

This is something which anyone willing to use the term "postmodernism" should already understand. It doesn't matter whether or not you are right, we are not arguing whether or not something is true, we are arguing how we know it is true.

If you genuinely believe that reality precedes language and thus experiences can have an objective value, then demonstrate your "reality" without using language. I'll wait.

Basically, let me summarize what I know of your argument. You're positing the existence of something universal outside the human mind which creates and affirms an objective truth and value, and that this value can be experienced, shared and conveyed through symbols, because those symbols themselves correspond to reality in a way which is universal and independent of human thought, despite the fact that the only way you can arrive at this conclusion is via human thought, and the only way you can demonstrate it is by using the symbols.

So yeah, you've got some fucking balls there accusing me of arguing from "faith".

Spot1990:
Because you exist on a very small scale. You can be the grand scheme of things if you want to consider yourself that but by the grand scheme of things I mean existence outside of you. It has no value to the universe or existence in general.

Isn't it a little silly to demand that events must have cosmological significance to be significant at all?

If there was some sort of bizarre singularity that destroyed 99.99% of the Universe, except a little bubble that protected our galaxy, would it really matter to us that something of such cosmological significance happened?

I'm inclined to think that, practically speaking, the cosmological significance of an event does not actually affect how much meaning that event has for us.

Seanchaidh:

What is the objective meaning of 'respect' (such as the 'respect' one might have for something)?

Respect is the feeling of reverence that one individual being has to another. That is one concrete mind, which operates within reality, has the feeling, another concrete, about a person, another concrete.

It seems to me that so-called Objectivists have the least respect for the concept of objectivity. They cloak their assumptions and conclusions in it and thereby sully it with the subjectivity of their ideas.

We've been over this. A is A. Reality is reality. I am a human and all humans share similar characteristics. As a concrete there are things which are objectively good for my life. If you need more assistance, look back on my previous posts in this thread.

evilthecat:

You see the words I've bolded.

How many times do we have to go around this. You're trying to justify the objectivity of a symbolic process by using a symbolic process. It's just words referencing words.

I don't know, what are you looking at?

How are you going to explain what you're looking at, and how am I going to understand the "objective" truth or otherwise of what you're looking at? The answer is that you're going to use symbols to convey it, symbols which do not have objective value.

You are only able to make any sense of what you're looking at, let alone convey it to me, by reducing it to symbolic data which is not objective. We have already established, I hope, that there is no relationship between linguistic sign and referent.

This literally sounds like the ravings of a mad man.

There does not need to be a "relationship between linguistic sign and referent." Yes, it is 100% arbitrary that we call a rock, a rock, but this does not matter. To quote myself (since you conveniently ignored it the first time),"words are just representations of objects and concepts derived from reality, nothing more." There is objective reality. We use sense to perceive objective reality. We assign arbitrary words to describe objective reality. Some people use different words and have slightly different conceptions, but the perceptions are similar enough for communication to commence. This is something that 3 years understand.

Let's imagine you're looking a tree. How do you know it's a tree and not an extremely ugly person? Because you have a system of human-derived and ultimately mutable rules for symbolically processing the world.

A tree is a concept. A concept is an abstracted representation of multiple concretes with similar characteristics. Trees generally grow out of something, usually the ground. The generally are in a similar shape. They generally have branches. They generally have leaves or needles. I do not need to see every tree in the world to know that each tree is a tree because I understand the concept of a tree and I can use that abstraction to identify individual concretes with are close enough to that concept.

Even if a man somehow disguises himself as a tree so that my visual senses cannot complete the identification, then I can use secondary senses. I can touch the tree man and see if it is hard like wood. I can smell the tree. Worst case scenario, I can stab it and see if it bleeds.

Those rules are not objective, a child is not born with the knowledge that a tree is a tree and not a cat until it learns to group different phenomena along pre-existing taxonomies of similarity and difference by using what are ultimately arbitrary symbols. That process is not some divinely mandated part of Gods plan handed down from on high, it is created by and exists in human minds. The word "tree", the concept that a category of objects called "trees" exist as distinct from other phenomena, would not survive the human race.

Again, this is all true but irrelevant. Just because the word "tree" describes a concept that humans made up, does not mean that thing doesn't exist in reality.

I didn't claim that.

You said: "It doesn't take a genius to realise that there's nothing about a "tree" which directly inclines it to being called a "tree", heck, there's nothing about "trees" in general which directly inclines them to be grouped as a single distinct phenomena."

Yet, trees DO share characteristics which incline them to be grouped into one "category." You are basically denying the concept of "concepts" here though maybe that was not your intention. (I refuse to call it a phenomena since the way you are using the term is a floating abstraction).

Dormin111:
A (absurdly minor) miscommunication between people does not negate the existence of reality.

I didn't say it did.

No, I didn't.

I said: "Don't you think it is a tad ironic that you just spent the rest of the post saying that logic does not exist or is unknowable?"

You said: "It doesn't exist absolutely, it isn't self evident, if we stopped believing in it it wouldn't exist."

Ergo, you said if we don't believe that reason exists, then reason no longer exists. In that case, I should just be able to stop believing in cause and effect and conjure a unicorn to ride to work.

Did I say you didn't?

Yes. You said all of my cognitive ability and reason doesn't accurately represent reality, but is just something arbitrary I made up in my mind. Which is to say, you have denied the objectivity of reality. Reality can only be objective, to be otherwise is a contradiction.

No "postmodernist" (using your absurd definition) even cares about truth, not because the truth does not "exist" but because it's existence cannot be demonstrated. That's why these arguments don't even deserve a response.

Translation: "I deny reality."

We aren't engaging with "truth" in having this discussion, we're engaging with language. Language is the only genuinely collective human process. Your "observation" is not a shared process, your "reality" is not a shared process. The "reality" of anything you see or think is meaningless until it can be demonstrated through language.

Of meaning to whom? I can certainly picture exact images in my mind and that is not language. I would point out that these are floating abstractions, but you are actually embracing that.

The only actual evidence I have for your experience, for your "reality", is what you say, and more importantly the way in which what you say can be interpolated and shared. The existence or otherwise of an actual "reality" behind what you're saying is meaningless if the only measure we have of it is a collection of symbols.

My eyes do not speak to me. They directly shoot electrical signals into my brain which I then directly perceive. So much for your language.

This is something which anyone willing to use the term "postmodernism" should already understand. It doesn't matter whether or not you are right, we are not arguing whether or not something is true, we are arguing how we know it is true.

Then eat some dirt and use language to proclaim that your body will process it into sustenance. Or perhaps you are saying that some people can just eat dirt because they are in a different reality. Or something else that a man who spell out in feces on his cell wall.

Basically, let me summarize what I know of your argument. You're positing the existence of something universal outside the human mind which creates and affirms an objective truth and value, and that this value can be experienced, shared and conveyed through symbols,

True except that nothing "creates" truth, there just is truth.

because those symbols themselves correspond to reality in a way which is universal and independent of human thought,

False, but ultimately irrelevant as the "symbols" are close enough between people for the differences to not matter.

To ask a question again which you conveniently ignored before: If reality is not objective, then show me some contradictions. Use your language to point me in the direction of a logical contradiction.

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