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Category: Dim vs. Wit

Dim vs. Wit: How can I know if there is there a Good and Evil?

Adapted from forum discussion with names changed and spelling corrected to protect the contradicted.

DIM: What is it with selfish and selfless? Keep out of my way and do anything you wish. What is this need to define good and bad even in actions anyone is allowed to do?

WIT:Â The answer toÂyour questions is ethics, “a code of values to guide man’s choices and actions–the choices and actions that determine the purpose and the course of his life.” [A. Rand, “The Objectivist Ethics,” Virtue of Selfishness, p. 13; via Lexicon]

“Ethics is an objective, metaphysical necessity of man’s survival…

“I quote from Galt’s speech: ‘Man has been called a rational being, but rationality is a matter of choice–and the alternative his nature offers him is: rational being or suicidal animal. Man has to be man–by choice; he has to hold his life as a value–by choice; he has to learn to sustain it–by choice; he has to hold his life as a value–by choice; he has to discover the values it requires and practice his virtues–by choice. A code of values accepted by choice is a code of morality.’

“The standard of value of the Objectivist ethics–the standard by which one judges what is good or evil–is man’s life: that which is required for man’s survival qua man.

“Since reason is man’s basic means of survival, that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; that which negates, opposes or destroys it is the evil.” [Ibid., p. 23]

DIM: If rationality implies reasonability, every sequence of reason starts from a set of assumptions(beliefs) which are not to be subject to reason but to choice. With choices, the only adjective you can use is “differ” and not good or evil since you cannot reason them (since its a choices of beliefs). You can choose to differ from somebody but cannot call him good or evil (going by the mean in of the words).

WIT:Â No. Drop the whole primacy of consciousness thinking.

Reality, not assumptions, is the starting point.

It is not Rationalism; it is Objectivism. Big difference.

Your comments demonstrates how a proper ethics must be founded upon valid metaphysics and epistemology.

DIM: How do I know what the exact reality is when we cant even find the dynamics of a multi-electron atom, even any decent approximation of it. As it gets complex, things get a lot worse. We don’t know anything about electrons in molecules (anything definite I mean). The world should be I suppose a lot too complex. I have to make assumptions. Those three axioms of Ayn Rand’s [existence, identity, and consciousness] take me no closer to finding the nature of reality

WIT:Â You are tied up in contradictions. Free yourself.

You are agnostic about your ability to know reality, but at the same time expect your ideas to be taken seriously.

You doubt consciousness, but cite evidence that requires consciousness. By definition, consciousness is the faculty of perceiving that which exists. Without it, what possible value can your statements have? Further, your bromides rely upon the fallacious primacy of consciousness as express by Kant and his noumenal realm.

If you are serious about the physics question you ask, I recommend the work of David Harriman who does an excellent job explaining Kant’s corruption of science. I look forward to his upcoming book _The Anti-Copernican Revolution_.

DIM:Â You did not answer me.

WIT:Â How do you know that I did not answer you?

Of course, I did answer you but let me be more explicit.

Your question was dishonest. In my response, I exposed contradictions demonstrating why it was invalid.

Looking again, there is one more point I should comment on and that is your use of the word ‘exact,’ which betrays another fallacy of your argument which ignores the relevancy of precision.

When you fill up your gas tank in your car for a planned trip of 100 miles, how many molecules are in your gas tank? If you don’t know, how could you possibly be sure that you can get to your destination and return? How can you even start the car?

Obviously, we inductively know these questions that I just asked are absurd as the requested level of precision is not relevant to the tasks.

Now, you say that man can not know reality because he can never know the location of an electron in a multielectron atom. I take that to mean that man has never know this, yet billions of people live and have lived. You are demanding a level of precision that is not relevant to human life, while man’s knowledge of reality is relevant to human life.

Could such knowledge about electron location be relevant some day after it has been acquired? Perhaps for certain limited applications, but that would make it the equivalent of a ‘life boat’ scenario for epistemology.

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Dim vs. Wit: Freedom Fighter or Terrorist

Dim: One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist!

Wit: Really? was George Washington a freedom fighter or a terrorist?

Dim: I says that he is a freedom fighter. But, to a Brit ?

Wit: Stop for a second as I am trying to explore your original point. Is Osama bin Ladin a freedom fighter or a terrorist?

Dim: I says that he is a terrorist. But, to a Muslim ?

Wit: Wait again as I continue to explore your original point. You know that George Washington was a freedom fighter and Osama bin Ladin is a terrorist. Both of these judgments can be proved with reference to objective facts. However, you lack the independent judgment to assert this factual knowledge because someone else may erroneously disagree. If you can’t trust your own judgment on these facts, then what stock should I put in your first assertion?

Dim: But everybody knows that one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.

Wit: However, another man’s opinion that a freedom fighter is a terrorist and that a terrorist is a freedom fighter does not change the facts, which are immune to subjective opinion.

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