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Posted: 17 October 2007 09:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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SaulDeOhio - 03 October 2007 04:45 PM

It was a mysticism shared by most of the others who helped him found the Sierra Club in 1892. For example, photographer Ansel Adams openly described his faith as “a vast, impersonal pantheism.”
These “thinkers” were all about trying to justify their emotionalism with an appearance of reason.

Can emotions provide objective input to reason?

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Posted: 17 October 2007 10:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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eucaryote - 18 October 2007 01:41 AM
SaulDeOhio - 03 October 2007 04:45 PM

It was a mysticism shared by most of the others who helped him found the Sierra Club in 1892. For example, photographer Ansel Adams openly described his faith as “a vast, impersonal pantheism.”
These “thinkers” were all about trying to justify their emotionalism with an appearance of reason.

Can emotions provide objective input to reason?

If properly trained and understood they can, just as when not trained they can’t help but bias reason.  One of the problems with the Randoids is that they put all the emphasis on reason and their emotions get tied up in believing the whole package lock, stock and barrel and being unaware of their underlying
emotional attachement to it.  Head cases.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 03:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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eucaryote - 18 October 2007 01:34 AM

Truly Saul,

Don’t you think think that maybe you are in a rut? I mean, do you ever try to confront the world fresh of it? I know it’s hard to do, I work on it myself, but I get the impression that you don’t even try. You seem to revel in an unvarying, absolute world view?

Many aspects of the world don’t change. Unless I have soem reason to think things HAVE changed, or I was wrong to begin with, why change? I don’t see YOU changing.

I believe in a sun-centered view of the solar system. Should I try to change my Copernican view for the Ptolomeic view for a while, just for kicks?

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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 09:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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eucaryote - 18 October 2007 01:41 AM
SaulDeOhio - 03 October 2007 04:45 PM

It was a mysticism shared by most of the others who helped him found the Sierra Club in 1892. For example, photographer Ansel Adams openly described his faith as “a vast, impersonal pantheism.”
These “thinkers” were all about trying to justify their emotionalism with an appearance of reason.

Can emotions provide objective input to reason?

To answer my own question, of course. Emotion is part and parcel of what we call reason. Only those with Saul’s world view believe that reasoning is something done with the “mind” which is something they believe to be other than “body”.
It’s ironic that pseudo intellectuals like Bidinotto think of themselves as so rational.

The Sierra club is not a scientific organization.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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eucaryote - 18 October 2007 01:19 PM

To answer my own question, of course. Emotion is part and parcel of what we call reason. Only those with Saul’s world view believe that reasoning is something done with the “mind” which is something they believe to be other than “body”.

I like what this says about “mind”, but it does not go into enough detail about how often emotion draws on rational, verbal resources, which I suspect is frequently.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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eucaryote - 18 October 2007 01:19 PM
eucaryote - 18 October 2007 01:41 AM
SaulDeOhio - 03 October 2007 04:45 PM

It was a mysticism shared by most of the others who helped him found the Sierra Club in 1892. For example, photographer Ansel Adams openly described his faith as “a vast, impersonal pantheism.”
These “thinkers” were all about trying to justify their emotionalism with an appearance of reason.

Can emotions provide objective input to reason?

To answer my own question, of course. Emotion is part and parcel of what we call reason. Only those with Saul’s world view believe that reasoning is something done with the “mind” which is something they believe to be other than “body”.
It’s ironic that pseudo intellectuals like Bidinotto think of themselves as so rational.

Again, and again and again, you prove you have no clue about Objectivism, which therefore you should nto be criticizing.

From Wikipedia’s entry on Objectivism:

Mind, Body, Soul
Objectivism rejects the mind-body dichotomy, holding that the mind and body are aspects (sets of attributes) of the conscious organism as a single, integral entity.

From the Objectivist Center’s FAQ:

Mind and Body
Free will is just one way in which the mind seems quite different from physical matter. The spiritual realm of thought, imagination, values, and aspirations seems far removed from the realm of material objects, physical forces, and biological need. Many philosophers have puzzled over questions such as whether a thought has weight or what the size of the mind is. One simple way to answer to these questions is to suppose that the mind is somehow radically distinct from the body: that there is a dichotomy between the two.

In different forms, the mind-body dichotomy underlies many traditional ideas about human nature. Religious thinkers, for example, see the mind as an immortal soul that transcends the mortal husk of the body. They posit a spiritual life that is higher, freer, and better than material existence. This dichotomy has led to the tradition of asceticism, i.e., abusing the body for the sake of spiritual purity, and to the ideal of chastity, the experience of love unconnected to sex and the other lusts of the body. It also exists in secular forms, such as the division between reason and emotion symbolized by Star Trek’s unemotional Vulcans: the rational self is the mind, in this view, which must struggle to be free of the irrational passions that arise from our physical nature. In sum, it projects a view of man at war with himself, an angel imprisoned in the body of a beast, at once both Dr. Jekyl and Mister Hyde.

Like many classical Greek philosophies, including Aristotelianism, Objectivism rejects this entire conception of man. There is a difference between the mind and body, to be sure, but no dichotomy or conflict. They are both aspects of human nature. We are living organisms, and all our faculties, mental as well as physical, work together to keep us alive.

What we call the mind is the set of capacities to be aware, to perceive the world, to think about it, to feel, to value, to make choices. How do these capacities arise? In many respects, the answer to that question must come from science, not philosophy. But everything we know indicates that they are the product of biological evolution and that they depend on our physical sense organs and brain, as well as on the many other support structures that the body provides.

What we call our spiritual needs, moreover, are not in conflict with our physical or biological needs. They are rooted in the same basic need to maintain our lives through purposeful action. Human beings lack sufficient instinctive drives to survive without thinking, learning, and making choices. Reason is our most important tool for survival. But it is a complex and highly demanding tool. According to Objectivism, our spiritual needs for values, principles, ideals, aesthetic experience, and love are requirements for the healthy functioning of a rational, volitional mode of cognition.

Eucaryote: I think I have posted this material before, because you made the same accusation against Objectivism before, so I am tempted to call you a liar. You don’t want to face up to what Objectivism really is about, so you make things up, trying to discredit the philosophy through strawman arguments.

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- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 10:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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As for emotions:

The Objectivist Center’s FAQ:

Objectivism views emotions as the result and reflection of an individual’s value judgments. Our emotional reactions to events, people and opinions are based on our innermost values. Therefore they are rooted in the value system of the individual, and arise from it.

Ayn Rand wrote that “Emotions are the automatic result of man’s value judgments integrated by his subconscious; emotions are estimates of that which furthers man’s values or threatens them, that which is for him or against him—lightning calculators giving him the sum of his profit or loss.” (“The Objectivist Ethics”, The Virtue of Selfishness, p. 30)

Different people have different reactions to the same thing because of differing values. Values are not something automatic that we are born with - they are acquired. But they can be objective, and the correct values are those that are consistent with reality and acquired through the exercise of reason.

Since emotions reflect values, they are not, as many claim, a guide to action. They cannot tell us what to do or what is right: only our minds can do that. “Emotions are not tools of cognition.” (Rand, Virtue of Selfishness, p. 32) A person who uses his emotions as a guide to action will only be inconsistent and unsuccessful, a fearful mess of contradictions. Emotions can however be instant giveaways of a person’s values, and in this sense can often be useful. It is very difficult to disguise or hide emotions, so they can be a telling factor in judging a person.

So emotions do not tell us anything about the world around us, just about ourselves, our inner values and beliefs. When John Muir said, about a couple of wild orchids he found, “I felt as if I were in the presence of superior beings who loved me and beckoned me to come”, he was talking about his already preconcieved values and beliefs about nature and its intrinsic value, not anything actually intrinsic to the flowers.

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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 12:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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SaulDeOhio - 03 October 2007 04:45 PM

It was a mysticism shared by most of the others who helped him found the Sierra Club in 1892. For example, photographer Ansel Adams openly described his faith as “a vast, impersonal pantheism.”
These “thinkers” were all about trying to justify their emotionalism with an appearance of reason.

But Saul, I was replying to this criticism of yours or Bidinotto, I forget which. How do you square this with what you just posted? Can emotions legitimately inform reason or not? Sounded to me like you were wanting to discredit Muir and Adams as “thinkers” by noting that their thoughts were informed by emotion.

The development of a conservation ethic is not a scientific endeavor and not subject to scientific measurement, quantification and independent verification. Ethics are not necessarily “reasonable”. Ethics are likely to be informed by emotion, and rightfully so. The information provided is not necessarily illegitimate. There is no need to “justify their emotionalism with an appearance of reason” as the “emotionalism” and the “reason” are one and the same.

Consider, for example, the universal mother’s love for her children. The same can be said of a conservation ethic.

I take it that Bidinotto wants to make the case that a conservation ethic is “without reason” and tantamount to religion and mysticism. I think that is an intentional mis-take on his part. An ethic informed by emotion is not made invalid thus.
I understand that this discussion is lost on an objectivist whose only virtue is selfishness.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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eucaryote - 18 October 2007 04:47 PM

But Saul, I was replying to this criticism of yours or Bidinotto, I forget which. How do you square this with what you just posted? Can emotions legitimately inform reason or not? Sounded to me like you were wanting to discredit Muir and Adams as “thinkers” by noting that their thoughts were informed by emotion.

As usual, you don’t read what I post. Our emotions DO give us information. I said so quite clearly. But that information is about our internal state, the contents of our conscious and subconscious minds. They do not tell us anything about reality external to ourselves, except what we have already decided about it. You have zero reading comprehension.

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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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The Objectivist Center’s FAQ:

“Emotions are not tools of cognition.” (Rand, Virtue of Selfishness, p. 32)

I knew you’d quote the Virtue of Selfishness. And of course the flip side of this is the evils of altruism.

Rand’s talk about emotions and values is just babble designed to support her intrinsic mercenary “values”.
But then she didn’t know anything about neuro-chemistry.
There is no cognition without emotion. The development of an ethic requires consideration, which is informed by reason and emotion.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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eucaryote: You are still demonstrating your ignorance of Ayn rand and Objectivism. And you did it without making any substantive reply to anything I said. Quit while you are not TOO far behind.

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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 01:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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SaulDeOhio - 18 October 2007 04:54 PM

They do not tell us anything about reality external to ourselves, except what we have already decided about it.

I read quite well Saul. You just don’t like it when anyone disagrees with you or your objectivist religion. I’ll forego the opportunity to insult you in kind.

You and Rand are striking false dichotomy. Emotions are not a function of some “decision” that you think you have made about reality. Emotions are part and parcel of cognition. Outside of scientific methods, it’s not possible to reduce cognition to “reasonable” information alone. With respect to development of ethics, such reduction is counter productive.
But then Rand wasn’t concerned with ethics.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 02:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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No, you are clearly, and I am beginning to suspect, intentionally, misinterpreting it.

When Ayn Rand says that emotions are not means of cognition, she means they are not means of gaining knowledge outside of ourselves. That is the role of our senses. Please tell me how your emotions inform you about the contents of a box, the color of the sky today, or wether or not anthropogenic CO2 will cause catastrophic changes to our climate.

And how are your emotions going to tell you wether socialism or capitalism is the more moral system?

[ Edited: 18 October 2007 02:11 PM by SaulDeOhio]
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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 03:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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SaulDeOhio - 18 October 2007 06:03 PM

No, you are clearly, and I am beginning to suspect, intentionally, misinterpreting it.

When Ayn Rand says that emotions are not means of cognition, she means they are not means of gaining knowledge outside of ourselves. That is the role of our senses. Please tell me how your emotions inform you about the contents of a box, the color of the sky today, or wether or not anthropogenic CO2 will cause catastrophic changes to our climate.

And how are your emotions going to tell you wether socialism or capitalism is the more moral system?

Truthfully Saul, I learned so much about objectivism from you that I am truly bummed when I get it wrong. I mean I really think that it speaks for itself and there is not need to distort or mis-characterize it in order to discredit or ridicule it. I mean, “The Virtue Of Selfishness” does speak for itself, does it not?

What I don’t think that you and Rand are recognizing is that emotions are a indivisible part of the means of gaining knowledge. Cognition can not be reduced to any one of the particular defined or undefined “parts” that you speak of, conscious mind, un-conscious mind, emotion, brain, neural network etc.

The whole idea of inside and outside our “selves” is very questionable biologically speaking, after all no living thing evolved alone. Moreover the particular blob of protoplasm that makes up ourselves today is a different blob tomorrow. Even more importantly, it’s difficult to tell where “we” (ourselves) end and the balance of the biotic world “begins”.

Questions about color etc. are questions that are open to a truly objective, scientific investigation. Questions like what is the color of the sky? take on new meaning and science provides a detailed, emotion free answer. The sky is a very pure 490 nm today. confused

Appropriate answers to ethical questions require more than a scientific analysis. Cognition informed by emotion is obviously necessary to resolve such questions.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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eucaryote - 18 October 2007 07:17 PM

The whole idea of inside and outside our “selves” is very questionable biologically speaking, after all no living thing evolved alone. Moreover the particular blob of protoplasm that makes up ourselves today is a different blob tomorrow. Even more importantly, it’s difficult to tell where “we” (ourselves) end and the balance of the biotic world “begins”.

No living thing evolves alone. You tempt me to change my signature line. We could trade, but I’m a cat person.

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