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  1. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    I fancy ad hominem arguments are the salt in the soup: what you call 'that extra something'.
    Well, whatever, I'm just going to continue not responding to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    This might be interesting to read: Existence is not a Predicate
    I'm already well aware of that line of reasoning. A great refutation against certain types of ontological arguments.

    Not sure how it's relevant here. Empiricism proves value's existence. Both the direct experience of values, and the indirect experience of other people acting on their values.

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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    I'll continue to ignore the ad hominem arguments.

    Value exists. It has a subjective existence, but it exists. So it is objective by your own definition (and mine, which is the same).
    It does not exist as an entity in itself.
    It does not have existence outside of itself.
    Value is a creation of the valuer.

    I could say that the fantasy world I am creating in my head exists, because I am thinking of it. Yet, outside of my head, it does not actually exist. It is a product of my imagination. When I die, it dies with me... unless I get someone else to believe it in. It does not have independent existence.

    What part of this don't YOU understand?

    The only thing I am getting out of your comments is that value exists for the valuer, so therefore it exists. I'm not sure what that has to do with it independently existing for others, since it does not. I don't consider this existence to be "objective" because it is entirely within the mind and experience of the valuer. Objective, to me, is defined differently; the way you define it seems to render any terminology moot, since it's now the same as subjective.

    I notice how you accept that value is inherent to the valuer. Since no one, except maybe SS, has claimed value is inherent in the valued, I'll assume you just don't get the point.
    You know I'm an open person, and if you give me something I can actually lock into, I will. Obviously I'm not getting your point. Right now, I can't tell whether it's because I'm missing what you're saying or because your point is actually untenable.

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Well, whatever, I'm just going to continue not responding to them.
    Well, that would be silly.

    After all, the arguments exist in Nicodemus' mind.
    Therefore they are objective, by your definition.

    Deal with them.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    1. It does not exist as an entity in itself.
    2. It does not have existence outside of itself.
    3. Value is a creation of the valuer.

    I could say that the fantasy world I am creating in my head exists, because I am thinking of it. Yet, outside of my head, it does not actually exist. It is a product of my imagination. When I die, it dies with me... unless I get someone else to believe it in. It does not have independent existence.

    What part of this don't YOU understand?
    Okay well, from simplest to most complex response:-

    I disagree with 2: Nothing has existence outside of itself. A spade has no existence outside of itself. Hopefully that is obvious. Hopefully I am just misunderstanding what you mean instead.

    I agree with 3: I'll assume you are using a broad version of "creation", since not all values are created by a person themselves in the strictest sense, any more than pain is created by them. Brain Chemistry is the common recipient of the "creator" title for all mental objects. Anyway, no major disagreement here.

    I disagree with 1: How can something not exist as it's own entity? If you imagine a fantasy world, you could write about it, proving to others that you thought of it. Just like a spade can give off light, which proves to people it exists. Your heartbeat dies with you as well, just as dependant on you as an imagined world.

    Mental and non-Mental objects are different, but I'm not seeing why they are fundamentally different. They have slightly different traits, much like how Mental objects differ from each other, and non-Mental objects differ from each other. The distinction seems as arbitrary as any other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Well, that would be silly.

    After all, the arguments exist in Nicodemus' mind.
    Therefore they are objective, by your definition.

    Deal with them.
    Er what?

    Yes our arguments have objective existence. Hence why you can read them here.

    I'm not reponding to things like "It's weird how people will cling to absurdities in order to pretend that their existence matters. You're incapable of comprehending something that would undermine your worldview." or "Sorta sucks to have to accept that value is a choice, not inherent."

    Yes both sides have made them, I'm just not really paying attention to the posts that agree with me, so I can't remember them.

  4. #184
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    "If no values are inherently valuable" is the original statement that what's-his-name made. Here it is in context (possibly posted already in thread but worth checking in again- not that the particular rabbit hole we're currently going down isn't sort of interesting in itself):

    How far I can develop a nihilistic worldview or a nihilistic life? I can posit death to empirically test the implications of the nihilistic proposition. Actualizing a hypothetical death could experimentally test the consequences of a hypothetical nihilism. Willing death is, then, an attempt to live a nihilistic life.

    The nihilistic is increasingly present, but who values that life has no value? What if nobody happens to value “truths” such as this? Almost every non-believer slips comfortably into the unreflective prejudices towards life, using nihilism
    to justify glossing over nihilism.

    Yet if there is literally no basis for choosing one value over another value, can one posit literally any value whatsoever? If life is truly without purpose, then no choice can have ultimate grounds that are more justifiable than any other. If so, then there are no grounds for the claim that willing life is superior to the choice of willing death. If
    fundamental values or goals are wholly arbitrary, is it possible to choose rational self-destruction over rational self-preservation?

    If no values are inherently valuable, then life has no inherent value. If life has no inherent purpose, then its end could be directed towards its negation or death.

    Death could be posited as the highest value. Since the other secular values are premised upon life, death is the test of all the others. To test life with death tests the most important question I can conceive of: whether there is an important question. It tests importance itself: whether there is anything at all that can be judged important. Willing death is taking unbelief seriously by taking seriously the possibility that there is truly nothing to take seriously. Only by ruthlessly exposing the comfortable biases towards existence can one reckon with the implications of the valuelessness of existence. Challenging every living value by willing death is how I will test this question and how I will test this question is the experiment in nihilism.

    The implications of life’s meaninglessness have not been elicited with sufficient ruthlessness. My methodology is honesty to the point of absurdity; honesty without mercy; honesty unprejudiced by morals, aesthetics, faith, or hope. When all illusions have been dispelled, at the end of overcoming subjectivities, biases, and prejudices towards life, one encounters the possibility of rational negation of self-interest; rational self-annihilation; rational selfdestruction.

    The experiment in nihilism is to seek out precisely those truths that are most deadly and destructive to me. To will death through truth and truth through death.
    He's not saying that values don't exist- just that they are not inherently valuable. His use of the word "inherent" pretty much excludes the alternative "the burger is objectively delicious because it is objectively considered so" interpretation of value. I mean, it's a fine interpretation of value in a general sense- it just wasn't this guy's definition, and it wasn't how he used it, from what I can see so far.

    The title of his concluding chapter included the phrase "Experimental Elimination of Self-Preservation." I guess he was saying that our human value of life is not inherently valuable because it's tainted by our built-in self-preservation instincts. He apparently hypothesized that nihilism tested the validity of the instinct-tainted value of life, and thereby superceded it. What I don't understand is who was supposed to draw the conclusion of the experiment, since he'd be gone. I assume he meant for his readers to do that, but he was all up empiricism's butt and empiricism requires a constant observer, doesn't it? Can an experiment be considered valid if the observer changes in the middle of the experiment, so no one observer observes the experiment from beginning to end? Doesn't empiricism require the original observer to be alive to observe the outcome of the experiment?

    Seems like he went down his own rabbit hole and conceived a series of posits that he felt he would be dishonest/cowardly not to test. I think it's unfortunate that this guy apparently painted himself into a philosophical corner and saw no honest way out but to off himself.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  5. #185
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    If no values are inherently valuable, then life has no inherent value. If life has no inherent purpose, then its end could be directed towards its negation or death.
    More after I have time to sift through this, but in terms of the first statement, that's exactly what happened to me when I hit my "final existential rock bottom" at age 32 or so. I realized that there was no value inherent in anything except what I placed there, and the thought was devastating; but I had to face up to it, and then decide if value placed in something was worth living for rather than a cop-out.

    For someone who takes definition from the external world rather than investing it on the world (the latter of which initially seems to be bias or subjectivity), it was a completely alien way through which to view reality and seemed to render everything meaningless. Suicide in that state of mind is a very real possibility; it's like you are confronted with at least two doors, neither of which are palatable. One is death and self-negation (which is really just a confirmation of the inherent meaninglessness of existence... the seemingly 'rational conclusion'), the other is into a world where everything is flipped on its head and you abandon everything that defined you in order to see the world in a new way. Both are death, in a sense; one is physical, the other self-identity.

    It's also hard to miss overtones of mass media like The Matrix in the second sentence, where Smith turns it around and says, "The purpose of life... is to end." There we have an obvious "0" compared to neo's "1", the binary opposites, and Smith is a representative of nihilism... yet interesting to see that he still defines nihilism as a purpose. Becoming what he become, he lost all purpose... yet being supposedly cannot exist without purpose (according to the movie).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    The title of his concluding chapter included the phrase "Experimental Elimination of Self-Preservation." I guess he was saying that our human value of life is not inherently valuable because it's tainted by our built-in self-preservation instincts. He apparently hypothesized that nihilism tested the validity of the instinct-tainted value of life, and thereby superceded it. What I don't understand is who was supposed to draw the conclusion of the experiment, since he'd be gone. I assume he meant for his readers to do that, but he was all up empiricism's butt and empiricism requires a constant observer, doesn't it? Can an experiment be considered valid if the observer changes in the middle of the experiment, so no one observer observes the experiment from beginning to end? Doesn't empiricism require the original observer to be alive to observe the outcome of the experiment?
    I'm not sure if that is a requirement, although it's preferrable as a way to filter out bias within various parts of the experiment. (With the same observer, the same bias exists at all times. With multiple observers, bias can differ, adding more uncertainty.)

    Still, if the data itself is raw and totally quantifiable, you would think other observers could build on it / finish the experiment.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #186
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's a big if, when your hypotheses are largely existential in nature. Heisman's note could be read as an attempt to synthesize the quantifiable and the unquantifiable by using empiricism to test existential/supernatural phenomena e.g. whether there is an afterlife. (The success of the experiment depends on whether he still exists somewhere- and if he does, then he's still the original observer and has concluded his experiment.)

    It can also be read as the ultimate rejection of man-as-animal- an attempt to completely separate himself as a man from the realm of the animal as defined by survival instinct and kin-selective altruism. An arrogant attempt to force man into a fully intellectual mold that is untainted by base instinct, thereby enacting one of the life-derived values (that of human beings at their ideal as transcending the animal) he ostensibly sought to reject. FREE SHAMU
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  7. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Morgan, what you are saying is clear as day.

    What you don't realize is that the above argument reframes the issue, showing your argument to be a frame based on a clear object/subject divide, which is not the only way to look at things, and is thus limited.
    I do realise that. I also realise this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer
    Anyone can win an argument by redefining terminology [or reframing an issue] to suit their purposes.
    This is your argument, essentially:
    There is no object/subject divide, therefore,
    There is no object/subject divide.

    Hmm. Persuasive.
    ...you're not willing to look at the issue from this second frame, as you're committed to the frame of the object/subject divide and the conclusion you've reached using this frame:
    I'm committed it until something more useful comes along, sure.

    The fact is, you've already commented on the usefulness of this model, the essentialness of this model in arriving at a basic understanding of the universe. But then you seek to abandon it simply because the logical consequences are unpalatable. But you only partially abandon it - because you couldn't function effectively in the world without it.
    I'm sorry, that's just sloppy.

    Yes, subjects can be objects. And objects can be subjects. That doesn't do away with the necessity of framing understanding in terms of object/subject relations.

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    At first I thought it was just denial that value was a mental object like pain is. However, after seeing the response to the pain argument, I'm starting to think it's more a delusional denial that anything mental exists.
    No. I do not think you are grasping the distinction that is being made. I'm prepared to believe that there is something deeper you are driving at, and you're just not making it clear, but you're not really helping with the imprecision in your logic.

    No one has claimed that value does not exist. Merely that the truth of a value is subjective.

    To link back to the original statement:-

    Intrinsic: To be part of the very nature of something.

    So "three sides" is intrinsic to a "triangle" and "wood" is intrinsic to the "metal box that contains wood within it".
    This is a terrible example and proves that you do not understand the meaning of intrinsic.

    Wood is not intrinsic to the metal box that contains wood. Intrinsic doesn't mean "in" it means "part of the fabric of". You've just defined the term, then contradicted that definition in your example!
    "The Universe as it is now": Actually has a few definitions, but they all contain humans within them.

    "Humans as they are now": Again, has a few definitions. The key thing being that they necessarily value things.

    Humans have value, not in the sense of being valuable to something else, but in the same sense Humans have pain. Pain and value are objects that exist within humans as they are now, intrinsic to them.

    So the Universe as it is now, has intrinsic value and intrinsic pain. Pain and Value are intrinsic to the Universe as it is now.

    Yes a future or possible Universe could loose intrinsic value and intrinsic pain, but that's not what Heisman was talking about. He was describing it as it is now.
    Again, you're defining intrinsic as "in". That's not what it means.

    There are values in the universe. Yep.
    Values exist. Sure.
    Values are intrinsically valuable. Nope.

    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Value exists. It has a subjective existence, but it exists. So it is objective by your own definition (and mine, which is the same).
    You are saying that anything which has subjective existence has objective existence.

    OK, fine. That's not the point though. And that's not the same as saying that anything that is subjective is also objective.

    What does it mean to value something? It means to have a favourable impression of that thing. You are saying that that favourable impression exists....because it exists. Well, ok then. It exists. But it exists in the mind of the valuer alone. You agree here:
    I notice how you accept that value is inherent to the valuer. Since no one, except maybe SS, has claimed value is inherent in the valued, I'll assume you just don't get the point.
    But actually, you did claim it here:
    Quote Originally Posted by erm
    Values themselves have value.
    And Tater did here:
    If it had no value, then it would not be a value in the first place.
    Which is what started the whole debate in response to my statement:
    Values have no *inherent* value.
    So it seems that you've changed your opinion. You just haven't recognised it yet.
    Dreams are the typical example of demonstrating mental objects existence.
    And yet you have no problem accepting that the events which happen in dreams, don't actually happen IRL. The dream exists - it's a pattern of brain waves, a neurochemical recipe for invoking a simulation of experience, but its contents are a fabrication. Once one ceases to be able to distinguish between dream and reality, (between subjective experience and objective existence), one becomes psychotic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  8. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Yeah, that's a big if, when your hypotheses are largely existential in nature. Heisman's note could be read as an attempt to synthesize the quantifiable and the unquantifiable by using empiricism to test existential/supernatural phenomena e.g. whether there is an afterlife.
    I haven't read the whole thing, but I doubt very much that that was his purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    The title of his concluding chapter included the phrase "Experimental Elimination of Self-Preservation." I guess he was saying that our human value of life is not inherently valuable because it's tainted by our built-in self-preservation instincts. He apparently hypothesized that nihilism tested the validity of the instinct-tainted value of life, and thereby superceded it.

    Seems like he went down his own rabbit hole and conceived a series of posits that he felt he would be dishonest/cowardly not to test. I think it's unfortunate that this guy apparently painted himself into a philosophical corner and saw no honest way out but to off himself.
    I do not follow how that outcome was in any way an inevitable result of his logic though. If values are meaningless, then valuing death, or valuing the principles of honesty/courage is meaningless too.

    Surely, the only logical outcome is inertia - neither acting to preserve life nor to eliminate it. Dressing in a white tuxedo and offing yourself on the tabernacle steps on Yom Kippur, (or whatever it was) having made provision to publish your great philosophical treatise doesn't speak to intellectual integrity. It speaks to megalomania and serious psychosis.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Yeah, that's a big if, when your hypotheses are largely existential in nature. Heisman's note could be read as an attempt to synthesize the quantifiable and the unquantifiable by using empiricism to test existential/supernatural phenomena e.g. whether there is an afterlife. (The success of the experiment depends on whether he still exists somewhere- and if he does, then he's still the original observer and has concluded his experiment.)
    That was always my bitch about the exploration of after-life reality -- there's no way to get a message in a bottle back to the mainland to let the rest of us know what happened! (Or... maybe there is, but no one survives the initial crossing to send back the note, so moot point. Does no message come back because they're dead... or because there's no way to get a message back? Again, total ambiguity.)

    It can also be read as the ultimate rejection of man-as-animal- an attempt to completely separate himself as a man from the realm of the animal as defined by survival instinct and kin-selective altruism. An arrogant attempt to force man into a fully intellectual mold that is untainted by base instinct, thereby enacting one of the life-derived values (that of human beings at their ideal as transcending the animal) he ostensibly sought to reject. FREE SHAMU
    Don't forget Willy!

    In any case, it's not even clear that we exist as a "mind" independently of our bodies; shoot me, I'm dead. Again, does the mind continue to exist? Who knows? We aren't getting any proof back.

    It seems a dim prospect that a fully intellectual model could succeed. If one plans to kill oneself, one should be prepared for the reality that one will be extinct. Then again, as far as nihilism goes, the question is more, "Does it even matter?" Living doesn't matter. Killing oneself doesn't matter.

    At that point, you either rot, or you choose to do things because you value them regardless of whether that value is inherent or not. That's the existential turning point.

    I disagree with 2: Nothing has existence outside of itself. A spade has no existence outside of itself. Hopefully that is obvious. Hopefully I am just misunderstanding what you mean instead.
    I think what I meant (and so poorly phrased) was that the value is just a value or a descriptive statement of something -- it is not actually embodied in the object, it does not have real life as an entity in its own sense. #1 and #2 were both stating somewhat the same thing, I suppose -- just different facets of it.

    I agree with 3: I'll assume you are using a broad version of "creation", since not all values are created by a person themselves in the strictest sense, any more than pain is created by them. Brain Chemistry is the common recipient of the "creator" title for all mental objects. Anyway, no major disagreement here.
    I agree, value is probably assigned similar to someone's view of their own identity -- rather than being a construct, it is more of a "this is what I value / what resonates for me" deal.
    Maybe the word "extension" would have been more accurate.

    I disagree with 1: How can something not exist as it's own entity? If you imagine a fantasy world, you could write about it, proving to others that you thought of it. Just like a spade can give off light, which proves to people it exists. Your heartbeat dies with you as well, just as dependant on you as an imagined world.
    let me rephrase.
    Do you do computer programming?
    In object-oriented programming, you can create an object with its own behavior and attributes.
    "Value" here is very much like a "Description" attribute of the object. It is just a text field the contents of which are determined by the user, and it can hold anything. But it doesn't actually determine how the object functions. In fact, the Description attribute can be a complete and total falsehood and yet the object will still continue to work as programmed -- it will carry out its designed duties.
    (For example, an object whose sole purpose is to open a file could have a description that says, "This object makes your screen flash blue and white until someone clicks OK." But it's all bullshit -- the object will still just open a file, and it has no power to make your screen flash. Because the reality of the object is different than the descriptor that was attached, and the descriptor has no bearing on the object.)
    The same thing for values. The object is the object. The value is some description a person can attach to the object, but it has no bearing whatsoever on the independent reality of the object.

    Mental and non-Mental objects are different, but I'm not seeing why they are fundamentally different. They have slightly different traits, much like how Mental objects differ from each other, and non-Mental objects differ from each other. The distinction seems as arbitrary as any other.
    Why do you think a spade that exists within your head is not fundamentally different from the one in my hand?

    You can't plant trees with yours, while I could lay you out flat with mine.

    To me, this is a fundamental difference in terms of this conversation.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    No. I do not think you are grasping the distinction that is being made. I'm prepared to believe that there is something deeper you are driving at, and you're just not making it clear, but you're not really helping with the imprecision in your logic.

    No one has claimed that value does not exist. Merely that the truth of a value is subjective.

    This is a terrible example and proves that you do not understand the meaning of intrinsic.

    Wood is not intrinsic to the metal box that contains wood. Intrinsic doesn't mean "in" it means "part of the fabric of". You've just defined the term, then contradicted that definition in your example!
    Again, you're defining intrinsic as "in". That's not what it means.
    You misunderstood my statement. "A metal box with wood in it" is being treated as one object, hence the "", so wood is intrinsic to it. Without wood it would not be "a metal box with wood in it".

    Wood is not intrinsic to the "metal box", which happens to have wood in it. As that is now two seperate objects.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    There are values in the universe. Yep.
    Values exist. Sure.
    Values are intrinsically valuable. Nope.


    You are saying that anything which has subjective existence has objective existence.

    OK, fine. That's not the point though. And that's not the same as saying that anything that is subjective is also objective.

    What does it mean to value something? It means to have a favourable impression of that thing. You are saying that that favourable impression exists....because it exists. Well, ok then. It exists. But it exists in the mind of the valuer alone. You agree here:
    But actually, you did claim it here:


    And Tater did here:Which is what started the whole debate in response to my statement:
    So it seems that you've changed your opinion. You just haven't recognised it yet.
    And yet you have no problem accepting that the events which happen in dreams, don't actually happen IRL. The dream exists - it's a pattern of brain waves, a neurochemical recipe for invoking a simulation of experience, but its contents are a fabrication. Once one ceases to be able to distinguish between dream and reality, (between subjective experience and objective existence), one becomes psychotic.
    This is more key to the debate. Neither Tater nor I made the claim that the valued are inherently valuable. They are the object arbitrarily associated with value. We claimed that values themselves have value, which we both claim is a tautology and thus undeniable.

    If someone values a dog. Value isn't in the dog at all. It is in the person's mind. If someone is stabbed, pain isn't in the stabbing, but in the person's mind. It exists in the person's mind.

    What I perceive Heisman to be saying, in part, is "Value does exist, but only in the mind, and the mind doesn't count". I am responding by asking why doesn't the mind count? It strikes me as a bias against mental objects, instead favouring physical objects because of his own values.

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