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why not just die(nvm - coma epidemic avoided)

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why not just die(nvm - coma epidemic avoided) adam , 3/18/11 9:32 AM
RE: why not just die Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 3/13/11 10:30 PM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/13/11 10:31 PM
RE: why not just die Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 3/13/11 10:39 PM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/13/11 10:51 PM
RE: why not just die Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 3/13/11 11:01 PM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/13/11 11:47 PM
RE: why not just die ManZ A 3/13/11 11:57 PM
RE: why not just die Adam Bieber 3/14/11 12:41 AM
RE: why not just die Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 3/14/11 1:24 AM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/14/11 1:31 AM
RE: why not just die Adam Bieber 3/14/11 3:11 AM
RE: why not just die tarin greco 3/14/11 6:02 AM
RE: why not just die Jackson Wilshire 3/14/11 10:39 AM
RE: why not just die Sean Lindsay 3/14/11 10:57 AM
RE: why not just die . Jake . 3/14/11 12:10 PM
RE: why not just die #1 - 0 3/14/11 12:43 PM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/14/11 11:11 PM
RE: why not just die This Good Self 3/15/11 7:36 AM
RE: why not just die Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 3/15/11 7:52 AM
RE: why not just die This Good Self 3/15/11 7:58 PM
RE: why not just die Jill Morana 3/16/11 12:24 AM
RE: why not just die . Jake . 3/15/11 8:33 AM
RE: why not just die Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 3/15/11 8:45 AM
RE: why not just die mico mico 3/15/11 8:55 AM
RE: why not just die perspectival . 3/15/11 9:29 AM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/16/11 1:21 AM
RE: why not just die Bruno Loff 3/16/11 5:14 AM
RE: why not just die . . 3/16/11 6:24 AM
RE: why not just die mico mico 3/16/11 8:27 AM
RE: why not just die Sean Lindsay 3/16/11 11:39 AM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/16/11 2:07 PM
RE: why not just die Bruno Loff 3/16/11 3:12 PM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/16/11 2:59 PM
RE: why not just die Gabriel S. 3/16/11 5:54 PM
RE: why not just die Sean Lindsay 3/16/11 3:06 PM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/16/11 7:18 PM
RE: why not just die perspectival . 3/16/11 4:29 PM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/16/11 7:08 PM
RE: why not just die perspectival . 3/16/11 8:04 PM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/16/11 10:35 PM
RE: why not just die perspectival . 3/17/11 12:12 PM
RE: why not just die mico mico 3/17/11 2:45 PM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/17/11 4:41 PM
RE: why not just die mico mico 3/17/11 7:24 PM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/17/11 7:41 PM
RE: why not just die mico mico 3/18/11 6:00 AM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/18/11 9:13 AM
RE: why not just die mico mico 3/18/11 11:15 AM
RE: why not just die Brule K 3/18/11 12:35 PM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/17/11 3:41 PM
RE: why not just die mico mico 3/16/11 6:15 PM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/16/11 6:56 PM
RE: why not just die mico mico 3/16/11 7:32 PM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/16/11 10:15 PM
RE: why not just die mico mico 3/17/11 4:14 AM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/17/11 8:50 AM
RE: why not just die tarin greco 3/17/11 6:27 AM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/17/11 3:29 PM
RE: why not just die Bruno Loff 3/17/11 10:40 AM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/17/11 3:31 PM
RE: why not just die Brule K 3/17/11 1:26 PM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/17/11 4:41 PM
RE: why not just die adam , 3/14/11 11:24 AM
RE: why not just die perspectival . 3/14/11 12:01 PM
RE: why not just die Jill Morana 3/15/11 12:27 AM
RE: why not just die . Jake . 3/16/11 7:42 AM
RE: why not just die #1 - 0 3/13/11 11:07 PM
RE: why not just die Nad A. 3/14/11 5:44 AM
RE: why not just die Matt L 3/14/11 6:38 AM
RE: why not just die rex w 3/14/11 11:55 AM
RE: why not just die Bruno Loff 3/14/11 4:31 PM
RE: why not just die This Good Self 3/14/11 6:54 PM
RE: why not just die . . 3/14/11 7:35 PM
RE: why not just die Shashank Dixit 3/14/11 11:43 PM
RE: why not just die . . 3/15/11 7:12 PM
RE: why not just die Julie V 3/15/11 8:25 PM
I'm having trouble understanding what reason there is not to just commit suicide and go to sleep forever. hmm. I'll start with this - there can be no possible objective value in anything. The nature of value is that it is subjectively judged by some standard. Essentially any idea of value is invented. So if there is no value, why do anything? ever? why should i make another voluntary muscular contraction? why not just lay here, or in the hospital if they think im in a coma, etc. pleasure and pain are only subjectively valuable, they are truly of no value. So why follow my impulses?

Previously I've lived for two reason, first it was believing that God was good and I should follow him. Then that pleasure/happiness was good and I should follow it. But now I'm asking, what's the difference between spending eternity in some sort of Christian or Buddhist or whatever Hell and spending eternity actually free? or in nibanna? or in oblivion? I prefer one over the others, that is simply my subjective standard of value. But when you use rationality, you can see that there can be no significant difference between them. So why should i ever do anything ever again.. ever? about anything? Even if there were a god, and he subjected me to an eternity of pain, what would actually make that better than its opposite?

There can be no possible objective, true value. It's a logical contradiction. Why should voluntarily do something if there is no value in its result? Why is it better to be happy than sad?

Here is a better description of my argument that I made later on in the posting



1. Voluntary intelligent action[1] can only be justified[2] by showing that it increases actual value[3].
2. Value[4] can only exist within a system of comparison, there is no all encompassing system of comparison[5].
3. (Referencing 2) If value only exists within limited systems of comparison, it can not be described as actual.
Therefore
4. No voluntary intelligent action can be justified.


Counterarguments (that I can foresee):
1. Non-actual value can also justify actions.
The reason true value justifies actions is that if there is an intrinsic good/bad in things it would make it purely logical that these things should be increased/decreased. It is the nature of good that things are favorable, and if something is favorable, and there is no reason not to increase it, it should logically be increased; the opposite, pertaining to bad is true as well. But, with subjective value, the value is not intrinsic, so there is no reason to increase/decrease the good or bad, there is no reason to arbitrarily pretend the standard was true, which only an objective standard would be. If you act to increase subjective value, you're arbitrarily and therefore illogically valuing a standard as true, making your action illogical, unjustified.

2. Can't foresee any, the definition of value is that it is a comparison, comparisons need a system, there is no reason to believe in an all-encompassing system (the only things I can think of making this true would be that the world exists within my mind or there is a God)

3. The counter argument for this is essentially the same as that in 1. a. Any subjective standard is invented, and using that standard as if it were accurate would be arbitrarily and illogically valuing the subjective standard.

4. Actions can be justified in some other way.

This is the counterargument that I came here hoping someone would explain to me


[1] Any voluntary movement, consciously made by the mind's intellectual faculty
[2] Shown to have a reason to do it
[3] Value that is intrinsic, not merely invented.
[4] The attribute comparing something to another in terms of good and bad
[5] Meaning that there is no God or higher power who can set forth all encompassing judgments of good and bad

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/13/11 10:30 PM as a reply to adam ,.
Even if there were a god, and he subjected me to an eternity of pain, what would actually make that better than its opposite?
do you really see no difference between suffering for eternity vs. not suffering for eternity?

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/13/11 10:31 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
I see a difference. My point is that the difference is not one of value. Both situations are equally as valuable and therefore, logically, equally as desirable. Which is to say, not desirable at all.

Nothing is

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/13/11 10:39 PM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
I see a difference. My point is that the difference is not one of value. Both situations are equally as valuable and therefore, logically, equally as desirable. Which is to say, not desirable at all.

Nothing is

well if you think not suffering is not desirable then i recommend against spending your time pursuing not suffering

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/13/11 10:51 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
wow, but your missing my point completely, there is no reason to pursue happiness either. and its not a question of what I think.
It's a question of logic. There is no reason to do anything because nothing possesses value, but feel free to act as if logic is opinion.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/13/11 11:01 PM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
wow, but your missing my point completely, there is no reason to pursue happiness either. and its not a question of what I think.
It's a question of logic. There is no reason to do anything because nothing possesses value, but feel free to act as if logic is opinion.

it's very simple logic. say you can choose to live your life in two ways. in one way, you suffer endlessly. in another way, you are free from suffering completely. logically, rationally, as a human being where suffering is intrinsically painful, which life is better for you to lead?

it is entirely what you think as it is your life you are leading and no one else's. what you think matters to you only. it's just a matter of your choice and your preference.

i get where you're coming from. you're looking for there being some greater meaning or reason for doing anything. there isn't, really... in a century you'll be dead, in a few more anything you did will probably not exist anymore, in a few billion years the sun will explode and wipe the earth out with it.

that's great news, though. it means life doesn't matter, and you can do whatever you want with it! so why would you choose to suffer during your short life?

maybe you can read some AF stuff on the meaning of life. it seems like this has been asked before; maybe those Q&As can help you. (and please post your findings if they do or if they don't.)

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/13/11 11:07 PM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
Why is it better to be happy than sad?




Suffering sucks and happiness is awesome. Just because it doesn't necessarily have "objective" value (objective/subjective is a construct of self btw) doesn't mean there is something wrong with enjoying life (which, admittedly, can be very, very enjoyable). Besides, you're going to die regardless of whether you come to a conclusion or not - so why not spend a little time figuring out the best possible way to make use of what's here and go with that?

Have you seriously meditated before? A round through the cycles of insight will give you a much better perspective to view this issue from; it can get you (literally) an outside perspective that will clear things up in a non-conceptual way.

ADDENDUM: Something that may be helpful: Conceptually logical "solutions" still fall a step short of actual truth.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/13/11 11:47 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
yes, it's very simple logic, if you can't provide a reason to do something then there is simply no reason to do it. You've yet to provide a reason.

You said which life is better for you to lead, and left it there, not discussing at all the argument I'm making. My point is that neither is better. And until you can provide a logical reason that one is better than the other, it's not an opinion, it's just fact. There is no reason to be happy. It's not about the purpose of life, or meaning. It's that nothing has value, ever, so whether we are just the universe experiencing itself or God's children, we have no reason to do anything.

You seem to be leaving it at the question of why not enjoy life? But the fact is you need reasons to do things, not reasons not to do things. There are things that we want, but there is no reason to allow ourselves to fulfill our desires.

Beoman, your asking questions that seem to have obvious answers, but the truth here is counterintuitive so instead of asking questions with seemingly obvious answers, why not explain out your "simple logic"

Also, 1-0, I have meditated. And I understand that there are things outside of concepts. But there are still concepts, and logic. And I'm making a logical point. Non-conceptual things can not defeat logic, the whole idea of seeing truth without thought obscuring it only extends so far, the point i'm making is of pure logic, and nothing non-conceptual can defeat it, it's just a question of fact and logic.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/13/11 11:57 PM as a reply to adam ,.
O_o I don't get it.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 12:41 AM as a reply to ManZ A.
the road is long and filled with doubt but each incremental success sheds fears and brightens the hands in front of you with wisdom and serenity. Everlasting peace and meaning is not attained at the snap of a finger. It takes patience, time, and diligent practice, where pain of all forms will sooner than later arise as one is more and more sensitive to his/her internal world. If enlightenment/actual freedom/whatever else is truly want you want, have faith and persevere through its tumult. Most (probably all) people here have experienced meaninglessness but the positivity in the posts as well as the comments from those who have accomplished actual freedom prove there is a point to this actual freedom business whether or not your mind currently tells you it is pointless.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 1:24 AM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
yes, it's very simple logic, if you can't provide a reason to do something then there is simply no reason to do it. You've yet to provide a reason.

You said which life is better for you to lead, and left it there, not discussing at all the argument I'm making. My point is that neither is better. And until you can provide a logical reason that one is better than the other, it's not an opinion, it's just fact. There is no reason to be happy. It's not about the purpose of life, or meaning. It's that nothing has value, ever, so whether we are just the universe experiencing itself or God's children, we have no reason to do anything.

assume nothing matters at all. nothing is better than anything else. everything you are saying is absolutely true - there is no reason to be happy. i agree fully with your point. nothing has any value.

ok, in such a world - do you, personally, want to spend this moment happy or unhappy? there is no reason to be happy. there is no reason to be unhappy. it is not better to be happy. it is not better to be unhappy. correct me if i'm mis-representing your argument. in such a world - what is your choice?

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 1:31 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
well my question is, quite literally: Why make another voluntary muscular movement?

because if neither option is of value, why do either? what reason is there to do anything? why shouldn't i just sit here and waste away?

I wouldn't be picking unhappiness, or happiness, i'd just be not doing anything, because nothing has value nothing is worth doing.

I wish an AF person could explain this. The only thing causing me to do anything is instincts that they apparently lack, so what basis do they have for choosing what action to do? If logically nothing has value, and they have no illogical instincts/motivation, why don't they just stop moving and lay on the ground until they starve?

adam bieber, your post was irrelevant, it didn't respond to my point at all, just condescendingly gave cliche advice. Just saying, not really that helpful.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 3:11 AM as a reply to adam ,.
I just thought you were questioning why practice and doubting it. If this is a philosophical debate, then one can argue it forever but subjectively, being in pce mode/EE is extremely fascinating in and of itself. One understands the value while in this mode and the stupidity of not being in it as one is subject to painful emotions like sorrow, fear etc. It all about practice and limiting these thoughts that bring emotional pain and I honestly think asking and answering this question is not good because it brings emotional pain.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 5:44 AM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
I'm having trouble understanding what reason there is not to just commit suicide and go to sleep forever. hmm. I'll start with this - there can be no possible objective value in anything. The nature of value is that it is subjectively judged by some standard. Essentially any idea of value is invented. So if there is no value, why do anything? ever? why should i make another voluntary muscular contraction? why not just lay here, or in the hospital if they think im in a coma, etc. pleasure and pain are only subjectively valuable, they are truly of no value. So why follow my impulses?

Previously I've lived for two reason, first it was believing that God was good and I should follow him. Then that pleasure/happiness was good and I should follow it. But now I'm asking, what's the difference between spending eternity in some sort of Christian or Buddhist or whatever Hell and spending eternity actually free? or in nibanna? or in oblivion? I prefer one over the others, that is simply my subjective standard of value. But when you use rationality, you can see that there can be no significant difference between them. So why should i ever do anything ever again.. ever? about anything? Even if there were a god, and he subjected me to an eternity of pain, what would actually make that better than its opposite?

There can be no possible objective, true value. It's a logical contradiction. Why should voluntarily do something if there is no value in its result? Why is it better to be happy than sad?


There is no 'objective' value but you can choose to value things. You can choose to value being comfortable rather than uncomfortable, watching stuff that's funny rather than boring, being perpetually happy (if it's possible) rather than up and down all the time etc. You don't have to call that a 'value' if you don't want to, call it a preference if you like. Nothing matters in an ultimate sense.

Where's the objective value in committing suicide?

Life's meaningless, so improvise - if you want.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 6:02 AM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
well my question is, quite literally: Why make another voluntary muscular movement?

yeah, why bother?


adam j. hunter:

because if neither option is of value, why do either? what reason is there to do anything? why shouldn't i just sit here and waste away?

yeah, why not?

enjoy your coma!

tarin

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 6:38 AM as a reply to adam ,.
Hi. I have some thoughts about this as I've also considered value before and drawn similar conclusions but have come out the other side now.

My experience with actualism has led me to discover that the process of actualism is not a rationalising or logical one, it is an experiential one. Logic seems to work with pre-existing concepts that are already known to the 'thinker' and rationalising also occurs in a similar 'mind space' and thus they end up in similar places which is never right here (where actual experience and experiential understanding is to be found).

Applying logic and rational justifications to meaning has only led me to a similar conclusion - that there is no grand plan and hence no big daddy setting the standard for value and hence providing his/her/whatever meaning. Thus the things 'I' value and give 'me' the good feelings of acting in a way that is in line with what 'I' value (things that were providing me with meaning) disappeared...and I became sorrowful.

A point which helped me here was realising that if there isn't any 'real' meaning then there isn't anything to do, no quest to undertake, no dragons to slay or princesses to save - no objective whatsoever. This initially felt very hollow to me and was quite soul crushing. Then I realised if there wasn't any meaning then there was and is no reason to take this whole being alive thing so deathly serious (in fact no reason to take it seriously at all!). It really relieved me of a whole bunch of seriousness (a metaphysical weight was lifted, a piece of 'me' dissolved) and allowed me to see for the first time that life wasn't a serious business at all - it really was whatever I wanted to make of it.

So I chose and continue to choose to do my very best to be happy and harmless as it seems like a much nicer way of living than in a sorrowful, barren, dark place.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 10:39 AM as a reply to adam ,.
Hi Adam,

"Why not just die?"

First, I want to acknowledge that this is a difficult question to resolve. The reason for this, however, isn't due to the experience of life itself. Rather, it's a glaring example of how language and intelligence can get us spinning in unhelpful loops.

There's nothing wrong with being intelligent. It helps us solve certain types of problems that would otherwise be very difficult to solve. But when it comes to questions of meaning, and values, and direct human experience, these problem solving skills (logic, reason) are easily misapplied and tend to result in this kind of "everything is meaningless and arbitrary, so life has no purpose, and I may as well just die" thinking.

The irony here is that while one is actively trying to discover some meaning or purpose in life, or even simply coming to terms with the fact that there may not be an absolute meaning to the universe (as you may have once believed), they're actually participating in a type of experiential avoidance. By putting so much stock into the domain of thought in unhelpful ways, it's unlikely that one will make any meaningful or satisfying contact with life.

What usually gets people past this hump is to examine the nature of thought in a more phenomenological sense, rather than in a rational or logical way. Don't think about thoughts. Just watch them. See them for what they are. You can learn, through experience, that they aren't as important and substantial as you make them out to be. That is, unless they're serving an appropriately applied function. Learning when thinking helps, and when to just see thoughts as being like bubbles in a stream, takes practice. When we are no longer controlled by thoughts, experience becomes self-affirming.

A good question to ask while you're running through these thought exercises is, "What is this in the service of?" The fun part is that you get to decide.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 10:57 AM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
well my question is, quite literally: Why make another voluntary muscular movement?


Logic cannot yield a complete view of existence. Those who assert that it does yield a complete view are blind to where their motivations actually come from. Logic is a tool, not an implementable world view. (See Gödel Escher Bach.)

If I've understood your posts here correctly, there's a flaw in your logic: you correctly run the logic to conclude that you get no answer to the question of why to do anything, but you're mistaking "no answer" for an answer of "nothing." That's like dividing a real number (let's say 17) by zero and concluding that the answer is zero. Just as that's a mathematical mistake, you're making a logic mistake of assuming that no answer (i.e., the mechanism cannot work without an motivation value plugged into the logic equation for the logic to work on) should be understood as being equivalent to a conclusion that no action is warranted.

By rejecting what you've labeled as "subjective" experience, you've refused to insert a value into the equation. So the equation doesn't work.

But the experience of life is more than logic, though it includes logic.

All that said, I can't speak for AF folk, as that isn't my practice, so I'll stop here.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 11:24 AM as a reply to adam ,.
hmm, I tried to just sit here but i got thirsty so i drank some water. have a nice day

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 11:55 AM as a reply to adam ,.
Adam, you are assuming logic is somehow fundamental to the universe. Logic is a construction that only exists within a formal system. There is no reason to believe logic extends beyond this existence. (A possible example: If all facts were known, there would be no need to draw conclusions and logical argument would be trivial. Facts are not true or false they simply are.)

If fact, there is no reason to believe that logic fully describes this existence - it is an assumption, a belief. When you see 'logical contradictions' you are seeing limits of the systems we have created to describe reality. Glitches in the matrix if you will.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 12:01 PM as a reply to adam ,.
Adam, your problem is that you have wholly rejected belief in any objective value system, while at the same time wholly retaining the view that actions can only be justified by reference to some objective value system. As long as you reject the one and retain the other, nothing is going to solve your paradox-- not appeals to logic, nor appeals to go beyond (or ignore, as the case may be) logic.

It may be fruitful for you, then, to examine and question the belief that "action can only be justified by reference to some objective value system." In particular, what is the nature of justification? If you follow every trail to its logical extreme, perhaps you will find that the difference between objective justification and subjective justification is not quite as black and white as it currently seems.

From a slightly different angle, consider that there is no 'objective' reason that you must view the rejection of objective value systems as a loss, as a kind of directionlessness. You can just as well view it as a gain, as a kind of liberation. Who is to stop you from doing this? Only yourself. Just as there is no external authority that imposes upon you an objective value system, nor is there any external authority that imposes upon you a particular way to react to to absence of objective values. The perspective you take on this matter need not be fixed any more than any value system need be fixed.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 12:10 PM as a reply to Sean Lindsay.
Sean Lindsay:
adam j. hunter:
well my question is, quite literally: Why make another voluntary muscular movement?


Logic cannot yield a complete view of existence. Those who assert that it does yield a complete view are blind to where their motivations actually come from. Logic is a tool, not an implementable world view. (See Gödel Escher Bach.)

If I've understood your posts here correctly, there's a flaw in your logic: you correctly run the logic to conclude that you get no answer to the question of why to do anything, but you're mistaking "no answer" for an answer of "nothing." That's like dividing a real number (let's say 17) by zero and concluding that the answer is zero. Just as that's a mathematical mistake, you're making a logic mistake of assuming that no answer (i.e., the mechanism cannot work without an motivation value plugged into the logic equation for the logic to work on) should be understood as being equivalent to a conclusion that no action is warranted.

By rejecting what you've labeled as "subjective" experience, you've refused to insert a value into the equation. So the equation doesn't work.

But the experience of life is more than logic, though it includes logic.

All that said, I can't speak for AF folk, as that isn't my practice, so I'll stop here.


nice clear thinking ;-) just because a statement is "logical" in the strict sense it doesn't follow that the statement is sensible. Sometimes an opinion that is merely logical (yet senseless) can appear captivating, compelling, irrefutable. (1) Perhaps then the thing to do is stand back a bit and ask: "what else is true?" beyond the entire scope of the peculiarly compelling yet meaningless opinion. In other words, why is the opinion so compelling? There are lots of possible opinions which are meaningless through either being illogical or senseless. So what about this one is so fascinating that I can't put it down?

There are so many unexamined assumptions being run through a fairly simple logical process and then there is an indeterminate outcome as Sean points out. So who cares how flawless the logical process is when the assumptions that feed it and the resulting failure of the process to come up with a determinate solution are both meaningless? Ultimately the only "value" of "logical thinking" is that it interprets sensible data in a way that the sensible data plus logical thinking produce a useful conclusion-- and all of this in relation to a particular agenda which itself lies beyond the scope of the whole opinion formation process as a whole.

1-- [and the reverse can be true as well-- an opinion all the experiential evidence for which is sensible yet the logic of which is flawed].

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 12:43 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
Dammit, Tarin is always one step ahead.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 4:31 PM as a reply to adam ,.
Whenever I came across this particular issue, I eventually realized that while it presented itself under the guise of "rational nihilism," it was quite simply more feeling-based foolishness. Indifference, numbness, dullness, apathy & friends are feelings too. While it might sometimes seem, when thinking under their influence, that we are being rational, it really isn't so.

The next time you're feeling excellent and really enjoying life, remember to investigate this question again, and realize how much of a non-issue it actually is (as in, there is really no puzzle to solve, no question to answer, and so on).

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 6:54 PM as a reply to adam ,.
A while back, I was looking at the question "what is the point of life?" I was looking at it reallllly deeply. Then I realised that the question has no answer. As happiness occurs, the question simply disappears. Another way of stating it is "As Effexor enters your blood stream, so the questioning just disappears". Of course drugs aren't the ideal, but this sort of helps me explain my point.

Osho says the same is true of enlightenment. You ask "Who am I?" and really delve into it. When enlightenment happens, the question doesn't get answered, it simply disappears as a thorn in your side. The answer is not rational. The answer is knowingness itself.

If you're depressed, try not to escape your problem by mis-diagnosing it as dark night.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 7:35 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
adam j. hunter

I prefer one over the others, that is simply my subjective standard of value. But when you use rationality, you can see that there can be no significant difference between them. So why should i ever do anything ever again.. ever?

...

There can be no possible objective, true value. It's a logical contradiction. Why should voluntarily do something if there is no value in its result? Why is it better to be happy than sad?

...

I wouldn't be picking unhappiness, or happiness, i'd just be not doing anything, because nothing has value nothing is worth doing.

...

yes, it's very simple logic, if you can't provide a reason to do something then there is simply no reason to do it. You've yet to provide a reason.

...

well my question is, quite literally: Why make another voluntary muscular movement?

...

I wish an AF person could explain this. The only thing causing me to do anything is instincts that they apparently lack, so what basis do they have for choosing what action to do? If logically nothing has value, and they have no illogical instincts/motivation, why don't they just stop moving and lay on the ground until they starve?

...

hmm, I tried to just sit here but i got thirsty so i drank some water. have a nice day


Hi Adam -

Value - entirely subjective - can not be logical. Do you agree with this conclusion about value? Can logic be measured in units illogic?

Further, looking around outside for a moment, what is logical (formed from reasoning)? Office buildings? Wind?

I am not clear on your points.

Thanks,
Katy

[edit: apologies - I am not an Actually Free person]

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/15/11 12:27 AM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
hmm, I tried to just sit here but i got thirsty so i drank some water. have a nice day

that's all???

what was experience like when you were just sitting there doing nothing, before you decided to get a drink? if it's hard to explain or you didn't do it for long enough or seriously enough, would you be willing to try it again and again and share with us what happens?

I think your question is a really valuable one; I wish more people would dare to ask it and actually explore it experientially. That is, neither through the superficial "experience" of intellectually analyzing and discussing it, nor through the conventional kind of suicide that destroys the physical body and brain, as that would take tons of future planning and a complex series of voluntary muscle contractions (which to the inquirer are pointless and valueless), but by actually letting yourself (while not sleeping) slide into a mental and emotional suicide--

no intending
no planning
no expecting
no willing
no practicing meditation of any kind
no exerting of any effort
no deciding
no philosophizing
no evaluating or analyzing experience
no forcing of involuntary movements
no resisting of unintentional movements
no trying to silence thoughts
no assuming you know anything about anything
no trying to be yourself or to be anything

--stop or pause that whole business of living out your life.

...what happens?

jill

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 11:11 PM as a reply to Sean Lindsay.
Sean Lindsay:
adam j. hunter:
well my question is, quite literally: Why make another voluntary muscular movement?


Logic cannot yield a complete view of existence. Those who assert that it does yield a complete view are blind to where their motivations actually come from. Logic is a tool, not an implementable world view. (See Gödel Escher Bach.)

If I've understood your posts here correctly, there's a flaw in your logic: you correctly run the logic to conclude that you get no answer to the question of why to do anything, but you're mistaking "no answer" for an answer of "nothing." That's like dividing a real number (let's say 17) by zero and concluding that the answer is zero. Just as that's a mathematical mistake, you're making a logic mistake of assuming that no answer (i.e., the mechanism cannot work without an motivation value plugged into the logic equation for the logic to work on) should be understood as being equivalent to a conclusion that no action is warranted.

By rejecting what you've labeled as "subjective" experience, you've refused to insert a value into the equation. So the equation doesn't work.

But the experience of life is more than logic, though it includes logic.

All that said, I can't speak for AF folk, as that isn't my practice, so I'll stop here.


Ok, your the only person who actually tried to answer me. About that logical flaw - Your saying that I'm wrong in saying that because there is no motivational value behind something, there is no reason to do it. Your implying that there is some reason to do something outside of motivational value. Well this has been my question all along - what is that reason?

Are you saying that it is subjective value? I should live for subjective value? I should arbitrarily create some standard of worth and then work towards it? or follow some innate instinct that has set up a standard for me - like the standard that happiness is good?

then all I will have done is to have wasted my time AND have deceived myself.

I could say to myself the color red is valuable, and spend my life painting anything I could red, or that money is valuable and spend my life trying to earn money, or that happiness is valuable, and spend my life trying to earn happiness. All are equally as worthless.

Interestingly enough, im not really that unhappy now, I was very depressed about a year ago and I don't feel like that at all right now.

Also, people keep saying that there is something more than logic, can you please tell me what that is? logic isn't like a religion, all logic is is that if a=b and b=c than a=c. It's just a method of discerning fact based on information...


Jacob st. Henry... can you be more specific, you said that I had made many flawed assumptions, but you didn't point any out.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/14/11 11:43 PM as a reply to adam ,.
Adam , You seem to be going through "samvega" which is equally a feeling just like any other. Why so much importance to this one ?

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/15/11 7:36 AM as a reply to adam ,.
So Adam, you have a normal life then? Good health, a satisfying close relationship, family, friends, an interesting job, money, house, leisure time. Yes?

No you don't. Instead you read philosophy, stay indoors and contemplate the big questions of life.

And that is why you're depressed.

You're on the wrong forum!

Look around you. The happy people are goal directed and successful. The unhappy people are introspective, intellectual navel gazers.

The question "why not just die" would never even occur to a mentally healthy individual.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/15/11 7:52 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
So Adam, you have a normal life then? Good health, a satisfying close relationship, family, friends, an interesting job, money, house, leisure time. Yes?

No you don't. Instead you read philosophy, stay indoors and contemplate the big questions of life.

And that is why you're depressed.

You're on the wrong forum!

Look around you. The happy people are goal directed and successful. The unhappy people are introspective, intellectual navel gazers.

The question "why not just die" would never even occur to a mentally healthy individual.


1) you assume he doesn't have a normal life
2) you assume he is depressed
3) you assume chasing goals and being successful leads to being happy
4) you assume being introspective leads to being unhappy

i don't believe any of those are correct. also your last paragraph is a wonderful way to have everybody fit into your model (e.g. I say "look at this 'successful' person, he had it all, and he commited suicide!" "oh he must have been an introspectuve navel gazer, actually. if he just lived life more, had fun, got drunk, did a bit of coke once in a while he would've been fiiiine. gotta keep your mind off that burning question - what's the point of life?! that's bound to depress anyone.")

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/15/11 8:33 AM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
Sean Lindsay:
adam j. hunter:
well my question is, quite literally: Why make another voluntary muscular movement?


Logic cannot yield a complete view of existence. Those who assert that it does yield a complete view are blind to where their motivations actually come from. Logic is a tool, not an implementable world view. (See Gödel Escher Bach.)

If I've understood your posts here correctly, there's a flaw in your logic: you correctly run the logic to conclude that you get no answer to the question of why to do anything, but you're mistaking "no answer" for an answer of "nothing." That's like dividing a real number (let's say 17) by zero and concluding that the answer is zero. Just as that's a mathematical mistake, you're making a logic mistake of assuming that no answer (i.e., the mechanism cannot work without an motivation value plugged into the logic equation for the logic to work on) should be understood as being equivalent to a conclusion that no action is warranted.

By rejecting what you've labeled as "subjective" experience, you've refused to insert a value into the equation. So the equation doesn't work.

But the experience of life is more than logic, though it includes logic.

All that said, I can't speak for AF folk, as that isn't my practice, so I'll stop here.


Ok, your the only person who actually tried to answer me. About that logical flaw - Your saying that I'm wrong in saying that because there is no motivational value behind something, there is no reason to do it. Your implying that there is some reason to do something outside of motivational value. Well this has been my question all along - what is that reason?

Are you saying that it is subjective value? I should live for subjective value? I should arbitrarily create some standard of worth and then work towards it? or follow some innate instinct that has set up a standard for me - like the standard that happiness is good?

then all I will have done is to have wasted my time AND have deceived myself.

I could say to myself the color red is valuable, and spend my life painting anything I could red, or that money is valuable and spend my life trying to earn money, or that happiness is valuable, and spend my life trying to earn happiness. All are equally as worthless.

Interestingly enough, im not really that unhappy now, I was very depressed about a year ago and I don't feel like that at all right now.

Also, people keep saying that there is something more than logic, can you please tell me what that is? logic isn't like a religion, all logic is is that if a=b and b=c than a=c. It's just a method of discerning fact based on information...


Jacob st. Henry... can you be more specific, you said that I had made many flawed assumptions, but you didn't point any out.


Adam, are you experiencing suicidal ideation? Did you go from feeling depressed last year to deciding to commit suicide, and so feeling happiness and relief lately? If so I urge you to talk to someone professional.

If you aren't actually suicidal, what are you doing on this thread? There are so many assumptions being made-- I think Sean pointed out a few-- that I'm not sure of your motivation. The greatest assumption that peppers your initial post is that of some kind of solid, definite self. Who is this I that's asking this question? Who is this "I" that's obsessed with this question? What in you values questionable logic over all the evidence of your bodily existence-- such as the fact that you eat, drink and breathe-- that being alive is currently preferable to dying? What sort of "reason" do you imagine you need to live and act, and why are you looking for it? Why do you care one way or another? And if you do care, then why isn't that simply enough?

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/15/11 8:45 AM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
Are you saying that it is subjective value? I should live for subjective value? I should arbitrarily create some standard of worth and then work towards it? or follow some innate instinct that has set up a standard for me - like the standard that happiness is good?

then all I will have done is to have wasted my time AND have deceived myself.

I could say to myself the color red is valuable, and spend my life painting anything I could red, or that money is valuable and spend my life trying to earn money, or that happiness is valuable, and spend my life trying to earn happiness. All are equally as worthless.

i see what you're getting at. just cause Richard says you should be happy and harmless, doesn't mean that's the right thing. some people say it's good to fill yourself with All-Encompassing Love, for example, and that feels good, but that doesn't mean it is a good idea.

i will say it's just subjective. you subjectively decide what you want to do based on whatever criteria you have for preferring one thing over another. if painting everything red makes you happy, then paint everything red. if you think it's stupid and a waste of time, then don't do it, obviously. why is one thing 'better' than another? i don't know. ask yourself that. be sincere in your investigation. sure, logically you might say 'it isnt better or worse whether i sit here or have a hot poker driven through my stomach, in the grand scheme of things', but have someone start driving a hot poker through your stomach and you might soon find a reason or two why it is worse. (your own reasons, of course, which may differ from others'). likewise, one can start doing a vipassana practice and see if that leads to a better way of living, or doing an actualism practice and see if that leads to a better way of living. better in your eyes. if you literally can't find any reason anything is better or worse, then just lie there, like you said. but as you found you had a reason to get up - to drink some water. so maybe there is a reason to end your suffering. or maybe not. who knows? only you can decide for yourself.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/15/11 8:55 AM as a reply to adam ,.
What motivates you to ask? Seriously.

I ask because I am curious, and I have found no reason to interfere with that curiosity in this case. How about you?


adam j. hunter:
About that logical flaw - You're saying that I'm wrong in saying that because there is no [absolute objective] motivational value behind something, there is no reason to do it. Your implying that there is some reason to do something outside of [absolute objective] motivational value. Well this has been my question all along - what is that reason?

In simple language the 'reason for doing something' is the same thing as the 'motivational value behind some action' (although the former can be the post rationalization of the latter). Do you agree that my corrections to the quote help clarify your position? In fact, aren't they necessary? If so, is it not telling, that I had to make them?

And yet you began by claiming (with little explanation), that absolute objective value was a logical contradiction*, but continued to insist that this is what you require for meaningful action! Why, when everything seems so clear to you, are you continuing to make this category error?

(*Perhaps this shows that you understand that all value is contextual. And yet you insist that such value is without meaning, if it cannot be found acontextually**. But... why would you do this?)

(**Fortunately, I am not required by the laws of the universe to act acontextually. Nor would I know how.)

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/15/11 9:29 AM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:

Ok, your the only person who actually tried to answer me.


I understand your frustration. Most replies have asked you to just forget about your question rather than actually addressing it. This is to be expected in spiritual circles. But to reiterate my previous post, addressing your question directly rather than evading it or degrading it, the situation seems very simple.

You start out with two premises, the first explicit and the second implicit:

1. There is no objective value system.
2. Action can only be justified by reference to an objective value system.

Then you conclude:

3. No action can be justified.

The conclusion follows directly from the premises. No one can talk you out of that; it's a simple deduction. As long as you accept these two premises, you will arrive at the same conclusion each time. Presumably the conclusion is troublesome for you, which is the impetus for this discussion.

Two strategies:

* Re-examine your premises. Are you sure premise 1 is true? Are you sure premise 2 is true? Are there alternative premises that are just as acceptable to you rationally and emotionally that might lead to a different conclusion?

* Cultivate equanimity about your conclusion that no action can be justified, if that is what you really believe.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/15/11 7:58 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beo, people who "have it all" don't commit suicide, ever. Such people love every day, it's wonderful fun and so satisfying. The thought "what is the point of life?" and "why not just die?" do not even occur to them.

When you hear of people who "had it all" but ended their lives, you will find that in fact they did not have it all. Typically they had a lot of money, house, wife and children but dysfunctional relationships and low self-esteem. They showed everyone this facade of happiness because they were afraid to admit the hollowness and emptiness they felt inside. People who "knew" them say "oh he seemed so happy and well adjusted" because they couldn't even see through the facade. I can see through facades.

This is what i find ridiculous about this website. People who should be seeking help are told to gaze, gaze, GAZE even harder into their navels. This will just worsen depression. Rumination is depression's biggest aggravator. Successful living is its cure. Who here wants to be responsible for adam doing something stupid? This is absolute nonsense.

Let's just see if all my assumptions are correct or not. That is if adam re-appears and has the insight to see he has a problem.

What you and the other posters are doing is indulging adam's philosophical questioning, that's why he likes it. It feeds his addiction, rather than bring him face to face with the problem.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/15/11 7:12 PM as a reply to adam ,.
[Lovely icon, high horse! My mission is to find a cute image of a windbag for myself...
Anyway, welcome (back?)]




Hi Adam J. Hunter*:
You seem to have been following the AF/actualism threads for a while now. (Is your hibiscus the AF hibiscus?)

/If/
you have free will and can consider yourself relatively safe/fed/able,

/then/
what is provoking a "why not just die" attitude
versus
the "why not just live "natural course of things?

Yes, one is an attitude (just die) and one is a natural course (just keep on): you were alive when you posted; what logic would you give to impede that natural course?

Is this thread a brief conceptual consideration for the sake of logical scales (good=bad, value =zero)?
You have only presented one side of that outcome, by not also weighing "why not just live" (except that you did leave off getting some water at some point).

Looking at math and garden myths/architecture (i.e., stonehenge) I find that math (even pure math) always has affective origins. (This is not at all to demote affectation).

Looking at your thread title, it seems like you are biased (aka: upset) by the realization of "no value".*


What is your experience of value and/versus being at the moment?


Edit to include C C C's point:
What you and the other posters are doing is indulging adam's philosophical questioning, that's why he likes it. It feeds his addiction, rather than bring him face to face with the problem.



_____
*Adam/anyone- just in case you are still thinking, "what reason there is not to just commit suicide and go to sleep forever?" (though your posts after the initial one indicate - and I affectively hope this is correct - that you are not considering taking this actual action and left such a mindset of actual action about a year ago), I would like to note that a friend who failed in such an effort at the end of last year observed that the hoped-for "sleep" was actually a slow, detailed awful nightmare...until the reveille d'emergency room and a painful recovery (these actions do not agree with the organs). The person in question is a very brainy, multi-credentialed naval gazer.

So, do not count on the idea of sleep - consider, at least, unstoppable nightmare as well.

[numerous edits for grammar, syntax,spacing]

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/15/11 8:25 PM as a reply to adam ,.
Why not just die? ... good question. I don't think I can answer the question for you. However, for myself, I really don't know what comes after death.

If there is no next life, then I don't see why not? It's all the same; we just go back to nothingness. But do you know for sure that there is nothing else?

If there is though, do I need to go through all the sufferings again? Will I suffer more? Will I suffer less? Who knows? At least, I will need to live until I can ask this same question again of "why not just die".

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 12:24 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
So Adam, you have a normal life then? Good health, a satisfying close relationship, family, friends, an interesting job, money, house, leisure time. Yes?

No you don't. Instead you read philosophy, stay indoors and contemplate the big questions of life.

And that is why you're depressed.

You're on the wrong forum!

Look around you. The happy people are goal directed and successful. The unhappy people are introspective, intellectual navel gazers.

The question "why not just die" would never even occur to a mentally healthy individual.


hmm, you have a point here. i don't know what to think about these abnormal people who "contemplate the big questions of life" either. what's up with all this trying to think outside the box, inviting all the confusion and inner turmoil? don't these abnormal humans realize they might one day fall off the deep end and turn into extreeeemely abnormal humans like einstein, buddhaharshi, galileo, da vinci, ingram, or even worse--abnormally happy and harmless lizard people? YIKES! run away!! get a life people!!

and now that i've taken a short break from my navel gazing obligations to discuss these twisted questions with my depressed forum mates here, i might as well reiterate--is anyone here willing to explore the questions "why not just die" and "why make another intentional muscular contraction" at the experiential level? or has anyone tried it before? maybe it's just my retarded philosophy, but i think that this (non)exercise is a great way that these questions can truly be addressed and answered. And again, of course I am NOT referring to conventionally committing suicide and destroying the physical body, as that would not even begin to address these questions and would serve no purpose whatsoever in answering them.

p.s. as i (and i'm sure many others) have personally found that the mentioned investigative exercise can be very beneficial, insight-triggering and progress-stimulating, i bring it up to share it with anyone and everyone to check it out if you haven't, except for CCC, as he seems to be the most "mentally healthy individual" here and requires no further investigation into anything in life.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 1:21 AM as a reply to adam ,.
Jeez, I wanted to ask a legitimate question and it turned into an insane therapy session from 100 people at once emoticon.

I guess this sort of question isn't really welcome, also even appearing to be slightly unhappy results in a huge amount of negative pressure, oh well. I don't spend all my time thinking, I spend it happily, I just asked a question and everyone made one thousand and one assumptions.

I still don't have anything resembling an answer to my question, the conclusion seemed to be that there is in fact no reason to do anything. I obviously have no control over who posts, but it would probably be most constructive if you only posted if you actually had a real answer to my question, although at this point the thread is so full of junk it's pretty much unmanageable.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 5:14 AM as a reply to adam ,.
Adam:

I still don't have anything resembling an answer to my question, the conclusion seemed to be that there is in fact no reason to do anything.


Your claim your conclusions are rational, but they really aren't.

Bruno:

The next time you're feeling excellent and really enjoying life, remember to investigate this question again, and realize how much of a non-issue it actually is.


I.e., "why not just die" --- because it's fun to be alive.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 6:24 AM as a reply to adam ,.
HI Adam J. Hunter.

If you're still interested, would you re-state your question(s) in its simplest form(s)?

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 7:42 AM as a reply to Jill Morana.
TJ Broccoli:
adam j. hunter:
hmm, I tried to just sit here but i got thirsty so i drank some water. have a nice day

that's all???

what was experience like when you were just sitting there doing nothing, before you decided to get a drink? if it's hard to explain or you didn't do it for long enough or seriously enough, would you be willing to try it again and again and share with us what happens?

I think your question is a really valuable one; I wish more people would dare to ask it and actually explore it experientially. That is, neither through the superficial "experience" of intellectually analyzing and discussing it, nor through the conventional kind of suicide that destroys the physical body and brain, as that would take tons of future planning and a complex series of voluntary muscle contractions (which to the inquirer are pointless and valueless), but by actually letting yourself (while not sleeping) slide into a mental and emotional suicide--

no intending
no planning
no expecting
no willing
no practicing meditation of any kind
no exerting of any effort
no deciding
no philosophizing
no evaluating or analyzing experience
no forcing of involuntary movements
no resisting of unintentional movements
no trying to silence thoughts
no assuming you know anything about anything
no trying to be yourself or to be anything

--stop or pause that whole business of living out your life.

...what happens?

jill


Thanks for posting again and suggesting people take a look at this. When I do this there are myriad answers to Adam's question as in the suspension of mental-emotional self-evaluation / self-definition there are infinitely intricate processes of living intimacy ready to come to the fore in consciousness. This is pretty much what I always called meditation, but it's only lately (past year?) that it has become reliable while sitting and surprisingly popping up throughout the day. Thanks Jill--
Jake

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 8:27 AM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
I still don't have anything resembling an answer to my question

Yes you do. You are wrong. You are making a category-mistake, amongst other things.


1. There is no objective value system.
2. Action can only be justified by reference to an objective value system.

But Adam says that an objective value system is a logical contradiction. So we have:

1. Action can only be justified by reference to a logical contradiction.
2. An objective value system is a logical contradiction.

therefore

3. All actions are justified.

What ya'gonna do?

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 11:39 AM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
About that logical flaw - Your saying that I'm wrong in saying that because there is no motivational value behind something, there is no reason to do it.


My apologies for not conveying my thought more clearly. Your restatement is not my intended point. My point is that logic is a machine that processes certain inputs to yield more refined outputs. Logic cannot process nothing, and it cannot process itself. If there's no input, there's no output. In my prior post, I analogized the application of logic to the arithmetical process of division. "No output" is not the same as "zero."

adam j. hunter:
Your implying that there is some reason to do something outside of motivational value. Well this has been my question all along - what is that reason?


I did not intend to convey the belief that there is motivation without subjective value. My experience is that there is not motivation without subjective value. Subjective value is the input for logic processes to work on to yield refined outputs.

adam j. hunter:
Are you saying that it is subjective value? I should live for subjective value? I should arbitrarily create some standard of worth and then work towards it?


I'm not very familiar with you, so I hesitate to speculate about your thinking. So if you'll allow me to do so, I'll shift from your question about your mind to apply your question to my mind. That may or may not be helpful to you. Please let me know either way.

Should I live for subjective value? Within a realm in which it is meaningful to speak of an "I" that is guided, my answer to that question is yes. As others have alluded in previous responses, outside of an individualized perspective, the question tends to break down, but as we're conversing in dualistic terms, I'm responding from that perspective as well.

Should I arbitrarily create some standard of worth and then work towards it? When my mind presents this question to me (let me know if yours processes it differently), I perceive a category mistake in the question. Within my mind, my experience of subjective motivations already exists. I don't -- indeed, I can't -- create them afresh and arbitrarily choose between them. Subjective motivations already exist and in a hierarchy, at that. I desire to attain enlightenment. I feel compassion towards my family which benefits from my support in various ways. The relationships between those desires are complex, but not arbitrary to me: I devote an hour or two or three per day to mindfulness practices including seated meditation. I devote eight or ten or twelve hours a day to supporting my family. While I think that my ultimate enlightenment would benefit both my family and the world considerably, I don't know of a way to realize that in the immediate future. Since my support for my family has immediate consequences, I tend to devote more time to that than I do to actively pursuing activities that I believe will lead me to realize enlightenment.

The category mistake arises, I think, when one confronts the differences between one's own subjective values and the subjective values that others express. Since one can only implement one's own motivations, from an individual perspective, those motivations are not generally arbitrary; they have degrees of importance, urgency, significance, etc., as I tried to suggest above with my personal example.

A this point, I'll pause and note that in my mind at various points in my life -- especially while I was deeply depressed -- it was pretty easy to skip over this basic insight: all of my experience is subjective, including my objectification and conceptualization of my own experience, and further including my objectification and conceptualization of other people's subjective experience. In normal, dualistic modes of being, I can only experience existence and I can only act subjectively. I can never act or experience anything "objectively." [I'll set aside for the purposes of this discussion nondual mindstates that can arise in which all experience becomes at once both objective and subjective.] Having learned that lesson a few times, whenever I see thoughts arise regarding "objective fact" or anything along those lines, I recognize that I'm engaged in -- at best -- an artificial and fictitious thought process. Keeping that artifice in mind while engaged in that thought process is difficult for me. The alternative is forgetting it and plunging into delusions (in the form of category errors) about what my mind is doing and what significance attaches to those actions.

Back to the main discussion: Despite the subjective nature of all of my perceptions of my existence, I agree that within that subjective realm I can try to objectify and conceptualize my own subjective values and motivations in order to turn them into inputs to which I can apply logical processes. If I do so, and if I further objectify and conceptualize my experiences with others to form similar inputs, I can apply logical processes to compare the two sets of concepts. My experience is that that process can yield various results. If I compare my values with other people's values, I tend to find pretty significant correllation between *most* of my values and *most* of the values of *most* other people. This correllation gives rise to lots and lots of aspects of society, ranging from Maslow's hierarchy of values to the selections on a McDonald's menu. But while at one level of analysis there appears to be a reasonably informative correllation between my conceptualizations of my experience and my conceptualizations of others' experience, it isn't a correllation of 1.0. It's always less than that. So if I take the first level of output (showing reasonably instructive correllation) and run it through another series of logical processing steps intended to take into account factors related to my particular environment, and then perform similar analyses on my conceptualizations of others' values and environments (or, better yet, ask the others to do so, taking some measures to ensure they're running roughly the same logic processes on their own subjective values and motivations), I'm going to find the outputs diverging more and more. My father is retired and his children are self-supporting adults. Even though we share considerable genetic similarity and a relatively long period of close association while exposed to many of the same environmental factors, his subjective values don't include a significant commitment to providing material support for his family. Also, my interest in Buddhist practice arose after I became an adult, so it was not a part of our shared experience. So his motivations differ widely from mine.

I find that I can readily explain most of the divergence between my values and the values of others by reference to environmental factors, causes and conditions. Karma, in a word.

But all that acknowledged, I still have to come back to the central point: within my own experience -- the only locus from which "I" can act -- my values are not arbitrary. They appear variant when I compare my objectifications of them with my objectifications of others' values. But, as noted above, differences in environment are going to cause those to vary widely. Variation -- and the different conclusions different individuals draw about their answers of "truth" or "fact" or whatever -- is not tantamount to arbitrariness.

And here's an important point from within my own mind: when the thought arises "X is arbitrary," whether I notice it as such or not, that thought is a form of aversion toward my own values. (Which for me was a significant cause of my long-term depression.) So when I'm pursuing mindfulness, when I see judgments like "arbitrary" arise in my mind, I note "aversion," and I watch to see, once it's arisen and noted, how it changes and how it subsides. It always does.

adam j. hunter:
or follow some innate instinct that has set up a standard for me - like the standard that happiness is good?


Nope, see above discussion -- unless your mind works differently than mine, even if you try to follow your subjective perception of someone else's direction regarding values, you can still only subjectively follow your subjective perception of someone else's direction regarding values. In "normal" dualistic ways of being, you will always act from within your subjective context, no matter how objective things seem. Succumbing to the seeming objectiveness of existence is a category mistake -- a delusion that obscures the subjective nature of all perception, including perceptions of things that seem objective.

adam j. hunter:
then all I will have done is to have wasted my time AND have deceived myself.


As I suggest above, I think there may be delusion arising in your subjective perceptions, but I don't think that it is a function of following your subjective values -- I think it may be the result of aversion ("arbitrary") toward your own subjective values that do not match your perceptions of others' values, despite an implied desire that they should match.

adam j. hunter:
I could say to myself the color red is valuable, and spend my life painting anything I could red, or that money is valuable and spend my life trying to earn money, or that happiness is valuable, and spend my life trying to earn happiness. All are equally as worthless.


Only to a mind that has crafted aversion towards its own subjective values. The thought "worthless" is imbued with aversion. See the aversion.

adam j. hunter:
Interestingly enough, im not really that unhappy now, I was very depressed about a year ago and I don't feel like that at all right now.


I'm glad you've emerged from that condition. When it's on, it sucks.

adam j. hunter:
Also, people keep saying that there is something more than logic, can you please tell me what that is?


I've attempted to do so in this over-long response, but I'll restate it here, just in case it's helpful: logic is a machine that processes information. When it comes to motivations, the information the logic machine processes is subjective. Without that subjective input, the logic machine yields no output. No output is not the same as the affirmative output of "zero" or "meaningless" or "arbitrary."

adam j. hunter:
logic isn't like a religion, all logic is is that if a=b and b=c than a=c. It's just a method of discerning fact based on information...


Actually, I tend to think of religion as a series of heuristics and algorithms constructed in part by trial-and-error and in part based on speculative attempts to explain the effectiveness of those heuristics and algorithms. Essentially, I think that logic today is a more polished analytical tool than the more rudimentary logic that was used to formulate religions. In part the polish comes from philosophy and mathematics' analysis of logic itself, and in part because in some regards we have learned more specifics about the world around us. However, when it comes to direct analysis of subjective experience -- including contemplative and meditative practices -- science has barely begun to scratch the surface. That is why I can get more good advice about my meditation practice by reading St. John of the Cross' 16th century Ascent of Mt. Carmel or Buddhaghosa's 5th century Visuddimaga than I can by reading current psychology or neurology.

Does this help?

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 2:07 PM as a reply to Sean Lindsay.
Bruno and Mico Mico, when I said I didn't have an answer to my question, I was hoping someone would tell me what the answer was, not just say that I do. You both said I'm wrong, that I'm making a mistake but you didn't point out what it was.


Mico mico:
"But Adam says that an objective value system is a logical contradiction. So we have:

1. Action can only be justified by reference to a logical contradiction.
2. An objective value system is a logical contradiction.

therefore

3. All actions are justified.

What ya'gonna do?"

I couldn't tell if you were joking or not so I'll respond as if you weren't.

you've made a simple logical error here. When I made the point that objective value is a logical contradiction, that means that objective value doesn't exist. Then when I made the point that action can only be justified by objective value, the conclusion is that the only thing there to justify action is nowhere to be found.

You just played a little game of semantics with my points, this is what it should look like:

1. Action can only be justified by reference to objective value.
2. Objective can't exist because it is a logical contradiction.
therefore
3. No action is justified.

I guess I'll explain points one and two again so as not to be accused of working with false assumptions.

1. - The reason to do something is that it has some positive effect on value. Every action one does is aimed at increasing amount of value. There is no reason to do an action that doesn't improve value of some sort.

2. - Value is simply a system of comparison, and as such can only be measured by some sort of standard. This standard is necessarily subjective, that's the nature of a standard.

This means that the only value we have to work towards is subjectively judged value. The problem with this is that subjective value is not in fact in any way actual. All subjective systems of value are equally arbitrary, some seem more real because they are backed by instinct.

Sean - I think the point of your argument is that increasing subjective value IS a reason to act. I just don't see how this is justified. Any standard of value is simply invented, no matter whether it was blindly created by evolution or carefully crafted by Goldman Sachs executives.

I think I've come to a different, fairly satisfying conclusion, but if I state it, it will probably end the discussion of whether subjective value is really a reason to act or not, and I don't think I quite understand your explanation of why it is.

Thanks for the reply

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 3:12 PM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
Bruno and Mico Mico, when I said I didn't have an answer to my question, I was hoping someone would tell me what the answer was, not just say that I do. You both said I'm wrong, that I'm making a mistake but you didn't point out what it was.


If you would re-read my posts, you will find that you are not really paying attention to what I'm writing. I didn't say you are making a mistake, I'm just saying it isn't rational. I did provide an answer:

Bruno:

"why not just die" --- because it's fun to be alive.


If you continue thinking I'm writing things I am not, and not writing things I am, that makes communication difficult. Let's both do our best to pay attention. This is what you start with:

Adam:

hmm. I'll start with this - there can be no possible objective value in anything. The nature of value is that it is subjectively judged by some standard. Essentially any idea of value is invented. So if there is no value, why do anything? ever?


This isn't rational at all... You are discussing vague concepts by means of dubious inferences. Depending on what you mean by value, I disagree that there can be no objective value in anything (what a categorical statement!), even if I were to agree that there is "no value," that still doesn't rationally lead me to a perceived lack of motivation to do anything (e.g. you tried not to do anything, but needed to pee; it is a sunny spring day, you enjoy a walk in the park, etc). Nothing about your question is rational at all.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 2:59 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno, value is comparative. by definition it is not objective, ever.

and your "answer" ignores everything I've said. fun is not valuable so why should I do something fun?

If you don't want to answer please don't

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 3:06 PM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
Sean - I think the point of your argument is that increasing subjective value IS a reason to act.


I said a great deal more than that above. There is no dualistic-world experience outside of subjective experience. Every experience, every perception, every ostensibly "objective" measurement one can perform, one can only perform and experience *subjectively*. The perception of actual objectivity of anything is delusion.

adam j. hunter:
I just don't see how this is justified. Any standard of value is simply invented, no matter whether it was blindly created by evolution or carefully crafted by Goldman Sachs executives.


Every subjective valuation is a result of causes and conditions. Not random. Not arbitrary. Cause and condition. But disliking subjective valuations because one isn't enamored of their origins is aversion which often leads to delusions about objectivity.

adam j. hunter:
I think I've come to a different, fairly satisfying conclusion, but if I state it, it will probably end the discussion of whether subjective value is really a reason to act or not, and I don't think I quite understand your explanation of why it is.


For us to advance this discussion to clearer understanding of each other may require less discussion and more meditation. Can you tell me, phenomenologically as granular and as detailed as possible, what your specific experience is of deciding to withhold information about your satisfying conclusion? That may put our discussion on a common ground.
adam j. hunter:
Thanks for the reply


Glad to be of whatever use I've been.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 4:29 PM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
1. - The reason to do something is that it has some positive effect on value. Every action one does is aimed at increasing amount of value. There is no reason to do an action that doesn't improve value of some sort.

2. - Value is simply a system of comparison, and as such can only be measured by some sort of standard. This standard is necessarily subjective, that's the nature of a standard.

This means that the only value we have to work towards is subjectively judged value. The problem with this is that subjective value is not in fact in any way actual. All subjective systems of value are equally arbitrary, some seem more real because they are backed by instinct.

Sean - I think the point of your argument is that increasing subjective value IS a reason to act. I just don't see how this is justified. Any standard of value is simply invented, no matter whether it was blindly created by evolution or carefully crafted by Goldman Sachs executives.


Yes, so your position rests on the following view:

A: "Action cannot be justified without an objective value system."

On a deeper level, you hold:

B: "The only legitimate source of justification is by reference to something that is objective and given, rather than subjective and created."

This claim is self-defeating, however. For instance, is there an objective justification for believing A rather than not-A? Your argument rests on assumptions, and these assumptions will ultimately rest upon certain bedrock intuitions you have. These intuitions are just like values: they are subjective and created. They are programmed into you by nature and history. You may be able to change them, but that would be an arbitrary act of creation. There is no objective reason for preferring one intuition over another regarding what deserves to be called "justified." i.e., there is no objective justification for believing ( B ). But your argument rests upon the foundation set by ( B ). So by your own lights, not only is all action arbitrary and unjustified, but so is the argument you make to come to that conclusion. So you may as well believe the opposite conclusion, although it's arbitrary which one you decide to select.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 5:54 PM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
Bruno, value is comparative. by definition it is not objective, ever.


Well, like the rest of your correspondents, I may not have an answer [that satisfies you], but herein you may find a clue [that once satisfied me]:

actualfreedom site:
RESPONDENT: ... why is happiness inherent to perfection?

RICHARD: Simply because both the qualities (being pure and pristine) intrinsic to the properties (being complete-in-itself, consummate, ultimate) of that perfection and the values (being benign and benevolent) inherent to those properties and qualities can only have a felicitous effect ... here in this actual world lies complete felicity.

RESPONDENT: I don’t understand the quality-property-value connection ...

RICHARD: The connection is essentially as follows: those qualities are sourced in (not attributed to) those properties and those values – in the sense of ‘the quality of a thing considered in respect of its ability to serve a specified purpose or cause an effect’ (Oxford Dictionary) – originate from both those sourced-in-the-properties qualities and the very properties themselves.

Put succinctly: it is a seamless connection.

RESPONDENT: ... is there a page on it on the AF site?

RICHARD: No ... suffice is it to say, for the nonce, that qualia are intrinsic to properties and not to consciousness (as more than a few academics contend).

RESPONDENT: I would have thought that qualities and values are specific to human experiencing and can not be attributed to the universe itself.

RICHARD: As I understand it, when trying to make sense of academia, properties are the inherent characteristics of things and exist irregardless of humans being present (palaeontology evidences that this planet existed long before humans appeared on the scene) whilst qualities are the anthropocentric experiences of things and are, according to differing schools of thought, either sourced in properties (as objective percepts) or in consciousness (as subjective percepts) ... whereas values, as previously mentioned, pertain to the quality of things in regard to their ability in serving a purpose or causing an effect. http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listafcorrespondence/listaf110a.htm


Regards,
Gabriel

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 6:15 PM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
Bruno and Mico Mico, when I said I didn't have an answer to my question, I was hoping someone would tell me what the answer was, not just say that I do. You both said I'm wrong, that I'm making a mistake but you didn't point out what it was.

As Bruno says, your position isn't rational. You have a nice logical argument that you can't get past but are unaware of how you are mapping it onto reality, your interpretation. This is perhaps why you are reluctant to accept any answers that do not address the actual logic, but is also probably why most responders haven't tried to - they don't see your application of this logic to be rational.

Moreover, addressing the logic only will never reveal deeper issues with your position. This is why I asked you some questions which I hoped would help you move away from the corner you've got stuck in. I'd be interested in your reply...

adam j. hunter:
I couldn't tell if you were joking or not so I'll respond as if you weren't. [I wasn't being entirely serious, nor entirely flippant.]

you've made a simple logical error here. When I made the point that objective value is a logical contradiction, that means that objective value doesn't exist. Then when I made the point that action can only be justified by objective value, the conclusion is that the only thing there to justify action is nowhere to be found.

But this is your interpretation, where you continue to assign (the non existence of) an attribute to actions in the world after deducing the attribute's logically contradictory nature. But what then, could 'actions have no (objective) value', actually mean (in the world)?

adam j. hunter:

You just played a little game of semantics with my points, this is what it should look like:

1. Action can only be justified by reference to objective value.
2. Objective can't exist because it is a logical contradiction.
therefore
3. No action is justified.

What is propositional logic if not a 'a little game of semantics'? May I rewrite?

1. Action can only be unjustified by reference to objective value.
2. Objective value can't exist because it is a logical contradiction.
therefore
3. No action is unjustified.

So did you make an arbitrary choice not to call your thread 'why not just live', or can you identify a subjective standard by which you favoured the current presentation?

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 6:56 PM as a reply to mico mico.
Thanks for your thoughtful response. Sorry, I didn't realize that your last few responses were actually good, I didn't read them carefully enough, sort of blended in with everything else.

As for my use of logic being irrational, I'd describe it maybe as counterintuitive, and a totally useless discussion when people assume automatically that it's wrong. But I think there is a place for this sort of question, it really isn't irrational, it's just unusual, it probably seems totally ridiculous and stupid because of its conclusion (if you misunderstand or ignore the argument), and that is apparently causing some problems.

I'm not sure what your asking in your second response there, about what it 'actually' means.

And then to your third point, the reason I titled my thread why not just die, is because living requires doing, death doesn't, and again the title might more accurately be this: why make another voluntary movement. The title is probably what caused the onslaught of all these posts, oops.

Your right, assuming those two premises theres no reason to do anything AND no reason not to do anything.

So the only unresolved issue seems to be why do something if not for the value achieved in the doing? I think people agree that nothing can have true value at this point. (money, the color red, and pleasure don't have any real value)

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 7:08 PM as a reply to perspectival ..
perspectival .:

Yes, so your position rests on the following view:

A: "Action cannot be justified without an objective value system."

On a deeper level, you hold:

B: "The only legitimate source of justification is by reference to something that is objective and given, rather than subjective and created."

This claim is self-defeating, however. For instance, is there an objective justification for believing A rather than not-A? Your argument rests on assumptions, and these assumptions will ultimately rest upon certain bedrock intuitions you have. These intuitions are just like values: they are subjective and created. They are programmed into you by nature and history. You may be able to change them, but that would be an arbitrary act of creation. There is no objective reason for preferring one intuition over another regarding what deserves to be called "justified." i.e., there is no objective justification for believing ( B ). But your argument rests upon the foundation set by ( B ). So by your own lights, not only is all action arbitrary and unjustified, but so is the argument you make to come to that conclusion. So you may as well believe the opposite conclusion, although it's arbitrary which one you decide to select.


I don't see that my argument rests on assumptions, or beliefs, it doesn't require any. I'm not believing that actions can only be justified by objective value, I'm simply trying to show that it is logically true. Think of it like this, if I were to ask you why happiness is good, what would you say? Maybe you would come up with something like "because I enjoy it" but then I'd ask, why is it good to enjoy your experience? when you keep asking this question you come to the conclusion that whatever was assumed to be good/bad is in fact not good/bad, it just seemed like it was because of some instinct or belief.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 7:18 PM as a reply to Sean Lindsay.
All ideas of subjective standards are invented, whether by intelligence or by evolution. The problem with this is that any subjective value, when inspected, is not actual. It's not that I don't like subjective standard, it is just that on closer examination they don't have any real truth to what they claim. Stealing isn't really "bad" if you ask why it's bad you'd get the response that it hurts people, but why is that "bad" etc.

So my entire reason to do anything is based in these imagined standards, why should I do any given action if my motivation is invented?

The reason I'm not further explaining what I was saying before is that I think it would end the discussion. My two premises remain, that there is no real value and that there is no reason to act without value, but my conclusion differs in a way that would make people basically satisfied, ending their motivation to continue the discussion. It is a conclusion (that I'm doubtful of) that, if accepted, would result in a "good" life.

But, I still am not sure which is the correct conclusion, the "good" one or the never voluntarily act one. And I want to focus on the two premises first.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 7:32 PM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
Thanks for your thoughtful response.

Thanks for the exercise. I wonder if I'm right about anything.

adam j. hunter:
I'm not sure what your asking in your second response there, about what it 'actually' means.

Billy: Hey Bob, do you realise that none of your actions have objective value?
Bob: What's objective value?
Billy: Well, it's a logical contradiction.
Bob: Oh...

How else should the conversation go?

adam j. hunter:
And then to your third point, the reason I titled my thread why not just die, is because living requires doing, death doesn't

Now you are saying that living requires objectively justified doing???

I'll repeat my first question:

"What motivates you to ask? Seriously. I ask because I am curious, and I have found no reason to interfere with that curiosity in this case. How about you?"

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 8:04 PM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
I don't see that my argument rests on assumptions, or beliefs, it doesn't require any. I'm not believing that actions can only be justified by objective value, I'm simply trying to show that it is logically true.


But this depends on your notion of justification. A few definitions of the word "justify" are:

- to show (an act, claim, statement, etc.) to be just or right
- to defend or uphold as warranted or well-grounded

How can we objectively decide whether something is warranted or well-grounded? Hopefully it is clear that there is no objective basis for saying anything is justified or not justified. Justification only occurs with respect to one's subjective standards. In that sense, justification is no different from value. You can't show that the claim "X is justified" is logically true anymore than you could show that the claim "this painting has good composition" is logically true.

You are coming into this discussion with a particular kind of theory of justification, what it means for something to be justified or not. Someone else might have a different notion of justification, i.e. a different notion of what it means for something to be just or right or warranted or well-grounded. There is no objective basis for saying your idea of what it means for something to be warranted or well-grounded is "correct" and another person's is "incorrect."

Think of it like this, if I were to ask you why happiness is good, what would you say? Maybe you would come up with something like "because I enjoy it" but then I'd ask, why is it good to enjoy your experience?


Then I might say "it just is." Then you might say, "that is an arbitrary claim, enjoying experience is neither inherently good nor bad." Then I might say, "perhaps this is so for you, but in my estimation actions that bring about enjoyment and decrease suffering are quite warranted, well-grounded, and worthwhile." In other words, I have subscribed to a particular view of value and justification. I may grant that this is a subjective and ultimately arbitrary set of values, while at the same time holding that for me, this subjective and arbitrary set of values is sufficient to justify certain actions. You can't logically show that my view of justification is wrong because all views of justification, just as all views of value, are subjective and arbitrary.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 10:15 PM as a reply to mico mico.
Hey bob do you realize that none of your actions have objective value?

No, what's objective value

It's a standard of good and bad that is real, not invented, a system that is actual, pertains to all things, and is real.

Oh, yea i guess everything I do is based around achieving value that is invented and false.

Why would you do that?

Um... (this is what I don't know)

______________

Living seems to be the route that requires more of this pointless worthless and illogical doing, compared to death.

______________

The thing that motivates me to ask is that I asked myself HAIETMOBA? and I found that I couldn't convince myself that being irritated was silly, because why is being irritated bad? It only seems like it is bad to me, but so does the thing that got me irritated, and I'm trying to see through that, so why not see through the irritation itself?

So I got to thinking, what is the value of happiness, why should I chase it? Couldn't find an answer, came here in the hope that I was wrong.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/16/11 10:35 PM as a reply to perspectival ..
Then I might say "it just is." Then you might say, "that is an arbitrary claim, enjoying experience is neither inherently good nor bad." Then I might say, "perhaps this is so for you, but in my estimation actions that bring about enjoyment and decrease suffering are quite warranted, well-grounded, and worthwhile." In other words, I have subscribed to a particular view of value and justification. I may grant that this is a subjective and ultimately arbitrary set of values, while at the same time holding that for me, this subjective and arbitrary set of values is sufficient to justify certain actions. You can't logically show that my view of justification is wrong because all views of justification, just as all views of value, are subjective and arbitrary.


Well, the problem here is that if actions can only be justified subjectively, then well, they aren't really justified. You came to the point where your argument becomes, 'well it just is,' and I'm not satisfied with it, it seems to just be incorrect, and now matter how much you repeat that it 'just is' good, it doesn't make it true. So, nothing is really good, nothing is really bad, why act if this is so? You can't change anything, you can't make anything good, you can't get rid of anything bad.

You can pretend something is good or bad, and then you become like that person in my example, spending his whole life painting everything red, or in the reverse whiting out everything blue. See how ridiculous that seems? The only reason it doesn't seem that ridiculous is that happiness/suffering are programmed to seem good and bad, but as we are capable of logic, why accept those arbitrary values invented by evolution?

Can this be disproved now?
1. There's no real value.
2. There's no reason to act unless there is value to increase.

Logically, you'd do the least were this the case, because being there no reason to do anything, you'd just go with the flow. (maybe thats what AF is, or maybe you'd go into a coma but that seems like it might take more doing)

Based on these conclusions I think I might practice actualism but with a slight caveat, I wouldn't call being upset silly, I'd just focus on seeing everything as completely worthless. But I wouldn't view happiness as good and suffering as bad, just everything just as it is, with no judgment, acting naturally, going with the flow. I don't know if I'd be morally compromised, I'll practice like this for a while and see.

Would the lack of silly-calling adversely affect the habituation process which is apparently the soul of actualism?

Would wonder be a natural consequence or would I become a numb dead zombie?

P.S. Please, if you still have doubts about my two premises, then I want to continue discussing, does invented value really justify anything?

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/17/11 4:14 AM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
The thing that motivates me(1) to ask is that I asked myself HAIETMOBA? and I found that I couldn't convince myself that being irritated was silly(2), because why is being irritated bad(3)? It only seems like it is bad to me, but so does the thing that got me irritated(4), and I'm trying to see through that, so why not see through the irritation itself(5)?

1) But what is the justification of your motivation?
2) I don't believe you.
3) The word was 'Silly'.
4) So your irritation isn't justified?
5) I don't know, that would be a bit like finding it silly.

Are you even following your own argument? (Which is all I'm ostensibly trying to do.)

adam j. hunter:
You can pretend something is good or bad [or irritating], and then you become like that person in my example, spending his whole life painting everything red, or in the reverse whiting out everything blue. See how ridiculous that seems?

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/17/11 6:27 AM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
The thing that motivates me to ask is that I asked myself HAIETMOBA? and I found that I couldn't convince myself that being irritated was silly, because why is being irritated bad? It only seems like it is bad to me, but so does the thing that got me irritated, and I'm trying to see through that, so why not see through the irritation itself?

your above paragraph seemed like it was missing a few links in its chain of reasoning, and so i have taken the liberty of guessing what they could be and filling them in for you before answering the question at its end. the edited version is as follows (with my interpolations in parentheses):
[quote=adam j. hunter (edited)]
The thing that motivates me to ask is that I asked myself HAIETMOBA? and (found that i was irritated. then i remembered a belief of mine that being irritated is supposed to be silly but when i tried to convince myself of this,) i found that I couldn't convince myself that being irritated was silly, (and) because (i assumed that 'silly' means the same thing as 'bad', i asked myself) why is being irritated bad? (and i found that) It only seems like it is bad (to be irritated) to me, but so does the thing that got me irritated, and I'm trying to see through that, so why not see through the irritation itself (rather than believe that being irritated is silly and being silly is bad)?
indeed, why not see through the irritation itself (rather than believing that being irritated is silly and being silly is bad)?


adam j. hunter:

So I got to thinking, what is the value of happiness, why should I chase it? Couldn't find an answer, came here in the hope that I was wrong.

since you earlier in this thread asked for an explanation from an actually free person, here is such an explanation:

there is no reason sine qua non to be happy other than what can only present as self-evident, which is not something that can be intellectually evinced, which is what so many of your other respondents have endeavoured to tell you in a variety of words and ways.

personally speaking, i much preferred your 'why make another voluntary muscular movement?' line of inquiry to 'why be happy?', because the issue of voluntary muscular movements is more concrete and lends itself more readily to a straight-forward investigation, and because if you have to ask yourself 'why be happy?', then what you know as happiness probably just isn't a good enough reason to be it (and so there really is no reason at all).

in case, having received an explanation from an actually free person (which you obviously valued enough to request), you will now similarly value a piece of (practical) advice from that same person, here it is:

stop discussing the value of valuation on the internet and go back to paying attention to why you make voluntary muscular movements at all. this time, do it all day long, for at least a week (keep doing it even when you get thirsty and get a drink of water), and then - and only then - come back and post what you find.

tarin

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/17/11 8:50 AM as a reply to mico mico.
1. I was assuming I was wrong about happiness being worthless, so I acted in a way I hoped would increase happiness by alleviating doubts I had.

2. Well, the thought popped into my head, why is it silly and I realized that my answer of "well it's not enjoyable" couldn't cut it, because the universe was in no way improved when it was.

3. fine

4. No, but neither is any attempt to end it.

5. Yes, it would be like that, except there's no reason to make an effort to try to see through it.

Maybe I stated what I was trying to say badly, but basically it's this: there's no reason to get irritated but there's also no reason to avoid or end irritation.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/17/11 3:29 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
indeed, why not see through the irritation itself (rather than believing that being irritated is silly and being silly is bad)?


Well, there's no reason to make such an effort.


since you earlier in this thread asked for an explanation from an actually free person, here is such an explanation:

there is no reason sine qua non to be happy other than what can only present as self-evident, which is not something that can be intellectually evinced, which is what so many of your other respondents have endeavoured to tell you in a variety of words and ways.

personally speaking, i much preferred your 'why make another voluntary muscular movement?' line of inquiry to 'why be happy?', because the issue of voluntary muscular movements is more concrete and lends itself more readily to a straight-forward investigation, and because if you have to ask yourself 'why be happy?', then what you know as happiness probably just isn't a good enough reason to be it (and so there really is no reason at all).

in case, having received an explanation from an actually free person (which you obviously valued enough to request), you will now similarly value a piece of (practical) advice from that same person, here it is:

stop discussing the value of valuation on the internet and go back to paying attention to why you make voluntary muscular movements at all. this time, do it all day long, for at least a week (keep doing it even when you get thirsty and get a drink of water), and then - and only then - come back and post what you find.

tarin


Well, if you're implying that my idea of happiness lacks some intensity, I don't think intensity figures into the equation, no matter how much I enjoyed my experience it still wouldn't affect any sort of value. But okay, I'll come back in a week. This is what I'm sure will happen: I'll keep finding that it's easier (takes less illogical doing) to just cave into whatever desire there is, and I'm sure that this include desire to be happy. But what I really wanted to know from an AF person is, once you've surpassed desire, there wouldn't be anything to cave into and so why would you ever make another movement?

I'll read the forums but probably won't post, I'll come back in a week.

edit: eh, no harm in posting i guess, I can do both things, as long as people are willing to respond

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/17/11 10:40 AM as a reply to adam ,.
Adam:

But what I really wanted to know from an AF person is, once you've surpassed desire, there wouldn't be anything to cave into and so why would you ever make another movement?


As a parenthesis: it might be worth noting that affective desire is not the only executive function in your control system (it is not the only aspect of your mind which causes you to act). There is also will, which is based on intelligence and completely situation specific (rather than a generic pull) --- I recognize that the dishes are dirty, and that if I don't wash them I won't have any dishes that I can use, so I decide to wash the dishes it is a matter of problem-solving by use of intellect, not a matter of affective craving or aversion. Hence reasonable, common-sensical, etc.

Actually much of your effective action is governed by will, rather than desire. The actions governed by the executive aspect of affective desire are felt like an "incontrolable compulsive pull" (you can't help yourself), those governed by will are experienced as conscious decisions. Quite often there is a big inner battle between the two (I know I have to wash the dishes, but I don't feel like it).

If affective desire goes away, will still remains, hence you are still functional. So you still decide to do stuff and all that. (And guess what? You'll never have any problem with washing the dishes!)

Further under the hood, you have planning (the ability to lay out a sequence of gestures to effectively reach your outcome), and then habit and muscular memory (that actually allows inclinations, decisions and plans to pass down to your muscles and so on). For instance, you might remember that once upon a time, using tableware was an arduous feat of muscle coordination, but nowadays it is as easy as (eating) pie (with your hands) emoticon And you won't believe how fast these hands can type after being in the body of a computer geek for over eighteen years!

You can watch all of these in action, and notice how they are separate yet coordinated, by doing meditation during daily activities.

That said, I did go through a few phases when I didn't feel like doing anything, because everything seemed pointless and unsatisfying. It took a while to realize that this insatisfaction, pointlessness, etc was actually being actively generated within my mind. And an even longer while to make it go away. In meditation circles, this is sometimes referred to as "knowledge of disenchantment." Here is a DhO post of mine during one of these stages, maybe it is relevant for you right now (notice I ask the same question as you do in this thread):

Bruno:

And not only with my PhD, but plenty of other things seem to be easily seen as "being unable, in themselves, to give any satisfaction." Let's say that the "non-satisfying" aspect of experience seems to have become an obvious triviality... This seems to be slowly warping out my curiosity for anything in life. Yet happiness is supposed to be the point of the whole meditation thing, no?

What's happening?! Did anyone get this post-stream entry?

I don't know if it is just a phase, but if desire is apparently and eventually going to be eliminated, I would really like to understand: how is it that curiosity is maintained? Why is it that "ending desire" doesn't turn one into a amorphous blob... ? Thus all my questions to tarin and trent: how are you able to feel interest for anything without desire?! You seem to retain curiosity, but how? You seem to be happy, but how?


(link)

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/17/11 12:12 PM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:

Can this be disproved now?
1. There's no real value.
2. There's no reason to act unless there is value to increase.


You use words like "real" and "true" synonymously with "objective". What you are perhaps not noticing is that you are also using words like "real" and "true" synonymously with sentiments like "worthwhile" or "warranted". Thus, you implicitly smuggle in an equivalence between "objective" and "worthwhile". One could expand your premises to make this more explicit:

1. There is no objective value.
2. Only objective value is worthwhile (or, "actions can only be justified by reference to objective value")
3. Therefore, nothing is worthwhile (or, "no actions can be justified")

Not everyone would agree with (2). One might grant that there is no value to things in any objective sense, but still feel that subjective (arbitrary, created, invented) values are worthwhile. If so, one can justify one's own actions by reference to one's own subjectively held values, which are held by the individual to be worthwhile in spite of being subjective. Whether one accepts or rejects (2) is itself an arbitrary matter-- there is no logical or empirical demonstration that could force one to accept or reject (2). It's just a matter of choice.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/17/11 1:26 PM as a reply to adam ,.
Hi Adam,

That's a good question. It's excellent to try to think things through as far as they'll go, and to be daring! Congratulations. But be careful not to let your theoretical speculations spoil your relationships or work or grades, at least until they're very well formed and well tested. I'm going to suggest that they are not, at present, and so I hope this will help you in your investigations.

To start, I think you noticed one reason not to just die--it's hard work unless your time has come! You can't just go to sleep and not wake up. Your father's sperm needed no justification to search out your mother's egg, nor did the resulting embryo need to explain its divisions to itself prior to acting. But you could use the question as a basis for insight. You might try sitting in meditation and going through the process of dying. Attempt to do as little as possible while maintaining awareness of the disassembling of all active functioning. It's the lazy man's meditation--awareness of awareness. Try to use your syllogism to deactivate your activity/reactivity. Just rest, without doing anything, in awareness. Find out what the difference is between being dead and being alive.

But it's still an interesting question. I think you've confused yourself about logic, though. Pure logic is without content, meaning or referent. You're engaging in practical reasoning, which means it always has a semantic content. So what? Well, you probably know this, but the difference is that an inference, practically speaking, is only as meaningful or true as its premises (although, it's worth noting that a true conclusion can have false premises--1) all men are dogs; 2) all dogs have oppose-able thumbs; C) all men have oppose-able thumbs). Unfortunately, the premises are the conclusions of previous syllogisms/arguments. And the premises of those previous syllogisms are the conclusions of still more antecedent syllogisms/arguments, ad nauseum.

This problem could be solved with axioms, but then we're just assuming things. Alternately, we could discover the most wonderful of wonderfuls--the self-evident proposition! I challenge you to discover it, young knight. Neither of these are very satisfying (or the second one isn't because no one has found a self-evident proposition). In math, the axiom system is used, without assuming that the axioms are uniquely true. In practical reasoning/coffee-shop discussion, we (ideally) argue back premises until people tire of it or find points of agreement from which they can proceed. This is more or less the Socratic dialectic, and it does not yield final answers, as may be suggested from Socrates famous dictum, "All that I know is that I know nothing."

What's the upshot? Well, in one sense, it suggests that even reasoning is empty of intrinsic essence. And so is emptiness, of course. In addition, it means that you should never get too worked-up about a particular conclusion you've derived. If you seek truth, you can act as your reasoning leads, while using that reasoning as the basis for further exploration of reality and your own understanding of it. Let's take your syllogism as an example:

1. Action can only be justified by reference to objective value.
2. Objective can't exist because it is a logical contradiction.
therefore
3. No action is justified.

I guess I'll explain points one and two again so as not to be accused of working with false assumptions.

1. - The reason to do something is that it has some positive effect on value. Every action one does is aimed at increasing amount of value. There is no reason to do an action that doesn't improve value of some sort.

2. - Value is simply a system of comparison, and as such can only be measured by some sort of standard. This standard is necessarily subjective, that's the nature of a standard.


So you've noticed that your premises/assumptions require explanation. In fact, if you're going to go the logic route, they deserve their own syllogisms. Now, when I challenge premise 1, I go look at your explanation. In the explanation, there are many semantic problems, e.g., you haven't defined "positive effect," "value," "improve," etc. Also, your explanation is logically invalid since you use important terms in your conclusion-- "Action can only be justified by reference to objective value"--that can't be found in your explanation, e.g., "justified," "reference," and "objective." To a certain degree, you define "objective" and "value" in the explanation for the second premise, but they're pretty gauzy definitions for such important concepts. This means that you haven't really argued for your premises. Which means that you would be well advised to try to look more deeply (and without becoming too rigid) into the meaning of these concepts.

But I think that I know what you're getting at with this whole thing, so I'll release you from the logic lesson (if you're even still reading). Here are a series of possibilities that would overturn your syllogism. I'm not saying that I necessarily believe any of these, but they're all viable premises.:

1) Action can only be justified by reference to subjective value.

2) Some actions have aims (those executed by a human being with a plan, at least), and some do not. A bacterium swimming up a sugar gradient probably doesn't have an aim, but we "explain" its actions with such descriptions.

3) Objective and subjective are heuristics that do not have real referents--all existent phenomena are transgress the distinction and make up the class of "real" things.

4) The nature of standards is not always subjective--there exist absolutes or essences, and comparatives evaluate the relative participation in those absolutes.

5) Compassion is the fundamental nature of reality as seen from a perspective or point of view, but it is not easily perceived as such.

6) Justification arises from imagining worlds we desire, and people we desire to be in those worlds. Our actions are "justifiable" if they concur with actions that fit into those ideal worlds.

7) Value comes from awareness, not from objects. That does not make it a subjective property (e.g., if awareness is objective), but a conditioned one.

8) An action with justification is a particular kind of action. Justified actions are only better or worse than unjustified actions by means of some system of values.

Etc.

So, anyway. There are lots of ways to get around the problem you're having, or to doubt that it's a real problem. Keep wondering, and keep thinking things through as far as they go. Read Spinoza's Ethics, Plato's Symposium and Republic, or Christine Korsgaard's Sources of Normativity, to see some alternative ideas. Or read Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, or the works of the early logical positivists, and begin to see where your ideas are originating. Hillary Putnam tries to break down the fact/value distinction, too, I believe. You might try out some of his papers. But do like Descartes--observe and obey the fine grain of conventional morality while you're engaging in these investigations. Don't let the ideas poison your life. And keep coming back to awareness--it's the "thing" that makes your questions/experience/value possible. So, what is it!?

Here's a poem that I really love, and that you might find enjoyable (not that the fact will justify any actions!):

MY own heart let me have more have pity on; let
Me live to my sad self hereafter kind,
Charitable; not live this tormented mind
With this tormented mind tormenting yet.
I cast for comfort I can no more get 5
By groping round my comfortless, than blind
Eyes in their dark can day or thirst can find
Thirst ’s all-in-all in all a world of wet.

Soul, self; come, poor Jackself, I do advise
You, jaded, let be; call off thoughts awhile 10
Elsewhere; leave comfort root-room; let joy size
At God knows when to God knows what; whose smile
’s not wrung, see you; unforeseen times rather—as skies
Betweenpie mountains—lights a lovely mile.

-Gerard Manley Hopkins

Enjoy,
Brule

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/17/11 2:45 PM as a reply to perspectival ..
perspectival .:
You use words like "real" and "true" synonymously with "objective". What you are perhaps not noticing is that you are also using words like "real" and "true" synonymously with sentiments like "worthwhile" or "warranted". Thus, you implicitly smuggle in an equivalence between "objective" and "worthwhile".

He also confuses reasonable with justified.

There are plenty of reasons to seek the end of an irrational response to something (like irritation) and by his logic, none of those reasons are objectively unjustified. So we can relax and get on with them. To complain that they are not objectively justified either, doesn't stop them being reasonable.

The logical regression is not inevitable in explaining reasons:

I value A because of B, and I value B because of C, but C is a fact, not a choice.

(e.g C could be 'I am curious'; anyone wanting me to justify this should be showing me a police badge. And if you say it 'has no value', then I ask 'value to what?')

I find the language of objective/subjective confusing though, which is why I cast my first reply using contextual/acontextual. But it's perhaps best I didn't try and force that on the thread.

So... I still don't see how anyone could find meaningful, let alone believable, the statement that:

"The only worthwhile acts are those that can be measured against a standard that couldn't exist."

Therein lies the category mistake.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/17/11 3:31 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Yes, I'm aware it isn't just desire governing our actions. My point was that assuming there is no justification for action, the only reason you'd do something is because it's easier to do it than not. That being the case you'd only consciously/voluntarily act based on desire.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/17/11 3:41 PM as a reply to perspectival ..
perspectival .:
adam j. hunter:

Can this be disproved now?
1. There's no real value.
2. There's no reason to act unless there is value to increase.


You use words like "real" and "true" synonymously with "objective". What you are perhaps not noticing is that you are also using words like "real" and "true" synonymously with sentiments like "worthwhile" or "warranted". Thus, you implicitly smuggle in an equivalence between "objective" and "worthwhile". One could expand your premises to make this more explicit:

1. There is no objective value.
2. Only objective value is worthwhile (or, "actions can only be justified by reference to objective value")
3. Therefore, nothing is worthwhile (or, "no actions can be justified")

Not everyone would agree with (2). One might grant that there is no value to things in any objective sense, but still feel that subjective (arbitrary, created, invented) values are worthwhile. If so, one can justify one's own actions by reference to one's own subjectively held values, which are held by the individual to be worthwhile in spite of being subjective. Whether one accepts or rejects (2) is itself an arbitrary matter-- there is no logical or empirical demonstration that could force one to accept or reject (2). It's just a matter of choice.


Oh, I thought I'd explained why objective value is the only 'real' value, meaning the only value it's worthwhile to chase. Anyway, my demonstration of this is that little test, the asking of what makes X valuable, and finding that there's nothing about it actually valuable, just seemingly valuable. If you claim something is valuable you need a reason for judging it as such, what is your reason for any given subjective value?

I don't think it's some sort of differing of opinions relating to whether or not subjective value is real, it's simply a fact that subjective value is a judgment given things by intelligence, not a true property. It's like calling something beautiful, it's just a judgment applied to things, not an actual property.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/17/11 4:41 PM as a reply to Brule K.
Thanks for your concern, I manage to pretty live normally outside of the 30 or so minutes a day I spend posting here, besides I'm on spring break visiting colleges (I'm a Junior in highschool), not too much to worry about in life.

Yes, I guess you're right that I left many pieces unexplained, sort of rushed the explanation.

Better description

1. Voluntary intelligent action[1] can only be justified[2] by showing that it increases actual value[3].
2. Value[4] can only exist within a system of comparison, there is no all encompassing system of comparison[5].
3. (Referencing 2) If value only exists within limited systems of comparison, it can not be described as actual.
Therefore
4. No voluntary intelligent action can be justified.


Counterarguments (that I can foresee):
1. Non-actual value can also justify actions.
The reason true value justifies actions is that if there is an intrinsic good/bad in things it would make it purely logical that these things should be increased/decreased. It is the nature of good that things are favorable, and if something is favorable, and there is no reason not to increase it, it should logically be increased; the opposite, pertaining to bad is true as well. But, with subjective value, the value is not intrinsic, so there is no reason to increase/decrease the good or bad, there is no reason to arbitrarily pretend the standard was true, which only an objective standard would be. If you act to increase subjective value, you're arbitrarily and therefore illogically valuing a standard as true, making your action illogical, unjustified.

2. Can't foresee any, the definition of value is that it is a comparison, comparisons need a system, there is no reason to believe in an all-encompassing system (the only things I can think of making this true would be that the world exists within my mind or there is a God)

3. The counter argument for this is essentially the same as that in 1. a. Any subjective standard is invented, and using that standard as if it were accurate would be arbitrarily and illogically valuing the subjective standard.

4. Actions can be justified in some other way.

This is the counterargument that I came here hoping someone would explain to me


[1] Any voluntary movement, consciously made by the mind's intellectual faculty
[2] Shown to have a reason to do it
[3] Value that is intrinsic, not merely invented.
[4] The attribute comparing something to another in terms of good and bad
[5] Meaning that there is no God or higher power who can set forth all encompassing judgments of good and bad

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/17/11 4:41 PM as a reply to mico mico.
Yes, the action has neither reason for nor reason against, there's no reason to do it. What exactly makes actions reasonable if they lack reason to do them?


by his logic

What's the other logic your implying exists? (your implying I've made a logical mistake, what is it, maybe refer to my "better description" in the above post)


The logical regression is not inevitable in explaining reasons:

I value A because of B, and I value B because of C, but C is a fact, not a choice.

(e.g C could be 'I am curious'; anyone wanting me to justify this should be showing me a police badge. And if you say it 'has no value', then I ask 'value to what?')


I wouldn't say it has no value, I'd say, why should you alleviate your curiosity? You'd say because it feels good, I'd say what's the value (to anything at all) of feeling good?

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/17/11 7:24 PM as a reply to adam ,.
He also confuses reasonable with [objectively ] justified.

"There are plenty of reasons to seek the end of an irrational response to something (like irritation) and by his logic, none of those reasons are objectively unjustified. So we can relax and get on with them. To complain that they are not objectively justified either, doesn't stop them being reasonable."

adam j. hunter:
Yes, the action has neither reason for nor reason against, there's no reason to do it. What exactly makes actions reasonable if they lack reason to do them?

no comment.

adam j. hunter:
["By his logic"] What's the other logic your implying exists? (your implying I've made a logical mistake, what is it[?])

I'm not implying you've made a logical mistake, I'm referring to the questionable application of that logic to reality.

adam j. hunter:
I wouldn't say it has no value, I'd say, why should you alleviate [indulge?] your curiosity?

I've already said, twice, I find no reason to interfere with the free play of my curiosity. This even means that I will find myself making intelligent decisions designed to facilitate such curiosity. That application of intelligence originates from the curiosity itself and not from some hypothetical autonomous unitary intellectual faculty.

adam j. hunter:
maybe refer to my "better description" in the above post

Yes, you appear to be saying that 'Action can only be justified by God'.

Rest assured there are many who agree.

Btw, why is the opposite of true-actual-intrinsic-not-invented value called subjective?

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/17/11 7:41 PM as a reply to mico mico.

Yes, you appear to be saying that 'Action can only be justified by God'.

Rest assured there are many who agree.

Btw, why is the opposite of true-actual-intrinsic-not-invented value called subjective?


Well, action can only be justified by true value, that is intrinsic value, and I can't see anything else that could create such value.

Subjective:

1.
existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought ( opposed to objective).
2.
pertaining to or characteristic of an individual; personal; individual: a subjective evaluation.
3.
placing excessive emphasis on one's own moods, attitudes, opinions, etc.; unduly egocentric.
4.
Philosophy . relating to or of the nature of an object as it is known in the mind as distinct from a thing in itself.
5.
relating to properties or specific conditions of the mind as distinguished from general or universal experience.


The non-actual value can be termed subjective because it is judged to be valuable/not valuable by thought (as opposed to actually possessing the characteristic of value)

it is also specific to a certain system (as opposed to being always true)

it relates to specific conditions/experience (as opposed to universal conditions/experience)



I've already said, twice, I find no reason to interfere with the free play of my curiosity. This even means that I will find myself making intelligent decisions designed to facilitate such curiosity. That application of intelligence originates from the curiosity itself and not from some hypothetical autonomous unitary intellectual faculty.


Well this is the part I'm finding hardest to answer, there is no reason to stop yourself from doing anything and no reason to actually do it. Any conscious action however remains illogical, if you choose to do anything, ever, your making an illogical choice. (Unless someone can think up a logical reason to do something) I'm going to try to go into a coma again (for at least like 20-30 minutes) and see what happens.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/18/11 6:00 AM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
[Yes, you appear to be saying that 'Action can only be justified by God'.]
Well, action can only be justified by true value, that is intrinsic value, and I can't see anything else that could create such value.

But, you are not saying that 'god' has died and we have to lament the passing of the only justification for action. You have always maintained that true value was a logical contradiction. Why then, do you not reject your major premise as meaningless (in the world)? To maintain that there is no action in the world that is justified in a way that is logically contradictory is to maintain nothing (for the world).

adam j. hunter:
[Btw, why is the opposite of true-actual-intrinsic-not-invented value called subjective?] The non-actual value can be termed subjective because it is judged to be valuable/not valuable by thought (as opposed to actually possessing the characteristic of value)

So the evaluation of the choice to put wings on an airplane is subjective?

adam j. hunter:
[I've already said, twice, I find no reason to interfere with the free play of my curiosity. This even means that I will find myself making intelligent decisions designed to facilitate such curiosity. That application of intelligence originates from the curiosity itself and not from some hypothetical autonomous unitary intellectual faculty.] Well this is the part I'm finding hardest to answer, there is no reason to stop yourself from doing anything and no reason to actually do it. Any conscious action however remains illogical, if you choose to do anything, ever, your making an illogical choice.

As the concern is with your interpretation - the application of your logical system to reality, merely repeating your premises and their logical consequents (after freely translating them within the interpretation), is unlikely to help you.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/18/11 9:13 AM as a reply to mico mico.
But, you are not saying that 'god' has died and we have to lament the passing of the only justification for action. You have always maintained that true value was a logical contradiction. Why then, do you not reject your major premise as meaningless (in the world)? To maintain that there is no action in the world that is justified in a way that is logically contradictory is to maintain nothing (for the world)


Well given that everyone goes around assuming their actions are justified, I thought I'd let them know they were wrong,
my point isn't that that "there is no action in the world that is justified in a way that is logically contradictory" it's that no action is justified, your statement assumed that there were other methods of justification.

So the evaluation of the choice to put wings on an airplane is subjective?


Well, do the wings actually improve the airplane? or do they only improve it by the subjective, invented standard that 'this thing would be better if it could fly' Yes it's subjective

As the concern is with your interpretation - the application of your logical system to reality, merely repeating your premises and their logical consequents (after freely translating them within the interpretation), is unlikely to help you.


Well, my interpretation is that one should do the least, as doing is ill - hey wait a second, logical action is no more valuable than illogical action... hmm...

Looks like I have my answer - There is no reason to do anything, there is no reason to do what there is/isn't a reason to do, there's no reason to be logical, there's no reason for anything at all so there is no "should." If there is no should, then life is totally meaningless and pointless, but that's what I thought before, and it's not really that big of a deal, only if you want meaning (meaning isn't valuable)


emoticon

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/18/11 11:15 AM as a reply to adam ,.
adam j. hunter:
my point isn't that that "there is no action in the world that is justified in a way that is logically contradictory" it's that no action is justified, your statement assumed that there were other methods of justification.

My statement assumes your premises, and follows from them. It says nothing about other methods of justification, nor does it need to.

adam j. hunter:
[So the evaluation of the choice to put wings on an airplane is subjective?] Well, do the wings actually improve the airplane? or do they only improve it by the subjective, invented standard that 'this thing would be better if it could fly' Yes it's subjective.

Well you've unsurprisingly answered your own question instead of the one I asked. Perhaps I wasn't clear. Is the evaluation of the choice to put wings on an airplane (regarding its ability to fly), subjective? Or is it an objective, repeatable and verifiable valuation? (Please, note that the issue of why we might want the plane to fly, or if it's ability to fly somehow improves it, has nothing to do with whether this evaluation is subjective or not.)

adam j. hunter:
Well, my interpretation is...

As the concern was with the application of your logical system to reality, merely repeating your premises and their logical consequents (after freely translating them within the interpretation), is rather pointless.

RE: why not just die
Answer
3/18/11 12:35 PM as a reply to adam ,.
Hi Adam,

I think you're still making a mistake, although you did a nice job of clearing up some of the ambiguities in your syllogism. Perhaps I was too wordy last time.

There are no logical or illogical actions. Period. Something is logical if it obeys the rules of logic. The rules of logic neither can nor do say anything about the quality of the premises or of any actions, etc. They are purely formal rules. You might as well say that an action was unmathematical because you can't find an equation to describe it.

Here's a basic list of the rules of logic that govern whether something is logical or illogical:

1- If all of the premises are true and the argument is valid, the conclusion MUST be valid
2- If all the premises are true and the conclusion is false, the argument must be invalid.
3- If the argument is valid and the conclusion is false, at least one premise must be false.

Valid Arguments (if...then)

1- Affirming the antecedent
If P, then Q example: if this metal is gold, it will NOT dissolve in nitric acid. This metal is gold.
P, therefore Q Therefore it will NOT dissolve in nitric acid
2- Denying the Consequence
If P, then Q example: If I can do long division, then I can add and subtract.
Not Q, therefore not P I can not add and subtract, therefore can NOT do long division
3- Chain Argument (hypothetical syllogism)
If P, then Q example: If money is tight, interest rates rise.
If Q, then R If interest rates rise, loan volume decreases
Therefore if P, then R Therefore if money is tight, loan volume decreases
Fallacies
1- Fallacy of affirming the consequent
If P, then Q example: If I can do long division, then I can add and subtract.
If Q, therefore P If I can add and subtract, I can do long division
2- Fallacy of denying the antecedent
If P, then Q example: If I locked my car, it won't be stolen
If not P, then not Q I did not lock my car, therefore it will be stolen


This is informal logic, and quite simple. If you're curious, you can look up the predicate calculus for quantification, or modal logic for inferences regarding possible states.

But the central point here is that logic is barren! Truth is only used by the system, it is not defined by the system (See Tarski's paper on truth). The only truth logic can speak is an echo of the truth of its premises, and the truth of the premises must come from elsewhere. Logic serves as a tool, or a guide, for helping us to see whether we can go from two+ known or assumed propositions to another proposition. If we can, then the argument is VALID. That doesn't mean that the premises are true. Only that, if the premises are true, then the conclusion is true.

If you take crazy assumptions, and validly derive a conclusion from them, that conclusion is LOGICAL given the premises. It doesn't mean it's true, or valuable or anything else. It simply holds to a certain pattern that we have developed for deriving conclusions from premises.

The hard work is to try to find good premises. You've chosen some that you find satisfying (in the sense that you can't imagine any other option). If your argument is valid (which it seems to be, although it's still sloppy), then your conclusion follows from your premises. Congratulations! Unless you're willing to seriously question your premises, you're stuck with your conclusion--not that you have to be "logical" of course.

Let's look at your premises. First, you've accepted the fact/value distinction. Welcome to the club!--oh wait, you were born into the club unless you were raised in a religious orthodoxy. The culture of scientism, of which Actual Freedom is also a part, accepts the fact/value distinction along with materialism. That's fine, but they're both assumptions, and assumptions that many profound thinkers of the past, including scientists, have rejected (Newton and Einstein each rejected the common interpretations of both assumptions). That's why I suggested you read some of the older thinkers like Plato and Spinoza. And I'd add Kant's first Critique. Or read more modern thinkers, like Rorty or Deleuze or Putnam or Davidson. Or, perhaps more seriously, read Nietzsche. His work is a daring escape from nihilism of precisely the sort you're experiencing--the decadence of believing that there is only one worthy goal, and that goal is unattainable (in your case, objective value).

But remember, the fact/value divide is a useful assumption, especially for the social sciences, but that doesn't make it a metaphysical fact.

I know, though, that what you want is some sort of argument that values inhere in objects. But they clearly don't, right. Pure objects, alone in infinite, empty space, don't have flavors, let alone good or bad flavors. Nor do they have any other property. It's the relationship between different types of beings that gives objects their properties. Mass is a property that can only have meaning when objects interact, otherwise we couldn't deduce it from changes in velocity. And similarly with velocity--perhaps even more so. That doesn't mean that there's no meaning to mass or velocity, only that the meaning doesn't have a necessary referent in some rigid matrix of absolute space-time-truth. Similarly with happiness and sadness, good and bad. They portray relations, albeit more complex ones, between beings. But every being is already a matrix of relations. So we could say that a being is bad for another being if the former decomposes the relations already existent in the latter. And good if it compliments or strengthens those relations. Thus, good and bad are relative properties, but not therefore meaningless or purely subjective.

Alternately, a classic account is that good : knowledge : light : : bad : ignorance : darkness. Again, relative properties, but not necessarily subjective.

The key thing is that you keep looking. Get your logic in better order, then don't worry about it except as a useful tool. Logic clarifies the mind, but it does not provide truth. Broaden your assumptions. Look at the historical development of the fact/value divide--don't just assume that it's true because it's conventionally accepted.

And start meditating seriously. It will provide you with insights that will shake your assumptions. It is the means par exellence for exploring the mind and reality as it is experienced. Look at your mind, watch it move, then try to distinguish an "objective" fact from a "subjective" one. Or try to discover what part of your emotional/mental being demands rational justification through final purposes. Who is it that wants a final purpose so bad?

Enjoy,
Brule

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