Friday, June 21, 2013

Klouda-ing the Issue

Posting under the name Bryan Klouda, a visitor to my blog A Proof that the Christian God Does Not Exist recently left the following comment:
Haven't read the comments or the entire post, but got to the square circles part.  
Out side of the context in which the argument is being made, square circles do exist. A shape with 250 sides can be considered a circle, just like a shape with 4 sides can be said to be a circle. Since a circle is defined as something like every point on the circle is equidistant from its center, it can be said that no circle even exists because you can never have a perfect circle, and if the shape doesn't fit the criteria of the definition, it follows that it must be something else.
This strikes me as rather confused. How can “a shape with 4 sides… be said to be a circle”? Are those sides straight or curved? Are they joined together as part of a continuous curve, or are they joined by right angles? If those four sides are arcs which form a circle when put together, end to end, then yes, one could call the resulting shape a circle; it seems that it was a circle to begin with and someone came along and snipped the circumference at four given points.

But a square is not simply a shape with four sides. A square is defined as “a rectangle having all four sides of equal length” (source: Dictionary.com), while a rectangle is defined as “a parallelogram having four right angles” (source: Dictionary.com). The distinguishing feature of a square, then, is that it is an enclosed shape having four sides of equal length that are both straight (not curved), joined together by right (90-degree) angles, and “having both pairs of opposite sides parallel to each other” (source: Dictionary.com).

The commenter himself offers that “a circle is defined as something like every point on the circle is equidistant from its center.” Compare this with the definition I found at Dictionary.com: “a closed plane curve consisting of all points at a given distance from a point within it called the center.” So a distinguishing feature of a circle is its curved circumference. And while the circumference of a circle is a continuous, unbroken curve, a square has four straight sides of equal length and four right angles. Given these definitions, I do not see how one could argue that square circles could exist. Even if one wants to say that a figure with 250 sides is a circle, it seems that, given the distinguishing feature of a circle being its unbroken curved circumference, each of those 250 sides are curved in such a way that when they are assembled together in a particular configuration, they form a continuous curve in which every point is a given distance from its center. But that would not be a square.

The commenter then suggests that “it can be said that no circle even exists because you can never have a perfect circle,” which seems to blow his entire point out of the water. If it is accepted that there can be no circles to begin with, then on what basis could one hold that a square circle exists? Blank out.

The point I was trying to make in the context of my original blog entry by raising the specter of “square circles” should be clear from what I state there. There is an internal tension between (a) the apologetic premise that one would need to scour the entire universe to ensure that there is no evidence for the theist’s god, and (b) the recognition that there are no such things as “square circles.” Apologists who acknowledge the fact that there is no such thing as a square circle on the basis that such a notion is conceptually incoherent, are not demanding that we scour the universe to ensure that there is no evidence of any square circles that might be hiding someplace within it. It is accepted by such apologists that the notion of square circles can be safely rejected on the basis that such a notion is conceptually incoherent. Thus, if the notion of “God” is likewise shown to be incoherent, we should accept that the notion of “God” can be safely rejected for essentially the same reason.

Besides, Christians claim that the universe was created by their god, which would mean that their god is not a part of the universe in the first place. So even if one did scour the universe for evidence of the Christian god and found none, the Christian could simply say that we’re looking in the wrong place to begin with. So the whole apologetic angle on the matter is shown to be a complete ruse from the outset. Meanwhile, the apologist is hoping that we do not discover the fact that his god is nothing more than something he’s been imagining all along.

by Dawson Bethrick

Labels: ,

25 Comments:

Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dawson,

Another enjoyable read!

And here's a little update that ties in, somewhat, with your current blog entry:

I still have not received a reply from Dan O'Brian, on the comments I left for him over on this thread:

http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/a-third-bothand-principle-evidence-and-faith/

But, hey, that's cool. In those comments, I mentioned to him that I understood if he took his time responding. No biggie.

Anyway, in those same comments, in response to his claim that "the most obvious truths can be called into question,” I asked the following:

"How about the fact that there is no such thing as a square circle? Can you demonstrate how this might be 'called into question'? (I’m assuming, of course, that by 'calling into question' you mean: **succeeding** in challenging the accuracy, probity, or propriety of 29 the 'obvious truths' I’ve mentioned, and not merely the simple act of **issuing** a challenge to such truths. I grant the latter is well within the realm of possibility, but not the former.)"

I also wrote: "By the way, since you’re a defender of faith and I’ve introduced the notion of 'square circles' into this discussion, I would really be curious to know what you would say faith’s role would be in one’s acceptance or rejection of such a notion as square circles."

Over on his blog in another thread, one in which the topic being discussed was "gay marriage," (and one in which I did not participate), Dan O'Brian wrote the following:

"A prohibition of gay marriage, which is like talking about a square circle, is JUST discrimination because the exclusion is inherent in the definition. In other words, AA is not AB; and where marriage is only AB, AA is justly excluded. Inter-racial marriage is still AB, and a prohibition against it is not JUST because it’s going against the rules set forth in the definition of marriage...

To find the proper answer to the question 'can a gay man marry a gay man?', ask yourself 'can a married man be a bachelor? can there be a square circle?' This is basic logic."

Anyway, just a few items that I thought might fit in, given the topic of your newest blog entry.

Ydemoc

June 21, 2013 8:48 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Mr Klouda wrote A shape with 250 sides can be considered a circle, just like a shape with 4 sides can be said to be a circle.

He's trying to argue against the Law of Identity so as to participate in some primacy of consciousness fantasy. A=A and A=/=¬A absolutely because existence is absolute.

Best and Good.

June 22, 2013 6:24 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hello everybody,

Here's a little something I put together and posted over on that Jason Peterson blog, (http://answersforhope.com/the-nature-of-reason/#comment-6383).

I posted it a blog entry written by Ben Russell called "The Nature of Reason." It is currently awaiting moderation, although I seriously doubt they will ever post it.

Enjoy!
____________________________________

Hello Ben,

As perhaps you’re aware, a few days ago (or has it been a week?) I posted a response to Jason Peterson's blog entry, “A Very Brief Critique on An Objection to Presuppositional Apologetics."

Not only did my comment not post, but now, (at least the last time I checked), the entire blog entry has, apparently, been taken down -- or perhaps it’s just been moved? Is it available elsewhere on your website?

Granted, there is a webcache version available here: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:XgoL5yTKVNkJ:answersforhope.com/a-very-brief-critique-on-an-objection-to-presuppositional-apologetics/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us. Yet on your actual site, whenever I go to the URL for the original blog entry, I get a “Not Found, Error 404” message.

Your taking it down (if that’s what happened) is, of course, your business (or Jason’s). As a champion of property rights, I would never challenge your (or Jason’s) right to publish (or not) whatever it is that you see fit to publish; nor would I ever accuse you of “censorship,” for I consider that particular concept applicable only in reference to governmental policies and actions, and not to the actions or views of private individuals. So you will not hear cries of censorship from me -- no whining about curtailing my “freedom of speech” because you did not publish what I wrote, for I view freedom of speech as including the right not to listen and/or not to give a platform to anyone -- including to those with whom one disagrees.

However, I am curious (if, in fact, you even know) why Jason Peterson's blog entry was taken down and/or why my comment wasn't published. I understand that neither you nor Jason owe me an explanation, and I acknowledge that any answer you give would only be as a courtesy to me on your part, (as would your answering *any* question or publishing *any* comment of mine). That being said, would you mind telling me why this occurred? Did it have anything to do with my correcting him on his treatment and understanding (or lack thereof) of the axiomatic concepts “existence,” “consciousness” and “identity”? Did the removal of this particular entry have anything to do with Jason’s assertion that “[t]here is nothing that we have stated that commits the stolen concept fallacy”? -- a statement which not only flies in the face of the facts, but is one made by someone who, by making it, exhibits a complete lack of understanding of what the “Stolen Concept” fallacy even is! Are these some of the reasons you took down the blog entry?

(continued)

June 22, 2013 5:03 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

While fully realizing that the comments which I'm currently crafting may also end up like my last, i.e., unpublished, I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to present to you some material that addresses your blog entry above -- if for nothing else than to further integrate material I’m already familiar with. Should you, Jason, or anyone else choose to read the following comments in part or in full and/or publish them, well, then that would be just icing on the cake -- for me.

When I saw the title of your blog entry, “The Nature of Reason,” I thought that I would at least find some description or definition of what “reason” is. However, when I read it, I failed to find anything approaching a definition or description, neither from any secular source nor from any Christian apologist. And, even though I did go to the link you supplied, this was unhelpful too, as it was a book which required a purchase -- something I’m not prepared to do at the moment.

(By the way, do you know where in the bible might I find anything that speaks **directly** to the faculty of reason? To concepts and how they’re formed? To perception? To how definitions are secured, etc.? Where does the bible directly address the concern for guarding against epistemologically confusing one’s imagination with reality? [Dawson Bethrick] Where does it speak directly to the issue of metaphysical primacy, i.e., the proper orientation in the subject-object relationship? Where in the bible can I find a theory of knowledge? Any direct discussion about the nature of consciousness? Anything about induction? Anything about the problem of universals? Etc.?)

In any event, since nothing in your blog entry sheds any light on the nature of the concept “reason,” I offer you something that might, (I know that it did for me)...

The following excerpt does not come from the bible, nor does it come from any apologetic source; instead, it comes from Leonard Peikoff’s book, Objectivism: The Philosopy of Ayn Rand (p. 152-153; scribd.com p.145-146, http://www.scribd.com/doc/104608774/Leonard-Peikoff-Objectivism-The-Philosophy-of-Ayn-Rand):

(continued)

June 22, 2013 5:04 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

‘Reason,’ in Ayn Rand’s definition, is ‘the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses.’ Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness, “The Objectivist Ethics,” p. 20. Or, as we may now expand it: reason is the faculty that enables man to discover the nature of existents — by virtue of its power to condense sensory information in accordance with the requirements of an objective mode of cognition. Or: reason is the faculty that organizes perceptual units in conceptual terms by following the principles of logic. This formulation highlights the three elements essential to the faculty: its data, percepts; its form, concepts; its method, logic.

Is reason, so defined, a valid means of cognition? Does it bring man knowledge of reality? The question reduces to: are the senses valid? are concepts valid? is logic valid? To these questions, the answer has already been given. [i.e., in the previous chapters of the book]

Reason is the faculty which begins with facts (sensory data); which organizes these data in accordance with facts (the mathematical relationships among concretes); and which is guided at each step by rules that rest on the fundamental fact (the law of identity). The rules require that each cognition be reduced back to the facts one started with. In regard to reason’s every element and aspect, from matter to form to method and from start to finish, one conclusion is inescapable: reason is the existence-oriented faculty.

‘Why should I accept reason?’ means: ‘Why should I accept reality?’ The answer is that existence exists, and only existence exists. Man’s choice is either to accept reason or to consign his consciousness and life to a void.

One cannot seek a proof that reason is reliable, because reason is the faculty of proof; one must accept and use reason in any attempt to prove anything. But, using reason, one
can identify its relationship to the facts of reality and thereby validate the faculty.”

With this excerpt firmly in mind, let’s examine a claim you make in your blog entry above...

(continued)

June 22, 2013 5:05 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Near the end of it, you write: "Their [unbelievers] only justification is using their reason to justify their reason which is a viciously circular argument."

Although I cannot speak for the epistemological methods or the particular worldview of the unbelievers you refer to in your blog entry, I can state, (and as the Piekoff excerpt makes clear) that: Objectivism does not suffer from this oft-heard prepositional charge of "viciously circular" or "reasoning in a circle."

You may be thinking: “Wait, what?! How can that be?!” If this is indeed your thinking, then perhaps Dawson Bethrick’s treatment of a similar charge made by presuppositional apologist, D.A.N., (AKA, Dan Marvin, from Debunking Atheists), might help.

In Dawson’s blog entry, A Lesson on Presuppositional Gimmickry,
(http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-lesson-on-presuppositional-gimmickry.html), Dawson weighs in on exchange that occurred over on D.A.N’s blog, where a commenter by the name Pvblivs wrote: “Knowledge is obtained through observation and reasoning,”

And D.A.N. responded: “Did you use your senses and reasoning to come to that conclusion? Again, is it viciously circular to employ your senses and reasoning to validate your senses and reasoning?”

Before I present Dawson’s direct response to D.A.N.’s inquiries, here are a few preliminary questions and comments which will, hopefully, expose the ridiculousness of D.A.N.’s line of questioning:

Is perceiving an object, circular? Does one argue his way to perceiving, say, a tomato? Where is the inference from some prior non-sensory (or nonsensical) knowledge? Or how about when you feel the warmth sunshine? Where is the argument, a requirement for “vicious circularity” to even obtain, when you watch and hear a bee buzz around? Where are the premises when you listen to music? Stub your toe? Taste a melon? Smell a fresh, baked pie? Where is any argument or premise in grasping the fact that one is perceiving all these things? What premise is being affirmed in an argument that assumes the truth of its own conclusion? Etc. Where is the "viscous circularity" in all this?! (Credit: Dawson Bethrick)

(continued)

June 22, 2013 5:07 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

As Dawson points out in a different blog entry, On the Validity of the Senses, in which he also deals with D.A.N. regarding the same issues, “...’vicious circularity’ is a fallacy that occurs in some poorly formed deductive proofs. But since not all forms of validation are of the deductive proof variety, but may in fact consist of simply pointing to the facts which assure that something is the case, not all forms of validation are susceptible to the problem that apparently worries [D.A.N] (at least in the context of the present area of inquiry).

More to the point, we do not have to prove the validity of the senses. Peikoff explains why (Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, p. 39; [asterisks Ydemoc’s, in place of original italics]):

‘The validity of the senses is an axiom. Like the fact of consciousness, the axiom is outside the province of proof because it is precondition of any proof.  

Proof consists in reducing an idea back to the data provided by the senses. These data themselves, the foundation of all subsequent knowledge, precede any process of inference. They are the primaries of cognition, the unchallengeable, the **self-evident**.’

Thus, to answer D.A.N.’s question, any attempt to prove the validity of the senses by means of a deductive argument would itself have to assume their validity, and in this sense such an argument could be said to be circular. But the broader take-away here is the fact that since the validity of the senses is axiomatic, no one needs to prove that the senses are valid in the first place. One can only be rightly accused of engaging in circular reasoning in the present context if he is attempting to infer the validity of the senses by means of a formal proof. Since proof as such presupposes the validity of senses, such an undertaking is unnecessary. I already know this, and that is why D.A.N. will not be able to find any instance in my writings where I am attempting to conclude that the senses are valid by means of a deductive proof. Even if he did, this would not undermine either the validity of the senses or the overall soundness of my worldview, which does not depend in the least on a formal proof of the validity of the senses.”

(continued)

June 22, 2013 5:08 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

To further drive the point home, a little later in the same blog entry, Dawson offers this: “Moreover, as NAL, a visitor to my blog, pointed out...

‘It is not circular to use your sense of touch to validate your sense of sight.’

This is a truth which any child grasps on the implicit level of knowledge, and yet it is very handy in quelling skeptical arguments when it is identified explicitly. A child sees a toy in front of her. She reaches her hand out and grabs it. First she perceives it visually, then she perceives it tactilely. The latter experience confirms the validity of the former experience. The toy may even have a fragrance, such as Play-Doh right out of the package. This would be a third form of perceptual experience confirming the validity of the other two. Thus, collectively, the senses are self-validating, and in a non-circular way to boot.” (To read the complete blog entry, please visit: http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/2013/04/on-validity-of-senses.html)

So now, let’s revisit the questions that D.A.N. posed. Recall that he had asked: “Did you use your senses and reasoning to come to that conclusion? Again, is it viciously circular to employ your senses and reasoning to validate your senses and reasoning?”

(Let me ask you, Ben: If you’ve carefully read and grasped what I’ve just presented to you thus far, aren’t you now struck by how misguided D.A.N.’s questions actually are? Aren't they at least beginning to ring a little hollow?)

In any event, I now present to you just a small portion of Dawson’s direct response to D.A.N.’s questions:

Dawson writes: “D.A.N.'s first question essentially asks: ‘Did you use your mind to come to that conclusion?’ Apparently D.A.N. thinks it’s fallacious to use one’s senses and reasoning to come to conclusions; he therefore must think that using one’s mind to come to conclusions is also fallacious. The only consistent outcome for D.A.N.’s worldview then would to retreat into utter mindlessness, for any alternative according to assumptions implicit in D.A.N.’s interrogative program would result in fallacy...

(continued)

June 22, 2013 5:09 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

...[T]o make things worse, D.A.N. does not know what reason is. And he doesn’t know what reason is because his worldview does not teach him what reason is... [Indeed! Again, where in the bible can we learn about “reason”? Where does it directly address the nature of this faculty?]

Reason is the faculty which identifies and integrates the material provided by the senses. And in my blog answering D.A.N., I have already identified the facts which assure us of the axiomatic validity of the senses. We perceive things. This is rationally undeniable. We also have the ability to form concepts on the basis of what we perceive. This too is rationally undeniable. D.A.N.’s own apologetic must implicitly assume the truth of these facts in order to goad other minds into calling them into question. And yet, if we identify these fundamental facts explicitly and acknowledge their proper place in the knowledge hierarchy (i.e., at its foundation), it becomes more and more evident that D.A.N.’s entire apologetic hinges on an entire series of stolen concepts.

Simple questions can be used to tease this out. For example, ask D.A.N.: Is it fallacious for a thinker merely to be aware of things? Is it fallacious for a thinker merely to perceive objects? Is it fallacious for a thinker to use his own mind to think and draw conclusions based on what he perceives? If so, what fallacy is he committing? If D.A.N. wants to say it’s “viciously circular,” then he clearly does not understand what the fallacy of circular reasoning is. As I pointed out in my previous blog, circularity is a fallacy involved in deductive arguments. Merely perceiving objects is not an instance of circular reasoning or any other fallacy. Identifying what one perceives by means of concepts is not an instance of circular reasoning or any other fallacy. So already we should see that by relying on reasoning, we’re off to a good – i.e., non-fallacious – start. If D.A.N. concedes that none of these activities is fallacious, then what is the problem? Blank out.”
__________________

That should be enough for you to chew on for a while.

But just in case it's not, I’ll leave you with this: An exchange Dawson had back in 2011 with presuppositionalism’s hero du jour, Sye Ten Bruggencate:

(continued)

June 22, 2013 5:10 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dawson wrote: "Using reason to identify objects is not circular."

Sye writes: “No, but trusting its accuracy in the identification process with which you try to justify its accuracy is.”

Dawson wrote: "Using reason to identify the operation... ...is not circular.”

Sye responded: “No, but trusting its accuracy in the identification process with which you try to justify its accuracy is.”

Dawson responds: “Good. At least now you acknowledge that my epistemological methodology is in fact not circular. I'm glad I could finally help you see this. But I'm guessing you'll put it safely out of your mind so that you can continue to use your fallacious apologetic which trades on denying what you've just admitted.”

The exchange has been condensed for readability, (e.g., removing other in-between comments, date and time stamps, etc.) but there it is, right there from the horses mouth!: Using reason to identify objects is not circular! Here’s the thread if you’d like to check it out yourself, as there are quite a few other interesting things Dawson has to say on the matter:

http://anatheistviewpoint.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/were-still-waiting-for-sye-to-answer/

So, Ben, the only question now is, not whether you (and/or Jason) have the courage to publish what I’ve just presented to you, but whether or not you have the guts to read it, understand it, and not do as D.A.N and Sye have done and evade the implications it has for your worldview.

Thanks.

Ydemoc

June 22, 2013 5:12 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Good job Ydemoc. You handled this situation with Petersen and Ben not publishing responses with which they disagree with remarkable negotiation skills. (Have you considered studying and preparing for a career involving serious negotiations - high value sales or perhaps civil service employment? You have a talent that you could springboard into more success.)

Ydemoc mentioned STB's claim Sye responded: “No, but trusting its accuracy in the identification process with which you try to justify its accuracy is.” This claim is essentially Kantian in its similarity to Kant's faulty phenomenal vs noumenial dichotomy. Sye buys into Kant's representationalism holding that human consciousness cannot be aware of "things as they are in themselves." He does this because he assumes ture (in a question begging sense) the basic premise of a materialist view of consciousness that in order to accurately sense reality, consciousness cannot have any identity or particular nature. This is called the diaphanous model of consciousness. If Sye accepts Kant's notion of consciousness having an identity that prevents it from directly perceiving existence then he also, if he is to be consistent, must accept Kant's idea that the noumenial self as subject of consciousness is completely unknown to the subject who only perceives via introspection the phenomenal self. This means those who accept Kant's views are essentially cutting off their own minds as Rand explained. ~ cont

June 23, 2013 6:18 AM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

~ Rand explained why Kant's views are so attractive to presuppers.

The man who . . . closed the door of philosophy to reason, was Immanuel Kant. . . .

Kant’s expressly stated purpose was to save the morality of self-abnegation and self-sacrifice. He knew that it could not survive without a mystic base—and what it had to be saved from was reason.

Attila’s share of Kant’s universe includes this earth, physical reality, man’s senses, perceptions, reason and science, all of it labeled the “phenomenal” world. The Witch Doctor’s share is another, “higher,” reality, labeled the “noumenal” world, and a special manifestation, labeled the “categorical imperative,” which dictates to man the rules of morality and which makes itself known by means of a feeling, as a special sense of duty.

The “phenomenal” world, said Kant, is not real: reality, as perceived by man’s mind, is a distortion. The distorting mechanism is man’s conceptual faculty: man’s basic concepts (such as time, space, existence) are not derived from experience or reality, but come from an automatic system of filters in his consciousness (labeled “categories” and “forms of perception”) which impose their own design on his perception of the external world and make him incapable of perceiving it in any manner other than the one in which he does perceive it. This proves, said Kant, that man’s concepts are only a delusion, but a collective delusion which no one has the power to escape. Thus reason and science are “limited,” said Kant; they are valid only so long as they deal with this world, with a permanent, pre-determined collective delusion (and thus the criterion of reason’s validity was switched from the objective to the collective), but they are impotent to deal with the fundamental, metaphysical issues of existence, which belong to the “noumenal” world. The “noumenal” world is unknowable; it is the world of “real” reality, “superior” truth and “things in themselves” or “things as they are”—which means: things as they are not perceived by man.

Even apart from the fact that Kant’s theory of the “categories” as the source of man’s concepts was a preposterous invention, his argument amounted to a negation, not only of man’s consciousness, but of any consciousness, of consciousness as such. His argument, in essence, ran as follows: man is limited to a consciousness of a specific nature, which perceives by specific means and no others, therefore, his consciousness is not valid; man is blind, because he has eyes—deaf, because he has ears—deluded, because he has a mind—and the things he perceives do not exist, because he perceives them.
~ http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/kant,_immanuel.html

STB and the presuppers trade upon the notion that Man is impotent to understand reality. But their veiws are only question begging assumptions, for there are no reasons to doubt we are indeed sensing, perceiving, and volitionally forming concepts from data that is actually what it is in an A=A tense.

June 23, 2013 6:24 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Everyone,

Interesting development:

It may be nothing more than just a temporary glitch, or perhaps they're just doing a bit of maintenance on their website or something, but this morning when I went to see if my presentation to Ben Russell's "The Nature of Reason" had posted (at the link provided above), I got a message back stating that the website could not be found.

I got the same message when I tried using other links associated with the website answersforhope.com.

Like I said, it's probably nothing, and the site could very well be back up and running at any time.

But I do find it interesting.

Ydemoc

June 23, 2013 8:23 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

UPDATE: answersforhope.com is back on line. And they have not published my response to Ben Russell's "The Nature of Reason."

Ydemoc

June 23, 2013 8:36 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Robert,

You wrote: "Good job Ydemoc."

Thanks, Robert! I had lots of great material at my disposal from which to draw. Essentially, all I had to do was search it out and compile it in an orderly fashion.

You wrote: "YuYou handled this situation with Petersen and Ben not publishing responses with which they disagree with remarkable negotiation skills."

Thanks. I didn't think it would be a great idea being all heavy handed about the whole "non-publishing" thing. And I also wanted to explain to them what my position was on this issue. The result was what you read. I think such an approach offers a better chance for them to at least read what I presented, and not just immediately delete it or any other post I make in the future -- even with my little challenge to them at the end.

You worte: "Have you considered studying and preparing for a career involving serious negotiations - high value sales or perhaps civil service employment?"

Interesting question. But, given the amount we all pay in taxes at the local, state, and federal levels, aren't we all pretty much civil servants now?

Actually, I've never really given much serious thought to pursuing a career specifically in the sales or negotiation fields, although the skills required for each certainly came in handy with what I used to do some years back. And even before that, when I was much, much younger, I sold memberships at a gym. I wasn't too bad at it.

You wrote: "You have a talent that you could springboard into more success."

Thanks for being so encouraging. Although I have no plans along the lines that you mention, (at least not specifically), your comments certainly bring to my attention the fact that perhaps I have some skills which I've been undervaluing and underutilizing.

So, thanks again!

Ydemoc

June 23, 2013 2:42 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

NOTE: I'm not entirely comfortable with the word choice in my most recent reply to Robert -- specifically, the first paragraph and the word "disposal."

It reads much better if I'd just simply written:

"I had lots of great material from which to draw."

Ydemoc

June 23, 2013 5:32 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Good Morning - Peikoff’s acute observation that:

“Our leading educators, however, see no relation between concepts and facts. The reason they present material from subjects such as history without conceptualizing it, it precisely that they regard concepts as mental constructs without relation to reality. Concepts, they hold, are not a device of cognition, but a mere human convention, a ritual unrelated to knowledge or reality, to be performed according to arbitrary social fiat. It follows that grammar is a set of pointless rules, decreed by society for no objectively defensible reason.”

was particularly applied to a discussion of American education’s poor service to young people in his essay “The American School” published in “The Voice of Reason” but that may also be integrated into a broader abstraction informing a concept that can be used to explain why so many people blithely without critical thinking accept the fallacies of altruism-collectivism while rejecting and ignoring facts that could be integrated into objective concepts of individual rights, private property, capitalism and limited minarchial government having a main function of protecting individual rights of Citizens. So goes my thought for today after reading “The American School” on the DART train this morning.

Best-Good-Great Day

June 25, 2013 6:42 AM  
Blogger Luiz Claudio said...

congratulations ydemoc. it's been almost one year since i last visited this site and i missed it so much. i am so glad you continue to incinerate presuppositionalism here and hope to visit and promote this site for it shed light on fundamental questions and reveal how misguided primacy of consciousness is. ydemoc robert dawson it is a pleasure to read your thoughts again.
In Brazil, where I live, people are asking for more statism on the streets, which makes me sad. when possible, i point out to people that the the problem is not "lack of governamental investments" or "corruption" but government meddling in the economy. most people here are in favor of the protests but i am very suspicious of the motivation behind it. for instance, the leaders of the movement call it "passe livre" (free pass) and demand that goverment regulates harder transport for the masses and even subsidise it 100% allowing people to use it free.i my understanding this is primacy of consciousness at work. brasilian entrepeneurs in the sector of mass transport are under hard pressure. i watch the development of this crisis with dismay for i don t think people understand clearly what the real problem is: collectivism and the promotion of the common good. what they ask is more of the poison which is killing them. I know it is off topic but i am curious to hear your thoughts about it in short comments. regards!

June 26, 2013 9:12 AM  
Blogger Luiz Claudio said...

congratulations ydemoc. it's been almost one year since i last visited this site and i missed it so much. i am so glad you continue to incinerate presuppositionalism here and hope to visit and promote this site for it shed light on fundamental questions and reveal how misguided primacy of consciousness is. ydemoc robert dawson it is a pleasure to read your thoughts again.
In Brazil, where I live, people are asking for more statism on the streets, which makes me sad. when possible, i point out to people that the the problem is not "lack of governamental investments" or "corruption" but government meddling in the economy. most people here are in favor of the protests but i am very suspicious of the motivation behind it. for instance, the leaders of the movement call it "passe livre" (free pass) and demand that goverment regulates harder transport for the masses and even subsidise it 100% allowing people to use it free.i my understanding this is primacy of consciousness at work. brasilian entrepeneurs in the sector of mass transport are under hard pressure. i watch the development of this crisis with dismay for i don t think people understand clearly what the real problem is: collectivism and the promotion of the common good. what they ask is more of the poison which is killing them. I know it is off topic but i am curious to hear your thoughts about it in short comments. regards!

June 26, 2013 9:14 AM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Here's Peikoff in podcast discussing the difference between rational evidence and mystical stories.

http://www.peikoff.com/tag/certainty/page/7/#list

June 26, 2013 9:26 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hi Luiz,

It's good to hear from you again! And thanks for your kind words.

Coincidentally, I've just started an interaction with someone over on Debunking Christianity whose name is also "Luiz."

Both you and Robert (and others) might be interested in some of the things this individual is asserting. I think he's a non-theist, but he could've fooled me, espeically with his stance on "certainty"! Here's the thread in case you'd like to check it out.

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2013/06/luiz-fernando-zadra-on-matrix.html#disqus_thread

I chime in near the end. I don't know when I can respond in full to his latest comment, but I hope to do so at some point.

As for your comments about your country, I really don't know that many details at all, other than what I heard about people being upset over the increased fees for mass transit. But from what I gather now, based upon a very quick glance at the recent headlines, this isn't so much the issue anymore.

Generally speaking, I can only say that when I've seen this kind of thing happen up here, it has to do with the same fundamentals you've identified. There is a sense of entitlement that some people have, stemming from a total disregard -- either through ignorance or evasion -- of the nature of rights, what they are, and what freedom actually is. I'll leave you with a couple Rand quotes:

"Foggy metaphors, sloppy images, unfocused poetry, and equivocations—such as 'A hungry man is not free'-— do not alter the fact that only political power is the power of physical coercion."

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
“America’s Persecuted Minority: Big Business,”

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 46

______________

Freedom, in a political context, means freedom from government coercion. It does not mean freedom from the landlord, or freedom from the employer, or freedom from the laws of nature which do not provide men with automatic prosperity. It means freedom from the coercive power of the state—and nothing else.

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
“Conservatism: An Obituary,”
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 192
__________________________

Ydemoc

June 26, 2013 2:28 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Hello Luiz: There are not any easy answers to the question of how to convince altruists-collectivists that their faith beliefs regarding politics lead only to stateism and ultimately dictatorship. The first step, it seems to me, would be to establish a conversation. However, when members of pressure groups are pressuring or agitating for handouts from government, they are seeking to intimidate, via an implicit threat to use violence, government bureaucrats into complying with their demands. This is not a situation where they are open to reasoning to a conclusion. Thus it's unlikely you or any objective minded person will be able to sway the opinions of the protesters. To save Brazil or the United States from collectivism requires a multigenerational educational effort directed at recruiting and training objective minded people to obtain teaching positions in Universities. They then would impart their mindset to their students who would become, in time, the movers and shakers who by their actions would influence others to adopt favorable views of reason, rationality, egoism, and thus capitalism and constitutionally limited government. A place to start would be with Rand's essays in "The Voice of Reason"

http://www.amazon.com/Voice-Reason-Objectivist-Thought-Library/dp/0452010462/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372344294&sr=1-1&keywords=the+voice+of+reason+ayn+rand

Best Wishes for a Great Day

June 27, 2013 7:45 AM  
Blogger Luiz Claudio said...

Thanks for your comments!

June 28, 2013 12:42 PM  
Blogger Luiz Claudio said...

@Ydemoc

I ve just read your interacion on the thread you mentioned. I ve already marked the site and page and am looking foward to follow this interesting discussion.

@Robert
Thanks for your advice. I will be looking into this essay. thank you guys again!

June 28, 2013 1:02 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Luiz,

You wrote: "I ve just read your interacion on the thread you mentioned. I ve already marked the site and page and am looking foward to follow this interesting discussion."

I'm glad you were able to give it a look. And like I mentioned in my most recent post over there, I don't know when I'll respond again, but I have every intention of doing so. It's just that right now, other things have come up that have taken up some of my focus. The good news is that, at least as far as tomorrow is concerned, I'll have a some time to work on crafting a response. And when I'm finally finished, whether that be tomorrow or some time down the line, I'll be sure to let to let everybody know.

Ydemoc


June 29, 2013 12:22 AM  

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