Category Archives: Metaphysics

Can You Solve the Metaphysical Paradox Endemic to Philosophy on the Whole?

The existence of A must necessarily be a corollary to the relativity of A to B.

That is:

A cannot be A unless it exists relative to something else…in this case B, because A in a vacuum of its own existential absolutism is infinitely A, and infinity cannot have a set value (or definition). So, it can be logically said that the existence of A is a direct function of the existence of B.  And yet, in order to be relative to B, A must, in fact, exist infinitely and absolutely as A…in order that it can be said that A is truly, itself, relative to B.

Good luck!!

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(Part 3: Quick and Easy Criticism of UPB) The Multitudinous Problems with Secular Ethics: A critique of Universally Preferable Behavior

 

UPB begs the question: Why should preferable behavior be preferable? Or, said another way: Why is preferable behavior good? If we say: UPB is good because it’s UPB, then we have a circular reasoning (tautology), which is a logical fallacy. If we say that UPB is good because it’s good for individuals, then the individual, not UPB, is the ethical standard. In this case “universality” is an irrelevant ethical concept. Since individuals are individual, collectivizing their actions (demanding or even suggesting universal compliance) contradicts their existence. Which implies that the individual is not actually the ethical standard. Pursuing UPB then demands the collectivization of humanity, and once this happens, “preference” goes out the window. Since preference is a parameter of consciousness, and consciousness is and can only be singular (a function of the Individual qua the Individual), it has nothing whatsoever to do with Universally Preferable Behavior.

Trust NO philosophy from anyone which implies the collectivization of humanity. No matter how warm and fuzzy and peaceful it may sound, it’s all utterly evil. There is no rational apologetic for ethics which demand or imply universal compliance. They are all the spawn of hell. Period.

(Part Two: Why UPB Self-Nullifies) The Multitudinous Problems with Secular Ethics: A critique of Universally Preferable Behavior

[I apologize in advance for the tedious and highly technical nature of the following article. Bear with me. There really isn’t an easy way to do this. Thanks.]

1. If UPB is simply a set of possible choices, but does NOT reference an absolute moral Standard which makes compliance with UPB not simply preferable, but necessary in order to avoid some kind of irreparable existential contradiction, which thus implies and necessitates some irreparable existential injury (however that is defined…if it even needs to be defined at all), then UPB cannot claim to be either universal nor preferable, since there is no fundamental existential difference between compliance and non-compliance. In which case, UPB self-nullifies.

2. If UPB IS considered an inexorable natural law–referencing itself as its own absolute moral Standard–to which the individual is obligated or face some form of irreparable existential injury (however that is defined…if it even needs to be defined at all) then UPB is not preferable, but necessary, and perfunctory, and it self-nullifies.

3. If UPB is a legal (as opposed to ethical or moral) Standard–that is, Law as defined by a legal Authority, like the State–then by definition the individual is legally obligated to comply, and non-compliance results in punishment which, though legal, is, for all practical purposes, existential in its effect, since the manifestation of the ownership of oneself–i.e. free will/choice–while under State sanction is impossible. And therefore, UPB is not preferable and therefore self-nullifies.

Now, to expand upon point number two; and the reason is because this argument is, as I observe, the primary argument utilized by apologists for secular ethics:

If UPB is considered merely a de facto parameter of (one’s) Existence–that is, the perfunctory behavior of (one’s) Existence which affirms that (one’s) Existence actually exists, then UPB is nullified. Meaning, if we use the argument that because we observe that species or the individuals of that species behave in ways which are consistent with survival and reproduction and then claim that this behavior is actually preferable…we’ve contradicted ourselves and shown that such behavior cannot possibly be preferable, let alone ethical, and is only universal in that it is simply a de facto function of Existence qua Existence. In other words, if we remove choice–moral agency–from ethics entirely, or make it purely a function of the laws of nature, then a choice is never actually chosen. However, removing choice contradict ethics as meaningful in any rational or practical way, because amoral ethics imply behavior which doesn’t make a distinction between good behavior or bad behavior. So…why would any given behavior be preferable? It wouldn’t.

Also, notice how in scientific terms, which are the secularist’s terms of epistemology, ALL action is merely “behavior”…”choice” as a vehicle is sophistically smuggled in later–a bromide meant for and used by the small minority of non-communist atheists as a nod to the non-aggression principle; but UPB pairs with the NAP like salad pairs with Guinness.

If we accept Existence as the Metaphysical Primary, and therefore objective (empirical) reality and natural law as its practical Ethical and Epistemological derivatives , then we must admit that one cannot act via his Existencee in a way which contradicts his Existence…so regardless of what one does, and therefore what one chooses, one must necessarily always be acting ethically. To claim that one can somehow violate the terms of his or someone else’s (absolute) Existence by Existence, itself, is a contradiction in terms. Therefore, if UPB is said to be an Ethic derived from Existence, it is impossible for one to violate it, since one cannot violate the very thing that makes all behavior–like the “violation” itself– ultimately possible.

On the other hand, if we were to place UPB outside of (one’s) Existence and then argue that, as an Ethic outside of Existence (which is its own giant fallacy, given that Existence is the Metaphysical Primary for all apologists for UPB, I think), failure to follow UPB somehow amounts to an Ethical, and therefore moral, violation, and therefore is evil, and therefore obliges men to “prefer” UPB,  then the individual–as a rank existant–could neither be the source nor the reference for UPB, which makes whatever the individual prefers, and thus ultimately chooses, entirely besides the point…since his choice and preference are a function of himself. This again, as I asserted above in point 3., relegates UPB to the status of a Legal Code–the Legal Law–which means that coercion by a legal Authority, not preference, is the only legitimate and rational means of fulfilling the Law.

Now, if we claim that (one’s) existence is not in fact absolute, but somehow transient–an effect and not a cause, as it were, or a function of some Absolute Cause outside of (one’s) existence, then we would have no logical reason to conclude that behavior which promotes one’s existence is preferable to behavior which does not. For (one’s) existence, being non-absolute, is no more valid a state of nature than is his non-existence. Non-existence, because existence is not absolute, does not violate the Absolute Cause (that of which (one’s) existence AND non-existence is a direct effect), and therefore it can be no more rationally nor morally preferable to behave in ways that promote existence–of either oneself or others–than to behave in ways that do not. And therefore by what basis can we argue that UPB is actually preferable at all? No basis.

Interestingly, I have noticed that those who promote Existence as the Metaphysical Primarily DO, irrationally, make the distinction between Existence, the Primary, and one’s individual existence–because they understand that individual existence necessarily incorporates consciousness, and therefore they reject it as having anything to do with Existence qua Existence, because consciousness they assert is not objective, because it’s not empirical. But you see as soon as one makes the distinction between conscious existence (consciousness) and Existence the Primary, then whatever the individual consciously prefers--and all preference is conscious by definition–is beside the point. When you reject consciousness as fundamental to Existence you necessarily reject choice. Which means that you reject choice as fundamentally meaningful, which not only wrecks UPB but wrecks morality entirely, and makes any discussion of Ethics pointless.  I submit, however, that if we oblige consciousness to rational consistency, which is entirely logical (and a separate article), then reason alone serves as a perfect and categorical guide to Ethical behavior, because it makes Truth actually and objectively possible.

Part three very soon.

(Part One: Introduction and Ironic Metaphysical Roots) The Multitudinous Problems with Secular Ethics: A critique of Universally Preferable Behavior

There’s no short way of doing this. At least not one that I prefer (see what I did there?), so I will just get to it. A while ago I was introduced to something called Universally Preferable Behavior (UPB). This, I understand, is more or less a formal apologetic of what is termed “secular ethics”. Which really is simply an Ethic derived from the metaphysics of Atheism (which are the metaphysics more or less of Aristotle…more on that later). There is no God to declare what is good behavior and what is evil behavior. Without such an arbiter of morality, it is assumed, there is no anchor for moral behavior.   Enter UPB stage left. UPB purports to fill the role of Arbiter, and hence the term “universal”. Which is an odd term when coupled with “preferable”. I understand that in the handbook of UPB some attempt is made to address this oxymoron, but the explanation left me pretty unsatisfied. It qualifies itself by claiming that behavior is only universal once a given objective has been defined. Like, IF I want to get to work on time, it is preferable that I drive, not walk. And within that context, it is universally preferable to drive and not walk. Of course the inconsistency is clear. Since the preferable behavior is contextual, it isn’t universal. It is only contextually universal…which is a contradiction in terms.

Here are some links that you can examine to give you some reference for this article. The first is the handbook for UPB (you may have to copy and paste this link into your search bar), by Stefan Molyneux, who purports to be the progenitor of UPB…I have some doubt about this, however. I think most of his apologetic for secular ethics has been around for some time. I could be wrong, and ultimately I don’t really care. Perhaps he coined the phrase and then added his own spin. Whatever. He can have the credit. It’s okay by me. The second source is a very condensed version of the basic assertions and conclusions of UPB. It gives you a good summary of what secular ethics is all about.

http://cdn.media.freedomainradio.com/feed/books/UPB/Universally_Preferable_Behaviour_UPB_by_Stefan_Molyneux_PDF.pdf

https://rudd-o.com/archives/the-twelve-principles-of-universally-preferable-behavior

I was tempted to ask my readers if they could spot the big problem right off the bat, but the more I examined UPB the more I realized that it was so terribly fraught with inconsistencies that this amounted to a trick question. It also makes it difficult, at least for my scatter-brain, to know where or how to begin, so I apologize in advance if this article seems somewhate disconnected. The more I wrote, the more I had to go back and add things to the margins of my notebook. So…I’m going to start and hope that some semblance of order reveals itself. In any case, all my points will here, somewhere. 🙂

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One of the first problems I noticed with UPB was that it doesn’t explain why preferential behavior is good behavior. That is, it doesn’t provide a convenient moral reference. This is a troubling and stark omission for a behavioral code which claims to be a universal Ethic. But I think I understand why the omission is there. A. Because it presumes “Objective Reality” as an ipso facto epistemological primary (that empiricism is proof of itself…which is a contradiction); and B. Because to include it highlights some serious inconsistencies with “Objective Reality”, which atheists and others, like those with Objectivist sympathies, don’t want to discuss (though they love to rant) and never resolve. Ever. And C. Because Atheism simply has no place for Good. It has an Ethic, but this is not the same thing. Behaving ethically does not necessarily equal behaving morally. And that’s the whole disaster of secular ethics in a nutshell. Not that religious ethics are any better. It’s just that they aren’t worse.

We understand that an Ethic gets its moral value from its foundational Metaphysic–metaphysics being the nature of what exists, and ethics being behavior that is ultimately consistent with the metaphysical primary, what I simply call the Metaphysic…and in between them is epistemology, which answers the question “What is Truth?” where Truth must be a necessary and ipso facto derivative of the the given Metaphysic. For example, Aristotelian philosophy essentially assumes that the Metaphysic is Existence, and its Epistemology thus is Objective Reality; it’s Ethic then is behavior which affirms the existence of Objective Reality–and of course one very common behavior is known as “being atheist”…and “being smug” is usually a corollary to this.  Unfortunately Aristotelian philosophy implies that Objective Reality is utterly empirical, which it’s not, and cannot be–which is why I respectfully reject Aristotle’s philosophy–and this presents a big problem for UPB because it implicitly relies upon the Aristotelian Metaphysic for its apologetics.

UPB seems pretty clearly to imply that the individual is the moral reference. That is, that UPB is “good”, or really, ethical, because it serves and affirms the individual. Unfortunately, while this sounds “so far so good”, this is as far as any semblance of rational consistency goes…at least for anyone who then has the intellectual foresight to ask the question thus begged: What is the individual? Or asked another way, what is the root nature of an individual’s “individual–ness”? (What is the nature of “I”?) This question naturally brings us to metaphysics, where atheism–remember, UPB’s roots are fundamentally atheistic–relies upon “Objective Reality”, which itself relies upon Scientific Determinism…which ends up being what is really meant by “Existence”. Scientific Determinism is the causal Platonic offspring of Science…the “why” to science’s “how”. Which is pretty ironic given how atheists love to name drop Aristotle as the philosophical father of their ideology. Ever since science decided to masquerade as philosophy and people decided to worship at the feet of lab-coated priests, we’ve gotten Scientific Deteminism as the Great Transcedant Cause in the Sky. Which is exactly like Divine Determinism. Oh, how the rivers of irony flow deep and thick and wide ’round here.

Part two real soon.

 

More on the Self and the Fallacy of “Existence Exists”

Let’s take a chair.

Is the chair able to exist…as a chair?

No?

But if it is unable to exist, then how does the chair manifest its existence…how can it BE a chair if it’s not able to be a chair?

Let’s say that Ability is not considered  wrt to the suggested metaphysical primary, Existence. Then “chair” is simply a manifestation of existence qua existence…it cannot be distinctly known as “chair”. You see, if the chair doesn’t have any inherent ability to BE a chair then it isn’t actively a chair…it doesn’t act–it doesn’t DO–as a chair, and so how can it be said to be a chair? What’s the difference between the existence of “chair” and existence of, say, “tree”? It doesn’t ACT as a chair, so what exactly makes it a chair? All of the things that make it chair must be relative to the things that make a tree a tree? But the tree doesn’t act as tree, and the chair doesn’t act as chair–because they possesses no inherent, underlying Ability–and so by what means can we qualify or quantify the distinctions? Chair is chair and tree is tree, and neither act and thus there is no relative distinction between the two..because relativity (relative distinction) requires action requires the ability to act, and they possess no ability. They only possess existence. But then what is the difference between the existence of tree and existence of chair?

There is none.

There is no ability and thus no action, and thus no relative distinction.  Any distinction would be absolute. But there is no such thing as absolute distinction because absolute distinction is infinite distinction; and infinite distinction precludes co-existence.

And this is why Existence as the metaphysical primary wrecks ALL distinctions between its supposed particulars. There is no tree and no chair; there is only existence. There is no ability to exist and thus no action of existence and thus no relativity of the objects which are said to exist and thus no way to make distinctions of the particulars of existence and thus no way to define the particulars of existence (e.g. chair as opposed to tree) and thus no way to claim that any of the particulars of existence exist and thus no way to claim that existence exists.

But if we say the chair has the ability to exist then we make existence AS CHAIR an action…something the chair does. It is doing as a function of its ability to do. And all doing is relative. There is no action that is not relative, because a single object cannot move in a vacuum. (In a vacuum, there is literally no difference between position A and B of a given object, whether in time or space.) And so if being is action and action is relative then those extant properties which make a tree a tree and a chair a chair are, in fact, a manifestation of their ability to act (as chair or tree) and thus are likewise relative. And relative distinctions do not make a chair a chair and a tree a tree except that they be by conceptualized. Relative distinctions are not absolute, by definition. They require an observer. They require conceptualization via a constant…a reference. And that reference is Self. Is “I”.

And so the Ability (to “exist”…e.g. as chair) which drives the action (of “existence”…e.g. being a chair) demands the relativity (of “existence”…e.g. of chair) which demands conceptualization (of “existence”…e.g. the sentient observation of the chair) which demands a constant–a reference (for the “existence”…e.g. of the chair) and that reference is “I”.

That reference is what I mean by the Self.

Metaphysics: Ability-Action-Relativity-Conceptualization-Constant

The Self: Addressing some criticism

Criticism: That I advocate “the Infinite Self” as the metaphysical primary.

As I stated in my last article, and in many other articles and comments as well, I advocate Ability as the metaphysical primary. I do, however, understand why some get confused (and I admit I wish I could make my ideas a little more easily grasped) because I do often make reference to the Self as a very important part of rational metaphysics. Metaphysics begins with a primary, which implies several necessary foundational corollaries until we run into epistemology. The Self is one of these foundational corollaries. Well…I consider the Self to be in some sense the bridge between metaphysics and epistemology.

In brief summary, the way I describe my metaphysics are as follows:

Ability implies action; action implies relativity (movement is relative); relativity implies conceptualization (defining what exactly is moving relatively). Keep in mind that this is not a chain of causes and consequences. “Implies” is not “equals”, so to speak. The primary, Ability, includes all of these corallaries within its foundational essence. Now, note that my metaphysics do not allow for any “particulars” in the concrete sense…that tangibility is some how actual–that its a thing that is a thing; or tangibility qua tangibility. This is intentional. I freely admit that I don’t view reality as consisting of concretes and abstractions. But rather, specifics and abstractions; or better said, material concepts and abstract concepts. There is a reason for this, which I refer to as the “Parts Paradox”, but I will get into that a little later.

And here is where the Self comes in. You see, in order to qualify and quantify relative movement via conceptualization, there must be a reference; and so the “existential constant”, you might say, is the Self.  You qua You. At least, as far as metaphysics go. Epistemologically the Self is you as body. As flesh and blood. As a collection of parts. But the reason we refer to ourselves as an “I” and not as an “us” is because we all understand, as a very function of what makes us US, that we are not simply a body; that we are a frame of reference.

For what?

For everything.

Absent You, you have no means by which you can know, or assert, or BE anything. This very fact, that “existence” ceases to EXIST in any way absent You, not as a body but as a Self–and absolutely so–is proof of the constant nature of You. As soon as someone says “there is existence outside of me” they have contradicted themselves. Because they cannot claim “existence” whilst denying the ONLY  reference by which they can speak of it in the first place.

Some people mistake this as a “Primacy of Consciousness” metaphysics. But what it really is is an acknowledgement of the most self-evident of all Truths: That everything you say and do depends on you being absolutely You. That you must and do interpret everything from the Constant Self.  And even if the the Self–of You qua You–was merely transient, it wouldn’t matter. Whatever is “before” you or “after” you is not something you, being wholly YOU, can incorporate ontologically. The “transient” YOU is bookended by blanks. It doesn’t matter what philosophical sophism you attempt to fill those blanks with, the fact is that you are an Absolutet Constant in your existence, whether choose to accept it or not.

So, here’s my metaphycial construct with this in mind:

Ability–Action–Relativity–Conceptualization–Constant

Next, Causality, the rational failure of “Existence exists”, Action defining objects as opposed to the other way around, and Particulars–the Parts Paradox.

How Aristotle is Both Right and Wrong About “A is A”

One may understandably take issue with my maxim that A is only A relative to B…because that which does not exist relative to anything else cannot be compared, and without comparison there is no definition, so you can’t claim that it actually exists. In other words, you cannot say what A is unless you can say what it is NOT. Making what A is NOT (e.g. B) an existential requirement for A, making A’s existence inexorably bound to B’s. This wrecks any distinction between A and B with respect to existence as a metaphysical primary. Meaning, existence implies no actual distinction between those things which are said to exist. Which destroys A and B entirely at the level of their root existence. This truth does not make me a subjectivist or proponent of consciousness as a primary. It merely makes me perceptive.

Now, having said that, this is correct in a sense:  that my point above does not, itself, provide for the full reconciliation of the existential paradox: Achieving a plurality of existence from a single metaphysical primary.  How are there distinct objects, relating to one another in an identical and absolute metaphysical context…that is, being direct functions of the same singular metaphysical root, and yet also being entirely and rationally distinct?

However, I submit that being correct here: That A must actually be A, utterly and distinctly so, if we shall assert that it is NOT B–does not make me wrong here: That A cannot in fact be A absent the relative existence of B (because that which cannot be compared cannot be defined; and that which cannot be defined cannot be said to exist). This makes A as much a function of B as it makes A utterly distinct from B.

The failure of Aristotelian apologists to observe and address this paradox is (partly) why Aristotelian metaphysics have ultimately lead nowhere except a repeat of the historic cycle of individuals conceding to collectivist ideologies, creating tyrannical states which eventually implode, killing millions in the process, with the survivors then rising from the ashes only to start the whole nightmare over again.

That A must be A (in an appeal to Aristotle) as a prerequisite for relatively comparing it to B does not in fact disprove the that A cannot in fact be A unless it is relatively compared to B.

It’s a chicken-and–egg type deal. Aristotelian metaphysics rest essentially upon one half of the paradox, and thus at best they tell only half the story.

The sum and substance of my journey into metaphysics has been:

A. to observe the aforementioned metaphysical paradox and the necessary resultant rational and practical insufficiencies of both Primacy of Existence and Primacy of Consciousness metaphysical models, and…

B. to offer a solution to the paradox in the form of a new, more effective primary: Ability.

A greater examination of that, and various related topics, will be undertaken in subsequent articles.

Any Honest King Will Keep His Wormtongue and Kill His Conscience

Only in fantasy stories do kings wake up and cast off their Wormtongues. This is because Wormtongue is the reality of the innate and necessary corruption of Authority–the compelling of behavior by “legal” violence, despite the most noble of rulers and their noble  intentions.

You see, in reality, it is Wormtongue who speaks the truth to the King; and it is the King’s conscience which lies. A “good King”–that is, a truthful and honest king, who is consistent with the metaphysic which demands Authority to compel obedience to Law–will abide Wormtongue and banish love.

Is this good, rationally speaking? Of course not: but again, it is good IF we accept the axiomatic definition of Man which necessitates the idea that it is appropriate to govern him. And by “govern” I mean: organize his behavior, specifically his interactions with himself (men and women associating with others), by codifying moral behavior (Law), and thus moving it outside of its only true and natural source, the individual, and thereby making morality utterly abstract and thus utterly subjective as far as man is concerned, and thereby necessitating an Authority–be it a King or any other incarnation of State Violence (that is, the State, period), even “democratically elected public officials” (and by the bye, a greater example of raw, meaningless, subjectivity you’ll not find anywhere than those words)–whose authority transcends any real rational integrity, and who fundamentally exists for the sole purpose of using force and threats to cause the obedience of the denizens.

And what is this definition of man?

It is that he is not him Self. He is not “I”. “I” is an illusory existential frame of reference–a lie–which, by its inexorable and infinite hold on him, makes him unable to perceive the Truth: which is that he is, in fact, nothing at all. That he qua he (he as Individual), is really an infinite collection. He is the group, yet never OF the group. He is “race”, or “class”, or “sex”, or “nation”, or “church”, or “minority”, or “underprivileged”, etc.. The individual is the group; which contradicts his individuality, and thus demands that it be sacrificed by the Authority into the collective “reality.”

And so I say again, any honest King, with even the slightest apprehension of just what the fuck his whole point is, and whether he admits it to himself or not, understands that he is Violence to men, and literally nothing else. He IS the force which compels everyone and everything into the collective Ideal. He is The Efficacy of the Ideal…of the Utopia…of the Collective Paradise. And thus, he IS the very Ideal itself. And this being true, it is his duty to incessantly invite Wormtongue to stifle whatever compassion he may be tempted towards. For to deny the raw and unfettered subjugation and sacrifice of men is to deny the Ideal, and thus deny himself.

There is no such thing as a King with a conscience. Any such King admits, whether he knows it or not, that he is a fraud, and that sooner or later, the kingdom MUST collapse.

And it will.

It will.

How Exactly Does Existence Imply a Plurality of Itself?: More Problems with Objectivism

Objectivism asserts a reality distinct from the observer…the observer being, of course, “he who observes”.  Now, understand that when we speak of observation we necessarily imply cognition; and I prefer this term to “consciousness”, since “consciousness” has become rationally opaque and is used by objectivism and other philosophies as a synonym for what is fundamentally subjective. Also, “cognition” is less cumbersome, anyway.  It merely means an observer conceptualizing the distinction between himself and what he observes.  Which is the foundation of language, and therefore gets to the very heart and root of real truth.

But cognition is not simply a biological or physiological process…so we need to be careful here.  It CAN BE a rational synonym for “consciousness”, I submit, because it implies a necessary awareness of the distinction between one’s Self, as the Observer (the frame of reference for knowledge), and that which is observed.  In other words, cognition does not necessarily imply the neurological, but rather the active and efficacious and relevancy-giving conscious awareness of the neurological (so to speak…meaning, awareness that “neurological” is a thing in the first place…a truth which can be applied to a purpose specifically and necessarily determined by the observer).

So objectivism assert this distinction between “objective reality” and the observer…by which it means a distinction between “objective reality” and cognition.  Now, this distinction is alone enough to discredit objectivism as any kind of rational school of thought, since absent the observer’s ability to define this reality from his own existential frame of reference via cognition, he cannot claim that it exists at all…as objectively real or otherwise. In which case you cannot make any philosophical claims about it whatsoever.  I mean, if “objective reality” is objectively real, and the observer’s position in it is not mutually exclusive of it, then the observer must also be objectively real.  Which means that the tool by which he interprets and defines it, that is, his cognition–his own conscious and singular frame of reference–must also be objectively real.  So…how can one’s consciousness/cognition be divorced from objective reality?

It can’t.

So…there is no “objective reality” outside of consciousness.  Which means that once you are no longer existentially conscious (alive), then you have no frame of reference for objective reality, which means it has no relevancy to you, which means it has no truth to you, where “you” is an absolute context, which means that it cannot be said to exist.  It cannot be said to be anything. Which means that beyond your consciousness you cannot claim a reality which continues, outside of you.

As soon as you attempt to divorce consciousness/cognition from objective reality, you’re done.  You’ve created a contradiction which collapses the whole philosophy.

Nevertheless, let’s continue, because there is another problem–albeit closely related–with objectivism which bears explication.

There can be no distinction between reality and the observer because the observer has no frame of reference for such a reality; and this  because he has no frame of reference for for anything outside of that by which he knows (and therefore can claim) anything–his absolute SELF.  And himSELF, is “he who observes”.

Because he cannot step outside of his own observation, he cannot claim that there is anything outside of that observation.  Whatever is outside of his powers of observation cannot be defined, and therefore he cannot claim that they exist outside of himself.  For “himself” and his observation are entirely corollary.  There is no reality outside himself because it is only by himself, and absolutely so, as the observer that he can make any truth claim, of which “reality” is perhaps preeminent.  It is like claiming that I know what it’s like to be a cup of coffee…that is, because I can “be” a cup of coffee outside of myself, I can claim that “here is coffee”, and “there is me”, from TWO completely distinct frames of reference.  But this is impossible since my SELF as the observer is utterly singular.  The cup of coffee “outside” of me only exists as such because I OBSERVE it and define it and give it truth as a function of ME–my absolute frame of reference as the (conscious/cognitive) observer. Without me, there is no frame of reference for that cup of coffee; in which case, I have no definition for coffee that is “real”, “outside of me”.  That is, since I am not a cup of coffee, I can only ever define a cup of coffee as it pertains, absolutely and categorically, to me from my absolute frame of reference as the observer. The distinction, then, between “me” and “cup of coffee”, is entirely a function of MY singular ability to conceptualize the distinction.  Without that ability, that is, without me, as utterly and absolutely myself, consciously/cognitively, there is no distinction.  And therefore, there is no “reality’ outside of me.  A cup of coffee entirely and “objectively” outside of me–outside of my SELF–is entirely and infinitely irrelevant.  And one cannot claim the existence of that which is infinitely irrelevant. And in this way, apprehending a “reality” for me–that is, a reality that I can observe and thus claim from the place of me, yet not from me, but outside of me–is a violation of both my identity and the identity of “reality”.  To claim a reality outside of me that I can somehow observe and know and yet exists entirely and absolutely and completely independent of me is not to affirm reality, but to destroy it.  It is to dismantle cognition as the means of ascertaining truth, because it is to say that human cognition has nothing fundamentally to do with reality.  But since cognition is, in fact, the means, and only means, by which man can know anything, to dismantle it is to subordinate humanity to an entirely unknowable “reality”.  And if that isn’t a recipe for tyranny, then I don’t know what is.  And this is precisely why in the 60 years or so since Objectivism became the chef d’oeuvre of “rationalists” despotism has done nothing but advance…and mightily so.

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While Objectivists speak of absolute distinction between the observer and reality, they also claim that Objectivism fully and absolutely integrates the observer, via the metaphysical primary of Existence, into that reality.  This is a problem.  How can you step outside of that which is, at root, you–existence–in order to observe you?  That is, if you are are fully and absolutely a function of the absolute and infinite metaphysical primary, how can you make the distinction between “you” and “reality” by appealing to an absolute which is both?

In order to answer this contradiction, some objectivists, or respecters of Objectivism, will assert the concept of “emergent properties”. And this is the idea that something in whole becomes greater in some sense than the sum of its parts.  This, in fact, cannot be literally true. That is, it is only ever subjectively true, never objectively so. Abstractly…subjectively, yes.  A thing can have more value than its mere material properties would suggest; but notice that this requires a conscious observer to apply that thing to his particular frame of reference of Self. In terms of objective truth, it is impossible to claim that a thing is anything more than that of which it is comprised at root.  That is, there is no such thing as some “property” “emerging” beyond the absolute irreducible ontic essence of something. Like, if we claim that all things, including human beings, are at root a function of immutable physical laws, or absolute fundamental particles interacting according to these absolutely immutable physical laws (which is a contradiction…but that’s a topic for later), and that this has nothing whatsoever to do with consciousness/cognition–that is, has nothing to do with the fact that man apprehends and defines ALL of what he perceives as real via his awareness of Self (his ability to conceptualize relative distinctions between his Self, and what is NOT Self)–then we cannot claim that consciousness is somehow an “emergent property” and therefore doesn’t contradict the absolute and irreducible source of man and all things, which is utterly and absolutely unconscious.  This is a fallacy, and cannot be taken seriously.

The idea of “emergent properties”, in other words, is the irrational assertion that you get consciousness from what is absolutely unconscious; that you get free will from irrelevant determinism (biological, physical, natural, mathematical); that you get Self–in the sense of a singular “You”, from NOT You; an observational and existential frame of reference of “I” from NOT I; that what is infinite, Existence–which according to Objectivism is the irreducible, infinite metaphysical primary–spawns a plurality of finite objects; that an infinite existence somehow produces a plurality of itself without contradicting itself.

And it is from this claim–that existence as the metaphysical primary somehow spawns a plurality of itself…where things can actually exist utterly distinct from one another and allow for the observer to perceive a “reality” outside himself (outside his cognition)–that we get the common obectivist refrain of “existence exists”.

But “existence exists” is simply saying that existence has existence, which is a tautological assertion, and therefore a logical failure.  You see, the rational metaphysical argument is not that the primary simply implies itself, but that it implies someONE–some observer; some reference–who is able to claim that it is, in fact, the metaphysical primary in the first place; that it is, in fact, TRUE. That it holds REAL relevance; REAL efficacy.  That it implies something in a practical sense beyond itself, which can see it, and know it, but doesn’t contradict it as the absolute and irreducible primary.  Objectivism fails at this, and therefore ultimately fails entirely…as does any other philosophy which fails to meet the requirement for a rationally consistent metaphysical primary.

Now, having said that, reconciling this inherent metaphysical paradox is really hard.  So hard, in fact, that I’m not sure of any primary outside of my own (Ability) which successfully does this.  Here’s why it’s so challenging:

Let’s look at “existence exists” again.  What is absolutely itself, and irreducibly, or infinitely so, cannot possess properties of itself, because those “properties” are necessarily also infinite.  And as such they are undefinable…other than to say that the properties of existence are existence itself, which as I have explained is a logical failure.

Further, saying that existence exists is merely saying that existence is itself, which is a meaningless claim unless “itself” can be defined.  But if “itself” is infinite then it cannot be valued…for if there is no limitation to itself, then it cannot be anywhere, and thus it cannot be anything.  Another way to put it is: that which is everything and everywhere cannot be anything or anywhere.  That which is all is itself nothing.

But the rational metaphysical primary must certainly be absolute, and thus infinite, which according to my explication above is a contradiction that seems beyond resolution, making any metaphysical primary impossible.  Now, I submit that this is not actually the case–that it is a true paradox, and not a contradiction, and therefore has a resolution.  But the question here is: Does “existence” as a primary resolve it?

The answer is no.  Because “existence” doesn’t imply anything beyond itself, and this is proven by the epigram which oft accompanies it: “existence exists”.  This simply means that existence implies existence.  It begins and ends with itself.  The “plurality” of itself, from which the observer ostensibly arises, ironically doesn’t actually exist! The observer cannot be made rationally distinct from “existence” if “existence” is the metaphysical primary…a distinction which is utterly necessary if he is to actually observe anything.  You see, it’s not about whether or not the observer exits, but whether or not the observer is able to define existence.  That is, it’s not about whether or not the observer IS at root the metaphysical primary, but whether the primary actually implies–demands/necessitates–that there BE an observer…that he occupy a place from which he can SEE it, as distinct from himself, and know it, and define it, and therefore make it relevant; make it actually the TRUE metaphysical primary.

But, again, “existence” doesn’t imply anything beyond itself, and therefore the observer cannot actually observe it (nor anything else, since all “things” are equally infinite “existence), and so he cannot define it.  Therefore, as soon as an objectivist makes any truth claim, let alone the claim that “existence” is the metaphysical primary, they have dismantled the primary and thus their entire philosophy. There is nothing outside of existence, not even the objectivist. Because all things have equal absolute existence, there is no such thing as “all things”.  There is just infinite existence, which is, in fact, nothing at all. Because: that which is all, is actually nothing.

In summary, there is a dreadfully complicated paradox here that for all of its beauty and Rand’s inarguable genius Objectivism doesn’t answer.  Because to answer it is to reject its metaphysical primary, which is a rejection of itself.  The only root objective thing at all anywhere is the metaphysical primary; and Objectivism’s primary, existence, spawns nothing but subjectivism by affirming and necessitating that the observer/reality paradox is infinitely paradoxical.  And this is how a paradox becomes a contradiction.  Because a paradox which can have no resolution is no longer a paradox, it is an impossibility…a contradiction in terms.  And contradiction is the mother of subjectivity. Because contradiction as infinite foundational “truth” spawns infinite truths. Which is simply infinite contradiction.

All of this makes Objectivism considerably ironic.  An “objective” metaphysic which demands utterly subjective epistemology, purpose, ethics, and politics is hardly objective, let alone a rational basis for the argumentation of objective reality.

END

To Vote is to Be Ruled: Voting, and why it is NOT a choice (part 4)

An Authority, like the Government–the State–by its very definition exists to compel, absent argument or reason, obedience. And it is so important to understand this. For if a reason was required in order for the State to exercise its power to force compliance, then its very nature–its very existence–would be contradicted.  And I don’t mean a “reason”, like “do it because I said so”, or “because it’s in God’s Word” (which is a make-believe thing), or “because I’ll beat the shit out of you if you don’t”.  I mean an actual reason; an explanation that appeals to rational consistency (i.e. Truth) in order to convince someone of something because it is in their own interest, both practical and existential (which are corollary), to agree with it and to choose it.

And “in one’s own interest” is the only rational reason one can be convinced of anything–for no one has a frame of reference “outside” themselves, and thus, they have no frame of reference for anything but their own interest. So from this you can see just why the State simply cannot give a reason for the exercising of its power to compel.  Because “power to compel” and “the interest of one’s (the Individual’s) self” are mutually exclusive.

Authority is not an option; it’s not a suggestion; it’s not a guideline.  It’s force, period.  And force is violence, period.  And using violence to compel a person to act is absolutely contradictory to that person’s self-interest, period.  Always.

Now, naturally when I say “always” I am not referring to the innocent defending themselves from people who are clearly and imminently violating them; from evil people who by their own violence have rejected their own individuality and thus their own relevancy and value and purpose for existence. My argument here is that evil people–people violating others–cannot be forced to act (violently coerced) because they are not people for as long as they accept that they may and do seek to destroy human beings.  These evil, violent men and women are not Individuals, by their own assumptions and presuppositions…that is, by their own ideas! They are forces of nature.  And in the same way as you are forced to deal with attacking wolves and biting snakes you are forced take steps to deal with these assholes. You see, because their evil forces you to react to them, in ways which often, and preferably, mean their destruction, it cannot be claimed that one who acts to protect his person and property is making an immoral choice…that is, is violating THEM.  You cannot ascribe a moral value to a necessary fact of one’s life: that one must live.  To refuse to defend one’s self and his or her property (or family) because one doesn’t want to do violence against another “human being” is a violation of reason, and thus morality and truth itself. To ascribe to the violent man the same existential definition of “self” as you would the man of peace and compassion is itself a violent act, violating the very fabric of love which allows for human beings to effect their humanity upon the world and upon others.  In short, it succumbs to evil as though surrendering to hell turns it into heaven.

Finally, it is an interesting thing to note that violent attackers violate the primary ethic of Self, or Self-ness, and in doing so they, in fact, and I mean at the most fundamental ontological level, murder themselves, not others.  The true victims of their evil are them, and for themselves it is hell that they must necessarily reap in this world and the next.

And the innocent have every right in creation to take them there.