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Author Topic: Prove to me objective "rights" exist.  (Read 8641 times)
FirstAscent
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March 28, 2012, 08:08:43 PM
 #101

Elaborate further on this otherwise I don't know how to answer.
Let's go back a few hundred years. We didn't know the physical nature of color. But we had color vision. We could distinguish objects reliably based on their color. And we could guess that it was something about the light coming from those objects, but that was about it. In that context, it would certainly be rational to believe that colors actually exist as properties of the real world, right?

But what would count as a testable experiment to prove the existence of colors? Remember, at the time, there was nothing other than human vision that could measure them. And we had no idea what green actually was, other than that people said grass looked green to them.

The situation with natural rights is currently about the same as it was then for color. So what would have convinced you back then that colors actually exist?

If you want, you can assume that you lack color vision. Because even though you don't lack the ability to sense natural rights, you will probably stubbornly insist that you cannot sense them and the fact that almost everyone else agrees that torturing children for pleasure is wrong is just a mysterious coincidence. All I can say to that is what I would say to the person who insists a green cube and a red cube look the same -- you are either lying or in some sense broken.

We sense what is wrong or right, without laws. Agreed. And I see how you're analogizing psychopaths to color blind people. Agreed. I would say that evolution has evolved us that way.

But there is a difference in evolution evolving us to behave a certain way vs. evolution evolving us to sense something that was already there in the first place (wavelengths of photons).

You can alter your behavior and deviate from the norm regardless of what you see, but the colors associated with a wavelength cannot be altered. Behavior does not have to follow what you consider natural laws governing behavior. But the spectrum of light must follow how light works.
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March 28, 2012, 08:12:32 PM
 #102

Elaborate further on this otherwise I don't know how to answer.
Let's go back a few hundred years. We didn't know the physical nature of color. But we had color vision. We could distinguish objects reliably based on their color. And we could guess that it was something about the light coming from those objects, but that was about it. In that context, it would certainly be rational to believe that colors actually exist as properties of the real world, right?

But what would count as a testable experiment to prove the existence of colors? Remember, at the time, there was nothing other than human vision that could measure them. And we had no idea what green actually was, other than that people said grass looked green to them.

The situation with natural rights is currently about the same as it was then for color. So what would have convinced you back then that colors actually exist?

If you want, you can assume that you lack color vision. Because even though you don't lack the ability to sense natural rights, you will probably stubbornly insist that you cannot sense them and the fact that almost everyone else agrees that torturing children for pleasure is wrong is just a mysterious coincidence. All I can say to that is what I would say to the person who insists a green cube and a red cube look the same -- you are either lying or you lack a sense the rest of us have.

There is one huge difference.

People in 1012 saw the same green that we do.  We know this from their literature.

They didn't see the same natural rights that we do.  Their natural rights included the right to own slaves.

So the use of colour analogy doesn't work.

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March 28, 2012, 09:12:37 PM
 #103

FirstAscent, it seems you are arguing against a strawman of some type of physical manifestation of natural rights which for some reason you claim should exist.  If so, besides pointing out how ridiculous this seems, I would say that the recognition of the existence of other humans is probably the closest you will ever get.  This is the physical manifestation, and the environmental stimulus that prompts humans to evolve the concept of natural rights.  It is a force similar in ways to any other, which responds to stimulus in largely predictable ways, and which exists independent of any law or arbitrary moral code.

I would suggest that perhaps Atlas' solipsism bears some relevance to his rejection of the concept of natural rights.

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March 28, 2012, 10:30:43 PM
 #104

There is one huge difference.

People in 1012 saw the same green that we do.  We know this from their literature.

They didn't see the same natural rights that we do.  Their natural rights included the right to own slaves.

So the use of colour analogy doesn't work.
It works perfectly. Someone could argue that colors aren't real because the sky isn't blue at night. Colors change and people change. Trees are green in the spring but not in the fall. The colors you see when you look at something are due to a complicated combination of factors including the thing you're looking at, the way human vision works, the lighting, and so on. Changes in many things can change colors or the perception of color. The same is true of natural rights.

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March 28, 2012, 10:31:37 PM
 #105

But there is a difference in evolution evolving us to behave a certain way vs. evolution evolving us to sense something that was already there in the first place (wavelengths of photons).
I'm not talking about behavior. I'm talking about our sense of justice. We can look at a situation and see justice and injustice the same way we can look at the sky and see blue.

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March 29, 2012, 01:15:16 AM
 #106

Omnipotence, or infinitely boundless power, implies that an omnipotent being can also place constraints upon himself such that he is both omnipotent and not omnipotent simultaneously (e.g. constraining his ability to lift a rock).
Anything that would necessarily be able to do the impossible must necessarily *be* impossible.

This had me thinking for quite a while; something about it seemed off to me, but I couldn't initially figure out what it was.  Then, I came up with the following.  But first, a note about possibility:

If event A happens, and if event B did not happen, then event B was impossible (event A did happen -- it was never a matter of possibility).  Similarly, if events A and B happen simultaneously, and events C and D did not, none of these were possible.  Only C and D were impossible and A and B actually happened.  Possibility is simply a word that stratified beings use to describe events that are plausible but are not interpreted to be presently occurring.  We might say event x is possible in the future, but "future" itself is another word that stratified beings use -- there is no future, only a relative now.  This is what the Theory of Relativity suggests.

Any definition of any monotheistic god that I've ever heard of usually includes the characteristics of omniscience and omnipresence in addition to omnipotence.  Omnipresence transcends the stratified perspective as it implies presence in all locations in all stratified time slices.

But even without the characteristic of omnipresence, omnipotence a priori overrides any argument of impossibility, especially given that omnipotence would also imply the ability to do things like changing the laws that govern the Universe or itself, or simultaneously exhibiting yes/no states (e.g. existing and not existing at the same time).  How can omnipotence a priori override impossibility if the scenario involves a being that transcends time?  Because in this case, a priori simply refers to higher and lower levels of syntax, not a time event.  A higher level syntax will always a priori override a lower level syntax.  Infinite, boundless power, is at the highest level of syntax.

Now, of course, hypotheticals in general are not generally considered logically valid, but I think (dare I say know?) that there is direct evidence of God (for lack of a better word) and its characteristics of omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence that is able to be experienced constantly, including right now.


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March 29, 2012, 01:39:40 AM
 #107

Now, of course, hypotheticals in general are not generally considered logically valid, but I think (dare I say know?) that there is direct evidence of God (for lack of a better word) and its characteristics of omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence that is able to be experienced constantly, including right now.
I can't imagine any evidence or experience that could suggest something unbounded. Whatever experience or evidence a finite being could have could only suggest finite knowledge, finite presence, or finite power. If you want to argue that human beings can perceive or experience omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, you have to argue that humans are capable of having unbounded experiences or acquiring unbounded evidence. That seems like self-contradictory nonsense to me, but I suppose that probably doesn't bother you since you reject the very concept that something could actually be impossible.

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March 29, 2012, 01:59:30 AM
 #108

Now, of course, hypotheticals in general are not generally considered logically valid, but I think (dare I say know?) that there is direct evidence of God (for lack of a better word) and its characteristics of omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence that is able to be experienced constantly, including right now.
I can't imagine any evidence or experience that could suggest something unbounded. Whatever experience or evidence a finite being could have could only suggest finite knowledge, finite presence, or finite power. If you want to argue that human beings can perceive or experience omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, you have to argue that humans are capable of having unbounded experiences or acquiring unbounded evidence. That seems like self-contradictory nonsense to me, but I suppose that probably doesn't bother you since you reject the very concept that something could actually be impossible.

Hey, all I know is that I'm limited to my experience.  I have no evidence whatsoever that there is any experience outside of my own.  Now I'm not saying I don't believe that you, for example, don't exist -- I think you do exist.  But, my mind (and I'm guessing yours as well) seems to have the characteristics of omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence if you consider that there is no possible way to prove any experience outside of my own.  I feel I have little evidence of this now, but I've experienced good evidence of this in meditation.

Direct experience is the purest form of knowledge.  If this holds true for a number of beings, then those beings are grouped under this common syntax.  This also applies to anything capable of being distinguished from something else -- that is, any and all differences are created under a common syntax of difference.

Assuming you and I both exist and we are different, then we are grouped together under a common syntax.  I personally believe in a holographic Universe.  When you take a piece of holographic film and cut a square from it that has 1/4 the area of the full image, you aren't left holding 1/4 of the image, but 100% of the image at 1/4 size.

I personally believe God is just like you and me, except at the highest level of syntax.  Beings operating at lower levels of syntax would be less free than beings at higher levels of syntax because each level of syntax imposes conditions or constraints upon the ones below it.

I think direct experience is omniscience and thoughts are constraints.  I think direct experience is omnipresence but thoughts are the constraints.  I think direct experience is omnipotence but thoughts are the constraints.  I think God is direct experience but reality is its constraint.

Edit:  And, to be relevant to the thread, this would mean that objective rights exist if the highest level of syntax dictates they exist.

Edit 2:  And I'm not a Christian, but this is also particularly relevant to the idea that "God made man in his image."

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March 29, 2012, 03:01:54 AM
 #109

I have no evidence whatsoever that there is any experience outside of my own.
That's complete nonsense. You have the observable similarity in behavior, the physical evidence of common origin, and medical evidence of all kinds. This is an absolutely absurd basis for any philosophy and if you really believe it, all sane people can do is point and laugh. (I'm sure you have silly ways to explain away all these things. But similarly silly arguments can maintain *any* belief against *any* evidence.) By the way, we have a term for someone who acts on beliefs like this -- "psychopath".

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March 29, 2012, 03:13:03 AM
 #110

I have no evidence whatsoever that there is any experience outside of my own.
That's complete nonsense. You have the observable similarity in behavior, the physical evidence of common origin, and medical evidence of all kinds. This is an absolutely absurd basis for any philosophy and if you really believe it, all sane people can do is point and laugh. (I'm sure you have silly ways to explain away all these things. But similarly silly arguments can maintain *any* belief against *any* evidence.)

When you walk outside and you feel the sun on your face, you have a direct experience of a certain feeling.  You might call it warmth.  But the feeling itself is no evidence of being warm.  Warm is a relative characteristic, and ratio (root word of rationale) is the basis for any intellectual understanding of anything.

Direct experience is something different.  Pure, direct experience is a unification of the subject with an object.  Medical evidence, physical evidence, and observable similarities are dependent on ratio, similar to how you would describe feeling the sun on your face as "warm" (because it feels warmer than a time you remember it being cold). 

I have absolutely no evidence for any type of direct experience other than my own and I never will because no ratio can be established.  I can't have an experience other than my own, so what evidence could I possibly have?

What you described is evidence for...physical similarities and a common origin (evident = apparent).  It has never been apparent that there is another experience other than my own.

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March 29, 2012, 04:34:02 AM
 #111

Why use the word "pure". What is "contaminating" information gained from indirect experience?

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March 29, 2012, 07:06:08 AM
 #112

I have absolutely no evidence for any type of direct experience other than my own and I never will because no ratio can be established.  I can't have an experience other than my own, so what evidence could I possibly have?

What you described is evidence for...physical similarities and a common origin (evident = apparent).  It has never been apparent that there is another experience other than my own.
So your theory is that even though all the evidence suggests that you and everyone else have a common origin, common characteristics, and similar behavior, you have experiences and nobody else does. What evidence favors this theory over the much more rational theory that people's similar construction explains the similar experiences that explain their similar behavior?

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March 29, 2012, 08:55:55 AM
 #113

There is no evidence of a reality outside your perception. All else is moot.


The Communists say, equal labour entitles man to equal enjoyment. No, equal labour does not entitle you to it, but equal enjoyment alone entitles you to equal enjoyment. Enjoy, then you are entitled to enjoyment. But, if you have laboured and let the enjoyment be taken from you, then – ‘it serves you right.’ If you take the enjoyment, it is your right.
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March 29, 2012, 09:07:10 AM
 #114

There is no evidence of a reality outside your perception. All else is moot.
Okay, so there's the obvious explanation for perception -- that the rest of reality explains it. And you're saying that there's some alternate explanation that's better justified, and that would be ...

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March 29, 2012, 09:28:04 AM
 #115

There is no evidence of a reality outside your perception. All else is moot.
Okay, so there's the obvious explanation for perception -- that the rest of reality explains it. And you're saying that there's some alternate explanation that's better justified, and that would be ...
It's not obvious. It's just having faith that what you are perceiving is consistent with whatever means that makes your perception exist.

I say there is no justifiable explanation. I say that believing things can truly be known in regards to our perceptions requires faith.  

The Communists say, equal labour entitles man to equal enjoyment. No, equal labour does not entitle you to it, but equal enjoyment alone entitles you to equal enjoyment. Enjoy, then you are entitled to enjoyment. But, if you have laboured and let the enjoyment be taken from you, then – ‘it serves you right.’ If you take the enjoyment, it is your right.
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March 29, 2012, 11:16:40 AM
 #116

There is no evidence of a reality outside your perception. All else is moot.
Okay, so there's the obvious explanation for perception -- that the rest of reality explains it. And you're saying that there's some alternate explanation that's better justified, and that would be ...
It's not obvious.
It's so obvious, even two year olds understand it. That doesn't mean it's correct, but it sure as hell is obvious.

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It's just having faith that what you are perceiving is consistent with whatever means that makes your perception exist.
No, no faith is necessary. It's the simplest and most plausible theory to explain the observations. The observations justify the belief, so no faith is needed.

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I say there is no justifiable explanation.
The justifiable explanation is that there is no alternative. If there is an alternative, please tell me what it is.

Quote
I say that believing things can truly be known in regards to our perceptions requires faith.
No faith is needed because there is no alternative. Whatever the universe is, it does in fact result in the sense perceptions we have. Every sense perception necessarily gives us some valid information about the universe because the universe was in fact such that this sense perception resulted. This must be true because there is no alternative.

But in any event, if your arguments were correct, you would be drawing the conclusion from them. If there weren't sufficient evidence to justify such a belief, then we shouldn't hold such a belief. After all, if there wasn't sufficient evidence to justify that belief, it could be incorrect. If we had faith, we'd risk acting in error for no benefit.

But I'm probably wasting my time. If you genuinely believe that it's an open question whether or not I exist, rational discussion with you is unlikely to be possible.

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March 29, 2012, 04:22:54 PM
 #117

I have absolutely no evidence for any type of direct experience other than my own and I never will because no ratio can be established.  I can't have an experience other than my own, so what evidence could I possibly have?

What you described is evidence for...physical similarities and a common origin (evident = apparent).  It has never been apparent that there is another experience other than my own.
So your theory is that even though all the evidence suggests that you and everyone else have a common origin, common characteristics, and similar behavior, you have experiences and nobody else does. What evidence favors this theory over the much more rational theory that people's similar construction explains the similar experiences that explain their similar behavior?


All of the evidence you described is dependent solely upon your interpretation of it.   I don't know about you, but when I close my eyes, the visible Universe disappears.  I can still smell, touch, taste, and hear, but visible reality is gone completely.  So, when my eyes are closed, I have absolutely no evidence that a visible Universe exists because I am only left with my 4 other bodily senses.

Similarly, my experience is closed.  It is apparent and self-evident that I experience, but it is in no way apparent that others experience.  But, it is apparent (as you said) that there are others with similar physical characteristics, etc.  Those things are observable.  There is no way to observe another experience, and observation is the basis for the scientific method.

Edit:  By the way, even infants know that when you close your eyes, the visible Universe disappears, or that "mommy" disappears when playing peek-a-boo.

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March 29, 2012, 09:28:35 PM
 #118

What has that to do with proving objective rights do or don't exist?

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March 29, 2012, 09:59:53 PM
 #119

Rights only exist in relation to others.  If you believe that other people don't exist, then it's probably easy to dismiss the concept of rights as well.

Fortunately in that case it's also easy for the rest of us to dismiss you, as a lunatic.

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March 29, 2012, 10:42:27 PM
 #120

Could someone unambiguously define a natural right, or an objective right?
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