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Post 60

Friday, September 17, 2004 - 2:17pmSanction this postReply
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Regi, you wrote: "'Subconscious,' means something we are not conscious of which nevertheless determines some aspects of our behavior."

I have never heard this definition from anyone but you.

Barbara



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Post 61

Friday, September 17, 2004 - 2:22pmSanction this postReply
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Linz, Cameron, and Derek;

The issue of sexual orientation - like the issue of abortion or capital punishment - is emotion-laden. Even with this in mind, however, I find your comments disturbing ...

------------
Linz:
"This is precisely why I now view this writer as dishonest. He knows the argument is not about the *actions* of a gay person, but the orientation itself, which, I repeat, is *not* open to choice."

Ed:
Regi, uncovered the nature of choice and it's implication across a human life-time. In short, it's not about "one abstracted choice" - but you "repeat" that it categorically is, in principle, a "one-time choice" and then turn around and mock this straw man while ignoring the finer points (your dishonesty claim is merely an unearned pot-shot).
------------

Cameron:
"I think the quality of the arguments on the, let's say, "pro-homo" side has been excellent. The fallacies espoused by the homophobes have been quite thoroughly dealt with. I fail to see how one cannot describe those who continue with their warped, mystical nostrums about sexuality as anything other than dishonest by this stage."

Ed:
I guess we can dispense with excellent quality then (we've had enough of it), and use - AS A REJOINDER to this praise of excellence - phrases with some other kinds of qualities, such as the phrase "fallacies espoused by the homophobes" or perhaps "warped, mystical nostrums." Why, especially, do you use the term "homophobe," Cameron? If you defined it, would Regi fit the description?
------------

Derek:
"I suspect that the real reason contributors here have praised Regi's "well-reasoned" arguments is that, in reality, they're nothing more than arch-conservatives in drag."

Ed:
Derek, I have praised Regi's contributions here as much as any other has; and I have as many anti-conservative quotes posted here as the next guy has (perhaps more than any other - but I'm haven't been keeping track); and I took the Rat's pro-conservative talk head on and called him on it; and I've exposed the New Right-Left neo-cons for being bastards (examine my history of posts on the subject at my user info page here on SOLOHQ). Yet you "suspect." Care to share other details you've integrated (besides subjective notion) to come to this suspicion? I'd be damn glad to hear it.
------------

You guys amaze me.

Ed



Post 62

Friday, September 17, 2004 - 2:37pmSanction this postReply
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Regi, I do not begin to understand what you mean by the statement:

"Volition does not mean having conscious control of every aspect of one's being; it does not even mean being in control of one's choices, it means, that everything a human being does has to be chosen."

If we are not in control of all our choices, how can everything we do be (volitionally) chosen?

Now I'm so confused I'm not even sure what I'm asking. I'm only sure that something is very wrong with your statement.

Barbara



Post 63

Friday, September 17, 2004 - 5:11pmSanction this postReply
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Barbara,

That is a fair question. If this were not a forum, of course, I would have provided a more thorough description of what I mean.

Here's your question:

"Volition does not mean having conscious control of every aspect of one's being; it does not even mean being in control of one's choices, it means, that everything a human being does has to be chosen."

If we are not in control of all our choices, how can everything we do be (volitionally) chosen?
Everything a human being does must be by conscious choice, barring of course the biological functions, reflex, etc. A person is "in control" of his choices only so long as those choices are determined rationally, based on principles one understands in the light of the best evidence and reason of which one is capable.

That is not the basis for most people's choices, however. For most people it is a mix of reason and other non-rational influences, (their feelings, faith, habit, custom, etc.), that determined their choices. There is nothing wrong with considering all of these, and (with the exception of faith) ought to be part of one's rational evaluation of every choice. It is when any of these substitutes for reason that one's choices are not rational. To the extent one's reason is not the basis for one's choices, whatever is substituted for it, faith, whim, desire, is in control.

The only faculty we have for being in control of our choices is reason. To the extent one surrenders that control to something else, other than reason, they and their choices are out of their conscious control and in the control of whatever they have surrendered their reason to. That surrender, by the way, is also a choice.

(Please understand, this discussion intentionally leaves out the whole realm of habituated behavior, which is not directly controlled, in most cases, consciously, but is always within the scope of conscious control.)

Regi







Post 64

Friday, September 17, 2004 - 5:26pmSanction this postReply
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Hi Barbara,

Regi, you wrote: "'Subconscious,' means something we are not conscious of which nevertheless determines some aspects of our behavior."

I have never heard this definition from anyone but you.


Thank you! I am not in the habit of repeating the same of psychobable claptrap which those who cannot think for themselves do.

Seriously, it was not meant as a definition; it is a description meant to illustrate the absurdity of that pseudo-concept. Either we are conscious of something or we are not. What can possibly be meant by subconscious? Is it something we are not conscious of? Then why is it considered some kind consciousness. Is it something we are conscious of. Then why is it called sub- (under) consciousness.

Almost all of what is attributed to this mysterious subconsciousness is nothing more than memory or habitual patterns of thought and attendant emotion.

I would gladly entertain a different definition and explanation of subconscious so long as you understand it will be subject to a ruthlessly critical examination.

Regi




Post 65

Friday, September 17, 2004 - 5:50pmSanction this postReply
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Linz, When I pointed out you are the only person anywhere on solo ever to say, "either man is volitional or not" means that man has volitional control over *every* aspect of his being," even though you attributed it to the unidentified, "other side," I explained what the "other side" does say is this: everything a human being does is by conscious choice.    

I explained that assuming you either misunderstood something I said, or didn't read it correctly. I know there is another possibility, but I will certainly not make that all too obvious accusation. I think you are mistaken, but not dishonest.    

I then asked, to be sure I understood what your point was, "Linz, are some of things you do not by choice?"    

To that you made the amazing remark: "This is precisely why I now view this writer as dishonest."    

You say something which is blatantly untrue about me, and I give you the benefit of the doubt. I ask you a simple question, which implies nothing at all, and you call me dishonest.    

Then you say, like God himself, reading my mind and stating with arbitrary finality, "He knows the argument is not about the *actions* of a gay person, but the orientation itself, which, I repeat, is *not* open to choice."    

But I know no such thing at all. My whole argument is that a person's, "orientation," or "inclination," to do or be anything (a thief, a nymphomaniac, a pedophile, a homosexual) is irrelevant. Only what one chooses matters. It is only one's actual actions, in thought and deed that has any part of defining who and what an individual is. A person tempted to steal is not a thief unless he yields to the temptation (his orientation) and actually steals.    

Then you said, "A gay person *could* act as Regi would wish ...," once again, reading into my mind what is not there, but is certainly in yours, because you wrote it. The only "wish" I have for all men is that they be free to live their lives any way they choose without the interference of any other man. I have never suggested I wish gays would act in any particular way, except in the general sense that I wish all men would, for their own sakes, refrain from self-destructive behavior, without regard to which behavior that would be.

If you can find anywhere, on SOLO, in my book, or anyplace else where I ever said or suggested anyone, ever, should, "live a life of abstinence or pretend-heterosexuality," I will will apologize for it and repudiate it here and now. If you cannot show me that, I will be severely tempted to change my mind about that benefit of the doubt I am still extending you.    

"... such self-denial or fraud would be entirely consistent with Regi's intrinsicist/mystic view of morality," you said. If you want to cover up a fault, the quickest way to do it is to accuse your opponent of that fault, whether it is true or not. But, of course I know you would not do that, would you?
    
You certainly aren't calling my insistence that human beings have a specific nature that determines what is good and bad for us, like a specific kind of stomach that precludes poison being a good thing to eat "intrinsicist," are you? You wouldn't be labeling my insistence that one use the best reason of which they are capable when choosing their values and how they choose to live their life "mystic," would you?    

What would you call a view that says what a person is, is determined by some mysterious unknown something; that a person is not, as Ayn Rand said, "a being of self-made soul," but a creature whose identity is determined by genes and environmental influences or something else? That would not be intrinsicist would it?    

And what do you call the view that says one has knowledge that is not derived objectively by reason, but is, "just there?" You wouldn't call that a priorism? And what do you call the view that says there is knowledge that does not require the mind? You wouldn't call the mysticism? I call the view, that says "the body (the "heart," "electricity," "sexual chemistry" etc.) has reasons the mind knows not of," the grossest of subjectivist mysticism, on the basis of which any outrage may be justified, and apparently is.    

Now, all this is based on how I understood what you said, and I confess I may have misunderstood it. It is difficult to understand something so shrill.

Oh yes, please do not worry about, "...to be polite to that entity from now on. I'm through with it." I doubt if I or anyone else will notice any difference.


Regi 

(Edited by Reginald Firehammer on 9/19, 10:38am)




Post 66

Saturday, September 18, 2004 - 9:19amSanction this postReply
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Hi Linz, Regi, Dr. Chris, and everyone:

What defines homosexuality? The inclination and attraction to others of the same gender? Or acting on those inclinations? It seems that Linz and Dr. Chris say homosexuality means the former, and Regi says the latter.

So break down Regi's position. He doesn't say the former--the inclination or attraction, is immoral (or at least I do not believe so from what I have read--I could be wrong). I'm not even sure if he disputes whether the inclination is natural. Basically, there is no cause for conflict here, because no one is commenting on the morality of this phase of the issue.

The second part of his position is that ~acting~ on same-gender attraction or impulses is immoral, just like a person who wants to steal isnt a thief until he does so. I dont know what his position is on man-woman anal sex. But I believe his argument as to WHY man on man sex is immoral is that--it causes illness and a greater chance of death, and represents a dangerous misuse of the body, similar to smoking, using drugs, etc.

Okay, fine, let's assume for a moment that there is such a thing as the "gay lifestyle" and that the "gay lifestyle" is more dangerous than some other lifestyle. Smoking, drinking, eating the wrong foods (or eating too much), engaging in high risk entertainment (like multiple unprotected sex hetero-partners and sky diving) ALL increase the risk of injury or death. But they are what make life worth living to those who participate.

Is there a category for things that increase risk for a person but so fulfill them and bring them joy and make them feel alive, that it outweighs a statistical increase in risk? Sure. It's called "Things That Are Moral And Proper" But that is if, and only if, the individual himself makes that determination. That's because YOUR life is YOURS, and no one else's. That's also why you shouldn't give a shit about what other people think about who you fuck, or what you drink. The ultimate moral standard is man's life--not existence, but life and happiness.



Post 67

Saturday, September 18, 2004 - 5:45pmSanction this postReply
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Scott,

Although I've been forbidden to discuss this subject on this forum, I must correct one statement, without discussing the subject itself.

You said: The second part of his position is that ~acting~ on same-gender attraction or impulses is immoral
 
That is not my position at all. I believe acting on the desire results in self-destructive behavior. If someone does not believe it is self-destructive (which most homosexuals obviously do not), it cannot be immoral to act on it. It is not immoral to behave in a way you believe is correct.

If someone believes their behavior is self destructive, but defies their own belief to satisfy that desire, that behavior is immoral, whatever that behavior is.

Morality always requires an informed choice and the ability to choose.

Regi




Post 68

Saturday, September 18, 2004 - 7:02pmSanction this postReply
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Reginald Heatlamp said, "Although I've been forbidden to discuss this subject on this forum ..." and by doing so demonstrated that like his colleague Mr Rat (who claims with equal disingenuousness that he doesn't know the difference between being banned and being moderated) that he is indeed dishonest. Transparently so.

What on earth did Objectivism do to attract people like this?




Post 69

Saturday, September 18, 2004 - 7:02pmSanction this postReply
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[Duplicate post deleted]

(Edited by Peter Cresswell on 9/18, 7:03pm)




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Post 70

Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 9:07amSanction this postReply
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Peter,

I think that Regi used the word "forbidden" in a tongue-in-cheek manner, as a figure-of-speech.

Now I could be wrong, and Regi could be a complete bastard - who cares for nothing but the spiteful manipulation of others, in order to enjoy life vicariously, instead of accepting the responsibility of living his own life. But this idea - of being right or wrong about Regi - has to take a backseat to a second idea: treating folks with a generalized respect as if they are beings capable of achievement and virtue (paraphrase of D Kelley - from memory).

If we were to give Regi a quiz regarding being banned, being moderated, and being politely asked to not continue in a specific debate, what are the chances he'll pass the quiz, Peter?

C'mon, man - you ascribe these psychological inclinations to Regi and then attack him for it, without letting him answer to the charges!

And this issue of mocking a person's name, in spite, is something that really ought to be reserved for those who've more clearly earned that type of childish and petty reaction from us.

Ed



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Post 71

Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 11:12pmSanction this postReply
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I have enjoyed this particular thread more than any other on this site....

This is why:

Although I disagree with reginald and his conclusions, I must hand it to him that he is the only one who could consistantly and calmly argue his point of view.

To the others, who I will not name, who think that Mere Assertion is an argument, or that your views do not need to be backed up by logical argument - why are you posting on a site dedicated to rationality and logical debate?

If your conclusions are so obvious...shouln't you be able to say why without reducing yourselves to petty personal attacks and rhetoric?





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