Leitmotif

Reason as the Leading Motive

Deception of the Senses

Posted by Jerry on February 28, 2006


This is a really cool illusion! I stole this from Todd’s blog, and I hope he doesn’t mind. 🙂

If Descartes were alive and were he to see this, he would go; “See, I told you so! I cannot trust anything from my senses. They could be deceiving me at any given moment. Thus, there should exist a God, because a true and honest God would never deceive me. This is the proof that God exists. And I think, therefore I exist, too.”

[ha! Any Cartesians reading this, know that I am being facetious. I know there is a whole lot more to Descartes than that. I do respect his mind, to some extent. But then, according to him, I wouldn’t really be respecting him as such, only his mind… anyway… I digress.]

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4 Responses to “Deception of the Senses”

  1. WOW!!! LONG TIME!!! Last I stopped in you sent me towards TOC; thank you, first of all, for helping me find rand…again, I can’t say I’ve ever read anything that I COMPLETELY agree with–but, that’s the beauty of it all, isn’t it?

    At any rate; my schedule was turned upside down recently, literally, so I’m still adjusting and am just getting back to visiting my favorite blogs.

    Great posts lately, I think I just read the last 6 or 7 or so, somethin like that—>>>but, I just got home from work, it’s 3 am, my head is no longer on straight, and needs sleep.

    One kwik note on sartre–i’m not sure because i’m operating on second hand knowledge of his philosophy; but, was his focus on the burdensome nature of freedom? I was under the impression that it was a bi-polar evaluation of freedom, a burden because it requires responsibility, and a treasure because freedom with responsibility (and from) rewards the individual both physically and (metaphysically?) emotionally and/or spiritually. As in, freedom is not A value, but is to be valued, for it is perpetual existence, whether we like it or not, and to accept it, to say yes to it, is to say yes to all existence, to become one with existence, to empower self with existence and free will, that kind of stuff…

    good nite (morning ; )

    peace out,

    sean

  2. Kelly said

    I like illusions because people sometimes say that they don’t trust what they don’t see, but illusions show us that maybe what we see isn’t reliable either.

    Where do you stand on ghosts? Just curious.

  3. Ergo Sum said

    Sean,

    I am also, like you, just only realizing the full scope of the insights in Objectivism. And specifically, I’m beginning to realize that there are some fundamental problems with the TOC’s understanding of basic Objectivist principles and their application of it.

    For example, the TOC/Kelly heirarchy of central Objectivist values are different in a significant sense from the hierarchy of values that Rand herself postulated.

    As regards Sartre, my knowledge of his philosophy is probably as limited (if not more) than yours. However, given what I’ve read so far, a few things are clear:

    For Sartre, freedom was inescapable, in that it was the very character of Being-for-itself, i.e. human consciousness. I suspect that Sartre misuses the concept of “freedom” to signify human volition, or free will.
    Rand said that we have no choice about the fact that we are volitional beings, beings with free will – which (among other things) gives rise to the need for a moral code.

    Sartre abstractly mentioned that good-faith acts are possible.Yet, none of his examples in ‘Being and Nothingness’ comes to show just practically *how* it can be possible, since according to Sartre, we can never know our selves, we are constantly changing, and therefore to even say “I am…” is committing an act of bad-faith because it is insincere… and because often times we are insincere even without *knowing* that we are insincere (his eg. waiter being a very good waiter, yet not knowing that he is insincere because he is not really a waiter).

    You said, “freedom is not A value but is to be valued”. That statement is intrinsicist. Nothing *needs* to be valued unless it is deliberately *chosen* by a volitional agent as a value. Value is agent-specific. Thus, an irrational man can have irrational values like self-destructive behaviors, hedonistic behaviors, etc.
    Freedom is not to be valued unless a rational man understands that freedom is necessary for his rational existence and therefore *chooses* to value it (i.e. strive to gain or keep freedom).

    To make the statement that “freedom is to be valued” is to say that freedom has value regardless of whether anyone likes it or not, and that everybody MUST value freedom, that it IS TO BE valued by all. That is nothing short of a corruption of so many concepts: freedom, value, reason and volition.

    You said: “say yes to all existence, to become one with existence”

    I may be misinterpreting you here, but I think that statement sounds too Buddhist, mystical, to me. How does man – who is part of the sum of existence already – say “yes” to existence and become “one” with existence, as if we are not already?
    Just because one does not *recognize* the objectivity of existence (and of their own existence) does not mean it is not so. Similarly, just because someone decides that existence exists and accepts it does not suddenly bring existence into existence. Negation or affirmation of the axiom of existence is pointless and self-defeating.

  4. Ergo Sum said

    Kelly,

    Where do you stand on unicorns? Or Batman?
    That’s where I stand on ghosts.

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