Objectivism is Flawed
Debate Rounds (4)
It is the position of the Pro that Objectivism which is the philosophy of Ayn Rand is flawed and should be disregarded as an approachable outlet to philosophy. The goal of the Con is to prove otherwise.
1. A single forfeit equals an automatic forfeit for this debate on the offending party.
2. No semantic disputes. If the definition of a term is unclear please refer to the online Merriam Webster Dictionary. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
3. The Con will simply state acceptance for the first round. No dense introduction necessary.
I thank the Con for accepting this debate. I hope for a fruitful and healthy debate. Objectivism which is the philosophy of Ayn Rand present stunning flaws to it's metaphysical and political doctrine as to which I will highlight below.
I. Experience of Objective Reality is Impossible
Before we start, it's important to distinguish between cognitive biases and logical fallacies. A logical fallacy is an error in logical argumentation (e.g. ad hominem attacks, slippery slopes, circular arguments, appeal to force, etc.). A cognitive bias, on the other hand, is a genuine deficiency or limitation in our thinking — a flaw in judgment that arises from errors of memory, social attribution, and miscalculations (such as statistical errors or a false sense of probability).
There's a difference between understanding the world objectively (or at least trying to, anyway) and experiencing it through an exclusively objective framework. This is essentially the problem of qualia — the notion that our surroundings can only be observed through the filter of our senses and the cogitations of our minds. Everything you know, everything you've touched, seen, and smelled, has been filtered through any number of physiological and cognitive processes.
To further this point the human mind while capable of complex abstractional thought also suffers from a numerous array of flaws in terms of perception and understanding. Numerous biases plague our rational attempts at being able to grasp such a concept as objective reality (assuming it even exists). A short list here demonstrates how rationally destitute our thinking can become when biases come into play.
1. Post-Purchase Rationalization
"Post-purchase rationalization, also known as Buyer's Stockholm Syndrome, is a cognitive bias whereby someone who has purchased an expensive product or service overlooks any faults or defects in order to justify their purchase. It is a special case of choice-supportive bias. Some authorities would also consider this rationalization a manifestation of cognitive dissonance." [S1]
2. Observational Selection Bias
"Observation selection effects are an especially subtle kind of selection effect that is introduced not by limitations in our measurement apparatuses but by the fact that all evidence is preconditioned on the existence of an observer to “have” the evidence and to build the instruments in the first place." [S2]
3. Status-Quo Bias
"The tendency for people to like things to stay relatively the same (see also Loss aversion and Endowment effect) [S3]4. Observer-expectancy effect bias" [S3]
4. Observer-Expectancy Effect Bias
"When a researcher expects a given result and therefore unconsciously manipulates an experiment or misinterprets data in order to find it (see also subject-expectancy effect)." [S3]
5. Positive outcome bias
"A tendency in prediction to overestimate the probability of good things happening to them (see also wishful thinking, optimism bias and valence effect)" [S3]
It should be clear at this point that even in a clearly rational mind biases will always be present and to be able to calculate an objective reality one must be able to do so in a manner secluded from every possible irrational bias leading to my first point's conclusion that it is simply outside the capability of the human mind.
II. Existence Doesn't Exist
The first branch of objectivist metaphysics states that existence does indeed exist,
"Existence exists is an axiom which states that there is something, as opposed to nothing. At the core of every thought is the observation that "I am aware of something". The very fact that one is aware of something is the proof that something in some form exists -- that existence exists -- existence being all that which exists." [S4]
The problem with this concept right off the bat is that it is a rationalistic loop (circular reasoning). Objectivism starts with existence and then claims that it exists. It's tautological and rather meaningless statement which undermines it's entire metaphysical branch of philosophy. What objectivism should really be asking and defining is;
Is there an existence apart from my experience in the first place?
III. The Problem of Free Will
Objectivism claims that free will exists within the context of man's mind. I beg to differ.
If existence exists, everything acts according to only it's nature then there is simply no agent of free will involved which is invariably deterministic by default. No indication is given on how this is actually possible from the standpoint of a free will argument. To have true free will one must be able to act and manifest in reality without the constraints of reality to guide it. This is clearly not the case as science has demonstrated over the years of it's existence that all life is subject to the same laws as it's biological counterparts. Trees just as animals and humans are subject to the law of gravity and entropic forces.
AkulMunjal forfeited this round.
Rule 1 is in effect due to forfeit by the Con.
If the Con wishes to debate further he may regardless. My arguments extend.
AkulMunjal forfeited this round.
Arguments extended. Vote Pro.
AkulMunjal forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 2-D 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the forfeit. I don't see that Pro's arguments address flaws in objectivism but I do agree their are flaws in every philosophy and Con obviously dropped these arguments anyway.
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