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Lester
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Whether or not other people give the term 'power' the same amount as scope as I do does not change the theory that power as I define it is the ultimate human motivation.

As for analyzing in terms of power, I think you have misunderstood, I will not ALWAYS analyze in terms of power, I wil TRY to analyze in terms of power, however, it may be the case that there is something that I am unable to sufficiently analyze in terms of power, this is the point at which my theory is disproven.

Also, I have made the assumption that power is a concept you can relate to all things only because I have yet to find something that cannot be related to power, so I think it is a fair assumption to make.

I have not explained why people choose power as their ultimate motivation because frankly I just don't know. All I know is what I have observed, and that is that humans are motivated by nothing but power.

I don't presume to know what humans *should* do, I only observe what they have and continue to do, thats where the theory comes from, it's an extension of the data to it's logical conclusion, it does not presume to explain anything about the data, just to apply the data as i have seen it.
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CryxicKiller
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Power as you define it virtually has so broad a meaning that it is meaningless. 'Love' can be another term that, were we to expand enough, would describe human motivations as well. Just imagine the first definition you gave of power, "The ability or capacity to perform or act effectively," being changed to the prime definition of love (as "I" see it), "The ability or capacity to perform or act effectively for some end that satisfies emotions." Then you can "try" to explain everything in terms of love as well.

Whether you call it "trying" or something else is irrelevant; the only thing that matters is that you have made the fundamental assumption that power is the ultimate source behind human motivations. Once you've made that, you will always consider these cases in terms of power. That's something that you will do until you change your mind about the fundamental principles underlying your "theory," which I highlighted in my last post. It really is not surprising that you are arguing what you are; it is a logical consequence of the two postulates that I identified in your "theory." Refusal to change those postulates will always remain a hindrance to arguing differing positions.

The central question (or questions of a similar sort) now becomes: why did you choose these two postulates and did you have good reasons for doing so? The first, that there exists some concept that can explain all human motivations, appears to have no clear roots other than simple desire on your part. In fact, this question is interesting to analyze in the context of your "theory," even though it deals with issues preceding the mechanisms of that "theory." Regardless, one could ask: what motivated you to believe that there is such a concept? Was it power somehow? Was it reason? Was it a definition of power that you have, again, stretched so much that it could cover reason? The second postulate, that the concept is power, is meaningless in light of the fact that your definition of power is meaningless. However, we can still ask the antecedent questions: what motivated you to identify power as the ultimate source of motivations behind human affairs? I gather from all this that, because you are using reason and argument, however poorly, that it must be reason that led you to that particular conclusion, not power. I would still love to know how power motivated the creation of your "theory."

You've made the assumption that power can be related "to all things" because you've made the assumption, not because you have any good reasons for doing so. But I would still urge you to not confuse what your own "theory" states: it's irrelevant whether you can "relate" other things to power; the only thing that matters, and what you should be trying to prove, instead of jumping around all over the place, is that power is the ultimate source of motivation (that is, a causal incentive) for a human doing something. I mean if we were to restrict your scope and say something like, "power is related to most human actions," even I would agree. Sure it's related; doesn't mean it caused them. Keep in mind that distinction so that you don't make this mistake again.

On your last two paragraphs: yes you're just regurgitating what I said. Your "theory" is descriptive, not normative. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that; I'm just classifying it.
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Lester
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
The 'power is the ultimate motivator' is a conclusion, not an assumption. I looked at all things that motivated humans, and I found, underneath them all, the concept of power, hence it is not a postulate, but a conclusion, the assumption is that if there are things that I have not examined that motivate humans, these things fit with the general trend.

Power motivated the creation of my theory because to have knowledge of the ultimate human motivator is to have power over all humanity.

So yes, it's descriptive, does that matter? To say all fish have scales and can breath under water is descriptive, but that doesn't mean you can't draw conclusions from it.
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CryxicKiller
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
It is actually an assumption. You've taken that proposition to be a priori, much like Descartes took the propositions that he existed and that there was a god. If one were to claim that Descartes asseverated those as conclusions, then one would be deep in it (semantics). The three, and only three apparently, incentives that you found for humans are all assumptions. This, "Money is really just units of power, since the more money the more power and the less money the less power," is a longer version of "I think, therefore I am." Descartes certainly tried to justify his assumptions, as you are, but that doesn't make them conclusions. They're still fundamental assumptions that you're making about the human world.

So the question is, again, does your postulate convey the reality of human affairs? That aside, if your theory was created to have power over all of humanity, then would you not be all-powerful by now? After all, you think that you have found the secret. You now have knowledge of the "ultimate human motivator;" shouldn't you now have power over all of humanity as well? I don't know if this is what you think, but your question certainly implies it. If you gave an honest description of what motivated you, however, then I somewhat worried. If it was not reason that motivated you, it means that whatever you came up with is probably grossly inaccurate. Do you not think it weird that the ultimate source of motivation that you posit is the same as that which motivated you? Seems odd to me, because one could say the following: you only elevated power to this status because it motivated you and and you alone, not because power by itself has any special merit above other important concepts that drive human affairs. This just lends credence to my view that the whole "theory" is contrived beyond belief, is full of a priori statements, and makes little to no attempt to analyze the world nomologically, not just logically.

You're missing the point of the normative-descriptive distinction. I didn't it give as a lesson or something; I was replying to your inquiry that I have to explain why humans should choose cows at their ultimate motivation. So I said that your theory is descriptive, meaning I don't have to ask why humans would choose power as the ultimate motivation, just like you don't need to ask why they would choose cows; the only thing that matters is that they do.
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Lester
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
'I am' seems to be a pretty valid conclusion to me given the proof of 'I think'... The bit about sex money and power was just me elaborating from a saying, but that saying did lead me to think about other things that motivated humans and how they too are motivated by power. 'I think therefore I am' is not a conclusion, 'I am' is the conclusion, and a justified one at that. Just like mine.

Just because I have power over all of humanity does not mean i have ALL power over humanity, just that I have an amount of power of every single human. Reason is not a motivation, reason is a tool you use BECAUSE of motivation. Even then, as a tool, reason is all about power too, the power of the mind to unlock the secrets of the universe through logic. Your question was how did power motivate me, I answered it, so of course the answer would have to do with power. Just like any answer for any motivation as far as I have seen will have to do with power, thats what the theory is all about. I'm of the same mind as Shoemaker, nomologically is equal to metaphysically.

I don't think there is a 'choice' of what he ultimate motivator is, because if there was, it wouldn't be an ultimate motivator now would it? Because there would be something else that could possibly motivate you.
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CryxicKiller
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Descartes also thought that some entity needed to give us the the capacity to think, to know that we exist. That's how he came to his second fundamental assumption that god exists. Descartes regarded both a priori statements as roughly equivalent in importance. Of course, if you do not regard the second a priori assumption as equal in importance, it could be because you think differently from Descartes. Anyway, we are not here to debate the validity of the suppositions of Descartes, who even came up with a dream argument to show how we might not exist, but yours.

The main problem that your "theory" must overcome is this question of justification. Why did you make the assumptions that you did? Did you have good reasons for doing so, or was there a deeper calling that had little to do with reason? You have two sacred postulates to your "theory" that currently have no justification at all. You've claimed that power is related to all human affairs, a proposition that is not strictly true, but that would qualify if it were somewhat more restricted. For example, "power relates to most human activities," or something to that effect. Nonetheless, even going back to your original promulgation, we have to note the recurring mistake on your part: you believe that just because power is related to all human affairs, it must mean that it is the ultimate motivation for all human affairs. However, there is no causal link. Power could be related to many or all human affairs but not actually be the primary incentive that causes them. I would hope that you keep this distinction in mind for the future. Let's return to the central problem: we have two postulates that are not justified. It is seductive to speculate about how to justify them or what could justify them. However, as I will explain shortly, it seems that the postulates themselves and the attempts at justification on your part are completely based on a priori reasoning.

You may not have "all" the power over humanity, but your question and your statements now do imply that you have some power over all humans. Can you explain what type of power you have over all humans and how do you have it? I am speaking about the problem causally and empirically. In light of the fact that you have not had contact with most humans on Earth, and that most humans on Earth have never heard of you, which diminishes your importance, I fail to see how you could even have "some" power over all humans. If you have correctly identified the ultimate motivation for all human affairs, I could potentially see how it would be useful in dealing with humans when you do interact with them, but otherwise, you still are limited causally by what you can do. Unless you've fashionably redefined power somehow, the laws of physics currently preclude you from having power over all humans.

Reason is a tool that currently you are using badly. It is a tool that can be manipulated to do many things, depending on your overarching objectives. As an example, imagine a child raised by Christian parents and immersed in the Christian theological tradition. The child will grow up to believe in god and that this god has certain characteristics. Over the course of time, however, the child may well utilize reasons that they were not originally aware of to support their assumptions and conclusions. But the reason here has nothing to do with the motivation, which could be faith or desire for life after death. Reason was not used because of motivation; it was used to establish a conclusion that, in this example, was already known through other means. That is, the motivation itself necessitates a conclusion, descriptively, not reason. Humans often use reason to support a position they've come to hold through other ways. Reason and logic, however, do have limits and should be used carefully; this debate is proving the validity of that claim.

You now go on to assert that the "power" of reason and of the mind can be used to unlock the "secrets" of the Universe. This statement is baffling but welcomed at the same time. I say "welcomed" because it more or less gives a huge amount of evidence to my view that you think the ultimate motivation in human affairs is some sort of a priori principle that you can discover just by thinking about the problem, without necessarily analyzing the world that you're making assumptions and conclusions about. I don't know if you meant that the mind has power to discover the "secrets" of the Universe through logic only, but we must keep in mind that, to adjudicate in this area, logic should be used alongside experience. If you want to make a claim about human affairs, you must consider both human affairs and the rules of logic, but certainly not the latter by itself. Your next sentence is even stranger, and seems to come ever closer to confirming my ideas. Is it not strange that the concept that motivated you personally should end up being the concept of ultimate human motivation? If power motivated you somehow in constructing this "theory," that does not mean that it did so because of its universal importance in human affairs, but rather because you wanted power to do just that and be just that.

All this aside, however, the truth is that power did not motivate you to come up with this "theory." Curiosity might have motivated you, and in the quest that you started based on the two postulates that I've identified, you utilized reason to conceive your "theory." I'm not quite certain what the sentence at the end of the second paragraph meant, but the nomological is not equal to the metaphysical. The former has to do with the laws of physics and logic while the latter concerns itself with topics that are, literally, "beyond physics."

The issue of choice has now become intriguing, in light of your concluding statements in the last post. To understand and know the ultimate motivation for human affairs, if one does exist, means having had some experience with humans in their affairs. However, in this context, when you make the decision about what the ultimate motivation is, it must mean that you made a conscious choice. If you did not, then you are presuming what I've been saying all along: that this answer you think you can give is based strictly on a priori grounds, completely eschewing a posteriori reasoning. The pieces are coming together more and more now; you don't even think you have to choose! That's something, although it sparks some other questions. If this is such a strong a priori principle, how come you are the only one to know it, sociological effects aside? If this is an a priori principle, why did you make a descriptive comment about how the world actually operates? If you analyzed human affairs "the way they are," then you chose power to be the ultimate motivation. The reason why I know this is because I also claim to have analyzed human affairs "the way they are," but I have not reached the same conclusions you did in your "theory." Through analysis of the evidence, I have concluded, or I have made a choice, that the mechanisms behind your "theory" are flawed and that your two postulates are of no importance whatsoever. You made a choice in selecting power, and the choice you made can be explained in terms of the factors that I mentioned above.
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Lester
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
What you seem to have assumd in almost all of your arguments, was that I somehow wanted power to be the ultimate human motivator, this is not how it happened, I was watching tv, something that I do regularly, because of the insights it shows not only into humans but also into how to deceive humans, and also cause I enjoy it, anyways, someone said; "the four reasons that motivate anyone to do anything, se, money, power and sex." Now although this was obviously a joke it stuck in my mind and after the show had ended I analysed it thoroughly, and realised that all four of those motivation were actually just the one, power, now I didn't think much of it at the time but the conclusion stuck in my mind, and then on later dates I went back to it, and then one day I tried listing all possible motivators of humans, and i realised that they were all caused by power. Now my list may have been wrong, which is why it should be quite easy to prove my theory wrong, if it is, all you have to do is find a motivation for humanity that was not caused by power. I have not found one, hence I stick to my original conclusion.

I think you have misunderstood me, that is exactly what I meant, that whenever I interact with humans I have added power because I know what motivates them, that is power over all humanity, of course you cannot exercise power without interaction, so yes, interaction is neccesary, surprisingly, to affect something.

Again the thing with christianity is based on the assumption that I WANT power to be the ultimate motivator, I don't, I couldn't care less if there was no ultimate motivator, but as far as I can see there is, and this is based on analysis of all the things that I know of that motivate humans.

You read too much into what I say, but yes, you do need experience, for without experience you can't have logic.

Like I said before, it's not strange that the ultimate motivator is what motivated me, because if it didn't, it would not be the ultimate motivator now would it? And as I said before, it was YOU who asked me how power led me to this discovery. Curiosity is just the drive to gain more knowledge, and knowledge IS power so yes, perhaps curiosity did motivate me.

I made a conclusion, conclusions are not choice, not logical ones anyways.

As for the nomological and metaphysical thing, read some Sydney Shoemaker, they are the same. I happen to agree with him.
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CryxicKiller
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I will come back to the main thrust of my objections: how do we justify the two postulates in your "theory"? You have now clarified an important point: your "theory" was not completely constructed from the wanderings of logic. You at least utilized some sense-experience with the world, however unorthodox. I use the word "unorthodox" here in two ways. First, it is quite strange that this "theory" was inspired by a TV show, but not, I suppose, out of the realm of imagination. Second, I think I have now found the answer to what motivated the "theory," which is an unorthodox proposition: the tv show motivated your "theory"! In fact, it makes quite a good deal of sense. Regardless of your two postulates, you would not have started the quest for an ultimate source of human motivation had it not been for the tv show, and one would think you also would not have yielded the same answers as the tv show had you experienced something else. Your little anectode also resolves the problem I've been hinting at for a while, but which I only fully broached in my last post: the decision to pick power as the ultimate human motivation was a choice. The tv show inherently presented you with a possibility, but most definitely not a necessity. Quite literally, you did not have to and you were not being forced to select power by any "force" in the Universe, intellectual or physical (or something else), but you made that choice while contextualizing the situation with the first postulate, the assumption that there is an ultimate source of human motivation and that humans can actually know it. You see, "knowing" that postulate, you deliberately selected power because you thought it could be something of a solution. This realization is good because it helps shed some more light on the subject, but bad because you have not overcome the problem of settling the inherent problems with your postulates. Even ignoring that last part, however, I have now finally solved the problem of the falsifiability of your "theory," despite your ridiculous standards. You see, the tv show motivated you to create your "theory," not power. In making this announcement, I am implicitly adopting your position that your theory is, in fact, falsifiable. In reality, I continue to believe that your "theory" works in such a way that it is impossible to falsify, simply because of the fundamental assumptions that have been constructed around it. I am, however, willing to contrive support for your position on that front so I can show how your position is untrue on another front. It may be an arbitrary decision, but at this point you are well aware of the arbitrary creations within your own schema, so this should not be jaw-dropping or anything.

The statements in your second paragraph are somewhat surprising, by which I mean contradictory. You claim that you add power when you interact with every human, but you do not reveal the causal link through which this occurs, despite the fact that you explicitly endorse the causal perspective; that is, that one would actually have to interact with humans somehow in order to expand one's influence over them. Regardless of all this, you still propose that you have power over all humanity, but I am uncertain about how this part works. Could you explain the "mechanics" perhaps? How is it possible that you can have power over all of humanity when you have not interacted with all of humanity? Why would you make this claim when you yourself adopt the view that one would need to interact in order to affect? It could be that my questions are inspired more by linguistic jumbling rather than rational thought, but in that case I would advise you to be more lucid and clear in your statements, just so you do not incite unwanted inquiries. Or, of course, it could be that I'm on to something, in which case go right ahead and answer. I'm all ears. I should also note that you do use the word "necessary" to highlight, if you will, the interactive powers of interaction. So this does not even appear to be an inductive argument on your part; you seem to be on my side regarding the mechanics, but the conclusion you reach is, I'm afraid, slightly misguided.

Traditionally, the laws of logic are said to exist in spite of the entities that conceive them. What I mean is that even if there were no humans around to talk about laws of logic, those laws would still exist. As I said before, modus ponens is true now, has been true before, and will be true forever. Modus ponens did not become true when Aristotle first spoke of it. In that sense, the laws of logic are different from the laws of physics, which would not exist outside of a materialistic world. However, it may be true, or so I think, that the laws of logic are so fundamentally connected to the empirical world that it would not be very reasonable to speak about those laws outside of that world. What I told you above is the view that many respected philosophers hold, and a view that has been prominent in philosophy throughout its history. It is important to make these points because you have made some methodological and ontological mistakes in debating your theory: up until (roughly) this point, you have believed that the logical is sufficient enough to explain the nomological and the sociological, both of those components necessary in order to make your schema plausible and not pure guesswork. As far as I can tell, you saw this tv show and then thought about the problem that the tv show motivated you to think about. This means that that the only relevant nomological and sociological components used to build your schema were the grand characteristics of a tv show. Outside of that, you thought about the problem long and hard. I am sorry to say, but unless you described something incorrectly, or unless you did not include enough information, one would have to think that logic overwhelmingly dominated in the creation of assumptions and conclusions about the nomological and sociological world. This is quite troubling because your considerations have been generally misplaced and misconstrued. I would urge another, far more careful, analysis of your schema or of another schema that could possibly replace it, one that takes into account the fact that your current version is intellectually unsatisfying, as I've said before, and the fact that it has the ontological and methodological errors I have highlighted above, not to mention the fact that it is purely wrong on account that a tv show motivated the creation of a schema about the ultimate human motivation.

In light of past statements, it appears that you do actually want power to be the ultimate human motivation. More importantly, however, in light of basically all of your relevant statements on the subject, it appears that you do actually believe that there is an ultimate motivation for human affairs. You still have not resolved the intrinsic issues regarding the soundness of the two postulates (or three if you parse the first one to say that "There is an ultimate motivation for all human affairs" and that "Humans are capable of knowing it"). What happens is that as soon as you adopt that first postulate as you have, you necessarily think that there must be an answer. You have chosen to identify that answer as power. Basically, in light of the first postulate, of course you want there to be an answer! The fact that you've chosen power, as ridiculous as that is, is not relevant in this context. What is important is that you think there must be an answer, as many people throughout history have. You chose to identify power, others chose another concept or driving force. Hopefully this is making a little bit more sense now, but do not be afraid to ask for a clarification.

As we delve deeper, your statements become ever more baffling. Now suddenly knowledge "is" power, in an apparent twist that does not involve the old adage? I would very much love to know how knowledge means the "ability or capacity to perform or act effectively." This comes back to the relational and associational mistakes that you originally made with the concept of power and the manner in which it applies throughout the world. Now you are repeating the mistake with knowledge, confusing the fact that simply because knowledge and power are related does not mean that they are the exact same thing or concept. You also state that curiosity motivated you. Do you mean to say that curiosity motivated you but it was not the "ultimate" motivation? It was essentially power that "mostly" motivated you, but that curiosity played a role somehow? If that is what you mean, then I will have to ask for further clarification, on account of some (apparent anyway) linguistic jousting, however unintentional, occurring on your part. Despite that, the relational problem appears once again, this time in a far more interesting way. Probabilistically, you are focusing, because of a priori desires and assumptions, on power so much that you are letting it "invade" the properties and meanings of other concepts, like curiosity, and then drawing the conclusion that power had some sort of causal strength in whatever human action that you analyze. This is all the more reason for you to recognize that mistake and avoid it in the future. Once again, implying or stating that the "ultimate motivator made me do it" is unsatisfactory on account of the unexplained and unsupported postulate that you are using to make the claim legitimate. You could see it as begging the question because you are holding something to be true when that something is what we are, in fact, having a conversation on.

In philosophical literature, most of it anyway, there is a stringently recognized difference between what is nomological and what is metaphysical. Roughly speaking, the nomological is that which relates to our world, our Universe. The metaphysical, however, can and does involve various concepts and propositions outside our Universe that are used to explain entities and ideas within our Universe. The most famous example of this distinction is, of course, Plato's Forms and forms, which I will not bother with since you have probably heard of it. I am not doubting that the author that you have read makes a contrary point; I am merely suggesting that most philosophers see the problem in the aforementioned light. You agree with your guy, I agree with the others. We can have a debate on this if you want, but I would first like to sort out the loose ends of your schema first.
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Lester
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ahh cryxic I do so enjoy these long posts.

The tv show did NOT motivate my creation of the theory, in the same way that Freud's creation of his theories on psychology were not motivated by observations of his subjects, the motivation is the *why* not the *how*. The tv show opened a door for me, but the motivation to go down that door was not that it was open, but was what drove me to want to see what was on the other side.

The mechanics being that if you know how all people are motivated you can subsequently motivate them to do what you want. As for the bit about all humanity, if someone said that he could ride any horse on earth would you tell him that he was wrong because there are some horses that are in the wild that he will never interact with? No, because you realise that he's not actually saying it's possible to ride every horse on earth but rather that if the situation was presented to him, it wouldn't matter which horse was in front of him, he would be able to ride it. The same thing appplies.

On this I think I disagree with you, one logical law is called chain argument, where is A implies B and B implies C then A implies B, I would posit that without experience of anything that could possibly be an A, B or C, that law cannot be conceived. As for the bit about the schema, I do not deny that my schema was flawed, but there is no perfect schema, and hence I made my schema to perhaps produce a false conclusion, but to be able to recognise the conclusion as false quite simply if it were. There is evidence behind my conclusion, and as I have not found any evidence against it, I must assume it to be true, musn't I?

It's not that I want power to be the ultimate motivator, or that I believed at some point there HAS to be an ultimate motivator, but rather that this was the conclusion I reached. If a detective were to pronounce that the death of a citizen was the result of nothing more than a combination of unfortunate events you would not say he had all along refused the possibility of foul play, would you?

"ability of capacity to perform an act effectively" How are you supposed to do this without knowledge? The more knowledge you have about someone the more power you have over them, and not just in terms of blackmail and extortion. Perhaps it is beggin the question, but then, if I were to say something motivated me besides power there would be no question at all anymore now would there? I said curiosity motivated me only after showing that curiosity is just the drive to get more power.

This is only the case because those philosophers assume natural laws to be contingent, not neccesary. I disagree. Even Aristotle, student of Plato, found there to an error in Forms and forms, I myself have found this same flaw.
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CryxicKiller
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
This gets exciting by the day! You have now admitted to perhaps making one logical fallacy (begging the question), which is fatal in our context, so I would revise your “perhaps,” and also blatantly went ahead and made another one, not even recognizing it. Now I myself am getting a little curious, because I think you have made the second logical fallacy before, and not even in this thread specifically. The second fallacy refers to the following sentence, “There is evidence behind my conclusion, and as I have not found any evidence against it, I must assume it to be true, musn't I?” If you assume it to be true, then it is a logical fallacy. It even has its own special name: the argument from ignorance, or ad ignorantiam in Latin. As Wikipedia explains it, it “is a logical fallacy in which it is claimed that a premise is true only because it has not been proven false, or that a premise is false only because it has not been proven true.” The former criteria “applies” here, in the sense that you are claiming your schema to be true simply because of a supposed lack of evidence. As an example, refer to many similar and silly arguments for the existence of god, which basically maintain that either no evidence has been found to disprove god’s existence and god exists or that no evidence has been found to prove god’s existence and god does not exist. I quoted the word ‘applies’ before because one of the central premises in that sentence, the one that said there was evidence behind your “conclusion,” is bogus in its own right as there is no evidence to support your “conclusion.” We still have a problem, however, relating to the construction of your schema (by now you have noticed I’ve decided to use this word so I don’t have to keep putting quotes around the word ‘theory’). Let’s get to this.

In my last post, I highlighted the extreme degree to which the construction of your schema utilized logic and, apparently, almost exclusively logic in an area where a variety of nomological and sociological aspects would also have to arbitrate. You first paragraph assumes that an oversimplified “why-how” distinction can explain the problem at hand, but I’m afraid things are not that easy. The tv show is what incited you to seek answers to the problems that were raised in your mind by the tv show. As I said before, I don’t deny that some time in the future these questions could have been implanted in your head through some other experience, but the fact that this occurred while you watched the tv show means that the tv show motivated the entire experience. What I am saying is that the tv show “sparked” something in your mind, and that “spark” was the motivational factor. At that point, you did not know that your schema would lead to the assumption of power as the ultimate motivation in human affairs, but before that point, you would not have even begun to look. I am worried that, given the limits of natural languages, that’s the best I can do in the way of descriptions, about this problem at least. Likewise, Freud’s theories were inspired by his ‘muses,’ if you will, a term that one could take to mean the observations that he made and the clients that he analyzed. Take those things away, or replace them with something else, and you would have some different theories emerging. In fact, I am certain that if you had watched some other show talking about a similar issue, you might have come up with a different assumption. The fact that you have not carefully thought about the problem, or that you have thought about it in almost exclusively inappropriate terms, basically means that you copied what the show said and then gave up with the false hope that you had found what you were looking for. This certainly does not seem impressive, and it also borders on intellectual plagiarism.

There are still outstanding concerns with your account on the mechanics, and there are even problems that were not explained from my last post. What you have to explain here is how, precisely, you have power over all humans. Your claims in the last post are still contradictory because your statements before that explicitly mention the need for interaction in order to have power over something. For example, assuming the veracity of the initial premises for the sake of argument, the horse rider can ride all the horses on Earth, but how does she or he ride all the horses on Earth unless he or she gets on top of each and every single horse? As of right now, you are not saying that you can have power over every human, which I believe that you believe, but that you do. Those are different propositions. So, again, it could be that linguistic jousting that’s confusing, but either way please explain. I also have a question that relates to your first sentence in the paragraph: if you know what the ultimate motivation in human affairs is, and you claim that, using that knowledge, you can motivate people to do what you want, would it be possible for you to ever motivate me to believe in your schema? If so, would this adventure have definite benchmarks or is it a timeless struggle, seemingly like Iraq? And what if at the time of my natural death (that is, supposing that I do not kill myself to simply win the argument by saying that I died and was not converted before the time of death) I am not motivated to believe in your schema, then what? Would that imply that you selected the wrong ultimate motivation? Or that you simply misused it all those years? If the schema does not permit the alteration of people’s fundamental thoughts, then presumably you would have some power to motivate their actions, right? Those are difficult to imagine apart, since thoughts are fundamentally connected to the external world, but ignore that for the sake of argument. Would it ever be possible for you to motivate me to hop on one leg or something? And what if I never performed the action that you were trying to motivate me to perform? Is this motivation that you speak of something that you can only inject in a face-to-face situation, or can you also do it, for example, in an online forum? If you can do it here, then I would love to get motivated by your power. In fact, here is a test that goes back to the earlier questions. In your next post, using the ultimate motivational tool for human affairs, I want you to motivate me to write back in my reply the following, exactly as it appears here: “Lester, a termite could have thought of something better than this.” I wish you good luck. Moving on.

The chain argument is a perfectly legitimate logical law and does not need humans to validate it, but I should also note that it is a logical law that sucks. That is, it’s valid, but almost completely unsound. You also wrote it incorrectly (probably a mistake); the result is that A implies C, not A implies B. Like I said, typo/mistake, but they are getting frequent to read. Without our experiences in the nomological realm, none of these logical laws would have been conceived. The point is that logical laws are true in spite of what happens in the nomological world. Once again, this is a traditional philosophical distinction: the laws of logic can exist “outside” of the materialistic world that is necessary for the laws of physics. At its core, the chain argument follows the similar “If, then” (If A, then B; if B, then C; if A, then C) structure for many arguments in term logic. So if you accepted modus ponens, I do not know why you would bring up this silly example without also questioning modus ponens. Here is an example of arguing via the chain argument:

If it rains tomorrow, I will not go to school tomorrow.
If I will not go to school tomorrow, I will receive a 0 on my math exam.
If it rains tomorrow, I will receive a 0 on my math exam.

Sucky conclusion, but valid I suppose. There’s also, however, nothing new or surprising. Its validity would have been true for all time and all places. On your schema: you may be confusing what I wrote. The word “schema” is literally replacing the word “theory.” So if your schema was flawed, then what I’ve been referring to as your “theory” was also flawed. This means that everything about it was mistaken, from the assumptions, to the mechanics, and all the way down to the conclusions. For your sake then, I hope you do deny that your schema was flawed, or else the argument is virtually terminated. On another note: in making the fundamental assumption that an ultimate motivation for human affairs exists and that the motivation is power, you are, pretty much, ‘conceding’ that you’ve discovered the “perfect” schema. Another possibility would not make sense. It’s sort of like saying that we’ve discovered the Theory of Everything in physics, but we’re not sure if it’s the right one. In that case, we should not have said that we discovered it. Likewise, if you’re not sure that your schema is “perfect,” ignoring for a moment the wide array of problems inherent in that word, then you should not claim that you have discovered the ultimate human motivation.

At this point, it seems like you do want power to be the ultimate motivation precisely because you already think it is. You may want that because you actually want that, you may want that because power is motivating you to want it, in which case you would have to want that (it’s a necessity), or you may want that to save face in this debate, one in which you’re not getting very far. Once again, it’s important to keep in mind the distinction between a conclusion and an assumption. While there are examples where there might be grey areas, this particular schema of yours offers a glaring case of the differences. An assumption is a fundamental principle that philosophers utilize to construct larger theories and schemas, the latter two being the location of conclusions. At this point, referring to my last post, you have not shown adequate justification for the two, or depending on how you want to see it, three, postulates that are absolutely central to your schema. The schema makes absolutely no sense without recognizing these assumptions: there is an ultimate motivation for human affairs, humans are capable of knowing and identifying it, and the ultimate motivation is power. I would note that ordinarily the third one would be a conclusion, but you have not explained in any significant way how you came about that conclusion, which makes me lean towards thinking that it belongs in the assumption aisle right now (you’ve basically said, “Poof! The answer is power!”). The best I have so far is that you watched a tv show that motivated you to think about the problem long and hard. The thinking phase involved logic and apparently ignored, mostly anyway, the sociological aspects of humanity. I mean, you have not explained how, for just one example, you approached the problems of human history and the historiography behind it. For another, how did you approach the multitudinous puzzles in human psychology? There’s no word at all on stuff like this. There’s, again, “it’s power and I’ll see ya tomorrow.” Sorry man, maybe you think that’s a conclusion, but to me that’s child’s play. It’s not really worth such long posts, you’re right about that, but just be glad that I’m willing to even entertain your ideas. Most would have waved good bye and gone home by now (mentally). What’s really frustrating is that you keep claiming power as a conclusion, but you still refuse to a show process or a mechanism behind arriving at this conclusion. No reasons at all; you just keep analyzing everything in terms of power after having already made what is quite a gaping assumption. But I really have nowhere to go, so I’ll be happy to press you on this point until the end of time, either mine or yours. The detective in your example used facts in the nomological realm to come to a reasonable conclusion, if, that is, he or she was, indeed, acting and thinking reasonably. You have done no such thing; refer to my comments above on your exclusive reliance on logic. If the detective reached the conclusion that it was a series of unfortunate events from a brief report, and not from the examination of the crime scene, then I would be quite worried about any conclusions, as I’m sure all of us would be. It is this scenario that better approximates what you are doing.

Your question regarding knowledge almost blatantly confirms what I’ve been saying: you are confusing relational with causal. You asked how are we supposed to act effectively without knowledge, but just because knowledge is related to acting effectively does not mean that it is acting effectively. Taking your definition, power is acting effectively. Knowledge is something that helps towards acting effectively; it is something that could potentially accrue our power, but it is not power itself. I do not, however, want to fall into the same trap that you have fallen with this entire schema. I do not believe that we can adjudicate on these concepts by logic alone; we must bring in experience. There have been many cases throughout history when knowledge actually led to diminished sociopolitical power, for individuals, nation-states, and other human-originated group entities. For example, American knowledge about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction mainly incited the greatest foreign policy disaster in this nation’s history since Vietnam. This led to diminished American power. It is not relevant that the information turned out to be false later; what matters is that it was knowledge to America and many other nations around the world. In this particular case, knowledge made us act, but it certainly did not make us act effectively, not unless you want to imply that we’ve done a great job over there or anything. Again, knowledge is not power. The two are related, but they are not the same thing. It is troubling to understand why you do not see this palpable distinction. Oh, but then again, in light of your assumptions, maybe it is not.

From an epistemological perspective, the metaphysical itself is contingent upon the nomological. Humans or other intelligent species would come to know of different metaphysical concepts and principles in a different Universe with different physical laws. I mean, what are you yourself thinking, that the metaphysical is necessary? Just so we’re even more clear: I do not believe that this metaphysical rubbish actually exists. To that end, it is human-created, serving more an intellectual rather than ontological purpose. There’s the nomological and that’s it, but within the nomological can arise sentient beings that can and do create a variety of different intellectual worlds and schemas, quite separate from nomological reality.

Now, let’s try something new. First, there is a recurring problem of defining ‘power’ that has not really been solved. You gave me a schoolboy definition a few posts ago, but it was wholly unhelpful and did not clarify how power applied to human affairs. Also, from a quasi-total lack of information on mechanics, I’m not quite sure how your schema works, so I’m going to give you a number of examples concerning human affairs and ask you to explicate how your schema accounts for them.

A vacation home is burning in a relatively isolated environment (in a forest, let’s say). Inside the house is a little girl who cannot get out. Her mother arrives just in time and goes into the house alone, realizing she has no time to call for help, to attempt to save the daughter. How is power the ultimate motivation here?

Brandon is about to compete in a high stakes poker match. Due to his superiority in the game, Brandon knows that he can easily blow away the competition, but right before the game starts, Brandon is informed by bookies who have captured his father and mother that if he wins, his father will be executed. Brandon is also informed that if he does not win, his mother will be executed. If he does not play, both of his parents will be executed. Brandon decides to play normally and goes on to win. His father is executed. How is power the ultimate motivation here?

A professional bowler who has set many records is about to play in the most important game of his life. Like Brandon, the bowler has confidence that he will be victorious. Before the game, the bowler is told that if he wins, his hands will be removed from his body. He is told that if he loses, he will be removed from bowling and must go to prison permanently. The bowler believes the threat and loses deliberately, going to jail for life. How is power the ultimate motivation here?
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SteelCityConservative
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:03 am    Post subject: Re: Wars caused by atheists. Reply with quote
Virindi wrote:
I've been doing my research, haven't found any so far.


Could be wrong but wasn't WWII a war started by athiests(Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan) and the Korean War started by the Communist North Koreans and Vietnam started by the Communist North Vietnam and the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan in the 80's. In fact most of the major wars of the 20th century were started by Godless states.
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Lester
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Did you just call Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany atheists?? Welcome and all, but really, that is very very far from the truth.
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CryxicKiller
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Wars caused by atheists. Reply with quote
SteelCityConservative wrote:
Could be wrong but wasn't WWII a war started by athiests(Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan) and the Korean War started by the Communist North Koreans and Vietnam started by the Communist North Vietnam and the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan in the 80's. In fact most of the major wars of the 20th century were started by Godless states.


Yes, you could be wrong, and you are. Leaving aside the problem of historical accuracy and debate (ie. just who did start the war?), there are plenty of major wars in the twentieth century that witnessed the influential participants claiming that they were on the side of "god."
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thelast007
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
hummmm....

Lester seems on point...

What does it mean to be alive? i think it means to have ability or power to do.

even when the richest men on earth bill gates, warren buffett obtain money their next step is to exchange all the money to make the world in the image that they would like. they give up their money to obtain the vision. (financial power)

politicians makes minimal money compared to many but they forsake money to obtain the position of power so that they will have some legal power to make the world into the image they want. (legal power)

all wars and rulers and dictatiors fight to have/get the power to make their world into the image they want. (position power)

Everything everyone does all seems motivated first by power.

No man is pleased to be captive or jailed. They all want power to do what they would like.

everyone wants the power to be able to create their surrounding to be pleasing to them. the next step is how far they go in creating their surroundings. their house. then their city, then country, then their etc. etc.

Unless you have succeeded in creating a pleasing surrounding then nothing else be it love or anything matters.

If someone has power over you they can prohibit your love, sex, or any pursuit of happiness.

power is ability.
Ability is the most important motivator.

when someone is jailed all power is taken away.
Upon death power is no longer possible.

--------------------------

then i thought...

no... fear and love are the only motivators.

people fight out of fear that power might be taken away. or fight for the power to do what please them or what they love.

but that brought me back to power.

what say you two?

(excuse me if i am back tracking points already covered. i only read about 70% of your exchanges.)
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Lester
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
CryxicKiller wrote:
This gets exciting by the day! You have now admitted to perhaps making one logical fallacy (begging the question), which is fatal in our context, so I would revise your “perhaps,” and also blatantly went ahead and made another one, not even recognizing it. Now I myself am getting a little curious, because I think you have made the second logical fallacy before, and not even in this thread specifically. The second fallacy refers to the following sentence, “There is evidence behind my conclusion, and as I have not found any evidence against it, I must assume it to be true, musn't I?” If you assume it to be true, then it is a logical fallacy. It even has its own special name: the argument from ignorance, or ad ignorantiam in Latin. As Wikipedia explains it, it “is a logical fallacy in which it is claimed that a premise is true only because it has not been proven false, or that a premise is false only because it has not been proven true.” The former criteria “applies” here, in the sense that you are claiming your schema to be true simply because of a supposed lack of evidence. As an example, refer to many similar and silly arguments for the existence of god, which basically maintain that either no evidence has been found to disprove god’s existence and god exists or that no evidence has been found to prove god’s existence and god does not exist. I quoted the word ‘applies’ before because one of the central premises in that sentence, the one that said there was evidence behind your “conclusion,” is bogus in its own right as there is no evidence to support your “conclusion.” We still have a problem, however, relating to the construction of your schema (by now you have noticed I’ve decided to use this word so I don’t have to keep putting quotes around the word ‘theory’). Let’s get to this.


I'll get right back where we started, given 007's inclusion. My motivation is not a premise, hence I don't think that petitio principii applies. As for ad ignorantium, while your definition is certainly correct, you seem to have ignored part of my post, I *DO* have evidence for it, as such it cannot be ad ignorantium, as ad ignorantium is only apllicable when I assume something because of lack of evidence against, not evidence for and no evidence against.

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In my last post, I highlighted the extreme degree to which the construction of your schema utilized logic and, apparently, almost exclusively logic in an area where a variety of nomological and sociological aspects would also have to arbitrate. You first paragraph assumes that an oversimplified “why-how” distinction can explain the problem at hand, but I’m afraid things are not that easy. The tv show is what incited you to seek answers to the problems that were raised in your mind by the tv show. As I said before, I don’t deny that some time in the future these questions could have been implanted in your head through some other experience, but the fact that this occurred while you watched the tv show means that the tv show motivated the entire experience. What I am saying is that the tv show “sparked” something in your mind, and that “spark” was the motivational factor. At that point, you did not know that your schema would lead to the assumption of power as the ultimate motivation in human affairs, but before that point, you would not have even begun to look. I am worried that, given the limits of natural languages, that’s the best I can do in the way of descriptions, about this problem at least. Likewise, Freud’s theories were inspired by his ‘muses,’ if you will, a term that one could take to mean the observations that he made and the clients that he analyzed. Take those things away, or replace them with something else, and you would have some different theories emerging. In fact, I am certain that if you had watched some other show talking about a similar issue, you might have come up with a different assumption. The fact that you have not carefully thought about the problem, or that you have thought about it in almost exclusively inappropriate terms, basically means that you copied what the show said and then gave up with the false hope that you had found what you were looking for. This certainly does not seem impressive, and it also borders on intellectual plagiarism.


I think you misunderstand the nature of the show's impact, the show did not potray the conclusion to be true, in fact it kind of potrayed it as false. To say that I am plagiarising the show would be to say that a mathematical theorem based on Hermoine Granger's one-liner in the next Harry Potter book is plagiarism. Just because I was thinking about a certain object or phenomenon does not mean the motivation for exploring that object/phenomenon is the thing that directed my mind to that intersection. Were I to have watched another show I may not have come up with this conclusion, but I don't think that I could have come up with an opposing one just because of what happened in the show.

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There are still outstanding concerns with your account on the mechanics, and there are even problems that were not explained from my last post. What you have to explain here is how, precisely, you have power over all humans. Your claims in the last post are still contradictory because your statements before that explicitly mention the need for interaction in order to have power over something. For example, assuming the veracity of the initial premises for the sake of argument, the horse rider can ride all the horses on Earth, but how does she or he ride all the horses on Earth unless he or she gets on top of each and every single horse? As of right now, you are not saying that you can have power over every human, which I believe that you believe, but that you do. Those are different propositions. So, again, it could be that linguistic jousting that’s confusing, but either way please explain.


The rider has the ability to ride, thats what having power over someone is, just an ability, which may be gleaned or learned in many different ways. I hope that this cleans up any communication problems. I realise that in a discussion as broad and specific as this, communication is the most important and probably most difficult aspect.

Quote:
I also have a question that relates to your first sentence in the paragraph: if you know what the ultimate motivation in human affairs is, and you claim that, using that knowledge, you can motivate people to do what you want, would it be possible for you to ever motivate me to believe in your schema? If so, would this adventure have definite benchmarks or is it a timeless struggle, seemingly like Iraq? And what if at the time of my natural death (that is, supposing that I do not kill myself to simply win the argument by saying that I died and was not converted before the time of death) I am not motivated to believe in your schema, then what? Would that imply that you selected the wrong ultimate motivation? Or that you simply misused it all those years?


For many years we knew about electricity without it having practical applications, and to go back to the rider analogy, just because a horse may have died in the stable, does not mean the rider did not have the ability to ride that horse. Presumably if I offered you enough money, power, or something that is a representation of power to you, you would partake in daily brain-training excericises that could make you fully and completely believe in my schema.

Quote:
If the schema does not permit the alteration of people’s fundamental thoughts, then presumably you would have some power to motivate their actions, right? Those are difficult to imagine apart, since thoughts are fundamentally connected to the external world, but ignore that for the sake of argument. Would it ever be possible for you to motivate me to hop on one leg or something? And what if I never performed the action that you were trying to motivate me to perform? Is this motivation that you speak of something that you can only inject in a face-to-face situation, or can you also do it, for example, in an online forum? If you can do it here, then I would love to get motivated by your power. In fact, here is a test that goes back to the earlier questions. In your next post, using the ultimate motivational tool for human affairs, I want you to motivate me to write back in my reply the following, exactly as it appears here: “Lester, a termite could have thought of something better than this.” I wish you good luck. Moving on.


I may have the power, but it doesn't mean it's easy to use it, it's a tool, and me being not so proficient with using the tool with respect to you, probably do not have the skill. Plus, any promises I might make would be ignored because of the impersonality of the forum, so yes, face-to-face would be easier, but I don't think it's necessary. Where I to investigate your entire life and details, then I believe I could get you to do whatever the fuck I want.

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The chain argument is a perfectly legitimate logical law and does not need humans to validate it, but I should also note that it is a logical law that sucks. That is, it’s valid, but almost completely unsound. You also wrote it incorrectly (probably a mistake); the result is that A implies C, not A implies B. Like I said, typo/mistake, but they are getting frequent to read. Without our experiences in the nomological realm, none of these logical laws would have been conceived. The point is that logical laws are true in spite of what happens in the nomological world. Once again, this is a traditional philosophical distinction: the laws of logic can exist “outside” of the materialistic world that is necessary for the laws of physics. At its core, the chain argument follows the similar “If, then” (If A, then B; if B, then C; if A, then C) structure for many arguments in term logic. So if you accepted modus ponens, I do not know why you would bring up this silly example without also questioning modus ponens. Here is an example of arguing via the chain argument:

If it rains tomorrow, I will not go to school tomorrow.
If I will not go to school tomorrow, I will receive a 0 on my math exam.
If it rains tomorrow, I will receive a 0 on my math exam.

Sucky conclusion, but valid I suppose. There’s also, however, nothing new or surprising. Its validity would have been true for all time and all places. On your schema: you may be confusing what I wrote. The word “schema” is literally replacing the word “theory.” So if your schema was flawed, then what I’ve been referring to as your “theory” was also flawed. This means that everything about it was mistaken, from the assumptions, to the mechanics, and all the way down to the conclusions. For your sake then, I hope you do deny that your schema was flawed, or else the argument is virtually terminated. On another note: in making the fundamental assumption that an ultimate motivation for human affairs exists and that the motivation is power, you are, pretty much, ‘conceding’ that you’ve discovered the “perfect” schema. Another possibility would not make sense. It’s sort of like saying that we’ve discovered the Theory of Everything in physics, but we’re not sure if it’s the right one. In that case, we should not have said that we discovered it. Likewise, if you’re not sure that your schema is “perfect,” ignoring for a moment the wide array of problems inherent in that word, then you should not claim that you have discovered the ultimate human motivation.


Then yes, my schema is perfect, as in flawless, without mistake, to the best of my knowledge, which is all I can do.

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At this point, it seems like you do want power to be the ultimate motivation precisely because you already think it is. You may want that because you actually want that, you may want that because power is motivating you to want it, in which case you would have to want that (it’s a necessity), or you may want that to save face in this debate, one in which you’re not getting very far. Once again, it’s important to keep in mind the distinction between a conclusion and an assumption. While there are examples where there might be grey areas, this particular schema of yours offers a glaring case of the differences. An assumption is a fundamental principle that philosophers utilize to construct larger theories and schemas, the latter two being the location of conclusions. At this point, referring to my last post, you have not shown adequate justification for the two, or depending on how you want to see it, three, postulates that are absolutely central to your schema. The schema makes absolutely no sense without recognizing these assumptions: there is an ultimate motivation for human affairs, humans are capable of knowing and identifying it, and the ultimate motivation is power. I would note that ordinarily the third one would be a conclusion, but you have not explained in any significant way how you came about that conclusion, which makes me lean towards thinking that it belongs in the assumption aisle right now (you’ve basically said, “Poof! The answer is power!”). The best I have so far is that you watched a tv show that motivated you to think about the problem long and hard. The thinking phase involved logic and apparently ignored, mostly anyway, the sociological aspects of humanity.


If the argument is logically sound, and the premises are true, then there is no reason at all to think about sociological aspects. To the best of my knowledge of what your saying, I think that "power is the ultimate human motivator" is the conclusion of my argument, and the other two are conclusions that must follow from that. If power is the ultimate human motivator then etc.

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I mean, you have not explained how, for just one example, you approached the problems of human history and the historiography behind it. For another, how did you approach the multitudinous puzzles in human psychology?


I would think that covering history would in itself include problems of the human psychi, of which study is iffy at best.

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There’s no word at all on stuff like this. There’s, again, “it’s power and I’ll see ya tomorrow.” Sorry man, maybe you think that’s a conclusion, but to me that’s child’s play. It’s not really worth such long posts, you’re right about that, but just be glad that I’m willing to even entertain your ideas. Most would have waved good bye and gone home by now (mentally). What’s really frustrating is that you keep claiming power as a conclusion, but you still refuse to a show process or a mechanism behind arriving at this conclusion. No reasons at all; you just keep analyzing everything in terms of power after having already made what is quite a gaping assumption. But I really have nowhere to go, so I’ll be happy to press you on this point until the end of time, either mine or yours. The detective in your example used facts in the nomological realm to come to a reasonable conclusion, if, that is, he or she was, indeed, acting and thinking reasonably. You have done no such thing; refer to my comments above on your exclusive reliance on logic.


All that is needed is logic, I still do not understand why a deductively valid argument as I *have* presented, just quite some while back, is not enough to garuntee my conclusion to you.

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If the detective reached the conclusion that it was a series of unfortunate events from a brief report, and not from the examination of the crime scene, then I would be quite worried about any conclusions, as I’m sure all of us would be. It is this scenario that better approximates what you are doing.


Lets just remove the word 'brief' from there for the sake of argument, and I'll ask you, why does it matter if you've been to the crime scene or not? If you know all the facts you should be able to come to the same conclusion. Besides which, where I to use the kind of intuition implicit in actually going there and getting a feel for the place, surely you would refute this as invalid, no scientific report has ever justified gut feelings, unless your talking to Colbert.

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Your question regarding knowledge almost blatantly confirms what I’ve been saying: you are confusing relational with causal. You asked how are we supposed to act effectively without knowledge, but just because knowledge is related to acting effectively does not mean that it is acting effectively. Taking your definition, power is acting effectively. Knowledge is something that helps towards acting effectively; it is something that could potentially accrue our power, but it is not power itself. I do not, however, want to fall into the same trap that you have fallen with this entire schema. I do not believe that we can adjudicate on these concepts by logic alone; we must bring in experience. There have been many cases throughout history when knowledge actually led to diminished sociopolitical power, for individuals, nation-states, and other human-originated group entities. For example, American knowledge about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction mainly incited the greatest foreign policy disaster in this nation’s history since Vietnam. This led to diminished American power. It is not relevant that the information turned out to be false later; what matters is that it was knowledge to America and many other nations around the world. In this particular case, knowledge made us act, but it certainly did not make us act effectively, not unless you want to imply that we’ve done a great job over there or anything. Again, knowledge is not power. The two are related, but they are not the same thing. It is troubling to understand why you do not see this palpable distinction. Oh, but then again, in light of your assumptions, maybe it is not.


Knowledge is a necessary condition to acting effectively. Surely that is obvious?

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From an epistemological perspective, the metaphysical itself is contingent upon the nomological. Humans or other intelligent species would come to know of different metaphysical concepts and principles in a different Universe with different physical laws. I mean, what are you yourself thinking, that the metaphysical is necessary? Just so we’re even more clear: I do not believe that this metaphysical rubbish actually exists. To that end, it is human-created, serving more an intellectual rather than ontological purpose. There’s the nomological and that’s it, but within the nomological can arise sentient beings that can and do create a variety of different intellectual worlds and schemas, quite separate from nomological reality.


If it is separate, then it certainly exist. No?

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Now, let’s try something new. First, there is a recurring problem of defining ‘power’ that has not really been solved. You gave me a schoolboy definition a few posts ago, but it was wholly unhelpful and did not clarify how power applied to human affairs. Also, from a quasi-total lack of information on mechanics, I’m not quite sure how your schema works, so I’m going to give you a number of examples concerning human affairs and ask you to explicate how your schema accounts for them.

A vacation home is burning in a relatively isolated environment (in a forest, let’s say). Inside the house is a little girl who cannot get out. Her mother arrives just in time and goes into the house alone, realizing she has no time to call for help, to attempt to save the daughter. How is power the ultimate motivation here?

Brandon is about to compete in a high stakes poker match. Due to his superiority in the game, Brandon knows that he can easily blow away the competition, but right before the game starts, Brandon is informed by bookies who have captured his father and mother that if he wins, his father will be executed. Brandon is also informed that if he does not win, his mother will be executed. If he does not play, both of his parents will be executed. Brandon decides to play normally and goes on to win. His father is executed. How is power the ultimate motivation here?

A professional bowler who has set many records is about to play in the most important game of his life. Like Brandon, the bowler has confidence that he will be victorious. Before the game, the bowler is told that if he wins, his hands will be removed from his body. He is told that if he loses, he will be removed from bowling and must go to prison permanently. The bowler believes the threat and loses deliberately, going to jail for life. How is power the ultimate motivation here?


While certainly I could make up some stuff here, what you have supplied is not enough to give a proper conclusion, you need to know how the mother feels about her daughter, how bradon feels about his parents, how the bowler feels about his hands, how they all feel about the probability of the unwanted events actually happening. In short, not enough information for a valid deduction without some pretty major assumptions and a fair bit of conformation of facts.
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