Whim and the indestructible robot problems with Objectivism

Posted by MonkRuSH 5 years, 3 months ago to Philosophy
5 comments | Share | Best of... | Flag

What I can see as limitations with Objectivism, I am seeing two.

First, is the concept of whim. Ayn Rand had no use for whim. Whim didn't fit an objective view of the universe. But, as I see it, as civilization advances, more and more is whim/subjective. So, I don't see a way in Objectivism to answer meaning and purpose questions from an Objectivist framework.

Second, there is the indestructible, immortal robot problem Ayn Rand brought up. If a robot can't be destroyed, and is immortal, then it has no purpose, because strategies to survive are where beings get meaning. I can see that would be a reason why Ayn Rand opposed welfare, because it means that a human without the threat of harm or death to strategize against, would be robbed of mean. BUT, there is that issue. It exists. It plagues rich people, and those who don't fear natural death in the immediate.

So, I am not sure how to, from an Objectivist framework, be able to deal with the issues of whim, and the lack of threats to survival. Anyone want to please clarify here?


Add Comment

FORMATTING HELP

All Comments Hide marked as read Mark all as read

  • Posted by $ sjatkins 5 years, 3 months ago
    There is no such thing as an "indestructible" physical object and never will be.
    But I agree. Any intelligent being with any preferences/goals whatsoever will seek to maximize choices based upon reality and reason to obtain its most sought outcomes. This will be true whether it is biological, computational, or some mixture. It is intelligence itself and that is the basis of objectivist ethics, not being biological.

    There is so much that is sought by an intelligent being beyond mere survival. So that argument is inadequate.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 5 years, 3 months ago
      My point here is that, in the realm of the subjective, which is totally based upon mental states and subjective personal preferences, it is going to be REALLY hard to try to make decisions based on looking to the external, when the external can change, based on the whims of the internal.

      This is a challenge in trying to find meaning in an artificial society, and a reason why I believe that there is psychological issues we have today. As society overcomes more and more natural problems, the amount of mental health issues seem to be going up.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by 5 years, 3 months ago
    Sorry that I didn't add a comment. I hit enter. Anyhow, to sum up what I can see as limitations with Objectivism, I am seeing two.

    First, is the concept of whim. Ayn Rand had no use for whim. Whim didn't fit an objective view of the universe. But, as I see it, as civilization advances, more and more is whim/subjective. So, I don't see a way in Objectivism to answer meaning and purpose questions from an Objectivist framework.

    Second, there is the indestructible, immortal robot problem Ayn Rand brought up. If a robot can't be destroyed, and is immortal, then it has no purpose, because strategies to survive are where beings get meaning. I can see that would be a reason why Ayn Rand opposed welfare, because it means that a human without the threat of harm or death to strategize against, would be robbed of mean. BUT, there is that issue. It exists. It plagues rich people, and those who don't fear natural death in the immediate.

    So, I am not sure how to, from an Objectivist framework, be able to deal with the issues of whim, and the lack of threats to survival. Anyone want to please clarify here?

    Thanks.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by Eudaimonist 5 years, 3 months ago
      Why "as civilization advances" is "more and more whim/subjective"?

      Ayn Rand mentioned the indestructible robot in the context of showing how values require an objective alternative (life and death). She didn't use this to criticize welfare. You are inventing that issue out of your imagination.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by 5 years, 3 months ago
        I hold as that, as civilization advances, humanity is going to be able to impose its wills and wants on the nature of the universe, and that which is, will be more and more artificial and more and more malleable, and less objective. When you can code the rules to your existences, then you can subjectively look at what your existence is, in order to try to get meaning. Such a place is one of subjective preferences, not objective externals, as a way to determine what matters.

        The second point about the robot, and moving beyond life and death, is that as society makes death less and less likely and immediate, there is going to need to be other things besides death avoidance, to gain meaning.

        So, in short, my feeling is that Objectivism is not suited for the subjective, outside of dismissing it, and I feel the subjective is increasingly what is impacting economic decisions and the ability for an individual to be able to live a self-sufficient life.

        With this, note I am not saying there isn't value in Objectivism, just that there are parts of life which it isn't suitable to handle.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  

FORMATTING HELP

  • Comment hidden. Undo