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On Stalinism: DiaMat is not absolute materialism.

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Soviet cogitations: 237
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
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Post 27 Jul 2014, 21:28
At first, in the history of mankind, the universe was seen as a, sometimes antagonistic, result of the work of spirits. If in the pre-christian era we had a ideology of panteism, where various kinds of spirits fought and allied to animate the universe, in the christian era we have the universe as if animated by the fight between good and evil. God versus sathanas, but yet, the view was still centered around the concept of spirits and their interference over the universe.

With the scientifical advances of the modern era, this worldview shifted from one of the universe animated by spirits, to one of a universe that was solely composed of matter and whose movement was determined by a group of laws. The porpuse of science was to discover and understand such laws. Nature became the result of blind forces that interacted with each other following the set of laws, not by the desire or will of spirits.

This worldview resulted in something we call positivism. Positivism in the social sciences resulted in what we call "physics of sociology" (I believe they are called physiocrats in english), a kind of thought that tried to apply exact science principles into sociological problems. During that time, the society was thought as being explained by a set of laws. Society was seen as the result of interactions between man, in a similar manner as the interactions between atoms resulted in the moviment of the universe. From the interactions of matter, resulted the planets, from interactions of matter resulted mankind. And from interactions within mankind resulted society and its problems. The kind of interaction talked here is the one that can be determined by a physical law. Man was bindly (just as an atom) headed for where he is headed to, even choices are the absolute result of those physical interactions happening in the head of man.

All physical laws have a common trait to them. They are previsible (The whole application of science is, by predicting results, to achieve what is desirable), deterministic and universal. To the point that in any part of the universe, they apply equally. And if a set of conditions results in a set of effects in a certain time, by replicating the exact same set of conditions we reach the exact set of effects.
(You might claim that modern science does not view it like such, but i am talking about the past).

So, the materialists, thinking about mankind as a mere extension of the natural phenomena, reached the conclusion that human behaviour was set in stone, social structures were the natural results of natural phenomena etc. Human behaviour was sought to be explained as a set of deterministic principles etc. Basically they applied physics to human behaviour and in consequence to human history. This kind of materialism is called absolute materialism.

Why this mode of view was sought and defended by the burgeoise class of the era ?

Because it could be used to justify class inequality and the perpetuation of such inequality. It could be used to "explain" why a social revolution could not work, and so was used to legitimise the supression of early social revolts. It was used to justify why the burgeoise - even the humanist elements within it - should not care about the proletariat (the poor). This could too divide social life in two apparent classes, those who understood science and can so explain material relality, and as a result lead the other classes, and those, by being ignorant, could not lead. These two classes are not real classes in the sense marxists understand, but just a ideological justification for the ruleship of the burgeoise over the proletariat, because the burgeoise class was the one with time and money to study, while the proletariat not.

Against that kind of absolute materialism, were the idealists. By trying to refute the concepts of materialism, they fell in the trap of thinking about history as a set of choices made by leaders, great persons etc. As if man was devoid of materiality nor constrained by the material reality. Idealists, being burgeoise too, justified the class inequality on the account of personal differences among people, that lead to good or wrong choices, wich could make a person rich or poor. So, while in absolute materialism man is an eternal slave of matter, the idealists think that man is already totaly free, only being opressed by his own intellect. In the first case (AbsMat), man was unable to trully choose anything while in the second man liberation was simply the result of correct choices and ideas.

Marx, by applying dialetics to such materialism, exposed the concept that man was able to choose from a set of options presented to him by the material reality. Man was free so long as he understood such options and applied work to produce a desired result. This had the effect of explaining mankinds history as both the result of material conditions and human's choices (mostly as classes). But not only choices done by great leaders, but choices done by common people. Man was potentially free, in the sense that knowledge could set it free, but was constrained by the fact that he was a historical being that lived in a historical set of conditions. Being alienated meant that the masses were unabled to understand the choices that they were taking, in the sense that man was potentially free, but slave to his own class ignorance. In other words, Marx managed to dialetically solve the problem of material determinism versus human choices. He went on to say that the history of mankind is the history of class struggle, a class struggle were material advantages were at stake, were a class ruled other classes, and related to them via material principles. So a class who rules the other classes does not do so because of mere choices, but because of material conditions too. So, we can say that Marx was an humanist.

[This is a oversimplification to fit the topic, sorry]

So what ? How does this applies to Stalinism ?

I will take the liberty of copying here the definition of dialetical materialism found in the "difinitions" topic :

Quote:
Dialectical Materialism - is a concept by which the universe is made of matter and this matter is in constant motion due to its inherrent contridictions. Ideas are a result of this matter in motion that surrounds the man or men as our concept of reality is based in our material world.

This is relevant to explaining eventual proletarian revolution as the two opposing forces of Capitalist society (which are related to their material position) are Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. They will act against each other until the stronger wins. As the Proleteriat outnumber the Bourgeoise all it would take would be class conciousness to activate their strength and end Capitalist society (through revolution).


http://www.soviet-empire.com/ussr/viewtopic.php?f=108&t=45117

Stalinist agenda redefined dialetical materialism as a return to the absolute materialism. Because proletariat and peasantry in Russia were ignorant and illiterate, the vanguard party could not count on them to do the task of social development. At best they could be used to do work, at worst they were expected to intefere negatively into the economic reconstruction of URSS. The party, inadvertedly, turned marxism into a school of science (not that Marx is not scientifical, but they created an acritical and castrated version of it). So marxism in URSS become a kind of physcis of society. Instead of the humanist approach of Marx, we had a newtonian approach to marxism and history. Instead of social science, exact sciences.

The party became not only the vanguard of the proletariat, but the official aparattus of thinking. Because the party was well versed in marxism, while the proletariat and peasantry was not, it was expected that the party would rule the society from above, while the proletariat and peasantry was expected to follow inquestionably. Thats how persecutions and opression were justified, on the account that any concrete or perceived objection to the party program was seen as the result of pure ignorance. It was expected by the common people that obedience to the party would result in a better society. Of course, the party knows an exact formula on how to reach communism ! Against social science you can argue and debate, against an exact science (a kind of physics or mathematics) you cant. Thats how, for example, dissidents would be sent to sanatoriums. Who can argue against mathematics ? He must be crazy...

Dialetical materialism oposes idealism when it says that reality is not created by ideas and choices alone, but it oposes absolute materialism because ideas can produce choices good or bad. An idealist would think that pure ideology can solve all problems. A materialist would think that ideas cant do anything. A dialetical materialist believes that ideas can produce changes in reality, when we apply work into the reality while animated by those ideas.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
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Post 29 Jul 2014, 18:30
I agree largely with your thoughts about the party in the USSR, but you might want to acquaint yourself with Rosa and anti-dialectics. She destroys the concept in her lengthy work in the link below. Dialectics are not a science and should not be mixed up with Marx's later, economic works (i.e. the crucial element to Marx's theory).

http://www.anti-dialectics.co.uk/
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 29 Jul 2014, 22:15
Quote:
This had the effect of explaining mankinds history as both the result of material conditions and human's choices (mostly as classes). But not only choices done by great leaders, but choices done by common people.

So much idealism once again! Marx didn't separate "material conditions" and "choices" (dualism), he explained history (i.e. choices, ideology, politics, and their evolution) by analyzing class relations in terms of material conditions.

Quote:
osed the concept that man was able to choose from a set of options presented to him by the material reality

No, this is idealism. Idealism supposes the possibility of absolute choice, while materialism on the very contrary considers that everything is determined. Freedom in the Marxist definition isn't the possibility to "choose" but the possibility to control an environement. "Freedom does not consist in any dreamt-of independence from natural laws, but in the knowledge of these laws, and in the possibility this gives of systematically making them work towards definite ends." (Engels, Anti-Duhring) However freedom is historically determined by the material conditions, freedom is an objective, scientifically apprehensible thing : "Freedom therefore consists in the control over ourselves and over external nature, a control founded on knowledge of natural necessity; it is therefore necessarily a product of historical development."

There you are making an unacceptable idealist distinction between the "material reality" and "that man", thus the anti-marxist conclusion: "that man" could "choose" between options "presented" (reification) by the material reality! A Marxist approach would rather say that this man, who is also part of the material reality, without having the possibility to disassociate himself from this reality, might, in the course of history, obtain the ability to understand it, thus increasing his control. And there come Marx's own conclusion from the 18 Brumaire: "Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past."

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A materialist would think that ideas cant do anything.

DiaMat is a branch of materialism. You confuse mechanistic materialism and materialism itself.

Quote:
Against social science you can argue and debate, against an exact science (a kind of physics or mathematics) you cant. Thats how, for example, dissidents would be sent to sanatoriums. Who can argue against mathematics ? He must be crazy...

No. Scientists argue against mathematics. You can't oppose ignorance and dogmas to science, but you can oppose science to science.

By the way, may I suggest that you write USSR instead of URSS?
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"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
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Post 29 Jul 2014, 22:45
Quote:
"Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past."


So we can say that man choses from the options presented to him by material reality but cannot choose wich options are presented ? He cannot choose to choose ?

Quote:
No. Scientists argue against mathematics. You can't oppose ignorance and dogmas to science, but you can oppose science to science.


Please argue against this : 2+2=4, under base 10 common arithmertic.

You are simply pretending to ignore the difference between human sciences and exact science. (Dogmatism inherently needs to turn human sciences into exact science).
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
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Post 29 Jul 2014, 22:50
Science itself is a human construct. There is no such thing as a perfect circle. There is no such thing as an object that weighs precisely 80 pounds. If the perceptive abilities of humans were to suddenly expand even by a fraction of a fraction, our very perception of the Universe - and, accordingly, all the "objective laws" of science - would alter radically.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
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Post 29 Jul 2014, 22:52
Hmmm, the fact that humans cannot know the whole universe doesnt imply that human and exact sciences are the same thing.

OP-Bagration is nitpicking on the definitions given about materialism and idealism as a way to attack the later consequence of those that stalinists turned dialetics into an exact science as a way to use it as a souce of ideological power over the proletariat.

Its strange to see dialetics as exact science. Because everything usefull the soviets done on exact sciences the west copied (and vice versa). Because you cannot chose to ignore exact sciences (while you ignore human sciences).
Last edited by AldoBrasil on 29 Jul 2014, 22:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Post 29 Jul 2014, 22:57
AldoBrasil wrote:
Hmmm, the fact that humans cannot know the whole universe doesnt imply that human and exact sciences are the same thing.

Science certainly doesn't exist in and of itself. It's not even a "thing", but a way of reasoning about the Universe that humans perceive, and a means of measuring perceived objects and employing them in a way that (hopefully) benefits mankind.

"Dialectical materialism", at bottom, is a philosophical construct with scientific trappings that is no more "demonstrable" than Schopenhauer's thesis of the Will, or Kant's Categorical Imperative. It's an ideology with a (rapidly dwindling) fan club.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
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Post 29 Jul 2014, 23:01
What you want to say is the concept of "The map is not the country".

I agree. But it must be cautious.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Sep 2013, 03:08
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Post 29 Jul 2014, 23:23
AldoBrasil wrote:
So we can say that man choses from the options presented to him by material reality but cannot choose wich options are presented ? He cannot choose to choose ?

Man can't choose which options are presented, no. Man's options are themselves at least determined by a combination of material realities, genetic factors, social conditioning; things no individual can actually change. Man is propelled forward by these as a group to change those material realities and thus social conditioning too, and through natural selection to alter those genetic factors when they become disadvantageous. If we accept causation as a fact (which can get fuzzy if you're talking about quantum physics, but everyone else takes it for granted), every action is determined by the actions before it and things which precede all action; nothing is truly a free choice.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
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Post 29 Jul 2014, 23:32
Do you know the concept of rethoric question ?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Sep 2013, 03:08
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Post 29 Jul 2014, 23:44
AldoBrasil wrote:
Do you know the concept of rethoric question ?

Your analysis in the OP ended with a lot of "ideas produce choices" talk, so I wasn't sure if that was rhetorical or not. ^~
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 29 Jul 2014, 23:49
Quote:
So we can say that man choses from the options presented to him by material reality but cannot choose wich options are presented ? He cannot choose to choose ?
Choice is merely an illusion, there is no absolute choice. If you have a chocolate and a strawberry in front of you, would you pick the chocolate first, or the strawberry? You are "free", as long as picking one of those is an action under your control. As long as your action corresponds to your will. Yet, for some reason, you will pick the strawberry. You might not like chocolate, or you are not in the mood for chocolate. Those are "circumstances existing already". But you usually don't have enough knowledge to understand how it works exactly. Basically, you should keep in mind that everything is determined, even the simplest thing is totally determined, everything is "written". That's what people usually fail to understand. They fail to understand that in the actual marxist philosophy everything is determined(they will often call that positivism), but that it doesn't prevent a Marxist from speaking about freedom.

Quote:
Please argue against this : 2+2=4, under base 10 common arithmertic.

If you add 2 to 2, the result will probably be 5 because of the leap from quantity to quality. Have you heard about non-euclidean geometry?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
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Post 29 Jul 2014, 23:54
Quote:
You are "free", as long as picking one of those is an action under your control. As long as your action corresponds to your will. Yet, for some reason, you will pick the strawberry.


Yes, and you claim, by pure projection of current knowledge about matter, that something still unknown by science (how the brain works) follows the same rules as newtonian physics. Thats circular logic. Theres no absolute choices. Why ? Because the brain cannot escape newtonian physics. Why the brain cannot escape newtonian physics ? Because there are no absolute choices. Should we accept this as science or should we simply imply that you believe such because it fits your concept of world and your view of dialetical materialsm as absolute materialism (and so it can be used to save stalinism from disgrace) ? The fact is that science still dont understand the whole workings of the brain, neither the full rules of the universe. Yet, you proclaim to already know by simply extending current knowledge. This was already done before, for one, when people believed that earth could no move, or that earth was flat. But this is not undisputed, and creates problems in itself.

Quote:
Basically, you should keep in mind that everything is determined, even the simplest thing is totally determined, everything is "written".


A 5th century rabin would agree with this. Written by "IAWEH" he would say. This is a kind of metaphysics. You will say that metaphysics is about spirits etc, but nope, metaphysics were the set of ideas that aristocrates placed after his ideas about physics, as a set of interpretations about what physics knowledge of the time meant to the human being. You are making more of a political statement (of how you expect people to see themselves) than a true physical interpretation. And being a political statement about how you want people to see themselves, it has the simple consequence of allowing you to say to them what they should do. Because if humans can be wholly intepreted as a set of newtonian, deterministic set of physical phenomena, and if the same people are ignorant about what those phenomena are, you can very well say them what they should do. You internalize in them a tyranny. Not even psychoanalisys can do that. There is the concept of insight that is something away from our control and understanding. People simply understand basic things out of nowhere, as if a spark fell from the sky. Can you increase the chances of them doing so ? Of course you can, the whole concept of analysis is about this. But you cannot rule when.

Quote:
If you add 2 to 2, the result will probably be 5 because of the leap from quantity to quality. Have you heard about non-euclidean geometry?


Thats why i placed "in base 10 arithmetic" in the question, because i predicted such shallow answer. This non-euclidian geometry you cite as a way to argue against 2+2=4 is not created to defy the idea that 2+2=4, but as to present a new form of mathematics and fill a certain gap in the knowledge. Do the following exercise if you think otherwise. Project a bridge and use 2+2=5 in place of 2+2=4 arbitrarely. When the bridge falls, cite that 2+2=4 is argueable. If you agree that the bridge will fall if you use the two geometries arbitrarely (and not in the fields they were created to be used), then we return back to the assumption that mathematics cannot be argued against. In other words. No sane mathematician ever said what you try to imply.

Lets do even better. Take 4 pencils. Now position them as two sets of 2 pencils. Now write in paper : 2 + 2 = 4. Now join the two groups of two pencils in a single set. Now count how many are in said group. You will exclain FOUR ! JUST AS THE MATH PREDICTED ! Because in this case you are using 2 + 2 = 4 in the exact context for wich the rules of arithmetic were created.

Burgeoise concept of free will is detached from reality because its purely idealistic. Lets suppose you see a boy in the streets selling gums. Burgeoise ideology says that he choose to be there selling gum, and that he is poor because of said choice. (its a class discourse used to justify poverty in the accounts of said free will). An 19th century absolute materialist would say that the boy is totally constrained by his material conditions, as if he was a planet circling around a star and following a movement that can be described by newtonian physics. A dialetical materialist would say that he is constrained by his material options (because all choices he has are equally bad) and ideological prejudices. This gives a possibility of him, by pure insight, doing a good choice that improves his standing. But relying on this single good choice to justify boy's standing would still be idealism (and has a political agenda behind that), because freedom is not the result of a single good choice, but of a set of choices done against a group of options as they are presented to the person (as such, a burgeoise boy and a proletariat boy have different sets of options and a different "ladder" to climb in order to become happy - proletariat boy's ladder being much harder to climb). As such he could only, by choice, make his position a little better, not absolutely better (thats where you claim that there are no absolute choices). People must navigate a set of nodes in a chain of events. When asked about the consequence of absolute materialism - and the major one being that if the world is absolutely materialistic people could not chose to make a revolution, only had to wait for it to happen - Marx said that the simply will to do a revolution would be a reason for a revolution to happen. Well, will to do a revolution is not a material condition alone (it might very well be set in man's mind due to material conditions), but a mental state. If you say that such mental state is materially determined, we might very well accept the idea that certain genes preclude it. Something that would make us turn back into 19th tought and all the babble about blacks being genetically set to be slaves (genetics determinism being used in political discourse, first because there is no such slavery gene, second that even if it existed, people are not deterministically bound by it). The concept of "power" and "act" is there to tell us about this.

This is totally different from stalinist or neoliberal practice. Because both try to, via a political discourse about man's mind and the current state of knowledge about man's mind, determine from the outside what a man must want, and so, by creating a caste or aparattus of "scientifical knowledge about humans needs and humans suffering", remove choices from man's hands, and denounce alternative views as purely the result of egotism or ignorance. Egotism and ignorance can be part of the ideological prejudices that restrain man's action (and might both be the result of man's current material state and producers of said state, in a vicous circle). But you cannot honestly expect man to stop thinking for themselves and follow your "science" out of fear of doing mistakes and expect to achieve something different from a totalitarian regime. You might say that liberatist thought proclaims such man free will (in a idealistic way). But the same liberalism also proclaim the laws of the market as a god that determinates mans actions. (The contradiction is because liberalism is an ideology, in the worst sense of the word ideology, a false consciensciousness detached from materal reality).

Thats how liberal ideology works, it justify itself by presenting an ideal man acting on an ideal world, reaches conclusions about that man and justify capitalism on the basis of that ideal thought process, ignoring the material conditions and the restraining force such material conditions have on man. But in a magic wand movement suddenly presents the market as an absolute deterministic machine that must be followed blindly (as if ruled by exact laws just like newtonian physics). They even go so far as to present a absolutely deterministic man that is naturally egotistical and cannot be free from this. Thats because liberals must come from matter and return to matter once their ideological exercise stops else liberalism would be a romance or science fiction work and not a political discourse.

I am not excluding the possibility of someday science coming with an answer - "Hey, we finally found a way to explain the WHOLE human brain and consequently human's thought process, and it is deterministic !" (or "and it is not deterministic !"). But until then, any interpretation that tries to apply current knowledge to the totality of universe and man's mind is just ideology. An excuse and an ideological constraint applied into man in order to gain power over it. Knowledge, having the effect of changing human behaviour dialetically, might very well make a deterministic human become undeterministic. For one, if you teach man how it works, that knowledge can, by itself, determinate human behaviour. If you could predict to someone that he will commit a mistake and die, the sole fact that you predicted it to him, can very well make him not commit the predicted mistake and so not die, and so on (This needs not only knowledge of the mistake to be commited, but knowledge on how to avoid it, that answers why liberal ideology is different from marxist ideology). What happens when our knowledge of the entire universe (including man itself) becomes total ? Do we become utterly powerless to change anything predicted ? Knowledge is not a sport that we pursue just for the sake of it, we pursue knowledge to change outcomes, to force events to go our own way, to become what we want it to be (in other words, the knowledge mankind have is the limit of the power of mankind). Or do we become utterly powerfull ? But what is to be powefull if everything is set in stone ? Can you solve that paradox ?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
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Philosophized
Post 30 Jul 2014, 07:42
As far as I'm concerned, if we truly manage to conquer the elements and master the potential of our own minds to the point where we become "all powerful", then it doesn't really matter if we discover that the Universe is truly deterministic. All that it really signifies is that we have the power to do everything that is possible within a determined Universe to do. And since we're going to do it anyway, we might as well enjoy ourselves to the fullest while doing what we're determined (in all senses of the word) to do.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 30 Jul 2014, 10:26
Quote:
Yes, and you claim, by pure projection of current knowledge about matter, that something still unknown by science (how the brain works) follows the same rules as newtonian physics. Thats circular logic. Theres no absolute choices. Why ? Because the brain cannot escape newtonian physics. Why the brain cannot escape newtonian physics ? Because there are no absolute choices. Should we accept this as science or should we simply imply that you believe such because it fits your concept of world and your view of dialetical materialsm as absolute materialism (and so it can be used to save stalinism from disgrace) ? The fact is that science still dont understand the whole workings of the brain, neither the full rules of the universe. Yet, you proclaim to already know by simply extending current knowledge. This was already done before, for one, when people believed that earth could no move, or that earth was flat. But this is not undisputed, and creates problems in itself.

This is exactly what we call idealism. The idea that nondeterminism (the possibility to escape the laws of nature) hides behind ignorance, is the main idealist idea. They usually call that God, as they call God everything they don't understand, or "free will". But as comrade Einstein used to say: " God doesn't play dice". You might not accept that everything is determined, but then you are not a Marxist, and that's the point of the discussion.

Quote:
Because if humans can be wholly intepreted as a set of newtonian, deterministic set of physical phenomena, and if the same people are ignorant about what those phenomena are, you can very well say them what they should do. You internalize in them a tyranny.

I don't see how you come to this delusional conclusions. Humans answer to determined laws, as everything else, this is a fact, and a fact proven by science everyday. You might not like that, but you are trying to refute this simple scientific truth on the basis of "this is tyranny and I don't like that", i.e. ideology.

Quote:
Lets do even better. Take 4 pencils. Now position them as two sets of 2 pencils. Now write in paper : 2 + 2 = 4. Now join the two groups of two pencils in a single set. Now count how many are in said group. You will exclain FOUR ! JUST AS THE MATH PREDICTED ! Because in this case you are using 2 + 2 = 4 in the exact context for wich the rules of arithmetic were created.

Take 100 pencils. Now position them as two sets of 50 pencils. Now write in paper 50 + 50 = 100. Now join the two groups of two pencils in a single set. Now count how many are in said group. You will exclaim SIXTHY SEVEN! Not as mathematics predicted because in this case, there was so much pencils that adding one more increased the pression on the whole and made a lot of pencils fall.

Quote:
An 19th century absolute materialist would say that the boy is totally constrained by his material conditions, as if he was a planet circling around a star and following a movement that can be described by newtonian physics. A dialetical materialist would say that he is constrained by his material options (because all choices he has are equally bad) and ideological prejudices. This gives a possibility of him, by pure insight, doing a good choice that improves his standing.

How idealistic once again! Now it's the Marxist who gives this boy a "possibility" with his ideology? Now a simple idea can break determinism, violate the laws of nature? This is idealism! As long as you will stay in this problematic of "choice" (which supposes free will), you will remain in the idealist paradigm. If this boy had the possibility to "make a good choice" (let's accept the idea for the discussion), then it implies that the material conditions already allowed him to do that. But, a true Marxist would even say that the material conditions led him to do that.

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If you say that such mental state is materially determined, we might very well accept the idea that certain genes preclude it.

Why this stupid idea? Of course genes are important, but the human body is far from being the sole nor the main explaination to "mental state".


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This is totally different from stalinist or neoliberal practice. Because both try to, via a political discourse about man's mind and the current state of knowledge about man's mind, determine from the outside what a man must want, and so, by creating a caste or aparattus of "scientifical knowledge about humans needs and humans suffering", remove choices from man's hands, and denounce alternative views as purely the result of egotism or ignorance. Egotism and ignorance can be part of the ideological prejudices that restrain man's action (and might both be the result of man's current material state and producers of said state, in a vicous circle). But you cannot honestly expect man to stop thinking for themselves and follow your "science" out of fear of doing mistakes and expect to achieve something different from a totalitarian regime. You might say that liberatist thought proclaims such man free will (in a idealistic way). But the same liberalism also proclaim the laws of the market as a god that determinates mans actions. (The contradiction is because liberalism is an ideology, in the worst sense of the word ideology, a false consciensciousness detached from materal reality).

So that's the point of your idealism? Criticizing "stalinism" on the basis of idealism? Because Stalin himself wasn't a man probably? What was he? A machine? Your nonsense has nothing to do with the discussion about idealism, it's a totally different matter.

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But until then, any interpretation that tries to apply current knowledge to the totality of universe and man's mind is just ideology.

Then you are an agnostic (a special form of idealism). This is based on nothing but ignorance, while the materialist point of view is based on science, experience and practice. If you don't agree that everything is determined including human brain, then you can't be a materialist.

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What happens when our knowledge of the entire universe (including man itself) becomes total ? Do we become utterly powerless to change anything predicted ?

It's not possible because there is no way to apprehend everything. You can understand everything, but you can't apprehend all the datas and put those datas in a single computer. But even if it was, as long as it's knowledge, knowledge is knowledge. If the prediction is true, then it can't be changed. The computer will even have the possibility to predict the results of his own existence and predictions. But the very existence of the computer will probably make the world totally different, safer, with less accidents, even if none of the predictions can be changed.
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"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
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Soviet cogitations: 237
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 30 Jul 2014, 14:21
I am not in the mood to answer now.

But i will show how batantly ignorant you are being about science :

Quote:
But as comrade Einstein used to say: " God doesn't play dice".


Einstein lost that debate. Plainly and simply.

About Marx and absolute materialism :

Quote:
Marx refused to follow the path of mechanistic materialism which severed the natural connection between man and his environment and maintained that the relation of cognition to the external world may be reduced to the relationship of cause and effect. For Marx man is not a tabula rasa, a mere receiver of impressions from the outside world, passively registering and reproducing the external stimuli, but an actively responding cognizing subject, endowed with a selective perceptive faculty, contributing to cognition his memory and anticipations, his norms and values, his social and historical heritage. Instead of being the mere effect of external causes, sensation, cognition, and action are the results of interaction between the environment and an active and sensitive individual, responding with intelligence to the pressure and challenge of the external world. No account of experience can be adequate unless the contributing activities of the knower are recognized and the knower himself is considered as a product of his time, culture, and social system. The knower is not, as it were, the sum total of the Kantian categorical forms; nor should he be conceived as an individual of the traditional theory of knowledge who rises above history and time. From the naturalistic viewpoint society is prior to the individual, and the knower is a social individual, situationally and socially determined. Consequently, objects of knowledge are always socially mediated objects and nature as the totality of things and their relations articulated by man’s social action is a man-made nature.


https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/en/jordan2.htm
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Soviet cogitations: 237
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 30 Jul 2014, 15:39
Quote:
This is exactly what we call idealism. The idea that nondeterminism (the possibility to escape the laws of nature) hides behind ignorance, is the main idealist idea. They usually call that God, as they call God everything they don't understand, or "free will". But as comrade Einstein used to say: " God doesn't play dice". You might not accept that everything is determined, but then you are not a Marxist, and that's the point of the discussion.


Nope, its the other way around. The idea that man can, by knowing forces of nature, project a total knowledge of the universe and human mind. Its a totalitarian project. From there you just need to create a class of knowers and a class of unknowers and you have set yourself into the rule of the chairman or the market analists.

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I don't see how you come to this delusional conclusions. Humans answer to determined laws, as everything else, this is a fact, and a fact proven by science everyday. You might not like that, but you are trying to refute this simple scientific truth on the basis of "this is tyranny and I don't like that", i.e. ideology.


Proven ? Not even people from cognitive psicology have this stance on the matter.

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Take 100 pencils. Now position them as two sets of 50 pencils. Now write in paper 50 + 50 = 100. Now join the two groups of two pencils in a single set. Now count how many are in said group. You will exclaim SIXTHY SEVEN! Not as mathematics predicted because in this case, there was so much pencils that adding one more increased the pression on the whole and made a lot of pencils fall.


And your argument is ?

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How idealistic once again! Now it's the Marxist who gives this boy a "possibility" with his ideology? Now a simple idea can break determinism, violate the laws of nature? This is idealism! As long as you will stay in this problematic of "choice" (which supposes free will), you will remain in the idealist paradigm. If this boy had the possibility to "make a good choice" (let's accept the idea for the discussion), then it implies that the material conditions already allowed him to do that. But, a true Marxist would even say that the material conditions led him to do that.


Violate the laws of nature ? So, please, tell me what those laws are !

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Why this stupid idea? Of course genes are important, but the human body is far from being the sole nor the main explaination to "mental state".


So there's something besides human body ? Hm... This sounds like religion.

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So that's the point of your idealism? Criticizing "stalinism" on the basis of idealism? Because Stalin himself wasn't a man probably? What was he? A machine? Your nonsense has nothing to do with the discussion about idealism, it's a totally different matter.


?
Non-sequiteur. Stalin is not stalinism. Stalinism is way bigger than the single man. He does not need to be a machine etc to have his time produce a specific form of dialetical materialism that is a mechanicism deformation of Marx works.

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Then you are an agnostic (a special form of idealism). This is based on nothing but ignorance, while the materialist point of view is based on science, experience and practice. If you don't agree that everything is determined including human brain, then you can't be a materialist.


No, i simply accept the limits of current science.

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It's not possible because there is no way to apprehend everything. You can understand everything, but you can't apprehend all the datas and put those datas in a single computer. But even if it was, as long as it's knowledge, knowledge is knowledge. If the prediction is true, then it can't be changed. The computer will even have the possibility to predict the results of his own existence and predictions. But the very existence of the computer will probably make the world totally different, safer, with less accidents, even if none of the predictions can be changed.


So with your reasoning, absolute knowledge leads to absolute powerlessness. But how can the big empowering project of science to make us utterly powerfull (by knowing everything about nature) fails and turns us into absolutely powerless creatures who cant change outcomes ?

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The computer will even have the possibility to predict the results of his own existence and predictions.


This is a whole topic in computer science. A program that knows if another program is correct cannot be made. You cannot even predict if a program will halt. Godel's incompleteness theorem states that no suficiently complex system can both be suficiently complex and prove itself right at the same time. What is to be right in the first place ? A program when deadlocked is still "processing", but is it working ? Working for who ? Theres a subjective difference between a running program (say in a infinite loop) and a program that is doing meaningfull work, and only an human being can determine if it is working or just runnning.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 30 Jul 2014, 16:46
Quote:
Nope, its the other way around. The idea that man can, by knowing forces of nature, project a total knowledge of the universe and human mind. Its a totalitarian project. From there you just need to create a class of knowers and a class of unknowers and you have set yourself into the rule of the chairman or the market analists.

What?

What the hell is that?

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And your argument is ?

My argument is that even absolute scientific truth can be challenged on the basis of science. Non-euclidean geometry challenged the idea that euclidean geometry was the only possible kind of geometry, although they probably don't oppose one another. 1 + 1 = 2, this is absolutely true, this is true as an abstraction.

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Violate the laws of nature ? So, please, tell me what those laws are !

Isn't it a strange question? There is so many laws that I can't tell you everything. But let's action-reaction, this is a law.

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So there's something besides human body ? Hm... This sounds like religion.

Besides human body, there is my computer for example. Or my room. Or my food. Is that religion?

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Non-sequiteur. Stalin is not stalinism. Stalinism is way bigger than the single man. He does not need to be a machine etc to have his time produce a specific form of dialetical materialism that is a mechanicism deformation of Marx works.

Non sequitur. But anyway, you were speaking about men. And you said that what you call Stalinism tends to "remove choices from man's hands". Thus I answered that Stalin WAS a man, so what you called "stalinism" (as perceived by you, in your specific point of view) corresponds to a concentration of "choices" in the hands of a single man, or a few men. Choices as you call them remained 100% human. Slavoj Zizek considers that Stalinism, on the very contrary, by punishing those found guilty, admitted that those men were totally responsible for their deeds, and their "choices".

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No, i simply accept the limits of current science.

You don't. You are saying that it's impossible to know if everything can be understood by science, if everything answers to objective laws, because science is still limited. Yet you are not speaking about current science, but about science in general, because science (knowledge) will always be limited. Absolute knowledge is impossible. And on the basis of ignorance, you consider that there is a possibility that reality somewhat escapes from the prison of natural laws, which is exactly what we call agnosticism, with a bit of empirism.

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So with your reasoning, absolute knowledge leads to absolute powerlessness.

Why? I'm talking about objective truth. If everything is determined, having the knowledge of what will be, or ignoring what will be, won't change anything at all to necessity itself.

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This is a whole topic in computer science. A program that knows if another program is correct cannot be made. You cannot even predict if a program will halt. Godel's incompleteness theorem states that no suficiently complex system can both be suficiently complex and prove itself right at the same time. What is to be right in the first place ? A program when deadlocked is still "processing", but is it working ? Working for who ? Theres a subjective difference between a running program (say in a infinite loop) and a program that is doing meaningfull work, and only an human being can determine if it is working or just runnning.

A computer couldn't know everything anyway, that's materially impossible. We were only taking the existence of such computer as an exemple for the discussion, to try to understand what would happen if an all-seeing computer could predict the future.
But about programs, I don't think programs will remain limited forever. There will be an artificial intelligence someday, a true artificial intelligence, similar to ours, evolving, changing, improving itself, and probably more efficient than ours.


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Einstein lost that debate. Plainly and simply.

I think Niels Boher was wrong, if that's what you are trying to say.

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About Marx and absolute materialism :

Let me quote Lenin instead:

The idea of determinism, which postulates that human acts are necessitated and rejects the absurd tale about free will, in no way destroys man’s reason or conscience, or appraisal of his actions. Quite the contrary, only the determinist view makes a strict and correct appraisal possible instead of attributing everything you please to free will. Similarly, the idea of historical necessity does not in the least undermine the role of the individual in history: all history is made up of the actions of individuals, who are undoubtedly active figures. The real question that arises in appraising the social activity of an individual is: what conditions ensure the success of his actions, what guarantee is there that these actions will not remain an isolated act lost in a welter of contrary acts?
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"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 30 Jul 2014, 17:29
Quote:
What? :?:
What the hell is that?


I inverted your idea.

Quote:
My argument is that even absolute scientific truth can be challenged on the basis of science. Non-euclidean geometry challenged the idea that euclidean geometry was the only possible kind of geometry, although they probably don't oppose one another. 1 + 1 = 2, this is absolutely true, this is true as an abstraction.


Nope, i showed that the science of mathematics has a root in reality when both the abstract numerical procedure and the concrete act of grouping pencils gives the same result. You replied with an hipotetical objection, as if a mistake in the procedure could invalidate the concept. But a mistake invalidates the operation, not the underlaying concept of counting and summing.

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Isn't it a strange question? There is so many laws that I can't tell you everything. But let's action-reaction, this is a law.


So you are implying that everything is a consequence of causality, right ? But if so, what happens with things like quantum phenomena ? A long time ago science challenged that newtonian world-view.

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Besides human body, there is my computer for example. Or my room. Or my food. Is that religion?


Non sequiteur. You are not replying in the same sense that you used the concept earlier.

Quote:
But anyway, you were speaking about men. And you said that what you call Stalinism tends to "remove choices from man's hands". Thus I answered that Stalin WAS a man, so what you called "stalinism" (as perceived by you, in your specific point of view) corresponds to a concentration of "choices" in the hands of a single man, or a few men. Choices as you call them remained 100% human. Slavoj Zizek considers that Stalinism, on the very contrary, by punishing those found guilty, admitted that those men were totally responsible for their deeds, and their "choices".


So now we are goint to the domain of dictionary contradictions ? By man i was refering to mankind. Man as ordinary man. Stalin, being a ruler is not, in that sense, a comon man. If power is taken from the hands of mankind at large, its only to be deposited in the hands of a single man or a small group of man. That was the case. If dialetical materialism is an absolute thing, then the party becomes the aparattus of knowledge, and the rest of the population should obey and not challenge that aparattus. Thats not different from current liberal worldview that states that people should follow the "market analists" bindly. Your objection rests in the sole challenge of the use of the word man. You've interpreted it wrongly.

Quote:
You don't. You are saying that it's impossible to know if everything can be understood by science, if everything answers to objective laws, because science is still limited. Yet you are not speaking about current science, but about science in general, because science (knowledge) will always be limited. Absolute knowledge is impossible. And on the basis of ignorance, you consider that there is a possibility that reality somewhat escapes from the prison of natural laws, which is exactly what we call agnosticism, with a bit of empirism.


So if absolute knowledge is impossible, your leap to conclude that everything can be explained by cause-effect alone is by itself an act of creed and not of knowledge. If you dont know everything, you dont know everything. You cant know and not know everything at the same time.

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Why? I'm talking about objective truth. If everything is determined, having the knowledge of what will be, or ignoring what will be, won't change anything at all to necessity itself.


The keyword here is "if". You assume that everything is determinted, then work backwards to define everything is determined. Then use this as "proof" that everything is determined. This is a positivist creed, not science.

Quote:
A computer couldn't know everything anyway, that's materially impossible. We were only taking the existence of such computer as an exemple for the discussion, to try to understand what would happen if an all-seeing computer could predict the future. But about programs, I don't think programs will remain limited forever. There will be an artificial intelligence someday, a true artificial intelligence, similar to ours, evolving, changing, improving itself, and probably more efficient than ours.


Not only a computer cannot know everything that is to be know. You raised the all-knowing computer as a proof of absolute materialism and determinism. I showed why this computer cannot exist.

On a side note, "A true artificial inteligence" is useless, why ?
Lets supose we create a supercomputer that recreates human brain in itself. It does so by applying concepts from neural networks. So the scientsts start it. They ask to the computer :
Scientists - How much is 2 + 2 ?
Computer - Five !
Whoa ? The best computer is one who mimmicks an human brain ? So then we end up having a human brain (because thats what we searched for). And you gain something that not extraordinary at all. Any toddler could make the same mistake. Because a human brain makes mistakes. So we give up the idea about artificial intelligence as a simulation of human intelligence, and them what ? What kind of intelligence are we going to write ? A ultra-human intelligence ? How can we create that intelligence that we dont know how is to be ?

We can make the computer faster, store more data, etc. But this is just quantitatively. We are yet to know if it is possible and how to create an intelligence that is above human intelligence. But in no event we can create all knowing computer. This has something to do with storage constraints. Its a whole debate in itself, but i can antecipate that a computer that can store the entire current state of the universe in its memory is a computer that has the same size (in time and space) as this universe itself, a clone of it.

Computers in that sense are not intelligent. They are just glorified calculators. And they should be, because thats how they are usefull. Unless you take the burgeoise mistake of trying to recreate human mind without the problems of rebelion, because thats where the burgeoise incentive in research is leading artificial intelligence. We can already create the burgeoise idealized perfect computer, by just making sex and having babies... But what is a computer then ? Its just a mechanical representation of mathematical knowledge. It operates in the same manner as the scientist who build it work, but not completely, because the computer is not a reproduction of man itself, but of only a single part of it. A computer is the mechanization of the rational thought process intimately linked to mathematical reasoning. And just so. Worse when you ignore science to glorify it. Godel objection is science nevertheless.

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I think Niels Boher was wrong, if that's what you are trying to say.


Thank you, now write a scientifical research paper and convince your fellow physics fellows on how so.

Quote:
Let me quote Lenin instead:

The idea of determinism, which postulates that human acts are necessitated and rejects the absurd tale about free will, in no way destroys man’s reason or conscience, or appraisal of his actions. Quite the contrary, only the determinist view makes a strict and correct appraisal possible instead of attributing everything you please to free will. Similarly, the idea of historical necessity does not in the least undermine the role of the individual in history: all history is made up of the actions of individuals, who are undoubtedly active figures. The real question that arises in appraising the social activity of an individual is: what conditions ensure the success of his actions, what guarantee is there that these actions will not remain an isolated act lost in a welter of contrary acts?


Seeing that i am not a leninist, and the whole concept of the topic is to treat Stalinism (who has its roots in leninism but is not equal to it), its hardly convincing... Actually, free will in that text is being treated as synonimous to idealist free-will a pure act disconnected from reality, i believe i already treated how you can have both materialism and free will (depending on how you see free will).

As a side note, i must remember The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aboZctrHfK8

People went on to create the all knowing supercomputer (A superior form of intelligence). And after the computer was online, they asked : Whats the answer for life, the universe and everything ? The computer replied, 42.

WHAT THE FRAG 42 MEANS ?!?!

The problem was, whem relating to such an entity and have the correct answer (because thats why they built such computer to start with), you need to know the correct questions. So, on an human level, even that super computer can end up not being all that usefull, we must give an usefullness to it, so we end up back into the domain of meaning, of "what this does means to us ?". This is similar on how quantum physics work. The superimposition of states in a quantum sized particle (their wave nature) can give answers to what you ask, but only so as you ask.

And BTW: So long and thanks for all the fish !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojydNb3Lrrs
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Soviet cogitations: 2293
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 30 Jul 2014, 20:59
Quote:
So you are implying that everything is a consequence of causality, right ? But if so, what happens with things like quantum phenomena ? A long time ago science challenged that newtonian world-view.

What do you call quantum phenomena? You mean quantum mechanics? Quantum mechanics are not outside of causality.


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You replied with an hipotetical objection, as if a mistake in the procedure could invalidate the concept.

But your situation is also totally hypothetical.

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But a mistake invalidates the operation, not the underlaying concept of counting and summing.

It's not a mistake but a transformation. A dialectical leap, since in the same situation 1+1=2, but 50+50=76.

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Non sequiteur.

Non sequitur.

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You are not replying in the same sense that you used the concept earlier.

What??? Would you please be more precise? What sense did I use earlier?

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Not only a computer cannot know everything that is to be know. You raised the all-knowing computer as a proof of absolute materialism and determinism. I showed why this computer cannot exist.



I know that my English is very bad, however I was the one who said that such computer can't exist. I wrote: "It's not possible because there is no way to apprehend everything." And I said it twice. The imaginary computer was a practical example for a situation in which "our knowledge of the entire universe (including man itself) becomes total ?", which was YOUR idea. Not mine.

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So now we are goint to the domain of dictionary contradictions ? By man i was refering to mankind. Man as ordinary man. Stalin, being a ruler is not, in that sense, a comon man

OMG. So Stalin isn't a "common man" because he is a ruler? What is he? A superman? No, Stalin is a man, and he is part of mankind as anyone else.

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If power is taken from the hands of mankind at large, its only to be deposited in the hands of a single man or a small group of man.

Power can't be taken from the hands of "mankind at large", since Stalin and his friends were also part of mankind. You can say, however, if that's your opinion, that power was taken from the hands of the majority, and put into the hands of a minority (oligarchy). But this has nothing to do with methaphysical and idealistic talks about "mankind" as opposed to Stalin or his political system, which is ridiculous.

"If dialetical materialism is an absolute thing, then the party becomes the aparattus of knowledge, and the rest of the population should obey and not challenge that aparattus."
What the hell is an "absolute thing"?If you mean that it's an absolute truth, i.e. a truth that can't be challenged, well obviously diamat was seen as such truth. But does it follow that a perticular analysis based on diamat is necessarily an absolute truth? NO. Simply because any analysis needs an input (data), and then proceed to the analysis, and give the conclusions. In this process it's impossible to have a perfect data, and a perfect analysis. There can be bias. So even in Marx's own analysis, or Lenin's own analysis, there can be bias. And Stalin or stalinism has never challenged this idea, Stalin or stalinists have never said that they hold the absolute truth. So that's certainly not the best way to attack "stalinism".

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So if absolute knowledge is impossible, your leap to conclude that everything can be explained by cause-effect alone is by itself an act of creed and not of knowledge. If you dont know everything, you dont know everything. You cant know and not know everything at the same time.

Indeed, you can't. But it doesn't mean that materialism as opposed to agnosticism is an "act of creed".

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The keyword here is "if". You assume that everything is determinted, then work backwards to define everything is determined. Then use this as "proof" that everything is determined. This is a positivist creed, not science.

Ahah, I wrote it above: " They fail to understand that in the actual marxist philosophy everything is determined(they will often call that positivism)". This is exactly the situation. You can't accept that everything is determined, so you call that "positivism". But Marxism isn't positivism.

Quote:
Scientists - How much is 2 + 2 ?
Computer - Five !

Oh, so that's the result of your "true artificial intelligence"? Seriously? If it's an artificial intelligence, then it's joking. Artificial intelligence already exists, even if it's not as much developed as ours. Even if there is still a qualitative difference, it exists.

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Seeing that i am not a leninist

Thank you for this clarification

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and the whole concept of the topic is to treat Stalinism

I have yet to see how you treat stalinism. Since your clearly disagree with Lenin, how can you even criticize Stalin on the basis of DiaMat?


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Actually, free will in that text is being treated as synonimous to idealist free-will a pure act disconnected from reality

Free will is free will. There is no marxist definition of "free will", this isn't part of our vocabulary. Lenin criticizes free will in general. If you want to use free will in your own view of the world, then you are clearly anti-marxist and idealist. I don't say that to blame you, that's your right of course to believe that there is something as "free will". But you can't be a materialist if you believe in "free will"

Quote:
WHAT THE FRAG 42 MEANS ?!?!

But what the frag does "what is the meaning of life" mean? That's the real question.
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"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
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