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Post 0

Friday, August 19, 2005 - 4:38amSanction this postReply
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Given:
1.  You are not responsible for someone else's feelings.
2.  Feelings are not tools of cognition.

Then:
A.  You stand in front of someone, gesturing and shouting and capering, and they take out a gun and shoot you because they feel "threatened" then it is self-defense, not murder. 
B.  If a man dressed in unusual clothes stands on a street corner of a business district during the lunch hour, denouncing capitalism and President Bush, and burning an American flag, you feel nothing -- and neither should anyone else.
C.  On an internet chat forum, you post an essay and you receive negative replies, from mild suggestions to excoriating criticism.  You are called an idiot, a troll, an asshole, and a pomowanker.  Therefore, you make the corrections suggested by your associates.




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Post 1

Friday, August 19, 2005 - 7:22amSanction this postReply
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If you are suggesting that A-C follow logically from 1 and 2, then you are way off base.

B, for example, seems to be based on an unstated premise that one should not have feelings at all -- something that is not stated or implied by 1 and 2.

C has a similar problem (implicitly assuming you should have no emotional reaction to insults), plus it lacks adequate information to evaluate whether the non-insulting portions of the "suggestions" and "criticism" (assuming there were any non-insulting portions) were valid, and thus deserve to motivate some "corrections," regardless of the form in which they were couched. That is something that could be inferred from 1 and 2: since emotions are not tools of cognition, the fact that you are upset with the insulting responses should not preclude you from taking any good advice they might contain.

I can't figure out how you came up with A in the first place. It doesn't follow from 1 and 2, nor does it follow from the implicit "no feelings allowed" premise used in B and C.

--
Richard Lawrence
Webmaster, Objectivism Reference Center




Post 2

Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 10:12amSanction this postReply
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Richard,

A hearty welcome.  Thanks for the effort you expended in cutting through the crap.




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Post 3

Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 2:36pmSanction this postReply
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Michael,

I also don't see how the examples fit the argument you seem to be trying to make.

For instance, I expected the punch line of A to be that the shooting is murder and not self-defense.

Robert Campbell



Post 4

Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 7:36pmSanction this postReply
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OK, no one got it, so the fault is mine.

Which of the three follow from the premises?  Given 1 and 2, then which, A, B, or C, follows?

People obviously have emotions and their emotional reactions are fairly predictable.  You make threatening noises and movements and you will be perceived as a threat -- and you cannot complain about it.

Given the symbols in B, how could anyone not feel something?  Burn the America flag in Teheran or Topeka and you will get some reaction.  Why?  Is it not logical to ignore this display of primitive totemism?  Apparently not.

Now in C, the this is the truly rational response -- and the one we seldom see here.  So, if Objectivists are wildly emotional creatures, how can we assert that we are not responsible for the emotions of other people.

Clearly, you can cause emotions in others in predictable ways.  Therefore, if you are going to accept responsibility for the consequences of your actions, then you have to accept responsibility for the emotions you cause.

(Or perhaps not.)




Post 5

Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 8:07pmSanction this postReply
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Michael,

Clearly, you can cause emotions in others in predictable ways.  Therefore, if you are going to accept responsibility for the consequences of your actions, then you have to accept responsibility for the emotions you cause.
Can you stop others from feeling emotion?  If not, how can you cause them in others?




Post 6

Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 9:21pmSanction this postReply
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Michael:

This is just plain silly. Certainly an Objectivist takes responsibility for the emotional response of others to his actions in the sense that he recognizes that he caused them, but it stops there. He has no duty to assuage them. If I say to someone that he is misguided in trying to help every unfortunate soul on the planet and he gets upset over this then that is his problem.

Sam




Post 7

Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 10:42pmSanction this postReply
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Michael,

Rationaly refusing to act is not the same as suppressing feelings, or disowning self (good people don't feel motivated to strangle and burn offensive jerks, and you're a good person, so shame on you for desiring aesthetic hygiene.

Why shouldn't an American feel insulted by a flag burning? Perhaps he's a vetran missing a limb, in service which he had that flag powerfully, emotionally linked to his existence every day? Same with our foreign enemies we drop bombs on. Why shouldn't they experience glee? The flag is a symbol, a philosophical abstraction, and an action done to it is a metaphysical advertisement for action. Same with case C.

But how people act on their emotions, may not be your responsibility. Yes, it may be legal to burn a flag, and wrong for veterans to lynch a flag burner, but it isn't go to resurrect him. Of course martyrs get their satisfaction from being "dead right".

As for case A, once again, you may shine a laser-pointer at a cop and he reflexively shoots you. Shame on him for poor fire-control. It won't bring you back, so shame on you for stupidity.

Scott



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Post 8

Monday, October 24, 2005 - 4:00amSanction this postReply
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The boring Robert Davison droned on: "Michael,

Clearly, you can cause emotions in others in predictable ways.  Therefore, if you are going to accept responsibility for the consequences of your actions, then you have to accept responsibility for the emotions you cause.
Can you stop others from feeling emotion?  If not, how can you cause them in others?

At least you did not pull you usual attempts at intellectual "stunts" which are nothing more than miseducated gaffes.  It is about time that you face up to the fact that everyone here thinks you are a blithering idiot.  If you go back and read the responses to your trolling, you will see that every now and then someone is happy to find something tangible to reply to.  In this case, that much was lacking, so I have no reply.




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Post 9

Monday, October 24, 2005 - 6:51amSanction this postReply
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OK, now my feelings are hurt enough to post on this thread.

It is about time that you face up to the fact that everyone here thinks you are a blithering idiot. 

Michael,
I'm here! I don't think Robert is a blithering idiot. Why did you exclude me from the gang? I know I'm not as active a SOLO member as many of you but I need love too. Let me join your tribe, please?!?!?!

 Seems to me that you, Michael, are threatened or annoyed by Robert's responses. How does that make you feel?  Whoa... just kidding! I don't really want to know how that makes you feel. I don't always agree with Robert. I don't always agree with anyone, but I don't need to give my insults a collective feel to validate them.
I could say, "Michael, we all really think your hair looks silly." and " Michael, your post really bore all of us and the only time we read them is when we forgot to look next to the post and see that picture of you with your silly hair that none of the tribe seems to care for." The collective might not all agree, maybe I can only speak for myself. Maybe I don't think those things but I do think that your statement was a pussy assed thing to say. Oh, and I accept sole responsibility for your feelings about this post.

Just my opinion.
Sipes

PS- Robert is my landlord.




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Post 10

Monday, October 24, 2005 - 7:29amSanction this postReply
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Michael,

At least you did not pull you usual attempts at intellectual "stunts" which are nothing more than miseducated gaffes.  It is about time that you face up to the fact that everyone here thinks you are a blithering idiot.  If you go back and read the responses to your trolling, you will see that every now and then someone is happy to find something tangible to reply to.  In this case, that much was lacking, so I have no reply.
I interpret your reaction to mean you can not refute what I said, and find it frustrating.  It is clear to me that if we can cause emotion in others, we must also logically be able to prevent them or the argument falls apart and one must conclude that the other is responsible for his own emotions.

My past effort to be kind to you despite your muddled headedness has taken effort on my part, effort you clearly have not appreciated.  You are an incurable nerd.  If there is anything more boring in this world than collecting coins, I'd like to know what it is.  Perhaps stamp collecting.  Wake up and smell the coffee, your self ajudicated brilliance is falling on deaf ears, at least on this thread. 


(Edited by Robert Davison on 10/24, 7:36am)




Post 11

Monday, October 24, 2005 - 7:31amSanction this postReply
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Thanks Bill.



Post 12

Monday, October 24, 2005 - 7:34amSanction this postReply
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That was funny - you got a 'bonk' for that...

[the ps was pure classic...]

(Edited by robert malcom on 10/24, 7:37am)




Post 13

Monday, October 24, 2005 - 9:35amSanction this postReply
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You are an incurable nerd.
Hey! There's nothing wrong with that. :(

Sarah



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Post 14

Monday, October 24, 2005 - 5:08pmSanction this postReply
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Bill Sipes wrote:"... that picture of you with your silly hair ..."
Oh, you think that by making fun of my hair, you are going to get my goat!  Well, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!  Do you hear me!!  I don't care what you say!!  So, there !
Bill Sipes wrote: '... PS- Robert is my landlord."

Your attempt to cause feeling of sympathy in others may work   It worked with me.
Robert Davison wrote: "It is clear to me that if we can cause emotion in others, we must also logically be able to prevent them or the argument falls apart and one must conclude that the other is responsible for his own emotions."

Ok,  idiot, I will try to make this so simple that even you understand it.  Expecting you to feel upset at being contradicted, I might begin by saying, "Thank you, Robert, for your reply.  It gave me much to think about.  I have a question because I am not clear on something you wrote   You write well, but I just did not have a good example.  What you said was..." 

Now, that would prevent you from feeling one emotion and cause you to feel another.

It is known -- proved with experiment -- that giving someone a glass of cool water will prevent them from getting angry.   But, of course, every intelligent and well-read person already knows that.
Sarah House wrote: "You are an incurable nerd.
Hey! There's nothing wrong with that. :(
I am sorry that he made you feel bad.  You did not deserve that.  That was totally uncalled for.  He's a jerk.  Just ignore him.  Come over to my place and let me comfort you.  We'll have some wine and talk about how smart you are.  Have I ever told you how much I admire your writing?

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 10/24, 5:16pm)




Post 15

Monday, October 24, 2005 - 5:29pmSanction this postReply
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Sam Erica wrote: " If I say to someone that he is misguided in trying to help every unfortunate soul on the planet and he gets upset over this then that is his problem."
It is pretty easy to agree with the part that I did not quote: It stops somewhere.  My question is "Where?"

You know before you make your statement what kind of an emotional reaction it is going to have.  You might be surprised.  People can be complicated and unpredictable.  You never know exactly what is in someone else's head.  But usually you do.  It is usually obvious.  In the unarmed defense classes I have had for my work as a security guard, we learn that (pick your number) some huge fraction -- 90%, 95%, 99% -- of communication is non-verbal.  How you stand, tone of voice, eye contact, all of that and more communicate loud and clear, regardless of what words you use. 

These classes were predicated on the assumption that the other person is conflicted -- usually in conflict with himself: drunk, angry, etc.

So, there you at a cocktail party with a bunch of liberals...  Where is the surprise in the fact that they are going to have negative emotional reactions to your rightwing fringe lunatic paranoia?  And you can see it coming...  someone will want to speak, making eye contact, facial expressions, hand motions, and you are going to drone on and on until...  someone yells at you.  Of course, you will not get upset...




Post 16

Monday, October 24, 2005 - 6:28pmSanction this postReply
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It is known -- proved with experiment -- that giving someone a glass of cool water will prevent them from getting angry.
I'm outta here. 




Post 17

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 8:47amSanction this postReply
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Michael:

It's really hard to understand what your point is. You quote me:
Sam Erica wrote: " If I say to someone that he is misguided in trying to help every unfortunate soul on the planet and he gets upset over this then that is his problem."
and then say:
It is pretty easy to agree with the part that I did not quote: It stops somewhere.  My question is "Where?"
Why would you refer to the part you did not quote? Why not quote it so I know what you're talking about? Then you refer to *it* stopping somewhere. What is *it*?

Sam





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Post 18

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 11:56amSanction this postReply
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[sniffing] Hmm, what's this? Smells funny.

[in a thread entitled Responsibility for Others' Feelings] ...

The matured male -- who created the thread, which is no small detail -- writes the following!

=============
The boring Robert Davison droned on ...
=============

=============
It is about time that you face up to the fact that everyone here thinks you are a blithering idiot.
=============

=============
Oh, you think that by making fun of my hair, you are going to get my goat!  Well, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!  Do you hear me!!  I don't care what you say!!  So, there !
=============

=============
Ok,  idiot, I will try to make this so simple that even you understand it.
=============

=============
But, of course, every intelligent and well-read person already knows that.
=============

=============
Come over to my place and let me comfort you.  We'll have some wine and talk about how smart you are.
=============

Now Michael, I smell something here -- what is it? Were you "genuinely" trying to get under Robert's skin (to merely prove your point that we can affect others)?! Or is this whole reactive reaction (on your part) merely an indirect, though illustrative, personal confession that you are stuck in the briar patches of social metaphysics?

Michael, I like you. I even like your hair (in my view, you're the Conan O'Brian of SOLOHQ!). Like Conan, you can be really wacky -- though sometimes others won't get your jokes then. This is the price we pay for wackiness. I invite you to consider taking the following 5-question quiz.

1. (true/false) This thread assumes we have effects on others, and was actually about finding the operation line to draw -- where our effects on others' feelings becomes morally "culpable."

2. (true/false) This thread assumes a pragmatic approach to morality (what's right is what "worked" at the time -- when we "acted").

3. (true/false) This thread assumes that folks are mere meat-puppets, or voodoo dolls, so to speak. In our lives, we will poke metaphorical pins in others -- in order to manipulate them for "value production."

4. (true/false) This thread assumes that emotionality inherently (irremediably) supercedes rationality, as a manager of the human will. That folks will do what they feel, and either that they can't begin to -- autonomously, on their very wits -- think differently, or that thinking differently, won't affect a change in feeling anyway.

5. (true/false) This thread was a mere mischievous joke -- designed for the sole purpose of jib-jabbing and attention-getting, in the infantile narcissism sense of these terms.

I will patiently await your response.

Ed



Post 19

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 2:50pmSanction this postReply
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Ed Thompson sought truth by asking. 
Therefore, I answer:

1. (true) This thread assumes we have effects on others, and was actually about finding the operation line to draw -- where our effects on others' feelings becomes morally "culpable."

2. (false)

3. (true and/or false) This thread assumes that SOME folks are ...

4. (maybe and/or perhaps) Emotionality inherently apparently supercedes rationality for some people, but for others, not so. People are different.

5. (false) See 1.  Given that you know that other people have emotions, whether or not you choose to yank their chains and rattle their cages is your choice -- and you have to take responsibility for their reactions, just as you would for the breaking of a glass that you accidentally knocked off a table.

Sam Erica asked about "it."
SE:   in the sense that he recognizes that he caused them, but it stops there.
SE:  Why not quote it so I know what you're talking about? Then you refer to *it* stopping somewhere. What is *it*?

 




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