Theories and Concepts

A Theory is an abstract structure of non-contradictory statements based on an assumption. Its purpose is to explain a fact of existence, or to make a calculated prediction about a future event, or to create a new structure from other existents, that has no existence of its own, till then. For example, Theory of Relativity was used to predict the motion of the planet mercury. Theory of GOD was used to create caste system which was in turn used to maintain inequality of men before the establishment of the days past.

The assumption, which is the first statement of the theory being stated, can be a reasonable one, ie., which does not contradict the known facts of existence: like in the case of theories of physical sciences. Or a blatant contradiction of the fundamental laws of existence, especially the law of identity: like in the case of the theory of God (Refer my previous article, “Atheistic nature of an objectivist”). If the assumption contradicts existence, the assumption is false, so must be the entire theory built on it.

Validity of a theory is judged by its conformity to knowledge. And all valid knowledge exists in terms of concepts, the integrations of facts of existence. A concept can be an integration of either previously defined concepts, or it can be an integration of percepts: the data directly gathered by the senses, and processed by the consciousness.

Hence a concept cannot be formed by integrating non-existents, since that which doesn’t exist cannot have characteristics(let alone defining characteristics), and no definition can be framed to describe it.

The goal of sciences is to establish and further the knowledge by means of concepts. It is done by collecting and subsuming the evidence into a defined concept, and only when that cannot be done, develop a new theory by making a reasonable assumption to explain the collected evidence, with an understanding that a new definition(a new concept) will be framed in the future, which makes the assumption, and the associated theory, redundant. Till the day a concept is defined and integrated into the entire knowledge by a human consciousness, it must be cautiously observed to never accept the theories as concepts. Theories are what they are: reasonable(or contradictory) assumptions. Concepts are valid knowledge.

Root of human suffering lies in trying to counterfeit science. ie., creating and propagating false theories as concepts and accepting the associated false assumptions as facts of existence. The creation part is done by conscious cheats, propagation is done by ignorant liars, and this entire business is silently accepted by billions of sufferers.(Refer my previous article: “You are what you are”).

The trick to rule over men is to make them accept the false theories as concepts, particularly and especially in two major fields of science: Economics and Politics. The typical bright student anywhere in the world will readily find these two sciences nonsensical and boring right from the beginning in majority of the countries, and in majority of the countries these fields are not considered sciences at all. This is not happening by accident.

Popular economic and political theories taught in the university classrooms are devised ambiguously, by purpose, and PhDs being awarded are to those who are the most dissociated from existence, by purpose. To create the so called “experts” of Economics and Politics that will make the masses accept: that the only way to lead lives is to maintain the status-quo, or to not deviate too much; that suffering is eventual to anyone and must be accepted by everyone at some scale, irrespective of any crime being necessarily committed; that it is the purpose of the Government to offer free services to the non-productive at the expense of the productive; that Man’s authentic rights, especially his right to his own property are not necessarily valid all the time; that the new rights being conferred by the constitution of the country can sometimes “acceptably” contradict the Man’s right to his own life.

An objectivist will never betray the law of identity, and every theory he is being thrown at, he will, independent of others, verify its truth or falseness by means of valid concepts, ie., with existence as the standard. He can’t be made to lie that A is not A. He can’t be made to conform to anything less than a completely free society, where authentic individual rights are absolutely respected.

Avinash Kumar

Values, the source of Emotions

The Faculty of Reason and the Faculty of Emotion are the two attributes of human consciousness. The content of the second is entirely dependent on the content of the first.

Reason is the faculty that perceives facts of reality in the form of percepts and integrates them into concepts by creating proper definitions, thereby expanding the man’s knowledge of the original concept, Existence. The method of reason is logic: Non-contradictory identification of existents. None of the existents subsumed under a specific concept can contradict its definition, or the previous concepts that made it possible.

For example, take the definition of the Bird: A flying animal. Ie., it is an animal that flies, and every animal that flies will be subsumed under this definition. This definition(concept), Bird is dependent on the concept that is needed to be defined, prior to it: Animal. Now definition of Animal is “A living organism capable of animation(movement)”. And a living organism is “Any existent that has life.” Observe here that the definition of bird does not contradict the definition of animal: a bird is still an organism capable of animation. Nor does the definition of animal contradict the definition of a living organism: An animal is still an existent(Anything that exists) that has life.

This process of concept formation by logically integrating the previously integrated concepts, is the task performed by the Faculty of Reason, the attribute of human consciousness, which makes all knowledge possible. All valid knowledge exists in terms of concepts: non contradictory definitions.

Since the Faculty of Reason is an attribute specific to the species Man, that makes his survival possible on earth, the proper definition of Man is A rational animal” ie., an animal possessing the faculty of reason. (Rationality is the activity that a man performs when he consciously uses his faculty of reason).

Now, Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-initiated action, and there is only one purpose to the life of any living organism: to live. An organism that fails to initiate the actions required to sustain its own life, will cease to be a living existent, and becomes only an existent. Hencethe ultimate value of a living organism is its own life. Hence the concept, life is the origin of the concept, value. Every action that any living organism performs must sustain and further its own life, its ultimate value. Reason being the only means of survival for a man in his full capacity as man, as dictated by his nature, and his own life being his ultimate value, reason is his primary value, that makes all other values possible, each integrating into and serving the purpose of furthering his own life.

This concept, value is the source of all emotions, acting as the initiator/generator for the Faculty of Emotion, the attribute of any animal consciousness, including and especially Man’s consciousness. Observe that no emotion has existence without its source: Value. And there are two basic emotions: Happiness and Sadness. Happiness is the response of the animal’s consciousness(to be precise, the faculty of emotion in an animal’s consciousness) to the facts of existence that further an animal’s life and sadness is the response to the facts of existence that diminish/threaten its life. Whatever is furthering its life is Good for it and whatever is threatening its life is Evil(Bad) for it.

Thus by nature, Emotions are responses of consciousness to the facts of existence, and the nature of Emotions is determined by the nature of values. A distinction observed in man is that he is an organism of volitional consciousness, ie., he can voluntarily choose to use or suspend his own consciousness: He can choose to further his own life or can choose to be a suicidal animal. Hence, he must voluntarily hold his life as his ultimate value, and his Reason as his primary value, if he is to survive and find happiness in life. Wrong choice of values that threaten his life is the source of human suffering.

Have you heard of the joke, that a cat that closes its eyes believes that the world is dark? It is in fact a joke on men who suspend their own consciousness, and the source of this joke is the fact that a man’s use of consciousness is volitional(voluntary). A man has to be a man: a rational animal, by choice. He has to hold his life as his ultimate value by choice, and his reason as his primary value which he must never suspend, by choice.

This fact, that man’s choice of values is volitional(voluntary) in nature, is grasped and used by the evil, self proclaimed philosophers, who taught men that death is the ultimate value that a man must hold and the primary value that makes it possible is self-sacrifice. This initiated human suffering. Inversing the valuation standard of Man – from life to death – turns him against himself, puts him on the path to self destruction, and turns him into an agent of death: non-existence of life. This is the source of all destruction.

Man ought to, voluntarily choose his life as his ultimate value, and reason as his primary value, if his intention is to live. Only his proper choice of values will make his life possible, and only then he can find happiness through his objective actions. The code of values that a man chooses voluntarily is the code of “Morality”. And it applies only to man. No other animal can voluntarily make a choice that will threaten its own life. It can only act with an objective to further its own life. That is the reason why morality is solely the province of Man, and it is not his subjective luxury. Morality is an objective necessity.

A man to be morally good, he must choose to value his own life. He must choose to stay rational: never suspend his faculty of Reason. Other primary values that are derived from Reason are: Independence: To submit to nothing but reason, and not to fall into the death trap of evil, self-proclaimed philosophers; Self-esteem: To estimate that he is competent enough to accept the responsibility of using his faculty of reason, the attribute of his own consciousness.(Virtues are actions performed by men to preserve their own chosen values.)

Philosophy is the science that teaches a man to think and act in terms of concepts that he can validate in every situation, by holding reality as the standard of judgement: Entirely derived logically from the fundamental law of existence: A is A. This is the foundation of all sciences, and the source of all valid human knowledge. An Objectivist is a man who treats philosophy as it is, a science.

Avinash Kumar