Perception and Reality (was Re: recent Chinese military history)

[From Rick Marken (2006.08.21.1600)]

Bill Powers (2006.08.20.1205 MDT)--

Bjorn Simonsen (2006.08.20.13:30 EUST) --

I read your statement above as if rights are not objective because you can't sense them. Neither I know any sensing organs that are able to observe "rights". But if we have such sensing organs, we wouldn't experience the "rights" directly. We would experience them as perceptions "inside us". We would experience the "rights" "inside us" in the same way we experience a stone.

By "objective" I mean "existing as part of the world outside our skins." A more PCTish way of saying that would be "belonging to our models of an external reality," since the world outside our skins exists only in the form of imagined models.

I agree that "rights" (to the extent that they are perceptions and not references -- see below) are not objective, in the sense that there is nothing in our models of external reality that corresponds to what we perceive as "rights". But isn't that true of all perceptions?

He clearly accepts the difference between sensing and knowing what is outside us. But because he thinks of "ought" statements as describing inputs, he confuses target states with perceptual signals. All you have to do is realize that an "ought" statement describes an internally-generated reference signal, and the confusion disappears. Then the whole idea of a "normative universe" simply goes away. Morals aren't perceptions, they're reference signals.

This is probably true of "rights" too. People talk of "rights" as what people _ought_ to be able to do without hindrance. The "right to bear arms" is a reference; whether or not a person can bear arms without hindrance is the perceptual variable controlled relative to that reference.

Oy, the problems of discussing control theory using just plain language;-)

Best regards

Rick

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Richard S. Marken Consulting
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[From Phil Runkel on 21 August,
replying to Powers (2006.08.21.1515 mdt)]

Bill: I think your portrayal of a right as an agreement is nicely exemplified by the "right of way" at a street intersection.

--Phil R.

[From Fred Nickols (2006.08.22.1026)] -

From Phil Runkel on 21 August,
replying to Powers (2006.08.21.1515 mdt)]

Bill: I think your portrayal of a right as an agreement is nicely
exemplified by the "right of way" at a street intersection.

--Phil R.

I very much respect Phil's views so I read Bill's post.

I'll neither quarrel nor quibble with it; it makes a lot of sense. What I
will pick up on is this portion of Bill's post:

So my conclusion is that a right exists only by agreement,
and only if there is some means of enforcing it.

I've always been of the view that no one has any rights except those they
will fight to claim and defend. That willingness to fight in order to claim
and defend one's rights is, I think, what leads to agreement. Lose that
willingness to fight to defend and hard-won "rights" (usually won by
forebears) are eroded, hi-jacked and otherwise taken away. The "right to
privacy" is just one example where that's been occurring for quite some
time.

I wonder how the reference signal for "it's time to fight to defend our
rights" gets established?

Regards,

Fred Nickols
nickols@att.net