Ep.29 The Rational Scientific Method Says Existence Doesn’t Exist with Mike Huttner.Anarcho-Yakitalism Podcast

Mike Huttner and I talk about his criticisms of the show Brett Veinotte from the School Sucks Podcast and I did about nihilism vs objectivism. He calls us out for not defining our terms, and we talk about how we should define terms. Mike is a cofounder of the Rational Scientific Method forum on Facebook.

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RationalScientificMethod/

Bill Gaede(another member of the forum)’s: https://www.youtube.com/user/bgaede

Mike Huttner’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/protipzrationalscientificmethod



Filed under Epistemology, Interviews, Metaphysics, Philosophy

9 Responses to Ep.29 The Rational Scientific Method Says Existence Doesn’t Exist with Mike Huttner.Anarcho-Yakitalism Podcast

  1. Mike Huttner

    Hey Nick,

    You said, “I’ve come to distrust RSM.”

    The word “distrust” is a subjective standard, an opinion. We do not “trust” or “distrust” statements in the context of science. Either you think what I said made sense or think it doesn’t make sense, in which case, please share you thought and tell me what doesn’t make sense.

    It bothers me when people bring “trust” into the subject because now my name is associated with something that isn’t “trustworthy” which subtly introduces a personal character to the subject. Either the RSM is rational, critically reasoned and thought out– or it is not.

    Trust is not the issue, I was not trying to gain your trust.

    Thanks for having me on again, btw. It is a good memory. I know it was awhile ago but I stumbled upon this page again and thought I would reply.

    • Nick


      I’m glad you stepped in here.
      I used “distrust” because I’m concerned with the validity of RSM’s ideas. I’m not willing to say it’s not accurate, rational, or critically thought through, because I don’t feel like I’ve done enough exploration. I don’t know if it makes sense, it did during our conversation, but after exploring more, I was not satisfied with some of RSM’s fundamental definitions. I’ve heard similar concerns from others, and this is why I am concerned with the validity of RSM’s ideas. I don’t think my concerns are backed with enough evidence for me to stand firmly and say that I believe RSM’s fundamental definitions are not rational, reasonable, or useful. But I hold caution when I hear somebody say that light is a wave, or that concepts cannot exist.

      I don’t wish to slander RSM or you, Mike. And I will try to say “I am concerned with the accuracy of RSM’s ideas.” rather than “I distrust RSM.”

      This was a fun and interesting episode, I’d like to explore it again at some point. Right now it’s not fitting with what I’m studying and I don’t want to switch my focus. I think exploring fundamental definitions and RSM will require me to spend some time doing heavy thinking and research. It is something I’m interested in though.

  2. The idea that we have to define our terms before we can have a conversation is ABSURD. LANGUAGE DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY.
    ————-begin quote——————
    It was once thought that a perfect language should have an exact one-to-one correspondence between words and their meanings. There should be no ambiguity, no vagueness, no confusion. Our earthly Babel is a falling off from the lost speech of Eden: a catastrophe and a punishment. “I imagine,” writes the novelist Dexter Palmer, “that the entries of the dictionary that lies on the desk in God’s study must have one-to-one correspondences between the words and their definitions, so that when God sends directives to his angels, they are completely free from ambiguity. Each sentence that He speaks or writes must be perfect, and therefore a miracle.” We know better now. With or without God, there is no perfect language.

    Language maps a boundless world of objects and sensations and combinations onto a finite space. The world changes, always mixing the static with the ephemeral, and we know that language changes, not just from edition to edition of the Oxford English Dictionary but from one moment to the next, and from one person to the next. Everyone’s language is different. We can be overwhelmed or we can be emboldened.
    ————–end quote————–
    Source: http://www.amazon.com/The-Information…/dp/1400096235


    We don’t speak the same languages, and, even when we do, we don’t use common words in the same way. You sometimes need to talk for a half hour just to understand what the other person meant when he spoke a simple sentence.

    Rational Semantic Methodists need to add a word to their dictionary:

    GIST: The substance or essence of a speech or text

    The word “EXIST” is already in dictionaries. Here is one definition:

    EXIST: have objective reality or being.

    Something EXISTS if it OBJECTIVELY exists. That means that it is NOT SUBJECTIVE, i.e., it isn’t just me who says something exists, others ALSO say it exists. That means that an IDEA can “exist” if it is discussed with others and the others agree that it IS an idea.

    Check out this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/396188730576334/

    • The source for that long quote is the book “The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood” by James Gleick.

    • Nick

      After this conversation with Mike, I’ve come to distrust RSM.
      But to not define terms in an argument is absurd. Yes, I agree, language is ambiguous, and it isn’t going to be perfect. But you can’t start an argument with a Marxist if you aren’t going to clarify the term capitalism. Their definition compared to many others’ is different. If you’re arguing that capitalism is the best system ever, and your definition of capitalism is “free market”, and their definition is “class rule”, you’re not having a productive discussion. Clarifying terms is not absurd if you want to get anywhere with a discussion. Of course people’s definitions are going to be different, that doesn’t mean defining terms isn’t productive.

      Thanks for responding Ed. I really appreciate when listeners respond. I wish you luck in attacking the RSM foundations, I love all rational discussions. I tried to facilitate a debate with Mike and somebody who disagreed, unfortunately, it didn’t work out due to time scheduling. For a while, I was very confused about the fundamental terms, but I now think I have it figured out(a mistake I have made many times, and am willing to make again 😉 )

      Nick Hazelton

      • Nick,

        I have no problem with defining terms. The problem with RSMists is that they argue that ONLY their word definitions are valid. And their definitions apparently govern the universe. Everything has to be either an “object” or a “concept.” A hole is not an “object,” therefore Black Holes cannot exist. They cannot argue that light doesn’t exist, so they argue that light is an “object,” an INVISIBLE rope connecting all atoms. They claim that light waves are TWISTS in the rope.

        If you ask for evidence in support of their claims, they reply that they do not BELIEVE in evidence, since evidence can be misleading. They just believe in their word definitions. Any attempt to discuss science with them turns into an argument over word definitions.

        It all boils down to what is the best definition of “rational.” They think it is “rational” to endlessly argue about word definitions. I think it is “rational” to look at and evaluate evidence. There can be no meeting of the minds on the definition of “rational,” so I’ve pretty much given up on arguing with them.

        Best of luck,


  3. You guys are way too smart for me. I lost y’all within a few minutes, and tried catching back up, unsuccessfully…

    What’s the goal here? What you guys attempting to achieve? An alternative to commonly accepted physics?

    • Nick

      It was pretty abstract. I’m still trying to figure out everything we talked about.

      The point I wanted to get across was to look at fundamental beliefs, definitions. My desire is to be right in my beliefs, I want to know the objective truth, or come as close to it as I can. In order to explore reality, especially when talking about such abstract topics, we need to know how to describe what we find. We need to know what our descriptions mean.
      As for the Rational Scientific Method folks and Mike, I can’t speak for them, but I encourage you to check out their work. I linked a few things.

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