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AProblemForYou

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  1. I'm interested in what Objectivism permits and condemns, independent of one's individual values and preferences, beyond the basic preconditions. No. If you're a Ben Kingsley fan and Spiral Architect despises him, watching "Iron Man 3" may be right for you and wrong for him. We can all three of us objectively agree on the right actions for each of you. And I am okay that Objectivism offers me, with no strong opinion of him, no guidance on what movie to see. I'm quite happy with Rotten Tomatoes, and the feelings of hurt or regret at having seen / not seen a movie are usually low for everyone involved! The one-night stand and used-car scenarios are different. They have a greater potential for hurt and regret for all parties involved. I'd expect an ethical system to have more to say than, well, if you value that other person you won't screw them or pawn off that flaky car, but if you don't, it's all good.
  2. Objectivism allows a great deal of flexibility--e.g., while some virtues such as honesty are universally helpful assuming you meet the basic precondition of seeking life, you ultimately choose your values. Thus, whether or not I donate $20 to a charity is neither per-se good or bad--it all depends on whether I value that charity and/or it goals. My curiosity in this thought experiment is whether the actions described in the one-night stand and used car scenarios are good or bad per-se, or as I feared Objectivism has nothing intelligible to say, unless on a whim you decide to value certain things. Of course, but shouldn't we aim for an ethical system that provides guidance to maximize happiness and minimize guilt and regret?
  3. Bingo. When selling a used car, a seller may not disclose that the transmission will need to be replaced soon at great cost--we say caveat emptor. Is one's ethical duty simply to make true statements, or are we obligated to try to try to ensure the buyer's impressions match reality? Most people have one standard when it comes to business, and another standard when it comes to personal relationships. What does Objectivism require? Yes, he wanted a one-night stand, but agreed to a "committed relationship" per her definition. No. The term "committed relationship" was defined by her as, "only dating her and he has to end the relationship before seeing anyone else". No claim to love her was made.
  4. Tara Smith explains how Objectivism implies many virtues--rationality, honesty, independence, justice, integrity, productiveness, and pride. However, Shylock makes the point that Justice is nothing without Mercy or Compassion. What of this case? A woman wants sex only in a committed relationship. A man asks what is a committed relationship is. She defines it as only dating her and he has to end the relationship before seeing anyone else. He has sex with her. A day later he ends the relationship. He has met the letter of the law, but violated the spirit of the law. Does Objectivism have any objections to this behavior?
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