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Iatan Petru

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Everything posted by Iatan Petru

  1. Moral anomalies?

    So I posted these hypothethical scenarios on different topics, as comments, but I decided to make one about them because I am really curious about the Objectivist approach. There are some hypothethical situations I thought about. So imagine the following : -a friend tries to kill himself because his ex broke up with him (or some other irrational reason) -you see a man torturing his dog (for example, keeping it chained and taking its eyes out) -you see a stranger cutting himself -you see someone beating up a mentally handicapped person (let's assume the handicap isn't curable nor potentially curable) I was trying to bring examples that are emotionally disturbing because I want to make a point about the moral actions you're entitled to here. Of course, most of us would initiate force to stop those people from doing what they're doing, wouldn't we? I mean, let's be really honest here, it is the right thing to do, clearly. But according to Objectivism, should those people we initiated force against take legal action against us, we would be the guilty party. After all, you have the right to kill or harm yourself, and animals who can't use reason (dogs and mentally handicapped people, in this case) have no rights. So maybe I see things in a wrong way, but here are cases where you can do something which is both moral and illegal. How can that be, under a proper Government? I mean, should the Government sanction initiating force in order to stop those actions? Can something be both moral and illegal? And if not, why wouldn't people be able to pay the authorities to also provide services of animal protection, protection for people without rights, irrational suicide prevention etc., which would, however, clearly violate the NAP in such cases?
  2. So I've noticed that Objectivism has changed my life for the better during the few months since when I got into it. Always pursuing my rational self-interest has been very beneficial for me from many points of view. Socially speaking, I've made a lot more friends and became more confident. There's one aspect I can't seem to be able to get around though. How do I act in a subtly competitive social scenario? For example, when you're with your buddies and some hot girls are around and all of you wanna be that manly dominant guy who bosses the others around. Or generally speaking when you compete with others in a subtle way for being the most alpha person in that situation. I say 'subtle' because you're not really in a position of adversity towards the other people so you can't start a fight, you just gotta know what attitude to have and kinda talk your way to the top. I already appear to be an outgoing person, but I want to be the 'leader', as cheesy as that may sound. So what's the way to do that and what would Objectivism have to say about the mental state you should adopt in these situations?
  3. Socially competitive subtleties

    Well I was just giving an example, I wasn't talking about love and sex exclusively. For the lack of a better example I'll say the exact situation I was in. I am at a martial arts gym and I'm the best there. I mean, by far the best, so I'm sort of the dominant presence there, and obviously I like it. But then there comes this cocky 5 ft 7 guy with an attitude and starts playing boss with everybody around, including myself. I didn't like it so I challenged him to sparring and I kind of schooled him, so he didn't have anything to say anymore. Of course, in this case I was lucky because I was better than him at what we were doing, but if not for that sparring match, he would've still been an arrogant prick, so I was wondering whether or not in such cases the right attitude can fix the problem. Like, when someone tries to play the big boss around you, how should you act to establish the role of the better man?
  4. Well I think the case here is pretty straight forward. If someone makes a negative statement about you which is objectively wrong, then it is defamation. But if the negative statement about you is true, then he's got every right to make it. What if there's no way to check it? What if I told people I saw you rape and kill a little girl in an alley late at night when nobody else was around? Read this : http://objectivistanswers.com/questions/1456/can-slander-and-libel-laws-harmonize-with-objectivist-politics
  5. Moral anomalies?

    We're talking whether or not it is morally justified. If you hypothethically knew you had ONLY the following two options : shooting your aggressor or letting him punch you, which action is moral (and would be legal under a proper Government) : -an act of self defense -letting that person violate your rights I think the answer is obvious, from an Objectivist perspective at least
  6. Moral anomalies?

    I agree with most of what you're saying but not with this. You are morally entitled to do anything to prevent the violation of your rights, so long as you don't violate the rights of innocents (unless you're in an emergency situation). If someone says they're going to punch you and they start running towards you and you have a gun, you can shoot it. It's on them. However, shooting them once they've punched you, assuming you know they won't do it again, is not justified, because it would be an act of revenge rather than self defense.
  7. Moral anomalies?

    Well, rights are derived from our ability to reason. Kids have some sort of rights because they have clear potential of becoming men with reason. But when there's no reason or potential for reason, how can there be rights? It's kind of a different topic but it's apparently a case where Objectivists disagree with each other. https://atlassociety.org/commentary/commentary-blog/4075-more-on-animal-rights?highlight=WyJhbmltYWxzIiwiYW5pbWFscyciXQ== "As for mentally impaired people: If the problem is temporary, can be rectified, or occurs in old age alone, then they are still entitled to the right to life. If, however, a person is born with severe retardation that will never allow him to function as a rational and productive individual, then he is not entitled to rights like other individuals are." Again, I am aware this is a completely different subject.
  8. Moral anomalies?

    The public disturbance aspect of them are crimes, not the suicide attemt/animals torture in themselves. So the way I understand it, if someone tortures an animal or a person without rights or the potential to having rights in the future, or tries to kill themselves, assuming these horrible acts happen in the privacy of his house, then the authorities can't do anything to stop him. Furthermore, for people to try and stop those acts would be immoral. I get it, and it makes sense.
  9. Moral anomalies?

    I understand now, thanks for taking your time to explain
  10. Moral anomalies?

    Well seeing innocents suffering from monstruous acts, knowing you wouldn't be able to intervene is psychological torture, but cruelty acts in public would clearly be banned because they'd fall under public disturbance. As for self interest, I'd say it's in the self interest of individuals to keep dangerous people away from them, since 73% of animals abusers also abuse their wives and kids, according to a study made by PETA. And let's just assume they would be no danger to other humans, I already said that it is a crime to torture animals, since it's an immoral act which creates victims. Cutting down trees, or killing animals for food and so on is not immoral because it's not irrational and it's beneficial for humans.
  11. Moral anomalies?

    Human beings have empathy, and they can relate to humans and animals to the point of resemblance. You see someone beating a puppy. Pushing that person away so that the puppy can escape is entirely moral because : 1. You acted to stop a crime. Like I said, it is an immoral act which creates a victim (even if that victim has no rights), so it is a crime. 2. It is, after all, human nature to want to intervene when an innocent is tortured by a psychopath. I mean, we can all say that animal cruelty is no philosophical issue and all that, because Rand hasn't clearly pronounced herself on this topic, but let's be 100% honest here. Is there a sane person who would not intervene, in my given example? And if we would all intervene, would the Police come for all of us? No proper philosophy would say it is immoral to do it, Objectivism just hasn't come up with an official verdict, yet.
  12. Moral anomalies?

    https://atlassociety.org/commentary/commentary-blog/4075-more-on-animal-rights?highlight=WyJhbmltYWxzIiwiYW5pbWFscyciXQ== "As for mentally impaired people: If the problem is temporary, can be rectified, or occurs in old age alone, then they are still entitled to the right to life. If, however, a person is born with severe retardation that will never allow him to function as a rational and productive individual, then he is not entitled to rights like other individuals are." I said that in my example, the mental condition is not curable, so that person has no rights. As for the others, what I said was that acting to stop them would not be possibly considered an immoral action. What the two of you told me is that under a proper legal system, it is illegal. But what I asked is how can an action be both moral and illegal. Most of us would act to save those people/animal without feeling guilt about what we did, maybe out of human empathy or because we're stopping a moral crime (it's an immoral act which creates a victim, so it's a crime). So how is it possible that a proper Government may sanction a very moral action?
  13. Acting to stop a crime

    Is it immoral and/or should it be considered illegal if I acted to stop a crime that doesn't involve me? ~~~according to Objectivism of course~~~ If, for example, I see a person beating another person and I initiate force against the aggressor in order to stop him, would a proper Government sanction me for that? I know that the current Law system states that if you initiate force in order to stop an illegal action, then you're good.
  14. Acting to stop a crime

    Well that is what Objectivism claims. https://atlassociety.org/objectivism/atlas-university/what-are-rights/foundations-archive/3637-individual-rights-the-objectivist-view And as for giving an example, imagine the following scenario : Torturing a puppy is definetely immoral, even if that puppy is your property. For me to try and stop a person from torturing his puppy is clearly moral. But it would be illegal for me to do it because animals have no rights, so you can torture an animal but I can't lay my hands on you to stop you. There's the moral anomaly I was talking about, if we are to view things from the pov of rights. I do something moral, but still it's illegal. Since the legal system has to be moral, then something cannot be illegal unless it is immoral. And thus we have a contradiction. That's where I wanted to get btw, I seem fixated on the whole animal cruelty topic. So, if I act to save an animal from abuse, why should it be illegal? It is, after all, very moral to do so.
  15. Acting to stop a crime

    Not really, but if we are to view things from the point of view of rights, instead of what's moral, then we can get to some moral anomalies. Rights are moral principles, so that would make those contradictions even more evident.
  16. Acting to stop a crime

    If you attack a person you violate the NAP. If that person fights back, he does so because he is in an extreme situation, which can be seen as an 'emergency' under moral principles, so it's okay for him to defend himself at all costs, even by harming you. But if a stranger attacks you to save he victim, then he also violates the NAP because he attacked someone he didn't *need* to. It's clear to me that it is moral to defend someone, even by initiating force against the attacker, what I am trying to get is an Objectivist explanation as to 'how' and 'why'. Of course, if you harm someone without reason, then you cannot possibly have the pretention others shouldn't harm you, I get what you're saying. But what entitles the third party to intervene without facing legal consequences for NAP violation?
  17. Acting to stop a crime

    What I mean is that an act can only be considered a crime if there's a victim. Smoking marijuana is not a moral crime, according to Objectivism, so under a proper Government it shouldn't be considered one. Well the way I thought about it is : If I attack a person then only that person has the right to self-defense (in this context, to fight back). If a third party, for example another civilian, intervenes in something which doesn't concern him and initiates force against me, I could take legal action against him for having attacked me, despite the fact that he did it to save the other person. Of course, I agree that it's the 'right' thing to do, as in I would do it without feeling guilty about it, but how does Objectivism justify harming a person to save another? When you commit a crime, do your rights become invalid for the duration of the act? I'm really curious about the exact explanation.
  18. Acting to stop a crime

    Way I heard it, Objectivism subscribes to the "No victim, no crime" principle. So if there's a victim then there's a crime and people can step in to help the victim, even if they're not authorities, do I understand this correctly?
  19. So I was wondering about the actual stance of Objectivism on IP rights. I have to say from the start, I looked it up just a little bit, and I found out some interesting ideas, like the difference between rights over an invention and rights over a discovery. I also know that all property is, in a way, intellectual property. One aspect remains unclear to me. There's no doubt that if you make a discovery or invent something, you can give it a physical form and claim ownership over that physical object which embodies it. A story can be written in a book, a film can be put on a DVD, a video game can come in the form of a CD in a carcass and so on. My question is whether ideas alone should be protected by the law in the way that others cannot use your own ideas, if you've made them public first (even tho they do not exist in a physical form), without your consent. This question came to my mind when I heard about how fidget spinners were invented. A friend told me a mother of a mentally challenged kid invented that toy sometime in the '70's to keep the child entertained. She decided to make more such toys and sell them, as well as to claim IP rights over the fidget spinner concept. Nobody kept buying those toys so she gave up the IP rights. Now nobody owns the fidget spinner concept (legally) so anybody can produce and sell them without having to pay that woman. However, the story is not as relevant as the principle itself. Again, should it be legal that people should be able to use someone else's invention ideas for their own benefit without the inventor's permission? While Libertarians and Anarchists give clear justifications for their views, I haven't found a clear position adopted by Objectivists. And I don't wish to sound like an eclectic, but thus far I have to agree with what Anarcho-Capitalists are saying about IP rights: "Once you make an idea public, you can't take it back. It will exist in the minds of those who were exposed to it. To control a part of a person's mind means to control that person. Furthermore, resources are limited, at least at a given moment, so property rights in general are necessary because nobody can always have enough of anything. There's two of us and only one apple, and since I bought it that makes it mine and you'll just have to do without it. But with non-physical forms of IP that's not the case. A digital copy of a film that's uploaded on a piracy website comes in an infinite amount of supplies. Basically everyone with a computer can download that film and the 'stock' will never be exhausted. Therefore, legal rigths over IP that's not been given a physical form should not exist. Plus, for a government, or anybody, to arbitrarily decide how long will an inventor have IP rights over his invention(s), without any objective pattern of deducing the most appropriate period of time is morally and logically invalid to begin with." Also this next part is sth I thought of myself (given the example of the film and the piracy website) : Since the people involved in the production of that film are limited in number (duh) and the film comes in a potentially infinite amount of digital (free) copies, those people cannot possibly contain nor claim ownership over those numerically infinite copies, simply because men are not omnipotent. The same principle, however, does not apply for physical copies of that film, or for physical products in general, because they're also limited in number. It maybe sounds silly, but they're just my thoughts tho. P.S. : I am not doubting that piracy or IP 'stealing' in general is immoral, I am familiar with the concepts of 'unearned matter' and 'unearned greatness' and Rand's thoughts on the morality of the issue, I just want to know whether or not you think it should be legal/illegal and why.
  20. Quick question about Intellectual Property

    That is the issue I am curious about. Should it be considered moral, and should it be made legal, to dictate others on how to use, after all, their freedom of speech? If implementations of ideas can be controlled, then if we go down the slippery slope like that, what makes A.C.T.A. not okay? It's definteley sth that greatly limits the freedoms of others. However, if we go to the other extreme, and have no Patents and Copyrights at all, then of course, we'd have plenty of "unachieved greatness" cases, as Ayn Rand puts it. So what's the objective pattern to determine which is the correct middle way here? Is there even one? Well I don't know exactly how it's a strawman argument here. Let's take New Buddha's example with the Star Wars franchise for instance. Sure, people can 'help themselves' and not reproduce or make new SW materials if they want, but should they be forced to? Keep in mind what the quote says next : "To control a part of a person's mind means to control that person". If you care enough to make sth public, you can't expect others to automatically limit their freedom of speech from that moment on. To make it sound better: Your freedom of IP implementation should not come at the expense of someone else's freedom of expression/speech. I've seen a documentary about Objectivism on History channel some time ago, and there was a quote there, something like "The purpose of the rational man is to conquer nature, the purpose of the parasite is to conquer Man". How that is related to this topic is that, at least they way I see it, when someone claims IP rights over something, he doesn't do it because it would benefit him that only he should exploit his ideas, but because it would prevent others from achievements obtained from exploiting that idea. Again, that's just another way of saying that the purpose of claiming IP rights is merely to limit others.
  21. Hello. Before proceeding to the matter itself, I would like to specify that I am new to Objectivism and that the ideas and arguments I am about to bring forward come from the research I've done thus far and from how I've personally come to look at the issue of Government intervention regarding animal abuse from an Objectivist standpoint. Also I've just made an account on this website and I have no previous experience with it, so I apologise if this topic should've fallen under a different category other than the one I have selected. Alright, I shall get right into it. I would say that authorities should take action against people who display cruelty towards animals. By cruelty I mean unjistified torture, abuse, and arguably neglect. On short, generating pain just for the sake of it. Here's how I've come to believe this : It's already been concluded that animals have no rights, that one's pet is one's property and that animal abuse, while not directly violating anyone's rights, is immoral (since empathy towards sentient creatures is natural for psyhically healthy human beings, cruelty is irrational and disgust towards cruelty is rightly justified). I won't go into detail regarding these aspects, there are already materials out there addressing them. Undeniably, there's a strong gut feeling that makes us want to be able to punish animal abusers, but how can we justify it? In order to understand why animal cruelty could be objectively considered punishable, I went ahead and looked for the Objectivist stance on punishment. To make it quick about it, when someone violates your rights he becomes indebted towards you, if he refuses to pay that debt Government's intervention and often use of physical force are objectively justified and the purpose of the punishment that person is given is to clear that debt. Sounds fair. But then, what about murder? If I murder you, even though I violated your right, I cannot be considered indebted towards you, since you no longer exist (you're dead). So, while serving my legal punishment for murder, to whom am I paying the debt? Objectivism also addresses this issue, from what I've read, and the quick is answer is "to your fellow citizens". When you live in a society, you are on a sort of a social contract with everyone else, which, among other things, states that you shouldn't murder or commit any sin against someone that may prevent him from taking legal action against you, since if we were to be consistent with this idea, then that would mean you could commit the same sin towards anybody and that no one should be legally able to stop you. On short, people are objectively entitled to believe you are a physical threat to them,because you don't just resort to peacefully living by means of production and trade and therefore you are to be isolated from the rest of the society if you're a psychopath or suffer from a mental derangement, or to be legally sanctioned if you are irrationally evil. That brings us finally to the issue of animal abuse. If someone unjustifiably kills or tortures sentient animals (dogs, cats, hens etc.), it could objectively be considered a sign of either mental derangement or evilness. In the first case, that person belongs in a mental institution, since if rights come from the existence of reason and that person's reason is altered, then he doesn't have certain rights that a sane person would have. He is a real threat to the other human beings. What if the animal torturer is just irrationaly sadistic though? Can we objectively declare that by generating unjustified suffering in an animal without rights he becomes indebted to humans? I say yes, and here's why : When you torture (for example) a dog, provided you're doing it out of sadism and not a mental illness, you don't : Act like a human towards an animal, Act like an animal towards an animal, or Act like a human towards a human. You act like a being that can generate pain and wants to generate pain towards a being that cannot generate pain (if you torture the dog, it is defenseless) and can feel pain. That is objectively how sadism works. Therefore, since sentient beings can feel pain, by generating pain out of sadism you become indebted to the sentient beings that have rights : humans. People can objectively conclude that if you are capable of torturing a dog just because you like it, that you could the same to a human. In conclusion, Government can initiate physical force and punish animal torturers, but not to make justice to the tortured animal (that would be absurd, since animals don't have rights), but to the people, who share with that animal the ability to feel pain. Sorry for any philosophical flaws this article might display, because again, I am fairly new to the philosophy of Objectivism.
  22. And like I said, if a man is druk or under drug influence in public spaces, even though it doesn't automatically mean they are a threat to others, it highly suggests so. You can't wait for a crime to take place, you can also prevent it when it's justified to believe it will happen. Leonard Peikoff suggested we should be free to live without potentially harmful people among us, an admin here said the same thing (posted the link in an earler comment), I don't see how it contradicts Objectivist principles. Humans have a right to not live in fear, when that fear is objectively justified. Maybe potential threats shouldn't be locked up, I merely suggested separating dangerous individuals from the rest of the people. If necessary, by use of force. It's not their fault they are deranged but we shouldn't have to pay the price of living around them. A good suggestion I've read somewhere would be to ask (not force, ask) animal traders to make a contract with those who buy them, making it an obligation that the owners should give their pets decent lives. I think that would also solve a big part of this issue.
  23. Let's take another very famous example : The Dnepopetrovsk Maniacs. They tortured and killed countless dogs before moving on to human torture and murder. If you are familiar with the "Three guys one hammer" viral human torture video you'll know what I am talking about. Do some research on those guys and you'll find pictures of them standing near mutilated dog corpses, just days before moving on to a human target. And it is the perfect example of how psychopaths move on from animals to people. I have to say I am not talking about children here. Kids do stupid stuff, they torture weaker animals as a subconscious desire to show their dominance so it doesn't really mean they'll be a danger when they grow up. I talk about adult psychos. Just because not all drunks or junkies killed people that doesn't mean sane civilians shouldn't be protected against them (that was already debated on this site and people agreed potential threats can be removed from the other individuals). So why not take away unstable people who can be proven by psychology to be a potential threat to others? 71% of men who kill or beat animals have also beaten their wives, not sure whether in the U.S. or in the whole world. The source is here : http://www.mediapeta.com/peta/PDF/AnimalAbuseHumanAbuse.pdf While reading it, please only focus on the statement regarding the study that's been done, as well as on the examples of real cases. Those are the parts of the article that cannot be denied and I understand why you require that I should bring proof before starting to label people, so there it is.
  24. Proud Father, that is why I said that Psychology should have a say in this. "If someone is dangerously psychotic where they're having hallucinations and can act dangerously toward others, the law allows them to be held -- and, if the kinks could be removed from the system, it is fine in principle to do so. " Like I said in the original post, that is one case and I didn't question it that it's imperative we should take action against them. I was trying to say that we should also be able to make a case against people who aren't uncontrollable, but purely evil. To make it simple, sane psychopaths. If you can use Psychology to prove that : a. They are sadists and want to make sentient beings suffer for fun, and b. They are clearly acting on their sadism, seeing how they've already tortured animals ...then you can isolate them from the other people. " Imagine you have a neighbor who starves his pet, or kicks it, or abandons it is some area it will probably die... etc. do you actually live in fear this person will assault you?" I should make it clear that I don't think people should be punished just for this. Yes it is immoral due to a lack of empathy, but it shouldn't be illegal. I was talking about the cases where the man purposely inflicts pain and does horrible things to the animal (not just neglect) for his own amusement. Again, if a psychiatrist can conclude they're a danger, it's only good that we should lock them up. I don't really think we should punish someone just because he had a rough day at work and kicked a stray dog for barking at him, out of rage. Or that someone neglects his pet and lets it starve so that he could spend his money on other things he wants. I am talking about psychopathic sadists.
  25. I can see that in two instances here the reason that contributes to your disagreement with my idea is the semantics. By 'debt' I mean what Ayn Rand meant in her approach to punishment. Again, the matter has already been adressed and there are enough materials on the internet regarding the Objectivist stance on punishment. If I violate your rights then I create a 'debt' towards you without your consent. It is therefore objectively justified by the Government to collect that debt from me without my consent. In the case of murder (the victim no longer exists so there's no debt to pay to him), the murderer shall be punishmed because he should be forced to face the negative consequences of his actions. I know this is a crudely simplified way of explaining, but again, this matter is set in stone and there's no need to further debate it. Second, I know that society is not a being with rights, when I mean society I mean "all of the individuals who live under the same Government". I found the following discussion on this forum : There, an Admin says the following : "An indication of a general direction would be: it is in the self interest of rational individuals to remove from their midst those discovered to be irrational in order to maintain a rational culture, where irrationality is evaluated along the axis of respecting individual rights. " If torture of an animal is without any other purpose than the infliction of pain, since human beings are also able to feel that kind of pain, it is common sense to believe the torturer is a danger to all sentient beings, including humans. Since arbitrarily deciding what is common sense and what isn't can easily lead to invalid conclusions, it is imperative to bring Psychology into the equation. And I think it's safe to say that Psychology would conclude that psychopaths are a danger to humans as well as animals, so legal action against them is justified and highly recommended.