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marotta

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  1. If you are smart, you will make explict in a contract what you believe about marriage rather than relying on an implied cultural understanding. Our culture changes, and you don't want to be bound by your initial misunderstandings. I'd like to see some married people spell out what the marriage committment/contract they are in looks like.
  2. Wow, lots of misogyny in there. Imagine a Mother abandoning her child! That's disgusting. I guess you've never associated with dead beat Dads. The hypocrisy is so thick you can cut it with a knife. There are many of reasons to abandon a child. Perhaps the child is Downs or handicapped or retarded or perhaps the child is just driving the mother crazy. There are often two innocent lives in a pregnancy, and the mother is certainly free to abandon the child if it is not in her self-interest, and if the birth did not result from her actions. I would argue that the father is not able to plead innocence. If your a guy, you can't readily conceive by accident, therefore you can't be innocent. estoppel is a rule of law that when person A, by act or words, gives person B reason to believe a certain set of facts upon which person B takes action, person A cannot later, to his (or her) benefit, deny those facts or say that his (or her) earlier act was improper. A 1891 English court decision summarized estoppel as "a rule of evidence which precludes a person from denying the truth of some statement previously made by himself". If the mother has, neither by act or word chosen the pregnancy and birth, then she has no responsibility to the child's welfare.
  3. I prefer the religions that are just plain honest and say, "Our religion is based on lies and irrationality." Only Objectivists can be true and rational because we know that God does not exist. If you believe that God exists, you contradict the basic tenants of Objectivism, and therefore believe A and non-A at the same time. From contradictory premise anything false can be proved.
  4. I'm confused again. Confused and finding the majority of these posts rediculous, hypocritical, and completely ungenuine. It isn't possible to be religious and an Objectivist. It simply isn't possible. Only those who answered Atheist could potentially be an Objectivist, currently less than 1 out of 4. Objectivism is the philosophy of Ayn Rand, who defined it as inherantely against the supernatural, including the belief that God exists. Therefore if you are not an Atheist, you cannot be an Objectivist, pure and simple. Second, if you did believe in God, then you would have to conceed that the existence of God could place a requirement upon man to live for something other than himself, i.e. God. Certainly God's rational self-interest would be more important than our own rational self-interest since he would be the creator of the entire universe. His purposes might include caring about other servants of His and altruism would raise its ugly head. That concession would change and destroy so much of the assumptions of the Objectivist worldview as to cease to be Objectivist. So for the bulk of you who claimed to be Objectivist and something other than Atheist, conceed that you are mistaken and can't be both.
  5. Many women in the world have no choice of abortion. Not being able to get an abortion should not obligate a women to 18 years of child support. Why does an unwanted, perhaps unavoidable pregnancy obligate the mother to subjegate her wishes and dreams to a task that she judges is not in her self-interest. Children should be had *only* because they are deemed to be in the self interest of the parents. Barring a prior agreement between the parents, neither parent should be required to stay and raise the child. That's why marriage vows were created, to provide a real contractual relationship between a man and women who wished to have a family. Without a marriage relationship, neither party should be under any obligation to raise the children, and they should be able to be abandoned any time spending time and energy on them is deemed not to be in someone's self-interest. The judgement about what good they may or may not bring into society as a whole is complete nonsense. We don't seek to bring good into the world except the good that stems from seeking our own self interest and our own values. The good that other's might receive from a child of mine is completely irrelevant to what is in my self interest in potentially raising the child. If there are people who are interested in children not being abandoned by parents; and they value saving and raising abandoned children enough, the private markets will make it in the parent's self interest to not abandon their children, but rather give them into the care of such organizations. If value is not lost by letting Hitler or an Islamafundamentalist drown, it isn't lost when a child who isn't wanted or doesn't fit with my values is abandonded and no longer supported. Nothing is really lost if there are those who would value raising the child, and nothing is lost if there wasn't anyone who would value raising the child.
  6. But Rationality *is* a continuum. Monkeys are more rational than lower life forms. Rationality is not a boolean state any more than locomotion is. Some life forms have locomotion, others don't. But among those that have it, some have more locomotion than others. Some have sensory abilities that others don't, and some species' sensory abilities are much more finely tuned. That's what I don't understand. From everything that we can learn about the way in which other species think, we see reasoning, communication, toolmaking, and conceptualization. There is clearly evidence that dolphins do lots of things for purposes much more complex than treats and whatnot. What I don't understand it what evidence we are waiting for that you would say, "Ah, now I see that I was wrong and there is another rational species." I understand the phrase "conceptual faculty." But what would evidence of that really look like? What would you *see* and say, "Yes, that qualifies." Is there a conceptual problem that they could solve or communication that they could engage in and you would recognize their reason for what it is.
  7. I'm still confused. If the following is true: "Having a child -- creating a child -- is like having a business contract, in spades! That is a contract that you cannot break. You bring a child into this world, it is your responsibility to do all that is objectively required of you in support and furtherance of preparing that child for him to live properly for the rest of his life." 1. Who is the mother entering into a business contract with? The child is not an individual when the mother's actions, inactions or mistakes cause the child to be born. 2. If the mother simply walks away from this responsibility that society has forced upon her against her will and claims she and she alone is responsible for, what would be done to her? You can't force a mother to raise a child. How is the contract enforcable? 3. Who determines if the mother's end of the contract is being fulfilled? Who (except the mother herself) could determine what she should do or how she should raise her children? And if she alone if the judge of her actions, then in what sense could you call it a contract? Other than having a child, are there other implied contracts that you can enter into even though you signed and agreed to nothing simply by certain actions?
  8. If the following quote was true: "Having a child -- creating a child -- is like having a business contract, in spades! That is a contract that you cannot break. You bring a child into this world, it is your responsibility to do all that is objectively required of you in support and furtherance of preparing that child for him to live properly for the rest of his life." Then rape completely absolves the mother of any responsibility for raising the child. The mother cannot be forced to enter into a contract, and therefore cannot be forced to be responsible for a child whose conception she did not choose. How could you say that being raped would be equivalent to willinging entering into a contract?
  9. Let me see if I understand correctly: Having a child is a legal and moral contract that requires you to subordinate your rational self-interest to the "other"-interest of the child until they are of legal age? Is the contract really that extensive or is there a smaller obligation than living in "their"-interest? You could not pay someone to do the job as I stated it orginally, because it would never be in someone's self-interest to subordinate their self-interest for the sake of money, so I don't see how the obligation could be transfered. Perhaps you could contract for food, water, shelter, and a simple education. Is that all the contract is for? To whom is this contract binding? On the mother alone? On the father as well? What if the mother got pregnant despite her best efforts and there are no means to ending the pregnancy? Is she still obligated simply because she gave birth? What if she was raped? (I am assuming getting the child out by giving birth rather than abortion was her choice to remove the fetus because of the risks of abortion). Is the father under the same obligation as the mother or is his responsibility less? What if he was willing to pay for an abortion but not willing to pay for 18 years of being raised ($$$)? Is this a one-way contract, or do children have any responsibilities that they must fulfill to their parents? In many cultures children are expected to repay their parents by providing for them in their old-age - children are a form of retirement, a store of value investment. Objectivism rejects this, but why isn't this an obligation that children *must* repay. Why isn't this part of the contract?
  10. The purpose for asking the question is that there seems to be credible evidence of dolphin language and cognition, though the number and variety of dolphin dialects may be as numerous as human dialects and therefore dolphin language will not transfer directly from one pod to another. This is actually further evidence that the language is cognitive semantics (i.e. reasoning) and not simply innate instinct. Dolphin language, in fact, may be more purely Objectivist than human language. (See for example http://www.winwenger.com/dolphin.htm for a layman's description) http://pinnipedlab.ucsc.edu/manuscripts/20...l%20chapter.pdf Problem Solving and Memory in Marine Mammals http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~emiii/samediff.pdf Two bottlenosed dolphins taught to classify pairs of three-dimensional objects as either same or different were tested with novel stimulus sets to determine how well their classification abilities would generalize. These data suggest that dolphins can use knowledge about similarity-based classification strategies gained from previous training to perform successfully in a variety of novel same–different classification tasks. Visual classificatory abilities of dolphins appear to be comparable to those that have been demonstrated in primates. That is why I asked the question about what evidence we would need to see in another species to recognize that they had rights and force should not be used against them. So far, on the Objectivist forum, I have the following description of who has rights: Independent (i.e. born, not a fetus) humans . This is hardly a unique set to apply rights to, and provides no laws against purposefully torturing higher mammals. While I am by no means an animal rights activist, I am convinced that certain higher mammals have cognitive abilities that approach (or in the case of dolphins rival) humans. Dolphins, because of the environment in which they live, could not create enduring structures or create tools. Other land based higher mammals can create tools, but do not have the same higher reasoning capabilities as humans and dolphins. Several higher mammals share language capability. Given the continuum, I would think that the more rational the creature, the more respect (yea even certain rights to pursue its own interests according to its nature) it is granted. I would suggest that dolphins may have capabilities to reason equal to that of man. Is this position convincing? If not, what is the flaw in the reasoning? I suspect that most people are unfamiliar with the evidence of dolphin reasoning and therefore unconvinced. Which causes me to repeat my original question: What evidence of reasoning would be convincing? Bear in mind that reasoning in dolphins is probably easier for them to recognize that reasoning in humans is for them to recognize, and reasoning in humans is probably easier for us to recognize because we are wired similarly.
  11. Thanks for the answers and the dialog. I'd like to post my summary of the thread in my own words to see if I have understood it correctly. According to Objectivism: There is no moral "ought" for me to help another person, period. If I desire to help someone then I am free to do so. I am also free not to help someone if I desire not to help them. The rational basis by which I would choose to help or not to help would be that I would choose to help if the value to me of helping the person is greater than the cost or risk to me of helping them. Even if the person is a total stranger, another person's life often has some value to us that is greater than the small cost of time or effort required to rescue someone in peril. If the cost or risk to us is anything that is non-trivial, and the person is a total stranger then we should think twice about jeopardizing our own self-interests. If the person is beloved and of great value to us we may be risk our very lives. If the person is disliked, evil, or even just a rival in business allowing them to perish could be in our rational self-interest. But the only principle to determine when to help and when not to help is our rational self-interest Did I understand it correctly!? Thanks!
  12. >the predominant Objectivist view is that one ought to have children if one enjoys it (i.e. finds it a positive, life-affirming activity, received pleasure by bringing up children) Once we have children, and what is best for them conflicts with what is enjoyable, positive, life-affirming and pleasurable for us, how are we to act? For those who decide to have children, when the two conflict, are they obligated to live for the children's rational self interest or for their own rational self interest? Is there a moral duty to subordinate our own interests for 18 years to the needs of our children? What do you do when your child rejects your objectivist views and believes that altruism by their parents is their God-given right?
  13. I am an end in myself Therefore the goal of my life is extending my life and the values that arise from it. This is why the passion-less man is worthless, because he values nothings, and therefore has no goal. To the passion-less man, being an end in himself offers him no goal because he has no goal to start with. Since objectivism offers no purpose higher and more significant than your own self-interest, it cannot direct a life, only focus whatever direction already exists and remove the distractions of seeking fulfillment in things outside of your own egoism. Whatever you do find that you are passionate about can serve as the purpose of your life so long as it is consistent with objective reality.
  14. I know that we are free to help others if we desire because of our values. Is there ever a case where we *should* (moral ought, not legal must) help another person regardless of the benefit to ourselves. As an example, if a situation presents itself such that we (and we alone) can make a huge impact on someone's life someone through a small cost or inconvience to ourselves. Is there a moral *ought* that says we should help them or just a premissive may if we want to. Thanks!
  15. >Rationality, in the cognitive sense of developing a conceptual faculty, is begun around the age of three, >and by seven years of age the child has formed his basic method of utilizing his mind. >But it is a rational being at birth, since it already has the conceptual faculty then. ?No other species has a conceptual faculty, so no other species is considered rational. >Other than for man, no credible evidence of reasoning in animals has ever been presented. Some followup questions for clarification: Do people who are severly mentally retarded to the point of needing others to care for them have human rights? Do children have rights at birth because they are now independent (not part of another being)? Is being independent a requirement of having rights? What evidence would be considered credible that another species can reason? Thanks again!
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