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Fred Kinnen

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Everything posted by Fred Kinnen

  1. Well I think some people would say she was way too angry and mad at the world. Really it depends on how you look at it. I don't take Atlas as a literal prediction but more like a warning. The book itself is to reality what Galt's speech was to the world ( in the book ). Basically it just puts everyone on notice that you can't keep punishing the producers and get away with it. I do think it will take a long time for everyone to catch on and many people will have to learn the hard way but the good thing is now that Rand figured out the basic pattern anyone that really wants to know whats going on can find out.
  2. The thread is a bit confusing for me but I'll try to respond intelligibly. Thomas I think we're in agreement, as far as I can tell you just put my post into other terms and pointed out the really important points ( which was helpful). Ifat, well sometimes I do form "contracts" with myself. It does sound a bit silly when you write it out that way though I don't really talk to myself too much I do get upset with myself at times for not doing something I said I would. I suppose there are other concepts than deserve I could use to describe it. But it still comes out as well I worked hard so I should get something. I just replaced "should get" with deserve. I agree that this does presuppose the existence of other people with stuff to sell. But I would think I would have to make my own determination from my point of view and they would have to make theirs from their point of view and then on that basis we would trade. Though we might have to haggle a bit first. Tara Smith has a section on deserts under the virtue of justice in her book Ayn Rands Normative Ethics. She seems to agree with you saying " Desert can only be intelligibly asserted by specifying what one particular individual deserves from another particular individual. Desert is, in this sense, one on one." (p 146). I found that kind of surprising though here she's clearly dealing with desert as a very abstract moral concept. I could of sworn I read in Atlas that Dagny said at some point " she hoped she could deserve it" referring to getting her first paycheck and how she felt about it. I couldn't find the quote so I may be remembering it wrong, though I took it to mean that she had her own standards and she was hoping she would meet them. I took a look at the trader principle in the ARL and I'm pretty sure I get the gist of it but now I'm not sure about the specific concept deserve. Consider "A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved" (p 504) I took this to mean that a trader has personal standards about what he deserves. Though these standards do tie into his beliefs about other men, namely he expects to find other rational men with which to trade. I didn't think there was a tie to any one specific man.
  3. I've been reading the thread and trying to get a handle on the whole open/closed/Kelley debate. Based on Davids comments I'm assuming that so long as someone is alive their philosophy is still open. Is this correct ? If so how does this square with Objectivists like say Tara Smith. Does she have her own philosophy which is still open ( because she's alive) and yet still maintain a closed philosophy ( Objectivism ) within the larger context of her personal philosophy? That's the only way I could make sense of it.
  4. I think the question here is what constitutes a threat. If someone is threatening me with force then my rights are being violated ( assuming I haven't initiated the use of force myself) In the case of gun ownership I wouldn't consider myself threatened unless someone did so explicitly ( i.e. by pointing it at me or just verbally). Though if a person had an extremely malevolent view of the universe they might believe their neighbor simply owning a gun was a threat to them. So you have to distinguish between when a man is being reasonable by considering something a threat and when he's just being paranoid. I agree with the poster who said you have to consider the context. If a big corporation, the kind that could actually afford it, decided that they wanted to do some research into nuclear mining ( obviously such experiments would be necessary before any mining could be done ) I wouldn't think I was being threatened. Though I would want the issue looked into. So long as the corporation isn't composed of felons or neo Nazis or something of the like, I would see no reason to feel threatened. If nuclear mining simply isn't workable then perhaps some other non military use for nukes will be in the future. Either way I wouldn't support a law that just outright prohibited private ownership of nukes. Because you just don't know what the future holds and what might become perfectly reasonable down the road.
  5. I would think that theres a way in which deserve can involve only one person. Namely when I decide that because I've worked hard all week I deserve a good steak. Or if I decide that I deserve medical care than I mean I value my life enough to work to get it. I see it mainly as a self esteem thing. If a person says they deserve medical care to be earned and paid for by others I take that to mean that they don't think their life is valuable enough ( to them ) for them to work for it or maybe they don't have enough confidence in themselves to believe that they'll be able to earn it. Forcing it from others is a way for them to avoid the knowledge that they didn't think they deserved it or could deserve it.
  6. The argument that God is the first cause who himself is uncaused seems the most reasonable to me. Though I would be more interested in where one goes from there than in refuting the argument. This view of God doesn't seem to lead to any of the traditional views about God ( i.e. Christianity). In fact it seems like more of the philosophers God than the theologians.
  7. I think thats a reference to long range principles. Reality is too complex to deal with in a tit for tat fashion. So you need some principles to guide you and keep you from having to consider all the particulars in a given situation or all the possible outcomes. Choosing the right principles means that you can be sure in the long run you get the best possible outcome. So the ideas matter in that sense.
  8. Well is not that we know there morally wrong and pay them anyway. There morally wrong because we're forced to pay them.
  9. I would think that pragmatism would consist of just accepting taxes and then trying to get the government to spend more on your particular projects. Or just trying to control the gun. As appose to trying to get people to put the gun down while not getting yourself locked up.
  10. Well I don't keep track of the most wanted list. So if someone on that list were drowning and I didn't think saving them would be a substantial risk to me, then I would save them. In this case I wouldn't hold them to be evil at all ( because I wouldn't recognize them).
  11. I'd save her, I don't think saving her would be a substantial risk to me (I'm a good swimmer). I wouldn't necessarily save someone I knew to be a murderer. In order to just let someone die I would have to know they were evil with the same sense of concreteness that I hold the belief that water is wet. Or there would have to be substantial risk to my person.
  12. Well I wouldn't see an accident as an act of creation so much as destruction. As I said before I think the people who make cars are responsible for the cars they make. Why wouldn't they be? Once you sell a car well its someone else's responsibility but a sale and an act of creation are not the same thing. If an accident occurs at a car manufacturing plant, or on the way to the dealership the people who made the car and transported it would be responsible. Their also responsible for the cars sitting on the lot (or the dealer is). I would think this kind of responsibility is part of the law and the contracts under which car manufacturers operate. Once a car is sold well its the buyers responsibility baring any contracts otherwise thats a responsibility he agrees to take after buying the car. Suppose two people get together and build a car, whose responsible for it ? Suppose two people build a fire, whose responsible for it ? Or say a bunch of people get together and open a brewery, who would be responsible ? So if two people make a baby why are both not responsible? Is it just because a women gets to make the last choice in the creation of new life ? Is the last guy to stoke the flames, the one who finally gets it going, the only one responsible for the fire? Is the guy who finishes up the car completely responsible for it. Is the guy who gives the brewery the trial run the only one responsible for it ? In most cases of building or creation someone will make a final choice, an individual. I don't see how this equates to that person being the only one responsible. So in these cases you would probably respond that the guy didn't know he was setting out to make a baby. As you (and others ) keep pointing out sex doesn't necessarily lead to child birth. I agree with that. But if a man chooses to have sex with a women without knowing what her views are then he risks helping her create a child. He might be helping her to make a baby. He might be showing her a good time. He might be helping her escape. He might not care about her at all or her end of it. The guy isn't sure what he's doing. Here I'm assuming an irrational man who has no idea whether a women wants a child or not. But that he's dissociated himself from reality doesn't alleviate him of his responsibilities. Why would it ? If a man is behaving irrationally he might get into all kind of trouble. Can he say because he didn't agree to it that he's not responsible? I think there are two points on which we disagree, one is the final choice issue. The other seems to be the issue of a man risking becoming a father, I'm not sure where you stand on that. Do you suppose that a man sleeping around is not risking becoming a father ? Or simply that if he does its not his concern? Sorry if the post is a bit wordy just trying to find the principle on which we disagree.
  13. I'm not saying having a baby is the necessary consequence I'm saying its a possible natural consequence. You seem to have went from my statement of "possible natural consequence" to yours as "the natural consequence". Then you said I had a disconnect. Jake responded that only if a man sleeps with a women who won't have a safe medical procedure that is 100% certain to end the pregnancy then he is risking becoming a father. And I agree with that. Child birth is certainly not necessary, and the risk can easily be avoided through responsible behavior. The man could choose to get to know the women a bit first, discover her views on the issue and then make a determination. The fact that the determination is hers to make once conception occurs is just a fact of nature. The fact that it takes a man and a woman to make a baby is yet another fact of nature. Because two people created the child they are both responsible. Jake, I don't see that making a baby is an independent decision in the case we are discussing. In this case the man and the woman were assumed to have consensual sex.
  14. I think the point of contention is whether a man must agree to the laws of nature or biology. What would such an agreement consist of ? If a man doesn't sign a contract agreeing to the laws of nature should we assume he isn't responsible for certain biological consequences? As having a child is a possible natural consequence then the man need not enter into any agreement to be responsible for such a consequence. A man could enter into an agreement alleviating him of the responsibilities ( i.e. transferring them all to the woman or to a third party). Otherwise he would be responsible. The fact that a women gets to chose what happens inside her body is yet another fact of nature to which man must conform. The fact that she gets the final say doesn't alleviate him of his part in the matter nor his responsibility.
  15. QUOTE (Fred Kinnen @ Mar 22 2009, 05:43 AM) * When a man decides to have sex he is risking becoming a father. Jake_Ellison wrote, Well this part we agree on. I take a moment here to add that if a man chooses to sleep with women he doesn't know very well then he risks sleeping with such a women and as you say the conclusion follows that he has risked becoming a father. Having chosen to take such a risk or having chosen not to choose, the man is then responsible for the results. In this case a newborn baby.
  16. When a man decides to have sex he is risking becoming a father, this is part of the nature of the men which we are currently discussing (or else the point would not come up at all). Man can act to avoid this by using birth control but even then there is still a risk. Man can also act to avoid this by talking to the woman first. The fathers responsibility is to the child which he helped create. Do you maintain that an infant must enter into an agreement with his parents for them to take care of it ? That would seem odd to me and I'm not sure what kind of agreement an infant would be capable of entering into. Still I would maintain that the parents have a responsibility to take care of what they made. The fathers responsibility to the child is based on the fact that he helped create it, unless he has some other agreement with the women involved or say a couple wanting to adopt.
  17. That which is given by nature is the standard by which legality and rights are established. Here the point is that babies result from the actions of men and women so they are both responsible. The fact that a women makes some specific choices that a man cannot is a fact of nature which man should recognize before going in. If he chooses not to well women still get to make those choices and the fact that he didn't get to dictate the whole process does not alleviate him of responsibility for the choices he did make ( or chose not to make). I've never donated sperm or known anyone who has, but I would think there is some kind of agreement going in that would alleviate a man of obligations he would otherwise have. In those cases I would hope that a man would get something in writing saying that the woman ( or sperm bank ) agrees to take full responsibility.
  18. A man is responsible for what he creates though the specific nature of that responsibility depends on what he has created. In cases where two or more people are involved there are mutual responsibilities. In the case of building trucks or making liquor the responsibilities are handled by the individuals involved. In the case of sales the purchaser agrees to take responsibility for the items which he has bought. The seller is then responsible for the use of the money. There is an exchange of obligations. The situation might be clearer in cases of bartering. In the case of a man and a women making a baby well they could both decide to sell the infant (though that might not be moral). They could just give it up for adoption. Either case would alleviate them of responsibility. If this isn't the case well then they maintain responsibility for that which they have created. In this case a human life.
  19. Thats the reason I used the word can ( against does). If it in fact does then I can point to the infant and correctly say that both the man and the women contributed to creating this new life, and thus both are responsible.
  20. I'm not assuming an automatic agreement. I think the fact that sex may result in parenthood is a fact of nature. What would it mean for a man to agree to the fact that sex may lead to childbirth? The only thing I could think is that he recognizes the metaphysically given. He may deal with this fact of nature by talking to the women in advance and alleviating himself of future responsibility. If he doesn't well then sex can still lead to childbirth and because he helped to make the child he's responsible for taking care of it.
  21. I don't see why man needs to have a contract to be responsible for his actions. If he were to be let out of that responsibility maybe a contract would be necessary otherwise he's responsible. Given that a man has chosen to have sex with a woman the fact that a woman might have a child and that if she does he has contributed to that child's existence should be considered part of the metaphysically given to which man must adjust. Nature is not egalitarian in regard to the matter. Both a man and a woman have to act for conception to occur but only a women gets to chose the abortion/birth question, because its her body. This gives women more control over the issue, along with the responsibility of birth or an abortion procedure. A rational man will recognize this and adjust accordingly, however even if he doesn't he's still responsible. If men don't like that they can get some agreement in advance basically putting themselves on more even ground. Baring such an agreement a man has put his fate in her hands with regard to the matter. If a man behaves irrationally and gets a stranger pregnant he can't very well complain that his fate is now in the hands of a stranger.
  22. I'd say because two people created the child they both have an obligation to take care of it. If they don't want it they could put it up for adoption. Individuals are responsible for their actions including that which they create, or assist in creating.
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