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whYNOT

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  1. When it's only "non-initiation of force" that prevents one from stopping, say, a pedestrian walking in front of a car - or someone leaping off a bridge - then I have a strong objection to this injunction. This is where applying IOF becomes out-of-context, and as I said, "a stretch". I have heard the arguments from a libertarian, and he finally came around to agreeing that the fundamental behind NIOF is: the principle of freedom of action. For the pedestrian, the simpler scenario is that he's unaware of danger--so you aren't diverting him from his chosen actions. But it's crazy to envisage oneself as going through a mental conflict first about having to use "force" to stop a man, woman or child from unintended harm - just because it would require your force/restraint. That's when some libertarians look quite irrationally dogmatic, by taking a derivative principle concerning force-to-others as their rigid guide to action, i.e., as a morality. What not to do, rather than "what to do" will tend to stifling and limiting one's free action which will be against moral self-interest . I'd not ever wish to have to make the decision to not interfere with an adult (as distinct from a minor, who should be prevented) and his choice to take his life. Who can tell, it may yet happen, with anyone , a stranger or a very sick friend. However, I think the abiding principle is - only - that person's freedom of action, free mind and choice, and you, the onlooker's recognition/respect for his freedom. That would decide me to hold off. Not the fear of initiating force.
  2. You're going to get us lost in minor examples and counterexamples when you come at it this way. For this reason it's necessary to first think in principles: why men in society need rights in the first place. Societies are complex, but the individual is indivisible, and we know there are a multitude of - potentially -competing ideas and beliefs, moralities and ambitions and types of behavior among several million citizens. Objectivist theory starts with "man" who has the right to life, which by his nature absolutely requires his (thinking and) actions - and so Rand logically derived man's freedom to act - the base of all rights, like property (a type of action) rights, and so on. Objectively, rights don't demand and specify a single 'right' or 'perfect' way for an individual to think and choose his actions. But what individual rights do implicitly contain, is a principle that each person is effectively the master of his destiny, so to speak. Following that, which moral path he chooses and so what he chooses to do and therefore any just consequences from reality he gains (or at times, fails in, but that's another story) must not be interrupted or interfered with by another individual. His levels of rationality or irrationality at this stage, are less relevant--again, as long as he does not physically impose his irrational thinking or behavior or wishes on anyone else. "Man's" indisputable right to freedom of action is the starting place, comprehended by each individual as his own essential freedom - as it is everyone else's. This acknowledgment of freedom by most people in a society totally over-rides "tolerance", to my mind, and makes it superfluous. (Could be, precisely when individual rights are scarce and lose ground to Government-implemented 'group rights' and people's 'rights to getting things' and 'public property' - a contradiction pointed out above - and similar aberrations, that "toleration" becomes more highly pressured as a "virtue" on societies, as we're seeing). In a free society it comes down to: you do what you want - and if they are "irrational" actions ~and~ physically affecting other's life-acts - which will usually reduce to one and the same thing - you only then run afoul of the law/government (which should exist only to defend rights and contracts. If you see now that with the basic principles established you can then approach any competing or conflicting real-life scenario, no matter how trivial. (I think the nudity thing and public/private property has been taken care of by David Odden.). Mostly, in a high proportion of situations, it seems to my experience that many individuals are sensible and/or, rational - enough to a). anticipate in advance what behavior can be hurtful or damaging to others, and if they judge it to be gratuitous and inessential behavior, will do otherwise. b). observe results and change their acts during their commission c). respond helpfully to a complainant (neighbor, especially) when the offence has been brought to their attention. and d). If an occurrence on someone's property - just don't look at it. (Constant and repeated intrusions on the other senses, noxious smells and loud noise, are rather different and more serious). Left alone to work things out, people often do fine. Or have the option to disassociate themselves. When problems are insoluble, and a person is impervious to rational argument comes the time to invoke one's rights and bring in the law. I see some jeopardy to the minimalist government we want, when individuals call the cops at every perceived infringement of rights, thereby bringing about larger police forces and more governance. (My position is that the freedom to act by a (predominantly) rational individual who understands how the principle arises should be primary - i.e., not be curtailed and narrowed by concerns about others' rights and a possible initiation of force. If one is rational, one acts rationally, and therefore *cannot* by his nature, harm, defraud or coerce others. "I eat what I like and let my neighbor eat what he likes" (RubalSher). All my explanation is a long way round to validating your simple percept. While I'll claim that you are not in fact displaying "tolerance", as you believe - but recognition for "freedom" of action - you said it. The Objectivist position on rights and society is absolutely true to man and in fact, a "radical" one, recalling your early criticism of it not being radical enough for you. Radical: "of the roots".
  3. Why follow reason?

    Ha, the true skeptic. Requiring a "link" instead of considering a reasoned argument, on its own merits. Maybe you haven't read Rand too well. What do you call "reason"? Why wouldn't you "follow" it?
  4. Why follow reason?

    You got a reasoned explanation for "why follow reason" (based on Rand) but no reply. . This has been an exercise in skepticism and sophistry from you, more like Hume's empirical anti-conceptualism (therefore, anti-reason). Often the cause is a dismissal of consciousness possessing identity, by denying metaphysics. If you've come to produce a better argument than those here, or Rand, for your query, let's hear. Naysaying becomes boring.
  5. Well, wearing clothes IS non-offensive isn't it (to nudists)? Being naked -can- be offensive to many, but to go further we'd have to dig into the evolution of clothing and its practicality, religious mores, status display - etc., etc. - and for me, a little more important, the value of privacy, mine and others. As well as the fact that the human body is not always attractive. I'm more interested in why you think tolerance should be desired in people, at large. (And if and how being naked would accomplish such). Tolerance/toleration is defined roughly as forbearance, enduring others and their beliefs, unjudgmentally. Hasn't it become clear that after decades of heavily advocated "toleration", people everywhere are no more accepting of others than before, but only worse? All it's achieved is growing public resentment and divisions, much less respect, and a greater hypocrisy from people burying their honest thoughts. Objectivists, to whom tolerance is a zero standard for human contact, I think - and who will be explicit in justly assessing other individuals' character, ideas, philosophy, actions, (Etc.) - could have predicted the apposite consequences. I believe I'm correct that toleration is an "anti-concept" in Objectivism, countered by benevolence. Then as to helping others to tolerance, there is a degree of altruism in such a 'moral' duty to anyone and everyone. It has the presumption that you know better than others, what's good for them.
  6. Why follow reason?

    Sjw, I'm thinking you are flippant about reason as if there are alternatives to reason for the life of man and individuals. There are none, except an existential or spiritual death - when one defaults to a bare existence improper to man, i.e., submits oneself to dependence on others' minds and living off their rationality and values . Since you seem to know all about Objectivism, you will know that reasoning is the volitional and continuous act of conceptualization: perceiving, identifying, integrating and evaluating. For that I think the saying "take what you want and pay for it", is apt. You brought it in, but misinterpreted it as depraved. Rather, "what you want" implies an identification and evaluation of particular/general existents in reality - and that one's own life has a supreme value, which further values enhance - and one's mind also has, like everything in reality, a specific identity which can't be escaped - implies also, that the world is full of benefits (natural and man-made) to man's living which can only be 'taken' - earned - in a (non-sacrificial) trade by way of payment -- of one's reason, virtues and physical and material resources.
  7. Why follow reason?

    Yes, as 2046 above, sjw. You seem to have overlooked "and pay for it". Everything has its price and must be earned, if it's of objective good. If subjective i.e., a disvalue, (like predation on others, or hedonist pleasure) a person will "pay" the price in another way. After one has done understanding what is payment, next is knowing what "I" (the valuer) is - and next, is what it means objectively and morally to "want"(value).
  8. "There needs to be a separating line..." For sure. While I know little about Kelley's conferences, apart from an invite occasionally as I will receive sometimes from ARI, I would think that all attendees well know tacitly about his Society's Objectivist core. May it be that this obvious fact doesn't have to be re-stated at every conference, nor the basic differences with libertarianism? Only asking, I don't know. On more general lines, I'm strongly in favor of speaking with any and all in one's individual capacity. Assuming one makes oneself and ideas clear from early on, and while finding some common ground (as can happen often) would stay firm to the fundamentals or derivative principles of Objectivism. Actually, in opposing collectivism and group labels, all exchanges of ideas, "official" and not, always involve an individual and individual minds to an Objectivist- in a small group, large conference or one-on-one chats. Without intrinsic insight into whom is listening or debating with you, you initially (or ever) won't know enough to judge others' convictions, the strength of - or the depths of force -and evil- they'd be willing to go to to implement them: therefore, if and when to reject their ideas with clear disagreement, and in justice, remove yourself. Mostly unknowing too, of those minds whom your argument has impressed, stuck, and might have benefit to much later on in their future. With the many types and mixes of people and philosophical doctrines carried by others which we meet through life, the assertion that one is "sanctioning evil" by talking with and even befriending "Christians", "libertarians", etc. etc., is wrong-headed--and self-sacrificial. It will be a dull and unchallenging existence to not engage energetically with other disparate individuals who show interest, as one finds them. Any of them can be a source of value and knowledge and at least, of mental stimulus.
  9. A debate that comes to an abrupt halt again. What did I say? Hah! To round up I have noticed that not all instances or scenarios can be resolved by raising "non-initiation of force". There is a vast range of human interactions which fall beneath that radar. When attempted, such an argument often seems to be quite a stretch to involve "force". Non-initiation of force is after all a low bar of expectation for men (but an important one, nonetheless) more suited to libertarians (for whom, I may be wrong, it seems to be elevated to the status of a morality...). Objectivists conversely are intimately aware of the reasoned derivation, from the metaphysics to ethics, which leads up to this final principle - and therefore hardly ever to need to be reminded of the immorality of force by them to others. And also in the mix, there are many areas of conduct we observe in which it's fully within one's rights to act in a certain way, but would be irrational and self-less, or just malicious or mean to do so. Rights are a moral concept, but cannot be 'a moral code', per se. One is not ever guided by what one ~should~ do by individual rights, and certainly not by NIOF. One's rational morality remains central and predominant. ""Rights" are a moral concept--the concept that provides a logical transition from the principles guiding an individual's actions to the principles guiding his relationship with others--the concept that preserves and protects individual morality in a social context--the link between the moral code of a man and the legal code of a society, between ethics and politics". [Man's Rights, CUI]
  10. Hi Rubal Sher, The society you indicate presupposes a majority of people who have desired freedom and know the nature of freedom - objectively - or, how and why it is rooted in the nature of man -- so, Objectivists who understand as did Aristotle: "I have gained this from philosophy: that I do [and don't do] without being commanded, what others do only from fear of the law". [my insert] The individual's conviction that the freedom to act is the absolute necessity for all men, precedes, but of course doesn't preclude, individual rights and non-initiating of force. The latter are justified by and reinforce that reasoned conviction, to my mind. It's one's rational selfish morality which is the primary. There's no "thou shalt" and shalt not, but an "if" - if you want that, do this. Being rationally selfish means being in the knowledge of what "that" (entity) and "this" (action) entails and of its objective 'good' for one. As a behavior, say you want to take your clothes off in public, well, your choice: who'd stop you in such a free society? Being Objectivist doesn't specify one's private and public behavior in 'liberal-permissive'/Puritanical-conservative 'moral' terms. But almost like having the right to freedom of speech - and while equally a rational person does not deliberately set out to offend others gratuitously or nastily, under that right - why would you want to? Although I think the act is not initiating force, what does it gain you to possibly offend someone by being -perhaps- self-indulgent in that manner? Do you see my meaning?
  11. It does point to changing times and evolving minds and new political realities and possible political alliances. This visit of Brook displays the criticality of context wrt principles. At one level, with benefit of hindsight, it shows how unnecessary and quite silly was the spat that helped lead to a schism in Objectivism. But outcomes alone can't prove right from wrong (that would be consequentialist). The principles invoked on both sides in that bitter debate were central, and still are. It seems to me that a little less intrinsicism presumed on other individuals' minds (a gathering of libertarians, in that case) - and placing confidence in the independent judgment of another (and expert) Objectivist - would have headed off the storm. If there's anything to take out, retrospectively, it is how possible it is for even the most rational thinkers, when it comes to applying or implementing the philosophy to practical, temporal 'issues', to take a fixed (and sometimes mistaken) moral stance, so bringing about superfluous rifts and O'ist 'camps'. I believe something to beware of in the future.
  12. Veganism under Objectivism

    Nope, they can't. Otherwise we'd not be having this discussion.
  13. Veganism under Objectivism

    "Objectivist", I think you might misinterpret both reason and (individual) rights. Men don't have rights simply because they can reason, but because they ~must~ reason. Without the least automatic or instinctual capability to live, continue living and to make and find a worthwhile life, the conceptual mind is all they have. Mankind shares sentience, autonomy and the ability to automatically form perceptions with animals (and yes, a limited emotional capacity in some) but no further - it is the capacity to individually gather and arrange his knowledge, code of morality and values, conceptually, which elevates and distinguishes a man from an animal. From the rational and volitional nature of man, arises his inalienable right to freedom of action, using his mind to choose his values and seek his goals without interference from others. Surely you see how absurd it would be to grant individual rights to animals? In the wild, it would mean protecting the zebra from the lion--which would be an infringement of the lion's 'rights' to eat (and end up in its death). And I can't see you proposing that all mankind must stop eating meat, by edict, as consequence of granting animal rights. I.e., taking away choice and one's own rights. Or, is that what you're saying? I've not read all above. When animals become private property, domestic, working or livestock, there is a strong ethical case for the humane treatment of animals by men. I think all life is owed respect, at least, acknowledgment (Brook raises this too) and any lives one owns, especially so. If a man made a choice to take on (breed, purchase, farm etc.) an animal as a selfish value, and since they have no volitional control over their lives and so are absolutely subordinate - without rights - to the whims of their owner, it is only rationally moral to continue valuing them, responsibly, and ensuring they have a good life, or don't suffer arbitrarily, or at least, the briefest minimum possible. If this last was the limits of your cause, I'd be in full agreement as would others. As it stands, you are shooting for the impossible.
  14. Reblogged:Thought-Crime in Belgium

    Fair enough, and so am I predisposed to sympathy with taking this into account on passing sentence. IF - it were not for hate crime's partner (in crime), "hate speech". Now, it appears, freedom of speech can itself be a crime, which can make a criminal of anybody and so, slippery slopes. The freedom to think, evaluate and have responding emotions such as hate, and to express it verbally is an implicit individual right, fundamental to the concept of rights. Never of course to act physically on such emotion against anyone, as 'emotionalists', by definition, presume one can't avoid doing.
  15. Reblogged:Thought-Crime in Belgium

    Yes, but once proven to be of malicious intent -- i.e., a "crime" -- what next? The punishment. That's the stage I was emphasizing. (It has to be said that all "crimes" presuppose a "criminal", presupposing one who acts with deliberate, malicious intent (outside of the borderline areas, e.g., gross negligence, as you rightly state) against a victim's property and/or body). After proof, the punishment, separating which is the whole point and I am on board with Gus Van Horn that considerations of "hate" crime must be eradicated when applied to the judgment, sentencing etc., of culprits. We have seen this concept disastrously at work for a while, it has only exacerbated irrationality, hatred and prejudices, it has been destructive to people's inter-relations and honest flow of ideas, promoting 'self-censorship' or other mind controls, in generally decent individuals. "Hate crime" seems legally similar to double indemnity, adding a charge of arbitrary or supposed (mind) malice on top of a charge of real, criminal "malicious intent". Hate crime begins a slide towards the non-objective rule of men not rule of law, also and above all.
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