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Support for Israel

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Tomer,

Are you sure about this "nothing compels" part?

As far as I know - the Supreme Court's precedent on this issue is obligatory: no law can contradict a basic law.

As far as I understand - the real problem is with the CONTENT of these basic laws, that is not clear-cut enough and can allow room for interpretation.

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Hey Eran, how are you doing?

You know as well as I do that it is a still-running-debated-issue that will go nowhere for at least another decade or so. As much as Israel is considered 'enlightened' when compared to it's Arab neigbours, Most of its citizens are primitive, tribal-colective-god-worshiping-concrete-bound mentalities.

As far as I know - the Supreme Court's precedent on this issue is obligatory: no law can contradict a basic law.

Dolev answered this, partly, in her previous post.

It basically comes down to this: (it is a repeatiative formula) This is a basic law, blah blah blah.., that can be changed contradicted or ignored whenever a new law will pass. This is really absurd.

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Tomer and d18:

So it is that your Basic law can be amended, or other laws passed wihich may or may not relate directly to Basic law.

So it is with our Constitution. Many laws have been passed here in America which, interestingly, appear to meet the criteria of the exceptions you cite in your Basic law. These require only the approval of Congress and the signature of the President to become Law. Whether they stand up to the criteria set forth in the Constitution is subject to review by the courts only if a challenge is posed.

The amendment process is far more difficult.

Despite your arguments, I see no fundamental difference between the intent of your Basic Law and our Constitution.

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Furthermore, this is the definition of Constitution from Merriam Webster:

Main Entry: con·sti·tu·tion

Pronunciation: "kän(t)-st&-'tü-sh&n, -'tyü-

Function: noun

1 : an established law or custom : ORDINANCE

2 a : the physical makeup of the individual comprising inherited qualities modified by environment b : the structure, composition, physical makeup, or nature of something

3 : the act of establishing, making, or setting up

4 : the mode in which a state or society is organized; especially : the manner in which sovereign power is distributed

5 a : the basic principles and laws of a nation, state, or social group that determine the powers and duties of the government and guarantee certain rights to the people in it b : a written instrument embodying the rules of a political or social organization

Boldface emphasis mine.

Constitution = Basic law

If a = b and b = c then a = c.

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I should have started the argument by saying that the U.S. has NO REAL CONSTITUTION. why? Because the basis for the term constitution has to be that individuals have unalienated rights, which are to be protected at all costs with no exception (according to the objectivist ethics). The Sherman act made it clear that the constitution has no firm base.

Before I'll give you my definition of constitution, try to give me yours. Remember that it'll have to be clearly distinguished from the concept of law.

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I should have started the argument by saying that the U.S. has NO REAL CONSTITUTION. why? Because the basis for the term constitution has to be that individuals have unalienated rights, which are to be protected at all costs with no exception (acorrding to the objectivist ethics). The Sherman act made it clear that the constitution has no firm base.

Before I'll give you my definition of constitution, try to give me yours. Remember that it'll have to be clearly distinguished from the concept of law.

You seem to be confusing a constitution, generically, with a good constitution which enables a proper government. The US does actually have a real constitution, even though there are clearly problems with it. It is sufficiently articulated that it does serve as the basis for law, and that is what is required of a constitution, qua constitution. The fact that it allows anti-trust laws, drug-control laws, coercive taxation and conscription shows that it was not designed by Objectivists, and that it does not in fact always guarantee the rights of man, as recognised by Objectivists. But this does not mean that it does not state "the basic principles and laws of a nation, state, or social group that determine the powers and duties of the government and guarantee certain rights to the people in it".

The basis for a good constitution -- one which recognises the proper function of government -- would explicitly make the protection of the rights of individuals the function of the constitution and any laws deriving from that constitution. You can't just redefine words so that if a law or constitution is in error, it doesn't exist. The preamble to the US constitution really sets the scene:

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare , and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Do you see any mention of protecting the rights of individuals? That, apparently, is not the clear purpose of the US Constition. Yes, it oughta be, bit it isn't.

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My point was that a non-objectivist constitution is a non-constitution.

In a very general way, constitution is a law which sets the limits to other laws (in this sense, a law that breaks or contradicts a constitutional law creates a non-sense meaning of the term constitution.)

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My point was that a non-objectivist constitution is a non-constitution.

You might as well say that a philosophy which isn't Objectivist isn't a philosophy or a law which is immoral isn't a law.

Dave Odden's post should have been the final word on this subject.

Fred Weiss

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"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare , and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

"Ourselves" is a compound word which has the root "self." Self is "individual."

There is your reference to Individual Rights.

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Do you see any mention of protecting the rights of individuals? That, apparently, is not the clear purpose of the US Constition. Yes, it oughta be, bit it isn't.

Does the existence of the Bill of Rights, which is of course part of the constitution, change your mind? :P

What concerns me is how often the Bill of Rights is simply ignored.

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You might as well say that a philosophy which isn't Objectivist isn't a philosophy or a law which is immoral isn't a law.

Dave Odden's post should have been the final word on this subject.

Fred Weiss

1)Philosophy is an integrated system. One which "studies the fundamental nature of existence, of man, and of man's relationship to existence." (PWNI 2)

There can be no contradictions.

A 'philosophy' with contradictions fails to be an integrated system (since contradictions cannot exist, they cannot be integrated), fails to identify the fundamental nature of existence and of man.

Therefore any philosophy that contradicts itself. Is not really a philosophy.

For the best of my knowledge, Objectivism is the only truely integrated philosophy, therefore, the only philosophy that deserves its title.

2)An immoral law can exist, only that there is no justification for its existence.

constitution is a law which sets the limits to other laws (in this sense, a law that breaks or contradicts a constitutional law creates a non-sense meaning of the term constitution.)

Meaning, that a constitution that doesn't set the limits to other laws, is a contradiction.

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1)Philosophy is an integrated system. One which "studies the fundamental nature of existence, of man, and of man's relationship to existence." (PWNI 2)

There can be no contradictions.

A 'philosophy' with contradictions fails to be an integrated system (since contradictions cannot exist, they cannot be integrated), fails to identify the fundamental nature of existence and of man.

She said "integrated" -- not "WELL-integrated."

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1)Philosophy is an integrated system. One which "studies the fundamental nature of existence, of man, and of man's relationship to existence." (PWNI 2)

...

Therefore any philosophy that contradicts itself. Is not really a philosophy.

You are (again) attempting to definine something out of existence, and quoting Ayn Rand as if what she said relates directly to your point. It is true that Ayn Rand's Objectivism is the only philosophy which presents a totally integrated non-contradictory view of life, but a proper philosophy, such as Objectivism, is not meant as a negation of the concept of philosophy itself.

Ayn Rand argued against "Kant's philosophy." Kant's philosophy is wrong, but it is a philosophy nonetheless, and you cannot define the concept of philosophy out of existence just to be in tune with your own peculiar notions.

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1)Philosophy is an integrated system. One which "studies the fundamental nature of existence, of man, and of man's relationship to existence." (PWNI 2)

There can be no contradictions.

The quote from Rand is correct, in that it does state what philosophy is. Your addition adds something non-essential to Rand's definition: and not just non-essential, but wrong. A philosophy can be contradictory, and very many philosophies are.

If Rand had intended to claim that only a consistent set of statements about existence constitutes a philosophy, then she would have somewhere stated "I have invented something new -- I have chosen to call it 'philosophy'". She did not say that. You might have seen some of her comments on bad philosophy in some of her writings. Here is an example, from the Ayn Rand Letter v. 3 #8 -- "For some two hundred years, under the influence of Immanuel Kant, the dominant trend of philosophy has been directed to a single goal: the destruction of man's mind, of his confidence in the power of reason." This gives one clear example -- and there are many -- showing that Rand considered Kant and his followers to be engaged in 'philosophy'. Philosophy of a particular type: bad philosophy.

A 'philosophy' with contradictions fails to be an integrated system (since contradictions cannot exist, they cannot be integrated)
No, this is a total error. They cannot be non-contradictorily integrated (duh!). Integration does not entail "non-contradictorily". It simply means that the individual elements all exist at the same time and are to be taken as a whole, and the evaluation of the system is in terms of the whole system. Some (many) of these systems are contradictory.

Meaning, that a constitution that doesn't set the limits to other laws, is a contradiction.

And returning to the earlier statement that the US doesn't even have a constitution, for the love of Mike what do you think the US Supreme Court has been doing for the past 210 years?? What these guys do for a living is determing that Law X violates the constitution and thus the Constitution limits these other laws.

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I should learn to check what was posted recently before reinventing the wheel.

Nah. You said it better than I did. Besides, at the end of each week we count the votes on each side -- right and wrong -- and the side with the most posts wins the door prize. This week's prize is an autographed copy of the new book "The Rules of Definition: How to Change the Facts of Reality by the Use of Words." You wouldn't want to miss out on that one, would you? :D

Besides, I decided a while ago it is best not to look ahead at other replies. While not looking ahead runs the risk of repeating someone else's argument, doing so runs the risk of skewing your own personally-stylized approach because of something said by someone else. Personally, I enjoy reading your style of response and would miss it just because someone else addressed the issue in their way.

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Nah. You said it better than I did. Besides, at the end of each week we count the votes on each side -- right and wrong -- and the side with the most posts wins the door prize. This week's prize is an autographed copy of the new book "The Rules of Definition: How to Change the Facts of Reality by the Use of Words." You wouldn't want to miss out on that one, would you?  :D

Neato!! Although I wouldn't mind missing that particular volume since I've already got 5,000 copies of that damn book, littered about me everywhere I look.

I guess it's not fair changing the smiley in a quote, but the devil made me do it.

Besides, I decided a while ago it is best not to look ahead at other replies. While not looking ahead runs the risk of repeating someone else's argument, doing so runs the risk of skewing your own personally-stylized approach because of something said by someone else. Personally, I enjoy reading your style of response and would miss it just because someone else addressed the issue in their way.

Aw, shux. Thanks. The same goes for your posts too, by the way.

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I should learn to check what was posted recently before reinventing the wheel.

Don't worry about. It's not really a post, since a post should consist of a new thought not previously posted.

Fred Weiss

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A philosophy can be contradictory, and very many philosophies are.

Do you still see Kant (for example) as a philosopher, not from a layman's point of view but from yours?

Consider two definitions:

1) A Philosopher - A person who deals with philosophy.

2) A Philosopher - A person who deals with, and studies the fundamental nature of existence, of man and of man's relationship to existence.

It is obvious that both are analitic truths but, as you see, the first depends on the other. Some people will accept only the first as a valid definition while failing to understand what philosophy is (as defined in the seconed).

I claim that Kant is not a philosopher because he doesn't deal with reality (even if it is only to some extent). He deals with his own fantasy world created out of his own pschological problems and failures.

It is all a matter of context. If I'm engaged in a conversation with a non-objectivist, I would treat other schools of thought as philosophies only until I've succeeded in proving otherwise.

For a man living 2500 years ago, the bible can assume the role of philosophy. For a priest living after Ayn Rand, the bible can only be used as a tool for evading reality (if he read AS).

After identifying any philosophical system's contradictions it makes no sense to keep treating it as a philosophy to those who know it.

No, this is a total error. They cannot be non-contradictorily integrated (duh!). Integration does not entail "non-contradictorily". It simply means that the individual elements all exist at the same time and are to be taken as a whole, and the evaluation of the system is in terms of the whole system. Some (many) of these systems are contradictory.
Explain.

And returning to the earlier statement that the US doesn't even have a constitution, for the love of Mike what do you think the US Supreme Court has been doing for the past 210 years?? What these guys do for a living is determing that Law X violates the constitution and thus the Constitution limits these other laws

I argue (as Rand did long before me) that the U.S. Constitution is incomplete.

"There were contradictions in the Constitution, which allowed the staists to gain an entering wedge, to enlarge the breach, and, gradually, to wreck the structure"

(A.R., CUI 47)

What do I think the US Supreme Court has been doing for the past 210 years??

Either working "to wreck the structure" or trying to fight the logical consequenses of an incomplete Constitution.

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Do you still see Kant (for example) as a philosopher, not from a layman's point of view but from yours?

Consider two definitions:

1) A Philosopher - A person who deals with philosophy.

It's difficult for me to say, because there is no post to reply to (thanks to Fred for pointing this out, although probably he didn't really do so given some suitable misdefinition of "point out"). I didn't need to go beyond the first definition of "philosopher", since it's correct. Either way, Kant is a philosopher, and a bad one (since he created bad philosophy).

It is obvious that both are analitic truths but,
Sorry, I've gotta interrupt. What's an "analytic truth"? Is that different from some other kind of truth?

Explain.

Integrate means "to make be one". The concept of integration is different from the law of identity.

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Sorry, I've gotta interrupt. What's an "analytic truth"? Is that different from some other kind of truth?

An Analytic truth is a proposition that can be validated merely by an analysis of the meaning of its constituent concepts (also called "logical truths").

Example:

i)Ice is solid.

ii)Ice floats on water.

The first proposition is Analytic, the seconed synthetic.

"A 'Synthetic' proposition is defined as one which cannot be validated merely by an analysis of the meanings or definitions of its constituent concepts."

*Both definitions and the example were taken from Leonard Peikoff's 'The Analytic- Synthetic dichtomy' (IOE, 90-91).

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Objectivism does not recognize a dichotomy between Analytic and Synthetic truths. There is a whole chapter on this problem in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, by Leonard Peikoff.

Who said that a dichotomy exist?

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