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Mick Pestis

8 Questions about Objectivism

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Hi there,

My name is Jake and im from israel. I wanted to ask a few questions if I may and see if you can help me understand some issues. ill divide it into parts (I hope it's not all answered already, maybe I should have checked the FAQ... I was just anxious, sry!)

1. Drug Usage - I understand that there isnt such thing as a "victimless crime" in objectivist POV, and that goverment should not interfere with one's desire of, lets say, Marijuana consumption. But what about more dangerous drugs, like Heroin, or Crystal Meth, that are to be said, addictive from the first time that you take em. Now, I know the argument that says "If you really want to get Heroin, You will get it no matter if it's illegal", but if its really OUT THERE, then anybody who uses it once, is addicted and hence is free will is kind of taken away, isnt it?

2. I saw the lecture by Dr. Leonard Peikoff, and he said there that the goverment interviens only when there is a "breach" or when somebody steps on another person's rights, like physical harm. Now, I wanted to ask your opinion about circumcision. I'm an atheist of jewish nationality myself, and I assume 90% of jewish people in israel are circumcising their male children, but I cant help but seeing this as an immoral thing to do. I see it as a force acted upon the child, thogh I dont think my goverment could ever pull off something like banning circumcision. what do you think about that?

3. What is objectivism's take on Vegan life style? does it co-exist with the notion of selfishness, or is it more inclined to go with the "non-agression" concept? I am not a vegan myself, but when confronted with arguments, and reasoning with them and with myself, I cant help but feeling that In some sense, there is suffering caused these creatures. And I know that even vegans contribute to "animal killing" by the mere fact that the fields of vegetables also use as habitats for animals of all sorts, but at least they try to minimize the suffering... I dont know. Does objectivism has something to say about that?

4. Sub-Concious/Subliminal messaging - I love watching derren brown. He is a british magician who uses "Mind tricks", in order to fool with people's minds, and often he shows how he can manipulate people into "buying" what he tells them to. I think it's called "Suggestibility". What do you think about the clash between free will and companies who advertise with such means?

5. In the lecture by Dr. Leonard Peikoff, he said the goverment shouldnt give any special treatment or something like that to certain people, and he protected the right of people to discriminate in the working place if its their private business (If im not mistaken). I wanted to know if it's still your position, because I know that many women have trouble getting into a job because of pregnancy and having to get to a vacation after giving birth and so on, and many employers dont hire them for such reasons. Not to mention discrimination towards blacks, jews or what not, out of racist prejudice. Should there be any laws against that?

6. I want to understand how is the concept of Egoism deals with a capitalist based society, where you excpect that people who cant get help, will get it out of private charity. Why would a person open such charity, if he is suppose to be so called "selfish"?

7. What is the place of goverment, dealing with environmental issues, like pollution, or companies that are subjecting the close environment to gases that level up the rates of cancer, or radioactivity and so forth?

8. What was the objectivists approach towards the war in Iraq? I know it's somewhat not my place, but I supported it through christopher hitchens argument, of freeing a nation of dictatorship. I think you wont agree with me on this subject, but I see it as a highly virtuous thing to do, to save people from being under a ruthless tyrant, and I think that a super-power, like the US, has an obligation to do so, just as I think that it should have done sooner in the Holocaust period. That's why i'm very afraid of a non-interventionist approach, that's why i'm afraid of ron paul.

Anyways, United states of america is one of the finest places and the last Haven of human kind imo.

Looking forward for your answeres,


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Hi Jake,

1. You don't lose your free will when you take drugs that make you "addicted". People can stop using them and they do. With or with the help from others. (Also, even if that were the case: So what? It's not your problem.)

2. Leonard Peikoff is against circumcisions. He thinks it's immoral and a violation of rights. It should be illegal. I agree and so does most Objectivists. I think it is the only position consistent with Objectivism.

Peikoff on circumcision: http://www.peikoff.com/2011/04/25/do-you-think-the-legal-guardians-of-a-male-child-have-the-right-to-circumcise-him-before-he-is-old-enough-to-refuse/

3. Peikoff has also made some comments on vegantarianism which you may find useful: http://www.peikoff.com/2011/09/05/what-is-your-opinion-of-vegetarianism/

4. I think the possibility of subliminal messaging has been conclusively refuted. See here:


And here:


As for Derren Brown, he does not use "subliminal messaging", he is just confusing the hell out of people, using techniques magicians always have been using. See more here:


I think that confusing people to buy things, by various means, could arguably be considered a form of fraud and should therefore be illegal.

5. "I wanted to know if it's still your [Dr Peikoff] position"

Leonard Peikoff does not participate on this forum, so you can't expect an answer from him here. But if you have a question to Dr Peikoff, then I would advice you to ask him directly. Visit his site here: www.peikoff.com and submit a question.

Objectivism says: There should not be a law against this. You have a right to decide who you want to deal with or not. We discriminate all the time. Sometimes on rational grounds, sometimes on irrational grounds.

The government should not step in when it believes you have discriminated on irrational grounds. If the government starts doing that, then it would violate your right to decide who you want to deal with.

What to do about discrimination? We let them taste their own medicine. That is, we discriminate them, i.e., we boycott their business and we ostracize them in public, refuse to deal with them, invite them, say hello to them, etc.

Furthermore, the market doesn't reward businesses who engage in irrational discrimination. If there is real talent here, other more rational employers will hire them instead and reap the benefits.

One more thing, why do many women get into trouble? Because of government regulations forcing employers to keep them hired, to pay for their maternity leave, to pay for their vacation once they get back, etc. The government is the source of their trouble.

6. Why do you assume that a selfish person can't be interested in giving to charity or running a charity? Normal, happy, selfish people, who value human life, don't want to see people dying in the streets, due to factors beyond their own control. And we have, as rational egoists, many good reasons to value human life in general. To the extent other people, including strangers, are or can be good and rational, they are actually or potentially of a great value to egoists. (Remember that every friend was originally a stranger.)

7. "What is the place of goverment, dealing with environmental issues, like pollution, or companies that are subjecting the close environment to gases that level up the rates of cancer, or radioactivity and so forth?"

The government's role is to protect rights. If you can prove that a factory is causing some real damage or real harm to your health, then you can sue the factory owner. The answer is, in other words, property rights. (There is more to this issue. More complications that I could go into, if you want to.)

8. I agree with Dr Peikoff that it was the wrong war for the wrong reasons. See his comments here:


"Non-interventionism" is irrational, if it means appeasement and pacifism, which is the logical implication of Ron Paul's foreign policy.


Edited by knast

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Hello and welcome. I think these are not so much questions about the philosophy of Objectivism as they are about specific applications of Objectivist politics and ethics.

I'll try to answer these the best I can, but be aware that these are my own opinions and might not necessarily reflect the opinions of other Objectivists.

1. I'de say you have the moral right to ingest any substance you choose, regardless of the level of harm it causes your own body. I think that the sale of addictive drugs is immoral, as is their consumption, but those facts don't logically lead to the conclusion that the State has the right to prevent the sale of drugs or to prevent one from consuming the materials. If that conclusion could be drawn, the State should be able to control every action you make depending on the level of harm the action causes you, since knowingly causing harm to one's self is immoral. Also, I don't believe that drug dealers are violating the rights of their customers unless they misrepresent what they're selling. Drugs should be treated like any other product on the market, the same way that cigarettes and alcohol are. Dealers should be made to disclose exactly what they're selling, which is a responsibility of all vendors regardless of the industry. Also, one could synthesize his own drug and not deal with a vendor at all, a fact that is often overlooked by people trying to justify anti-drug laws based on the actions of dealers. Many of the dangers associated with the drug trade are due to anti-drug laws that force the industry underground, away from the rule of law. If all drugs were legalized, vendors who misrepresent their products would be answerable to the State. But as far as the drugs' addictive nature goes, that's a risk that the consumer has the right to take.

2. I agree with you that it is immoral. Circumcision can be performed later in life just as easily. Allow the child to grow up and make the decision for himself.

3. It depends on a person's reason for being a vegan. Some people do it for health reasons or they don't like the taste of meat. This can be perfectly consistent with Objectivism. Others do it because they believe in animal rights. A claim which, I think all Objectivists would agree, is baseless. I would agree that one should not cause unnecessary pain and suffering to animals. However I think one must weigh the value of the animal's suffering versus the value of what he would be giving up to avoid eating the meat. For example, let's say I had a choice between purchasing two different meats, one which was killed fast and painlessly and the other which experienced a lot of pain and suffering, and both meats were the same price and had the same flavor and nutritional value. I would certainly choose buy the meat that was killed humanely. Even if the animal that was killed humanely were more expensive and less nutritious, I might still choose to buy it instead of the one that suffered, because I may value the animal's treatment more than the money and nutrition that I'm losing (up to a certain point, of course). So to answer your question, which I shall rephrase: no, the vegan lifestyle, when practiced solely for the reason of protecting "animal rights," does not reflect the Objectivist morality of rational selfishness. Vegans who give up the consumption of meat solely for their belief in animal rights are acting altruistically, giving up potential monetary value, nutrients and pleasure, for the benefit of animals who do not actually possess rights.

If a Vegan has alternate reasons for not eating meat or does not value the consumption of meat at all, then he would not be acting altruistically, in which case he would be acting selfishly but his reasoning might still be irrational or rational depending on the person.

4. Why limit it to companies? If one’s mind could be controlled by others so easily, there’s an unlimited number of ways in which people could be targeted, and there’s nothing a government would be able to do about it. I don’t know enough about this subject to comment on the strength of subliminal messages, but from what I do know, they’re not all that powerful. Also, in the case of hypnosis, which might not be exactly what you’re referring to but I’ll use it as an example anyway, the subject must allow himself to be hypnotized.

5. Dr. Peikoff is right. People have the right to discriminate, even if they’re discrimination is irrational. The state does not have a moral right to control who a person hires for the same reason they don’t have the right to control who a person allows in his house or on his property. Even if the government had such a right, it would be impossible to go inside an employer’s head and know his reasoning for hiring a person. Besides, in a free market scenario, a company that bases its hiring policy on a superficial trait such as skin color would not last long.

6. For the same reason that private charities exist today. Many people get a selfish pleasure out of helping others, and there are many ways people can benefit from helping others. I am willing to give money to cancer research, for example, because I have a selfish desire to see a cure discovered. I could have a selfish reason to help my neighbor when he’s in need because one day I might be in a position where I would need his help.

7. The government’s duty is to protect people from other people. It is not their job to protect the “environment.” If someone’s impact on the environment can be directly linked to the damage of another person’s health or property, and if the value of the damage is at least somewhat quantifiable, then the government has the right to penalize the aggressor and award judgment to the victim based on the evidence presented in the court of law. This is as far as the governments responsibility over the environment goes. As far as broader issues such as the pollution of large bodies of water and large scale air pollution, the government’s job is harder but the principle remains the same: it’s the government’s job to protect people from people, and if manipulation of nature is used as a mean to destroy another’s property or health, the government has a right to intervene. I accept the fact that when a large company pollutes on a very large scale, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly how it has harmed each individual victim, and how responsible the company is for the health issues that they may have contributed to, since there are usually other factors that contribute to a person's health. I for one think that companies that cause these problems should be held accountable. But I don’t agree with regulating their business based on a million different environmental theories and opinions as is done today. When the damage is done, the state can intervene.

8. There is disagreement among Objectivists (at least those that I’ve talked with) in regards to the Iraq war. There is a large variety of opinions about whether the war should have happened and how it was handled, whether the war was morally justified or just poor strategy. My personal opinion is that the war with Iraq was morally justified, but it was the wrong strategic move. The US should have invaded Iran, which was a more serious threat, and remains the number one threat to this day. I also think that Bush handled the invasion poorly and cost America a lot more lives than it would have in what could have been a short and swift operation with far fewer American deaths. Some Objectivists may argue that the US had no moral right to go to war at all. If you’re looking for a unified Objectivist position on the Iraq war (and war in general) you won’t find it here.

Edited by Reason_Being

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1. I'm not sure that it's always the case that heroin or meth is immediately addictive in the way that you imply. I think that might be the case with some people, but it depends on the dose of course and probably the person's constitution and predispositions. In any case, even if they were, that's not a reason to make those drugs illegal. It is a reason, I think, to make it illegal to sell them to minors, since we cannot assume that their rational faculties are fully developed such that they could make such a decision. You seem to imply that it is self-destructive for adults to take these drugs. I agree. It's also self-destructive (and irreversible) to buy a gun and shoot yourself in the face. Either way, though, the adult who did this act did so free from coercion by others, and politically speaking this is the only relevant factor.

2. I agree with you wholeheartedly. It is a violation of rights to mutilate one's child in such a way, regardless of the "justification" of religion or tradition. So, it is both immoral and should be illegal.

3. There may be reasons to abstain from eating meat that are entirely reasonable. Insofar as food preferences (within a range of course :)) are morally optional, Objectivism has nothing to say about this. The important thing here is that animals don't have rights. Read "Man's Rights" by Ayn Rand for more clarification on whence rights come. That being said, in normal circumstances it makes sense, ceteris paribus, to minimize suffering, even in other animals. But naturally, minimizing pain to other animals can sometimes be at odds with human flourishing. In those cases it is obviously moral to go ahead and let the other animals suffer; humans are of much greater value to your life and other animals.

4. There is no such clash. On the Objectivist view, volition consists of the primary choice to focus, so anything that affects secondary choices doesn't have anything to do with volition as such. Search elsewhere on the forums for more discussions on free will, there are some rather long ones.

5. I'll answer this question with another question: Why do you presume to make an employer's decision for him? By what right do you intend to exert force over employers in that way? Do you think that people have a "right" to a job? How can you reconcile that with the right to life and liberty? I believe your question and these questions are answered by a proper understanding of individual rights.

6. Since I think this question rests on a false conception of egoism, I suggest that you read Ayn Rand's collection of essays entitled "The Virtue of Selfishness". In actuality, there is no contradiction between being selfish and caring about others. Other people can and almost always do provide enormous value to our lives, not only in the form of friendships and romantic relationships, but economic relations as well. So, it can certainly be selfish to donate to charities to help others. The main point is that it isn't a primary virtue in the sense that giving to others isn't some sort of constant duty. Also, charities have nothing to do with the main defense of capitalism, which is rather based on the nature of man as a rational being. For more information on some of the implications of the Objectivist view of politics, read "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal".

7. The answer to all questions regarding negative externalities, such as the ones you mentioned, is based once again on the fundamental issue in politics: the protection of individual rights. To the extent that negative externalities damage individual property or individual lives, those producing them should be punished. The entire issue is solved with a proper and detailed application of property rights.

8. This isn't a question about Objectivism exactly, and different Objectivists may have different views on whether or not Iraq should have been invaded. One thing is clear, though: the government of the United States does not have an inherent duty to protect the lives of people living in other nations. It is of course moral if one can afford to do so to overthrow dictatorships and despotic regimes, because those regimes have basically given up their sovereignty by being unjust. My personal view is that the Iraq War wasn't a good idea because the net benefit to our country is less than the cost of the war. For more about duty, read "Causality Versus Duty" by Ayn Rand.


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6. I want to understand how is the concept of Egoism deals with a capitalist based society, where you excpect that people who cant get help, will get it out of private charity. Why would a person open such charity, if he is suppose to be so called "selfish"?

Rand places great value and importance on the role of earning money. But her ideas are not philosophically *materialistic*. That is she acknowledges material as well as *spiritual* values. "Spiritual" not in the sense of a mystical soul or spirit, but in the fundamentally important essence of the greatness of the human spirit. Donating rationally to a charity can fulfill great spiritual/intellectual values beyond just the materialism of the money involved. So long as it is a win-win trade and not a sacrifice.

But neither does charitable giving make you a great holier-than-thou benefactor to humanity. It's one part of choosing your values and not some kind of alms you get to hold over someone's head. Essentially it can be a rational value like any other but it's a side issue, not a primary one, and not the pinnacle of all virtue.

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I'll focus On the main things that werent quite clear to me, if I may:)

1. I'm 100% in agreement with you on the concession (?) that "you have the moral right to ingest any substance you choose". But i'm kinda losing you afterwards, especially in the "Where do you draw the line?" point. For example, Reason_Being wrote:

"I think that the sale of addictive drugs is immoral, as is their consumption" - And that gives me a chance to clear my point a bit perhaps; many substances are "addictive" (in their medical/psychological definition) like coffee or alcohol... but I try to make a "scale" out of it, in order to see the effects each substance has on people. I cant really find the clear distinction between each substance (For example, is X more dangerous because it's more poisoness? I dont think so, cause I dont see heroin as "Poison" and I still find it dangerous) but for some reason I think there ought to be such. there has to be an objective definition for substances that are more harmful for individuals and hence make societies unfunctional.

i'll try to draw a hypothetical line here. Lets take a country that Heroin consumption is not illegal there, lets assume that you find a causation (for the sake of argument) between the legalization and the rise of heroin users, and thus additcts. lets then rightfully (imo) assume that it leads to the fact that these people cant function, cant be production (they cant work) and are forced to the streets.

Now, if we continue this "wreckless" imaginary path, wouldnt it lead to two things:

A. Homeless people injecting themselves on the streets (Which leads me to ask you if goverment should move homeless people out of the streets or something? I see policemen making people leave public gardens and such all the time)

B. Can't you justify interfering with a selfish, egoistic point of view? let's say we do have the data to assume that the "country" or society, is headed for abolishment. More addicts every year, people quit their jobs and its a "Junky land". Wouldnt it be in the interest of the individual, for his job to be kept, and the prevention of the fallout, to occour?

2. Thanks for the answer about circumcision.

3. I have trouble getting the "Animal dont have rights" thing... Reason_being, you wrote that:

"I would agree that one should not cause unnecessary pain and suffering to animals." - But if they don't have rights, and it has nothing to do with "Human flurishing", How can you protect animals from vicious people who abuse them? I completely understand Scientific or Medical Research on Animals, cause the animal model provides us with sufficient data that helps human beings. But fur coats? Or people who litterally abuse or even kill helpless dogs or cats for the sake of fun?

4. Regarding Derren Brown, I was talking more profoundly about things like that:


He uses this technique in various videos to show how he can "Manipulate" people into buying or "choosing" whatever he wants them to.

I dont know if it's "real" or "unreal", but if it is, it has some weird implications.

5. ttime, you wrote:

"I'll answer this question with another question: Why do you presume to make an employer's decision for him? By what right do you intend to exert force over employers in that way? Do you think that people have a "right" to a job? How can you reconcile that with the right to life and liberty? I believe your question and these questions are answered by a proper understanding of individual rights."

I dont think people have a "right" for a job, but I dont want women to not get jobs or build careers because they are carrying "our" babies.. I think this is the hardest part for me to reconcile with objectivism. Maybe cause i'm jewish and there were "No jews allowed" signs in nazi-germany... it's just... too bizzare.

questions 6,7,8 are fully answered and understood.

And If I might add one more question:

9. second hand smoking effects. If there is conclusive evidence that second hand smoking is a definite harm for any individual who absorbs it. What is the role of goverment there?

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4. I don't know anything about the "BMX bike" segment, but I will comment more broadly on this point about Darren Brown's "Mind Control" and free will, this is strange because this is not the first time I've heard him being brought up in a discussion about free will. There are no weird implications or clashes between what Brown is doing and free will. What we have to understand is that volition is not magical or acausal in any way. Sometimes there is a premise underlying the idea of free will that in order for it to qualify as "free," you have to be totally unaffected by any external factors whatsoever. And certainly in the history of philosophy, there are many people who hold this premise, but this is not the Objectivist position of free will.

What these things show us is not an invalidation of free will, but information about how our minds work, about our perceptual and attention systems. In a sense, it is a demonstration of free will. The capacity for attention is always limited at any given time, all awareness is selective. In any particular moment, there is far more in the world around him than a man could possibly focus on, and he must choose to aim his attention in a given direction to the exclusion of others. Thus the Objectivist view of volition as a completely natural faculty, finite and limited, and as such, it can be subject to certain kinds of manipulation and psychological techniques designed to overload or confuse people in certain ways. Most people's minds aren't running throughout the day expecting deception all around them, and in these segments of his show where he is tricking people on the street into buying some things, everything about his words, body language, the entire situation is designed to communicate "it's okay, this is legit, situation normal, just take the pieces of paper." You can see that what he's doing is setting up in a context in which there is a lot going on mentally for the person, he was distracting them with small-talk about the city, being unfamiliar with it, etc., and then he was weaving in phrases like "it's okay, take it" in reference to, say, riding the subway or something, but he says it while placing the pieces of paper in the guy's hand. So there are lots of cross-talk and distractions making it hard for the victim to notice or focus all his attention on what is going on. Those techniques don't always work either, as noticed by people in the show that don't fall for it, even though Brown is using the same things.

As far as the implications of these facts for Rand's politics is that, on the free market, people who engage in deceptive practices or who take someone else’s property under false pretenses can be prosecuted for fraud and any damages they cause to buyers.

Edited by 2046

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1. I take your question to be: "What if a majority turn into drug addicts, can't function in society, and society totally collapses?"

First of all: How realistic is this? Has this ever happened in reality? I don't think so.

If it happens, then it's a damn shame and you should, of course, move away from that society as soon as possible. It's not in your rational self-interest to live in such a society.

You still have no right to stop people from destroying their own lives, as long as they don't violate the rights of others. You can start a campaign against drug use or you can move.

At best, you could argue that many people are violating the rights of others if they fail to live up to their own contractual agreements with others. That is and should, of course, be illegal and you should suffer legal consequences from breaking such contractual/implicit agreements. One example are parents who are neglecting their children, because of their drug use. They should not only lose their children, they should also be put in jail.

2. "How can you protect animals from vicious people who abuse them?"

Animals don't have any rights, so there is legally speaking nothing you can and should be able to do to stop people from abusing animals. I am sorry. What you can do, is that you can campaign against it, and you can engage in ostracism (as I described in my previous answer to you).

Let me also say that I don't think there is anything morally wrong with killing animals for their fur. I do think, however, that you are evil if you torture and kill animals "for kicks". I would never associate myself with such people, because it makes me wonder what else they are capable of.

3. "I dont know if it's "real" or "unreal", but if it is, it has some weird implications."

I've already answered this: one could maybe argue that people who get fooled or confused or manipulated by these people are the victims of fraud.

4. "I dont want women to not get jobs or build careers because they are carrying 'our' babies..."

As I told you in my previous answer, the main reason this is a problem is because of government interventions which makes it potentially very risky and expensive for hire women. Get rid of these government interventions and many more businesses would stop discriminate against women, because of the fear that they might decide to become mothers. As for irrational discrimination in general, I've also answered you here: there is nothing you can do, legally, except let these irrational people suffer from their own irrationality by boycotting their businesses, them and the people they associate with. Discriminate them, morally condemn them in public, refuse to make business with them, etc. Make it hurt their bottom line.

5. "second hand smoking effects. If there is conclusive evidence that second hand smoking is a definite harm for any individual who absorbs it. What is the role of goverment there?"

The government should, in that case, prohibit smoking in government buildings. But the owners of private buildings and establishments should be free to have their own policies. If you own a bar, you should be free to decide whether people can smoke there or not and if you are not willing to take the risk that second-hand smoking entails, then you are free to entertain yourself elsewhere. If most people don't want to expose themselves to second-hand smoking, then most bars would be smoke-free. The smokers would be among themselves. Simple as that. As for being exposed of second-hand smoke in general, it's the same principle as with pollution: you have to prove that a certain source is dangerous and/or that you have been harmed by a certain source. When people smoke outside, it's not dangerous for other people because they are barely exposed at all. It would be impossible to prove any harm.

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knast, thanks for the long and detailed answeres.

All is quite clear and im willing to go deeper into the books and writings, the most difficult thing for me to grasp is the "no animal rights". but ill read what you recommended about it.

as far for some other things you mentioned:

"As far as the implications of these facts for Rand's politics is that, on the free market, people who engage in deceptive practices or who take someone else’s property under false pretenses can be prosecuted for fraud and any damages they cause to buyers. "

1. Does that include charletans like "mediums" of all sorts? I mean... I believe this people are hurting other people by literally lying to them about certain things. sometimes it can be fatal. I have an aunt who's rabbi told her not to take medication and she died of cancer. I find these people repulsive. But what can you really do about it? you say they should be prosecuted for fraud, and i'm all for that... But how can you prove their deception? There are all sorts of things like that, including "alternative medicine", like the sugar pills called "homeopathy" and so forth... On which law can the court of law base it's judgement upon?

2. You said that drug addicted parents who abuse their children ought to end up in prison - what do you do with the kids then? shouldnt the goverment find them a suitable place or care?

I think that sums it up for now:)

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I'm still somewhat green in regards to this philosophy, of which I've chosen to now live by. If it helps at all, one of the reasons I argue against animal rights is that it opens the door to dangerous controls.

What rights would they have? If they have a right to freedom, then we cannot morally own them as pets, or for labor. If they have a right to their property, then we cannot morally evict them from property we purchase for development.

If they have a right to their life, then we cannot morally kill them for sustenance or clothing. Then, how far are we willing to go to protect animals from violating the rights of other animals? Some might say that, because they lack reason and survive on instinct, they are incapable of respecting rights, so it's okay for them to violate rights of other animals (or even humans, according to PETA). It's that reasoning why I say animals do not have rights, and we as humans do, because we possess a rational mind.

Here is an example on an Objectivist stance on Human Rights:


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