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Why is O'ism against environmentalism?

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Bees aren't higher functioning animals like cats and dogs.

So? You made a specific claim: "Either [animals'] sole purpose is survival (an automon [sic]) or they can make a choice." I have given an example of a creature which clearly is an automaton but which engages in suicidal behavior. Thus, you cannot use suicidal behavior as proof that a creature can make a choice. Your statement is false.

The same would be true of humans, then.

Where did you get that idea from? That doesn't follow at all.

I'm just saying that BASIC choice making and consciousness ARE there and it's been proven (for higher functioning animals, at least).

If by "basic" you mean perceptual-level consciousness then obviously yes. But choice does not follow from this. Animals are still driven by instinctual, automatic response to stimulus and not choice.

Right back at you.

The point is that you can't just cite some study which does not support your claims and then declare things proven. This is doubly so if the study is epistemologically corrupt.

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Animals do a lot of suicidal things - sometimes because their automatic programming is insufficient to deal with conditions and sometimes because natural selection favors suicidal behaviors under certain conditions.

Interesting. I remember reading in The Sorrows of Young Werther by Geothe (the Catherine Hutter translation that is) of something Werther recalled hearing once. When I came upon it a while ago, I was like, "Wait a minute. I thought animals didn't act against their nature, they couldn't possibly do such a thing." But looking back on it tonight, after reading what you said, I can understand that even suicide can be in accordance with their nature though, in a way. Here's the quote from said book:

I have heard tell of a noble breed of stallions who, when they are overheated and run wild, instinctively bite open one of their veins to relieve themselves. I feel like that often. I would like to open the vein that would give me eternal freedom.

I have no idea if that is true or not, but what you said reminded me of it, and it finally started to make sense, especially seeing that word "instinctively" in there...

Edited by intellectualammo

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So? You made a specific claim: "Either [animals'] sole purpose is survival (an automon [sic]) or they can make a choice." I have given an example of a creature which clearly is an automaton but which engages in suicidal behavior. Thus, you cannot use suicidal behavior as proof that a creature can make a choice. Your statement is false.

Where did you get that idea from? That doesn't follow at all.

If by "basic" you mean perceptual-level consciousness then obviously yes. But choice does not follow from this. Animals are still driven by instinctual, automatic response to stimulus and not choice.

The point is that you can't just cite some study which does not support your claims and then declare things proven. This is doubly so if the study is epistemologically corrupt.

Animals still feel pain, they still have neurons and sensors. They still feel fear and still respond to an external stimulus. I'm not for promoting 100% animal rights, but I think cruelty to animals is wrong.

As I said, they still feel pain.

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Animals still feel pain, they still have neurons and sensors. They still feel fear and still respond to an external stimulus. I'm not for promoting 100% animal rights, but I think cruelty to animals is wrong.

As I said, they still feel pain.

Is feeling pain the source of rights? Think with your rational faculty - do not rely on emotional programming inspired by a decadent culture.

I don't know what you mean by "cruelty," (as I think it may be a bit of an anti-concept) but sadism is certainly wrong. Sadism would be wrong against inanimate objects, though. "Feeling pain," by itself, is not an ethical consideration.

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"Men must deal with one another as traders, giving value for value, by free, mutual consent to mutual benefit" is what Ayn Rand said. So this only works with men? If so, then as soon as the "one another" becomes animals we can assume power over them? So then why can't we assume power over other men if we wanted to? Because it's too cruel and against our altruistic values?

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"Men must deal with one another as traders, giving value for value, by free, mutual consent to mutual benefit" is what Ayn Rand said. So this only works with men? If so, then as soon as the "one another" becomes animals we can assume power over them? So then why can't we assume power over other men if we wanted to? Because it's too cruel and against our altruistic values?

When confronted by a hungry bear in the woods, do you:

a. begin a lengthy discussion of trading value for value

b. run like hell

c. pull a gun and open fire

If you do anything but c. you will have succeeded only in sacrificing a value--your life--to the bears hunger and have gotten nothing of value in return. I think the quote from Ayn Rand that you seem so fond of assumes the rationality of the traders involved. That would exclude animals, obviously, as well as any appeal to "altruistic values."

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"Men must deal with one another as traders, giving value for value, by free, mutual consent to mutual benefit" is what Ayn Rand said. So this only works with men? If so, then as soon as the "one another" becomes animals we can assume power over them? So then why can't we assume power over other men if we wanted to? Because it's too cruel and against our altruistic values?

This reminds me of that episode of 'The Simpsons', when they have 'Do What You Feel Like Day' and society falls apart because no one 'feels' like producing anything and instead just decides to take everything by force.

Yang let's imagine your world, where people assume power over one another. Imagine something as simple as if you wanted to go get a meal at McDonalds. Rather than open the door yourself, you pull out a gun and force another patron to open the door. They pull out a knife to defend themselves and you blow their head off. The resulting blast shatters the glass and you hop inside. The people, all living in your Ubermenschian utopia, are wrestling around to get their food first. You take out a machete and start cutting through the crowds of people to get to the front. You demand that the man behind the counter give you food, as you are greater than him. He pulls out a shotgun and blasts your head off, before loarding over his Burger Emporium, revelling in his strength as the sole tyrannical ruler of this food outlet.

Please tell me how you assume this is the proper way for men to survive? Sounds more like a poorly written zombie film.

Edited by Tenure

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"Men must deal with one another as traders, giving value for value, by free, mutual consent to mutual benefit" is what Ayn Rand said. So this only works with men?
Obviously, since dogs and fish are encapable of engaging in trade.
If so, then as soon as the "one another" becomes animals we can assume power over them?
No, of course not. Why would you think that?
So then why can't we assume power over other men if we wanted to?
Because it's contrary to man's nature, and a being must act according to his nature.

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So this only works with men?

As David said, yes. Obviously. Have you ever tried to trade with a crocodile?

If so, then as soon as the "one another" becomes animals we can assume power over them?

It depends on what you mean by that. If you mean, "as soon as a man chooses to live as an animal - by initiating force" then the answer is yes. As soon as a man initiates force, it is appropriate to deal with him like we do animals - by force.

So then why can't we assume power over other men if we wanted to?

Because most other men do not go around initiating force. And because "I feel like it" is not a reason.

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I appreciate the number of responses. And I want to say that I admire Rand's values very much (in fact I share many of them), but her philosophy is very short-sighted. What I am trying to do is use what she says against her, not because I actually believe my examples. When I say- "Men must deal with one another as traders, giving value for value, by free, mutual consent to mutual benefit" is what Ayn Rand said. So this only works with men? If so, then as soon as the "one another" becomes animals we can assume power over them?"

I mean that- can we do whatever we want with animals? But not with men? And the replies I've received seem to be "yes", because it is not rational to deal with animal, only with men. Of I choose C. in the hungry bear example, just as I would choose to use force against a man who uses force. Although I don't understand where the use of force comes from originally came from.

What I'm trying to say is that humans reason with other humans only because this way we are most likely to benefit, we don't reason when we don't benefit.

Because it's contrary to man's nature, and a being must act according to his nature.

Human nature is a tentative thing. When you say a being must act according to his nature you are implying that human nature never changes, that there is a fundamental morality. There is only one thing that is fundamental- the pursuit of happiness. A being's nature changes when a being's nature impedes the pursuit of happiness. Monkeys became humans (sorry if this is incorrect) because humans are better at being happy, or survive. We adapted laws and morals because they seemed to be necessary.

Because most other men do not go around initiating force. And because "I feel like it" is not a reason.

"I feel like it" is a perfect reason, it is the reason for everything we do.

Edited by yangw66

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but her philosophy is very short-sighted.

Hundreds if not thousands of random people on the internet have waltzed onto this forum to claim that they have identified several "obvious" flaws with Objectivism. Chances are, you probably have not studied it nearly as much as many of the regular members on this forum. Even if you disagree with some Objectivist ideas, you will not accomplish anything besides aggravate the members of this forum by making broad, unqualified criticisms such as that I have quoted above.

If you do happen think Objectivism is "short-sighted", try asking a question to address a specific point about Objectivism that you disagree with.

I mean that- can we do whatever we want with animals?

Can you provide some examples of treatment of animals that you think Objectivism would permit but you disagree with? In addition, are you asking can we legally do anything we want with animals or can we morally do anything we want with animals?

In terms of legality, it is not necessarily true. If you are a cattle rancher, I cannot slaughter your cows as they are your property. I also cannot legally abduct your family dog or sell your cats on e-bay without your permission.

In terms of morals, it would be immoral to senselessly torture animals under the principles of Objectivism. For example, slowly blowtorching a dog to death.

Human nature is a tentative thing.

I do not understand what you mean here. Can you please provide an example of how fundamental human nature changes?

"I feel like it" is a perfect reason, it is the reason for everything we do.

I suspect that you did not really understand what Inspector meant. There are essentially three motivations for why an individual would take any purpose-driven action.

1.) From force. This could be from divine revelation, social obligation, government edict or literally because someone has a gun to your head.

2.) From subjective feelings. This includes because you "feel" like doing something. In other words, you are taking this action not because you calculated it to be in your long-term self interested but because you are just operating on your subjective whims.

3.) From reason. This would be taking an action because you have rationally concluded that it will advance your life in the long run.

In a moral society, an individual is never morally permitted nor should he be legally permitted to initiate force against another individual. Especially not because he "feels" like it.

Edited by DarkWaters

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If you would like to read my arguments in the debate forum- <a href="http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.php?showtopic=10914" target="_blank">http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.php?showtopic=10914</a>

By the way, I believe that every action a human takes is reasonable, that every single action forwards himself towards happiness, be it from subjective feelings, from force, or from contemplation. "Long-term" and "short-term" are hypocritical terms. Men always do what is in their best self-interest. There is no point moving on if we are divided in this.

Edited by yangw66

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Men always do what is in their best self-interest. There is no point moving on if we are divided in this.

We are indeed divided on that. I know plenty of men who definitely do not do what is in their best self-interest. I see self-destruction all the time.

I think you would do well to keep your views confined to one thread, in the debate forum, since you obviously disagree, rather than, as Darkwaters said, aggravating everyone here by spreading your arguments all over the place. Keeping it confined to the debate forum would be most in keeping with the rules, and also with general decorum.

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By the way, I believe that every action a human takes is reasonable,.... (snip).... Men always do what is in their best self-interest.
(my bold emphasis)

Yes, this is something that someone would have to believe, as in "take on faith", because there are men who demonstrate on a daily basis such overwhelming amount of evidence to contrary.

I guess you might possibly be able to support this statement if your view of "reasonable" included range of the moment decisions and actions taken without regard to potential, probable and sometimes certain outcomes that bring about negative consequences to one's life.

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Obviously, since dogs and fish are encapable of engaging in trade.No, of course not. Why would you think that?Because it's contrary to man's nature, and a being must act according to his nature.

Fish, not as likely, but dogs? Sure. A dog does not have to be domesticated if it doesn't want to be (I've seen such dogs). HOwever, the dog stands as much to gain from the domestication as the human. Free food, secure home, companionship. If you really don't think there is a value for value trade in domestication, I think you're mistaken. This only applies, really, to domesticated animals, since hunting/eating is an entirely different matter all-together.

Edited by Styles2112

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HOwever, the dog stands as much to gain from the domestication as the human. Free food, secure home, companionship. If you really don't think there is a value for value trade in domestication, I think you're mistaken.

But the dog doesnt actively engage in the trading of values, though. When you go to the pound to pick out a puppy, you dont lay out the advantages you are prepared to offer the prospective pet and choose from those animals that step forward. You pick the dog you like and it has to accept whatever advantages being a domesticated pet in your household has to offer. You are its master, not its trading partner.

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Precisely, fletch. It is a dangerous anthropomorphization to attribute an advanced, conceptual trait like trade to a simplistic, perceptual entity like a dog. You might be seeking a value in return for a value from a dog, but the dog knows absolutely nothing about all of that. It is simply a perceptual being, following its automatic instincts.

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I suspect, but am not certain, that my dogs occasionally try to trade with me. Sometimes when I have something they really want, they will bring a bone drop it at my feet and wait expectantly.

A fundamental requirement to claiming rights is the ability to respect the rights of others. No animal is remotely capable of this. Imagine the aburdity if "animal rights" were granted. If they had rights, they would be have to be held responsible for violating the rights of others.

You would have to take birds to court for tresspassing, and squirrels to court for chewing your attic wiring.

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Sometimes when I have something they really want, they will bring a bone drop it at my feet and wait expectantly.

So it knows of something that will benefit it, and it has learned that you might give it the item if it brings in a bone.

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How ironic, Andrew Ryan Is going to get banned from Objectivism Online. <_<

Also, I read elsewhere from a gloating troll that the moderators on this site don't track or block IP addresses.

From what I heard that is the only reliable way to get rid of a troll.

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How ironic, Andrew Ryan Is going to get banned from Objectivism Online. <_<

Also, I read elsewhere from a gloating troll that the moderators on this site don't track or block IP addresses.

From what I heard that is the only reliable way to get rid of a troll.

I thought the only reliable way to get rid of a troll was to burn the body?

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Also, I read elsewhere from a gloating troll that the moderators on this site don't track or block IP addresses.

From what I heard that is the only reliable way to get rid of a troll.

Nah, there's no need for blocking IP addresses. It's more trouble than there are benefits. Especially with the quick mods we have around here, trolls realize that their precious ramblings end up in the trashcan unread. While the IP blocking can be easily bypassed (I for instance use proxies all the time, because I like to keep my address a secret-to avoid identity theft), admins with quick reflexes and sharp swords can render a troll's dim-witted efforts all but useless.

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