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Eating meat has made the human race what it is.  Smart, dynamic  and somewhat dangerous.  There is no better source of protein than flesh.  Just make sure you trim the fat and cook it thoroughly.

 

ruveyn1

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I think the morality of eating meat comes from the fact that eating meat is directly beneficial to mans life and health.

 

Queue science: http://robbwolf.com/ (I'm not here to plug the paleo solution, please don't hate me)

 

Furthermore in as much as it is impossible to deal with animals by reason it is moral to deal with them by force, as we would have to in nature. And because evolutionary biology is on my our side here it should be restated that : Because eating meat furthers mans life, via his health, it is morally proper to eat meat. If one chooses to not eat meat out of principle then that principle should be stated.

 

That principle is: Mans inferiority to nature, and his subsequent lack of a right to use it for the furtherance of his values.

 

Animals deal with each other by force and not reason, although that is not a justification for how humans should deal with other humans. But it is a reason for humans to deal with animals the way animals deal with animals. So there is nothing morally wrong with eating animals... and I'm a vegetarian, but only for health reasons and not moral ones.

 

Hey, do you know the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan?

 

Vegetarians don't eat meat... while vegans don't want anyone else to eat meat. :lol:

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Hey, do you know the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan?

 

Vegetarians don't eat meat... while vegans don't want anyone else to eat meat. :lol:

Oh, thank God. For a second, I thought you were going for the "abused as kids" punchline again.

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I think the morality of eating meat comes from the fact that eating meat is directly beneficial to mans life and health.

 

Sometimes it depends on the person... Some engines run on gas while others run on diesel. I tried going vegetarian as an experiment, because I noticed that I regularly came down with the flu around the holidays when there was traditionally a lot of heavy meat eating. I did it gradually over a period of a few years to make the change easy. And once the process was complete in 1980 I never got the flu again.

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Animals deal with each other by force and not reason, although that is not a justification for how humans should deal with other humans.

That is likely part of the basis, however, that Rand recognises the fact that if man abandons reason as the means for dealing with one another, force is the only alternative.

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 That is likely part of the basis, however, that Rand recognises the fact that if man abandons reason as the means for dealing with one another, force is the only alternative.

Yes... because when people abandon reason you are dealing with animals.

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It's "molested as kids"... and it's beneficial for us to be grateful to God. ;)

Always am. But my god is of course not the imaginary one you pray to. My god the lord of Spaghetti, the master of Pasta, the seer of everything, His Noodliness who's name shall not be uttered.

Sometimes it depends on the person... Some engines run on gas while others run on diesel. I tried going vegetarian as an experiment, because I noticed that I regularly came down with the flu around the holidays when there was traditionally a lot of heavy meat eating. I did it gradually over a period of a few years to make the change easy. And once the process was complete in 1980 I never got the flu again.

Same thing happened to me. But it's because I stopped wearing yellow hats. Blue hats stop the flu. His Noodliness works in mysterious ways.

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Yes... because when people abandon reason you are dealing with animals.

and people who adhere to reason are rational animals.  We are animals  whether or not we use reason and logic.  That is a biological fact following from the biological definition of animal.

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and people who adhere to reason are rational animals.  We are animals  whether or not we use reason and logic.  That is a biological fact following from the biological definition of animal.

It's fine to regard ourselves as rational animals as long as we know better than to use animals as models for our behavior.

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It's fine to regard ourselves as rational animals as long as we know better than to use animals as models for our behavior.

We model ourselves after other animals.  Our teachers,  our parents and our heroes.

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Always am. But my god is of course not the imaginary one you pray to. My god the lord of Spaghetti, the master of Pasta, the seer of everything, His Noodliness who's name shall not be uttered.Same thing happened to me. But it's because I stopped wearing yellow hats. Blue hats stop the flu. His Noodliness works in mysterious ways.

...and don't forget to get your flu shots. ;)

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Always am. But my god is of course not the imaginary one you pray to. My god the lord of Spaghetti, the master of Pasta, the seer of everything, His Noodliness who's name shall not be uttered.Same thing happened to me. But it's because I stopped wearing yellow hats. Blue hats stop the flu. His Noodliness works in mysterious ways.

I have to say - I always look forward to reading your posts. Too funny.

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[Mod's note: merged with a previous thread. - sN]

 

 

Hey everyone :)

I've recently discovered Ayn Rand, and she seems like a really brilliant philosopher. I haven't had time to read Atlas Shrugged yet, but I'm still very curious about her philosophy and objectivism as a political system. I apologize if these questions are stupid or if they are carefully answered in her works, but again, I haven't had the time to read them yet, I'd be thankful for good answers. :)

1. Correct me if I'm wrong, but are objectivism against animal rights because they don't and will not have the ability to reason and create? Does that mean mentally challenged people shouldn't have any rights either? I understand the need for killing animals for food and skins (although in modern society that might not be necessary), but shouldn't animals at least have the right not to suffer? Shouldn't we have the chance to put people who torture animals in prison?

2. Ayn Rand was against anarchy, or multiple governments/court systems, because it could easily lead to governments or courts with really bad moral standpoints to rule, such as sharia courts, extreme animal right groups who would put you in jail for having an aquarium and so on, that's understandable. But competing objectivist governments/courts would be okay? What if they had slightly different stances on the age of consent, the length of patents and copyrights, at how many weeks you can have an abortion, etc?

 

3. When Hong Kong became a very free country, lots of people moved there, as far as I understand, this has led Hong Kong to be the most crammed place on earth in terms of population. Isn't there a concern that if a country becomes fully objectivist, people from all over the world would want to move there, and forests would diminish more and more to make more room for housing? And if a forest has a very sentimental value to people nearby, what, if anything, can prevent corporations from turning the forest into a mall or a football stadium?

 

4. What is the objectivist stance on immigration and borders? Could an objectivist government refuse people whose identities they didn't know to enter the country, or would immigration be basically free and open?

 

5. Patents and copyrights obviously motivate people to create great new inventions and pieces of art, so if objectivism advocates intellectual property, is it a form of pragmatism? Many libertarians are against intellectual property rights because you're not hurting anyone or their property by making yourself a copy, or building the same invention, two people could even have the same idea independently of each other. I think this argument makes a lot of sense, but it would also be a great pragmatic standpoint to uphold these laws to allow more innovation.

 

6. I've heard Yaron Brook talk about rational egoism, which is very interesting. But what about sociopaths? Lying, cheating and so on doesn't cause them guilt or stress, so is it morally right for them to do these things then? Another example, what if you are about to die, and you could have sex with another person other than your spouse before death, you wouldn't be alive to feel the guilt of it afterwards. Wouldn't that be morally wrong? You would still cheat on and hurt your spouse. Is the entire objectivist moral set based around rational egoism, and no consideration of others, or is that simply a perspective that objectivists try to inspire others with to remove stigmas about selfishness?

 

7. Did Ayn Rand really believe that we have free will, or was it simply a way of describing our exceptional minds and it's ability to reason? Free will is not supported by science.

 

8. If I believe that there could possibly be a god or a life after death, but without the mysticism element (If God and life after death are real, I don't think we as humans can acquire proof of that), would that be compatible with objectivism?

Edited by softwareNerd
Merged

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5. Rand's argument for IP law isn't based on appeal to social utility and isn't about "pragmatism" in the sense you used it

 

7.  Ayn Rand believed in free will, in what is close to the "metaphysical libertarian" sense.  Of note, she believed in free will and didn't believe that future events were 'set in stone' when they involved things like humans that have free will; which makes her not a compatibalist.

 

8. There's two things to split off here.  First, there's a difference between something being possible (in essence not being a contradiction) and us having reason to believe something.  Unless you have reason to believe in those things (which would win you a nobel or two) its contrary to Objectivism to think they are true.  Secondly, Objectivism rejecting God is based on a particular concept of God that comes from one segment of the Judeo-Christian tradition and has contradictory or impossible properties ascribed to her.  Objectivism doesn't have an objection beyond "there is no evidence so don't believe it" to things like Zeus.

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Ah, I see. :) Thanks for your answer. What is Rand's reasoning for IP law though? These things of course are even more relevant today than ever. I'm curious to hear other points of view than the most popular one, which seems to be that it doesn't hurt anyone or their property, etc.

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4. What is the objectivist stance on immigration and borders? Could an objectivist government refuse people whose identities they didn't know to enter the country, or would immigration be basically free and open?

In principle, it is not legitimate to stop the immigration of a person who is coming in peace, is happy to live under the spirit of your laws, and plans to support himself (or is voluntarily supported by someone else). Of course, if a hostile army assembled on the border, planning to take over the country by force of weapons, but claiming to be peaceful immigrants, one does not have to take that at face value. Somewhere in between, there's probably some role for a system that vets people in some way, but that's outside the scope of philosophy.

 

8. If I believe that there could possibly be a god or a life after death, but without the mysticism element (If God and life after death are real, I don't think we as humans can acquire proof of that), would that be compatible with objectivism?

If a belief were truly to be held this way, it is meaningless. One is saying that it has zero impact in how one makes choices. Analogously, I could say that we might all be placed into a large meat grinder after death, but what of it? Also, if I really thought this, would you classify it as a "mystical" belief? Edited by softwareNerd

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I'll help out and answer a few of these. If I make a mistake in my answer, though, I'm sure someone will point it out. I'm fairly confident I won't, though.

1. Objectivism is opposed to animals rights essentially for the reason that you said. Because animals cannot understand the concept of rights and therefore cannot respect them (a tiger will not respect your right to life if you are thrown into its cage), rights do not apply to them as an ethical principle. This does mean that animals have no right to not suffer or anything else. Animals do not have any rights because they do not have the faculty of reason.

I think I can safely say that most Objectivists are not in favor of dogfighting or animal torture, and many of us think that these practices are evidence that the people doing them are anti-life. I would guess that, psychologically, there is not a major leap between enjoying torture of animals, particularly mammals, and enjoying torture of people. But the fact that I find this practice reprehensible and anti-life does not justify the use of legal force to end it. I would also be shocked and angered to hear of a man buying great works of art and defacing them (perhaps buying statues of heroic figures and breaking off their arms), but it would not be morally justified to put him in prison, since statues have no rights. While it is more disgusting to torture animals than to break statues, animals also have no rights so there is no rational justification to jail people who torture them. One of the major parts of laissez-faire capitalism as a political system that people struggle with is the part where you have to let people do things that you have no rational reason to outlaw. Animal abuse is probably one of the most common ones with which people struggle. I know I did. But there's simply no rational justification for outlawing it (this of course does not eliminate social ostracism as a tactic to use against people who abuse animals).

2. No, competing Objectivist governments would be irrational. And unnecessary. The idea of a government is that it holds a monopoly on use of retaliatory force in a certain geographic area. The idea is that the government has only objective laws and therefore is empowered to enforce them.

Now, there are certain areas of law that are "grey zones" where you have to draw some of kind of line that isn't objectively determined. You mentioned a couple of these, namely age of consent and duration of patents/copyrights.

There isn't some objective way to determine that, okay, because of the nature of a man as a rational being and his individual rights, an individual is old enough to consent to sex at 17. For age of consent, a government has to draw a line. Now, there are lines that are more and less rational. For that example, I think 12 and 21 would both be irrational ages of consent. I think 16 and 18 are more rational. This is because most 12 year olds are not mature enough to make decisions about sex, and most people are mature enough to make these decisions long before they turn 21, but 16-18 is a time when many people do reach that maturity level. I think maybe the most rational solution is to set the age of consent at 17 or 18, but allow people who are younger than that age to take a test that demonstrates that they understand what is involved in sex and what its consequences are, but even that solution brings up a number of questions like whether parental consent should be necessary to take such a test, how old one will have to be to take it, what questions would be on it, and how the government would administer it. There is a similar level of ambiguity regarding patent and copyright duration, though Ayn Rand supported life + 50 for copyrights at least, and this seems to be a fairly rational solution, since it protects the owner throughout his life and the life of one generations of descendants.

All this is to say that there is no one rational standard for these things, but that governments can and should set rational lines for these things (abortion, on the other hand, should absolutely be legal).

In any case, it is necessary for one government to exist in a geographic area, even if they only differ on these issues. Imagine, for example, that two 17 year olds have sex and are caught by their parents. One set of parents subscribes to a government with an age of consent of 18, the other subscribes to a government with an age of consent of 16. How do you resolve the dispute if the parents who subscribe to the stricter government decide to sue?

This is why it is necessary to have one government in a particular geographic area. However, if having a minor difference in age of consent or patent duration is very important to you, you could probably move from one state to another where the laws are different.

Hope this helps!

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7.  Ayn Rand believed in free will, in what is close to the "metaphysical libertarian" sense.  Of note, she believed in free will and didn't believe that future events were 'set in stone' when they involved things like humans that have free will; which makes her not a compatibalist.

No! Objectivism is closer to compatibilism by asserting that everything is subject to causality. It's true that Objectivism doesn't support any kind of strong determinism where cognition is irrelevant. Metaphysical liberterianism is more like the view that free will is not caused by anything because it is an "originator" of action with no prior cause. But neurons and all that don't just function from some force of will, your brain operates by means of causality and having an identity. Rand didn't mean free will as "metaphysically liberated", it's more like that people make choices among alternatives with a conceptual method. People aren't like rocks rolling down a hill, nor are they ghosts in a shell.

Edited by Eiuol

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No! Objectivism is closer to compatibilism by asserting that everything is subject to causality. It's true that Objectivism doesn't support any kind of strong determinism where cognition is irrelevant. Metaphysical liberterianism is more like the view that free will is not caused by anything because it is an "originator" of action with no prior cause. But neurons and all that don't just function from some force of will, your brain operates by means of causality and having an identity. Rand didn't mean free will as "metaphysically liberated", it's more like that people make choices among alternatives with a conceptual method. People aren't like rocks rolling down a hill, nor are they ghosts in a shell.

I think this is a disagreement about focus.

 

Depending on context, it changes whether you should stress the existence of alternatives or the fact that its still causal.  The way it was asked, I think stressing that its actually free was important.

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Thanks for the answers. :)

8. When it comes to God and life after death, I've heard that Rand was even critical of agnosticism, which is why I was wondering about this. We have no idea if the universe was caused by an intelligence or not, and we have no idea how sentience works, so why is it intellectually dishonest to even consider the possibility of God and an afterlife? Believing that we end up in a meatgrinder after death is a very specific believe, and miles away from the probability of God and the afterlife, if you ask me.


1. I would like more clarification on the issue of animal rights. Sure, they don't understand ethical principles, but why should that be a good reason for why they have no right not to be tortured? Do all objectivists think this way? Surely, if objectivism as a philosophical foundation is gonna spread, people will have problems with this. And rightfully so. How can it be moral to avoid jailing someone who tortures animals in horrible ways? Or mentally challenged people or schizophrenic people who don't understand these ideas either??

2. Why would it be irrational and unnecessary with competing objectivist governments, even if they had exactly the same laws regarding the grey zones? They would have incentives to get better, just like any other business, and you could have chosen.

And regarding the grey zones, I'm pretty sure that could be solved, European countries and states in the US have different age of consent laws, but they don't go to war against each other if there is a legal dilemma, they solve it peacefully.

And yes, I also think abortion should be legal, but to what point? 12 weeks, 16, 20, 28, up until birth? If it's up until birth, why can't she kill it after birth as well? You may say there's an implicit contract, but you could just as rightfully say that about pregnancy. So we need a limit, right?

7. So if I understand you correctly, Rand did not believe in true free will?

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Thanks for the answers. :)

8. When it comes to God and life after death, I've heard that Rand was even critical of agnosticism, which is why I was wondering about this. We have no idea if the universe was caused by an intelligence or not, and we have no idea how sentience works, so why is it intellectually dishonest to even consider the possibility of God and an afterlife? Believing that we end up in a meatgrinder after death is a very specific believe, and miles away from the probability of God and the afterlife, if you ask me.

1. I would like more clarification on the issue of animal rights. Sure, they don't understand ethical principles, but why should that be a good reason for why they have no right not to be tortured? Do all objectivists think this way? Surely, if objectivism as a philosophical foundation is gonna spread, people will have problems with this. And rightfully so. How can it be moral to avoid jailing someone who tortures animals in horrible ways? Or mentally challenged people or schizophrenic people who don't understand these ideas either??

2. Why would it be irrational and unnecessary with competing objectivist governments, even if they had exactly the same laws regarding the grey zones? They would have incentives to get better, just like any other business, and you could have chosen.

And regarding the grey zones, I'm pretty sure that could be solved, European countries and states in the US have different age of consent laws, but they don't go to war against each other if there is a legal dilemma, they solve it peacefully.

And yes, I also think abortion should be legal, but to what point? 12 weeks, 16, 20, 28, up until birth? If it's up until birth, why can't she kill it after birth as well? You may say there's an implicit contract, but you could just as rightfully say that about pregnancy. So we need a limit, right?

7. So if I understand you correctly, Rand did not believe in true free will?

 1. You ask how can it be moral to not jail someone who tortures animals.

 

Because Ayn Rand believes that it is only legitimate to use force for certain things (namely initiations of force) and not legitimate to use force any other time. In short, it's only okay to use force in self-defense.

 

Now of course, initiations of force aren't the only kinds of injustice or forms of oppression in society. There can be a whole list of them, not only just torture of animals, but racism, sexism, etc. To Rand, not all forms of injustice are initiations of force, but force may only be used in retaliation to injustices that are forms of force. Of course, there are other ways to deal with these other forms of injustice and oppression in society, aside from just "jailing" everyone that does something morally wrong. Animal torturers can be blacklisted, boycotted, sued, etc. People can agree to only sell and purchase humane products, companies can require other animal-related businesses enter into restrictive contracts whereby they agree to have inspections and so forth. A libertarian society in which initiation of force is banned is one that requires a little imagination and not just "there ought to be a law" to throw others into jails.

 

2. I don't necessarily think it would be. The production of defense and security is subject to economic constraints, just like anything else, so there would be various reasons to compete. I think the biggest thing, from a Randian point of view, would be whether or not the competitors could produce objective law. Rand definitely thought not and that violence among competing defense agencies would be inevitable.

 

7. I don't know what you would consider "true free will" to be. When comparing the views of different philosophers, it's important not to take as your understanding of volition as something conceived of before-hand, then comparing it to reality and seeing that it doesn't live up to this expectation. If by "true free will" you mean something whereby human will is free form any constraints whatsoever, then no Rand did not hold this view. Nothing is limitless, everything is bound by the law of identity, and is thus something very specific with specific limitations and boundaries. Keeping this context, it is improper to conceive of free will as something which is our power to defy our nature or the nature of entities in reality. Rand held free will as the ability to focus one's mind, make choices, and reason, and thusly was determinate and limited.

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Thanks for the answer. Again, I still can't get the animal rights thing. If you are torturing an animal or a mentally unstable/undeveloped person, then you are initiating force.

Great answers so far. :) Any answers for 3 and 6 though?

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Thanks for the answers. :)

 

...

7. So if I understand you correctly, Rand did not believe in true free will?

 

The fact that one can question it asserts its validity.  However there's no distinction to be made in terms of a volitional hierarchy, i.e. no true free will, or free will lite, and one cannot abstain from free will; there's only volition, or denial of reality.

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