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buiq

PUBLIC HEALTH

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There is nothing to "reconcile". Your question and premise is the same as saying "Lets assume that thieves giving their stolen wealth to others, improves those others lives. How then do you reconcile the fact there is "some" good in theft?"
I too do not adhere to the Robbin Hood philoshophy. However, in the Public Health matter, it is diffrent in the respect that if the population is not cared for, they may spread diseases.

Let assume that there is no public funded Public Health initiatives or programs. All public health programs would be initiated for those who can afford it say a section of a city whose residents are weaththy and are Objectivists. Other parts of the city would not have such services. Do you think that those who do not have the Public Health services such as immunization, clean water...and so on would not affect the people in the wealthier section of the city? Is it not in the self-interest of the Objectivist to have the whole city immunized?

The point is whether or not one has the right to take and use it in the first place. By ignoring WHO produces it, and thus WHO has the right to dispose of the wealth, you declare that the wealth and the person who produces it are YOURS to dispose of - they are YOUR property.

I do not dispute what you stated. What I am saying is that Public Health institutions have improved population health and in that respect has improved your health, either directly or indirectly. Preventing others from having a communicable disease would improve your health. Preventing you from catching it. And, these institutions uses public funds. Is it not in your best interst to have everyone immunized so that YOU will not catch that particular disease?

Based on your statement, Public Health Institutions such as NIH, CDC, HEalth Departments...etc are "evil" regardless of the good it provided.
That is correct. Any 'good' must have roots in ethics. It is never ethical to steal. A good outcome therefore cannot prevail from an evil act. The end.

Yes, it is NEVER ethical to steal. I do not disagree. But you and me are benefiting from the work of the NIH, CDC, public Health Departments whose operating budget come from tax money.

I must go now. I will reply as soon as I have some time.

Q

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"I too do not adhere to the Robbin Hood philoshophy."

That is BS pure and simple. You DO adhere to the Robin Hood philosophy. You just adhere to it for ONE reason, as opposed to another. You EXPLICITLY admit this:

"However, in the Public Health matter, it is diffrent in the respect that if the population is not cared for, they may spread diseases."

" Is it not in your best interst to have everyone immunized so that YOU will not catch that particular disease?"

Translation:

'I DO adhere to the Robin Hood philosophy in this matter because x might happen if I don't." "It is in your best interest to rob, rape, murder, or enslave everyone so that X does not happen to you."

In other words, you are claiming the benefit you and others supposedly derive from theft is SO GREAT in this case that you MUST be a thief. The value of what you seek is 'so great' that it outweighs any measly consideration of freedom or rights or individual sovereignty. "MY DESIRE for this is so INTENSE that I WILL enslave others in order to sate it. "

'In other cases, I DONT believe the benefit derived from the violation of others outweighs those violations. But THIS case is DIFFERENT. Here, I *DO* believe the benefit outweighs the violation. The benefit JUSTIFIES the violation. So danmit - violate away!'

As I said - and you apparently did not grasp - there is NO justification for treating people as slaves. I will make this as clear as possible for you:

IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU KEEP YOUR SLAVES HEALTHIER THAN THEY MIGHT HAVE BEEN IF THEY WERE FREE. THAT IS *NOT* JUSTIFICATION FOR SLAVERY.

IT DOES NOT MATTER IF *YOU* WOULD BE HEALTHIER (or wealthier, or wiser) IF EVERYONE AROUND YOU WAS A SLAVE. YOUR HEALTH IS *NOT* JUSTIFICATION FOR SLAVERY.

YOU MAY NOT JUSTIFY SLAVERY ON ALTRUISTIC GROUNDS.

YOU MAY NOT JUSTIFY SLAVERY ON EGOTISTIC GROUNDS.

THERE ARE *NO* GROUNDS WHICH JUSTIFY SLAVERY

Get it yet?

You believe that a cost/benefit analysis can somehow justify using force against your fellow man. You believe your welfare and/or the welfare of others gives you the RIGHT to treat men as animals to be sacrificed to your ends.

YOU BELIEVE SLAVERY *CAN* BE JUSTIFIED

('I don't argree with OTHER reasons to enslave my fellow man. They don't tilt the cost/benefit scale. But I DO agree with THIS reason to enslave man. IT *justifies* that enslavement').

Put simply, you believe X trumps one's rights. You believe X vetos one's sovereignty.

You believe freedom is a permission - one you can revoke 'for the right reason'.

Sorry - aint the case.

(Oh and just so you know, I am not getting into a debate over your prior assertions that immunization, water treatment, etc are "public" health services. You are decidedly wrong on those secondary issues. They are no more "public" health services than shoe makers, shirt makers, etc are "public" clothing services, or carpenters, architects, contractors, etc are "public" housing services. NONE of them are part of any "public health" service, even though they ALL eliminate conditions which could lead to the spread of disease.

The point is, none of that is relevant to the *issue* - that 'good' can come from slavery. That is your case. You have not - and CANNOT - make it. And UNTIL you do, the rest simply doesnt matter)

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"Based on your statement, Public Health Institutions such as NIH, CDC, HEalth Departments...etc are "evil" regardless of the good it provided."

This is quite true. A mob boss is still evil, no matter how much "good" he does for he "community".

A dictator is still evil, no matter how much food, clothing or education he "provides" for the community.

A slave master is still evil, no matter how 'well' he treats his slaves.

A criminal is STILL a criminal, no matter HOW he disposes of the stolen goods afterwards (Robin Hood).

What makes them evil is NOT what they DO with the wealth they have stolen. It is how they ACQUIRED that wealth that makes them evil.

To make this clear for you, consider a group of men who study diseases in order to prevent such diseases from spreading and ultimately in order to destroy them.

If such a group breaks into every person's house - steals these people's money - and threatens these people's lives - (even experimenting on these people without their consent) - ie if they treat people as their PROPERTY - in order to support their study of diseases, such men are evil.

If such a group voluntarily pools their money together, and gets others to do so as well, - ie treats people as SOVEREIGN individuals - in order to support their study of diseases, such men are good.

The ENDS of these men (studying diseases) are not what make them evil. It is their MEANS of achieving those ends (treating men as their slaves) that makes them evil.

Put simply, the END does not justify the MEANS

THAT, however, is PRECISELY your premise (the End: 'health', justifies the means: 'slavery').

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Guest satanist

I'm curious. buiq keeps coming back to the question about how we can reconcile an apparent good coming from a collectivist system. We keep demonstrating that

1) the result is not 'good' unless you consider only one result in a vacuum, apart from it's basis in a Robin Hood methodology, and apart from its other effects, and

2) 'the good' is *not* the result of a collectivist system, but rather the collective result of individual efforts, i.e. the system did *not* provide 'the good'.

buiq, you keep asking for people to confirm that 'public health' is a 'good', and you keep asking for this confirmation without regard to any other considerations. OK, here you go; It's good that people are living longer, healthier lives. Happy now? I hope so, because that's as good as it gets. Now let us return to a more general appreciation of reality, where things tend to get a little bit messier; "Public Health" ( or whatever you want to call it ) is merely a convenient label. It doesn't prove anything about any comparison to any other system, regardless of who is participating or how many people participate. The term 'public' just implies that some vague, undefined collection of people participate. Knowing what the average person now knows about sanitation, isn't it obvious that if all the 'public health' institutions suddenly closed up shop that we'd all generally continue to live as long as our parents and grandparents? Since this is the case, isn't it obvious that knowledge is the true cause of the longer, healthier lives? Isn't it obvious that this knowledge was discovered by individuals? Isn't it obvious that it was specific individuals who created the 'public health' organizations you refer to?

These are not rhetorical questions buiq. I really want to know. :dough:

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Hello:

It appears that there is an element of hostility here. I hope that I am wrong.

It's good that people are living longer, healthier lives. Happy now? I hope so, because that's as good as it gets.
:dough: Alright.

isn't it obvious that knowledge is the true cause of the longer, healthier lives? Isn't it obvious that this knowledge was discovered by individuals? Isn't it obvious that it was specific individuals who created the 'public health' organizations you refer to?

Knowledge applied is "the true cause of the longer, healthier lives". I Agree. Yes most discoveries are from individuals. I do not dispute that neither. Yes, it is individuals who discover methods and means to treat or prevent diseases. I completely argee. What I am saying is that Public Health is population-based and it employs methods and means that discovered by individuals. As far as I know, the method of surveilance (epidemiology), education prevention...and so on have not vilovate any property right. Ideas were not stolen, so far, but these institutions do use tax money for the benefit of the population.

Do you not see that the functions of the CDC, NIH..etc are needed by individual citizens and can affect their interests directly? As I have mentioned that comminicable diseases do not disciminate. They can affect us all. If by the rational that there is no "good" coming out of forcing peole to pay tax for services that they do not want. Each individuals should have the right to exercise that. So, for those individuals decided not to be immunized, they can affect my rights, my self interests, my right to live, how should those people to be dealt with? Would you suspend their rights because they exercise the right not to be immunized?

Put simply, the END does not justify the MEANS

THAT, however, is PRECISELY your premise (the End: 'health', justifies the means: 'slavery').

Alright, the concensus is that as long as money used not voluntarily then all "good" comes from it is "evil"

That is BS pure and simple. You DO adhere to the Robin Hood philosophy. You just adhere to it for ONE reason, as opposed to another. You EXPLICITLY admit this:"

BS? Hardly. I am here to understand Objectivists point of views. Although I have read most of Rand books I do not claim to understand all. I am here, as stated on the original post, to understand what I see as inconsistancy or misunderstanding on my part (or hers?) of her concepts. It is for this reason I am here to ask, to debate, to learn.

If I do adhere to the Robbin Hood mentality I would have no shame to admit so. I do not. I have earn everything I own and never accepted a handout even when I was destitute. Please do not assume just because I took a position during a debate that I ascribed to such position and live by it.

If I may comment, I found that in this debate or discussion I have learn quite a bit about "Objectivists" views, especially Public Health. I hope I can continue to do so on other subject matter. I am glad that I have participated in this discussion. It was fun and educational. However, I am slightly disappointed in that I detect some hostility.

Q

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"Alright, the concensus is that as long as money used not voluntarily then all "good" comes from it is "evil"

Intellectual dishonesty. That is not what was said. Reread the statements. Post the EXACT quote.

"BS? Hardly....If I do adhere to the Robbin Hood mentality I would have no shame to admit so. I do not."

Intellectual dishonesty. You EXPLICITLY stated:

"I too do not adhere to the Robbin Hood philoshophy. However, in the Public Health matter, it is diffrent"

So in normal context you do not adhere to the Robin Hood philosophy. But in the context of public health YOU DO.

If you meant something else you should have said so. But you didnt mean something else because your postings have been DEVOTED to JUSTIFYING a specific MEANS based on its ENDS. Your statement was in COMPLETE agreement with every other assertion you have made.

--

So - do you NOW accept that the ends do NOT justify the means?

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The fundamental objection to buiq is, in my opinion, this: "you measure the good - by what yardstick?"

His claim, that people are now living longer is the good, is absolutist, agent-irrelativist, intrinsicist. Good - by what standard? By the standard of your own life qua Man?! - that cannot be.

The good you claim is non-objective. It is perhaps based on some form of utilitarianism or altruism or whatnot. But if you don't measure it by your own life, it's not any form of Objectivism.

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It appears that there is an element of hostility here. I hope that I am wrong.

It's not hostility toward you, personally--it's hostility to your ideas. You seem to call on the pathetic (meaning pathos) method of questioning our motives every time you feel uncomfortable. But it's your logos (logical premises) that we question.

As far as I know, the method of surveilance (epidemiology), education prevention...and so on have not vilovate any property right. Ideas were not stolen, so far, but these institutions do use tax money for the benefit of the population.
Really? You're not aware of any tax dollars being used for the use of medical science dealing with the transmission and control of disease? Because I am. And that violates (or, vilovates, as you spell it) property rights. Tax dollars are stolen--specifically allocated for the use of this field. How do you justify those tax dollars, and how would you explain their use other than being an infringement of property rights?

Yes, it is individuals who discover methods and means to treat or prevent diseases. I completely argee. What I am saying is that Public Health is population-based and it employs methods and means that discovered by individuals. <snip> Ideas were not stolen, so far, but these institutions do use tax money for the benefit of the population.

So the tax money isn't taken without consent, but it's used for the good of the population without consent? IT'S STOLEN MONEY---HOW DO YOU NOT GET THAT????????????????

Do you not see that the functions of the CDC, NIH..etc are needed by individual citizens and can affect their interests directly?
No---they are not NEEDED. The same functions could be taken care of by private persons! And even if they *were* NEEDED---a person's NEED does NOT constitute a CLAIM on the fruits of anyone else's PRODUCTIVITY!!! Meaning their tax dollars. What do you not understand about that?

Please do not assume just because I took a position during a debate that I ascribed to such position and live by it.

Then what position are we to think you take? Are we to think that you take an objectivist view? and to think that you are anti-pragmaticist and don't believe that the ends justify the means? You have said nothing to indicate that you believe anything but that----you believe we should suspend our morals and use government money to fund whims!

I'm sorry, but frankly, I'm beginning to get irritated with your refusal to look at reality!

PS--My apologies to everyone else on my shouting via upper-case letters. I've never done that before on a forum, but my sense of reality has been sufficiently tweaked to warrant strong language!

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RadCap, Apprentice, et al -

buiq cannot comprehend your standard of evil because he does not share your standard of good. His good is something else entirely. It is not one's own life by one's mind - it is anything but that. Of course he knows all the facts; but he has replaced your fundamental value with a fraud.

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I sense that buig is stuck in the statist mud. Having been brainwashed by the altruist collective it is hard for him/her to see how this so defined "good" could be accomplished otherwise. So for his benefit I'll suggest an alternative, feel free to expound.

buig,

Objectivists are rational, we value anything which furthers our own rational self-interest.

Any objective "good" accomplished by so called "public health" would be valued by objectivists. If it is valued we would be willing to pay for it voluntarily. This principle can be applied to any objective "good" for which the government currently sees fit to forcibly relieve us of our property. In certain cases, such as communicable diseases, our rational self interest may even be served by providing voluntary charitable contributions to help immunize those that can't afford it.

Furthermore, private individuals, private industry and the free market will always produce any "good" more efficiently than the government (the public). This of course causes "the good" to be even better by making it more affordable and more widely available. To the extent that clean water and sanitation and health care are abundant and affordable thank capitalism. One need only look to the slums of Soviet Russia and the rationed health care of socialist Europe to see what happens when the government decides what is best and how to accomplish it.

The government's only proper function is to protect our individual rights.

p.s. buig -- watch the grammar.

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Hello:

Thank you for your posts.

I sense that buig is stuck in the statist mud. Having been brainwashed by the altruist collective it is hard for him/her to see how this so defined "good" could be accomplished otherwise. So for his benefit I'll suggest an alternative, feel free to expound.
It is possible am. However, to undertsand or to get out of that "statis" mode, I am here. If I was brainwashed I would not be here to discuss this matter with you all.

I have stated, those people who contract diseases may affect you and me. Public health programs can prevent that from hapenning. Because public health uses public money thus not acceptable by objectivists regardless of the positive outcomes. This is what I have learned from your posts.

Any objective "good" accomplished by so called "public health" would be valued by objectivists. If it is valued we would be willing to pay for it voluntarily. This principle can be applied to any objective "good" for which the government currently sees fit to forcibly relieve us of our property. In certain cases, such as communicable diseases, our rational self interest may even be served by providing voluntary charitable contributions to help immunize those that can't afford it

Thank you. Your answer has satisfied my query. The point I was trying to get to was there is "good", or as you put it "value", in providing immunization from those who cannot pay for it. I do undertand your objection from the present state of the Public Health System because it uses tax dollars.

If permissable to ask, how effective would the voluntary system be in financing public health?

It's not hostility toward you, personally--it's hostility to your ideas. You seem to call on the pathetic (meaning pathos) method of questioning our motives every time you feel uncomfortable. But it's your logos (logical premises) that we question.
That is fine. As long as the hospility is not personal, I am Ok with it. I do agree that should my opinion, query, ideas, logic are flawed, you have every right to question it. I do not feel uncomfortable at all by asking for your opinions.

You're not aware of any tax dollars being used for the use of medical science dealing with the transmission and control of disease? Because I am. And that violates (or, vilovates, as you spell it) property rights. Tax dollars are stolen--specifically allocated for the use of this field. How do you justify those tax dollars, and how would you explain their use other than being an infringement of property rights?

You are right, I should be clearer. Epidemiology,a method that I mentioned, was first employed by John Snow in the mid 1800 and continues to be used today. Pasteurization idea was discovered by an individual not by government. These methods are used in the public health settings and do not violate (sorry for the bad spelling on the last post) property right. I am aware that at the NIH, CDC, University research programs use tax money.

No---they are not NEEDED. The same functions could be taken care of by private persons! And even if they *were* NEEDED---a person's NEED does NOT constitute a CLAIM on the fruits of anyone else's PRODUCTIVITY!!! Meaning their tax dollars. What do you not understand about that?
I disagree with you whether NIH, CDC are needed or not but I will stay on topic. I do understand that tax dollars are used in Public Health. I am not disputing that at all. It it precisely because they use tax dollars to provide programs for the population that I have brought this subject here to ask for your opinon. I have stated numerous times that public health programs have "value" (I am borowwing Mac K.'s word here) in society and individuals but these programs use tax money which impinge upon individual and property rights. Marc K have explained that there is value in these programs but these programs should be financed voluntarily.

I'm sorry, but frankly, I'm beginning to get irritated with your refusal to look at reality!

:dough: . I am not refusing to look at reality at all. Agreeing with Marc that these programs need to be financed voluntarily. But in "reality" I wonder how this can be accomplished?

Then what position are we to think you take? Are we to think that you take an objectivist view? and to think that you are anti-pragmaticist and don't believe that the ends justify the means? You have said nothing to indicate that you believe anything but that----you believe we should suspend our morals and use government money to fund whims!
I have taken the position that Public Health programs do provide benefit to the population including all of us. However, because these programs use public money, I wondered what Objectivists opinions are. You all have answered my question. I do not ask you to suspend your moral or ethic. I have enquired your opinion on a subject mater that I view to be beneficial but against the Objectivist principle. I originally have asked Onjectivists to reconclile the benefits derived from Public Health programs yet these programs use public money. Someone have stated that there is nothing to reconcile. It does not really matter the good comes from these program because the money used is public money.

Oh, I do not claim to be an Objectivist just because I read Rand's Books. I need to understand and comprehend her work much more before I would claim myself to be one.

So - do you NOW accept that the ends do NOT justify the means?

Surely. Yes. I accept that the ends do not justify the means. However, I wonder how Public Health can be carried out on a voluntary basis. In 1999, the federal government spent 29.2 billion on public health agencies. This figure does not include state and local expenditures.

Q

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"I have stated numerous times that public health programs have 'value'"

And your assertion of many times is flat-out wrong, precisely because you do not specify of value--to whom? There is no value with the entity to value it.

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RadCap, Apprentice, et al -

buiq cannot comprehend your standard of evil because he does not share your standard of good. His good is something else entirely.

I know feldblum--it's just that this is becoming extremely frustrating! And it's not even just buiq--he/she just happens to be one tiny little example of the sickness that's slowly taking over the country.

It's that mistaken concept of the good that allows politicians to convince voters that healthcare should be socialized. It's that mistaken concept of the good that keeps people from even considering the possibility that they have a right to question whether or not they should be paying income taxes. It's that mistaken concept of the good that leads to citizens' inability to see that when they trash capitalism and business just because it's politically en vogue, they're actively working toward their own enslavement. It's that mistaken concept of the good that allows the government to take more and more directly out of our pockets while they sit by, immobilized by hazy ideas that they should want to help others because that's the good.

But he/she says this sort of debate isn't meant to be personal? Well, espousing those sorts of ideas---and exposing other people to their particular brand of trash has intensely personal and concrete consequences!

The whole situation is just so frustrating! There are just too many people out there that think and behave in this manner. How do we even begin to go about combatting this mindset? It's one thing to say that it's not worth debating with someone who won't accept reason as the terms of argument. But it's another thing to turn away from the fact that the very person you give up on persuading can still cause real-life consequences by voting in an election or spreading their drivel to other who do so! :dough:

I'm at the point where I don't know how to deal with that knowledge. They won't seem to "get out of my way" and I can't seem to find a way of forcing them to. Every year the country that had so much starting potential is creeping closer to collectivism because of people that think the government should be providing all these services. How do you stop that movement?? The fact that I don't think there's a way to do it despite its importance makes me pretty sure I'll eventually end up in some padded cell, raving like a lunatic! :ph34r:

Buiq--I don't know how to explain my hostility or level of frustration any better than what I wrote above. When I say it's not hostility toward you, personally, I mean that your statements here are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. You're getting the brunt of my frustration for all mankind right now, which may not be terribly fair. But most of this conversation has been so symptomatic of larger problems that it's really driving me nuts!

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Apprentice:

It's that mistaken concept of the good that keeps people from even considering the possibility that they have a right to question whether or not they should be paying income taxes. It's that mistaken concept of the good that leads to citizens' inability to see that when they trash capitalism and business just because it's politically en vogue, they're actively working toward their own enslavement.
Oh, I question everytime I get taxed for something I do not think have any "value" to me. I am frustrated with the tax system as much as anyone. I do not trash capitalism. Contrary to your belief, I like capitalism. I am self-employed and run my own companies. I earn much more money under capitalistic system than under any other system. As an aside, I escaped from a communist country and do think capitalism is much much better than any other form of economy or government.

I chose Public Health specifically as a topic to discuss with you all because I perceive that Public Health has value. Value to whom? To me. I do think that by immunizing the public, including those not able to afford it, is in my best interest (but it appears that you do not think so). I do not want to live in an environment with sick people. I may die. I understand that you have rejected Public Health because it uses public money.

Buiq--I don't know how to explain my hostility or level of frustration any better than what I wrote above. When I say it's not hostility toward you, personally, I mean that your statements here are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. You're getting the brunt of my frustration for all mankind right now, which may not be terribly fair. But most of this conversation has been so symptomatic of larger problems that it's really driving me nuts!

Yes, I do sense your frustration or hostility from this discussion. :nerd: This discussion has been very educational and informative (at least to me). I do thank you!

Q

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It's a value to you, specifically. Ok. Then you understand that you cannot say it is objectively "good" or "valuable".

What is that value? - the product of enslaving others. In other words, you have the value system of Attila (from Ayn Rand, For the New Intellectual).

Living by the product of others is a value to you, as far as the position provided in your posts shows. Is living qua Man - ie, living by the product of your own mind - a value to you? If so, then you have to resolve the contradiction: you have to choose which value is more fundamental and accept it, rejecting the other one. If not, then why do you work for yourself? - because you do value living qua Man.

That is the contradiction you are facing, and the only rational way to rise above it is to discard life qua carnivore, and to adopt, firmly and unshakably, life qua Man.

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Oh, I question everytime I get taxed for something I do not think have any "value" to me

And here is where you and I differ: I question being taxed regardless of what the money is being used for. It doesn't matter if it's a cause that I would find "valuable". This is the reason I referred to Public Health as your little "pet project". You've decided it's of value "to you", so you seem to make it an exception to questioning the issue of taxation. Don't you see the problem there?

I don't want to live in an environment with sick people either. I would be willing to help get people immunized who could not afford it on the private level of my own free will---IF the situation were such that these people not being immunized was a danger to me. However--this HAS to be done privately and voluntarily or I will not willingly comply.

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And by definition cannot willingly comply. Where force exists, the volitional mind does not. Instead, it becomes a question of how one complies: by giving up one's property, by giving up one's freedom, or by giving up one's life. By giving up one, one gives up all three. The taker of one rejoices, for in truth he wants all three.

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Hi:

It's a value to you, specifically. Ok. Then you understand that you cannot say it is objectively "good" or "valuable
I do think it is valuable to preserve my life. Having others contacted communicable diseases would not be beneficial to me for it can affect my life.

Ok, here is where you can educate me. Is preserving my life is a subjective value?

What is that value? - the product of enslaving others. In other words, you have the value system of Attila (from Ayn Rand, For the New Intellectual).

No, I have stated I do not support enslaving anyone or wish to so so. I have accepted that the ends do not justify the means in previous posts. I have accepted Marc K.'s position that Public Health Programs should be financed voluntarily but I do not know how this will work in "reality".

According to Rand, Attila value represent man of force. To achieve his goals he destroys his opponents physically and take whatever he wants. His power is essentially fear. Attila would oppose to free trade of goods, services, and ideas. Am I correct or I have misunderstood Rand? I do not oppose to free trade of goods, services, or ideas. Regarding Public Health, I do see that it provide a "value" from its services. Now, I have accepted that using public money for public health would be opposed by Objectivists.

Living by the product of others is a value to you, as far as the position provided in your posts shows. Is living qua Man - ie, living by the product of your own mind - a value to you? If so, then you have to resolve the contradiction: you have to choose which value is more fundamental and accept it, rejecting the other one. If not, then why do you work for yourself? - because you do value living qua Man.
I, as an individual, is responsible for my own well being and dependent on no one. I have done so before I ever discover Rand and continue to do so. I also do recognize that "no man is an island" in the sense that their existant can affect me. There are others who share this planet and their ill health may affect me. For my own well being, as in the case of Public Health, I do support Public Health initiatives to improve population health. I have learned from your posts and others that Objectivists would support Public Health but on a voluntary basis only.

And here is where you and I differ: I question being taxed regardless of what the money is being used for. It doesn't matter if it's a cause that I would find "valuable". This is the reason I referred to Public Health as your little "pet project". You've decided it's of value "to you", so you seem to make it an exception to questioning the issue of taxation. Don't you see the problem there?

You pointed out that I am selective regarding taxation for public health. Alright, I'll buy that!

Ok, I have two unrelated questions to ask you. 1) You oppose to taxation regardless of what the money is used for. By that, you opposed taxation altogether? 2) Did you, prior to reading Rand's work, have an ideology of your own or you have abandon your own ideology to that of Rand?

------

May I make an observation after being here briefly. The responses to my query are very similar. Is it because the nature of my question elicits similar responses or Objectivists' view is narrow and rigid? Objectivists espouse individualism but in order to be an Objectivist one must "conform" to the "collective" to be one. To disagree would automatically be rejected from becoming an Objectivist and possibly be considered as as less than capable. Is this an incorrect observation?

Can Objectivism philosophy be practised widely? If possible, Objectivists would allow each individuals to have his or her own belief system, even though it may be not be the same, for Objectivism value the individual. Or all must adhere to Rand's principles in order to practice her philosophy widely? Please educate me!!!!

I hope I did not stir up a hornet nest.

Q

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Ok, I have two unrelated questions to ask you. 1) You oppose to taxation regardless of what the money is used for. By that, you opposed taxation altogether? 2) Did you, prior to reading Rand's work, have an ideology of your own or you have abandon your own ideology to that of Rand?

1.) Yes--I oppose income taxes altogether. They are immoral--it is immoral to tax a person's productivity. The concept punishes those who work and is the legalized theft of personal property.

2.) (Personally--but others can answer this on their own) I was a proponent of laissez faire capitalism and against income taxes before reading anything by Rand. Her philosophy has simply provided a necessary grounding in metaphysics and epistemology (which is a process that I'm still working on refining) and has allowed me to release some unnecessary middle-class guilt, to be frank.

May I make an observation after being here briefly. The responses to my query are very similar. Is it because the nature of my question elicits similar responses or Objectivists' view is narrow and rigid? Objectivists espouse individualism but in order to be an Objectivist one must "conform" to the "collective" to be one. To disagree would automatically be rejected from becoming an Objectivist and possibly be considered as as less than capable. Is this an incorrect observation?

Yes, the responses to your query are similar and will probably remain so. Objectivists do espouse individual rights and that's why they're so similar (as funny as that probably sounds.) It's not about "conforming to the collective". We're not the Borg ;) It's simply that the type of people who are attracted to this philosophy tend to have similar ideals. Rand explains the concept of narrowmindedness better than I can. Her philosophy basically refers to the fact that we need not keep a "wide open mind" but rather an "active" one. That means keeping in mind that there are certain principles that, once you recognize they are true, you don't go back and allow contradictions between them and new beliefs that you entertain. You must always check your premises, but you don't just chuck them out the window because someone asks you to "keep an open mind". ("Keeping an open mind" basically asks you to consider the idea that anything is possible and there are no Absolute Truths.) "Keeping a wide open mind" is not an objectivist ideal or principle. And yes--a person must adhere to certain principles that she laid out---otherwise they're not really objectivists. It's not an arbitrary, exclusive club. It's just that if you don't adhere to certain principles, your ideas don't really fit in with her philosophy.

I'm not sure if I explained that terribly clearly. Perhaps it would help if you mention what you have read of hers and other objectivists? There are many people here who are more knowledgeable than me who could point you to specific things to read--just starting places if you're really interested in learning about this subject.

And for the record, I think you are just that--someone who is actually interested in learning and not a common troll. While I don't agree with many of your espoused views, you've remained polite and that's valuable to me personally :rolleyes: You've definitely taken the brunt of my personal frustration gracefully (which is more than I even hope for from many people... :) I've lost a lot of patience lately for a variety of reasons and that's something I need to work on.

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buiq, put yourself in this position:

You take excellent care of myself. You do not smoke. You take great care with my nutritional plan. You exercise daily. You drink only occasionally. You do not drink & drive. You have no family history of any major diseases. You take vitamins. The costs of providing health care for you are as low as they can possibly be.

On the other hand, you have a neighbor who is 250 lbs. overweight. He lives off of high fructose corn syrup and trans fats. He smokes and drinks heavily. He uses intraveinous drugs. He's epileptic, etc., etc. The costs of providing health care for him are as high as they can possibly be.

Why should you pay for his poor health?

The only way to have an ethical Public Health system would be to give citizens the *option* of participating in the program. Those who pay the tax are eligible to receive public health care. Those who do not must seek other avenues. In this case, how would it be THAT different from private health care? The only difference would be who was running everything. I, for one, would trust a medical professional whose own money/livelihood is on the line than a board of beaurocrats who have little at risk for the quality of health care. I think we are all aware of the quality and efficiency of most government-run programs.

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Buig continues to make a claim in one sentence then CONTRADICT it in the next. He claims he does NOT believe the ends justify the means. Yet he makes THIS statment - and he does so SPECIFICALLY without QUALIFICATION.

"I do think it is valuable to preserve my life."

Since buig IGNORES context, what this statement means is that NO MATTER WHAT, I think it is valuable to preserve my life.

This means that he thinks it is valuable to preserve his life - if he has to steal from other people.

This means that he thinks it is valuable to preserve his life - if he has to rape other people.

This means that he thinks it is valuable to preserve his life - if he has to enslave other people.

This means that he thinks it is valuable to preserve his life - if he has to murder other people.

IF he believes otherwise, he needs NOT ONLY to state he does NOT believe one should murder others to preserve one's life, but WHY he does not believe it.

So - to "educate" him I will (for the UMPTEENTH TIME - takes alot for him to understand ONE concept doesnt it?) provide the answer to his question:

" Is X a subjective value."

The answer is: IT DEPENDS. On what? THE MEANS.

To provide SPECIFIC answers (and I'll make it easy for him to grasp the form - BEFORE the IF = END; AFTER the if = MEANS):

Is protecting my life a subjective value IF I steal from someone to do so? YES, it is a subjective value.

Is protecting my life a subjective value IF I engage in voluntary exchange to do so? NO, it is NOT a subjective value.

Is protecting my life a subjective value IF I enslave someone to do so? YES, it is a subjective value.

Is protecting my life a subjective value IF I hire someone to do so? NO, it is NOT a subjective value.

Is protecting my life a subjective value IF I murder someone to do so? YES, it is a subjective value.

Is protecting my life a subjective value IF I defend myself FROM a murderer to do so? NO, it is NOT a subjective value.

-

Put simply, protecting one's life is a subjective value IF one violates someone else's life to do so.

It shoud NOT take ANYONE three PAGES of posts to grasp this idea.

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That was a good explanation, RadCap. I was struggling with how to explain the subjectivity of a person valuing their life without just saying, "Well, yes and no." Hopefully the manner in which you spelled it out will make it clear to him.

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Hello:

This means that he thinks it is valuable to preserve his life - if he has to steal from other people.

This means that he thinks it is valuable to preserve his life - if he has to rape other people.

This means that he thinks it is valuable to preserve his life - if he has to enslave other people.

This means that he thinks it is valuable to preserve his life - if he has to murder other people.

IF he believes otherwise, he needs NOT ONLY to state he does NOT believe one should murder others to preserve one's life, but WHY he does not believe it.

My asnwer is NO for all of the above. I have never or have any intention to RAPE, MURDER, ENSLAVE, or STEAL from anyone. If I have done so, I would not be sitting here freely converse with you all. In doing the mentioned I would have violate others rights and I have no desire in doing that.

My life is valuable thus I do want others to be immunized to prevent me from getting it. It is for survival and self preservation, physically and economically. I have said this numerous times and have accepted that the ends do not justify the means. I do not see the contradiction in this at all. Ok, how about this rationale. Public Health is "the public interest" of individuals like myself wanting to preserve our lives from communicable diseases thus support Public Health. It is common a interest of individuals. Now, I have stated YOU have object public health programs on the basis that it uses tax money. I have accepted your position. My only question is how would the voluntary tax system be carried out? You have not answer this question.

My life is valuable to me and is not subjective. This is a reality for all human (exept for those nutty enough to want to kill themselves). We all value our lives. This is definitely an absolute for it is real. It is not my feeling, intution, or my dependency on you to know my life is valuable. So, to PROTECT my life I support Public Health and concede that, IDEALLY, it should be done on a voluntary basis. But, we are not living in an ideal world. So what would you propose in an unideal world, for we must be cognizant our REALITY and not a supposed or a wishful world that we want to live in.

BTW, the framer of the Constitution explicitly authorized the federal government to promote and provide for the general welfare (in the Preamble and Article I, Section 8) and to regulate commerce. With this, the federal power slowly evolved in the area of health. Many subsequent Supreme Court decisions have broaden the federal authority by determining that additional powers are implied in the explicit language of the Constitition. The Constitution grant authority to the federal government to regulate international affairs and interstate commerce, this has allowed the government to concentrate its efforts on preventing importation of epidemics and assiting states and localities, upon request, with their periodic needs for communicable disease control.

Rand praised the founding father of the US and the constitution of the US. Did she forget this portion of the constitution which you object?

It shoud NOT take ANYONE three PAGES of posts to grasp this idea.

:) , Frustrated? Do you not find this is fun and intersting? I think so. I have learn quite a bit ,actually, from you and others. I am sorry that you feel frustrated and becoming slightly hostile. But you should not. Remember what Rand said about hostility. It is "caused by a profound self-doubt, self condemnation and fear, hostility is a type of projection that directs toward other people the hatred which the hostile person feels toward himself. Blaming evil of others for his own shortcomings, he feels a chronic need to justify himself by demonstrating their evil, by seeking it, by hunting for it-and by inventing it."

Yes--I oppose income taxes altogether. They are immoral--it is immoral to tax a person's productivity. The concept punishes those who work and is the legalized theft of personal property.
Ok. So how do you think this can be done on the voluntary basis and be practical about it. Rand herself did not offer a solution to this but defer the practicality of voluntary taxation to another field, law.

I was a proponent of laissez faire capitalism and against income taxes before reading anything by Rand. Her philosophy has simply provided a necessary grounding in metaphysics and epistemology (which is a process that I'm still working on refining) and has allowed me to release some unnecessary middle-class guilt, to be frank.

Thank you for answering my question here. I am glad to know that you did not reliquish your own ideology to conform to a collective and that would contradict individualism that Onjectivists hold value to.

And yes--a person must adhere to certain principles that she laid out---otherwise they're not really objectivists. It's not an arbitrary, exclusive club. It's just that if you don't adhere to certain principles, your ideas don't really fit in with her philosophy.
So, must I subscribe to her entire principles to be an Objectivists? What if I disagree with her, let say abortion- would I still be an Objectivist? Like those believe in the Bible, they cannot selectively believe only portions of the Bible but must believe in all of its content? Is that how it work?

You've definitely taken the brunt of my personal frustration gracefully (which is more than I even hope for from many people...

Oh, no problem. I enjoy this discussion with you and others.

Alright, I think we have beat the dead horses to death? :rolleyes: Is that the way to say it? Thank you all.

Q

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