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  1. Today
  2. Maybe. I'm trying to justify the concept of individual ownership. As opposed to common ownership or in some circles "no ownership at all". No ownership at all is easily refuted and most people understand that. No ownership at all is simply impossible. But many even conservatives see common ownership as virtuous. Some will even argue that it is because of ownership that conflicts exist in the first place. But right now, I'm trying to use the simplest argument for individual ownership. The idea that you reap what you sow is usually acceptable. It is similar to the cause-and-effect aspect of ownership. The pushback I get is that you can respect cause and effect with a council determining ownership. I suspect that it's because Objectivism is lumped in with Anarchism.
  3. The quote is not a full justification of anything taken in isolation. If you are looking for a justification of “ownership”, which is a linguistic re-phrasing of the concept “property”, you should look at the concept which property derives from, namely “rights”. Property does not depend on the amount of a thing. Rand does not claim that property rights are solely justified by extraordinary abundance, and Rand does not define property “as” anything. In general, Rand does not define words, she uses words with their proper, conventional meaning, and makes significant explanatory statements about those concepts. I guess the underlying problem here is that you don’t understand her reduction of “property” to “rights” and “identity” via her identification of man as a rational animal. The concept of “wealth”, as invoked by Adam Smith, play no significant role in the Objectivist theory of rights and politics, it is just included in the quote to direct the reader’s attention to The wealth of nations. The statement does not focus on extraordinary abundance (you inserted “extraordinary”, that is not part of the definition of wealth). Are you trying to understand what justifies the concept of property?
  4. Beyond ordinary abundance, yes I could see that fitting the meaning. The original statement does not fully justify "ownership" only ownership of "extraordinary abundance". What about "adequate"? My point is, that the source of property rights can't be solely justified by extraordinary abundance. Or does Rand define property as very valuable things? I can see the justification of cause and effect. You planted the seed, the tree is yours, or should be. And if someone else used or disposed of the tree, they stole it. My fundamental problem is that I was debating the issue of ownership with someone and an Objectivist made this claim and he was shot down because of these other examples. Otherwise, the statement only ends up meaning "All forms of valuable things created by the mind are valuable things created by the mind". And of course, the right to own such things would flow from the creator's actions. But as Boydstun points out ownership is not all caused by the person and there are exceptions. There is the issue of supply and demand in determining value, the value of something is based on a subjective need too, in a drought cheap water becomes very valuable, in a famine, the apple could be traded for a house, etc. That's why the statements focus on extraordinary abundance is weak.
  5. Wealth is the “abundance of possessions or of valuable products”, which is distinct from “anything that exists”, such as clouds or insects. It’s not that the thing itself must be created (by a person), rather, the thing must be turned into wealth by a person, for example by realizing that dirt and water can be combined into something quasi-useful, or that a certain weed can be eaten. By recognizing the utility of naturally-occurring objects, junk lying around becomes wealth. At present, the rat fish is not “wealth” and it is just lying (swimming) around. This is also the basis for claiming land, that a person sees the potential to use the land to survive (literally living off the land), meaning that the land is now a value worth working to keep. In terms of sorting out unowned things, this requires some kind of legal framework is necessary. Typically, it means that a person lays claim to specific land, and when certain conditions have been satisfied, he owns that land. However, ownership can be sub-divided, therefore mineral rights are not the same as surface rights, and water rights can be separate from surface rights. Timber rights do not flow automatically from ownership of the land. Ordinarily, the owner of the apple tree owns the apples, and the owner of the land owns the apple tree except when someone else has permission to use the land via a lease, laws regarding which are a substantial part of the Code of Hammurabi. Under the terms of the lease, perhaps the land owner owns that particular apple, or perhaps the farmer does, you have to check the fine print.
  6. Yesterday
  7. “Policies” are emergent, they emerge after the candidate takes office and has to execute the duties of the office. At the campaigning stage, we mostly have slogans like “Make America Great Again”, “Hope. Change”, “Bye, Don”, “Believe in America”. Since Harris is not running for president, she has not declared any policies, that is up to Biden. When it comes to the VPOTUS package deal, all we have to go on is ideological probabilities. The two central questions w.r.t. Harris are (1) is she more progressive than Biden or less – my judgment is “more” – and (2) does she have the political strength to resist the demands of the substantially more progressive Democratic machine – my judgment is “not much”. Of course, we saw the disasterous results of a president who was totally willing to ignore the advice of his betters.
  8. Those two arguments are a false dichotomy, and it is false that in order to be justly entitled to property, one has to have earned it. Most property most of us have was earned by our own labor. But children inheriting property from wealthy parents are rightly entitled to it, even though they did nothing to deserve it. (And the fantasy that if the inheritor of wealth does not subsequently act in tending to it as though he or she would have been able to have earned it in the first place, they will lose their inherited wealth in the marketplace (a Rand assertion in her AS, as I recall), is just getting poetic justice mixed up with real-life free markets.) I'm not saying anything against inherited wealth (by will) here; people correctly have a right to give their property to underserving offspring. It is the idea that property is only just (as to having a right to it) if earned that should be dropped. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Rights, Games, and Self-Realization (1988) Introduction / Part 1 - Rights against Personal Injury for Two in Isolation / Part 2 - Imperfect Rights in Land / Part 3 - The Just State / Freedom ---Followup to the preceding 1988 on its method of government funding: here.
  9. Agreed, it must mean something like that. But the use of the word "property" is the problem. An apple can be your property, to be traded for an orange. How does one determine who the tree belongs to? as in whose property it is? There is a discussion of the nature of the property below. At the core of the question is how does one deserve something. Yes, the law of causality is proper. You caused it, you deserve it. The leftist argument is that goods exist and you distribute them, as the collective or state does it. That there is no cause and effect. But some goods, like a beautiful ocean view is not created by man. https://pressbooks.online.ucf.edu/introductiontophilosophy/chapter/the-nature-of-property/
  10. What policies of Harris as President do you think more dangerous than Biden's?
  11. I don't make anything of it, as a vague concept. Do you have in mind a specific instance of such opposition, something that we could look at?
  12. The main reason why I think that is a safe bet is that “blanket immunity” is not a question raised in his appeal, and it is unlikely that the court will decide sua sponte that US (former) presidents are etermally immune from all prosecution. I do expect that SCOTUS will not accept the lower court conclusion that “Presidential immunity from prosecution for official acts does not exist at all”. A vote for Trump is a vote for Trump, plain and simple. One is free to conjecture about the “deeper meaning” of an individual’s act of voting for Trump. For example, a vote for Trump might “really” be a vote against Harris whom I consider to be a more-dangerous potential POTUS than Biden. In my state, it is a purely symbolic act because all electoral votes will go to a non-Trump candidate (our electors tend to go off the rails and vote contrary to state law). Apart from an individual’s personal motivation for some choice (which remains private), there is also the social consequence of the anonymized choice, for example a choice could increase the count for one candidate, or decrease the choice for a different candidate, and then we will see reports in the media to the effect that “Trump lost / gained votes {statewide / nationally}”, by comparison to 2016 and 2020. In a few days we will know who the LP candidate will be, for the moment I assume it will be Chase Oliver, so the credible choices are Biden, Trump, Oliver, and abstention. In terms of actual support, I would prefer “none of the above” or Chase Oliver over the two probable-winners. In terms of actual consequences, at least for me, voting is entirely inconsequential because Biden gets the electors here. I accept that Trump is a greater train-wreck w.r.t. rule of law, but I do not have any faith in Biden’s ability to continue acting as POTUS for another 4 years. I suppose this could be an opportunity to see to what extent the “shadow government” could keep things running for the remainder of his term.
  13. Among the legion panics mongered via TikTok is one that sounds like such a perfect hybrid of earworm and "eight glasses of water a day"-type garbage folk wisdom that "helpful" busybodies latch onto that I am sure I'll hear it at least seventy times over the next month. The title of a nice piece of debunkery (HT: Genetic Literacy Project) contains the fallacy: "No, Eating French Fries Is Not the Same as Smoking Cigarettes." A psychiatrist, one Paul Saladino, is responsible for arming your local Commander Clueless with this cute cudgel:NOT "Cancer Sticks" (Image by Design Wala, via Unsplash, license.Saladino's pseudoscientific rants were brought to my attention by a former student who now teaches science in Germany. He was asked by one of his students about a video in which Saladino claims that eating a serving of McDonald's fries is equivalent to smoking a pack of 25 cigarettes. The stimulus for this video seems to be a paper that Saladino read but was unable to properly digest. It discussed similarities between the chemical content of french fries and tobacco smoke and noted that a serving of fries can contain some carcinogenic aldehydes in amounts comparable with that found in the smoke from 25 cigarettes. In no way did the authors suggest that the risks were comparable. Let's note right away that there is a big difference between inhaling or ingesting a substance. Inhalation leads to direct entry into the bloodstream, while the digestive tract contains numerous enzymes that metabolize food components. Next, tobacco smoke contains thousands of compounds... [bold added]I can't resist the temptation to suggest that perhaps Saladino failed to "digest" the paper properly because he inhaled it. Onward... That said, the whole article is worth a read just to see how wildly unwarranted Saladino is to conclude that fries are that dangerous on the strength of a myopic comparison of their chemical contents yanked out of the context of the paper and, as science writer Joe Schwarcz demonstrates, even such commonsense knowledge of the difference between breathing and eating, and cigarettes and fries. You're welcome in advance for today's installment of expertise should be digested, and not inhaled. -- CAVLink to Original
  14. This would be an outrage on its own, but in the context of Democrat foot-dragging on the three legitimate reasons to prosecute Trump -- his role in the civil unrest of January 6, 2021; his attempt to interfere in Georgia's election; and his unlawful possession of national security information -- there should be no doubt that, like Trump, they are serious only about getting elected, and not about the good of this country. . . . -- CAV Link to Original The idea that one political party or the other is running the judiciary in this country, with citation of law as only a pretense, is baloney. I'd bet a Coke that when the US Supreme Court gives its decision on Presidential immunity (on crimes in office) after the President's term, it will NOT give blanket immunity, notwithstanding the majority of Justices being Republican and Trump being a Republican (at least officially a Republican). It was not Democratic Senators who failed to convict Trump in the impeachment over his role in January 6 and the lead-up to it, but Republican Senators. And it is mainly due to good defense attorneys that the other three cases against Trump have been delayed—AD should pat them on the back. Federal election felony in the New York case going to the jury next Tuesday is only one of three felonies in view, the other two are New York felonies, and a juror will be able to convict Trump provided he or she judges beyond a reasonable doubt that the facts match the elements of the crime in view of at least one of the three felonies. Turning to OUR upcoming decision, a vote for Trump is a vote for undermining in fact the US Constitution and the democratic republic it makes stand with public support. Hordes of authoritarian haters in fact of the Constitution and its Bill of Rights have flocked to the support of Trump for a second term. Don't be among that movement against equal protection under the law for all and government by the people. At least abstain. Oppose also any Republican candidate who is against legal abortions or contraceptives. I know the Democrats are especially terrible in their indifference to budgets in the red and in the cause of inflation, but for now even that is the lesser failing. I don't know if I'll vote for a presidential candidate, but I'm not voting for Trump, and I urge you also to not vote for him.
  15. I have no doubt that gut beliefs would play a huge role in such a decision, but alternatives will are also important. Even if you believe that you will die if you are transported, your willingness to be transported still depends on the alternatives – (a) being burned alive by lava in a volcano or (b) being a bit late to a dental appointment. If you tend to believe that transporters kill you, that would morally preclude taking the transporter under scenario (b), but scenario (a) is less clear – it depends on whether you feel that transporter death is a less horrible fate than lava death. But these are only ethical problems, they have no bearing on the question of whether you actually die by being transported. While choices do depend on knowledge of reality, matters of consciousness do not determine what reality is. Therefore we should trim away all questions about what a person would do, believe, or “know”, and focus what actually is. The First Person Experience question has a pretty simple answer: whatever you experience, you experience it. That is how we define “subjective”. There probably is a necessary connection between FPE and consciousness (only a consciousness can have an FPE; a consciousness necessarily has an FPE – because that is what it means to “experience”). You claim a fundamental difference which is purely subjective: the FPE somehow changes radically pre-transporter vs. post-transporter. But, in what way, and what is your evidence for such a change (whereby because your post-event experience is different, you no longer exist)? Why do deny that when you sleep you die because your post-sleep experience is different, likewise your post-surgical experience, or the experience when the surgeons stop your heart then restarted it? I argue (in the same sense of “argue”, viz. “rhetorically assert”) that I die when I sleep and I am re-created when I awaken. One thing clearly distinguishes sleep from being transported, which is that you have repeatedly experienced sleep and conclude for some reason that you haven’t died thousands of times, but you haven’t experienced the transporter (and the surgical alternatives depend on the individual, but from my FPE I did not die). Before speculating about death by transporter, we need a better account of what it means for an entity to be “the same” across time and space. Ordinary experience tells you that when you take 10 minutes to walk to the store, the accompanying changes in time and spac coordinates do not constitue a “change” in your identity, at least in the sense where you ceased to exist and a copy was substituted. The same goes for driving in a car or taking an airplane, so what exactly make movement in time and space via a transporter necessarily different from such lower tech methods, and why does that define death? You can (and did) ask whether transporting a hydrogen atom constitutes creating “the same thing” in another location. I notice that you don’t have a clear and well-supported answer to that question, instead the argument is shrouded in uncertainty that the atom might be different. If we can clearly resolve the more basic question about sameness of tiny things like atoms and electrons, maybe we could apply that same logic to conscious beings like humans.
  16. Good one. The life expectancy in Castro's Cuba is high, but wealth is low. I'm pretty sure some would prefer Florida if they had a choice, but some would prefer to stay in Cuba and its programs of support for ordinary people. President John F. Kennedy, West Berlin, 26 June 1963:
  17. ET, from the context of that quotation, I don't think "wealth" was intended in the special economic sense of simply goods and resources having economic value. Rather, the more common meaning: riches, a great quantity of valuable material possessions or resources; affluence. I notice that although there are edibles from naturally growing trees (or coconuts on the island), getting the benefit is sometimes easy, but sometimes takes some steps. And so far as I know, humans will not be satisfied with only that much. They would like also a grilled fish, and that will take quite a lot of intelligent steps.
  18. I have trouble with the idea that people go onto an island and there are fruit trees there. They are a form of wealth already there for the taking. How does that fit in with the quote below? Also a stream with fresh water. Granted one must reach out and pick the fruit or pick it off the ground, but the wealth does not have to be created. So what is the definition of wealth here? "The source of property rights is the law of causality. All property and all forms of wealth are produced by man’s mind and labor. As you cannot have effects without causes, so you cannot have wealth without its source: without intelligence. You cannot force intelligence to work: those who’re able to think, will not work under compulsion; those who will, won’t produce much more than the price of the whip needed to keep them enslaved. You cannot obtain the products of a mind except on the owner’s terms, by trade and by volitional consent."
  19. America's [Life, Liberty, & Happiness] VERSUS the Dark Ages' [Nasty, Brutish, & Short] Which do you prefer?
  20. Last week
  21. The thread was sparse on philosophic arguments , I skimmed most of it the first time through because the discussion was mainly focused on technical mechanics of a highly improbable hypothetical. I did notice later someone commented on the possibility that equating identity with information violates A is A. Which from what I gathered was closer to the intent of the OP , but for the most part that was drowned out by back and forth on the physics of the hypothetical. Not to mention a full rending of Rand’s integration of body/mind. I respect your decision to not respond to any posts you choose to ignore , including and especially mine , just like in the past.
  22. -- CAV Link to Original Not "tomorrow", things like this are happening to good patriotic Americans like myself right now, but I there is a very good chance that this is possibly the purpose of this extremely large criminal organization running the streets of the Midwest destroying American citizen's lives like my own and why reaching out to every federal agency to stop this mass criminal activity is constantly met with silence, more crimes committed against myself, and a smear campaign.
  23. Over at Capitalism Magazine is a piece by Alan Dershowitz which explains (a) how the Trump hush money trial is a cynical mockery of the judicial system, and (b) why everyone, regardless of where they stand on Trump, should be alarmed. I am no fan of Trump, but have long suspected that this trial was an abuse of the legal system by the Democrats. The below makes it plain that I was right:Stormy Daniels (Image by Glenn Francis, via Wikimedia Commons, license.)The underlying crime is seemingly a minor misdemeanour -- falsifying business records -- which long ago expired under the statute of limitations. In order to turn it into a felony within the statute of limitations, prosecutors will have to show that Trump falsified the records in order to impact his election, thus constituting a federal election felony. The problem is, however, that federal authorities have not prosecuted Trump for this federal election crime. Moreover, state prosecutors have no jurisdiction over federal election law. Finally, we were not even clear, when the trial began, as to precisely which federal election laws the District Attorney was relying on.This would be an outrage on its own, but in the context of Democrat foot-dragging on the three legitimate reasons to prosecute Trump -- his role in the civil unrest of January 6, 2021; his attempt to interfere in Georgia's election; and his unlawful possession of national security information -- there should be no doubt that, like Trump, they are serious only about getting elected, and not about the good of this country. And the Democrats are being obviously short-sighted:Today the target is Trump. Tomorrow it may be a Democrat.There is more, specifically pertaining to how the trial is likely to play out: Trump, who may well be convicted of a felony by this blue-state jury, seems likely to be exonerated on appeal, but only after Election Day. Notably, Trump is a horrible politician and has adopted so many of the left's tactics and policies. There is poetic justice in this last fact, but that is cold comfort indeed when one thinks past the next election. Today, a power-lusting petty criminal is being crucified; tomorrow, it could be a good man and a genuine patriot. -- CAVLink to Original
  24. No, it's not and I don't make arbitrary claims. But this will be my last response to you as you and several others should be completely ignored so that that you leave this Forum.
  25. @123Me In case you don't have enough to do already, I would recommend "The Simplest Thing in the World" for a brief, entertaining look at Ayn Rand's view of creativity. It's a short story about a novel writer and can also be found in the Romantic Manifesto. This is very well-put. As I understand it, emotions play a role in maintaining context, and this is necessary for art to work. That said... I do wonder often about the "journalistic" or "you're not alone" or "it do be like that" function of what is debatably art. In my most subjectivist days, I resonated deeply both with Kandinsky and Bacon. I'm still astonished at how instant a connection I had with the first Rothko I saw; very personal. There's still an enormous degree of catharsis that comes from such art that I think goes beyond escapism and more resembles empathy, which is another highly conditional (read: contextual) good.
  26. A use of classical chaos (not quantum chaos or quantum regular) in brains, not for free will function (at least in this paper), but for accomplishing perception: How Brains Make Chaos in order to Make Sense of the World (1987) by Skarda and Freeman. Walter Freeman is also the author of How Brains Make Up Their Minds (2000).
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