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Everything posted by emorris1000

  1. Ok, let's assume they are the same and extrapolate to other things and see if we hit a contradiction. I pay money to buy a house. By the definition of property used above, I am giving property to recieve property. In fact all commerce becomes a circular loop of giving A to recieve A, which doesn't make sense. The only way for it to make sense is that I give A to recieve B. Taking that back to before it is not the case that I am having A stolen to protect A. I am giving A to protect {A,B,C,D....Z} (where A= money, B= house, C = car, D = peace of mind, E = etc etc.) Ideally yes. But lets think about this. Lets say I want a military in my country to protect my property. And not just me, most of my fellow countrymen do. But not everyone. Lets say some small group (5% or so) doesn't want a military. Some may have rational reasons (hey I live in Montanna what do I care), some may have irrational reasons (hey we have a local militia that is sufficient). Do they have to pay? If so then it is not voluntary. If not then do you exempt them of the benefits? CAN you exempt them of those benefits? I would argue that you can't, not if you want to maintain any concept of a country (otherwise it would be "ok so we will allow this guys house to be conquered, but not this guys"). It's also highly innefficient. So you protect them as well and they recieve benefits that they have not paid for. They, in fact, have assaulted my property because it lowers the amount of military protection I recieve for my investment because I am subsidizing their protection, desired or not. The reality, as opposed to the metaphysical reality, is that government can never be voluntary for all participants all the time, because it is composed of individuals trying to come to a unified purpose. Which, dirty a word as it might be, requires compromise. The best hope would be that everyone gets what they want most of the time, and the costs of the compromises they make do not outweigh the benefits of unified spending: ie it is a net positive for them. I apologize, that was a pretty broad generalization/unfair representation. I'm not really sure what you're saying here. What I'm hearing is "Just because it's good for you doesn't mean it's in your self interest" which I don't think is what you're actually saying. Dude you just selectively quoted me and removed the line that provided context (does the level of education in my vicinity protect/enhance/threaten my property.) Anyways, my standard of morality is self-interest and intellectual honesty, And yeah, depending on how you define utility there are ties there. But my guess is that here you are talking about Utility with a capital U and trying to bring up the utilitarian vs objectivist argument, which is interesting when you talk about government spending. All government spending involves using a "greater good" argument to justify the use of force to collect taxes to pay for said spending. This is effectively utilitarian in nature and against Objectivism IFF there are people who do not agree that the "greater good" serves their self interest, people who are being forced to work against themselves or towards something that has no value to them. They question then again is "could there ever be a type of government spending that everyone can agree on, or those that don't agree with it can be exempted from the benefits at no additional cost." In a country of 300 million people I don't believe this is remotely possible for any spending. I don't consider that conclusion utilitarian though, I consider it to be acknowledging reality.
  2. I would consider that the ONLY reason to have a military and police force. The reason your given logical fallacy fails (if you will) for the police/military example is that you have a false equivalence: "Expropriating property in the name of ensuring that property is protected" The first "property" is different from the second "property". They aren't the same. What you give is different than what is protected. For police I may give 100$ a month to protect against an accute theif coming and stealing my money, my car, my house, or god forbid my life, there is only an equivalence with the theft of money, and even there what I have purchased is a stability in the loss of money, which is a service. For the military I may give 1000$ a month to ensure that my land itself is safe, or that the business I have spent years building isn't conquered and dismantled, something that the accute property theif could not take, but that a foreign military could. It is simply a service with an economy of scale that is justified through a mutual self-interest. A lot of people (Rand included) made the mistake of thinking that public spending was inherently bad, but ignored the possibility of such a thing as truly mutual SELF interest. No altruism there. We're all just going to Sam's club together. With schools its far less clear, of course. Does public education increase the overall level of education in the population? If so what threat does a lower level of education present to my property? It's a much more convuluted
  3. So your saying that collecting taxes to maintain a police force and a military is a logical fallacy?
  4. I've always been interested in this topic. How do you define property rights of an item that can't be contained or parcelled out, like air. I'll have to take a crack at that article when I get home, can't really get through all of it now. My view, however, has generally been that air pollution is a violation of property rights. Here's a simple argument for it: 1) Everything has an owner, or has the ability to be claimed and owned. 2) Air dispersion in the atmosphere cannot be contained, therefore it is impossible to "divvy up" air, or conquer it, or buy it or whatever. 3) Therefore Air exists as a property owned as a mutual trust. 4) Therefore by damaging air quality you damage the property of those engaged in the mutual trust I mean, it's pretty straightforward that air pollution is a property rights violation. When I breathe I make a withdrawal from the mutual trust. When someone pollutes the air they damage the withrdawals of all participants in the trust. Now, it's unrealistic to think that you can just stop air pollution, so the trick is some kind of renumeration that is used to restore air quality (how?) or is simply paid out to the breathers. This may seem a bit far fetched, but its a lot less ridiculous that the current mentality on air pollution that dispersion actually removes it from the system, which I can tell you it absolutely does not, or even more ridiculous the concept that atmospheric air doesn't belong to anyone, thereby implying it has no significant value. And heck it is not that hard to add scrubbers on most air pollution streams.
  5. Howdy. New to the forums, thought I would give a bit of background. I have always had an anti-authoritarian streak. My parents always said that I would never take someone else's word for something and had to screw it up myself before I learned . In highschool this lead me into the punk scene which I saw as a culture that by definition rejected oppressive authority. But, as I got older I realized that it was itself a fashion more than an ideology, and in that way ironically created it's own authority. Then in college (BS Chem) I lived in housing co-ops (kind of like a co-ed frat with hippies/hipsters) and enjoyed it again for what I saw as another group that rejected authority, but really what it did was simply redefine the authority and its goals, and could be far more blatantly oppressive (for example: "I hate frat guys, they're always so prejudiced.") After college I was pretty dissillusioned and confused about my views as my two interactions with cultures that rejected authority either did so only superficially or simply replaced one authority with another. So, when at my first job my boss asked me if I had ever read Atlas Shrugged I was a bit ambivalent. I had read roughly 1/2 of it years ago and remembered the characters being stilted and poorly written, and told him as much. He suggested I read the Fountainhead instead as it had more complex characters. I kind of forgot about it, but then one day I found a copy of it as a book on tape and listened to the whole thing. There was one line that stuck with me on that fundamental level that is innescapable: "I think the only cardinal evil on earth is that of placing your prime concern within other men. I've always demanded a certain quality in the people I liked. I've always recognized it at once--and it's the only quality I respect in men. I chose my friends by that. Now I know what it is. A self-sufficient ego. Nothing else matters." A self sufficient ego. This is the most important aspect of existence. It is the rejection of authority, not as a struggle for the sake of it's rejection, but for the impossibility of it. This had a profound effect on me. Permanent, if you will, and inescapable. I went on to read Anthem and Atlas Shrugged. I was surprised to find that the latter was as stilted in the last read as in the first, and generally disliked it (that's an essay in and of itself). But I realized that the failure with my previous experiences in the co-op or with the punks was that I was simply supplanting the authority of one group with another, and the true self-sufficiency comes only from within. That's why I've never really sought out any objectivist sites before. What need is there for a group exercise in discussing self-sufficiency? It reminds me of this story of 2 Taoists who meet. They talk for a moment, then one mentions he is a Taoist. The other responds with a bit of excitement that he's also a Taoist. Then, they both sit with a pause in the air until one says "well that's the trouble with being a Taoist.....you can't really talk about it." Objectivism strikes me somewhat similarly. By approaching it as a group you may in the end weaken it due to the group providing a sense of authority to a concept in which authority begins and ends with the individual. The schisms in teh Objectivist community over time only exemplify this. But to be honest I am curious about what is out there, and in the current political/economic climate I see there being major oppurtunities for the misuse and misappropriation of Objectivism, something that makes my skin crawl. So here I am, testing the waters.
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