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Mick Pestis

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  1. Thanks, that was a really clear answer that sums it up:) ill use it.
  2. Thanks alot Grames, ill check in on these threads. Spiral Architect, Thanks also, I can't believe I forgot about the fact that roads would be privatized... as for the voluntarism thing, well, couldn't they just say that a good leader could influence people to "accept" other so-called "rights" like "right for healthcare"? The main issue is explaining why you CAN'T extrapolate, from the fact that many things require "regulations", like forums, and voluntary communities to the state level? I know it sounds silly but they use that against me, they actually start bad-mouthing me for no particular reason, and when I report that to the Mod, they go; "Oh, you need a Regulator now huh??", hence implying that regulations are neccecary, hence the "conclusion" that it is required on the state level. I know it's a fallacy but I just don't have an adequate rebuttal for that. What am I suppose to say, "some places do require regulation, others don't"? it's that and the fact that I don't really know how the state level "Book of laws" looks like in a laissez-faire state (especially regarding property rights), is there something like that? cause I know objectivism supports one law system (right?), so there must be something judges base their verdicts upon (right?;|) I need some reading material on this aspect (Threads, articles, certain books that cover that topic, etc) so if you have it, bring it over! Thanks.
  3. By the way, I often get "Tackled" by certain issues... I find it hard to explain why goverment should be limited and why unregulated capitalism is the most moral way when im debating people. I'm usually saying that it's not moral to take my money via taxes with coercion in order to pay somebody else's lifestyle, but then, even though they are not anarchists, they put me in the corner saying "So you are willing to take from people in order to pay police and courts but not other things?", and I answer than, and I explain the laizes-faire point, but I always end up trying to defend that position and explain why anarchy is immoral... it's rather tiring. maybe you have a rebuttal for that. And another thing: Someone asked me if I support limiting the speed of drivers on the road (can you go 200miles an hour if you want to?) or if I support laws about crossing the street or driving through a red light. I tried to think about it, but came to a blank. I tried to compare that to legalizing weapon carrying, which I agree for the most part with the Objectivist party view (that it should not be granted to ex criminals), so why would I object a limitless speed on the roads? I was certain that if I go down that road of "Voluntary communites can excersize certain norms/laws" he would "extrapolate" that to a state level, and I dont really know what to answer to that.
  4. So bascially you are saying Objectivism's "take" on that is rather closer to the compatibilist approach rather than the incompatibilist (libertarian) approach? Can you identify with Harris's criticism (the line I quoted) about liberterian metaphysics in regards to "free will", and it not being compatible with our current understanding of the human mind? If I understand correctly, you emphasized the differences between objectivism and incompatiblism, but what about the various opinions in the compatibilist "realm" of thought? Is harris's and dennet's approach, going through neuro-sciense, is something you guys advocate, for exploring the "nature" of free will?
  5. I find it hard to get a real understanding from objectivist's writing so far, as to where does it stand on the question of free will. I just read an article by sam harris, which says among other things: Now if I look at Libertarian Metaphysics ; I see that it's "take" on free will is: Which he says does not fit to "our scientific picture of the world" (do you agree with that by the way? I'd like to hear an explanation) On the "other side, there's hard determinism, the claim that determinism is true and thus that free will does not exist. Now that I know for sure, Objectivism doesn't accept. Objectivism wiki about the definition of free will, a.k.a volition: Wikipedia says: Is there a fundemental diffrenence between the two? I just find it really hard to understand the Objectivist definition. It woul'd help me, I think, to differenciate between all these approaches. Is Objectivism a compatibilist or an incompatibilist approach? Is it close to Harris's and Dennet's definition? if not, whats the fundemental differences? it's all so blurry. I'd really appreciate a clear straight forward answer, to help straighten my head about these issues. Thanks in advance, Happy liberty holiday (passover)
  6. It doesn't necceceraly has to do with life as the value in question, it actually applies to other things you choose to put as values in rand's definition. The definition is ofcourse (from the wiki): A value is something you act to gain or keep. So, for example: You act to gain and keep Health Health is a value You act to gain love Love is a value You act to gain soup Soup is a value (does that work on these things aswell?) I cant really identify if there is a "problem" with the definition of value on my own, it seems okay but it also seems "too easy", or something like that, you know what I mean? If you can try to simplify this a bit I'd really appreciate it, I think you understand the argument against the definition. Thanks in advance.
  7. The first thought expirement regards actually a very real situation people dealt with. I read that rand said something about times of danger and under the threat of death, the "rules" of morality and so forth don't "apply" in the same manner (correct me if i'm wrong). But this situation has no real death threat, unless you, yourself, cause it. The threat of the nazis doesn't imply that the person hiding a jew would die "for a fact". The person is indeed, taking a HUGE risk, because anybody who is caught hiding a jew, would most certainly get killed by the nazis, but not every person who hides a jew, would necceceraly be caught [by them]. So, if im polish, and I'm aware of the punishment regarding hiding a jewish person in my house, I know that if I refuse to take one inside, I am not putting myself and my family in jeporady, hence I increase my chances to live. If I hide a jewish person, on the other hand, I am risking my own life and my own family's life aswell. What is the moral thing to do in that situation, in your opinion, based on objectivist values? About the book, it sounds really interesting, I didn't really understand all of the review, but it does sound interesting:) Ty
  8. Hi! I have opened a thread here over I month ago I recon, and since then I have been reading and even ordered some ayn rand's novels and non-fictions:) lots of fun. A couple of days ago, someone asked me about a question regarding ethics, and I didn't really know what to tell him so I pointed him out to the wiki page about it. His commented about couple of things about some of the objectivism definitions: 1.He said that two things are telleological; 1a. The definition of value, or the definition of life as a value - - A value is "something you act to gain or keep." (Ayn Rand) - You act to keep life - life is a value which you act to keep which makes it a value. I didn't know how to respond to that. 1b. He said that this was telleological as well: " The Objectivist ethic begins with a meta-ethical question: why do human beings need a code of values? The Objectivist answer is that humans need such a code in order to survive as human beings." 2. Secondly, as a jewish person himself (So am I, both of us are atheist jews), he asked me about the paragraph regarding "Altruism": "Objectivism rejects as immoral any action taken for some other ultimate purpose. In particular it rejects as immoral any variant of what it calls "altruism" — by which it means, essentially, any ethical doctrine according to which a human being must justify his or her existence by service to others. According to Objectivism, every ethical or moral action has the agent as its primary beneficiary. Objectivism especially opposes any ethical demand for sacrifice. Objectivism uses this term in a special sense: a "sacrifice", according to its Objectivist definition, is the giving up of a greater value for a lesser one. (In other worlds of discourse, for example baseball and chess, the term is used to mean the giving up of a lesser or shorter-term value for the sake of a greater or longer-term one. Objectivism does not regard such an exchange as a genuine "sacrifice.")" He asked me if a person in Poland, during WWII, is doing something immoral as he is hiding a jewish person in his basement or attic, thus "sacrifising" his own life, for the sake of another human being, when he knows the punishment for hiding a jew, is death by the nazis? Looking forward for your reply, Thank you very much.
  9. knast, thanks for the long and detailed answeres. All is quite clear and im willing to go deeper into the books and writings, the most difficult thing for me to grasp is the "no animal rights". but ill read what you recommended about it. as far for some other things you mentioned: "As far as the implications of these facts for Rand's politics is that, on the free market, people who engage in deceptive practices or who take someone else’s property under false pretenses can be prosecuted for fraud and any damages they cause to buyers. " 1. Does that include charletans like "mediums" of all sorts? I mean... I believe this people are hurting other people by literally lying to them about certain things. sometimes it can be fatal. I have an aunt who's rabbi told her not to take medication and she died of cancer. I find these people repulsive. But what can you really do about it? you say they should be prosecuted for fraud, and i'm all for that... But how can you prove their deception? There are all sorts of things like that, including "alternative medicine", like the sugar pills called "homeopathy" and so forth... On which law can the court of law base it's judgement upon? 2. You said that drug addicted parents who abuse their children ought to end up in prison - what do you do with the kids then? shouldnt the goverment find them a suitable place or care? I think that sums it up for now:)
  10. I'll focus On the main things that werent quite clear to me, if I may:) 1. I'm 100% in agreement with you on the concession (?) that "you have the moral right to ingest any substance you choose". But i'm kinda losing you afterwards, especially in the "Where do you draw the line?" point. For example, Reason_Being wrote: "I think that the sale of addictive drugs is immoral, as is their consumption" - And that gives me a chance to clear my point a bit perhaps; many substances are "addictive" (in their medical/psychological definition) like coffee or alcohol... but I try to make a "scale" out of it, in order to see the effects each substance has on people. I cant really find the clear distinction between each substance (For example, is X more dangerous because it's more poisoness? I dont think so, cause I dont see heroin as "Poison" and I still find it dangerous) but for some reason I think there ought to be such. there has to be an objective definition for substances that are more harmful for individuals and hence make societies unfunctional. i'll try to draw a hypothetical line here. Lets take a country that Heroin consumption is not illegal there, lets assume that you find a causation (for the sake of argument) between the legalization and the rise of heroin users, and thus additcts. lets then rightfully (imo) assume that it leads to the fact that these people cant function, cant be production (they cant work) and are forced to the streets. Now, if we continue this "wreckless" imaginary path, wouldnt it lead to two things: A. Homeless people injecting themselves on the streets (Which leads me to ask you if goverment should move homeless people out of the streets or something? I see policemen making people leave public gardens and such all the time) B. Can't you justify interfering with a selfish, egoistic point of view? let's say we do have the data to assume that the "country" or society, is headed for abolishment. More addicts every year, people quit their jobs and its a "Junky land". Wouldnt it be in the interest of the individual, for his job to be kept, and the prevention of the fallout, to occour? 2. Thanks for the answer about circumcision. 3. I have trouble getting the "Animal dont have rights" thing... Reason_being, you wrote that: "I would agree that one should not cause unnecessary pain and suffering to animals." - But if they don't have rights, and it has nothing to do with "Human flurishing", How can you protect animals from vicious people who abuse them? I completely understand Scientific or Medical Research on Animals, cause the animal model provides us with sufficient data that helps human beings. But fur coats? Or people who litterally abuse or even kill helpless dogs or cats for the sake of fun? 4. Regarding Derren Brown, I was talking more profoundly about things like that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT-bMJ5IztE He uses this technique in various videos to show how he can "Manipulate" people into buying or "choosing" whatever he wants them to. I dont know if it's "real" or "unreal", but if it is, it has some weird implications. 5. ttime, you wrote: "I'll answer this question with another question: Why do you presume to make an employer's decision for him? By what right do you intend to exert force over employers in that way? Do you think that people have a "right" to a job? How can you reconcile that with the right to life and liberty? I believe your question and these questions are answered by a proper understanding of individual rights." I dont think people have a "right" for a job, but I dont want women to not get jobs or build careers because they are carrying "our" babies.. I think this is the hardest part for me to reconcile with objectivism. Maybe cause i'm jewish and there were "No jews allowed" signs in nazi-germany... it's just... too bizzare. questions 6,7,8 are fully answered and understood. And If I might add one more question: 9. second hand smoking effects. If there is conclusive evidence that second hand smoking is a definite harm for any individual who absorbs it. What is the role of goverment there?
  11. Hi there, My name is Jake and im from israel. I wanted to ask a few questions if I may and see if you can help me understand some issues. ill divide it into parts (I hope it's not all answered already, maybe I should have checked the FAQ... I was just anxious, sry!) 1. Drug Usage - I understand that there isnt such thing as a "victimless crime" in objectivist POV, and that goverment should not interfere with one's desire of, lets say, Marijuana consumption. But what about more dangerous drugs, like Heroin, or Crystal Meth, that are to be said, addictive from the first time that you take em. Now, I know the argument that says "If you really want to get Heroin, You will get it no matter if it's illegal", but if its really OUT THERE, then anybody who uses it once, is addicted and hence is free will is kind of taken away, isnt it? 2. I saw the lecture by Dr. Leonard Peikoff, and he said there that the goverment interviens only when there is a "breach" or when somebody steps on another person's rights, like physical harm. Now, I wanted to ask your opinion about circumcision. I'm an atheist of jewish nationality myself, and I assume 90% of jewish people in israel are circumcising their male children, but I cant help but seeing this as an immoral thing to do. I see it as a force acted upon the child, thogh I dont think my goverment could ever pull off something like banning circumcision. what do you think about that? 3. What is objectivism's take on Vegan life style? does it co-exist with the notion of selfishness, or is it more inclined to go with the "non-agression" concept? I am not a vegan myself, but when confronted with arguments, and reasoning with them and with myself, I cant help but feeling that In some sense, there is suffering caused these creatures. And I know that even vegans contribute to "animal killing" by the mere fact that the fields of vegetables also use as habitats for animals of all sorts, but at least they try to minimize the suffering... I dont know. Does objectivism has something to say about that? 4. Sub-Concious/Subliminal messaging - I love watching derren brown. He is a british magician who uses "Mind tricks", in order to fool with people's minds, and often he shows how he can manipulate people into "buying" what he tells them to. I think it's called "Suggestibility". What do you think about the clash between free will and companies who advertise with such means? 5. In the lecture by Dr. Leonard Peikoff, he said the goverment shouldnt give any special treatment or something like that to certain people, and he protected the right of people to discriminate in the working place if its their private business (If im not mistaken). I wanted to know if it's still your position, because I know that many women have trouble getting into a job because of pregnancy and having to get to a vacation after giving birth and so on, and many employers dont hire them for such reasons. Not to mention discrimination towards blacks, jews or what not, out of racist prejudice. Should there be any laws against that? 6. I want to understand how is the concept of Egoism deals with a capitalist based society, where you excpect that people who cant get help, will get it out of private charity. Why would a person open such charity, if he is suppose to be so called "selfish"? 7. What is the place of goverment, dealing with environmental issues, like pollution, or companies that are subjecting the close environment to gases that level up the rates of cancer, or radioactivity and so forth? 8. What was the objectivists approach towards the war in Iraq? I know it's somewhat not my place, but I supported it through christopher hitchens argument, of freeing a nation of dictatorship. I think you wont agree with me on this subject, but I see it as a highly virtuous thing to do, to save people from being under a ruthless tyrant, and I think that a super-power, like the US, has an obligation to do so, just as I think that it should have done sooner in the Holocaust period. That's why i'm very afraid of a non-interventionist approach, that's why i'm afraid of ron paul. Anyways, United states of america is one of the finest places and the last Haven of human kind imo. Looking forward for your answeres, Jake
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