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  1. Thanks
    tadmjones reacted to 2046 in Have any prominent Objectivists addressed this point II?   
    To confuse risk of physical force with  initiation of physical force is to confuse a potential with an actual. The whole mandatory vaccination position depends on a Parmenidean worldview in which all that exists is fully actual, combined with disregarding the need to obtain sufficient information to blame any one person for anything. It is the same fallacy employed by advocates of anti-immigration, gun control, and environmentalism. Thank you for helping to make that connection.
  2. Thanks
    tadmjones reacted to happiness in Have any prominent Objectivists addressed this point II?   
    A virus is an element of nature and an inherent risk of life on Earth, not a weapon that an infected person goes around assaulting people with. If you don’t have symptoms, haven’t tested positive, or knowingly been exposed to an infected person, it’s rational to assume you’re not infected and go about your business. You can’t live if you have to assume you are infected with a deadly virus. 
    Each individual’s health and safety is his own responsibility. The onus to stay home and/or get vaccinated is on those who are at risk.
    Every medical treatment has benefits and risks. If you fear the risks of vaccination more than you fear the virus, you have an absolute right not to get vaccinated. No one has a duty to sacrifice himself by accepting potential bodily harm for the sake of protecting others.
    The ardent anti-vaxxer’s assessment of the risks might be incorrect, but it’s his judgment, and he has a right to act on it, even if others disagree.
  3. Like
    tadmjones reacted to dream_weaver in Have any prominent Objectivists addressed this point II?   
    At the risk of injecting a [f]requent, long, or unseasonable epithet—done—though I suspect it won't make much difference.
  4. Like
    tadmjones reacted to Boydstun in Afghanistan 2021 . . .   
    I was pleased with the shift in US foreign policy delineated in the President's speech of 31 August. I was disappointed, however, to see that we shall be sending humanitarian aid to Afghanistan through the US government. We do not owe them anything collectively in the sense of pertinent causal responsibility. It is not the US war there that caused, in the responsibility-sense, the coming dire straits of that country. Many countries, including Afghanistan, have the potential to produce enough to feed themselves and advance themselves were their country to wake up one morning and find that all the other countries in the world had vanished, leaving only ocean around the globe beyond their own borders. Also, I'd bet that such humanitarian aid that well-off countries give to other countries is very often meted out in such a way as to reinforce power of the particular political regime of the day, not merely to fill needs of all people equally. And of course, because of the coercive way in which governmental charities are funded and because we are not and should not be an empire (such as the old British Empire) and because the proposition that governmental foreign humanitarian aid improves protection against foreign attacks on the US is a falsehood and a lie: governmental humanitarian foreign aid is wrong in complete generality.
  5. Like
    tadmjones reacted to Boydstun in Was Slavery a Wealth Builder?   
    I find SL's line of thought in his post above intriguing. I incline to think nonetheless so far that there is some sense to the idea that an entire society of slaves to the State, such as was the Soviet Union, did create wealth, when we mean simply their GNP or GDP. Granted that, it would seem the urgent natural question becomes whether such a society in which the State owns and manages everything creates more wealth, has a greater GDP, in comparison to the same peoples and region were the society organized instead with private ownership. East and West Germany seemed a rather definitive answer, as pointed out by JFK in his "Let them come to Berlin" speech.
    I notice for the American history an informative argument No, Slavery Did Not Make America Rich.
  6. Like
    tadmjones got a reaction from Boydstun in Was Slavery a Wealth Builder?   
    I had a similar thought when I read the OP.
    But more along the lines that wealth or capital would be produced. Though at the loss of creativity and ingenuity that such a system stifles.
    Material wealth or capital would be produced but its production and subsequent use would be less efficient. 
    Capitalism is based primarily in morality, practical praxis notwithstanding.
  7. Like
    tadmjones got a reaction from dream_weaver in Have any prominent Objectivists addressed this point II?   
    My employer can not require me to get vaccinated, they can inform Me that they will only allow vaccinated individuals to be employed at their business.
  8. Confused
    tadmjones got a reaction from Easy Truth in Have any prominent Objectivists addressed this point II?   
    Businesses don't have the right to require employees or customers get vaccinated.
    They do as individuals have the right to freedom of association.
  9. Like
    tadmjones reacted to necrovore in Reblogged:Speech, Property Rights in Trump's Crosshairs   
    Technically, yes -- but context is everything.
    If Coca-Cola does this of its own free will in a free market, that's one thing. Because in a free market people would probably switch to alternatives, and, more importantly, they'd be able to. (Even if Coca-Cola had the same bias as 99% of the population, in a free economy, a niche market would arise for the remaining 1%... because there is good money to be made serving niche markets... unless, like, that were prevented somehow...)
    A semi-free or non-free market changes things considerably, though, because the idea that Coca-Cola is somehow just a private company making its own decision is merely a cover. This is not an independent, uncoerced decision, and you can tell because all companies are leaning the same way, and any time somebody wants to start a competitor that leans the other way, the effort is stymied by legal and regulatory issues.
    The thing is, this is not about Coca-Cola at all. That's what I think DeSantis and Trump are missing when they target Twitter or Facebook. Yeah, the people who run these companies are jerks. But the government is pulling the strings here, and only that kind of jerk would be allowed to succeed under this government.
    (Edit: When a guy has a gun to his head, the solution is not to put another gun on the other side of the guy's head, with an opposite set of demands -- but that seems to be what the Republicans are proposing...)
    Permits which you're required to apply for will mysteriously take longer to get -- any inspections or audits that have to be done will take longer and will find more little problems, and they'll dispute you whenever you claim to have corrected them -- you might get constantly harassed by law enforcement over crimes you can't control that are associated with your product or service -- whether you qualify for liability protections will be disputed -- your suppliers, employees, customers, investors, etc. will have similar problems.
    On the other hand, a company that cooperates will get permits promptly, will breeze through inspections or audits (if there are any), will find that law enforcement doesn't blame them for the actions of miscreants who happen to use their property, will find that of course it qualifies for liability protections, and its business associates will have similar benefits.
    This is how political machines in big cities have always worked -- e.g., try getting a permit in NYC or Chicago -- and now it has moved to the Federal level.
    It can be many times more expensive to operate a company if it is disfavored by all these bureaucrats with discretionary powers. If the operating expense is too high, the company can't stay in business. Even if the company does stay in business, it is at a disadvantage. And yet, if a court asks the bureaucrats why they decided something the way they did, they can always come up with an answer that sounds "reasonable," and hey, the metal was rusty, so we did have to close the company until they had it replaced (never mind that the other company has metal that's about equally rusty but we decided it wasn't an issue there).
    All this is only possible because the government is in a position to do this sort of thing.
    This is basic cause and effect, although in this case you see the effect and have to infer the cause, just like seeing the effect of X-rays and having to infer that there are X-rays (because you can't see them directly). There are also many historical examples of this sort of thing, including "machine politics" cities like Chicago and Detroit, where this has been going on for decades, although Ayn Rand also saw it in Russia, and it also existed in Wiemar and Nazi Germany and in other authoritarian states throughout history. What more evidence do you require? Ayn Rand herself recommended a separation of state and economics. Why do you think she recommended that? Was she wrong?
  10. Like
    tadmjones reacted to necrovore in Reblogged:Speech, Property Rights in Trump's Crosshairs   
    In The Prince, Machiavelli speaks of how a ruler who needs to do something unpopular can simply get one of his subordinates to do it for him, and then, if worst comes to worst, he can not only deny responsibility, but make a public spectacle of punishing the subordinate.
    A government can not only use that to wield "unpopular" powers, but also powers that it is not supposed to have in the first place. In the United States, censorship is one of these powers -- and the subordinate in this case is the "privately owned" corporations, who "volunteer" to be subordinates because they have to, because the government wields various carrots and sticks. The government has figured out a way to get the practical effects of censorship while not doing it itself, thus having plausible deniability. This depends on allowing a few big corporations to have their hands in almost all speech -- and then the government "delegates" the power of censorship to them.
    I think it's actually is proper to call this "censorship," because, when it comes down to it, it is the ruling regime doing it -- indirectly.
    The corporations aren't really doing it of their own free will. If somebody puts a gun to your head and makes demands, then whether you agree with the demands or not doesn't really make any difference -- although the gunman might tell you that things will go better for you if it seems that you do agree. But it's a little different when the gunman is the government: people who really do agree might not mind the gun at their heads, because they figure, "the bullets in that gun are for other people, people who disagree... but I agree, I co-operate, so I don't have to worry about it."
    When the corporations become unpopular, the government can make a big spectacle of "trust-busting," and the showmanship on this has actually already begun -- but you'll find in the end that, even if the government theatrically breaks these companies up, it won't make any practical difference. A few new rules will be announced, nobody will go to jail, and if you end up with two or three Facebooks or whatever, they will all toe the same line.
    In a free market, companies would compete for people's business, and a company that started banning people for their political views would simply drive those people into the arms of the competition. A company in a free market wouldn't ban people for political reasons, because it's suicidal.** So why are companies doing it? Because they're confident that there is no competition for those people to go to. Why are they so confident? Because the government is guaranteeing it. We don't have a free market.
    Trump has failed to grasp the nature of this problem and thus is proposing incorrect solutions.
    However, once again we see some people claiming that there isn't really a problem at all, and that if people are being kicked out of the public sphere for their political views, it's just "the free market at work." That isn't true either.
    (Some Republicans are doing one other thing wrong -- when they see the power being wielded, they don't want to eliminate that power, they want to take it over for their own use. That's not right, either: some powers cannot be used for good, at least, if good is defined as "promoting human survival.")
    Over the decades, there have been a lot of people complaining, rightly, about smaller "public-private partnerships" than these, and how such partnerships somehow manage to wield government powers while simultaneously not being subject to any constitutional restrictions because "they aren't part of the government, they're privately owned."
    Well, now we're coming to the culmination of the trend: companies and government are, for all practical purposes, just aspects of the same thing.
    To save the free market we need to separate these things: the only ultimate solution to this censorship problem is a separation of state and economics, which would include the elimination of all of these powerful regulatory agencies, so that the regime has no way of compelling compliance with its censorship desires.
    ** This sentence isn't correct as worded. A magazine publisher, for example, is not "suicidal" if he only accepts certain kinds of articles for his magazine. A phone company, on the other hand, would be "suicidal" if it tapped in on people's calls and cancelled their service over their views.
  11. Thanks
    tadmjones reacted to dream_weaver in Do animals have volition II?   
    Between the insults and failure to identify common ground to precede from, and now stretching into 14 pages to be used as a shining example for whom, about what?
    I don't see the lions and tigers and bears frittering away their time bickering about their position on such matters. I would suggest that the animals chose otherwise, but I know better. 
    Positions have been indicated. Are you (collectively) not men enough accept that an impasse has been reached, that minds may not be changed on the basis of what has been presented? 
    This is not the first issue that the charge raised that Rand is deficient on. Rand would also declare that you not take her say so on matters, but to identify the relevant factors within the scope of your own capacity.
  12. Thanks
    tadmjones reacted to Eiuol in Do animals have volition II?   
    Nothing massive, but some passages in her writing that characterize animal behavior as automatic as if they all drift like a jellyfish in terms of consciousness. I think she would need to expand on her notion of perception as more active than she had previously thought. This would not weaken any of her theories about grounding concepts in perception, if anything, it would strengthen the way she explains how concepts are abstract in nature yet practical. 
  13. Thanks
    tadmjones got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in The Statue of Liberty Shrugged?   
    When Trump said very fine people he was referring to the people on both sides of the debate surrounding the public display and or removal of Civil War monuments.
    In that same speech he specifically condemned any and all who participated in violence.
  14. Like
    tadmjones reacted to StrictlyLogical in Why do some people fail to see Objective Morality?   
    Except when he is drowning..

    [I agree btw]
  15. Haha
    tadmjones got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Cultural Parasitism   
    "lies, damned lies and statistics"
    The list of the top ten strongest men in the world, that is the ranking of the participants in the competition of the same name , not the actually ranking of the strength of men on earth .
  16. Like
    tadmjones reacted to whYNOT in Is Dennis Prager a political ally?   
    The "telling blows" Salsman writes only makes the problematic more succinct, than have other articles.
    In short - we knew that.
    The conservatives, purported capitalists, are not willing or able to morally defend capitalism.
    Assume as 'the given'.
    One is still left with: who can we *work* with? (Should we work with anyone?)
    In order for Objectivists to bring real weight to bear on outcomes in the society, I maintain qualified support should be given to the better proponents of freedom from others/the state. 'Win' that one, ideologically-politically, and effective advocacy of the full package, individualism-individual rights-capitalism, follows.
    I believe one ~creates~ (anything) with the best and/or most available materials at hand. To be productive one can't wait for better days and better materials. Here in the present, for one's lifespan, and looking to the near future of a country and civilisation, one can build - leaving something better for others to build on. The alternative is to retreat from the field, admitting that this philosophy is ineffective in action.
    Simply, no one and nothing from the Left-"secular socialists", I have seen, provides us materials to work on towards that freedom. Without exception, their defining aims are the collective control over others' lives and behavior and morality, delegating the agency of government to force their combined will on independents and recalcitrants.
    Conversely, right-conservatives have largely, not exclusively, a "leave us be" self-reliance - i.e. We and each person in our families and communities can sort out and determine our own lives, thanks very much. You do the same, live and let live. That basic self-responsibility constitutes a rough liberty in practice, to my mind. And they don't, that I can tell, need to make anyone convert to religion; the leftists have always known that wielding power, automatically "converts" everybody - to their religion. 
  17. Like
    tadmjones reacted to DavidOdden in How many masks do you wear?   
    The key identification that Schwartz makes about force is that it is a physical action to which we are subjected against our will, being taken by a volitional being to neutralize the choice of another volitional being. “Action to neutralize choice” distinguishes the case where a person pulls out a weapon in order to cause him to abandon his property (mission accomplished) from the case where a person pulls out a weapon to check it and accidentally scares another person into abandoning his property (neutralization of choice is not the purpose). I take it that you are not satisfied with this, and instead focus on the effect of an action, irrespective of intent. You seem to hold that creating a risk of harm to others can be initiation of force, or perhaps is by definition initiation of force. It’s not at all clear why you don’t make the stronger claim that it is force, unless you have some further condition that you want to add. A really significant difference between these views is that you seem to deny the relevance of a person’s intent.

  18. Haha
    tadmjones got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    OJ was legitimately acquitted.
  19. Like
    tadmjones got a reaction from JASKN in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    Any federal property and any interstate transportation, I believe.
    I don't think 'unconstitutional' is the barrier it once was.
  20. Like
    tadmjones got a reaction from Tenderlysharp in How many masks do you wear?   
    I’m my normal friendly and outgoing casual shopper and even more conspicuously, consciously while wearing my Trump 2020 mask. 

  21. Like
    tadmjones reacted to DavidOdden in Tu Quoque   
    At your leisure (and in a separate thread), I'd like to see what leads you to this conclusion: not that there is a difference, but the conclusion that it is worse.
  22. Like
    tadmjones reacted to whYNOT in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    First they came for the Christians but I was not a Christian and remained silent. Then they came for the Conservatives but I was not a Conservative and remained silent, then they came for the Trumpians, but I was not a Trumpian and was silent. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak up.
    That's a thing I picked up about the Leftist/Socialist, the craving to enact revenge and pay back as well as stifling dissent and to cut off any future (democratic, ideological) challenges to their power. You are going to see a growing witch-hunt, in the work-place, the business community, universities, broader society and by punitive laws and dictates.
  23. Like
    tadmjones got a reaction from necrovore in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    Was every allegation of fraud proven false by forensic examination of the ballots?
    Were the elections in every state carried out according to their own and federal constitutional requirements?
    Most cases were dismissed on standing and other jurisprudential findings , not on a full hearing of evidence or discovery.
    Did TX and seventeen other states irrationally petition SCOTUS ? Sycophants the lot ?
  24. Like
    tadmjones reacted to dream_weaver in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    Riots break out over the country, zones were even created in some parts to accommodate rioters while apologists tried to veil it as free-speech and dismiss the looting as not directly injurious to the life of the looted. A riot breaks out in Washington DC and it is escalated to an insurrection.
  25. Thanks
    tadmjones got a reaction from whYNOT in National Conservatism   
    Capitalism is as capitalism does. The concept is a product of epistemology but the practice is metaphysical.
    Maybe the 'modern' term should be quantum capitalism, as in trying to measure and identify in order to label misses and changes the target. Collapses the normative wave function.
    Adam Smith's invisible hand is the Newtonian apple viewing the economic strategies and interplays of nascent nation states. The Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution honed economic power and concentrated it in smaller and  more compact entities , that could function by cooperation as in corporations or be guided by individuals. Perhaps Rand could be analogous to Einstein in that she provides the space time fabric of a moral justification as a lens. Newtonian principles are comfortable to everyday experiences and don't necessarily contradict a heretofore nonexistent theory of everything , but Einstein doesn't yet provide it either.
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