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Posts posted by ruveyn1

  1. Only if you think that the government or the people of a nation have a collective right to the entire country and all property within it. The government's only proper role is to respond to initiation of force. It doesn't have the right to, for example. block a company from hiring and bringing over Chinese engineers because the majority of people feel that they shouldn't be allowed. That would be a violation of the rights of the immigrants and the company. It would be the exact opposite of locking the door of my house. It is my and no one else's right to control what happens with it and who is allowed in. Blocking immigration of innocent people establishes the exact opposite principle in that it means that people don't own their own property or have a right to control it; the collective nation has a right to decide who is allowed upon it and you can't do anything without the consent of the true owners, represented by the government.

    It is the government's proper function to guard the borders to prevent criminal or military attack.


    Since the government is THE agent which can wield force legally,  the government has the job of border defense and military action.



  2. So, is your skepticism applied consistently? Are you as skeptical about, say, the existence of the external world, as you are about the existence of God? The non-question-begging evidence for the existence of the external world is rather lacking. You know, Richard Rorty has compared the idea of an objective reality to the idea that God exists, and suggested that we should reject both as unsupportable superstitions.

    To anyone who claims the plain evidence of the senses is bogus present the following challenge.  Go to the top of the nearest tall building and jump off without a parachute.  If the person is serious about what he says, then he will have no excuse for not accepting the challenge.  If he is not serious and does not accept you can stop arguing it with him right there.  



  3. According to rand, what is the essence of the connection between the mental realm and the physical realm? I understand that it is not deterministic, since that by introspection I can see that i can choose the causes of my action, but does that mean that De facto I am changing the route of the electrons in my brain?

    You are reducing mental events to physical events.  Not everyone would agree with that.



  4. This isn't even that unusual. Maybe blowing up buildings is unusual but the more general category of taking extrajudicial action is allowed and sanctioned by the courts all the time. If a criminal is confronting you in your house, you have a right to defend yourself. Many a criminal has died that way and the person defending themselves is acquitted or never even tried.

    Not if you do it in such a way as to endanger the lives of passers by.  You cannot kill a burglar using a 500 pound high explosive bomb.



  5. Yeast not only gives rise to bread, it gave rise to an answer to a question that has eluded evolutionary biologists.


    "To understand why the world is full of plants and animals, including humans, we need to know how one-celled organisms made the switch to living as a group, as multicelled organisms," said Sam Scheiner, program director in the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s Division of Environmental Biology. "This study is the first to experimentally observe that transition, providing a look at an event that took place hundreds of millions of years ago."

    Way cool! Thank you for the reference.



  6. An individual right in a social context presumes that hermits are right-less; that ones right to life isn't self-evident.  It makes for a curious sort of individual right, as the only individuals who apparently have them are everyone but oneself.   A hermit has the right to self preservation, not because of society, but because he acts accordingly.  Social rights are the regulation of self-evident individual rights, and individual rights are defined by the actions of individuals.

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." ~ Preamble, Declaration of Independence

    The Preamble identifies 3 rights among an otherwise undefined set of individual rights.  Who defines them?  The individual to whom they are self-evident.


    "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people." ~ 10th Amendment, United States Constitution

    The 10th Amendment refers to powers of the people that are independent of the State; these are your individual rights.


    Individual rights are self-evident and correct and proper to the preservation of ones life.  That which sanctions an individual's freedom of action in a social context is regulation, and varies from State to State, or from one social context to another.

    The strong doctrine of individual rights asserts that there must be certain freedoms of action in order for anyone to exist as a human. Among these,  as Jefferson pointed out, are Life,  Liberty and Property. (P.S.  His original assertion was the RIght of Property but he was persuaded to rewrite that as The Pursuit of Happiness).


    The notion of rights, in the sense intended above,  implies there is a biological or existential requirement for those rights.  They are not just cooked up out of thin air.



  7. A disagreement in the mode of punishment or deterrence can occur even if both parties agree upon the nature of the wrong that was done.


    Example:  I oppose the death penalty.  Not because I disagree with the impulse or sentiment behind it,  but because the determination of guilt is not one hundred percent  accurate and reliable.  Recently, in the State if Illinois it was found that five percent of people who were convicted of murder some of who were on "death row"  turned out not to be guilty of the crime for which they were convicted.  Illinois has recused itself from executing the death penalty, as a result.



  8. Just a small point.  In existence argument,  he who asserts the existence of X,  has the burden to produce evidence for X.  


    He who disbelieves the existence of X or is not convinced of the existence of X  is in the clear.  No one is required to believe anything if there is no evidence to support the "anything"  in question.  Skepticism of the mild,  careful variety is always permitted, until evidence indicates otherwise.



  9. Not that it really matters but since others here have said something to the contrary: Keating went to Roark. They contracted to trade value for value.




    Of course he did, he was one of the principals of the architecture firm.
    Nope, read the book, Keating didn't have enough balls to see it through -- he certainly had the clout.
    And just as a friendly reminder: "To" is spelled "too".

    I read the book twice.  You might say  "I did too".  Or even better "I did two (times)".


    Keating was not a strong person.  He drifted with the tides that moved him.  


    Yes, he failed to carry out his end of the contract.  


    However, legally speaking,  he did not have fiduciary authority in the matter of funding or determining how the project would be built.  He was a consultant,  not the Man in Charge.   


    Keating was a pitiful case.  He was not stupid.  But he lacked courage,  as you point out.



  10. So you have no opinions of your own about what supposedly makes Roark's contract fraudulent? Compelling indeed.

    The valuable consideration that Roarke set out to get was having his design be used in the housing project.  There is only one trouble. Keating did not have legal standing to guarantee the design would be used.  The decision to build and how to build the housing project was not in Keating's hands. All Roark could hope for was that Keating had enough clout to see to it that Roark's design would be used.  But Keating did not have enough clout. To bad for Roark.



  11. Here is what I got from a dictionary.  Lots of different meanings.  Please take a look.



    right   [rahyt]  Show IPA adjective, right·er, right·est, noun, adverb,verb
    in accordance with what is good, proper, or just: right conduct.
    in conformity with fact, reasontruth, or some standard or principle; correct: the right solution; theright answer.
    correct in judgment, opinion, or action.
    fitting or appropriate; suitable: to say the right thing at the right time.
    most convenient, desirable, or favorable: Omaha is the right location for a meatpacking firm.
    a just claim or title, whether legal, prescriptive, or moral: You have a right to say what you please.
    Sometimes, rightsthat which is due to anyone by just claim, legal guarantees, moral principles,etc.: women's rights; Freedom of speech is a right of all Americans.
    adherence or obedience to moral and legal principles and authority.
    that which is morally, legally, or ethically proper: to know right from wrong.
    a moral, ethical, or legal principle considered as an underlying cause of truth, justicemorality, orethics.
    in a straight or direct line; straight; directly: right to the bottom; to come right home.
    quite or completely; all the way: My hat was knocked right off.
    immediately; promptly: right after dinner.
    exactly; precisely: right here.
    correctly or accurately: to guess right.
    verb (used with object)
    to put in or restore to an upright position: to right a fallen lamp.
    to put in proper order, condition, or relationship: to right a crookedly hung picture.
    to bring into conformity with fact; correct: to right one's point of view.
    to do justice to; avenge: to be righted in court.
    to redress, as a wrong.
    verb (used without object)
    to resume an upright or the proper position: After the storm the saplings righted.
    by rights, in fairness; justly: You should by rights have been asked your opinion on the matter.
    in one's own right, by reason of one's own ability, ownership, etc.; in or of oneself, asindependent of others: He is a rich man in his own right.
    in the right, having the support of reason or law; correct: It pays to be stubborn when one is in theright.
    right and left, on every side; in all directions: throwing his clothes right and left; members resigningright and left.
    right away off, without hesitation; immediately: She made a good impression right off.
  12. I think that Rand would be very insulted by what you said. She would judge you to be judging her art to be aesthetically bad. She would take you to be saying that the characters' actions do not realistically mesh with the plot, but transparently and awkwardly serve the purpose of delivering the author's didactic message.



    Excuse me.  The delivery of the Message was part and parcel of the plot. 


    What good is H.R.'s heroism and integrity if it does not make an impact on the world about him.  His buildings and his beliefs are his monuments.



  13. I am translating Antony Flew's Theology and Falsification (http://www.politik-salon.de/files/theory_of_falsification.pdf) from English to Hungarian, however I have a sentence that I cannot translate, because I am simply unable to understand the meaning of the sentence.



    Can anyone please explain in detail what does the highlighted sentence mean?


    thanks in advance

    First sentence:  For any proposition P   P  = - - P

  14. Eating meat has made the human race what it is.  Smart, dynamic  and somewhat dangerous.  There is no better source of protein than flesh.  Just make sure you trim the fat and cook it thoroughly.



  15. Guys, guys (and Gals)!  The Fountainhead is a novel.  It is fiction.  The dynamiting of Cortlandt Homes was a literary artifact in order to give the character H.R.  a chance to state his thesis in public.  Taking the thing literally,  rather than  literature-ally is an error.  You are reifying a plot artifact.  It is like taking the deux ex machina of Greek tragedy as a statement of  fact.  That is wrong.



  16. All men are mortal.

    Socrates is a man.

    Therefore Socrates is mortal.


    The kicker indicating further horizontal integration (that there is something more to learn) is needed would be if Socrates never died and is now thousands of years old.

    If one or more of the premises of a syllogism is false  all bets are off.  In order for the conclusion to be proven true  (1) the premises must be true and (2) the form of the argument must be valid.  Anything less leads to no conclusions.



  17. First off, citing old English Law is not an argument. Second, that doesn't say that simply giving birth to someone results in a contractual obligation to last 18 years, the way you claimed in your first post. No one is arguing against punishing parents who neglect children who are in their custody. 


    I'm arguing against punishing parents who wish to abandon a child. Abandoning is by definition giving up custody. As long as this is done in a way that allows another willing adult to take custody, there should be no punishment.


    The suggestion that sometimes there aren't willing adults to take custody of a child is also false. Even if in some cases there aren't readily available adoptive parents, there are many charities and churches which take in abandoned children automatically and without any discrimination. 

    Good old English Common law is the closest living working system approximating justice that we have today.  It is the basis of law in the United States. 


    What makes Common Law is good as it is,  is because it was generated by real live condition and people had to make judgements,  not in the abstract, but to deal with real problems.  It is law developed by an -inductive- process.  


    However,  look to the principle.  If A has taken actions with respect to B that has created a vital dependence of B upon A,  then A cannot justly and willy nilly abandon B to his fate,  particularly if B is a helpless child which A brought into the world.  An undertaking is in effect a contract and contracts must be honored.  If you want to avoid the obligations of undertakings  do not enter into such a relation with another person.  Do nothing for other,  let the be and let what happens to them happen.   In particular do not bring children into this world unless you are serious about taking care of them while they are helpless dependents.



  18. Feelings don't have to lead to action, nor should they. 

    Passions are the main thing that lead to actions.  Hunger leads us to seek food.  Thirst leads us to seek drink.  Threats to our lives or health leads us to take defensive action.  Our passion produced actions can be guided by reason,  but reason per so is not a motivation.



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