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Asker of Questions

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  1. Leftists frequently cite Reagan as a paragon of "conservativism," by which they implicitly mean small government, low taxes, and free market ideology. Being too young to remember his Presidency, what facts support or repudiate this association? All I know about him is that he is actually the one who signed EMTALA into law—some free market guy.
  2. What's the value in studying distant stars, planets, galaxies, etc. given that we will never be able to travel to or communicate with whoever may live in those places? To me it's just interesting to sit here and ponder the scale of it all, i.e. the galaxies in this picture look so close you should be able to just hop from one to another, but the distance between them is so vast you couldn't make it from one to the next if you moved at the speed of light and lived for thousands years. Is there value in having your mind blown just for the f*** of it?
  3. I'n curious what Rand was like in her final days, when she knew she was dying. Does anyone know what her last words were?
  4. Hmm, I'm not sure I get this. I thought we start with the idea that life is the sandard of value, and that the selfish pursuit of one's own happiness is the means to the end of furthering one's life.
  5. I understand that all rights are consequences of the fundamental right to one's own life. But how does Objectivism justify the right to one's life itself? I'm scanning through OPAR and the Ayn Rand lexicon and not finding an explicit answer. The only answer I can think of is that, if one wishes to live, he needs a moral code based on the requirements for life. Is there any deeper an explanation than that?
  6. I know the Christian ethic is basically one of self-abnegation. But what is the relationship between the Christian tradition and the fact that altruism is the dominant morality in modern times? Is the dominance of altruism a direct result of the teachings of Christianity, or is the realtionship more epistemological?
  7. Is corporate personhood a contradiction of laissez-faire capitalism? If not, what's the argument for the governmrnt to create a special arrangement that allows owners to add a company's profits to their own assets, but not subtract its losses from the same? Actually that isn't quite hat happens, is it? I'm trying to reason my way through this as I write this post, so bear with me. When you own equity in a company, you don't literally add its profits to your bank account; you own equity in the company, which liabilities and past losses factor into, and you don't actually get anything for yourself until you decide to cash out. But how is the government protecting anyone's rights by establishing a company as an independent legal entity and separating it's assets from those of the owners?
  8. Peikoff on life-extending technologies: http://13be01ddf3b1d677ded1-f884a1b570187d379829b71385ab845d.r57.cf2.rackcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/2015-13-7.381_A.mp3 "Unfortunately, I've been told by researchers in the field (of biotechnology) that the Food and Drug Administration would never give a validation to the attempt to stop aging because that would cause the government such revenue loss in Medicare and Social Security etc. which were calculated to last an age span of 65 that the whole government is geared to prevent indefinite life extension. I don't know that this is what is happening, but it's plausible to me that this is what is happening." Do you take serious the possibilty that leaders within our government are really this willfully, utterly evil?
  9. Is it really that noble of an idea to ensure that EVERYONE has the right to vote? If the objective purpose of government is to protect individual rights, and we have a Constitution that reflects that premise, why can't we restrict voting rights to people who demonstrate at least a glimmer of intellect and don't have at least a short-term interest in legally plundering the property of others? Were the Founders actually on to something when they stipulated that only property-owning white males would have the right to vote, and would there be any value in revisiting certain aspects of that policy?
  10. But what if, due to repeated, severe violations of his rights, he determined that it was impossible to lead a happy life anymore? Does he have a right to retaliate against the people whose actions made his happiness impossible?
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Austin_suicide_attack For those who may not remember, Andrew Stack was the guy who flew a plane into the IRS building in 2010, killing one IRS agent and injuring about a dozen other people. He reportedly did this because the IRS had confiscated his retirement savings. It doesn't appear to me that he did this in the hope of changing anything about how the world works; it was purely an act of revenge. Though around the time the story broke, I saw Objectivists universally condemn his actions, I can't say that I think they were necessarily morally wrong. If the IRS's obviously unjust actions towrad him brought him to the point that he felt his life was no longer worth living, and he could no longer hold life as the standard of morality, how was he wrong to strike back at them on his way out? That IRS agent he killed probably reveled in his ability to shake people down and ruin their lives, but now he's in the dirt as a direct consequence of his choice of a purpose—seems like justice to me. And is anyone who works for the IRS really innocent? Maybe there were some innocent kids in the lobby or some innocent contractors there cleaning the windows or something, and that's the only reason I can think of not to do this. He might have damaged the anti-IRS movement by causing people to associate it with terrorism, but he had no reason to care about causes anymore. What do you think? Were his actions evil?
  12. Taking almost any military action short of using nukes, especially invading a country with ground troops, inevitably risks the deaths of your country's own soldiers. Therefore, isn't the only non-self-sacrifical form of offensive military action to drop nuclear bombs on the enemy?
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