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Not Lawliet

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Everything posted by Not Lawliet

  1. It makes sense that when a criminal commits an evil act, like an evasion, alone they would suffer as a direct consequence. But in a society, evil can survive, or even flourish, as second-handedness. By merely ignoring evil and choosing to be neutral, you act as a sanction and allow that form of evil sustain itself on the efforts of society, of other people. So, an act of justice in the form of punishment is ensuring that an evil person faces the consequences of their actions that occur naturally in isolation, and can be sustained indirectly by feeding on society.
  2. Well, social norms, or personal preferences that may be socially normal or not, but you're right that it probably wouldn't be a psychological difference. If body privacy is a value primarily for benefiting sexual gratification in a relationship, as I suggested or implied it would be for most, then it makes sense why nakedness is less important around those not in one's pool of romantic prospects, while for a hetero male or hetero female nakedness in front of the opposite sex is important.
  3. Also I think it's worth noting that even if it seems like a victim doesn't gain a benefit from the punishment itself of their assailant, such a view is very short-range. The victim benefits from the principle, once enforced and practiced, that necessitates that criminals pay consequences, even if a victim doesn't perceive a direct personal benefit of their assailant placed in prison if they aren't going to harm again them again.
  4. Well in Letters of Ayn Rand she talked about punishment being a means to "retribution, not reform". Now, I went and read what Peikoff wrote about the virtue of Justice, and I found it enlightening personally. This is my understanding of it now: Justice as a virtue is primarily a principle of rational judgement of other men. Justice in the form of action, the act of justice, is to grant the response to others as they deserve; there ought to be an emphasis on rewarding virtue, and of secondary importance punishing vice. As an abstract principle, justice demands that, without undermining one's own self-interest (like with vengeance), one should promote the success of others that are virtuous, and assist in ensuring that people in society do not benefit from evil. Punishment is a means to deterring evil, but in the long-term, not short-term, as part of the abstract principle of justice. The function of criminal punishment in law then is to, once a crime is committed, prevent a criminal from standing to benefit from their rights violation. This is done by forcing a criminal to face consequences equal to the harm done on others. It's not retribution for the sake of retribution (which Peikoff called subjectivist) and not short-range pragmatism like utilitarianism (which Peikoff called intrinsicist). An objective form of justice would be deterring evil, but, by means of long-range, abstract principles. I suppose any proposition for utilitarian forms of justice would find critical responses from each of Peikoffs discussions of principles and pragmatism.
  5. I personally don't have a friend who is gay, so here is where I ask. Please forgive the length of the question. I don't know of any conventional term for this, so I'm calling the value of keeping parts of one's body visually private, "body privacy", and it's commonly valued for reserving that privilege to be earned by a selected romantic partner. It used to be not long ago that heterosexuality was the only socially accepted orientation. I think locker rooms and bathrooms were separated by gender (biological sense - the biology "sex" and activity "sex" get confused in the same context) for this reason. Most people don't have a problem being naked in front of others of the same gender. The intuitive reason would be that most men are sexually interested in women, and most women are sexually interested in men. With this social custom very firmly established, do homosexuals care at all about who sees them naked, specifically in regards to gender? For a man, if a straight or gay woman isn't a potential sexual partner, and straight men and gay men are gathered in the same locker rooms, is body privacy important for them? If you are personally gay, or know one who is, do you have any insight to offer?
  6. As an example, with deterrence and rehabilitation as the prime motives, a thief could be given a surveillance device or restricted to certain activities in society so as to easily eliminate the chances of him stealing again, at a fraction of the cost of prison. It wouldn't be that much of a punishment, especially if the crime was significant. And that individual can be brought in twice a week for therapy and counseling.
  7. The problem I see with this is that confinement or removal of an individual with or from a society can be done without punishing a criminal, or with any negative consequence to them at all. Such would be the case where a criminal, no matter how harsh the crime, is simply relocated or put in a prison that's comfortable so as to be "humane" ("after all, what purpose would it serve to punish them or make it uncomfortable?") And the problem with rehabilitation or restoration or "moral training", is that it can feasibly be done more efficiently and productively without punishment. An individual could entirely reform their thinking, even become an Objectivist, sincerely wish not to harm another again - all without being punished. And punishment is not necessary for deterrence of future crimes. A mother who believes parents are responsible to kill their children, and only their own children, if they rebel against them, won't murder another child again if they're too old to have children again. Simply knowing in any given situation that the odds of an individual committing a crime again after doing it once is unlikely, could justify simply letting them go. And if it were deemed that punishment of a certain crime had no effect on deterring other crimes of that nature, under this purpose the punishment would be unnecessary. Retribution is only form of punishment that considers what a criminal deserves as relevant. All other forms are more concerned with future crimes, or reforming the criminal, than giving them what they deserve.
  8. I think of humor, such as sarcasm and satire, as the best and proper method to derive joy from evil or a bad situation. So humor can serve to convince others by showcasing the absurdity of their views, but since that can be done without humor, I think the primary purpose of satire and sarcasm is for enjoyment.
  9. I've got to remember that line. It's excellent. I don't think so. Feel free to protest outside their event, but it would be wrong to use equipment to be so loud as to interfere with their ability to speak to anyone 4 ft from them. I suppose your use of the word "disrupt" is just too vague for my taste. I disagree. There hasn't been successful attempts at removing political freedom of speech, but the movements silencing "hate speech" on campuses are motivated by a specific ideology that won't hesitate to advance further after succeed with colleges, news sites, and social networks. I've seen a people sign a petition at college to remove the 1st Amendment.
  10. You make a fair point. I suppose my example would be more to the purpose of amusing myself than to make persuasive progress. A lot of people would suggest that if a person demonstrated they were unreasonable that I should walk away, but it would be such a missed opportunity for amusement.
  11. Objectivism includes a retributive theory of justice, in that the purpose of punishment is essentially to prevent criminals from standing to benefit from the crime, to ensure that those who violate rights face consequences equal to that of their victims. Objectivists, such as Leonard Peikoff and Diana Brickell, have given satisfying refutations of deterrence, incarceration, and rehabilitation as justifying purposes of punishment. However, I have yet to find an explanation of how retribution in justice is moral, that criminals ought to be punished. I haven't heard a good case for how punishing criminals is in the self-interest of the victims, which I think is the necessary premise needed to justify and also demand punishment of crimes. So, does anybody here have a good explanation to offer me?
  12. In the case that you are told that what you are saying is "offensive", and that you should therefore stop speaking, what would be your response? I haven't quite had that experience yet myself, but witnessed it around me. My response would have to be replying that such a criticism of what I have said is offensive. I would go on to be sarcastic, saying that I feel attacked and marginalized.
  13. I would have to say that it's not a definite no, but that we can't know for sure yet. It's like if someone asked if a person's philosophy could be derived from what clothes they wore. What amounts to no clothes at all could be considered bad attire, but other than that there's no philosophical implications of wearing leather jackets - that we can identify with the methods available to us. What I would say is that enjoyment can't be morally judged, but rather it's a reflection of what may or may not be good values that they have chosen. A person can possibly enjoy pain, and while that enjoyment in itself is not immoral, the conscious valuation of that pain is. However as far as sensational pleasure goes (opposed to emotion), it may be entirely out of their control. haha - well, based on your response I can assure you that the possibility of you being Kira is roughly 1%.
  14. Sure, I just haven't seen any reason to suspect he has. His public interactions have been evidence of the contrary.
  15. Yes it was meant as a rare exception, and an exception to what Rand stated. I'm pretty sure that excluding sounds that don't even fit the definition of music is just an unstated assumption.
  16. Yaron Brook has gone on record saying that Rand would dislike a lot of the music he listens to, like Rock music for example. It's a nonissue. I like all sorts of music but dislike country for being too repetitive and melodramatic. It doesn't have philosophical significance. The lyrics of a particular song can have depraved messages, but even then, I really enjoyed some of Taylor Swift's songs for a long time - until I paid attention to the lyrics. Lyrics can often be overlooked or unnoticed, and subliminal messages are a marketing myth. Rand wrote in Romantic Manifesto that music cannot be objectively analyzed - right now. She said it would require a scope of psychological knowledge of how elements of music affect people that we don't possess. We'd have to know whether country music necessarily correlates to a depraved philosophy or misguided values, or it causes such things. We don't know anything like that, we can't know right now, and philosophical implications of music are only speculation as a result. *shrug* Rand said herself that musical taste can only be viewed as "subjective", until scientific knowledge expands. Music would have to stop being music for it to be objectively bad. It would have to cross the line from music to noise, which includes ceasing to have rhythm or including sounds too obnoxious and irritating (high pitched or "scratchy") .
  17. Yeah, those accusations are often undeserved. What's most often the case is people experience totally normal emotions and experiences, and then make errors in reasoning and thought to attribute that experience to something supernatural. People very rarely ever "hear voices". What happens is they have a really nice day after making a financial decision, and think that God is speaking to them.
  18. As for rhetoric, it's very important. The ideological movements that succeed throughout history and move cultures forward used effective rhetoric. In the information age where there is too much information for anybody to learn all of it, and most of it is incorrect, you need small, condensed pieces of information. This is where rhetoric comes in. Condense your view on a certain issue in 2 or 3 sentences, maybe 4 if necessary, and it can become a meme, it can be shared around online, it can go viral. Essays and articles rarely ever go viral. It's like the crow analogy. You need an idea small enough to be remembered and understood. That's what will be communicated effectively. Repeat it in public discourse, and don't expect it to be an essay or speech. Its purpose is to grab people's attention, make them think, and give them something to remember you for.
  19. My strategy is to convey Rand's ideas piece by piece, slowly. This assumes that I'm engaging with a person I know who I'll talk to again later. Even with a stranger though, you will have more success giving them a new idea like a seed than trying to give them 40 meals to digest. The most honest person isn't going to be persuaded of a radical philosophy in one day. A couple years ago I made a friend who I spoke to frequently, and on occasion I would say something she didn't agree with. One time I said that actually I think that what's moral is acting in your own rational self-interest. She didn't believe me at first, and then I explained the nuances of my position. You know, the typical stuff: people should act on whims, stealing and killing isn't self-interested, benevolence can be very selfish and that's fine, etc. She found it interested, wasn't fully convinced, and we moved on. Some time later I bought her a copy of Atlas Shrugged and she read it. Not sure if she would call herself an Objectivist, but she was convinced selfishness was the right way to live. Just be patient, and explain individual positions as they arise in context. If you explain yourself calmly and reasonably, you'll persuade honest people over time. Just don't try to win a person over in one sitting.
  20. Thing is is that Dagny's not actually a robot. She is what Jim sees her as, which is that she feels things, but only for "metal and machines". But Jim accuses her of being a total unfeeling robot, and she just doesn't take his evasive word games seriously. The way I see it, it's like when a person who is clearly unreasonable, and not just confused, accuses me of being sexist, I'd just remark, "Yup. I'm totally a sexist." No, it's not about apology. Not everybody who is wrong about the world is irrational. Many don't have all the facts on the topic, and many make errors in reasoning that don't result from evasions and dishonesty. When I get annoyed by the remark "Randroid", I think of all the people who are reasonable, but their impression of Objectivism is that it just condemns emotions, along with poor people. If a person like Jim accused me of hating the poor cause I'm an Objectivist, I wouldn't take him seriously. But the general public? I get annoyed that so many people don't consider Objectivism, because they think it's a depraved philosophy, but not cause they're dishonest.
  21. Jim Taggart appealed to emotions to escape reason and to escape reality. Emotions don't conflict with reason by necessity, and they can be of great value as motivational and insightful tools when we don't regard them as tools of cognition. Then there's of course the pleasant emotions that are pleasant, and make life worth living in the first place. I've read the first few chapters.
  22. To say that something is, for example tribalism, in the nature of X, then X wouldn't be X without it. To say something is in man's nature is to say it's innate, out of their conscious control, and a defining quality. Tribalism is none of these things. Even something like wearing clothes is not in man's nature. Nearly everyone does it, but they choose it, they can choose not to, they could more or less tell you why they do it, and it doesn't stem from biology. Tribalism is a form of social organization. It's not the only one, it's not rational (for the reasons we have described), and people can choose to organize into groups by rational standards, i.e. shared values, common goals, mutual affection, etc. *edit* Anthropology can't tell you what man's basic nature and fundamental qualities are. Only fields like philosophy, psychology, and biology can do that.
  23. I wasn't saying that people value others automatically. I was saying that in general people value others in general. I have a basic interest in other peoples interest, so I leave doors open for people, smile politely when I say thank you, etc. If there's a difference between automatic and automated, then my mistake. Emotions are an automatic response to values we choose - that was my point with that. I forgot to comment on what you said about sociopaths able to enjoy others' achievements while not experiencing grief at others' suffering. It's worth noting here, as I'm sure you do know of, that sociopaths are incapable of feeling empathy, even for those they care about (as far as the diagnoses is concerned). I consider this a loss and an impairment, and here's why I think so: I believe emotions to have developed for the evolutionary purpose of motivation, and without adhering to "nature's laws" because it's nature, emotions still serve the practical purpose of motivation, which is a psychological need for everyone. This is why I see the value in negative emotions like grief, anger, and hate. Ayn Rand wrote that evil should not be thought of any longer than is necessary to defeat it, and this remains true here. That said, experiencing anger drives people to respond to what caused the anger, whether they do so responsibility notwithstanding. Experiencing grief at others' suffering is what drive people to comfort others, to help relieve their suffering. That I think is what people value in seeing people empathizing with others' suffering.
  24. It isn't about whether pain is of value, which can certainly be implied or even believed by things people say. The significance of whether a person feels pain at seeing others in pain is the indicator of whether they are emotionally invested in others' happiness. People who value other people, and personally wish for others to succeed, are people who are valuable to others; people value the empathetic people. And I think that there is value in other people. Even those who are not my friend, who are total strangers and will not see again, I am friendly toward them because I want to live in a local society that cares about people's happiness and well being, and that is my contribution.
  25. I remember the response she made to Jim. Given she doesn't take anything seriously [*that Jim says*], it was obvious sarcasm that Jim couldn't appreciate, but Dagny could. I'm aware, but people use words they don't understand and yet we can still know what they mean. People say they have OCD all the time. I know that what they really mean is they have quirks and habits (even if calling it OCD annoys me). Empathy is something that's automatic. It's the experience people have when they cringe at awkward conversations on tv. Most people aren't masochists, and so most don't witness a car accident and think, "Alright, it's time to get emotionally invested in other people so I can experience pain." People value friendships and love and community; that's why they get emotionally invested in people, and most people are benevolent and wish for others to be as happy as they are. Once that's established, "feeling other people's pain" is experienced as an automatic response. To put it another way: Most people value other people's happiness, not necessarily more than their own, and seeing people in pain is a witness to your values being harmed.
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