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Anirudh Silai

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Everything posted by Anirudh Silai

  1. So the causal factors would be both, then? Both the relative importance to you and your expectations?
  2. But am I correct about the nature of the psychological impact?
  3. I see your point applies to my 2nd question about psychological impact. Let's say now that I am applying for a job. If I am expecting that I will get the job, then I will be bummed out if I end up not getting it. However, if I am not expecting that I will get it, then I will not be bummed out by not getting the job. Maybe the impact of a "potential" value on you depends on your expectations. If you go in with either realistic expectations or with no expectations at all, then you have nothing to lose emotionally. But, if you go in with unrealistic expectations, then you may be crushed.
  4. Thanks for the quick reply. I'll elaborate with two questions: Let's say that Bob is raising money for a procedure that could restore eyesight to his blind brother Dick, and he values the potential of Dick's eventual sight. Then Dick ends up getting the procedure and begins to see. After his recovery, would Bob categorically value Dick's actual sight as well? Likewise, let's rewind the scenario back to when Bob is raising the money. He values Dick's potential sight, and also values his own efforts to help his brother. If a bank robber were to steal some money, would he be attacking Bob's potential value so as to give Bob psychological distress? In other words, does the failure to reach a potential X cause as much distress as losing the actual X? What is the comparison?
  5. I was on this closed thread - http://forums.4aynrandfans.com/index.php?/topic/4332-weighing-actual-versus-potential-values/&page=1 - and I came across a puzzle that I can't quite figure out. One of the commentators said that, for any value X, the actual X is always more desirable than a potential X. But, is he wrong if I value a potential X while not valuing the actual X? Is it even possible for me to do so - to value a potential X without valuing the actual X? If so, what is an example?
  6. Here are two scenarios: 01) John Smith decides to run for office on a tax-spend-heavy platform and Billy and Bob vote for him. John Smith wins and puts his agenda into place. 02) Billy and Bob start a "Draft Smith movement" to persuade John Smith to run, and he ends up agreeing to it. John Smith wins and puts his agenda into place. Am I correct in saying that: In scenario 1, John Smith is the initiator of force, whereas Billy and Bob are willing consenters? While, in scenario 2, Billy and Bob are the initiators of force while John Smith is a willing consenter?
  7. Thanks. Applying it more specifically, what about today in America? Do you guys think that, for most Americans, taxation is indeed force? Is there a gray area here?
  8. I have a question: If I vote in a Congressman or President who says he will raise my taxes, and he does so, does that still count as force from the govt against me? That is, specifically regarding the people who voted for the politician who raised their taxes, is it still an initiation of force against those specific people as well?
  9. I'll definitely check out your other post. I've been busy with a lot of things. Thanks, though!
  10. I wouldn't lead a life of crime because I respect others. Some people do not. But most people reject such a principle. Even if encouraged, few would adopt such a principle. Most (but not all; not 100%) would agree with me that stealing is wrong. Some would assume, albeit incorrectly, that they'd surely risk detection - despite the plethora of unreported and unsolved crimes. Many people are averse to even the slightest risks. Some wouldn't be able to live with themselves. But there are people who asses the risk, find it to be small, and can indeed live with themselves, and comfortably. I am certainly not saying that one ought to steal sometimes or that one ought to lead a life of crime. I am only saying that some acts of theft are entirely compatible with the self-interest of the thief.
  11. Hey everyone, Here's an interesting thought to consider: http://aynrandlexicon.com/ayn-rand-ideas/the-objectivist-ethics.html - Here Rand says, "if some men attempt to survive by means of brute force or fraud, by looting, robbing, cheating or enslaving the men who produce, it still remains true that their survival is made possible only by their victims, only by the men who choose to think and to produce the goods which they, the looters, are seizing...The men who attempt to survive, not by means of reason, but by means of force, are attempting to survive by the method of animals...Such looters may achieve their goals for the range of a moment, at the price of destruction: the destruction of their victims and their own." - By destruction, she means physical and psychological (with regard to self-esteem). But what about criminals who get away with it successfully? Consider that man must act with reason in order to survive. Consider a thief who reasons that the risk of getting caught is very low, even that the likelihood of his victim even reporting the crime is low. Finally consider that criminals, on average, even those who are caught, have higher-than-average self-esteem, according to the APA. Or, as an insignificant example, consider that once, when I was little, I was feeling hungry and I easily snagged a couple of potato chips from a friend.
  12. How doesn't it promote Adam's life? That's why I brought up indebtedness and retaliation.
  13. I get it, that Adam is the altruist. So, by applying altruist mentality to Bert, is Adam defeating his own self-interest as well? Is he defeating his own self-interest because, by doing that to Bert, he is incurring a debt that will be enforced by law?
  14. But why wouldn't it be altruism? What makes it either egoist or neutral?
  15. Aha, I was being too vague in the beginning. I meant that altruism is when one makes choices based on the needs or whims of others. I stand corrected - altruists can indeed be an agent of action, it's just that they surrender their mind to the whims of others. I hope this is correct. According to Ayn Rand, "altruism gauges a man’s virtue by the degree to which he surrenders, renounces or betrays his values" - The Virtue of Selfishness, p.44 If Bert involuntarily (or voluntarily, too - it doesn't matter how) surrenders his value of privacy to Adam's choices - "your money or your life" because he thinks he has no other option, that would indeed be, for the time being, altruism. I think I can even categorize further, to describe combinations of egoist vs. altruist mentality and voluntary vs. involuntary action: Voluntary egoism = trade Voluntary altruism = Kantian heroism Involuntary altruism = theft Involuntary egoism = Forcing an altruist to act egoistically
  16. The context I am now specifying is that Bert specifically values privacy as well as the freedom from having to choose between his money and his life. If, in this context, Adam robbed Bert at gunpoint as I described, is it altruistic of Bert to consign himself to Adam's choices? If, based on the context I specified above, that it is not altruism after all, then what do you mean by "context"? By "context," did you mean "a specific set of values"?
  17. I see. That's a good point. So, to clarify, would Bert only be altruistic if Adam forced Bert to negate some value of his? That's why I mentioned how Bert didn't want to have to choose between his money and his life.
  18. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/altruism.html I read the definition of altruism above, and want a bit of clarification. Can you guys tell me if my definition/interpretation of altruism is correct? Thanks! Altruism = When the whims of others dictate one's choices. Ex. If Adam barges into Bert's house, armed, and tells Bert, "your possessions or your life," then, by choosing one of the two options forced on him, Bert is being altruistic. Bert would rather have kept both his possessions AND his life, so Adam is forcing Bert to be altruistic. It's also why we need the government to stop Adam, so that Bert is not physically forced into being altruistic.
  19. But I would contend that Brook does not owe Obama's contributors anything, because Brook is not threatening to tax them (at least not as much) if he wins. I suppose we may agree to disagree, but maybe the contributors don't contribute to Brook out of their own volition. Maybe they do so that their taxes will go down compared to what they would have been under Obama. I think ransom is not a bad analogy.
  20. What I meant (and I admit I was a bit vague) was that it is like Obama is saying: "Donate to Brook's campaign so that he can free you from gov't theft, or I will continue to tax you." That's an initiation of force
  21. I specified that it was an Objectivist vs an Altruist. I thought it would be theft because the Objectivist campaign, by contributing money, is effectively paying for the freedom from theft, which can only be accomplished with an Objectivist or like minded person in office. Yet freedom from theft should not have to be paid for. It is a right.
  22. Gift = Willingness Theft = Unwillingness + Violent or fraudulent initiation by the taker Neither gift nor theft = Given voluntarily and presumably unwillingly, but without the violent or fraudulent initiation by the taker. Rather, it is initiated by the giver with altruistic intention. With Bob and Al, it's certainly theft.
  23. I was wondering about three similar scenarios regarding the offspring/inheritors of a debtor or a thief. Scenario 1 - Suppose Amy steals jewelry from Betty and gets away with it. Time passes, and, nearing death, Amy sells the watch and gives the money to her daughter via her will. But Betty, who has not recovered the jewelry, transfers fewer assets to her own daughter as a result. Does Amy Jr. owe Betty Jr. the value of the stolen jewelry? Scenario 2 - Suppose a progressive/socialist/welfare statist president - Marl Karx - imposes a tax but is then voted out of office and passes away soon thereafter. Presumably, President Karx owes his people a heavy debt. Would Karx's sons/daughters inherit from him the debt that he owed his people? Scenario 3 - Jim's parents die in debt. Is it moral for his parents to pass their debt on to Jim (through their will), so that Jim will have to pay off the remaining debt for them? Thanks!
  24. Here's an interesting thing to consider, which I'm struggling over: Suppose the Objectivist movement had gotten as far as running a candidate to office, so, say, Yaron Brook was a candidate for president against Barack Obama. Of course, Brook would have to run a campaign and raise money. But the only reason that Brook has to raise money is that Obama is the incumbent, Brook has to run to win, and chances are that he is an underdog. Does the campaign money that Brook must raise constitute a theft on the part of Obama? If Brook raises $50 million to win the race, does that mean that Obama has basically stolen $50 million from Brook's campaign contributors and, therefore, owes them that amount back?
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