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Everything posted by Groovenstein

  1. I'll say hello and welcome because everyone else is doing it and I always strive to fit in.
  2. It is impossible to oppose that which does not exist.
  3. 3 points: 1. I am not happy to pay any tax. 2. Why does any tax--that is, the forced confiscation of one's wealth by the government--make sense? How can you abhor forced confiscation in one instance and be happy to comply with it, and claim that it makes sense, in another? 3. One of those things is not like the other. One of those things just doesn't belong. And that's the sales tax. With the highway and fuel taxes, you are paying the government for things the government provides you. With the sales tax, you are paying the government for the right to buy something someone else provides you. You're not really paying for what you use.
  4. Not only is it not omniscent and omnipresent, but under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, it has no affirmative obligation to protect you from private actors. Here is a summary from the relevant case:
  5. Be sure to check the links and information provided in this earlier thread on the wonders of Dubai (one of which is an indoor ski resort!).
  6. I have recently discovered kakuro which is something of a hybrid sudoku/crossword. Like sudoku, it's all logic. As of now, I find kakuro much more challenging than sudoku. However it's worth noting that (1) I went right out and bought the toughest kakuro book I could find, and (2) I've done tens of thousands of sudoku puzzles. Anyway, if you like sudoku, you will probably also like kakuro. Enjoy! Share your tips and success stories here!
  7. Too bad, because I used to like him as a sports anchor.
  8. To Gary Brenner, Freddy, and anyone else who does not agree with the ethics of Objectivism and wishes to continue arguing here: This thread is now at 34 pages and over 600 posts. You have received many lengthy, on point responses to your inquiries. If after reading the pertinent Objectivist materials and dissecting them here in such detail, you still disagree with the ethics of Objectivism, then it is clear you are not finding what you seek here. If you wish to continue having active participants in your investigation of these issues that trouble you, you should seek them elsewhere. To everyone else: There is plenty of fodder in this thread for any discussion you wish to continue in the regular forums. It should be a greater benefit to you to resolve issues with people who agree on certain fundamentals and will discuss their application constructively. In light of that, I am closing this thread. Enough is enough. If any of you would rather the thread remain open, please PM me and I will address your concerns with the moderating team. If any of you moderators disagree with my decision, please let me know and we'll talk.
  9. You will refrain from using the term "file sharing" to mean the illegal duplication and transmission of copyrighted materials. You will instead call it "file stealing" or some other term that accurately reflects the act. Furthermore, you will reign in your attitude. Everyone here, including me, is a guest of the forum owner. You especially are subject to heightened scrutiny because you are advocating positions which are openly hostile to Objectivism. While that is permitted in this subforum only, a certain degree of decorum is still required.
  10. Please note that I did not say "so what." My question was as follows: "As to either question, is there another purpose I have not listed, and if so, what?" There is a comma between so and what. I will rephrase the question. "As to either question, is there another purpose I have not listed, and if there is, what is it?"
  11. And before we do that, we need to have a good idea of what she meant by "destruction". What do you think she meant, and what evidence do you have to offer in support of your interpretation? In fact, I think this discussion should not continue until an adequate interpretation of Rand's use of the word "destruction" in the passage quoted in the thread's first post is provided.
  12. I don't understand the purpose of these questions to the point I originally made. As to your first question, are you suggesting that X must know of a right in order to have it? As to your second question, are you asking that I provide to you a complete explanation of property rights? I have neither the knowledge nor the inclination to do that. If you are genuinely interested in comprehensive discussion of property rights, I know of an article by Professor Mossoff which I believe is called "An Integrated Theory of Property". Or do you mean to imply, by way of what I have heard called the fallacy of the gray area, that such evidence does not exist or does not suffice? As to either question, is there another purpose I have not listed, and if so, what?
  13. You fail to distinguish between existence and recognition. X has the right to whatever he has the right to regardless of whether it is legally recognized. To claim that a right exists only when it is recognized is to claim the legal equivalent of the primacy of consciousness.
  14. And your alternative to these supposed vague slogans is to proclaim that the nature of man dictates that he try to live as long as possible? Why? From what facts do you derive your conclusion that man's goal should be to keep his heart beating as long as possible? If you were to offer a sound argument in support of that, sure. But really, you're just analogizing with a straw man here. The existence of some things as rationally being open to preference does not preclude the existence of other things as not rationally being open to preference. My favorite food can be granola bars, and yours crackers, and we're both rationally okay. Both function well as food by providing nourishment. Whichever you like more doesn't matter. If we were to try to subsist exclusively on those foods, of course that would be a bad idea, but that goes to the quality of one's overall dietary structure, not the rationality of one's tastes. Conversely, my favorite pastime could be doing crosswords, and yours hitting yourself in the eye with a quarterstaff, and we're not both rationally okay. My pastime is a safe activity providing an entertaining rest from work. Yours is an activity providing blindness. Now, hitting yourself in the eye with a quarterstaff could seemingly be "rational" if one's chosen goal was vision loss or impaling oneself with medieval weaponry. But then the means fails to be rational because the end, the goal itself, is not rational.
  15. How familiar are you with Objectivist principles? I ask because you imply that corporate espionage and insider trading are morally equivalent, whereas to my knowledge Objectivism would not consider them so.
  16. Please demonstrate how fewer guns in the United States would have stopped this particular crime. Then please demonstrate how fewer guns in the United States would reduce crime in general. Yes, school shootings in America do happen frequently in the United States. However, some of the shootings in America happen in the Yucutan Peninsula, and still others in the Ural Mountains. It has puzzled geographers for decades. [Edit: The remark immediately above is just a bit of lighthearted humor about a typing mistake that ended up saying something funny. I did not mean it as a serious critique about the poster's English skills.]
  17. First of all, my apologies. I should have been more cautious with my tone given the shortcomings of internet communication. Now on to some of the substance of your response. If my memory serves, blacks support affirmative action by a large majority. (Whites and hispanics, on the other hand, are more evenly split.) If it is true that (1) affirmative action is a racist program, and that (2) blacks generally support it, does it not follow that blacks are generally racist? Please let my query stand on its own, i.e. don't take it as necessarily agreeing or disagreeing with anything Moose said. Also let it stand on its own in the sense that the same reasoning would apply to whites, men, the middle-class, pizza delivery guys, ocelots, or any other demographic. For example, if we concluded that half of whites supported affirmative action, and that affirmative action is a racist program, then mustn't we conclude that (at least) half of whites are racist? So, in sum I guess: 1. Is affirmative action a racist program? 2. If one supports a racist program, does that make one a racist?
  18. What is the point of this remark? To insinuate that "whites" should apologize to "blacks"? If so, I'll make you a deal. You find every black slave I've owned, and I'll apologize to every single one of them. Good luck.
  19. There are two things wrong about this situation: 1) Imus' comments, for obvious reasons; and 2) the public reaction. The guy said something stupid, and the big deal is . . . what, exactly? There are so many things happening every day that are far more offensive than racist comments or a bad joke. I save my anger for things of far greater import, such as, say, taxes or a murder.
  20. Speaking for me, not tipping me will not lead to bad service. However, if I'm not satisfied with my income in the aggregate, I may very well choose another establishment or another line of work. Therefore, if you value the above average service I provide, you should be inclined to tip so as to ensure that I keep working at a particular place. Assuming you go to that place with some degree of regularity.
  21. I now see that I was assuming one of two scenarios. Either (1) you tipped the person before the service, or (2) you tipped the person after a previous encounter with the idea that in future encounters it would be remembered. Oh, that makes sense. So if you go into a busy restaurant, you adjust your service expectations accordingly.
  22. I googled "fallacy of the gray area" (and grey) and nothing came up with that exact phrase. However, not using that exact phrase I found what I think you're referring to, which the author calls the semantic version of the slippery slope fallacy. He describes it as such: "A differs from Z by a continuum of insignificant changes, and there is no non-arbitrary place at which a sharp line between the two can be drawn. Therefore, there is really no difference between A and Z." (link) Is this what you're referring to? Hopefully you or someone else can find a reference in Rand's works, because I'd love to read it. I've never put a name to this fallacy before, but I have found it troubling particularly when discussing abortion.
  23. DO, I've been pondering this, and I'm wondering about the scenario where the service person for some reason can not provide excellent service to all his customers. For simplicity's sake, let's assume that the reason is one out of his control. For example, a good waiter at an understaffed restaurant. I don't think this is a far-fetched example, at least at my restaurant, where we often have periods of less than optimum numbers of staff. Sometimes it's because we have an unexpected rush in business, sometimes because we have an expected rush in business but an unexpected staff shortage (e.g. someone unexpectedly quit and could not be replaced for that shift), and sometimes because management did not adequately manage staffing needs. I'm a good waiter, but of course there's a limit to what I can do. If I'm responsible for 100 customers at a time, there is no way I will be able to provide excellent service to all of them in the context of my restaurant. So in the scenario where a staff person, due to circumstances beyond his control, can not provide excellent service to all customers, is it blackmail to tip him in the hope (or even explicitly made expectation) that you will be one of the customers to whom he provides excellent service? I'm not suggesting this is the reason for the development of the tipping custom, nor the reason why any particular person tips. Rather, I'm posing it as a realistic scenario where (1) it could be in a person's rational self-interest to tip, and (2) a man might require a tip in order to do the best job possible for you during a particular encounter.
  24. Funniest thing I've read on here in a while. Well done.
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