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Veritas last won the day on June 2 2019

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  1. I ousted this over on Harry Binswanger’s board to get a critique of this response that I have written to my friend. Was curious what Objectivists here think about this response. Below, I will summarize what Mr. Binswanger said in reply. To see his actual post you will have to sign up at his website, which I highly recommend. A conflict of rights? I wrote this as a response to a friend. I am wanting to know if my response is coherent or flawed. One man is paying taxes that go towards welfare. Immigrants are coming over, which allows certain policies to drive up the cost of taxes paid to accommodate the potential need for the added members that would come from immigrants coming over and receiving welfare. The man paying taxes has the right to keep his property, in this case his money, yet the immigrant has the right to his freedom, that is, the ability to go where his work is in demand and where he can commence in voluntary trade. In this case the immigrant does not want to be a part of the welfare system. He is a dreamer and wants to create his own wealth. Yet, he is part of a group that by coming over increases the taxes that are imposed upon the man who opposes the welfare tax. In this case, it is my contention that there is no infringement upon the taxpayers’ rights due to the immigrant who wants to come and trade. However, there is an infringement of rights that directly come from the state that is taking your money without regard to your life. The ends (in this case keeping taxes low) do not justify the means (overriding the right to a person’s life). Paying more in welfare tax is not caused by immigration. Paying more taxes is caused by the idea that man must be supported by the collective in order to live. This is furthermore supported by the idea that taking someone else’s money through taxation is justified because it is good that we all share in our wealth to make a better society. Both of these ideas are contradictory, irrational, and evil. The solution is not to maintain your rights by violating the rights of someone else. This is a contradiction and is sanctioning the principle that the ends justify the means, as well as the principle that one can have one’s cake and eat it too. You do not have the right to property at the expense of another person’s right to freedom and a person does not have the right to freedom at the expense of your right to property. The problem in this case is the arbiter of means. Let’s reverse this role. Let’s put the shoe on the other foot. What if every immigrant were taxed every time a person obtained property. Let’s say that the justification is that property is so expensive that in order to obtain it, you need a bit of stimulus from the collective wealth of immigrants. However, the property is substandard and can barely be said to raise a flourishing family. The problem is that the more people who want property, the more the immigrants will have to be taxed in order to support the growing demand to have property. What if most property owners believe that this is a great idea? They are ok to live in substandard property and they live off the support of the immigrants. However, you come along and are a contractor with the ability to have the property well above the standard property allotted apart from the assistance of the immigrant stimulus. You want to exercise your right to your own property that you earn by the work of your hand. The immigrant, though, as more and more people are ok with substandard property, gets upset because as the demand for property increases, so does the tax upon the immigrants. They insist that you are not allowed to obtain property at all, not even substandard property, because they have reached their limit with the amount that is already coming out of their taxes. They insist that you are part of the group that is ok living off of the stimulus and will only add to the problem. In this case it would seem that you will note that your right to your property is not one that is given to you, but is derived from your existence as a human being and that no one should be able to stop you from doing what you have the right to do simply because of the destructive policies of the group that imposes the taxes. The solution cannot ever be rights at the expense of rights. The fight must happen with those imposing the polices and those that are directly taking away your rights. Secondarily, if this is the fight that you want to make (however irrational it might be), it would be better aimed at children being born and going into the public school system. The more children the greater need for more eduction taxes. Education taxation is greater than welfare taxation so if one were to want to act in accordance with one’s idea, you would be better off stopping children from going to school than the immigrant from entering into the States, since a higher percentage of your state tax goes towards eduction over taxes that come from welfare. In this case you might begin to look at the womb as the border and the public school system as the land by which the child will embark upon. In this case it would make more sense, according to this type of thinking, to ban all children wanting to enter this public school system through the womb and stop them before your education taxes are raised even higher that they were before. However, this is irrational and we must return and fight the fight where the battle is actually happening. We must oppose those who are the initiators of force and not those who want to live their life. This is my summary of his response to me. He used examples to strengthen his post. The two points then from your response are, 1. The immigrants actually produce more than what they pay in, furthermore, they not only produce more but by the very nature of the mindset of the producer and the parasite they will produce more. 2. One shouldn’t look at taxes as growing larger or lesser due to any specific demand, rather look at it as a large withdrawal from the American people to go towards whatever fancies the political whim at any given time, driven by the need for votes.
  2. I don’t see how it could follow “if P(g) or not P(g)n then P(u) or not P(u)”. I am arguing that in order for God to “create” U then (u) must be a part of God in some manner, but since (u) is not a part of God in any manner then U could not be from God, it must be necessity be eternal. It is a fact that in in order for there to be existence it must have identity. Existence has identity and that identity is the universe. The universe is what has always exists The form might have changed over time but not its existence.
  3. I am confused now as to where what I was showing could be reduced to showing that God was not made of matter? I suppose after considering this further what I have concluded is that this type of response that I have made above is not necessary. My goal was to show that the implications of “something can’t come from nothing” is that God could not have created the physical universe because in order to do that God would not be able to be any part of what the universe is. Since God by definition is something or that all that the universe is then it is a contradiction to say that he created it. It is all a contradiction. Which actually makes the claim incoherent. That was my point.
  4. Well, I am trying to to show the absurdity of the claim, "God created the universe". Really, I am trying to show that nothing created the universe, that it has always been by necessity. I guess the error is trying to show that by adding a necessary component (the concept of God) to refute it doesn't make much sense? Is that what you are getting at?
  5. I am contrasting the universe from God because they cannot be the same from a classical definition. God is what "created" everything so by definition cannot have in his own "nature" what isn't created yet. He is "Spirit" (whatever that means) and what he created is the material universe by definition. The material universe is the "something". I am not sure why you say that the universe being a collective noun means that it is not a collective noun referring to a matter. Ideas, words, etc are emergent properties of matter. Matter is a primary.
  6. I would definitely agree with that concerning an "Objectivist" approach and I can appreciate the veracity of "the burden of proof principle". Someone asked me to take a "rationalistic" approach to the argument so I did this intentionally. Just was wanting to see if it works under scrutiny. :-)
  7. Can anyone here tell me if my formulation follows? I think it is air tight, but I want an outsiders perspective. God did not create the universe Here are two difference and separate classifications of which by definition do not overlap or entail any attribute of the other. God = ( -P) Universe = (P) That the universe exist is self evident. Any part of the universe or all of the universe can both be referred to as “something”. Let’s let “something” = S, which is equal to P since the universe is self evidently something. Both P and S are logically the same. It can then be said that P = S or S = P Anything that is not S is “nothing” Nothing contains no attributes of something. Let’s call nothing N. It follows then that N must not be P or S. So it can be said that N is the same as -P or -S. It is self evident that something can never come from nothing. In other words nothing cannot logically be the cause of something. From the above we see that “nothing” is the same as -P and “something” is the same as P. It therefore follows that since it is a fact that P exists that it could not have come from -P If God is something other than the universe in every quality and attribute then it stands to reason God could not have been the cause of anything that exists. It follows further that for anything to exist it must have within itself that attribute of P and never -P P must have always been and -P is inconsequential to the existence of -P Therefore God could not have created the universe. (P = -P)
  8. Ok, so in terms of understanding you I need to retain that you point is the “reasoning” from A to B is the issue. Wouldn’t the correlating reason over and above x,y,z be understood in the meaning behind the words used, such as, life, standard, etc,. There is a lot of reading that digs deeper. Greg Salmieri has some entries in “Blackwells Companions to Philosophy”. I hope you continue in this route to further refine your inquiries. Although, I also understand that people here who endorse her philosophy gives quick access to a response. I would like to be able to fill that role as well as notice the gaps in my own understanding. But, there are great resources if you find value in digging any deeper outside of this forum or having exhausted the replies by others here. Maybe instead of doing textual criticism on what she said in VOS we can just start here. 1. I exist 2. In order for me to exist to be meaningful I have to exist in a particular way (law of identity) 3. My particular existence is subject to my particular identity, which is a living organism. 4. Me as a human living organism cannot live without taking particular actions, which are dictated by my particular identity. 5. I need an ultimate guide to continue to exist as a human organism. The guide is morality. Its why we need morality at all. Otherwise whats the point? 6. Morality as it applies to me is a guide for looking at what I am and what I should do. 7 The most fundamental choice I have to decide is to live or to die. 8. The standard that I have to make that particular choice is an understanding that “mans life”, which would include me requires life giving values (food, shelter, etcs,.) and the method for discovering those values is my mind. It is the only method. My mind learning reality (the identity of everything) and a specific application of what I discover to my unique existence as a human organism. Also, what are you philosophical leanings? You mentioned Kant (nemisis ;-)). Are you sympathetic to his approach to morality?
  9. I think I see your reasoning here. Here are some statements that could be made. 1. A strong nuclear force is a fundamental for binding together matter. 2. Matter is required for life to exist. 3. Matter is a necessary condition to life You are concluding then that in this sense that matter could be a standard for value equal to a strong nuclear force equal to life and that if life could be said to be the standard then any of the above mentioned (matter or strong nuclear force) could be said to the the standard as well. From this you might also ask why not just say “existence is the standard of value”. I want to make sure I completely understand what you are saying before I respond. Is this correct?
  10. Eric, I suppose I do not understand that objection per se. What would be the “host of additional necessary conditions of valuing”? Life is the fundamental condition. Conceptually, in order to understand any condition we must understand that life is the basis and perquisite for any other condition to exist. What can exist without life? Life (fundamentally speaking) is what gives rise to the need for values at all. What would be something equal to or greater conceptually than the concept of life that one could derive the concept of value from?
  11. Oh sorry, this original quote was from a Facebook conversation that I started having with someone that is a bit critical of Ayn Rand view of ethics. I asked him to come over here to make the conversation easier and flow better.
  12. I definitely agree with this. My life shouldn’t be taken as “my life” in a subjective way as if it something other than “the life” that I am living. I see how in talking with people that this gets taken incorrectly.
  13. The choice to remain alive as a child is not based on anything more than mere desire. How to stay alive is where "rationality" comes in. "Rationality" is what we use to make sure that our actions are in accordance with "Reality" for flourishing. Children do not deliberate or make arguments for life. They desire to live because of values that they in-explicitly choose. Also we might be using the term "Standard" differently here. It is not life qua life that is the standard (although, I think we agree with this). Does it follow that the act of deliberating means that "(my)life" cannot be the standard but some antecedent that is "causing the deliberation? No. The act of deliberating simply points to me having some sense of volition. What I would deliberate (later in life) explicitly is how I am going to live and what value I will choose to do so.
  14. A few questions to clarify, In your first paragraph you mention a wold were memory recall is only meant for survival. This is to some degree the world we live in for most species who act instinctually or simply by memory (sensory and or perceptual level). But, then you speak of “us” who are able to operate on a conceptual level. Axioms are not just categories that we have evolved to think of for survival. Axioms fundmental to existence whether we think of them or not. Can you clarify a world world that is “Empty” and where there is no consciousness? I can imagine a world with no consciousness but not a world with no “identity”. To exist is to have identity. Also can you clarify what you mean by we could “think” in a world where there is no consciousness?
  15. Ok, I thought it would be easier to continue the conversation in here and it will be easy to keep track of. Right, it is by being alive that I have a reason to choose to continue to maintain being alive or not. I am not sure I am following your connection that if we have a choice “and it is reason based” that the choice cannot be based on life being the standard. It is not life in general it is ‘my” life. What makes possible the ability to make a choice at all is that there is existence. So as it is, because existence is real and I am something that exists in a particular way (conscious and volitional) in order to stay that way my life specifically is the standard for what choices I make. If I wasn’t alive or there was no one alive there would be no standard for morality at all. There is no standard for morality for a tree. Only volitional beings have the need for morality.
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