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Everything posted by hunterrose

  1. IMO the moral thing is to do what she wants to in this situation. Acting from a sense of obligation would create an immorality. Barring that, I can't immediately think of a context where Objectivism would say "saving this stranger is the moral thing to do" or "refusing to save this stranger is the moral thing to do." You phrased that in an interesting way. In terms of charity ethics (and maybe emergency ethics) it might be correct to say that Objectivism says what you should not do, as opposed to what you should do. I wouldn't say that this means that choice or morality is not a factor though.
  2. I wouldn't call it a misinterpretation, but the Sixth doesn't explicitly state that citizens have the legal right to a attorney on the public's dime. I don't
  3. Check your premise. According to Objectivism, is risking your life necessarily the same as sacrificing your life? I would tell you no, but don't take my word for it It's not immoral for the woman to choose to risk her life by saving the stranger. It's not immoral for the woman to choose to not risk her life by saving the stranger. It would be immoral for this woman to risk her life (or not risk her life?) because she felt she was obligated to. If this pregnant woman was acting from a sense of what Jesus would want or even from what Peikoff would want her to do, then she is acting from improper moral standards. The sacrifice would begin at the point that she supercedes her values for the values of other people, not merely because she risks her life in helping someone else. Another possibility is that the pregnant woman is not necessarily making a wrong decision according Objectivism, therefore it's not a matter of us fabricating an impropriety for her to be subject to.
  4. Asking is better than assumptions. If you could keep your responses substantive then I could possibly learn from your point of view. And yet you keep speaking of paradoxes without defining or making sense of what the supposed paradox is. Why would a person whose highest value is his own life be acting in a "paradoxical" manner if he dies trying to save his children?? Namely, is any case of taking one's life similarly paradoxical? Or taking your kids to the hospital when you need the money to take care of your own health? Or going off to war? Since you haven't stated from what principles you derive your paradox, it's thankless guesswork figuring out a relationship such that your paradox statement makes any sense. You wouldn't know it, but a lot of strange folks come here with "an honest question." It's hard to know just how sincere they are, but the firebrands tend to give themselves away by not explaining their rationale and the way they react when they are asked questions. I don't think anyone who frequents this forum would agree with that. One's physical survival is only a subset of everything that encompasses one's life. Acting to keep any of those things that encompass one's life is not a shift in purpose. Is it your belief that one's physical survival ought to trump everything else that in one's life, or is that rather your interpretation of Objectivism?
  5. I wouldn't say that. Does dining at Burger King mean a religionist ultimately puts eating food over doing god's will? If not, then what's the difference?
  6. Is the continuity of a state in everybody's interests even if that state violates natural rights? If that which constitutes natural rights is not subject to change, then advocating the continuity of a state that violated natural rights invalidates social contract theory. Hmm. I determine what constitutes natural rights based on the needs of the individual; the needs of the community and the needs of the individual are one and the same as far as I'm concerned. Are nonliberal social contract theorists of the opinion that the eventual outcomes of a society create a dichotomy between the needs of the individual and the needs of a well ordered society? I think this has been refuted pretty throroughly. Any implicit agreement that violates ones (natural) rights is void in social contract theory, no? If you don't think forced taxation violates ones natural rights, then how do you and social contract theorists determine the needs of the individual? That is false. The thread's title is ... "Why is taxation wrong." OP's opponent's premise is that forced taxes (perhaps because they are "consentual") are not wrong. Publius's social contract premise is that forced taxes (because either they don't violate rights or it's necessary to violate that right) are not wrong. 'Course, if the thread's only question has been answered, a moderator could close the thread, right?
  7. Why not instead use a hypothetical America where the people are simply convinced they need police, military and courts? Does your hypothetical imply that a voluntary taxation system would work only in a country that has already been founded on Objectivist principles? Then they wouldn't be acting in their rational self interest. The people who ask those type of questions seem to take it as a (metaphysical) given that Americans will keep on "voluntarily" paying for services they "don't think they need" via forced taxation, and ironically question whether Americans would voluntarily pay for services they do need if they weren't forced to do so. Some local places here in the U.S. require voters to approve tax increases. The fact that such a system works implies to me that citizens will voluntarily pay for the services they think they need. Why would it ruin the economy?
  8. Ask your opponent if all voluntary contracts are valid. I can understand the idea of implicit terms associated with contracts to an extent. If I buy a gun, I implicitly agree to not use it to initiate force. If I buy some copyrighted music, I implicitly agree to not make a million copies and sell them without explicit permission. Such implicit terms are justified because violating the them violates the (natural?) rights of others. "Voluntary" has nothing to do with it. How are the nonliberal views of natural rights constituted? I would say it's rather a matter of understanding whether "anticipated eventual outcome" is a valid principle to base political theories on. But nobody who believed in social contract theory could say that. It wouldn't be rational to argue ceding rights which by definition can't be ceded to the government voluntarily or involuntarily.
  9. Mavericks don't like mavericks? As much as I like her personality, I hope I don't see her again in 2012...
  10. I have a question. In the case of a run on the bank, the balance holder isn't wronged assuming he knew the risks involved. Outlawing fractional reserve banking because the populace is now affected by bank-caused inflation seems (to me) like a questionable reason to outlaw it. Suppose I start using IOUs as money and some merchants accept them. If my actions shouldn't be outlawed, what is the difference between what I have done and what fractional resereve banks have done? It was... different The length of the video got to me more than the driving. I give him points for creating it and getting a discussion going though.
  11. Interesting I have tended to think that fractional reserve wasn't inconsistent with Objectivism, particularly if the parties involved understand the risks and when it's not commandeered by the government. You are saying fractional reserve banking is unethical even if the government weren't involved? I like what you've done on YouTube. Thanks, I'll have to watch the video(s) again - it's not overly complicated, but it's a lot to process!
  12. I think that some criticisms of Obama are certainly relevant, but I do agree that the political campaign against Obama has been pretty cheesy as of late. "Obama is an Intellectual Midget?" C'mon. What does that make McCain, a dwarf? True, but at the point Mammon posted, nothing substantial was said in this thread with the exception of I didn't hear of that until now. If McCain wasn't pro-environmentalist, that could hold more sway with me. Apparently?
  13. In terms of socialism, there is no fundamental difference between Obama and McCain. That's not why we consider him delusional. He thinks taking government assistance in response one socialist makes him a d'Anconia and that happily paying taxes to a different socialist is rational.
  14. That is a very good point. Doesn't that answer itself? Questions: what did you do from 2004 to 2008 to prevent an Obama from becoming president? And what are you going to do from 2008 to 2012 to prevent an Obama from being reelected?? I don't know what you did '04-'08, but it sounds like you plan on doing less and expecting more. That's horrible thinking. There's isn't a whole lot of reason to believe that "dear leader" will be stepping down in four years. It sounds to the jaded ear like you're waiting for "the perfect moment" to start your business.
  15. Peikoff's reasons aside, one problem with what you say is that many people see Republicans just as much responsible for the economic crisis and its underlying socialism. After all, how many years did they control the legislature and executive? In a choice between socialism and religion+socialism, you can't be surprised when free-market minded people are indifferent to the GOP.
  16. Lieberman's status as "independent" is only the result of him losing his Democratic primary - to say that he's not a member of the Democratic party is largely semantic. Powell did offer his for supporting Obama. I thought most of his argument was sensible; what did you find irrational in what he said? You might be surprised if you check out Powell's non-Republican positions on a variety of issues.
  17. Given that neither is planning to move away from socialism, I'd rather Democrats' socialism take the ideological backlash for messing things up rather than watch McCain scapegoat free-market economics for four years.
  18. If I had the cash, I'd invest right now, but that's just my personal view. Besides, when can you invest in the market if not right now?
  19. The lists are interesting. It's long been a goal of mine to read all of the books (40/32 so far) and I've come across some great books (e.g. Sophie's Choice) and abominable ones (e.g. Wide Sargasso Sea, the never-to-be-finished Ulysses.) I also found some sites of readers who also apparently have or are attempting to read and review all of the books. Too bad there's not an Objectivist reviewer of all of the books. It'd make for an interesting perspective
  20. Dramatic. But since we're throwing around the word "socialism" so freely, tell me: has 8 years of a "socialist" conservative as president brought us a candidate whose less socialist? Or has endorsing socialism-lite merely created a reliable voting bloc? I don't see how voting for McCain in order to protect ourselves is going to do anything other than create more political McCains. Well said. True. Too bad McCain's not fighting any of that.
  21. Guess that same conservative analyst must've said Lieberman was a rascist too? And that it was an equally good point?
  22. Hmm. That's a lotta questions Possibly beyond the three Objectivist axioms, I don't think any axioms have to be in play in the gray box - I doubt it can be proven that any (other?) given axioms are being used. I don't think using someone axioms against them is as beneficial as it sounds - IMO most axioms are not in the category of "undeniable", and I don't think many (if any) undeniable conclusions could be derived from undeniable axioms.
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