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Everything posted by tobyk100

  1. I think the idea probably is that there could be someone in the building or that the fire could get way out of hand and kill many. But lets speak hypothetically and say we knew it wasn't going to kill anyone. First: What is the justification for punishing someone for commiting a crime? If they pay you the monetary damages then what right to you have to lock them up? I assume it is the fact that they endager the rights of others therefore it is just to suspend their rights until you think they will again honor the rights of others. Therefore when you see someone about to infringe upon the rights of someone (set a fire) you are just in attempting to stop them. So the question becomes how far can you go to stop them? To this I can not answer seeing as how I am not very good at thinking that deeply or philosophically, so at this point I will stray from my logic and philosophy and just turn to hyperbole by saying that I don't think you should be able to kill someone who is about to cause monetary harm. But this now raises another philosophical point, if it is unjust to kill someone over monetary matters, what happens when the monetary value becomes large (like blowing up billions of dollars in infrastructure) and lets say we foresee that the loss of this infrastructure will possibly be a factor in the death of someone (like a starving African village that can't get medicine now because the cost is to great). Then is it right to kill them?
  2. I'm currently applying for college and I'm filling out all the forms and essays. I was wondering if you think that talking about Objectivism or Ayn Rand's novels (possibly a response to the essay question about a fictional character) would be a negative when the college reads my application. It could make me look educated and thoughtful but then again what if they are vehementaly opposed to Rand's views, as I assume most liberal educators are. Your thoughts? Thanks.
  3. The point about beliefs was to complete the anology. Just like person A no longer is acting to end B's life, the Japanese person is no longer actin to end the Americans life. The point of this post is not "Should A act to end B's life," it was assumed by the author that it was right for A to save himself. The question is "How should B feel towards A if they meet later in life?" The example of the war veterans show how it might be possible for two people, who once where acting to take the others life, to be friends later on in life, after the conflic has been resolved.
  4. I disagree. They were not working to murder each other, and I asume that if there was room for 2 people on the raft that A and B would have agreed to share the raft. They were fighting to maintain their own lives. Here is a similar real life example: An american veteran of WW2 meeting a japanese veteran of WW2. Lets say that the japanese person was drafted and believed in freedom and not the emperor (so our 2 vets are of the same morale beliefs). Is the American justified in hating the Japanese person because at one point that Japanese person tried to end his life? I don't believe so. I think that a rational person would say that the two should respect each other (and I'm pretty sure that meetings of the veterans from both countries has occured).
  5. I am not sure where you can find Ayn Rand talking about courage explicitly (implicitly try pretty much all her books, they all have characters who have the courage to do what is right.) But in my understanding courage is being able to do something thatmight scare or embarrass yet in the end will make you happier. Like the courage to apologize, the courage to quit your job and start your own business. Basically weighing risk vers reward and if the reward outways the risk, having the courage to do it.
  6. Just wondering if anyone on these forums has ever gone to one, and if it is worth it?
  7. If this person beats his animal for no other reason than to gain pleasure from the animal's pain, or to relief his own mental pain by transferring it onto the animal, you are dealing with someone who has serious mental problems. You should try talking to this person, and if that doesn't work avoid contact, and alert your neighbors to his actions. That doesn't mean you have the right to take away his property. A dog has no more meaning than a punching bag. You wouldn't call the cops on a guy beating up his punching bag, would you?
  8. Hey I live in the Bay Area. East Bay. By the way, my girlfriend is part of that facebook group.
  9. Let me clarify. I didn't find pleasure in the fact that it was harmless, I took pleasure in the fact that I could shoot it (it happened to be harmless). I put harmless in there to make the point that there was no justification (as in danger, food, ect.) beside the pride of being able to shoot it. I felt good about my aim/skill. So I think I have (with your help) answered the question for myself. It is moral because I took pleasure in my ability to properly utilize this particular instrument.
  10. Thanks for all the replies and disscussion. I might as well tell you all the truth: My family got an air gun to shoot racoons and possum, who were eating our chickens (nothing morally wrong with that I suppose). I was thinking about killing the raccoons, realizing I would have to be up late at night and have good aim. So I decided to do some target practice. I got a tenis ball and started to shoot at it. Surprisingly I could hit it from a good distance, I guess it is easier to shoot a rifle than it looks. After a while I decided to do some live target practice. I started walking around my yard looking for a squirrel and when I saw one I went down on one knee, clicked the saftey off and hit the squirrel right in the neck. I'm not going to lie; I felt pretty good about my aim, but I also felt/feel bad. I don't feel bad for the squirrel or its family, I just feel bad because I had no reason to shoot it. I guess it was for personal entertainment, which is a reason and that makes me think there is nothing immoral. So the question comes down to this: Is it wrong to feel pleasure at shooting a harmless animal? NOT: Is it wrong to shoot a harmless animal? My answer to the second question is "no." But what about the first question? Your thoughts?
  11. What is the morality of me going into my back yard and shooting a squirrel? Obviously if I were going to eat the squirrel then it would be fine, but I am wondering what if I just shoot it and leave it dead? Basically: Is it okay to kill animals for sport, and not for survival?
  12. I agree with the original poster. When I am working through Objectivism in my head I always have trouble with this one: Why is life a right? Once you assume that life is a right, then you can build on that about values, but why is it a right? I'll try to answer: As a human being you have volition. An animal does not choose to live, but a human chooses to live. By actively contributing to your survival (getting food, shelter ect.) you are choosing to live. Does an animal have the right to life? No. So what is the difference between a human and an animal? Although both humans and animals can live, as well as be killed, only a human can CHOOSE to die. So, if you accept that a being has volition (humans) then they have the right to life, because it is the fundamental choice of that being. Without the choice the being should not be considered human. Why does a baby have rights? That is tough, maybe because they will grow into a being that can choose life? But then why is it acceptable to kill a fetus? Summary Humans have the right to life, because to be a human you must answer the question "to be or not to be." No one else can answer, therefore the right to life (the most basic right) is in the individual. Non Sequitor: Once you accept the right to life you build the other rights. If someone has the right to life then they have the right to promote their own life, by using their labor produtivly and using the outputs of their labor. I hope that answered more questions than it raised... I appreciate feedback from everyone.
  13. Wow! The guys says "Who would give their lives to Jesus?" and all the kids jump up and shout. Is the evangelical movement made more popular by the fact that people see it as a way to beat terrorists, on a moral front, because if so it would help them greatly to realize that the opposite of radical Islam is not radical Christianity, but reason.
  14. I understand that Objectivism is not a political party, but a "closed" philosophy. If there are minor disagreements in the philosophy, at what point do you call someone an Objectivist. If someone believes that existence exists, and that A is A, and that man is an end in himself, does that make him an Objectivist? Or does he need to accept more? I was just wondering how different the other factions are? I am assuming, correct me if I am wrong, this forum accepts the "Ayn Rand Institute" as the intellectual heir of Objectivism. If you take a step back are the differences really that big, and if so, what are these differences (not rhetorical, I am truly ignorant on this subject)?
  15. What are the different Objectivist factions? What are their differences? It has always been my opinion that there will ALWAYS be political and philosophical debate, meaning that even if the entire world accepted Objectivism there would still be debate on the specifics, but why must we argue on the specifics, now? I can't help but blame forums like these. I understand that we Objectivists need a place to talk, and sharpen our philosophical ideals, but there is a lot more work do be done out in the world, with all the Communists and Socialists. Unless there is a glaring difference between the factions, I don't understand how Objectivists wouldn't unite against the vastly more evils philosophies.
  16. I am sorry, I though Quantum Physics was the whole deal with the Quantum foam, and that you cannot be sure what is going to happen next, even if it has happenned 100 out of 100 times in the past. Now I have a question regarding Logical Positivists. For all practical purposes, doesn't have the same results as an Objectivist approach to science? Because in the end you are accepting the truth, and working with that, even if you don't call it the truth, but you call it "the most probable."
  17. The following quote is found on page 35 of For the New Intellectual Centennial Edition. I am not new to objectivism, but I am new to the more technical questions regarding epistomology, so please forgive my ignorance. Is Ayn Rand attacking "Quantum Physics"? If so, what is "Quantum Physics" and why is it so widely accepted if it is wrong?
  18. Isaac Asimov. He books on robots present great use of the power of logic.
  19. Well, I love the idea of WWJGD. Imagining Galt's approach when facing a dilemma is like using your sense of life when facing an artwork. It allows you to take many concepts involving morality and sum them up in a character. WBFM What's Best for Me?
  20. Hardly anyone in the world is telling Israel to do nothing in response to the Hezbollah attacks, but many critics of Israel claim she is using a "disproportionate amount of force." There are about 7 million Israelis, and 300 Million Arabs. Hezbollah killed 8, and kidnapped 2. If Israel were to react proportionally they would have to kill 344 Arabs, and kidnap 86. And to anyone who says "Its only Palestinians" or "Its only Lebanese" it's the Arab world itself that claims they are one people. It was Arab protesters that chanted "Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine are one!" If all the worlds countries want Israel to use proportionate force, then Israel better pick up the pace.
  21. Lets take it rationally: your first choice would be to avoid any situation at all. As aequalsa said this could be done by avoiding allies ect., but as you said, even in broad daylight with a dog ou are harrased. It seems impossible to completely avoid the situation the what do you do when you are confronted? The best option is a gun, but as you said this is illegal where you live. The next best option is a non lethal weapon, such as mace. I would also suggest martial arts. Im not going to put in a plug for any particular one, but I suggest looking for a school based on practical self defence. Learn how to kick a guy in the nuts, and poke him in the eyes, and you will be fine.
  22. mrocktor worded best what everyone is saying, but I'll add my own spin/metaphor. Lets say your poor and have no home. You could either get a job, work hard, save your money, and buy a house or you could forget your problems by getting drunk. In both scenarios you forget your problems, but only in one of the scenarios do the problems go away. Drinking is like believing in god, and becoming a Christian is like becoming an alcoholic. Toby
  23. The US is in a tricky situation because, like it or not, protecting oneself from aggresive foreign nations involves a circus of appeasement. Missles are used for one thing, destruction. There is no way North Korea can defend this action (unlike Iran) as a peaceful action. The US must take imediate steps to meet force with force.
  24. Yeah its cool to log on 5 minutes a day and read the issues. If anyone knows of a game like this with more detail please tell.
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