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  1. Like
    JASKN reacted to MisterSwig in Damaged Goods   
    You can't always get what you want.
    I think you're getting closer to the root of the problem, but you're only scratching the surface. This issue clearly cuts to the core of your value system. I suspect that you still have some irrational idealism in you, perhaps from a religious upbringing. You seek an impossible goal if you want to remain in good standing with society. You won't get away with murder and be allowed to keep your son, and your ex won't give up custody. Yet you still cling to this ideal fantasy. You can't achieve it so you make no progress. You spin your sinister hamster wheel and suckle on the drug dispenser in order to evade the fact that your goal is irrational.
    You need to live for a different goal more suited to objective reality and your particular situation. Do you have part-time custody or can you only visit your son? If you can only visit, then make partial custody your goal. Talk to your ex nicely, and see what it would take for her to support you gaining 50% custody.
  2. Like
    JASKN reacted to Eiuol in Damaged Goods   
    I'm concerned about the opposite. I'm concerned that you are seeking to be put on trial and subsequently condemned as a moral monster who deserves to be deleted from the face of the earth. I'm not going to do those things, because that never serves to improve your life. 
  3. Like
    JASKN reacted to Easy Truth in Damaged Goods   
    What I heard was
    My son was stolen from me.
    She stole him from me.
    That horrible #%%^#$%^
    She had told me that I would bring him up.
    But she was lying.
    And the system helped her.
    They never saw any redeeming quality in me.
    I love my son.
    They all took him from me.
    How could people do that to a father that loves their child?
    They had no right to do that.
    It shouldn't have happened.
    Expression of feelings is what dissipates the fog far sooner than "the reason" in this type of situation.
    That's because you already know it.
    You're not alone in this. We get severely injured and the why why why is the only way out. After all, knowing "why" should prevent that injury from happening again.
    But this type of truth doesn't easily come out through analysis or you would have known it with your highly skilled intellect (and this is not humor, it's the truth). It's like layer after layer will only evaporate off via expression of emotion. Be it artistic or through conversation. Objectivists usually have a hard time with that.   
    Branden would harp on expressing emotion to get at the core issue. He didn't say much either. Like any therapist, you're the one expected to figure your way out of the hole. (you can bring in God or Karma in therapy, if you don't, it is unethical and ultimately illegal in California to impose religion on a client)
    The fact is "you (on some level) already actually know what the hell happened". That part of you does not want to spill the beans for very logical reasons. It's simply too painful to look at all at once. If you did, you would have to go unconscious or sedate yourself. The anger may make you burst, or the fear will tear you to pieces.
    What happened is too intense.
    So go slow and gentle. You're getting there. A little at a time, but it's happening.
  4. Thanks
    JASKN got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Damaged Goods   
    With one important caveat: if you're suicidal and alcohol is your only or primary way of dealing with those thoughts/feelings, keep drinking until you're able to develop a better way. Don't give up your only way just cuz "alcohol bad".
  5. Thanks
    JASKN got a reaction from MisterSwig in Damaged Goods   
    Not much to untangle here. If you want your son in your life, there aren't many (any?) contexts where that would be possible after murdering his mother. If anything is going to bring up murderous feelings, I suppose it's a bitter divorce involving child custody, but if it were me, I still wouldn't be admitting as much (repeatedly!) on a public forum over which I have no editorial control.
  6. Like
    JASKN reacted to whYNOT in How many masks do you wear?   
    Kibbe on Liberty: Pandemic imprisoning and the culture war. Perspectives from Britain and the USA.
    Great conversation.
  7. Like
    JASKN reacted to Easy Truth in PragerU and the Objective Standard Institute   
    I saw it now. I assume some Prager people will have to integrate the fact that they are supporting an atheist with the fact that  "Even though atheists have a bad record".
    It was very politically correct, no mention of selfishness or knowledge without God.
    It's nice that it was published and some may be swayed. But I see a trojan horse in this project. I hope it belongs to Objectivism.
    But yes, provided by a generous donation from "The Objective Standard Institute". Who knows, the next ally of Objectivism may be the church of Scientology. They believe in Capitalism too and they may sway some people too.
  8. Like
    JASKN reacted to DavidOdden in How many masks do you wear?   
    @DonAthos, my head is spinning from playing argumentative whack-a-mole in this thread. I really wanted someone to set forth a simple sentence, articulating their principle that guides discussion of a complicated problem. It’s a really big problem, in my opinion, when we can’t set forth general but simple philosophical principles that guide our choices using a few simple unloaded words (avoiding “fear” and vague terms like “threat” which refers to “possibility of negative outcome” – not initiation of force). In particular when we get proposals that being unknowingly diseased in public is the same kind of choice as committing murder, that’s when we need some clarification of fundamental principles.
    I will assert my position. First, the government has the right and obligation to establish and enforce laws which punish certain acts: those which constitute initiation of force, as characterized by Schwartz. If the government knows in advance that you are going to do such an act, they may rightfully stop you. That covers “crimes”. In addition, there are acts which, once committed, are wrongs which can be addressed by the law – compensation can be compelled. These are the “torts” and “breaches of contract”. Government involvement is always post-hoc, and the government’s only role is to serve as neutral arbitrator and enforcer of the final judgment (and author of the default rules, in case there is no prior agreement i.e. relevant contract term). Only a small set of torts involve initiation of force.
    “Intent” refers to a fact about the suspect’s mind, and inference of intent is about the officer’s mind, so yes, there is a difference, and not just a shade. Under the law, inference (by the actor) of the intent of another is crucial to defenses for otherwise-wrongful acts. A person may shoot another if he reasonably infers an intent (to harm) – based on certain facts. The law does not demand that a person be in possession of all of the facts, it only judges based on the facts that he (probably) knows. In your original scenario, I can’t even begin to imagine what the suspect intended, other than death by cop. Has anyone ever innocently pulled a toy gun and pointed it at a police officer? The vast majority of instances of toy gun shootings without criminal intent, the “mistaken encounters”, involve people lacking basic mental capacity (children and mentally-incapable adults). I assume that in your example, the person has the mental capacity of a child and doesn’t know that you may get shot if you point a toy gun at a police officer. Do you know of a real case like the one you described?
    Taking the shooter’s perspective, the probability that this is really a water pistol is so low and the alternatives are so much more likely and the consequences so much more severe that there is no reasonable alternative to shooting him. A person should infer that the gun is real and that the intent is to kill you, even when the facts turn out to be different. What follows is variations that make decent intents more likely, and decrease the reasonableness of the inference “he intends to kill me”. At the cell phone and wallet stage, that is the point where the shooter bears responsibility for the killing. (We can always add facts to change the conclusion, e.g. “after robbing the bank”. It’s all about the context, and your context was very simple).
    The law objectively states emergency guidelines where use of force is excused – in self defense. There is a relationship between those guidelines (the law) and the principle that one may not initiate force, but they are not the same thing. Initiation of force is exactly what I’ve said it is above, and “reaching for your wallet” is not initiation of force. But in a certain context, use of force may be excused because of the conceptual possibility that there is in fact initiation of force. When we are looking for moral responsibility, I would lay the blame not on the officer or the victim, but on the low-lives that make it reasonable to conclude that reaching for a wallet is actually an attempt to kill you.
    For the rather large and politically-prominent set of officer killings of unarmed people, there is a long list of things that one is not to do, which nevertheless people ignore, often to their extreme detriment. For the most part, this is not initiation of force, it is inferred initiation of force. Sometimes, the inference is unreasonable; but often the media reports “The victim’s gun wasn’t even loaded” as though that is a self-evident fact available to the arresting officer, ignoring the centrality of reasonable conclusions. What remains constant throughout contexts is, what is IOF? But the law can only deal in reasonable inferences about IOF.
  9. Like
    JASKN reacted to DavidOdden in How many masks do you wear?   
    Returning to that specific question, let us remember that there actually is no such law, there is a set of dictatorial emergency decrees. At present, mask-mandates are marginally authorized by open-ended emergency statutes giving governors authority to boss people around in an emergency. Rand has written about emergencies, and how dangerous a concept it is. There is no emergency: there is a new fact of existence. Emergencies last at most a week.
    Let’s see what it would take to justify such a law. First we have to say what such a law would demand: “A tight-fitting N95 mask must be worn at any time that a person is outside their own home. Violation will be punished with a month in prison”. To justify the law, there has to be a compelling government interest. The existing justification is “to prevent the spread of disease”. Now subtract covid from the scenario – would it have been justified to force the wearing of masks without covid (to prevent the spread of flu, colds, measles etc)? I have seen nobody anywhere claim that it would have been. It must first be establish that there is something massively different in the case of covid. A covid-specific mask law needs extraordinary justification, to override ordinary constitutional protections of your rights. Secondly, the restriction needs to be demonstrably effective. It is insufficient to say “There is this big problem”, you also have to prove “This actions sufficient eliminates the problem”. Mandatory vaccination is clearly much better justified than the mask mandate, because vaccination is based on infinitely better science and is much less conjectural. Finally, the restriction must be the least-restrictive means of reaching that end. The hypothesized mask law allows only one choice, but there are other alternatives (physical distance from others; being certified disease-free are two obvious ones, and bright, free minds may find others).
    The fatal weakness in the covid mask proposal is (a) necessity and (b) effectiveness.
  10. Like
    JASKN reacted to dream_weaver in How many masks do you wear?   
    I am responsible for my own reasonable safety, @Easy Truth
  11. Like
    JASKN reacted to DavidOdden in How many masks do you wear?   
    It seems that your threshold for detecting initiation of force is “reasonable fear”, which is a bit of a problem. Fear is an emotional reaction, and we know that emotions are not a source of cognition. The principle should be framed in terms of reasonable conclusions, about a proposition, such as “he intends to shoot me”. Not all fears are about initiation of force, so we have to have a way to identify those things that cause fear which are initiation of force as opposed to those that are not. I fear that such-and-such an investment may not be so wise, but that has nothing to do with initiation of force. Before we can properly regulate actions, we have to establish that they are initiation of force, which then may justify the regulation. Or, we have to establish a different basis for prior restraint: that in addition to initiation of force, some actions are so dangerous that they can rightly be prohibited by law. Is this your claim? Before zooming in on covid-politics, we need a clearer understanding of what constitutes force (first and foremost), and how the government may properly use force.
  12. Like
    JASKN reacted to DavidOdden in How many masks do you wear?   
    This discussion has been rather far removed from the fundamental principles regarding man’s rights, and has focused instead on notions of aggression, spreading (versus other means), sensory inputs, affecting a person, doing damage to body or property including creating a risk of same. It has included the idea that one can accidentally initiate physical force. The problem has been (for over a half century) that we (not exclusively Objectivists, referring to people who take the concept of “individual rights” to be an essential concept that must be understood) are constantly playing whack-a-mole by invoking a concept like “aggression”, then we get challenged as to what “aggression” is, then we refer “aggression” to something else. Rand has stated the fundamental principle, and in my opinion Schwartz has explicated it nicely. I quote a single sentence from his first page: “This concept of force applies exclusively to actions taken by human beings against human beings”. But it is not just “the unchosen” that we identify when talking about force. Second sentence bottom p. 1: “We thus identify the concept “force” to denote a physical action to which we are subjected against our will”. Finally, he makes the identification that “The concept of force pertains only to the volitional. It pertains only to physical actions taken by a volitional being to neutralize the choice of another volitional being” (emphasis added).
    Relating this to the mask-mandate, there is no question that the governmental requirement to wear a mask in the locally-mandated circumstances is the initiation of force. It is a particularly egregious initiation of force, since it is in all cases a use of special dictatorial power that is outside the rule of law – it is only justified because it is declared to be an “emergency”. There isn’t even a real law requiring you to wear a mask.
    Sweeping away the mask orders, the question then should be, what legal consequences should there be if you do not wear a mask? The same as if you walk your dog, drive your car, or grow a tree on your property. If you walk your dog and do not control it, and it eats the neighbor’s cat, you are liable for the damage. There is extensive legal background on this principle (it is millennia old). The government and legal system subsumes these concepts under the “duty of care”, which allows you to not care about another party’s interests up to a point, but you must care when your actions do “harm”. It is obvious that I am not talking about Objectivist theory here, I’m just stating what has always been a legal principle governing social interactions.
    There are two related challenges for Objectivists on this front. The first is to be able to sort actions which should have legal consequences versus one which should not. Dogs eating cats would be an example of the former. Using the pronoun “he” when the referent prefers to be identified as “she” is an example of the latter. The second is to find a system of reason that relates those identifications to general principles, consistent with Objectivism. Automatically labeling something as “initiation of force” is anti-reason. Presenting a clear line of reasoning from principles to conclusions is what it means to “reason”. So let us reason.
    The strongest claim that I find at all compatible with Objectivism is that one should not knowingly, willfully transmit a disease to another person without permission. The second strongest claim is that if you negligently cause harm to a person by your actions (or inactions), you bear responsibility for those choices. Masks are about the second kind of case, where the bar is being lowering for a claim of “negligence” (as well as corrupting the concept “cause”).
    It is always possible at any time that any person has some transmissible disease and does not know it. It cannot be a principle of civilized society that one must self-quarantine if it is possible that one has a transmissible disease (that virtually contradicts the notion of a “civilized society” – we must always self-quarantine; life is not possible). This discussion needs a better principle. What principle underlies the distinction between covid and the common cold? What scientific facts underlie claims about covid versus the cold or the flu? I don’t mean, what do the newspapers say, I mean what are the scientific questions and findings? Then how do those facts relate to a person’s proper choices?
    That is how I think this discussion should be framed.
  13. Like
    JASKN reacted to MisterSwig in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    The shooting never stops, dude. Take a look around. That's why we have a right to carry (or more precisely a right to self-defense).
  14. Like
    JASKN reacted to dream_weaver in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    This edited passage from The Roots of War comes to mind:
    "So long as . . . some men have the right to rule others by force, and that some (any) alleged “good” can justify it—there can be no peace within a nation . . ."
    When government officials sanction (by not stepping up to the plate) what groups like Antifa and BLM orchestrated, it is not much of a stretch to suggest a proxy extension that some (Antifa and BLM) have the right to use force in order to convey their pseudo freedom of speech.
  15. Like
    JASKN reacted to MisterSwig in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    So that's a big NO to my question. Hitler was elected in 1933. The Kristallnacht was in 1938. My point: you have no clue when to forcefully oppose an elected leader.
  16. Like
    JASKN reacted to MisterSwig in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    I'm confident many could articulate a better political ideal than the Founders, whose flawed "ideal" led to civil war.
  17. Like
    JASKN reacted to Tenderlysharp in How many masks do you wear?   
    How is it that a year ago it was much more common to feel derision toward germaphobes and hypochondriacs?  
    Humans die without contact, I wouldn't trade anything for my 4 year old niece jumping my lap and giving me a kiss on the cheek with her booger face.  I get a tissue, clean up her face and tell her she is adorable.  A germ or virus is nothing compared to human consciousness.  Why teach children to feel overwhelming helplessness in the face of something you absolutely have the intelligence to adapt to?  
  18. Haha
    JASKN reacted to Easy Truth in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    Vilifying the truth teller,  Classic.
  19. Like
    JASKN reacted to dream_weaver in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    Biden Nannyism, good. Trump Nannyism, bad. A variation on "If you don't like dad's answer, ask for mom's answer instead."
  20. Like
    JASKN reacted to tadmjones in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    Any federal property and any interstate transportation, I believe.
    I don't think 'unconstitutional' is the barrier it once was.
  21. Haha
    JASKN reacted to Easy Truth in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    A national mask mandate on federal property. I believe that it would be unconstitutional for him to mandate it nationally but time will tell.
  22. Like
    JASKN reacted to dream_weaver in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    The court's struck down the entity that is currently sitting in the office of the honorable of the governor of the state of Michigan's executive order akin to being able to make law ex-nilo. Now it has been delegated to the Michigan Department of Health to enforce the regulations (that they create ex-nilo.)
    The Nanny state requires willing charges to submit to having a nanny. The department of de-education has been cultivating that soil since implementing compulsory education. The operation of moral law does not require anyone's belief. And by extension: nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.
  23. Like
    JASKN reacted to 2046 in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
  24. Like
    JASKN got a reaction from Tenderlysharp in How many masks do you wear?   
    This mask (etc...) debacle has ironically made me friendlier to the general populace. I wear a mask begrudgingly only as required by businesses, but I find myself being nicer and smiling genuinely more to people, whether they're wearing the muzzles themselves or not. I think friendliness is very important right now. However, I have no tolerance or sympathy for tattlers or do-gooders, and if they stop me they get a sharp dismissive reply.
  25. Like
    JASKN reacted to DavidOdden in What is the best reply to this argument from anarchists?   
    The one error I have to point out in your comment is that anarchism does not ignore the concept of government, it misunderstands the concept. The anarchist position denies the validity of government, but has not resolved the problem of thieves under anarchy. One view is that anarchy is a utopian ideal, which can exist only when no person would ever use force – it’s a Platonic form towards which we might strive, but it is excruciatingly unlikely that it will ever exist. A closely related next-most surreal form of anarchism, sour grapes anarchism, declares that anyone using force has ipso facto become a government. If you steal my stuff, you have become a taxing government. The third circle of anarchism, more familiar to us because it is widely held in libertarian anarcho-capitalist circles, maintains that there is no special entity, government, which has a rightful monopoly on the use of force. Instead, anyone can rightfully use force, as long as they do not initiate use of force.
    The point about wielding force “autonomously” is obscured by the unmodified use of the word “force”. The problem is that if some jackass threatens me with a knife, I have to act autonomously right then and there, and will not roll over and get stabbed to death because I don’t have the right to use force on the premise that only the government can use force. It is very important that we not suggest that the Objectivist ethics requires you to roll over and die when attacked (Objectivism is not pacifism). Rather, the use of force is to be put under the control of objective law. Objective law mandates that force only be chosen by certain agents of the government who compare the facts and the law to see if force is justified, but it also provides an exception for life-threatening emergencies, where you can defend yourself if attacked.
    I know that interjecting law as an intermediary complicates the computation of rightful use of force, but it is an essential complication. Force is to be under the control of objective law. The government states what that law is. A proper philosophy is necessary for the government to devise proper laws.
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