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Everything posted by Richard_Halley

  1. Alright... I stand corrected (about greek marriage). Perhaps legal marriage ought to keep the term, and religion should adopt another. There does, however, need to be a distinction between the two. This, however, is absurd. I have claimed nothing against legal marriage, I simply proposed calling it something else. In fact my reason in doing so was so that it could be made more distinctly seperate from the religious rites you speak of. RationalCop, my arguement is that using the same word to describe to simliar but distinct things allows for others to confuse the word. It is not that rational people cannot communicate with such words, but that people who want to be deceptive can do so more easily with such words. For example, many people are outraged at the concept of gay marriage because it will change their religious institution (obviously, it doesen't because gay (legal) marriage has nothing to do with religion what-so-ever). The churches, and the president, and others, perpetuate this by saying that such marriages would change the definition of the word. By deliberatly confusing the context, and thereby bypassing the fact that the term has more than one meaning, they cause the outrage which we today see about the concept of gay marriage (even when "civil unions" are going on with little concern).
  2. Ash, the greeks may have had a concept which you can now compare to marriage... but it would have been more similar to the concept of slavery than of our marriage today. And more importantly, as Joe pointed out, the concern is not about the origins of the term but about the roots of its usage today. I agree. This is precisely why I am so amazed at your adoption of the term which has long denoted this mystical practice. I am not at all concerened with religious marriage, only with the distinction between it and legal marriage.
  3. Since when is a marriage the legal acknowledgement of a union? Only reletively recently. First it was a religious pledge, absoultely controlled by the church. When we call something completly different--the legal acknowledgement of the union--marriage, the chruches mistakenly think that the government is fooling around with their domain and that, therefore, the should have some say in how that is done. Since you seem to not understand how my previous statments have already answered your questions--and so it is unlikely that you will see how the above does as well--I will tackle them individually. I agree here. I simply see no reason to call that legal document a "marriage" certificate rather than a "certificate of unionship" or something of the like. See above. How you figure that I am doing this is beyond me. I am addressing the problems with using a word which once denoted--and, in many minds, still does denote--a religious pledge to describe a legal recognition. When a preist performs a marriage there is a difference between what he is performing and what a justice of the peace performs. My concern is not over who performs it, but over what it means. Hopefully by now you recognise that there is a difference between a religious marriage and a legal one. My use of the quotes was to differentiate between the two (the reasons I chose to use the quotes arond the legal ones should be obvious by now). From a seperate post: Yes, it should be obvious that we both think that the legal recognition of a union should be attainable by anyone in such a union. Just to be perfectly clear, you are not responding to strange views of marriage (unless you are suggusting that there is no fundamental difference between a legal recognition and a religious pledge) as my views are on the useage of the word, not the marriage itself. Honestly, I really don't see why you think it is so important to use the church word to discribe non-church unions.
  4. There is a way to consistantly be altruist... They call it suicide.
  5. We should not be... this is my entire point. The marriages performed by the government are not to be confused with those performed by religious establishment. We only differ in that I see no point in calling a government "marriage" a "marriage" at all. If you called it--keeping the same legal benifits which currently exist--a "civil union" than there wouldn't be all this confusion about the two (specifically, churches would not claim to have any say in a "civil union," while they do claim to for a "marriage"). This should answer your question about my use of quotations (but than again, my previous posts should have, too). As for this: You will please note the qualifier at the end of the statment to which the above is responding. It states: "I am assuming that the same legal benefits apply to both, if not they should." The main point of the statment is to identify that a "marriage," as given by the government, is of no relation what-so-ever to those performed by churches. Using the long established church term "marriage" to denote something different is of no benefit, it merely confuses everyone.
  6. JC... You are correct in saying that this is an important point about bush's anti-americanism. In fact, this is precisely why you should have placed it in the pre-existing topic covering that matter. Placing it in a new topic is confusing and accomplishes nothing except to remove all counter-arguments from the discussion, thus forcing all others to repeat themselves. Basically: There is nothing wrong with pointing out Bush's flaws. There is something wrong with making 4 different threads in which to do so. Especially when one already exists.
  7. My criticisms of him were directed at his posts as a response to mine. This was perfectly clear in the refered to criticisms (using the word "topic" in the origional criticism was unclear, but this was clarified in my subsequent post). As such, those criticisms were completly valid. And, given that JC WAS trying to present an argument against my own view (as is mad clear on page 5 of this discussion)--that if one candidate is better than another, one should vote for the better candidate--and given that his argument had no relation what-so-ever on my position, I hold by my criticizisms as both appropriate and correct. See pages 4 and 5 of this discussion for evidence.
  8. As my first post indicates, I agree. "Inherent" is a term which can mislead one not familiar with Objectivism into thinking that value exists seperate from a valuer.
  9. MisterSwig: Take "inherent value" to mean that something is valuable to someone, not becuase it causes some other value, but because it is valuable to them as itself. Man's life must be inherently valueable since it is the standard by which all other values are to be judged. To live is not to value, but to value is to value life. One may either value life, or not value at all.
  10. Richard_Halley


    But the question of what is a person is a philosophic consideration. Science can only tell us when the criteria--which we discover with philosophy--have been met. The criteria is what Diana has disagreed with Rand (and I) about, not when the criteria has been met. It is a philosophic disagreement, and is enough to place her outside of Objectivism. Rand mentioned once that the late stages of pregnancy were not the issue--that one may argue about them, but that it does not change the primary conclusion (politically)--if that is what you mean. Her position was clear, however--and she stated it repeatedly--that one is not a human being until birth.
  11. Richard_Halley


    Kesg: You are being completly ignorent of the argument which Betsy (and the rest of the Objectivists here) is making--either that or you are DELIBERATLY putting up a straw-man here. I will give you the benefit of the doubt. When Betsy says: She offers you, not only a convinent point to draw a line, but an objective one; one which follows the rules about what may have rights and what may not; one which stays in line with the facts that give rise to rights to begin with. This is absurd. It has been repeatedly shown that a fetus is NOT a human being, it is a part of its mother. Her position is NOT a minority among Objectivists, it is not Objectivist at all, and nor is she. And your repeated claims that our argument is circular, or contradicting, or not defensible are inappropriate, because you have not even shown any sort of understanding of the argument. It would be circular, if we were not giving REASONS why. The claim is not only that a a human being must be born, but that it must be born because a physically dependant object cannot be a human being--it cannot have rights. Then we proceded to give you reasons for that: the nature of rights--the nature of the facts that give rise to rights--is such that a physically dependant object cannot have them. Surely you can see how this is not a circular argument, no?
  12. Firstly, if you try to imagine an omnipotent, (or) omnipresent, (or) omniscient being, you will find that such is not concievable. Such would be like imagine, as was pointed out in another thread, a circle-square. And NO. There can exist nothing which is omnipotent, because such a quality would allow that being to be (or force something else to be) both a circle AND a square, to be A AND non-A.
  13. Yes, by the nature of values, and by the nature of life, every valuer must hold (his own) life as his highest value, or he would not be able to value at all. Life DOES have inherent value, misterswig, just not intrinsic (meaning that value is not seperate from a valuer). I would have thought so, but Marc K. explicitly stated otherwise. He stated that life is a non-contextual value. Furthermore, he attributed the claim to you, so I'd think you would jump to correct him.
  14. No, all values ARE contextual. emphasis added. Life is of inherent (and intrinsic in the sense Hospers and Stephen have refered to) value because it is valuable because of what it is, not the results thereof. It is not of intrisic value--in the sense of the word which means value outside of context--since no such value is possible. If life existed with no valuer to value it, it would not be of value. The term value reqires a valuer and a standard. I have gone back and read all of my posts--and the posts by Stephen which they were in response to--and fail to see where or how I have been in any way inconsistant. Granted that, at the beginning of this discussion, I had origionally seen "intrinsic" as having only one possible meaning--specifically, value as seperate form a valuer, and a standard of value. I now recognise that "intirinsic" may be used in a number of ways (as a symonym for "inherent", for example), only one of which using the above stated definition (that being the sense I used to begin with). The recognition of this definition change, however, is trivial, since my origionally used definition remains among the valid ones. If anybody cares to point out exactly where I have been inconsistant, or exactly how my statments are in disagreement with Stephen's (note here that I have maintained the entire time that "inherent" was a correct, even if misleading term--for evidence see my second post on the thread and compare to the preceding post by Stephen), please do. Otherwise, I agree that this topic merits no more discussion. Suffice to say that I maintain complete agreement with Stephen's first post in the thread, and apologise for any sort of misunderstanding which may have been caused by lack of clarity in my posts.
  15. I second both RationalCop's thanks, and Betsy's comments about it not being corny.
  16. Yes, AutoJC, you seem to understand the situation now. BOTH candidates are bad. The only reason one should vote for either is because it is important to maintain at least some attempt to defend ourselves. It is an aboslute shame that we find ourselves in a situation where we must do it apologetically, but it is better than nothing. Bush's stance on the war, while by no means great, is going to get the problem taken care of eventually; Kerry, in the meanwhile--well, its hard to tell what he will do, he changes his mind to often--but those issues which he stands most firm on tend to be exactly the wrong ones.
  17. You are ignoring the actual purpose of the "tax breaks," which is to create an artificial inequality between foreign goods and domestic ones (by making domestic ones cheaper). Both cost you money as both create false situations, destroying more productive industry overseas in order to "protect" less poductive industry here. It should be clear why this sort of "protection" is absurd. Also, as previously pointed out, both are merely different faces on the same thing: The heavier taxation on outsourcers than on those using domestic products/services. In fact, I would argue that "tax breaks" are more dangerous, because they give people the delusion that they are getting a "break;" That the government is doing them a favor. People complain about tariffs, they don't complain about "tax breaks." The change of the term, however, is naught but a red herring, drawing your attention away from the real goal--the real effect--of the idea.
  18. Yes, I can see now how, at least, some drugs are immoral for different, less serious reasons, than others...
  19. Roark had plenty of friends: Dominique, Wynand, Mike, Roger Enright, Steven Mallory, etc... The important thing is that values come before friends; that values decide who is a friend, instead of friends deciding what is a value.
  20. Richard_Halley


    It is not conceptual interaction which is the issue, but rather interaction between conceputal beings. No, but you can get out of your car, take it to a body shop and fix it up, good as new. Should it be illegal to do that, for concern of the "rights" of the dents in you car. No, the dents have no such rights, nor does a fetus. Neither is a human being. Sure the have brought a human into existance, but not a being, not until birth. No, the reason a baby has rights is because it is a human being. The explanation you gave is the reason a babies parents are responsible for its well being, not the reason it has rights. It should be perfectly clear to all by now that the argument is that, in order to have rights, something must be a human being. If you disagree with this, argue your disagreement with this, not with its implications.
  21. That would be TIA Daily, rather... It is online though, very convienent, I have been enjoying getting it in my e-mail every morning for the past week now. Highly recommend it.
  22. It is. Not because of the reasons you suggusted, but because A is A. The existance of an omnipotent being is contrary to that. And because consciousness is a state of existance, and therefore an consciousness could not have created existance. It is necessary to cut out faith altogether and rely, instead, on objective knowledge. Faith is arbitrary. Now, I realize that you are young, so I am not going to chastise you here. I also realize that you are intelligent, so I am not going to baby you either. Look for a moment at the nature of faith as opposed to the nature of reason. Look at them long enough to see why they are contradictory. You will see it eventually, if you are as you have been in your posts here. It may take weeks or months, but you will see it, and then things will begin to click into place. Good luck.
  23. I was under the impression that cocaine would leave a heavy physical dependency even in relitivly small doses. That alone should set it apart from "weed." As for the argument about public roads... Anything CAN be harmfull, anything CAN be used to violate the rights of others. The law should only punish people who DID use it that way. Driving on drugs should be treated the same as driving drunk. Do we/should we prohibit alchol? No. You should prohibit the dangerous (to others rights, that is) usage of a substance, not the substance itself.
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