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ggdwill

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Everything posted by ggdwill

  1. I believe that all matters relating to human reproduction, as well as child rearing, are entirely the responsibility of the woman. If the woman chooses to allow a man into her life - biological father or not - then that's great, but it should not be expected or seen as a moral obligation. It is ridiculous to assume that simply because the act of becoming pregnant requires the effort of both a man and a woman, that both are responsible. The woman needs to recognize that her body, through no one's fault, is capable of becoming pregnant, and to treat that fact with the respect it deserves before she has sex. When a man impregnates a woman he did not "do this to her", she did it to herself. In the same way that a hair stylist should not be held responsible if a woman comes to regret her choice of hair cut, neither should a man be held (even partially) responsible if a woman later regrets using her body in a certain way. As long as their were no prior aggreements nor any element of coersion involved, what happens to a woman's body as a result of her actions is entirely her responsibility. - Grant
  2. This little gem was tucked away in a corner of the eigth page of today's Wall Street Journal: Anchorage, Alaska - Stepping up its investigation into the shutdown of the Prudhoe Bay oil field, Alaska state officials issued subpeonas to BP PLC and its partners for documents on maintenance and corrosion-control programs that failed to uncover some pipeline problems. Alaska's attorney general has been pursuing a claim against the BP-leg group to recover lost revenue related to the partial shutdown of Prudhoe Bay, the largest producing field in the U.S. The state maintains that the venture should compensate the state for lost money if company negligence is found to be the cause of sever pipeline corrosion that led to the shutdown a couple of weeks ago. The subpeonas, issued to BP and four nonoperating partners in the field, demand "all documents" that relate to oversight of the Prudhoe Bay infrastructure that experienced recent oil spills because of corrosion. "These are normal parts of the process of investigating events such as these," said BP spokesman Scott Dean. "BP will continue to assist and work with authorities to understand this incident." BP's partners are Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips, Chevron Corp. and Forest Oil Corp. *Even though I was sitting in a beautiful munciple park this morning when I read this, all I could do was shudder. Just when you think you've seen it all, the moochers in government come through with another innovative way promote their evil agenda. We have graduated from a political environment where the social burdens placed upon private industry were excused as a desperate last resport to where they are an institutionalized expectation. If, 30 years ago, some company had suffered a setback that hurt it's profit margin, the attitude would have been something along the lines of "better luck next time". Twenty years ago even, the same thing would have been greeted with some kind of government subsidy, disguised as some kind of populist job security programs, and every one would have been on their merry way. But none of those attitudes apparently compare to today's. Today, the extent to which the state is involved in riding the back of private enterprise has become so entrenched that instead of failed companies crawling to government for help, governments are beginning to gang up on private industries and demand "their cut". Maybe I have been an Objectivist for too long, but when I read this, it was truly hard to believe - especiallly in a "wild and free" state such as Alaska. How - in America - could the government of an entire state, and the millions of people responsible for it, not realize how blatantly wrong this is? This analogy came to mind: If a young man, fresh out of highschool, decides to go to work instead of enrolling in college, and as a result of his bad - corrosive - decision, he will lack the skills to earn more than he would with a BA. It also means that he will be coughing up fewer tax dollars in the coming years. Does this mean that the government is entitled to "damages"? Where does this insanity come from? How has the relationship between the citizen and the government become so perverted? It has been flipped on it's head and pounded into the ground. - Grant
  3. At the risk of spending the rest of eternity in hell, I'm going to have to say that I disagree with the quote by AR that Capitalism Forever posted. If "Family Fun Town" advertised video games, pizza, and ballon-sculpting clowns and yet when you walked in you were inundated with hard core pornography, I would have a problem with that, and I would sue them for fraud. If, however, Walmart claims to be a distributor of a virtually limitless range of products for the home, office, and everywhere else, what reasonable person would think that pornography doesn't qualify? I mean, they sell cigarettes and heavy metal magazines and people don't find that offensive enough to conjure up rationalizations like the one AR did. Unless a business explicitly states that they don't stock pornography, or if they implicitly state that they don't by explicity saying that they only sell something else, where's the violation? Also, please keep in mind that I'm only talking about private places (no matter how "open to the public" they might be). I'm totally in support of "censoring" public places to keep them decent. Besides, I can't see any reason why a court house or a police station should spend tax money on Playboy. Where is that quote from anyways? I've never seen it. I hope this contributed to the discussion. - Grant
  4. To answer your question LazloWalrus, I don't see how you can equate brandishing a weapon with brandishing a sexual organ. I can't think of any legitimate reason to point a gun at someone unless you are prepared to use it. On the other hand, showing one's penis could be for any number of reasons (such as, say, beads at Mardi Gras). As I said in one of my earlier posts, there are many other facts that have to be considered in a particular case before you can determine if the exposure itself was a threat and/or harrassment. - Grant
  5. That is exactly the argument used to try to justify the existence of the FDA. I don't think that the essentials are any different if were talking about death in an airplane or death in a bottle. If an airline or a pharmaceutical company sells you something that kills you, they should be held liable for negligence - civilly or criminally or both. The reason why the FDA, the TSA, the FAA, or any other regulatory agency exists is because the government is not looking at reality before forming it's positions. Building and operating airplanes or creating live saving drugs are extremely complicated endeavors. They require large amounts of time, talent, and money to be done right - especially on a large, commercial scale. In order to be successful in these industries, many people have to give up virtually their entire lives. These endeavors consume all of the waking hours of people like engineers and biologists, the life savings of investors, and hang the threat of death over people like pilots. These people don't ask for guarantees from the government, so why should the consumer? The producer of an inherently dangerous, life and death product or service has as much to lose as the consumer of those products do. I think that's a much better disincentive against irresponsible business practices than making some government bureaucrats angry. - Grant
  6. Read these Lyrics; they're great: Oh yea Ohh Its not that I dont wanna share my life with you baby, Its just that Im the one I need to be true to baby. And I won't give up me to be part of you. Its not that I dont want to have you in my life baby, its just you gotta know that its got to be right baby, before I open up my heart to you I dont need somebody to complete me. I complete myslef... nobodys got to belong to somebody else. Chorus I belong to me, I dont belong to you my heart is my posession, Ill be my own reflection I belong to me, Im one not half of two, and if you're gonna love me, you should know this baby I belong to me Verse I gota let you know before I let you in baby, that who I am is not about who I am with baby. That dont mean I dont wanna be here with you , I do. I dont need somebody to complete me, I want you to know I give all my love but Im not givin all my soul. Chorus I belong to me, I dont belong to you my heart is my posession, Ill be my own reflection I belong to me, Im one not half of two and if you're gonna love me, you should know this baby I belong to me Oh yea Love dont mean changin who you are to be who somebody wants you to be, nobodys got to belong to nobody. I belong to me, I dont belong to you my heart is my posession, Ill be my own reflection I belong to me, I dont belong to you my heart is my posession, Ill be my own reflection I belong to me, Im one not half of two, and if your gonna love me, you should know this baby I belong to me You can listen to the song on www.JessicaSimpson.com - Grant P.S.: Don't ask me how I stumbled on this
  7. Uh, I didn't "seperate" them, I just pointed out that it's not the sexual contact itself, but rather the fact that it occurs under coercion or threat, that makes it a violation of rights. With that said, I don't see any reason why rape should be punished any more harshly than any other type of assault. Not that it matters anyways since I don't think the government should be involved in the punishment beyond conviction. You can read my ideas about that here. I guess the only way it would matter is when the judge determines the length of the sentence. I don't understand your analogy involving getting a massage. Being touched during a massage and being touched during sex are two very dictinct things - especially considering that you don't pay a meusseuse to massage your genitals. - Grant
  8. I think you need to check yours. The last time I checked mine, defrauding someone out of $1,000 is stealing. - Grant
  9. I think Capitalism Forever identified the crux of this issue when he said "You cannot apply the principles of criminal justice to warfare. A war is an emergency; it is like an individual self-defense situation, only on a national scale." When I created this thread, I was doing it in order to validate another, similar situation that I suspected was analogous in terms of the principle involved. For the longest time I was completely against any and all forms of imminent domain. I believed that the forcible confiscation of an individual's property for a public purpose - even a legitimate government purpose - was nothing more than theft. Later on, however, I realized that it's not always so. Suppose for a moment that America was being threatened by the Navy of a foreign nation that had ammassed off of it's coast. In order to defend against this threat, a specific piece of equipment needed to be used. Also, in order to use this equipment, it has to be positioned on a piece of land that was uniquely strategic. If the government came to the owner of this land, explained the situation, and offered to buy it from him, any reasonable citizen would recognize the greater threat posed to not only his property and his means of defending it (his government), but also his life itself by the foreign military. However, if for whatever reason he refused to believe the government, or he simply didn't care, and refused to sell, he puts the government - which is charged with protecting all citizens - in a difficult situation. I would contend that, if there was no other known or readily available way to defend against this threat, it would be in every American's interest - soldier and civilian, for and opposed - for the government to take this individual's property. Furthermore, even if somehow it could be demonstrated that by taking this person's land you would be doing irrepairable damage to him (although I can't imagine how), it would still be morally acceptable since, in an emergency situation such as this, the blame lies with the foreign aggressors, not those individuals in the government who are doing everything in their power to protect the rights of American civilians, not to mention their own. I think that - assuming the facts show that in 1941 there was no other way - this is the principle justifying the interrment of Japanese Americans, and is a powerful way of showing just how contextual principles really are. - Grant
  10. LazloWalrus, I don't see how it does. While there is certainly a very strong correlation between odd sexual behavior such as flashing someone and sexual violence, it is still only a correlation. There are so many other factors present in a particular situation that would make someone feel physically threatened besides the act of exposure itself. The things that were said before the exposure, the tone in the exposer's voice, the lighting of the room, any presence of a past sexual relationship between the two people, etc. These should all be considered when making a judgement about whether or not the exposure itself was the final act that crossed the line from an expression into a threat. In fact, I would go so far as to say that "rape" as such does not exist. Rather it is merely a type of assault, because it is the coercion, and not the sex, that violated the rights of the victim. - Grant
  11. LazloWalrus, Thank you but when I posted my original question, I wasn't looking for a show of hands. Instead, I was asking for an identification of the principles involved and maybe even an integration of them into the context of 1940's America. I wanted this because I want to make sure that I come to the proper, logical conclusion about this issue. - Grant
  12. My point is that you shouldn't have to get the consent of a guest to do something while inside property that is in your custody. As long as he didn't physically harm her or restrain her, and as long as he didn't steal from her; her right were no violated. - Grant
  13. The ex-President should have never been asked about - and never have had the opportunity to lie about - his sexual encounters with Monica Lewinsky. Despite the repetitive, off-base excuse about it being no one's business but his own that the liberal apologists clung to, they actually were right that it should have never been the government's business. Clinton was asked about Monica Lewinsky to try to show a pattern of infidelity and womanizing in order to strengthen the prosecution's case in a sexual harrasment suit against him. The facts alleged in this suit were that Clinton, before he was President, had exposed himself to Gennifer Flowers in his Arkansas hotel room. This shouldn't have been illegal for two reasons. First, harrasment should be defined as repeated, unwanted attention despite requests to be left alone and/or attempts to flee - regardless of the type of attention involved. He allegedly only exposed himself once. Second, it was his hotel room. The hotel had rented this space to him, and for a period of time it was effectively his property. If Ms. Flowers didn't like what was going on there, she should have left and that would have been the end of it. So, I'm posting this because I want to know, if all of the above is true, was telling the truth in a court of law the right thing to do in this case? Was there an interest greater than his own career, financial security, and possibly even freedom that Clinton should have considered before he committed perjury? If so, what was it? - Grant
  14. Hunterrose, I was not attempting to justify internment simply because our government had good intentions. I was pointing out that because our government has always done things with good intentions, it would be reasonable to assume that when they interred Japanese Americans, it was because they couldn't conceive of any other means of protecting against the threat of Japanese spies. While, like you, I don't hold the American Government in very high esteem, I don't think that it has reached the point yet - and certainly hadn't 60 years ago - where it feels it can act like a tyranny without at least paying lip service to the need to protect rights and freedom. As for your point about grocers and pharamicists, it's a good one. I would tend to agree with you except I have two reservations. First, when you say you see the rationale of keeping suspected individuals from critical military positions, does that mean keeping Japanese people away? Did the US Government then have a right to explicitly discriminate against Japanese Americans in their hiring of personnel working with sensitive military equipment - regardless of their qualifications? Remember, the context I am asking this question in is 1940's America. The second reservation I have is that spies, by definition, assume false personas to avoid detection. So, if 1940's era intelligence techniques and technologies weren't sophisticated enough to adequately rule out individuals on the basis of what they do during the day (bagging groceries or filling perscriptions), what basis do they use? Unlike a German spy, who could have easily embedded himself in an Italian or an Irish neighborhood, even if they wanted to, Japan could have never inserted a completely unsuspicious spy into American society. Simply looking Japanese created a level of suspicion that could not be made to go away without simultaneously making the person go away. My point is that because our government rightly did not dictate where certain ethnic groups could live, it should not be blamed for dealing with the political implications of the geographical choices of the individuals making up those ethnic groups. Because German Americans spread throughout the country, rarely concentrating in large, exclusively German neighborhoods, they made it virtually impossible for the government to intern them even if it had wanted to. The Japanese Americans, on the other hand, chose to remain in tight-knit, ethnically exclusive communities. Of course, communities and ethnic groups are not actual entities and don't actually make choices. So why should an individual Japanese American be made to suffer simply because his neighbors look like him? Well, he shouldn't. Unfortunately, however, a bunch of people that look just like him decided to start a war and unfortunately they started it with a country that had no way of telling the good Japanese Americans apart from the bad Japanese Americans. - Grant
  15. I know it's early on Sunday morning still, but you're going to have to do better than that. -Grant
  16. Was the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII moral? I tend to think that it was, given the desperate situation. I'm basing that on two assumptions because while our government has done alot of bad things, it has always had either an element, an intention, or a misconception of good to go along. I do not know any specifics regarding how many Japanese Americans were spies or military personnel planted ahead of a Japanese invasion, but there mere almost certainly at least some. Also, I don't know how sophisticated our domestic intelligence was back then, but it must not have been very good if the best plan they could come up with would be to relocate an entire ethnic group. So, assuming that there was substantial evidence that the Japanese had infiltrated our country covertly, as well as assuming that internment was simply the best solution available at the time, I don't see any problem. I don't think that you could have held the US Government morally culpable for what they did. It was either risk violating the rights of some innocent, loyal Japanese Americans or risk having every American's rights violated through the invasion of a military dictatorship. I realize that what I just said may seem like pure Utilitarianism - the greatest good for the greatest number - but that's not what I mean. Instead, I mean that the Japanese military posed a direct threat to the rights of individual non-Japanese Americans, and so those individuals - albeit acting in the form of an organized government - decided to mitigate that threat as much as possible by intering Japanese Americans. Weren't they forced to do it by the threat of the Japanese Government and so shouldn't it be held responsible? -Grant Then again, in hindsight, there's alot of evidence to suggest that Japan never wanted to invade or even attack the Continental US. All they wanted to do was to fight us long enough so that we would give up and let them keep what they had already conquered in the Pacific. I would say that if this were known, or could have been easily inferred in 1941, then of course internment would have been wrong.
  17. I'm with you two on the whole "nature sucks" thing (although I don't know if that's your position Inspector, sorry if I'm assuming). A key part of the sentence you quoted me on was "given our abilities". Dismuke is right about one thing in all of this; we simply don't posses the means yet of domesticating the entire globe. What I meant was instead of simply laying waste to all of the undomesticated parts of the globe, we allow them to remain as they are because the costs outweigh the benefits of doing so. JMeganSnow has done a pretty good job of enumerating the drawbacks of having wilderness in existence, but says nothing about it's benefit. Despite being really hypothetical and really specific, Dismuke did a decent job of exemplifying the enormous undiscovered potential nature hold with his "prontofish" earlier. It has been demonstrated time and time again the myriad of benefits, in nearly all fields, that nature holds. I think that this is worth putting up with some nuisances that most people, if they weren't so schizophrenically obsessed with suburban life, and just accepted a human, urban existence, wouldn't have to deal with it. In fact, even in the suburbs, the impact that wildlife has on everyday human life is minimal. Now, here are the costs of erradicating those threats simply for the sake of erradicating them. Granted, most of it would be opportunity cost, but it's still something to consider. Also, it would be ridiculously expensive to burn everything down, pave over it, and call it a day - especially given that humans have yet to develop a way to convert CO2 into O2 on a massive enough scale. Alright, that's enough. I'm going to stop thinking about this. I appreciate you guys bringing up a related, yet irrelevant point, when there are more pressing issues at hand (ie: the topic of the thread). I guess it's become necessary to disagree with something someone says in the immediately previous post in order to post on this forum. Grant
  18. In attempting to establish that wildlife is not by nature private property, and thus deserving of government oversight limiting their use, it has to be assumed that wildlife cannot become private property. Despite an amazing amount of language to the contrary, the fact remains there does exist an actual, guaranteed way to make wildlife one's property: to kill it. Yet apparently, through an excrutiating distinction between renewable and non-renewable resources, this is precisely what prevents an animal from becoming one's property. Apparently,what makes the killing of "too many" animals a threat to property rights is not the actual killing of too many animals, but the killing of "too many" animals by one person. If these people were only allowed to kill a certain number of animals, then everyone would be able to kill enough animals so that everyone could enjoy killing what is no one's property as well as every individual's at the same time. But of course, if too many people kill their share of their property, there won't be any left over for those who didn't kill any animals. Since "no one" must not be derived of it's share of it's property as well, the only logical thing to do would be to prevent "everyone" from killing too many animals. Remember, all of this is acceptable as long as you keep in mind that it is being done for the sake of your rights as an individual to do what you want with what is, sort of, your property! I am amazed at the level of unnecessary complexity this debate has achieved. A reassesment of the facts and the priciples involved in this discussion needs to be done. Basically, what is being debated is not if unowned (aka: government owned) resources exist, but should they exist. Assuming that no one interjects the absurd notion that certain things can never be entirely privately owned, we should be able to proceed to the question of how those things should be privately owned. The crudest way would be to simply kill all of the wildlife that people can get their hands on until all of it is claimed. A more civilized, yet extremely impractical, way would be to cordon off the entire surface of the Earth either through constant patrolling or physical barriers. Still, an even more civilized and even more practical way of dealing with this is what exists today: a wide-spread recognition that most wildlife possesses a certain direct and indirect value to human existence and that, given our abilities, future supplies of that value is best maintained by allowing it to live wild. Grant
  19. Since you rightly pointed out that this topic is based upon alot of false assumptions, I'm going to continue the trend and point out that simply because the government owns something doesn't mean that they have the right to violate our Constitutional rights. I can't think of any reason why the government should be telling nightclubs and churches what their weapons policies should be, so why should they be preventing individuals from carrying weapons in public schools? But none of that matters anyways because, like you said, the government shouldn't be running these things. They should only be running the police, the military, and the courts. All places that, since their fundamental purposes are the use of legal force, civilians should be prohibited from carrying weapons. Grant
  20. Vladimir, What you're proposing, instead of relying on human ingenuity and initiative to solve this "problem", is to rely on government? It is clear that our ability prevent damage or destruction of these resources is beyond our technolgical control right now, so what makes you think that government can ever stop "overfishing" and poaching simply by making it illegal? Like I said, in order to actually implement and protect these tracts of space, alot of expensive, yet-to-be invented technology would be needed; or at least alot of time-consuming stewardship. It certainly would be alot easier on the public treasury if a majority of the area the government has tasked itself with protecting were in the hands of various private individuals who had a personal interest in protecting it - but it would still take just as many resources to oversee. Whether or not property owners decide to create domes or "ocean walls", instead of constantly standing guard to prevent trespassing, would be up to them. It would certainly be expensive to do so, and probably detrimental to the property they would be trying to protect, but why shouldn't it be their right? But private property is only the abstract, legal solution to this alleged problem. While it certainly is a solution that any individual should have a right to exercise, the practical solution is to just let the atmosphere and the oceans, and all of their critters, be. Since humans are part of these environments aswell, why should they be subjected to oversight of their conduct any more than a fish or a deer of a gallon of water? If it's a free, natural environment, then by definition anythings goes - including "overfishing". To address your point about the ocean fisherman time and time again making the populations of certain fish dangerously low, I fail to see how this is a problem. When I said that people have proven themselves to be adequately rational in these environments to not need government oversight, I didn't mean perfectly rational. Of course, I'm basing that notion on the idea that erradicting a species here and there is irrational. I don't know, and frankly I don't care. My only point was that no human life is being harmed when a fisherman "overfishes" a given area or a given species since, if it weren't for actual fisherman, all of us non-fishermen wouldn't even know they were there. The onus is upon you to explain to me just how bringing the Atlantic cod or the buffalo to extinction violates your rights as an individual. Grant
  21. I'm an Objectivist and it's not hard for me to accept. I realize that there are certain things that no one individual can own. That's exactly why I don't think that a group of individuals (a government) can own it either. It's simply not within mankind's ability yet. Certain things like air, and water, and even wildlife to an extent, are - at least at this point - indomitable. People are free to do whatever they want to them, but they will suffer the consequences; not only from the reaction of nature itself, but also from other people. Notice that I said "at least at this point". There is nothing preventing the development of technology and measuring devices that would give humans the ability to cordon off vast chunks of the atmosphere and the ocean. People should be free to do this, but like I said, they will suffer the conquences. Not only would it be extremely expensive to create physical barriers in these places, but it would hinder the well-being of the very things you're attempting to profit from. Also, it would be extremely expensive to consistently patrol and enforce the legal barriers given their three-dimensional shape as well as their vast size - not to mention the millions of "infractions" that would occur on a daily basis. If a majority of the indsutries in an economy decide that they will recklessly pollute the air or the water, not only will they suffer from the affects of ozone depletion, acid rain, etc, but people will eventually take their resouces away from them. The most practical way would be to boycott them and make them go bankrupt, but a more bizarre, although still plausible, method would be to claim their own sections of air through the creation of self-contained domes. This will eventually require the companies to change their ways since if there's no "free" air to pollute, there's no where to put the pollution. If a number of fishermen in the ocean recklessly fish the marine populations to extinction, they will likely starve (since I'm sure alot of those guys eat some of what they catch) if they don't go bankrupt first. But even if they did do this, who's rights would they be violating? All those would-be fishermen who never got around to actually catching all of the fish they claimed to be deprived of? The ocean and the atmosphere, and the lifeforms that populate them, aren't privately owned because they couldn't be, it's because they simply don't need to be. People have proven to be rational enough to share these arenas of competition without the need for government oversight.
  22. Dismuke, Alot of good observations and it was very well written, but I'm going to have to go with Inspector on this one. I think that his point that the burden lies on the person who wishes to retain the value of the wildlife needs to do something - other than get the government involved - if he wants to prevent the wildlife population from being depleted. Just because he may be doing it for selfish economic reasons does not make him any different from a pious environmentalist if he's willing to use the force of government. Like Inspector said, this land owner should assume responsibility for the maintenance of his own property and build a fence. I've been having a conversation with a friend offline about the property status of things like air and water, and I think the same principle applies. I came to the same conclusion that Inspector did regarding wildlife. My friend keeps insisting that by polluting this "common property" you may very well be violating the property rights of individual property owners - who will be affected by the pollution you create. He believes that if the property belongs to him, then he should be able to demand that your air or water remain at a certain level of cleanliness, no matter how irrational his judgement. I agree with this, but what he and I disagree on is that this right to be irrational - to assert any whim you'd like concering your property - goes both ways. He maintains that because unpolluted air and water is the natural state of things, that entitles him to governmental protection from me in the form of pollution controls and/or quotas - or else his rights will be violated. What I've been saying is that if he has the right to that whim, what prevents me from casually deciding that I don't like "his" air, regardless of the fact that it might possess identical properties to "my" air. After all, even if they are identical, they are distinct. Thus, I could very well demand that in order to prevent his air from coming into my environment, he must build some kind of dome to contain it. What he is doing is recognizing the common, wandering nature of certain phenomena and simutaneously treating it as his own in an attempt to justify oversight of it's use by the government. He can't have it both ways. Either it is his property, and if he wishes to preserve it, he must recognize it's transient nature and attempt to contain as large a portion as he desires, or he must allow it to remain transient - with all of the "threats" to his physical or economic or whatever type of well-being that entails. If he doesn't contain it and once it has wandered onto another's property he has no right to complain to the government if that person does something to it that he doesn't like - no matter how indirectly "harmful" it may be. Otherwise where does it end? Should someone be taken to court because their neighbor believes that if he hadn't mined the coal on his land, there was a chance that, over thousands of years, tectonic plate movement could have pushed it over to his? Or since human sight is dependent upon the movement of light across space, should someone be punished for altering his property because that will alter the way light travels across space and affects his neighbor's view? Grant
  23. I did some reasearch and as best as I can determine the Golden Rule isn't even from any specific religious or cultural teaching. It's more of a boiled down composite of the ethical teachings of the major religions of the world. Since an objective ethical code is derived from deeper facts of reality and followed for more important reasons than simply social harmony, I disagree with the Golden Rule. The statement "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" ignores factual differences in character and ability and amounts to treating everyone as if we were all metaphysically equal; which of course is not true. Imagine the injustice of a judge about to pass down a sentence suddenly remembering to treat this other person in front of him as he would like to be treated, and letting him go free. Why everyone automatically assumes that this rule is only discussing the narrower topic of political equality - recognizing the rights of individuals regardless of their differences - I do not know. The statement is so irresponsibly vague that I don't see any reason to interpret it this way. I think that even if could be shown that the Golden Rule is only an ethical command, it would still be incorrect. Even with dealing with others, Objectivist ethics (ie: ethics properly derived from Objectivist metaphysics) is not merely about respecting individual rights. It also involves passing judgement and providing or withholding values based upon facts about those you are dealing with. A retarded person should not be accepted into Harvard simply because the alumnus in the admissions office was confident that he deserved admission when he applied. - Grant
  24. I think what distinguishes a right from a need is that one necessarily involves other people and one doesn't. Being a social concept, a right implies the absence of something (ie: force or fraud) while a need implies the presence of something (eg: food or shelter). Semantically, yes it is appropriate to say that one "needs" to be free from coersion in order to live, but it would be more accurate to say that in order to live, one should behave like a human. Behaving like a human entails exercising reason - instead of force - for the pursuit of physical and emotional needs and wants; and the notion that every human should behave like a human is why rights exist. Of course, because humans are volitional, they have the ability to act "inhuman" (ie: towards their own destruction) and so rights exist because, if life is the goal, certain things are right to do and certain things are wrong. I think that the need to respect the human nature (ie: the rights) of others, for selfish purposes just as one would selfishly repect the dangerous nature of sticking a fork in an electrical outlet, is what fundamentally establishes one's need to have his own humanity respected. - Grant
  25. It's funny that this topic was posted, I was thinking about this in bed last night. I would like to see the leads should be played by older, more established actors. I think Mel Gibson would be great as either Rearden or Galt - especially given his appreciation for Western values as evidenced in the roles he has chosen in movies like Braveheart, The Patriot, and Ransom. Even his support of The Passion Of The Christ, while certanly flawed philosophically, shows that he is an fairly independent thinker who cares about ideas. Also, I think Harrison Ford would be well-suited since he just looks like he belongs in films set in 20th Century America. His brilliant performance in The Fugitive comes to mind. As for Dagny, I'm not so sure - but definitely not Angelina Jolie. I'm thinking more along the lines of Diane Keating or Susan Sarandon. Or, if she absolutely must be young and sexy, how about Julianna Moore or Julia Roberts, or maybe even Scarlette Johannson - Grant
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