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Everything posted by DonAthos

  1. Naturally it is the very thing that I say I don't want to develop into a major digression that you respond to, at length. All right, then. Objectivists are supposed to care about reality. We are also supposed to be pro-individual rights, which I take to be "anti-slavery." Slavery was a large-scale institution in the United States from before its inception until it was ended in a Civil War. This institution had deep and pervasive influence in many aspects of American life, particularly in the South, and after it ended that influence lingered, most visibly in ongoing efforts to maintain leg
  2. When I read oblique, obscured stuff like this, I always find myself wondering... By "imperfections," are you referring to... slavery? Or something else? It's a touch too far for this thread, even for me who has never seen a tangent he didn't like, a rabbit hole he didn't instantly plummet down, but an institution of enslaving human beings over hundreds of years (if that is, indeed, the hinted reference) is much more than an "imperfection." I don't agree with the response generally, let alone every specific, but that sort of thing does justify some kind of a moral reckoning. Right.
  3. I'm not certain what you're asking about collectivism being more or less dangerous/harmful than individualism. I don't see individualism as being dangerous or harmful at all. If it were a question about collectivism versus individualism, I can't imagine anyone here siding with collectivism. As to which ideology one should give one's moral support to? How is the answer not Objectivism? It sure as hell is not Christianity: Christianity does not deserve moral support, but condemnation. This is not to say that we must therefore condemn all Christians; there are plenty of great people in the w
  4. Is this the Objectivist version of "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" Look, we can say regarding breaches with reality that something more fundamental is "worse" in some sense than something less fundamental. An Objectivist who breaks with Rand on aesthetics is to be preferred over an altruist who yet accepts the existence of reality, who is to be preferred over a solipsist who denies that there is any such thing at all, all else being equal. Insofar as a collectivist diverges with respect to politics, and potentially (though not necessarily) an underlying ethics, it i
  5. There's a world between starting armed conflict and Trump's actual relationship with not only Kim Jong Un, but Modi, Erdogan, etc., etc. Trump had clear admiration for "strong men" and the liberation that tyranny affords a leader, and this had practical influence on his foreign agenda. But honestly, I wouldn't care so much about his relationship with North Korea if Trump were not so damaging to democracy in America.
  6. This is a disappointing and dispiriting response. I'd hoped you could be better. I think your expectations are unrealistic. Philosophy (that is, good philosophy) is neither simple nor easy, and application of the same can be supremely complex. Ayn Rand was an extraordinary genius, but the people who have followed in her wake are... not necessarily of the same caliber, and Objectivism specifically has not yet been fully "fleshed out." It makes sense that various people trying to apply her philosophy, mere years after her passing, or otherwise lead their best lives, struggle in applicati
  7. All right. I'm not Doug Morris. I well understand the difficulties in holding apart various lines of argument in forum conversations such as these, but I do want to stipulate that his arguments are not necessarily my own (nor do I mean here to disparage them; and in fact, I just now see where he has disavowed your paraphrase of his argument). Further, I don't tend to like to operate by "suggestion" and "implication": I much prefer to try to make arguments as clear and as explicit as I can, and deal with them directly. With all that said, I'm happy to reject the notion that fear is itself
  8. I agree that "fear is an emotional reaction." So what? If someone pulls a gun on another person, the person so assaulted must make a decision (with regards to self defense; a potentially life-or-death decision) in that context and no other. We can describe it, or "frame" it, as you suggest: that the person concludes "he intends to shoot me." But I don't think that does justice to the situation, to how human beings actually operate, in reality. You're pulling our conversation to the abstract; I'd rather make things more concrete. A man pulls out a gun and points it at a police officer. The
  9. You're aware that it's Toohey who says this, right? Not everything Rand wrote out of her characters' mouths, let alone her villains', is meant to be reflective of her own beliefs. In her non-fiction writings, after all, Rand spent a lot of time and ink questioning various follies. But even if Rand had said such a thing in a straightforward fashion somewhere, it would be a mistaken sentiment. Understanding generally, and the nature of the mistakes people sometimes make specifically, is a good thing. Sometimes through our greater understanding we even discover that what we had once considered a
  10. If it were reasonable to fear someone pulling out a weapon in the manner you suggest, such that a person might abandon his property in the name of self defense (or suffer some other, worse fate), then it would also be reasonable to "regulate" the pulling out of weapons in such manner -- by which I mean to regard it as the initiation of force. If I drive my car swerving down the road, and people leap out of the way or swerve their own cars to avoid collision, and injure themselves, I am responsible for their injuries. This is true even if I have no intent to harm them or even scare them (p
  11. If there were a more serious plague going around, and someone you didn't know approached you in a fashion that they could pass the plague on to you, if they were a carrier (let's say it's not obvious), I expect most here would recognize the justification for taking steps to defend yourself against the real possibility of harm their encroachment entails.
  12. It seems to me that this kind of thing gets said regularly around here without proper challenge. The idea of "left" versus "right" is mostly a fiction. It's not a distinction that has much real meaning. It's "traditionally right" (in America) to be hostile to certain social freedoms (e.g. abortion, sex, drugs) and "traditionally left" to be hostile to business freedoms, but what they both have in common is that they are both unprincipled and generally destructive to freedom. (I say "traditionally" because, being unprincipled, these things can quickly and easily flip from one side to the other,
  13. Truly, as soon as you say such things as "capable of shame," "remorse," "soul-searching," and so forth, my mind goes to Donald Trump and his sons, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Alex Jones, Ann Coulter, Rudy Giuliani, Bill O'Reilly, etc., etc. These are the folks who "go high." The deep introspectors. So you're lending support (however you want to cast that support) to an assault on the Capitol, against the results of a democratic election, by a frothing, conspiracy-fueled mob, because... you have concerns about mail-in ballots. There is no way for me to respond to that appropriatel
  14. If there's any one thing Rand would've supported, I'm sure it's mob violence in the name of lies at the behest of an authoritarian against democracy...
  15. Some congressmen (which is inclusive of senators: Congress is comprised of senators and representatives) continued down that path, despite the insurrectionists' egregious acts, others did not. The reason why many of them agreed to challenge the election originally is because they were under political pressure to do so, by Trump and his supporters. They are deeply concerned with their continued ability to fundraise and be elected to office, and sought to appease these radical elements. In this way, they were not "risking their future political careers" so much as doing what they thought best at
  16. I had quoted you as saying that the left has a "de facto monopoly" on media and social media. That conservatives and libertarians are not represented. I point to podcasts and local radio stations and forums and magazines and newspapers and on and on to demonstrate how that is not the case, at all. I don't know precisely how to parse "numbers/influence"; how influential are folks like Rush Limbaugh or Alex Jones? But I did point to the fact (so far as I know, and I invite correction) that Fox News is the highest-rated cable news network. So how exactly we define "mainstream" (which seems r
  17. This thread ought not become a clearinghouse for Trumpist grievances, but... how in the world can you believe such a thing? I know there's been movement lately by some prominent, private social media businesses, Twitter, Facebook and others -- and especially in light of the Capitol assault -- to curb elements that are actively fomenting violence or spreading dangerous disinformation, but is that what you mean? Otherwise, you represent yourself on social media. Perhaps there's some disconnect between us as to the meaning of "conservative" or "libertarian"? Or do you think that if you tweet
  18. I'm glad you brought up tu quoque; I've been thinking about it recently, too. Logical/reasoning fallacies have a narrow scope. Tu quoque demonstrates that you cannot establish that any particular claim is false due to a proponent of that claim being hypocritical. The reason why altruism is false/wrong/evil is not that any given proponent fails to act in a consistently altruistic manner, just as selfishness would not be shown wrong if some proponent of selfishness did not always act selfishly. That doesn't mean that calling out hypocrisy isn't effective rhetorically, or have other use
  19. And you are able to question anything. But you're conflating this with somehow living consequence-free and implicitly denying others their right to assembly. A Nazi could style himself as "simply questioning whether Jews are evil baby-eaters," but that doesn't mean that I should be forced to hire him, give him a platform to express his views, befriend him, or whatever. If I don't want to associate myself with him, that is enough: he has the right to question, I have the right to fire. And yes, the people who are continuing to question the validity of this election, at this point, are dive
  20. @whYNOT, et al. An armed mob forced their way past guards to disrupt our democratic process and as part of an overall effort to overturn the results of our Presidential election. Into the Capitol. Where Congress was present and at work. Members of Congress were rushed to safety -- and we don't know what the outcome might have been otherwise -- but five people died overall, including this woman, who was helping to initiate the violence, and including another police officer, who was tasked with stopping it and got his head caved in with a fire extinguisher as a result. This was an assa
  21. I have enough superstition about me not to want to declare that we've survived this, just yet. But despite everything, it looks better to me today than it did yesterday, and it's the first time in a while I've been able to say that. That said, we are far, far from anything approaching good, and we could lurch towards the worse at any moment. Or towards the worst. Trump is an authoritarian and a statist. He has been searching for a way to overturn the election for months, and the only way we have yet preserved our system is because other people (to varying degrees) have frustrated him in h
  22. That certainly would be nice. Trump raises the specter of the death of American democracy. Quite beyond what Trump himself represents in his lack of principle, and in his easy, thoughtless willingness to violate liberty, to lie, defraud and cheat -- what would the decline of our democratic institutions mean for individual rights, in either the short or the long term? How would we better safeguard rights by entrusting them to a man who has shown consistent disdain for every liberal virtue, rights included? Further, if Trump had gotten his way (and while I feel a touch optimistic, at p
  23. And I was glad to see it. Still, there comes a point when continuing to ask for evidence, as though the matter is wholly unsettled, is itself questionable. Trump's lawyers have brought case after case in multiple states before multiple judges, and the judges have asked them for evidence -- for the merits of their many claims. Trump's lawyers have failed to provide it, time after time. The judges have thrown out their suits, and yet their claims (in public, in the media) don't fade -- they intensify, grow more grotesque and outlandish. At some point here (which we are well past, imo),
  24. Recognizing that the election was fair has nothing to do with one's feelings about Biden or Trump, generally. Christopher Krebs, of Trump's Homeland Security, for instance, said that "59 election security experts all agree, 'in every case of which we are aware, these claims (of fraud) either have been unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent.'" For this, Trump had him fired. Yes, they are attempting to dupe you and silence the people who would tell you the truth. It would be better if you trusted credible sources, instead.
  25. Judges have been making rulings on the matters brought before their courts, in due course. Not all of the allegations made by the Trump team in the press have also been filed as legal matters. Why wouldn't they pursue legal remedies for these other allegations, for which they supposedly have evidence? Why only pursue smaller and more technical matters publicly (and lose, and lose, and lose again), instead of submit their evidence to the sort of scrutiny you indicate you would prefer? My best guess is that they don't want their "evidence" scrutinized. In any event, even a lay person observ
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