Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Whoisjohngalt

  1. Some of my favs are all from "A Hard Day's Night". Also "Hey Jude" is really great. I tried to watch their "Yellow Submarine" movie. I felt it was too bizarre and stopped after a quarter of the movie. :D

  2. Is social networking to advance your career a second handed thing? If so or not so, why? Social networking involves contacting other people to mutually help each other to find jobs etc. I have found Monster to be a good source for networking tips.

    Also would you contact random people on social networking tools like Facebook or LinkedIn if you think that they could help you in your career?

    Thirdly, if anyone has any good networking tips (online or offline) to hand out please do so. :D

  3. Certainly: the declaration "We're protecting rights" should not become a magic wand to justify violating rights. Very broadly speaking, "objective necessity" is what's called for. More concretely, there should be procedural objectivity in the use of such force, for example warrants to limit the power of the police to use force to secure justice.
    But, today's reality suggests that this has happened and will continue no matter who says what. Unless there is a policy change in the government, I don't see any limitations being put against the expansion of the state in the near future.

    But the US is not a democracy

    You really are unaware of laws against perjury and the fact that government agents are subject to these laws and can be prosecuted for them?

    I'm probably unaware of them, because I have never heard of any government official being punished under this law for the Iraq war lie so far.

    Is it optional for the US to do so? Answer -- yes, if. If, in particular the war was to be a quick in and out to depose the dictator and then leave. Whereas the current protracted life and money wasting orgy of self-sacrifice is unquistionably immoral.
    How did you jump to this conclusion: that it is "optional" for the US to whack off totalitarian states? It seems too altruistic. The collectors of the sacrificial offerings of the present sacrifice of "whacking dictators" seem to be the fascist government officials and corrupt corporations.

    The 9/11 attackers were not Irani citizens. They are sponsored by private individuals/states who hate the US for its imperialism. If the world is to see any capitalism, it is imperialism that has to be ended. If the US government indeed does nuke Tehran and destroys Iran, the consequences will be too terrible for the Middle east and Asia, but it would not stop terrorism.

  4. If "getting rid of dictators" in countries thousands of miles away should be the only concern of foreign policy, where does the rational egoism come in from? To me, trying to help Iran and Iraq "transform into democracies" smells awfully of altruism. If you want an egoistic foreign policy, try to encourage trade between these countries and the US: this actually is beneficial to the American people. Atleast we can lure away the young wannabe jihadis away with x-boxes and make a profit while we're at it. On the other hand, if you want to nuke everybody who has a nuke and may or may not like the US government, the US government will have to sponsor a program to research into trading with dead bodies and destroyed countries. The only possible trade item would seem to me to be coffins and that too only a one-time affair, unless you want to nuke cities one after the other.

    "I don't want to fight for the people, I don't want to fight against the people, I don't want to hear of the people. I want to be left alone--to live."
    CF, the troops in foreign countries who have been told that sacrificing their lives for the "greater good" is good, may actually say this to the war-mongers after reading Ayn Rand.
  5. That's a fundamental mistake and misunderstanding of government. A government is supposed to protect the rights of citizens, not act on the basis of the majority urge.
    But in the field of "protecting rights", there should be some limits to government. In the name of "protecting rights" a government should not be allowed to do whatever, including unwarranted mass-murder/conducting torture-camps/infringing on civil rights etc etc. In short, the US is not an ideal Objectivist republic (whatever that may be), but a democracy. The politicians are voted in to office on the basis of their stances on various issues by a majority of the people. In short, they do represent the majority urge and "protecting rights" is definitely not a priority of any of the present government officials/politicians. It is not to "spread democracy" that they invaded Iraq, but for their own interests (please don't say they were being "Objectivist" here, because tyrannical selfishness is second-handedness) while being the cause of death of hundreds of thousands of human beings (be it Iraqi or American human beings).

    When dealing with dictatorships, it could be the presence of a secret plutonium-production facility.
    As long as these dictatorships or, say some dissident scientist or politician etc, do not declare that these "secret" facilities are for war-purposes, it cannot be Objectively proved so. In the name of "protecting rights", which the government has never been known to do, no sane man should support unlimited/unwarranted government intrusion/intervention.

    If they are lying, they should be imprisoned.
    Unless you are joking, is the government going to imprison itself (a.k.a., Who will watch the watchers)? It has been conclusively proven that the US government was lying when it propagandized the reason to invade Iraq. Do you think that all the government officials from Bush to everyone else involved in the fabrication of this "proof" be imprisoned?

    Yes. Exactly.That's true, but enemy states who aid terrorists are initiating force by proxy. The point is that Iran and Syria should be attacked for aiding terrorists, and it is not necessary that they send uniformed troops to cross the US border. They've sent non-uniformed terrorist troops to the US.
    What proof exists that it was the Irani/Syrian government was the indirect or direct cause of the WTC attacks? The terrorists were and are funded by private individuals (does the name Usama bin Laden mean anything to you?) and crimes committed by individuals does not constitute "initiation" of force by a government, however much they may hate you or you may hate them. You cannot kill a person because he hates you. However a government official can (by creating whimsical laws) and it is a principle of anti-statism that government officials should be reigned in by Law. This constitutes Rule of Law.

    We've covered that.
    Who is "we" and where is what covered?

    Do you remember the historical details of why we didn't drop the A-bomb on Nazi Germany when they first were a threat to peace in the world?

    What about the other dictatorships (Communist Vietnam, USSR etc) I mentioned?

    Warning! Parody: Should the US now nuke North Dakota

  6. In a similar way, only an individual can be irrational, altruistic or evil, because only an individual has a mind. So in that sense, slavery, murder and communism are not evil, but an individual who does those things is evil. Well, it seems to most people (and I agree) that it's just too long-winded to say that murder is a "concept which can only be chosen by an evil person", therefore we say that murder is evil. Likewise, if a jury of 12 men each acts rationally and frees an innocent man, we express this fact by a slight conceptual broadening and say that "the jury acted rationally".

    So, what is your point? Do you think that the entire population will become rational or selfish when you say that it is rational and selfish to nuke "enemies"? How do you know if people do not have other intentions in nuking other people?

    Now consider buying fire insurance: a company has 7 partners, and 6 of the 7 vote to buy fire insurance while 1 wanted to buy a new coffee maker. Would you agree that the company acted rationally in buying fire insurance, even though 1 of the partners voted to be irrational?I
    No. I would say that the company followed the principle of "majority wins".

    I don't know what you mean by "represewnt" the collective of Americans -- I can't imagine something where it really is so that the government does that. Maybe it's just a wording thing.
    I mean that the government is supposed to represent the majority of the American collective who voted it into power.

    The correct way to run a government is to attack any and all forces (governments or otherwise) before they attack you, when you have proof of their intent to attack.
    What exactly constitutes "proof"? How can you objectively verify whatever the government says? What if it fabricates "proof"? Americans have already been told a falsehood regarding WMD's in Iraq as the reason to attack that country.

    Don't pick governments at random, pick aggressors who the facts show are acting to attack you -- that is, who have initiated force.
    In other words, if you are pointing a gun at a person for whatever reason, it constitutes "force"? That is absurd. Force is when physical damage has been done or the enemy has stated in unequivocal terms that it is going to initiate force, not when an intention may or may not exist. I don't know which country's government has unequivocally said that it is going to attack the US and annihilate its cities or if any government would be foolish enough to say such things today.

    A nuke-Tehran option would only be rational as part of an overall foreign policy, which we don't have.
    What don't you have? A foreign policy?

    Since by policy we do negotiate with terrorists and we are not resolute in our defence of America and opposition to terrorism, it does not make sense to falsely imply a policy change until there actually is one.
    Please note that you have shifted the discussion to "terrorists". I am talking about an enemy state and nuking people who may not in anyway be involved in terrorism or running a dictatorship.

    If nuking people who live in dictatorships is supposed to be "rational", do you think the US was or is not rational by not nuking the USSR, Nazi Germany, Communist Vietnam, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia etc etc?

  7. You can't sever the populace from its government. The ones who are fighting against the government you can, but without a large segment offering support, the Iranian government would not exist as it does today.
    But, do you know if the people involved in this context support the government? Or don't individuals matter anymore?
  8. The arguments currently being used to support the Iraq war or to start an Iran war assume that as a nation, Americans can act "rationally" or "selfishly" and that it is in the "self-interest" of the collective (Americans) to use nuclear weapons on these "enemies". My question is: are these valid assumptions? As far as I can see, only an individual can be rational and selfish.

    The government (which is supposed to represent the collective of Americans) is there only to protect the rights of the people. So, it can do this by attacking the enemy government that has attacked its people, not by attacking any random government that may (or may not) have an "intention" to attack its people. If we start persecuting people based on their "intentions" we'd be moving away from an objective definition of law to a whim-based one.

    Also, is "protecting the American way of life" equivalent to "protecting the individual rights? If so, then Americans need to start attacking and nuking every country other than itself (since no one else "follows" the American way of life other than the Americans).

    These are some of my thoughts on the foreign policy of the US. Please let me know what you think of it.

  9. *** Mod's note: Merged with an similar, earlier topic - sN ***

    Has any Objectivist written a detailed criticism of Kant? The only places in Rand's writings where she talks about him are when she accuses him of dropping reality and holding on to reason alone (which later got dropped by his followers). I feel she is right about him, but after having read a bit of Kant myself, I need to read the arguments against his philosophy from an Objectivist view-point.

  10. ...in practical terms and conceptual terms? Would it be a dictatorship or a democracy? Because, to uphold the rule of law, a strong government is the only way and no government is stronger than a dictatorship. On the other hand, a democracy would be a good way to let things roll without any government control over people's security threats and the national self-esteem.

  11. I suspect you are not serious here.

    I *do* think that the ability of the governments to wage war on us should have been eliminated by the best means possible. That does not require exterminating the entire populations of the countries. But a nuke on about three carefully chosen cities would probably do the job

    I am being serious here. The only way to control rogue countries is to kill ALL the people in it. If left to themselves, they will kill each other without a dictator. With a dictator, they will kill us. The best solution is to kill every man, woman and child in all countries. Leave none alive. Also execute those at home who oppose this.
  12. Our self-esteem individually and collectively required that we grind their faces into the mud. Which we did.
    Of course. Pearl Harbor was a good enough excuse. I am wondering why the US government does not similarly nuke the entire Arab and Islamic world, including Saudi (where the hijackers came from), killing everyone, because of the 9/11 attacks? The terrorists who committed the attacks were sponsored by private individuals and governments in the Islamic world. So, we (the state and the military) should nuke each town, village and city of these countries and all other countries and kill everyone. This is most essential to preserve the citizens' collective self-esteem and pride, as well as protecting our national security.
  13. Rationality is not man's nature. Man's nature is that of a rational animal - he has the power of volition and the power to form concepts, but he also has just as much choice not to. A man acting accordance with his nature is being rational, because man's nature is that of a rational animal. That's no more a circular argument than saying a dog is behaving like a dog, because it uses its enhanced nose receptors to sniff things out, and wags it's tail and barks. If it started squarking and flying around the room, I would say it is acting in a non-canine way.
    But, the example of the dog can be related to biological factors. Are you saying being rational is a biological "part" of man?

    That people think 'to reason' and 'to be rational' are directly synonymous is a huge error in the usage of these words.
    Well, according to an online dictionary, "Rational means having the ability to reason".

    I believe Aristotle (can he be considered as "authoritative"?) has a good definition of reason.

  14. The connection is, I believe, via Hebrew לֵוִי and there is some explanation in terms of Leah, Jacob and their 3rd son, who is said to have founded the tribe of Levi. You also find name / religion correlations in Hinduism which are sentence-long meaningful, Buddhism (Bodhi, Dharmadhatu, Ashoka). Names have meanings in every human culture, AFAIK.
    Thats true. But, how does a name with a certain cultural meaning "tie" it to a religion? Ok, the names may be present in the mythologies of some religion. But just because it is so, why do religious conversions insist on a name change? I am guessing it has to do with some sort of mysticism associated with names present in their particular mythologies. As an aside, in India, bourgeois Marxists give names of famous Marxist revolutionaries to their children.

    PS. Sorry for drifting off-topic

  15. I don't see why "Levy" should be tied to Judaism. It is probably a Hebrew word and probably has a meaning of its own. I similarly don't understand why people consider names of Christian or Islamic people as tied to those religions. Aren't those names mere words having a meaning in some Indo-European language or Hebrew or Arabic or whatever language? I find this a weird quality of semitic religions.

  16. In your earlier post you say that a theory would only make sense if one is a materialist-determinist. You do not explain why this is so? For instance, one can have theories in psychology, while grounding them on the fact that man has volition. The same with history.
    The problem I see with any "theory of history" is that the materialist-determinists do have a theory of history and they expect the rest of human history to continue in the same path. My question is: how can you assume that future human beings will act according to your "theory", since you do not have any empirical evidence (unless you are into astrology) for future events. Any theory of history should ideally consist purely of facts. The telling and study of facts amounts to "history" itself, not a "theory of history".

    Well, you've rather succintly articulated the Objectivist theory of history, so is this what you're saying we don't need? Are you saying that this idea is proven and integrated and obvious, or are you saying that we don't need any other ideas about history?
    No, I am saying that this is how Ayn Rand suggested suggested events in the lives of human beings come about. This is an observed fact. Frankly, I don't see how or why anyone should further expand on this fact and come up with a theory that may very well be proven wrong in a few years time. Let me remind you that we are dealing not with chemicals or atoms, but the way people may think and act in a hundred years time. I hope you got my difficulty.
  17. The only rational basis on which to form a government is the recognition and protection of individual rights. A rational government does not enslave its own citizens.
    What do you mean by "rational basis". Why isn't a proper government (that drafts people who refuse honorable service) a rational one?

    You cannot save a state by destroying it -- by destroying its moral foundation.

    If you can find no one to voluntarily defend a state is it really worth saving? Obviously the citizens wouldn't think so.

    Suppose that a state is "not worth saving", will the state agree with the people? Who really applies "morals" to the state? It has a monopoly on force and it has every opportunity (be it "moral" or "immoral") to guarantee its survival. Also, it is true after all that the state is meant to protect the people and naturally, the people have a solemn duty to protect their protectors. Also, there is every chance of the enemy (Islam) to penetrate the country and enslave the people. Which would be more desirable: an American government (be it a dictatorship) or an Islamic totaltarian regime, since these are the only two choices present to the free world as of today? The only solution is to physically eliminate all enemies of the state both at home and abroad.

  18. The 'rational animal', means that man is a creature volitionally capable of identifying all the facts of reality available to him and applying them within a certain context, towards a certain task. A man's actual acting on his nature, is what we would call the measure of his rationality.
    Thanks Tenure. That makes a lot of sense. I think the first sentence in the above is very close to an actual definition: applying the facts of reality towards a certain goal.

    But, the next sentence is saying something like: Rationality is man's nature and a man acting according to his nature is a rational man. This is clearly a circular definition.

    Here are some references:
    Once again, that is a circular definition. A more fundamenal question would be Define reason. Define what it means to be a rational man (apart from the fact that he is acting according to reason, which is obvious).

    You really should buy The Virtue of Selfishness it is excellent. "The Objectivist Ethics" is alone worth the price and one of the most brilliant pieces of writing in the history of man.
    I do have the book.
  • Create New...