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DiscoveryJoy

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  1. Well, I have my doubts. It seems to me rather like her foundation for punishment (as evidenced by that her statement) is compactly condensed into retributive justice alone, somehow trying to eliminate the need for any other determinations or overdeterminations. Simply making it clear that there is a price to be paid for criminal success, for succeeding in the goal of doing harm to other people, i.e. the source of grievances which don't go unretributed. Not deterrence, not rehabilitation, not a safe society, although she would surely consider the latter a necessary consequence of the retributive justice. She also seems to have a single-minded foundation for things in general, from which everything else follows. At least that would explain, why an absence of criminal attempt law is usually ascribed to the "Objectivist" position in justice theory. Note that this would only address her foundation for punishment. It still leaves open the possibility of isolating individuals that have proven to be a continuing threat through their failed attempt without regretting having tried. The premeditated/planned kind (not just the mind-lapsing kind that is almost immediately shocked by what could have happened). Isolation not as punishment, but as protection of potential victims from an ongoing threat (which isn't just a hypothetical one). Although she might have argued that some punishment would be due to the financial/material costs inflicted for isolating that individual until he has proven to have abandoned his goals.
  2. Hi, I've been posting this in a 15-year-old thread earlier, but not expecting anyone to read it there, I decided to create a new one, instead. I gather that retribution, for Objectivism, is the main point of legal justice. But when looking at https://www.ontheissues.org/celeb/Ayn_Rand_Crime.htm, retribution "in order to make him bear the painful consequences of his action (or their equivalent) which he inflicted on his victims" seems very much like the "no harm no foul" approach. That would mean punishing only the success, not the attempt. Which is contrary to what various proponents of Objectivism (especially @DavidOdden) seem to hold in threads like these: What I also read a lot on the net in various papers is a "conflict between the Subjectivist versus Objectivist approach to justice", where both approaches are held to be unsatisfying: Shooting at someone with an empty gun: Punishable by Subjectivism, because: "Was trying to kill.". Not punishable by Objectivism, because: "Couldn't have possibly killed." or simply "Didn't kill.". Not sure if this "Objectivism" and Ayn Rand's Objectivism are the same? Also struck me that there seems to be a lot of dispute about what "initiation of force" means. But nobody considered talking about "an attempt to initiate force"? I'm also aware that "initiation of force" is usually used to distinguish from retaliation, rather than from the actual harm inflicted (which I'd rather call synonymous with "initiation of force"). Anyway, Western jurisdictions typically also don't start with just any action beyond mental processes as the definition of an attempt, of something to be punished. There's the decision, preparation, starting, and finally completion of the attempt, where decision and preparations remain free from punishment, and only the starting of the attempt is punished, and the successful completion usually harsher. While even the attempt allows for a draw-back, an abortion out of free will due to moral concerns, before any harm is inflicted. In which case the attempt also remains free from punishment. Been thinking about this. Already would find it quite odd punishing someone by the sentence of attempted murder or manslaughter right at the point of taking just preparatory action. Thinking of someone spontaneously deciding to hit some pedestrian with his car on his way to somewhere, while already driving: Just slowing down a little to make out some target (an "action"??). Then noticing that all the targets at the pavement are not reachable due to too many obstacles in the way. Then not finding any other targets for the rest of the way. While also beginning to have moral concerns of "what the hell am I doing??", and aborting the goal. So a life sentence or years of imprisonment, just for having slowed down the car a little while driving, not actually having gotten anywhere near even approaching the goal, and what is more, ultimately having abandoned the entire goal for internal reasons? Very very odd to me, regardless of any initial "intent acted on". Anyway, just my thoughts. I'm sure that's a lot to digest at once, the many points I'm raising, but take your time 😉
  3. Sorry for digging this up so many years later. But found most posts related to my current interests in this thread. First of all, I gather that retribution, for Objectivism, is the main point of justice. But when looking at https://www.ontheissues.org/celeb/Ayn_Rand_Crime.htm, retribution "in order to make him bear the painful consequences of his action (or their equivalent) which he inflicted on his victims" seems very much like the "no harm no foul" approach. That would mean punishing only the success, not the attempt. Which is contrary to what @DavidOdden seems to hold. What I also read a lot on the net in various papers is a "conflict between the subjectivist versus objectivist approach to justice", where both approaches are held to be unsatisfying: Shooting at someone with an empty gun: Punishable by Subjectivism, because: "Was trying to kill.". Not punishable by Objectivism, because: "Couldn't possibly kill.". Not sure if this "Objectivism" and Ayn Rand's Objectivism are the same? Also struck me that there seems to be a lot of dispute about what "initiation of force" means. But nobody considered talking about "an attempt to initiate force"? I'm also aware that "initiation of force" is usually used to distinguish from retaliation, rather than from the actual harm inflicted (which I'd rather call synonymous with "initiation of force"). Anyway, Western jurisdictions typically also don't start with just any action beyond mental processes as the definition of an attempt, of something to be punished. There's the decision, preparation, starting, and finally completion of the attempt, where decision and preparations remain free from punishment, and only the starting of the attempt is punished, and the successful completion usually harsher. While even the attempt allows for a draw-back, an abortion out of free will due to moral concerns, before any harm is inflicted. In which case the attempt also remains free from punishment. Been thinking about this. Already would find it quite odd punishing someone by the sentence of attempted murder or manslaughter right at the point of taking just preparatory action. Thinking of someone spontaneously deciding to hit some pedestrian with his car on his way to somewhere, while already driving: Just slowing down a little to make out some target (an "action"??). Then noticing that all the targets at the pavement are not reachable due to too many obstacles in the way. Then not finding any other targets for the rest of the way. While also beginning to have moral concerns of "what the hell am I doing??", and aborting the goal. So a life sentence or years of imprisonment, just for having slowed down the car a little while driving, not actually having gotten anywhere near even approaching the goal, and what is more, ultimately having abandoned the entire goal for internal reasons? Very very odd to me, regardless of any initial "intent acted on". Anyway, just my thoughts. I'm sure that's a lot to digest at once, the many points I'm raising, but take your time 😉
  4. All true and well. I'm not trying to argue in favor of such a takeover. Again, just wanna know if the typical "We're-patriots-and-sometimes-you-need-to-get-your-hands-dirty" kinda narrative put forth by those TV show conspirators (e.g. President Logan, Christopher Henderson, Graem Bauer etc. in "24") has any ounce of truth to it, even under this false moral basis. Whether it is in any sense true that such an indirect conquest would constitute a passing on of resources into much more productive hands, or perhaps just hands more favorable to Americans, resulting in a significant advantage in cheap, plentiful and reliable energy supply to Americans - as those conspirators typically argue. Or whether it actually just serves a handful of American oil companies, with no significant added value to Americans at large. Whether the "American colonialism" is favorable to Americans compared to the Middle East nationalism or not. Whether the legitimacy of the conspirators' intent can be disproved only on a moral basis, or whether their whole line of argument can be stopped right in its tracks: An economic miscalculation or overstatement on their own part, because America doesn't actually benefit? I'm sure those conspirators wouldn't even come up with the idea that lands originally belonged to those American individuals who used it productively, or even to any individuals to begin with. They'd rather follow the collectivist "might-makes-right" kinda attitude and revel in their alleged "heroism" for having the guts to conquer the Middle East under a fabricated convenient pretext, in order to serve the American homeland.
  5. Well, that's merely a true statement to me. So how do you relate that to the OP's "American Mideast oil interests" narrative? Do you think that American companies are the most economic in a capitalist approach, but since Middle East governments are just unproductively sitting on those oil reserves, forcing them to hand them over to American oil companies would come closest to the most productive outcome? Because the alternative would be no or very limited oil production?
  6. My question is not, if buying oil makes more sense than buying another energy source (which is what Alex Epstein's content would be about). My question rests on the assumption that oil is currently an irreplacable energy source known to us. And my question is also not about if it makes sense to buy oil that comes from the Middle East. But why it would make more sense to buy Middle East oil produced by American companies, instead of simply buying any Middle East oil produced by any company, whether American or not. What makes the Middle East oil better for Americans just because it was produced by an American company? Is there an assumption that American companies would treat Americans as privileged customers? What I suspect is that some politicians, after American oil companies have seized the oil fields, would like to control American oil companies through government subsidies etc., to direct them in selling and transporting the oil primarily to America at a preferable prize. So they can give themselves some unearned credit, telling themselves that they have "secured American interests". In a similar way that state chartered companies used to work as utilitarian government entities abroad to provide the home country with resources from foreign lands. Or my aforementioned assumption in this post, that people believe an American company would treat American customers with privilege, out of some sense of belonging and hence obligation. Since you still haven't told me why you appear to be adopting the view that American interests would be served through American ownership of oil fields, I have to assume that you don't seriously share such beliefs.
  7. Again, why would "energy security" be any sell at all? Regardless of whether it's an "easier sell" than claiming restitution for the victims of the initial violation. You seem to agree with elements of that rationalization, believing that it is an "easier sell"? Why? The notion of "energy security" somehow suggests that more Americans end up consuming more oil if only the fields are owned by Shell & Co. Why would that be? Why do you agree with that? This seems to be the narrative of self-proclaimed "patriots" in TV Shows like "24", who believe that creating a pretext for war in the middle east is the way to go in securing the cheap, reliable and plentiful flow of oil to America. Or perhaps, is there any proof that otherwise, the oil fields would be exploited by nobody at all? Or exploited inefficiently, because too expensive to operate (government-owned)? Driving up oil costs for Americans? Any such analysis out there?
  8. Well, by that notion alone, you have obviously already adopted the very narrative that I'm questioning in my OP. The notion of "American interests" being served by American ownership of (i.e. American companies owning) the oil fields. So why is that? Surely, you must have your reasons for holding those beliefs. Are you merely referring to the interests of American oil companies earning a revenue here, or do you actually believe that them owning the oil fields is also good for Americans at large? If the latter also holds, then why? What is behind your beliefs?
  9. Don't know what you mean by "sandbox needs to be chaperoned". So you think, the rationale would be "let's take them over to ensure maximum productivity, before somebody destroys that productivity through nationalization"? Is there any evidence of a significant increase in oil price that took place through those nationalizations? usually, it's just the government taking over a certain percentage of the profit as a concession. If you can straightaway use that percentage as a price increase for everyone who buys the oil, is not clear to me.
  10. There seems to be this mainstream idea, that - for better or for worse - America has certain oil interests in the middle east, and that the more American companies are in control of the oil fields, the better for America. That in order to maximize its flourishing, America must "secure the oil fields". Movies or TV shows like "24" commonly capitalize on this idea people generally accept. So they feature some US government conspiracy that manufactures a pretext (a false-flag Islamist terror attack on US soil, or some weapons of mass destruction smuggled into the hands of some dangerous middle eastern nations) for a strong US military presence in the middle east, with the goal of ultimately "securing the oil fields", and then divvying them up to almost exclusively American oil companies. With these US government conspirators considering themselves "patriots", because this way they're "securing American energy security for centuries to come". I don't even get this in theory. Any oil producing company - American or not - in its own self-interest, should be selling to anyone in the world who buys, at market price. So even if none of the oil companies in the middle east where American, Americans should still be getting all the same oil for the same price. And even if all of the oil companies in that region where American, they'd still be selling to everyone else just as readily, and for the same market price, as to Americans. There's no reason why an American oil company should be interested in selling, or selling cheaper, only to Americans. Or a non-American one only selling, or selling cheaper, only to the non-American citizens of its origin. So what would even be the advantage about the oil fields being dominated by American companies? Why should any American - except for perhaps the American oil companies themselves - actually care? I know that American car drivers are paying much less than half of what Europeans are paying per gallon of gasoline, and close to the lowest prices in the world: https://www.statista.com/statistics/221368/gas-prices-around-the-world/ But that seems to be mainly due to government policy rather than world market dominance of American oil companies: https://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/global_gasprices/ So what am I missing?
  11. Hi there! Didn't know there is such a thread about this topic here! Even if it's some years old. Just my thoughts on it after going through these posts: I gather that this thread has been revolving around the question, whether physical attraction by the opposite sex and desires that follow from it are necessarily based on the assessment of a person's character or not. And whether one must be a victim of some "mind-body-dichotomy", if one is already attracted "only by the looks". I think it depends on what you mean by "based on". But I also think there's no such thing as "being attracted due to a mind-body-dichotomy". It only goes the other way round: People just may rationalize their behavior with that mind-body-dichotomy after the fact - for lack of an explanation . But they aren't subconsciously physically attracted to the other sex because of it. If you're really seeking a clear-cut character with high standards attached to it, highly appreciate that, and also find such a person, then you might find that person also physically attractive as a direct outgrowth of that. Perhaps even without the body playing a significant role in it. I think there's no real question arising in this case. So what's the other case? Well, if you're simply not seeking that, or only to a lesser degree, or to almost no degree, then there's always this: What you definitely care about is always at the very least the experience of a volitional living being that is conscious. Perceptually and conceptually conscious of things in this world, conscious of every-day perceivable relationships among them, conscious of itself and of you. And one that in one way or another wishes to live and enjoy its life in a sense you can tolerate. That's the basic content you hold, without which closure or sex isn't desirable to any human being. And I don't see how such a content would be possible without at least some character in that other person. You don't want to sleep with a robot, or an animal, or a depressive person. So what you want is never animalistic. Ever. And you don't view the other person as a so-called "sex-object" (whatever the hell that is). Ever. There simply is no such thing. Not in a relationship, not in promiscuity, perhaps not even with a slut, if you don't have to pretend as if she only was another person. Now how does physical attraction come into play in only these most basic demands to a person? Well, besides the content, there's also the form in which you need to experience any content, the content being the basic person, in this case. And that's where genetics come into play. But I would regard all this talk about biology and evolution as only partly right, partly wrong, and in any case utterly incomplete in its application to the context: Yes, we have certain things hardwired into us. But those are not values. They're just physical dispositions/propensities/abilities. But they facilitate certain forms in which we can experience the above mentioned content. If you are "programmed" (although I hate that term) towards certain physical features in the opposite sex, all sort of stuff can happen when you encounter them. Stuff that allows you to experience a higher degree of awareness/presence/enjoyment of - and ultimately a desire for contact to - the person that has these features. In short: You experience the person in a certain form. But you only experience those things if you think that there actually is at least a basic person: A conceptually conscious living being that somehow wants to live and enjoy its life. You had to willfully grasp a whole set of facts in your life, to even arrive at that simple concept. So it's not automatic. What's automatic is only the consequent desire given your previous conceptualization of - and satisfaction with - the basic person. That's why you now have no choice but to desire, given your choices. So if you encounter wavy long blonde hair, nice skin, or a skinny body type for a women, then you might feel aroused and desire closure or sex with her right away, because your genetic disposition is such, that when you also view her as the basic person I described (as you pretty much have to view her in most cases) and think you can be satisfied with that character-wise, you automatically experience her effect on your own body in a form that boosts the awareness/presence/enjoyment of her in you. All the while, experiencing those effects qua effect of a person. And only wanting them as such: The wavy long blond hair which you find so enjoyable is deeply absorbed and sucked in by you qua wavy long blonde hair of an actual woman that is alive and wishes to enjoy life. There isn't "just the hair", but only the hair as an aspect of that conscious living being, so ultimately, as an aspect of her consciousness. Both of her perceptual, but then also of her conceptual consciousness based on that. Her hair - just like any other part of her body - is an aspect of her consciousness of anything! You find her really beautiful and desire her sexually. But only in this light. Not in any rationalized view of a some "only-the-body-sex-object" that drops the entire context and meaning of the form. So yes, even in physical attraction "based on looks only", an assessment of some character is first at play. It only looks like it isn't, because the low character-standards at play can almost automatically be taken for granted in the person. But since the enjoyment of such low standards cannot give you enough emotionally without a strong form of experiencing them, such a strong form is necessary. You need to "look for looks". So for that reason, your genes come into play and automatically facilitate the physical attraction in your own biologically specific way. Which is also close to evolution, because you are allowing your genes to function largely unaltered by your own overriding choices. So what you call "the basis" here, is pretty much a game of semantics. You're trying to achieve your goal by "looking for looks", sure. So call that your "basis"? But the reason why you're only "looking for looks" is because you believe that the character you want will most probably already be there, so it isn't necessary to seek it directly. But you still need to find the right looks to make the enjoyment of the character really worthwhile. The right form. There's also no percentage assignment possible here ("how much percent looks, how much percent character is this based on?"), since it's all one. All you can define as a true basis is a certain absolute degree of character, if you like. And that is it. Your basis. Your choice. But I think you can also say this (with regards to a man seeking a woman): The lower or lesser your standards/demands to a person's character, the less effort it takes to find her attractive, but the more you can and need to rely on her looks and your genetic programming in order to exhaust - or even get started with - what is emotionally possible with those standards. For what more can your genes possibly do than what you have asked them to do? Just their thing. And how else would you get to the next level, if there are limits about how much there is to think about? Only through your genes. The higher your standards, the more effort it takes to find her attractive, but the less your genetic programming can and needs to help you to exhaust what is emotionally possible with those standards. For how would your genes even know about such unexpected decisions of yours? And how else would you get to the next level, if there are limits about how much can be automated? So in any case, you cannot truly psychologically base physical attraction "on looks only". But they can become the dominant element of the form in which the attraction to a character of lower standards takes place. And since there is no true "attraction based on looks only", there is also no "attraction based on a mind-body-dichotomy" that it would require. You just invent the "mind-body-dichotomy" in order to rationalize what is going on. And it comes at the price of destroying your self-view. By reducing yourself either to a joyless zombie or an animal void of any meaningful content. Just consciously accepting your actual character standard instead - even if a low one - is better than that.
  12. I never understood how sex can be a topic for philosophy to make such statements on in the first place. This is a highly concrete and specialized issue that depends on an individual's concrete values, psychology and physical constitution. Who is to make statements about what your own concrete and objective values are? What values to look for in another person? How abstract they are to be? And in order to fulfill which actual needs of interaction with them and to what extend? And knowing that Objectivism enters into this topic, I typically detect certain ideas surrounding and relating to it, that I find rather strange: A ) Limitation of the need of "physical attraction" to a purely physical pleasure. No such thing in my opinion. Every physical feature you identify is an aspect of a conscious living being that perceives itself and this world through exactly those physical features of its body, and hence in that very form. And you know this, and only knowing this gives meaning to that attraction. Simple introspection tells you that. You like a particular form in which he or she exists as a perceptually conscious being (with certain implications even for some of its conceptual values). What you like is a form that physically best facilitates your contact to the reality of another human beings' existence. Of his or her existence as a conscious living entity. You cannot like "just his or her body", without demanding and knowing that it is the body of a conscious living being that you are liking. And you cannot like "just the aspect of his or her being alive and conscious" without it being so in a particular form that appeals to you. You are seeking some specific conceptual knowledge here, and you want it to manifest itself in a specific perceptual form. That's to a degree of 100% a mental, as well as of 100% a physical need, you cannot separate the two. Individuals may vary, but how one would exclude that this alone might form to certain individuals an indispensable prerequisite, possibly even a highly important value in and of itself, is incomprehensible to me. Just think of how you prefer watering certain plants only, and like to have certain animals as pets only. Now, how much more exciting is the case of a particular form of a human being?! It already starts with only wanting a particular sex to begin with. Not to talk about all the other physical features, of which there are numerous. B ) Sex as valid only in romantic love celebrating achievement. Well, what about things like "puppy love" among human beings? Love driven by infatuation? I can conceive of it as being an immense pleasure and source of mental energy. Certainly enough so, to be valuable. Something to want to keep living on for in order to enjoy. I find the idea of suppressing it repulsive, if not disgusting. Unless you can conceive of something more fulfilling. And assuming of course, the person in question is not harmful. I think I heard or red Ayn Rand say in some documentary that her sisters were into puppy love, while she was the only hero worshiper. And that she never really understood how that could be enough for them. Whether she outright condemned it, I don't know. But I'd rather doubt that she approved of it, given her demands for "appropriate sex". C ) The frequent emphasis that your enjoyment needs to be about your achievement. I find this mind boggling. There can be a million things I could value without having achieved them. Many of them come naturally (like beautiful landscapes I see in nature). Others were built by other people (like the sight of impressive Skylines). I certainly would like to keep them in reality, whether achieved by me or not. In some cases, I might even not want to know in detail how they came about (You certainly wanna eat the steak, but that doesn't mean you wanna meat the cow ). Identifying the fact that me or other people had to - or didn't have to - achieve those things to put them into this world is not what makes my enjoyment of them possible or impossible. My enjoyment stems from my need to survive, which requires having certain experiences that make it worthwhile. Knowing that "I build this" can be a pleasurable add-on, though. Achievement is also not the psychological root of the motivation. In order for me to say "oh, there's something I want to achieve", I must first say "oh, there's something I want to enjoy". All this tells me that values (realized or not) are considered values independent of their achievement, but rather due to the valuing, the prospect of their enjoyment. But achievement is very often necessary to realize them - whether on my own or on other people's part. Since other people cannot be my slaves and shouldn't, I recognize the need to engage in a certain amount of my own achievement. While recognizing also, that I benefit from the achievements of all the other people as well. Together, we're all better off, plus the free riding. The rest is done by mother nature. And due to all those achievements, the amount of daily achievement necessary to maintain a desired degree of enjoyment becomes less and less. Nevertheless, you must always maintain some level of achievement, to keep your brain active so you can figure out how to best enjoy. Or to prepare yourself in case some new idea happens to come about some time on what next to realize. Psychologically, this means that achievement is a means to the end of enjoyment. But it needn't be focused on explicitly. It's simply an implicit part whenever it is required. I would rather separate the means from the end this way, while still recognizing they're both necessary.
  13. Okay, fair enough, I wasn't using the term "proof" in that strict of a sense, but merely indicating that something is somehow "demonstrated" or "made to surface" by my argument.
  14. Here's another one: It is said that any society is guided by and needs philosophers. How is this possible, if on the other hand a people is said to be "at fault" when a Dictator gets into power?
  15. I see. Fits to what I discovered in my reply to softwareNerd.
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