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Everything posted by stephenmallory

  1. Paying extortion money may seem to be cheaper than letting the "culture war" turn into the civil war it will have to turn into, but the fact that it's reached the point where (ostensibly) serious people are talking about something as absurd as reparations should suggest to you that even if you pay off, they won't give up. They'll just come up with an even more bizarre reason why stealing from you needs to happen. “You who’re depraved enough to believe that you could adjust yourself to a mystic’s dictatorship and could please him by obeying his orders-there is no way to please him; when yo
  2. I have original, well-worn but still perfectly readable, hard copies of the first 6 issues of TOS for sale if anyone is interested. I also have a whole bunch of articles from issues 2.3 through 5.2 printed out. Not every article from those issues, but many of them. Payment through Paypal and mailed via USPS. Make me an offer. Thanks
  3. Your statement was not clouded by your emotions. If anything, it was reinforced by them. Craig24 was just seizing upon an opportunity to demonstrate his rationality - or more precisely, his understanding of a particular concept (freedom of speech) - and in the process mixed apples (what you were talking about) with oranges (what he wanted to believe you were talking about). It was clear, to any intellectually secure person, that you were not using the word "deserve" in a political context, but in a moral one. The precondition in your original post, "I oppose censorship, but..." is more th
  4. I only wish to analyze the artist, not a particular painting: I think that it's clear, if you click through his galleries, that Kush does not possess a consistent philosophy. I am certain that his sense of life contains the Benevolent Universe Premise, but it is obvious that he has not ever translated those emotions into thoughts. Clearly, he does not see a need to emphasize the distinction between human actions and natural phenomenon; why would he see a need to distinguish between good human action and bad human action? The question for Objectivists then becomes: what makes you capa
  5. First, I'd like to suggest to the mods that this be split into another thread. Certainly, this land you describe belongs to it's owners. It serves a rational puropse: Their enjoyment of it's aesthetic beauty. The only reason why they are able to own it is because they own some other type of property (not necesarily land) which generates profit which they then use to pay the taxes to continue to own the land. The legitimacy of property taxes aside, in order for this land to be protected by the government (from foreign and/or neighborly encroachment) they government needs that many more re
  6. A fair question. My use of the word "sufficiently" was unnecessary and only confused the issue. When I said "... they failed to use their property in a sufficiently rational manner", I should have said "...they failed to use their property in a rational manner." As an aside, on the issue you allude to, I would like to make it clear that I do not advocate a government which directly assists in the "survival of the fittest or the survival of the rationalist." Pun intended. Certainly, towards the Native tribes who, to a limited extent, practiced a loose approximation of law which respected
  7. Why? If you think that I'm advocating violating rights in any other context besides the one described in the title of this thread, explain to me how I am. I'm not here to participate in surveys or to rehash basic Objectivist concepts. I'm here to discuss topics which I find interesting.
  8. DavidOdden, No one has a right to demand that someone else allow himself to be sacrificed for their sake - and certainly not for the sake of their property. This includes individuals who work for the government; they have every right to self-defense that anyone else does. If, in this hypothetical situation, all that the people in government are acting for is their own sake, it would still be proper to take the uranium. Certainly, no one can properly (read: rightfully) expect the potential payer of a ransom to cooperate with extortion simply because it means that the criminal will be ca
  9. No, the Europeans didn't need all of the land that they claimed from the natives, but neither did the natives. Religiously inspired reverence for the environment aside, the vast majority of the North American continent was, for all intents and purposes, wasteland until Europeans made it valuable. Essential to that was the maintenance of a government. The Native "American" example was used analogously in order to show that all values - including the value which is a government created to protect the value which is private property - require certain specific actions to bring them about. Th
  10. "Rightful", in this context, means "what is necessary in order to bring about the best possible outcome." Which means: to protect the lives of the rational (and, incidentally, the irrational) faced with the imminent threat of nuclear destruction. It is "right" to act to protect your life and "wrong" to not do so (or to refuse to assist someone else in doing so). It means that other individuals, some of them acting as law enforcement agents of a self-governing nation, are rightfully acting to protect themselves (and the uranium owner) from destruction. It does not mean that the taking of th
  11. Other individuals, not "the government", become the rightful owners of that property. It's just like the case of the Native "Americans". They lost their "right" to North America because they failed to use their property in a sufficiently rational manner. They refused to recognize the need for an objective system of law, complete with clearly defined property rights. The irrational, uranium-owning holding is guilty of a similar refusal: the need of a non-nuclear fallout saturated area of the world in which he, and his government, can operate. So yes, the irrational, uranium-owning holdo
  12. *SPOLIER ALERT* The cover of my copy of "We The Living" has the phrase "They (Kira, Leo, and Andrei) would die to live and love." I suspect that one of the themes, if not the central theme, of that novel is this distinction. The exposition of just how deeply a nation's political system affects the day-to-day, and internal lives, of it's citizens is perhaps merely a vechicle by which to express it. Each one of these characters loses something irreplacable - the early years of their adult lives - and suffers because of it. The freedom that they've been denied (or, in Andrei's case, deni
  13. It was equally absurd to consider the possibility that, in reality, a man would never come in contact with another human being, but this did not stop AR from using it to demonstrate the objective, personal need for language. As a philosophical exercise, the question had value precisely because it helped to strenghten, not weaken, core Objectivist principles . I agree with the sentiment expressed that principles should not be derived from exceptions and I sympathize with AR for dismissing Wallace's question as, hyperbolically "absurd", but I do not think think it valueless. Yes, within the
  14. I hate to break it to you, but you could be painting yourself into a corner. Or, more accurately, your professor is painting you into a corner. What is unacademic about the ARI? Because it's not run by the government? The ARI runs The Objectivist Academic Center for crying out loud! It seems like your professor, given his liberal basis you mentioned, is trying to make it impossible for you to present the any views on science from an Objectivist perspective.
  15. Yes, use that same spirit in business and you'll cease to be an Objectivist very quickly. Sooner or later, you'll cease to be a business man aswell. Ever heard of Gail Wynand?
  16. Yes, there's definitely something fishy about it, but that wasn't the officer's chief reason for suspicion. He was more suspicious of the kid's alleged swervy driving and turn signal failure. And of course his "lip" and "attitude". Also, if you look around that website some more, you'll find at least one other video from within this kid's car documenting encounters with the police. He has a history of using video camers inside his car. It also discusses the kid's dropped assault charge when he was attacked by a drunken off-duty cop. Of course, the officer in the commuter parking lot cou
  17. Well, aside from the fact that any force used against someone for a curfew violation goes beyond the proper continuum of force from no force to any force whatsoever, when he used the pepper spray there was an obvious change in her arm strength - whatever the reason. So, within the scope of what the officer is responsible for - enforcing the law - I think he acted legitimately. It's a tough one to sell because, aside from maybe one fleeting instance, it's obvious that this girl was not conciously resisting but was just in a state of emotional hysteria. If he had let her go - which he shoul
  18. The answer to your question lies in a quick glance at what it takes to amass vast personal wealth in today's economy. While the vast majority of exceptionally wealthy people implicitly accept many Objectivists principles and ideas, it is only to a point. Usually, this point is somewhere within the field of ethics. There are a few broad practices that every successful company, and the individuals who own and operate them, must engage in to experience success in today's global marketplace. Firstly, in every country, even the in most free, being the object of political favoritism is essenti
  19. Could it be that foreign drugs are kept out of the US because those drugs are produced by government-owned or government-subsidized pharmaceutical companies? Why should an independent US company have to compete with socialism or quasi-socialism? I don't know much about this industry.
  20. It's probably true that had the driver run the guy over, he/she would have been treated like a criminal, but it's far better to risk your future in a court of law than on the street against a maniac smashing your windows with an iron bar.
  21. Taco Bell. Did you know that they sell burritos and quesadillas also? I didn't until I went there for tacos. KFC. Did you know that they sell deserts and salads too? I didn't until I went there for fried chicken.
  22. The initially plagarized and later heavily edited six year old cover letter of my resume follows: I have elected to precede me resume with a brief explanation of the factors that have heavily influenced, and continue to refine, the nature of my life. I believe that providing a potential employer with a deeper explanation of who I am and what I believe is necessary to hightlight the illumination of my skilly set, work experience, and education on the pages that follow. I have organized every aspect of my life around certain principles because I hold my life, and the happiness that ma
  23. fletch, I didn't intend to suggest that you thought there was no virtue in minding one's own business. I realize that you aren't convinced either way. What I meant to suggest was that there is no either way - no categorically right or categorically wrong policy that one must always follow in every situation where the opportunity to pronounce moral judgement exists. My point in even addressing your hypothetical about spousal abuse was to demonstrate that implicitly. Especially when it comes to other people's marriages, more often than not, it is best to mind one's own business and, a
  24. The issue at stake in experiencing your boss abuse his wife is not that he is doing so, but that he is exposing you to it. It is beyond the bounds of a professional relationship and negatively impacts that relationship. It would be appropriate to confront your boss and express your desire for him to keep his personal life personal. If he reacts negatively to that, which is far less understandable than reacting negatively to the idea that one shouldn't abuse his spouse, then you have an adequate basis for determining how your working environment will be affected by this individual. However,
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