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Everything posted by andre_sanchez

  1. No, abortion is (under certain conditions) murder. If you want to make such an argument I don't even need to reply with an argument, I can just link you here to show you that you are, on your own terms, factualy incorrect to claim that abortion is not murder: http://www.pregnantpause.org/lex/world02map.htm Further, the killing of a fetus is, even in places where abortion by the mother's choice is legal, generaly regarded as murder.
  2. Thank you for ignoring the part of my post where I deal with the point you are trying to make.
  3. I think you are mistaken. Neither of those is true. People have freedom of opinion, they do not have freedom of thought. An opinion is a value judgement, divorced from action. Crimes are crimes not because of the physical actions per se, but because of the choices made. Choices are thoughts, which include action, succesful or not. A person is convicted of murder because he chose to commit murder, not because he sliced someone's throat. That is a principle of law that, while not always well formulated, is widely understood and accepted and which forms the basis of the laws of the United States and all other somewhat civilized nations. Perhaps I expressed myself incorrectly? It is not "ideas" per se that matter, but it is thought that matters in all criminal cases. I have read Ayn Rand and Peikoff. I have not read everything they ever wrote, but I have read quite a bit.
  4. How exactly is the embryo different than the newborn infant? A person who has just been in a car accident, depending on his injuries, is no more "flourishing, human qua human" than a fetus. Is defending that person's rights anti-life? Driving cars really fast, or jumping out of airplanes, or doing a huge number of other things is dangerous. That is an objective fact of life, what you would preffer is irrelevant. The fact you feel pleasure from it, or that it is a celebration of life, does not give you extra rights. You don't get to say "Driving really fast is how I celebrate life, so I can't really pay attention to people walking by". Hysterectomies do. And no, they don't prevent women from feeling sexual pleasure. Carrying embryos to birth is a fundamental requirement of life. Your mother had to do it. Sex is a secondary value, it cannot be given precedence over the fundamental requirements of life. Eating comes before sex. Security comes before sex. And not aggressing against others (such as by killing them out of convenience) comes before sex. If you are getting a blowjob while driving and you hit someone, helping that person takes precedence over getting an orgasm. I don't know exactly how they work, but my understanding is that they merely prevent the pregnancy, as the pregnancy does not actually take hold immediately, they do not end it. As such, I am against outlawing them.
  5. The word murder denotes a killing which one should not be allowed to engage in (that is, which is unlawfull). Specificaly, it denotes that the killing itself was the crime, as opposed to say, not paying proper attention when driving or operating on a patient. Yes, I am aware of that. Malice aforethought is one among several qualifiers used to determine what kind of killing is, or is not, lawful. Aborting a fetus is killing it. It may, or may not be, murder. You cannot determine that something is murder simply because a killing took place, I am fully aware of that. And it is illegal in other places. Whatever law applies in a given location, it is arbitrary if divorced from the moral reasoning for its existance. An arbitrary law is invalid, and it is in fact the threat of the initiation of force, aggression. When we discuss legal matters, outside of the context of the courtroom (and in a sense even in that context), we are actually discussing a particular field of ethics. We are not discussing what laws are on the books, the books are themselves irrelevant. They are the map to law, not law itself.
  6. Why? People who are accused of things have the same right as all other human beings, namely, the right not to be aggressed against. It is not the accusation that removes rights, it is the guilt. Vigilantes that act irrationaly can be punished, or sent to a medical facility for treatment. The fact that some will act irrationaly doesn't mean society would devolve into chaos any more than the fact there are other types of criminals and otherwise irrational people around. Are you under the impression that formal court proceedings are infalible? No.
  7. Okay. You have somewhat successfuly made the distinction between a republic and a democracy. However, this statement is incorrect: Voting is an exercise of political power. It involves exactly the same kind of force as a dictatorship. If this force is used as an "initiation of force", or not, is a separate matter. When people "vote against laissez-faire", as you said they would do even if you managed to take control of the state, they are commiting an act of aggression. It is moral to institute a dictatorship to force them to stop. Life is the value to pursue. Why? Animals are eaten for no crime at all. They are killed for no crime. Lashing people is not treating them worse than animals. Further, animals -are- lashed and they -are- subject to more brutal treatment than lashings. If you think they shouldn't, please explain why. Prison is an ineffective punishment in most cases, except it's much more expensive (for YOU!) than lashings. Lashings are not meant to be the only form of punishment. Public humiliation (the making of the criminal's offense public), as well as debt (fines and restitution) are meant to be tied to them. A person commits a crime that does not warrant the death penalty, there is no reason to lock them up, NO REASON AT ALL(!), as they can "pay for their crime" in freedom. One of the reasons people don't realize this is because they are willing to let rapists and armed robbers, along with all sorts of other criminals, live. So they have to lock them up in order to not live in a permanent state of fear. You simply punch someone in the face, you are lashed, your behaviour is made public so other people can adjust their behaviour towards you as they see fit, you make restitution to your victim, there is no need to take your freedom away. You take money that was lying around? Same thing. IT IS CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT TO LOCK PEOPLE UP FOR SUCH MINOR OFFENSES.
  8. What do you think a sovereign entity is? I was going to reply point by point, but I think it's better if I simply make one thing clear. I am not saying all corporations are states. I am saying states are corporations. A dog is an animal, but not all animals are dogs.
  9. No, it is precisely ideas that the court system should, and almost always does, judge. You admit this right there. Premeditation is an idea. Even murder is primarily an idea, as you can kill people without intention or choice. If you are holding a gun, and someone shocks you so your finger involuntarily pulls the trigger, you having killed the person does not make you a criminal. How is the person obstructing justice by implementing it? He isn't. The due process of law is a means to protect the administrator of justice, it is not a sacred, intrinsic right.
  10. If you purposefuly create a victim, you are a criminal. If you accidentaly create a victim, you are responsible. The two are completely different things. You don't have to mean to run over someone in order to be responsible for getting the person proper medical care. Only if the pregnancy presents a clear danger to her life. ALL abortions made simpy to avoid the responsibility of taking care of a baby are an act of murder no different than shooting someone you just ran over in the head. Aiding people who engage in murder makes you an accomplice, criminaly responsible for that person's crime. She does not a right to choose not to. Yes, if it is necessary to protect the woman's life, she can kill the fetus. She can also kill a full grown adult. She can bomb a whole nation. To save one's life, there is NOTHING one is forbidden to do. It's not slavery to live up to one's responsibilities. However, here is a possibility you might not have thought of. The mother is merely forced to provide a loan to the child, to be repaid once he is grown. That would be ideal, yes.
  11. If you are hit by a truck, which injures you in a certain manner, it is physically impossible for you to wake up without medical aid, possibly very intensive medical aid, which might not work. That is, you are biologicaly unable to wake up. However, a "hit and run" is a crime. The crime is "not digging the person out of the hole you shoved them in". If you put someone in a coma, by accident, you are moraly responsible for keeping that person alive for as long as it takes for her to wake up. A brain-dead person will not wake up no matter what you do. In essense, you are incapable of saving a brain-dead person, it's outside the field of choice.
  12. There is never a point at which you have no reason to live, because life itself is the primary value. Why not lashings? Are you under the impression that taking years off of someone's life is less cruel than temporarily inflicting a certain amount of pain?
  13. Let's focus for now on a specific point, namely, the nature of "laissez-faire". You seem to think democracy is an integral part of the system, and that only democratic governments can be legitimate. Why?
  14. The question is not "Would you preffer a billion dollars, or what you have in your bank account?". I recall Ayn Rand having said something along the lines of "100% taxation if it's for defense". Without defense, you have no property. "A man needs ethics because he requires values to survive", he does not "need to survive because he requires life in order to have ethics". Life is the primary value, not "rights". Yea, but a person who is "legally" a criminal, but doesn't aggress against me, does not really bother me. OK. No. Underpunishment is a reward. No human being on earth that does not deserve death, deserves prison as a form of punishment. The widespread use of prisons is a mistake of our present age. Crimes such as violent rape, murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and such, are all death penalty cases. Cases of theft and fraud could be handled perfectly well without prison, with a combination of fines, public humiliation and physical punishment. Prisons are OK as a means to restrain people during trial.
  15. Exactly. That's the consequence you have to accept. I'll repeat the keyphrase I used, which is "by that standard". They can different employers, who don't do that. I'm not talking about courts competing for judgement. That's the point! I'm talking about contracts. If the state ignores contracts not certified by it, it is forbiding people to form voluntary agreements without its permission and the payment of a mandatory tax. If you don't pay a real estate tax, you have to bare the consequence of your decision. That consequence happens to be that you lose that property. How do you determine evil? Why is the initiation of force evil? Please trace back your steps for me. Oh gosh, you have convinced me! Please address the actual point I was making. Is it ever virtuous to lie? Not exactly, but OK. So what?
  16. Oh, you meant the other claim. It is true that their philosophy lead them to act the way they did, however, that only takes into account the actions of one side. Germany could have been stopped BEFORE it built up it's war machine. Instead, it was appeased. This appeasement emboldened Hitler and the german people to take bolder and bolder actions because they realized they could get away with it. It's like a guy who is climbing up the window to get in your house. If you deal with him before he gets in, his desire to rape your wife won't change the fact that he is outside, possibly dead already.
  17. A corporation... That is a government restriction, and more importantly, it is the one I was reffering to. You missed the point of what I said. Restrictions are -not- essential to the definition, which is why a state -is- a corporation. How is it beside the point? This alternative has to be able to compete. If it cannot defend against these rivals, then it is not -really- an alternative, it is suicide. $20 a week is a lot to pay for something which you don't actually have to pay for in order to get it. No one individual donation of that size will have an impact on the quality of defense the person gets. For largers donations, the person is pretty much buying himself an army. Why should he share it with others? I have already talked about the non-voluntary nature of a stamp tax. A proper government will not disregard contracts as illegitimate simply because they weren't registered with them. Unless the insurance company has a monopoly on a given area, paying for police would be financial suicide. Other companies could offer the same insurance, for the same lowered risk, without having to spend any money donating to police. Well of course, I'm talking about their capacity to wage war. While social spending has a certain influence, as it buys loyalty, if you could hire more soldiers, train them better, and buy more military equipment, you could conquer New Zealand and change the laws to pretty much whatever you want. Can you do it through voluntary donations? The people you want to donate to something like this clearly aren't interested. You have to remember that the state is in charge of warfare. That is what all its spending is about. I have no problem with that, though I think you might need to double or triple that number. That's my point! You enforce the law. You don't hold elections to see if people are interested in following the law. I'm not sure I understand what you mean. My preference for a land tax is not so much because I think it would get the most money (though I think it might), but because its structure is sound. People pay the tax so their land is defended. Everyone has to pay it, directly or indirectly, there is no possibility of evasion. It is the most just tax, as you are paying to defend your land. The value of land is directly related to freedom and economic productivity, giving the state an incentive to maximize those. I think structuring a republic on the land tax, giving the vote on a per dollar paid basis (as opposed to per head) would likely be the soundest form of government in the long run. The government CANNOT avoid resolving contract disputes. If the bank says "We own that house, fair and square" and the borrower says "I own the house, fair and square", the government HAS to make a decision regarding who is in the right. It has to either side with the borrower and treat any attempt by the bank to take the house as a crime, or side with the bank and treat any attempt to resist the bank's efforts to take the house as a crime.
  18. The treaty involved basicaly three things: - Surrender of sovereignty over certain territories to other states. - Compensation caused by the war damages which they caused without legitimate cause. - Disarmament to stop them from starting a new war to challenge the terms of the treaty or repeat the last. The most often stated problem is "reparations". Yet these reparation payments did not end with WW2, and in fact Germany still pays them (last I checked anyway), and was paying even when it was divided between east and west. Last I heard, that didn't trigger a third war. Neither did the fact that half of it's territory was under soviet occupation, or the fact that it's military defense was effectively transfered to the United States. Germany thrived in the 20s and by the time the war started, Germany was again a leading industrial power. They had the money to build a war machine capable of conquering most of Europe for god's sake! The use of war reparations is ancient, and the germans imposed them on France previously. The germans pillaged France, they pillaged Belgium. To say "alright, now we have driven you back to Germany, you can keep your plunder" is like saying "Fine, you have my TV, just get out of my house". You could claim the treaty was not particularly just, due to the collective guilt assigned to the germans, but that didn't lead to the war. The germans could have just said "We won't pay", which they did by the way.
  19. The Treaty of Versailles has a really bad reputation, which is completely unwarranted. If there is a fundamental historical cause to World War II, it is the failure to enforce the Treaty of Versailles.
  20. You have every right and ability to refuse to pay -every tax-, by that standard. If the state makes it illegal to enforce contracts that are not certified by it's stamp, regardless of any objective measure of the actual legitimacy of the contract, then it has created a monopoly. It is no better than a monopoly on electricity. Now sure, maybe monopolies, and not plain taxes, are the best way to fund states, but they are not "voluntary". They would be spending money on things that their competitors in the mortgage enforcement industry would not be. Therefore, they would need higher prices and/or less effective service in order to compete effectively (and permanently). Yes. What doesn't exist though, is a voluntary means of financing the state. When it does, you can make a principled opposition to taxes. Would you call candles "outdated" before inventing the lightbulb? We would also be better off in a system of farming where we didn't have to plant. An argument from fantasy is not valid. The most prosperous times still had some government initiation of force, and sometimes, prosperity is not a valid measurement of the government's efficacy and efficiency, it could have been operating under higher than usual levels of danger. It is better to be poor and alive than rich but dead. Say you are a jew in Switzerland and Hitler is threatening to invade. Would it be better to have a really nice dinner, or have all your property taken from you to support the war effort as a means to stop him? Superfluous rules cannot make criminals out of innocents. They can criminalize innocence, so to speak, but the innocent are still innocent. They do not become criminals because of the presence or absense of "superfluous rules". I don't remember who said it, but I recall a phrase that is applicable here... "Circumnstances do not make the man, they merely reveal him". No, it is restraint. It happens to not be particularly pleasant (though they make up for it in various ways), but it is not in itself punishment. A large number of those who are locked in prison should be buried. The rest shouldn't be in prison at all. People use prisons as a sort of "let's see if we can break this person's will to commit crimes" experiment.
  21. I know. Well some do actually, but that's not the point. Yes. The state is a corporation. You are confused about what the word actually means. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/corporation 1. "an association of individuals, created by law or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members. " 4. any group of persons united or regarded as united in one body. A corporation like Coca-Cola, is restricted by the state and by it's own purpose from engaging in certain things. It is not incapable of doing so. A small level of theft could fund an opposing "government". Donations themselves could fund a group whose purpose is to enforce a completely different system of law, say Sharia. What is the amount? Why would anyone pay it? Because they would benefit from a free society isn't really an answer, as the fact is, if you could outfund the NZ government with voluntary donations you could have deposed it by now and instituted a laissez-faire system. How so? Anarchism is the surrender of government to subjective forces. There is no such thing as the total absence of government, unless you consider tyrannies not to be governments. How is it "completely farsical"? I answer that question in that very post. They have to treat the bank and company as such because otherwise, there is no reason for people to choose the contract certification of the state as opposed to the cheapest and most effective company providing it, which the state might not be.
  22. For man, it is reason. A distinction is made between long term survival and short term gain (stealing a loaf of bread might give you something to eat, but it is not consistent with objectivist ethics unless the alternative really is death, as opposed to actually working for the bread). Objectivist ethics is based on the long term objective value, it is not based on instrinsic valuations OR short-sighted gains.
  23. The choice to survive is "subjective". The means by which one survives is objective. Ethics is therefore, objective. If you do not wish to survive, I don't have to condemn your judgement, I can just kill you. If I choose to condemn it, it is fully understood that it is a subjective condemnation. It is when a person seeks to survive while going against the means by which survival is possible that they are objectively unethical.
  24. "Superfluous rules" do not make criminals, criminals make "superfluous rules". Take some of the eastern european countries. They have/had a huge number of "superfluous rules", but apart from that, with unbelievable poverty, they were not particularly dangerous places. The problem in places like Brazil is that criminals are not actually punished, that is, they are only restrained, they are not eliminated. It is a tactic a lot of states use in warfare, and while it might not be the wisest, at least they do restrain them. Almost none of the murders commited are solved, and practicaly none of those commited by professional criminals. These criminals are in fact, warlords of sorts. The fact they cannot take over completely is a good thing. It's the difference between New York on 9/11, and New York under Islamic occupation, or completely wiped out.
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