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Everything posted by andre_sanchez

  1. Is a one month old baby a human being, or can it can killed at will? Is a 2 year old child a human being, or can it be killed at will? What, specificaly, do you believe separates the fetus from an actual human being, and at what point does a homo sapiens become a "human being", specificaly?
  2. The only difference is that, with current technology, only one person can take care of the fetus, the mother, which happens to be responsible for his situation. A baby on the other hand can be adopted, so if the parents don't want to take care of him, other people can. I think the best step forward would be advancing technology to the point where it is possible to remove a fetus from the mother's womb and put him in a different womb (natural or artificial) without killing it.
  3. Okay. The proper penalty for murder is death. However, since killing someone in their sleep, or in a coma, doesn't count as murder, instead of putting abortionists to death when they are awake we'll wait until they fall asleep. Fair? We'll make sure it's painless. Your reply is simply absurd. What counts is not the state of mind at the particular point in time, but the fundamental nature of the being in question. The fundamental nature of a fetus is that it is human and it will "wake up". It will wake up earlier than many people who go into a coma, and it will wake up later than when people go to sleep, but it -will- wake up. A cow will not wake up. A tumor will not wake up. Now, the fact that it is human does not mean, necesarrily, that it is wrong to kill it. I don't think all abortions qualify as murder. However, given the responsibility of the woman for the situation in which the fetus is in, for it's dependency, you cannot just brush the killing aside by saying "the woman isn't a slave to provide him with food and shelter for nine months". She put him in that grave (even if she didn't mean to), she has a responsibility to dig him out.
  4. So if you don't wake up, it's ok?
  5. Are you alive? Threats to your life do not come only from random serial-killers. Security is not a "yes/no" term, like life. You have a certain level of security as a canadian citizen, a level that is higher than most people in the world. Living in Brazil, I remember not long ago when the PCC started a terror campaign. The PCC is basicaly a syndicate of criminal organizations and it basicaly started burning schools and buses, attacking police stations and all sorts of stuff like that. Most prisons revolted and the prisoners took innocent people hostage. Roads that would usualy be full of cars were empty, shops closed early, people left work early. It gave me a small level of understanding of the kind of terror the romans must have felt when they lost at Teutoburg and thought the germans would march over Rome. Their fears did not materialize for them on that occasion, but they were not unjustified. Bad people cooperate. And people who are even worse than those bad people also cooperate. And those who are even worse than THEM also cooperate. If your life depends on the protection granted by one group of these bad people against another, if you cannot protect yourself otherwise, how can you say it is wrong for them to tax you? The process of sustaining life does not involve only the acquisition of food and shelter. You don't have to eat the same thing, or farm the same way, but unless you have a better way, or at least one where you are not likely to starve, it's not virtuous to abandon the way you have. The burden of proof, the risks and the rewards, are on you to prove that another way is possible. If you can do it, you will likely be the richest man on earth for a long time. No. There is a difference between being taxed and being gassed, wouldn't you say?
  6. There are tax-collecting corporations (States) who protect rights fairly well, and life on earth is almost entirely under the domain of one or another of these corporations. There are no "fee-based" corporations who do the same. There have never been "fee-based" corporations who do the same. I'm not sure why, though I have some theories.
  7. I don't. Depending on how you understand that, it is anarchism. I'll try and explain that bellow. Sure. I've read it. As I recall, Rand gives the idea of a stamp tax used to certify mortgage contracts. Let's imagine you implement that. Unless you completely ignore the validity of contracts (voluntary agreements) that have no such stamp, and decide to violate them (commit an act of aggression), you will end up having to enforce them. To make it more concrete, let's use an example. There is a house I want to buy and I need a mortgage. I go to your bank, but you tell me you do not work with the "government" stamp, and instead use a private company. I say, "Ok, I agree.". We sign the papers, you loan me the money, and I default. According to our contract, you have the right to evict me and confiscate the house. However, the contract is not stamped! So you call your private company who comes in and throws me out by force. I call the cops. Unless they recognize the legitimacy of the contract, they have to treat the private company as a criminal organization, and the bank as a co-conspirator. That means, in reality, it is not a "voluntary tax", it is a monopoly fee (a tax) on the mortgage industry. If the cops do recognize the legitimacy of the contract, then the "government" is just a private agency competing in the mortgage contract enforcement market, and it would be suicide (financialy) for it to spend resources in areas that fall out of that narrow field.
  8. It makes it necessary to sustain one's life, which as I recall, is the standard of objectivist ethics. If no form of security can be had without taxation, then taxation is good. The good can never be impossible, or require abandoning one's life.
  9. I believe sometimes the term "tax" is overly broad. I take it to mean an essentially permanent fee (the legitimacy of charging this fee aside) that cannot be cancelled. Rent is an example, as you can only stop paying if you actually move out. Is rent charged by a feudal lord a "tax", in the rights violating sense of the word? I think it depends on how the man came to be a feudal lord. If a man beats his wife and rapes his daughter, is it wrong to kill him and take his farm from him? Since you are the one who did the work of riding the world of him, how much of the booty should you share with the wife and daughter, if any? After all, he does not have to commit a crime against -you- for you to determine that he does not deserve the right to property (or life). Is being a victim enough to entitle you to property? These are all important questions that are usually ignored by the simplistic "taxes are evil, I hate government" mentality.
  10. I don't know. I mean, crime in general is pretty horrible, but I couldn't tell you if there are specific areas that are that bad.
  11. Can you show me an example of a "fee-colecting" agency defending it's territory or it's members against a tax-collecting agency, without the support of other tax-collection agencies? I cannot. They have certainly sprung up, but they have never triumphed. If you can make one triumph, go ahead. Once you do, I might hire you. Except you can't. Sometimes people say stupid things like "But the state has a monopoly on violence!". There is no such thing as a monopoly on violence, there is only success and failure. If an entity is crushed by another in this field, through violence, it is demonstrating it's lack of capacity to compete in the field. If a security company has it's headquarters occupied by the criminals they are supposed to guard against, they are clearly not a very good security company.
  12. A pregnancy lasts for nine months, at which point the baby can be given up for adoption. It is not a contract in perpetuity. It's also not something the fetus chose, he has no control over being in the woman's body. The woman on the other hand, has full control over it (and I don't mean after the fact). Even in cases of rape, the woman could have controlled the pregnancy. If you woke up in a coffin one day, with other people being able to hear you scream, I think you would be really pissed off if they just said "I'm not his fucking slave, I'm not digging him out". I think you would regard it as murder if the person saying this is responsible (unintentionally as it may have been) for you being into the coffin. Please explain how a baby fits that definition better than a fetus. A baby is a fetus that just happens to be located elsewhere and get his food from a different tube. Until it grows into at least early childhood, it is not more "self-generated" than an ant, and in fact, it is less so.
  13. A tumor will never become an adult human being. It will never think. It is merely a disease. A fetus is like a human being in a comma, incapable of the total range of human experience, but deserving of rights because it can, or at least will wake up. The question of "is a fetus a human being?" is separate from "is this act of abortion, or all acts of abortion acceptable?". You can make the case that abortion is self-defense. To compare a fetus to a tumor however, is absurd and irrational.
  14. The word God denotes an aspect of reality which can be misunderstood. It does not cease to be a valid aspect of reality. So what does the word "God" denote? It denotes existance, as existance. The potential for an entity to exist, so to speak. Look, a human being is a huge collection of cells, which are a huge collection of atoms, which are a huge collection of subatomic particules, which we at some point just call "energy". This "energy", is "God". The "Universe" is "God's" "body", in a sense, when someone says "God" what they really mean is "The Universe" as "The Universe". Which does not mean they understand it. False beliefs regarding "The Universe" are not indicative of "The Universe" not existing. The word "God" can also denote another aspect of reality, namely, beings with great power. Now, that doesn't mean a particular being exists, in fact. You can dream up a person, yet people exist.
  15. Bullshit. Brazilians -love- imperialism. Seriously, if the USA were more imperialist, brazilians would like it much better. Our president is a fucking puppet of Fidel for crying out loud... Look, most people are not against imperialism. They are against the imperial power, that is, they are against what is being "imperialized" (if the word didn't exist before, it does now). With America, what is being imperialized is freedom, in the individualist, capitalist sense of the word, at least that is how people see it. People do not like freedom here, so they oppose attempts to impose it by force (that is, to defend it against those trying to impose something else). They think americans will prevent the natural evolution of society towards the perfect socialist democracy and impose "fascist" capitalism. Bullshit. Brazilians don't hate Cuba, which cries against imperialism, despite it having invaded Angola with half a million troops. Brazilians have never, as far as I can tell, hated the Soviet Union, which also had a rethoric of defending freedom and liberty and all that, and which, UNLIKE THE USA(!), actively interfered in brazilian domestic policy through ARMED INSURGENT GROUPS. The cry of hypocrisy is an excuse, and usualy uses sloppy arguments with doubtfull or misunderstood facts.
  16. There are two things that exist. One is the actual hatred (not necessarily intense enough to warrant the word, but the same idea). The other, which is far more prevalent, is the idea that America is somehow "uncivilized", that it is "stupid", "wrong", that "we" are "better" even though, by any and all objectivists standards, "we" are not. Living in Brazil I see this all the time, the idea that, while many americans are good people (democrats and people with liberal ideas, like religious environmentalism and the "let's invite terrorists for a cup of tea!" crap), a fringe group is wrecking the country (republicans and people with conservative ideas, specificaly freedom oriented ideas, not religious ideas). Of course, once democrats get into office, this continues just like before, except the "sane" people move further down the left. It's arrogance, not envy.
  17. Battlestar Galactica House M.D. Jericho
  18. ...? Rand was not anti-war, and objectivism definitely is not anti-war. Both are anti-altruism, be it while engaging in warfare, or in one's own personal life in a completely non-coercive way.
  19. I'm from Brazil, though I haven't "declared it" in my profile. This country is an intelectual hellhole, though it is not entirely bad in terms of material comfort. It is getting worse.
  20. Do you know the history of the islamic conquest of India? Look, muslims are great at finding an angle in which to depict themselves as the victims, but 9 times out of 10, they really aren't. Islamic terrorist attacks against africans and europeans that had never heard of Islam were frequent all through the "golden age" of Islam, and since then, attacks only stop because of tactical disadvantages... as Mohammad taught them.
  21. Yes, that is right. Think of America. Indians that did not assimilate, were wiped out, period, often carelessly. That is why America is as great as it is. Look, when you have an enemy, your only choices are to kill him, or turn him into a friend. If you don't, he will forever be a threat to you, always looking for that opportunity to hit you in the back, to kick you when you are down. You can stop almost anyone by pointing a gun to their heads, but not forever. You cannot stop those who think they will be in paradise once you shoot them by pointing a gun to their head. Islam is not simply "a system of faith", it is a system of faith only in the same way that nazism is a system of faith. It started as a political doctrine and all purely "spiritual" (so to speak) manifestations of Islam are -corruptions- of it, pure and simple, without backing in either scripture or history. A lot of muslims who try and not be political are either deceiving people (which is something they are told to do in Islam, in fact), or plain ignorant. It is a system centered on warfare and government, on law and war. Mohammad was a despot who waged war on his enemies, he enslaved the women he conquered into his harem, or the harem of his followers. Children were sold into slavery and whole villages wiped out on his command. His successors built a gigantic empire in less than a century after he died, practicing the same kinds of crimes. I think neutron bombs are fallout-free. They were designed to stop a soviet advance, without destroying germany in the process.
  22. If you "take justice in your own hands" you are commiting an act of violence (justified or not). Now, imagine you are walking down the street and an old lady grabs your wallet. You then try to take it back by force. A bystander that did not witness her crime would be justified in assuming that -you- are the aggressor, and thus act accordingly. However, if he breaks up the fight and tries to punish you for your "crime", and then you tell him "look at the documents in the wallet, it's mine!", and he confirms this, then it is clear that you were not commiting a crime, she was, the one to be punished is her and not you. The bystander can be, at times, the government. To back up my claim that she understood government in this way, I think The Fountainhead is a clear example. Howard retaliated against fraud on the part of the builders with a particularly violent act, he did not "sue" them. However, when it came down to it, the government (as in, the jury) freed him because it determined that his use of -retaliatory- force was justified.
  23. I know she used that definition, but it's improper, both in objective standards and in how I believe she understood the matter. The proper role of government is as the supreme authority on the legitimacy of the use of force. It is the ultimate judge, with the force necessary to back up its judgements. No government on earth holds (or should hold) a monopoly on the retaliation against force. Government is a means to protect individuals, by applying the due process of law to the use of force, against retaliation. That's something people have trouble understanding, the reason for the due process of law is NOT to protect the person being accused, it is to protect the accusers against retaliation for enforcing the law, by making clear that they were in the right.
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