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Posts posted by andre_sanchez

  1. The more land this entity owned, the more expensive every other piece of land would become. You can only buy land that someone is willing to sell. Even if this corporation had a trillion dollars, that doesn't mean it will be able to buy the land it wishes to. As such, those who did NOT want to live as "virtual slaves" would form their own corporations and set up colonies in the unbought pieces of land BEFORE this corporation is able to buy everything. Since these people would not be willing to sell the land for any amount of money (after all, if they did they would end up having to pay their earnings back in rent), the corporation would never be able to acquire their property. Until this corporation owns everything, it would be suicide for it to charge "slave" rents, since it would just make the unbought land that much more valuable and harder to get.

  2. Human beings have eyes,

    If I cut off your eyes, are you then not a human being? A bee has eyes, is it a human being? Please stick to essentials. Having an eye is irrelevant.


    A bee has a brain and eyes. Is it a human being? This element however is at least essential (so far as we understand the mind).


    If I cut off your legs, are you then not a human being? Bees have legs, brains and eyes, are they human beings? Please stick to essentials.

    they breath,

    While I think it would be incorrect to make "breathing" an essential component of being human, I suppose the claim is fair in the sense that humans need oxygen in order to power their bodies. Bees breathe, have legs, have brains and have eyes, are they human beings?

    they observe,

    In the sense that they perceive the world through their senses, yes, it's fair to say that is an essential requirement of being human. Bees observe, breathe, have legs, have brains and have eyes, are they human beings?

    they are born,

    You are defining a human being as a non-fetus. Birth is an event, not an attribute. Nonetheless, bees are born, observe, breathe, have legs, have brains and have eyes, are they human beings?

    they think,

    Can you please define "think" in a way that applies to babies, yet not to animals or a fetus. If you believe an 8 month old unborn fetus is still to be regarded as a fetus, please use him and if not, please use the highest level of development you believe a homo sapiens can reach while still being classified as a fetus.

    they have names,

    My dog has a name, and in fact, bees are born, observe, breathe, have legs, have brains and have eyes, and if someone names them (babies do not name themselves, do they?) they have a name, are they human beings?

    they make sounds,...

    Bees make sounds, are born, observe, breathe, have legs, have brains and have eyes, and if someone names them (babies do not name themselves, do they?) they have a name, are they human beings?

    The only attribute you have listed that bees are unable to meet, is think. In a certain sense, bees even meet that. You would have to define "think" so that it is above the capacity of bees, and once you manage to get over that, there is a large number of other non-human animals with greater capacities. In fact, a baby does not seem to be any more capable of "thought" than a grown monkey, dolphin, or any number of animals. If you have evidence to the contrary, please provide it.

    comatose ones once did most of those things, so they're comatose human beings.

    Is a comatose human being NOT a human being?

    A fetus something that is growing into a human being.

    So to be clear, babies, young children and comatose patients all meet the definition of a human being, correct?

    However, that's neither here nor there, because none of that proves or disproves that human beings ought to have a right to life.

    Indead, it does not. This is about separating at a fundamental level, a fetus from a baby. Otherwise, they need to be treated the same. What rights a baby has is not relevant to the question of a fetus being, or not being, fundamentaly the same as a baby.

  3. One is a human being and the other will become one if allowed. On the other hand, they're both made up of atoms, so maybe there's no "fundamental" difference.

    You have to explain why a "baby/young child/comatose patient" is a human being, and why the term does not apply to a fetus. It's not enough to make a statement.

  4. DarkWaters,

    A couple of questions:

    1. Can you tell me what the fundamental difference between a fetus and a baby is?

    2. Can you tell me what the fundamental difference between a fetus and a young child is?

    3. Can you tell me what the fundamental difference between a fetus and a comatose (not braindead) person is?

    I have seen no answer to this. The morality of abortion aside, I believe your argument in favour of it is contradictory, and therefore incorrect. Do you support the right to commit infanticide? If you do, then we can discuss the matter with that in mind. If not, you have to explain the difference. Specificaly, you have to explain what grants babies and young children rights and why that does not apply to a fetus.

  5. Returning to the subject of vigilante justice itself, if the moderator will be so kind as to allow my thoughts to be seen by you, how do those of you who claim it is illegitimate reconcile the fact that it is an integral part of Rand's work? It's almost as if you people haven't read "The Fountainhead". It is a perfect example of the vigilante process at work. Howard Roark took the law into his own hands, was subject to judicial review, and then was released. Not to mention Ragnar Danneskjold, the philosopher-pirate. By your standards, he has no right to "use force", yet he was one of the book's heroes.

  6. Responding to strawmen gets old you know?

    A proper moral code does not lead man to pursue survival at all costs either.

    What do you mean by "at all costs"? Man should not pursue survival at "any" costs, he should pursue survival at the cost that he actually has to pay for it. Most of the time, the cost is what Rand calls "reason". Sometimes, it is not. Reason is not a primary. Reason is justified by survival, not the other way around.

    You do not live so you can practice ethics, you practice ethics so that you can live.

    In a free society, a truly rational man would have any number of alternatives to robbing and killing a grocer to get his next meal.

    Indeed. That was not my example. I was very clear on my example.

    Using force as in your example, would really solve nothing.

    In fact, it would. Not using force on the other hand, would not.

    Having robbed and killed the grocer for your lunch, what would be your plans for dinner?

    If he is dead already, which is what the example is based on, he would have no plans for dinner. Only the living can plan. If however he lives, he can have a wide variety of plans for dinner.

    Force can only be morally justified as a response to the initiation of force.

    You need to remember why force is justified under those conditions. It is the same reason force is justified in the conditions I have set up.

    The grocer in your example has not initiated force upon you by the mere fact that he is in posession of something you need.

    Indeed, he has not.

    Rights are not determined by need, neither is morality.

    I'll bite. Please explain exactly what they are determined by, either in your own words, or through a link or quote. I realize Ayn Rand made such a statement, but her statement had a context which yours lack.

    You would be the initiator of violence and would rightly be removed from society and put behind bars--but at least, in a round about way, you would have solved your hunger problem. You get three meals a day in prison.

    It is injustice to remove a man's freedom for him having done what was required for his survival. If you do so, you are a threat to me, and to society in general. As such, you must be removed from it. As I am not your slave to provide you with care, this removal does not involve prisons, it involves graveyards. It is my sincere hope that you do not make such a choice at any time in your life.

  7. So what you are saying here is that man is not a sacrificial animal UNLESS your life is on the line in which case you can sacrifice the grocer's life.

    What you are saying is that man is not a sacrificial animal, unless RIGHTS, as floating abstractions, is the altar on which he is to be sacrificed. Rights have a source. What is it?

    Is this grocer not a man? I would hope that you do see this blatantly obvious contradiction.

    He in fact is. I do not see this contradiction. Ethics is not based on collective identity.

    The grocer does in fact have a right to his property because the ownership and right to dispose of that property is by extension a right to his life and that which is necessary to support it by use of reason, not force.

    The means you use to support life are secondary. They are not unimportant, but they are not the primary from which they are derived. When the primary conflicts with the secondary, it has primacy over it. Rand herself realized that lifeboat situations required a different standard. She realized that, if you put a gun to a person's head (and that gun does not need to have a human agent behind it), his actions are not in concert with reason, as the term is used by her. If a man with a gun to his head shoots another, she did not believe that he had acted in contradiction to ethics.

  8. Do you think that courts or incarcerated psychopathic criminals are best qualified to decide which criminals should be punished and in what way?


    Why do you think that those are mutually exclusive?

    Well they aren't, but within the context of the rape itself, they are. An action due to sickness is not liable to punishment any more than an involuntary nervous response of your muscles. If you are tased by a police officer and that triggers your leg to kick him, you are not commiting assault. Ethics requires choice. A sick person may have its range of choices limited, but he is still responsible for the choices he makes.

  9. Isn't that true of all criminals? What if you are driving too fast and accidentally run over someone?

    What if? How is that using another person's life as a bargaining chip? Accidents are not subject to ethics (and therefore law), choices are subject to ethics (and therefore law). You may incur a debt towards a person by accident, but a debt is not a crime, and a crime is not a debt. Even the non-payment of a debt, in itself, is not a crime. Only if you choose not to pay the debt, are you commiting a crime.

  10. Physical injury aside, I think an older child or an adult would be far more severely impacted by rape.

    I'm not sure about that, nor do I think it is relevant. I would think a raped baby would be severely traumatized, but I do not have any evidence of it.

    Do you think someone should be put to death for raping an adult?

    As a matter of fact, yes.

    I don't - I think they should be made to work to pay off the damages.

    Damages are irrelevant. You cannot calculate the damages caused by rape or any other crime and any attempt to do so is entirely arbitrary and subjective. You can calculate part of the damages objectively, in financial terms, but there are always intangibles involved as well. The reason rapists should be put to death is because they have violated the fundamental law of human society, that of not using another person's life as a bargaining chip to get what they want out of them. It is not because their crime demands the "payment" of their lives, but because they have forfeited the right to them by the choices they have made.

    Have you ever wondered why there is such a strong link between murder and rape? It's not a coincidence.

    Some might argue that someone who rapes a younger child is more disturbed -

    I think it's fair to say.

    but one has to be disturbed to be a rapist in the first place.

    Rapists are not sick, they are evil.

    I think the attitude that raping adults is "more" acceptable comes from the Christian premise that man's bodies are ruled by animal passions, barely restrained.

    I don't think raping adults is more acceptable. It isn't.

    I don't really understand why most people think that a person's life becomes less valuable as they grow older. I would think it would be the opposite, as they have more to lose.

    I agree with you, the idea that a younger person is somehow more entitled to life is pretty absurd.

    Why are people so sure that people who commit especially heinous crimes get continually raped in prison? I would expect the psychopaths to be the ones doing the raping.

    Good point.

    Anyway, prisoners don't wear placards with their crimes on them, do they? Besides, it would be a travesty of justice if we let the criminals have free rein in deciding whom deserves "extra" punishment.

    The point is that it is not extra punishment.

  11. I'd rather he spend the rest of his days in prison being somebody's girlfriend. 60 years of beatings and forced sodomy would be exponentially more horrible than sitting in a cell for a few years until they put a needle in his arm.

    So you're a sadist? How much would you contribute towards this? I suppose we could work out some sort of "Pay Per View" scheme. A paid TV channel that finances the stay of such monsters in prison, by selling footage of them raping each other (Live!). That might work.

  12. Your proposal for a right to use force is the true obscenity.

    Are you against the use of force in self-defense? Are you against the use of force by the state? That does not seem to be the case. It's interesting that you ignored the only question in my post. You are purposefuly evading the fact that yousupport the right to use force in order to preserve one's life.

    You don't have an argument, you are just asserting arbitrarily that men have the right to take the law into their own hands.

    The right to use force is not the right to use force arbitrarily. You put up a strawman when you implied that this was my position.

    If you wish me to deal with your example, okay, let's do it. In fact, man does have a right to use force against the grocer IF the only alternative is death (as opposed to trade or production), because life is the standard of morality, not property rights or the respect for other men. Man is not a sacrificial animal, ethics does not tell him to die, ever. Ethics aids man's survival, and that is the source of its legitimacy.

  13. The important thing is that that individual should and will be removed from society for the entirety of his existence, so that he can never do that again. If that means life in prison, or execution is irrelevant to me. Execution does have the added bonus that you can't escape after death.

    Who is going to feed him while he is in prison?

  14. It's actually quite funny. I laughed out loud. Not exactly "OMG THIS IS HILARIOUS", but it's a decent cartoon.

    People don't get paid based on how smart they are, they get paid based on how productive they are. A "capitalist" (the term is incorrect, since he is actually describing a manager) that does not produce, that wrecks his company, may legitimately own the money he got paid, but he does so as a sort of second-hander. As such, it's not offensive.

  15. Your response is non-responsive. Reason and force are opposites and are contradictory, so invoking a "right to use force" that is based on reason makes no sense.

    That would imply that the state cannot use force. Is that the case?

    If men had the "right to use force" in order to survive, as you imply, then that would simplify contract negotiations. If those farmers are demanding too much money for their produce, just take it by force, because you need it to survive, and it's your right. You're going to have to do a lot better than that to defend this right to force.

    That's an obscene strawman.

  16. I already answered this but to reiterate, the newborn infant was kept by its mother for over nine months and is substantially more developed. The embryo has been in existence for less than three months.

    Why is that relevant? More important, why is that a determining factor?

    Defending an individual's rights is always pro-life. The issue in the event of an accident is if the individual can recover to the extent that he can still function as a human being, that is, still have a properly functioning brain, then he still has his rights, even if he is temporarily incapacitated.

    That is precisely the state of a fetus.

    However, if the individual suffers irreparable brain damage, such as what occurred in the unfortunate case of Terri Schiavo, then he is no longer a human being.

    That is precisely NOT the state of a fetus. Further, in the case of Terri Schiavo, it WAS murder, because while the husband has no responsibility to take care of her, he has no right to determine if others can or cannot do so. The reason brain dead people do not need to be helped is not because "they are already dead", but because there is nothing you can do to help. You do not have a right to actually inflict harm on them, merely to withdraw support.

    Moreover, rights are not gained or lossed depending on if an individual is currently flourishing. Even recreational drug addicts still have individual rights, despite being repulsive and self-destructive human beings. Instead, rights stem from what freedoms the typical individual should have in a social context to allow for the long-term (I forgot to mention this important adjective earlier) flourishing of individuals, as humans.


    We cannot base a discussion of rights on unfortunate aberrations such as those injured in automobile accidents. If the vast majority of individuals were victims, then there would be no long-term survival of human civilization.

    What?! That doesn't make any sense. We are not used aberrations to have a discussion about rights, we are using appropriately contextual examples to have a discussion about rights. Rights are not intrinsic. They are objective. They are based on concretes, not floating abstractions.

    You have attacked a strawman several times, one of which I have quoted, that incorrectly presupposes my argument stemmed from Hedonism. I need not respond further to any of these.

    If your argument is not based on hedonism, I have misunderstood it. Please restate it in a different manner.

    No, but they require the woman to permanently remove part of her uterus. It is a gross injustice to force a woman to choose between surgically transforming herself to prevent unwanted pregnancies and being forced to carry all pregnancies to birth. Especially when there is a safe procedures for terminating unwanted pregnancies that can be performed within the first few months of gestation.

    It's only safe for her, it is fatal to the fetus. There is a risk in driving that you might hit someone. You cannot avoid this risk unless you don't drive. It is not a gross injustice to make people choose between driving, and accepting the risks involved in driving. What -is- a gross injustice is to make the actual victim, the one being killed, into a sacrificial lamb.

    No, this is not a fundamental requirement of the impregnated woman's life.

    It is, in fact. She began her life as a fetus. If her mother had not helped her, she would be dead. You would be dead. I would be dead. All human beings require this. I repeat, ALL human beings, require this. It is not a freak occurence.

    Again, if you want to make serious progress on this issue, focus on arguing why a zygote/embryo/fetus has a right to life using higher principles. This is not self-evident.

    I have, actually. The fundamental nature of a fetus is the same as that of any other human. While the nature of an isolated egg or sperm is to die, just like skin cells, when they join they become something else. The nature of a that something else is to grow into a healthy human being, and this does not even require the active cooperation of the mother, she could be asleep the whole pregnancy. The fetus is merely using the only resources it has available. If after an earthquake you were stuck in someone else's apartment, unable to leave, with nothing but their food to eat, you are being neither a parasite nor a thief by eating it in order to stay alive.

  17. You disengenously mix different uses of the term 'wake up' if a man is hit by a truck and his neo-cortex is destroyed, there is no possible way in which he can wake up, regardless of medical technology. He is dead. This is clearly different from a man who is hit by a truck and has severe trauma to his torso and is unable to sustain conscioussness because of limited blood flow,

    Indeed, I agree with all that.

    his personality remains intact. Making a brain living person brain dead certainly is a crime, you are turning them from a person, into a non-person, you are killing them. Making a brean dead person into a merely dead person is not a crime.

    Exactly, that is what a fetus is. We do not charge doctors with murder when they euthenize brain dead patients because the patient is all ready dead, and was long ago. A fetus prior to developing the neo-cortex lacks the physiological mechanisms required for concioussness, it is in effect 'brain dead'

    A fetus is not a brain dead person. The fundamental requirement of being brain dead, as opposed to being comatose, is that it is irreversible. Being in the state of a fetus is NOT irreversible. That is precisely the point. The fetus will grow and develop into a full grown adult, the brain dead person will not. YOU used to be a fetus. It is only because you were one, that you are now what you are.

  18. You say they do, but you have given not one single argument that a man has the right to take the law into how own hands and use violence as he feels is necessary. Remember that Objectivism is not anarcho-capitalism, and "liberty" is not man's primary ethical axiom. Show us how an individual has this "right".

    The reason man has the right to take the law into his own hands is the same reason man has the right to farm with his own hands. Reason guides his actions so that he is able to survive. Man's survival require that he act, not only to produce food and shelter, but to secure his life and his liberty, to secure justice. The law is the particular field of ethics that deals with retaliatory force. Ethics is not collective. It does not require the approval of a "higher body", of a corporate board, in order to be objective. In fact, only individuals can enforce the law, because only individuals can practice ethics. That individuals practice ethics in the field of law collectively, using corporate structures (such as through the State), does not mean that only this practice is legitimate, just like the use of a corporate structure to manufacture cars does not mean that man needs to work in a corporation in order to be a productive human being. There are sometimes gains to doing so, but it is not an ethical imperative.

  19. Wow. I can't believe you said this with a straight face in the anarchy thread while continuing to argue over the definition of murder as you have in this thread. Amazing.

    A legal judgement is something that can be made by individuals. States are not magic entities with the power to make laws. They are merely the most able to enforce them. That was the point I was attempting to make with the questions you marked as "non-sequitur".

  20. Past that, if you have no desire to recognize how you can make your own argument clearer, I see no reason to aid you further. My argument never was about whether it should or should not be, it was about whether it is or isn't and how you used the term inaccurately.

    Ok. Couple of questions:

    - How would you characterize the hanging of a man for homosexuality?

    - Does it matter if it is performed by the government of Iran, or the guy down the street? What, precisely, is the difference?

    - If two states compete for sovereignty in an area, which legal system is the one that decides if something is or is not a crime?

    - Do you realize that it is illegal for you to critize the "Prophet" Mohammad, no matter where you live, as per the legal judgement (fatwa) of certain clerics?

    - Does a group need to be able to enforce its legal judgements in order for them to be considered trully "legal", and if they do, does bombing an abortion clinic make abortion illegal?

    - "I am the state." That is a famous quote, though nobody is quite sure who was the first person to say it. Most say Napoleon. Do you understand what it means, in fact?

  21. Premeditation is the idea we ascribe to people who consciously intend to murder or otherwise seriously harm someone in a certain amount of time before doing so.


    What I'm saying is that the court system should not lighten or over-extend the sentence of a person based on his ideas of why he thinks he should kill a person.

    You are right, strictly speaking. It should either release the person or execute it, based on his ideas of why he thinks he should kill a person. It should not toy around with the terms of the sentence.

    Saying that his murder of the killer was premeditated says nothing about why he killed the man, and while I think it is important to know why the man was killed, such knowledge of the justification should hold no sway in deciding the punishment of the crime.

    Yes, it should.

    I mean, this is the central issue that mrocktor is discussing with us--whether it is permissible to punish a man for doing what is right: which in this issue translates to justifying his murder of another person.

    His killing. Murder implies that you have already made a moral, that is a legal, judgement on the matter. It is always permissible to punish a man for murder. It is not always permissible to punish a man for killing.

    And I say that it is, because the right to self-defense (and fundamentally individual rights) does not entail the right to in principle use force on people you've deemed to have violated your rights, or the rights of someone else in some manner.

    You are wrong. That is precisely what it means. If you reject it, you are rejecting the very notion that -individuals- have rights.

    Vigilantism is the explicit rejection of living in a civilized society peacefully with others,


    just as any criminal activity is, and should be treated as such, i.e. as a violation of citizen's rights, because it is.

    A proper vigilante has violated the rights of absolutely nobody.

    We also have to keep in mind that while, philosophically speaking, a man who initiates force has thrown out individual rights, speaking in the context of society, the person as a criminal does not become a right-less monstrosity, to be destroyed at the unilateral decision of another private citizen. The objective methods of determining guilt and proof preclude such hasty and unauthorized decisions on the citizens' parts.

    If the person has witnessed the other person's crime, he is in fact better able, objectively speaking, of judging the criminal's guilt than a law of court. The use of courts is not meant to protect the accused, in any way, shape, or form. It is meant to protect the justice enforcer, be he a vigilante or the state, from retaliation. Even a state, if it acts in a way that people judge to be arbitrary, if it is seen as being murdering instead of punishing, will be held accountable by the people.

    In addition, though not essential to the issue, vigilantism is also short-sighted way to look at why crimes are being committed. Not all crimes are committed willingly--some people are forced to do crimes by others, such as hostages. There can be complex and multi-layered reasons why crimes are committed, which won't be unraveled by simply destroying the perpetrator.

    You assume that the vigilante's standard of proof is lower than that of the courts. Such is not necessarily the case. In many cases in fact, a vigilante is the only one capable of objectively determining that a person is guilty, or as the case may be, innocent. Everyone has the right, in principle, to take the law into their own hands both to punish and to prevent punishment. Their actions merely need to be judged, they do not need to be outlawed.

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