Objectivism Online Forum

# LogicsSon

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1. ## A tough ethical decision

I've been in the food industry all my life and the things people do and get away with is incredible. Improper washing of hands is one of the greatest contributing factors in making customers sick. Its such a simple task. Turn on water, lather, rinse. Too complicated? Heres a good one for ya,... My last boss owned a food cart, that served po' boys and jambalya... So he has this big flat steel top griddles that get really hot, especially in a tiny food cart. When he leaves work one night, he accidentaly turns the knob on the grill all the way on high. By the time the morning guy came in, it was 136 degrees in the cart! All of my bosses spices for the food, are in those plastic containers, and directly out in the open. Well because of the heat, they all got warped and melted, not completly, but enough. When you opened the containers to smell the contents, it stunk like rubber and whatever herb/spice. So the morning worker tells my old boss that they need to be replaced considering they just spent 10hrs melting in toxic plastic. So my boss, says, "We don't have the money right now, we'll just have to rough it out and make due." I told him if I spilled bleach in the jambalya, should we just "make due" since its to much to throw it out? It was then that the spirit of william james came upon him and he said, "But thats different", lol. If I was you, I would complain regardless of what those other losers thought, and if no changes are made in your vacinity, change vacinities. I suppose if hand washing is such a monumentous task to these people, making a pizza with more than one topping has to be exhausting, so hopefully their duration is a short one. Don't quit though till you have a better job. Dont want to risk any financial problems. Stack yo paper son, lol.
2. ## Intrinsic Value

If your stating that things have an intrinsic value, then the so called 'units of value' that a thing contains must nessicarily be cardinal. In others words you should be able to quantify how many units of value, for example, an apple has. The units of value an apple possess can not be ordinal, and based on comparison otherwise its right back to relativity. Intrinicism granted, I should be able to say this apple has 6.3 units of value all on its own. But what is 6.3 units of value? What is the catalyst used here to determine what is a proper unit of measurement of value? Are all things quantifiable in the same value units? What is the procedure for measuring a given things value? Moreover, can this procedure be reproduced in labs with the same results? Does an apple that is fresh have more units of value than a rotten apple? And if value is not relative to a valuer, does a mudpie have intrinsic value? You believe in intrinsic value? Show me where and how you've derived that concept. Obviously, you believe most of the posters are guilty of presupposing an Objectivist definition of value, so please elighten us as to what your definition of value is. Also I'm positive you'll make sure to demonstrate that your definition of value has no presuppositions either, correct?
3. ## Religion is good, Reason, logic, and science are evil.

Passion, if I understand it here, represents the will of man which is always opposed to the will of god, and is in battle with gods 'plan' = the fight verse good and evil, the will of god and the will of 'the world'.
4. ## Healthcare and Life-span/life-expectancy

Check out the Americans for Free Choice in Medicine website. They have a page that covers the healthcare fallacies. 39 fallacies about healthcare From webpage: "People live longer in some countries because of their socialist health care systems." When you hear this, ask if the people in those countries didn't live longer before they nationalized their health care systems. Ask how many people in those countries died on their highways, were killed in combat, shot by criminals, addicted to drugs, were severely overweight or in poor health when they arrived as illegal immigrants.
5. ## The Presuppositions of Christian Neo-Objectivism

*** Mod's note: Merged topics - sN *** So I've offically joined facebook and I'm navigating through friends and groups and I come across "Christian Objectivists". Maybe you're familiar with them already, I just found this insane. The group memo states: Christian objectivism is a concept built on Christianity, the main tenant of which is that Christianity is so open to the truth that it itself is willing to be proven untrue. In other words, a Christian objectivist has objectively looked at all available facts and come to the conclusion that Christianity is true. However, because he is objective, he is open to the idea that Christianity is not true. A good example is the certainty of 1 + 1 = 2. I am so convinced it is true, that I always welcome dissenters to prove otherwise if possible. Moreso with the truth of the Gospel. This is why, for example, Jesus was easily confident to say to his sworn enemies, "Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does" (John 10:37). Christianity provides the framework for the original level playing field, where all religions and worldviews have the opportunity to present themselves for the world to judge what agrees with the laws of nature and of nature’s God. Let us remember that the laws of God our written on our hearts, so this is possible for everyone and can be done. This level playing field consists at its root of me saying, "Because I ask you to question everything you think you know and allow me the opportunity to convince you of something otherwise, I will do the same." The reason I can be comfortable in doing this is that I am so convinced that 1+1=2, that I am willing to be convinced otherwise if you can show me the proof. In other words, I am so convinced that Christianity is true, that I am willing to be convinced otherwise if you can show me ample and convincing evidence. Reverend John C Rankin's work provides the basis for what I have labeled "Christian Objectivism" I mean.. really? Ridiculous.
6. ## Spot the Fallacy

How has Christian theology gone so low? How did they go from Pauls Epistle to the Romans, to bumper sticker catch phrases? Apparently quoting from the Bible just doesn't have the same effect it used to, lol. The phrase here seems to say: what man labels as mere coinsidence, is really the works of god unknown to him. So perhaps the logical fallacy is begging the question?
7. ## The Effects of Gay Marriage

Ayns opinion of homosexuality is not a 'doctrine' of Objectivism. Objectivism is a philosophy defined by its essential characteristics, not particular concrete instances and issues. And to be quite honest, it seems that in regard to gay marriage, whether or not you condone one type of sexual practice over another is not the issue. The issue is do you believe in rights and liberty and the consequences that they entail? I dont have to agree with everything that people do in order to agree that they have the right to make those choices. For instance, if you want to be a heroin junky, I'd say that was a terrible idea, but also know that despite my moral disagreement, i do not have the right to impose my will on other people, and I must recognize their freedom, as I do my own. To flip the coin, he has no right to impose a life a heroin addiction on me either. If you have some moral problem with homosexuality, and think that romantic love and sex should only take place between the opposite sex, I defy you to defend this without resorting to mystical/intrinsic arguements.
8. ## Who Are The True Objectivists?

Dr. Peikoff answered this question on a podcast episode 83, minute 10:00: "'I disagree with Ayn Rand on architecture as an art form and on the nature of femininity and masculinity and a few other things, but I accept objective reality, reason, self-interest, capitalism. Am I still an Objectivist?'" He answers, "There is no list of concretes that bar someone from being an objectivist. Objectivism is a philosophy, and as such is defined in terms of essentials. The essentials are basically what you said or what I offer in OPAR in more detail. Objective reality, reason- defined as the coceptulization of sense data by using logic as a means of knowledge. Rational self-interest is the ethics, lazze faire capitalism as the politics, and romaticists art as esthetics." He says much more which I reccomend one listen to.
9. ## Why shouldn't I steal ONE dollar from a millionaire?

I think that one of the evilest aspects, if not the most, of theft is that it is an action which boldly states that, "The ends justify the means." Disgusting. Also I thought that a passage from "Ayn Rand Answers" was relevant here. The questioner asks, "I'm going to cheat my aunt out of her money, and then spend it on a library and devote the rest of my time to reading ang thinking, which is in my self interest." Miss Rans said that the questioner was guily of context dropping. She replies, (my italics): "He is dropping several contexts, primarily that his self interest is not determined by whatever he feels like doing. To determine one's rational self interest, one must include allof the relevant elements involved in a decision. The first contradiction he would encounter is the idea of robbery. He cannot claim self interest if he does not grant this right objectively to his aunt. If he decides to follow his own self interest but respect nobody else's, he is no longer on an objective moral base, but on a hedonistic, whimworshipping one. If so, he has disqualified himself; he is claiming a contradiction. If he wants to maintain rationally his own self interest, and claim he has a case for his right to self interest, then he must concede that the ground on which he claims the right to self interest also applies to every other human being. He cannot make a rational case for taking his aunt's property." - Pg 110
10. ## The most beautiful places on earth?

Maybe it doesn't count, but one of the nicest places I have ever seen was Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvannia. If you havent heard or seen it, it comes highly recommended.
11. ## Deep Dish Objectivists

I just wanted to say how much I love the name 'Deep Dish Objectivists.' Thats hilarious! Reality! Reason! Liberty! Pizza! Could it really be any better?
12. ## Subjective vs Objective Theory of Value

All I did was post the definition to answer someones question. I didn't even assert that the Austrian method was correct, although I think it is. I'm not redefining anything. That definition comes straight from the Mises Institute. It specifically states that the value of a good is not intrinsic, which I agree with. It states that all goods, like other things, are in fact real entities that exist "out there" in the world and are not created by the preference of the human mind. In my opinion, in one sense a good can be evaluated as an objective value because it can be shown to add to the quality and prosperity of a mans life. For instance, food is an objective good. Not only does really good food provide us with a form of pleasure, but also nutrients and energy, which are nessicary for life. Therefore I feel we could consider that good as objective due to its relationship to the qaulity of a mans life, both physically and esthetically. The subjective aspect of the value is in ones preference for some of these objective goods over another. As I wrote earlier: "This is why it is a subjective theory of value, because I can tell you that I prefer one lobster to one crab, but I can't quantify how much more I prefer it. The customers values are ordinal rather than cardinal, in other words ranked, not numbered. I cannot say that one lobster has X amount more units of utility than one crab. It is impossible to compare my preference for lobster with yours for crab. Therefore we cannot make interpersonal utility comparisons." So I could consider food an objective good (unless it comes from sysco, lol!), but why it is I prefer chinese over mexican is simply my preference. Its not an objective fact that chinese is better, its my subjective preference. "There is no reason to suspect that Austrian economists held one's hierarchy of values to be ppotentially objective. If they did, they would've said so." (Non-sequitor) I find this to be a wide sweeping judgement for which I have no evidence to believe. Perhaps some are moral subjectivists. And? They are brilliant when it comes to economic theory and how markets function. Thats my interest in them.
13. ## Subjective vs Objective Theory of Value

"...just as the recognized that the labor theory was wrong." Amen! Sorry Karl, lol. The Austrians are not subjectivists. David Gordon, in his Introduction to Economic Reasoning explains: "It is important not to fall into fallacy here. Because the uses of a good depend on subjective preferences, and because these uses determine what you consider relevant amounts of the good, it does not follow that the good itself is subjective. You have certain uses for ice cream. But ice cream is a real physical good, "out there" in the world. You don't create it by your act of preference... this preference scale does not determine what constitutes a physical quantity of ice cream. That, once more, is a matter of fact." This isn't to say that perhaps some are subjectivist in the non-economic sense but that is different than this.
14. ## Subjective vs Objective Theory of Value

"I'm not sure I understand the difference between Ayn Rand's Objective Theory of Value other than it seems to be a semantic difference between one being described as "irrational whim worship" versus "that which an individual judges to be in his self interest." Isn't the latter what Mises meant by his Subjective theory anyway? Or is there some elaborate epistemological difference?" The definition of the subjective theory of value is, "the view that economic value is not inherent property of a good. Rather it is determined by the preferences of those who wish to aquire it." So in other words there is no pre-existing value that is intrinsic to a good that is independent of human judgement and preference. A good can posses no value beyond that which one can utilize it for their purposes. This is why it is a subjective theory of value, because I can tell you that I prefer one lobster to one crab, but I can't quantify how much more I prefer it. The customers values are ordinal rather than cardinal, in other words ranked, not numbered. I cannot say that one lobster has X amount more units of utility than one crab. It is impossible to compare my preference for lobster with yours for crab. Therefore you cannot make interpersonal utility comparisons. That is what subjective refers to in austrian economics.
15. ## Why shouldn't I steal ONE dollar from a millionaire?

How is it that your going to get this dollar? Its not going to magically appear in your pocket. Will you break into his house? Car? Hold him up at gun point to take a dollar out of his wallet? What if he refuses? Or maybe you could hack into his bank account and transfer the dollar to your account. Your basically saying, "Its stealing, but its not immoral because stealing one A from X won't (by definition) take away from the quality of his life." This is rationalism, your just playing with words and definitions while ignoring the actual processes that you would have to take in order to aquire your dollar. Because in your arguments you just "somehow" get this dollar and never actually appeal to the way you will get it from this man, and what your willing to do to get it. No context.
16. ## Why shouldn't I steal ONE dollar from a millionaire?

People have to stop trying to justify stealing by referencing to 'minuscule' objects as the exception. The concept of theft is not defined by the quality, quantity, or personal value-estimates related to the item of theft. They have no essential connection to the concept of stealing and this is therefore a fallacy by defintion by non-essentials. What difference does it make if its one dollar or a million? There is no entity which is personal property which is the exception to the rule. It doesn't matter if its money, or candy bars, or a gym membership. Stealing/theft is to take (the property of another or others) without permission or right, esp. secretly or by force. How is a dollar, or any other list of concretes an exception to this? Theft is theft. Force is force. Force and good are opposites. You cannot say that you will use force to acheive the good, this is a contradiction. Also, who are you to judge what the relationship of that dollar to that millionares values? Why do you get to decide, "Oh, well its just a dollar. I mean he's got another 999,999, he'll be fine." Well what about my dollar? How the guy down the street who wants in on his buck? And if we can each take a dollar from that millionaire, why not take a bunch more dollars from others whom we judge 'able' to afford it. Why stop at dollars? That furniture store down the road is like a warehouse, they won't miss one sofa. And so on... the socialist trickle. It is immoral because it is parasitic. You take the form a dictator which judges and decides for him what is good and his best interest, and then you lay claim to his private property. You suspend honesty, integrity, pride, rationality, productivity... How can one still lay claim to moral ground after laying aside all of his primary virtues? Force and morality are opposites, one destroys choice, the other thrives off it. I could go on, but the issue is crystal clear. Its not the dollar or the donut your laying claim to primarily, but rather another mans life.
17. ## Notes on "The Evidence of the Senses"

Nicko, I highly recommend George H. Smiths book Atheism: The Case Agaisnt God. His chapter on Skepticism is great and I think you will find a great deal of your answers there.

19. ## The choice to focus

Maybe, in the intial stages of a humans life, they do not make explicit attempts to focus by choice but rather by nature (by the brain). Perhaps after time passes with the development of the childs consciousness and his daily interactions, his consciousness is no longer retained to a perceptual level and is taken to a conceptual level, and this is what is what initiates his use of choice. It is the ability of introspection that seems to be responsable for choice. But this is not something that is active, at least in the same terms, in the intial part of a humans life. Maybe free will is a later development in life.
20. ## My Philosophy above my Country ?

If my patriotic loyalty is based on my conviction that man requires political and economic freedom and that my country is a representative of the virtue of liberty but in the future adopts the opposite policy, then yes my principles will be in conflict with that patriotism.
21. ## Objectivism as a Sub-Culture

Although I disagree with some of the objections made, I may have to recant on considering Objectivism a subculture. It could be one, based on certain things I have considered, but then other things make me doubt. I wonder about how important the presence of customs were if the other similarities matched. For instance, I mentioned Cynics and Exististentialism. I dont know of any Cynic customs, seeing as how anti-custom they were, yet their striking contrast to the prevailing society and their communities should qualify them to be considered as a subculture. Maybe I'm wrong about their lack of customs. But if such things were absent, yet the rest of the referents of that subculture concept fit the movement, then it seems to apply. My other example, I'm not sure if it is valid. Heres a clip from Art and Popular Culture.com: "The Existentialists had a profound influence upon subcultural development. Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus transferred their French resistance underground campaign to the context of a cultural revolution and the American beat scene joined the movement. (See article: Underground culture) The emphasis on freedom of the individual influenced the beats in America and Britain and this version of existential bohemianism continued through the 1950s and into the 1960s under the guise of the beat generation. Beards and longer hair returned in another attempt at returning to the image of peacetime man and the normality which had existed before the two wars. At the same time, as a result of American post-war prosperity, a new identity emerged for youth subculture: the teenager." So is it right to consider Existentialists as a whole a subculture, or only those who were influenced by the beat movement? In which case could we only identify Existentialism as a philosophical school of thought which influenced a particular subculture? Has Objectivism influenced any subcultures? Can you think of any other philosophy which you think would qualify as a subculture? "I'm not sure how any subculture could be anything but collectivist, which is bad. It requires individuals have values of the group rather than their own (whether it be explicit or implicit). It is more than just "things in common." For the most part, this is true. I'm not sure if its always the case.