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Everything posted by Grames

  1. Children can be and are neglected, abused and murdered in violation of every principle of how any person ought to be treated. But because no contract law pertains nothing is to be done? I am grateful for the innovation in human society that is criminal law.
  2. The growth into full adulthood is gradual, but the moral and legal status of being a person with certain rights obtains at birth. "Persons not the mother don't have a proper right to control the pregnancy until the fetus is capable of sustained life outside the womb with or without artificial support." Technological advancements in medicine may make possible sustained life outside the womb with artificial support earlier and earlier in the pregnancy. Making the rights of mothers dependent upon not just technology but some judge's or legislator's assertion about that technology is not good practice of law. This is in principle far more amenable to restrictions on abortion than I would ever be. It also assumes that technology is provided but is silent on who provides and pays for it. How can you reconcile this position with what I thought was presented as an intransigent pro-abortion rights position?
  3. The value judgement here is that human life and human rights are good and valuable and should be nurtured and enabled to flourish. The value judgement applies immediately after the identification has been made that a human life is involved. Making the identification depends upon the definition of the concept. Having a clear definition of the concept using other concepts (genus, differentia, essential attribute) versus using an informal ostensive definition of what it means to be an actual living human is the difference between the Objectivist position and other positions.
  4. I disagree here, this is a conceptual identification. Any emotions follow after the identification is made.
  5. Birth can be a long drawn out affair but compared to the months preceding it is short. Please pardon the imprecision. To stop lawyers from claiming that birth hasn't happened so long as a toe remains inside it should to be counted from the first emergence of any body part.
  6. Given Rand's theory of concepts and Peikoff's speculation that induction is concept-formation in action then an explanation is available. The gradual growth and maturation of a single fertilized ovum to a born infant that is recognizably human with arms and legs, fingers and toes, a face and blood, breath and brain is similar to the "problem of the beard" that I described earlier this thread, or a version of the "ship of Theseus". At a certain point some internal epistemological threshold is crossed and a moment of recognition or induction occurs and the identification is made "that's a person". I don't think this under one's voluntary control. (Gathering evidence is under one's control but not the threshold of enough evidence.) Earlier abortions are better because the less recognizably human the fetus is then the less likely it would be automatically identified as a person by the woman involved, or the father or the care providers. Then there is the issue of differing levels of knowledge and context. There is the naïve or layperson perspective and then there is the scientifically and philosophically informed perspective. The layperson will typically have an unidentified premise of an ontological substance theory, that whatever makes up a person an infant has it and so must the fetus 5 minutes or 5 weeks before birth. A more informed perspective that has identified human consciousness as man's distinctive attribute and further that consciousness is a relation not an intrinsic attribute will understand the full significance of the moment of birth, that human consciousness only begins at the moment of emergence into the world. To the naïve perspective the informed perspective can seem just a cold-blooded and hard-hearted rationalization using those tricksy words. The bad news is that everyone has a subconscious mind that makes naïve automatized emotional associations, it is the default understanding of the world (hence "naïve"). So which perspective should write the law governing abortions? Should the mass of laypersons be ruled over by a law they do not understand and so cannot value? Should the mass of laypersons be sent to abortion re-education camps so they can learn to think correctly? Should we fight a war over abortion rights for the sake of uniformity in the name of the universality of rights or let people sort themselves out state by state? The only way forward is education, a task which never can end as every new infant is born ignorant of everything.
  7. Don't have sex with strangers. Link sex and romance by reserving sex for romantically significant others. Use contraception with planning and conscientiousness. Don't rely on abortion as contraception. These points are what pass for common sense among normal people.
  8. There is no such principle, I am not myself anti-abortion. Ridicule of sluts is the only measure I advocate against self-righteous sluts. I also have no heartache over seeing states block elective abortions in the last trimester. The earlier the abortion, the better. "Safe , legal and rare" was a good catchphrase for abortion policy goals back in the Clinton years.
  9. Even between sexual partners in a committed relationship most sex does not result in pregnancy, so this is not plausible. However a good heuristic for whether or not one should have sex with someone is if a pregnancy would be completely unacceptable then don't have the sex. I confess, I think sluts are hilarious. Sluts and drunks (similar mentality) ought to be ridiculed at every opportunity. Not just because ridicule can be entertaining but it can be persuasive to get people to change their behavior.
  10. That was not what I said, merely that it would be reasonable and understandable if a state were to bar gay adoption for the protection of children. I have since gained some finer grained knowledge of possibly the real problem: children with genetically unrelated male stepparents in the household have a many times greater risk of being abused or killed (not just the murdered but also those getting into danger due to less parental attention). The phenomenon has been named the "Cinderella effect". People have sex for all kinds of reasons, including poor reasons. It is simply not the case that sex is always indicative of someone pursuing pleasure and love. Did I make a list of preventatives? No, and why should I when the topic is abortion and contraception had already failed or was absent? Contraception is used by people of both sexes with some sense of responsibility and an extended time horizon in their thoughts, not the kind of anti-conceptual and range-of-the-moment mentality I was criticizing. Perhaps you simply are not aware of potential scale of the problem. Most abortions are due to this mentality in action. Abortion would be a less controversial issue if few cared about it. If only the 7.7% abortions with valid reasons took place there would a lot less people paying attention to the issue. Of further interest on this sidebar is Gay Parenting: Promise and Pitfalls | Dave Rubin & Dr. Jordan B. Peterson
  11. "Avoiding the consequence" here is actually the mental evasion before the sex happened. A series of range-of-the-moment reactions is no way to go through life.
  12. I am glad I was able to provide you the opportunity to repeat a favorite sermon but it isn't responsive to the point I made. Some, not all, but some of the energy on the pro-abortion side comes from women who really shouldn't be getting pregnant in the first place. I used the term slut-shaming and the responses come back about wives and fiancés. One night stands and casual friends-with-benefits sex are the acts that identify a slut. Those are not acts compatible with self-esteem or pride. Am I wrong?
  13. The reason automobiles exist and the reason to get one is for transport, not killing the driver. The reason the reproductive faculties exist is reproduction and it is not a malfunction when reproductive activity results in reproduction. Taking a breath of clear air results in respiration. Eating good food results in digestion. Exactly where is the controversy? To follow on with more biological examples, taking a breath of foul air does not result in respiration but a coughing fit and an urgent need to move toward good air. Eating rotten or poisoned food (even if it tasted good) does not result in digestion but regurgitation, sickness or even death. So then if sex, even good sex, results in an unwanted pregnancy then the maybe the sex wasn't such a good idea after all regardless of how it felt at the time. That is my modest proposal submitted for the consideration of all and sundry.
  14. They are really against sexual promiscuity, not sex itself. That is like the difference between being in favor of selfishness in ethics versus being in favor of acting like Genghis Khan or a later Ottoman Empire Sultan.
  15. But a woman voluntarily had penis-in-vagina sex which is the only way to get pregnant. There is more than a little whining about the metaphysical facts of biology going on here (as opposed to man-made facts which are legitimately open to dispute). The combination of desiring to have that particular manner of sexual activity while also avoiding the potential consequence is dishonest. Pregnancy is so easily avoided (trivially so, just don't do that one thing) that I suspect that it isn't really the underlying issue that is powering all the melodrama from the pro-abortion side. (There is also melodrama from the anti-abortion total ban side of the issue which is also childish but not my focus here.) The idea or principle that one should not necessarily indulge every appetite or impulse as it strikes is apparently very threatening to some people at a psychological or sense-of-life level. That self-control is possible and virtuous is a very anti-egalitarian idea in a very egalitarian age. For some women the idea that somewhere someone does not approve of their life choices, that they are judged, is intolerable. To put the idea most succinctly, it's the slut shaming aspect of the issue that makes it so spicy.
  16. I never understood this "forced labor" angle.
  17. The msnbc story is cast as the U.S. mistreating Ukraine. Which is true but not equivalent to mistreating Russia. The story claims it was bad diplomacy to know Putin had decided to launch the invasion and do nothing. True enough. The story here is U.S. arrogance and incompetence in Ukraine not mistreatment of Russia.
  18. Russia mounted military exercises on the border of Ukraine every year since 2014. But this year something was different. A large portion of the Ukrainian army was already positioned facing the Donetsk and Luhansk, but not to defend Kiev. Putin claimed Ukraine was going to launch a military operation to pacify those areas. This is plausible. It seems that war was inevitable but Putin gained an advantage by attacking first. If Ukraine did its part to provoke this war then Ukraine does not have a moral high ground. But don't blame NATO, or other countries for joining NATO.
  19. Ah, good point to raise because this then gets back to the impact of geography upon politics (geopolitics). From the monarchy of Catherine the Great through the communist era to today under Putin there is an underlying logic to Russia's foreign policy. They have all been more similar than different judging by tracking where the armies march despite the much larger difference between monarchism and communism. Monarchism and communism are still both statism and collectivist in principle by an Objectivist critique. Russia would have to change more radically than what Putin has brought to enable Russia to reach different conclusions of how Russian geography should effect its policies.
  20. If you only start counting after the USSR collapsed that is cherry picking. The basis for the the anti-Russia attitudes goes back further than that. For Russia the period after the collapse of the USSR was one of extraordinary weakness. Russia did not take any actions against ex-USSR states because it could not. That was the time to invade Russia if anyone cared to, but no one did.
  21. America, France and Britain are not vulnerable to an equivalent paranoia, but Germany, Poland and Romania and the small countries are equally paranoid about Russian encroachment as Russia is about encirclement. Is one paranoia more important than the other? Not in some impartial god's view sense, and NATO is not in the business of being impartial. I think western intelligence agencies and the U.S. State Dept. should have let Putin have the Ukraine and not contested it for the last decade. He's going to get it anyway because he is willing to fight for it and the west is not.
  22. There is no need for the NATO charter to call out Russia specifically as an eternal enemy, that would just get in the way of peaceful coexistence. A decision not to engage in persistent taunting is not guile. A defensive alliance is not a benevolent organization, that was never a pretense. It is true that Russian expansionism was an ongoing threat against which NATO could act as an insurance policy, that is hardly a secret that Putin needed to confirm or reveal. And even so the other justifications for NATO remain, the suppression of militarism and the encouragement of European political integration. Russian expansionism was not a threat to the original NATO members, but it was a threat to the new members who were closer to Russia. It was rational and proper for those countries to decide to join NATO. It was rational and proper for the existing NATO members to allow them entry. Events have only proved them correct. I agree with you here. Russia appears willing to pay the price of victory, the western powers are unwilling to commit more than espionage, propaganda and inadequate amounts of military equipment. I don't think the western powers should commit more and never should have meddled in Ukraine in the first place. This entire affair is just getting people killed in Ukraine and the larger economic effects will put millions at risk of starvation in other parts of the world. Poland and Romania are already in NATO. If Putin's special military operation succeeds beyond his stated goals and gains all of Ukraine as a Russian Federation member there is no realistic path beyond the Ukraine for any further military operations. NATO does not need Ukraine to be secure. Russia didn't need Ukraine to be secure either, but don't see things that way. NATO does not need Finland (and Sweden) either, but since they have asked and are under a realistic threat then for the sake of peace Finland should be admitted to NATO or given unilateral security guarantees to discourage a Russian operation there.
  23. The idea of Russia joining NATO is either remarkably naïve or a gambit offered with an ulterior motive. That Putin of all people could be naïve is not plausible. The larger an alliance is the more unwieldy it becomes. Too great of a diversity of interests causes the organization to only be able to respond to peripheral issues unimportant to all of them. Russia in NATO would diplomatically neutralize that alliance in cases where Russia itself were to cause controversy, much as both Turkey and Greece being in NATO removes NATO from Greek-Turkish disputes. Russia having been admitted to NATO ahead of all those unimportant little countries would mean Russia could veto their admission. Russia could then act against them at its leisure and diplomatically prevent NATO from doing anything about it. Russia could never be an equal partner in NATO without America accepting its demotion from de facto leader of the alliance. America would gain nothing from accepting such a displacement but would risk the loss of the long peace in Europe. It was alarmingly insightful and bold of Putin to understand all this twenty years ago and attempt to achieve by diplomacy the neutralization of NATO even when Russia was at its weakest economically and militarily. The economic integration of Russia with Europe has had some success. But the Euro community is feeling rather betrayed right now and Russia's gas lines supplying Europe are being used as leverage against sanctions. Its been a pleasure working through these thoughts even if you remain unconvinced.
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