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Everything posted by JJJJ

  1. A thrill can be all good and well if it as a by-product of something valuable, but if the thrill is the ultimate goal you have when you decide what to do, then that is not rational, nor moral. The thrill i got from going "all in" against my better judgement in online poker did not give me anything valuable. What it gave me, was the loss of my rent money and a deep feeling of shame caused by a stupid decision by me. If the thrill is the main factor you gamble, you are irrational, and immoral. And i would not count injuring yourself on your bike as rational just so you get to feel how "great it is to be alive"
  2. Noone is advocating that the reason you should withold from selling stuff to irrational people is that you somehow put the irrational person before yourself. If you own a McDonalds, there is no way the owner could possibly be able to diagnose who is irrational and who isnt without measures that are counterproductive to him. However, if you base your livelihood knowingly and willingly on the irrational acts of your customers, you are acting against your own self-interest, against your own self. I would like to remind you what Bastiat said, about things that are seen, and things that are not seen. The thing that is seen, is that you get $100 for selling crack to an irrational junkie. The thing that isnt seen, is that you would be far better off if this person was not a drug addict, and instead was a rational human being. Yes, you wouldnt get the $100 per sale from the irrational junkies, but you may get something more from the money you do have, as the formerly irrational junkies would have instead of smoking heroin, started succesful businesses or became doctors or whatever. Yes, obviously there may be separate, single cases where it isnt actually bad for you that you have irrational customers, but as a general principle, YOU are much better off if people around you are moral and rational, despite the short term gains you may get from selling crack to irrational people. Whether it is just "less rational/less moral" than doing something else or actually immoral to sell crack, sell beer to drunks etc. is something i will have to think about, but as a general principle, you are acting against your own self-interest if you cater to irrational whims. But as i said, it is difficult for a McD-owner or a casino owner to effectively diagnose who is the irrational and who is the rational one. So clearly it is against your own self-interest to execute costly and time consuming methods to diagnose who is rational and who isnt, if this "diagnosing" is less valuable than not doing it. So you do not need to do this because you are anyones keeper, or because of any duty for your fellow man. It is in your self interest that others are rational too.
  3. Youre missing his point. The value you get from a pleasant stroll along the beach, is real, as you get rest and relaxation, peace of mind, and calmness, that inevitably are good things as they help you use your rational mind better. The same thing goes with a trip to Hawaii. A good meal, and a GOOD movie does the same exact thing. A good movie may also do higher things than just relaxation, as if it is good, then it can motivate and inspire your own life. And i play poker with my buddies and i get a sense of accomplishment when i know that i have played well, as i have myself put myself, rationally, in a position to succed. I achieve something REAL when i am playing poker with my buddies, despite me losing money occasionally. I keep my mind active, socialize with my friends etc. However, i concede, that i do get, as most poker players do, the urge to "just go all in for the fun of it", but the end result of this kind of action is not happiness, but pain. I used to play online poker a couple of years a go, and once spent my one months rent money by doing stupid things and not using my mind. I kept losing and losing, but still i continued in case i would get lucky and win it all back. I didnt, and the result was a total feeling of being shellshocked, embarrassed and humiliated. Yes, there certainly was a thrill when waiting for the river card, but i did not achieve anything with that thrill. The point at least i am making is that if your sole purpose of an action is thrill-seeking, then that is immoral, as the thrill you experience does not enhance your life in any way, but is actually against it. The feeling of thrill, can be nice and all that as a bi-product of something good, but if it is the sole or leading factor of your action, then it is not. And, in reality, most people that gamble on mindless luck-games, or play poker in a non-rational way, are doing it for the thrill, and most of them are admitting as much. Heck, even i admit that i used to, and sometimes still do, things for the thrill, but that doesnt mean that i do not recognize that as immoral and irrational. The thrill-sensation does not give you anything, but relaxation does, as it is required to keep your mind in a state where you can think and act rationally.
  4. However, Penn is a libertarian, and even if i enjoy his show, and his "no-nonsense" personality, i absolutely cant stand his thesis that he throws around every now and then: "all will be well when we get the pot heads to like the businessmen and the businessmen to like the pot heads" or something like that. I know he is an entertainer, but in my opinion that is something that sums up libertarianism quite well. Still, i enjoy watching "Bullshit!"....
  5. Still, at the time she made the decision to buy the ticket, she did not act rationally if the reason she bought the ticket was to win. The fact that she got something of value by doing this act(buying the ticket) does not mean that she herself ACHIEVED a value. Just like if someone OD's from heroin, and gets taken to a hospital, where by luck the doctors happen to find a tumor in you lung, that would not have been operable if it had been caught a month later. This does not mean that the guy acted in a way consistant with discovering that he had cancer in time, when he injected himself with drugs. He did NOT achieve anything by taking heroin, despite the fact that by getting lucky it had a positive result this one time.
  6. I dont get it why he doesnt seem to get the point. I, who love to simplify things, have once again come up with an exaggerated example: Let's say there is an ideology called Anti-Affirmativeactionism that is a strategic movement with the aim to abolish affirmative action. It doesnt care why you are opposed to affirmative action, as long as you are against it. You can be 1) an anarchist who is against governments per se 2) you can be a "black pride"-zealot of the notion that affirmative action is demeaning to "black society" and that black people should have their own jobs where the races dont mix 3) you can be a neo-nazi of the notion that blacks are inferior to whites and should be "shipped back to africa" or used as slaves. 4) whatever reason you can come up with It doesnt matter one bit which of these you belong, just as long as you oppose affirmative action. I may be naive, but i would guess that at least the more rational libertarians would stay as far away from this movement as possible, but why cant they understand that no objectivist wants to have anything to do with the libertarian "movement". And, Paul, i love your videos on YouTube!
  7. Well that is certainly not something from Ayn Rand's books..... I thougt the most important thing to do in your life was to live and pursue your own happiness.
  8. Yes, an emotional difference. Nothing else. However, eating hamburgers every now and then is in no way immoral, just like drinking the odd alcoholic beverage. Pot would possibly also fall under this category. However, i find it hard to fathom a situation where cocaine or heroin can be consumed in a moral fashion. So, owning a McDonalds is all fine, as there is nothing immoral about eating the odd hamburger and fries every now and then. But there is a difference, when your whole diet consists of hamburgers and fries. Therefore, if you own a McD, you shouldnt actively be trying to campaign your products to overweight people with low self-esteem and low strength of will. That is not a rational way to make a living. Of course its not worth it to you to start spying on your customers to get to know whether they are acting morally or immorally, so obviously you are bound to sell loads of hamburgers to immoral people, but in general the principle holds, that it is not rational, nor moral, to make a living based on the irrational urges of your anti-life customers. Just like a religious preacher is acting immorally when he is preaching falsehoods to "willing" customers.
  9. In general, yes. If someone is stupid enough to kill himself with a diet consisting only of greasy hamburgers, then catering to that persons irrational urges is not a particularly ethical way to make a living. Just like in the case of a liqour store owner, that sells booze to an alcoholic.
  10. Am i correct in my notion, that blind people are able to "create" a concept of what a shape like a cube "looks like" by touching it. Or is this also wrong?
  11. Thats actually really creepy when you try and somehow "see what you see" in places where you cant see(like whats behind you). My head literally starts to hurt when i do that. I absolutely have to know now that i started thinking about what "i see" when i "look at" whats behind me. Why would you actually see black, now that i come to think about it? But this should be fairly easy to answer, all you have to do is ask(or just poke at your own eyes until you go blind, as any rational objectivist would do )
  12. Regarding the gambling part: If someone says that "the satisfaction i get from just having the million to one chance to win every week, is worth the dollar i pay for my lottery ticket every week. It doesnt matter whether i win, its the chance of winning and the relaxation and fun i pay the dollar for" then the thing that determines whether this is rational, is whether he ACTUALLY gets the satisfaction/relaxation he claims he gets. That is quite objective in nature. If he actually satisfies his needs of relaxation by paying this dollar, then yes, it is very rational to gamble. However, as the fact is in most cases, people do not actually get the satisfaction they were after, and it becomes an obsession where they go against their better judgement, and still play the lottery despite them knowing that they wont win and knowing they lose money they could have spent more wisely. I would even like to argue, that very few people can actually get the satisfaction they are after by playing the lottery. Maybe just the super-rich could get enough satisfaction from this type of "no-skill"-gambling, but there are better ways to do that than play the lottery. If you are playing the lottery to become a millionaire, then clearly, you are irrational. There are better, rational ways to become a millionaire, and playing the lottery is actually counterproductive to becoming a millionaire. Therefore, clearly irrational. The part about running a gambling house, i would say that if you are targeting it to irrational people, then yes, you are immoral. You are basing your life on the irrational, immoral acts of other people. It does not help your life one bit, that most people are irrational, and you would be much better off if all your clients would be rational and moral. Yes, you wouldnt be running a gambling house, but you would be able to live your life better, as you would be surrounded by people whose minds can be of value to you. That would inevitably make you more wealthy. However, there obviously is nothing that the government should do about people living off the immorality of others, but i guess that goes without saying on this forum
  13. This may be a bit difficult to answer, but as i have had trouble sleeping at night, i just wonder about all kinds of pointless stuff and wanted to ask. Is it possible to explain what colors look like to a person that has always been blind? I understand that a blind person can understand why certain things look different to people with eyesight, but can you ever get them to understand what they "look like"? I get it that a blind person may be able to create a somewhat accurate depiction of what a shape like a cube may look like, because he can use his other senses(touch) to guide him. Also, when a seeing person loses his eyesight completely(goes blind), is it just black that "he sees"? I understand that they can still create "visions" like seeing people can when they dream, but is it just blackness that they see when they go blind. This is obviously something that is easy to answer, as all you need is to find a person that has "gone blind", and ask him/her. I guess the first question is really the one i want to know, as the second one is a bit obvious......
  14. There's also that that, that with technology advancing all the time, there is the possibility of a serious advancement of the human life span, and i wouldnt want to fuck stuff up just because i thought id die at 80. Also, my childrens and grandchildrens happiness is a value to me(if i had any), so i would not want to be the person to condemn their children, grandchildren, or any other persons that is of value to them to death. Let's say your grandchild is of value to yourself. Would you want to be the person who is responsible for him to never have children or grandchildren of his own?
  15. Yes, i know all that. That's why i switched from libertarianism(minarchism) to objectivism a while ago. The thing that made me realise that im not a libertarian, was when i just could not get my head around their notion that "most humans are basically good". Yes, everyone can be good, but it does require specific action from an individual and "simply being" without harming anyone else does not make anyone good.They seem to think that if you just let "man exercise his freedom in a way that doesnt prevent anyone else from exersising his", then all will be well. It is obvious, that i requires specific action, in reality, to achieve values, and "just being" doesnt guarantee anything "good". You can sit down on your floor, and die of starvation in 2 weeks cringing with pain as you take your last breaths, and according to the libertarian theory, this should all be good, as it didnt prevent anyone from exersising their freedom. It's just "a different kind of lifestyle" Yes, obviously if someone does this, it shouldnt be forcefully prevented by anyone else, but still, every sane and rational person should be able to understand, that sitting down without seeking nutrition and dying from starvation as the result, is bad, and quite objectively so. Its not "another kind of lifestyle". It's "one kind of death"
  16. I think this may be a europe/america thing, but around here in europe i would argue that when you use the word libertarian, you mean a minarchist. I've noticed that almost all objectivists mean anarcho-capitalists when they use the word libertarian, though, which surprised me somewhat.
  17. I've never been to hot on the foudning father thing, but maybe thats just because im not american. Yes, clearly they had some seemingly good political views that have resulted in america being the best country in the world, but i would say they were more libertarian than objectivist. I mean, to me they just seem like people who had maybe thought a bit further than the ordinary joe, but like many libertarians, they didnt really seem to understand why the policies they advocated were good. Also, one thing i dont like about american libertarians in particular, is that most of their policies come from the fact that "the founding fathers said that......" and they dont seem to know or care to explain why those said policies are good. Take the "right to bear arms" quote, that gets thrown around so often. Never do you hear anyone say, WHY the right to bear arms should not be infringed, and they are just content with quoting what the founding fathers said. As if the fact that "who said it" is more important than whats actually been said. "It's in the constitution", "The founding fathers never meant....." etc....
  18. Well, let us say hypotethically that i opened a movie theater near a big residential complex. Some years down the road, the complex is turned into a prison for extremely dangerous prisoners. Now my best judgement tells me not to run a movie theater near a prison, especially because i don't really know how to guage ?? whether or not it is safe or profitable to have a business near a prison, as noone wants to go to the movies next to a prison and there may be all kinds of shady characters hanging around there who are visiting their "buddies" in jail and the threat of being robbed is quite high. But surely many other people have the same judgement, and so they will not want to buy my movie theater. Therefore it will prove impossible to sell at the price it was previously valued at. Even more simpler: If i move to a nice neighborhood in a city, that "some years down the road" turns into a slum full of crime and violence, then according to you the one who moved there when it wasnt a slum, is somehow entitled to demanding the same price he/she paid for the apartment when he/she moved there.
  19. Can't the "why is the promoting of my own life good" question be answered more simply? If i die, i do not exist, there is no me. How can then me dying be good for me, if the fact that i die, destroys the whole concept of "me"? How can "me not existing" be good for "my existence"? Thats how i have explained it to myself, and i cant see how that can be refuted. Because i have yet to hear of any sort of third alternative in the matter of life or death.Either you live, or you dont. Either you are alive, or you do not exist. And for some reason that Huemer guy seems to forget to mention the word "OWN" when talking about life every now and then, and that is a really important difference. Life and own life are two completely different things.
  20. Im not a doctor, so i dont claim to know about these situations where its dangerous to abort, but if you are implying a situation where it is dangerous to abort, even in an early stage of the pregnancy, then you can always give up the child for adoption after birth. Im actually shocked that i failed to add this point in my last post, as it is obviously so that if you can prove that you are no longer likely to cause similar harm to a child. The level of abuse, is something that people with more knowledge in this field should explain, as it is pointless for me to give any view on this, as it isnt based on any knowledge. Yes, minor mistreatments(having a party that causes your child to stay awake all night) and major mistreatments(beating your child) are different. Yes, maybe its just my poor english thats at fault again. What i meant in bailing out in bank loans was, not paying it back without any consecuences. By bailing out on a child, i meant: not taking care of it, and just leaving it do die from starvation.
  21. What i meant (and wrote) was that if these actions were made, the result would be death to everyone. I added in the second example the line "and human life would be impossible" just as a curiosity. The main point was, that the direct result of everyone doing action A is death to everyone. I do not see where i went wrong here. And remember, that the point of my simplification was that because it is difficult for some people to grasp the EVIL in an act 1 person makes in a society of 300 million, and therefore to get my point across, i have to show them what happens when everybody does this EVILl act. I have to show, what happens when the moral people, that nowadays are enslaved by parasites, are removed from the picture, and what happens in a society of only immoral people.
  22. Im from Finland, and the synonym for tell(kertoa), in this context also means "shows" or even "reveals" so maybe something was lost in translation. I did not mean "command" when i used the word "tells", so its just my poor english that is to blame here. But the moral act an automechanic in the free market is doing is not "being an automechanic" but "producing automechanical services to people who consentually pay for his services enough for him to sustain his life". Just like you understand that a farmer can either be moral or immoral, based on whether he steals(subsidies) or produces(free market). Just like shooting a gun is not in itself either moral or immoral, as defending your or someone elses life, liberty and property with the help of the gun is moral, while murdering someone on a whim with this same gun is immoral. If you compare the examples i gave you: a ) the immoral act: killing for fun(initiating force) the irrelevant act: pulling the trigger of an AK-47, swinging a shovel etc. b ) the immoral act: stealing other people's property the irrelevant act: using a truck where to fit the furniture you steal from someones home. Just like in the automechanic part: the moral act: sustaining your life by producing services that people consentually pay for the irrelevant act: being an automechanic, being a bagboy, being a lawyer I do not see how, so you are going to have to show me.....
  23. In a society where abortion is legal, i dont see why getting a kid is in any way different of renting an apartment. By having consentual sex that leads to consumation, and you not aborting the child withing the right timeframe, you accept the terms of "rent", where you agree on taking care of the child until it reaches the mental capacity of rationality and reason. If you breach this agreement by not taking care of the wellbeing of the child, you lose your right over the child, and it will be placed with a family that is more committed to take care of it. You are responsible for your child until it reaches the capability of rationally sustaining its own life, as you yourself have chosen to create this child. Just like you shouldnt be able to bail out on a bank-loan that you werent coerced into, you shouldnt be able to bail out on a child you have consentually created. If the kid is born really retarded, with no chance of ever developing the capacity of rationality and the capacity to sustain its own life, i do not understand why the freak should have any human rights at all, as it clearly does not fit the characterization of a human being. Nor should the parents have any more responsibility over the child than they do of their pet lizard. If the child has something like Down Syndrome, however, and im not an expert on degrees of disability, then it is a different thing, as people with that syndrome are capable of sustaining their lives, even though they may only be able to do jobs like being a bagboy or something similar. Also, i dont think you should be allowed to raise children, if you have mistreated an earlier child. Im not saying that you should be forced to abort, and more that the child should be adopted to a moral, rational person/couple after birth. It's a bit like credit, if you think about it.
  24. Please tell me, how can someone rationally and non-contradictrory(sp?) value something that gives him no value? Its a bit like saying "it is bad to be good", or "the best thing for life, is death". If Mr.A values Mr.B's health and life, and pays for his bypass surgery, it is not an act of altruism, if Mr.B's life is more valuable TO MR.A than Mr.B's death&the money that the surgery costs. If Mr.A does not value Mr.B's health enough to pay for his surgery, but does it because of some sense of obligation or peer pressure, then this is an altruistic act. He has done an irrational act, as the sense of obligation to other people is not consistant with life on earth. Imagine if there was 10,000 people in this world and none of them acted in a way that tried to fulfill their own values, but the values of others. Well, everyone would value the other people, ergo, noone would value anyone as the ones they valued just valued everyone else. It is in no way or form possible to have a consistant system of ethics, where altruism is applied as good to everyone. Altruism, for it to even be possible in practice, requires some of the people being drones without any own values, and some of the people as receipients of these drowns productivity. The absurdity and irrationalilty of altruism grows even weirder, when you consider that if you yourself, cannot act on your own values, then that means that any value someone else has, is good, just because it is someone elses. The absurd situation arises of you helping out a scumbag who wants to rape your daughter, because you actually value your daughters wellbeing, which is wrong, as you should value the values of everyone else, including the rapists who wants to rape your daughter. A father, who loves and values the wellbeing of his daughter, posts the picture and adress of his daughter to some pedophile-forum, and gives them information about when the daughter is available for rape, because he should not put his values first(the wellbeing of his daughter) and should instead put the values of other people first(the rapists). This, is what consistent altruism is, and i hope i dont have to explain why it is immoral. Obviously, there is an even more absurd example. You value that i die-> I kill myself Your 4th alternative, "An outcome that extends the life of a person who this user does not know" as i understand it, is just the example i gave in the daughter/rapist example but i have to admit that i dont fully understand what you mean by it. If i make an action, that is of no value to me but of value to others(helping a possible rapist rape my daughter) instead of pursuing my own values(the wellbeing of my daughter). Even the daughter, if she is old enough to have reason and morals, should value the rapists values, and let the rapist rape her but then also be mad at herself as her father didnt want her to get raped. Then, if we consider that the rapist is also an altruist, and no other people in the world exists, we are at a point where total absurdity exists. The father(who values the wellbeing of his daughter) and the daughter(who doesnt want to get raped) goes and demands the rapist to rape the daughter, but the rapist(who wanted to rape the girl) declines. Also: The daughter may act in accordance with his fathers values and doesnt want to get raped. Then the rapist acts in accordance with the daughters values and does not rape. But, the father acts in accordance with the rapists values, and forces the rapist to rape her daughter. Absurd, much?
  25. I've encountered it, every time. Here's where youre wrong: The fact that everyone would be an automechanic does not kill anyone. The fact that you do not sustain your own life, does. Everyone can be an automechanic AND sustain their life besides that. Noone will die because of everyone being a mechanic, everyone will die of stealing othere peoples wealth(as there is none). So yes, if someone thinks that "being an automechanic" is in itself somehow morally good then it is another thing, as in "i should get paid for being an automechanic regardless of the fact whether im producing or not". By sustaining your life by producing automechanical services to people who value your services enough to pay you, is morally good. But the morally good thing is not the automechanic part, but the sustaining your life. Being an automechanic has nothing to do with morals, as you can be an automechanic and do either good or bad things. But you cannot do good, by leeching off other people. Because a person can be an automechanic, and 1) make his living from that, 2) make his living on some other thing, 3) make his living off others. But a person cannot live off the productivity off others while at the same time living off the productivity of himself. That is once again a paradox.
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