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DavidOdden

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  1. There are two kinds of liability, intentional wrongs and negligence. Intentional wrongs are, for example, dumping garbage on someone else’s property, fraud, assault, trespass, defamation. There may also be criminal penalties associated with intentional torts, and they all involve initiation of force. Negligence involves a “duty of care”, which may be special and arising from a contractual relation (e.g. medical negligence, negligence in construction) or may be “everyone owes everyone else this level of care”. For example, if you store poison next to your bottled water supply and accidentally
  2. My rights are infringed on all the time, when I take a flight. The moral responsibility rests on the terrorists who chose to turn airplanes into weapons of mass destruction: that is the immoral choice that was made. In the case of mask mandates, the immorality resides in the willful refusal to apply reason and even the most elementary moral philosophy in devising these restrictions. What these cases have in common is that the fundamental choice made was evil.
  3. Returning to that specific question, let us remember that there actually is no such law, there is a set of dictatorial emergency decrees. At present, mask-mandates are marginally authorized by open-ended emergency statutes giving governors authority to boss people around in an emergency. Rand has written about emergencies, and how dangerous a concept it is. There is no emergency: there is a new fact of existence. Emergencies last at most a week. Let’s see what it would take to justify such a law. First we have to say what such a law would demand: “A tight-fitting N95 mask must be worn at
  4. @DonAthos, my head is spinning from playing argumentative whack-a-mole in this thread. I really wanted someone to set forth a simple sentence, articulating their principle that guides discussion of a complicated problem. It’s a really big problem, in my opinion, when we can’t set forth general but simple philosophical principles that guide our choices using a few simple unloaded words (avoiding “fear” and vague terms like “threat” which refers to “possibility of negative outcome” – not initiation of force). In particular when we get proposals that being unknowingly diseased in public is the sa
  5. They are both relevant: if you include a requirement if intentthen we are on the same page. It's not just the effect.
  6. The so-what part is that Doug Morris’ argument suggests that the fact of fear is itself sufficient to say that a person has initiated force. I’ve invited him to reject that implication, and I’m inviting you to do likewise. It’s not the emotion, it’s the specific facts that tend to have some relation to fear which are relevant. However, I do agree that many, perhaps most people act on the basis of emotions and not facts. In fact, that is really the fundamental problem of popular politics, that people do not use reason to arrive at moral principles, instead they decide “I don’t like this: the go
  7. Easy Truth, from your response I surmise that you understand “force” to be the intent to cause “damage” to another person: is that correct? If not, I’m looking for a single-sentence definition of force, so that I can see what your concept depends on. And as a corollary, I take it you reject “fear” as having any relevance to the question of rights and force. I do not understand your apparent claim that if another person convinces me to make a bad investment, that is the initiation of force – even if we limit this to investment professionals. Can you explain how persuasion becomes initiat
  8. It seems that your threshold for detecting initiation of force is “reasonable fear”, which is a bit of a problem. Fear is an emotional reaction, and we know that emotions are not a source of cognition. The principle should be framed in terms of reasonable conclusions, about a proposition, such as “he intends to shoot me”. Not all fears are about initiation of force, so we have to have a way to identify those things that cause fear which are initiation of force as opposed to those that are not. I fear that such-and-such an investment may not be so wise, but that has nothing to do with initiatio
  9. The key identification that Schwartz makes about force is that it is a physical action to which we are subjected against our will, being taken by a volitional being to neutralize the choice of another volitional being. “Action to neutralize choice” distinguishes the case where a person pulls out a weapon in order to cause him to abandon his property (mission accomplished) from the case where a person pulls out a weapon to check it and accidentally scares another person into abandoning his property (neutralization of choice is not the purpose). I take it that you are not satisfied with this, an
  10. ARI and Rand also do not claim to have a monopoly on word meaning. Their use (in that video) is entirely consistent with an objective meaning of the word, and is not at all confusing. Hair-splitting is more confusing than under-differentiation, and making up nonexistent words is particularly confusing. Are you seriously disagreeing with them because they didn't say "G-censorship"? Confusion on their message is utterly impossible.
  11. The problem is, since when did Merlin Jetton gain a monopoly on the meaning of words? Tu quoque, dude! The question should be, what is the objective meaning of “censorship” or “censor” (qua verb) in the English language? And how do you establish an objective fact? Generally, we observe reality to determine what the facts are, for example I observe actual dogs to answer the question of whether dogs have eight legs or four. Likewise with spiders. There are two things that can be actually observed: dictionaries, and speakers of English. Dictionaries are based on observation of speakers, though (1
  12. If you knowingly harm a person or their property by an action, you should compensate the person for the harm. “Knowingly” does not refer to absolute certainty that harm will result, it refers to having reasonable knowledge that harm will result from an action. If A is allergic to shrimp, you know that fact, and bring unlabeled shrimp curry to a potluck at A’s house, that is an immoral choice given your knowledge. If you know nothing of A and don’t know that your chicken curry happens to contain some shrimp juice, your actions are innocent and you are not to be blamed for harm done to A. “
  13. This discussion has been rather far removed from the fundamental principles regarding man’s rights, and has focused instead on notions of aggression, spreading (versus other means), sensory inputs, affecting a person, doing damage to body or property including creating a risk of same. It has included the idea that one can accidentally initiate physical force. The problem has been (for over a half century) that we (not exclusively Objectivists, referring to people who take the concept of “individual rights” to be an essential concept that must be understood) are constantly playing whack-a-mole
  14. No, this is a 2012 essay, available through ARI.
  15. It seems to me that this sub-discussion would benefit from some discussion of Peter Schwartz's essay "Free minds and free markets", which I think would be helpful in conceptualizing the ethics of unknowingly having a disease.
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