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Spano's Achievements


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  1. Great find. Art.com has a few of her prints for the low low price of $650. I wonder if there are any cheaper avenues out there.
  2. I agree, nice post. Other people, particularly in free mostly rational societies, are an enormous value, even despite the fact that they may not be fully rational. It's a shame that some people approach the world as if everyone else is hopelessly depraved and irrational.
  3. Just to be clear, are you claiming that in *principle*, every individual is *entitled* to government protection? By this, I don't mean you should pay if you can, but shouldn't if you can't. This seems to be to be precisely what the left says about every other positive "right." How is government protection, i.e. the act of men on your behalf, not the same as other life needs like jobs and housing? Again, I could replace "government protection" in the above and replace it with "housing" or "medical care"...and I'm assuming none of us here would agree with the statement then. What makes government help different? In practice, I agree that the government should do all it can to punish criminals and protect individual rights. However, if for some reason the police ran out of money and couldn't stop some crimes, it would not be breaking some moral obligation. Every man must pay, by the nature of reality, for the material means to sustain his life. This includes money to keep the police in business if that's a value he wants to obtain. Not if that means force. I would say it is morally required, on the level of paying your mortgage, not of tipping the waitress.
  4. On what moral ground does one demand police protection free of charge? Let's focus on the principle first, not the details of potential systems. The basic fact is that a government is composed of men, and those men provide a crucial service on a voluntary basis. As such, they are morally due compensation. The basis and justification for a laissez-faire system in which the use of retaliatory force is given to the government is the need for the protection of individual rights, which must be done objectively. There is no conflict with accepting this and also acknowledging that individuals retain the responsibility of materially providing for their own lives in every respect -- including the protection of their rights. Saying that we need a government does not mean we should get it for free. That's not to say that the best implementation of capitalism involves having to whip out a credit card before a police officer saves you from a mugger. But it is to say that when he does, you morally owe him for the value he provided. It's a trade like any other.
  5. If by monopoly you mean coercive monopoly, then a government lottery would not be, since the people who use it do so voluntarily. The line for collecting money is the same line for all government action: no initiation of force. If a government acts without initiating force, it is legitimate. The minute anything is made *involuntary* by government is the moment it crosses the line. I'd say yes, in an important sense. Rights pertain to freedom of action, i.e. they are negative. While you have the right to be free of robbery, for example, you do not have a right to the time, energy, or resources of another man (police) to protect you from thieves. The government is the provider of a service, which is provided by men, which have a right to their life and must be paid for the voluntary work they do. This much is clear. How to deal with those rare instances in a laissez-faire capitalist society where the recipient cannot himself pay for the government services he receives is another question. I'd suggest it could be done in the same way people pay for non-government services they can't now afford...loans, charity, etc. Living near a police station, as such, constitutes no claim on anyone. On the other hand, when a police officer saves you from a mugger, I believe you owe him something.
  6. I don't understand your premise here. Why the 'must'?
  7. Google suggests: http://www.ozgrid.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19595
  8. I went the travelocity route and paid over $700 with taxes for RT from Florida. I don't think one could find a cheaper flight, because most of the cost comes from the leg into Telluride. For example, I could fly into Denver for under ~$200, but then the trick is making it to telluride and back. I tried looking into a one way rental car, but no dice. One person I knew saved a bit by flying into Montrose instead and taking a 2 hour shuttle to telluride. It will be a beautiful location, but certainly not cheap.
  9. True, but there needs to be more or you fall into the determinist idea that given an initial condition of particles in our brain, all consequent states are determined. The Objectivist theory of free will rests on the understanding of causality as a corollary of identity: the nature of an entity determines what it does, i.e. what causes it brings about. It does not mean that initial conditions + time = result, but rather initial conditions + time + identity = result. Because the identity of human beings involves having a volitional capacity, we are not reducable to giant, highly complex atomic pinball machines. A good place to go is OPAR, chapter 2: As to the idea of the infinite recurrance, there is simply no basis in the facts available to us to support it. What we know is that we can choose. We do not *know* anything (but can rationalize plenty) about infinite cosmic loops.
  10. Another way to put it is that only life-pursuing beings have any reason to ask questions. Even to ask a question is to seek knowledge, and to seek knowledge is an action taken by a purposeful being, i.e. a being whose purpose is life.
  11. Intriguing discussion. I'm not sure there are necessarily two factions here -- is anyone claiming that one should *knowingly* pursue romantic relationships that they suspect or determine beforehand *won't* work out? I would agree with Inspector that in trying to project that, it would just feel fake, to say to oneself at the very start that even though there's no chance of a long term result, you'll get involved romantically simply for the learning experience. On the other hand, I agree with Dan and others that failed relationships can be an enormous positive, given what you experience and learn during that time, and how you grow as a result. The argument here would be more retrospective: that one should be able to look positively on failed relationships that were genuinely attempted, not that one should pursue relationships that one knows will fail simply for the sake of "climbing the ladder."
  12. (bold mine) If I might jump in, I wonder whether you're suggesting that emotions are a proper means for assessing whether a given action is rational and moral. What's moral for me is determined by the facts, not what happens to "appeal" to me at the moment. Even such a decision as whether to live in hot or cold weather could be very much a moral choice, depending on the context. Perhaps I have some medical condition that is exacerbated by cold weather. All else being equal, to stay up north because that's my preference isn't very rational or moral, if my life is my standard of value. Likewise, I fail to see how anyone living under a dictatorship could rationally choose to stay, unless the only alternative were death. Freedom/slavery is not an optional preference like hot/cold or chocolate/vanilla -- it is the fundamental requirement of life. Given that, how could anyone rationally choose to accept life under a dictatorship given some chance, any chance, to change his situation through revolt or escape?
  13. To clarify, I meant that the way usual formal logic is approached in the academic setting is antithetical to Objectivism because it treats logic as a contextless game played with arbitrary premises. In fact, there is no distinction to be made between logic and epistemology, except that the former is the method of the latter. To say that there are both logical and epistemological fallacies implies, at least to me, that there is some seperation between the two. Is this what you're suggesting?
  14. This is a false alternative. Objectivism holds that logic (non-contradictory identification) is the method of reason, i.e the method of a proper epistemology. It makes no sense then to distinguish between epistemological and logical fallacies. One important contribution Ayn Rand made to philosophy was to add to the understanding of logic. The fallacies she identified are logical fallacies because the logic that flows from Objectivism is much richer than traditional academic formal logic. Specifically, she placed much greater importance on induction as opposed to deduction, because objectivity involves a constant process of looking out at reality and making sure one's consciousness conforms to it. That is why formal logic is antithetical to the Objectivist epistemology -- it dismisses the importance or even the need for induction and treats logic as a game played with arbitrary premises. I made the mistake when I first started learning Objectivism to think that it was a system deduced from the axioms, is if Ayn Rand sat down with existence, consciousness, identity, and wrote a few thousand pages of syllogisms. To the contrary, her method was thoroughly inductive, meaning that she was constantly identifying and integrating different facts of reality. So while an understanding of the traditional logical fallacies is useful, it doesn't give the whole story.
  15. Veritas, if you haven't already, you ought to read or re-read "The Objectivist Ethics", in The Virtue of Selfishness. I think you could find your answer there.
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