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StrictlyLogical last won the day on March 28

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  1. You have ignored much of my post which warns against clinging to concretes which are no longer applicable during a pandemic. A sneeze is no longer a harmless thing (which you imply)... you can’t treat it as though it still is harmless. My advice is to stop focusing on your emotional gut feeling that things “shouldn’t” be any different “just because” and think about the principles involved taking into account the vastly changed context in reality which is presented by the pandemic.
  2. Given the nature of the threat I think we have to start with a "new" set of what is normal when thinking of the relationship of activities we take for granted with rights. Why? Because even though the nature of rights does NOT change, given the situation, our normal concrete assumptions about how those rights are exercised and protected has to change, and our normal assumptions about what activities infringes rights or constitutes the initiation of harm changes. So, ASSUMPTIONS about freedom of movement, about what does or does not constitute harm, has to change. ASSUMPTIONS about the rate of crime and frequency of violation of rights and hence what kind of police and how many officers also necessarily changes. First of all we have to side, as the norm, with those who are uninfected, and harming no one. People who have no symptoms and who have diligently not come into contact with people who exhibit symptoms, have no reasons to believe they are dangerous, and hence should not be restricted in any way. Conversely, however, given the nature of the threat, anyone who exhibits symptoms of the virus, or who knows they have been in contact with people who have exhibited symptoms, or knows they have been in contact with a group of people, one of whom has the virus, that person HAS reason to believe they pose a danger. Authorities also have reasonable grounds to believe they pose a danger. The process of protecting the innocent, is necessarily preventive, and uses the same standards regarding evidence of a threat to bodily harm/life as in any other case, although the standard for the evidence depends also on the science of the particular kind of threat. We do not arrest a man for making a small campfire in is rural back yard, we arrest a man who repeatedly makes a huge 30 ft spark throwing bonfire in his suburban backyard... here the science of FIRE is used to assess the thresholds. The number of perpetrators, and offenders, those who are criminally negligent, and exposing innocent people to the deadly virus, will far exceed the number of common thugs we are used to seeing lurking in our streets. Enforcement and protection of the innocent during such a plague require greater number of police officers and diligent citizens reporting criminally negligent behavior. This is nothing like life as normal, because rights are being violated by negligence, at a rate far exceeding anything we have personally ever seen.
  3. So no role for government i. e. the military against an invasion of non-sentient aliens.
  4. This is a complex question. Case law over hundreds of years has dealt with the question of criminal and civil liability, negligence, duty of care etc. These issues have been adjudicated upon.. in some cases there is responsibility and in others there is not. Consider the difference between A ) a doctor who knows that some crazy drug has a 10% chance of making him a temporarily murderous psychotic... suppose he took the drug and ten minutes later killed someone... his choice, while he was still sane, to take the drug without any precautions, likely constitutes the commission of the crime of negligence. and B ) a person who is genetically predisposed to have psychotic episodes, has no family history or any evidence or knowledge of this fact and has his first episode... and kills someone. He may be innocent by virtue of temporary insanity if proven with expert testimony in a court of law. Of course he will need to take medication or commit himself etc. to ensure it does not happen again. The simple fact that a person did something, owns something, is not enough for moral, criminal, or civil culpability... it is of part of the analysis. Certainly, being causally linked and reasonable knowledge of the risk of harm are huge factors.
  5. Exposing others to dangers of an alien when there is grounds to suspect you are a host, likely would already fall under criminal negligence under existing legal principles. But mens rea or "guilty mind" is required for most real crimes. As for responsibility with respect to the car, the question is whether you were negligent in how you parked it, or whether the manufacturer was negligent in how they made the car...
  6. Here the ultimate threat which is non sentient resides in a human, who thereby also becomes a threat, but also happens to be sentient.
  7. I wonder if Rand ever implied that only sentient beings can violate rights and hence implied that whether an invasion of aliens is the government’s responsibility or not is based, not on the level of the threat to life and liberty, but based on whether or not that threat is sentient... I’m no expert on Rand but I do not see her making so big an issue out of such an irrelevant consideration given the real and dire consequences.
  8. This is a straw man. Do not twist my words. These issues, this subject and the principles involved deserve more... as do I. According to Objectivism the military is one of the few legitimate branches of government, and protection as against foreign invaders IS a proper role of a proper government NOT the role of some emergency response initiated temporary autocracy.
  9. I do not know if oppression is the correct word. Certainly times of war require action which is not “normal” but a proper government MUST be ready for and capable of conducting war. Even if conventional ground warfare is all we speak of... suppose the enemy has successfully overrun some domestic territory, and occupy houses and farms of our citizens up to the new “front lines”, some of them have taken hostages. The situation is bleak and proper military action aims to free as many hostages and return control and possession of as much of the occupied/stolen territory and property to its rightful owners.as possible. Actions which are taken here although often tragic and involving loss is not oppression it is liberation, it is that which is required to make life possible again. Aliens or no aliens, proper governments conduct warfare as part of its proper role and it is not oppression.
  10. For some... use of an "unusual" perspective is necessary to distill principles or to bring concepts into clarity. "Unpredictable alien suicide bombers who hide in host humans" might bring the mind to a level of attention and alertness which might not be reached by thinking about "just an uncommonly dangerous and unpredictable cold".
  11. I agree with most of what you say here. However, I think the term "voluntary" has a narrow application where it is necessary in this context. Government has its proper role and people will act on their own volition... whether peacetime or wartime. The opposite of "authoritarian" government (one which violates rights) is not associated with "voluntariness" in any general sense but is the presence of a proper government which acts according to Objective law to protect rights and not violate them... The role of government is not premised upon nor dependent on the voluntary choice of people to behave lawfully ... in fact the proper role of government includes protecting rights of the innocent from those who voluntarily act inappropriately. That said, when it comes to wartime resources, forced appropriation of resources and people (the draft) would be authoritarian and improper, so in the sense only that people and resources must have been volunteered or donated,to properly become part of the government's legitimate war machine.. I agree with use of the term "voluntary".
  12. I suspect this above is an oversimplification. What do you mean by voluntarily implemented? If a person has reasonable suspicion that they are a host then "voluntarily" approaching others becomes taking a risk with regard to those other's individual rights to life and bodily integrity which risk is criminal negligence, and the initiation of force (real threats/risk constitute force). It is opening up others to the risk of death by the enemy aliens... this risk to individual rights is a violation of those rights certainly once the person knows he is a host... and in fact can be violation of others rights (and a crime) when it is only that he is being negligent regarding his reasonable suspicion that he is already a host and poses a risk to life. The innocent person being approached does not initiate this harm, the negligent person who approaches them and risking that other person's life against their will is initiating it. Voluntary behavior of approaching others by persons who know they are hosts or who should reasonably know that they are hosts is a violation of rights, the initiation of force and the rights of those others deserves to be protected by a proper government. This must be done contextually and in proportion but it must be done. Protection of individual rights does involve the authority of law and if needed the legitimate use of force, but legitimate force is not authoritarian as such. This is not about fighting aliens per se, but about protecting the rights of people, by fighting the aliens, and protecting people from each other's aliens. The proper approach of a proper government must be nuanced but also take into account the complexity and the unknowns of the problem.
  13. Alien Invasion Imagine an invading alien force which quite accidentally came to Earth via an errant asteroid. The aliens themselves are quite unusual. They are passive, non-sentient, and they multiply under the right conditions. Most alarmingly the aliens are quite small, they invade humans, multiply and pass from human to human... and they are miniature, unpredictable, terrorists who seemingly at whim, can kill the human host they have invaded including themselves. A sort of miniature non-sentient suicide bomber who kills the host and themselves without much rhyme or reason... although statistically we can detect a pattern regarding which hosts are more likely to trigger the attack. There is also much evidence regarding how they multiply and propagate from human to human... oddly they can be modeled on something from Earth we more commonly know as a "virus". In a world with a proper government whose responsibility is to protect individual rights from domestic and foreign invaders, a council is assembled, and the issues debated... How do we protect the individual rights the very right to live of our citizens from this blind insidious invading alien force? [Edit: not sure if this should be added here or added as a new thread... actually I'd like to request Dream Weaver move it to a new thread called "Aliens and Proper Government" ]
  14. Particular individuals which are entitled and spoiled adults that have failed to launch and cannot or will not become financially or emotionally independent from their parents are for all intents and purposes adult children maintaining a relationship and mentality of significant dependence. Do such persons necessarily have an implicit (subconscious) philosophy of dependence and socialist duty which prevents them from ever fully accepting or understanding independence and rational egoism that are at the heart of Objectivism? Given how parents who have been spoiled and coddled can often spoil and coddle their own children .... are we forever doomed for the future (post-Millennial) generations?
  15. Fair enough given a context of gross and universal immoral looting... what WOULD constitute fair and moral incremental redress? Fairness in general and fairness before the law should be kept in mind here. IF you, I and Bill gates are all overtaxed...Should we all get a small reduction in tax towards a proper society? Sure... should it be proportional? Say 1% of income tax per year? Well, since taxes are disproportional (we have unjust brackets) the unfairness should be addressed at the same time... so Bill Gates percentage tax should be reduced at a rate so it catches up at some point with ours on the way down.... Now while addressing the gross ills of society I add a new one by neglecting my child's welfare. I claim to be "unable" to feed him. (Although I presumably feed myself, maybe smoke cigarettes or have a drinking or gambling problem). Who should "pay" for my disability? Should my tax rebate be greater than yours or Bill Gates (on our wonderful journey to a proper society)? Why? Because of my need? (do I REALLY need it?... have I given up smoking? have I worked harder or tried to get a better job? have I appealed to friends and family for charity or even a loan until I get my SH!t together?) or maybe I should get it Because of my inability or disability? ... and why do I want to keep custody of my child if I CANNOT provide the necessities of life?? (or can I ?) Do I really love my child? or perhaps I just "love" my cigarettes, alcohol, or gambling MORE than knowing my child is not going hungry... What kind of person am I if I would rather have strangers FORCED to help me (perhaps when I do not deserve it) instead of asking my friends, family, or even strangers for charity or a loan? In the VERY RARE case it might be shown that the immoral acts of government caused innocent hard working parents to be incapable of supporting their child, in which case they perhaps should receive the tax break (and at the same time be set free from government benefits as well) to enable them to be more self sufficient... ahead of other citizens not in such a dire situation. Redress for injustice should be intelligent and might have to be paid in the order to avoid permanent harm which these innocents are at risk of, and which others might not be. A blanket free lunch program at school would simply be a new welfare program... adding to the immorality of the entire system.
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