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Everything posted by Jake_Ellison

  1. Really? So what's the principle everyone's agreeing on?
  2. I haven't heard you condemn the murder of millions of Chinese peasants by Genghis Khan, lately. Mass murderer. If you ask me, you and your murdering buddy could've at least buried them properly, instead of building a giant pile out of their heads like savages. What kind of a person are you? Or should I wait until you're dead before I call you an accomplice to every crime you didn't know about, to make sure you can't correct me? Also, the movie Gigli. Did you publicly condemn that pile of crap? I didn't think so, you bad movie making murderer. Ayn Rand's on record on both the sending of homosexuals and the falsely accused to jail. She made specific public statements against both. Not to mention that her philosophy rejects such actions, and I informed you of her position on the initiation of force at least twice just in this thread: she was against it.
  3. It's not a moot point. Supporting those functions directly, by donating to them, is the only way to support them. Taxes cannot be earmarked for specific causes. Taxes in a free society would be unjustified, but in our current society they are even worse, because most of the money goes to fund welfare, not to mention further violations of rights (like prisons full of drug offenders). To suggest that paying taxes is somehow more of an obligation in this world than in a free society is quite ridiculous. The only circumstance in which collaborating with tax collectors would be a good idea is if they were collecting money for a transitional government which has a clear cut plan of establishing Laissez-faire Capitalism, and phasing out its dependence on forced taxation. That is not the case today, taxes today are aimed at exploiting our work. Paying them voluntarily would be idiotic.
  4. You presented no evidence that Rand supported sending homosexuals and other innocents to jail. Saying she "implicitly supported" it is just a cheap way of avoiding the need to prove your claim.
  5. Great, Rand failed to condemn something imaginary that you read on Wikipedia, so Objectivism is flawed. In the mean time, I presented evidence that the American Communist Party was a Soviet proxy.
  6. The OP asked a question about Objectivism, in the Questions about Objectivism forum. If it is your claim that Objectivism supports taxes for the Courts, Police and military, prove it.
  7. Of course the existence of carbon caused and determined the creation and evolution of life. If you find that statement (or my previous statement) meaningless, you don't understand causality.
  8. It's not primarily an issue of the hierarchy of one's values, but in fact of the hierarchy of Objectivist political principles. You are correct, the principle of justice precedes rule of law (laws are dependent on justice), therefor the principle "an unjust law must still be obeyed" is left entirely unfounded. It is illogical to believe in it, and it is not part of Objectivism. If anyone states otherwise, you should challenge them to source their claim to Ayn Rand's Philosophy. They won't be able to. You mention values and deciding which specific law is in one's self interest and which isn't based on them: I don't think it's a constructive path to go down on, regarding laws which adhere or honestly attempt to adhere to the principles of Objectivist Politics. I believe those political principles are the only fully rational means of making moral decisions regarding our interactions with the State and evaluating which specific government action is or isn't in one's self interest. Choosing to instead evaluate each law and government decision independently of those principles, based on personal values, would not work (unless you have better principles to replace them). As for what to do when these principles don't apply (because the government chose to ignore them and initiate force against the citizens), you are still faced with a primary choice: are the abusive laws bad enough to make it worth starting to evaluate each decision, the risks involved in breaking the laws, worrying when you do, etc. , or are you still better off just going along with them for the moment. I don't think there is anything in Objectivist Politics to help us with this decision, and I hate it when people claim the Objectivist choice is to just obey the laws until you are ready to "shrug", the way the characters in AS did. Ayn Rand never suggests they had a moral obligation to go along with the bad laws. At this point, your personal hierarchy of values is exactly what your decision should be based on. That doesn't mean you can become a pragmatist, your personal values should still be based on rational moral principles, but informed by your context (your life, your friends and loved ones, your ambitions and passions etc. For me personally, some laws are repulsive or silly enough that I have an "ignore with caution" policy (immigration laws, drug laws), while with others (like tax laws, various rules and regulations on business and employment), I have made the decision to just obey them, and plan my life around them. I find that it would be far more difficult to try and plan my economic future on breaking such laws, there would just be too much uncertainty to account for. That is not the Objectivist position. Objectivism is opposed to forced taxation on principle.
  9. I wasn't talking about the first choice. I was talking about the choice of an addict. It is affected by a biochemistry which can only exist in some living organisms, but not others. The differences between species (including this one) were in fact, as per the theory of evolution, developed through random mutations. So no, that is not false. That's not true, it's imprecise wording aimed to circumvent my argument. In fact, alcohol would not cause those biochemical changes in any body, it will only cause them in the bodies of a select few species of animals. That is because there is an evolutionary trait, from some early point in evolution (likely before the existence of mammals), which makes both the phenomenon of becoming intoxicated as well as addicted, possible. Just like alcoholism wouldn't be possible without alcohol, it also wouldn't be possible without the development of the genes which cause those two traits to be present in various species. Saying that addiction is caused by a substance, and therefor it is not caused by the evolutionary process, is wrong. It is caused by both, obviously.
  10. Conspiring with a Soviet sponsored organization is not speech, it's treason. The Soviet Union was a physical enemy which used force to murder millions, and threatened the use of force against billions. The First Amendment does not protect against joining them, it only protects the right to speech. Similarly, you would be arrested if you joined Al Qaeda tomorrow. You are welcome to say they are right all you want, but if you join them, then you are guilty of their crimes. The fantasy leftists have that the American Communist Party was a harmless political organization couldn't be further from the truth. They were working with the Soviets, against the United States. That is why they were outlawed in the US. This may not be quite as factual as an open forum anyone can post anything on (Wikipedia), but it does source official Soviet documents that became available in the 90s (The Soviet World of American Communism. By Harvey Klehr, John Earl Haynes, and Kyrill M. Anderson. Yale University Press. - reviewed by Paul Hollander ): You should read the book, then comment on whether what they were doing is speech or not. Don't go by the fantasies of revisionist leftists, who will tell you the Soviet Union was Heaven and Che Guevara and Castro are freedom fighters.
  11. I happen to be an ex smoker, so I know that addiction is a physical phenomena, just like hunger and thirst. Alcoholism is primarily a physical condition. An alcoholic doesn't want to get drunk every day (in fact he wants the exact opposite), his body causes him to crave it and he lacks the will power (or, more exactly the proper motivation) to overcome that craving. That's where rehab and AA programs come in, to help the mind focus and resist the physical urge. Try not eating for a while, see how badly your body will make you crave food, until that craving wins over your "want" to keep the experiment going. The craving for food, just like the cravings of an addict, are physical traits inherited across generations, through the genes. It's exactly random mutations from primitive life forms that caused all those genes, and therefor those traits, to exist. Of course addictions are caused by genes. The only question is, are different genes causing some people to become addicted more easily than others? Studies show that yes.
  12. Not sending someone to jail is not the equivalent of "accommodating" them. So no, an Objectivist state would not accommodate evil. Robbing banks is illegal and evil, right? And yet, watch this: I think bank robbery should be legal. Allowed. In fact it should be subsidized, and first born sons should be sacrificed to the gods for good luck in our efforts to rob banks. That's a pretty outrageous, terrible thing to say, huh? And yet, no one was hurt. Every bank and child on the planet is fine, all their rights are intact. Why? Because speech, no matter how evil, does not harm anyone!!! There is no conflict between free speech and rights. Like it's been pointed out many times before, no, an Objectivist state would not allow the imposition of socialism just because a majority somehow got convinced to vote for it. Objectivism does not support democracy, it supports a constitutionally limited government. So no, the scenario you describe could not happen in an Objectivist state. Not because the people advocating it would be hauled off to jail, but because they couldn't rise to power by convincing the majority to vote for them. That would be illegal, and anyone who tried it would be disqualified as a candidate for political office. Don't confuse the right to speech with the right to be a tyrant or rob a bank. There is a clearly difference between the two: one involves the initiation of physical force, the other does not. Writing laws and judging specific instances to differentiate between the two is not only possible, it has been put in practice well in the USA, in First Amendment cases. American laws and courts have no problem differentiating between speech and action, it's only other rights (mostly the right to property) that they are confused about. Free speech is actually one of the few areas that's handled well already in the US, and needs to be left alone, not changed.
  13. What would cause humans to get drunk from those substances to begin with? Random mutation. Genes don't "create themselves for a reason", they mutate randomly over generations, and some mutations survive (based on their usefulness in adapting to the environment or luck of the draw). Non adaptive traits can also be pleiotropic (caused by genes that have multiple effects, some neutral or harmful - kind of like "unintended side effects", if you look past the nonsensical mention of "intentions" in a process not engineered by an intelligent mind), or vestigial (a trait that used to be useful, but is not anymore). I have seen no evidence of that, so no, it's not likely. My advice for those who have alcoholism running rampant in their family is to not even try alcohol or drugs. The evidence that you are more vulnerable to addiction (because of both upbringing and genetics) is well documented. (so don't even drink if you were adopted)
  14. Genes do not determine our actions, and everyone can in fact choose to not drink alcohol in the first place. As for those who are genetically predisposed to become addicted, now that this phenomenon has been discovered there is no excuse for them to ever even try drugs or alcohol, and risk addiction. And yes, if someone chose to not be careful and ended up an addict in the past, they should be labeled what they are, and they should start a program designed to help alcoholics stay sober. There are people who managed to beat all kinds of addiction, so it can be done.
  15. Your defense is that you unfairly got punished for breaking the law, because you saw others get away with doing the same? I really hope you get to Court, the Judge's reaction will be priceless. It's not true you didn't deserve the ticket, you did. You are wasting the time of a Court that is meant to handle the cases of people who were actually wronged, not those who baselessly "feel" they were wronged because other law breakers got away and they got caught.
  16. Government spending in Romania equaled 36.6 % of the GDP in '09. Estonia 35.5%, Lithuania 34.9%, Russia 33.4. The USA had 37.4% and rising fast, the UK 44%, Gertmany 44.2%, The Netherlands 45.3%, Belgium 48.3%, France 52.3%. I'd say what I wrote is true (I did say some East-E. countries have smaller govs), but it doesn't contradict your point (that they're still not very Capitalist). Obviously, these figures don't make Eastern Europe more free or business friendly than the US or Germany (there are other factors, discussed in great detail here: http://www.heritage.org/index/Ranking.aspx) , but it makes their governments a hell of a lot smaller, and backs up the point I made in the other thread: that reducing the size of government can be done in under a decade.
  17. It speeds up boarding for those who do agree to go through them, and leaves only the rest to be searched through other means. So it makes the whole process faster and more efficient. Body scanners, as a technology, do work, and if the government didn't force them on the industry, I'm sure they would still be a viable option for many airports.
  18. Yeah well, we already know Iran is an enemy regime. The problem isn't the absence of evidence, it's the influence of pacifists in American society. Iran is attacking Western forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan this overtly because they believe we won't respond with military action. They're not trying to keep it a secret, they're testing the limits of how far they can push. Right now, with Obama in charge, we can be pushed very far, so I expect their actions in Afghanistan will grow even bolder.
  19. You ( you being law enforcement) can place him under non-invasive surveillance, until you find the reason for his guns. If the reason is criminal, you can arrest him, if there is some more inconclusive evidence of a crime you can obtain a warrant to search his house and listen in on his communications for a set period of time, if neither, you can move on. None of that would violate anyone's rights, as long as the warrant is justified by the extra evidence beyond just the ideology and the guns.
  20. I can argue that a million handguns are not a threat. The threat comes from people, the large gun collection is just one sign out of many (a sign that does not constitute conclusive evidence of a crime). I think you're the one arguing that it is impossible to differentiate between objective threats and someone who owns a gun for self defense. You're wrong. Owning legal handguns would not be illegal based on anyone's ideology, just as it isn't illegal now. If a Muslim cleric who lives in the US applied for a handgun permit, he would not be discriminated against based on his religion. And if he bought twenty AKs legally, he would still not be touched. Obviously, authorities would pay special attention to him, to make sure he's just a harmless gun collector, but his rights would be preserved. And, if he was planning a terrorist attack with those weapons, that would be the crime, not the ownership of the weapons, and he would be arrested for it. In general, preventing non-criminals from owning handguns is a violation of rights (and an initiation of force), and it would not be done in a free society. Besides, it's a terrible crime fighting technique: the only people it would work on are innocents unwilling to just buy their guns in secret, off the black market. Just ask the residents of Chicago how their gun ban is working out.
  21. Eiuol said that a person may not acquire weapons to start a revolution. From that, it does not follow that the same person may not own a handgun. No rule of Logic would cause you to make such an obviously invalid leap. So what did?
  22. In British India, to be exact (Pakistan was established a year later). He got his masters in Lahore, and his PhD at Cambridge. My only point with going through Dr. Salam's education was to make it clear he was in no way the product of Pakistan's public school system (which, by all accounts, is horrible).
  23. That is the exact opposite of the Objectivist view of political speech. Here's the actual Objectivist position: The communists and the Nazis are merely two variants of the same evil notion: collectivism. But both should be free to speak—evil ideas are dangerous only by default of men advocating better ideas. The Objectivist Calendar, June 1978
  24. If you mean Dr. Abdus Salam, he went to college and received his PhD at Cambridge, England. I assume you did not receive that education, or a similar one to his. The only connection between you and Abdus Salam is your nationality. In fact, you're his exact opposite: you're probably the most irrational person to ever post on this site. If you want anything you have to say on the subject to be taken seriously, I suggest you study Physics, and the scientific method, first. Nothing you can come up with has any value until you do that.
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