Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Randroid

  1. Randroid


    I'm with you thus far. Baby pops out, the biological parents raise their hands and say "we volunteer to raise this child" and become legal guardians. So far, so good. However, this is only meaningful because it is possible to volunteer at this point (after birth). There can be no volunteers while the fetus is still in the womb. Same principle as above. Any attempt to become a legal guardian of the fetus against the biological mother's will requires force, i.e. is a violation of her rights. First, brain waves are not a claim on someone else's life. You said it yourself, "No one has the right to exist at the expense of another." Second, this imaginary "contract" you speak of does not exist. If you start doing something, actively or passively, without receiving compensation or making promises, there is no magic that happens at some point that creates some sort of unchosen duty to see it through to the end. If you tacitly let someone live in or on your property for some time without evicting them, they do not acquire any rights to your property ("squatter's rights"). If a woman engages in sexual intercourse, she is not obligated to "finish" it after X amount of foreplay. As Mixon pointed out, a contract is a quite specific thing. First, a fetus does not pay rent for the uterus. Second, a fetus, with brain waves or without, cannot accept an offer, even if one is made. At best(!) you can argue that the mother made this contract with herself, as the fetus' legal guardian, and since a contract must have at least two parties, there cannot possibly be any "contract".
  2. Randroid


    That would mean that human rights are dependent on the level of medical care you can afford. First, this is not the source of the right to life, according to Objectivism. Second, let's say that an American hospital can keep a fetus at 5 months alive, a Cuban hospital at 7 months. It would then be moral for a Cuban woman to abort at 6 months, but not for an American woman. It would (presumably) be immoral for the American woman to travel to Cuba to get an abortion at six months there. An afflluent Cuban woman would have the duty to travel to America to give an early birth at six months if she changes her mind, but a poor Cuban woman would have no such duty. Not only is this completely inconsistent, it is also based on a presumption of duty. This has already been addressed earlier in this thread. There is no such thing as a "contract" or "unspoken agreement" or "clandestine covenant" between the woman and the fetus, and certainly not just because you arbitrarily say so. Actually, it does, if and when you stop thinking of pregnant ladies as walking incubation chambers (which is exactly what you do when you argue that a pregnant woman has no rights to her body and that her womb is the property of the fetus after an arbitrary amount of time has passed). A premturely born child can be cared for by any number of volunteers (paid professionals included). If any of these want to quit, there is no need to force them to continue; someone else can take their place. That is not the case with the biological mother during pregnancy. If she wants to quit, you'd have to force her to continue the pregnancy or undergo a surgical procedure that she doesn't want, thereby violating her rights. That is the difference. Force. Do you know of a single doctor who would be willing to perform an abortion at a moment's notice and on a whim right in the middle of childbirth? This is a non-issue.
  3. Randroid


    I most certainly do not go by that criterion. I said that the fetus cannot have a right to life that would contradict the mother's right to her own body. I do not see how a fetus' "proposed" (for lack of a better word) right to life would contradict the mother's rights after birth, while the umbilical cord is still attached. Therefore, it would be immoral to kill the fetus.
  4. Randroid


    Until the fetus does not need specifically the biological mother's cooperation to survive anymore. After birth, she has to disconnect the umbilical cord anyway - there is nothing for her to be gained by killing the fetus first.
  5. Randroid


    The fetus does not have the right to be extracted from the woman's body in any specific way. To say otherwise is to say that the fetus has a right to the woman's body, which is to say that the woman does not have a right to her own body, since rights cannot contradict each other. If a woman chooses to have the fetus removed in a fashion that is fatal to the fetus, the fetus is simply out of luck. Until birth, its survival is entirely dependent on the cooperation of the woman, which must not be forced - unless you want to argue that pregnant women don't have rights.
  6. I have to disagree on that part. It is certainly a welcome side-effect, but we do not imprison criminals "for The Greater Good™ of society". We do this because they violated the rights of an individual. Even if deterrence were your primary motivation for supporting a criminal justice system, giving criminals a way to "get away" with some therapy by pleading insanity weakens the deterrence.
  7. Sorry. I'll try to be nicer in the future.
  8. I really liked Isreali actress Mili Avital's performance in Stargate (the movie).
  9. It depends. If they are the kind of collectivist that will unashamedly wear a red star or the Hammer-and-Sickle or Che Guevara's ugly mug, they will applaud and even call for the initiation of force. The average concerned, "socially aware", "enlightened" citizen or Birkenstock-wearing granola-muncher is quite likely to say that being mean to people is, like, totally bad, m'kaay? I think one should choose one's approach depending on who one is arguing against and who one is trying to win over. Ideally, they should not be the same person.
  10. I agree with you on all points. One little bit of constructive criticism, though: If you argue that way, the collectivist will invariably say that it only doesn't work because it hasn't been done right yet. You could try pointing out that redistribution is ultimately the initiation of force, and therefore morally wrong (in addition to being ineffective).
  11. From what I gather, masochists only enjoy some specific kinds of pain, and even those only if they are in the right mood, so to speak. If one were to punch an unsuspecting masochist in the face, he would certainly not feel any kind of pleasure. I think you answered your own question regarding the "working to the point of exhaustion" thing: The knowledge of working toward a greater value makes it enjoyable. Finally, if one's sense of pleasure and pain were truly inverted or otherwise seriously off, that individual would almost certainly work towards their own demise, albeit unknowingly.
  12. Think insurance. A health insurance company has a strong incentive to cure their customers with a simple shot rather than to pay for their medicine for years. They also have the resources to finance such research.
  13. I think your friend has identified both the problem and the solution right there. The explanation for LFC is that LFC is the necessary result of the proper implementation of non-contradictory human rights. If undue limitations on and protections for corporations and individuals were removed and every player had to face criminal and/or civil charges for fraud, there would be no incentive to be fraudulent in a LFC system.
  14. Impressive. I recently got my hands on an older version of Illustrator and have just begun making some logos for print on tee shirts and coffee mugs, but I'm nowhere near your level of skill. Do you use a mouse or a graphics tablet?
  15. Randroid


    If a recovery from this condition is not likely and the patient has not expressed that he wants to remain on life support for as long as possible, then yes, it would be moral for whoever is designated "notify in case of emergency" to decide to pull the plug.
  16. I'm not saying the murderer in case 1 shouldn't get to spend his money. Like I said, it's legitimately his, as the proceeds from his book are derived from his writing abilities, not from his crime - or at least very, very indirectly. The issue of corruption in prisons is an entirely separate one.
  17. Case 1: The serial killer is not making money off his crimes, he is making money off writing about his crimes. Big difference. Besides, he is serving a life sentence. What's he gonna spend his money on? Cases 2 and 3: I believe the compensation that any just court of law would award the victims would outweigh any profits the perpetrator could have made off his crime, which makes this a non-issue.
  18. Same here. I have thought about it for quite a while, and the only parties who are openly against the Lisbon treaty and the EU are practically un-electable and morally repulsive. I don't think there is anything freedom-appreciating Europeans can do about the Lisbon treaty for the time being. Except waiting for Atlas to Shrug. I will also vote for what passes for a libertarian party in Germany, the FDP.
  19. Ask your friend if he ever voted for a non-LFC political party, or used any government services. If so, he has permanently forfeited (grammar?) all his rights, by his own "reasoning".
  20. I can understand that you don't want to aggravate your relationship with your mother with a discussion about why this is wrong, but you could (IMO) ask her how it would be even possible for the weak to restrain the strong. Wouldn't that, by definition, reverse the roles and thus the morality?
  21. Your argument appears to make sense at first glance, but to me some cases still seem more harmless than others. Please help me find my (or your ) error. For example: A while ago, Islamists made and published videos of them beheading or otherwise murdering unbelievers. These videos were the product of murder. Is knowingly downloading these videos a crime in the same league as murder? I agree with you thus far. However, in the example I gave, force (trespassing) was initiated in order to obtain the pictures. Doesn't that change things?
  22. I made no such claim. In fact, I was explicitly agreeing with you about this.
  23. I chose to open a separate thread, as this veers off quite a bit from the original topic. Mods, feel free to merge if you think it's appropriate. I can agree that one has the right not to have one's picture taken without consent, at least when not in public. However, does one have the right to not have those pictures viewed by third parties? Specifically, is the person who initiated force (who took and published the picture) solely responsible for the additional humiliation or is viewing non-consensually taken photographs a crime that is committed by every individual viewer? What about paparazzi pictures? Let's say someone takes an embarrassing picture of a celebrity in their home without consent. To make this a bit more clearly cut, let's say the paparazzo was trespassing on the celebrity's property in order to take the shot. Let's also assume that it is obvious from the picture that the celebrity is not happy about being photographed. Are you a criminal for looking at these pictures? If not, are you a criminal for saving them on your hard drive? Does the content of the picture matter? Should there be different punishments for looking at a forcefully taken image of someone picking their nose, having consensual sex, or being sexually abused? Does it matter if the subject is an adult or a child? I hope these questions don't come off as loaded or biased. I'm honestly interested in the objectivist take on this issue.
  24. Randroid

    Unwanted gifts

    I'd say so. A gift is a gift. The item is yours now, to do with as you please. If we're talking about a wedding or engagement ring, things might be different. AFAIK, it is tradition to return those rings to your ex-fiancee / ex-spouse. One could argue that a "gift" of this kind is conditional and thus not really a gift. On the other hand, your friend adamantly refused to take the item back, so your friend has definitely relinquished any and all rights to it.
  25. Such an abomination could never have passed unless there had been a widespread belief that the state has a legitimate claim on people's lives. But if I had to choose a law or agency, some violation of rights that can be removed with the stroke of a pen, I'd also say "income tax".
  • Create New...