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Everything posted by JeffS

  1. If you let me into your house, then I proceed to erect a bonfire in your living room, have I not committed a crime? Would it be a special service for the police to enter your house and stop me from further destroying your property? If you let me into your business, and I proceed to operate my own lemonade stand within your property, would it be a special service for the police to stop me from doing so?
  2. So, it's not a crime to use my property against my wishes?
  3. I think we'd both agree people should pay to support their government. So, the police would not be providing this service for free - the rational road owner would voluntarily pay to ensure the police existed in order to safeguard his rights. However, the above seems to imply that the road owner would be sent a bill by the police, or that the road owner would be forced to pay to have his rights protected. Is this what you mean? If so, what makes police action a service in this context, but not a service in others?
  4. I agree, and I'm not sure where the line is drawn between being forbidden from detonating a nuke and being required to place a sign on your business. However, in the context of police pulling people over on private roads, certainly there's nothing wrong with the police enforcing an owner's objective rules.
  5. Marc K. specifically states RB's arguments are well reasoned, then proceeds to argue RB's disagreement with JeffT can be seen as agreement with mine. He establishes RB as an authority, then argues that authority could be interpreted to provide validity to my argument. That's appeal to authority of a form. To rational people, what RB says about JeffT's argument or my argument means nothing to the validity of either. To Marc K. it's worrisome enough to take time out of his day and caution others against making the same error he did. And who are these others? The only reasonable assumption is that Marc believes there are people here who can't think for themselves. Beside that, it's an easy way for him to do a drive-by without having to provide any evidence of his claims. It's a cheap shot that deserved a response. That would be nice, but Marc K. is incapable of doing so. Furthermore, I don't like having people denigrate me without responding. Should I? Is it in my rational self-interests to have a poster bully me ad nauseum without defending myself? I can think of several reasons why it is not. JeffT and I were having a nice debate until Marc jumped in with his school-yard remarks; a point that seems to be missing here.
  6. So Marc K has decreed, and so it must be! Let all who doubt, or seek reasoned and logical debate forthwith be silenced for they know not how to reason to their own conclusions, they must be given the proper message! Amen. Really, Marc, that you post such a flagrant attempt at appeal to authority simply solidifies my opinion of you. Well done. @philosopher Great post, and it bears repeating for those who would tend to equate argument with, "Well, who said that?"
  7. You're "not really sure precisely where the breakdown would fall" because there's no objective measure to be found. I think you need to re-evaluate what really qualifies as objective facts of reality. How is stopping someone currently violating the rights of another considered "proactive?" No, my analogy stands. Shoplifting is a crime because taking another's property makes it impossible for him to live by his own reason. Unilaterally breaking the terms of a contract is a crime because it is the taking of another's property in another way, as such it likewise makes it impossible for him to live by his own reason. You need to focus on principles here. Then you disagree with Ms. Rand on this point? Who is this "society" guy and how did he get involved in a contract between two individuals? Neat little hypothetical you've set up here. So, the guy sticks around? What if he didn't? What if he... oh, I don't know... say, broke the vase as he ran through the store and continued running when he was outside? Should the cops stop him then? If the police saw it, why would they ask if the store owner had it "handled?" Are you suggesting they would get involved if the owner did not, in fact, have it "handled?" If so, why should they? Why would the police arrest you for deliberately breaking a vase in a shop where you pay to break vases? Shouldn't they deliberate on whether or not a crime has actually been committed? Shouldn't they consider that it was only a small vase, and certain "cushions" are built into all businesses to allow for some losses due to breakage? Or, should they consider that you may be a serial vase breaker and a dire threat to "society?" We're not discussing degree of a crime. We're discussing whether a crime has been committed at all. You're arguing that speeding by some arbitrary number over the posted limit is not a crime, while speeding over that arbitrary number is a crime. You're using this arbitrary number to arbitrarily claim it to be proof of intent. I don't understand what you're saying here. Can you explain further, please? Like perhaps noticing that a property owner has the terms of use of his property clearly posted and that someone else is violating those terms? Of course they're different, but they are both rights violations. Do you really believe the police should not get involved in rights violations? Of course, do you really believe I should be allowed to get away with rights violations because you've made some arbitrary determination that they're really just not that egregious? When does objective law make its debut? We're not discussing whether the police or courts "would need to get involved in most cases." We're discussing whether or not they can, and whether or not they should. Whether or not they "would" was handled long ago when I pointed out that road owners would need to objectively determine where to place the limits, and whether to prosecute those who were ticketed. Hmmmm, nothing arbitrary is ever rational. This is a topic for another thread because it deserves a far greater depth of discussion than what I'll provide here. I'll only say that you should think about what this means. Does it mean that enforcing contracts is not a function of government; that unilateral breach of a contract is not a rights violation, and therefore not under the purview of the government? Or, does it mean that paying for the government to provide that service would be in the rational self-interests of the contract parties? The point is the police have no way of objectively determining whether a speeder is acting under the former or the latter. The police have only the facts that 1) there is a limit, and 2) the driver is travelling over that limit. You're arguing that only the latter is a crime (since it is premeditated), and that cops should get involved in crimes, but there's no way for them to distinguish between the two - certainly not by setting arbitrary limits over the posted speed.
  8. And how would the police get such evidence of intent? A guy blows past a cop traveling 15mph over the speed limit, is that evidence that he did not intend to travel at that speed? If so, how so? Nearly everyone I know who speeds intentionally travel at some rate over the posted speed limit. I'm sure you've heard such justifications like, "If you only travel 5 mph over the speed limit the cops won't pull you over." Isn't this intentional speeding? Your delimiting of 15mph over is not a crime, but 25mph over is a crime is arbitrary. If not, I would like to know what objective fact of reality these limits are based upon. What is the objective fact of reality proving that a car traveling at 15mph over the speed limit is not a threat, but the difference of an extra 10mph is? Shoplifting is a crime because it's theft of another's property. Your argument is akin to arguing the cops shouldn't stop a shoplifter who only stole something worth a couple bucks, or some other arbitrary value. Is it not fraud to keep another's property "without the consent of [the] owner?" Is fraud not a crime? Is a crime not a "violation of the rights of other men by force (or fraud)." (All quotes Ayn Rand) Is the effect not the same? If I intend to prevent you from earning a living, aren't you just as injured as if I didn't intend to prevent you from earning a living? If I shoot you, aren't you just as injured whether the gun accidentally went off in my hand or I meant to shoot you? Should the police not get involved if they believe I didn't intend to shoot you? Your argument rests upon this nebulous determination of "intent." How can you objectively determine whether someone intended to defraud another? If you're lucky, you get some witnesses to testify that the criminal told them their plans, but you're not going to get that with someone speeding. The objective facts of reality are: 1) the road owner set a speed limit on his road as a condition of using his property, 2) an individual is travelling over that speed limit, 3) thus, that individual is in the process of violating the rights of the property owner. Placing the police in the position of making some arbitrary decision about whether the individual intends on violating the rights of the property owner is not only irrational, it's not within the purview of the police. The police are tasked with using force to stop rights violations. They are not tasked with deliberating and contemplating the finer points of rights violations - they are not judge and jury. The courts call in the police when they have determined a rights violation has occurred and it is necessary to force the violator to comply; when deliberation and examination of facts is required in order to determine a rights violation has occurred. Why would the courts need to get involved when the objective facts are as clear as a posted contract and a clear, objectively determined (i.e. speed>posted speed) violation of that contract? What are "severe physical threats?" If I only steal your property, is that severe and physical? If I make it impossible for you to do business without ever raising my hand to you, or threatening you, or doing anything physical to you, is that a "severe physical threat?"
  9. If you're traveling at the speed of light, and you turn your headlights on, what happens?
  10. I'm not sure to whom this is addressed, but I want to make it clear that this is not my position. My position is that the police are the force arm of government, and as such must apply that force when rights are being violated. If the terms of the use of my road are clearly posted (e.g. a speed limit sign), then I fully expect the police to intervene when those terms are being violated (i.e. someone is speeding). Just as I would expect them to use force when someone tries to leave a store with something they haven't paid for, or tried to pay with some form of money the merchant doesn't accept. A unilateral breach of contract is as odious a crime as taking someone's life. Just because it doesn't involve immediate physical injury to another doesn't relegate it to the back burner of government protection.
  11. So, if you intentionally speed on my road, then it's a crime and the police should get involved?
  12. Then who would enforce violation of a contract? The police are the only governmental body (aside from the military) able to enforce anything. The police and military are the force "arms" of the government. Courts do not enforce anything, they don't have the resources to do that. Courts pass judgement. Suppose you come into my restaurant, do something I don't much appreciate, and I ask you to leave. You refuse. What can I do? Can I physically remove you? If you agree the government has a monopoly on the use of force, then shouldn't I call the government? Whom in the government should I call? Should I call my local court? Do I wait until the court has issued an order for you to leave my premises? I hope you would agree this is a ridiculous course of events. Yet, to argue I must call the courts when someone breaks the rules on my road is to argue I must call the courts when someone breaks the rules of my restaurant. In fact, I would call the police to have you forcibly removed from my restaurant. It's not necessary for them to know everything I do and do not allow in my restaurant; it's not necessary for them to know why I want you out of it. They only need to know that it is my restaurant and I don't want you in it. Similarly, it's not necessary for the police to know all the terms of the contract which governs the use of my road, only that someone is on my road and are currently violating my rights. It's not necessary for the police to know the terms of every contract, only that one party is alleged to have violated them, or is in the process of violating them. If more deliberation is needed - if there's some dispute as to whose rights were violated, or even if any rights were violated - then the courts are brought into the picture. If it is determined that rights have been violated, then you can bet it won't be the courts enforcing their decision - it will be the police because they are the only ones equipped to do so. Sounds like a good time to call in the courts to sort out whose rights were violated. If the police are not charged with protecting my rights, what are they charged with?
  13. Thank you, both, for posting this. I don't why it took me so long to realize this, but it suddenly hit me while listening to this "generic democrat" that liberals/progressives/socialists/whateveryouwannacallem are very eager to use force on their own country-people, yet strangely reluctant to use force on anyone else. Using nearly the same words, this guy argues that it's okay for a democracy to use force to get the "set of things we all want in our society," and that it's not okay for a democracy to use force to get things we all want in our society within six minutes. I get so irritated listening to these people, and particularly frustrated that rarely, if ever, are single contradictions ever hammered on. I would rather listen to a debate where just one, single, first-principle is clearly and fully debated. Perhaps then guys like this "generic democrat," and those mindless drones applauding in the audience, can get a clearer picture of how contradictory and hypocritical their positions are.
  14. Accept, though that runs contrary to what Ms. Rand wrote: "A crime is a violation of the right(s) of other men by force (or fraud). It is only the initiation of physical force against others—i.e., the recourse to violence—that can be classified as a crime in a free society (as distinguished from a civil wrong)." - Ayn Rand She describes fraud, and a unilateral breach of contract, as an indirect use of force, therefore an indirect use of force is a crime just as a direct use of force is a crime. I don't know what a "civil wrong" would be and have found no other use of this term in the Lexicon. However, I agree that what you describe is how our legal system operates today. In an objectivist society, I'm not sure how it would work. Our civil code comes mainly from common law - i.e. precedent and judicial rulings. In an objectivist society, with objective law, what room is there for precedent? What room is there for the subjective ruling of a judge in making law? Certainly there is room for judgement based on context, but their decision wouldn't become law. Furthermore, I don't believe the direct use of force is always so obvious. If your wallet is sitting on your work desk, and I walk by and take it, is that now a civil matter while my breaking into your desk to steal your wallet a criminal matter? Is the only distinction, "Was something, or someone broken in the act?" In an objective society, the police would be used to counter physical force, and prevent or stop apparent rights violations. A man pointing a gun at another man - apparent rights violation; call the police to counter the physical force. A man refuses to leave a restaurant - apparent rights violation; call the police. A man is speeding down my highway when I've clearly posted a speed limit - apparent rights violation; call the police. The courts would be used to arbitrate differences between men when the violation of rights, if any at all, is not so clear. Now, perhaps the man pointing the gun just took the gun away from the man he was pointing it at because the man he was pointing it at attempted to rob him - not so clear whose rights were violated; call in the courts. Perhaps the man refused to leave the restaurant because he's a part owner and his partner and he are arguing - not so clear whose rights were violated; call in the courts. Perhaps, though I've clearly posted a speed limit, I give a little leeway and I don't want to prosecute the speeder - not so clear if rights were violated; call in the courts. If it is determined that a violation of rights has occurred then, according to the quote above, a crime has been committed. Again, I don't know where "civil wrong" fits into this. This entire discussion began with the assertion that the police would not be on private roads pulling people over. That, objectively, is simply ridiculous. If we were to accept that conclusion, then we would have to accept that the police would be nowhere. In an objectivist society, all property is private property. If the police can't act on roads because they're private property, where then can the police act? If the police can't make a determination as to whether rights are being violated on private roads because they are private roads, how can they make a determination as to whether rights are being violated anywhere? Would there be no police on private sidewalks arresting people for fighting? Maybe the owner of that sidewalk is a fight promoter and he's training new boxers. Slightly ridiculous, yet still plausible. My point is that the police are not a deliberative body. They can't be tasked with determining who is at fault, they can only be tasked with stepping in when an apparent rights violation has occurred. If they were wrong, then that is what the courts are for. When the terms of the contract for using my road are clearly posted, and an officer sees someone breaking the terms of that contract, pulling him over is no different than an officer stopping someone on a private sidewalk who's pointing a gun at another person. Just as my life is at risk when a man points a gun at me, my life is at risk when someone uses my property against my wishes.
  15. Yet the police are sometimes used to ensure contract violators appear in court. Why would they not be used to apprehend road contract violators? "A crime is a violation of the right(s) of other men by force (or fraud). It is only the initiation of physical force against others—i.e., the recourse to violence—that can be classified as a crime in a free society (as distinguished from a civil wrong)." - Ayn Rand Violating the terms of the contract which governs the use of my road is a violation of my rights by fraud. It is an initiation of (indirect) physical force against me. It is a crime. My rights are not violated if someone breaks the terms of a my contract? Surely that can't be what you're saying. "A unilateral breach of contract involves an indirect use of physical force...." - Ayn Rand Just as the T.V. thief is using physical force to haul my property away, the speeder is using physical force to use my road, my property, against my wishes. "If a contract is broken by the arbitrary decision of one man, it may cause a disastrous financial injury to the other . . . . This leads to one of the most important and most complex functions of the government: to the function of an arbiter who settles disputes among men according to objective laws." - Ayn Rand I make my living by selling the use of my road. My ability to market and sell that use is directly related to the rules I choose to put upon that road as well as my ability to ensure those rules are followed - that the expectations of my customers, based upon those rules, actually comport with reality. If my rules are broken, if what I advertise is not the reality of my road, then people will likely not want to use my road. How, then, am I to survive? Breaking the rules of my road, violating the terms of the contract that govern the use of my road, violates my rights and is clearly a threat to my life. @Marc K. - Well, I tried. I tried to engage with you again in the hopes that perhaps you had matured, but instead I see you still grasp the inability to reason through your arguments as an adult. Once again, as you see your argument fall apart, you revert to personal attacks and petty remarks. It's unfortunate, really. What this world needs is more people who calmly and rationally think through their arguments rather than people who devolve into playground antics. We already have too many of those. I made the mistake of thinking you had learned that. I won't make the same mistake again. Good luck, and thanks for the previous discussions.
  16. I don't know what you mean by "imminent danger." You're making some arbitrary distinction between what is a rights violation and what is not a rights violation when an objective distinction is glaringly evident. If the T.V. is mine, and someone is taking it from me, then my rights have been violated. There's nothing "imminent" about it. If the road is mine, and I get to set the rules by which people use it, and someone is violating those rules, then my rights have been violated. Again, there's nothing "imminent" about it. You seem to be saying, "Well, stealing someone's T.V. is more important than breaking the terms of any contract." Yet I can't determine by what obective measure you're making this claim. I've been maintaining that it is the responsibility of the police to protect my rights domestically; they must prevent, to the best of their ability, anyone from violating my rights. Whatever rules I set on my road are part of the contract for the use of that road. I expect the police to prevent anyone from breaking the terms of that contract, or to prevent further contract violations. Therefore, they could be pulling people over on private roads. If the terms of my contract are so rigid as to forbid anyone from traveling 5mph over the speed limit, then I would expect the police to stop anyone who is driving 5mph over the speed limit. I would also expect not to have many people using my road, but that is beside the point. It is not the responsibility of the police to establish some arbitrary limit, or to determine some subjective point at which the traveller's actions are "imminent[ly] dangerous." The police don't get to decide when my rights are being violated when an objective measure of that violation is clearly evident. It is my right to determine, objectively, what rules I expect to be followed on my roads. Once those rules are determined, and the terms of the contract are established, I fully expect the police to prevent any rights violations. Again, you're making some subjective determination that such-and-such action violates the right to suck in oxygen, and is therefore more important than some-other action which only violates one's right to earn a living. Both rights have equal importance since both violate my one fundamental right to life. "The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life." - Ayn Rand Violating the terms of the contract which governs the rules of my road "actually threaten" my life.
  17. Yet both involve the same principle: rights are being violated. Either it is the proper function of the police to protect my rights domestically, or it is not. If it is, then they should protect my rights in all cases, not just when it's convenient or practical. What is preventative or proactive about pulling over someone who is currently abrogating another's rights? I agree, but your post seems to indicate those police wouldn't be doing anything. Why have the police travel my roads if they're just practicing preventative or proactive law? If there are private roads, would the police be pulling people over?
  18. Around 2:29 he states, "Now, we have taken the name 'Tea Parties'...." The inclusive "we" would indicate at least he is a Tea Party member. I'm not sure if he's there representing ARI or Yaron Brook, but one would have to assume at least his support by this statement.
  19. We're not discussing retaliation. We're discussing a rights violation in process. If the terms of using my road are that you cannot travel over a particular speed, and you travel over that speed, then I fully expect the police to use force to prevent the continuation of that rights violation. Just as I would expect the police to stop someone from stealing my property. Would you mind telling me whether or not the police would be able to stop someone on a private road for violating any particular terms of that road owner's contract? Certainly, but that is not really the question. Just as I can stop someone from trying to steal my T.V., I have every right to stop someone from speeding on my road. The question is, are the police under the same obligation? Certainly they're obligated to stop someone from stealing my T.V. Are they not also obligated to stop someone from speeding on my road?
  20. Hmmm... Is the ARI associating itself with the Tea Party movement? If so, given that the party is so amorphous, is there any particular branch it's associating itself with?
  21. I understand, and agree. However, to state that the police "would not be able to pull anyone over for breaking the regulations of the Road company" is simply not true. If someone is violating the terms of my contract, then I fully expect the police to get involved. If the terms of my contract are explicitly and publicly stated (such as a speed limit sign), then I fully expect the police to pull them over for driving over the speed limit. So, it would be okay for road owners to have their own police force to ensure their own private rules are being followed? Can that work for all contracts? Can I, for example, have my associates, Sammy-the-Bull and Little Joey, visit the people who haven't paid back their loans and "convince" them to do so?
  22. Hmmm.... I understand your point, but I'm not yet on board. How does this work with my other, non-contract, rights? Do I have to make an effort to prevent someone from killing me before the police are obligated to provide reasonable protection from my murderer? If someone has me locked up in their basement, must I make an attempt at escape before the police are obligated to protect my right to liberty? If someone steals my property, must I make an effort to get it back, or must I make an effort to prevent it from being stolen in the first place before the police are obligated to protect my right to property? Either the function of the police is to protect the rights of its citizens, and thus they must protect those rights, or it is not. Just as the police have every right to enter my house to protect me from a would-be murderer, they have every right to travel my private road to protect my contract rights. Moreover, it is in my self-interests that they should do so. If I have limits on speed, it's presumably a self-interested business decision (perhaps travelers prefer my road because they feel those speed limits save lives). Speeders degrade that business decision and harm my ability to earn a living just as surely as a thief, murderer, or kidnapper harm me.
  23. Pretty much par for the course for this administration. "Don't like Obamacare? Are you my buddy? Then don't worry about it. I'll give you a waiver." "Oh, the court system outlawed my oil drilling moratorium. No matter, I'll just have my bureaucrats sit on the applications." "I got a czar for everything." My question is, why isn't anyone calling him on it?
  24. If I travel 65mph on a private road that the owner has forbidden travel at greater than 60mph, am I not violating that road owner's rights? If not, why not? If so, aren't the police obligated to stop me from violating the road owner's rights?
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