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Rocky Racoon

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  1. I'm currently being tortured by the grammatical error in the title of this thread and I can't do a thing about it! Anyway, hearing that there are objectivist professors at major Universities is great to hear..
  2. hmm this is actually interesting. It makes sense. Is there any reason that objectivist philosophers do not engage in any peer review?
  3. Yeah I'm serious. I don't get your response though. Was there some reason why you had to question if I was serious or not? I don't post here a lot, has this subject been brought up before? Edit: if you're reading my warn level, I have no idea why that is there. Somebody warned me months ago and I can't get rid of it.
  4. Why is it that the academic world refuses to accept Objectivism as a genuine philosophy? I just read an article that referred to Ayn Rand as the kind of philosophy that is a cartoon of the real thing. The article was on Charles Bukowski and his poetry "He bears the same relation to poetry as Zane Grey does to fiction, or Ayn Rand to philosophy - a highly colored, morally uncomplicated cartoon of the real thing.". My point being that It seems that it's common to act as if Ayn Rand and her ideas weren't legit enough to be taken as real philosophy. In intro to philosophy books you never see objectivism mentioned. What is it with the complete rejection of Ayn Rand by the "philosophy world"?
  5. What do you say to someone who says the Declaration of Independence doesn't give you any rights. How do you argue the moral grounds of property rights and individual rights with a person like this?
  6. I've been having a really long and intense debate with a bunch of people at the philosophy section of a music message board. Most of the posters are obviously liberal and no matter what I say they always retaliate with some thing like my info is wrong or the declaration of independence gives you no rights. Here's the portion of the debate. My comments are in blue and hers are in red. I would really appreciate feed back to let me know if I'm going about this debate in the right way. If any of you care to read the entire thread I will post the link. It would be really great to see some objectivsits come over to the philosophy board and even out the liberal bullshit factor. Tea bag parties are fail (health care debate inside) While we have high quality of care, we have inflated costs. The high quality comes from the free market, the high costs come from pooled tax funded services. I provided you statistics which show that in countries where the government pays for health care that the costs are far lower (sometimes half of what we spend by a ratio per person/GDP), so clearly this is just bullshit. Quote: Originally Posted by Dylan Thomas View Post Why not let the same economic forces that have improved quality and lowered costs in almost every other industry from cars to computers flourish in health care? Because people purchase those goods based on their desire to own them, and based on whether or not they can afford them. In the case of health care, it's generally far too expensive for the free market to apply. Why don't you make the connection between government-provided health care and the Department of Motor Vehicles or the way government handled the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. As necessary as health may be, so is food and so is clothing and so is a home. Would you want to eat government made food? Live in public housing? Wear government issued clothes? Actually, last few times I've been to the DMV, it's been a breeze. There have been times where it's been a nightmare, but I can say the same about going into Wal-Mart. Besides, the DMV is something that private businesses clearly could not cover, so the analogy doesn't apply. The governmental reaction to Hurricane Katrina happened because we elect entirely incompetent people into office, not that government is inherently unable to handle those situations. Had it been Clinton, or even George Bush's father, I honestly think the federal government would have reacted far quicker. Why is it that almost without exception, wherever government intervenes to solve a major social problem despite good intentions the given process becomes enormously more complicated and much more expensive for society as a whole? Again, I gave you examples of health care coverage in every single industrialized country being cheaper than in the United States, so you don't get to claim this. Do you really think it's more complicated to get authorization for a medical procedure in the United States than in Germany? Try petitioning a turned down claim by an insurance company. It's utter hell. You obviously don't know where health care comes from.You're talking about business coverage and the premiums are that high because they cover so many people. Company coverage doesn't even cover half of where the current coverage comes from and that is government programs like medicare. From the Wikipedia entry on U.S. Health Care: Around 84.7% of citizens have some form of health insurance; either through their employer or the employer of their spouse or parent (59.3%), purchased individually (8.9%), or provided by government programs (27.8%; there is some overlap in these figures)." (I know Wikipedia isn't a great source, but it references a U.S. Census Bureau report, and I checked the numbers and found them to be accurate) It would be nice if you stop making stuff up. I agree that health care prices are out of control but government funded health care is not the answer. Government is the reason prices are so inflated! See above. Plus, the reason why prices are so inflated is that health insurance companies are an unnecessary middle man who's purpose is to make a profit. Health insurance companies are the definition of waste. You pay them money to be in the business of turning down claims except where they're legally obligated to (and honestly, they've spent of lot of that profit on getting the laws changed so that they can legally turn down more claims). Quote: Individuals also do pay for their own health care. Yes, I said that. But it's less than 10% of the population. And the company health care is still coming from individual pay checks. If you have health care through your work you are paying for it with a percentage of your check. I KNOW THAT! I'VE BEEN SAYING THAT. But the difference is that the health insurance isn't being paid for by individuals, even if the money is being taken individually. The abettors of who purchases the heath insurance is ultimately the company, not the individual. But here's the kicker. This whole time you've been arguing that the idea of having a percentage of your paycheck being taken away from you is criminal. Now you're perfectly fine with it. Hi There, Am Pam is offline Add to Hi There, Am Pam's Reputation Report Post No kidding the supply and demand doesn't work if there isn't a supply for the demand, which is why places like Somalia can't afford health care. But we in the US have the supply and the Demand. I guarantee you that the supply would be in Somalia if people in Somalia could afford it. You're not grasping that the problem is that supply & demand functions on people being able to afford it, and even in the United States, plenty of people can't afford it. Where does the government get the money to pay for it? Again it comes from individuals. And isn't that where business get the money from? So ultimately you have a problem with government health care because it comes from the individual, but you think employee coverage is a-ok because it comes from the individual. In a free market If individuals cannot afford health care there would be no health care industry. If individuals couldn't afford insurance there wouldn't be an insurance industry. The market would have to meet it's supply with its demand. There are people who can't afford health care. There's a difference between some people able to support an industry & everyone being able to support an industry. There's an industry built around selling Fabergé eggs, doesn't mean everyone can afford them. Why do you think tens of thousands of foreigners come to the US for medical treatment every year? They're seeking advanced and sophisticated procedures that are simply unavailable or rationed in their home countries. Socialized medicine may seem to work from an outsiders perspective but it has a price and consequence and that consequence is the quality of health care. Tens of thousands really isn't a whole lot. Besides, I'm sure tens of thousands of people go to India for medical treatment as well. India is on par in terms of medical technology and innovation as the United States, and their health care is entirely government paid for. The advancement in treatment largely comes from Universities, which get their money from either private donors or the government. So as far as medical advancement, we get both free market & governmental solutions, so it's win-win. We are not currently nor ever have been in a completely free market system so how can you compare the current US health care system to that of a free market system? Because it would be impossible to have a health care industry that was free market the way buying an iPod is. Sure free health care sounds great, it's a utopian promise but health care isn't free. A government ran health care system is an enormous mistake and like your Germany example is backed up by myths. For example in August 2008, the British medical journal Lancet Oncology found that America is much better at treating cancer than Europe or Canada. Americans have a better survival rate for 13 of the 16 most common cancers. Among men, an American has nearly a 20-percent better chance of living for five years after being diagnosed with cancer than their European counterpart. American women stand a 7.2 percent better chance of living for five years after a cancer diagnosis than their European counterparts. Well, I looked up this report, and it's not really as supportive of U.S. health care as you're making it out to be. Check out this article on the report The highest survival rates were found in the U.S. for breast and prostate cancer, in Japan for colon and rectal cancers in men, and in France for colon and rectal cancers in women, Coleman's team reports. In Canada and Australia, survival was also high for most cancers. The kicker here is that it mentions that survival rates in the United States varies widely state by state. There was also a racial gap in survival rates. The conclusion of the article? These variations largely have to do with when the cancer was detected. It points more to the efficacy of cancer detection programs, rather than cancer treatment levels. And really, cancer research is heavily pushed in the United States, somewhat because some of the best medical schools in the United States. Not to take anything away from other countries, but there's a number of excellent Universities (John Hopkins, Harvard, NYU, etc...). This doesn't have to do with the free market so much as funding from both private sources (such as wealthy alumni) and the government. In this case, it's win-win. This was in regards to a comment saying that "sometimes you have to violate freedom" locking someone up in jail might be seen as violating somebodies freedom. Yes we have defined this issue. Nobody should be forced to violate someone's freedom. You are not free to violate another man's right to his life. Yes, but we punish this by taking away a person's freedom. At some level, you're forced to take away freedom. Really, my only point is that you can't say that universal health care is immoral because it takes away people's freedom to pay for it how they want. Before you said, "The point being you can't immorally violate somebodies freedom and rights because it is a means to an end.", which is counter to the idea that your freedom is taken away from you if you violate another person's freedom. That is a means to an end. The declaration of independence does not give you the right to take another's life. If you do so, there are clearly defined consequences in our justice system and you are subject to those consequences should you violate them. Not again. Did you miss the whole part about how the Declaration of Independence doesn't give you any rights? I explained this to you and you seemed to miss it completely. Exactly people should pay for the small portion of government that is set up to protect the rights of the people. I've said that from the beginning. I have no moral issue paying for a military, a police force and a court system. The government should not be there to collect money from its citizens and then redistribute it to somebody else so they can have what they want free of charge and without effort. When the government is taking money from one and redistributing it to others, it is playing sides and benefiting one group far more than another and that is not equal representation. You honestly think the government isn't out of fucking control with it's frivolous spending? How could you even think that the government today is anything like what the founding fathers had in mind. How can you even argue that the government is not taxing without representation? Your argument before was that it was immoral to decide for others how their money should be spent. Ok, fine, but you're also saying that you're perfectly fine with taxes being collected to pay for the military, police, and other structures. So which is it? Either you think all money collected & spent by the government is immoral because it's deciding for people how their money will be spent, or that the government deciding how money is spent isn't immoral (obviously, if the money is spent on immoral actions like puppy kicking machines, but that has to do with the action, not the money). Military spending quite often takes money and redistributes it to somebody else. There are plenty of private companies which manufacture planes/boats/tanks/trucks for military use. I don't grasp why you're perfectly fine with this type of redistribution, but not when it's something like health care. Really though, the most important thing here is that you're ranting about freedom, what the founding fathers intended, and the basis of our system of government... and you have absolutely no understanding of what any of that is. Even after I corrected you about the Declaration of Independence, you still refer to it as giving you certain rights. While there have been certain court cases which have referenced the Declaration of Independence, it's not really a legal document. You have Constitutional rights, you have rights that guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, but you don't have any Declaration of Independence rights. It's a common mistake because the document is so revered in our society (and originally, it wasn't considered to have nearly the importance as it does to us now, there were other, similar documents more important, or just as important to the independence of the Colonies to the British government). But the difference here is that you're trying to lecture the rest of us about freedom and what our system of government allows our government to do, while not having a clue as to how our government is set up. Seriously, the idea that the Declaration of Independence gives you certain rights is evidence that you don't understand even the basics of our government, and especially not what the founding fathers intended. It's clear that you're regurgitating lines you've heard from other people without knowing the basis for their argument. I've heard the arguments you're using before from other people, but usually they refer to our legal system correctly. I get mistakes, I get a misunderstanding of a subject. On this forum, people have corrected me on my assumptions of issues that I didn't understand. But when a person continues to make the same mistake about a simple understanding of a subject, it shows a disregard for really wanting to understand the issue. (Yes, I get that there is a window of arguing for the idea that the Declaration of Independence has some legal context, but that's a very small margin, and doesn't fit the context of refer to the Declaration of Independence as guaranteeing rights.)
  7. Thank you for your response. I agree with you entirely
  8. First off the debate started out with me talking about how the idea of some of Obama's ideas leaned towards the side of socialism. Then it got into these questions below. I haven’t responded as of yet but I wouldn’t mind reading some of your opinions. On one side there is a person genuinely curious who I think might be open to a well presented response to their questions. His questions are in italics. Why are government regulations such a bad thing? What about food safety regulations? Workplace safety regulations? Public health codes? Building code regulations? Etc... How are those bad things? How are they dangerous? I'd say its dangerous not to have such regulations in place. The regulations we have here in Canada have helped protect our banks from the sort of financial turmoil thats happening in the states. Thanks to government regulation, our banking system is in better shape than those of any other G8 nation. ------------------ This is from a completely different person than that of the questions above. My initial statements are in bold and his response is in italics. Quote: (Originally Posted by no name 1) First off I think government regulation of an economy and business is bad all the way around, it may not be the same as socialism to you but it is just as dangerous in many ways.... Mostly what EM said. How are safety regulations, health regulations, wage regulations, etc... bad things? Many countries don't have these, and they aren't in some prosperous Ayn Rand-esque Utopia... but rather people die of easily preventable illnesses, children forgo school to work for pennies a day just to survive, etc... You can argue against environmental protection all you want, but the fact remains that people die when the land and water are contaminated by some industry not having to abide by rules. Etc... And how is having regulations to prevent these things not under the umbrella of the government being "servant or agent of its citizens"? It seems like you're saying "the government should be the servant or agent of its citizens who run a big company, but fuck everyone else". Which becomes a grim and deadly form of Feudalism, which is very un-American, no? Basically, how is preventing people from needlessly dying, or not allowing them the means to live, etc... "protecting man's rights"? Likewise, how is funding a military in ventures which most Americans don't even support "protecting man's rights"? Quote: Now, as far as Obama and Socialism? You asked me to stick to the definition of socialism, so let's do that.... -definition has been edited out. ... Quote: The Socialist Party USA calls for a "steeply graduated" tax policy to redistribute wealth. Obama has promised to increase the tax burden on the rich to redistribute wealth to the poor. This does not fit the above definitions, at least not more than ANY tax does. Quote: Obama’s conversation with “Joe the Plumber” is huge and I don’t see how it can be ignored... Any tax is a redistribution of wealth. How do you think the military is funded? Police? Etc... Money is taken from the populace and put into services that benefit all. A graduated tax (which is already the case to a degree under Bush, btw) won't make the rich poor and the poor rich, nor will it put them on par. The rich will still be rich and the poor will still be poor. The poor just doesn't have to worry about starving or dying from some easily treatable illness. And that's the goal of social services... "protecting man's rights". Quote: So with Obama’s plan, the government can and will take from a man who has built up a considerable profit through his own hard work and intelligence and, by force of tax, give it to another man who has not provided a service for him in any way... Bullshit. Again... it will not be evening things, only providing the necessary means, through tax. In a truly socialist system, the government OWNS the means of production (including industries now run by wealthy individuals, thus no one to heavily tax, now is there?). Obama's plan is to promote private industry, with regulations, to make sure those industries profit and everyone else benefits. It's also kinda ignorant to say talk about those who offer "nothing". Without those peons, then those who have built considerable wealth would have no one do the necessary work, nor would they have anyone to buy their product. This is why regulations are needed. And using those to provide the poor with necessary things will actually allow them to then spend what they have on other things, which helps industry grow (and those wealthy people get wealthier). Again, the rich will still be rich and the poor will still be poor. No one plans to change that. Quote: "The essential characteristic of socialism is the denial of individual property rights. Under socialism, the right to property (which is the right of use and disposal) is vested in “society as a whole,” in the collective, with production and distribution controlled by the state, (the government.) Basically “Socialism is the doctrine that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that his life and his work do not belong to him, but belong to society, that the only justification of his existence is his service to society, and that society may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good. -Ayn Rand" Except that, you know, individuals do own property, it's considered their personal asset, and they, as an individual, profit off it. Quote: Remember Obama’s own words were “spread the wealth around” redistribution, the redistribution of another man’s wealth, with literally no service in return. lol x 100000 I have not responded to either person as of yet. Obviously there are many many points to bring up to the guy above. He somehow thinks that all these "social services" are a man's right and another man’s responsibility to provide. Does anyone care to present your responses to this person?
  9. I've been debating with a friend of mine about Obama. Obviously he is a supporter and I am not. I cannot get behind the idea of more government control and his whole "spread the wealth around" idea. Anyway what I'm getting at is that I would like to be more educated on this issue. I'm asking anybody to present their reasons for why they think Obama’s political philosophy is that of socialist ideas.
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