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JeffT

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Everything posted by JeffT

  1. I'll respond to the first part of this quote at the end: The objective fact of reality is that a little bit of safety margin is built into speed limits, so slightly speeding is not an inherent threat whereas larger amounts of speeding are. In a real-world situation if we had privatized roads, the police and property owners might operate under an understanding. If somebody is speeding under a certain amount, the property owner's private enforcement vehicles would be responsible for fining the driver (or whatever remedial action is specified in the contract). However, for larger amounts
  2. Apologies for my late responses; I hadn't subscribed to the thread and forgot to check back for replies. Yes, if police have evidence of intent. Particularly if one or more individuals are scheming to find ways to frequently speed and avoid detection. However, small-scale speeding, like within 15mph above the speed limit, is more evidence of carelessness or accident than intent. Once we're looking at large amounts, like more than 25mph over, then intent (or gross negligence) can be presumed, and police may rightfully act without consulting the property owner on the basis that the pers
  3. The courts would decide disputes relating to contract violations. The police would only enforce specific court orders--not interpret the contract. This is not a contract situation. It's simple trespassing, once the person has been asked to leave. If the person has a contractual right to be there based on an earlier agreement, and the restaurant owner lies to the police about this fact, then the removed person can sue the restaurant for recompense later. Your earlier message suggested that police would proactively enforce speed limits on private roads, which does require that the
  4. "Criminals are a small minority in any semicivilized society. But the protection and enforcement of contracts through courts of civil law is the most crucial need of a peaceful society; without such protection, no civilization could be developed or maintained." ("The Nature of Government", The Virtue of Selfishness, p. 130) "All credit transactions are contractual agreements. A credit transaction is any exchange which involves a passage of time between the payment and the receipt of goods or services." ("Government Financing in a Free Society", The Virtue of Selfishness, p. 137) In the s
  5. I don't think there is a contradiction. Think about it this way: If one could choose to improve one's quality of life by taking an action that one knew (either with certainty or high probability) would shorten it, could doing so be a moral choice? (The only example I can think of for this is indulging in unhealthy food or activities, like smoking.) I think this is a personal choice, which could be moral either way if done in accordance with one's chosen values. Here's a slightly different but similar example: Would it be moral to choose a highly dangerous career, or even short-term line of
  6. One good reason not to be an organ donor is if one has made arrangements for cryonic preservation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryonics
  7. The standard of value is man's life. One's own life is one's purpose. Maximizing the duration of one's own life is not necessarily the goal, but rather, working to improve one's life according to the needs of a rational being is. Thus, accomplishing a great value might be worth trading off much of the duration of one's life. By giving up one's own life to save the life of a lover, it is not the giving up of one's own life which is the purpose, but of saving that of one's lover. Thus, one cannot say that it is not a moral action on the alleged basis that the goal is dying. (Apologies f
  8. I didn't read it as necessarily attempting to discredit Objectivism, but only criticizing what he regarded as a specific fallacy. Actually, I wasn't intentionally referring to a situation where a person is rejecting Objectivism as such after significant study of the philosophy. I would actually not comment on that matter, as it's a more complex issue than I've thought about, other than to say I can definitely imagine many examples where that would be immoral. However, if we're talking about a specific debate between two people over a less broad issue, then yes, I hold that a person can r
  9. The status of "moral v. immoral" has two contexts, which are often confused: An action can be deemed immoral in the general sense that it is not compatible with the Objectivist ethics. For example, the initiation of force is immoral according to the Objectivist ethics. Advocating the initiation of force is also not compatible with the Objectivist ethics, so one can generally deem speaking out in favor of the welfare state as immoral--it is against the proper behavior of a rational being. When speaking of a specific action of an individual person, usually, the context of full knowledge of
  10. No. Because, (1) the Republicans won't fix it, and then we'll just have the short-term economic ruin to contend with; (2) historically, mere events don't change people's views except for the very short-term, and (3) the American people are being exposed to the rapid spread of Objectivism and are becoming more likely to adopt free-market views based on the appeal of the ideas, rather than only as a response to economic problems (though the latter is providing a short-term acceleration to the spread of these ideas, the spread of Objectivism has been growing quietly for some time, particular
  11. That's not what the first linked article says. The article reports, "The ad was rejected by Bloomington Public Transportation Corporation because, as its policy reads, “Statements of position in support of or in opposition to controversial public issues shall not be accepted.”" If the linked article is complete, then the policy concerns what advertising will be accepted by the Bloomington Public Transportation Corporation. Not what individuals may place on their own privately owned buses. I would probably approve of such policy. I don't want tax dollars to support a system where anyone c
  12. I'm the same JeffT who posted on The Forum for Ayn Rand Fans. I wouldn't have felt compelled to post there except for the presence of the second-to-last paragraph in the essay. You didn't just ask people not to "endorse" and "publicly proselytize" TEW. That would indeed be unjustified in most cases, if one was not convinced thoroughly of the theory's at least probable correctness, or at least of the probability of a major, true contribution of part of the theory. You asked people not to "even mention" TEW. Two of your examples of who not to mention it to were "your friends" and "your
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