Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by rebelconservative

  1. [Mod's note: merged with a previous thread. - sN] How would animals be treated in an Objectivist society? Would/could there be animal welfare standards, or would individuals be allowed to (mis)treat animals in whatever manner suited their own preferences?
  2. don't get me started on the UN... I agree entirely
  3. But that is about the preferences and facilities of one city over another, the question was about cities vs rural areas and a generic city is much more likely to enable you to be a marine biologist than a generic rural area. There are significantly more options in "cities" than "rural areas" - even dry, arid Arizona State University in Phoenix has classes on oceanography, aquatic insects and marine conservation biology.
  4. Consumption taxes are certainly better than property taxes or taxes on work... however, they are not voluntary, in that you can not choose not to pay them when you buy something in a store... yet they can be considered volitional in the sense that you could, conceivably, avoid paying them by not buying any products or services, growing your own food and getting water from a stream etc. It would probably not be necessary anyway, as it is in the self-interest of individuals to have a police department to reduce crime. I am sure that sufficient numbers of people would be willing to contribute something to ensure the government can provide police, military and courts. It is in their own interests to do so - of course, if they can get it for free, it is possibly in their interests to "mooch" off of the rest. However, the rich have more reason to fund a police force as they have more to lose from crime, (and they have more available capital) therefore, are more likely to pay taxes voluntarily.
  5. Thank you for your replies I know that Objectivists support the idea of a "minarchy" with a police force to protect from crime, an army to defend the people from outside attack and courts to arbitrate contract disputes. However, I thought that collectivism, the idea that a person is invested with specific rights simply for being part of a group (be that class, sexuality or nation) was rejected? In this case, can we assess the morality of actions of the IDF soldiers - they attacked Gaza and killing civilians not because they were under-threat, but because other people, part of their group, were threatened? If not, are we therefore accepting that standards of morality for individuals can not be applied to nation-states, by virtue solely of the fact that they are representing a collective? Would it be justified for another country to have joined in the attack against Hamas on behalf of Israel, or should we consider them morally culpable for civilian deaths, because they were not threatened? If it is not justified for another country to intervene, is it right, Objectively, for soldiers from distant cities to intervene - since those individuals were not threatened either? If it is right for compatriot soldiers to intervene, are we not excepting the nation-state as the one collective with privileged, additional rights? I believe it is entirely right to give the nation-state the right (and responsibility) to intervene on the behalf of others, that we do not give to civilians - however, is it Objective?
  6. Israel should have told the Pope where to stick his pontif-icating... With the Catholic Church being supposedly neutral on the Israel/arab dispute and being so large world-wide and influential in many countries, I suspect that Israel does not want to risk upsetting the Vatican and drawing criticism that might swing the balance in favour of the arabs and result in further protests, condemnation and approbrium at the UN and the resulting pressure to make concessions. Pathetic.
  7. I am pro-life, I am opposed to a "right" to abortion, except to save the life of the mother (where it is a moral necessity) and in the cases of rape (where there can be no moral judgement). This case ticks both boxes, it would not be morally right to force anyone, let alone a child, who had been raped to carry the child for nine months, furthermore, I am not a doctor, but I am sure there would have been significant medical complications/problems with such a young child having a child. To compound the trauma of the rape and abortion, this child and family is being excommunicated, which will cause them severe psychological harm - fear of hell, damnation etc, social exclusion. It is a disgrace, the Bishop concerned should be ashamed of himself. Come to think of it, how can he excommunicate the girl? At nine, she won't have been confirmed yet...? Either way, I think the idea that this is as dark and evil as Islam (jihad, female circumcision, forced marriage, wife beating, honour killing, stoning etc) is somewhat exaggerated.
  8. Isn't that a collectivist idea though? Is this kind of nationalism an acceptable form of collectivism - from an Objectivist point of view?
  9. I agree with the previous posts, I thought I would post Ayn Rand's views on the concept - This is very black and white, and clearly in agreement with what has been posted above. However, she continues: I wonder can we explore this idea, by applying this to the recent conflict? I think the quote is applicable, because even though it is referring to deliberate murder of C, rather than the accidental death of C, whilst confronting A, the IDF was fully aware of the certainty of civilian casualties. This raises the following questions for me: Clearly, the IDF soldiers from the rest of Israel were not under direct threat from Hamas... are they morally responsible - did they need to act? Even though they are conscripted/drafted, are the soldiers "willing officials"? Could Israel be considered to be under threat? 9000 Qassams and Katyusha rockets on Southern Israel hardly constitute an existential threat to Israel. Is morality different for individuals and nations? I guess the morality of the situation rests on the third question and I would suggest that morality is different for individuals and nations, because they are conceptually different. A nation is a collective and just as an individual has a right to protect their own life, the government has an obligation to defend her citizens - that is one of the few things it is there for. Israel was not like an individual under an existential threat, but (and I hope it is not considered too collectivist to suggest it), from the perspective of the government, a citizen is an extension of the nation and therefore entitled to be defended in the same way an individual protects their own life. Is this a collectivist response? Despite not being under threat themselves, the soldiers were defending their fellow citizens on behalf of the government, so are morally absolved of responsibility? Is this a collectivist defense? I guess it is like this: A (Hamas) attacks B (citizens of Sderot) generating a response on A by B, accidentally (though inevitably) killing C (arab civilians). We all agree that A is morally culpable. However... if A (Hamas) attacks B (citizens of Sderot) generating a response on A by D (IDF), accidentally (though inevitably) killing C (civilians). Is D morally culpable? The individuals of D were not directly threatened with death. Alternatively, we could argue that A (Hamas) attacks B (citizens of Israel) generating a response on A by D (the army of Israel), accidentally (though inevitably) killing C (civilians). Therefore, A is morally culpable. I go along with this line of reasoning, however, isn't this a collectivist argument? Perhaps it comes down to the value that we ascribe to people based on proximity to us, valuing friends and loved ones and here, compatriots ahead of strangers/foreigners? I guess what I am getting at, though quite inarticulately, is whether it is a collectivist defence to justify the accidental killing of civilians by soldiers on account of the threat to fellow citizens? help... *** please note, I am not suggesting Israel is a dictatorship, or in any way similar to the Nazis, that was simply in the quote from Rand, which I am attempting to apply to present events. I am a fervent Zionist, I believe the attack on Gaza was morally justified (though pointless as it was clear that Kadima/Labour were never going to finish the job). *** lol, indeed
  10. I think that he can be considered a hero for standing up to Islam and the politically-correct left, for defending Western values and free speech. Does he really advocating banning the Qur'an, or is this merely rhetorical? I don't know. Either way, he is not perfect, but his stand for free speech is commendable and we can use his own principles to question his censorship of the Qur'an. Clearly, Mr. Wilders feels that it is permissible to restrict free speech to prevent people advocating violence towards others. I don't agree with that, I would not ban the Qur'an or Mein Kampf, but his defence of free speech is not necessarily inconsistent with banning a book that does preach violence.
  11. I agree entirely. In normal circumstances, they would be fully entitled to their bonuses - this is not a populist attack on "greedy bankers" - but this is not a normal situation, without government support the company would have gone bust and they would have got nothing (or as you point out, a judge would have determined the amount). We have a worse situation in the UK - the government is propping up RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) investing over $20 billion ($28 billion at current exchange rates) and taking around 60% equity. The former Chairman (aged 50) who ran the bank into the ground, has taken early retirement worth £703,000 (almost $1,000,000) a year for the rest of his life. If the government had not intervened, his pension would have been worth about £20,000 ($28,000) a year.
  12. I don't see the problem here. There is no "right" to drive on public roads, it is a privilege granted by the owner of the road (the state) subject to certain restrictions (license, no drink/drug driving, speed limits). So long as the rules of the road are clear, then the punishment is perfectly acceptable.
  13. Unless I have grossly misunderstood Objectivism, there is no 'Objective' standard of the "good life" only the principle that each person should live what he/she considers to be a good life? Thus if follows that cities can not be said to be objectively better than rural areas, it is a matter of preference. However, I guess that it could be argued that cities are better places to maximise human potential and creativity, as specialisation is more easily achieved with a larger population and there are more cultural and economic options?
  14. I got as far as the author's name, saw it was Johann Hari and at that point realised it was a futile waste of my time. Rarely does he ever depart from reflexive liberal reactions to actually think about an issue and add anything of any value to his oh-so-politically-correct monologues. However, in search of the mixture of amusement and anger that his work normally incites, I read on. I was slightly angered by the pathetic attempt to smear the Rand Institute's reaction to the tsunami, stating only partial facts and distorting what they actually said - he alleges that they wanted to deny aid to the people there, when the Institute simply said that government should send no aid. Yet, I was most tickled by the ludicrous attempt to tar Rand with the fascist brush - the first resort of a desperate leftist - is there a more laughable suggestion? Moving on, there indeed was, Hari delves to the very depths of hypocrisy in self-righteously attempting to lecture Ayn Rand on the functioning of a market economy. Hahaha... but it gets worse... from accusing Rand of fascism, he now tries to pin her as a Leninist... make up your mind Johann... It is clear that he has not read anything of Rand's work, otherwise he would have understood that the myriad of distortions that this article represents, is just recycled Left-wing agitprop. Hopefully it will inspire people to read Rand's work for themselves.
  15. The Frankfurt school are behind every insidious aspect of modern Left-wing politics. In Britain it is a truism that the Labour party was more "methodist than Marx." The party believed in strict controls of alcohol, gambling and illegitimacy, viewing them as social evils. There was nothing "conservative" about these positions at the time, in fact capitalists were more likely to support liberalisation of the laws on drink and gambling. This changed following the Marcuse-inspired counter-cultural revolution of the Sixties, when the Left first consciously started to tear down the fabric of society. Following the Second World War, when the Left realised that nationalism and traditional loyalties were more important to people that their supposed "class consciousness" and solidarity, Marcuse and the rest of the Frankfurt school realised that to bring about a Marxist revolution in the West, they needed to undermine our traditional society. Few amonst the modern Left consciously support the idea of Marxist revolution, they are simply ignorant of the ideological debt they own to the cultural Marxists of the Frankfurt school. Marcuse stated that free speech should be restricted to those whose opinions are "acceptable" or "politically correct." The echoes of the Frankfurt school can be heard in the rantings of the Left today. Consider this... liberals want to legalise drugs - and a legitimate argument can be made for that - yet they also want to ban smoking and unpasteurised cheese! Their motivation is not to defend individual rights, their motivation is the fact that drug taking is counter-cultural.
  16. I understand what you are saying, since the current crisis in our financial markets have been caused by political interference with the free market, we should try to emphasise the political nature. However, it is not a "political crisis" which implies some form of crisis in power and government; this is more of a financial crisis, caused by interfering politicians. The point does need to be made clearly to people, who are buying into the left-liberal propaganda that this is the failure of the "free market." I must admit, I am rather pessimistic about this, given the Left's current stranglehold of the media, though there was a good article at mises.org yesterday suggesting it is indeed possible (http://mises.org/story/3313)
  17. This is a typical example of the inherent social-democratic, left-liberal bias at the BBC. The headline is totally removed from what the study (which I admit, I have not read) seems to be saying. What I get from the article, is that the study claims that sudden, dramatic economic changes can potenially have negative consequences on health. That is quite different from the "privatisation kills people" line that the BBC takes out of all context. Disgusting, though not surprising...
  • Create New...