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Everything posted by nanite1018

  1. There are legal aspects, certainly. How will you get there? You must travel by land. Someone has property rights to the vehicle you use, and the land you go across. Does your friend own the property where he lives? If not (for example, he lives in an apartment building, or in his parents house, or with roommates), then you must be concerned with whether or not the person who does have control of the property will allow you onto their property. In getting there, did you infringe on anyone's rights, for example hitting a car on your way there, or shoving someone to the ground because they were w
  2. Mindy: Your position seems to be this- the purchase/sale of a book is a purely legal thing, and as such the legality or illegality of the question answers the question of its morality. The fundamental problem with this can be seen with this example- I am a rich newspaperman. I aim to get maximum viewership, and buy out everyone who seems to oppose me on any question. I buy businesses so as to use them to manipulate other people in order to get my way. I never threaten anyone with force, but I happen to like the view of Cornelius Vanderbilt, who said "... the law is too slow. I'll ruin yo
  3. Rand is in the Aristotelian tradition, and acknowledged her debt to Aristotle and Aquinas. Another Aristotelian with similar views in the political room (though distinctly different) is Murray Rothbard. I don't know about Nietzche. Aquinas and Aristotle are the biggest influences on her, from what I can tell from her writings. What does it matter though? How would her being inspired by another philosopher, or adopting some of their ideas (in somewhat modified form) as her own, corrupt the philosophy? If it is internally consistent and refers to the real world (as opposed to being some rational
  4. Agreed. If Jacob really wanted to return all his books, then he should say something like "I'll probably be returning this book after I'm done with it." Question Does it matter if he says it to the cashier of the bookstore (they are almost always not managers/owners of the store)? I don't think it would, as they are responsible for carrying out the policies of the store.
  5. That is inappropriate. And Rand never covered refunding books, so that doesn't even make sense. Anyway, my thoughts on the matter, and my reasoning: In purchasing the book, you enter into a contract with the store to give them money and they will give you a book, and in that contract it also states you may return the book within 30 days for a full refund, presumably with "no questions asked" or "for any reason." By putting that in the contract, the store owner acknowledges the possibility that you will return the book, and has factored that in to the price of the books. Are you steali
  6. I'm tempted to agree. Though perhaps I can explain the problem in this way: It is in your rational interest to see those who violate others rights punished (there are all the arguments for that already). You have violated someone's rights (in this hypothetical). Therefore, it is in your rational interest for you to be punished. Doing what is in your interest is good. So cooperating with the punishment is good. So, if you choose to be a good person, cooperate. If not (which is quite possible, even likely, since you violated someone's rights), then don't.
  7. Well, actually, attempted murder is a threat of committing force, which is almost (perhaps equally?) bad as committing the force itself. So the punishment for attempted murder would have to be just somewhat less than the punishment for murder (so, maybe not execution, but maybe 20 years in a work-camp or something like that). It would take a serious misunderstanding of the meaning "initiation of force" to claim that all "attempted" crimes should just get warnings. That wouldn't make any sense at all. Also, any coerced work may be called "slavery" (though perhaps better would be "indentured ser
  8. Only problem is that it is actually MORE expensive than the paperback version (you know, the one that has production and shipping costs associated with it). I noticed that most Objectivist works had prices on the Kindle greater than or equal to their physical counterparts, including AS (which is fully 4 dollars (about 25%) more on the Kindle than any other copy of the book. With ebooks having near zero production and distribution costs (on the order of a few cents), I have no idea what the publisher is thinking. You lose some things when you switch to a digital format (the feeling of a book in
  9. After browsing much of this thread, and reading some essays on the subject (including "Fact and Value"), I've decided I will never call myself an Objectivist, even if it seems that what differences I have are resolved. Objectivism is the philosophy of Ayn Rand, and anything that wasn't written or reviewed by Rand herself cannot be shown, with certainty, to be part of that philosophy. As such, my own philosophy, which must necessarily encompass more than Rand wrote in her lifetime (she said once that no philosopher can ever write their entire philosophy in their lifetime), can never be shown to
  10. Just one objection. In mathematics, the meaning of "arbitrarily small" is "no matter how small you wish to make it." So, e=.02 is NOT arbitrarily small. For any given value you give for e, I can always, for example, divide it by two and get it smaller. It doesn't mean "come up with a number arbitrarily", which seems to be how you are using it. I don't want to dive into the larger conversation, but I did want to correct that point, as it was an error in usage of a mathematical term.
  11. Yes, it was disappointing, because it didn't definitively end the movie on the side of reality, which had been the whole struggle of Cobb. Though, I think, perhaps it hinted enough to get the real point across.
  12. Yes, that is basically it. A just law should ban the initiation of force, including the threat of force (threat in the sense, not of risk, but rather of separating action and thought). An action which may lead to some violation of rights but is not in itself a violation of rights cannot be subject to legal restriction out of "justice", as justice, in the political realm, is about punishing violations of rights. DUI is not, in itself, a violation of other drivers rights, for as I said before, no one could know you were drunk driving unless you were driving badly (in which case you are breaking
  13. I pick on DUI laws because they are not necessary given all the other laws on driving. I don't see the need for them. That is all. Take away DUI laws, and the road system keeps functioning just fine (if you enforce the other laws), even as a government owned system. And so I don't see why we should add another regulation which, in a just society, shouldn't exist. Also, your comment on licensing is true. All such laws should be gotten rid of, and roads privatized. But the thread is specifically targeted against DUI. I don't see what "improving law over time" has anything to do with it reall
  14. So your position is that any law about driving is perfectly fine, and that the government could agree only to only allow green cars on the road, because it's their property and using it is a privilege? And you wouldn't have any problem, nor a right to claim that it is unjust, because, after all, it's not MY property so I just have to accept the decision. I am saying, NOT that laws against drunk driving are by their nature immoral (when considered in the context of a government-owned road system), but that they are unnecessary and superfluous. They claim that drunk driving is a threat becaus
  15. As I've stated before, I think that a very strict "get back what you gave" policy is the best. If someone, for example, was raped in a particular fashion, then theoretically the victim and/or state could rape them in a similar manner. If they don't want to be raped, the parties could negotiate a prison sentence, a restitutive payment, etc., with the criminal deciding whether he is better off (that is, hurt less) with the offer or his sentence, and the victim/state deciding whether it likes the offer better than the sentence. Similarly for assault, murder, theft, etc. Determining a set prison s
  16. If no man can use force against another man, than no man can use force against a murderer trying to kill him. So banning the use of force, period, is not a just way to go. The fundamental law must be "No man may initiate force against another man." Perhaps you'll say "But a police officer isn't a 'man' in that sense, but the government." I believe that all law must apply to all men all the time, and that government officials cannot be exempt from any law, ever. So if you ban all force, then there can be no police. I don't know if that is objectionable to you or not, but it seems obvious to
  17. Well, we would obviously, as a starting point, have the law code of a government of the standard Objectivist ideal as a starting point for this new society (violent revolution would only lead to chaos and another oppressive government, and so whittling down what government does until it is a minarchist state without power of taxation is obviously the only way to go). Obviously that would be a great law code and would be agreed upon by almost everyone (as by that point society would have to be heavily influenced by Objectivism and similar philosophies). Then, principles of law would come from a
  18. I agree with what you wrote about public property and the nature of driving, but I do not agree that it applies to my current argument. My argument is simply this: there are traffic laws regulating how one must drive. There have to be rules about driving patterns, or there will be total chaos. As the government claims ownership over roads, and every rational person knows there would need to be some traffic rules regardless of private or public ownership of roads, then the government can, so long as it claims ownership, make traffic rules. Now, what type of rules are appropriate? My reply is th
  19. Why require driving lessons or a license? We have laws that say how you must drive (examples- speed limits, turn signals, lights, signs, lanes, etc.). If you don't drive like that, you are justly fined (given the present government system of roads). If you enforce the other laws on the road, laws against drunk driving or mandating a license are unnecessary. People who don't want to suffer the punishments and risks that come with violating traffic laws will take driving courses and perhaps take a test to show (to themselves) that they are competent, and they'll avoid driving drunk. Both such th
  20. You're right, that isn't correct. Though, I do think that those later choices are only moral given the original immoral choice, and that given a different choice (say, no taxes) then they would lose their moral legitimacy (unless they are moral for another, independent reason). Would that be correct? As for the primary topic, it seems that it hinges on what qualifies as a "threat" of force. To respond to Mindy's criticism, there is a difference between a "threat" in the sense of a necessary risk, and a threat of force. So, in the case of a car, I would say someone driving recklessly is a ca
  21. Exactly. It is morally good to administer justice. So a rational person would enjoy administering justice. The enemy (the Taliban) kills innocents, steals, beats and represses women, etc. They, therefore, deserve to die. So a rational person should enjoy watching them die/killing them. Seeing someone get what they deserve shouldn't be something one feels bad about, one should revel in it and feel elated that justice is being done. Example: I imagine most people (including the rational ones) who saw "Inglorious Basterds" felt elated when they saw the ending, because it was a depiction of a trem
  22. But if your property is ill-gotten, then you making rules about it is unjust, as it isn't really yours. They stole money to build roads. Now they claim to own the roads. They don't though, as the roads were bought with stolen money (and very blatantly so, it isn't a question of tracking down money). So while one may legitimately make rules about one's legitimate property, the government, at this stage, cannot as it doesn't have any legitimate property. that doesn't mean that it shouldn't make rules, as rules are necessary as a result of their theft, but it does mean that the whole enterprise i
  23. Alright, let's suppose that they say this. The problem is that both of those judgments will have been ordered by the defendant's side of the case, and so will not meet the requirement that both sides order a hearing in court. So I wouldn't be done. Also, if they did this sort of thing repeatedly that organization (and the people in it) would be declared, by the rest of society (other enforcement agencies, courts, etc.) to be outlaws who flaunt the law, with repercussions of isolation and violence against them. If there be a need to solve this issue, it would be created. Take judges at pres
  24. This is ludicrous. Firing a gun into a crowd is a direct threat to other people's lives. Under the circumstances, it is impossible to determine what your intentions are, and so one must assume you are trying to kill people (there is no other conceivable reason to do this recklessly dangerous activity, and if you are indeed trying to kill people then I must defend my life, and so that is the assumption one must logically act under). So, since you are apparently trying to kill people, and get kill you in self-defense. Whether you were actually trying to do so is irrelevant, the only basis of inf
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