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Everything posted by Jas0n

  1. I would think that if posed with that kind of silly argument, I'd go in reverse, and ask your friend YES BUT WHO PAINTED THE PAINTER? I tend to think that at some point, our understanding of physics will lead us to an answer. That time has not yet come, and it seems to me that the worst possible thing a person could do would be to stunt their intellectual development by putting a stopper in and calling it a day, rather than learning and exploring.
  2. This. No amount of high-octane intellect can successfully refute reality when it comes down to it. They may have a stratospheric IQ, but when they're wrong, reality will prove it. All you have to do is arm yourself with the knowledge and arguments necessary to demonstrate your point, and you've got nothing to fear from anybody.
  3. Jas0n


    In a civilized society, the task of law enforcement and all that comes with it (the justice system, penile system, etc) is delegated to the government. "A government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control—i.e., under objectively defined laws." (AR, The Nature of Government, TVoS) This is a system that's susceptible to human error. Police do occasionally appropriate evidence improperly, sometimes the prosecution gets a totally inept attorney, or the defense gets a great one... but these things are all part of a system which is designed to protect man's rights equally and objectively. That frustrating things happen sometimes is unfortunate, but certainly not an excuse to take matters into your own hands.
  4. You might not be safe in assuming that eating your partner will really prolong your life, for one thing. The hypothetical itself is quite a ridiculous stretch, the added dilemma "it's eat your buddy or you die" is of course false in and of itself which compounds the ridiculousness. However, what you're asking is when it's okay to violate a fairly simple logical principle. And the answer is: as long as you intend to do the morally-correct thing, never. You have a right to live, and so does your partner... by killing him in order to survive, you commit about as serious a contradiction as you possibly ever could: 1. A ... (man has a right to his own life) [therefore I am going to kill and eat] 2. ~A ... it is not true that (man has a right to his own life) [therefore my partner is going to die for my sake] /3. A and ~A In other words, remembering why you have the right that you do have will enlighten you as to why you can't kill people to eat (or steal to eat, or steal to get pay channels) without violating someone's rights and slamming yourself into logical contradiction. But the question should never be "can" I do this ... always "should" I do this ... and the answer to the correct question here is pretty obviously "no."
  5. A person who violates someone else's rights can no longer claim those rights for himself with any consistency. The task of meting out that "consistency" is delegated to the government, of course.
  6. Jas0n

    Code of Values

    A code of values should be considered as a heirarchy. Values do not exist in a vacuum and for this reason, it's important not only to identify a given value correctly in and of itself, but also why it is a value. The primary value should be that man has a right to his own life as a rational animal - you, in your code of values, will be the first in line. Every other value you hold will follow from there, say, on to your value for property rights qua property rights. Then, eventually, you'll get more specific with things that are important to you, but not important in the same way that philosophical values are important. Presumably you value man's right to property much more highly than you value your computer... which follows, since you can't value your computer (correctly) without acknowledging property rights. So I see two ways to go about codifying your values - you can start with a simple value that you hold, and work backwards until you reach "man has a right to his own life" or whatever... OR you can start with "man has a right to his own life" and work outwards until you discover for yourself what you value, exactly, and why you value it. There isn't an easy formula, but hopefully having the notion that man's right to life underpins everything should help you to develop your code of values. I'm totally shooting from the hip here, by the way.
  7. I am new to your website, though not particularly new to Objectivism. I live in the midwest and work in finance. I will argue over absolutely ANYTHING. I am not sure whether or not I'll be a permanent resident here. On the off-chance anyone happens to be familiar, I am a long-time member of OT (offtopic.com) and am known to have been pushing Objectivism - occasionally successfully - on people there for several years now.
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