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Hotu Matua

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Everything posted by Hotu Matua

  1. The current framework of rights in Objectivism thought is that rights are rights to action (negative rights) and not rights to stuff (positive rights). However, in this situations, my disabled relative or my small child are helpless for an action that ensures their survival. Do these people have a right to THINGS such as food, bed, clothes, books, toys, medicines? Is one of the responsibilities of the State to ensure those positive rights are "honoured" by some persons? In my view, those cases are clearly outside the current framework of rights and should be treated under another log
  2. I would like to know your opinion about it. My question is not whether abandoning a small child or severe disabled first-degree relative to their fate is ethical or unethical. My question is whether a right is being violated, and therefore the agent of such an action should be punished accordingly by the Law. In general, we know that the need of person A does not imply an obligation from person B. While acting directly on person A to kill him is an obvious violation of his right to life, is the omission to take care of them also a violation of a right, in circumstances where we are the
  3. Unanimous consent on what? On the nature of the crime in question? You are right: no unanimous consent is needed because the nature and purpose of a government is precisely to judge on disagreement. But government requires consent from people it governs in terms of the choice of that government. If this weren't true, then it will be all right if Yaron Brook seized by force the governemnt to implement an Objectivist rule over the USA. The very endorsment of democratic elections by Objectivism strongly speaks on the attempt to reach volitional endorsement by individuals. Well, such try is a
  4. But if you define "territory" as "my privately owned land", then you don't have competing governments over THAT territory. We have this sort of anarchy already. For example: Let's take the case of John and Paul, John owning a pet-friendly hotel and Paul a hotel that forbids their guests to bring along pets. Within Pau'ls property, any guest who violates that law can be expulsed, even by the use of force. And it doesn't matter whether Paul is protected by agency A and the guest is protected by agency B, the matter in question should be resolved under the assumption that within Paul's hote
  5. A MISSING PIECE IN THE DISCUSSION: HOW TO DEFINE "TERRITORY" 2046 is making, in my opinion, a brilliant defense of anarchism. I have no way to argue. I declare myself defeated: I have exhausted my ideas on how to defend the possibility of a proper monopoly of force within a given territory, IF territory is defined by the currently existing borders between nation-States... This in no way undermines the metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and esthetic premises of Objectivism. It does not undermine its view of politics as far as the definition of rights is concerned. It would only challenge a
  6. Rejecting something unearned when there is no option to earn it and you need it, is itself a form of self-sacrifice. This applies to societies with mixed economy, as Nick has clearly pointed out. We benefit everyday from goods provided by the State from coercitive expropiation of others' wealth. Rejecting such benefit when all other options have been closed by the current system would be self-sacrificial. Other situations involving the unearned is good luck. From time to time, you happen to find goods or oppotunities that you didn't strive for, and nevertheless you take advantage of.
  7. That's why I stated as a condition of morality "if conceived and applied honouring reality". If I fantasize about getting rich by winning the lottery I am not honouring reality. Such fantasies may distract me from real work. But fantasizing about getting rich by succeeding in the project I am actively involved in may indeed help me either to achieve it, or to enjoy my efforts even if I don't achieve it.. If I fantasize about a woman I could reasonably expect to love and be loved by, I am honouring reality. The content of the fantasy is crucial, as it will inflluence action.
  8. Fantasies are deliberate mental processes that can help us to flourish, if conceived and applied honouring reality. Inasmuch as they help me to understand or celebrate reality (specifically, my life as part of that reality) they are fine... indeed, they are great. When you read a novel, and you feel inspired by the main character, you may fantasize you ARE that character and image how you would behave in those scenarios and in new scenarios: for example in the scneario of your current life. This can bring new insights to your life, and pleasure about being a part of this world. Fantasy is
  9. Well, I'm not sure about that argument. The fact that some governments offer some level of protection to the rights of their citizens will not hold water in front of an anarchist. They could reply: "That's exaclty my point. Goverments are gangs that protect their members from being screwed by people other than the gang's boss". Some drug cartels in my country behave that way. Being part of some criminal bands, in fact, offers you a more effective level of protection of some of your rights that some local governments do. The induction process cannot go this direction: "Taxes are good fo
  10. Excellent idea of a thread, Thomas. At some moment in history, all governments denied women a chance to vote in elections. At some moment, all or nearly all considered homosexuality a crime. Using inductive thinking, they could have concluded that this kind of discrimination was inherent to any government. They could hardly imagine our time, where governments would think and act otherwise. Induction, to be effective as a tool of cognition, has to consider the full context of knowledge available. This means that, by knowing everthing we can know about the nature of man, rights, democr
  11. The issue with the Falkand islands is a concrete case to apply the principle. As you know, Argentinian claims on those islands derive from the fact that, in the oldest maps, they appear as part of the corresponding Spanish colony ("Virreinato del Río de la Plata"), even though they were not inhabited nor any economic activity was being performed by any citizen from the empire. Argentina sees the islands as property of their state/government/nation. But that is is floating abstraction. It does not connect with any concrete. Governments/nations/states cannot own territory. On the other hand,
  12. Thank you, Leonid, for your insight. I agree with it completely. Rights come first. Specifically, property rigthts come first. And even more specifically, land ownership which, after ownership of your own body and your tools (which are extensions of your body), is the most basic form of property. Over the course of history, landowners where the first ones (and sometimes the only ones) to form governments. I am trying to illustrate this with the following graph. Suppose landowners (represented by blue spheres) organize to form a government, which authority is confined within the blue bo
  13. . I didn't say it is necessarily an act of force. An annexation must be the result of agreement among free men, or else it is an act of force. Which men? The men who need protection of their rights in the new territory. Hi, Nicky The statement I am referring to is your statement about North America having "a colourful map, with every country represented many times over, in various spots, across it." After picturing this scenario, you say that "that obviously would result in anarchy of the worst kind". That is the statement I want to rebuke. It is not obvious to me that h
  14. Thank you very much, Reide. I think you're right. At an individual level, the standard argument it is not determinist. It looks as if it were determinist when we examine the group of people as a whole and for a longer period of time. If group A has much more incentives to be dishonest than group B, then group A will very likely behave worse than group B. This statement only reflects the effect of accumulated number of immoral decisions, and not any determinism at each individual decision.
  15. When there is still territory to be explored and claimed, minorities (those who voted for the loser candidate or the loser proposal) can either 1) accept the decision of the majority and stay in the new country 2) move outside the jurisdiction of the new country to new, unclaimed territory. So, the number of new countries that can be formed in the Antarctica, or the number of already existing governments that can be called by colonizers to enact their authority will depend on the colonizers acting as free agents and seeking agreements. . Now, the word "anarchy" has been brought to th
  16. I have frequently argued with my non-objectivist, collectivist colleagues, that the larger the power you give a government over matters that are not their proper responsibility, the worse the culture of bribes get. If you need to ask the government permission to act (say, to open a business, to get a license, to build a house, to get a certificate, etc) the likelihood of dealing with bureaucrats who ask you for money will increase substantially. By the same token, if you don't need to ask bureaucrats permissions to live and excercise your rights, bribes will be minimal. The whole issue
  17. Going back to the original topic, "animal abuse laws", let me share with you this reflection: We underestimate the power of social ostracism and economic boycott as tools to fight immoral people without violating their rights. If you happen to know a neighbor wh tortures his pet, show your community what this son-of-a-bitch does. Without trespassing, take photos or videos. Post them in Facebook and Youtube. Write a letter to the newspaper, to other neighbors, to his friends of family. Do not buy from that person. Do not sell him goods. Do all of this, of course, in accordance to the fai
  18. Let's take a more dramatic example: the Antarctica. In a free world, which government would protect the rigths of colonizers of the Antarctica? The answer is: the governments which those colonizers would choose to protect their rights. It could be the government of an already existent country, or maybe some of them would choose to elect an independent government: the Republic of Antarctica. Disputes should be resolved by international courts or mediators, but no government should force their citizens to protect their rights OUTSIDE their current borders. .
  19. I have some concerns regarding the expresion "expanding its territory", in reference to the government.. Let's remember that governments do not own territory. They just protect the rights of their citizens within a territory. The borders of such territory are the borders of the property of the men seeking its protection. Governments should not morally expand their territory unless men taking property of that territory ask that government to become their government. For example: if an American citizen lands on a previosuly unknown desert island and asks the Japanese government to become the
  20. I see no fundamental disparity between your view and that of Objectivism. Maybe it will be useful for you to remember that a thing that exists does not only exists, but it exists as something. It has an identity. In this same sense, survival means survival as something. In the case of man, survival as a man, and as a particular man, a unique person. Survival means survival as a value-seeking being with volition and intelligence. A being who can produce, create, understand, learn, share, love and be loved. Another dimension of the issue is that a person does not only exists. Persons bec
  21. Hotu Matua

    Abortion

    I am claiming that the fetus the day before is born has the same hardware than the 2-day-old newborn has. If by rational faculty we mean "the full hardware" or the "the full tabula" (from "tabula rasa"), why do you think that the fetus, one day before is born, lacks rational faculty? Why do you think that my claim is unsubstantiated? Regarding the parasite condition, that's another important issue, but let's go one step at a time. My contention here is to define what rational faculty is.
  22. Hotu Matua

    Abortion

    I agree with you, softwareNerd. I should have written "how they relate to woman's circumstances and short and long term goals". My mistake.
  23. Hotu Matua

    Abortion

    Let's define what faculty is. Faculty is a power to do something. It derives from Latin "facere", "to make" or "to do". If you can speak, you have the faculty of speech. Now, a 6 month baby cannot speak. He, nevertheless, has the faculty of speech. Whay are we so sure? Because he has the hardware and, if given enough time, we will show us he speaks. Our knowledge of the neurosciences involved does not let us predict with 100% of certainty that that specific baby will speak. Our knowledge of his future doesn't allow us to predict if he will be alive tomorrow. But, as a matter of dealing
  24. Hotu Matua

    Abortion

    Any consideration a woman gives to ideas like "A is A" cannot possibly go down an immoral path. That's what reasoning is all about. The embryo she is bearing is not a pre-whale, a pre-pig or a pre-acorn. It is what it is. It is one thing and not another thing. Careful consideration of abortion INCLUDES (though it is by no way limited to) clear identification of what is being killed or preserved, and how the choice of killing or preserving relates to the woman's hierachy of values. Omitting that the embryo is a pre-person (as omitting many other aspects of the situation) would lead to an em
  25. Hotu Matua

    Abortion

    Having doubts means you have conflicting premises that you have to check and re-check. It doen't mean that your "second thoughts" are always more rational than your "first thoughts" A woman may be facing irrational fears , for example. She may lack enough information or context. She may have a distorted view of what her boyfriend or parents will think and do. She may not be aware of the full extent of her capabilities. She may need a second opinion from a doctor, if health issues are involved. She may need to make some adaptations to her lifestyle, without necessarily giving up her career. A
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