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Mrs. Chrisman

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    The People's Socialist Republic of California
  1. I admittedly haven't, I'm going off of what I read here and in other posts. I plan to read it thought because it's intrigued me. I just had a few questions.
  2. Yes, but whose rights? If I were selfish, I would only care about the self, ie. me. I would make decisions based on what I perceive to be my wants, my needs, and my desires based on an accurate self-inventory. Why would I care what affect furthering my own wants, needs, or desires had on other people unless it affected me also? This is why I'm thinking that almost anything would be justifiable under this selfishness doctrine.
  3. I play WoW Ishatovan Server: Quel'Dorei Alliance Come find me
  4. You're probably right, I just adopted that "goal" for the sake of argument and might have done better to put more thought into my example.
  5. But selfishness implies a disregard for anything that doesn't immediately pertain to the person. And if I am selfish in obtaining my goals as my moral philosophy then anything could be justifiable. I just read the thread for the movie Avatar. Giovanni Ribisi's character wanted that unobtanium, and it was in his interests to go get it. He was able to justify destroying the Na'Vi's home tree in order to further his selfish (again, not negatively) need for the metal. It's the same thing, in my opinion, as Utilitariamism's Utility Monster... there's a very real question about furthering what you want and your own needs at the expense of others whether it be Rand's The Importance of Selfishness or the accumulation of many "utils" even though this accumulation causes others pain. If everyone adopted this philosophy of selfishness then there would be no repercussions for taking what you want as a means to your life goal or your own ends -- embezzlement, destroying a native culture, whatever. I hope I'm making sense.
  6. No, I'm not kidding, I read in the introduction to Atlas Shrugged that Ayn Rand disagreed with a lot of what Aristotle wrote, and that she named the sections and chapters to reflect her disagreement. Is this not correct? Perhaps I used the term "hated" incorrectly, but I do remember reading the introduction to the book and it striking me because of how much I liked Aristotle and Nicomachean Ethics when I read it. And as far as fear of punishment, etc, that a criminal feels... I guess what I'm trying to say is that regardless of any real consequences that might be visited on someone as punishment for their action, if my goal is to make money I could justify any action I take in order to meet my goal, if it's true that according to Rand man's goal and morality is selfishly motivated without regard to anyone else. I think you're clouding the issue with the very real repercussions someone would meet if this were attempted.. but my point is the justification, philosophically, that anything I do that furthers my goal as a man qua man is justified if it's true that man should be selfish in his motivations.
  7. But, let's say, that my long term goal is making money in order to live a comfortable life. Because it seems that, from what I've read so far here, man's moral imperative is to selfishly (and I don't mean that negatively) further his own needs and interests as a #1 priority. Man qua man, doing only the things he does for their own sake and not for the sake of anything else (I know, that's aristotelian and Ayn Rand hated Aristotle, but I digress.) So, I could justify embezzling money, robbery, even murder as me trying to further my own needs (ie to gain money to live comfortably) as is consistent with my moral imperative, if I also adopted the premise that I needn't worry about doing anything to another man that might impede his rights. Embezzlement is an investment in my long term goal, making money to live comfortably, and is justified by my selfish need to further only my own interests and not anyone else's. I know that my argument might be crappy but all I'm attempting to do is show a case where I could justify criminal activity as an investment in a long term goal. I hope I made sense.
  8. I know personally it's in my, my husband's and my child's best interest. My husband gets paid to do a job. In exchange we receive healthcare, vision and dental included, for free. We also receive money in his paycheck to pay for our housing (BAH). During his deployment we are not taxed in his paycheck. We were able to reduce the interest rate, thanks to the Soldiers' and Sailors Relief Act I believe, for our credit cards, vehicle financing, and many other things to 6% which allowed us to get out of debt. The GI Bill pays for my college tuition and books. So insofar as selfishness and selfish motivations are moral, his service allows all three of us to further our own needs and interests moreso than other types of jobs might.
  9. What about the argument that anything can be seen as an "investment in support of a goal," even criminal activity? So as a human my ultimate goal is furthering my own life, correct? And if so, furthering my own needs selfishly is my moral imperative. I could justify just about anything on these grounds, could I not? Would it be irrational and immoral for me to subjugate my true goal, my "good" life, to a lesser value which would be other people's rights, for instance? I know I probably didn't say it right, but it's just an observation I had.
  10. Antibiotics don't spread disease. However, taking antibiotics when you don't need to is harmful to you and to us all, in an Epidemiological context. We all have normal bacterial flora, this is true. Our normal epidermal flora, Staphylococcus aureus, exists as a first line of defense against pathogens that come into contact with your skin. The Escherichia coli in your gut help you digest food and make Vitamin K, a necessary part of blood coagulation. But sometimes these bacteria can become pathogenic, both to the host and to other people. All bacteria have some sort of antibiotic resistance. But when you take antibiotics, especially broad-spectrum antibiotics, you kill off all the bacteria that are susceptible to it, leaving only those with high resistances. Those bacteria are left to breed unchecked in a way, and they are spread from person to person resulting in some actual infections. An example: MRSA (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus), VRE (Vancomycin resistant Enterococci), MDRTB (Multi-drug resistant TB)... all of these "superbugs" are a result of overuse and incorrect use of antibiotics. Bacteria also discharge plasmids when they die. Plasmids are like little bundles of rogue DNA that other bacteria can "eat" and incorporate into their own code. When MRSA bugs die, for instance, other bacteria can "eat" the remnant DNA from these bugs and quite easily incorporate, for instance, a "drug-resistance gene" code from the dying bugs into their own genetic code. It's quite amazing. Drug companies are trying to stay ahead of this, like for instance putting clavulanic acid into Amoxicillin so that the drug has a higher chance of breaking bacterial resistance to penicillin (which we all know was given out like candy during WW2). But it's a very real issue that misuse and over-prescribing of antibiotics contributes to the spread of drug-resistant microbes. So in my opinion, which I base on my knowledge and experience in the field of nursing (and the fact that I LOVED microbiology), I feel that the medical professionals have the responsibility to educate the public on when to use and when NOT to use antibiotics (like for colds... I can't tell you how many people come in with a cold and want penicillin. NO.) As far as whether it's moral for the state to restrict the access to these drugs... I'm not sure. The state's intentions are good, in that they want to reduce the spread of and creation of drug-resistant strains of bacteria. But I can forsee a bureaucratic nightmare of requisite forms and authorizations to dispense that would make my and my colleagues' jobs harder. I think that the State Health Department has a moral obligation to EDUCATE the public on the use of these drugs, but to go so far as to restrict access... no. Doctors simply need to prescribe less antibiotics.
  11. In my opinion, Unions are nothing more than the "factions" that the Federalist Papers warned us about. My experience with unions, as a student nurse, have shown me that while it may be beneficial for them to exist insofar as they have successfully negotiated safe nurse to patient ratios and things related to overtime and doctor-nurse relations, Unions also make it almost impossible to fire an unsafe nurse and if your hospital is unionized you *must* join the union even if you don't want to. And if you work during a strike your life can "be made miserable" as I was told. I can see both sides. As a single employee I would have no power against the hospital who for instance made me take on an unsafe number of patients, and in a Capitalist environment as suggested in Ms. Rand's book all the employer would have to do is fire me and hire someone who is willing to do so (at the expense of patient care, obviously). I would have to band together with similarly inclined nurses to effect change where change is needed-- the purpose Unions have served since their inception. However they have also become "legal bullies." So it seems it's a paradox of sorts. We still somewhat need them, but not to the extent of their presence today.
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