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Everything posted by ttime

  1. You're the best! Happy birthday! :)

  2. Diana, I was wondering, why do you continue to respond to Thomas Miovas's injudicious remarks about your views and statements? Is it because you think that to fail to do so would be to imply that what he is saying is accurate? But surely you don't think that is true - and yet I can't imagine Thomas having much sway over would-be followers of your blog either. Why isn't the right thing to do in this case to completely ignore him? You have yourself just said that he is dishonest, so why does he or his thread still warrant your attention?
  3. Can we be friends? :)

  4. At about 1:40. I'm actually no longer sure what is going on in the beginning with the use of the term 'moral', since his conclusion focuses solely on the legal aspect. I'll have to listen to it a couple more times.
  5. How does it not fit a legal context? Why are you trying to change the context to a moral one? Of course it's of consequence. But I'm saying that physical assault and rape, while being correlated, are two different phenomena. Someone who strangles someone or beats them up is guilty of that crime regardless of whether or not they committed rape at the same time.
  6. Why does he need to reestablish the context of his answer in the middle of it when the question was about a legal issue? Peikoff obviously considers rape to be immoral, so I don't see why it would be necessary for him to make such a statement. Rape may involve physical harm. It also may not. State v Rusk is actually an excellent example of rape without any real physical harm; the harm was predominantly psychological.
  7. It's important to maintain the context of his answer. I think it's pretty clear that he is talking about a legal context: that is, a woman should not be able to legally claim she has been the victim of rape when she declines at the last second after having presented a large amount of evidence that she did consent (if this were the case, it would be much too easy for women to claim that they had been raped arbitrarily in order to punish their former boyfriends or for some other reasons). Cases such as State v. Rusk (http://wings.buffalo.../web/mdrusk.htm) are evidence that it's not always easy to determine when rape has occurred, but it is very important to set strict limits on when rape can be claimed to have occurred, since it obviously can ruin a person's reputation. Ninth Doctor/brian, notice that you completely changed the context by supposing examples where the woman was physically harmed. Physical abuse of that kind is illegal regardless of whether or not rape occurred. Whether or not it would be immoral for a man to continue to have sex with a woman after she changed her mind about having sex in the middle of the process is not at issue, and is therefore not taken into consideration in Peikoff's answer. Finally, regardless of whether you think Peikoff is correct, I advise anyone who thinks that consent can disappear "whenever the woman says so" should consider the implications of that view. That's something that a malicious woman could very easily take advantage of. So I think the broader context needs to be considered to establish whether or not consent is in fact present. Tristan
  8. The following is my experience of it. But I should mention that I am relatively young and haven't been in that many relationships nor am I presenting this as a philosophic defense of a specific construal of the concept of love. I am overcome with a desire to see her happy - but not just by any means. I want to see her happy in part by recognizing who I am and what I have achieved and deriving pleasure from that. I also experience a sense that when I am with her every aspect of my life has somehow been enhanced all at once. I think that's because I have someone with whom I feel I can share every triumph. This is also experienced I think in a form of "renewed strength" that I didn't have before, so to speak. There's a sense in which my motivation to succeed in my goals increases because everything seems more relevant and happiness seems more clearly possible in the moments I am with her - I suppose in a similar way whenever I experience great art.
  9. You're really great! :)

  10. Allow me to take this a bit further and play devil's advocate for a moment. Why is it rational to care about what happens after you die? After all, you have no control over it one way or another, and you will not be there to experience the happiness or suffering that takes place in that time. Is it possible that it's a psychological aspect of humans that we have emotional attachments beyond when they are necessary or useful, and this would be an example of that? Tristan
  11. 1. I'm not sure that it's always the case that heroin or meth is immediately addictive in the way that you imply. I think that might be the case with some people, but it depends on the dose of course and probably the person's constitution and predispositions. In any case, even if they were, that's not a reason to make those drugs illegal. It is a reason, I think, to make it illegal to sell them to minors, since we cannot assume that their rational faculties are fully developed such that they could make such a decision. You seem to imply that it is self-destructive for adults to take these drugs. I agree. It's also self-destructive (and irreversible) to buy a gun and shoot yourself in the face. Either way, though, the adult who did this act did so free from coercion by others, and politically speaking this is the only relevant factor. 2. I agree with you wholeheartedly. It is a violation of rights to mutilate one's child in such a way, regardless of the "justification" of religion or tradition. So, it is both immoral and should be illegal. 3. There may be reasons to abstain from eating meat that are entirely reasonable. Insofar as food preferences (within a range of course ) are morally optional, Objectivism has nothing to say about this. The important thing here is that animals don't have rights. Read "Man's Rights" by Ayn Rand for more clarification on whence rights come. That being said, in normal circumstances it makes sense, ceteris paribus, to minimize suffering, even in other animals. But naturally, minimizing pain to other animals can sometimes be at odds with human flourishing. In those cases it is obviously moral to go ahead and let the other animals suffer; humans are of much greater value to your life and other animals. 4. There is no such clash. On the Objectivist view, volition consists of the primary choice to focus, so anything that affects secondary choices doesn't have anything to do with volition as such. Search elsewhere on the forums for more discussions on free will, there are some rather long ones. 5. I'll answer this question with another question: Why do you presume to make an employer's decision for him? By what right do you intend to exert force over employers in that way? Do you think that people have a "right" to a job? How can you reconcile that with the right to life and liberty? I believe your question and these questions are answered by a proper understanding of individual rights. 6. Since I think this question rests on a false conception of egoism, I suggest that you read Ayn Rand's collection of essays entitled "The Virtue of Selfishness". In actuality, there is no contradiction between being selfish and caring about others. Other people can and almost always do provide enormous value to our lives, not only in the form of friendships and romantic relationships, but economic relations as well. So, it can certainly be selfish to donate to charities to help others. The main point is that it isn't a primary virtue in the sense that giving to others isn't some sort of constant duty. Also, charities have nothing to do with the main defense of capitalism, which is rather based on the nature of man as a rational being. For more information on some of the implications of the Objectivist view of politics, read "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal". 7. The answer to all questions regarding negative externalities, such as the ones you mentioned, is based once again on the fundamental issue in politics: the protection of individual rights. To the extent that negative externalities damage individual property or individual lives, those producing them should be punished. The entire issue is solved with a proper and detailed application of property rights. 8. This isn't a question about Objectivism exactly, and different Objectivists may have different views on whether or not Iraq should have been invaded. One thing is clear, though: the government of the United States does not have an inherent duty to protect the lives of people living in other nations. It is of course moral if one can afford to do so to overthrow dictatorships and despotic regimes, because those regimes have basically given up their sovereignty by being unjust. My personal view is that the Iraq War wasn't a good idea because the net benefit to our country is less than the cost of the war. For more about duty, read "Causality Versus Duty" by Ayn Rand. Tristan
  12. The thread title instantly made me think of this song. That was an interesting article. My main point of disagreement is with your claim that listening to the same song repeatedly causes it to lose meaning or makes it harder to appreciate the quality of it. There are songs, such as "Time" by Hans Zimmer, which I have listened to hundreds and hundreds of times and still I am amazed at how well produced it is, and how glorious it sounds. Also, I think you might have mischaracterized "searching for shortcuts" as laziness. I don't think this is really laziness necessarily - it could certainly be accompanied by or motivated by laziness, but if someone is searching for shortcuts in order to do work more efficiently, that isn't laziness since being able to do work more efficiently means being able to do more work overall, or at least produce more value. I thought you did a good job characterizing what you called the second kind of laziness, though. Tristan
  13. Only the minimum amount of force necessary to eradicate the threat should be used, otherwise you are just adding to the problem. So, all those different methods of violence can only be assessed as valid methods in context, and they should be judged by how effective they are in those contexts. For example, you don't use a pistol against a child who picked your pocket. But it might be proper to call the police in that circumstance. In any case, if this discussion is shifting towards a discussion about what kinds of weapons to use in different situations, then it is no longer a discussion about Objectivism and probably shouldn't be in this part of the forum. Tristan
  14. Keep up the great posts! :)

  15. You might find this somewhat helpful: http://www.peikoff.com/2011/06/20/how-is-life-not-meaningless/ I think it's important to remember that the "purpose" or " meaning" of your life is not to be separated from what kind of being you are (a rational one) and the conditions in which you exist, and how you must act given those facts. You will find that to achieve long-term happiness, one needs to choose a productive purpose to pursue, because this will allow one to organize all of one's other values and give one's life a basic, solid structure. A little more discussion on the above, here: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/purpose.html Finally, the source of values, which are the what gives rise to "meaning" in the context you are using it, is the fact that life is indeed conditional, and that death is possible. In other words, it is only to living beings that the concepts of purpose and meaning can apply (in the above sense, purpose only applies to humans, but other animals can have goals in the sense that they have needs that require action in order to be met). A rock or a drop of water or a dead tree branch cannot have values, there is no fundamental alternative that they are facing...their matter will continue to exist, but in different forms, whereas a bird or a bear or a human faces the alternative of existence or non-existence with each passing moment. For discussion on that, read this: http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ari_ayn_rand_the_objectivist_ethics I hope this helps. Tristan
  16. I disagree with the validity of your example. It's not rational to "be taken in" by an argument just because it appears to be of a "higher caliber" than religious nonsense. That is basically emotionalism, if what you intended to say was that the man was greatly impressed by the arguments without understanding them. I do not think it is possible to be a true socialist who fully grasps the ideas involved while still being rational in that respect. In any case, I want to add that I agree with your assessment of the contextual nature of rationality. One can be rational even in holding a mistaken belief at times given a specific context.
  17. It's interesting that you seem to imply here that an egoist is not a caring person. Nothing could be further from the truth.
  18. I want to point out that rationalizing is definitely not egoistic or selfish because it only inhibits one's ability to reason properly and consistently.
  19. Think of it this way: if you are happy, and the purpose of the moral code you have accepted is to harm yourself and sacrifice yourself for the sake of others' well-being, then you are not practicing your code correctly or consistently. Pursuing happiness is entirely selfish.
  20. The answer to the latter is probably yes, though a concrete example would be nice. The former question is basically unanswerable until you provide context. Remember that morality is not concerned with hypotheticals occurring in a vacuum; morality is about what actions you choose to take in your life and for what reasons you take them. It doesn't make sense to sign a contract and then immediately violate it afterward for no reason; something would presumably inspire someone to take such a course of action.
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