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Everything posted by Cmac19

  1. This is really disturbing... but not even a little surprising. Goodbye capitalism, hello socialist dictatorship. Invest in bullets
  2. Actually she did address this issue in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. She writes that punitive damages applied to civil court cases as well as fines given to criminals would be more than enough to fund the necessarily small number of services needed in a rational society
  3. Is the idea of citizenship charges a legitimate plan? I have heard arguments before that the government cannot own any property and therefore it is immoral for them to charge us simply to live here, however, is it necessarily immoral for the government to charge us for the provision of services in the same way a business does? The laws of supply and demand still apply to government services (ie higher crime rate = a higher demand for court services) however no Objectivist would ever claim that businesses should be supported by donation. Is it possible to run all government agencies through systems similar to insurance policies?
  4. Cmac19

    Criminal-acts or not?

    I would have to disagree Mindy.. In the "extreme case" as David defined it the innocent other is unknowingly about to cause your death. He is not morally guilty but he is nevertheless a very real threat to your life. There are many possible scenario's in which this sort of reasoning may apply. The idea that "I can't get away, and I can't stop him without causing him serious harm or death" is both sound and moral. The individual does not intend to kill the innocent victim, however the harm he intends to inflict is the only way of preserving his own life.. In David's hypothetical it's important to recognize the fact that even if the individual does not shoot the innocent captain the captain will still die, as his actions would result in the death of everyone on the ship. However, if the individual shoots him, there is at least a possibility that he will survive.. in practical terms he's actually doing the captain a favour.
  5. The idea behind the Dawkins quote is actually quite frightening, even if just because it's so plausible. Hopefully, if such technology ever does become available, it will be done intelligently and safely... although in the current trend of technology that doesn't seem likely
  6. First of all the idea of restorative justice is not new at all... Secondly it is entirely opposed to the ideas of Objectivism and the fundamental principles of justice. Restorative justice assumes that the focus of justice should be on rehabilitating the offender because there is something wrong with that person. This almost always takes the form of deterministic beliefs which blame society or the raising of the offender rather than the offender themselves. The bottom line is that offenders are rational agents with free will just like the rest of us and are just making poor decisions based on irrationality and poor information. The rehabilitation of irrationality should be the province of education (a proper, rational, privatized education system) and the institution of the family. The criminal justice system should be entirely concerned with retribution and dealing out the just penalties to people who violate the rights of others. For more information on crime as rooted in rights theories see Ayn Rand's writings on the nature of rights.
  7. Zac it's pretty clear you're just arguing for the sake of arguing at this point... Numerous people have made it entirely clear what the true definition of collectivism is and that nothing that falls under that correct definition is morally acceptable according to Objectivism. Nothing that you have said has even come close to proving that collectivism can be good or necessary... If you have any legitimate points to make feel free. Aside from that your arguments so far have been irrelevant and poorly devised.
  8. it's also possible that your father is a good physicist, and that he is perfectly capable of understanding logic, but that he makes a conscious or unconscious decision not to apply logic to the other area's of his life. I have seen many examples of people like this around me as I watch brilliant mathematicians, or brilliant architects tell me that that sort of logic has no place in philosophy, or politics, or interactions with other people. What I believe is that these people are perfectly capable of understanding and applying logic, and that at some point in their life they actually did try to apply it to politics or philosophy, but they were so overwhelmingly beat down by the irrationality of others that they decided it was easier to refuse to apply logic except where it was absolutely necessary for survival (ie, their work). If I had to make a guess I would say that this is exactly what happened with your father.
  9. Cmac19


    The difference between the fetus and the newborn is the context of its environment, but i'll go over that when i answer your third question. The fact that a newborn can perform identification is fairly self evident. I don't really think it's necessary to claim that a baby can identify things, as soon as they are out of the womb they reach for their mother and begin breast feeding... if you really need proof of this point just go to a maternity ward. A newborn has a context for its sensations because it is aware of its environment. It can feel the cold, it can see the lights and the other people around it, just because it can't speak doesnt mean its brain doesnt begin the process of identification. A fetus cannot see anything, it cannot feel its environment, if anything invades its environment and causes it to feel something it cant possibly identify that feeling with any specific object or figure because it can't see anything. You made a point earlier about a fetus being metaphysically attached to the mother, I will make a similar point that a fetus is metaphysically separated from the physical environment by way of the uterus. Until it exits the uterus it has no capability to exercise its rational faculty
  10. Cmac19


    While I agree with your argument for the separate nature of a person (I will definitely include this as part of my argument next time) I fail to see how a fetus not being cut off from sensations = a conceptual consciousness. Also I would like some references to this data that fetus' can perform identifications as I believe this to be impossible. The fetus does not have any context for its sensations, although it certainly does feel and hear things, and therefore it cannot possibly perform identifications. Identification absent of all context is impossible
  11. Cmac19


    I wrote a reply to the issue of abortion for a paper recently that I feel accurately reflects the foundations of Objectivism and answers the question nicely, please feel free to point out any flaws in my reasoning. The issue of abortion is essentially the issue of personhood, if the fetus is not a person then it has no rights. If the fetus has no rights than it cannot possibly be immoral to destroy it. (I use the term personhood because the argument that the fetus has rights because it is human is speciesist and irrational) The only objective, defining characteristic of personhood is the rational faculty (I believe this necessarily contains both general consciousness, and at least some rudimentary form of conceptual consciousness). At no stage during its development, in utero, does a fetus ever attain this state (this is in large part due to the nature of the environment in which the fetus grows, as it has no way to identify anything or anyone conceptually, it may remember things, but it cannot conceptual identify anything). However, the instant a fetus is taken out of the womb, ie born, it begins to develop this rational faculty. It identifies it's mother, it identifies the cold, it identifies feelings of hunger and it recognizes things about its own nature that it could not possibly know while in the womb (this also responds to the objection about infanticide; infanticide is not permissible because a child becomes a "person" the instant it is born). The argument for the potential personhood of the fetus does not refute this argument as the potential to be recognized as part of a certain group can never give you the true status of a member. For instance, I am studying law, this means that I have the very real potential to become a lawyer at some point in the future (just as a fetus has the potential to become a person at some point in the future) however, this does not give me a license to practice law. Neither does it mean that people should respect any legal advice that I give them. The argument that this is a faulty analogy because the fetus' potential is unconditional whereas my potential is conditional upon my actions also fails. The fetus' potential for personhood is not unconditional, there are many cases where, even left free from abortion, many fetus' do not ever reach the stage of personhood. This means that my analogy is sound and that potential personhood does not give the fetus a right to life. Let's review: Person = Rational faculty = general and conceptual consciousness Fetus = no rational faculty = not a person = no right to life Infant = rational faculty = general consciousness and rudimentary conceptual consciousness = right to life Potential person = not a person = no rational faculty = no right to life Any questions?
  12. Take a logic course in school, or read a book on introductory logic.. It helped me out immensely
  13. Actually this I disagree with.. Letters and words are just symbols and philosophy deals entirely in words.. Symbols are just a way of representing an idea, just like a word.. Just like creating a name for the philosophy (which is a symbol) there is nothing wrong with creating a symbol that is non verbal to convey the exact same message.
  14. Excellent response... Not enough people are actually willing to simply point out the fallacies and leave it at that.. but really, that's all you need to do. Once you've pointed out that someone's logic is faulty then the discussion is over.. either change your reasoning or give up
  15. I agree, I would say self-absorbed but even that could be taken as an important feature.. I would say skip the self-interest part and just go on about how irrational or stupid they're being
  16. In most cases I would agree, except that I have one friend who I regularly argue philosophy with. He's a very intelligent person and he studies philosophy fervently, however, he has not chosen to truly accept any philosophy as far as I know. He seems to be the ultimate skeptic, and I would call him one except that he has openly denounced skepticism. However, as I said, for most people this is 100% true
  17. However, wouldn't this line of reasoning, that all life is intrinsically valuable, give very similar rights that humans have to any living thing? Isn't the value of our life the foundation for all of our rights? Therefore if we extend that value to everything else, don't we also have to extend the same rights?
  18. To answer the question “is philosophy important” one may simply give a brief and certain “yes” as an answer. However, to prove that “yes” one must examine the nature of philosophy and the nature of existence. Imagine that your life is a long journey that takes place on a massive and interconnected serious of roads and that leads to any destination you may choose, be it productive worker, family man, house wife, murderer, thief, drug dealer or world leader. In this journey that is your life your body is that vehicle you drive, your mind is its driver and the roadways are all of your decisions, words and actions. Now, since you were not born with, nor were you ever taught, a complete knowledge of every roadway and its destination in reality; so you were not born with, and were never taught, a complete knowledge of every roadway of life or its destination. The truth is that some of these roads do truly lead to happiness, to a life which you fervently wish to live, however, many of these roads lead nowhere at all, and some of them lead only to cliffs. Life is a dangerous journey, and in order to properly navigate the many twists and turns of the roads of life what one needs is a proper roadmap. This map is philosophy. A philosophy is merely and integrated system of ideas and the truth is that everyone has one. You may call it your belief system, your ideals, your moral code, but everyone has some form of philosophy. The contents of your philosophy, of your belief system, your ideals, your moral code, dictates the range and the accurate nature of your roadmap. Many philosophies were designed without knowing the true nature of the road system or where it led, and some were designed specifically to lead you to and over the cliffs. Your choice of what to believe, what ideals to hold, what moral code to follow, of a philosophy, dictates whether you will reach the destination you desperately desire, or only a short drop after the cliff, or whether you will trudge on endlessly, with a growing sense of bitter resentment at the hopelessness of your quest, and die somewhere on the endless maze of roadways leaving only the rusted hulk of your vehicle as a monolithic reminder of your lifetime of achievements. Those who choose an irrational philosophy may, by blind luck, wind up at some kind of destination which they may grudgingly settle for, but those who choose not to even think about the subject, and to leave the contents of their philosophy in the hands of others, are throwing out their roadmap, and are doomed to wander through the roadways of life until they reach the edge of a cliff or shut down by the side of the road.
  19. Well I'm sure that class passed a long time ago lol. But I would like to know how it went. I've taken three ethics classes in University now and only one of them even mentioned egoism at all, and that was rather embarrassingly, the professor essentially just mentioned it as a silly alternative to altruism and mocked me in front of the class when I said that I was an advocate.. needless to say I spent the rest of the semester disproving many of his altruist arguments anyways its good to know that some schools have the balls to at least examine these ideas.
  20. I think you two have gotten into this debate needlessly, Jake I think you assume that Onar is asking us to "buy our freedom" which you see as immoral, but in fact we are all free naturally, by right. If I'm wrong about your assumption then I apologize and please correct me, but I think the issue can be solved by simply pointing out that we are not buying our freedom; we are buying a right to live and work in their country. A government, if it exists properly, has every right to control immigration. Just as a man has a right to dictate who enters his home and under what conditions he enters, so a government has the right to dictate who is allowed to enter its borders and under what conditions. therefore it is not immoral for Iceland to say "anyone who lives here has perfect economic freedom and doesnt pay taxes, if you want to live here, pay us X amount of money.
  21. This is what scientific advancement is for. We can't see subatomic particles using our 5 senses, and therefore we build machines to enhance our sight. However, we are still using one of our 5 senses and our reasoning. What most proponents of religion advocate, is not that we need more sophisticated machines to enhance our existing senses, but that we need some other sense, which no one truly possesses, in order to "hear" god. If a religious person claimed that they believed God was similar to alien life, (ie, out there and simply hasnt been found yet) then I doubt many people would complain. However, the belief that God is everywhere, all powerful, all knowing, and yet completely unknowable by human kind (in terms of his objective properties) is what makes claiming that this form of religious belief is irrational not an intellectual error. To say that the soul could exist outside of our method of perception would mean one of two things: either that we simply dont have the necessary equipment to see the specific wavelengths that a soul exists on, or that it is impossible to perceive while we are still alive. The second is what most religious people would assert, and to say that that is impossible is not an error in thinking.
  22. really? do you have contact info for this meetup group?
  23. Existentialism and Objectivism are incompatible and contradictory for two main reasons; their metaphysical and epistemological theories. Objectivism holds that reality is objective and knowledge is gained through reason.. Existentialism holds that reality is subjective and depends on our consciousness and knowledge is gained either through instincts or through some supernatural sixth sense.. if you believe the metaphysical and epistemological conclusions of existentialism then you cannot bean objectivist.. if you believe the metaphysical and epistemological conclusions of objectivism then you cannot be an existentialism
  24. Cmac19

    Defintion of Moral

    The term "moral" can be used in either of those two definitions. It can be used to mean "that which pertains to ethics" ie by saying "he is facing a moral dilemma" or it can be used to mean "that which is good or right" ie by saying "he is a very moral person" it all depends on the context in which the term is being used.
  25. The issue with presenting an argument like this to the kind of person who is making a stink about lack of housing or education or anything like that is that they have probably already disregarded any connection to reality. when you ask them how? or why? or where? they will simply respond with "somehow, or somewhere, or because" I'm not saying you're not entirely correct, because you are, just that I have used this argument several times against irrational people and have been met with little success.. although, in many cases it can be impossible to make any sort of rational argument against these kinds of people
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