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Patriot of Reason

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About Patriot of Reason

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    Edwin Wagner
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    Fervent supporter of a self interested and self motivated society.
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    Professional Graphic Artist
  1. Now there's no need for that, I was merely remarking that unfortunately I would not be directly quoting the text at hand, still present was a critique of fundamentally most argumentation conducted throughout this thread. I believe this thread is important, as the more ethics are argued over and refined, the sharper our rationale will be when called to the task of intellectual battle. Whether or not the Objectivist community develops a united opinion on Modern Terrorism or not is inconsequential, for no matter what the duration and ferocity of the argument, all with an open mind (as I am sure all of us possess) will surely benefit. What I meant by my apology was to clear the air of any ire fermented towards me due to my lack of direct quotes, which I most often utilize in my arguments. I repeat, the fundamental critique still hit's most of the propositions worth quarreling over, and this topic is still extremely pertinent and important.
  2. Just a note, a common follow through of posing the Is/Ought Problem is progressing to make claim to Ethical Nihilism as opposed to Moral Relativism, that being the concept that morals are simply non-existent as opposed to dependent on who is interpreting what. The argument tends to go as such: You may say that it is imperative for one to X if they wish to Y (Survive in Rand's case), but this is simply stating a fact, and not bridging the gap required to explain what makes it morally imperative. Since moral imperatives have never been bridged to, and seeing that they are never adequately justified as a result, morals simply do not exist. They are abstract conceptions derived from observations you make in terms of value, but they do not exist simply because one has expressed that they do. To prove that a moral is existent requires the bridging of the Is/Ought gap, from observation to imperative, which is for all intents and purposes in Nihilistic thought, not possible. The debate is often obfuscated by simply reiterating that "My observation applies universally and therefore is imperative if you desire Y" but this is once again does not explain why Y is something you ought to value, or how it is moral. It merely is an observation, a descriptive phenomena. "Also, the objectivity of values stems in part from their beneficial effects on our lives, and also important, it stems from our method (logic) of determining why something is a value (Viable Values, pp. 120-121, note #30 and 34). The objectivity of the values I have do not become subjective simply because another man chose to kill himself. His death does not change the facts regarding various things' negative and positive effects on my life, nor does it effect the harmful consequences of engaging in the wrong mental process to determine what is valuable to me." You assume that certain things are positive and negative, which is already fallacious and ignorant of the subjectivity of values. It is positive if I deem it positive, negative if I deem it negative. My judgmental faculties alone can produce this decision on my own behalf. Value is not objective, nor is value linked to morals. I may want Value A, but that does not make the process to attain Value A moral, simply desirable. To say I "ought" pursue Value A begs the question of how we transferred from "desirable/logical" to "right/morally imperative" Under Ethical Nihilism prescriptive statements are merely extensions of descriptive statements that are conflated to suggest importance/suggest emotional inclination/influence the person in question, and as such not one particular course of action can be moral. Merely desirable. Long term happiness, I shall note quickly before departing, is of no greater value than short term, for value is subjective and actor dependent. Rand's emphasis on survival is based on taste. ^^The essential Ethical Nihilist argument, the most dangerous and critical in terms of Objectivist defense of itself, seeing that it denies morals as opposed to espousing their subjectivity.
  3. You must justify that nude art is pornography, and then we talk the moral debate. So long as the children were not subjected to unwelcome sexual treatment (in this case they were merely photographed for artistic purposes) no evident crime is identifiable. You may argue that someone out there inevitably will use it for sexual purposes, but that indeed has no bearing on whether or not the artist is at fault.
  4. As stated before, God must be cast out to establish humanistic practice as the predominant social philosophy, and thus it has become part of the foundation of leftist doctrine.
  5. Blocking ad's on the net is akin to muting the television whilst commercials are playing, it is not immoral seeing that it is largely a matter of what you perceive to be in your self interest. You may value the ad, you may not, regardless of whether site owners largely depend on ad income to sustain themselves it was their prerogative to put themselves at the risk of ad blockers by establishing the site, with full knowledge that they depended on ad income in the first place.
  6. Agreed in regards to the "infant" argument. As for objective testing I'll attempt to pose a basic model and you can all bounce off of it as you will: - Sexual activity is not to be prohibited seeing that there is no objective barometer of how one can be "ready" for it. (Same goes for drinking, smoking, and drug use?) - In the case of legal contracts (property dealing, purchasing of common goods, etc;) a test akin to the naturalization test should be made ready for all who wish to access it, general grasp of mathematics, reading, and writing skills must be demonstrated to be at (?)th grade level (compiled based on national averages) or higher. Special provisions for matters of economics are to be included, concerning loans, property rights, and general legal terminology. Economics and related legal terminology are to be integrated into mainstream education. - If parts of the test pertinent to certain rights are completed at passing level whilst others are failed, they are to be granted those specific rights. *Highlighted segments that in my view are largely up to debate.
  7. I'll have to be excused for not responding directly to the other posters in this topic on some issues I'll be hitting on here, thanks in advance. 1.Proponents of Objectivism should not artificially prevent the erection of a mosque if they wish to remain consistent with Objectivist Ethical Practice Rand clearly outlined that the function of a state for a rational society is merely an enforced guarantee on rights, support of state intervention in matters of business, zoning, and property rights is decidedly amoral in terms of Objectivist ethical practice. Whether the proponents of the religion are extremist or otherwise is of no concern to the state nor you, the primary concern of the state is safety, your primary concern as a practicing Objectivist should be virtue, the sustenance of your status as a rational and free willed individual, to the benefit of your general well being. To advocate unfair business practice, that is the denial of access to property that is being sold by the state on grounds of religious difference, is in direct contradiction with the principals of laissez faire markets and therefore the Objectivist ethos. 2. The reference to Muslims as being "At fault." for the 9/11 terrorist attacks is either fallacious or a poorly worded argument. The proposition, "Muslim's are at fault for 9/11." presumes the guilt of all Muslims throughout the world in regards to said attack. Evidently this is silly and an unwarranted accusation, many, in fact most Muslims do not practice what we refer to as extremism. The Muslim academic community has nearly been completely united in denouncing the actions of terroristic groups claiming to adhere to the religion. The interpretation of how (and in some cases if) Sharia Law should be enforced varies to the point of rendering any generalization useless in meaningful discourse. 3. There are no direct links to Saudi Arabia masterminding campaigns of terror against the U.S, and they in fact are at direct odds with the majority of terroristic groups due to it's pro-U.S policy. Self explanatory.
  8. ^^Couldn't have put it better myself, under Rand's ethical guidelines it all comes down to what constitutes a "free willed, rational individual" and if there are different degrees of being rational that are to be treated in varying ways. And as the above poster brought up, how would we gauge these objectively? Perhaps Rand meant to leave this to us purposefully in hopes that further research would help illuminate the foggier parts of this whole debacle. Perhaps she had not thought of the more troubling aspects of the issue and assumed a clear distinction was prevalent to all rational actors. In any case, it is up to us to account for the lapse, a lapse that once filled will without a doubt define the entirety of Objectivist ethical practice.
  9. I'll preface by saying I greatly appreciate this feedback and value the blunt manner it utilizes to really highlight the core issues at hand here, and I am hoping that with the help of the community we can at least draw fine lines in regards to what is right and wrong in terms of those grey zones. I propose the following, if the child wills a line of action, it cannot by definition be called self enslavement seeing that they set it upon themselves to value said line of action, with the obvious exception of them subordinating their values to that of another. If the child is primarily influenced by coercion and state/parental action to work or act in a certain manner, that is not of virtue and ought be prevented for the sake of society. On this we no doubt agree. However, I must hasten to add that while all the examples of "advancements" we've made as a society are undoubtably true, there was no warrant on it being for the better. What is worth investigating here is not the outright ban or allowance of child labor/freedom of action, but an ethos that can pinpoint the exact nature of what is in actuality a free willed child or a coerced and unwitting "nobody" (that is devoid of any notion of what their own interest is).
  10. You would have to back that argument, and in any case the existence of "non-dependent" minors could render this moral guideline immoral seeing that it would be unjustly applied to them. I refer you to the early stages of the Industrial Revolution before regulations in regards to child labor was enacted by the liberals of the time, children often would work alongside their parents to help secure mutual benefits for them both, valuing both the offer of residency and guidance from the parental figure whilst also wielding the freedom to work and move about as they pleased. This also contributes to the claim I made concerning most children staying with the parent anyway, the only fundamental change would be in the degree of choice children are able to access.
  11. I for one am in firm support of fully expanding the rights of minors on grounds of not being able to quantify the opposing argument in a meaningful manner. Quite simply put, it's easy to say all minors are irrational (and therefore not entitled to the rights of a thinking man), it is a much harder thing to prove it seeing that the existence of 1 exception to the rule completely discredits it. I believe that if Rand had investigated the issue of minor vs. adult more closely, she would have come to the conclusion that volition and free will being the staples of the human faculty ultimately win out in terms of value debate, and from that we can conclude that if a child wills emancipation he ought be granted it (out of respect for the rights of said thinking individual), and of course that if a child wills to engage in sexual activity that we ought not prohibit it. Im short, the deconstruction of traditional parental roles. I assume that most children would vouch to stay with their parents in any case, and thus many problems are subverted. In any case, in terms of ethics we cannot claim moral righteousness and all the while prohibit a free willed individual by way of brute force is the essential argument.
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