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Brian S.

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Everything posted by Brian S.

  1. Is it perhaps because of the open-ended nature of concepts? What I mean is, if all concepts (according to O'ism) are open-ended then wouldn't permanent patent rights essentially close-off the concept? Seems to me that if we were to close of an entire class of knowledge to further consideration (by anyone other than the owner) that this would be devastating to individuals as well as civilization as a whole. This isn't something that I've studied or considered much, but the relationship between open-ended concepts and patents jumped out at me.
  2. Living is not about mere survival and Objectivism isn't about how to best survive. It's about how to achieve the best life for man qua man. Again I refer to Ayn Rand herself:
  3. Joy on the other hand is a feeling of pleasure. It can come from something as simple as physical stimulation. I think they are easily conflated because joy is so often the result of happiness. Happiness is the barometer of achieving ones values. It is the counterpart to suffering. Just as suffering is how you know when something is wrong, happiness is how you know when something is right. It's not the goal, it's how you know you are reaching it. By way of analogy: You want to boil water, the goal is to bring it up to 212º. Making the water bubble is not the goal, but it is how you know when the water is at 212º.
  4. Are you perhaps conflating happiness with the emotion of joy?
  5. Leonard Peikoff took this question in his podcast. LINK America in the 19th century came the closest. Well, these things don't happen suddenly, so that's a hard question. Also, what do you mean by "the world"? Everyone?
  6. If they play their song at a concert, aren't they revealing their creation to the world and thus anyone hearing it may in turn also use the song for their own benefit? My point in asking is this: if one's only right to intellectual property is to choose whether or not to reveal it then they have no means of benefitting from it without allowing others the opportunity to also benefit from it. Quite the collectivist result. Again, why would the possession standard be correct? By what principle? Certainly not objectivist epistimological standards. First, I answered that. Children are excluded because of their nature. It is man's right to their own life that demands property rights. Property rights cannot supercede that. Second, children are not a product of that which defines man. The ability to reproduce is something man possesses, like all forms of life, but it is not essential in defining his nature. According to objectivism, the definition of some thing must be based on that which is essential in its nature and not those things which are not. So "a rational animal" is a suitable definition for man, but "a rational animal that reproduces" is not. The rational mind is that which defines man, the ability to release or accept semen in the appopriate place is not. I don't have much to say on this as I haven't studied this aspect of IP and haven't given it proper thought. Context. Emergencies are subject to different standards. For example, off the top of my head I would say that the asteroid/laser scenario suggests that if there is not time to devise any other method then it would be OK to use it. It doesn't really answer my question. You seem to have decided on the primacy of possession (if you will) without really explaining why that that is THE standard. An idea isn't simply a product of the mind, it is the product of the mind. It is what the mind does. If a man has no rights to that which he produces by his nature using the defining faculty that is essential to his nature he has no rights. If it is not his property...what the hell is or ever could be? THIS is not his property but a rock he happens to find in the yard is? You are attempting to apply standards to something which they don't apply. Children are not the product of volitional thought because they are not the product of volitional thought. That is to say, volition is not a defining characteristic or a requirement of having children. Having sex may or may not be volitional, conception is not. Volition is not essential to the process at all, and therefore cannot be a defining characteristic.
  7. Couldn't that same reasoning be used to justify licensing for anything?
  8. Mnrchst, So in your view a man has no right whatsoever to benefit from his idea without allowing all others benefit as well? An idea is the product of a man's mind. A mind is not something you "own", that would be a contradiction because without a mind there is no "you" to own it. A man with no mind is no longer a man, as he has no consciousness or rational faculty. Ideas are products of a mind. The idea itself exists in the mind and only in the mind. You seem to be basing you argument on the form that ideas take, that is to say they take on a form that has no physicality and that can copied simply by having its knowledge...that they can only exist in the mind. The principle here is the law of identity. The form ideas take is based upon their nature, and so it is not valid to use the standard for their posession that you use. That standard is based upon the nature of a physical object. A car cannot exist in its own nature in the minds of anyone who knows it, an idea can. They are different in their nature. An idea is a product created by a man using his mind. That mind is not simply something he has but also something that he is. Any product of his mind belongs to him by definition because that thing is a product of that which defines man. Now, because of the nature of ideas, there can be no preventing others from possessing them. The point of propery rights, as has been discussed, is the right to control the propery. If a man has the right to the product of his own mind, a song is the product of his own mind, how is that song not property? What standard do you use to determine that because you may have knowledge of a song another wrote, you have the right to control it? What standard do you use to determine that the concept of property in only to be applied to physical objects? The law of identity is also why your "chilren" argument is invalid. A child is a human being with rights based upon his nature. He cannot even be considered in a discussion about property because his nature excludes him from the outset.
  9. So, her parents split up when she was 4, but the divorce came through around the 11th grade? That's quite a legal battle. Also, "clicking through lolcat photos"? How old is this author?
  10. I would support any effort that 1) did not put our people in harms way whatsoever, and 2) we would be financially reimbursed for in totality. Beyond that I have to agree with 2046. No matter what your and my feelings are on this, anything more would be an act of altruism. Using money taken from people against their will in order to finance putting American lives at risk to depose a dictator so the people of Libya can install a new and improved…evil, authoritarian, muslim despot. Let's not forget how Gaddafi gained power in the first place, through revolution with the hopes and promises of a republic. I propose that Europe has far more at stake than we, and that they are more than capable of handling Libya without us. There is nothing moral about letting our people die and our money be wasted so that we can…look better. Included in that was moral leadership, I think we will agree. I would argue that we should lead by standing up for the right morality, not mimic the de facto morality of the collectivists of the world. Is anyone suggesting all out isolationism? I think we can appear strong and decisive without running to the aid of every country that falls apart.
  11. I have heard the argument that states don't have the right to abrogate contracts, even though that is what they are doing in Wisconsin and other states. Any thoughts on the constitutionality/legality of this? I'm not really sure how to argue it.
  12. With the average height of a woman in the US being only 5'4", he is hardly being unrealistic. Well, maybe in a country of fat people like the US. (myself included!) Also, not to put words into your mouth, but it has been my experience that most who protest a man's so-called unrealistic expectations on the low end, are not so judgemental of his preferences if they are on the high end.
  13. My other problem is this: This is not a case of either/or, it's a matter of one or both. No matter if anyone is around or not to perceive "sound", the other definition of "sound" STILL applies. The presence of the receptor doesn't negate the other definition of "sound". So, in the asking of this question, why does the deliberate omission of the other applicable definition make sense? In either context, definition "c" is still valid.
  14. First, any chance of actually achieving such a goal is far in the future, beyond any hope of bringing anything resembling immortality to you. Such a goal, if ever to be reached, would benefit those not yet born. Second, the whole concept seems circular. Your life's goal is to live longer so you can pursue your values further, but your top value is to live longer. The whole concept is fixated on what happens at the end of your life and is focused on the evasion of the reality of death…rather like religions without the mystical garbage. ?
  15. If the goal is immortality, then it seems to me that the goal is to live for the sake of others who have not yet lived. Doesn't sound very compatible with objectivism to me.
  16. Couldn't you also say the same about electricity, gas, gasoline, automobiles, weapons etc.?
  17. I think that philosophy does have a role here in determining if certain definitions are even appropriate. If we are to allow that we can even use definition b then we are denying the very principle of A is A by suggesting that something can only exist if someone perceives it. The question itself seems to be derived from ignorance of the nature of sound. We shouldn't be asking this anymore than we should be asking if a tree exists if there is no one there to touch it.
  18. That story as told in your post isn't an illustration of the value of "gut feelings", it is an illustration of a flaw in the application of logic. They may have found no reason to believe that it wasn't a Michealangelo (trying to prove a negative), but what objective evidence was there that it was? By giving money for something they had no objective evidence (or proof) of authenticity for they were gambling, and they lost.
  19. First of all, I agree 100% with the objectivist viewpoints stated above. No reason that I should rephrase them and repeat the same message. What I want to say is the following: You have to remember where taxes came from. It used to be that when there was a king, emperor, pharaoh, etc., they were established as the rightful owners of their lands and all that was in it, including its people. The people had no right to the fruit of their labors, they were the property of their ruler, working the rulers lands. Taxes were taken from them by "right". Throughout history taxes started as, and continued to be tyrannical means of enriching the ruling class. It is important to note that all current tax practices evolved from this and it is also important to note that all nations on this earth either are or once were under the control of a totalitarian regime. Sure, they liberalized and in many cases power is no longer in the hands of the nobility, but their system is still a derivative of the original oppressive and immoral totalitarian tax scheme. Taxes were not started as a practical, "necessary evil". They were simply an evil. Taxes are not a practical necessity…funding is…and there is no evidence that the removal of citizens property by force is the only or the best way to fund a government. None. Taxes aren't "necessary", they are the status quo.
  20. I'm not a catholic or otherwise religious and never have been but I will tell you how I view this issue. I have left the following instructions for my wife upon my death: Handle my funeral and burial however you like. Just don't pretend it is for me, I don't care. I'll be dead. Burial traditions have no objective value to those who are dead, so I will defer this issue 100% to whomever would be handling my burial.
  21. So, if the government demanded annual reports with information such as how many sexual partners you have had, how many purchases you made, how many minutes you slept…this would technically be legal?
  22. I would hold that the income tax, besides being extortion, is also a violation of privacy. Specifically, the mandate to report all forms of your income to the government. Do you agree with this assertion? I am curious why I haven't heard this argument before. Also, it seems to me that there is a clear constitutional violation of privacy as well. I know of no other area where the government is allowed to unilaterally demand such private information of citizens. Is there a legal argument here?
  23. Aren't you already acknowledging the superiority of logic by merely asking the question? You are appealing to logic, in order to ascertain the value of logic.
  24. I'm a technician at an auto parts manufacturer. Believe it or not I really first looked into Ayn Rand because of the video game Bioshock, which the designers supposedly based upon her. The game's style is fantastic and I thought it would be interesting to learn about this woman. Who knew that her philosophy would click with me so well? I'm still early in my reading and learning about objectivism. I've been following Leonard Peikoff's podcast, reading or listening to the free articles from The Objective Standard, I'm about 3/4's of the way through Atlas Shrugged and in my spare time I have been trying to nibble on OPAR. I also have watched her interviews that you can find on You Tube and enjoyed them immensely. In today's world where so many politicians and those in the media pander, kiss-up, capitulate and qualify with everything they say, her self-assured bluntness is a breath of fresh air. Anyway, thanks for reading. Brian
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