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Capitalism Forever

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Everything posted by Capitalism Forever

  1. Indeed, such is the nature of evil. Sometimes it is amazing, sometimes it is amusing, sometimes it is infuriating--but it is always destructive.
  2. Wonder why they want our addresses and phone numbers... BTW, what did you answer to the first question?
  3. The standard of morality is one's life. A person who acts rationally to further his life acts morally; a person whose actions are destructive of his life acts immorally. Things which do not violate the rights of others can still be immoral; a violation of rights is just one form of immorality--although it is the only form of immorality that warrants retaliation by force, since it is wrong to initiate force.
  4. Since people have a free will, they will always be able to choose to be evil. Like it or not, some evil is inevitably with us to stay. So the objective should never be to "make the world rational," as that is impossible. What can, and should, be done is to create a society filled with rational people, as the Founding Fathers did at their time. IOW, we should try and make a contiguous part of the world rational, and then live in that part of the world. Because the anarchists and moral relativists are not the hijackers--they are the leaders of the Libertarian Party.
  5. When you couple that with the fallacy that all government entails an initiation of force--as do libertarian ideologues--what you've got is anarchism.
  6. I don't think you have to worry about that. Some people do get a bad treatment here, but only after they have shown that they are only here to troll or to make irrational "arguments." Objectivism teaches you to distinguish between honest, innocent mistakes and intentional evasions. The former can happen to any of us; the latter is only perpetrated by people who choose to be stupid, and that is what we don't like. If you are honestly interested in learning about objective reality--and from your posts so far, it seems that you are--you will get along well with Objectivists. No offense taken--independence is one of the major Objectivist virtues! BTW, welcome to the board!
  7. The key to understanding Fawstin is to recognize his central pursuit--his operative desire--which has served as the motivator of nearly all his comments on this thread: to chivvy people. He gets his kicks from shocking, embarrassing, insulting, patronizing, belittling, or simply just puzzling people. His last, defiant remark--that his argument by intimidation has obviously worked--is a fine example of his attitude: The purpose is not to make a rational argument, not even to say something related to reality, not even to uphold his own honor (didn't he simply admit having made an argument by intimidation?)--just to sound, as he would say, like an "individualist." I find his act a rather entertaining piece of comedy. BTW, I think his choice of his favorite profane insult is somewhat strange. If it were prefixed with "mother," now then I would agree it's an insult, as it would mean a person who has, on at least one occasion, committed incest with his mother. Without such a prefix, however, it brings to mind a man whose defining characteristic is his success in romance--probably a man who is still young, but has already made enough money to devote much of his time to the company of his wife, and is in a very good physical condition to boot. Putting aside the rudeness of the word, I think it is actually quite a compliment.
  8. In other words: "I do not see how I can serve my rational self-interest without serving other interests." "I do not see how A can be A."
  9. kgvl is right: an increasing number of people are recognizing the need for philosophical leadership. DemocRATs have exposed themselves as anti-American criminals and that "compassionate conservatism" thing is leaving many Republican voters disappointed. There is a vacuum in the making and the more rational among America's people are looking for a way to fill it.
  10. A commitment to rational self-interest is not the same as the promotion from "student of Objectivism" to "Objectivist." I would say that I was committed to rational self-interest long before I even knew about Objectivism; in fact, the reason I became interested in Objectivism is that I found it would be a useful tool for me in fulfilling my commitment. So I'm a "Capitalism Forever-ist" first and an anything-else-ist only second; myself is the end and philosophy is a means; my commitment to my life is immutable, but my acceptance of a philosophy is contingent on the philosophy being an effective guide to my life. This is why I prefer to be very careful about completely identifying with any philosophy. To say that I am an _____ist has a profound psychological impact; it affects one's sense of identity, not only in that one accepts the principles of _____ism, but one also begins to feel a sense of adherence to the general tastes and preferences of _____ists, which may have nothing to do with the philosophy's principles. Since this is a subconscious effect, defining "_____ist" as a person who accepts a set of principles does not eliminate it. So I would say that you should first commit to individual ideas, such as rationality, selfishness, capitalism, romanticism, small-o objectivism, and so on--not because Objectivists tell you so, but because--and IF--you are convinced that these ideas are YOURS; that you can wholeheartedly advocate them, stand for them, and live by them. Studying Objectivism will help you identify and validate these ideas and will motivate you to act on them. Then, after you have lived by these ideas for a while and see their effect on your life, and you have studied Objectivism enough to fully grasp what it means, you can decide whether or not you are an Objectivist.
  11. That is an interesting question. More broadly speaking, it could be asked: Is it OK to use a product that an altruist has given away to you? I think the answer is definitely yes, as long as you merely use the product and don't cherish it, or hail the altruist for making it. For example, it is fine to edit some text in Emacs when it is the best-suited editor for the purpose, but it wouldn't be so fine to say to a friend, "Have you seen Emacs? It is my favorite text editor. It was written by Richard Stallman, who makes a lot of great stuff." The former does not imply a moral sanction, while the latter does. Also, there may be a number of valid, selfish reasons for wanting to publish your code under terms similar to those of the GPL, so the fact that some code is GPLed does not necessarily imply that the author is an altruist. A developer who is familiar with the philosophical issues involved should avoid publishing his code under the GPL, though; instead, he should write his own license text, or invoke a pre-written open-source license other than the GPL.
  12. The platform does not make the vast problems with Libertarianism apparent, although there are some clear warning signs in it: The above quotes betray a resentment of U.S. military superiority and a wish to cripple America's national defense. While they clothe it in a desire for "avoiding entangling alliances" etc., the wording of these quotes makes it clear that Libertarians harbor certain rather deep sentiments that are not exactly pro-American--nor pro-freedom. If you talk to some Libertarians, you'll notice that they see America as the bad guy in these conflicts and seem to think that the only reason the terrorists are angry is because America has been "meddling." They completely ignore the fact that some people are evil and envy America because of her success--and that the worst of them are willing to destroy such a successful nation even at the cost of their own lives; that they will be "angry" and attack America no matter how much America restrains herself from "meddling." These views are so ignorant of the existence of good and evil, of the necessity to defend oneself from evil, and of the proper role of a capitalist government as a means of defending a good nation from evil that one wonders whether the people who espouse such views can be honest in their advocacy of laissez-faire domestic policies. Unless laissez-faire means anarchy to them, that is...and, in fact, anarchy is exactly what the Libertarian movement has stood for since its inception. They only use "capitalism" as a convenient mask to cover up their anarchism. Do you now see why the Libertarian Party is incompatible with Objectivism?
  13. Hey, I wasn't implying that you were already "an object of ridicule," I just saw that you hadn't followed the link and I thought I would warn you because the quotes in the link reveal that John Adams was very much a Deist rather than a Christian, so readers of your post might find it rather amusing that you pick exactly him as an example of a Founder whom you couldn't imagine claiming to be a Deist rather than a Christian. If you have such evidence, then by all means share it with us! We are interested in knowing the truth, for which purpose one has to examine all the relevant evidence. That is not the Objectivist style. If you offer evidence that seems to contradict our evidence, we will not respond by ignoring it and trying to overwhelm you with material that supports our side of the argument; rather, we will examine your evidence in order to try and resolve the contradiction. As I said, we are interested in finding out the truth, not in winning arguments by overwhelming our opponents.
  14. LOL Hunter, you might better follow the link provided and read the quotes lest you make yourself an object of ridicule! Here's another link for John Adams quotes--tell me if they sound Christian enough for you: http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/adams.htm
  15. Please follow the link provided by GreedyCapitalist and see for yourself! Six Founding Fathers--John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Ben Franklin, Thomas Paine, and Ethan Allen--are quoted there to have expressed some explicitly un-Christian ideas. See also: George Washington and Religion Some more quotes from Jefferson: "The Christian priesthood, finding the doctrines of Christ levelled to every understanding and too plain to need explanation, saw, in the mysticisms of Plato, materials with which they might build up an artificial system which might, from its indistinctness, admit everlasting controversy, give employment for their order, and introduce it to profit, power, and pre-eminence. The doctrines which flowed from the lips of Jesus himself are within the comprehension of a child; but thousands of volumes have not yet explained the Platonisms engrafted on them: and for this obvious reason that nonsense can never be explained." "I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth." Jefferson is also known to have characterized the Bible as a "dungheap." This is what Thomas Paine had to say about the Bible: "I would not dare to so dishonor my Creator God by attaching His name to that book" Also from Paine: "Accustom a people to believe that priests and clergy can forgive sins...and you will have sins in abundance." From Madison: "What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy."
  16. There is a difference between Deism and Christianity. Most of the Founding documents sound distinctly Deist.
  17. There is no problem with buying goods from China as long as they are made by a privately owned business. Private businesses in China can keep at least a part of their earnings, so trading with them actually helps capitalism spread in China and thus contributes to the demise of the Communist government.
  18. I think the critical event that needs to happen is the nomination of a charismatic Objectivist as a Presidential candidate by a major party. Such a candidate could easily defeat his opponent and, as President, he could begin to affect the tone of politics and the standards to which voters hold politicians. Once people see the difference between a corrupt politician and a principled leader, they will be eager to vote for the latter kind of man.
  19. As soon as there are enough people in America who understand Objectivism, the question will be moot. People will want to vote for principled, rational, pro-capitalist, pro-American candidates, so that is the kind of person who will be successful in politics--first just in one of the major parties, then later perhaps in two competing parties! On the other hand, UNTIL there are enough people in America who understand Objectivism, the question is equally moot. So what is needed is to make enough people in America who understand Objectivism!
  20. Whether it counts as participation in the aggression depends on how closely your purchase is related to a specific act of aggression. But this is not what matters; there is a more general principle involved: It is immoral to help perpetuate evil. For this reason, one should not buy goods from countries like Cuba or North Korea. The price you pay for these goods goes directly to the Communist regimes; the people who actually make the goods benefit nothing from your purchase, given that they are completely enslaved. Trading with a despotic regime as if it were a respectable productive organization helps it survive by providing it with money and respectability, and is therefore immoral.
  21. If you are taxed against your will, going to a tax-funded school does not constitute acquiescence in your being taxed and does not make you a hypocrite. Getting some of your stolen money back is part of the fight against theft. It is paying the taxes and NOT benefiting from them that would be acquiescence and make you a hypocrite: you disagree with being looted, but do nothing to get back your stolen property. You can't fight the doctrine of selflessness by being selfless. But the best way to fight theft is to refuse to be robbed. When there are enough people who recognize the immorality of taxation, we could start organizing things like "taxpayer's strikes." If one guy refuses to pay taxes, he'll be thrown in jail, but if half the nation does so--including many of the major corporations that keep America alive--what can the IRS do?
  22. Your anger is perfectly justified, Mrs. Peikoff. These people are losers who are wasting their lives on finding fault with successful people instead of trying to become successful themselves. They are to your husband what al-Qaeda is to America. I think the best way to treat them is to ignore them--or to take their insults as compliments. After all, criticism from fools is evidence that you must be doing something right!
  23. No. Merely teaching the wrong ideas is not an initiation of force and therefore not a matter for the criminal justice system to deal with. It is (legally) OK to teach communism in a private school. If I ran a pirate ship and offered you a job as a sailor, wouldn't your acceptance of the job make you an accomplice in my crimes as a pirate? Even if your "job description" didn't include active involvement in capturing and looting ships, just normal sailor's activities, you would get paid with stolen money, for helping me sail the ship so I could steal money. That pretty much means that you are getting a share of the loot in exchange for your assistance in obtaining the loot, in other words you are an accomplice. Only the teachers who advocate the use of force to fund schools.
  24. While the arbitrariness of a claim is enough reason to reject it out of hand, it is often useful to identify the premise that motivates the arbitrary claim. In this case, it is the premise that every existent has a creator. Things don't just pop into existence at random but result from the actions of other entities; it is such actions that we describe with the verb "create." The religionist wonders, "So who created the Universe?" and comes up with the answer, "There is a guy named God and he did it." It is easy to see how this answer is an arbitrary and dishonest one that doesn't even try to address the question. As Mrs. Peikoff pointed out, it simply passes the buck: instead of not knowing who created us, now we don't know who created our creator--so we still don't know our ultimate creator, which is exactly where we started from. In other words, it is a completely useless answer; if we are honestly interested in addressing the question posed, we cannot be satisfied with an answer like this. It is important to recognize this because it means that not only do we reject this particular arbitrary claim as an answer to our question; we will be unsatisfied with all similar "answers," even if they are objective statements rather than arbitrary assertions. All statements in the form "There is an entity X and it created the Universe" are unsuitable to be answers to the question of "Who created the Universe?" because they leave open the question of who created X. But if the answer we look for won't be a statement in this form, what will it be like then? After all, when we ask who performed a certain action, we expect an answer that points out an entity and identifies it as having performed that action. Which means that the answer to the question "Who created the Universe?" must be in the form "There is an entity X and it did it." We arrived at a contradiction. The answer to our question must, and at the same time cannot, be in a certain form. The only way to arrive at a contradiction is to start from false premises, and the premise that led us to asking this question is, "every existent has a creator." Since every existent has a creator and the Universe exists--we thought--the Universe has a creator. This is how we came to ask who that creator is. The correct way to phrase that premise is: "Every object in the Universe has a creator." That is, for every object A in the Universe, there is (or was) another object C in the Universe such that the existence of A is an effect of an action performed by C. The Universe itself is not "an object in the Universe," therefore it cannot play the role of A and consequently there is no C for it. It is not valid to ask which object in the Universe created the Universe.
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