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Capitalism Forever

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Everything posted by Capitalism Forever

  1. Excellent points, makemore! And also a wonderful combination of screen name and avatar!
  2. Something like that, yes. The typical dictionary definition does not mention one important aspect, though: That the place where the colonists arrive is usually uninhabited, or inhabited by nomadic people--at any rate, ungoverned. When people hear the word "immigration," they usually think of a procedure where the INS, or another government organization, decides whether the immigrants are allowed in; where the immigrants get a visa, show their passports, etc.--so the word "immigration" is normally associated with entry into a civilized, governed nation. Colonization, on the other hand, involves the establishment of a government in a theretofore ungoverned place; the establishment of a civilization in a theretofore uncivilized territory. LOL I've been called a Nazi, an elitist, a Texan ... but this is the first time anybody calls me "ilk" ! I am proudly adding this new title to my collection. All men have equal and unalienable rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. However, when somebody disrespects the rights of other people, he forfeits his own rights. For example, if Jack murders Joe, Jack has forfeited his right to life, and the government may rightfully execute him. If he doesn't respect the rights of others, he shouldn't expect others to respect his rights. In uncivilized societies, individual rights are not recognized. These societies are ruled by the "law of the jungle," not laws based on justice. It is preposterous to claim that bringing just laws to such a society is an act of injustice. It's intrinsicist. There is a difference between having rights and having your rights respected. Every innocent person has rights, but the rights may be violated. For example, even if somebody steals your laptop, you continue to be the laptop's rightful owner. The thief doesn't become the rightful owner by the act of theft. When the police give the laptop back to you, they don't steal it from the thief; rather, they give it back to its rightful owner. The idea is that you couldn't have your rights violated if you didn't have those rights in the first place.
  3. A person's choices are subject to moral judgment. But, since your thoughts and desires are influenced by the choices you have made, they are indicators of how moral your choices have been. From Atlas Shrugged: "'There are no evil thoughts, Mr. Rearden,' Francisco said, 'except one: the refusal to think.'" Just thinking about child molestation is not immoral in itself. You cannot decide whether it's a good thing or not unless you think about it. However, once you have thought it over and come to the conclusion that it's a bad thing, your only moral choice is to avoid it. If you make the wrong choice at this point--if you decide you "like" child molestation even if it is bad, or exactly because it is bad--and you develop a habit of thinking desirously about molesting children, you have planted in your soul the seeds of actually molesting children.
  4. I looked it up in the dictionary before I wrote my definition. Immigration is when you go into a foreign nation. Emigration is when you go away from your country. Colonization involves both emigration (from your homeland) and immigration (into the colony). You can emigrate and immigrate alone or in groups, but you can't colonize alone--the definition a colony implies the presence of several people. It is wrong to initate force against innocent people. An innocent person is somebody who respects the rights of other individuals. When you violate the rights of an innocent person--be it by killing him, stealing from him, taxing him, or "imposing new laws" on him--you have committed a crime. It's not just something "murky," it's a crime. Falafel, I don't like it when people debate with me without paying attention to what I say. This is what I wrote: (Emphasis added.) "Not being colonized the way other parts of the world were" is different from "not being colonized." If you are interested in how the colonization of the Middle East was different from the that of the rest of the world, and why the latter is preferable, just read the article I linked to above. Britain brought individual rights and the rule of law to places where collectivism, slavery, and the law of the jungle had reigned. The modern-day enemies of freedom--the liberals--consider this a terrible crime, which one should be ashamed of; that's why you often hear it described as such in the media. Don't believe them. Remember, you wouldn't be using the Internet now if America hadn't been colonized by the British. You would be toiling in the fields throughout your life, in the blistering heat and in the biting frost, just to get some food so you wouldn't starve. You would be lucky if you lived to be 45 years old. You look young on your picture--but you might well be past the zenith of your life if it weren't for modern medicine. All the good things in life you enjoy today wouldn't be possible if it hadn't been for those "mean" colonists. LOL You meant this as a joke, right? Either way, it's funny...
  5. Well, you would be angry if I took it, wouldn't you? You would feel outraged at my action! There is that car, which you bought from money you earned as a reward for your exertions--and I just went there and took it. You would undoubtedly think that I am a disgusting man! And that's why I respect the rights of people to keep what they have earned--because I find theft disgusting, and I definitely prefer enjoying things that I have honestly earned. Also, I want to be allowed to keep what I have earned, without having to worry about it being suddenly taken from me. How could I fault other people for taking away my stuff if I myself take away other people's stuff all the time? If I acted like that, people would think that I am an absolute hypocrite, and there would be no chance they let me keep what I earned. "If he doesn't respect my rights, why should we respect his?" Thus, I accept property rights as a principle, because I want my property rights to be respected. I accept the principle because I want the principle to apply when my property is concerned.
  6. You are right about not being able to annihilate your free will other than by annihilating yourself, but it is possible to put yourself into a state where your consciousness, and therefore your free will, is suspended. Think alcohol, drugs, etc. When you get so stoned as to pass out, your will is gone. But as your body recovers, so does your will.
  7. You didn't answer my question. Do you think it would be moral for me to take your car? I want to know because if you don't have a moral objection against my taking it, then I intend to take it.
  8. It's interesting you mention the Middle East. Just a couple of days ago, I read an article written in October 2001 where the author (who is not an Objectivist, but has pretty rational views most of the time) thinks the problem is exactly that the Middle East wasn't colonized the way other parts of the world were: http://www.steynonline.com/index2.cfm?edit_id=35 Of course, if colonialism means a brutal subjugation and enslavement of the people of some primitive land, then it's not a good thing. European nations--in the stricter sense of "European," i.e. excluding Britain--were often guilty of this immoral sort of colonialism. But this should be distinguished from another kind of colonization. A "colony" is a settlement established by a group of people coming from a distant nation. There is nothing wrong with settling on unowned land, cultivating it, building homes, cities, and factories, creating wealth, establishing the rule of law--in other words, civilizing that part of the world. This is what the British mostly did, and this is what Israel is doing. This is definitely moral. And this is what should have been done in the rest of the Middle East.
  9. OK, here we go: Assume that I take your car away from you and use it without your permission, without any intention to return it to you. Do you condemn this act of mine as immoral? Do you call the police to help you get the car back? If yes, Q.E.D. If no, JUST TELL ME WHERE YOU LIVE!
  10. Wonder, you sound like you have been the victim of quite an amount of communist brainwashing. You should read Ayn Rand's Anthem for an example of what a society without the concept of ownership would really be like.
  11. We've extensively discussed the capitalist answer to air, ozone, etc. pollution here: http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.php?showtopic=188
  12. It appears to me that the objective of AI is considered to be to create a computer that thinks like a human, has its own consciousness and free will etc.--or, in other words, to create a "human" with an extremely powerful brain. I don't think this is what we would really want. Giving our supercomputer a free will (assuming we can accomplish that in the first place) means we will have no guarantee as to what purposes it will use its brainpower for, or whether it will use it at all. It might turn into a Hitler, or it might just be like your average Joe. After all, most humans are not mediocre because their brain is so weak; we all have powerful brains, only not all of us choose to make the best of it. Rather than create a supercomputer with its own will, I would just create a supercomputer that always does as I tell it to.
  13. Under normal circumstances, breathing is automatic; it requires no thinking or volition. You don't have to be a man in order to breathe; you do it exactly the way any animal does it. For this reason, I don't think it's relevant when we're considering productive efforts: productivity is a virtue, but there is no virtue in "doing" something that happens automatically. That, of course, is an entirely different story: in this context, you have to use your mind to find a way to regain your breath. Breathing no longer happens automatically, and air is anything but unlimited to you.
  14. Yes. Note that "unlimited" is not a synonym of "infinite." "Unlimited" is that which, in the context of some pursuit, you can obtain without worrying about it running out. "Infinite" is, well, a word whose meaning the people who promote its use are themselves pretty much unclear about. That's right. You hit the nail right on its head!
  15. OK, this settles it: RadCap, you are perfectly right about him. He's simply ignoring all my arguments. I have made it perfectly clear how any problem related to the ozone layer would be handled (if there were any such problem in the first place). I have stated in all clarity that the concept of ownership does not apply to unlimited resources. I've been perfectly willing to answer his questions and address his objections. He gives me an example with public pigs, then he says he agrees completely that there would be no public pigs. He's making a mockery out of reason. He's shamelessly making a false accusation that I am just making snide comments about him instead of trying to answer his questions, like the communists whined in the 1950s about how Senator McCarthy "prosecuted them without a reason." GC, I've been giving you the benefit of the doubt, but you blew it big time. I'm joining RadCap in boycotting you.
  16. Refuting irrational arguments does not per se amount to sanctioning the irrational; in fact, the ARI editorials themselves often refute the arguments of irrational people. What would be a sanction is to accept the irrational premises and argue on that basis, or--as did David Kelley--to participate in an event sponsored by the irrationalist movement. At least that is how I see it; I haven't thought about this very much, so I may well be wrong. If I am, do correct me. I don't think the discussion has been pointless; my purpose has not been to convince GC, but to see how good I am at refuting him. Also, I couldn't quite tell whether he was being irrational on purpose or just terribly slow on the take-up--though his latest example with the wild pigs seems to reveal quite clearly that he isn't paying attention to my arguments beyond using them as a starting point for his next objection. If he did, it would be clear to him that there would be no "public pigs" in a capitalist society.
  17. I would simply call him a person concerned for his health. Well, if you define an environmentalist as any person who likes to live in a clean, pleasant, and healthy environment, then of course it is true that not every environmentalist is evil. Most people--and every Objectivist--would be an "environmentalist" by this standard. But this is by far not the common usage of the term. Clearly, the ARI editorials are not referring to environmentalists in this sense, but they use the word to denote the Greenpeace types. Do they call themselves environmentalists? Do they express support for Greenpeace's activities?
  18. All decent laws exist before any action they refer to. You can't just pass a law in 2003 saying, "It has been illegal to do this and that since 1998." All you can do is say "It shall be illegal to..." meaning it shall be illegal from now on. ALL property is private in a fully capitalist society. Yet, it is illegal to murder anyone, no matter whose private property you are on. You commit a crime when you violate somebody's right to life, liberty, property, or pursuit of happiness. Whether such a violation is a crime is completely independent of whose property it was committed on. It is proper for the government to ban and prosecute all crime. I thought this was elementary.
  19. You're perfectly right about their having no consistent ideology! Now go to http://www.greenpeace.org/ and follow the "about us" link at the top left corner (it is the first link). Read the first sentence on that page (the one in bold green letters just below the "About us" heading). What does that sentence say to you about the nature of this organization? Note that this is the very first sentence of their self-introduction, which is the very first thing they offer for interested visitors to read, on the very first website that a person interested in environmentalism is likely to visit. Then read the fourth bullet of the "We campaign to" list, which should be about three inches below the first sentence. What does that tell you about their priorities regarding man vs. animals? Then, a little lower, read the end of the sentence beginning "We exist to expose environmental criminals, and to challenge government and corporations when..." This is the sort of talk you always get from Greenpeace and other groups who call themselves environmentalists. Can a person who believes in capitalism and individual rights possibly call himself an environmentalist knowing what kind of person the word "environmentalist" stands for?
  20. Yes, it is. Although I wouldn't use the word "regulate" to describe what the government would do. Laws that prohibit theft, rape, or murder aren't typically called "regulations." This would be just another law protecting people's rights, not a regulation limiting people's options on how to perform actions that violate nobody's rights. What do you mean by "preemptively ban" ?
  21. Thanks. I too agree with everything I've read from you on this forum. I was just elaborating, with the purpose of assuring anyone who reads this that the reason we fault environmentalists is not because we require everyone to be omniscient, but because it is impossible to listen to the leaders of the environmentalist movement without immediately recognizing their vitriolic hatred of success, capitalism, America and, ultimately, mankind. I just wonder what he'll do when he finally runs out of concrete-bound objections. Will he accept reality and change his mind? Will he just reiterate his old objections even after I have refuted them in many different ways? Or will he act like a true liberal and simply call me a Nazi? What will he do NOW that I've made him aware of his options? I'm curious...
  22. A movement is a group of people with a shared ideology, acting in cooperation to promote the ideology. There is a difference between hating crime and participating in a collectivist movement that purports to be against crime but in fact proposes collectivist (and therefore, criminal) means for the achievement of its "goals." Such a movement is blatantly irrational: they propose to reduce crime by committing crimes. Anyone who takes them seriously is himself a criminal, not an anti-criminalist. Analogously, there is a difference between preferring to live in a clean place and bombing SUV dealerships.
  23. As soon as a person recognizes a movement as irrational, there is no excuse for his continued involvement in it. With communism, naziism, or environmentalism, this recognition must inevitably come very soon, if not immediately. As long as the only thing you know about Nazis is that they want to help businesses, your agreement with them is attributable to an honest error. As soon as you learn about how they want to "help businesses"--and you are bound to learn that as soon as they open their mouth--your continued agreement with them is an absolute and incontrovertible indication of your immorality. As long as the only thing you know about environmentalists is that they want a pleasant place to live, your agreement with them is attributable to an honest error. As soon as you learn about how they want to achieve their purported goal--and you are bound to learn that as soon as they open their mouth--your continued agreement with them is an absolute and incontrovertible indication of your immorality.
  24. LOL That's a pretty lame attempt. I deliberately based my example on a single coconut's fumes not harming anyone, only the combined fumes of at least 3501 coconuts. I also postulated that, when a nut is opened, the person to be blinded is not necessarily the one who opened it, but that the cumulative fumes will victimize some randomly chosen folks who may live on the farthest corner of the island from the guy who opened the last nut. So the effect is anything but direct. Not only does the solution in my example not depend on a direct effect, but a direct effect isn't even present in my example.
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