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Everything posted by icosahedron

  1. And by "referents", can I assume you mean the facts of an individual's experience, including all the conceptual facts used to organize that experience? - ico
  2. 1. Deductions have to do with everything, that's how I validate my abstractions and inform my inductions. A deduction is the product of applying logic to specific information within a given context. That Existence exists is an axiom; but to exist means to have a specific nature. Man also has a nature. So does Man's interaction with Existence. And whether or not there is a "real" real world beyond our grasp of it is unverifiable, and hence irrelevant (arbitrary). Deductions are how we grasp Existence, so while Existence itself can't be defined (point taken), my operational experience of Existence CAN be grasped, and is ALL that can be grasped, can be defined, and is all I have to work with. 2. Right, I must admit to having been too sloppy before in failing to sufficiently emphasize that this is an OPERATIONAL definition, and because I cannot go beyond it in reality, it is just the right size, i.e., it includes only that which is included. Size as in conceptual containment. It does not mean I ignore the future (did you read the quotes or just skim them?). The sum-total of my grasp of experience of Existence is ever-growing, and the definition grows along with it in lock step, and never omits nor imagines anything that cannot be referred back to one or more experiences. 3. Right, Existence per se is beyond definition, because not graspable as a whole. But aspects of Existence, such as my grasp of it, can be defined, and I need an operational definition that is closed with respect to my every past and future possible experience, because I don't like deducing without first basing myself in what I can verify. I'm sorry but "unexperienced" is the NEGATIVE of a concept, and has no meaning otherwise. Same with "unobserved", "unknown", and etc. I specifically AFFIRM the primacy of EXISTENCE by restricting myself to using only that which I observe as the basis for my computations, augmented in the case of some inductions by the good conclusions of others whom I trust (since I don't always have time to verify every detail of prior results, this division of labor save me time and gives me leverage). Concepts can only refer to experience, because experience is the context. They can be imaginative, inductive, etc., without drawing in "non-experience"; they can anticipate future experiences based on the patterns observed in past experiences. But they cannot alter experience, nor contradict it without punishment. What I DO NOT DO is assume there is anything more that I can use other than what I can, in fact, use: my observations, my ideas, my ability to share knowledge, divide labor, trade, use logic, take action. All of these ARE definable, operationally, as Existence viewed by Man -- which is what Fuller's definition seeks to integrate. Existence --> the sum-total of all that which is available Consciousness --> the individual avail of Existence Experience --> the product of Consciousness availing Existence Your shrill tone belies the fact that you don't understand what I am saying, and rather than find out, you assume it is hogwash. As if I could be muzzled by being labeled an idiot or insane or stupidly evasive, when no one who approaches me evenly has EVER come to that conclusion. The level of hubris is astonishing. "Gibberish"? Is that what you call something you don't understand? Why are you so frustrated, anyhow? See above re the final sentence: Experience is a primary; functions need data. Existence and Consciousness are functional concepts, Experience is data. You need both to produce something: inputs and a machine to convert the inputs to products. No, the word "experience" is conceptually larger (i.e., contains more concepts) than the word "concept". I can have sensory experience that I cannot make out clearly, cannot attach to any specific perceptual entity, and cannot really call conceptual at all beyond some notion of "kinda fuzzy". Identification of percepts and concepts is also a form of (mental) experience. Without concepts, I cannot understand my experience; but just as Existence is primary to Consciousness, so Experience is primary to Concept. The first pairing is generic, the second specific. I made no such claim; if something I wrote gave you that impression, either I wrote it poorly or you misread it. I suspect the latter, but if you are willing to point out the basis of your assertion in my writings and then figure out where we miscommunicated, I'd be happy to have a chance to "do-over", - ico
  3. I think there are three identifiable objects in the mix: Existence, Consciousness, and their interaction, which comes in discrete packets/frames/snapshots/wholes/identifables, which is what I refer to as experience (I think rightfully so). Existence: the observable Consciousness: the observer Experience: the observation The product of each observation of the observable is an observation. Observations, once identified, can be used as the basis of logic, and form the grist for the conceptual mill. So we are debating what the word "means" means. And I think, if I have properly identified our shaded meanings of the word "means", that you mean by "means" the power to observe and act with respect to Existence; whereas, I mean by "means" the object that is produced by exercising such power and which can then be used as input to further logics (higher order conceptioning). Consciousness must accumulate experience in order to create and validate concepts. Experience is the form in which Consciousness packages Existence into conceptual chunks. Experience is the conjoining of Consciousness with Existence; without experience there can be no Consciousness -- and the "birth experience" with respect to Consciousness is having one's first experience ... i.e., Consciousness is awareness of otherness, and the product of it comes in units of experience. So experience is the product of awareness and the basis of conceptions, and their logical conclusions in action (which is another form of experience, of Consciousness interacting with Existence). Consciousness is the means by which I produce experience; experience is the means by which I validate concepts; and they are logical corollaries, with one implying the other and vice versa. Experiences are the natural objects to consider when thinking about Objectivism, and Consciousness is the power to direct one's consideration and actions. So I guess I can't say you are wrong, but neither am I; just, we are focusing on different aspects of the same fundamental process (which we appear to agree is at the root of knowledge). - ico
  4. Really? So, you base your deductions on more than experience? Less? The set referred to in the definition is just the right size: the integrated sum of knowledge of Existence. Knowledge is a sum across time and individuals, because it can be shared, even if the specific knowledge of any given individual is only part of the whole -- when you buy bread, you rely, implicitly, on the knowledge of the baker to get leverage via division of labor. And "experiential knowledge" is redundant. I think your working definition of the word "experience" is insufficient. Thoughts are experiences, too -- and so is every act of production, and every use of a product, and every trade, and every act of creation or destruction. Experience is the individual's grasp of the events that transpire as Existence evolves, is a natural restriction of Existence to the individual consciousness. I don't think so. Experience is the means by which we become aware of, and act within, Existence. It is the personal perspective of Existence, as grasped by an individual, via individual means. As such, the fact that experience of events is the basis of my grasp of reality is clearly a corollary of the metaphysical axioms of Objectivism. Experience is pre-supposed by any cognitive or actual event, because awareness requires experience of otherness, and without awareness, consciousness is naught. This is clearly metaphysical and cannot be proven, only validated as self-evident. It's metaphysical. As for science as a discipline being metaphysical at root, of course it is; any specific science is an application of metaphysics to gain knowledge, i.e., the methods of gaining knowledge are epistemological; but the knowledge and its basis in facts of experience is a given (once created by an individual), a fact of reality, and can only be deduced if experience is a metaphysical primary, howsoever one wishes to organize and relate one's experiences to gain leverage (which is the purpose of epistemology). A working definition of "Existence" is essential to proceed much past the self-evident; and that definition must be objective, i.e., based on objects that we can sense and/or conceive. A conceptual object, if properly based on Existence, is an integrated product of existents as grasped by a rational mind (including relationships, which are another mode of existent). The best word for this integration is "experience", which is precisely the conjoining of an individual consciousness with sensory data, to form objects -- objects of one's experience. It is true that what I know today is not complete (or else time would have stopped); but given today's context, all I have to work with is my current experience, and in some cases I can identify reliable others and incorporate their stated experiences in my calculations; of course, I only do this when I deem the other ideas plausible, and trust the other person to have done their conceptual job well. I must do this; I can't do everything, labor must be divided and knowledge shared to create productive leverage. And my experience is growing and I see new relationships all the time. So why is it not sufficient to state the definition in terms of the objects of experience, i.e., that which I CAN grasp by cognitive means -- why do you feel the need to (implicitly) uphold hidden variables, rather than rely on your senses and ability to correlate them? The definition is precisely the right size. Perhaps, you have a better one? It is easy to criticize, and maybe you think it sufficient to identify Existence without defining it; but, operationally, you will act in accord with your definition -- so please make it explicit for your own sake (principle of least surprise, no one needs to be puppeted by implicit assumptions). - ico
  5. I see "floating abstraction" as the larger concept; "invalid concepts" are floating abstractions of a particular kind: they contradict reality at every turn, accept unreality as a basis, and a mind using them runs roughshod over the virtue of honesty; whereas the notion of floating abstraction is more generic and can include cases where only some of reality is evaded or contradicted. Agree, a deductive approach establishes the fallacy of God, assuming Existence. And an inductive approach is necessary to imagine limit processes, such as Existence. - ico
  6. Agreed. I am so sick of hearing how great democracy is ... it's right up there with "creating jobs" as a goal. Democracy is simply a means to select representatives; it is not a form of government. Sheesh. - ico
  7. From "Matrix: Reloaded": Neo says to Architect: "The problem is choice." Perfect.
  8. Obama's power to juggle concepts is, I think, not worthy of dispute. He is obviously very capable of at least pretending to the machinery of cognition, judgment, and action -- and pretending effectively is actually harder, conceptually, than sticking to the truth (because, verifiable truth is stable, consistent, and a good basis for logic; but to keep a figment firmly and stably in the imagination without a reliable concretization takes a great deal of effort and emotional stress. The problem is, at root, he is a parrot, because his fundamental assumptions (as reflected repeatedly in all of his speeches) are not his, are not tied back to verifiable principles at all, nevermind by himself; his conclusions, judgments, and actions are based on some particularly pernicious floating abstractions which he has learned by rote because by adopting them he was able to make more political hay. So, he is more or less wrong in his principles; but he is deft at juggling them, which juggling is often seen as skill by the untrained mind (but, like juggling, it doesn't put food on the table in a political context). Not an intellectual midget, but a moral midget. - ico
  9. icosahedron


    I look forward to it, thanks in advance! - ico
  10. I am disgusted to see the query "Is Objectivism Totalitarian" always on the top of the forum stack each day. So here I am adding to the thread and continuing the currency, go figure ... First of all, the question is not semantically valid, and worse, it misleads one into accepting its implicit premise, i.e., that "totalitarian" is an adjective appropriate to describing a philosophy. But totalitarian has nothing, per se, to do with philosophy; totalitarian refers to human social control structures, such as governments, where power-mongers who operate the structure dictate the behavior of the structure's individual constituents. So, really, the question needs to be rephrased, e.g.: Does the logical implementation(s) of a government consistent with Objectivist principles result in the construction of a totalitarian state? The answer to THIS (correctly posed) question is an emphatic "NO!", and the reason is simple: Objectivism advocates the virtue of independence, and does not sanction any political system that makes that virtue impractical. A totalitarian state, by its nature, requires that the virtue of independence be obliterated from public view. So, "NO!": The logical implementation(s) of government consistent with Objectivist principles will NOT result in the construction of a totalitarian state. NONONONONONO!!!!!!! - ico
  11. icosahedron


    CapitalistSwine: Your ideas seem reasonable as far as I have discerned them, but I would like the Reader's Digest version as a summation if you have such at hand, or can point me to a link. I need to decide if it is worth investing more time in them, and to do that, I need a logical overview -- I'd rather that come from you rather than from me doing a cursory read through. - ico
  12. Here's what I don't get: why does anyone assume that there is only one way to accomplish any particular goal? After all, different languages can analogously represent the same phenomena, such that reliable translation is feasible as a means for communicating ideas. Since a language contains all the concepts known to be communicated among it users to any substantial degree, is subsumes, conceptually, all ideas including those of government and taxation. If there is more than one good means to concretizing ideas, then the same must be true of the products of ideas. Popularly said, there is more than one way to skin a cat (and we can debate the relative merits of the available means without enforcing a one-size-fits-all that biases against the consideration of alternatives). For example in the current context, there is more than one means for the government to obtain the necessary revenue. Taxation is one way. There are others. Are any of these moral? Is taxation moral? Only if the answer is the same to both questions does the issue of relative merit come into play -- and if the answer is "no" to both, we may as well just be bad ... - ico
  13. icosahedron


    Maybe I am missing something, but the issue seems (to me) to be not one of whether torture is morally applicable under certain circumstances, but what those circumstances might be. Can anyone imagine themselves committing torture without guilt thenceforth? I can: if a thug had abducted my lover; and I managed to capture the thug; and that person refused to divulge the whereabouts of my lover; and no effective authority was available to appeal to for assistance; then I would absolutely and without guilt to anything and everything to obtain the necessary information, up to and including torturing the perpetrator to death. Now, that may be a moral greyness in me, but I don't think it is. I think that torture is justifiable if and only if the context warrants it -- i.e., there is immediate and present danger to one's overarching values, such as loved ones, enough danger that the cost of legal consequences is less than the cost of losing the value at stake. It is contextual, and the context is limited, but if it can be justified (not rationalized), then it is potentially proper. - ico
  14. Existence was not created by an entity, God or otherwise. Simple logic: I assume that Existence is logically prior to every identifiable existent except itself. This is consistent with Ayn's axioms. In particular, if God/Creator exists, then Existence is either: a. Logically prior to God, or b. Equivalent to God. But I am not God, so Existence is logically prior to God. Therefore, if God (the supposed creator of Existence) exists, then God did not create Existence. This contradiction establishes that God does not exist, and that all individuals notions of God are fallacious. Q.E.D. PS: The question of the inscrutability of Existence as a whole is still very interesting avenue to explore ...
  15. You misunderstand me, or I did not express myself well. My point is this, in a nutshell: Even if a God consistent with Existence can be imagined as a model, it isn't worth the trouble (i.e., it is a waste of time at best), because such model will not in any way inform the user of it, nor improve their understanding of Existence, operationally and in any other imaginable way. Ergo, such imagined "knowledge", as represented by a "God" who is imagined to be consistent with Existence, bears no relation to reality (in the sense that Existence is unaffected either way), cannot be validated, and is by definition arbitrary and useless at best. One cannot tell truth except by reference to a validation frame, and Existence is the only one I have to work with. So, God is at best a freely floating abstraction, but I must admit that some folk act based on conclusions derived from the abstraction they call "God" (different for everyone, because WHOLLY subjective/floating), and therefore I must admit the abstraction as worthy of identification. My point, said another way: if I accept that some folk (incorrectly) make up something and call it "God" and use it as a basis for subsequent logics, then what is the nature of this thing called "God", and does its nature contradict reality? That is, how do I PROVE that "God" is merely a figment of the imagination of IN EVERY CASE for those individuals who base logic/conclusions/action on the "concept", even though such a large fraction of individuals claim a valid meaning for the term "God". You can't just ignore the voices of people who can mess up your day. How does one take young folk imbued with religious dogma and reverse their assumptions? That is the only way to move the needle, long run. - ico
  16. Some thoughts: Existence contains all that can be identified. But only parts of it can be identified – the whole can only be an axiom, because no one mind can hold sufficient complexity to model the whole, as the minimum reliable representation of Existence is ... Existence itself! Any representation that accounts anything less that the whole of Existence is insufficient, and Existence as a whole cannot be modeled. If this is not clear, consider that, at minimum, to come up with a complete representation of Existence would require one mind to encompass the contents of all minds, as well as all possible knowledge of the material world. That is clearly not possible, by the law of identity, since each individual can only have access to their experience bank, including the ideas they obtain from others via concrete experiences such as hearing sounds or reading strings of symbols. Another way of saying this is that any portion of Existence changes state, has a duration of integrity as a functioning entity, has a beginning, and an end, operates between two terminals of time with one-way evolution and/or decay. Existence as a whole, which is the limit of any sequence of containment structures (i.e., entities containing lower-order entities, as an atom contains subatomic entities), does not have a beginning, nor an end. Existence is eternal. Asking for the beginning of an eternal thing is a contradiction in terms. Asking for the cause of something that is eternal is, effectively, attempting to elevate the law of causality above the law of Existence, i.e., to make causality prior to existence. But causality is a corollary of Existence, not a determinant of it. You can’t validate the law of causality without assuming Existence. One thing that I find helpful is to define Universe in terms of Man’s grasp of it. I like Bucky Fuller’s definition best based on my experience so far: “Universe is the aggregate of all humanity's consciously apprehended and communicated nonsimultaneous and only partially overlapping experiences.” (Synergetics, Volume 1, by R. Buckminster Fuller, section 301.10) As Fuller goes on to explain, “Our definition of Universe provides for the undiscovered and for the yet-to- be discovered. Do not worry about that farthermost star which is yet to be consciously apprehended by any human being. Do not think we have not provided for those physical or chemical phenomena as yet not observed and recorded by human or mechanical sensing devices. The existence of such phenomena may not have even been postulated, but they can all be accommodated by our definition of Universe. Because we start with whole Universe we have left out nothing: There is no multiplication by amplification of, or addition to, eternally regenerative Universe; there is only multiplication by division. The farthermost star and the most unfamiliar physical phenomena are all accommodated by further arithmetical subdividing of our aggregate of overlapping experiences. Nothing could have been left out when you start with whole Universe.” And, to pre-empt consternation at this radical definition (which is nonetheless correct): “People say to me, "I think you have left something out of your definition of Universe." That statement becomes part of my experience. But never will anyone disprove my working hypothesis because it will take experimental proof to satisfy me, and the experiment will always be part of the experience of my definition, ergo included. This gives me great power because my definition of Universe includes not only the physical but also the metaphysical experiences of Universe, which the physicists thought they had to exclude from their more limited definition of the finite physical portion of Universe. The metaphysical embraces all the weightless experiences of thought, including all the mathematics and the organization of data regarding all the physical experiments, science itself being metaphysical.” Now THAT is what I am talking about! And that is, to my understanding, in tune with Ayn’s ideas of staying grounded in what an actually be demonstrated by experience, but not restricting Existence only to the physical world. In Fuller’s view, as in Rand’s, Existence to me is only that which I have experience directly and/or correlated by communication with others (Fuller calls it Universe, but it is tantamount to Rand’s Existence as I hope you gleaned from the quotes). What does this have to do with God? Well, if God does exist, then Existence is the only identifiable object of our experience (an axiom is still an object) which can be identifiably associated with God, i.e., if God is a conscious volitional entity as described in all religious traditions, then Existence is the “body of God” in a strict sense. The question of God then comes down to: is there a motive force, i.e., mind behind all the material, which acts through material Existence as its means to some purpose? The problem is, if such God existed, then it would be eternal – because Existence, its body, is eternal. But an eternal entity is not conditioned by the alternative of life and death, can hold no morals therefore, and would be akin to Ayn’s indestructible robot. Such a creature cannot have purpose, and hence does not need a means of cognition nor the power of volition, and may as well not exist … and in fact CANNOT exist without violating the law of Consciousness – what would such a creature be aware of? The best I can do is give you an alternative: Universe is Me+NotMe; it’s also You+NotYou (where I use “+” to mean an integrated whole). My representation differs from yours because of perspective, but that which we describe is the same Existence viewed from different perspectives. So it is more: it is the integrated sum of the set of all the Me+NotMe inside-outside dualities that define the boundary of each individual, as well as the relationships among them (that’s the integration). The thing is, whether or not God exists, the right ways to act are the same: can you imagine that an irrational God could have produced and maintained Existence? Or is it possible that a rational God would maintain an irrational Existence? No. So, God is irrelevant to morality, whether or not it exists. Thus, as per Fuller’s definition, God is not in my Universe (except as a mental placeholder for other people’s word association games), because I have never had an experience that required God as explanation. The fallacy of God, as traditionally formulated, is that Existence is not eternal and was created (if it was, then it can also be destroyed … but as the minimum perpetual motion machine, with sum-total entropy constant over the whole, even as the material portions decay progressively with non-decreasing entropy, Existence is not at risk). If Existence is eternal, then a first cause is not required, and God can (at most) be an innocent bystander observing Existence play out. - ico
  17. Pride Kneel to no man or woman, to no God or angel. Be like Odysseus, craft your own soul, make your own path And give praise and blame to no one unless they deserve it. We have the power to create -- what more do you want? Pursue your happiness, let others be concerned with theirs How can you know what others want, anyhow? Proudly inspire yourself, and expect your friends to follow as they see fit. Take what you want and pay for it. Celebrate your life, and let no one choose for you. Never get caught depending on another, Others will love you for what you have built into your soul. God can only watch Universe can only move We can each watch and move We are the integrators Without us, nothing is. Give credit where it is due Uncertainty, choice, volition These are the powers Applied correctly, there is no limit to the power of creation Learn to apply them correctly If God exists, God will smile on you for doing so If not, then you will still be in optimal shape. There is no contradiction between me and you, God or not Just so long as we live virtuously In harmony with ourselves. Those who see this can associate without blame Those who miss the point will be unhappy. Simple. Not easy.
  18. Any adult? Really? How do they know? Do they just "know it" intrinsically? Do they follow the opinion of others? Or do they have an objective basis for determining fairness of legislation? If the latter, can you describe this basis that transcends human opinion, i.e. is (according to the logic of your claim), a lesson everyone learns such that, given a piece of legislation and the question "Is it fair?", every adult comes to the same yes/no conclusion? The civil rights movement is not legislation. And the minimum wage oversteps the bounds of government's proper function. The government is not an individual and has no right to do anything; it has things it MUST do, according to its charter, and things it must NOT do. But these are standing orders, not rights which the government can choose to exercise or not. The government ought to be the epitome of rational efficiency in the execution of its proper functions; it has no business dabbling in any other functions other than: protection of individual rights; and mediation of contract disputes. Then I can't trust you not to take my property without paying me fair recompense. It's really that simple. If you can take the time to understand why trust is based on property rights, including the right to one's life and limbs, and to the products of one's efforts; then you will see what is going on here, morally and with full logical consistency. If you do not embrace property rights as an absolute, then you allow for the fact that, sometimes, it is appropriate for an individual to surrender a greater value in return for a lesser one, at the behest of some other individual, simply because the other individual commands it. You can't escape the logic of it: who decides which property rights to violate at which point in time, and to whose benefit? Even admitting the fact that property rights might be attenuated in the future immediately reduces the range of reliable planning a person can do, under such threat. And that is the real problem. As with the right of self-defense, the right of property must be an absolute to be valid. To have property rights most of the time is to have no property rights. - ico
  19. The point is: force is not a means to values. The government may use force, and when it does, value must not be the object of that force. The government, ideally, is a robot carrying out orders. - ico
  20. No more than I consider a programmed computer to be making decisions for itself ... the government has to stick to the script, it's not a producer and should not pretend to be. Remember, government has the power to use deliberate force legally. That power is not consistent with making choices, and its use must be thoroughly proscribed -- the government does not have the law in its hands any more than I do; it's job is enforcement and mediation of rights, not determination, value judgments, nor interpretation. - ico
  21. The basic principle (that ought to be written into a proper Constitution) is that the government must not take moral positions nor actions based on such positions. The idea that I must allow someone into my private establishment for any reason beyond a criminal investigation is a moral position. The government should stick to protection and mediation services based on strict objective standards, i.e., not open to moral interpretation, and therefore not vulnerable to the whims of the individuals that operate the government. - ico
  22. They won't detect gravitons, which may or may not render the mathematical model useless ... but will at least force re-evaluation of the assumption that gravity can be modeled as a pair-wise interaction mediated by particles. I'd put all my money on it. None of the verifiable predictions of general relativity will be altered one bit, whether or not gravitons are real, because it doesn't matter, in the context of so far valid predictions, whether or not gravity itself is explained; general relativity describes the behavior of gravity well as far as can be verified. There is evidence for another view, because it is not the speed of motion, but rate of signal transmission, and hence ability to transmit information, that is at the root of the speed limit in reality. If gravity has nothing to do with signal transmission, but is instead a global embracement that keeps systems from breaking apart due to entropic considerations, i.e., if gravity is the "force" of systemic integrity, then it is better visualized as a rubber netting around the outside and pulling inwards in all directions, like a soccer ball bag. The state of the embracement would be a function of every point in the netting, i.e., the whole netting state would need to be known to compute any stresses. This is like a quantum state of a linked collection of oscillators, and like a quantum state, must be global to the system, independent of the system's size or complexity, up to and including the whole of existence. If gravity pertains instantaneously, like a quantum state, then it has no mediating particles filling the space (that is for the electric, bi-directional forces -- and its effects pertain instantaneously. I don't think it's possible to materialize an object without its gravitational envelope already formed along with the object. - ico
  23. This is not yet experimentally verified. If true, the gravitational force will be mediated by mass-less particles called gravitons. Gravitons have not been shown to exist yet. I doubt they will be. Why must gravity be temporally lagged? Unlike electromagnetic potentials, gravitational potentials are scalar. Because it is non-directional, gravitational potential cannot be affected by the direction of travel of the masses that determine it. If the gravitational force were transmitted radially at finite speed, then the inter-attraction of masses under gravity would be affected by their relative state of motion. This appears to be a contradiction. - ico
  24. Civil contract insurance: in order for a contract to be legally enforceable, it must be recorded with the civil court and a periodic premium paid to the government treasury, with the amount of the premium based on the value and risk of the contract. It is up to the contracting parties to decide whether or not to insure any given contract. They could just shake hands on it if they choose. But, should an uninsured contract be defaulted on, their is no recourse in law, and hence no force can be taken against the defaulter, even if only to compensate the creditor. The most that could be done would be to censure the defaulter as unworthy of credit. If the government were right-sized, contract insurance could serve as the sole source of government revenue in normal times. And taxation is morally wrong -- partial slavery is still slavery. But when there is no choice with a better outcome, one does the necessary and pays the legally imposed taxes ... and remembers who legislated them for the next election. - ico
  25. My position is that I obey unjust laws to the extent that I deem the cost of obeying to be less than the marginal value I could obtain by disobeying. My position is consistent with Objectivism to the degree I understand the philosophy. - ico
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