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Tom Robinson

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  1. If Churchill actually meant that “The inherent blessing of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings, and the inherent vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery,” then it is hard to imagine why he introduced socialism to Britain in World War I and brought it back during World War II. Perhaps in Churchill's upside-down morality vices are preferable to blessings. In any case, even if Churchill meant that the vice of socialism is its equal sharing of misery, he would still be embracing a falsehood. Socialism does not mean equality. Members of the Communist Party in the USSR en
  2. Want honesty? I can't stand that quote from Churchill. It states the opposite of reality.
  3. And if you are not presented with such knowledge, then presumably you are beyond moral judgment. Accordingly, we could not regard the terrorist acts of 9/11 as immoral unless we knew that the perpetrators had been "presented with the knowledge that, once grasped," would have prevented them "from taking another person's property in the name of god."
  4. I agree in general with your comments. But I am troubled by your phrase "modern moral standard." If morals, and more specifically rights, are derived from man's nature (as Rand discusses in "The Objectivist Ethics") then rights and the principle of not initiating force would be as valid 400 years ago as they are today -- unless one believes that there has been an essential change in man's nature since then. Therefore, a distinction between modern and pre-modern morals can only be descriptive, not prescriptive.
  5. Ayn Rand is right. Look how quickly, as a result of U.S. economic boycott, Cuba collapsed over the last 40 years. Yep. It happened in the twinkling of an eye. When Ayn Rand wrote those words, Cuba was on its very last legs. Given how much Cuba imploded in the last 40 years, surely Cuba will be fully ready for capitalism by, say, mid-2005?
  6. Great! Why not start an Objectivist political party? (Shall we call it the "Party of Reality, Reason and Rights"?) Of course, the cost to get such a party on the ballot in all 50 states would be in the several millions. However, falling short of that goal, there is no reason why a highly motivated (as well as attractive and persuasive) individual over the age of 18 could not run for public office on an Objectivist platform. Don't forget to tell the electorate that you favor abortion and drug usage rights and also want to pump up the War on Terror and extend it to Iran and N. Korea. Test t
  7. TomL: No I wouldn't, because warts and blood are not a fundamental component of the concept "right", and are not presupposed by it. One does not need "blood" or "warts" in order to have "rights". One needs "reason" & "volition". Robinson: Good, if “one does not need ‘blood’ or ‘warts’ in order to have ‘rights,’” then Jones can draw all of Smith’s blood out of his body and Smith will still have his rights. TomL: No, I won't. Performing actions on a person's body is not the same thing as killing them. Robinson: If "performing actions on a person’s body is not the same as kil
  8. Yes, as I've said, read Cox's book.
  9. You might as well say that it is not the same thing for a man to draw his own blood (or remove his warts) as it is for another man to draw his blood (or remove his warts), and that therefore the former is legitimate and the latter is illegitimate. In order to prove the contention that self-induced death is permissible but contracted death is impermissible, you will have to demonstrate that the only one who can morally perform actions on a person’s body is the person himself. If I cut my wart out, it’s okay; if you cut it out it’s assault and battery! Then contrary to your post ear
  10. TomL: No. I am saying suicide is a man's choice, but murder isn't. Robinson: If Smith’s taking his life by his own free will is not murder, neither is Jones’s taking of Smith’s life by Smith’s permission murder. TomL: I wouldn't; they have done nothing to injure anyone else. Punishment is for those who would injure others. Robinson: So following what you wrote before, “Only an objective individual can make the judgement” to commit suicide, we would add that non-objective individuals can also make the choice to commit suicide. TomL: It is not the same action. For Jones to ki
  11. But someone acting under my instructions is performing actions on my behalf. So you would forbid only the suicides of non-objective individuals? And how would you punish those non-objective individuals who attempted suicide and did not succeed? You cannot punish Jones for taking the same action that you would allow to Smith. If Smith’s taking his own life does not violate any rights, then no rights are violated when Jones acts on Smith’s instructions to end Smith’s life. No rights violation, no crime. Then we agree that the body and consciousness are separate th
  12. Never mind what others say. You are right to enjoy Vonnegut, one of the great masters of the comic novel. Cat's Cradle is perhaps the best satire of religion ever written.
  13. The owner of the heart may legitimately take actions to make it stop beating. You have said, “There is nothing ethically wrong for a man to want to die and even for him to want someone else to do it. But in the abscence of an emergency, it is morally wrong for anyone else to execute that wish. Anyone who does so defaults on his own right to life.” First of all, who gets to decide whether it is an emergency? More importantly, you are caught in a contradiction. If Smith kills himself (presumably with his own permission), he has not violated anyone’s rights. Therefore if Jones kills Smith (w
  14. Either an individual’s person (body) is his property or it is not. If a human body is the property of the occupant (the consciousness within), then the occupant may dispose of it as he wishes, including placing it in the hands of someone who will administer a lethal injection. In theory, a surgeon could imprison a person, remove her brain and insert someone else’s. By the Lockean principle of first occupation, we say this is illegitimate because the original occupant is the only legitimate owner. But we do not have to resort to such a science fiction hypothetical. A fetus can occup
  15. As H.W. Fowler asked, have you made up you mind to say, "Everyone was blowing their noses" or “Everyone were blowing their noses"? Let's see how this sounds: "Whoever allows a 'somehow' into their view of the means by which their desires are to be achieved, is guilty of that 'metaphysical humility' which, psychologically, is the premise of a parasite." Try it another way: "Whoever allows a 'somehow' into his view of the means by which his desires are to be achieved, is guilty of that 'metaphysical humility' which, psychologically, is the premise of a parasite." Does the second v
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