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1. The US should not have had a draft during WWII, or and other war. Instating a military draft is a clear violation of the right to life. As to the second part of this question, I have no response.

Thanks for the responses guys. Although I'd like a better idea of what you think the results of the US not instating the draft in World War II would be like. Did it not matter at all whether the US go

1. Should the US have not instated the draft during World War II? If so, what do you think would happen? 2. Was it immoral for Ayn Rand to collect Medicare? 3. Are public libraries a moral e

Yes, parts of the transition could be quite difficult. Large chunks of modern society have been built upon the premise that the government is and will continue to be involved in activities that, fundamentally, the government shouldn't be doing. It's a very complicated question as to how, with any particular area, to get the government out with the least amount of transitional damage, and rational people can easily disagree about those things. Nevertheless, we know from fundamental principles which activities we should be attempting to, ultimately, get government out of.

Consider the 1680’s, when John Locke was writing (but unable to publish) his most influential works, in exile from the Catholic James II, while Louis XIV was revoking the Edict of Nantes, and witches were swinging in the Massachusetts of Cotton Mather. Fast forward 100 years and it’s unthinkable that you have the founding of the United States, where freedom of religion and the press are part of the founding principles. The point is that big changes can happen, ideas are vital to those changes, and history is very unpredictable. As is the future.

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Interesting responses. So it seems like Rand was okay with women doing anything besides, for some reason, being President.

So what kind of political system would a Objectivist state have? I always assumed some kind of constitutionally limited democracy. What about a constitutionally limited nondemocracy, assuming it worked efficiently and followed Objectivist ethics pretty well? Are Objectivists supporters of democracy, and are they opposed to all other forms of government?

I'd really like to see an answer to my nationalism question. What do you guys think? Are you proud to be an American or Australian or whatever else?

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Interesting responses. So it seems like Rand was okay with women doing anything besides, for some reason, being President.

I'd really like to see an answer to my nationalism question. What do you guys think? Are you proud to be an American or Australian or whatever else?

I speak only for myself, and I have to reiterate that when answering about nationalism, as I am not an american citizen or resident but rather hail from the land of francisco.

my answer is a categorical no. If I had proper caps I would have capitalized the no.

It's the same as in the feminism/females issue. she was born in russia, you can see

what her opinion of that rosy country is. she objectively, coldly, chose america as the best country for her (and probably anyone at the time) to develop. In the context of the years she was alive, the Usa was also one of the very few countries worth living in, as well as the one that kept some others safeguarded. from that Objectivism does seem to have a very strong link with the United states of america and no other government, but only because it's the country that (used to) defend citizen's rights the best, and particularly because it's the only country that enunciated those rights properly.

no she would not have condoned being a proud australian, that is a subject to the divinely appointed majesty of australia, papua new guinea, fiji, england, etc. however since australia ironically looks like the future america, in fact, it might make sense for an aussie to be proud to be a citizen of an over all very decent country.

Objectivism is not nationalist, at all. But I'd love to hear what everybody else says.

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What's the Objectivist take on handicapped and disabled people? If someone develops or is born with a severe mental disorder, paralysis, ALS, Alzheimer's, or any other condition that makes them unable to live on their own, should they be left to die?

I was going to say that Objectivism take on babies born with Alzheimer's is similar to the Objectivist take on god, then I found this.

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What's the Objectivist take on handicapped and disabled people? If someone develops or is born with a severe mental disorder, paralysis, ALS, Alzheimer's, or any other condition that makes them unable to live on their own, should they be left to die?

In such cases, the person is still a Human Being - they are essentially "broken" in some sense, but they still have the same basic rights any other human being possesses.

A child is entitled to care, feeding and protection from their parents because the parents engaged in an action which resulted in the creation of a child and chose to bring that child into the world. At some point, that child would normally grow into an adult, at which time parental obligation ends, but there is never any guarantee that a child will be born healthy or with the potential to achieve independence. Nevertheless, they continue to be human beings, and continue to have a human beings rights.

So if a child is born with a life long disability, the parents are responsible for the long term welfare of that child INCLUDING beyond their death (and there are plenty of mechanisms to support that need such as life insurance and trust funds).

That responsibility, however, STOPS with the parents. If the parents are unwilling to provide, the rights of the child should be protected - enter Government. But Justice cannot be carried out by committing an injustice against others, so if parents cannot provide for the child, Government *can* help but morally they can only do so with funds collected voluntarily by a society that rationally believes Government is necessary for the protection of individual rights.

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In such cases, the person is still a Human Being - they are essentially "broken" in some sense, but they still have the same basic rights any other human being possesses.

A child is entitled to care, feeding and protection from their parents because the parents engaged in an action which resulted in the creation of a child and chose to bring that child into the world. At some point, that child would normally grow into an adult, at which time parental obligation ends, but there is never any guarantee that a child will be born healthy or with the potential to achieve independence. Nevertheless, they continue to be human beings, and continue to have a human beings rights.

So if a child is born with a life long disability, the parents are responsible for the long term welfare of that child INCLUDING beyond their death (and there are plenty of mechanisms to support that need such as life insurance and trust funds).

That responsibility, however, STOPS with the parents. If the parents are unwilling to provide, the rights of the child should be protected - enter Government. But Justice cannot be carried out by committing an injustice against others, so if parents cannot provide for the child, Government *can* help but morally they can only do so with funds collected voluntarily by a society that rationally believes Government is necessary for the protection of individual rights.

So I understand what you said thusly: It is morally okay to help a child who is disabled for the rest of their life. However, if there isn't enough voluntary donations to support the person they should be left to die.

What if it's an adult that becomes disabled later in life? Is it morally okay to help someone who develops Alzheimers at age 50? How far does this adult/child distinction go?

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So I understand what you said thusly: It is morally okay to help a child who is disabled for the rest of their life. However, if there isn't enough voluntary donations to support the person they should be left to die.

What if it's an adult that becomes disabled later in life? Is it morally okay to help someone who develops Alzheimers at age 50? How far does this adult/child distinction go?

I think you have a real fundamental misunderstanding of Objectivism here. Of COURSE it is morally OK to help someone who develops Alzheimers - in fact, if it is someone like your mother or father (assuming they were good parents or even decent parents to you) it's pretty much immoral not to. What Objectivism is against is UNCHOSEN obligation, not freely chosen aid to people you value. It's absolutely moral for me to care for and assist, for example, my autistic sister because she may never be fully independent. I love my sister, I value her, and to fail to help her would be inconsistent with my values, thus harmful to my life. It is also moral for a stranger to help my sister IF that person chooses to do so (say, through a charity dedicated to autistic people). What is NOT moral is for me to force a stranger to care for my sister whether they want to or not, because I can't or won't, and using government as an intermediary vehicle for that force makes it even more immoral.

It's been said before but you really, REALLY need to read Rand before you come in here and ask stuff like this. You would have a lot better sense of the philosophy. You are far too focused on what Objectivism is against and not at all focused enough on what it is FOR. Objectivism is pro-values. Other people are frequently values.

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It's been said before but you really, REALLY need to read Rand before you come in here and ask stuff like this. You would have a lot better sense of the philosophy. You are far too focused on what Objectivism is against and not at all focused enough on what it is FOR. Objectivism is pro-values. Other people are frequently values.

Okay. Well I really don't like reading through Atlas Shrugged but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that Objectivism is for a lot of things.

Thank you for your response, though. It cleared things up for me a bit.

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Okay. Well I really don't like reading through Atlas Shrugged but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that Objectivism is for a lot of things.

Thank you for your response, though. It cleared things up for me a bit.

You're welcome. You know that there's no law you have to read AS to understand Rand. Honestly, if you're interested in the philosophy, her copious amounts of non-fiction might be a better start and you could skip over her fiction entirely if it's not your cup of tea (some people don't care for her style).

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Objectivism is a hero worshiping, man valuing philosophy. Man is a standard of value. A rational, conscious, individual man.

Obligation poisons a relationship by negating mutual respect, inspiration, and the effort necessary to keep a rational consciousness interested in the relationship; obligated relationships are taken for granted. Relationships are valuable when they are the result of your own volition; choosing to help the disabled man has more value than if you are forced. When men are forced into an impersonal system, care for the disabled man diminishes because the 'system' that cares for them is taken for granted. Force insinuates that man is not capable of valuing another man unless he is forced to do so.

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Okay. Well I really don't like reading through Atlas Shrugged but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that Objectivism is for a lot of things.

Thank you for your response, though. It cleared things up for me a bit.

You should be aware that Rand wrote a hell of a lot more than Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, and Anthem. Those are simply her fictional works. Her philosophical essays are what you really should be reading, as well as "Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand" by Peikoff.

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So I understand what you said thusly: It is morally okay to help a child who is disabled for the rest of their life. However, if there isn't enough voluntary donations to support the person they should be left to die.

Yeah, uh, no. Go back, read it again, and try to read every word this time.

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Some interesting questions in this thread. I would have answered slightly differently than my fellow O-ists on a few...

So I understand what you said thusly: It is morally okay to help a child who is disabled for the rest of their life. However, if there isn't enough voluntary donations to support the person they should be left to die.

What if it's an adult that becomes disabled later in life? Is it morally okay to help someone who develops Alzheimers at age 50? How far does this adult/child distinction go?

It's not an adult/child distinction; it's parent/child. A parent has a moral obligation to help their child until they can care for themselves, even if the child becomes sick or disabled.

If someone gets sick after they become independent from their parents, they might have resources of their own that would cover the cost of their care. If not, they might have insurance. If not, they might need to rely on the voluntary charity of family, friends, or charitable organizations. If all of those alternatives fail, then yes, they might die. But no one is "leaving anyone to die," any more than you are "letting someone risk their life" by driving a car or crossing the street. If death comes, it would be a natural consequence of the choices made by that person.

If you're sick and can't care for yourself, I do not have a moral obligation to help you. If you don't value your life enough to provide for the case where something might go wrong, why should I? If you tried and failed, why should I take the blame, when I don't even know you?

As far as being morally OK to help people: that's always OK, as long as the help is wanted and it's voluntary. It's when the help is forced or coerced, or when it comes from a sense of duty or obligation that it becomes immoral.

Edited by LovesLife
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So I understand what you said thusly: It is morally okay to help a child who is disabled for the rest of their life. However, if there isn't enough voluntary donations to support the person they should be left to die.

Here’s a relevant clip, I think it’s one of Peikoff’s best moments.

I think there’s a presumption here that if too many people were Objectivists, orphanages would disappear and unwanted babies would be exposed, as they were in Ancient Rome and Greece, and reportedly in Communist China to this day. But there isn’t much about parenthood in the Objectivist literature, so this is unjustified speculation. One may as well claim that egoistic ethics leads inexorably to the closing of libraries and the hoarding of knowledge by a technocratic elite, instead of leading to the creation of Wikipedia. I’ve heard many bizarre claims about the horrors egoism leads to, and I recall reading somewhere that Ayn Rand said, jokingly, that the Lexicon should include an entry for babies, so people could see that she didn’t advocate eating babies for breakfast.

cook_baby.jpg

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What do you think would happen if the world suddenly "turned Objectivist", that is if all the people in the world realized the Objectivist position was right? Sudden technological and industrial renaissance or something along those lines?

Ayn Rand never advocated an Objectivist Utopia; she wanted enough of a majority to ensure that rights were not violated. When and if such a time comes... No more excuses, no more playing the victim, no more excessive weight to carry, efficiency, a striving toward greater potential. But man is not infallible. History has shown the principles of rationality have ebbed and flowed. A season of prosperity gained by rational development has often been followed by generations who had it too easy, took the wealth of those times for granted, had no understanding of the principles that made the wealth possible, and squandered it.

I think social stability as I do inheritance. There are families whom generation after generation maintain successful productive lives. There are also families who's next generation flush it all down the toilet. It would be wise to figure out the difference. In a world where we suddenly turn Objectivist, we could just as suddenly turn into pumpkins.

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But no one is "leaving anyone to die," any more than you are "letting someone risk their life" by driving a car or crossing the street. If death comes, it would be a natural consequence of the choices made by that person.

So you believe that Alzheimers, dementia, heritable illnesses, and cancer are always natural consequences of the choices made by a person who gets them? What choices do people make that cause them to get a heritable illness?

Yeah, uh, no. Go back, read it again, and try to read every word this time.

Should the government do anything to help the person? I didn't think that was the meaning of his post.

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So you believe that Alzheimers, dementia, heritable illnesses, and cancer are always natural consequences of the choices made by a person who gets them? What choices do people make that cause them to get a heritable illness?

No, it's not the disease that's a choice. It's how you prepare for the possibility of disease that's a choice. Every rational person knows that disease is possible for them, right?

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Alzheimers, dementia, heritable illnesses, and cancer

Should the government do anything to help the person?

Yes, the government should stand to defend the rights of every citizen, whether sick or not. For instance, in a perfectly free market the government should still be able to enforce contracts, punish (in order to prevent) fraud, etc.

In answer to what you really meant by that, no, not according to Objectivism. Why should the government do it and not the Catholic church or the Freemasons. There was a time when all non family care centers (hospices) were all run by the Church. It would have been difficult to imagine at the time that another power and organization would ever take the place of the pious nuns doing god's work. And yet in some of those same Catholic countries, 500 years later, they have universal healthcare with an emphasis on secularism.

Try and imagine an equally radical change in the future in the way society deals with the disabled, but in a non coercive way. all voluntary.

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No, it's not the disease that's a choice. It's how you prepare for the possibility of disease that's a choice. Every rational person knows that disease is possible for them, right?

Okay, that works better. Always have enough cash on hand to pay for a nursing home, otherwise you get Alzheimer's and you're fucked.

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Okay, that works better. Always have enough cash on hand to pay for a nursing home, otherwise you get Alzheimer's and you're fucked.

Or the people that care about you help you out, or people who care about the cause of combating Alzheimer's donate to charities which then help you out, etc. The point is merely that no one should be forced to help you, that charity and assistance be voluntary activities.

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