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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

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.

That's not what I said.

The bottom line is this: is it moral for government to point a gun at my head and extort money from me in order to pay for your Alzheimer's nursing care? No. Even if that means you die? Still no. In addition, I may well need that money to cover the costs of my own health issues, or those of my family. When government takes money from me, they may well be denying me the ability to support and care for myself. If I can't control my property and the fruits of my labor, then I can't control my own life.

Today, people happily risk that government will be there for them when they are really needed, but the ignore or evade the details -- you know, things like long-term sustainability, the Obamacare death panels and all that. Is that really any better than risking that charity will be there?

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Whats the Objectivist take on child abuse, neglect, etc?

Those are forms of illegal initiation of force.

Should there be any social workers allowed by law to take children away from abusive parents?

As in any case of initiation of force, the government's role is to protect the rights of everyone involved. If parents are abusing their kids, they are committing a crime, and should be treated as criminals. It's not that the children would be taken away from their parents, it's that the parents would be taken away from their kids and restrained, by force if required.

Another interesting question is how do you determine if something is child abuse or not. For example, is spanking child abuse? Clearly, a parent needs to be able to force their kids to do (or not do) certain things, in order to keep them safe as they grow up. So, the rules aren't the same as for the general public.

What about foster care?

Foster care is fine. Foster parents should voluntarily accept the role and the associated cost.

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Mustang,

Just as you question this philosophy, do you question the reality (and the philosophy that enables it) around you?

I don't know how many well intended foster parents would be without government incentives, but don't forget about the abuse many children suffer because of "career" foster parents. Are you really sure that religious orphanages of the past were not doing a better job - would you consider thinking of a future non religious alternative of that which does not involve the use of force to keep it running.

I don't think that World would be ideal, but I strongly believe that we have to get to that step of evolution and confront those future problems, not hang on to the present structure.

In that way, and as Ayn Rand said, Objectivism is a very Progressive philosophy, and not at all Conservative in any way, even though some concrete ideas might overlap (in times).

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Oh, I know that religious orphanages might hypothetically do a better job. But as far as I know the government doesn't really interfere with the work of a tax-free charity. I think if you cut government disability programs there are some people that are going to die that otherwise would have lived. Do you think this is so? And do the ones who died all deserve it?

I didn't mean this thread to be for debating, though, so those are just meant as questions.

Here's another question. Should charities be tax exempt?

While we're at it, what types of taxes would an Objectivist state have? Any excise taxes? Are you against the personal income tax? Estate tax?

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Should charities be tax exempt?

Everything should be tax exempt :)

In a world where taxation is the norm, however, I do not think that charities have more or less of a claim to be tax exempt than for-profit businesses.

While we're at it, what types of taxes would an Objectivist state have? Any excise taxes? Are you against the personal income tax? Estate tax?

Here is a thread with links to other threads that address frequently asked questions such as this one (and others you have asked here). There are three separate threads about taxation. Also, the Lexicon entry is always a good starting point for basic questions; here is the Lexicon entry on taxation. Incidentally, in the first link I provided, there is also a link to a 36-page long Prudent Predator thread (why not steal if you can get away with it?) on the subject of your SS-collecting Grandma question, which you raised in the Self-interest thread.

Edited by Dante
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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.

Here's something I heard recently:

If you think you have a right to force me to pay for your health care, then why don't you have a right to force me to pick your cotton?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Oh, I know that religious orphanages might hypothetically do a better job. But as far as I know the government doesn't really interfere with the work of a tax-free charity. I think if you cut government disability programs there are some people that are going to die that otherwise would have lived. Do you think this is so? And do the ones who died all deserve it?

mustang19, you are approaching everything in this topic in a fundamentally wrong way. Instead of going by abstract principles and then applying them to specifics, you are saying, "What does Objectivism say about X? What about Y? What about Z?" when all of those are contained under principle A.

This question is also the result of the wrong mentality. What you are assuming is that "society" somehow, as a collective, makes decisions about who lives or dies, which may or may not coincide with whether they really "deserve" to die. If there are people who are currently supported by government aid who are such non-values that no one would be willing to support them of their own volition, then their existence is the product of theft and coercion. No one "deserves" to live by parasitism on the productivity of others. The truth of the matter is this: it is a fact that you are alive. If you wish to continue in this state, it is your responsibility to bring that about. If others gain significant values (both spiritual and material) from having you around, they may morally take on this responsibility for you if they so choose.

This sort of objection ("If we had laissez-faire, the invalids would be starving in the streets, and that would be terrible!") is self-refuting: if such a situation concerns people, they can voluntarily pay money to charity to help deal with it. If it doesn't concern them, they wouldn't make the objection. Furthermore, it would not be immoral under the Objectivist ethics to give to such a charity, even to people one does not know. Misery loves company, and the reverse is also true: people who are happy do not want to see others unhappy. Helping someone (who deserves the help) to achieve happiness, so long as it does not constitute a sacrifice, is a reinforcement of one's values. The reason for this is obvious: someone who is starving and miserable cannot be a source of values such as friendship to you; someone who is well-off and happy can.

None of this, however, implies a moral obligation to give to charity for any particular man. The decision depends on his context and his own hierarchy of values.

Also, on the question of parents: yes, they normally have a moral responsibility to provide for their children. However, if a drastic change to their situation occurs that renders them unable to support their children, they have the moral right to abandon parental responsibility. Even parents who want to give up their children for immoral reasons have the legal right to do so, as well. No one can be forced to take care of a another person.

Edited by Vox Rationis
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I think if you cut government disability programs there are some people that are going to die that otherwise would have lived. Do you think this is so?

Perhaps. However, it's also possible that cutting government disability programs will save lives -- for example, if someone who is being taxed needs those funds to pay for their own disability or illness, then not being taxed would mean they would have more funds available to meet those needs.

And do the ones who died all deserve it?

No one deserves to die (except perhaps certain extreme criminals) -- but that doesn't mean that it's my responsibility to pay for their care.

If you take money from someone in the form of taxes, so they can't afford the care they need, and they die as a result, did they deserve to die? Are you willing to kill some to save others?

Should charities be tax exempt?

Yes -- along with all other companies and people.

While we're at it, what types of taxes would an Objectivist state have? Any excise taxes? Are you against the personal income tax? Estate tax?

Taxation is theft, so Objectivism is against it. Government should be funded through voluntary mechanisms.

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