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I think the term "indiscriminate killing" should be thrown out as being so vague as to be worthless. When a truly crazy persons goes on a rampage, we might describe it as "indiscriminate killing", but

The Bin Laden family are not terrorists, they're a prominent Arab family with business interests across the Middle East. Osama bin Laden has been disowned by his family, and officially stripped of his

How do you maintain the moral status of Western countries not playing an active role in supporting Islamic Fundamentalist activities today?   I mean, if you are selling weapons to a country like Sau

The phrase you use is vague and its true meaning would only be known by those who were aware of the context.

That is really my point. When you generalise, you dilute which acts are attributable to which individuals, and the victims they were directed at. You then lose the ability to target your retaliatory force only at those who initiated it (you fail to meet Rand's criteria).

Edited by Jon Southall
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"By not killing innocents you would allow your enemy to kill you and that is self-defeating. You value your life, you don't want to die just so you can save innocent people."

True but those circumstances are very rare. It certainly doesn't apply to Iran.

 

It did to Japan and Germany, whether it applies to Iran is another question.

 

But let's get back to the question of this thread, i.e. whether it does apply to America. That is, another country attacking America because of its support of countries that support Islamic fundamentalist terrorists.

 

 

And to avoid the issue of killing innocents here (which isn't really the point of my thread), let's keep it ultra simple and just ask the following:

 

If an innocent person went to America and executed every single government worker (whether that be current or ex Presidents or whoever) that supported and was involved in, e.g., selling weapons to Saudi Arabia (which according to the State Department together with Iran is the world's number one supporter of Islamic terrorism worldwide) or otherwise supporting such regimes - if he did that, would he have a right to do so, Yes or No?

 

An answer to this question would paint a much clearer picture to me about what you or other Objectivists here really mean by America being culpable. So far, I have only heard kinda wishi-washi statements by Yaron Brook or other commentators like "We were very pragmatic" or "Did a lot of stupid things". Well, "doing a lot of stupid things" sounds quite sweet, innocent and kinda evading the real question of actual culpability to me, I want to know what the real stand is here. And if America really isn't culpable (and by someone culpable I mean someone that you have a right to punish), I would like to know in terms of principles why. "In terms of principles meaning", arguing by the principle of initiation of force.

 

In other words, I'm looking for an anwser clearer than this one (see at 1:50:56):

 

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DiscoveryJoy,

 

I would disagree it applied in the conflict between US forces and Japanese forces in WW2. Japan was trying to surrender before the atomic bombing took place. This is a historical fact. But I agree, let's get back to the topic of this thread.

 

You asked:

 

"If an innocent person went to America and executed every single government worker (whether that be current or ex Presidents or whoever) that supported and was involved in, e.g., selling weapons to Saudi Arabia (which according to the State Department together with Iran is the world's number one supporter of Islamic terrorism worldwide) or otherwise supporting such regimes - if he did that, would he have a right to do so, Yes or No?"

 

No.

 

The innocent person has every right to seek justice. He can pursue those who initiated the physical force both directly and those who were complicit in it. Would he be acting morally if he killed those people without trial (one which meets objective standards)? No. Not unless his life depended on it.

 

If the innocent person took a case to the US justice system and presented compelling evidence that these people were complicit in the murder of his fellow citizens and the destruction of property, through facilitating the initiation of force by terrorists, what do you think would happen? Would he get justice? Would the government prevent all future supplies and take legal action against all those individuals who were involved in supporting terrorism?

 

In my opinion, if he resorted to acting independently after exhausting that avenue, I would say he would have moral justification, but I suspect he would be acting irrationally; he would be quickly killed and the abuses he sought to stop would continue. The best hope he would have of ending the injustice would be to direct his efforts at overthrowing the regime at home and replacing it with one which protects individual rights.

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Peikoff is wrong there, in my opinion. Rand was clear that retaliatory force should be directed against those who initiated it. Rand is logically coherent. If you kill innocent people to make it easier to kill your enemies, you are treating those people as means to an end. You are intentionally initiating force against them, sacrificing them for your own sake. That is evil, I think. Rand argued force initiation was evil. Peikoff cannot add an animal farmesque "unless its people in countries we are afraid of".

I don't think the bombing of hiroshima or nagasaki was moral either. For the same reasons. Study history. Japan was nuked to scare the Russians.

Indescriminate attacks, where force is not retaliatory, not objectively utilised, would be completely morally unjustified.

Given only two operable devices, it would have been smarter to bomb London or Dublin. If the Russians saw we were willing and able to bomb our allies, that would really have put the fear of God in those atheist bastards. Besides Japan was about to surrender anyway, almost seems like a wasted effort at that point.

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DiscoveryJoy,

 

I would disagree it applied in the conflict between US forces and Japanese forces in WW2. Japan was trying to surrender before the atomic bombing took place. This is a historical fact.

 

Got other information the historical facts, but one way or the other "trying to surrender" isn't immediate unconditional surrender. It still would have meant US-soldier's would have had to die unnecessarily in further fighting until Japan had finished its period of socalled "trying to surrender". Just one single more US-Soldier that had died unnecessarily in the war due to further delay of Japan's armistice would have been an act of treason on the part of the US government. Hence Trueman, Churchill and the like are moral heroes for having done what they did.

 

DiscoveryJoy,

 

I would disagree it applied in the conflict between US forces and Japanese forces in WW2. Japan was trying to surrender before the atomic bombing took place. This is a historical fact. But I agree, let's get back to the topic of this thread.

 

You asked:

 

"If an innocent person went to America and executed every single government worker (whether that be current or ex Presidents or whoever) that supported and was involved in, e.g., selling weapons to Saudi Arabia (which according to the State Department together with Iran is the world's number one supporter of Islamic terrorism worldwide) or otherwise supporting such regimes - if he did that, would he have a right to do so, Yes or No?"

 

No.

 

The innocent person has every right to seek justice. He can pursue those who initiated the physical force both directly and those who were complicit in it. Would he be acting morally if he killed those people without trial (one which meets objective standards)? No. Not unless his life depended on it.

 

If the innocent person took a case to the US justice system and presented compelling evidence that these people were complicit in the murder of his fellow citizens and the destruction of property, through facilitating the initiation of force by terrorists, what do you think would happen? Would he get justice? Would the government prevent all future supplies and take legal action against all those individuals who were involved in supporting terrorism?

 

In my opinion, if he resorted to acting independently after exhausting that avenue, I would say he would have moral justification, but I suspect he would be acting irrationally; he would be quickly killed and the abuses he sought to stop would continue. The best hope he would have of ending the injustice would be to direct his efforts at overthrowing the regime at home and replacing it with one which protects individual rights.

 

Okay, you are giving a lot of circumstantial reasons for saying "No" here. But taking all these circumstantial reasons away, your answer on principle actually seems to be "Yes".

 

So maybe I should have asked the other way round, i.e. whether those government members deserve to be killed. On that question your answer is clearly "Yes" then. That's interesting. Because the following is what you will have to think with all anger and hate, then, everytime you see not only Obama or Bush, but especially also Bill Clinton, David Cameron, late Margareth Thatcher, Angela Merkel and many others while they're giving a talk on television: "This is a guy (or a woman) that really deserves to be killed - just like Adolf Hitler or Stalin, they all aren't any better than that."

 

Well, I seriously doubt that this is how mainstream Objectivist spokesmen would see this, but I am still to hear a clear and definate answer on this question by them, and above all, an explanation if the answer is "No.". And given that you obviously don't agree with the mainstream Objectivist spokesmen on standard answers about WW2 or on how should be dealt with Islamic Terrorism, I cannot rely on you representing the Objectivist position. But thanks, anyway, for your answer.

 

As for the others, I'd like to see someone who sees himself closer to the intellectual leaders of Objectivism express his opinion on the question:

 

"Given that a lot of Western government members (whether that be current or ex Presidents or whoever) supported and were involved in, e.g., selling weapons to Saudi Arabia (which according to the State Department together with Iran is the world's number one supporter of Islamic terrorism worldwide) or otherwise in supporting such regimes: Do these government members actually deserve to be killed, Yes or No (and why not if "No")?"

Edited by DiscoveryJoy
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DiscoveryJoy,

That's not correct. In the words of your own military forces:

http://www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/2010/atomicdec.htm"]http://www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/2010/atomicdec.htm

Truman was not a moral hero for agreeing to the atomic bombing. He was a monster.

You are asking a new question, do those government members deserve to be killed. My answer is, and was, that this is a matter of the verdict of a trial which is based on objective laws. It was not a yes as you state, and you have no right to put words in my mouth. You set the scenario up to say all those government members were involved in violating rights by supporting terrorist force initiation and then ask me if an individual, on principle, has a right to seek justice - well of course he does given your scenario. However as I clearly stated, seeking justice does not allow him to act like a vigilante and start killing people.

You then jump from an imaginary scenario to reality, in an entirely unjustified manner. You are basically claiming Obama, Bush, Bill Clinton, David Cameron, late Margareth Thatcher and Angela Merkel do fit the hypothetical you put forward as being state force initiators. Well I never made a claim about those individuals - but it is revealing of your own thinking.

I think all Objectivists will answer No to your question. Even those who call themselves Objectivists over at ARI, whose interpretation of Rand's philosophy takes them closer to pro-statism. The ARI does often provide value so this is not an attack on the ARI, but I am expressing my disagreement with a lot of the policy positions taken by members. To their credit, members of ARI are quite open about the fact that they consider Rand's philosophy to be a closed system, and what they put forward is their own interpretation. Well what I am putting forward is mine. As you can see it differs, but the root of our positions is supposedly the same. Check your premises, as Rand used to say.

Why do you want to hear from those who "consider themselves closer to the intellectual leaders"? If you think this is important you really haven't understood Objectivism.

Edited by Jon Southall
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Discoveryjoy:

 

 

Are you proposing a tweaking the three Objectivist branches of government (justice system, police force, military) to include only two branches, Justice system and "world police".  (no joke.. team America might be a good idea) for a hypothetical Objectivist America (OA).

 

Why "World police"?  The purpose to OA government to protect individual American citizens, from harm has no boundaries.  Why distinguish between domestic and foreign jurisdictions.  Investigate, use force, bring perpetrators to justice.  This means individuals, and as need be any or all individuals of organizations or governments whether domestic or abroad. 

 

The issue remaining would be what is the nature of the force that can be brought to bear domestically and abroad, and should "collateral" harm be treated the same as regards to individuals domestic versus foreign.

 

As long as there are Nation states, nationalism, and as long as and to the extent that "World police" are excluded from exercising jurisdiction in a foreign nation, all foreign nationals who live there are "responsible" for their own decision to support that regime who rejects justice and are responsible for their decision not to flee to an Objectivist America whose borders are wide open to innocent non-hostiles (remember this IS a hypothetical Objectivist society)

 

It would be unreasonable to apply exactly the same standard to all innocents in all states but force should be directed as much as possible only in retaliation to those individuals directly responsible.

 

Is this closer to something you would accept? Remember the proper role of government is the protection of individual rights of its citizens... the extent to which this can be done while protecting rights of foreigners must be a secondary consideration

 

This is directed to Discoverjoy.

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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You may find this of interest. I certainly did!

"Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q & A

A. Ayn Rand says: hell yes, kill the innocent

If we go to war with Russia, I hope the ‘innocent’ are destroyed with the guilty. … Nobody has to put up with aggression, and surrender his right of self-defense, for fear of hurting somebody else, guilty or innocent. When someone comes at you with a gun, if you have an ounce of self-esteem, you answer with force, never mind who he is or who’s standing behind him. (p. 95)

B. Ayn Rand says: hell no, don’t kill the innocent

Whatever rights the Palestinians may have had — I don’t know the history of the Middle East well enough to know what started the trouble — they have lost all rights to anything: not only to land, but to human intercourse. If they lost land, and in response resorted to terrorism — to the slaughter of innocent citizens — they deserve whatever any commandos anywhere can do to them, and I hope the commandos succeed. (p. 97)

C. Ayn Rand says: gee, there’s no right answer

Even as a writer, I can barely project a situation in which a man must kill an innocent person to defend his own life. … But suppose someone lives in a dictatorship, and needs a disguise to escape. … So he must kill an innocent bystander to get a coat. In such a case, morality cannot say what to do. … Personally, I would say the man is immoral if he takes an innocent life. But formally, as a moral philosopher, I’d say that in such emergency situations, no one could prescribe what action is appropriate. … Whatever a man chooses in such cases is right — subjectively. (p. 114)

"http://www.philosophyinaction.com/blog/?p=1291"]http://www.philosophyinaction.com/blog/?p=1291

The author is supportive of total war. But I think if we focus on the source - Rand's statements above, then it is not very clear.

Her statements on "the use of retaliatory force should only be directed at those who initiate force, as the one who initiates force is being granted the only destruction he is then entitled to, his own" (my paraphrasing), start with the individual - and I would have thought being a philosophy centered on the individual, ought to have stopped there too.

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The author is supportive of total war. But I think if we focus on the source - Rand's statements above, then it is not very clear.

Well, that book is not a verbatim transcript of Rand's statements. A number of answers in that book are alterations by the editor which may seem minor to the editor, but change the tone and sometimes interpretation of what Rand actually said. In terms of scholarship, it is not a good source for precise philosophical discussion. I don't expect you to know that or many others. I plan to make a separate thread on it. As for this thread, I'm pointing it out so we can make better claims of who said what. Each of those quotes seem to all be answering different question than "is it okay to kill the innocent? if so, when?"

 

A seems to involve specifically Russia and may further qualify that the question mixed up innocents with morally culpable people, hence the scare quotes. B seems to be discussing a direct and easily measurable imitation of force, much less murky than asking how members of a population may still be morally culpable. C seems to be discussing a person living in a dictatorship or emergency situation trying to survive, totally different than large-scale war as implied by A and B.

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In my opinion, if he resorted to acting independently after exhausting that avenue, I would say he would have moral justification, but I suspect he would be acting irrationally; he would be quickly killed and the abuses he sought to stop would continue.

 

You are asking a new question, do those government members deserve to be killed. My answer is, and was, that this is a matter of the verdict of a trial which is based on objective laws. It was not a yes as you state, and you have no right to put words in my mouth. You set the scenario up to say all those government members were involved in violating rights by supporting terrorist force initiation and then ask me if an individual, on principle, has a right to seek justice - well of course he does given your scenario. However as I clearly stated, seeking justice does not allow him to act like a vigilante and start killing people.

 

You say that he would have a moral justification to acting independently if all else fails. Or what form of "acting independently" other than actually retaliating by force do you mean here? And the reasons you give as to why he shouldn't do it are purely circumstantial - and plausible by the way - but they in no way reduce the guilt of his enemy. So how does this not mean that you think his enemy deserves to be killed? If not by the victim himself, then through the legal way by trial and the death penalty, but I cannot see how you are not implying here that he does deserve to be killed. A person deserving to be killed and another person being right in doing the killing are two different things.

 

So I'm sorry if I put words in your mouth that you didn't mean to say, but I couldn't see how to draw any other conclusion.

 

So in order to - hopefully - remove the last room for confusion, I could restate my question and ask whether government members of the kind in question should be put on trial and be convicted to death? And I consider it equivalent to my last version of the question, because one way or the other, the answer tells you what is really interesting in this world, namely:

 

What kind of righteousness or self-esteem can Western governments today claim for themselves? What status are they supposed to be given on the political world stage? Are they something to look up to and admire in certain ways or not? Do we live in a world in which there are bad people but at least also some better people in key positions of power, or is there no dominant force to take pride and comfort in having around you?

 

If they're all just dressed up savages anyway, then well, what words of complaint can you really utter to some happy-go-green hippie lying in the street, smoking pot, proudly dressed down in rags, and above all claiming that he himself already represents the best kind of dominant cultural phenomenon there is in the world, while sneering at how stupid you are admiring some allegedly higher milieu? Nothing! Fooling around then becomes "the new credibility", dressing like rubbish "the new fashion of honesty and down-to-earthness", because the bottom line is: Being careless but innocent is still superior to caring but evil, as void and unlivable the first may be, or isn't it?

 

But as I now meanwhile have come to understand, the whole issue to you seems to bear no resemblance to reality whatsoever anyway:

 

You then jump from an imaginary scenario to reality, in an entirely unjustified manner. You are basically claiming Obama, Bush, Bill Clinton, David Cameron, late Margareth Thatcher and Angela Merkel do fit the hypothetical you put forward as being state force initiators. Well I never made a claim about those individuals - but it is revealing of your own thinking.

 

Well, I didn't even expect there to be any disagreement on the status of dealings between Western governments and those rogue states. I thought it is generally accepted knowledge here, that there is such a thing as "Western hypocrisy" nowadays in this matter. So I didn't even see myself as putting forward anything to be even considered as hypothetical, but merely a description of current circumstances. What I want to know is whether the existing Western hyprocrisy must be evaluated as something that constitutes an initiation of force by the state equivalent to murder. So what I interpreted as a "Yes" in your answer to me had to mean a claim about those individuals, too.

 

So me not even being clear on the answer to my question myself, I don't know what it is supposed to "reveal" of my own thinking. Rather, what is revealed to me about your thinking is that in your eyes there even seems to be no such thing as a Western hypocrisy in our time.

 

 

I think all Objectivists will answer No to your question. Even those who call themselves Objectivists over at ARI, whose interpretation of Rand's philosophy takes them closer to pro-statism. The ARI does often provide value so this is not an attack on the ARI, but I am expressing my disagreement with a lot of the policy positions taken by members. To their credit, members of ARI are quite open about the fact that they consider Rand's philosophy to be a closed system, and what they put forward is their own interpretation. Well what I am putting forward is mine. As you can see it differs, but the root of our positions is supposedly the same. Check your premises, as Rand used to say.

 

Why do you want to hear from those who "consider themselves closer to the intellectual leaders"? If you think this is important you really haven't understood Objectivism.

What in Objectivism says that appeals to authority are consistent with logic?

 

See, that's my strategy: I agree, there seems to be a "No"-vote on their part. And the very fact that it seems to be possible to people with such a highly organized, utterly rational and largely consistent way of thinking to maintain a "No" on this question in an ever-more "Yes"-leaning world, gives me great hope that I'm wrong with my fears. If only this were true, that would be wonderful. It would be a great relief to comprehend the "No". But it seems you can't really get them to utter the "No" directly and tell you why, since numerous Q&As from their talks haven't produced any answer, mostly because no one even faces them with the question. Hence the best thing to do is to get to places like these, which I expect to be crammed with their disciples, people who study Objectivism at University, meet and talk to the relevant people, i.e. their Objectivist teachers and professors who must have taught them exactly how you arrive at a "No" in this matter. So I was expecting to be bombarded by their arguments here - at the slightest suggestion of, let's say,  "Western liability to persecution" - counting on their eagerness to defend and exercise what they learned on Campus, and - hopefully - with rationally convincing arguments that I can then verify independently myself.

 

So it's rather the other way round: Maybe I haven't really understood Objectivism or how to apply it, but that's why this is important.

Edited by DiscoveryJoy
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You may find this of interest. I certainly did!

"Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q & A

A. Ayn Rand says: hell yes, kill the innocent

If we go to war with Russia, I hope the ‘innocent’ are destroyed with the guilty. … Nobody has to put up with aggression, and surrender his right of self-defense, for fear of hurting somebody else, guilty or innocent. When someone comes at you with a gun, if you have an ounce of self-esteem, you answer with force, never mind who he is or who’s standing behind him. (p. 95)

B. Ayn Rand says: hell no, don’t kill the innocent

Whatever rights the Palestinians may have had — I don’t know the history of the Middle East well enough to know what started the trouble — they have lost all rights to anything: not only to land, but to human intercourse. If they lost land, and in response resorted to terrorism — to the slaughter of innocent citizens — they deserve whatever any commandos anywhere can do to them, and I hope the commandos succeed. (p. 97)

C. Ayn Rand says: gee, there’s no right answer

Even as a writer, I can barely project a situation in which a man must kill an innocent person to defend his own life. … But suppose someone lives in a dictatorship, and needs a disguise to escape. … So he must kill an innocent bystander to get a coat. In such a case, morality cannot say what to do. … Personally, I would say the man is immoral if he takes an innocent life. But formally, as a moral philosopher, I’d say that in such emergency situations, no one could prescribe what action is appropriate. … Whatever a man chooses in such cases is right — subjectively. (p. 114)

"http://www.philosophyinaction.com/blog/?p=1291"]http://www.philosophyinaction.com/blog/?p=1291

The author is supportive of total war. But I think if we focus on the source - Rand's statements above, then it is not very clear.

Her statements on "the use of retaliatory force should only be directed at those who initiate force, as the one who initiates force is being granted the only destruction he is then entitled to, his own" (my paraphrasing), start with the individual - and I would have thought being a philosophy centered on the individual, ought to have stopped there too.

 

I see that such - at least seeming contradictions - cause confusion about how to interpret Rand. Not being a reader of all these her works to know the full context of her statements, I must rely on her appointed intellectual heirs to know the right interpretation.

 

But in any case, it does not seem to me that we have a disagreement on principle here. Or that there is one between you and the ARI. It's merely a factual one.

 

As you have agreed in one of your previous posts, you, too, think that killing of innocents is moral if there is really no alternative between the killing of innocents while stopping force that came from an aggressor and saving your life versus not killing innocents and dying from the force by the aggressor. You merely seem to think those kinds of situations don't really exist or never existed. But they actually do, namely in every war, since any war normally involves beating, i.e. breaking the will, of a commander in chief in control of his armed forces ruling over a people he is fighting for. If that commander is a die-hard lunatic that never wants to accept defeat, he either commits suicide (which actually is the breaking of will) or he is assassinated by some of his own people so that a will-broken and more sane commander that replaces him surrenders for him.

 

 

Since you like to take it down to the individual level - I think that's actually very important to look at and the key to this:

 

First of all, statements by the military officials you gave in the link don't really change the need to throw the Atom bomb, since they are largely merely concerned with or give vague statements about the fact that the war was already about to be won or that Japan was already somehow "trying" or "ready" to surrender, but not exactly about how and when. Well, had they already surrendered? No. Was the Japanese Emperor just on his way to his office to call all his generals to stop or to the podium or whatever public place to go to, in order to announce that surrender and demand the immediate cease fire of all Japanese troops everywhere? Obviously not. Because that's trying to surrender! And it happened only after those bombs.

 

It may be true that Japan was already loosing and that America would have won soon anyway. And that some kind of blockade could gradually have brought the Japanese to surrender soon. The point is not just to win the war "soon", but to win it as quickly as possible with the absolute minimum of American casualties. That's best immediately and with not a single further American dying. Just one more Japanese Kamikadze bomber that kills one more American soldier because of one more hour of unnecessary fighting is one more American soldier too much! As is one more Japanese Kamikadze bomber that still has one more ounce of hope because there is one more chance that maybe American might isn't that overwhelming, so there might still be reason for something to fight for, causing him to kill one more American!

 

If all you really care about as a government is saving American lives, you really do have to make this purely rational calculation.

 

So to get back to the individual level: Every single American on a plane, or on a ship awaiting his next mission or its cancellation, or in the middle of a battle that could go on for another 30 Minutes that could mean his death or be ended the next moment with his life saved because of enemy surrender faces these very two alternatives. If survival is his interest then the only thing that must be desirable to him rationally is that the whole thing that makes his mission necessary, i.e. the war with the Japanese still fighting, is cancelled immediately so he doesn't have to risk dying. He cannot care about how many million Japanese have to die right now to make this happen. It's his life against theirs. He must want this war to stop, to be over, to end now. This is what every single American in battle faces. And he has delegated the power to make decisions with only this his interest at heart to his government. The government is just an agent acting on his behalf. And the government has the responsibility of fulfilling this task for each and every one of the American citizens. Every single American for which it has neglected this duty is an act of treason.

 

So you could have a situation with a single American live saved and a million Japanese dying. That doesn't matter in the eyes of the government, because it doesn't matter in the eyes of the single American who wants to survive. That single American still has to consider his own life more valuable than those of that million Japanese. Since the American government is merely a representative of that single American, it has the right - in the name of that single American - to accept the killing of the million Japanese to save the one American whom it is actually responsible for - and not the other way round. That's as serious as it can get. And brutal as this is, that's why war better not be started!

 

This kind of thinking - this kind of government responsibility - clearly just doesn't allow for any kind of guessing games about how the war might be won differently, as long as only a single American live is put as risk.

 

 

And by the way, it's not my military forces.

Edited by DiscoveryJoy
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I see that such - at least seeming contradictions - cause confusion about how to interpret Rand. Not being a reader of all these her works to know the full context of her statements, I must rely on her appointed intellectual heirs to know the right interpretation.

There are no appointed intellectual heirs. Peikoff is a self-proclaimed intellectual heir - not at all chosen. You can figure out reasonable interpretations, but you can see easily anyway that the three partial quotes are about different things, so that's why there won't be a reasonable interpretation.

 

By the way, I barely read your post all the bold and italics is difficult to read well.

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There are no appointed intellectual heirs. Peikoff is a self-proclaimed intellectual heir - not at all chosen. You can figure out reasonable interpretations, but you can see easily anyway that the three partial quotes are about different things, so that's why there won't be a reasonable interpretation.

 

By the way, I barely read your post all the bold and italics is difficult to read well.

 

I thought Ayn Rand appointed him as such. Is that not true?

 

Also, I second Louie on the bold words. It makes my eyes jump around so much I just gave up.

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There are no appointed intellectual heirs. Peikoff is a self-proclaimed intellectual heir - not at all chosen. You can figure out reasonable interpretations, but you can see easily anyway that the three partial quotes are about different things, so that's why there won't be a reasonable interpretation.

 

By the way, I barely read your post all the bold and italics is difficult to read well.

 

Don't know what you're talking about. There is a clear quote from her (I think it was her statement for OPAR) that says something like Peikoff being the only reliable representative of her philosophy...don't know the exact wording, but I was assuming this should go without saying in this forum:

 

http://www.learnoutloud.com/Podcast-Directory/Biography/Philosophers/Peikoffcom-QandA-on-Ayn-Rand-Podcast/30431

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Eiuol, what is clear from the quotes is as follows:

In A, Rand doesn't consider there to be innocent Russians. Therefore the moral issue of killing innocents does not apply. Especially when Russia was threatening the US with nuclear warfare.

In B, Rand calls terrorism the targeted killing of innocents. Therefore intentionally targeting innocents, when this could otherwise be avoided, is a terrorist act and immoral.

In C, Rand personally thinks that sacrificing the life of an innocent to save oneself from an evil regime is immoral. However the moral appropriateness of action by individuals finding themselves in danger under an evil regime is not determinable.

ARI and the Atlas Society both claim the killing of innocents is justified when acting in self defence. They argue a disregard for innocent lives is required in order that one defends oneself effectively and that if any innocent lives are lost, the force initiator is held responsible. I disagree with this.

Each individual owns his own life, and has a right to keep, use, and dispose of it as he judges and acts. In recognition of this, he does not violate the rights of others to their own life nor allow them to violate his right to his own life. His actions show restraint on the initiation of force, but he will retaliate in order to defend himself when he is attacked by others.

An enemy who attacks his community attacks him, and so retaliatory force is warranted. However this justification does not cause the principles on which the use of retaliatory force rests on to be suspended. If he reacts immediately to force initiation, which is life or death he would be forgiven for accidentally killing someone who got caught in the middle whilst defending himself.

However when the immediacy of a situation has passed, the victim can decide how to retaliate. This retaliation should not be excessive, where it passes from an assertion of his rights to an act of aggression, and nor should it be passive, where it fails to respond to the injury done. It passes to aggression when not only does he deliberately target rights violators but also innocents, as he will then deliberately violate the rights they have to their own life in the latter case. This makes his use of force part retaliatory, partly an initiation of force. The more innocents he kills, the more excessive his use of force is and the more it constitutes an initiation of force on his part. He goes from being the victim to the abuser, rather than being a justice-seeker.

I do not like to comment much on the Israel & Palestine conflict, however I would argue from the above to state the use of force on both sides is more often than not an initiation of force. Israel starves and impoverishes the Palestinians through its control (and increasingly theft) of the territory, and occasionally flattens it, which I think is abusive and warrants retaliation. However Palestinians uses terrorism - the targeting of innocent Israelis - which is an initiation of force and not retaliatory. This is abusive and warrants retaliation. There is very little justice-seeking going on in the conflict and so it shall continue. So I cannot support either regime unlike ARI which is pro-Israel.

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Or not used them at all. That would have been the moral decision. But lol. Study the Cold War. The US was contemplating nuking its allies to prevent a Russian invasian. The MADness of that era.

My intentional derisive and sarcastic comment in #33 , was directed at your conclusion that "Japan was nuked to scare the Russians".

Was Truman a monster because of the US's aerial bombings of the enemy's cities or the use of nuclear weapons? or both?

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Discoveryjoy:

 

 

Are you proposing a tweaking the three Objectivist branches of government (justice system, police force, military) to include only two branches, Justice system and "world police".  (no joke.. team America might be a good idea) for a hypothetical Objectivist America (OA).

 

Why "World police"?  The purpose to OA government to protect individual American citizens, from harm has no boundaries.  Why distinguish between domestic and foreign jurisdictions.  Investigate, use force, bring perpetrators to justice.  This means individuals, and as need be any or all individuals of organizations or governments whether domestic or abroad. 

 

The issue remaining would be what is the nature of the force that can be brought to bear domestically and abroad, and should "collateral" harm be treated the same as regards to individuals domestic versus foreign.

 

As long as there are Nation states, nationalism, and as long as and to the extent that "World police" are excluded from exercising jurisdiction in a foreign nation, all foreign nationals who live there are "responsible" for their own decision to support that regime who rejects justice and are responsible for their decision not to flee to an Objectivist America whose borders are wide open to innocent non-hostiles (remember this IS a hypothetical Objectivist society)

 

It would be unreasonable to apply exactly the same standard to all innocents in all states but force should be directed as much as possible only in retaliation to those individuals directly responsible.

 

Is this closer to something you would accept? Remember the proper role of government is the protection of individual rights of its citizens... the extent to which this can be done while protecting rights of foreigners must be a secondary consideration

 

This is directed to Discoverjoy.

 

No, I am not proposing a "World Police" or a One World Government. Where did I say that? Am I hinting at that anywhere?

 

It's important to have multiple governments, so if one of them does bad, you you can still flee to the other. But they should all be Laissez Faire Capitalist, protecting individual rights, of course.

 

As for the rest (justified actions by governments at war), I think my last post has dealt with that.

Edited by DiscoveryJoy
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