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What are your biggest issues with Objectivism?

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21 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

But your own philosophy, which you live by every day, certainly is.  And if one must arrive at precisely each conclusion Rand ever put into writing (including, as the OP'er pointed out, homosexuality) then there has only ever been one Objectivist and I doubt there will ever be another one.

If you accept the essence of Objectivism then you're an Objectivist in my view. Just like people who accept the essence of what Christ said are Christians.

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11 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

The higher the IQ, the easier it probably is to spend the same amount of time focusing and thinking rationally, so the lower the incentive to 'switch off'.

Potentially, but IQ is also a double-edged sword in a certain way.

There are three basic methods of mental functioning: rational, truth-oriented thinking, drifting (or "going with the grain") and evading.  Both the rational and evasive forms of thought are "active" and their effectiveness is at least partially mediated by IQ.  So although it's true that someone with a higher IQ could potentially be more effective at the proper cognitive method (like John Galt) they could also be more effective at evasion and self-delusion (like Robert Stadler).

 

And I don't think IQ scores really relate to the unpopularity of Objectivism; evasion does.

 

11 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

I agree so where do we draw the line on this?

Well, we can't just ban everyone on Earth who calls themselves a "Muslim"; as with any other religion there are plenty of "Muslims" who get drunk, have sex with random strangers and simply are not a threat to anything except logical consistency.  If half of the "Muslims" in the UK believe that homosexuality should be illegal then that also means that the other half do not.

Now, it's a different question as to whether or not such people should really count as Muslims, but as long as they don't believe in the parts of Islam that would truly make them dangerous they have the same freedom of movement as anybody else.  What we really want our screening process to look for are basically those individuals who believe that infidels and blasphemers deserve to be murdered.

11 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

You say institute Sharia law as soon as they arrive. What about simply being in favour of it? Of wanting to see it in the host country? Such a person is an enemy. There must be a rational case against immigrants who want to come here and violate our rights/don't recognise those rights, pledging allegiance to Allah, the Quran and sharia law etc.

While I tend to agree with the sentiment I'm really not sure it's as cut-and-dry as that.  What about native Muslims who were born here and wouldn't be willing to personally harm anyone at all, but who would vote for Sharia law if they ever could?  What about Communists, antihumanists or "people" who talk in movie theatres?  What you're proposing is that the government should get involved in policing certain ideas, and although I'm also uncomfortable with the prospect of having neighbors that support Sharia law (or Communism) we should only continue down that line of reasoning with extreme caution.

If you're worried about the voting tendencies of immigrants, though - who said they should automatically be given a vote as soon as they arrive?

Also you misspelled favor.  :P

11 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

So those that drag their feet are the ones we ought to limit, if they are a threat to a free society.

If they are a threat.  I suspect they wouldn't bother making the journey to your country if you'd stop giving them all free houses, free money and free reign with your daughters.

11 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

The development of free societies grew out of a small corner of the world by a group of very particular peoples. It has never developed anywhere else. It is surely playing with fire to allow peoples from all over the world to pour in and risk crushing that precious development, on the belief that they will 'get it' and recognise and defend human rights.

No.  Free societies originally developed in the West but they've since taken root all over the place.  Were Australia and Hong Kong not free societies until just last year?  Certain people all over the world do actually get it (like the Nepali-American couple I mentioned) and certain others don't.  Responding to the latter by giving up on the very freedoms on which such societies are based (including the freedom of movement) would be like trying to cure COVID by administering drain cleaner.

11 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

I also don't think Objectivism is necessarily incompatible with this stuff. Ultimately we have to take reality as it is. The issue I have is the reality of human nature is far from well understood due to these biological processes that we don't fully understand.

Of course.

11 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

I will add the question I asked Reidy earlier; what do you make of Peterson's point about human beings tending to form hierarchies and that there are deep biological causes of this which he shows is shared with other animals and therefore has deep evolutionary origins?

I think it's a heroic attempt but if the goal is to understand human nature then it's not a successful one.

 

Let me give one very brief illustration, which I'm putting into its own compartment because it consists of even more anecdotes.

Spoiler

There is a "competence hierarchy" at one of my jobs.  Everyone seeks advice from and listens to one of two girls, because they're among the most competent people there - but not the best.  Nobody ever asks the most competent one (despite the fact that she is obviously better than the rest of us at her job) because she has a bit of a temper, and quite a few of the new people bring any questions they have to me (despite the fact that I'm four or five steps further down this hierarchy) because I simply have more patience for such questions.  Then you have a handful of people who don't give a damn about competency at all and tend to disobey any order they're given, on principle - except when we're so overwhelmed by our work load that I start barking orders and this whole hierarchy transforms into something radically different.

This interpersonal dynamic is very different from lobster hierarchies.  It is actually so different that I don't think "hierarchy" is even the right word for it; it's just not as simple as that.

 

Despite such ideas I'm personally quite fond of Jordan Peterson.  Many of his other ideas are correct and a few of them mesh quite nicely with Objectivism.  But despite the fact that chemicals and hierarchies are an aspect of human biology, you can't adequately describe human behavior in those terms; it's like trying to explain how an internal combustion engine works in terms of individual molecules.

 

11 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

I want that world but I don't see it happening perhaps ever.

Maybe it won't.  That changes neither the fact that it is the truth nor that every single person would benefit from learning about it.  Shouldn't we advocate for the truth regardless of whether anyone else wants to hear it or not?

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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45 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

If you accept the essence of Objectivism then you're an Objectivist in my view. Just like people who accept the essence of what Christ said are Christians.

What is the essence of Objectivism? (Click below to reveal hidden contents.)

Spoiler

 

Spoiler

 

Keep in mind, the essence is, only entities act.
Action_20M_original.jpg

 

Why settle with being a mere subgroup, be it Christian, Muslim, French, Polish, etc. Stand up. Be man!
"Man has been called a rational being, but rationality is a matter of choice—and the alternative his nature offers him is: rational being or suicidal animal. Man has to be man—by choice; he has to hold his life as a value—by choice; he has to learn to sustain it—by choice; he has to discover the values it requires and practice his virtues—by choice."
Edited by dream_weaver
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11 hours ago, Eiuol said:

 

But why? I doubt that it is true, but even if it is, we don't have to suppose that the reason is because they are immigrants. Why would it be that a foreign culture that they are only exposed to at home exerts more cultural pressure than the culture they see everywhere else?

Because they grow up under the influence of their parents and the surrounding community which is dominated by Islam, and in many cases this includes the Islamic schools they go to. So it isn't just the home, though the home alone is a significant influence.

Their lives predominantly exist inside these communities, which revolves around the local mosque, which is a significant influence too, local muslim run businesses, restaurants, shisha bars etc which dominate the street and they do it surrounded by fellow Muslims, who also form their friendship groups. Have you ever visited one of these areas? I'd recommend it. It's like entering another world.

The idea that they are 'only exposed to at home' the Islamic culture and that the world outside that home is western, as if these families are living like isolated islands in westernised streets is very far from the reality of actual migrant settlement.

11 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Like above, I doubt this is true and I don't know how you could simply know that the area was 90% Muslim just by walking by. But even if it is true, you have to ask why it developed into a microcosm, and to what extent the microcosm has adopted or significantly mixed with the local culture. China Towns across the US are a microcosm but they are extremely capitalistic and possibly even more so than the average American. 

I can assure you 90% is accurate. It was home time so most of the children and their parents were gathered outside in the playground where the children are picked up. I didn't see single white kid/family. Everyone had brown skin and they were all wearing Islamic-style clothing and this was deep inside a Muslim dominated area as described above.

Why it developed into a microcosm? Because that's just what people do. Maybe it's human nature, maybe it isn't. But the facts are the facts. Immigrants tend to concentrate in areas and set up their own communities, propagating their own culture. That's just what happens. The "local culture" is their own culture, because they create their own local communities. The same phenomenon happened with European migrants to the US, whether Italian or Irish. However, European migrants shared Judeo-Christian roots so the differences are not as pronounced as with Muslim immigrants.

But there are strong cultural differences between different areas of the US even within that general Judeo-Christain background. That is the legacy of immigration. It isn't random. The cultural practices and attitudes of particular areas can be traced back directly to the immigrants who settled there, carrying their cultures with them.

I'd recommend Sowell's culture trilogy for an indepth study of this. It is true that some cultures are more open to influence than others. The more dogmatic, the less open. Islamic culture is of the less open types (of course there are variations within Islamic culture itself), which isn't surprising for anyone who has studied Islam.

As for the Chinese, they are still very different.

11 hours ago, Eiuol said:

And for the sake of argument, we could even suppose that the microcosm failed to assimilate, perhaps as far as to advocate for sharia law. I would characterize the situation as the chickens coming home to roost. The problem is not the nature of the immigrants and the nature of the country where the immigrants come from. The problem is the culture of the UK. The culture of the UK always seemed weak to me and doesn't exert much influence. I mean, sure, I like some British TV, and there are some regional quirks that I find funny. But really there isn't much to it. Not to mention even on the level of government, the UK is kind of... Nothing. On top of that, it was heavily imperialistic for so long, so there isn't much people really seek out from the UK. You should hardly be surprised when the UK barely exerts cultural pressure on immigrants. It won't matter how many Muslims you prevent from entering the UK, the societal decline you are concerned about will still be going on.

If you fix the cultural problems, the rest will follow. 

 

I agree, the behaviour of the host country can be a significant factor but since we are advocating a free society here, the most a host country can do to change cultural behaviours is to protect freedom of speech and other rights, allowing the Muslim culture to be held under the spotlight in the media and criitcised for its barbaric attitudes and practices, and ensuring the rule of law reigns supreme.

What do you mean by 'exert culture pressure'? I agree there are more authoritarian measures we could take, including regulating and/or banning mosques and Islamic schools, forcing Muslims to go to schools that aim to westernise them etc.

But a free society cannot stop immigrants congregating the way they do, nor can you do much to make a culture more open or to stimulate fundamental change within that culture, at least not in the short term without violent conflict, especially when religion is involved. Those things can take hundreds of years. It took that long for Christianity to reform. The larger the Muslim population, the bigger this problem becomes and the harder it is to manage.

To 'modernise' Islam comes at a great cost. We are essentially importing that problem to the west, the same problem we resolved at great pains, over a long period of time, with Christianity.

Limiting Muslim immigration is a simple, effective and practical measure to restrict the rapid growth of Muslim communities and therefore the rapid growth of an alien, hostile culture.

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8 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Potentially, but IQ is also a double-edged sword in a certain way.

There are three basic methods of mental functioning: rational, truth-oriented thinking, drifting (or "going with the grain") and evading.  Both the rational and evasive forms of thought are "active" and their effectiveness is at least partially mediated by IQ.  So although it's true that someone with a higher IQ could potentially be more effective at the proper cognitive method (like John Galt) they could also be more effective at evasion and self-delusion (like Robert Stadler).

Right but you agree that IQ is an example of genetics influencing human behaviour? Do you know of any Objectivist writings on evolutionary psychology? This is a burgeoning field and I think Objectivists are too dismissive of 'hard wired' biological biases in human behaviour. As we've agreed, it doesn't mean incompatibility with Objectivism. Reality is what it is. That is what an Objectivist seeks to know.

8 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Well, we can't just ban everyone on Earth who calls themselves a "Muslim"; as with any other religion there are plenty of "Muslims" who get drunk, have sex with random strangers and simply are not a threat to anything except logical consistency.  If half of the "Muslims" in the UK believe that homosexuality should be illegal then that also means that the other half do not

It actually doesn't. The study found that 52% disagreed that homosexuality should be legal while only 18% agreed.

But does it matter? 52% is huge compared to the population at large, which is 5%, the same study found. That is a massive disparity. And the population of British Muslims is rapidly growing in size. Plus, legality is the bare minimum, attitudes on the morality of homosexuality would be even worse, which has its own cultural influence.

The study also found that 23% support the introduction of Sharia Law and 39% agreed that 'wives should always obey their husbands' compared to 5% of the pop at large.

The list goes on and on. The bottom line is the rapid expansion of the Muslim population likely means the rapid expansion of these attitudes and the growth of a serious threat to western civlisation (as this is happening across the west).

8 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Now, it's a different question as to whether or not such people should really count as Muslims, but as long as they don't believe in the parts of Islam that would truly make them dangerous they have the same freedom of movement as anybody else.  What we really want our screening process to look for are basically those individuals who believe that infidels and blasphemers deserve to be murdered.

Yes I agree we could implement more detailed screening processes. Right now it is political suicide to speak of the drawbacks of the growth of the Muslim population and the need for discriminatory migration policies based on values.

8 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

While I tend to agree with the sentiment I'm really not sure it's as cut-and-dry as that.  What about native Muslims who were born here and wouldn't be willing to personally harm anyone at all, but who would vote for Sharia law if they ever could?  What about Communists, antihumanists or "people" who talk in movie theatres?  What you're proposing is that the government should get involved in policing certain ideas, and although I'm also uncomfortable with the prospect of having neighbors that support Sharia law (or Communism) we should only continue down that line of reasoning with extreme caution.

I agree it requires extreme caution but mostly what the government needs to do is simply protect our rights to allow critics to undermine Islam. Hate speech laws are doing just the opposite. But this must be combined with restricting immigration to be more effective, considering the Muslim population is already growing rapidly even without further immigration, due to their birth rates.

8 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

If you're worried about the voting tendencies of immigrants, though - who said they should automatically be given a vote as soon as they arrive?

Good idea. How long would you leave it?

8 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Also you misspelled favor.  :P

Haha I don't think so!

8 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

If they are a threat.  I suspect they wouldn't bother making the journey to your country if you'd stop giving them all free houses, free money and free reign with your daughters.

Yes this is an important factor of course. Subsidising their breeding is literally a suicidal policy.

8 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

No.  Free societies originally developed in the West but they've since taken root all over the place.  Were Australia and Hong Kong not free societies until just last year?  Certain people all over the world do actually get it (like the Nepali-American couple I mentioned) and certain others don't.  Responding to the latter by giving up on the very freedoms on which such societies are based (including the freedom of movement) would be like trying to cure COVID by administering drain cleaner.

Not as much 'taken root' as having been transplanted. You'll notice those British colonies where freedom 'took root' most successfully is actually mostly those colonies that were literal British offshoot societies, meaning the British people themselves physically settled in those colonies, bringing their culture with them. The US, Canada, Australia, NZ in particular.

An actual transplantation process from one peoples to another is a much slower process, though I agree it is possible. The longer the process is attempted, the more successful it is going to be. Hong Kong was a British colony for 156 years. The recent attempts to spread democracy and freedom in the Middle East with only a few years of occupation was laughable. It didn't stand a chance.

 

8 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

 

Despite such ideas I'm personally quite fond of Jordan Peterson.  Many of his other ideas are correct and a few of them mesh quite nicely with Objectivism.  But despite the fact that chemicals and hierarchies are an aspect of human biology, you can't adequately describe human behavior in those terms; it's like trying to explain how an internal combustion engine works in terms of individual molecules.

Adequately, no. In the nature vs nurture debate, few would claim it is all nature. But that doesn't mean it isn't significant. And there is a lot of evidence that it is significant. Any philosophy has to account for it:

Lincoln said:

"It is to deny, what the history of the world tells us is true, to suppose that men of ambition and talents will not continue to spring up amongst us. And, when they do, they will as naturally seek the gratification of their ruling passion, as others have so done before them. The question is, can that gratification be found in supporting and maintaining an edifice that has been erected by others? Most certainly it cannot"

Is it not an aspect of human nature to some degree, originating perhaps in the evolution of power dynamics, that man tends to seek power and tear down those on top? (Again, not saying free will and rational thought cannot overcome this on an individual basis).

So one justification for the American system of government is that it exists to constrain that tendency through the balance of powers, making it as difficult as possible for that tyrant to surface. That is a rational response to what may be an innate tendency of man.

That is a political philosophy based on human beings as they tend to behave, as opposed to human beings as we would like them to behave.

8 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

 

Maybe it won't.  That changes neither the fact that it is the truth nor that every single person would benefit from learning about it.  Shouldn't we advocate for the truth regardless of whether anyone else wants to hear it or not?

I agree we should, but we should also understand the limitations of that approach and subscribe to a philosophy that takes account of that reality.

It's all very well for Objectivists to preach about how the world ought to be and how humans ought to behave (and it is a vital service) but someone has to get on with the business of dealing with the world as it is and how humans actually behave, which means confronting the reality of certain 'tendencies' which don't seem to be dissipating any time soon.

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7 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

Their lives predominantly exist inside these communities, which revolves around the local mosque, which is a significant influence too, local muslim run businesses, restaurants, shisha bars etc which dominate the street and they do it surrounded by fellow Muslims, who also form their friendship groups.

Similar types of communities exist in America and they assimilate fine. That's why I brought up Chinatowns. 

7 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

Why it developed into a microcosm? Because that's just what people do.

I'm asking you reasons people might want to congregate together, so that we can talk about the nature of these microcosms. How much of it is a combination of various cultures? Are there subcultures? Which aspects of the new environment are adopted, and why? Questions like that. Otherwise, we are just throwing around assumptions without any consideration.

7 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

However, European migrants shared Judeo-Christian roots so the differences are not as pronounced as with Muslim immigrants.

Are you sure? Jews received a lot of hate for the kind of reasons you've been discussing - they have different practices, they don't accept Jesus as their savior, they use different languages, they wear different clothes, etc. Plenty of people saw pronounced differences in Europe between Jews and Christians, yet in America such prosecution was not remotely as bad. In any case, I don't think pronounced differences make assimilation more difficult. I would venture to say that sometimes pronounced differences make it easier to assimilate into a broader culture.

7 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

The more dogmatic, the less open.

Sure, I agree with this. But this is why I especially emphasize improving and strengthening the culture you have already from within. Make the cultural influence so strong and powerful that even the most dogmatic cultures are transformed. From what I've observed and gathered, Muslims in America seem much more open to outside cultural influence than Muslims in Europe. I think the reason is because America exerts a powerful cultural influence, much more than any European culture. 

7 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

nor can you do much to make a culture more open or to stimulate fundamental change within that culture, at least not in the short term without violent conflict, especially when religion is involved. Those things can take hundreds of years. It took that long for Christianity to reform.

I disagree. Think of how America exports its culture readily and easily. I can think back to early on when Hershey gave chocolate to soldiers in World War I. Coca-Cola is synonymous with America. Movies are practically an American thing despite essentially being invented in France. After World War II, Japan was distinctly shaped by American influence, anything from Hello Kitty to Astro boy. Of course it followed violent conflict, but no violent conflict was necessary for America to fundamentally alter the course of Japanese history from cultural influence alone. Japanese culture wasn't erased, but many important parts of American culture became part of Japanese life. And now, Japan is a very unique place with its own unique combination of cultures.

And if a culture is powerful enough, it will even exert great influence over religion. I would argue that even the most ardent and barbaric Muslim who advocates for sharia law could possibly stand up to a culture like America. The culture of America isn't just its principles listed in the Constitution, it's all the common behaviors across the entire country ranging from the products they use day-to-day, to the food they eat, to the entertainment we consume. 

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8 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

It's all very well for Objectivists to preach about how the world ought to be and how humans ought to behave (and it is a vital service) but someone has to get on with the business of dealing with the world as it is and how humans actually behave, which means confronting the reality of certain 'tendencies' which don't seem to be dissipating any time soon.

The assumption seems to be:

1. Western culture is "unattractive"
2. People are magnetically drawn to Islam
3. Muslims are not into survival qua man
4. They come here because they hate us

But:

1. Western culture is far more attractive to the young than Islamic tradition. After Several Generations, there is "tendency" to separate from their origins
2. People are not drawn to Islam, they are mostly born to it. There is no strong tendency to join.
3. These are people who want to flourish like anyone else, with the same desires and inner conflicts as any of us. Their fundamental tendency is to be human.
4. They come here because they (tend to) think "we" are better than their country ... unless we assume they are "undesirable" and change their minds

The issue with Sharia law is overblown

1. Already arbitration takes place in Synagogues, Churches and Mosques
2. A higher court can overturn their judgements
3  Sharia law, or religious legal enforcement, is based on agreement of the people involved
4. The threat of sharia law taking over the US does not exist 
   Sharia law can never take over because of the support for separation of church and state
   Support for separation of church and state comes from each religion wanting to be protected from the other.
   It is not because of "rational" atheists

One simply has to do a simple calculation if, the majority of Muslims were not like other humans who tend to want to live their lives and not bother others, 1.3 billion of them would have made far more of a mess than we see.

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First of all I'd like to apologize for rambling on about aspects of my own work which, on further reflection, don't even connect to what Jordan Peterson said about "hierarchies".  I might try taking a proper stab at it sometime soon.

13 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

This is a burgeoning field and I think Objectivists are too dismissive of 'hard wired' biological biases in human behaviour.

I don't currently think so.

I would actually agree that there are certain scientific fields that Objectivists are irrationally dismissive of (Relativity and Quantum Mechanics both spring to mind) but I'd lay a large part of the blame for it on how the media tends to describe such fields.  If I read a news story headlined "scientist PROVES the existence of a God and an afterlife" then I'd only be looking for the name of the scientist so I'd know whom to completely disregard thereafter.  When it comes to the genetic component of human behavior I think we're right not to jump on the bandwagon that everyone else is on without some amount of hesitancy.

13 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

Right but you agree that IQ is an example of genetics influencing human behaviour?

"Influencing" yes, certainly.  What I question is the size of the actual effect involved.  If two people are both working on a math problem then the one with the higher IQ is obviously going to arrive at the answer sooner (unless the other guy has some much more advanced training or knowledge which would let him find otherwise-inaccessible shortcuts) but the amount of time required to solve a certain math problem is one very small sliver of the overall category of human behavior.  When it comes to choosing a career, a country to live in or a spouse (&etc) - when it comes to questions whose answer depends more on honesty than IQ, the honest man will beat the intelligent man every single time.

I also think that most of the real-world questions that come up in a real human life require honesty much more than raw processing power.

13 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

Adequately, no. In the nature vs nurture debate, few would claim it is all nature. But that doesn't mean it isn't significant. And there is a lot of evidence that it is significant.

Well, that's the crux of what I think about (and, as far as I understand it, what the proper O'ist response is to) evolutionary psychology.

Nature plays a part, nurture plays a part, but you cannot adequately describe (let alone explain) the whole without reference to an individual's free will.  As long as we can keep that firmly in mind I think we could all benefit from learning some more about the other two aspects.

13 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

Do you know of any Objectivist writings on evolutionary psychology?

Unfortunately not.  Unfortunate, because so long as we keep volition in mind (as any good O'ist scientist would) there could only be upsides from any subsequent study.  There's another massive swath of knowledge just waiting for some smart young O'ist to come along and revolutionize.

 

13 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

Not as much 'taken root' as having been transplanted. You'll notice those British colonies where freedom 'took root' most successfully is actually mostly those colonies that were literal British offshoot societies, meaning the British people themselves physically settled in those colonies, bringing their culture with them. The US, Canada, Australia, NZ in particular.

That's also true.  Some of those colonies might even have improved on the original ideals.  Speaking of which - did you know that you can store your tea in the Atlantic ocean?  :P

In all seriousness, though, what do they actually say about the American revolution in the British school system?

 

13 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

Good idea. How long would you leave it?

I really don't know.  A lifetime seems harsh, but it needs to be long enough for the majority of them to integrate; I'd probably give them 5 or 10 years between moving to your country and being able to vote on its policies.

That's not the point, though; the point is that nobody's rights would be violated by such a law.  Everybody has the freedom to live wherever they like (as long as they're not an immediate danger to their neighbors) but not necessarily the right to vote.  So we'd do much better to address such (totally legitimate) concerns at the ballot box, rather than at the border.

13 hours ago, TruthSeeker946 said:

The bottom line is the rapid expansion of the Muslim population likely means the rapid expansion of these attitudes and the growth of a serious threat to western civlisation (as this is happening across the west).

Not necessarily.  The specific Muslims we're talking about do not respect Western culture at all.  Part of this stems from the fact that it's different from their own culture, but part of it (and I suspect this is the much larger part) stems from how the West is currently crawling on its belly to gain the favor :P of every backwater banana republic on Earth.

 

Take the Rotherham grooming gangs, for example.  Those involved may not have immigrated to your country specifically to recruit sex slaves, but once there they discovered that they could do so without any consequences whatever.  Your police were too worried about the criminals' feelings to really deal with the problem, as were most of your politicians and even your political commentators.

At this point, if you permanently exiled every last Muslim from the UK it still wouldn't fix the problem; native British criminals would simply learn (as I fear they currently might be) that they can get away with anything they want if they can somehow spin their own punishment in the right direction.  It's not as if Muslims invented rape.

The problem is not your borders but the enforcement of your own laws.  If you can get your police to grow a pair and deal with rapists the way they have historically, the grooming gangs will evaporate almost immediately and every single Muslim who then immigrates to Britain afterwards will respect your legal system much more for it.  They're not dumb.  I'd go so far as to predict that if that happened then the potential criminals among them would not try it again.

 

Seriously, you should watch this music video.  Britain doesn't need to close its borders; it just needs that.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
Kickass music video!
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My biggest issue with objectivism... 

Its inability to provide a sound basis for establishing private property of natural resources in the form of land. 

The homesteading argument is by any standards, and particularly against the strength of other objectivist arguments, a cop out. It is arbitrary, weak and poorly defined. It is even contradictory with other parts of objectivist philosophy.

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8 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

<clip art>

I was exploiting essence along the lines of the 5th context:

The predominant qualities or virtues of a plant or drug, extracted and refined from grosser matter; or, more strictly, the solution in spirits of wine of a volatile or essential oil; as, the essence of mint, and the like.

I was impressed by their ability to distill action from entity in the manner presented.

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5 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

My biggest issue with objectivism... 

Its inability to provide a sound basis for establishing private property of natural resources in the form of land. 

The homesteading argument is by any standards, and particularly against the strength of other objectivist arguments, a cop out. It is arbitrary, weak and poorly defined. It is even contradictory with other parts of objectivist philosophy.

Granted, this is not a stand alone essay, but it does cast some light on the role of the mind in maintaining or destroying where the right to property emerges from. Francisco speaking to Dagny at the cabin after she had quit in the wake of Directive Number 10-289:

Dagny, you're more fortunate than I. Taggart Transcontinental is a delicate piece of precision machinery. It will not last long without you. It cannot be run by slave labor. They will mercifully destroy it for you and you won't have to see it serving the looters. But copper-mining is a simpler job. D'Anconia Copper could have lasted for generations of looters and slaves. Crudely, miserably, ineptly—but it could have lasted and helped them to last. I had to destroy it myself."

 

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16 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

Granted, this is not a stand alone essay, but it does cast some light on the role of the mind in maintaining or destroying where the right to property emerges from. Francisco speaking to Dagny at the cabin after she had quit in the wake of Directive Number 10-289:

Dagny, you're more fortunate than I. Taggart Transcontinental is a delicate piece of precision machinery. It will not last long without you. It cannot be run by slave labor. They will mercifully destroy it for you and you won't have to see it serving the looters. But copper-mining is a simpler job. D'Anconia Copper could have lasted for generations of looters and slaves. Crudely, miserably, ineptly—but it could have lasted and helped them to last. I had to destroy it myself."

 

As you say this is a reflection point on maintaining or destroying rights to property. It doesn't touch on their establishment...

Why did D'Anconia get to establish the copper mine to start with? If there was a dispute over the use of the land beforehand, how would it have been objectively settled by the justice system?

Rand used the homesteading principle. Possibly on account of her admiration for much of how the US was founded. Nevertheless it's actually problematic as I said in my previous post.

Imagine you come up with an invention in your mind which requires ongoing effort to become fruitful. Should you have to spend 5 years of dedicated effort on it before it is considered socially as your idea? (That makes as much sense of running a copper mine for five years before land ownership rights are established). Add to injury a permitting authority has to grant you permission to mine (akin to granting permission to allow your invention to begin with) and judging whether you've put sufficient effort into it...

Then there is the fact that a copper mine is the consequence of human effort and thought. The wilderness or commons which existed beforehand was not. Who then had the right to transform it (or to prevent it from being transformed) to start with. It should belong to everyone or anyone. Just like the freedom to invent belongs to everyone.

Objectivist argument on rational thought requires it not be impeded by others, that you are entitled to the fruits of your labour without requiring the permission of others to live.

However natural resources are needed every bit as much as thinking. You can think about eating but without food you will go hungry. Get hungry enough and your thoughts will become impaired. Its a necessary partnership of thought and resources. In that case you should not require permission to appropriate those resources. Hence the contradiction, as by establishing ownership of land, you are establishing a system where you may only live by permission of those who own the land. But that then means anyone who doesn't control resources is enslaved. Its the equivalent to setting up a system where by new ideas are only granted by permission of an authority claiming to own knowledge per se. A bit like requiring permission of objectivists to expand on the philosophy which Rand mistakenly thought was a closed system.

Ironically the heros in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged can be seen as going through struggles to be able to enjoy this partnership freely. The bonds of slavery were broken by using their minds to obtain just control of resources, through achievement, excellence and making money. That there are ever those bonds of slavery to begin with ought to be unjust under objectivism...

 

 

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On 2/22/2021 at 4:34 AM, dream_weaver said:

I was exploiting essence along the lines of the 5th context:

The predominant qualities or virtues of a plant or drug, extracted and refined from grosser matter; or, more strictly, the solution in spirits of wine of a volatile or essential oil; as, the essence of mint, and the like.

I was impressed by their ability to distill action from entity in the manner presented.

I see. Well, then, perhaps I can interest you in a bottle of my new perfume.

583595445_AYNRANDEssenceofObjectivismperfume.thumb.jpg.f0f1d73cf39510b3da9b433fdc8e7053.jpg 

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13 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

Hence the contradiction, as by establishing ownership of land, you are establishing a system where you may only live by permission of those who own the land. But that then means anyone who doesn't control resources is enslaved.

You can only live on or through that specific patch of land with the owner's permission; yes.  But that's no different from employment (which requires the employer's consent), trade (which requires everybody's consent) or any other form of human interaction.  Comparing your relationship with your landlord to slavery while omitting the fact that you are free to pack up and do business with any landlord you like (or go find an empty patch of land to make your own) is like referring to employment as "wage slavery" because you have to obey whichever boss you've chosen to work for.

13 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

Then there is the fact that a copper mine is the consequence of human effort and thought. The wilderness or commons which existed beforehand was not. Who then had the right to transform it (or to prevent it from being transformed) to start with. It should belong to everyone or anyone. Just like the freedom to invent belongs to everyone.

Just as with inventing, whoever chooses to exercise their capacity to turn barren land into something useful (if they have that capacity) is its owner.  Barren land which currently serves no purpose does belong to everyone, in a way (since it belongs to nobody) and nobody has a right to prevent anyone from doing whatever they want with such land.

Spoiler

 

The overwhelming majority of the matter in this universe is empty rubble that only serves to clutter space up, in large part because of the Space Treaty which attempted to claim the collective ownership of everything above our own atmosphere by the entire human race.  Hopefully we can kill that particular abomination someday in order to establish some real property rights and maybe start mining all the metric tons of gold and platinum that're floating in the asteroid belt.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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44 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

 

14 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

Then there is the fact that a copper mine is the consequence of human effort and thought. The wilderness or commons which existed beforehand was not. Who then had the right to transform it (or to prevent it from being transformed) to start with. It should belong to everyone or anyone. Just like the freedom to invent belongs to everyone.

Just as with inventing, whoever chooses to exercise their capacity to turn barren land into something useful (if they have that capacity) is its owner.  Barren land which currently serves no purpose does belong to everyone, in a way (since it belongs to nobody) and nobody has a right to prevent anyone from doing whatever they want with such land.

I was thinking of the abandoned mine (in an effort to mine the same reference) in Michigan, visited by the vacationing lovebirds.

They had driven across Michigan to the ore mine. They had walked through the ledges of an empty pit, with the remnants of a crane like a skeleton bending above them against the sky, and someone's rusted lunchbox clattering away from under their feet. She had felt a stab of uneasiness, sharper than sadness—but Rearden had said cheerfully, "Exhausted, hell! I'll show them how many tons and dollars I can draw out of this place!" On their way back to the car, he had said, "If I could find the right man, I'd buy that mine for him tomorrow morning and set him up to work it."

The next day, when they were driving west and south, toward the plains of Illinois, he had said suddenly, after a long silence, "No, I'll have to wait till they junk the Bill. The man who could work that mine, wouldn't need me to teach him. The man who'd need me, wouldn't be worth a damn."

It is described as abandoned. Still, Readon thinks of buying it. Interesting. At what point does historically platted land get returned to unowned status legally, and thus subject to the historic precedent of homesteading, or perhaps the yet to be developed Southall Land Grant Claim?

6 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

I see. Well, then, perhaps I can interest you in a bottle of my new perfume.

Did you find that or make that?

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2 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

You can only live on or through that specific patch of land with the owner's permission; yes.  But that's no different from employment (which requires the employer's consent), trade (which requires everybody's consent) or any other form of human interaction.  Comparing your relationship with your landlord to slavery while omitting the fact that you are free to pack up and do business with any landlord you like (or go find an empty patch of land to make your own) is like referring to employment as "wage slavery" because you have to obey whichever boss you've chosen to work for.

Just as with inventing, whoever chooses to exercise their capacity to turn barren land into something useful (if they have that capacity) is its owner.  Barren land which currently serves no purpose does belong to everyone, in a way (since it belongs to nobody) and nobody has a right to prevent anyone from doing whatever they want with such land.

  Hide contents

 

The overwhelming majority of the matter in this universe is empty rubble that only serves to clutter space up, in large part because of the Space Treaty which attempted to claim the collective ownership of everything above our own atmosphere by the entire human race.  Hopefully we can kill that particular abomination someday in order to establish some real property rights and maybe start mining all the metric tons of gold and platinum that're floating in the asteroid belt.

The difference is stark actually. A business owner has bought or built his business, it's a human endeavour at heart which clearly establishes property rights. You can work for him properly by mutual consent. That's not slavery but healthy human relations.

Say you don't want to work for him and instead want to establish your own business. However to do so you require access to land but you are socially excluded from all viable locations. It is not then possible. So your only option is to work for someone. You cannot live independently but must agree to some employment terms and hope you can find some which are in your self interest. You must earn enough money to buy land. Why should you have to? Is it first come first served when it comes to something as vital to life as the rational self interested mind is?

Its like being prevented or impeded mentally until you can pay others to lift these restrictions. That goes against objectivist morality, doesn't it?

 

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3 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

Why should you have to?

Because someone else is using it at the time.

The only thing needed to ask is how wide of an area do you have claim to. If I own a house, does that mean I own only the room I occupy? Do I own the entire city? Do I own the entire development? If I took a rocket to the moon, could I claim to own the entire moon because no one else occupies the moon?

 

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3 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

You cannot live independently but must agree to some employment terms and hope you can find some which are in your self interest.

By "cannot" are you saying it is impossible or that it is unreasonable to? Other people are a value. It's easier to survive with other people than all alone out there. In any voluntarily chosen employment situation, even if you don't like it, it is the "best" alternative available.

Bottom line the only other alternative is to divide things up based on "need". If so, even more complicated questions arise and the tendency toward corruption is almost inherent in the long run. Incentives are not to own but to complain and whine to gain assets.

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4 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Because someone else is using it at the time.

The only thing needed to ask is how wide of an area do you have claim to. If I own a house, does that mean I own only the room I occupy? Do I own the entire city? Do I own the entire development? If I took a rocket to the moon, could I claim to own the entire moon because no one else occupies the moon?

 

So how would you, as an Objectivist, answer those questions? How do you establish ownership of a natural resource?

Objectivists sometimes confuse a house, or a city, or a development (all man made) with the resource I'm talking about.

Perhaps another way of positioning the contradiction would be to ask this:

The fact you have built your house (or bought it) establishes your ownership. However what establishes your right to place your house where it is? 

If I wanted to build a road and place it where your house currently is, why can't I just move your house somewhere else. What establishes your monopoly over occupying that space with your house?

Edited by Jon Southall
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4 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

By "cannot" are you saying it is impossible or that it is unreasonable to? Other people are a value. It's easier to survive with other people than all alone out there. In any voluntarily chosen employment situation, even if you don't like it, it is the "best" alternative available.

Bottom line the only other alternative is to divide things up based on "need". If so, even more complicated questions arise and the tendency toward corruption is almost inherent in the long run. Incentives are not to own but to complain and whine to gain assets.

In the situation I presented it was impossible. I dont think it is unreasonable to live independently!

The only alternative to employment would be to starve to death in this situation.

You could argue his employment is voluntary, a choice. Given he wants to live, finding employment becomes something he needs to survive (as much as he needs air to breathe). His survival depends solely now on him fulfilling someone else's needs. It is therefore decided socially, collectively perhaps, whether he survives or not, or better put whether he can live as a human being or not.

I'm asking how this situation is a moral one under objectivism.

When you consider objectivists place great value on the mind, and non interference with exercising rational decision making (and ensuing action), with Rand saying control over this is evil. When being able to live freely, independently is morally good, how is the situation our character finds himself in a moral one.

Perhaps our perplexed character questions why his social peers control the resources exclusively. He is asking not who will let me, but who will stop me and why. He wants to know what grounds an Objectivist would give for granting such exclusive rights. When doing so grants a perpetual right to one person obtaining resources, at the expense of everyone else. 

Rand said if you invest in something for 5 years (homesteading) it establishes this right. But that is a significant, unearned, socially granted reward for the work, placing a long term restriction on everyone else. Surely the income produced by using the land productively is legitimate, but how is it moral to arbitrarily grant the producer a windfall bonus on top of those returns in the form of exclusive perpetual rights to occupy? It seems inconsistent with how one otherwise establishes property ownership under Objectivism.

 

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12 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

When you consider objectivists place great value on the mind, and non interference with exercising rational decision making (and ensuing action), with Rand saying control over this is evil. When being able to live freely, independently is morally good, how is the situation our character finds himself in a moral one.

That is a clear secular demonstration of what is moral but you find a problem with it.

The value is not in "living independently", that could be narcissism or complete unawareness of others which would mean loss of opportunity for a better life. Rational self interests is a way of inter-dependent living. A fair trade is where you depend on someone for something and they depend on you for something.

12 hours ago, Jon Southall said:

Rand said if you invest in something for 5 years (homesteading) it establishes this right. But that is a significant, unearned, socially granted reward for the work, placing a long term restriction on everyone else. Surely the income produced by using the land productively is legitimate, but how is it moral to arbitrarily grant the producer a windfall bonus on top of those returns in the form of exclusive perpetual rights to occupy? It seems inconsistent with how one otherwise establishes property ownership under Objectivism.

Yes, concrete solution is not completely thought out, these are just "ways" to do it. Same as her ideas about how to collect revenue by the government. There may be better ways. Perpetual rights to not "use" land and to leave it with weeds is morally problematic. 

She offers a reasonable foundation for ownership. We can't escape the question of what is the alternative. You could also complain that all the land is owned by some entity, people or the government (everywhere) unless it is ungoverned like in Pakistan or Somalia. One can make the argument that everything should be owned by all of us meaning none of us. Then you have to propose who deserves what. Who merits what?

Once ownership means nothing, there is total chaos. Everyone uses the same car, spoon, house, and wife.

It seems that you agree that private ownership is the better way. But you have a problem with exclusive rights to something.

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