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Is being anti mandate an accurate description of Objectivists?

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Easy Truth
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I have told people that I am not anti vaccine but anti mandate. But Websters changed the definition and now anyone who apposes forced vaccination in any way is anti vaccine.

Now I am questioning if I am anti mandate (from a definition standpoint). Because I can't help thinking that I am in fact anti "murder/physical harm", anti thievery, anti commuting fraud.

Doesn't that mean that I want it to be mandatory by law that you do not murder etc. Isn't that backed by force?

So that implies that I am not anti mandate. Or do I have the definition wrong?

  1. an official order or commission to do something.
     
  2. the authority to carry out a policy or course of action, regarded as given by the electorate to a candidate or party that is victorious in an election.

I would argue that it is immoral to agree to an order ultimately backed by force, that is based on a utilitarian value. Meaning it is good for most people, not all people or even that it is good most of the time. The problem that I am countered with is the issue of voting. That there are issues that are resolved only by voting. That the majority want it, and it is good for the majority.

After all, voting is inherent in our system and partnerships in general are set up based on strength of your vote.

So does that mean that a mandate based on vote is in fact moral or justified politically speaking?

 

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In a constitutional republic voting to elect representatives to government office is not ‘majority rule’ in the sense that legislation is decided by a simple majority. The elected officials are supposed to carry out the functions of government in accordance with the principles expressed and codified in the Constitution. The fact that bills are passed and laws instituted by a mechanism that employs majority rule status is theoretically held in check by the idea that the judiciary will test all laws against constitutional strictures. Partisan politics will drive policy and legislative actions but not by the theory of majority rule as a theory of government construction.

We needed to amend the Constitution in order to legislate the ‘majority’ policy of a national prohibition on alcohol. And then another to rescind that policy. Was any of ‘that’ ‘constitutional’ ? Actually I’ve never considered if Prohibition was ‘kosher’.

 

In regard of ‘mandates’ is a mandate that it is illegal to murder(consciously take an action to cause harm) , backed the threat of force , the same in kind as a ‘mandate’ against not taking an action that potentially may cause harm? 

I think this or related discussion need to be couched in and carefully followed to distinguish between positive vs negative rights and criminal vs civil offenses.

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The purpose of government is (supposed to be) to protect individual rights. The only way to violate individual rights is by initiation or threat of force. Therefore, the government maintains a monopoly on force to ensure that it is only used in retaliation and only against those who initiate or threaten its use.

As such, the only "mandates" from a proper government are negative obligations, e.g., don't murder people, don't defraud people, don't steal from people, don't extort stuff from people, etc.

The government can enforce these without ever initiating force.

Individual rights are not (supposed to be) subject to vote. Unlimited democracies usually end up tyrannical, as mob rule.

As for vaccine mandates, the issue here is whether one has a right to one's own body. I would say so, and therefore I oppose vaccine mandates on the same grounds that I oppose the forced pregnancy and childbirth that result from abortion bans.

A vaccine mandate is not the same thing as a vaccine itself, and it's possible to recommend a vaccine without supporting a mandate. I mean, I think everybody should read Atlas Shrugged to "inoculate" themselves against socialism and communism, but I absolutely don't believe that the reading of Atlas Shrugged should be mandated by law.

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2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

But Websters changed the definition and now anyone who apposes forced vaccination in any way is anti vaccine.

This seems to confuse opinion with what is. They change the definition of "cow" do you think "oh no, now cows really are such and such"?

2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

So that implies that I am not anti mandate. Or do I have the definition wrong?

Do you not think it possible to be against some kinds of mandates while being for some other kinds?

2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

So does that mean that a mandate based on vote is in fact moral or justified politically speaking?

So I mean, generally there has to be some independent reason for doing something other than a bunch of people want to do it in order to politically justified. Either there is a good reason to do X or not, voting adds nothing to that.

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4 hours ago, 2046 said:
8 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

So that implies that I am not anti mandate. Or do I have the definition wrong?

Do you not think it possible to be against some kinds of mandates while being for some other kinds?

Well, it depends on definition here. When you say opinion vs. definition you are implying there is a solid definition. But in what sense? Isn't it ultimately a word that is agreed on to mean something? Not that I disagree with you, anti vax to me means anti vaccination even if there is no mandate. But I won't be able to communicate with people if I stick to what "I" think is the proper definition.

If the key element of mandate is "that which is mandatory and enforced by the monopoly on force i.e. government", then I would be for those Tad calls negative rights.

But if those negative obligations are not mandates (based on some definition that is unclear to me at this point), then I could be for some mandates and not some other. Which would mean I am identifying myself incorrectly.

At this point I am tending to say I am against certain kinds of mandates. I suspect that it is mandates and enforcement of positive rights/obligations.

Like the mandate to posses "free anything" which is forcing someone to provide it. That is a positive right. Maybe I should say "I am against positive rights", but most people would not understand.

6 hours ago, necrovore said:

As for vaccine mandates, the issue here is whether one has a right to one's own body.

But what does that really end up meaning?

The argument that is being made is that if you are not vaccinated, you are aggressing on another. Meaning the other guy also has a right to his body.

I would counter:

1. The source of that knowledge that a monopoly on force depends on, "that I know what is best for you", has epistemological problems as in it can mistakenly kill you (similar to problems with the death penalty). After all, you can kill a person with the dangers already acknowledged regarding vaccines. Ultimately killing one person is too many, unless you are making the case that what is good for most, is what is good (utilitarian argument). 

2. It is not based on unanimous agreement, and therefore involuntary (done through initiation of force).

3. And again the issue of positive rights, that giving the right to one person being safe, can be to make it unsafe for another. In the case of vaccines, some others will suffer. 

5 hours ago, 2046 said:
8 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

So does that mean that a mandate based on vote is in fact moral or justified politically speaking?

So I mean, generally there has to be some independent reason for doing something other than a bunch of people want to do it in order to politically justified. Either there is a good reason to do X or not, voting adds nothing to that.

Yes, I see your point.

I don't want to go off on a tangent but there seem to be insurmountable disagreements about age of consent/adulthood, beginning of life and some others I can't think of right now. But they are "lived with" via voting, ultimately to keep the peace in a society, the voting ultimately solves the problem, doesn't it?

I think that you say "there is a good reason" you are making a case for "the objective good". I would agree. Whenever I make that case, there is tremendous pushback.

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Arguing about definitions is part of any sort of meaningful discussion though, especially philosophical ones. I mean look at that Socrates guy, that's kinda how the whole enterprise got started. If your standard is that which you never get disagreement or pushback on, I agree you should be vexed.

In terms of voting, yes sure people disagree about just what independent reasons there are for doing things, and voting can be a way of solving it. Certainly "ballots over bullets" can have some sort of instrumental value in solving some sorts of disagreements. But that is some ways away from saying that voting is intrinsically valuable, or that the vote is itself what gives the reason its force. More less that it is the best or only way of solving such disagreements, or even that some disagreements call for bullets.

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7 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

The argument that is being made is that if you are not vaccinated, you are aggressing on another. Meaning the other guy also has a right to his body.

The problem here is that failure to get vaccinated is not an initiation of force.

The government exists to protect people from criminals (and invading foreign armies), but not to protect them from natural phenomena such as hurricanes, earthquakes -- or viruses. In a free country, people can organize to protect themselves against such things, and the government is only involved insofar as it prevents crime from occurring.

In some circumstances it might be possible to sue someone for negligence if their failure to do something causes a natural phenomenon to be worse for someone else. Generally, however, I think you have to willingly assume a responsibility before you can be held liable for shirking it.

Interestingly, the government has granted the manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines "immunity" from liability lawsuits.

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16 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

But Websters changed the definition and now anyone who apposes forced vaccination in any way is anti vaccine.

If Webster's or anyone else did this, they are wrong.  There is a clear difference between being anti-vaccine and being anti-mandate.  Being anti-vaccine means holding that vaccines are bad and people shouldn't use them.  Being anti-mandate, in the context of vaccines, means holding that people shouldn't be forced to vaccinate.  This follows from the meaning of the prefix "anti-".

I am anti-draft, but I am not anti-military.

If you are talking to someone who is confused about this, whether because of Webster's or for any other reason, you may need to explain the difference.  If they are too irrational to listen, you won't be able to communicate with them.

 

Edited by Doug Morris
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16 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Now I am questioning if I am anti mandate (from a definition standpoint).

Don't worry much about which Webster's definitions fit you.  Use sound, logical definitions and be prepared to explain them.  If a definition in Webster's is wrong, be prepared to insist on this.  If you encounter someone who insists on using a bad definition of a term, perhaps you can resolve this by avoiding that term in talking with them and using descriptive phrases instead.  In this case, it may work for you to explain your position on vaccines and your position on mandates.  You may have to explain your views on the nature of government and what this implies about government's proper functions in order to clarify the difference.  If the person refuses to listen, you won't be able to communicate with them; in that case, the person refusing to listen is the one who has a problem.

I understand that modern dictionaries emphasize reporting how people use words and shun any attempt to say how people should use words.  Thus a dictionary may list multiple definitions of "anti-vaccine', simply to report that each is being used by some people.  If you encounter someone who is using the dictionary as an authority, you may have to discuss these points with them.

There probably are, unfortunately, some people using the word "anti-vaccine" to include anyone who is really pro-vaccine and anti-mandate.  The dictionary may be reporting this.  You just have to insist on a sound approach and accept that you may encounter some people who are too irrational to communicate with.

 

 

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17 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

The problem that I am countered with is the issue of voting. That there are issues that are resolved only by voting. That the majority want it, and it is good for the majority.

It is possible for the majority to vote for something that is wrong.  Prohibition is a good example of this.

We use voting because it is usually much less destructive to use ballots rather than bullets to decide what government will do for now.

We choose key government officials by voting because this is less dangerous than any alternative.

 

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1 hour ago, Doug Morris said:

If a definition in Webster's is wrong, be prepared to insist on this.

Very true. It seems like Newspeak is on the rise.

For example, do you have a "right" to a job? If you do, then the government is required to provide you with one, but according to Newspeak, if you do not have a right to a job, then the government can arbitrarily prevent you from having one, even if someone would have hired you voluntarily...

Edited by necrovore
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One complication is that some organizers and publicizers of protests have blurred the distinction between anti-vaccine and anti-mandate.  This may make it necessary to work harder to clarify the distinction and to get across that you are sincere about it.  It is also a good idea to make sure you are not blurring the distinction yourself.

 

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On 2/26/2022 at 10:26 PM, Easy Truth said:

I have told people that I am not anti vaccine but anti mandate. But Websters changed the definition and now anyone who apposes forced vaccination in any way is anti vaccine.

 

 

In answer to your question, I should hope so! Stated loud and clear, there should not be any ambivalence from Objectivists. 

From experience, yours is not a distinction which the avid vaxxers will listen to, that of being pro-vaccine "and" anti-mandate. Or evidently for some - not being pro- *this* vaccine, but generally in favor of vaccines in principle. Or, the small group who are against any vaccines. 

One will not submit to the collective 'good', is all they want to know. Their inability to reason and their moral doctrine...

If some Objectivists are hesitant on the perception of being collectively associated with 'those other' "anti-vaxxers" - so what? "Guilt by association"? They too must be supported on principle. Mandates are anti-rights. Everyone's freedoms are in danger.

There can be no rights without property rights; is not one's body, and one's consent for a medical intervention into it, a fundamental ownership?

Edited by whYNOT
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3 hours ago, whYNOT said:

There can be no rights without property rights; is not one's body, and one's consent for a medical intervention into it, a fundamental ownership?

There can be no rights without property rights ... agreed.

and one's consent for a medical intervention into it, a fundamental ownership?

I would agree, but in what sense. It has to be made clear.

I would make the case that you're mind is primarily what you own. In other words if you replaced your current body with a machine, you're minds' function depends on that machine, therefore you have a right to that machine since it is required for the survival of your mind ... as long as it does not interfere with other "bodies" that are supporting their corresponding minds.

That is one avenue where the forced vaccination argument arises, that there is a conflict since the virus travels into that which supports other's minds i.e. other bodies. In other words, as stated before, other's own their bodies too.

Meaning, it is a retaliatory step, or a self defense step … that is not voluntary, but one size fits all defensive prescription.

This ownership of bodies has to go a step further to make it clear.
 

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35 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

I would make the case that you're mind is primarily what you own.

That would be a gross oversimplification. It isn't as though you own your mind as if it is a separate thing distinct from you. Or at least, the Oist position on individual rights makes absolutely no mention of self ownership. What counts is how you function, how you work as a living thing, how you survive. But this actually makes it easier to discuss how medical interventions ought to be voluntary

Unfortunately, many people don't know how to justify being against mandates without also being against vaccines in general. 

 

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26 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

It isn't as though you own your mind as if it is a separate thing distinct from you.

It's not separate, but if you are injected with a "mind altering" drug that causes you to divulge something, doesn't that violate your right to your mind? (putting aside the violation of your body)

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1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

It's not separate, but if you are injected with a "mind altering" drug that causes you to divulge something, doesn't that violate your right to your mind? (putting aside the violation of your body)

It violates your right to life, not the right to your mind. Point is, it isn't a rights violation because someone took over what you own, but because someone is forcibly preventing you from using your mind as you saw fit, which is your very means of survival. Self ownership is at best a metaphor. 

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18 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Self ownership is at best a metaphor. 

Yes, I have a hard time with it but the way you phrase: "using your mind as you saw fit" means ownership of your mind.

As in using something as you see fit, is owning it. But I don't want to belabor that point.

So what is your argument for or against forcibly vaccinating people?

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To own something means that it is distinct from you. You can't own yourself, you are yourself. Using possessive words doesn't make something into ownership. 

I oppose mandates because for one, it is not a good way to persuade people hesitant about vaccines to take them, and actions done to you require consent. Mostly of course, these are medical procedures, and like anything with your body, there is direct impact on how you lead your life. Yeah, it is frankly irrational to not get the vaccine in virtually all cases, but there is no forced interaction going on. It is better to create a community around people who think rationally about vaccines and medicine than forcing the community of irrational people to do what the rational people want.

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

To own something means that it is distinct from you. You can't own yourself, you are yourself. Using possessive words doesn't make something into ownership. 

I oppose mandates because for one, it is not a good way to persuade people hesitant about vaccines to take them, and actions done to you require consent. Mostly of course, these are medical procedures, and like anything with your body, there is direct impact on how you lead your life. Yeah, it is frankly irrational to not get the vaccine in virtually all cases, but there is no forced interaction going on. It is better to create a community around people who think rationally about vaccines and medicine than forcing the community of irrational people to do what the rational people want.

I agree actions done to an individual should come by the consent of the individual, especially in a non-reversible, invasive medical treatment.

But does 'to own' only apply to things 'distinct from you'? I think when describing a relationship to an object that would be the case , but isn't there another 'sense' when describing the relationship between a person and ideas?

 

 

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I would focus less on the meaning of “mandate” and more on the lines along which physical force are directed. The government can protect the individual against physical force initiated by criminals, or it can behave criminally and initiate physical force against the individual. Objectivism is anti-health mandate or anti-mandate in the sense of forcing the individual to act against his own judgement and interest for the sake of the “public health.” Construing “mandate” to include forcing you not to initiate force against others seems like context dropping or equivocation.

Edited by happiness
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/28/2022 at 3:58 AM, Easy Truth said:

There can be no rights without property rights ... agreed.

and one's consent for a medical intervention into it, a fundamental ownership?

I would agree, but in what sense. It has to be made clear.

I would make the case that you're mind is primarily what you own. In other words if you replaced your current body with a machine, you're minds' function depends on that machine, therefore you have a right to that machine since it is required for the survival of your mind ... as long as it does not interfere with other "bodies" that are supporting their corresponding minds.

That is one avenue where the forced vaccination argument arises, that there is a conflict since the virus travels into that which supports other's minds i.e. other bodies. In other words, as stated before, other's own their bodies too.

Meaning, it is a retaliatory step, or a self defense step … that is not voluntary, but one size fits all defensive prescription.

This ownership of bodies has to go a step further to make it clear.
 

Whose life is it anyway? Properly, individual rights have to be justified as man's life, the right to. Life, being self-directed/generated action, which we know to be volitional "action" of an individual's mind in accord with his physical acts.

Therefore, the right to freedom of action, and protected individual rights.

Coming at this from the bodily-ownership angle, I didn't mean to by-pass the above. Although the greater society may not be aware of Rand's unique explanation of rights, her "freedom of action" is applicable (I think would be agreeable) to anyone. 

The freedom of action for a whole society of individuals can never be homogeneously "one size fits all". I.e. man's rights are indeed one size for all, but each man's choices of action can't be and shouldn't.

in action, as in thought and values then, what suits one, isn't the universal standard for all, nor vice-versa. That sounds most "categorical imperative". (I'm convinced Kant's CI was the implicit moral base of the mass lockdowns-vaccinations).

For proper life to keep continuity during a pandemic, as always, an individual has to decide on his/her own health and risk/benefit status . The enormous human range of age/etc/etc. requires a personal evaluation that can't possibly be made by others. Particularly, not forced on him by others. There are many thinking and rational people who know they haven't a need for vaccines for reasons well-known. There is also nil certainty of not having side effects and adverse reactions.

There will be some and many whose fear of vaccination is seemingly irrational in avoidance of their own benefit. Again, it is not a choice anyone else can make on their behalf. Morally, one might say, they are wrong: in rights they have that freedom of (in)action. They should be upheld by those who value liberties.

(What doesn't need repeating here is vaccines protect one quite well - BUT - are unable to prevent further infections. You'd think that fact has been understood at large, incredibly it's still denied. Simply: Everyone remains a pathogen 'vector' - vaxed and not. The earlier demand for all to get inoculated selflessly for the sake of all others has provably become superfluous and intrusive. The vaccinated have presumably gained their protection, so they and govts should leave other people, who pose no extra danger to them, alone. Visibly, their moral sanctimony is all that keeps them demanding compliance of others. Control, not health and wellbeing). 

Rights cannot be suspended for an emergency nor equally in normal times. An emergency is exactly when they must be affirmed, more than ever. The effect of this immoral exercise of suspended rights for some - we will see and are seeing how difficult recovering our rights for all will be afterwards.

Whose life - and body - is it, anyway?

 

Edited by whYNOT
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  • 2 weeks later...

The most far-reaching happening of our lifetime, when obedience and dependence on Gvt's and so-called science experts ruled, and mankind and its freedoms were willingly sacrificed - is not to be diminished or forgotten. For next time.

https://brownstone.org/articles/fauci-finally-admits-natural-immunity/

 

Edited by whYNOT
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That article is pretty misleading. It doesn't say anything convincing leading to the conclusion that governments responded incorrectly. Conclusion is fine, premises are kind of poor.

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