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Bill Clinton's Impeachment.

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ggdwill
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I wonder where she says where she derives this belief. It would seem as though she's trying to claim people have a right to not be offended.

You ought to know Miss Rand better than that. Let me rephrase the "offending" part a little:

"...protecting the rights of those who find pornography offensive do not consent to being shown pornography."

It's not about being offended, it's about consent. Even a person who is not offended by pornography may not consent to it being shown in certain situations. For example, suppose you take a prospective client to a restaurant for a business meeting and they begin playing dirty movies in the middle of your lunch. If your client doesn't like that, my guess is that you won't like it either!

Nor would the restaurant owner have a right to pull down his pants and urinate onto your table, or shout anti-Semitic remarks so loudly that everyone can hear them, or mix cocaine into your milk shake--unless he has obtained your consent to do so, either through a warning sign or through verbal consultation or in some other suitable manner.

Consent may be presumed in certain cases, but not in others. You may walk into a restaurant and quietly sit down at a table without having asked the owner for permission first, because you can rightfully presume that he is fine with your doing so on his property. If he isn't, he can always ask you to leave. But you cannot presume that he is fine with you climbing in through the window and jumping up and down on the tables; this is simply not what a reasonable restaurant owner would want his guests to do. It may be that this particular restaurant owner would actually very much welcome such behavior--but if he hasn't let you know that he would, you have to act according to the premise that he wouldn't.

Are you with me so far?

Now, if the roles are reversed, the essence of the situation remains the same. The owner of the restaurant can only do things to his guests that he can reasonably presume they're OK with. The difference is this, and only this:

  • The guest has a choice between entering the restaurant and not entering it. He can rightfully choose to enter if the things he intends to do inside can be presumed to meet the owner's consent. If he wants to do things that do not presumably meet the owner's consent, he has to ask the owner for permission first.
  • The owner's choice is to make his restaurant open to the general public, without warning signs, or to make entry conditional. A warning sign would fall into the latter category: it ensures that a person will only enter if he is OK with whatever the warning says. If he puts up no sign, he can only do to his guests what he can reasonably presume they consent to--the kinds of things that are generally done in a restaurant. If he wants to do anything "extra" that unsuspecting guests might object to, he has to ask for their permission first.

This does not limit the "quirky" person's rights in any way whatsoever: He can indulge his quirks to his heart's content, but he has to do it alone or with consenting partners. All this says is that he cannot presume the consent of any random stranger.

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CF: I really like the above and I agree with it a lot, I just think you're extending rights where they shouldn't be. Does someone really have the right to be warned about the private practices of establishments before they enter? Now I do agree that if a business owner does do something "out of the ordinary" without warning to his patrons he is being a little rude, but I do not think that being rude is a violation of rights. I also don't think that having topless waitresses and peeing on tables should be lumped together, especially if the diners get splashed, thats clearly a violation of rights. The thing that I think is important here is that no one is FORCED to enter or stay in any establishment, and therefore no rights can be violated, rights can only be violated through the initiation of force or fraud. If a bar advertises that there won't be naked girls in the bar, then starts a wet t-shirt contest then that would constitute force, but not making sure that your patrons don't wrongly assume things should not be anyone's responsibility. When you walk into my property you should be aware that you may see ANYTHING, because YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL(of things other than yourself and your property) on MY PROPERTY, that is what you should presume, anything else would be presumptuous.

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peeing on tables [...] especially if the diners get splashed, thats clearly a violation of rights.

I singled out this part of your post because I think it contains the key to where our views differ. If the owner makes sure the diners do not get splashed (nor their clothes, bags, etc.) would you still see it as a violation of rights? Why or why not?

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It's not about being offended, it's about consent. Even a person who is not offended by pornography may not consent to it being shown in certain situations. For example, suppose you take a prospective client to a restaurant for a business meeting and they begin playing dirty movies in the middle of your lunch. If your client doesn't like that, my guess is that you won't like it either!

Do you agree with the sexual harrassment suits then when someone finds the sight of two co-workers hugging offensive and files suit against the company?Being rude and obnoxious is not a crime, it doesn't have to be tolerated, but should not be legislated against. Another point is the idea that pornography is bad. The taboos on nudity which prevail in our society are irrational at best, so why is it ok to back an irrational belief with law? I can offend a christian by saying there is no god, but a woman can't offend someone by taking her top off in public? Where is the difference?

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Nor would the restaurant owner have a right to pull down his pants and urinate onto your table, or shout anti-Semitic remarks so loudly that everyone can hear them, or mix cocaine into your milk shake--unless he has obtained your consent to do so, either through a warning sign or through verbal consultation or in some other suitable manner.

This is getting ridiculous - business owners that pee on customers don't stay in business. Not to mention it's assault.

What I really don't understand is how you can possibly equate urination on a person or table, mixing cocaine into a drink, and shouting anti-Semitic remarks. The first two are initiation of force - the last is perfectly acceptable. Jewish customers (and everyone else for that matter) have every right to walk out of the place - but really, no sane person would throw away their business like that. Offending someone isn't a crime - assaulting him, threatening him or pouring poison into his drink is. If Wal-Mart decides to display pornography in their store next to Teddy bears they have that right - but they should also expect to lose customers. If a restaurant, out of the blue, began showing a pornographic film (on a wall?) or passed out Playboy with their menus, then they should expect people to be confused, upset - or some may even appreciate it. The owner has to judge his clientele and act accordingly. A simple solution: if you don't like the way pornography is displayed in a store then don't shop there.

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It's not about being offended, it's about consent. Even a person who is not offended by pornography may not consent to it being shown in certain situations. For example, suppose you take a prospective client to a restaurant for a business meeting and they begin playing dirty movies in the middle of your lunch. If your client doesn't like that, my guess is that you won't like it either!

Do you agree with the sexual harrassment suits then when someone finds the sight of two co-workers hugging offensive and files suit against the company?

Emphasis added. I don't think this deserves any further comment.

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The great unanswered question: consent to what? Being shown something isn't a passive process - no one is forcing you to stay and look at pornography if you don't want to. Consent is only necessary in regard to property. The owner of a store consents to allow you on to his property - and you have consented (by choosing to walk in) to whatever layout or arrangement of his property he has. If he has porn by the checkout counter, by model trains or off in a seperate section - and you don't approve of it then leave the store.

Going by the logic of CF's posts, if you drive by an ugly looking house and haven't consented to see it then your rights are violated. Every day I see people on the street, I haven't consented to see, wearing clothing I haven't consented to see, going into businesses and establishments I don't approve of. What of it? If you are so inclined you can remove your consent to view the whole of reality - but that doesn't mean your rights have violated.

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This is getting ridiculous - business owners that pee on customers don't stay in business.

Who's talking about customers? My friend Luigi is going to extend this honor to only one customer: you. Just to show how much he likes you!

What I really don't understand is how you can possibly equate urination on a person or table, mixing cocaine into a drink, and shouting anti-Semitic remarks. The first two are initiation of force - the last is perfectly acceptable.

One word: context.

Urination on a willing target is perfectly acceptable too, and so is mixing cocaine into a drink of a person who has requested it. Well, acceptable in a strictly legal sense. As I have already said, and will apparently have to say a couple more times: It's all about consent.

Offending someone isn't a crime

Lucky for you, because I tend to get rather offended by blatant strawmen. The only places where I use the word "offend" or any of its derivatives in this thread have been:

1. The Ayn Rand quote, which I later explain doesn't depend on the concept of offense;

2. Replies explaining why my position has nothing to do with anyone's being offended.

------

Let me ask you a question and I'll explain why I'm asking after you give your response. Suppose you are sitting at a wedding as an invited guest, being quiet and behaving normally. Suddenly two armed men grab you and begin hauling you towards the exit. In your opinion, is this an initiation of force or is it not?

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I singled out this part of your post because I think it contains the key to where our views differ. If the owner makes sure the diners do not get splashed (nor their clothes, bags, etc.) would you still see it as a violation of rights? Why or why not?

No, if their property is not damaged then it is not, they have the option to leave, they are not being forced to watch anything. When you enter somone else's property (and in reality, you will probably be aware if certain bar owner's make it a habit of peeing on the tables while the diner's eat) you consent to whatever they might do, or allow to be done, that doesn't otherwise violate your rights.

Let me ask you a question and I'll explain why I'm asking after you give your response. Suppose you are sitting at a wedding as an invited guest, being quiet and behaving normally. Suddenly two armed men grab you and begin hauling you towards the exit. In your opinion, is this an initiation of force or is it not?

If you are invited you have the right to remain there as long as your invitation remains intact. If two men who have the authority ask you to leave, your invitation has been revoked, if you refuse, they have the right to force you to leave, but if they give you no warning, since you have an invitation, they are initiating force on you when the touch you.

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Strawmen? Or what your real premise is? I mentioned "offense" because "consent" - what you claim was the real issue behind display of pornorgraphy, was logically untenable, as I tried to show in my above post. So I'll ask: what about the nature of pornography requires consent? If was mistaken or my logic is wrong, by all means, show me. If not, then the only objection you could have to display of pornography was offense.

To answer the question you posed: of course it's an initiation of force, in the context you've given. Mind explaining how this relates to the issue at hand?

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The great unanswered question: consent to what?

??

Consent to whatever action is being discussed: Bill Clinton's display of his "weapon," Luigi's irrigation of your dining table, or Wal-Mart's fictional checkout-line entertainment.

Being shown something isn't a passive process - no one is forcing you to stay and look at pornography if you don't want to.

This is an all too common view, probably originating from a libertarian distortion of Ayn Rand's notion of rights. Out of curiosity, do you think an airline would be within their rights if they unannouncedly began showing pornography on an airplane during flight? You can't walk away from there, after all. Is the solution simply to buy a ticket with a different airline next time? Or is this case different?

Consent is only necessary in regard to property.

I certainly hope that you consider my eyes to be my property.

The owner of a store consents to allow you on to his property

How do you know? Do you call the owner on the phone every time before you enter a store?

and you have consented (by choosing to walk in) to whatever layout or arrangement of his property he has.

How can you consent to something you don't yet know about?

Going by the logic of CF's posts, if you drive by an ugly looking house and haven't consented to see it then your rights are violated.

If by "ugly" you mean it has a naked picture of Helen Thomas on its wall, then yes. If you just mean that it was designed by Peter Keating, then the issue is outside the domain of consent because houses are a natural part of any street and some of them will be poorly designed while others will look good. You don't need a warning sign to know that !

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Strawmen? Or what your real premise is? I mentioned "offense" because "consent" - what you claim was the real issue behind display of pornorgraphy, was logically untenable, as I tried to show in my above post.

Trying and succeeding are not the same thing. B)

So I'll ask: what about the nature of pornography requires consent?

The viewing of pornography is a sexual activity. Since sex is a crucial part of a rational man's life, he has a right to decide for himself what sexual activities he is going to engage in and when. (Provided, of course, that he respects the equal rights of others.)

To answer the question you posed: of course it's an initiation of force, in the context you've given. Mind explaining how this relates to the issue at hand?

OK, now suppose that the situation is the same except that you are shouting anti-Semitic remarks instead of sitting quietly. You have previously stated that shouting anti-Semitic remarks is "perfectly acceptable," i.e. not an initiation of force. And the to-be-weds have invited you, and thereby consented to whatever you are going to do at the wedding. NOW, if the two armed men--who have been hired as security guards by the couple getting married--grab you and begin hauling you towards the exit, they would, according to your logic, still be initiating force against you. After all, you sure as hell haven't initiated anything: shouting anti-Semitic remarks is not an initiation of force.

Methinks one of your premises will have to give. :P

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The viewing of pornography is a sexual activity. Since sex is a crucial part of a rational man's life, he has a right to decide for himself what sexual activities he is going to engage in and when. (Provided, of course, that he respects the equal rights of others.)

Hold on a second - viewing pornography is not a sexual activity - masturbating to pornorgraphy on the other hand, is. How broad is your idea of sex? If a girl wearing a bikini walks past you would you consider that "sex"?

OK, now suppose that the situation is the same except that you are shouting anti-Semitic remarks instead of sitting quietly. You have previously stated that shouting anti-Semitic remarks is "perfectly acceptable," i.e. not an initiation of force. And the to-be-weds have invited you, and thereby consented to whatever you are going to do at the wedding. NOW, if the two armed men--who have been hired as security guards by the couple getting married--grab you and begin hauling you towards the exit, they would, according to your logic, still be initiating force against you. After all, you sure as hell haven't initiated anything: shouting anti-Semitic remarks is not an initiation of force.

Actually, the couple who rented the hall (or whatever) haven't consented to anything I may do by inviting me, and may rightfully remove me from the hall if a request to leave was being ignored.

Methinks one of your premises will have to give. <_<

Not yet.

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This is an all too common view, probably originating from a libertarian distortion of Ayn Rand's notion of rights.

My "notion" of the Objectivist position on rights is not a libertarian distortion - and unless you can prove that it is, I suggest you retract that remark.

Out of curiosity, do you think an airline would be within their rights if they unannouncedly began showing pornography on an airplane during flight? You can't walk away from there, after all. Is the solution simply to buy a ticket with a different airline next time? Or is this case different?

The context is different, certainly - and completely arbitrary. I submit that this would never happen - an airline that presented potentially offensive media runs the risk of decreased sales or boycotts. Depending on company policy they would either have to inform the customer that this was a "themed" flight or lose business.

I certainly hope that you consider my eyes to be my property.

I certainly do. I don't however, see anyone controlling your eyes or where you choose to look.

How do you know? Do you call the owner on the phone every time before you enter a store?

How can you consent to something you don't yet know about?

You can enter a store because the owner has given tacit permission by virtue of opening a publicly accessible store. If he later chooses to revoke that permission you would have to leave. But really - you know this just as well as I do - what is this question getting at?

If by "ugly" you mean it has a naked picture of Helen Thomas on its wall, then yes. If you just mean that it was designed by Peter Keating, then the issue is outside the domain of consent because houses are a natural part of any street and some of them will be poorly designed while others will look good. You don't need a warning sign to know that !

Since I don't accept your assertion that viewing pornography is a form of sex, my conclusion is the same you made about Keating-esque houses - they are outside the domain of consent.

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Hold on a second - viewing pornography is not a sexual activity

Oh yes it is. Pornography is ALL ABOUT sex. Anyone who views pornography and claims he doesn't think of sex is like the Iranian government when it says it only wants to pursue nuclear technology for its energy needs: totally transparent.

How broad is your idea of sex? If a girl wearing a bikini walks past you would you consider that "sex"?

Um, I don't know how to break this to you, but ... people don't typically wear anything for sex. Especially not on their private parts.

Notice also that I use the phrase "sexual activity," not "sex." Kissing on the tongue, for example, would be a sexual activity, but not sex.

Actually, the couple who rented the hall (or whatever) haven't consented to anything I may do by inviting me

But the shopper entering Wal-Mart consents to anything the owners may do inside? Why the asymmetry?

and may rightfully remove me from the hall if a request to leave was being ignored.

But there is no request to leave in my example. They just grab you without saying a word and haul you off. Is that an initiation of force, after you began disrupting the wedding?

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If by "ugly" you mean it has a naked picture of Helen Thomas on its wall, then yes. If you just mean that it was designed by Peter Keating, then the issue is outside the domain of consent because houses are a natural part of any street and some of them will be poorly designed while others will look good. You don't need a warning sign to know that !

So where do you objectively derive what is "outside the domain of consent"? Principles are universal and apply in all cases. What you have presented is an entirely arbitrary and non-objective standard here. What makes ugly houses "a natural part of any street" vs. pornography short of society's arbitrary conventions or your whim?

For example hundreds of years ago it would have been unacceptable for women to dress "sexy." I'm not talking naked I'm talking showing a little leg or a naked shoulder and arm. I wonder if you would consider their actions subject to governmental control given that many people of the day would have considered women dressing in that way disgusting, and quite un-natural.

Your whims and societal convention are no basis for objective law.

But the shopper entering Wal-Mart consents to anything the owners may do inside? Why the asymmetry?

Because Wal-Mart OWNS the property.

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Oh yes it is. Pornography is ALL ABOUT sex. Anyone who views pornography and claims he doesn't think of sex is like the Iranian government when it says it only wants to pursue nuclear technology for its energy needs: totally transparent.

What is pornography? Is nudity pornography? Being naked is not a sexual activity. A photograph of someone else having sex is not tantamount to you participating in a sexual activity. Enjoying the sight of someone else's body is not in any way equivalent to a sexual activity.

Um, I don't know how to break this to you, but ... people don't typically wear anything for sex. Especially not on their private parts.

First of all, sarcasm doesn't help your position - and you didn't answer my question.

But the shopper entering Wal-Mart consents to anything the owners may do inside? Why the asymmetry?

Is this a joke?

But there is no request to leave in my example. They just grab you without saying a word and haul you off. Is that an initiation of force, after you began disrupting the wedding?

Actually, it would be an intiation of force - by definition.

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Oh yes it is. Pornography is ALL ABOUT sex. Anyone who views pornography and claims he doesn't think of sex is like the Iranian government when it says it only wants to pursue nuclear technology for its energy needs: totally transparent.

I see two problems with your position, the first is your idea of what pornography is. Your idea of pornography may not be the same as the next man's. To some people a topless woman is pornography, to some the Victoria Secrets catalogue is. It's a matter of culture, and while pictures of naked people may be sex for you, it's not for everyone. What is your objective standard to what pornography is?

The second is your stance of consent. People do not need others consent to do what they want with their own property. If someone wants to display or sell what is considered to be adult content, they can. The only reason I can think of at all for someone not consenting as you put it to being shown pornography is because they are offended by it. If being offended is not the reason, than what is? Are any items being put up for sale or display by a business open to your consent rule? Are any of my possessions being put up to the consent rule when I go out in public?

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To answer your question LazloWalrus,

I don't see how you can equate brandishing a weapon with brandishing a sexual organ. I can't think of any legitimate reason to point a gun at someone unless you are prepared to use it. On the other hand, showing one's penis could be for any number of reasons (such as, say, beads at Mardi Gras). As I said in one of my earlier posts, there are many other facts that have to be considered in a particular case before you can determine if the exposure itself was a threat and/or harrassment.

- Grant

Was Mardi Gras going on in that room when the alleged event occured? I think this discussion is getting a bit too far off from the original event. As to the pointing a gun at someone issue, I can think of one right off the top of my head, the gun that is pointed at every tax payer who disagrees with the tax code vis-avis government agents. One of the problems that I've found with the various means of arguement that you are putting forth is that there are alot of floating alternative senarios, but no consistent basis for describing a consistent ethical standard.

Furthermore, force is not limited to the threatening of one's life, but also the threat of taking things by force. One of the methods of force that has been glossed over in your posts is the deception that was neccesary to get Jennifer Flowers into the given situation. I highly doubt that she had knowledge that she was going to be having a sexual encounter with Mr. Clinton, and that lack of knowledge constitutes a lack of consent.

The second is your stance of consent. People do not need others consent to do what they want with their own property. If someone wants to display or sell what is considered to be adult content, they can. The only reason I can think of at all for someone not consenting as you put it to being shown pornography is because they are offended by it. If being offended is not the reason, than what is? Are any items being put up for sale or display by a business open to your consent rule? Are any of my possessions being put up to the consent rule when I go out in public?
The issue is the deception, openly lying to someone in order to get them into a sexual situation is a form of coercion. If I have advanced knowledge that a sex show will be going on at someone's house, I won't be showing up there. However, if I am lied to and told that some sort of charity drive is going on, and am then subjected to being involved in a sexual situation that I had no knowledge of, I think I have a valid case at least to impose a restraining order of some sort. Furthermore, this doesn't take into account the employee/employer factor, which could be viewed as a breach of contract as being a sexual partner was probably not included in Ms. Flowers' contract. Further still, if we define property rights by a standard that people's gentals are property and can thus be utilized in public, a counter-arguement could be made that people's eyes (another body part) are also personal property, and should not be subjected to influence by others. A number of absurd senarios no doubt follow, until we come back to the basic ethical principle, deception and fraud take a number of different forms, and are very actionable offenses.

I see two problems with your position, the first is your idea of what pornography is. Your idea of pornography may not be the same as the next man's. To some people a topless woman is pornography, to some the Victoria Secrets catalogue is. It's a matter of culture, and while pictures of naked people may be sex for you, it's not for everyone. What is your objective standard to what pornography is?

This seems like a defense of Moral Subjectivism, and if taken to it's fullest conclusion, will result in even more absurdities such as "One man's murderer is another man's life giver" or "One man's green is another man's pink". Pornography has a specific standard, and that is the message of a sexual encounter that invites the viewer to mentally participate in a sexual act. Nudity alone doesn't accomplish this, but nudity with a certain facial expression, or in a certain context (such as S&M visuals) fall into this category. Essentially, in order to prove that Clinton was not advertizing sex to Ms. Flowers, you'd have to freeze him in a pose and have Ms. Flowers with a canvass and paint brush at hand, which I highly doubt can be defended as a senario pertaining to the event in question.

What is pornography?
If you have to ask, and are above the age of 18, I think you might be a good inspiration for a satire I've been thinking about writing on the issue of pragmatism and it's obvious conclusions. I think you know the answer to this question, and I think that Capitalism Forever's sarcastic responses to you are highly understandable.

Actually, it would be an intiation of force - by definition.

Actually it would be reactionary force, by definition. The person disrupting the wedding consented to the rules set up by the people whom rented the space, he is violating the law and disrupting an event where ownership is established vis-avis wealth being exchanged. It is similar to going into a candy store, sucking on candy, spitting it out, placing it back in the wrapper, and placing it back where it was. The property was tainted by your actions, hense you have violated someone's property rights, ergo an initiation of force by way of deception.

Is this a joke?

I wouldn't guess this to be a joke, you don't seem to have a consistant definition of property rights, and the fact that you see property owners as not being able to defend their property rights as a quasi-humorous subject disturbs me a bit.

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If you have to ask, and are above the age of 18, I think you might be a good inspiration for a satire I've been thinking about writing on the issue of pragmatism and it's obvious conclusions. I think you know the answer to this question, and I think that Capitalism Forever's sarcastic responses to you are highly understandable.

I asked that question because CF had no viable definition of what he meant by pornography. His sarcasm was unnecessary and didn't further his arguments. Also, for your information, I am not a pragmatist and never will be.

Actually it would be reactionary force, by definition. The person disrupting the wedding consented to the rules set up by the people whom rented the space, he is violating the law and disrupting an event where ownership is established vis-avis wealth being exchanged. It is similar to going into a candy store, sucking on candy, spitting it out, placing it back in the wrapper, and placing it back where it was. The property was tainted by your actions, hense you have violated someone's property rights, ergo an initiation of force by way of deception.

The property was "tainted"? In the case of the candy, the property was used and rendered unsalable. In the case of the wedding disruptor, he was uttering rude remarks - quite clearly not a violation of anyone's rights, in and of itself.

The person disrupting the wedding did not necessarily consent to anything other than being invited. If there were rules ahead of time stating that he would be thrown out if he disrupted the wedding and he agreed to them, then being thrown out would be reactionary force. Otherwise, it would be appropriate to ask him to leave first. To do anything else would be to initiate force.

I wouldn't guess this to be a joke, you don't seem to have a consistant definition of property rights, and the fact that you see property owners as not being able to defend their property rights as a quasi-humorous subject disturbs me a bit.

The fact that you've failed to grasp a simple exposition on property rights disturbs me a bit seeing as how this is an Objectivist forum. My definition of property rights is quite consistent - in fact it's identical to the one AR developed. Which one are you using?

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Was Mardi Gras going on in that room when the alleged event occured? I think this discussion is getting a bit too far off from the original event. As to the pointing a gun at someone issue, I can think of one right off the top of my head, the gun that is pointed at every tax payer who disagrees with the tax code vis-avis government agents. One of the problems that I've found with the various means of arguement that you are putting forth is that there are alot of floating alternative senarios, but no consistent basis for describing a consistent ethical standard.

Furthermore, force is not limited to the threatening of one's life, but also the threat of taking things by force. One of the methods of force that has been glossed over in your posts is the deception that was neccesary to get Jennifer Flowers into the given situation. I highly doubt that she had knowledge that she was going to be having a sexual encounter with Mr. Clinton, and that lack of knowledge constitutes a lack of consent.

I'm only going to reply to this part of your post because it was the only part attributed to me.

No, Mardi Gras was no going on in that room. I don't know what was going on in that room, nor in Bill Clinton's mind, when he decided to expose himself. I can't even remember what the pretext was, if there even was one and it wasn't just a case of Ms. Flowers getting cold feet, that got her into that hotel room.

But like I and alot of other people on this threat have already said, it really doesn't matter what the reason was that made Bill Clinton feel like he should have exposed himself. Unlike pulling a gun, there are alot of plausible, and even justifiable, reasons to pull out one's genitalia. Perhaps she had said something sexually suggestive that made Clinton believe that she wanted to see him naked. Perhaps she was behaving in a manner that he didn't approve of, and he knew that by exposing himself she would be adequately disgusted and leave. Perhaps he mistook her for the doctor that was supposed to come by to check his prostate.

[edit]: Although Bill Clinton's sexual past is certainly contemptable, to my knowledge, there is not a shred of evidence to suggest that he ever used threats of violence, blackmail, or violence itself to achieve his sexual goals. I think it's reasonable to assume that given this, his exposure was a non-threatening, albeit pathetic, attempt to get laid.

I understand that generally speaking, exposing oneself when it is not solicited, is perceived as very creepy and even threatening - especially when it is a man doing it to a woman. However, I simply don't agree that that generality - the act of sexual exposure apart from all other relevant facts - is a valid excuse to start dictating to people what they can and cannot do on their property.

That should also explain your weird comment about the gun pointed at tax payers; something that is so obviously symbolic it doesn't deserve much of a comment. It is not a gun being literally pointed at them that gets people to fork over their money, but rather the threat of having a gun pointed at them if they refuse. Literally pointing a gun at someone, however, is only justified in the defense of rights in the face of a clear and present danger. I understand that they are tantamount to the same thing, but they are still metaphysically distinct occurances. If you wish to absolve yourself of the threat that comes along with not paying taxes, you need to recognize it's source. It lies in the offices of numerous corrupt bureaucrats and politicians, not in any random police officer you may see on the street.

- Grant

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This seems like a defense of Moral Subjectivism, and if taken to it's fullest conclusion, will result in even more absurdities such as "One man's murderer is another man's life giver" or "One man's green is another man's pink". Pornography has a specific standard, and that is the message of a sexual encounter that invites the viewer to mentally participate in a sexual act. Nudity alone doesn't accomplish this, but nudity with a certain facial expression, or in a certain context (such as S&M visuals) fall into this category.

It isn't "Moral Subjectivism" - it's context. The definition of pornography changes as time passes because the meaning is dependent on a human response. Since styles of dress, attitudes, and culture changes, the definition of pornography has to necessarily change. However, since not every place on Earth (or even in the same country) advances at the same pace the definition of pornography depends largely on culture. Pornography does not have to necessarily be a photograph of a sexual act - it could be anything that illicits a sexual response from the observer.

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The issue is the deception, openly lying to someone in order to get them into a sexual situation is a form of coercion.

I was addressing CF's consent argument, not deception. I agree that if deception is wrong, whether it involves pornography or not.

This seems like a defense of Moral Subjectivism, and if taken to it's fullest conclusion, will result in even more absurdities such as "One man's murderer is another man's life giver" or "One man's green is another man's pink". Pornography has a specific standard, and that is the message of a sexual encounter that invites the viewer to mentally participate in a sexual act. Nudity alone doesn't accomplish this, but nudity with a certain facial expression, or in a certain context (such as S&M visuals) fall into this category. Essentially, in order to prove that Clinton was not advertizing sex to Ms. Flowers, you'd have to freeze him in a pose and have Ms. Flowers with a canvass and paint brush at hand, which I highly doubt can be defended as a senario pertaining to the event in question.

Yes it is Moral Subjectivism. I don't really care if it's pictures of full on midgets on donkeys, that's my point. The acts depicted might be immoral, but not because they are pornographic, it's because of the actual acts they are portraying, and not all sex is immoral. Also, pictures themselves are not immoral, it's how you use that pornography that would be immoral. CF's assertion that all pornography is sex I find to be quite ludicrous, especially without any definition.

It isn't "Moral Subjectivism" - it's context. The definition of pornography changes as time passes because the meaning is dependent on a human response. Since styles of dress, attitudes, and culture changes, the definition of pornography has to necessarily change. However, since not every place on Earth (or even in the same country) advances at the same pace the definition of pornography depends largely on culture. Pornography does not have to necessarily be a photograph of a sexual act - it could be anything that illicits a sexual response from the observer.

I don't agree with this, what's immoral will always be immoral. The definitions of what is pornographic may change, but I don't find pornography to be immoral, only certain pictures.

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I don't agree with this, what's immoral will always be immoral. The definitions of what is pornographic may change, but I don't find pornography to be immoral, only certain pictures.

Who said that I advocate moral subjectivism? Pornography is not immoral. No picture is immoral - not even "certain [one's]." I was responding to Dark_Unicorn's interpretation of your statement. The only thing I said was that the definition of pornography isn't absolute but by it's nature has to change in response to the culture where it is viewed.

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