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  1. #121
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    So?



    I never take stuff like "traditionalist" too literally. I think it just means that they don't frequently change their minds and can be closed off to alternative viewpoints once they've decided on whatever structure they're going to maintain as their tradition. Ayn Rand certainly has that quality about her.

    And anyway, much of her "philosophy" is derivative. It's kind of like she just read Aristotle and Hobbes and gave them her own weird practical spin.
    Yes, you should take "traditionalist" literally. And putting the word "practical" in your description doesn't help your case. For The New Intellectual, which you probably haven't read or even heard of, shows that Rand looked at the broad picture.

    As I said, there's always going to be a hold out.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  2. #122
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfairy View Post
    I haven't read any of her books, but I read a Wikipedia article on her/it. I agree with some things and not others. I think she is too black and white in her thinking, and thinks what works for her will work for everyone. Rational egoism and self interest sound good as ideas, but everything works in a balance. If everyone is doing this, they'll have to balance their actions against other people's. Both capitalism and socialism have elements that work. It's never an extreme one or the other situation. I personally am an anarchist/primitivist, but I don't think we should suddenly just scrap the whole system and think we can magically exist harmoniously in tribes again. It has to be a somewhat gradual shift. From what I read, she views "progress" and civilization as ideal; I strongly disagree. Since people always seem to talk about her, I'd like to read her books some day. The allure of the word "objectivism" is intriguing.
    You may not be a black-and-white thinker like Rand, but you are nonetheless a radical like Rand.
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  3. #123

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo View Post
    But the problem is that objectivist qualifications for something to have rights seems very flawed.

    For instance the idea that children do not have inherent rights that are separate from their ability to make rational choices to continue their existence. Does this extend to people who are incapable of making choices such as the severely mental or physically handicapped? What about the mentally ill?
    You cannot peel off the prerequisites from each other. They must first be individual human beings to be due political right to life. Corollary rights to the actions necessary to support a normal life may not be individually limited except in the case of certain significant disabilities rendering a person unable to function as an independent human being—i.e. an infant, a severely handicapped person, the mentally insane, persons in a coma, etc. all of these on a case by case basis. These rights also may be limited for those who violate the rights of others.

    It is a serious error to accept the colloquial assumption that political rights are an inborn attribute and identical for all humans at all times. It is only the nature of man that is the basis for recognizing political rights (subject to the above modifications) that are universal in that way. You persist in arbitrarily injecting fetuses into the above group in spite of the fact that they do not meet the most basic of pre-requisites: individuality.

    If we are allowed to terminate things based on their inability to make rational choices to sustain themselves, (because abortion is not simply declining to help something exist) doesn't that lead to some horrible conclusions?
    We are not allowed to terminate individual human beings on those grounds, ever. If you go into a coma, your right to make decisions about your care will be suspended and exercised for you by your legal guardian just as an infant's rights are. If that coma degenerates into a lack of brain activity, and there is demonstrable evidence that it will not return, your still physically living body may be terminated. That is not an Objectivist novelty, it is both moral and legal today.

  4. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    You may not be a black-and-white thinker like Rand, but you are nonetheless a radical like Rand.
    I'm not sure greenfairy is not a black-and-white thinker. "Black" and "white" in this context refers to false/true, wrong/right, valid/invalid, etc. So if greenfairy is condemning such divisions, what are we to make of her comment itself and any other comments she makes? Is the content neither false nor true, or maybe some muddling together of the two? What would be the value of a philosophy that would intentionally seek half-truths?

  5. #125
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.simaruba View Post
    We are not allowed to terminate individual human beings on those grounds, ever.
    We are not allowed - by whose authority?
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  6. #126
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.simaruba View Post
    I'm not sure greenfairy is not a black-and-white thinker. "Black" and "white" in this context refers to false/true, wrong/right, valid/invalid, etc. So if greenfairy is condemning such divisions, what are we to make of her comment itself and any other comments she makes? Is the content neither false nor true, or maybe some muddling together of the two? What would be the value of a philosophy that would intentionally seek half-truths?
    The statement "exist harmoniously in tribes again" doesn't even coincide with history. And it is about as opposite to Objectivism as it gets. Perhaps when and if she delves into the subject she will find out that tribalism and individualism don't mix, that only individuals can co-exist in harmony and that tribalism breeds chronic warfare.

    But if you want to analyze this logically, look for the manner in which those from the irrationalist-altruist-collectivist side try to pull the philosophical "wool" over your eyes. In this case, I think it is to declare ones black-and-white axioms while at the same time detracting from the very idea of axioms. In other words, the technique of the stolen concept.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
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  7. #127
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.simaruba View Post
    You cannot peel off the prerequisites from each other. They must first be individual human beings to be due political right to life. Corollary rights to the actions necessary to support a normal life may not be individually limited except in the case of certain significant disabilities rendering a person unable to function as an independent human being—i.e. an infant, a severely handicapped person, the mentally insane, persons in a coma, etc. all of these on a case by case basis. These rights also may be limited for those who violate the rights of others.

    It is a serious error to accept the colloquial assumption that political rights are an inborn attribute and identical for all humans at all times. It is only the nature of man that is the basis for recognizing political rights (subject to the above modifications) that are universal in that way. You persist in arbitrarily injecting fetuses into the above group in spite of the fact that they do not meet the most basic of pre-requisites: individuality.



    We are not allowed to terminate individual human beings on those grounds, ever. If you go into a coma, your right to make decisions about your care will be suspended and exercised for you by your legal guardian just as an infant's rights are. If that coma degenerates into a lack of brain activity, and there is demonstrable evidence that it will not return, your still physically living body may be terminated. That is not an Objectivist novelty, it is both moral and legal today.

    A fetus is a distinct entity genetically from its mother. It is no more integrated to the identity of the mother than it is to the identity of the father. So I don't think it's arbitrary to compare them to an infant who is also genetically distinct but dependent.

    Also I think you are making moral distinctions that are not supported by Objectivism. For instance if determining political rights/rights to life based on 1.)being an individual and 2.)capable of making choices and 3.)capable of independently surviving nothing distinguishes your vegetable from from the severely handicapped or young children. All fit number 1 but not the other two sections. It's falling back on the "colloquial" idea that there is some value in having brain function even if you are unable to productively utilize it.

    If as an objectivist my impediment to using force is the idea the that the violation of another persons autonomous exercise of their will is immoral, what happens when I encounter someone who cannot exercise rationality. Use of force on them is not a moral contradiction, they are not useful to me in any way given that they cannot contribute to society so I have no self-interest in the matter.

    I also wouldn't call the idea that we have inherent rights as human beings a "colloquial assumption". I would call it a different philosophical viewpoint which functions much more soundly as the base for a moral framework than objectivism.

  8. #128
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.simaruba View Post
    5) One's fundamental goal is implicitly the standard of measure for all values one acts to gain or keep in its pursuit.

    6) Therefore, that which contributes to the goal of one's life (consistent with one's nature, of course—not a mere vegetative existence) is necessarily "the good", and that which detracts from it is "the bad".
    The source of the non sequitur lies in this very attempt to bridge the is/ought gap. Rand has declared a moral good in "life," but it's an "ought" statement without an "is" statement to bridge to. She has only created a series of "ought" statements, or "is" statements that imply "ought" statements and assumptions.
    Whether considered as a goal or a standard of value, "life" is assumed to be a moral good, and not a merely descriptive good, from the get-go.

    "2) The most fundamental of all alternatives for all living creatures is life or death." This doesn't form the basis for any meta-moral argument. Saying that value can't exist in the absence of life doesn't entail that life is the basis of moral value.

    "4) The choice (deliberate or implied in all other choices) to pursue the fundamental alternative of life instead of death implicitly makes life one's most fundamental goal." It may be a goal, but it's not necessarily a moral goal.

    "5) One's fundamental goal is implicitly the standard of measure for all values one acts to gain or keep in its pursuit." Obviously. But that still doesn't convert it into a moral goal. It's just saying, for example, that if I want a million dollars then I should use that goal as my standard of measure. All my actions should be oriented around that goal. But wanting something does not imply that it is a moral value.

    This fallacious form of argumentation (question-begging) is also found in her "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology."
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  9. #129
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo View Post
    A fetus is a distinct entity genetically from its mother. It is no more integrated to the identity of the mother than it is to the identity of the father. So I don't think it's arbitrary to compare them to an infant who is also genetically distinct but dependent.

    Also I think you are making moral distinctions that are not supported by Objectivism. For instance if determining political rights/rights to life based on 1.)being an individual and 2.)capable of making choices and 3.)capable of independently surviving nothing distinguishes your vegetable from from the severely handicapped or young children. All fit number 1 but not the other two sections. It's falling back on the "colloquial" idea that there is some value in having brain function even if you are unable to productively utilize it.

    If as an objectivist my impediment to using force is the idea the that the violation of another persons autonomous exercise of their will is immoral, what happens when I encounter someone who cannot exercise rationality. Use of force on them is not a moral contradiction, they are not useful to me in any way given that they cannot contribute to society so I have no self-interest in the matter.

    I also wouldn't call the assumption that we have inherent rights as human beings a "colloquial assumption". I would call it a different philosophical viewpoint which functions much more soundly as the base for a moral framework than objectivism.
    The same counter-argument can be used to justify abusing animals.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  10. #130
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo View Post
    I also wouldn't call the assumption that we have inherent rights as human beings a "colloquial assumption". I would call it a different philosophical viewpoint which functions much more soundly as the base for a moral framework than objectivism.
    Right. I don't know what's so "colloquial" about it. He's just asserting that rights are not innate - i.e., from conception - but that rights begin at birth, i.e., physical independence from the baby's mother the moment the cord is cut.

    So at that point society declares "now the baby is an individual person with the same inherent rights as every other individual."

    The false assumption here is that the existence of individuals entails "individualism."
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

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