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  1. #131
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    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."

    I agree with what you are saying. I think Objectivists though work under the idea that Rand has redefined the concept of morality. She assumes there is nothing higher than the human being, so in a sense there is no true universal concept of right and wrong. Her definition of moral then is a system for action that will result in the most productive society. Moral is redefined as "most fitting for fulfilling gour end goal". Which also seems to be the justification for not using force even though it doesn't seem to follow logically from her starting assumptions.

  2. #132
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    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."
    But doesn't allowing society to define when someone becomes a person clash with the idea of objectivism as based on reason. If we assume there is a point where someone becomes a person, shouldn't we deduce it rational? And if we're using the objectivist framework I don't see the logical distinction between a newborn infant and fetus.

  3. #133
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo View Post
    I agree with what you are saying. I think Objectivists though work under the idea that Rand has redefined the concept of morality. She assumes there is nothing higher than the human being, so in a sense there is no true universal concept of right and wrong. Her definition of moral then is a system for action that will result in the most productive society. Moral is redefined as "most fitting for fulfilling gour end goal". Which also seems to be the justification for not using force even though it doesn't seem to follow logically from her starting assumptions.
    They can declare Rand the Goddess of Originality all they want, but that doesn't make it true.
    "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.”

  4. #134
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo View Post
    But doesn't allowing society to define when someone becomes a person clash with the idea of objectivism as based on reason. If we assume there is a point where someone becomes a person, shouldn't we deduce it rational? And if we're using the objectivist framework I don't see the logical distinction between a newborn infant and fetus.
    There is no logical distinction between things, there is only a physical one.
    "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.”

  5. #135

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    We are not allowed - by whose authority?
    That wording was an intentional repetition of Pseudo's wording that gave him the benefit of the doubt that the authority he meant was a rationally defined government protecting individual rights. Such a government would not allow such a termination.

  6. #136
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    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.
    There's no point arguing with you.

    All this "broad picture" talk just means that your understanding of MBTI is very poor.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  7. #137

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    Pseudo & Mal+

    The culprit is the colloquial interpretation of this:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,..

    What men are endowed with is the facts of their nature that necessitate autonomy (one's moral right to life). While that in turn necessitates the political right to life in a society of governed men, that condition is not an inevitable one. If a number of men live in a remote location (island or planet) only randomly interacting, and their number is not sufficient to establish an independent third party institution to regulate the use of force throughout that region, then there will be no government and in that case no reason to define political rights. As Leonard Peikoff described it, "the issue of rights would be premature."[OPAR,351]

    When a government is formed, the universal, unchanging, and endowed rightness of autonomy for the anonymous, all-other-things-being-equal man qua man informs the necessary political rights of specific all-other-things-NOT-being equal persons—i.e. of varying capacities to exercise autonomy. Moral right is the primary principle, political rights are its application. The former is universal, the latter are conditional.

  8. #138
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy'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?
    I'm not sure I don't think in these terms at all, but they are incorporated into a bigger picture. I believe in harmony of opposites as part of the same whole. As far as right and wrong goes, I mean preferable in terms of human well being and collective happiness. Of course it is a subjective measurement. Anything directly related to life and humanity is to some degree subjective. But objective to me means finding out what is reasonable and reliable, the things we can agree upon, and the facts which transcend human existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    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.
    I think it is entirely debatable. Our knowledge of history is incomplete, any analysis of it is filled with personal bias, historical facts are reported by certain types of people, etc. Basically we can't really know how history was because we weren't there. And even if we can get a good idea of how things were for most people in a given time frame in a given place, that is only a tiny portion of that location's history, and the well being of the people there is highly variable. Take the US today. The average person watches hours of TV a day, consumes an obscenely large amount of high fructose corn syrup in year, eats at McDonald's, and is a Christian. None of these apply to me and a fairly large subculture.

    I believe certain environments are more conducive to human well being than others, and changing certain aspects of our environment can affect us positively. I don't mean to say every tribe in history was peaceful and loving and everything was awesome all the time. Eating natural food is good for us. Having clean air is good for us. Not destroying the forest is good for us collectively. Living in harmony with the cycles of nature tends to make us feel more balanced. These are the kinds of things I'm talking about. All of this is good for individual people, and it is rational to be healthy and happy.

  9. #139

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    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," ...
    She did no such thing. Nor did I. The fact stated was not that life is good. The statement is: If one chooses to pursue life, then life is implicitly the standard of values pursued to achieve that goal.

    You have not shown this to be false. You have just characterized it a such.

  10. #140
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.simaruba View Post
    That wording was an intentional repetition of Pseudo's wording that gave him the benefit of the doubt that the authority he meant was a rationally defined government protecting individual rights. Such a government would not allow such a termination.

    I should have been clearer, the authority I'm assuming is not political but moral. I'm not talking about being legally allowed to terminate life but whether it is morally acceptable within an objectivist philosophy.

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