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  1. #71
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.simaruba View Post
    If you had only glanced at my profile first you might have figured out that I am MichaelM, the author of that post too.
    I don't see a single clue as to your identity in your profile. The only connection there is between your handle and your profile avatar - a type of tree.
    "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. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    Then you seem familiar to me somehow...

    Wouldn't MichaelH be a more appropriate handle? Or why not just Owl?
    Well some years back I did use an owl for my avatar, but I now use my photo and my real name more often. In this case the B. simaruba in the avatar was planted near where I live in the same month I was born, and now it is as magnificent as my mind ... quite fitting, eh? Although I'm a little worried some will see that the initials are Bs.

    If I seem familiar, it could be because I have commented on the subject of Objectivism for over a dozen years whenever a wrong needed righting or an apparently honest mind wasn't getting answers to his questions.

  3. #73
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.simaruba View Post
    Well some years back I did use an owl for my avatar, but I now use my photo and my real name more often. In this case the B. simaruba in the avatar was planted near where I live in the same month I was born, and now it is as magnificent as my mind ... quite fitting, eh? Although I'm a little worried some will see that the initials are Bs.

    If I seem familiar, it could be because I have commented on the subject of Objectivism for over a dozen years whenever a wrong needed righting or an apparently honest mind wasn't getting answers to his questions.
    Well, I think you're the poster named Owl. But I could be wrong.
    "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. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    Well, I think you're the poster named Owl. But I could be wrong.
    You mean on this blog? That Owl's sub-name is desert pelican. There are no deserts around Tampa Bay. But apologies for citing the profile, I thought they had my real name there. Now the only way for you to verify it is to go to the other blog and sent me a message then send one to me here too and ask me what is in them ... assuming they still have my address, of course. Or, you could drop this foolishness altogether and deal with the ideas.

  5. #75
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.simaruba View Post
    You mean on this blog? That Owl's sub-name is desert pelican. There are no deserts around Tampa Bay. But apologies for citing the profile, I thought they had my real name there. Now the only way for you to verify it is to go to the other blog and sent me a message then send one to me here too and ask me what is in them ... assuming they still have my address, of course. Or, you could drop this foolishness altogether and deal with the ideas.
    There's no foolishness, I actually just wanted to say Hi, if I know you. But never mind, stranger. Come to think of it, Owl was a philosophy professor at the U of Colorado. He had several issues with Objectivism. Here's a challenge for you if you want to tackle some ideas about Objectivism. http://home.sprynet.com/~owl1/rand.htm
    "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. #76
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.simaruba View Post
    Pseudo,

    "We can't choose not to die, only to prolong our lives."

    The choice to prolong life is the choice of life. In other words, the actual choice open to you is to maximize the potential of your nature. That it will inevitably end some day is irrelevant to your choice whether or not to maximize its potential so long as you do exist. It is that choice that necessitates that you identify the values necessary to achieve that maximization of your potential—specifically to assemble a set of principles in a code of values to guide your choices towards your goal. That code is what we call ethics.

    "the choice is based in whether our current condition is better than our expectations of the condition of being dead."

    Precisely my point. What you are missing here is that the motive is irrelevant. Only the choice matters. Only the choice gives rise to the need for ethics. It is also important that you get that it is not just prolonging life, a purely quantitative value, but rather maximizing the potential of one's life. Life in this context is not a synonym for mere existence.

    "It doesn't seem to follow that it's immoral to violate the rights of others while claiming them for yourself, if you accept the idea that to you (as an individual whose fundamental goal is your own life) your continued existence is more valuable than their continued existence."

    Absent force, there is no such conflict of values. On the contrary other benevolent, productive men are a benefit to my life. In the context of normal everyday life, your existence does not threaten mine, nor mine, yours.

    "If it comes down to your life versus their rights, what wins?"

    Then the context is a different one. The principle that your life is your highest value persists, but the specific relationships are changed due to circumstances beyond your control; and there are two:

    1) your life is threatened by force from another. In that case, the one threatening you has no rights to claim. One cannot claim a right one is violating. If the threat is not of immediate death, "the rule of law" wins because you need to sustain it for the benefit of your own life, so you call the police.

    2) your life is threatened by an emergency circumstance in which sustaining the right of another would result in your immediate death. In that case, rights cease to be a consideration. It would be a self contradiction for an individual or a society to define the right to life in such a way that sustaining it would result in one's death.

    For example: If you are suddenly overcome by a freak enduring blizzard while hiking and you will die if you do not find food and shelter, you may morally break into a cabin to survive. If the society you live in has not accommodated such situations in its laws, you will be violating a political right (and the rule of law), but it will still be a moral act. The proper action afterwards to restore your political rights in that society would be to offer the owner restitution and throw oneself on the mercy of the court.


    " ...since we are not altruists there is no moral need for me allocate my resources [to] the poor regardless of what might become of them..."

    There are plenty of reasons why one would voluntarily give aid to others who are poor that are in one's long-term self interest. Even anonymously to a stranger if for no other reason than the intensity of one's value for innocent life in general. But only if one can afford it. Altruism is something else entirely. It demands that one harm one's own life in order to benefit that of another, and to do it solely for a blindly asserted duty to do so. Rand asks those who advocate that, "by what standard do you claim the life of another?"

    "Also Rand was in favor of the right to abortion ... which indicates to me that she saw nothing significant in the the fact that an embryo could become a living entity. Life in general doesn't seem to have any special value, only life of the individual. "

    1) Valuing life in general is a psychological value entirely contingent on it not causing one harm. That is to say, valuing life in general does not preclude the choice to kill the person about to shoot you, the vicious animal chasing you, or the insect that carries malaria. Nor does it preclude one from aborting a fetus.

    Political rights are granted to others in order to claim them for oneself. If as an individual, rational, volitional human being you need to claim the right to autonomy, then you must grant the same right to all others who are also human individuals so long as they reciprocate in kind. Fetuses are not individual human beings, infants are.

    2) There are no contradictions in reality, only in man's erroneous identifications of same. Consequently there cannot be any conflict between the rights of one individual and the rights of another. Granting rights to a fetus would create precisely such a conflict between the rights of the mother and the alleged rights of the fetus—an inherent contradiction of reality, and hence immoral.
    Will have to agree to disagree about the issue of force. I'm not convinced.

    On the subject of the appreciation of life though. All the examples you gave
    Besides the fetus do dire t harm to the individual, heap ordaining their life, but a fetus does not.

    Also the argument that granting rights to a fetus would cause an immoral contradiction seems backwards. You seemed to be saying before that our rights are derived from our status as humans and our house of life. If a fetus has rights they aren't dependent on out "granting" them such rights but on their status as a person/non-person/potentially person. And you stated before that even as infants we make the choice to live before being cognizant of the value of life. So isn't a fetus, by the simple fact that it continues to develop, choosing life and their for entitled to rights?

  7. #77
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo View Post
    Will have to agree to disagree about the issue of force. I'm not convinced.

    On the subject of the appreciation of life though. All the examples you gave
    Besides the fetus do dire t harm to the individual, heap ordaining their life, but a fetus does not.

    Also the argument that granting rights to a fetus would cause an immoral contradiction seems backwards. You seemed to be saying before that our rights are derived from our status as humans and our house of life. If a fetus has rights they aren't dependent on out "granting" them such rights but on their status as a person/non-person/potentially person. And you stated before that even as infants we make the choice to live before being cognizant of the value of life. So isn't a fetus, by the simple fact that it continues to develop, choosing life and their for entitled to rights?
    I don't really care for any of Rand's confused representations all designed to justify her "instincts" (yes, she used the words "my instincts" in one of her early journal entries). But it's an interesting exercise to analyze her fallacies, most of which are simple ad homs, or begging the question.
    "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.”

  8. #78
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Here's a Rand quote from my Objectivist Research Cd-rom:

    "Some day I'll find out whether I'm an unusual specimen of humanity in that my instincts and reason are so inseparably one, with the reason ruling the instincts. Am I unusual or merely normal and healthy? Am I trying to impose my own peculiarities as a philosophical system? Am I unusually intelligent or merely unusually honest? I think this last. Unless—honesty is also a form of superior intelligence."

    Wasn't she amazing?
    "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. #79

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    I think there's a phase in late teens or early twenties, its particularly male too, in which thinkers and some feelers get really infatuated with politics, for different reasons but broadly because they're learning to regulate strong affects, ie an idea with a strong emotional component, in the UK and Europe I still think that its socialism, anarchism, ecologism and possibly feminism which are the vehicles for this, in some mainland European nations I think nationalism or patriotism, yes, even with an ethno-centric aspect is still strong. In the US I think its objectivism. Or libertarian creedos.

    I also think that as you get older whatever the hue or colour of your politics its inclined to take on a conservative character, I dont mean that in either the fiscal or cultural senses particularly, certainly not the political affiliation, just that its associated with norms and values which are no longer en vogue, ie you dont open a recently published work of non-fiction turn to the contents or index and find the same key words which you'd have checked in the same books or sources years ago.

    Just some of my observations, it links in with the essays I saw going around the web a while back from someone who had written an essay about "why I'm not a libertarian anymore" or something like that, describing an honest gravitation towards and then away from objectivism and capitalism, then towards a highly idiosyncratic eco-anarchist-primitivist constellation of ideas and I think finally reaching the mundanity of liberal or social democratic ideas.

    On the left its been considered with books like The Rebel Sell and there's a tradition on the left, since Orwell at least, of loyal opposition and self-loathing which some how turns out productively, but the right hasnt really ever had that, there's not the same process resulting in moderation. If anything increased militancy and little in the way of reality checks, in fact they take the left wings reality checks as vindications of what they thought all along.

  10. #80
    Whisky Old & Women Young Speed Gavroche's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    What's that insufferable Franglais word? Jolie-laide? Or just, what, laide-laide?
    Hannah H could be considered as a jolie-laide, Simone de B and Ayn R are just ugly.

    And all of theses chicks are mediocre writers, not philosophers.
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