Betsy Speicher

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Everything posted by Betsy Speicher

  1. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    "Logical" arguments from false premises prove nothing.
  2. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    You are seriously mistaken about what constitutes "a proper understanding of Objectivist ethics." It shows in most of what you have written so far. You misunderstand or seem unfamiliar with basic concepts like individual rights, the nature and proper role of government, the necessity of defining terms and of supporting conclusions with something more than just a quote from Ayn Rand, etc. This is Objectivism 101 stuff. Since you say you love Rand, maybe we can help. Give us an idea about what you've read or heard about Ayn Rand and what you find most interesting and attractive in that. Then we could give you leads for further study that will fill in the gaps of your knowledge. Once you get a better grounding in Objectivist principles, the rest of us might be better able to help you apply them to specific cases. Many of us here on THE FORUM have studied Objectivism for decades. I myself have read all of Rand's books and have attended lectures on Objectivism for more than fifty years -- including with Ayn Rand herself in the 1960's and 1970's -- but it's hard for me to communicate with someone who presumes to tell me what "a proper understanding of Objectivist ethics" is while not knowing many of Ayn Rand's most fundamental ideas.
  3. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    As I wrote before, "The People" cannot grant ownership rights that they don't have, but let's assume you simply mean all the individuals who have acquired property rights by using the river. Any one of them can sell or give their property rights to the government, but that's not binding on the other people who have an ownership right to the same entity. If I fish in the river, I have no right to sell or give away the rights of someone who swims in the river. Also, it is untrue that the government is the only entity that individuals can sell or give their rights to natural resources to. They can also sell or give them to another individual, a corporation, a non-profit organization, or to their grandchildren.
  4. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    Only individuals have rights. "The People" is a collective and does not have rights. How can an entity like "The People" which does not have property rights delegate them to another entity? If I don't own your car, I can't "delegate" it's use to somebody else.
  5. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    This is not true and it is not the Objectivist position. While physical things that are not created by man and are not used by individuals are unowned, those things, if used by individuals, are owned by those individuals who acquire ownership by such use.
  6. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    No it wouldn't. Such a claim would contradict too many facts of history, too many facts of economics, too many facts of established law, and too many of Ayn Rand's own explicit statements and principles. Faced with all those contradictions, such a claim would be a premise that should be checked -- and rejected.
  7. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    Are you saying that the owner of property can never transfer ownership by trade or gift? It's one thing to say that ownership of a product begins with a producer, but quite another that it always stays with the producer. Where did Ayn Rand ever say that?
  8. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    According to Rand, it certainly does. If you think otherwise, let's have a cite.
  9. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    But all individuals don't have the right to use natural resources. Specific uses of natural resources are either owned by someone who first uses them (or purchased from a previous owner) or they are unowned. There's no way to violate anybody's rights to unowned material things. As for violations of rights to owned property, the owner can press charges for criminal violations and/or sue civilly for damages without the government having any kind of ownership.
  10. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    That is not what Rand meant at all. If you think otherwise, can you quote something she wrote which supports your reading of Rand?
  11. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    Such government "protection" would require the government, in fact, to initiate the use of force against people who have forced no one. And just who would do the delegating of these rights to the government? The people who don't have a right to the natural resource? (Having the "potential" to use a resource does not confer a property right. Only actual use does.) If they do have a right to a resource, what happens if they object to the government telling them what to do with their own property?
  12. Lautner's Silvertop is up for sale.

    Not at all. It's in great shape but the owner, Mrs. Burchill, is a widow in her 90's and was living alone in that 4000+ sq ft home. She will be moving in with her children and I think they're just trying to cash out quickly.
  13. Lautner's Silvertop is up for sale.

    Silvertop is one of Lautner's best and the $7.5 million asking price is a steal. The Bob Hope house was on the market for $50 million and recent sales of other Lautner homes have been over $20 million.
  14. Lautner's Silvertop is up for sale.

    That was Stephen's favorite Lautner house until Jim Goldstein bought and updated the Sheats house.
  15. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    What does "determination of use" mean and could you give some examples?
  16. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    I own the book, but the reason I can't copy it is because, if I do, I don't own the copy I made. It's a different thing than the copy I bought. The main point, however, is that ownership always means the actions you can take with a physical object and nothing more. What else could it possibly -- and properly -- mean?
  17. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    That's incorrect because "ownership" means having a property right -- the right to use and dispose of -- a specific material object in a specific way. Owning and having a property right are exactly the same thing. Why would you think otherwise?
  18. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    There are a few incorrect assumptions here. Once I own a copy of Atlas Shrugged, only I can say how that copy is used and disposed of. I can do anything I want to with it and nobody can or should stop me. The only thing I can't do is copy it. The copy does not belong to me. Also, the copyright is owned by the Estate of Ayn Rand, i.e., Leonard and Cynthia Peikoff. The Ayn Rand Institute is a totally separate entity. If ARI wants to publish an Ayn Rand essay on their website, they have to get permission from the Estate.
  19. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    As a consequence, individuals can have different property rights -- different freedoms of action -- in regard to the same physical object. For instance, I own a copy of Atlas Shrugged and I can read it, write notes in it, or sell it, but I can't make copies of it and sell the copies. The Estate of Ayn Rand owns the copyright to all physical copies of the book including mine. I own the land under my home but not the mineral rights and that means I can build a swimming pool but not drill for oil in my back yard.
  20. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    This dilemma could easily be resolved by recognizing the riparian rights of the people downstream to boat, fish, etc. in clear water and those upstream to the use of previously unflooded land for farming, building structures, etc. Any of them could get an injunction to prevent the building of the dam if they could prove it would be harmful. There's no need for government ownership when private owners have a way of looking out for and protecting their own rights.
  21. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

  22. Don't shutdown the forum!

    I would rather have THE FORUM's content available in a form I could control rather than on
  23. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    If someone's rights have been violated, then that person can sue for damages in a civil court and collect. If someone acted with intent to cause harm, he could be tried as a criminal. In neither case would government ownership of the property be necessary.
  24. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    The court shouldn't rule against the AJ Company.
  25. Objectivist Environmental Ethics

    Jones's right to use the stream have been violated, he would go to court, sue AJ for damages, and he would win. So would the fishermen and boaters who used the stream.