Paul's Here

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Posts posted by Paul's Here

  1. "Reason is the faculty by which man grasps truth. Logic is the instrument of reason, the means by which it operates."

    Is this entirely true, and are these definitions valid? Do objections come to mind?

    1. Your description is not a definition because it does not distinguish how man grasps truth. Nor does it distinguish reason as a faculty from other descriptions, such as "Reason] is a faculty that man has to exercise by choice." (AR Lexicon). Your statement is a rewording of Rand's "Reason is man’s tool of knowledge." Not a denfition.

    2. Same issues for logic. Also, using the concept "instrument" in the definition implies some kind of mechanistic process. As thinking and reasoning are processes, logic must include that as an essential element of its definition without implying an element of instrumental mechanism. In this case, your genus and differentia need work for a correct definition. What distinguishes logic from other instruments of reason?

  2. Paul's Here Said:

    Again, you are missing the main point that has been made in this thread: that rights are actions of use and disposal of things, not to things themselves. Rights of ownership and property pertain to the same thing: the right to use and dispose of something. Whether it be books, houses, patents, copyrights, water, rivers, lakes, ground, trees, etc. Man-made or predating man's existence, the right of use and disposal of the things is guided by the same principle.


    Hello Paul. I claim I am not missing the point. Rand never said that ownership rights do not apply to objects, in fact she said the opposite in her discussion of copyright laws. The copyright symbol @ is not a floating abstract concept unrelated to use of a material good produced, it is an objective language object with identity that is attached to another objective object produced by a human mind. The @ symbol is a symbol of ownership of the object that only the producer, as owner, can legally hold. Ownership of an object is not a floating abstraction separated some a thing that exists. However, ownership of an object is a different concept than a property right to make use of an object.

    Rand also explained that the act of placement of the @ ownership symbol on an object is an act of volition, an act restricted to the producer of the object, e.g., the producer may or may not decide to place a symbol of ownership on an object they produced. It is the producer that sets the terms how the object may or may not be used by others. In situations where an owner decides not to place the @ symbol on what they produce, the result of that action is that the owner can make no future claim to ownership and during a trade both an ownership right and a property right "to use" of the object is transfered to another person. However, if the producer decides to place a @ symbol on the object they own, the producer maintains ownership right of the object itself and only transferrs property right to use the object. Thus, while it correct to say that during such a trade the property right is not a right to own an object, this does not mean that ownership rights can NEVER exist for an object, they can, such rights exist for the initial producer of the object and that right is legally protected via laws and rules by the Objective symbol, @, but, iff, the producer decides to exercise such ownership right by the act of placing the @ symbol on the object.


    Now, let us discuss the abstract, how do we place a @ symbol on a natural resource such as a flowing river ? Who is the producer, the only entity with a right to place such a symbol ? The only rational answer is nature, nature produced the river, thus only nature can claim ownership of that which it produced. Thus it is nature that directly holds the @ ownership proxi on natural resources, not humans, the same way the Estate of Ayn Rand holds a @ ownership proxi on all the books written by Rand. Now, Rand specifically stated that in a proper Objectivist society there exists a proper role of citizens to grant what she termed "custodial rights" specifically to natural resource, to the government.

    Thus Rand said that citizens can delegate rights to government if they so wish to delegate (see the quote above in my reply to Betsy). Custodian rights to natural resources delegated by citizens to the government allow the government to define objective and rational uses of those resources for all citizens in the nation in such a way that protects the property right uses of all individuals...this is what Rand said, not me. So, what are the proper uses of natural resources that Rand allows governments to define and protect via laws and rules as custodians ? Rand never discussed these details, that is the pupose and motivation why I began this thread topic.


    Rand did not say "citizens can delegate rights to government if they so wish to delegate." See my post above. Such consent applies only to the use of physical force and self defense. As has been mentioned before, if there is no ownership, how can citizens delegate ownership rights to the government since they don't have such rights to delegate? You're statement is a logical fallacy.

    So, on to your question. "What are the proper uses of natural resources that Rand allows governments to define and protect via laws and rules as custodians?" My answer is NONE. The only rules that are needed are the laws needed to establish ownership rights and how to protect the rights of those who earn the right to own the previously unowned property. "The proper use of natural resources" is outside the province of governmental laws.

  3. Rand explained the process this way (1) the source of government authority is the consent of the governed..

    No, it's not. According to Rand, the source of a government's authority is that it has a legal monopoly on the use of physical force. The source of a proper government's authority is the need to to put the use of retaliatory force under objective control.

    (2) the People grant the government a right to act as a custodian of ownerless resources,

    Betsy, I respect your opinion, but here you are doing what you claim I am doing, not presenting an accurate account of what Rand did and did not say. Rand specifically said that the source of government authority is the conscent of the governed, see here from AR Lexicon:


    Quote of Ayn Rand:

    The source of the government’s authority is “the consent of the governed.” This means that the government is not the ruler, but the servant or agent of the citizens; it means that the government as such has no rights except the rights delegated to it by the citizens for a specific purpose.


    “The Nature of Government,”

    The Virtue of Selfishness, 110


    Your opinion that when Rand said the government can act as a custodian only in relation to an individual contract is not proper within the context of the statement she made about the right of government to act as custodian of natural resources. She was talking about the Hometead Act and asking the question....

    should the government own the land given to individuals via the act, and she said that in a proper Objectivist society that land would have been granted by the citizens of the nation to the government to act as a custodian, with power to define Objective rules and laws how the people could make use of the land.


    To answer your question, I claim to love Rand because I love my life. I just do not see how anyone on this forum needs to inform me why or why not my thinking on this issue is true or false.

    Could we please stay on topic....I wait for a reply to my question that I modified based on comments this a proper role of government, what is the argument from Objectivist philosophy ?

    1. The government in the context of environmental issues has a right to property ownership if such right is delegated to it by the citizens for a specific purpose, a delegation process specifically allowed by Rand..

    You are missing the entire context that Rand uses the "consent of the governed" to apply to. Let's provide it here (

    The nature of the laws proper to a free society and the source of its government’s authority are both to be derived from the nature and purpose of a proper government. The basic principle of both is indicated in the Declaration of Independence: “to secure these [individual] rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed . . .”

    Since the protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of a government, it is the only proper subject of legislation: all laws must be based on individual rights and aimed at their protection. All laws must be objective (and objectively justifiable): men must know clearly, and in advance of taking an action, what the law forbids them to do (and why), what constitutes a crime and what penalty they will incur if they commit it.

    The source of the government’s authority is “the consent of the governed.” This means that the government is not the ruler, but the servant or agent of the citizens; it means that the government as such has no rights except the rights delegated to it by the citizens for a specific purpose.

    There is only one basic principle to which an individual must consent if he wishes to live in a free, civilized society: the principle of renouncing the use of physical force and delegating to the government his right of physical self-defense, for the purpose of an orderly, objective, legally defined enforcement. Or, to put it another way, he must acceptthe separation of force and whim (any whim, including his own).

    The consent of the governed applies only to the principle of renouncing the use of physical force and delegating the right of self defense to the government. There is no implication of delegating ownership rights, or any other rights, to the government.

  4. 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?

    Yes, that is what I am saying. Let me ask, if Rand did "ever say that", would you agree with her, that is, would such a claim made by Rand be consistent with a rational Objectivist philosophy ?

    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.

    OK, I am not making myself clear. What I am saying is that ownership of a material good begins with the producer and stays with the producer until such time that the producer legally transfers 'ownership' rights to another. However, if the producer decides not to transfer ownership, under an Objectivist ethics, they have a right as the producer not to transfer ownership, yet at the same time transfer a property right for others to make use of the material good with restrictions such as copyright laws. This is how Rand expressed this concept:

    "You cannot obtain the products of a mind except on the owner’s terms, by trade and by volitional consent." (Ayn Rand)

    If with this comment Rand does not allow a producer to transfer only a property right on their terms via a trade yet maintain ownership rights, where does the government get the right in an Objectivist society that constrains the rights of the producer in this way ?

    If anyone thinks they have rational ownership plus property rights to any book they purchased that was written by Ayn Rand, then make copies of the book and begin to sell them for a profit. I predict that the Estate of Ayn Rand will inform you that while you do have a rational property right to use the book as you wish, you do not legally have an ownership right to do the same. If this is not the legal basis of their argument, what is it in Objectivist terms ?

    The above is quite different from what you've expressed before. Nothing that I would disagree with.

    What I am trying to say is that a proper understanding of Objectivist ethics recognizes that the terms ownership rights and property rights ARE NOT THE SAME CONCEPT. They are two separate concepts given the different meanings of the two words ownership and property.

    I do not see how this understanding in any way contradicts Objectivist philosophy.

    Again, you are missing the main point that has been made in this thread: that rights are actions of use and disposal of things, not to things themselves. Rights of ownership and property pertain to the same thing: the right to use and dispose of something. Whether it be books, houses, patents, copyrights, water, rivers, lakes, ground, trees, etc. Man-made or predating man's existence, the right of use and disposal of the things is guided by the same principle.

  5. How do you go from "You cannot obtain the products of a mind..." to you cannot own the object you've traded for, all you get is the "right to use the product produced, and on the owners terms and only by the owner"? If I sell something, the terms are that the other person now owns it.

  6. Thus, my reading of Rand is that only an owner of a material good has ultimate right to determine how that good is used under all possible uses.

    This doesn't make sense. If a possible use for a car is to run over people, as the owner of the car, I have a right to determine that it is used that way? The examples could be multiplied many times.

    Also, to say that I don't own a book because I can't use it any and every way, your conclusion doesn't follow. In any trade, ownership is recognized within the context of the conditions of the sale. If I buy a gun from a gun shop, he's selling it to me on condition that I use it legally. If the gun shop owner were to sell me the gun with the knowledge or assumption that I was going to kill someone or rob a bank, the gun shop owner would be legally accountable for my use of the gun.

  7. Are you saying that if farmer Jones had started to use the stream flowing on his property to water his cows after AJ company had long been discharging the toxic waste water that Jones would have no legal recourse under an Objectivist ethics ?

    That's correct. In law, it is called the Doctrine of Coming to the Nuisance (link).

    Why would any court rule again AJ company if they had prior stream water use rights to legally discharge the wastes products derived from activities that resulted in productive actions, products to sell, jobs, etc ?

    The court shouldn't rule against the AJ Company.

    AJ company only has the right to pollute his own property, not his neighbours cows. Once the pollution moves off AJ's property, he should be held accountable for damages done by it. Unless one grants the government the right to allow some to do harm to others.

    Not so simple. If you build a house next to an airport, you can't then complain there's too much noise. If you build your house next to a garbage dump, don't complain about the smell.

  8. I've been wondering why I haven't had a HDD crash in so many years. It appears that the manufacturer's have figured out a way to statistically separate out the drives headed for the consumer market from those headed for the government market. Apparently, all the ones with a greater likelihood of failure were sent to government bureaucrats.

  9. Hello,

    I am new to this forum and was told by the administrator that it is not very active, but I thought I would start this topic with hope someone will be able to discuss the issue.


    Suppose a company named AJ owns property near a stream and produces a product for profit. During the manufacturing process a liquid waste is produced that contains heavy metals at such concentrations that it is known via experiments that the waste water will kill living organisms.


    Next, suppose that the owner of AJ decides to discharge the waste water into a stream that flows onto land property owned by a farmer Jones, and that 80% of the cows owned by Jones die from drinking the stream water that contains the toxic waste (this fact is determined by the vet hired by the farmer to investigate the cause of death). Testing of the sediment in the stream on Jones property finds only heavy metals released by the company to be at toxic levels. Here I assume Rand would define the cows as property owned by the farmer. In this circumstance the stream water is owned by the government via state law.


    I'd like to challenge your assumption that the water would be owned by the government. In a proper society, all property is privately owned. The same principle that applies to land applies to water, as Betsy indicates. Why is violation of land rights different than water rights? Because the water moves from one location to another? Why does that affect the principle? Even with the issues of today that the state "owns" water, the same principle would apply. If someone dumps somenthing upstream that causes damage downstream, the polluter is (or should be) the legally responsible party. Observe that you are not allowed to dump waste on government land. Why should you be allowed to dump it in water?

  10. I agree with Erich's (ewv) assessment. One additional point that needs to be addressed is the lack of presentation of what the nature of the schisms, splits, and denunciations are about. Are you, Boethius, afraid of moral judgments? Why are the "Oists" the ones to compromise and ignore the nature of the disagreements? Are moral transgressions to be forgiven and ignored? If those who are being "denounced" deserve it by their own actions, why should we be concerned with other's perceptions of our behavior? Can I take your critique to imply that you routinely entertain liars, cheats, and psychological abusers to demonstrate your understanding of relationships and politics?

  11. Sarajevo assassination

    On 28 June 1914, Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand visited the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. A group of six assassins (Cvjetko Popović, Gavrilo Princip, Muhamed Mehmedbašić, Nedeljko Čabrinović, Trifko Grabež, Vaso Čubrilović) from the nationalist group Mlada Bosna, supplied by the Black Hand, had gathered on the street where the Archduke's motorcade would pass. Čabrinović threw a grenade at the car, but missed. It injured some people nearby, and Franz Ferdinand's convoy could carry on. The other assassins failed to act as the cars drove past them quickly. About an hour later, when Franz Ferdinand was returning from a visit at the Sarajevo Hospital, the convoy took a wrong turn into a street where, by coincidence, Princip stood. With a pistol, Princip shot and killed Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. The reaction among the people in Austria was mild, almost indifferent. As historian Zbyněk Zeman later wrote, "the event almost failed to make any impression whatsoever. On Sunday and Monday [June 28 and 29], the crowds in Vienna listened to music and drank wine, as if nothing had happened."[30][31]

    Crowds on the streets in the aftermath of the Anti-Serb riots in Sarajevo, 29 June 1914.
    Escalation of violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina

    However, in Sarajevo itself, Austrian authorities encouraged[32][33] violence against the Serb residents, which resulted in the Anti-Serb riots of Sarajevo, in which Croats and Bosnian Muslims killed two ethnic Serbs and damaged numerous Serb-owned buildings. The events have been described as having the characteristics of a pogrom. Writer Ivo Andrić referred to the violence as the "Sarajevo frenzy of hate."[34] Violent actions against ethnic Serbs were organized not only in Sarajevo, but also in many other large Austro-Hungarian cities in modern-day Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.[35] Austro-Hungarian authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina imprisoned and extradited approximately 5,500 prominent Serbs, 700 to 2,200 of whom died in prison. 460 Serbs were sentenced to death and a predominantly Muslim[36][37][38] special militia known as the Schutzkorps was established and carried out the persecution of Serbs.[39]

  12. Thanks for posting this. Most interesting example of intelligence in animals. On a perceptual level they can be very clever. I suspect it was trained in reverse so that memory, not planning is involved. Once it had success with the long stick, it was trained to overcome the obstacles to get to it.

    That may be true. They do mention that the bird was familiar with the individual tasks.