masked

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About masked

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  • Birthday 12/07/1982

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Indiana USA
  1. Drinking & Driving

    I think that the only reason a DUI makes sense is because we do not have a choice on the safety of the routes that we choose. I'm talking about "public property". If we only had private roads, the owners could set their own rules and make sure that the rules make sense. I would pay ten times more to use a road that allows me to drive drunk if the owner figured out a way to prevent my drinking from impacting anyone outside of my car. I would probably take that same road even if I was sober just to make sure that I'm safe. I'm not saying that this is possible, but the point that I'm making is that each road has a different driving difficulty, which could be improved with intelligent street protections, and the rules should be set in a way that makes the most sense per that difficulty. This is why I hate public roads...
  2. Ethical question

    I think that the only unethical act that this doctor can do by pursuing he is to knowingly mislead the woman. If he is honest and to his knowledge he is not leading her to make false assumptions, he is being ethical. Basically, I would not isolate myself from people who are vulnerable, but I would not take advantage of them. I do think that this is unprofessional, which has to do with business and not with ethics. If I employee someone, I don't want them to hit on my clients because it could result in a loss of revenue.
  3. Initiation of Force

    I have two questions that I hope will help me understand the idea of Initiation of Force. The first question is about the meaning of the word force. In my mind, force is physical, but I have a reason to believe that it is not limited to that definition when Objectivists talk about it. For instance, imagine someone pointing a gun at you and telling you to give them all of your money. There is obviously no physical force that is applied unless the person fires the weapon, but I'm guessing that this is still considered an initiation of force. Can someone please explain to me how pointing a gun, without shooting it, or laying/cheating can be an initiation of force? My second question is a about rape. I'm reading one of Ayn Rand's books in which the main character "rapes" a woman. In all honesty it sounds more like BDSM, but the book defines it as rape. Can someone explain to me the ethical viewpoint on rape? I mean, is all "rape" unethical or is there things that we, as a society, define as rape which is actually not unethical (like age restrictions). Lastly, what about people who have sex with someone who is intoxicated. Is there a way to know when that person is initiating force? Thank you in advance.
  4. Some questions about Rand's Ethics

    I'm not an expert or anything, but I'll give it a try. It is the reasoning behind the caring that I think is important. For instance, should a smart hardworking person help someone because of guilt or because of happiness? If you help people because it makes YOU happy than great. I have a lot of people that I love and I do a lot for them, but it is only because it makes me happy to see them happy. Hopefully this makes sense. - Max
  5. Galt's motor

    I don't think that handing the motor over to the State is the same thing as free trade with places like China because giving and trading is not the same. Also, why would he hand the motor to the government, what good would that do him?
  6. Patents

    I'm trying to understand the application of Objectivism to the time limit on patents. I looked at some quotes by Ayn Rand's on the subject, such as: It would be very helpful if you guys could answer some of these questions in order to help me. 1.) What is the logical argument that concludes that intellectual property rights cannot be exercised in perpetuity? 2.) How does one use reason to set the actual time limit on a particular patent? 3.) Besides a time limit, what other limitations should patents have? 4.) How should patents be enforced on a global scale? Thank you in advance.
  7. Antibiotic Regulation

    There are a lot of papers that promote regulation of antibiotics. This is an example of the argument that a lot of them make: Because the misuse of antibiotics promotes the spread of bacterial resistance, the use of antibiotics must be regulated. Here is an example of such an article: http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~wilkins...ntibiotics.html I was not able to apply Objectivism to solve the problem of increased bacterial resistance and it would be very helpful if you guys could answer some of these questions in order to help me. 1.) Are there any Objectivist arguments against government regulation of antibiotics? 2.) Is there an alternative to government regulation of antibiotics? 3.) In theory, how would a society of Objectivists approach development, production, distribution, regulation, exports/imports of antibiotics? 4.) (I know that this is a stretch) If country A is using antibiotics in a way that endangers the lives of people in country B, can country B use force to stop them (assuming that diplomacy failed)? I know that I'm asking a lot. Thank you in advance.
  8. Confused about enlightened self-interest

    RaynK, I just asked a second off topic question. My first one was answered in full. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.
  9. Confused about enlightened self-interest

    Thank you for the responses! The following passage by Alexis de Tocqueville in his book Democracy in America sums up the concept of enlightened self-interest: The Americans, on the contrary, are fond of explaining almost all the actions of their lives by the principle of interest rightly understood; they show with complacency how an enlightened regard for themselves constantly prompts them to assist each other, and inclines them willingly to sacrifice a portion of their time and property to the welfare of the state. (Ibid., 647) Enlightened self-Interest poses the question of whether or not it is to the advantage of a person to work for the good of all. Murphy asserts that it is not a natural inclination to do so, but learned through practice (2002). Yet, the answer may lie in the evidence that the virtue of working together is useful to those involved. Thanks System Builder, I think that this makes perfect sense. ewv, I would love to hear Leonard Peikoff's lecture series on the history of western philosophy! Do you know where I can get them for free? This is a bit off subject, but do you guys look over other philosophies too? I like to argue so I always feel empowered when reading over other viewpoints and preparing my responses in advance. Perhaps intelligent people like Ayn Rand can do it on the spot, but I need time to think things over. That is actually how I ended up finding Ayn Rand's writing and changing all of my beliefs
  10. I've been reading about enlightened self-interest and it sounds like it promotes the same actions as Objectivism, but with the focus on benefiting the group as opposed to focusing on benefiting the individual. So is it similar to altruism, Objectivism, or is it something completely different? Thank you in advance for your explanation!
  11. Application of Objectivism on rights

    System Builder & Paul's Here, I don't have a lot of experience writing posts such as these. I apologize for the lack of sufficient introductory information. The immediate purpose of this post is to test the logic of my argument against formidable opponents. I confess that I knew that most of the users on this forum are likely to disagree with my logic (or at least with my conclusion), but because I approach the subject respectfully and use my understanding of Objectivism I hope that I can provoke discussion with out making anyone feel annoyed or angry (AKA without being perceived as a troll). I am attempting to present my unorthodox position while maintaining legitimacy as a reasonable thinker. Having said that, I would like to add that I will ignore replies that are loaded with disrespectful implications based merely on emotion instead of reasoning. The extended purpose of this post is to solidify my personal philosophical position on real life topics. Ayn Rand's writing has been very helpful in accomplishing this in the past and I am hoping that I can extend the application of her writing to other areas of interest that she did not cover directly. I am sure that my ability to do this will depend on my understanding of her philosophical position and this undertaking will hopefully strengthen my understanding of Ayn Rand's arguments. I have been reading Ayn Rand for a while now and I have most of her books. I thought of this argument while reading Ayn Rands views on abortion. In order to prepare for presenting this argument I read more of her writing on rights and abortion. My first task was to see if I could find anything in her writing that would objectively contradict my argument. I did find a possible subjective contradiction, but without being able to ask Ayn Rand its meaning, I feel that it's impossible to interpret it as an absolute contradiction. This is the quote that I am talking about: "Since Man has inalienable individual rights, this means that the same rights are held, individually, by every man, by all men, at all times." This can be interpreted as a contradiction because it states that all men have rights. The reason that I view this as subjective is because it is only a contradiction if you take the word "man" to mean all living human beings. If you look at Ayn Rands' writing on abortion it becomes clear that not all human beings (using the scientific definition of human) have rights. So the real question is when (in terms of the human development) do rights begin? This is where I diverge from a lot of accepted Objectivist standards. Take for instance this essay by Andrew Lewis Abortion: When do rights begin? It states that, "Individual rights begin at birth, with the creation of a new, separate human being." I think that we can all agree that a child has no more ability to reason immediately after birth than he or she did immediately prior to birth. So what is it that makes newborns "men" right after birth? As Andrew Lewis puts it, it is the physical separation from the mother. I question this conclusion. The physical separation simply transforms the dependency of a human being from a dependency on a single person to being dependent on many possible human beings. I don't believe that this change in dependency makes anyone more or less a "man". This is the closest statement by Ayn Rand that I did find on this subject of rights and birth: Lastly, thank you for your suggestion on using better examples. I agree that I could have used an example with a person on a life-support machine. The reason that I did use the newborn example is that it was my reading on abortion that lead me here and thus it was the topic to which I had tried to apply my argument.
  12. This is a philosophical argument to show that if a living being cannot support its own life, then that being does not have any rights. My understanding is that a right is simply freedom of action. A right to live means that no one can stop anyone else from living. Since living is the process of self-sustaining, the right to life therefore means the right to engage in self-sustaining action. It does not, however, mean that anyone has to help you live. For example, a newborn cannot sustain him or herself and is dependent on a caregiver to fulfill his or her needs. At the same time, the caregiver has the right to refuse to support the child, as denying that right would be a form of slavery. Since the child cannot support him or herself, abandonment by the caregiver implies that the caregiver (indirectly) has the right to stop the child from living. If someone has the right to stop another person from living, it means that person does not have the right to live. If a living being does not have the right to live, it cannot have any other rights, because all these depend directly on the right to live. Please let me know if there is something illogical in my argument.
  13. Why I’d be a Muslim

    Let's for the moment ignore the irony of using the "reasoning" of the Gospels to make statements about a religion (or anything). The way a philosophy or a religion manifests is not necessarily representative of the principles of that philosophy or religion. Atlas Shrugged serves as a perfect example. To us, the main characters were fighting for life, freedom, and reason, but to everyone else they were terrorists. It was not the ideas of Islam that drove Ragnar Danneskjöld to become a pirate. It was Objectivism.