sean

"One must never fail to pronounce moral judgment"

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Is it immoral for an Objectivist to use a public library or even drive their car on a public road for that matter? Is it a case of well, were paying for it already, might as well use it?

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Is it immoral for an Objectivist to use a public library or even drive their car on a public road for that matter? Is it a case of well, were paying for it already, might as well use it?

A more then somewhat socialist friend of mine were just have an argument about the local Tea Party canceling their protest do to a weather report released by an organization that is paid for by the government. Wouldn't the moral thing to do have been to just go ahead and protest in spite the NWS.

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Is it immoral for an Objectivist to use a public library or even drive their car on a public road for that matter? Is it a case of well, were paying for it already, might as well use it?

A more then somewhat socialist friend of mine were just have an argument about the local Tea Party canceling their protest do to a weather report released by an organization that is paid for by the government. Wouldn't the moral thing to do have been to just go ahead and protest in spite the NWS.

If one didn't make or support the idea of public services, then it would be silly not to at least get some benefit from your taxes. You didn't make the rules, and if you did, then that is another matter.

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Is it immoral for an Objectivist to use a public library or even drive their car on a public road for that matter? Is it a case of well, were paying for it already, might as well use it?

You have been forced to pay for these services. If you do not get some use out of them you are doubly fleeced; the first time being taxed, the second time not getting any value back. So yes, it is a case of "well, were paying for it already, might as well use it". The alternative (getting nothing out of it) is worse.

Bob Kolker

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You have been forced to pay for these services. If you do not get some use out of them you are doubly fleeced; the first time being taxed, the second time not getting any value back. So yes, it is a case of "well, were paying for it already, might as well use it". The alternative (getting nothing out of it) is worse.

Bob Kolker

Indeed.

The government crowded out private investment into these services, so you have no or little alternative.

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Is it immoral for an Objectivist to use a public library or even drive their car on a public road for that matter? Is it a case of well, were paying for it already, might as well use it?

You have been forced to pay for these services. If you do not get some use out of them you are doubly fleeced; the first time being taxed, the second time not getting any value back. So yes, it is a case of "well, were paying for it already, might as well use it". The alternative (getting nothing out of it) is worse.

Bob Kolker

And who is to say that access to such services wouldn't be free or nearly free under capitalism?

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Is it immoral for an Objectivist to use a public library or even drive their car on a public road for that matter? Is it a case of well, were paying for it already, might as well use it?

Ayn Rand actually claimed that it was perfectly moral (well, maybe not "perfectly") for Objectivists to benefit from public services or aid. Here is her justification:

The recipient of a public scholarship is morally justified only so long as he regards it as restitution and opposes all forms of welfare statism. Those who advocate public scholarships, have no right to them; those who oppose them, have. If this sounds like a paradox, the fault lies in the moral contradictions of welfare statism, not in its victims.

Since there is no such thing as the right of some men to vote away the rights of others, and no such thing as the right of the government to seize the property of some men for the unearned benefit of others—the advocates and supporters of the welfare state are morally guilty of robbing their opponents, and the fact that the robbery is legalized makes it morally worse, not better. The victims do not have to add self-inflicted martyrdom to the injury done to them by others; they do not have to let the looters profit doubly, by letting them distribute the money exclusively to the parasites who clamored for it. Whenever the welfare-state laws offer them some small restitution, the victims should take it

. . . .

The same moral principles and considerations apply to the issue of accepting social security, unemployment insurance or other payments of that kind. It is obvious, in such cases, that a man receives his own money which was taken from him by force, directly and specifically, without his consent, against his own choice. Those who advocated such laws are morally guilty, since they assumed the “right” to force employers and unwilling co-workers. But the victims, who opposed such laws, have a clear right to any refund of their own money—and they would not advance the cause of freedom if they left their money, unclaimed, for the benefit of the welfare-state administration.

- Ayn Rand

Something Ayn Rand doesn't deal with in this quote (I don' know if she dealt with it elsewhere): what about services that continue to violate rights by there use? Social Security is a system, by the time you take money from it, the harm is done (through coercive taxation), but what about exploiting a legal system which coerces labor or money out of individuals (such as a doctor who has a legal obligation to treat you.)

In my mind, there's a marked difference between services like food-stamps, and those that continue to violate rights by using them. I have a hard time morally justifying the latter.

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And who is to say that access to such services wouldn't be free or nearly free under capitalism?

Certainly, not I. Andrew Carnegie who was a capitalist's capitalist established a system of free (to the end user) libraries so workingmen could get the benefits of reading good literature. I expect many of the "goodies" that Bountiful Government hands out to the people at taxpayer expense would be available in a society with minimal government.

I do volunteer work for an organization that provides recorded books to blind and dyslexic people. The end user does not pay, and we are financed primarily by voluntary donations, not government subsidy. The labor is mostly volunteer (I do recording as a volunteer)l.

Bob Kolker

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Something Ayn Rand doesn't deal with in this quote (I don' know if she dealt with it elsewhere): what about services that continue to violate rights by there use? Social Security is a system, by the time you take money from it, the harm is done (through coercive taxation), but what about exploiting a legal system which coerces labor or money out of individuals (such as a doctor who has a legal obligation to treat you.)

In my mind, there's a marked difference between services like food-stamps, and those that continue to violate rights by using them. I have a hard time morally justifying the latter.

I think it's morally justified if you've payed in more than you're taking out in social services. It's still the case of the double-whammy if you've payed in 100,000 dollars into unemployment, food stamps, or social security and take none back. My favorite example of this would be if someone up the street stole your sofa and recliner. You know he's out of the house and you can get them back. Is it moral to do so, even if you assume that taking your property back will mean he'll take someone else's? I would say yes -- there's no selfish justification for accepting an injustice done to yourself in order to save strangers of said injustice. And, also, provided that you're taking what practical options you can to end the sofa stealing altogether (in the case of social services -- speaking out against them, like John Stossel did with his subsidized house insurance).

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Is it immoral for an Objectivist to use a public library or even drive their car on a public road for that matter? Is it a case of well, were paying for it already, might as well use it?

A more then somewhat socialist friend of mine were just have an argument about the local Tea Party canceling their protest do to a weather report released by an organization that is paid for by the government. Wouldn't the moral thing to do have been to just go ahead and protest in spite the NWS.

If one didn't make or support the idea of public services, then it would be silly not to at least get some benefit from your taxes. You didn't make the rules, and if you did, then that is another matter.

That's a very tricky position. Using this logic, you would argue that it's okay to use the welfare system if you once had a job and paid your taxes. "Well, I didn't support the decision, but now that's there, you can't fault me for using it, can you?"

The argument could be, "Well, I'm just getting a smaller portion of my own money back... and if they didn't take my money through forced taxes, I wouldn't even need the welfare in the first place."

Still, I'm sure a lot of Objectivists would not take the welfare on princple.

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That's a very tricky position. Using this logic, you would argue that it's okay to use the welfare system if you once had a job and paid your taxes. "Well, I didn't support the decision, but now that's there, you can't fault me for using it, can you?"

The argument could be, "Well, I'm just getting a smaller portion of my own money back... and if they didn't take my money through forced taxes, I wouldn't even need the welfare in the first place."

Still, I'm sure a lot of Objectivists would not take the welfare on princple.

Ayn Rand gave her reasons why, and under what conditions, it was moral to accept government money in her essay titled "The Question of Scholarships" (Voice of Reason, p. 42)

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