Leonid

Jury Duty

41 posts in this topic

But in the example in question, Ruveyn isn't providing anything to anyone who will provide services in return should the potential become actual, in the way an insurance company will provide payments in exchange for premiums paid. He's just putting his effort out there in the hope that someone will do the same for him should it become necessary. There's no contract the way there is in an actual trade. It's like betting on "karma" to "do its thing" in one's own lifetime.

We humans survive best when we co-operate.It is to our mutual benefit; that is the trade. Unless one is prepared to turn down all assistance when one needs it, it is reasonable to give it when needed by others. We all need the justice system and should be prepared to contribute to it when it doesn't involve unreasonable personal cost.

I agree. I was merely observing that Ruveyn's example is not similar to insurance.

Non-destructive co-operation is a small price to pay for some of the benefits one might receive. I agree. The analogy to insurances is somewhat strained.,

ruveyn

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I take the attitude that if I hope to get a proper jury to hear a case in which I am involved, it behooves me to do the service I hope to receive. Why? Fair trade. Service for service. That is why I record books for the blind and dyslexic. One of these days I might be blind. I would like to get the service, which is why I am willing to provide it. Fair trade. Service for service. It is a matter of pride and honor that I am willing to give in order to get what I need. Value for value. Service for service. Fair trade.

One day you may break a leg. Why don't you produce crutches? This is a principle of Kantian universalization , not a trade principle.

It can be a principle of trade and, in this case, it seems to be. He is doing unto others as he would have them do unto him, the Golden Rule which long precedes Kant and which Ayn Rand endorsed as a "simple principle of justice."

"Universalization" is probably one of the few things that Kant got right.

There is not and cannot be a trade between actual and potential. The Golden rule and Universalization are categorical imperatives when the standard of value is others. This is the very source of Kantian altruism. Besides, what would happen if one is, say, a sadomasochist. Ayn Rand endorsed the Golden rule? I'd like to see a textual evidence. This is a Golden Rule critique from the Objectivist point of view. http://www.equil.net/?p=905

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There is not and cannot be a trade between actual and potential.

There certainly is and can be. Buying insurance is an example of trading an actual (money that I have) in exchange for a potential (reimbursement for damage from fire, theft, an accident, etc. that may, but probably won't, happen). So is trading in commodity futures or, for that matter, any contract in which you trade present money or perform services now in exchange for future money, goods, or services you may or may not receive. Do you acknowledge that such trades exist? Do you think that there is something wrong or improper about them> If not, what do you mean by "There is not and cannot be trade between actual and potential?" Could you give some concrete examples and/or some indication why you made that statement?

The Golden rule and Universalization are categorical imperatives when the standard of value is others.

They can be, but don't have to be. Some things do apply universally which is why we have universals -- i.e., concepts -- and we apply those concepts universally. I respect the rights of others on the grounds that they are human beings like me. I "universalize" the relationship of human nature and rights to others. Is there anything wrong with that?

/This is the very source of Kantian altruism.

No it's not. The problem with Kant is not that he "universalized" but that he universalized the wrong thing. He universalized selfless duty as the proper moral standard. Ayn Rand, on the other hand, universalized human life as the moral standard.

Besides, what would happen if one is, say, a sadomasochist.

That's where the Golden Rule does not apply. Any validity it may have presupposes a rational standard of value.

Ayn Rand endorsed the Golden rule? I'd like to see a textual evidence. This is a Golden Rule critique from the Objectivist point of view. http://www.equil.net/?p=905

I remember Ayn Rand saying during the Q + A of a lecture that the Golden Rule was a simple expression of justice and that we should not allow contradictions between the way we treat others and the way we wish them to treat us. I didn't find it in "Ayn Rand Answers" because it wasn't recorded but I did find:

No one has explained to you that the Golden Rule applies to politics: if certain conditions of social existence are unacceptable and unbearable to you, you cannot expect others to accept them and make them work—and what these conditions do to you, they do to "society as a whole." ["A Nation's Unity" The Ayn Rand Letter Vol. II, No. 1 October 9, 1972
Regarding the golden rule: "Do unto others as you'd want them to do unto you." This is used in support of altruism. In that way, it would imply that you must give out to charity because you want to be an object of charity yourself. Or—you must sacrifice yourself to others because you want them to sacrifice themselves to you. Actually, the golden rule can work only in application to my morality: you do not sacrifice yourself to others and you do not wish them to sacrifice themselves to you. You may want to be helped in an emergency or a catastrophe—but only in such cases. You consider such cases a calamity—not your normal and proper state of existence. You do not wish to live as an object of charity—and you do not hand charity out to others. [Journals of Ayn Rand Page 278]
6. You write: "Your insisting (rightly, I believe) that Mr. A, B and C have the same rights that you do, would seem to lead naturally to the Golden Rule... and to the Kantian categorical imperative .... "

My answer is that I base men's equal rights on a much deeper premise and issue than either of these two rules—and, therefore, these two rules are irrelevant to my ethics. I do not regard them as necessarily antagonistic to my ethics, but as irrelevant and unimportant by reason of their ambiguity and superficiality.

You state the best criticism of these two rules when you say that they are "content-less." With this, I agree emphatically. They tell us nothing about moral values nor what values men should choose nor what a man should wish for himself and others.

At best, these two rules are popular generalizations illustrating one aspect or consequence of the principle of objectivity or justice. I would agree with these two rules (on the popular level) only if they were translated to mean: "Do not wish, seek or advocate contradictions"—and then only if they were regarded as derivatives or consequences of deeper, antecedent moral premises, not as fundamental principles or definitions of moral action.

["Letters To A Philosopher" Letters of Ayn Rand, Page 557-558]

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There is not and cannot be a trade between actual and potential.

There certainly is and can be. Buying insurance is an example of trading an actual (money that I have) in exchange for a potential (reimbursement for damage from fire, theft, an accident, etc. that may, but probably won't, happen). So is trading in commodity futures or, for that matter, any contract in which you trade present money or perform services now in exchange for future money, goods, or services you may or may not receive. Do you acknowledge that such trades exist? Do you think that there is something wrong or improper about them> If not, what do you mean by "There is not and cannot be trade between actual and potential?" Could you give some concrete examples and/or some indication why you made that statement?

I disagree. In all those cases you are trading an actual for an actual: money for a contractual promise. If the other party fails to deliver on that promise, then he has engaged in fraud at the time he was supposed to fulfill his obligation. The potentials in the case of insurance are the fire, accident, etc., and you're not paying for those.

In the other cases, it's no different than paying a clerk for an item behind the counter - the clerk may or may not give you the item after you've handed over your money (or vice-versa, you many not hand over the money after the clerk gives you the item). The only difference in your examples is the amount of time that elapses between one side paying and the other side delivering. In all cases it's goods for goods.

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Insurance IS an actual trade. What I buy when I'm buying a policy is a peace of mind. Insurance companies sell security and ,as piz rightly observed, this security is part of contractual agreement. An example of the actual for potential trade is a reciprocal ethics., the Golden Rule and the Kantian imperative included. The Golden Rule is not a contractual agreement-my adherence to it doesn't ensure the adherence of others. Besides, if there are some cases to which the Golden Rule doesn't apply, it is not an universal rule and standard of value. Respect for others is not the result of universalization or any reciprocal ethics but simply a recognition of the fact that others are human rational beings and you respect them as such until they prove otherwise. If one uses the a rational standard of value he doesn't need the Golden Rule. Concepts don't have anything to do with the ethical principle of universalization as justice with the Golden rule, quite the opposite. Justice is judgement, or in Ayn Rand's words :"Justice is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake the character of men as you cannot fake the character of nature, that you must judge all men as conscientiously as you judge inanimate objects, with the same respect for truth, with the same incorruptible vision, by as pure and as rational a process of identification" (GS)

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Betsy " They can be, but don't have to be. Some things do apply universally which is why we have universals -- i.e., concepts -- and we apply those concepts universally."

Universals and universalization are different concepts. Universals belongs to the realm of epistemology and universalization-to ethics. Universalization is a premise that "X" is good if and only if one can made it an Universal Law, that is the Categorical imperative. Logically, this is a circular argument. Why is "X" good?-because I want it to be a Universal Law. Why do I want it?-because it is good. The standard of the good is collective and this is the root of altruism.

However, this discussion became sidetracked . I repeat my original question: How could the leading Objectivist and Ayn Rand's intellectual heir, when asked about what I regard as enforced servitude, that is -duty jury, answer: " I don't have a problem with it and that why..."

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Insurance IS an actual trade. What I buy when I'm buying a policy is a peace of mind. Insurance companies sell security and ,as piz rightly observed, this security is part of contractual agreement.

Peace of mind, although I value it, has never been mentioned in any of the dozens of insurance contracts I have ever signed. All they mention are premium payments, what is covered, how damage will be determined, limits of coverage, etc.

An example of the actual for potential trade is a reciprocal ethics., the Golden Rule and the Kantian imperative included. The Golden Rule is not a contractual agreement

Nobody is claiming that it is.

-my adherence to it doesn't ensure the adherence of others.

Neither does a contract. Contracts are breached all the time.

Besides, if there are some cases to which the Golden Rule doesn't apply, it is not an universal rule and standard of value. Respect for others is not the result of universalization or any reciprocal ethics but simply a recognition of the fact that others are human rational beings and you respect them as such until they prove otherwise. If one uses the a rational standard of value he doesn't need the Golden Rule.

I agree.

Concepts don't have anything to do with the ethical principle of universalization as justice with the Golden rule, quite the opposite. Justice is judgement, or in Ayn Rand's words :"Justice is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake the character of men as you cannot fake the character of nature, that you must judge all men as conscientiously as you judge inanimate objects, with the same respect for truth, with the same incorruptible vision, by as pure and as rational a process of identification" (GS)

I don't understand what you are trying to say or why this quote is relevant.

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Insurance IS an actual trade.

What you have bought and paid for is a promise from the insurance company that they will cover your damages or casualty under agreed upon circumstances. Most of the time people will be compensated as agreed upon, but shady insurance companies have been know to cheat and withhold payment or not pay in full.

ruveyn

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Insurance IS an actual trade. What I buy when I'm buying a policy is a peace of mind. Insurance companies sell security and ,as piz rightly observed, this security is part of contractual agreement.
"Peace of mind, although I value it, has never been mentioned in any of the dozens of insurance contracts I have ever signed. All they mention are premium payments, what is covered, how damage will be determined, limits of coverage, etc."

That's true, but peace of mind or security is that what you actually buy.

An example of the actual for potential trade is a reciprocal ethics., the Golden Rule and the Kantian imperative included. The Golden Rule is not a contractual agreement
Nobody is claiming that it is.
-my adherence to it doesn't ensure the adherence of others.
"Neither does a contract. Contracts are breached all the time."

A contract could be enforced. How does one enforce reciprocal ethics?

Besides, if there are some cases to which the Golden Rule doesn't apply, it is not a universal rule and standard of value. Respect for others is not the result of universalization or any reciprocal ethics but simply a recognition of the fact that others are human rational beings and you respect them as such until they prove otherwise. If one uses the a rational standard of value he doesn't need the Golden Rule.
I agree.
Concepts don't have anything to do with the ethical principle of universalization as justice with the Golden rule, quite the opposite. Justice is judgement, or in Ayn Rand's words :"Justice is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake the character of men as you cannot fake the character of nature, that you must judge all men as conscientiously as you judge inanimate objects, with the same respect for truth, with the same incorruptible vision, by as pure and as rational a process of identification" (GS)
"I don't understand what you are trying to say or why this quote is relevant".

This is a response to the claim that Ayn Rand equivocated about the golden rule and justice. If she did, she contradicted her own definition of justice.

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A contract could be enforced. How does one enforce reciprocal ethics?

I can enforce a contract with a lawsuit. I can enforce breaches of morality that don't violate my rights by responding in non-legal, but appropriate, ways including refusing to deal with someone, telling my friends or the whole world what he did wrong, etc.

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A contract could be enforced. How does one enforce reciprocal ethics?

I can enforce a contract with a lawsuit. I can enforce breaches of morality that don't violate my rights by responding in non-legal, but appropriate, ways including refusing to deal with someone, telling my friends or the whole world what he did wrong, etc.

This is not an enforcement since you don't use any force. He who did wrong may not give a damn.

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Why do you censure my post in regard to the topic in question: namely-Dr. Peikoff's response to the question about duty jury?

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Why do you censure my post in regard to the topic in question: namely-Dr. Peikoff's response to the question about duty jury?

I can't speak for others, but I haven't "censured" your question. I just haven't answered it.

Since Dr. Peikoff does not endorse involuntary servitude and forcing people to serve on juries could be seen as involuntary servitude either (1) Dr. Peikoff does not regard it as involuntary servitude for some reason or (2) he doesn't see the contradiction.

Since he takes e-mail questions, it might help to ask him for an explanation or clarification. In the past, when someone points out an error, I've seen Dr. Peikoff admit he was wrong and correct himself.

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Betsy: "I can't speak for others, but I haven't "censured" your question. I just haven't answered it."

In my post #34 was a question about Peikoff which you decided not to publish. Although I respect your right to publish or not to publish anything on your site I found that such a selective editing doesn't contribute to the free discussion and makes my participation in it rather difficult.

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Betsy: "I can't speak for others, but I haven't "censured" your question. I just haven't answered it."

In my post #34 was a question about Peikoff which you decided not to publish. Although I respect your right to publish or not to publish anything on your site I found that such a selective editing doesn't contribute to the free discussion and makes my participation in it rather difficult.

I had to do extensive editing on that post to fix a lot of problems with complex quoting and issues with grammar. If I inadvertently deleted part of your post, I'm sorry. Please repost.

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Betsy: "I can't speak for others, but I haven't "censured" your question. I just haven't answered it."

In my post #34 was a question about Peikoff which you decided not to publish. Although I respect your right to publish or not to publish anything on your site I found that such a selective editing doesn't contribute to the free discussion and makes my participation in it rather difficult.

I had to do extensive editing on that post to fix a lot of problems with complex quoting and issues with grammar. If I inadvertently deleted part of your post, I'm sorry. Please repost.

Apology accepted . I will not repost since you already answered my question. I did e-mail Dr. Peikiff some while ago and I am still waiting for his response.

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