RayK

Texas leads the way

144 posts in this topic

Jason,

The brialliance of the Founding Fathers was not that they created a government that "would gridlock." The brialliance of the Founding Fathers is that they recognized man's right to his own life and created a "government of laws, not of men" to protect those rights.

I think it would foolish to state that the Founding Fathers only had one brilliance! :( I fully agree with your statement that the Founding Fathers were brilliant in recognizing man's right to his own life. But another brilliant thing that they did was to gridlock our government in such a way as to make our system very slow to change. The inherent slowness of our system is a means of protecting individual rights-and as far as history has shown, it has done a remarkable job of doing so :D.

And, no one has said that this one law is the first step in the wrong direction, but one of many. But, there is a point when passed that a government which is moving in the wrong direction can never return to it's principles. In other words, there is a point when a government becomes so corrupt that it discards it's principles and can never return to it's original state. This is not pessimism, this is reality and history has shown me that.

I agree that such a point can be reached-I just do not think that it has been reached yet. The government used to have mandatory prayers in school-now this is no longer. I consider mandatory praying in school much more dangerous than exercise. Thus, evaluated contextually, I do not view this action as alarming. It really just sounds like our disagreement lies not in the fundamentals, but in trying to pinpoint the degree on the spectrum.

At this point in time there are thousands of pages of federal laws, not to mention state and local, that keep piling up every year. When do you think it will end? It will not end by stating that it is no big deal and only one of many so who cares. All these laws and the ones to come in the future can only be fought and beaten from a principled stand, which it seems some people no nothing about.

I agree-however, I don't think that you can reverse this trend one battle at a time. It's like the Hydra-you cut off one head and another will appear. What must happen to reverse the general trend overall (not even in education, but our entire society) I truly believe must start by appointing proper Supreme Court Justices.

There are so many Hydra's heads to chop off, that a new one which has formed containing no teeth or venom is not as much of a threat. Thus I believe that we should not focus upon this one head, but go to the heart and kill the beast from its very core.

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CJ stated he was using "evil" to denote the greatest degree of badness.
This is his actual statement, to which I responded and have disputed:
I just want to say that while it is perfectly proper to call public schools to be wrong in the context of modern day America, but to call them evil is brutally unfair. Nazism is evil, Stalin was evil, Storm Troopers in Star Wars were evil, but public schooling? Give me a break.
And this was after he explicitly indicated that public schools "can't" even be identified as "immoral" - not to mention the fact that he claimed even asking if they are moral "smacks to much of Christian morality, where we view morality as a list of black and white intrinsic truths". Given the evidence of these and numerous other statements, you will forgive me if I do not conclude his fervent rejection of the claims of other posters here that public schools are evil institutions was simply limited somehow to the context of degrees.

However, as I have already clearly indicated, if CJ wishes to state his claim was relegated solely to the context of degrees - and further states that there is a context where it is quite valid to identify public schools as evil, then there will no longer be a disagreement between us. Given his previous assertions, this request for an explicit explication of his position is quite reasonable. Unfortunately, such statements have not been forthcoming. As such, I see no reason to adjust any of my statements.

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I think public schooling would exist regardless of forcibly funding it, as would most other bad government programs (welfare, medicare, etc.).
I must challenge this premise completely. How would such an institution be created by government without the initiation of force?
By the benevolence of mankind paying for it of course. Isn't it the standard position amongst Objectivists that our military, police, and courts could be supported from voluntary contributions? If so, then why is it not believable that people could mistakenly support public schools out of benevolence? This is why I'm focusing not on the source of funding, but on the belief that it is the government's job to provide an education to everyone, and that the government can do it better than the private sector. This is the critical belief that must be destroyed and replaced with a proper one, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with taxation

Jordan, correct me if I am wrong, but by "public schools" do you mean private schools that are open to the public, and funded by parent-paid tuition and/or voluntarily provided scholarships?

I meant public schools that are provided to the general public and paid for by the government, but the funds the government receives are voluntary (assuming we have a nation without forced taxation). I would consider these public schools to be bad as well, and I showed this as an example of why I thought that what made public schools bad wasn't the nature of the funding, but rather the belief that it is the government's responsibility to provide us with an education and that they can do it better than the private sector could.

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Jordan, correct me if I am wrong, but by "public schools" do you mean private schools that are open to the public, and funded by parent-paid tuition and/or voluntarily provided scholarships?
I meant public schools that are provided to the general public and paid for by the government, but the funds the government receives are voluntary (assuming we have a nation without forced taxation). I would consider these public schools to be bad as well, and I showed this as an example of why I thought that what made public schools bad wasn't the nature of the funding, but rather the belief that it is the government's responsibility to provide us with an education and that they can do it better than the private sector could.
Since we should all now understand quite clearly that CJ is speaking of public, not private, schools here - public schools which are financed, supported, and run 'voluntarily' by the government - then the following still remains unanswered:

CJ claims such "public school is bad both in theory and in practice. It can't work in theory and doesn't work in practice because it contradicts the nature of man." But exactly HOW does CJ believe a public school system, such as he describes, "contradicts the nature of man"?

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Jordan, correct me if I am wrong, but by "public schools" do you mean private schools that are open to the public, and funded by parent-paid tuition and/or voluntarily provided scholarships?

I meant public schools that are provided to the general public and paid for by the government, but the funds the government receives are voluntary (assuming we have a nation without forced taxation). I would consider these public schools to be bad as well, and I showed this as an example of why I thought that what made public schools bad wasn't the nature of the funding, but rather the belief that it is the government's responsibility to provide us with an education and that they can do it better than the private sector could.

It's not just a pragmatic issue that government schools, even if voluntarily funded, wouldn't be as good as private schools. It is the principle that a government is force and the only proper use of force is the protection of rights. There is a real problem when the force-wielders are the idea-spreaders too. Force and mind are opposites.

Properly, schools should have nothing to do with government. I can see schools organized and funded as for-profit businesses or as non-profit organizations, like ARI.

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Jordan, correct me if I am wrong, but by "public schools" do you mean private schools that are open to the public, and funded by parent-paid tuition and/or voluntarily provided scholarships?

I meant public schools that are provided to the general public and paid for by the government, but the funds the government receives are voluntary (assuming we have a nation without forced taxation). I would consider these public schools to be bad as well, and I showed this as an example of why I thought that what made public schools bad wasn't the nature of the funding, but rather the belief that it is the government's responsibility to provide us with an education and that they can do it better than the private sector could.

It's not just a pragmatic issue that government schools, even if voluntarily funded, wouldn't be as good as private schools. It is the principle that a government is force and the only proper use of force is the protection of rights. There is a real problem when the force-wielders are the idea-spreaders too. Force and mind are opposites.

Properly, schools should have nothing to do with government. I can see schools organized and funded as for-profit businesses or as non-profit organizations, like ARI.

I don't mean to sound as if I'm dismissing the importance of how bad forcibly funding our schools is, my point was that this isn't a problem that is unique to schools but rather is a problem general to our government itself.

The problem that I think is unique to public schools that makes them uniquely bad is best explained in this documentary, "Stupid in America":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfRUMmTs0ZA

But I'm not expecting everyone to watch the documentary (it is long!), so I'll explain:

Regardless of the source of funding I think public schools are bad in principle and in practice because because it isn't the government's proper role to act as nannies who educate us, and more importantly there isn't the same incentive to perform with excellence that you would get if the school were privately owned and treated like a business.

If man is a being who works for his own happiness, how could we ever expect a principal who works at a public school to have an equivalent desire to strive for excellence as a principal who owns his own school and runs it like a business? I guess to me I see it the same as communist farmers who work for the government on "public" farms, vs private farmers who have a vested interest in doing the best job they can. Or to put it another way, the communist farmer isn't held accountable for failed crops because he lives off of the government, and besides, it isn't his land so why should he care? But for the private farmer his land is something sacred and if his crops fail he will go bankrupt, so there is a special accountability imposed onto him.

So based on this I think the only real end result of public schooling, regardless of funding, is a government funded monopoly of mediocrity that petulantly demands to be rewarded with more than it earns.

If you watch the video, you'll see this especially in the national teacher's union, whose ringleader is a blatant power lusting demagogue who rules over a mob whose one thing in common is that they aren't passionate about their job and they don't want to be held accountable for doing their job well.

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CJ has claimed that public schooling does not require the initiation of force - it can be entirely voluntary. And yet he claims that, somehow this supposedly entirely voluntary association is being a "nanny". On what basis does he make this claim? No answer is provided. How does this supposedly entirely voluntary association differ from any other voluntary association - ie why are they not identified as as being a "nanny"? No answer is provided (though Ms. Speicher already identified the difference).

CJ then states:

If man is a being who works for his own happiness, how could we ever expect a principal who works at a public school to have an equivalent desire to strive for excellence as a principal who owns his own school and runs it like a business?
On what basis does CJ claim his supposedly entirely voluntary public school system would not be run like a business? No answer is provided. On what basis does CJ claim it must be run like a business and not a non-profit organization? No answer is provided.

Furthermore, on what basis does CJ claim a principal would not have an equivalent desire to strive for excellence if he does not own the school? How would this not apply to a principal hired by a private school? No answer is provided.

CJ goes on to claim that, like a communist farmer, a principal in his supposedly completely voluntary public school would not be held accountable for failures - simply because it is a government school. On what basis does he make this claim? No answer is provided.

CJ states that because it is not his property, why should the individual care about it (farm or school)? How would this not apply to a principal hired by a private school? No answer is provided.

CJ then makes the assertion:

...for the private farmer his land is something sacred and if his crops fail he will go bankrupt, so there is a special accountability imposed onto him.
Since his idea of a public school would supposedly be completely voluntarily financed, it too can go bankrupt. Thus how can he claim this "special accountability" applies only to the private institution? No answer is provided.

CJ then concludes:

So based on this I think the only real end result of public schooling, regardless of funding, is a government funded monopoly...
Since his public school would be supposedly completely voluntary in every respect - including in attendance and in funding etc, that means it would be completely open to competition. Thus on what basis does CJ claim it would be a monopoly? No answer is provided.
...of mediocrity...
Again, since it is supposedly completely voluntary in every respect, on what basis does CJ claim it would produce mediocrity? No answer is provided.
...that petulantly demands to be rewarded with more than it earns.
Since it supposedly financed completely voluntarily, by what means can it demand ("petulantly" or otherwise) more than it supposedly earns? No answer is provided.

Put simply, CJ has made countless assertions in his post. However, he has not provided any support for those assertions whatsoever.

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The subject here is the moral status and practices of public schools, not what is wrong with other posters. As moderator, I will delete any further posts not focusing on public schools as off-topic.

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And, no one has said that this one law is the first step in the wrong direction, but one of many. But, there is a point when passed that a government which is moving in the wrong direction can never return to it's principles. In other words, there is a point when a government becomes so corrupt that it discards it's principles and can never return to it's original state.

I used to think that until Ronald Reagan and Maggie Thatcher and the fall of Communism in Europe.

Ayn Rand was right when she wrote:

Through all the darkness, through all the shame of which men are capable, the spirit of man will remain alive on this earth. It may sleep, but it will awaken. It may wear chains, but it will break through. And man will go on.

I did not say that we were to the point of no return as of yet. What I meant is that there is a point and once it is crossed it will require a revolution to restore freedom.

And, although Rondal Reagan did do some good things, he did not have a foundation rooted in reality/principles, especially rights. Which is why he did nothing more than slow down the government from it's corrupt direction.

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I did not say that we were to the point of no return as of yet. What I meant is that there is a point and once it is crossed it will require a revolution to restore freedom.

Not only are we not at the point of no return, neither was the socialist UK or the USSR. Both were, and are much, worse than we are and both stepped back from the brink without a revolution.

And, although Ronald Reagan did do some good things, he did not have a foundation rooted in reality/principles, especially rights. Which is why he did nothing more than slow down the government from it's corrupt direction.

He did more than that. Reagan did two things which moved us in a very positive direction:

1) He brought down the USSR

2) He dismantled the FCC's control over broadcasting -- Ayn Rand's first priority

Yes, there is still a lot to do, but given that we Objectivists are among the few who do have a foundation rooted in reality, principles, and rights, it is up to us to do it.

We'd better get busy.

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I did not say that we were to the point of no return as of yet. What I meant is that there is a point and once it is crossed it will require a revolution to restore freedom.

Not only are we not at the point of no return, neither was the socialist UK or the USSR. Both were, and are much, worse than we are and both stepped back from the brink without a revolution.

And, although Ronald Reagan did do some good things, he did not have a foundation rooted in reality/principles, especially rights. Which is why he did nothing more than slow down the government from it's corrupt direction.

He did more than that. Reagan did two things which moved us in a very positive direction:

1) He brought down the USSR

2) He dismantled the FCC's control over broadcasting -- Ayn Rand's first priority

Yes, there is still a lot to do, but given that we Objectivists are among the few who do have a foundation rooted in reality, principles, and rights, it is up to us to do it.

We'd better get busy.

I meant an intellectual revolution.

And, 19 years after Ronald Reagan left office we have thousands of more pages of laws and more sitting in the wings as bills waiting to get approved. We also have almost no politicians that understand rights, and instead they are attempting to get their names on bills and passed into laws.

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I forgot to write, that I do intend on keeping up the fight. But, I think it can only be done with a thorough understanding of principles, and if not, one puts themselves on a very slippery slope that can never be climbed.

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I meant an intellectual revolution.

I'm with you 100% on that.

And, 19 years after Ronald Reagan left office we have thousands of more pages of laws and more sitting in the wings as bills waiting to get approved. We also have almost no politicians that understand rights, and instead they are attempting to get their names on bills and passed into laws.

That has been the case since, perhaps, the Civil War. What is new is all the freshman Congressmen who mention that Atlas Shrugged is their favorite book. Even though I have always been very optimistic, that surprises even me.

Historically, politics has always been a trailing cultural indicator, i.e., the last thing to change. That's why I don't get very upset about bad political trends and I am very heartened by good ones.

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... What is new is all the freshman Congressmen who mention that Atlas Shrugged is their favorite book. Even though I have always been very optimistic, that surprises even me.

Historically, politics has always been a trailing cultural indicator, i.e., the last thing to change. That's why I don't get very upset about bad political trends and I am very heartened by good ones.

How many Congressmen have said Atlas Shrugged is their favorite book (excluding that Hilary once said she liked The Fountainhead :( ) and what are the recent political trends you see that are good (other than that the push for religion has gone nowhere)?

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... What is new is all the freshman Congressmen who mention that Atlas Shrugged is their favorite book. Even though I have always been very optimistic, that surprises even me.

Historically, politics has always been a trailing cultural indicator, i.e., the last thing to change. That's why I don't get very upset about bad political trends and I am very heartened by good ones.

How many Congressmen have said Atlas Shrugged is their favorite book (excluding that Hilary once said she liked The Fountainhead :( ) and what are the recent political trends you see that are good (other than that the push for religion has gone nowhere)?

I don't have time to look it up right now, but I recall that one-third of the Republican freshman Congressmen elected in 1994 named Atlas Shrugged as a book that influenced their political thinking. Since then, the Republicans have been floundering, but with the right leadership, there may be a based of support we can tap into.

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We actually don't disagree, but you are referring to a separate issue. If a person were to state as an Objectivist that legislated PE or legislated whatever is better than legislated other policy x that also violates our rights, that person is not promoting Objectivism. You can spark interest in Objectivism by showing how it is relevant to what another values, but one should not misrepresent it by promoting, on a policy by policy outcome basis, that it is okay for a common philosophical root to be treated as irrelevant. That leads the non-Objectivist to view the philosophy as just another confusing bag of contradictions and impractical, and though some may actually lean towards such a bag of bones due to their mental state, that is not how Objectivism should be presented.

Laws forcing the schools to adopt PE are not a good thing. My own objection was that, between two laws that both violate the rights of the governed, the law that results in more damage makes the point better than the law that does less damage. That doesn’t make the less potent law irrelevant, but it does make it a lower priority. When you argue to nonObjectivists for a free market, you use as examples not laws that have created inconvenience, but market failure. You use the interest rates regulations that created the Great Depression, welfare laws that have created massive poverty, and healthcare regulations that have caused the suffering of millions from skyrocketing costs. These examples paint the picture not of a mere “nanny government”, but of a developing fascist state. Then when you go back to the little examples like forced exercise programs, you see them for what they are. Focus makes all the difference.

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Laws forcing the schools to adopt PE are not a good thing. My own objection was that, between two laws that both violate the rights of the governed, the law that results in more damage makes the point better than the law that does less damage. That doesn’t make the less potent law irrelevant, but it does make it a lower priority. When you argue to nonObjectivists for a free market, you use as examples not laws that have created inconvenience, but market failure. You use the interest rates regulations that created the Great Depression, welfare laws that have created massive poverty, and healthcare regulations that have caused the suffering of millions from skyrocketing costs. These examples paint the picture not of a mere “nanny government”, but of a developing fascist state.

Yes but a fascist government as you probably intend it is a collectivist totalitarian state with leadership towards some racial or similar goal. This can't be what's happening here. At worst, it's exactly what you said, an example of a nanny government. But even in that case it's not some new law statewide for all children, merely setting another policy in an already bad public school system.

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Yes but a fascist government as you probably intend it is a collectivist totalitarian state with leadership towards some racial or similar goal. This can't be what's happening here.
In "The Fascist New Frontier" AR identifies the definition of fascism: "a governmental system with strong centralized power, permitting no opposition or criticism, controlling all affairs of the nation (industrial, commercial, etc), emphasizing an aggressive nationalism". bborg identifies things like:

- interest rates regulations that created the Great Depression

- welfare laws that have created massive poverty

- healthcare regulations that have caused the suffering of millions from skyrocketing costs.

I agree with him that these examples (and others) can validly be used to identify the fascist trends in the United States (as Dr. P did in his book 'The Ominous Parallels'.) But I also agree with Ms. Speicher when she says you get your foot in the door of a conversation with what a person values. Thus I would say that it is certainly valid to start small and show how the seeming 'innocuous' laws that a person may be railing against are simply an example of the same principles of fascism which result in the 'big' examples (of course, conversely, it is equally valid to start with the big and show how those principles result in the mindnumbing plethora of supposedly innocuous 'nannying' laws). Following either format means it doesn't matter if the case is about a new law or a change in policy of an old law. Either way, the case serves as an example to reveal the principles one wants to identify and change.

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I agree with him that these examples (and others) can validly be used to identify the fascist trends in the United States (as Dr. P did in his book 'The Ominous Parallels'.) But I also agree with Ms. Speicher when she says you get your foot in the door of a conversation with what a person values.

I think this is really two different issues. One is how to express your values in normal conversation, and I agree with Betsy that the context of the discussion matters as well as the values of the person you're talking with. It may not be appropriate to talk about the evil of socialized healthcare if the topic is music.

The other is Cometmaker's concern, about treating some injustices as "better" than others based on their practical consequences. My response is that while two laws may share a "common philosophical root", one may demonstrate the evil of that root better than the other because it results in so much more harm. The same goes the other way. If you want to demonstrate what you think is noble in man or in a culture, you use the best examples history has to offer, not the mediocre. Whatever the topic or the context of discussion, your case will be made stronger with the strongest evidence. This means, morally, what is best and worst for human life.

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I think this is really two different issues.
I would not dispute that.
The other is Cometmaker's concern, about treating some injustices as "better" than others based on their practical consequences.
To this I would simply say that justice requires treating different forms of injustice differently. Part of justice is proportionality. This means while one acknowledges that shoplifting and murder are both immoral acts, one also acknowledges those acts are quite different in their nature and their effect. As such, what each deserves in response is properly quite different. Treating them as if such differences were not important or did not exist would be the injustice. It would not grant to each that which it deserves. Thus I would disagree with the view that identifying such differences and acting accordingly somehow indicates one is not "promoting" Objectivism.

Living one's life in accord with Objectivist principles is one of the best promotions of Objectivism out there. :(

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The other is Cometmaker's concern, about treating some injustices as "better" than others based on their practical consequences.
To this I would simply say that justice requires treating different forms of injustice differently. Part of justice is proportionality. This means while one acknowledges that shoplifting and murder are both immoral acts, one also acknowledges those acts are quite different in their nature and their effect. As such, what each deserves in response is properly quite different. Treating them as if such differences were not important or did not exist would be the injustice. It would not grant to each that which it deserves. Thus I would disagree with the view that identifying such differences and acting accordingly somehow indicates one is not "promoting" Objectivism.

Living one's life in accord with Objectivist principles is one of the best promotions of Objectivism out there. :(

Brian, my post was in response to Duke’s two posts quoted above in which a student of Objectivism supports an “innocuous” law, and in so doing not "Living one's life in accord with Objectivist principles [which] is one of the best promotions of Objectivism out there." My post simply addressed the topic from a broader angle of one's action having to concur with one's view of public schools, and I was in agreement with the appropriate view which is as you have stated from your first post onwards in this thread.

Duke said in post #34:

This "law" means nothing. The kids were going to be forced to sit in class to learn about alternative energy or social studies anyway. This law does not represent the destruction of any new freedoms. For me, PE was a welcome break from the multicultural craftmaking we did when learning about the native tribes.

And in post #35 Duke said:

It is important to pick and choose our battles. The reason I did not support Bush's veto of government funded stem-cell research was because it was a religious motivated ban. The same with mandatory community service in schools--it's an altruism motivated initiative. But if look-say was taught in class and the government instituted a phonics law, which required all students to learn with phonics rather than look-say, I would not be against it! The same for a relatively innocuous change, like requiring fat sedentary students to do some physical exercise as a break between studies.

In response I wrote:

If a person were to state as an Objectivist that legislated PE or legislated whatever is better than legislated other policy x that also violates our rights, that person is not promoting Objectivism. You can spark interest in Objectivism by showing how it is relevant to what another values, but one should not misrepresent it by promoting, on a policy by policy outcome basis, that it is okay for a common philosophical root to be treated as irrelevant. That leads the non-Objectivist to view the philosophy as just another confusing bag of contradictions and impractical, and though some may actually lean towards such a bag of bones due to their mental state, that is not how Objectivism should be presented.

Certainly what you write in terms of the penal code is valid and I am in agreement, but I do not see how your Post #120 follows from what I have written.

bborg, in terms of actively convincing those who are explicitly non-Objectivists other than being an ambassador for Objectivism by simply living one's life, I don't see how vividness in an example is more likely to be convincing to the point where the likelihood of doing so is greater than the likelihood of being misleading and asking non-Objectivists to form conclusions based on insufficient supporting premises for induction. This method certainly hasn't prevented or corrected equivocation and contradictory assertions from students of Objectivism; why would it work with non-Objectivists?

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Brian, my post was in response to Duke’s two posts quoted above in which a student of Objectivism supports an “innocuous” law, and in so doing not "Living one's life in accord with Objectivist principles ..."
I do not see how your Post #120 follows from what I have written.
As you note, while I disagree with Duke, are you saying "as an Objectivist" one cannot advocate the teaching of "phonics rather than look-say" in public schools - or that one cannot advocate science rather than creationism in public schools? Is the claim here that seeking rational rather than irrational course curriculum n public schools is somehow a failure to live one's life as an Objectivist - that it somehow contradicts Objectivist principles? If so, on what basis do you make that claim?

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bborg, in terms of actively convincing those who are explicitly non-Objectivists other than being an ambassador for Objectivism by simply living one's life, I don't see how vividness in an example is more likely to be convincing to the point where the likelihood of doing so is greater than the likelihood of being misleading and asking non-Objectivists to form conclusions based on insufficient supporting premises for induction. This method certainly hasn't prevented or corrected equivocation and contradictory assertions from students of Objectivism; why would it work with non-Objectivists?

I don’t think vividness is the right word for what I argued. An example should provide the evidence necessary to making the case as convincing as possible. If you’re arguing that the free market is necessary to man’s life, you have to show how his life is threatened when the market is not free. In fact what I’m saying is you should choose an example that gets at the heart of issue, rather than skirt around it. I don’t think that’s about vividness, but moral clarity.

Take taxation, for instance. You could argue that taxation is wrong because it means time wasted filling out forms, or paying professionals to help walk you through your assets and relevant tax codes. That time, you could argue, would be better spent pursuing your own goals and living your life. In fact, such a reason has been used as justification for simplifying taxation and making it easier. However, does this get to the reason why taxation is immoral? Does it address taxation itself, or just one side-effect? A better approach would be to explain how taxes have hurt your standard of living, or how it has impacted your savings toward personal goals. A friend of mine made a different argument, that if she were not forced to pay taxes, she could afford to help her sister, who is on welfare. In fact, although the government takes money for the alleged purpose of helping the needy, in practice all it does is prevent private citizens with an interest in caring for a friend or loved one from doing so. All it does is hurt people's values. This is unacceptable in any country, but more so in one that has professed to defend man's right to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." Is this hyperbole? Is any of it inaccurate or misleading?

I believe the most effective way to refute the legitimacy of socialism is to show how it leads to human suffering. Does this provide insufficient supporting premises for inducing the evil of such a system? What would be the correct method?

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Brian, my post was in response to Duke’s two posts quoted above in which a student of Objectivism supports an “innocuous” law, and in so doing not "Living one's life in accord with Objectivist principles ..."
I do not see how your Post #120 follows from what I have written.
As you note, while I disagree with Duke, are you saying "as an Objectivist" one cannot advocate the teaching of "phonics rather than look-say" in public schools - or that one cannot advocate science rather than creationism in public schools? Is the claim here that seeking rational rather than irrational course curriculum n public schools is somehow a failure to live one's life as an Objectivist - that it somehow contradicts Objectivist principles? If so, on what basis do you make that claim?

That is not my claim. What I did say does not make accepting a converse positive concrete in our society a failure to live one's life as an Objectivist. I see I should have only highlighted or quoted the relevant portions of Duke's posts, but it was in the same vein of many other posts in this thread that I did not see the possible misinterpretation. In stating "It is important to pick and choose our battles." and "This "law" means nothing. The kids were going to be forced to sit in class to learn about alternative energy or social studies anyway. This law does not represent the destruction of any new freedoms.", the posting member implies that, on principle, it is acceptable to accept and justify "just" or "some" government's unlimited, arbitrary power that hands over and attempts to negate inalienable rights.

This is defined in the vernacular as a compromise, but is really a betrayal of a principle. Didn't Ayn Rand call this ethical subjectivism?

In case I am not clear, I'd like to say redundantly (redundant because Brian and several others have already said it in this thread and in other threads, and I could say it no better) that it is a non sequitur to claim that (a)I recognize the only rational education we might be able to get in public schools in the next 30 years out of a long list of specific and desirable desires might be "Phonics taught in the majority of public schools"; therefore ( b I shall take the illogical step of not accepting Phonics in public schools because in totality it is less than what education in America ought to be like. Accepting a lesser concrete where "public schools" are actually offering something of value to an Objectivist when the child has no choice but to attend such a school, is not wrong. If this is what a person means, he should say so and not, as I originally stated in shorthand, hold in thought and express in words - while claiming to support Objectivism - that he justifies the common principle in action that is a blatant violation of rights as "nothing" simply because the concrete outcome (more physical activity) is desirable. This incremental equivocation on a number of issues is dangerous for an Objectivist who must presently live in a non-Objectivist society because it would then seem there is no difference between the society we live in and what Objectivism strives to reach. We then appear to be stubbornly ploughing over and over a bunch of concrete convictions based on some "stuff" Ayn Rand wrote and said. That is how Objectivism would become labelled as irrelevant to reality in someone's mind, or just trying to put new names on the same old things like Libertarians.

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If this is what a person means, he should say so and not, as I originally stated in shorthand, hold in thought and express in words - while claiming to support Objectivism - that he justifies the common principle in action that is a blatant violation of rights

What I would like to know is how this new law is an additional violation of rights. Public schools already violate the rights and already necessitate that the child spends his time in that school and cannot do other things during the same part of the day. What difference does it make what he does within that time?

I think Duke's point was that if it doesn't matter and the child's time is already taken, then he might as well engage in something physically healthy than unhealthy.

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