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Objectivism and Ayn Rand
Posted: 29 December 2006 01:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]  
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[quote author=“arildno”]Which basically proves my point.
Unless a person* can see that it is in his own rational self-interest to limit his behaviour in a particular manner, then it exists no reasons why he should limit himself thusly.

You mean that it doesn’t apply to a person that can’t see past the immediate future? Your original example makes me think thats you.
[quote author=“arildno”]However, this is to obscure the distinction between POSSESSIONS and PROPERTY.
It is possessions we need to live, the property concept is something quite other.

To see this clearly, I’ll get the same nutritional value out of an orange I steal as out of one I own.

This is valid for a person who can’t think rationally past seeing the orange and its value in satisfying his hunger. Its not valid for a person who realizes that the orange tree had to be planted in an orchard, tended to keep it from being eaten by insects, and picked, packaged, and shipped up to Oslo, Norway so he can enjoy it. How many orange trees do you have up there in Norway? If there are any, I bet they aren’t growing wild, but kept in greenhouses. In order for the orange to even exist, at least the sweet, juicy ones you are used to, some breeder had to do a lot of artificial selecting. If its seedless, someone had to do some genetic manipulation to get a tree with an odd number of chromosomes so that meiotic cell division doesn’t work and seeds don’t form.

If you steal an orange you are acting as if none of this was necessary. You want the product of another person’s labor without that other person.

This is a BI-lateral situation, i.e, a form of consensus. And remember, a “consensus” that is not open to future debate is no consensus, only a dictate.

OK, then private property is a dictate. Maybe. I’m not sure what you mean in this context.

It is important to realize that although we may show that SOME property division is, indeed, amenable to such an analysis, it by no means follows that ALL property divisions can thereby be defended. Nor does it follow there will exist only one such defensible system.

If you can show me another system that respects a person’s right to the product of his own labor, fine.

In particular, a DEFENSIBLE system should be defensible at any particular time for any particular person given any one status within that system.

It is defensible in any time and place where the human need for food, clothing and shelter has to be provided by human labor. Or do you mean it should be defensible even in some magical time long ago in a magical galaxy far, far away on a magical planet where our needs for food, clothing and shelter are magically provided for us with no need to do any work?

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Posted: 30 December 2006 02:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]  
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Any status or privilege in a society is open for rational debate, and in particular, there exist no “rights” that should be respected UNCONDITIONALLY.
For example, a person’s “right” to live is something he only can claim to possess as long as his conduct doesn’t violate rules a set of rational persons would agree to subject themselves to.
(To say that “I am going to refrain from killing you, limit myself in this manner, as long as you try not to kill me” might be one such rule of non-killing that a set of rational persons would agree to subject themselves under)

A person’s “right” to parent his own child isn’t unconditional either.
In this case, a set of rational persons might agree to such a “right” granted as long as physical abuse or wilful negligence of the child does not occur.
If a person violate these conditions, his “right” to raise his own child has evaporated, by his own conduct.

A person’s “right” to retain a position of employment isn’t unconditional, either.
For example, if he infringes upon some code of work conduct, he has no “right” to be further employed, and most often, the institution/persons that have been granted the “right” to decide whether such a breach of conduct is usually the employers themselves. (Their “right” to such decisions is not unconditional, either).

A debate between rational persons would end in the decision that a private individual himself has the “right” to decide who he is to be married to, and who his friends are to be.

Even the “right” to participate in such a debate isn’t unconditional, either.
If a person, for example, does not agree to that any agreement reached that he as well agreed to should be binding upon his conduct, is simply to be excluded from the debate.
The other members have no obligation to grant him a hearing.

In like manner, as with everything else in society, property distributions are something that is, in principle open for debate, and the status of someone as “property-owner” is no unconditional grant, either.
For example, if someone shows a lack of proper respect towards individuals having the task with upholding the law, we may ignore the person’s “right” to some property and force him to give that up as a fine.
It isn’t “his” anyway, since he broke one of those rules the upholding of which gave him the “right” to own property in the first place.

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Posted: 30 December 2006 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]  
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arildno: You are simply arguing against the anarchic concept of freedom, which Ayn Rand rejects as well. How well do you know Objectivism, anyway? Its as if you were arguing against Newtonian physics by claiming that objects exert an attractive force on each other in proportion to their mass in in inverse proportion to the distance between them.

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Posted: 30 December 2006 08:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]  
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Eeh, what anarchic principle of freedom do I espouse?

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Posted: 30 December 2006 09:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]  
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[quote author=“arildno”]Eeh, what anarchic principle of freedom do I espouse?

I didn’t say you were espousing it. I said you were arguing against it. Without reason.

The anarchic concept of freedom is the idea that you should be free to do anything you feel like doing, out of context of your own ability to do it, or how it violates other people’s rights. Yes, its all wrong, and Ayn Rand has explained why, and you were arguing against it for no reason.

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Posted: 30 December 2006 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]  
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People do not HAVE any rights, other than those they have earned.

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Posted: 30 December 2006 09:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]  
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[quote author=“arildno”]People do not HAVE any rights, other than those they have earned.

In a sense, I might agree with that. The question is how do you think you earn those rights? You have the right to think and believe what your thinking leads you to accept as true. But thinking takes effort. You have the right to property, but you have to earn it with your labor. People keep talking about the “right” to health care. I actually agree, so long as you pay for it.

Again, how much do you actually know about Objectivism?

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Posted: 30 December 2006 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]  
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How you should “earn” it is PRECISELY one of those concerns that a debate between rational persons should contain.

Now, to forestall any further criticism on this point, I would say that it might well be that such a debate might conclude that any and all possessions gained through the mechanism of buying&selling; should, indeed, be regarded as the property of a person.

Some form of agreement has to be reached upon what can be called legitimate possession transfer and what is not. Furthermore, the benefits of property, namely that of enabling strategic planning might be regarded as so important that the institution of property is something that such a forum would agree to, in one form or another.

However, we should keep in mind that decisions of such a forum might come in two forms:
Either NECESSARY decisions, i.e decisions that ANY such forum necessarily will come to.
Or CONTINGENT decisions, i.e decisions that are DEFENSIBLE out of the principles necessarily agreed upon as true, but that there may exist other defensible decisions than just the one the forum decided upon.

To take a “silly” example: If we assume that it has been found defensible to put people into jail for smashing a window in a store, whether the person is to receive 2months or 2years imprisonment for that act might well both be defensible decisions. I.e, both of them are CONTINGENT decisions, neither is necessary.


Now, while I certainly agree to, and regard several of Ayn Rand’s ideas as DEFENSIBLE, I haven’t seen anywhere any strong enough arguments for regarding her particular ideas as NECESSARY decisions in the form I described. But it sure seems she thinks this..

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