Dennis Hardin

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Everything posted by Dennis Hardin

  1. Your problem is with Rand, not with me. As Rand wrote in "The Nature of Government": It is perfectly fine if you disagree with Rand's analysis. If you think that her analysis of the "indirect use of force" totally subverts her NIOF principle, then we can discuss this problem. But you have no business posing as a defender of Rand while directly contradicting what she said. Ghs I'm not contradicting what she said at all. To repeat what I said above: the whole notion of "indirect force" totally subverts the non-initiation of physical force principle as anything remotely resembling an objectiv
  2. You're welcome. Rand also stated (many times) that "Man's rights can be violated only by the use of physical force." "Only" does not mean "basic." It means "exclusively" or "solely." Rand used the word "basic" in the following context: "The basic political principle of the Objectivist ethics is: no man may initiate the use of physical force against others." "Basic," in this context, means "fundamental" or "foundational." The fundamental political principle of the O'ist ethics, she said, is: "no man may initate the use of physical force against others." The only exceptions to the NIOF principl
  3. You don't seem to understand what Rand meant by "indirect force." To respond with force to indirect force doesn't qualify as initiating force. It is a species of retaliatory force. "Indirect force" simply means that the force employed is not inflicted directly on the agent, as is the case when one person punches another. Suppose I purchase a diamond ring from a jeweler for $1000. I hand the jeweler the money but (as I later discover) the diamond is fake. So what is involved in this instance of fraud? When I gave the jeweler the money, I acquired title -- i.e., a legal claim of ownership -- to
  4. You are dancing back and forth between Rand’s position and your position in an apparent effort to muddy the water. I am fully aware of what Rand would argue. Of course, she would say that stealing intellectual property is the same as stealing any other kind of property. But since you disagree with Rand, the issue from your perspective is: who has initiated physical force? If I acquire the deed to a physical property, that physical property is mine to dispose of as I see fit. For someone else to dispose of it is the physical act of stealing, and no one questions whether stealing physical pro
  5. Thank you very much for replicating all those quotes from Ayn Rand about the initiation of physical force as the only way in which individual rights can be violated. How very enlightening. She certainly did repeat that phrase over and over and over again, making it quite understandable that some of her readers would get the idea that initiating physical force was the only way to violate rights. She was attempting to simplify the issue as much as possible, not realizing that some people—for want of a better term, let us call them "libertarians"—would take her literally. She might have saved
  6. Hard to believe you would not want to see a flesh-and-blood Dagny Taggart, even if a cinematic one. Taylor Schilling did some truly wonderful things with the role. You are mssing out if you don't give it a look.
  7. As far as I know, none of the prior cast members from Part One are in Part Two. We can praise the Gods that the scraggly, dissipated Francisco is gone. Two other Part One characters who looked like they just walked in off the street and wandered on to the set—Owen Kellog (the Pillsbury Dough Boy) and Hugh Akston (who looked like he just stepped off the ice cream truck)—don’t appear to be in Part Two at all. The new cast members offer some impressive resumes of prior film and TV credits. The new Wesley Mouch, for instance, Paul McCrane, played a terrorist villain on the '24' series, opposite
  8. I don’t have time right now to answer all the questions you asked, but I will deal with this issue, since it is easy to show that you are factually incorrect. Here are a couple of quotes to show that Ayn Rand’s view of government was significantly more nuanced than you suggest: Rand is clearly saying that a proper government may, in certain circumstances, initiate force against those who defame another's character or create unsafe working conditions. Moreover, as you know, Ayn Rand endorsed the concept of intellectual property. Obviously, the protection of patents and copyrights does not,
  9. Tony, Thanks very much for the compliment. If my explanation was clear to you, then hopefully it was equally clear to others as well.
  10. Dennis, Does this mean you don't care much for Penn Jillette? Michael Whatever gave you that idea, Michael? Penn is the walking incarnation of a gross, noxious fart. Aside from that, I'm sure he is a lovely person.
  11. Galt was visible in Part One as the man in the fedora, but we never saw his face. Yes, as a matter of fact, Part One was a complete flop at the box office. It was totally trashed by the critics, almost without exception, which obviously didn't help. Just about everything about the film was thrown together at the last minute, including the key players, so a total overhaul of the cast was called for. For the most part, the casting for Part Two looks very impressive. The actors chosen to play Rearden and Francisco, in particular, are a drastic improvement. We can only hope that the new dire
  12. Here is an expanded version of my “juvenile crap” about Platonism. You claimed to be coming at the issue of government from an Objectivist (Randian) perspective, so I will analyze the issue from that perspective.. Feel free to skip over my summary of Rand’s ideas, since you know them so well. I’m including a summary here so that the full context is clear to anyone who might read this. To begin with, Objectivism requires that a principle such as rights be placed in its proper philosophical context. Here’s your prior assertion about Rand and the alleged inconsistency of Objectivist minarchist
  13. NB deals with the problem of consent by assuming that we have unanimous consent at the time a government is formed. You have never offered any other alternative. So drop the juvenile crap about Platonism and try to focus on the problem at hand. This strikes me as a red herring, George. Branden was using the people in the room to construct his example, not as an exact microcosm of any society which organizes a government. It was not his intention to imply that there is always unanimous consent when a government is formed. He discussed the pro's and cons of representative government by majori
  14. How inspiring that this pathetic sack of manure talks about how atheists must “grab the moral high ground” while he mocks and trashes men of genuine achievement like Nathaniel Branden on his disgusting, foul-mouthed TV show. He displays his admiration for Ayn Rand by talking about what a “great f__k” she would be. He talks about how much he likes Atlas Shrugged in one breath, then labels all Objectivists nuts and “whack jobs” in the next. Penn Jillette is an embarrassment to the causes of secularism and liberty. I would much prefer he was a leftist like Michael Moore. I’m sure they would wel
  15. There are several errors involved here. The first is the failure to recognize that the purpose of rights is to make possible the kind of actions required for human existence. Rights are corollaries of ethics applied to a social context. The most fundamental right is a man’s right to self-preservation. To achieve the goal of a human existence in this world, rights must embrace the facts of what this entails in practical reality. To achieve the goal of enabling men to lead a proper human life, our approach to protecting rights must embrace reality—i.e., our theory must reflect the need for a
  16. Michael, The religion vs atheism conflict is not fundamental here. It is merely a superficial smokescreen for the real drama--one that underlies so much of the political debate today. The real battle is between selfishness vs. altruism. That is the unspoken, underlying thread that ties together a vast number of issues dominating today's headlines. It is the real issue involved in the debate on Obamacare. And the federal budget battle. And raising taxes on the rich. And the price of oil. And governmental regulation of private industry. And revamping Medicare and social security. And cutt
  17. Michael, Thanks for posting that audio by Beck. You're right. Beck's comments make clear that he continues to admire Rand as a "prophet" despite her alleged bigotry against religion. I'm sure this is the approach Republicans will take on the 'Rand vs. Jesus' controversy, i.e., downplaying Rand's rabid atheism as misguided and emphasizing the ways in which capitalism helps the "less fortunate"--i.e., has altruistic consequences despite promoting a benign form of "selfishness." I have my doubts about whether this strategy will work. Any serious study of The Virtue of Selfishness reveals the n
  18. The new Dagny Taggart is Samantha Mathis (Attention: wardrobe dept--I think this would be an excellent "dress" for her to wear throughout the entire film.) And the new Francisco d'Anconia actually looks like Francisco d'Anconia(Esai Morales) Based on the casting alone, I think there is every reason to believe that Atlas Part Two is going to be a significant improvement over Part One.
  19. Take A Stand on Ayn Rand I thought the heated debate over Paul Ryan’s new budget proposal had inspired the controversy about the influence of Ayn Rand’s ideas on Republicans, but it appears this “American Values Network” page has been up for several months. It looks like some Democrats are finally doing what the Republican conservatives have been afraid to do: Challenge the ethical basis of capitalism. Needless to say, they take the wrong side on the issue, but at least they seem to grasp the incompatibility of the two sides (Ayn Rand vs. Jesus Christ). The anti-Rand youtube video featured he
  20. And now D.B.Sweeney has been cast as John Galt But who will be his Dagny? And have the producers managed to find someone to play Francisco who looks more like Zorro and less like Bonzo? Stay tuned. . .
  21. Catholics United made a similar charge when they attributed Ryan’s budget to the influence of Ayn Rand. The earlier thread: Catholics Credit Ryan Budget to Ayn Rand
  22. Introducing the new Hank Rearden, Jason Beghe. And Brian Patrick O'Toole is now officially back on board as a script writer. IMDB
  23. That is the key point. Is it pure coincidence that this little drama has emerged in an election year and a radically leftist president is facing an uphill battle for re-election? Does anyone seriously believe that the drive-by media would spend five seconds on this story if Zimmerman were black? This whole disgusting spectacle has nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of Zimmerman. I have no idea if he acted in self-defense or not, and neither does Sharpton, Jackson, the leftist media or our pathetic, race-baiting, power-hungry excuse for a president. He and his cronies clearly have n
  24. I am saying that there are numerous issues where it is not realistic to think that every rational person will agree on what constitutes “objective truth,” even though that is our ideal goal. Ascertaining truth and obtaining universal agreement on what is “objective truth” are very different things. Here are some examples of such issues (from post #4): A totalitarian government can "objectively define" what people are forbidden to do. An anti-Semetic government, for example, can forbid Jews to intermarry with Gentiles, while objectively defining what it means by "Jew." But this doesn't seem t
  25. Fast and loose? Shifting meanings to suit my purpose? Well, obviously. One has to be an irresponsible cheat to disagree with you. Right? (Are you sure you’re not an objectivist?) It’s just possible that the alternatives you offer don’t exhaust the alternatives for the meaning of ‘objective law.’ You offer these options: (A) Law is objective because the government consists of rational people who are able to ascertain objective truth in the realm of ethics and legal philosophy; or (B) Law is objective because the government decrees it. You equate objective law and objective truth in option