• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Peter last won the day on June 2

Peter had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

25 Excellent

About Peter

  • Rank
  • Birthday June 27

Contact Methods

  • MSN

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    The Chesapeak Bay area

Previous Fields

  • Full Name
    Peter Taylor
  • Favorite Music, Artworks, Movies, Shows, etc.
    "Contact," "Forrest Gump," "Castaway." Doc Martin Rachmaninoff, Fleetwood Mac, Simply Red, TV House, Bones, Person of Interest.
  • Relationship status
  • Looking or Not Looking
    not looking

Recent Profile Visitors

19,251 profile views
  1. “Root, root, root, for the home team.” Conspiracy Theories we hope come true? Where is the Deep State? “They” are hiding in plain sight. Revoking the Security Clearances of the Deep State’s operating personnel is not a purge in the sense of a dictatorship marginalizing its political opponents. However, it is one step in the direction of taking away unearned access, power and control *bestowed upon* insiders of the Deep State. I am not suggesting that opposition to Trump is automatically a sign of the Deep State but it is suggestive and worthy of scrutiny. And by revoking security clearances, President Trump is not in any sense taking away an extra right any current or former government employee is entitled to. They are free to go about their lives, but without political or security access. As an example, remember Senator Chuck Schumer getting in hot water for telling his best buds on the west coast what was just revealed in DC so that they could better play the stock market? As President Trump might say if he was the referee at a sporting event, “They are dirty. For shame. Toss their asses out!” Peter Notes. Gosh. Doesn’t this sound like Rand’s Starnesville? Robert Trancinski wrote about Elizabeth Warren: To kick off her campaign as the "progressive" standard-bearer for 2020, Warren has proposed the Accountable Capitalism Act. As legislation, it is certain to go nowhere. But it is meant as a statement of where she stands and the direction she wants to take her party. Here is what it would do. "Under the legislation, corporations with more than $1bn in annual revenue would be required to obtain a corporate charter from the federal government--and the document would mandate that companies not just consider the financial interests of shareholders. Instead, businesses would have to consider all major corporate stakeholders--which could include workers, customers, and the cities and towns where those corporations operate. Anyone who owns shares in the company could sue if they believed corporate directors were not meeting their obligations. "Employees at large corporations would be able to elect at least 40% of the board of directors. An estimated 3,500 public US companies and hundreds of other private companies would be covered by the mandates."
  2. Peter

    Amy Coney Barret

    Back to basics. Communism, socialism, progressivism, totalitarianism, absolute monarchies, and dynasties, (etc.,) are incompatible with little “o”, objectivism, big “O”, Objectivism, the United States’ Constitution and I have no doubt it is incompatible with your Canadian constitution and the entire British Empire. Our big experiment with a truly progressive state and control of our citizen’s lives might have been under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, after the Great Depression. A lot of those controls were unconstitutional and Un-American. And they are gone, hopefully for good. What would Canadians need to change to be “true progressives” Carol? What is the most or least state control you would be happy living under? Peter From: RogerEBissell To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: Re: Objectivism???? Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001 19:25:08 EST. Nathaniel Branden wrote: >The more I read the postings on this list, as I have been doing lately, the more I wonder why anyone would think this is "an Objectivist list." An "Objectivist" who does not agree that rationality is volitional is not an Objectivist. An "Objectivist" who does not think there are such things as natural rights is not an Objectivist. An "Objectivist" who preaches racism is not an Objectivist. None of these issues are marginal to Objectivism but reflect essential principles. And if this is not supposed to be, in some serious sense, an Objectivist list--what is it supposed to be? (I warned myself that it was a mistake to start reading these postings again, but I wouldn't listen.) Greg Johnson commented: >Is Nathan conducting another purge? Old habits die hard! Greg, that's way over the top. I think it's a legitimate question, but I also think that it's too easy to pick one's own pet list of views that can qualify one as being or not being an Objectivist. Nathaniel has pointed out (correctly, in my opinion, but I will argue that point elsewhere) that the Objectivist metaphysics as Rand viewed it is "minimalist." Well, I think that in terms of what should qualify a person as "Objectivist" should also be termed most generally and succinctly. For instance, in "About the Author" in the appendix to ~Atlas Shrugged~, Rand said "My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute." Do you agree with that? Then you agree with Rand's statement of the essence of her philosophy. Are you then an Objectivist? Or, at the sales conference at Random House, preceding the publication of ~Atlas Shrugged~, Rand presented the essence of her philosophy "while standing on one foot." She said: Metaphysics: Objective Reality ("Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed" or "Wishing won't make it so.") 2. Epistemology: Reason ("You can't have your cake and eat it, too.") 3. Ethics: Self-Interest ("Man is an end in himself.") 4. Politics: Capitalism ("Give me liberty or give me death.") Do you agree with these principles? If so, are you then an Objectivist? Later, in 1962, in her column "Introducing Objectivism," Rand gave "the briefest summary" of her philosophy: 1. Reality exists as an objective absolute--facts are facts, independent of man's feelings, wishes, hopes or fears. 2. Reason (the faculty which identifies and integrates the material provided by man's senses) is man's only means of perceiving reality, his only source of knowledge, his only guide to action, and his basic means of survival. 3. Man--every man--is an end in himself, not the means t the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own ~rational~ self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life. 4. The ideal political-economic system is ~laissez-faire~ capitalism. it is a system where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters and slaves, but as ~traders~, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. it is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force, and ~no man may initiate the use of physical force against others~. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man's rights; it uses physical force ~only~ in retaliation and ~only~ against those who initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church. Do you agree with this summary? If so, are you then an Objectivist? Finally, in "Brief Summary" (1971), Rand said: "If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest [e.g., capitalism and egoism] follows. This--the supremacy of reason--was, is and will be the primary concern of my work, and the essence of Objectivism." Do you agree with this statement about the supremacy of reason? Then you agree with Rand on the essence of Objectivism. Are you then an Objectivist? The preceding gives more than enough guidance for us to judge other list members as to whether they are Objectivist -- at least in their basic orientation, if not in every application. Revisit, then, Nathaniel's comments (including the one in a separate post about whether Rand's view on a woman President was part of Objectivism): 1. rationality as volitional -- that appears ~nowhere~ in any of the statements of the essence of Objectivism, though it is a position argued by many Objectivists (and others). I would maintain that rationality includes the self-aware monitoring and directing of one's mental processes, while also maintaining that, in any given situation, one ~could not~ have done otherwise than one did in that situation. Others, such as Bill Dwyer, Gayle Dean, Dennis May, etc. also hold some variant of this view, sometimes known as "soft determinism" or "compatibilism." Is free will or volition compatible with determinism? I think the jury is still out on that question, and that any attempt to limit Objectivism to those holding the incompatibilist position is premature at best. 2. natural rights -- this is a key principle of Objectivism. I agree with Nathaniel that one cannot be an Objectivist and reject this position. However, if someone could logically prove that rights are incompatible with egoism or rational self-interest, that would be a very important development. Some have argued such a view on this list (the "prudent predator", etc.), but I have found their arguments unconvincing and Bill Dwyer's (and others') rebuttals to be headed in the right direction. The best (though very technical) argument for the compatibility of egoism and rights is by Eric Mack. He first set this out years ago in John Hospers' journal, ~The Personalist~ (in the early 1970s, I think). 3. anti-racism -- again, I think that this is solidly Objectivist. It would take a miracle, in my opinion, for anyone to convince me that racism is compatible with the basic principles of Objectivism. Rand's essay in ~The Virtue of Selfishness~ is still the best statement on the subject. 4. woman President -- Rand's claim that a woman could not rationally want to be President is, in my opinion, one of her lamest assertions. I think that she generalized her own sexual and gender psychology, defining away the rationality of any woman/women who felt and thought otherwise. Now, for any of the above to be argued or rebutted, in terms of the foundational principles of Objectivism, a person has to use logic and facts. Any "good faith" attempt to do so ought to be accepted by others on the list, since we are, after all, trying to be "new intellectuals" here, not Attilas or Witch Doctors. The supremacy of reason -- that's supposedly what governs us here! So, ~volitional~ reason? reason ~without rights~? Rational ~racism~? rational ~women Presidents~? Fine, let's discuss, and let's refrain from suggesting that those disagreeing with us on those issues is, by that very fact, irrational and thus not an Objectivist or welcome on an Objectivist discussion list. Best to all, Roger Bissell
  3. Peter

    Is freedom to breed a right?

    This topic needs a jump start. It was brought up on a TV show recently that “advanced” aliens who observe us eating meat would consider us as a primitive and possibly defective species. What do you think? Peter From: "Gayle Dean" To: <objectivism Subject: OWL: Animal Rights Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2005 23:53:55 -0500. Bill Dwyer wrote (3/21): >The force of this argument [marginal cases]turns on the empathy that we naturally feel for victims of cruel and inhumane treatment. Bill mischaracterizes the argument from marginal cases as "turning on empathy" when it does no such thing. It is a strictly logical argument that can be done on the computer. But, I puzzled over his response for several hours today, because the marginal cases argument is the exact argument that Bill himself accepts when he admits that if rationality is the criterion for rights, then babies and other "pre-rational" beings do not have rights. Bill says: > Therefore, it does not apply to non-rational beings- to beings that are incapable of recognizing and applying moral principles. Nor does it apply to those human beings who are unable to survive on their own, such as pre-rational children and the severely retarded. But, there's another very important point here. Some here seem to be confused about the marginal cases argument. It doesn't say: Babies have rights; therefore, animals have rights, too. Instead, it is an argument that says whatever the criterion for rights is, it has to be applied even-handedly. If the criterion is having blue hair, then anyone with blue hair has rights, whether human or not. Or, if you want to rule out the blue-haired animals, then you have to rule out the blue-haired people, too -- or else find another criterion. The marginal-cases argument doesn't tell us the correct criterion for rights. But when you plug in some plausible criterion, like rationality, that has to be applied evenhandedly, too. And if you discover that some humans – like babies -- fall short on the rationality scale, while some other animals do as well as babies, then A. EITHER both the babies and the animals have rights, or B. NEITHER the babies nor the animals have rights. What you can't do is have a split decision, where the babies get into the moral club by being rational, but the animals get left out without being any less rational. If that's the conclusion you want -- babies in, animals out -- you need to find some other criterion that will do the job. Most Objectivists accept neither A nor B. They'd rather have the split decision. Bill accepts B. He gets credit for understanding the logic involved. But rather than examine other criteria that may be better for rights possession, Bill grasps frantically for some _other reason_ not to BBQ babies or use them for medical experimentation. He settles on the idea that killing "pre-rational" or non-rational humans is a moral question, not a legal one. Unfortunately, this is a misperceived "escape" for many Objectivists who cannot counter the marginal cases argument. Bill says: ><snip> Look at it this way: Allen might object strenuously to a parent who is feeding her overweight children nothing but fast food and calorie-laden sweets, thereby predisposing them to heart disease and diabetes. Does that mean that he has a right to take the children away from the parents, and feed them a vegan diet? No; the parents have a right to raise their children as they choose. But it also doesn't mean that he can't condemn them for the way they're doing it. Let's be clear here! We are not talking about whether it is child abuse to feed children sweets or fast food. We are talking about whether it should be legal to slaughter and eat children for dinner or to perform medical experiments on them. According to Bill (and the Objectivist rationality argument), it should be perfectly legal to do so, just as it is legal to set one's own cat (as property) on fire. This formulation treats babies and other non-rational humans as property. Bill continues: ><snip> But the concept of individual sovereignty or of moral autonomy applies only to rational animals;... <snip> Not every animal can be accorded the status of a sovereign entity with all the rights and privileges of a rational human being. I'm hoping this is just overzealous rhetoric on Bill's part. No animal rights advocate says that animals should be "accorded all the rights and privileges of a rational human being." None thinks animals should have the right to vote or attend public school. But, are we supposed to think that because animals voting is such a silly idea, then an animal doesn't have any right at all? The answer to this silly claim is obvious. As Tom Regan says in "Empty Cages" "This argument misfires. It assumes that animals do not have _any_ right unless they have _every_ right. But, no animal rights advocate believes this...Clearly, humans do not have to have _every_ right, to have _any_ right. We do not insist that children be given the right to vote or drive cars in order to say they have a right not to be killed. Drunks don't have a right to drive while intoxicated. Animals have no interest in going to school or driving cars and that idea is just nonsense. Bill continues: ><Snip> Objectivism's argument for human rights is an argument for the right to freedom of action, a right which pertains only to morally autonomous human beings, not to non-rational humans, such as babies, the severely retarded or the mentally incompetent. And if that right does not apply to non-rational humans, then it certainly does not apply to non-rational animals. Well, at least we agree on that. But my argument is not that if babies have rights, then animals have rights. It is instead that the Objectivist criterion for rights is wrong. It is important to consider necessary vs. sufficient conditions for rights, here. Rationality may be a _sufficient_ condition for rights possession, but that does not mean that it is a _necessary_ condition. Thus, (according to sufficiency) humans may have rights because they are rational, but since it is not a _necessary_ condition, babies, retarded people, insane people, and some animals may have rights, based on some other criterion. Gayle Dean From: "Gayle Dean" To: <objectivism Subject: OWL: Chimps Don't Have Minds proclaims Teresa Summerlee isanhart Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 09:56:42 -0500 Since it's impossible to respond to everyone with the one post per day limit, this lengthy post addresses one issue in general and then I reply to Teresa Sumerlee Isanhart. Keeping Objectivists focused on the marginal cases argument always proves to be a monumental task. Almost across the board, they start by making the claim that rationality is a _necessary_ and _sufficient_ condition for rights. And almost across the board, when they are presented with the marginal cases argument they fail to address it directly, but instead try to add _other_ criteria, such as being the same species (speciesism), being the same kind (kinds), being human (speciesism) human use of language, etc. Those are different arguments that have their own refutations. And none of them answers the marginal cases argument...they only serve to muddle the issue. It seems to me, that we need to answer the fundamental question about rationality and marginal cases before moving on to the other arguments about speciesism, kinds, language, souls, or whether chickens have a positive right to social security. Bill Dwyer is the only person who seems to understand and deal logically with the marginal cases argument. There are two possibilities: Either babies don't have rights, or one of the premises is wrong. However, instead of coming to the conclusion that there may be something wrong with the idea that babies do not have rights-- as the rest of us do, he accepts the premises, performs correct logic and holds to the position that babies and non-rational humans do not have rights. But, there is another possibility, i.e., that one of the premises that he uses to arrive at his correct conclusion, is wrong. And that is what ARAs are challenging. The premise that rationality is a _necessary_ and _sufficient_ condition. And if rationality is not a _necessary_, but only a sufficient condition for rights, then other beings may have rights, but by some other criteria. Second, just to be clear, I agree with Rand/Rothbard's argument that "borderline cases" do not a moral philosophy make. But in the marginal cases argument, Rand's principle is being misapplied by Objectivists. I am not objecting to Rand's principle, per se. I agree with it, but only when it is applied correctly. So, here is the problem with its application whenever marginal cases is being debated. If your ethical theory wishes to omit borderline or marginal cases, then they must be omitted in _all_ borderline cases. Rand would agree. In other words, in the current debate, marginal cases must be omitted (or permitted) for both marginal babies as well as for marginal chimps who meet the rationality criterion. You cannot _equivocate_ on the principle to allow some marginal cases like babies in, but then disallow the marginal cases to exclude chimps, without offering some _OTHER_ reason for excluding them. By analogy, I've tried to create a concrete example. Suppose, there is a criterion that says that in order to qualify for law school, you must score at least a 90 on your final exam. But, very few people score as high as 90 this year, so in order to fill the classes, the university dean decides to examine the applications of the "marginal cases"...i.e., the people who scored 89. But *then* the dean proclaims that the only marginal cases that will qualify for the openings are blue-eyed blondes who scored 89. He will not consider brown-eyed brunettes who also scored 89. This is how Objectivists are trying to apply the marginal cases principle to babies and animals. But, you cannot include one group who meets the marginal cases criterion (scoring 89) while excluding another group that also meets the same criterion, without offering some _OTHER_ reason for excluding them. Sure, you may add an additional criterion, such as: brunettes don't qualify (even if they do score 89) because, let's say, none who applied has blue eyes. But, now you have _two criteria_ that must be met to get into law school...both, a score of 89, and having blue eyes. And you can continue with this ad infinitum. . And I agree with Allen Costell that animal rights does not preclude Rand's fundamentals. It only precludes some of her conclusions. Rand – herself a cat lover--told Henry Mark Holzer--her attorney and an animal rights activist, that she would welcome an argument for animal rights, even though she herself could not come up with one. (That fact was confirmed to me recently in correspondence with Holzer.) And knowing that Rand probably would not have maintained a personal relationship with anyone she considered to be "irrational", the fact that she maintained Holzer as her attorney while he was working actively for animal rights is evidence that she didn't reject the idea out of hand. So it is puzzling to me that Objectivists become so emotional over this topic. One would think that up-and-coming Objectivist scholars would find animal rights to be a rich field of exploration, especially in light of the fact that Rand herself invited it. The philosophy could take a big step forward into a new area. . . . . Teresa aptly titles her post (3/23) "Assertion vs. Argument". She provided the assertions. I provided the argument. She did not address any of the arguments made about marginal cases. In fact, after making several other unrelated and unsubstantiated assertions and then being challenged on those, she just concluded (3/21) with what I presume is her notion of an "argument". She "argued": >"I have no problem at all with individual humans making individual choices to be meat/fur free, but I have a big problem with groups of humans forcing bogus relativist legislative notions down my throat. As I pointed out, this is question-begging. To say that it should be "an individual's choice" to kill an animal and eat him or use his fur is question-begging, when that is the very question being disputed. So, I asked Theresa "Why shouldn't it be an 'individual's' choice to kill another human and eat him" or use his fur? No answer. Blank out! Teresa said: (3/22) >"Mind" is a human concept. As a concept, the standard for its use can only be made by humans. Anything we measure as "mind" outside of human use will always be by human standards. I replied: (3/23) "Yes, trivially whatever we do is measured by human standards, but by that argument, one could also say that whatever white men do is measured by white-man standards or whatever males do is measured by male standards. It really tells us nothing about the content -- what we will find when we measure by our standards, or what are the right standards to use." Teresa replied: > You're asserting that there is some substantial difference between men based on superficial, non-critical distinctions. Making crucial distinctions "trivial" is epistemologically devastating. No I'm not "asserting" anything like that. Apparently you don't understand hypotheticals. I never said (nor do I think) there is a difference based on superficial or non-critical distinctions. I used the example of white-men and males to refute your argument that, because we measure things by human standards that that somehow changes the thing being measured, i.e., that since man measures I.Q. by man's standard that I.Q. of chimps isn't the same as babies or small children. To simplify again, you would not say that because white men measure things using the mind of a white man (or a white-man's standards) that this changes whether or not 2+2 =4. The result is the same regardless of the tool or standard of measurement. That was the whole purpose of my quoting Rand about the difference between the metaphysical and the epistemological. Just because we use man's standard (mathematics) to add 2+2 does not mean that the answer is not 4. As an aside, apparently you are not aware of how the word "trivial" is used in philosophy. It doesn't mean "trivial" as in 'the distinction is trivial'. It means something that is true by definition and therefore beyond dispute. So, you're misunderstanding the argument on several different levels. Teresa continued: >I am arguing that the differences between chimps and humans is so vast, that no comparison can be made. That the differences are substantial enough to make them critical distinctions (easily proven through human standards). The Objectivist argument that rationality is the criterion for rights does not distinguish between degrees of rationality in that way and no one has ever argued that there aren't differences. Certainly, chimps have _much less_ intelligence than humans. But, that is irrelevant to the argument. So, I don't understand your point. >Your assertion, in essence, is that there are no differences critical enough between a man and a chimp to render the two distinguishable... That is not the argument at all. I (and others) have said repeatedly that chimps and babies are equivalent in the ONLY WAY that matters to the Objectivist theory. To wit: They are capable of using some degree of reason. And that's all that is needed according to Objectivism. >(indeed, if this were the case, why bother naming them "chimpanzees" at all? Why not just assign some more human term to the species?). This is pure relativism at work. I don't think Teresa understands the term relativism, either. She wants to say that all humans, however handicapped, get protection, but no other animals, however competent, get any. That's the real relativism, here. >If I'm to be convinced that chimps and humans are equal in any way, I'll need an argument showing that chimps and humans are equal in some way other than mere assertion based on emotional convictions or superficial traits. You don't need an argument for that. Whether or not chimps use reason is not a philosophical question. It is an empirical one. And there is an abundance of scientific literature on animal intelligence, cognition, and culture, which should demonstrate to any rational person that man's anthropocentric views about his superiority to other animals are misguided to say the least. And anyone who undertakes to debate the topic on a public list has the minimal responsibility to make themselves aware of these studies. Teresa wrote 3/22: >"Mind" is a human concept. As a concept, the standard for its use can only be made by humans. Anything we measure as "mind" outside of human use will always be by human standards. Teresa's point seemed to be that human standards determine the moral rules we live by or something similar: I replied (quoting Rand) that although human standards are used, they are simply the measuring tool, and the measuring tool does not change the content of the moral rule. Teresa completely missed the point. I said: >>"In other words, man can establish the standard of measurement (epistemological), but that does not change the content (metaphysical) of whatever is being measured. Rand is very careful to make this clear when she says: "It makes no difference whether one measures length in terms of feet or meters; the standard provides only the form of notation, not the substance nor the result of the process of measuring. The facts established by measurement will be the same regardless of the particular standard used; the standard can neither alter nor affect them" [ITOE, 8]." Teresa replied: >You're making my point for me. Our measurement has provided substantial evidence that the differences between humans and chimps (the smartest mammal I can think of other than man) are substantial enough _not_ to view them as equal to humans. Sorry, but that wasn't Rand's point at all, nor mine. The point is that whatever form of notation is used, i.e., whatever way in which we measure things has nothing to do with the content of what is measured. You can measure water with a bucket, a measuring cup, or a gallon jug, but the quantity of water does not change because of the measuring method used. In the same way, you may measure intelligence or rationality by "man's standard", i.e., man's measuring tool, but that does not change the content of the measurement. Again, to concretize: If man measures an ape's intelligence- by man's standard- and discovers that apes have some degree of rationality by that standard, then, by the Objectivist criterion (rationality), apes have it. The tool or standard of measurement does not change the result of the measurement. >If you're saying that the proof of your assertion is somehow outside of human epistemological ability (mystic), or that our ability to measure the world around us is flawed in some way (Kantian), it would be appreciated if you would just come out and say so. Otherwise, I can't accept this beating around the bush as an argument. Gosh, you're way off in left field somewhere. I'm saying (with Rand) the exact opposite. I'm saying (with Rand) that the world does not change just because we measure it in different ways. If you agree, as you seem to be saying now, then what was the point of emphasizing man's standard of measurement in the first place?? Teresa continues: >Look, the only way we measure or distinguish what is "human" from what is not, is by what reasons and what does not. That is just obviously false. That is NOT the only way we distinguish humans from non-humans, that's how we can tell that there _ARE_ humans who don't reason. And some animals do. That is the whole point. >I'm wishing you would just respond to the arguments being made, rather than make whole-cloth assertions of this issue, that's all. You're the one who is nonresponsive, indeed muddled.. All you do is make wild false claims like chimps "don't have minds", or "the only way we distinguish what is 'human' from what is not, is by what reasons and what does not." Those seem like crazy assertions that make it impossible to take you seriously. >Dean finds it necessary to constantly misspell my name and then to attribute ideas to me I've never stated: I've never attributed ideas to you that you didn't state. Perhaps, it is that you don't understand the implications of your statements. And, why so emotional over name spellings? I don't object when people call me "he". If you are really concerned about conceptual clarity and people getting your name right, then you should shorten it to fewer than nine syllables:-) But, it seems silly to focus on name spellings. Name spellings, like gender are totally irrelevant to philosophical argument. Everything you write seems to be either false, evasive, or totally irrelevant. For example you said: >Human vegetables need protection from what and in what way? (Confusing a "positive" right from the "negative" is very common, but it's still a mistake.) Why do you focus on human vegetables?? WHAT ABOUT BABIES- Don't babies need protection?! You are picking and choosing what you want to respond to. Forget the vegetables. And if you don't think babies need rights, then you should join Bill at his backyard baby-BBQs. But, don't try to confuse the issue talking about human vegetables. BTW, you're the one confused over positive vs. negative rights. Leaving humans or other animals free to pursue their own interests is a *negative* right. No one but whacky, overemotional, ANTI-animal rights advocates have the silly idea that we are advocating that chickens be sent to public school, which would be a positive right. We are advocating ONLY negative rights. >Much has been written on this list by Bill Dwyer, Patrick Stephens, A. Weingarten, and others outlining the proper Objectivist ideology regarding rights, Yes, and much of it refuted. I've studied Objectivism in-depth for over forty years and I an well aware of the "proper Objectivist ideology regarding rights." But, I am not arguing over what Objectivism says. I already know what it says, and that is what I am challenging. But, the above paragraph demonstrates again, your confusion on more than one level. If you agree with Bill Dwyer, then you must disagree with the others you mention, because they hold differing views. Bill states explicitly --that babies do not have rights. Just yesterday 3/23, he said: "I agree that newborn babies and the severely retarded do not have individual rights." And to further demonstrate how "off the mark" Teresa's views are, I'd like to refer everyone to her post of 3/21 where she made the incredible claim that chimps don't even have minds. She said: >"A chimp will never draw pictures of his friends or favorite food, nor will it fly, or burrow for shelter. These activities will never once occur to the smartest of chimps. Why? Because they lack the very thing that makes these and all animal activity easily accomplished by humans: A mind." Chimps lack minds?? What??? Hardly any of even the most rabid ANTI- animal-rights philosophers think chimps are mindless, and even fewer cognitive scientists do. That is a ludicrous statement, but one that fits well with Teresa's other uninformed views. I don't know how I missed it when she first said it. If I had seen that statement before now, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble trying to debate her at all. Certainly, no rational discussion can take place with anyone who believes that chimps don't have minds. ><snip> I suppose, that you find it appropriate to put words in my mouth. Unfortunately, the words came right out of your mouth. Gayle Dean From: "Ralph Blanchette" Reply- To: "OWL" <objectivism Subject: OWL: Refuting Singer's Argument from Marginal Cases Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 23:19:29 -0500 -- Refuting Singer's Argument from marginal Cases -- Since my last post was somewhat discursive, I want to make a more rigorous case for rejecting the argument from marginal cases for beasts' rights. Following the reasoning of Singer perhaps, Gayle Dean insists on an even-handed application of the criterion for rights. That is what I here provide. The IEP ( ) summarizes Singer’s Argument from Marginal Cases as follows: ===================== (1) In order to conclude that all and only human beings deserve a full and equal moral status (and therefore that no animals deserve a full and equal moral status), there must be some property P that all and only human beings have that can ground such a claim. (2) Any P that only human beings have is a property that (some) human beings lack (e.g., the marginal cases). (3) Any P that all human beings have is a property that (most) animals have as well. (4) Therefore, there is no way to defend the claim that all and only human beings deserve a full and equal moral status. ==================== I reply: (5) P = dependence by nature on the creation of values through (some agent’s) exercise of reason for the survival of one’s self and one’s species. (6) Since _no_ human being lacks P, including the marginal cases, (2) is false. (7) Since _no_ beast has P, (3) is false. (8) Therefore all and only human beings deserve a full and equal moral (/legal) status, and the argument from marginal cases fails. -- Ralph Blanchette
  4. Peter

    Fake News

    William wrote: This video is a promo and extract, from RDI in 2010. Can you gauge the amount of fakeyness from this? Gosh no, William. They were speaking some foreign or alien language. I mean, it was ridiculous. If I talked like that, my parents would have given me a whippin’. The “wink, wink” parody of propagandistic news is funny. It’s meant to be worth your time. You will be paid in chuckles. And since the fake news of the national enquirer and other supermarket tabloids is meant to be laughable, you can’t sue them for defamation. They are spoofing the reader . . . yet some older people I once knew did find credibility in many of their stories. My favorite anecdote on this subject, was that I saved the papers with the “psychic’s predictions" for the coming year and read them aloud on New Years Eve of the following year. There might be one spot-on one for several of the “of course everybody knew that would happen,” predictions and many were so stupid it was embarrassing. Psychics are parasites and con artists. Oh, what to do? Some of "my predictions". Freedom of the press also should entail “ridicule of the press” if it is wrong or if a pattern of deliberate lying is detected. A “watchdog” world should a) growl in anger, b) snap at their ankles, c) piss on their shoes, or d) rip out their press credentials and bury them in the backyard? “Fake!” “Losers!” Late night TV and SNL should pick up on the truly evil ones who deserve to be satirized and trashed. Right now, they are not doing their jobs. I just saw a MSN headline about a convicted child molester who escaped just three days after incarceration. BOLO: be on the lookout for. APB: all points bulletin. SOS: shoot on sight.
  5. Peter

    When the Catholic Church gets creepy

    For several years I have considered the real possibility that "all priests" even some who are married as is done in the Episcopal Church are potential pedophiles and may have eagerly sought the job to have blasphemous access to children. In other words, not only are they monsters, but they are scam artists too. They don't care if they burn in hell because they don't believe in "their god" and hell, any way.
  6. Peter

    Aristotle's wheel paradox

    Ba’al wrote: Models a slipping wheel on a track. Well, when I saw no one was talking about this paradox I barked and dug up an old boner from the group, “Right Said Fred.” I'm too sexy for my shirt too sexy for my shirt So sexy it hurts And I'm too sexy for Milan too sexy for Milan New York and Japan And I'm too sexy for your party Too sexy for your party No way I'm disco dancing.
  7. Peter

    Donald Trump

    I saw a few blurbs from Truman's, oops I mean Trump's speech when he commented that he was sweating through his new suit but if you guys can handle it so can I. Ya know, it might be time to reset the alarm clock to 2025.
  8. Peter

    Fake News

    President Trump tweeted, “The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick! 7:38 AM - Aug 5, 2018.” But with a different “News” complaint, William wrote about Canadian TV news, “The RDI network has the snooziest, blandest, most comatose anchors of all the national news channels here. This is the flagship in French.” Is the French language station Fake News? If RDI truly and honestly reported the news but was bland, I would still watch it. Fox has Bret Baier doing the news at six and then commentary at 6:30 and he is a bit bland, in the way Walter Cronkite was. Remember Cronkite’s sign off? “And that's the way it is,” Bret’s signoff used to be “Fair and balanced,” but he stopped doing it. Jeff Glor on CBS is also bland. The news on ABC, especially the weekend news, is radical and hateful, not just because of what they say but also because of the “story selection,” It’s the same for NBC. But the leftist, radical MSNBC and CNN cannot be topped for their “severe hatred syndrome.” It doesn’t matter if America is doing well, because if their neo communist/fascist elitists didn’t create the good news then it is bad news for them. They are propagandists who cannot love America unless America is trending towards their Cuban-esque paradise. Peter
  9. Peter

    Fake News

    I mentioned that every American has a “built-in meter” that spots the fakes, but then I remembered the hoaxes of the past, so I think we are still susceptible to propaganda, but “the times they are a changin’” as doofus wrote, early in his lyrical life. I wonder how that “everybody must get stoned” is working for Dylan now? A few hoaxes: Orson Welles' 'War of the Worlds'. ... Britney Spears' Death Hoax. ... The Runaway Bride. ... 'Gay Girl in Damascus' Blog. ... The 'Autobiography' of Howard Hughes. ... Paul is Dead. ... The Cardiff Giant. ... The internet is a great teacher, teens still fall for fake news.
  10. Peter

    Fake News

    How does a foreign government "influence" an election in a meaningful way? After all we are a freedom loving people who are used to political ads, explicit, and covert tactics to change our minds about candidates and manufactured products. We know when we are being conned or swayed. Every human has that built in fake-o-meter about everything in life. Politicians? Salespeople? And even associates and family members have taught us to take everything "with a grain of salt." So, unless I join a "mob" or a "rally," my thinking will not be influenced. Peter
  11. Peter

    Trump humor

    It is conceivable that legal aliens are being robbed of their American jobs by "illegals." And I remember a statistic that showed "illegals" lowered the unskilled pay rate thru supply and demand.
  12. When I lived in Japan and South Korea paper masks were popular to keep dust, pollution and sand out of your face. So, there I was in a store the other day, and I saw a man walking the aisles with a hospital type mask. Immunity problems, I wondered? I assumed the mask was to protect him from me and not me from him. The air is full of microorganisms. Human bodies are full of microorganisms. We could not live without them and it is a symbiotic relationship between “the bugs” and us. Some earlier plans for a Mars expedition included the reintroduction of cold and flu viruses to the humans on board at least once a year to keep our immune systems up to par. If we visited a planet with life we would need to be very careful about exposure to their “bugs” and the alien lifeforms, to our bugs. And any terraforming we accomplish, could give rise to microorganisms evolved in an alien environment, that might harm any humans who at a later date, travel to live there. Peter
  13. Peter

    Donald Trump

    William quoted: President Trump on Wednesday wasted no time at the NATO summit in airing grievances over a perceived lack of defense spending by allies, previewing what is likely to be a confrontational next couple of days in Belgium. end quote Sounds good to me but is it time to make deficits and THE DEBT an issue too? Several times in the last weeks on the Fox Business Network, commentators are worried because it is projected that in just two more years President Trump’s deficit spending will increase the debt by a trillion dollars. Crash. Peter From the Miami debate in 2016. BASH: Mr. Trump, you don't want to raise the retirement age, and you also don't want to cut benefits even for wealthier Americans. But according to the Social Security Administration, unless adjustments are made, Social Security is projected to run out of money within 20 years. So specifically, what would you do to stop that from happening? TRUMP: Well, first of all, I want you to understand that the Democrats, and I've watched them very intensely, even though it's a very, very boring thing to watch, that the Democrats are doing nothing with Social Security. They're leaving it the way it is. In fact, they want to increase it. They want to actually give more. And that's what we're up against. And whether we like it or not, that is what we're up against. I will do everything within my power not to touch Social Security, to leave it the way it is; to make this country rich again; to bring back our jobs; to get rid of deficits; to get rid of waste, fraud and abuse, which is rampant in this country, rampant, totally rampant.
  14. Peter

    23 Reasons Objectivists (Might) Love Roy Moore [Updated]

    I came across an interesting mash up. "Flag and Cross." Will we return to the Dark Ages or The Crusades, brothers and sisters?
  15. Peter

    Aristotle's wheel paradox

    Youse guys could invent a better 18 wheeler.