BetweenTheLines

STRONGEST Anti-Objectivist Arguments

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According to C : Where B is in existence, A is redundant, and immoral;
Tony, this is clearly fallacious. It couldn't be clearer. The conclusion is included in "According to C". That is called 'begging the question'. Look it up. Bob

:o

Twisting, wriggling, now floundering, Bob - but not off the hook.

Can't get much simpler than that.

Based upon the principle of rational egoism :- romantic love / altruism are mutually exclusive..

(..you must have one, without the other...) :cool:

If one agrees with the 3 definitions, the conclusion is consistent, and non-contradictory. Value, and non-value mix like a little cyanide in your soup.

Of course, if you have grown so attached to "altruism", nobody's going to talk you out of it.

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According to C : Where B is in existence, A is redundant, and immoral;
Tony, this is clearly fallacious. It couldn't be clearer. The conclusion is included in "According to C". That is called 'begging the question'. Look it up. Bob

If one agrees with the 3 definitions, the conclusion is consistent, and non-contradictory. Value, and non-value mix like a little cyanide in your soup.

"is consistent, and non-contradictory" is not relevant. The conclusion is included in the premises. This is fallacious - not (necessarily) wrong or contradictory.

I don't think you know what a fallacy is.

Bob

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"If a mother buys food for her hungry child rather than a hat for herself, it is not a sacrifice: she values the child higher than the hat; but it is a sacrifice to the kind of mother whose higher value is the hat, who would prefer her child to starve and feeds him only from a sense of duty" That's just psychotic... See the difference?? It's Rand's goofy conclusions that I'm focusing on. "Goofy" is a mild term. Rand's morality deeply offends me on a number of levels.

Oh rubbish. Self-righteousness, and all.

Do you really believe that there don't exist mothers who secretly WOULD prefer to buy the hat? But, reluctantly, dutifully, and in a SELF-SACRIFICIAL manner, will buy food for the child, anyway? And probably resent him for it?

I have seen and heard far worse.

Less value in her child than in the hat, indicates how screwed up are her priorities - in fact, if she knew no-one were watching her, God included, she'd likely let her child go without a meal.

The valuing -loving - mother, however, would not give the hat a single thought in the same context as her baby. Is she self-sacrificial, or selfish, I ask you?

If one refuses to understand the hierarchy of values, one won't get Oist morality.

Tony

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Stupidity != Altruism

Bob, I'm asking again: Why was, in your opinion, giving money to that relative a bad idea? Stupid, even?

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"If a mother buys food for her hungry child rather than a hat for herself, it is not a sacrifice: she values the child higher than the hat; but it is a sacrifice to the kind of mother whose higher value is the hat, who would prefer her child to starve and feeds him only from a sense of duty" That's just psychotic... See the difference?? It's Rand's goofy conclusions that I'm focusing on. "Goofy" is a mild term. Rand's morality deeply offends me on a number of levels.

Do you really believe that there don't exist mothers who secretly WOULD prefer to buy the hat? But, reluctantly, dutifully, and in a SELF-SACRIFICIAL manner, will buy food for the child, anyway? And probably resent him for it?

Tony

Is that story Mum in a Hat the sequel to the Cat in the Hat?

1811016z2fh8jzalh.gif

Adam

Carol has a very bad influence on me, but I love it!

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"If a mother buys food for her hungry child rather than a hat for herself, it is not a sacrifice: she values the child higher than the hat; but it is a sacrifice to the kind of mother whose higher value is the hat, who would prefer her child to starve and feeds him only from a sense of duty" That's just psychotic... See the difference?? It's Rand's goofy conclusions that I'm focusing on. "Goofy" is a mild term. Rand's morality deeply offends me on a number of levels.

Oh rubbish. Self-righteousness, and all.

Do you really believe that there don't exist mothers who secretly WOULD prefer to buy the hat? But, reluctantly, dutifully, and in a SELF-SACRIFICIAL manner, will buy food for the child, anyway? And probably resent him for it?

I have seen and heard far worse.

Less value in the child than in the hat, indicates how screwed up are her priorities - in fact, if she knew no-one were watching her, God included, she'd likely let her child go without a meal.

The valuing mother, however, would not give the hat a single thought in the same context as her baby. Is she self-sacrificial? I ask you.

If one refuses to understand the hierarchy of values, one won't get Oist morality.

Tony

Hey, if I'd rather screw a boy than a woman which is selfish and which is selfless if I go with my nature or against this proclivity? Values are subjective and objective, personal and social and humans are biologically social constructs. I do not want the living death of being a social outcast as much as I'd like to cast out much of what passes for society today. In that context it's "Hello, there, woman!" for me. There's an old European movie from the early 1930s--German I think--called "M" starring Peter Lorie who plays a serial child killer. The criminal underground tracks him down and traps him. The Lorie character exclaims, ~I have no choice in what I do! But you have a choice! You've chosen to be criminals!~ This attempt by the film-maker to put the killer on a higher moral footing than robbers is stupid, ignorant and disgusting and embraces the contradiction of having and not having free will using an implicit mental disease model. But who has ever heard of a mental disease involving serial child killing instead of the actual situation of sexual-molestation child-killing which the film-maker couldn't use as it would have been much too much for the protagonist to swim through? One can understand a sexual compulsion much easier than a mere killing compulsion which is what was wanted in the movie: non-understanding of motive; understanding of lack of choice which is taken as an illustrated bed-rock given. Addiction is, however, a choice. The more you do something ~addictive~ the easier it is to keep doing it so in its extremity choice seems to have evaporated and you seemingly have no choice. No, what you have is a bad habit--or worse.

It's time to understand that Randian heroes are selfless/selfish, but that the heroism stopped for the saved when they entered Galt's Gulch. (What Francisco did wasn't necessary and what Ragnar did wasn't possible.) Who was the greatest hero in Atlas Shrugged? Dagny, followed by Rearden. She built that railroad, then the novel went completely downhill Russian. America had worn off. I think Rand was aware of this existentially, but it got too much into the psychology of her Americans who weren't Americans--hoi polloi.

--Brant

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"If a mother buys food for her hungry child rather than a hat for herself, it is not a sacrifice: she values the child higher than the hat; but it is a sacrifice to the kind of mother whose higher value is the hat, who would prefer her child to starve and feeds him only from a sense of duty" That's just psychotic... See the difference?? It's Rand's goofy conclusions that I'm focusing on. "Goofy" is a mild term. Rand's morality deeply offends me on a number of levels.

Oh rubbish. Self-righteousness, and all.

Do you really believe that there don't exist mothers who secretly WOULD prefer to buy the hat? But, reluctantly, dutifully, and in a SELF-SACRIFICIAL manner, will buy food for the child, anyway? And probably resent him for it?

You're not seeing how Rand screwed this up. This item is rather revealing how messed up her altruism nonsense really is. Her point over and over again is that self-sacrificial behaviour is the worst evil. Here she criticizes the woman who would save the child. If the child isn't worth much to the mother, then she acts altruistically when she buys the food. But wait a minute, her act saved the child. Should she have acted out of a sense of duty? If no, the child dies, if yes, then duty/altruism is sometimes good. She can't have it both ways.

Bob

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...what I was getting at was that regardless of whether your act was altruistic or not, it was a dumb thing to do. Some altruistic acts are going to be a bad idea, just like some selfish acts will be a bad idea. However not all altruistic acts are bad. The point was don't throw all atruism into the "bad idea" pile because you did something dumb. It's not the same thing. That's my point. Bob

Mixed altruism/rational selfishness, in ethics.

That's the same principle behind 'mixed economy' (half control, and a half freedom) , or 'mixed epistemology' (half rationality, and half instinct). It's a skeptical and agnostic position.

Cold water with hot water is lukewarm. One foot on the brake, and the other on the gas, will get one nowhere.

Playing it safe, sitting on the fence.

Altruism defines this era's cynical zeitgeist that places high morality on a person paying a substantial price for something - way beyond its obvious value.

(If it don't hurt enough, then you don't mean it.)

It has no place in the economy, in a healthy society, or in loving relationships.

Tony

I guess I missed this one when it was originally posted.

This attitude is nicely illustrative of the blind embrace of a principle, while simultaneously completely dismissing reality. Randian selfishness good, Randian altruism bad. Totally obvious false dichotomy.

The reality of many, many systems is that balance is the key. Sugar to a starving man will save his life. Sugar as exclusive diet will kill him before long. A drug may save your life. Too much of the same drug and you're dead. All altruism and you'll be miserable. All selfishness and you'll also be miserable.

Like...duh...

It's your ill-conceived aversion to a mixed economy that fuels your obstinence to an obvious reality problem.

"It has no place in the economy, in a healthy society, or in loving relationships."

If you honestly think that action by you that is solely intended to benefit your partner has NO part in loving relationships, you either never had one, never will have one, or both.

Bob

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...what I was getting at was that regardless of whether your act was altruistic or not, it was a dumb thing to do. Some altruistic acts are going to be a bad idea, just like some selfish acts will be a bad idea. However not all altruistic acts are bad. The point was don't throw all atruism into the "bad idea" pile because you did something dumb. It's not the same thing. That's my point. Bob

Mixed altruism/rational selfishness, in ethics.

That's the same principle behind 'mixed economy' (half control, and a half freedom) , or 'mixed epistemology' (half rationality, and half instinct). It's a skeptical and agnostic position.

Cold water with hot water is lukewarm. One foot on the brake, and the other on the gas, will get one nowhere.

Playing it safe, sitting on the fence.

Altruism defines this era's cynical zeitgeist that places high morality on a person paying a substantial price for something - way beyond its obvious value.

(If it don't hurt enough, then you don't mean it.)

It has no place in the economy, in a healthy society, or in loving relationships.

Tony

I guess I missed this one when it was originally posted.

This attitude is nicely illustrative of the blind embrace of a principle, while simultaneously completely dismissing reality. Randian selfishness good, Randian altruism bad. Totally obvious false dichotomy.

The reality of many, many systems is that balance is the key. Sugar to a starving man will save his life. Sugar as exclusive diet will kill him before long. A drug may save your life. Too much of the same drug and you're dead. All altruism and you'll be miserable. All selfishness and you'll also be miserable.

Like...duh...

It's your ill-conceived aversion to a mixed economy that fuels your obstinence to an obvious reality problem.

"It has no place in the economy, in a healthy society, or in loving relationships."

If you honestly think that action by you that is solely intended to benefit your partner has NO part in loving relationships, you either never had one, never will have one, or both.

Bob

Bob, without specifically commenting on any of your comments it seems to me anti-Objectivism is supremely important to you. But isn't that just the other side of the Ayn Rand coin you continually animadvert upon? The principle that philosophy isn't the end all or be all goes back at least as far as Hamlet, but neither is empiricism or what you think is going on right now. Are you trying to explain the present by justifying it or justify it by explaining it? The essential conservatism in either is moral stasis and no regard at all with what should be, which is an imperative. Objectivism from the ethics up is an imperative. But science, which shares its metaphysics and epistemology is also an imperative--ergo, both science and Objectivism are completely imperative albeit different in many respects otherwise--that is, Objectivism is not concerned with scientific investigation beyond championing and sanctioning it.

--Brant

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Stupidity != Altruism

Bob, I'm asking again: Why was, in your opinion, giving money to that relative a bad idea? Stupid, even?

It was an error. Maybe it was an error that was obvious or maybe it wasn't obvious. However, if it was a real estate transaction and you had no protection or collateral for at least some of your investment, then it was a bad decision.

Bob

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It was an error. Maybe it was an error that was obvious or maybe it wasn't obvious. However, if it was a real estate transaction and you had no protection or collateral for at least some of your investment, then it was a bad decision.

I said no such thing. I merely said I gave a lot of money to a person I didn't like and that hatred was the result. I didn't talk about a "transaction" or an "investment". I talked about a sacrifice.

What prompted you to call this stupid? What prompts you now to call this an error?

Where, exactly, is the error?

Isn't it moral to suffer for someone else?

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Bob, without specifically commenting on any of your comments it seems to me anti-Objectivism is supremely important to you. But isn't that just the other side of the Ayn Rand coin you continually animadvert upon? The principle that philosophy isn't the end all or be all goes back at least as far as Hamlet, but neither is empiricism or what you think is going on right now. Are you trying to explain the present by justifying it or justify it by explaining it? The essential conservatism in either is moral stasis and no regard at all with what should be, which is an imperative. Objectivism from the ethics up is an imperative. But science, which shares its metaphysics and epistemology is also an imperative--ergo, both science and Objectivism are completely imperative albeit different in many respects otherwise--that is, Objectivism is not concerned with scientific investigation beyond championing and sanctioning it.

--Brant

The animadversion (great word) comes from a strong belief in what Rand was trying to do, coupled with a strong aversion or offense to what I can only describe as corruption. I do not believe her corruption was accidental. I believe she was too smart not to be deliberately manipulative.

She defends reality as the final or ultimate judge of correctness of her ideas, yet too many of her ideas quite obviously fail the reality test. She goes to great lengths to obscure this. Her political motivations offend me. This is different than her political position. She defends her politics through ethics and ultimately bases it all on reality. But the reality test is failed over and over again along the way.

To say that I owe no duty whatsoever to my fellow man because I just don't care about him is actually fine with me - or at least honest. To say that any sense of duty is evil, the ethics of death, the destroyer of lives blah blah blah, is just bullshit - a false dichotomy. It does not fit with reality, period. I think she just didn't have the courage to say that she didn't care at all about other people. Instead she tried to derive this as acceptable.

Remember this is the person that tried to convice her husband that it was a good idea that she bang someone else. Her morality is offensive and there are many more examples of this type of moral pathology.

If any non-zero amount of altruism is of value, then so is the ability to criticize would-be pure egoists, and she couldn't have that now could she? Just think about what now happens if this is true (if only hypothetically).

Bob

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It was an error. Maybe it was an error that was obvious or maybe it wasn't obvious. However, if it was a real estate transaction and you had no protection or collateral for at least some of your investment, then it was a bad decision.

I said no such thing. I merely said I gave a lot of money to a person I didn't like and that hatred was the result. I didn't talk about a "transaction" or an "investment". I talked about a sacrifice.

What prompted you to call this stupid? What prompts you now to call this an error?

Where, exactly, is the error?

Isn't it moral to suffer for someone else?

No John, you talked about investment.

You wrote: "I once gave a close relative of mine my savings for some property investment."

??

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All altruism and you'll be miserable. All selfishness and you'll also be miserable. Like...duh... It's your ill-conceived aversion to a mixed economy that fuels your obstinence to an obvious reality problem. "It has no place in the economy, in a healthy society, or in loving relationships." If you honestly think that action by you that is solely intended to benefit your partner has NO part in loving relationships, you either never had one, never will have one, or both. Bob

Ah, you're a scream, Bob. A laugh a minute.

You know, we never talk about the other side of the coin: for every altruistic, sacrificial act, there is a beneficiary/ recipient/victim.

Imagine one is a homeless guy, clutching your bottle, on your regular spot on the sidewalk.

One man waliks up, slips a $5 note out - and with a smile and a wink - pushes it into your hand, and says "Enjoy it, bud!"

The next man comes up, sour-faced, squeezes out $5 from his wallet, reluctantly hands it over - then proceeds with a lecture about not spending it on booze, getting a bath, etc.

Which man is the egoist, standing for value, free choice, and showing genuine empathy?

Which man is the altruist, doing his "good deed for the day", doing his Christian duty, absolving his soul, feeling good at your expense - or whatever?

Who makes you feel uplifted for a while? same donation, different intents.

OK, a pretty black-and-white example. But we all see, and are involved in, the same scenarios all the time - if not so clear-cut.

Sacrifice is inherently dishonest, and self-indulgent. It is more about 'yourself', than it is egoistical; it stems from non-value, not conscious value. It is forced by guilt, not chosen.

This is what Rand illustrated with the mother and hat story.

Say what you will about her, but she had imagination, as well as intellect. And inductively knew the amoral, immoral, premises and outcome of altruism.

Tony

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Tony and Bob:

Tony is making a clear point here.

It is the "absolute duty" that is imposed on a given individual, in a given case, regardless of the facts and needs of the participants that is actualized in mandatory behavior by the "philosophy of altruism," as Ayn defined it.

Now, you can argue with her definition, but it appears that you would conclude that employing Ayn's definition would morally "force" you to give to the one in need, regardless of the giver's needs, desires or choices.

If this is established as the dominant social philosophy, it is one quick step to imposing that "duty" by law with punishment for violations.

Adam

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Ah, you're a scream, Bob. A laugh a minute.

You know, we never talk about the other side of the coin: for every altruistic, sacrificial act, there is a beneficiary/ recipient/victim.

Imagine one is a homeless guy, clutching your bottle, on your regular spot on the sidewalk.

One man waliks up, slips a $5 note out - and with a smile and a wink - pushes it into your hand, and says "Enjoy it, bud!"

The next man comes up, sour-faced, squeezes out $5 from his wallet, reluctantly hands it over - then proceeds with a lecture about not spending it on booze, getting a bath, etc.

Which man is the egoist, standing for value, free choice, and showing genuine empathy?

Which man is the altruist, doing his "good deed for the day", doing his Christian duty, absolving his soul, feeling good at your expense - or whatever?

Who makes you feel uplifted for a while? same donation, different intents.

OK, a pretty black-and-white example. But we all see, and are involved in, the same scenarios all the time - if not so clear-cut.

Sacrifice is inherently dishonest, and self-indulgent. It is more about 'yourself', than it is egoistical; it stems from non-value, not conscious value. It is forced by guilt, not chosen.

This is what Rand illustrated with the mother and hat story.

Say what you will about her, but she had imagination, as well as intellect. And inductively knew the amoral, immoral, premises and outcome of altruism.

Tony

Strong the Randroid force in this one is. Twisted by the Dark Side young whYNOT has become.

" It is forced by guilt, not chosen." Wrong. Unless there was no choice, it was chosen. The choice may be motivated by something you disapprove of, but it was chosen.

But lets run with the mother and hat story.

"Sacrifice is inherently dishonest, and self-indulgent. It is more about 'yourself', than it is egoistical; it stems from non-value, not conscious value."

Fine, so Either

1) It certainly looks like this is not something one should do right? So, let the child starve then.

Or,

2) Totally change your moral framework, but actually come to the conclusion that you should do the exact same thing as the 'evil' moral code (feed the child)?

Gotta pick one man, there are no contradictions in nature dude. What is it? Let the child die (and that's OK), or admit that the 'proper' code and the 'evil' code conclude the same thing?

See the corner she painted herself into here?

Bob

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Tony a Randroid?

Heh.

Tony's one of the nicest regulars on this board.

One fundamental characteristic of a Randroid is excessive condemnation.

Come to think of it, who's doing the condemning all the time. even when he gets it all wrong?

:)

On a serious note, I have found in life when a person obsesses over and over and over about condemning something, that something is in his own heart and he can't get it out, so he tries to cover it by condemning others.

I have seen that so many times, it's no longer a surprise.

Is that the case here? I'll let the readers decide for themselves.

Michael

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Tony and Bob:

Tony is making a clear point here.

It is the "absolute duty" that is imposed on a given individual, in a given case, regardless of the facts and needs of the participants that is actualized in mandatory behavior by the "philosophy of altruism," as Ayn defined it.

Now, you can argue with her definition, but it appears that you would conclude that employing Ayn's definition would morally "force" you to give to the one in need, regardless of the giver's needs, desires or choices.

If this is established as the dominant social philosophy, it is one quick step to imposing that "duty" by law with punishment for violations.

Adam

Adam,

Yes, you've hit on the crux of it. Thank you for this.

I'm not arguing with the definition per se, but rather that she manipulates through definitions to force the false dichotomy. (Michael can't seem to get a grip on this)

Let me try to think of an analogy... OK, let's look at something that's harmful. Hitting yourself on the head with a hammer. Instead of realizing that there are gentle blows, deadly blows, and everything else inbetween, Rand defines hitting yourself in the head with a hammer as "hitting yourself in the head with a hammer at supersonic speeds". Guess what, hitting yourself on the head with a hammer is therefore "death as the standard of value".

Yep, sure is.

But... what about that time you gently tap yourself on the head with the hammer to scratch an itch? Or to squish the poisonous spider that landed on your head? There is probably a better analogy. Drug dosage is probably better. A proper dose and it saves your life, injecting a gallon and you're dead. But I don't define 'taking a drug' as injecting a gallon in order to dishonestly 'prove' a point that all drugs are bad. Rand, in my opinion, quite clearly does this.

*******************************************************

"If this is established as the dominant social philosophy, it is one quick step to imposing that "duty" by law with punishment for violations."

*******************************************************

DING, DING, DING !!! You win the prize!

Damn straight, this is the implication. And clearly we have this situation now. Taxes are, in a very real sense, "mandatory charity" There's a contradiction in terms there, but I'm just agreeing with your "duty" by law implication.

See, I don't think this is a problem. A 10% tax is the "proper dose" arguably, whereas the situation now is more like a sledgehammer to the head if you forgive me for mixing metaphors. It's a matter of degree for me.

But look at the political implications you quite clearly point out if Randroids admit that her altruism argument is a fraud. That's exactly what I'm saying.

Bob

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On a serious note, I have found in life when a person obsesses over and over and over about condemning something, that something is in his own heart and he can't get it out, so he tries to cover it by condemning others.

Is that the case here? I'll let the readers decide for themselves.

Michael

I'm sure the readers will be eternally grateful that you'll be letting them decide for themselves. How ever-so-kind of you.

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Bob_Mac: You win the prize for willful ignorance. The point is in the hypocrisy. Do the "what if no one is watching" test and see if the behavior changes.

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No John, you talked about investment.

You wrote: "I once gave a close relative of mine my savings for some property investment."

It was the relative who did the investing, not me.

Now that this misunderstanding is cleared up, do you withdraw your characterization as stupid/erroneous?

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Tony a Randroid? Heh. Tony's one of the nicest regulars on this board. One fundamental characteristic of a Randroid is excessive condemnation. Michael

:cool:

Hah, Michael, I knew it was only a matter of time before I received that appellation, here!

It's really funny.

On the other leading O'ist forum, I've been called "Bohemian", and get ignored by some posters.

Here, I'm a Randroid (by at least one poster.)

Same old me, different places. Figure that out!

I don't think Bob's a bad guy - just 'over-invested' in his favorite word, is all.

Like some O'ists, he's going to make the facts fit the principle, come hell or high water.

(Bohemian Objectivist? I'm starting to like it...)

Tony

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No John, you talked about investment.

You wrote: "I once gave a close relative of mine my savings for some property investment."

It was the relative who did the investing, not me.

Now that this misunderstanding is cleared up, do you withdraw your characterization as stupid/erroneous?

John,

If you gave your relative money with no strings attached or expectations of repayment, you have no basis for being angry. If you gave the money (especially an amount that was important for you not to lose) without some type of collateral or other protection, then that was a mistake. I don't see the issue here.

We all make mistakes no? Even I do - a few years ago I thought I was wrong about something.

Bob

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Like some O'ists, he's going to make the facts fit the principle, come hell or high water.

Now this is amusing... I've shown you clear contradictory facts but you "pretend" that it's me who is pounding the square peg of facts in to the round hole of principle. Not going to fly.

The factual question below still stands:

"What is it? Let the child die (and that's morally OK), or admit that the 'proper' code and the 'evil' code conclude the same thing?"

C'mon fact boy, put up or shut up.

Bob

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If you gave your relative money with no strings attached or expectations of repayment,

This case.

you have no basis for being angry.

Basis as in *justification*, no, of course not.

But that's not an answer to my question.

You withdraw the stupid/mistake in that case? You think my behavior was right?

"What is it? Let the child die (and that's morally OK), or admit that the 'proper' code and the 'evil' code conclude the same thing?"

C'mon fact boy, put up or shut up.

The situation here will be a pre-civilized society where there are no volunteering foster parents available and one I presume it's not the mothers call anyway.

So we're talking about the case where a family might let a child die in order to get the rest through the winter or because the child's disabled and will be a drain on them in their harsh conditions.

Yes, it's their decision to make in both cases. The better maximize their happiness and survival chance and *do not sacrifice*.

Not even to their own child.

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