NASA Wastes Money On Doomsday Report


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 53
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Naomi,

That's not what I asked.

Michael

Then what sort of answer did you have in mind?

The sort of answer that addresses Michael's question: "about the role of government regarding force"

Can't get any clearer than that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Naomi,

That's cool.

You don't have to answer.

I'm fine with what you know and don't know.

Michael

I'd love to answer if only I had a better idea of what it is that you're asking. Everything I know about the relation of government to the use of force is simply to broad a category to exhaustively identify each thing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to answer if only I had a better idea of what it is that you're asking.

Naomi,

That's exactly what I thought.

You literally have no idea about what I'm asking.

That tells me more than I prefer to argue about. Hang around a while and you will get up to speed. You have a good mind.

You might want to brush up on the Objectivist (and maybe libertarian) literature, too, since as you say you have already read it.

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to answer if only I had a better idea of what it is that you're asking.

Naomi,

That's exactly what I thought.

You literally have no idea about what I'm asking.

That tells me more than I prefer to argue about. Hang around a while and you will get up to speed. You have a good mind.

You might want to brush up on the Objectivist (and maybe libertarian) literature, too, since as you say you have already read it.

Michael

No, I know exactly what you're asking, but the problem is that you're asking too much.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to answer if only I had a better idea of what it is that you're asking.

Naomi,

That's exactly what I thought.

You literally have no idea about what I'm asking.

That tells me more than I prefer to argue about. Hang around a while and you will get up to speed. You have a good mind.

You might want to brush up on the Objectivist (and maybe libertarian) literature, too, since as you say you have already read it.

Michael

No, I know exactly what you're asking, but the problem is that you're asking too much.

Perhaps this will help:

Physical Force

"Whatever may be open to disagreement, there is one act of evil that may not, the act that no man may commit against others and no man may sanction or forgive. So long as men desire to live together, no man may initiate—do you hear me? no man may start—the use of physical force against others.

To interpose the threat of physical destruction between a man and his perception of reality, is to negate and paralyze his means of survival; to force him to act against his own judgment, is like forcing him to act against his own sight. Whoever, to whatever purpose or extent, initiates the use of force, is a killer acting on the premise of death in a manner wider than murder: the premise of destroying man’s capacity to live.

Do not open your mouth to tell me that your mind has convinced you of your right to force my mind. Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gun begins. When you declare that men are irrational animals and propose to treat them as such, you define thereby your own character and can no longer claim the sanction of reason—as no advocate of contradictions can claim it. There can be no “right” to destroy the source of rights, the only means of judging right and wrong: the mind.

To force a man to drop his own mind and to accept your will as a substitute, with a gun in place of a syllogism, with terror in place of proof, and death as the final argument—is to attempt to exist in defiance of reality. Reality demands of man that he act for his own rational interest; your gun demands of him that he act against it. Reality threatens man with death if he does not act on his rational judgment; you threaten him with death if he does. You place him in a world where the price of his life is the surrender of all the virtues required by life—and death by a process of gradual destruction is all that you and your system will achieve, when death is made to be the ruling power, the winning argument in a society of men.

Be it a highwayman who confronts a traveler with the ultimatum: “Your money or your life,” or a politician who confronts a country with the ultimatum: “Your children’s education or your life,” the meaning of that ultimatum is: “Your mind or your life”—and neither is possible to man without the other".

-from Galt's speech, Ayn Rand

Link to post
Share on other sites

The proper role of government is to protect the individual rights of its citizens.

Perhaps this will help:

Physical Force

"Whatever may be open to disagreement, there is one act of evil that may not, the act that no man may commit against others and no man may sanction or forgive. So long as men desire to live together, no man may initiate—do you hear me? no man may start—the use of physical force against others.

To interpose the threat of physical destruction between a man and his perception of reality, is to negate and paralyze his means of survival; to force him to act against his own judgment, is like forcing him to act against his own sight. Whoever, to whatever purpose or extent, initiates the use of force, is a killer acting on the premise of death in a manner wider than murder: the premise of destroying man’s capacity to live.

Do not open your mouth to tell me that your mind has convinced you of your right to force my mind. Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gun begins. When you declare that men are irrational animals and propose to treat them as such, you define thereby your own character and can no longer claim the sanction of reason—as no advocate of contradictions can claim it. There can be no “right” to destroy the source of rights, the only means of judging right and wrong: the mind.

To force a man to drop his own mind and to accept your will as a substitute, with a gun in place of a syllogism, with terror in place of proof, and death as the final argument—is to attempt to exist in defiance of reality. Reality demands of man that he act for his own rational interest; your gun demands of him that he act against it. Reality threatens man with death if he does not act on his rational judgment; you threaten him with death if he does. You place him in a world where the price of his life is the surrender of all the virtues required by life—and death by a process of gradual destruction is all that you and your system will achieve, when death is made to be the ruling power, the winning argument in a society of men.

Be it a highwayman who confronts a traveler with the ultimatum: “Your money or your life,” or a politician who confronts a country with the ultimatum: “Your children’s education or your life,” the meaning of that ultimatum is: “Your mind or your life”—and neither is possible to man without the other".

-from Galt's speech, Ayn Rand

Oh look, that whole giant speech summarized in one sentence. It's almost like I know what I'm talking about...

Link to post
Share on other sites

The proper role of government is to protect the individual rights of its citizens.

. . .

Oh look, that whole giant speech summarized in one sentence. It's almost like I know what I'm talking about...

Naomi,

Right...

The proper role of government must be what I asked you about.

I used to bluff a crapload when I was younger, but what the hell do I know?

:)

Anyway, got better things to do right now.

Do have fun...

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites

Naomi,

Right...

The proper role of government must be what I asked you about.

I used to bluff a crapload when I was younger, but what the hell do I know?

:smile:

Anyway, got better things to do right now.

Do have fun...

Michael

If you're always gonna assume the worst of me and never even consider that you might be being even a little vague I honestly don't even know why I bother.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On the contrary of having too much to say about government and force, there's really not much to say at all.

The obvious: The government relates to force through law enforcement and armed forces. These even have "force" in their name.

The evil: Secret police.

What Objectivists and libertarians know from the literature (agree with it or not): The government has a legal monopoly on using force for coercion and execution (sometimes called initiation of force). Citizens get to use force for self-defense.

Objectivists and libertarians encourage (and insist on) the adoption and implementation of the principle of non-initiation of force for both government and individuals. They differ a lot on the details.

In countries ruled by law and not dictator, this government monopoly is restricted against abuse by law and enforced by the government's own agencies of enforcement--the members of which swear an oath to uphold the law and to obey the office of the leader in carrying out that duty. They do not pledge allegiance to a specific king or dictator.

There are a few exceptions (citizen arrests, bounty hunters, torture, etc.), but those are the essentials.

People who don't know this have either not read much about it, or do not understand what they read.

Now the next stage in the bluff is to say, "That's so obvious I didn't think it was worth saying."

Heh.

You would imagine someone who declared she would steal my stuff if I did not surrender it to her willingly would have thought this through.

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites
His plan B could be a 357, and plan C could be that if someone who held the same kind of "ideals" and saw that he missed could join in and shoot you and I would cheer for them and or help if I could. I would prefer though that appealing to reason and rationality we could use all those conventional sounding ideals and try and organize a civil society such that someone would be tasked with shooting your ass.

Ahh, but you see, if you have enough strength to stop me and everyone similarly inclined, then who will have enough strength to stop you should you decide to take my stuff?

You wouldn't have to worry about me, I can't prove that to you , you'll just have to take my word on that. The society I find myself in today still 'feels' it necessary to disguise taking(taxation) as legitimate. It has not yet reached the point of openly stealing from eveyone and anyone justified by might makes right, god help us if/when it does. As I see it the only defense against that situation is an appeal to reason and rationality.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know of anyone who has argued that "civilization under capitalism will continue to prosper forever." Ed certainly did not say that in his article, unless I missed something. What I said was that it has never been done before, so we have no historical evidence one way or the other. You implied that there is historical evidence and that it disproves that statement. The only argument I was making is that you shouldn't call out someone on their lack of historical evidence, when you have none of your own.

If you know of a civilization that has done it before, please do share.

If a civilization does not collapse, as Ed is arguing that it won't, then what other possibility is there than that it will go on forever?

We obviously have different interpretations of what Ed is arguing. I suppose he's the only one who can clarify.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On the contrary of having too much to say about government and force, there's really not much to say at all.

The obvious: The government relates to force through law enforcement and armed forces. These even have "force" in their name.

The evil: Secret police.

What Objectivists and libertarians know from the literature (agree with it or not): The government has a legal monopoly on using force for coercion and execution (sometimes called initiation of force). Citizens get to use force for self-defense.

Objectivists and libertarians encourage (and insist on) the adoption and implementation of the principle of non-initiation of force for both government and individuals. They differ a lot on the details.

In countries ruled by law and not dictator, this government monopoly is restricted against abuse by law and enforced by the government's own agencies of enforcement--the members of which swear an oath to uphold the law and to obey the office of the leader in carrying out that duty. They do not pledge allegiance to a specific king or dictator.

There are a few exceptions (citizen arrests, bounty hunters, torture, etc.), but those are the essentials.

People who don't know this have either not read much about it, or do not understand what they read.

Now the next stage in the bluff is to say, "That's so obvious I didn't think it was worth saying."

Heh.

You would imagine someone who declared she would steal my stuff if I did not surrender it to her willingly would have thought this through.

Michael

Maybe it's my girl power kicking in and making me want to support Naomi a bit, but I wouldn't have known this was what you were asking either, Michael. Granted, I'm not a student of Objectivism to the degree that you are, so you could probably say that, like Naomi, I don't know enough. The only difference being that I would agree with you, while Naomi doesn't appear to.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In addition to my previous post, people who have studied Objectivism a little deeper know the following passage by Ayn Rand from "The Nature of Government"--the full essay is available online at the link provided.

(btw--I just wrote the webmaster for the Ayn Rand Lexicon about the typo in the title--they spelled government as goverment. No biggie, but this is an important essay. I would most definitely share this love with TAS if I ever found an error on one of their sites. :) )

There is only one basic principle to which an individual must consent if he wishes to live in a free, civilized society: the principle of renouncing the use of physical force and delegating to the government his right of physical self-defense, for the purpose of an orderly, objective, legally defined enforcement.

This is the passage that causes trouble once in a while.

For example, I know I don't recall renouncing anything in exchange for living "in a free, civilized society," nor do I recall delegating my right of physical self-defense or anything of the kind to anyone. All that stuff was in place way before I was born.

I'm not against the government's legal monopoly on force, nor against Rand's distinction of retaliatory force. I am against justifying this by pretending I chose something I did not. The best that can be said is I went along with it as I grew up because I was told to, and later, as I matured and heard the stories, it looked to me like using force against others was dangerous, that criminals were hunted down by large government organizations called law enforcement.

That, not free will, was the foundation of my acceptance of government and how it related to force. My free will in the matter came much, much later.

In other words, I did not create a political philosophy as a baby, nor as an infant, nor adolescent, nor adult. It was presented to me in the same manner water is presented to a fish.

As an adult, I get to choose whether I want to remain in it if I ever have a reason to think about it. (We do in philosophy, but many people never get to this point.) I don't get to choose whether I want it from the beginning, and likewise, I don't initially get to choose what I delegate and renounce.

People who object to Objectivism sometimes jump on this point about Rand's portrayal of force and government and do a dance on the inconsistency. They should, too. Rand has a great set of ideas in that essay, but this particular argument is lousy.

There is a much better one involving human nature, but that is outside the scope of this post.

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites

Deanna,

Heh.

Call it tough love.

:smile:

If the young lady wants to go around telling people what property of theirs she would distribute to others, she's going to get a lot worse elsewhere if one day she actually tries it. :smile:

I think she has a good mind, but when she gets stuck in her rhetorical game, the ideas flow off her back in drops of jargon like with a duck and water. She will dismiss anything and everything wholesale when she is in that mode and running round and round in her little rhetorical hamster wheel that goes nowhere. At those times she gets loud about how everyone is wrong while she gets everything wrong.

I love seeing her actually use her mind (as she has done), not doing that crap.

Hell, it's even good to guess and be wrong at times. At least you're thinking.

Besides, dismissing everything as "conventional" or "a lot" and garbage like that is no excuse for not trying. If I asked you (Deanna) what you thought of force and government, would you have stalled and hemmed and hawed and looked for some kind of competitive edge, or at least said something? Most people on a board where Objectivism is discussed have some kind of opinion about this. It's not a question about brain surgery.

The idea here is to discuss ideas, not affect postures of superiority with empty words and dismissal.

But don't worry, momma bear.* :smile: She'll be OK. She's a good kid, she's bright, and she's a big girl.

Michael

* btw - I find that to be a really charming trait in you. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

On the contrary of having too much to say about government and force, there's really not much to say at all.

The obvious: The government relates to force through law enforcement and armed forces. These even have "force" in their name.

The evil: Secret police.

What Objectivists and libertarians know from the literature (agree with it or not): The government has a legal monopoly on using force for coercion and execution (sometimes called initiation of force). Citizens get to use force for self-defense.

Objectivists and libertarians encourage (and insist on) the adoption and implementation of the principle of non-initiation of force for both government and individuals. They differ a lot on the details.

In countries ruled by law and not dictator, this government monopoly is restricted against abuse by law and enforced by the government's own agencies of enforcement--the members of which swear an oath to uphold the law and to obey the office of the leader in carrying out that duty. They do not pledge allegiance to a specific king or dictator.

There are a few exceptions (citizen arrests, bounty hunters, torture, etc.), but those are the essentials.

People who don't know this have either not read much about it, or do not understand what they read.

Now the next stage in the bluff is to say, "That's so obvious I didn't think it was worth saying."

Heh.

You would imagine someone who declared she would steal my stuff if I did not surrender it to her willingly would have thought this through.

Michael

You wouldn't have to worry about me, I can't prove that to you , you'll just have to take my word on that. The society I find myself in today still 'feels' it necessary to disguise taking(taxation) as legitimate. It has not yet reached the point of openly stealing from eveyone and anyone justified by might makes right, god help us if/when it does. As I see it the only defense against that situation is an appeal to reason and rationality.

Do you honestly see no problem with this? It's like someone asked you to pay him to protect you from other thieves and then promises he won't do anything bad to you as long as you keep the money flowing. From history, we know that the government has gone back on its promise, and continues to do so without showing any signs of stopping any time soon. And maybe we really don't have to worry about tmj, but does that mean we don't have to worry about his successors or anyone else?

This is the danger of a conventional approach to politics. It blinds you to the obvious danger by dangling a shiny utopia in front of you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If the young lady wants to go around telling people what property of theirs she would distribute to others, she's going to get a lot worse elsewhere if one day she actually tries it.

I didn't say I would do this, I was just saying that an appeal to rights or reason wouldn't be enough to stop me if I was inclined to do so.

Besides, dismissing everything as "conventional" or "a lot" and garbage like that is no excuse for not trying. If I asked you (Deanna) what you thought of force and government, would you have stalled and hemmed and hawed and looked for some kind of competitive edge, or at least said something? Most people on a board where Objectivism is discussed have some kind of opinion about this. It's not a question about brain surgery.

I'm not dismissing everything as "conventional" just because it is "conventional". I'm rejecting the things that are obviously wrong on the basis of reason and evidence. The "conventional" part is just an explanation of why people believe these things despite evidence to the contrary.

And I did not try to stall, I answered your question immediately despite not being 100% clear on what you were asking because I was interpreting it as charitably as possible, but I'm not about to start playing guessing games.

Objective law is the key.

But you have to read Rand to understand what she means by that.

And our courts do a pretty good job at it. (Not always, but pretty good in general. Far better than dictatorship by technocrat. :smile: )

Michael

In actual practice, "objective law" only applies to you and me, but not to the important people. Seriously, if it was your business that was about to go under in 2008, do you think you would have gotten a bailout?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't say I would do this, I was just saying that an appeal to rights or reason wouldn't be enough to stop me if I was inclined to do so.

Naomi,

Nobody I know just appeals to rights or reason when dealing with a person inclined to steal. They call the cops. (Or make good use of their Second Amendment rights.)

That's why I asked about force and government.

Pretending that Objectivists and libertarians think a syllogism is the only thing they have for protection is basically making up a persona to argue against. It has nothing to do with the actual arguments they make or the actual people who make them.

Not even ancaps (who I disagree with on many things).

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't say I would do this, I was just saying that an appeal to rights or reason wouldn't be enough to stop me if I was inclined to do so.

Naomi,

Nobody I know just appeals to rights or reason when dealing with a person inclined to steal. They call the cops. (Or make good use of their Second Amendment rights.)

That's why I asked about force and government.

Pretending that Objectivists and libertarians think a syllogism is the only thing they have for protection is basically making up a persona to argue against. It has nothing to do with the actual arguments they make or the actual people who make them.

Not even ancaps (who I disagree with on many things).

Michael

I never said that they did appeal to just reason. But they do believe that

1) people will realize that it is unethical to initiate force and so they won't

2) if 1 fails, then the government will use retaliatory force and it will do so ethically.

So you see it does ultimately boil down to an appeal to reason.

As for me, I agree with 1 but not 2. Ethical people won't do wrong, but it is irrational to expect that everyone will be ethical.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I never said that they did appeal to just reason. But they do believe that

1) people will realize that it is unethical to initiate force and so they won't

2) if 1 fails, then the government will use retaliatory force and it will do so ethically.

Naomi,

Just because you say so?

Heh.

How do you know this?

As you would say, what is your evidence?

I'm pretty well read in libertarian literature and very well read in Objectivist. I have never seen your assumptions in this material.

Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now