Derek McGowan

Self Quarantine

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[...] I think understand Jerry's pov.

Not me, not yet at any rate.

All I can know so far is that Jerry believes something about Ebola is a hoax. His general POV about government dishonesty is not a useful heuristic in re Ebola -- it doesn't allow differentiation between truth or untruth in particulars. A useful heuristic would help us to informally classify particulars. It would give criteria for accepting or rejecting a particular. It would show the steps necessary to carry out a reasoned analysis.

So, for me, the POV is cognitively crippled -- it is restricted to a narrow view, and it is darkened by bias and bigotry.

The information we get is a mix of outright lies motivated by politics, 'cover your ass' by bureaucrats, or journalistic overstatement.

This is an epistemological puzzle for me. "The information" market writ large will be a combination of reasoned/logical/tested informaton ... and extrapolations, distortions, misapprehensions, rumour, and cant. "The Information" would also include truth ... though you have left that out of the mix(!).

If I can reduce the focus to Ebola, of course "The information" we get (and how we get it) is prone to the very same mix of truth, rumour and bullshit.

For me, the information generally available about viruses ranges wide.

On one side we have the most rigorous applications of science -- the side that 'discovered' viruses and how they operate and how they differentiate and how they replicate and how they mutate -- and the mechanisms of a given virus's virulence and vectors of infection. At the other pole, we have outright denial of the reality of viruses. At this pole collect the nonsense accrued. Here we find those opinions that combine ignorance and error and false statements (eg, Bill Maher's nonsense on the subject).

Here I find a welter of "the information" that is not credible, not the result of hard slogging rational inquiry.

For me, advances in biology have opened the amazing macroscopic world of our bodies -- opened to our understanding the world of the immune system, its parts, its mechanisms, its failures, its amazing complex structures.

There really is compelling detailed knowledge of Ebola -- discernible under the crust of cant and blather and news/entertainment simplifications.

It is so sad to me that Jerry does not understand that the only thing that stands between us and crushing ignorance is reason. That he cavalierly disposes of reason ... and shows no insight into his cognitive errors -- this suggests to me that he actually rejects reason, rejects the very idea of well-warranted knowledge (in this instance the operation of the Ebola virus in primates, humans).

So, in this sense, I feel Jerry insults all our intelligence, assigns us to the column Rubes and Fools. Because he knows better. Because we are all fooled by the FDA and the CDC, fooled by the 'hoax.'

You may find, Mike, that passing insults based on Jerry's peculiar modes of thinking are the most significant. I disagree strongly -- I hold that Jerry insults the spirit of reason. I hold that his specious claims are deeply insulting in the abstract (fools who believe that Ebola is a dangerous virus) and in the particular (William, you are a fool and a dupe of the CDC/Government/FDA).

I find it more generally insulting that pernicious nonsense is peddled here.

We mostly don't know the underlying facts.

I will agree that Jerry doesn't know (accept as true) the underlying facts. And I would argue Jerry doesn't care about the underlying facts. I would argue, moreover, that Jerry doesn't actually believe facts can reliably be had -- he mistrusts or anathematizes the very 'fact'-based regimes of knowledge accrual that expose facts to our view ...

So a bland and general statement that "mostly" we are ignorant of the facts -- this rubs me entirely the wrong way. I infer that attempts on grasping 'underlying facts' are so prone to error or bias or deception that they are without value ...

I will state that I do mostly know the underlying facts, and that you also have a reasonable approximation of the facts that are in play.

I would say you accept (or believe or understand or know) that the reality of hemorrhagic virus is such and so, that such and so can be and has been empirically validated. That the virus and its genetic material has been accurately typed. That the means of transmission are understood. That prophylactic measures can be successful. That the virulence of the virus is accurately described and understood. That the Ebola virus can be reliably differentiated from the other hemorrhagic viruses in the world. That the epidemiology of Ebola is understood with reasonable certainty.

I believe you accept all these things as relatively 'factual' -- within the constraints and uncertainties of scientific reasoning.

So, reading words of approbation for Jerry's loosey-goosey epistemology is surprising. It strikes me as passive, incurious, evidence of a kind of 'relativity of truth.' It places doubt not as a tool of inquiry, but a tool of obfuscation. It elevates a curious kind of skepticism (Oh, we can never know, can we?) in which knowledge is not just conditional (on truth) but is unapproachable. In the context of Ebola, this is far too skeptical for me. An over-broad skeptical "we cannot know" seems to me a kind of "I give up on attempting to know." It devalues reason, and suggests we should be comfortable in our ignorance.

No doubt I have read too much into your interjection, Mike. But I believe there is such a thing as reliable knowledge, validated by experiment and empirical observations (of the Ebola virus and its current epidemic in Africa). So, I use your interjection to make a case for reason, not to denigrate you or Jerry as a human being.

I can't leave Jerry's lack of reason unchallenged. My motivation in challenging Jerry (and in similar context, Dean) is to put beliefs to a rational test. It is significant to me that Jerry cannot mount a defense of his original Ebola claims. He can't or won't lay out his reasoning on Ebola. It disturbs me that Jerry cannot establish a common cause with the other Realist Reasoners here.

Ebola I understand can only be transmitted by contact with bodily fluids, like aids. I would guess a 'massive' ebola outbreak in the United States might result in the deaths of a few hundred people, mostly medical workers who come in contact with an infected person and the families of these people.

The microbiology of Ebola (and other hemorrhagic viruses) is a work in progress, but at present "the information" from that work is the best available (by the measure of reason).

-- If one is only concerned with the United States or Canada, our main tasks in medical response will be containment. Canada and the United States will be vigilant to accurately identify those who bear the virus, to medically quarantine the infected, and latterly to treat the infected with what means we have.

If one thinks of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea ... well the "hoax" speaks for itself. This is the most serious outbreak since Ebola was identified back in the seventies. It is a scourge, a menace, a killing disease above all ...

If we (US/Canada/Europe) in the West want to ignore Ebola in Africa, hoping that by ignoring it it will go away ... I would suggest this is myopic and extremely dangerous. Of course, the public health bodies of the USA/Europe/Canada are helping the African nations to contain the spread.

In the scenario suggested by Jerry's 'I don't care' -- where there are no facts, no worries since it is all hoaxed -- I can see the dangerous implications of that shrug. Luckily, Jerry's head in the sand approach is opposite to the actual measures taken. His arguments are irrelevant and have no impact to the actual measures being taken and being contemplated.

It is unknown, as far as I know, the percentage of population susceptible to the disease though people who get it generally die from it. Not pleasant but won't kill but a tiny fraction of the people who die on our highways yearly. All of this is perhaps related to the topic but peripherally, and inserting it the way Jerry did amounts to trolling for insults. Mission accomplished.

I don't understand this. I cannot know Jerry's motivations, only speculate on the reason he posts nonsense. If I am in the group who has insulted Jerry in this thread, I do not consider my mission accomplished. My missions are related to reason, how we know what we know, how knowledge claims are examined ... how dangerous is Ebola.

"Not pleasant but won't kill ..." Hmmm. This doesn't leave much room to discuss the actual measures taken, whether you support them or understand them or not.

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So JTS, you didn't explicitly answer the question, is the virus itself a hoax or is just that all the alarm raised over them is unwarranted?

Also, what does this have to do with my initial post?

I don't care. In either case, I'm not concerned about viruses in the news.

This is bullshit. Jerry. You cared enough about viruses in the news to make nonsense claims about Ebola. Remember? You confidently claimed that Ebola was a hoax. And now upon Derek's query, you don't care. You won't answer the quite cogent question of 'what do you mean?' ...

That's unfair and does not show good faith. You raise questions and they are answered by thoughtful people. You are asked several times to add some precision to your claim Ebola-is-a-hoax -- and you shrug them off.

Maybe the time approaches when I ought to put you on ignore, but ignoring pernicious nonsense on OL allows it to spread. It taints the forum, in my opinion -- much as Dean's fantasy hoaxes tainted discourse. So, as long as you denigrate others as fools and dupes and pollute the pool, I will be challenging you strongly.

Edited by william.scherk

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There is no way a good human being will destroy a large part of his or her species on purpose for any reason. None.

I feel that it is problematic for you to decide who is good based on what you would do or what you would like to see done. If this individual truly sees their own satisfaction above lives of the general population then, while the results may be bad for the human race, that is what they should do.... or at least that's what I've gotten from the philosophy. Remember that Rand looked up to that serial killer guy, not because the deaths he caused were good or bad for the human race but because he didn't care what happened to others in general

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A desire not to violate the rights of other people or, more generally, a desire not to cause harm to innocent people, is not "altruism," at least not as Rand understood the term.

Ghs

Wouldn't this mean that Galt's and more likely Francisco's actions would be categorized as wrong, because according to you, they purposely set out to ruin others, they didn't care whether they were innocent or not

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Quite so, Mike.

Man's life as the standard of value ("That which is required for the survival of man qua man").

His own life as the ethical purpose ("The purpose of living a life proper to a rational being" for every individual).

Five seconds to live, or five days, that rational egoist doesn't and cannot desert his lifelong principle (recalls an atheist making a death bed conversion to religion).

What if his lifelong principles don't include a care for the human race long term?

Where is it proven that to be rational, you must care about the long term prospects of the general population? If that is a fact, we have a whole nother thread to come!

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Even if there were any part of me that could be okay with that (which there isn't), that's quite an infringment on his rights and most definitely an initation of force.

Does this mean that even the transmitting of a common cold to others could be interpreted as an infringement on others rights? Should you be able to sue a co-worker who knew they were sick and yet still came to work?

Can you sue if someone infected you with AIDS and they knew they had it? With Ebola? With Chicken Pox? With Pink eye?

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A desire not to violate the rights of other people or, more generally, a desire not to cause harm to innocent people, is not "altruism," at least not as Rand understood the term.

Ghs

Wouldn't this mean that Galt's and more likely Francisco's actions would be categorized as wrong, because according to you, they purposely set out to ruin others, they didn't care whether they were innocent or not

Galt (and other members of Galt's Gulch) simply refused to deal with others any longer. They did not inflict harm on innocent people, or violate their rights, by interfering in their lives. That's a much different matter.

Ghs

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Can you sue if someone infected you with AIDS and they knew they had it? With Ebola? With Chicken Pox? With Pink eye?

Chicken pox is rarely fatal, nor does it persist for a lifetime as does HIV. Michael Marotta has elsewhere introduced the notion that coming to work sick is near criminal, in the thread "No Right to Spread Diseases."

.

Exposing someone to the HIV virus without their knowledge is a criminal offence in Canada, the USA and in the UK. Hundreds of convictions have been achieved, according to this story at the Globe and Mail.

Canada is second only to the United States when it comes to prosecuting people who infect others with HIV, a surprising new study reveals.

More than 600 people worldwide have been convicted of a crime after infecting a sexual partner with the AIDS virus, or because they potentially exposed others to the virus through spitting, biting, blood transfusion, oral sex or intercourse, according to data compiled by the Global Network of People Living with HIV.

[...]

Richard Elliott, executive director of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, said Canada is a case in point.

There have been 63 criminal convictions related to HIV-AIDS transmission in Canada. The charges include common nuisance, sexual assault and murder.

Mr. Elliott could point to no obvious reason why Canada has a high number of prosecutions, except that it is a country with a strong tradition of the rule of law. "When you have a political system with a lot of state regulation, that can be both positive and negative," he said.

The first case of HIV transmission to be prosecuted in Canada occurred in 1998, when Henry Cuerrier of Squamish, B.C., was charged with aggravated assault for not telling two sexual partners he was infected with HIV. He was acquitted because neither woman became infected.

Last year, Johnson Aziga of Hamilton, Ont., was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder after he infected two sexual partners with HIV. Both women died of AIDS-related cancers.

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Galt (and other members of Galt's Gulch) simply refused to deal with others any longer. They did not inflict harm on innocent people, or violate their rights, by interfering in their lives. That's a much different matter.

Ghs

No. Galt purposely stopped the engine of the world (he planned and took steps) in order to collapse a system knowing that it would lead to mass starvation and general upheaval

Also, what if the individual convinced themselves that the virus wasn't contagious? What if it was JTS, just back from Alpha Centuri, where the locals told him that he had this infection and it would kill everyone if he went back but he said "Aw thats just a hoax" Would he be guilty of purposely infereing in others lives?

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Exposing someone to the HIV virus without their knowledge is a criminal offence in Canada, the USA and in the UK. Hundreds of convictions have been achieved, according to this story at the Globe and Mail.

Oh I know, I just wanted to start there and see how far down the line I could take it

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Galt (and other members of Galt's Gulch) simply refused to deal with others any longer. They did not inflict harm on innocent people, or violate their rights, by interfering in their lives. That's a much different matter.

Ghs

No. Galt purposely stopped the engine of the world (he planned and took steps) in order to collapse a system knowing that it would lead to mass starvation and general upheaval

Also, what if the individual convinced themselves that the virus wasn't contagious? What if it was JTS, just back from Alpha Centuri, where the locals told him that he had this infection and it would kill everyone if he went back but he said "Aw thats just a hoax" Would he be guilty of purposely infereing in others lives?

A person may starve if you refuse to feed him, but you are not responsible for what may happen in his life without you. That's the principle involved with Galt's Gulch.

As for ignorance of a fact that leads to a rights violation, well, that requires a fairly sophisticated analysis. There are reasonable and unreasonable errors (hence the Aristotelian distinction between "vincible' and "invincible" ignorace) , and we see this distinction in a legal system that uses a "reasonable man" standard of conduct. Suppose that a woman believes she is a witch, so she places a spell on others that protects them from bullets. Then she shoots one of them with a gun and kills him, while sincerely believing that the bullet would not hurt him in the least. Her ignorance, because it is so unreasonable, would not exonerate her. There is also the matter of the responsibility to investigate a potentially dangerous action before undertaking it but that, again, is a pretty complex area.

Hypotheticals of the sort you have been proposing -- "stress cases," as they are often called -- are a dime a dozen. You will never resolve the problems they raise unless you are able to generate some general principles, both moral and legal. And no matter how successful you may be in such endeavors, there will always remain gray areas that defy clear-cut general answers and that can only be resolved on a case-by-case basis in a court of law. But it is always a serious mistake to attempt to base general principles on stress cases, which are exceptions rather than the rule. You first need to establish general principles and then work from those.

Ghs

Later edit: I discussed the role of knowledge, ignorance, and error in a theory of legal liability in two articles published in 1979:

Justice Entrepreneurship in a Free Market

https://mises.org/journals/jls/3_4/3_4_4.pdf

Justice Entrepreneurship Revisited: A Reply to Critics

https://mises.org/journals/jls/3_4/3_4_8.pdf

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Exposing someone to the HIV virus without their knowledge is a criminal offence in Canada, the USA and in the UK. Hundreds of convictions have been achieved, according to this story at the Globe and Mail.

Oh I know, I just wanted to start there and see how far down the line I could take it

The thread started by Marotta covered the bases. In the end, he was reduced to whining about his unfair treatment:

All I did was raise the issue. And in return, I met the usual ignorance, superstition, resentment and hatred given by the mob to every new idea.

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Quite so, Mike.

Man's life as the standard of value ("That which is required for the survival of man qua man").

His own life as the ethical purpose ("The purpose of living a life proper to a rational being" for every individual).

Five seconds to live, or five days, that rational egoist doesn't and cannot desert his lifelong principle (recalls an atheist making a death bed conversion to religion).

What if his lifelong principles don't include a care for the human race long term?

Where is it proven that to be rational, you must care about the long term prospects of the general population? If that is a fact, we have a whole nother thread to come!

You've a misinterpretation of 'rational' and 'egoist'. Rational: as in adhering to objective reality with one's reason -- not, shrewdly or 'logically' adapting or discarding one's convictions to suit one's momentary needs and whims (subjectivity).

The key phrase is "lifelong principle", singular.

Hierarchically, "man's life as the standard of value" is that prime principle from which all other (individual) principles and values follow. Not holding oneself (as an egoist) personally responsible for "the long term prospects of the general population", is a very far cry from dis-valuing all lives now, and to come - especially, to the radical extreme of casually causing their elimination (as you posed the scene).

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I feel that it is problematic for you to decide who is good based on what you would do or what you would like to see done. If this individual truly sees their own satisfaction above lives of the general population then, while the results may be bad for the human race, that is what they should do.... or at least that's what I've gotten from the philosophy. Remember that Rand looked up to that serial killer guy, not because the deaths he caused were good or bad for the human race but because he didn't care what happened to others in general

Derek,

There's a lot to unpack here and I don't have the time right now to do that in depth. Let me just say that what you've gotten from the philosophy is a result of what Rand called concrete-bound thinking.

But I like the way you are thinking through this stuff. And you are honest about it, which really resonates with me.

One of the main lessons to learn in Objectivist epistemology is that knowledge is hierarchical. That's how you extract principles from observations. There's a lot to say here and there is my time thing, but let me leap to one of the conclusions.

You don't base ethics fundamentally on what makes you feel good (i.e., "their own satisfaction" to use your phrase). Feeling good is a result of several things, not a rational cause for grounding ethics. A result, not a cause. The cause has to go back to fundaments, actually to axiomatic concepts based on and validated by observation. If you don't know what axiomatic concepts are yet, keep on keeping on. You will come to them soon enough.

Check this premise: what makes Rand's heroes able to die willingly for their values? Even Galt said he would commit suicide if Dagny were tortured because he would not want to live in a world like that.

There's a world of difference between that and killing off most of the human race by purposely infecting them with a disease so you could feel good for a few days. If you don't see this difference yet, keep thinking. The secret is in hierarchical knowledge that leads to principles, not concrete instances replacing principles.

Also, here's a quibble. Hickman was not a serial killer. He only killed one little girl, dismembered her and threw the body parts at her father after receiving the ransom. Another brand of monster, but not a serial killer.

Rand's admiration for him was not because he did that. She condemned the crime in her notes. Her admiration was that he looked down his nose at the moral outrage surrounding him. He refused to assume guilt because others were telling him he should be ashamed. Instead, he was defiant. She liked that posture of the individual facing down the crowd and practically spitting on it, not the murder. Even at her age when she wrote that, I have no doubt she was appalled by the actual crime.

Michael

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A person may starve if you refuse to feed him, but you are not responsible for what may happen in his life without you. That's the principle involved with Galt's Gulch.

I feel like you are justifying. I could say many things(none of which would make much sense but to me, neither did your response here) such as I have a virus sure but it wasn't me who transmitted it to the people across the globe, it was the virus that did it, or it was the people who got it from me who did it.

Or I could bring up again the fact that Galt purposely wanted to collapse a system and which he knew would lead to death. So you could defend him, as in my example, by saying, sure he knew exactly what it would do but he really only convinced a few to leave the society so his actions are really confined to the negotiations between him and those people.

Francisco was explicitly out to destroy the finances, and thus the lives, of those he felt were parasites. Ragnar's actions directly led to death by lack of resources.

If I have a system of irrigation set up and you, knowing that irrigation needs water, decide to dam the river before it gets to my land, somehow you would be innocent of "actively interfering" in my life?

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You've a misinterpretation of 'rational' and 'egoist'. Rational: as in adhering to objective reality with one's reason -- not, shrewdly or 'logically' adapting or discarding one's convictions to suit one's momentary needs and whims (subjectivity).

I'll have to look into this. I actually dont know the difference at the current time and according to the philosophy

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Even at her age when she wrote that, I have no doubt she was appalled by the actual crime.

Right, that's why I said that the action may be either good or bad but it was the fact that he didn't care about others that she looked up to. I'll admit, I got some details wrong but it seems the fact still remains, you may call the infecting of the world wrong, the infector may say that he doesn't care about your morals.

Also, why wouldn't someone have family as a fundamental ethic? Even if the family dies because of the infection, don't forget that because of the infector's actions, they (the family) also got to spend their last days with him and if they value family as much as he, they actually might be grateful..... maybe not

Lets also not forget the whole Dagny and the guard thread. She was willing to kill in order to reach one of her fundamental values (Galt) Why can't out infector be willing to kill in order to reach his?

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Also, why wouldn't someone have family as a fundamental ethic?

Derek,

They could, but that would not be Objectivism. The foundation of ethics is not one concrete value in Objectivism. It is reason and the life of "man qua man" as an end in itself.

That "qua man" part is where belonging to the human species comes in. Also, Rand defined man as "rational animal." Not "individual cut off from its species." That means there is rational (individual), but there is also animal (species).

I'm merely going on the fact that you said your hypothetical is what you got from the philosophy.

Michael

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Someone please define altruism for me. and if it is putting others before you, explain how it is not putting others before you if you self quarantine yourself for life...

I'm only re-asking because we have begun talking about the negative side of exposing people and we haven't touched the negative side of self quarantine. Their is no negative side of self quarantine? Or does the positive of everyone else's life out balance the positive of your own

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Lets also not forget the whole Dagny and the guard thread. She was willing to kill in order to reach one of her fundamental values (Galt) Why can't out infector be willing to kill in order to reach his?

Derek,

The guard was blocking Dagny on purpose. He could have easily stepped aside because he has volition.

Mankind is not blocking your infected person on purpose by existing with a vulnerability to contagion. People have no choice about that.

This is another example of seeing the concrete, but not the principles.

Michael

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Someone please define altruism for me. and if it is putting others before you, explain how it is not putting others before you if you self quarantine yourself for life...

I'm only re-asking because we have begun talking about the negative side of exposing people and we haven't touched the negative side of self quarantine. Their is no negative side of self quarantine? Or does the positive of everyone else's life out balance the positive of your own

Derek,

Altruism is a man-made code, not a metaphysical condition.

Of course there is a negative side to self-quarantine, just like there is a negative side to falling off a mountain. There is metaphysical reality involved, not just a man-made rule of behavior.

Let's put it this way. Self-quarantine is only an issue for an infected person, not for a non-infected person. The infection is a metaphysical fact, not a man-made one.

Being infected is not a value from which to derive other values. It is a horrible metaphysical condition imposed by reality.

Your hypothetical reminds me of Nozick's argument about people needing to value cancer as a prerequisite in order to value the cure and calling that a contradiction in Objectivism. He ignored that a cure for cancer was only of value to people who have cancer in the first place. It is of no value to people who do not have cancer.

Michael

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Someone please define altruism for me. and if it is putting others before you, explain how it is not putting others before you if you self quarantine yourself for life...

I'm only re-asking because we have begun talking about the negative side of exposing people and we haven't touched the negative side of self quarantine. Their is no negative side of self quarantine? Or does the positive of everyone else's life out balance the positive of your own

Rand viewed altruism as the moral duty to sacrifice one's one interests and happiness for the interests and happiness of others. I may choose to undergo a personal inconvenience rather than harming others, without doing so from a sense of duty. I may even view the welfare and happiness of others as an essential part of my own happiness. Such possibilities do not qualify as "altruism" in Rand's sense.

Linked below is the first part of my Cato series on Rand and altruism in which I discuss this issue in detail. For a pertinent discussion of the issue you have raised, see Part 4 , which discusses Rand's correspondence with John Hospers.

Another important factor is how fundamental moral principles function psychologically and the role they play in decision making. I discuss that issue here.

Ghs

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A person may starve if you refuse to feed him, but you are not responsible for what may happen in his life without you. That's the principle involved with Galt's Gulch.

I feel like you are justifying. I could say many things(none of which would make much sense but to me, neither did your response here) such as I have a virus sure but it wasn't me who transmitted it to the people across the globe, it was the virus that did it, or it was the people who got it from me who did it.

Or I could bring up again the fact that Galt purposely wanted to collapse a system and which he knew would lead to death. So you could defend him, as in my example, by saying, sure he knew exactly what it would do but he really only convinced a few to leave the society so his actions are really confined to the negotiations between him and those people.

Francisco was explicitly out to destroy the finances, and thus the lives, of those he felt were parasites. Ragnar's actions directly led to death by lack of resources.

If I have a system of irrigation set up and you, knowing that irrigation needs water, decide to dam the river before it gets to my land, somehow you would be innocent of "actively interfering" in my life?

Yes, you could say those things about viruses, but they would be exceedingly silly things to say.

Again, Galt merely opted out of a system that he believed was exploiting him and other producers. He may have expected a certain outcome, but he had no power to bring about that outcome. Indeed, that outcome was not inevitable if people decided to abolish the exploitative system. The morally responsible people were the exploiters and their supporters, not Galt and others who refused to contribute to their own exploitation.

Consider a slave plantation in antebellum America. Suppose all the slaves plan and successfully execute a mass escape, and suppose the slaveowner is thereby unable to feed his family,. Would you claim that the slaves are morally responsible for the extreme hardship of the slaveowner? I certainly hope not.

Francisco and Ragnar pose more complex issues, but there is no point discussing them unless we can at least agree on the straightforward issue of Galt.

Ghs

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Someone please define altruism for me. and if it is putting others before you, explain how it is not putting others before you if you self quarantine yourself for life...

I'm only re-asking because we have begun talking about the negative side of exposing people and we haven't touched the negative side of self quarantine. Their is no negative side of self quarantine? Or does the positive of everyone else's life out balance the positive of your own

Rand viewed altruism as the moral duty to sacrifice one's one interests and happiness for the interests and happiness of others. I may choose to undergo a personal inconvenience rather than harming others, without doing so from a sense of duty. I may even view the welfare and happiness of others as an essential part of my own happiness. Such possibilities do not qualify as "altruism" in Rand's sense.

Linked below is the first part of my Cato series on Rand and altruism in which I discuss this issue in detail. For a pertinent discussion of the issue you have raised, see Part 4 , which discusses Rand's correspondence with John Hospers.

Another important factor is how fundamental moral principles function psychologically and the role they play in decision making. I discuss that issue here.

Ghs

thanks for links

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