Objectivism and winning the state, or national, lottery


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With the Powerball jackpot at $1.4 billion at the time of this post, what does Objectivism have to say about winning a state, or the national, lottery?

Why don't you ask what Objectivism has to say about question without context?

By the way, welcome to OL.

A...

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With the Powerball jackpot at $1.4 billion at the time of this post, what does Objectivism have to say about winning a state, or the national, lottery?

Why don't you ask what Objectivism has to say about question without context?

By the way, welcome to OL.

A...

Thanks for the warm welcome.

I implied Objectivist ethics.

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With the Powerball jackpot at $1.4 billion at the time of this post, what does Objectivism have to say about winning a state, or the national, lottery?

Why don't you ask what Objectivism has to say about question without context?

By the way, welcome to OL.

A...

Thanks for the warm welcome.

I implied Objectivist ethics.

And what part of your understanding of Objectivist ethics are you applying to a voluntary purchase of a lottery ticket by an Objectivist?

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With the Powerball jackpot at $1.4 billion at the time of this post, what does Objectivism have to say about winning a state, or the national, lottery?

Why don't you ask what Objectivism has to say about question without context?

By the way, welcome to OL.

A...

Thanks for the warm welcome.

I implied Objectivist ethics.

And what part of your understanding of Objectivist ethics are you applying to a voluntary purchase of a lottery ticket by an Objectivist?

Independence, productiveness. The windfall from the win could be seen as the unearned.

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Independence, productiveness. The windfall from the win could be seen as the unearned.

A more primary question might be: Is it ethical for an Objectivist to purchase a ticket for a government run lottery?

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Independence, productiveness. The windfall from the win could be seen as the unearned.

A more primary question might be: Is it ethical for an Objectivist to purchase a ticket for a government run lottery?

Sure, would the Objectivist seek value from a government ran lottery that contributes financially to a government education system, the more essential question, and doesn't seem virtuous for an Objectivist to purchase the ticket. That's why the original question was the Objectivist purchased a ticket anyway, not seeing that essential, and won. But seems a bit arbitrary now..

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Independence, productiveness. The windfall from the win could be seen as the unearned.

A more primary question might be: Is it ethical for an Objectivist to purchase a ticket for a government run lottery?

Sure, would the Objectivist seek value from a government ran lottery that contributes financially to a government education system, the more essential question, and doesn't seem virtuous for an Objectivist to purchase the ticket. That's why the original question was the Objectivist purchased a ticket anyway, not seeing that essential, and won. But seems a bit arbitrary now..

Good. Glad we worked that out.

What brought you to OL?

A...

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Independence, productiveness. The windfall from the win could be seen as the unearned.

A more primary question might be: Is it ethical for an Objectivist to purchase a ticket for a government run lottery?

Sure, would the Objectivist seek value from a government ran lottery that contributes financially to a government education system, the more essential question, and doesn't seem virtuous for an Objectivist to purchase the ticket. That's why the original question was the Objectivist purchased a ticket anyway, not seeing that essential, and won. But seems a bit arbitrary now..

Good. Glad we worked that out.

What brought you to OL?

A...

Wanted to discuss/talk about Objectivism with some folks, nobody around here is one. I went to the "other" forum first and had a moderator come at me who was skilled in logical fallacies, not so much Objectivism. Bad experience. Like that there is only one moderator here. This is definitely the better place to be

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Good. Glad we worked that out.

What brought you to OL?

A...

Wanted to discuss/talk about Objectivism with some folks, nobody around here is one. I went to the "other" forum first and had a moderator come at me who was skilled in logical fallacies, not so much Objectivism. Bad experience. Like that there is only one moderator here. This is definitely the better place to be

Where is "around here" and are you a worker, business person, student?

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Good. Glad we worked that out.

What brought you to OL?

A...

Wanted to discuss/talk about Objectivism with some folks, nobody around here is one. I went to the "other" forum first and had a moderator come at me who was skilled in logical fallacies, not so much Objectivism. Bad experience. Like that there is only one moderator here. This is definitely the better place to be

Where is "around here" and are you a worker, business person, student?

Oh, north florida area and a worker with a BA in business. Studied Objectivism off and on since early in life, but a few years ago I've studied and read more. Making my way through Barbara Branden's Principles of Efficient Thinking now

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I bought five more Powerball tickets for Wednesday's drawing. Prudent gambling is fun. Since you risk your money you do earn your winnings. I know a whole lot of rich kids who feel like charlatans and squander their inheritances. I suppose a person who wins could feel the same and a large percent of jackpot winners later go bankrupt. I would not nor would I spend more than my investment income.

Peter

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Independence, productiveness. The windfall from the win could be seen as the unearned.

A more primary question might be: Is it ethical for an Objectivist to purchase a ticket for a government run lottery?

Sure, would the Objectivist seek value from a government ran lottery that contributes financially to a government education system, the more essential question, and doesn't seem virtuous for an Objectivist to purchase the ticket. That's why the original question was the Objectivist purchased a ticket anyway, not seeing that essential, and won. But seems a bit arbitrary now..

Good. Glad we worked that out.

What brought you to OL?

A...

And in some interesting news, Hillary Clinton said in an interview today that she bought a Powerball ticket...

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And in some interesting news, Hillary Clinton said in an interview today that she bought a Powerball ticket...

If Evita wins it will be much better than her cattle futures buy which netted herself with $100,000.00 in real money for the $1,000 she "invested."

Hillary Clinton Invested $1,000, Netted $100,000 Through Trading

By Angie Cannon, Frank Greve

Knight-Ridder Newspapers: AP: Washington Post: Los Angeles Times: Newsday

WASHINGTON - The disclosure that Hillary Rodham Clinton parlayed $1,000 into nearly $100,000 through highly speculative commodities trading may create political embarrassment for the Clintons, who have sharply criticized a national culture of greed during the Reagan and Bush years in the White House.

But the information released yesterday by the White House covering investments in 1978 and 1979 also appears to support the couple's contention that they had done nothing illegal or unethical in the trades.

As a presidential candidate, Bill Clinton had decried the speculative wealth-building of the rich during the Reagan and Bush years as "a gilded age of greed and selfishness, of irresponsibility and excess and of neglect."

Mrs. Clinton, whose commodity trading came during the early years of her husband's political career and before Ronald Reagan was elected president, was guided through the risky trades by James Blair, a friend and top lawyer for one of Arkansas' most powerful companies, Tyson Foods Inc. She also "talked to other people" and read the Wall Street Journal to research her trades, a White House official said yesterday.

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19940330&slug=1902853

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I fully disagree that a lottery prize is unearned.

When you buy a lottery ticket, you enter a consensual contract where the conditions are stipulated beforehand. If you lose, that is earned. If you win, that is earned.

The activity is even productive as entertainment.

So I don't see any negative moral issue with this. Winning is 100% legitimately earned.

I do see a moral issue if you use lottery tickets as your business model since you would be denying reality. And if you get addicted to gambling.

Michael

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Korben writes:

With the Powerball jackpot at $1.4 billion at the time of this post, what does Objectivism have to say about winning a state, or the national, lottery?

While I'm not an Objectivist, I know an objective principle:

People who are given what they didn't develop the strength of character to earn,

will squander it because they didn't have the strength of character to manage.

(Hope you make it to Flotsam Paradise :wink: )

Greg

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Korben writes:

With the Powerball jackpot at $1.4 billion at the time of this post, what does Objectivism have to say about winning a state, or the national, lottery?

While I'm not an Objectivist, I know an objective principle:

People who are given what they didn't develop the strength of character to earn,

will squander it because they didn't have the strength of character to manage.

(Hope you make it to Flotsam Paradise :wink: )

Greg

Korben: get used to this. If Greg were a transmission he would have only one gear.

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I don't, especially if the money used to buy the ticket was obtained via theft, extortion, or fraud.

Merlin,

Using that standard, you could say that about any business transaction.

And it's circular. (If you're a thief using stolen money, playing the lottery is immoral. Why? Because being a thief and stealing money is immoral to begin with.)

That begs the issue of what the OP was asking and to what I was referring.

I understood him to be talking about some kind of inherent immorality, like should he feel guilty if he bought a friggin' lottery ticket because lotteries are evil by their very nature. And I understood him to derive this from a peculiar form or linear thinking rampant in O-Land. Elsewhere I have called this deducing reality from a principle.

That fact is, lotteries are not inherently evil. They are entertainment with the capitals market. Buying a ticket has the same moral import as buying a movie ticket. Except the payoff is in money instead of being wowed. Don't forget losing, too. How many sucky movies do you pay for before you get to ride on a good emotional roller coaster?

:)

Michael

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Maybe another word about guilt is in order.

Since the payoff to a lottery ticket is so massive, it is life-changing (at least for most people). And that could make it seem like the winner did not earn that money.

Well, he did not earn it in the sense of working for it at a job. The prize money is merely the result of some entertainment he engaged in.

But think of this. Some people win the lottery without even buying a ticket. They are born into great wealth.

A lottery winner will discover whether he is worthy of that money in how he uses it. (See the money speech in Atlas Shrugged--the part about inherited wealth.)

In playing the lottery, he got it honestly and fairly through a contract with prescribed rules that harm no one and produce entertainment. The transfer of great wealth to a person in exchange for a winning lottery ticket, or even being born, is not inherently evil.

Does anyone want to call the contrary to my conclusion anti-Objectivist? Hell. It isn't, but go for it. :smile:

Michael

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MSK, I commented because you made such a broad and sweeping statement. I also note that you snipped your remark from my post #18. But here it is again.

I fully disagree that a lottery prize is unearned.

I don't, especially if the money used to buy the ticket was obtained via theft, extortion, or fraud.

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I also note that you snipped your remark from my post #18. But here it is again.

Merlin,

I normally do that out of courtesy for the reader. Some posters have a habit of repeating full posts. It gets hairy when posts are long because readers have to scroll a lot or reread stuff they already read. (To be fair to these posters, the forum software is not very friendly for deleting parts of quotes.)

I rarely quote entire posts, even with short posts. I have developed the habit of trimming the quote I am responding to. Sometimes something squeaks by, but in general, this is a habit I do almost unconsciously.

Just look at my posts over, say, the last 7 years or longer. There are lots and lots of them.

Do you really think I was trying to deceive the reader in order to win some kind of argument against you by cheating?

:)

I hope that is not what you are getting at.

Dayaamm!

:)

Michael

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PDS writes:

Korben: get used to this. If Greg were a transmission he would have only one gear.

Damn right. One gear. Forward. That's how to succeed in life... by earning your freedom. :smile:

You obviously don't know this.

Greg

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